Monday, October 31, 2005

No Dude, I’m Serious…

Theo Epstein (the “boy wonder”, “wiz kid” or simply “guy who gets much tail around Boston”) resigned today after rejecting a 3-year, 1.5 million dollar per year contract from the Boston Red Sox. Epstein had been the Red Sox General Manager (GM) in charge hiring, firing, trading, and drafting players since 2002. The Sox tried to buy out Oakland As GM, Billy Beane, a few years ago for 2.2 million, so the Sox could have gone higher than 1.5 million. Of course, Epstein is far less established and innovative than Billy Beane, and Epstein is unlikely to get a higher offer from another team. Theo Epstein was the youngest GM ever at 28 and the youngest to put together a world series winning team at 30.

Weirdly, Epstein resigned while I was sitting in Applied Regression class thinking about the Epstein contract dispute. Right when I came to the conclusion that I most certainly would accept the Red Sox offer had they purposed it to me, the Prof. called on me to explain why I would make dummy variables from a continuous measure. I answered by repeating what I could remember of the question back in a new word order hoping that might constitute an answer.

Even more bizarrely, Johnny Damon “the Caveman Centerfielder” bought a house across the shore from my uncle in Maine. Next summer we could all blue fish together. More on that to come.

This all may be too much to handle right now. The Damon news is amazingly good, the Epstein news is bad, and both are a little scary. If my brother, dzusa, hasn’t heard either of these news items, I would recommend he take them one at a time, sitting down, with several Budweisers in range.

Both the “Wiz Kid” and “Caveman Centerfielder” rank somewhere between Oil Can and Scooter on the all time nickname list with the “Caveman Centerfielder” above “Wiz Kid” …

Friday, October 28, 2005

Nicknames from Worst to First

First, the worst: Scooter Libby.

I know this may feel like a cheap time to belittle the man for his name. After all most of us aren't responsible for our nicknames anyway. So in the sake of fairness let's put aside that 'scooter' to me connotes motorbikes that swarthy European men drive while they nearly hit me as I wander lost through their nation's capitals. Let's put aside that, while the Europeans do not swerve to miss me, they do manage to hit me with a cigarette butt, and steal my girlfriend. But let us not forget that Scooter was among the men who defrauded their way to our war.

And let's question how a man who has committed indictable offenses in the service the president, and whose last name sounds oddly like the recent patriarch of presidential, staff conspirators, G. Gordon Liddy, ended up with a nickname that replaces his first name. Scooter's real name, Lewis is fine. It's that Libby-Liddy thing that might need covering up.

For those of you who question my legitimacy in the blogosphere, I'd like you to take note of the time and day of this posting.

More on nicknames to come.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Cannon Blackberry

A word of advice to all white collar criminals and crooked politicians: after you write an e-mail, erase it from your sent mail, hit your computer with a baseball bat, burn the remains, and then shoot the ashes from a cannon. One should fire computer ashes chronicling ones own criminal activities particularly far. A prediction this blogger can make with some confidence is when Fitzgerald finally gets done indicting White House hooligans, it's all going to hinge on a few, absent minded emails with embarrassing grammatical errors (not unlike this blog). Mr. Rove has already gotten himself in trouble with an e-mail that discussed his conversation with Mathew Cooper, a chat that Rove told the grand jury never happened. And Matt Copper's e-mails with his Time magazine bosses helped to get Scooter Libby indicted today.

Among the many crooks who may wish they had followed my advice despite the expense is Ken Lay. All the Enron e-mails are now available on the web as part of a cyber public flogging.

I know someone who works in securities fraud investigations, and he recently told me that e-mails provide the bulk of the evidence in his work.

Linking this thinking with the wave of hi-tech mini-gadgets in one (e.g. the cell phone-camera-MP3 player), I intend to pioneer a device which both sends e-mails through the web, and fires sent e-mails from a cannon.

The Cannon-Blackberry device will also launch amateur skateboarding footage even if no crime was captured on film. Nothing against skateboarding—it’s just been documented enough.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Baseball Almanac

I just found a tremendous baseball website:

It’s got everything from team histories going back to the middle of the 19th century, to recent standings and payrolls, to what appears to be a complete transcript of Casey Stengel’s 1958 Senate anti-trust hearing. You can listen to parts of Casey Stengel’s actual testimony on Real Audio. At one stage, Stengel obfuscates with a 121 word sentence.

Blue Fish Who?

Many people have been contacting the blog asking where the name "Blue Fish Canoe" originated. The nom de plum and blog title (for some reason I thought they should be the same) come from how my uncle, brother, and I would fish for blue fish in my youth. The blue fish has excellent hearing and would be scared away by a motorboat, so we'd cast off a small canoe. When we caught one, we'd bring the beast aboard the canoe and a battle royal between fish and fishermen would ensue. Although they can be found close to shore in northern New England (where we were), the blue fish is a 20-inch long sea bastard. I once inspected a blue fish mouth before he/she went in the frying pan, and concluded her/his teeth could bite off a finger like a virgin Mach3 razor blade slicing through a high school boy's stubble.

I intend to blog with the same death or glory approach with which I fish.

Up next: a discussion of nicknames from Scooter Libby (the worst) to Oil Can Boyd (the best).

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

One step for me...

I just ran into fellow blogger, Cuddles, the friendly bassinet ,and immediately broke rule number one of my blog, by asking him if he’d read my blog. Luckily for all he had.

Check out his blog at

One leap for you

I’m glad you’re joining me on my first, shaky steps in the blogosphere. I’m finding it to be a bit of a disappointment. It took virtually no time to acclimatize to my new surrounding. I have experienced no dizziness or shortness of breath, no snow squalls followed by tee-shirt weather and skiing, and baseballs (well wiffle balls) travel no further in the blogosphere than they do in the regular atmosphere.

I will press on with my disclaimer at approximately the same weight I had in the atmosphere. The disclaimer: when you see the real flesh and bones me, he will assume you have no knowledge of this blog. This is to avoid awkward conversations like:

you: Cheney’s in trouble now ehh?
me: Ya, I wrote about it on my blog.
you: I’d say Cheney’s going to be out by Spring.
me: Hey I predict that on my blog. Do you mean to tell me that you haven’t been reading my blog! [Followed by tears, and an exchange of blows that look more like open hand slaps.]

Now that we’ve dispensed with the formalities, on to my first political prediction: Dick Cheney resigns by Spring due to "health problems" though everyone knows it's because he's taking too much heat from Plame, Bush, Iraq etc. The VP-ship becomes the least attractive political position in the US as association with the current administration becomes a scarlet letter. The Vice Presidency gets outsourced to Bangalore and we are all shamed by the new VP’s mustache. However our South Asian Veep has surprising charisma, and popularizes the man-skirt.

More to come.