Monday, December 08, 2008

Hayes Carll Show Part II

I met Hayes briefly at the bar between sets one and two. I told him that my uncle almost came down from Maine to see the show. He replied, "ya, that's being in a band," making clear he didn't quite hear me. It was awesome. He also asked me for the time.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Hayes Carll Show

The Hayes Carll Show last night was sublime. I didn't even mind that he repeated songs from the first set in the second set, botch a song because of the arses trying to mosh in front of me, and that Union Hall in a characteristically dickish move made me and the two other super fans who attended both sets buy separate tickets for each set (by nights end I managed to purchase 4 tickets to one show--all for a good cause). From his witty between song banter to his mocking a drunk guy dancing ("its takes years for some people to get to that level... I can't dance either, well, no need to elaborate on that"), to his live show intensity and perfect rendering of his songs both new and old, that is, first album, second and third, Hayes was awesome!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Bush Pardons

What crazy people do you think Bush will pardon now that he's in full bailout of the White House mode? Maybe Plaxico?

According to this article (and I don't vouch for it's validity, but will link to it), Bush has already pardoned a bunch of hunters including one who poisoned a bald eagle in a turkey saving, coyote killing zany mix up with strychnine .

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Raccoons invade Germany

The Germans brought the first raccoons to Europe in the 1930s. They called them Waschbaeren, or "wash bears," because they wash so frequently (by European standards). During an allied bombing raid, a German raccoon farm was damaged and the raccoons escaped, or rather, were liberated. Over the next 80 years they have been multiplying and maundering over the continental countryside. Recently, they've been moving into German towns, and the Germans have found themselves unable to defend against the 20 lbs. furry menaces. A German family reported trying to expel raccoons from their chimney by smoking them out, then playing loud music, and finally in step far surpassing their previous efforts in imagination and sophistication, the German family electrified their gutters. The raccoons were undeterred.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Price of Lobsters

The price of Maine lobsters has dropped precipitously. According to Big Steve, when the Icelandic banks failed, the lobster processing plants in Canada got in trouble, and somehow the price of lobsters went through the floor. Thus lobster is cheap, and we should buy them because it will help the lobster market, and because they taste good and are... cheap.

Will this economic crisis show no mercy? When will it abate?

Big Steve is weathering the crisis well. Indeed, he killed a deer with his 308 in his backyard yesterday and is ecstatically happy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Sharks have a lot of street cred for all their seal and surfer eating, but I believe the swordfish to be the biggest badass of the seas. The shark is a thug, while the swordfish has style. The shark is Chris Penn as Nice Guy Eddie, while if fish had wallets, the swordfish's would say 'Bad Mother Fucker' on it. And if any more proof is needed, then I'd submit that the swordfish is faster than the mako shark. Moreover, in the event a mako can catch a swordfish, then the smaller swordfish can kill the mako with, what else but its sword!

The swordfish fits into this section on exceptions to nature's rules because it's warm blooded. It can heat up its eyes and brain and go into a fish turbo mode. Note: it heats its brain, rather than its fins or sword, because the brain is the greatest weapon of the underwater badass.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I guess this says it all

link 1 link 2

Cat reproduction

Keeping on the animal weird sex theme established in the last posting, we have a weird one from a species both near and beloved: the house cat. It's one dirty bitch. Once a female cat and a males cat ehhem... do it, and the female gets prego, the female cat can keep looking for new males and get double pregnant by a different dude. With most non-cat species, once an egg gets fertilized the whole system goes into to baby mode and stops producing fertilize-able eggs. However there's no particular reason to shut down normal reproductive stuff at conception especially if a species has multiple babies per litter and the first round of babies/kittens is only a few days post consception. After ehhem... conception round 1 female cats go out and actually try super hard to get pregnant again and so kittens of the same litter can be half sibs.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Weird Animals

Here at BFC we're rule breakers and we like it when animals do the same. For instance, there have been 2 documented cases of female sharks reproducing by parthenogenesis. My understanding of the virgin births is that two haploid eggs merged to form a diploid baby shark.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Political Mucrucking at Its Finest

This appears to be what we're up against.

Obama & Springsteen

I have been a Springsteen fan for as long as I can remember. I loved 'Born in the USA' but I also hung with him through 'Lucky Town' and other woeful attempts to play rock and roll without the E Street Band. I even was cool when Bruce himself started shutting down beer sales at his Meadowlands show at 7:30 PM. However, I would hope he expresses himself at Obama rallies through popular songs, and not with controversial songs, and definitely not through stream of consciousness monologue.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Coming Attraction

After the election, I'm planning an exceptions to biological rules series. For instance, warm blooded fish and asexual reproduction in unlikely animals. It'll be good.

I'm watching the Obama 1/2 hour ad now. Also good.

This feels like...

To put this election into words I can understand, this feels like 2004 after we beat the Yankees and took the first game against the Cardinals. I have the sense that victory should be ours, but it is likely that what should happen may not, and in its place something I don't want to think about.

Ice sculpture meltdown

Some kids made an ice sculpture in lower Manhattan that, given the temperature of around 40 degrees, is expected to melt in about a day. Good one guys.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


This site, though not particularly well named, is good for election fact checking. It's also fairly objective. Turns out the 'Palin makes women pay for rape kits' story is not really black and white.

Of course, it also turns out McCain/Palin get the pants on fire rating all the time, and even more so recently.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Debate III

Just watched debate 3. Ohh ya!

Where am I from digitally?

I often find myself startled, nay terrified, by my phone vibrating on a table in an otherwise quiet room. Does that make me a digital immigrant? I'm probably not a digital native (born 1978), but I've always liked to think of myself as a digital Dutchman. Could I at least be from digital El Paso?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

"God Bless America"

There is no point fighting it. Like skidding on black ice, reacting too strongly only makes it worse. I've taken to singing along whenever possible, and at least for my favorite part, the climatic, crescendo of schmultz, the "oceans white with FOAM!"

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Google, how dare you

Despite rumblings over corporations and their computer's supposedly impending omniscience, I marvel at Google's failure to directly advertise to me. Google clearly needs a Steve Goodman lecture on the problems of applying modern statistics in general and population based means in particular to individuals. A recent ad was just insulting. It was for a cricket website -- reasonable enough -- but the link read, "Real Men Play Cricket: Baseball Is for Boys." During the playoffs no less...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Okkervil River

This is one wicked good band.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


There have been several palindromic dates recently (like 10/02/2001), but there were none in our grandparents generation. The first person to post the most recent palindromic date that occurred before our lifetimes to the comments section will receive a bag of my favorite all around candy, Mike & Ikes Berry Blast (figure 1)--it's like real fruit but better. I will send the candy to you on my dime via United States Post. Note: over my dead body will Mike & Ikes be mailed to anyone who tries to post a date in day/month/year. Only good only American month/day/year dates will be considered.

Figure 1:

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Bunk

When I was in my twenties, young, brash sapling that I was, I secretly snubbed cat owners. Girls I knew would go on and on about cats rejecting their medicine, and how their cat was the craziest cat in the world. Deep down I worried that it was an admission of the reality of the 'biological clock'. Moreover, how could all their cats be the world's craziest? (Being a largely female contingent they lacked the imperative to find who really was number 1.)

Now that I am a cat owner and a ripened 30 years of age, I've come realize, hypocritically, that I have the craziest cat (Fig 1) in the world. If not the craziest, he is at least the greatest slob of the feline species. May I suggest this litany provides some evidence of my claim:

1. He sleeps on his back hind legs splayed; it's obscene (Fig 2).
2. He ate a controlling interest in a plastic bag.
3. He eats pasta.
4. He drinks from the toilet.
5. He once drank part of an espresso.
6. He pushed over a pint glass.
7. He pushed over a pile of magazines.
8. He pushed over a couch.
9. To get into my bedroom to sleep on my pillow, he broke down a French door.

Figure 1: The Bunk Sitting

Figure 2: The Bunk Sleeping

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mainetoberfest link

I declare this the official link of Mainetoberfest.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sarah Palin: Folk Hero

I can't take it! Democrats are letting this, Palin, become a folk hero. Everyone knows she lies, everyone knows that she supported the Bridge to Nowhere, everyone knows she overstated the progress on her pipeline. But when the Democrats rely on the media to fact check these insane claims the story appears on the back pages. Look at this story on and ad claiming Obama "supporting sex ed for kindergartners" (as it turns out Obama supported education on teaching children to avoid sexual predators and other age appropriate education). If democrates come out and say "Palin is a liar", then that's a huge story, reported everywhere, and Palin must address it directly. But the actually candidates need to speak the words, not the media, to make it an issue. It's just 4 words. Someone please, say it: Palin is a liar.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Your Obama Tax Cut

Some kid genius in my Hopkins Students for Obama group made this. It calculates your tax savings under Obama's tax plan compared to McCain's. I might not trust it to do my taxes but I like it nonetheless.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Super Buds for Super Bugs

Weed kills MRSA! Some coolass Italians got onto this one. Well done boys.

Cat BMI follow up

I've combed the Internet and spoken to several vets and evidently there is no universally accepted way to calculate cat BMI. The closest is a method involving back leg circumference and back leg length. It's totally stupid because cats store fat around their stomach. It's also surprisingly hard to figure out where a cat's leg starts. The hind appendages merge quite smoothly with the cat butt. The feeding direction on cans of cat food suggest 1 oz of food per pound of cat. My cat weighs 20 lbs and a can of cat food only holds 5.5 oz so my cat would need to eat 3 1/2 cans of food a day. Clearly that's too much cat food for me and I think too much for my cat. Humm...

Friday, August 29, 2008


A friend of mine, the Monstrous Falafel, used a great German word the other day: jüctencriedden. How could a man who speaks no German use a word that was understood by a group of people who also speak no German, you ask? How did we even know it was a German word? Allow me to define the word and its authenticity will be self-eveident.

jüctencriedden \YUK-tin-CRI-den\, gender neuter, noun:
1. The scenario whereby one is hanging out with his wife and one of his wife's female friends who has brought along her new boyfriend. One feels pressure to hang out with the new boyfriend due to ones shared gender. The new boyfriend turns out to be a bit of a douche bag, and this goes unrecognized by your wife because of the convenience of putting the dudes together while she socializes with her friend. Inevitably, the douche bag new boyfriend does not like sports and becomes aggressive at any mention of professional baseball.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sea Urchin

Since the early 1980s lobstermen in Maine have supplemented their income by diving for sea urchin which they sell to Japanese restaurants. Locally, sea urchin are known as "whore's eggs." Last week on a visit to Maine, I asked lobstermen M.H. why they gave that nickname to the seemingly already derisively named sea urchin. M.H. replied, "because that's what they look like."

Friday, August 15, 2008

McCain's foreign policy

In this very short article written in May, Fareed Zakaria outlines how foreign policies under Obama and McCain might differ using actual policy statements made by the candidates. The article foreshadows the strong words McCain used against Russia this week, and explains how the logical extensions of those words might play out. For instance, McCain supports thowing Russia out of the G8 and isolating China. FZ explains real differences so simply. If you think engaging your enemies diplomatically can prevent war, vote for Obama. If you'd like to undo presidents Nixon and Reagan's greatest foreign policy achievments, and live in a more polarized, paranoid world, then you should vote for McCain.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Strange Maps

May I divert your attention to a far superior blog.

Gold: It's not just for teeth anymore

If there is someone keeping track of this (and I'm sure there is), Baltimore may produce athletes with unprecedented numbers of medals this year. Michael Phelps is from Rogers Forge which is basically part of Baltimore. This website lists other B-more Olympians but somehow misses Carmelo Anthony. Carmelo Anthony has a special place in the heart of the city thanks to his many marijuana related scandals and his community outreach on behalf of the stop snitching movement.

Friday, August 08, 2008

By Popular Demand: The D-Man in Action

Here he is. My old prof turn internationally renown loon, the vertical farmer himself.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Mayor of Detroit

The sitting mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, was recently jailed for violating his parole by going to Canada. He intends to continue running the city from jail pledging "the government will function as usual." As a sometime resident of Baltimore, it pains me to hear news of another city taking on greater shame than B-more. And what about Worcester, how have we never thought of this?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Prez Poll

For something nicely uplifting, check out the USA Today interactive, and click on northern Red States. Can we elect members to the Electoral College based on the derivative of polling curves? It looks like S. Carolina may even be slightly blue.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


It's time for Charlie Zink. I love Clay Buchholz, but Wake and Zink would be awesome together. As if this was a real blog, I will call them Wink.

Worst Acronym Ever

The aids linked to injection drug experience (ALIVE) is a study bent on annoying every junkie in Baltimore. It's also the most awkward and cruelly ironic acronym ever. However, for the participants for whom the title will not apply in the very near future and who are very much aware of that possibility, the acronym maybe forgivable. The men have already been asked if they're men and the women already asked if they are in fact women so we know the participants to have senses of humor at least.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Does anyone how to calculate a cat BMI? I'm concerned my cat is fat, but then again, I don't really know what he should weigh.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Critical Mass Dude

I'm not a big fan of Critical Mass.  As a cyclist, I think they do more harm than good for cycling in NYC.  But this guy nearly got killed.  He's ok, and headed for a big pay out.  Make of it what you like via BL... 

Friday, July 25, 2008

Doe Bay

The Smoked Salmon and I observed many differences between east coasters and our countrymen in the west.  Most notably they live much further west than we do.  We had a great time in Seattle.  We went sailing which inspired me to begin planning the construction of a transatlantic wooden sailing vessel.  I will paint her black with red sails and name her the Black Platypus.  

From Seattle we went to Doe Bay in the San Juan Islands.  We stayed at a little hippie resort in a yurt with clothing optional mineral baths.  Blessedly the dominant mineral was Chlorine.  I observed a steady dynamic equilibrium of 1 hot young hippie chick to 10 old hairy hippie dudes.  If 1 hot hippie chick was in the pool and an eleventh old hippie dude arrived, then one of the old hippie dudes, unable to bare the hideosity of the aged hippie male form, would leave the pool.  If a second hot young hippie chick arrived, ten more hippie dudes followed.

Otherwise, the place was charming.      

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Pacific Northwest Kind of Glee

The Smoked Salmon and I have ventured further north and west than we had even anticipated. From Seattle we moved to the San Juan Islands and from there, Vancouver and Whistler. We're tan and so high on skinny dipping in mountain lakes followed by hiking to snowy mountain peaks and butt sledding that we can barely stand it.

I didn't realize how happy I could be (and conversely how unhappy I was in my normal life in New York). I was so unhappy. Deeply darkly morose and unhappy. Bambi after his mother died unhappy. I was simultaneously manic and depressive, both passive and aggressive--depraved, perverted, retarded/totally-tarded...

Friday, July 11, 2008


Smoked Salmon and I are heading off to Seattle to visit a friend and hang out. Bunk the Cat (up to 23.4 lbs.) is staying with a friend under the premise that he will hunt the mice that have infested his home. I once saw Bunk run from a cockroach. Happy hunting.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

World Wide Telescope

Check out World Wide Telescope: It's like Google Earth, but for everything besides the Earth.


My cat is down from 25 lbs. to a handsome 22.8!

The Sixties

The 1960s, I believe, to be the most overrated decade in our history. I once saw a documentary where an old hippie announced that the 1968s Democratic National Convention "was the closest we've ever come to a civil war in this country."

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Fishy Fish

I'm on a kick to eat fishier fish. They're more healthy, cheaper, and better for the environment. Eating greasy fishy little fish limits fishing boat travel time because little fish live close to shore, and it reduces incidental dolphin killing--one's net cannot mistake a poggie for a dolphin. Moreover the little SOBs are so numerous they're nearly impossible to over-fish. To this end, I had a bagel with pickled herring this morning. It tasted so terrible I couldn't finish it. That's the downside, fishy fish don't taste good.

However eating fishy fish does have one advantage laking in so many things that are good but taste bad. In my own debatably warped view of the universe, eating fishy fish is more badass than eating non-fishy fish. Thus I will plod on in this endeavor.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


I believe "geek-chic" to be an oxymoron. Being smug does not equal being socially maladjusted. Oh, I hear people claiming to be music geeks and sports geeks and I'm able to stomach it, but I heard someone claim to be a yoga geek the other day and it drove me out of a blogging slumber. Geeks are among other things authentic, and people should not trade on the geek name to lend some credibility to their affectations. I spent a semester of undergrad at a small engineering college, and I can say that true geek status is nothing to self-apply.

"Geekiness" can be defined as a sad inability on the part of some people to relate to other people, and a worrying apathy towards the prospects of doing so. Pastimes of the geek are secondary to social problems; however it follows from the very definition of the geek that those pastimes must be consistent with social isolation. Music, sports, and yoga are typically collaborative at least in practice and therefore off the itinerary of the proper geek. The geek social state is exacerbated by gender differences so inter-gender relationships are particularly difficult for true geeks. In turn, Internet porn, and Internet games where people never meet, but instead virtually kill each other while checking out attractive digital women are real geek pastimes. But God bless geeks. Where would we be with out them?

In a sort of unrelated note, I think there are many more male geeks than female geeks, but true female geeks have it worse.