Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Best Letter Ever

At first blush, this letter to the editor of the Telegram and Gazette is a tour-de-force of senile induced stream of consciousness. But then I looked up some of the stuff the old man wrote about, and I'll be damned if his memory isn't pretty good:
I watched the football game between the New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys. The Patriots beat the Cowboys. Good. I noticed a lineman on the Dallas Cowboys whose name was Jolly. I haven't seen that name around in ages. When I first followed big league baseball back in 1932, the Boston Red Sox had an outfielder whose name was Smeed Jolly.

The centerfielder was Dusty Rhodes and the other fielder was Suitcase Seeds. The New York Giants had a pitcher whose name was Fat Freddy Fitzsimmons.

Then World War II came along and I went to war and forgot about Fat Freddy. I think the three years I spent in the Navy in World War II were three of the best years of my life.
Before I get into the facts, I hope you take a moment to appreciate what you've just read.


Looks like there was a Red Sox outfielder named Smead Jolley in 1932. Dusty Rhodes wasn't an outfielder, but rather a pitcher on that 1932 team (there was an outfielder named Dusty on the 1933 Sox). Still, that's pretty good recall after 75 years. And while "Suitcase Bob" Seeds wasn't on that team, he did play with the 1933 team. Fat Freddy Fitzsimmons had a long and successful career.

I've got to give the letter writer credit. Not only did he find some way to get from the 2007 Patriots to the 1932 Red Sox and back to World War II in a matter of three paragraphs, he essentially got his facts right as well.

Previous T&G Letters to the Editor:
In God we trust, in e-mails we don't
"suspiciously left-wing"
T&G Readers are off their meds again
"I like Jasmine Guy"
BREAKING: Election fraud in Auburn
"The sting of unboozed Democrats"
"Why is Mitt Romney ashamed of Massachusetts?"
"hot condiments cause them to be...interested in sex"
Disgust with that nasty Francona grows
It's that dirty Francona's fault
T&G reader takes on terrorism
Worcester: the San Diego of the East
Is State Senator Barrios a Bush Crony
Rem-Dawg Debate Rages in Worcester
Jerry Remy has "lost all touch with reality"


Thursday, December 13, 2007


Nine inches of snow here in Sterling. Looks like Matt Noyes at NECN won today's prize. He had us in the 8-12" range. Every other local news meteorologist had us under 8".

Oh, and it only took 40 minutes to get home from Marlboro this afternoon. I don't know what the big deal was with today's commute.


Woman urns trip to court

This has to be one of the top ten stories of the year. According to the Telegram and Gazette, a woman broke into her stepfather's house, stole her late mother's ashes from his mantle, and took them on a Caribbean cruise. Now she faces a court date:
EAST BROOKFIELD-- A former Warren resident charged with stealing her mother's cremated remains from her stepfather's home and scattering them on a beach in Aruba turned down a plea agreement yesterday in Western Worcester District Court.

Elena M. Day, 35, of Palmer was charged with receiving stolen property and breaking and entering after her stepfather reported that his wife's remains were missing, and what appeared to be cat box filler and fireplace ashes placed inside the urn he kept at his Main Street home.
OK, so far nothing too special, although the kitty litter is a nice touch. But the story really gets interesting as we find out what evidence the police found.
During his investigation, Officer Chase wrote, he obtained a copy of a DVD with the title "Travel Log of Her Ashes, Memorialized, Judith A. Heier Mann, Her Final Resting Place."

In his report, he wrote that the video, which is just over 10 minutes long, also has a segment called "The Stops Along the Way" and lists Carnival Destiny, San Juan, St. Thomas, Dominica, Barbados and Aruba.

The video also allegedly shows Ms. Day scattering ashes on a beach described as "Mamok Beach" and ends with a picture of a map marked with an "X."
So the woman took a vacation video of her dead mother's ashes as she cruised the Caribbean? I wonder if she also got those commemorative photos the cruise line sells at each port. Perhaps she came back with a collection of pictures of her, the urn, and a Rastafarian. Or even better, maybe the waitstaff carried the urn around the banquet hall when they did their little song and dance number on formal night. The possibilities are endless.

Oh, and as though the story needed any more, the reporter checked in with someone in the death business to get some ideas of ways this conflict could be avoided:
Susan C. Fraser, executive director and founder of In the Light Urns in Three Rivers, Calif., suggests that one should be sure a trusted family member knows the person's funeral wishes...

Mrs. Fraser said her company sells more "keepsakes" than urns. The keepsakes are a sort of miniature urn, sometimes in the form of a necklace, rosary or key chain. They are filled with a small amount of the ashes and can be carried or worn as a remembrance.
Nice idea, but it's hard to get good video of a key chain.


Friday, December 7, 2007

Lancaster's Cat Lady and the Lord of the Flies

Apparently, Lancaster has it's own version of Boston's Cat Lady. But not only do she and her boyfriend have cats running roughshod over their home and reportedly "decomposing" in their yard, they also have an interesting take on vegetarianism:

The Board of Health is prepared to bring a local homeowner to court if she does not comply with an order to clean up her Vincent Avenue house in nine days.

Board chair Robert Baylis said that if Claudia Ezinicki and boyfriend John Bottomly do not clean up the 50 Vincent Ave. home within the set time limit, the board will file a lawsuit with the Worcester housing court....

While the board found the pair's 17 cats -- which Ezinicki rescued from the streets of Boston, according to Bottomly -- in good condition, they had concerns with flies in the house.

Bottomly said that the problem has been resolved, even though he is not happy about it.

"We're strict vegetarians. We don't like to kill flies," Bottomly said.

Hey Mr. Bottomly, no one said you have to eat the flies.

All of the stomach-turning details are chronicled in the Sentinel and Enterprise.


Not fit for office

John McCain: "We need to have Curt Schilling as president of the President's Council on Fitness."

Does this guy look like the poster boy for fitness?


Thursday, December 6, 2007

What did the teacher think would happen?

Free advice from me: if you're a gym teacher (or any teacher, for that matter) don't put dodgeball on the curriculum for a bunch of high school boys:
SOUTHBRIDGE -- A 19-year-old man was arraigned yesterday on allegations he was unruly during a game of dodgeball during gym class at Southbridge High School.

Jose L. Belfort, 19, 658 Main St., first floor, was removed from the school in handcuffs just before 1 p.m. yesterday He was charged with creating a school disturbance, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace...

According to a police report, a group of out-of-control young men in the class did not want to behave and were throwing the ball at the gym teacher.
We got mad at our gym teacher once when I was in high school. He made a terrible call while we were playing softball and a bunch of us surrounded him and kicked dirt on him like a major league manager would. It was pretty funny, and none of us got arrested. I'd hope we wouldn't have pelted him with dodge balls if that had been the activity of the day, but I'm not so sure about that.

Mitt muffs the easy religion question

Much of the discussion over the next couple of days about Mitt Romney's religious experience will center on his speech this morning. But just as telling--if not more so, since it wasn't a scripted message--is Romney's complete inability and/or unwillingness to answer the simplest question about Mormonism: how does your religion differ in its teachings from other religions.

I'm stunned at his non-answer. I understand that he doesn't want to be defined by his religious beliefs, but he completely uncomfortable by the question. He acts like he is hiding something. Is he afraid that by articulating what Mormons believe, people will find him weird or out of the mainstream? Or is he unable to articulate the central tenets of his religion, which would suggest that he is not as committed as he would like us to believe.

As the children's' song goes, "Hide it under a bushel? No. I'm going to let it shine!" Romney should take the advice and shine some light on what he believes.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Globe no different than Romney in exploiting illegal immigrants

Mitt Romney has exploited the illegal immigration issue to the hilt in his run for the presidency, so it's particularly rich that he has been caught--again--contracting with a lawn care company that employs these undocumented workers.

But just because the Globe caught his hypocrisy for the second time doesn't make their reporting efforts justified. Frankly, I don't see much difference between Romney using a immigrants as a pawn to get elected, and the Globe using immigrants as a vehicle to play gotcha with the former governor. Both are wrong.

Romney is fair game to be aggressively investigated on the issue, no doubt about it. But when the Globe's reporters follow the workers home, name them as sources and provide details of their lives in Massachusetts, they are putting these men at some risk. And to what end? Is that a trade that the Globe and it's reporters are willing to make?

Apparently so. If asked, the reporters and editors would probably say that they don't have any obligation to protect these sources if they have consented to go on the record, and that is undoubtedly true. But outing illegal immigrants in an effort to prove Romney a liar confirms that the Globe is just as willing to use these human beings as pawns in their plan as Romney is.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bet this wouldn't happen to Tedy

So, you know how you call ahead to your local pizza parlor to order your meal, so it will be ready for you to eat when you arrive?

Apparently the crew at Papa Gino's in Leominster has never heard of such a thing. We called ahead for our pizza Saturday night, got to the restaurant 10 minutes later, and then watched while a parade of patrons who ordered their pizzas in person after we arrived were called to pick up their pies.

Then, once our pizza finally came out of the oven, they boxed it to go. I guess they figured that since it was a phone order it must be to go.

I'll bet Tedy Bruschi never has to wait 40 minutes for a pizza. And I imagine when he calls, he gets what he wants when he wants it.



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