Mark’s stage name

I have no idea why I’m making this my first post in a long time, but I was thinking about a stage name for Mark if/when he does an open mic night.  Given the hard science PhD similarities, I recommend he gets the requisite hoody and goes with “Shred Kaczynski.”  Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Last Week–A Review

Last week I had the opportunity to check off a couple blocks on the bucket list.  First up, game 6 of the World Series.  Serendipitously, I got to attend the title clinching game, so that made the experience feel much more significant.  I, however, didn’t have a dog in the fight, as I hate the Yankees and am indifferent toward the Phillies.  I wasn’t about to actively root against the Yanks in Yankee Stadium for fear of death.  Given it was the Yankees in a brand new Yankee Stadium, the atmosphere was not as electric as I thought it would be.  Exciting, yes.  Electric?  I don’t know…although I’m guessing a Yankee fan would say certainly.  To me, alot of the noise (inside the stadium; outside was another story) was inorganic.  The final out was met with a loud cheer, but seemed short-lived.  It wasn’t long before Sinatra’s “New York, New York” was pushed through the PA.  Seeing Mariano Rivera come out for the save to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” was pretty cool though (the Yankee players come out to self-chosen music–e.g., Derek Jeter’s at bats start with that Jay-Z/Alicia Keys New York song).  I guess I was just surprised at the lack of goosebump/chickenskin-inducing crowd noise.  I’ve seen nearly comparable crowd craziness at regular season Cubs games.  I’m sure there’s an essay in there somewhere about New Yorkers’ sense of expectation/ego/entitlement, but I’m not going to explore that here.  A good time nonetheless.

The field at the new Yankee Stadium looks alot like the old one (similar dimensions, feel, look, etc.).  The change is in the corporate-style amenities.  I did enjoy the sausage, and, ironically, a tasty cheesesteak.

As if the World Series wasn’t enough, I capped off the week at the KISS Alive 35 tour.  KISS and I go back quite a long time.  The concert/crowd/etc. was what you’d think it would be:  musically light, performance heavy, crowd dressed in full KISS regalia (even saw kids as young as about 7–parents certainly not candidates for mother/father of the year).  Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have great energy for 60 year olds.  Gene did the whole blood-spitting, fire-breathing demon thing.  Paul swung over and into the crowd during the encore.  Ace Frehley and Peter Criss weren’t there, replaced by Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer respectively.  The songs everyone knows (Detroit Rock City, Rock and Roll All Night, Shout It Out Loud, etc.) were the most fun, but honestly, they probably could’ve played one song for two hours straight and most people wouldn’t notice a difference.  The originality definitely lies in the face paint and not in the songwriting.  It was, however, very entertaining.

Buckcherry opened for KISS.  Buckcherry could definitely take the DeLorean back to 1986 and, with the right haircut (or lack thereof)  fit right in with Tesla, Great White, Poison, Cinderella, etc.  My favorite part was the drummer, in overalls and no t-shirt, banging away while a hidden fan continuously kept his hair blowing in the wind.  High comedy.

And I’m not sure if you guys remember Jim Breuer doing Gunner Olsen on SNL, but both Paul Stanley and Buckcherry’s lead singer had the rock and roll “conversational” voice going full throttle.  “Awwwwwwriiiiigghht!  Are you ready to rock????????”  Makes you wonder how they talk to their kids at home.  “Did you do your homework?  I said, did you dooooooooooooo your hooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooomewoooooooooooork baby?  Yeeeeeeeeeeahhhhhhhh!  Awwwwwwwwwwwwriiiigghht!”  Classic.

more darkness…

i’ve seen you guys refer to the wsj opinion page as the darkness of dumbness (i, of course, disagree), but this showed up today:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124597314928257169.html

not exactly in line with what you might expect from the journal editors, so i think you have to give them some credit for publishing it.  anyway, couple of thoughts on this.  what i don’t get is how humanists elevate the ability to reason as some almighty power, but then when it comes to behavioral traits the fallback seems to be comparing humans to the rest of the animal kingdom like we’re no better (e.g., the old whip tailed lizard argument we had).  that seems to me contradictory at best, no?  second, why does Christianity always seem to be the primary target?  sure, the author makes mention of Iran, but don’t any mullahs get invited to these science vs. religion panels?  guys get murdered for drawing cartoons of muhammed…are scientists scared of what might happen in a science vs. religion debate with a muslim?  third, isn’t faith the belief in that which we don’t understand?  i agree that our ability to reason is what helps make us special, but i also think we’re way too egotistical in regard to what we think we know.  a professor i had (behavioral scientist/economist) had a list of rules that i think are pretty profound.  two of them read something like this:   rule 1) you don’t know as much as you think you do; rule 2) rule 1 is true even if you are aware of rule 1.

Stratford

I think this story http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=hays/080718 says alot about the town where Mark and I grew up.  It’s not every day one’s hometown is fodder for the farthest reaching sports website on the planet.  Mark may not agree, but I think this story sums up in a nutshell where Stratford is headed (if it’s not there already):  right in the dumper.

My favorite part is the picture of Raybestos Field circa 1974.  I’ve played and watched quite a few ball games on that field.  Now it’s completely neglected and so grown over it looks like something out of I Am Legend.   Good thing too, because you probably don’t want to get too close.  Raymark, nee Raybestos, made brake pads using asbestos, and didn’t, ahem, do such a good job of disposing of the waste.  Now Stratford is home to two Superfund sites, one being Raybestos Field.  I can only imagine what was kicked up by folks sliding into home.  A Wal-Mart now sits atop the former Raybestos/Raymark factory site.