Thursday, March 30, 2006

Life Coaches

I gotta get me one.

Oh, and by the way, for you grammar nuts out there, which I assume is all of you, the media ARE, because "media" is the plural of medium. Similarly, data are, not is, and you can only have one phenomenon, because when you have more than one, they are phenomena.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Week 1 AI results

Everyone is tied for first place with one point, except for Mom who is in last place with two points.

If I make any mistakes in the tallying please point them out.

I imagine some of you were shocked to see Catherine in the bottom three, eh? It certainly doesn't bode well for those who picked her to win.

Next week, Country!

Fantasy Baseball

Again, Caleb and I would like to know if anyone is interested about Fantasy Baseball. Jesse, Uncle Don, James, anyone else, if any of you want to play could you give us your email adresses? Or you can go to and create a Yahoo name if you don't already have one. Then find the link for FREE fantasy baseball (not fantasy baseball plus, that one costs money) and click "Join A League". Then choose "Join A Custom League". The League ID is 232182 and the password is redsox. After that just follow the onscreen instructions. If anyone wants to join you'll have to do so by Sunday because that is the day of our online draft.


I would make this a comment rather than a stand-alone post if I could figure out how to put pictures into comments, but I don't think it's possible. Anyway. Dad may be right that Paris will win because of her versatility and undeniable talent -- but frankly, I hope not. This morning I realized that in her performance last night, she was like nothing so much as a Bratz doll come to life -- one of those horrible precocious-sexpot dolls for 10-year-old teenyboppers whose parents aren't paying attention. If you haven't seen them, here's a picture:

In fact, if you really want to consider the Paris-Bratz similarity and you have a strong stomach, you can go here and watch a video of a whole "rock band" of Bratz dolls in performance. (Click "Videos and Music" at the top of the page, and then click "Rock Angelz" in the drop-down menu. "Rock Angelz" -- I ask you!!)

Don't get me wrong -- I think Paris is amazingly gifted and that she is headed for great things. But she's not there yet. After that first mind-bogglingly good audition, her performances have been more about "look at me, I'm so cool" than about music. Maybe that's the right formula for a show like "American Idol" -- but I would rather see one of the true singers win, like Elliott or Catherine or Mandisa or even Taylor, rather than see it go to a wind-up performing teenybopper doll. Sure, in the end, Paris is going to be at least as good as any of the rest of them, and probably better -- but first she needs to do some growing up and to get over herself a little bit.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

American Idol Pool Deadline

Eight O'clock tonight! You snooze, you lose! Be there or be square!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Pictures from States

There are a whole bunch of pictures from States posted on the Sherburne-Earlville website here, including shots taken during the skit and some great ones from the award ceremony. Here are a few of them.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Animals in the News

It's a good day for interesting articles about our furry and feathered friends. You can read about the death of a tortoise who was older than than the United States of America,

a boy who wrestles bears,

seals visiting Manhattan,

zoonoses, or diseases transferred between animals and humans,

and a proposal to encourage British children to eat grey squirrels!

Friday, March 24, 2006

American Idol Pool

The Rules:

Rank the contestants in the order you think they will finish. You'll receive a point (points are bad) for each position away from your prediction that the contestant finishes. For example if you pick Mandisa to finish third and she finishes fourth, you get one point. The entrant with the fewest points wins. You will owe the winner 1 dollar for every point by which you exceed his points. For example, if you have 12 points and they have 9, you owe them 3 dollars. Maximum loss is 10 dollars. No second place. No last place. One winner only. If you can't afford the entry fee, a major pharmaceutical company may be able to pay for you. Deadline for entries is the start of the next show on Tuesday. Place you entries in comments to this post. The names of the Idol contestants are Ace, Mandisa, Lisa, Paris, Chris, Bucky, Elliott, Catherine, Kellie, and Taylor. Tell you friends. You might be able to win 10 dollars from them and the more the merrier. Questions?

Christmas Contest Winner

And the winner is... Unca Don! There were 1274 bales. Unca Don has $25 headed his way. Congratulations, Unca Don! Luke was second, and Claire, who complained about how hard it was, was third.

Dish Network Woes

I've been getting anxious about the upcoming season. There is no Yes Network on Dish Network! It's finally dawning on me that a) I won't be able to see a lot of Yankees games, but that's sort of OK, but b) Red Sox/Yankees games will be blacked out here because Yes Network owns the rights and I don't have YES.

So I sent an email to DISH. IT follows:

Question: Why is the YesNetwork not on my sports package? If I don't have
the YesNetwork, how will I watch Yankees games?
Thanks, Tom Murphy

They replied:

Dear Mr. Murphy,
Thank you for your email. DISH Network apologizes for not being able to carry the YES Network. At this point, we have done all we can do to reach a reasonable agreement. In the past we have made an attempt to carry the YES Network on an a la carte basis in hopes of making it available to our customers interested in receiving this channel at an additional charge. This way, customers who don't watch the Yankees are not penalized with a higher rate. Again, there are still many ways customers can get New York Yankees baseball on Dish Network - Blackout restrictions may apply.
· DISH Network customers will have access to more than 30 of the most popular regular season Yankee games throughout the season
· At least one game per week on average
· As well as all of the playoffs and world series on the National Channels – ESPN or FOX
· In addition, DISH Network customers subscribing to the New York local network package will also be able to see these games on WCBS
DISH Network works hard to limit price increases and YES would have resulted in a significant price increase. Please stay tuned for consumer Charlie Chats that are broadcast monthly on Channel 101 or logon to our website for future programming announcements.
Your business is greatly appreciated and we thank you for allowing us to be of assistance to you. If you have any further questions or concerns, please refer to or reply to this email.
Christina C.
DISH Network eCare

I replied:


Does this mean that Red Sox/Yankees games broadcast by NESN will be blacked out in central NY? Or will I be able to see them with Season Ticket?

Had I been aware that DISH Network did not carry the YES Network, I never would have signed a contract. As it is, I will switch back to DirecTV once my contract is up.

Thanks for answering the question.

Tom Murphy

They replied:

Dear Mr. Murphy,

Thank you for your response. We cannot guarantee that you will be able to get all the Red Sox/Yankees games since our Regional Sports Networks (like NESN) are subject for blackouts. Unfortunately, with season tickets like the MLB Extra Innings package, you will not be able to get games of the New York Mets and New York Yankees since they are your home teams.

Your business is greatly appreciated and we thank you for allowing us to be of assistance to you. If you have any further questions or concerns, please refer to or reply to this email.


Christina C.
DISH Network eCare

I replied:


Well, I certainly have further concerns. Why would I want to spend all this money on a DISH system, a sports package, and MLB Extra Innings and not be able to watch Res Sox/ Yankees games? Why was it not pointed out to me that DISH does not carry the YES Network before I signed an 18 Mo. contract? I'm sure that I'm not the only baseball fan who is very disappointed with the DISH network. If DISH is not planning on acquiring the YES Network, you and I will be parting ways!

Thomas F. Murphy

Does anybody have any suggestions? My Lawyer says I can't get out of the contract, but that is what she always says. It will cost me about $150 to terminate the DISH service. HELP!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Attention Baseball Fans!


Caleb and I are starting a fantasy baseball league on Yahoo. If anyone would like to join let us know and we'll send you an email with all the information. It's a lot of fun and you only need to check it once a week. We thought Jesse or James might be interested? Oh yeah, it's free too I should probably mention that.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Speaking of Stand-Up Guys

Trot said:

“They don’t have to explain anything to me,” Nixon said. “My job is to play baseball to the best of my ability and if that ability is not there, to go out and find it. I’m more thankful than anyone can imagine about the opportunities I’ve had to play baseball. I worry about what goes on day today, not what goes on in the future.”

Cool! An employee who says they don't have to explain anything! Not to say they shouldn't or won't, but they don't -have- to. Soriano should read this quote.

The Red Sox are shaping up. Surplusses everywhere. Yankees beware.

Wrong guy...

"FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Wearing a baby blue T-shirt that read ''I Beat Anorexia,' David Wells panned a near-empty clubhouse yesterday morning, saw Bronson Arroyo packing his belongings, and said, ''Wrong guy.'"

OK, I'm really excited about Pena (whose potential is Ortizian - just LOOK at him), and I think Theo pulled off yet another steal, but I really wish there was some way we could have sent Wells instead. Nevermind that Wells is a jerk and Bronson was a stand-up guy who was genuinely hurt that he was going to be a #2 starter in Cincy instead of a long relief guy in Boston, but I also think that Bronson would have out-performed Wells this season while pitching twice as many innings (as a regular starter in Boston). Bronson was one of my favorite Red Sox, and he will be missed.

AI Pool

The American Idol Contest will begin after tonight's dismissal of one of the eleven. Be prepared to rank the top ten. Details tomorrow.

I thought last night's show was easily the best yet with many excellent performances. Barry Manilow was an excellent coach, and I liked the music much more than Stevie Wonders' music. The worst performers of the night were the sound engineers/technicians, though on a couple of songs they did back off the orchestra enough so that yo could actually hear the voices.

Ann Althouse liveblogs AI, but she is very critical, as are her minions.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Just some pics from states

The castle Sistersss
Adrian, Lauren, Ellen and Aurora roe.


Sunday, March 19, 2006

A few pictures from States

I'll try to post more later when I get some out of the videotape. For now, here are the victors in their medals and some shots taken by Jason during the skit:

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Iowa Bound!

Congratulations to Luke and his Odyssey of the Mind team, who won first place in New York in today's State competition! Their skit was spectacular and they won long-term by a mile. And check out their style score, here. I've never seen that before!! Well-deserved, and very exciting.

Pictures tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Watch This Space...

for details of an upcoming American Idol contest. It will be something like "Rank the final 11", with points given for each contestant. Say, pick Bucky to finish sixth and he finishes eighth, you're given two points. Lowest points wins. Losers pay the winner according to how many more points they have than the winner at $1 a point to a max of $10. More details later. Input welcomed.

Johnny Damon...

has a sore shoulder. Further proof of the hand of God.

And Pedro has a sore toe.

Derek Lowe is just sore.

AM 970

is my new favorite radio station. On my way to Norwich I heard Dean Martin singing "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You", Bobby Darin doing "Mack the Knife", and Ray Charles and Van Morrison singing "Crazy Love". All in a row! Later on I heard Frank and Nancy singing "Something Stupid". I didn't like that song when I was young, but I do now. Music was once simpler, more lyrical and melodic, and less edgy. The lyrics can be heard clearly. The arrangements are spare and corny, but they leave the vocals front and center, where they are supposed to be.

Every now and then I hear some religious programming on 970. Heh. Keeps the liberals away.

There was a similar station in Portland, Maine. They played "The Music of Your Life".

Monday, March 13, 2006


This guy gets it pretty much right. Still, as the late great Julian Simon pointed out, the supply of oil, to all intents and purposes, is infinite.

Remember Legos?

Look what you could have been building, back when you used to spend hours with those things! And don't miss this video of a Lego-constructed knitting machine in action. It's downright mesmerizing, especially if you have the sound on.


Christmas Contest Update

1077 bales used. On the order of two hundred left. Unca Don is the overwhelming favorite. Claire and Luke are very long longshots.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


In our back yard, right now:

"Rocket Redux"

Here's an article in the Boston Globe magazine about Jonathan Papelbon.

A snow print

This picture was actually taken about a week ago when there was some snow still on the ground. Through the window, I saw a hawk of some kind fly into the back yard with a rodent -- still alive -- in its claws. It landed under the apple tree, looked around for a moment, and flew off again. This is the snow's memory of that moment: the hawk's wings, tail and claws, and, in the center, its prey.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Kirby Puckett, RIP. Johnny Damon, VIP.

Kirby Puckett was, by all accounts, quite a guy. I'm glad he was inducted into the HOF before his untimely death.

Johhny Damon says he was "disrespected". Jesus. He was offered 10M/year for four years to play baseball.

I think he needs to get over it.

Good riddance.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Sugar High

If there is anyone left in this family who believes there is such a thing as a "sugar high" or that doses of sugar cause hyperactivity in children, can we get you straightened out now, please? I don't want to go through again what I had to go through tonight with Luke and Aurora. "Mr. Murphy (Dad, in Luke's case), you're wrong about there not being a sugar high. Mr Irwin says there is." Wow. Mr Irwin, now. I'm impressed.

Sugar is a soporific. It has a sedative effect. Yes, it raises the level of glucose in your blood temporarily, but that doesn't make you more "energetic". You can only burn so much at a time. Insulin is released from your pancreas and it helps store the excess sugar in your cells.

I can provide you with the studies if you remain unconvinced.

Thank you.

Take a Guess

What does this progression of numbers represent?


Hint #1:

It's very common, but also unique. Rather, it is a unique instance of a common progression.
It is NOT mathematical.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Sheba in the snow

We got 6 inches or so today, and when I got back from work sheba was sitting on the front step half-buried. I grabbed the camera and got a couple pictures, just for fun.

I'm pretty sure she's just meow-ing in the tree picture, though it looks like she's about to jump off and kill me.

While waiting for Manny...

"Shortly after 8 a.m., outfielder Trot Nixon drove into the players' parking lot, rolled down his window and announced to the gaggle of TV cameramen, TV anchors, beat writers, columnists and radio reporters: 'It's OK, guys ... I'm here ... I'm in camp.'"

Need a baseball fix?

Don't forget the Sox spring opener against the Twins tonight at 7. There won't be a lot of star power, but Papelbon will be starting it and we should get a look at Seanez, Riske, MDC, and Hansen, all of whom are scheduled to pitch.

Don't overlook Dad's post down there

After I put the pictures up, I saw the link Dad posted, which is now squeezed between a lot of photographs where it could be missed. Make sure to find and follow it.

More OM pictures

These were all taken by Mr. Sherry. If anybody feels like reliving the nutty confusion of a day in Oneonta at the Regional Competition, there are many more shots here.

Words of Wisdom