Yankees-Sox games 4,5,6 were all “watched” online play-by-play. On the morning of game 7 (Hong Kong = 12 hr time difference) I was fortunate to have timed my flight home that afternoon so I packed and watched from my hotel.

At first I found the game on a Japanese station and that meant only one thing. Matsui. When the ball was not in play the camera man only had one job. What is Matsui up to? Matsui in the dugout. Matsui warming up in the outfield. Matsui picking his nose.

I flipped around and managed to find the ESPN-international channel and watched the rest of the game in English. I made the limo wait until the game was truly over. Lord knows us Red Sox fans were not counting any chickens until after the last out. The daily show had a bit last night about Red Sox fans being “cautiously optimistic” that things were going to work out. Somehow the Yankees would have the game overturned, etc.


flying in the back of the plane

When I arrived at the Cathay Pacific checkin counter in Hong Kong, they informed me that they had overbooked the flight and I was assigned a coach seat for the 20 hour trip to New York. They slid a calculator across the table with a cash offer in HK dollars for my inconvenience. The number worked out to around US$1750. My first reaction was “I don’t care about the money, my company paid for the ticket, do what you can to get me a business class seat.”

So I head off to the lounge and it hits me – that money is mine to claim. They found me a business class seat at the last minute.

What would you do? Take the money and suffer or ride in style?


kerry and the boston red sox

From Slate.

Which raises the obvious question: Could Kerry win the presidency but lose the popular vote? At Daily Kos, political scientist Tom Schaller says it’s unlikely but possible, particularly because Kerry is underperforming Gore’s numbers in blue states, including Massachusetts and New Jersey. If that’s not far-fetched enough for you, here’s a scenario I discovered while playing with the Los Angeles Timeselectoral map: Bush wins Ohio, Florida, and Colorado. Kerry sweeps the rest of the battleground: Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The result: a 269-269 tie. Democrats cry that Bush gets “selected” again, this time by the House of Representatives. Maybe that’s the kind of trick fate plays when you nominate a fan of the Boston Red Sox.

I am starting to think there is only so much gut wrenching I can take this season – the sox-yankees going to 14 innings (and a game 7 ) and god help us the 24 hours (or more) following the election. I am thinking of taking that trip to Greenland just to avoid the whole thing.


a member of the media does the right thing

(Laughter.) The senator now says we’d have to pass some international truth standard. The truth is we should never turn America’s national security decisions over to international bodies or leaders of other countries. (Applause.) -Dubya

In an article about this Bush quote William Saletan in Slate closes with this paragraph:

I know I’ve been hard on the president lately. I’d like to say something nice about him. I’d like to be “fair and balanced.” But my first responsibility as a reporter is to the truth. When one candidate tells half the truth, and the other says the truth doesn’t matter, it becomes irresponsible for me or any other journalist not to report that by that standard—the standard of respecting the truth standard—one candidate is head and shoulders above the other.

God damn, I’ve been wishing for more people in the media to say this. The constant attempts at staying balanced means that any one side can do and say ridiculous things and no matter how absurd the media will just reply with things like “analysts doubt the administrations assertions”.

I’ve also been day-dreaming about media folks breaking down and just blurting out “I can’t take it anymore, vote for Kerry!”


floor number inflation

I’m surprised Americans didn’t invent this phenomenon.

Many of the hotels in Hong Kong have artificially inflated floor numbering.

I am currently saying on the “18th” floor. In reality it is the 9th floor. The lobby is on “7”. etc. I guess somebody figured out that people associate low floor numbers with lower quality motels and such and that they could increase the customer’s perceived elite status by ratcheting up the numbering system.  


polling in Oz

From Mike Doughty’s* new blog.

Pollster John Zogby, in this week’s New Yorker:

“Before the election in 2000, I called my call center in Utica and said, ‘Put this in the poll: You live in the land of Oz, and the candidates are the Tin Man, who’s all brains and no heart, and the Scarecrow, who’s all heart and no brains. Who would you vote for?’ The next day, I called Utica said, ‘Whaddaya got?’ They said, ‘Well, we’ve got Gore–,’ I said, ‘I don’t care about Gore. What’s Oz?’ It was 46.2 for the Tin Man and 46.2 for the Scarecrow…

“…But I asked this question again two weeks ago and the Tin Man led by ten points.”

Posted by Mike at October 13, 2004 01:33 PM

* Mike was the lead singer of Soul Coughing, one of my favorite bands.


opportunity cost pangs

One of the things that stikes me about this trip is the difficult opportunity costs I’m paying to be here.

  • My nieces’ birthday party.
  • This is my favorite time of year in New England.
  • My friend Brian is having a party. And he has a roof deck and lives down the block.
  • Yankees – Red Sox baseball (go Sox!)
  • NFL football.
  • And the unknown other things that are going on back home.

I’m not complaining specifically, just bemoaning the idea of giving up stuff and not being able to be in two places at once.  


how much do coach passengers weigh

I’m on the plane in one of those seats where the flight attendant sits directly facing you while you takeoff. The guy next to me is an uber-frequent-flyer and knows the woman. She knows the names of his kids, etc. They get to talking about how they had to kick sixty people off the plane. (Coach-class natch)

Why you ask? Well because due to unusually heavy jet stream headwinds our flight plan is 14 hours and we needed to make more room for jet fuel and less people or else we don’t make it all the way to Tokyo (the stopover). And occasionally they figure out half way “oops we aren’t going to make it” and make a stop in Anchorage Alaska to top off the tank before heading on.

These stories are quaint when you are in a little twin prop plane and you need to readjust the fat people on the jaunt over to Nantucket, but on a 747-400 it seems a lot more serious. The captain made some remark about 370,000 pounds of fuel. Can that be right? I’ll have to check when I get some internet access.  

UPDATE: I just checked, a 747-400 (what we were on) can hold 63,705 US gallons [Boeing Link] and according to this site [link] jet fuel weighs between 6.58 and 6.91 pounds.


budweiser ad swear?

Here’s the scene – Leon and joe Buck are doing an interview.

“Leon always stands on the left to showcase my good side” … “You see that dimple, that’s my trademark dimple” … “This is my good side too” etc

“I hate to be the one that tells you this, but if that ?shit? gets out you may want to stick to radio”

It sounds like he says “shit”. I’ve played this over and over on my tivo and I can’t figure out what word fits there other than shit. It would make sense if he said “if that should get out”, but he clearly says “gets”, not “get”.