Tag Archives: Roger Angell

Cubs-Indians Game 7 tonight, whoo-hoo! The company that lets you turn your relative’s ashes into dinnerware. And the parrot who revealed a husband’s affair


Two words: Game 7. Two more words: World Series.
Two more words: Cubs-Indians.

Yep, I’m thinking there’s not going to be a lot of office productivity in Chicago and Cleveland tomorrow. In fact, those two cities might as well just call tomorrow a municipal holiday or something, tell everyone to stay home and just stare at the clock until 8 p.m. Eastern.

That’s because last night the Chicago Cubs, trying to win the World Series for the first time since Teddy Roosevelt was President (he’s one of the dudes on Mt. Rushmore, if you forgot), beat the Cleveland Indians, 9-3, in Game 6 to force one final game in this baseball season.

It’s November, and they’re still playing the summer game. Roger Angell, who at 96 is still amazing, wrote that he’s enjoying this series so much he wants it to be best 8 out of 15. I’d sign for that. They’re still playing because the Indians, bless their plucky hearts, are basically down to one starting pitcher, but lucky for them he’s pitching tonight (for the 3rd time in 9 days!!!).

The Cubs offense has come alive, they have better talent overall. The Indians are at home, can watch the movie “Major League” to get fired up (Roger Dorn must throw out the first pitch for Game 7! OK, or LeBron…), and must realize that all their fans who were making jokes about the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead in a championship series will no longer find it so funny if the Tribe lose tonight.

Atmosphere will be electric. The hours will slog by today, for all sports fans.

Game 7. Tonight. God I love sports.


**Next up today, I can’t really believe someone thought this was a good idea, but I also could totally believe people out there will pay money for this.

A company called Chronicle Cremation Designs has created a way for people grieving the loss of loved ones to keep them around. In the cupboard.

Chronicle offers an array of dishware infused with the cremated remains of loved ones. You send them the ashes, they send you a grandma mug or bowl that’s ready to use and is dishwasher safe.

Really, this is a thing.

Justin Crowe, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, mixes cremated human ashes into a glaze which he uses to coat bowls, vases, candle holders, coffee cups, urns and other ceramic items. Once they’ve been fired in a kiln, the glaze becomes food- and drink-safe.

Is this really something anyone really wanted? To eat blueberry pie off of Uncle Chester, and drink some late-night tea in a glass of Grandma Beatrice? The whole thing strikes me as creepy.

But hey, as they said on “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,” your aunt never could hold her liquor, but now she can!


**Finally today, this is one of the best stories regarding a parrot and a cheating husband you’ll ever see.

A woman in Kuwait thought her husband was fooling around on her, but had no proof. That’s until the couple’s pet parrot spilled the beans (or spilled the birdseed, if you will).

Adultery is illegal in Kuwait, and according to the The Daily Mail,  the woman who suspected her husband of cheating with their maid marched their pet parrot to police after it began spouting saucy lines she knew hadn’t been said to her.

She believed the parrot had exposed her husband’s secret trysts.

The woman took the parrot to police and filed an adultery complaint against her partner.

But, (and this is my favorite part), the authorities ruled the parrot’s evidence was inadmissible because it was impossible to determine where the bird had heard it. (Take that, “Law and Order!” Finally something you’ve never done an episode on.)

The Kuwaiti police argued he could have picked up the scandalous lines from television or a radio show.

In the strict Muslim country of Kuwait adultery is illegal and people found guilty of having affairs are subject to severe punishment.

Sounds like this guy needs to have a talk with his parrot. “What, ‘Polly want a cracker’ was too boring for you? I fed you caviar and let you watch HBO while my girlfriend was over, and THIS is how you repay me???”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3874298/Parrot-squawking-saucy-words-exposes-man-s-affair-housemaid-wife-marches-bird-police-station-demanding-justice.html#ixzz4OojypYeV
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Good News Friday: A man gives back to his college in a major way. Mike Tyson does a cartoon and it looks awesome. And the car that can help you survive a heart attack

Happy Halloween, happy Friday, happy end of October, Happy end of Daylight Savings Time, meaning sleep-deprived parents like me get an extra hour of sleep (yay!)

Just, you know … happy.
Two quick sports-related things I wanted to mention before getting into the guts of Good News Friday today: One, LeBron James returned to Cleveland as a Cav Thursday night, and it was electric, and Nike of course put out this incredible, chilling commercial to celebrate his return. Really beautifully done.

And two, Roger Angell writing about the legend that is Madison Bumgarner of the world champion San Francisco Giants. Best writing about best.

OK, we start Good News Friday with a fabulous, heartwarming tale. Howard Lutnick graduated from Haverford College, a small school in Pennsylvania. When Lutnick was a high school junior, his Mom died of cancer. Just a week into his freshman year at Haverford, his father passed away.
Right afterwards, Lutnick got a call from the school president.
“Howard,” he said, “your four years here are free.”

That was 35 years ago. Last week, Lutnick, now a wealthy head of a financial firm (Cantor Fitzgerald) that saw nearly all of its employees die on 9/11, donated $25 million to the school, the institution’s largest gift ever.

“Haverford was there for me,” Lutnick said, “and taught me what it meant to be a human being.”

Just beautiful.

**Next up, longtime readers of my blog know I’m fascinated by Mike Tyson, and the weirdness and awesomeness that is his post-boxing life. I saw him on “The View” the other day (hey, I was waiting for Barry Manilow to come on, don’t judge) talking about his new adult superhero cartoon called “Mike Tyson Mysteries” and so I went to check it out on YouTube. (sneak peek is above)

It’s freaking awesome, and it started last Monday night on the Cartoon Network. I’m definitely finding time to watch.


**And finally, some good news from the world of cars. Ford has developed a super-amazing car seat that can detect if the driver is having a heart attack.
When the heart attack is detected, automated braking and steering systems can be activated to make the vehicle stop.

How is this possible?, you ask.

Ford has developed a car seat that can detect if a driver is having a heart attack. If such a condition is detected, automated braking and steering systems can be activated to stop the vehicle.

According to this story from the American Auto Council, “the technology would use a camera in the car to detect when a driver slumps and “electrocardiograph” (heart-monitoring) sensors to detect a heartbeat that is irregular. The sensors would be in the seat. If a problem is detected, the vehicle would bring itself to a stop. Emergency services would then be contacted.”

That’s pretty amazing. Thousands of car accidents could be stopped each year with this car seat.
We’re getting closer and closer to driver-less cars, at which point when someone cuts you off in your lane and you go to flip them off, you’re basically giving the finger to a machine.


Good News Friday: Superhero window-washers visit sick kids. A tribute to Roger Angell as he enters the Hall. And the awesomeness of whales


Man, if there’s ever a week where we’ve needed Good News Friday, this has gotta be it.
The world is going haywire. Unconscionable violence in the Middle East. Planes crashing or being shot down on what seems like a daily basis. Iraq in ruins. Civilization as we know it about to end because a gay man is playing with an NFL team (sorry, threw that in there to see if you were paying attention. Godspeed, Michael Sam of the St. Louis Rams).

It’s been a miserable news week. But hopefully these stories will make you smile.

And how could you not smile at this? On Wednesday at a New York City hospital, window-washers dressed up as superheroes to entertain the sick children who unfortunately were patients inside.

The hospital staff got in the spirit too, as you can see by these photos. One small gesture made these kids’ whole week, I bet. Watch the video below of the scene…

**Next up, the greatest baseball writer of all time is Roger Angell of The New Yorker. This is pretty much universally agreed-upon, which is rare, because sports fans don’t ever universally agree on anything.

Angell is 93 and still writing, and this weekend he’s finally being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. It’s an honor long, long overdue, and to celebrate him, one of the best sportswriters working today, Tom Verducci, has written a marvelous profile of Angell for Sports Illustrated.
It’s just about perfect.

**And finally, this was the coolest video I saw all week. You’ve got to love whales. This couple was kayaking on the coast of Argentina and came upon a whale. So naturally, they got closer and closer, and just watch what happens at around the 45-second mark here.

It’s the whales’ ocean, people. And don’t you forget it!

Roger Angell, still brilliant at 93. A 6-year-old wins “show and tell” forever. And AC/DC as they were meant to be heard: On the cello.


When I decided in high school that I wanted to be a sportswriter when I grew up, I asked around and read any interview I could find with people who were already sportswriters.
And inevitably, when they were asked which writer they admired most, Roger Angell’s name came up.

So I started reading Roger Angell books from the Commack Public Library. I read four of his collections of writings on baseball, in about a month, I think. And I got it. I understood.

There’s never been a more beautiful baseball writer than Roger Angell. The man is a poet disguised as a reporter, with sentences that leap off the page.
He’s a legend at The New Yorker magazine, and at 93 he’s still churning out gorgeous prose, amazingly.

He wrote this essay last week that’s just filled with exquisite sentences. It is, as you might expect, about what life is like at 93, and yet it’s so much more than that.

If there’s a master class in great writing taught anywhere in the world, Roger Angell ought to be on the syllabus. Take a few minutes and read this magnificent, moving, essay, and appreciate a master craftsman at work.


**Next up, there was always a lot of pressure on kids during “Show and Tell” day, wasn’t there? You wanted to have something cooler than your friends, but it had to be special, it had to be unique.

Fiona Timonen (above), a 6-year-old in New Jersey, absolutely won “show and tell” at her school on Wednesday.
She had her dad, Finnish hockey star and current Philadelphia Flyer Kimmo Timmonen, bring in his bronze medal from the just-completed Sochi Olympics.
How cool did she feel at school?

**And finally today, nothing to see here. Just an AC/DC classic song being played on the cello.