Goodbye Paul Pierce

It’s a sad week for Celtics fans. We lost Doc, We lost Garnett, we’re tanking the 2014 season to get ready for the future. It all makes sense. The one that gets me is Paul Pierce. Pierce has spent his whole career with the Celtics, starting in 1998.

Most commentators have spoken about how Pierce led the Big Three era, nabbing one championship and almost another the next year. This is all true. But for me I associate him with all the years before that. For a decade, he was the only bright spot on a team of stinkers. Through ML Carr and Rick Pitino’s destruction of everything good about the most storied franchise in professional sports, Pierce was the only good thing.

My favorite memory isn’t the recent vintage. It’s the fourth quarter 21 point playoff comeback against the Nets in 2002. As was typical for those years, it was Pierce and Antoine Walker against the other guys. And quite often that was enough. I remember going crazy as we realized we were actually going to do it, erase a blowout and take the win.

I hope Pierce retires before he ever plays for the Nets. There aren’t many players so strongly associated with one team as he is with the Celtics, and I hope it stays that way.

Why I’m leaving Barnes & Noble for Amazon

I was getting ready for a trip and wanted a good book for the plane. I keep a list of books I want to read. It’s usually 50-100 titles. I stopped by Barnes & Nobles to pick one up.

Barnes and Nobles, the last remaining brick and mortar chain bookstore, went zero for ten. They couldn’t lay their hands on even one of them. Some were obscure, but many were not. I needed customer service for every single one, because there is not an intuitive ordering to their books. At one point they had a self service kiosk, where you could enter a book and it would show you where the book was in the store, but that seems to have gone away.

The employees couldn’t have been nicer. But they couldn’t get me a book. This one is out. That one ought to be here but it isn’t. This one was here yesterday but they just put new titles in. This one ought to be in the shipping bay but it isn’t. They were more than willing to order me a copy. But why would I do that, I can order it through Amazon, and it ends up at my front door.

I’m done with brick and mortar. They just can’t beat the convenience of going online and getting what I want at a decent price delivered straight to my home. I don’t buy the latest Jackie Collins crap or books about 5-year olds who think they saw God – if it’s not a current best seller, you have trouble finding it at brick and mortar. (As a side note, there are a lot of truly awful books out there. The stuff some people want to read just blows me away.) I’m not going to try anymore.

Curious about what the actual books are? Here are a few of them.

John Gribbon: Annus Mirabilis: 1905, Albert Einstein, and the Theory of Relativity
Iain M. Banks: Inversions (1998), Look to Windward (2000)
Tim Harford: Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure
Joe Navarro: 200 Tells
Kelly Link: Anything
Daniel Kahneman: Thinking Fast and Slow

My Latest Favorite Song (#2)

This is Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris from the concert for Haiti. A beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Here’s some good trivia, apparently Hallelujah is the most covered song ever, it has taken the title from Paul McCartney’s Yesterday. Anyhow, watch – and mostly listen.

I mostly know Justin Timberlake for his acting and comedy, I am not a huge fan of his music. This song reminds me what real singing is about. It’s world away from American Idols screeching, and thank god for that.

(I have a backlog of songs to put out there. So this isn’t really my latest favorite song. But it (and others to come) had good runs as my favorite songs. Close enough.)

Chik Fil A Advertising

spelling cows
I am no longer amused by the Chik Fil A cows. Now they just annoy me. The initial idea was very clever, but it gets lamer over time. And weirder.

Half of the joke is ripped off from The Far Side. The cows know English, but not quite.

Will they ever get better at English? Are they learning? They did pretty well. They’ve learned vocabulary, phrasing, and persuasive arguments However they are continually stymied by spelling. Absurd. Couldn’t they find someone else to help them? They’ve been doing this since 1995, when will they finally learn how to spell the words “More” and “Chicken”? You’d think someone would clue them in over the last eighteen years.

Eighteen years. That just brings up more strange questions. A cow lives about fifteen years, sometimes up to twenty. Are these cows elderly? They seem pretty nimble, getting onto billboards and dressing up and such. You’d think they’d be in the cow nursing home, complaining about their aching second stomachs.Instead they keep fighting for the bovine brotherhood. Or perhaps it’s not the same cows. Maybe it’s like the family business, they passed it down to their kids. And there’s that one cow whose kid won’t do it. “Dad, I don’t want to influence human meat choices through guerilla marketing! I want to go into banking!*”

(* He wants to be a cash cow.)

My Latest Favorite Song (#1)

First in an ongoing series. This is what I’m playing over and over and over. Turn this mother up.

Slash is one of the all-time guitarists. He shreds with the best of them, and has that melodic touch as well. The guitar tone is pure Les Paul, you’ll never get that snarl singing out of a Fender.