Thursday, December 31, 2009

This Year's Final Train of Thought- Charging into the New Years; Dec 31st 2009

For some many of us, 2009 is a year that we can't wait to see come to an end. High unemployment, a crappy economy, pontificating pols jetting off to Europe or Brazil to preach about how our daily commute was melting the polar ice-caps and don't even get me started on that multi-trillion dollar turd of an entitlement program that Congress rammed through on Christmas Eve day when they thought nobody was watching.
But through it all, one should remain steadfast and resolute. Sort of like Ohio Central SD40T-2 #4025 leading a coal train down some middle-of-the-street trackage in Dresden, OH as photographed by contributor Chris Cook on a snowy December 2007 afternoon. Despite the slow speed of the train hauled by the #4025 and its brethern, there is no doubting who has the right of way.

Winter Classic Countdown- Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Faceoff is in just under 12 hours and I feel just like a little kid on Christmas Eve. Once the NHL made it apparent the New Year's Day Winter Classic was going to become a regular feature, I figured it was only a matter of time before one would be held at Fenway Park. Turns out, I was right.

I will be doing a more comprehensive sports chowdah update sometime over the weekend, but for now all I can do is just count down 'til the puck drops and leave you with this wintry imagery.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2 Killed in Deadly Post-Christmas Arson Spree in Western Massachusetts

(Jessica Hill/AP)

An arsonist in Northampton, MA set at least nine seperate fires in the early morning hours of December 27th 2009. Two people identified as Paul Yeskie Senior, 81, and his son Paul Yeskie Junoir, 39, were killed when their Fair Street residence was among the structures burned. The Hampshire County DA and state medical examiner are ruling the deaths a homicide.

The State Fire Marshall announced a $5000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist while the Northampton Rotary Club is raising funds to match the state's reward money. A fund for those affected by the fires has also been set up at

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Not Another New England Sports Blog! The Santa Baby/Christmas Hiatus Version.

(A Christmas Eve- Gil Elvgren)

Just a quick note wishing visitors a safe and happy Christmas season (and a belated Hanukkah as well). Stay warm, try the egg nog- the best nog there is- and enjoy the time you're spending with your loved ones. NANESB! is going on hiatus until around New Years.

And for those of you who may be curious, the saucy little number snooping around the Christmas tree in the dead of night is from the Norman Rockwell of pin-up artists, Gil Elvgren- a 1954 work titled A Christmas Eve to be specific.

Today's Train of Thought- The 'Real-life' Polar Express? A Berkshire Christmas Dec 23rd 2009

Today's yuletide train of thought looks for all the world like a blast from the past and features a movie star of sorts. Here, Pere Marquette 2-8-4 'Berkshire' leads a string of freight cars south over Ann Arbor trackage at Carland, MI. This image is courtesey of contributor Mitch Goldman, and was actually taken on a wintry midwestern Febuary 2008. Here, she is seen ferrying some vnitage freight cars

The 1225 calls the Owosso, MI-based Steam Railroading Institute home and belive it or not, the real-life 1225 was featured in the animated Polar Express movie. Technicians from Warner Brothers flew out to Michigan to record digital auido of the 1225 under steam for use in the film as well as get detailed measurements for a CGI-rendering of the locomotive.

Even with the Christmas-themed road number, the 1225 sees service the rest of the year hauling visitors on shot excusrions for the Steam Railroading institute.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tuesday Night Yuletide Sports Chowdah- B's snap 4-game Skid; Pats Get A Little Help from Bills, Falcons, Titans; C's Outpace Indiana


New England came away from Orchard Park with a much-needed 17-10 win over the Buffalo Bills Sunday. Randy Moss, under fire for his performance the last few weeks, had five catches for 70 yards and a TD and issued a terse statement to the media in the post-game press conference before leaving without fielding any questions. Lawrence Maroney had 23 carried for for 81 yards and a touchdown while Tom Brady had a season-low 115 yards while going 11 for 23. Defensively, Tully Banta-Cain had three sacs for the banged-up New England D. The Pats also had plenty of help from the Bills, who were penalized a total of 11 times for 124 yards. Elsewhere, the Titans knocked off the Dolhpins in overtime while the Falcons swooped into the Meadowlands and took down the Jets 10-7.

After trailing early to the Pacers 26-13 in the first, the Celtics came away with a 103-94 win over Indiana Tuesday Night. Rasheed Wallace filled in for Kevin Garnett and had 9 points in 13 rebounds while Paul Pierce had a total of 16 points despite missing his first 10 shots of the evening and Kendrick Perkins had an admirable 19 points in the win. The Celtics will next face the Orlando Magic on Christmas Day.

Coming off an embarrassing 2-0 loss to the Maple Leafs Saturday night, The Bruins snapped their 4-game slide with a 2-0 shutout of the Ottawa Senators Monday night at the Scotiabank Centre. Sens netminder Brian Elliot carried a shutout well into the 3rd period until he gave up a goal from Patrice Bergeron. Marco Sturm also scored for Boston later on in the third and Tim Thomas stopped all 29 shots faced to make it 10 straight wins against the Senators with Thomas between the pipes. The Bruins will next play Atlanta on Wednesday night.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Today's Train of Thought- Upon A Midnight Clear; December 18, 2009

Decked out with a wreath and Christmas lights, Marquette Rail GP38-2 #2635 strikes a stark outline against the wintry night sky as contributor Steven McKay caught the blue and white EMD idling on a chilly December 12, 2009 evening in Stronach, MI. The 2635 is in charge of the company's annual Santa train- a caboose hop where St. Nick pays a visit to the kids of all the towns along the line, passing out candies and small gifts.
The Santa Train is something of an ongoing tradition that several different railways of all sizes across the USA and Canada take part in each December.

Friday Night Cuppa Chowdah; Like a Colt From The Blue- Indy Still Perfect, Blackhawks Down B's, 76ers 86 C's Win Streak, Bengals' Henry Dead at 26

(Reuters photo)

Cincinnati Bengals WR Chris Henry died at the age of 26 from injuries sustained while falling out of a moving pickup truck on Wednesday afternoon. Investigators said that Henry jumped into the back of the pickup during whats being called a 'dometic situation' with his girlfriend as she began driving off and were trying to determine if he fell or was forced out of the vehicle. Henry had been suspended by the league after being arrested four times since being drafted in 2007, but had remained out of legal trouble since signing a contract extension with the Bengals in 2008. henry had been on the injured reserve list for the last month with a dislocated forearm sustained during the Bengals Nov 9 win over Baltimore.

The Bruins dropped their third straight game in a back and forth affair Friday night against the resurgent Blackhawks. David Krejci put the Bs up 1-0 halfway through the first period, but Chicago answered with goals from Krist Versteeg and Patrick Sharp to take a 2-1 lead in the second period before Daniel Baille got one past Hawks netminder Antti Niemi to tie the game back up. However, Johnathan Toews scored a goal with less than a minute remaining to put the Hawks on top at the end of the 2nd. In the 3rd, Johnny Boychuck got a game-tying goal about 6 minutes in, but the Hawks re-took the lead thanks to an Andrew Ladd goal. With just under 3 minutes left in regulation, David Krejci got his second goal of the night to force overtime and ultimately a shootout where Antti Niemi stopped Patrice Bergeron and Blake Wheeler while Tim Thomas allowed goals from Patrick Kane and Johnathan Toews for Chicago's shootout win. The Bruins come away from Friday night's shootout loss with one point while the Buffalo Sabres handily defeated the Maple Leafs 5-2 at Buffalo. This currently gives Buffalo a 5 point lead over the Bruins in the Northeast Division.

OTHER NHL NOTES: Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman was present at Friday Night's Blackhawks/Bruins game at the United Center, reportedly scouting for additional players for Team Canada in the upcoming 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

Mark Recchi had two assists in Friday's losing effort for Boston. Recchi currently leads all active players with 909 assists and 1,461 points.

The Celtics 11-game winning streak was snapped at home Friday by the Philadelphia 76ers, themselves less than a week removed from halting their 12-game losing streak. The Celtics led by as many as 15 points in the third before Philly took an 84-85 lead. Elton Brand tipped in Mareese Speights missed jumper in the closing seconds of regulation and Paul Pierce missed a jumper and Ray Allen was unable to do anything with the rebound that would've put Boston ahead. Philadelphia wins 98-97 and the Celtics are 8-4 at the Garden this season, compared to their 12-1 road record.

The Indianapolis Colts remained undefeated after Thursday night's back and forth affair in Jacksonville. Colts QB Peyton Manning threw for 308 yards and four touchdowns in Indy's 35-31 win over the Jaguars. Jacksonville QB David Garrard with 23-40 with three TDs, 223 yards and one interception. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, Garrard's only interception came with just over a minute to play in the 4th when he overthrew Mike Thomas on 3rd down and 10 and the pas was picked off by Indy's Jacob Lacey.

Backwards Misogynist Islamic Despots Behaving Badly- Iran Edition

Twitter, the social networking site that allowed protestors in Iran to communicate with the outside world during the post-election violence in Tehran this June, was hacked by a group calling itself the Iranian Cyber Army on Friday. Twitter readers were automatically redirected to a page that included a green flag with the name of the 3rd Shi'ite imam, Imam Huseyn, written in Arabic script.

The cyber-attack comes the same day that Iraq claimed 11 Iranian soldiers crossed into Iraqi territory and raised the Iranian flag at the Fakka oilfield. Iraqi Interior Minister claims that today's incursion was the most recent out of several this week.

This comes a few days after the ruling theocrats announced they would stage a show-trial for three American hikers detained by Iranian security forces at the Iran-Iraq border in July, a test of their newest long-range missile and about a week after security forces clashed with opposition demonstrators in Tehran once again.

The mullahs and Revolutionary Guard have been very busy little theocratic, despotic beavers this week- most likely because the world's attention is mostly diverted by the ongoing climate change farce in Copenhagen. Or perhaps they're that much closer to completion of their nuclear program [peaceful, of course! -NANESB!] and are trying to gauge the West's reaction to each provocation. Either that, or they no longer fear any sanctions from the West.

Now.....the million rial question for those of you who are gullible enough to believe that a nation sitting atop multiple lakes of oil needs nuclear energy: What makes you think the Iranian mullahs are going to be any better behanved once their nuclear program is up and running?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Great War, A Terrible Pillar of Fire, The Narrows, Cities in Ruins, A Blizzard and A White Spruce- The Story Behind Boston's Christmas Tree

(Boston Globe- file photo)

The story of the Christmas tree that shows up annually on Boston Common begins nearly 92 years ago and several hundred miles northeast of the city with a collision between two vessels in Halifax Harbor on a wintry December 6, 1917. In a last-second attempt at evasive maneuvers, both the Norweigan freighter SS Imo and the loaded French munitions ship SS Mont Blanc- its cargo destined for the front lines of France in WWI- ended up colliding with each other at approximately 8:45AM that morning after the Imo had cleared the mouth of Halifax Harbor (known locally as the Narrows). The collision sparked a small fire on the Mont Blanc that quickly spread out of control. Within 10 minutes, the Mont Blanc's captain gave the order to abandon ship. The French-speaking crew landed safely on the Dartmouth side of the harbor in a pair of rowboats, but the crew's frantic warnings shouted in French weren't understood by the inhabitants of the English-speaking city. As other ships came to the aid of the burning Mont Blanc, a crowd of onlookers gathered along the shores of the harbor.

At 9:04 AM, a blast equivalent to 3 kilotons of TNT instantly destroyed the Mont Blanc in a fireball that rose well over a mile into the sky. A tsunami estimated to be 60ft high was also generated by the massive explosion, and those that weren't killed by the blast, debris or hot shards of metal raining down on the city were swept out to sea or crushed by vessels and heavy debris being swept onto the shore. The blast could be heard from as far away as Prince Edward Island.

The death toll from the Halifax explosion was estimated to be at 2,000. News spread to the rest of Canada and the world due to a message sent by Intercolonial Railway of Canada dispatcher Vince Coleman. Coleman initially fled when naval officers came ashore and warned railway personnel of the impending danger, but returned to the station's telegraph office- located only a few hundred feet from the Mont Blanc- to send out a message in Morse Code:

Stop trains. Munition ship on fire. Making for Pier 6. Goodbye.

The railways heeded Coleman's warning and all inbound trains for Halifax and Dartmouth were stopped. Coleman was killed in the blast, but credited with saving scores of lives for raising the alarm.

Unfortunately, Hailfax's suffering did not end with the Mont Blanc raining hot shrapnel and black soot on the area. Since it was Nova Scotia in the wintertime, that meant several homes and businesses had furnaces, stoves or lamps that tipped over or spilled from the force of the blast, starting small structure fires that would quickly grow out of control since most of the firefighters in Halifax were killed in the blast.

Mother Nature also had something in store for the Halifax/Dartmouth area as well. Hardly even a day after the Mont Blanc explosion, as thousands of injured, maimed and homeless survivors of the blast were awaiting shelter and medical care, a blizzard moved into the area and dumped sixteen inches of snow on the area. Although this prevented the smaller, ancillary fires from spreading through what was left of Halifax, this also hampered search efforts and some survivors died from exposure.

'Now where does Boston and Christmas trees fit into all of this?' you might be asking yourself if you've read this far. I know...hang on.

Upon receiving news of the calamity and massive loss of life in Halifax, the Boston chapter of the Red Cross began mustering doctors, nurses, volunteers, makeshift shelters and supplies in Boston. A special train with the supplies and personnel left Boston at 10PM on the day of the blast and made it's way through the blizzard and onto the Canadian Maritime provinces, arriving in the early morning hours of December 8th to provide relief to the aid workers and medical staff already on site, most of whom had been working non-stop since the day of the blast. Much needed food, medicine and water was immediately offloaded from the train.

One of the legacies of the blast was Boston surgeon William Ladd noting the lack of coordinated pediatric care in the region. Ladd would later be considered the pioneer of pediatric surgery in North America thanks to some of the insights gained while serving in Halifax.

Another legacy was that in December 1918, the city of Halifax sent Boston a Christmas Tree as a token of their appreciation for Beantown's quick response in providing aid to Halifax. Curiously, this did not become an annual tradition until 1971 as a promotion by the Lunenburg County Christmas Tree Producers Association. The province of Nova Scotia has set up a criteria for suitable trees to be shipped off to Boston that can be seen here.

(Boston Christmas Tree on the hoof, Clementsvale NS- Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources photo)

This year's official Christmas tree for Boston- a 46ft tall white spruce- was lit in Boston Common on December 3rd. The tree was a gift from the property of Folyd and Elaine Shatford of Fox Point, NS and was removed on November 17th. If you're interested in learning more about the 1917 Halifax explosion, you can read a more detailed account in Laura M. Mac Donald's Curse of the Narrows.

(Shippin' Up to Boston-

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sports Chowdah Update for Dec 14- Fresh from the Hot Stove: Winter Classic Preview? Patriot Pat Flagged For Illegal Contact, C's Make it 11 Straight

The two teams slated to play at Fenway on the New Year's Day NHL Winter Classic took a tour of the ballpark, locker rooms and incomplete rink on Monday before facing each other at the TD Banknorth Garden. Now as thrilled as I am to have America's first NHL team play an outdoor winter game in America's oldest big-league park, one of the first thoughts to cross my mind was that the home teams are 0-2-1 in these outdoor games (going back to the Heritage Classic held at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium in 2003).

Monday night's performance did not bode particularly well for the black & gold, despite getting off to a 1-0 lead in the closing minutes of the 2nd period on Vladmir Sobotka's goal. Philly started off the 3rd by tying the game just after the two minute mark on a James van Riemsdyk goal. Kimmo Timonen broke the tie after getting one past Tim Thomas at the 9:32 mark of the 3rd and then an empty-netter with 41 seconds left in regulation after Thomas was pulled for an extra attacker. Tim Thomas stopped 35 or 37 shots faced while Philly's Brian Boucher stopped 26 of 27 faced. Elsewhere on Monday Night, the Sabres took on the Canadiens and won 4-3, giving them sole possession of first place in the Northeastern Division with the Bruins losing 2 in a row and presently trailing by 4 points.

The Bruins will face the Blackhawks at Chicago's United Center on Friday night, and I'm really hoping for better results in a few weeks when the Flyers and B's take to the ice at Fenway on New Year's Day.

Speaking of better results, The Celtics won their 11th straight game in Memphis on Monday Night and are currently 12-1 on the road this season. Paul Pierce had 19 points, and Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo had 18 each, including a 3-pointer to ice the game with 17.5 seconds left in the 4th and Rasheed Wallace came off the bench for 15 points in the game. The Celtics will take on the 6-18 76ers in Philadelphia on Friday night.

ELSEWHERE: The San Francisco 49ers upset the visiting Arizona Cardinals 24-9 on Monday Night Football. And if your team turned the ball over seven times in one game, you'd be pretty upset too. The 49ers took a 17-3 lead into halftime, with all 17 points coming off of Arizona turnovers. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that the Cardinals managed to muster up nine points (it could've been 10 if the PAT wasn't blocked).

A Warwick, RI man who acts as New England's Patriot Pat mascot was arrested for solicitation and prostitution related crimes late last week. Robert Sormanti was among 14 people arrested in an undercover sting at a hotel. Sormanti could face several misdemeanor charges and a 15-yard penalty for illegal use of the hands. [hat tip: Wyatt Earp].

VITTLES FROM THE HOT STOVE: The Red Sox are reportedly close to agreements with both free agent starting pitcher John Lackey and outfielder Mike Cameron. Lackey is said to be getting a 5-year contract reportedly worth anywhere between $16 and $17.5 Million a year. Lackey is coming off a 11-8 regular season with a 3.83 ERA for the Angels.

The 2-year Mike Cameron deal is reportedly worth $7 to $8 Million a year and is seen as an indication that the Red Sox will no longer try and retain outfielder Jason Bay. The 36 year old outfielder batted .250 with 24 homers and 70 RBI for the Brewers last season.

However, most of the offseason buzz seems to be centered around the proposed trade that would send Roy Halliday from Toronto to the Phillies, Cliff Lee from Philly to Seattle and prospects back to Philly and Toronto. After failing to trade the Blue Jays ace by last season's trade deadline, Toronto resumed shopping Halliday once the offseason began. This brought renewed interest from the Phillies, who made an unsuccessful bid for Halliday's services prior to last season's trade deadline. The deal could be finalized by Wednesday, although there are now reports circulating that the Blue Jays might have to ship a prospect off to Oakland as well in order to complete the deal. Upon being traded to the Phillies, Halliday would also recieve a contract extension that could keep him in the club 2013.

NCAA FOOTBALL UPDATE: Navy beat Army 17-3 at the annual Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Saturday, which means that Army is not bowl-eligible this year. Instead, the UCLA Bruins will take on Temple on December 29th 2009 at RFK stadium in Washington DC.

Today's Train of Thought- Hops and Hopper cars in the Big Easy; Dec 15th 2009

For all the 'old-world' charm that guidebooks praise the Crescent City for let it not be forgotten that even post-Katrina, the city of New Orleans is still a vital transportation crossroads, both by sea and by land. Here, on a sweltering June 2009 afternoon, a mixed freight bound for the New Orleans Public Belt yard with a NOPB crew and Kansas City Southern C44-9Ws #4597 and #4601 trundle past the old Jackson brewery. contributor Jim O. also pointed out that the New Orleans streetcar runs parralell to the tracks here (seen to the immdeiate left of the #4597).

UPDATE: "It's the Illinois Way". Illinois Prison Selected to House Gitmo Detainees

Multiple reports are confirming that the nearly-dormant Thomson, Illinois state prison mentioned earlier will indeed be used to house inmates from Guantanamo Bay.

Administration officials along with Illinois' unelected governor Pat Quinn and Dick Durbin, the US senator who compared American military personnel to KGB and Khmer Rouge murderers to win brownie points with his left-wing base, are expected to make a formal announcement from the White House Tuesday.

This is like a multilayered wedding cake of bad ideas, bad policy and cronyism heaped on top of each other. First of all, I think it's a bad idea to bring most of the detainees from Guantanamo to the continental United States where they will be entitled to the same rights and protections as a motorist the State Patrol pulls over for a broken tail light. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is the most notable example, but there are other detainees who will be facing a military tribunal (which I would've been more in favor of). Think about it; these so-called 'men' in custody who strive to deprive others of so many basic rights (i.e. to go to school, to not wear a headscarf, etc) through coercion, murder and intimidation will now be able to use the freedoms afforded to them in a civilian trial for their own tactical, judicial and logistical ends. This played out before in the civilian trials of the Dar Es Salaam and Nairobi embassy bombers when means of tracking and surveillance by intelligence agencies and law-enforcement were made public during the trial courtesy of the discovery process.

Even if I was in favor of a civilian and jury trial, President Obama really and truly stepped in it with this public statement regarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed last month:

"I don't think it would be offensive at all when he's convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him," the President said.

Um....hello? I'm not a legal scholar- hell.....I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn last night- but if the purpose of the trial was to close down the Guantanamo Bay facility, show the rest of the world how fair our justice system is and 'restore America's image' among people who want to kill Americans, then what the friggin' damn hell is the point of announcing a guilty verdict for the defendant before the trial even begins? Does that or does that not give the subsequent proceedings the feel of a totalitarian 'show-trial' where the verdict and sentence has already been decided ahead of time.

And I'm sure some of you will be saying at this point "Oh Fenway- you bitter, bible and gun clinging right-wing whackjob, the President and Attorney General know what they're doing. All opposition to this is merely propagated by the right-wing smear merchants. Your blog sucks and you're a big doody-head".

Umm....ok, I can't argue the blog part and the jury's still out on my head. However, Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) is hardly what anybody would consider a blue-dog Democrat, let alone card-carrying member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Expressing concerns about the President and AG's decision to try some suspects in civilian courts, he had this to say:

"It will be disruptive, costly, and potentially counterproductive to try (the suspected terrorists) as criminals in our civilian courts," he warned.

Of course....right after that quote is a statement from the ACLU praising Holder's decision which is all the more reason for me to have grave doubts about this inevitable fiasco.

And if common sense or national security wasn't enough to question the whole decision, there's also the matter of who benefits politically from the White House's choice of location to house the Guantanamo terrorists. Earlier this year, Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm was practically begging Arnold Schwarzenegger to send California inmates to some nearly-empty prisons in Michigan in a deal that never materielized. Federal officials were also considering sites in Montana and Colorado. However, Durbin had been lobbying the Administration to house the inmates at Thomson, IL prison.

What was wrong with the Supermax in Colorado? Or the sites in Michigan or Montana? Hmm....maybe it might have something to do with the fact that Durbin was the first senator to endorse Obama's presidential bid more so than any judicial or logistical concerns the administration might have.

So Hooray for "The Illinois Way" carrying the day.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sports Chowdah Recap for Dec 12-13: Isles Maroon Bruins, C's Make it 10 Straight, Pats Skid Stops At Two Games

OK....I'll admit to dragging my feet on this weekend's Sports Chowdah update in large part because I'm reluctant to bump that image of the late Bettie Paige from the top very top of this blog. But then again, that's not the only image of Bettie that's out there and I'm sure I'll come up with other, even more contrived excuses to feature her likeness on this blog.

Jim Rogash/Getty Images
In a rematch of Superbowl XXXVIII (minus Janet Jackson's boob), the Patriots took on the Carolina Panthers Sunday afternoon at Foxboro. And seemingly just like that Superbowl, they weren't able to get much done offensively- at least until scoring their first TD on a 3-yard Kevin Faulk run with 1:08 left before halftime which tied the game at 7-7.

The Pats broke the tie with just over a minute remaining int the 3rd quarter on a 5 yard TD pass from Tom Brady to Ben Watson. Stephen Gostkowski added to the Pats lead with a pair of field goals from midfield (48 and 47 yards respectively). The only scoring for Carolina in the second half was a 36-yard field goal by John Kasay, giving New England the 20-10 win at home.

Tom Brady was 19 for 32 with one touchdown and one interception while Wes Welker had 10 receptions for 105 yards. Through the first 11 games, Welker has set an NFL reception record with 105. Linebacker Adelius Thomas was a benched on Sunday after criticizing coach Belichick's decision to send him, linebackers Gary Guyton and Derrick Burgess and WR Randy Moss home after showing up late to a team meeting Wednesday. New England will play Buffalo at Orchard Park next weekend.

The NY Islanders hosted the Bruins Saturday night at the Nassau County Collesium. Boston took a 2-1 lead in the second period on a goal by David Krejci but Matt Moulson tied the game with about five minutes remaining in that period. There was no scoring in the third period, which brought the game to overtime......all 24 seconds of it thanks to a Frans Nielsen breakaway almost as soon as OT started. Tim Thomas stopped 16 of 19 shots faced, giving Tukka Rask the night off, while Isles netminder Dwayne Roloson stopped 30 of 32 faced. least the Bruins get the one point before heading back to Boston to take on the Phillies on Monday.

Saturday Night also saw the Celtics take on the Chicago Bulls at the United Center in a bid to win 10 straight. Long story short, it was a rout, and at times it was difficult to believe that this was the same Bulls organization that forced a 7th game with the Celtics in the first round of last season's playoffs. Rajon Rondo was 6 for 13 for 16 points while Rasheed Wallace had 15 points off the bench for the Celtics 106-80 win.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bettie Mae Page: April 22 1923- December 11, 2008

(image: Bunny Yeager)

Today marks the one year anniversary of Bettie Page's death. A popular centerfold, fetish and pin-up model from the late 1940s and into the 1950s, Bettie dropped out of the public spotlight after being called to testify before the Senate Subcomittee on Juvenile Deliquency (she was later excused from testifying).

Paige's post-pinup years were even more tumultuous, if possible. The more racier and iconic images of Bettie enjoyed something of a revival in the 1980s, and the model was largely unaware of her resurgent popularity until after a 1993 interview when she took action to start collecting royalties.

Today's Train of Thought- Green Movement, Mountaineer Style! Dec 11, 2009

Honoring the ongoing farce that is politely being referred to as the Copenhagen Conference in my own unique way, today's very green Train of Thought features 158-mile West Virginia coal hauler Appalachian & Ohio working it's way through the hilly, lush hills of the Mountain State. The A&O has had a short but tumultuous existence so far. In March 2005, Kansas-based WATCO purchased the former Baltimore & Ohio Cowen and Pickens Subdivisions from CSX transportation. The line was in the WATCO fold for barely a year when it was sold off to Four Rivers Transportation, parent company of the Paducah & Louisville and Evansville Western Railroads. The WATCO locomotives were dispersed to other WATCO railways (the majority of them west of the Mississippi) while Four Rivers brought in their own 4-axle power in their own trademark light green & black with white trim paint scheme.

One of the A&O's main customers gained the national spotlight in January 2006 with the Sago mine disaster which killed 12 coal miners and left only one survivor. [The media initially reported that all 13 miners were alive and well- NANESB!]

Here, user Mark Hardin caught this image of A&O GP40-3 #2121 making its way across the Pleasant Creek Viaduct at Pleasant Creek, WV with another GP40 on their way back from the CSX interchange at Grafton with a mixed freight on a bright June 2007 day.

George Steinbrenner Spotted At Yankees Winter Meetings; Demon-Slayer Van Helsing Apologizes for 'Rookie Mistake'

The New York Daily News reported last week that Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was not only alive and well, but taking part in the club's winter meetings in Tampa, FL.

The Boss took part in Thursday's organizational meetings in Tampa, the final phase of the Yankees' offseason planning before Brian Cashman can start shaping the roster for 2010.

Steinbrenner's two sons took over day-to-day operations of the team in 2007, after the senior vampire's ill-fated encounter with accomplished demonslayer Abraham Van Helsing.

On Wednesday, VanHelsing issued a brief statement:

"Two years ago, I had the vampire known as Steinbrenner cornered and subdued in Tampa thanks in part to an abundance of crucifixes and garlic. Wary of the presence of otherwoldy beasts like Hank and Cash Man, I had to swiftly retreat as the helpless Steinbrenner sought refuge in a casket. I realize now I made a rookie mistake in not driving a stake through the vampire's heart when I had the chance, and now all of Major League Baseball is paying the price. I sincerely and contritely apologize for my grievous error"

When reporters attemped to contact VanHelsing's offices yesterday, they were immediately routed to a recorded message with contact information for the demonslayer's publicist.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mid-Week Helping of Sports Chowdah- Mr. Allen Goes to Washington; Beyond B-Leaf- Toronto Back For More; Any Given Thursday? Browns Stun Steelers

After a brief one-game homestand at the Garden that saw them victorious against Milwaukee earlier this week, Thursday night was a busy one for the Celtics as they traveled to Washington DC's Verizon Center to take on the Wizards. Looking for their ninth straight win and 10th road win in 11 tries, some Celtics were expecting to reach a couple of milestones tonight but Rajon Rondo turned out to be the story of the night. Rondo was 10-20 with 21 points, 3 rebounds and 11 assists, but had the tie-breaking score on a driving dunk with about a minute left in regulation to put the Cs up for good in their 104-102 win. Ray Allen became the 32nd NBA player to score 20,000 points in his career Thursday night and was 5-11 with 18 points while Kevin Garnett was 8-14 with 17 points and Kendrick Perkins was 5-7 with 16 points.

(both images- Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

Paul Pierce was 4-13 (6-10 for free throws) with 12 points to notch his 19,000th NBA career point Thursday night as well. This is Boston' 9th consecutive win and puts them in sole posession of 1st place in the Eastern conference with an 18-4 record- ahead of the Orlando Magic after they lost to Utah. The Celtics next game is at the United Center in Chicago to take on the Bulls Saturday night.


After four days off, the Bruins faced the Maple Leafs again at the Garden on Thursday night. Despite getting out to the early 3-0 lead on goals from Mark Stuart, Derek Morris and David Krejci Toronto got on the board with a goal from Mikhail Grabovski early in the 3rd period, followed by a goal from Nikolai Kulemin to make it a 3-2 game. Mark Recchi opened the game back up for Boston with two goals in the final 4 minutes to make it a 5-2 Boston final. Tukka Rask got his second striaght win between the pipes for Boston, stopping 32 of 34 shots faced. Thursday's win puts the Bruins one point ahead of the Sabres in the Northeastern division. For the next game, the Bruins will travel to Long Island to take on the NY Islanders on Saturday.

In other Bruins news, the NHL announced that they were investigating Marc Savard's 7 year contract extension that he and the club reached earlier this week to see if it circumvented the league's collective-bargaining agreement.

Stanley Cup of Chowder is reporting that ex-Bruin Phil Kessel tried talking Marc Savard out of signing the 7 year extension. When asked in an interview with WEEI's Dale & Holley whether or not Savard still kept in contact with his ex-teammate, Savard replied:

"Yeah, I have. We text a lot. He was obviously one of the guys telling me to wait and to not sign."

ELSEWHERE: OK- I thought the Pats losing to the Dolphins on Sunday was pretty bad (which it was). Yet the defending Superbowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers made me forget all about that with their embarrassing 13-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns Thursday night. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was sacked eight times as the Steelers lost their fifth straight game. The Browns are now 2-11 (hey now- if you were a Browns fan who was told ahead of time they'd only win 2 games by December, but one of them was against the hated Steelers, I'm sure you could take some comfort in that).

Tom Brady is a father- again! This time supermodel/wife Gisele Bunchden gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Brady announced at a press conference on Wednesday. This is the first child for Bunchden, while Brady is the father of actress Bridgette Moynahan's 2-year old son Jack.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Weather Underground, 9/11, A Rhodes Scholarship, Cop Killers, A Tenured Terrorist & Death in a Northern Town- The '81 Brinks Heist Revisited

(AP Photo)

It all began on October 20, 1981 when terrorists from the Weather Underground and Black Liberation Army wielding shotguns and M-16s ambushed a Brinks armoured truck making its rounds at the Nanuet Mall in Nyack, NY. Brink's guard Peter Paige was killed instantly and Jospeh Tombino nearly lost his arm in the assault. Triggermen Jeral Wayne Williams (AKA Mutulu Shakur), Donald Weems (AKA Kuwasi Balagoon) and David Gilbert made off with an estimated $1.6 million in cash and drove a short distance before ditching their getaway car and climbing into a rented U-Haul. The plan was to have Gilbert's common-law wife Kathy Boudin drive back to New York City with the money and the gunmen hidden in the back of the U-Haul while the police were looking for black gunmen and the getaway car. However, a high school student nearby witnessed the switch and immediately alerted the local police.

The Nyack P.D. set up a roadblock at the entrance of Exit 11 of the New York State Thruway and approximately 10 minutes after the witness reported the switch, the U-Haul approached the police roadblock with Boudin behind the wheel and the money from the Brinks armoured truck and six heavily-armed accomplices stowed in the back. Feigning innocence, Boudin pleaded with officers Edward O'Grady, Waverly Brown, Brian Lennon, and Artie Keenan to lower their weapons as they approached. Thinking they had the wrong vehicle, the officers complied- at which point Gilbert, Balagoon, Shakur and three other accomplices wearing body armor jumped out of the truck and opened fire on the police officers. Officer Waverly Brown was hit and killed immediately. Sgt. O'Grady was hit multiple times, but was able to return fire with his service revolver. Detective Arthur Keenan was struck immediately but was able to take cover and return fire while Officer Lennon was in the cruiser when the shootout began. He tried exiting from the passenger side, but the door was blocked by O'Grady's body. He fired multiple shots from the cruiser's 12-gauge shotgun at the U-Haul as the some of the assailants jumped back in and rammed the cruiser with the van. Other assailants scattered in the immediate aftermath of the bloody shootout. Boudin tried fleeing on foot, but she was tackled and arrested by off-duty New York City corrections officer Mike Koch, who witnessed the whole thing while in traffic.

Sgt. O'Grady died on the operating table some 90 minutes later after being hit by multiple 5.56mm rounds. He lived long enough to empty his service revolver into one of his assailants (investigators later recovered a flattened .38 slug identified as being from O'Grady's service revolver from the body armour of one of the suspects).

The other accomplices carjacked motorists- Judith Alice Clark, Chris Dobbs and Samuel Brown were pursued by South Nyack Police Chief Alan Colsey until their vehicle crashed into a stone wall. Separated from their weapons in the vehicle and disriented by the crash, the 3 terrorists were held at gunpoint by the police chief until backup arrived. Police also recovered more than $800,000 of the stolen money from the vehicle.

Before the October bloodbath in Nyack began, Kathy Boudin dropped off her 14 month old infant, Chesa Boudin, at a babysitter before picking up the U-Haul to be used in the getaway. With Chesa Boudin's parents- Dave Gilbert and Kathy Boudin- arrested and facing lengthy prison sentences for their role in the murders of Brown, O'Grady and Paige, another pair of Weather Underground alumni would wind up raising Chesa Boudin; none other than William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

Now- let's fast forward some 20 years or so to the year 2001. Kathy Boudin and Dave Gilbert are rotting in prison where they belong, little Chesa is all grown up in the relative comfort of Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood and Foster-daddy William Ayers has just completed his book Fugitive Days: A Memoir in part to answer some of Chesa's questions about his days as a Weather underground fugitive, and in part to try and revise his role in the botched bombing attempt of Ft. Dix that never got further than a Greenwich Village townhouse in 1970. Many critics and even some former Weather Underground members dismiss Ayers memoir as 'self-indulgent and morally clueless'.

The New York Times however, can't wait to run a piece on the fugitive-turned professor and his memoirs. [I hope you're paying special attention to the date, NANESB! readers]. Also some 20 years after being ambushed at the Nanuet Mall, a 68-year old Jospeh Trombino is still working for Brinks as an armoured truck driver.

The same day the Times puff-piece on the domestic terrorist hit the newsstands, Joseph Trombino and more than 2700 other Americans were murdered by Islamic terrorists at the World Trade Center site on September 11th 2001.

In the days following the attack, Ayers seems more upset that the scope of the calculated act of mass-murder seems to be diverting attention away from his memoir. However, when some began to question the Weather Underground's use of bombings as a tactic he penned a tepid, lukewarm denunciation of the 9/11 attacks in a Chicago Tribune letters to the editor piece, including various tried-and-true leftist weasel-words like "I condemn all forms of terrorism — individual, group and official" and "Today we are witnessing crimes against humanity on our own shores on an unthinkable scale, and I fear that we may soon see more innocent people in other parts of the world dying in response."

Fast forward for about another year- December 2002- and the New York Times has once again caught up with the Ayers household- this time Ayers foster-son Chesa Boudin who has miraculously overcome the odds despite growing up in Hyde Park and his radical-but-politically connected foster parents and been granted a Rhodes scholarship.

Raised by two other Weathermen leaders, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, in Chicago's Hyde Park, he is one of 32 American winners of this year's Rhodes scholarships. It is a remarkable achievement for a boy with epilepsy and dyslexia who did not learn to read until third grade and spent much of his childhood in temper tantrums.

The closest Chesa comes to even mentioning his parents role in the murder of Waverly Brown, Peter Paige or Edward O'Grady is a vacuous, woe-is-me statement about Gilbert and Boudin's prison sentence:

"Now I'm not angry," he said, "I'm sad that my parents have to suffer what they have to suffer on a daily basis, that millions of other people have to suffer as well."

Young Chesa is also pretty fluent in Spanish and has taken to translating Hugo Chavez's anti-American and anti-capitalism screeds into English.

Sgt. Edward O'Grady left behind a wife and three children.

Officer Waverly Brown left behind two grown daughters and a son who would go on to a career in law-enforcement himself.

Peter Paige left behind a wife, an adult daughter and two sons.

Yet the New York Times doesn't even see it fit to print their names or mention the loved ones left behind thanks to the actions of Chesa's parents and Ayers' friends.

If they can't or won't, then I will. And if- in past and future posts- you think I'm being entirely too harsh on what I label as the 'Mainstream Media', then read this post in its entirety. Judging from the article's tone, we're supposed to be appreciative of the insight and wisdom Ayers provides in his memoir as a radical than say the loyalty and dedication Peter Paige (a 25-year Brinks employee) or Joseph Trombino (who also was a survivor of the '93 WTC attack) displayed while they were murdered on the job. Or the ultimate sacrifice made by Officers brown and O'Grady in the line of duty.

Consider this 'Exhibit A' on why Mainstream Media outlets cannot be trusted.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dec 7th 1941- A Day Which Will Live in Infamy

68 years ago today, isolationism was no longer an option.

Weekend Sports Chowdah Recap- Dolphin Safe Pats; BC Frisco Bound; Huskies Mush Past USF; Bs Rake Leafs; End of An Era @ Northeastern


Now if it had been the same score against the Saints last week, I wouldn't have been the least bit surprised. Instead, the lowly Dolphins rally past New England to win 22-21 on a Dan Carptenter Field Goal. Miami QB Chad Henne went 29-52 and had a career-best 335 yards with two TDs and an interception. The win brings Miami to a 6-6 record- tied with the NY Jets and one game behind the Patriots in the AFC East standings.

Tom Brady was 19-29 for 352 years with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Wes Welker had ten catches for 167 yards, but Randy Moss was help to only two catches on the day. The Pats also failed to score twice inside Miami's red zone. The Patriots will host Miami at Foxboro on Sunday while the Dolphins will travel to Jacksonville and the Jets travel to Tampa Bay.

(Stephen Dunn/Hartford Courant)

In a Big East game that was likely overshadowed by the simultaneously broadcast ACC and Big XII Championship Games, the UConn Huskies gave up another late lead in a close game, trailing 27-26 to the South Florida Bulls thanks to an 8-yeard BJ Daniels TD run with only 40 seconds left in regulation. UConn moved the ball 31 yards on six plays to set up a 42-yard field goal attempt for redshirt sophomore kicker Dave Teggart. After missing a FG attempt earlier in the game, Teggart's kick split the uprights in the middle of an ongoing snow squall as time expired, giving UConn the 29-27 win at E. Hartford CT Saturday night. Huskies QB Zach Frazer was 20-30 for 225 years and 2 touchdowns while RB Andre Dixon (pictured above) rushed for 50 yards and 2 TDs. The Huskies won their final 3 games of the regular season (versus Notre Dame, Syracuse and USF) to finish with a 7-5 record.

Upcoming Bowl Schedule:

(Bold indicates New England team

double asterisks** indicates BCS matchup)

New Mexico Bowl- Dec 19:
Fresno State vs Wyoming

St. Petersburg Bowl- Dec 19:
Rutgers vs USF

New Orleans Bowl- Dec 20:
Southern Miss vs Middle Tennessee

Las Vegas Bowl- Dec 22:
BYU vs Oregon State

Poinsettia Bowl- Dec 23:
Utah vs Cal

Hawaii Bowl- Dec 24:
SMU vs Nevada

Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl- Dec 26:
Marshall vs Ohio

Meineke Car Car Bowl- Dec 26:
North Carolina vs Pittsburgh

Emerald Bowl- Dec 26:
Boston College vs USC

Music City Bowl- Dec 27:
Clemson vs Kentucky

Independence Bowl- Dec 28:
Texas A&M vs Georgia

Eaglebank Bowl- Dec 29:
Temple vs UCLA or Army

Champs Sports Bowl- Dec 29:
Miami vs Wisconsin

Humanitarian Bowl- Dec 30:
Idaho vs Bowling Green

Holdiay Bowl- Dec 30:
Nebraska vs Arizona

Armed Forces Bowl- Dec 31:
Houston vs Air Force

Sun Bowl- Dec 31:
Oklahoma vs Stanford

Texas Bowl- Dec 31:
Navy vs Missouri

Insight Bowl- Dec 31:
Minnesota vs Iowa State

Chik-Fil-A Bowl- Dec 31:
Virginia Tech vs Tennessee

Outback Bowl- Jan 1:
Northwestern vs Auburn

Capital One Bowl- Jan 1:
Penn State vs LSU

Gator Bowl- Jan 1:
Florida State vs West Virginia

Rose Bowl- Jan 1:
Ohio State vs Oregon

Sugar Bowl- Jan 1:
Florida vs Cincinnati

International Bowl- Jan 2:
USF vs Northern Illiniois Bowl- Jan 2:
UConn vs South Carolina

Cotton Bowl- Jan 2:
Oklahoma State ve Ole Miss

Liberty Bowl- Jan 2:
East Carolina vs Arkansas

Alamo Bowl- Jan 2:
Michigan State vs Texas Tech

Fiesta Bowl- Jan 4th: **
Boise State vs TCU

Orange Bowl- Jan 5th:**
Iowa vs Georgia Tech

GMAC Bowl- Jan 6th:
Troy vs Central Michigan

BCS Championship Game- Jan 7th:**
Texas vs Alabama

After 74 season, Northeastern University announced an end to it's football program at the end of November.

Northeastern football did not fall victim to the recession or a fund-raising crunch, university officials said. Instead, school officials came to terms with the hard truth that the $3 million-plus annual program needed more help - millions more each year - than Northeastern wanted to give.

President Joseph E. Aoun and the board of trustees endorsed the move Friday after an extensive, two-year review of the athletic program by its director, Peter Roby.

The move by Northeastern could leave the Colonial Athletic Association short a team for the 2010 Football season.

In the NCAA Football Championship Subdivison (FCS- formerly Division 1AA), two of the teams from the Colonial Athletic Association were eliminated while two will play this weekend to advance to play in the FCS championship game in Chattanooga, TN.
With the CAA teams in bold print, the finals from Saturday's FCS quarterfinals are:
William & Mary 24- Southern Illinois 3
New Hampshire 7 -Villanova 46
Appalachian State 35- Richmond 31
The winner of William & Mary vs Villanova will take on the winner of the Appalachian State vs Montana game for the FCS title at Chattanooga's Finley Stadium on December 18th.

(Getty Images)

Marc Savard notched his third career hat trick Saturday night in a 7-2 pounding of Toronto as Phil Kessel made his first appearance in the Garden since being traded to the Maple Leafs this offseason. Aside from Savard's hat trick, the Bruins got goals from Marco Sturm in the 1st, Zdeno Chara in the 2nd and Mark Recchi and Johnny Boychuk in the 3rd. Tukka Rask was gunning for his second shutout of the season, but allowed goals from Niklas Hagman and Mikhail Grabovski late in the 3rd. Rask stopped 31 of 33 shots faced.

The Bruins will take on the Maple Leafs at the Garden again on Thursday night.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Today's Train of Thought- Western Pacific Milestones; December 5th, 2009

November 1, 2009 marks the 100th anniversary of the completion of Western Pacific's Feather River line between Sacramento, CA and Reno, NV.

According to the Western Pacific Historical Society, the milestone was reached with little fanfare that day.

On November 1, 1909, the track gangs from east and west met on the steel bridge across Spanish Creek near Keddie and foreman Leonardo di Tomasso drove the final spike. In contrast to the gold spike ceremonies on the first overland railway just forty years before, no decorated engines met head to head before a cheering crowd; no magnums of champagne were broached. The only spectators were a pair of local women and their little girls.

Twenty two years later, another massive undertaking- the joint 'Inside Gateway' project between Western Pacific and Great Northern was completed. The north-south rail line linking Keddie, CA and points south/west with Bend, OR and points north was considered by many to be the last great railway construction project in America.

At Bieber, on November 10, 1931, amid the icy blasts of a snow-bearing gale from the North and the equally frigid financial storms of the deepening depression, Arthur Curtiss James drove a spike of Oroville gold before several train-loads of dignitaries. After the ceremonies the guests tore down the grandstand and with it built a bonfire to keep from freezing.

Despite being financially strapped for most of it's existence, the WP was one of the first railways to completely dieselize in the early 1950s. The most famous WP train (operated jointly with the Denver, Rio Grande & Western and Chicago Burlington & Quincy) was the Chicago-Oakland California Zephyr and operated over the WP until 1970. In 1982, the Western Pacific was brought into the Union Pacific fold (in what would turn out the be the first of many Western and Midwestern Class I railroads to do so). Several of WP's earlier diesels have been preserved at the Feather River Rail Society in Portola, CA and can even be rented in the museum's 'Run a Locomotive' program- the first of its kind. The Oakland to Salt Lake City trackage via the Feather River Canyon is still in use to this day by Union Pacific and Great Northern successor Burlington Northern Santa Fe still utilizes the former WP-GN Inside Gateway.

And every now and then locomotives from the Western Pacific will get the opportunity to stretch their legs on their former route, as is the case here with the Feather River Rail Societey's Western Pacific GP7# 707 leading additional preserved Western Pacific Diesels on a special move ferrying equipment between the Niles Canyon Railway and the Feather River Rail Societey. contributor Ryan M Martin caught the 707 crossing the curved steel Rock Creek Trestle in the Feather River Canyon on the homestretch of it's return trip to Portola on a rainy, bluster May 2005 afternoon.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sports Chowdah Recap's Second Helping- Rouge, Blanc et Blue Beat B's Big Time; Thunder-struck- C's More Than OK in 7th Straight Win

Ugh....I hate having to write something along these lines. But not wanting to write about it doesn't change the fact that it happened, so I might as well get this crap out of the way.

The Montreal Canadiens celebrated their 100th Anniversary Friday Night with a pretty one-sided beatdown of the Boston Bruins thanks in large part to a hat trick by Mike Cammalleri. Jaroslav Spacek and ex-Bruin Glenn Metropolit also got on the board with goals for the Habs. Montreal goalie Carey price stopped 37 or 38 shots faced. Vladmir Sobotka was the only Bruin to get the puck by Price Friday night with an assist from Matt Hunwick. Montreal comes away with the W with a lopsided 5-1 performance against Beantown and the Bruins will go on to face the last-place Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night in Toronto. Presently, the Bruins remain one point behind the Buffalo Sabres who were idle tonight.

Speaking of Toronto, the New York Jets came away from the Rogers Centre with a 19-13 victory over the 'home' Buffalo Bills on Thursday night. Jet's quarterback Joe Namath....I mean....Mark Sanchez left the game in the 3rd quarter after sustaining what the team called a mild sprain after a headfirst dive towards the end of an 8-yard run. No word on whether or not the Jets' rookie QB will be available to play Tampa Bay next Sunday.

The Celtics wrapped up their 4-game road trip with a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder Firday night. Kevin Garnett was 10 of 11 with 23 points. Paul Pierce was 6-11 for 21 points, and Rajon Rodo was 7-11 for 15 points in the C's 105-87 win. This makes it 7 wins in a row for the Celtics, including a perfect 4-0 road trip. For their next game, the Celtics will host the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.

High Desert Hypocrasy- Rural Nevada Good Enough to Dump Nuclear Waste In, But Not Good Enough to Build Coal Fired Power Plant?

Cross-posted with Dopenhaagen:

While doing some background research about the Nevada Northern Railway the other night, I stumbled across this press release from NV Energy earlier this year regarding a proposed coal-fired power plant in rural eastern Nevada:

NV Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NVE) today announced that it has postponed its plans to construct a coal-fired power plant in eastern Nevada due to increasing environmental and economic uncertainties surrounding its development. The company will not move forward with construction of the coal plant until the technologies that will capture and store greenhouse gasses are commercially feasible, which is not likely before the end of the next decade.

If I understand this correctly, dumping copious amounts of nuclear waste at the DOE's Yucca Mountain site is perfectly fine and dandy, but a coal-fired power plant that would create jobs and serve the needs of people in Nevada and surrounding states is 100% unacceptable because of the carbon output.

What disconnect?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cuppa Chowdah Sports Update for Dec 2nd & 3rd; Lightning Struck Once- Come up Short vs Bruins, C's Spurred to Road Win, Oregon Rose to the Occasion

Boston Herald/Matt Stone

What a week Marc Savard is having. Just over a week after returning to Bruins lineup after being out with a broken foot for over a month, Savard and the Boston Bruins agreed to a 7-year contract extension. The terms of the contract weren't immediately disclosed.
On Wednesday night, Savard put Boston on the board with the first goal of the game (a power play goal with assists from Derek Morris and Zdeno Chara) against the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Patrice Bergeron made it 2-0 (assists from Zdeno Chara and Mark Recchi) in the first and Marco Sturm scored twice in the second period (with assists from Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi both times) to put the Bs up 3-0 before Tampa Bay got on the board with their one and only goal courtesey of Jeff Halpern in the 3rd. Tim Thomas stopped 39 of the 40 shots he faced and the Bruins went on to win 4-1 at the Garden. The win put them in first place for less than 24 hours, since the Sabres beat Montreal Thursday night and moved one point ahead of Boston in the division. The Bruins will face the Canadiens at the Molson Centre Friday night- the Habs have lost their last 4 games.


The Celtics winning streak is now up to six consecutive games after beating the San Antonio Spurs Thursday night in Texas, 90-83. Kevin Garnett was 9-15 with 20 points while Ray Allen had 15 points, Rajon Rondo was 6-11 with 12 points and Rasheed Wallace came off the bench for 13 points and was 4-9. The C's are an NBA best 8-1 on the road so far and will try and make it seven wins in a row Friday at Oklahoma City.

Celts F Glen 'Big Baby' Davis had his cast and pins removed from his hand Thursday, but it's expected that he'll be fitted for another to wear for the next few weeks.

ELSEWHERE: The Red Sox have reached a deal with former Blue Jays and A's shortstop Marco Scutaro Thursday pending a physical. Scutaro had a .284 batting average and belted 12 home runs with 60 RBIs for Toronto in 2009- however, he missed the last two weeks of the 2009 season due to plantar fisciitis. Scutaro worked out for one of Epstein's assistants in Florida earlier this week, according to the Red Sox and The Boston Globe

Former Boston relievers Takeshii Saito and Billy Wagner signed with the Atlanta Braves this week. Wagner had earlier told various media outlets that he was considering retirement. Wagner had a 1.72 ERA for 2009- he was claimed off of waivers in August this past season by Boston. Saito was 3-3 with a 2.43 ERA in a setup role for Boston last season.

The #7 ranked Oregon Ducks punched their ticket to the Rose Bowl Thursday night in Eugene by taking care of in-state rival, 13th ranked Oregon State 37-33 in regulation. Ducks redshirt freshamn LaMichael James ran for 166 years and three touchdowns. Lagarrette Blount, who hadn't seen any playing time since his role in the fisitcuffs at Boise State on opening night, scored on a 12-yeard TD run in the 3rd quarter.

At 99 years of age, longtime Yankee stadium announcer Bob Sheppard has decided to call it a career. After a 57 year career, the Yankees PA voice told that he has no intention of returning next season.

"I have no plans of coming back," Sheppard told the Web site in a telephone interview. "Time has passed me by, I think. I had a good run for it. I enjoyed doing what I did. I don't think, at my age, I'm going to suddenly regain the stamina that is really needed if you do the job and do it well."

At the Winter meetings, George Steinbrenner denied firing Sheppard after learning the announcer indavertantly took home a small box of paperclips in 1981 [just kidding! Congratulations and a happy retirement to one of the few people on the Yankees payroll who I think has earned it- NANESB!]

New Affiliate Blog Up and Running

And you thought Not Another New England Sports Blog! was poorly done and hastily put together!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you.....



This is just a little something I put together to monitor various Green and nanny-state shennanigans in the run-up to the UN-Sanctioned browbeating, blackmail and guilt-tripping of industrialized nations that is sure to be the Copenhagen conference.

The title itself comes from this brilliant parody site, that sadly turned out to be neither parody nor brilliant.

Today's Train of Thought- Centenarian!? She Doesn't Look a Day Over 93!

(Nevada Northern Railway)

2009 marks the 100th birthday of the Nevada Northern Railway's 2-8-0 #93. Built in 1909 at the American Locomotive Company's Pittsburgh works for the American Smelters Securities/Nevada Consolidated Copper Company, she served the copper mines and Nevada Northern Railway in and around Ely, NV until the mine's then-owner, Kennecott Copper, retired her in the early 1960s with the dieselization of the mining railway's fleet. The #93 was donated by Kennecott to the White Pine County Public Museum where volunteers eventually restored her to working order.

Kennecott closed down their mining operations around Ruth and Ely in 1978 and the smelter in 1983. The 140-mile line connecting the former Southern Pacific (now Union Pacific) at Cobre, NV to East Ely has been mostly disused since 1983- with Australia's Broken Hill Properties (BHP) operating the 120-mile portion of the Nevada Northern between the mines at Ruth and the former Western Pacific (now Union Pacific) interchange at Shafter from 1996 to 1999. In 2006, the city of Ely acquired the Ely-Cobre section of the line. There have been on-again/off-again plans for a coal-fired generating station to be built along the NN right-of-way around East Ely, but those plans were postponed as of Febuary 2009.

The lines directly servicing the former mining site between East Ely, McGill and Ruth were donated by Kennecott Copper to the White Pine Historical Railroad foundation. In it's present incarnation the Nevada Northern is, in effect, an open-air railway museum. In fact, in September 2006 the Nevada Northern yard, engine house, locomotives and rolling stock were recognized by the National Parks Service as a National Historic Landmark. Unsurprisingly, the NN also rosters three diesels- however, the newest of these was built in 1956.

Which brings us back to the Centenarian #93. Here, she's seen with a cut of hopper cars, throwing out plumes of smoke and steam against the deep blue skies of a high desert winter's day in Febuary 2007 on a photographer's special between East Ely and Ruth, NV.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

MSNBC's Chris Matthews: West Point 'Enemy Camp'

As I mentioned earlier, the MSNBC network is about as credible as certain Middle Eastern terrorist regime mouthpieces but truth be told, I thought some of these alleged journalists would be 'smart' about concealing their leftist bias.

Turns out I was wrong. They're nowhere as intelligent as I gave them credit for.

After discussing the rather lukewarm reception from the cadets during President Obama's tepid and way-too-long speech, Chris Matthews likens it to the president visiting 'the enemy camp'. For good measure, Matthews also decides to revisit the 'neo-con' boogeyman by discussing how Paul Wolfowitz to 'rabble rouse'. For the three or four MSNBC viewers who feel compelled to apologize for Matthews, explain to me how it was all 'taken out of context' or reassure me that my eyes and ears were lying to me, don't bother.

So not only is MSNBC just as reliable as Hezbollah's Al-Manar mouthpiece or Iran's PressTV, but apparently they feel they have a common enemy- the United States military.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sports Chowdah Recap Thanksgiving Weekend Version- Boondock Saints; Tiger Trap; Bowden Bowin' Out?; Shaq Steps Up Big Time, Naughty and Weiss

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

This was the game that everybody had been waiting for- one of those Monday Night games where even if you weren't a fan of either team, you were still looking forward to. The undefeated New Orleans Saints taking on the 7-3 New England Patriots at the Louisiana Superdome.

Now....the first quarter was pretty good. The Saints moved the ball pretty effectively on their first possession, but were held to a field goal that John Carney banked in off the upright once they got into the Pats red zone. The Pats moved the ball much more slowly and methodically, capitalizing on two 4th down attempts, including one inside the Saints red zone that Laurence Maroney took in for the Pats first TD.

From there on out, the Pats D might as well taken the rest of the night off and helped themselves to some po'boys and Jambalaya. In all fairness, there were at least 4 long passes by Saints QB Drew Brees that were absolutely flawless- no way they could've been defended against short of drawing a pass interference call- and two of them resulted in touchdowns if I'm remembering correctly. It was all Drew Brees and all ___________ { <--insert name of any number of Saints receivers} all the time. Except for Reggie Bush- he sat this one out.

Long story short, New Orleans cajun stomps all over New England 38-17 [and it wasn't even that close- NANESB!] and some of us are left to wonder if Teddy Bruschi or Rodney Harrison couldn't have stuck around for another year. New Orleans clearly was the better team and played accordingly. If there was any notion that their 11-0 record was some kind of fluke, that's dead and in a hole deeper than Deval Patrick's approval ratings.

No way to sugar-coat this one. The Pats were embarrassed and they get to chew on this for another few days. I'm not going to despair too much, though. One would be tempted to think that last night's game provided other teams a template or blueprint with witch to stymie the Pats. But missing in that line of speculation is the fact that most teams don't have Drew Brees calling signals.

ELSEWHERE: After 34 seasons, 80 year old FSU head football coach Bobby Bowden announced that he's retiring effective whichever bowl game the Seminoles get invited to. The Seminoles lost to #1-ranked Florida 37-10 Saturday and finished the season with a 6-6 record.

Former Patriot's offensive coordinator Charlie Weiss has been fired as Notre Dame's head coach. Weiss finished with a 35-27 record over five seasons with the Fighting Irish. The Irish lost to Stanford 38-45 on Saturday and, like FSU, finished with a 6-6 record. Weiss' dismissal has already led to speculation regarding his replacement at South Bend and which NFL team might be interested in his services as an offensive coordinator.

The Boston College Eagles outlasted the Maryland Terrapins for the final regular-season game, winning by a score of 19-17. Montel Harris ran for 142 yards, Colin Larmond has 3 receptions for 105 yards- including the Eagles only TD- and Steve Aponavicius was 4 for 5 in field-goal attempts, missing his first of the season in the 3rd quarter, but scoring what would prove to be the winning 3 points with just under four minutes left in regulation. With the win, BC finishes the season at 8-4 and is bowl-eligible.

The Division I-AA Football (official name- NCAA-FCS) playoffs are underway, and as predicted earlier, the Colonial Athletic Association is very well represented and doing quite well. Out of 16 teams eligible, four teams from the conference were selected, and all four advance after the first round. In other words, 25% of the teams playing for the FCS Championship are from the CAA.
The finals from Saturday:
Elon 13-Richmond 16
Holy Cross 28- Villanova 38
Weber State 0- William & Mary 38
New Hampshire 49- McNeese State 13
Richmond will go on to face Appalachian State on Saturday, while New Hampshire and Villanova will play each other and William & Mary advances to face Southern Illinois.

Tiger Woods reportedly faces a $164 fine and reckless driving citation from the Florida highway Patrol after an accident just down the street from his Florida home. The golfer has backed out of the Chevron World Challenge in California this weekend, reportedly due to injuries suffered in the one-car accident.

Cleveland Cavaliers center Shaquille O'Neal announced late last week that he would pay for the funeral of 5-year old Shaniya Davis of Fayetteville, NC. Investigators say the child was kidnapped, raped and murdered after she was reported missing on Novmeber 10. Shaniya's mother will be charged with human trafficking, as police believe the 'mother' was prostituting the little girl. {If I can editorialize for a moment, I've always felt that Shaq was all about, well....Shaq. I still feel that way, but Shaq being all about Shaq and doing something very generous like this are not mutually exclusive. Way to step up, Mr. O'Neal- I don't have as much money at my disposal as you do, but if you want to go halfsies on the lethal injections for the monster who murdered little Shaniya and the so-called 'mother' who was pimping out her pre-pubescent daughter, feel free to contact me via this blog}.

The German Track and Field association this week decided to reinstate a 1936 high-jump record set in 1936 at Stuggart to 95-year old Gretel Bergmann, now known as Margaret Lambert of Queens, NY. The athlete had her record-tying 5ft 3in jump stricken from the record books by Nazi officials who learned of her Jewish background. Mrs Lambert was on the German Olympic team from 1934 to 1936 before fleeing the Nazis and arriving in America in 1937.

The Boston Bruins overcame yet-another 2 goal deficit against Ottawa on Saturday to win on the strength of 3 power-play goals and a Michael Ryder shootout goal. The Bruins were in an 0-2 hole at the first intermission on goals by Daniel Alfredsson and Milan Michalek, but came back with a goal from David Krejci (Mark Recchi and Dennis Wideman w/the assist) and Michael Ryder (Zdeno Chara and Mark Recchi with the assist). Dennis Wideman scored his power-play goal at the 9:19 mark of the third (David Kejci and Blake Wheeler credited with the assist), but Tim Thomas allowed a goal from Milan Michalek with 20 seconds left in regulation to get by after Ottawa pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. Ryder's goal was the only one scored by either team in the shootout and Tim Thomas stopped 19 of 22 shots faced during the game.
Boston remains a point behind the Buffalo Sabres in the Northeast Division:
Sabres- 32 points; 15-7-2 record overall
Bruins- 31 points; 13-8-5 record overall
Senators- 30 points; 13-8-4 record overall
Canadiens- 26 points; 12-13-2 record overall
Maple Leafs- 21 points; 7-12-7 record overall
This week, the Bruins will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow and Montreal on Friday. The Bruins also announced that they are close to reaching a 7-year extension with forward Marc Savard.

The Celtics routed the Charlotte Bobcats 108-90 tonight at Charlotte. Ray Allen seems to be doing just fine, scoring 27 points with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Kendrick Perkins had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Kevin Garnett was 5 for 8 with 16 points and seven rebounds. The C's have won their last 5 games in a row and are currently atop the Atlantic Division. They face the Spurs at San Antonio Thursday night on TNT.