Saturday, January 31, 2015
It's time once again for my picks on the Super Bowl.
In four years, we've made $555. That was a total return of 6.37% on your investment of $8,710.
(If that sentence confuses you, you should probably not be betting - EVER, ON ANYTHING. Problems dealing with math makes bookmakers and casinos very happy.)
(Seriously. Put your money in the bank and enjoy a steady rate of return. What follows is not for you in any way, shape or form. It involves serious risk and one should never engage in serious risk unless one has some sort of conception concerning what the risks are.)
(Says the guy who was run over by a snowplow.)
If you wish to investigate the past investments, here are some links:
Not everything I said in those pieces came true, but enough of them did to make us money. That's all that's needed.
(All of the odds I'll quote come from THIS PLACE. I am not paid by them; I am not paid by anybody. I am not recommending you contravene the laws of wherever you are. Also, I will not be responsible for any losses incurred. I am, after all, a bozo.)
The bets that can be made on the Super Bowl are sometimes absurd. For instance, you can bet on the coin flip before the game. If you feel an overwhelming urge to bet on a coin flip (giving odds, because that's what you'd have to do to get some action) then you should definitely GO HERE. Some other bets sound even more ridiculous, but at least you might have an excuse for making them. You may have some inside information that makes the bet less ridiculous than it at first appears.
For instance: What color will Bill Belichick's hoodie be?
I'm as serious as a heart attack. Grey is the odds-on favorite, but you can get 15 to 2 on him wearing a red hoodie. You can also bet on whether the hoodie will have sleeves intact (3 to 2) or sleeves cut off (you have to lay 2 to 1). There's also a proposition on whether or not Belichick smiles on camera at any time during the game ("Yes" is the underdog.) Now, if you're Belichick's wardrobe guy, maybe you can make those bets and expect to win. And maybe if you slip him some sort of goofy pills in his morning coffee, you can make it an outstanding parlay. Otherwise, no.
(On the gambling website I linked to, my favorite disclaimer of all time accompanies these bets - No Hoodie is No Action.)
My other candidate for most ridiculous bet possible is one involving penalties called by the game officials. You can bet on whether the first penalty called will be for holding, offsides, pass interference, or four other possibilities. So maybe you know both teams have a tendency toward some penalty rather than another. You might rationalize it; hell, maybe you really can make a good bet at some of the odds offered. There is, however, one option for "No Penalty Called In The Game". They'll pay you 66 to 1.
Oh my good and gracious God. 66 to 1? If you want to bet there won't be a single penalty called in the entire game, I'll take your action. I'll pay you 27 bazillion to 1 and promise to give you oral sex in Macy's display window in downtown Boston during lunch hour as a bonus. NO penalties? I'm sure that somewhere, in the history of the NFL, there have been penalty-free games; as a matter of fact, I'd bet on it. But in this game? There's a better chance of Belichick wearing a tie-dye tuxedo.
OK, that's enough about the idiotic things some folks will be betting on. It's now time for the idiotic things you'll be betting on if you follow my advice.
It will be short and sweet this year. I think the Patriots win this game. I'm not going to recommend a whole lot other than a straight up bet on that victory. so, to start...
Patriots -2 330/300
That's the Patriots, giving two points, laying 330 to make 300.
(For the uninitiated - and why are you still here? - that means the Patriots have to win the game by 3 for us to win the bet. If they win by two, it is a tie and no money changes hands. If they win by only one, or if Seattle wins, then we lose. If you bet large amounts, you may be able to lay less than the 10% vigorish I quote here.)
Although I believe in that bet, I'm going to hedge it.
Marshawn Lynch to be named game MVP 70/350
If there's any player I'm scared of in this one, it's him. If Seattle wins, it will likely be because Lynch had a huge game. So, as insurance, I'll bet 70 to make 350 on his getting the MVP.
Total Bet = 400
Best Win = 650 (highly unlikely, since Lynch would have to get the MVP in a Patriots win. Possible, but the same sort of odds as Belichick patrolling the sidelines in a Speedo. In any case, if either bet wins, we make a profit of either 20 or 230.)
As usual, I expect you to send me 10% of your winnings if you follow my advice. Also as usual, I don't really expect that to happen.
Soon - that is to say, Monday - with more bettor stuff.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
As with the Blizzard of '78, everyone likely has some tale concerning the Blizzard of '15. This is mine.
You've heard of snow angels. Those are impressions made in the snow – usually by a youngster – via falling backward into the snow while waving arms and legs. When the person gets up, it looks like an angel was there. Well, my wife made one during the blizzard and...
I need to go back a few minutes. It was afternoon and we were dreading having to shovel. However, our duplex neighbor made the suggestion that we pitch in and hire someone to do the work. That idea received a resounding “yes” from my wife and me, so a call was made and we awaited the arrival of a small crew of shovelers, plowers, etc
I had to make sure our car was cleaned of snow so I could drive it into the street while they cleared our long driveway. My wife volunteered to help. After we had done that job, she playfully fell backward and made a snow angel.
And now, having set the scene, we can get to the real story here. I was run over by a snowplow.
The crew arrived and was clearing things, but the snowplow clearing the driveway got stuck. I volunteered to help push it. The driver is trying to back out, so I start pushing from the front of the truck. This is all well and good except I'M BETWEEN THE FRONT OF THE TRUCK AND THE PLOW.
(You've heard the old proverb about God taking care of drunkards and fools? Well, I wasn't drunk, so you can draw your own conclusions concerning my IQ.)
I push and the truck starts to move. I slip, though, and the plow blade runs over the entire length of my leg before I can roll out of the way. Miracle of miracles, it was at just the right height and angle to touch my full leg – I could feel it travel from my ankle to my upper thigh - but not actually dig in or damage it in any way. By the time I realized what was happening, it was over. All I could do was stand up, smile, and reassure the very scared driver that I was OK.
After the adrenaline stopped flowing and I had a few minutes to think about it, I realized just how blessed I had been.
First, if I had NOT fallen, I likely would have stood up straight as the truck continued backing, having the thought that I did my job, and that's when the plow would have whacked me full throttle in the lower back. That I slipped was actually good luck, not bad luck.
Second, it may have occurred to you to question why I felt a need to mention my wife making a snow angel. When I slipped, I fell into the exact spot where she had made it. Had that impression not been made by her, my prone body would have been a few inches higher and the plow would probably have grabbed my leg and mangled it.
You can call it coincidence, or luck, or whatever you wish, but I know the truth. Not only do I have a guardian angel, but it appears I'm also married to one. If your story tops that, more power to you.
Soon, with more better stuff.
Sunday, January 25, 2015
This Story Has No Point, Nor Does It Have A Climax, And If You Look For Either You Will Be Severely Disappointed
[Since it appears we're going to have a couple of feet of snow dumped on us during the coming week, it's time to resurrect this one from the files. It's my firsthand account of...]
THE BLIZZARD OF '78!!!
"Sherman, set the wayback machine for Fogeyville."
"Fogeyville, Mr. Peabody?"
"Yes, Sherman. We're going to visit the site of an interminably long reminiscence that has no readily obvious reason for existing."
(Even the reference comes from Fogeyville. If you're under 30, you probably have no idea who Sherman is - nor should you. Mr. Peabody, though... It's not every day you see a talking dog who invented a time machine. And he wears glasses!)
Anyway, there was this blizzard, see? And it happened in 1978? So, like, we called it the Blizzard Of '78. It was awesome, dude! It was, like... like... uh...
It was a big snowstorm.
It was February and I was 20. I was also unemployed. Therefore, I used to go to bed at around 2 in the morning, after a healthy buzz and (sometimes) getting laid, and I'd wake up at 10am or so. That was important, the 10am thing. That was when The Beverly Hillbillies came on.
Being an out of work stoner, I was collecting unemployment benefits and enjoying the heck out of the whole experience. I think my last job at that time had been with Prudential Insurance, working in their office supply warehouse just outside of Brookline. I was probably getting $65 every two weeks in unemployment, but I was under no real pressure to get another job until the benefits ran out. My Dad, bless him, wasn't on my back for any rent, and I bought food and other stuff for the house. My remaining money went for bass guitar strings, trips to the dog track, and bowling.
(I should mention here that the trips to the dog track and the bowling were actually profitable ventures. There was a six or seven month stretch when I went to the track almost every day, with a couple of my friends, and we made considerable money. Also, I was technically a professional bowler, having entered and won a couple of small local tournaments. However, these are stories for another time, having nothing significant to do with the blizzard. I'll tell you all about them, someday, but for now it's just... Digression!)
(You should stick your index finger in the air and say that word as though you were Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof saying "Tradition!" It will be much more satisfying.)
Anyway, I woke up at a bit before 10 and ambled downstairs to grab a bite to eat. My Dad was already on the road. As a salesman for Singapore Airlines, he had calls to make. He had probably left the house around 7 o'clock. I grabbed a sleeve of saltines and a jar of peanut butter, stirred some Hershey's syrup into a tall glass of milk, and carried this stuff back into the living room. I switched on the TV, turned it to channel 38, and settled in to watch Granny whack Jethro over the head with a frying pan.
I ate the peanut butter and crackers while drinking the chocolate milk, all the time immensely enjoying Jethro's comic attempts at trying to make a success of a restaurant called The Hungry Gizzard. Then, I smoked a bone and laughed like a loon while enjoying Barney Fife's law enforcement misadventures. Returning from Mayberry, I plugged in my bass and threw some Grand Funk and Black Sabbath onto the stereo, playing along for an hour or so. After that, I felt like reading a bit. I picked up Twain's Life On The Mississippi, which I was in the middle of at the time, and traveled back to the 19th century for a while.
Understand that I did all of this without ever looking at the outside world or hearing about it in any way. All of the blinds were drawn. The telephone was connected to an answering service for my Dad's job, so I didn't answer it unless whoever was calling gave me a signal (everybody who knew us knew that the code was to ring once, hang up, then immediately call back, otherwise we would assume it was business and let it go through to the service, which would pick up after three rings.) Also, this was before cable and satellites, so unless I got up from the couch to physically change the channel, it was channel 38 all day and they had no news coverage, so...
At about 2 o'clock, I decided to check and see if the mailman had come. I opened the front door and there it was. Lots of snow. Shitloads of snow. Snow up to the middle of the storm door, which was up to the middle of my belly. Snow, which I stood gaping at blankly. So much snow that the street was totally covered with more than two feet and not a living soul was anywhere to be seen.
Far out, man.
I got dressed (I had been in nothing but a pair of jeans since I got up) and pulled on my boots. This was awesome. I went outside and plowed my way through snowdrifts up to my chest. I wanted to see if anyone else was around to enjoy this with.
I trudged through the snow towards River Street, which was the main drag two blocks away. My street wasn't plowed, which was no surprise. The city of Boston sometimes never plowed Caddy Road, it being a side street off of a side street off of a side street. I reached Monson - nope; not plowed. Sturbridge? The same. And as I approached River Street, I saw that it was only slightly navigable. It was a busy street and cars had probably been on it, off and on, since the snow started, but it was still a mess.
I was enjoying the bejeezus out of this winter wonderland. I spotted a couple of my bowling/racetrack/unemployed buddies and made my way towards them. We exchanged amazed words as Mike lit up a joint that we shared. It was obvious that there wouldn't be any racing for at least a few days, so that was a bummer, but we had enough dope to last a while, so no problem keeping a steady buzz while we waited for the streets to clear.
After a bit more conversation, I made my way back to the house. After shedding my boots and wet clothes, I turned on the radio to get some news and see what the prognosis was. The word was that there had been 28 inches of snow and the city of Boston was pretty much shut down. Many people were stranded wherever they worked and would be staying there overnight. A state of emergency was declared by the governor, and there was talk of bringing in the National Guard to patrol the streets and keep down looting, etc., and everybody was advised to stay off of the streets except for emergencies.
I put Ted Nugent on the stereo while wondering if my Dad would be stuck someplace. I doubted it. My Dad was one of the all-time great snow drivers. If anybody would NOT be stuck, it would be him. If he had a Volkswagen Beetle at the Arctic Circle and had to be in Anchorage the next day, I wouldn't have bet against him. Downtown Boston to Dorchester, in 28 inches of accumulation? The only way he wasn't going to be home was if the authorities physically wouldn't let him drive.
The house was well-stocked with food and drink. I had plenty of cigarettes. The electricity was on and there were plenty of sitcoms and cartoons to watch. I had no problem with this storm. Other people weren't as lucky. My neighbor, Stephen Murphy, was stranded at his job. He was a shoe salesman. What in the hell did he do to amuse himself in a shoe store for 48 hours? You can try on only so many pairs of stiletto heels before it gets boring.
(It was a woman's shoe store.)
I heard a motor gunning outside. My Dad plowed his way down the street, slowly, fishtailing wildly but determined to get his big boat of a Chrysler into our driveway. After much maneuvering, he got it into position to go straight onto the slight incline by the side of our house. He rocked the car back and forth for about 25 minutes, while I shoveled, and he damned well got the car into the driveway, where it stayed for the duration of the snow emergency. He was one of the few who could have gotten around the city if he needed to, but he wasn't averse to taking a few days off while his bosses were under the impression that he couldn't drive in these conditions. We both settled in for a slothful couple of days.
And that's about it. I told you there was no point to this. After a week or so, the snow melted and everybody went about their business as usual. Some folks weren't as lucky as me, as some 90+ people actually lost their lives due to the blizzard. The total of property damage was somewhere above a billion dollars, I believe. Beyond those grim statistics, though, the Blizzard Of '78 seems to have existed only so that, whenever there's a storm these days, someone old (like me) can say, "Hmmff. You call this snow? Why, I remember...", and then go into the song and dance above while everybody rolls their eyes and tries to think up an excuse for leaving.
And you? You sat through this whole thing voluntarily, even after I told you what was coming. You poor soul.
Soon, with more pointless old-fart rambling.
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Aren't you all just itching to know what that title means? I know I am, but I haven't bathed in four days so that may account for it.
(I think I used that joke a couple of weeks ago, but it's a good one. I'm letting it stay.)
If you want to know the definition, go to The Boston Herald. That's where my latest snazzy column is located. You'll get the meaning of the word AND my thoughts concerning the upcoming big football game!
(You know, the one that uses Roman numerals. Yeah, that one.)
What a bargain! Your vocabulary will increase while you're regaled with my wit (such as it is.)
As always, kind comments and/or letters to the editor are appreciated and will earn you an extra cherry on top of your hot fudge sundae when I throw the party celebrating the winning of my Pulitzer in 2024 or thereabouts.
(A hard copy of today's newspaper with my column in it will be required for admission. Or four bucks. I have no idea how much winning a Pulitzer is worth, so I won't know which it is until I win.)
As always, thank you for your continued patronage. May the fleas of a thousand camels never build a nest in your hoo-hoo.
Soon, with more better stuff.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
... but not for long.
You are cordially invited to go to The Boston Herald and read what I have to say over there.
(Aw, come on! I'd consider it a great favor on your part. The next time you tell me to go someplace, I'll... well, considering where you might tell me to go, I won't promise anything. But I'm not telling you to go someplace nasty; I'm just asking you to go to The Boston Herald and read what I have to say over there.)
As always, your kind comments and/or letters to the editor are sincerely appreciated and will earn you a dish of pistachio ice cream (with jimmies!) when I win my Pulitzer.
So, uh, go to The Boston Herald and read what I have to say over there.
Thanks! Here's my usual illiterate closer...
Soon, with more better stuff.
Friday, January 09, 2015
I recently took an internet quiz that purported to tell me how old I would be when I died. The result? 128.
First, given my personal habits, both past and present, the odds of my living that long are about the same as my becoming Queen of England. Second, and more important, God forbid. As my wife said, taking into account our financial prospects for the next 70 years, “I guess welly cheese must be extremely good for you.”
Getting to the real point here: You may now be searching your memory banks for “welly cheese” (unless you already know what “welly cheese” is, in which case you're laughing at those people who have furrowed brows and questioning looks on their entitled mugs because you grew up having to actually eat the stuff, in which case you might be cursing me for reminding you of your unhappy childhood.) In any case, “welly cheese” was cheap American cheese handed out by the government to poor folk. The certainty that many people under a certain age (and above a certain income bracket) wouldn't have the slightest idea what my wife was talking about got me to wondering what other things we'll probably throw into conversations when we're in our 120's and which the staff at the nursing home won't understand while waiting for us to croak. Here's a short list I came up with...
Wite-Out (and its cousin, Ko-Rec-Type). Speaking of which, typewriters, carbon paper and mimeographs. When we try to explain the joys of sniffing purple ink, they'll sedate us.
Walkie-Talkies. Pay Phones, as well as phone booths, party lines and any reference to 'dialing'. We'll talk about having called a recording of a lady for the correct time and they'll wrap us in wet sheets.
Astroturf, which in a roundabout way brings to mind, “Rut-Roh!” and “Jane! Stop this crazy thing!” When we elucidate further, with “Bang! Zoom!”, “Up your nose with a rubber hose!” and “Aaaaaayyyyyyyyyy!”, we'll become candidates for lobotomies (except nobody will know what those are and we'll quote Latka Gravas from Taxi: “Thank you very much!”)
Record stores, phonographs, jukeboxes, VHS and Beta, which will remind us of 8-tracks, cassette recorders and reel-to-reels. “Catch you on the flip side!”, we'll say with big smiles while they tighten the straps on our straitjackets.
Pay Toilets (I still find it hard to believe there was actually a time when some people charged other people a dime to poop, so I won't blame the staff when they up our meds again.) And when our nurses ask, “What in heck is a five-and-ten?”, we'll tell them - and they'll give us the maximum dosage, to which we'll gratefully say, “Sock it to me!”
I'm sure you can come up with many more stupid things I'll say in the future, but I guess that's enough stupid things for me to say today. In the meantime, since I have no desire to become a superannuated freak, I'm going to double my bad habits and take that test again. Wish me rotsa ruck.
Soon, with more better stuff.
Monday, January 05, 2015
My best friend died Saturday.
I need to clarify. He wasn't my current best friend; that title goes to my wife. He hadn't been my best friend for... a long time. But we grew up together, in the same two-family house in Lower Mills. We went through every grade in school together (with the exception of one year in different junior highs) and graduated in the same class from what was then Boston Tech. Until we were both in our thirties and had been married a few years, we still lived in that same childhood home (our parents long gone from the property, via death and divorce, we had stayed.)
We stopped being what I'd call “best” friends in our early teens. We still spent lots of time together – still friends – but not “best”. In my later teen years, I started to split my time between the old gang and another group from different neighborhoods. I felt more liked in the new group, started to drift from some in the old. Living in the same house kept us in contact for many years, but we grew apart.
In my twenties, I had problems. So did he. Lots of them were similar (family disasters, substances, etc., and I won't go into detail) but we mostly worked them out separately. We didn't talk a lot about them, even though we both knew and we both lived in the same house. We just weren't that sort of close anymore. If push came to shove, I know he would have been there for me and I would have been there for him.
Time passed and we both married. He had two sons, then he and his family moved from our childhood home a few months before my wife and I did the same. That was the last I really saw of him until his older brother's death eight or nine years later.
I went to the wake, we met up again under those bad circumstances, made a promise to get together for dinner someday. The exchanged phone numbers were never called. I think it was just discomfort, a grown unfamiliarity, since – I only know this for sure concerning me, of course – so much had changed and we really weren't keen on reliving the past with anybody, let alone a person who knew so much of it intimately.
And maybe ten years since that wake - Saturday, as I write – word comes from another childhood friend that my old friend is gone.
The easy thing to write would be some platitude about never allowing your friends to get away, to never lose sight of your friendships because friendships are sacred. There's truth in that, and if you can hold onto them you should, of course. But sometimes that doesn't happen and it's not because of an argument or something else big and easily seen. Sometimes life just flows one way for you and another way for someone else. When you were younger and playing baseball and street hockey; riding your bikes and sharing comic books and loving the same TV shows; going to mass and confession together (where you pretty much confessed the same sins); seeing Red Sox games at Fenway with your dads and the Enchanted Village at Christmas with your moms; building a fort in your backyard and hooking school and maybe even running in tandem from the cops once or twice, you never think it will happen. But it does.
More's the pity, of course. True best friends are rare, no matter when or for how long. You were mine when we were kids, Stephen. For that, I'll always love you.
Saturday, January 03, 2015
I'm going to talk sports.
(This means that some of you will immediately seek your pleasure someplace else. I'll help. Go HERE. I promise to NOT talk sports the next time we get together, OK? As for the rest of you, you've been warned.)
Last night, I went to see the Celtics play the Dallas Mavericks, courtesy of Santa Claus (aka MY WIFE). She bought me tickets to that game as a Christmas present. The import of the game came via it being Rajon Rondo's return to The Garden after his trade to Dallas.
[While looking for a good photo of Rondo to put here, I had an epiphany. There are precious few photographs of him that show his best skills. It is nearly impossible to take a photograph of a beautiful pass. This is the closest I found, courtesy Hoops Nation.]
For those of you who don't know my every thought and feeling (why not?) Rajon Rondo is my favorite basketball player. When the Celtics traded him, my heart was broken. I think he's an unique talent, the smartest player in the NBA. And I don't mean just "basketball IQ", as sportswriters usually phrase it; I mean the smartest player, period. I don't have copies of his college transcripts or anything, but everything I've read about him points to it. Math, and particularly geometry, has been mentioned as one of his strengths during his school years. The bounce passes he makes are definitely a by-product of that (all about angles and making them work to his advantage.) He has often been cited by his coaches as having an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Rick Carlisle, his new coach, has said one of the things he's discovered about Rondo, since the trade, is that Rajon can solve any puzzle presented to him (and won't stop trying to figure it out until he does.) The guy is just plain intelligent, and I like intelligent players.
(Just a couple of things the guy has done, on the basketball court, demonstrate that intelligence. He perfected his ability to save a possession for his team, via ricocheting the ball off an opposing player and subsequently out of bounds, early on. And he was the first player to realize that the clock doesn't start until someone touches the ball on an in-bounds pass, so he had his teammates ROLL the ball up the court to him on in-bounds passes so he could decide when to contact the ball, usually when it reached the front court, thus saving four or five seconds of shot clock time. That's a little touch of genius.)
I contend the guy will be a first-ballot hall-of-famer, a sentiment not unanimously endorsed by Celtics fans. I believe some folks just don't understand his game (maybe they don't really understand the game period, but I'll forgo that assessment for now.) He is the basketball equivalent of a quarterback in football. The quarterback's job is not to score. It is his job to facilitate scoring by his teammates. The QB passes and hands off; others do the scoring, for the most part. And that's what Rondo does. He "stands in the pocket", to use a football term, looking for an open receiver. When he finds one, he delivers the ball to him. It's as simple as that, but Rondo does it better than anyone else in the league. And, just as when you show a quarterback an open path to the goal line, Rondo will take the opportunity to make the score himself.
The biggest accolade I can pay him is to note that the bigger the stage, the better he performs. Put the game on national TV, or make it a playoff game, and he rarely disappoints. He relishes the opportunity. That's the surest sign of a truly great player.
OK, so we went to the game and it was the first time in my 50 years of being a Celtics fan that I ever actively rooted against the Celtics. And Rondo delivered. I knew, with certainty, that he'd consider this a big deal and I expected nothing less than a stellar performance. He went out and scored his team's first 10 points (at that time, it was Rondo - 10, Celtics - 7) and he hit a career high of 5 three-point shots. He finished leading the game in scoring (29), added 5 assists and 6 rebounds, played good defense and otherwise did exactly what I expected him to do.
The Garden crowd awarded him three different standing ovations, showing their love for him and his past duty for the home crowd. For his part, he almost smiled (Rondo is the Buster Keaton of professional basketball) and he said all of the right and gracious things in his post-game press conference.
I now have closure on my loss of him from my favorite team. I'll bleed green once again and look to those still with the Celtics to get my basketball jollies. Still, I'll follow Rondo for the rest of his career, no matter where he's playing, because if you have a love you don't stop having it just because the person changes clothes.
So now it's safe for the non-sports folks to come back. I've blown off some steam and will probably not have another sports post at least until the week of the Super Bowl.
Soon, with more better stuff.
Thursday, January 01, 2015
I have to admit something that many might find too curmudgeonly: I think New Years is the stupidest holiday on the calendar.
Wahoo! We're turning the page on the calendar! Let's get drunk!
Every day of the year has a midnight. Why do we make such a big damn deal out of counting down this one of the 365?
OK, if you like to imbibe (and also, perhaps, to enjoy the fruits of others imbibing, such as post-midnight hookups with relative strangers) more power to you. Me? I've always felt as My Dad did. He considered New Years Eve to be amateur night.
Oh, well. I won't go on about the ridiculousness of the thing because without it I wouldn't have had the impetus to write my column in today's Boston Herald (nor is it likely my editor, bless her heart, would have accepted it, so there's that, too.)
You can read it by clicking onto this convenient link!
I hope it provides some value. Meanwhile, I'm going to enjoy some leftover Thai food (from Little Thai Cafe, which I strongly recommend if you're in the Watertown/Belmont area) and then watch Ohio State upset Alabama and Oregon put an end to Florida State's reign as national champion.
(No complaints will be accepted if you believe I'm a prophet and you lose betting on those two outcomes. Anyone who believes I'm a prophet is obviously drunk.)
Thanks for your kind comments and/or letters to the editor. If you have a hangover, may it be memorable in some outstanding way.
Soon, with more better stuff.