June 13th, 2006

Tom Lehrer is Smug


Some underworld spy
Your scarf, it was apricot
Clouds in my coffee
I started something new yesterday. When I get stuck on the T, I do not panic! Instead, I write haiku and text them to unsuspecting people. YOU COULD BE NEXT

edit: rather, you MIGHT COULD be next if I had remembered to charge my phone last night. Oh well I shall KEEP THEM ALL IN MY HEAD FOR NOW, IN ALL CAPS
Make Mine Moxie

then pray for rain

The Metro today had an article on the Red Sox pitching woes. The headline was "Schilling, Then Wakefield, Then Two Days Of Rain" and I immediately thought oh, this must've been ganked from an AP feed or something because I refuse to believe there's someone on the Metro staff canny enough to recognize and use an old Bostonian chestnut such as that.

The familiar old mantra (admittedly known and chanted outside of Boston) is "Spahn, then Sain, then pray for rain" and dates back to 1948. That's the year that the Boston Braves won the NL pennant, partly on the strength of their two star pitchers, Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain. The rest of the pitching staff was pretty weak, however, and the following poem was written by Gerald Hern in the Boston Post, illustrating the best way to get the most out of the Braves' pitching rotation:
First we'll use Spahn
then we'll use Sain
Then an off day
followed by rain
Back will come Spahn
followed by Sain
And followed
we hope
by two days of rain.
Given that the Red Sox currently have several floundering starters, it seems only appropriate to hope that the team's good pitchers should get to do their thing, while the chokey choking likes of Clement and Beckett get rained out.

Tune in next week, when I explain how the most famous reference to a double play, "Tinker to Evers to Chance," was coined by Algonquin Round Table regular Franklin P. Adams. No foolin.

spiders I have known

I've been spending the last few minutes looking up spiders online to try and identify the little critter I saw in the bathtub this morning. It was the size of a dime, legspan included, and admittedly spidies of that size aren't unusual around here and pretty harmless. However, this critter also had the interesting distinction of being bright red. At least, it looked quite red against the pink bathtub. (The spider also went down the draaaaaaaaain when the shower was turned on, and may angels sing it to its rest. I'd have happily captured it and let it loose somewhere else, but hey, I was about to step into the shower, and naked spider chasing just ain't in my job description.)

I'm reasonably sure I just ran into a domestic house spider, judging from the size and shape, but none of the identification guides online say anything about it showing up nice and red. Actually, the identification guides I found really didn't help much. I couldn't bring up the neat one I found a year or so ago when I needed to ID the beautiful and humongous green-and-yellow web weaver underneath my old place on Summer Street.

I did, however, find a truly gruesomely creepy spider identification chart which features all of Australia's notorious arachnids, including the Funnel-Web and everybody's favorite, the Huntsman. I don't recommend clicking on that link if you've any aversion to spiders or any aversion to anything whatsoever, because not only does the page feature larger-than-life bulbous and leggy representations of the critters, but in a brilliantly sadistic artistic decision, the spider drawings will periodically wriggle from side to side. OH HOLY NIGHT TELL ME THAT ONE DIDN'T JUST MOVE.

This spider comes hot on the eight heels of the larger quarter-sized fellow who ran up my computer monitor late Saturday night (at least, I think it was Saturday.) After reassuring myself that no, it probably wasn't a brown recluse, and it didn't have the mandibles of the hobo spider, and we don't get the huntsman spider in this hemisphere, I was able to continue my computer game playing. I did have to stop playing Half-Life 2 at that point, because I was up to the part where all those ant lion bastards come out of the sand and skrabble towards you and you don't have the bug pheromones yet to tame 'em so you end up embroiled in a huge load of carapace-bustin' action. I get skittish enough when I play HL2 and Abbie brushes up against my legs, so that was right out.

I like most spiders if they're hanging out someplace where I can see them and not feel like they're gonna say hello by crawling up my leg or biting my face. Lurking spiders and ones that are hurty when they bite, however, are right out.