Sunday Morning Thoughts

The Bruins won game one of their second round series last night. The Maple Leafs lost game six of their first round series last night. A Bruins win and a Leaf’s first round lost sounds about normal to me.

What else is going on? It’s a dad weekend for the kids but they are coming over for lunch to celebrate our Anniversary. Jen and I just came back from the bakery. There will be cake. Oh, such cake.

I need to shave, but the Bruins are in the playoffs. Oh, what to do.

I don’t know what brought it on, but a couple of weeks ago I had the urge to watch a little Mystery Science Theater 3000. I joined a Facebook fan group too. I knew that Netflix had dropped the current incarnation of the show, but I did not know that on the day I joined that BookFayce group they were kicking off a Kick Starter (hehe pun) campaign to fan fund a new season. They hit their goal on the first day. How cool is that? It made me want to watch the show even more.

Last night I went looking around to see which streaming services had episodes. Netflix used to, but now they only have the Netflix version of the show. Hulu had the movie. HBO had nuttin’, but that was expected. Amazon Prime Video had a bunch but I was signed in as me and our Prime account is Jen’s. I tried to log in as her but got prompted for two factor authentication and just gave up.

Last night, just before bed, as the Bruins game was wrapping up, someone posted a list of free streaming services that had episodes. What the hell, let’s check one out. I downloaded the Pluto TV app on my iPhone. Not only do they have episodes, but they have a continuous channel that only runs MST3K episodes. Jackpot! WOOHOO! Turns out they have a channel for RiffTrax episodes too! (RiffTrax is made up of former MST3K writers and they riff on movies in the same way. It’s basically MST3K without the cut scenes… or maybe they have cut scenes too… I can’t remember. I’ve only seen a couple of episodes) Safe to say I am going to be using the Pluto TV app pretty frequently for a while.

Nana sitting over night tonight into tomorrow. Packing up the cars and having a little Memorial Day cookout after I get home tomorrow. Driving to Vermont and helping Bellana move in on Tuesday. It’s gonna be a busy couple of days and that doesn’t even include the Bruins tomorrow night and oodles of MST3K.

Addendum: I edited the post. I originally said that Pluto TV had a Cinematic Titanic channel. It doesn’t. It’s RiffTrax. I fixed it. Also, they have a desktop app for Mac too!

NHL STanley Cup Playoffs Predictions – Round Two

Dude, you literally just said you weren’t going to do a predictions post until the Canadian Division’s first round was over, Yeah, well I say a lot of things that don’t come true, don’t I.

I will add an addendum to this after the Maple Leafs beat the Canadiens, because we all know that the Maple Leafs are going to beat the Canadiens. I will review all of my picks, and my coin flip picks, as they stand now and when the Canadiens are eliminated (likely sometime tonight) I’ll finalize everything. The second round is going to start tonight though so I should do something before then and this is it.

Let’s review 7/8ths of the first round and see how I did. Also, remember that in all but the East Division I made my pick and flipped a coin, so let’s also see how the coin is doing.

First, the East Division.

The Penguins and the Islanders. I picked the Penguins because I hate New York and the Penguins lost because I hate the Penguins and apparently they hate me right back. The Islanders won and I am officially 0-1.

The Capitals and the Bruins. I picked the Bruins but I thought it would be a tough series. It started out pretty tough with overtime in the first three games, but now that it’s over we have to ask ourselves if the Capitals ever really had a chance. I picked the Mighty Mighty Bruins and the Mighty Mighty Bruins won! WOOHOO! I am now 1-1.

Next up is the North Division.

The Maple Leafs vs the Canadiens. Winner still TBD, and by TBD I mean the Leafs are likely going to murderize the Habs in game six tonight. Until they make it official, I am still 1-1 and the coin flip is nil-nil.

The Oilers and the Jets. You know, dumbass, you literally said you wanted to pick the upset on this series but nooooo, you went and picked the higher seed. The stupid coin flip picked the same and we both look stupid, We picked the Oilers and the Jets won in a four game sweep. Smooth move, ex-lax. I am now 1-2 and the coin flip is 0-1.

On to the West division. Have you noticed that I forgot to do the Central? I sure did. Looking at my previous post I went and scrolled right over them to get to Canada. I’ll double back in a minute.

The Avalanche vs The Blues. I picked the Avs. The coin picked the Blues. One of us was right and one of us was wrong. The Avalanche won in a four game sweep. I picked the Avalanche. The coin picked the Blues. I was right. It was wrong. Suck it, Blues and suck it, coin. I am now 2-2 and the coin is a pathetic 0-2.

The Golden Knights vs The Wild. This series has the honor of being the first hockey I watched this season that didn’t have the Bruins on the ice, and that was last night. I picked Vegas and Vegas won and I was right. The coin picked the Wild and the Wild lost and the coin was wrong. I am now 3-2 and the coin is a shameful 0-3.

Oh hey look, it’s the Central Division. Remember them?

The Hurricanes and the Predators. The coin and I both picked the Whale and we were both correct because the Whale won it in six games. I am now 4-2 and the coin is on the board at last at 1-3.

The Panthers and the Lightning. I went with the upset and picked the Lightning. The coin did as well, though I don’t think its choice was based on the same logic. I think its choice was based on randomness or some shit. The Lightning won, regardless of the reason. I am now 5-2 and the coin is 2-3.

So I had a pretty good first round. If the Leafs win I go 6-2. If they lose I’m still a decent 5-3. I can live with that. I usually have really bad luck in the second round though, so all the more reason for the Leafs to win. If the Leafs win the coin will be an even 3-3 which is exactly how this is supposed to go, right?

Now for the second round… well, 3/4 of the second round at least.

As always, we start with the East Division…

No. 3 Boston Bruins vs No. 4 New York Islanders: Can you guess who I’m picking? Go on, guess. Let me give you a hint. I hate everything about all New York sports teams. You still can’t guess? Okay, another hint. I live in Boston and once held partial season tickets to the Bruins and I am currently wearing a Boston Bruins t-shirt and if you cut me I would literally bleed black and gold. Still can’t guess? Are you serious? Okay, I’ll make my pick. The Bruins will win. Hopefully quickly and easily, but more likely it’ll be six or seven games. The Islanders scare me, and not just because they are from the effin’ New York.

In the Central, because I didn’t forget all about them this time…

No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes vs No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning: I’m not sure who to pick here. Do I go with the higher seed or the team that was unstoppable last year? I don’t know. Okay, I am going to pick the Lightning even though the idea of the Bruins facing them in round three yet again is kinda horrifying. No, I’m sticking to my gut and picking the Lightning to win. How about the coin flip? Heads for higher seed, tales for lower. The coin picks the Lightning too.

Go West, young man…

No 1. Colorado Avalanche vs No 2. Vegas Golden Knights: I want to say that this is a tough choice, and I guess on some level it is… but I’m pretty sure Colorado is going to win the Cup this year, so I am picking the Avs to win. Does our friend the coin flip agree? No. It disagrees. The coin picks Vegas and watch that son of a bitch be right. Stupid coin.

And finally the North division which isn’t even set yet…

Somebody vs No. 3 Winnipeg Jets: How about I make two picks for this round. One if the Leafs win and won if the Canadiens win. That sounds good. Then I don’t have to worry about the backlash when I pick later. Okay. I don’t think there is any doubt that the Maple Leafs are the team to beat in Canada. If the Maple Leafs advance to the second round they will win. If Montreal advances, Winnipeg will spank their asses the way Toronto should have, and the Jets will win. For Mr Coin Flip, if the Leafs advance they are the higher seed so heads is the Leafs. In that case the coin picks the Leafs. If Montreal wins they are the lower seed so the Jets would be heads. Should I do a separate flip or use the first flip? Screw it, I’ll use a separate flip. It’s my friggin’ blog post, I can make any stupid rules I want. It’s tails, so if the Canadiens advance, the Canadiens will win.

So there you have it. I technically don’t need to add an addendum after the Maple Leafs dismember the Canadiens tonight (or in game seven, if needed, but most likely tonight), but I probably will anyway.

The second round starts tonight with the Islanders at the Bruins at 8:00pm. Go Bruins! Stanley Cup or bust!

Downtown Boston

There are a couple of new high rises downtown. I officially declare the Verizon building fugly.

I took that while stuck in Storrow Drive traffic even though we were like a mile away from Storrow Drive. I also took this…

NHL Stanley Cup Quarterfinals Predictions – Round One

Here’s the thing about the NHL this season. I didn’t watch a single game outside of the East Division. There are 12 teams in the playoffs this year that I know literally nothing about. Here’s how I am going to handle it, predictions wise. For the East it is business as usual. For the other three divisions, I am going to make a gut feeling pick based mostly on the standings, but I am also going to make a coin flip pick. After the first round is over, I’ll compare the two and see how it went.

First, though, the East Division…

No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs No. 4 New York Islanders: The Islanders have two strikes against them and the Penguins only have one. The Islanders are from New York (BOO!) and I have no faith in them at all. Two strikes. The Penguins’ only strike is that they are the friggin’ Penguins and I really hate the friggin’ Penguins. Still, I gotta pick them for this round. Pittsburgh will win.

No. 2 Washington Capitals vs No. 3 Boston Bruins: So there I was, at the trade deadline thinking, Taylor Hall? Really? He’s not going to put us over the top. He’s no winner. Well… I might have to stand here corrected. I am standing here beside myself corrected. I hope. My heroic, triumphant Boston Bruins have had a few clunkers of late, but I see them steam rolling the Caps in the first round. Please please please please please don’t make me eat those word too. Boston will win.

Next, the Central Division…

No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes vs No. 4 Nashville Predators: Not much doubt about this one, even without knowing anything about the two teams. I say Carolina wins this one. The coin flip (heads for the higher seed) says Carolina wins too.

No. 2 Florida Panthers vs No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning: I’m picking the upset here. Probably because I am still thinking of the Lightning in terms of last season. I say Tampa Bay wins. The coin flip also says Tampa Bay wins. Weird.

On to the North Division…

No. 1 Toronto Maple Leafs vs No. 4 Montreal Canadiens: I hate the Montreal Canadiens with every fiber of my being. I hate them I hate them I hate them. Also, Toronto doesn’t have to play Boston in the first round so they won’t automatically lose again. I say Toronto wins, and probably wins the next round too. The coin flip says Toronto wins too. Is the coin like, reading my mind? Spooky.

No. 2 Edmonton Oilers vs. No. 3 Winnipeg Jets: I could maybe try a spoiler here too but I won’t. I say Edmonton wins (and probably pretty easily too). The coin says Edmonton wins too. Okay, this is starting to creep me out now.

Finally, the West Division where I will once again just pick the higher seed.

No. 1 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 4 St. Louis Blues: Hey St. Louis, I got your Stanley Cup right here! (imagine me making a very rude hand gesture) You buncha jerkies. I’m not picking the Blues because I’m still pissed off about the last time. Also because I have a sneaking suspicion that the Avs are going to have a parade this year. They might get to do some on ice celebrating, possibly in Toronto. Hashtag foreshadowing. I say Colorado wins. The coin says St. Louis wins because the coin is an asshole. At least we finally have one where we didn’t pick the same team. Hey coin, I got your randomness right here! (imagine me making a very rude hand gesture)

No. 2 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 3 Minnesota Wild: Did you know that Minneapolis, MN is the only city outside of Boston, MA where I’ve attended an NHL game? Think that will lead me to pick them to win this series? Think again. I say Vegas wins. The coin, however, says that Minnesota wins. We shall see, Mr. Coin… we shall see.

There you have it, my first round playoff predictions for this the second 2021 playoff season which is also the second Covid-19 playoff season.

Go Bruins.

Way Too Close to Home

Yesterday I wrote about how I watched the first episode of The Handmaid’s Tale and how the dystopian future of a religious police state felt a little too close to home in today’s socio-political climate?

I just watched the second episode.

The show takes place in Boston.

My home town.

Now it’s politically too close to home and LITERALLY TOO CLOSE TO HOME.

Holy shit snacks.

Boston’s First Full ICU

When my step son’s diabetes first tore into him he was taken to the intensive care unit at Boston Medical Center.  They were in the news yesterday.  It looks like it was the first time COVID-19 maxed the capacity of an ICU in Boston, and it was that same Boston Medical Center ICU that did so much to save Harry’s life that night.

Read this article from WBUR’s website, written by Carey Goldberg, Martha Bebinger, and Elisabeth Harrison…

In what appears to be the first time a Boston ICU has reached capacity in the coronavirus pandemic, Boston Medical Center was treating so many patients who needed intensive care on Sunday that it had to stop accepting new patients into the ICU during the overnight hours, the hospital says.

The worrisome milestone comes at a time when state, federal and local officials are warning that the viral outbreak may be entering a surge period in Massachusetts and other states.

BMC says that overnight Sunday, ambulances brought patients to other hospitals instead. By Monday, the hospital says, it was able to begin accepting ICU patients again.

Boston health officials say this is the first known case of a Boston hospital reaching ICU capacity during the current COVID-19 crisis.

According to numbers reported Monday by the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, Boston Medical Center has 140 COVID-19 patients with 39 in the ICU. On Sunday, the group says the hospital had 147 COVID-19 patients with 42 in the ICU.


More Repercussions

Yesterday I mentioned that the city of Boston cancelled their St Patrick’s Day parade because of COVID-19.  Today I heard of another repercussion, Harvard has asked students not to come back from Spring Break.  They will hold classes online post-break.  Apparently Amherst College made the same call yesterday.

Still no word on whether or not Vermont is going to do anything similar.  Bellana is home for spring break right now.  She took her laptop home with her just in case.  The numbers are low in Massachusetts, and as of yesterday they were lower in Vermont.  Still, they have students scattered to the winds right now and they are all supposed to come back next week.  It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the number of cases will spike after that.

There is still nothing that directly affects me or my family, other than Jen getting some telecommute time.  I’m sitting at my desk in Waltham, and in about 20 minutes I am going to head over to another one of our buildings in another town.  No problems.  Tomorrow I will be in two of our buildings too.  Again, no problems.

I heard a few personal stories on Facebook today.  Nothing from anywhere near New England though.  I belong to a bunch of guitar related Facebook groups and one has a thread where people are reporting having gigs cancelled.  Most of us in the group are like me, weekend warriors.  If I play three gigs in a year I consider it a big year.  A lot of people are hearing from bars where they have gigs booked over the next few months and being told not to show up.  It’s understandable.  Yes it’s annoying and yes it might be an overreaction, but it’s also the safe and smart move.  I did hear from one guy though who is a professional and has just had a five date UK tour cancelled.  Ouch.  That’s a lot of paychecks to miss in a short stretch of time.  He says he’ll have to make sacrifices, but his family should be okay.

Am I worried?  Nope.  Not at all.  Just paying attention.  Keeping an eye open and an ear to the ground.  It’s going to directly affect us one of these days, probably sooner rather than later.  We’ll be ready and we’ll deal with it and we’ll be fine.  No problems.

On the upside, traffic has been ridiculously light during my commutes.  It’s not as light as Christmas Eve, but it’s in the ball park.  It’s like the song said, you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both, and there you have the facts of life.  I have no idea how that applies in this case, but I’m 100% sure you sang along in your head while you were reading.

COVID-19 Counts Update

The MA Department of Health updated their counts of COVID-19 cases in the state.  We went from 28 yesterday (one confirmed and 27 presumptive) to 41 (one confirmed and 40 presumptive).

The quarantine count stayed the same.

Boston cancelled the St Patrick’s Day parade today.  My company suspended travel outside of the US.  Jen’s company is testing work from home options.  Every day it gets closer and closer to affecting my day to day.

I’ll update again tomorrow after 4:00 PM.