Friday, January 16, 2009


Pretty simple post here. I'm going to list some temperatures from other parts of the country that I've heard on the news or through family and friends. Then I'll give the forecast for where I am
  • I read that today in Maine it was -50 degrees
  • My brother says tonight it is 2 degrees in Charlottesville, VA
  • My best friend Alex, in State College, PA, says it's 0 degrees
  • In the teens in Atlanta
So here is my forecast...

FYI, I know the layout and the colors of the blog look bad, I'll fix it this weekend.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Song for 2008

I was just trying to come up with a playlist for New Years Day 2008 and thought I'd tell you about one here.

The song is the jazz standard, What's New. You can read more about the history of the chart here. In short, it was written by a bassist Bob Haggarty who included a solo for himself. My library contains three recordings of this chart.

My favorite would have to be by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers with Doug Watkins playing bass. This can be found on the CD reissue of At The Cafe Bohemia, Vol. 1 (It is a bonus track that did not appear on the original LP). First of all, it's not often you hear bass solos. Secondly, even rarer is a bass feature heard His playing is very smooth and lyrical for plucked bass and it is backed by wonderful comping from pianist Horace Silver, who does just enough to let you know he's there, but nothing to overwhelm the soloist.

An honorable mention, goes to my favorite trumpet player, Clifford Brown. His recording can be found on the With Strings album, which I always hesitated to buy/listen to because I thought it wouldn't be my cup of tea. But with Brown's warm sound and relaxed energy, you can never go wrong.

On a side note, when looking for songs for this new years playlist, I searched my library for "change," since it looks like that will be this year's theme. Oddly enough, only a few results popped up. You can bet there will probably be a lot of songs about change this year. Hopefully there will be some on the jazz size and not just pop music.

New Years

I am not one for New Years resolutions. I could never think of anything I would actually try to resolve to do and if I did I would never follow through anyway. Also, why do you have to wait every 365 days to make silly resolutions? I can come up with something each day that I want to do but never will. Well, I'm giving it a shot this year. It's pretty simple what I resolve to do, 100 posts on this blog for 2009 and also another 100 posts on my Dolphins blog. That's about two posts per week, per blog, and it's a nice round number to shoot for. We'll see how it goes.

One thing that I miss about New Years during my childhood and adolescence was that all of the important college football Bowl Games were on this day. It used to be there would be maybe 10-12 games on today and you can flip between each one and enjoy the best college football all day, and by the end of the day you would know who the national champion(s) are. College football season was over and it would be time to focus on the NFL playoffs. Well now, most of the BCS games are on the days following January 1st and the National Championship Game is usually a full week later. After that happened, some other small bowl games moved their games to after the new year. It's stupid and I don't like that. There are actually more games after new years day then on it. Right now Iowa is crushing South Carolina in the Outback Bowl and I have nothing else to watch. Lame.

Update: I just realized after publishing this that I need to redesign the blogger template some, it could look better. Leave any ideas in the comments and I will resolve to make the page look better.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

Presents are great, because it's like this tangible thing that you can point to and say, "Hey man, I love you, this many dollars worth" - Michael Scott, The Office

I don't exactly agree with Michael, but that's funny. Presents are more about the thought and just how simply awesome they are.

My brother got me the much anticipated "The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac" book from the Free Darko guys. It is awesome. The illustrations alone are enough to warrant getting it. It could function solely as a coffee table book just fine, but it's immensely more than that. The insights and perspectives on individual players and their styles is brilliant, and I'm only maybe 1/8th through it.
FreeDarko presents The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac: Styles, Stats, and Stars in Today's Game

One of my gifts really made me feel like a kid again because it was a big box that was wrapped. When I picked it up I just felt like I was four years old or so because of the ratio of size of box to size of me. When I unwrapped it, I discovered this

It's a 19-inch widescreen LCD computer monitor. I've been wanting a new monitor for a while because mine was old and huge (yes, I had a big projection monitor rather than a flatscreen). The funny part about this is that this was basically stored under my desk at work for at least 2-3 weeks without me ever realizing it. I knew it was under the desk, I saw it, but I never put the pieces together and thought it could be for me. I thought our company was just storing a couple monitors there. Well, my mother, with the help of our IT guys, found a great deal for these (my brother received one too) and there they were. The thing kicks ass by the way. I didn't fully appreciate the fact that I needed a new one, until I got one. This is a massive improvement.

The best set of gifts had to be the beers and beer glasses. My dad, through the help of my brother got me the Duvel gift set, consisting of the four small Duvel bottles and the elegant tulip glass, and also the bottle of Brother Thelonious. My brother and his girlfriend Laura got me the two nice Chimay glasses. It doesn't get much better than Belgian beer served properly. The previous night with Christmas Eve dinner I had a bottle of Delirium Nocturnum

Ted's Beers by you.
Delirium by you.
Ted & Beer by you.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The World's Largest Pipe Organ

My brother and I have often talked about the new Marlins baseball stadium (if it ever gets built) and what unique attraction it should have. Every new baseball stadium these days has something that has never seen before. Camden Yards in Baltimore was the first new park to be modeled more retro style rather than modern or simple. Minute Maid Park in Houston built a hill in centerfield between the warning track and the wall and the flag pole is also on the hill. (side note: I just realized how bizarre that would have been when whoever thought of that had to suggest it to the higher-ups). It also has a train track beyond the left field seats. Speaking of left field seats, in Milwaukee, there is a long spiral slide that the mascot slides down after every Brewer home run.

Anyway, our idea for the Marlins park is to build the world's largest pipe organ right beyond the center field fence for the stadium organist. The stadium organist is becoming a lost art these days when batters and pitchers have cued entrance music (which usually sucks) and other football style stadium anthems are played during breaks in action. It's a travesty. There is nothing better at a ballgame than seeing the opposing pitcher go to a 3-0 count and hearing the organ player start the slow chromatic theme before the familiar "Charge!" I know, logistics would be an issue. This idea is only 50% sincere, but it would be amazing.

So last night when I'm checking my latest YouTube subcriptions, what is the first video listed? "The World's Biggest Pipe Organ" from CBS. I chuckled and immediately hit play. Basicallly there is a Macy's in Philadelphia where the organ was built into the building when it was built (redundant?). Take a look...

It's pretty cool actually, and I'm sure the video doesn't do justice to what it's like to hear a massive pipe organ like that. It rumbles your insides. It's awesome. I don't think the Marlins are on the same wavelength as my brother and I but at least now I know where to go if I did want to hear the biggest pipe organ in the world. Do you think that virtuoso can play me some "Take Me Out to the Ballgame?"

Update: Here is another they video they posted...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bad Footballers

I always find it rather amusing when superstar athletes make bad plays or have a poor showing. The majority of the time I notice this when watching golf. Every once in a while, someone will hit a horrible shot, and I'll think to myself, "Wow, that looks like when David (my brother) and I played"

Well the feeling of schadenfreude was in full effect for this week's UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg matches. On Tuesday, Liverpool were hosting Chelsea and took a 1-0 lead late in the first half. In the second half Chelsea searched for an equalizer but could never find one, that is until the fifth minute of added time (think bottom of the ninth, two outs, two strikes) when Salomon Kalou crossed the ball in front of goal and John Arne Riise got low, met the ball, and magnificently headed it into the goal. The problem, Riise plays for Liverpool. His fantastic strike was delivered past his goalkeeper and into his net, giving Chelsea the tying goal (and it's an away goal, which will affect the tiebreaker if the aggregate is tied after the second leg). You can get killed in South America for doing something like that. Luckily he lives in Europe, and he does have the second leg next week to redeem himself.

Finishing a close second for embarrassment of the week was Cristiano Ronaldo. He and Manchester United were in Barcelona for their semifinal first leg. Before I say what happened, know that Ronaldo is one of the top three players in the world right now, and without question the player of this season. He has scored 37 goals in all competitions (think 40+ TD passes) and just about everything he has kicked or headed as wound up in the net. Well in the third minute of Wednesday's match, United were awarded a penalty kick. These are made about 90% of the time because keepers really stand no chance of stopping a shot from 12 yards. They must guess a direction, dive that way, hope the ball is kicked that way, and still be able to catch it or palm it away. As the kick taker, you just need to kick the ball on target with any sort of power and accuracy and hope its not one of the 10% that are amazingly saved by the keeper. Well, Ronaldo forgot about that whole on target part, as his kick grazed the outside of the post and was no good. Did I mention there were more than 90,000 fans of Barcelona cheering as if they won the competition after he missed it? Brilliant.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Hello. I am Ted. This is my blog. If you are reading this, then you probably know who I am already so I won't bother going through a life story. If you don't know me and were looking to read a post about my life story, I'm sorry.

Topics that I may discuss here on the blog will generally fall into one of the following categories.
  • Things I Like: I will probably do a segment entitled, "Ted is Grateful For ____." Clever, I know, because of the name of this blog. By the way, I can't take full credit for the name. It was actually suggested to me by a friend who thought I should have a one man band, and call myself "The Grateful Ted."
  • Things I Don't Like: I don't know if these posts will have a clever title, but they will be informative none the less. Most likely I will rant about my pet peeves, which everyone loves to hear about.
  • Random Thoughts: There may be a lot of these.
I will begin regular posting tomorrow. Enjoy.