Thursday, January 31, 2008

Boston vs. Philadelphia 2008 Round 4: We got WING BOWL, Boston's got .... beans.

Warning, nudity, debauchery, and vomiting below:

FRIDAY. WIP's Wing Bowl 16 goes down with door's opening at 5 a.m. It may look like bedlam in the vid, but there are rules, for spectators and participants. Most of you reading probably slept through all this. Fortunately for those of us who missed out, covered the qualifying stunts and will be keeping some feeds from the frenzy.

Really, what's Boston got on this? A hockey tourney called the Beanpot, that finks out on incorporating actual baked beans into the event? The Scooperbowl? Please. It's childsplay, a noncompetitive event. No way peace love and ice cream is going to beat out strippers, early a.m. beer chuggin, and extreme competition eating. Sorry. Boston gets hosed here. In Philly, we can do all this and still make it to work by 9 or catch our Friday a.m. classes. Wait, uhhh, yeah, we'll be in, just a couple of minutes late. Really.

John Edwards speech

John Edwards' bowing out speech in New Orleans from yesterday. It's worth watching.

Real Estate Denial in Boston

With some moderation in the decline of the Case-Shiller housing index, a discussion was started on the real estate blog on

One commenter in particular is quite amusingly unaware of how the housing market works:

#9: I've been trying to sell my home for some time - and have also drastically dropped the asking multiple times, I can tell you that I'm done reducing the price. I literally can't afford to drop it anymore. Therefore, I'll just sit on my property and ride this out. Why should I continue to drop my asking price, only to have potential buyers come in, lowball me even further (who's being greedy then?), only to find out later that they can't even qualify for the loan! Anecdotally, I'm starting to hear many fellow sellers out there say the same thing. I don't think I'm being "greedy" for trying to sell my home for the assessed value (in my case, CONSIDERABLY less than the assessed value) - I'm just trying to get by, same as everyone else. Once the rest of the sellers out there get fed up with this situation - and see that houses aren't selling even when they make large price reductions - they're also going to stop dropping their prices. Then this market will finally bottom out. Posted by jack January 30, 08 10:27 AM

Well Jack, that's not the way it works. Home prices remain ~30% above the historical norm, and lenders, having stopped smoking the crack pipe of cheap credit, are returning in a big way to historical lending standards. Actually, they're being really tight with mortgage approvals - a mortgage broker told me recently that if your score is under 650 good luck finding a decent rate if you can get a mortgage at all. Traditional loans means that buyers won't be able to pay for houses that cost them 50%+ of their gross income...which means that sellers will inevitable come down to earth, screaming and kicking about their lost bubble equity. Boo-hoo. My heart bleeds for them.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

On the bowing out bandwagon...

Joe had a point, Rudy G's message was just a bit too limited. Former Hizzoner should have rolled with this:

Well Rudy backers, you all knew when you look at the man through clear lenses, you knew backing him was completely insane. You still can maintain the madness though. Bostodelphia advice: stick with the GOP's race's one true wild man.

Edwards Bows Out

NYTimes is reporting Edwards will formally withdraw from the Democratic primary race today at a 1 p.m. EST speech in New Orleans. The setting is (still) a fitting location to remind voters and the remaining candidates what and who he's been fighting for.

Bostodelphia needs to discuss whether we maintain our common endorsement of Edwards through Super Tuesday, or shift to a different candidate. We'll let you know our decisions shortly.

For what it's worth, for those of you on the other side of the aisle, despite a 3.2% showing in the Florida primary, this guy apparently ain't going anywhere. So, for the repubs out there, keep with Paul. He makes this election coverage fun, and on our side of the race things have got a little bit less fun.

For what it's worth, Edwards pulled in 4X as many Dem votes as Paul did Republican votes.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bostodelphia Super Tuesday Republican Primaries Endorsement: Ron Paul

How can we not love this guy? He characterizes those who oppose his movement as "Tolkien's Orcs." Where's all the money going? Who knows? But he's just now able to add his political friends to paid staff positions. People are not just giving up mad props, they're putting blimps up there for him!

Full disclosure, since our tangle with the Ron Paul movement over matters of basic media literacy, we've actually had more to say about Ron Paul's campaign than either Coddy or I have had time to really broach. That Orc thing, for instance. Please, those of you not putting a word into the good fight of the Democratic primary, we beg you. Drop your ballot for Ron Paul. The longer he stays in this thing, the longer we'll have a ready topic to blog about for you, dear readers. This is about more than Ron Paul. This is about you. And us. Specifically us having something for you to read.

Bostodelphia Super Tuesday Democratic Primaries Endorsement: John Edwards
As Super Tuesday approaches, Bostodelphia is sticking with our New Hampshire decision to back John Edwards.

Perhaps prior to the big primary shakedown, Cod Peace may step out to give a fuller explanation of our Edwards support. For now, in a nutshell we find Edwards the most progressive candidate.

Edwards is the most consistent among his competition in recognizing the need for economic justice/fairness as the most pressing issue facing a broad majority of Americans. While Senator Clinton touts her experience as most suited to running the ship as currently engineered, and Senator Obama strives to motivate Americans past the divisions that have plagued the country as far back as the 60s, we commend Edwards for recognizing that the present tax and economic regulatory system designed to maintain and further the wealth of America's richest exists at the expense of the country's middle and working class.

Bostodelphia 21 Gun Salute to the Firearms of 2007 Roundup

21 guns, in, um, more than 21 days as was promised back in December. Question: why did Cheesesteak start this series? Answer: guns are an integral part of American society, and their portrayal in the media is at time hysterical, worshipful, confused, and occasionally spot-on. Guns are of course one of the few legal consumer products whose proper use results in violence, with occasional mayhem, death, and destruction for good measure. By focusing on this selection of 21 guns in the media eye over 2007 Bostodelphia attempted to illuminate the media coverage and the consequences of a high rate of gun ownership by a populace that's very enthusiastic about their uses, whether those uses are as exercises of a Constitutional right or as tools of law enforcement and foreign policy.

Ok, yeah, there were a few cop-outs along the way (I take the blame for the M3, I was out of ideas that day). There's also the fact that a real 21 gun salute is 7 guns, fired 3 times, as I should have known right off the bat having played Taps at many Memorial Day services in my teens. Will this be repeated next year? Well, I suspect a 21 Cheese Salute of 2008 will be in the works. Check back in 11 months and find out.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Building that Steampunk Pressure

We're still building up to our aforementioned "Steampunk Mania." We had planned on rolling it out this week; but really, when has Bostodelphia delivered anything to you on time?

Seriously, it turns out the old fashioned series of pneumatic message tubes we're using for our interview with Steampunkmeister Jake von Slatt has required some serious pipe laying between Philly and metro Boston. Besides that, this is our first interview with a real live adopted persona, so the seat of our pants nature of Bostodelphia has left us with a bit of a learning curve to hump over regarding conducting interviews from our respective remote locations. Hang on, it'll be a blast, in a anachronistically mechanical quaint-chic way.

For the time being, here's a link to my favorite manga-tinged Steampunk genre webcomic, Girl Genius.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sci Fi Gives A Quantum more of Quantum of Solace Coverage

So a few days back I bemoaned's reveal of the title for the new Bond film under production, Quantum of Solace. While the Fleming-erudite knew that the title is indeed taken from the print fiction Bond catalog, to the casual fan it sounded a bit off. Sure SciFi warrants some kudos for breaking the story to the fan community, but I can't help a lot of us would have appreciated a bit more elucidation on the title's origins (something you'd expect SciFi to be able to cover better than the initial AP source).

In a correspondence the next morning with, a good editor there pointed out to me that, while they haven't offered much explanation of the title's significance in Fleming's Bond output, they had shortly after my post posted video highlights of the title reveal's press conference. While not exactly the content I sought, I think it's a pretty classy act to point out follow up content that may have escaped my notice. Thanks,

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ultimate Sandbag: The power snatch

I've been working on the power snatch with my 80 lb. Ultimate Sandbag. A squat snatch is ill-advised, since with a barbell and a very wide grip the squat snatch requires a high degree of shoulder, back, and hip flexibility. The much narrower grip on the sandbag demands way more flexibility in a squat snatch than I (and I imagine most) can muster.

Here's what I do: grasp the seams at the ends of the bags (so your grip is parallel to your feet, 90 degrees to the barbell snatch grasp). Then, power snatch. Catching the bag is most of the trouble, and I try to "flip" the bag on top of my hands, sort of similar to the flip in a kettlebell snatch. I've had 3 outcomes:

  1. The bag ends up hanging from your grasp since I didn't flip it hard enough. This is ok, it's an extra load on the grip which is good if you're working that.
  2. I time the flip just right and catch the weight on top of my hands, easily supporting the weight. This is usually what I go for.
  3. I overshoot the flip, the bag ends up in a controlled fall onto the back of my shoulders. Another option would be to bail, drop the bag, and step aside. However, nearby co-workers in their office would not appreciate my dropping an 80 lb. bag from, oh, 7 feet in the air onto the metal ramp on the loading dock where I workout. So I catch it, and make myself feel better by doing a squat.

It's a fun exercise. It's a little too technical to drive to very high reps like the kettlebell snatch, but it can certainly be worked longer than the barbell snatch can. The squishy sandbag is pretty forgiving of my crappy technique. In the future I'll try a split snatch.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Bond Title: Quantum of Solace (wha?) picks up an AP wire revealing the next Bond film title will be Quantum of Solace.




Wha! That can't be right. Quantum of Solace sounds like the working title either Solaris or The Fountain was shot under until someone with a sense of audience sent it back for a rewrite. Quantum of Solace sounds like it doesn't really stand alone, but rather should following somethin glike Harry Potter and the, or The Chronicles of Narnia:, or The Golden Compass II:.

It does not say James Bond.

Yes, I understand the film is supposed to be a direct followup to Casino Royale and, like that movie's slightly deeper or more honest portrayal of Bond (where even Bond realizes at some point killing people with your bare hands is a bit messed up) will obviously have to deal with some matter of remorse and drive for revenge following the death of Vesper Lynd; but it just doesn't strike me as the title of a Bond film.

Ah, crap. Turns out "Quantum of Solace" is indeed a title in the Fleming fiction oeuvre, actually appearing in the short story collection For Your Eyes Only. So much for illiterate knee-jerk reactions. "Quantum of Solace" has indeed said James Bond, from the creator's pen no less.

OK, given that the story "Quantum of Solace" is apparently the most un-Bond of Fleming's Bond work (according to the wikipedia article Bond learns the lesson that "Bond's adventures pale in comparison with real life drama"), and the reinvention of Bond marked with Casino Royale, I have a little bit more faith in the studio to crank out another solid flick.

Now I'll deflecting my embarrassment to anger at SciFi. After all, it has been a while since's been our whipping boy. I dunno. It just seems to me that SciFi's "SciFi Wire" should supplement whatever they pull from the AP with a little fanboy explication. Yes, the most erudite Bond fan will know where the title comes from, but give us slightly more casual Bond fans a bit of a clue too! What's the point having such a "specialized" news channel if it doesn't give us any deeper insight than what's provided by the mainstream press? makes me sad, again.

Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage
Mode: Off.

Cod Peace in Birthday Pursuit

Turns out Coddy was just behind me in the birthday race. We'll be articulating "Jesus year" plans shortly.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bostodelphia 21 Gun Salute to the Firearms of 2007 #1: The AK-47

In 2007, the AK-47 "lineage" (consisting of the original 1947 rifle and too many iterations to number of the original design, manufactured both in the USSR/Russia and former allies and client states) turned 60 years old. According to a New York Times article covering the celebration of the guns' birthday, it seems the originators of what was once the gun of people (or in our post Cold War economic terms, perhaps the first open source machine tooled military weapon) are now kicking themselves over squandered intellectual property rights. The rifle's got quite the brand affinity community, the Soviets just should have thought more like their capitalist enemies in terms of licensing it seems.

Ok. I'm out of ammo, my wad is shot.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Coming sooon...steampunk mania!

Coming soon, this blog enters a steampunk phase, including an interview with legendary steampunker Jake von Slatt, Cod Peace's first steampunk invention, and steampunk commentary by Cheesesteak.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Happy Birthday to Cheesesteak the Impaler!

He just turned 33, and has now entered his Jesus Year. Happy birthday, Cheesesteak!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ron Paul grows a pair

Image Hosting by
On the blimp, of course.  Originally thanks to Fatbraff over at  His image got yanked by so I re-did it myself.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bostodelphia 21 Gun Salute to the Firearms of 2007 #20: M16

A modern icon, the M16 has been used by US armed forces since 1964.  What's there to be said that hasn't been already?  It's #2 on the list due to its active use in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it has spawned countless copies, myths, and legends in the past 40+ years.   An early reputation for misfires and jams reminds one of the ill thought-out Top 21 gun count here on this blog, which while interesting enough to remind us of the bizarro-world place that guns hold in our society became painfully long running.  A similar criticism to the M4 holds: with a military budget approaching $1 trillion, shouldn't the US soldier carry the very best rifle, not one that's merely good and that is superceded in many areas by other guns?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bostodelphia 21 Gun Salute to the Firearms of 2007 #19: Ruger 9mm

When trying to find information on the gun related incidents among the earlier mentioned 391 violent deaths that occurred in Philadelphia over 2007 (interactive Philadelphia homicide map for 2007), details on the make of specific firearms are left out. Generally when a suspect is apprehended, there is a mention of the caliber of the weapon allegedly used in the charged murder, but little else. From what we could cull here at Bostodelphia, 9mm semiautomatic pistols were the most common form of pistol used in Philadelphia homicides. Given that, we'll presume the dated information in this 1999 Crime Gun Trace Report put out by the ATF's Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative is still accurate in identifying Ruger 9mm's as the most common gun used in Philadelphia gun related crime.

Of course some Philadelphians don't care to hear anything at all about Philadelphia's gun crimes. (For the record, one of the reasons Bostodelphia opted to do this salute was to get people to think more about America's pervasive gun culture in general). Their justification stems from data indicating 2/3 of Philadelphia's 2006's shooting victims had mugshots on file with the police. This has led some folks, perhaps as a psychological defense mechanism in order to live and work in a city with an inordinate amount of gun violence, or more cynically psychologically protect their property value "investment" in areas affected by gun crime, to develop a "they had it coming stance" to news of shooting victims. These sentiments occasionally vent onto the internet and in some cases lead to people reflecting badly on their neighborhoods. For the record, the Daily News article is a bit unfair. In the discussion thread from which the "Scumbag" quote was pulled, you'll find that while the bulk of the word count in the thread, or the posts with the largest "volume" may be siding with the "victim had it coming" assertion, the bulk of the posters thought the uninformed assertion was as pigheaded as the reporter and the victim's family judged.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bostodelphia 21 Gun Salute to the Firearms of 2007 #18: M4 carbine

A shorter and lighter version of the M16A2, the M4 carbine is in active use with US forces around the world, and in particular in Iraq, which is why it's mentioned here. Being shorter and lighter than the M16, it is especially useful in close quarter combat and cramped conditions. All is not rosy in the M4 world, since it is frequently criticized for not being as good a weapon as it could be. Senator Tom Colburn sent a letter to the Army in the spring of 2007 urging reconsideration of this gun, an excerpt follows:

I understand that the Army decided to procure M4 Carbines in the early 1990’s to fill the gap between the M16 and 9mm pistol. At that time the Army specifically framed the requirement as the “Required Operational Capability (ROC) for the M4 Carbine.” M4 is a trademark name owned by Colt. Is it standard practice in Army acquisition to tie a requirement to a trademarked product?

I am certain that we can all agree that America’s soldiers should have the best technology in their hands. There is nothing more important to a soldier than their rifle, and there is simply no excuse for not providing our soldiers the best weapon – not just a weapon that is “good enough.” Unfortunately, considering the long standing reliability and lethality problems with the M-16 design, of which the M4 is based, I am afraid that our troops in combat might not have the best weapon.

Is it worth noting that no expense seems to be spared for fancy aircraft (B-2, F-22) or ships (pick a supercarrier), but that the Army and Marine Corps get shafted on weapons quality and "minor things" like armored Humvees and body armor?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bostodelphia 21 Gun Salute to the Firearms of 2007 #17: 9mm Glock 17

The 9mm Glock 17 is the standard service weapon of the Philadelphia police department. While it's technically beyond the purview of our salute to '07, two police shootings over this weekend have raised the toll of dead by police weapons in Philadelphia for the year so far to 3. The 2007 death toll from police gunfire was 15, down 25% from 2006's toll of 20.

The first fatality of '08 was a man hit by police bullets after an officer responding to New Year's celebratory gunfire fired at a man standing in front of a residential doorway. The officer's 11 round volley hit his target, but also struck three people attending the New Year's party inside the residence.

It should be noted that 391 violent deaths also occurred in Philadelphia over '07 that had nothing to do with police gunfire. Small comfort may also be found in the slight drop those 391 deaths mark against 2006's murder total of 406.

Rambo = Che Guevara + Christ?!?

In the finals days of '07, Bostodelphia joined a blogosphere noting the recent poster campaign advertising the upcoming Rambo movie's, how shall we say, iconographically loaded depiction of the title character. In a recent comment, Nick Rucka over at Maboroshii Productions, nails down for us the similarity between this "spraypaint stencil" of Rambo's visage and the mass disseminated silkscreen renditions of Che Guevara's likeness as photographed by Alberto Korda. We've tagged a few other entries noting the correlation as well; and noted that the Playstation 3 community's icon literarcy may be limited to Solid Snake (that Rambo's bandanna warrior look predates Solid Snake's is a fact the Playstationeers will have have to come to terms with on their own).

Turns out the uncanny resemblance is in fact not cosmic coincidence, but intentional marketing strategy. Yesterday's New York Times ran "Tough Guys for Tough Times" by Fashion and Style writer Alex Williams. In a survey of the "return" of a number of 80s macho icons to the pop cultural radar, Williams got in touch with Tim Palen, co-president for theatrical marketing at Lionsgate, Rambo's studio. Regarding advertising Rambo in general as well as what we called the "Che Rambo" ad, Palen was quoted with the following (note this may not be a verbatim quote of words in sequence, as it's coalation of two quotes in Williams' article. Bold text added by Bostodelphia for emphasis):

Stallone and Rambo are huge, iconic images already. It’s really kind of holy territory, especially when it comes to young males, and males in general. ... We called [the ad] Che Guevara crossed with Jesus Christ by way of Andy Warhol. In a way, he’s all of those.
So not only do we get an acknowledgment of the speculated Guevara vibe as intentional, but also the marketers were going for a "Jesus thing" with this. Admittedly, now that Christ has been put on the table, I can see a possible resemblance between Stallone's crags and the faded face of the Shroud of Turin.

Over at Nick's Maboroshii post, someone commented about the return of "great white hope" saving other whites from "the savages", and I think Williams' article picks up on that too, though doesn't push the notion very aggressively. Another commenter drew a comparison between this ad and the works of Bansky. I don't know, I think the Bansky analogy is a little sophomoric. Frankly, I'm tired of every instance of "subversive" appearing art, particularly commercial art, being compared to him. Often they're bad comparison, and dilute the points of Bansky's work.

In a nutshell Bansky is broadly counter-cultural and often specifically counter-commercial. His work is to disrupt, interrupt, if not outright obstruct cultural commerce, be that commerce a visit to a "cultural institution" like a museum or buying the Paris Hilton's album at FYE. In other words, when engaging in "culture", Bansky's trying to give you "second thoughts" on the ideology that engagement participates within, perhaps ultimately dissuading you from further engagement.

This Rambo ad is not there to give us pause, and certainly not dissuade us, from buying tickets to the carnage show. Rather, if anything, this ad campaign is counter-Bansky, or rather counter "culture jamming". Whether it's simply acknowledged as cleverness or bombarded by "OMG WTF!" the Rambo ad does penetrate a market that would likely otherwise see itself as too sophisticated or cool for Rambo. That is, the ad does give it some ironic cred, so the ironic cred crowd can glom onto it, at least that market that spends a lot time trying to come up with new feats for Chuck Norris to brag about. Simultaneously, the ad also appeals to a market segment that does indeed see Rambo as some sort of great mythic figure in some sort of jingoistic American pantheon. Bansky wants to challenge audiences into awareness. This ad doesn't care about your awareness or not, it just wants you to buy a ticket.

While eye-catching, I don't know if this simultaneous appeal to its "literal base" and "arch" audiences is entirely new. I'd say professional wrestling has been doing this for at least a decade now.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bostodelphia 21 Gun Salute to the Firearms of 2007 #16: M3 Grease Gun

The M3 submachine gun, a.k.a. the "Grease Gun" for its resemblance to, well, a grease gun, was not in the news in 2007. Are we stretching a bit here? Perhaps, but 50 years ago in 1957 it was retired from US service, and we here at Bostodelphia like things that are evenly divisible by 10. Granted the gun was used into the '90's inside of cramped vehicles, but work with me here.

This gun was meant to be a cheap replacement for the popular (and expensive) Thompson submachinegun. Like the Thompson, it fires the 0.45 ACP pistol round. Gun forum poster brianh notes:

The M3 is truly an iconic American machinegun, but the truth is that there was very little that could be maintained on them (the were made so cheaply and simply) that when the broke the were simply scrapped rather than fixed. I once talked to a guy who was one of the original Delta Force Iranian hostage rescue team members. They used a lot of M3s and 1911s because Beckwith wanted them to carry machineguns and pistols that shared the same cartridge. He commented that they went through a LOT of M3s in training as they went through their "dump and run" drills (shoot the M3 until it's dry, toss the thing on the ground in front of you, draw your pistol and finish the fight). Rather than fix them they just requesitioned replacements. Why spend money to fix a gun that cost all of $12 to make in the first place?

However that cheapness came at a cost, since the gun never matched the popularity of the Thompson with US troops in either theatre of WWII. Finally, here's a video of it in action:

Boston vs. Philadelphia 2008 Round 3: Mayoral Invincibility

Boston's mayor, Thomas Menino, may lack the hip-hop singing talent of Philadelphia's Michael, Nutter. However, he more than makes up for it in his utter demolishing of electoral competition and is now in his 4th term.

  • 1st term, 1993: 64-36 for Menino over state rep James Brett, making an Italian-American the first to break the 63-year stranglehold on the mayor's office by Irish-Americans.
  • 2nd term, 1997: ran unopposed
  • 3rd term, 2001: 76-24 over city councilor Peggy Davis-Mullen. Menino gained in popularity in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
  • 4th term: 67.5-32 over city councilor Maura Hennigan, making Menino the longest-serving mayor in Boston's history (a history which is 52 years longer than Phillie's, incidentally).
Will Nutter match this record? Who knows? This round clearly goes to Beantown.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Conspiracy Relevent News: Wackenhut CEO Resigns in Wake of PA Nuke Nap

Back in September, Chicago based Exelon, the operator of the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant about 80-90 miles West of Philly, terminated its contract with security firm Wackenhut's nuclear services, after evidence came to light of Wackenhut workers literally sleeping on the job at the Peach Bottom plant. Today, the AP reports, Wackenhut's CEO, Gary A. Sanders, has stepped down to be replaced by Grahame Gibson, chief operating officer and board member of Wackenhut owner G4S PLC.

The AP article makes mention of Wackenhut providing services to the U.S. DoD in Iraq. In Boston, I think I remember seeing Wackenhut cards providing patrol car drive-by security to Store 24s, maybe some of the hospitals in Longwood. People who pay attention to the uniform patches on the security around Philly's Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell know Wackenhut also supplements the U.S. Park Rangers stationed there. (I've also seen uniformed security types wearing shoulder patches for both U.S. Customs and Wackenhut in that area of Old City too; but have no idea how to read those. I think the Custom House is both a historic park building and a working government building providing at least Passport services).

UFOlogists also allege Wackenhut has provided security for either Area 51 itself or the testing range surrounding it. They've been the targets of conspiracy rants going back quite a while.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Boston vs. Philadelphia 2008 Round 2: We pwn teh Pong

So Bostodelphia's 2008 bragging rights fight is supposed to be dragged out over the year; but like our new Mayor, the Philly Phaction in this is hitting the ground running and leaving Beantown all gas-bloated in our wake.

Check it. 2008 U.S. Olympic National Team Trials and Qualifying Tournament. Right here. In Philadelphia. Table Tennis, called Ping Pong by us civilians.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Boston vs. Philadelphia 2008 Round 1: Philly's Mayor Could Battle Beantown's Mayor to the Ground

So last year, Coddy hit Philly with a bunch of bare boned Almanac facts to prove home city superiority. This year there's a new game, and the crown ain't going to be won in some little skirmish like the one he pretended to win last year. Uh-uh. 2008 is going to be a year-long struggle, and we're going to knock it back and forth, round by round, till the calender's done gone. This is round one.

It's almost too cruel to bring this up, because the guy Coddy's gotta back in this fight, Mumbles and Stumbles Menino, just can't lay down hope for a city's future like this:

Yes, things are a little clunky in the first mintue, but give the guy a break. It's his first night in office. Plus, word has it all them technical difficulties were ?uestlove's slipping up on the DJ magic and getting in the way of Nutter who was rearing to go from his first step on stage.

Good luck, Mr. Mayor. I know you got a lot more in ya. Coddy and Boston ... SERVED!

We're Endorsing Ron Paul for the Republican Candidacy

Edit: Bostodelphia will be fleshing out our Edwards Endorsement as the MA primary approaches, and Philadelphia twiddles its thumbs until the late April PA primary. We'll also be giving a more coherrent endorsement for our selection from the Republican pool. Until then, here's a glimpse backstage at our careful deliberation process.--CTI

From a series of recent emails:

On Jan 8, 2008 3:34 PM, Cheesesteak The Impaler <> wrote:
Ok, should we do Repub nominations too, for the hell of it? We could even
refuse to nominate anyone, and do a quick run through why. I'm changing the
title to reflect your endorsement.


On Jan 8, 2008 4:47 PM, Cod Peace <> wrote:
That's a short post:

"We refuse to endorse any of the Republican candidates because they
are all batshit fucking insane."


On Jan 9, 2008 9:24AM, Cod Peace <> wrote:
We should endorse Ron Paul precisely because of the batshit crazy quality. He's an easy go to
when we run out of things to talk about, and I think his "base" may well be the electorate
equivalent of ComicCon (in terms of freakshowness copping "mainstream" appeal for a


So there you have it! Ron Paul is the officially endorsed Republican candidate from Bostodelphia, based solely on his entertainment value.

Whoops! Independents CAN vote in the MA primary!

A quick phone call to the state Elections office proved me wrong: independents can vote in the Massachusetts primary, on either ballot.

So get out there and vote! For Edwards, that is.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Cod Peace N.H. Primary Timed Endorsement: John Edwards for President

I'm endorsing John Edwards for the Democratic nomination. He's the most progessive of the 3 leading Democrats, he's the only candidate to discuss reform of the economic system in a serious way, he would pull troops from Iraq the fastest, and his health care plan is the closest we're going to see to a single-payer system anytime according to Paul Krugman.

Since I'm a resident of the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts (and a registered Dem, no independents allowed to vote in MA in party primaries) I'll be voting in our primary on February 5, part of Super Tuesday.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Bostodelphia 21 Gun Salute to the Firearms of 2007 #15 AMT Hardballer Longslide

Of course a .45 with the gunporn name "Hardballer Longslide" is going to have an extended barrel. We're not going to dwell much on its real world specs, as it was brought to Bostodelphia's attention as one of 47's weapons of choice in the Hitman line of videogames and 2007 film flop. As mentioned earlier this year, a promotional poster campaign depicting a profile of 47 and his Hardballer with a translucently clad woman draped behind him became and object of controversy in Philadelphia, being ill-timed with the recent shooting death of police officer Chuck Cassidy. The ads were removed from the SEPTA system they had been placed in, irking gun porn elements of the computer gaming community.

Bostodelphia 21 Gun Salute to the Firearms of 2007 #14: Sig Sauer P 226 .40 S&W

Another P226, this time chambered for .40 S&W ammunition. The San Francisco PD adopted this pistol after dropping the 9mm Berreta as its standard service weapon. When police were called to the San Francisco Zoo to contend with an escaped tiger in the last days of '07, the officers brought down the animal with these.

Bostodelphia 21 Gun Salute to the Firearms of 2007 #13: Menacing "Black Rifles"

"Black rifles" also called AR and AK style rifles, are rifles resembling or constructed along the same design as military combat rifles, minus the ability to fire fully automatic.

They became the subject of popular discussion after at the time popular hunting and outdoors writer Jim Zumbo denounced them in a column, finding them in conflict with the traditional relationship between hunter and rifle and also just ugly aesthetically. While it seems to Bostodelphia a fair point to suggest that an auto-loading rifle with a more gentle recoil than traditional hunting long rifles may take some of the disciplined and practiced craft out of game hunting, and it's also personally reasonable to question whether the "military" vibe black rifles give off is an image the hunting community really wants to associate itself with, the gun community, both firearm owners and the gun industry, basically went postal on Zumbo's career, as chronicled in this account from the International Herald Tribune.

Really, we had never thought hunters would be so fashion conscious, or emotionally volatile when posed with aesthetic criticism.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Keep your powder dry, reloading.

The Cheesesteak needs some rack time after firing off the last 4 gun entries after Coddy's priming. We'll be back at a more reasonable hour to finish this up. In the meantime, it turns out I wasn't the only one who saw weird stylistic copping going on with a street poster campaign for the new Rambo. Well before I brought it up, The Jay and joblo picked up on the weird Che Guevara-ness of the graphic. Of course, it seems the consensus over at PS3forums thought it was Solid Snake.

I've got a new t-shirt line in my head for a more appropriate post-Che icon, but I won't be able to get my market research resolved until some Philly concert rumors are factualized or debunked. Hopefully that'll all be resolved before I get out of bed.

Bostodelphia 21 Gun Salute to the Firearms of 2007 #12: North American Arms .22 Magnum Mini-Revolver

This gun was already mentioned in our citation of the Heritage Arms Rough Rider .22. To jog review:

Last June, Philadelphia media reported about an incident around the Wonderland Pier of Ocean City, N.J. where an off duty Philadelphia police officer lost his (presumably personal, non service) North American Arms .22 magnum revolver. Unlike the gun pictured in this post, the gun in this incident can actually fit in the palm of an adult's hand, and apparently can be easily mistaken for a toy. In fact, the 16 year old girl who found it initially thought it was cap pistol until she fired it into a sand dune. Still, she held onto it, even taking it on one of the pier's rides. Fortunately, this incident doesn't go much beyond embarrassment for an unnamed police officer as the girl and the girl's mother turned the weapon in after reports of the officer's missing piece were televised.

While I hit Coddy pretty hard on the shock and awe front with the AC-130, I wanted to point out this little piece has been on the table all along, outside of his notice. That's the point of one these "pocket jobs", to coin a loaded phrase.

Bostodelphia 21 Gun Salute to the Firearms of 2007 #11: Sawed off shotgun loaded with birdshot.

No make on this one, as "sawing off" a shotgun makes its manufactured specifications pretty irrelevent. A load of birdshot made Philadephia headlines when a wannabe thug Antonio Coulter tried to empty two shots of it pointblank into rookie Philly PD officer Richard Decoatsworth's face. Decoatsworth pulled through, and unlike a more nationally noticed birdshot victim from the year before, Bostodelphia believes Decoatsworth is a real stand up guy.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bostodelphia 21 Gun Salute to the Firearms of 2007 #10: Barrett M82A1 .50 Caliber sniper rifle system

Warning, gun porn enthusiasts: commentary within my initial lead for the below video imply it was actually made as part of a devious gun-control plot:

#10 Barrett

Presumably, over the past year this weapon has seen service in the armed forces overseas. Apparently, it's also available in some configuration to the American civilian. Now from this blogger's perspective, the folks at .50 Caliber Terror are a bit heavy handed in their effort to raise alarm and support legislation against these weapons. Their tally of .50 caliber rifle incidents over 2007 from my scan consists of incidents where .50 caliber rifles were indeed inventoried in the course of someone's arrest. However, not one of .50 Caliber Terror's incidents involve a rifle actually being deployed in a crime. That said, I was still put off by The Countertop Chronicle's Defense against a .50 caliber rifle's criminal potential and need for stronger regulation if not outright banning. In short, he claims, "I'd never."

Gun Salute to the Firearms of 2007 # 8 9 (Begin Rapid Fire Sequence)

Ok, ok. So we didn't quite finish the volley by year's end. I will that formally speaking, a 21-gun salute consists of seven guns shot simultaneously three times. To wrap things up though, here we begin the final lucky 13 guns of Bostodelphia's 2007 salute in rapid fire sequence:

#9 Everything Mounted on the AC-130 "Spectre/Spooky" Gunship

So likely thinking I was sleeping like some easily duped deputy with my heals up on an open gun cabinet, Coddy tried to get the draw on me with his Walther P22. Now, despite whatever notoriety the P22 may have in its association with the Virginia Tech massacre, some gun bloggers insist the weapon is merely a "fun gun" and not appropriate for killing human beings. Seriously, gun bloggers do belittle those of us trying to dissuade you with death statistics, poo pooing us for our lack of calloused trigger fingers.

Whatever. Fun gun or killing machine, I'm an American. As an American, I tend to overact against both perceived and actual threats with overwhelming firepower:

Note, it would be just like Coddy to try to use some sort of light-bending extraterrestrial-manufactured stealth suit to sneak up on me.

Of course, it's a pain in the ass to have to have pay subway, bus, and cab fare for this crew of racially diverse heavily-armed landscapers. So, when I'm walking through the urban environments of Philadelphia and find myself outgunned or just in a difficult tactical situation ... say my opposition is in a building, or they're around the corner and I don't feel like going after them ... call in an AC-130 "Spooky". The current "Spooky" configuration of the AC-130 carries the following: 1 25 mm GAU/12 Equalizer gatling gun, 1 40 mm L60 Bofors cannon, 1 105 mm M102 howitzer
or 2 30 mm Bushmaster II cannons and 1 105 mm M102 howitzer. I'm not well versed in the Geneva Convention, but I'm pretty sure all this ordinance is considered "anti-material" and not for anti-personal purposes. Nevertheless, the "Spooky," according to this NPR report, is being used in counter-insurgency actions in Iraq, including the arrests of suspected insurgents and fighting in urban areas.

Bostodelphia 21 Gun Salute to the Firearms of 2007 #8: Walther P22

The Walther P22 is a 0.22 caliber pistol. It is the other firearm used in the infamous Virginia Tech Massacre. Costs around $300. 'nuff said.