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Patriots’ Day In Patriots’ Land

It is always nice to enjoy a long holiday weekend. In Boston, Massachusetts, Patriots day is is especially enjoyable. Schools, businesses and state offices are closed on this holiday which officially commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, which ignited the Revolutionary War in 1775. Patriots’ Day is also a legal holiday in Maine, which was actually a part of Massachusetts until 1820.

Patriots Day is particularly enjoyable in the city of Boston for reasons related to sports. First of all, the Boston Red Sox always play at venerable Fenway Park on the holiday, but there is a twist. The baseball game is played at 11:00 AM so as not to conflict with the hundreds of thousands of fans who come to Boston on this day not to watch baseball, but to view the running of the Boston Marathon. Strangely enough, Patriots Day has nothing to do with our NFL franchise, the New England (formerly Boston) Patriots.

Patriots’ Day 2012 is shaping up to be rather unique in and of itself. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, the oldest park in Major League Baseball. The Red Sox themselves are even older than the park, having been founded in 1901. This morning the Sox will host the Tampa Bay Rays in exceptionally warm and sunny Spring weather.

It is the weather however, which is posing some trouble for the athletes in the 115th Boston Marathon. The average temperature in Boston in April is the low 50s. Runners like it to be cool but temperatures are expected to approach 90 degrees in Boston today. Such temperatures may pose a health risk to runners. Consequently, the race organizers have taken the drastic step of allowing any runner who has qualified for the race to defer their participation one year until the 2013 race. Also, the finish line will remain open for an additional two hours to accommodate runners who may be slowed down by the oppressive weather. It is interesting to note however, that today’s marathon will not be the hottest in history. In 1905 the temperature actually reached 100 degrees!

The Boston sports mania continues this evening when our National Hockey League franchise the Boston Bruins take on the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of their best of seven playoff series. The series is presently tied at one game apiece. The first two games were not decided until sudden death overtime.

If you are a sports fan from Boston, Patriots’ Day is a very special occasion.

Sunday Morning Coffee (or Tea) – 92

Lynnrockets apologizes for the lack of a post yesterday. There simply was not enough time. You see, we made our annual trek out west to Springfield, Massachusetts to take in The Big E, also known as The Eastern States Exposition. Think state fair. The Big E is not the oldest fair in the nation, that distinction belongs to the much closer (to Boston) Topsfield Fair, nor does its scope encompass all of the eastern seaboard states. It is sort of the combined fair for the six New England states (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont for those of you who might be a little rusty).

It is however, BIG. Very BIG by New England standards. It has all the usual trappings such as livestock competitions, produce contests and each state highlighting products which it believes differentiates it from the others. It has also has the more modern gimmicks such as hundreds of food concessions selling everything from whole turkey legs, to the BIG E Burger (a cheeseburger with bacon sandwiched between a sliced honeydew donut) to this year’s newest fad, fried Kool Aid (I like to think that is marketed to any attendees who may belong to the Tea Party). The Big E also has a giant midway with thrill rides which appear to have been designed with the singular purpose of forcing you to regurgitate anything you may have been foolish enough to eat.

Despite the absurdity of the whole scene. We look forward to the Big E each year as sort of the official beginning of our wonderful New England foliage-bursting autumn season. Simply stated, without the Big E, something would feel like it was missing.

That being said, let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. Here are a few newsworthy items (and comments thereon) that have been making their way through the political universe this past week but may have escaped your attention. Please ponder and maybe chuckle a bit before enjoying a wonderful day!

BREAKING NEWS:  What in the wide, wide world of sports happened to the Boston Red Sox?

THIS JUST IN:  This week’s episode of “Another One Bites The Dust” features Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain‘s communications director Ellen Carmichael (and her assistant), who abruptly quit. This departure follows upon the exit of two other Cain staffers in June. When asked by CNN if the resignations signaled trouble within the Cain campaign, Carmichael responded, “No comment”. Sometimes just a few words can convey a big message.

BREAKING NEWS:  Speaking of Herman Cain, did any of you happen to catch his appearance with Jay Leno last week? When asked by Leno if he stands by his assertion that he would not appoint a Muslim to his cabinet, Cain nervously backtracked and said that he never really meant what he said. He told Leno and the suspicious audience that it should have been clear that what he meant was he “would not appoint a radical Jihadist to his cabinet”. When Leno pointed out that nobody would appoint a Jihadist to his/her cabinet and asked why Cain simply didn’t use the word “Jihadist”, Cain answered that he had wanted to err on the side of safety so he included all Muslims in his statement. “Nuff said.

THIS JUST IN:  After the killing of top-level  al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki, President Barack Obama is receiving some well-deserved credit from Republican politicians. Newt Gingrich said, “We’re going to take out al Qaeda the way they just did it in Yemen, where I do give the President credit”. Mitt Romney said, “I commend the President…”. GOP Rep. Peter King, chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security said it is “a tremendous tribute to the President…” These are exactly the type of words that give acid indigestion to Teapublicans. Break out the Rolaids.

BREAKING NEWS:  Stay tuned. The notorious and radically conservative billionaire Republican financiers the Koch brothers, are about to be exposed in a very unflattering light. Bloomberg Markets magazine is about to release an article which allegedly focuses on malfeasance and/or fraud and/or bad behavior by the conglomerate known as Koch Industries. There must be some truth to the report because the Koch brothers are releasing their public relations lackeys to discredit the story before it is even released. Could it be that a periodical other than the National Enquirer is poised to break an important political story? Enquiring minds want to know.

THIS JUST IN:  Just wondering, but why is the allegedly liberally-biased mainstream media failing to report on the now week-long “Occupy Wall Street” protests which began in New York City and have now spread to financial centers in Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago  and Los Angeles? Something tells me that if this were a Tea Party movement, there would be non-stop coverage.

BREAKING NEWS:  In light of the Republican base’s dissatisfaction with their current crop of moonbat-crazy Presidential candidates, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is now the “flavor of the week”. Who is next, Mike Huckabee?

THIS JUST IN:  Speaking of governors, has anybody noticed that a second one has called for a universal health care care plan in his state? Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer announced that he will be seeking a waiver to set up a universal health care system in his state modeled after the single payer Canadian system. This follows upon Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin‘s signing into law a plan for his state to begin the process of adopting such a plan. Hopefully, this signals that momentum is growing for a national single payer plan.

BREAKING NEWS:  As long as we are on the subject of governors, we might as well mention the former ex-quitting half-term Governor of Alaska. Sarah Palin put the world on notice early last summer that she would make an announcement regarding whether she would seek the Presidency by September. It is now October 2nd and still no word. Looks like Sarah Palin is continuing her string of lies.


Please remember to click on the song link below to familiarize yourselves with the tune and to have more fun singing along with today’s topical song parody.

Fins song link:

Note: a fib is a lie


(sung to the Jimmy Buffett song “Fins”)

She came down from Mat-Su Valley
She signed some books while on her plane
Hoping to incite a riot
Sarah Palin sure loves her fame

The Mama Grizzly is in motion
And all she does is snarl and bark
This re-al-it-y TV star
Lies through morning, noon and dark

Can’t you feel ‘em circlin’, Sarah
As you move from town to town?
You tell fibs to the left, fibs to the right
You’re a scheming, lying clown
Oh, oh
Oh, oh
You tell fibs to the left, fibs to the right
And soon you’ll be going down

She’s saving up all of her money
Wants to head down south in May
Maybe hold out her hand to her Tea-Bagging fans
Way down Arizona way

TV money was good this season
Now it’s time to go “reload”
Endless supply of big whopping lies
“Death Panels” paved her road with gold

Can’t you feel ‘em circlin’, Sarah
As you move from town to town?
You tell fibs to the left, fibs to the right
You’re a scheming, lying clown

(Fox News break)

Intellect that’s meager
Sarah Palin is just a dolt
She’s been on a learning diet
And that’s a Lynnrockets’ quote

She has a box just like Pandora
She spews evil cross the land
Just behind the reek from here big white teeth
She forms lies universally panned

Can’t you feel ‘em circlin’, Sarah
As you move from town to town?
She tells fibs to the left, fibs to the right
She’s a scheming, lying clown
She tells fibs to the left, fibs to the right
And Sarah Palin’s going down

Saturday With Friends, The Red Sox And The J. Geils Band!

There does not appear to be too much newsworthy news to comment upon this morning. Consequently, Lynnrockets will simply tell you a little bit about the plans for this beautifully sunny day.

First there will be a some of the usual Saturday morning maintenance. Clean the koi pond filters, re-stack that pile of firewood that fell over in last week’s storm and water the potted plants. Next we have to de-scale the Keurig coffee maker which is an hours-long and tedious process involving white vinegar. As that is taking place we will be more than ready for a walk down the hill to Dunkin’ Donuts (think of Krispy Creme for New Englanders, but much bettah) for a couple of refreshing ice coffees.

Speaking of Kurt Schilling, the afternoon of course, will be dominated by the Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees game at venerable Fenway Park. The arch-rivals are tied atop the American League East standings but the Sox will be looking to avenge last night’s 3-2 loss before the home crowd. Needless to say, nothing gets Red Sox Nation more riled-up than when the Yankees are in town. Here we go, Red Sox, here we go!!!

After the baseball game we will be meeting up with some friends visiting from the UK for a few quick libations at one of Boston’s many great watering holes. We will only have a few because the 4 of us will then be off to the waterfront pavilion for the J. Geils Band concert. As many of you longtime Rocketeers know, the J. Geils Band is Lynnrocket’s favorite all time live act. They are a Boston blues and rock band that was notoriously popular in both Beantown (Boston) and the Motor City (Detroit) in the 70s and early 80s. They were known for their raucous and very long stage performances which were dominated by the stage antics of frontman Peter Wolf and lick-stick master Magic Dick. They played most every New Year’s Eve at the old Boston Garden to sell-out crowds. The band changed-up its sound to a more pop-influenced style with its 1981 “Freeze Frame” album. The album included the smash hit “Centerfold” and catapulted the J. Geils Band into the national spotlight. This was fortunate for the band and their wallets, but unfortunate for their long-time fans who still yearned for the rock/blues. The change in style also created a little strife within the band and by 1985 they broke-up.

On May 22, 2006 all six original members had a surprise reunion at bassist Danny Klein’s 60th birthday party at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston. The magic was back and so on February 19, 2009 the band reunited once again to perform the opening concert at the new House of Blues in Boston. We attended that show and were thrilled that the magic was still there. Subsequently they played two more shows in 2009 on April 24 and 25 at Detroit’s Fillmore Theater (formerly State Theater). They also did a second show Boston’s House of Blues on April 28. On July 11, 2009, the J. Geils Band reunited again at the Borgata Hotel/Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. On Dec 31, 2009 (yes, New Year’s Eve), they  reunited for a one-night-only live gig at the Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT. The band then played a benefit in Boston for Big Brothers/Big Sisters on January 23, 2010, which Peter Wolf called the “last” Geils show. “You never say never,” Wolf noted, “but I can tell you in my heart of hearts that as far as I know — and I’m a pretty good source — there is nothing I can think of that’s planned. So this is basically it right now.”

Not exactly. On August 14, 2010 The J. Geils Band reunited once again to open up for Aerosmith (also a Boston band) at a sold out show at Fenway Park. Lynnrockets also attended that show and felt that the Geils band outperformed the headlining Aerosmith because of their back to roots blue/rock selection of songs. Aerosmith instead, unfortunately relied heavily on newer power ballads and post “Rocks” material from the 1990s and 2000s.

Tonight will be the J. Geils Band’s first show since the Fenway Park gig and we cannot wait!

Interesting J. Geils Band Note: The band has released three live concert albums, one of which is a double album. There is not one repeat song on any of those albums.

Please enjoy these video-clips of the J. Geils Band in action from their early days to the present:

Make sure you watch this one till the very end. it is quite entertaining!

Thursday Night Irish Music Byte

Boston Red Sox St. Patrick's Day Uniforms

Irish music week continues and tonight we return our attention to the Irish Rovers. The Irish Rovers are a Canadian Irish folk group created in 1963 and named after the traditional song “The Irish Rover”. The primary voices heard in the group’s songs were Will Millar (tenor) and Jimmy Ferguson (baritone).

Tonight’s song is the “The Wind That Shakes The Corn”. The lyrics detail how a young Irish Fenian takes up arms against the British when his love is killed by an English bullet. Please enjoy.


Tuesday Night Music Byte

In honor of the Boston Bruins’ historic Winter Classic hockey game to be played outdoors at Fenway Park at 1:00 pm EST on New Year’s Day, we thought it would be appropriate to feature a Boston band that are also Bruins (and Red Sox) fans.

Dropkick Murphys are an American Celtic punk band formed in Quincy, Massachusetts. First playing together in the basement of a friend’s barbershop, they blended traditional folk rock and punk rock known as Celtic punk. Their influences include Stiff Little Fingers, The Pogues, The Clash, Thin Lizzy, The Dubliners, Hot Water Music, and the Swingin’ Utters.

The band has made a name for itself and built a following as a result of their non-stop touring all over the world and their St. Patrick’s Day weekend shows, which are held in and around Boston. The group is also well-known for their patronage of Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins games.

The song “Time To Go” was written about the Boston Bruins, and the band performed the song live at the Fleet Center at a Bruins game during intermission at a November 2003 game. For the 2004 baseball season the band released a re-working of an old Boston Red Sox song, “Tessie”. “Tessie” would be used in the major motion picture Fever Pitch and was included on the EA Sports MVP Baseball 2005 soundtrack. The band was invited to the Fever Pitch premiere of the movie which was held at Fenway Park where the video was also shot. The song continues to be played at Red Sox games along with Dirty Water after games the team wins.

“I’m Shipping Up to Boston”, is a song that was inspired by a Woody Guthrie poem the band found in his archives also called “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” which is featured in the 2006 Academy Award winning film The Departed, Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of the Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs (Scorsese mentioned the band in an interview after he won his first Oscar). Two videos, one with and without footage from The Departed were made in response to the overwhelming response to the band’s new hit song. The song was also featured in The Simpsons episode “The Debarted.” “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” became the walk-out song of Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, who would dance an Irish jig to the song several times throughout the 2007 Red Sox Championship season. During the team’s victory parade, Papelbon did the jig while the Murphys played the song on the same float.

Please enjoy, “I’m Shipping Up To Boston”.

Tuesday Night Music Byte

Tonight’s musical post features a band that originally hails from California but is most associated with the City of Boston because of their biggest hit song.. This time it is The Standells and their song, Dirty Water which was released in 1966. A little bit of trivia about the band is that they appeared on the television sit-com The Munsters in the episode, “Far Out Munster” in which they covered The Beatles’ song, I Want To Hold Your Hand.

The song, Dirty Water is featured on this blog because it is about the City of Boston. The “dirty water” refers to the Charles River which at one time was one of the most polluted rivers in the nation (thankfully, it is now quite clean).The lyrics also make many references to the city’s one time puritanical social scene. Boston, at  the time, was known for its Blue Laws which prevented most every commercial entity from conducting business on Sunday and also for the saying, “banned in Boston.” The song has now become a staple at the Boston Garden when the Bruins are victorious and at Fenway Park when the Red Sox win.

The first video clip is of The Standells performing the song and the second is a clip from a Red Sox game. It is fun to watch and listen to the fans as they raucously sing along.