The Spectacle Blog

I Feel Ross’ Pain

By on 10.28.14 | 12:27PM

I'm sorry to hear Ross endured his third kidney stone attack last night, but am glad to hear he's getting through it.

Ross and I can share some war stories on the matter of kidney stones. I, too, have had three attacks. The first came in February 1998, the second in September 2003 and the most recent was right before Fourth of July weekend in 2012. As with Ross, the third attack was the most bearable. The best thing to come out of it was that I stopped drinking carbonated beverages and iced tea and subsequently began to lose weight.

Ross also made a point of saying that it is closest men will experience the pain associated with going through labor. I would say that's pretty close. My three kidney stone attacks pale in comparison to the pain I felt when my gall bladder disintegrated forcing me to have emergency surgery on Christmas Day 2007.

In any case, a few days after the kidney stone attack, I spoke at an anti-Obamacare rally sponsored by the Greater Boston Tea Party. Naturally, I made reference to that experience:

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Dale Dorman, R.I.P.

By on 10.28.14 | 10:25AM

Dale Dorman, a Boston area disc jockey for various radio stations for more than four decades, passed away on October 21st after a lengthy illness. He was 71.

I remember him as the host of The Breakfast Club on the now defunct Oldies 103.3 from 2003 through 2008. If you grew up in Boston during the 1970s and 1980s, you remember him as Uncle Dale who, in addition to being a radio personality, also hosted childrens' programming on WLIV. Dorman had a quick wit, was pleasantly silly and always played a great selection of music.

Ten years ago, I had the chance to attend a dinner celebrating his years on the air. This tribute featured a performance by the '70s disco group Tavares.

Under the circumstances, I cannot help but think of the Harry Chapin song "W.O.L.D".


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Wow, That Hurt

By on 10.28.14 | 10:22AM

So last night, for the third time in my life, I suffered through a kidney stone. The good news is that I was only in pain for about 3 hours, by far the shortest of any of my experiences with this diabolical dimunitive monster.

Having a kidney stone, some say, is the closest thing that many men will ever feel to the pain that women go through in labor. All I can say is that labor must really suck.

It felt as if I was being repeatedly punched in the back by Mike Tyson. (But at least it didn't feel like he was biting me.)

I was literally lying on the ground (for some reason more comfortable than my bed) trying to find some less agonizing position and also trying not to vomit from the pain -- something that happened both previous times. On that account, I'm pleased to report that was successful this go-round.

The pain subsided very rapidly as the little beast moved through some tube to some other tube that hurts less. Not sure if I peed it out yet...I sure hope so because otherwise I may have more pain to go through.

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John Tory Elected New Mayor of Toronto; Rob Ford Regains City Council Seat

By on 10.27.14 | 10:47PM

Former Progressive Conservative leader John Tory has been elected the new mayor of Toronto. Tory won with 42% of the vote ahead of Doug Ford garnered 34% of the vote despite his late entry into the race. Former NDP MP Olivia Chow finished a distant third.

Doug Ford replaced his brother Rob Ford after he was diagnosed with cancer last month. Despite undergoing chemotherapy, the soon to be ex-mayor has been elected to his old city council seat in Etobicoke which is situated in the city's west end. 

Rob Ford put Toronto on the map for all the wrong reasons when video of him surfaced smoking crack cocaine. A litany of other bad behavior would soon follow. Toronto City Council would strip Ford of most of his powers. He steadfastly refused to resign and stood for re-election until his health troubles rendered him forced him to withdraw. 

One thing is for certain. Politics in Toronto is bound to become far more boring and this will be a good thing. That is until the next election.

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CNN’s Carol Costello is Sorry She Laughed at Bristol Palin (Sort Of)

By on 10.27.14 | 6:09PM

Okay, I admit it. When I first heard about the Palin Family Brawl, as it were, I was pretty enthusiastic. After all, is there any other public figure in history - aside from possibly Andrew Jackson - who could land herself in an all-out drunken wildnerss melee and come out relatively unscathed after (allegedly) beating the crap out of her neighbors, all while wearing platform American flag shoes? No. No, there isn't. Sarah Palin is the only modern politico that I can picture taking a right hook to a lumberjack and living to tell about it.

And to that end, the whole thing was pretty funny. And it would have continued to be funny except that last week, the police who took the call released an audio tape of Bristol Palin, Sarah's daughter, who described being beaten, dragged and sworn at. Which is decidedly not funny, particularly when you consider that Bristol sustained injuries in the altercation. In this war-on-women world, Bristol Palin actually has a story from the front lines. And, like other recent female victims of violence, you'd expect luminary CNN hosts to come to her defense. 

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Quarantined with Ebola? Read Andrew Cuomo’s Book!

By on 10.27.14 | 5:57PM

So far, Andrew Cuomo's memoir, All Things Possible: Setbacks and Successes in Politics and in Life, has sold a whopping 945 copies, which works out really well when you consider that he received $700,000 as an advance. In order to recoup their losses, at this rate, the publishing house will have to charge approximately $740 per book. 

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Does Jeb Bush Keep Marco Rubio Out of 2016 GOP Bid?

By on 10.27.14 | 3:03PM

In noting my Scott Walker article in which I advocate that Republicans nominate him here and now should he beat Mary Burke in eight days from now, Emily takes a decidedly pessimistic outlook on the prospect of Jeb Bush's apparently imminent candidacy for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

Methinks that Emily and a lot of other conservatives are objecting to Bush's last name and family's legacy rather than anything he's actually said or done (aside perhaps from his statement last April that illegal immigration is "an act of love". The people who smuggle illegal immigrants into the U.S. certainly aren't doing it for love). However, Bush certainly did a better job as Florida Governor than Rick Scott who will likely lose to former GOP Governor turned Democrat Charlie Crist next Tuesday.

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About Those Self-Radicalizing Lone Wolves

By on 10.27.14 | 1:12PM

The CBC is doing its best to minimize last week's acts of Islamic terrorism in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu and in Ottawa by characterizing those responsible as "self-radicalized" and "lone wolves".  The article quotes a University of Waterloo Professor named Lorne Dawson who is also the co-director of the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society. Dawson states, "They're both lone wolves. Both a bit more impulsive, bit more opportunistic, if there was planning, it's amateurish."

Well, this amateurishness resulted in the deaths of two Canadian soldiers and forced the Canadian Parliament on lockdown for a day. Some amateurs.

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Bush Family Gears Up for “Presidential Nominee Jeb”

By on 10.27.14 | 11:25AM

This morning, Aaron comforted us all with the thought of Scott Walker 2016 (provided he wins re-election next week), but because I'm a horrible person who can't let you all rest in peace on a Monday, I feel obligated to warn you that, according to the New York Times, the Bush family rallied recently to begin preparations for Jeb 2016

“No question,” Jeb Jr. said in an interview, “people are getting fired up about it — donors and people who have been around the political process for a while, people he’s known in Tallahassee when he was governor. The family, we’re geared up either way.” Most important, he added, his mother, Columba, the prospective candidate’s politics-averse wife, has given her assent.

Within the family, the top cheerleaders have been George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, both of whom know something about running for president, and both of whom have an interest in perpetuating, if not redeeming, the family legacy.

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Marcia Strassman, R.I.P.

By on 10.26.14 | 11:13PM

Actress and singer Marcia Strassman passed away on Saturday after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. She was 66.

Strassman is best known for her portrayal of Julie Kotter on the 1970's sitcom Welcome Back Kotter. The cast reunited in April 2011 and since that reunion Robert Hegyes, Ron Palillo and now Strassman have died. 

In 1989, Strassman would co-star with Rick Moranis in the Disney film Honey, I Shrunk The Kids and its 1992 sequel Honey, I Blew Up The Kid. 

In the late 1960's, Strassman tried her hand at a singing career. Here she is singing "The Flower Children" which was co-written and produced by Jerry Goldstein (who would later have success with the band War) which had some modest success on the West Coast in both the U.S. and Canada. 

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