YouTube Blog: Viacom uploaded its own videos

Via Clay Shirky – YouTube claims that Viacom was uploading its content to the video hosting service via several “marketing agencies” while beefing in public that its rights were being violated.  If true, then Sumner Redstone and friends are jerks of the first degree, giving further proof of the mainstream media’s guaranteed penchant for doing the wrong thing digitally whenever given the opportunity.
From the YouTube blog:

“For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately “roughed up” the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt “very strongly” that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.”

via YouTube Blog: Broadcast Yourself.

Abandoned memories and motifs

While we’re on the theme of demolished gas stations; the Cape Cod Times reports the National Seashore is about to demolish a dilapidated old filling station on  Route 6 in Truro. That got me to thinking about this painting by summer resident Edward Hopper. I had a copy hanging on my dorm room wall in the late 70s. It evoked something about the old Cape that I caught a glimpse of in the early sixties before the building boom of the 70s wiped away most of the peninsula’s character.

This building may not be the exact filling station. Another further to the north burned down in 2003 and also may have been the model for the painting.

“It was the kind of filling station you see in old movies.

“The owner, with a rag stuffed in his pocket, would come out to check your oil, wash your windshield and pump your gas. There was a big stock of candy bars inside — Mounds, Milky Ways and Old Nicks. Gas was 23 cents a gallon, and they gave away dishes to boot. There was the “flying red horse” sign for Socony Mobil brand gas.

“And at this particular station, Indian Filling Station on Route 6 in Wellfleet, it was often a chance to glimpse a famous city slicker or artist such as Edward Hopper”

via Seashore aims to raze iconic gas station | CapeCodOnline.com.

Adios Procopio’s




Adios Procopio’s

Originally uploaded by dchurbuck

The gas station that didn’t sell gas is going away. The roof came off this afternoon and the tank removal people are pulling the remains out of the ground.

I used to fill my bike tires from the air pump (before they made you pay a quarter for air) and all day long you could hear the ding-ding of the bell that went off when the cars drove in and ran over the pink rubber hoses. Every so often the sweet “ping” of a dropped wrench would come up the street and onto the porch.

Pete Pells was the gas station attendant in the 60s. My grandmother taught him how to swim. Then the Procopios moved in and festooned the place with cardboard signs like “We Mow Lawns.” Mister Procopio was a weight lifter and quite a strong man. I recall a photograph of him towing a B-52 bomber down a runway with a rope held between his teeth. Or something similar.

Now it is all ghosts and memories. Torn down and paved over to provide more parking for the dipsomaniacs at the Kettle-Ho and the weekend crush of Town Dock traffic. They should have dug it up and turned it into a mini-park. I’m glad there isn’t a big tank of gasoline in the ground a few hundred yards from the harbor. I always wondered where the gas and oil drippings went when Mrs. Procopio hosed off the pavement in front of the pumps.

Ospreys are back in Cotuit


Ospreys in Cotuit

Originally uploaded by dchurbuck

Walked the dogs down to Handy’s Point on Wednesday night and heard the shrill keening call of a weird bird. “Where have I heard that before?” I wondered.

Looked up and there on the Starter Castle on the point, atop one of the chimneys like an onion dome on a Swiss church, was a pair of ospreys, the sea eagles that cruise the shoreline picking off herring and menhaden.

Neighbors Nicole and Jeremy said their favorite nesting pair are out of luck thanks to one of the neighbors who knocked down their nest. Shame, amazing birds that were not around when I was a kid due to the DDT issues which made their eggshells too thin to support the mother’s weight in the nest. Duxbury resident Rachel Carson wrote “Silent Spring,” got attacked by the chemical industry,  but made her point, people became conscious of the effect of insecticides on fish and birds, and at some point in the 1990s the birds made their return.

Getting licensed to fish




federalfishlicense

Originally uploaded by dchurbuck

The discussion on Reel-Time about imposing saltwater fishing licenses on Massachusetts residents used to be one of the most predictable fire-starters of massive flame wars among those piscine libertarians who wanted no regulations to the fish-huggers who wanted everything declared a gamefish and shut off from commercial sale.

This morning my buddy Curt Jessup, guide and Sea-Tow man, posted on Facebook page that there are federal license requirements to be aware of, as well as a forthcoming Massachusetts last year, passed into law by Governor Patrick last November.

Forewarned I went to https://www.countmyfish.noaa.gov and filled this out. No charge. I needed to fill it out in the off chance I am more than three miles off-shore in Federal waters looking for mahi-mahi or tuna (which happens a couple times per year).

Portland Food Coma

I haven’t been eating enough lately — trying to unpack some fatass poundage picked up during the immobility of the detached retina recovery, holiday bacchanalia, Vegas, and oh-my-god-it’s-winter-in-America pity junk food binges. That’s right, Dave is back on the erg and eating like a neurotic again.

Anyway, in my blog reading rounds I like to dwell at places like Slice and other outposts of gustatory goodness, but with the current Lenten denial-fest underway, food writing is the last thing I need.

Then Cousin Tom the Maniac sent me a link to this wonder: The Portland (Maine) Food Coma.

The premise is perfect (or at least my projected premise), ride out a Maine winter by cooking like a fiend, and then eating it (and drinking).

This guy is good. His birthday feast of the Buddha Jumps over the Wall is awesome. And he looks like my kind of guy.

“As the final day begins, we all enjoy our schedule being radically fucked up from daylight savings time. All it really meant to me was that I was cracking open an ice-cold Schlitz at 10:30 instead of 9:30, which was brilliant.”

“The cooks would all get hammered on bitters during the day, causing them to have these rings around their mouths that made them look like bloodthirsty clowns. The few customers we had would be routinely ignored in lieu of the fun happening in the kitchen. The dishwasher, whom we had lovingly nicknamed “Chud,” would be running around with a sauce pot on his head while Mudvayne blasted on the radio. I felt especially bad for this kid the time he came in and discovered a tick on himself, and we convinced him that only way to deal with it was for us light matches and snub them out on his skin.”

No church today, whereabouts this week

Had too much fun Saturday night and visited the Church of St. Mattress this morning. Took a nice beach stroll and blogged about the religion of Cape Cod League baseball, so I feel holy enough.

Thinking of staying north this week to focus on project plans, job candidate calls, and some personal business (moorings, taxes, shoulder therapy). North Carolina next week in all likelihood. New boss on the way.

Kettleers Prospectus: 2010

The 2010 Baseball Prospectus arrived last week — a fountain of statistics and snarky player critiques. I’ve been poring through the 2010 Cotuit Kettleers roster — posted late last fall — and comparing it to the scouting reports and rankings published by Baseball America. It’s one thing to get worked up about a 31-year old All-Star who has two World Series rings and is a statistically known quantity. It’s quite another to get excited about a college freshman about to arrive on Cape Cod in three months to confront his first wooden bat and a whole lot of attention from the pro scouts.

Readers of the excellent Last Best League know that the roster a Cape Cod Baseball League manager lists at the start of the season generally has some guaranteed changes come the playoffs time in August.  The College world series, Team USA, and the June Major League draft can really mess up the line ups, especially in June. But by July what you see on the fields of Orleans, Chatham, Wareham, etc. is pretty much the creme de la creme of college baseball.  I’m attempting this exercise just to better educate myself for the fun to come. If I have time I’ll try to compile the rosters of the other teams just to troll for some top talent. Knowing who to focus on and having some context on the squads early on is a big benefit to spectator enjoyment — at least for me.  Example was Chris Sale, the Yarmouth-Dennis pitcher ranked number one of the 2008 CCBL by Baseball America.  You knew the guy was good, but only as the season wound up. This is a tough league to call because it’s freshmen and sophmore without a lot of history and statistical stories behind them. This list published post-season is what I’d to take a shot at predicting pre-season.

Let’s start with the Kettleer’s roster as it stands today, keeping in mind it will look different as the season starts. Attrition and churn can be pretty significant in June and this roster was posted in the late fall of 2009. So who knows what will be what on June 13 in Wareham on Opening Day (home opener is 6/16).

Let’s look at returning players — the Two Z’s —Zack Cox and Zach Cone — who’s nomenclature simularities along with the third Zach, Zach Maggard — drove the fans (and this scorer) a little crazy last year. Cox – a sophmore from the University of Arkansas, was the CCBL All-Star game MVP last year and is a very strong bat. He made Baseball America’s (BA) 2010 Preseason All-America College Team as the designated hitter. BA says he is the top sophmore-eligible player in this year’s draft — so he may vanish in June. In any case, I hope he returns because he’s a very energetic player on the hot corner and was Cotuit’s clutch batter last year, hitting .344 with a OBP of .365. I also had the pleasure of sitting next to his parents one game and talked to them about his prospects. Baseball America ranked him second, after Chris Sale, in last year’s CCBL. Cox is my choice for the Kettleer most likely to go pro in the near term.

Cone, a righty sophmore from Georgia, played outfield and hit .243. I am pretty sure he worked center most of the season. Very solid player,  a top 50 sophmore prospect (according to BA) drafted by the Angels in ’08, and ranked 12th in the BA rankings of the 2009 CCBL players.

Now, some of the newcomers worth paying attention to:

Gerrit Cole from UCLA is a starting right-handed pitcher, a sophmore at UCLA, with a 3.49 ERA, ranked second among sophmores by BA. He was drafted by the Yankees in high school in ’08 in the first round. He has a mid- to high-90s fastball and a good change up according to BA, and had 104 strikeouts in 85 innings pitched as a freshman. This is the guy to watch this summer. Serious bad-ass.  Last summer he: “Played for the USA Baseball National Team (collegiate)…went 4-0 with a 1.06 ERA in six games (five starts)…led Team USA in strikeouts (46) and innings (34.0)…issued just 10 walks and limited the opposition to a .104 batting average…helped Team USA throw a combined no-hitter in a 10-0 victory over Guatemala (July 2), registering 11 strikeouts in 5.2 scoreless innings…pitched a complete game in a 1-0 victory against Canada (July 24), scattering two hits and striking out seven batters in nine innings…that victory allowed Team USA to advance to the championship game of the 2009 World Baseball Challenge…was rated the No. 1 prospect on the USA National Team by Baseball America.”

Sonny Grey from Vanderbilt is another strong pitcher, with an ERA of 4.3 and 72 strikeouts across 59 innings.  No scouting report on what he throws, but BA puts him under Cole in their 2010 pre-season All-America team (second team).

The Vanderbilt team bio says of Grey: “Went 5-1 with a 4.30 ERA in 22 appearances … Struck out 72 in 58.2 innings of work… Led the team in saves with five… Started the year as a closer and recorded four saves before moving into a starter’s role against Georgia on May 8… Named to Louisville Slugger’s Freshman All-American team”

Brad Miller out of Clemson, sophmore shortstop, is a top prospect for next year’s draft. He hit .279 in 2009 with 40 homers. His Clemson bio says:

Talented infielder who solidified his spot as the everyday shortstop as a freshman in 2009…has an excellent eye at the plate and good speed…has walked once every 4.49 at-bats in his career, the eighth-best mark in school history…USA National Team Trials invitee for the summer of 2010.”

Adam Smith: Scottish moral philosopher and pioneer in political economics. Texas Aggie sophmore shortstop.  From his team bio: “2009 (FRESHMAN): Appeared in 57 games, starting 54 (all at shortstop) … got the starting nod at short in the final 34 games of the season … ranked fourth on the team with nine home runs, most dingers by a true freshman at A&M in at least a decade … hit nearly 80 points higher in last half of season … prior to March 31, hit .217 with three home runs and 12 RBIs … since March 31, hit .293 with six home runs and 13 RBIs … went 2-for-3 with a home run, two RBIs and three runs scored vs No. 25 Texas State (May 12)”

Ross Hales: Smith’s teammate at Texas, LHP. Ranked 42 in the BA’s list of sophmore prospects. From his team bio: “2009 (FRESHMAN): An honorable mention All-Big 12 selection by the league’s coaches … second on the team with a 6-2 record and a 4.11 ERA … made 19 appearances, starting 10, and punching out 76 batters in 76.2 innings of work … picked up victory in A&M’s Big 12 Tourney finale against Texas Tech (May 22) … held the Red Raiders to three earned runs over 5.1 innings, punching out five …”

Deven Marrero: freshman from Arizona, ranked as the second top newcomer to the PAC-10 by BA. Another shortstop (Cotuit will be rich in SS this summer), BA writes: “He’s just a freshman but Marrero has premium defensive skills at shortstop ….”

Team bio: “High School: A 2009 graduate of American Heritage School in Plantation, Florida…served as team captain of the American Heritage baseball team in 2008 and 2009…was named All-State and All-County in 2008, when American Heritage won both the Florida State title and the National title.

MLB Draft: Was a 17th round selection (509th overall) of the Cincinnati Reds in the 2009 Major League Baseball draft.”

Chad Kettler: yet another shortstop (Coach Mike Roberts is going to have a very strong infield this season at the very least), this Oklahoma freshman is 23rd on the BA top college freshman prospect list, and ranked second among newcomers to the Big 12 Conference this collegiate season.

From the Sooner web site: “High School: Played under head coach Don English at Coppell H.S. … Hit .411 in 2009 en route to all-state third team honors … Ranked the top prep shortstop in the state of Texas by Perfect Game Crosschecker and No. 73 in the nation (sixth highest in state of Texas) … Ranked No. 75 in class by Baseball America in 2009 … Senior captain … Played in 2009 North Texas and Texas State All-Star games … 2009 preseason All-American … Hit .396 with 13 doubles, four homers, 28 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in 2008 … Played for Dallas Tigers under head coach Tommy Hernandez in 2008 … Played for the Texas Rangers in 2008 Area Code Games.”