Pitchers & Catchers Report to Ft. Myers

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Greatest Comeback: 10 Years Later

It was really nervous on the night of October 20, 2004.

It was Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS between the Red Sox and Yankees. The Sox had been down 0-3 in the series, and had won the last three game in a row to make history, as not team had ever played in a postseason Game 7 after losing the first three games. My friend Adam predicted an 11-0 Sox win after they won Game 6.

He wasn't too far off.

It was a night for the ages. The Sox scored early and often, and had an 8-1 lead by the 7th inning. Johnny Damon blasted two home runs, Derek Lowe was spectacular. Even bringing in Pedro Martinez in the 7th inning (why Tito?) couldn't spoil it, and made the pathetic Yankee fans look even more pathetic with the chants at him. Mark Bellhorn's 8th inning home run shot down any comeback attempt, and sent the "loyal" Yankee fans to the exits. 10-3, Red Sox.

I was at the Riviera Cafe in the West Village with about 150 other Sox fans, and partied into the night with my friends in seeing the Myth of Yankee Superiority exploded forever that night.

The World Series was a forgone conclusion, but we'll talk more about that next week. My friend Allan at The Joy of Sox has an excellent retrospective of the 2004 ALCS up on his site. Worth reliving it, especially with all the great newspaper covers from Boston and New York he's put up.

But of course, "Four Days In October" is a great documentary to relive this 10th anniversary, especially since me and my friends are in it, starting at the 33:00 mark (I'm the guy wearing the Sox jersey sitting at the bar).

Happy 10th Anniversary, Everyone!

The Fall Classic Takes Center Stage

Tomorrow night, the World Series begins in Kansas City, with the underdog and red-hot Royals taking on the NL champion San Francisco Giants. As the game is going on, we will have "World Series Trivia" as the Special Category for Trivia Night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, starting at 8 PM. It will be seven questions on the Fall Classic, and the first six will be multiple choice, for those of you not huge hardball fans. The seventh question will be a multiple answer question worth more points.

The Q Train lightning round will be "US and World Cities Nicknames Trivia." We did "Countries Nicknames" last week, so why not do cities? I'll give you the nicknames of 10 big cities from here and abroad, and you tell what town I'm talking about.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Zane Grey wrote many books in what genre?"

We get started right around 8 PM. The Caledonia is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We've had some big crowds lately, so please do get in before 8 PM to ensure getting a seat. Thanks so much for the great support, and I'll see many of you on Tuesday night!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Ballot For the 2014 BBA Awards

I am a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, and every year we vote on the postseason awards, ahead of when the MLB writers vote is announced. Here is my vote for the American League and National League Pitcher of the Year (Walter Johnson Award), Relief Pitcher of the Year (Goose Gossage Award), and the Stan Musial Award (MVP). Just my opinion, I could be wrong:

NL Pitcher of the Year
1. Clayton Kershaw, LA
2. Adam Wainwright, STL
3. Johnny Cueto, CIN
4. Doug Fister, WAS
5. Cole Hamels, PHI

AL Pitcher of the Year
1. Corey Kluber, CLE
2. Felix Hernandez, SEA
3. Chris Sale, CHI
4. Jon Lester, BOS-OAK
5. David Price, TB-DET

NL Relief Pitcher of the Year
1. Craig Kimbrel, ATL
2. Aroldis Chapman, CIN
3. Trevor Rosenthal, STL

AL Relief Pitcher of the Year
1. Greg Holland, KC
2. Zach Britton, BAL
3. Dellin Betances, NY

1. Clayton Kershaw, LA
2. Giancarlo Stanton, MIA
3. Andrew McCutchen, PIT
4. Buster Posey, SF
5. Anthony Rendon, WAS
6. Josh Harrison, PIT
7. Adrian Gonzalez, LA
8. Anthony Rizzo, CHI
9. Adam Wainwright, STL
10. Matt Carpenter, STL

1. Mike Trout, LA
2. Nelson Cruz, BAL
3. Michael Brantley, CLE
4. Jose Bautista, TOR
5. Miguel Cabrera, DET
6. Jose Abreu, CHI
7. Jose Altuve, HOU
8. Victor Martinez, DET
9. Josh Donaldson, OAK
10. Robinson Cano, SEA

The Willie Mays Award for Rookie of the Year was previously awarded earlier this week to Jose Abreu for the AL, and Jacob deGrom for the NL. The Connie Mack Award for Manager of the Year was previously awarded to Clint Hurdle for the NL, and Buck Showalter for the AL.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Trivia Q&A: October 14

We had yet another terrific crowd in for Trivia on Tuesday night. The Caledonia was once again filled to capacity, and I can't thank you all enough for another tremendous turnout. Soon we will have to figure a way to add more seats to the bar to accommodate all our Trivia players. What a great problem to have.

The team of Canadian Trivia Is Redundant won the night, getting 52 points (including a perfect sweep of the IQ Trivia questions), and taking it by a full ten points. Congrats to Alex and his crew on another great win. Second place was very close the last two rounds, but it went to Stephen Hawking's School of Dance (which also took the Best Team Name honors) with 42 points, and third place went to Let's See a Double Feature With Geno Smith The Day Before The Game with 41 points.

Current Events
1. Thieves broke into the museum dedicated to what Hall of Fame baseball player last week in New Jersey, stealing priceless memorabilia dedicated to him?
2. What female pop singer was selected as the halftime act for next February's Super Bowl?
3. It was recently revealed that NBC tried unsuccessfully to hire what late-night talk show host to become the new host of their Sunday morning political show "Meet the Press?"
4. Malala Yousafazi, at the age of 17, became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner last Friday. What country is she from?
5. What actress checked into a rehab shortly after she made shocking abuse claims against her father on Twitter?
6. The fiancee of John Kitzhaber, governor of what western US state, admitted last Friday to accepting $5000 to be in a "green card marriage" to an Ethiopian man?
7. A statue of what controversial American made an appearance in Union Square Park last Friday, but the police ordered it removed due to a lack of a permit to display it?

Canada Trivia
1. How many oceans border the nation of Canada?
2. What was the last Canadian city to host an Olympic Games?
3. Name Canada's two national sports.
4. What late Canadian actor's brother was Canada's Deputy Prime Minister from 1984-1986?
5. How many countries in the world are larger than Canada in total land area?
6. Rogers Centre, a major Canadian ballpark, is located in what city?
7. Name 2 of the 3 largest Canadian provinces by population.

Country Nicknames Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Land of the Rising Sun
2. The Gift of the Nile
3. The Land of Hope & Glory
4. The Land of Milk & Honey
5. The Land of the Incas
6. The Hermit Kingdom
7. The Boot
8. The Rainbow Nation
9. The Hexagon
10. The Land of Oz

General Knowledge
1. Europe recently won the 40th Ryder Cup in what sport? ( 1 pt)
2. The Dewey Decimal System categorizes what? ( 1 pt)
3. Dolly, the first successfully cloned mammal, was what kind of animal? ( 1 pt)
4. Death Valley is located in what American desert? ( 2 pt)
5. What is the most widely spoken language on Earth? ( 2 pt)
6. How many laps are there in the Indianapolis 500? ( 2 pt)
7. Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in what country? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Who did the Associated Press pick as the Athlete of the Decade for 2000-2009? ( 4 points)
2. Cebuano and Tagalog are the two most common native languages spoken in what Asian country? ( 3 points)
3. For the first time since 1932, two women topped Quigley Publishing's 2013 list of the "Top Money-Making Stars." Name the two Oscar-winning actresses. ( 4 points)
4. Charles Fairbanks, Charles Curtis and Charles Dawes were all early 20th century Americans who all held what position? ( 5 points)
5. What popular rock singer/songwriter came in first in a 2012 poll that asked Americans who they'd pick to compose a new national anthem? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Yogi Berra; 2. Katy Perry; 3. Jon Stewart; 4. Pakistan; 5. Amanda Bynes; 6. Oregon; 7. Edward Snowden.

Canada Trivia
1. Three; 2. Vancouver (2010); 3.hockey and lacrosse; 4. Leslie Nielsen; 5. one (Russia); 6. Toronto; 7. Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

Country Nicknames Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Japan; 2. Egypt; 3. England; 4. Switzerland & Israel; 5. Peru; 6. North Korea; 7. Italy; 8. South Africa; 9. France; 10. Australia.

General Knowledge
1. Golf; 2. books; 3. sheep; 4. Mojave; 5. Mandarin Chinese; 6. 200; 7. United Kingdom.

IQ Trivia
1. Tiger Woods; 2. The Philippines; 3. Jennifer Lawrence and Sandra Bullock; 4. Vice President of the United States; 5. Bruce Springsteen.

Monday, October 13, 2014

"America's Hat" Trivia On Tuesday

Tomorrow night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, the Special Category for Trivia will be "Canada Trivia." It will be seven questions about our neighbors to the north in honor of their celebration of Thanksgiving Day this week. The Q Train lightning round will be "Countries' Nicknames Trivia." I will give you the names of ten famous nicknames of countries from around the world, and you have to tell me what nation I am talking about. (BTW, "Great White North" and "America's Hat" will not be among the nicknames.)

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Europe recently won the 40th Ryder Cup, in what sport?"

We get started at 8 PM on Tuesday night. The Caledonia is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We've some really nice turnouts over the past few months, and I thank you all for your great support. I look forward to seeing many of you on Tuesday for another great night of Trivia Q&A!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thanks Josh & Ryan

Two notable Red Sox pitchers from the recent past called it a career this past week: Josh Beckett and Ryan Dempster.

They weren't teammates on the Red Sox, but they briefly played together on the Florida Marlins in 2001 and 2002. Both had terrific careers, but while neither will be going to the Hall of Fame, both retire as World Series champions with the Red Sox. (And Beckett won another ring with the Marlins in 2003.)

Beckett left the Sox in 2012 in the much-heralded trade with the Dodgers, that also sent Adrian Gonzalez and Carl (I Can't Shut Up About How Much I Hate Boston) Crawford. His time had clearly ended in Boston, and a divorce was the best things at the time for all concerned.

Way too much was made of that "Beer and Chicken" nonsense of 2011, but Beckett does deserve much of the blame for the Sox not making the playoffs that year. He and Jon Lester had miserable months of September, and it cost the team dearly. They were supposed to lead the Sox into the postseason, and their failures killed the season.

But that's not what most fans should remember about Beckett. Every fan should always keep in mind that he was the main reason the Red Sox won a second World Series in the 21st century, as he simply stellar. He went 4-0 in that postseason, including being MVP of the ALCS, winning Game 5 that sent the series back to Boston. This coming off a 20-win season that year.

Yeah, the way Beckett left Boston may still be fresh in many fans minds, but when all is said and done, Beckett brought a title to Boston. And that should never be forgotten, and won't be. I'm sure he'll be warmly received when the Sox have a 10th anniversary remembrance of the 2007 Champions in 2017.

Dempster was brought in as a free agent in 2013, and not many people were jumping for joy when the Red Sox signed him. His numbers weren't anything to get excited about (8-9 with a 4.57 ERA), but he became a valuable guy in the clubhouse who ate up innings on the team that shocked the baseball world and won the 2013 World Series.

And fans will never forget the statement he made against one Alex Rodriguez on a Sunday night that August.

Dempster also walked away from the second year of his two-year, $28 million deal with the Sox after the World Series to be with his family. Not every player can walk away from $14 million. He did some work on the MLB Network, and did not officially retire until this week.

I wish both Josh Beckett and Ryan Dempster all the best in their retirements, and thank them both for the great memories they leave Red Sox fans. They retire champions, from two championship Sox teams.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Trivia Q&A: October 7

We had another terrific night of Trivia at The Caledonia on Tuesday night, as the bar was filled and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The crowd was rather boisterous, and it was a really close night in terms of scores. In fact, something happened after the third round that I have never seen happen in any Trivia Night I have ever done before. There were seven teams playing, and every team was one point behind the other. And it was really strange since we had a five-way tie for second place after the second round!

The team of Multiple Scoregasms won the night, coming from last place in the third round and had two amazing last rounds, getting 4 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia to pull off a one point victory with 39 points. Second place went to The Central Park Bears with 38 points, and third place went to Mortal Wombat with 37 points.

Best Team Name: My Name Is Keith. I am Your Bartender, and I Like Things On The Harder Side

Current Events
1. What European country recently abolished all tuition fees in their colleges and universities for the coming school year?
2. What controversial actor was accused of assault and battery after he allegedly attacked a technician during a visit to a dentist last month?
3. According to Pollstar, what NY-area concert venue has sold more tickets to concerts & touring shows than any other US arena in the first nine months of 2014?
4. Jean-Claude Duvalier, the former "president for life" of what country he ruled for 15 years before fleeing into exile in 1986, died last Saturday at the age of 63?
5. The family of the late iconic actor John Wayne is currently locked in a legal battle with what American university over using his nickname on a bourbon bottle?
6. American John O'Keefe and Norwegians May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser were awarded the Nobel Prize in what field on Monday?
7. What movie thriller grossed over $38 million this past weekend in its opening week to become the number one film in the US at the box office?

Italy Trivia
1. Italy's flag is what three colors?
2. Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa in Italy in what century?
3. In 1890, Italian Giuseppe Airoldi is credited with inventing what, something you see in newspapers every day?
4. What small country is located totally within northern Italy, has a population of 30,000 and is the oldest constitutional republic in the world?
5. Venice's international airport is named for what Italian traveler and explorer?
6. What is the name of Italy's largest island?
7. How many time has Italy won soccer's World Cup?

Saturday Night Live Characters Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Beldar Conehead
2. Wayne Campbell
3. Matt Foley
4. Ed Grimley
5. The Church Lady
6. Emily Litella
7. Stuart Smalley
8. Alex Trebek
9. Tommy Flanagan, Pathological Liar
10. Barack Obama

General Knowledge
1. What country leads the teams in the opening parade for every Summer Olympics? ( 1 pt)
2. Clemson University is found in what US state? ( 1 pt)
3. What was the name of the SUV famously driven in June 1994 by Al Cowlings? ( 1 pt)
4. Titan is the largest moon of what planet? ( 2 pt)
5. What is the only US state that touches the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Ontario? ( 2 pt)
6. What is the branch of medicine that deals with cancer? ( 2 pt)
7. The month of March always starts on the same day of the week as what other month?  ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What is the largest bay in the world? ( 4 points)
2. What European car company was founded in 1922 as the Swallow Sidecar Company, originally making motorcycle sidecars before developing passenger cars? ( 5 points)
3. What is the smallest state in the US west of the Mississippi River in land area? ( 3 points)
4. What small European nation is the world's most densely populated country? ( 4 points)
5. At the age of 54, Elena Kagen is the youngest person who is part of what group of people? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Germany; 2. Charlie Sheen; 3. Barclays Center; 4. Haiti; 5. Duke; 6. medicine; 7. "Gone Girl."

Italy Trivia
1. Red, white and green; 2. 16th century; 3. crossword puzzle; 4. San Marino; 5. Marco Polo; 6. Sicily; 7. four.

Saturday Night Live Characters Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Dan Aykroyd; 2. Mike Myers; 3. Chris Farley; 4. Martin Short; 5. Dana Carvey; 6. Gilda Radner; 7. Al Franken; 8. Will Ferrell; 9. Jon Lovitz; 10. Fred Armisen & Jay Pharoah.

General Knowledge
1. Greece; 2. South Carolina; 3. Ford Bronco; 4. Saturn; 5. New York; 6. oncology; 7. November.

IQ Trivia
1. Bay of Bengal; 2. Jaguar; 3. Hawaii; 4. Monaco; 5. US Supreme Court.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Honoring Italy & SNL On Tuesday

On Tuesday night, Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub will feature "Italy Trivia" as the Special Category, in honor of the upcoming Columbus Day holiday next Monday. I will ask you seven questions connected in some way to that great nation.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Saturday Night Live Characters Trivia." In honor of the NBC show beginning its 40th season a couple of weeks ago, I will give you the names of ten famous characters from that show, and you have to tell me which actor or actress played that character on the program.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What country leads the teams in the opening parade for every Summer Olympics?"

We get rolling just after 8 PM tomorrow night. Thanks to all of you who have been turning out each week and making Trivia at the Caledonia such a success. The pub is located at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. Hope to see many of you on Tuesday for another great night of Trivia Q&A!

Friday, October 03, 2014

"Baseball's Greatest Comeback: The Miracle Braves of 1914"

As we all know, America loves an underdog. There have been many in baseball history, and most think of the 1969 New York Mets as the gold standard for it. And there have been many amazing comebacks as well, with the most famous being the New York Giants coming back to win the National League pennant in 1951 (who coincidentally, pulled it off 63 years ago today).

But there was a forerunner for both underdog and comebacks in MLB history. It was the 1914 Boston Braves, who pulled off the most amazing comeback in baseball history, and it is chronicled in the new tome, "Baseball's Greatest Comeback: The Miracle Braves of 1914" by J. Brian Ross.

The Braves were a pretty nondescript team, playing second fiddle in the city of Boston to the Red Sox, who had won the World Series in 1912. The Braves had not won a pennant in their history and had finished fifth of eight teams in 1913, after ending up in the basement the previous four seasons. They broke from the gate in 1914 losing 16 of their first 19 games, and it looked like another last place finish was in store for them.

On July 4th, they dropped a doubleheader (you remember them, right?) to the Brooklyn Dodgers, and they stood at 26-40 in last place. A few days later they played an exhibition game against Buffalo of the International League, and were humiliated, 10-2. It was the naadir of a lost season. But right after that, their fortunes turned. And dramatically.

Ross does a nice job setting up the times the Braves won it all in 1914: it was the Progressive Era, which was marked by invention and innovation. But it was also a dangerous time, as war was looming in Europe, and would engulf the world.

Ross also talks extensively about many of the major stars of the era, like John McGraw, Christy Mathewson and Connie Mack. He also focuses on the only stars playing for the Braves, future Hall of Fame infielders Rabbit Maranville and Johnny Evers. The section on Evers is especially interesting, as he went through a few tragedies during his playing days. The Braves also had a colorful manager named George Stallings, a figure really lost to MLB history, and Ross' depiction of him is as a real character.

A combination of amazing pitching, great defense and timely hitting put the Braves on an amazing run, as they won 68 and lost just 19 the remainder of the season. They took over first place on September 8th, as the mighty New York Giants slumped in August, and the Braves won the league by an astounding 10 1/2 games, as they went 26-5 in September.

The Braves met Connie Mack and the mighty Philadelphia A's in the World Series. They were one of history's greatest teams, winning three of the past four World Series. Ross does well here describing each of the World Series games, which was a Braves sweep. (The Braves played their two home games at Fenway Park, as Fenway had a larger capacity than Braves Field.)

If I do some criticisms of the book, is that it is a bit short (only 153 pages), and there was little followup on the aftermath of the Braves' miracle season. (It turned out to be just a one-year wonder, as the Braves finished second in 1915, and wound up back in the second division by 1917. The A's suffered a worse fate, as Connie Mack began breaking up his championship squad, as he was short of money. They finished 43-109 in 1915. So the 2014 Red Sox aren't the first team to win a title and finish last the next year.)

But it overall an enjoyable read, and the parallels to the 1969 New York Mets are quite evident. J. Brian Ross brought a deadball era champion back to life, and despite some faults, it is well-worth your time to check it out, especially if you are a fan of old time baseball history.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Trivia Q&A: September 30

We had another good crowd in at the Caledonia for Trivia, as the AL Wild Card Game was going on (and will become an instant classic for sure). The team of Lester? I Don't Even Know Her led for the first four rounds, but were overtaken when the team of I Can't Read That Out Loud got 4 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia and wound up winning the night with 38 points, for their first ever Trivia Night win. Lester? Wound up in second with 32 points, and Brains of Kyrgykstan finished third with 25 points.

Best Team Name: Good Name Next Time!

Current Events
1. What US state was hit by a 6.2 earthquake last Thursday, causing minimal damage, and it was estimated that it was 32,000 times less powerful than the state's worst earthquake of 1964?
2. The president of the region of Catalonia, from what country, authorized an independence referendum for November 9th last week over the country's government opposition?
3. The daughter of the infamous BTK serial killer criticized what author recently for having written a screenplay based on the 2005 Kansas case?
4. A new book recently claimed that what legendary comedian faked his own death 30 years ago, and the author, his friend, claims he will reveal his prank to the world soon?
5. Dennis Kimetto set a new marathon world record last Sunday of 2:02:57 in what European capital city?
6. Over 30 people are feared dead after a volcano erupted on Mount Ontake in what Asian country?
7. Ashraf Ghani was sworn in last Sunday as the new president of what Asian country?

Which Came First Trivia
1. a. The American Civil War ends; b. Canada becomes an independent nation.
2. a. Saigon falls and Vietnam unifies; b. Richard Nixon resigns and Gerald Ford becomes president.
3. a. OJ Simpson is indicted for double murder; c. MLB players walk out on strike & the World Series is later canceled.
4. a. American Idol debuts on Fox; b. Survivor debuts on CBS.
5. a. Barack Obama is born; b. JFK is inaugurated president.
6. a. New England Patriots win their first Super Bowl; b. Boston Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years.
7. a. Bernie Madoff is arrested for running a Ponzi scheme; b. Barack Obama is elected 44th US president.

1-2-3-4 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. This is the number of state capitals named after US presidents.
2. Catcher is this number on a baseball team.
3. On a telephone, this number key is associated with the letters D, E and F.
4. Cancer is this number sign of the zodiac.
5. This is the number of US presidents who have been impeached.
6. In volleyball, this is the number of sets needed to be won to win a whole match.
7. This is the total number of Oscars won by Matt Damon in his career.
8. This is the maximum number of times Friday the 13th can happen in a given year.
9. This is the number of future US presidents who signed the Declaration of Independence.
10. Hall of Fame athletes Ozzie Smith and Oscar Robertson wore this number.

General Knowledge
1. In what classic game can you be ordered to "go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200?" ( 1 pt)
2. What is the sixth planet from the sun? (1 pt)
3. Jakarta is the capital of what Asian country? ( 1 pt)
4. Michael Hutchence was the lead singer of what pop/rock band? ( 2 pt)
5. Matthew Brady was a noted photographer of what war? ( 2 pt)
6. What is the largest bone in the human body? ( 2 pt)
7. Geronimo was the noted leader of what American Indian tribe? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Where in the human body would you find the metacarpus? ( 4 points)
2. Kate Winslet won an Academy Award for Best Actress for what film? ( 3 points)
3. What US state shares the Lake of the Woods with Canada? ( 4 points)
4. The city where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914 is now the capital of what independent nation? ( 4 points)
5. In August 2014, California native Kevin McCarthy became only the 25th person in American history to hold what post? ( 5 points)

Current Events
1. Alaska; 2. Spain; 3. Stephen King; 4. Andy Kaufman; 5. Berlin; 6. Japan; 7. Afghanistan.

Which Came First Trivia
1. a; 2. b; 3. a; 4. b; 5. b; 6. a; 7. b.

1-2-3-4 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. 4; 2. 2; 3. 3; 4. 4; 5. 2; 6. 3; 7. 1; 8. 3; 9. 2; 10. 1.

General Knowledge
1. Monopoly; 2. Saturn; 3. Indonesia; 4. INXS; 5. Civil War; 6. femur; 7. Apache.

IQ Trivia
1. Hand; 2. "The Reader;" 3. Minnesota; 4. Bosnia & Herzogovina; 5. Majority Leader of the House of Representatives.

Monday, September 29, 2014

No Chicken or Egg Questions On Tuesday

Tuesday night, September 30th, Trivia Night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub will feature "Which Came First Trivia," as I will give you two events from recent history, and you have to tell me which one occurred first.(And no, "chicken" or "egg" will not be one of the questions.)

The Q Train lightning round will feature "1-2-3-4 Trivia." I will ask you ten questions, and each answer will be either the numbers 1,2,3 or 4.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Jakarta is the capital of what Asian country?"

We'll get going right around 8 PM tomorrow night. The Caledonia is on the Upper east Side of Manhattan, at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We keep growing and growing at our newest venue, and let's keep it that way! Hope to see many of you on Tuesday night.

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Memorable Night Last Night

No, not in New York. In Boston.

The future was on display as the Red Sox concluded their season series with Tampa Bay by whacking the Rays, 11-1. Allen Webster pitched seven solid innings for his fifth win of the season.

But it was the bats of Christian Vazquez and Rusney Castillo that caught the eyes of all who witnessed it at Fenway last night. Vazquez went 4-for-4 with a bomb of a home run and three RBI. This kid has star written all over him, as he thrown out 52% of all runners who have tried to steal off him, and has a definite presence behind the plate, even in his rookie season. He's been compared to Ivan Rodriguez, and not because they are both Puerto Rican. His bat has shown flashes of brillence, and if he hits enough, he'll be an All-Star for sure.

Castillo hit a three-run home run in the fourth, and it put the game out of reach in the 4th inning. He's only played a few games at the MLB level, but has shown some good instincts in the field and on the bases (as he scored from second on a wild pitch on Tuesday night).

The Sox rolled out seven rookies in the lineup last night, as they had on Tuesday. And they beat Tampa Bay convincingly in both contests. Both Vazquez and Castillo belted their first MLB home runs last night. It reminded me of the 2013 Sox with the power displays and the two-out hitting.

The date of September 25, 2014 maybe remembered for other reasons, but it will also be the night that both Christian Vazquez and Rusney Castillo went deep for the first time for the Red Sox.

Yes, the future was on display at Fenway last night. Bring it on.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Trivia Q&A: September 23

We had another fine turnout on Tuesday night at the Caledonia, with a full bar and another crowd really into the Trivia. The scores from "Three of Five Trivia" were higher than I expected, and I'll be bringing back that category on a semi-regular basis. We had a neck-and-neck fight to the finish between the top two teams, but the team of  Fade Into Bolivian (who also won Best Team Name) wound up on top, as the ran the table in IQ Trivia to finish with 55 points. Second place went to Don't Mind the Grey Matter with 43 points, and third went to Quiz Me Maybe with 32 points.

Current Events
1. What Oscar-nominated actor was named a "Messenger of Peace" by the UN last week in their fight against climate change?
2. John Rowland, ex-governor of which New England state, was found guilty on seven counts of corruption last Friday?
3. Apple sold a new record number of iPhones this past weekend, with the brand new iPhone release last Friday. How many iPhone 6 models were sold?
4. What Disney production reached a worldwide gross of over $6.2 billion recently, breaking the record once held by "Phantom of the Opera" for the highest box office of any work in entertainment history?
5. Pope Francis made his first visit to a European country as pope last weekend, to what neighboring nation with a Muslim majority?
6. What "Saturday Night Live" alumnus was chosen to be the show's new announcer, replacing the recently deceased Don Pardo?
7. NASA's space probe MAVEN, launched last November, entered what planet's orbit on Sunday to study its atmosphere?

Three of Five Trivia
1. Name 3 of the 5 smallest states in the US in population.
2. Name 3 of the last 5 teams to win the World Series.
3. Name 3 of the largest 5 cities in Canada by population.
4. Name 3 of the 5 largest countries in Europe in terms of land area.
5. Name 3 of the 5 most common surnames in the US.
6. Name 3 of the 5 most visited cities in the US by tourists.
7. Name 3 of the last 5 winners of the Oscar for Best Actor.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. One of every two Americans lives within 50 miles of where they were born.
2. Walt Disney was cryogenically frozen after his death.
3. When full grown, humans have 216 bones.
4. In the book "The Wizard of Oz," Dorothy wears silver and not ruby slippers.
5. Count Dracula was based on a real person.
6. John is the most common first name in the world.
7. Florida is larger in land area than the entire nation of Japan.
8. Our ears never stop growing until the day we die.
9. You must have a law degree to sit on the Supreme Court as a justice.
10. The tuxedo dinner jacket was named after a town in New York state.

General Knowledge
1. Film classics "North By Northwest" and "Vertigo" were directed by whom? ( 1 pt)
2. What is the common nickname for nitrous oxide? ( 1 pt)
3. How many natural satellites does the planet Mercury have? ( 1 pt)
4. What 1960s rock star was also known as "The Lizard King?" ( 2 pt)
5. Who was the heaviest US president? ( 2 pt)
6. Which tennis grand slam title did Briton Andy Murray win in 2013? ( 2 pt)
7. The Apostle Islands in Lake Superior belong to which US state? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What current US state did General George A. Custer make his famous 1876 "last stand" in? (3 points)
2. A vicennial event occurs how many years apart? ( 5 points)
3. What type of dog was Scooby-Doo in the popular animated TV series? ( 4 points)
4. What is the tallest man-made monument in the US? ( 4 points)
5. In what South American country were legendary outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid supposedly killed in 1908? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Leonardo DiCaprio; 2. Connecticut; 3. 10 million; 4. "The Lion King:"; 5. Albania; 6. Darrell Hammond; 7. Mars.

Three of Five Trivia
1. Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota; 2. Red Sox, Giants, Cardinals, Yankees, Phillies; 3. Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary; 4. Ukraine, France, Spain, Sweden, Germany; 5. Smith, Johnson, Williams, Brown, Jones; 6. New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, San Francisco; 7. Matthew McConaughey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jean Dujardin, Colin Firth, Jeff Bridges.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. True; 2. false, he was cremated; 3. false, 206 bones; 4. true; 5. true; 6. false, Muhammad; 7. false, Japan is three times larger; 8. true; 9. false; 10. true.

General Knowledge
1. Alfred Hitchcock; 2. laughing gas; 3. none; 4. Jim Morrison; 5. William Howard Taft; 6. Wimbledon; 7. Wisconsin.

IQ Trivia
1. Montana; 2. twenty; 3. Great Dane; 4. Gateway Arch; 5. Bolivia.

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's a Best 3 Out of 5 On Tuesday

Trivia Night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub on Tuesday, September 23rd will feature "Three of Five Trivia." I will ask you seven general knowledge questions, and each question you will have to name at least three out of five to get one point. If you get 4 of 5, you get an extra point, and if you get all five correct, you get two bonus points. So you can roll up points if you know your stuff. The questions will be like this: "Name 3 of the last 5 NBA champions." (That won't be a question I will ask tomorrow night, but you get the idea.)

BTW, you might be wondering why I have a picture of Derek Lowe celebrating in this post. That was when he saved the final game of the 2003 ALDS for the Red Sox against Oakland. So, the Red Sox won that series by taking "three of five." Sorry, that was the best I could do to find an appropriate photo for this post.

The Q Train lightning round will be "True or False Trivia."

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What is the common nickname for nitrous oxide?"

We'll get going at 8 PM. The Caledonia is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We've been getting some really good crowds as of late, so let's keep that momentum going. Hope to see many of you on Tuesday night!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

It's Still A Golden Age

There's just one week left in the 2014 baseball regular season, and it's been a season to forget for Red Sox fans, going from the top of the mountain into an extremely low valley.

But the Red Sox will still be called "Defending World Series Champions" until a new team is crowned at the end of October.

As we all know, the Sox have won three World Series championships over the past ten years. That is something to keep in mind through the end of this dark year. And especially remember those idiots in the media who kept reminding us before 2004 that the Sox had not won since 1918, going on about some "curse" they made up. The name currently escapes me.

That got me to thinking. How many teams' fans can say they have witnessed their club win the World Series three times? It's just handful, and I've done some digging on that subject.

Of the 30 MLB teams, no expansion club has won the Series three times. Just the Mets, Marlins and Blue Jays have won the Series twice, and the Royals, Angels and Diamondbacks have won it once. All the others are still seeking their first title.

That leaves the "original" 16 teams. All but three of them have won the World Series three times in their franchise histories: Phillies, Indians, and Cubs have each won it twice. That leaves 13 teams that have won it three times. Here are those teams, with the years they won their last three titles:

Red Sox: 2013-2007-2004
Yankees: 2009-2000-1999
Cardinals: 2011-2006-1982
Reds: 1990-1976-1975
A's: 1989-1974-1973
Orioles: 1983-1970-1966
Dodgers: 1988-1981-1965
Pirates: 1979-1971-1960
Giants: 2012-2010-1954
Tigers: 1984-1968-1945
Twins: 1991-1987-1924
Braves: 1995-1958-1914
White Sox: 2005-1917-1906

So as you can see by this list, only three teams have won it all three times in this last generation. And as you go beyond that, only those folks in middle age can say they've seen the Reds through the Pirates take three titles, and I'm safely betting that fans of the Twins (when they were the Senators in Washington), Braves (when they were in Boston and Milwaukee) and White Sox haven't seen it happen a trio of times, unless they've hit the century mark and beyond in age.

So savor this past decade, Red Sox fans. It is a golden age, and we may never see something like that happen again in our lifetimes.

But, you never know...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Trivia Q&A: September 16

The crowds keep turning out for our Trivia Night.

We had the largest crowd so far in our short history at the Caledonia on Tuesday night: 11 teams came out for the festivities. We had a loud and enthusiastic one as well. The team of Quizzy Mac Quizzerson won the night, getting 42 points and the victory. We had a great three-team race heading into the final round, and they had the lead and held, getting 4 of 5 correct.

Second place went to Now That I Have an iPhone, Is That a Cheating Device? with 39 points, and third went to Dylan's Crew with 34 points.

Best Team Name: Norfolk and Chance

Current Events
1. US News and World Report selected which Ivy League school as its top university for the second straight year for 2015?
2. What rock band released its newest album for free to all 500 million iTunes customers last week?
3. Guinness World Records confirmed last week that what rock band became the first musical act to play on all seven continents, as they recently did a gig in Antarctica?
4. What billionaire has pledged $50 million to fight the ebola outbreak in Africa, his foundation's largest ever donation toward a humanitarian cause?
5. An Arkansas judge was fired last weekend after he leaked confidential information about an adoption involving what Oscar-winning actress in 2012?
6. What late night talk show host dared the classic rock band The Eagles to sue him for playing their music on his show, as the band does not allow TV shows to play their songs?
7. American Matthew Miller was sentenced to six years hard labor for entering what country illegally and for being a "spy" for the US?

New York City Trivia
1. Which NYC bridge was renamed in honor of former mayor Ed Koch in 2011?
2. Who is the only US president born in New York City?
3. What NYC art museum was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright?
4. What is the official residence of NYC's mayor called?
5. Which of the NYC boroughs is the largest in area?
6. The most stolen honorary street sign in NYC is named in honor of what NY-born rock star, who died in 2001?
7. What Manhattan street is nicknamed "Swing Street?"

Lead Singers Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Robert Smith
2. Natalie Maines
3. Lindsay Buckingham
4. Dave Grohl
5. Billie Joe Armstrong
6. Belinda Carlisle
7. Philip Bailey
8. Brian Johnson
9. Donald Fagen
10. Bret Michaels

General Knowledge
1. What ocean has over 45 percent of the world's water? ( 1 pt)
2. In which hand does the Statue of Liberty hold a torch? ( 1 pt)
3. What year did the Berlin Wall begin construction? ( 1 pt)
4. Satriale's Pork Store was a popular hangout among characters in what 2000s TV series? ( 2 pt)
5. What musical genre has the most radio stations in the US, with just over 2100? ( 2 pt)
6. What teen idol wrote the lyrics to Frank Sinatra's his song "My Way?" ( 2 pt)
7. What director won an Oscar for directing the 1991 film "The Silence of the Lambs?" ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What planet was discovered by William Herschel on March 13, 1781? ( 4 points)
2. The Battle of Waterloo took place in 1815 in what present-day country? ( 3 points)
3. What MLB team was the first team to move to another city in the 20th century, in 1952? ( 5 points)
4. "Maybellene" was the first hit record for what rock'n'roll immortal in 1955? ( 4 points)
5. Lord Greystoke was the true identity of what legendary fictional character? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Princeton; 2. U2; 3. Metallica; 4. Bill Gates; 5. Charlize Theron; 6. David Letterman; 7. North Korea.

New York City Trivia
1. Queensborough (59th Street); 2. Theodore Roosevelt; 3. Guggenheim; 4. Gracie Mansion; 5. Queens; 6. Joey Ramone; 7. 52nd Street.

Lead Singers Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. The Cure; 2. The Dixie Chicks; 3. Fleetwood Mac; 4. Foo Fighters; 5. Green Day; 6. The Go-Gos; 7. Earth, Wind & Fire; 8. AC/DC; 9. Steely Dan; 10. Poison.

General Knowledge
1. Pacific; 2. right; 3. 1961; 4. "The Sopranos;" 5. Country; 6. Paul Anka; 7. Jonathan Demme.

IQ Trivia
1. Uranus; 2. Belgium; 3. Boston Braves; 4. Chuck Berry; 5. Tarzan.

Monday, September 15, 2014

We've Now Been New York For 3 1/2 Centuries

Tomorrow night at The Caledonia Scottish Pub, the Special Category for Tuesday Night Trivia will be "New York City Trivia," seven questions about our beloved Big Apple. Last week was the 350th anniversary of the renaming of our town from New Amsterdam to New York, so why not celebrate that fact with a whole category on Trivia Night?

The Q Train lightning round will be "Lead Singers Trivia." I will give you the names of ten famous lead singers of rock and pop groups over the years, and you tell me what group I'm talking about.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What ocean has over 45 percent of the world's water?"

We get rolling at 8 PM. The Caledonia is located at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. Remember it is $50 in gift certificates to the winners, $20 to second place, and a free round of shots to third. I hope you can make it out for another great night of Trivia Q&A tomorrow night!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Always and Forever Family

As many of you who read my blog know, September 11th is the most sacred day of the year for me. It is a day that America was attacked on her shore by terrorists, and nearly 3,000 innocent people lost their lives. And it was personal for me, as my dear friend Joyce Carpeneto was one of those souls.

I have honored her here on this site every year since I started this blog back in 2006. I will be at the ceremonies at the World Trade Center site on Thursday for the 13th straight year. There simply isn't any other place I could be on this day but there.

Every year, all of the names of the 9/11 victims are read during the morning's ceremonies. Loved ones of the lost, first responders, workers at the rebuilding of the site and many others have been readers. This year it will once again by the families of the victims who will do the readings.

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum holds a lottery in August to determine who will do the readings. Almost on a lark I entered my name in the lottery, not really thinking it would be picked. But on August 19th, I was notified that I my name was picked to be a reader. It was literally a dream come true. It is something my dear friend Deborah and I have always wanted to do to honor Joyce and all the victims.

But I received a call later in the day from another person from the Museum, asking me to call them back. I did the following morning, and I was told that since Joyce and I were NOT blood relatives, I was not going to be allowed to do the reading, as it wouldn't be fair to those families who lost out. I certainly wasn't going to pretend I was her brother or cousin, as I could never in any good conscience do a lie like that. I said we were dear friends, and that is true.

Basically, "dear friends" don't count.

I understood their reasoning, and I have to admit that they were rather nice about it and not at all obnoxious. I was not upset or angry about it. Just disappointed. Friends of the victims have always been looked over in the ceremonies, and that is a shame.

I will see the loved ones reading the names on Thursday, and it will make me sad that I wasn't allowed to do it. Joyce and I may not have been related, but she will forever be family to me. Always.

Here are the previous tributes I have done in Joyce's memory:
2006: Forever Missed. And Forever Loved.
2007: Never Forget. Ever.
2008: We Can Be The Ones Who Remember
2009: The Most Sacred Of All Days
2010: 3000
2011: Ten Years After
2012: 11 Years
2013: No Other Place In The World I Could Be Today

May God bless Joyce and every other person who died on September 11, 2001.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Trivia Q&A: September 9

We had another great turnout for Trivia on Tuesday night, the bar just about full, and it's really nice to see some returning folks as well as some new people in as well.

We had a great two-team race to the finish, with the team of Ribald and Beautiful finishing in the winner's circle with 41 points. They were neck and neck with Awww Geee Quiz, Man! and they finished in second with 36 points. Third place went to Griffin's II with 27 points.

Congrats to Matt, Monica and their friends on the victory.

Best Team Name: Ray Rice's Team (And One Kissed the Elevator Floor)

Current Events
1. What Broadway show recently played its 7,000th performance, making it the fourth-longest running show ever on Broadway?
2. John Holdzkom, a relief pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, became the first MLB player to be originally from what Pacific country?
3. Robert McDonnell, former governor of what US state, was convicted on corruption charges last Thursday?
4. A panel of federal judges ruled last Thursday that a same-sex marriage ban in two Midwest states was unconstitutional. Name 1 of the 2 states.
5. Guinness World Records confirmed recently that a 2013 single "Rap God" by what rap star has the most words, over 1500, in any hit single in history?
6. What retired NBA superstar applied last week to a South Florida town to become a reserve police officer?
7. Bruce Levenson, owner of what NBA team, announced he will sell his team after he self-reported a racially-charged email he sent out in 2012 criticizing the team's fans?

Joan Rivers Trivia
1. What 1970s PBS children's TV show was Joan Rivers a narrator of a popular animated feature within the show?
2. For what network did Joan Rivers host her first late-night talk show, called "The Late Show?"
3. True or False: Joan Rivers was once nominated for a Tony Award.
4. In 1978, Joan Rivers wrote and directed a film called "Rabbit Test", which starred what comic actor as the world's first pregnant man?
5. Joan Rivers received the Hasty Pudding Award as "Woman of the Year" in 1984 from what famous university?
6. How old was Joan Rivers at the time of her death last Thursday?
7. In the mid-1990s, Joan Rivers and her daughter Melissa began hosting the pre-awards shows for the Oscars and Golden Globes on what cable TV network?
BONUS: 8. In the 1987 hit single "Elvis Is Everywhere", there is a lyric in the song that goes, "Elvis is in Joan Rivers, but he's trying to get out, man!" Who recorded the song?

Who's Older Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Paul McCartney or Keith Richards
2. Matt Damon or Ben Affleck
3. Queen Elizabeth or Mel Brooks
4. Michael J. Fox or Barack Obama
5. Al Pacino or Robert DeNiro
6. Cindy Crawford or Mariano Rivera
7. Meryl Streep or Helen Mirren
8. Bill Clinton or Al Gore
9. Adele or Lady Gaga
10. Jay Leno or David Letterman

General Knowledge
1. The slavery issue split what state into two parts during the Civil War? ( 1 pt)
2. In what year did Charles Lindbergh complete his solo Transatlantic flight? ( 1 pt)
3. "Quadrophenia" was a rock opera created by what band? ( 1 pt)
4. Mount Etna is a volcano located on what Mediterranean island? ( 2 pt)
5. What river serves as the border between the states of Indiana and Kentucky? ( 2 pt)
6. Who was the first 19th century US vice-president to become president? ( 2 pt)
7. Most paper starts burning at what Fahrenheit temperature? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. "The Rain In Spain" is a famous song from what 1964 film? ( 3 points)
2. The tallest building in the European Union, The Shard, standing at just over 1,000 feet, is found in what city? ( 4 points)
3. The United States' five highest mountains east of the Mississippi are all located, at least in part, in what state? ( 4 points)
4. What two 20th century US presidents did Robin Williams portray in two different films near the end of his career? ( 4 points)
5. What American statesman was removed from the Half Dollar when John F. Kennedy was added to it in 1964? ( 5 points)

Current Events
1. "The Lion King;" 2. New Zealand; 3. Virginia; 4. Indiana and Wisconsin; 5. Eminem; 6. Shaquille O'Neal; 7. Atlanta Hawks.

Joan Rivers Trivia
1. "The Electric Company;" 2. Fox; 3. true; 4. Billy Crystal; 5. Harvard; 6. eighty-one; 7. E!; 8. Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper.

Who's Older Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. McCartney (72-71); 2. Damon (44-42); 3. Queen (2 months older, both 88); 4. Fox (2 months older, both 53); 5. Pacino (74-70); 6. Crawford (49-45); 7. Mirren (69-65); 8. Clinton (68-66); 9. Gaga (28-26); 10. Letterman (67-64).

General Knowledge
1. Virginia; 2. 1927; 3. The Who; 4. Sicily; 5. Ohio; 6. John Adams; 7. 451 degrees.

IQ Trivia
1. "My Fair Lady;" 2. London; 3. North Carolina; 4. Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower; 5. Benjamin Franklin.

Monday, September 08, 2014

We Remember Comedy's Queen On Tuesday

On Tuesday night, the Special category for Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub will be "Joan Rivers Trivia," seven questions about the legendary comedian who died in New York last Thursday. The Q Train lightning round will be "Who's Older Trivia." I will give you ten sets of current celebrities and you have to tell me which is the older of the two.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"In what year did Charles Lindbergh complete his solo Transatlantic flight?"

We get started at 8 PM tomorrow night. The Caledonia is located at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We had some great turnouts over the last few weeks, so let's keep them going!

Saturday, September 06, 2014

No Cuban Missile Crisis Here

Do you think the Oakland A's would like to have Yoenis Cespedes back?

The Cuban slugger went 4-for-6 last night in leading the Red Sox to an improbable 9-8 win over the Blue Jays at Fenway last night. He drove in two runs, including the last on a single with the bases loaded in the 10th inning to cap a three-run rally, after the Sox gave up two in the top of the 10th.

That win sure felt like it was out of the 2013 playbook, didn't it?

Cespedes has been terrific in a Red Sox uniform. 4 HRs, 26 RBI, .297 average and .790 OPS. His former team, the Oakland A's have really been struggling lately, having lost 7 of 8, and are really having a hard time scoring runs. While Jon Lester has been great in Oakland, they are missing Cespedes' bat badly.

The Sox are now 62-79 in this lost 2014 season. At least last night's comeback win (the Sox came from behind three times) brought back some fond memories of last year's bunch, and maybe a glimmer of what lies ahead in 2015.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The Future On Center Stage

Well, you take the victories any way you can get them.

The Red Sox are currently in the middle of a 10-game road trip through three of their AL East rivals. This looked like a disaster in the making, as they just came off a brutal 2-9 homestand.

But this has gone better than expected, as they took 2 of 3 in Toronto, and split a four-game wrap-around series in St. Pete. And they opened a three-game series in the Bronx last night with a convincing 9-4 win over New York.

The Sox had their hitting shoes on last night, as Xander Bogaerts busted out of his months-long slump with four hits, including a home run. He came up just a triple short of the cycle.

Mookie Betts continues to impress, belting his 4th home run, and had three hits. (More and more it looks like Jackie Bradley Jr. may have a new address next season if Betts keeps this going.) Yoenis Cespedes had three hits, and needed just a home run for the cycle. He showed off his impressive speed in the ninth with a standup triple.

Joe Kelly pitched 6 2/3 gutty innings, allowing three runs. He walked four (including allowing a bases loaded one) but got his first Red Sox win.

Sure, the season is long gone. But it was fun to see the Red Sox future on display last night, especially taking down the fading Yankees.

I'll be with the BLOHARDS tomorrow at the Yale Club, doing Red Sox trivia and giving away prizes. Always a fun time, no matter where the Sox are in the standings.

Trivia Q&A: September 2

We had yet another fine turnout at The Caledonia Scottish Pub on Tuesday night, as the bar was filled and the crowd was really into the Trivia. I really appreciate all of you who have turned out and made Trivia Night at the Caledonia a continuing success.

We had an unusual event occur during Trivia Night. All seven teams had the exact same place from the second round until the final round. The team that led all night, All Good Things Must Come To An End, wound up winning by getting 3 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia and getting 42 points and winning by 7 points. Nice job by Pian and her friends winning on their return after a short absence of a few weeks.

Second place went to A Name So Nice, A Name So Nice with 35 points, and third place went to Dumbo On Xanax with 29 points.

Best Team Name: Takin' Care of Quizness

Current Events
1. At the Primetime Emmy Awards last week, the comedy series "Modern Family" won for Best Comedy Series, tying the record for consecutive years winning the award. How many years has it won?
2. What fast-food chain announced it will buy the Canadian restaurant chain Tim Hortons, in what many believe is just so the company can relocate to Canada and pay less US income tax?
3. Police in Omaha, NE accidentally shot and killed a sound supervisor from what reality series as they were answering a call about a robbery last week?
4. 71 people were killed recently when a series of landslides hit what Asian country?
5. What rap/hip hop artist plead no contest to a 2012 felony drug charge last week but will face no jail time?
6. What rock superstar will release his first book this coming November, a children's book based on his 2009 song called "Outlaw Pete?"
7. What rock star is no longer actively seeking to buy the NFL Buffalo Bills team, as he and his Canadian sports owners group recently parted ways?

September 2nd Trivia
1. On this day in 1945, WWII officially ended in the Pacific when Japan signed the surrender aboard what American battleship?
2. In 1901, what US vice-president uttered the famous phrase for the first time, "Speak softly and carry a big stick?"
3. In 1945, Vietnam declared their independence from what European nation?
4. On this date in 1996, what pop superstar had his 12th and final solo number one song with "You Are Not Alone?"
5. In 2013, a new eastern span of what American bridge was opened to traffic, making it the world's widest bridge?
6. Terry Bradshaw, NFL Hall of Fame QB, was born on this day in 1948. How many Super Bowl titles did he lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to?
7. Dr. Christiaan Barnard, who performed the world's first successful human heart transplant, died on this day in 2001. In what country did he perform the surgery?

Colleges and Universities Trivia ("The Q Train") (Name the state)
1. Carnegie Mellon
2. Dartmouth
3. Morehouse
4. Oral Roberts
5. The Citadel
6. Rice
7. Marshall
8. Air Force Academy
9. Gonzaga
10. Johns Hopkins

General Knowledge
1. How many stripes are there on a flag of the United States? ( 1 pt)
2. Where would one find the pectoral muscles in the human body? ( 1 pt)
3. What is the name for an adult female sheep? ( 1 pt)
4. In your car, what instrument measures the distance traveled? ( 2 pt)
5. What actor won an Oscar for Best Actor for the 2006 film "The King of Scotland?" ( 2 pt)
6. What was the name of Ebenezer Scrooge's business partner? ( 2 pt)
7. How many cards are there in a standard tarot deck? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What fast food chain got its name from an amusement park attraction briefly seen in the 1978 film "Grease?" ( 4 points)
2. A statue of what famous statesman stands with one foot on US soil and other on British Embassy grounds in Washington DC? ( 3 points)
3. In 1993, what central African nation became a landlocked country, when territory it controlled became an independent country? ( 4 points)
4. Santa Rosa, Black Amber and Long John are all varieties of what fruit? ( 5 points)
5. How many current US senators are Democrats? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Five; 2. Burger King; 3. "Cops;" 4. Japan; 5. CeeLo Green; 6. Bruce Springsteen; 7. Jon Bon Jovi.

September 2nd Trivia
1. USS Missouri; 2. Theodore Roosevelt; 3. France; 4. Michael Jackson; 5. San Francisco Bay Bridge; 6. four; 7. South Africa.

Colleges and Universities Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. PA; 2. NH; 3. GA; 4. OK; 5. SC; 6. TX; 7. WV; 8. CO; 9. WA; 10. MD.

General Knowledge
1. Thirteen; 2. chest; 3. ewe; 4. odometer; 5. Forest Whitaker; 6. Jacob Marley; 7. seventy-eight.

IQ Trivia
1. The Shake Shack; 2. Winston Churchill; 3. Ethiopia; 4. plum; 5. fifty-three.

Monday, September 01, 2014

As School Is Back In Session

Tomorrow night, Trivia Night at The Caledonia Scottish Pub returns with "September 2nd Trivia," seven questions connected to that date in history. The Q Train lightning round will be "Colleges and Universities Trivia." In honor of the return of the school year, I will give you the names of ten well-known institutions of higher learning in the United States, and you will tell me what state it is located in. (Obviously, it won't include colleges like Florida State or Oklahoma.)

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"How many stripes are there on the flag of the United States?"

We get going right around 8 PM. The Caledonia is located at 1609 Second Avenue on the Upper East Side, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We had some really good crowds in August, so let's keep the good momentum going as we head into the fall. Hope to see you tomorrow night for a great night of Trivia!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Trivia Q&A: August 26

After last week's Trivia Night postponement, I was concerned about what kind of crowd we would have in last night. I need not have worried, as the bar was filled with a large crowd that was really into the Trivia. Thanks to all of you who came out, and my apologies to those of you who turned up last week to discover Trivia was off. We are back on Tuesdays to stay!

We had a great two-team race to the finish, and both of those teams got 4 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia to make it a win for the team of Pope Francis Was In Korea, with 50 points. Second pace went to Oxford Comma Sutra with 48 points. (It was their first time at Trivia Night. Very nice debut, guys!) Third Place went to Call Me Daddy with 32 points. (Looking forward to the banana bread next week, ladies!)

Best Team Name: Snoop Quizzle

Current Events
1. Which female pop singer is cancelling her Asian tour due to concerns over her husband's ill health?
2. Richard Attenborough, legendary British director, died Sunday at the age of 90. For what 1982 film did he win 2 Oscars, including Best Director?
3. What action film regained the top spot at the box office this past weekend and is now the summer's top-grossing domestic release?
4. What state's governor was indicted on a charge of abuse of power recently over pressuring a district attorney in his state to resign?
5. What rock superstar played the final show ever at Candlestick Park in San Francisco recently, a venue he last played nearly 48 years ago?
6. Pope Francis visited what Asian country for five days recently, the first Papal visit to an Asian nation since 1999?
7. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange announced this week that he will leave what country's London embassy "soon," where he has been living for 2 years to avoid extradition to Sweden?

Pop Music Trivia
1. The Beatles won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for what album?
2. What soul singer was shot to death by his father in 1984?
3. What future rap star was, as a 13-year-old youth, an advisor to the Oakland A's baseball team?
4. What R&B legend had hits with such songs as "Sex Machine" and "I Got Ants In My Pants?"
5. What popular country male singer's father played for the 1969 Miracle Mets?
6. What US state was Michael Jackson born in?
7. Of the four major awards, Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy, which is the only one Elton John has never won?

Name the Century Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. The US Census announces that the American Frontier had officially "closed."
2. Facebook is founded in Cambridge, MA.
3. Fletcher Christian leads the famous mutiny on The Bounty.
4. The Euro, the currency of the majority of EU countries, is established.
5. The Boston Red Sox win the first World Series.
6. Alexander Graham Bell is credited with inventing the telephone.
7. Vermont becomes the first state admitted to the Union after the Original Thirteen.
8. Theodore Roosevelt wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
9. Thomas Jefferson sends Lewis and Clark to explore the West.
10. Dennis Tito, a multi-millionaire, become the first "space tourist," funding his own trip into space.

General Knowledge
1. In the film "Anchorman," Ron Burgundy told what city to "stay classy?" ( 1 pt)
2. What was the name of King Arthur's legendary sword? ( 1 pt)
3. What does the "S" in NASCAR stand for? ( 1 pt)
4. According to the US Census Bureau, Smith is the most common surname in the US. What name is second? ( 2 pt)
5. What TV talk show host has a house band called The Roots? ( 2 pt)
6. In the 2013 film "Captain Phillips," a ship was hijacked by pirates from what country? ( 2 pt)
7. What city do the Golden State Warriors play their home basketball games in? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What sitcom spinoff was the first TV show to debut at number one in the Nielsen ratings in the mid-1970s? ( 4 points)
2. What former US president was granted the first-ever Medicare ID card? ( 5 points)
3. What onetime world leader was the first person to be named an honorary US citizen in 1963? ( 4 points)
4. The sauna originated in what European country? ( 3 points)
5. Which midwestern state is the only US state to have its official motto, "L'Etoile du Nord," written in French? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Celine Dion; 2. "Gandhi;" 3. "Guardians of the Galaxy;" 4. Texas; 5. Paul McCartney; 6. South Korea; 7. Ecuador.

Pop Music Trivia
1. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band;" 2. Marvin Gaye; 3. MC Hammer; 4. James Brown; 5. Tim McGraw; 6. Indiana; 7. Emmy.

Name the Century Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. 19th (1890); 2. 21st (2004); 3. 18th (1789); 4. 20th (1999); 5. 20th (1903); 6. 19th (1876); 7. 18th (1791); 8. 20th (1906); 9. 19th (1803); 10. 21st (2001).

General Knowledge
1. San Diego; 2. Excalibur; 3. Stock; 4. Johnson; 5. Jimmy Fallon; 6. Somalia; 7. Oakland.

IQ Trivia
1. "Rhoda;" 2. Harry S. Truman; 3. Winston Churchill; 4. Finland; 5. Minnesota.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Back In The Trivia Saddle On Tuesday Night

We had a sudden postponement to Trivia Night last Wednesday, and I do apologize for the late notice. But we do return to our usual day and time tomorrow, August 26th at 8 PM.

The Special Category will be "Pop Music Trivia," seven questions about the wonderful world of pop music down through the years. The Q Train lightning round will be "Name the Century Trivia," where I will give you ten events that happened in history and you have to tell me which century it occurred. But in this category, if you can also give me the exact year it happened, you will also get a bonus point.

The Sneak Peek question is:
"What was the name of King Arthur's legendary sword?"

We get going at 8 PM on Tuesday night. The Caledonia Scottish Pub is located at 1609 Second Avenue, between E.83rd and 84th Streets. It will be good to see many of you after the little hiatus we took last week!

2014? Nah, It Never Happened

A season to forget has become a lot more forgettable.

I haven't written much about the Red Sox in the last few weeks, as the 2014 season has gone completely down the crapper. I won't quote any numbers here, as they are too depressing to contemplate.

OK, maybe I will.

But for the second time in 2014, the Sox have lost at least 8 games in a row. It looked like the current the streak would end at 5 on Friday night, but Koji Uehara had his worst outing ever as a reliever, and is looking more and more human as time goes on.

This will be one of the worst World Series title defenses in history. (It already won't be the worst, as the Florida Marlins went 54-108 in 1998 after winning the 1997 World Series. The Sox have 56 wins right now.)

A brutal 2-9 homestand concludes, with the Red Sox dropping 7 straight to two of the better teams in the AL. Xander Bogaerts was hit in the head by Felix Hernandez and is on the concussion DL list. Might be best to leave him there the rest of the year. Since June, it has been a terrible year for the rookie shortstop. Give him time to clear his mind, make sure he is healthy and let him come back fresh in 2015.

That may sum up this Red Sox campaign. One long headache, and it won't end until September 28th.

That day can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Trivia Night Postponed

Trivia Night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub has been postponed tonight, due to some unforeseen circumstances. Everything is OK, and we will return with Trivia in our regular day and time next week, Tuesday, August 26th at 8 PM.

Hope to see many of you then, and have a great week!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Special Wednesday Trivia Night Tomorrow

Trivia Night at The Caledonia Scottish Pub will be taking place on Wednesday this week, August 20th at 8 PM. It is just for this week, as I am not available tonight. We will return to our usual day and time next Tuesday night, August 26th, at 8 PM.

This week our Special Category will be "Pop Music Trivia," as I will ask seven questions concerning the world of popular music, mostly within the last generation or so. The Q Train lightning round will be "Name the Century Trivia" (which we postponed from last week). I will give you ten famous events from the last few centuries and you have to tell me which century it occurred in. I will give you a bonus point if you can tell me the exact year it happened in.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What was the name of King Arthur's legendary sword?"

We get started at 8 PM on Wednesday night. The Caledonia is located at 1609 Second Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. I appreciate all of you who are able to adjust your schedules and come out on Wednesday night. This is just a one time only shift and we go back to Tuesdays next week. I look forward to seeing many of you tomorrow night!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Youth Will Be Served

I haven't written much about the Red Sox lately, as 2014 evolved into a lost season for the defending World Series Champions.

They backed up the truck on July 31, and a number of key players from the 2013 Champions departed.

It was a smart move by Red Sox brass.

The Sox have a deep farm system, and it was time to see what they truly had in their young players.

Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa and Anthony Ranaudo were brought up and put into the rotation. So far, I like what I see. Webster got his third win last night, De La Rosa was spectaular against the Angels this past week, and Ranaudo, despite struggling on Wednesday, got his second win. It's a good move to put the youngsters out there, throw them off the deep end of the pool and see if they can swim.

2014 continues to be a struggle for both Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley. Bradley has been nothing short of spectacular in the field, turning in highlight-reel plays. He is a Gold Glove center fielder right now. But his bat has been another story. He just broke an 0-for-35 slump this past Wednesday, and didn't draw a single walk in that stretch. He's currently hitting .213.

Bogaerts actually got off to a good start this season, but from June on, has tailed off badly, and is currently hitting .233. He also struggled at shortstop, and moved over to third after the ill-advised Stephen Drew signing (who is currently in a 4-for-32 slump with NY). Bogaerts has looked better in the field since Drew departed and he returned to shortstop. Another wise move getting rid of Drew and putting Bogaerts at short and leaving him there. The Sox are correct to leave him there and let him improve. The kid is still just 21, and will get better with time.

I have been impressed with Christian Vazquez behind the plate. He calls the game like a veteran already, and has a cannon for an arm. He's hitting .236 with 12 RBI, but his offensive numbers aren't overly important right now. He clearly is ready to be a full time MLB signal caller.

As September is just two weeks away, we should be seeing more rookies at Fenway when the rosters expand. Get these guys a taste of the majors going forward to 2015. I really believe the Sox are in far better shape for the future than their rival Yankees are. The Sox have a deep farm system, and can make over their team the way did in 2012. They can trade young talent, as well as some of the MLB talent they have, and sign free agents. They have no bad contracts, and only one player on a long term contract (Dustin Pedroia). I'm not guaranteeing a title in 2015, but the team should look very different from the one that took the field on Opening Day of 2014.

New York, on the other hand, has little in their farm system, many bad contracts, almost no one on their MLB roster they can trade for a significant return (with the exception of Brett Gardner and Dellin Betances), and the specter of Alex Rodriguez returning in 2015. Yes, the circus is coming back to town, and from Hal Steinbrenner's comments the other day, A-Rod will be welcomed back. They owe him $61 million over the next three years, and sure that's a lot of money to eat, but do you really want to bring back a guy who is going on 40, with a bad hip and who hasn't seen game action in nearly 1 1/2 years? Not to mention is more and more hated by the rank-and-file of MLB after that inane lawsuit he filed against the Players Association (and eventually withdrew)? The Yankees can only sign free agents, and that will not help them get younger, especially at the most athletic of positions.

They are stuck with him.

Anyway, back to the Sox. They have currently won 5 of 6,  and I'd love to see them get back to .500, and pass the Yankees. I know, I know, I can still dream...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Trivia Q&A: August 12

It looked like it was going to be a difficult night on Tuesday, as bar manager Keith was away on vacation and we couldn't get the sound system working. So, Yours Truly had to improvise, and I had to read off the Trivia Q&A by walking up and down the bar and nearly shouting! (I did that before earlier on in my tenure at the Caledonia.) But it worked out fine, and the sound system should be in working order next week. We had a good crowd with 8 teams taking part. The rain thankfully did not keep the folks away.

The team of Show Me On The Doll Where The Trivia Host Touched You won the night easily, as they took the title by 15 points, finishing with 49 points. They also won for Best Team Name. (I have strangely seen that name somewhere before.) Congrats to Alex and his friends on their triumph.

Second place went to I Didn't Know Pudge Was Going To Hit a Home Run with 34 points, and we had a three-way tie for third, as Phil's Phan, Down With the Quizness and Mork and Mindy all finished with 27 points, so we gave them all the third place prize: a round of shots.

A Reminder: We are doing Trivia next Wednesday next week, August 20th at 8 PM. I will not be around next Tuesday, but we will return to our usual day and time on Tuesday, August 26th at 8 PM.

Current Events
1. Classic rock singer Marianne Faithful claimed last week that what late rock star was actually murdered by her drug dealer boyfriend back in the 1970s?
2. Over 4,000 fans have signed an online petition to have the NFL select which pop singer, who released his 14th album last month to great fanfare, to play the Super Bowl halftime show this February?
3. The FCC is investigating NBC after they received complaints over a recent primetime special by what pop singer?
4. What US state was nearly hit by the first hurricane in over two decades last week, before it was downgraded to a tropical storm when it hit the state?
5. Five former maids who once worked for what late celebrity recently revealed some horro stories about working for him, with one calling him "the dirtiest, most unsanitary person in Hollywood?"
6. 38 people were killed in a plane crash last week when a Sepahan Airlines flight went down in what Middle Eastern country?
7. What drugstore chain, the largest in the US, is considering moving its headquarters to Europe to take advantage of a loophole in US tax laws and save billions of dollars?

US and World Geography Trivia
1. The country of Djibouti is located on what continent?
2. Over half the world's freshwater lakes are in what country?
3. The county of Flanders is located in which two European countries?
4. What is the world' third largest ocean?
5. Cape Hatteras is located in what US state?
6. What eastern US state is the second least populated state, after Wyoming?
7. What is the largest state in area east of the Mississippi River?

Robin Williams Film Trivia ("The Q Train") (Was he nominated for an Oscar or a Golden Globe?)
1. Dead Poets Society
2. Moscow On The Hudson
3. The World According to Garp
4. The Birdcage
5. Mrs. Doubtfire
6. Jumanji
7. Good Morning Vietnam
8. Awakenings
9. The Fisher King
10. What Dreams May Come

General Knowledge
1. What city in the US is the home to the most millionaires? ( 1 pt)
2. What is the nickname for the undersea rail tunnel that connects England and France? ( 1 pt)
3. Which former Beatle was the first person to be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone? ( 1 pt)
4. What was the first color film to win an Oscar for Best Picture? ( 2 pt)
5. The 2018 World Cup soccer championship will be held in what country? ( 2 pt)
6. What is the human body's largest organ? ( 2 pt)
7. Between Mercury, Mars and Jupiter, which has the shortest day? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Which is the only one of the original 13 states that doesn't border the Atlantic Ocean? ( 3 points)
2. In the ten-event Olympic decathlon, what is traditionally the first event held? ( 4 points)
3. UNESCO, or the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is headquartered in what European city? ( 4 points)
4. The breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s created what new country, which surpassed Mongolia as the world's largest landlocked country? ( 5 points)
5. What 19th century US president is the only one who held a patent on his own invention? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Jim Morrison; 2. Weird Al Yankovic; 3. Miley Cyrus; 4. Hawaii; 5. Michael Jackson; 6. Iran; 7. Walgreens.

US and World Geography Trivia
1. Africa; 2. Canada; 3. France and Belgium; 4. Indian; 5. North Carolina; 6. Vermont; 7. Georgia.

Robin Williams Film Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. yes (both); 2. yes (GG); 3. no; 4. no; 5. yes (GG); 6. no; 7. yes (both); 8. no; 9. yes (both); 10. no.

General Knowledge
1. New York City; 2. The Chunnel; 3. John Lennon; 4. "Gone With the Wind;" 5. Russia; 6. skin; 7. Jupiter.

IQ Trivia
1. Pennsylvania; 2. 100 meters; 3. Paris; 4. Kazakhstan; 5. Abraham Lincoln.

Monday, August 11, 2014

An Eerie & Sad Coincidence

This maybe the most incredible coincidence I have ever seen in my life.

I was home channel surfing before dinner, and came across the 1998 Robin Williams film "What Dreams May Come," about a man who dies and tries to find his wife, who has also recently passed away, in the afterlife. I had seen the movie many years ago, so I put it on and watched it for about 15 minutes.

And then my iPhone goes off, with the news bulletin: "Actor Robin Williams dies at the age of 63."

Stunned disbelief doesn't cover this adequately. I've seen some amazing coincidences in my life, but this takes the cake. The sad news was that the great comedian and actor was suffering from severe depression, and may have committed suicide.

He was a marvelous talent, and "Good Will Hunting" and "Good Morning Vietnam" are among my favorite films.

I hope he can find peace on The Other Side.

Here is a clip from "What Dreams May Come":

But my favorite clip from any Robin Williams film is from "Good Will Hunting," when Sean describes the events of the night of October 21, 1975:

Thank you for sharing you gifts with the world, Mr. Williams. Rest well.

Going Around the Globe Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, Trivia Night will feature "US and World Geography Trivia," seven questions testing your knowledge of places from here and around the world.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Name The Century Trivia." I will ask you to name the century that a certain historic event took place, and it will be worth double the points if you can the exact year it took place. (The events will be limited to the last three or four centuries.)

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What city in the US is the home to the most millionaires?"

We get started at 8 PM on Tuesday night. The Caledonia is located at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. A reminder about nest week: we will be doing Trivia on Wednesday next week, August 20th at 8 PM, as I will not be around on Tuesday. We will return to our usual Tuesday night slot the following week on August 26th at 8 PM. Hope to see many of you tomorrow night!

Friday, August 08, 2014

"Blood Sport"

I recently read the new book about the sordid Alex Rodriguez/Biogenesis affair called "Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis, and the Quest to End Baseball's Steroid Era."

The book, written by Miami New Times reporter Tim Elfrink and Newsday reporter Gus Garcia-Roberts, is centered on the Biogenesis scandal that featured Tony Bosch, a wannabe doctor from New York who ran an anti-aging clinic in South Florida and eventually hooked up with his most famous client, Alex Rodriguez. But it is also a history of drugs and their unseemly appearance in MLB, going back to the use of amphetamines in the 1950s and '60s, the Pittsburgh drug trials of the 1980s, the inflated home run totals of the late 1990s and the infamous Mitchell Report.

"Blood Sport" details the life of Bosch, who wanted to make a name for himself and become famous. He sets up shop in Florida, which is the "Wild West" for dopers, and comes across as a pretty sleazy character. He kept detailed notebooks on all his "clients", including not just Rodriguez, but other MLB players as well as college and high school athletes as well.

Everyone involved in this book comes off badly. Not just Bosch and Rodriguez, but especially MLB, who spent way over $1 million to get the goods on A-Rod. Their tactics in doing so sound like the stuff of spy novels. The book is loaded with sleazy characters, from grifters to weight lifters to ex-cons. And that's what makes the book even more fascinating to read. A lot of what is in "Blood Sport" has already been widely known, but the authors also have some tidbits that were not known, like the fact that Rodriguez was given an exemption by MLB to use testosterone before the 2007 season (and then went out and won the AL MVP before infamously opting out of his contract during the World Series).

The book concludes with the MLB players who were given 50-game suspensions for their ties to Bosch and Biogenesis. All except Rodriguez, of course, and the tome details the infamous arbitration case he had with MLB after the 2013 season.

Like "Game of Shadows" did for Barry Bonds back in the mid-2000s, "Blood Sport" goes into great detail about the fall of a great athlete through the use of doping. MLB may have won this round with Bosch and Biogenesis, but what comes across is that illegal doping his here to stay in MLB and pro sports. "Blood Sport" is a cautionary tale. There will be other Boschs down the road.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Trivia Q&A: August 5

We had another nice turnout for Trivia at the Caledonia on Tuesday night, and a great three-team race going down to the finish.

All the three teams finished IQ Trivia with 12 points, so we had a Caledonia first: a tie for first place.

The teams of We're Missing 50% of Our Team, and 95% of Our Brain, and Feet of Clay Buchholz both ended with 38 points, so we had a tie-breaking question: "What was the total box office take of Steven Spielberg's classic film 'ET'?" Feet of Clay Buchholz just narrowly missed it (they guessed $432 million, it was $435 million; I gave both teams a hint it was over $300 million) and were closest, so they won the night. Congrats to Alex and his team on their win.

Third place (and Best Team Name) went to Curious George & The Ebola Virus with 37 points.

Current Events
1. What South American country defaulted on its international debt for the second time in 13 years, and blamed the US for "not acting properly?"
2. A federal judge ordered what bank to pay a $1.27 billion penalty for fraud over shoddy mortgages sold by Countrywide Financial Corp.?
3. Over 300 people were killed last Sunday when a strong 6.1 registered earthquake struck what Asian country?
4. What Emmy-winning actor testified last week at the parole hearing for his sister's killer, and it will keep him in jail where he's been for nearly 40 years?
5. James Brady, who was White House Press Secretary under what US president, died on Monday at the age of 73?
6. The Princeton Review selected what northeastern US college as the nation's number one "top party school?"
7. Controversial former NFL QB Brett Favre will have his number retired and will enter what teams' Hall of Fame later this year?

Movie Trivia
1. Which three presidents does Forrest Gump meet in that film?
2. What actor or actress has been nominated for the most Academy Awards?
3. Which film did Woody Allen win a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for?
4. "Mean Streets" and "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" are two of the earliest films by what Oscar-winning director?
5. What is Steven Spielberg's highest-grossing film ever in the US?
6. What John Travolta film was selected by Moviefone as "The Worst Movie of the 2000s?"
7. In a 2004 British poll by Amazon.com and IMDB, what comedy film was selected as the all-time favorite English film?

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Presidential retreat Camp David is named after Dwight Eisenhower's grandson.
2. The 1976 Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, Austria were originally going to be held in Denver.
3. Mosquitoes are toothless.
4. Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine are brother and sister.
5. Johnny Weismuller, who played Tarzan in the movies, won gold medals in the Olympics.
6. Lord Kelvin invented the mercury thermometer.
7. If a month starts on a Sunday, it will have a Friday the 13th.
8. Rhode Island is the US state that has the fewest counties.
9. The first Super Bowl was played in 1964.
10. French was the official language of England for nearly 600 years.

General Knowledge
1. What team won the NBA championship in 2014? ( 1 pt)
2. Who is the fictitious mascot and cover boy of Mad Magazine? ( 1 pt)
3. "The face that launched a thousand ships" refers to what famous woman? ( 1 pt)
4. How many squares can one land on playing checkers using standard US rules? ( 2 pt)
5. The 2014 Tour de France actually started in what country? ( 2 pt)
6. Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme of Manson Family infamy once tried to assassinate what US president? ( 2 pt)
7. Mount Erebus is an active volcano found on what continent? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What South American country owns the Galapagos Islands? ( 4 points)
2. Dix Mountain, Mount Colvin and Dial Mountain are all found in what eastern US state? ( 5 points)
3. What metal does Mexico supply 16% of the world's needs of? ( 4 points)
4. What is the month that the Earth is at its closest point to the Sun? ( 3 points)
5. Of the four major US credit cards networks, what is the only one whose cards have 15-digit numbers, not 16?

Current Events
1. Argentina; 2. Bank of America; 3. China; 4. Kelsey Grammer; 5. Ronald Reagan; 6. Syracuse University; 7. Green Bay Packers.

Movie Trivia
1. JFK, LBJ, Richard Nixon; 2. Meryl Streep (18); 3. "Annie Hall;" 4. Martin Scorsese; 5. "ET'; 6. "Battlefield Earth;" 7. "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. true; 2. true; 3. false, they have teeth; 4. true; 5. true; 6. false, Daniel Fahrenheit; 7. true; 8. false, Alaska; 9. false, 1967; 10. true.

General Knowledge
1. San Antonio Spurs; 2. Alfred E. Neuman; 3. Helen of Troy; 4. thirty-two; 5. England; 6. Gerald Ford; 7. Antarctica.

IQ Trivia
1. Ecuador; 2. New York; 3. silver; 4. January; 5. American Express.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Testing Your Film Smarts On Tuesday

This Tuesday night, the Special Category for Trivia Night at The Caledonia Scottish Pub will be "Movie Trivia," seven questions about all different things associated with The Silver Screen.

The Q Train lightning round will be "True or False Trivia." I will give you ten statements about all types of stuff, and you have to tell me if that is a true one or I am lying through my teeth.

The Sneak Peek question  for this week is:
"Who is the fictitious mascot and cover boy of Mad Magazine?"

We get going at 8 PM. The Caledonia is located at 1609 Second Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We've had some really good crowds over the last month, so let's keep it going!

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: In two weeks, we will have a special Wednesday night edition of Trivia on August 20th at 8 PM. I will not be around the previous night, so we will have it on Wednesday for that night only. We will go back to our usual Tuesday night on August 26th at 8 PM.