A list of 25 Principles of Adult Behavior

John Perry Barlow died this week. He lived quite a life. He was, among other things, a Silicon Valley visionary, poet, essayist, cattle rancher, cyberlibertarian political activist, and Grateful Dead lyricist.

About 40 years ago, Barlow drew up a list of what he called Principles of Adult Behavior. Make a nice cup of tea, run a hot bath, and read them with me:

1. Be patient. No matter what.
2. Don’t badmouth: Assign responsibility, not blame. Say nothing of another you wouldn’t say to him.
3. Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.
4. Expand your sense of the possible.
5. Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.
6. Expect no more of anyone than you can deliver yourself.
7. Tolerate ambiguity.
8. Laugh at yourself frequently.
9. Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.
10. Never forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.
11. Give up blood sports.
12. Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Don’t risk it frivolously.
13. Never lie to anyone for any reason. (Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.)
14. Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.
15. Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.
16. Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.
17. Praise at least as often as you disparage.
18. Admit your errors freely and soon.
19. Become less suspicious of joy.
20. Understand humility.
21. Remember that love forgives everything.
22. Foster dignity.
23. Live memorably.
24. Love yourself.
25. Endure.

(thanks Jason)


30 great baseball names

Ever notice how baseball players have a knack for having weird and funny names? Here are 30 of them that are rattling around my brain-thing.

Boof Bonser
Coco Crisp
Shigetoshi Hasegawa
Cheslor Cuthbert
Hee-Seop Choi
Stubby Clapp
Milton Bradley
Old Hoss Radbourn
Rusty Kuntz
Tim Spooneybarger
Heathcliff Slocumb
Three Finger Brown
Chief Bender
Catfish Hunter
Heinie Meine
Chicken Wolf
Dick Pole
Al Alburquerque
Placido Polanco
Goose Gossage
Rocky Biddle
Oil Can Boyd
Pokey Reese
Snuffy Stirnweiss
Ugeth Urbina
Greg Legg
Mark Clark
Boog Powell
Quinton McCracken
Johnny Dickshot

Top 10 baseball brawls

I would argue that baseball fights are the best sports fights. They are rare, the players aren’t obscured by helmets or pads, and you have a big ol’ field to play with. Most of the time, the benches empty, the pitchers run in from the bullpen, but punches aren’t thrown. But every now and then, you get a group of players/teams that really do hate each other, and we get to see a bunch of grown men fight each other without any sort of legal consequence. It is incredibly fun to watch.

We had an all-time great baseball brawl over the weekend, when Rougned Odor punched Jose Bautista in the face. In honor of that, here are my 10 favorite baseball fights of all time:

10) Coco Crisp vs. James Shields, 2008

Shields goes for a massive punch, but Coco Crisp evades it because he is a ninja.

9) Nolan Ryan vs. Robin Ventura, 1993

Nolan Ryan was 46 years old, Robin Ventura was 26. The old man wins.

8) Kyle Farnsowrth vs. Paul Wilson

You don’t normally see a pitcher charge a batter, but Kyle Farnsworth is certifiably insane.

7) Michael Barrett vs. A.J. Pierzynski, 2006

Everyone hates A.J. Pierzynski. Barrett’s punch to the face spoke for all of us.

6) Padres vs. Braves, 1984

Look at the fan at the 1:18 mark. He jumps onto the top of the dugout and throws a beer can into the ruckus.

5) Rougned Odor vs. Jose Bautista, 2016

You never see a player land a punch like that! One more time:


4) Pedro vs. Gerald Williams, 2000

I love the way Gerald Williams walks down the first base line, glances at his wrist, looks at Pedro, glances at his wrist again, looks at Pedro again, glances at his wrist one more time, then decides to charge the mound.

3) A-Rod vs. Varitek, 2004

You can read A Rod’s lips, and he is clearly saying something not nice.

2) Armando Benitez vs. entire Yankees team, 1998

Benitez dares the entire Yankees team to fight him. They do.

1) Clemens vs. Manny vs. Pedro vs. Zimmer, 2003

2003 ALCS, in the heat of the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry. Not the most violent of fights, but given the context of the game, it’s my favorite. RIP Zim.

My 35 favorite cereals

Remember when I used to make lists around this joint? That was fun. Today we’re looking at my 35 favorite cereals of all time.

I’ve had a bowl of cereal just about every day since 1996. For many of those days, I had two bowls. Sometimes three. I love cereal, and I will always love cereal.

The list:

35) Chex

34) Frosted Cheerios

33) Cinnamon Life

32) Rice Krispies

31) Apple Cinnamon Cheerios

30) Trix

29) Honey Nut Cheerios

28) Corn Flakes

27) Cookie Crisp

26) Raisin Bran

25) Cap’n Crunch

24) Honey Comb

23) Honey Bunches of Oats

22) Crispix

21) Special K

20) Multi Grain Cheerios

19) Fruity Pebbles

18) Kix

17) Frosted Flakes

16) Honey Bunches of Oats (with almonds)

15) Cocoa Puffs

14) Golden Grahams

13) Apple Jacks

12) Cocoa Pebbles

11) Crispy O’s

10) Frosted Mini Wheats

9) Alpha-Bits

8) Froot Loops

7) French Toast Crunch

6) Cheerios

5) Reese’s Puffs

4) Corn Pops

3) Lucky Charms

2) Honey Smacks

1) Cinnamon Toast Crunch

End of year lists

Before we march on to 2016, I’d like to take a quick moment to thank you for reading this blog, whether you’re a regular reader, or you happened upon this site recently. It was a good year for the blog – we had a record number of visitors from 106 different countries. I expect next year – my fifth year writing here! – to be even better. I’ve got some good stuff planned. Stay tuned.

And now, a few end-of-year lists ….

5 Favorite Albums


Carrie & Lowell, Sufjan Stevens
, Tame Impala
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Sound and Color, Alabama Shakes
Star Wars
, Wilco

10 Favorite Songs

Atoms Never Die, Adam Levy
Black & White, The Staves
Cold Slope, Wilco
Future People, Alabama Shakes
I’m Gonna Be Myself, The Sheepdogs
The Less I Know The Better, Tame Impala
Pedestrian at Best, Courtney Barnett
Sedona, Houndmouth
Somebody Was Watching, Pops Staples
Trying So Hard Not to Know, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

5 Favorite Movies


Inside Out
Jurassic World
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Star Wars

5 Favorite Sports Moments

Jose Bautista bat flip

Michigan State game-winning blocked punt

This ridiculous Arkansas 4th and 25 conversion

American Pharoah wins the Triple Crown

Vinci takes down Serena

5 Favorite Tweets

5 Favorite Blog Posts (Me)

An interview with Susan Bennett, the voice of Siri
On meeting President Obama
It’s possible!
The Great Saunter

Nobody knows anything

5 Favorite Blog Posts (Others)

What It’s Like To Be a Stand-Up Comedian with Muscular Dystrophy
Sweet Home Mississippi
A recent Saturday night in NYC
Writing with Michael Schur

5 Favorite YouTube Videos

My 42 favorite songs of 2014

An annual tradition. Here are my 42 favorite songs of 2014.

After the Disco, Broken Bells
Ain’t Got Nobody, Weezer
Argentina (Parts I, II, III), Tokyo Police Club
Avant Gardner, Courtney Barnett
Be Lucky, The Who
Brill Bruisers, The New Pornographers
Bullet in the Brain, The Black Keys
Call Me, St. Paul & the Broken Bones
Don’t Wanna Lose, Ex Hex
Every Morning, J. Mascis
Every Other Freckle, Alt-J
Everyday Robots, Damon Albarn
Eyes to the Wind, The War on Drugs
Foolish Father, Weezer
Gold, Chet Faker
Half the City, St. Paul & the Broken Bones
Heart Is A Drum, Beck
High & Wild, Angel Olsen
I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You, The Hold Steady
I’ll Sing It, Tweedy
J Smoov, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
The Janitor Revealed, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
Just One Drink, Jack White
Kansas City, The New Basement Tapes
Left Hand Free, Alt-J
Lights Out, Angel Olsen
Louder Than Words, Pink Floyd
Low Key, Tweedy
Make You Better, The Decemberists
Manipulator, Ty Segall
Morning, Beck
Mr. Tembo, Damon Albarn
North Cackalacky Girl, Reigning Sound
On the Rocks, Rural Alberta Advantage
Rain Plans, Israel Nash
Rent I Pay, Spoon
Terrified, Rural Alberta Advantage
Trouble’s Lament, Tori Amos
Violent Shiver, Benjamin Booker
Waking Light, Beck
Weight of Love, The Black Keys
Would You Fight For My Love, Jack White

The 10 best Na Na songs

Time for another random and pointless list! Today we’ll be going through my 10 favorite songs with na na’s in them.

10) Drops of Jupiter, Train

9) Can’t Hold Us, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

8) Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin, Journey

7) Centerfold, J. Geils Band

6) A Long December, Counting Crows

5) Without Me, Eminem

4) Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye, Steam

3) Land of 1,000 Dances, Wilson Pickett

2) All The Small Things, Blink-182

1) Hey Jude, The Beatles

My 10 favorite batting stances

A few months ago I posted my 10 favorite pitching windups. And, because I know you are wondering, here are my 10 favorite batting stances.

10) Paul O’Neill. I always thought he looked so stiff when hitting.

9) Chuck Knoblauch. Loose wrists.

8) Derek Jeter. The best thing about Jeter’s stance is what he does AFTER he swings. He just launches the bat behind him.

7) Kevin Youkilis. This is a real Facebook page.

6) Julio Franco. The bat was parallel to the ground.


5) Ichiro Suzuki. He is running when he hits the ball.

4) Gary Sheffield. Waggle waggle waggle.

3) Jeff Bagwell. The strike zone was approximately 0.2 inches large.


2) Craig Counsell. I mean, who hits like this?


1) Tony Batista. There was no one like Batista.

My 10 favorite songs with parenthetical song titles

Parentheses in song titles are an odd thing. Do you ever think about this ? You don’t? OK. Sometimes I am not sure how my mind works, but I feel compelled to write about this nonetheless.

Joe Posnanski wrote about this on his blog back in January, and I think he sums it up well:

I am way, way, way too fascinated by parenthetical remarks in song titles. Take the Simple Minds song “Don’t You (Forget About Me).” To give you an idea how insane I think that title is, I got it completely wrong the first time. I thought the (Don’t You) part was in parenthesis. That made little sense. The way it actually is makes even less sense.

Look, these quotes might not be quite as powerful if we had used parentheses:

“(All We Have To Fear Is) Fear Itself.”

“(Ask Not) What Your Country Can Do For You.”

“(A House Divided Against Itself Cannot) Stand.”

I’ve always thought parenthetical songs carried a panache that other songs didn’t. There is a reckless courage about them. They have style. Here are 10 of my favorites.