Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Words Fail...

So, not much happened yesterday, except Hillary Clinton held this press conference and...well, I suppose she and her handlers are running out of lies to tell, so she's decided to play the "stupid" card, as in "I'm not smart enough to understand about all this computer and internet and email stuff." Or maybe she just thinks we're stupid enough to accept her story that her server somehow erased itself before she finally turned it over to the FBI. Whatever her thinking was, the press conference did not go well for her.

She is being investigated by the FBI and the Democrat-controlled Justice Department, she has clearly broken several laws, she has stonewalled at every turn, and only surrendered her illegal private email server after she had it erased. And yet she thinks questions about all of that are nothing more than a reporter trying to "make a point." She actually thinks that it is unreasonable for her to have to field questions about her behavior. She refuses to answer the simplest questions straightforwardly. Watch for yourself, and tell me why any rational person would not be reminded of Nixon's infamous "I am not a crook" speech...

And yet, roughly half the voters in this great country will continue to support her just because she's the Democrat in the race, or simply because she's a woman, or both. "Low information voter" is just a synonym for "Democratic voter," as it turns out.

"Relax. If she wins, it will probably give you a fatal heart attack anyway."

I can always count on you to look on the bright side...

Things That Make Me Happy: Never Say Die Edition

After a much-needed day off Monday, my beloved Kansas City Royals began a six-game road trip at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. It was a pitcher's duel from the outset. The Royals' Edinson Volquez gave up a solo home run to Reds shortstop Eugenio Suarez, the second batter he faced, but only gave up 3 more hits in his six innings of work. Reds starter Raisel Iglesias was even better, allowing only three hits in his seven innings.

When the Royals came to bat in the top of the 9th inning, they trailed 1-0 and were facing the Reds' All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman. The first batter Chapman faced was the newest Royal, Ben Zobrist (playing 2B last night)...
...and Ben's solo home run tied the game 1-1. The Royals bullpen was stellar, allowing only a single Reds hit over the game's final seven innings. Thanks to a throwing error on an attempted sacrifice bunt in the top of the 13th, the Royals pushed across two runs, and closer Greg Holland recorded his 27th save in the bottom of the inning. Reliever Kris Medlen, who had pitched the bottom of the 12th inning, got his first win in the major leagues since 2013. His comeback from his second Tommy John surgery is going well so far...

"I'm just happy to be able to contribute."
The Royals are now 8-2 in extra-inning games this season, which leads the major leagues. They have won four straight and eight of their last ten games. Tonight they conclude their brief visit to Cincinnati, sending Jeremy Guthrie (8-7, 5.63 ERA) to the mound to match up with the Reds' Keyvious Sampson (2-1, 3.18).

Summer Job

At the end of my first year as a teacher in 1978, I decided to take a summer job (as many teachers do). It had been roughly a year since my first wife had died, and everyone seemed to feel that keeping busy would be better for me than sitting around my apartment (I have a tendency to brood and mope, sometimes).

My younger brother suggested I apply at the Worlds of Fun amusement park where he worked, and I was hired as a security guard (they called us "Rangers"). The job mostly involved walking the park to make the guests feel secure, dealing with the occasional shoplifter in one of the park's shops (taking them to the security office to await the police), chasing down the occasional fence-jumper trying to sneak into the park, and escorting guests off of the property for violations of park rules (mostly spitting from the Sky Hi gondola ride).

Zambezi Zinger
One of the best parts of the job came when the park closed each night. All of the Rangers would meet in the Africa section of the park (the section farthest from the entrances), and take a ride on the Zambezi Zinger roller coaster before beginning the final sweep of the park (to make sure all of the guests had departed).

There were other, bigger roller coasters in the park at that time, but the Zinger was the favorite of a lot of employees and guests because it didn't require you to wear any sort of seatbelt or lap bar.

Worlds of Fun retired the Zinger in 1997, and it found a new home in the National Coffee Park in Quindio, Columbia.

Until Next Time...

Not long after I started working at Worlds of Fun in the summer of 1978, jazz musician Chuck Mangione released An Evening of Magic: Live at the Hollywood Bowl. I have always had a fondness for live recordings, and I was already a Mangione fan, so I bought the double-album (yeah, it was vinyl back in those days, kiddies) as soon as I saw it. When I first converted to CDs, and playing my music mostly through my computer or my iPod, it was one of the first albums I re-purchased. Highly recommended.

Today's send-off is a version of his Grammy Award-winning composition "Children of Sanchez," from his soundtrack for the film The Children of Sanchez. I still find it stirring even after 37 years. Enjoy...

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