Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday Potpourri No. 12

Today's post comes with the Standard Sunday Disclaimer: "The post title is using the term 'potpourri' in the second of the two senses listed here. The post may also be rather short, although not necessarily so."

Big House

By August 16, 1969, Day Two of the planned three-day Woodstock music festival, the crowd had grown far in excess of the promoters' expectations, and in excess of the venue's ability to provide food, clean water, and sanitation. It was the quintessential hippie mess, in that sense...

As I mentioned yesterday, despite the stage pronouncement of Max Yasgur, Woodstock was not "the largest group of people ever assembled in one place." To take but a single contrary example, more people were in St. Peter's Square to observe the coronation of Pope Pius XII on March 12, 1939 (which was the first time a papal coronation ceremony had been held outdoors and made open to the public in nearly 100 years). Unfortunately, that sort of pompous self-regard and historical ignorance came to characterize the Woodstock Generation.

"But not you, though, right?"
Certainly not...

Things That Make Me Happy: Laugher Edition

My beloved Kansas City Royals had a "laugher" last night at Kauffman Stadium, defeating the Angels 9-4 (it was 9-1 heading into the 9th, but Luke Hochevar struggled a bit to close out the game). It has been awhile since we've had one of those. It was the team's second straight win, and they're now 7-2 on the current homestand. It was also their 70th win of the season. They continue to have the best record in the American League.

All-Star catcher Salvador Perez, playing for the first time after some days off to nurse a wrist injury, answered a solo home run by Albert Pujols in the top of the 2nd inning with a solo homer of his own to lead off the bottom of the inning. Before the Royals were done, they had sent 11 batters to the plate (Perez doubled in his second at-bat of the inning), scored 6 runs, and basically told the Angels it wasn't going to be their night.

Recent acquisition Johnny Cueto pitched like an ace again, cruising through eight innings of work. The Pujols homer was the only run he surrendered. Cueto's record improved to 9-7, 2.47 ERA (2-1, 1.80 since he became a Royal). Are we glad Johnny's on the team?

        Johnny Cueto                     Royals Mascot Sluggerrr

Yes, yes we are.

Wild Kingdom Bed & Breakfast Update

In one of the more memorable scenes in Jurassic Park, Dr. Ian Malcolm (portrayed by Jeff Goldblum) scoffs when scientists working for the park tell him they have come up with a method to prevent the dinosaurs from reproducing on their own.

"Life," Malcolm warns them, "life...uh...finds a way." It doesn't really take much observation of the natural world (the actual one, not the phony Hollywood one)
to see the truth of the observation.

"Your point is well-taken, Dr. Malcolm."

Exhibit A is this sunflower. Apparently, a stray sunflower seed from my bird feeder somehow bounced all the way over into this little strip of dirt between the patio and the wall of my apartment's storage unit.

In a million years, you could never have convinced me that there was enough soil in that tiny space to sustain a plant like this, but here it is nevertheless.

I don't know if the guy who trims the grass near the patios will leave it alone (he uses one of those gas-powered trimmers because the mowers can't get close enough), but next time I hear him out there I'll ask him not to cut it down...

"You realize that keeping that thing around makes you a flower child."

Does not.

Until Next Time...

Santana wouldn't even have played the Woodstock festival in the first place had the event's organizers not sought the help of legendary rock concert promoter Bill Graham. Part of Graham's price for participating in the project was having the then-unknown San Francisco band added to the bill. When the festival took place, the band had finished recording their eponymous debut album, but had not released it yet. When they did, shortly after the festival ended, Santana took off in no small part because of the buzz the band's Woodstock performance had generated. The album would eventually reach No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart. There simply wasn't anything like their fusion of African, Latin, and American blues music on the airwaves. And they made instrumentals cool again, which was most welcome!

The band's reputation got another huge boost when Michael Wadleigh's Woodstock documentary was released in the spring of 1970. There were only three or (arguably) four performances in the movie that can be called "unforgettable." I wrote about one of those performances here. Today's send-off is another one of them. Santana's performance on the big screen helped boost their second album, Abraxas (their finest work, in my opinion), all the way to No. 1 on the charts. Enjoy...

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