Saturday, November 28, 2015

Cold Comforts

Wild Kingdom Bed & Breakfast Update

The onset of really cold weather is causing some adjustments in the B&B. Specifically,
I have to keep a pretty close eye on the bird bath to make sure the water doesn't freeze over during the day. Last night I actually brought it indoors, which made the process of getting fresh water out there in the morning a bit easier. Given how popular the thing is, I imagine my avian customers are struggling to find other non-frozen water sources. That makes me feel pretty good about the B&B.

I'm also experimenting with some suet cakes, as I am told these will be popular items as well once the snow arrives. At the moment, I have one hanging on the patio, and later today I am going to hang one on the tree directly across the parking lot from my patio.

"You wish you were as good-looking as me."
Speaking of that tree, on the day before Thanksgiving I spotted a red-headed woodpecker snacking
on it. I hadn't seen him before, and I haven't spotted him since, but the suet cake I'll be hanging in that tree is supposed to have stuff that attracts woodpeckers, so we'll see.

While he isn't, strictly speaking, a B&B customer, I do consider that particular tree to be part of the B&B (many of my customers nest in it when it has leaves), and I often sprinkle some food around the base of it.

And I enjoy doing something nice for a fellow red-head.

Corn Bowl

Of course there's a special trophy for this game. Of course there is.

There actually wasn't any way for me to lose when Iowa and Nebraska played football yesterday in Lincoln. Either way, one of the annoying fan bases I find myself living in the midst of would be miserable, and I could use their tears to make my morning coffee.

My loathing for Nebraska runs a little deeper, and so yesterday's 28-20 victory by the undefeated Hawkeyes pleased me.

And the tears of Hawkeye fans will taste even sweeter when they lose in the Big Ten Championship Game on December 5.

People like to make a big deal about how the two schools first played in 1891, but for a so-called "rivalry" series, there have only been 46 games in the 124 years since they first played each other. There was an 11-year lapse from 1909 to 1930, a 33-year break from 1946 to 1979, a 17-year gap between 1982 to 1999, and another 11-year lapse from 2000 to 2011.

By contrast, Missouri and Kansas first played each other in football in 1891, just as Iowa and Nebraska did. The Tigers and Jayhawks treated it as an actual rivalry, though, playing every year until 2012, when Kansas petulantly decided to end the series after Missouri moved to the SEC. Minnesota and Wisconsin started playing each other the year before, and have played each other every year since, 124 straight years and counting.

It is highly unlikely that Nebraska and Iowa would play if they weren't both in the
Big Ten. That ain't much of a "rivalry," if you ask me...

"Did someone ask you?"
It's just an expression...

Goebbels's Grandchildren

From the acerbic pen of Chip Bok, whose editorial cartoons you should read regularly,
as I do.

Until Next Time...

One of the more interesting aspects of American popular culture is the periodic phenomenon known as the "sleeper hit," something that pops up seemingly out of nowhere to capture the public's imagination and become embedded in our cultural consciousness. The 1987 film Dirty Dancing is a classic example. Filmed on a small budget by a minor studio with a cast of unknowns, the film soon became the No. 1 movie in America, and was a huge hit internationally as well. A year after its release, it became the No. 1 video rental in America, and the first movie to sell over a million copies on video. Even today, it is estimated that more than a million DVD copies of Dirty Dancing are sold every year.

It also came along at the same time that I was dating the woman who would become my second wife. To say that she liked the movie would be a colossal understatement, which means that I have seen it an inordinate number of times. It helped that the only big-name actor in the film, Jerry Orbach, is a favorite of mine.

Part of what made the movie such a hit was its soundtrack, which featured several popular songs from the early 1960s by stars like Otis Redding, The Ronettes, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and The Drifters. But by far the most popular song in the film was written specifically for it. On November 28, 1987 "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," sung as a duet by Bill Medley (one half of The Righteous Brothers) and Jennifer Warnes, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The song would go on to win a Grammy Award and an Academy Award as well.

Today's send-off is the official music video of the Medley/Warnes duet, which includes clips from the film. The usual music video disclaimers apply. Enjoy...

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