Wednesday, December 30, 2015



I haven't lived in Missouri for more than a decade, but I still have many, many friends there, and so when there is dreadful weather and/or natural catastrophes like flooding,
I worry a great deal.

Union, Missouri yesterday.
The state is currently experiencing severe flooding in many areas, the worst the state has seen since the horrific flooding in 1993 (I lived in Missouri during that time).

The governor has declared a state of emergency and has mobilized the National Guard.

I always hate the feeling of helplessness in these situations, but I made myself feel better by making a donation to the American Red Cross, which you should do as well.

"I'm sure everyone you care about will be okay."

I hope you're right, old friend...

Santa Claus is a Tease

As a baseball fan of a team that lacks the financial resources available to teams like the New York Yankees and Mets, Los Angeles Angels and Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and White Sox, etc., I am resigned to the fact that we don't get to keep our home-grown stars. Sooner or later, they become free agents, and some other team offers them a payday my beloved Kansas City Royals cannot responsibly match.

A couple of days before Christmas, there was a story 
by CBS Sports that the Royals had "no chance" to sign All-Star and Gold Glove LF Alex Gordon to a new contract. That kind of bad news is hardly surprising to Royals fans, but I still had the audacity to ask Santa for a new contract with Alex.

Nothing has been resolved yet, but yesterday there were reports by Alex himself that the "no chance" story was false, and that there is still a possibility of his re-signing with the Royals.

Not exactly what I asked for, Santa, but I'll take it...for now...

Show a Little Respect, Kid

From the wry comic strip Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, which you should read every day, as I do.

Until Next Time...

The British progressive rock band Jethro Tull released the U.S. version of their double album Living In the Past on October 31, 1972 (in those days it was common for record companies to fiddle with album content to try to maximize sales in a particular market). This album was a compilation of earlier album tracks, alternate takes, and singles which had not been included on albums. As a huge fan of the band, of course I bought the record the first chance I got.

One of the songs I was most
excited about owning was "Christmas Song," which had not yet been released in the United States. The song had been the "B" side of a single released in England in 1969, and one of the cooler FM radio stations in Kansas City had been playing it occasionally during the Christmas season ever since.

The song appealed to me musically, as almost all of Tull's output did (and still does), but what I liked most was its lyrics, which fit in nicely with my belief that most people focus on all the wrong things at Christmastime.

Songwriter Ian Anderson even included a nod to the beloved English Christmas carol "Once in Royal David's City" in his lyric, which I thought was a nice touch. (And you can hear a splendid choral version of that carol here.)

Today's send-off is a digitally remastered version of the song that was included as a bonus track on the 40th Anniversary reissue of the band's This Was album in 2008. Enjoy...and make room in your heart for the true spirit of Christmas...

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