Friday, February 5, 2016


Thank Jasmine It's Friday!

"Relax, I'm full. You're safe...for awhile."

Lying Around

There was a Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate Press Availability Festival of Lies last night in New Hampshire. Things were made a bit more tolerable by the absence of Martin O'Malley, who dropped out of the race recently. Having just two candidates sharing the spotlight might fool an inattentive viewer into believing the two candidates are actually in competition for the party's nomination.

Of course, since Bernie Sanders has shown no signs of actually wanting to win, this is all just theatre, and not particularly interesting theatre at that. It's an elaborate charade, intended to convince gullible voters that Hillary is actually the party's favorite. Her narrow "victory" at the Iowa Caucuses is under a cloud, and she is poised to get drubbed in the New Hampshire Primary next week, so this story becomes a harder sell every day.

"Can you believe people think we're actually competing?" "I know, right?"

The thing that bothers me the most about the Democratic "debates" is that, unlike their Republican counterparts, Bernie and Hillary never face any aggressive questioning. They lie through their teeth, and the moderators let them get away with it.

Watching this sorry spectacle put me in mind of the famous aphorism (most commonly attributed to Mark Twain, though support for that claim is sparse) "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Between these two we heard a veritable Encyclopedia Britannica of such falsehoods.

"How can you tell when a progressive is lying?"

Well, if their lips are moving, that's usually a "tell"...


Skip shops Hobby Haven in Des Moines
I'm pretty excited today because my best friend Skip is coming for a weekend visit. He lives in Pennsylvania, so we don't get to spend much time together in person.

Skip's last visit was back in late August. We got to see Alex Gordon play for the Omaha Storm Chasers while he was on his rehab assignment there. We also got to see Cheslor Cuthbert and Christian Colon, who had key roles in the Royals' push for the 2015 World Series championship.

Skip and I are hopeful of meeting in Kansas City to see the Royals face the Mets on Opening Day April 3, but that remains to be seen.

Skip meets The Super Chief in Kansas City.

I'm not concerned about that right now,
of course. I'm just happy we get to spend Super Bowl 50 weekend hanging out. It would have been even more fun if either my beloved Kansas City Chiefs or Skip's beloved Pittsburgh Steelers had made it, but you can't have everything in life, eh?

"Let me both want the Broncos to get massacred, right?"

That would not break our hearts...

Trump On Twitter

From the pen of Lisa Benson, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

The early 1980s were not a particularly enjoyable time for me, in terms of popular music. 
The charts featured lots of Michael Jackson, of course, along with bands like Men at Work, 
Hall & Oates, Duran Duran, and other groups that featured synthesizers far more prominently than guitars. There are a few songs from that era that I enjoyed, but the overall style of the period left me cold back then, and still does today.

You could still find guitar-based rock music in record stores, you just never heard much of it on the radio or saw much of it on MTV (which was still kind of a thing back in those days).

Although that kind of pop music was never to my taste, every once in awhile a group came along whose musicianship was so impressive that I didn't mind the synth-heavy arrangements. One such group was Toto, formed in 1977 by some of the best studio session musicians in Los Angeles. Among the founding members was guitarist Steve Lukather, who has appeared on some of my favorite movie and TV soundtracks.

Original 1982 album cover

The group has sold more than 40 million records and won six Grammy Awards. The commercial peak of their career came in 1982 with the release of their fourth studio album, cleverly titled Toto IV.

The record won the Album of the Year Grammy and produced three Top 10 hits, including "Africa," the band's lone No. 1 single, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart on February 5, 1983.

Today's send-off is the official music video for the song (the usual '80s music video disclaimers apply). Enjoy...

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