Monday, February 1, 2016


Iowa Caucuses 2016

My caucus location, within walking distance of my home.

At long last, the time to stop yapping and actually VOTE has arrived. No more of the ridiculous polling, phone calls, mailers, and other trappings of the pre-Caucus season. After tonight, the circus will fold up its tent and move on to the next stop, New Hampshire.

The weather is still predicted to be beastly tonight, rain this afternoon (which will freeze) followed by snow, with the snow not ending until the wee hours of Wednesday morning. The upper boundary of the snow accumulation forecast has been increased to 10 inches, which of course will be made worse by blowing and drifting.

Making it to the caucus shouldn't be a problem for me, as my location (New Horizon Presbyterian Church) is only a couple of minutes away by car. Easy peasy.

As for the rest of the state, I am not that worried about people who live in relatively sizable towns like Council Bluffs, but I am concerned for my friends and neighbors who live in more rural areas. Please be safe, everyone...

"If the roads are bad where you are, think about staying home."

If you're planning to caucus for asshat Donald Trump, you should stay home even if the roads are fine...

Publicity Stunt Backfires

"Yeah, that didn't go great..."
Speaking of asshat Donald Trump, he was in my town yesterday on the eve of the caucuses, and because he covets the votes of evangelical Christians (who comprise a large chunk of Iowa's GOP voters), Trump decided to stage a photo op by attending church services.

It did not go well, but that's what happens when a clueless fake tries to Christian in public, with the cameras pointing at him.

Incredibly depressing to think that anyone considers this pompous fraud to be the best choice to be our next president...

A Touch of the Poet

February 1, 1902 - May 22, 1967
On February 1, 1902 James Mercer Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri. He would become one of the most important poetic voices of his generation, a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance movement,

He published his first book of poetry at age 24, and is remembered primarily as a poet, but he was extraordinarily prolific, writing novels, plays, short story collections, and non-fiction books in addition to more than a dozen volumes of poetry. He was a truly unique voice.

One of my favorites of his, "Motto," was quoted on an episode of Law and Order by
Det. Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach):

Must Be the "Trump Factor"

From the wonderful comic strip Non Sequitur, by Wiley Miller, which you should read every day, as I do (even though Wiley is a squishy liberal).

Until Next Time...

During my sophomore year of high school in suburban Kansas City I didn't drive, and didn't really have any friends who did either. That meant that during the winter months socializing was minimal, since it was often too cold and/or snowy to go anywhere on foot. And that meant there wasn't much to do on Friday nights except listen to the
Top 40 countdown on WHB, the most popular AM radio station in Kansas City.

Original 1968 45 rpm label
The Top 40 was very eclectic in those days, and part of the fun was trying to predict which songs would be the big hits. Some shot to the top of the countdown and fell off just as quickly. Others broke in near the bottom of the Top 40 and took what seemed like ages to get to the top.

Released on December 17, 1968, "Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James and the Shondells hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart (and the WHB Top 40) just six weeks later, on February 1, 1969.

It spent two weeks at No. 1, and it remained on the chart for another 10 weeks after that. It became the band's signature song, selling several million copies worldwide. It is one of the best-remembered songs of the late 1960s, and has been covered many times by other artists. It has also been featured in numerous movies and TV shows. It is most definitely part of the soundtrack of my adolescence.

When the band was putting together an album to capitalize on the success of the single, they created a version nearly two minutes longer than the original, but the additional material was just a bunch of aimless psychedelic noodling of the sort a lot of bands indulged in when given some measure of artistic control over their records.

Today's send-off is the shorter "radio edit" version of the song (the one with which most people are familiar). This is the sort of lip-sync video that was often be played on pop music or variety programs on TV in those days in lieu of live in-studio appearances by the artists. Enjoy...

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