Monday, April 11, 2016


Huffing and Puffing

"Man, this is all SO unfair!"
The latest on the Republican primary front is asshat Donald Trump whining about delegate selection in Colorado, and hinting that it will somehow be "stealing" the GOP nomination from him
if he doesn't get the required 1,237 delegates and winds up losing in a contested convention.

In a way, this development is perfectly in keeping with Trump's checkered business career. Defining "winning" as "almost winning" has been part of his sales pitch all along.

"Are you saying he's NOT a self-made success story?"

Not even close...


My beloved Kansas City Royals got out the brooms yesterday, finishing off a nice three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 4-3 win in 10 innings yesterday at Kauffman Stadium.

Despite a strong effort from RHP Edinson Volquez, who struck out 10 (with no walks) in his 5 2/3 innings, and a home run from 3B Mike Moustakas, the Royals needed an improbable two-run rally in the bottom of the 9th inning to tie the score, and an even more improbable rally to score the winning run in the bottom of the 10th (pinch-runner Terrance Gore scored with two out on a wild pitch).

Winners of four of their first five games (only the undefeated Baltimore Orioles have done better), the Royals hit the road tonight to begin a seven-game road trip.

First up is a four-game series with the Houston Astros, whom the Royals defeated in memorable fashion in last year's American League Division Series. RHP Chris Young will pitch the opening game of the series.

"You think the Astros still hold a grudge over what happened last season?"

It is possible that they do, yeah...should be a great series...

NASA's Finest Hour

Band break-ups weren't the only drama that enlivened the second semester of my junior year.

On April 11, 1970 the Apollo 13 lunar mission was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The mission to the moon had to be aborted due to a catastrophic explosion that crippled the spacecraft. The astronauts returned safely to Earth on April 17, a truly remarkable feat chronicled in Ron Howard's fine 1995 film Apollo 13.


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

Until Next Time...

As my junior year of high school was winding down in the spring of 1970, break-ups among popular musical artists were the subject of considerable interest in my social circle.

Folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel, for instance, had released their landmark Bridge Over Troubled Water album in January to great acclaim, but stories that the duo were breaking up were everywhere. Similarly, when The Beatles released their Let It Be album in May, everyone just assumed it would be their last album together.

I was more distressed by the former breakup than the latter. I was never the world's biggest fan of The Beatles. My musical taste in British bands at that time tended toward harder-edged groups like The Who, Free, The Rolling Stones, Cream, etc. I was one of those folks who thought The Beatles were overrated, and a bit too convinced of their own "genius." While I enjoyed their previous album, Abbey Road, I thought it was sloppy and self-indulgent. When it became known that Let It Be had actually been recorded before Abbey Road, it didn't surprise me in the least.

Nonetheless, I did enjoy the first single from what turned out to actually be the band's last studio album. Released in March, "Let It Be" debuted on the U.S. charts at No. 6, an unheard-of thing at that time. It was a ballad, which helped with me (I'm a sentimental guy). The version of the song released as a single differed significantly from the version included on the album, due in no small part to the sort of in-fighting that caused the band to break apart.

Original 1970 45 rpm single

On April 11, 1970 "Let It Be" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, a position it held for two weeks. It was the group's penultimate No. 1 hit single, and the 19th U.S. No. 1 of their career.

The single version of the song would not appear on an album until three years later, with the release of 1967-1970 (also known to fans as The Blue Album).

Although Beatles fans to this day insist that the song has overt religious themes involving the Virgin Mary, McCartney has said that the song was the result of a dream he had about his own mother, Mary McCartney, who died when Paul was 14.

Today's send-off is the version released as a single, not the slightly longer (and different) album version. It is paired with a variety of images of the band. Enjoy...

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