Saturday, May 28, 2016

Movin' On

Unify This, Buster

"We must unify behind The Destructor, or all is lost!"

On the weekends, my preference is to avoid writing about political topics if I can help it. Thanks to this morning's Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil, I can't help it today.

So Jeff Kaufmann, head of the Iowa Republican party, was in the Bluffs yesterday
to plead with the 75.7 percent of Iowa voters who rejected asshat Donald Trump in the caucuses to line up behind him now.

His own bio on the Iowa GOP website gives me ample reason to consider this man an unprincipled sell-out. He claims to be "a fiscal conservative," but says we should support the man who advocates defaulting on our national debt. He claims to be "a Second Amendment defender," but says we should support the man who agrees with President Obama on the issue and supports popular progressive anti-2nd Amendment policy initiatives. He claims to be "a tireless advocate of property rights" who "authored a key anti-eminent domain bill," but says we should support the man who thinks the notorious Kelo decision was "wonderful,"  and who has a long history of abusing eminent domain to enrich himself.

But sure, Jeff, let's line up behind Trump just because he published a list of potential SCOTUS nominees (then backed off of it within hours). Right. No con artist could hope for a more gullible mark than Mr. Kaufmann.

I have already changed my voter registration, and am no longer a Republican on the voter rolls, but Kauffman's pathetic defense of Trump confirms that I was right to do so. His argument is just a version of the "But...but...Hillary!" nonsense that TrumpWits™️ have been peddling for months. Sorry, no sale.

But thanks for making me feel a whole lot better about leaving the Republican party, Mr. Kauffman. Well-played, sir...

"Did the door hit you in the ass on your way out?"

Nope...I was moving briskly...

Roller Coaster

Beautiful Kauffman Stadium, where my beloved Kansas City Royals play, is just a few minutes' drive from the Worlds of Fun / Oceans of Fun amusement complex (where
I worked as a security "ranger" for a couple of summers back in the late '70s), but every once in awhile the best roller-coaster rides happen at Kauffman. Last night's 7-5 win over the visiting Chicago White Sox was quite a thrill ride.

"Yeah, I'd like that last pitch to Melky back..."

Royals starter Danny Duffy, staked to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, didn't allow even a baserunner until one out in the top of the 6th inning, retiring the first 16 hitters he faced.

He then gave up three straight singles, followed by home runs to Melky Cabrera and Todd Frazier back-to-back. Just like that, it was 5-1 White Sox.

As they did so often in their drive to the World Series Championship last year, the Royals clawed their way back into the game. 1B Eric Hosmer, who went 3-for-4 with 4 RBIs, hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 6th.

Then the Royals staged one of their patented "quiet" rallies in the 7th: With one out, a double, a walk, and an infield single loaded the bases. 3B Whit Merrifield then delivered a two-run single (his first major league RBIs) to make it 5-4, and after a wild pitch moved the runners, Hosmer delivered a two-out single to make it 6-5 Royals. They added an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th, and All-Star closer Wade Davis racked up two strikeouts in recording his 13th save. No sweat.

"Yeah, right. You were freaking out after those White Sox homers."

And your point is...?

The Big Move

On May 28, 1957 owners of National League teams in Major League Baseball unanimously approved the move of two NL franchises, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants, to the west coast. They became the first MLB outposts west of the Mississippi River (St. Louis, which on that river, doesn't really count).

The Dodgers had been the more successful of the two franchises in the years leading up the the move, and in Los Angeles they would become even more so, winning an additional nine National League pennants (as many as they had won in Brooklyn) and five World Series titles (versus only one in Brooklyn).

The move west certainly helped the career of young left-hander Sandy Koufax, who blossomed into a Hall of Fame pitcher in pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium, which opened in 1962.

It took more than half a century, but eventually the Giants found success out west also, winning World Series titles three times in the past six seasons.

Willie Mays would have been a Hall of Famer no matter where his team played. He won Most Valuable Player awards in both cities. He spent a total of 15 seasons in a San Francisco uniform.


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

Until Next Time...

One of the major differences between popular music nowadays and the way things were when I was growing up is the almost complete absence these days of instrumentals. When I was a kid, instrumentals were not only commonplace, they frequently topped the singles charts, and instrumental albums often did the same.

Even someone like me, who became a fan of guitar-driven music early on, had artists like The Ventures, Duane Eddy, and Mason Williams to enjoy.

Because of my dad's interest in jazz, I also had plenty of instrumental music of that sort shaping my tastes as well. In 1966, not long before dad relocated the family to Kansas City, he became a big fan of trumpet player Herb Albert, and of his recording band
The Tijuana Brass. To say that Alpert dominated the album charts that year would be a huge understatement.

Alpert's recordings outsold The Beatles (and their three No. 1 albums) in 1966, and he had five albums in the Top 20 of the Billboard 200 simultaneously, an accomplishment which has never been repeated by any recording artist. Three of those albums spent time at No. 1 on that chart, and in early April four of Alpert's albums were in the Top 10.

On May 28, 1966 Alpert's What Now My Love album hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, a position it would hold for eight straight weeks, the longest stretch at the top of the charts of Alpert's career. It returned to the top spot on September 3 for a total of nine weeks in that position.

Earlier Alpert recordings had had a decidedly Latin flavor, which my dad really enjoyed, but this album marked the beginning of a change in Alpert's sound as he began to focus on covers of pop standards and show tunes.

Today's send-off is the original monaural recording of the album's title track. Enjoy...

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