Monday, May 2, 2016

Reality Intrudes

How Idiots See the World

1985 1st Edition dustjacket
One of the more tiresome characteristics of progressives is their insistence that they are merely clear-eyed pragmatists who see the world as it really is and speak the truth about what they see, while conservatives are mindless ideological zombies whose views have no basis in reality.

That's utter nonsense, of course. Few people is this country are more disconnected from the reality of what is happening in it than are progressives.

A trivial but revealing example, from the progressive-dominated entertainment press: Today I heard the news that streaming content creator Hulu will be producing
a new miniseries based on Margaret Atwood's tendentious dystopian 1985 potboiler The Handmaid's Tale.

"Hey, a paycheck's a paycheck, okay?"
Now, it isn't surprising to me that Atwood's brand of progressive twaddle is being revisited by Hollywood. What I got a kick out was the reporter's matter-of-fact declaration that Atwood's story about women being kept as breeding slaves "in a dying world threatened with climate change, religious fundamentalism, and depopulation" was "pretty darn topical."

Sorry, halfwit, but we're in no danger of
a Christian theocracy being established, women aren't being treated as breeding stock, "climate change" is a hoax, and "depopulation" is a weird conspiracy theory.

So much for "reality-based" thinking.
Sad to see Elisabeth Moss, one of my favorite actresses, associated with this kind of nonsense...

"Not so sad that you wouldn't still go on a date with her though, right?"

That would be correct...

Rough Week

On Sunday April 24 my best friend Skip and I sat in Kauffman Stadium and watched
my beloved Kansas City Royals win the rubber game of a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles. It turned out to be their last victory for a week.

Following the win against the Orioles, the Royals flew to the west coast for a series with the Los Angeles Angels. They lost all three games, and were only competitive in one of them. After an off day, they began a three game series in Seattle. They lost the first two games of that series 1-0 and 6-0, the former defeat being particularly galling since the only hit Royals pitchers allowed was the solo home run that won the game.

Fortunately, the team managed a tense 4-1 victory over the Mariners yesterday that salvaged the final game of the road trip.

Now 3-2, 2.61 ERA
Royals starter Ian Kennedy wasn't all that efficient with his pitches, having to depart after facing three batters in the 6th without recording an out. He had thrown 104 pitches.

Reliever Danny Duffy got out of that jam with only a single run scoring, and Joakim Soria, Kelvin Herrera, and Wade Davis held the Mariners scoreless over the final three innings.

The Royals got a bit of breathing room in the 8th inning when
1B Eric Hosmer hit a solo home run to center field.

The team doesn't even get the benefit of a day off today. They flew back home yesterday to begin a three-game home series tonight with the Washington Nationals, the team with the second-best record in the major leagues at the moment.

"Let me guess: You're predicting the Royals will get swept, right?"

Well, the Royals are struggling to score runs, and the Nationals have the best pitching in all of baseball so far this season, so...

Wild Kingdom Bed & Breakfast Update

"A guy's gotta eat, am I right?"
The most recent B&B development involved a visit from a new species, the prairie falcon. He wasn't there to sample the seeds and dried fruit, however.

I didn't see him land, but when
I noticed him just standing there
on my patio I tried to move closer for a better look. That caused him to fly off, and when he did the black bird he had been pinning to the patio (most likely a starling or small grackle) flew off and hid under someone's car.

The falcon stalked him around the parking lot for awhile, until I went outside to the porch to shoo him away. It was definitely odd to see a bird like this perched on the trunk of someone's car waiting for his prey to break cover.

Since the B&B attracts a variety of birds large enough to interest the falcons in the area (in addition to the starlings and grackles other large birds like mourning doves, jays, and cardinals visit regularly), I'll have to keep an eye out for possible trouble. I understand all about the Circle of Life and whatnot, but I really don't need the B&B to become a killing zone for raptors.


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

Until Next Time...

On May 2, 1585 Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti was born in Naples. Under the name Domenico Scarlatti he would go on to become a significant figure in Baroque music (although he was also one of the few composers whose career transitioned into what came to be known as the Classical period). He composed in a variety of musical forms, but his 555 sonatas for solo keyboard are his signature achievement.

I didn't really have much of an acquaintance with Scarlatti until early 1997, when one of my favorite pianists, Murray Perahia, released an album of Handel and Scarlatti solo piano pieces.

Several of the selections on the album became part of the regular rotation of music I used during my students' free-writing time. Since that time I have acquired Scarlatti sonatas by other favorite pianists as well. In particular Vladimir Horowitz does a marvelous job with this music.

Today's send-off is Perahia's lovely performance of Scarlatti's Sonata in C-sharp minor, K 247. Enjoy...

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