Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Called It


Textbook example of false advertising.

One of life's most sublime pleasures is being able to say
"I told you so."

Today gives me an irresistible chance to do just that, as a new report is out indicating that the Common Core standards are failing to accomplish their stated objectives.

Of course, that comes as no surprise to those of us who have been criticizing the CCSSI from the beginning, but it is nice to get a bit of empirical evidence to add to the pile...

"You enjoy gloating more than any biped I've ever met."

Simple pleasures are the best, I always say...


Last night at Kauffman Stadium my beloved Kansas City Royals won their fourth game in a row, beating the Cleveland Indians 3-2 in thrilling fashion.


It was a tense ballgame throughout. The Royals tied the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the 3rd on rookie 2B Whit Merrifield's second home run in as many nights, but trailed 2-1 with two out and one on in the bottom of the 8th.

All-Star C Salvador Perez changed that with one swing, hitting a two-run home run that changed what would have been a frustrating loss for the Royals into a morale-boosting win.

3B Cuthbert congratulates Soria, now 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA.

Because All-Star relievers Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis weren't available after pitching in the previous three games, RHP Joakim Soria got the game's final five outs to get credit for the win.

The Royals have now won two straight series against division opponents, and have drawn within a game of the Central Division lead. They'll go for the series sweep against the Indians tonight behind starter Ian Kennedy.

"You actually think they can sweep and tie for 1st place?"

Well, they only got two hits in six innings off of Corey Kluber the last time they faced him, so let's just say I am not brimming with optimism...


One of the things baseball fans like to argue about is which records in the sport "will never be broken." Almost all such claims eventually are rendered silly when a record falls, but there are a couple of records that seem to justify such categorical predictions.

On June 15, 1938 rookie Cincinnati Reds lefthander Johnny Vander Meer accomplished a feat that major league baseball had never seen before, and to this day has never seen again. Vander Meer, pitching in the first-ever night game at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, threw his second straight no-hitter, a 6-0 blanking of the Dodgers.

Technically, the only way to "break" Vander Meer's record for consecutive no-hitters (two) would be to throw three such games consecutively.

I feel comfortable in predicting that Vander Meer's feat will never even be matched, much less topped.

Living Vicariously

As it happens, a great deal of the pleasure I experience in life happens vicariously, through my friends. Stories and photos of everything from adorable pets to sinful desserts (which cause me to gain weight just from looking at the pictures) are shared with me, reminding me that I am truly blessed to have such people in my life.

My best friend Skip, for instance, just departed with his wife for a month-long cruise of Europe, the British Isles, Iceland, and Greenland. I'm sure they'll have a splendid time, and I'm looking forward to his reports.

They flew to London from Philadelphia yesterday on a large British Airways 777...

...and spent the night at the posh May Fair Hotel in London.

"How come WE never take nice trips like that?"

Because I don't like to fly, and because you wouldn't like riding in a carry-on bag...

Job Interview 2016

From the comic strip Dilbert, by Scott Adams, which you should read every day, as I do.

Until Next Time...

On June 15, 1843 Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born in Bergen, Norway. He became one of the most important composers of the Romantic era, and because he so successfully incorporated Norwegian folk music into his works he became Norway's most beloved composer as well.

I have always been particularly fond of his pieces for solo piano, especially the so-called Lyric Pieces, 66 short works published in 10 volumes over a 34-year period.

In 2006, Norwegian pianist Håkon Austbø recorded and released all 66 Lyric Pieces in a single multi-CD collection.

It is an impressive achievement, and I used many of these short pieces over the years as music for my students during their journal time.

Today's send-off is Austbø's splendid rendition of the aptly-titled "Peace of the Woods" (Op. 71, No. 4). Enjoy...

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