Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day 2016

My Old Man

Dad owned a Grumman AA-5 Traveler like this one
My dad was the most remarkable man I ever knew. He was a pilot and flight instructor, a maintenance supervisor for TWA, a cop and FBI-trained crime scene investigator, a licensed EMT, a decorated pistol marksman and police trainer who hand-tooled his own leather gun belts and holsters.

He served in three branches of our armed forces (he wanted to fly, but first the Army and then the Air Force wouldn't give him the opportunity, so he eventually joined the Navy as well, serving in Korea).

He loved music, and dabbled with the saxophone and clarinet. His taste in music was eclectic, and much of my own taste in music is derived from early exposure to dad's record collection. He was a voracious reader, too, on a wide variety of subjects, and that example is probably the greatest gift he ever gave me. I know that he was proud of me for becoming a teacher, and I am grateful that he was able to see me become successful at that.

He taught me how to live, how to laugh (my favorite picture of him is him tear-assing after my ex-wife and I with a can of silly string at our wedding in 1988), and how to love. I miss him every day...

"Sounds like you were a lucky kid."

More than words can adequately express, yes...

Cruise Update

Queen Mary docked at Le Verdon-sur-Mer

My best friend Skip and his wife Elaine are docked at Le Verdon-sur-Mer today, but their itinerary changed a bit and they will probably not go ashore.


After six innings on Thursday night, by beloved Kansas City Royals led the Detroit Tigers 4-3 at Kauffman Stadium. The bullpen wasn't able to hold the lead, however, and the Tigers prevailed 10-4. The Royals turned the tables on Friday night, winning 10-5. And last night they continued the offensive deluge, crushing the Tigers 16-5 in the third game of the four-game series.

Now 7-6, 4.12 ERA

Royals starter Edinson Volquez picked up the win despite having a very odd game. He surrendered two runs on three hits and a hit batter in the first inning, then only allowed only one more baserunner over the next five innings, retiring 14 straight Tigers at one point.

Edinson wobbled in the 7th, allowing 3 more runs on two singles, a double, and a two-run home run before relievers Luke Hochevar, Joakim Soria, and Wade Davis got the final eight outs.

The offensive explosion was odd as well, as the Royals scored 16 runs without hitting a single home run, and only seven doubles. They also drew just four walks.

A two-run double by rookie 2B Whit Merrifield in the 2nd inning put the Royals ahead to stay. Whit was 3-for-5 with 4 RBIs. DH Kendrys Morales continued his recent hot hitting, going 4-for-5 with 5 RBIs and 4 runs scored.

"Now a win on Father's Day and they take the series, right?"

Yes, but it seems unlikely, as the Tigers are pitching their ace today against Chris Young, who is...not an ace...

Happy Birthday!

On June 19, 1623 Blaise Pascal was born in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

Something of a child prodigy, Pascal eventually established himself as one of the preeminent thinkers of the 17th century. He made major contributions in science, philosophy, and theology.

Pascal's Pensées is widely considered one of the most important philosophical works ever written, and is still widely read today, especially by religious scholars.

On June 19, 1903 Heinrich Ludwig Gehrig was born in Yorkville, Manhattan, New York City. Playing under his nickname Lou, he would turn in a Hall of Fall career in major league baseball.

Sadly, he would also be remembered for dying at just age 37 from ALS, which came to be known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease." He gave a famous farewell speech at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939.

Father's Day Promise

From the wry comic strip Foxtrot, by Bill Amend, which you should read every Sunday, as I do.

Until Next Time...

On June 19, 1966 Brian Vander Ark was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He began playing guitar at just age eight, and he would find some success as a singer and songwriter with the alternative rock band The Verve Pipe, which he formed in 1992.

Like a number of bands I liked in the 1990s, The Verve Pipe was something of a flash-in-the-pan.

Their major-label debut album,
1996's Villains, produced four Billboard charting singles, including
"The Freshmen," which reached No. 5 on the Hot 100 and became the band's signature song.

The album reached No. 24 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, but that was the high point of the band's career. I liked their self-titled follow-up but it didn't sell well, and for all intents and purposes the band has been on hiatus ever since. Nonetheless, I still have pleasant memories every time one of their songs pops up in one of my iTunes playlists.

Today's send-off is "Veneer," which was never released as a single but which became
my favorite song on the Villains album. The music is paired with an evocative slide show with images based on Vander Ark's lyrics. Enjoy...

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