Saturday, June 4, 2016


Life Goals

Pool at Valley View Estates
The weather is finally getting really warm here (yesterday's high was 92), and in another couple of weeks it will officially be summer.

That means I'll be re-visiting one of my unfulfilled life goals again soon.

I am 63 years old, and
I have never learned how to swim.

Another view
Lots of people have tried to teach me over the years, but to no avail.

There is a nice pool at the apartment complex where I live, so I really have no excuse for not crossing this particular item off of my Life Goals list.

From time to time, I will include updates in the blog on how my efforts are progressing...

"Or NOT progressing, more than likely."

You're such a pessimist...I don't know where you get that attitude from...

Requiescat in Pace

January 17, 1942 - June 3, 2016
Just as I was preparing for bed last night, the news broke that Muhammad Ali had passed away at a hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona at age 74.

I hadn't been paying attention to professional sports for all that long when Ali beat Sonny Liston for the heavyweight title in Miami on February 25, 1964, one week after my 11th birthday. Ali's victory got a lot of press coverage, as it was considered one of the major upsets in the history of sports. The rematch, won by Ali in the first round, produced one of the most iconic sports photographs of all time.

I was always impressed with Ali the boxer, and as I grew older I came to appreciate Ali the man as well. He was tremendously intelligent, with a quick wit and a playful sense of humor. He was also a consummate entertainer.

When his boxing career ended, he dedicated his life to charitable works, and he bore his deteriorating health with dignity and courage. Truly a life well-lived...

Needs work, old friend...

Quandary 2016

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

Until Next Time...

For a variety of reasons I was never a big Bruce Springsteen fan, mostly because I didn't much care for his songwriting or his voice. It also irritated me that so many folks in the music press were constantly trying to cram him down my throat, suggesting that anything short of adulation marked me as a moron. I also took objection to his tiresome left-wing politics (not an uncommon problem with musicians, but some artists, like Springsteen, are more blatantly political than others).

In the spring of 1984 I was just finishing up my first year of duty at Natrona County High School in Casper, Wyoming. It hadn't been a particularly good year for the kind of guitar-based rock and roll music I liked, as highly-stylized synthesizer-heavy pop music dominated the charts and the airwaves. Fortunately, just as I was about to start my summer vacation, Springsteen of all people showed up to carry the banner of rock and roll (and guitars).

On June 4, 1984 Born in the U.S.A. was released, and it created an immediate sensation. It took only four weeks to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart,
a position it held for four straight weeks that July.

The album incorporated some synthesizer into Springsteen's signature hard-driving sound, but this was still unapologetically guitar-based music. The album produced seven singles that made the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.

Born in the U.S.A. went on to sell more than 30 million copies, making it one of the best-selling records of all time. In the summer of 1984, it was all over FM radio, and
I must admit it won me over. It is the only Springsteen album I own, and I still enjoy those hits when they pop up in various of my iTunes playlists.

Today's send-off is the official music video for "Dancing in the Dark," the first single released from the album, which won Springsteen the first of his 20 Grammy Awards and became his biggest-selling hit ever. The iconic video was filmed during a concert performance, and features a young Courtney Cox joining Bruce onstage near the end. Enjoy...

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