Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Rays of Sunshine

Hope Floats

Unless the delegates to the upcoming Republican National Convention come to their senses and do the responsible thing, the only real choice voters will have in November is which lying, corrupt, Constitution-shredding candidate they prefer.

It is tempting, especially for a natural pessimist like me, to throw in the towel on politics, but the situation is not yet completely hopeless.

Marco Rubio, to whose campaign
I contributed during the primaries, reversed course and chose to run for re-election to the Senate, where his leadership will be sorely needed. He'll rejoin fellow GOP candidates Ted Cruz and Rand Paul there
(I also contributed to their primary campaigns), and I expect all three of them to remain loud voices for Constitutional principles.

Meanwhile, Carly Fiorina (to whose campaign I also contributed) is doing important work to help elect real conservatives and stand up for conservative principles with her Carly for America PAC.

"So you'll keep on 'curmudgeoning' no matter WHO wins, then?"

At least until they succeed in outlawing political criticism (which both Trump and Clinton are eager to do)...

Cruise Update

Today my best friend Skip and his wife Elaine spent the day at Greenock, Scotland...

Among the sights to see there is Lyle Hill, which offers a spectacular view of the
Firth of Clyde. It also has the Free French Memorial, a World War II monument which incorporates a ship's anchor with a Cross of Lorraine. It is quite a striking sight, especially at night...

"That's an awful lot of water..."

Well, Great Britain IS an island, after all...


Last night at Kauffman Stadium my beloved Kansas City Royals won the first game of a four-game home-and-away series with the St. Louis Cardinals, beating them 6-2 for their second straight win.

Now 3-1, 3.24 ERA
Royals starter Danny Duffy gave up a double and a two-run home run in the 1st inning, but settled down the rest of the way. Danny pitched eight complete innings, allowing only four more hits while striking out eight.
He didn't walk a single batter, which helped keep his pitch count relatively low.

RHP Joakim Soria needed only 10 pitches to retire the Cardinals in the 9th inning.

"Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!"
DH Kendrys Morales continued his recent hot hitting, going 4-for-4 with two RBIs. He drove in the tying runs in the bottom of the 1st, which went a long way toward sparking the team to victory.

All-Star CF Lorenzo Cain and All-Star SS Alcides Escobar both had two-hit games, and 1B Eric Hosmer chipped in two RBIs and two runs scored.

"And now we've got Ventura back from suspension, pitching tonight!"

Don't get too excited...he's been pretty good in June, but consistency hasn't been Yordano's strong suit this season, so we'll have to see how the layoff affects him...

Shark Week!

Obama Focuses His Outrage

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

Until Next Time...

During my adolescence there were basically only two ways to see a motion picture:
In its original form in a proper movie theater, or in an edited version on broadcast TV. There were no DVDs in those days (even videotapes were still years away), no streaming services, no internet. For much of my teaching career I struggled to explain to my students just how a movie could become a cultural phenomenon without all of that additional exposure.

In October 1968 Franco Zeffirelli's film Romeo & Juliet opened to glowing reviews.
It was also controversial because it featured 17-year-old Leonard Whiting's Romeo
and 15-year-old Olivia Hussey's Juliet in a nude scene. Nowadays that sort of much-discussed scene would have "gone viral" on YouTube and social media, but in those days you had to actually go to a theater to see what all the fuss was about.

In the case of Zeffirelli's film, the cultural buzz was well-deserved. It remains one of the best film adaptations of a Shakespeare play to date, and one of the most commercially successful such films as well.
Original 1968 "one sheet" poster

The movie's score was the work of prolific film composer Nino Rota (who would later win an Oscar for his The Godfather: Part II score).

On June 28, 1969 Henry Mancini and His Orchestra began a two-week stay at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart with an arrangement
of the film's so-called "love theme."
It would be the only No. 1 hit of Mancini's distinguished career.

There would also be popular versions of the song with English lyrics (under the title "A Time for Us") recorded by artists like Johnny Mathis.

Today's send-off is Mancini's hit instrumental version of the theme, paired with some evocative photographs. Enjoy...

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