Monday, July 18, 2016


Suicide By Blowhard

Today the Republican Party begins its national convention in Cleveland. By the end of the week it will most likely have nominated a lifelong progressive Democrat as its preferred candidate for president.

My response to this turn of events has been to change my party registration (for the first time since I turned 18
I am not a registered Republican).

I have also chosen to disassociate myself from people and organizations (like the National Rifle Association) who have chosen to endorse or otherwise support this vindictive, narcissistic bully.

"Fess up, you're going to watch it on TV just for shits and grins, right?"

Not for all of the money in Trump's bank account (not that that's all that much)...


One of the reasons my beloved
Kansas City Royals fell on hard times following their 1985 World Series championship was their persistent failure to properly value the young talent the organization produced.

Pitcher David Cone was perhaps the most egregious example of this failing. A Kansas City native, Cone was the team's No. 1 draft choice in 1981, and made his major league debut in 1986. The Royals traded him to the Mets prior to the 1987 season for basically nothing, and he went 67-41 over the next five seasons.

The Royals managed to sign him as a free agent prior to the 1993 season, and in 1994 he won the Cy Young Award. Afraid of losing him via free agency, the Royals traded him a second time, this time to Toronto, again getting nothing of value in return. He proceeded to go 83-56 over the next eight seasons for the Blue Jays, Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets.

On July 18, 1999 Cone pitched the 16th perfect game in baseball history, beating the Montreal Expos on Yogi Berra Day at Yankee Stadium. Don Larsen, who famously pitched the only perfect game in World Series history, was in attendance.

"Say, didn't Albert Pujols play high school and college ball in the KC area?"

Don't even go there...

Wild Kingdom Bed & Breakfast Update

There have been a couple of new developments at the B&B lately. For starters, the grackles and starlings have basically disappeared.

With the starlings, their favorite thing was the suet cake feeder, but once the weather got really hot I stopped putting out suet cakes because they melt and drip and make a big mess. That might be why the starlings no longer visit.

The grackles appear to have vacated the apartment complex altogether. I haven't seen them around for more than a week.

"I march to the beat of a different drummer, okay?"
There is still an unidentified visitor who drops in every so often, with sparrow-type markings but much bigger than a sparrow. Still haven't gotten a good enough look for identification purposes.

Then there this one male robin who is now a daily (and enthusiastic) customer. Robins aren't supposed to like nuts and seeds at all, but he certainly does.

Oh, Really?

From the pen of Henry Payne, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

On July 18, 1941 Lonnie McIntosh was born in West Harrison, Indiana. He dropped out of high school at age 13 and began playing guitar professionally on the roadhouse circuit under the name Lonnie Mack.

Lonnie experimented with a variety of Fender and Gibson guitars early in his career, but at age 17 he purchased the Gibson Flying V that would become his trademark instrument. He installed a Bigsby vibrato, and named the guitar "Number 7" because it was just the seventh Flying V Gibson made in 1958, the model's first year of production.

Lonnie was instrumental (pun intended) in helping transform the guitar from an accompanying instrument to a lead instrument, and his unique style influenced almost all of the blues and blues-rock guitarists I enjoyed. His death back in April was sad news for everyone who loves guitar-based music.

In 1963 Lonnie released his first single, an instrumental cover of Chuck Berry's "Memphis, Tennessee," a "B" side to one of Berry's 1959 hits. Lonnie changed the name of the song to simply "Memphis," although he credited Berry as the author.

"Memphis" reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and along with its instrumental follow-up "Wham," which also made the Top 25, got Lonnie an album deal. In 1964 he released The Wham of That Memphis Man!, a record which is still treasured by guitar players.

Today's send-off is Lonnie's original 1963 single paired with some period photographs of drive-ins, diners, and dives. Enjoy...

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