Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Happy Birthday, Bugs!

Bugs in A Wild Hare
Of all of the influences in my life that have made me the unrepentant smart aleck I am today, the earliest was Bugs Bunny.

On July 27, 1940 the wascally wabbit made his official debut in the Tex Avery-directed cartoon A Wild Hare. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Subject, Cartoon, the film also introduced the iconic Elmer Fudd character, and one of animation's most famous bits of dialogue.

Some of my earliest memories of childhood are watching cartoons with my mom and my older brother. Among the Warner Bros. characters they both preferred Daffy Duck, who was no slouch himself in the sarcasm department, but for me Bugs's personality was without peer.

When I find myself formulating responses to life's daily idiocies (like the craptastic speeches at the Republican and Democratic conventions), the voice in my head sounds just like Bugs...

"Well, that explains the metal sign you used to hang in your office."

All you had to do was ask...

National Scotch Day

The Holy Grail

As regular readers of this blog know, I'm not a huge fan
of the trend of having every single freakin' day on the calendar being devoted to celebrating some everyday thing. It bugs me even when the thing being celebrated is something I happen to personally enjoy, like doughnuts
or pie or bacon or ice cream.

Today, however, is an exception. I am wholeheartedly and enthusiastically celebrating National Scotch Day.

Unfortunately, I don't have any 18-year-old Macallan on hand, but I have several other nice choices available for the celebration, including Macallan Fine Oak 10, Glenmorangie Original, Lasanta, and Quinta Ruban, Balvenie Doublewood, Glenlivet 12, and Ardbeg Uigeadail.

"Or you could do what you do EVERY year, and buy something new."

What a marvelous idea!

Happy Birthday, Peggy!

On July 27, 1948 Peggy Gail Fleming was born in San Jose, California.

Like millions of other Americans (especially adolescent boys), I was dazzled by her winning performance at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France.

Peggy's gold medal was the only one won by an American at those games, and Peggy thus received a great deal of subsequent media attention. When I was 15 she struck me as the epitome of wholesome American beauty and gracefulness. To say I had a crush
on her would be a HUGE understatement.

"Have there ever been any attractive women you DIDN'T have a crush on?"

Shut your pipe...

Mostly Not Untrue

From the delightfully off-kilter webcomic xkcd, by Randall Munroe, which you should read every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Until Next Time...

One of the cornerstones of the blues and blues-rock music I love is the so-called
"Bo Diddley Beat," a distinctive rhythm pattern named for blues pioneer Elias McDaniel (aka Bo Diddley). The list of artists who have had hit songs based on the Bo Diddley Beat is a veritable Who's Who of popular music, spanning artists as disparate in style as
The Andrews Sisters and The Clash.

Like most British Invasion rock bands, my favorite group The Who had a fondness for American blues artists, and a fair amount of their early output was cover versions of songs written by those blues artists, including Bo Diddley himself. Their first studio album, 1965's My Generation, included a cover of Diddley's "I'm a Man." That influence would eventually extend to the band's own original material as well.

Original 1968 45 rpm single (U.S. release)

On July 27, 1968 the band released "Magic Bus," a non-album single that employed the Bo Diddley beat. I remember buying my copy at my favorite outlet, the Katz Drug Store in North Kansas City.

While the song was only a modest Top 40 hit, peaking at No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart,
it quickly became a staple of the band's live shows, and has been a fan favorite ever since.

Today's send-off is the original monaural single, paired with some photographs of the band from throughout their history. Enjoy...

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