Monday, August 15, 2016


AYFKM Again?

Part of the fun of watching the Olympics is the chance to see truly jaw-dropping, dominant performances by the world's best athletes. Not all such performances are entertaining, of course. Watching the U.S. women's basketball team winning games
by 40 points is about as exciting as watching paint dry, for instance.

Sometimes, though, we get to witness something like Katie Ledecky's absurd dominance of the 800m swimming event. Hard not to awestruck by something like this.

We got another chance to see something like that yesterday, as Jamaican sprinter
Usain Bolt won the 100m sprint gold medal (his third) with a comically dominant performance...

"They can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

Bolt is so dominant in the 100m that his theme song ought to be Chuck Berry's
1956 hit "You Can't Catch Me."

"If you get too close, I'm gone like a cool breeze!"

Whatever, dude...


My beloved Kansas City Royals haven't had much to laugh about this season, so yesterday's 11-4 blowout win over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field was a welcome change of pace. The victory gave the Royals a series win, their third straight, and their first road series win since sweeping two games in St. Louis at the end of June.

"Thanks for all those runs, guys. Nice!"

Royals starter Edinson Volquez struggled most of the game, but only gave up two earned runs on five hits
in his six complete innings of work. He recorded his 9th win of the season.

RHP Chris Young pitched three scoreless innings to record an old-school multiple-inning save, his first of the season.

In a game with so much offense, lots of guys had good games. None had a better game than CF Paulo Orlando, who continued his hot streak by going 4-for-5 with 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored. He led off the game with a triple and scored, and blasted a 3-run home run in the 4th inning that capped the decisive 6-run rally.

RF Lorenzo Cain also had a 4-hit game with 3 RBIs, and SS Alcides Escobar chipped in with 3 hits and 2 RBIs.

"Wow. Is this the same team that scored 8 total runs in 9 games awhile back?"

Unfortunately, yes...inconsistency and injuries have basically spoiled the season...

Feast Day

The Assumption of Mary, Mother of Jesus, by Peter Paul Rubens

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary occurs on August 15.
It is a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics in the United States, but in years when August 15 falls on a Saturday or a Monday attending mass on the closest Sunday fulls the requirement.

The feast is a celebration of Mary being "assumed body and soul" into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.


From the droll comic strip Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, which you should read every day, as I do.

Until Next Time...

The Latin prayer "Ave Maria" ("Hail Mary" in English) has been set to music many times over the centuries, including popular versions by Anton Bruckner, J.S. Bach / Charles Gounod, and Vladimir Vavilov.

A youthful Franz Schubert

One of the most popular settings for the prayer was composed in 1825 by Austrian composer Franz Schubert.

In one of history's musical oddities, Schubert didn't write the song as a setting for the prayer at all. He wrote it as part of a series of songs intended as a musical setting for the German translation of a poem by Sir Walter Scott. The words of that poem included part of the "Ave Maria" prayer, so at some point someone took Schubert's music and applied it to the entire "Ave Maria."

Whoever had the idea, it certainly caught on, becoming so popular that that version
of Schubert's song is almost universally assumed to be what Schubert intended all along.

Today's send-off is a live performance of the Schubert "Ave Maria" by the Choeur de l'Université d'Orléans, recorded on December 15, 2012. Enjoy...

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