Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Muck Fizzou

In the latest of a series of embarrassments to befall a once-proud institution of higher learning, the NCAA announced today that it was adding a year of probation to the school's self-imposed sanctions after reviewing violations involving the scandal-ridden men's basketball program.

Back in the days when I used to give a damn about what happened to the place, I would have been upset. Not anymore...

"A little harsh, don't you think?"

No, I really don't...


After being swept in a four-game road series against the Texas Rangers, my beloved Kansas City Royals broke their four-game losing streak with a 3-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

Now 7-1, 2.98 ERA

Royals starter Danny Duffy was completely dominant, carrying a no-hitter into the 8th inning and striking out a franchise-record 16 batters. He pitched 8 complete innings and allowed only a single hit, winning his sixth straight decision.

Statistically, at least, it was the best start in Royals history.

All-Star Kelvin Herrera, subbing as closer for injured Wade Davis, needed only 11 pitches in the 9th to record his second save of the season.

It wasn't a great night offensively for the Royals, who were held scoreless through six innings. DH Kendrys Morales hit a solo home run in the 7th to put the Royals ahead, and was 2-for-4 in the game.

CF Paulo Orlando went 3-for-4
with a run scored, and 3B Cheslor Cuthbert went 2-for-3 to raise his batting average to .299.

"The season may be lost, but there are still some bright spots, eh?"

Yes...and I still think we can finish the season with a winning record, even if we don't make the playoffs this year...

Happy Birthday!

As Henry II in The Lion in Winter

On August 2, 1932 Peter Seamus O'Toole was born. It isn't entirely clear whether he was born in Connemara, Ireland, or Leeds, England. As an Irishman myself,
I prefer the former possibility.

Although he began his storied acting career on the stage and on television, his breakthrough role came in the 1962 Best Picture winner Lawrence of Arabia, for which he received the first of his eight Best Actor Academy Award nominations (the most of any actor who never won the award).

O'Toole is one of a small group of actors ever to receive multiple Academy Award nominations for playing the same character. O'Toole was nominated as Best Actor for his performances as King Henry II in two of my all-time favorite films, Becket (1964) and The Lion in Winter (1968).

As are many Irishmen, O'Toole was quite a colorful character. He once said "My favorite food from my homeland is Guinness. My second choice in Guinness. My third choice ... would have to be Guinness."
My favorite food from my homeland is Guinness. My second choice in Guinness. My third choice - would have to be Guinness.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/p/peter_otoole.html
My favorite food from my homeland is Guinness. My second choice in Guinness. My third choice - would have to be Guinness.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/p/peter_otoole.htm"

As Amy Gardner on The West Wing

On August 2, 1964 Mary-Louise Parker was born in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Armed with a drama degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts, she began her acting career on a soap opera, but soon moved on to bigger and better things.

In her stage and TV careers Mary-Louise has garnered considerable acclaim, including Drama Desk, Tony, Golden Globe, and Emmy Awards.

My personal favorite of her performances was her recurring role as Amy Gardner on the TV series The West Wing, one of my all-time favorite shows.

Here is her very first appearance on the series, a charming scene in the Season Three episode "The Women of Qumar"...

"Say, she's single at the moment, isn't she?"

Don't be cruel...

Only a Matter of Time

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

Until Next Time...

In the spring of 1929 jazz pianist and composer Thomas "Fats" Waller was composing songs for an off-Broadway review called Hot Chocolates. The song he wrote to be the show's theme song, "Ain't Misbehavin'," went on to become his most celebrated and popular composition.

The song was recorded by six different artists that year, including Louis Armstrong and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, as well as Waller himself. There were no record sales charts in those days (Billboard began charting singles sales in 1936, with Cashbox following suit in 1942), but all six recordings finished in the Top 20 in the ASCAP rankings of sheet music sales for the year 1929.

"Ain't Misbehavin'" has been recorded by dozens of artists over the years, including
Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, and Dave Brubeck. The 1978 Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin' used the song both as its title and opening number.

Original 1929 78 rpm 10-inch shellac recording
On August 2, 1929 Waller's original monaural recording of the song was released by the Victor Talking Machine Company. He recorded
a second version of the song in 1943 for the motion picture Stormy Weather, in which he appeared playing himself.

I used the 1943 version as the "walk-in music" intro for my Bishop LeBlond and Atlantic productions of the popular John Patrick comedy The Curious Savage.

Waller's original 1929 recording was selected for inclusion in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1984 and in 2004 it was added to the National Recording Registry curated by the Library of Congress.

Today's send-off is the famous 1929 version of the song, featuring Waller's signature stride jazz piano. Enjoy...

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