Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Soaring Above

Dynamic Duo

One of the most entertaining moments of the 2016 Summer Olympics was yesterday's final of the floor exercise in women's gymnastics, dominated by Americans Simone Biles and Aly Raisman.

"Yeah, nailed it!"

Arguably the greatest female gymnast ever, Simone capped off her Olympic domination with her fourth gold medal, and the final score wasn't even particularly close.

"Superman's got nothin' on me, yo!"

Aly was the defending Olympic champion in the event, and she put on another stunning routine that would easily have won gold had it not been for her own teammate.

"Which one gets the Wheaties box, do you think?"

Actually, neither of them will...thanks to a sponsorship deal, Simone and the rest of the gold-medal winning team will be pimping for Kellogg's Red Berry Special K...

Three, Four

Last night my beloved Kansas City Royals won their third straight game, beating the Detroit Tigers 6-1 at Comerica Park. The victory also gave the Royals their fourth straight winning series, and their second straight series win on the road, the first time they have accomplished that feat all season.

Now 10-1, 2.72 ERA
Starter Danny Duffy was dominant once again, allowing only a single run (a solo homer) on just three hits in his 7 2/3 innings of work.

The Royals haven't lost a game Duffy has started in almost two months (June 22). Pretty sure that's what a staff ace looks like. His record certainly suggests that he has moved into that role for the team.

Relievers Joakim Soria and Peter Moylan needed only 11 pitches between them to record the final four outs and secure the win.


On offense, the Royals beat long-time nemesis Justin Verlander (now 22-9 for his career against the Royals) with the long ball. Four of their six hits in the game were solo home runs.

Rookie 2B Raul Mondesi put the Royals in front with his first major league homer with two out in the 3rd inning. LF Alex Gordon provided what turned out to be the winning margin with his solo shot in the 5th. 1B Eric Hosmer and DH Kendrys Morales also went deep. It was Kendrys's team-leading 20th big fly of the season.

"So they're going for the series sweep tonight, then?"

Well, Ventura is 2-1 against the Tigers this season, but the loss was at Comerica even though he pitched well, so we'll see what happens...

Rescue Mission

"Man, it is hot AF out here today!"
I know things can be difficult for creatures in nature, but whenever
I can I try to ameliorate that harsh reality. Yesterday I had such an opportunity to be helpful.

It was a very warm day, and the pavement of the parking lot was predictably hot by late afternoon.
I happened to spot a small bat, probably an adolescent, struggling on the asphalt.

I'm not sure what he was doing flying around during the daytime, or how he wound up where he was, but I was able to get him up off the hot surface (carefully), and not long after that he was able to fly away, off toward the heavily wooded area where he undoubtedly lives.

"You know he's just a rat with wings, right?"

And you're just a tongue with legs...what's your point?

Trump's New CEO

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

Until Next Time...

On August 17, 1964 Maria Luisa McKee was born in Los Angeles. A talented singer-songwriter, her songs were being recorded by other artists while she was just a teen, and she would go on to a successful career as a session musician and guest vocalist as well.

She earned her place in my pantheon of female singers through her work with Lone Justice,
the alt-country band she formed
in 1982. In particular, the band's second album, Shelter, was a huge hit with me in 1986. One of the few albums I can name that doesn't have a single song I don't enjoy.

It helped that the band rocked pretty hard even though they didn't really sound like anyone else out there, and Maria's singing and songwriting affected me deeply.

It is fair to say that had it not been for that album I might never have even begun dating my second wife, much less proposed to her. Not an exaggeration.

Lone Justice never had a Top 40 single, and Maria broke up the band for good not long after releasing Shelter in order to pursue a solo career. Thirty years later, Maria's music still resonates with me and gets regular plays on several of my iTunes playlists. I also have several fond memories of watching Maria's high-energy performances fronting the band on various TV shows including Saturday Night Live.

Today's send-off is "Wheels," one of Maria's most heart-tugging ballads. It still brings me to tears, and always will. Enjoy...

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