Friday, August 5, 2016

Stormy Weather

Thank Oya It's Friday!

"Who doesn't love a good storm, eh?"

Sounds of Summer

Shot from my parking lot
One of the things you get used to living in the midwest is the sound of tornado sirens all through the spring and summer months. Here in Council Bluffs, our weekly tests are on Saturdays at noon. So when they go off at any OTHER time, that tells you it ain't no drill.

I also have a National Weather Service app on my Moto X, and it gives audible alerts if the NWS deems it necessary. Those can range from tornado warnings, like the two we got yesterday, to flash flood and severe thunderstorm notifications.

When the sirens and the phone went off yesterday in the early evening, it was because a rope tornado appeared over Lake Manawa. There was no reported damage, but it was a reminder that "tornado alley" is still a thing, and we need to pay attention to those sirens...

"You know, some people would consider it foolish to take pictures of a tornado."

And they would be mistaken...I knew it was harmless, and wouldn't come anywhere close to me...

Belated Feast Day

Statue at Holy Cross Church, Rumson, NJ
Yesterday was the feast day of Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, referred to in English as St. John Vianney. He is also known as the Cure of Ars, and many schools and churches honor him by using that appellation.

The date of this feast day has been changed on the Roman calendar several times. It was August 8 when
I began elementary school, then was moved to August 9 in the 1960s. It was moved to August 4 during my high school years, but some online sources still erroneously list the earlier dates.
I wasn't as thorough as I normally try to be in preparing the blog, and as a result I missed the correct date.

Vianney was beatified by Pope St. Pius X (whose own feast day is later this month) in 1905, and was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925.

St. John Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

Old Friends

Former Royals great Frank White is now Jackson County Executive in Kansas City, and today he honored former teammate and fellow Royals Hall of Famer Amos Otis by declaring August 5 "Amos Otis Day" in Jackson County.

AO was always one of my favorite Royals, and it is nice to see him getting a bit of extra recognition
by the city he represented so well during the team's glory years in the '70s and early '80s.

Amos joined the Royals for the 1970 season, which spanned parts of my junior and senior years of high school. He was the Royals' first true star, being named to the American League All-Star team in each of his first four seasons with the club, and winning three Gold Gloves for his graceful play in center field.

"He was your favorite, wasn't he?"

I have a few favorite players, but Amos is the guy who led the transformation of a woeful expansion team into a legitimate ballclub...yeah, I'll always love him for that...

Time Travel Side Benefit

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

Until Next Time...

In the early days of television, when there were only three networks and programming wasn't available 24/7, popular programs became part of the shared cultural experience of being an American. Those shows were woven into the fabric of peoples' lives, and helped form a "cultural vocabulary" that is sorely missing from modern life these days.

One of the most successful such programs was American Bandstand, which began as a local program on TV station WFIL in Philadelphia in 1950. The show's original host was fired after a number of highly public incidents that embarrassed the station, and on
July 9, 1956 WFIL radio disc jockey Dick Clark took over as the show's emcee. Always an energetic salesman, Clark began pitching the idea of broadcasting the show nationwide to ABC television executives in the spring of 1956. It took more than a year, but Clark's persistence paid off in a big way.

On August 5, 1957 American Bandstand went national on ABC. Clark's first live guest on that telecast was popular vocal group
The Chordettes, and the first record played on the episode was "That'll Be the Day," by Buddy Holly and his band The Crickets.

Until 1964 the show was produced in and broadcast from the WFIL-TV studios at 4548 Market Street in West Philadelphia. For the remainder of its run the show was produced at and broadcast from the ABC Television Center in Los Angeles.

The show's theme song, "Bandstand Boogie," was originally composed by Charles Albertini and recorded by bandleader Larry Elgart. It became one of the most recognizable songs in television history. Although it underwent various permutations during American Bandstand's more than three decades on the air, Elgart's original instrumental version is considered the definitive arrangement.

Today's send-off is a live performance of the famous theme by the Jerry Costanzo All-Star Big Band Orchestra, recorded in 2007. Enjoy...

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