Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fifteen Years On

Not Getting Any Easier

Photo taken on September 10, 2001

Even after so many years, I still have difficulty writing about the events of September 11, 2001.

I was teaching in my classroom at Bishop LeBlond when word came to turn on the room's TV set.

The rest of that day is mostly a blur in my memories, which I suppose is a sort of mercy.

One of the reasons we say "Never Forget" with regard to the horrific events of that day
is that there are some who think we should forget. There are also people still upset that the United States chose to respond to the attack with military force. Still other people think the whole thing is really no big deal. For as long as I live I will never understand that sort of muddled thinking.

Me too, old friend...

Treading Water

Much as they did in 2013, my beloved Kansas City Royals entered September on the fringes of the race for a playoff spot. And much as they did in 2013, they've been spinning their wheels all month, neither falling completely out of the race nor making
a serious move to reach the playoffs. They ended a two-game losing streak yesterday at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, beating the White Sox 6-5.

"Five pitches, one win. Cool!"
Royals starter Edinson Volquez was given an early lead, but departed after finishing only five innings and having just surrendered the runs that put the White Sox ahead 4-3.

Coming on in relief of rookie LHP Matt Strahm in the bottom of the 6th with runners at second and third, rookie RHP Kevin McCarthy struck out the only batter he faced, and picked up his first major league win after the Royals rallied in the top of the 7th to take the lead.

Relievers Kelvin Herrera, Joakim Soria, and Wade Davis preserved the victory, although Davis gave up a run in the 9th and had to pitch out of a jam to earn the save.


Rookie 2B Whit Merrifield had the game's big hit, a two-run double in the top of the 7th that put the Royals back in front, and later in the inning scored what proved to be the winning run.

All-Star 1B Eric Hosmer was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer in the 1st inning. LF Alex Gordon had a solo homer in the 4th, and CF Jarrod Dyson chipped in a pair of runs scored, including the go-ahead run in the decisive 7th inning.

"You could write a book about pessimism and sports, you know that?"

 So I have been told...

Football Saturday Results

RB Andy Davidson's 3 TDs led Army yesterday
As usual, yesterday's slate of college football results was a mixed bag with regard to my rooting interests.

All three service academies won, making them all 2-0 on the young season. Army hasn't started a season 2-0 since 1996, and no one seems quite sure if all three service academy teams were ever 2-0 the same season.

Notre Dame won their game easily, and Boston College won as well. The hated Kansas Jayhawks got humiliated at home by Ohio, too.

On the other hand, Iowa State got crushed on the road against Iowa, and my best friend Skip's beloved Penn State Nittany Lions fell short on the road as well. Throw in a win by the obnoxious Nebraska Cornhuskers, and it wasn't the best weekend of results for me.

"That's pretty cool about the service academy teams, though."

Yes, it certainly is...

We Won't

From the incisive pen of Michael Ramirez, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

For many years it has been the practice of retailers to feature newly-released music CDs, DVDs, and books on Tuesdays, as a way of generating store traffic on a day which would otherwise be one of the slowest of the week. This practice has persisted well into the age of digital commerce, with downloadable product being released by companies like Amazon and Apple's iTunes Store on Tuesdays as well.

Canadian hard rock band Nickelback was formed in 1995, and by 1998 had released two albums, each of which had sputtered out in the bottom half of the Billboard 200 Albums chart. They had released five singles from the two albums, but none of them had cracked Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart. I was a happy owner of their second album, The State, which would eventually receive a platinum certification from RIAA after the band hit it big, but in the late summer of 2001 it was still considered something of a dud.

On September 11, 2001 the band's third album, Silver Side Up, went
on sale. Events of that day disrupted peoples' lives, but in due course the rhythms of commerce recovered.

The album rocketed up the charts, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, fueled in large part by the album's first single, the massive hit "How You Remind Me," which became the band's signature song. It began a four-week run at No. 1 on the Hot 100 Singles chart in late December, and it wound up being the biggest-selling single of 2002.

Silver Side Up launched Nickelback as a worldwide headlining band, and was the first of their five consecutive multi-platinum albums. "How You Remind Me" was the most- played song on U.S. radio stations during the first decade of the 21st century according to Nielsen Soundscan, and places very high on every list of "best songs" from that decade.

And, of course, it will always remind people of one particular Tuesday in 2001...

Today's send-off is the official music video of the band's breakthrough hit. Enjoy...

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