Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I Saw Your Sign...

Incompetence Cubed

One of the more tedious aspects of being a political conservative with a preference for less rather than more government in our lives is having to deal with people who claim that such views are tantamount to being against fire departments or paved streets and roads.

That is preposterous, of course, but progressives love expanding the reach of government
so much that there is no argument, no matter how specious, that will not be employed
in service of that goal.

That's what makes the news that our Department of Homeland Security "accidentally" granted citizenship to 858 people scheduled to be deported so amusing. The same people who think government (especially the Federal government) should be in charge of absolutely every aspect of American life are completely oblivious to the staggering incompetence of that same Federal government. I really enjoy watching them try to hand-wave away this kind of foul-up, as if it were some wildly rare occurrence. Somehow, "if you're a progressive you're for large-scale government incompetence" doesn't seem as logical to them as "if you're a conservative you're against paved roads and fire departments." Go figure.

"Are there any progressives who understand basic logic?"

One hears stories about the existence of such creatures, but I suspect they are mythological, not unlike unicorns and mermaids...


The remorseless math is still against my beloved Kansas City Royals making the playoffs this season. With 12 games remaining as of this morning, any combination of Cleveland wins and Royals losses totaling 4 will eliminate the Royals in the Central Division race, while any combination of Toronto/Baltimore wins and Royals losses totaling 8 will eliminate the Royals from Wild Card consideration. The Royals fan base is still hoping for a fourth straight winning season (five more wins are necessary to achieve that goal), and we can still take pleasure in watching entertaining baseball, evaluating new players, seeing players reach important milestones, etc.

Yesterday afternoon the Royals beat the White Sox 8-3 at Kauffman Stadium in a game made necessary by a rainout back in May. It was the team's third straight win following a six-game home losing streak, and fans are hopeful that their strong play will continue on the six-game road trip to Cleveland and Detroit that begins this evening.

Now 11-11, 4.35 ERA

Royals starter Yordano Ventura threw a 9-inning complete game, the first of his career, holding the White Sox to three runs on nine hits. He struck out five.


DH Kendrys Morales continued his recent power surge, blowing the game open with a 3-run home run in the bottom of the 5th inning.
In 17 games so far this September Kendrys has put together a slash line of .350/.412 /.683, with 6 home runs and 22 RBIs. Finishing strong.

CF Billy Burns went 3-for-4 and scored three times. 2B Whit Merrifield chipped in a pair of hits with an RBI and two runs scored, and All-Star 1B Eric Hosmer also had two hits and two RBIs.

Monday Night Football

Ordinarily I don't really care much for watching NFL games involving teams from the NFC, but my best friend Skip is a sort-of fan of the Philadelphia Eagles (mostly due to geography), and I've got an animus toward Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler that dates back to his days with Chiefs arch-rival Denver.

That meant I really enjoyed last night's smashing 29-14 Eagles win that wasn't as close as the final score indicated.

"Don't the Eagles play the Steelers in Philadelphia next?"

Yes, they do...and Skip won't be the least bit conflicted...he'll be rooting for total Steeler domination...

She'll Never Give Up, Kid

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

Until Next Time...

My high school years were a Golden Age for the guitar-based blues-rock music I had embraced at around age 14. My interest was sparked by friends who introduced me to Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac, Jeff Beck and The Yardbirds, Paul Kossoff and Free, Gary Moore and Thin Lizzy, and most especially Eric Clapton and Cream. Although
I still enjoyed other pop and rock acts, the blues-rock genre remained my favorite all through high school.

For those of us interested in that music, the news that Cream was breaking up in late 1968 was upsetting. Not long afterward, rumors about a new Clapton-led group began popping up (news traveled slowly in those pre-internet and pre-cable TV days). They turned out to be accurate, as in early 1969 Clapton formed Blind Faith with keyboardist and songwriter Steve Winwood, bassist Ric Grech, and his Cream bandmate drummer Ginger Baker.

In August, the band released an eponymous debut album, and it sparked quite a controversy thanks to a racy cover photograph. The band's label quickly switched to a bland "alternative" album cover for the record's U.S. release, but the original album art quickly became a sought-after collector's item.

One of the things I miss the most about the '60s that it was possible for guitar-centric blues-rock to find a wide audience. The music on this album certainly did.

The famous "alternate" cover for U.S. release
On September 20, 1969 Blind Faith reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, a position it would hold for two weeks. Following the tour in support of the album release, the group disbanded without ever releasing another recording.

Despite the short-lived nature of
the band, the album proved to be quite influential. My guitar hero
Joe Bonamassa, for instance, lists it as one of the seminal albums of his youth. Joe covered "Had To Cry Today," the album's opening track, on his fourth solo album (which also bore that title) in 2004.

Back in the days after its release, every garage band I knew of (including a couple with which I was loosely associated) did covers of the minor radio hits "Presence of the Lord" and "Can't Find My Way Home" as well as the radio-unfriendly "Had To Cry Today." The latter was especially popular in part because it gave an opportunity for extensive guitar soloing (always a popular way of filling time at gigs).

Today's send-off is the 2001 remastered version of "Had To Cry Today," which even nearly half a century later still reminds me of listening to my high school best friend practicing it for his band. Enjoy...

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