Friday, September 23, 2016


Thank Demeter It's Friday!

"Enough already with the pumpkin spice crap. Jeez..."

Seems Reasonable

In response to a recent officer-involved shooting, some residents of the city of Charlotte, North Carolina decided that the most sensible response was to have an old-fashioned riot.

Perhaps it's just the way I was raised, but my first reaction to news of what might be 
a social injustice isn't to loot a Walmart, or vandalize local hotels and restaurants.

The unrest, which seems to involve a surprisingly large contingent of out-of-town agitators, necessitated the governor declaring a state of emergency.

Coming close on the heels of similar violence in Milwaukee, this latest incident seems to validate the charge that the Black Lives Matter "movement" is dedicated to fomenting violence regardless of the pretext. I grew up in the turbulent '60s, and I know from experience that violence isn't the way to advance a worthy cause.

"So, you didn't torch the local Venture store when Roe v. Wade was handed down?"

No, no I did not...

Feast Day

Today is the feast day of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, also known as Padre Pio
A friar who joined the Minor Capuchin Order at age 15, Pio suffered from stigmata for most of his life, which brought him considerable (and most unwanted) attention.

Pio was beatified in 1999 by Pope Saint John Paul II, and canonized by him in 2002 in a ceremony at St. Peter's Square said to have been attended by more than 300,000 of the faithful.

Padre Pio is the patron of adolescents, and of those who seek relief from stress.


My hero Joe Bonamassa's latest release (due out today) is a CD and DVD capturing his August 29, 2015 performance at the famous Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. That show was the culmination of Joe's "Three Kings" tour celebrating the music of blues legends Albert King, Freddie King, and Joe's long-time friend and mentor B.B. King.

I pre-ordered the merchandise pictured this past Monday, and it arrived on Wednesday (the company's distribution center is in suburban Des Moines).

I was particularly glad to get the CD, since it enabled me to complete my iTunes playlist of the set list for Joe's concert at the Holland Performing Arts Center in Omaha back on May 4. The "Three Kings" songs he played at that show were not available until now.

"We're in for another extended period of daily air guitar heroics, aren't we?"

If you don't like it, don't watch...


Not only were the Color Rush uniforms for last night's Thursday Night Football contest between the Texans and the Patriots boring as hell, so was the game itself.

The whole point of having football on TV on non-standard days (Thursdays and Mondays) is to tide us fans over until Saturday (college) and Sunday (NFL) roll around. 27-0 blowouts aren't exactly what the doctor ordered.

"Especially if the Patriots win."

Especially then, correct...

Crazy Thought

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

Until Next Time...

On September 23, 1930 Ray Charles Robinson was born in Albany, Georgia. A genuine musical prodigy, he began learning piano at age three, and although glaucoma left him completely blind by the time he was seven he continued his musical studies by learning Braille, an extraordinarily difficult method when applied to reading piano music.

Brother Ray began performing professionally by the time he was 15, and by age 20 he had a recording contract. He struggled early on, as many people do who choose a career in popular music, but eventually Ray found his "voice," an irresistible synthesis of blues, R&B, and gospel idioms that came to be called soul music. And once he did, it was only
a matter of time before his genius made an indelible impression on American culture.

My first exposure to his music was on an album my parents often played when they'd have their friends over to our house when we lived in Fort Collins, Colorado (I was supposed to be asleep, but I was always something of a night owl, so I'd sit by my bedroom door and listen the to music)...

Released in October of 1959,  
What'd I Say became Ray's first charting album, peaking at No. 20 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. It also earned him his first gold record from RIAA.

The album's title track also became Ray's big breakthrough single. "What'd I Say" peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart as well as topping the R&B chart.
It quickly became his signature song, and Ray closed his concerts with it for the rest of his career.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked "What'd I Say" at No. 10 on its list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and in 2002 it was selected for the National Recording Registry curated by the Library of Congress.

As for Brother Ray himself, he went on to a legendary career as a performing and recording artist. He was an original inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
in 1986, and in 1987 he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He received
the National Medal of Arts in 1993, and in 2013 the United States Postal Service issued
a stamp in his honor.

Today's send-off is a remastered version of Ray's breakthrough hit contained on  
Pure Genius: The Complete Atlantic Recordings 1952-1959, released in 2005. Enjoy...

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