Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Waiting For...

Get Over Yourself, Apple

U2 performing at an Apple product rollout in 2014

Even though Steve Jobs died in 2011, Apple hasn't abandoned his penchant for rolling out significant new products with a massive spectacle (typically preceded by weeks of tantalizing leaks and rumors).

Today it will be the rollout of the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch 2. And even though neither gadget is anything really new, a significant portion of the population will lose its collective minds for the next day or two. All the rest of us can do is stay away from the Apple fans until they calm down.

"Say, don't a lot of those products turn out to be clunkers?"

Yes, yes they do...


Yesterday in Minneapolis my beloved Kansas City Royals won their second straight game, a 10-3 victory over the Twins at Target Field that was much closer than the final score indicated. The Royals trailed 3-2 until the 7th inning, and didn't take the lead until a 7-run 9th inning turned the game into a rout. The win means the Royals win the three-game series no matter what happens in tonight's game, and that is their fifth straight road series victory.

Now 2-4, 1.71 ERA

After getting tagged early, Royals starter Dillon Gee turned in a quality start, pitching six complete innings and allowing just three runs. The Royals got him off the hook by tying the game in the top of the 7th.

Joakim Soria, All-Star Kelvin Herrera, and Brian Flynn only allowed a single Twins base-runner over the final three innings. Herrera was the pitcher of record when the Royals took the lead in the top of the 9th, and earned the decision.

"Boom! BOOM!"
Several players had good games offensively, but none better than
DH Kendrys Morales, who hit a two-run homer in the 1st to give the Royals the early lead, and a three- run homer in the 9th to put the game out of reach.

All-Star 1B Eric Hosmer went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, and RF Paulo Orlando chipped in a two-run single and
a run scored.

"Let me guess: This win didn't cheer you up at all?"

Not really, no...almost all the other teams the Royals are chasing right now won also,
so we're just one game closer to being eliminated...

Call Time of Death, Mr. President

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

Until Next Time...

In the fall of 1968 I was beginning my sophomore year of high school, and as things worked out my circle of friends expanded due to my involvement in my school's competitive speech and debate team. Quite a few of those new friends (including some cute girls) were fond of musical artists to whom I had paid scant attention until then.

The Doors, for instance, were barely on my radar at that time. They had had three charting singles by that time, including the No. 1 hit "Light My Fire." The popularity of that song had propelled the band's eponymous debut album to multi-platinum sales and a peak of No. 2 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. Their follow-up album didn't sell nearly so well, and while the two singles released from it were radio hits, neither made the Top 10 on the charts.

There was some talk that the band might turn out to be a flash-in-the-pan, but they
put that notion to rest in the summer of 1968, peaking just as my sophomore year was getting started.

On September 7, 1968 the band's third album,  Waiting for the Sun, reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. It spent three weeks in the top spot, got bumped for a week by an album by The Rascals, then regained No. 1 on October 5 for one last week as king of the hill. It was the band's only chart-topping album, which is rather odd for a group destined for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Although it helped that girls I had crushes on liked the album, the music alone would have been enough to make me buy it. The album produced the group's second No. 1 single, "Hello, I Love You," and I actually liked that single's B-side, "Love Street," even better. My fondness for their music never wound up getting me any dates, but they still get regular plays in my iTunes playlists.

Part of the group's appeal was that they really didn't sound like any other bands popular at the time, and their musicianship was impressive. My favorite songs on their albums were usually ones the group wrote together, rather than the songs written by lead singer Jim Morrison alone. My favorite on Waiting for the Sun was one such, and it wasn't even released as a single.

Today's send-off is that song, "Spanish Caravan," from the band's YouTube channel. Enjoy...

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