Thursday, October 6, 2016

Home Sweet

Back to the Bluffs

Both the Philadelphia-to-Chicago and Chicago-to-Omaha legs of my trip home yesterday were made on Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700s, a splendid aircraft.


On the Philadelphia-to-Chicago leg I finally got a window seat, on the port side of the aircraft, which meant my wingman got a good look at things during the flight...

"From up here, everything looks like ants..."

...which didn't make him nearly so anxious as it makes me.

On the Philadelphia-to-Chicago leg I sat next to a very pleasant young man who was
a graduate of Villanova University (class of 2014). He was on his way to San Diego,
so he had a long day ahead. On the climb-out from Philadelphia he pointed out the Villanova campus to me as we passed over it, as well as the U.S.S. New Jersey, which is moored in Camden. I also spotted the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, which includes Lincoln Financial Field (home of the Eagles), Citizens Bank Park (home of the Phillies), and Wells Fargo Arena (home of the Flyers and the 76ers). It was all pretty cool, and talking with Daniel about his hometown did a lot to reduce my anxiety level.

Getting Mugged in PA

Part of the fun of traveling for me
is picking up a coffee mug or two along the way to commemorate a trip. For my visit to my best friend Skip in Pennsylvania I wound up with a nifty trifecta.

In addition to the Pennsylvania RR mug I got at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania gift shop in Strasburg (shown above with the museum logo pin I also bought), I also stumbled across a Starbucks Philadelphia "You Are Here" series mug from 2015. You usually only see those on eBay these days.

And, last but certainly not least, I picked up a "Siren Crown" mug from this year's Anniversary Collection at the Starbucks closest to Skip's house.

"Is there such a thing as 'Coffee Mugs Anonymous' for people like you?"

Don't be such a spoilsport...

Liar's Fencing

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

Until Next Time...

My trip to Pennsylvania put me in mind of the days when I used to drive back and forth between Casper, Wyoming and Kansas City. That 800-mile sojourn took me about 13 hours to drive, and music played a big role in keeping me awake on the trip. I had a variety of mixtapes I made to listen to while traveling, and on one of them I had a song I always enjoyed listening to just as I was hitting the city limits of whichever city I was headed to: "Home Sweet Home," by the glam metal band Mötley Crüe.

Original 1985 45 rpm single
Released as a single on the last day of September in 1985, it helped propel the band's Theatre of Pain album to No. 6 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, the first of the group's five straight Top 10 albums (which included the multi-platinum No. 1 album Dr. Feelgood in 1989).

Of the group's baker's dozen songs which cracked the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, "Home Sweet Home" was the second-lowest, peaking at No. 89. That suggested that the band's fans weren't too keen on the "power ballad" song form.

The band re-recorded the song in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, with Linkin Park lead vocalist Chester Bennington joining them for the session. The recording was paired with video and still photographs from the hurricane and its aftermath, and the visuals give the song an added emotional depth.

Today's send-off is that 2005 video of the song, which has added meaning for me today since I'm safely home while my friends are worrying about Hurricane Matthew. Enjoy...

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