Saturday, October 22, 2016

Leaf Me Be

Fall is Falling!

The falling of the leaves from the trees around the apartment complex has accelerated, and while the color changes haven't gotten fully under way that will happen too before long.

As a confirmed believer in the health benefits of going barefoot as much as possible, early autumn is a favorite time for me because I really enjoy the feel of those leaves under my feet. Makes me feel like a kid again...

"Does it make you want to read comic books by flashlight under a blanket, too?"

I can neither confirm nor deny that...

Sports Saturday

It's going to be a pretty full day of sports action for me and my rooting interests today.

College football starts at 11:00 AM CDT with my 4-2 Army Black Knights at home playing North Texas. About half an hour later
3-3 Boston College plays at home against Syracuse, and at 1:00 PM the 4-2 Air Force Falcons are at home to face Hawaii.

At 2:30 PM the 4-1 Navy Midshipmen, whose game last week got postponed due to weather, will play at home against Memphis.

Then I get a bit of a breather until 7:00 PM, when my best friend Skip's 4-2 Penn State Nittany Lions welcome No. 2 Ohio State to Beaver Stadium.

Both Iowa State and Notre Dame have the weekend off, which is just as well since both are having miserable seasons.

At roughly the same time the Penn State-Ohio State game kicks off, Game 6 of the NLCS will begin at Wrigley Field. The Cubs lead the Dodgers three games to two in that series, and tonight's pitching match-up is a rematch from
Game 2, Clayton Kershaw versus Kyle Hendricks. Kershaw won that first meeting 1-0.

"So you'll be cursing a blue streak until bedtime, then?

I don't curse that much, and in any event it will depend on how the games go...

Feast Day

Today we celebrate the feast day
of Pope St. John Paul II, the second-longest serving pontiff in modern history (nearly 27 years).

Karol Cardinal Wojtyła was elected
on October 16, 1978, not long after my second year of teaching had begun.
At the time of his death on April 2, 2005 my first year of teaching in Iowa was concluding.

One of the most consequential figures of the 20th century, he was beatified
by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 and canonized by Pope Francis in 2014.

He is the co-patron of World Youth Day, a celebration he initiated in 1985.

Coffee Corner Update

The kettle glows blue when it is operating
Every once in awhile I find it necessary to make some basic alterations to my living environment. Yesterday, it was my kitchen's coffee corner that got the makeover.

My old electric kettle had begun performing erratically after many years of faithful service, so I replaced it with
a new model from Farberware. I also took the opportunity to rearrange my collection of Starbucks syrups, and to generally organize the space more efficiently.

For the time being, I have put away my conventional coffeemaker, as I much prefer coffee beverages made with my Mr. Coffee Café Barista.

Season Seven Begins...

Delicious AND Nutritious

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

Until Next Time...

In the fall of 1977 I was just beginning my first year as a high school teacher and speech & debate coach. I had been widowed a few months before, and a big part of how I coped with that was with music. For the first time in my life I had purchased a good quality component stereo system: A Garrard DD75 direct-drive turntable, a Kenwood KR 4070 AM/FM receiver, and a pair of ESS PS5A loudspeakers featuring the Heil Air Motion Transformer.

My record collection at the time wasn't very extensive, so I spent a lot of time listening
to FM radio, especially stations that would play full-length tracks from albums without interruption. It was on one such station that fall that I first heard the Michael Stanley Band, a relatively minor regional act out of Cleveland fronted by singer-songwriter and radio personality Michael Stanley.

On October 22, 1976 the band began a three-night series of shows at Cleveland's historic Agora Ballroom. About a year later the band released Stagepass, a live album recorded at those shows.

For some reason, the FM station
I listened to most often played tracks from the album frequently, and before long I had bought my own copy. To this day, I associate that music with those early days
of my teaching career and the hours I spent enjoying my snazzy new stereo set-up.

Today's send-off is my favorite track from the album, "Let's Get the Show on the Road," from the band's YouTube channel. Enjoy...

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