Saturday, November 12, 2016

Kicks, Picks, and Hot Licks

Pigskin Preview

There is a nip in the air lately,
and the leaves are changing colors, so that means the college football season is entering an exciting period as teams fight for conference titles, bowl invitations, and school pride.

Among my own rooting interests, Boston College visited No. 18 Florida State yesterday and got clobbered 45-7. It was their third loss to
a ranked opponent in the past five games, leaving them little hope of becoming bowl-eligible this season.

Iowa State has been having a dreadful season, but they visit the equally woeful (and detested) Kansas Jayhawks today, so a win by the Cyclones would be doubly welcome.

Army has its work cut out for it against Notre Dame (in a game that will be played in San Antonio), but I root for both teams anyway. Navy plays at home against conference rival Tulsa, and Air Force entertains conference rival Colorado State. Iowa will probably get crushed at home by No. 3 Michigan, but No. 19 Nebraska is favored at home against Minnesota, so that's a wash for me, although the ideal outcome (both the Cornhuskers AND Hawkeyes lose) isn't out of the question.

My best friend Skip's No. 10 Penn State Nittany Lions play a decent Indiana team on the road. Could be a tough game for PSU, as they are struggling with some injuries.

"So the cursing forecast for today is...?"

I have no idea what you're talking about...


"You know you want me. Don't fight the feeling!"

Another thing that makes this time of year my favorite is the release of some new drinkware by Starbucks.

Some years they don't have many choices in the seasonal collection, but this year they have several nifty options from which to choose...

"Dear Lord, you're going to go on another binge, aren't you?"

How is that any of your business?

  Some Barbecue Sauce Might Help

From the pen of Henry Payne, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

On November 12, 1947 Donald Brian Roeser was born in Long Island, New York. The son of a jazz musician (saxophone), he developed an early interest in music himself. Like so many people were, he was inspired by the British Invasion, and wanted to play rock and roll music himself.

He began as a drummer, but a wrist injury compelled him to switch to guitar during his recovery period. He found he enjoyed his new instrument better, and never looked back. He played in several bands in high school, and continued doing so while studying for
a degree in Chemical Engineering at Clarkson University.

In 1967 he gave up his studies to form a band with some friends. Though the group went through some personnel shake-ups and name changes, and struggled to find a record company supportive of their unique sound, Blue Öyster Cult went on to a successful and influential career.

A big part of the band's success was Roeser's lead guitar work and songwriting. Using the stage name Buck Dharma, Roeser became a guitar hero of mine with the group's debut album in 1972 and has remained one for more than 40 years. It is entirely possible that
I have played air guitar to his stuff more than any other single guitarist.

The band always had the reputation of being an outstanding live act, and having seen them in person three times myself I can vouch for the truth of that assessment.

In early 1975 the band released  
On Your Feet or On Your Knees,
its first live album. Recorded on the band's 1974 tour, it featured songs from their first three albums, and Roeser's playing was fiery on every single track.

The album peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard 200, the highest-charting album in the U.S. in the band's career. It is one of my all-time favorite live recordings, and still gets regular listens to this day.

Today's send-off is the live version of "M.E. 262," a song Roeser co-wrote for the band's 1974 Secret Treaties album. I've lost count of the number of times I've played air guitar to this track. Enjoy...

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