Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ice Capades

Storm Brewing

Pre-treating Bluffs roads in anticipation of the storm

So Winter Storm Jupiter is finally expected to move through my neck of the woods today, bringing with it an intense bout of freezing rain that will create all sorts of headaches.

Fortunately for me I won't need to do any driving for a few days, but the last time
an ice storm this bad hit where I was living (St. Joseph, 2002) people lost power for days, which can be quite unpleasant if you have electric heat, as most homes in this
part of the country do these days.

It was also no fun not having any TV or phone service for several days, not to mention the loss of much of what people had stored in their refrigerators. Those kinds of problems worry me far more than slippery roads, which I can easily avoid.

"I'm guessing the change in the weather isn't doing your joints any good, either?"

No, no it isn't...Mass this morning was a bit uncomfortable, but what can you do?

Home Cooking

My beloved Kansas City Chiefs will face my best friend Skip's beloved Pittsburgh Steelers today in the
NFL Divisional Round playoffs at Arrowhead Stadium.

The winter storm is also hitting the Kansas City area pretty hard, which caused the NFL to move the playoff game's start back to 7:20 PM CST, to give road crews a chance to make the roads and parking lots a little more navigable. The freezing rain is supposed to switch to just regular rain around 5:00 PM, but the playing conditions will still be pretty miserable for the first Chiefs home playoff game since 2010.

The two teams played on Sunday night earlier in the season in Pittsburgh, in a game
the Steelers won easily, 43-14. (I actually visited Skip and his wife in Pennsylvania that weekend and watched the game with him on his enormous flat-screen TV; except for the game outcome I had a wonderful time.) I don't anticipate a different outcome tonight, although I hope the Chiefs manage to at least be competitive. If you're looking for any omens, the last time the Chiefs won a home playoff game at Arrowhead, way back
on January 8, 1994, they had a former San Francisco 49er (Joe Montana) playing quarterback just as they will tonight (Alex Smith), and the opponent that day was none other than...the Pittsburgh Steelers.

On the other hand, the Chiefs played another pretty important postseason game
on January 15, 1967, and it didn't turn out so well...

"That's awfully pessimistic, even for you."

And I haven't even started drinking yet...

No Encore, Please

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

Until Next Time...

By the time I got married for the first time on August 10, 1974 the rock band The Eagles was well on its way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, having released three multi-platinum certified albums in less than two years. My late first wife and I were both fans of the group, and of singer Linda Ronstadt, with whom several of the band's members were associated early in their careers.

For Christmas in 1976, just a few months before her death, she gave me a cassette tape of the band's latest album, Hotel California. It was being heavily played on rock radio, but neither of us had any inkling of just what a phenomenon that album would become.

On January 15, 1977 Hotel California hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, the first of the album's three one-week visits to the top spot. When it hit No. 1 for the fourth time, in April, it stayed there for five weeks, giving the album
a total of eight non-consecutive weeks at the summit.

From there, it went on to become one of the best-selling albums in music history, with more than 32 million copies sold to date. It also produced two No. 1 hit singles and ranks highly on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums 
of All Time list.

After my wife died in early June of 1977 this record became one of several that I had difficulty listening to for several months. Even today, I can't really enjoy listening to these songs as songs. Too much painful history.

The exception to that is a song that was never released as a single or played much on the radio, "Try and Love Again." Written by Randy Meisner (it was his only writing credit on Hotel California and his only lead vocal on the album), the song's lyrics were tough for me to hear at first, but eventually the song's message of a hopeful future sank in...

Today's send-off is the 2001 remastered version of the original album track, from
the band's YouTube channel. Enjoy...

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