Saturday, January 14, 2017

Winter Storm Watch

Hunkering Down

It has been a relatively mild winter here so far, but it appears that's just about to end.

Winter Storm Jupiter has already begun turning most of Kansas and Missouri into an icy mess, while a bit farther north we're on pins and needles, hoping that a bit of freezing rain is the worst we'll get.

"You'll be back from church tomorrow before the freezing rain starts, yes?"

If the forecast is accurate, that stuff won't start until around noon, so I should be safely home long before then, yes...


The crappy weather forecast down in Kansas City resulted in the NFL playoff game between my beloved Kansas City Chiefs and my best friend Skip's beloved Pittsburgh Steelers to be pushed back to 7:20 Sunday evening.

The move was made to give local road crews more time to work, to ensure safer conditions for people traveling to and from the game. If the precipitation actually ends early in the day, as forecast, that should help. If it doesn't...

There has been a lot of speculation about how the weather might affect the game, too. The cliché is to say that the weather will be the same for both teams, but Pittsburgh's superior running attack should give the Steelers a decisive edge in what figures to be a low-scoring game. Just my luck that the first Chiefs home playoff game since 2010 will be played in miserable conditions.

"So now you get to spend the whole day being anxious, and get your heart broken late!"

Something like that, yeah...

Happy Birthday!

1966 series Topps card
On January 14, 1937 Wilfred Charles Siebert was born in St. Mary, Missouri,
a tiny community about 75 miles south
of St. Louis.

After attending high school in St. Louis and then the University of Missouri, Sonny Siebert was signed as an outfielder by the Cleveland Indians when he was 21. After spending six years at that position
in the minors, Siebert was finally converted to a pitcher, and made his major league debut in 1964 at age 27.

It turned out to be a good career move. Siebert won 140 games in the majors, with a 3.21 career ERA. He had three different 16-win seasons, and threw
a no-hitter in 1966.

He could also hit a little bit, for a pitcher. He had just a .173 career BA, but in 660 AB (roughly a full season's worth) he hit 12 home runs and had 57 RBI. Sonny is the last American League pitcher to hit two home runs in the same game, accomplishing the feat in September 1971, just as my college years were beginning.

My own fondness for Sonny traces back to my baseball card-collecting days as a kid.
In 1966, Siebert was one of those players who seemed to turn up in every other pack
of cards I bought.

He had dreadful pitching luck against my beloved Kansas City Royals, who came into the American League just as Sonny's career with the Indians was ending. In 13 total appearances (9 of them starts) against the Royals he pitched well (3.06 ERA), but had just a 1-6 record in those games.

Enjoy Your Saturday, Dad

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

Until Next Time...

Given the nasty blast of winter weather bearing down on my neck of the woods, now is as good a time as any to return to one of my favorite classical pieces, Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, L'inverno (Winter).

The set of four Vivaldi concertos, popularly known as The Four Seasons, is one of the best-known and most frequently-performed works in classical music, of course. I own interpretations of the material by some of the greatest violinists in recorded music. My current favorite recording is from just a few years ago.

2009 reissue DVD
In 2001 BBC Television filmed acclaimed violinist Julia Fischer and chamber music ensemble The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields performing all four Vivaldi concertos at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

The BBC's production included two different versions on the 2002 DVD release (which was reissued in 2009). In the "director's cut" version the musicians are heard while spectacular photographs of the garden during each of the different seasons are shown.

In the "performance edit" version, we see Fischer and her fellow musicians playing live in the garden's famous single-span glasshouse, the largest in the world.

Today's send-off is the "performance edit" of L'inverno from the video. Enjoy...

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