Monday, February 20, 2017

Presidents Day 2017

Slacking Off

The third Monday in February has been a federal holiday since 1971,
so like any decent American I shall celebrate by trying to avoid doing
a lick of actual work today.

Technically today is Washington's Birthday, but for a variety of idiotic reasons it has has become popularly known as Presidents Day.

In a classic bit of Federal government genius, by mandating that the official holiday
be celebrated on the third Monday in February we are guaranteed that Washington's Birthday can never fall on February 22, which is of course his actual birthday. Who thought it was a good idea to put such geniuses in charge of the health care system?

One of my objections to this naming convention is that there is no consensus on whether an apostrophe is required, and if so where it should be placed. As someone who loves the English language I am generally opposed to practices which foster punctuation anarchy.

Frankly, I'm comfortable supporting conservative author Kevin D. Williamson's recent proposal to abolish Presidents Day altogether...

"...and Americans everywhere are very glad you're not in charge of such things."

As well they should be...

Mother Nature's Sense of Humor

We've been having quite a run of unseasonably warm and pleasant February weather
in these parts lately (on my 64th birthday on Saturday, for instance, we hit 65 degrees here in the Bluffs), but on a Federal holiday where lots of people get to take the day off we get treated to...

...a wet, overcast, gloomy day...intermittent rain and chilly temperatures will put the kibosh on most outdoor activities. Still better than the normal cold and snow February usually brings in this part of the country, but a bit of a cruel joke nonetheless...

"Don't complain too loudly. You've got a road trip coming up in a couple of weeks..."

A fair point...

Procrastinator's Laundry Day

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

Until Next Time...

On February 20, 1947 John Warren Geils, Jr. was born in New York City, although
he would be raised in Far Hills, New Jersey. The son of an engineer for Bell Labs who had a fondness for jazz, John began his musical career playing trumpet (an instrument he played in marching band) and drums. He soon discovered blues guitarists like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, and took up that instrument as well.

Adopting J. Geils as his stage name, he formed a band with some of his classmates
at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he was working on a degree in mechanical engineering. The J. Geils Band wound up having quite a respectable career, notching
ten straight Top 100 albums on the Billboard 200 charts, including the No. 1 platinum-certified hit Freeze-Frame in 1981. That album's "Centerfold" was the band's lone No. 1 single on the  Billboard Hot 100.

Known early on as an outstanding live act, the group released a live album just a couple of years into their recording career, an unusual move that paid off handsomely when Live Full House became their first RIAA gold record in 1972.

Several tracks from this album got heavy airplay on the Kansas City FM radio stations to which I often listened, and that's how I came to be a fan of the group. Live Full House remains one of my all-time favorite live concert recordings, and songs from it still get regular listens on various of my iTunes playlists.

Although I loved the harp playing of Richard "Magic Dick" Salwitz, it was Geils's blistering guitar work that was the heart of the band's blues-rock sound.

Today's send-off is "Hard Drivin' Man," a song Geils co-wrote with vocalist Peter Wolf which features his signature stinging licks (played on his classic 1959 Les Paul), from
the band's YouTube channel. Enjoy...

No comments:

Post a Comment