|"Yeah, I've lost a little weight. You like?"|
The weather here in the Bluffs continues to be unusually warm
for late February (forecast to hit
70 degrees again today), which
is a reminder that spring is just around the corner.
While I was out taking a walk yesterday, I spotted another harbinger of spring: a pair
of American robins. Before long I expect to see a greater variety of birds frequenting the Wild Kingdom Bed & Breakfast, and of course the local squirrels and rabbits will soon be doing their thing as well.
|"Warmer weather also means anthills will be back on the menu soon!"|
I know how much you look forward to that...
Spring Training Update
|"I'll pitch wherever the team needs me to pitch."|
My beloved Kansas City Royals play their first Cactus League game on Saturday, but in the meantime there are plenty of things for its loyal fans to obsess over.
One of the more interesting stories to follow is the progress of 23-year-old flamethrower Josh Staumont, a kid with a shot to make the Royals bullpen despite not currently being on the 40-man roster.
To this point in his minor league career he has been a starter, but if he makes the major league team this season it will almost certainly be as a reliever. He'll be the starter in the game on Saturday, although he'll probably only pitch one inning.
|"So, what are his chances?"|
Not enough data yet, but the past few seasons the Royals have shown a decided preference for guys who can throw hard for short stretches, and Staumont can hit
100 mph on the gun...
|Chair in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome|
Despite the name, the feast isn't about
the actual chair itself, but about what it represents to the faithful.
At one time the Church celebrated two such feasts, one on January 18 and the current February 22 observance. The former feast was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1960 by Pope St. John XXIII.
Missing the Point
From the delightfully off-kilter webcomic xkcd, by Randall Munroe, which you should read every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Until Next Time...One characteristic of movies that make my list of all-time favorites is that they are films
I never get tired of watching. Today's Feast of The Chair of St. Peter puts me in mind
of one such film...
|Original 1968 "one sheet" poster|
Director Michael Anderson's 1968 drama The Shoes of the Fisherman, based on the 1963 bestselling novel by the same name, is easily the most reverent and detailed exploration of the inner workings of the papacy, and of what it means to be the bishop of Rome as well, that I've ever seen. It's theme of a non-Italian pope being elected during a time of heightened political tensions worldwide foreshadowed the real-life election of Pope John Paul II just a decade later.
The score for the film was done by one of my favorite film composers, Alex North,
a native of Chester, Pennsylvania (which is just 30 miles or so from where my best friend Skip lives).
North has the distinction of having received the most Academy Award nominations
for scoring, including his score for this film, without ever having won the Oscar (he did finally receive the Honorary Academy Award for his body of work).
Today's send-off is the film's old-fashioned "Overture," designed to be heard in its entirety before the film actually begins. It features themes and motifs which appear throughout the score, and is from North's YouTube channel. Enjoy...