Thursday, March 2, 2017


Rare Day

Ash Wednesday is a day on which Catholics abstain from eating meat, a practice we also observe every Friday during Lent.

That means that today is the only time on the liturgical calendar when there is only a single day between abstinence days. Eating meat today therefore seems almost obligatory.

I certainly plan do my part...

"Any hints about tonight's menu?"

I have a lot of options, but at the moment I'm leaning toward a ham steak...

Tough Business

Easily my least favorite thing
about following professional sports is when a player I like gets traded or released by a team for which I root.

My beloved Kansas City Chiefs announced on Tuesday that they had released RB Jamaal Charles, the team's all-time leading rusher and four-time Pro Bowl selection.

It isn't clear whether Jamaal will be able to catch on with another team, but it is clear that his 2015 knee surgery was not entirely successful, and the follow-up surgery he required last year will likely mean his playing days are over.

"When he was good, he was very, very good."

Yes, he was...a shame he spent most of his career playing on bad Chiefs teams, and under bad head coaches...

Happy Birthday!

On March 2, 1899 Mount Rainier National Park became the country's fifth such park when President William McKinley signed the enabling legislation.

I've only seen Mount Rainier itself from a distance (when I visited Seattle for the National Speech and Debate Tournament in 1977), and
I have never visited the park itself. It is one of those places I keep telling myself I'll visit "someday."

There was a lot going on yesterday, so I missed noticing that March 1 was the anniversary of the creation of Yellowstone National Park by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872.

Yellowstone is the nation's first national park, arguably the first such park anywhere in the world. Even though I spent seven years living in Wyoming I never actually visited, which I regret. Add that one to the "someday" list as well.

"That's quite a 'bucket list' you've got going there, Sparky!"

Hush, or I'll leave you behind when I visit those places...

They Deserve Each Other

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

Until Next Time...

On March 2, 1942 Lewis Allan Reed was born in Brooklyn. Subsequently raised in Freeport, Long Island in a middle-class Jewish home, he was socially awkward from an early age. Like many such adolescents he found a refuge in music, principally the rock & roll and blues music he heard on the radio.

After teaching himself guitar from listening to that music over the air, Lou Reed was playing in bands by the time he was sixteen, and shortly after he graduated with a degree in English from Syracuse University he formed the band The Velvet Underground, whose influence vastly exceeded its commercial success.

A large number of my college friends like that band, especially one young woman I had gone to high school with and was desperately trying to date. Despite my best efforts, my attempts to woo her and hers to convince me that Lou Reed was a genius both proved unsuccessful. I still consider him to be wildly overrated by rock journalists and critics, although I truly enjoyed his 1974 live album Rock and Roll Animal and still listen to it periodically when I'm feeling nostalgic for the early '70s.

Transformer was Reed's second album release of 1972, and it did significantly better commercially than his eponymous debut, peaking at No. 29 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. Reed only had one other album in his career that matched Transformer's success.

The album included Reed's biggest hit single "Walk On the Wild Side," his only Top 40 hit as a solo artist, and his signature song.

I didn't much care for it at the time, and still don't, but I really liked the B-side of that single (which Reed later claimed was really a double A-sided release). "Perfect Day" nicely showcases Reed's skills as a lyricist, and the lush production by Mick Ronson makes it a perfect fit for my Guilty Pleasures iTunes playlist.

Today's send-off is the 2002 remastered version of the song, done for the 30th Anniversary reissue of Transformer, from Reed's VEVO channel. Enjoy...

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