Flashback: “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar

A very fitting song to cap off the week. Probably the song Pat Benatar is best known for, peaking at #9 on the Billboard charts after it’s 1980 release.

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For Openers

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The 2018 Tampa Bay Rays likely won’t be remembered as a team of greatness. They will win at least 87 games this season, perhaps as many as 92 – but they won’t be one of the ten teams in MLB that make the playoffs each year.

What they will more possibly be remembered for years from now was the invention of a new baseball term – an opener. Instead of doing what baseball teams normally have done for years in using a starting pitcher that is used for the bulk of the game, they came up with the idea of starting games with a relief pitcher who goes an inning or two – then continuously using relievers as the game wears on. They still have a few starters like Blake Snell, who broke the Rays club record with his 21st win a few days ago. Nonetheless,  two or three times during their five-man rotation, they do not use “starting pitchers” in the strictest sense.

The strategy has paid dividends – they are second as of this writing in team earned-run average, only behind the Houston Astros. In the copycat world of sports, and particularly baseball, I can see other teams copying the Rays personnel maneuvering in seasons ahead. It also wouldn’t surprise me if a pitcher that wins 20 games or gets 300 strikeouts during the season also meets with eventual obsolescence.

 

 

The Cat Treat Caper

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The news seems a bit too serious these days – so would you all mind if I share a lighter story?

It involves my now 10-year-old cat, Harry. I take care of him during the course of a given day, but when I think I’m ready to go to bed for the night – he goes to the “porch” section of the house. He has air conditioning access, a meal, water, dry food, and some treats ready to go when I put him out there every night and has free reign of that room to go see whatever he wants to gaze at. I close the porch room door – he gets his rest, and I get mine unless a storm startles him which does happen here in Florida during the summer.

Last night, I go through the familiar process of getting him set up – but I forget to take the bag of Temptations treats in with me, leaving the bag somewhere in the porch room. The bag of treats sits on the floor when I greet Harry this morning, with a big hole in the center of the bag. Harry had not only figured out how to open the bag, but he also ate half the bag last night – an amount I usually feed him over about five days or so!

Dogs might love you to death, but you can’t deny cats aren’t very intelligent.

The “Aw, Shut Up” Moment

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I couldn’t help but notice, watching the menagerie of NFL football games on Sunday, the Brett Kavanaugh story heating up. Apparently, another woman has come forward from the Supreme Court nominee’s past – claiming that she too was the victim of sexual harassment behavior some three and a half decades ago. In the case of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the first accuser – no one has come forward to corroborate her story conclusively. With the second allegation three days shy for what will likely be a much-hyped Senate hearing – there will be a smaller window of opportunity to corroborate the allegations of this second accuser. Will there be three by the time of the hearing? Four? Twenty?

This being said, sexual misconduct by anyone should be taken seriously, and if anyone within the sight of this blog entry has been assaulted or otherwise mistreated, I urge you to get help from the authorities if such help is available to you.

There is a great scene from the movie about the 60 Minutes/Jeffrey Wigand revelations about the tobacco industry called The Insider. In this one scene, Wigand is testifying in a deposition in Mississippi, and the “big tobacco” lawyer is making objection after objection in an effort to obstruct the proceedings. The opposing lawyer played brilliantly by Bruce McGill – eventually gets frustrated with the obstruction.

When the “big tobacco” lawyer smirks at him, the lawyer played by McGill kicks his anger to a new gear, screaming at him to “…wipe the smile off your face!” The “big tobacco” lawyer shuts up finally, the deposition resumes, and the movie goes to its subsequent scenes.

I think we’re coming to such a dramatic moment in real-life in the here and now – probably before we get to the mid-term elections. The Kavanaugh circus might cause it, but other matters like the fate of Rob Rosenstein (and today’s series of bizarre reports – first claiming he resigned, was about to be fired, then having retracted both of those) could also be potential catalysts. It probably won’t go as smoothly or neatly as things often do in the movies, but what does in real-life?

Two political ideologies fight for what the truth is as if they have the sole monopoly on it. Here’s the thing: neither of them has such a monopoly. Be careful, you guys – I don’t want a civil war happening anytime soon – for I wouldn’t know who my enemies or my allies are.

Little Boxes All The Same

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I was surprised to see the FedEx guy in my neighborhood on a Saturday, even though I live pretty close to the nearest such facility. I was even more surprised that he delivered two boxes to my address – the new cable receivers I had ordered 48 hours prior.

The cable company seemed to imply it’d take three to five business days for the receivers to arrive, but it took way less than expected. For that, my thanks to Spectrum.

I studied how to put the receivers together and got them ready relatively quickly. It wasn’t rocket science – you put the batteries in the remote, you connect the receiver to the power, then you connect the receiver to an HDMI port. Then you call the cable company’s automated system to tell them the receivers are all set – BOOM! Off you go.

Being in the lurch of not having cable is now a distant memory. Now, about that new bill…

 

Flashback: “Magic” by Pilot

A song getting a lot of play in these parts due to the sudden resurgence (or so it’s hoped) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Scottish band Pilot scored their biggest hit in the US with the song (they’re better known in the UK for another song called “January” which topped the UK charts but fared poorly here), with the song peaking at #5 on the Billboard charts in the summer of 1975.