As a fan of a wide variety of popular (and not-so-popular) music from the 1950s (and sometimes even earlier) up through the present, one of my bucket list projects for years has been to put together a list of my 100 favorite songs of all time. At some point I decided that, once I got around to figuring that out, I could put it out on a blog, for the infinitesimally small proportion of the Internet world that might be interested. So, here we are. While the Top 100 will be a major focus, I also plan to post on a variety of other musical (and occasionally non-musical) topics, in which you may or may not be interested. (If a particular posting doesn’t ring your bell, you’re only a few clicks away from a dancing cat video on YouTube.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Remembering John Wicks

Great column by the Post’s John Kelly about the recently-deceased lead singer of the Records, with shout-outs to WHFS, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and the power-pop classic “Starry Eyes” (which he co-wrote).

Monday, October 1, 2018

September 26, 2018 – Nats 9, Marlins 3 (7 innings) – Nationals Park

Attendance: 28,680
Duration: 2:45
Weather: 84 degrees, Partly cloudy
Wind: SW 11 MPH
Umpires: HP: Whitson. 1B: Miller. 2B: Hernandez. 3B: Porter.
Section 318, Row F, Seats 14-16 – about halfway down the first-base line, back row
Final home game of the season – the good, the bad, and the mixed. Looking forward, and looking back.
Since Tanner Roark was with his family awaiting the birth of their third child, recent call-up Kyle McGowin got his first opportunity to start a major-league game. After retiring the first 11 Miami batters and holding the Marlins scoreless through 4 innings, he was forced to leave the game with a blister, unable to get the 5 innings of work that would have made him the winning pitcher.
Top prospect Victor Robles provided hope for the future with a monster offensive game, going 4 for 5 with a double, homer, and 5 RBI. Fellow rookies Juan Soto, Spencer Kieboom, and Adrian Sanchez joined Robles to account for all but one of the team’s 12 hits, while Robles and Kieboom combined for all 8 of the runs batted in. The Nats got all the runs they needed with 5 in the 2nd off Wei-Yin Chen, and broke the game wide open with 4 more in the 5th off Brett Graves.
The game’s ending was also fitting, as the threatened thunderstorms appeared with a vengeance just as the 7th inning ended.
And Bryce Harper, in possibly his final home game as a National, went 0-4, striking out twice. He would have led off the 8th inning with the chance for a more positive finale, but the game never resumed.

Amy Klobuchar’s big Brett Kavanaugh moment earned rave reviews. But is it what Democrats demand for 2020?

(I’m a big fan.)

Saturday, September 22, 2018

September 21, 2018 – Mets 4, Nats 2 – Nationals Park

Attendance: 37,895
Duration: 2:57
Weather: 75 degrees, Partly cloudy
Wind: S 13 MPH
Umpires: HP: Holbrook. 1B: Segal. 2B: Wolf. 3B: Reyburn.
Section 321, Row E, Seats 8-9 – last 300-level section down the right field line, next-to-last row from the top
Jacob deGrom vs. Joe Ross = predictable outcome
Game notes – the visitors took a quick lead when Jay Bruce singled in Amed Rosario, who had reached second when Victor Robles misjudged his leadoff fly to center … Nats tied things up in the bottom of the 2nd as Rendon drew a leadoff walk, advanced to third on a Soto single, and scored on Zim’s sac fly … the Mets answered right back with 3 in the top of the 3rd as Ross gave up 4 doubles and a single, with one run being unearned due to Rendon’s error … Ross exited after 6 without allowing further damage, while deGrom in all likelihood locked up the Cy Young with 7 innings of 1-run, 3-hit ball while fanning 8 … Washington drew closer in the bottom of the 9th when Turner led off with a double and scored on Rendon’s one-out single, but New York closer Robert Gsellman retired Soto and Zimmerman to end the game
Other – the concession lines continue to be ridiculously long and slow, a situation not helped by keeping several stands closed despite the large crowd, and by the staff’s tendency to ignore fans waiting in the “express” eCash-only lines

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

September 14, 2018 – Royals 8, Twins 4 – Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City)

Attendance: 18,389
Duration: 3:15
Weather: 86 degrees, Clear
Wind: SSE 4 MPH
Umpires: HP: Cederstrom. 1B: May. 2B: Blaser. 3B: Scheurwater.
Section 311, Row G, Seat 14 – “Lexus Infield” section, second level, under the upper deck overhang, looking down the first base line
Game notes – Minnesota starter Jose Berrios struggled early, giving up a run in each of the first two innings, but collected himself to blank the Royals over the next 4 frames … Jorge Lopez, who took a perfect game into the 9th inning in his previous start, scattered 5 hits over the first 4 innings, but ran into trouble in the 5th after colliding with Hunter Dozier on a leadoff chopper, subsequently giving up RBI hits by Joe Mauer, Jake Cave, and Robbie Grossman before leaving with a left rib contusion … the Twins managed another run in the 7th, but Adelberto Mondesi answered with a homer in the bottom of the inning … the 8th saw former Phillie Ben Lively toss a scoreless top, while the Royals just missed tying the game when Ryan O’Hearn was thrown out trying to score from first with two outs on Jorge Bonifacio’s double … with one out in the 9th, a double by Rosell Herrera followed by singles by Whit Merrifield and Mondesi tied the game and put the winning run on third … after the Twins intentionally walked Alex Gordon and deployed a 5-man infield, Salvador Perez fell behind 0-2, then worked the count full and blasted a hanging slider over the wall in CF to end the game
Other – picked up on a BBQ sandwich ($9.25) and Dunkin’ Donut Munchkins ($5.75) for a snack afterwards … spoke to one of the parking lot attendants right after I parked, which helped me have a somewhat easier time getting out of the lot post-game … still, the location markers in the lots (at least Lot A) are few and far between, making finding your car after dark a challenge
Viewed as a club-type section, the “Lexus Infield” area was disappointing. The concourse was covered but not enclosed, with air-conditioning only in the small team store and the George Brett Lounge (which requires a special ticket). There were a few out-of-the-ordinary food items in the bar area at the end, but otherwise not much in the way of food variety, and there were almost no tables. On the good side, the area was not very crowded, and concession lines were short.

Friday, September 14, 2018

September 13, 2018 – Royals 6, Twins 4 – Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City)

Attendance: 18,745
Duration: 3:12
Weather: 81 degrees, Clear
Wind: SSW 11 MPH
Umpires: HP: Scheurwater. 1B: Cederstrom. 2B: May. 3B: Blaser
Section 133, Row E, Seat 7 – halfway down the first base line, 5 rows behind the home team dugout; not a “premium” seat, and a bargain at $50.00 (all seats were significantly cheaper than for the Friday game)
Game notes – Heath Fillmyer turned in a great outing for KC, giving up a 2-run homer to Jake Cave in the 2nd but allowing only 2 more baserunners through the 7th inning … Twins “opener” Gabriel Moya and Stephen Gonsalves held the Royals without a hit through the first 5 innings … the home team did waste a great scoring chance in the 4th after the first two batters walked and advanced on a wild pitch … Kansas City did get a run without benefit of a hit an inning later, when Whit Merrifield walked with 2 outs and scored all the way from first on an error by Minnesota shortstop Jorge Polanco … the Royals finally broke out in the 6th, when a Hunter Dozier double and back-to-back homers by Salvador Perez and Jorge Bonifacio sent Alan Busenitz to an early shower without retiring a batter, after which the home team tacked on one more run … Fillmyer departed in the 8th with 1 down and runners on the corners … Brian Flynn allowed 2 straight singles to score a run and leave the bases loaded, after which Brandon Maurer allowed a sac fly before Jerry Vasto recorded the final out … Merrifield manufactured an insurance run in the bottom of the frame, as he drew a walk, advanced to 3rd on a stolen base / overthrow of 2nd, and scored on a grounder despite the drawn-in infield … KC closer Wily Peralta pitched a clean top of the 9th, fanning pinch-hitter Joe Mauer to end the game
Other – the main and auxiliary video screens were good at providing batter statistics and pitch speed/type/counts, but they didn’t have (or I couldn’t find) a place to post scoring decisions or inform the fans about pitchers warming up in the bullpen … got a good grilled chicken sandwich for $8.00 and a generous bag of popcorn for $5.25 … shortly after parking I realized I had left my phone in the car and took at least 10 minutes to find it (the car, not the phone) … having made careful notes, I had no trouble locating my vehicle after the game, but getting out of the stadium complex was a free-for-all, and I then sat for 20 minutes without moving on I-70, due to an accident on a stretch that was down to a single lane because of road work

Thursday, September 13, 2018

September 11, 2018 – Cardinals 11, Pirates 5 – Busch Stadium (St. Louis)

Attendance: 37,187
Duration: 3:23
Weather: 67 degrees, Clear
Wind: N 0 MPH
Umpires: HP: Nelson. 1B: Fletcher. 2B: Diaz. 3B: Gonzalez.
Section 254, Row 4, Seat 11 – Infield Redbird Club, 200 level, about halfway down the third-base line
Game notes – Miles Mikolas fanned an unusually high (for him) 7 batters in his 7 innings of work for St. Louis, allowing just a single run on 5 hits and 1 walk … the Cards plated 2 in the first on a two-run double by Marcell Ozuna, but didn’t manage another baserunner for the next 4 frames … they finally scored another 2 runs in the 6th on a wild pitch by Pittsburgh starter Trevor Williams and a sac fly by Paul DeJong, and widened their lead on another wild pitch an inning later … the home team broke it open with 6 in the bottom of the 8th, ruining the major-league debut of Nick Burdi, who gave up a 3-run moonshot to Tyler O’Neill … the Pittsburgh offense finally came to life at the end, scoring 4 off Luke Weaver before Tuesday night’s winning pitcher John Brebbia was summoned to record the final out
Other – the “Infield Redbird Club” seemed more spacious and less crowded than the comparable area at Nationals Park, and they also had reasonably-priced pizza slices ($5.75 for cheese, pepperoni, or veggie)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Shuffle #112 (September 12, 2018)

Billy’s Blues – Laura Nyro
A Face In The Crowd – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Award Tour – A Tribe Called Quest
Don’t Be Cruel – Elvis Presley
I Found A Love – Ryan Shaw
Cups – Anna Kendrick
It’s Not For Me To Say – Johnny Mathis
Jet – Paul McCartney
Rock With You – Michael Jackson
Little Red Corvette -- Prince

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

September 10, 2018 – Cardinals 8, Pirates 7 – Busch Stadium (St. Louis)

Attendance: 33,566
Duration: 2:55
Weather: 67 degrees, Partly cloudy
Wind: SSW 4 MPH
Umpires: HP: Gonzalez. 1B: Nelson. 2B: Fletcher. 3B: Diaz.
Section 147, Row 7, Seat 9 – Home Field Box, just to the right of home plate, seventh row behind several rows of premium seating
Game notes – long-time St. Louis stalwart Adam Wainwright got an extended standing ovation when he strolled in from the bullpen, returning from a 4-month stint on the DL, and breezed through the 1st inning … he then allowed a solo homer in the 2nd and 3 more runs in the 3rd, but recovered to retire the final 8 batters he faced … Pittsburgh starter Trevor Williams was perfect through the first 3 frames, but the Cards tied things up in the 4th on 4 hits and a sac fly … the Pirates retook the lead in the 6th, scoring one run each off St. Louis relievers Chasen Shreve and Dominic Leone … the home team struck for another 4-run inning in the bottom of the 8th, with the big blow being a 3-run HR by Matt Adams … recently-announced closer Carlos Martinez did allow a run in the top of the 9th, but the Cardinals survived when shortstop Paul DeJong threw out Francisco Cervelli on a grounder deep in the hole, on a play close enough that it was reviewed (and upheld) while the post-game victory fireworks were going off
Other – perfect short-sleeve weather throughout the evening, with no humidity and almost no wind … the hot dogs ($5.00) and chocolate ├ęclair ice cream bars ($3.25) are both considerably cheaper than those in DC; other concession items not so much … in a cute touch, they played several seconds of “Who Are You” just before announcing the Pirates’ starting lineup … I wound up sitting next to perhaps the only person in the stands wearing the jersey of winning pitcher John Brebbia (said he liked the beard)