Archive for February, 2005

MLB question

February 16, 2005

Maybe I just haven’t been following baseball much lately, and there is an obvious answer to this question, but:

Why not move the Houston Astros from the NL Central to the AL West?

Three advantages: One, it would even up all of the divisions at five teams; two, Astros-Rangers could be a great divisional rivalry; and, three, it would shorten the travel distances for in-division games for the remaining NL Central teams.

Plus, it’s not as if the Astros have an age-old rivalry with anyone else in the NL Central…gosh, do the Astros have a serious rivalry with anyone? (Well, the Mets, but that’s purely one-way.)

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Good press for “The Good Show”

February 14, 2005

The Fort Worth Weekly writes a great cover article about the “The Good Show”.

One of my fondest memories of Texas is sitting in on the show last August. The article gets the atmosphere just right.

If you want to listen to the show for yourself, click here after 9pm CST on Sunday nights.

Recent iTunes purchases

February 13, 2005

The iTunes Music Store is a temptation for people who are curious about music.

My recent iTunes purchases fall into three categories:

Curious about the ’50s:

  • Tutti Frutti – Pat Boone
  • Cerezo Rosa (Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White) – Pérez Prado & Pérez Prado and His Orchestra
  • Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing – The Four Aces
  • Ain’t That a Shame – Fats Domino
  • Ain’t That a Shame – Pat Boone
  • The Ballad of Davy Crockett – Fess Parker
  • Ko Ko Mo (I Love You So) – Perry Como
  • Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets) – Sarah Vaughan
  • Melody of Love – The Four Aces
  • Autumn Leaves – Mitch Miller & His Orchestra
  • Singing the Blues – Guy Mitchell with Ray Conniff & his Orchestra
  • The Wayward Wind – Gogi Grant
  • Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera) – Doris Day
  • Autumn Leaves – Roger Williams
  • Rock Island Line – Lonnie Donegan
  • Speedoo – The Cadillacs
  • I’m Walkin’ – Fats Domino
  • I’m Walkin’ – Rick Nelson
  • Banana Boat (Day-O) – Harry Belafonte
  • The Banana Boat Song (Day-O) – Sarah Vaughan
  • Suzie Q – Dale Hawkins
  • Around the World – The McGuire Sisters
  • Stardust – Nat King Cole
  • It’s Four in the Morning (Single) – Faron Young
  • High School Confidential – Jerry Lee Lewis
  • March from the River Kwai and Colonel Bogey – Mitch Miller & His Orchestra

Curious about soul music:

  • Cowboys to Girls – The Intruders
  • Only the Strong Survive – Jerry Butler
  • Back Stabbers – The O’Jays
  • Making Love (At the Dark End of the Street) – Clarence Carter

Old favorites:

  • Games People Play – Joe South
  • Willie, Mickey and “The Duke” (Talkin’ Baseball) – Terry Cashman
  • Never on Sunday (Ta Pedia Tou Pirea) – Nana Mouskouri
  • Wake Up Little Susie – The Everly Brothers
  • Wheel in the Sky – Journey
  • Lights – Journey
  • All Grown Up – Elvis Costello

What diversity means

February 11, 2005

The examples given are ill-chosen, but the basic point is sound:

If not for Christian fundamentalists, after all, we probably wouldn’t have punk rock. Or rap, Goth fashion, skateboarding and lots of recent art. Strong art comes from cultural ferment, from the clash of ideas, not from homogeneity. Liberals have failed to recognize that the “diversity” they so celebrate includes people who disagree with them — churchgoers and mosque-goers, pro-lifers and hunters. And the life has gone out of liberalism as a result.

Ann Marlowe

 
On the other hand, one of the reasons why I dropped out of the conservative movement in the mid-90’s was because it seemed like such an intellectual ghetto, where everyone read the same books and only a few honestly engaged the ideas of the world outside. If anything, it appears to have gotten worse:

I don’t mean to impugn all righty blogs, but the ones I’m told to read – [Belmont Club], Powerline, LGF – are increasingly full of “know your enemy” shit that really bears no knowledge of the “enemy.”

David Weigel

 
A final point about the Marlowe quote: most of the liberals I have known personally who fit her description (and certainly not all liberals do!) either grew up in fundamentalist Christian families or at least grew up in the Bible Belt. They themselves are the products of “cultural ferment” and do indeed try to create “strong art”.

Sunday afternoon at the Toyota Center

February 8, 2005

I was able to fit the Rockets-Lakers game in before the Super Bowl started Sunday. Glad I took the risk: It was a nail-biter, and when will I be able to get Lakers tickets again?

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Saturday afternoon at UH

February 5, 2005

Spent a leisurely afternoon at the University of Houston main campus, with stops at the Blaffer Gallery for the Ant Farm exhibit and Hofheinz Pavilion for a Cougars men’s basketball game.

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Ayn Rand at 100

February 2, 2005

Today is the 100th anniversary of Ayn Rand’s birth. Cathy Young at Reason Online notes a weakness of her philosophy that always stood out for me:

In its pure form, Rand’s philosophy would work very well indeed if human beings were never helpless and dependent through no fault of their own. Thus, it’s hardly surprising that so many people become infatuated with Objectivism as teenagers and “grow out of it” later, when concerns of family, children, and old age—their own and their families’—make that fantasy seem more and more impossible.

 
Whittaker Chambers, when he reviewed Atlas Shrugged for the National Review in 1957, put it this way:

Yet from the impromptu and surprisingly gymnastic matings of the heroine and three of the heroes, no children — it suddenly strikes you — ever result.

The possibility is never entertained. And, indeed, the strenuously sterile world of Atlas Shrugged is scarcely a place for children.

 
Rand’s defense of capitalism and attack on altruism are both worth taking seriously, but Objectivism as a whole never seemed to have much to do with real life.

Today’s iTunes purchase

February 2, 2005

“TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)” by MFSB

(I’ve been on a Seventies music kick lately…)

The latest blog quiz

February 2, 2005

Ten songs from a random iTunes shuffle (entire library)…

  1. “I Should’ve Known” — Aimee Mann
  2. “Boy with a Problem” — Elvis Costello
  3. “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)” — The Isley Brothers
  4. “Do You Ever Think of Me” — Laura Cantrell
  5. “That’s Not Me” — The Beach Boys
  6. “Wrapped in Grey” — XTC
  7. “Blowin’ in the Wind” — Stevie Wonder
  8. “Crazy” — Patsy Cline
  9. “Forever” — The Marvelettes
  10. “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)” — The Temptations

What is the total amount of music files on your computer?

1,298 songs.

The last CD you bought is:

“lure of the underground” — The Hourly Radio
(As heard on The Good Show.)

What is the song you last listened to before this message?

“Swamp [Live]” — Talking Heads

Write down five songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you:

  1. “Ruin My Day” — Jon Brion
  2. “Year of the Cat” — Al Stewart
  3. “Lost in Space” — Aimee Mann
  4. “A Sort of Homecoming” — U2
  5. “Memories Can’t Wait” — Talking Heads

Name three artists/bands you adore:

  1. The Beatles
  2. Elvis Costello
  3. XTC