Buy your stamps now!

My friends at the post office are at it again. In the face of declining sales and decreased revenue, the USPS is raising the price of a first-class stamp from 50 cents to 55.

Yup, that’s what you want to do when people aren’t buying your product: raise the price. That’ll make ’em want to buy more of it.

Of course, most other products don’t have a legal monopoly on their enterprise.


Back on it

Pardon my not posting on Monday. I was just too busy celebrating the Redskins’ win over Carolina the previous afternoon. Didn’t expect that one but I’ll take it.

And speaking of things I did not expect, I did not expect Notre Dame’s win Saturday against Pittsburgh to be so nerve-racking. Nevertheless, a win is a win.

Don’t look now, but the Redskins are in first place and Notre Dame’s 7-0.

Here we go again.

New CD is here

Because a little self-promotion never hurt anyone…

Let the record show my new CD, Jazz Impressions of a Boy Named Franklin, is now available for purchase via the interweb. Head here.

You can also buy tracks on Amazon or hear them, of course, on Spotify.

Jazz Impressions of a Boy Named Franklin is a six-track EP recorded in June at Lady of Noise Studios in Frederick, Maryland. Original compositions inspired by a certain toddler I know.

Nats due for a championship?

The folks at The Washington Post have jumped on an idea of mine from two and a half years ago: greatest teams never to win a championship. (See here.) Chris Rukan considers the Nationals of the past seven years versus other teams over such a period. That piece is here, limited to baseball and going back only to 1969, the first year of the League Championship Series.

Rukan identifies seven teams with better overall records than the Nats who didn’t win championships. The Nats, however, are the only team with the sad distinction of never winning even one playoff series.


Sports holiday

O Signore Columbus, you no doubt would be deluso with what they’ve done to your holiday the past 30 years or so. Nowadays there’s barely a whimper about your accomplishments.

Fear not, however, for the great calendar of sports has you covered. Three games on the MLB Playoff docket today, taking us from 1:35 p.m. to about midnight. That last game is Yankees-Red Sox, still the greatest rivalry in professional sports.

Those of us in the DMV also have football tonight, American football of the Monday Night variety. The first-place(!) Redskins travel to the Superdome to take on the first-place New Orleans Saints. For once I’m actually not terrified to see my hometown team play in primetime.

But in case it goes south there’s always baseball on the other channel, no?

Gonna be lit

Yankees-Red Sox.

Need I say more?

It really has been way too long.

I think the only folks out there more excited than I am are the TV executives standing to profit handsomely from such a matchup.

As the kids would say… gonna be lit.

How much is enough?

Sometimes 162 isn’t enough. Sometimes 163 isn’t enough. Sometimes nine innings isn’t enough.

Sometimes I just can’t get enough baseball either. And then I look at the clock, it’s after one, and I’ve still got to figure out what I’m talking about in math class tomorrow.

Probably baseball.

When 162 just isn’t enough

Two of the sweetest words in baseball: Game 163.

Yep, when a 162-game grind just isn’t enough, the baseball gods bring you a little Monday afternoon gift. And this year? Two. Yeah, two Game 163s.

To be clear, neither one of these contests is technically an elimination game, and that takes something away, I think. But filling in the mere one-day hole in the baseball calendar with more baseball?


Not all old artists growing tired

Last Friday I told you about a new record from an old artist, Tony Bennett’s Love Is Here to Stay.


Unnecessary and not up to Tony’s usual standard of excellence.

Not all old fogey musicians out there are resting on their laurels, however. I am pleased to note (get it? note?) that one Sir Paul McCartney surprised me in a good way with his latest effort, Egypt Station.

In two words… it’s good. Of course it’s not Abbey Road, but what is? This is good songwriting. And it’s the music that’s fantastic, even more than the words. Paul just knows how to write great music, much of it piano-led, which always makes me happy. (And like crazy jealous.) The chords are interesting; it’s not just I-IV-V-I or some similar rock ‘n roll monotony. And of course Paul surrounds himself with the best musicians on the planet–he can afford to–and that helps.

Most media attention concerning the record has centered around one particular track: “Fuh You.” As in, well, yeah, “fuh” is in fact the word you’re thinking.


“Fuh” in this case refers to an intimate coupling of persons, and Paul’s lyric suggests taking this union casually.

Is it the most clever thing I’ve ever heard? Far from it. Is it Cole Porter or Oscar Hammerstein? Nope. Is it further evidence of society’s downfall? Probably not.

Critics have pointed to the 76-year-old McCartney’s choice of words and subject as a scandalous sign of the temper of our times. Was this not the man who in 1963 simply said, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”?


But only five years later it was “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?”

And that was 50 years ago.

Milestones to celebrate

The past two nights have seen the Washington Nationals’ two best players (arguably) reach milestones much ballyhooed on the Twitter and elsewhere.

On Monday night Nats slugger Bryce Harper hit the 100-RBI mark for the first time in his career. In the Moneyball Era RBIs usually receive asterisks as *not that important* because they tell more about a team’s performance than that of an individual player. True, but one still must bat in a run, as the stat goes. It’s tweet-worthy.

Last night Nats fans (and baseball fans, really), were treated to an even more impressive number: 300. As in, Max Scherzer’s 300th strikeout this season. Yes, yes, everyone is striking out these days and it’s made the K less significant, but come on, 300 strikeouts? Only the best are on that list.

Now consider the following. Of the folks on that 300-strikeout list, Mr. Scherzer has given up the fewest hits en route to those 300 strikeouts. As a matter of Max, 150 hits to be exact. Twice as many strikeouts as hits? A pitcher dreams of that in one game let alone an entire season.

For a little context, in Bob Gibson’s magical 1968 season he posted 268 Ks and gave up 198 hits.

Remember, that was the guy who was so dominant they changed the rules the following season.