Another dubious record

Our neighbors to the north, the Baltimore Ravens, set a fantastic but rather dubious record this past Saturday evening. After beating my hometown team (that would be the Washington Football Team), the Ravens have now won twenty straight preseason games. Some kind of record, apparently, topping the Lombardi-era Green Bay Packers.

Twenty straight wins in preseason games? Well, I guess that’s better than losing twenty straight games that don’t matter.

Crash Davis has the minor league home run record, the Ravens have the preseason win-streak record.

Not funny

Most old episodes of The Simpsons I watch now entertain me even more than they did when I first watched them because if nothing else I get more of the jokes. They’re more relevant to me now, and I appreciate that.

But Season Six, Episode 21? It’s called “The PTA Disbands!” That’s the one where the teachers at Springfield Elementary go on strike and the PTA decides to replace them with well-meaning but incompetent members of the community.

Yeah, that one’s a little too relevant on way too many levels for me now.

Ron Carter is the Joe DiMaggio of jazz

Every live jazz performance I’ve ever been to, whether in a restaurant, a night club, a concert hall, etc. one thing is always true: people talk during the bass solo.

Saturday night at Keystone Korner in Baltimore… no one talked during the bass solo.

Saying Ron Carter has “played with everybody” is a little like noting that water is wet. It’s the second line of his Wikipedia page, for crying out loud, that he holds a Guinness World Record for playing bass on the greatest number of jazz albums: 2,221. Anyone claiming to not know who Ron Carter is has just never heard of music. Funny idea for a cartoon: old-school stereo’s “treble” and “bass” knobs are replaced by ones that say “treble” and “Ron Carter.” (Note to self: send that one to The New Yorker when R.C. finally goes home.)

Not many people can say they’ve played with Miles Davis and A Tribe Called Quest and appeared on an episode of Treme. (Those are like my three favorite things right there.)

And this weekend he added a fourth: Keystone Korner in Baltimore, where people go to actually listen to jazz.

That’s why when the old man with the bass is playing a solo… audience doesn’t talk, audience listens.

I’ve sung the praises of Keystone Korner before, and this post will be no different. They consistently bring in top-quality talent and present America’s art form with the respect it deserves. Ron Carter, too, plays with an obvious dignity (can I say gravitas?), and surrounds himself with the best sidemen (and sidelady!) around. He’s the Joe DiMaggio of jazz, the “Greatest Living Ballplayer” still walking among us, though secretly we wish we could see him again in the lineup with Lou Gehrig, Phil Rizzuto, or Herbie Hancock.

I’m pretty sure when he was up to bat…

no one would talk.

Important discussions that matter a lot

Last week’s broadcast of Math and Musings, in which I discussed educational policies for six or seven minutes (no, I did not solve all the world’s problems during that time) was probably the closest MAM will come to addressing “real” issues with any type of analysis. Mostly it’ll be fluff.

Case in point: today’s episode, featuring a discussion of unusual snack items, and the development of our society to one in which an “Oreo” or “Pop-Tart” now comes in 40 different flavors.

Regardless of how weighty you find the subject matter, I hope you enjoy. I’m going to sit back and listen while sipping peppermint mocha hot macchiato with skim milk.

I mean coffee.

The future will come if you wait long enough

Major League Baseball is the whitest old man sport we’ve got, but even MLB sees the stitches on the fastball every once in a while.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing my two favorite teams in two separate contests, a Yankees-Red Sox matinee followed by the Washington Nationals playing an interleague game in primetime.

Interesting note about the proceedings?

Neither was on TV.

(You know, old white guy TV.)

I guess sometimes instead of going to where your (dying) audience is, you bring your product to where the audience you want is. (Pardon the awkward sentence structure there–it really was the only way to describe it.)

For what it’s worth both games were enjoyable, and not just because they resulted in wins for my chosen sides (and helping Yankee playoff chances). Both mlb.tv (Yankees-Red Sox) and good old youtube (Nats-Blue Jays) really did present a good show. (And no blackouts!) In true 21st-century fashion I was able to select “home” or “away” announcers, and on youtube of course one could participate in various fan polls and chat features. No doubt I was supposed to tag myself on social media or some such thing, but no, the baseball itself was enough for me.

The old white guy version of watching a baseball game.

Merry Christmas, Ted Lasso!

Only a show as awesome as Ted Lasso could get away with airing a Christmas episode in the middle August.

Without thinking too much about it I am sort of asking myself why.

Did they film the thing a year or two ago not knowing the airing schedule?

Were they legitimately confused about what month Christmas is in?

Somebody lose a bet?

Or maybe they’re just that awesome.

Dream come true

There’s about a hundred cliches I could throw out to explain last night’s contest between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox, played at the “Field of Dreams” in Dyersville, Iowa. Most of them are part of Crash Davis’s speech in Kevin Costner’s other baseball movie, Bull Durham.

With its 162-game regular season schedule it’s tough to get up for any one particular regular season baseball game, but this one was worth it. Played before eight thousand fans and a few thousand stalks of corn, the Southsiders topped the Bronx Bombers 9-8, but that wasn’t the story. A classy affair from the start, the end could be described only as dream-like.

Walk-off home run into the cornfield? Are you kidding me?

Shoeless Joe would be proud.

Back to real life

Back to civilization, back to reality, back to school.

School, I know.

Truth is in the 21st century school never really ends. Last week we finished we finished our summer session and this week we have orientation for incoming sixth graders. And seventh graders–because many of them have never actually set foot in the school!

And for further discussion, tune in to this Friday’s episode of Math and Musings, available wherever podcasts are sold.