Book 16 (of 52) – The Cold Moon

The Cold Moon – Jeffery Deaver

The Cold Moon, the seventh entry in the Lincoln Rhyme saga from Jeffery Deaver, puts Rhyme on the trail of The Watchmaker, who seemingly is targeting random victims with vicious attacks while Sachs, leading her first investigation, stumbled upon potential dirty cops.  When the two cases come together, they both get wrapped up a little too neatly.  Can Rhyme and Sachs figure out what the Watchmaker is truly up to before he kills again?

I’ve now read 11 of the (soon to be) 15 entries in the series, though I am going about it in no particular order.  This entry also introduced the Kathryn Dance character, who has a small series of 4 novels dedicated to her as well.  I still have a few entries waiting on my Kindle, with a new book being published in November, so I will catch up on of these days.

iTunes Top 200 Artists: #71-79

It’s been 4 years since we last counted down the Top 200 artists in my iTunes library.  Since my iTunes stats are still intact, across multiple PCs, iPods, iPads, and iPhones, I figured it was time to take another look at the artists that have entertained me the most based on number of plays from late 2007 through January 1, 2021.

We continue today with the next batch of 10 artists, with the 2 tied for 79th place followed by the single artists at 78th through 71st.

#79: Britney Spears
iTunes stats: 109 plays
Previous ranking: #71

The Grammy Award winner (surprised you there, didn’t I) sees a 79% increase in plays over the past 4 years while dropping 8 spots.

#79: Bush
iTunes stats: 109 plays
Previous ranking: #69

The winners of the American Music Award for Favorite Alternative Group in 1998, who I saw in concert back in 1996, picked up 46 additional listens while dropping 10 slots on the list.

#78: P.O.D.
iTunes stats: 112 plays
Previous ranking: #48

A big 30 spot drop for the band responsible for the entrance music for former White Sox closer Bobby Jenks.

#77: Fiona Apple
iTunes stats: 114 plays
Previous ranking: #81

Doubling her previous total enables the singer I’ve seen in concert twice to move up 4 spots on the chart.

#76: The Beastie Boys
iTunes stats: 115 plays
Previous ranking: #84

59 new listens in the last 4 years bumps the Beastie Boys up 8 spots in the rankings.

#75: U2
Continue reading →

By The Numbers – 59

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #59.  15 players have donned #59 while playing in Chicago, 6 for the White Sox and 3 for the Cubs.

Acquired in 1984 from the Mariners for Salome Barojas, Gleaton put up good numbers in Triple A for the White Sox and was eventually called up to the big leagues, appearing in 11 games.  Gleaton again split the 1985 season between Triple A and the White Sox, with more success in Triple A.  He made it in to 31 games for the White Sox, but put up a 5.76 ERA.  He then spent all of 1986 in Triple A before leaving the White Sox organization as a free agent.

On the north side of town, Rodney Myers donned #59 from 1996 through 1999, putting up a 5-2 record with a 4.90 ERA, before being traded to the Padres for Gary Matthews Jr.

Oh No-No

Last December, after 6 years of injuries and unmet expectations, the White Sox cut ties with Carlos Rodon, their first round pick in the 2014 draft.  On February 1, they brought him back, at a reduced rate, as back of the rotation insurance.  After a strong spring, he beat our Reynaldo Lopez for the fifth starter’s spot.  Last night, in his second start of the season, he was perfect through 25 hitters against the Indians and, after a hit batsman, ended up with the 20th no hitter in White Sox history.

This should have been my first no hitter seen in person.  But, and you knew there was going to be a but, life somehow got in the way.  I had bought tickets to the entire first homestand, so that wasn’t the issue.  Monday afternoon, I got my second vaccine shot and then headed down to Guaranteed Rate Field for that night’s game.  Ironically, Rodon was scheduled to pitch Monday, but was scratched with a stomach bug.  Tuesday, I was feeling the after-effects of the shot, the night out in the cold, or both, with a fuzzy head, chills, and body aches.  I decided to skip Tuesday night’s game.  By Wednesday morning, I was feeling pretty normal, but, with a forecast game-time temperature in the 40s, I decided to play it safe and stay home once again.  A mistake that I will have to live with for the rest of my days.

Book 15 (of 52) – Anxious People

Anxious People – Fredrik Backman

In Anxious People, Fredrik Backman tells a story about a bridge.  Or, maybe, about idiots.  Or about a bank robbery that wasn’t, which turned into a hostage situation that, again, wasn’t.  With nothing quite what it seems, a group of people, connected by circumstances new and old, are interviewed by the police as they try to find the hostage taker.

I first heard of Anxious People when it finished second, to The Midnight Library, in the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Fiction novel of 2020.  It kept popping up, since my friend Val had read it, and it seemed interesting.  Backman’s style her was something completely different, giving away hints and facts about the characters in the story, and the story itself, in bits and pieces as the tale moves along.  I’d be interested in seeing what else Backman has done and hope he can deliver again.

 

Fitbit VII – Week 11

A decent pandemic week, though still quite shy of my goal.  Things got off to a good start on Sunday, as a trip in to Chicago to celebrate birthdays with Val and Daryl put me over 7500 steps.  Monday and Tuesday were slight disappointments, as I finished over 7000 and 7100 steps respectively, but couldn’t get those few additional steps to put me over goal.  Things fell off on Wednesday, as I dropped down to 4000 steps due to meeting after meeting after meeting.  Thursday saw a bit of a bounce back, thanks to the White Sox home opener and my triumphant return to Guaranteed Rate Field, leaving me with 6400 steps.  Friday was a little worse, with only 4800 steps.  A rainout on Saturday kept me home all day, which left me only 3 steps shy of 2400.

Total steps: 39,524

Daily average: 5646.3

iTunes Top 200 Artists: #81-89

It’s been 4 years since we last counted down the Top 200 artists in my iTunes library.  Since my iTunes stats are still intact, across multiple PCs, iPods, iPads, and iPhones, I figured it was time to take another look at the artists that have entertained me the most based on number of plays from late 2007 through January 1, 2021.

We continue today with the next batch of 10 artists, breaking past the 100 play plateau with the 2 remaining tied for 89th place, the single artist at 88, 2 tied for 86th, and the single artists at 85th through 81st.

#89: Chance The Rapper
iTunes stats: 93 plays
Previous ranking: #139

Somehow the two clips from his intro video for the 2016 White Sox jumped 50 spots due to a 182% increase in plays over the last 4 years.

#89: Roxette
iTunes stats: 93 plays
Previous ranking: #95

Sweden’s second best selling musical act after Abba, the pop duo nearly doubled their listens while moving up 6 spots on the chart.

#88: The Muffs
iTunes stats: 94 plays
Previous ranking: #70

A big 18 spot drop for the band most well known for a Fruitopia commercial back in the day, thanks to a mere 32 new plays.

#86: Soul Asylum
iTunes stats: 97 plays
Previous ranking: #88

43 new listens for the Minneapolis-based band pushes them up 2 spots in the rankings.

#86: Christina Aguilera
iTunes stats: 97 plays
Previous ranking: #84

The former Voice star sees a 73% increase, enabling her to drop only 2 spots.

#85: The Outfield
Continue reading →

Book 14 (of 52) – The Case of the Terrified Typist

The Case Of The Terrified Typist – Erle Stanley Gardner

When a temp typist goes missing, Perry Mason finds himself drawn into a mystery involving a multi-national diamond company, a jewel heist, a dead smuggler, and, ultimately, a client who refuses to cooperate.  When Perry’s client is found guilty of murder, he comes up with a unique way to get out from underneath the verdict, keeping his record clean.

The Case of the Terrified Typist is the 49th entry in Erle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason series and the fifth of six novels rereleased last year in conjunction with the new HBO adaptation.  This story was adapted for an episode of the Raymond Burr version of the show during its first season, so I’d like to catch that sometime soon and compare the filmed version with the original.

Fitbit VII – Week 10

The final week of the March Madness Step Challenge fell short of my weekly goal, as I fell off as the week went on.  The week got off to a good start on Sunday, as I picked up 8900 steps.  Monday I fell off a bit, going down to 6200 steps.  Tuesday fell even more, as I just managed to surpass 4900 steps.  Wednesday was easily the worst day of the week, as I finished with only 2200 steps, my lowest total since early February.  Thursday bounced back a bit, rising up to 4100 steps.  Friday was down again, dropping back to 3600 steps.  Saturday saw a nice bounce back, with 5500 steps, thanks to an afternoon trip to the local Jewel.

Total steps: 35,756

Daily average: 5108