iTunes Top 200: #21 – 29

itunes_image4 years ago, we last counted down the Top 200 songs 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 my most listened to songs, based on number of plays as of January 1, 2020.

Today, we breach the 50 listens plateau, according to my iTunes stats dating back to late 2007.

#29: The Lonely Island – Lazy Sunday (ft. Chris Parnell)
iTunes stats: 47 plays, most recently on 10/16/2019
Previous ranking: #20

A bit of a drop down the charts for the original SNL digital short that put the Lonely Island on the pop culture map and defined the phrase “viral video”.

#29: Chance The Rapper – Step Up Part 1
iTunes stats: 47 plays, most recently on 1/24/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

An auspicious debut for this portion of the hype video the rapper created for the White Sox used during the 2016 season.

#28: Foo Fighters – All My Life
iTunes stats: 49 plays, most recently on 9/25/2019
Previous ranking: #22

A slight decrease for the live version of the song from the Live in Hyde Park bootleg.

#27: Montell Jordan – This Is How We Do It
iTunes stats: 50 plays, most recently on 1/24/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

A strong debut for the main walk up song for former White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton.

#23: Van Halen – Jump
iTunes stats: 52 plays, most recently on 8/11/2019
Previous ranking: #96

A tremendous jump (see what I did there?) for the song that, for years, was used as the Chicago Cubs took the field at their home games.

#23: Tag Team – Whoomp! There It Is
Continue reading →

Dodgers All Time Leaders – Through 2019

dodgersWith baseball shut down because of the corona virus, I thought it would be an interesting time to look at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. We continue today with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers began life in Brooklyn in 1883, moving to their current home on the west coast , along with their rival Giants, in 1957.  I’ve seen them play 19 times, including the first two games of their 2008 NLDS sweep against the Cubs and their pennant-clinching victory in the 2017 NLCS.

Home Runs

Name Total
Kike Hernandez 5
Matt Kemp 2
James Loney 2
Manny Ramirez 2

Hits

Name Total
James Loney 20
Matt Kemp 14
Russell Martin 14

Runs

Name Total
James Loney 12
Russell Martin 8
Rafael Furcal 8

RBI

Name Total
James Loney 12
Matt Kemp 9
Kike Hernandez 9

Doubles

Name Total
James Loney 5
Matt Kemp 3
Juan Pierre 3

Triples Continue reading →

200 Things To Do In Illinois – Chocolate Cake Shake

Illinois celebrated its bicentennial as a state in December of 2018.  To celebrate, the Chicago Tribune published the Bicentennial Bucket List: 200 Things To Do In Illinois, celebrating the best the state has to offer in history, food, architecture, culture, sports, nature, drink, and oddities.  With the state still shut down due to the corona virus outbreak, I figured this was the second-best time to look through this collection and cover the ones I’ve done/eaten/seen.

We continue things this week with one of the entries from the Drink category: Chocolate Cake Shake, from Villa Park, IL.

Portillo’s chocolate cake is legendary, and it’s a treat made all the more lip-smacking when jacked up with ice cream and given a run in the blender.  Indulge at the Portillo’s in the western suburb where the hot dog empire was born in the early ’60s.

Truth be told, I don’t know if I’ve ever had a chocolate cake shake.  I’ve certainly purchased my fair share, though, as it’s a favorite for both Danny and Michael.

The CW (Not-So-Quite) Upfronts

Yesterday, the CW became the first network to release their plans for the 2020-2021 season, announcing that they would return with a full slate of new programming in January due to shutdowns from the corona virus.  The late start will not impact the number of episodes, with series still producing seasons of 13 to 22 episodes, depending on the show.  That will stretch the season in to July or August, leading to a very short summer break before the 2021 fall season starts in October.  The final episodes from some shows’ current seasons, which could not finish filming because of the pandemic, will be included in their next seasons.

Monday stays the same, with All American followed by Black Lightning.  Tuesday kicks off with The Flash, followed by the latest installment of the Arrowverse, Superman & LoisRiverdale and Nancy Drew continue to hold down the fort on Wednesdays.

While Supernatural may finally be over, Jared Padalecki returns to Thursdays in Walker, a re-imaging of Walker, Texas Ranger.  The night wraps up with Legacies.  Friday goes all reality, with Penn & Teller: Fool Us followed by back-to-back episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway?  The Sunday night offerings are Batwoman and the new version of Charmed.

The network is planning a smaller version of its traditional Arrowverse crossover to air either late 1st quarter or early in the 2nd quarter of 2021.

To accommodate Melissa Benoist’s pregnancy, Supergirl gets bumped to mid-season.  Joining it are Dynasty, Roswell, New Mexico, In the Dark, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, alongside two new series: Kung Fu and The Republic of SarahSupernatural, which still had two episodes to film in its final season before the shutdown, will air its final seven episodes in the fall, alongside some usual summer and/or streaming fare.

All of this, of course, assumes that the production shutdown due to the corona virus lets up and crews can get back to work.

Light At The End Of The Tunnel?

Major League Baseball owners have allegedly approved a plan that could see the 2020 season start around Independence Day.  With a second spring training starting in mid-June at each team’s home ballpark, an 82 game schedule would start in July and would be limited to regional opponents.  Teams would only face opponents from their own division and the same division in the opposite league.  Teams unable to open in their cities due to legal restrictions would temporarily relocate, either to their spring training facilities or major-league parks in other parts of the country.

There are some major roadblocks on the way to implementing this plan, chief among them government participation in states like California and Illinois and the pesky issue of player compensation.  The owners would like to see a revenue sharing plan implemented, since there will be no gate revenues, at least at the beginning of the season, while the MLBPA has rejected that outright, likening it to a salary cap.

Does this plan put us closer to baseball coming back?  Yes.  But, it isn’t a sure thing and it is just as likely that the 4th of July comes and goes and America’s pastime remains on the sidelines.

Blue Jays All Time Leaders – Through 2019

jaysnewWith baseball shut down because of the corona virus, I thought it would be an interesting time to look back at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. We continue today with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays began life in 1977, joining the American League along with the Mariners. I’ve seen them play 26 times, first in 1984 and, most recently, last May 19.

Home Runs

Name Total
Edwin Encarnacion 2
Josh Donaldson 2
Danny Jansen 2
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 2

Hits

Name Total
Vernon Wells 16
Edwin Encarnacion 11
Reed Johnson 8
Jose Bautista 8

Runs

Name Total
Vernon Wells 7
Edwin Encarnacion 5
Jose Reyes 4
Aaron Hill 4
Reed Johnson 4
Justin Smoak 4

RBI

Name Total
Jose Bautista 8
Edwin Encarnacion 8
Lyle Overbay 6

Doubles

Name Total
Vernon Wells 6
Jose Bautista 4
Lyle Overbay 3
Adam Lind 3
Justin Smoak 3

Triples Continue reading →

Fitbit 6: Week 15

Week 8 of sheltering in place due to the corona virus saw a slight up-tick, thanks in part to improving weather.  Things got off to a decent start on Sunday, where cleaning the garage floor helped push me up over 4800 steps.  Monday saw a decline down to 3800 steps.  Tuesday was a bit of a disappointment, as I managed to crack 2500 steps.  Wednesday was the high point of the week, as trips to Jewel and Mariano’s put me over my daily goal, with nearly 8000 steps, for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks.  Thursday was yet another disappointing day, as I dropped back down to 2100 steps.  Friday was the low point of the week, as I finished 4 steps shy of 1900.  On Saturday, I managed to improve that total all the way up to 2400 steps.

Total steps: 25,647

Daily average: 3552.3

iTunes Top 200: #29 – 36

itunes_image4 years ago, we last counted down the Top 200 songs 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 my most listened to songs, based on number of plays as of January 1, 2020.

We enter Casey Kasem territory today, cracking the top 40 with 10 songs between 44 and 47 plays apiece, according to my iTunes stats dating back to late 2007.

#36: Weird Al Yankovic – Dare To Be Stupid
iTunes stats: 44 plays, most recently on 12/18/2019
Previous ranking: #32

Weird Al’s tribute to the style of Devo, as featured in TransFormers: The Movie.

#36: Dr. John – My Opinionation
iTunes stats: 44 plays, most recently on 8/8/2019
Previous ranking: #27

A slight decrease for the theme song to Blossom, the 90s pantheon to weird teenage girls being themselves.

#36: Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
iTunes stats: 44 plays, most recently on 11/12/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

A strong debut for the 22nd song in history to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

#36: Frank Sinatra – My Kind Of Town
iTunes stats: 44 plays, most recently on 9/25/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

Added to recent editions of my White Sox victory playlist, this is the second tune about the Second City from Ol’ Blue Eyes to hit the Billboard charts.

#36: Foo Fighters – Monkey Wrench
iTunes stats: 44 plays, most recently on 12/20/2019
Previous ranking: #65

A big jump up the charts for this first single from the band’s second album, chronicling the disintegration of singer/song writer Dave Grohl’s four-year marriage to Jennifer Youngblood..

#33: Katy Perry – I Kissed A Girl
Continue reading →

Yankees All Time Leaders – Through 2019

YankeesWith baseball shut down because of the corona virus, I thought it would be an interesting time to look back at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. We continue today with the New York Yankees.

The Yankees began life in 1901 as the Baltimore Orioles, moving to New York in time for the 1903 season.  I’ve seen them play 26 times, first in 1997 and most recently this past June.

Home Runs

Name Total
Marcus Thames 3
Nick Swisher 3
Jacoby Ellsbury 3

Hits

Name Total
Derek Jeter 18
Jorge Posada 15
Brett Gardner 12

Runs

Name Total
Brett Gardner 11
Derek Jeter 10
5 tied with  6

RBI

Name Total
Jorge Posada 10
Derek Jeter 9
Melky Cabrera 9

Doubles

Name Total
Jorge Posada 7
Melky Cabrera 4
Alfonso Soriano 4

Triples Continue reading →

200 Things To Do In Illinois – Lake Michigan

Illinois celebrated its bicentennial as a state in December of 2018.  To celebrate, the Chicago Tribune published the Bicentennial Bucket List: 200 Things To Do In Illinois, celebrating the best the state has to offer in history, food, architecture, culture, sports, nature, drink, and oddities.  With the state still shut down due to the corona virus outbreak, I figured this was the second-best time to look through this collection and cover the ones I’ve done/eaten/seen.

We continue things this week with one of the entries from the Nature category: Lake Michigan, from Chicago, IL.

You didn’t think we’d forget about this freshwater ocean at Chicago’s front door, did you?  Don’t just look at it.  Get in it.  And on it.  Departing from Navy Pier, Shoreline Sightseeing’s Classic Lake Tour is a 40-minute nautical jaunt along 6 miles of the Third Coast.  From the water, you get a better appreciation for the city’s skyline, a human-made mountain range.

It’s hard to document my experiences visiting Chicago’s lakefront.  I’ve taken the occasional lunch cruise as part of work outings.  I’ve spent a little time on the beach, most notably for a mid-80s television competition between the Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks.  The picture above is from the museum campus, over by the Adler Planetarium.

If anything, I wish I could spend more time down by the lake.  Living far out in suburbia doesn’t make it easy, though.