Fitbit VII – Week 13

Another week headed in the wrong direction.  A chilly Sunday ended with a chilly step total, falling 25 steps shy of 2800.  Monday saw a decent enough increase, going up to 4800 steps even.  Tuesday was a little worse, finishing 9 steps over 4000.  Wednesday jumped back up to over 4900.  Thursday was the highlight of the week, as my first trip to Wrigley Field in 16 months left me with 9100 steps.  Friday was nowhere near as good, coming in at 3500 steps.  Saturday was even worse, finishing with only 2800 steps.

Total steps: 32,024

Daily average: 4574.9

iTunes Top 200 Artists: #61-69

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 69th place followed by the single artists at 68th through 61st.

#69: Black Eyed Peas
iTunes stats: 126 plays
Previous ranking: #74

The six-time Grammy Award winners see a 110% increase in plays over the past 4 years, moving up 5 spots.

#69: Sheryl Crow
iTunes stats: 126 plays
Previous ranking: #81

The one-time backup singer for Michael Jackson jumps 12 spots after adding 69 additional listens to the 8 songs I’ve listened to in my collection.

#68: John Williams
iTunes stats: 127 plays
Previous ranking: #66

The composer of some of the most popular and recognizable film scores in cinematic history, including the Star Wars and Superman series, picks up 62 new listens over the last 4 years.

#67: Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
iTunes stats: 129 plays
Previous ranking: #57

The inspiration for the musical Jersey Boys drops 10 spots after gaining a mere 46 new plays.

#66: Red Hot Chili Peppers
iTunes stats: 130 plays
Previous ranking: #74

The California-based rockers, who I saw briefly at Lollapalooza back in 2016, increase their plays by 117% over the last 4 years.

#65: Warrant
Continue reading →

By The Numbers – 58

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 #58.  25 players have donned #58 while playing in Chicago, 20 for the White Sox and 5 for the Cubs.

Catcher Geovany Soto donned #58 during three cups of coffee with the Cubs, in 2005 – 2007.  Earning increased playing time each year, he garnered a single at bat in 05, 25 in 06, and 54 in 07.  He finally broke through in 2008, changing his number to #18 while earning Rookie of the Year honors.  He remained the main backstop for the team until the 2012 season, when he was traded to the Rangers in August.

On the south side of town, Bobby Thigpen wore #58 during his first go-around with the team, going 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA in 20 games for the 1986 White Sox.  He switched to #37 the following year, which he wore for the remainder of his White Sox career, which ended with a 1993 trade to the Phillies.

The (Socially Distanced) Oscar Goes To

side_oscarAs they finish polishing up the statues for tomorrow’s awards ceremony, it’s time to finish up our predictions with the major categories. In a strange change of pace, not only haven’t I’ve seen these films, I haven’t actually heard of many of them. So, without further ado, we begin with:

Best Picture

The Father
Judas and the Black Messiah
Mank
Minari
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

I’ve seen a grand total of zero of these, so I’ll go with Mank, since Hollywood certainly loves films about itself.

Best Actor

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Gary Oldman, Mank
Steven Yeun, Minari

Having seen none of these, I’ll go with the sentimental pick of Boseman in what I believe was his final performance.

Best Actress

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Again, I’ve seen none of these, so I’ll take a stab in the dark and pick Carey Mulligan.

Continue reading →

And The (Socially Distanced) Nominees Are

side_oscarAfter a year like no other, the 93rd Academy Awards are going down Sunday night.  Given that movie theaters were closed for the majority of 2020 thanks to the corona virus, I don’t know that I’ve heard of many of these movies let alone seen them.  So, with less basis in fact than most years, here’s my uneducated predictions for the non-acting awards.

Best Original Screenplay

Will Berson and Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah
Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
Darius Marder and Abraham Marder, Sound of Metal
Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7

I’ve seen none of these films, so this is a total shot in the dark, but I’ve at least heard of The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman, Lee Kern, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller, The Father
Chloe Zhao, Nomadland
Kemp Powers, One Night In Miami…
Ramin Bahrani, The White Tiger

I don’t want to live in a world where a Borat movie wins a writing Oscar, so I’ll go with Nomadland.

Best Animated Feature

Onward
Over The Moon
A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
Soul
Wolfwalkers

Soul is the only one I’ve heard of.

Best Cinematography

Sean Bobbitt, Judas and the Black Messiah
Erik Messerschmidt, Mank
Dariusz Wolski, News of the World
Joshua James Richards, Nomadland
Phedon Papamichael, The Trial of the Chicago 7

I’ve got no clue.

Best Costume Design

Alexandra Byrne, Emma
Ann Roth, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Trish Sumemrville, Mank
Bina Daigeler, Mulan
Massimo Cantini Parrini, Pinocchio

A tale of Hollywood’s past is my choice to win this particular prize.

Continue reading →

Fitbit VII – Week 12

An overall disappointing week, despite managing to get out of the house once or twice for some baseball.  The week started off decently on Sunday, as a trip to Guaranteed Rate Field followed by Michael’s birthday celebration left me with 5200 steps.  Monday was the high point of the week, as I combined a trip to CVS for vaccine shot #2 with another game to surpass my daily goal of 7500 steps.  Tuesday, I was feeling the after-effects of either the shot or the late night cold game, so I dropped back down to 4200 steps.  I was feeling better on Wednesday, but meetings limited me to just 2700 steps.  An off day on Thursday for a day game for the White Sox against the Indians left me with 5500 steps.  Friday fell back down a bit, with only 3900 steps.  Saturday was a waste, finishing with a mere 2200 steps.

Total steps: 31,473

Daily average: 4496.1

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.