Post Mortem – Utopia

Developed by Gillian Flynn and David Fincher and based off a UK series of the same name, Utopia debuted on Amazon’s Prime Video service in September.  It was cancelled in November when Amazon declined to order a second season.

The show was seemingly right up my alley, about a group of online comic fans who come together at a comic con and find themselves under fire for having seen a new graphic novel, that contains clues to a global pandemic.

I can see why the subject matter may not have been the best thing to attract viewers in the middle of an actual pandemic, but I think Amazon may have missed the boat here by giving up on the show so soon.

May All Time Leaders – Through 2020

With a full year of baseball on tap after last year’s troubles due to a combination of the corona virus and needless labor squabbles, I thought it would be interesting to look at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for each month in games that I have attended.

As the weather starts to turn for the better, Memorial Day weekend has played a part in my attending 160 games during the month. I’ve managed to see a game on every day of the month of May, with 10 games on the 22nd and a single game on the 11th.

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 12
Sammy Sosa 7
Corey Patterson 7
Alfonso Soriano 7
Derrek Lee 7
Jermaine Dye 7

Hits

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 49
Paul Konerko 47
Derrek Lee 47
Alfonso Soriano 47

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 29
Alexei Ramirez 23
Derrek Lee 23

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 41
Aramis Ramirez 28
Alexei Ramirez 25

Doubles

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 11
Alfonso Soriano 10
Aramis Ramirez 9
Jose Abreu 9

Triples Continue reading →

ABC Upfronts

After a year dominated by the corona virus, ABC is taking a cautious approach this fall, with only two new series on the schedule.  The week gets off to a familiar start, with Dancing With The Stars followed by The Good Doctor on Monday nights.  Tuesday night starts with the latest version of The Bachelorette and then Queens, about four estranged women in their 40s who reunite for a chance to recapture the fame they had as a ’90s hip hop group.

Wednesday’s comedy block stays pretty much the same, with The GoldbergsThe Conners, and Home Economics returning and a new version of The Wonder Years, taking a nostalgic look at a Black middle-class family in late 60s Montgomery, Alabama.  A Million Little Things finishes of the night.  Thursdays look pretty much the same, with Station 19Grey’s Anatomy, and then the moved-over Big Sky.  Friday kicks off with Shark Tank, followed by two hours of 20/20.  Sunday stays mostly all reality, with America’s Funniest Home VideosCelebrity Wheel of Fortune, and Supermarket Sweep, followed by The Rookie.

On the bench for mid-season are Abbott Elementary, a comedy about dedicated teachers in a failing school, Maggie, starring Rebecca Rittenhouse as a young woman trying to cope with life as a psychic, and Women of the Movement, a limited series telling the story of Mamie Till-Mobley, who, in 1955, risks her life to find justice after her son Emmett is brutally murdered in the Jim Crow South.  Returning shows for mid-season include the final installment of Black-ish.

Cancelled shows never to be seen again are American HousewifeCall Your MotherFor LifeMixed-ish, and Rebel.

iTunes Top 200 Artists: #31-40

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 ties at 50th, 48th, and 43rd.

#40: Harry Caray
iTunes stats: 208 plays
Previous ranking: #39

A scant 61% increase, due in part to my attending no baseball games in 2020 due to the corona virus, for the legendary broadcaster for both the White Sox and the Cubs.

#39: The Offspring
iTunes stats: 210 plays
Previous ranking: #44

The winners of the 1999 Billboard Music Award for Modern Rock Artist of the Year gained 96 new listens from the 9 tunes in my collection, inching them up five spots in the rankings.

#38: Taylor Swift
iTunes stats: 212 plays
Previous ranking: #71

The 10-time Grammy winner, who is halfway towards an EGOT, saw a 248% increase with 151 new plays, thanks in part to a new album added to the collection.

#37: The Rolling Stones
iTunes stats: 213 plays
Previous ranking: #56

The 1989 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame added 129 additional listens, which moved them up 19 spots in the rankings.

#36: Steam
iTunes stats: 220 plays
Previous ranking: #29

Another casualty of the White Sox victory playlist getting fewer plays over the last few years, especially this last summer thanks to the corona virus, Steam drops 7 spots in the rankings due to only 56 additional plays.

#35: Florence + The Machine
Continue reading →

Opening Back Up

With approval from city and state officials, the White Sox and the Cubs both announced yesterday that they would be increasing capacity to 60% later this month, with the White Sox starting on May 24 against the Cardinals and the Cubs on May 28 against the Reds.  For this weekend’s games against the Royals, the White Sox will feature two vaccinated-only sections without social distancing for fans showing proof of vaccination.  The Cubs will do the same for their series against the Nationals next week.  Fans will still be required to wear masks, although very few actually do.

The expectation is that both teams will be back to full capacity by the end of June, which may jumble up plans on how to sell tickets for the early part of next month.  Other than the additional capacity added to games already on sale, neither team has announced future sales plans as of this morning.

April All Time Leaders – Through 2020

With a full year of baseball on tap after last year’s troubles due to a combination of the corona virus and needless labor squabbles, I thought it would be interesting to look at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for each month in games that I have attended.

The traditional beginning of the baseball season, opening day has played a part in my attending 155 games during the month.  I’ve managed to see a game on every day of the month, with 9 games on the 5th, 7th. and 12th and a single game on both the 1st and the 3rd.

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 18
Adam Dunn 12
Jim Thome 8

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 67
Aramis Ramirez 45
Derrek Lee 44

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 36
Derrek Lee 36
Aramis Ramirez 31

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 42
Aramis Ramirez 33
Adam Dunn 30

Doubles

Name Total
Paul Konerko 14
Aramis Ramirez 12
Derrek Lee 10

Triples 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

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.

Fitbit VII – Week 9

The second week of the March Madness Step Challenge puts me over goal for the second consecutive week, the first time I’ve managed that since early August.  The week got off to a good start on Sunday, as I picked up 7800 steps.  Monday I managed to garner my first 10,000 step day since my August trip to the zoo with Danny, finishing over 10,300 as I ventured out to a not-so-local CVS to get my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.  Tuesday fell back down to 8100 steps, which I guess is still acceptable.  Wednesday finished with only 6300 steps.  Thursday bounced back, rising up to 7700 steps.  Friday was nearly as good, with over 7500 steps.  Saturday was the down day of the week, with only 4700 steps.

Total steps: 52,716

Daily average: 7530.9

April Showers

As we kick off Michael’s birthday month, we go back over a year, to the last sporting event I attended in February of 2020 before the corona virus shut down everything a few weeks later.  After the Boilermakers made a late run to hold off Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan arena, Michael and I got our picture taken by the court as we were walking out.  Little did I know that this would be the last live event I would attend.