Thursday, July 12, 2012

Joanne's Journal: July 12, 2012


Edition No. 8


There are as many kinds of beauty as there are habitual ways of seeking happiness.
- Charles Baudelaire, French poet and critic 
From What is Romanticism?


On this day, 50 years ago, The Rolling Stones played their first gig.  The performance took place on July 12, 1962 at London's Marquee Jazz Club.  On that night, the band consisted of Mick Jagger on vocals, guitarists Keith Richards and Brian Jones and bassist Dick Taylor.  Some fans say that Tony Chapman, The Rolling Stones' early drummer, played the drums  In his 2102 memoir, however, Keith Richards claims that it was Mick Avery, a friend.  Half a century later, only Jagger and Richards remain of the original group.

Brian Jones developed a severe drug abuse problem and left The Rolling Stones in June of 1969.  He was replaced by Mick Taylor.  Less than a month later, Jones drowned in his swimming pool at Cotchford Farm and died at Hartfield, Sussex, England.  He was 27 years old at the time of his death.

Dick Taylor, the original bass guitarist. left the group to become an art student.  He formed a new band, The Pretty Things, in September of 1963.  Dick is now 69 years old and resides on the Isle of Wight, England.  As for Tony Chapman, he formed his own group called The Preachers which included Peter Frampton.  He later played drums in The Herd, also with Frampton, who was only 16 when he joined the group in 1966.  Mick Avery went on to become the drummer for The Kinks.


TO: Canadian TV handyman and contractor Mike Holmes for leading the project to rebuild the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground in Toronto's High Park.  The playground was destroyed by arsonists in March.  Take a bow, Mike.  Kudos to the many volunteers who have been helping him.

TO: The Conservative government of Canada for a 20 per cent cut to the Youth Justice Services Funding Program.  This community-based program diverts young people from the court system by offering much-needed services to youths on probation.  It seems, however, that the Harper government would rather have these youths commit more serious crimes down the line.  Well, at least Stephen Harper will be able to fill all those new prisons on which he's spent so much of our tax dollars.  Why can't conservatives understand that it is more important to be preventive and pro-active than to spend even more money later on.  Repeat after me, conservatives everywhere: AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE.  There's a lot of truth in that old adage.

TO:  Mitt Romney, the man who will be the Republican candidate for President of the United States.  In a speech to the NAACP, the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States, Romney referred to President Obama's health care initiative as "Obamacare."  He knows quite well that "Obamacare" is a pejorative term.  It is absolutely derogatory and it did not go over well with the audience.  Not surprisingly, they booed him because most African-Americans support the president's health care plan.

The correct term for Obama's health care bill is the Affordable Care Act.  Here are two facts for Mr. Romney and his fellow Republicans to consider:

1.  In 2011, provisions in the Affordable Care Act helped approximately 86 million Americans access free preventive services such as cancer screenings, flu shots and wellness exams.  People have been assisted and money has been saved.  Repeat after me, conservatives everywhere: AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE.

2.  President Obama's health care bill is very similar to the one introduced by a certain Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts.


What kind of case can not be carried?


A staircase



Well, the All-Star break is over and the rest of the season begins.  The Toronto Blue Jays have a record of 43-43 at the break.. They are .500 as usual.  I realize they lost three of their starting pitchers to injuries in a short period.  The Blue Jays, however, would not be in this predicament if they had acquired a decent starting picture before the season began.  They insisted that their starting pitching was good enough.  That was the party line.  Yet before the season started, there were far too many questions surrounding the rotation.  The state of  Dustin McGowan's health was uncertain and Kyle Drabek was a gamble.  The hard-luck McGowan has been on the disabled list all season and suffers from right shoulder inflammation.  He is scheduled to visit a doctor in Dallas to determine whether he has a blood clot.  As for Drabek, he underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on June 19th.  Until his injury, his performance had improved, but he was still inconsistent.  The 24-year-old was far from outstanding and could go no further than six innings.

Although the Blue Jays could not have foreseen losing three starters, but they should have expected at least one of them to go down.  The rotation seemed very weak if anything happened to Ricky Romero or Branden Morrow.  Unfortunately, it did happen to Morrow.  General Manager Alex Anthopoulos's failure to acquire a proven starting picture has cost the Blue Jays dearly.  Don't get me wrong.  A.A. has acquired a good number of fine prospects and he has improved the team's scouting.  The Blue Jays have the potential for a great future.  It's about time, however, that Alex focused on the present.  His team needs to contend as soon as possible.  It's been almost 19 years since the Blue Jays have appeared in post season play.  The players and the fans are tired of .500.  As Jose Bautista said, he's not getting any younger.  Make your move, Alex!!!

Here's another reason the Jays have had me scratching my head this season.  Why did Adam Lind bat fourth in the batting order for so long?  He hits poorly against left-handed pitchers.  A clean-up hitter should be able to hit well against both righties and lefties.

Most pleasant surprises of the season so far:

* Catcher Jeff Mathis:   His hitting has been much better than expected.

* The play of Colby Rasmus and Edwin Encarnacion.

Biggest disappointments of the season so far.

The performance of ace Ricky Romero has to be the biggest disappointment so far.  He did not step up when the team needed him most.  Reliever Francisco Cordero's play has been another big disappointment this year.


Many people in Toronto and across Canada, including myself, are disappointed that Steve Nash did not choose to sign with the Raptors and play for a team in his home country.  He would have been the toast of the town in T.O.  It's too bad and it's also a Catch-22.  If the Raptors had appeared to be contenders, Nash might have joined them.  If, however, Nash had become a Raptor, he might have led them to the playoffs.

- Joanne

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