Sports – The Chicago Bulls waited far too long to rid themselves of Derrick “Albatross” Rose. As a result, they squandered the prime of Joachim Noah. I have been a fan of Noah since his NCAA dominance. He came to the Bulls under-weight and a bit scrawny. In the space of two years, he became an intimidating muscular force under the basket. We’ll miss him. Good riddance to Rose. His “thrash-to-the-basket” style never lived up to the hype. The Bulls’ front office will now get their just deserts.
RNC – Let’s count the number of times we hear the name “Ronald Reagan” during the course of the upcoming Republican convention. His term marked the first time I heard the phrase “trickle-down.” A fine example of the Reaganomics came in the form of taxing the service industry. Tips and gratuities were the backbone of working as a bartender or waitperson. Hourly rates were minimal in consideration of making decent cash during peak shifts. Ronny (and Nancy) decided this was a “hidden economy” and should be held accountable to the fed’. It would be interesting to find out how much revenue this actually generated. My guess is the amount can’t compete with corporate tax breaks.
Music – It is encouraging to feel the rise of original music throughout the city. Pay attention to these names: Dave Gordon, William Kurk, Jennifer Hall, Stephen Lynerd, Luciano Antonio, Andy Baker, Bobby Irving, Makaya McCraven, and Chris Greene. There remains a void in the area of new music for jazz vocalists. We all appreciate the classics, but there must be room for not only interpretation, but innovation. The city needs a new confluence of instruments and voice. Speaking of classics, let’s talk rock. Cover bands make money therefore bookings are robust. However, club owners owe a debt of conscience to booking original rock bands. Without moving forward, the real progress of the music industry will stagnate and eventually the audience for geezer-rock will go away. What then?
Speaking of Coffee – A wonderful book, rich in history and anecdote is “Coffee – The Epic of a Commodity” by H. E. Jacob (1998 edition). Minutia fit for conversation at the neighborhood coffee stop. It has been my experience that your local “mom-and-pop” roaster is a gold mine of discovery. Future chapters of Central Standard Time will devote much love to the subject. The “wine of Arabia” is the fuel of creativity. Pity those that don’t indulge.