On Baltic Germany

Although it seems so long ago, our cruise ship left Amsterdam and headed north. After a full day at sea, our first stop was Warnemunde – a quaint, beach resort town on Germany’s northern coast.

We were in port for more than 14 hours. Whereas many passengers went to Berlin, we didn’t want to spend half the day on the train to and from that famous city. Therefore, I did my research to determine what we could do with less travel. Given Germany’s rail system, we were able to get a one-day regional pass for about $10 each – a great deal! On this day, we boarded a train from Warnemunde for a trip to the town of Schwerin.

Given this region was part of Soviet-dominated East Germany, English (as a whole) was not spoken well.

In Schwerin, we walked from the train station toward town central – and we discovered that not many towns have a quaint lake within its core

Schwerin’s lovely town square

We exited the square, turned the corner, and then a wow moment – the prime reason for our journey.

We toured the wonderful  Schwerin Castle that housed the rulers of Mecklenberg

The castle grounds provide an excellent park-like setting.

On our walk back to the train station, we got a pleasant surprise – a boat racing festival – so we enjoyed watching several heats of 20-person dragon boats competing in sprint races.

Because we experienced some rain, we returned to Warnemunde, thus passing on our planned walk in Rostock (a city for which Warnemunde is a suburb). After dinner on the ship, it walked the resort community with an eventual stop for some German beer.

The day was a good one for us. The next day was a cruise day as we were bound for Tallinn, Estonia. Click here to join us in Tallinn.

On Satire Bits: Vol. 34 (Halloween)

Hurricane Sandy has inflicted its share of horror upon many. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers. I encourage readers to donate to the American Red Cross or the charity of their choice to help with relief efforts.

Even with all the troubles, its Halloween and a mid-week dose of satire is good for all. In the spirit of this ghoulish celebration, I searched The Onion’s archives for fitting headlines. Enjoy – which is your favorite?

House Haunted by Tortured Souls of Current Residents

Blood Thirsty, Uneasy Ghoul Advocates Chocolate Cereal Consumption

Sexy Nurse having Trouble Finding Halloween Costume

Study Reveals Pittsburgh Unprepared for Full-Scale Zombie Attack

Unemployed Dad Channels All His Energy into Creating Running, Haunted House

Nobody Dresses as Rutherford B. Hayes Any More

Genetic Candy Corn Linked to AIDS

Tip: Be sure child closes eyes before drilling eyeholes in mask

Zombie Corpse of Scatman Crothers Speaks Out Against Telemarketing Scheme

Best Selling Costume: Sexy Mother Teresa

Jack-o-Lantern Debuted as Pumpkin Marketing Scheme

Capitol Hill Haunted by Killed Legislation

On Tango

Time to learn something about tango. After all, it takes two. Besides the info, see the artistry in the slideshow and the videos. Any favorites? By the way, in the video, the basic rhythm of the steps goes T-A-NGO.

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“The Tango is the easiest dance. If you make a mistake and get tangled up, you just Tango on.” (Al Pacino in The Scent of a Woman.)
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Tango’s origination is debatable, including to African slaves in Argentina

I associate tango as the dance of the smelly gaucho with the local lady who turns away from him because of his odor

At times in history, those condemning tango included the upper class, many Christian churches (including Roman Catholics)

Popularized from South America through Europe (especially Paris and London) and eventually to North America in the early 1900s


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Tango music is phrased in multiples of 8 (as 16 and 32)

There are different types of tango: Argentine, Ballroom, Camacupense, Canyengue, Finnish, Liso, Milonguero, Nuevo, Orillero, Salon, Show, and Uruguayan. (Some of these are earlier forms that may not be danced today)

Ballroom tango has different styles as International, European, and American (the last being the more social version)

The head snaps by dancers are most associated with American Ballroom style

Movies that featured Tango dancing include (but not limited to) The Scent of a Woman, Evita, Moulin Rouge, True Lies, and Shall We Dance.

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Many consider Carlos Gardel to be the first great champion of the Argentine Tango.

In 2009, UNESCO declared Tango as part of the world’s “intangible cultural heritage”

Today, a variety of music is acceptable tango music – thus tango’s revival continues

Tango can be hot!

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Which was your favorite video and favorite piece of art?

On Strips for Monday

More important than the current election cycle winding down, much of this weekend’s news focuses on our friends along the U.S. east coast. Take care of yourselves!

I had fun Friday afternoon wondering if I could identify the 100,ooo visitor here. My guess is it was Viveka from Sweden, but I’m not absolutely sure.

How was your weekend? We had an evening with costume on the ballroom floor and an evening of tasting Italian wines with our fun and fellowship church wine group. In between, we even had a trip to Costco! Meanwhile, I see a busy week ahead.

There is one word to best describe this Monday Morning Entertainment – BACON! With so many people enjoying this piggly treasure, here’s a bacon minute. Enjoy – and have a good week!

On Astro Boy

Time for you to sing along with the video. And for those (like me) who don’t know the words, here’s your cue card.

There you go, Astro Boy! On your flight into space!
Rocket high, through the sky, for adventures soon you will face!
Astro Boy, bombs away, on your mission today!
Here’s the countdown, and the blastoff! Everything is go, Astro Boy!
Crowds will cheer you, you’re a hero, as you go, go, go Astro Boy!

This post is for my wife who enjoyed Astro Boy. Meanwhile, I confess not only never watching one episode, heck, I never heard of him until she mentioned him to me years ago.

Astro Boy was a robot in a world co-existing with humans

He found crime, evil, and injustice of robot-hating humans, rogue robots, and aliens

The head of the Ministry of Science created Astro Boy; Dr. Astor Boyton II (English version) or Doctor Tenma (Japanese version)

Professor Ochanomizu noticed Astro Boy performing in a circus

Astro Boy features included

  • Powerful search light eyes
  • Magnified hearing
  • Finger lasers
  • Ability to transform arms and legs into rockets
  • Machine gun hips

First appeared in Japan as a comic book published in 1952, then broadcast in Japan on January 1, 1963

Osamu Tezuka, influenced by American animators as Walt Disney and Max Fleischer, created the series and characters

104 of the original 193 episodes translated in English, which NBC broadcasted from September 1963 to August 1965

Cartoon Network broadcasted the first 52 episodes in 2007 and 2008

Here’s a 3+ minute video history of the Astro Boy franchise

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That’s about it for Astro Boy from me. Enjoy the trailer and the words for your sing-a-long – which also includes a second verse

There you go, Astro Boy! On your flight into space!
Rocket high, through the sky, for adventures soon you will face!
Astro Boy, bombs away, on your mission today!
Here’s the countdown, and the blastoff! Everything is go, Astro Boy!
Crowds will cheer you, you’re a hero, as you go, go, go Astro Boy!

Astro Boy as you fly, strange new worlds you will spy!
Atom-celled, jet propelled, fighting monsters high in the sky!
Astro Boy, there you go; will you find friend or foe?
Cosmic ranger, laugh at danger! Everything is go, Astro Boy!
Crowds will cheer you, you’re a hero, as you go, go, go Astro Boy!

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 160

On Politics
Here are fact checks on the last 2012 presidential debate
Annenberg Fact Check
PolitFact
Washington Post Fact Checker
Associated Press
National Journal

By the way, Pulitzer Prizing winning PolitiFact issued two “Pants on Fire” false-statements ratings in the third debate.

A long-time friend of mine is a disrespectful, clueless, partisan hack. The other day he called, made a ridiculous comment, to which I responded, “Don’t go there.” He kept babbling, so I repeated, “Don’t go there.” Because he ignored my genuine request, I hung up the phone. We haven’t spoken since, I’ve “unfriended” him on Facebook, and I watch Caller ID on my phones.

I cannot justify any reason why law enforcement officials (sheriffs. prosecutors and judges) can run for office under a political party banner and/or endorsement.

The race for one of Ohio’s senate seats involves $30 million of outside-the-campaign money where donors do not have to be identified.

This is interesting: a scorecard of President Obama’s promises and a separate scorecard of promises by GOP Congressional leaders.

This is a wonderful 7-minute video about the Electoral College from CBS Sunday Morning.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Thriving Onion Puts Another Print Edition Out of Business
  • Town Hall Attendees Still Standing Patiently Waiting for Their Questions to be Answered
  • Backup Spatula Always Ready to go in case the Unthinkable Happens
  • Study: Human Imagination Capable of Magnificent Things during masturbation
  • Trump Announces He is a Very Sad Man

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
It’s World Series time. Anyone asking me about team I want to win, and I will answer, “The Reds.” The questioner will explain that the Reds aren’t playing as the series involves the Tigers and Giants, which leads to my answer, “Then I don’t care!”

Now that Blood of Nincompoop is off Dancing with the Stars, I am happily able to concentrate on watching the show.

With another milestone approaching, I wonder who will be the 100,000th visitor to my little corner of the world.

AFA’s Ginger Ale Report
Gosling’s Ginger Beer – On the sweet side, good ginger that lingers, a light cloudy color

Boylan’s Ginger Ale – Slightly better than the mass producers

Jamaica’s Finest Ginger Beer – Too spicy for my taste, but others may enjoy it

Gus Extra Dry Ginger Ale – Light taste all the way around with a pleasant aftertaste

There will be a Saturday Morning Classic Cartoon post this weekend.

Enjoy the music below of Lindsey Stirling. Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Ohio: The Musical

Most realize that Ohio is pivotal in the upcoming election. This post earlier in the week provided information that you don’t hear on the news. Because I realize my readers have a variety of interesting and musical preferences, and in the spirit of the election season, A Frank Angle Productions present Ohio: The Musical – a historical journey through music.

Enjoy … hope you found some gems! Alright, which fit your interests today?

1700s: Banks of the Ohio (First recorded 1927, eventually a Monroe Brothers hit (Olivia Newton John, 1972)

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1854: Down by the Ohio (OSU Marching Band version)

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Date unknown, but it fits here: Rollin’ Down the Ohio

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1918: Beautiful Ohio

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1965: Hang on Sloopy by Ohio’s own The McCoys, thus the state’s Official Rock Song

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1970: Ohio about a sad day in our history by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young

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1978: Theme to WKRP in Cincinnati (with scenes of my city)

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1983: My Town by Michael Stanley Band

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1986: Cuyahoga by R.E.M

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1995: Youngstown by Bruce Springsteen

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1996: Drew Carey Show’s Theme Song – Cleveland Rocks by Ian Hunter

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2003: Ohio by Over the Rhine