Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 164

On Politics
Cheers to this comment by Bruce at Moe’s: It would be nice if the anti-Obama right would settle on if the President is a flaming secularist, or a hidden Muslim. At least he can’t be both.

With the movie Lincoln getting much press, here are two interesting reads relating Lincoln to the current situation: from a University of Cincinnati professor and columnist Ruth Marcus.

For continued buffoonery in Washington, take your pick: comments about Ambassador Rice or comments about the fiscal cliff. Love the ones saying everything is on the table – then followed with a string of “but” qualifiers.

Two interesting reads about the fiscal cliff:
Economist Bruce Bartlett (with a great opening pic)
Confessions for a deficit denier

Regarding government spending, here is something that neither party can boast: The best time to cut spending and reduce debt is during periods of strong revenue.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Turkey Pardon Mishap Results in Accidental Release of Serial Rapist
20,000 Sacrificed in Annual Blood Offering to Corporate America
BP CEO: “We deeply regret the tragic loss of $4.5 million.”
Nation’s Moms Demand Christmas List
US Government to Save Billions by Cutting Wasteful Senator Program

Interesting Reads
Atheism and Science (the conclusion is interesting)
A sequel to the movie Casablanca?
A success of the unorthodox Finnish educational system
Historical infographic of financial deregulation in the US 
Laughing and your health
Seinfeld and double dipping

On Potpourri
Sad to report that I didn’t win the huge Powerball drawing – but I enjoyed this pre-drawing report about lottery officials losing the balls.

Congratulations to Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani on winning Dancing with the Stars. Especially for pro Tony, who has toiled every season (14) to finally triumph.

As one who appreciates wine, here are two reads from the Wall Street Journal: Tips from a master sommelier and wine-food pairing.

Speaking of wine, Wine Enthusiast just released their Top 100 wines – and #41 is a $9 red wine – Folonari Chianti 2010.

Started by a candle maker and a soap maker who married sisters, Cincinnati-based, consumer-product giant Procter & Gamble celebrated its 175th anniversary in early November. Here is a page with some than a few interesting articles about P&G, including this fun product quiz.

This answers why the chicken crossed the road!

Something to ponder: Would a claustrophobic barophobe be willing to serve on the international space station?

I planned a Saturday morning classic cartoon post for the weekend, but then I realized something very important to me. In other words, there will be a post, but not about cartoons.

Our handbell choir will play for the Sunday school teachers, students, and parents – and I think this version of Fum Fum Fum will create a few smiles. Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Copenhagen

A new day and the final new port of our Baltic Sea cruise – Copenhagen, Denmark.

This day gave us the most beautiful weather day since our pre-cruise days in Amsterdam – and we awakened to this view from our room of Trekroner Søfort (Three Crowns Sea Fortress) that guarded Copenhagen’s harbor for 200 years.

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Our special treat was spending the day with a delightful young man from our church, who happens to be on an experience of a lifetime. He graduated from college last spring and received a funded, personal-growth journey in Europe for one year. Oddly enough, our one day in Copenhagen coincided with his 3 days. Thanks Aaron for the company!

Because we had a good experience with the free walking tour organization in Amsterdam, we decided to try it in Copenhagen. Unfortunately, the meeting place was quite the hike from the ship’s dock, but we like to walk, so we saw extra sights.

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Copenhagen provided quite the variety of steeples and spires

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Frederik’s Church (Marble Church) from the square at Amalienborg Palace
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Christiansborg Palace is now home to the Danish Parliament
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Nyhavn (New Harbor) is a trendy rejuvenated, sailor’s district with a WW II memorial anchor
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The most photographed person in Copenhagen is the Little Mermaid
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… but look who found the nearby Big Mermaid
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Here are few more tours for you of this beautiful city. Take your pick of any or all – like this 3+ minute guided tour

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.. or this 2-minute slideshow

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… or a 2-minute tour from the water to a beautiful waltz

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We took this cruise to celebrate our 35th Anniversary (actually April). Our 15-day trip is just a blip in our life journey, and I’ve had a wonderful and loving travel partner. Meanwhile, the Celebrity Constellation and its wonderful crew returned us where we boarded – Amsterdam. So others can enjoy our trip, all the posts are linked, so start here.

On Satire Bits: Vol. 37

Interesting how things unfold sometimes. My week started with a relative calmness, and now a client wants something by next Tuesday. Oh boy. Guess letting you know that this midweek bite of satire is good timing for me – plus, sadly so, the work is going to cut into my time visiting your blogs.

This dose from The Onion actually is two lists in one. The first five are typical. However, the last five kind of a challenge from a frequent visitor here, Another Day in Paradise. One day she joking wondered if The Onion ever mentioned South Africa. Well, well, well … gotta love the archives as they provided the last five! I sure hope Bulldog also sees these! Any favorites?

Sensitive Scientists Report 5 in 5 Women Don’t Know How Beautiful They Are

Bold Talk about Making Broth Going Around Apartment Complex

Man Who Cried Himself to Sleep Last Night has some Great Ideas for Growing Company Brand

Hiring of Local Moron Gives Nation’s Unemployed Hope

Box of Old Playboys Found

South Africa Realizes All Its Things Were Stolen during World Cup

South African Vuvuzela Philharmonic Angered by Soccer Game Breaking Out during Concert

Rhino and Tickbird Stuck in Dead-End Symbiotic Relationship

Oprah’s African School Forced to Cut Oprahmatics, 20th Century Oprah History

Somali Pirates Steal Stadium

On Stockholm

After a day in Helsinki, we were anxious to visit Stockholm, especially because my wife’s paternal ancestry is Swedish.

The night before, the cruise director encouraged passengers to see Stockholm’s 24,000-island archipelago, which we would be entering around 4 AM. We didn’t set the alarm clock, but as my eyes opened early, a quick glance revealed island – so I quickly dressed, and to one of the upper decks I went.

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Given the 4-hour trip through the islands each way, our time in port was short. Frequent drizzle and occasional hard rain was the order of the day, but it didn’t dampen our enthusiasm for being there. Stockholm is home to 2 million people, and located on a series of islands connect by bridges and water taxis. Stockholm’s architecture intrigued us.

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Vasa was a grand warship that sank about 30 minutes into its maiden voyage. For over 300 years, it remained submerged on the bottom of Stockholm’s harbor – yet, a salvage operation discovered much remained intact. After a length restoration, it is now in a worthwhile museum.

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With it shops, churches, the Royal Palace, and old buildings flanking the narrow, stone streets, Gramla Stan (Old Town) is picturesque and charming.

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At the end of the day, we went to a specialty restaurant on the ship’s upper deck as that was our night to celebrate our 35th anniversary (which was actually 5 months earlier). Given the view of the islands from our window table, it was a fabulous way to end the day – the day that our oldest nephew was getting married back in Ohio.

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Of all the ports on our trip, Stockholm remains the city that beckons our return, so enjoy the videos below of this beautiful city.

This 2+-minute aerial tour of Stockholm is outstanding, so hop aboard!

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For narration, The Expeditioner guides your 4+ minute video tour

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Viveka, a Swedish visitor here, provides this post about her recent visit to Stockholm. In her honor, as well as my wife’s family, enjoy this 2-minute video of Sweden to Du gamla, Du fria – the Swedish national anthem with beautiful images.


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After a 5-day whirlwind touring cities and with four time changes, we were ready for a full day cruising on the Celebrity Constellation … but Copenhagen yet to come … just click here to join the tour.

On an Awesome Start

With Thanksgiving 2012, how did you celebrate the holiday?

We went cross state to my sister-in-law’s for a few days. Besides the grand meal and visit, we went downtown Cleveland for our first-ever visit to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. Interesting place … but because we had limited time, we actually needed more time to enjoy some of the films. Also experienced a little snow on the way back to the house.

Nonetheless, we avoided the major shopping venues both here and there – but I did purchase 20 gallons of gas priced at 10.9 CENTS per gallon!

Because this is a back-to-normal week, might as well start with something abnormal – a drummer with no hands and limited arms. (Thank you Fasab for finding this one, and sorry this is a late edit.) Hope everyone has a good week!