On a Rite of Spring

Thousands of people descend on downtown for a parade, the game, and the general excitement of this annual rite of spring. The young and old, male and female, tall and short, rich and poor, workers and nonworkers, locals and out-of-towners … most dressed in red.

Many workers do not go to work – and many of those who do are not as productive. Kids skip school – and many those who do not face a day of study halls or atypical activities. These behaviors happen every year – thus predictable – then normality follows the next day.

For those who do not know, professional baseball started in Cincinnati. For many years, a Reds home game served as the start to the Major League Baseball (MLB) season. In recent years, that tradition has given way to MLB’s quest for more money, but the Cincinnati Reds remain as the only team that starts the season with a home game – so this day was Opening Day…a special day in Cincinnati … and no other city in the country embraces the day as my city along the Ohio River.

After a horrendous winter, weather brought us sun and warmth. With this setting serving as the perfect opportunity for me to get away from the move-related activities, I went downtown to join thousands of others who were also dressed in red.

For ease and convenience, I parked on the Newport, Kentucky side of the river, and emerged from the garage at Newport on the Levy …

Newport on the Levy with shops, eateries, theaters, and an aquarium

Newport on the Levy with shops, eateries, theaters, and an aquarium

… then had lunch at this establishment (the owners won venture capital money on Shark Tank) …

 

Excellent source for grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup

Excellent source for grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup

… the Cincinnati skyline and the quiet baseball stadium 4 hours before game time

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood

… the Ohio side with three sports venues on the river and a glimpse of the Brooklyn Bridge’s prototype

Cincinnati has a beautiful riverfront ... and parks are behind me

Cincinnati has a beautiful riverfront … and parks are behind me

… looking back to Covington, Kentucky and the other end of our famous bridge

Daniel Libeskind designed the building with the slanted roof

Daniel Libeskind designed the building with the slanted roof

… while walking beside the stadium, banners remind me of important events in Reds history

Sorry Yankee fans, but our Big Red Machine was one of the best teams ever

Sorry Yankee fans, but our Big Red Machine was one of the best teams ever

… fans eagerly awaiting the start of the festivities around Great American Ball Park

The party goers are just to the right (next pic)

The party goers are just to the right (next pic)

… but many others found a party a short distance away

This must be the no-alcohol zone

This must be the no-alcohol zone

… but for me on this day, I was heading into the city center where thousands gathered for an Opening Day tradition … and that will come in a post next week … besides, I didn’t have a ticket to the game.

On Satire Bits: Vol. 89

Midweek greetings to you from Cincinnati. How has your week gone for you so far? All of us are transitioning seasons, but one must remember that our two hemispheres are in opposite seasons.

Spring has definitely arrived as budding and blooms are coming forth, warm has replaced cold, and the rainy days don’t bother me because I keep this past winter in my head as a reference point. Baseball has also started, golf fans will see the blooming Azaleas at Augusta during the week’s Masters, and my golf league starts next week.

After two weeks in the new home, our refrigerator finally arrived. The supplier originally set the store the wrong model, but the store offered and provided a loaner without asking! Cheers to that family-owned appliance store!

Although we completed our move, I remind myself that others are also in the process, such as Raye (@Jots), Debra (@Airports), and Georgette (@Georgette) … plus Marina (@Art by) did so a few months ago. My heart goes out to those fine people because moving is incredibly stressful!

With all that in mind, now is the perfect time for your mid-week boost of satire courtesy of The Onion. This random batch of headlines also provides a chance for the willing to create their own satirical headline from the words in the headlines below. My combo is at the end, so good luck and have a good rest of the week.

Lunchbox mostly medication

Horrified man suddenly realizes he’s putting down roots in Charlotte

Media company lays off dozens of unskilled bloggers

New study shows bones are incredibly cool

Content could be hotter, more social

Majority of office’s supplies used to apply for different job

Man moving to new city never took time to truly loathe surroundings

Newly-tenured professor now inspired to work harder than ever

Nation terrified after millions lose consciousness for 8 hours last night

Report: Girlfriend’s parents could hear everything

My Combo: Man horrified to hear media company inspired to make girlfriend’s parents incredibly cool

On a Mallow Monday

It’s the start of a new week, so how was your weekend? Come on now, tell us about it.

NutsAppetizersOurs included dance time, a shopping trip, more reorganizing, walking in the new neighborhood, and our dinner group met. Nuts was the theme and the evening include our host dressing as Mr. Peanut plus wonderful food, wine, and company. Appetizers was our course, so we provided Rosemary Roasted Cashews, Stuffed Mushrooms with Pecans, and Goat Cheese, Grape, & Pistachio Truffles.

Not sure how many posts I will have this week, so time will tell. Then again, it’s also important to continue reconnecting with readers on their blogs.

Celebrations for your week

  • (Week) Money Smart Week, Bat Appreciation Week, Explore Your Career Options Week, Animal Control Appreciation Week, Volunteer Week, Window Safety Week , Read a Road Map Week, Bake Week
  • (Mon) Beaver Day, Snailpapers Day, Metric System Day, Beer Day, No Housework Day, Coffee Cake Day, Sweet Potato Day, Day of Remembrance of Victims of Genocide
  • (Tues) Draw a Bird Day, Roma Day, Trading Cards for Grown-ups Day
  • (Wed) Cherish an Antique Day, Former POWs Recognition Day, Winston Churchill Day, Jenkins Ear Day, Name Yourself Day, Chinese Almond Cookie Day
  • (Thurs) Farm Animals Day, Sibling Day, Safety Pin Day, Cinnamon Crescent Day

Last week I opened April with a video from the BBC about the spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland. In a similar situation, did you see the report about the devastated marshmallow crop in North Carolina? For your Monday Morning Entertainment, see for yourself. Have a good week!

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 214

On Politics
Cincinnati is in the final six for hosting the 2016 Republican convention. Given Ohio’s swing-state status and the fact that no Republican has never won the White House without winning Ohio, odds are good that the GOP will reward either my city or Cleveland.

Here’s one thing I find in common with the four Congressional leaders (Boehner, Pelosi, McConnell, and Reid). Whenever they have a new conference, I change the channel – which is what I also do with White House spokesperson Jay Carney’s daily briefings.

At the time of the passing the law, I told a friend (and reader here) that the abortion clause in the Affordable Care Act should have been something Democrats gave up. Now, we await word from the US Supreme Court regarding the Hobby Lobby challenge.

This week the US Supreme Court ruled (McCutcheon v. FEC) that money is a form of free speech regarding campaign contributions. I can accept this under two conditions: 1) No tax-exempt status for Political Action Groups, and 2) Identification/disclosure of donors and amounts – thus increasing transparency.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Parents reminisce to children about dating algorithm that brought them together
Lowly mortal opens portal to Hell
Mom leaves sweet little note for sixth grader in ADD prescription bottle
Levi’s factory implicated in cruel treatment of denim cows
Study finds majority of non-shark-related fears completely unjustified
New law requires Richard Gere to personally inform residents when he moves into a new neighborhood

Bonus Onions

Interesting Reads
Reforming political polarization from Brookings Institute (Link to abstract with download)
Columnist Ruth Marcus on a budget item
A view about dealing with Russia
Map animation of Europe between the two World Wars
Learning and pseudoscience

On Potpourri
This past Wednesday was Autism Awareness Day; and April is Autism Awareness Month. Here’s an article about the brains of autistic children.

I wonder this question about Vladimir Putin’s move regarding Crimea and Ukraine: Is he a good chess player or are his actions out of political necessity?

As the National Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of Northwestern University athletes being able to unionize, I wonder if colleges should offer “Sports” as a major.

Erin Andrews, the new Dancing with the Stars co-host, does much better than previous host Brooke Burke-Charvet.

My wife and I celebrated our 37th anniversary this week with a wonderful dinner at Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant.

I moved a few bloggers to my sidebar, and several onto the More Bloggers page. From the sidebar, checkout Claudine, Cindy, Dreamwalker, Hudson, List, Mind Margins, Pauline, and Trent. I hope to move a few more very soon.

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Mule Days
  • (Fri) Walk to Work Day, Stray Animals Day, Vitamin C Day, Rat Day, Blame Someone Else Day, Chocolate Milk Powder Day, Cordon Bleu Day, Square Root Day
  • (Sat) Deep Dish Pizza Day, Pillow Fight Day, Tangible Karma Day, Every Day is Tag Day, Rubber Eraser Day, Dandelion Day, Caramel Day, and Raisin & Spice Day
  • (Sun) New Beers Eve, Hostess Twinkie Day, Tartan Day, Teflon Day, Caramel Popcorn Day, Free Tomato Day, Sorry Charlie Day

Here’s a classic gold song from the past to send you into the weekend – Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress (The Hollies). Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Satire Bits: Vol. 88

Woo hoo! After a hiatus, the mid-week dose of satire (along with the combo challenge) is back for you to enjoy.

How was your going so far? On Monday I took a day for myself to go downtown for all the Opening Day hoopla. (I’ll report on that later). In return that means the rest of the week will be full of run around and more reorganizing.

Yesterday’s post about April celebrations included a BBC video about the spaghetti harvest. Coincidentally, the BBC also did this report about their 1957 … (or the post gave them the idea for the report.) A special thanks to Debra (at Bagni di Lucca & Beyond) for featuring my post in hers, which gave me a nice spike in stats.

On to the satirical headlines. For those willing to step up to the challenge, scramble the words in the headlines to make your unique headline. Mine is found at the end. Have a good rest of the week.

Spaced-out flowerchild groovin’ on a doobie wave

New leather-bound notebook to unleash area woman’s creativity

All-knowing invisible hand of free market guides millions in profits to nation’s bead stores

Hypochondriac maple tree convinced it has Asian Longhorn Beetles

Nation’s moms dance nude around moonlit bonfire to conjure spirit of Emma Thompson

Woman takes short, half-hour break from being feminist to enjoy TV show

Interns treated to informative 30-minute Q&A session with totally miserable employees

Laid-off man finally achieves perfect work-life balance

Nation’s lunatics lament rising cost of car meat

More Hollywood celebrities reproducing by asexual budding

My Combo: Spaced-out, all-knowing, laid-off, nude, hypochondriac lunatic profits from Q&A session with Emma Thompson

On Toasting April


April is here. For us in the northern hemisphere, it’s a time for showers and spring flowers. Leaves return to the barren trees and green grass emerges from its slumber. Migrating birds return to the summer home they share with year-round residence, and day and night air fills with familiar sounds that have been absent.

April is also a time for celebrations – a month to increase awareness about cancer control, Cesareans, irritable bowels, alcohol, autism, math, habitats, multiple births, heartworm, Parkinson’s, stress, pet first aid, testicular cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, DNA, genomics, & stem cells.

April is a time for month-long promotions about greyhound adoption, amateur radio, car care, welding, community spirit, home improvement, card & letter writing, facial protection, landscape architecture, safe digging, and rebuilding.

April is a month to appreciate couples, frogs, military children, decorating, holy humor, guitars, jazz, humor, kites, poetry, straw hats, and smiles.

April is a time to celebrate Food Month while cherishing culinary delights as soft pretzels, cranberries & gooseberries, grilled cheese sandwiches, BLTs, tomatillos, Asian Pears, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, pecans, and soy foods.

April celebrates Knuckles Down and provides 30 opportunities to issue a Twit Award.

April always starts with All Fools Day. I love this classic video that aired in the UK on April 1, 1957. (Start at 30 seconds) Enjoy – and good luck with finding a fool today.

On the Way to Rebalancing

Greetings to you on one of Cincinnati’s favorite days – Opening Day for baseball. No city embraces the season’s start as Cincinnati, and weather should be warm. Until Major League Baseball decided to focus on money over tradition, Cincinnati always opened the season. I’m contemplating taking time away from the task at hand to spend some time downtown, but only time will tell if I follow through with that thought.

How was your weekend? Come on now …. tell us about it.

We had an evening on the ballroom floor and attended a going-away party for a friend. Sandwiched between those two events was our continuing effort of unpacking and organization.

A huge thank you to those who participated in my extended Exploring series that took readers on a journey from the far reaches of the universe, then toward Earth, and finally landing on our planet with a trip around the world. It was fun to put together. Although I wasn’t replying to comments, I kept up with the reading, so thanks for the smiles you caused.

I will ease myself back into posting this week with at least three posts. Then again, I leave the door open to more.

Celebrations this week

  • (Week) Week of the Ocean, Root Canal Awareness Week, Be Kind to Spiders Week, Publicity Stunt Week, Scoop the Poop Week, Golden Rule Week, Laugh at Work Week, Testicular Cancer Awareness Week, Straw Hat Week
  • (Mon) Sleep Apnea Day, Orange & Lemons Day, Clams on the Half Shell Day, Tater Day, She’s Funny That Way Day, Bunsen Burner Day
  • (Tues) April Fools Day, Boomer Bonus Day, Myles Day, Library Snap-Shot Day, Fun at Work Day, Reading is Funny Day, St. Stupid Day, Sliced Bread Day, Sourdough Bread Day, Poetry & the Creative Mind Day
  • (Wed) Ferret Day, Children’s Book Day, Day of Hope, Whole Grain Sampling Day, Walking Day, Peanut Butter & Jelly Day, Autism Day, Love Your Produce Manager Day
  • (Thurs) Party Day, Find a Rainbow Day, Tweed Day, Pony Express Day, Weed Out Hate – Sow the Seeds of Greatness Day, Don’t Go to Work Unless It’s Fun Day, Chocolate Mousse Day

The past six weeks have been a whirlwind, but we are working toward the normal balance in our life … however, no way I will ever be this balanced. Have a good week!