Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 216

On Politics
The Senate Conservative Fund (SCF) has endorsed the primary challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). To counter SCF, Sen. McConnell (who has a nasty side to him), vows to attack all their endorsed primary candidates: “I think we are going to crush them everywhere. I don’t think they are going to have a single nominee anywhere in the country.”

Cheers to Congress for not being in session.

I’m looking forward to voting in the May 6th Ohio Primary. The ballot is short and not many people will vote, but I will officially make my statement at a new precinct.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Determined restaurant patrons tough it out on chilly patio
Parent surprised cruel teen daughter hasn’t pushed classmate to breaking point yet
Biologists confirm God evolved from chimpanzee deity
Area man mystified by layout of adjacent town’s grocery
Last living California Raisin dies of prostate cancer

Interesting Reads
Misery among MDs (Thanks Mouse for this, and thanks Carrie for approving)
Science and the word theory
Dog sex
Ten biggest earthquakes
Interactive map of U-2 boats in WW II

Bonus Reads: The week marked the Titanic’s 102nd anniversary, so here’s a collection of related articles.
Fascination with the Titanic (Smithsonian)
The Departure (Titanic-Titanic)
A news story before the movie (Newsday)
Queenstown: The last stop (Real Clear History)
A letter: a first-hand account (Telegraph)

On Potpourri
Earlier this week I saw a review of the book Why Science Does Not Disprove God. Although I am Christian, I absolutely agree – plus add this – science cannot prove God either.

As many we watching this week’s Blood Moon, snow clouds blocked Cincinnati’s view. Here’s an article from National Geographic about lunar myths from around the world.

Upon seeing a recipe with marshmallow earlier this week on a blog, I couldn’t resist asking if they used natural or synthetic marshmallows in the recipe. The blogger kindly responded synthetic – but all its ingredients are natural.

The grocery store headline from The Onion (above) reminds me how the growth (in size/space) of grocery stores over time. Cincinnati-based Kroger, the nation’s largest grocery retailer, recently published these stats regarding their average store size
1930s: 2,000 sq ft
1960s: 12,500 sq. ft
1980s: 42,000 sq. ft.
2000: 53,000 sq. ft.
2013: 61,000 sq. ft (their largest store in our area is 123,000 sq. ft)

This week marked the 35th anniversary of The Beast, a classic and the world longest wooden roller coast found at Kings Island amusement park near Cincinnati. After watching the report below, anyone wanting to take a ride can click here.

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In my musical events hear (such as Life: The Musical), I enjoy listening to the songs readers submit … thus encourage others to do so. Many thanks to all!

The Easter weekend means the handbell choir playing. Three songs this year, but here’s good recording of cheerful tones of Enduring Joy.

Given a major holiday weekend, the Saturday Morning Classic Cartoon series resumes next weekend.

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Golf Day, Pet Owner’s Independence Day, Amateur Radio Ray, Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day, Animal Crackers Day
  • (Sat) Auctioneers Day, Amaretto Day (Yes!), Husband Appreciation Day, Garlic Day, Hanging Out Day, Record Store Day
  • (Sun) Spring Astronomy Day, Look a Like Day, Plum Pudding Day, Food Day, Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day, Lima Bean Respect Day, Go Fly a Kite Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s a flashback to when I was in elementary school – the year is 1964, and the hit is Glad All Over by the Dave Clark Five. Enjoy, have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 215

On Politics
I find it interesting how former Florida Governor. Jeb Bush’s name has been receiving much attention of late as the frontrunner-for-the-moment regarding the Republican presidential candidacy in 2016.

Recent comparisons of President Obama to President Johnson (LBJ) confuses me.

This Pew Research Center poll provides interesting data about feelings regarding the Affordable Care Act. Although many citizens may have concerns about the law, while one party focuses on its repeal, the other party defends it – thus there doesn’t seem to be much interest in Congress to improve it.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Forbes release 2014 list of most-punchable CEOs
Spider invasion leads to Mazda recall
Alcohol unfairly blamed for local man’s impaired judgment
FedEx confirms more than 600,000 people try to mail themselves each year
Landmark Supreme Court decision lets American cram cash directly into politicians’ mouths

This is not from The Onion, but because Friday is Barbershop Quartet Day, here’s a mid-post dash of humor that’s not for the easier offended. As a time saver, start at 50 seconds.

Interesting Reads
Sweden, Finland, Russia, and NATO
Geopolitics of Energy
Brain waves and tango dancers (Thanks Elyse)
Extinct musical instruments
An LA native spent 4 days in Cincinnati and posted about it
The USS Thresher
Trent’s post about bloggers losing followers

On Potpourri
This week we get an old office chair out with the garbage. Once I heard the garbage truck outside, I looked out the window to see if they took the chair. To my surprise, it was in the street, but in front of my neighbor – so I watched … and then discovered that one of the two workers would sit in the chair and hold on to the truck as the other drove to the next building.

This post by Khamillion is very moving. It’s a short read with awesome images, so I encourage you to visit. Thanks to Cayman (@Drinks Well with Others) for directing me there.

For those who enjoy unique architecture, Cathy (@LargeSelf) shared this link featuring images of the expansion at the Denver Art Museum.

If I can get my act together, I’m hoping Life: The Musical returns next week.

Get ready! … The next post marks the return of Saturday Morning Classic Cartoons!

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Youth Service Days
  • (Fri) Barbershop Quartet Day, Day of Silence, Education & Sharing Day, Louie Louie Day, Pet day, Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Day, Eight-track Tape Day
  • (Sat) Licorice Day, Big Wind Day, Walk on the Walk Side Day, Slow Art Day, Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, Human Space Flight Day, Drop Everything and Read Day, Look Up in the Sky Day
  • (Sun) Scrabble Day, Baby Massage Day, Peach Cobbler Day

Given the celebrations, two classic songs equally qualify as worthy to send you into the weekend. Because both are worthy of high praise, I will put them in chronological order. Enjoy, have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Louie, Louie (The Kingsmen, 1963)

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Walk on the Wild Side (Lou Reed, 1972)

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 211

On Politics
Cheers to the Congressional Republicans who voted with the Democrats to extend the debt ceiling. Then again, that doesn’t stop me from dreaming of the day when Congress abandons the debt ceiling, which is nothing more than a political tool.

The White House recently delayed the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate on certain-sized business. Besides that this is a prime example that size matters, I don’t like the employer mandate.

As Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) attacks former President Bill Clinton to excite his base, he does so at the expense of alienating the ideological center. Meanwhile, so now he’s suing the White House. He’s very much about positioning himself.

I put Sen. Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the same category … “Keep Them Talking.”

Here’s an interesting comment from a conservative: GOP reform efforts must aim to restrain government, not immobilize it.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Report: It’s too soon to glance back at attractive person
Exhuming mom for one last hug: A privilege of the wealthy?
Renovations force Yosemite National Park to temporarily relocate in Sacramento
Live cow lowered onto floor of US House of Representatives (visual proof)
Couple never dreamed they would be able to talk so openly and honestly about kitchen cabinets

Interesting Reads
Norway’s Winter Olympics success 
The wonders of curling shoes
Is the jobless rate a questionable statistic?
Resisting the Social Media Revolution
Remember Baghdad Bob
A great collection of wine infographics by The Wine Wankers
Aurora borealis slideshow

On Potpourri
Hooray … it’s time spring training baseball!

College football player Michael Sam public announcement about his sexuality was interesting, but (to me) the most remarkable news was that he told his college teammates August – which means his teammates, coaching staff, and others kept it quiet. This is another example of how the younger generation (as a whole) is much more accepting of gays than other generations. Cheers to them for leading the way.

With the Winter Olympics in process, I want to see a snowboarder go off the tall ski jump. Guapo: Would you be willing to try?

We are scheduled for more snow on Friday … but after that, a warming trend!

Given the publicity of last week’s evolution-creationism debate, I wonder how many pastors took advantage of the opportunity to address it from the pulpit. I know mine did not.

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Backyard Bird-Count Weekend
  • (Fri) Valentine’s Day, Ferris Wheel Day, Cream-Filled Chocolates Day, Read to Your Child Day, Have a Heart Day, Call in Single Day, Race Relations Day, Quirky Alone Day, Library Lovers Day, Condom Day, Women’s Heart Day, Donor’s Day, Pet Theft Awareness Day
  • (Sat) National Gumdrop Day. Whale Day, Hippo Day
  • (Sun) Do a Grouch a Favor Day, Almond Day, Innovation Day

Given Friday’s special nature, a 1977 flashback will lead you into the weekend, so enjoy Heart with Crazy on You. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 209

On Politics
Here are my key reasons why I did not watch the State of the Union (SOTU):

  • It’s a collection of applause lines over many topics with little substance
  • Congressional behavior is predictably pathetic (Suggestion: Stand and clap at the beginning; sit, listen, and be quiet; stand and clap at the end, then leave to run to the cameras)
  • The SOTU is a Constitutional requirement, but the opposing party’s response is nothing more than political grandstanding
  • I’m unhappy with the both parties

Given the predictable responses by both sides in Congress, I ask them this question about their legislative prowess: Which is worse: Sending a bill to the other chamber knowing they won’t act or not acting on a bill that was sent?

Here are a few fact checks on the speech: Fact Check, PolitFact, Fact Checker, Politico, and ABC News.

The Onion took this great picture during the SOTU.

The past week delivered Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) declaring President Obama started the war on women, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) blaming Democrats (again) on the government shutdown, Mike Huckabee (R-AK) making a ridiculous statement about libido, and the Arizona Republican Party censuring their senior senator from their own party, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

I said it before and it’s time to say it again: China carrying the bulk of US debt is a common misconception. Here’s the breakdown.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Dad Delivers State of the Union Rebuttal Directly into Television Screen
  • Increasingly Worried Man Hasn’t Yet Come Across any Guacamole in Burrito
  • Area Grandma Enjoys Flourishing Correspondence with Mailer-Daemon
  • Best, Most-Original Idea Man Ever Had Returns 14,000 Google Search Results
  • Spookiest Sound Effect Grammy Goes to Lord Chillingsworth

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
The anticipated debate between science advocate Bill Nye and Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham is approaching, and no doubt will deliver a narrow view, thus providing a false choice. Here’s an article.

The recent Grammy Awards were big news. The show now focuses on performances and promotion over the awards. After all, there are over 80 categories, and how many did they broadcast? 10?

The AFA musical production for 2014 will be …. (click here for the drum roll) …. Life: The Musical. The production date TBA.

The Explorer of the Seas, the Royal Caribbean ship in the news with the recent norovirus, is the ship we were on this fall in Canada …. and no, the news doesn’t discourage me from cruising with Royal Caribbean in the future.

FYI for those living in/near metropolitan areas: When needing a new appliance, don’t forget the local independent dealer. We went to one and discovered the big-box stores were NOT close on price!

Here are your weekend celebrations

(Fri) Brandy Alexander Day, Fun at Work Day, Backward Day, Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, Hell Freezes Over Day, Baked Alaska Day, Working Naked Day

(Sat) Serpent Day, Freedom Day, Hula in the Coola Day, Robinson Crusoe Day, Change Your Password Day, Decorating with Candy Day, GI Joe Day, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, Spunky Old Broads Day, Take Your Child to the Library Day, Face and Body Day

(Sun) Crepe Day, Dump Your Significant Jerk Day, Groundhog Day, Groundhog Job Shadow Day, Hedgehog Day, Sled Dog Day, Play Your Ukulele Day, Wetlands Day

Let’s use a dose of the 80s to whip everyone into the weekend with Ohio’s own Devo. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 207

On Politics
Gov. Christie (R-NJ) is doing his best to dodge the Bridgegate bullets. Although I’m currently giving him the benefit of the doubt, he is directly responsible for setting the tone for his office … and that is one of the things bothering me about this situation.

Interesting how numerous Republicans are defending Gov. Christie by using Benghazi, which actually has nothing to do with the issue.

Here’s an interesting article about how the Affordable Care Act is affecting Congressional staff.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
English professor suddenly realizes student will believe literally anything she says
Pilot tells passengers he’s about to try something
Shy man narrowly evades free sample
Peewee hockey player wishes dad cared enough to fight at games
Vacationing man excited to try fast food franchise not found in hometown
Unemployed, miserable man still remembers teacher who made him fall in love with writing

Interesting Reads
Some economic myths
Pompeii and religion
For pet lovers: one for cat lovers, and one for dog lovers
The acquisition of California
Creating motion by clicking fast
Secret bid and the Hopi artifacts
The Onion’s tips for getting pregnant

On Potpourri
Short OITS and I haven’t been making my normal rounds – can you tell that my efforts are elsewhere at the moment?

Given the current craziness in at this end, I figure it’s a week-to-week situation. Therefore, I probably won’t post each day next week.

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Fetish Day, Hot Buttered Rum Day, Hot Heads Chili Day, Cable Car Day, Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution Day
  • (Sat) Winnie the Pooh Day, Bald Eagle Appreciation Weekend, Thesaurus Day, Peking Duck Day
  • (Sun) Popcorn Day, Tin Can Day, Whisper “I Love You” Day, Brew a Potion Day

Let’s use an instrumental hit from 1972 to send everyone into the weekend, which also is very fitting for a Sunday celebration.  Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.