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. 213

On Politics
The fact that President Obama and House Speak John Boehner met this week is a good thing. The fact that they haven’t met in 14 months is not.

Although Congressional Republicans have been outwardly obstinate, I wonder if Congressional Democrats have also been quietly obstinate.

Given the odds are high for overreach, maybe it’s a good idea that one party doesn’t control Capitol Hill and the White House.

Comments by rocker Ted Nugent about President Obama are an example of one of the downsides of today’s information highway. As many elected Republican shrugged their shoulders and danced around the situation, cheers to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and several others for stepping to say Nugent was out of line.

For those waiting on the edge of your seat with high anticipation, please relax because Nincompoop will not seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination for one reason – a loss would damage her brand.

I enjoy listening to Michael Smerconish on an XM radio political channel (124). Coming soon – He will have a new, Saturday morning show on CNN (I believe starting next weekend).

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
American Airlines to phase out complimentary cabin pressurization
Man who keeps keys on carabineer must rappel into office building every morning
Self-conscious flasher fully clothed under trench coat
Fourth-grader named Jackson to fire you someday
Report: Local gas station would not be hard to rob

Bonus Onions
Worst selling frozen dinners
Dogs who know fun

Interesting Reads
FBI and Osama bin Laden
The Smithsonian writes about the Monument Men
How a trust can reduce taxes
Interesting thoughts about the study of economics
Interesting images of sand art
Interesting graphic about crossbows

On Potpourri
Barbeque lovers know that macaroni and cheese is a great accompaniment. Chef Michael Symon takes it to the next level with this recipe. I haven’t tried it, but I delivered an OMG when I saw him make this.

WLWT is a long-time Cincinnati television station. This commercial for them caught my attention, and it’s a good way to you to see scenes of my city, including my beloved Skyline Chili – but I’m not sure the two kids are eating Graeter’s ice cream.

Saturday is a new month, so I hope to put month-long celebrations in the next Monday Morning Entertainment. After all, I still want you informed.

Jim Lange, former host of the original Dating Game, passed away this week. Here’s a list of star-to-be that appeared on the show: Karen Carpenter, Steve Martin, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, John Ritter, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Andy Kaufman, and Suzanne Somers. Does anyone remember the episode when comedian Don Rickles stood in for a shy girl to select here date? Here it is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXzu8qgkINs

Here are your weekend celebrations (Wow … there are many!)

  • (Weekend) Snowshoe Days
  • (Fri) National Chili Day, Public Sleeping Day, Floral Design Day, DNA Day, Pockets Day, Car Keys and Small Change Day, Read Me Day, Tooth Fairy Day, Chocolate Soufflé Day, Rare Disease Day
  • (Sat) Beer Day, Bachelor’s Day, Underling’s Day, Go Bowling Day, Wear Yellow Day (for endometriosis awareness), Horse Protection Day, Peanut Lovers Day, Pig Day, Plan a Solo Vacation Day, Retire but Not Retired Day, Share a Smile Day, Compliment Day, Sock Monkey Day, Days of the Seals, Self-Injury Awareness Day, Holy Experiment Day,
  • (Sun) Banana Cream Pie Day, Daughters’ and Sons’ Day, Pyramid Day, Old Stuff Day, Dr. Seuss Day, Book Day, Silly Putty Day, Babysitter Safety Day, Cat-in-the-Hat Day, Frozen Food Day

This past week was very difficult, but at least I made it to Friday. The project is finished, and I made progress in terms of packing.

Over the past few weeks, I haven’t written or visited others, as I prefer to do. I thought cutting back to three posts per week would help more than it did. With that in mind, common sense tells me that I have to step away from blogging even more until after the move. Knowing that I will have a difficult time doing that, I will soon temporarily fade into the abyss …BUT … I hope to put together some timed short posts to keep you entertained during my absence.

Earlier this week we learned of the passing of actor Harold Ramis – and to me, this fun song from one of his movies is perfect to send everyone into the weekend. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 212

On the Olympics
I get so used to watching the Olympics I expect them to keep going – but they close this weekend.

The women’s hockey final between US-Canada was an epic encounter. Congratulations to the Canadians.

The ice dancing finals were very enjoyable as the top five pairs were awesome! I’m not a judge, but it’s a shame their was so much whining from the silver medalists and their fans.

The ski cross and snowboard cross races are exciting and entertaining!

For sure, for sure … and speaking for myself … there is considerable amounts of eye candy present among the athletes.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Scandinavian conquers ransack seaside village of its gold
Emergency crews attempt to rescue Olympic figure skater who fell through ice
Nation’s girlfriends admit absolutely everything riding on Valentine’s Day
Superstitious man puts bags of trash outside house every Thursday
Netflix introduces new “Brose Endlessly Plan”
Keyboard’s second row a veritable who’s who of special punctuation characters

Interesting Reads
The yoke of history by Columnist Maureen Dowd
A science and religion study
And these people are also eligible to vote
Reasons to visit Etosha National Park in Namibia
Multiple choice questions and critical thinking in science class
Economics and the Sermon on the Mount

On Potpourri
The situations in Syria, Ukraine, Thailand, and Venezuela are bothersome. Interesting how so many events are about power.

Thursday I heard a fascinating interview about US-Russia relations. Listening to experts (and not politicians) is a refreshing change of pace and a learning experience.

Our accountant lives on the opposite side of town, so earlier this week I took advantage of meeting him when he was closer while at his wife’s medical appointment. The list of doctors on the office door included Warren G. Harding III – yep – grandson to a US President from the past.

Because I hope to get one more act in before the actual move, I’m aiming for Act 2 of Life: The Musical next week … probably Wednesday night. Look for an announcement on the next edition of Monday Morning Entertainment.

For those interested in movie tidbits, here’s a slideshow about some of the films with Cincinnati as the set.

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Texas Cowboy Poetry Weekend,
  • (Fri) Mother Language Day, Sticky Buns Day, Card Reading Day
  • (Sat) Sword Swallowers Day, Margarita Day, Tongue Twist Day, Open that Bottle Night, World Thinking Day, Be Humble Day, Tooth Fairy Day, Single Tasking Day, Inconvenience Yourself Day
  • (Sun) Curling is Cool Day, Diesel Engine Day, Dog Biscuit Day, Tennis Day, Tootsie Roll Day, Banana Bread Day, Rationalization Day

Regarding Tongue Twister Day, here are three links:

For whatever reason, Quarterflash popped into my head … so here’s their 1982 hit Harden My Heart to send you into the weekend. 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. 210

On Politics
When listening to the party-spin about the recently released Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, it’s easy to get the impression that there were two reports … not one.

Lyle Denniston, a respected writer about the US Supreme Court, provides this interesting piece about executive orders.

Lee Hamilton, the respected former Congressman from southeastern Indiana, wrote this interesting op-ed regarding Congress and budgets.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Super Bowl packs up, leaves town in 40-wagon train
Man on vacation suddenly realizes no one feeding his hostages
New chip snack evades digestive system, burrows straight to heart
Area woman said “Sorry” 118 times yesterday
Nation terrified after millions lose consciousness for 8 hours last night

Interesting Reads
Columnist David Brooks on what machines cannot do
Shapes and names
How to talk about evolution with family
The first battle of Isonzo in WW I
Darwin’s Pigeons slideshow
Physics of freezing rain
Interesting graph of US labor force demographics

On Potpourri
Bad News: Punxsutawney Phil prognosticates 6 more weeks of winter.

Good News: Buckeye Chuck says spring is around the corner.

TBD News: Who is right? So far, and with the 7-day forecast, it’s Phil.

A tip of the cap to Jay Leno, who after 4,600 shows and almost 44,000 jokes, leaves the Tonight Show. Interesting, his number one joke target (by far) is Bill Clinton.

Last week I wrote the following: 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. Several days later, the Cincinnati Enquirer supported my point with the following headline on its Sunday front page: Bible! Science! Who Will Win? : It’s creationism vs. evolution as Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham debates Bill Nye, TV’s Science Guy.

I did not watch the debate, but I trust this review from the team at BioLogos.

Given any unforeseen circumstances, the opening act of Life: The Musical will be next Thursday Wednesday at 9:30 pm (Eastern US). I will announce the theme on Monday.

It’s a handbell Sunday for us. The director moved me to the biggest bells for this tune, which are quite heavy. Because I didn’t find a good video of this song, enjoy this quality recording.

Thanks to everyone who visits here knowing my time for reciprocating is currently very limited.

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Wear Red Day, Bubblegum Day, Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbor Day, Ballet Day, Girl Scout Cookie Day, Cordova Ice Worm Day, Pinocchio Day, Send a Card to a Friend Day
  • (Sat) Laugh and Get Rich Day, Opera Day, Fly a Kite Day
  • (Sun) Man Day, Autism Day, Read in the Bathtub Day, Stop Bullying Day, Toothache Day, Hershey Chocolate Day

Here’s another throwback from the 80s to lead us into the weekend. It’s not about the weather, but the title is fitting for many of us in the central and eastern US. 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.