Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 237

On Politics
This week’s senseless horrors in Ottawa, Canada is just another reminder of our crazy world. My heart goes out to my northern neighbors.

Not that I don’t think Ebola is serious, but I do wonder how much of the fear and discussion is politically driven.

People are undoubtedly disgusted with members of Congress, and there’s no doubt in my mind that many voters will cast a vote against a candidate rather than for a candidate. Unfortunately, others believe both parties are pathetic, thus will stay home because it doesn’t really matter who wins.

Many of the ads of Grimes-McConnell race for the Kentucky Senate seat focus on coal. Interestingly, the coal industry accounts for 1% of Kentucky jobs, plus has been in decline for over 40 years.

Midterm elections in the US usually don’t get much interest from the voters. Nonetheless, outside groups are spending around $4 BILLION dollars on the election.

This is interesting to ponder, but nothing one can do about it … but still interesting. Given the top leaders in Congress (Boehner, Pelosi, Reid, and McConnell) – If you could get rid of 3 (thus only keep 1), who would you keep? Who do you think I would keep? (My answer next week)

Cheers to The Onion for these election headlines

  • New election rules allows candidates to remain completely anonymous throughout campaign
  • Populist candidate gaining support among underrepresented corporations
  • Bitter concession speeches only thing Americans looking forward to in upcoming elections

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Man coasting through life entirely on benefit of doubt
Hazmat worker sees no reason to throw away all this perfectly good food
Pueblo Indians can’t keep pace with area woman’s appetite for earthenware
New census study finds 40% of US population is filler

The Onion’s infographic about tracking Ebola in the US 

Cake left in breakroom without instructions (photo below)

Photo from The Onion (theonion.com)

Photo from The Onion (theonion.com)

Interesting Reads
How to keep your health-care costs in check in 2015
Ebola and the epidemics of the past
(video) Blue eyes: Endangered and on the road to extinction?
How nature sparkles … literally sparkles
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WS) on poverty
The first Olympics games following WW II: London 1948

On Potpourri
I watch my share of CNN, so imagine my surprise when I learned that CNN and HLN are no longer on my system due to contract negotiations.

One of local college basketball players is known for his big hands … hands measuring 11.75 in (30 cm) from thumb to pinky, and 10.25 in (26 cm) from palm to tip of middle finger. Undoubtedly, that’s a big hand!

10 children, 16 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, 73 years of marriage, and they died 28 hours apart. Read this touching story about a Cincinnati couple.

Here’s an update on the two local athletic stories that are getting national attention because of cancer. The Bengals have sold about 15,000 jerseys of Devon Still’s #75 … that’s $1.5 million dollars to fight pediatric cancer. Across town we find Lauren Hill, the college freshman hoping to play in one college basketball game before she dies from the inoperable Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). Her small college accepted Xavier University’s offer to use their arena for the game, and Tuesday the public responded by buying over 10,000 tickets less than an hour – that is a sell out. (Story)

I anticipate reaching a milestone sometime next week. Stay tuned!

We saw the movie Gone Girl this week. Whew .. talk about two people deserving each other!

Speaking of next week, I hope to raise the curtain on Act 11 of Life: The Musical next week, which also means I will announce the theme in the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

No Saturday Morning Cartoon this week because I don’t have one ready! :(

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Food Day, Bologna day, Sour Day, Black Cat Day, World Development Information Day, UN Day
  • (Sat) Cartoonists Against Crime Day, Chuckie the Notorious Killer Doll Day, Pasta Day, Make a Difference Day, Greasy Foods Day, Sourest Day, Pit Bull Awareness Day, Punk-for-a-Day Day
  • (Sun) Mother-in-Law Day, Mule Day, Visit a Cemetery Day, Privacy Day, Mincemeat Day, Horseless Carriage Day

Last weekend was the first of two weddings for us to attend, so those events made me think of this rock song from the early 80s … White Wedding (Billy Idol). 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. 236

On Politics
In the US, the Surgeon General would be the point person in the fight against Ebola. As Republicans are (predictably) attacking President Obama on Ebola, let us not forget that President Obama nominated Dr. Vikey Murthy for the post in November 2013, whose nomination is being blocked by Republicans. Once again I say that Senators should act on any and all presidential nominees regardless of the president’s political affiliation.

In the fight against ISIS, Turkey is remaining on the sidelines as much as possible, which causes me to wonder if its leadership is doing with hopes of eradicating the Kurds. I don’t know, but just a thought to ponder.

I like this statement in a recent Cincinnati Enquirer article regarding climate change and politicians … When you get politicians in the room to talk about climate change, science doesn’t seem to enter into the equation. What does? Money, geography, party politics, and a region’s history.

Recent quotes for talk-show host Bill Maher and some of his guests about Islam has received much media attention. On the topic, I enjoyed this column from Fareed Zakaria (Washington Post).

I always appreciate the Stealers Wheel song clip Michael Smerconish uses on his XM radio show: Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middle with you … and now I see this one from Nancy’s book review: Don’t go to the right, don’t go left, go deeper. Thanks, Nancy!

To lead you into The Onion, I appreciate these two recent gems they provide on our upcoming elections.

  • Voters excited to use midterm elections to put country back on different wrong track
  • Congress waiting until after the midterms to address nationwide plague of hornets

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
TV show under fire for depicting murder
Man thinks people care enough about him to be let down by his failures
Facebook offers to freeze female employees’ newborn children
Entire conversation with parents spent changing subject
Lifelong dream no match for first brush with adversity
Susan G Komen Foundation launches deep-space probe to bring breast cancer awareness to rest of galaxy

Interesting Reads
A white-only town in South Africa
Constitutional balance
Evolution and faith: one’s journey
Columnist David Brooks on campaign spending
Top geologic sights in the UK (great pics, too)
Infographic: Extinction by Numbers
Microsoft Office is not needed

On Potpourri
Another story of a young lady from the Cincinnati area with cancer is getting national attention. She’s a college freshman with a wish to play in one college basketball game. Here’s the video from a local channel (one in which the reporter has a difficult time) and this written report from Sporting News that has a video for a different local station.

This week I made my first appearance to the weekly dance gathering for those with disabilities. It was a great 45 minutes, plus the dancer teacher was pleasantly surprised to see me. Later, I sent her the link to my post about the event, and she loved it.http://afrankangle.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/on-an-extra-special-event/

CNN has a series (CNN Roots) about the family roots of some of their studio personalities. I’ve enjoyed the three I’ve seen so far, but this one about Michaela Pereira is outstanding, so I encourage you can watch it here. By the way, CNN will have a primetime special regarding this series on October 21st at 9:00 pm (Eastern US). Here’s the CNN page on the series with all the videos.

This week we got a new neighbor, and they used a POD storage system, which I’ve seen – but I’ve never witnessed one either loaded or unloaded to/from a truck. I must say, Very interesting! … so here are two videos for those who want to know more … from the moving company (1+ min) … and … by a user (4+ min).

Another act of Life: The Musical is in the official record, so thanks to all participants … and, as always, I love listening to all the songs. What’s your thought on this idea: Should I compile all the songs for the entire musical?

This weekend is going to be a busy one for us, so there won’t be a Saturday Morning Cartoon this week.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Wear Something Gaudy Day, Pasta Day, Alternative Fuel Day, Black Poetry Day, Eradicate Poverty Day, Mulligan Day, Mammography Day
  • (Sat) Bridge Day, Chocolate Cupcake Day, Menopause Day, No Beard Day, Sweetest Day, Boost Your Brain Day
  • (Sun) Toy Camera Day, Evaluate Your Life Day, Get Smart about Credit Day, Seafood Bisque Day

Thought I’d send you into the weekend this week with a 2-fer. First, Stuck in the Middle with You by Stealers Wheel (because I mentioned it in the post), plus one that you may not know .. but I like the beat and its a great dance song … so here’s Ms. Jody with At the Bop. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.


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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 235

On Politics
With a third of the US Senate up for re-election,there is a consistency that makes me chuckle. Republicans are linking their Democratic opponents to President Obama. That means elect me to a 6-year term because the President Obama has 2 years remaining.

Earlier this week I saw my first TV ad for Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in which he didn’t mention President Obama.

Despite the fact that Congress has lower approval rating than President Obama, the majority of the incumbents will win re-election.

This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Olympic swimmer Phelps banned from having any contact with water for 6 months
Man wishes there wasn’t so much blank room on anniversary card
Local oaf not sure which part of counter to place order
Documentary viewer can’t wait to find out which 4 lads from Liverpool changed music forever
Serial killer makes an impassioned case for protecting local marsh
Nation’s cuckolded husbands gear up for first day of hunting season with wives’ lovers

The Onion’s list of must-watch fall TV shows includes Lamp Wars, Dance Baboons, and Pumpkin Patch Pickers.

Interesting Reads
Creationism’s disjointed science
An interview with Mikahil Gorbachev
Hummingbird madness
Improve wasting time
Herbert Hoover and the Colorado River

On Potpourri
A tip of the cap to the New England Patriots for generosity. During a commercial break, the team showed a video of Leah Still, the young daughter of a player on the opposing team with a rate cancer. Following the video, the crowd cheered, the Patriot cheerleaders were Still’s #75, and the Patriot owner donated $25,000 to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Interestingly, the Cincinnati Bengals can’t keep up on stocking #75 jerseys as 100% of sales go to a Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and pediatric cancer care and research. Yes … like many, Devon Still (the player and father) shed tears on the sidelines.

Speaking of Cincinnati, I’ve set our DVR as Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on Food Network features my city in a new episode. Check your listings, but the first airing of the “One Street Wonders” episode is Friday night at 10 pm (Eastern US). Here’s a link to the episode schedule at Food Network.

I really like the Delta Airline commercial titled No Bag Left Behind. For those who haven’t seen it, click here.

Leaves are starting to turn, then make their way to the ground; which means this will be my year (since 1987) when I’m not on a twice-a-week 6-to-8-week mission of dealing with fallen leaves. … so NO … I’m not going to miss that!

I had a great view to watch Wednesday morning’s lunar eclipse. But after the moon was completely in the shadow, it ducked behind a tree.

I’ll have another attempt for Life: The Musical next week … well, as long as I remember to announce the acceptable words on Monday for the Play theme.

Hey hey hey … a Saturday Morning Cartoon post will be there for your Saturday.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Handbag Day, Egg Day, Mental Health Day, Emergency Nurses Day, Newspaper Carrier, Porridge Day, Homeless Day, Angel Food Cake Day
  • (Sat) Coming Out Day, Costume Swap Day, Family Bowling Day, Southern Food Heritage Day, Music Day, Food Truck Day, Sausage Pizza Day, It’s My Party Day, You Go Girl Day
  • (Sun) Frustration Scream Day, Scream & Shout Day, Day of the Six Billion, Clergy Appreciation Day, Free Thought Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s a classic hit. Interestingly, it was part of an LP released in 1972 on the Wooden Nickel record label. Oh, of course, it must be Lady by Styx. 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. 232

On Politics
The nation is watching the Senate race in Kentucky. Although I’m in Ohio, I get a ringside view because Cincinnati TV stations air campaign ads for the northern Kentucky viewers. One thing for sure, each side is pointing out the outside money of the opposition.

As some Republicans are quick to say I told you so regarding the predictable chaos in Iraq after the primary withdrawal of the US military, I ask, Would ISIS be a factor if Saddam Hussein was still in power?

If the Arabs aren’t willing to fight ISIS on the ground, I say, Get out of there!

Congress continues its mantra of preferring second guessing and criticizing over taking responsibility and decision making.

I know Congressional Republicans have been a continual roadblock for President Obama, however, I wonder how often the White House (and possibly Congressional Democrats) have been equally obstinate.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Absentminded nation catches itself turning to its leaders again
More cities using text-based alerts to warn Americans if they are in range of NFL players
Majority of Americans back Obama’s ISIS plan, but doubt it will work
Study: Liberals, Conservatives smell different
Report: Laura’s divorce threatens razor-thin Democratic majority in family
Reclusive deity hasn’t written a new book in 2,000 years

Interesting Reads
For Democrats fearing loss of controlling the Senate
California’s 100-year drought
A pro sports team helps a last wish
Unhappy medical doctors
Guten-free: Fact vs. Fad
The Crackpot Test & Index

On Potpourri
I find it interesting that the state of Kentucky is getting some push-back about public funding of Ark Encounters, a theme park run by Answers in Genesis (AIG), the head organization of the Creation Museum. I said this was a no-no over a year ago, and stand by that today. After all, AIG prospective employees must “have read and can support the AIG Statement of Faith.”

Another season of Dancing with the Stars (DTWS) is under way. Several immediately seem to be a cut above the rest, but time will tell who develops. OK, DTWS fans, which of the pros do you think is my favorite?

My golf league goes longer than most, thus able to enjoy playing in late-summer weather. Two weeks to go and my team is in the hunt.

Because I used this week to ease back into blogging, no Saturday Morning Cartoons this weekend.

Thanks for another great collection of tunes for Life: The Musical. As always, I get the pleasure to listening to all the songs – although the omission of this one surprised me … and I dedicate this song to my friend at Lame Adventures who would never embrace this song.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Clean Up the World Weekend, Hummingbird Celebration Weekend, Octoberfest Zinzinnati
  • (Fri) Talk Like a Pirate Day, POW/MIA Recognition Day, Trademen Day, Citizenship Day, Brothers Day, Butterscotch Pudding Day, Slimey the Worm Day
  • (Sat) Big Whooper Liar Day, Eat an Apple Day, Coastal Cleanup Day, Puppy Mill Awareness Day, Red Panda Day, Gymnastics Day, Idaho Spud Potato Day, National Rum Punch Day, Farm Safety Day
  • (Sun) International Day of Peace, Worldwide Day of Play, Alzheimer’s Day, Miniature Golf Day, Pause the World Day, Gratitude Day, Pecan Cookie Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s one more work song – the 1982 hit Workin’ for a Liven by Huey Lewis and the News. 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. 231

On Politics
On November 19, 2010, I first asked for it on this weekly post (evidence 1)…. and earlier this week I learned it’s finally going to happen. (evidence 2) … the Palin Channel. Nothing like paying for any-time nincompoopery.

Cheers to Congress for going on their well-earned August recess for accomplishing very little. Throw them all out!

Cheers to the US Senate for quickly and unanimously (97-0) confirming a new secretary to lead the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department – Bob McDonald – yes, a Cincinnatian.

Not long ago I posted this link to a view about the policies of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R). Here’s a new link to a counterpoint.

Thursday (at 12:30 pm) I received a robo-call from my representative inviting me to a telephone town hall meeting that started at noon.

Some Ohio Republicans in the state legislature are trying to Ohio to repeal the state’s commitment to the new Common Core educational standards. That a way … follow the lead of education leader Louisiana!

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Assisted care facility hits jackpot with little styrofoam cups of sherbet
Scientists: Rich people, poor people may have common ancestor
Store job applications just asks prospective employees how much they plan to shoplift
Psychology comes to halt as weary researchers say the mind cannot possibly study itself
Executioner enters lethal injection room with bag from Home Depot

Interesting Reads
Columnist Peggy Nonnan about World War I
Top 10 battles of World War I
The Nixon Tapes: A book review
Uncorrupting New Orleans
Water resources and profits
Wine tasting thoughts

On Potpourri
Dollar Tree buys Family Dollar. These discount stores (and their competitors) have become big business over the past 10 years. Nonetheless, I thought this Wall Street Journal headline was a bit tacky: Battle for Poor Shoppers Fuels Dollar-Store Deal.

I see sizeable gaps in this scale. Locally-brewed beers in the USA has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. I recently discovered these designation standards based on annual production: Large Brewery (at least 6 million barrels) and Craft Brewery (less than 6 million barrels). However, Craft Breweries can subdivided into Regional Brewery (15,000-16,000 barrels), Micro Brewery (less than 15,000 barrels), and Nano Brewery (up to 100 barrels). FYI for beer lovers: Here’s an article for the Wall Street Journal.

Because people want to know, here’s an informative video about why dogs smell butts.

Cheers to another successful installment of Life: The Musical. At the time of writing this, 25 songs are in Act 8!

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Twins Days, Tree Climbing Days
    (Fri) Beer Day, Tomboy Tools Day, Spider Man Day, Girlfriend’s Day, Lughnasa, Braham Pie Day, Minority Donor Awareness Day, Rounds Resounding Day, Lung Cancer Day, Scout Scarf Day, Raspberry Cream Pie Day, India Pale Ale (IPA) Day
  • (Sat) Mustard Day, Take a Penny/Leave a Penny Day, Hangover Day, Ice Cream Sandwich Day, Dinosaur Day
  • (Sun) Doll Day, Kids Day, Sister’s Day, Watermelon Day, Friendship Day, Family Day, Day of Peace Day

Due to a full plate, no Saturday Morning Cartoon post this weekend. However, I can say this is a new month … so welcome to August.

To send you into the weekend, here’s something with flavor of the new month. Hot August Night was not a song, but an album by Neil Diamond. (Debra, where you there?) However, the opening tune from that night at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles become popular – so enjoy Crunchy Granola Suite. 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. 230

On Politics
Inside scoop is that Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Mn) is considering a 2016 bit for the presidency. Other than the entertainment aspect of her willing to make an ass out of herself, I say NO … A thousand times NO.

Shortly after President Obama’s 2008 election, I called for the removal of all top Congressional leaders. Six years later as all remain in their positions, approval ratings of Congress are pathetic, and they haven’t accomplished much …. thus I enjoyed this Paul Kane article about the Senate’s top leaders.

I appreciate this Robert Samuelson column about the government budget.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote this opinion piece on changing the primary system.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Study finds only 5% of Americans have correct amount of pride in country
Life guard would save drowning man, but who is he to play God?
Everyone in Middle East given own country in 317 million-state solution
Study finds high school students retain only one-third of obsolete curriculum of the summer
God pledges $5000 for cancer research

Interesting Reads
A Nik and Dick encounter (that’s Khrushchev and Nixon)
Interactive graphic: Middle East friendship chart
Size of iPhone: the company – a what if graphic
The ugliest churches in the world
Beethoven: The Life
Science findings and people’s opinions

On Potpourri
I’ve had several posts about the influence of German immigrants on Cincinnati. Here’s an interesting article that recently appeared in our local paper about World War I’s influence on the area.

My baseball team (Cincinnati Reds) are going nowhere.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Ukee Days, International Pinot Noir Celebration, Gilroy Garlic Days
    (Fri) Talk in an Elevator Day, Carousel/Merry-Go-Round Day, Lumberjack Day, Thread the Needle Day, Video Games Day, Candles on a Cake Day, Hot Fudge Sundae Day
  • (Sat) One Voice Day, Dance Day, Day of the Cowboy, Paddle for Perthes Disease Awareness Day. Coffee Milkshake Day, All or Nothing Day
  • (Sun) Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day, Sleepy Head Day, Walk on Stilts Day, Scotch Day, Creme Brulee Day, Aunties Day, Barbie-in-a-Blender Day, Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, Parents’ Day

Life: The Musical returns next week, so I’ll announce Act 8’s theme on the next Monday Morning Entertainment post.

With family in town this week and over the weekend, my watering detail, and having a contractor in the residence, it’s best that I don’t have a Saturday Morning Cartoon post this weekend.

To send you into the weekend, here’s a pop R&B hit from 1976, which reached #19 on the Billboard R&B charts … I also owned the vinyl album. Enjoy Lou Rawls with Groovy People. 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. 228

Announcing a new header – an image from the Herschel Space Observatory of a huge dust and gas cloud called NGC 7538.

On Politics
The political climate is not only saturated with hyperpartisanship, it is also ripe for overreach … thus why I worry about 2016 election results producing a one-party majority.

Here’s an opinion poll regarding both parties …. and since it supports many my disgruntled nature, I say, Throw them all out … every damn one of them …. and then repeat the action with their replacements.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Area man pushes self to point of effort
Bored scientists now just sticking random things into large Hadron collider
Few more items knocked off list of desirable traits in partner as women turn year older
45 million gallons of crude blood lost in Red Cross pipeline rupture
Area woman finds strength in Bible or whatever else is around

Interesting Reads
Lincoln’s adversaries: The ex-presidents
US oil production
Octopi caught in the act … of???
Financial literacy of American teens
Chile and World War I
Enjoy this beautiful slideshow of Iceland

On Potpourri
Summer is a special time for ice cream, so the Huffington Post recently listed “The 13 Best Ice Cream Flavors for Summer 2014” …. the fact that Graeter’s made it gives the list credibility. :)

I imagine there may be someone reading this who has various positive thoughts about actor George Clooney. Well, he’s from Cincinnati, thus we have privy to numerous photos from his early years. Scroll through the photo gallery at the end of this article, which includes one of a very young George with his parents and sister.

Don Cheadle (a George Clooney buddy) is in town directing and acting (with Ewan McGregor) in a movie about jazz great Miles Davis titled Miles Ahead.

After hearing some of your interest in the Indiana Roof Ballroom, I found this promo video about the facility on YouTube …. just click here.

Next week is shaping up to host the next act of Life: The Musical, so my plan is to announce the act’s theme on the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

I meet with the ophthalmologist on Friday, thus will report on Monday.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) World Future 2014 Days
  • (Fri) Cheer Up the Lonely Day, Rainier Cherries Day, Slurpee Day, World Population Day, Convenience Store Day, Pet Photo Day, Town Criers Day, Blueberry Muffin Day
  • (Sat) Bald is In Day, Collector Car Appreciation Day, Grange Day, Simplicity Day, Wayne Chicken Day, Pecan Pie Day, Eat Your Jello Day, Paper Bag Day
  • (Sun) Embrace Your Geekness Day, Gruntled Workers Day, French Fries Day, Puzzle Day, Barn Day

Unbelievable news … no kidding … Saturday Morning Classic Cartoons returns this Saturday!

To send you into the weekend, here’s a 1985 hit … Enjoy the Eurythmics with Would I Lie to You. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.