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. 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.

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.

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.