On Heading South from Yellowstone


After leaving Yellowstone to the south, Grand Teton National Park is less than an hour away. The park is named after the tallest mountain in the Teton range. The name’s origin goes back to the area’s French fur trappers calling the range les trois tétons.

The range’s sharp, jagged peaks are not only a contrast to the rounded ones at nearby Yellowstone, the peaks also serve as a reminder that the Tetons are the youngest mountains in the Rockies.

The drive through the valley east of the range offers stunning views. These mountains are spectacular!

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Jackson Hole refers to the long valley east of the Tetons. Jackson, the major town in the valley, is a popular destination for tourists and serves as a base for vacationers during all seasons and a seasonal home for some notable people. Our tour group stayed an evening in Jackson before embarking on the long drive to Salt Lake City.

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After an evening in Salt Lake City, our next destination was Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce, resembling more of a natural amphitheater than a canyon, is spectacular and very unique. The red, orange, and white color combination below a bright blue sky is stunning.

Bryce’s unique appearance comes from the sea of hoodoos occupying the amphitheater – the pillars of rock formed by weathering and water eroded erosion previously uplifted rock millions of years ago. Although hoodoos are found in other parts of the world, Bryce offers the largest collection.

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After an evening in, we were bound for where we started – Las Vegas – but not without stopping at Zion National Park. Whereas the views of Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon were from above looking down, one enters Zion Canyon’s deep gorge from the floor, which allows visitors to enjoy looking up at its walls of reddish and tan Navajo sandstone.

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After 2800 miles (4500 km) in 2 weeks, we saw many wonderful sights that America’s National Parks provide. Simply spectacular! Yes, we had a lot of bus time and yes, our visits were long enough for sampling – therefore, not long enough for embracing – but this trip was better than not ever seeing these natural wonders.

To see the post of the entire trip, see the sidebar (Categories > Travel > Western US National Parks Tour), click here, or visit any of the individual posts linked below.

Las Vegas
Vegas to Denver
South Dakota and westward
Yellowstone

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Pronouns 2: The Musical – Act 1: My

The Story

Welcome to Pronouns 2: The Musical.

Some may ask, “Pronouns?”, but we at A Frank Angle say, “Why not pronouns!”

Why a sequel to Pronouns? Again, “Why not!”

Program

Act 1: My

My future is in my past and my past is my present. I must now make the present my future. (Vladimir Horowitz, musician)

I have shared my whole life. My private and my show business life. It helps me actually to feel my songs and to go on with my dreams. (Celine Dion, singer)

My thoughts, my beliefs, my feelings are all in my brain. My brain is going to rot. (Richard Dawkins, scientist)

What are my sources of strength? My husband and my three kids, my health-care team, and my religion. (Geraldine Ferraro, politician)

I was scared when I lost my mother, my father, my brother, my sister. (Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, musician)

I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works. (Oscar Wilde, dramatist)

My music is the spiritual expression of what I am – my faith, my knowledge, my being. (John Coltrane, musician)

I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife’s family, my friends, my foundation and kids all around the world who admired me. (Tiger Woods, athlete)

Guidelines

Songs must have My in the title

Cautions

  • No duplicates songs regardless of artists
  • Foreign language equivalents unacceptable

Production Note

  • To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please
    Include the song title and artist in your text, and
  • Paste the URL as part of your last line (not a new line). The latter will provide a link, thus not embed the actual video … but I don’t mind unembedding, so apologies are not necessary.

Announcement

Welcome to Opening Night for Pronouns 2: The Musical. Never before in aFa Productions history have we ever had this fast of a turnaround. Then again, we feed off the enthusiasm of attendees. Thank you!

Act 1’s My theme offers many opportunities. Our production staff decided to go outside the box for this one. He’s a star – and he’s joined forces with a living legend for this song. Ladies and gentlemen – let’s make some noise for Toby Keith and the great Willie Nelson with Beer For My Horses. (Note: for the impatient, start at 50 seconds).

Next – Act 2: Mine (FYI: Not easy)

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 381

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Good news – After 12 acts and an encore, Pronouns: The Musical closed a very successful run. More good news – starting next weekend, Pronouns 2: The Musical kicks off. This musical will be shorter than the other, so my hopes are that we will complete it before 2018 closes. The first theme features songs with My in the title. Curtain time remains the same: Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US).

Only one more post remains for my western national parks tour. Sometime in the near future, I will start the Eastern Europe series.

Although the She/He Writing Challenge didn’t get much of a response, I think it was a good challenge and I enjoyed doing it.

The wildfires in California continue to bring havoc to many. I encourage anyone able to donate to a charity of your choice to help victims. I suggest the California Community Foundation: Wildfire Relief Fund.

Within four days last week, we had quite the string of musical events.

  • We attended (as ushers) the world premier of Cincinnati King – a play about King Records. What a fun show! Sure hope other theaters throughout the country pick this up in the future.
  • The next day we went to the movies for Bohemian Rhapsody. Thumbs up – and a must for Queen fans!
  • Two days later, our handbell played a surreal arrangement of Tree of Life and Awesome Mystery. Here’s a video of our choir doing this beautiful piece. (I’m on the near side popping in out of view.)
  • That night we attended a concert featuring a handbell soloist. Watching her made me nervous 🙂 … that’s quite the skill!

I have no doubt that voters who don’t know what they are doing have started watching Dancing With The Stars.

For many posts I set a publish time. For others who do that and if you just had a time adjustment with Daylight Savings Time – don’t forget to adjust your WordPress clock.

For whatever reason, the WP Gnomes turned off all my notification settings.

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Looking ahead to 2020, at this point I do not see Ohio as a battleground/swing state because it is unquestionably leaning red.

Dealing with President Trump’s string of lies, exaggerations, distortions, and finger-pointing is one thing, but the continual blind eye, acceptance, and enabling by Trumpians and the majority of Republicans is even worse.

On the same topic, Congressional Republicans have done a very poor job of oversight. That’s what the balance of powers is all about! Then again, a party using oversight to justify politically butchering a president isn’t the intent.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion shares an interesting picture they captured in a jungle.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Ecologists discover 400 species of Charles Darwin living in Galápagos Islands
Friends Excitedly Gather Around Man’s Phone To Watch Shaky Footage of concert
Conservative Floridian Enjoys Living Under Sharia Law More Than He Thought He Would
Couple Nervous To Admit They Met Online In Comments Section Of ‘How To Iron Shirt’ Video
Sunday School Teacher Can Already Tell Which Ones Going To Hell

Interesting Reads

100 years after the Armistice
Artificial Intelligence and wildlife research
Science and religion: not in unison, but in harmony
About the placebo effect
(Graphic) A collection of misconceptions
(Pictures) A collection of weather pictures

To send you into the weekend, a tip of the cap to my Canadian regulars with a song from a Canadian icon. Enjoy Leonard Cohen with Dance Me To The End of Love. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On She/He: Initiating the Challenge

 

Note: To participate in this challenge, see the Challenge page/tab.

 

She is the one for the next dance.

He spotted me and doesn’t know who I am, but I know him.

She displays a slight smile as I approach.

He doesn’t know that I started watching him as soon as he walked through the door.

She changes her face into a glow as I extend my hand.

He doesn’t know what I have in store for him.

She graciously engages my offered frame.

He feels like a dancer.

She transforms my leads into beautiful motions.

He’s a better dancer than I expected, but not as good as he thinks.

She glides the floor with grace and elegance.

He doesn’t realize that I make him look good.

She makes me feel like the king of the ballroom.

He’s about to be surprised.

She smiles in appreciation as the music ends.

He doesn’t know I just delivered a signal.

She is the one.

He’s a dead man.

On Yellowstone

Above the surface, Yellowstone National Park is …

Still …

 

Colorful …

 

Tranquil …

 

and majestic.

 

Below the surface, Yellowstone is …

Restless …

 

Powerful …

 

and continually forming …

 

Yellowstone is home to over 10,000 thermal features – more than the rest of the world combined.

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Yellowstone is home to simple organisms living in the hot springs that formed the foundation of life today.

 

Yellowstone is home to melting snow and ice that roar in the spring and percolate the ground into the heat below.

 

Yellowstone National Park – a place for us to behold a snapshot of natural history and a snippet of our land’s past history.

 

Yellowstone National Park – a place where the grandness above serves as an illusion of the turbulence below the surface.

 

Yellowstone National Park – an active volcano with a 45-mile-wide caldera and an active interior – leaving us wondering when ye shall blow and change everything.

 

Yellowstone National Park – a place for awe and wonder – romance and inspiration – peace and rage – this is spectacular Yellowstone in a nutshell.

 

Next stop: On the way back to Vegas

On Pronouns: The Musical – Encore

The Story

Welcome to Pronouns: The Musical.

Some may ask, “Pronouns?”, but we at A Frank Angle say, “Why not pronouns!”

A subset of nouns, pronouns serve as a substitute for nouns and noun phrases. These bits of linguistics and grammar are versatile and can almost refer to anything.

Although pronouns can be personal, objective, possessive, indefinite, relative, intensive, demonstrative, interrogative, reflexive, and reciprocal, this musical extravaganza focuses on selected pronouns.

Program

Act 1: I
Act 2: You
Act 3: Me
Act 4: He
Act 5: Him
Act 6: She
Act 7: Her
Act 8: We
Act 9: Us
Act 10: They
Act 11: Them
Act 12: It

Encore

Guidelines

Songs must have two or more different pronouns (from this musical) in the title

Cautions

  • No duplicates songs regardless of artists
  • Foreign language equivalents unacceptable
  • Contractions are acceptable at the discretion of The Producer

Production Note

  • To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please
  • Include the song title and artist in your text, and
  • Paste the URL as part of your last line (not a new line). The latter will provide a link, thus not embed the actual video … but I don’t mind unembedding, so apologies are not necessary.

Announcement

Wow! Encores don’t happen very often, and this may be an aFa first. Before introducing the next act, remember the following points about the theme about the song titles: a) two or more pronouns, b) pronouns must be different, and c) acceptable pronouns must be one of the 12 on the graphic.

Ladies and gentlemen, right here on this stage and for your enjoyment, with I’m Happy Just to Dance With You – it’s The Beatles!

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 380

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For those that missed Tuesday’s special announcement, Pronouns: The Musical this weekend with an Encore act featuring songs with two or more different pronouns used in this musical (or click here). See the SPECIAL page/tab (below the banner/header) for more information. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US).

For the story writers in the crowd, hope you saw the Writing Challenge I issued earlier this week. See the Challenge page/tab (below the banner/header) for details (or click here). Responding to the challenge starts this coming Tuesday after I post my version. If you aren’t a short story person, pass along the challenges to others you know who may be interested.

A few days ago we saw First Man, the movie about astronaut Neil Armstrong. Interesting and well done, but I wouldn’t call it a must-see blockbuster. It’s not fast-moving, but has its tense moments. There’s a notice amount of silence throughout the movie. For most of his post-astronaut adult life, Mr. Armstrong lived in the Cincinnati area. From what I know of Armstrong’s personality, Ryan Gosling hit it!

I’m drafting a future post about shopping carts – which caused me to develop a new category – Shopping. Would you know it, I already have a few past posts that fit that new category. Feel free to visit the category in the future or by clicking here.

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President Trump says he could fire the entire Mueller investigation team to end the investigation. Mr. President, do what you mean and mean what you say. The time is now – enough talk – do it! Do what you say you can do. Do what you really want to do! Do it!!!

Although the anticipated Blue Wave didn’t not occur, Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives. I give House Democrats a 95% chance to do something in one month (by the end of January 2019) that strengthens President Trump re-election – which I raise the chances of happening to 80%.

Gerrymandering is not new. Not only has it been around for a long time, both parties are guilty – even in recent times!

Important “-isms” are in the news: Anti-semitism, racism, Nazism, and others – let alone include other related terms as Islamophobia and homophobia. I want to toss in another one that would impact more than any of the above – partyism. After all, there is plenty of data showing pathetic candidates from each side getting sizeable number of votes.

Eight states still have straight ticket voting – the method allowing voters to cast votes for candidates in one party by making only one mark. Good news is that the number of states doing this pathetic practice is declining.

As an authentic independent who sneers at each party, I enjoyed this article about Congress by the Washington Post.

Last week I wrote these words, “Whereas the focus continues to be the last 14 words of the Second Amendment, I continue to say the key to the debate is the first 13 words. After all, those are the words not on the lobby wall at NRA headquarters.” This week brought us news of another mass shooting.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion discovered the latest “I Voted” stickers from Nevada. Are you willing to look here?

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Man does incredibly well at slot machine demo embedded in ad
Girlfriend really has mind of her own today
Supposedly educated professor has no idea how to get bird out of lecture hall
Area man thankful to be single during Golden Age of Television
Slug just taking it easy today
Voter just needs to know which candidate chops wood in a flannel shirt
North Carolina voter in heavily gerrymandered district somehow voting for Montana Senate, Mayor Of Phoenix

Interesting Reads

Eastern and Western European differences
A large, unused airport
Analytics and health care
Butch Cassidy
The re-shaped Milky Way
(Photos) From the 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest
(Photos) Beautifully designed spas

To send you into the weekend, here’s that I heard for the first time earlier this week. Enjoy Alex Murdoch with All My Days. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.