On Memorial Day 2010

I’m old enough to remember some referring to this day as Decoration Day.  I recall the annual parade in my small hometown, the firemen barbecuing chicken, and the boats going to the river for the first big weekend of summer. I can also remember the trips to the cemetery as the American Legion members held a public service to honor soldiers.

Interestingly, we first observed Decoration Day in 1868, but it didn’t become a national holiday until 1971 as it was driven by the states.

Today, in our time of political hostility, I wonder how many people take the time to reflect upon the past – the lives that were lost due to country pride – not hostility within. I hope that today everyone takes a minute or two out of their fun day to reflect about the sacrifices given by so many.

Meanwhile, here’s a tribute to our armed forces- past and present. Have a safe weekend and positive week ahead.


On the All-Time Erics

Many ladies swooned as Eric Estrada rode his motorcycle on Chips, but did Eric the Red cause Viking women to buckle at the knees?

As Eric Clapton is a music legend, do you ever think about Eric Carmen of the Raspberries singing Go All the Way?

Some may remember newsman Eric Sevareid, but he never reported on Attorney General Eric Holder.

A long-time friend’s oldest son is Eric – one who routinely thumps his dad in fantasy football – much as I do in fantasy baseball. Another long-time friend, Eric from my high school days, and I always talk about getting together to play golf – which we can never get-er done.

This post is about Eric everywhere, including those who haven’t tasted Eric’s Famous Energy Cola, the balance of speed and pep that could be troublesome.

Although the pool of players was a bit thin, this team has an interesting mix of speed and power to join the clubs in administering a few more knots on the heads of the All-Time Randys – but Randy will appreciate Eric’s Famous Microbrewed Root Beer Energy Cola to soothe his wounds.

To see the All-Time Randys and other all time teams, see Categories in the right-side sidebar, and then Sports > All-Time Teams or click here.

Ladies and gentlemen, now taking the field, the All-Time Erics.

1B – Eric Karros
2B – Eric Yelding
SS – Eric Soderholm
3B – Eric Hinske (ROY)
C – Eric Wedge
OF – Eric Davis (AS)
OF – Eric Young (AS)
OF – Eric Anthony
DH – Eric Chavez

SP – Eric Hanson (AS)
SP – Eric Ericson
SP – Eric Milton (AS)
SP – Eric Beddard
SP – Eric Show
RP – Eric Gagne (AS)
RP – Eric Plunk
RP – Eric King

Mgr – Eric Wedge

On a Toast for Monday


  • From Middle English tosten, from Anglo-French toster, from Late Latin tostare to roast, from Latin tostus, past participle of torrere to dry, parch
  • To make crisp, hot, and brown
  • To warm thoroughly
  • A sliced sliced bread browned on both sides by heat
  • A person whose health is drunk
  • Something in honor of which persons usually
  • One that is highly admired
  • An act of proposing or of drinking in honor of a toast
  • A rhyming narrative poem existing in oral tradition among black Americans
  • One that is finished or done for
  • A song by comedian Heyward Banks about toast and played on a toaster

On Speedy Gonzalez

Things to Know

  • Debuted in 1953
  • 37 cartoons made in the 1960s
  • Fastest mouse in all Mexico
  • Warner Brothers, Looney Tunes, and Merrie Melodies family of characters
  • Usually wore white shirt and pants, yellow sombrero, and a red kerchief around his neck.
  • The original voice by Mel Blanc
  • Mel Blanc had a part in the Speedy Gonzalez hit song by Pat Boone
  • Cousin of Slowpoke Rodriguez, the Slowest Mouse in all Mexico
  • Daffy Duck and Sylvester the Cat (Greengo Pussygato) were his main combatants
  • Arriba! Arriba! Andale! Andale! Yeehah!
  • Academy Award winner (1955) and nominated in 1957, 1959, and 1961


Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 62

On Sarah Palin
I’m happy she out there on the speaking trail because the more she talks, the more independents shake their head and turn away.

On Tea Party Primary Influence
The Tea Party faction had a good day in Kentucky – and to see Kentuckians go ahead Senator McConnell’s endorsement made me smile.

On Something Neither Party Really Gets
The 2008 election encountered a voting public that was unhappy with incumbents. As the Democratic Congress has spent the year and a half cramming legislation down our throat, they didn’t realize the anti-incumbent sentiment. I not convinced the Republicans understand it either.

On the Cincinnati Sports Shorts
Although the Reds just stumbled in Atlanta, their current roll has been due to timely hitting, good pitching, good defense, and good base running. For instance, the Reds are near the top of advancing from first to third – something Dunn and Junior could not regularly do.

On the Bengals front, Adam Pac-Man Jones is saying the right things. Although I was against the signing, time will tell. Interestingly, in the end many praised Mike Brown for giving Chris Henry a chance – and many of the same are saying the opposite about Jones.

Last Sunday’s Cincinnati Enquirer had a great article about UC’s dilemma with Nippert Stadium. Believe me, it is a great, classic venue. Click here for the article.

On the Weekend
Stop by this weekend for another post about a cartoon character from the past. Have a safe weekend. Here’s a song for to enjoy.

On Free Will or Planned?

Many people drive on an interstate every day as part of their daily routine, yet each day brings events that change people’s lives.

On March 26, 2010, I heard the news of the horrifying accident on I-65 as a tractor-trailer semi crossed the median and crashed into a van killing most that were on their way to a wedding. Because I have traveled that road more than a few times, the event bothered me a bit more than normal.

I flashed back to May 14, 1988 when a church bus filled with 70 members of a church youth group were returning home after a full day at an Ohio amusement park (Kings Island), whose bus caught fire (killing 27) after a collision with a drunk driver (who survived). Whenever I travel between Cincinnati and Louisville, a sign reminds me of that event.

Events like these sadly happen – but comments as “It’s God’s will” or “It’s part of God’s plan” bother me. Do people really believe that the God of love, compassion, forgiveness, and grace is so cruel to cause a crash killing people? Do people really expect the God of hope, care, joy, and goodness is into playing cruel jokes on humanity? Do people really believe that God programs our lives, thus we (individually) lack any free will?

I close with this thought by Dr. Joseph Bracken from his book Christianity and Process Thought.

The divine persons make things happen by giving us “initial aims,” by enabling us to be ourselves at every moment. This is a minimal exercise of efficient causality (the power to make things happen) on their part since in the end the decision is ours, not theirs. But they are much more active in terms of final causality (the power to give order and direction to decisions).

The divine initial aim, after all, not only empowers us to make a decision, but is likewise a feeling-level lure or sense of direction and purpose for us in making that decision. Because they see the bigger picture for each of us as individuals and for our world at any given moment, the divine persons are in a unique position to guide us to a better rather than worse decision at every moment in our lives.

Christianity and Process Thought at Amazon and Google Books.