On a Furry Chuckle

Happy December! … but the next post will toast the new month.

How was your weekend? For those in the US, how was your Thanksgiving holiday?

We drove to the opposite corner of the state (about 220 miles/354 km) for Thanksgiving at my SIL’s. Our small gathering of 9 had a good time. We avoid shopping on this holiday, so four of us played many hours of euchre on Friday .. well, actually 144 deals. Our end-of-the-day drive back to the hotel involved dealing with the snowy roads that hadn’t been plowed … but it was manageable.

After returning home on Saturday, we stayed in to watch some recorded TV shows. Because we didn’t get any ballroom rime,  we took to the dance floor Sunday evening (something we normally don’t do).

Celebrations for your week

  • (Week) Cookie Cutter Week, Festival of the Trees, Tolerance Week, Coelenterate Biology Week, Older Drive Safety Awareness Week, Clerc-Gallaudet Week, Aplastic Anemia Awareness Week, Hand Washing Awareness Week, Deaf Heritage Week
  • (Mon) Eat a Red Apple Day, Pie Day, Cyber Monday, World AIDS Day, Rosa parks Day, Day With(out) Art Day, Civil Air Patrol Day, Bifocals at the Monitor Liberation Day
  • (Tues) Apple Pie Day, Fritters Day, Giving Tuesday, Science Fiction Day, Coats for Kids Day, Special Education Day, Mutt Day, Abolition of Slavery Day
  • (Wed) Special Kids Day, Roof Over Your Head Day, Make a Gift Day, Persons with Disabilities Day
  • (Thurs) Cookie Day, Dice Day, Wear Brown Shoes Day, Hug Day, Wildlife Conservation Day, Lover’s Day, Santa’s List Day, Extraordinary Work Team Recognition Day

To start your week, here’s commercial that the US audience may know. The words make me laugh, so listen. Have a good week.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 242

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, this is an abbreviated and prerecorded edition of Opinions in the Shorts. More importantly, I hope all those celebrating the holiday had a wonderful day!

From The Onion

New York City’s Thanksgiving Celebration at Rockefeller Center

A Republican-led House of Representatives committee report about the attack at Benghazi debunks notions of a conspiracy. Because the conclusions don’t fit the party’s narrative, the people deserves another report. After all, this was only the seventh committee.

Cheers for … CNN returning to my home! … Receiving this year’s mystery wine from my Secret Santa from Texas!

Last week, Cincinnati-based global consumer product giant Procter & Gamble issued a statement in support of same-sex marriage as a “statement of support for our employees.” Since reported (and as one can imagine), the local letters to the editor have provided interesting commentary. Cheers to P&G!

How can anyone not appreciated NFL player T.Y. Hilton’s reaction after scoring a touchdown last Sunday and his television interview after the game. (Watch)

Congratulations to Alfonzo Ribeiro for winning Dancing with the Stars. We thought the Monday night show was one of the best ever.

Hooray for everyone participating in Act 13 of Life: The Musical. Life is full of ups and downs, so start thinking about the next act. After all, I’m sure readers can determine what follows positive emotions.

A shout-out to Pauline (in New Zealand) for this outstanding post about blogging, which is a good read.

 Interesting Reads
At Issue: Interfaith marriages in Egypt
Columnist Nicholas Kristof on immigration
Humorist Dave Berry’s Holiday Gift Guide
Athletics and neurons
The fall of the humble spud
Robots and creativity
(Graphic) Common Mythconceptions

Headlines from The Onion
Report: None of good cousins coming to Thanksgiving this year
Man had no idea what to do with visiting friends between meals
Family revels in height difference between mother and tall son
Man tentatively takes shot at bad mouthing girlfriend’s family for the first time
Americans enjoying Thanksgiving tradition of sitting around the airport
Turkey pardon mishap results in release of serial murderer

The celebration list mentions French Toast Day (Friday) … so here’s a unique toast to toast.

Celebrations for your weekend

  • (Fri) Leftovers Day, Buy Nothing Day, Red Planet Day, Flossing Day, Gone-ta-Pott Day, Maize Day, Black Friday, Day of Listening, Letter Writing Day, Native American Heritage Day, French Toast Day, Your Welcomegiving Day, Fur Free Friday, Make Your Own Head Day
  • (Sat) Gnocchi Day, Electronic Greetings Day, Small Business Saturday, Day of Giving, Square Dancing Day, Chocolate Day, Throw-out Your Leftovers Day
  • (Sun) I Feel Well Day, Computer Security Day, Play Hooky Day, Meth Awareness Day, Mousse Day, Stay Home Because You’re Well Day

In the spirit of “Positive Emotions” from Life: The Musical – Act 13, here’s a song that will be a surprise, yet send you into the weekend with a smile … Smiling Happy Monsters by REM with the Sesame Street gang.  Have a safe weekend, and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Cheers of Thanks

I’ve mention the Lauren Hill story here before, but it’s also became a national story than can touch the heart of anyone across the world. In short, Lauren is a college freshman on her college basketball team at Mt. St. Joseph University a small college on Cincinnati’s west side.

During her senior year in high school, doctors diagnosed her with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a rare inoperable brain cancer. Initially given up to two years to live, her prognosis change to only a few months to live, yet she wanted to achieve her goal to play in a college basketball game … and she did … and my eyes shed tears every time I see this.

Although DIPG attacked her brain, it aroused her heart and spirit, so she took it to our hearts. Through her battle and in spite of her weakness, she continues to hold her head high and focusing on others. She is truly an example for everyone in life, let alone someone who taken on the role of living, playing, and speaking for all those with pediatric brain cancer.

Lauren Hill is someone for whom we are thankful. In the spirit of Thanksgiving (this Thursday in the US) and in the spirit of Lauren, I want to extend other thanks around this situation that haven’t received as much publicity … after all, honoring others is in her spirit.

Embed from Getty Images

Cheers to the Hiram College Athletic Department (the opponents) for agreeing to and supporting a petition to the NCAA for changing the date, giving up a home game,and being willing to travel across the state.

Cheers to the NCAA for allowing the game to take place approximately two weeks before the official start of the season.

Cheers to Mr. Joseph University for honoring their commitment to Lauren.

Cheers to Xavier University for donating the use of their arena for the game.

Cheers to the Hiram players for doing the right thing during the game. Something that the videos here don’t show is how much of they reacted.

Cheers to the citizens of Cincinnati who purchased over 10,000 tickets, thus sold out the arena in 30-40 minutes.

Cheers to Mt. Joseph University for donating the proceeds from the game and merchandise sales to Lauren’s fund-raising efforts against DIPG.

Cheers to the people who lined the streets as the team bus travelled from Mt. St. Joseph’s campus to Xavier’s.

Cheers to Pat Summitt, the legendary women’s basketball coach at the University of Tennessee. Although fighting her own health battle (diagnosed in early 2011 with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease), she attended the game to award Lauren the Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award from the United States Basketball Writers Association.

Cheers to Lauren’s teammates because Lauren impact on them will be forever.

Cheers to the national media for promoting this story.

Cheers to the Hiram players and coaching staff who embraced the moment with class and dignity … and I’m sure they will remember the day more than the game’s final result.

Cheers to Fox Sports Ohio for televising a game of a team that normally played before 100-200 people … and additional cheers to the broadcast affiliates from across the country who decided to broadcast the game.

Cheers to Devon Still, the Cincinnati Bengal who reached out to Lauren amidst his own strife … a 4-year-old daughter with pediatric cancer …. and for that special bond, Lauren signed her game-day jersey for presentation to young Leah Still.

Cheers to this touching segment by Tom Rinaldi on ESPN.

See, there are many shining lights in the world for which to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Life: The Musical – Act 13: Positive Emotions

The Story
Life: The Musical is an original aFa production is a journey featuring songs of about life. Each act features an aspect of life as a theme with music supplied around that theme.

Program (Past Posts)
LifeTheMusicalAct 1: Life
Act 2: Born
Act 3: Names
Act 4: Young
Act 5: Dream
Act 6: Teens
Act 7: School
Act 8: Adulthood
Act 9: Work
Act 10: Play
Act 11: Hope
Act 12: Love

Act 12
Life … the time for the living to live. One’s life starts when one is born. Shortly thereafter, we are given something that stays with us no matter where we go – a name. Immediately, we are nourished, so we grow physically, mentally, and emotionally from babies into young children … and that’s when we start to dream about our future life. Growth never stops, so from children we move on as teens .. but school is still much of life at this point.

Eventually, we move into adulthood as women and men with many things going on in our life. Whether its work, play, or family, life can be complicated, so many times we hope for the best. Maybe above all else, people desire love, and go through many ups and downs in that quest.

No matter the situation, human encounters also provide a wide-range of emotions – so Act 13 features songs with a positive emotion in the title … but because it was the Act 12 feature, love is not acceptable, and using tears will be scrutinized.

Production Note
To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please 1) include the song title and artist in your text, and 2) 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
Back in the early 1960s, they were part of the British Invasion and one of my favorite bands. Ladies and gentleman, a big aFa welcome to the Dave Clark Five with Glad All Over.

On a Culinary Monday

How did your latest weekend treat you? What did you do? How’s your weather?

Just in front of Thanksgiving, we had a busy weekend. It started Friday when our dinner group did an overnight outing at a winery. The group always eats and drinks well, but this was a different type of event for us. After returning home on Saturday, it was off to a wedding … and oh my my … what a beautiful venue for the reception. It was an old church (built in 1850) located near downtown Cincinnati that was saved from the wrecking ball. Other than the missing pews and exhibits of old clocks and bells, it looks like a big church., which was both strange and fascinating. Here’s a link to Google Images.

This week includes Thanksgiving in the US. Because it’s Thursday, this week’s posts will be a different from the norm. Time will tell how everything unfolds.

Reminder that due to the holiday week, Life: The Musical’s next act  the next post. The theme is Positive Emotions, so all titles must include a positive emotion. Caution: a) Love is not acceptable (previous act), and b) Tears will be scrutinized. Curtain time is Monday night, 9:30 pm (Eastern US).

Celebrations for the week

  • (Week) Game & Puzzles Week, Care Givers Week, Adoption Week, Family Week, Deal Week, Separation of Church & State Week, Better Conversation Week, Farm-City Week, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) Awareness Week
  • (Mon) Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day, DB Cooper Day, Espresso Day, Brownielocks Day
  • (Tues) Blase Day, Shopping Reminder Day, Elimination of Violence Against Women Day, Hat Day, Parfait Day
  • (Wed) Tie One On Day, Cake Day
  • (Thurs) Thanksgiving, Day of Listening, Day of Mourning, Bavarian Cream Pie Day, Pins & Needles Day

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I solicited a notable personality to start your week. Enjoy the Swedish Chef. Enjoy and have a great week.