Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 240

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On Politics
Listening to all the sounds bites from various Washington leaders caused me to wonder: When they are talking in an interview or a news conference, for who is their message intended?

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) blaming the result on a poor voter turnout is a prime example (to me) that the House Democrats need new leadership.

As some Congressional Republicans state, We want to work with President Obama … does that really mean We want President Obama to do what we want.

A Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute offers this interesting, initial assessment of a Senate led by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
China vows to begin aggressively falsifying air pollution numbers
More Americans putting off marriage until ultimatum
Young child still developing antibodies to Mountain Dew
Completely uninhibited party guest still choosing to talk about work
Man trying to enter conversation spends several minutes nodding and smiling at edge of circle
Report: America still world leader in manufacturing excuses

Interesting Reads
Lincoln & Einstein: A Common Genius
History of hacking
WW I heroines
Argentina and the Tango
Why your fats don’t stink … (courtesy of Elyse)
Perception and wine flavors
(Photo Gallery) Underwater puppies
(Video) Every Alfred Hitchcock cameo

On Potpourri
Some newspapers have free viewing with a registration. For your cell phones and tablets, the Wall Street JournalWashington Post, and New York Times apps allow free viewing of a limited number of articles per month.

I miss CNN as the tiff between CNN’s owners and my satellite provider continues. Finding a replacement isn’t easy. The network morning shows are too light. Fox & Friends wouldn’t be worth my time. I can only take so much of Morning Joe because the focus is too narrow. I’m trying Aljazerra America, but (so far) it’s not capturing my fancy. So, it’s get a little news, and then switch to the radio for classical music to serve as my background.

Thanks for another great act in Life: The Musical. As I like to say, listening to all the songs is such a joy. The list of possible songs is exhausting, but this is what struck me the most. The theme was love … and at the time I write this, we’ve had participants from Canada, Greece, India, New Zealand, Sweden, and throughout the United States … and I love the goodness throughout the world!

Dancing with the Stars is moving toward a season conclusion. We continue to watch it because he enjoy it. At least it took longer this season for someone less deserving to stay in place of a better dancer. Lea Thompson was good from the start, and steady … but much improved?

For those missing my handbell updates, here’s a video of the song my wife’s choir played last weekend (done by a different choir). Not a toe-tapper or a commonly known hymn, but it is interesting.

Here’s the list of cars I’ve had since getting my driver’s license in 1969. The order is close – any observations? Chevelle, Cutlass, Malibu, Cutlass, Chevette, Corsica, Achieva, Cierra, Lumina, Prism, Malibu, Outback

With a series of busy weekends on the horizon, I’m unsure about the next Saturday Morning Cartoon post.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Pickle Day, Loosen Up – Lighten Up Day, Teddy Bear Day, Educational Support Personnel Day, Kindness Day, Spicey Guacamole Day, Diabetes Day, Operating Room Nurses Day
  • (Sat) Roc Your Mocs Day, Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day, Recycling Day, I Love to Write Day, Bundt (Pan) Day, Day of Play, Philanthropy Day, Guinness World Record Day
  • (Sun) Button Day, Day of Tolerance, Fast Food Day, Have a Party with a Bear Day, Road Traffic Victims Remembrance Day

Because I gave the list of my car history, this title fits to send you into the weekend – Vehicle by the Ides of March. Besides, I never knew that the lead singer here was also a founding member of Survivor (and he co-wrote Eye of the Tiger). Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

49 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 240

  1. Whereas my refrigerator is due a good clean out so I shall set to it first thing in the morning! I love the goodness in the world too Frank – we don’t hear enough about it in the media, but can find it easily in the blogging world it seems! ‘Love is all you need’ sung globally was a bit of fun – thanks for sharing that one!

    DWTS – I think I’m a week behind and Michael has just gone. He is such a lovely person but was not a dancer by any stretch of the imagination. I’m with you re Lea – there are others who have improved so much!!


    • Pauline,
      I imagine the clean out refrigerator has a lot to do with the upcoming Thanksgiving here in the US (last Thursday of this month) … simply huge meals.

      Regarding DWTS, I’m surprised Michael lasted as long as he did. Then again, NASCAR has a huge and loyal following in the US. Glad you enjoy (and get) the show in NZ.


    • Lame,
      We are avid recyclers here as well. Even had a good compost pile at the previous residence, which included saving the vegetable scraps from the kitchen. Regarding the cars, you are correct … as a loyal GM owner has flown the coup.


  2. You seem to like cars starting with the letter “C”. I have owned a Ford Mustang, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Dodge Caravan, and lastly a Toyota Sienna. The first two were standard transmissions. We switched to automatic because the standard was hurting my back and hubby didn’t know how to drive a standard.


  3. Oh no! I missed the musical!

    Your cars are fun to think about — and a Subaru, too. Let see. My first was a Dodge Dart Swinger (a misnamed car if ever there was one) that I inherited from my brother who never once changed the oil. It died within a week, so I didn’t get to do much swinging in it. I bought a fun Fiat 128 that died on my brothers in Harlem in 1976 … Next came a dilapidated VW bug — yellow, given to me by a friend. It took longer to die. (There was a clear pattern in my early cars.) Next came John and more reliable vehicles: A Honda Civic; A Honda wagon of some sort (very square); a Chevy Corsica; a Dodge intrepid (John’s); lots of Jeeps; a BMW 3 SUV. and my very favorite Mini (http://fiftyfourandahalf.com/2011/08/03/mini-me/). At the same time we had the Mini we also got a large GMC Acadia for trips and for hauling a zillion kids and stuff. When I began having health problems, we sold the Mini (sniff) and kept the Acadia. Now I drive a huge car so that I can take advantage of the soft seats on my tender tush. I loved my Mini… (John and Jacob have Subarus, too).


  4. CNN is the news station I listen to. If I lost it like you have, I’d be struggling to find a replacement, too. Still, sometimes CNN bugs me. Their morning news team gives too much opinion, particularly Chris Cuomo. Sometimes I tell him to stop jabbering and just give me the news. How kind my voice sounds depends on whether I’ve had my morning caffeine yet or not.


  5. On your CNN problem. I used to be involved in programming acquisition for a major content provider. I can tell you that the programmer is usually the one causing the problem. (Of course, I have no way of knowing if this is the problem with CNN and am not speaking directly about CNN or it’s affiliates) Programmers in general love to raise prices and craft new terms and then blame the content provider for the so-called impasse. Since most consumers have had some problem with the provider in the past, they are easy marks. The pressure on the provider is to figure out a way to meet the programmers demands and not raise prices to the consumer. Tough job. Loved this week’s Shorts.


  6. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) blaming the result on a poor voter turnout is a prime example (to me) that the House Democrats need new leadership.

    Maybe, but maybe not. Recognizing a problem is the first step to solving it. However, voter turnout is a long-time Democrat problem. Robert Reich wrote a fine op-ed on the subject this morning, pointing out that many Democrats were craven this past election in not emphasizing the economy and income inequality more. The recovery has been all on the side of the stock market, corporate profits and the top 1%. In my opinion, most Democrats are too naive and open to effectively counter Republican dirty tricks, negativity, and disingenuous innuendo, but that is their nature. As Will Rogers (I think) once said, “I’m not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” Sigh.

    As some Congressional Republicans state, We want to work with President Obama … does that really mean We want President Obama to do what we want?



    • Jim,
      Sad to say, but turnout is what it is. This seemed to be an election with the Dems running from something and the GOP saying who they weren’t without saying much about policy and productivity. Meanwhile, I figure the House Dems will re-elect Pelosi (to my chagrin) … just as the Senate Dems didn’t listen to me either. What they don’t realize is that I’m trying to help them, but as a non-party member, what do I know.


  7. CNN is OK, MSNBC is necessary, FOX NEWS is ridiculous, PBS is essential. Aljazerra America, BBC America, CCTV America, tell “the rest of the story.”

    “Man trying to enter conversation spends several minutes nodding and smiling at edge of circle,” stuck.


  8. I’ve owned too many cars to mention but now drive a Subaru Forester…it is just right—not too low, not too high off the ground for getting in and out with my arthritic legs. My most memorable car was a Fiat……F-I-A-T…stands for “Fix It Again, Tony!”


    • Reliability-wise, Cynthia’s F-I-A-T was probably on a par with my son’s erstwhile ride, a F-O-R-D (Found On Road Dead). 😀 The worst car I ever owned was a V-8 455 c.i. Pontiac that was heavy as a tank and ate alternators for no apparent reason. The best car I’ve ever owned is our present #1, a Lexus RX-330. It’s 9 years old and reliable as, uh .. . Come to think of it, I can’t think of anything that’s as reliable any more. 🙄


    • Cynthia,
      Cheers to your Forester being easy on you … and I imagine the all-wheel drive comes in handy in your area. Interesting that we owned many similar cars, but no FIAT for me … and it’s not even on my radar.


  9. hello Frank! that was a beautiful and interesting hand bell video. it must take much practice to play in harmony like that. wishing you a warm and happy weekend! 🙂


  10. Washington makes me feel a little ill, Frank. As for the news watching, I haven’t had cable for some time, but when I did I felt the same way hat you did. None of the news channel were worth watching. They all seemed to drone on and on. I hope you get CNN access back. That would probably be my preference, too. Thanks for the hand bell video! Hope you’re staying warm.


  11. Loved the “where’s Alfred” cameos. I used to be obsessed with trying to find him in his movies (I’ve seen them all), but I only managed to isolate about 1/4 of them. Now I realize why I had such a poor success rate. I never found the ones where he is viewed from the back or with a profile. Oh well. . .


  12. Wow, Frank. You have included a week’s worth of reading in this really excellent post. I want to read the WW1 Heroines and the Lincoln and Einstein article. I also really liked the Hitchcock video. I am a huge fan and think the man was just brilliant–a bit odd, but brilliant. 🙂 Hope you have a really good week!


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