Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 257

This past Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard a case regarding gay marriage. The case not only involves a Cincinnatian, but I also got to know him while working on a project about 8 years ago. Here’s a short series from the SCOTUS Blog about the case. (Part 1 and Part 2) … plus an article from the Cincinnati Enquirer about Jim in Washington for the Court.

Welcome to another edition of It’s Time for Truth with Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Here’s the explanation from PolitiFact.

CruzSenPresidents

A very large, diverse local high school was going to have a Covergirl Challenge, a day when female students would voluntarily wear a hijab for a day as a diversity event. Some parents complained, and the principal reconsidered, thus cancelling the event. A student wrote this in her editorial published in the Cincinnati Enquirer. (The full text)

Some complaints from parents were that the event would make them or their kids uncomfortable. Getting rid of prejudice isn’t going to be comfortable. It’s going to be very uncomfortable and awkward and unfamiliar for people who are innately biased.

Cheers to Jeb Bush (R-FL) for going against the Republican flow regarding citizenship. Jeers to Rep. Steve King (R-IA) for wanting to change the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution to accommodate his view.

Strength to the rescue workers in Nepal and comfort to those who lost friends and family.

The Blogging Blues post was well received. Like a fool, I thought it may be Freshly Pressed. Oh well. To me, the comments made by the regulars here were even better, which could turn into another post. Many thanks … and in blues post, I mentioned not worrying about stats … and during that post this blog surpassed a quarter of a million views. 😀 Thanks to all!

Attention Costco customers: Check the ice cream section to see if they have Cincinnati’s finest – Graeter’s (past post explains). I know it selling in my state for half the price as in grocery stores, so if you find it, tell me where (because I’m curious).

Act 3 of Meals: The Musical delivered a bountiful collection of sides including broccoli, butterbeans, cornbread, collard greens, eggplant, potatoes, vegetables,  quiche,  tomatoes, onion,  spaghetti, bread, butter, nuts, pork & beans, yams, and all topped with frim fram sauce … plus, (and to my surprise, a song with side dish in the title. The producer was pleased with only buzzer.

Because we’re beginning a new month, no Saturday Morning Cartoons or Explore this weekend, – so the next post features May. Meanwhile, Happy May Day.

To lead you into it’s headlines, The Onion offers important tips for going green.

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On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Baby has sinking feeling he left home without oversized multicolor plastic keys
Delusional man turning off laptop as if he’s done with it for the night
Ex-con hanging out with hallucinating voices that got him in trouble in the first place
Pharmaceutical rep assures doctor he personally tries every drug he promotes
Man proud of food he ordered

Interesting Reads
The Sultana: The anniversary of a shipping tragedy greater than the Titanic
Congressional effectiveness from the Bipartisan Policy Center
Responding to the Doolittle Raiders
A slideshow of the best British political insults
World Happiest Report (an article) (the report)
Shakespeare, women, and love
(Photo gallery) Animals for the Washington Post

Your Weekend Celebrations
(Weekend) Dandelion Days, Toad Suck Daze
(Fri) Tuba Day, No Pants Day, Mother Goose Day, Bubba Day, Batman Day, Loyalty Day, Chocolate Parfait Day, Law Day, Space Day, Lei Day, Save the Rhino Day, May Day, Amtrak Day, Global Love Day, Purebred Dog Day, New Homeowners Day, School Principals Day, Silver Star Day, Stepmothers Day, Mariachi Day

(Sat) Homebrew Day, Beer Pong Day, Play Your Ukulele Day, Naked Gardening Day, Baby Day, Brothers & Sisters Day, Bombshells Day, Truffles Day, Life Insurance Day, Scrapbook Day, Rule of Order Day, Free Comic Book Day, Join Hands Day, Bladder Cancer Awareness Day, Mayday for Mutts Day

(Sun) World Laughter Day, Two Different Colored Shoes Day, Lumpy Rug Day, Garden Meditation Day Hug Your Cat Day, Baby-Lost Mothers Day, Lemonade Day, Blessing of the Bikes Day (Motorcycles), Special-abled Pets Day, Raspberry Popover & Tart Day, Infertility Survival Day, Paranormal Day, Public Radio Day, Press Freedom Day, Chocolate Custard Day, Kite Day

The Association opened Act 3 with Broccoli, so two of their hits should also send you into the weekend. There are two hits, so take your pick, including both. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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Meals: The Musical – Act 3: Sides

The Story
Meals: The Musical is an original aFa production is about an important aspect of daily life – eating.

Whether it is snack, something on the run, a glorious sit-down feast, or something in between and regardless of the time of day, food is a life necessity. There are three aspects to a truly fantastic meal: the food, the occasion, and the company. We know Meals: The Musical is a festive occasion where friends to gather to share wonderful music – thus the acts will focus on what the dining friends will encounter.

MealsPlaybillProgram (Past Posts)

Act 3: Side Dishes
Meals have side dishes to accompany the main course by providing balance and variety to the meal. Sides could be vegetables (including tomatoes and beans), grains & their products, pastas, soups and others. So, there are numerous appropriate words that must be included in your song title.

Producer’s Note of Caution: This act has flexibility, but fruits, meats, desserts, beverages, or ingredients as herbs, spices, flavoring, and any other item stretching the producer’s broad boundaries.

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
Ladies and gentleman, this is a vintage song for me because I remember it will when I owned the vinyl album with this song back in the day. Their hits were big and numerous – Cherish, Windy, Along Comes Mary, Never My Love, The Time It Is Today, Everything That Touches You, No Fair at All, Time For Livin’, and more – but on this day, we proudly welcome The Association singing Broccoli.

On Satire Bits: Vol. 130

Some of us have experience work by an evil WP gnome. You know – a gnome from the dark side that makes changes in your settings without your knowledge. It’s happened to me before, and it just happened again. Simply put, I wasn’t receiving email notifications about new posts … and now I have a lot of work to do because of this damn gnome!

Enough of that – how’s your week going? It looks like I will have a regular sub opportunity in a golf league, so that’s some good news at this end.

The next post is Act 3 of Meals: The Musical. Side dishes (sides) is the theme, so there is a wide array of choices. Think vegetables, pastas, casserole, soups, grains, salads, and more … but stay away from fruits, meats, desserts, and beverages.

On to your midweek dose of satire from The Onion. Don’t forget the Combo Challenge that gives you a chance to create your own headline by using the words in the headlines below the image. Give it a try – and mine is at the end.

Have a good rest of the week, and hope to see you at the theater for Act 3.

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Man too deep into sentence to avoid saying word he can’t pronounce

Artist always carries around sketchbook in case he feels like making someone uncomfortable

Mother provides adult son with list of questions to ask doctor

Area man totally blows his chance to see Exodus: God & Kings in theaters

Doctor just uses same ultrasound picture for every baby

Man’s area code provides glimpse of past life

Law-abiding citizen keeps herself on track with weekly cheat sheet

Nation’s landmark piled into single location for easier monitoring

Man old enough to know how rest of life plays out

Man brings lunch from home to cut down on small joys

My Combo: Baby blows lunch on uncomfortable doctor

On the Blogging Blues

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Not long ago I read Vanessa Chapman’s post about bloggers losing their mojo. Our short interaction got me thinking because the Blogging Blues are real!

Regulars here know that I’ve been blogging about 6 ½ years (an anomaly) – and the archival record shows I’ve been fairly regular. There are times when personal, family, medical, or work issues take a blogger away from their normal routine, but as a whole, I’ve been a faithful steward of my little corner of the world.

Nonetheless, the Blogging Blues are real … and I know I’m not immune to them!

One can trace some symptoms of the Blogging Blues back to this question: Why do you blog? The collective reasons are many, but only the host blogger can answer this important question, and they must answer for themselves. Maybe – just maybe, the cure for the Blogging Blues lies in the answer to that question.

Image and Logo Property of Word Press

Image and Logo Property of Word Press

I enjoy sharing and interacting with others. Given the type of posts I do, I obviously also enjoy researching. My eclectic nature helps me to avoid ruts. I see this blog as a weekly magazine that releases one article per day, then the patterns repeats the next week. However, the Blogging Blues are real … and I am not immune from them! Can you say that to yourself? Come on … try it.

Publishing frequency can factor into the Blogging Blues. Each blogger faces the frequency question differently – and that’s OK. Schedules are a double-edged sword because while providing a rhythm, it can also be a burden on the blogger – a heavy burden of obligation leading to a self-imposed pressure – thus easily leading to a case of the Blogging Blues.

The solution is easy to say, but for some bloggers, hard to do. It took me several years to overcome this pressure, but I’ve learned not to force a post. It’s OK to miss a post. Repeat after me – It’s OK to miss a post.

Because of my posting frequency, I had to streamline my approach in order to relieve blogging pressure. That is, if I wanted to continue a certain pattern, I had to streamline my approach into something manageable at the blog end while balancing my blogging life and my life outside of blogs. Monday Morning Entertainment, Satire Bits, and Opinions in the Shorts are examples of posts requiring less effort than a deeper topic. Even with this approach, I maintain that it’s OK to miss a post.

I’ve also learned to reduce on my posting schedule when necessary. Although my posting goal is 6 per week, if I have to reduce to 2 or 3 per week, I’ve learned that it is OK – so I tell the regular readers because they appreciate knowing.

Although I like to say, Life gets in the way of blogging, in reality, periods exist when life outside of blogging demands more time. For that, I offer these suggestions:

  • Tell your community that you won’t be posting because of whatever
  • Give yourself a blogging break

Say this loud – Blogging breaks are good. Say it again, but this time with some gusto – Blogging breaks are good!

Blogging breaks are times away from your blog. They can be planned or unplanned, and for many possible reasons, including giving yourself time for whatever.

To me, there are four levels of blogging breaks.

  • Level 1: Complete removal of yourself from blogging for a designated time period. No posting, no writing, no visiting … nada, zilch, absolutely nothing. Stay away and don’t worry about it. But as BloggingBreakspreviously stated, tell your community about your upcoming absence.
  • Level 2: Similar to Level 1 because you have no online presence. However, you spend your time preparing posts.
  • Level 3: No posting, but you spend time visiting and commenting on other blogs. This keeps you connected, provides time to reconnect with old friends, and make new connections – and this may be a re-energizing experience and even spark an idea or two for your future posts.
  • Level 4: Similar to Level 3 because of your online absence, but you are drafting future posts. After all, writing is a process and some of us like to have drafts in the queue. Meanwhile, you are still in contact with your community and potentially expanding it.

Regardless of the level, blogging breaks are good, and bloggers should use them as a way of preventing the Blogging Blues. As a matter of fact, a calendar year should include multiple breaks at different levels.

Here are some of my secrets to blogging longevity.

  • Focus on your community over stats
  • Support your community, including reciprocating
  • Interact with those who comment on your blog, and comment elsewhere
  • Be true to yourself and to your community
  • Communicate with your community
  • Don’t force yourself into posting
  • Discover a blogging balance
  • Take the appropriate blogging break multiple times a year

None of us are immune to the Blogging Blues because they are real. Do you have any suggestions for the Blogging Blues?

Let’s close with something for music lovers … that is, a touch of the blues that may make you smile … but I’m not the breeze. Enjoy.

On Tasty Wrinkles

Hey hey hey … another weekend is done and gone. Tell us something about your weekend?

I had an evening of ballroom, dinners with sister-in-law and father-in-law, a going-away party, work, and Quickstep formation practice. We also attended a Reds baseball game. It was eventually cancelled due to rain, but we received our bobble head commemorating the 25th anniversary of the last time the Reds won the World Series (1990).

Meals: The Musical returns this week, but this act may be the most difficult. Act 3 featuring Sides, which means side dishes for the meal. Because of the broadness, there is a wide opportunity for creativity, and the producer understands that he needs to be somewhat flexible. Because the producer is the way he is, below are a few guidelines:

  • The producer still has discretion
  • Vegetables, which includes tomatoes, corn, and beans
  • Grains, products of grains, nut, kinds of nuts
  • Pastas, Soups
  • Unacceptable: Fruit, any fruit, meat and any meat, any dessert, any beverage

I admit that I’ve been anxiously anticipating the opening act. Curtain time will be Wednesday, 9:30 PM (Eastern US).

Celebrations for Your Week

  • (Week) Karaoke Week, Lingerie Week, Mattress Turnover Week, Air Quality Awareness Week, Library Preservation Week, Jewish Heritage Week, Reading is Fun Week, Forest Week, Intergenerational Week, TV Turn-off Week, Volunteer Week, Consumer Protection Week, Playground Safety Week, Teacher Appreciation Week, Big Brothers/Sisters Appreciation Week
  • (Mon)  Drug Take Back Day, Tell a Story Day, Babe Ruth Day, Mantanzas Mule Day, Morse Code Day, Prime Rib Day, Woody Woodpecker Day, Childcare Professionals Day, Playground Safety Day
  • (Tues) Biological Clock Day, Day for Safety & Health at Work, Workers Memorial Day, Blueberry Pie Day, Brave Hearts Day, Kiss Your Mate Day, Poetry Reading Day, Astronomy Day
  • (Wed) Dance Day, Zipper Day, Peace Rose Day, Guide Dogs Day, Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare, World Wish Day, Shrimp Scampi Day, Rebuilding Day, Greenery Day, Gnocchi Day
  • (Thurs) Bugs Bunny Day, Jazz Day, Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, Poem in Your Pocket Day, Honest Day, Animal Advocacy Day, Sarcoidosis Day, Oatmeal Cookie Day, Mr. Potato Head Day, Hairstyle Appreciation Day, Raisins Day

Honoring the last celebration listed above and the Act 2 of Meals: The Musical, here are three classic commercials to jump-start your week. Which is your favorite? Have a good rest of the week.

On Exploring Creativity

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Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. (Steve Jobs, Founder: Apple Computers)

Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks. (Yo-Yo Ma, cellist)

The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. (Albert Einstein,scientist)

Creativity is not just for artists. It’s for business people looking for a new way to close a sale; it’s for engineers trying to solve a problem; it’s for parents who want their children to see the world in more than one way. (Twyla Tharp, dancer/choreographer)

Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity. (T. S. Eliot, playwright)

Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous. (Bill Moyers, journalist)

To me there’s no creativity without boundaries. If you’re gonna write a sonnet, it’s 14 lines, so it’s solving the problem within the container. (Lorne Michaels, Producer: SNL)

The human brain is one factor that differentiates humans from other animals. Through music, art, engineering, science, and other forms, this complex three-pound mass of interconnected neurons delivers many expressions of human ingenuity – and wait until you see these strandbeests.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 256

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While I appreciate the No-Labels organization and their agenda as the National Strategic Agenda (for problem solving), in the end, politicians remain loyal to their party. Nonetheless, this is a good read.

The Senate’s delay of dealing with confirming a new Attorney General is the type of political theater I deplore. All presidential nominees should be acted upon, thus not treated as political footballs … and that’s regardless of the president’s party and the majority party in the Senate. If the senators are hiding behind Senate Rules, then I suggest changing the rules.

Welcome to another edition of It’s Time for Truth with Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Here’s the explanation from PolitiFact.

CruzSmallBiz

Wayne LaPierre is the Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Given a high position in many other organizations (if not most), remarks like he makes would have gotten him fired.

The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame recently inducted new members. Joan Jett before the Moody Blues? Joan Jett before Yes? That organization has no credibility – None, nada, zilch, zero. Their credibility level is near that of Baseball Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig and Congress … and that’s not good company.

I had a lousy week of visiting your blogs. 😦

Our energy provider recently sent us this graph regarding energy use.

EnergyUse1year

Meals: The Musical is scheduled to return next week, which means I will announce Act 3’s theme on the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

No Saturday Morning Cartoons this weekend, but Saturday will bring a new Explore post.

Milestone alert – Approaching a quarter of a million hits, thus should surpass next week.

Body cameras on police is getting a lot of attention. To lead you into it’s headlines, The Onion offers a list of pros and cons regarding this issue.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Medical experts disappointed in man who failed to live up to life expectancy
Lethal injection least effective drug man took while in prison
Hand gestures transform friend’s story into immersive virtual reality experience
Relationship reaches point where breaking up, getting married would be equally huge hassle
Lovestruck Arabian princess begs father to spare John Kerry’s life

Interesting Reads
Columnist Dana Milbank on partisanship, the elected, and the electorate
Redefining India’s textile heritage
World War I Anzaks (and Anzak Day is Saturday)
How an octopus is coordinated
A short web & digital technology quiz from Pew Research Center

Your Weekend Celebrations
(Fri) Hairball Awareness Day, Satchmo Days, Meningitis Day, Arbor Day, Pigs in a Blanket Day, New Kids on the Block Day, Teach Your Children to Save Day, Puppetry Day, Sylvester the Cat’s Birthday, Natasha’s (Sesame Street) Birthday
(Sat) Anzac Day, DNA Day, Dance Day, Hug a Plumber Day, Bob Wills Day, Eeyore’s Birthday, Hairstylists Appreciation Day, Marconi Day, License Plates Day, Malaria Awareness Day, Go Birding Day, Herb Day, Penguin Day, Red Hat Society Day, Rebuilding Day, Save the Frogs Day, Sense of Smell Day, Spring Astronomy Day, World Day for Animals in Laboratories, World Healing Day, Veterinary Day, Tai Chi & Qigong Day, Telephone Day, Kiss of Hope Day, East Meets West Day
(Sun) Hug an Australian Day, Photography Day, Static Cling Day, Hug a Friend Day, Help a Horse Day, Audubon Day, Mother-Father-Deaf Day, Kids & Pets Day, Pretzel Day, Pet Parent’s Day, Richter Scale Day, Intellectual Property Day

There should be any doubt why these songs will send you into the weekend, Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.