Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 296

Our hearts and support to Belgians this week. Wishing them peace and strength today, in the days past, and in the days ahead.

Hard to believe that an 18-year-old American injured in the Brussels blast was also in Boston (the day of the Marathon bombings) and in Paris (the day of the recent attacks).

Thanks to those who watched and commented on the PSA in the previous post. My weekly volunteer time with Down Syndrome adults has taught me a lot. It’s where I learned how they see themselves as normal – and it’s where I’ve learned to appreciate them for who they are. A parent told me that the video bothered them as a parent. I responded by saying what I’ve learned from volunteering – to which the parent responded, “You’re exactly right. They really don’t see themselves as any different than anyone else. Thanks for pulling me back.”

We recently saw a stage version of To Kill a Mockingbird. Wow – it still carries a powerful message.

Next week is The Right Angle’s last week of work as she is ready to ride into the retirement sunset.

This is a great laugh.

Being in the middle of basketball’s March Madness, my city is lucky to have to top programs within the city – let alone, 3.5 miles (5.6 km) apart. But the way both the Bearcats and Musketeers lost was difficult. Ouch! On the other hand, in my opinion, the torch has passed from UC to XU for having the top program in the city. Nonetheless, by the end of the weekend, only 4 teams will be left.

Season 22 of Dancing With The Stars is off to a good start. Definitely a group with some interesting people. It was great to see Edyta back on the show, but ouch – she got the contestant with the worst rhythm and lowest ability.

Act 5: Green of Colors: The Musical was huge! At the time of this writing we’re approaching 50 songs! Then again, I went a bit crazy in my replies … and that’s before Marina and I start playing our additions game.

On the topic of colors, I understand the cherry blossoms of Washington, DC are in full bloom. Elyse and Duncan would gladly give you a walking tour if you stopped by. Make sure to ask her to show you the two trees that are from the original plantings. But if you can’t join her tour, here’s a video to help you enjoy them.

To those celebrating Easter this weekend, a glorious and happy Easter to you.

No Explore post this weekend.

Embed from Getty Images

Republicans love to praise Ronald Reagan, but a 1980 Reagan would be lousy 2016 candidate … just as he would have been lousy in 2012. Don’t believe it? Just compare the party platforms.

There’s a lull in primary season as all eyes are directed at Wisconsin. I wonder how much money the campaigns and organizations will spend on ads in the Dairy State.

In terms of this summer’s Republican convention, keep your eye on changes involving Rule 40-B.

I called Sen. Portman’s office (R-OH) about his stance regarding the current Supreme Court opening – and yep – I said the stance will cost him my vote in November.

Embed from Getty Images

To lead you into your weekly dose of satire, The Onion offers tips for establishing a campsite.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Chess onlooker sees a possible move
Scissors kills Paper and Rock; then turns blade on self
Volunteer exercises option to stop volunteering
Shit … new girlfriend snores
Stomach sets aside synthetic additives until it has a few minutes to figure out how to digest them

Interesting Reads
The boom in craft beers
The hidden strengths of introverts
The man who sold the Eiffel Tower twice
3-D printing and the blind
Animals of the world (article & images from National Geographic)

Given Blog Musical Week, it’s a two-fer to 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.

54 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 296

  1. The kiss cam video was indeed hysterical. Hadn’t seen or heard of it previously. FYI Republican Senator Pat Toomey here in PA originally took the Party line stance he would have no part of considering filling the vacant Supreme Court Justice seat until after the Presidential election…please note he’s running to keep his seat this year as well. Literally overnight he’s now saying he ‘s willing to meet President Obama’s nominee. He got killed in the press as well as public opinion. This is just the beginning of Republicans all over the country running for office this year having to make some hard decisions about whether to support their Presidential nominee (at all) and their hard-liners on the Supreme Court opening…or break Party ranks to have a better chance of getting re-elected.


    • Bruce,
      Each of the senators mentioned (mine and yours) are up for re-election in November and both seem to be involved in close contests. Personally, the party line could bite Republicans in multiple states. Then again, the partisans won’t the stall.

      At least Sen. Toomey is will to meet with the nominee – but is he urging for a hearing?

      The Kiss Cam is a hoot. A reader wondered if they were actors … I now I wonder … but it’s still funny!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The 18-year-old being in three of the terror attacks. Wow. What are the odds? He must never want to travel again. So terribly sad about Brussels. I read this book about Down Syndrome and thought it was pretty good: Expecting Adam by Martha Beck. It’s a mom’s story about her son with Down Syndrome, their challenges, but also their gifts. Thought it was a good read. The election continues, Frank. Where will we all land?


    • Amy,
      In terms of the young traveler, although I hope he recovers and continues to travel – but would I travel with him? Hmmmm …

      Thanks for the book suggestion. I’m sure that story is repeated and repeated. Through my volunteering I’ve talked with some parents … and the one thing that is most striking to me is that each of them beam with pride when I talk about their son or daughter.

      Good news about all the election noise is that there is a calendar of events … bad news is that it seems to go on forever! … way too long!!!!!! … meanwhile, I continue to believe that a major unknown lies ahead.


  3. Always so much in these posts–it’s hard to know what to comment about! I do wish all this cool information about introverts had been available when I was a teenager and it was ALL about being out-going and extroverted. And, regarding Reagan, I think today’s Republican party would’ve thought him a liberal.


    • Kerry,
      No way I expect anyone to comment on everything … but given the plethora of topics, my hope is that a thing or two captures the attention of the reader.

      Regarding Reagan, many Republicans love the term RINO … Republican In Name Only … and yep – no question in my mind he would be labelled RINO today … but they would never admit it!


  4. As St. Louis Cardinals pitching star Dizzy Dean used to say, “Brother, you ain’t just pumpin’ your gums . .” when you suggest that the current version of Rule 40(b) of “The Rules of the Republican Party,” which stipulates that at the national convention, a candidate must have the support of a majority of delegates from eight different states in order to win the nomination, which (in its current form) came about in 2012 when the Republican National Committee was trying to limit the visibility and power of libertarian-minded Texas Rep. Ron Paul at the convention and thus present a unified front behind Mitt Romney, will undergo change at this summer’s Republican convention.

    3-D Printing is amazing, 3-D Printing Maps to Help the Blind is really amazing, The Atlantic Magazine continues to be amazing. ALSO amazing is your weekly volunteer time with Down Syndrome adults. BRAVOS!

    Also, GOOD FOR YOU for calling Sen. Portman’s office (R-OH) about his stance regarding the current Supreme Court opening (and that his stance will cost him your vote in November).

    Another week of no splats.


  5. That’s really hard to believe, wow. How that young man was in all three places. What a world this is, Frank. I feel hopeful when I see my kids and others who are working hard for something better, but man, the bad guys don’t take a day off.

    That video is hilarious! Boston Celtics guy and his girl, they were actors right? Either that, or he’s looking for another girlfriend. And he best go outside the Chicagotown area to find one.

    All the best to you Frank.


  6. Well Frank, it’s a week of terror but we are better than that. I hope that kid isn’t scarred forever. On the positive side, it’s spring training, and the culmination of strange people long ago deciding that pieces of wood should strike spheres of leather is soon to result in another long summertime of wonder. We make great things, don’t we?


    • Trent,
      I’m confident that the kid won’t be scarred. Just heard an interview with him from his hospital bed with his head covered in bandages from the burns. He’s an impressive young man. It was on CNN – so I wouldn’t be surprised if you can find it on their website.

      Baseball is around the corner. Opening Day in Cincinnati is extra special – and if the weather is OK – I imagine we will go into the city for the festivities.

      Then again, it’s been a long time since I’ve been this disinterested in spring training and the upcoming season … after all, the Reds will probably be dismal.


  7. I contacted Senator Portman recently too–about the Flint water crisis–so I guess we’ve both been bugging him. Maybe we can host him on our blogs. 😉

    I sent a letter and he gave me a very nice response as to all the work he’s done improving the safety of our water, so I was happy with that. But I agree–his stance on the Supreme Court vacancy rankles me.


    • Carrie,
      I like Senator Portman … as a matter of fact, I have voted for both of our senators. But – his stance and following the party line on the court issue bothers me a lot … of course I have the feeling that he wouldn’t have that stance if it wasn’t his election year.

      I was in the midst of preparing an email to his when he made his proclamation – so I obvious restructured the message, then sent it to his office and campaign. Response was an obvious form letter restating the position. That was several weeks ago, so it was time to call.

      Hope all is well with you … and your time away.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m getting a late start today, so just a quick comment. The story of the young man who survived three terrorist attacks is amazing. I did Google him–he’s a Mormon missionary. I would not want to travel with him. 😉 The 3-D printing for the blind is a great story. It reminds me of two things: in the novel “All the Light We Cannot See,” the father builds replicas of the house and neighborhood for his blind daughter, and recently I heard a story about how a sensory tour for visually impaired people at the Philadelphia Flower Show. Someone described the plants and flowers, and then the participants got to smell them and feel the petals. Have a great weekend, Frank!


  9. Well, that kissing video is priceless!! LMAO!
    Yes, my heart goes out to the Belgians, except those who hide terrorists in their midst. Just saying. and TY for the anthem.
    Is rule 40-b the 8 state rule? I’m so not impressed with the Republicans’ deadlock stances, esp. with the Supreme Court deal. They must all eat a stupid pill in the morning.
    Your election season is like nothing I’ve ever seen. I’m not a fan of Bernie Sanders, but I believe it when he says it’s all rigged.
    Happy Easter, Frank!


    • Resa,
      Glad you enjoyed the kiss-cam video. What a hoot!

      In the US, the political parties run their own show … thus they set the rules – although the primaries are also suggest to state voting rules. Because they set the rules automatically leads to a type of rigging.

      Rule 40-B is a Republican rule that the party can change. Changing the rules for now seems a bit strange to me, then again, they set the rules.

      The Republican’s don’t take a stupid pill in the morning because if that was the case, it would wear off if they didn’t take on. Therefore, I think they been by the stupid stick.


  10. I love the musical selections this week, Frank. You are the first person to have introduced me to the Piano Guys a couple of years ago, and I will be seeing them perform in August. And my slim connection to Brussels is that a friends two grandchildren were at the airport. They are unhurt and in the care of Red Cross. They were on their way to Liberia for a short-term relief mission, but at this point they’re separated from their luggage and just waiting to see what happens next. They’re very fortunate to be very well taken care of, under the circumstances. And while all of this is going on, we have the two Republican front-runners taking pot shots at each other’s wives and lighting up the tabloids with salacious personal stories. It is ugly and disgusting to me anytime, but in a week with tragedy and more evidence of the world’s fragility, I really have felt like we’ve had quite enough of all this! My husband retired last week, Frank. I only work part-time so I’m practicing retirement! I’m happy for you and your Right Angle..i’m sure this is going to be a really wonderful time in your lives. Happy Easter!


    • Debra,
      Many thanks for sharing your connection to the Brussels event. Your friend’s grandchildren were lucky, and in the big picture, temporary separation from their luggage is a small inconvenience.

      Hooray – you get to see The Piano Guys in concert this summer! … and I know you’ll be posting about it, so I’m looking to the post as I know nobody who has attended one of their concerts.

      Not only is presidential campaign season too long and too expensive, this particular race is more than ridiculous. Actually, quite insulting.


  11. I am so glad I got back to this one~ Loved the article on Introverts! Can only say, well yes. Also , the article on the con man, that was fascinating. You find the coolest stuff to read Frank.

    I love the Kiss Cam, have seen it several times and each time it makes my laugh. All I can say, why go to a game if you are going to ignore your date and the game; what a toad.

    Love the Piano Guys. they simply never miss do they?


    • Mouse,
      Cheers to another enjoying this Kiss Cam.

      Oh yes – the parties have platforms. Some platforms are interesting, head-shaking reads … such as (IMO) the state GOP platform (I know you understand). Nonetheless, they are broad talking points by silly wabbits.


      • Pretty sure the platforms this year: It’s all a mirage, Frank.
        And the general public has seen that Oz behind the curtains, well,…..as the power players finally said, voters have the illusion of picking the candidates/president. Pretty darn discouraging the entire lot of them.


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