On Blog-Break Time

Odds and Ends
Thanks for birthday greetings. Receiving birthday greetings from around the world makes the day extra special! A Saturday birthday was a good time to celebrate the entire weekend. Besides, my variation of on-this-day-in-history was different for me.

We in the US just celebrated a holiday. Which is correct: Presidents Day, President’s Day, or Presidents’ Day? The answer is simple: 1) It depends on who you ask because style manuals differ – and 2) it depends on how the law is written in each state. That’s crazy! In this case I favor Presidents Day.

A salute to high school students becoming activists regarding gun violence.

I missed my prediction about the US hockey team. Fortunately they played Slovakia twice – but that team beat the Russians.

Time for a blog break. I’ve been going strong since September, so I’m ready for some time off. I’m guessing 2-4 weeks of no posting. Nothing urgent at this end, but I know the time is right. Besides, blog breaks are good!

That doesn’t mean I won’t be preparing future posts, but I will reduce my online presence – but that doesn’t mean I won’t stop by. In other words, time will tell. I imagine returning sometime in March – preferably in the first half of the month – but one never knows.

In the spirit of Opinions in the Shorts, I conclude with some Onion Headlines, Interesting Reads, and a song.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Teddy Bear feels terrible for sparking “What are We? Conversation
Area ladder never thought it would end up as bookcase
Pet turtle going hog-wild on terrarium’s new stick
Man hates it when trailer gives away entire premise of movie
Archeologists unearth ivory trumpet dating back to prehistoric jazz age
Cute new dog helping single man pick up tons of hot shit
Raytheon unveils military robot capable of composing poignant poems about horrors of war

Interesting Reads
Birth of the Academy Awards
An international comparison of health care systems
Is tech dividing America?
A changing Saudi Arabia
(Blogger) Toilets for the half-assed … (a must see)
(Video) Now this is a tough commute
(Photos) 2018 World Press Photo Contest nominees

Until we meet again and as Garrison Keillor says, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.


On 65 about 65

A salute to 65 – also known as sixty five, sessanta cinque, Šedesát pět, Šešiasdešimt penki, Kuusikymmentä viisi, Lixdan shan, Hatvanöt, LXV, and more

In Mathematics
65 – an integer, a whole number, semiprime number, octagonal number, Cullen number, a deficient number

65 – composed of two prime numbers (5 and 13) multiplied together

65 – divisible by 1, 5, 13, and 65

65 – the magic constant of 5 by 5 normal magic square

65 squared equals 4225

65 square root equals 8.0622577483

In Science
The atomic number of terbium, a lanthanide element whose neutral atom containing 65 protons and 65 electrons

Messier object M65, in the constellation Leo

NGC 65, a spiral galaxy in the constellation Cetus

Star Gliese 530 is 65 light years away

In Entertainment
65th Precinct – the setting to the classic TV series Naked City (1958–63) – which was commonly referred to as “the 65”

The 65th Academy Awards – held on March 29, 1993 with winners included Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Al Pacino, and Marisa Tomei associated with movies as Unforgiven, Howards End, Scent of a Woman, and My Cousin Vinny

65th episode of Seinfeld – “The Mango” – the first episode of season 5 – aired 16 Sept 1993 – George is upset when his girlfriend suggests she hasn’t had an organism with him, then later appears to have one while eating risotto.

Channel 65 – A television station in 10 US locations; including El Paso, Orlando, Pittsburgh, and San Jose

In Music
65 Love Affair by Paul Davis (1982)

I Can Drive 65 – Sammy Hagar re-recorded a previous hit when the speed limit changed from 55 to 65 miles per hour

65 – an abbreviation for the Sheffield, UK, post-rock band 65daysofstatic

In Literature
Sonnet 65 – one of 154 sonnets written by William Shakespeare

What Really Happened to the Class of ’65? – a non-fiction book by Michael Medved and David Wallechinsky

Sixty Five Hours by N.R. Walker

In Sports
65 – the retired number of Elvin Bethea (NFL Titans)

65 – the NASCAR vehicle that never won in 94 races with 35 different drivers (Carl Adams the most)

65 – the retired number in MotoGP honoring driver Loris Capirossi

65th Baseball World Series Champions – Detroit Tigers (defeating St. Louis Cardinals, 1968)

65th Grey Cup – Won by Montreal Alouettes (1977)

In Geography
65th parallel north – intersects Norway, Finland, Sweden, Russia, United States, Canada, Greenland, and Iceland

65th parallel south – intersects an Antarctic peninsula claimed by Argentina, Chile, and United Kingdom

65th meridian west – intersects Canada, Greenland, US Virgin Islands, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, and Antarctica

65th meridian east – intersects Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Antarctica

Interstate 65 is the Interstate Highway connecting northwestern Indiana and southmost Alabama

In Culture
65 – the traditional age for retirement in the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, Canada, and several other countries.

65 – the age in the U.S., at which a person is eligible to obtain Medicare

65 – the number commonly used in names of many dishes of South India cuisine, for instance Chicken 65

65th anniversary – the sapphire jubilee.

Psalm 65 – the 65th psalm from the Book of Psalms that Jews recite on Yom Kippur

65 – the age of Mahalalel (great-great-grandson of Adam) and Enoch when they had their first son

65th Sura of the Qur’an is the At-Talaq

Rule 65 – Any use of the word “irony” on the internet is incorrect

In Numerology
65 – the natural desire to be cooperative, in harmony, and cooperative

65 – the number representing the energy in relationships

Angel number 65 – symbolizes love from one’s home and family

In Business
Sixty Five Chinese Restaurant is in Chicago

65 Roses is a Cystic Fibrosis national fundraising initiative

65th Avenue and Broadway in Sacramento is a Starbucks, but in New York City one will find the Julliard School of Music and the Lincoln Center

Bar SixtyFive at the Rainbow Room – located on the 65th floor of Rockefeller Center in New York City provides a good view of the Empire State Building

In Technology
65 – the decimal value representing the letter ‘A’ in the ASCII code

The Commodore 65 – a prototype computer

The HP-65 – the first magnetic card-programmable handheld calculator (1974)

In History
AD 65

  • A common year starting on Tuesday
  • The first official reference to Buddhism made in China
  • The first Christian community in Africa is founded by Mark
  • Death of Lucan, Roman poet and philosopher

Year 65 BC – known as the Year of the Consulship of Cotta and Torquatus

65th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece was King Edward IV of England (1442-1470)

In US History
The 65th Infantry Division—nicknamed the “Battle-axe”—a World War II infantry division of the United States Army that my dad served

Only James Buchanan entered the presidency at age 65, but Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Taylor left office at age 65

65th Congress served the 5th and 6th years of the Woodrow Wilson administration (1917-1919)

65 miles per hour, a common speed limit on many USA highways

65 Red Roses is a 2009 documentary film about a young woman with cystic fibrosis

65 – the number of private foundation universities in Turkey

65 – the code for international direct dial telephone calls to Singapore

CVN-65 is the designation of the U.S. Navy’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise

65-pound cardstock is a commonly grade of heavier paper

65 is the minimum grade or average required to pass an exam, or a class, in some schools

65th day of an ordinary year is March 6th, which also marks 300 days remaining in the year – but March 5th is the 65th day in a leap year

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The previous post celebrated my 65th birthday with a look at a date in history – so this continues my tradition of saluting the number. Join the celebration by listening to one of my favorite songs … so please tell me your choice. Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the world to celebrate.

On Time Before Me

Click the video for background music for this post.

The day before I was born, baseball great Ted Williams safely landed his damaged jet – for which he earned an Air Medal

One month before I was born, Tito became the first president of Yugoslavia – a position he held for 27 years

One year before I was born, a nor’easter blanketed New England

4 years before I was born, Chaim Weitzman elected first president of Israel

6 years before I was born, Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union

10 years before I was born, Sergei Rachmaninoff performed his last concert

15 years before I was born, first public experimental demonstration of Baird color TV occurred in London

20 years before I was born, the US Senate passes the Blaine Act to end Prohibition and first issue of Newsweek magazine appeared on newsstands

30 years before I was born, British Egyptologist Howard Carter found the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun (King Tut)

40 years before I was born, New York Armory Show introduced Picasso to American public

42 years before I was born, General Motors installed the first electric starter for a car into a Cadillac

49 years before I was born, opera Madame Butterfly debuted in Milan

52 years before I was born composer Gustav Mahler conducted the premiere of his Second Symphony

70 years before I was born, A. Ashwell patented the free-toilet in London

75 years before I was born, first telephone exchange in San Francisco opened with 18 phones

77 years before I was born sardines were first canned in Eastport, Maine

86 years before I was born, chocolate manufacturer William Cadbury was born and the first ship passed through Suez Canal

88 years before I was born, Union forces regained Fort Sumter (US Civil War)

117 years before I was born, the HMS Beagle and Charles Darwin left Tasmania

277 years before I was born, Kings Charles II (England) and Louis XIV (France) signed a secret treaty

355 years before I was born, Boris Godunov chosen tsar of Russia

1,589 years before I was born, Roman Emperor Jovian died

The day I was born was 17 February 1953

65 years after I was born, I celebrate another birthday with a historical look at February 17th – so the number salute to 65 will be soon.

Happy 65th Birthday from Mini-Me


Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 353

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I enjoy watching the Winter Olympics. My favorite events are speed skating (especially short track), downhill skiing, ice dancing, and snowboarding (halfpipe is unbelievable). But why isn’t there a competition of doing aerials off the ski-jump hill? Why doesn’t the sled track have a corkscrew or 360 loop? Shouldn’t there be a winter pentathlon competition involving ski jumping, luge, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, and speed skating?

I shake my head when I see Russian athletes participating. Their hockey team even where’s the team colors and jerseys except for the name on the front. The IOC should be ashamed of themselves.

The possibility of the US Men’s Hockey Team going winless is very likely.

This past Monday marked the 209th birthday of two influential figures born on opposite sides of the Atlantic: Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. The occasion serves as 9th anniversary of me diving deep into a personal study of the interchange between science and religion – yes – it was reading various reactions to the 200th anniversary that started my journey.

Although more BLINK posts will come in time, none this weekend because I have other posts scheduled around a special event.

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Another mass shooting in the US is followed by more Republicans offering prayers and talking about mental health while failing to back their talk with any action.

Months ago I contacted my Republican Representative and Senator asking them a question about mental health. I just received a response from Senator Portman (R-OH), to which replied with the following: “Senator Portman. Thank you for the gracious form letter that didn’t come close to answering my question.”

It’s so interesting that Republicans are now less concerned with fiscal responsibility – which also means that such a future stance is actually an excuse to say No.

For the fall midterm elections, Republicans have the following problems on their plate: President Trump, ignoring President Trump’s continual misplays, and force feeding party policy down the public throat. On the other hand, Democrats are having a problem finding their voice other than anti-Trumpian.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) promising a fair and open debate on immigration also serves as an admission that he hasn’t been doing that. Besides, anyone thinking he doesn’t have something up his sleeve is wishful thinking.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides suggestions about climbing the corporate ladder.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Poignant dying words wasted on dumbshit nephew
Queen Bun gives birth to thousands of tiny rolls
Detective refuses to pry into circumstances of murder out of respect for deceased
Study finds cats only meow when they want to alert owner of neighbor’s murder they witnessed through window
Italian grandmother doesn’t have the heart to tell family any dipshit can make lasagna

Interesting Reads
History and future of the plastic bag
Volcanoes making lightning
Looking back at a fight to vote
Lincoln’s secret visits to slaves
Limits of technology: Paper jams
(Pictures) Nature’s gardens

To send you into the weekend, enjoy this classic. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On The Room

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The moon is bright in the night sky while casting shadows into the room. A beam illuminates a floor vase containing several rose stems – yet the floor was open.

They lock eyes. He gives a slight nod and extends his hand as he hears the music. She glances down, then slowly raises her head displaying her coy face. She gently touches his hand. Without words, he slowly leads her to the floor.

They stop. Without connecting their eyes she accepts by moving closer to him. He gently embraces her and awaits the right beat while slowly lowering their joint grasp nearer to them.

He moves is a subtle way. She responds to the signals as a language. She moves her legs indicating her presence and interest.

He slowly walks. Their heads are close, but their eyes do not connect. She wants to see him, but her eyes remain closed. Without sight, she responds. Their legs touch; sometimes as a slow caress. Other times as a sharp flick. He gently guides her sleek frame to swivel – sometimes slow – other than quick.

Their arms and the embrace physically connect their bodies as one. The music connects their souls. Although their mental images are different, their thoughts are the same – yet they move as one.

Their embrace strengthens – but not physically. They transport each other. He continues leading to the rhythms and images in his mind. She responds with her desires.

He slows – leading to a gradual stop. The music ends. They pause.

The room is empty. There is no music. The moon shines on them casting a shadow of one onto the floor. They stare into each others eyes … and a rose blooms.


Full Disclosure: As the Categories in the sidebar indicates, writing fiction is not my forte. Once I saw this video, a story unfolded in my mind, which led to another meager attempt at fiction. Even though fiction is outside my comfort zone, I appreciate your feedback. For those who don’t know, the dance is Argentine Tango. Thanks for reading the 282-word story.

On BLINK with Rosemary

George Clooney is one of Cincinnati’s beloved native sons – but he wasn’t the first famous Clooney in the area. Locals know George’s dad (Nick) from his many years in local news, but before that, it was George’s aunt who made a name for herself here and on the national stage – Rosemary Clooney  -who ArtWorks featured on the Swing Around Rosie mural. (My past post about it.)


For BLINK, Agar (a social intelligence company) transformed the Swing Around Rosie mural into a projection display of song and dance called Swing & Sway. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a full video with good song quality – so I recommend following the suggestions associated with each of the videos below.

This one has the best audio, but excludes the beginning and ends too soon. If you get bored, forward to 1:40.


Audio isn’t very good, but it shows more. Start at 0:40 so it overlaps with the previous video.


Here’s the full clip, but the sound isn’t very good. At least you can see the beginning (the first minute).


To see other posts about BLINK, click here.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 352

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Thanks to those participating in the IF Challenge. It was a spontaneous idea that was worth doing. Poems, reflections, and a short story provide good reading! I’ll keep the challenge page (tab) up at least until mid-week.

  • A special toast to the two non-regulars here who joined the fun!
  • A tip of the hat to Dale and Merril whose posts brought along a few others.
  • Special thanks to Dale for interacting with commenters!

If all goes as planned, my Tuesday night post is another meager attempt at fiction. As some say, write about what you know.

Here’s a worthy 30 seconds – Fiona in a Super Bowl commercial! … but I think it only ran locally.

Last week I mentioned Lachey’s – a local sports bar/eatery owned by Nick and Drew Lachey – a few days later they announced its closing.

I’m hoping to have another BLINK post this weekend – well, if I finalize it.

Congratulations Philadelphia Eagles and their fans on winning the Super Bowl.

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The US stock market had a tough week – but after predictably taking credit for the gains, President Trump predictably remained quiet.

Last week I stated why I don’t the State of the Union. This Los Angeles Times column made a lot of sense to me.

Although I didn’t watch the SOTU, I know enough not to believe this description of the speech: The SOTU was moving. It was reasonable. It was bipartisan. And it worked. (Mark Thiessen, Washington Post) … After all, in his Cincinnati speech this week he referred to Democrats as “un-American” and “treasonous”- and said it with conviction!

Not that there’s a shortage of strange quotes from President Trump, but I like this head scratcher; “Now we fulfilled far more promises than we promised.”

… and this one from his Cincinnati speech: “I am non-braggadocious.” (Yep – Everyone already knew President Trump is not boastful and arrogant.)

I yield to a great American orator.

President Trump has smart lawyers. Considering his propensity for lying and contradiction, their recommendation to not meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller because of a perjury fear is sound – and unfortunate.

The current criticism of Justice Department agencies is both dangerous and hyperpartisan – and then I see this head-shaking assessment of U.S. Attorneys.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides step-by-step instructions on how to run a successful crowd-funding campaign.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Minneapolis shocked to discover thousands of Super Bowl attendees left without seeing rest of city
American Airlines announces it will no longer try to match seatmates by interests
Determined circle of friends diligently traces back how they got onto this conversation topic
Oxiclean reveals new stain-removing fabric scissors
Popsicle reintroduces beloved “Plain” flavor
Local goose finally lands spot at tip of ‘V’

Interesting Reads
Life magazine … in Afghanistan?
Wealth, status, and an insect
Pizza instead of cereal
Fossils and spiders
Journey across Antarctica
(Images) 15 photos of Queen Elizabeth II through the years

To send you into the weekend, a touch of soul whose title describes the current US government. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.