Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 363

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Cheers to the new header. Following my fascination with images from deep space, NASA released this Hubble image in 2018 featuring a monster young star in the Lagoon Nebula within the Constellation Sagittarius – 4,000 light-years away. To see my past headers, visit the Past Headers page or click here.

I was surprised to learn these facts about recycling in the US: 1) Cardboard recycling is down while online sales are up, and 2) About 40% of Americans either don’t have access to a recycling program or don’t sign up for the one available. For those interested, here’s an interesting article on the topic.

I never realized that Chicago’s Midway Airport is named after WW II’s Battle of Midway.

As one who continues to believe the majority of the world is good, Anthony Bourdain’s death saddens me because he acknowledged the same good through the culinary delights of different cultures.

A major milestone happened while I was on my recent vacation. My feet have successfully stood in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. For the record, Montpelier, Idaho completed the journey.


The people have spoken regarding Fiona’s mural, which will be downtown and completed later this summer. If you want a sneak peek, click here.

After two+ weeks away from ballroom and golf, getting back into ballroom is much harder because it requires so much knowledge. The first weekend back to dancing was horribly difficult.

Golf’s US Open (my favorite golf tournament) is this weekend. While two of the past three US Opens have been questionable at best, I look forward to the challenge Shinnecock Hills should provide.

My Cincinnati Reds continue their predictable, pathetic path. However, they did surprise me. By the time they won their 20th game, the Red Sox and Yankees were the only two teams shy of 20 losses.

Cheers to the New York Times for recently including Cincinnati in their 52 places to visit. Here’s the article.

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To my Canadian readers. President Trump may represent Americans, does not speak for the majority of us.

For me, the report that President Trump told Lesley Stahl (CBS News) that he intentionally demeans and discredits the media for the purpose of convincing people not to believe the negative stories in the media about him sums up much of his time in office.

Although the recent Supreme Court ruling of the cake baker case bothered me, I listened to an analysis that mentioned the narrow view of the majority opinion.

My Congressman wrote this op-ed (Washington Times), to which I responded to him by email (below).

As per your newsletter, I read you recent op-ed in the Washington Times. I respectfully submit the following as a rebuttal.

1) Blaming the Democrats, the media, and Hillary Clinton is not only tiresome, it’s down right negligent. By the way, you forgot to mention Barack Obama.

2) There are two problems in Washington – and it’s the same two problems that have been there for years – the Democrats & Republicans as they subscribed to their self-servient, party-first mentality.
Meanwhile, to continue discord, stagnancy, and avoiding progress, I encourage you to stay the course. After all, you stated the following: “When those shared values crumble or the system is weaponized to benefit one party over the other, both parties lose. We the people lose. Our nation stagnates and becomes steeped in dysfunction. That is because the heart and soul of our constitutional republic has always been an ultimate allegiance to the overarching ideals of our democratic system and the institutions carefully constructed to uphold it — regardless of political party.

Yes, Congressman Wenstrup, you are part of the problem – not the solution – but relax – the majority of your colleagues are just like you.

I love this Canadian response to President Trump’s trade policy. (Thanks, Dale!)

As a retaliation in an escalating trade war between the US and the rest of the world, Canada is considering placing a 25% tariff on all American canned and glass bottled water including Budweiser, Coors, and Busch. The carbonated drinks sometimes referred to as “beer” in America are sold throughout Canada and purchased by at least one lonely person with no concept of taste.The Beaverton

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides tips for getting the most out of life.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Tarantula rushing to shave legs before meeting up with mate
Himalayan goat dies following failed Everest Climb
Dad spends entire vacation 8 steps ahead of family
Woman bids farewell to former self before beginning new skin care regiment
Trick candles just making birthday boy cry harder
Botanic garden forced to euthanize rose bush that pricked child

Interesting Reads
A view about the future and artificial intelligence
The role of mini-golf in desegregation
Icelandic philosophy
Urban, suburban, and rural: What unites and divides them
Transforming sound waves into sound
Everyone’s neighbor: Mr. Rogers
(Photos) D-Day bunkers

To send you into the weekend, enjoy blast from the past by Dan Fogelberg. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

95 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 363

  1. Congrats on having at the very least placed your feet in all 50 of your states plus DC. I can happily report having placed my feet in two states plus DC. There’s also a far flung plan to maybe put my feet onto Hawaii at some stage in the future……. The new header is pretty amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read that about the recycling too. It seems cardboard is still in demand for recycling, while it’s getting more difficult to find places that recycle plastics. China will be doing less of it for us.

    How cool that you’ve touched down in all 50 states and DC! Now you’ll have to head to Puerto Rico. And yes, that Canadian response was perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jo,
      Thank you. That’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as the robbed a bank in this town! Meanwhile, President Trump can yell all he wants because some of us actually pay attention.


  3. Congrats on your Reds reaching 20 before either of the East Coast ‘elite’ reached that milestone and stepping a foot in all 50 states. With the current state of politics, I think I personally will shoot for all the provinces to the north instead. Once China drops the hammer on Midwest agricultural products, I suspect many of the farmers who voted to the abomination otherwise known as the sad, bloated Mango may reconsider their support. And rightfully so. 🇨🇦🇲🇽

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Get those dancing shoes 👞 out. Time for a good polish. Your steps will come back. No worries!!!
    I’m getting shots in both knees right now for a cruise we hope I can be well for. 🚢
    Joke for you: the injections are from the same solutions they use for breast implants. 😂
    May need a bra for my knees. LOLOL
    Happy weekend 👌😀
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations on standing in all states!!!🍷🍷
    I did take a peek at the mural to be! Looking forward to the finished piece.
    Did you ever watch Rocky and Bullwinkle?
    Boris and Natasha worked for the Supreme Leader. They shook in fear in his shadow’s wake. There was an episode where R & B discover the SL was no taller than Rocky. His shadow loomed large, because he angled the light just right.
    Sound familiar? 😀 😀 LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations to your feet, and the dude attached to them! I am many states short of that fifty mark . . I want to say twenty short? And no longer a ‘traveler’ in my advanced age. I know . . I sound like I’m eighty.
    And to the Reds! Maybe they’re taking this whole “Slow and steady wins the race” thing a tad too seriously . . .
    And to Cincy on being so popular!

    As for recycling . . you means . . that’s still a thing? 🙂

    I loves me some Dan Fogelberg!

    Happy weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on making it to all 50 states! I’m a long way from that honor.

    Your response to your congressman had the perfect amount of snark. Alas, I’m not sure he’ll get it. Stuff like that seems to go right over their heads.

    Recycling — they no longer accept most cardboard at our recycling station (we do not have any kind of trash pickup here in the Middle of Nowhere — we have to transport it to the landfill and recycling station ourselves). Only corrugated cardboard is allowed.

    I gravitated right to the Mini-Golf story. A long time ago, and a land far away, I was the day manager for a miniature golf course. Best job ever in terms of the job itself (the owner, on the other hand, was the worst boss ever, a drunken lech). I spent most of my days playing the course since the owner of the place wanted someone out on the course at all times to make it look as though there was always someone playing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Robin,
    Love your Mini-Golf story. It seems you were up to the difficult assignment. Thanks for sharing …. as well as you situation regarding recycling. The stats I mentioned surprised me! Meanwhile, thanks for the congrats!


  9. Loved reading Frank.. And great photo of you with Butch and Sundance.. 🙂 So pleased we got the doggy picture instead of Mr T.. And I can imagine how much of an embarrassment he is much like many of our own Politicians..
    Glad you are getting back into the Swing of Dance and GOLF… Enjoy your NOW moments Frank
    Enjoy your Sunday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have put East Potomac Park Mini Golf on my Top 25 Bucket List, which has recently been revised in case you’re interested.

    Thanks for the recycling article. You’re advocacy on that goes way back.

    Thanks for your Trump directed comments. They help pull me out of my default emotion of bitterness associated with his election and the frightening place he’s taking our democracy. By the way, should I still hold out hope for him to “pivot”?

    Special thanks for including in your post Congressman Brad Wenstrup’s boiler plate column in the Washington Times. Your response was a jewel!

    Thumbs Up on your new header – It’s got abstract expressionist possibilities as a vertical.

    A splat from “Tarantula rushing to shave legs before meeting up with mate.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      Regarding President Trump. Chances of a pivot are slim. Even if the Dems won control of at least one chamber, he’s locked into the base – which would not like him cooperating with the Dems. Then again, we live in strange times.

      This morning on Meet the Press, Chuck Todd discussed a recent poll about the portion of the electorate that is unhappy with both parties. Meanwhile, Rep Wenstrup has received other messages from me with a similar theme.

      Glad to know the tarantula carried a splat.


  11. Had to chime in and with all due respect – sometimes I wanted people abroad to know that Anthony bourdain did not speak for all in the US and to mention him after saying something about goodness – even though Bourdain was a celebrity and his show was stellar – he partied like a deprived teenager (and RIP to him) and was noted for making fun or slandering others – like Rachel Ray – and my point is that as great as his show was – I sensed many character deficits and stopped my tween children from watching his show because I did not like the way he modeled alcohol consumption – and just had to mention it.
    Also – interesting how cardboard sales are down but it does not really bother me cos the cardboard breaks down and the ones used in shipping is cheaper every year – and seems to fall apart in the bin-
    And have you heard of the plastic straws boycotting?
    My sis n law and her three young ones are on the wagon and I guess a 2015 video went viral with a turtle who had a straw embedded in the sinus and in the brain area.
    Anyhow – guess they are advocating to only use straws for medical needs if needed – and want eateries to have them
    On request

    Liked by 1 person

  12. all 50 states, that’s quite a feet, er um feat! congratulations!
    i’m not sure i can comment on the trump stuff, my blood pressure rises and the heartburn swirls, but i will say the onion makes an awesome mix! great shares, love the dog photos and your new header. Any chance we can all climb aboard that starship?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Roxie,
      Thank you for the congrats. The feat was an unexpected treat of our recent trip. The Onion is a wonderful resource – and they have many great ones about various personnel in our government. I generally don’t use them here because of the international audience – so I stick to more generic headlines. Saw Solo movie in the theaters this past weekend. One scene reminded me of Hubble’s deep space images!


  13. Just to note, Chicago’s other airport, O’Hare, also has a naval origin. It is named for the first naval combatant to be awarded the Medal of Honor in WW II.

    Your reading topic of Mr. Rogers gave me a little shiver. Imagine what that kind man would have thought of our country’s recent policy on handling immigrant children. Talk about contrast!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love this Fogelberg song, Frank. I play his music quite often. And I really liked your response to your Congressman. The blame game is getting really, really old! I’ve heard more “Pinocchios” this week than I could count. It’s interesting about the recycling. We have mandated recycling, and have had that for years. It’s not an option at all. I sometimes forget that it isn’t everywhere. I still think our overuse of packaging materials, cardboard included, is just ridiculous. Some of our Amazon purchases arrive in cardboard boxes within another cardboard box. We have a long way to go by my expectations!


    • Debra,
      Cheers to your love for Fogelberg! In terms of the Pinocchios, I’ve settled into the reality of them being part of my typical day. I actually look forward to them while continually being astonished by the many who believe/accept them. In terms of packaging materials, here’s one for you. https://youtu.be/L0jlfKXClm8


  15. I know this is crazy late…
    LOVE me some Dan Fogelburp (Bloom County)
    Thankfully, I know too many fabulous Americans (of course, including you) to know that, sans that fool at the top, relations are good…
    I loved our retaliation 😉 Was funny, for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dale,
      The retaliation was priceless … so many thanks for providing it! Glad that Fogelberg was a good choice for you. Meanwhile, late is better than not at all. 🙂 At least you haven’t abandoned me like someone else we know.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That retaliation had me in stitches, I cannot lie… Yes… excellent choice. And yes, I lose control of my inbox sometimes and then try to catch up…
        I dunno what is up with our friend. She likes most of my posts but no more chitchat. Must be into other stuff right now. She is painting a lot – which I see through Instagram

        Liked by 1 person

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