Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 374

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Pronouns: The Musical is continue its trek this weekend featuring songs with Her in the title. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US). Sorry about the glitch at starting the last act.

Extra-special thanks to everyone commenting on the 10th anniversary of my little corner of the world. Besides the kind words, your presence met so much to me. Thank you!!!!

In the anniversary post I guessed that Debra was the commenter with the longest tenure. Well, that’s not the case. I would say that Debra is the longest-running continuous commenter, but of the people who commented on this post, Patti Ross was the longest followed by Robin, Elyse, then Debra. Thanks to this great group of ladies.

In the last minute of the last game in last year’s pro football season, Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass to win the game against Baltimore – and the Baltimore loss put Buffalo into the playoffs for the first time in many years. Buffalo fans responded by donating over $400,000 to Andy Dalton’s charity foundation! When introduced to the crowd before the Cincinnati-Buffalo preseason game last week, Buffalo fans gave Andy Dalton a rousing standing ovation. To give his thanks and announce a donation to a cancer center in Buffalo, Dalton recorded a message that played for the crowd.

I had an odd blog encounter this week. Discovered that I’m related to a person I met through a blogger. We have the same great-great-grandfather. I don’t research ancestry, but that was an unbelievable encounter. Just another example of how technology makes the world smaller.

What percentage (do you think) of internet users in China are mobile? Click here to check your answer.

Subject to last-minute change, I won’t be posting a beach walk this weekend. After all, it’s a 3-day holiday weekend here in the USA. My plan is for the series to resume next week.

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Why am I not surprised that rising gas prices has made very little news? Then again, summer usually involves an increase, so let’s see what happens the rest of the year.

President Trump’s messages about the passing of Sen. John McCain were expectedly pathetic. After all, he’s a pathetic person and an even worse leader.

This week I thought about John McCain: the politician. The one who saw a different way in 2000 compared to the one who caved into the party’s right wing in 2008.

I dislike negative campaign ads – and November’s Election Day seems so far away.

My odds for future elections

  • Democrats taking control of the House in 2018: 65%
  • Democrats taking control of the Senate in 2018: 25%
  • Democrats getting my 2020 presidential vote: 20%
  • Republican (other than Trump) getting my 2020 presidential vote: 10%
  • Donald Trump getting my 2020 vote: 0%
  • Donald Trump winning re-election: 60%
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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion offers tips for winning escape rooms.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Green Energy Scientists Unveil 800,000-Ton Potato Capable Of Powering Entire City
New liver can really handle its Scotch
Landlord promises to figure out why leaky ceiling not his fault
Man knows in reality marrying Minnie Mouse wouldn’t be as perfect as he imagines
Grandmother can’t believe she hung on this long for granddaughter’s lame-ass wedding
Non-considerate passenger takes up entire overhead bin (click here for the must-see image)

Interesting Reads

Innovative infrastructure solutions in 5 US cities
Sex Education in the Netherlands
A look back at Chicago 1968: the Democratic convention
Heroin history and El Chapo
Looking Muslim
The Nazi officer who saved Paris
(Pictures) Aerial views of rich and poor

To send you into the weekend and continuing the summer theme, here’s a Golden Oldie introduced by an icon. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On a Happy 10th

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On 28th August, 2008, the first post on my little corner of the world appeared. It was short, but as I look back, that first post causes me to smile. When I started, I had no idea that I would still be blogging 10 years later – but today, even though I’ve seen a lot of people come and go, I’m happy with what this space has become.

With a bit of encouragement from my friend Tim (who remains a faithful visitor) A Frank Angle started as a politics and sports blog. After all, 2008 was a presidential election year with John McCain and Barack Obama battling for the White House. Ah yes, the time of The Nincompoop. Late in 2008, I began expanding my tent that lead to the eclectic nature of this place.

Many frequent visitors have passed through my posts. Besides Tim, I’m guessing Debra in Pasadena, CA has been with me the longest. We laugh at how much we seem to have in common. Although I enjoy researching and writing, positive interactions with positive people has always inspired me. I greatly appreciate those types of encounters that many people have given me at my little corner of the world. That’s the way I am.

To those who take time to comment and engage – thank you.

To those here in more recent times – thank you.

To those who have passed through and have had a positive impact on me – thank you.

To those who have encouraged others to stop by – thank you.

To those who have stayed with me the longest – thank you.

To WordPress for making the world smaller – thank you.

To anyone I’ve forgotten – thank you!

I could go one, but people here understand how much I appreciate others – especially those supporting my belief that the majority of the world is good.

Here’s a by-the-numbers look the 10 years of A Frank Angle (based on several hours before this posting time).

2,087 posts (including this one)

77 categories

12,577 tags

1,759 shares

2 Fresh Pressed posts

7 blog musicals covering 65 acts

345,595 views

4,915 most viewed post

80,514 comments

705 average comments per month

95,121 Akismet protected spam comments

7% space used

7,350 followers (such a worthless stat)

For me, this is an excellent video to share on this day. Yes – two dancers – but it’s more than that. Keep in mind this may be a well-rehearsed Boogie-Woogie routine – however – many of these steps are lead-and-follow. More importantly, look how much fun they are having. Yes, I see maintaining my little corner of the world as fun. I see interacting with people here as fun – so thanks for the part each of you have played in my enjoyment.

PS: Happy birthday Shania and my paternal grandfather (125 today).

On a Beach Walk: No. 37

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Summer is primetime along the Alabama coast followed by spring and fall. Its winters do not provide the regular warmth and sun of central and south Florida – but it is warmer than home in Cincinnati – or the homes of visitors from Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, the Dakotas, Canada, and the rest of Ohio.

Occupancy is comparatively low – but that also means reasonable rates – a month in the winter for about the same as a week during primetime – plus warmer temperatures than home.

People aren’t as plentiful – and the vast majority are retirees migrating to the south as snowbirds. Some younger faces join the mix on weekends.

As we walk, people pass by. Most offer at least a nod or a smile to acknowledge our presence. Some even add a verbal salutation.

People display identifications by hats and shirts may spark conversations – signs identifying homes, places visited, colleges, or sports loyalties. Other Cincinnatians spotting my University of Cincinnati hat identified themselves. As did other Ohioans and others from rival schools.

Many times when passing fisherman monitoring their poles, I would ask about their catches of the day. Most are willing to talk about their craft. I am not a fisherman, but we would watch with anticipation as they reel in their catch.

No matter where we are, each of the people we pass everyday has a story. Each person is walking history of joys and sadness, successes and failures, pride and shame, and more. They include the tall and the short; the old and the young; the successful and the not so; the caring and the selfish; the thinkers, dreamers, doers and so much more.

Today I think about the different people I pass on any given day. People – the plurality of persons. People – the individuals who make up humanity. Yes, it takes every kind of people to make the world go around. Even though people are complex, thinking about them is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Pronouns: The Musical – Act 6: She

The Story

Welcome to Pronouns: The Musical.

Some may ask, “Pronouns?”, but we at A Frank Angle say, “Why not pronouns!”

A subset of nouns, pronouns serve as a substitute for nouns and noun phrases. These bits of linguistics and grammar are versatile and can almost refer to anything.

Although pronouns can be personal, objective, possessive, indefinite, relative, intensive, demonstrative, interrogative, reflexive, and reciprocal, this musical extravaganza focuses on selected pronouns.

Program 

Act 1: I
Act 2: You
Act 3: Me
Act 4: He
Act 5: Him

Act 6: She

Though she be but little, she is fierce. (William Shakespeare, author)

A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. (Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady)

When a woman is talking to you, listen to what she says with her eyes. (Victor Hugo, author)

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years. (Audrey Hepburn, actor)

A really strong woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobled by her scars. (Carly Simon, musician)

Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays. (Henny Youngman, comedian)

Guidelines

Songs must have She in the title

Cautions

  • No duplicates songs regardless of artists
  • Foreign language equivalents unacceptable
  • Contractions are acceptable at the discretion of The Producer

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

Welcome to the latest musical by aFa Productions – Pronouns: The Musical.

First of all, we apologize for the delay due to a production glitch. Many thanks for returning.

Time to transition from the male to the female for the next two acts – so Act 6 is all about She. We had a wide variety of outstanding artists to consider for the opener – but the one song kept coming to the forefront for consideration. After all, dance is involved more ways than one. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s have a great aFa welcome to the incomparable Josh Groban singing So She Dances.

Act 7: Her

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 373

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Pronouns: The Musical is continue its trek this weekend featuring songs with She in the title. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US).

Earlier this week we watched Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live in Liverpool (on CBS). That was fabulous – so I encourage interested readers to watch it. Did you see it? For those wanting to know more about the show, watch this short news report.

For those who enjoy piano solos (and especially those who can read music), here’s a maddening piece only for highly skilled pianists … and to think we saw it performed live.

Our electric company gave us a report saying that last month, 54% of our usage was for cooling, 13% kitchen, 13% lighting, 9% electronics, 5% laundry, and 6% other.

This Tuesday is a special day, so I hope you stop by here.

 

Most of the talk about the Mueller investigation is just that – talk. Other than issuing indictments, news directly from the investigation team has been minimal. As I wait for the final report, I continue to ignore President Trump, his partisans, his partisan opponents, and much of the media’s conjecture. We will know want the special prosecutor knows when the special prosecutor issues the final report.

After the Paul Manafort verdict, President Trump boldly proclaimed, “Where’s the collusion?” An FYI to him and his Trumpian loyalists: the trial was not about any aspect of collusion. Although my advice to the president includes be careful what you ask for, Democrats should also remember both the initial FYI and the previous short.

President Trumps says, “[Cohen] makes a better deal when he uses me, like everybody else,” Trump said. “And one of the reasons I respect Paul Manafort so much is he went through that trial—you know they make up stories. People make up stories. This whole thing about flipping, they call it, I know all about flipping.” I respond with, click here.

Democrats have high hopes on gaining control of the House of Representatives. If they do so, I wonder if they are wise enough about handling impeachment.

Former CIA Director John Brennan’s description is right: President Trump is “drunk on power.”

“Truth isn’t truth” – good one Rudi!

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion lists pros and cons for the Trump-proposed Space Force.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Man guessing he’s stared at Giant Sequoia long enough to appreciate it
Girlfriend slowly becoming radicalized by new skin-care blog
Man feeling pressure to give mom grandchildren while she still around to raise them
Young girls creeped out by older scientists constantly trying to lure them into STEM
Minotaur wondering if there’s more to life than bashing in head of those who dare wander into labyrinth

Interesting Reads

History of the Electoral College
Required reading for all?
Explaining on the phone and on hold
Conclusions from errors in thinking
State of the news media
(Photos) Aretha Franklin’s life

To send you into the weekend and continuing the summer theme, here’s Michael Bublé with a Sinatra classic – Summer Wind. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On a Career of Two Halves

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Everyone evolves in their job or career. It’s different for everyone; however, not only do each of us change, different reasons initiate each bit of change. Do you have a single moment that changed your career life? If so, do remember the key components as place, date, time, and situation?

I can’t imagine a teacher getting it right on Day 1 of their career. After all, one enters their classroom from the protective confines of observations, experiences, and student teaching – but now that new teacher is all alone with the elements.

To me, my teaching career involved two halves. Content and discipline dominated the first half. After all, two of my strengths were organizing and explaining information.

I recall a story of student who came to my defense when a peer complained that I was so hard. She explained that I was easy because I presented the information well, laid it out in front them, but the content was hard – not me. Oh my, is biology ever heavy in terminology. On the other hand, I later determined that didn’t mean I was a good teacher.

The labs were OK, but not my strength. Like most science teachers, labs were done to support/verify the already-presented content.

I don’t know how it happened, but professional development was very important to me. State, regional, and national conferences were always on my radar. I tried to attend those within a reasonable distance, plus I didn’t mind providing some of my own expenses because (the way I saw it) that’s what professionals do. These conferences were learning experiences – although a side of me (like most teachers) was looking for ideas to fit into my system – after all, I (like most teachers) know what is best for my students.

Toward the end of my career’s first half, the school district hired a math-science curriculum coordinator. Although primarily a math person, I processed her thoughts because she was good at stimulating my thinking. Besides – I had already heard this information before at the conferences; but I didn’t put my knowledge into action.

I wish I would have recorded the date, time, exact setting, and circumstances of the next event. I recall being in a session at a National Science Teachers Association regional conference in Louisville, Kentucky when the light bulb became bright – causing me to proclaimed, “I’ve done a great job of doing it wrong all these years.”

Reflections can be powerful, and I wonder how many people would admit what I did – especially one with 13 or so years of experience. From that moment in Louisville, I committed myself to change. During the rest of the school year, our coordinator encouraged me to try some things – similar to test driving a car – which I did. I also identified areas where I needed training – plus where to get it – and I eagerly attended several intense classes and workshops for 6 months.

As the next school year started, my teaching approach and philosophy changed 180 degrees. I shifted from a lecture-based to activity-based – from teacher centered to student centered – from content driven to application based – from textbook driven to the textbook being an aid – from the sage on the stage to the guide on the side – from dispensing informing to students to having students learn for themselves – from me telling what they needed to know to me guiding their learning as they figure it out – from me tweaking prepared activities to me designing my own lessons that had a clearly defined instructional strategy.

There is no question that the last half of my career was more rewarding than the first half. I loved the challenge of developing and implementing a lesson. My most rewarding moments would be standing and looking at a classroom of every student engaged without me. I wrote my own lessons and was very good at it. My first-half strengths of organizing information and controlling the classroom helped immensely. After all, I had been there and done that.

The last half of my career taught me how to teach. It taught me how people learn. It taught me that change can occur – especially when driven from within. Yes, it made me stubborn with teachers I encountered who held onto the past of teaching how they were taught.

I later had some years in training development for businesses. I cringed when hearing someone say, “Anyone can teach” – well, in business it’s “anyone can train!” I knew I had arrived in my new endeavor when I was disagreeing with the majority of others in the field around me. After all, I had the advantage of knowing that telling isn’t teaching, and telling isn’t training.

On a Beach Walk: No. 36

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

I walked thinking about my early morning experience that we call dawn.

I awakened early today. The sky was dark and clear, the moon set, the stars still shining, and the sun providing a very faint glimmer in the eastern sky.

Everything I could see was a shade of gray – essentially the darkness was responsible for eliminating colors. I’m reminded of Nights in White Satin (Moody Blues)

Cold hearted orb that rules the night, Removes the colours from our sight, Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right. And which is an illusion?”

I stood on the balcony high above the sand watching the colors of the predawn light slowly unfold in the eastern sky. The narrow red stripe at the dark’s sky edge is what caught my attention. A distant light source was proclaiming the nearing end of night.

 

I think about dawn.

Dawn – a time when deeply inhale to capture the freshest air.

Dawn – a moment in time when we can open our minds without future fears.

Dawn – a feeling that is a moment that can flow into the new day that lies ahead.

 

 

Dawn – the seeing of the light to lead us out of the darkness of tomorrow into today.

Dawn – a time for renewal, rebirth, a fresh start, a chance to make amends.

Dawn – a time of hope, a chance to move forward, a change for the better

Dawn – something that we can’t control that marks the transition from an end to a beginning.

 

Dawn – a time for the conductor to drop the baton for the cacophony of nature music by the aviary chorus.

Dawn – a beginning of the golden shower from above that rains upon life.

Dawn – a free magical moment that too many miss.

 

This was my morning experience – Thinking about dawn – and simply another reason that walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.