Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 394

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Fleetwood Mac delivered a great show at last weekend’s aFa Weekend Concert. Reminder – no concert this weekend – but it returns next weekend with the Queen of Soul: Aretha Franklin!

Due to a hectic personal schedule, I’m unsure about the timing of the next post.

With baseball spring training in progress, 2019 will mark the 150th anniversary of the Cincinnati Reds franchise – the oldest in Major League Baseball.

As a whole, the dress on Oscars night disappointed me enough to mention it here. Actually, many were head scratchers, but thumbs up to Amy Adams, Constance Wu, Tina Fey, Amandla Stenberg, Regina King, Jennifer Lopez, and Julia Roberts.

I imagine most readers here are not familiar with Sister Rose Ann Fleming – so a Cincinnati legend, so this is a good story.

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With the final Mueller report seemingly being on the near horizon, my skeptic side feels the narratives are already established – therefore, changing nothing with the Democratic narrative and the Republican narrative are set. The unknown question is how will voters react? Then again, by the time November 2020 arrives, will voters even remember?

I normally don’t read columns by Marc Thiessen (Washington Post) because of his partisan nature. However, something compelled me to read this one, and I smiled.

A friend asked me if I thought Joe Biden could beat Donald Trump in November 2020. I said YES, but added I’m not sure he can get the Democratic nomination.

To lead you into the weekly dose of satire, The Onion looks back at the biggest Oscar snubs in history.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Teen on verge of either joining ISIS or getting super into rollerblading
Unclear why stagehand wrote heartfelt little notes to everyone in cast
Poor attendance at intervention a wake-up call
Bouncer who is not that big must be crazy
Chef makes hamburger

Interesting Reads

The US-EU trade war with olives
Evolution and humans drinking milk
Fats Domino
A Holocaust story
Verona + gnocchi = gnocchio
Correlating personal happiness and leisure time
(Photos) Iconic views
(Photos) Elton John through the years

To send you into the weekend, let’s go back to the time of Linda Ronstadt. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Shopping Carts

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This post is about a cart, basket, buggy, trolley, carriage, trundler, barrae, coohudder, bascart, and wagon – and all of these may be preceded by grocery, shopping, and supermarket. For me, it’s a grocery cart. Then again (in my mind), the same cart in a different store could be a shopping cart or just a cart.

Long-time readers here know that I enjoy playing golf. While golf carts have a different application than carts at the grocery, I enjoy this 30-second commercial from the past that combines those two thoughts.

 

Back at the store and regardless of terminology, grocery carts haven’t been around forever. Sylvan Goldman, a Oklahoma City grocery owner, invented this wheeled apparatus in 1937. Before then, shoppers used a hand-carrying basket. Goldman’s idea had a simple purpose – allow shoppers to buy more! Have you noticed a grocery cart looks like a big basket (without handles) on wheels?

Having gone through various design changes since Goldman’s first edition, carts during my youth were the basically same from store to store (well, other than the feature identifying the store). Through the years, their size has increased to reinforce the belief that size matters. On one hand, this is a contradiction because people eat outside the home more.

On the other hand, today’s grocery stores are larger, offer more products, and some include clothing, home goods, hardware, sporting goods, and lawn & garden. Therefore the cart must be large enough to contain canned vegetables, milk, cereal, pasta, a toaster oven, a laundry hamper, package of underwear, a set of socket wrenches, a flower pot, an ornamental shrub, and a bag of mulch.

Through the years, I’ve been the primary grocery shopper in our home – so, I notice shopper behaviors as well as their carts. Store aisles are typically wide enough for two carts to carefully pass – but not much more. After all, stores must maximize space for stuff to buy!

Given the tight quarters, I’ve consider the idea that shoppers should pass a grocery cart operating test before being allowed to use one. For instance, shoppers should never stop the cart on one side of the aisle, and then stand beside the cart while analyzing shelf products on the opposite side. Never block an aisle. Never!

From Wikipedia

I’ve often thought that grocery should hire plain-clothed cart police to issue citations for poor cart management. Then again, that would be effective only if all stores participated with equal scrutiny. Other times I wonder if I should carry a prod to shock people for improper cart management. Clear the aisle, here comes the crazy man with the stick!

As I think about my primary grocery store, they offer full-sized carts, mini-carts (for shoppers with a short list), and two sizes of hand-carrying baskets. Battery-operated riding carts for elderly and the disabled are a great addition – but should operators be subject to standards by passing a test or attending a class?

Sean Dreilinger via Flickr Creative Commons

Oh wait – there are more carts! How about the carts the size of a stretched limo because they have a car attached to the front so a kid can ride while the parent shops. Of course, this is done to entertain the child so they don’t disrupt other shoppers with loud squalls. However, ever notice how much space those thing require to turn the corner from one aisle to the next?

If the limos aren’t bad enough, how about he miniature carts for a kid to push around. Beyond the “how cute” aspect, what the hell do they know about cart etiquette? Then again – the price we pay for another squalling-prevention technique.

Unfortunately, stores won’t require a shopping cart operating license – nor hire a team of undercover shopping cart gestapo – and I won’t be taking a shocking device with me to the store. But, at least I got this heavy burden off my chest – not that my message will do any good for society because two past posts (one and two) about grocery carts and shoppers didn’t change behaviors.

On the positive side, grocery carts can be a source of amusement – as Exhibit A below shows.

On a Weekend Concert with Fleetwood Mac

 

Fleetwood Mac

The Producer’s Guidelines

  • Only songs by Fleetwood, but with one exception
  • Songs by Stevie Nicks are acceptable (but not others)
  • No duplicate songs
  • Include the song title in your introduction text so others can see it
  • To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please paste the URL as part of your last line (not a new line) – (I do not mind unembedding, so no apologies are necessary)

Welcome Fleetwood Mac with The Chain.

 

Next Concert: NONE next week (2 March) – Returning 9 March with Aretha Franklin

Past Concerts (Category): Beatles, Ex-Beatles, Moody Blues, Queen, Neil Diamond, Eagles

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 393

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The aFa Weekend Concert series returns featuring Fleetwood Mac. Given the distinct nature of her voice, Stevie Nicks songs are acceptable. Concert starts Saturday at 1:00 AM (Eastern US).

On a concert note, the stage will be dark the following weekend (March 2-3) due to scheduling difficulties.

Thanks for everyone for the kind comments on my birthday post. There is something about receiving nice greetings from all over the US and throughout the world that touches my heart – and to think we’ve never met in person. For the record, comments came from 10 different US states and 8 different countries. 🙂

Not long ago we said goodbye to Curiosity, NASA’s rover on Mars. Doesn’t seem that long ago when we said hello to it with this way. Do you remember it?

 

For those who know about TEDx Talks, I recently discovered that TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. I had no clue of its meaning! For podcasts enthusiasts, I endorse TEDx podcasts.

We watched Roma, the critically acclaimed Netflix film that has received numerous Oscar nominations. For us, it’s a movie for critics and lovers of movies critics rave about that aren’t not for many of us. But hey – you may like it.

We also went to the theater for The Wife. Good movie; and Glenn Close is fabulous and worthy of her Oscar nomination and Screen Actors Guild Award.

About the previous post – the Final Jeopardy question. I based the list on Madeleine Albright’s latest book: Fascism: A Warning – not my personal opinion.

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Dear Voters in Kentucky. Thank you for sending us Mitch McConnell. He’s quite pathetic.

If Republican senators are smart, they would unquestionably vote against President Trump’s National Emergency declaration. Otherwise, they are setting themselves up for something in the future. Then again, most of them are not smart and they (and their supporters) accept their own contradictions in their “party-first” perspective.

I encourage you to write your representative and senators encouraging them to vote against President Trump’s National Emergency declaration on the grounds of a dangerous precedent for the future. I’ve written my three: two Republicans (one probably a lost cause) and a Democrat). As of this writing, the lost-cause has not responded, which I requested.

Here’s an interesting scenario from Politico about the declaration and the courts.

Democrats continue to expand the field of candidates seeking the nomination. Shame on NBC starting the debates in June – well ahead of the Iowa Caucuses in early 2020. Odds of me watching are less than very slim.

Now here’s an interesting situation to ponder about the 2020 election: Democrats gain control of the Senate, keep control of the House, and President Trump is re-elected.

To lead you into the weekly dose of satire, The Onion provides a list of pros and cons about salary transparency.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Man competitive about how depressed he is
Coworkers agog as employee introduces new shirt into rotation
Aunt scores big with nephews by dropping bombshell story about Mom smoking weed as teenager
Scientists produce rigorous study of why grapes spark in the microwave
Mass invasion of polar bears forces Russian islands to declare emergency
Man always makes sure to place phone on Silent before misplacing it

My Combo: Competitive depressed man scores spark with bombshell employee before misplacing weed misplacing new shirt

Bonus: I like this headline and image of this one about New York City police (but you’ll have to click to see).

Interesting Reads

Women and computer programming: a historical look
Policy and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Why calories are not on labels of alcoholic drinks
Albanian bunkers
Thinking non-human animals
(Article w/ interactive) International view of issues
(Graphic) Marijuana regulations in the US
(Photos) UK National Parks Photo Competition

To send you into the weekend, here’s one from the past that once I heard it earlier this week, I knew to use it here. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On aFa Final Jeopardy

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Welcome to aFa Final Jeopardy. I’m your host, aFrank Angle.

For those who don’t know how to play, here is a refresher. The answer will appear below, and you submit your response in the form of a question. Let’s play aFa Final Jeopardy!!! 30 seconds on the clock, please. Click to get started.

Category: Leadership

 

 

Answer

Nationalism
Protectionism
Vilifying immigrants
Anti-Semitic
Ethnic identity
Controlling the press
Threatening, jailing, or killing political rivals
Autocrats praising other autocrats
Authoritarian
Aggressive
Anti-Socialism
Condemnation of independent media
Promoting lies
Hateful
Fighting the establishment
Championing for the oppressed and disenfranchised
Distaste for democracy
Denying themselves
Promoting fear and anger

Scroll down below the image to see the correct response.

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Question: What are the qualities of Fascist Leaders?

How did you do?

On 66

This post bumped a weekend concert and more tidbits from Eastern Europe. So hey – it must be special!

In Language

gjashtëdhjetë e gjashtë (Albanian), šedesát šest (Czech), animnapu’t anim (Filipino), sessantasei (Italian), hatvanhat (Hungarian), sitta u sittin (Maltese), tse mashome a tšeletseng a metso e tšeletseng (Sesotho), oltmish olti (Uzbek), Mae chwe deg chwech (Welsh), LXVI (Roman)

In Mathematics

66 – an even integer, a sphenic number, a triangular number, a hexagonal number, a semi-meandric number, a semiperfect number, being a multiple of a perfect number, an Erdős–Woods number

In Science

M-66 – Messier object Spiral Galaxy in the constellation Leo

NCG-66 – (New General Catalogue) a spiral galaxy in the constellation Cetus

66 – the atomic number of the element dysprosium (Dy), whose neutrally charged atom contains 66 protons and 66 elections

66 – Chromosome number of the Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)

In Computing

66 (more specifically 66.667) megahertz (MHz) is a common divisor of processor speed

In Geography

Photo from pexels.com

Route 66 – One of the most famous highways in the US going from Chicago to Los Angeles

I-66: – A US interstate connecting Washington, DC and I-81 near Middletown, Virginia

66 Parallel North – Crosses Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, United States, Canada, and Iceland

66 Parallel South – Crosses Antarctica

66 Meridian East – Crosses Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan

66 Meridian West – Crosses Canada, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, and Antarctica

In Business

Phillips 66 – a brand of gasoline and service station in the United States

Rum 66 – aged Bajan rum

Pier Sixty Six Hotel & Marina (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Sixty Six Pictures – an independent film production company in the UK

Sixty Six Brix – a catering company that specializes in frosted maple taffy (Toronto, ON)

Sixty Six Theater Company – a not-for-profit company (West Hollywood, CA)

66 N – a clothing manufacturer in Iceland

In Religion

66 – The total number of chapters in the Bible book of Isaiah

66 – The number of verses in Chapter 3 of the book of Lamentations in the Old Testament

66 – The total number of books in the Protestant edition of the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament) combined

Papyrus 66 – near complete codex of Gospel of John

66 – In Abjad numerals, the numeric value of the Name Of Allah

In Sports

From allfreevectors.com

66 – The number of the laps of the Spanish Grand Prix

66 Circle Option – the Pittsburgh Steelers play that resulting in the Immaculate Reception (click to see)

66 kg (145 pounds) – upper limit of featherweight boxing division

#66 – Retired Sports Jersey Numbers

  • MLB: Don Zimmer (Rays)
  • NBA: None
  • NFL: Bulldog Turner (Bears), Ray Nitschke (Packers)
  • NHL: Mario Lemieux (Penguins)

NASCAR #66: 732 races, driven by 103 different drivers, 1 win (Larry Frank, 1962)

In Entertainment

In Film

66th Academy Awards – Held in 1994 honoring films released in 1993. Major winners Schindler’s List (Steven Spielberg, director & winner), Tom Hanks (Philadelphia), and Holly Hunter (The Piano)

Sixty Six – a 2006 British movie about a bar mitzvah in London on the day of the 1966 World Cup final starring Eddie Marsan and Helena Bonham Carter

Order 66 – In the Star Wars movie series, a prepared order to the clone troopers to kill the Jedi commanding them

In Television & Radio

Route 66 – a popular US television series on CBS from 1960 to 1964

66 WNBC radio – a popular New York radio station, which became WFAN on 1 July 1987

In Music

Image from vector-images.com

Route 66 – Nat King Cole, Chuck Berry, Bing Crosby, James Mayer, Brian Setzer, Harry James, Rolling Stones … but my favorite is this one

Opus 66 – Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty and Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu

(Albums) Sixty Six Steps (Leo Kottke & Mike Gordon); Sixty Six to Timbuktu (Robert Plant); Combo 66 (John Scofield)

OMG 66 – song title by Lil B

66 – The number of songs on Bruce Springsteen box set released 1998

Le 66 – a one-act opérette by Jacques Offenbach and Pitaud de Forges and Laurencin

The Sixty-Six, the New Jersey-based rock band founded by Scott Liss

66 ft. – a song by Lil Yachty featuring Trippie Redd from Yachty’s studio album Lil Boat 2

In Literature

Sixty-Six (novel), a novel by film director Barry Levinson

The 66 Laws of the Illuminati: The Secrets of Success (House of Illuminati); A Shade of Vampire 66 (Bella Forest)

In History

Year 66 BC
  • a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar known as the Year of the Consulship of Lepidus and Tullus
  • known less frequently, year 688 Ab urbe condita
Year 66 AD
  • A common year starting on Wednesday
  • Emperor Nero ruling Rome
  • The Jewish Revolt against the Roman Empire begins
  • The Sicarii capture the fortress of Masada overlooking the Dead Sea.

Miscellaneous

Alpha 66 – an anti-Castro terrorist group in Miami

Flight 66 – Eastern Airline flight from New Orleans crashing on approach to NYC-JFK on 24 June 1975

66 in (167.6 cm) – average height of Neanderthal males

66th Congress – served 1919-1921, the last 2 years of the Woodrow Wilson administration

Died at age 66: Davy Jones, Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, Hubert Humphrey, Marie Curie, Carlo Ponzi, John Steinbeck, Lizzie Borden, James Thurber, Dudley Moore, Indira Gandhi

66 – The international direct dialing (IDD) code for Thailand

66 block – used to organize telephone lines In telecommunications

Sixty-six – a German card game

Solo 66 – a card game involving 5 players competing for tricks

Series 66 Exam – qualifies people as investment adviser representatives or securities agents

Cell 66 – In the video game Fullmetal Alchemist, elusive villain Barry the Chopper imprisoned cell number 66, which later becomes his alias when battling the brothers at Laboratory Five

66 – the age I become today. Happy Birthday to me. Yep, on the 46th day of 1953 (for the record, a Tuesday), yours truly came into being

Happy 66th Birthday Frank from Mini-Me

 

I can’t believe it! Look who has stopped to sing a song she wrote about me!

https://youtu.be/KNZH-emehxA

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 392

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As always, I enjoy seeing the many interactions at the weekend concerts. Reminder: No concert this weekend.

A no-brainer. Because of sensitive skin, I use Cetaphil bar soap. I needed a bar to carry me over until my next shipping. CVS has it on sale with the second bar at half price. At $6 per bar, that’s 2 for $9. WalMart had a 3-bar pack at $8.67.

On Thursday morning, I saw this story from CBS News about descendents. Fascinating – Inspiring – and hopeful. For me, it was a worthy 6 minutes about links to Thomas Jefferson. Click here to watch.

A prisoner asked for an imam to be present at his execution. Shame on the Supreme Court for allowing the execution to proceed without the state honoring the request. Would the high court have ruled the same way if the same circumstance involved a Christian? I doubt it.

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At the time of this writing, another shutdown is possible. Here’s a scenario that wouldn’t surprise me. Congress gets a bill to President Trump, which he signs – thus no shutdown. Then he declares a National Emergency. That way he can keep the government open and play to his base. PS: It’s 5 pm (Eastern US), and this now seems to be the avenue of choice.

A friend (Tim) forwarded me this interesting column by Jennifer Rubin (Washington Post). I had to laugh because she is professing the same message I’ve been saying about 2020. However, much like their Tea Party counterparts, I can’t see (at least at his time) the enthusiastic liberals and progressives giving way.

Early in the week I encountered this quote that is very meaningful to me.

The Republicans appear gutless because few have dared complain een while their party is taken over by people who despise them; the Democrats seem unaware of something similar might happen to them. The vital center, which in the past have saved the country from divisions over a host of contentious issues, has become a lonely place – historically an augury of more extreme problems in the offing. (Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State and former US Ambassador to the United Nations, written in 2018)

Earlier in the week President Trump stated a Democratic member of Congress should resign for anti-Semitic remarks (for which she apologized). Shortly thereafter, at a rally after one of his supporters attacked a BBC photographer, he did not apologize or condemn the action – but did ask if the one attacked was OK. President Trump is, without a doubt, the most hypocritical president of my life time – as well as one who favors blaming others over accepting responsibility, favors lying to cover himself instead of building trust with others, favors intentionally exaggerating, misinforming, misleading, distorting information in order to protect himself. He is a pathetic person and an even worse leader who brings the majority of his problems on himself. Nonetheless, it’s all Obama’s fault.

To lead you into the weekly dose of satire, and as a wine drinker, I appreciated the The Onion’s information about the myths vs. facts about wine.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

  • Spacecraft from all over the galaxy to honor end to (Mars) Rover’s life
  • Man hoping girlfriend doesn’t notice Valentine’s gift came from gas station
  • Non-profit works to overturn convictions of prisoners who don’t like being in prison
  • Congress agrees to $1.3 billion for border fencers
  • Underfunded public schools lacking basic support systems leave students perfectly prepared for rest of life
  • Meals on Wheels volunteer delivers body chocolate, edible underwear to senior shut-in on Valentine’s Day

Interesting Reads

Latest Pew Research about origins and evolution
55 years ago: The Beatles and Ed Sullivan meet
Products that could replace plastic
Beer and the bier spa
Book review about Joe McCarthy
T-Rex: a sex victim
(Photos) Sony World Photography Awards

To send you into the weekend, here’s some jazz from Diana Krall with good Argentine Tango in the video. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.