Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 421

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Welcome to the last OITS of 2019 … so I’ve included a few extras!

Thanks to everyone for participating in Weekend Concert Series saluting Broadway. It was maddening because it was the first time I’ve done something like that. Plus, it turned out not to be the best weekend for me in terms of timing. Nonetheless, everyone seemed to have a good time and I enjoyed listening to all the songs. The next concert will be after the first of the year, and the finale to the series.

Next concert: Tentatively Saturday 4 January – Duets – (Two performers not normally paired together)

With the December holidays upon us, I will abbreviate my posting schedule. Below is a probable schedule that is subject to change (Times are based on Eastern US).

  • (Sunday afternoon) 22 December) A beach walk
  • (Tuesday 24 Dec – or late 23rd) Christmas post
  • (Friday 27 Dec) A caption challenge for an image
  • (Sun 29 Dec) – A food review
  • (Tuesday 31 Dec) New Years post
  • (Thursday night 2 January) – Opinions in the Shorts
  • (Saturday 4 January) – Weekend Concert – Duets

We recently spent an afternoon at the Cincinnati Museum Center. We the Omnimax movies. Fortunately, for us, we saw two! After visiting the vert-well-done Apollo 11 exhibit, we went into the theater for the Apollo 11 movie. Interesting, no narration – just a story told through a string of actual film footage from the time. After the movie, we stayed in our seats for Superpower Dogs, an uplifting film about rescue dogs who work to save lives – and a must for dog lovers!

Readers may remember Fiona, the baby hippo that the Cincinnati Zoo cared from birth. Fiona, 29 pounds (13 kg) at birth, will have her 3rd birthday on January 2020. This 30-second video will make you smile.

Joe Barrow, the LSU quarterback not only won the Heisman Award (college football’s best player), he won the hearts of many. In his acceptance speech, he talked about the poverty of many people of Athens County Ohio. The nation has responded with well over $500K! But there is something lost in the story. Athens County is not an island. It’s one county in a region of 15 or so counties that are very poor – worse than Athens County – let alone additional counties in adjacent West Virginia and Kentucky. How do I know? I grew up one county south of Athens.

For those who need this and dare to reach into a grab-bag, here are some holiday classics: Dominick the Donkey, a classic Santa Norelco commercial, a clean naughty Santa, the infamous Carol of the Belts, and a crazy fast holiday song with handbells (the ending is frantic). Did you watch any? If so, let me know.

I admit, The Masked Singer is a fun show. Congratulations to The Fox – Wayne Brady.

Sadly, my Benevolent Impalers experienced the agony of defeat in the tournament semifinals. It was close, but my worthy opponent had an unexpected monster game from a player and big points from the New England defense against my hometown Bengals. Ouch!

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I’m not a Trump supporter – never have, never will be. Then again, after he won the election, I was willing to give him a chance. To me, he has miserably failed – yet, I see impeachment as a sad day. Congress has not upheld its Constitutional obligation of oversight and the behaviors have been pathetic at best. I’m officially embarrassed to be an American.

If I was single, I would consider moving to another country. Yes, I am that embarrassed and concerned.

I truly believe the polls, pundits, politicians, and citizens that America is a divided nation – and possibly the most divided in my lifetime and beyond. Two strongly divided camps with shrinking common ground – each with vitrole for the other – each with disdain for moderates – each with drums beating fervently in the echo chamber – one explains, the other not listening. A divided nation with a president wearing a hat stating, “Keep America Great” – a statement reinforcing the division. A friend asked me, “How do we solve this problem?” My answer is simple. “Unless the collective of elected officials lead the change, we can’t. Otherwise, we will need a national emergency. I hope I don’t live long enough to see the next US Civil War.”

In a discussion about the current impeachment, a friend of mine (a self-proclaimed unbiased source) told me that he wasn’t sure if President Trump warranted an investigation, let alone impeachment – but President Obama should have been impeached.

For those who forgot and didn’t know, the impeachment is Obama’s fault.

Here’s a recent report on polarization from Pew Research Center.

Darn … I’m missing another Democratic debate!

As we end the year, here’s how I see the 2020 election at this time:

  • Chances of President Trump nomination: 99.9%
  • Chances of President Trump’s re-election: 65%
  • Chances of me voting for President Trump: 0%
  • Chances of me voting for the Democratic nominee: 20%

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion separates facts and fiction about recycling.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Woman not as fun-loving and carefree as pom-pom on winter hat suggests
Hungover coworker a little too functional morning after holiday party not to be alcoholic
Boyfriend ready to take relationship to previous level
Man checking if chicken wings got hot enough in microwave like first responder searching for pulse
Mom holds knife to throat of dinner guest who offered to help with dishes
Hiker trapped for days under fallen boulder survives by cutting off own ponytail
Ant flees across state line carrying big crumb

Interesting Reads

The Ottomans: Their rise and fall
A bit of barcode history
Mysteries of pain
The most important battles of WW2
Bridging differences by seeing good
(Graphic) World debt by country
(Graphics) A series of climate change charts
(Photos) Murals of women in Iraq
(Photos) Winners of a National Geographic Photo contest

To send you into the weekend, here are The Piano Guys with a song of the season. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Local Intrigue

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One never knows what encounters lie ahead when strolling through the city.

Batsakes is one of the few custom hat makers remaining in the US (for those who want to know more about this local treasure, here’s a short video)

 

Because of Larry Flynt’s (of Hustler Magazine fame) love affair with local law enforcement, there is a Hustler Store … Did you see the movie?

 

This is what happens to old location of a major department store … What has happened to old department store buildings in your area?

 

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (with its main location in city center) dates back to 1853

 

For those who watch Shark Tank, these guys won … but have since sold off

 

Cincinnati had Kings Records back in the days of vinyl recordings, but I didn’t know about this studio

 

Cincinnati has a minor league hockey team (Cyclones) and a love for pigs … meet Puck Chop …

 

… but in Cincinnati, baseball is king.

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Meet John Roebling and his bridge – The Roebling Bridge – the prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge

 

What do you think this is?

 

 

On Beach Walk #65 (Blood)

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

Some may think blood is a gruesome topic because it associates with vampire bats, vampires, and murders. To others, blood is a spiritual fluid – a soulful liquid of life serving as a commonality across humanity regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, and age.

Yes blood – that body liquid that is a noun, an adjective, and a verb; the latter as in to stain, to initiate, to expose.

Blood – each of us have 1.2-1.5 gallons (4.5-5.5 liters) of this precious liquid – a liquid we associate with pressure, cuts, clotting, transfusions, donating, tests, sugar, iron, cholesterol, and more.

Blood – that red liquid circulating around the body within blood vessels – a liquid we link to courage, bravery, tenacity, and strength during times of adversity.

Blood – that red liquid we associate with life with almost 50% of it playing a role of dissolving and transporting nutrients and body chemicals around the body.

Blood – Flooded with enough red blood cells that transport a necessity for cell life – oxygen. Millions of red blood cells occupy a single drop – yet these red blood cells typically live only 120 days.

Blood – that vitally rich substance complete with an identification marking a uniqueness that we associate with blood types and transfusions – yet most don’t know of Karl Landsteiner – the gifted doctor who received a Nobel Prize for his work about blood types.

Blood – our link to family, relatives, lineage, and kinship – our flesh and blood – hence the implication that blood is thicker than water. Yes, blood can tell the family story. Biological blood brothers are related at birth, but other blood brothers are two unrelated males vowing to treat the other as a brother forever and ever.

Blood – the term we associate with courage, strength, battles, tenacity, sweet, and toil – yes – blood, sweat, and tears.

Blood – the temperament or disposition – it boils when passionate or lost with temper, yet can be a cool and controlled for the calm and collective.

Sometimes we associate blood with violence – in cold blood, bloodshed, having blood on their hands, and the blood running cold – even blood and guts to describe a movie or even an all-out effort.

New Blood can signify the young, the fornable, or just the new – but they are different from Blue Bloods – those born to nobility, wealth, privilege, and/or power – but for some, Blue Bloods can be too rich for their blood.

We can make wounds by drawing blood or signifying trouble with blood on the carpet – but we also associate drawing blood with going for victory by probing a weakness when tasting the opponent’s blood – which may not be the team that drew first blood.

Getting blood out of a turnip signifies cheap or trying to get from someone something they don’t have – or having similar difficulty as getting blood out of a stone.

Bull’s Blood is a known Hungarian wine whose name originates with a 16th century legend of Hungarian soldiers gaining strength in their battle with Turkish soldiers from the wine mixed with blood from bulls.

We occasionally see a blood moon, have hostility with bad blood, use blood money as payment for a killing, or simply have something ingrained in their blood.

The blood of lovers may not be the same, but their blood and love pursue each other in an effort to become one. The blood of lovers may not be the same, but it’s the blood that move the love throughout the body spreading the special feel from head to toe.

The blood of love is hot when the love is passionate. The blood of love is the glue during the good times and the bad.

Blood is something to think about on this day. Yes – blood is a simple term, but its meaning is deep and it carries many meanings. Blood is more than a random thought, but it is worth thinking about while walking the beach. Afterall,  walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Weekend Concert: Broadway

 

Songs from Broadway

The Producer’s Guidelines

  1. Only songs from Broadway musicals
  2. Clearly identify the song title and the Broadway musical so others can see it
  3. Only one song per musical (Exception: For participants who have submitted their show entry, other songs from a submitted musical may be placed in the comment string for that musical)
  4. No duplicate songs
  5. One song per person on Day 1 (except for the extras in the comment string), unlimited on Day 2 – but only new musicals
  6. 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)

Note: Return on Day 2 to submit more songs without limits. (My typical signal is posting a song for all attendees.)

“Underground” (Memphis: The Musical)

 

Next Concert: Duets – (Either 4th or 11th January) It will be the last in this series. Songs must feature two performers who normally don’t work together. (Simon & Garfunkel would get the buzzer, but James Brown with Gloria Estefan fits)

Past Concerts (Category): Beatles, Ex-Beatles, Moody Blues, Queen, Neil Diamond, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Elton John, Billy Joel, Crosby Stills Nash & Young (the group), Doobie Brothers, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Journey, Prince, Guess Who, James Brown, Gloria Estefan

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 420

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Only one more concert remaining for 2019. Coming to the stage this weekend, Songs of Broadway. Note:

  1. Only one song per musical, so include the musical’s name and the song title.
  2. The Producer will allow other songs from the musical only as a reply in the original string of the musical. The concert begins this Saturday (14 December) at 1:00 AM (Eastern US)

Thanks to an upset in another game, the Benevolent Impalers (my fantasy football team) finished the regular season in first place. It’s onto the playoffs as the #1 seed in the semifinals of the championship bracket.

November and December are busy times for the handbell choir. We normally play at a service once a month, but last weekend was your third time in the past four weeks – and two songs at that. (Christmas services are next on the schedule.) One piece – Cathedral Windows – was very interesting. Very easy in terms of the notes – but the nuances make the difference. Listeners will notice the switches from bells to chimes to bells. Hope you listen here.

The other song we played is a more lively piece, again with handbells and chimes.

This we we saw Dark Waters at the movie theater. A good drama about a battle between members of a community and a large chemical company. For those who will see the movie, I grew up in a town on the Ohio River about 65 miles (105 km) downstream from the chemical company. As for the movie, Thumbs Up!

Kennedy Center Honors is one of my favorite shows of the year – so for me, the pre-recorded telecast is a holiday tradition. The actual event this year honoring Earth, Wind & Fire, Sally Field, Linda Ronstadt, Sesame Street, and Michael Tilson Thomas happened last weekend. CBS is televising it this Sunday night. Check your local listings.

I recently mentioned the situation of a young child falling to her death from her grandfather’s arm while on a cruise ship. I shake my head at the news of charges against the grandfather, and I shake my head again at the this week’s news of the family filing suit against the cruise line citing negligence.

To lead you into the political section, I like this headline from The Onion that is perfect for the season and the situation. Click here to see the headline.

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I fearfully wonder if America is heading into a new presidential era – one where presidents will be impeached if the opposing party controls the House of Representatives.

I would find it interesting IF after the House Judiciary Committee draws up and approves the articles of impeachment, Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) holds back an official vote until the key people that President Trump is blocking from testifying actually testify. Personally, that would increase public approval for impeachment. Therefore, I don’t think that will happen.

On a lighter note, Stephen Colbert made me laugh with this one. (IMO, it’s worth the one minute)

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion provides a timeline to the first president impeachment – one of Andrew Johnson (1868).

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Terrifying New Therapist Asks Why You Chose That Chair
Invasive restaurant franchise spreads to third state
Free-thinking cat shits outside the box
Summarians look on in confusion as God create world
Washboard Player In Jug Band Tired Of Spoons Guy Getting All The Chicks
World Wildlife Fund Apologizes After Years Of Working With Well-Known Whale Pedophile

Interesting Reads

Wondering about apostrophes
Thoughts about the future of work
World War II: A costly, unproductive battle
Gene editing and evolution
The dark side of recycling
(Graphic) The Jeff Bezos empire
(Photos) What warmth looks like
(Photos) British Ecological Society photo competition

To send you into the weekend, here’s a song about Tuesday (which isn’t on a weekend). In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.