On the Closing Ceremonies – The Schedule

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As I enter the homestretch of my time on these pages, below is the final agenda/timeline. All times are Eastern US.

If you missed the final beach walk, go back one post or click here.

If you missed the final short story, go back two posts or click here.

(Thursday 23 Jan 9 pm) Final Opinions in the Shorts

(Saturday 25 Jan 1 am) Final Music Fest – This post is about music, music, music, and more music. Not only bring a song to share with me, be ready to give songs to your friends in the comments.

(Sun 26 Jan 4 pm) Final Gift Party – The collection of unknown gift bags should provide interesting times.

(Tues 28 Jan 9 pm) Retrospect: The Beginning – A look back at how this place came to be.

(Thurs 30 Jan 9 pm) Retrospect: The Blog Golden Years – About a period of time that I felt many people were blogging and I made the most connections.

(Sat 1 Feb 1 AM) Retrospect: The Posts – Bloggers must have something to say, so this post is about how my little corner of the world displayed my personality through its posts.

(Sun 2 Feb 9 pm) Retrospect: The People – For me, this was the most important to write in my closing series. It was also the most difficult. After completing the first draft, I know the time was right for me. Because of the importance of my loyal readers, I shed a few tears when writing this post.

(Tues 4 Feb 9 pm) The Final Post – Some final thoughts and a look ahead.

On a Beach Walk: #71 (Homeostasis)

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

Recently thinking about balance caused me to wonder toward a related word – a very important biological concept. A word that is often mentioned and defined in biology textbook’s Chapter 1 or 2 as an important term – then seldom resurfacing. Teachers knowing its importance will regularly reinforce the concept throughout the course. Textbooks stressing this important concept are rare, therefore outside the mainstream.

The word – homeostasis – isn’t one that pops into everyday conversation. We don’t hear it on the news broadcasts or read it in news articles. Homeostasis has probably appeared as a Jeopardy answer in the form of a question, but doubtfully as a full category.

Homeostasis is that word that many do not know, but one that people know examples while not associating the examples to the word. Homeostasis has to do with balance, but not in the same sense as the actions when trying to walk a railroad track or balance beam.

Although our body is constantly producing heat, homeostasis is that mechanism keeping our body temperature relatively the same by releasing heat. If the body temperature lowers, a homeostasis mechanism adjusts to keep heat in and possibly produce more heat. After all, have you ever shivered?

Because reptiles don’t have an automatic mechanism to regulate body temperature, they adjust by responding with behaviors –  sunning on a rock to increase body temperature, or seeking  cool shade or a hole in the ground to keep the body from overheating.

In order to maintain a body temperature, the organism must have senses to detect external and internal temperature, plus ways to transmit those information/signals to bring about a response to maintain the balance – that’s homeostasis.

We take in water – most commonly through food and beverages. Our cells also constantly produce water. Our blood, over 50% water, continuously passes through our kidneys, which constantly removes water from the blood so it is released from the body as the key ingredient in urine. That’s homeostasis.

Water moving in and out of our body – yet, a mechanism is in place to keep the water level within us relatively constant. Making us thirsty when necessary – retaining water when needed – eliminating the excess if necessary. That’s homeostasis.

Many cells have water continuously entering, yet they don’t explode from over-swelling because of a mechanism for removing water is in place. That’s homeostasis.

Plants take in water through their roots, but also release water through their leaves – so plants must have a mechanism for regulating the two. Who would have imagined a similarity our kidneys have with plants – That’s homeostasis.

All living things require constant energy to survive, and regardless if caught, prepared, or made themselves, that energy comes from food – That’s homeostasis.

Our cells are constantly using food from the blood to make the energy required to sustain life. After we eat, our digestive system prepares the food so cells can use it. The final products of digestion move into the blood from transport to the cells for their use or to storage cells for later use. Insulin plays an important role in maintaining the sugar level in the blood – that’s homeostasis.

Living things have many examples of homeostasis, and maintaining body temperature and water and food levels are a few examples – but there are many others.

Yes – homeostasis is an important concept in biology and in life because it is important to all living things – birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, single cells, insects, worms, sponges, jellyfish, clams, crabs, plants, and more – all living things.

My teacher side came out for this walk – but maybe my thoughts have given you something to think about. After all, I like walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On an Emotional Roller Coaster

A short story based on emotions. Writing a story to fit this sequence would be an interesting challenge if anyone is interested. However, I will not issue the challenge.

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Noticed

Impressed

Acquainted

Enjoyed

Connected

Joyful

Envious

Convinced

Anticipation

Embarrassed

Relieved

Disappointed

Whipped

Forgiven

Thankful

Calmed

Appreciated

Respected

Drained

Trusted

Happy

Perplexed

Cautious

Composed

Friendly

Surprised

Grateful

Upbeat

Relaxed

Delighted

Anxious

Startled

Collected

Enthusiastic

Inspired

Absorbed

Patient

Confused

Frustrated

Abandoned

Lonely

Lost

Cordial

Hopeful

Jubilant

Ecstasy

Devoted

Blissful

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 424

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Welcome to the next-to-the last edition of OITS.

As a baseball fan, the baseball trilogy of beach walks was a lot of fun. I actually wrote the drafts last February as Spring Training was starting. I knew that non-baseball fans may not like them as much, but I felt the fans would love them.

The conclusion is officially mapped. Note the following:

  • Saturday (early) – My last attempt at fiction – and definitely something different
  • Sunday (evening) – The last Beach Walk (and a seemingly odd topic)
  • Tuesday (evening) – Agenda for the finale series
  • Thursday (evening) – The last OITS

After months of scrounging through my blog closet, being on the homestretch is starting to sink in to me.

In 2019 the top golf tour for aspiring golf professional was the Web.com Tour. I friend of mine asked me about the new tour name – Korn Ferry Tour. Being unfamiliar with the name, I pictured Corn Fairy.

I’m enjoying the book I’m reading: Leadership in Turbulent Times (Doris Kearns Goodwin), which focuses on Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.

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I know this will be hard to believe, but I missed another debate. Maybe I’ll catch the next one …. NOT!

Appears the impeachment trial will begin next week. I’ll pass in order to look for reruns of old TV westerns.

I have read past oaths regarding senators and an impeachment trial, but I am curious to see this oath because I know the vast majority of senators are lying under oath.

Last week I criticized Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) for making extra stupid remarks and then doubling down on them. Since then, he apologized. Sorry Rep. Collins, I don’t accept because your true colors clearly demonstrates you are a partisan hack and that you meant your foul words. After all, if you meant them, you would change your behavior.

To lead you into The Onion headlines, here’s one that left me speechless. For those who dare, click for yourself. https://www.theonion.com/excited-park-rangers-announce-lincoln-memorial-actually-1840896775

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

US plagued by widespread Website crashes after mouse gets into Internet
Area woman’s baseless hatred of Anne Hathaway reciprocated
Archeologists discover cave with earliest built-in shelves
Nation gathers around area man trying to parallel park
Landlord figures he can pass off uninhabitable shithole as ‘great for students’
Cereal too crispy, needs to soak

Interesting Reads

Thoughts about genetic engineering
Polarization in the media
Something to think about regarding Free Shipping
Visual Capitalist’s 20 best graphics of 2019
The decline of cash
(Pictures) The Nature Conservatory Photo Contest winners
(Graphic) 20 years of Internet giants 
(Graphic) The apathy vote in the US

To send you into the weekend, here’s a classic made famous at Woodstock. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On a Beach Walk: #70 (Baseball – Ballparks)

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

Today I think about the palaces of the fans known as ballparks to some – baseball stadiums to others.

Ballparks are those places creating a special feeling when hearing the wooden bat hit the ball followed by the roar of a cheering crowd rising to their feet – a bonding moment not only between people and the game, but also between people.

Ballparks are the cathedrals of baseball where people gather to worship with faith and allegiance for their team and yell praise to their cleated heroes. Ballparks are a place where memories are made to be told to the next generation.

I think of places before my time: Cincinnati’s Palace of the Fans, Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, Philadelphia’s Baker Bowl, Cleveland’s League Park, and Washington’s Griffith Stadium.

Many may not remember Los Angeles having a Wrigley Field. Not only the first and one-year home of the Los Angeles Angels, but also the location to television’s Home Run Derby.

There are the classic stadiums of my youth – Forbes Field (Pittsburgh), Connie Mack Stadium (Philadelphia) – previously known as Shibe Park – Sportsman’s Park (St. Louis), Polo Grounds (New York), cavernous Municipal Stadium (Cleveland), Crosley Field (Cincinnati), and others.

All places with their own quirks – yet, places of lore – but these are now gone. Places that may or may not have a sign or plaque commemorating its existence. Places that may be a playground, an apartment complex, a shopping area, a group of office buildings, or something for industry.

Let us not forget Boston’s Braves Field for much of it still stands. Not for baseball, but as a football field for Boston University – today known as Nickerson Field. An old ticket booth remains as a tribute to its past. One can sit in the stands imagining Spahn and Sain, then praying for rain – or slugger Eddie Mathews and other greats who played on this field.

A few teams played in temporary facilities as they waited for their new home – Houston’s mosquito-infested Colt 45 Stadium, Montreal’s quaint Jarry Park, and the Dodgers playing is a make-shift for baseball layout of massive LA Coliseum, which included a temporary high left field fence that made Moon Shots famous.

These ballparks gave way to the circular masses of concrete and steel known as multi-purposes stadiums that hosted baseball and football. Fortunately, most of them had shorter life spans than their predecessors. Not only is Atlanta’s multi-purpose stadium gone, so is it’s replacement.

The current generation of ballparks try to emulate the feel of those ballparks of long ago, but with modern conveniences and design. Yes, New York’s Yankee Stadium still exists, but it is not The House that Ruth Built – yet the city and franchise honors the original location.

For fans of baseball history, fortunately Boston’s Fenway Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field stand of iconic tributes to the past. One has to wonder how long they will last – but for now, there is no end in sight … and for some of us, that’s a good thing.

No matter if in the old, new, or bygone, ballparks are places where vivid memories are made to be recalled – places where one can close their eyes and recall a past moment – a past hero – a past place as Ebbets or Crosley that stand no more, yet occupies a special place in the minds and hearts of their fans.

Ballparks are a special place – but so are beaches because walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: #69 (Baseball – The Season)

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(Part 2 of 3)

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

Every mid-February while many are in the midst of winter’s firm grip, the time as come for pitchers and catchers to report for Spring Training.

February-March is the time of the year when baseball hearts emerge from the cold ground as those initial shoots of daffodils. A time when interest and hope are in the air as our Boys of Summer prepare for the annual Rite of Spring.

To baseball fans, spring is a time of hope, resurrection, and anticipation – a time for believing this is the year. To some, that hope may be dashed by mid-May, but hearts remain loyal to their team. There’s always next year! Even while languishing in the cellar, hearts still rejoice with each win – and feels low with each loss.

Baseball is a game played by fan favorites – the icons and legends. Lovers of the game can feel the presence of Ruth, Cobb, Gehrig, Hornsby, and Musial while cherishing the Big Train, the Iron Horse, Wee Willie, Double X, and many more. Unfortunately, most if us knew very little about Satch, Josh, and Cool Papa.

Baseball fans know their childhood heroes as Charlies Hustle, Yaz, Doggie, Little Joe, the Say-Hey Kid, Duke, Mr. Cub, and Pops while fearing the Big Swish, King Kong, and Killer.

Baseball fans appreciate generational links as Ken Griffey Senior and Junior – the 3 generations of Boones or Bells.

The successful careers of brothers as the Alous is difficult to comprehend – let alone contemplating that Boog Powell should have been one of them.

Baseball – that national fascination that grew with the Golden Age of Radio. The game causing families to gather around a large box in the living room to cheer their heroes. A game that a future US President would recreate in a studio from a telegraphic ticker.

Every city has revered radio announcers – names that fans elsewhere may not know – but to locals, these are trusted voices who speak for them. Therefore, it is fitting that the hallowed halls of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York has an announcer’s wing – yet each fan prefers the voice of the one from our team.

I grew up in a time when people listened to many more games than watching. The Reds on TV were a rare treat to be savoured and not missed.

There was a time when Opening Day was Cincinnati’s day – a day all of baseball reserved for its first professional team – a day marking the season’s beginning for the entire baseball universe. This was done at a time before baseball sold its soul to cable TV in the name of money – even opening on another continent – but Cincinnatians ignore everyone and keep its traditions by hosting their Opening Day like no other place.

Baseball season is a marathon – not a sprint. The joy of today will be tempered by the sadness of tomorrow – and that tomorrow will provide the hope for another chance at joy.

There was a time when the October classic was fittingly named and didn’t crown a champion on a cold night in late October or early November. The end of the World Series truly meant the arrival of fall instead of the trumpeting of winter. A time when the leaves would swirl in empty stadiums and the ivy on Wrigley’s walls would go dormant – a time when colder temperatures were nearing, but not here yet.

As snows gather on the northern pallacial diamonds – yet we fans wait as flower bulbs below the snow-covered surface for the return of that annual Rite of Spring.

Baseball season is one of the many cycles of life – just like birds flying south for the winter – just like I vacate my northern outpost. After all, walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: #68 (Baseball – The Game)

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(Part 1 of 3)

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

I think about the national past-time – the grand ol’ game of baseball.

Yes, baseball – that mathematical ballet played on a green diamond found in a variety of geometric shapes.

Yes, baseball – that timeless game often mirroring society.

Baseball –  the game without a clock – which is contradictory to the hectic nature of today’s everyday life – a life requiring time management and electronic calendars.

Baseball – a game that is more subtle than obvious. A game with a ball controlled by the defense; but hitting the ball causes each defender to move to a place of calculated efficiency in order to prevent something from happening. Yes – baseball is chess on grass.

Baseball – a game of definitives – win or lose – ball or strike – safe or out – fair or foul – most, of which, an independent arbiter decides.

To some, baseball is a kids game played by men – but to me, baseball is a man’s game kids play as they dream of becoming a summer icon.

To its loyal fans, baseball is a game of hope designed to break one’s heart – yet the same hope acts as restoration because tomorrow is a new day and the chance to make amends.

Baseball – played on heavenly green cathedrals for the loving souls. From the fan’s and player’s perspective, yes – truly a Field of Dreams. Not the one beside the cornfield, but the ones with the highly manicured brilliant green grass. Every fan remembers the first time their eyes saw major league grass – the green that forever sticks to one’s soul. Mine was Crosley Field in Cincinnati – Reds vs. Giants in the mid 1960s. Yes, my Reds won that night.

Baseball – a game of anticipation, but with anticipation comes waiting. To me, the young focus on anticipation, but as we age, there is a shift to waiting – yet, baseball provides both.

Baseball – a game filled with artistry – the fluidity of a 6-4-3 double play – the athleticism of an outfielder leaping to catch the ball before clearing the wall for a homerun – a catch that delivers relief to some, but heartache to others.

Baseball – the masterfully pitched game that befuddles batters is a work of a master craftsman – a brilliant painter. A few of the best hitters are professional batsmen who actually fail 2 out of 3 times is pure music.

Baseball – whose exclusion of Blacks spawned the Negro Leagues – and whose inclusion closed them – yet, let us not forget Moses Fleetwood Walker.

Baseball – the game that mirrors society. It’s segregated past broken by Jackie Robinson 17 years before Congress passed the Civil Rights Act.

Baseball – a game and a business. Greedy owners and players wanting more is nothing new – actually, close to the age of the professional game. That happens in business – yet today, players act in accordance to their own business decisions. Sadly, the days of a distinguished career in one uniform is slim – but not out.

Baseball – a game that challenges our patience, something that walking the beach does not do because walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.