Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 382

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Pronouns 2: The Musical continues with Act 3: Our(s). Yes, Our and Ours are acceptable. Curtain rises as Saturday at 1:00 AM (Eastern US). Meanwhile, I smile at the interactions between bloggers during the musical.

Earlier this week we saw the movie Green Book. We loved it … many thumbs up! Here’s the trailer.

This line from comedian Ricky Gervais made me laugh: “Being dead is like being stupid – it’s only painful to others.”

This week we watched a handful of Seinfeld episodes. Now that’s original comedy. When we were on a tour in Manhattan many years ago, the narrator said Seinfeld wasn’t a comedy show – but a documentary of life in Manhattan.

Until recently, I did not realize that WW 2 leaders Roosevelt (FDR), Hitler, and Mussolini all died within a span of 18 days.

A salute to Shimon! The kind thinker in Jerusalem started blogging in May 2011 – and our first encounter here was in March 2012. In this recent post he announced that it was probably his last blog post and he wanted to thank people. First of all, I appreciate when a blogger states their intentions to stop blogging (as opposed to walking away). Relationships are an important aspect of blogging, and I wish more would remember that. More importantly, Shimon is an example of why I believe the majority of the world is good. Shimon, thank you for being you. A toast of bourbon to you! Shalom.

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As of Friday (30 Nov), 34 days until the Democrats can officially start supporting President Trump’s re-election by over-playing their hand.

Not surprised President Trump rejected recent the Climate Change report done as a group effort by 13 government agencies. After all, everyone knows that he knows more about climate change than the researchers – and the agencies have a political agenda, whereas he doesn’t. Mr. President, I challenge you to put your words into action by defunding the research arm of all 13 agencies.

I’m still amazed that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has been able to contain information about the investigation. We know so little – so the reason why many speculate. Meanwhile, I patiently wonder and wait.

The large caravan of Central Americans wanting to come into the US is interesting. I recently wonder “Why?” this group exists – and I come up with this list of four most-plausible possibilities.

  • The standard immigration story of people seeking freedom with hopes of a better live
  • A plot by liberal donor(s) to embarrass President Trump and Republicans
  • A plot by conservative donor(s) to embolden President Trump
  • The Russians creating chaos
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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides important dental hygiene tips.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Brutalized toothbrush wishes owner would just let it die
Study finds only 20% of seminary graduates go on to become God
Pistachio-eating man achieves “Flow” state
Kinky couple has mirror in bathroom
Disgusting, unusable shopping cart has single sprig of parsley in it
Metropolitan museum acquires another vase

Interesting Reads

The economically dying areas
Perceptions about food risks
Captain Cook and the Hawaiian Islands
Thoughts about edible insects
Still fighting for Monkey Laws
A place where 500 people speak 9 different languages
(Photos) Unique caskets

To send you into the weekend, here’s a wonderful song from many years ago – and one for Resa who loves them, and Pauline who doesn’t know them. These Eyes (Guess Who). In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Thanksgiving 2017

Today (Thursday 23 November 2017) we in the USA celebrate Thanksgiving – a day of fun, feast, family, and fellowship. Bountiful Thanksgiving wishes to all.

On this day, I want to give thanks for a few things … OK … just a dozen.

I’m thankful for WordPress providing a platform for linking me to others across the world.

I’m thankful for encountering so many bloggers from across the globe who reinforce my belief that the majority of humanity is good. After all, goodness does not have boundaries.

I’m thankful for YouTube as a platform for everything and anything video, which allows me to share so much with others.

I’m thankful for first responders, caretakers, volunteers, and support staff who are there for the marginalized in any way: the disabled, the disenfranchised, the downtrodden, the abused, the poor, the suffering, the oppressed, and more.

I’m thankful for the good people I’ve encountered in life through work, neighborhood, church, community, school, events, and more because being around positive people is essential for a good life.

I’m thankful for my senses that allow me to experience the grand nature of creation.

I’m thankful for the ability to learn because the byproduct of learning differentiates stupidity, ignorance, and knowing.

I’m thankful for getting older because I am wiser than ever – therefore I don’t believe in going backwards.

I’m thankful for my Italian roots – and the attraction it gives me to a land afar.

I’m thankful for my wife – for her love, trust, support, companionship, and more for 42+ years of courtship and marriage.

I’m thankful for the existence of joy, happiness, and smiles – along with the many ways they can be attained.

I’m thankful that I don’t get tired of this video because it speaks volume to me about my belief in people.

On an Autobiography: Blog Style

BabyPic1) I was born here

2) … but grew up 4,614 miles (7,26 km/4,010 nautical miles) to the west of my birthplace

3) … and A, I, and O are were important letters

4) I wasn’t consider a troublemaker, but this strange night happened during my senior year.

5) Upon graduating high school, I traveled to the opposite corner of the state for college 

6) … where one of my favorite things was this, which delivered a surprise moment 

7) Since college graduation, my home has been this metropolitan area

8) I married my college sweetheart on this date

9) … spent most of my professional years doing this

10) One of my proudest moments was delivering a strong message at my mother’s funeral 

11) We now live in this town

12) … and we enjoy travelling like this way

13) This is our favorite local pastime

14) … but I also did this for about 12 years before stepping away this year

15) All in all, a good life, a happy life, with its share of ups and downs … yet my heart is still with my heritage (one and two in the same region)

16) Blogging here for the past 6+ years (since August 2008), and I’ve grown to appreciate goodness of so  many good people across the globe.

On Where

MomBridgeThat’s my mom in 1964 from her hometown in Tuscany, in between Pisa and Florence. She’s standing on a small bridge that is special to me for a variety of reason. The small village way up the hill is where my grandmother was born and grew up. The bridge crosses a small river where I occasionally played.

The bridge didn’t get much traffic, thus the road was gravel. Greenhouses and a few carnation fields lined each side of the road. A the far of the road was the stone apartment building where my mother and her siblings were raised, and where my grandparents still lived when I last visited.

I remember the stone entrance and stops as I walked to the third-floor apartment, which was small with a stone floor. No – this wasn’t the Tuscan villa of our dreams.

My grandfather was tall, quiet, and stern man who provided for his family by working in a factory. I also recall waiting for him at the end of the street for his return home. My grandmother was the stereotypical short, smiling, pleasant Italian grandmother who was a domestic goddess with her cooking and sewing.

Mom was the fourth of six siblings. The oldest, my uncle, was in a wheelchair, thus live at home his entire life. The next was an uncle that I never met because he died in an accident in his 20s. Four girls followed – two older aunts, my mom, and my youngest aunt.

1964 is a long time ago. Since then, most have died – my grandfather (1964), my uncle (1965), my grandmother (1973), Mom (1987), the oldest sister (2010), and the second oldest sister (2012) – let alone the spouses and my dad (2010), my paternal grandparents, Dad’s two sisters, and their spouses.

So that leaves Mom’s youngest sister, two first cousins that I last saw in 1964, and two first cousins that I have not met.

Well – that’s where I’ve been as I just returned from my first visit to see my relatives since 1964 – visit to focus on my last tie to my Mom – here youngest sister – and yes, my four first cousins and their families.

Obviously, the first encounter involved hugs and tears … and then we ate, drank, and laughed … and that was only day 1.


On 22 December: A Tribute

December 22 is a special day to honor history, science, military, cars, and some oddities. This post starts in 1962.

On December 22, 1962

  • First British band reaches #1 on US single’s chart: Telstar by the The Tornados
  • USSR performs a nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • 1,000,000th NBA point scored
  • Ralph Fiennes (actor) and John Erickson (blogger) born as twins from different mothers
  • All knitted out with new khakis and a rucksack, John Erickson voted cutest baby in nursery

AskJohnDecember 22, 1963: Official 30-day mourning period for President John F Kennedy ends so people can celebrate John Erickson’s first birthday

December 22, 1964: Comedian Lenny Bruce is convicted of obscenity while celebrating John Erickson’s second birthday

December 22, 1965: Vowing to never let John Erickson speed, Great Britain sets maximum speed at 70 MPH

December 22, 1966: WCVW-TV channel 57 in Richmond, Virginia (PBS) goes live by broadcasting John Erickson’s 4th birthday celebration

December 22, 1968: Julie Nixon weds Dwight David Eisenhower to celebrate John Erickson’s 6th birthday

December 22, 1970: SS Commander Franz Stangl of Treblinka, sentenced to life in prison to celebrate John Erickson’s 8th birthday

December 22, 1978: Deng Xiaoping reverses Mao-era policies to allow Chinese to celebrate John Erickson’s 16th birthday

December 22, 1980: So its crew can celebrate John Erickson’s 18th birthday, USS Eisenhower returned to Norfolk, Virginia after a 251-day deployment

December 22, 1982:  Having memorized all three seasons of Star Trek, John sends a fan letter to William Shatner at his new T.J. Hooker TV show, promising to adore him forever.  Bill returns a heartfelt letter saying, “Go ‘way kid, yah bother me!  Why don’t you go bug Yeoman Janice?”

December 22, 1984: Board of Elections discovers John Erickson voted for Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley three times, despite the fact Daley died in 1976

December 22, 1985: To honor a Star Trek enthusiast’s 23rd birthday, NASA moves STS 51-L (space shuttle) to Launch Pad 39B

December 22, 1988: To celebrate his 26th birthday, John Erickson orders 2 robbers wearing police uniforms to rob armored truck in NJ of $3 million

December 22, 1989: Romanians celebrate John Erickson’s 27th birthday by ousting Nicolea Ceausescu

December 22, 1989: To honor John Erickson’s 27th birthday, Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate re-opens after nearly 30 years, effectively ending the division of East and West Germany.

December 22, 1990: Poles celebrate John Erickson’s 28th birthday by swearing-in their first popularly elected president, Lech Walesa

December 22, 1997: To help John Erickson, FDA approves Merck’s baldness pill for men

December 22, 1998: Courts order Microsoft to stop blocking Blue Mountain Arts so John Erickson can receive birthday cards

December 22, 2005: To honor John Erickson’s 41st birthday, astronomers hail his proctologist by announcing the discovery of two more rings encircling the planet Uranus

December 22, 2007:  Medically induced financial exile forces John and his long-suffering wife to move to eastern Ohio – Local Amish organize strong protest

December 22, 2010: For nothing to do with John Erickson besides his 48th birthday, President Barack Obama signed a law allowing gays for the first time in history to serve openly in America’s military – thus repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy

December 22, 2012: John Erickson – blogger; Trekkie; enthusiast of WW II, anything military, certain cars, and general nonsense; Clutch Cargo fan, and friend of many bloggers – turns 50

Other Sharing John Erickson’s Birthday
Diocletian, Roman Emperor (244)
Roger II, King of Sicily (1095)
James Oglethorpe (1696) English founder of Georgia (US)
Giacomo Puccini, composer (1858)
Minor Watson, Guadalcanal Diary actor, (1889)
Grote Reber, first radio astronomer (1911)
Lady Bird Johnson, American First Lady (1912)
Barbara Billingsley, actor (1915)
Gene Rayburn, game show host (1917)
Diane Sawyer, broadcast journalist (1945)
Brothers Gibb, Robin and Maurice, Bee Gees (1949)
Coco, first gorilla bred in captivity (1956)
Yuri Malenchenko, Russian astronaut (1961)
Dina Meyer, Starship Troppers actor (1968)
Greg Biffle, NASCAR driver, (1969)

Many people have a soft spot for animals. As strays come to doors, some shoo them away, others offer temporary help, and some even take them in. In late 2010/early, someone saw my comment about being in Ohio – and shortly thereafter I received a visit. The best I can determine, John Erickson first commented here on January 3, 2011 – and he’s been not only hanging around here ever since, but he has also worked his way into many of your lives.

John always provides an interesting quip, and at times, I admit writing commentator-award1something to set up his comment. Most of us got to know John through his visits because he didn’t host a blog as he does now. To John, I present the Commentator Award.

I’ve never met (in person) any bloggers, but this past October I drove 3.5 hours to meet John – and I had a wonderful day with hopes that I return in the spring. Happy birthday John … and a video for you below.

Visit these other birthday tributes: Fasab, Elyse, Guapo, Weebs, Doggy, Jamie, Brainrants, Benzeknees, Archon, The Idiot Speaketh, WhiteLadyInTheHood