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 a Bit of Cincinnati

Located on the Ohio River, Cincinnati was a center for westward expansion – and it embraces its river heritage

 

Win or lose, Cincinnati embraces it’s baseball team … and we’ve lost a lot in recent years

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Fountain Square is the center of city center … and the place where people gather to celebrate and commemorate

 

Cincinnati love its art deco … these are in the Carew Tower

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The city shines during the day …

 

…. and at night …

 

… and it has quiet places in the city center

 

On the Cincinnati’s Merry-Go-Round, (Carol Ann’s Carousel) riders can choose from 44 handmade Cincinnati-centered characters. Do you have any ideas for these characters? To see all the characters, click here for a video.

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 377

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Pronouns: The Musical is continue its trek this weekend featuring songs with They in the title. (Not an easy theme.) Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US).

With wireless available in all our hotels, I admit not totally disconnecting during the blog break.

Although I jumped way ahead to the Croatian National Park, I did it for Robin’s Walktober celebration. I still have to post a series about the western national parks tour we took last May-June (which I will start this Sunday night).

The previous post (Walktober walk) was a round-number milestone – post #2100. For those who enjoyed the walk through Plitvice, I hope you watched the two videos that I mentioned directly under the map. Both are wonderful!

While away, baseball’s regular season ended – and another predictably painful one for Cincinnati fans.

There are 3 tiers (levels) of professional soccer in the USA: top-level MLS (20 teams), NASL (6 teams), and lower-level USL (33 teams). Although Cincinnati is in the lowest tier, of the 59 teams, Cincinnati’s was fourth in attendance – probably a reason why the franchise will move up to MLS next year.

We are enjoying catching up on Dancing With The Stars through recordings. This season has some very good dancers. However, the last elimination was very unfortunate. What are voters thinking?

While strolling through Trieste (Italy), we encountered a new experience – a flute orchestra. Fascinating! I recorded a 90-sec clip, and I’m curious to see if this works. (Then click the video after it appears)  As a back-up plan, I found this YouTube video.

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Given several prominent election races at home, I did NOT miss the barrage of political ads on television.

I continue to hear certain people rebuking Nike products because of Nike’s use of Colin Kaepernick as a spokesperson. What these people don’t know is that Nike’s target audience is not old white guys who vote Republican and wear New Balance shoes bought from Kohl’s, Target, or WalMart.

Glad that I was gone during the Supreme Court appointment process. The way I see it, both Republicans and Democrats have painted themselves into a predictable partisan corner only to predictably flip-flop in the future – and the partisan flock will merrily follow along.

Regarding Judge Kavanaugh, I don’t want to judge someone on possible indiscretions during teen and college years. I was already against the nomination, but not for the same reasons as the Democratic loyalists. Then again, each party only agrees with my view of the Supreme Court when it is convenient to their position. These two past posts explain my viewpoint. (Feb 2016 & June 2016)

Although we learned about the political climates in various countries on our trip, my wife and I were politically cautious with our fellow travellers – but we sensed the majority are not happy with President Trump.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, this scoop by The Onion about Donald Trump, Jr. made my laugh.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

  • Mom still raving about butternut squash ravioli she tried 13 years ago
  • Annoyed movers weren’t expecting client to have belongings
  • Sweatshop worker doesn’t even want to know working conditions of place he company gets fabric
  • Nurse’s tray all scalpels
  • Sex shop bathroom key attached to 18-inch double dildo

Interesting Reads

To send you into the weekend, here’s a pleasant song by the Doobie Brothers. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 368

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Pronouns: The Musical debuts this weekend. Act 1 features songs with “I” in the title. Curtain goes up this Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US). My goal is to have a different act every weekend, but time will tell if I can do that pace. Meanwhile, The Producer is ready!

Earlier this week we cut-the-cord; that is, we discontinued our satellite TV service, then went to an antenna for local channels and a streaming service for a package of stations. Saving $75 per month will take care of the upfront costs in less than a year. Should I do a post on the process of considering cutting-the-cord?

Time demands the past two weeks have been greater than normal – so thanks for your patience.

Baseball’s All-Star break was this week. My Reds have been playing very good and entertaining baseball in recent weeks. Although they have one of the best records over the last 35 games, they remain in last place of the division by 4.5 games.

Amazon is a great service. We bought something a day or two before Prime Day – which offered the same product $50 less. Amazon would not credit the difference to our account. So, they paid for shipping to return the unopened product, credited our account for the entire purchase, gave us a $10 courtesy credit, and then allowed us to repurchase the product. Although we came out ahead, it doesn’t make sense to me.

Congratulations to France for winning the World Cup.

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Here’s a worthy read: What’s wrong with political leaders citing research?

Although his followers love it, President Trump’s European trip was a disaster.

Last week’s joint hearing of the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committees with FBI official Peter Strzok was a great example of political theater and partisan hackmanship. On the plus side, the hearing resulted in one of the best Stephen Colbert monologues ever! Below is one of my favorite segments in the monologue that is worth 12 minutes. To see the entire monologue, click here.

Because he naturally says things that are fitting for a comedy skit, President Trump is a gift that keeps on giving. Ahead of the meeting with Vladimir Putin, The Bloviator said he had met Putin “two or two-and-a-half times before.” Hmmmm …. that is definitely worth pondering.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides tips for getting the most out of life.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Bride and groom clearly have not kissed much
Guy on cologne advertisement must smell pretty good
Heavenly Sources Confirm Joe Jackson Already Screaming At Michael
Half Of Morning Run Spent Trying To Change Song On Phone
Poll finds 97% of Americans don’t know who Donald Trump is
Woodpecker Having Difficulty Remembering Tree Where He Got The Really Good Bugs That One Time

Interesting Reads
People in a difficult world
The history of steel
Populist Parties in Western Europe
The breakfast capital of the world?
For those who are scared of math
(Graphic) Household wealth by countries
(Photos) An enjoyable collection from National Geographic

To send you into the weekend and continuing the summer theme, here’s a song from my youth. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 356

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Congratulations to blogger, author, and long-time visitor here, Carrie Rubin, on the release of her latest book (The Bone Curse). Click here for the Amazon link.

This Sunday is Eastern for Western Christianity. That also means the handbells will be involved with music on multiple occasions. This Joyful Eastertide is our featured song. For those listening, 1) we will be without the trumpets, and 2) you will easily hear the difference between playing handbells and chimes as we switch from one to the other several times during the piece. Click here to listen.

Cincinnatians treat Opening Day (for baseball) as a festive holiday event. Major League Baseball (MLB) is starting the season earlier than normal, and this year, it happens to be in front of Easter weekend – which conflicts with the businesses that sponsor the Opening Day parade. In other words, the first game and the parade will not be on the same day. Thanks you MLB.

I’m a life-love Cincinnati Reds fan. Given the teams lack of success over the past 25 years, apathy would be a good word to describe my outlook for the season. I wish them well. I will root for them. I will remain loyal – but I don’t expect much.

Sears is a struggling company. How can the Sears Board of Directors in good conscience give their CEO are bonus ?

Do you remember the term tattletails? Even though I haven’t heard in many years, this local editorial focused on the term while relating it to various local and national events. I think this is a worthy read. 

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A few days ago I received a one-side survey for supporting President Trump and Republican Party. Filling it out was worth the time and stamp. In the extra comments box I wondered why the committee would keep sending me these surveys – especially considering my answers and other comments.

I like this question asked by Chuck Todd on Meet the Press: (I paraphrase) Which event will have greater impact six months from now: the gun control rallies or Stormy Daniels?

Because the extremes have a way of digging in, I still find it difficult to believe that America can have a true discussion about gun control. Then again, surprises can happen.

As a whole, I believe most Americans strongly dislike negative campaigns. However, this statement on Politico caught him attention. In preparing to go toe-to-toe with Trump, Democrats will have to take some sparring practice, and not all the punches are going to land. But to insist that candidates shouldn’t treat the campaign like a schoolyard brawl is to deny the reality that one of the candidates is going to make sure that it is one.

The US Supreme Court has their hands full with dealing with gerrymandering.

Thank you Stephen Colbert for continuing to make me laugh as a way of dealing with the current White House occupant and his administration.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides a timeline for 20 years of Netflix.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Man assumed celebrity sighting would do much for his career
Classically trained actor can talk on cue
Dead medieval woman gave birth to baby in coffin
Handwriting expert confirms killer used cursive
Man calls trust fund his savings

Interesting Reads
Resilient life in an Indian coastal town
Is the Democratic Big-Tent shrinking?
Science and social media
World maps with literal names for countries
Censoring in Egypt
Places on Earth that seem to be from another world

To send you into the weekend (and as move toward their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction), here’s another Moody Blues classic. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 312

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Earlier this week we sent to the theater to see Star Trek Beyond. My thoughts include the following:

  • Entertaining
  • Interesting story
  • As science fiction, certain events hard to believe
  • Thumbs up to the various tributes to the original stars
  • Loved the animated images at the end

HGTV fans know the Property Brothers are very popular – but I had no idea that Fixer Upper has twice as many viewers as Drew and Jonathan.

The beginning of the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro is a few weeks away. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has a way of demonstrating it is a bunch of egotistical buffoons.

Baseball’s trading deadline is approaching, so I have a trade suggestion for my Cincinnati Reds: trade management and ownership for a dozen fungo bats, 100 new baseballs, 50 used rosin bags, and a box of rocks to be determined later.

Daal @ Happiness Between Tails invited me to do a guest post about ballroom dancing. I invite readers here to visit the post. Daal, thanks for asking. Here’s the post.

I have a family obligation this coming week, so I won’t be posting – and I question if I will have any presence elsewhere.

No Explore post this weekend.

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I’ve never been a fan of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), so count me in as one in the good-riddance camp. Meanwhile, this incident works against the party nominee.

Hillary Clinton’s selection of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) was a predictable, safe pick. On the other hand, I’m not sure how much it appeases the progressive wing of the Democratic party. He has impressive credentials, but doesn’t strike me as the attack-dog type and he is a bit dull.

This comment makes sense to me: When someone makes a choice based on the lesser of two evils, they still select evil.

I finally got around to watch the CNN Town Hall event with the Libertarian presidential slate: Gary Johnson and Bill Weld … It bored me and I think they missed a golden opportunity to get people’s attention.

I like good political speeches – actually in either party. However, the political climate of recent years has worn thin on my enthusiasm for a good speech … so I didn’t watch the Democratic convention, but I did see several minutes of President Obama’s speech because my wife was watching.

I see conventions as a 4-day infomercial to inspire the partisans – and fortunately is great for the fact checkers because politicians and their parties frequently are inaccurate. Because the partisans are the target, the audience doesn’t care.

With a variety of email scandals currently on the table, it’s interesting that Republicans continue to talk about Russians hacking Clinton’s private servers, whereas the FBI report stated “no evidence” of a successful intrusion since 2009 but that intrusion was “possible”.

Research shows that 92.683% of problems today are directly linked to Presidents Roosevelt (FDR), Clinton, and Obama.

President Obama’s Five Faults of the Week

  • Russia’s state sponsored doping program for athletes
  • Sen. Ted Cruz not endorsing Donald Trump
  • Donald Trump reaching out to Russian hackers
  • The way people dress at Wal-Mart
  • The dismal season of the Cincinnati Reds

Bonus Coverage of the Democratic Convention by The Onion

  • Supporters Aggravated Bernie Sanders Didn’t Use DNC Speech To Get Voters To Act Against Their Own Self-Interest
  • Convention Crowd Really Hoping Bill Clinton Breaks Tension With Joke About How Terrible He Looks
  • Lone Superdelegate Voting For Martin O’Malley Feels Like Total F*#&ing Idiot
  • Depressed, Butter-Covered Tom Vilsack Enters Sixth Day Of Corn Bender After Losing VP Spot
  • Area Man Responds, “That makes sense” after being told the crowd isn’t chanting “Four more ears.”
  • Cannon Overshoots Tim Kaine Across Wells Fargo Center
  • Clinton Campaign Thanks Volunteers For Killing Millions Of Gnats In Hillary’s Bus
  • Biden Chokes Up While Describing Hardworking Americans Who Can Only Afford Shitty Ditch Weed
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To let you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion offers these tips for throwing the perfect bachelorette party.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Man Checks To Make Sure No One Home Before Recording Song Into Laptop
Determinist Insurance Company Insists All Conditions Are Preexisting
Aquatic Turtle Discovers Limits Of Tank For 43,000th Time
Ellis Island Visitor Honored To Finally See the Location Where His Grandfather Was Deloused
Man Entirely Different Misogynist Online Than In Real Life

Interesting Reads
Mandatory education for adults
The evolution of turtle shells
History of clear sodas
The effect of full-time work on the brain
Life and quantum physics
(Photos) Soviet relics

To send you into the weekend, here’s a song from 1983. I didn’t high on the charts, but I like it. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 298

Image from 123vectors.com

Image from 123vectors.com

Greetings! Good to see you again. My blog break went well, but not as planned because I didn’t write much. However, I helped my wife ease into retirement mode.

A national handbell organization had a regional convention about an hour away, so the choir went. Two days of a lot of standing on a concrete floor means tired legs. Our choir had an individual coaching session. We didn’t play our piece well with foreign bells, but we got something out of the session. Meanwhile, we attended a concert where we heard this piece by the Purdue Bells, which is a wonderful way to usher in a new header.

Because of my fascination with images of deep space, this image of the Veil Nebula Supernova Remnant is from the Hubble Heritage Collection at the Hubble Gallery. To see my collection of past headers, click the Past Headers page/tab above the header.

I considered resuming Colors: The Musical immediately upon my return, but common sense prevailed because I value my guests. I’ll announce more here next week, but for those who need to know, see the Hear Ye page.

I seldom reblog my own or anyone else post, but I’m considering doing that with old posts – well, assuming I find something appropriate.

The death of pop music star Prince shocked us. Here’s an article about a secret concert he played in Cincinnati in 1984.

Competitors completed the Boston Marathon this past Monday. Although the news focused on the dominant presence of Ethiopians in the top places, the women’s wheelchair division caught my attention. For the fourth consecutive year, Tatyana McFadden – a Russian-born American won the division. Born with spina bifida, Tatyana spent the first six years of her life in a Russian orphanage without receiving physical therapy and without a wheelchair. Now that’s an amazing courage and determination!

Baseball season is underway and I have the following goals for my Cincinnati Reds:

  1. Win more games than the ‘62 Mets (40)
  2. Not finishing with the worst record in baseball
  3. Have at a team below them in the standings
  4. Finish closer to the team above them in the standing than below them
  5. Beyond this list would be a tremendous success

Because I’m easing my way back into my normal rhythm, no Explore post this weekend.

My wife received this pillow as a retirement gift – and I find it interesting.

PillowAdventure

Columnist David Ignatius wrote this interesting column about the Saudis.

At this point, I can listen to a news conference by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WS) – which is an improved from predecessors John Boehner (R-OH) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Republican senators meeting with the Supreme Court nominee while continuing to block the confirmation process infuriates me even more than the block.

The 2016 primary has been quite bizarre, and to me, the title of this Ruth Marcus column is quite profound – An unpopularity content for the ages.

I find it interesting that the #2 contender in each party have this quality in common: an inability to work across the aisle. According to the Lugar Center – McCourt School Bipartisan Index at Georgetown University, not only do Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) have the lowest scores in 2015, each of them are in the bottom 11 of all senators since 1993. Here’s a good question for them: Have do you plan to get Congress to act on your ideas when you have a poor history of working within Congress?

Consider this possibility – Donald Trump (R-NY) and Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) walk out of the Republican convention together to embrace a third-party run.

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To lead you into your weekly dose of satire, The Onion offers tips for having your own vegetable garden.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Sixth beer steps in to speak for area man
Universe feels zero connection with guy tripping out on mushrooms
Breeze plays kick-ass riff on wind chimes
Pope Francis worried about job security after butting heads with new God
New study finds humans experience greatest joy when pushing “Skip Ad” button

Interesting Reads
Life-long learning and technology
A century of flight
Animal neat freaks
Augustine of Hippo
(Animation) Battle of Shiloh
(Video) Explaining burning ping-pong balls

To send you into this weekend, here’s a throwback in time with a touch of Bobby Darin and a dose of Prince. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.