Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 385

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The final act of Pronouns 2: The Musical is this weekend featuring songs Self in the title. Acceptable words are Self, Itself, Herself, Himself, Myself, Ourselves, Yourselves, Themselves, and the original theme – Its (but not It’s). Curtain time is Saturday, 1 AM (Eastern US).

FYI: There will be a very important music announcement before introducing the opening act!

Given the way the holidays fall and my posting plans, this is the final OITS for 2018. Plans are to return the first Thursday/Friday in January.

Cheers! – Although limited, my wife returned to the dance floor last weekend. Simply some dancers are easier on the feet than others. For the other dances, I search for partners.

Friday is the Winter Solstice for those of us in the northern hemisphere. To those that embrace the day, a beautiful video for you.

As reported here, we cut the television cord this past July. At this point, neither of us regret the decision.

Cheers to Cincinnati for its high rating as a city for beer lovers. Here’s the list: Ranking the best US cities for beer drinkers

I must put in a plug for one of my favorite television special shows of the year is on December 26th – the Kennedy Center Honors. For me, this is a can’t miss event. It’s on CBS, so check your local listings.

Hooray for me! Only one more post to get in the queue, and then the rest of 2018 is ready to go. So yes, I’ll be posting – but nothing heavy. Looking forward to 2019!

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It appears President Trump is not going to sign the spending bill, which will lead to a government shutdown – a shutdown he is willing to own. Then again, saying he is willing to own it, admitting he said it, and taking ownership are similar to being on different planets.

As we know, President Trump loves to take responsibility for something good, but skirts responsibility or blames others for bad news. He used to boast about the rising stock market. For some odd reason, he hasn’t said much this year. Our portfolio is moderately conservative. Since our high in late January 2018, our value is down 7.7%.

I think of four governors: Christie (NJ), Brownback (KS), Walker (WI), and Bevin (KY). All were ushered in with a wave of populous conservatism. All eventually suffered high negative ratings – and only popular with the uber conservatives.

Upon hearing the news about the Texas judge declaring The Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare) unconstitutional, my contrarian ways quickly had two thoughts. 1) This puts giddy Republicans in a bind, and 2) because the Act withstood two constitutional challenges at the Supreme Court level, that means the law passed by Republicans that changed the ACA should be reinstated until Congress enacts a replacement.

I close 2018 with my latest thoughts about 2020.

  • 99.9% chance of Republicans re-nominating President Trump (down from 100%)
  • 65% chance of President Trump being re-elected (down from 80%)
  • 0% chance of President Trump getting my vote
  • 25% chance of Democrats nominating a candidate that gets my attention

In the spirit of Christmas, this is the perfect gift for President Trump because I know he doesn’t have one.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines and 2019, here’s a double feature. The Onion made me laugh with this reminder of anniversary involving President George W. Bush; plus, important information regarding the 8 most notorious criminals in US history

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Everything reminds man of her
Petco employee stocks gerbils by register for impulse buyers
Mortician always keeps hammer at tableside just in case one comes back to life
Scientists still decades away from deciphering wireless bill
Optometrist Sets Pressure Of Air Puff Test Way Higher For Asshole Patients
Excited shopper decides to wear new butt plug out of store

Interesting Reads

A brief history of politics and the papacy
Rome’s vestal virgins
Ancestors drilling holes in our heads
(Graphic) 40 years of the music industry
(Photos) Abundance
(Graphic) The global economy in one chart
(Photos) Tis’ the season around the world (this is enjoyable for the holiday spirit)
(Video) Watch the creation of beautiful art at the World Street Painting Festival

To send you into the weekend and toward 2019, enjoy Perfect with an unexpected duet. The looks on the faces are genuine and priceless! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 384

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Act 5 of Pronouns 2: The Musical goes live this weekend featuring songs with Your (or Yours) in the title. Curtain time is Saturday, 1 AM (Eastern US). FYI: For the advance planners, the will be a very important announcement!.

Recently finished Prague Winter (Madeleine Albright, 2012) about Czechoslovakia. After a short history, she focuses on the years 1930-1949. Chapter 18 about Terezin is a very good, but gut wrenching. Worth the read on its own. Also watched a 90-minute documentary about Terezin – Defiant Requiem. We found it on Amazon Prime, but it may be on Netflix.

Michelle Obama’s Note to Self for CBS This Morning made a lot of news – and deserving! On this link. visitors have a choice of reading the text or watching the video (after the text). Click here to watch on YouTube.

One of college basketball’s great non-conference rivalries happened last Saturday between two schools that are 2.4 miles (3.8 km) apart. Until one moved on, the Crosstown Shootout also involved two unique coaches – each from Cincinnati and each a grade of the school they coach. Well done Xavier and Cincinnati – plus cheers for a decisive Bearcats victory.

Last weekend was also America’s best college football rivalry. Army-Navy is what college football should be about.

My wife’s foot continues to recover – but slower than anticipated. She hasn’t danced since late October, but I try to get one day a week to not get too stale.

What a good laugh? Go to Amazon, then search for “Ugly Christmas Sweaters” – then search for “Make Christmas Great Again” – have fun! Alright – I did it for you and I linked the searches.

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If anyone noticed, nobody commented that I didn’t mention President Trump or the Republican party once in last week’s OITS.

Has anyone seen the entire Rex Tillerson-Bob Schieffer interview? I’ve seen snippets, but not the whole interview. If you find it, please let me know because my search was unsuccessful.

Remember the rumors that if Kelly, Tillerson, or Mattis would leave the Trump Administration, all would leave? Well, only one remains.

Should Congressional House Democrats consider impeachment in January when they take control? Based on what is known at this point, (in my opinion) unequivocally NO.

No matter what President Trump says or does, this statement (that I made long ago) still seems to be the most relevant: The man is a pathetic person and an even worse leader.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides a pro/con list about seeking out uncontacted peoples.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

  • Moon now overrun with cane toads after species accidentally introduced during Apollo 17 mission
  • Soldier back home from serving at Mexico border still having nightmares about being used as political prop
  • Woman trying to wean self off coffee by switching to Long Island Iced Tea
  • L.A. adds lanes for cyclists to recover from getting hit by cars
  • 4th grader panics upon realizing classmate giving presentation had exact same summer as he did
  • Petting zoo all goats

My Combo: Cane toads wean from 4th graders upon realizing goats with nightmares used Apollo 17

Interesting Reads

Thinking about Winston Churchill
Seven climate change charts
Evolution of human language
Why we sleep and why we can’t
How Cincinnati Jews changed how Americans ate
(Photos) Construction creativity
(Video) A 45-second look at unique art
(Infographic) Beer vs Coffee: Effects on the brain

To send you into the weekend, here’s another one from The Temptations. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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.

On Blog Break May 2018

It’s time for my seasonal blog break. I’m anticipating 3-6 weeks. During that time, I expect a blend of absence and occasional appearances. Before I go, a few random thoughts in the Opinions in the Shorts style.

During my absence, I encourage readers to visit a blog you may not know. You have my right sidebar here for starters and the Blogroll page on the tabs. Tell them I sent you.

ArtWorks announced that Fiona, Cincinnati’s darling hippo, is going to have her own mural. They are also letting the public vote on the design. See the choices here – and yes – you can vote!

For those interested in odd records, this link is about 20 Guinness World Records tied to Cincinnati.

Cheers to the Costco Optical Department for continuing to provide great value for those needing corrective eyewear.

I’m enjoying the hype for the upcoming royal wedding – especially the reports from England about the people and the places. I wonder how much training the bride has done about royal protocol.

Faith Saile did this great report on CBS News comparing American English and British English. It’s worth the 2+ minutes.

Given the hubbub about the Iran nuclear deal, I enjoyed this article to brings issues to light.

Regarding the possibility of the US-North Korea summit, instead of meeting in Singapore, I favor a game of cornhole at the DMZ border. A target on each side of the border is perfect!

Yes – there is a possibility of Donald Trump winning re-election in 2020. I’m raising the possibility from 15% to 35%.

Washington Post’s conservative columnist George Will has never been a President Trump fan – I would say he is more of an antagonist. In this recent column about Vice President Mike Pence, Mr. Will’s closing paragraph was priceless.

There will be negligible legislating by the next Congress, so ballots cast this November will be most important as validations or repudiations of the harmonizing voices of Trump, Pence, Arpaio and the like. Trump is what he is, a floundering, inarticulate jumble of gnawing insecurities and not-at-all compensating vanities, which is pathetic. Pence is what he has chosen to be, which is horrifying.

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Here are a few leftover peels from The Onion I have lying around.
Fitbit releases new tracking collar that gets tighter every second you are inactive
Napkinless man with grease-covered fingers realizes he’s trapped in a prison of his own creation
Grandma getting to point she looks like every other grandma
Alcoholic parent easy to shop for
Scientists create artificial placenta that tastes just as delicious as real one
Breakfast in bed served to mom who just eaten out

Interesting Reads
The early days of Israel
The adaptive jaguar
Can Artificial Intelligence doom humans?
Sacred spaces and the 21st century
The dominant lens company
(Pictures) The neon blue tide

To send you into my blog break, enjoy this short song from the electric sounds of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Remember to visit other blogs on my list! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On BLINK Murals

Cincinnati is blessed that ArtWorks has added over 120 murals throughout the city – many of which are downtown. Along comes BLINK, which adds murals 10 murals to the collection by artists from Belgium, Brazil, England, Lithuania, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Peru, Spain, and the United States. Enjoy the ones I saw.

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We didn’t see all the murals that evening, but here’s a glimpse.

 

To see all the murals, click to visit the BLINK page on murals. 

To see other posts about BLINK, click here.

To see past posts featuring Cincinnati’s ArtWorks murals, click here.

For those who enjoy murals and street art, I encourage you to visit the one who got me interested in this topic –Resa @ Graffiti Lux & Murals.

On BLINK with Rosemary

George Clooney is one of Cincinnati’s beloved native sons – but he wasn’t the first famous Clooney in the area. Locals know George’s dad (Nick) from his many years in local news, but before that, it was George’s aunt who made a name for herself here and on the national stage – Rosemary Clooney  -who ArtWorks featured on the Swing Around Rosie mural. (My past post about it.)

 

For BLINK, Agar (a social intelligence company) transformed the Swing Around Rosie mural into a projection display of song and dance called Swing & Sway. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a full video with good song quality – so I recommend following the suggestions associated with each of the videos below.

This one has the best audio, but excludes the beginning and ends too soon. If you get bored, forward to 1:40.

 

Audio isn’t very good, but it shows more. Start at 0:40 so it overlaps with the previous video.

 

Here’s the full clip, but the sound isn’t very good. At least you can see the beginning (the first minute).

 

To see other posts about BLINK, click here.

On BLINK with Harper

Charlie Harper is an American artist known for his unique use of geometrics in his wildlife drawings. Because he is regarded as a local treasure, ArtWorks honored him featuring his work on a mural (seen below). Readers may recall my post featuring the two bluebirds titled Homecoming.

 

For BLINK, We Have Become Vikings (a local multimedia company) transformed this mural into their own tribute to Charlie Harper by projecting other Harper creations onto the mural. Enjoy Our Own Homecoming.

To see other posts about BLINK, click here.