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.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 416

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Impressive concert activity last weekend with The Guess Who and friends! So many wonderful songs! Using Day 2 to transition into Bachman Turner Overdrive was perfect.

Announcing a Schedule Change: The next concert will feature The Godfather of Soul – James Brown. The date has not been finalized, but it will be either November 16th or 23rd.

Readers may recall my recent post celebrating Walktober (I featured a walk in a Cincinnati park along the river). Robin has hosted Walktober for many years, and I have proudly participated in most of them. She always ends the celebration with a post featuring all participants. I invite everyone to read it here and encourage everyone to visit other walkers – especially because this may be Robin’s last.

My fantasy Benevolent Impalers delivered a major thumping last weekend. Coupled with an upset, we are now in a 3-way tie for first at 7-2.

Speaking of football, I liked this one from The Onion. Click to see it.

This week I had jury duty in County Common Pleas Court. Tough duty – I didn’t have to report Monday, Tuesday,  and Wednesday – but got the call for Thursday – got seated – guilty – home. Well, it was a slam-dunk case that shouldn’t have gone to trial.

The voting fans have taken over Dancing With The Stars. With 50% of the score from the judges and 50% from the fans, fan voting is skewing the results. The show will either have to change the voting format or go off the air.

The handbell choir is playing a fun piece at this Sunday’s service. This piece includes many techniques, rhythms, and chimes. To listen, click here (then click the Start button).

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2019 is considered not a big election year with zero regular seats are up for grabs. However, it is an election year for Kentucky Governor. Given that Cincinnati is a border city, candidates on both sides bombarded with ads – including the Trump loyalists.

By the way, President Trump won Kentucky by over 30% in 2016, Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican who is unapologetically a Trump supporter, is losing by 0.4%. Predictably, Gov. Bevin complained about “thousands” of voting irregularities. Sound familiar?

The number of of Trumpian loyalists and their fervor continues to amaze me … and they accept whatever narrative their leader uses. Also, I liked this one for a letter in the Cincinnati paper: … the president himself has succeeded in pulling Americans down to his level. Not long ago on a past issue of OITS, a reader stated (I paraphrase), If we re-elect Donald Trump, we deserve what we get.

I regularly watch CBS This Morning, but I had to use the Mute button when during the interview with Donald Trump, Jr, who was their promoting his book.

Here’s an interesting point about the 2020 presidential election. For the Democrats to win, they must 1) maintain all their 2016 states, 2) flip Pennsylvania & Wisconsin, and 3) flip one other big state as Florida or Ohio. In can be done, but every Democratic candidate may not be able to accomplish that. Meanwhile, the latest poll from The New Times & Siena College supports my thoughts.

Although I’m not in this profile of swing voters, this article is interesting.

Is the House Intelligence Committee similar to the House Ethics Committee? After all, both are oxymorons.

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion provides a timeline of studies on the effects of red meat.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Elite preschool boasts 95% of graduates go on to kindergarten
Patron scans cocktail menu for drink with fewest unfamiliar ingredients
Exterminator composes self in driveway so kids won’t know he saw cricket die at work today
‘Ooh, Right In The Bean Bag,’ Says Wincing Surgeon Through Every Step Of Vasectomy
NYC opens $500 million decoy subway station to catch turnstile jumpers
VISA introduces new preloaded debt card

Interesting Reads

Politics and the holiday dinner table
Life in an alien ocean
Having one time zone for the whole world
From the revolutionary world of the seedless lemon
(Photos) Images of Australia’s past
(Graphic) China’s economy the past 70 years
(Photos) Pics from Mexico’s Day of the Dead

To send you into the weekend, here’s one of my all-time favorite songs. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 407

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Last weekend’s Crosby, Still, Nash & Young concert provided over 20 songs. The next concert (tentatively 27th July) will feature the same four – BUT only their solo careers. Tip – Keep the others off the stage!

Although I haven’t decided yet, readers may get two beach walks next week.

A professional baseball player dies away from home. The team honors him at the next home game. The players were his number with his name on the back of the jersey. His mother throws out the first pitch – a perfect strike. The team wins the fame – a shutout – a no-hitter. All the day before his 28th birthday. That’s a difficult script to write.

The news is covering the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Here are several articles of interest for those interested.

A forgotten fact about the first landing on the Moon. The year -1969 – right in the midst of a turbulent social period throughout the world. Yet, the world stopped for this event, therefore humanity was united as one – at least for a brief moment.

For those who like this sort of thing, here’s a site focusing on media bias, which I’ve also added to the Resources section on the sidebar.

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Many refer to President Trump with a variety of names and adjectives: Bloviator, Narcissist, Idiot, Jackass, Asshole, and many more. Instead of inflaming a supporter, I continue to simply say, “He’s a pathetic person, an even worse leader, and he brings the majority of problems on himself.” By the way – it works!

I’m not a fan of the Congressional group known as The Squad, but at least a few Republicans spoke up condemning President Trump’s language about the four female Democratic representatives. Meanwhile, most of the GOP caucus were silent, evasive, or issued shallow statements.

Given President Trump’s controversial tweets about The Squad, I like this headline at The Onion because it speaks volumes about this supporters – who will still be around after he leaves office: Trump supporters worried racist attacks against progressive Democrats just talk

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion gives us some thoughts about the future of farming.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Moon receives standing ovation at Apollo 11 anniversary event
Exhausted Amazon customer forced to piss in bottle while browsing Prime Day deals
Gaming addict attempting to slowly wean self off of real life
MIT scientists successful swap man’s brain with an almond
Mom saving baby pictures for child to use on rap album cover
Man taking unemployment as opportunity to think about how he really wants out of life
Family creeped out by Alexa playing back conversations they haven’t had yet

(My Combo) MIT scientists successfully wean creeped out Alexa off family

Interesting Reads

Plastics as a fuel source
Future work in America
New Coke: What happened?
Picasso’s muse
The race to rule streaming TV
(Photos) Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium (1970-2002)
(Photos) Pictures of Spain
(Graphic) What people stream
(Infographic) The tale of two economies: USA & China

To send you into the weekend from hot and muggy Cincinnati, here’s a song that I like by an artist that I don’t like – but hey – I like the song! Besides, it fits my heat theme. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 404

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With a national holiday on the near horizon in the US, the Weekend Concert Series resumes this Saturday with Billy Joel. Stage time is Saturday, 1 AM (Eastern US).

I’m looking forward to Yesterday – the movie about the Beatles music.

Do you have or know someone who has old eyeglasses sitting around? OneSight is a nonprofit organization bringing vision care to the needy throughout the world. You can help by donating old glasses at LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, or Sears Optical retail center nearest you.

My cell phone is an Android. The app I use to block unwanted callers is no longer free. Any recommendations for a replacement?

Earlier this week I actually started thinking about how I would end this blog. No – that’s not imminent, but the thought is on my mind. I will make it to my 11th anniversary of my little corner of the world. Plus, I just won’t walk away. Instead of new stuff, maybe I should finish at least some of my drafts. 😉

I submitted a request to change my jury duty dates, and it was accepted. Just another example of honest, timely communication yielding a good result.

Following Malted Pretzel Ball (OK) and Amaretto Crunch (Good), Graeter’s (Cincinnati’s ice cream treasure) just released another seasonal flavor – Molasses Honeycomb Candy, which I have not yet tried.

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Just saw the headlines that the US Supreme Court ruling that Federal Courts cannot block gerrymandering is another example of the checks-and-balances system going astray. The ruling is a win for the parties and a strike against the people.

I intentionally didn’t watch either of the Democratic debates because I will not be voting in Ohio’s Democratic Primary. From the clips I saw Thursday morning about the Wednesday group, I hate when multiple people are talking at the same time.

Fact-checking reports about the first group gathering: PolitiFact, FactCheck, PBS, CBS, and NBC.

Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats continuing to sidestep healthcare will work against them.

Somehow (and it wasn’t easy), I watched Chuck Dodd interviewing President Trump on Meet The Press. He frequently used his common foils: Obama, Democrats, and Jeff Sessions.

It’s the end of the quarter, so time for my 2020 election thoughts.

  • 99% chance of President Trump being nominated
  • 0% chance of me voting for President Trump
  • 15% chance of me voting for the Democratic candidate
  • 60% chance of President Trump being re-elected

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion provides a timeline about how American diets have changed over time.

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Maybe the Best Single Headline Ever by The Onion

Hot Wheels Ranked Number One Toy For Rolling Down Ramp, Knocking Over Dominoes That Send Marble Down A Funnel, Dropping Onto Teeter-Totter That Yanks On String, Causing Pulley System To Raise Wooden Block, Propelling Series Of Twine Rollers That Unwind Spring, Launching Tennis Ball Across Room, Inching Tire Down Slope Until It Hits Power Switch, Activating Table Fan That Blows Toy Ship With Nail Attached To It Across Kiddie Pool, Popping Water Balloon That Fills Cup, Weighing Down Lever That Forces Basketball Down Track, Nudging Broomstick On Axis To Rotate, Allowing Golf Ball To Roll Into Sideways Coffee Mug, Which Tumbles Down Row Of Hardcover Books Until Handle Catches Hook Attached To Lever That Causes Wooden Mallet To Slam Down On Serving Spoon, Catapulting Small Ball Into Cup Attached By Ribbon To Lazy Susan, Which Spins Until It Pushes D Battery Down Incline Plane, Tipping Over Salt Shaker To Season Omelet

Interesting Reads

Fascination with Leonardo da Vinci
How dogs evolved
Ohio’s corn is in trouble and that matters
Patents and Toy Story characters
Mobile devices: a fact sheet
(Graphic) World’s most valuable brands
(Photos) World’s Ugliest Dog Competition

To send you into the weekend, here’s a song not submitted at last weekend’s concert (as well as a throwback to the disco era). In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 347

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Cheers to the first OITS of 2018. Hope the new year is off to a good start for you.

Our tradition is to have shredded pork roast and sauerkraut served over mashed potatoes as a New Year’s Day meal. Do you have any traditions to start the year?

My little corner of the world got it’s 300,000th visit sometime between 8-12 pm on New Years’ Eve. I didn’t see the rollover because we at a New Years Eve dance. Next milestone is the 2000th post (this one is #1990).

This weekend’s post will involve a challenge. HINT for advanced planning: A challenge to readers to use (in a comment) a word (in English) that has never appeared on this blog. 

For Netflix viewers looking for a simple, wholesome show, my wife loves Heartland, a Canadian-based show set in Alberta.

A tip of the cap to college football coach Scott Frost. His UCF team had a great season, then he accepted the head coach position at his alma mater (Nebraska). Unlike what most other coaches have done, Frost did two jobs – therefore, coached UCF in their bowl game – one of the biggest games in school history – and UCF won.

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Needing a gain of only 2 seats, Democrats are excited about the possibility of gaining control of the Senate with the November 2018 election. While Democrats are wistfully hopeful in about maybe 5 races currently held by Republicans, they face tough challenges to retain seats in 10 races. Bottom line: Odds may be better on the House side.

I wonder how much higher President Trump’s approval rating would be if he didn’t tweet.

Thanks to those who truly understood my crystal ball post about Trumpian Nostradamus (the previous post).

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion lists ways the world has changed since Donald Trump’s election.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Starbucks unveils $7 wake-up slap
Earth’s successful completion of orbit around Sun inspires woman to reflect on eating habits
NASA celebrates 60th anniversary of launching first moon to orbit Earth
Man at center of political spectrum under impression he is less obnoxious
TJ Maxx recreates in-store shopping experience with new website that randomly scatters products all over the place

Interesting Reads (as a whole, a bit more relaxing than usual)
A transformation: Muslims and American culture
How not to be the Ugly American when travelling abroad
Reviewing a view of 2018 from 1968
Interesting findings from 2017
The most expensive mile of subway
The birth of Emojis
(Photos) BBC’s Best submitted photos of 2017

To kick off the 2018 OITS, here’s a 2017 Kennedy Center Honoree who delivered a great show back in the day. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.