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.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 329

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This past week has been cold in Cincinnati and across the eastern half of the country. At least that big snowstorm missed us.

Last weekend our handbell choir attended a regional festival with almost 400 ringers. The event starts late afternoon Friday and goes until late afternoon Saturday. Given so much time there, a time change, and our prepared song for church not quite ready, our director cancelled us playing on Sunday – which was a big relief to all of us. We will continue to work on the piece as we will try to work it into a service before we break for the summer.

Because we wanted to see it before it closes sometime in April, this week we visited the Vikings: Beyond the Legend travelling exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Thumbs up – but I don’t know the exhibits future schedule. I didn’t know they spoke Vikinese, invented Vicodin, and knew to blame Obama. Here’s the link to the Cincinnati exhibit; plus, I hope to post about it in the future.

Have you considered banana pancakes for your weekend? Watch to see what I mean.

At the last weekend’s festival, a guest choir played a concert where I heard this beautiful piece of a popular song that you probably know. I invite you to listen.

My wife gets to celebrate her birthday on a holiday – and St. Patrick’s Day is here. Happy Birthday!

Some readers enjoyed the timeline link from The Atlantic. In honor of my wife’s birthday, here’s the link again.

Reminder: Sunday is Buzzard Day – the day the buzzards return to Hinckley.

I will have a Saturday post – which will be one for Resa’s month-long dedication to kids.

Not only do I want answers to the charges of wiretapping at Trump Tower, I want some heads to roll – whomever it may be.

Predictable statements from the White House and each political party followed the report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The interpretations are different enough causing one to wonder if they read the same report. Then again, they love to make a nonpartisan report partisan. In their attempt to appease the partisans, I say “Happy cherry picking, jackasses.”

Readings about the health care bill

One would think that our elected officials could find some common group to solve a problem – but that would require listening, not walking with tugging sacred cows, thinking outside the box, and seeking for the common good of constituents. Yep – old colloquialism “fat chance” is very applicable.

Did anyone notice there is a new party-of-no in town?

Former President Obama’s Five Faults of the Week
A stretch of cold weather after a very mild winter
The Congressional Budget Office being nonpartisan
Fig tree problems in Italy
Behavior of TSA agents
My attitude toward our politicians

To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides a public service by providing tips to keep your personal information secure.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Nation Leery Of Very Odd Little Boy
Area man thinks he’s better than uneducated wife beater
Police satisfied when local drunk man assures them there is no problem
Happily married, 100 percent heterosexual father of three had that doggone dream again
Scientists discover existence of Homo Sapien subspecies which enjoys and is influenced by Red Bull ads

Interesting Reads
Issues holding back driverless cars
FDR’s floating White House
Police chiefs, sanctuary cities, and decreasing crime
Brain activity and those who don’t like music
Debunking 9 myths about Hinduism
(Photo essay) Geometry and architecture
(Photos with brief descriptions) The beauty of Arizona’s Chiricahua Mountains

This past Wednesday was the Ides of March, so this is the only way to send you into the weekend. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 320

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Oh yes – classic federal government story. My wife and I applied for a special program. The first available “interview” in Cincinnati was September 2017. So we decided to drive 4 hours (each way) because they had interview openings in December. Well, all they wanted was to take our fingerprints and tell us basic information, which took 10 minutes for each of us.

Had to laugh at this rerun scene from Everyone Loves Raymond.

I still love this vintage television commercial for the season. After all, I used to say that the Christmas holiday wasn’t official until I saw this.

The next post will be about John Glenn. Meanwhile, this story saddened me because it can be applied to many people – but Mr. Glenn in this case.

The Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday causes me to change my posting – so I’m not sure about the next OITS. At this point, I’m hoping to have a few Explore posts between those two days.

Wow … Congress actually demonstrated that bipartisanship is possible with the 21st Century Cures Act. Then again, maybe it was time to use their once-a-year allotment.

As a whole, I am not impressed with President-elect Trump’s cabinet selections. It will be interesting to see which nominees meet resistance from enough Republican senators.

The partisans on both side of the aisle continue to amuse me with their predictability.

Potential conflict of interests involving Mr. Trump’s business remains on my radar.

When will Mr. Trump abandon his on-stage schtick?

Here is The Onion’s 2016 Year in Review.

President Obama’s Five Faults of the Week
Brown spots on bananas
Too many Canada Geese
A dysfunctional Congress
Aliens disguised as squirrels
Cleveland Browns playing in London next season

To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion offers this tips for hotel etiquette.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Nation comes to a halt to watch crane move massive concrete tube
More realistic meat substitute made from soy raised in brutally cruel conditions
Universe feels no connection to guy tripping on mushrooms
Eighteen dead in Kansas town after tornado siren set to “Vibrate”
First nap doesn’t take

Interesting Reads
Fake news leads to a guide to facts
Better sleep in a stressful age
A look at observing teachers
The South Korean President who stepped down
Education in Singapore
The 1952 killer fog in London: An explanation?

Instead of using a popular classic to send you into the weekend, here’s a high energy song that I’ve used in previous years. Not only do I enjoy the Trans Siberian Orchestra version, I marvel at the skill level of the Raleigh Ringers. Enjoy! Hope all is well with you, and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 311

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Summer is at full throttle in my area as we are in the throws of heat and humidity. Although I realize those to the south have more humidity, I hate this type of weather.

We saw the newest Ghostbusters movie this week.

  • Entertaining
  • Good animations
  • Slow beginning
  • Kate McKinnon is outstanding
  • Love the cameos
  • I enjoyed the 1984 original more

This week I bottled my first-ever batch of basilcello. Initial taste test was good as it is basilly, sweet, and strong.

Even though numerous incidents have heightened racial tensions in the US, today’s situation isn’t remotely close to 1968.

I didn’t know that upon returning from their historic trip to the moon, the Apollo 11 crew completed a Declaration Form at US Customs. Here is a copy of theirs.

This year has been the strangest golf season I’ve had in some time – maybe ever.

No Explore post this weekend.

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Sorry – I couldn’t find any reason to watch the Republican convention. Do you think I’ll watch the Democrats next week?

Although I didn’t watch the convention, I noticed these headlines from The Onion’s coverage.

  • Trembling, Pallid RNC Attendees Undergo Second Day Of Firearm Withdrawal
  • RNC Speech: ‘If We Don’t Elect Trump, Our Enemies Will’
  • Chris Christie Emits Loud Sob As Paul Ryan Asks Crowd Whether They Worse Off Now Than They Were 4 Years Ago
  • RNC Attendee Excited To Find Out What He’ll Get To Boo Tonight
  • Trump Accidentally Fires Off ‘Boring Mike Pence’ Tweet During VP Speech Before He Can Stop Himself

President Obama’s Five Faults of the Week

  • Lack of riots at the Republican Convention
  • Melania Trump’s plagiarism
  • Texas Voter ID laws violating the Voting Rights Act
  • Phil Mickelson losing the British Open
  • Roger Ailes

Much ado is being made about Melania Trump’s speech. Although I actually heard someone blame Hillary Clinton for the snaffu – no way – as I stated earlier, it’s President Obama’s fault.

In terms of the selection of Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) has a running mate, Mr. Trump was in the same position as previous nominees John McCain and Mitt Romney – play to the base.

To we independents, this election has been loaded with head-shaking moments. Ron Fournier hit a home-run in this article (in The Atlantic) about Mrs. Clinton.

Given next week’s Democratic convention, this is probably the last aFa Power Ranking for Hillary Clinton’s running mate: 5) Julian Castro, 4) Chris Murphy, 3) Tom Vilsack, 2) Tim Kane, 1) Thomas Perez

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To lead us into the satire portion of this post, The Onion explains Pokémon Go.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Humanity hoping it only has to put up with few more millennia of this shit
‘People are inherently good,’ world halfheartedly mutters
Woman who doesn’t use Facebook completely out of touch with friends’ prejudices
FDA declares new drug ‘Qualmex’ safe for treatment of anxiety about drug
Two-hour meeting spent thinking up hashtag absolutely nobody on the planet will use

Interesting Reads
The most emotional cultures
Quantum and the origin of time
The campaigns and elections of Millard Fillmore
Dusk, dawn, and Viagra
Me in the Age of the Selfie
(Interactives) Where US gets its oil
(Photos) The world from above

Earlier in the week I heard a song that took me back to the early ‘70s. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.