On a Yearly Transition

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As the waves come ashore to wash away 2018, the year officially moves into our memory bank. A year that marked 10 years in my little corner of the world here on WordPress. A good year of writing, memories, and interactions with many good people.

A year featuring of 158 posts (I think) included 24 more beach walks, a tour to notable US national parks, and an outstanding tour in Eastern Europe. A year when Pronouns awakened the sleeping giant known as blog musicals. Some of my favorite topics to post included religious liberty, common good, buying food in Venezuela, a teacher’s day, a 4-part series about the US as a Christian nation, 1968, containers, my career of 2 halves, lead & follow, ballroom connections, and several attempts at fiction. Remember any of those?

If all goes well, 2019 means more beach walks, more travel, another musical, and the introduction of the aFa Weekend Concert Series (which starting this coming weekend). For the inaugural event, it doesn’t get any bigger than The Beatles.

Sometime in 2019 will deliver the 400th weekly edition of Opinions in the Shorts. New posts in final preparation include Oreos, shopping carts, race music, samba, water, shadows, dark, a look at me during my college days, and a toast to 66. 2019 could deliver visit #400,000.

As we say farewell to 2018 while greeting 2019 with open arms, Happy New Year to you … and may goodness continue to shine! Enjoy The Tenors.

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On a Bridge to 2018

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The time has come for the annual rite of transition of passing from one year to the next. The changeover from 2017 to 2018.

For each of us, 2017 brought us trials and joys – tribulations and elations – agonies and thrills. After all, that’s what life entails. We are human – so the tendency of dwelling on the negatives seems much easier than focusing or even recognizing the positives.

I’m not sure what 2018 will bring to this blog – my little corner of the world. Two milestones are approaching: 300,000 visits (probably this or the next post) and 2,000 posts (about a dozen to go). I know I still have more to say, but I’ve also seen many of my loyal visitors stop blogging – and I’m not up to rebuilding. I would like to do one more blog musical, more beach walks, and more about the intersection of science and religion, but time will tell. Posts about Iceland are almost ready.

Let us raise our glass for a toast.

To the goodness of the WordPress community …

May 2018 helps us see the oneness of humanity.

May 2018 shine the light on kindness and generosity.

May 2018 bestow a positive understanding of others.

May 2018 bring good health and happiness.

Salute! Yamas! Proost! Skål! Sei gesund! A la votre! Şerefe! Gān bēi! Terviseks! Kippis! Salut! Cheers! … .and I hope you select a version of the grand song (plus let me know your choice).

My personal choice for this post.

For those desiring a touch of the pipes with beautiful scenery.

For those desiring a rock legend for the song.

For those wanting to sing along with the crowd

On to 2016

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As we move from 2015 to 2016, a toast …

To kindness, love, and patience … to family, friends, and the good people we don’t know …

To sincerity, honesty, and integrity … to prudence, justice, and restraint …

To generosity, gratitude, and humility… to joy, laughter, and friendliness …. to the positive, the compassionate, the brave, and the humble … and to the majority of the world that is good.

Wishing good health and happiness for all.

Salute! Yamas! Proost! Skål! Sei gesund! A la votre! Şerefe! Gān bēi! Terviseks! Kippis! Salut! Cheers!

On to 2015

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A New Year’s greetings to all!!!

Although I’ve been posting and replying to comments, sorry that I haven’t been visiting much. Break has been good, but I will return to your wonderful blogs very soon. This post is similar to the Opinions in the Shorts assortment, but without the opinions.

2014 was a year of several milestones (150oth post, 200,000th visit, and 5000th follower) – the later is relatively meaningless because most of them don’t visit after following. On the downside, my consecutive streak of years Freshly Pressed ended at two, stats are way down (that’s OK because I enjoy this and my commenters), and I fell short of 50,000th comment (which should be early in 2015).

Many thanks to all my visitors, especially those who comment. Cheers to my top 5 commenters (according to WP): Lame, Elyse, Val, Carrie, & Marina!!! A special shout-out to Catherine because I don’t think WP counts her.

For those who enjoy looking at the annual reports, here’s mine.

Closing the year requires a touch from The Onion.

Celebrations to start your year

  • (Thurs) Bad Hangover Day, Mummers Parade Day, Euro Day, Commitment Day, Bowling Day, Copyright Law Day, Beanie Babies Day, First Foot Day, Global Family Day, Bloody Mary Day, New Year’s Dishonor List Day, Polar Bear Plunge Day, Z Day
  • (Fri) Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Day, Happy Mew Year for Cats Day, Swiss Cheese Day, Cream Puff Day, Science Fiction Day, Pet Travel Safety Day,  Buffet day, Motivation & Inspiration Day, 55 mph Speed Limit Day, Boo Boo Bear Day, Run up the Flagpole to See if Anyone Salutes Day
  • (Sat) Drinking Straw Day, Fruitcake Toss Day, J.R.R. Tolkien Day, Remember You Die Day, Chocolate Covered Cherry Day, Women Rock Day, Festival of Sleep Day, Write to Congress Day, Humiliation Day, Brooklyn Bridge Day
  • (Sun) Pop Music Chart Day, Tom Thumb Day, Trivia Day, Spaghetti Day, Appendectomy Day, Blender Day, Roller Skates Day, Free Flower Basket Day, Dimpled Chad Day

The next post will feature January, then followed by one or two Explore posts before returning to the normal routine. I’m thinking about doing more Explore topics in the future, so I will gladly consider your recommendations. Any ideas?

To keep 2015 on a positive track, I’ll announce the theme for the next act of Life: The Musical on the upcoming Monday Morning Entertainment.

When I heard these songs from the past the other day, I immediately thought they are fitting for the occasion. After all, let’s go into the new year with a some bounce in our steps.

Happy New Year everyone … and cheers to a positive life in 2015!!!!

On Ushering in 2014


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Believe it or not, no alcohol is associated with that video!

I recall watching the Mummer’s Day celebration from Philadelphia on New Years’ Day. After all, there’s something about a band of saxophones, banjos, and accordions with extraordinary outfits that capture my fancy. Yes, I am a Mummers-want-to-be from afar. However, nobody does this song better than a Mummers band.

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Once again, nobody in that video was influenced by alcohol. For those wanting more Mummers, here’s a melody of tunes with better sound quality.

How is your final week of 2013?

Following successful handbell ringing on Christmas Eve, we had a low-key Christmas Day afternoon with my father-in-law. A few days later, the three of us traveled cross-state to my sister-in-law’s home for the weekend – thus why you haven’t seen me. Meanwhile, we continue with preparing to sell our home and packing for the whenever-it-will-be move.

Glad to see that readers have been enjoying my Exploring series. Given the mid-week holiday, three more posts will finish the week before I return to my routine.

Given a new month and a new year, your calendars are eagerly anticipating new entries, so enjoy this bountiful list of celebrations!

(2014) Year of Crystallography, Year of Family Farming, Year of the Horse, Year of Small Island Developing Status

Month-long celebration for January include polka, soup, hobbies, eye health, book, hot tea, volunteer blood donor, life, Ok to be different, personal self-defense, wheat bread, candy, swapping soup, reaching your potential, oatmeal, letter writing, bath safety, get over it, bald eagles, mail order gardening, stamp collectors autism awareness, creativity, crime stoppers, bread machine baking,

(Wed) Guapo Surfing Day, Bad Hangover Day, Bowling Day, Copyright Law Day, Commitment Day, Ellis Island Day, Euro Day, First-Foot day, Global Family Day, Polar Bear Plunge Day, Bloody Mary Day, Surnames-Beginning-with-Z Day, Bonza Bottler’s Day

(Thurs) Buffet Day, Swiss Cheese Day, Motivation and Inspiration Day, Personal Trainer Awareness Day, Science Fiction Day, Cream Puff Day

(Fri) Chocolate Covered Cherry Day, Festival of Sleep Day, Drinking Straw Day, Humiliation day

(Sat) Spaghetti Day, Dimpled Chat Day, Tom Thumb Day, Trivia Day, Braille Day, Hypnotism Day, Free Flower Basket Day,

(Sun) Whipped Cream Day, Bean Day, Bird Day, Second-Hand Wardrobe Day

Hope everyone has a safe New Years’ Eve, and cheers to good health and spirits for 2014! Happy New Year!

On Closing 2012 with Shorts

With 2012 about to close, I could recap the year – but won’t – however, I’ll let The Onion provide satire’s version of recapping the year.

Other 2012 Recaps from The Onion

Here’s some of the entertainment we watched this holiday:

  • Lincoln helps show that politicians have always been selfish
  • Argo is interesting and about something I didn’t even know happened
  • Black Knight Rises (finally rented) is convoluted
  • The Kennedy Center Honors (TV), a must-see every year, was (as always) great
  • Missed seeing Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Guilt Trip, and Anna Karenina (Did you see any of these?)

Congratulations for being the 20,000th comment to Debra, an Aussie who spends time in a beautiful area of Tuscany that is very near to relatives from both sides of my family. If you visit, tell her I sent you.

Cheers to my top 5 commenters (in reverse order): Elyse (#5), El Guapo, Rich, John Erickson, and Starla (#1).

Here’s a list of those who left this world in 2012

Being Freshly Pressed on Christmas Eve has worn me out, thus kept me away from making my rounds. Given the holidays and weekends, I’ve remained on the FP’s front page for a week, which is longer than normal. Then again, I bring the swamped feeling upon myself by having a mantra to reply, reciprocate, and visit any and all – thus I’m ready to move on.

Soon, 2012 will be in the shadow of 2013. I draw the curtain to 2012 with this fitting video by Lindsey Stirling. For those going out to celebrate – enjoy yourself and be safe. To those staying in, enjoy the calm. To all, and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Happy New Year! …. and cheers to a healthy and positive 2013!

On Bye to One, Hello to Another

At the time of this posting, 2010 is about to close and the door into 2011 will open with gusto hour-by-hour throughout the world. Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote the words to Auld Lang Syne in 1788 and set it to the tune of a traditional Scottish folk song … and yes, the song remains a New Years’ Scottish tradition.

Those of us of a certain age recall bandleader Guy Lombardo (a Canadian, eh?) ushering in the new year on television (and radio before that), thus also causing the tradition to spread to throughout America and eventually to film and stage.

Almost one hundred years after Burns, Tchaikovsky wrote the 1812 Overture (in 1880) to commemorate the Russian defense of Moscow against Napoleon. Today, this is a common festive tune of American orchestras on July 4th.

The connection you wonder? Ah ha! How about saying goodbye to 2010 and saluting the start of 2011 to a stirring three-minute combined rendition of Auld Lang Syne and the 1812 Overture in my entertainment spirit – from a bottle orchestra complete with canons!

Happy New Year to all … safely celebrate …. and tons of joy in the days ahead!