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.

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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

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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.

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On Briefs for the Moment

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The last post introduced the new header and BlogRoll page. Some of you may have noticed other new pages as well … but they aren’t really new because they were sub-pages before, and I don’t think they worked well that way.

During the break I prepared not one, but two cartoon posts, so this weekend is as good as any to have a cartoon post!

The next musical is preparing for the premier. I consider opening night being during my first week back, but wisdom has prevailed. After all, I don’t want to jeopardize a sellout. Nonetheless, the production team is aiming for a March 25th opening of the yet-to-be-announced musical. I can say this, it will be shorter than Life: The Musical.

I’m not sure if next week will be a full posting week or not, but I will be posting something.

Because I haven’t looked at The Onion in two weeks, here’s a snippet of what I’ve missed:

  • Man who stops dieting already seeing results
  • 13-year old drinking prodigy accepted to college
  • Passenger feels sorry for flustered toddler travelling with loud, obnoxious parents
  • God shoots himself while cleaning gun
  • Mitt Romney thinking about running for president in 2012

Your Weekend Celebrations

(Weekend) Rattlesnake Roundup Weekend

(Fri) Digital Learning Day, Coconut Torte Day, Earmuffs Day, Good Samaritan Involvement Day, K-9 Veterans Day, Ken Day, Donald Duck Day, Jewel Day, Open an Umbrella Indoors Day, Smart & Sexy Day, Pluto & Uranus Day, Sleep Day

(Sat) Ask a Question Day, Fanny Pack Day, Celebrate Scientists Day, Urban Ballroom Dancing Day, Potato Chip Day, Children Craft Day, Pi Day, Save a Spider Day, Day of Active for Rivers Day, Learn about Butterflies Day, Albert Einstein Day

(Sun) Buzzard Day, Ides of March, Brutus Day, IGUR Awareness Day (Intrauterine Growth Restriction), Day of Action Against Canadian Seal Slaughter Day, True Confessions Day, Consumer Rights Day, Pears Helene Day, Shoe the World Day, Everything You Think is Wrong Day, Absolutely Incredible Kid Day, Dumbstruck Day

Because I started the week with Bond’s energetic music and video, I might as well end it with Bond. Besides, many enjoyed Bond … so enjoy Fuego.

On Welcoming March 2015

Why? Because everybody knows that one can count on John Phillips Sousa for a good march.

March in other languages includes Marzo (Italian), mars (Albanian), Hlyd-monath (Anglo Saxon), mart (Armenian), br’ezen (Czech), Marts (Danish), and dawa-ssumpa (Tibetian) … so feel free to contribute others

March was named for Mars, the Roman god of war, who was also the guardian of agriculture

The name of March comes from Latin Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar

Martius was the beginning of the season for both farming and warfare, so and festivals held in his honor during the month were mirrored by other festivals in October, which closed the season for farming and warfare

March in the northern hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent to September in the southern hemisphere

March starts the same day of the week as November every year, and February – but only in common years

March ends on the same day of the week as June every year

Because this is 2015 (preceding a leap year), March 2016 will start on the same day as September and December 2015. However, March 2015 ends on the same day of the week as May 2016

March’s birth flowers are the daffodil and jonquils

March’s birthstones, which symbolize courage, are aquamarine and bloodstone

March’s Zodiac signs are Pisces (until March 20) and Aries (March 21 and thereafter)

Full Moon on March 5th (6:05 pm UTC), and the New Moon displays on March 20th (9:36 am UTC)

March moon are called Crow Moon, Lenten Moon, Sap Moon, Seed Moon, and Worm Moon

Solar Eclipse on March 20 with the total eclipse of the sun being visible in Ireland, Europe, northern Africa, Europe, and Asia

The March equinox on the 20th at 10:46 pm UTC, which means sometime March 21st for many of the world … thus the day marking the transitions of winter to spring or summer to autumn

March has national celebrations in Australia, Bangladesh, Gibraltar, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, and South Korea

March 1st celebrations include Compliment Day, Daughters & Sons Day, Black Women in Jazz & the Arts Day, Wear Yellow Day (Endometriosis Day), Go Bowling Day, Horse Protection Day, Fruit Compote Day, Peanut Lovers Day, Pig Day, Plan a Solo Vacation Day, Refired not Retired Day, Seals Day, Self-Injury Awareness Day, Share a Smile Day, Zero Discrimination Day, Namesake Day (mine is after my Dad’s Army buddy from SF – we went sometime in the 1990s)

March promotes adopting a rescued guinea pig, expanding girls’ horizons in science & engineering, women’s health, dietetic nutrition, cheerleading safety, color therapy, eye donors, literacy, social work, women’s history, fire prevention, transgender healthcare equality, singing with your child, saving your vision, and playing the recorder

March celebrates crafts, child life, deaf history, ideas, mad for plaid, athletic training, kidneys, on-hold, supply management, and American Red Cross

March embraces credit education, employee spirit, Honor Society, expecting success, Irish-American heritage, music in schools, optimism, small press, spiritual wellness, youth art, hexagons, March Madness, and Francophones

March increases awareness in Alport Syndrome, brain injuries, colic, colorectal cancer, deep vein thrombosis, endometriosis, listening, malignant hypertension, caffeine, chronic fatigue syndrome, ethics, essential tremor, multiple sclerosis, nutrition, poison prevention, Trisomy, vascular abnormalities, and epilepsy

March appreciates humorists as artists, mirth, frozen foods, kites, peanuts, umbrellas, quinoa, maple sugar, sauces, flour, noodles, no meat, moustaches, hamburger & pickle, and dolphins

Which music did you enjoy? Do you have any personal celebrations in March?

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 240

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On Politics
Listening to all the sounds bites from various Washington leaders caused me to wonder: When they are talking in an interview or a news conference, for who is their message intended?

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) blaming the result on a poor voter turnout is a prime example (to me) that the House Democrats need new leadership.

As some Congressional Republicans state, We want to work with President Obama … does that really mean We want President Obama to do what we want.

A Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute offers this interesting, initial assessment of a Senate led by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
China vows to begin aggressively falsifying air pollution numbers
More Americans putting off marriage until ultimatum
Young child still developing antibodies to Mountain Dew
Completely uninhibited party guest still choosing to talk about work
Man trying to enter conversation spends several minutes nodding and smiling at edge of circle
Report: America still world leader in manufacturing excuses

Interesting Reads
Lincoln & Einstein: A Common Genius
History of hacking
WW I heroines
Argentina and the Tango
Why your fats don’t stink … (courtesy of Elyse)
Perception and wine flavors
(Photo Gallery) Underwater puppies
(Video) Every Alfred Hitchcock cameo

On Potpourri
Some newspapers have free viewing with a registration. For your cell phones and tablets, the Wall Street JournalWashington Post, and New York Times apps allow free viewing of a limited number of articles per month.

I miss CNN as the tiff between CNN’s owners and my satellite provider continues. Finding a replacement isn’t easy. The network morning shows are too light. Fox & Friends wouldn’t be worth my time. I can only take so much of Morning Joe because the focus is too narrow. I’m trying Aljazerra America, but (so far) it’s not capturing my fancy. So, it’s get a little news, and then switch to the radio for classical music to serve as my background.

Thanks for another great act in Life: The Musical. As I like to say, listening to all the songs is such a joy. The list of possible songs is exhausting, but this is what struck me the most. The theme was love … and at the time I write this, we’ve had participants from Canada, Greece, India, New Zealand, Sweden, and throughout the United States … and I love the goodness throughout the world!

Dancing with the Stars is moving toward a season conclusion. We continue to watch it because he enjoy it. At least it took longer this season for someone less deserving to stay in place of a better dancer. Lea Thompson was good from the start, and steady … but much improved?

For those missing my handbell updates, here’s a video of the song my wife’s choir played last weekend (done by a different choir). Not a toe-tapper or a commonly known hymn, but it is interesting.

Here’s the list of cars I’ve had since getting my driver’s license in 1969. The order is close – any observations? Chevelle, Cutlass, Malibu, Cutlass, Chevette, Corsica, Achieva, Cierra, Lumina, Prism, Malibu, Outback

With a series of busy weekends on the horizon, I’m unsure about the next Saturday Morning Cartoon post.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Pickle Day, Loosen Up – Lighten Up Day, Teddy Bear Day, Educational Support Personnel Day, Kindness Day, Spicey Guacamole Day, Diabetes Day, Operating Room Nurses Day
  • (Sat) Roc Your Mocs Day, Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day, Recycling Day, I Love to Write Day, Bundt (Pan) Day, Day of Play, Philanthropy Day, Guinness World Record Day
  • (Sun) Button Day, Day of Tolerance, Fast Food Day, Have a Party with a Bear Day, Road Traffic Victims Remembrance Day

Because I gave the list of my car history, this title fits to send you into the weekend – Vehicle by the Ides of March. Besides, I never knew that the lead singer here was also a founding member of Survivor (and he co-wrote Eye of the Tiger). Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On a Curly Monday

Another weekend down, actually our next to the last in this home. How was your weekend?

Ours was a mix of packing and events to get me away from the task at hand, so I did get some fun in as the wonderful wine tasting event and dinner at the home of friends – plus it was a handbell Sunday (of which we played well). The wine event is an annual fundraiser in which attendees as given a glass  and put into a room with 700+ wines for 2 1/2 hours. No … we don’t try to sample all!!!

A special thanks to all who visit and comment during my absence!

This coming week is a big one on for us as it includes

  • the bank’s appraisal and inspection of our next home (as the results could delay the closing
  • our inspection of the new location
  • the closing of our current home

Celebrations for you week (10-16)

  • (Week) Save Your Vision Week, Camp Week, Pancake Week, Celebrate Your Name Week, Return Borrowed Books Week, Chocolate Chip Cookie Week, Procrastinators Week, Brain Awareness Week, Bubble Gum Week, Music in Schools Week
  • (Mon) Fill Our Staplers Day, Middle Name Pride Day (I’m a Paul), Day of Awesomeness, Mario Day, Land-Line Telephone Day, Napping Day, Blueberry Popovers Day
  • (Tues) Dream Day, Oatmeal-Nut Waffles Day, Johnny Appleseed Day, Plumbing Day, Home Office Day
  • (Wed) Dennis the Menace Day, Baked Scallops Day
  • (Thurs) Donald Duck Day, Earmuffs Day, Good Samaritan Involvement Day, Coconut Torte Day, K-9 Veterans Day, Mothering Day, Open an Umbrella Indoors Day, Smart & Sexy Day, Kidney Day
  • (Fri) Ask a Question Day, MOTH-ER Day, Potato Chip Day, Scientists Day, Organize Your Home Office Day, Check Your Batteries Day, Save a Spider Day, Sleep Day, Learn About Butterflies Day, Pi Day (here’s a place to celebrate)
  • (Sat) Buzzard Day (one of my favorite days, so here’s the history), Brutus Day, Ides of March, Quilting Day, Corn Dog Day, True Confessions Day
  • (Sun) Artichoke Hearts Day, Curfew Day, Lips Appreciation Day, Vitamin C Day, Quilt Day, Everything You Do is Right Day

Last week I showed the first Monday Morning Entertainment, so in that spirit, here’s the second. Have a good week.

On a Clooney Movie

This is the last day in the series of different themes/layouts that I’m considering. I appreciate the feedback and included images of the others below the post (including the original).

Not all that long ago, George Clooney decided to film a movie from the site of his roots: Cincinnati. Ever since the filming, the area has been anticipating its release. Last weekend we saw Ides of March, billed as a political thriller about a Democratic candidate in the Ohio Primary.

A few days after seeing the film, a Letter to the Editor appeared proclaiming the movie as nothing more than political propaganda for the Democratic Party, thus left the movie and sought his money back.

Although George Clooney movies generally have a political edge, Ides of March can’t be near any Michael Moore movie, Citizen United’s Hillary: The Movie, or even Sarah Palin’s self-promotional endeavor, The Undefeated.

I provide some recommendations for those considering Ides of March.

  • If you are concerned about this movie being a propaganda prop, don’t go!
  • If you can look at the movie’s twisted view of the political arena, go!
  • If you can enjoy it as a movie with a story, go!
  • If you enjoy close-up views of Clooney and Ryan Gosling, go for your eye candy!

To me, the movie was OK, but could not give it a 10, an A, or whatever top rating. Sure, I was interested in seeing the Cincinnati scenes and keeping a watchful eye for two extras that I know. Nonetheless, it was entertaining – although the credits state, “Filmed on location in Michigan.”

Sample 2 (Chateau)

Sample 1 (iTheme2)

Original (MistyLook)