Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 260

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Generally avoiding questions by Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is an interesting strategy. I wonder if it will cost her votes in the long run. Then again, there is plenty of time.

At least three more Republicans could very soon be joining the fray of seeking the nomination: Sen.Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Gov. John Kasich (R-OH), and former Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) … and more are on the way. It also appears former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-Md) will be announcing on the Democratic side.

Fox News and CNN recently announced their selection criteria for the early Republican presidential debates. Although CNN has a Segment B for additional candidates, I would like to see a debate with the top 5 candidates being excluded.

Politico is a popular and reputable online news source about US politics. They recently expanded into Europe at politico.eu.

Speaking of Politico, here’s a gallery for political junkies about political guests with David Letterman.

This is interesting: A conservative economist and member of the Reagan White House explains how he believes Fox News hurts Republicans. For those wanting to know more, click here.

Here’s an excellent report by CNN about surveillance over the South China Sea.

Speaking of China, I want to know if one can read this blog in mainland China. Do you have any connections that can answer my burning question?

Attention bacon lovers. US bacon prices are 25% lower than a year ago.

It’s Memorial Day weekend – a 3-day weekend – the official start of summer vacation season- the Indianapolis 500 – parades, ceremonies, 21-gun salutes, pools open, picnics, outdoor activities, and more.

I thought the Dancing With the Stars Finals show was very entertaining … and Sharna Burgess was on every week. Cheers to Season 20!

Meals: The Musical returns next week, so I’ll announce the theme on the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

There will be a Saturday post as the Explore series resumes.

To lead you into this week’s headlines from The Onion, here’s their pros and cons about raising the minimum wage.

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On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Anthropologists discover Ancient Greek Super PAC that helped shape first democracy
One year old still waiting for father’s first words
God realizes he forgot to put souls in humans
Child visits Ellis Island to see where grandparents once toured
McDonald’s reintroduces Hamburgler as attractive suburban dad

Interesting Reads
Cyber-archaeology saving relics
Islam and feminism
Photo gallery honoring BB King
Trains: driven by drivers or engineers
Columnist Roger Cohen’s thoughts about living in Italy
Smartphones and personal medicine

Your Weekend Celebrations
(Weekend) Mudbug Madness Days, Polka Weekend, Old-Time Player-Piano Days

(Fri) Toothpaste Tube Day, Buy a Musical Instrument Day, Don’t Fry Day, Vanilla Pudding Day, Canadian Immigrants Day, Harvey Milk Day, Heat Awareness Day, Biological Diversity Day, Maritime Day, Goth Day, Title Track Day, Wig Out Day, Maritime Day

(Sat) Lucky Penny Day, Jazz Day, Polka Day, Pickle Day, Crohn’s & Colitis Day, Turtle Day, Heritage Breeds Day, Taffy Day, Day to End Obstetric Fistula

(Sun) Scavenger Hunt Day, Escargot Day, Judgment in Paris Day, Brothers Day, Tiara Day, Mary Had A Little Lamb Day

The start of a 3-day weekend in a USA is a good reason for a 2-fer to send you into the weekend .. one from 1981 and one from today (which happens to be a Cincinnati band) … and both are timely. Which did you watch? Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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On Tasty Wrinkles

Hey hey hey … another weekend is done and gone. Tell us something about your weekend?

I had an evening of ballroom, dinners with sister-in-law and father-in-law, a going-away party, work, and Quickstep formation practice. We also attended a Reds baseball game. It was eventually cancelled due to rain, but we received our bobble head commemorating the 25th anniversary of the last time the Reds won the World Series (1990).

Meals: The Musical returns this week, but this act may be the most difficult. Act 3 featuring Sides, which means side dishes for the meal. Because of the broadness, there is a wide opportunity for creativity, and the producer understands that he needs to be somewhat flexible. Because the producer is the way he is, below are a few guidelines:

  • The producer still has discretion
  • Vegetables, which includes tomatoes, corn, and beans
  • Grains, products of grains, nut, kinds of nuts
  • Pastas, Soups
  • Unacceptable: Fruit, any fruit, meat and any meat, any dessert, any beverage

I admit that I’ve been anxiously anticipating the opening act. Curtain time will be Wednesday, 9:30 PM (Eastern US).

Celebrations for Your Week

  • (Week) Karaoke Week, Lingerie Week, Mattress Turnover Week, Air Quality Awareness Week, Library Preservation Week, Jewish Heritage Week, Reading is Fun Week, Forest Week, Intergenerational Week, TV Turn-off Week, Volunteer Week, Consumer Protection Week, Playground Safety Week, Teacher Appreciation Week, Big Brothers/Sisters Appreciation Week
  • (Mon)  Drug Take Back Day, Tell a Story Day, Babe Ruth Day, Mantanzas Mule Day, Morse Code Day, Prime Rib Day, Woody Woodpecker Day, Childcare Professionals Day, Playground Safety Day
  • (Tues) Biological Clock Day, Day for Safety & Health at Work, Workers Memorial Day, Blueberry Pie Day, Brave Hearts Day, Kiss Your Mate Day, Poetry Reading Day, Astronomy Day
  • (Wed) Dance Day, Zipper Day, Peace Rose Day, Guide Dogs Day, Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare, World Wish Day, Shrimp Scampi Day, Rebuilding Day, Greenery Day, Gnocchi Day
  • (Thurs) Bugs Bunny Day, Jazz Day, Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, Poem in Your Pocket Day, Honest Day, Animal Advocacy Day, Sarcoidosis Day, Oatmeal Cookie Day, Mr. Potato Head Day, Hairstyle Appreciation Day, Raisins Day

Honoring the last celebration listed above and the Act 2 of Meals: The Musical, here are three classic commercials to jump-start your week. Which is your favorite? Have a good rest of the week.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 249

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Although reporters love to ask Sarah Palin (R-AK) if she’ll seek the presidency in 2016, I declare that Nincompoop will not run because doing so would ruin her diminishing brand. Besides, her recent speech in Iowa even caused conservative media pundit Sean Hannity scratched his head. Then again, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) stated, She’do great. She predictably blamed the lame-stream media for pre-planning any criticism of her speech. Good night Nincompoop, turn out the lights as the party is over.

Given the topic, I expected yesterday’s post about Congress’s operating budget wouldn’t get much traction … then again, my purpose was to increase awareness.

Here are two outstanding interactives

Earlier this week marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, yet the reports of this human embarrassment remain chilling. As the survivors dwindle in number, I can only hope that humanity never forgets. Here’s a story about a survivor on his return trip this year – actually, his first.

Here’s a strong opinion about an upcoming Supreme Court ruling about housing.

If all goes as planned, Life: The Musical comes to an end. I’ll announce the final act’s theme on the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

Several ideas are vying for the next musical, but time will tell the choice.

Online comments in posts and articles are in a world of their own – especially at the major publications. I like the invitation to comment by Barry Ritholz.

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forego all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

Sunday is Super Bowl XLIX. Did you know that next year will be the first Super Bowl using standard numbers?

No Saturday Morning Cartoon or Explore post this weekend. Given a new month lies ahead, Saturday’s post is dedicated to February. After all, given only 28 days in the month, time is valuable.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s their blizzard survival tips and a list of the least inspiring biographical movies.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Family lets cars come inside during snowstorm
Nation’s historians warn the past is expanding at alarming rate
Man’s area code provides exciting glimpse at past life
Postal Service unveils new stamp honoring Americans who still use Postal Service
Republicans address income inequality with middle class hot stock tip
Study links negative Tweets to more heart disease

Interesting Reads

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Fri) Inane Answering Message Day, Yodel for Your Neighbors Day, Escape Day, Jazz Day, Snagglepuss Day (a Saturday honoree), Fun at Work Day, Croissant Day, Pre-School Fitness Day
  • (Sat) Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, Seed Swap Day, Backwards Day, Hell is Freezing Over Day, Brandy Alexander Day, Street Children Day, Child Labor Day, Appreciate Your Social Security Check Day
  • (Sun) Working Naked Day, Serpent Day, Spunky Old Broads Day, Popcorn Day, Rare Disease Day, Car Insurance Day, Change Your Passwords Day, Decorating with Candy Day, Baked Alaska Day, Hula in the Coola Day, Women’s Heart Day, Freedom from Slavery Day, G.I. Joe Day, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Day, Skippy Peanut Butter Day, Girls & Women in Sports Day, Face & Body Art Day, Robinson Crusoe Day, Super Bowl XLIX

To send you into the weekend, here’s a classic from a classic artist who needs no introduction. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 221

On Politics
For those you think the Tea Party is dead because of its unsuccessful showing in Tuesday’s primary, think again because if nothing else, it has shifted the party to the right.

As Washington examines issues at the Veterans Administration (VA), comments by members of Congress demonstrate to me that they are more interested in political gain than solving the problem.

Speaker Boehner’s (R-OH) new conference came on the radio as I was listening today, and I changed the channel. Later, I returned to find Minority Leader Pelosi’s (D-CA) new conference, so I changed the channel again.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Congress reluctant to cut funding for tank that just spins around and self destructs
  • Revealing spring attire reminds man he’s nothing more than weak, hormonal ogre
  • High school student, teacher applying for same summer waitressing job
  • Paleontologists unearth earliest known dinosaur stickers
  • Experts recommend breaking down crushing defeats into smaller, more manageable failures
  • Ohio replaces lethal injection with human new head-ripping-off machine

Interesting Reads
Leadership lessons from Dancing with the Stars
Columnist Ruth Marcus on politics and money
Interesting interactive sorting state (US) data
Learn to love your doppelgänger
The real Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Interesting infographic on man-made structures
Nutella in America

On Potpourri
Meryl and Maks were very deserving champions of Dancing with the Stars. Although some complained about co-host Erin Andrews in her debut season, but I say bring her back.

Taken April 22, 2014

Taken April 22, 2014

I took this picture about a month ago after getting some gas.

Thanks for the wonderful music in Act 4 of Life: The Musical. I love getting different genres of music!

With Monday being a national holiday (Memorial Day) in the USA, I will not have a Saturday Morning Cartoon Classic post this weekend. I know … this pattern is too frequent, but I’m still digging out of my hole from the move.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Mudbug Madness, Polka Weekend, Old-Time Player Piano Weekend
  • (Fri) Taffy Day, Wig Out Day, Turtle Day, Don’t Fry Day, Crohn’s Disease and Colitis Day, Heat Awareness Day, Polka Day, Lucky Penny Day
  • (Sat) Military Appreciation Day, Brother’s Day, Jazz Day, Morse Code Day, Escargot Day, Scavenger Hunt Day, Mary had a Little Lamb Day
  • (Sun) Cookie Monster’s Birthday, Something Day, Wine Day, Tap Dance Day, Towel Day, Nerd Pride-Geek Pride Day

With Saturday being Lucky Penny Day, here’s a question to answer. If you see a penny on the ground with the tails side up, do you pick it up?

To send you into the weekend, let’s celebrate Morse Code Day (Saturday) with this hit from 1967 … Western Union by the Five Americans. (The song starts 1 minute in.) Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Happy-Feet Monday

We had fantastic weather this past weekend … all in advance to what appears to be a rainy week ahead. Tell us about your weekend.

Our weekend included ballroom time, exploring some new trails and sights. and playing handbells at the dedication service of our church’s new sanctuary. I was able to play through the elbow problems as I used some creative problem solving to reduce the stress on the elbow ligaments.

Life: The Musical – Act 3 is on the docket this week with the curtain rising on Wednesday at 9:30 PM (US Eastern). This week’s also has a twist. Song titles must include a first name .. but first names can only be used once.

Celebrations for your week

  • (Week) Scoop the Poop Week, Air Quality Awareness Week, Tattoo Week, Forest Week, Lingerie Week, Intergenerational Week, TV Turn-off Week, Volunteer Week, Consumer Protection Week, Playground Safety Week, Big Brothers/Sisters Appreciation Week
  • (Mon) Biological Clock Day, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Blueberry Pie Day
  • (Tues) Dance Day, Peace Rose Day, Wish Day, Zipper Day, Shrimp Scampi Day, Gnocchi Day
  • (Wed) Mr. Potato Head Day, Bugs Bunny Day, Jazz Day, Animal Advocacy Day, Honesty Day, Spank Out Day, Oatmeal Cookies Day, Raisin Day, Hairball Awareness Day, Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, Walpurgis Night
  • (Thurs) May Day, Batman Day, Global Love Day, Law Day, Lei Day, Loyalty Day, Bubba Day, Mother Goose Day, Day of Reason, Stepmothers Day, New Homeowners Day, Beltane, Chocolate Parfait Day

Because last Friday was Penguin Day while this Tuesday is Dance Day, seems logical that I should start your week with dancing penguins. Enjoy … and have a great week.