On a Small Town

Embed from Getty Images

To municipalities of various sizes, the Ohio River is home. Numerous cities, towns, villages, and hamlets occupy the banks of the 981 miles (1579 km) from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Cairo, Illinois – but this post is about only one of them.

Neville, Ohio is a rural village along the Mighty Ohio in the southern part of my county (Clermont). Other than driving through it several times over the past 40 years, my history with Neville is nil. Founded in 1808 by Gen. Presley Neville, a Revolutionary War veteran. The US government established a post office there in Neville 10 years later – which is still operating today.

From the war memorial, to store names, to officials, certain families have dominated its history – but that’s normal in a small town. By 1880, Neville’s commercial district was vibrant as the population grew to 445.

Being along the Ohio River, Neville has battled its share of floods – especially the major floods of 1913, 1919, 1937, 1964, and 1997. The ‘97 flood the caused more than half of the population to move because, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) bought land and demolished buildings so nobody would build again on those locations.

As a village, Neville depended on funding assistance from the Ohio’s Local Government Fund. In 2010, in order to balance the state’s budget, our newly elected governor slashed the fund’s existence. Besides saving the state money, the survival-of-the-fittest approach would force local governments to either streamline their expenditures to become part of the surrounding township or merge with another municipality.

In the last 10 years, about 10 governments have dissolved – the majority since the 2011. Ohio Auditor’s office gave Neville’s mayor a choice: vote to dissolve or eventually face a court-ordered dissolution.

Today, Neville’s population of 100 has a median income of about $31,000. No businesses exist within its boundaries … and the state of Ohio has a budget surplus. This past March 15th, voters in three more villages across Ohio faced the dissolution decision on the ballot.

Somerville (Butler County) will close its doors, but Smithfield (Jefferson County) and Neville thumbed their noses at the state in order to live another day – at least until the next dissolution vote.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 295

Embed from Getty Images

Regarding the return of the headstone in the post earlier this week. A grandson (in Columbus, OH) had it removed to add an engraving, but then decided to keep the stone. I discovered an obituary of a person in Columbus with that name who died last summer (June 25, 2015). Coincidence?

Last week I failed to mention the passing of Nancy Reagan. The longevity of recent First Ladies is amazing. WOW! Meanwhile, a tip of the cap to Nancy Reagan for demonstrating grace and love for her man.

Cincinnati is one of the regional locations for the final 16 in the college hockey tournament. Depending on the times, I may go. Meanwhile, college basketball’s March Madness is underway – Go ABK – Anybody But Kentucky!

Last weekend (and I think two weeks ahead of the rest of the world), we in the USA did our spring SkylineGreenforward into Daylight Savings Time … and the first week of is a struggle for many of us.

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I continued my tradition to Skyline Chili served with green spaghetti.

Act 5 of Colors: The Musical is next on the musical agenda, which will feature the color blue,

  • All song titles must have Blue in the title
  • No forms of the word as blues, bluest, etc
  • No shades of blue (such as cobalt, indigo, aqua, blue-green, etc)
  • No compound words of blue (such as blue-blood, bluebird, bluejay)
  • No duplicate songs

My wife had a wonderful birthday this week.

I will have an Explore post this weekend.

Embed from Getty Images

I was about to scold President Obama for delaying his Supreme Court Justice nomination, but he did so this past Wednesday. Although Republican logic for delaying the confirmation is very flawed, it is good for their partisans who are clueless enough to agree with flawed rationale – therefore allowing elected officials to drag the nomination of a qualified, consensus candidate to the highest court of the land into the political sewer of selfishness. After all, to the partisans, the nominator is more important than the nominee – and that is true on both sides of the aisle. Here a past post with my thoughts about the vacancy.

Governor John Kasich (R-OH) wins the important Ohio primary, but even if he won all the remaining delegates, he would go to the convention short of the number needed for the nomination. I’ve heard Kasich supporters here say he should get out of the race, he should stay, and he’s simply positioning himself for the VP slot.

Despite Elyse’s final plea for me to either vote against Donald Trump (R-NY) or vote in the Democratic primary, I accepted an “Issues Only” ballot. Then again, I also told her that voting in the Democratic primary was equivalent to voting for The Bloviator because it wasn’t a vote against him – to which she didn’t agree.

Good bye Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) – and thanks for the poor showing in your home state. Hopefully a lesson learned – Don’t try to be who you aren’t.

Whether she meant it that way or not, Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) comment regarding the coal industry will work against her.

Republicans explaining the current chaos in their party being President Obama’s fault got me thinking about other problems due to the current president – such as El Nino, Malaysian Air missing for two years, Oscar nominations, McDonald’s excluding McGriddles from their Breakfast Anytime Menu, latest flooding in Mississippi and Louisiana, Charo, the Cleveland Browns waiving Johnny Manziel, cost of airfare to Europe from Cincinnati, and my lactose intolerance.

Regarding the Republican chaos, I offer this possible explanation. Since President Obama took office, Republicans formed coalitions with other groups to oppose the president. However, this short-term coalition was unsustainable in the long run – so now they are paying the price.

A note for the political junkies. Not long after the 2008 election that put President Obama in the White House, I wrote this post about the Republican party. In light of the past 7 years and the current fractures with the GOP, readers may enjoy this look-back through the lens of what we know today.

Embed from Getty Images

To lead you into your weekly dose of satire, The Onion explains how to reduce wasted food. 

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Nation reaffirms commitment to things they recognize
$4.75 cupcake scrutinized with jeweler’s eyepiece
Beautiful sunset wasted on a few schmaltzy bozos
First grader wants monkeypox
History sighs, repeats itself
Report: 83% of wise guys think they are really funny

Interesting Reads
Linking social skills and being bilingual (Thanks, Tim)
The island of no escape
The minaret of Allepo
Who was worse: Hitler or Stalin?
Death of the Stethoscope?
(Pictures) 10 beautiful ceilings

It’s been too long since I’ve sent you into the weekend with The Piano Guys. This video has beautiful scenery and is a unique rendition of a popular hit. 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. 294

Embed from Getty Images

This weekend our handbell choir is playing a nontraditional, beautiful arrangement of a traditional hymn – Amazing Grace. A piano is also involved, which for us is our director – so we will play without a director. For those who want to hear a recording, click here … besides, it could be the background as you read this post.

ABC announced the new cast of Dancing With The Stars … and the thought of Edyta rejoining the cast that includes Sharna and Peta has me smiling.

We enjoyed last weekend’s Grand Tasting at the Cincinnati International Wine Festival. We attended one event and volunteered at another. Total attendance for the three Grand Tastings was about 4,000 … and yes, my unofficial observation is that more millennials attended than baby boomers – thus affirming the statistic I recently provided that millennials have become the largest demographic group purchasing wine.

Act 4 of Colors: The Musical has — songs featuring green in the title. Cheers for another great effort.

I will have an Explore post this weekend.

I watched (last week) the first of a six-part series Race for the White House (on CNN). I enjoyed Part 1 about the Kennedy-Nixon race (1960). CNN replays Part 1 Saturday night, and Part 2 airs Sunday night, which featuring the Lincoln-Douglas campaign of 1860. Here’s the trailer for the series.

Embed from Getty Images

Next Tuesday gives us major primaries in Ohio and Florida. Votes are anyone other that the favorite son in each of those states is a vote for Donald Trump (R-NY). Rubio and Kasich wins would greatly increase the odds of a brokered convention.

I will NOT be voting in the Ohio primary. Ohio’s voting laws require voters to declare as a party member (at the polls), which remains in effect until the next primary … and I do not want to be associated with either party at this time … so I will be voting only on issues.

Recent polls indicate Mr. Trump losing head-to-head with the other Republican candidates. By staying in the race, the other candidates (Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich) are playing a game of chicken against each other.

A question for House of Cards fans: How would Frank Underwood deal with Donald Trump? Meanwhile, are you watching Season 4? (We’ve only seen Episode 1.)

I heard this quote myself … and listened several times to make sure … Senator Rubio: “I didn’t say what he was saying as I said it one time.” Huh?

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) winning the Michigan primary surprised me. After all, the six polls I saw had Hillary Clinton (D-NY) winning by double digits (11-to-23 point margin).

To lead you into your weekly dose of satire, The Onion explains how to meditate. 

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Horrified investigators find unresponsive legislative body in Capitol building
Zoo hosts contest to name baby of pregnant gift-shop worker
Prima donna species just has to have every part of natural habitat intact
Antique store celebrates 750,000th ‘Oh, Just Looking’
Alien parasite can’t find way out of fat astronaut
Report: More women losing weight with elective bone-shaving surgery

Interesting Reads
Winston Churchill’s spectacles
WW II American airmen
Meat and the brain
Downton going green
(Pictures) Award-winning science photos
(Podcast) A brief history of school discipline

Here’s 2-fer to lead you into the weekend – a leftover from Act 4 and a unique version of a Beatles classic done by a strings duet. Thanks to Cathy (@Large Self) for introducing me to Acoustic Eidolon. 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. 293

One of my favorite events is this weekend: The Grand Tasting at the Cincinnati Wine Festival. Here’s the setting: an empty glass, a room with over 600 wines, and 2 ½ hours.

I regularly see 3 types of wine corks: natural, plastic, and composite (my term). Interestingly, recycling programs around any of the 3 types are (at best) minimal.

All normal in our life with dance, handbells, and volunteering leading the way. Meanwhile, we are looking forward to my wife’s upcoming retirement, so we’re also planning future travel. A few other things got in my way this week. 😦

Thanks for the great response on the previous post (On an Inspiring Edit).

Colors: The Musical continues on this coming Tuesday with Act 4 featuring songs with Green in the title. Tips: No compound words with green, no shades of green, and no duplicates. On an important note, Dale (the musical’s official Maitre d’) will probably not be present to protect visitors from The Producer. Curtain time is Tuesday, March 8th at 9:30 pm (Eastern US).

No Explore post this weekend.

Many recall that former Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) represented the district to the west of mine. In the upcoming primary, 15 Republican candidates are vying to become the next representative.

Super Tuesday delivered interesting results for Republicans. The thought of a Donald Trump (R-NY) nomination is making it interesting … and Thursday was loads of fun. Got to love the circus!

As some of the Republican candidates and their surrogates have now turned to attacking Donald Trump, where were they when Jeb Bush (R-FL), Carly Fiorina (R-CA), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) were the only ones attempting to challenge Mr. Trump?

Watching Sen. Rubio and Mr. Trump the past 2 week reminded me of the middle school encounter between the obnoxious brat challenging the boisterous bully … and I find this demeaning, embarrassing and unpresidential.

Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) continues to be the adult in the room, which doesn’t seem to be working to his advantage. Because he speaks and behaves in a sensible manner while focusing on issues, that does not mean he is a moderate. As resident of Ohio, Gov. Kasich is unquestionably a conservative.

The Ohio primary is in 10 days. Television ads are now appearing, but we haven’t been swamped with them or mailings. I think they are giving us a break until August.conservative.

I previously stated that March 15th would be pivotal for the Democrats. The rationale was simple – the Super Tuesday states were stacked for Hillary Clinton (D-NY) with a few openings for Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT). I see Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri, and Illinois as the last stand for Senator Sanders – thus where the Bern goes to a flicker.

In a political campaign (especially the presidential nomination process), I notice individual endorsements. For instance, I have very low regard for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), and his endorsement is an unquestionable negative for me.

Two questions to ponder for each side of the aisle.

  1. If the your party could only win one, which of the following would you chose: winning the presidency or having a majority in the Senate?
  2. If Democrats won the Senate, who would you rather have as president: Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, or Donald Trump?

This tidbit from The Onion about Sen. Cruz made me laugh … and what a great image.

Embed from Getty Images

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Area tweet not exactly lighting the world on fire
Bored God tries to fit all of Jupiter in mouth
Banana bought, carried around, thrown out
Area man walking around in his underwear again
Breaking News: Some bullshit happening somewhere
Cirque Du Soleil’s new ‘Travelique’ examines the movements and mystery of public transit

Interesting Reads
Conservative media and the GOP
Radioactive reindeer
First users of geometry
The curious story about China and the mango
(Interactive) How religious is your state?
(Photos) An astronaut’s year in space

To lead you into the weekend, here’s a classic hit from the ‘70s. 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. 292

Embed from Getty Images

Last Saturday I watched much of Justice Scalia’s funeral. I’m amazed by the strength of his son – Paul, a Catholic priest – in leading service and delivering the homily at the funeral for his father. He brilliantly wove theology and life together … a WOW … what a beautiful church! (Click for Google Images.)

That once-every-four-years day is approaching. Here’s an explanation of why February gets the extra day in a leap year.

This blog passed on odd milestone earlier this week … 66,666 comments.

Here’s is your chance to make Cincinnati Chili.

Last weekend I saw a great video segment on HLN (CNN companion station) presenting both sides of the argument regarding Apple unlocking the iPhone of a deceased terrorist. Unfortunately, I can’t find it!

Last Friday I took my wife and her sister to the airport so they could begin their week of cruising for the fifth consecutive year. Yep – my Bachelor Week is nearing the end. For my week, I had three things to accomplish: 1) Takes them to the airport, 2) pick them up at the airport, and 3) have the house cleaned when they return.

Some wonder, want did you do? I ballroom danced, wrote a few blog posts, stayed up later but not sleeping as well, did my volunteering (dancing with seniors, dancing with Downs, and ESL tutoring), danced again, attended handbell rehearsal, had a dance lesson, participated in our Lenten journey small group, painted walls in one area, danced some more, attended a group dance class, did the usual Wednesday laundry, prepared the tax materials to our accountant (delivery is based on his schedule), cleaned the house, worked on designing a wall project, and squeezed in  some time to dance … so I can work on leading.

For Act 3: Yellow of Colors: The Musical, readers brought forth quite the array of over 30 songs! A tip of the cap to all! Special thanks to Dale for excellent Maitre D’ work … plus keep your eye on the Hear Ye page.

There will be an Explore this weekend about a person, place, or thing …

Embed from Getty Images

Interesting time – Data out of California indicates a growing number of registered independents.

A question for Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT). How do you implement your vision if Republicans control one or both of the Capitol Hill chambers?

My post (On the Court) earlier in the week regarding a forthcoming nominee to the US Supreme Court created interesting comments – and some were very predictable. Therefore, I pose these questions: How different would my post have been if a conservative justice other than Justice Scalia died? How different would the post have been if a liberal justice died?

Whereas Republicans as Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) use past quotes by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Vice President Joe Biden (D-NY) to justify delaying the confirmation process of a Supreme Court nominee, these are prime examples of the positions politicians take is a matter, place, and convenience – thus they are willing to wear the others shoes when it fits the narrative that meets their needs at that time. I take the contrary view – I oppose McConnell and Grassley today as much as Schumer and Biden then. As a matter of fact, I can say they are flat-out wrong.

My senator (Rob Portman, R-OH)  responded to my contact with a form letter containing an unacceptable answer. Good job at working to lose a supporter during an election year.

The candidate from my state, Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) , made a faux pas comment on the campaign trail this week. A big deal to some, no more than a blip for me. Personally, his signature to defund Planned Parenthood in Ohio was much bigger news.

Although Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is declaring himself the alternative to Mr. Trump, his road to the nomination is the most difficult.

I enjoy when the morning news recaps comedic comments from the late-night hosts regarding the presidential candidates. After all, laughing is so important.

Although the Republican field is dwindling, one aspect that is important to me is noticing who supports each of the candidates … especially when the field was larger.

Oh my … The Onion reported a leather-clad Ted Cruz campaigned at a fetish club. (Beware of image)

Embed from Getty Images

To lead you into your weekly dose of satire, The Onion provides timely tips for hosting an Oscars party.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Pizza slice has only one pepperoni
Caffeine bracelet acts as coffee substitute
Takeout burrito shielded from cold as though it were week-old newborn
Nation’s elderly hit hard by closing automatic doors
Vatican City residents rally to save St. Peter’s Basilica from development

Interesting Reads
Global smartphone ownership and Internet use
The GOP nomination and the party rules
Columnist David Ignatius on a high-tech military (Thanks Tim)
Another reason for the Easter Island mystery
Naming elements
Design plans after the Great Fire of 1666
(Pictures) Corners

It’s a 2-fer to send you into the weekend – a leftover from Act 3 and one with an appropriate title for the upcoming night to celebrate Oscar. 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. 290

Happy Valentine’s Day Weekend!

My initial handbell ring went fine. In April, the choir will be part of a 650-member mass choir at a regional event. That would be something interesting for the audience.

Fortunately, I caught the film Journey to Space at the local Omnimax theater before it left. Simply wonderfully done and a must for all space lovers. Narrated by Patrick Stewart, the film links the Space Shuttle program to the Orion project, the NASA project designed to carry humans to Mars. Here’s a link to the schedule of theaters in both the USA and International locations, plus the trailer is below.

Our church wine group (last weekend) had a gathering, which included my presentation about the similarities and differences of Syrah, Sirah, and Shiraz. Should I turn it into a post?

Two weeks in a row of limited visits to your blogs bothers me. Thanks for your patience.

Act 2 of Colors: The Musical featuring Red provided quite the variety of songs. Although behind with my comments on that post, 😦 I’ll announce the next act’s theme and date in the next OITS, but the news will first appear on the Hear Ye page (hopefully over the weekend).

There will be an Explore this weekend about a person, place, or thing. I can say that it goes well with last week’s trip to Norway.

Embed from Getty Images

Isn’t this a great image to lead into the political section?

Good news – Iowa and New Hampshire votes are done. Bad news – they are only 4% of the delegate count. South Carolina is next up – and oh my – it’s a state with a nasty reputation.

For those who may be wondering, nope – I don’t feel the Bern – but that’s a good, short slogan.

All candidates are scripted. On the other hand, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is scripted among the scripted. Although Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) has left the race, I applaud the way he called out Sen. Rubio about his scripted nature – of which, Sen. Rubio politely did all he could to support the governor’s point.

Although (my) Governor John Kasich (R-OH) finished second in the New Hampshire primary, does he have the infrastructure and support to make it to the Ohio Primary (March 15th)? Time will tell. Although I applaud his big-boy-in-the-room approach, my support for his candidacy remains tepid.

A friend of mine boasts about a conservative columnist who predicted Donald Trump (R-NY) won’t win any primary. Nothing like the first primary to prove that pundit wrong. The longer the Republican field stays large, the better the chance The Bloviator has at winning the nomination. Meanwhile, I stay the course pointing to the pivotal primary dates of March 1st (Republicans) and March 15th (Democrats).

Embed from Getty Images

To lead you into your weekly dose of satire, The Onion explains the growth of ISIS. 

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Olay introduces new line of pre-moisturized skin
High school nurse getting pretty good at spotting morning sickness
Middle-aged man in locker room puts shirt on before underwear
Binge eater doesn’t remember going to second KFC
Evolution textbook hidden under mattress
Obama resigns from presidency after Michelle lands dream job in Seattle

Interesting Reads
President for 31 days
Chocolate
Eyes and natural selection
A revolution of mathematical proportions
Ways to keep yourself going (Thanks, Tim)
Mosquitoes resisting malaria
The gift of Lent
(Photos) The Silent Forest

Here’s a 2-fer to sent you into the weekend – a leftover from Act 2 and one that made me think of Elyse. 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. 99

Announcements

  • A post this weekend
  • The next edition of OITS will be #100
  • A 40K hits passed without celebration
  • Friend A Frank Angle on Facebook

On Politics
Republicans asking for the resignation of Rep. Weiner (D-NY) is as pathetic as the congressman’s actions. If you can’t practice what you preach for everyone, stay quiet. Meanwhile, given the information at this time, it’s a matter of his constituents.

At the time of the death of Osama bin Laden, political pundits were proclaiming a 2012 lock for President Obama. I said (at the time) the pundits were out of touch, and the current polls are already validating my position.

I listened to Tim Pawlenty’s (R-MN) recent policy speech from Chicago. Two points: he’s boring and although he caught my attention on some points, he had a difficult time convincing me.

Politico wonders if there will be a Bachmann-Palin cat fight.

Another week goes by without a jobs bill from House. To be precise, 5+ months and counting. To quote Speaker Boehner (R-OH), “Where are the jobs?”

My governor, John Kasich (R-OH) continues to delay implementing the people’s vote – building casinos in the state.

Two good reads about the political football known as the debt ceiling debate

A great quote from Beaglezmom: You can believe in a candidate and still admit they made a mistake. You can support a leader and still call them on a lapse of judgment. You can acknowledge disappointment, and still support a person, idea or party. Our country needs voters who are a lot more real, and a lot less “star struck.”

On the Potpourri
Aging brings interesting problems. For instance, this week I received a cortisone shot in my shoulder. For what you ask? I strained my rotator cuff when putting on a sweatshirt this winter. Physical therapy starts soon. For those that don’t know, rotator cuff refers to the area where several shoulder muscles and tendons connect to the shoulder blade and upper arm bone.

It looks like the NFL labor situation means fewer losses for the Bengals!

Bill Tammeus provides this short post about Muslims fighting terrorism.

I also appreciate this quote from a different post from Bill: The struggle for peace — and the routine failure to achieve it — is an ancient story.

See the winners of the photo contest from The World at Night.

Congratulations and good luck to a classy lady, Today show host Meredith Vieira. Once I got to know her personality, I could appreciate her work. Enjoy her highlights video.

On a sad note, Al has taken down his 2012 blog. My interactions with him have always been enlightening, positive, and in good spirit – thus I will miss him space. On the plus side, I am grateful for his genuine presence. A tip of the hat to you Al. Best wishes to you and selfishly, I hope you make your presence known through visits.

Thanks Moe for taking me back to junior high and this interesting 1966 look at future computers. Have a safe weekend. You come back now.