Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 315

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So far, the plays we’ve seen while ushering have been enjoyable. Definitely a variety of styles.

If it’s not already, Cincinnati will soon be in the national news because the jury is deliberating a case involving a police office shooting an unarmed black male.

Photo Credit: Andrew Evans

Photo Credit: Andrew Evans

The handbell piece we played last weekend was very well received. Here it is again.

My Italian cousin Gino has a good sense of humor. At dinner my cousins were asking us about chefs in America. After showing Gino this picture of Giada de Laurentiis, he raised his eyebrows, paused, then said, “Do you think she will cook for me and wash my underwear?”

I’ve made limoncello, orangecello, meloncello, gingercello, and basilcello. For this holiday season, I’m making cranberry-orangecello. It’s in the extraction phase at the moment, so I hope to have it ready for sampling when the family gathers for Thanksgiving (November 24th). For those who want to make limoncello, click here for my recipe.

I recently heard this story. Two guys hired a cab to pick them up, take them to a specific address, wait, then return them home. After the complete trip, the two passengers refused to pay – so the cab driver called the police to report not only the failure to pay, but the fact the two guys committed a robbery at a specific address and were now at a designated address. Book ‘em, Danno, and then give them a Darwin Award.

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This column about the election by a local sports columnist is worth the read.

The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Editorial Board offered these words: “This is a time to respect the will of the people and find a way to move forward as a nation. This is a time for civility. There’s been too much vitriol on both sides, and Americans must learn how to talk to each other again, treating fellow citizens with respect regardless of their differences. Without question, Trump was the more appealing candidate to the darker forces among us, but it would be a grave mistake to paint all – or even a majority with the same “deplorable” brush. … This is a time for healing …. This is a time for change and moving past the same old cynical politics …. This is a time for reflection …. We should all want President-elect Trump to succeed, just as we should all have wanted the same for President Barack Obama. That’s what patriotism means. That’s the key for finding our way again as a country.”

In a related note, I’m very proud of the readers here for many reasons – including the civil tone on my post following the election (the previous post). Thanks to all.

“Repeal and replace” is going to be a common phrase in the months ahead. There will be a time when we start hearing actual proposals. If we hear the insurance industry squealing about a proposal, that may be the one to use.

News of children in a Michigan school chanting “Build a wall” to Latino students is disturbing.

Some Things that Concern Me (listed in increasing importance)

  • Democrats acting like Republicans
  • The Nincompoop getting a cabinet position
  • A Republican Congress proclaiming a mandate, thus shoving an agenda down everyone’s throat
  • The loud, obnoxious portion of the electorate thinking they are in control
  • Ted Cruz on the Supreme Court

Now that the election is over, it’s time to return to the Supreme Court vacancy. Too bad the Republican Senate who proclaimed the Biden Rule aren’t following it. I was hoping for a divided government between the Senate and the White House so we could play a game of Last Judge Standing! Therefore, no nominees until the court is completely vacant …. Damn the results!

President Obama’s Five Faults of the Week
Hillary Clinton losing
A ganglion cyst returning to my leg
Sharna’s injury on Dancing With the Stars
Cleveland Browns not winning a game yet (but they are playing at the time of this post)
Donald Trump winning

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides tips for handling social anxieties.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Winning lottery numbers obvious in hindsight
Woman worried she’s doing bad job enjoying massage
New premium Uber service lets users commandeer any car
Bungled Apocalypse causes light drizzle over southern Ohio
Man praying job interviewer doesn’t ask any questions

Interesting Reads
Escape from Syria in a wheelchair
Successes in Finnish education
A different look at historic Route 66
Sightseer’s guide to Mars
Poverty and parties from Brookings with a state-by-state drop-down menu at the end.
The Beatles Final Concert
3-D printing and prosthetics
(Photos) Glasgow’s mural trail

To lead you into the weekend, here’s a popular oldie. Besides, I mentioned it in the Interesting Reads. Hope all is well with you, and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Holiday-Week Shorts

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This post is a cheap imitation of Opinion in the Shorts … make that very cheap … but it’s a way to dispense some information.

With this being Christmas week, I realize upcoming posts will be around a different schedule – so here’s my hopeful plan for the rest of 2015

  • The next post will be my Christmas post (on either Wednesday or Thursday)
  • Several Explore posts between Christmas and the New Year (a light and easy agenda)

Many thanks to everyone attending my holiday party. It seems my new (non-Onion) gift supplier was a success … thus the challenge for next year. Nonetheless, thanks for all the smiles you gave me.

We enjoy watching the Kennedy Center Honors during the holidays. This year’s show is December 29th on CBS, so check your local listings. This year’s honoree are singer-songwriter Carole King, filmmaker George Lucas, actress and singer Rita Moreno, conductor Seiji Ozawa, and actress and Broadway star Cicely Tyson.

We finally saw the latest James Bond movie – Spectre. Typical Bond, thus enjoyable. During the holiday we hope to see The Big Short, Concussion, and maybe the latest Star Wars.

I enjoy making limoncello – a wonderful Italian drink that is sweet, lemony, and strong. It’s easy to make, and this past-post tells how. This year I’m in the process of making a variation – gingercello – sweet, gingery, strong, and a touch of heat – an interesting combination. I hope to bottle it soon, thus give away some to friends.

This remains a holiday classic in my warped world.

The Democratic candidates had a presidential debate this past Saturday. Yep – I didn’t watch – but I’ve put together a collection of fact checks: Annenberg, PolitiFacts, Associated Press, Washington Post.

As soon as I heard Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) comment about the recruitment videos, I shook my head – and it seems that the fact checkers are backing up my apprehension.

Because The Mummies were above with Carol of the Belts, I’ll send you into the week with one of their songs. Have a good week.

Flashbacks: On Food and Recipes

Whether eating in a restaurant, a special dinner at home, getting that special treat, or time in the kitchen, we enjoy many aspects of a meal. Here are some selections for my archival vault that may capture your interest. Enjoy, visit as many as you wish, and hopefully you will comment on the post you visited. Are you going to make any of these?

On a Joyous Zest

Regardless of the good feeling one gets from using a bar of Zest while bathing, this post isn’t about soap – nor is it about Zesta saltine crackers. I’m also not passing on an inspirational message for a zest for life. Since, I’m running out of options, maybe citrus zest – but no – well, at least in terms of food.

Alright – it’s the holiday season – and even nonChristians participate in some form of a season of giving – so here’s an idea for using zest for your holiday zeal.

Limoncello is an Italian liqueur – and yes, lemon zest is an important ingredient in producing this wonderful treat. It’s primarily produced, but not limited to, the Naples and Amalfi areas of Italy. This sipping drink is lemony, sweet, and potent – although I wonder if serving limoncello in a small glass simply is for ease of refills. For those wanting to know more history, here’s a link.

Now the holiday connection. Large bottles of limoncello typically sell for $25-35 per bottle (wine bottle size, 750 ml). For a not that many more dollars, it’s easy to make about three times as much – and then by putting it in small bottles makes a nice gift friends.

Below is my recipe, which makes about a gallon (4 quarts).


  • Zester (I prefer the type with the small prongs that removes the zest in small ribbons. Rasping type is fine, but it’s more work & requires better filtering)
  • Large jar with screw-top lid. (Inexpensive is fine. My jar is about 9″ tall, 7″ wide, with a 4.5″ lid.) (about 1 gal capacity)
  • 7-8 small glass bottles with a screw cap (for bottling) or 3 standard wine bottles
  • Strainer (fine)
  • Cheesecloth


  • 8-12 lemons (limes or oranges are substitute)
  • 2 bottles (750 mL) of spirits (either 2 vodka, 2 grain alcohol, or one of each – I prefer the latter)
  • 4.5 cups sugar (Stage 2)
  • 5 cups of water (Stage 2)

Instructions: Stage 1

  1. Wash the lemons
  2. Remove the peel (or use the zester), and then place the zest in the jar. (Note: the white pith behind the zest is bitter, thus don’t want)
  3. Add 1 bottle of spirit. (Note: If using my suggestion of alcohol and vodka, add ONLY the grain alcohol)
  4. Cover the jar, shake to mix, then put it to rest in a dark place as a cabinet or closest
  5. Occasionally shake the jar during the next 7-10 days

Instructions: Stage 2

  1. In a large pan over high heat, boil the water.
  2. Add the sugar, and then stir until all is dissolve.
  3. Boil together for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let simple syrup cool to room temperature.
  5. Add simple syrup to the jar.
  6. Add the remaining bottle of spirit to the jar.
  7. Close the lid, shake, and return to the dark place.
  8. Occasionally shake during the next 7-10 days.

Instructions: Stage 3 (Bottling)
Note: This stage involves 2 key processes: straining & bottling. Failing to remove the fine particles will create sediment & floaters in the bottles.

  • Pour the limoncello through a fine strainer. Note: Depending on the jar, it is possible to keep most of the zest in the jar.
  • Strain again through 5-8 layers of cheesecloth. Additional straining may be necessary.
  • Pour into individual bottles and store in refrigerator. Serve chilled. Note: Small bottles are great as gifts.