Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 295

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 294

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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.

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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).

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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. 292

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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 …

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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)

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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.

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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).

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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. 284

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I hate it when life gets in the way of blogging – hence why my posts are less frequent, and my visits elsewhere have been horrible.

Sky: The Musical is over – and participants have come through in flying colors. A tip of the cap to all who took us on a 5-act musical journey across the sky and clouds to the sun, moon stars.

No Explore post this weekend because the my 2016 Holiday Blog Party is the entire weekend. Start time is 1:30 AM (Eastern US), thus the gifts will be available for the European morning and even the late-night Friday crowd on the US west coast. Because of my lack of presence over the past few weeks, I’m expecting a smaller crowd than normal. 😦 … nonetheless, I will enjoy the company! Bring your friends.

Bomb threats at schools have recently made the news – which reminded me of a Darwin Award candidate. It was probably in the 1980s, a person called the principal during school hours to issue a bomb threat. The principal asked the caller, “Who is this?” … and the caller gave his name – yes, a current student.

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Prior to the last debate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) reminded everyone that one of the commonalities all the GOP candidates have in common is that none of them are Socialists. Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR) also made the point during the debate. Even though all the candidates want to overturn the Affordable Care Act, none of them are against defunding public education, public schools, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance, and other programs grounded in Socialism.

Here are various fact checks regarding the most-recent Republican debate: Annenberg, PolitiFacts, Associated Press, Washington Post, Politico

A reminder for the Democrats who may have a burr in their shorts about Donald Trump (R-NY). The Republican nomination process requires 1,236 delegate votes to win the nomination – and at this point, all candidates have zero candidates … plus the process involves proportional allocation.

For those wondering about a brokered Republican convention, it’s possible – but today is also too early in the process. However, it that happens, remember this name – Mitt Romney.

The next Democratic debate is this Saturday night on ABC … and I won’t be watching.

To lead you into a bit of satire, here’s The Onion’s review of the latest Star Wars movie.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

  • Guy Wearing Chewbacca Costume Torn Between Seeing ‘Star Wars’ And ‘The Big Short’
  • Legendary Paparazzo Gets Star On Roof Across From Hollywood Walk Of Fame
  • Geneticists Debate Ethics Of Cloning Humans And Forcing Them To Fight To Death In Pit For Our Amusement
  • Victoria’s Secret Introduces 3-Inch Patch Of Satin To Place Anywhere On Body
  • Study Finds Majority Of Accidental Heroin Overdoses Could Be Prevented With Less Heroin
  • Odorite Introduces New Three-Tier Urinal Cake

Interesting Reads
Guns and race in America
A story involving the history of passports
The strange science of self
The mystery of the saxophone opening to Baker Street (by Gerry Raferty)
Art challenging perceptions
Royal Society Photo Award winners

Here are multiple tunes to send you into the weekend. The first is a leftover from Act 5 that is also a shout-out to Cynthia because I think she’ll enjoy the song, the singer, and the video. The second is also a leftover that I enjoy. The last song title serves as a bit of advise for those dealing with the holiday crazies. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch … and I hope to see you at the party this weekend!

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 186

On Politics
The recent gathering of the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference demonstrates what this group does not understand. After all, their speakers included Donald Trump, Herman Cain, and Sarah Palin.

It is interesting to watch Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) dance between trying to be an immigration reform leader and a potential presidential candidate.

Although it will not happen, I would support amending the Constitution to change the terms of our elected officials: Representatives 3-year terms limited to 3 terms; Senators: 5-year terms limited to 2 terms; President 6-year terms limited to 1 term.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Dad can’t believe lawn didn’t get him anything for Father’s Day
  • Friends don’t understand how man gets depressed
  • Advanced (alien) civilization discovers inhabitable planet
  • Nation currently more sympathetic to demise of Planet Krypton than plight in Syria
  • Michele Obama seen walking family rhinoceros (the evidence)

Interesting Reads
Hospital CEO Bonuses and Obamacare
Sequester and spending on research
So Long, Herschel (the telescope)
A book review about statesman John Hay
The ethics of egg freezing
History of perpetual motion
The Death of Bill Nye

On Potpourri
Is anyone dismayed by the latest news that Capt Crunch is not a captain, but a commander? For those who did not know, US Navy captains have four stripes, but Commander Crunch only has three.

While on the topic of crunch, cheers to Nestle for their limited edition Crunch bars with Girl Scout cookies. Gotta love those Thin Mints.

Given the any flap involving celebrity chef Paula Dean, I never liked her show.

Here is some handbell music for those wondering if handbells can do pop music.

A reminder that Friday is National Flip-Flop Day, Saturday is Stupid Guy Thing Day (or is it Stupid Guy-Thing Day), and Sunday is Pink Flamingo Lawn Ornament Day.

There will be a Saturday Morning Cartoon post this weekend.

Are you go to a wedding this weekend? After all, June is a popular month for weddings. I will send you into the weekend with this one from The Piano Guys. Have a good weekend. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.