Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 409

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Last weekend concert featuring the solo careers of David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young went better than I anticipated. Doobie Brothers take this stage this weekend Concert time is Saturday at 1:00 AM (Eastern US).

Because of an approaching blog break, this will be the last concert until further notice.

What does a professional football player with a degrees in mathematical economics and religion and a minor in business who is working on an MBA in finance do in this spare time? Click here to discover the answer.

The recent baseball brawl between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates was interesting. The umpire had the chance to diffuse the incident when the Pirates’ pitcher threw at the head of the Reds’ batter. Oh no – not even a warning. Interestingly, the league gave the longest suspension to the pitcher. There is no place in the game for intentionally throwing at a batter’s head.

People who use hot weather days in the summer to justify climate change are just as clueless as those who use cold days to deny climate change.

Is there any difference between Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Heach Care?

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Of course I did NOT watch either of this week’s Democratic debates. I didn’t because I couldn’t answer this important question for me … Why? Nonetheless, from reports, I can say that the odds of me voting for Elizabeth Warren is the same as me voting for Donald Trump – Zero.

No – I did not attend the recent Trump rally in Cincinnati. For the record, I would go to hear him speak even if he spoke just to the residents in my neighborhood’s clubhouse.

Another shooting of a large crowd is another opportunity for Congress to do nothing – and that’s something I’m confident they can achieve.

Certain liberal groups want to expand the Supreme Court from 9 to 11 justices. Oh please, please start focusing on important issues. Please!

Who would have thunk that House Democrats would lead the Committee to Re-Elect the President.

A Director of National Intelligence who is a political hack without intelligence experience would seem to be the best two reasons for the Senate to approve Rep. John Radcliffe (R-TX).

President Trump can’t seem to politicize an event. At the recent signing ceremony of the 9-11 responders health benefits bill, instead of recognizing responders advocating for the bill, the responders benefitting from the bill, and the families this bill is designed to help – he threw accolades to his chief apologist – Rudy Guiliani. President Trump is a pathetic person, and even worse leader, and he brings the majority of his problems on himself..

Jeers to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) for being the only two senators to vote against the 9-11 responders bill. Thank you voters of Oregon and Kentucky for sending us clueless, partisan hacks who are loaded with double standards.

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion captured this unique debate moment.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Guy on bus really good at whatever phone game that is
Sincere email to coworker drafted, reconsidered, deleted
Four-year-old convinced father is a moron after 45th consecutive hide-and-seek victory
Insecure infant worried he’s unworthy of animatronic toy rabbit’s love
Exhilarated woman discovers last person who used jigsaw puzzle left lots of pieces stuck together

Interesting Reads

A ship’s flag
Humanity’s greatest threat?
Trust and distrust in political America
The moon landing – Fake News!
Need for humanity to know how to get better
Remembering an architect
(Graphic) World’s oldest democracies
(Photos) Wildlife

To send you into the weekend, here’s a Heat song by one who will be a Kennedy Center honoree this December. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 356

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Congratulations to blogger, author, and long-time visitor here, Carrie Rubin, on the release of her latest book (The Bone Curse). Click here for the Amazon link.

This Sunday is Eastern for Western Christianity. That also means the handbells will be involved with music on multiple occasions. This Joyful Eastertide is our featured song. For those listening, 1) we will be without the trumpets, and 2) you will easily hear the difference between playing handbells and chimes as we switch from one to the other several times during the piece. Click here to listen.

Cincinnatians treat Opening Day (for baseball) as a festive holiday event. Major League Baseball (MLB) is starting the season earlier than normal, and this year, it happens to be in front of Easter weekend – which conflicts with the businesses that sponsor the Opening Day parade. In other words, the first game and the parade will not be on the same day. Thanks you MLB.

I’m a life-love Cincinnati Reds fan. Given the teams lack of success over the past 25 years, apathy would be a good word to describe my outlook for the season. I wish them well. I will root for them. I will remain loyal – but I don’t expect much.

Sears is a struggling company. How can the Sears Board of Directors in good conscience give their CEO are bonus ?

Do you remember the term tattletails? Even though I haven’t heard in many years, this local editorial focused on the term while relating it to various local and national events. I think this is a worthy read. 

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A few days ago I received a one-side survey for supporting President Trump and Republican Party. Filling it out was worth the time and stamp. In the extra comments box I wondered why the committee would keep sending me these surveys – especially considering my answers and other comments.

I like this question asked by Chuck Todd on Meet the Press: (I paraphrase) Which event will have greater impact six months from now: the gun control rallies or Stormy Daniels?

Because the extremes have a way of digging in, I still find it difficult to believe that America can have a true discussion about gun control. Then again, surprises can happen.

As a whole, I believe most Americans strongly dislike negative campaigns. However, this statement on Politico caught him attention. In preparing to go toe-to-toe with Trump, Democrats will have to take some sparring practice, and not all the punches are going to land. But to insist that candidates shouldn’t treat the campaign like a schoolyard brawl is to deny the reality that one of the candidates is going to make sure that it is one.

The US Supreme Court has their hands full with dealing with gerrymandering.

Thank you Stephen Colbert for continuing to make me laugh as a way of dealing with the current White House occupant and his administration.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides a timeline for 20 years of Netflix.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Man assumed celebrity sighting would do much for his career
Classically trained actor can talk on cue
Dead medieval woman gave birth to baby in coffin
Handwriting expert confirms killer used cursive
Man calls trust fund his savings

Interesting Reads
Resilient life in an Indian coastal town
Is the Democratic Big-Tent shrinking?
Science and social media
World maps with literal names for countries
Censoring in Egypt
Places on Earth that seem to be from another world

To send you into the weekend (and as move toward their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction), here’s another Moody Blues classic. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 176

On Politics
The way Washington is playing around with sequester cuts is just another example about the clueless, self-centered nature of the Washington establishment … and this includes President Obama’s symbolic pay gesture and the Republican response to it.

A legislator has sponsored a bill to establish an official religion in North Carolina. Someone wake me up and tell me this is a dream …or at least the other Carolina (where I would expect this)

As President Obama does fundraising for 2014 Congressional Democrats, I saw a Democratic majority in Washington would be a great boost for Republicans in 2016.

I found this site to be interesting – the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Although the gun control debate drivels on, Congress missed its opportunity for finding common group, thus I appreciate this op-ed from Dana Milbank.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Mississippi bans soft drinks smaller than 20 ounces
  • Businessman does work lying on bed like schoolgirl
  • Guy with 10,000 tweets, 15 followers ready to hang it up
  • Financial expert saves struggling zoo by firing all employees and getting rid of cages
  • STD had awesome time on spring break

Interesting Reads
Macaulay’s Catholic dissidents
Dinosaur Sex
Germany and Fracking
Time Place for Port Wine
Book Review about Herbert Hoover

As a tribute to the late Roger Ebert (1942-2013), here is a wonderful commentary about a movie – and one that I greatly appreciate.

On Potpourri
Cheers to Virgin Airways for this April Fools spoof.

I loved this one from consumer giant P&G, who actually promoted this in the Cincinnati during Opening Day festivities.

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Those knowing my interesting in the interchange between religion and science may be amused to know that at last week’s Easter Vigil service, I read the creation text from Genesis.

On the handbell front, we’re going to have a concert in early May, so here is one of the selections.

Interestingly, injured Alex Rodriguez (New York Yankees) has a higher 2013 salary than the entire opening day roster of the Houston Astros.

Thursday’s (yesterday) game marked the 20,000th game for my Cincinnati Reds – a mark only attained by the Braves and the Cubs.

Looks like the 25,000th comment on this blog should occur this month.

Coming soon … Time: The Musical – Act 2 ….. And, hopefully I will remember to tell more next week.

Cheer up Saturday Morning Cartoon fans because there will be a post on Saturday.

This video (thanks Patti) will send you into the weekend with a smile. Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On the All-Time Girly Girls

The start of the World Series is a good time for a baseball post. As many of us know the song A Boy Named Sue, and some of us actually remember when it was a Johnny Cash hit.

Although nobody named Sue has played in a major league baseball game, the lineup below features players whose name could be of a female. Keep in mind that my goal is to include as many female-like names as possible. To ramp up the difficulty of fielding a team, I have added a self-imposed rule of only one person per name, with the exception of Hall of Fame (HOF) members.

Even with that in mind, the roster still includes ten members of the HOF accompanying many All-Stars. This team can hit and pitch, thus would be a contender and far outdistance the All-Time Randys who can’t hit, field, and are thin at pitching. Meanwhile, the Randys are perfect for being repeatedly beaten by a bunch of girly guys.

To see the All-Time Randys and other all time teams, see Categories in the right-side sidebar, and then Sports > All-Time Teams or click here.

After the roster, make sure you see the honorable mention list, plus the video.

Ladies and gentlemen, now taking the field, the All-Time Guys with a Girl’s Name.

1B – Lee May (AS)
2B – Jackie Robinson (HOF)
SS – Cookie Rojas (AS)
3B – Judy Johnson (HOF)
C – Jody Davis (AS)
OF – Babe Ruth (HOF)
OF – Jesse Burkett (HOF)
OF – Robin Yount (HOF)
DH – Dixie Walker (AS)

SP – Christy Mathewson (HOF)
SP – Sandy Koufax (HOF)
SP – Robin Roberts (HOF)
SP – Jesse Haines (HOF)
SP – Candy Cummings (HOF)
RP – Lee Smith (AS)
RP – Allie Reynolds (AS)
RP – Lynn McGlothen (AS)
RP – Rosy Ryan

Mgr – Connie Mack (HOF)

Bench: Ryan Klesko (AS), Shannon Stewart, Taylor Douthit, Kim Bautiste, Dana Fillingim, Angel Barroa, Lena Blackburne, Tillie Walker, Kitty Bransfield

Honorable Mention: Jackie Jensen (AS), Jesse Barfield (AS), Sandy Alomar Jr. (AS), Connie Ryan (AS), Lady Baldwin, Sadie McMahan, Dolly Stark, Goldie Rapp, Blondy Ryan, Cuddles Marshall, Daisy Davis, Bonnie Hollingsworth, Faye Thorneberry, Snooks Dowd

On the All-Time Willies

Music has brought forth legends as Willie Nelson and Boxcar Willie, but the song Little Willy (by Sweet) was never a favorite of mine. Free Wily made it to the big screen while Groundskeeper Willie appears on The Simpsons – but the most famous may be Steamboat Willie who became famous with a different name.

While Wiarton Willie is the famous Canadian groundhog who prognosticates the weather. Willie the Wildcat serve as mascots at Northwestern and Kansas State. Ever received a wet willie, tasted Famous Willie’s BBQ, gotten the willies while watching a movie, or know what the British call willie? I didn’t realize that the SS Wily served as a Dutch cargo ship (1938-1939). But it wasn’t a floating chocolate factory nor captained by Willy Wonka.

Nonetheless, these Willies are about baseball … yes baseball – our timeless national pastime – so why not a quote from a non-Willie: “The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and what could be again.” (James Earl Jones from Field of Dreams)

Similar to the All-time Mickeys, not that many Willies have made it to MLB, Nonetheless, this team boasts some offense – even the bench is stacked with notable All-Stars. Opponents will fear the heart of the batting order, but will be eager to bat against a shaky mound corps. Even though the Willies will play good defense, given their pitchers, they must rely on out-scoring other teams in high-scoring games. One thing for sure, they will distance themselves from the All-Time Randys who have difficulty fielding, hitting, and pitching.

To see the All-Time Randys, All-Time Mickeys, and other all time teams, see Categories in the right-side sidebar, and then Sports > All-Time Teams or click here.

Ladies and gentlemen, now taking the field, the All-Time Willies.

1B – Willie Montanez (AS)
2B – Willie Randolph (AS)
SS – Willie Wells (HOF)
3B – Willie Kamm
C – Dan Willie Wilson (AS)
OF – Willie Mays (HOF)
OF – Wee Willie Keeler (HOF)
OF – Willie Stargell (HOF)
DH – Willie McCovey (HOF)

SP – Wee Willie Bill Sherdell
SP – Willis Willie Hudlin
SP – Willie Sudhoff
SP – Willie Blair
SP – Willie McGill
RP – Willie Hernandez (AS)
RP – Willie Frazier
RP – Willie Banks
RP – Willie Adams

Bench – Willie Davis (AS), Willie Horton (AS), Willie Jones (AS), Willie McGee (AS), Willie Wilson (AS), Willie Bloomquist

Mgr – Willie Randolph

All-Time Rons

Some Rons go by any of the variations of the name. Although we are most familiar with President Ronald Reagan – yet Mrs. Reagan commonly referred to him as Ronnie – while others used Ron. To the contrary, I cannot recall hearing Ronnie or Ronald for Representative Ron Paul – who oddly enough has a name of two first names like a famous Ronald McDonald who actually wasn’t a Ron, Ronnie, or Ronald, but this post is not about Willards or Scotts – it is a post about Rons like Ron Howard, who ironically also has two first names.

The music world gives us Ronnie Milsap, Ronnie Dunn, Ron Wood, and Do Ron Ron, yet another entertainment form made Ron Jeremy a star. King Arthur’s lance was Ron, but the king never faced Re-Open Nominations or had to deal with a Research Octane Number or Resilient Overlay Networks; but he spend more than one night in the same hotel on consecutive days, he was classified as Remaining OverNight. Yet, questions remain. Did he ever cross the Ron River in Switzerland? Did he ever play Rise of Nations? Did he ever file a Report of Nonconformance?

Regardless of the previous questions, there is no doubt that this post is about Rons, but not my cousin Ron – but MLB Rons. Interestingly, this post is actually a collaboration with Journey Towards Epiphany. Kimberly, the heart and soul behind that blog I enjoy reading, is from Chicago. Somehow, she mentioned that she wanted to write a post about a baseball Ron who Chicagoans adore – Ron Santo. Thus, we decided to release these to posts on the same day, so I encourage others to read her post about Ron the Beloved Cub.

The All-Time Rons surprised me. Although none have made it to the hallowed halls of Cooperstown, many Rons journeyed to baseball’s midsummer classic – the All-Star Game (AS). Although the offense lacks a main power source and the starting pitching lacks a dominant stopper, the offense will hold its own – but the pitching is a bit thin. Nonetheless, the All-Time Rons will easily outdistance the All-Time Randys who consistently languish near the basement.

To see the All-Time Randys and other all time teams, see Categories in the right-side sidebar, and then Sports > All-Time Teams or click here.

Ladies and gentlemen, now taking the field, the All-Time Rons.

1B – Ron Fairly (AS)
2B – Ron Hunt (AS)
SS – Ron Hansen (AS)
3B – Ron Santo (AS)
C – Ron Hassey
OF – Ron Gant (AS)
OF – Ron LeFlore (AS)
OF – Ron Northey
DH – Ron Cey (AS)

SP – Ron Guidry (AS)
SP – Ron Darling (AS)
SP – Ron Reed (AS)
SP – Ron Kline
SP – Ron Robinson
RP – Ron Peronoski
RP – Ron Davis (AS)
RP – Ron Valone
RP – Ron Bryant

Bench: Ron Belliard (AS), Ron Oester, Ron Coomer (AS), Ron Kittle (AS), Ron Karkovice, Ron Jackson

Mgr – Ron Gardenhire

On the All-Time MLB Foodies

A few years ago a guy named Mo asked, “What about a food team?” Sure, anyone can whip together names as Ice-T, John Candy, Coco Chanel, Eve Plumb, Jerry Rice, Jack Lemmon, Soupy Sales, Halle Berry, Carrot Top, Meatloaf, Kevin Bacon, Cookie Gilchrist, Warren Burger, Fiona Apple, Brutus Beefcake, Anthony Weiner, and a few Playmates named Candy or Cookie; but, what about baseball? After several years on my plate, here is a dish of delicacies for Mo.

The All-Time Foodies are a surprising lot as 11 Hall of Famers make the team. Problem is too many are outfielders. What a problem for rookie manager Peanuts: pick three, insert one as DH, and convert one to a first baseman.

This team is good enough to create havoc for the better teams and distance themselves from the All-Time Randys, who aren’t very good – but not the leagues worst! The lineup is a feast-or-famine lot and the starting pitching is good. However, if a team can get to a starter to put stress on the bullpen, this team could be in trouble. In other words, the All-Time Foodies no worse than a middle of the pack team with enough talent to create some havoc for the contenders. And who knows – even maybe pushing for contention.

To see the All-Time Randys and other all-time teams, see Categories in the right-side sidebar, and then Sports > All-Time Teams or click here.

Ladies and gentlemen, now taking the field, the All-Time Foodies.

1B – Mike Lamb
2B – Cookie Rojas (AS)
SS – Cookie Lavagetto (AS)
3B – Pie Traynor (HOF)
C – Johnny Oates

OF – Pick 3, one DH, and get one to learn first base: Sam Rice (HOF), Jim Rice (HOF), Zach Wheat (HOF), Turkey Stearnes (HOF), Goose Goslin (HOF), Chick Hafey (HOF)

SP – Catfish Hunter (HOF)
SP – Bob Lemon (HOF)
SP – Noodles Hahn
SP – Dizzy Trout (AS)
SP – Candy Cummings (HOF)

RP – Goose Gossage (HOF)
RP – Vinegar Bend Mizell (AS)
RP – Sugar Cain
RP – Frank Pears
RP – Stew Bolen

Mgr – Peanuts Lowry (Long-time coach, but never a manager)

Bench: (The extra outfielders would bump someone and some of these won’t make it,  but these players are worth mentioning.) Darryl Strawberry (AS), Pepper Martin (AS), Ruben Sierra (AS), Peaches Graham, Pickles Dilhoeffer, Ken Berry, Candy Maldonado, Salty Parker, Billy Bean, Chicken Wolf, Coco Crisp