Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 322

Many readers have enjoyed the previous two Al Stewart songs I’ve featured in previous OITS. Here’s one more, but this time as background music because the video is just the music (no performance). For those that chose, click here to enjoy Song on the Radio.

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As I work morning news back into my routine, I recently developed a preference for CBS This Morning with Norah O’Donnell, Charlie Rose, and Gayle King. They have more substance and less fluff than their NBC and ABC counterparts, plus more calming than CNN.

We recently saw two movies to recommend, so THUMBS UP to The Founder and Hidden Figures.

If the movie is accurate, McDonald’s Ray Kroc was both a visionary and an asshole who sorely lacked business acumen – but smart enough to surround himself with the right people. Props to actor Michael Keaton for his role as Mr. Kroc.

A toast to Mary Tyler Moore for what she gave us through her life.

January has been a different month for me, so I will explain very soon.

Last week I reminisced about moving. After all, several years ago we moved from our home of 27 years – a home we built, maintained, and improved. Packing and moving is quite the chore, but in the end, there is a sense of sadness when we depart for the last time. The Obamas occupied the White House a much shorter time (8 years), but on a much grander stage. I appreciated this article from Politico about their final moments.

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I continue to worry about the potential lack of Congressional oversight, so this article from Politico was timely.

Democrats can thank their former Senate leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for removing the 60-vote barrier. Just another reason for me not liking the man.

I met my goal of not watching the inauguration, but did see enough reports to be informed.

On his first full day, the way the new administration and their talking heads has treated the importance of something as irrelevant as the inauguration crowd size is both bizarre and telling. All they had to say was something like this: “While we acknowledge the in-person attendance was down from previous years, when also considering television and online viewing throughout the world, all indications point to this inaugural being the most-watched in history.” Oh no, instead they chose to make combative asses of themselves.

I have suggestions for the new administration who feels unloved by the media’s negative reporting.

  • Try a positive tone, not a negative, combative one.
  • Try truthfulness, not head-scratching absurdities.
  • Try portraying a positive image with a vision, not one focusing on doom and gloom.
  • Try respecting people, not humiliating them.
  • Try not making unsubstantiated facts on something meaningless.
  • Learn the difference between right vs. wrong and agree vs. disagree.

PS: Protectionism and isolationism doesn’t work.

Kathleen Parker is a columnist I appreciate. A closing of a recent column echoed the my feelings that I’ve stated here. “Donald Trump is our president. He deserves a chance to prove us doubters wrong; to create a government that he think will bring jobs and money back to the U.S.; to enhance educational opportunities for the less-privileged; to enhance our military defense without yearning to test it; to reform the tax and regulatory codes with deference to economic realities. Pray. Pray that our country survives these next few years and that the new president is both wiser and less impetuous that he seems. It’s the least and best we can do – for now.”

Former President Obama’s Five Faults of the Week
Spreading of Fake News
The Packers and Steelers not making the Super Bowl
La La Land receiving a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations
California’s rain and snow
John Howell in final preparation of another book release

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides the pros and cons for early retirement.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Anger-bottling factory explodes
Compassionate fisherman doesn’t have heart to throw trout back into polluted lake
Cockroaches feeling optimistic about future of planet
Shrimp would be pissed if he could see the lame party he’s going to be served t
Car rolls up to stoplight blasting Google Maps directions
Spider sitting on shower wall can’t wait to see look on man’s face

Interesting Reads
An inspirational must-read story about a young girl
How to be wiser
Aging and urban divergence
The Oddies Museum
The geographic pivot
(An interactive) How much do you know about what police think

For those who prefer the song at the end of this post or those who want more Al Stewart, here’s On the Border to send you into the weekend. Enjoy the final days of January 2017 and get ready to bring on February. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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On the Levels of Moving

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Most readers have moved sometime in their life. No matter within a town or to a different town; across the state or to a different state; cross-country or to a different country – one thing for sure, moving is very stressful.

We moved over a year ago. Yes, it was only 6-7 miles (10 km), but it was after 27 years in the same house. Fortunately, we had a lot of lead time, and we took advantage of it – but moving is very stressful.

I had a lot of time to think while packing, which included reflecting about previous moves. Little did I realize that the thoughts would lead me to this post about establishing the following 6 Levels of Moving.

Level 1: The Car Move
Usually one’s first move. You don’t own much, so several suitcases in the trunk and boxes in the backseat suffice. If you’re lucky, you rent a smaller trailer for some larger items.

Level 2: The Beer-and-Pizza Move
You own more, but to save money, you contact friends to provide the labor, and probably rent a truck for the day. Given everyone’s youthful nature, it works, and you are more than willing to provide the food and drinks for the laborers.

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Level 3: The Two-Men-and-a-Truck Move
Three things have happened since the previous move: the accumulation of more stuff, everyone is older, and friends have more family obligations … all leading to hiring movers. Two Men And A Truck is in my area, and the name says what you get. You do the packing, and the two mean are doing the lifting and carrying at each end of the move. On the downside, one may question the two men’s knowledge and reliability about moving. After all, how hard can moving be?

Level 4: Professional Movers
Time passes, everyone is older and with even more stuff – so it’s time to upgrade the moving experience. You contact various professional movers who visit to develop a quote for their services using a team of movers. They offer to pack, but as a money saver, you decide to do attack the time-consuming task. On moving day, boxes fill the home, but the team of movers do the carrying, carefully pack the truck, and unload at the new location.

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Level 5: Professional Pack and Move
Recalling the amount of time and energy involved in packing, you’ve decided to spend the money to give the professional movers the packing responsibility. In general, a one-day pack followed by a one-day move … and it’s done! The movers can also unpack, after all, the task is negotiable. Those having experienced a corporate move may be familiar with this move.

Level 6: The Ultimate Move
Your older now and hopefully your last move. Minimal packing, minimal lifting, and only minimal unpacking because you sold most of your belonging. Suitcases into the trunk, boxes into the backseat and you are on your way to the new location to buy new furnishings. It’s interesting how much of life goes full circle.

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On May 2015

May, the fifth month of the year, but one of seven months with 31 days

May, spring in the northern hemisphere, but autumn in the southern hemisphere – making May and November as seasonal equivalents

May, with no other month beginning or ending on the same day of the week as May

The month May was named for Maia, a Roman goddess

Late May, being the official start of the summer vacation season in the US and Canada

May, with its symbols

  • Birthstone: emerald
  • Birth flower: Lily of the Valley signifying sweetness, humility, and return to happiness
  • Zodiac: Taurus (until May 21) and Gemini (May 22 and into June)

May moon

  • Called Egg Moon, Grass Moon, and Hare Moon
  • Full Moon May 4th 3:43 UTC
  • New Moon May 18th 4:13 UTC

May, with national celebrations in Armenia, Canada, Eritrea, Japan, Mexico, Norway, United States, and the UK

May, with many countries celebrating May Day & Mother’s Day, plus Europe celebrating victory over the Nazis in World War II

May embraces Asian American & Pacific Islander heritage, chip your pets, creative beginning, Haitian heritage, audits, Mediterranean diets, Jewish-American heritage, guide dogs, meditation, military appreciation, moving, preservation, older Americans, personal history, preparing tomorrow’s parents, Social Security education, South Asian heritage, date your mate, and recommitment.

May increases awareness in ALS, APS, arthritis, asthma & allergies, medical orphans, brain tumors, celiac, cystic fibrosis, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, fibromyalgia, Huntington’s disease, homeschooling, lupus, melanoma & skin cancer, hepatitis, neurofibromatosis, preventing osteoporosis, physiotherapy, Prader-Willi Syndrome, pet cancer, toddler immunization, chemical injury, Tay-Sachs & Canavan diseases, Tourettes Syndrome, borderline personality disorder, high blood pressure, Lyme disease, stroke, preeclampsia, and ultraviolet rays & skin cancer.

May celebrates wetlands, clean air, community living, drums, Freedom Shrine, gifts from the garden, golf, Victorian women, Latino books, barbeque, bikes, eggs, hamburger, inventors,
pets, photos, salads, salsa (the food), strawberries, asparagus, beef, chocolate custard, and drinking water.

May promotes global civility, better hearing & speech, building safety, ecodriving, family wellness, gardening for wildlife, getting caught reading, global health & fitness, food drives for homeless animals, heal the children, healthy vision, Oregon wines, business image improvement, motorcycle safety, foster care, good car keeping, mental health, physical fitness & sports, service dog eye examinations, water safety, Finger Lakes wines, youth traffic safety, revising your work schedule, spiritual literacy, women’s health care, reacting, and respect for chickens.

Any celebratory occasions in your life during May? What songs did you listen to in this post? Have a wonderful month of May.