Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 255

Two new candidates for 2016 race for US President are officially in the race: Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Although neither is unexpected, it will be interesting to see if Mrs. Clinton implodes and if Mr. Rubio becomes the second choice of most Republicans.

Here’s an interesting closing by Aaron David Miller (Woodrow Wilson International Institute for Scholars) in this Op-Ed at CNN about Hillary Clinton.

Clinton’s biggest challenge on the campaign trail and in office should she win is whether she can develop a foreign policy vision and an effective approach to the world that strikes a better balance between the risk-readiness of George W. Bush and the risk-aversion of Barack Obama. And given the cruel and unforgiving nature of the world America now inhabits, this will be no easy task.

I appreciated Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus’ take about the situation involving President Obama, Republicans, and Iran.

Last Friday morning I added the news about the passing of Lauren Hill. I was surprised how the positive message and stories continued. Here’s one of the early tributes.

After Lauren Hill played her first game, I wrote about some of the other positive aspects of that game, which included the role of Hiram College and its players. The mere fact that their team made the 4-hour trip to Cincinnati for the memorial service says a lot about how they were impacted.

This week included anniversaries of the Lincoln assassination and the Titanic disaster. I included an article about each in the Interesting Reads.

Act 2 of Meals: The Musical featuring fruit was a big hit. Choices were numerous as my prep list included apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupes, casabas, cherries, elderberries, grapes, grapefruit, kiwis, lemons, limes, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines, and watermelon .. then toss in grapevines. Well done!

No Saturday Morning Cartoons this weekend, but Saturday will bring a new Explore post.

Here’s an interesting trivia question to ponder. Hopefully, I will remember to give the answer on Monday. Category is US Geography. Person X is standing in State Y. No matter if Person X travels directly north, south, east, or west, the next state encountered will always be State Z. Where (what state) is Person X standing, and is the next state?

To lead you into it’s headlines, The Onion introduces us to the latest presidential candidate.

This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Report: Only 40% of celebrities marrying their stalkers
  • Teacher arranged desks in giant circle
  • Fast food drive-thru just cow carcass and bucket for money
  • New evidence suggests Middle East conflict predates all human civilization
  • Obama fantasizes about ordering drone strike against self on last day of presidency
  • US encouraging Cuba to shift toward Democratic system of corruption

Interesting Reads

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Weekend) Youth Services Days
  • (Fri) Blah! Blah! Blah! Day, Day of Silence, Malbec Day, Nothing Like a Dame Day, Bat Appreciation Day, Ellis Island Family History Day, Ford Mustang Day, Haiku Poetry Day, Cheeseball Day, Sherlock Hemlock Day, Daffy Duck Day, Petunia Pig Day
  • (Sat) Jugglers Day, Animal Crackers Day, Adult Autism Day, Columnists Day, Golf Day, Pet Owners Independence Day, Amateur Radio Day, Husband Appreciation Day, Original Yankee Stadium Day, Auctioneers Day, Poem in Your Pocket Day, Paul Revere Day, Laundromat Day, Record Store Day
  • (Sun) Hanging Out Day, Amaretto Day, Bicycle Day, Garlic Day, Humorous Day, Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day

To send you into the weekend, here are two big hits by big starts eligible for Act 2. Well … at least until I add them. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Satire Bits: Vol. 128

Hope you enjoyed that creative remix of the fabulous commercial.

How has your week gone so far? Hopefully OK.

We attended the annual Home Owners Association (HOA) meeting last night. Oh boy – just confirmation that some don’t understand what it means to live in a condo and that some simply should not.

Golf league season has arrived and delivered a dilemma to me. At the end of last season, the course notified all leagues that it would be closing in a few months. My league (as well as my wife’s) found another course. Because my league involved changing days, I decided not to return. I found a new league, but then (and without notice) I discovered that league is no more. In other words, I’m currently a golfer without a league. Interestingly, the original course remains open – causing me to wonder – why did they runoff guaranteed income? Very strange and unprofessional.

Meals: The Musical takes to the stage in the next post. Act 2 features Fruit – so song titles must include fruit(s) or any nutritional fruit in the title. Keep in mind that tomato(es) are not acceptable. Using a similar rationale, nut(s) or any type of nut, are not acceptable. Advice – Don’t make it harder than it is because there are many songs available. Curtain time is Wednesday, 9:30 pm (Eastern US).

The pigs below are multi-tasking as they are not only getting their tune for Meals: The Musical, they are also preparing their Combo Challenge. For the newbies, the satirical headlines below are from The Onion, and the Combo Challenge involves forming your own original headline from the headlines below. My Combo is at the end.

Have a good rest of the week.

Report: More Americans setting aside money in case of PR emergency

Empty “About Us” page leaves Chinese buffet’s origins shrouded in mystery

Allowance to teach children importance of parental dependence

Disheartened man expected at least one text while checking phone after flight

Hippocratic Oath updated to include vow of loyalty to insurance company

Increasingly worried man hasn’t yet come across any guacamole in burrito

Teen sick of mother barging into room with clean, folded clothes

Lettuce sentence to slow painful death in vegetable crisper drawer

Cat who spends life on one of two couch cushions given rabies vaccine

Scientists speculate extraterrestrials may have completely different hair than humans

Humble eccentric decline in-flight beverage service

My Combo: Humble, disheartened eccentric mother worried about importance of loyalty to guacamole on Chinese lettuce leaves

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 254

Breaking News: (Friday, 7:15 AM edit) Sadness in Cincinnati as Lauren Hill has passed away, but she leaves a powerful example of perseverance  and a strong message of hope.

Given the Republican uproar over the deal regarding Iran’s nuclear program, I say that if President Obama negotiated the Republican preferences, the Republicans would disagree with the outcome.

A Federal grand jury has  charged Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) with bribery. Someone in Washington involved in a bribery scheme? Say it ain’t so, Joe! No way! To clear his name, he needs to get in front of one of the two great oxymorons – the Senate Ethics Committee.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announced his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for President. Although he is interesting, and given his history of comments, I await the debate Sen. Paul has with himself. I chuckle at the contradiction of “returning to the Constitution” followed by calls to amend it.

In support of presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) It’s time for truth, here’s his scorecard on his statements rated by PolitiFacts.

From PolitFacts.com

From PolitFacts.com

Although the majority of Christians celebrated Easter last weekend, Happy Easter (this weekend) to my Christian Orthodox friends.

Sharna Burgess is one of my favorite pros on Dancing with the Stars … but I don’t like her current hair color.

Congratulations to Duke University for representing ABK as college basketball champions. (ABK stands for Anyone but Kentucky.) This means that I was happy that the University of Kentucky didn’t win the tournament, but their loss to Wisconsin didn’t pass my 3-prong test for my happiness.

Fortunately, I wasn’t drinking or eating anything (thus no spew) when I heard former Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig say, “The job of the Commissioner is to protect the integrity of the sport.” At least not being in the job hasn’t stopped him from making an ass of himself.

Act 2 of Meals: The Musical should take to the stage next week, so I will announce the theme on the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

Saturday Morning Cartoons returns with the next post!

To lead you into The Onion, here is their introduction to Rand Paul.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Narcissist convinced total strangers would want his organs
New app lets you work for your company even while you sleep
Geologists unearth fully intact rock
Conversational lamprey slowly draining life from dinner party
Sea World responds to California drought by draining animal tanks halfway

Interesting Reads
Anti-Obamacare Republican governors taking Obamacare grant money
American Pie: Obsessing its lyrics 
Gluteus and the Maximus (Sounds quite Shakespearean)
Everybody can sing?
Start baseball season with an article about Ty Cobb
Sex by the Numbers

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Weekend) National Pie Championships
  • (Fri) Audubon Day, Cinnamon Crescent Day, Farm Animals Day, Safety Pin Day, Siblings Day, ASPCA Day, Encourage a Young Writer Day, Golfers Day
  • (Sat) Eight Track Tape Day, Barbershop Quartet Day, Louie Louie Day, Baby Massage Day, Pet Day, Teach Children to Save Day, Chinese Fondue Day, Parkinson’s Disease Day, Table Top Day, Submarine Day, Slow Art Day, Education and Sharing Day
  • (Sun) Licorice Day (I love black licorice), Drop Everything and Read Day, Big Wind Day, Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, Look Up at the Sky Day, Reach as High as You Can Day, Day for Street Children, Day of Human Spaceflight, End Child Sexual Abuse Day

Given the celebrations, there should be any doubt what song will send you into the weekend, Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Satire Bits: Vol. 127

How’s your week so far? I’ve been using mine to make up for lost time while trying to balance life.

The rain stayed away long enough for me to go into the city for the Opening Day parade. Wow … a lot of people missed work on Monday. The city was buzzing, and the day ended with a dramatic Reds win.

By not posting Tuesday, I was able to get back to visiting. Therefore, I will not post tomorrow, thus Opinions in the Shorts will be the next post.

On to your midweek satire from The Onion. Any favorites below? As with most collections like this, there’s always the Combo Challenge to spark your neurons. For those needing an introduction, create your own satirical headline by using the words (and only those words) that are in the headlines below the image. My Combo is at the end.

Have a good rest of the week.

Band dreams of one day becoming popular enough to alienate early fans

All cheapest items on wedding registry already purchased

Woman transitioning from being terrified of getting pregnant to being terrified she can’t get pregnant

Navy forms elite SEAL Team to write best-selling tell-all books

Study: Beginning email with short, disingenuous inquiry into personal life best way to network

Scientists require $10 million grant to melt stuff

CIA admits role in 1985 coup to oust David Lee Roth

Consumer entering that awkward age between target demographics

Nation doesn’t know if it can take another bullshit speech about healing

Father-in-law think thank issues one-sentence solution to immigration, unemployment, and crime problems

My Combo: Woman dreams of cheapest way to get David Lee Roth pregnant

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 253

Interesting how much Governor Mike Pence (R-IN) danced around answering questions about recent religious freedom legislation in his state, then changed his dance. Answering questions with direct truth must be against a politician’s credo … and the Republicans don’t have a corner on that market.

In this speech announcing his candidacy for the 2016, Republican presidential nomination, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) stated, “It is the time for truth” – and in that spirit, here’s a fact-check of his speech.

The Naked Cowboy is one of New York City’s multitude of personalities. Did you know he is from Cincinnati and a University of Cincinnati graduate? Here he is.

We booked a future vacation with Vacations To Go. A tip-of-the-cap to them for discovering a mistake at their end AND correcting it beyond our satisfaction.

Monday is Opening Day in Cincinnati, which means baseball season starts. If the weather is nice, I hope to spend a few hours in the city among the many dressed in red. As of now, the weather is iffy.

My time for reading your wonderful blogs continues to be small. Yuk!

Thursday was our 38th anniversary, thus a tribute to 38 is about ready. Because I know the throngs outside the aFa Theater for the Performing Arts were getting restless, I chose to debut the musical on our anniversary instead of next week. Nonetheless, we had a wonderful dinner at this local restaurant.

Opening Night for Meals: The Musical provided quiet the variety of songs, so we are off and running. To my surprise, you provided more songs that I didn’t know. :) I believe Act 2 will be easier than Act 1, but you will have to wait for the theme.

My selection of Frank Zappa opening Meals: The Musical surprised some. Here’s an interesting explanation of the musicality behind St. Alfonzo’s Pancake House.

Last week’s Explore took us to the Iguazu Falls along the Argentina-Brazil border. It turns out the a visitor here posted about her visit, which brings a personal touch to this wonder. Thanks, Madhu!

Prepare yourself for a journey on the Explore series this weekend.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s their take on paying college athletes.

This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Siblings quietly relieved oldest brother setting bar so low
Cost-cutting measures force company to start hiring more female employees
Man who baked banana bread spends entire party anxiously watching it go uneaten
Senior citizen keeps mind active by contemplating death
Man thinks going to Vegas for things other than gambling somehow less sad

Interesting Reads
Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech that mentions my birthplace
The grand piano in Gaza
Studying the DNA of a nation
From National Geographic: Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?
Urine-based recharging of phones
A Nazi hangout in Argentina?
Technology improving sex

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Fri) Chocolate Mousse Day, Walk to Work Day, Hot Cross Buns Day, World Party Day, Workplace Napping Day, Sow the Seeds of Greatness Day, Don’t Go to Work Unless It’s Fun Day, Tweed Day, Pony Express Day, Find a Rainbow Day
  • (Sat) Walk Around Things Day, Vitamin C Day, Hug a Newsperson Day, Chicken Cordon Bleu Day, Tangible Karma Day, Rat Day, Birding Day, Victims of Violence Day, Tell a Lie Day, Square Root Day, Kids Kick Butts Day (anti-tobacco), Pillow Fight Day, Every Day is a Tag Day, Chocolate Milk Powder Day, Mine Awareness Day
  • (Sun) Lava Lamp Day, Bell Bottoms Day, Deep Dish Pizza Day, Plum Pudding Day, Go for Broke Day, Caramel Day, Read a Roadmap Day, Raisin & Spice Day, Dandelion Day, Stories Day, Check Your Batteries Day, Baked Ham & Pineapple Day, Accelerate ACL Awareness Among Young Women Day

Here’s a 2-fer to send you into the weekend. First is a leftover from Act 1, while the second has a fitting title for the 2-fer. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

(Double Vision, Foreigner)

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 252

This week was the fifth year anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Since then, the White House and its departments did a lousy job educating the public, and Congress has done absolutely nothing to improve the ACA. On the other hand, nothing is something Congress does well. Cheers to Ron Fournier for this National Journal article.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) declared his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. I smiled at the announcement because I continue to say his nomination is exactly what the Republican party needs. Maybe I should endorse him.

During the first three months of their Congressional majority, Republicans have not shown me that they can lead.

Have you ever seen the International Space Station fly overhead? Thanks to Jim in Iowa, here’s a website to determine when that happens in your area.

The leading thought was that college basketball player Lauren Hill wouldn’t see Christmas. Well, she did … and New Years Day … and Valentine’s Day … and St. Patrick’s Day. Although she may be struggling, she is a fighter and her attitude remains positive.

Did you realize I’m mentioned in Lorna’s video?

For the sidebar, I followed Catherine’s suggestion of displaying the blogger’s location with a rollover. See yours if it’s correct, and let me know if you want me to change it. I need help with List of X.

No Saturday Morning Cartoon this weekend, but an edition of the Explore series is ready – thus you can wonder if it will be a person, place, or thing.

Meals: The Musical debuts next week, and I’m side-stepping my normal protocol. Act 1: Meals will feature songs with any of the following words in the title: Meal(s), Breakfast, Lunch, Lunchtime, Brunch, Dinner, Dinnertime, or Supper. More about the debut on the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s a week in pictures.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Report: Employees most innovative when brainstorming dramatic quitting scenarios
  • Man filled with gratitude at sight of other customers in nice restaurant wearing jeans
  • Study: Not many Disco songs about daytime
  • New speech recognition software factors in user’s mouth always being full
  • Siblings playing tense game of chicken to decide who takes care of mom
  • Michael Dukakis still drives old tank everywhere

Interesting Reads

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Weekend) Crossword Puzzle Days, Listening Weekend
  • (Fri) Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day, Joe Day, Corkscrew Appreciation Day,Celebrate Exchange Day, Viagra Day, Spanish Paella Day, Kite Flying Day, Photography Day, Steam Fire Engine Day, Education & Sharing Day
  • (Sat) Barnum & Bailey Day, Be Mad Day, Virtual Advocacy Day, Weed Appreciation Day, Earth Hour, Black Forest Cake Day, Something on a Stick Day, Hot Tub Day, Eat an Eskimo Pie Day, Children’s Picture Book Day
  • (Sun) Vietnam Veterans Day, Mom & Pop Business Owners Day, Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day, Love Your Children Day, Lemon Chiffon Cake Day, Coca Cola Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s a relatively recent video of a classic from the 1979 album Breakfast in America – enjoy Supertramp’s Take the Long Way Home. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Satire Bits: Vol. 126

Welcome to midweek. How’s your week been so far?

March weather in Cincinnati is quite wide-ranging with cool to warm and snow to thunderstorms. Whew! The last half of the week looks to be cold. Yuk! That’s OK because my golf clubs remain in the backroom.

A reminder that Thursday is Name Your Own Holiday Day. Do you have any suggestions? I’m proposing Flying Rutabaga Day, Turtles with Prehensile Tails Day, and Hats Off to the Women of CNN Day.

This week’s midweek dose of satire is for RoSy, who (long ago) requested a sports set from The Onion’s archives.

Don’t forget the Combo Challenge – that is, making your own satirical headline from the words in the headlines below. My Combo is at the end.

Have a good rest of the week.

New report suggests it kind of weird baseball uniforms have belts

Man watching World Cup thought he would have seen more bicycle kicks by now

Goalkeeper announces plans to frantically wave and yell at teammates before corner kick

Exhausted cyclists ask for some drugs so they can finish Tour de France

Michael Phelps apologizes to entire nation after tasting Subway for the first time

Amnesty International blasts hockey league for penalty box conditions

Hockey jersey tucked in for date

Student athlete graduates with 3.8 grade point average

Player’s season depends on if he can stay healthy

Report: Majority of baseball players swallow up to six baseballs during sleep each year

My Combo: Exhausted hockey players frantically swallow entire Subway in penalty box causing goalkeeper to wave and yell for first-time date