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

On Satire Bits: Vol. 125

Welcome back to the first Satire Bits in 5 weeks. That’s right, the last one posted February 10th.

How’s your week gone so far? The past few days has blessed Cincinnati with pleasant weather, so hopefully you’ve experience positive days.

St. Patrick’s Day (Tuesday) was my yearly opportunity to have green spaghetti for lunch, then a delightful dinner at Seasons 52 to celebrate my wife’s birthday. The rest of the week looks a bit hectic, so the next point will be either the return of Opinion in the Shorts or another version of Briefs. Last week’s image of the 5 guys in underwear received many positive comments, so pressure is on!

Below the images are headlines from The Onion’s archives around a theme: Prisons. Because it has been several weeks, don’t forget the Combo Challenge. All anyone has to do is use only the words in the headlines below to form your own original headline. Think a noun, an adjective, a verb, and filler … then you have it. My Combo is at the end.

Have a good rest of the week.

Prisoner’s right group protests treatment of super-villains in nation’s magnetic detainment cubes

China announces plans to build International Space Prison

WB Network targets booming prison population with new sitcom

Amnesty International demands gentler soap for Indonesian prisoner

Chinese rockers hold benefit for oppression

Study reveals conditions at women’s prisons deplorably unsexy

Nostalgic warden has seen three generations of family coming through

Smoking ban collapses fragile prison economy

Oregon man arrested in Zoophilia sting after propositioning FBI agent posing as a goat in chat room

Lutheran minister arrested for boring young children

Area man doesn’t understand why you’re arresting him now that he has his clothes back on

Congress arrested on manslaughter charges

My Combo: Goat reveals Congress as deplorably boring

On Briefs for the Moment

The last post introduced the new header and BlogRoll page. Some of you may have noticed other new pages as well … but they aren’t really new because they were sub-pages before, and I don’t think they worked well that way.

During the break I prepared not one, but two cartoon posts, so this weekend is as good as any to have a cartoon post!

The next musical is preparing for the premier. I consider opening night being during my first week back, but wisdom has prevailed. After all, I don’t want to jeopardize a sellout. Nonetheless, the production team is aiming for a March 25th opening of the yet-to-be-announced musical. I can say this, it will be shorter than Life: The Musical.

I’m not sure if next week will be a full posting week or not, but I will be posting something.

Because I haven’t looked at The Onion in two weeks, here’s a snippet of what I’ve missed:

  • Man who stops dieting already seeing results
  • 13-year old drinking prodigy accepted to college
  • Passenger feels sorry for flustered toddler travelling with loud, obnoxious parents
  • God shoots himself while cleaning gun
  • Mitt Romney thinking about running for president in 2012

Your Weekend Celebrations

(Weekend) Rattlesnake Roundup Weekend

(Fri) Digital Learning Day, Coconut Torte Day, Earmuffs Day, Good Samaritan Involvement Day, K-9 Veterans Day, Ken Day, Donald Duck Day, Jewel Day, Open an Umbrella Indoors Day, Smart & Sexy Day, Pluto & Uranus Day, Sleep Day

(Sat) Ask a Question Day, Fanny Pack Day, Celebrate Scientists Day, Urban Ballroom Dancing Day, Potato Chip Day, Children Craft Day, Pi Day, Save a Spider Day, Day of Active for Rivers Day, Learn about Butterflies Day, Albert Einstein Day

(Sun) Buzzard Day, Ides of March, Brutus Day, IGUR Awareness Day (Intrauterine Growth Restriction), Day of Action Against Canadian Seal Slaughter Day, True Confessions Day, Consumer Rights Day, Pears Helene Day, Shoe the World Day, Everything You Think is Wrong Day, Absolutely Incredible Kid Day, Dumbstruck Day

Because I started the week with Bond’s energetic music and video, I might as well end it with Bond. Besides, many enjoyed Bond … so enjoy Fuego.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 251

The kerfuffle about vaccinations has raised the ire of many. Here is a collection of worthwhile posts to help clarify various aspects of an issue I mentioned last week.

A note to Gov. Scott Walker (R-WS) and all presidential aspirants in both parties. When one seeks or considers seeking the highest office in the land, all questions are on the table … so ducking them isn’t a good idea. At least learn to give an answer that doesn’t answer the question – after all, that’s what candidates do well.

I learned to tune out Jay Carney when he was the White House Press Secretary (well, actually change the channel) but, at least I can listen to his replacement, Josh Earnest. Interestingly, when Carney is contributing on CNN, I still tune him out!

In a recent hearing, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) accused Veteran Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald of glossing over the extraordinary problems confronted by your department among others things. Cheers to Mr. McDonald for his replies

  • “I’m highly offended by your comments, Mr. Coffman.”
  • “I’ve run a large company (Procter & Gamble) sir, what have you done?”
  • “I’ve been here six months. You’ve been here longer than I have. If there’s a problem in Denver, I think you own it more than I do.”

Life: The Musical is officially over, and Epilogue was a smashing finale. Thanks again to all participants, and as I’ve said many times, I’m the lucky one because I listen to all entries. Who knows, maybe someday I will list the collection of songs. Meanwhile, the next musical won’t be until mid-to-late March.

A tip of the hat to Dale for a valiant effort in catching up on Life: The Musical. At the time of this posting, he is approaching completion of all acts within 24 hours … and I listened to each entry … although she did receive the buzzer once (obviously from over confidence).

Interestingly, this is post #1600. After 6+ years of hosting over 52,000 comments,  plus who knows how many visits and comments elsewhere, I proudly say I only need the fingers on one hand to count the bloggers who truly irritated me. Thus my point – blogging is just like life because so much is about who one chooses to hang around.

No Saturday Morning Cartoon this weekend, but, I am working on the next one. After last week’s delightful trip to the Gobi Desert, wonder what person, place, or thing will be next … hmmmmm ….

To lead you into The Onion, here’s a graphic showing the results of their opinion poll about government requiring vaccinations.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Literary study finds all modern narratives derived from classic Alien vs. Predator conflict
Area woman not good enough artist to justify eccentricities
Scientists working to harness energy produced by intense fracking debates
Astronomers discover new planet that makes Earth look like S#-t
Health experts recommend standing up at desk, leaving office, and never coming back

Interesting Reads
American Ideas: a brief history
Baltic Dry: Not what I thought it meant
Doodles from Darwin’s children (Thursday was Darwin Day)
Columnist David Ignatius on acting like a superpower
Columnist David Brooks scandals and forgiveness
US-Cuba relations and Netflix

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Weekend) Great Backyard Bird Count, American International Toy Fair
  • (Fri) Blame Someone Else Day, Get a Different Name Day, Desperation Day, Employee Legal Awareness Day, Madly in Love with Me Day, Radio Day, Tortellini Day, International Condom Day
  • (Sat) Ferris Wheel Day, Quirky Alone Day, Pet Theft Awareness Day, Library Lovers Day, Have a Heart Day, Cream-filled Chocolate Day, National Condom Day, Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day, League of Women Voters Day, Women’s Heart Day, Race Relations Day, Singles Appreciation Day, Donor Day, Telephone Day, Organ Donor Day, Marriage Day, Whale Day, Read to Your Child Day, Valentine’s Day
  • (Sun) Gum Drop Day, Hippo Day, Remember the Maine Day, Susan B Anthony Day, Clifford the Red Dog Day, Angelman Syndrome Day

Since hearing this classic song early in the week, it’s been crawling around in my head – so, it seems to be right for sending 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. 124

It’s been cold this week in Cincinnati – but at least I’m thankful that we haven’t received the snow continues to dump on the northeastern US. In the past 17 days, Boston has received 70+ inches (177+ cm)? That’s crazy! … and more is anticipated Friday and Sunday.

Life: The Musical official concludes on the next post. The epilogue focuses on life as whole, so submit songs that are about life, and hopefully special to you in some way … and I hope you will briefly share the why behind you choice. In other words, this is a chance to post a song about life that is important to you. Curtain time is Wednesday, 9:30 PM (Eastern US).

For your mid-week satire to propel you toward the weekend, I ventures into the depths of The Onion’s archival vault. Given yesterday’s post about education, I cleared the dust on many good ones. Any favorites? There’s also the Combo Challenge of making your own original headline from the words in the headlines below. For those wanting the extra challenge, try making a headline that’s not about education. My Combo is at the end.

Have a good rest of the week.

Teacher hopes students can tell that he was once popular

Substitute teacher totally freaks

Gym teacher secretly hates nerds

Frustrated inner-city students running out of ideas to motivate teachers

Male substitute teacher cloaked in mystery

Nation’s substitute teachers what to know who threw that

Inspirational teacher cancelled out by every other teacher at school

Teacher’s sense of humor comes through in multiple-choice test

Gym teacher ensures students that bouncing wiffle balls on a parachute is a sport

Risk champ flunks geography test

French teacher informs student to tell her about the bathroom fire in French

Creative writing teacher announces plan to sit on edge of desk

Teacher sees potential in student with glasses

My Combo: Nerds motivate creative freaks to throw at balls of frustrated male

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 250

Maybe the latest horrors regarding the Jordanian pilot will motivate the Arab world to fight ISIS with boots on the ground, and then the world follows their lead.

It was quite the week with some US politicians pandering for votes with vaccinations. Long ago on these pages, I stated something like this about Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) – Keep him talking. Meanwhile, I wonder (thus I don’t know) if President Obama’s has been consistent since 2008.

Speaking of vaccinations, here’s part of the closing statement from a recent Wall Street Journal editorial: Let’s chalk up the weird science of Messrs. Paul and Christie to a lack of information, and we’re happy to send them 13 years of vaccine editorials if they want to study up.

Here’s CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Op-ed on vaccinations.

Much has been made about the Seattle’s blunder in the Super Bowl. Interestingly, the game before marked an unbelievable comeback against Green Bay – a team who had won against Dallas on a questionable call by an official late in the game – yet Dallas won its previous game against Detroit on another questionable call by an official. Oh well … all is over.

For those who didn’t notice, this post is a milestone post.

Amazingly, the previous post marked the last act of Life: The Musical. Many thanks for the great songs!

I’ve decided on the next musical, which will probably start sometime in March. To order to see what my readers are anticipating, I invite you to answer the question on my first poll!

No Saturday Morning Cartoon this weekend, but an Explore post will appear. Wonder what person, place, or thing will serve as the highlight.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s an outstanding satirical flowchart about vaccinations (but not from The Onion).

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Man figures he has two more bites or roommate’s leftover before it is noticeable
Pope nervous for annual performance review with God
Neighbors come together to watch BMW owner struggle in snow
Man wistfully looks around website he hasn’t visited for 30 minutes
Venus added to registry of historically significant planets
Fingerprints on Lombardi Trophy to be used in dozens of criminal investigations

Interesting Reads
A 2014 article about politics and the Affordable Care Act
A bit of history about US government’s budget
Are swing states disappearing?
Surprises on Uranus?
Texting and head positions affecting the neck and spine
(Infographic) 50-years of financial engineering

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Fri) Wear Red Day, Working Naked Day, Waitangi Day, Canadian Maple Syrup Day, Lame Duck Day, Doodle Day, Pay a Compliment Day, Cordova Ice Worm Day 6-8, Girl Scout Cookie Day, Monopoly Day Give Kids a Smile Day
  • (Sat) Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbor Day, Dump Your Significant Jerk Day, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, Ballet Day, Pinocchio Day, Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Take Your Child to the Library Day, Send a Card to a Friend Day, Girls & Women in Sports Day, Leadership Success Day, Fettuccine Alfredo Day
  • (Sun) Laugh and Get Rich Day, Autism Sunday, Boy Scout Day, Opera Day, Man Day, Fly a Kite Day, Molasses Bar Day, Marriage Day

Here’s a 2-fer to send you into the weekend. The first is an unused song from yesterday’s Life: The Musical, and the second is a classic blast from the past. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.