On Blog Break: Fall 2018


 

It’s blog break time again. This time I’m hoping 4-6 weeks, therefore sometime in the last half of October. As with other breaks, I will probably precede posting with some visiting to make my presence known. Meanwhile, below are some odds and ends.

The blog break puts a pause on Pronouns: The Musical. They is the next act, followed by Them and It.

The previous post was the last one for the year. My plan is to write more the next time I return to the beach. I wouldn’t expect anyone to notice because the posts were months apart, but the previous walk was not the only time the walk featured waves. As a matter of fact, I used different versions of the same song (Waves – Mr. Probz). Check them out.

I will spend part of my blog break preparing posts featuring last spring’s bus tour that took us to many western US National Parks.

College football is in full swing and Saturday was a black day for the Big Ten – which lost 6 games to non-conference foes – of which 5 teams are NOT in a Power 5 Conference. Because the league has 14 teams, I prefer referring to the Big Ten as the Big Can’t Count – or the Big Can’t Count Past 10.

Think of Ohio as a square. Cincinnati is in the lower left corner, I grew up in the lower right corner, and went to college in the upper left corner. Sunday morning I went to Toledo’s (upper left corner) newspaper site to read about a college football game – and I was quite surprised what I saw as the feature article – an article about my small time in the opposite corner of the state that is a 4-hour drive – an article about a small town in rural southeast Ohio that struggles on various levels. Here’s the article.

Our current town has one of its water towers very close to our residence. Over the past several weeks, it’s been interesting watching workers clean then paint the water tower.

 

Wow – this headline from Pew Research is powerful and laughable: Republicans, Democrats See Opposing Party as More Ideological Than Their Own. Here’s the article.

Earlier this week marked the anniversary of the signing of the US Constitution. For purely their own selfish reasons, it is interesting how both political parties try to use/not use this document, use/not use words of the Framers, or use/not use the Federalists Papers.

“I doubt too whether any other convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded, like those of the builders of Babel, and that our states are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another’s throats. Thus I consent, sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure that it is not the best.” (Ben Franklin)

Has anyone converted to the new Gutenberg editor on WordPress? If so, please share some of your thoughts.

Interesting Blog-Break Reads

Clearing the Unused Headlines from The Onion

  • Body positivity caught in illicit tryst with conventionally attractive lover
  • Cashier forced to incorporate humiliating new phrase into every customer interaction
  • Grocery store bar actually has great little Happy Hour, reports man with a series problem
  • Climate researchers warn only hope for humanity now lies in possibility they making all of this up
  • WHO warns against eating fish and keeping active following death of world’s oldest woman
  • 10-year-old yelling at mom to watch cannonball while she’s trying to scope out younger men at pool

So for now, and I’ve stated many time before, blog breaks are good. Enjoy this upbeat summer song because when I return, fall will definitely be in the air. Then again, it’s fitting for the approaching summer in the southern hemisphere. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 376

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Pronouns: The Musical continues its trek this weekend featuring songs with Us in the title. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US).

The next beach walk will be the last of the season – but hopefully not the last of the series because I plan to return to the beach in the future.

Wishing all the best for those in Hurricane Florence’s path.

Last weekend we saw the stage version of Misery (Stephen King). Well done – so did you see the movie with Kathy Bates?

Downtown Cincinnati installed a controversial streetcar several years ago. According to Channel 12, ridership is 46% below expectations – and I am not surprised.

At the dance studio where we regularly attended social dances, the owner/instructor is absent on Fridays during September and October. “Students” are volunteering to lead the hour-long class before the dance – and I’m doing one in mid-October.

A soon-to-be-announced blog break is on the near horizon. After all, fall is approaching – and yes, it will interrupt Pronouns: The Musical.

In the past 6-9 months, CBS News has been in the news for the various harassment issues. Their on-air personal continues to impress me by the way they address the reports.

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This past Tuesday marked the 17th anniversary of 9-11. An editorial title by a local resident caught my eye: Shared purpose after 9/11 nonexistent today Below I pulled three paragraphs that resonated with me – and are perfect for the politics section of this post.

I was in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001. Like all of us, I will never forget that day. But believe it or not, there is something about the days and weeks that followed 9/11 in New York that I actually miss. Something that we seem to have lost entirely today, and at great cost: a shared understanding of the world around us, and a common purpose. For me, that feeling was as unforgettable as anything else. …

Although New York City is famously diverse and also sometimes called the loneliest place on Earth, I found connection, common ground, and resolve in every eye I met walking the streets in those weeks. We were all thinking about the attack, the lives in the balance, and what we could possibly do to help. This shared understanding and purpose felt invigoratingly new then. It would be positively alien today. …

The public square is too regularly a shouting match, staged from our respective corners. This distance between so many of us has left in its wake a degraded political culture that simply can’t tackle big problems, or sometimes even little ones. And so those problems fester, trust in our institutions continues to dwindle and the distance grows.

For those interested, here’s the entire column.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion made me laugh with this one about American politics – and the image is priceless. For more, click here.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Two-faced house guest who didn’t need anything suddenly wants glass of water
Deformed, half-feathered Audubon Society President flees into forest after injecting self with bird DNA
Man discovers huge cache of rare fossils while walking through Natural History Museum
Returning Jesus Christ downed by U.S. missile defense 30,000 feet before making landfall
Is football bad for the NFL?
‘The Onion’ has chosen to publish an anonymous op-ed from two sources close to Trump who think their dad is the best president ever

Interesting Reads

A look back at Thomas Beckett, Henry II, and the church
Green the Sahara?
1968 in Eastern Europe
Linking chocolate syrup and medicine
Attempting to replicate termites in order to help society
The cello and the cellist
(Video) An interview with the first female to lead the cadet corp at The Citadel
(Photos) Stunning silhouettes from Africa

Early this past summer I started sending you into the weekend with a song having summer in the title. This post marks the end of the season here on OITS, so I send you into the weekend with a different version of the first song – this time by Cincinnati’s Comet Bluegrass All-Stars. (The audio isn’t the best.) Give it a chance and enjoy! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 375

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Pronouns: The Musical is continue its trek this weekend featuring songs with We in the title. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US).

Even though I was out-of-town at a family event during the last act, cheers to all for demonstrating the show must go on. Special thanks to Dale for hosting!

Attendance for the musical has surprised me! Thanks to all participants!!!

Beach Walks resume this weekend (Sunday, after 9 pm Eastern US).

College football started last weekend and the NFL starts this weekend. I enjoy football, but my interest level has declined in recent years.

This week was the final week of the regular season of golf league. I entered the week will a good chance of making the playoffs to defend my championship. I played well, but my opponent had his best round in 20 years. I played good enough, and because there is no defense in golf, all I could do is congratulate him on his great round.

On Thursday, Cincinnati made the national news for the wrong reason – an unnecessary random shooting. Just more evidence that one never knows the whereabouts of someone unhinged. Unfortunately, it can happen anywhere.

Next week we hope to visit the Chocolate exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

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I believe Bob Woodward’s latest book (Fear) about the Trump Administration will NOT alter public perception.

The New York Times publishing an anonymous op-ed in their Opinions section is both intriguing and strange. I enjoyed Jimmy Kimmel’s thoughts, especially his speculation about the writer’s identify. For that, click here – and for what I described, start at 2:30. It’s worth the look.

Speculation continues about Joe Biden’s possible 2020 candidacy. I could vote for him – but I’m also afraid he could follow John McCain’s footsteps in losing my vote with his running mate selection.

I had to laugh at this statement by former President Obama about John McCain. “After all, what better way to get a last laugh to make George and I say nice things about him to a national audience.”

This article from Pew Research says it all: Democrats and Republicans agree that they can’t agree on the basic facts.

Newspapers are struggling. Pittsburgh may be the largest city in the US without a daily newspaper. More and more people are selecting a news source that delivers news they want to hear. Outside money continues to flood into local elections. I question if this famous quote is still valid: “All politics is local.” (Tip O’Neill)

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides a guide to Twitch: a top site for live-streaming video games.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Button-up shirt goes on life-changing odyssey around dry cleaner’s garment conveyor
Societal collapse narrowly averted after man honks horn at car paused at green light
Nation baffled by childless woman who doesn’t even have high-powered career
Trail of ants better be leading toward something delicious
Free toothpick transforms schlubby restaurant-goer into aloof bad boy
Evolution definitively proven as scientists capture first-ever footage of chimpanzee transforming into human (Click here for the image)

Interesting Reads

10 rivalries that shaped world history
Venezuela, crisis, and families
Feminist icon in 17th Century India
The tennis grunt
Clipper ships and world trade
Linking mouse poop and traveling to Mars
(Photos) Celebrating British diversity

Even though Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, I’m continuing the summer theme to send you into the weekend. Enjoy this classic. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 374

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Pronouns: The Musical is continue its trek this weekend featuring songs with Her in the title. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US). Sorry about the glitch at starting the last act.

Extra-special thanks to everyone commenting on the 10th anniversary of my little corner of the world. Besides the kind words, your presence met so much to me. Thank you!!!!

In the anniversary post I guessed that Debra was the commenter with the longest tenure. Well, that’s not the case. I would say that Debra is the longest-running continuous commenter, but of the people who commented on this post, Patti Ross was the longest followed by Robin, Elyse, then Debra. Thanks to this great group of ladies.

In the last minute of the last game in last year’s pro football season, Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass to win the game against Baltimore – and the Baltimore loss put Buffalo into the playoffs for the first time in many years. Buffalo fans responded by donating over $400,000 to Andy Dalton’s charity foundation! When introduced to the crowd before the Cincinnati-Buffalo preseason game last week, Buffalo fans gave Andy Dalton a rousing standing ovation. To give his thanks and announce a donation to a cancer center in Buffalo, Dalton recorded a message that played for the crowd.

I had an odd blog encounter this week. Discovered that I’m related to a person I met through a blogger. We have the same great-great-grandfather. I don’t research ancestry, but that was an unbelievable encounter. Just another example of how technology makes the world smaller.

What percentage (do you think) of internet users in China are mobile? Click here to check your answer.

Subject to last-minute change, I won’t be posting a beach walk this weekend. After all, it’s a 3-day holiday weekend here in the USA. My plan is for the series to resume next week.

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Why am I not surprised that rising gas prices has made very little news? Then again, summer usually involves an increase, so let’s see what happens the rest of the year.

President Trump’s messages about the passing of Sen. John McCain were expectedly pathetic. After all, he’s a pathetic person and an even worse leader.

This week I thought about John McCain: the politician. The one who saw a different way in 2000 compared to the one who caved into the party’s right wing in 2008.

I dislike negative campaign ads – and November’s Election Day seems so far away.

My odds for future elections

  • Democrats taking control of the House in 2018: 65%
  • Democrats taking control of the Senate in 2018: 25%
  • Democrats getting my 2020 presidential vote: 20%
  • Republican (other than Trump) getting my 2020 presidential vote: 10%
  • Donald Trump getting my 2020 vote: 0%
  • Donald Trump winning re-election: 60%
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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion offers tips for winning escape rooms.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Green Energy Scientists Unveil 800,000-Ton Potato Capable Of Powering Entire City
New liver can really handle its Scotch
Landlord promises to figure out why leaky ceiling not his fault
Man knows in reality marrying Minnie Mouse wouldn’t be as perfect as he imagines
Grandmother can’t believe she hung on this long for granddaughter’s lame-ass wedding
Non-considerate passenger takes up entire overhead bin (click here for the must-see image)

Interesting Reads

Innovative infrastructure solutions in 5 US cities
Sex Education in the Netherlands
A look back at Chicago 1968: the Democratic convention
Heroin history and El Chapo
Looking Muslim
The Nazi officer who saved Paris
(Pictures) Aerial views of rich and poor

To send you into the weekend and continuing the summer theme, here’s a Golden Oldie introduced by an icon. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 373

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Pronouns: The Musical is continue its trek this weekend featuring songs with She in the title. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US).

Earlier this week we watched Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live in Liverpool (on CBS). That was fabulous – so I encourage interested readers to watch it. Did you see it? For those wanting to know more about the show, watch this short news report.

For those who enjoy piano solos (and especially those who can read music), here’s a maddening piece only for highly skilled pianists … and to think we saw it performed live.

Our electric company gave us a report saying that last month, 54% of our usage was for cooling, 13% kitchen, 13% lighting, 9% electronics, 5% laundry, and 6% other.

This Tuesday is a special day, so I hope you stop by here.

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Most of the talk about the Mueller investigation is just that – talk. Other than issuing indictments, news directly from the investigation team has been minimal. As I wait for the final report, I continue to ignore President Trump, his partisans, his partisan opponents, and much of the media’s conjecture. We will know want the special prosecutor knows when the special prosecutor issues the final report.

After the Paul Manafort verdict, President Trump boldly proclaimed, “Where’s the collusion?” An FYI to him and his Trumpian loyalists: the trial was not about any aspect of collusion. Although my advice to the president includes be careful what you ask for, Democrats should also remember both the initial FYI and the previous short.

President Trumps says, “[Cohen] makes a better deal when he uses me, like everybody else,” Trump said. “And one of the reasons I respect Paul Manafort so much is he went through that trial—you know they make up stories. People make up stories. This whole thing about flipping, they call it, I know all about flipping.” I respond with, click here.

Democrats have high hopes on gaining control of the House of Representatives. If they do so, I wonder if they are wise enough about handling impeachment.

Former CIA Director John Brennan’s description is right: President Trump is “drunk on power.”

“Truth isn’t truth” – good one Rudi!

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion lists pros and cons for the Trump-proposed Space Force.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Man guessing he’s stared at Giant Sequoia long enough to appreciate it
Girlfriend slowly becoming radicalized by new skin-care blog
Man feeling pressure to give mom grandchildren while she still around to raise them
Young girls creeped out by older scientists constantly trying to lure them into STEM
Minotaur wondering if there’s more to life than bashing in head of those who dare wander into labyrinth

Interesting Reads

History of the Electoral College
Required reading for all?
Explaining on the phone and on hold
Conclusions from errors in thinking
State of the news media
(Photos) Aretha Franklin’s life

To send you into the weekend and continuing the summer theme, here’s Michael Bublé with a Sinatra classic – Summer Wind. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 372

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Pronouns: The Musical is continue its trek this weekend featuring songs with Him in the title. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US). Similar to the last act (He), Him is challenging.

As fires ravage the western US and flood waters run rampant in the east, a reminder to all who are able and willing to donate to a disaster relief fund of your choice. Charity Navigator rates charity based on performance, financial health, accountability, and transparency.

We were in downtown Cincinnati last weekend with friends, and I like this black and white picture that I captured.

Because I was off work at 2 pm and rained damped much of Thursday, we went to the movie theater to see Crazy Rich Asians. A sit-back-and enjoy type of movie. There is plenty of fun, interesting characters, beautiful scenery of Singapore, and opulence.

This was strange. I am prone to motion sickness, especially when spinning – therefore I avoid fast-turning dances like Viennese Waltz. My wife read a strange factoid that placing an earplug in one ear suppresses motion sickness – so we tried it at a dance lesson. Oddly enough, it seemed to work.

College football season is not far away. I foresee a long season for my teams (Oh how they’ve fallen). Meanwhile, I wish Texas and Oklahoma would leave the Big 12 for whoever wants them.

Congratulations John Howell for being the 80,000th comment! The next milestone will be August 28th – celebrating 10 years for my little corner of the world!

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Democratic senators who meet with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and then give me a fair hearing – therefore saving the fight for another day.

The Left and the Right have more in common than they realize – especially when it comes about carrying to those in their party that are more to the center. Other than wanting money and votes, the Left and the Right want nothing to do with their respective moderates – so I provide this article written by a disgruntled Democrat.

I watched and listened to Omarosa’s interview on Meet the Press. I didn’t give Omarosa much credence when she was a member of the Trump administration, and my view hasn’t changed just because she’s written a tell-all book that criticizes President Trump. I’m not saying there are no truths in her story, I still question her credibility; therefore will not automatically embrace her thoughts just because I don’t support President Trump.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides a historical timeline regarding studies on the effects of coffee.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Christian pornographer refuses to film sex tape for gay couple
Caterpillar in pupal stage for past 3 months going to be pissed if it turns out to be moth
Unhinged man with jackhammer slips into construction site undetected
Surgeon pretty bummed about losing patient, but it’s not like they were good friends or anything
Orca mother carries around dead calf for two weeks as warning to all who would defy her
Elderly woman spends day in park feeding pigeons dismembered husband

Interesting Reads

14 words defining the present
America’s “nones” and religion
Elephant’s way fighting cancer
What Americans want via reform
A transformation face transplant
Beer in Mesopotamia?
(Photos) Abandoned Russia

To send you into the weekend and continuing the summer theme, here’s a rocker from the past that also serves as a shout out to my Canadian friends. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 371

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Pronouns: The Musical is continuing its trek this weekend featuring songs with He in the title. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US). A word of caution: Songs qualifying for this act are not as plentiful as one my think – but that would be Obama’s fault.

Firestone Country Club (Akron, Ohio) hosted its first PGA golf event in 1959. This past weekend, the PGA held its last event at the famed venture. I don’t know who made that decision – the sponsor, the tour, or the course – but that is a pathetic decision.

For those who enjoy a wide variety of music, our church sponsored a summer concert series featuring strong talent in the Cincinnati area. The series featured a Bluegrass band, a string quartet, an organists, a French Gypsy jazz quartet, and a well-travelled concert pianist. Simply an outstanding effort!

I knew head position is important in ballroom dance, but wow – I’ve been underestimating its importance.

Don’t forget to check your Comments Spam folder on your WP Dashboard. I look before emptying because I occasionally find a legit comment in that location.

Because I like milestones, this week my little corner of the world may pass 80,000 comments.

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It’s early August, and I’ve already seen too many political ads for the November election.

Months ago I suggested that it would be best for Democrats if House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) would announce that she would not seek leadership if the Democrats gained control in November. While Republicans continue to use her as a negative against Democratic candidates in competitive races, some Democratic candidates are saying they would not vote for Pelosi for House Speaker.

In the current season of special elections, Democrats are elated with strong showing while Republicans are happy with winning the high majority of elections.

Shortly after the US-North Korea meeting in Singapore, I made a statement about when President Trump would be meeting with Iran. So far, President Trump is following a similar playbook with Iran as he did with North Korea. Here’s an article by Aaron David Miller, a foreign affairs expert and distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars.

I see foresee the following 2020 scenario as a possibility: Republicans renominate President Trump while Democrats swing left for their nomination. This opens the lane of an independent moderate candidate, plus Libertarians learn from 2016 and nominate a sensible candidate.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion notes one of the problems of the current wildfires in California.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

This woman’s weekend-long trip with her friend should have really just been a lunch
Dog meets owner at door in desperate attempt to get ahead of diarrhea-rug scandal
Beloved father and infrequent pornography user loses 3-year battle with cancer
Owl can’t remember which direction to rotate head back
Report: Takeout place put burrito in completely different container this time
Financial planner suggest spending one evening each week ripping walls, floorboard, in search for cash

Interesting Reads

Dos and don’ts for a heatwave
Ways to apologize in Japanese
Resources of sub-Sahara Africa
An asylum seeker’s journey and back again
Thinking about economic data
(Graphic) Excise taxes and wine
(Pictures) Hiking the Sinai Trail

To send you into the weekend and continuing the summer theme, here’s a throwback to 1969 for you to enjoy! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.