On a Late 2019 Return

Hello everyone. I had a feeling I would be going too long. Here’s some background music for you.

 

In the spirit of Waldo, you may have wondered, “Where’s Frank?” As you know, we love to travel. A planned trip this past July was not only cancelled, the cancellation happened after purchasing out airfares. Good news is that when you book on Southwest Airlines, the money spent on a cancelled flight is returned as a credit with a use-by deadline (about 6 months). Then a great deal came along for a 11-night cruise in the Caribbean – so with the airfare credit, it was a deal not to be passed.

Here’s my quick note on each stop.

  • St. Thomas – Store after store of jewelry
  • St. Croix – the poorest of the islands
  • Antigua – 365 different beaches
  • Barbados – Could be fun but much closed on Sundays
  • St. Lucia – Most physical beauty
  • St. Maarten – Fun

Celebrity Equinox is a large ship of 2800+ passengers – but not a mega-ship of 6,000+ passengers. As my normal custom, I didn’t gain weight on this trip. I enjoyed the on-board entertainment of shows and music. Even had a few comp surprises: bottle of wine, champagne, two trays of chocolate covered strawberries, a bowl of fruit, and a wonderful meal in a specialty restaurant. Most were because of an issue, but the wine and one tray of strawberries were from a Guest Relations Rep that I spontaneously got dancing.

A plaque with a saying was above each urinal (on the ship). I enjoyed this one the most: An honest politician is one who, when bought, stays bought. (Simon Cameron, 1799-1889)

In my opinion, it’s always good to have some unplugged time. Aside from having phone access in 2 ports, I was without internet access. The television in the cabin had news channels, so I stayed somewhat informed.

A note to ponder about Congress – The minority complains about the actions/behaviors of the majority, even though the majority is acting/behaving as the minority did when they were the majority.

I’ve made considerable progress on my final series, which will be a retrospective on various topics. However, I still don’t know the dates.

The next concert is set with The Guess Who. Acceptable songs will be from the following artists: The Guess Who, Burton Cummings, Chad Allen, Chad Allen and the Expressions, Brave Belt, and Bachman-Turner Overdrive. (Note: I love BTO, but I hope participants focus on the others listed because those groups and people are the foundation.) Think of the list as a family tree involving The Guess Who’s before and after. Concert date and time is this Saturday 2 November 2019 at 1:00 AM (Eastern US).

Good to see you again!

On a Snit about a Fear

Breaking News Alert

I interrupt my regularly scheduled post for a timely message. Some may say a bit of a snit. Allow me to scream first.

Embed from Getty Images

 

Although I am far from the Democratic Left, President Trump’s frequent cry of “Socialism” and Republicans yelling “Socialism” as a response to the Progressive message of the Green New Deal has gotten under my skin more than the agenda itself.

My response is an important question to the GOP and their minions: When are you going to campaign against government-run taxpayer-funded Socialstic programs?

Eliminating (not reforming) Social Security
Eliminating unemployment benefits
Eliminating food stamps
Eliminate government housing
Stop housing assistance
Stop funding public roads & schools
Eliminate disability payments
Eliminate benefits for government employees
Eliminate Medicare
Eliminate Medicaid
Eliminate financial assistance for foster care, adoption child care & development
Eliminate food and health programs for children through schools
Eliminate health insurance assistance
Eliminate assisting communities with local services
Eliminate educational loans & grants for schools & students
Eliminate funding for museums & libraries
Eliminate subsidies for business
Eliminate public-funded transportation
Eliminate farm subsidies
Abolish the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)
Abolish the Small Business Administration (SBA)
Abolish the Veterans’ Administration (VA)

… and I’m sure there are many more examples.

I know you won’t answer the question, so I’ll answer it for you. You won’t because you are gutless hypocrites who can’t practice want they preach for you are the party of fear and anger who preys on ignorance. No wonder I left the party.

On Wondering

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With Election Day 2016 in the rearview mirror, I sit on the edge of a canyon and stare into the vastness.

I see a divided nation separated by the canyon with steep wall … without a bridge, and no plan for a bridge, or even another bridge to nowhere … and I wonder …

I wonder about loud beating drums of the partisans as the yell and demand their self interests.

I wonder about the existence of common ground … and if it exists, can it be found?

I wonder if reconciliation is possible.

I wonder about the intersection of civility, grace, and humility with hate, sexism, bigotry, and disrespect

I wonder about if acceptance, respect, listening, and working together toward solution is possible.

I wonder about the similarities and differences between a President Trump and Candidate Trump.

I wonder if Republicans can govern and the response by the Democrats as they move left.

I wonder about the messages from the voices that aren’t heard.

I wonder about the solutions that favor one side or the other, the solutions that are a blend of both, and the solutions that are outside the framework of all partisans.

I wonder how a President Trump will deal with his worst enemy – himself.

I wonder if  the intent of “unifying” actually means just follow.

I wonder about the effects of one-party rule during tumultuous times.

I wonder if civility is a shared value.

I wonder how long Trump supporters will continue to give him a free pass because “not her” isn’t a good excuse.

I wonder who really cares and why.

I wonder about the uneasy feeling within me about the future.

I wonder about a changing world that is changing more rapidly than ever.

I simply wonder.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 236

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On Politics
In the US, the Surgeon General would be the point person in the fight against Ebola. As Republicans are (predictably) attacking President Obama on Ebola, let us not forget that President Obama nominated Dr. Vikey Murthy for the post in November 2013, whose nomination is being blocked by Republicans. Once again I say that Senators should act on any and all presidential nominees regardless of the president’s political affiliation.

In the fight against ISIS, Turkey is remaining on the sidelines as much as possible, which causes me to wonder if its leadership is doing with hopes of eradicating the Kurds. I don’t know, but just a thought to ponder.

I like this statement in a recent Cincinnati Enquirer article regarding climate change and politicians … When you get politicians in the room to talk about climate change, science doesn’t seem to enter into the equation. What does? Money, geography, party politics, and a region’s history.

Recent quotes for talk-show host Bill Maher and some of his guests about Islam has received much media attention. On the topic, I enjoyed this column from Fareed Zakaria (Washington Post).

I always appreciate the Stealers Wheel song clip Michael Smerconish uses on his XM radio show: Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middle with you … and now I see this one from Nancy’s book review: Don’t go to the right, don’t go left, go deeper. Thanks, Nancy!

To lead you into The Onion, I appreciate these two recent gems they provide on our upcoming elections.

  • Voters excited to use midterm elections to put country back on different wrong track
  • Congress waiting until after the midterms to address nationwide plague of hornets

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
TV show under fire for depicting murder
Man thinks people care enough about him to be let down by his failures
Facebook offers to freeze female employees’ newborn children
Entire conversation with parents spent changing subject
Lifelong dream no match for first brush with adversity
Susan G Komen Foundation launches deep-space probe to bring breast cancer awareness to rest of galaxy

Interesting Reads
A white-only town in South Africa
Constitutional balance
Evolution and faith: one’s journey
Columnist David Brooks on campaign spending
Top geologic sights in the UK (great pics, too)
Infographic: Extinction by Numbers
Microsoft Office is not needed

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On Potpourri
Another story of a young lady from the Cincinnati area with cancer is getting national attention. She’s a college freshman with a wish to play in one college basketball game. Here’s the video from a local channel (one in which the reporter has a difficult time) and this written report from Sporting News that has a video for a different local station.

This week I made my first appearance to the weekly dance gathering for those with disabilities. It was a great 45 minutes, plus the dancer teacher was pleasantly surprised to see me. Later, I sent her the link to my post about the event, and she loved it.https://afrankangle.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/on-an-extra-special-event/

CNN has a series (CNN Roots) about the family roots of some of their studio personalities. I’ve enjoyed the three I’ve seen so far, but this one about Michaela Pereira is outstanding, so I encourage you can watch it here. By the way, CNN will have a primetime special regarding this series on October 21st at 9:00 pm (Eastern US). Here’s the CNN page on the series with all the videos.

This week we got a new neighbor, and they used a POD storage system, which I’ve seen – but I’ve never witnessed one either loaded or unloaded to/from a truck. I must say, Very interesting! … so here are two videos for those who want to know more … from the moving company (1+ min) … and … by a user (4+ min).

Another act of Life: The Musical is in the official record, so thanks to all participants … and, as always, I love listening to all the songs. What’s your thought on this idea: Should I compile all the songs for the entire musical?

This weekend is going to be a busy one for us, so there won’t be a Saturday Morning Cartoon this week.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Wear Something Gaudy Day, Pasta Day, Alternative Fuel Day, Black Poetry Day, Eradicate Poverty Day, Mulligan Day, Mammography Day
  • (Sat) Bridge Day, Chocolate Cupcake Day, Menopause Day, No Beard Day, Sweetest Day, Boost Your Brain Day
  • (Sun) Toy Camera Day, Evaluate Your Life Day, Get Smart about Credit Day, Seafood Bisque Day

Thought I’d send you into the weekend this week with a 2-fer. First, Stuck in the Middle with You by Stealers Wheel (because I mentioned it in the post), plus one that you may not know .. but I like the beat and its a great dance song … so here’s Ms. Jody with At the Bop. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.


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On Resuming the Play Button

Image from 123vectors.com

Image from 123vectors.com

Blogging breaks are good! … and now for the rest of an assortment of thoughts as I resume the Play button.

There’s no doubt in my mind that readers are much more forgiving and patient than writers … and it’s not even close.

There’s nothing wrong with using blogging breaks to concentrate on visiting others … as a matter of fact, I recommend it!

I visited many at the beginning of my break, and I found this surprise … the number of bloggers who visit(ed) here have either not post in some time or have actually taken down their blogs.

Given the previous note, no wonder my stats are down …. so if stats are important, one must continue to build a network.

Don’t forget … blogging breaks are good.

Some Personal Notes

Handbell season has started, but after a double-digit number of years, I didn’t return to the choir. The leaders were a bit shocked, but I need more time to determine if I want to continue ringing. My line is that I will return sometime between this coming January and never … so time will tell. Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing and hearing the group from the audience (starting this Sunday)…. and yes, I continue to support them – after all, my wife remains in the group.

Image from gerber.com

Image from gerber.com

My wife brought me a piece of cake from work one day. Some of the icing was a very rich blue color. Not only did it make my tongue look like a Smurf, the next day my stools was as green as baby-food peas.

Best joke punchline. A surgeon’s explanation why politicians are the easiest patients: There are no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains, and no spine, and there are only two moving parts – the mouth and the asshole – and they are interchangeable. Thank you, Viveka!

This travel segment from Crumudgeon-at-Large is a worthy read for a chuckle. Enjoy … and tell Mudge that I sent you.

This is probably the most intriguing headline I saw during my blog break: Do farts carry germs? Well, it depends on whether you are wearing pants. For those who doubt the headline or want to know more, here’s the link, which also contains an interesting video.

You may have noticed that I haven’t been around the past week plus. The reason is simple, we took our first road-trip vacation in some time … so after 9 days and 800-900 miles (1280-1450 km), I’m working my way back into my blogging routine. I hope to return to with the next Monday Morning Entertainment, on which I will announce the next act of Life: The Musical.

Below is an assortment of pics of our trip. Although multiple pics exist of some of the spots, this collection represents locations we visited. (Some have 2 pics). Rollover each for hints. Any ideas where we went? (I know my non-US audience may not know) … and Oh … and before I forget … blogging breaks are good!

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 220

On Politics
Is there a difference between a politician rebranding, repositioning, or evolving for personal gain and lying?

As the Benghazi beat goes on, I ponder this question: White House spin and Republican conspiracy theories? After all, both ways produce misinformation.

The kidnapping of the Nigerian girls is sad and pathetic. However, the conservative spin doctors have amazingly determined the real cause of Boko Haram’s actions – Hillary Clinton! Read it for yourself here. It’s probably safe to say that if she wasn’t a strong potential 2016 candidate for the Democrats, she wouldn’t have been blamed.

With many political pundits focusing on former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) as a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2016, I found this article interesting.

When it comes to caring for veterans, both parties are woefully inadequate.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Stone-hearted ice witch forgoes exclamation point
  • Study: Seeing Jesus in toast is perfectly normal
  • Pharmaceutical industry reeling as more mom’s making vaccines at home
  • Opposing team terrified after seeing home fans all wearing same color t-shirt
  • Budget woes force Heaven to reduce eternal life to 500 billion years
  • Report: Growing number of Americans forced to make ends meet by collaborating on song with Pitbull

Bonus Tips from The Onion

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
The coal mining accident in Turkey is horrible. Peace and strength to all involved and affected.

Multiple US cities are hosting the Great American Beer Run, in which participates get a pint of craft beer every half mile (800 meters). The event’s FAQ page is a good one.

Running events are common fundraisers. In Cincinnati last weekend one charity effort involved running .05K …. that’s 164 feet (50 meters).

Wow – the dedication of the 9/11 Memorial Museum was quite moving.

The current season of Dancing with the Stars is nearing an end. Overall, the dancing has been very good. As in past years, viewer voting did something stupid. How and the heck could Charlie White get the lowest number of votes?

Life: The Musical returns next week, so I will announce the Act 4 theme on the next edition of Monday Morning Entertainment.

Time has worked against me this week, so no Saturday Morning Cartoon Classic post this weekend.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Bats Day, Biographer’s Day, Endangered Species Day, Virtual Assistants Day, O. Henry Pun-Off Day, NASCAR Day, Bike to Work Day, Pizza Party Day, Spaghetti-Os Day, Sea Monkey Day, Pickle Day, Piercing Day, Coquilles St. Jacques Day
  • (Sat) Mike: the Headless Chicken Day, Armed Forces Day, Morel Mushroom Day, Merry-Go-Round Day, Rat Pack Day, Hypertension Day, Turn Beauty Inside Out Day, Information Society Day, Telecommunications Day, Neurofibromatosis Day, Cherry Cobbler Day
  • (Sun) I Love Reeses Day, Museum Day, HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, Mother Whistler Day, Neighbor Day, Visit Your Relatives Day, Cheese Souffle Day, No Dirty Dishes Day

To send you into the weekend, let’s travel back to 1965 when. Dominigo Zamudio had the first Billboard Number One Record of the Year that never made it to #1 on any week – a feat that stood alone for 35 years. Dominigo Zamudio? Yep – he’s also known as Sam. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Satire Bits: Vol. 69

Heat and humidity are creeping back into my area, plus we (unlike the southeastern US) could use a little rain. Nonetheless, my golf game is improving. Congratulations to my wife as she and her golf partner won their league for the second consecutive year.

Reminder that the next post is Time: The Musical – Act 6 featuring song with weekends, Saturday, Sunday, (or the plural forms) in the title.

It’s time for your midweek dose of satire. Which is your favorite? For those desiring the extra challenge, develop a combo from the these headlines. My combo is at the end of the list.

Report: Economy one speech away from recovery

Pit of Komodo dragons shocked to discover billionaire who owns them is just 26

Fans flock to Lollapolooza to see all the biggest brands

Politician spots young female aide …. and so it begins

Baby can already tell crib he’s in going to be recalled

Annual 6-sentence conversation with cousin goes smoothly

Man has never given a definitive Yes to any invitation he’s ever received

FBI offering $1 million reward for information on cheetahs

Soulmate uses different dating website

After three days of solid training, man gets pet parrot to say Shazbot

My Combo: Parrot gets politician in crib to say “Shazbot”