Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 398

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Greetings. Last week was one of those rare weeks without an OITS. I was behind on the writing and replying to comments on the previous post – so I decided to pass.

Hey hey hey – 2 to go to #400! Visit #400,000 may happen during the upcoming week – but maybe not.

FYI: I’m aiming for the next concert to be on Saturday, June 8th.

My Quickstep routine is in the books. Good news: We didn’t crash and burn. (FYI: Quickstep is not an easy dance.) We successful got through it and my partner was thrilled! For me, we did well – but I’m a tough critic on myself, so I only get a C. My partner and I have the same instructor, who choreographed a routine around this scene from An American in Paris – but we danced to this Bobby Darin version of I Got Rhythm that is definitely aerobic.

We recently wrapped up another season of handbells and ushering.

  • The last handbell piece was Shalom Chaverim. An interesting piece that you can watch a large choir in Japan play. Click here
  • The last play was Tiny House, a new play as a joint effort between the Cincinnati and Cleveland theaters. A fun play – and the building of the tiny house was interesting to witness. Thumbs up if it ever comes to your area. Here are two reviews (one from each city): Cincinnati and Cleveland
  • Of the personalities who died this week, I’m connected with two. Doris Day was born and raised in Cincinnati. Comedian Tim Conway and I graduated from the same university (Bowling Green).

If you like rich and creamy, Graeter’s (of Cincinnati) is a fabulous ice cream (past post). They recently introduced a new summer flavor – Malted Pretzel Ball – so, I’ll be trying very soon.

Some may recall that John Roebling built Cincinnati’s suspension bridge before the more famous Brooklyn Bridge. Click here for a short (less than 2 minute) video of the bridge done by a local TV station.

As a viewer of the CBS Evening News, I already miss anchor Jeff Glor – but look forward to Norah O’Donnell anchoring later this year.

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The Democratic field of presidential candidates continues to grow. Now at 24, let’s go for 30! On the other hand, I wonder about the end game of the majority of the field.

This week the Alabama state government passed the most restrictive abortion bill in the country. Although their intent is to challenge Roe v Wade in the Supreme Court, I simply say patriotism, morality, and civic duty cannot be legislated.

I have long been a critic of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Her recent comment about AG Barr lying made me wince. On the other hand, I acknowledge the difficult task she has with her current caucus, and she has been done well during this difficult time.

To describe the current situation in Washington, while some proclaim Constitutional crisis – but I prefer institutional crisis.

Here’s an example of the goofy far right of Republicans. My state senator wants to ban insurance coverage of abortions except for re-implanting an ectopic pregnancy into the uterus. Interestingly, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says the procedure doesn’t exist. The senator disagrees.

According to President Trump, Hungarian authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is doing “a tremendous job” and “respect all over Europe”. Sorry to say, that comment is not a surprise and follows praise of other authoritarian leaders from Russia, North Korea, and Turkey.

I grew up in the portion of Ohio that mined coal. Being along the Ohio River, multiple coal-burning power are still located nearby. Because we know President Trump vowed to revive the coal industry, here’s an interesting article about the source of energy for Ohioans.

To lead you into the weekly dose of satire, The Onion provides tips for going through a divorce.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Man starting to think only reason people hanging out with him because they are on same jury
Dress that would have forever altered course of woman’s life patted, placed back on rack
Dissatisfied Taco Bell customer goes rogue
Unsettling study finds two cousins technically fair game
Charity pairs naughty hags with children who taste good in stew
New blender changes guy’s life

Interesting Reads

How much of the Internet is fake
Ancient humans
Nazi looted painting
A camel festival in Mongolia
Enduring McCarthyism
(Graphic) Countries with the worst bad loan ratio
(Photos) Food photography
(Photos) Bikers in Hanoi

To send you into the weekend and as a tribute to Cincinnati treasure Doris Day, it’s time for a Sentimental Journey. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.(NOTE; The video will NOT play embedded here. After you click the video below, then click Watch this video on YouTube.)

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 304

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The recent incident at the Cincinnati Zoo put my city into the spotlight. All I will say at this time is that the situation put zoo officials into a lose-lose situation. However, I’m hoping to put a post together very soon.

Did you see the news about the Cincinnati policeman and the goose? Here’s a short version.

My signs that summer has arrived: volunteering in English Second Language (ESL) is over – volunteering ushering at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park is over – Golf league is in full swing – and my part-time job at the golf course is getting more hectic – but we are still dancing.

Colors: The Musical returns next week featuring songs with a Color Shade in the title. Curtain time will be at 9:30 pm (Eastern US) on Tuesday, June 7th June 14th. Here are the key rules.

  • No songs with any of the following colors in the title: Black, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, Purple, or White in the title.
  • Shades should be an acceptable shade name, therefore caution should be used when selecting a shade. Just because the shade is used as a paint color doesn’t automatically qualify the entree. To make matters worse, The Producer has the final say on if the submitted shade is acceptable.
  • No duplicate shades can be used. In other words, once an acceptable song with Puce in the title has been submitted, no other songs with Puce in the title will be acceptable.
  • No duplicate songs.
  • NOTE: After considering my work schedule for next week, hosting a blog musical isn’t a good idea … so I’m delaying the next act one week (as noted by the strikethrough).

There will be an Explore post this weekend.

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Regardless of their rhetoric, I continue to believe politicians are “party-first” in their efforts. This USA Today article is interesting.

Cheers to columnist Kathleen Parker for her column about voter discontent.

This week’s aFa Power Ranking for Donald Trump’s running mate: 5) Scott Walker, 4) John Kasich,  3) Jeff Sessions, 2) Bob Corker, 1) Newt Gingrich

The strong candidate from the Never Trump wing of the Republicans … LOL.

Given the high negatives of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, it will be interesting to see if the Libertarian Party can get any traction. On the other hand, having a party chairman strip to his underwear isn’t the best way to gain respect and acceptance.

Some are wondering about potential Democratic VP candidates. It’s coming, but let’s get the primaries over.

To me, a government official having a private server is a sign of arrogance, poor judgment, and a lack of government oversight in growing technology. Therefore, the Clinton email scandal bores me. Maybe that’s a reason I enjoyed this article from The Hill.

Coming soon! I’m on the final stages of a political post on a topic that has been building up within me for some time.

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To lead you into your weekly dose of satire, The Onion is using the event from the Cincinnati Zoo to provide this pros-and-cons list for and against zoos.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Origami Foundation announces they won’t accept any more swan proposals
New Study From National Family And Parenting Institute Finds Stigmas Persist Against Stay-At-Bar Dads
Ice Cube Thrown Into Sink Flies Up Side Like Skateboarder Shredding Half-Pipe
New Uber Update Allows Users To File Lawsuit Against Company Directly In App
Family Chooses Different Dog Than Reincarnated Grandfather
Ice Machine Reaches Deep Within Itself To Give Man One More Cube

Interesting Reads
Relating ancient trade routes and camel genes
The climate-nuclear-security triangle
Berlin: Then and now
Mastering the British method for put-downs
About a jazz legend – Peter Brötzmann (Thank to Tim for the article)

Because I know many of my readers enjoy The Piano Guys, here’s their latest video to send you into the weekend. It’s about less than a month old. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On a Remembrance

I didn’t plan this post, however, listening to the news this morning motivated me to write. After all, this day 11 years ago started much like today – a beautiful fall day with a mild temperature and a clear sky – but then something changed the world as we knew it.

On that day I was in my work cubicle with our local NPR station in the background when I first heard the brief report, and my colleague and I talked about a small-engine plane running into a tall building. As more news became available, our mood quickly changed.

Whether shock, terror, grief, or any other emotion of the day, the mood of that day stayed for months. The world had changed. Our routines changed. Our awareness changed.

One that day and in the days ahead, we were one. We were one as a nation, and yes, I believe one as a world. – well, at least the vast majority. The events blurred the differences of politics, ethnicity, culture, salary, profession, and many more. I still look back at that time of need and continue to believe that President Bush’s leadership during that time was the crowning achievement of his presidency. On that day, we also gained a greater appreciation for first responders, which eventually led to greater appreciation for those serving in our military.

Unfortunately, we lost that oneness. Before 2001 ended, politicians used the event and the issues to divide. Others reinforced the thought that the event was an attack by Muslim on Christians. Our elected legislators turned medical and financial support for the first responders suffering side effects from their work into a political football. All one has to do is look at the current election season to notice that our oneness has been replaced by something much less graceful.

Meanwhile, those in primary school at the time are now high school seniors or college freshman. Families still feel the pain of their loss on that day. Some lives have moved on – others remain crushed or embroiled in bitterness. September 11, 2001 affected many – and in different ways. Yet, in today’s time of economic need, I still yearn for the oneness beyond selfishness.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 125

On Politics
I saw one report showing Mitt Romney’s campaign ads in Florida outnumbered Newt Gingrich ads 13,000 to 200. Wow!

As the political rhetoric continues to increase, let us not forgot these fact-checking sites: Politifact and Fact Check.

Not that I claim being the originator of the idea, but on more than one occasion I referenced politicians wearing a NASCAR driver-style suit. Interesting, while listening to my favorite political channel on XM (POTUS, 124), a caller mentioned the idea to the host, who happened to love the idea.

A Republican friend and Romney supporter recently told me something very close to the following: “I’m not worried about the Religious Right using the Anti-Mormon vote against Romney because in the end, they will vote for a Mormon over a Muslim.”

This is an after-post addition, but Don provides great a collection of editorial cartoons regarding Punxsutaney Newt

On Headlines from The Onion

  • Team Promotion Allows First 500 Fans to Feed Players
  • Area Man Forces Self to Drink Free Refill
  • Nation’s Morons March on Washington State
  • Internet Collapses on Shear Weight of Baby Pictures
  • Sleepwalking Obstetricians Patiently Explained to Refrigerator that it was having an Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Fans Excited to Watch Patriots or Giants Lose Super Bowl

On Headlines from the Campaign Trail

  • Romney During Victory Speech – “Man, this is a Weak Field” (The Onion)
  • Solar Storm Shuts Down Mitt Romney (Satire Wire)
  • Gingrich Releases Last Ten Years of Valentine’s Cards (Satire Wire)
  • Campaign-Based Concussions on the Rise (Satire Wire)
  • Newt Goes After Debate Moderator at Del Boca Vista, Phase II (The Satirical Political Report)
  • Obama Criticized for Living in Lavish Mansion while Most Americans Struggle to Make Ends Meet (The Onion)

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
Big news of the week is that the company released me early from the project. Things like this happen in the land of temporary/contracted employment. Although I have mixed emotions, I look at the big picture with my head held high and with a smile.

Now that I’m home again, I’m getting used to CNN’s new morning format, Starting Point. Nothing against Soledad, but I prefer American Morning.

For those looking for a place to get suggestions about a color palate, Kuler (from Adobe) is an interesting, and free, site. I’m told it will show users a color palate based on an inputted image. If nothing else, it’s a fun toy.

Interested in an exotic getaway? Hey – seeing the images is a trip in itself! Kay at Pure Complex featured this beautiful resort in the Pacific. Two bits of advice for this instant trip to paradise: Scroll through the images on the home page banner, and then do the same on the other pages. Enjoy!

All bloggers have to deal with spammers, and we are thankful for Akismet. The spammers are fine-tuning their comments to get through, but this one cracked me up. The comment stated about wanting to know more about the subject. Well, it was this Monday Morning Entertainment video.

FYI: I may post on Saturday.

Have a good weekend everyone, and in the words of Garrison Keillor: Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.