On a Vacation Primer

For those wanting some background music for the post, here’s some music from the land.

On to the post.

The image shows are 12-days of cruising. Keep in mind that we had 4 days in London before cruising, plus 3 days in Reykjavik, Iceland after the cruise. Both of these stops were independent of the cruise and done on our own.

I was struck by the fact that each of the major cities in the British Isles were quite different from one another.

  • The most grand: London, England
  • The most captivating: Edinburgh, Scotland
  • The most walkable: Dublin, Ireland
  • The most unexpectedly different: Liverpool, England
  • The most gut wrenching: Belfast, Northern Ireland

… and we didn’t just visit cities on the trip:

  • The most scenic countryside: Northern Scotland
  • The most solemn: American military cemetery at Normandy (Omaha Beach)
  • The most quaint: St. Peter Port, Guernsey
  • The most geologic diverse: Iceland

We walked a lot – averaging about 13,500 steps per day with over 25,000 being the most. When walking, my eyes are busy. For those who remember, when in Florence, Italy – I say “Look up!” Whether walking or passing by in a touring bus, these business signs on the trip caught my eye. Other than the obvious, any thoughts on what they sell?


On Warnings

As we were walking down from the top of the Rock of Gibraltar this past October, we saw two road signs that I’ve never seen before … but they got me thinking about signs at home … so one day, I took note.

I left the house for a few errands, but didn’t get out of the subdivision before I see my first warning sign.

Turning onto the main road, the lines are giving me a message … yes, in this case, a warning.


I stopped at the bank, which greeted me with this warning.

I stopped at a novelty store looking for a gift, thus encounter an owner delivering a warning with a sense of humor.

It’s lunchtime – I’m hungry. Instead of the No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service sign, I encountered this warning sign.

I stopped at the grocery store because tonight we have a homemade pizza – so I’m very glad the pepperoni company told me this. (Look in the label’s lower-left corner)

What are some of the unique warning signs you’ve encountered?

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 227

Embed from Getty Images

On Politics
During the 2012 US Presidential campaign, the Republican candidate stated Corporations are people. … and now the US Supreme Court has confirmed that by granting religious freedom to privately held companies. Personally, I disagree … then again, it’s another example of what can happen with one-party overreach.

Last week the US Supreme Court ruled against the power of the president to make appointments during a Congressional recess. Fine, I can deal with that, so now is the time for the White House to file suits against Congress for failing to act on Presidential appointments … and as we know, both parties do this when the other is in the White House — an act that I find just as pathetic.

Although EJ Dionne is one of the columnists I usually don’t read, this one about the political center caught my eye. His column is based on this Pew Research Center report.

Last week, I (in Ohio) received a fundraising phone call from an opponent to Rep, Nancy Pelosi (in California). Just another example of the nature of money in politics.

Interesting how many Republicans complain about President Obama’s lack of leadership yet block numerous proposals … then again, in a climate ripe for overreach, let the stalemate continue.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Cracks in facade visible as teen enters third day with friend’s family
Brazilian government vows to use all money from World Cup for much-needed soccer infrastructure
Mother ferries 4 more shirt options to son in dressing room
Child pleads case for why family rabbit should be named Aunt Susan
Humanity surprised it still hasn’t figured out better alternative to letting power-hungry assholes decide everything
FDA recalls food

Interesting Reads
Can Republicans be a party of ideas?
10 science predictions about the world in 2015
Mental health and the US medical system (Thanks to Jim Wheeler for this good read)
Secrets of the creative brain
From a Bible Belt upbringing to becoming a evolutionary biologist who is a Christian

Quick-Read Graphics
Graph: Cost of aging in Japan
Never before published images of WW I
Graph: Voice vs. Data since 2007
Graphic of Stars Wars Yoga

On Potpourri
I admit being usually surprised when a blogger identifies themselves as an introvert. After all, one becomes used to their blogging personality. A recent post by Mo, one of my Pioneers, caught by attention. He doesn’t blog very often, but this is a worthy read … so I encourage others to read his post … plus in your comment tell him I sent you.

The viewership of the US-Belgian World Cup match shows the sport’s growing popularity in the US … but here is something media reports missed. Youth soccer exploded in the US during the 1980s. Today, those early participates are adults with children playing soccer. Here are some stats to support my claim.

In order to repair my notification issues, I followed one of the suggestions here by unfollowing, then following, some bloggers … thus the reason you may have received my New Subscriber notification. But that time-consuming task may not have mattered because it seems a checked box suddenly appeared in my settings that could have been blocking the notifications.

Thursday morning I had my MRI/MRA/MRV regarding my brain and the arteries and veins in my head – which meant 90 minutes in the tube. No results yet, and my vision remains unchanged.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Boom Box Parade Day, Indivisible Day, Independence from Meat Day, Barbecued Spareribs Day, Caesar Salad Day, Sidewalk Egg Frying Day, Hillbilly Day
  • (Sat) Bikini Day, Hop a Park Day, Day of Cooperatives, Cherry Pit Spitting Day, Apple Turnover Day, Graham Cracker Day, Workaholics Day, Caribbean Day
  • (Sun) Kissing Day, Build a Scarecrow Day

Given the holiday weekend in the US, no Saturday Morning Cartoon this week. I really hope to get this going again next weekend.

To send you into the weekend, here’s a 1971 hit that I heard earlier this week. Enjoy Signs by the Five Man Electric Band. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On a Word

Word is a sensible string of letters

Word is a single, distinct unit in a language

Word is a combination of sounds acting as a representation

Word can phrase, formulate, verbalize, and couch

Word is a signal, a pass to entry, or a personal declaration

Word can be guidance, news, a signal, or authoritative

Word is news, a rumor, a tale, propaganda, a story, or a promise

Word can long or short, monosyllabic or polysyllabic

Word expresses, but sometimes there is no word

Word is used with others words to communicate or be a private conversation

Words can be few or in so many

Words can be a speech, text, meanings, mottos, proverbs, stories, poems, lyrics, an oath, discussion, or a decree

Word has synonyms as lexeme, chitchat, idiom, utterance, concept, expression, and locution

We can put in a good word, describe in a word or in so many words

The right words can deliver an important message

Actions can substitute for a word

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 88

On Japan
Last Friday we awaken to the news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I encourage everyone to donate to an organization that can provide help.

Blessings and God speed to all the courageous workers fighting the issues at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Meanwhile, a few continue to refer to the calamities as a punishment from God. Good news is that is NOT the God that I trust.

On an Interesting Signs
Not all that long ago, I was on I-65 south of Louisville, Kentucky, and then saw this interesting sign: Used Cows for Sale. I find differentiating cows as new and used as a bit odd, but also humorous – and I believe that the humor is the sign poster’s intent. If you are ever on I-65 in Kentucky, watch for this sign on the east side between mile markers 78 and 79. Meanwhile, a few hours south along I-65, there also a billboard for Big Jim’s Boobie Bungalow.

On a few Political Shorts
A recent Washington Post poll reveals that Sarah Palin has a very high disapproval rating. Well – there’s a shock, so did we really need the Washington Post to let us know?

As we listen to all the budget talk, let us remember that our legislators will continue to protect the sacred cows of their district and those of their financial supporters. Meanwhile, all their hoopla focuses on about 12% of the budget, thus avoiding the remaining 88% like the plague.

Columnist David Ignatius had this worth-reading piece about the situations about the demonstrations in Arab countries.

On a Rise and Fall
Last fall we vacationed in the Charlottesville, VA area. (FYI: A wonderful area) A friend, who frequently visits wineries in the area, recommended wineries for us to visit – including the Kluge Estate Winery. I’m glad we got there in October because soon thereafter, things started to happen. See this article from Forbes.

On March Madness
The madness of the NCAA tournament has begun. Within two hours of my house, tournament teams include Cincinnati, Xavier, Ohio State, Louisville, Kentucky, Butler, and Morehead. For me, I’ll be happy as long as ABK wins … anybody but Kentucky.

Meanwhile, the drought goes on for these schools since their last tournament appearance: Bowling Green (1968) Ouch … that one hurts; Columbia (1968), Tennessee Tech (1963), Yale (1962), Maine (never, eligible since 1962), New Hampshire (never, eligible since 1962), Dartmouth (1959), Harvard (1946), Army (1948), Citadel (never, eligible since 1948), Northwestern (never, eligible since 1948), St. Francis (N.Y.) (never, eligible since 1948), and William & Mary (never, eligible since 1948).

On the Flooding Ohio
Last weekend we were along the Ohio River, with its flooding waters and fast rate of flow. Not only was it a reminder of the days of my youth as I grew up in a small town along the river, but also of the dangers. Very close to our hotel, the water dislodged one of the floating restaurants. Fortunately, it didn’t go far as it hit a bridge and become lodged; plus all the patrons were safely removed.

On a Different Event for the Weekend
Last week I we attended a handbell convention. Definitely an interesting event, and between rehearsals and workshops, there wasn’t much down time. Try to imagine what a 670-member choir might sound like. The video below will give you an idea, but it only has 420 ringers. Have a good weekend.