On Toasting April

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April is here. For us in the northern hemisphere, it’s a time for showers and spring flowers. Leaves return to the barren trees and green grass emerges from its slumber. Migrating birds return to the summer home they share with year-round residence, and day and night air fills with familiar sounds that have been absent.

April is also a time for celebrations – a month to increase awareness about cancer control, Cesareans, irritable bowels, alcohol, autism, math, habitats, multiple births, heartworm, Parkinson’s, stress, pet first aid, testicular cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, DNA, genomics, & stem cells.

April is a time for month-long promotions about greyhound adoption, amateur radio, car care, welding, community spirit, home improvement, card & letter writing, facial protection, landscape architecture, safe digging, and rebuilding.

April is a month to appreciate couples, frogs, military children, decorating, holy humor, guitars, jazz, humor, kites, poetry, straw hats, and smiles.

April is a time to celebrate Food Month while cherishing culinary delights as soft pretzels, cranberries & gooseberries, grilled cheese sandwiches, BLTs, tomatillos, Asian Pears, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, pecans, and soy foods.

April celebrates Knuckles Down and provides 30 opportunities to issue a Twit Award.

April always starts with All Fools Day. I love this classic video that aired in the UK on April 1, 1957. (Start at 30 seconds) Enjoy – and good luck with finding a fool today.

On Ushering in 2014


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Believe it or not, no alcohol is associated with that video!

I recall watching the Mummer’s Day celebration from Philadelphia on New Years’ Day. After all, there’s something about a band of saxophones, banjos, and accordions with extraordinary outfits that capture my fancy. Yes, I am a Mummers-want-to-be from afar. However, nobody does this song better than a Mummers band.

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Once again, nobody in that video was influenced by alcohol. For those wanting more Mummers, here’s a melody of tunes with better sound quality.

How is your final week of 2013?

Following successful handbell ringing on Christmas Eve, we had a low-key Christmas Day afternoon with my father-in-law. A few days later, the three of us traveled cross-state to my sister-in-law’s home for the weekend – thus why you haven’t seen me. Meanwhile, we continue with preparing to sell our home and packing for the whenever-it-will-be move.

Glad to see that readers have been enjoying my Exploring series. Given the mid-week holiday, three more posts will finish the week before I return to my routine.

Given a new month and a new year, your calendars are eagerly anticipating new entries, so enjoy this bountiful list of celebrations!

(2014) Year of Crystallography, Year of Family Farming, Year of the Horse, Year of Small Island Developing Status

Month-long celebration for January include polka, soup, hobbies, eye health, book, hot tea, volunteer blood donor, life, Ok to be different, personal self-defense, wheat bread, candy, swapping soup, reaching your potential, oatmeal, letter writing, bath safety, get over it, bald eagles, mail order gardening, stamp collectors autism awareness, creativity, crime stoppers, bread machine baking,

(Wed) Guapo Surfing Day, Bad Hangover Day, Bowling Day, Copyright Law Day, Commitment Day, Ellis Island Day, Euro Day, First-Foot day, Global Family Day, Polar Bear Plunge Day, Bloody Mary Day, Surnames-Beginning-with-Z Day, Bonza Bottler’s Day

(Thurs) Buffet Day, Swiss Cheese Day, Motivation and Inspiration Day, Personal Trainer Awareness Day, Science Fiction Day, Cream Puff Day

(Fri) Chocolate Covered Cherry Day, Festival of Sleep Day, Drinking Straw Day, Humiliation day

(Sat) Spaghetti Day, Dimpled Chat Day, Tom Thumb Day, Trivia Day, Braille Day, Hypnotism Day, Free Flower Basket Day,

(Sun) Whipped Cream Day, Bean Day, Bird Day, Second-Hand Wardrobe Day

Hope everyone has a safe New Years’ Eve, and cheers to good health and spirits for 2014! Happy New Year!

Flashbacks: On Food and Recipes

Whether eating in a restaurant, a special dinner at home, getting that special treat, or time in the kitchen, we enjoy many aspects of a meal. Here are some selections for my archival vault that may capture your interest. Enjoy, visit as many as you wish, and hopefully you will comment on the post you visited. Are you going to make any of these?

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 182

On Politics
With current topics as Benghazi, the IRS, and the AP, our elected officials continue to demonstrate their preference for diversions over finding solutions to primary problems.

The IRS story has activated a burr. I’ve been writing on it other the past several days for this post, but eventually exceeding a short, so it will an upcoming post.

Here’s a good one for Gov. Steve Breshear (D-KY) responding to state Republicans avoiding expanding Medicare at the state level in response to Obamacare: “I say get over it. This law was passed by Congress and it was upheld by the Supreme Court. This is not a political decision, it’s a policy decision.”

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Seedless watermelon coming to grips with facts it will never have kids
New crispy cracker to ease crushing pain from modern life
Man demands to know how many siblings co-worker has
Sea World to discontinue Great White Shark ride
Elf finger found in box of Keebler cookies

Interesting Reads
A conservative economist’s support for Keynes
The Bible is not a science book
Top 10 blown umpire calls
Fred Flintstone’s feet as breaks
Wyatt Earp’s Fourth Wife
How curling stones curl?
A slideshow of Cincinnati’s mosaic murals

On Potpourri
The recent news about Angelina Jolle’s choice of a preventative double mastectomy surprised many. Interestingly, the morning of the Jolle’s news, CNN’s Zoraida Sambolin stepped up to publicize her decision for a double mastectomy after her recent breast cancer diagnosis three weeks ago.

Just finished reading Oracles of Science: Celebrity Scientists versus God and Religion by Karl Giberson and Mariano Artigas (2007). Very interesting profiling six leading scientists who also publish: Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould, Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Steven Weinberg, and Edward O. Wilson. I’ll review it later, but a thumbs up. PS: Debra, I haven’t forgot!

I haven’t cooked this recipe in a while, so we just did for a friend. Still, a big thumbs up to Cranberry-Sausage Spaghetti.

Several weeks ago, I mentioned the Cincinnati Ballet doing a production with Peter Frampton to his music. Here’s a review.

Sorry – no Saturday Morning Cartoon feature this weekend.

As my Chocolate and Wine week ends, below are a few short videos fitting for the occasion. Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Chocolate Covered Bacon


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Chocolate Covered Jalapenos

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Chocolate in Wine (Rosenblum Desiree)

On A to Z

a-z-2013Someone declared April as A-to-Z Challenge Month. Sure, the challenge’s intent is to have a separate post for each letter, but hey – I have a streak of independence.

With 1,167 posts before this one, why not use my archives to meet the challenge? After all, even frequent readers aren’t aware of some of the posts.

Therefore, I present A Frank Angle’s A-to-Z. Visit as many as you like, because as in my tradition, there is something for all …. so hopefully you’ll visit at least one.

AFAa2zBadgeA is for Acquaintance – People that were not in my graduation class: set 1 and set 2

B is for Ballroom – … and ballroom dance delivers benefits

C is for Cruising – We like cruising, so start your trip with a click

D is for Dinner Group – … We hosted a night of Chopped

E is for Education Reform – Although the need is obvious, here are the obstacles

F is for Frank – Yep, that’s my name, but these are the All-Time Franks in baseball

G is for God and Government – I must say that this post about the separation of church and state is pretty darn good

H is for Handbells – It takes many bells to make one instrument

I is for Italian – I’m 100% Italian heritage, and Ellis Island is an important place

J is for Joys – To whatever give you joy, but for some of us, it’s reliving the cartoons of our youth, and here is where the series started, which led to the first honoree

K is for Knowledge – What do you know about supersonic kangaroos?

L is for LearnerLearning should never stop

M is for Moderate – This early post defines an independent moderate, thus shows why neither party wants me … well, except for my vote

N is for News – Staying informed is important, but there is something more biased than the media

O is for Ohio River – A story from my hometown on a river during my youth.

P is for Politics – I wrote this shortly after the 2008 election, but before the Tea Party’s emergence (which is what makes this post interesting)

Q is for Quantum – Actually, this past post was On a Quantum Thought

R is for Recipes – I’m sort of a Foodie, so try Cranberry Sausage Spaghetti or my own spaghetti sauce that offers a little crunch

S is for Science – Like sports, science has players, plays, rules, and boundaries

T is for Trieste – A beautiful city on the Adriatic Sea that is the place of my birth

U is for Universe – The universe is vast and inspiring, and this post includes one of my absolute favorite videos

V is for Victory – The raised arm created an unexpected moment in college

W is for Wonders – There are many wonders in our world, and let’s not forget Fibonacci, Pi, and Tau

X is for X-Factor – and one X-factor in life is forgiveness

Y is for Why because I can – This is the first main post about the religion-science interchange; now there are 44, plus here is the very first post

Z is for Zinfandel – I enjoy a wide spectrum of wines, especially reds, but zins were the first to capture my fancy – and cheers to the wine group at church

AAA+++ Bonus for the bloggers on my sidebar and on the More Bloggers page, for as without them and you, I wouldn’t be here, so try to visiting someone soon that you don’t know, and tell them I sent you.

Addendum: To learn more about the A Frank Angle A-to-Z Challenge, click here.