Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 270

With more than 460 days until Election Day, why are the debates starting so early?

This Onion headline made me laugh: Over Crowded GOP field forces Iowa to construct massive town hall stadium.

The Onion has let me down by not preparing a profile for Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) .. maybe his jump in a recent poll will spark one. Former Gov. Jim Gilmore (R-VA) is candidate #17, and another one with no chance … well, in my opinion.

Making no bones about it, I’m one who believes (and have for a long time) that education needs reform. Although the need is there, the obstacles are plentiful. Reform-minded superintendents are rare, but for the few that are, the public will prevent change.

The Internet and various software technology has given everyone a chance to observe a wide variety of human creativity. The 8-second video below is a hoot!

For those who miss the list of celebrations by the day, week, and month, here are the two sites that served as my main sources: One and Two.

This last act of Meals: The Musical takes to the stage next week. The dinner is done, the guest are gone, and there is a lot to clean. Song titles must include any of the following in the title. knives, forks, spoons, plates, bowls, cups, dishes, pots, pans, and kettles. Singular forms are acceptable. Show time is this coming Wednesday at 9:30 pm (Eastern US).

The collaboration with Robin about light was well received. Thanks again to Robin for the images … and yes, I would collaborate again with her. Meanwhile, another collaboration is about ready, thus I anticipate it going live in two weeks, but I will work with the collaborator to get a date.

I’m looking for ideas where I can feature a word with many meanings (such as light). Good words are those that can be a noun, verb, and adjective. Any suggestions?

The Explore series continues on Saturday featuring a wonderful video about a person, place, or thing.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s their infographic about the Life and Works of Dr. Seuss.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Study: Those that go to college earn more degrees in the lifetime than those who don’t
Frustrated man doesn’t know what else to do to get cat purring
Chinese factory worker cannot believe the shit he makes for Americans
Man races against time to take out trash bag with widening puncture
Male orgasm captured on film

Interesting Reads
Tips for grilling burgers
60 years after Rock Around the Clock
Top 10 battles of World War I
Electronics and the doctor’s bag
Pee-proof paint
Good interactive map about global population shifts

To send you into the weekend, here’s a flashback from the 80s. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 269

Candidate #16 in my governor, John Kasich (R-OH). No candidate profile for Governor Kasich yet, but candidate #17 is rumored to be on the horizon.

Given so many candidates seeking the Republican nomination, I believe all the candidates should get ample debate time – thus I favor at least one format that hasn’t been suggested – in groups of four – such as Group 1) Bush, Paul, Graham, Perry – Group 2) Trump, Carson, Christie, Pitaki – Group 3) Rubio, Huckabee, Jindal, Fiorina – Group 4) Walker, Cruz, Santorum, Kasich

This editorial headline from the Des Moines Register made me smile: Trump should pull the plug on his bloviating side-show. See for yourself.

If and when The Bloviator withdraws from the race, I predict he will do so in grand style – such as, El Chapo has threatened his family.

Cheers to GOP candidates Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rick Perry (R-TX) for aggressively bashing The Bloviator – but jeers to Marco Rubio (R-FL) for equating Trump’s behavior to a “classless” President Obama. Sorry Senator Rubio, but your classless comment registered a severe black mark against you that will be difficult to erase by this independent.

David Ignatius (Washington Post) is one of the most respected columnists specializing in foreign policy. Here’s one of his columns about the Iranian Nuclear Pact.

Cheers to the US and Cuba reopening their respective embassies. Now I await Congress to screw it up.

The video below is a commercial for a website for people who rent lodging. To me, this is a thought-provoking message. Plus their message about kindness in the notes on YouTube is worth reading. (To read, click here)

Last weekend I had the great pleasure of meet and spend time with two bloggers who have visited here: Ginger Snaap & El Guapo (along with TMWGITU). We had a fabulous time, but the pleasure was all mine. My meeting bloggers count leaped to three.

The blogging series continues to be a success, but only one more to go. On a side note, the last one (Posting & Frequency) was a post without fanfare – number 1700, which means this post is #1702.

Only one act remains in Meals: The Musical … and preliminary information is on the Hear Ye page.

The Explore series continues on Saturday featuring a wonderful video about a person, place, or thing.

To lead you into The Onion, they offer these tips for getting cheaper airfare.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Toddler unsettled by whatever possessed her to bite friend’s face
Lesser piece of paper used to test pen’s viability
Man sadly realizes his one bedroom apartment large enough to host party with all his friends
Leonardo DiCaprio agrees to donate “It Factor” to science
Four hours scrolling through Facebook before bed referred to as “winding down”

Interesting Reads
10 things you didn’t know about the first moon landing
Pew Research Center study about Americans, politics, and science issues
Chimney climbing
Mosquito’s technique of finding something to bite 
Hot summer around the world (Photo gallery)

For many of us in the northern hemisphere, here’s a song for a hot summer night. For my friends below the equator, summer is on the way. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 268

The reward for Gov. Scott Walker (R-WS) officially entering the presidential race is this candidate profile from The Onion. I’m losing track, but I think he is the 15th Republican entering the fray. I see more on the horizon!

A recent poll puts Donald Trump (R-NY) leading the GOP race. Funny … but The Bloviator also has the highest disapproval rating of any candidate in both parties. It’s early, and he’ll keep talking. Meanwhile, he fooled me by filing his election paperwork.

Predictably, numerous Congressional Republicans were quick to criticize President Obama on the recent Iranian nuclear deal. Cheers to the few on both sides of the aisle who prefer to read and study the agreement before commenting.

The question isn’t whether or not Iran will get the bomb, but can the global community convince them of not using it.

Baseball’s All-Star Game came to Cincinnati this past week, and it was a rousing success for the city and its baseball fans. From a Reds player winning the Home Run Derby to having 4 Reds legends being on the field, there were many memorable moments.

Some have called for GM to withdraw their sponsorship of Kid Rock’s tour because his use of a Confederate flag. To me, some people just don’t know when to stop … but Kid Rock needs to seriously think about it. Then again, it is his right to do as he pleases.

Citizens waving the Confederate flag when President Obama comes to town have the right to do so, have the right to look stupid, and have the right to suffer consequences of their choices.

Interesting that some continue to disagree with ESPN awarding Caitlyn Jenner the Courage Award over Lauren Hill. Let the record show that Lauren’s parents wanted to meet Jenner to say that they were not involved with the wave of criticism.

The WordPress gnomes again changed my settings that blocked emails of your new posts. Fortunately, I think the block was less than a week. Damn gnomes.

With only two acts remaining, Meals: The Musical returns next week. Act 9 features Snacks and Leftovers. In this case, leftovers stand for items that haven’t had been in any previous act – such as seafoods, eggs, and more. Acceptable snacks would be candy, chocolate, cookies, potato chips, pretzels, pizza, and more. For both snacks and leftovers, beware of the previous acts. The curtain goes up for Act 9 next Wednesday at 9:30 pm (Eastern US).

I greatly enjoyed the story challenge! Tough for me to pick a fav because each had a different element from humor to relationships to one set to die. Thanks to all for joining in the fun. Special thanks to Dale for interacting with so many comments here and on the other blogs posting the story.

Diane Henders told her readers that we are all free and naked.

Rumor has it that a blogging dignitary is coming to my area this weekend.

The Explore series continues on Saturday featuring a wonderful video about a person, place, or thing.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s their list of pros and cons regarding the Iran Nuclear Deal.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Pope Francis grills burgers on balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica (Gotta love the pic)
Mom would rather sit here and watch you guys have fun
Hungover man horrified to learn he made dozens of plans last night
Flight attendant attempting to pass cup of cranberry juice over laptop
Pluto capable of sustaining rock-based life

Interesting Reads
A good collection of thoughts about the Iranian Nuclear Pact
Making wine in a war zone
Best way to fight memory loss
International war on LGBT (and it goes well with this from last week)
9 things you didn’t know about Pluto

Besides the tip in this post, Diane also got this song in my head, so it’s perfect to send you into the weekend … Aaahoo! Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 267

Donald Trump continues to do what he does best: Bring attention to himself and bloviate. Here’s The Onion’s candidate profile on The Bloviator, plus this related headline made me laugh: Trump tell Iowa farmers he has cattle 500 times bigger than theirs.

This headline captured my attention: Schools That Succeed Because of the System, Not Despite It … GAG … As one on the reform education side of the fence, I can justify the statement being true, but I ask a deeper question: But is this the system we want to master?

Discussions about flying the Confederate flag continue, while some seem to want to expand it to anything Confederate.

  • Should schools with Rebels as a nickname change? (No)
  • Should mascots of Confederate soldiers be replaced? (No)
  • Should schools reconsider using the Confederate flag as a school symbol? (Yep if the school receives any public aid)
  • Should the Confederate flag fly at public memorials on Confederate Memorial Day? (To me, this is a tough one as I can see both sides.)
  • Can a person fly the Confederate flag on a pole on their own property? (Absolutely, and this should remain)

The Daily Beast published this very-timely-now article (Jan 15, 2015) about Robert E. Lee’s view about reconciliation.

Cheers to the South Carolina legislature for voting to take down the Confederate flag from its capitol grounds.

Cincinnati is hosting this year’s mid-summer classic: Major League Baseball’s All-Star game. The city has done a great job getting ready for the week-long festivities. Meanwhile, the team’s owner and management continue to demonstrate they have lost their way.

The Coke machines with all the flavors … do you know the ones? Vanilla Ginger Ale is my favorite. Do you have a favorite?

Did you notice that the desserts theme of Meals: The Musical: Act 7 was calorie free? I anticipate only 2 more acts, and preliminary information about Act 8 is on the Hear Ye page.

My wife and I ballroom dance for fun – thus we don’t compete or perform solos in studio-related events – but we have participated in two formations (groups). It appears I’ll be performing with another dance partner (of course with my wife’s permission) at a future showcase. Here’s the song we are hoping to use for our dance. What’s the dance?

For those who will post the entire story on their blog (with their ending), the revised story (without an ending) is on the Challenge page to copy. The Dance Challenge date Sunday, July 12th, 9:30 pm (Eastern US). I’m looking forward to the different endings, so feel free to promote the challenge!

The Explore series continues on Saturday featuring a wonderful video about a person, place, or thing.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s their short video about what children need in a male role model.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Disney unveils first virgin princess
Report: Male hair-loss 7 times more painful than childbirth
S&M couple won’t stop droning on about their fetishes
Insurance only pays for generic heart transplant
Ghost of Julia Child sounds the same
Meteorologist slips family members few extra days of extended forecast

Interesting Reads
Washington Post’s editorial board about independence
An example of Congress avoiding solutions (from the BiPartisan Policy Center)
Same-sex marriage around the world
Brain’s internal compass
13 facts about Crayola Crayons

Here’s a 2-fer to send you into the weekend – a leftover dessert from the musical and a classic. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 265

Contrary to my predictive statement last week, sources tell me Donald Trump (R-NY) is in the process of completing the necessary paperwork for his presidential candidacy … and his poll numbers are rising. The Bloviator-in-Chief is a sideshow attracting a certain type of voter. Fortunately, those voters are a minority. Unfortunately, The Bloviator takes votes away from more worthy candidates. Then again, maybe he will announce The Nincompoop as a running mate!

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) just entered the presidential race as the 13th candidate. Here’s his candidate profile from The Onion. I’m also happy that his announcement put this past Onion headline to rest: Bobby Jindal unsure he wants to put family through 2-month campaign.

The Supreme Court’s latest decision about the Affordable Care Act was predictable to me … and so has been the responses by the presidential hopefuls.

Numerous southern families support flying the Confederate Battle Flag because their ancestors fought under that flag. OK … so why isn’t the Nazi flag flown at the cemeteries for World War II German soldiers?

Although tropical storm Bill made the news, Anna did not. Here’s the list of storm names for 2015 (which includes a subtle, but interesting, Cincinnati connection): Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, Wanda.

We recently attended a concert by a world-class handbell group. Their individual skills make their collective efforts shine. I was in awe with the fluidity of the fast runs … and Flight of the Bumblebee demonstrates my point. The upper-bell players (on the left) are holding two bells in each hand. Because each bell is at a different angle, each is individually rung by changing the hand position .. meaning the players are incredibly fast.

Act 6 of Meals: The Musical featuring alcoholic beverages to accompany the meal is complete. Although the number of songs was down, the crowd as a bit rowdy. For those wanting a head start on Act 7, see the Hear Ye page.

Unfortunately, this continues to amaze me: The number of bloggers who used to visit here, but they are no longer blogging.

Two announcements

  • An Explore post for your Saturday … this time – a place … but where? :)
  • Hoping to announce a challenge early next week

To lead you into The Onion, here’s their list of tips for managing your energy bill.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion (Combos welcome)
Study: Workers happiest when pretending to be working from home
Disney World forced to euthanize character that attacked visitor
Mom recommends previously-unheard-of form of transportation son could take to get home
Guest given air mattress that will slowly deflate throughout the night
FDA approves female-libido-enhancing man

Interesting Reads
A world without work
Positive and negatives of online education
Innovation districts
(Photo Gallery) The Deteriorating Side of Ellis Island (from 2014)
Platypus venom
(Interactive Timeline) What the census calls us over time

Here’s a 2-fer to send you into the week – a leftover from this Act 7 and a hit from the 80s. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 264

Jeb Bush (R-FL) ended the suspense (and Super PAC fundraising) by officially announcing his candidacy for president. Here’s The Onion’s profile on him.

Donald Trump (R-NY) officially announced his candidacy with buffoonery. The process requires candidates to provide certain disclosures, so time will tell he is serious, thus complies. He loves attention, so announcing gave him that, thus I hedge on him actually being in the race. As a bombastic egotistical Bloviator-In-Chief, talking with conviction doesn’t mean he’s truthful. Here’s the Fact-Check on his speech and his profile from The Onion. For those needing more, a reminder that The Nincompop (aka Sarah Palin) praised Trump’s candidacy.

It’s easy to find something odd in the news, but the Rachel Dolezal (the former NAACP chapter leader) has my head spinning.

My post about what initially attracts one person to another (On Selection) fostered good discussion. I encourage everyone to start taking note of your casual observation when you encounter people at the grocery store, walking down the street, or at any gathering.

The US Open, my favorite golf tournament, is this weekend. After the first day of competition, I’m withholding my endorsement of the course and layout until later.

Remember the mural honoring Martha, the last passenger pigeon? ArtWorks recently announced 10 new murals for downtown Cincinnati. Click this link to see the current look and projected new mural. The slidebar on the images provides an opportunity to see before and after.

Some personal updates

  • For those recalling my eye issue of a year ago, it never fully recovered, thus giving me a new normal
  • I’m involved with a major watering project in the neighborhood
  • Next week I’m transitioning from a sub in the golf league to a regular
  • After boasting last week about visiting many blogs, this week wasn’t very good
  • Yes … we’re still dancing

Meals: The Musical continues next week with an act featuring songs with an alcoholic drink in the title. Act 7 starts Wednesday, 9:30 pm (Eastern US). In case you forget, there’s always the Hear Ye page.

Another Explore will appear on Saturday.

For those of you that get email notification regarding Likes, I’m curious … which 3 posts are listed for me?

To lead you into The Onion, here’s the Republican response to climate change statement made by Pope Francis. The headline is worth the look.

This Week’s Headlines from The Onion (Combos welcome)
Sexist pig had no idea when Team USA plays Nigeria
Co-worker who threw fit and stormed out of room looked like total badass
Man forced to come up with 45 seconds of facial expressions while server lists menu specials
New law determines bullets no longer responsibility of owner once fired from gun
Dept of Interior sets aside 50,000 acres of Federal land for anonymous sexual encounters

Interesting Reads
How each US President viewed God 
Europeans and the Bronze Age
800 years since the Magna Carta
Language of Apes
(Photo Gallery) California drought (Washington Post)

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

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 263

I wonder about the similarities between the following presidential campaigns: Hillary Clinton (D-NY) 2016, Jeb Bush (R-FL) 2016, and Mitt Romney (R-UT) 2012.

Wow … Unbelievably, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, said global warming is not a hoax and the primary cause is human action increasing the carbon dioxide level. I’m sure the GOP base is excited and the other candidates are thanking him for paving the way.

Amazon is now collecting sales tax on purchases by Ohio residents, and I’m OK with that.

The transition away from posting daily has been good for me because 1) I don’t feel rushed preparing, and 2) I’ve been visiting other blogs more. Then again, I tend to get behind on weekends.

I added a new page – Hear Ye – to serve as a place for announcements, such as information about the next act of Meals: The Musical. (Yep – it’s there now, but I will announce again next week.)

There will be an Explore post on Saturday.

For those interested in jello shots, this creative recipe is worth checking. 

Carrie Rubin is looking for help with your quest to be published by Amazon. Here’s her post on how you can help her.

Last week Democrat Lincoln Chafee (D_RI) announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. As a sign that his candidacy is in trouble, his name cannot be found in The Onion’s archives.

The Onion’s profiles of presidential candidates: Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX)

June is the most popular month for weddings in the US. To lead you into this week’s satire, The Onion captured the latest wedding trends.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion (Combos welcome)
More US children being diagnosed with YTD – Youthful Tendency Disorder
Idiot zoo animal with zero predators still protecting young
New Claritin flamethrower incinerates whatever causes allergies
Automakers asks nation if it still wants handle above car windows
Laid-back company allows employees to work from home after 6 pm

Interesting Reads
Raising money: political campaigns vs. new-business startups
Building the Clinton Foundation
Powering the future car: hydrogen or electricity?
Is Pope Francis a Communist?
Six mysteries in biology
(Photo Gallery) National Geographic Traveler Contest

Here’s a 2-fer to send you into the weekend. First, a video from the early MTV days (do you remember the song) and a bigger hit from a 80s. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.