Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 251

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The kerfuffle about vaccinations has raised the ire of many. Here is a collection of worthwhile posts to help clarify various aspects of an issue I mentioned last week.

A note to Gov. Scott Walker (R-WS) and all presidential aspirants in both parties. When one seeks or considers seeking the highest office in the land, all questions are on the table … so ducking them isn’t a good idea. At least learn to give an answer that doesn’t answer the question – after all, that’s what candidates do well.

I learned to tune out Jay Carney when he was the White House Press Secretary (well, actually change the channel) but, at least I can listen to his replacement, Josh Earnest. Interestingly, when Carney is contributing on CNN, I still tune him out!

In a recent hearing, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) accused Veteran Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald of glossing over the extraordinary problems confronted by your department among others things. Cheers to Mr. McDonald for his replies

  • “I’m highly offended by your comments, Mr. Coffman.”
  • “I’ve run a large company (Procter & Gamble) sir, what have you done?”
  • “I’ve been here six months. You’ve been here longer than I have. If there’s a problem in Denver, I think you own it more than I do.”

Life: The Musical is officially over, and Epilogue was a smashing finale. Thanks again to all participants, and as I’ve said many times, I’m the lucky one because I listen to all entries. Who knows, maybe someday I will list the collection of songs. Meanwhile, the next musical won’t be until mid-to-late March.

A tip of the hat to Dale for a valiant effort in catching up on Life: The Musical. At the time of this posting, he is approaching completion of all acts within 24 hours … and I listened to each entry … although she did receive the buzzer once (obviously from over confidence).

Interestingly, this is post #1600. After 6+ years of hosting over 52,000 comments,  plus who knows how many visits and comments elsewhere, I proudly say I only need the fingers on one hand to count the bloggers who truly irritated me. Thus my point – blogging is just like life because so much is about who one chooses to hang around.

No Saturday Morning Cartoon this weekend, but, I am working on the next one. After last week’s delightful trip to the Gobi Desert, wonder what person, place, or thing will be next … hmmmmm ….

To lead you into The Onion, here’s a graphic showing the results of their opinion poll about government requiring vaccinations.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Literary study finds all modern narratives derived from classic Alien vs. Predator conflict
Area woman not good enough artist to justify eccentricities
Scientists working to harness energy produced by intense fracking debates
Astronomers discover new planet that makes Earth look like S#-t
Health experts recommend standing up at desk, leaving office, and never coming back

Interesting Reads
American Ideas: a brief history
Baltic Dry: Not what I thought it meant
Doodles from Darwin’s children (Thursday was Darwin Day)
Columnist David Ignatius on acting like a superpower
Columnist David Brooks scandals and forgiveness
US-Cuba relations and Netflix

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Weekend) Great Backyard Bird Count, American International Toy Fair
  • (Fri) Blame Someone Else Day, Get a Different Name Day, Desperation Day, Employee Legal Awareness Day, Madly in Love with Me Day, Radio Day, Tortellini Day, International Condom Day
  • (Sat) Ferris Wheel Day, Quirky Alone Day, Pet Theft Awareness Day, Library Lovers Day, Have a Heart Day, Cream-filled Chocolate Day, National Condom Day, Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day, League of Women Voters Day, Women’s Heart Day, Race Relations Day, Singles Appreciation Day, Donor Day, Telephone Day, Organ Donor Day, Marriage Day, Whale Day, Read to Your Child Day, Valentine’s Day
  • (Sun) Gum Drop Day, Hippo Day, Remember the Maine Day, Susan B Anthony Day, Clifford the Red Dog Day, Angelman Syndrome Day

Since hearing this classic song early in the week, it’s been crawling around in my head – so, it seems to be right for sending you into the weekend. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Satire Bits: Vol. 85 – The Valentine’s Edition

The cold still has a grip on the much of the northern US, thus in the battle of groundhogs, Phil’s prediction is (at the moment) looking better than Chuck’s. It has also been a week the southeastern US received another dose of ice and snow while the northwest is dealing with the aftermath from the Pineapple Express.

One last reminder – The next post marks the debut of Life: The Musical. Get your songs ready with titles that include life, living, alive, lived, or live (that rhymes with give, not five). Curtain time is 9:30 pm (Eastern US) Wednesday.

With Valentine’s Day looming large on Friday’s calendar, I rummaged around archive vaults at The Onion to find appropriate head-shakers for your mid-week dose of satire. Any favorites? Yep, I’m staying away from a combo. 😉 Have a good rest of the week!

Annual Valentine’s Day stoning of happy couple held

Man born on Valentine’s Day only gets half the sex

From 123holidays.org

From 123holidays.org

Valentine’s Day coming a little early in relationship

Going out is too much hassle

Heart-shaped tub clogged again

Morning after romantic night ruined by sight of rose petals stuck to sweaty husband’s back

Romantic hostage negotiator offers bank robbers moon, stars

Girlfriend dumped after Valentine-candy-related weight gain

More vegetables evolving chocolate-sauce-filled-centers as evolutionary imperative

Romanic evening squandered on spouse

20,000 tons of pubic hair trimmed in preparation of Valentine’s Day

Onion References

On Gotcha Moments

It’s Valentine’ Day, so I suddenly changed my posting plans. Instead of telling a story about how we met or how lucky I am, here’s a story about us as a couple. After all, because we don’t have kids, we’ve spent a lot of time together.

Many people enjoy those gotcha moments, especially when they involve humor. On the other hand, being on the other end is another story. We had a first cruise to the Caribbean in early November, which was our fourth cruise … and this is a story of a gotcha moment.

Our common cruise itinerary includes going to “the show” after dinner. The first night show had only one performance, and that’s where the ship introduces the cruise director to the passengers – and it was there that we learned Mr. Ricky Mathews is one live wire. As my wife said after the cruise, “I can’t remember any of the other cruise directors, but I think we will remember him.”

We had two close encounters with Ricky on the 7-day journey, but I’ll start with the second – so keep in mind, we have been around him at that point – plus I imagine cruise director’s make it a point to know what is going on with the passengers.

The center of Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas is the Centrum – an area with a small stage for music, a bar, a small dance floor, and plenty of places to sit. It is also open all the way to deck 11, so an elevator lobby on every floor also allows guests to look down to see whatever was happening.

This particular night was a formal night, and I think it was before dinner. Two of the ship’s singers did a 15-minute show on songs from a decade (I think the 70s). Instead of being on the stage, the singers sang from the dance floor and encouraged people to dance around them.

My wife and I were innocently standing off to the side watching and enjoying the show without any intention of dancing – well, until Ricky walks over, grabs each of us by the hand, and pulls us onto the floor with others. (I think he knew we were ballroom dancers.) So we broke into a ballroom hustle, outshined everybody on the floor, and even both singers said something about us over the speakers. Plus, they said something to us (which was nice). Over the next several days, someone recognizes us elsewhere (elevator, on deck, or at the theater) and says, “Oh, you are the dancers.”

However, what about the first encounter with Cruise Director Ricky Mathews? It was the first cruise (at-sea) day, and we attended what the ship billed as a dance activity in the upper lounge. We should have known better seeing that Ricky was in charge of this event. It started with about 15 people, but a few dropped out. We were innocently learning a simple hip-hop line dance.

At the end of the session, dear ol’ Ricky said, “Now that you know the dance, meet in the Centrum tomorrow night at 8 to perform in front of the ship.” As my wife and I frowned at each other thinking “He’s got to be kidding”, so we forgot about it.

The next day after dinner, we were doing the familiar stroll from the main dining room to the theater through the Centrum. My wife looks at me and then reminds me that tonight performance night while pointing out the other couples who were waiting around. Along comes Ricky, who shuffles us into a private room to practice, and then gives us Gotta Dance basketball jerseys.

Onto the Centrum dance floor we go, he tells the audience about the Gotta Dance Foundation, we introduce ourselves (I’m Frank from Cincinnati – and yes, everyone got cheers), and then we did the following routine (no … this is not us) … but I doubt if we will ever see anyone from that ship again.

This spring will be our 35th anniversary. We’ve endured and through my tough times, she has stood by me – and for that, I am thankful. So to the one who occasionally comments here as The Right Angle, I say, “I love you and I look forward the days to come.”

Centrum picture is from Ginger’s Blog, which has other good images of the Centrum. Now here’s the Gotta Dance routine from the senior dancers of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets. Enjoy!

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 11

On the President’s Cabinet
Since Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) is withdrawing his name from nomination, President Obama has another chance to name a business person to this position.

On Alternative Energy
In the recent presidential campaign we heard both candidates promote alternative energies. Since President Obama continues to use the same theme, here are two excellent sites.

  1. Cincinnatus – Although this blog doesn’t limit itself to energy, here’s a link to the Energy category with his latest post about solar energy.
  2. On the other hand, Energy Power Alternatives is dedicated to the subject.

On Recipes
The March ’09 issue of Food and Wine has many easy and tasty recipes. We’re subscribers, but this issues is outstanding.

On College Basketball
Although the population density in this area is less than the east coast, a 2-hour drive gets me to a college basketball game at Cincinnati, Xavier, Dayton, Louisville, Kentucky, Butler, Ohio State, Miami, and Wright State. There’s probably someplace better, but this is pretty good.

University of Cincinnati President Nancy Zimpher, known as the one who pushed Bob Huggins out of town, is leaving for the New York state system… meanwhile Coach Huggins will be honored when WVU plays UC later this month. Ironically, both were announced the same day.

On Bengal Season Tickets
The average Bengal ticket is $74 per game – thus $740 for a season ticket. Let’s see, what else could be done with $740? It feeds holiday meals to 413 people at City Gospel Missions. It gets blankets for 30 families of five. It pays for 148 hot meals for disaster victims. It buys who knows how many grocery-store sale items for a local food bank; and this list could be endless.

On Other Blogs
The Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind, a once-a-week post, stimulates your mind through photographs and accompanying thoughts. Joe provides a great way to start the week.

Heather and Paulette at Let Us Talk will comment on a variety of topics. Given ’em a try.

Football News from a Chick is just that, and this chick is passionate about the NFL, knows the NFL, and has connections.

From Reel to Field features anything from movies to sports, thus everything in between; including the always popular “caption this” to comment on pictures.

On Valentine’s Day
Thoughts of Valentine’s Day conjurs thoughts of personal loved ones. This story touched me about a week ago, but thanks to Tim Valentine, it’s a fiting message of love for everyone on this day.