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Plopped: Blogging

I don’t have any pretensions about being a poet.  My lyrics are there for entertainment purposes only — not to be taken internally.   Some of them are truly stupid, some are slightly less stupid and a few of them are sort of funny.  Apart from the snide political stuff, which I enjoy writing, the rest of the lyrics wouldn’t exist at all if it weren’t for the fact that we live in a society where instrumental music is irrelevant — so if a guy expects to earn a living by providing musical entertainment for folks in the U.S.A., he’d better figure out how to do something with a human voice plopped on it.
    —     Frank Zappa
From his book: “The Real Frank Zappa Book
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On This Day In:
2022 Jeopardy
2021 Will Republican Senators Convict A Former President?
Keep Moving, Keep Rolling
2020 Republican Acceptance Of Abuse Of Office
2019 The Courage Of Four Skills
2018 And Stable Genius, Too
2017 And So We Continue
2016 Feeling Endangered?
2015 One Day
2014 Too Bad
2013 Unfinished
2012 First Steps Along The Path
2011 A Small Part Of Future Webs
On vacations:  We hit the sunny beaches where we occupy ourselves keeping the sun off our skin, the saltwater off our bodies, and the sand out of our belongings.
    —    Erma Bombeck
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On This Day In:
2022 Sometimes I’m Confused
2021 You Need Me On That Wall
Counting Bees And Chasing Clouds
2020 Precious Life
2019 Nothing Is Too Difficult For Me
Patterns Of Caring
2018 And May Never Be
2017 Don’t Forget
2016 I Was A Percentage Man
2015 It Waits Patiently
2014 Unknown
2013 Explaining Love?
2012 Echoes of 1%
2011 Salaam, Egypt!!
Where Do You Learn?

Just Agree To Disagree

Like religion, politics, and family planning, cereal is not a topic to be brought up in public.  It’s too controversial.
    —     Erma Bombeck
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On This Day In:
2022 There Is No Fate But What You Make
2021 The Silent Word
Touched My Hand
2020 Releasing Their Fears
2019 17 Days Until The Next Government Shutdown
2018 Disciplined Models
2017 We Cannot Afford Enemies
2016 Love Is Just A State Of Mind
2015 Waiting?
2014 Big C, Little B (II)
Where God Has Not
2013 Chasing His Dragon
Shaped And Molded
2012 Believe In Yourself
2011 Cultural Equivalence
Why Not?
Books About Books
The Basis For Adult Continuing Education

It Was A Very Good Year

At the start of each football season, I say the same thing:  “Two things define a “good season” for the 49ers – 1)  win the Super Bowl, or 2)  beat the Rams twice.  I don’t care if we go 2 and 15, as long as we beat the Rams twice.
Today we were defeated in the NFC (National Football Conference) Championship Game by the Philadelphia Eagles.  It was not a close loss.  It was a resounding beat down (31 – 7) based on the final score.  Congratulations to the Eagles and their supporters!
As a LONG time 49er fan, I am (of course) disappointed in the defeat, but this was a VERY good year for us.  No, we didn’t win the Super Bowl – we didn’t even qualify to lose the Super Bowl.  But, if you look back at my earlier standard for a “good season”, we DID beat the Rams twice.  Please recall this is (was) the defending Super Bowl Champion Rams (last year), which beat us in NFC Championship Game to go on an play in the Super Bowl.  Last year, I qualified my original standard to insert: “Defeat the Rams in the playoffs” as #2 and the original #2 became number three.
After review, I added:  defeat the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs or defeat the Cowboys and / or the Raiders in the regular season.  Defeating the Cowboys in the playoffs is a borderline #4, but beating either the Cowboys or the Raiders in the regular season is really just a sweetener – nowhere near satisfying enough to make an otherwise unsuccessful season a “good” one.
So…  How did the Niners do this season?
1) No Super Bowl win  – oh, well…  You can’t win (or lose) if you don’t qualify.
2) Beat the Rams twice in the regular season – sho ’nuff!!  We smoked them twice within five weeks:  03 Oct (24 – 9) and then 30 Oct (31 – 14)!!
3) We beat the Cowboys in the playoffs:  19 – 12, and,
4) We beat the Raiders in the regular season:  37 – 34
5) NFC – Western Division Champions
6) Winner of two playoff games
Unfortunately, luck, injuries and good / bad calls are a part of every game and every season.  It’s hard to say which individual breaks / events were the most significant.  Obviously, losing your two suited-up quarterbacks was important, but the defense played (most of the game) well enough to win if a few of the other things had gone our way.
And so our team will watch the Super Bowl from their living room couches instead of from the sidelines – just like us…  There’s always next year!
And once the taste of this last game fades, we’ll all realize (remember) this was a VERY good year.
So, I’m offering a big THANK YOU to the team and all the staff of this year’s San Francisco Forty-Niners!!  Rest.  Recover.  And, let’s get ’em next season!
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On This Day In:
2022 A Murmuring Note
2021 Satisfied If Not Fulfilled
You Don’t Know
Urban Ballroom
2020 R.I.P. Kobe
2019 Looks A Lot Like #45
2018 Trying To Stay Young
2017 Seems Reasonable To Me
2016 We Can Get Through This Together (In Time)
2015 How Long Is A Piece Of String?
2014 Heathen, n.
2013 Wisdom’s Folly
2012 When The Student Is Ready
Disconnected Leadership
2011 The Complex Richness Of Life

Musical Notes

Today’s post is just an update on my “learning” guitar progress…  Two years and counting…
I’m continuing to practice most every day for at least an hour.  There have been quite a few more days in the last six weeks when it’s only been 30-45 minutes, but that’s life.  Most of those times, I’ve been playing until fatigue / sleepiness and stopping when I start nodding out.  LoL!  I do most of my practicing between 11:30pm and 1am.  I can sit out in the front room and not disturb anyone (our bedrooms are on the other side of the house).
I’m still alternating between my various guitars.  I’m now up to 11, split mostly in favor of electric (7 to 4).  I’ve had them in a rotation schedule of a couple of acoustics laying in the living room and bedroom (for quick access) and then the rest in a monthly rota, but I’ve recently shifted to a three week rota as I don’t feel like I’m actually touching each enough with now having so many.  The perils of G.A.S. (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome)…   If you’ve been counting, or reviewing my “Learning Guitar” page, you’ll see I don’t have all of my guitars accounted for (only eight reviews).  My original intent was to do initial impression reviews and then subsequent updates as and when I “modded” them.  “Life” and my procrastinating nature have more or less shot that plan down.  It’s too late to do the initial impressions and I haven’t done very many mods, but I still plan to do reviews at some point.
I am still planning to get two more guitars to round out my collection – a full size nylon-string classical / acoustic and a single neck-humbucker telecaster style electric.  After that, any additional purchases (quality upgrade) will necessitate a charitable donation to make room for the new toy.)  The “Happy Wife” policy…
As far as “playing” goes, I’ve already forgotten more than I’ve learned.  I’ve been skimming the odd book and watching a lot of guitar videos, but while they “teach” you a lot – it’s really more a case of “informing” you about motivation, techniques and concepts.  The more I’m practicing, the more I’m realizing that if “it” (a given action) isn’t under your finger tips as muscle memory, you really haven’t learned it…  And all of that muscle memory takes time and (more) practice – not more awareness / understanding.
Fortunately, for me (and not so fortunate for my family), my OCD allows me to be fairly content with just practicing things (scales, chords, spider walks, children’s songs) over and over and over again.  I enjoy the repetitive action(s) and I feel like I’m finally starting to hear the notes.  I mentioned in a prior post that I am “kind of” able to hear myself hum an “F#” and then tune the guitar from there.  I’m continuing to get better at this.  I’m also a little better at using a A400 tuning fork to tune the guitar.  This is as opposed to using an electric tuner as a default tuner.  I still (also) use the electric tuners, but I’m gaining confidence in my ear for relative pitch.  Starting out, if ANYONE had said I’d be able to do this AT ALL, I’d have told them they were crazy and it’ll NEVER happen.  LoL.  The old dog is learning new tricks!
Most of the relatives feel I’m going about this “learning guitar” all wrong and that I should be learning songs.  While I appreciate their viewpoint, I don’t find learning “songs” to be that interesting.  I have two “songs” memorized (finger-style): “Taps” and “God Save the Queen“.  I also have a couple more close to memory: “Ode to Joy” and “Drummer Boy”.  On “Ode“…, no, not the full version – get serious…  But enough so you can tell what the song is.  Random people I discuss “learning guitar” with generally say: “As long as you’re having fun, who cares what you’re playing.”  But I have a feeling they’re thinking, “TWO YEARS(!!!), and that’s all he can play?”  (LoL)
So, I still haven’t settled on a single guitar I want to specialize with.  I still haven’t decided if I want to concentrate on finger-style or plectrum-style.  I still have very poor (almost none) rhythm – which makes leaning to strum problematic.  I’m still SLOW at changing chords – even the few I know.  And, I still haven’t decided what kind of music (rock, country, jazz, classical, blues, Spanish, folk, pop) I want to play.  Slowly, slowly.
And, finally, other hardware…  I’ve added a second “amp” and a “looper pedal” to my collection of kit.  The second amp is a portable, super-mini (3 watt) battery operated job.  It sounds slightly better than my original amp, but I don’t know enough about either to have the faintest idea of why – or if I should care.  The looper allows me to record a few seconds of playing chord changes and then play it back in a loop to play lead over.  The problem (of course) is my chord transitions are soooo bad, there is little point in trying to record / loop them – particularly when there are already hundreds of good background loops available on YouTube.  Oh, well, another toy to play with…  Slowly, slowly.
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On This Day In:
2022 A Murmuring Note
2021 Satisfied If Not Fulfilled
You Don’t Know
Urban Ballroom
2020 R.I.P. Kobe
2019 Looks A Lot Like #45
2018 Trying To Stay Young
2017 Seems Reasonable To Me
2016 We Can Get Through This Together (In Time)
2015 How Long Is A Piece Of String?
2014 Heathen, n.
2013 Wisdom’s Folly
2012 When The Student Is Ready
Disconnected Leadership
2011 The Complex Richness Of Life

Almost

Make the most of yourself.  For that is all there is of you.
    ―     Ralph Waldo Emerson
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On This Day In:
2022 A Happy Realization
2021 Is Science Cumulative?
We’re Aging With Time
2020 Where #45 Is Leading The Republican Party
2019 Your Own Blog Posts
The Man With A Code
2018 Choose Goodness
2017 Developing Translations
2016 Think Like A Hero
2015 Reductionism
2014 Gravitation, n.
2013 Ups And Downs
2012 Nerd Heard – And Good-Bye
Your Continuum
2011 Career Tips (Part 2)

A Very Few

Few companies that installed computers to reduce the employment of clerks have realized their expectations…  They now need more, and more expensive clerks even though they call them ‘operators’ or ‘programmers.’
    —    Peter Drucker
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On This Day In:
2022 Are You Confused?
2021 Working On The Ordinary
Smoothed My Jagged Edges
2020 Republican Senators Should Vote For Conviction Of #45
2019 Carry It
2018 Simple
2017 Knowledge Pays
2016 Brief Glimpses And Full Glances
2015 Pursuing Perspective
2014 Wearing Down?
2013 Labouring Under A Curse
2012 Listen To Yourself
2011 Career Tips (Part 1)
No Captain Dunsel

Think About It

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.  If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.
    —     Warren Buffett
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On This Day In:
2022 An Experiment Without A Control Group
2021 Seeking Center
Your Love Is Near
2020 You Mean I’m STILL In School?
2019 Finishing Work
2018 Diversity
2017 Timely Planning
2016 Just Too Easy To Know Fewer And Fewer
2015 A Fine Balance
2014 Next Rung
2013 Super Bowl Prep
Romantics
A Goal For Zen?
2012 Mutant Powers Of Obsession
2011 Federal Stars
Mud Pie

Don’t Blink

It can do truth no service to blink the fact, known to all who have the most ordinary acquaintance with literary history, that a large portion of the noblest and most valuable moral teaching has been the work, not only of men who did not know, but of men who knew and rejected, the Christian faith.
 
    —    John Stuart Mill
From:  “On Liberty
 
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On This Day In:
2022 The Fight Continues…
2021 Short, Swift, Haste
  Another Friend’s Passing
2020 Can We At Least Set The Bar Higher Than An Incompetent Liar In The Oval Office?
2019 Uncertain Times
  And Government Shutdowns, Too
2018 Satisfied
2017 In The Mind
2016 Dreaming
2015 The Best Medicine Is Also Contagious
2014 Eyes Off
2013 The More Things Change…
2012 The Delicate Moment Of Giving
2011 Ready, Shoot, Aim!!
The truth is that a vast restructuring of our society is needed if remedies are to become available to the average person.  Without that restructuring the good will that holds society together will be slowly dissipated…  It is that sense of futility which permeates the present series of protests and dissents.  Where there is a persistent sense of futility, there is violence;  and that is where we are today.
    —     William O. Douglas
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On This Day In:
2022 By Any Other Name (Or Description)
2021 Democracy, Pandemic, Economy And Climate Change
Heaven Is…
2020 Hoping For #46 In January 2021
2019 Interesting, But Not Fascinating
But Try To Eat The Low-Hanging First
2018 Me, Too
2017 Apt Enough?
2016 Now Or Ever
21, Pause, Restart
2015 I Am Shocked, Sir, Shocked…
Lucy & FSND-2
2014 Less Difficult
2013 The Spirit Of Liberty
2012 The Essential Freedom Of Aloneness
2011 A Problem Of Scale
Fred Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
2010 Another Book, Another Jog…

Feeling GAS* (Again)

Nothing is more beautiful than a guitar, save perhaps two.
    —     Frederic Chopin
[As in “Guitar Acquisition Syndrome“.  (LoL)   —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2022 And Even Fewer Regrets
2021 Today Counts
I Hope You’ll Understand
2020 Maybe #IncompetentDonald Really Is A Great Manager
2019 Your Only Choice
2018 A Good Definition
2017 Getting It Done
2016 Getting To Know Me
2015 Why I Pay Taxes
2014 Inequality Of Sacrifice
2013 I Never Saw A Moor
2012 Fill In The Blank
Not For Naught
Cliff Notes To Life?
2011 Conference Games Sunday

Finding Richness

I learned early that the richness of life is found in adventure.  Adventure calls on all the faculties of mind and spirit.  It develops self-reliance and independence.  Life then teems with excitement.  But man is not ready for adventure unless he is rid of fear.  For fear confines him and limits his scope.  He stays tethered by strings of doubt and indecision and has only a small and narrow world to explore.
    —     William O. Douglas
Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
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On This Day In:
2022 Enduring Success
2021 Dealing With Trumpism, Racism and Fascism In America
Just Wondering
2020 And So Must Good Government
2019 Are You Done Watching?
2018 Spineless Capitulation By The Democrats
Woe Is Me…
2017 Sincerely Yours
2016 Only Good To Say
2015 A Series Of Temporary Conditions
2014 Gaps
2013 Duty
2012 Cost Not Price
Superheroes
2011 The Simple Normalcy Of Everyday Life – “Squirrel!”

The Dissent We Witness

Man is about to be an automaton;  he is identifiable only in the computer.  As a person of worth and creativity, as a being with an infinite potential, he retreats and battles the forces that make him inhuman.  The dissent we witness is a reaffirmation of faith in man;  it is protest against living under rules and prejudices and attitudes that produce the extremes of wealth and poverty and that make us dedicated to the destruction of people through arms, bombs, and gases, and that prepare us to think alike and be submissive objects for the regime of the computer.
    —    William O. Douglas
Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
[Resistance / dissent is – probably – already futile…    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2022 End The Filibuster
2021 Be Creative, Question Assumptions
By No Means
2020 I’ll Eat To That (Gemütlichkeit)
To The Front
2019 #ContinueToResist
Except Willful Ignorance And Prideful Stupidity
2018 More Executive Time For #DumbDonald
2017 Watched The Inauguration
Two Geniuses
2016 Come Dance And Laugh With Me
2015 Looks Good To Me
2014 Desire For The Sea
2013 The Fierce Urgency Of NOW
Happy Inauguration Day!
2012 One Path
Sorrow And Joy
The Seven Year View
2011 Emergent Practicality

Share Love

These things I command you, that ye love one another.
John 15:17
King James Version (KJV)
There are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along;  people who will appreciate our compassion, our encouragement, who will need our unique talents.  Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give.
    ―     Dr. Leo F. Buscaglia
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On This Day In:
2022 Biden Starts His Second Year
2021 DIY: Outdoor Gym Modifications (2)
Inauguration Day 2021
(Hopefully) Good-Bye To The Trump Dark Ages
2020 Posting As A Continual Exercise
2019 Border Security – Yes, Border Wall – No
2018 Supporting Survival Values
2017 Inauguration Day 2017  [Sometimes, I hate it when I’m right!   —   kmab]
2016 Or A Pot Of Gold After The Storm
2015 One, Two, Three…
2014 Lend Your Hand
2013 Amnesty, n.
2012 Best Resolv’d
The Clock Is Running
2011 Magic

Courage To Love

I have too much respect for people to try to control them.  But they are estranged from love, afraid to reach out and touch one another.  We’re afraid to appear sentimental or speak in platitudes because people will say, ‘What a jerk!’  It takes courage in our culture to be a lover.
    —    Dr. Leo F. Buscaglia
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On This Day In:
2022 Pass A Voting Rights Act For Democracy’s Sake
2021 Tomorrow President Biden Starts Wrestling
Good-Bye #45
2020 The Burden Of Faith
On To Superbowl LIV (54)!!
2019 Are Your Dogs Barking?
Dangerous Waistcoats
2018 And 40+ Years Later?
2017 He Is Alone
2016 Compensation
2015 Charlie Redux
2014 The Crux
2013 Erosion And Rechannelling
Alliance, n.
2012 How Many Thought… (One I Know Of)
Choices And Decisions
2011 Speed Spoils
Simply Intended
2010 A Second 4 Hour Jog
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