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When one is engaged in the matter of slaying dragons, one must concern one’s self with even the smallest dragon.
   —  An ancient Kung Fu proverb from the Chang Dynasty (circa 737 AD)
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On This Day In:
2014 Who’s On First?
2013 No Equal Measure
2012 A Single Host
2011 No Exemptions
2010 Memories Of KSA – Inside The Fire
Today I completed the second book in the “Casca: The Eternal Mercenary” series “Casca #2: God Of Death” (1979©) written by Barry Sadler.  In this volume, Casca leads some Norse men in battle and then takes them out in long ships to adventure in new lands.  Ultimately, they land in Central America (probably Mexico) and run into the Teotecs and the Olmecs.  Casca is sacrificed to the Teotecs gods and has his heart cut out.  Now before anyone gets too worried about the rest of the series, please recall Casca cannot be killed because he was cursed (by Jesus) in book #1 to live forever.  (Well, at least until the second coming.)  Surviving death, Casca “becomes” the Teotecs “god”.
The story supposedly happens in the 3rd century AD.  The author conveniently overlooks the academic / scholarly belief the Olmecs disappeared (or were destroyed) as a civilization around 500 BC.  It also pre-dates the (probable) first voyages of the Vikings to the “New World” by about 700 years.  Be that as it may, the story is another well written, fast paced action story which is as entertaining as any re-watching of “Gladiator“, “The Long Ships” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” all rolled into one.
Final recommendation: strong recommendation.  Like all the books in this series, this is another fine example of historically based action / adventure / warfare genre which many (including myself) enjoy.  Again, the descriptions of warfare and violence in this book (and series) are quite graphic and this book is not suitable for pre-teens.
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On This Day In:
2014 Bull’s-Eye Next
2013 Change ÷ Time
2012 High Anxiety
2011 To Be, Do
2010 In the Arena…
Not An Island, Today…
Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.
   ―  Eckhart Tolle
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On This Day In:
2014 Bull’s-Eye Next
2013 Change ÷ Time
2012 High Anxiety
2011 To Be, Do
2010 In the Arena…
Not An Island, Today…
To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements.  Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.  To love is to be vulnerable.
  ―  C.S. Lewis
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On This Day In:
2014 Neglected Horror
2013 The Price Of Illusions
2012 Once Again
2011 And The “Market” Isn’t Always Right
I believe in life.  I believe in treasuring it as a mystery that will never be fully understood, as a sanctity that should never be destroyed, as an invitation to experience now what can only be remembered tomorrow.  I believe in its indivisibility, in the intimate connection between the newest bud of spring and the flicker in the eye of a patient near death, between the athlete in his prime and the quadriplegic vet, between the fetus in the womb and the mother who bears another life in her own body.
I believe in liberty.  I believe that within every soul lies the capacity to reach for its own good, that within every physical body there endures an unalienable right to be free from coercion.  I believe in a system of government that places that liberty at the center of its concerns, that enforces the law solely to protect that freedom, that sides with the individual against the claims of family and tribe and church and nation, that sees innocence before guilt and dignity before stigma.  I believe in the right to own property, to maintain it against the benign suffocation of a government that would tax more and more of it away.  I believe in freedom of speech and of contract, the right to offend and blaspheme, as well as the right to convert and bear witness.  I believe that these freedoms are connected — the freedom of the fundamentalist and the atheist, the female and the male, the black and the Asian, the gay and the straight.
I believe in the pursuit of happiness. Not its attainment, nor its final definition, but its pursuit.  I believe in the journey, not the arrival; in conversation, not monologues; in multiple questions rather than any single answer.  I believe in the struggle to remake ourselves and challenge each other in the spirit of eternal forgiveness, in the awareness that none of us knows for sure what happiness truly is, but each of us knows the imperative to keep searching.  I believe in the possibility of surprising joy, of serenity through pain, of homecoming through exile.
And I believe in a country that enshrines each of these three things, a country that promises nothing but the promise of being more fully human, and never guarantees its success.  In that constant failure to arrive — implied at the very beginning — lies the possibility of a permanently fresh start, an old newness, a way of revitalizing ourselves and our civilization in ways few foresaw and one day many will forget.  But the point is now.  And the place is America.
   —  Andrew Sullivan
From an article titled: “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Posted in NPR at:  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4723006
Originally found at one of the blogs I follow:  The Bully Pulpit  located at: //www.jrbenjamin.com
The specific posting:  http://jrbenjamin.com/2015/01/18/andrew-sullivan-what-i-believe/
[The site is well worth a visit.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 Happy 4th of July 2014!!
2013 Patriot Act, Anyone?
2012 Five Lost Wars
2011 Worth Fighting For
2010 Still Learnin’ Hard…
4th of July 2010

Still The King

Lilo and Stitch” – (LaS) movie review
LaS is a Disney animated film from 2002.  It is basically a retelling of “The Ugly Duckling” wrapped up in a Matryoshka doll story of a little orphaned girl struggling to find friends and her own place in her world.  Lilo lives with her older sister Nani, who struggles to keep a job and make ends meet.  Along comes a space alien (Stitch), who was created to be indestructible and to destroy everything around it.  Through tender acts of kindness and faith, Lilo spreads her “family” to include Stitch and, in turn, discovers the friend and family she so desperately seeks, too.  Stitch, in turn, transforms from a snarling monster to cute and cuddly. 
The film is a comedy and action-thriller with a large amount of heart thrown in for good measure.  It works on many levels – animation, science-fiction, family-friendly, slap-stick and heart-tugging philosophy:  ‘ Ohana” means family, and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.‘   With three kids, I’ve seen this move at least a dozen times while they were still young, but this is the first time in probably seven or eight years.  No particular reason for that failing…  It’s just turned out that way.  Which is a shame, because I’ve seen some terrible movies in that time when I could have been re-watching this gem.
Final recommendation: Highly Recommended!  This is a family movie you can enjoy together over and over again.
By the way, I tried for years to get my kids interested in Elvis Presley (“The King”).  Lilo plays several of his songs during the movie and “suddenly” my kids LOVE Elvis.  Whoda thunk it?
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On This Day In:
2014 First Wishes
2013 Can’t I Just Use A Bigger Hammer?
2012 Entering Imagi-Nation
2011 Which Is Which
2010 Weekend Update – 4th of July 2010
[Five years ago I decided to start adding quotes and song lyrics to my site. Before that the site was personal comments / observations, my own poems and my favorite poems / speeches, and book / movie reviews. – KMAB]

True Wealth

My wealth is in my knowledge of self, love, and spirituality.
  ―  Muhammad Ali
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On This Day In:
2014 First Wishes
2013 Can’t I Just Use A Bigger Hammer?
2012 Entering Imagi-Nation
2011 Which Is Which
2010 Weekend Update – 4th of July 2010
[Five years ago I decided to start adding quotes and song lyrics to my site.  Before that the site was personal comments / observations, my own poems and my favorite poems / speeches, and book / movie reviews. – KMAB]
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