One Great Secret

To make something good, just do it.  To make something great, just re-do it, re-do it, re-do it.  The secret to making fine things is in remaking them.
    —    Kevin Kelly
On This Day In:
2021 The Real World Effect Of Fox News’ Lies
2020 #45: White House Turnover
R.I.P.: Eddie Van Halen
Gee Whiz
2019 Two Peace
2018 The Sensation Of Human Intimacy
2017 One Night In A Thousand Years
2016 A Considerable Amount Of Work
2015 Panzer Soldier
2014 Babies (I)
2013 Patriotic == Tell The Truth
2012 30 Days To Go
2011 Altering The Course

How To Begin

To know what you’re going to draw, you have to begin drawing.
    —     Pablo Picasso
[To get the kind of society you want, you have to begin by voting for the kind of government which will support and promote it.    —    kmab]
On This Day In:
2021 Looking Up
2020 #45: Or All-Consuming Greed
You Could Have Told Me Yourself
2019 Not Personal
2018 Preference For Irrationality
2017 All At Once
2016 One Of My Vices
2015 The War Lord
2014 Orange October (II) – Giants Win NLDS Game 2 In 18 Innings (2 to 1)!!
Acknowledging Doubt
2013 Fulfilled Acceptance
2012 Error Is Tolerated Here (So Far)
2011 In Defense Of Pain

On A Diet Of…

The Ulitimate Rule ought to be:  “If it sounds GOOD to YOU, it’s bitchen;  and if sounds BAD to YOU, it’s shitty.”  The more varied your musical experience, the easier it is to define for yourself what you like and what you don’t like.  American radio listeners, raised on a diet of ____ (fill in the blank), have experienced a musical universe so small they cannot begin to know what they like.
    —     Frank Zappa
From his book:  “The Real Frank Zappa Book
On This Day In:
2021 A Model Democrat
Listen Mister
2020 The Main Thing: Vote!
No Other Reason
2019 A Big “IF”
2018 Committed To Thinking
2017 More Pictures From My (Family) Retirement Party
A Fondness For Sins
2016 Are You Waiting?
2015 The Future Myth
2014 Hands
2013 Because You Have Lived
2012 47%
2011 Conservative Values: Low And Lax
2010 A Non-Zero Sum Game
What If “c” Isn’t A Constant?
2009 Pictures from UCLA trip…

Humble Learning

Teach your tongue to say I do not know and you will progress.
    —    Talmud
On This Day In:
2021 What You’ll Find
I Know I’m One
2020 Voting Has Consequences
We Will Get There!
2019 Mutually Exclusive
2018 Basic Rights
2017 Thoughtful Attitudes
2016 The Bell Tolls
2015 It Is What It Is
2014 What Have You Learned (Gently) Lately?
Orange October (I)
2013 Ignore The Man Behind The Curtain
For A Time
2012 What Are Your True Measurements
2011 What It Is All About
2010 The Magnificent Seven
Giants Fever!!
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.
    —     Antoine de Saint-Exupery
On This Day In:
2021 Give It Time
Spending That Last Dime
2020 I Like The Feeling
Everything I Hoped For
Let The Landslide Begin!!
2019 Somebody’s Watching You
2018 First From Within
2017 Or Vote Against You
2016 Cupid Must Say It Too
2015 Some Of This And A Pinch Of That
2014 Consensus Is Only One Side
2013 Not Ought
2012 If You Want To, If You Have Something To Offer
2011 I See Lots Of Fools
2010 Orange Inside!!
And The Band Played On…
Happy New Year!!
Oh, don’t let’s ask for the moon.  We’ve already got the stars.
    —    Bette Davis
On This Day In:
2021 Republican Big Lies On The Internet
What Did They Say?
2020 We Are All Fish
Should We Take Another Reading?
2019 A Dynamic And Adaptable System
2018 Speak Your Mind
2017 And I Thought It Was Just Me Getting Old
2016 One For Whole
2015 A Good Present
2014 And Your Point Is?
2013 Our Never-Ending Task
2012 More Mature Than I Thought
2011 Outlaw’s Music
Can Do!

Five Down, Two To Go

To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life.  The money is the gravy.
    —    Bette Davis
[It normally takes seven to seven and a half years of retirement for the average American to “recover” all of the funds paid into their Social Security retirement funds during their forty odd years of work.  I’m well over half-way there and looking forward to the gravy!    —    kmab]
On This Day In:
2021 Four Down, Three To Go
It Still Ain’t
2020 Three Down, Four To Go
Twenty-Four ‘Til You
2019 Two Down, Five To Go
2018 Year One, Done!
2017 First Day Of Retirement!
2016 Revere And Criticize
2015 Global Climate Change May Test This Statement
2014 Adaptability Won
2013 Disappeared
2012 Fuller
Life On The Range
More Classics
2011 Stoned Again?
2010 Insubordination… And That’s Why I Love Her!
Losing – Week One

Wild Geese And Open Doors

When one door of happiness closes, another opens;  but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.
    —     Helen Keller
Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally.  Make it the object of pursuit, and it leads us a wild-goose chase, and is never attained.  Follow some other object, and very possibly we may find that we have caught happiness, without dreaming of it;  but likely enough it is gone the moment we say to ourselves, ‘Here it is!’ like the chest of gold that treasure-seekers find.
    —     Nathaniel Hawthorne
On This Day In:
2021 Well Within Our Power
Hammer Time
2020 3 November Is Coming!
Bee Gees’ing
2019 Senate Republicans: Impeachment – Because It Is Right!
Dave’s Not Here, Man!
Mixing Business And Pleasure
2018 Intensity Doesn’t Make It Correct
HF2: 1940’s Grapes
2017 Proof Sits In The Oval Office
2016 Tragic Determinism
2015 Maybe It Should Be Clearer
2014 Make It Your Strength
2013 Four Score
2012 The Ruler
2011 Forever
2010 Just Cuz
How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?
It’s Alive!! (3rd Pair Shoe Review)

Seeking The Same Thing

For me the Voice of God, of Conscience, of Truth, or the Inner Voice or “the Still Small Voice” mean one and the same thing.
    —     Mahatma Gandhi
Live seeking God, then you will not live without God.
    —     Leo Tolstoy
On This Day In:
2021 Climate Change Deniers
We Don’t Listen Anyway
2020 Nothing New Here
Talk To Me
Register And Vote
2019 Love And Leave
2018 Smiling If Not Laughing
2017 Chilled And Smooth
2016 But Sometimes You Have To Stand In Front
2015 The Key Shift
2014 Remember ISIS / ISIL?
2013 What Have You Done Lately?
2012 B8
2011 I’m Definitely Not In Control
What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the soul.
    —     Joseph Addison
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
    —     Nelson Mandela
On This Day In:
2021 An Impossible Situation
I Fear It Is (For Us If Not The Planet)
2020 #45 Never Shuts Up
Walkin’ In The Rain With The One I Love
2019 Silly Pooh Bear
Dominoes Or Jenga?
2018 Very Few
2017 Or The Candidate Who…
2016 The Happiest People
2015 Jumping Into The Dark
2014 I Would Be Sillier
2013 It Keeps Happening Anyway
2012 Take Time
2011 A Mother’s Lesson
2010 3rd Pair – Shoe Review (DOA and Final)
Better to be too credulous than too skeptical.
    —     Anonymous
[Maybe it’s just the “hopeful” in me…    —    kmab]
On This Day In:
2021 Buying Time In A Fixed Game
Dedicated To: Messrs. Rubio And Pompeo
2020 What It Takes
Every Sign Was A Northern Star
2019 Stuff Happens
Whistleblower Complaint Regarding President Trump And Ukraine
2018 Looking Into Golf
Goin’ Yard
2017 Improvise
2016 Got Leisure?
2015 It’s Been Hurtin’ For Quite A While Now
2014 Curious Talent
2013 Eureka
2012 Slow Me
2011 He Said What?!?
2010 Gritty
3 and 3
Just A Hunch
Wall Street – Movie Review
2nd Pair – Shoe Review (Aborted and Final)
The Curse Of Chief Tenaya”   (2002©)  —   book review
Today’s book review is for a historic fiction novel set in 1800’s.  The author is Craig J. Carrozzi.  It is about an Irish immigrant coming to the United States and making his life through the pre-, actual and post- “Gold Rush” in Northern / Central California.
Full disclosure:  Craig (the author) was a member of the football teams I played on while in high school in San Francisco.  After high school graduation, Craig joined the Peace Corps, returned to San Francisco to get his BA and then subsequently lived a good deal of his life in South America.  Like me, Craig was raised in San Francisco.  He is the author of five published books and numerous articles.  Of his five published books – one is about attending a SF Giants baseball game as a youth;  three are semi-autobiographical fictionalized stories about his time in South America;  and, this book (being reviewed) is about earlier days in Northern California.
The book’s main character is Jeremiah Ignatius McElroy.  He is born in Ireland, starts off as a hard life (potato famine and Yellow Fever), moves to the US (via Canada), travels across the country / continent and ultimately becomes a hunter and tour guide in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  His main geographic expertise is the high-country of Yosemite Valley and it’s “cousin”, the Hetch-Hetchy Valley.  He spends the winters in Oakland, CA with his widowed younger sister and her family.  Jeremiah is hired by a wealthy landowner to track down and destroy a Grizzly bear.
This is basically a “man’s” action book with a couple of interesting twists (interesting to me, anyway).  First, the current day action is interspersed with the growing-up portion of Jeremiah’s life.  The author / publisher uses the “trick” of italicizing the historical narration so the reader can clearly “see” when the author is talking about the past.  The second interesting aspect of the book is an obvious attempt to include “real” famous / historic literary figures in the story.  Hence, Jeremiah reads Ambrose Bierce columns in the daily newspaper;  drinks with Jack London in a bar; and, meets John Muir while up in the hills.
The “action” portion is the life of the growing up, becoming a man and then aging and preparing for old age;  but within the specific confines of the plot, it is the pursuit of a giant Grizzly which has been terrorizing cattle ranches in and around the Hetch-Hetchy area.
So, is this book any good?  Is it realistic in it’s character(s) and / or historic depictions?  Is it entertaining and / or interesting?  And, finally, do I recommend this book?
In short – the answer is YES, to all of these questions.  The book is relatively short (225 pages) and the story is a fast and well paced read.  I read it completely in one sitting and found it hard to put down for my own meals.  (This despite a good deal of delicious sounding meals through-out the book.)
In general, the book seems pretty accurate to very accurate in describing both people and locations.  I must admit, I felt the author let a bit of his own “politics” come into the attitudes and language used in some of the conversations.  One example is when Jeremiah uses the word “deforestation” in an extended dialogue.  I looked the word up.  The word is cited as first used around 1870, so it is possible Jeremiah might know it, but it seems to me, unlikely a hunter / trapper / outdoorsman / tour guide would know the word, let alone use the word.  But, these are very minor flaws in an otherwise well written work.  A brief clarification:  I haven’t spoken with the author in over 50 years, so I really have no idea about his “politics” or if they are reflected in the writing.  It’s just how I felt while reading the book.
And, “the Curse” itself?  Well, it created a “hook” and theme for the book, but I felt it could have been better fleshed out.  I’m not sure why I feel that way or how I might have advised the author to improve the story during development, but it (the “hook”, not the book as a whole) made me feel like I was reading a poor mix of “Dancing With Wolves“, “The Last of the Mohicans” and “The Deer Hunter“.  Very much like those movies, the ending is thought provoking rather than PollyAnn-ish uplifting.  A “Good” or “Bad” ending will then depend on the reader’s individual reaction to the ending.  The “curse” was from the last Native American Chief of the tribe (Chief Tenaya, a non-literary, but “real person” from the period) which lived in the Hetch-Hetchy Valley.  He pledged to haunt those who would despoil the tribes sacred lands (the Valley).
I found the book to be between “hard to put down” and “can’t put down”.  That’s quite a statement from this reviewer.  The descriptions of the skies, mountains, valleys, flowers and animals filled my imagination and reminded me of earlier outdoor travels and adventures from my own youth.
Final recommendation:  Very highly recommended if you are into “masculine” adventure type action stories with a historical setting.  Given I was raised in Northern California, I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of “old world” San Francisco, Oakland and the towns from the Bay Area to Hetch-Hetchy.  If you are prudish, be advised there is some minor sexual content, but I felt it was well within the boundary of character and story development.
Disclaimer:  I purchased this book at normal / sale price (for an old / used book) and no compensation has been provided to me by anyone for my opinions in this review.
On This Day In:
2021 MAGA Choice: Reality Or Lies
You Seem To Be
2020 A Good Reason To Blog
Finally Enjoying The View
2019 Living Free
2018 Relative Imagination
2017 Thank You, Senator McCain (So Far Anyway)
2016 What About Friends?
2015 It Tastes Good To Me
2014 Others’ Footsteps
The Not-So-Modern Samurai
2013 Doin’
2012 A Lover
2011 What Have We Found Here

Tiny Matters

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
    —    Oliver Wendell Holmes
On This Day In:
2021 MAGA Choice: Reality Or Lies
You Seem To Be
2020 A Good Reason To Blog
Finally Enjoying The View
2019 Living Free
2018 Relative Imagination
2017 Thank You, Senator McCain (So Far Anyway)
2016 What About Friends?
2015 It Tastes Good To Me
2014 Others’ Footsteps
The Not-So-Modern Samurai
2013 Doin’
2012 A Lover
2011 What Have We Found Here
There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river.  We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.
    —    Bishop Desmond Tutu
On This Day In:
2021 The Mirror Would Know
2020 Why #45 Is Always Crying
Watching #45 Hold A Rally
2019 I Think Reading Books Is A Good Place To Start
2018 And Pay In Full
2017 If Only
2016 Equal Justice
2015 Not Enough
2014 Are You Even Listening?
2013 Namaste
2012 Looking Up
2011 Et Tu Brute?

Moments Make A Lifetime

Happy Birthday, Bec!
Be happy for this moment.  This moment is your life.
    —     Omar Khayyam
And congratulations (again) on starting the new job and being unopposed for re-election to the College Board!
We love you always,
Mum and Dad


On This Day In:
2021 Strong Women Make Them Too
Gather Moments
2020 Another Opportunity
Stand Up, Shout Out
2019 Birthday Gifts For Our Daughter
Feeling Age
2018 Seeking To Make A Difference
2017 Happy BD, Bec!
2016 BD Quotes
2015 Princess
2014 Optional
2013 Happy Birthday, Rebecca
2012 Be Not Old
2012 National League Western Division Champions!!!
2011 What Kind Of Work Do You Do?
2010 Another Loser… And Come November
%d bloggers like this: