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The major religions on the Earth contradict each other left and right.  You can’t all be correct.  And what if all of you are wrong?  It’s a possibility, you know.  You must care about the truth, right?  Well, the way to winnow through all the differing contentions is to be skeptical.  I’m not any more skeptical about your religious beliefs than I am about every new scientific idea I hear about.  But in my line of work, they’re called hypotheses, not inspiration and not revelation.
  —   Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2019 We’re Eating Faster And Enjoying It Less
2018 Great Views
Day 8: One At A Time
2017 Trump Supporters Will Always Find An Excuse
2016 More Posts
2015 A Last Request
2014 It Matters
2013 And You Are?
2012 Not Too Late
2011 Persistence
2009 Health Care?

Kyrie

Favorite Lines:
The wind blows hard against this mountain side
Across the sea into my soul
It reaches into where I cannot hide
Setting my feet upon the road
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On This Day In:
2019 We’re Eating Faster And Enjoying It Less
2018 Great Views
Day 8: One At A Time
2017 Trump Supporters Will Always Find An Excuse
2016 More Posts
2015 A Last Request
2014 It Matters
2013 And You Are?
2012 Not Too Late
2011 Persistence
2009 Health Care?
As a scientist, the thing you must always do is to be humble enough to know that when you get additional information, even information that might conflict what was felt earlier on, you then change your viewpoint and you change your recommendations based on the data.  That’s what science is all about.  Science is a learning process.
  —    Dr. Anthony Fauci
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
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On This Day In:
2019 Another Thought On #45’s Poor Education
2018 As Long As You Survive Each Experience
WordPress to Facebook Test…
Day 7: Oh, Yeah!
2017 A Good Habit
2016 The Minds Of Trumpism
2015 Expressing Nonsense
2014 A Real Fight
2013 Unravelling
2012 I Resolve
2011 Practice, Practice, Practice
2009 Phoenix Trip (July ’09)

They Are All Good

For The Good Times

Favorite Lines:
Hear the whisper
Of the rain drops
Blowing soft
Against the window
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On This Day In:
2019 Another Thought On #45’s Poor Education
2018 As Long As You Survive Each Experience
WordPress to Facebook Test…
Day 7: Oh, Yeah!
2017 A Good Habit
2016 The Minds Of Trumpism
2015 Expressing Nonsense
2014 A Real Fight
2013 Unravelling
2012 I Resolve
2011 Practice, Practice, Practice
2009 Phoenix Trip (July ’09)

Down At The Pub

Take Me Home

[Comment: Percussion, percussion, percussion!!!  —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Just One
2018 And Not Be Just Vain, Greedy And Dumb
Day 6: Tickin’ Badly
2017 The Soul Of Victory
2016 Getting Furrowed?
2015 Pretty Good So Far
2014 Still Learning?
There Ain’t No Thing Like Me, ‘Cept Me!
2013 Little Lives
2012 Evolution
2011 Excellence At Performance = 10,000 Hours
2009 A Brief Poem…
Crater Lake Trip with James
Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being.  With freedom comes responsibility.  For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.
   —   Eleanor Roosevelt
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On This Day In:
2019 Just One
2018 And Not Be Just Vain, Greedy And Dumb
Day 6: Tickin’ Badly
2017 The Soul Of Victory
2016 Getting Furrowed?
2015 Pretty Good So Far
2014 Still Learning?
There Ain’t No Thing Like Me, ‘Cept Me!
2013 Little Lives
2012 Evolution
2011 Excellence At Performance = 10,000 Hours
2009 A Brief Poem…
Crater Lake Trip with James
The following is an opinion piece / editorial appearing on “The Washington Post” web site (https://www.washingtonpost.com/).
It was written by: Lt. Col. (Ret.) Alexander Vindman and is titled: “Coming forward ended my career. I still believe doing what’s right matters.
The specific link to the editorial is:   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/01/alexander-vindman-retiring-oped/
No ownership by me or this site is claimed, implied or intended.
After 21 years, six months and 10 days of active military service, I am now a civilian.  I made the difficult decision to retire because a campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation by President Trump and his allies forever limited the progression of my military career.
This experience has been painful, but I am not alone in this ignominious fate.  The circumstances of my departure might have been more public, yet they are little different from those of dozens of other lifelong public servants who have left this administration with their integrity intact but their careers irreparably harmed.
A year ago, having served the nation in uniform in positions of critical importance, I was on the cusp of a career-topping promotion to colonel.  A year ago, unknown to me, my concerns over the president’s conduct and the president’s efforts to undermine the very foundations of our democracy were precipitating tremors that would ultimately shake loose the facade of good governance and publicly expose the corruption of the Trump administration.
At no point in my career or life have I felt our nation’s values under greater threat and in more peril than at this moment.  Our national government during the past few years has been more reminiscent of the authoritarian regime my family fled more than 40 years ago than the country I have devoted my life to serving.
Our citizens are being subjected to the same kinds of attacks tyrants launch against their critics and political opponents.  Those who choose loyalty to American values and allegiance to the Constitution over devotion to a mendacious president and his enablers are punished.  The president recklessly downplayed the threat of the pandemic even as it swept through our country.  The economic collapse that followed highlighted the growing income disparities in our society.  Millions are grieving the loss of loved ones and many more have lost their livelihoods while the president publicly bemoans his approval ratings.
There is another way.
During my testimony in the House impeachment inquiry, I reassured my father, who experienced Soviet authoritarianism firsthand, saying, “Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.”  Despite Trump’s retaliation, I stand by that conviction.  Even as I experience the low of ending my military career, I have also experienced the loving support of tens of thousands of Americans.  Theirs is a chorus of hope that drowns out the spurious attacks of a disreputable man and his sycophants.
Since the struggle for our nation’s independence, America has been a union of purpose: a union born from the belief that although each individual is the pilot of their own destiny, when we come together, we change the world.  We are stronger as a woven rope than as unbound threads.
America has thrived because citizens have been willing to contribute their voices and shed their blood to challenge injustice and protect the nation.  It is in keeping with that history of service that, at this moment, I feel the burden to advocate for my values and an enormous urgency to act.
Despite some personal turmoil, I remain hopeful for the future for both my family and for our nation.  Impeachment exposed Trump’s corruption, but the confluence of a pandemic, a financial crisis and the stoking of societal divisions has roused the soul of the American people.  A groundswell is building that will issue a mandate to reject hate and bigotry and a return to the ideals that set the United States apart from the rest of the world.  I look forward to contributing to that effort.
In retirement from the Army, I will continue to defend my nation.  I will demand accountability of our leadership and call for leaders of moral courage and public servants of integrity.  I will speak about the attacks on our national security.  I will advocate for policies and strategies that will keep our nation safe and strong against internal and external threats.  I will promote public service and exalt the contribution that service brings to all areas of society.
The 23-year-old me who was commissioned in December 1998 could never have imagined the opportunities and experiences I have had.  I joined the military to serve the country that sheltered my family’s escape from authoritarianism, and yet the privilege has been all mine.
When I was asked why I had the confidence to tell my father not to worry about my testimony, my response was, “Congressman, because this is America.  This is the country I have served and defended, that all my brothers have served, and here, right matters.”
To this day, despite everything that has happened, I continue to believe in the American Dream.  I believe that in America, right matters.  I want to help ensure that right matters for all Americans.
  —    Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman (Ret.)
Lt. Col. Vindman was a career U.S. Army officer who served on the National Security Council as the director for Eastern European, Caucasus and Russian affairs, as the Russia political-military affairs officer for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and as a military attaché in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
The above opinion piece / editorial is titled: “Coming forward ended my career.  I still believe doing what’s right matters.
It appears at “The Washington Post” web site (https://www.washingtonpost.com/).
The specific link to the editorial is:   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/01/alexander-vindman-retiring-oped/
This reprint appears without the knowledge or consent of the Washington Post for purely public information purposes.  No ownership by me or this site is claimed, implied or intended.
If you are financially able to subscribe or support the Washington Post or any local or national news media, please do so.  A free press is one of the few things left protecting our democracy and freedoms.
[I personally consider Lt. Col. Vindman to be a genuine American hero and I am grateful to “The Washington Post” for sharing this important viewpoint with Americans and with the world.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Never Used Up
2018 The Stumbling Block, Too
Day 5: Breezin’
2017 Duty
2016 Still Gaining
2015 Filling Gaps
2014 Even In Our Sleep
2013 Passion Is Always Personal
2012 And You Are?
2011 Innate Talent
The paradoxical conclusion is that it would be very unlikely for unlikely events not to occur.
  ―    John Allen Paulos
From his book:  “Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences
[How did an incompetent con-artist become President of the United States?  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Never Used Up
2018 The Stumbling Block, Too
Day 5: Breezin’
2017 Duty
2016 Still Gaining
2015 Filling Gaps
2014 Even In Our Sleep
2013 Passion Is Always Personal
2012 And You Are?
2011 Innate Talent

Just Once

Just Once In My Life

[Please note:  There are a LOT of much better vocal versions of this on YouTube, but this is one of the better performances, which is why it was selected for the post.  I have selected a vocal for the “Songs, Lyrics and Videos” page of my site.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Never Used Up
2018 The Stumbling Block, Too
Day 5: Breezin’
2017 Duty
2016 Still Gaining
2015 Filling Gaps
2014 Even In Our Sleep
2013 Passion Is Always Personal
2012 And You Are?
2011 Innate Talent
The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it’s very difficult to build and very easy to destroy.  The essence of trust building is to emphasize the similarities between you and the customer.
  —   Thomas J. Watson
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On This Day In:
2019 What Is True For War Is Also True For Elections
2018 Start By Trying
Day 4: Difficult Day
2017 Outlasting Division
2016 Said The Man Who Trained To Fight For A Living
2015 Tripping On Treasure
2014 The Flower Of Light
2013 Eye Catching
2012 The Holstee Manifesto
2011 Three Crooners For The Shower
The Soldier’s Faith
Vacation, Books And Lots Of Movies

A Free Show

Up On The Roof

(Up on the roof…)
(Up on the roof…)
When this old world starts getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
(Up on the roof…)
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space
(Up on the roof…)
On the roof it’s peaceful as can be
And there the world below can’t bother me
Let me tell you now
When I come home feeling tired and beat
I go up where the air is fresh and sweet
(Up on the roof…)
I get away from the hustling crowds
And all that rat race noise down in the street
(Up on the roof…)
On the roof’s the only place I know
Where you just have to wish to make it so
Let’s go
Up on the roof
(Up on the roof…)
At night the stars put on a show for free
And darling you can share it all with me
I keep-a tellin’ you
Right smack dab in the middle of town
I found a Paradise that’s trouble-proof
(Up on the roof…)
And if this world starts getting you down
There’s room enough for two up on the roof
Up on the roof
(Up on the roof…)
Up on the roof
(Up on the roof…)
Oh, come on baby
(Up on the roof…)
Oh, come on honey
(Up on the roof…)
Performed by:  The Drifters
Songwriter(s):  Carole King and Gerry Goffin
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On This Day In:
2019 What Is True For War Is Also True For Elections
2018 Start By Trying
Day 4: Difficult Day
2017 Outlasting Division
2016 Said The Man Who Trained To Fight For A Living
2015 Tripping On Treasure
2014 The Flower Of Light
2013 Eye Catching
2012 The Holstee Manifesto
2011 Three Crooners For The Shower
The Soldier’s Faith
Vacation, Books And Lots Of Movies
The whole idea of what happens when you read a book, I find absolutely stunning.  Here’s some product of a tree, little black squiggles on it, you open it up, an inside your head is the voice of someone speaking, who may have been dead 3000 years, and there he is talking directly to you, what a magical thing that is.
  —   Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2019 And I’m Not Letting Go
2018 The Continuing Failure Of Speaker Paul Ryan
Day 3: Approaching The Half Way Point
2017 Orange Comb-Overs Unite!
2016 Speaking Of Which
2015 Complexity Has A Strict Architecture
2014 Just Support
2013 Wandering Free
2012 Contribute = Paying Taxes
2011 How Will You Be Judged?

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

Favorite lines:
You need educatin’
You gotta got to school
Performed by:  Bachman Turner Overdrive (aka: BTO)
Songwriter:  Randy Bachman
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On This Day In:
2019 And I’m Not Letting Go
2018 The Continuing Failure Of Speaker Paul Ryan
Day 3: Approaching The Half Way Point
2017 Orange Comb-Overs Unite!
2016 Speaking Of Which
2015 Complexity Has A Strict Architecture
2014 Just Support
2013 Wandering Free
2012 Contribute = Paying Taxes
2011 How Will You Be Judged?
This post marks the first day of my 12th year of blogging here on WordPress.  This year, I won’t bother posting an image of the world map showing the “missing” countries (countries without a single visit to my site).  Needless to say, North Korea and Cuba are still among them…
On reviewing my content over the past year, I note a significant number have been diatribes against our corrupt President.  I apologize to any readers whom I’ve bored with this content and my snipes.  My only “justification” is I can’t help myself.  If he is re-elected in November, I imagine my posts will continue to regularly poke fun at him until he sends the “brown shirts” to cart me off.  Even if Biden is elected, I’m sure there will be plenty of politics and world events to continue to poke fun at.
I would say my blog has continued to be an increasing part of my “normal” retired life.  I currently receive about 15 to 60 emails (per day) from the roughly 300 blogs I follow.  My best guess is that two(2) are “known” deceased, which means it’s “probably” actually about ten(10).  By “known” I mean someone has gone onto their site and posted a death post for the original user.  By “probably”, I mean the author has passed and no one’s logged a final post for them.  Another five have said they are moving on to other pursuits (social platforms) and about another ten or so post randomly (a couple of times a year).  That leaves between 200 and 250 who just don’t update their sites and I have no idea what’s happened to them.  Monday is the day I regularly get 45 to 60 emails and most days (the other six days of the week), I usually get the 15 or so.  Some of that is because I relegated their site to a weekly update, but that’s as true now as it ever used to be.  The one’s I set to weekly were the one’s I used to get five to ten posts from each day.  These are VERY rare now.  I imagine most (all?) of those are just “zombie” (unused and undeleted) sites now.
I am still posting thoughts, quotes, movie reviews, book reviews, and favorite music videos.  I easily spend an hour per day reviewing the posts I get (via email subscription) and sometimes that is simply overwhelming.  It’s not always the average blogger’s fault.  If you post something interesting, I will go off and investigate it further: authors, artists, locations, books, movies, science / math / history topics – they will all lead me off down the rabbit hole.  And that hole can be DEEP!  Frequently, I’ll only get through half of the posts and after a week, I’m forced to delete many of the remainders or my email gets crammed with messages I’ll never have time to read.  I apologize to you if you are one of those authors.  I do try to hit as many of you as my better half will allow in any given session.
So, besides this blog, what am I up to?  Well, I’ve been on a “One-Meal-A-Day” lifestyle for almost eight(8) weeks now.  I would say it’s almost a habit.  I was on an Modified Intermittent Time Fasting (MITF) protocol before that, but I’m finding this (OMAD) easier, so I will probably stick with it.  My OMAD protocol is all I can eat for two hours – usually between 2pm and 4pm.  About once every week I have to adjust the two hour period (12 to 2 or 1 to 3pm) and about once a month life gets in the way and I just accept I’ll have more than one meal that day.
I’ve also been slowly adding to a daily workout since 24 April – just over three months now.  I started out with 100 pushups per day, and I’ve since added head-lifts, pull-downs, squats and side-bends.  I’ve been trying to “add” one new exercise every two weeks.  My most recent addition has been skipping rope.  I’m just learning that, but I can do five(5) consecutive jumps pretty consistently now.  I realize that doesn’t sound like much, but you must recall I am morbidly obese and am in excess of 345lbs.  That’s almost 25 stones to any British readers.  Anyway, I’ve had to start SLOW so as not to destroy my knees as I learn to skip.
As to the 100 pushups a day: I’ve missed five(5) days since I started in April.  By way of progress check: I could not do a single “true” (from the ground) push-up when I began.  I can now do 15 consecutive flats.  I normally do inclined push-ups (5 sets of 20).  I just throw the “flats” in every now and then to check  my progress.  My best guess is a flat push-up for someone my body weight is about 200lbs and an inclined push-up is about 150lbs (both are not bad for a 65+ year old).  I am dreaming of doing my first pull-up, but I imagine I will need to lose at least 75lbs before I can do that.  Only time will tell…  (Like I said: “dreaming“.)
Between the working out and the OMAD, I’m down about 16lbs from when I started in April.  That’s right around my target goal of 1lb per week.  Which is also misleading, because fat is lighter than muscle and my body is changing shape faster than I’m losing weight.  The main thing is I’m feeling better.  My blood pressure is down.  My water retention is decreased.  I feel stronger and am definitely more flexible.  So, for what it’s worth, slow and steady seems to be more effective (for health), than the rapid weight loss and re-gain of my veggie juice fasts.  At least, that’s how it is seeming at the moment.
Other than those (diet and workouts), my personal goals this next year are to learn some assembly language programming and to have a play with chat-bots.
That should keep me occupied (and mostly out of trouble).  LoL!!
Oh, yeah.  “Excelsior!!
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On This Day In:
2019 Happy 10th Anniversary — Thoughts On My First Decade Of Blogging
2018 Happy 9th Anniversary — Three Thoughts
Day 2 – Notes On Progress
2017 Happy 8th Anniversary
2016 Happy 7th Anniversary
2015 Happy 6th Anniversary
2014 Happy 5th Anniversary
2013 I Resemble That Remark!
2012 Happy 3rd Anniversary
2011 Is America Safe Tonight?
2009 Hello world! (See how it all began…)
One lesson is to have diverse voices at the table, to make sure democracy is retained.  But there are also things that we can’t put price tags on.  Some things are part of our public welfare, and we should not look at a balance book to do them.
   —   Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha
(Discussing the poisoning of the Flint, Michigan public water supply.)
As quoted by:  Belinda Luscombe
In her interview titled: “8 Questions
Appearing in: Time Magazine, dtd: 9 July 2019
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On This Day In:
2019 And Yet, I Believe
2018 Beats
First Step: Starting Cleansing (Again)
2017 Effective Stimuli
2016 Dave’s Not Here, Man
2015 Blink
2014 The Struggle To Educate America Continues…
2013 On Elections
2012 Warm Smiles
Pick Your Poison
2011 Straight Shooters
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