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Archive for September, 2011

We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them.
— William Arthur Ward
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When I think about my own death, I don’t console myself with the idea that my descendants and my books and all that will live on.  Anybody with any sense knows that the whole solar system will go up like a celluloid collar by-and-by.  I honestly believe, though, that we are wrong to think that moments go away, never to be seen again.  This moment and every moment lasts forever.
— Kurt Vonnegut, Jr
from his book: “Wampeters, Foma And Granfalloons
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Writers are specialized cells in the social organism.  They are evolutionary cells.  Mankind is trying to become something else; it’s experimenting with new ideas all the time.  And writers are a means of introducing new ideas into the society, and also a means of responding symbolically to life.  I don’t think we’re in control of what we do.
  —  Kurt Vonnegut, Jr
From his book: “Wampeters, Foma And Granfalloons
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Although my mother didn’t know anything about science, she had a great influence on me as well.  In particular, she had a wonderful sense of humor, and I learned from her that the highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion.
  —  Richard P. Feynman
From his book: “What Do You Care What Other People Think?
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We are for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we have accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem.
  —  Ronald Reagan
October 27, 1964
[I guess these days, Republicans (Perry, Paul and others) running for President in 2012 feel they can kill Social Security because  poverty is not the same thing as destitution and retirement is not the same as unemployment by reason of old age…  —  KMAB]
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Yesterday, Hil and I took Mom up to visit with Rebecca in Sacramento.  Friday was Bec’s birthday and we wanted to spend some time with her.  We brought along a little cupcake for each of us and some candles for her to blow out.  After lunch we went out looking for a couch/love seat for Bec’s place.  We didn’t find anything she liked so we ended up sitting around her place and just chatting for a while before heading home.
Book Review:
Today I completed: “Words That Changed The World” by C. Edwin Vilade (2010©).   The book is a compilation of 25 of the greatest speeches of the last century and this past decade.  Many of them I’ve read before, but some I have not.   The power of the written (or spoken) word is incredible in its ability to stir one’s emotions and move one to act.  Over the coming weeks and months I will be writing about some of these speeches and including them (those not already present) on my Poems page.  Those already on the page will be revisited in my future posts and I’ll include the links to the original post.
If you also love the grandeur (both simple words and majestic imagery) of the English language, you will thoroughly enjoy this book.  Highly recommended.
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Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige.  It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and character.
 —  William Arthur Ward
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I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life’s greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve.  This level of resolve can move mountains, but it must be constant and consistent.
  —  Tony Robbins
(a famous motivational speaker)
[And you?  Have you tested your level of commitment lately?  —  KMAB]
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Growing up, I knew many people whose lives taught me all I needed to know about winning and leadership.  I spent my early years around people who did not have material wealth or big names but who taught me everything I needed to know about winning.  I learned that it did not matter what kind of job you had but what kind of work you did.
 —  Bill Russell
from his book: “Russell Rules
[Do your best to do your best and you’ll always be able to smile at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day.  —  KMAB]
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I’ve been caught, so to speak — like someone who was given something wonderful when he was a child, and he’s always looking for it again.  I’m always looking, like a child, for the wonders I know I’m going to find — maybe not every time, but every once in a while.
  —  Richard P. Feynman
from his book: “What Do You Care What Other People Think?
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Got Days?

Don’t be fooled by the calendar.  There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.
 —  Charles Richards
[I spend my own too freely in procrastination (and blogging).  —  KMAB]
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Before

Before you speak, listen.
Before you write, think.
Before you spend, earn.
Before you invest, investigate.
Before you criticize, wait.
Before you pray, forgive.
Before you quit, try.
Before you retire, save.
Before you die, give.
 —  William Arthur Ward
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Be happy for any person doing well.
 —  Richard Pryor
[…Or your envy will eat you alive.  —  KMAB]
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The second thing, I believe, is that we tend to make assumptions about people who aren’t in our crowd that aren’t accurate.  For example, most poor people are not on welfare;  they work.  I think that most poor people would agree that the best social program is a job, and that work is a lot better than welfare.  Many, many poor people are the most anticrime people you can imagine, because they’re the people most likely to be victimized by it.
  —  Former President Bill Clinton
quoted in “Who’s Afraid Of A Large Black Man?” by Charles Barkley
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Book Review –
Today I completed volume thirteen in the Dresden Files series: “Ghost Story“, by Jim Butcher (2011©).  Harry Dresden is a wizard who lives in Chicago.  Harry “died” at the end of the last book (vol 12) and this is his story as a “newbie” ghost.  As with all books of this genre, you have to suspend disbelief, but once that’s out of the way, each book in the series is a very fast and enjoyable read.  I would say this is the first book where I felt you really had to have read the last couple of books in the series to get the most out of the story though.  The background storylines aren’t as well developed as I would hope for if I were coming to the story as a new (potential) fan.  Being a ghost never sound like so much fun, or, so challenging…
James (my son) turned me on to the series and we quite enjoy reading the books and discussing them – particularly the mythology of the “other-worldly” characters.  So, highly recommended (both book and series) – particularly if you’re into X-files, Supernatural and other Sci-Fi / spooky TV shows.
Family:
Rebecca is spending the weekend with us.  Her boss is having his annual BBQ competition to raise money for his various campaigns for education support.  Hil and I took Bec out to lunch at a new Mexican restaurant in the Park & Shop mall in Concord (off of Willow Pass).  Highly recommended!!  The food is delicious and the service was timely and friendly.  The only draw back is it is a little pricey ($52 for three).  They also do a all-you-can-eat buffet for $13.50, from 10 to 3:30.  Given the variety of foods, it looked even snackier than the meal.  Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten the name and it seems as if it’s too new to be on the web.  I’ll have to do a follow-up the next time we go – and we will be going back.
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