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Archive for March, 2012

The disease with which the human mind now labors is want of faith.
  —  Ralph Waldo Emerson
From: “Essays
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Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
   But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
   Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
   On his face.  If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
   That couldn’t be done, and he did it!
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
   At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
   And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
   Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
   That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
   There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
   The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
   Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
   That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.
  —   Written by: Edgar Albert Guest
[Sometimes I find a poem I like, but because it’s newly discovered, it doesn’t really fall under the heading of “favorites” and so doesn’t end up on my Poems page.  This is one of those.  At first it’s childish.  Read it again and you find yourself smiling.  Read it again and it seems profound.
I found this poem at one of the blogs I follow:
Lead.Learn.Live.
David Kanigan:  Inspiration, Ideas & Information
He, in turn, found it at:  www.poetryfoundation.org
Have fun looking at both!!  —  KMAB]
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So they’ve got us surrounded, the poor Bastards!
  —  Anonymous GI in Bastogne (during the Battle of the Bulge)
December 22, 1944
[As a youth, I remember reading a story about a Turkish squad (with a US advisor) trapped in a foxhole and surrounded by the enemy during the Korean War.  The Turks were fighting on the side of the United Nations forces (together with the US).  The writer commented, that while he feared for his life, the Turks were happy as hell because no matter what direction they fired, they could be assured of hitting an enemy.  I guess there is ALWAYS some silver lining to even the darkest cloud.  —  KMAB]
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I believe in God as I believe in my friends, because I feel the breath of His affection, feel His invisible and intangible hand, drawing me, leading me, grasping me; because I possess an inner consciousness of a particular providence and of a universal mind that marks out for me the course of my own destiny.
  —  Miguel De Unamuno
From:  “The Tragic Sense Of Life
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If I err in my belief that the souls of men are immortal, I err gladly, and I do not wish to lose so delightful and error.
  —  Marcus Tullius Cicero
From:  “Cato Maior de Senectute”
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Success is only the willingness to do something longer, harder, and better than anybody else.  Success is no magical thing, just a lot of damn hard work.
  —  Paul Dickson
Defensive Tackle, Minnesota Vikings
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Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust in Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning Providence,
He hides a smiling face.
  —  William Cowper
From:  “Light Shining Out Of Darkness
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O, do not pray for easy lives.  Pray to be stronger men.  Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers.  Pray for powers equal to your tasks.
  —  Phillip Brooks
From:  “Going Up To Jerusalem
[This reminds me of the lines in “The Para’s Prayer” found off my Poems page…
Once and for all
Let me be sure to have them always,
For I will not always have the courage
To ask you for them.
—  KMAB]
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Friday night, I took my daughter Sarah to see “John Carter Of Mars“.  This is the new movie from the eleven volume JCofM series written by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  The movie is based on book one: “The Princess Of Mars“.  It follows the book fairly well – as well as can be expected.  The movie is a Romance /Sci-Fi / Fantasy / action genre and it does well at all of those levels.  Is it “great” cinema?  How many action / fantasy / romance movies are?  Is it entertaining?  Definitely!!!
Do you have to read the book to “get” the movie?  No, but you’ll probably enjoy it (the movie) more if you see it first, read the book and then see it again (DVD).  I’ve read the book twice and the entire series once (just finished in anticipation of the movie).  Does it do justice to Burroughs’ JCofM concept?  Yes, I think it does.  How’s the acting and “pace/direction” of the movie?  Hello??!!??  Action movie…!!!  The Princess (Lynn Collins) is suitably gorgeous.  JC (Taylor Kitsch) is remarkably Timothy Oliphant-ian (is that a word?).  They both start out stilted, but warm to their roles.  The two “stars” of the movie are the “dog” (a calot) named Woola and the four-armed green Thark – Tars Tarkas.  They both add surprising moments of humor – the book is NOT very funny.
All in all, I found it to be a surprising entertaining / fun action movie and well worth the price of admission.  I WILL be buying it when it comes out on DVD.
Other news:
Today, Hil and I took a trip up to Sacramento to visit our daughter Rebecca and help her start to move to her new place.  She’s moving from her studio close to the Capitol Bldg, to a one-bedroom a little farther away and on the other side of the Capitol Bldg.  It’s an old, Victorian style and it’s really nice.  We both think she’s really going to enjoy her next couple of years there.
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A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits.
  —  Tony Randle
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Who rises from prayer a better man, his prayer is answered.
  —   George Meredith
From:   “The Ordeal Of Richard Feverel
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Every religion is good that teaches man to be good.
  —  Thomas Paine
From his book:  “The Rights Of Man
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Gentlemen, we’re going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because perfection is not attainable.  But we are going to relentlessly chase it because, in the process, we will catch excellence.
  —  Vince Lombardi
Head Coach of the Green Bay Packers
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There is a beast in every fighting man which begins tugging at its chains, and a good officer must learn how to keep the beast under control, both in his men and himself.
  —  George C. Marshall
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… Divine revelation has been scoffed at by the Philosophers of the present day, the immortality of the soul treated as the dreams of fools, or the invention of knaves, & death has been declared by public authority an eternal sleep; these opinions are gaining ground amongst us & silently saping the foundations of religion & encouragement of good, the terror of evildoers and the consolation of the poor, the miserable, and the distressed.  Remove the hope & dread of future reward & punishment, the most powerful restraint on wicked action, & the strongest inducement to virtuous ones is done away.
 — Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Letter to Secretary of War James McHenry in 1800
[If a person is virtuous in order to claim the reward of Heaven, are they truly virtuous?  What happened to doing good for good’s sake?  What about the Golden Rule?  And why not have the death penalty for more crimes?  Wouldn’t that lower the crime rate by increasing the dread?  I guess I just don’t understand the “how” or the “why” of these things sapping the foundations of religion.  —  KMAB]
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