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Archive for July, 2012

This is your life.
Do what you love,
And do it often.
If you don’t like something,
Change it.
If you don’t like your job,
Quit.
If you don’t have enough time,
Stop watching TV.
If you are looking for the love of your life,
Stop;
They will be waiting for you
When you start doing things you love.
Stop over-analyzing,
Life is simple.
All emotions are beautiful.
When you eat,
Appreciate
Every
Last
Bite.
Open your mind,
Arms,
And heart
To new things
And people,
We are united in our differences.
Ask the next person
You see
What their passion is,
And share your inspiring dream
With them.
TRAVEL OFTEN;
Getting lost
Will help you
Find yourself.
Some opportunities come only once;
Seize them.
Life is about the people you meet,
And the things you create with them,
So go out
And start
Creating.
Life is short.
Live your dream
And WEAR your passion.
[I keep stumbling across this statement/manifesto on websites and blogs.  The above is my “interpretation” of it.  You can find more at:  http://shop.holstee.com
I have nothing to do with the site.  I just like the manifesto…  —  KMAB]
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The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state.
   —  Adam Smith
from his book: “The Wealth of Nations“, 1775
[From each according to his ability sounds suspiciously like Communism to me.  Obviously, Adam Smith would know nothing about capitalism or taxation cause he was “only” one of the pioneers of political economics.  Just saying…  —  KMAB]
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Well, today my blog (this here disturbance) turns three years old.
My first entry was the obligatory: “Hello, World!
I didn’t particularly note the first or second anniversary.  I guess, I wanted a certain body of work to accumulate before I thought much about recognizing it as an accomplishment.
The blog started slow – about three or four entries per month.  Some days I had that many posts alone and then had nothing to say for weeks (days) at a time.  Since 17 January 2011, I’ve had a post every day.  Most of them are simply quotes which gave me pause and / or made me think and I’m simply passing them on to anybody who happens to stumble across my site.  Sometimes I comment on the quote.  More often than not, I simply throw them out there for the reader to consider without my bias.  Every couple of weeks I post something a little more substantial.  When this happens, sports, politics and my family are the normal topics.
Other UBIs (“Useless Bits of Information) about my blog:
As of today, 29 July 2012, I will have had –
988 Posts
175 Pages
206 Comments
I will have used up about 2% allowed free space (about 52 MB);
I will have had about 12,000 views (all time)  (probably 25-33% are my own views just admiring my handiwork);
About 52 of my entries have been book reviews (some entries have multiple books), but basically I’m averaging about a book every three weeks.
About 49 of my entries have been movie reviews (again many of the entries are for multiple movies and some are re-reviews of movies I’ve taken a 2nd – or 50th – look at, and just feel like adding more comments to/about.
Probably 90% of my pages are song lyrics, poems or speeches which particularly moved me at some point in my life.
There about 70 folks following my Blog via the blog (WordPress) itself,  but there’s no way to tell how many are looking at it frequently – or simply deleting the notification.  Beyond that, there’s another 83 folks following my blog via Facebook and 12 more who follow via twitter.  I have no idea what they’re seeing off of twitter feed, unless it’s merely the daily titles.
Anyway, three years and no end in sight…
I hope you’re enjoying reading my 2¢ worth enough to come back every once in a while, and, as I said at the beginning of all of this, I hope you “Live long and prosper!
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Last night, Hil, Sarah and I watched the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in London.  At the very end, there was a performance by Sir Paul McCartney singing “Hey, Jude“.
Seeing Sir Paul reminded me that a week or so ago, I caught a bit of “Forrest Gump” while I was channel surfing.  Forest was being interviewed by Dick Cavett and next to him (Forest) was John Lennon.  They went through a little spiel which was meant to “seem” as if it was the creative idea behind my favorite Lennon song: “Imagine“.
Seeing Sir Paul also reminded me of one of my favorite songs by him: “Silly Love Songs“.
I’ve been meaning to add them both to my Poems page for some time, but have never gotten around to it.  Anyway, it’s done now.  Both touch my soul in completely different ways – the latter seems frivolous and the former profound – but both are simple AND serious – about love (and singing) and about peace.
Both bring warm smiles to face and heart and a wistfulness for other times and for what might have been had they stayed together longer (or rejoined in later years).
As always, read the words and then go listen to the songs.   Enjoy!
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There are seven sins in the world:
Wealth without work;
Pleasure without conscience;
Knowledge without humility;
Commerce without morality;
Science without humanity;
Worship without sacrifice; and,
Politics without principle.
  —  Mahatma Gandhi
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Life is like a ten-speed bicycle.  Most of us have gears we never use.
  —  Charles M. Schulz
(Cartoon Artist, creator of “Peanuts“)
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I just get sick and tired, quite frankly, of all this talk.  Everything that has to do with the federal branch of government … is bad, and states are good.  I remind you that … the reason the federal government got into 90% of the business it got into is that the state[s]…  did not do the job.
  —  Vice-President Joseph “Joe” Biden (then Senator Biden of Delaware)
A member of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1981 at the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Sandra Day O’Connor
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This afternoon I went to check out the latest version of Spider-Man.  This one is called “The Amazing Spider-Man“, as opposed to the “original” 2002 version simply named “Spider-Man” or numerically Spider-Man IV.  Is this one better or worse?  Is it worth the re-boot?  Did they wait long enough for the re-boot.  The answers: better, yes and not sure, but probably.
To start off with ALL of the actors are better – Garfield is a better Peter Parker and Spidey than Maguire was, Stone is better as Gwen than Dunst was as Mary Jane, Sheen is better than Robertson as Uncle Ben, and Fields is better as Aunt May than Harris (but Harris looks the part more than Fields).  Finally, the Lizard is a MUCH better villain than the Green Goblin.  Admittedly, I am not much of a DaFoe fan – but the 2002 Spidey was one of few roles I liked him in.  (Another being Raven in “Streets of Fire“.)
In addition to the actors being better, the whole movie seemed better paced and understandable.  I particularly liked them going back to the web shooters as opposed to the 2002 version of the webs coming out of Parker’s wrist.  It was another detail which made the movie more like the comics.  Were there things wrong?  Sure, but there are always things to nit-pick when you move from a comic to a movie.  Most of these issues come from trying to move the story along in the time allotted to keep new viewer interest up.
Is the character worth the re-boot and was 10 years long enough to wait for the re-boot.  Yes, the re-boot was required.   Maguire and Durst are getting too old for the target market (teens to mid-30’s), unless they want Parker to have a job and the characters be married and settled.  In a word – BORING!!  So, we’re back to high-school and teenage angst.  Which is okay, ’cause even if I don’t feel it at my age, I can appreciate it if it’s acted well – and it is.  Is 10 years between the re-boot long enough?  I had my doubts, but now, I think it is.  I don’t think the box office take is a valid measure as much as it might seem, but in this case the box was very strong.  I think Spidey just fits in with the run Marvel is on now.  He is a strong character on both sides of the mask and he can carry the weight of a franchise.  I will admit, I don’t look forward to Spidey being slotted into the Fantastic Four or the Avengers, but it kind of seems inevitable (particularly the Avengers).
So, a “highly recommended” for the new version of “The Amazing Spider-Man”!!!  And you definitely want to see it on a big screen.  Even close to a large home screen will not do this movie justice.  I can hardly wait for the DVD, so I can watch both versions and compare / contrast them in proximity.
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Last weekend I finished reading “Perfect Figures“, by Bunny Crumpacker (2007©).   This is a history story of how civilization developed numbers and thereby learned to count.  Obviously, there is a lot of supposition in here, because no one was really around writing the history of the “discovery” of “1” and “2” (and so on).  In any case, the book is a fairly good read and seems to make a lot of sense.
Essentially, our current numbers seem to have mostly evolved from other cultures and words used to express numerical concepts (values) and then over time were mispronounced until we arrived at today’s word (pronunciations) for the values.  What I found most interesting was the concept of “many”, as in, “1”, “2”, “3”, many…   Many seems to be the universal expression for more than we care to count at the present time.
Another interesting point was the documenting of a perception I’ve had for a number of years, but never really knew how to explain, that is, my inability to count past four to six items.  One number is more or less easy to count and remember.  So are two or three numbers.  But, when I get upwards of four numbers, I start to want to write them down or find some other way of assisting my memory.  According to the author, this is universal in our species and hence the cross line in to five by lines and the switch to “IV” for “4” in Roman numbers.  Four line (“IIII”) somehow starts to fool the human eye and five lines is “forget about it” (“IIIII”).  The interesting thing (for me) was that I had personalized this and thought it was only me.  I’d never heard anyone else complain about not being able to count by ones, so I assumed I was the only one with this problem.
Perfect Figures” is full of historical anecdotes and cultural references which made the book even more enjoyable for me as I enjoy glimpses into understanding other times, nations, cultures and languages.  I would like to give this book an unqualified “highly recommended” review, but for some reason I’m hesitant.  Although the book is fairly short (about 260 pages), it took a long time to read (almost a month).  I enjoyed reading most of it, but I never felt compelled to get back to it like I do most books I end up being totally “into”.  Normally, I’d have expected to pour through this book in a day or two.  But I didn’t.  The closest I can describe it to is like an old friend who you only want to visit with a half hour at a time.  You “feel” like you should spend the whole day with them, but in the end, you spend a half-hour and say, “No, I’m good.  See you in a couple of days…”
Be that as it may, I did enjoy the book and do highly recommend it to anyone interested in a lateral view of numbers and counting and an understanding how mankind “may” have learned to count.
Other Notes:
Just finishing my third day of vacation.  I’m planning to catch the new “Spiderman” movie and just relax.  I’ve spent the last four days working on my “Honey-Do” list.  I’ve finished the floor trim in the bedroom we just installed laminated bamboo in.  I’ve also helped a workman I hired for a couple of days take care of some other jobs: we removed a falling down metal shed from the backyard and hung a swinging gate on the side of the house (which used to be a solid fence.  He also did some ground levelling and removed an old wall heater from our hallway.  All in all, a VERY productive few days off!
Last but not least, my Giants have now won four straight series since the All-Star break and have the “hated” Los Angeles Dodgers coming up this weekend.  Go Orange and Black!!
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I imagine it great vanity in me to suppose that the Supremely Perfect does in the least regard such an inconsiderable nothing as man.  More especially, since it is impossible for me to have any positive clear idea of that which is infinite and incomprehensible.  I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that he is even INFINITELY ABOVE IT.
  —  Benjamin Franklin
[I do not believe God expects or requires worship or praise from us, and yet I still give it freely.  God is infinitely above it, but I am not burdened by it nor beneath God in offering it.  My faith is in a loving God, and it suffices me.  —  KMAB]
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A gastronome of the old school who preserves the simple tastes and adheres to the natural diet of the pre-pork period.
  —  Ambrose Bierce
from his book: “The Devil’s Dictionary
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An apparatus with which we think that we think.  That which distinguishes the man who is content to be something from the man who wishes to do something.  A man of great wealth, or one who has been pitchforked into high station, has commonly such a headful of brain that his neighbors cannot keep their hats on.  In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, brain is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.
  —  Ambrose Bierce
from his book: “The Devil’s Dictionary
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A science is said to be useful if its development tends to accentuate the existing inequalities in the distribution of wealth, or more directly promotes the destruction of human life.
  —  G. H. Hardy
from his book: “A Mathematician’s Apology
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Normally, my Poems page is reserved for speeches and lyrics which profoundly touch me at an emotional level.  But, not always…
Sometimes, I like to include songs that I just enjoy.  They’re NOT powerful, or “meaningful”.  They’re just songs you hear driving in the car and they take you back to other times and places.  Some song lyrics have terrific imagery and some are just catchy – what I like to call “Ear Candy”.  These two songs are a bit of both.
The first song is “Blinded By The Light“, which was written and performed by Bruce Springsteen, but made famous by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.  It’s famously remembered for the mis-hearing of the line “revved up like a deuce” as “wrapped up like a douche”.  The song is actually talking about a deuce-coup hot-rod, NOT a feminine hygiene product.  Another incredible thing about this song is it’s Bruce’s ONLY top 40 hit.  I couldn’t believe this, myself, but I heard Bruce say it in one of his TV concerts.  Amazing!!
The second song is: “Take A Letter Maria“, which is about a man who comes home late and finds his wife with another man.  It’s one of those songs you hear and repeat for hours in your head because it has such a great “hook” line.  It was written and performed by R. B. Greaves.
I hope you’ll take the time to read the lyrics for both/each before rushing off to listen to these two songs (otherwise, you may miss some of the imagery) – but really, you DO have to listen to these to appreciate them.  Enjoy!
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A man who sets out to justify his existence and his activities has to distinguish two different questions.  The first is whether the work which he does is worth doing; and the second is why he does it, whatever its value may be.
 —  G. H. Hardy
from his book: “A Mathematician’s Apology
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