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Archive for April, 2013

Is is always the best policy to speak the truth, unless of course you are an exceptionally good liar.
  —   Jerome K. Jerome
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I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are.  They deserve respect.  If you get the right ones in the right order, you might nudge the world a little or make a poem that children will speak for you when you are dead.
  —   Tom Stoppard
From: “The Real Thing”
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Beloved, let us love one another for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
  —  1 John Ch4: V7
Who is the King of glory?
  —  Psalm 24:10
As for me, I shall call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.
  —  Psalm 55:16
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Nurture your minds with great thoughts.  To believe in the heroic makes heroes.
  —  Benjamin Disraeli
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Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe.  I dispute that.  I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.
  —  Frank Zappa
There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.
  —  Frank Zappa
[Not scientifically verifiable, but as a point of faith, Frank may be correct…  —  KMAB]
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Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.
  —  Marilyn Monroe
[This quote was originally found on one of the blogs I follow, maintained by Deodatta Shenai-Khatkhate:  Deo Volente at: (http://dshenai.wordpress.com/)
The actual post is:  http://dshenai.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/interesting-quotes-by-marilyn-monroe/
I never realized she had so many great quotes, so you’ll be seeing a number more (from Deo’s page) here over the coming days/weeks.  (Thanks, Deo!)  —  KMAB]
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Over the weekend, I spent a couple of days with my brother and his son.  We caught a new movie: “Oblivion” and watched a classic: “The Long Ships“.  I had a couple of days off, and I meant to spend them getting caught up on my blogging, but sometimes life gets in the way of our “plans”.  Anyway, I’m also posting a bunch of lyrics to songs (seven in all) which I’ve been holding in a queue, waiting for me to find time.  This is a fairly lengthy post, so I hope you’ll hang in there to the end…
Oblivion  —  movie review
I am a big fan of Science Fiction in general and Sci-Fi movies in particular.  I’m not a big fan of Tom Cruise (the star of this movie), but I’m not anti-TC either.  I get why some folks think TC is a complete flake due to his faith (Scientology), but I don’t really care about those issues of his personal life as long as he continues to act in entertaining movies.  Oblivion was an entertaining movie for me.  First off, does it work as an action movie, yes.  Next, does the SciFi make sense (in the movie – not is it “scientific”), yes.  Is there a reasonable story line with a twist (a la “The Twilight Zone”) at the end, yes.  Are the special effects good, YES.
Okay, so now the down side: Can TC act?  So-so.  No.  Well, not any better than usual.  Do the other actors make up for TC.  No.  Did I expect them to? No.  Why not?  Because he’s the lead, so I expected TC to carry the bulk of the acting.  Does Morgan Freeman save the film.  No.  Is TC’s relationship(s) in the movie believable?  No.  Does the movie make sense scientifically? Nope.  Are there big “what the heck’s” in the movie?  Yeah.  Do they matter? Nope.  Is the movie a homage or a rip-off of a bunch of other Sci-Fi movies?  I can see both sides and don’t care about either side.  If a movie works for me on its own, I don’t care how many other movies it rips-off or what genre it pays homage to.  Bottom line: if you’re a TC fan – must see.  If you’re a Sci-Fi movie fan – go see.  If you’re an action/adventure movie fan – go see.  If you fall asleep or go to the toilet a lot during movies – wait for the DVD.  Oblivion isn’t as convoluted as Inception, but you do have to sit there and pay attention.  Final recommendation: Strong recommendation.
The Long Ships  —  movie review
This is a true classic!  The story of Vikings and Moors seeking a golden treasure (but for very different reasons).  This is an action/adventure movie – swashbuckling and epic with a bit of pre-Monty Python thrown in for good measure.  The lead is Richard Widmark and the “bad” guy is Sydney Poitier.  Widmark is a barbarian Viking and Poitier is a Muslim/Moorish king.  An interesting side note is that there is an inter-racial marriage in a movie dating back to 1964.  While I remembered this in the movie (as I was watching it), it didn’t “strike” me until after I’d finished watching it and looked up the date of the movie.  The other interesting thing for me, was seeing a African-American in a role of a King – more precisely, a non-African King.  If this wasn’t the first such occurrence, I can’t think of what was…  How would I rate this movie?  Let your 8 year old son watch it with a group of his friends and then watch them go berserker with broomsticks and garbage can lids.  (Do they still make garbage cans with lids in this day and age?)  Anyway, the 8 year old in me rates this movie: HIGHLY Recommended!
A Lifetime of Song Lyrics
Sometimes songs from the past  just pop into my head.  Sometimes I hear a song and look it up and it leads to another (and another).  The following are a number of songs which I’ve either loved for years or recently heard and loved instantly.  In my head, they span a lifetime of feelings and relationships.
The first is one from my childhood: I’m A Believer as I remember it being sung by the Monkees.  This is a song of young/teenage hope and despair.  Why can’t I find the one person who will love me / Oh, there she is now!  You know a song is a classic when it becomes a hit again 20 to 30 years after the original release (see Eddie Murphy as Donkey in “Shrek“).
As we get a bit older, loves (and lovers) come and go…  Love The One You’re With is the anthem to those “with company” on a “lonely” night.  Love The One You’re With is a classic from Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
The next song is a “goofy” song which I remember from my 20’s.  It’s not deep or philosophical, it just makes me smile – even 30 years later:  Panama Red.  Panama Red is not a “classic” in the traditional sense of the word, but ask anyone who heard it a few times “back in the day” and they’ll tell you it definitely is.  The song was done by a quasi-country group called “The New Riders of the Purple Sage”.  In fact, NRPS was actually kind of a spin-off of the Grateful Dead (a quasi-psychedelic rock band).
Eventually, (if you’re lucky) you find the “right” person.  Time starts to pass and you realize that some people just make you a better person:  God Gave Me You.  This song has been covered by Blake Shelton and that’s the version my lyrics come from.
I was raised a Roman Catholic.  I’ve spent many years as both an atheist and as an agnostic.  Some time ago, I came back to my faith in a personal and loving God.  My personal faith doesn’t always correspond to what I see happening in the world and with the Catholic Church, but Catholicism is the faith I was raised in, it remains the faith I’m most comfortable with, and it’s the faith I try to practice.  This next song is a “faith” song.  It could easily be a RC or Protestant song, or a Muslim or Jewish song for that matter.  The song is:  You Raise Me Up

The verse I particularly like is:

There is no life –
No life
Without its hunger;
Each restless heart
Beats so imperfectly;
But when you come
And I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes,
I think
I glimpse eternity.

Maybe it’s because I suffer from AFib; maybe it’s because I’ve held each of my children, as newborn’s, in my hands and seen perfection.  The version I drew the lyrics from is by Secret Garden.
Almost inevitably, a “bread-winner” feels the burden of responsibility providing for their family.  The weight is heavy, but willingly accepted.  At some point, though, we must recognize the one precious thing we can truly give our family is our time.  Hence, the next song: Don’t Miss Your Life.  This song is performed by Phil Vassar.  It really strikes me close to home – too close.  I only hope I have enough time left to make up for all the time I’ve spent “providing for”.
At the end of the day, we see our children grow up.  They set out on their own lives and all you can feel is the outpouring of pride and love which has continuously welled up over the years.  The next song: Butterfly Kisses, isn’t so much a good-bye as it is a celebration of the continuity of life.  Giving life, sharing love and hoping for the future.
I know this has been a lengthy post and I’m grateful to any who’ve hung in there all the way through.  I hope you’ll visit my Poems page to view these lyrics, go listen to the performances, and then go spend some time with your friends and family.  Peace…
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There is only one important point you must keep in your mind and let it be your guide.  No matter what people call you, you are just who you are.  Keep to this truth.  You must ask yourself how is it you want to live your life.  We live and we die, this is the truth that we can only face alone.  No one can help us, not even the Buddha.  So consider carefully, what prevents you from living the way you want to live your life?
  —  Dalai Lama XIV
[This quote was found on another of the blogs I follow:  http://lijiun.wordpress.com/
The specific post was:  http://lijiun.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/purity-mind/
  —  KMAB]
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You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings.
  ―  Pearl S. Buck
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The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.
To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death.  Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him.  He must create, must pour out creation.
By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.
  —  Pearl S. Buck
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The Receiver
The senses keen;
The muscles loose;
The wait, the acceleration;
The break, the freedom,
Jumping, extending;
Touching, holding!
Running! Racing!
Free!  Free!  Free!
[This was part two of my reminiscing about playing pick-up football games at the park, back in my teens.
On offense, the players know the intent of the play.  The wide-receiver stands away from the fray.  His job is to elude one man (sometimes two), catch the ball, and then run to the end zone for the score.  Sometimes, it happens that way.  More often than not, it doesn’t.  But running free – ball in hand, away from the defense, remains the “dream” of every receiver.
For the defenses “view” of the play, see yesterday’s “Glory Days (Part 1)“.  —  KMAB]
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The Linebacker
Slow, precise, close;
Waiting, anticipating, reacting.
Accelerating, moving, hitting;
Crashing, recoiling, falling.
Rising, smiling, knowing.
The waiting, the thrill, the movement;
The hit, especially the hit;
The rising, especially the rising;
The knowing, especially the knowing:
Especially the knowing.
[Back in my teens, I used to play a lot of pick-up football down at the park.  Because you played with the number of guys who were there, you typically had to play both offense and defense.  On defense, I liked to play linebacker.  Defense is very reactive.  You never really know what the offense will do, but sometimes it doesn’t matter.  If you can get “in the zone” where you are reacting practically as fast as the offense is moving, you can (in essence) seize the initiative and become the aggressor.  When this happens, time slows down and the tackle becomes effortless – an extension of your life force.  And when you stand up, you feel as if you were born to this act – the tackle – and could do it all day.
By the way, the title to this post comes from the song “Glory Days” as performed by Bruce Springsteen.  The song is about adults living in the past or perhaps just longing for their youth – depending on your mood.  I’ve always found the song amusing as I’ve been both the listener and the teller of these same “tall tales” about way back when.  Tomorrow, the offensive side…  —  KMAB]
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Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
  —  Saint Matthew, Ch.5, v. 43-48
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Judge not, that ye be not judged.
For with what judgement ye judge,
Ye shall be judged:
And with what measure ye mete,
It shall be measured to you again.
  —  Saint Matthew, Ch.7, v.1-3
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[If you are easily offended by words, please skip today’s post…  —  KMAB]
the surgeon general has determined
that I am a hazard to my own health
so they took away my razor blades
knives & forks
turned off my gas
electricity
water
(even drained the toilet)
emptied my medicine chest
carried off every scrap of rope
twine
cord
not to mention my bedsheets
handkerchiefs
locked every window and door
now the surgeon general is unable to determine
whether I died from hunger
thirst
exposure
asphyxiation
nasal congestion
or the stench of my own shit
  —  Ray Toy
[I don’t know where I found this quote back in my teens, but despite the dystopian imagery, the writing made me laugh out loud.  I don’t laugh at it now, but it still makes me smile (grimly) to think any government could protect us from ourselves.
To be honest, my handwriting is so bad, I may even have the author’s name incorrect.  If anyone knows where this came from or who Ray Toy is, let me know.  I’d love to know more about him.  —  KMAB]
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