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Archive for December, 2014

Yesterday our electric power went off for about 12 hours.  We believe it was due to high winds blowing down a power line somewhere, but of course the electric company (PG&E) never call you and tell you what caused the problem.  Anyway, Hil (my wife), Sarah (my younger daughter and youngest child) and I sat in the living room simply chatting by candle light.  It was quite entertaining, in a family bonding kind of way which you normally only see on the Hallmark Channel.  (LOL)
When it came time for bed, we brushed our teeth and did all of our preparation by candlelight.
Now, I snore.  More accurately, I SNORE LOUDLY.  I also have sleep apnea, which means I stop breathing when I sleep.  This condition is common among those who are overweight (and I am) and I use a machine called a CPAP (stands for “continuous positive airway pressure”) to blow air into my nose to keep me breathing (and it also prevents snoring).   So, no ‘leckie, no breathie, but lots of snoring.
We went to bed around 10pm and by 12:30, my Hil had waken me about a half dozen times and finally was on the verge of tears: “I just can’t sleep.  You have to go in another room.”
“Another” room is the living room at the far end of the house…  So off I trundled down the hallway, sleeping bag in tow.  (Insert mental image of Linus with his blanket…)
With sleep apnea, a part of your throat gets blocked, air is cut off, you can’t breath and (if you’re lucky) you startle yourself awake to start the sleep cycle/wake over again.  In my case, which is only a moderate case, I stop breathing about 70 times per hour.  A little over once every minute.  Thank god for CPAPs!
Sometime during the night,  PG&E fixed the outage and I was awakened by a glaring light shining in my face.  We had left the end table light turned on when the power went off.  So, I pulled the cushions off the floor and put them back on the couch and folded the sleeping bag to be re-shelved later in the (real) morning.  …And I trundled back down the hall to get back into bed.  The clock said it was just after 3:10am and I normally get up for work at 4:30am.
To make a longer story shorter, mask on, snoring stopped, sleep resumed.  Wake up late and call into to work to ask for a day of vacation (annual leave) to recover from an exhausting night of trying to sleep.  As it’s New Year’s Eve, there isn’t much going on, so the boss says she’ll see me next year.
And to make “good” use of the day, I turned to my latest discovery  —  Netflix!!  Yes, I “know” this is not a “real” discovery, but us dinosaurs are known for being slow and lumbering…
Movie Review:
Today I watched “I, Frankenstein” staring Aaron Eckhart as the monster.  This is one of those movies where you should NOT watch the preview immediately before watching the film.  If you do, the film is ruined because it is then almost 100% predictable.  I am an Eckhart fan and have been since watching his performances in “The Core” back in 2003 and “Battle: Los Angeles” in 2011.  Anyway, he is not bad in this role.  It’s not a defining role like Downing’s Ironman or Bale’s Batman, but this movie was obviously set up to be a series starter in a similar genre to the “Underworld” movie series.  There are competing immortals locked in an eternal war and along comes a third party, in this case, the Frankenstein monster.  A human, created by a human, but without a soul.   Blah, blah, blah…  Lots of unrealistic fights made possible by pretty good special effects, but in the end, only a so-so movie.
The movie bombed at the box office, and worse, doesn’t seem to have found a niche following, so it seems unlikely to be the money spinner the producers had hoped for.
But, is it really that bad?  No.  It is an interesting twist on the Frankenstein mythology and while it’s by no means a great movie, I did enjoy it.  If you can accept the premise that Adam (the name given to the monster – first man created, get it?) is virtually indestructible, then the unrealistic fights are at least visually entertaining.  While there doesn’t seem to have been much money spent on the bad guys (the demons), there is a fair amount of CGI on the good guys (gargoyles who protect humanity) and their special effects are pretty decent.  Again, this comment is not directly addressed to this movie as much as it is expressed as an IT person who goes to movies of lots of genres JUST to see the CGI / FX / technology.  For example, there is a large stained glass window broken and some of the glass lands on an altar / table.  When the table is moved, the reflections in the glass shards change.  Regardless of the rest of the movie, I think that’s pretty cool!
So, final review – it’s an okay movie with an interesting twist on an old and familiar story which has some decent special effects.  Given the minimal cost of seeing the movie on Netflix, I’d say it was worth watching and if it remains available, I’ll probably watch it again.
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On This Day In:
2013 Best Wishes For 2014!
2012 My Creed
2011 It Probably Isn’t So

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Here’s to you, my blog readers,
Give of yourselves…
Love others (and tell them / show them often)…
Enjoy long walks (preferably while holding someone’s hand), nutritious food and candle-light meals, good reading, music which touches your soul, and quiet moments for reflection…
Look forward (Hope), while living in the moment (Enjoy), and not forgetting the past (Memories)…
May you have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015!
Please have a happy (and safe) New Year’s Eve!
[Yes, this is almost the exact same post as last New Year’s Eve.  And, no, I’m not just being lazy!   LOL  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2013 Best Wishes For 2014!
2012 My Creed
2011 It Probably Isn’t So

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There may seem to be injustices and inequities as we go along in living, but very often, in looking back, hardships and heartaches have turned out to be disguised blessings, hardening us for a crises or a job or a condition which otherwise we might have been unable to handle creditably.
   —  Edgar P. Hermann
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On This Day In:
2013 Be
2012 The Only Way to Win
2011 Honest Writing

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“Do you feel any need to leave the Shire now — now that your wish to see them has come true already?” he [Frodo Baggins] asked.
“Yes, sir.  I don’t know how to say it, but after last night I feel different.  I seem to see ahead, in a kind of way.  I know we are going to take a very long road, into darkness; but I know I can’t turn back.  It isn’t to see Elves now, nor dragons, nor mountains, that I want — I don’t rightly know what I want: but I have something to do before the end and it lies ahead, not in the Shire.  I must see it through, sir, if you understand me.”  [Samwise Gamgee (“Sam the Brave”)]
   —  J. R. R. Tolkien
From his book: “The Fellowship Of The Ring
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On This Day In:
2013 At Least One Difference
2012 Are We, Are We?
On Not Playing The Game
Scale
2011 Nutcracker And Nooks
Seeing Differences

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For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
   —  John F. Kennedy
From his speech:  “Remarks on the 20th Anniversary of the Voice of America
26 February 1962
[Sometimes I wonder…  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2013 Risking Truth
2012 Working On Reality
2011 Massive Contradictory Changes

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Of all the inanimate objects, of all men’s creations, books are the nearest to us for they contain our very thoughts, our ambitions, our indignations, our illusions, our fidelity to the truth, and our persistent leanings to error.  But most of all they resemble us in their precious hold on life.
    ― Joseph Conrad
[found on one of the blogs I follow:   http://mylittlebookblog.com/
The specific post is located at:  http://mylittlebookblog.com/2014/11/26/of-all-the-inanimate-objects-of-all-mens-creations-books-are-the-nearest-to-us-for-they-contain-our-very-thoughts-our-ambitions-our-indignations-our-illusions-our-fidelity-to-the-trut/
This is primarily a book review site by an avid (and joyous) omnivore reader.  Her tastes are quite varied and the writing is interesting (and fun) even if I don’t feel particularly interested in most of the books being reviewed.   Well worth a visit!  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2013 Both
2012 That’s Success!
2011 Losing At Dominos
2010 1,001

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[President] Obama reminds me of the black kid at a white school that don’t nobody want to play with.  That’s fine — he goes in there and does his thing, does what he can.
   —  Ice Cube
From the “10 Questions” section of Time Magazine
23 June 2014
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On This Day In:
2013 Are You Helping?
2012 Inside All Truth Is A Vacuum
2011 So, Whom Are We Trying To Fool Then?

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The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called, but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise: and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.
   —  Madeleine L’Engle
from her novel: “A Wrinkle In Time
[And a prophet was born in a manger, preaching peace and to care for one another…
Merry Christmas to all… !!
   —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2013 Merry X-mas – 2013
2012 Merry Christmas – 2012
2011 I Have Seen

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In the evening, Cardinal Luige Traglia, John’s vicar for Rome, celebrated an outdoor mass for the thousands drawn to Saint Peter’s Square.  The spring breeze was so soft that the altar candles barely flickered, and the murmur of prayer seemed to hang in the air even after the mass ended.  A little before eight, Cardinal Traglia spoke the traditional words of dismissal, “Ite, missa est” (“Go, the Mass is ended”).
And at that same moment, upstairs in the dimly lit bedroom where Sister Death waited, the man born Angelo Roncalli and destined for sainthood as John XXIII, took a last gasping breath and died.
The Vatican press office issued the final bulletin: “He suffers no more.”  Beyond the bedroom window, television lights swept across the piazza, packed with people, many on their knees.  And beyond the piazza, the world grieved, too.
Other popes had decried war and defended peace, praised virtue and condemned evil.  But in the experience of living men, none before John XXIII had ever moved the church toward the mainstream of human endeavor, or welcomed all men and all creeds to the good fight, or made it seem even remotely possible that they could win.
And even more deeply, the world’s millions were caught up with the man who lived beneath the robes of the supreme pontiff of the universal Church, bishop of Rome, vicar of Jesus Christ, and sovereign of Vatican City.  To the multitudes some devout, some disaffected, the peasant face with its undisguised warmth meant more than all the weighty titles.  “I am your brother,” he had told them.  And they had come to believe him.
   —  Lawrence Elliot
From his book: “I Will Be Called John
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On This Day In:
2013 I Hear Voices
2012 Positive Thoughts
Hope Works
2011 Look! Up In The Sky…
Humility Before The Unknowable

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You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.
  —  Anon.
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On This Day In:
2013 One Standard Deviation
2012 High Anxiety
2011 And I’m Taking Me There
2010 1,000

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The quartermaster has only two sizes, too large and too small.
Don’t be conspicuous.  In the combat zone, it draws fire.  Out of the combat zone, it draws sergeants.
No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.
The further you are in advance of your own front lines, the more likely your artillery will shoot short.
Friendly fire ain’t.
The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
If your advance is going well, you are walking into an ambush.
The problem with taking the easy way out is the enemy has already mined it .
The buddy system is essential to your survival; it gives the enemy somebody else to shoot at.
Incoming fire has the right of way.
The only time your suppressive fire works is when it is used on the enemy’s abandoned positions.
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On This Day In:
2013 Who You Are
2012 Mine Stands
2011 Aversions

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Humor is an affirmation of dignity, a declaration of man’s superiority to all that befalls him.
   —  Romain Gary
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On This Day In:
2013 Additions
The Object Of Instruction
2012 Telling Her
2011 On Torture

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The only man who can change his mind is a man that’s got one.
   —  Edward Noyes Westcott
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On This Day In:
2013 Trifles
2012 Simple, Ordinary And Wonderous
2011 Humane Writers

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On November 24 of this year, Sony Pictures was notified that it was the victim of a cyber attack, the effects of which is the most chilling and devastating of any cyber attack in the history of our country.  Personal information including Social Security numbers, email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers and the full texts of emails of tens of thousands of Sony employees was leaked online in an effort to scare and terrorize these workers.  The hackers have made both demands and threats.  The demand that Sony halt the release of its upcoming comedy The Interview, a satirical film about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.  Their threats vary from personal — you better behave wisely — to threatening physical harm — not only you but your family is in danger.  North Korea has not claimed credit for the attack but has praised the act, calling it a righteous deed and promising merciless measures if the film is released.  Meanwhile the hackers insist in their statement that what they’ve done so far is only a small part of our further plan.  This is not just an attack on Sony.  It involves every studio, every network, every business and every individual in this country.  That is why we fully support Sony’s decision not to submit to these hackers’ demands.  We know that to give in to these criminals now will open the door for any group that would threaten freedom of expression, privacy and personal liberty.  We hope these hackers are brought to justice but until they are, we will not stand in fear.  We will stand together.
   —  George Clooney
[I read on MSN that George Clooney passed the above message around to a “sizable” number of people in the entertainment industry and was not able a to get a single person to be the first person to sign up for this pledge to stand up to political / economic / social terrorism.
Okay, George.  I’m admittedly not in the entertainment industry.  I’m just a single individual posting on my “free” blog.  But, I sign up.
I will stand with you!
If you agree with George, please pass this (the message / pledge, not my post) along to your friends…
“With each link, the chain is forged…”   —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2013 In The Present Day
2012 Feeling It
2011 Stretching Science

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To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it.
   —  John Churton Collins
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On This Day In:
2013 In The Present Day
2012 Feeling It
2011 Stretching Science

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