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Archive for April, 2018

Still Mine (2012) — movie review
Today’s movie review is for the Canadian romantic drama: “Still Mine“.  The movie is based on a true story of a farmer who runs afoul of the local building authorities who try to get him to build a cottage “to code.”  The man (in question) is a farmer trying to build a smaller house on his own land to accommodate his dementia-stricken wife.  The lead role: Craig Morrison, is played by James Cromwell.  The wife: Irene Morrison, is played by Geneviève Bujold.  Both are excellent in their respective roles.
Basically, Morrison is a small farmer living in the country (on his own farmland) and he needs to downsize his living quarters from the farmhouse where he and his wife of 60+ years raised their 7 kids.  The farmhouse is a small house, but it is an upstairs / downstairs and Irene can no longer be trusted to walk up and down the steps (inside or outside).
What would you do for your spouse of 60 years?  Morrison’s answer is “anything”.  So he decides to build a cottage for them to live in.  … And, damn City Hall!
So, there are three main conflicts in the movie: the age of the couple, the increasing dementia of the wife, and the pigheadedness of the elderly farmer who wants to help his spouse without the interference of the planning authorities.
The movie is touching.  It confronts the issues openly and – for what we see – it has a “happy” ending.  I doubt if the ending is “really” that happy, but the film gives that impression in it’s post-movie script.  In any case, I found the movie very moving.
Final recommendation: strong recommendation.  I honestly don’t know what demographic this movie was intended for – older and fearful, I guess – but it was definitely a movie which made me think about my own future.  Not that my wife or I have dementia, but we are both just retired and “getting on”.  Ultimately, it is a simple love story which works as a movie.  I enjoyed it, even if I found it disturbing.
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On This Day In:
2017 Did I See You In Chapter 13?
2016 As I Recall
2015 Less And More Irritation
2014 That Marvelous Feeling
2013 Exceptional
2012 A Wild And Crazy Believer
2011 A Lack Of Scarcity
The Joy Of Prevention

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This morning, Hil (my wife) and I got up early to walk the dog.  We had a big day planned…  Paint the fence in the back yard.
In preparation, over the weekend, we went to our local big box hardware store and bought a couple of paint brushes and three gallons of tinted stain.  It was actually kind of an all-in-one primer/sealer/stain.  Whatever.  It’s a faded brick-red color, which looks more like a brownish-orange.  Anyway, after four-and-a-half hours (!!!) of non-stop work we finished the job and it looks “marvelous”.  It makes the backyard look like it belongs to someone else.  The garden flowers are in full bloom and we are just in time for a warming spring.
Unfortunately, we still have two side fences to go…  And, then, the house, itself.  But, all that is for another day…  For now, we are dead chuffed – with the fence and with ourselves.  Not a bad day’s work for a couple of retirees.
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On This Day In:
2017 Did I See You In Chapter 13?
2016 As I Recall
2015 Less And More Irritation
2014 That Marvelous Feeling
2013 Exceptional
2012 A Wild And Crazy Believer
2011 A Lack Of Scarcity
The Joy Of Prevention

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The pessimist resembles a man who observes with fear and sadness that his wall calendar, from which he daily tears a sheet, grows thinner with each passing day.  On the other hand, the person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors, after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back.  He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest.  What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old?  Has he any reason to envy the young people whom he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth?  What reasons has he to envy a young person?  For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him?
‘No, thank you,’ he will think. ‘Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered.  These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, although these are things which cannot inspire envy.’
   ―  Viktor E. Frankl
From his book:  “Man’s Search for Meaning
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On This Day In:
2017 Did I See You In Chapter 13?
2016 As I Recall
2015 Less And More Irritation
2014 That Marvelous Feeling
2013 Exceptional
2012 A Wild And Crazy Believer
2011 A Lack Of Scarcity
The Joy Of Prevention

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I Would Tell Myself”  by Wayne Tolbert
[Just a little something to tell myself…  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2017 100th Day (of the Trump Presidency)
Both Unlucky
2016 Or Blog
2015 Stretched Today?
2014 Outta Here
2013 Getting Words Right
2012 There’s A New Dog In Town
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is
2011 A Conservative Is…

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As militant as anybody chooses to be on any subject, so shall I be on my right to healthy skepticism.  Skepticism is more necessary and valuable than any blind belief anybody has about anything.
  —  Sean Penn
Quoted in the article: “8 Questions
Written by: Nate Hopper
Time Magazine, dtd: 2 April 2018
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On This Day In:
2017 WWGD?
2016 Growing Greatness
2015 When It Is Darkest
2014 Knowledge And Doubt
2013 Three Thoughts
2012 Gentle Reader
2011 Leave The Light On For Me Anyway

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Here is what I have learned about race:  You can’t go over it.  You can’t go under it.  You can’t go around it.  You have to go through it.
When we testify in court, we swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  This is important, because anything but the whole truth and nothing but the truth will lead us astray.  Yet that is the story of American history that most of us know, particularly as it relates to race.  To move forward, we must commit to tell the whole truth about our past.  To move forward, we must find that new space on race here; a zone of belief that holds promise for a nation committed to justice for all of our people, making right what we have failed to do and insisting that we will do what it takes to reach the next threshold for humankind.
   —  Mitch Landrieu
Mayor of New Orleans, LA
From his editorial: “Repairing the story of race in the South
Appearing in Time Magazine, dtd: 2 April 2018
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On This Day In:
2017 Streaking Tales
2016 Singular Reality
2015 He Says It’s Hard To Get There From Here
2014 Question From A Founding Father
2013 Make Heroes
2012 See And Hold
2011 Am Not, Are So

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017) — movie review
Today’s movie review is for last year’s comedy / action / drama: “The Hitman’s Bodyguard“.  The movie stars Samuel Jackson as the “hitman” (Darius Kincaid) and Ryan Reynolds as the down-on-his-luck “bodyguard” (Michael Bryce).  The corresponding love interests are Elodie Yung as Amelia Roussel (Bryce’s girlfriend / Interpol Agent ) and Salma Hayek as Sonia Kincaid (the hitman’s wife).  The “bad guy” is Vladislav Dukhovich (played by Winston Churchill – I mean Gary Oldman).
So, the story is Dukhovich is on trial for crimes against humanity and Jackson has to testify against him in twenty-four hours or the bad guy walks.  Action, action, action.  Amelia calls the “only” one she can trust (her ex-boyfriend: Reynolds) to get the hitman to the court where he is to testify.  Action, action. action.  Blah, blah, blah – how I met my wife.  Action, action, action.  Blah, blah, blah – how I met my girlfriend.  Action, action, action.  Two guys become friends.  Action, action, action.  Bodyguard saves hitman, hitman punishes bad guy, and, wait for it…  Happily ever after.
Okay.  Is this a great movie?  No.  Is it a great or entertaining action / drama / comedy movie?  Yes, yes and yes.  I have NEVER thought of Jackson as a comedic actor.  He and Reynolds nail the comedy.  And the action.  Okay, maybe not the drama, but gimme a break…  This is simple entertainment, not great cinema.  The sub-text of this comment: completely disregard physics, human endurance / survivability, and the ability of trained / experienced / professional mercenaries to shoot and hit the good-guys in any movie.
This is a VERY funny movie – but most of the humor is in the dialogue and dynamic between the two leads, so you have to watch AND listen to the movie. (WHAT?  I have to pay attention?  Yes.  Sorry.  You do.)  Caution: there is an excessive amount of foul language in this film.  It is not appropriate for anyone sensitive to obscene language (and therefore not appropriate for kids or young teens).  There is also a fair amount of graphic violence.  These both seem to be run of the mill in action movies these days, but both still deserve to be noted in cautions.
Final recommendation: within the cautions provided above, I give this a strong recommendation.  I outright laughed a half dozen times and chuckled a bunch more.
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On This Day In:
2017 At Least Twenty To Go
2016 A Sweet Smelling Blog Post
Pre-Reacher
2015 Getting The Story Right
2014 Like Shells On The Shore
2013 More And Why
2012 How To Gain Effective Fire
2011 Patriot Act

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Death, Be Not Proud

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
   —  John Donne
From:  “Holy Sonnets
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On This Day In:
2017 At Least Twenty To Go
2016 A Sweet Smelling Blog Post
Pre-Reacher
2015 Getting The Story Right
2014 Like Shells On The Shore
2013 More And Why
2012 How To Gain Effective Fire
2011 Patriot Act

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I came to the conclusion long ago that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and while I hold by my own religion, I should hold other religions as dear as Hinduism.  So we can only pray, if we were Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu; but our innermost prayer should be that a Hindu should become a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, and a Christian a better Christian.
   —  Mahatma Gandhi
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On This Day In:
2017 Heavier At That End
2016 The Difference Is Craftsmanship
2015 However Vast The Darkness
2014 The Omnipresent Teacher
2013 Don’t Waste
2012 Earning Thanks
2011 Fuzzy Vision
2010 Movies and Book

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Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.
   —  George Orwell
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On This Day In:
2017 Verbs
2016 Not Too Tidy
2015 Little Understanding
2014 Open Early
2013 Movies And A Lifetime Of Lyrics
This Truth
2012 Cheaper To Hold
2011 Resistance Is Futile
One Great, One Enjoyable, One Terrible…
Unfortunately, No Approval Is Required

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Even in sin, the act of love  – done with love –  is shadowed with divinity.  Its conformity may be at fault, but its nature is not altered, and its nature is creative, communicative, splendid in surrender.  It was in the splendor of my surrender to Nina and she to me, that I first understood how a man might surrender himself to God  – if a God existed.  The moment of love is a moment of union  – of body and spirit –  and the act of faith is mutual and implicit.
   ―  Morris L. West
From his novel: “The Devil’s Advocate
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On This Day In:
2016 Symptoms
2016 Tossers
2015 Hunger
2014 Outside Dependence
2013 Doing Right
2012 A Short Course In Human Relations
If Death Be My Future
Strive
Such A Fool
2011 I’m Working For A Living

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Our spirit has an instinct for silence.
  Every soul innately yearns for stillness,
  for a space, a garden where we can till, sow, reap, and rest,
  and by doing so come to a deeper sense of self and our place in the universe.
  Silence is not an absence but a presence.
  Not an emptiness but repletion.
  A filling up.
  —  Anne D. LeClaire
Found at one of the blogs I follow:  http://upwardbound.me/
The specific link is:  http://upwardbound.me/2016/09/09/our-spirit-has-an-instinct-for-silence/
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On This Day In:
2017 Hard Enough
2016 Jumps
2015 One View Of Failure
2014 We Speak For Earth
2013 Inward Urgency
2012 Delayed Reviews
Fulfilling My Duty
2011 Interference

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Kiril Lakota:  [the shadow of the cross is on the Pope’s empty chair during this exchange of dialog]  Leone, how does a man ever know if his actions are for himself or for God?
Cardinal Leone:  You don’t know.  You have a duty to act.  But you have no right to expect approval, or even a successful outcome.
Kiril Lakota:  So, in the end, my friend, we are alone?
Cardinal Leone:  Yes.  I have seen three men sit in this room.  You are the last I shall see.  Each of them, in his turn, came to where you stand now, the moment of solitude.  I have to tell you there is no remedy for it.  You are here until the day you die.  And the longer you live, the lonelier you will become.  You will use this man and that for the work of the church.  But when the work is done, or the man has proved unequal to it, you will let him go and find another.  You want love.  You need it, as I do.  Even though I am old.  You may have it for a little while, but you will lose it again.  Like it or not, you are condemned to a solitary pilgrimage, from the day of your election until the day of your death.  This is a Calvary, Holiness.  And you have just begun to climb.
   —  Morris West
The above conversation is from the movie adaptation of his novel: “In The Shoes Of The Fishermen
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On This Day In:
2017 Equal Protection Under Law
2016 A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion
2015 Or You Don’t
2014 If You Ever Fall…
2013 Glory Days (part 2)
2012 They Follow A Pattern – If You Know What I Mean
What I Live For (Precis)
2011 Giving

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After (to me) six long weeks, my wife is returning from visiting her family back in Liverpool.  I have missed her a great deal.  The above video is a dedication to the love of my life…  It’s not entirely accurate / appropriate since we’ve been married for over 30 years, but I do still cherish her and love the sentiment of the song’s lyrics.
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On This Day In:
2017 It’s Just Around The Bend
2016 In What Direction?
2015 Embarrassing Myself Again
2014 I’ve Never Have Had
2013 Glory Days (part 1)
2012 Feeling Old?
2011 Even When I Wish Really, Really Hard
Skeptical Fathers
Cha-cha-cha-changes

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There are other measures of self-respect for a man, than the number of clean shirts he puts on every day.
   —  Ralph Waldo Emerson
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On This Day In:
2017 But The Beginning Of What?
2016 Today’s Rule
2015 Remembering Oklahoma City
2014 Who Was That Masked Man?
2013 Enemy Mine
2012 Strengthen Me
2011 Service, Please
2010 The Church In Crisis…

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