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Archive for July, 2019

The bitter lesson that may be drawn from this tragedy is that eternal vigilance is the price of civilization.  A nation must love peace, but keep its powder dry.
  —  Will Durant
From his book:  “The History of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage
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On This Day In:
2018 Start By Trying
Day 4: Difficult Day
2017 Outlasting Division
2016 Said The Man Who Trained To Fight For A Living
2015 Tripping On Treasure
2014 The Flower Of Light
2013 Eye Catching
2012 The Holstee Manifesto
2011 Three Crooners For The Shower
The Soldier’s Faith
Vacation, Books And Lots Of Movies

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A Place We Knew

I can picture you now,
taking your makeup off
You come into my room
and you kiss my lips
But this hotel life,
I’m not used to it
And you wear your heart
right on your sleeve
But it took you a while
to open up to me
I still love the way
that you smile when you leave,
mm
And I know you get scared
when I’m away
But I think about you
almost all the day, yeah
And I promised you that I’d
be back again
Just can you remember?
Oh can you remember when we were
Dancing in hotel rooms
It was just me and you
And we wouldn’t sleep all night
With you sitting by my side
And every moment
we had stolen was a feeling
‘Cause it never mattered
Where we were,
’cause we were falling in love
‘Cause your heart is my home,
your heart is my home
Your heart is my home,
and I’m not letting go
When I was feeling down,
you always picked me up
It didn’t matter what
I was doing wrong
’cause
I’ve lived my life without you
for too long
But when I walked in the door
and I saw your face
Ooh, I knew in that moment,
that my world had changed
How can I live my life
since you’ve been and gone?
But can you remember?
Just try to remember when we were
Dancing in hotel rooms
It was just me and you
And we wouldn’t sleep all night
With you sitting by my side
And every moment
we had stolen was a feeling
‘Cause it never mattered
Where we were,
’cause we were falling in love
‘Cause your heart is my home,
your heart is my home
Your heart is my home,
and I’m not letting go
But in any single moment you can change
‘Cause I’ve been gone so long and I can feel you slip away
but I’m getting closer and closer
Can you remember?
Just try to remember when we were
Dancing in hotel rooms
It was just me and you
We wouldn’t sleep all night
With you sitting by my side
And every moment
we had stolen was a feeling
‘Cause it never mattered
Where we were,
’cause we were falling in love
‘Cause your heart is my home,
your heart is my home
Your heart is my home,
and I’m not letting go
‘Cause your heart is my home,
and your heart is my home
Your heart is my home,
and I’m not letting go
‘Cause your heart is my home,
and your heart is my home
Oh, your heart is my home,
and I’m never letting go
Performed by:  Dean Lewis
Songwriters:  Dean Lewis, Grant Loaney
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On This Day In:
2018 The Continuing Failure Of Speaker Paul Ryan
Day 3: Approaching The Half Way Point
2017 Orange Comb-Overs Unite!
2016 Speaking Of Which
2015 Complexity Has A Strict Architecture
2014 Just Support
2013 Wandering Free
2012 Contribute = Paying Taxes
2011 How Will You Be Judged?

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This post marks the first day of my second decade of blogging here on WordPress.  Below is an image of the various countries which have someone who has visited my site…  I’m guessing Cuba and North Korea will be the last two to eventually visit (but you never know).  Someone should advise them:  “Resistance Is Futile…

Image of a world map with visiting countries colored.

My first decade of viewers…

The Past:
I started this blog to experiment with writing and for an opportunity to stand on my soapbox and shout at the universe.  It turned out I am not that creative a writer and not angry enough to maintain a full throated shout / tirade.  Also, time became a factor.
Not knowing what I was doing, I was spending a whole day composing one long (or several short) posts about whatever bone I had to pick that day.  My daughter suggested I try scheduling so I would stop bombarding her with posts two or three times per month.  (She was my first follower, and, my only one for most of the first year.)
Sometime around year three, I reached my tenth follower.  By then, I had switched (added to) my blog by posting quotes from my early adulthood journal.  After another period, I added book and movie reviews.
I had already begun adding poems, speeches and the lyrics to favorite songs.  …Again, the same as my hand-written journal.
By then, I was following about 30-50 other sites, but I am not (and have rarely been) much of a joiner, and my own interests tend to be broad rather than deep, which I guess limits my appeal to others as much as it does others appeal to me.
The Present:
My blog has become a regular part of my daily life now that I’m retired.  (Yes, that does sound sad, doesn’t it?)  I still do book and movie reviews, but I’ve found keeping up with the several hundred bloggers I follow to be quite time consuming.  I probably spend about 60-90 minutes a day reading posts – which my wife considers a complete waste of time.  My better half thinks my time would be much better spent on her “Honey-Do” list or actually reading “real” books.  (Did I mention I have two walls lined with unread books I’ve acquired over the years?)
Although my site says I have over a thousand followers, I believe it’s closer to 15-20 on a good day.  I would say I consistently have 3-5 likes most days and these are my steady followers / visitors.  (You know who you are!)  To all of you, I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks for your valuable time.  I honestly hope I bring you a smile (or a groan) every once in a while.  At the very least, I hope you occasionally wonder: “What’s that guy Kevin thinking about today?”
As mentioned above, I follow several hundred bloggers (almost 300).  That’s not a daunting as it may sound as a few are dead (at least three), many more have stopped blogging, and most rarely post anymore.  I get about 100 emails a day, but a few you (them) are newbies who post 5-15 times a day (you know who you are, too).  And, yes, I remember the excitement of posting multiple times a day and getting a handful of “likes” every month or so.  I don’t mind, because they’ll get tired eventually…
The Future:
Who knows what the future holds…  I sure don’t.  I’ve been posting every day since mid-January 2011.  Will I keep up the streak?  I don’t know.  I’ve come close to missing a day more than once in the last eight years, but now it’s kind of become a “thing”.  I trust this means the universe will offer up an interruption soon…  LoL!!  And that’s okay too.  As long as I’m enjoying it, I’ll just pick back up and start a new streak.  And, when blogging stops being fun…  Well, hopefully, that’ll be quite a while from now.  For now: “Excelsior!
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On This Day In:
2018 Happy 9th Anniversary — Three Thoughts
Day 2 – Notes On Progress
2017 Happy 8th Anniversary
2016 Happy 7th Anniversary
2015 Happy 6th Anniversary
2014 Happy 5th Anniversary
2013 I Resemble That Remark!
2012 Happy 3rd Anniversary
2011 Is America Safe Tonight?
2009 Hello world! (See how it all began…)

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Religious doctrines … are all illusions, they do not admit of proof, and no one can be compelled to consider them as true or to believe in them.
  —  Sigmund Freud
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On This Day In:
2018 Beats
First Step: Starting Cleansing (Again)
2017 Effective Stimuli
2016 Dave’s Not Here, Man
2015 Blink
2014 The Struggle To Educate America Continues…
2013 On Elections
2012 Warm Smiles
Pick Your Poison
2011 Straight Shooters

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Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.
  —  Martin Luther King Jr.
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On This Day In:
2018 Does Smiling Count?
2017 Giving Much
2016 Sounds Like Class
2015 Inert Ideas
2014 Worth Anything?
2013 Bruises Before Bed (Or Why You Didn’t Answer)
Revealed Riches
2012 Extra Gears
2011 Say What?
2010 Hello Frogs…

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Fundamentalists are to Christianity what paint-by-numbers is to art.
  —  Robin Tyler
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On This Day In:
2018 #45: Still Trying To
Oh, Well…
2017 Two Views Of The Starting Line
2016 Never Had It, Never Will (Donald Trump)
2015 20/20
2014 All Of My Best Ideas Come While Walking…
2013 Learn To Learn
2012 I Remind You
2011 Respect And Prestige
2010 Living Legends (Willie Nelson) and the Gettysburg Address

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Egypt was living through one tragedy after another.  People were killed every day because of something.  This became our own Columbine reality on a weekly basis.  There was always this challenge of trying to make people laugh amid such terrible circumstances.  But what could we do?  If we closed up shop every time Egypt lived through another tragedy or unrighteous killing, we might as well not have a show at all.  Nonetheless, my team implored me to cancel the show.  They were worried about how we would be perceived.  I was already stressed out because I still wasn’t used to the timing of a live program and found myself shouting in the control room, “I can’t just go and cancel the show every other episode!  This is the country we are living in.  Death has become a mere statistic.  You will always find trolls who will say to you, how dare you laugh at whatever tragedy is going on in the country.  Well, guess what, the tragedies are about to get worse and the trolls will watch us in secret anyways.  There are people out there who need this.  I am doing the show.”
  —  Bassem Youssef
From his book: “Revolution For Dummies
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On This Day In:
2018 Plunge
Time To Meet God
2017 Wealth Within
2016 Soaring
2015 Gone To The Library…
2014 Choose To Lead
2013 Not Sent Yet
2012 Wall-Crawler Reboot
Learning To Count
On Worshiping God
2011 Emancipated Differences
2010 A Little More Technology, Please…

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He came to see his early failure as a lucky break, an accidental escape from a trap that had been set for him, and he was very trap-wary about institutional truths for the remainder of his time.
  —  Robert M. Pirsig
From his book: “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
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On This Day In:
2018 And I Thought It Was Just My Deodorant
2017 Hannity And Limbaugh
2016 Or He Could Just Be Lazy
Small Hero
2015 Seeking Cultured Leadership
2014 Examining Failure
2013 Driving Passion
2012 Cannibal, n.
2011 Moments Of Truth

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It’s important that people should know what you stand for.  It’s equally important that they know what you won’t stand for.
  —  Mary Waldrip
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On This Day In:
2018 Either / Or
2017 Redemptive Power
2016 On Calls To Renew Waterboarding / Torture
2015 Still Struggling
2014 How To Become A Saint
2013 Not Much Change
Our Biggest Fear
2012 Brain, n.
2011 Styles Of Leadership
2010 Face Front!

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The reality of his candidacy comes through as a kind of humility bordering on fatalism.  Before sitting down for a beer with TIME, Ryan fielded questions from potential Iowa caucusgoers gathered on the brewery’s concrete floor.  “This will not be easy,” Ryan told his crowd.  “I’m not a superstar.  I’m not a savior.  I will tell you I will jump in the foxhole with you, and we will get this done.  We are smart enough, we are creative enough, we are courageous enough, to pull this off.  But it will be a long slog.”
  —  Phillip Elliott quoting U.S. Representative Tim Ryan
From Elliott’s interview / article:  “TheBrief: Time with…  Presidential Contender Tim Ryan
Appearing in Time Magazine, dtd: 22 April 2019
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On This Day In:
2018 There Is No God But God
To The Uncommitted Reader
2017 Not Yet That Well-Organized
2016 Probably Whatever Was Sought Yesterday
2015 What We Choose To Divide Us
2014 Peace With Honor
2013 Dangerous Systems
2012 Useful Science
2011 Say It, But Please Don’t Make Me Listen

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Goodbye, Mr. Chips”  (1939)  —  movie review
Haec olim meminisse iuvabit.
  —  Virgil
From the “Aeneid
(Translated:  “Someday, perhaps, it will be delightful to remember even this.”)
Today’s review is for the black and white classic from 1939: “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” starring Robert Donat in his Best Actor Oscar winning performance as Mr. Arthur Chipping a classics (“Latin and Greek”) subject master (instructor) at a British boarding school.  The movie was up for six other Oscars but was mightily steamrolled by “Gone With The Wind” (GWTW).  Greer Garson plays his wife Katherine Chipping and Garson was nominated for best Actress.  (She lost to Vivien Leigh in GWTW, steamroll remember.)
Anyway, at the start of the film, an elderly Chipping falls asleep in front of a fireplace and dreams of his life (68 years teaching at an all-boys “public” school).  The memories trace his rough start at the school; his early years of struggle in the profession; his falling in love and brief marriage which results in his personal and professional blossoming; and, then the long years where he becomes a virtual institution at the school.  His longevity provides him the opportunity to teach multiple generations of young boys / men from the same families.  From our perspective, we see him age (and grow) as a teacher and as a man.
Although this movie only garnered one Oscar, it is a “CLASSIC” in every sense of the word.  It addresses friendship, loyalty, romance, shyness, love, loss, education standards, and last, but not least, the inherent value of morals, of commitment and of perseverance.
Final recommendation: very highest!  This is a movie everybody should see (and almost all will enjoy).  It is definitely among the top ten of my all-time favorite movies.
The quote from Virgil (above) is from the movie.  It is the line Chips relates in his retirement ceremony before the assembled school.
As a side note: This story (along with “Pride & Prejudice“) is one of my favorites in all of cinema.  There are several other versions / adaptations of the original book (1934 — reviewed here), which include a musical version (1969 — reviewed here) starring Peter O’Toole and Petula Clark, a BBC version (2002) starring Martin Clunes as Chips, and an earlier BBC version (1984) starring Roy Marsden as Chips.  The book review, linked above, is the same link for the BBC versions.  All four (book and three adaptations) were reviewed in posts by me back in February, earlier this year.
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On This Day In:
2018 Still Blogging
2017 Reliable Vision
2016 Still Walking
2015 Steps
2014 To Be Greatly Good
2013 Limited Capacity
2012 Two Ear Ticklers
Justification
2011 To Avail The Nation

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Some days there aren’t any trumpets, just lots of dragons.  Courage doesn’t always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow.
  —  Mary Anne Radmacher
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On This Day In:
2018 Still Blogging
2017 Reliable Vision
2016 Still Walking
2015 Steps
2014 To Be Greatly Good
2013 Limited Capacity
2012 Two Ear Ticklers
Justification
2011 To Avail The Nation

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Fifty (50) years ago today, the first words were spoken by a human being on the moon (technically, in a vehicle on the moon’s surface).  The two astronauts were completing their landing maneuver checklist before speaking to Earth:
Buzz Adrin: Contact Light.
Neil Armstrong: Shutdown
Buzz Adrin: Okay.  Engine Stop.
Buzz Adrin: ACA out of Detent.
Neil Armstrong: Out of Detent.  Auto.
Buzz Adrin: Mode Control, both Auto.  Descent Engine Command Override, Off.  Engine Arm, Off.  413 is in.
Charles Duke
(at Mission Control in Houston):
We copy you down, Eagle.
Neil Armstrong: Engine arm is off.  Houston, Tranquility Base here.  The Eagle has landed.
Source: Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal, NASA
First word spoken on the moon: “Contact
First person to speak on the moon: “Buzz Aldrin”
First word spoken on the moon directed towards Earth: “Houston“.
First person on the moon to say a word directed at Earth: “Neil Armstrong”
First word spoken by someone on Earth to someone on the moon:  “We
First person on Earth to speak to someone on the moon: “Charles Duke”
Date of first manned landing on the moon: 20 July 1969
Date of first human stepping on the moon surface: 21 July 1969
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On This Day In:
2018 History Judges Incompetent Presidencies, Too
2017 Our Confident New President
2016 Ways
2015 Be Happy, Too
2014 At Least Smile
2013 Comfortably Bound
2012 Certainty
Thinking About Fathers
2011 And In Every Level Of Media

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Good thoughts, good words, good deeds.
  —  Zoroastrianism precept / saying
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On This Day In:
2018 History Judges Incompetent Presidencies, Too
2017 Our Confident New President
2016 Ways
2015 Be Happy, Too
2014 At Least Smile
2013 Comfortably Bound
2012 Certainty
Thinking About Fathers
2011 And In Every Level Of Media

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The Meg” (2018) — movie review
The Meg” is basically a “Jaws” remake / update starring Jason Statham as Jonas Taylor.  It’s a science-fiction / action movie.  There are, of course, a bunch of other actors in the film, but the movie is really about Statham killing a big fish.  Unlike “Jaws“, where the other two main actors contributed to the story line, these folks are just chum or wanna-be chum.
A supposedly extinct “shark” (technically a “Megalodon”) gets free from its entrapped environment and kills some scientists.  Taylor escapes the attack and wallows in survivor guilt.  Shark / Meg starts attacking other people.  Taylor gets a call for help.  “No, no, no.  Okay, I’ll help.”  (Not the actual dialogue, but close enough…)
Shark / Meg continues to attack ships, people, whales, beaches, small dogs, more people.  Blah, blah, blah.  Taylor kills shark / Meg.  And they all lived happily ever after.
Is the movie any good as a “Jaws” remake?  Is it any good on its own?  No and yes.  Statham is okay in the lead role.  It’s not great acting, but it is serviceable.  The action scenes / special effects are ok to very good, but like most of these “larger-than-life” monster movies, the director / producers don’t quite settle on the size of the monster.   This is acceptable because it is so common.  Heck, even the original “Jaws” suffered from this problem.  For me, even though the updated effects were good, the movie lacked tension and really felt like it was just going through the motions for those who were too young to have seen the original.
Final recommendation: moderate to almost strong.  The action is ok.  The acting is ok.  The effects are ok to good.  The movie is what it is: “OK”.  The movie just flat out lacked the pizzazz / suspense of the original.  If you are going to watch this movie, view the original first.  It won’t detract from this version and you’ll get a grounding in understanding that better technology doesn’t always make a better movie (remake).  The movie is rated about a 4.5 on RottenTomatoes.com, which I think is probably a bit low.
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On This Day In:
2018 Hoping For A Blue Wave In November
2017 Garden Dreaming
2016 Well, Maybe Not “No” Talent
2015 An Appetite For Life
A Trip To The Library
Great Expectations
2014 Pass The Soul
2013 Zapping Music And Art
2012 Not Quite Fantastic
That Kid Is Back
2011 Wolves At The Door
2010 I’m Feeling Patriotic… (Well, more than usual, anyway.)
Beating the Heat…

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