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Archive for October, 2019

All you need to do to receive guidance is to ask for it and then listen.
   —    Sanaya Roman
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On This Day In:
2018 Spiritual Matter
2017 Until He’s Elected President…
2016 Reasonable Discounts
2015 Poem For A Friend
2014 A Very Unusual Mind
2013 Just Lucky
2012 The Undeveloped Child
2011 What Is Your Canvas?
2010 Giants Win Games 3 & 4 – One Away From World Series!!

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Legion” (2010) — movie review
Well, I’ve had this bundle for ages now and I’ve finally finished viewing the “Fallen Angel 3-Movie Collection” which I bought on Vudu.  The first movie I watched was “Priest“.  I had already seen it at the theater and offered my thoughts (review here) several years ago (2011).  I bought the “collection” (on discount) quite awhile back, and re-watched “Priest“, but just never got around to the other two.
So, I finally watched “Gabriel” (review here) this week and posted my comments (“so-so”), and now I’ve (again) finally watched the last film: “Legion“.
Legion” stars Paul Bettany as the “fallen” Archangel Michael, Kevin Durand as the “obedient” Archangel Gabriel, Lucas Black as Jeep Hanson (the “protector”), Tyrese Gibson as Kyle Williams (a random guy who helps), Adrianne Palicki as Charlie (the mother of the “savior” baby), Kate Walsh as Sandra Anderson (a “bad” mother), Willa Holland as Audrey Anderson (the “bad” daughter with the heart of gold), and Dennis Quaid as Bob Hanson (Jeep’s dad and the owner of a diner / gas station in the middle of nowhere).
Charlie is 8-months pregnant and God is unhappy with humanity and wants to wipe everyone out and start again.  (There’s no reason why.  Just go with it…)  God commands Michael to kill the unborn baby and Michael refuses and goes to Earth to protect the mother / baby.  God sends angels in the form of possessed / zombified humans to kill all of humanity.  Blah, blah, blah.  Motley crew gathers at the diner (“Paradise Flats”) and fights off the zombies with machine guns, anti-tank weapons and hand-to-hand combat.  It’s not “really” a martial arts movie as much as a horror / drama.  Blah, blah, blah.  Baby is born, Michael and Gabriel have the big final showdown and happy ending: “Keep the faith!”
So, is this movie any good?  How about he action / horror?  What about the religious aspects?  Was it at least entertaining?  Yes, so-so, laughable, but strangely, yes, it was entertaining.  Did I mention strangely?  (I think so…  Yes, I did.)  I’m not sure why, but the movie felt better explained overall than “Gabriel“, nothing specific.  Maybe, just maybe, I liked it because I think I enjoy watching Bettany.  I can’t figure out if he’s a good actor or if he’s just John Wayne, playing John Wayne again.  Of course I mean Bettany playing Bettany again.
Final recommendation: moderate but not quite strong.  I enjoyed this movie, but it wasn’t a “good” movie.  It’s a much better movie than “Gabriel”, but not as good as “Priest”.  I will say Gibson and Quaid were very good in their supporting roles.  I was surprised to see two more “big-name” actors in this kind of movie.
So, not a strong horror movie.  An okay action movie with some above average (for this genre) supporting actors / roles.  Not advisable for children or impressionable youth.  Language, too violent and bloody gore.  It’s rated: “R”.
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On This Day In:
2018 Nothing To Build On
2017 This One Is…
2016 Happy Is…
2015 Dare Yourself To
2014 Damned If You Do…
2013 On A Rainy Sunday
2012 Not Sure Anymore
2011 But What Does It Cost?
2009 Another Day, Another Diet…

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We seem so frightened today of being alone that we never let it happen . . . .  We choke the space with continuous music, chatter, and companionship to which we do not even listen.  It is simply there to fill the vacuum.  When the noise stops there is no inner music to take its place.
   —    Anne Morrow Lindbergh
[FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out.   —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2018 Nothing To Build On
2017 This One Is…
2016 Happy Is…
2015 Dare Yourself To
2014 Damned If You Do…
2013 On A Rainy Sunday
2012 Not Sure Anymore
2011 But What Does It Cost?
2009 Another Day, Another Diet…

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Gabriel” (2007)  —  movie review
Today’s review is for a “religious” based action / martial arts / horror film along the lines of the TV shows “Lucifer” or “Supernatural” or the movie “The Crow“.  This review is probably a lot longer than the movie deserves, so unless you really enjoy my writing, feel free to come back later…  You’ve been warned.
Gabriel” is Australian movie and therefore has (mostly) folks I’ve never heard of in the starring roles: Andy Whitfield as Archangel Gabriel (hero / good-guy), Dwaine Stevenson as fallen Archangel Sammael / Michael (evil villain / bad guy) and Samantha Noble as Jade / Archangel Amietiel (former good-girl / now “love” interest).  I understand Whitfield went on to play the lead in the series: “Spartacus”, but he developed a fatal illness and died before the second year of the series.
Basically, there is a place between heaven and hell where human souls go to await their final judgement.  It wasn’t clear why this was (waiting or judgement) or when it (judgement) was supposed to happen – the end of the “real” world or just some arbitrary time for each person.  Strangely, the “dead” who are there can still “die” and then they are “really” dead and (I guess) don’t go anywhere.  [Exposition to create drama…]  This is the fate of any of the Archangels who happen to die while in this place.  The place is called: “Purgatory”, but it doesn’t seem to be the same place / purgatory I was raised (I am a Roman Catholic) knowing about.  It’s kind of a permanently dark, gloomy and raining Los Angeles.
Anyway, the film is supposed to be a battle between the “good” Archangels and the “bad” Archangels (called: “The Fallen”).  While the battles involve a lot of martial arts, they also have a fair amount of gun and knife action.  It’s not clear how any of this is relevant, you just kind of have to go with it…  Like I said: anyway, the good angels have to kill the bad angels to restore “light” to Purgatory and then they (the good angels) can go back to heaven (the light).
And therein lies the basis of the the film’s problems: none of it (Purgatory) makes any sense and none of the exposition helps make it (the film) make any sense.  The exposition mostly is just an early warning that the plot is going somewhere.
So, is this movie any good?  What about the martial arts scenes?  The religious aspects?  Was it entertaining?  So-so, so-so, more confusing than the plot and only marginally (entertaining).  I think the film was meant to be some type of morality play.  It just didn’t work for me.
Final recommendation: poor to moderate.  The fight choreography was okay.  The acting was kind of okay (sometimes), but almost too over the top, to the point of being a send-up.  The plot (as explained) made no sense.  The ending, also made no sense.  I understand the original movie was well over three hours long and the release version was cut down to just under two hours.  If you like your movies dark (screen black, sound, but you can’t see anything) and foreboding (when you can see something) with a couple of fights thrown in to keep you awake, you should be entertained.  Otherwise, you probably need to give this one a miss.
And one last thought: I should have known better…  I got this movie as part of an “angel” three-pack with “Priest” (a vampire movie) and “Legion” (not yet viewed) for a tenner.  I saw “Priest” in the theater and thought it was ok (even though I don’t usually like – or watch – vampire films).  It starred Paul Bettany, as did “Legion“, so I thought I could “risk” the third movie being a dud.  This movie (“Gabriel“) isn’t really terrible – it’s just not to my taste and the martial arts scenes don’t really save it for me.  And, yeah…  I should have known better.
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On This Day In:
2018 A Gift
2017 Unless You Genuinely Are Small
2016 B1
2015 Five Things
2014 Have Faith
2013 Found In A Mine
2012 Two-Sided Coin
2011 Passionately Scorned Rules

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The contemplative waits in silence and when he is ‘answered’, it is not so much by a word that bursts into his silence.  It is by this silence itself suddenly, inexplicably, revealing itself to him as a word of great power.
   —    Thomas Merton
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On This Day In:
2018 A Gift
2017 Unless You Genuinely Are Small
2016 B1
2015 Five Things
2014 Have Faith
2013 Found In A Mine
2012 Two-Sided Coin
2011 Passionately Scorned Rules

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…As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, “I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!”
Those words echoed with me throughout the week.  It is easy to destroy an organization if you have no appreciation for what makes that organization great.  We are not the most powerful nation in the world because of our aircraft carriers, our economy, or our seat at the United Nations Security Council.  We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys.  We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate.
But, if we don’t care about our values, if we don’t care about duty and honor, if we don’t help the weak and stand up against oppression and injustice — what will happen to the Kurds, the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Syrians, the Rohingyas, the South Sudanese and the millions of people under the boot of tyranny or left abandoned by their failing states?
If our promises are meaningless, how will our allies ever trust us?  If we can’t have faith in our nation’s principles, why would the men and women of this nation join the military?  And if they don’t join, who will protect us?  If we are not the champions of the good and the right, then who will follow us?  And if no one follows us — where will the world end up?
President Trump seems to believe that these qualities are unimportant or show weakness.  He is wrong.  These are the virtues that have sustained this nation for the past 243 years.  If we hope to continue to lead the world and inspire a new generation of young men and women to our cause, then we must embrace these values now more than ever.
And if this president doesn’t understand their importance, if this president doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, both domestically and abroad, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office — Republican, Democrat or independent — the sooner, the better.  The fate of our Republic depends upon it.
  —  William H. McRaven
Retired Navy Admiral
Former commander of the United States Special Operations Command and former chancellor of the University of Texas system.
Excerpt from his opinion / editorial:  “Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President
Found on the web site for The New York Times:  https://wwww.nytimes.com
The link to the on-line version is:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/17/opinion/trump-mcraven-syria-military.html
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On This Day In:
2018 Maps For Those Difficult Times
2017 A True American Hero
Or Desserts
2016 What #AmnestyDon Is Really Afraid Of
2015 What Are You Doing?
2014 The Ideal Man
2013 Daring Ripples
2012 Evermore
2011 Unpredictable Opportunity
2010 Giants Fall In Game 2 (1 to 6) – Leave PA With 1-1 Split !!

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The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think.  When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant.  When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain.  And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is in some doubt.  We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize the ignorance and leave room for doubt.  Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty – some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain.
  —  Dr. Richard P. Feynman
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On This Day In:
2018 Maps For Those Difficult Times
2017 A True American Hero
Or Desserts
2016 What #AmnestyDon Is Really Afraid Of
2015 What Are You Doing?
2014 The Ideal Man
2013 Daring Ripples
2012 Evermore
2011 Unpredictable Opportunity
2010 Giants Fall In Game 2 (1 to 6) – Leave PA With 1-1 Split !!

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On September 16, 2019, I switched from my 18 days of “juice / blend” fasting / diet to an Intermittent Time Fasting (ITF) “Diet / Lifestyle”.  My starting weight on 29 August, for the juice / blending fast was: 373lbs.  My starting weight for the ITF was: 356lbs.  My current weight (this morning) was:  347lbs.  Basically, I’ve lost 26lbs from the end of August and 9lbs from the start of the ITF.  There is need to mention two minor qualifications.  1)  My initial weigh-ins for both starts (juice and ITF) were barefoot and with shorts on.  My weight this morning was with sweatpants and cross-training / “fake” leather shoes.  I would estimate the “extra” weight to be between 3-5lbs.  Having said this, I did not subtract this from the morning’s weight.  And, 2) after the end of the juice / blend fast, I regained 11lbs the first week – which I’ve had to re-lose under ITF.
Image of Calories Chart from start of ITF

Calories Chart from start of ITF

The observant among you may notice in the above chart, I had four(4) days where my calories-in exceeded my calories-out…
When I switched to the ITF, I also began using my FitBit (FB) to begin tracking my food and gauging my calories-in versus my calories-out.  I’m not sure why, but the FB has set my calories-out “objective” at 3,800.  The on-line BMR calculator I use says my BMR is roughly 2,400 calories.  This means I have to burn an additional measure of 1,400 calories during my waking hours to reach the FB objective.

BMR on 16 Oct 2019 at 347lbs

Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) is defined as 220 beats per minute (BPM) – your age (64).  This makes my MHR equal to 156bpm.  “Elevated” heart rate is defined as 70% of MHR.  In my case, that would be 109bpm.  According to my FB, my active time (i.e. “elevated heart rate”) per day is 71 minutes (on average).  I’m not sure how this level is met as I only walk my dog for 30 minutes per day and 45 minutes (maybe) 2 or 3 times per week.  My FB “step target” is 7,500 steps versus the 10,000 “normally” recommended.  I miss my step target about once every couple of weeks.  I can only imagine my AFib is raising my heart rate at various points during the day and this is being read as active time by the FitBit.
Anyway, the top chart shows I have a calorie deficit of about 1,300 calories per day.  That times seven(7) days is 9,100 calories.  Divided by 3,500 calories (1 pound of human body fat) equals to 2.6 pounds of loss per week.  My actual weight loss over the last four weeks is 9lbs.  Divided by four(4) is 2.25lbs per week.  (If we subtract the 3lbs for the shoes worn in this morning’s weigh-in, the result is 2.75lbs per week.   Just saying…)
The goal of my long-term weight loss is to drop 1.5 to 2 pounds per week.  In theory, this will prevent the two worst part of extreme weight loss:  a permanent drop in BMR (which makes it easier to regain lost weight) and a large amount of floppy / saggy skin (pure vanity, it just looks terrible).  It looks like I’m off to a promising start.  IF I can keep this up, I should be under 300lbs for my 65th birthday at the end of March 2020.
Equally important:  how does it feel?  Today I was able to get into my wife’s Toyota Corolla without having to put the seat back-rest almost flat and contort my body to get into her car!  So, yeah.  It feels pretty good.  🙂
My secondary goals going forward are to work towards smoothing out the “calories-in” numbers and to eat more healthy on my one-meal-a-day / all-you-can-eat day.  I won’t say I’m “abusing” the OMAD opportunity, but…  Okay.  Yeah, I am ABUSING it!!  And, I know better.  At least two of the days, I ate beyond feeling stuffed to the point of feeling sick.  So, yeah, I can do better there, too.  Slowly, slowly…
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On This Day In:
2018 One Of The Great Ones
2017 Mirror In The Oval Office
True Courage
2016 What’s Your Excuse?
2015 Some Meaningful Resemblance
2014 Bloom
Orange October (VII) – The Giants Win The Pennant!!
2013 Walking The Walk
2012 Legacy Of Star Trek (TOS)
2011 Tolerating The Intolerant
Passionate Germs
2010 Giants Win Game 1 In Philly (4 to 3)!!

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Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul; on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful; and also because he who has received this education of the inner being will most shrewdly perceive omissions or faults in art and nature, and with a true taste, while he praises and rejoices over and receives into his soul the good, and becomes noble and good, he will justly blame and hate the bad, now in the days of his youth, even before he is able to know the reason why; and when reason comes he will recognize and salute the friend with whom his education has made him long familiar.
   —    Plato
From:   “The Republic
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On This Day In:
2018 One Of The Great Ones
2017 Mirror In The Oval Office
True Courage
2016 What’s Your Excuse?
2015 Some Meaningful Resemblance
2014 Bloom
Orange October (VII) – The Giants Win The Pennant!!
2013 Walking The Walk
2012 Legacy Of Star Trek (TOS)
2011 Tolerating The Intolerant
Passionate Germs
2010 Giants Win Game 1 In Philly (4 to 3)!!

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Upgrade” (2018) — movie review
Today’s review is for the SciFi / near future / revenge / action / drama which stars Logan Marshall-Green as Grey Trace (the husband / “good guy” / hero), Melanie Vallejo as Asha Trace (the wife who dies), Harrison Gilbertson as Eron Keen (the “main” bad guy and creator of STEM), Simon Maiden as the “voice” of STEM, Benedict Hardie as Fisk Brantner (the secondary “main” bad guy), Betty Gabriel as Det. Cortez (the police detective trying to solve the murder case) and Linda Cropper as Pamela Trace (Grey’s mother).
Basically, a couple are in a staged accident and the wife is killed while the husband is paralyzed.  The husband is offered a chance to regain the use of his limbs and he seeks to use this as the means to get revenge against the men who killed his wife. Blah, blah, blah, lots of bloody action set pieces.  Blah, blah, blah, the detective suspects the star / “hero”.  Blah, blah, blah, big fight with the action bad guy.  Blah, blah, blah, movie twist at the end and no resolution.
Is this a “good” SciFi movie?  How about a good action movie?  How about a good movie?  No.  Yes.  So-so.  I was looking forward to seeing this movie at the theater, but then never got around to it.  I picked it up for Vudu at a sale price which was less than the movie price, but over my normal $5 rate because I “really” did want to see it.
The movie is set in the “near” future and “biological enhancements” are a “common” thing.  The visual effects of the future are pretty good in wide-screen shots.  Actually, the over-all special effects are pretty good to very good.  The near-future setting allows the production to save money on most of the movie’s other (close-up) sets.  The “science” in the SciFi is mostly fiction and / or just unexplained. Really, for a SciFi movie, most of the plot does NOT bear consideration — or afterthought — for that matter.
Final recommendation: moderate.  If I was rating this as “just” an action movie, I would say it was a strong recommendation, but I am not.  The martial arts choreography is good to great, but the overall movie story isn’t smooth enough to prevent the viewer (me, anyway) from stopping to ask “why did that happen?”  When that is happening or happens too frequently, the viewer gets removed from the fantasy and you just have to try to enjoy the movie and hope it ends making sense.  Unfortunately, this movie really doesn’t (make sense).  That’s not to say the ending’s twist isn’t good or surprising…  It just doesn’t redeem the rest of the film.
The movie is not appropriate for young children (far too bloody / violent), but (for adults) it’s entertaining enough for its action scenes.  And, yes, Logan Marshall-Green is a dead-ringer for Tom Hardy (LoL).
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On This Day In:
2018 Come November 6th
2017 Hearts And Memories
2016 Tremendous Energy
Beyond Trying
2015 Tell Me…
2014 Live Forever (To Remember Me)
Orange October (VI) – Giants Win Game 4
2013 More Than Just Words
2012 Egotist, n.
2011 Good And Bad

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I’ve just learned about his illness.  Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.
   —    Irvin S. Cobb
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On This Day In:
2018 Come November 6th
2017 Hearts And Memories
2016 Tremendous Energy
Beyond Trying
2015 Tell Me…
2014 Live Forever (To Remember Me)
Orange October (VI) – Giants Win Game 4
2013 More Than Just Words
2012 Egotist, n.
2011 Good And Bad

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A friend asked me to post (on Facebook) the covers of ten(10) vinyl albums which had an impact on the musical taste(s) in my life.  The limitations are / were: they must be (have been) vinyl, they should be posted one per day and with no explanation.  I don’t use Facebook for ten consecutive days, so here they are in one fell swoop…
My only criteria were: I had to own the album at or near the time of release, I had to have played the album (at least) 50 times the first year I owned it and it has to have at least one song I can still recite practically word for word.  I’m 99% sure I still  own all of these, but it might take some rooting around to dig them up…  (LoL!)  And, yes, there are literally dozens more I could have included on this list up through the early 1990’s when I moved to Liverpool and after which mostly (almost exclusively) bought CD’s (hence the shortage of country and modern artists).
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On This Day In:
2018 Three Things
2017 Love Yourself
Deliver The Revolution
2016 Once Eccentric
2015 Trusted Desperation
2014 Orange October (V) – Giants Win Game 3
Who Am I To Teach?
2013 Deliver Us Something Larger
2012 Bore, n.
2011 Attaining High Office

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I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
   —    Mark Twain
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On This Day In:
2018 Three Things
2017 Love Yourself
Deliver The Revolution
2016 Once Eccentric
2015 Trusted Desperation
2014 Orange October (V) – Giants Win Game 3
Who Am I To Teach?
2013 Deliver Us Something Larger
2012 Bore, n.
2011 Attaining High Office

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EVERY year I say the same thing in August:  “There are only two valid tests for a successful San Francisco Forty-Niner season – Did we win the Super Bowl or did we beat the Rams twice?
You see I grew up watching the Niners win one(1!!!) game against the Los Angeles Rams in ten years.  In the 1980s-90s, when we went on to win five Super Bowls in fourteen years, I still had the same question?  I don’t care about anything else if we don’t win the Super Bowl that year except:  “Did we beat the Rams twice?”  If the answer to either question is “yes”, then we had a good year.  Otherwise, I don’t want to hear about appearing in the Super Bowl, winning the NFC, winning the Western Division, having a winning record – or ANYTHING else.  Win the Super Bowl or beat the Rams twice…
Of course, anybody will tell you it’s also nice to beat the Dallas Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders in the same season as either of the two above, but they are DISTANT seconds to the two defining conditions mentioned above.
Anyway, my point is we (the Forty-Niners) are halfway there…  Today, we went down to LA and put a whipping on the Rams (27-7).  We are now halfway to a successful season without even having to play in the Super Bowl.  Traditionally, NFL teams which finish with 10 wins in a season, make the playoffs.  We now have 5 wins with 11 games to go.  In theory, we only have to play .500 ball to make the playoffs.  Bottom Line:  our next game against the Rams is on 22 December.  Go Niners!!!
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On This Day In:
2018 VOTE – We Need A Wave
2017 Soothe, Inspire And Recharge
2016 Aren’t We?
2015 Cold Embrace
2014 Delightful
2013 Apprenticeship
2012 Curtain Rods
2011 A Living Force
2010 BART Rides – A Tipping Point

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You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.
   —    Oliver Goldsmith
[My best guess is there is not a single Republican Senator with the guts to stand up for the Constitution and against our “wanna-be tyrant”.   But that’s just MY best guess.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2018 VOTE – We Need A Wave
2017 Soothe, Inspire And Recharge
2016 Aren’t We?
2015 Cold Embrace
2014 Delightful
2013 Apprenticeship
2012 Curtain Rods
2011 A Living Force
2010 BART Rides – A Tipping Point

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