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Archive for November, 2020

Give Up The Funk

Favorite Line(s):
You’ve got a real type of thing going down, gettin’ down
There’s a whole lot of rhythm going round
Ow, we want the funk
Give up the funk
Ow, we need the funk
We gotta have that funk
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On This Day In:
2019 #Impeach45: Once A Buffoon, Now A Bad Joke
2018 Good Sense
2017 E Pluribus Unum
2016 Lacking
2015 Chip, Chip, Chip
2014 nom de plume
2013 The Real Reason
From The Book
2012 When Young
2011 14 Ways To A Better Judgement

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The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men.  As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.  We move toward a lofty ideal.  On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
   —   H.L.  Mencken
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On This Day In:
2019 #Impeach45: Once A Buffoon, Now A Bad Joke
2018 Good Sense
2017 E Pluribus Unum
2016 Lacking
2015 Chip, Chip, Chip
2014 nom de plume
2013 The Real Reason
From The Book
2012 When Young
2011 14 Ways To A Better Judgement

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Let’s Stay Together

Favorite Line(s):
Let me say that since,
Baby,
Since we’ve been together
Ooh, loving you forever
Is what I need
Let me,
Be the one you come running to
I’ll never be
Untrue
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On This Day In:
2019 His Promises, OUR Hopes
2018 Where I Write
2017 At Last, An Honest Philosopher…
2016 Fake It ‘Til You Make It
2015 Hell Toupée
2014 Corrected And Amended
2013 Too Few
2012 Three Characters
2011 Universal Payment
2010 Privatizing the TSA? (An old – and long – post, but still relevant!!)

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The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.
   —    Daniel J. Boorstin
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On This Day In:
2019 His Promises, OUR Hopes
2018 Where I Write
2017 At Last, An Honest Philosopher…
2016 Fake It ‘Til You Make It
2015 Hell Toupée
2014 Corrected And Amended
2013 Too Few
2012 Three Characters
2011 Universal Payment
2010 Privatizing the TSA? (An old – and long – post, but still relevant!!)

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Image of 2020 Thanksgiving Trifle Dessert

2020 Thanksgiving Trifle Dessert

The photo above is a snap of the trifle dessert my daughter (Sarah) made to compliment our Thanksgiving day dinner.  You can’t tell from the image but it was about ten(10) healthy servings – divided among the three of us.  (LoL!!)  It lasted until Black Friday dinner afters…  And, then there was none.  😦    Trust me.  It was even better tasting than the picture looks…   🙂
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On This Day In:
2019 Happy Thanksgiving (2019)
2018 And Smiles…
2017 Or Savor A Little Longer…
2016 Sometimes I Just Want To Smell The Flowers
2015 One Truth – Done Well
2014 Now In Imagination, On The Other Hand…
2013 No Plan, No Map
2012 Singing About Love
2011 The Awesome Power Of Truth

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Ring Of Fire

Favorite Line(s):
Love
Is a burning thing
And it makes
A fiery ring
Bound
By wild desire
I fell in to a ring of fire
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On This Day In:
2019 Happy Thanksgiving (2019)
2018 And Smiles…
2017 Or Savor A Little Longer…
2016 Sometimes I Just Want To Smell The Flowers
2015 One Truth – Done Well
2014 Now In Imagination, On The Other Hand…
2013 No Plan, No Map
2012 Singing About Love
2011 The Awesome Power Of Truth

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Many scientists deeply involved in the exploration of the solar system (myself among them) were first turned in that direction by science fiction.  And the fact that some of that science fiction was not of the highest quality is irrelevant.  Ten-year-olds do not read the scientific literature.
    —   Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2019 Happy Thanksgiving (2019)
2018 And Smiles…
2017 Or Savor A Little Longer…
2016 Sometimes I Just Want To Smell The Flowers
2015 One Truth – Done Well
2014 Now In Imagination, On The Other Hand…
2013 No Plan, No Map
2012 Singing About Love
2011 The Awesome Power Of Truth

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If You’re Going Through Hell

Favorite Line(s):
Well I been deep down in that darkness
I been down to my last match
Felt a hundred different demons
Breathing fire down my back
And I knew that if I stumbled
I’d fall right into the trap
That they were laying,
Yeah
But the good news is there’s angels
Everywhere out on the street
Holding out a hand to pull you
Back up on your feet
The one’s that you’ve been dragging
For so long you’re on your knees
You might as well be praying
Guess what I’m saying
If your going through hell
Keep on going,
Don’t slow down
If you’re scared
Don’t show it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows
You’re there
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On This Day In:
2019 Far Too Often
2018 A Divided / United Nation
2017 What We Want
2016 To The Extent
2015 Ambition
2014 More Branches To Climb
Just In Time — Happy Thanksgiving (2014)
2013 For And Against
2012 De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum
2011 Similar And Different
2010 Reminiscing
Differences

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The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions – the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, or heartfelt compliment.
   —    Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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On This Day In:
2019 Far Too Often
2018 A Divided / United Nation
2017 What We Want
2016 To The Extent
2015 Ambition
2014 More Branches To Climb
Just In Time — Happy Thanksgiving (2014)
2013 For And Against
2012 De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum
2011 Similar And Different
2010 Reminiscing
Differences

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I Hope You Dance

Favorite Line(s):   (only for Thanksgiving)
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
Comment(s):
To my fellow American readers:  today we celebrate / give thanks for all the good things we have in our lives.  The most precious of these things is the love we share with our family and friends.  On this particular holiday, not all of us are able to spend the day with all of the family we would normally spend the day with.  This can seem like a terrible loss – and it should.  But it is also a necessary sacrifice to help ensure there are fewer empty chairs at the dinner table come Christmas, Easter and all the other holidays next year and in the years to follow.
I cannot find fault with those who risk themselves and their loved ones in order to be together on this day.  No future days are guaranteed to us and sometimes we feel we must accept calculated risk to share precious moments together today / now.  Still, please practice as many of the CDC guidelines as you are able to:  1) smaller gatherings (preferably fewer than 10 people); 2) social distancing (spread out and don’t pack everyone at the same table); 3) when you’re not actually eating or drinking wear a mask;  4) weather permitting, gather / eat outdoors (or with windows open), and, 5) wash your hands frequently.
I pray we all make it through this winter and next summer we can look up at the stars, toast to life and dance.
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On This Day In:
2019 Defining Trumpism In Today’s Republican Party
2018 #45: It’s Tougher Being President
2017 Consequences
2016 Shouting At The Void
2015 Crab Feed
Happy Thanksgiving (2015)
2014 Beyond Proof
2013 Poor Students Of History
2012 Between Two Worlds
2011 Common Humanity
2010 The Last Two Olympians

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Death is not the greatest loss in life.  The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
   —    Norman Cousins
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On This Day In:
2019 Defining Trumpism In Today’s Republican Party
2018 #45: It’s Tougher Being President
2017 Consequences
2016 Shouting At The Void
2015 Crab Feed
Happy Thanksgiving (2015)
2014 Beyond Proof
2013 Poor Students Of History
2012 Between Two Worlds
2011 Common Humanity
2010 The Last Two Olympians

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Soldier”  —  movie review
Today’s review is of the 1998 action movie, “Soldier“, starring Kurt Russell as “soldier” Sergeant Todd 3465.  We know this because he has “Todd 3465” tattooed on his face.  Whatever…
Okay.  Todd is the product of the selective training of soldiers from “orphaned” youth (i.e. babies).  The film progresses through their aging and training into dispassionate killer soldiers whose only sense of self is tied up in their profession of violence and following orders absolutely without question.  Selected trainees who cannot make the grade are summarily executed, so only the “best” survive.  Todd survives the training and multiple battles / wars to become a “seasoned” veteran.
Along comes the movie bad-guy in the form of West Point graduate Colonel Mekum (played by Jason Isaacs) who brings along a group of replacement soldiers which have been genetically altered to be superior to the previous batch who were “only” a selected, raised and trained batch (which is Todd’s group).
Mekum uses one of his new soldiers (Caine 607, played by Jason Scott Lee) to demonstrate the groups superiority and the new soldier defeats the old in three-on-one combat.  Two are killed and the third (Todd) is presumed dead and all three bodies are disposed of as a “training accident”.  Todd is dumped on a the garbage planet “Arcadia 234”.  Apparently, in the future, we have such a shortage of resources on Earth we have to explore other worlds to survive, but we have such an abundance of energy that we can transport naval aircraft carriers to other planets to dispose of them (along with a host of other laughable items).
Todd wakes up and finds himself injured on this junkyard planet with a bunch of settlers whose re-settlement ship crashed on this planet.  They’ve made due the best they can, but basically live like homeless folks somewhere in southern California – hot, dry with terrible sand storms.  And, of course, they nurse him back to health…
Blah, blah, blah…  Todd discovers his humanity and begins to make friends.
Now, the good Captain wants to give his men some combat experience, so he decides to land on a junk yard planet and kill anyone they may find there.  (Because that’s how all good officers train their new soldiers.)  Of course, the new guys stumble on Todd’s friends and Todd doesn’t take too kindly to his new family being slaughtered.  So, he goes all Rambo (v5, not v1) on the new guys, but he doesn’t have to show any mercy (v1), so he just kills them all (definitely v5).
Blah, blah, blah…  Lots of explosions, fights and killing goes on and Todd kills all of the new guys with the big final set piece / fight scene against – you guessed it – Caine 607 – the last remaining new soldier.  Todd wins, gathers up the settlers and they commandeer the dead soldiers’ space ship and continue to the original settlement location, with everyone lives happily every after.  Well, all except Mekum, who accidentally blows himself (and Arcadia 234) to smithereens.
So, is this movie any good?  Does it work within any of its genres: Sci-Fi, action-hero, “Escape from New York / LA / Stargate / Arcadia 234”, family protecting killer soldier (I mean hero) versus genetically engineered killer soldiers?  Did I enjoy it and / or find it entertaining?  Well, despite the fact this movie was an absolute bomb at the box office, I would say: Yes.  Sometimes.  And, yes!  Of course I enjoyed it.  I mean seriously.  Read through that list of genres, again.  Talk about a pitch being in the batter’s wheelhouse!
Seriously.  This is not a very good movie unless you are seeking a simple minded, summer-type, action movie with fights, explosions, special effects, and (“Oh, the humanity of it!“) one emotionally fulfilled killer wiping out a couple of dozen emotionally unfulfilled killers.  Did I mention there are fights, explosions and special effects?  In other words, you paid for “Snake” Plissken, so eat your popcorn ’cause you’re getting “Snake” Plissken.  The movie doesn’t make ANY sense on so many levels, you just have to hit the switch and say: “Okay, blah, blah blah…  How long until the next fight and explosion”.  On that level, this is actually a pretty good movie and I found myself rooting for Todd and emotionally fulfilled (me, not Todd) when Mekum blows himself up.  Evil fails spectacularly and good is triumphant!!
Final recommendation: moderate.  This movie never tries to be anything it isn’t and is successful at being what it is: a pretty good pop-corn and soda / matinee / action-hero film.  Put it this way, I’ve owned this DVD for over 10 years and this is only the third time I’ve viewed it.  Good enough to keep on the shelf and watch again sometime, but not good enough to schedule another viewing in the immediate future.  A final note:  If you are a total film nerd, there are literally dozens of references to other movies (StarTrek, StarWars, Predator, Blade Runner) and many of Russell’s roles from other movies.  Now that you’ve been told this, you HAVE to view the movie just to see if you can find them.  You KNOW you do…  Then go check out the Wikipedia and IMDb pages to see how close you got to their lists.  Caution: it’ll cost you another viewing or two to confirm who is right.
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On This Day In:
2019 Will John Bolton Testify?
2018 Just Maybe
2017 Police In My Review Mirror
2016 Full And Rich
2015 Go Deeper
2014 Intentional Mapping
2013 The Sweet Path
2012 Living Free And Abolition
Morning Wood
2011 I Resemble That Remark

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Little Deuce Coupe

Favorite Line(s):
Well, I’m not braggin’, babe,
So don’t put me down
But I’ve got the fastest set of wheels in town
When something comes up to me,
He don’t even try
‘Cause if I had a set of wings, man,
I know she could fly
She’s my little deuce coupe
You don’t know what I got
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On This Day In:
2019 Will John Bolton Testify?
2018 Just Maybe
2017 Police In My Review Mirror
2016 Full And Rich
2015 Go Deeper
2014 Intentional Mapping
2013 The Sweet Path
2012 Living Free And Abolition
Morning Wood
2011 I Resemble That Remark

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Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.
   —    Daniel J. Boorstin
[This education thing is taking a lot longer than I was told it was going to take back in kindergarten / grammar school.    —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Will John Bolton Testify?
2018 Just Maybe
2017 Police In My Review Mirror
2016 Full And Rich
2015 Go Deeper
2014 Intentional Mapping
2013 The Sweet Path
2012 Living Free And Abolition
Morning Wood
2011 I Resemble That Remark

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Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb”   —   movie review
Today’s review is for the 1964 “comedy “Dr. Strangelove” starring Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden and Slim Pickens.  This film is directed by Stanley Kubrick and is considered a classic as both a movie and as a comedic movie.  I think it is a “classic”, but I don’t find it particularly funny.  I guess there are a few amusing moments in the movie, but, I found them “almost smile” moments, not “Ha-ha” laugh out loud moments.
This movie was one of two movies to deal with worldwide nuclear war which came out within a twelve month period.  The other was “Failsafe” (which I reviewed here).  In this movie, an American Air Force general (named Jack D. Ripper [LoL!  I get it!] played by Hayden) goes crazy and orders the strategic bombers under his command to attack the U.S.S.R.  All but one of the planes is successfully re-called (or shot down), but with its radio damaged the single jet manages to initiate the end of the world.  This result is because the Soviets have determined they cannot compete with the United States and therefore (instead) developed a “weapon” which will blowup and spread poisonous nuclear fallout around the world destroying all life on the planet.  The fallout cloud is meant to be toxic for a minimum of 93 years.
One of the distinctive things in the movie is that Peter Sellers plays three different characters in the film: the President of the United States, a British Air Force officer assigned to the U.S. air base, and a “crazy” German (ex-Nazi) scientist who advises the Americans in the War Room.  Sellers was originally contracted to play four roles in this film, but he managed to get out of one of them (the bomber pilot) and the role was given to Slim Pickens.  It’s not uncommon for an actor to have multiple roles in a single film, but normally they are passed off as twins or generational relatives or clones.  As far as I know, until Eddie Murphy came along, this was a fairly unique niche which Sellers played in a number of films in his career.
So, if this is a comedy which isn’t funny (to me), is it any good?  Is it entertaining?  Is it worth worth watching?  Yes.  Yes.  And, yes!
As mentioned above, this movie is considered a true “Classic” and has been voted onto the National Film Registry in the Library of Congress.  It makes satirical comments about nuclear weapons, the Pentagon / National Defense, the President, Texan manliness, and the communist plot to neuter the American public via water fluoridation.  (Yes, we even had conspiracy theories in the movies way back then.)
The movie is pretty entertaining with particularly noteworthy performances by Sellers (in all three roles) and by George C. Scott as General Buck Turgidson.  It is easy to see how Scott went from this role to his Best Actor role as General Patton in 1970.
Final recommendation:  Highly!  Both “Dr. Strangelove” and “Failsafe” are anti-war movies.  The former is the mostly unfunny bookend to the tense drama of the latter.  But, both are very good to excellent movies which (I believe) not enough people are aware of, let alone have seen.  In this day and age, where we are just getting past our own “Nightmare In The Oval Office” (aka: #IncometentTrump) and we are almost 30 years from the collapse of the USSR, we (IMHO) have forgotten what horrors could happen if there is a “hot” war with either North Korea or with Iran.  A war may not result in the mutual destruction depicted in this movie, but the results would be frightening to imagine.
Art, just like history, can caution us about the path(s) to not follow if we are wise enough to remember it and to listen to their lessons.
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On This Day In:
2019 Looking For A Republican With A Profile In Courage
2018 Hammers, Bells And Songs
2017 My Friends
2016 In Need Of Some Work
2015 Elections Have Consequences
2014 An Ear Of Happy Accidents
2013 Powerful Substitute
2012 Heroes Restored
2011 As You Should

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