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Archive for the ‘Faith Family and Friends’ Category

Each Christmas season, our tradition is to get our Christmas tree the first full weekend of December and to take it down the first full weekend after January 6th (aka: the “Feast of the Three Kings” or “Epiphany” or “Little Christmas”).  We have a secondary tradition of purchasing a representative decoration for each year.  Sometimes they are religious (angels, stars, etc.), sometimes they are Christmas but humorous and sometimes they are topical (StarTrek, StarWars, Harry Potter, Dr. Who, etc).  This year’s “extra” ornaments were two electric guitars my wife got me as presents.  (LOL)  Anyway, we are getting ready to take the tree down next weekend, so I thought I’d post a few pictures of this year’s tree and ornaments…  (You can click on the image to see a larger version.)

Our 2021 Christmas Tree

Our 2021 Christmas Ornament

2021 Les Paul Style Guitar Ornament

2021 Stratocaster Style Guitar Ornament

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On This Day In:
2021 2020 Tree And Ornaments
My Bag
2020 Still Looking
2019 Too True
2018 Simon Says
2017 Next Cell
2016 Important Knowledge
2015 Are You Still The Exception?
2014 In Answer
Days Are Passing
2013 Opportunity
2012 Appropriate Qualities
2011 A Place To Hang My Hat

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First off:  Merry Christmas to all… !!
Second:  Hug everyone at your table and say a prayer of blessings for absent friends and family.
Third:  Please remember in your thoughts all of the first responders and essential workers who are risking their health and the safety of their families to be on the job where we need them.  Police, firefighters, EMTs, health workers, PPE and vaccine manufacturers, supermarket / food-store / essential services staff, transportation (truck drivers and delivery) staff,  our military defending us around the world and our civilian government employees working to keep our water, food and air clean.
Finally:  Please, please, please… 
Wash your hands frequently
Wear a mask when out of your home
Practice social distancing (particularly indoors), and,
Get your vaccine / booster shot(s) as soon as you are eligible.
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On This Day In:
2020 Christmas Wishes For 2020
Best Wishes For All
2019 My Thoughts About The X-mas Turkey…
2018 Merry X-mas – 2018
2017 Focus On Christmas — 2017
2016 Merry X-mas – 2016
2015 Merry X-mas – 2015
2014 Merry X-mas – 2014
2013 Merry X-mas – 2013
2012 Merry Christmas – 2012
2011 I Have Seen

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Yesterday was our 37th wedding anniversary.  After dinner together, my wife retired to the living room to watch TV for the evening.  I retired to my “computer” room to continue blogging and surfing.
About 9pm, the power went out for our entire block – at least our side of the street anyway.  About 30 minutes later, it went out for the other side, too.  We were not in the middle of a storm.  No rain.  No wind.  Just nighttime and the chill of early December…
After lighting a half-dozen candles in our open-layout kitchen / living room and with nothing else to do, my wife curled up in a recliner and I got out one of my guitars.  I proceeded to practice my strumming, chord transitions, some scales (major, minor and pentatonic) and my (very basic) attempt at a twelve bar blues.  My wife was relatively unimpressed.  She is not a fan of scales – even “enhanced” scales (they are a bit more musical).  She said my playing is “improving” and “when you are actually playing, it’s quite relaxing“.  She was referring to my strumming and chords.
Ah, well, slowly, slowly…
Power was restored just after 11pm.  About one hour ahead of the power company’s website prediction of “between 12 and 1 AM”.  I chided my wife this was the longest she’d ever sat and listened to me “play” guitar.  She normally leaves the room as soon as I start on scales.  LoL!!  All in all, a pleasant way to spend an anniversary evening.
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On This Day In:
2020 Wonder And Dreams
Gatherin’ Up The Tears
2019 I Resemble That Remark… (7!)
2018 Mueller Investigation Comparison To #LyingDonald
2017 #DonTheCon And Russian Collusion
2016 Balance The Truth
2015 Still Itchin’
2014 One Life
2013 Reason Is Your Light
2012 Bordering Manhood
2011 Even Christ Couldn’t

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My Love

Favorite Line(s):
Something happened to my heart the day that I met you
Something that I never felt before
You are always on my mind no matter what I do
And everyday it seems that I want you more
[Happy 37th Anniversary, Hil
You are my something and it still happens!!
Love Always,
Your Kev
XXX
00
X
    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Happy 36th Anniversary, Hil!!
2019 Sampling 3:16
Happy 35th Anniversary, Hil!!
2018 Happy 34th Anniversary, Hil!!
2017 Happy 33rd Anniversary, Hil!!
2016 Happy 32nd Anniversary, Hil!!
2015 Happy Anniversary Hil!!
2014 30th Wedding Anniversary
2013 Number 29 (And Counting)
2012 Hammer ‘N Roses
Happy Anniversary
2011 I Can Hear It Now

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One must travel, to learn.  Every day, now, old Scriptural phrases that never possessed any significance for me before, take to themselves a meaning.
    —     Mark Twain
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On This Day In:
2020 If You Haven’t Done It Yet: VOTE!!
I Agree
2019 I’m Still Looking
2018 I Choose Love
Courage Can Be Contagious
2017 Scary And Wonderful
2016 #AmnestyDon Hears The Polls
2015 Dare The Improbable
2014 All Together Now!
2013 This Road
2012 Profit
2011 God Is Personal
2010 Playoff Fever Gets the Best of Me…

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It’s better to hang out with people better than you.  Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.
    —    Warren Buffett
Happy Birthday, Hil!!  Our friendship / marriage has definitely made me a better person…
All my love,
Always!
Your Kev
XXX
00
X
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On This Day In:
2020 A Mandelbrot Set
I Still Can’t…
2019 Proposing A Happy Birthday
35 Years Later
2018 Forever
2017 Too Good To Be True
Plain Speaking
2016 She Is Still Singing
2015 Don’t Complain
2014 Nothing Is The Same
Orange October (XII) – Giants Win Game 7 (3 To 2) And World Series (4 To 3)
2013 Hours, Days, And Years
2012 In Kev Are In Hil
2011 No Game, Didn’t Really Happen
A Good Post

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Love brings a voiding of our ego, which allows us to fill it anew.  Unless your loving attains to this void or self-emptiness, you have no chance for renewal.  This is what Christ meant when he said unless you die, you cannot be reborn or begin anew.
    —     Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s
From:  “The Brothers Karamazov
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On This Day In:
2020 Growth Mindset
I Wonder Where You Are
2019 Steps To Impeach #45
Science Upgrade Needed
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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Today my wife and I both got our COVID booster shots!!  We got same day scheduling at the pharmacy in our local supermarket.
Six(6) months and two days after receiving our second original vaccination.
No ill effects to speak of other than a slight soreness at the shot location which passed after a couple of hours.  (That was me.  Hil had NO effects.)
If everything works out, we should be good to go until next year when they’ll probably have an annual regime in place.  Time will tell…
If you have not received your vaccinations yet…  Get on it!  Protect your health and let’s get living our lives back to normal.  If you have received your initial vaccinations, but not your booster shot – get it scheduled as soon as you are eligible.  Life (and health) is too precious to risk losing it over politics.
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On This Day In:
2020 Three Down, Four To Go
Twenty-Four ‘Til You
2019 Two Down, Five To Go
2018 Year One, Done!
2017 First Day Of Retirement!
2016 Revere And Criticize
2015 Global Climate Change May Test This Statement
2014 Adaptability Won
2013 Disappeared
2012 Fuller
Life On The Range
More Classics
2011 Stoned Again?
2010 Insubordination… And That’s Why I Love Her!
Losing – Week One

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Happy Birthday, Bec!
Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities.  Seize common occasions and make them great.  Weak men wait for opportunities;  strong men make them.
    —     Orison Swett Marden
Well, on this latest trip around ol’ Sol…  You’ve gotten engaged and started buying the first home of your own.   Take time to enjoy these early days.  Make memories to keep for a lifetime.  Carpe Diem!
We love you always,
Mum and Dad

XXX
00
X

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On This Day In:
2020 Another Opportunity
Stand Up, Shout Out
2019 Birthday Gifts For Our Daughter
Feeling Age
2018 Seeking To Make A Difference
2017 Happy BD, Bec!
2016 BD Quotes
2015 Princess
2014 Optional
2013 Happy Birthday, Rebecca
2012 Be Not Old
2012 National League Western Division Champions!!!
2011 What Kind Of Work Do You Do?
2010 Another Loser… And Come November

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Man often becomes what he believes himself to be.  If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it.  On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.
    ––     Mahatma Gandhi
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On This Day In:
2020 Rules Of Morality
Tempting Fate
2019 Good People On Both Sides?
2018 Schedule, Please
2017 No Hope For #DumbDonald
2016 Do Something
2015 What Are You Making Now?
2014 Like Fire Burning In My Heart
2013 Oh Yes He Can!
2012 Enquiries
2011 The Prize: Understanding
2010 Can You Tell My Scanner Works?
Rebecca – The Early Years
James – The Early Years
Brothers By Another Mother

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“I sort of have this joke theory,” Brooks says, “that consciousness is put there by God, so that he has this very quick interface to find out what we’re thinking about.”
    —     Rodney Brooks
Quoted by:  Virginia Heffernan
In her article:  “Clean Conscience
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  dtd:  Nov 2020
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On This Day In:
2020 Everyone I’ve Ever Met
A Secret Chord
2019 A Big “IF”
2018 Silence Presence
2017 Feeling Small Standing In Front Of My Shelves
2016 Show Willing
2015 If He Only Knew…
2014 Dared To Love
2013 Strong Kung-Fu
2012 Two Tribes
2011 Made Any Assumptions Lately?

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Sometimes re-posts are entirely appropriate…  This isn’t “exactly” a re-post, but the first three following paragraphs are pretty close…
For the last twenty years, on 11 September my thoughts turn to those heroes who quietly serve to protect us:  those in the military services, those in law enforcement, and those in health and other protective services.
Today (as it was last year), my beloved State of California is under a state of emergency as fires rage up, down and across the the breadth of the State.  I would just like any of my readers to share with me a few moments of thought (prayers if you’re that way inclined) for those firefighters who are risking their lives daily (and have been for several weeks now) continuously fighting fires to save lives, pets and property.
I, for one, can never express my gratitude enough for what you do.  I can only offer you (and your families) my thoughts and prayers.  God keep you all safe!
This year, we are also engaged in a second wave (and second year) of battle against an indiscriminate virus which is ravaging the nation as well as our state.  Last year – at this time, we didn’t have a vaccine to help protect us in this battle.  This year we do have an effective vaccine, but it has not been fully distributed.  Consequently, the virus is now running rampant among those who are unvaccinated – particularly children under 12 years of age (for whom the vaccines have not yet been proven safe).
We do not know how long the vaccines will remain effective.  We do not know how severe “long-term” COVID effects will last or even if the effects ease or get worse for those COVID does not kill immediately.  What we do know is the vaccines are very effective in reducing the number of folks going to the ER with serious (life-threatening) illness.  We know masking, practicing social distancing and washing your hands frequently also reduces the rate of spread of the virus.
Unless you have an underlying medical condition which prevents you from getting vaccinated, the best thing you can do to help our doctors, nurses, EMTs and other health professionals is to get your shot(s).  The life you save may be your child’s…
And finally, my thoughts (and prayers) go out to the people of one third of the country damaged by the winds and rain of the recent hurricane (Ida).  With countless individual acts of courage, strength and charity, I believe you will come through these difficult days and be the stronger for it.
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On This Day In:
2020 Current Heroes
I’m Mid-West Born, But California Raised
Appropriated To Her Being
2019 All In Good Time
Day 13: Pause & Resume
Ghrelin And Leptin
2018 Gratitude And Warmth
Remembering Loss, Sacrifice And Service
Making Little Ones Out Of Bigger Ones
2017 Never Forget
2016 It’s All Greek To Me (Well, Latin Actually)
2015 Truism
2014 Thank You
2013 Really
2012 Ordinary Five Minutes Longer
2011 The Wealth Of Sons (And Daughters)

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A friend posted this word on Facebook and I (jokingly) replied I’d have to use it in a future poem.  He replied:  He would look forward to it.  So (okay), then I had to write a poem / ditty…  It’s a joke people!  It’s just a joke…  (Apologies to Disney and Mary Poppins.)

Floccinaucinihilipilification*

I knew a few Republicans
When I was just a lad,
They would call me Democrat
And tell me I was bad.
And then one day
I learned a word
That ended their derision,
The biggest word
They’d ever heard
And this is how it’s said…
Floccinaucinihilipilification
Oh, hum dil a lay ly,
Hum dil a lie
Hum dil a lay ly,
Hum dil a lie
I traveled all around the states
And every where I went
I’d describe Trump Republicans
With never a dissent
They labeled me Antifa
Because we disagreed
But they could not pronounce my word
Because they could not read
Oh, hum dil a lay ly,
Hum dil a lie
Hum dil a lay ly,
Hum dil a lie
They’re killing their supporters
By saying not to mask
They say we can be great again
By living in the past
Their candidates are laughable
Their policies bad jokes
They’re labeling us as communists
And trying to stop our vote
Oh, hum dil a lay ly,
Hum dil a lie
Hum dil a lay ly,
Hum dil a lie
Oh, floccinaucinihilipilification
Floccinaucinihilipilification
[spoken]
Over course they could try to say it backwards
Which would be…
Cation – pilifi – hili – ni – nauci – flocci
But that would be as ridiculous as expecting Faux News or The (Donald) Biggest Loser to tell the truth…
Now, wouldn’t it?
*   (pronounced:)  fläksəˌnôsəˌnīˌhiləˌpiləfiˈkāSHən/
Noun:  the action or habit of estimating something as worthless.
I believe the word is actually a combination of latin roots which mean (roughly translated):  hairs or fibers of little substance gathered together (like a pilling or a ball of lint).
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On This Day In:
2020 You Too?
Six Degrees
2019 A Branching Stream
Day 9: One Day At A Time
2018 Pity The Nation (Part 2)
Day 1: Redux
2017 Good Blogs, Too
2016 My Prediction For #AmnestyDon
2015 Worth A Try
2014 I’m Feeling It
2013 May I Have A Little More, Please?
2012 Increasing Doubt
2011 You Can’t Touch This

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Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat

Comment(s):
Thirty-seven years since my Hil came back to me (from Liverpool) and I still feel the same every time I see her looking my way.  🙂
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On This Day In:
2020 The Chain Must Be Broken
Back To Me…
2019 Love Like This…
2018 Open Hearts Find Strength
Day 32: Planning The Future
2017 Thinking Out Loud
2016 Fighting Change
2015 Get Change
2014 Trapped (Again)
2013 Someone Else Believes
2012 The Practical Value of Science
2011 Seize Gladly The Difficult Task
A Constitutional Conversation
2010 The Fierce Urgency Of Now…

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Over the weekend, I had another music / guitar lesson from my brother-in-law.  He has a degree in music, plays saxophone professionally, and has been teaching music in public schools for over twenty years.  Part of the lesson was to think about “learning performance skills“.  Here is a modified version of his lesson (with supplemental info from Wikipedia)…
The four stages of learning skills are:
Unconscious incompetence  (You don’t know that you don’t know and you don’t know what you don’t know.)
The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit.  They may deny the usefulness of the skill.  The individual must recognize their own incompetence, and the value of the new skill, before moving on to the next stage.  The length of time an individual spends in this stage depends on the strength of the stimulus to learn.
Conscious incompetence  (You know that you don’t know something and recognize you don’t know it.)
Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, they recognize the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit.  The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage.
Conscious competence  (You know what you know, but you have to concentrate on it to do it well.)
The individual understands or knows how to do something.  However, demonstrating the skill or knowledge requires concentration.  It may be broken down into steps, and there is heavy conscious involvement in executing the new skill.
Unconscious competence  (You don’t have to think about what you know how to do in order to do it.)
The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become “second nature” and can be performed easily.  As a result, the skill can be performed while executing another task.  The individual may be able to teach it to others, depending upon how and when it was learned.
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On This Day In:
2020 Come Laugh With Me
Make Life Be Life To Me
2019 For Your Consideration…
2018 Brown’s Rules
Day 23: Fasting Visualized
2017 Still Trying To Make It
2016 One Lucky Man
2015 Food Change ==> Health Change
2014 10 Commandments Of Logical Arguments (Fallacies)
2013 Sociology Of The Future
2012 1010
There In The Sunshine
2011 Not Enough Time

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