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Archive for the ‘Faith Family and Friends’ Category

It can do truth no service to blink the fact, known to all who have the most ordinary acquaintance with literary history, that a large portion of the noblest and most valuable moral teaching has been the work, not only of men who did not know, but of men who knew and rejected, the Christian faith.
 
    —    John Stuart Mill
From:  “On Liberty
 
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On This Day In:
2022 The Fight Continues…
2021 Short, Swift, Haste
  Another Friend’s Passing
2020 Can We At Least Set The Bar Higher Than An Incompetent Liar In The Oval Office?
2019 Uncertain Times
  And Government Shutdowns, Too
2018 Satisfied
2017 In The Mind
2016 Dreaming
2015 The Best Medicine Is Also Contagious
2014 Eyes Off
2013 The More Things Change…
2012 The Delicate Moment Of Giving
2011 Ready, Shoot, Aim!!

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These things I command you, that ye love one another.
John 15:17
King James Version (KJV)
There are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along;  people who will appreciate our compassion, our encouragement, who will need our unique talents.  Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give.
    ―     Dr. Leo F. Buscaglia
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On This Day In:
2022 Biden Starts His Second Year
2021 DIY: Outdoor Gym Modifications (2)
Inauguration Day 2021
(Hopefully) Good-Bye To The Trump Dark Ages
2020 Posting As A Continual Exercise
2019 Border Security – Yes, Border Wall – No
2018 Supporting Survival Values
2017 Inauguration Day 2017  [Sometimes, I hate it when I’m right!   —   kmab]
2016 Or A Pot Of Gold After The Storm
2015 One, Two, Three…
2014 Lend Your Hand
2013 Amnesty, n.
2012 Best Resolv’d
The Clock Is Running
2011 Magic

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What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.
    —     Richard Bach
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On This Day In:
2022 Do It
2021 The Honor Is To Serve…
I Don’t Know That I Will
Only So Long
2020 Each Meaning
2019 The Deep End
Is Anyone ELSE Out There Listening?
2018 Defining Characteristic
2017 Just Asking
2016 Still A Burden
15 And Counting
2015 All A Game
2014 Two Thoughts
2013 RIP – Dear Abby
Half-Life Problems
2012 To The Soul…
2011 Reverted!!

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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 ornament was a Santa riding a red fire engine.  Anyway, we are getting ready to take the tree down the weekend after this, so I thought I’d post a few pictures of this year’s tree and ornament…  (You can click on the image to see a larger version.)

2022 Christmas Tree

2022 Santa on a Fire Truck Christmas Ornament

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On This Day In:
2022 2021 Tree And Ornaments
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 working each day to maintain the health and the safety of our families.  The “COVID pandemic” may be over, but they remain 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… 
Keep current on your vaccine(s) / booster shot(s).
And, to those of you traveling:  drive safely (to and from wherever you roam)…
[A big shout-out to  http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/  for providing today’s two images.  Please visit the site if you have a chance.    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 Christmas Wishes For 2021
This Simple Phrase
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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The window of my soul I throw open to the sun.
    —     John Greenleaf Whittier
From:  “My Psalm
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On This Day In:
2021 What Should Be Universal Exercise
I’m So Glad
2020 Trying To Keep On Keeping On
Bending
2019 Ooops (Again)
2018 Two Start Up Front
2017 I Love America Because…
An Act Of God
And So It Came To Pass (Act Of God part 2)
2016 As Far From
2015 Rocky 7
Just Like Politics
2014 Game And Legend
“Scientific” Pride In Humanity
2013 Real Honor
Catching Up
2012 Thoughts And Communications
2011 But How Does Peter Feel?
2010 Name That Regret

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The glory of God is a human being fully alive.
    —     St. Irenaeus
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On This Day In:
2021 Our Common Humanity
A History Story
2020 At The Very Least Smile More
Your Touch
2019 Still Working On Both
2018 Two Jordans To Heaven
Speaking Of #45
2017 All Greek To Me
2016 Judgment
2015 I Love Bacon, Too
2014 The Wee Bit
2013 Reading Rules
2012 Cadet Prayer
2011 Easy To Tell
2010 A NEW Lion In The Senate (Channeling Mr. Smith)
Inception Redux
A Quick Hit Of Stats

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Hil & me on our wedding day at City Hall in San Francisco, CA (3 Dec 1984)

Hil & me on our wedding day at City Hall in San Francisco, CA (3 Dec 1984)

 
When I wake up to you every day, I’m reminded that saying ‘I do’ was the best answer of my life.  After all these years, I’m still happy that you said it too!
 
Happy 38th Anniversary, Hil!
 
Love Always,
Your Kev
XXX
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    —    kmab]
 
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On This Day In:
2021 Happy 37th Anniversary, Hil!!
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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I’m an atheist and I thank God for it.
    ―     George Bernard Shaw
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On This Day In:
2021 Learning And Teaching
Two Loves
2020 Does Anyone Else Look Forward To The Last Lawn Mowing ‘Til Spring?
Only For You
2019 10,000 Tries
2018 Keep America Great – Vote This Tuesday
2017 Old Style Ear Candy
2016 Next Tuesday
2015 Wanna Trade?
2014 Brothers And Friends
2013 So Suddenly
2012 At The Center
2011 Live Long And Thinner
Got Health?
2010 SF Giants – 2010 World Series Champions!!!
52 – 54 – 56 – 58
2009 Diet Update
Pictures from Chicago Trip…

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The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship;  it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.
    ―     Ralph Waldo Emerson
Happy Birthday, Hil!!  May we forever hold hands on our walks…
All my love,
Always!
Your Kev
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On This Day In:
2021 It Also Helps To Marry Well
Holding Hands And Thinking
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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For me the Voice of God, of Conscience, of Truth, or the Inner Voice or “the Still Small Voice” mean one and the same thing.
    —     Mahatma Gandhi
Live seeking God, then you will not live without God.
    —     Leo Tolstoy
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On This Day In:
2021 Climate Change Deniers
We Don’t Listen Anyway
2020 Nothing New Here
Talk To Me
Register And Vote
2019 Love And Leave
2018 Smiling If Not Laughing
2017 Chilled And Smooth
2016 But Sometimes You Have To Stand In Front
2015 The Key Shift
2014 Remember ISIS / ISIL?
2013 What Have You Done Lately?
2012 B8
2011 I’m Definitely Not In Control

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The Curse Of Chief Tenaya”   (2002©)  —   book review
Today’s book review is for a historic fiction novel set in 1800’s.  The author is Craig J. Carrozzi.  It is about an Irish immigrant coming to the United States and making his life through the pre-, actual and post- “Gold Rush” in Northern / Central California.
Full disclosure:  Craig (the author) was a member of the football teams I played on while in high school in San Francisco.  After high school graduation, Craig joined the Peace Corps, returned to San Francisco to get his BA and then subsequently lived a good deal of his life in South America.  Like me, Craig was raised in San Francisco.  He is the author of five published books and numerous articles.  Of his five published books – one is about attending a SF Giants baseball game as a youth;  three are semi-autobiographical fictionalized stories about his time in South America;  and, this book (being reviewed) is about earlier days in Northern California.
The book’s main character is Jeremiah Ignatius McElroy.  He is born in Ireland, starts off as a hard life (potato famine and Yellow Fever), moves to the US (via Canada), travels across the country / continent and ultimately becomes a hunter and tour guide in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  His main geographic expertise is the high-country of Yosemite Valley and it’s “cousin”, the Hetch-Hetchy Valley.  He spends the winters in Oakland, CA with his widowed younger sister and her family.  Jeremiah is hired by a wealthy landowner to track down and destroy a Grizzly bear.
This is basically a “man’s” action book with a couple of interesting twists (interesting to me, anyway).  First, the current day action is interspersed with the growing-up portion of Jeremiah’s life.  The author / publisher uses the “trick” of italicizing the historical narration so the reader can clearly “see” when the author is talking about the past.  The second interesting aspect of the book is an obvious attempt to include “real” famous / historic literary figures in the story.  Hence, Jeremiah reads Ambrose Bierce columns in the daily newspaper;  drinks with Jack London in a bar; and, meets John Muir while up in the hills.
The “action” portion is the life of the growing up, becoming a man and then aging and preparing for old age;  but within the specific confines of the plot, it is the pursuit of a giant Grizzly which has been terrorizing cattle ranches in and around the Hetch-Hetchy area.
So, is this book any good?  Is it realistic in it’s character(s) and / or historic depictions?  Is it entertaining and / or interesting?  And, finally, do I recommend this book?
In short – the answer is YES, to all of these questions.  The book is relatively short (225 pages) and the story is a fast and well paced read.  I read it completely in one sitting and found it hard to put down for my own meals.  (This despite a good deal of delicious sounding meals through-out the book.)
In general, the book seems pretty accurate to very accurate in describing both people and locations.  I must admit, I felt the author let a bit of his own “politics” come into the attitudes and language used in some of the conversations.  One example is when Jeremiah uses the word “deforestation” in an extended dialogue.  I looked the word up.  The word is cited as first used around 1870, so it is possible Jeremiah might know it, but it seems to me, unlikely a hunter / trapper / outdoorsman / tour guide would know the word, let alone use the word.  But, these are very minor flaws in an otherwise well written work.  A brief clarification:  I haven’t spoken with the author in over 50 years, so I really have no idea about his “politics” or if they are reflected in the writing.  It’s just how I felt while reading the book.
And, “the Curse” itself?  Well, it created a “hook” and theme for the book, but I felt it could have been better fleshed out.  I’m not sure why I feel that way or how I might have advised the author to improve the story during development, but it (the “hook”, not the book as a whole) made me feel like I was reading a poor mix of “Dancing With Wolves“, “The Last of the Mohicans” and “The Deer Hunter“.  Very much like those movies, the ending is thought provoking rather than PollyAnn-ish uplifting.  A “Good” or “Bad” ending will then depend on the reader’s individual reaction to the ending.  The “curse” was from the last Native American Chief of the tribe (Chief Tenaya, a non-literary, but “real person” from the period) which lived in the Hetch-Hetchy Valley.  He pledged to haunt those who would despoil the tribes sacred lands (the Valley).
I found the book to be between “hard to put down” and “can’t put down”.  That’s quite a statement from this reviewer.  The descriptions of the skies, mountains, valleys, flowers and animals filled my imagination and reminded me of earlier outdoor travels and adventures from my own youth.
Final recommendation:  Very highly recommended if you are into “masculine” adventure type action stories with a historical setting.  Given I was raised in Northern California, I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of “old world” San Francisco, Oakland and the towns from the Bay Area to Hetch-Hetchy.  If you are prudish, be advised there is some minor sexual content, but I felt it was well within the boundary of character and story development.
Disclaimer:  I purchased this book at normal / sale price (for an old / used book) and no compensation has been provided to me by anyone for my opinions in this review.
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On This Day In:
2021 MAGA Choice: Reality Or Lies
You Seem To Be
2020 A Good Reason To Blog
Finally Enjoying The View
2019 Living Free
2018 Relative Imagination
2017 Thank You, Senator McCain (So Far Anyway)
2016 What About Friends?
2015 It Tastes Good To Me
2014 Others’ Footsteps
The Not-So-Modern Samurai
2013 Doin’
2012 A Lover
2011 What Have We Found Here
Words

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Happy Birthday, Bec!
Be happy for this moment.  This moment is your life.
    —     Omar Khayyam
And congratulations (again) on starting the new job and being unopposed for re-election to the College Board!
We love you always,
Mum and Dad

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On This Day In:
2021 Strong Women Make Them Too
Gather Moments
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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As we in the United States are currently experiencing terrible flooding in our South – South / East and extreme deadly heat in our South – South / West, let us take a moment to think about our fellow humanity suffering equally devastating weather related catastrophes in other parts of the world.
Tonight, as I am thinking of / praying for my fellow Americans in Mississippi, I am doing the same for Pakistan where there are estimates of over 1,100 people having lost their lives and over 20 million are homeless due to rain and flooding.
May God / Allah assist you in your time of need…
Salaam Alaikum for and from the people of America.
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On This Day In:
2021 Why Republicans Are Unhappy
I Guess It’s True
2020 A Tiny And Fragile World
Your Lyin’ Eyes
2019 Day 1: Done
#IncompetentDonald Fails On All Three
2018 I Put It Down To Bad Teachers
Day 34: In And Out
2017 And The Future Is Now
2016 I Am
2015 Positively Aiming Higher
2014 Suspicious Minds
2013 We Are Not Alone
2012 Lawyer, n.
2011 Each Day Remember…
2010 Impossible Dreams of Camelot

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You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge.
    —     Robert M. Pirsig
From his book:  “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
[Thirty-eight years ago my Hil came back to me!!  I still fall asleep – “Counting my blessings…”    —   kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 Or The Person You Love
Still Beating For You
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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