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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

XXX
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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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Silence is the only language God speaks.  Everything else is a bad translation.
    —     Rumi
[My message to the members of the “Christian / American Taliban”…    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 It Cannot Be A Science
Fallin’ And Callin’
2020 What’s Inside You?
Think Of Me And Smile
2019 Impeaching The Idiot In The Oval Office
2018 My Religion
Day 22: Step And Hang
2017 Adrift In The Oval Office
Regrets – The Donald Failed The Test
2016 Just Ask “The Donald”
2015 Did You Pass On It?
2014 Even When It Ain’t, It Is
2013 Still Happens
2012 Possessing Eternity
2011 I Thought We Were Talking About Afghanistan

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Last evening we attended the kick-off re-election gathering / party for my daughter (Rebecca), who is running to keep her seat on the Contra Costa County Community College Board.  If re-elected, this will be her second four-year term on the board.  Even though a junior member of the Board, she has already completed a year long rotation assignment as Board president and she hopes to be able to continue to bring her energy / exuberance to bear helping students achieve their life ambitions via affordable education.
Ever the proud dad, I encourage everyone reading this to make a donation at:  Rebecca Barrett for Community College Board 2022
If a donation is beyond your means, I hope you will get involved in your local politics and make your part of the world a better place for all.  Believe it or not, your limits ARE your imagination and your willingness to stand up and participate in making the future you want to see.
If nothing else, please be a part of the solution:  register for and VOTE in the upcoming election(s)!
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On This Day In:
2021 Living At The Edge
A Simple Song
More Sounds (Guitar Review)
2020 Poor Proof
Right From The Start
You Voted For An Incompetent And Corrupt Business Person To Drain A Political Swamp
2019 I Wish This Were More True
2018 Used To Rejection
Day 16: Looking Ahead (Just A Little)
2017 Tonight
I Rejoice
2016 Conscientious Courage
Speaking Of Which…
2015 The Beautiful Snow
2014 Nurtured By The Voices
2013 Précis
2012 Fear And Understanding
2011 Just Being Human

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Deep in my heart I know I am a loner.  I have tried to blend in with the world and be sociable, but the more people I meet the more disappointed I am, so I’ve learned to enjoy myself, my family and a few good friends.
    —     Steven Aitchison
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On This Day In:
2021 Your Best Heat
Memphis Group
2020 Me Too
2019 No Regrets
2018 In Times Of Crisis
Genes, Desire And Luck
2017 The Voice Of Experience
2016 Who And When
2015 Change Process
2014 What Is Still Possible
2013 Strength Is There
2012 Beyond Reasonable Doubt
2011 Celebrating Values
2010 Is it just me, or is it suddenly dark around here?
Dance!

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WAY back when I was starting high school (just before the meteor killed most of the dinosaurs), I signed up for a social studies / current events class.  As our homework, we were expected to become familiar with current events by reading at least one “national” publication (as opposed to a local newspaper with national news).  My mom always tried to encourage our reading so she signed up for three (four actually):  Time Magazine, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report.  The fourth was more for herself and the whole family:  Life Magazine.
Thus began my (more or less) life-long subscription to Time Magazine…
We dropped the other two after the first year’s subscriptions ran out – but she kept me going on Time.  There was a brief lapse while I was in the military and in training, but I picked it back up when I got stationed in Germany for my last two years.  I was reading the “International / European” edition.  I didn’t realize there was a “different” version until after I’d already subscribed.  I just assumed everybody in the world got the same news – after all, our “national” version contained international and European news.  But of course, this was a completely different focus / emphasis and I – being the ugly American – resented I wasn’t getting as much American news.
Anyway, I kept it up when I got out and went to college and, in fact increased my subscriptions to include the Time / Life book series on “understanding computers”, the book series on history and civilization, the book series “Reading Program” – (kind of a mini-“Great Books”) secondary works of famous authors, and two music series: “Great Men of Music” (classical composers) and “Big Bands”.  I continued my weekly subscription when we moved to Liverpool and again upon returning to the Bay Area.
Now, however, my 50+ year relationship with Time has run its course.  My subscription ended towards the end of last summer (2021).  For whatever reason, they continued to send me issues until the end of January this year (2022), but I did not and will not be renewing my subscription.
There are three primary reasons for my non-renewal:  1)  As of five years ago, I retired and funds are getting tighter.  Now don’t get me wrong…  I can still “afford” the subscription.  I just choose to spend the limited discretionary funds on other things.  2)  the magazine has gone from a weekly to a every-other-week magazine.  They are under pressure to turn everything over to the internet and are apparently struggling to keep up staff, quality and quantity.  The practical effect was the weekly was getting thinner and thinner.  Their shift has “almost” restored the number of pages in any given issue, but it’s still only half as many pages of information.  And, 3)  the magazine has modified the typeface in their hard-copy.  I’m fairly confident they explained / justified their reasons for doing this in one of their editor columns, but frankly, it (the magazine) is just less appealing to look at now.  And so I’m moving on…
And just to make a long story (post) longer…  Why now?  If the subscription ended last year and the “bonus” issues back in January, why am I writing this (blog post) is the end of “Time“?
It’s purely personal.  I get the issue in the mail.  I take a quick glance to see if there’s anything I “NEED” to know about now.  I read that.  The issue then goes into my “throne” rack to be read cover to cover when I’m doing “something else”.  So, now, at the end of six months, I’m all caught up and “moving” to other things…
I am continuing my subscription to “Wired” magazine and I will be occasionally be posting quotes from that source.   I will miss the Red border and (regretfully) I’m sure my overall knowledge of current events will suffer / decline.
Back in the Principal’s Office of my high school, there was a framed question on the wall:  “Time is passing…  Are you?
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On This Day In:
2021 Best To Be Trained And Educated
The Great Relief
2020 Diversity And Uniqueness
2019 Ebb And Flow
2018 America: Paging #45
2017 Near By
2016 Maybe Someday
2015 How’s The Cow?
2014 Mind Made Up
2013 On Purpose
2012 The Dream
2011 What Could Be More Comfortable?

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My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
    –    Thomas Paine
From:  “The Rights of Man
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On This Day In:
2021 A Quest
I’m Still Wondering
2020 Time For Bed
2019 With Proper Guidance
2018 MAGA?
2017 Neutral
Family Over Ego
2016 Hard Learners
2015 Goals
2014 Switch To Dogs…
2013 Times Change
2012 Ashes Not Dust
2011 A Handful From Saudi
None Of This Happened
Take Responsibility

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As we advance in love, we grow surer of the reality of God and of the immortality of the soul.
    —     Fyodor Dostoyevsky
From:  “The Brothers Karamazov
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On This Day In:
2021 Every Time It Gets Better
Distant!
2020 I’m Persuaded
2019 Hungry For Trust
2018 Mutual Assistance
2017 The Toughest Job
2016 Congratulations!!
Better Yet, Read!
2015 Even If It Kills Us Slowly
2014 Fun To Play God
Of Anything
2013 Legal (Almost)
2012 Great Scots!
2011 The GI Bill – A Simple History Lesson
Breaking Even

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Hil and I playing “relaxing tourists” somewhere in NorCal or Oregon about 10 yrs ago.  (LoL)
Thirty-Eight years ago I met the love of my life…   Loving her a little more each day makes getting old easier than I ever imagined it would be.
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On This Day In:
2021 Happy Meeting Day 37 (And Counting)
2020 Happy Meeting Day 36 (And Counting)
2019 Happy Meeting Day 35 (And Counting)
2018 Happy Meeting Day 34 (And Counting)
Storytelling
2017 Happy Meeting Day 33 (And Counting)
2016 Picture Perfect
2015 Life Showed Compassion
2014 And Then I Met Her
2013 Defining Maleness
The Run Continues
2012 All Set
2011 Not Always

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Your life as a Christian should make non believers question their disbelief in God.
    —    Dietrich Bonhoeffer
You will know them by what they do.  Thorn bushes do not bear grapes, and briers do not bear figs.
    —    Matthew 7:16
From:  “The Bible” (Good News Translation)
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On This Day In:
2021 We Like To Believe So, Anyway
More SoCal Sounds
2020 I’m Older Now
2019 Why #45 (#LazyDonald) Was Destined To Be A Failed Presidency
2018 Easter In Liverpool
Star Guides To Destiny
Growl
2017 Decisions
2016 Along The Path
2015 Make Mine Rare, Please
2014 Passion Flooding
2013 On Purpose
2012 Sans Gall Bladder, Day 4
How Did You Spend Your Day?
2011 It’s Hammerin’ Time!!
Convenient Auxiliaries

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On Tuesday, my sister called me up and asked if I wanted to do a “water fast” with her.  I asked what was involved.  She said:  “We start at 5pm today and go to 9am on Thursday.  You can have water, black coffee or straight tea – black, green or herbal.”  I said, sure, why not?  I’ll try it…
I finished dinner at 4:45pm and “started” the fast.  Other than water, all I had to drink was a pot of black coffee (68 ozs).
Initial reaction:  It wasn’t anywhere near as difficult as I thought it would be…  By starting in the evening, you miss the first day (8 – 12 hrs) of thinking about food.  By ending at 9am, you don’t have to do much to end the second day, but wake up.  I drank the coffee between 10am and 4pm and except for a rather poor night’s sleep, it didn’t bother me either.  I normally drink mostly cold black coffee anyway, so it was no big deal.  The coffee substantially reduced my hunger.  I don’t know if the late coffee (after 2pm) caused the poor night’s sleep as I’ve been experiencing poor sleep off and on for almost a year.
Post reaction:  Well, I dropped three(3) pounds – so that was interesting.  With no caloric input to speak of and a “normal” calorie burn of over 3,400, I would have expected a loss of no more than a single pound.  (Supposedly, one pound of weight is 3,500 calories.)  I didn’t do any exercise other than walking my dog for 20minutes, so that didn’t add anything to the calorie burn calculation.  Yesterday was a “water pill” day.  I take a water pill for my water retention on alternating days, but I didn’t feel bloated going into the fast and I don’t feel bloated today.  (A non-water pill day.)  From about 7pm to 10:30pm (last night), I had one of those “clarity” periods, where you feel 10 years younger (and slimmer) and your mind seems totally invigorated – so there is that…
Final thoughts:  Given my generally positive physical response, I think I’d like to try it again for a couple of weeks to see if it has any lasting benefits.  I think the Tuesday to Thursday protocol is also a good fit for me.  I’ll  post again if I have another go next week…
Oh, and my sister found it so good / easy, she added a couple of hours and did a 42hr fast!
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On This Day In:
2021 All I See Are Nails
More Money
2020 We Will Get Through This
2019 I Asked My Family Doctor Just What I Had
2018 You Have Just Begun To Climb
2017 Equal Protection Under Law
2016 A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion
2015 Or You Don’t
2014 If You Ever Fall…
2013 Glory Days (part 2)
2012 They Follow A Pattern – If You Know What I Mean
What I Live For (Precis)
2011 Giving

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Last year, we had our front yard converted from mostly grass to drought resistant rocks (and some plants).  Here’s a pre-change image…

Mostly grass…

And here are some shots of Spring’s colors…

Colors…

The flowers on the immediate sides of the path are miniature roses, which have a surprising amount of size variety considering they were all bought and planted at the same time…  The ones above are about mid-shin / knee height.

The Tallest…

This is the tallest and next to it (on the lower right) is the smallest.  There are probably a dozen more buds getting ready to blossom.  You can’t really tell from the photo, but there are a half-dozen bees doing their thing on this bush.

Diagonal Shot…

Here’s a better shot of the poppies…

California Poppies…

A better view of the snapdragons…

Snapdragons…

My wife spends a great deal of energy on the gardens (front and back), but it’s worth it for the up-lifting feeling you get when you see everything in the bright morning sunlight and full Spring colors…
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On This Day In:
2021 In Pursuit
The Music Of Her Laughter
2020 Close, Sustained And Careful
2019 #45: Spread The Fear
Fear The Beards
2018 Slice, Nick, Cut, Bled
2017 Like Most Blogs
2016 The Window Left Open
Free Experience
2015 Reality == Perception / (Times Reported * 10)
2014 Tear Da Roof Off Da Sucka
2013 Exposed Spirits
2012 Ow-ow
2011 Focused Relatives

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