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Archive for the ‘Family and Friends’ Category

The nuclear family, in its brief heyday, was fundamentally an economic strategy, one that made it easier to control the supply of workers and organize childcare and domestic work so that women were doing as much of it as possible for free.  This arrangement no longer makes economic or emotional sense — and millennials know it.  Almost half of us, after all, grew up with parents who were divorced, or in single-parent households.  But the nuclear family remains the only form of family with cultural legitimacy.
Here’s the lesson I had to learn:  “Traditional” nuclear families today are no more stable or secure, no more or less likely to lead to lasting happiness, than “alternative” households.  In “The Sirens of Titan“, Kurt Vonnegut spends hundreds of pages coming to the conclusion that the purpose — or at least a purpose — “of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”  The problem with found families is exactly the same as the problem with every other sort of family.  There is no perfect structure, no single set of rules, that can guarantee that people will always be decent to each other, will never have growing up to do, and that nobody will ever get their heart broken ever again.
And that, I suppose, is what family means.
It means you love whoever is around to love.  That doesn’t mean you have to like them all the time.  Love takes work.  Living together takes work.  Sick and tired of waiting around in the antechamber of socially sanctioned adulthood, millennials are setting up home right here.  We are not waiting for our “real lives” to start.  We may never have the security or stability we were raised to desire, but we can still have commitment and community.  For me, this is my real life.  These are the households and relationships where I have grown up, learned how to take care of myself and other people, had my heart and brain and favorite mugs broken.  These are our real lives, brief and beautiful, stupid and unlikely, and we would live them far better if we were given permission — beyond the wish fulfillment of fiction — to believe in them.
    —    Laurie Penny
From her article: “Live Wrong And Prosper: It’s The Future Of Families
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine, dtd: July / Aug 2020
Online at:  https://www.wired.com/story/live-wrong-prosper-covid-19-future-of-families/
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On This Day In:
2020 A Message To Optional Trump Supporters (Basically Everyone)
2019 Bigger Jaws
On The Other
2018 Hoping For A Blue Wave In November
2017 Garden Dreaming
2016 Well, Maybe Not “No” Talent
2015 An Appetite For Life
A Trip To The Library
Great Expectations
2014 Pass The Soul
2013 Zapping Music And Art
2012 Not Quite Fantastic
That Kid Is Back
2011 Wolves At The Door
2010 I’m Feeling Patriotic… (Well, more than usual, anyway.)
Beating the Heat…

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I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn’t.
    —    Albert Camus
At 30 a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities, know how far he can go, foretell his failures – be what he is.  And, above all, accept these things.
    —     Albert Camus
[Happy Birthday, son.  Listen to your heart and stay true to it…
Love Always,
    —    Mum and Dad]
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On This Day In:
2020 Make A Fuss
2019 Hopefully, You’re Learning To Forgive
2018 Enjoy The Sunsets As Well As The Sunrises
2017 Enjoy
2016 I Got A Feeling
2015 Fiction Leading To History
2014 A Self-Correcting Process
2013 None But He Knows
2012 99% Are Demanding
2011 All In The Family
Take Your Pick

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It’s like deja-vu, all over again.
    —    Yogi Berra
[Happy Birthday, Sis!!   It’s not the age in the mirror that counts;  it’s the youth in your heart.    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 To My Idealistic Sister
2019 Respect For My Sister
2018 I Trust Cows
No Boundary
2017 Don’t Sink Now
2016 A Burning Passion To Teach Freedom
2015 Before Debit (And Credit) Cards
2014 Herding Cats
2013 Ooops!
2012 Understand A Great Truth
2011 Start Here…
2010 Random Acts of Vandalism On Easter Weekend…

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Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism.  It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.
    —    Václev Havel
[Happy Birthday, Mom!
You raised me with optimism, hope and faith…  Love, Kevin]
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On This Day In:
2020 Thank You (To Those Who Serve)
Hanging In There
2019 Her Job, Too
2018 Just Another Song I Like
Earlier Still
2017 Ten To Go
2016 Unstable Emergence
2015 88
2014 Some One-Liners Are Too Easy
2013 Greatness
2012 Memories Of Arlington
2011 Wake Up

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I don’t have any solution, but I certainly admire the problem.
    —    Ashleigh Brilliant
[Happy Birthday to me!    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Still Measuring
2019 Living On The Couch
Who Am I – One Interpretation
2018 A Gardening Goal: Feed The Flowers
2017 Freakishly Happy Cowboy
2016 One More, Please
2015 Infinite Adventure
2014 Unpaved
2013 Headstones
2012 Keeping Young
2011 Lessons Well Learned

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Today my wife and I received our second COVID-19 vaccine doses.  We both got the Pfizer version.  Now we wait fourteen days for the full effect to kick and and then we will be able to resume fairly “normal” life.
Saying that, we anticipate wearing masks in public until summer of 2022.  Wearing masks IS NOW the new normal until scientists can advise about the various strains of COVID and the effectiveness of the current vaccines against them.
What’s different then?  We anticipate “some” travel restrictions will be lifted and we’ll be able to visit family in Liverpool and go other places (stores and restaurants) without too much worry.  We also are looking forward to more casual and comfortable visits with family members (summer BBQ’s, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners).
We have lost friends and loved ones and we are grateful to have gotten through this pandemic by the grace of God, the luck of fate, the hard work of all the scientists and first line care givers and other critical staff who have worked throughout this crisis, and (probably not least importantly) by wearing masks, social distancing and washing our hands.
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On This Day In:
2020 Democratic Aspiration
2019 Soul Before Will
2018 Small Things
2017 Clear And Warm To Me
2016 Ripple
2015 Amazing Or Full Of Wonder?
2014 Are You Confused?
2013 But The Odds Are Against It
2012 Far Better Off With Books
2011 Timid And Fainthearted

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I just want to thank everyone who made this day necessary.
    —   Yogi Berra
[Happy birthday, Bro!  And, yeah, I still need my little (younger) brother…  Love, ya.    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Especially You, Bro
Words Without Explanation
2019 Enjoy!
2018 Happy Birthday, Bro!
2017 Love Can Change The World In A Minute
2016 60, Little Bro!
2015 Vision and Courage
2014 58 – Little Bro
2013 New Adventures And Old Hopes
Caving In
2012 Bits And Bobs And Birthdays
Always Hope
2011 Wet Snow And Long Hills

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Burn old logs.  Drink old wine.  Read old books.  Keep old friends.
   —   Alfonso X of Spain
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On This Day In:
2020 Always
2019 #45 Is More Of A Piddle Than A Puddle
2018 Found Out
A Message To The “Wanna Be” Dictator On Leadership
2017 Still Waiting…
2016 Same Old, Same Old
2015 Shout!
2014 I Hear Voices
2013 Ethics And Standards
2012 Swing Higher
2011 Convicted For Life

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We do not have to become heroes overnight.  Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.
    —   Eleanor Roosevelt
[Sarah, Happy Birthday!!
Congrats on your recent certificate!  Keep taking your steps.  We are proud of you!!
Love Always,
Mum & Dad]
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On This Day In:
2020 Giving Thanks
2019 One A Day
2018 Try
2017 You’re Starting To Make Us Feel Old
2016 Focus
2015 Challenging Legacy
2014 Happy 21st Birthday!
2013
2012 Trust Him Smile
2011 Why Change?

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For the last week, it’s been in the mid-to-low 70’s to high-60’s here.  So my better half decided yesterday that our front yard needed it’s first cutting of the year.  The gardener / laborer (me) took care of that while the chief chef and bottle washer (her) went off for some groceries.  While I was doing the mowing I noticed we got our first rose of the year in our front path.  We have a series of miniature rose bushes on one side of our front path.  There on the smallest bush, was a tiny rose barely the size of the tip of my thumb.  I mentioned this to my wife and she said there is also a single rose out in the backyard.  And, below are the two of them…

2021 First “mini” rose on the front path…

2021 First rose in the backyard…

The backyard (red) rose is not a “mini”, but it’s also not a normal size of one from a florist.  I guess it is still too early in the season for that size.
I apologize for the fuzzy images, but I’ve never claimed to be a decent photographer.  When I tried to shoot between breaths, I could feel my heartbeat shaking my arms / hands.
To paraphrase some quote I’m sure I’ve read somewhere:  “Enjoy the moments of beauty and the days of your life will take care of themselves.”  (Okay, maybe I made that one up.   —  KMAB)
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On This Day In:
2020 Which Is Which
2019 Were You Saying Something?
2018 Ethics Lesson
2017 May I Have Some More, Please?
2016 A Little Lost
2015 This High Place
2014 Elected Madness
2013 Well Written
2012 Related Parts
2011 The King Is Oscar
Better Reputation?

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This afternoon, my wife and I both got our first COVID vaccine shots!  We’re also scheduled for our 2nd shots towards the end of March.  Two weeks after that we should be “fairly” safe from COVID.  So far (after 6 hrs), the only after-effects are a little shoulder soreness at the injection site.
It is important for everyone to understand: the vaccines do NOT prevent you from getting COVID or from developing long-term  COVID related illnesses OR transmitting COVID to others.  The vaccines are only supposed to prevent you from getting “seriously” ill and dying.  We got the Pfizer version which is 95% effective at preventing “serious” illness and was 100% effective preventing deaths during trials.  We still do not know how long the vaccines remain effective and / or if we will need periodic boosters (like the annual flu shots).
The bottom line is that even after we have reached some level of local / state / national / worldwide herd immunity, we will probably need to keep wearing masks and maintaining “some” social distancing.  We just don’t know enough yet and we will have to follow the science / data when it becomes available…
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On This Day In:
2020 Decide, Support, Vote
2019 Aware Some
2018 Know Any Christians?
2017 The Only Thing I Can Give…
2016 Wiser But Less Cocksure
2015 Not Today
Wicked
2014 …Am Too
2013 Credible?
2012 Both
2011 Risking Hidden Linkage

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The days pass slowly,
but the weeks, months and years
fly into the past.
In the dark,
I listen to you breathe
and I feel peace.
I close my eyes each night
and pray to see your smile again
in the morning.
With the dawn
I seek your touch
and lightly move the hair from your forehead.
I whisper in your ear
and you brush me away
as you stir from sleep.
The garden sun warms,
the birds call from the trees
and a first cup of coffee
fully wakes you.
The day passes slowly…
A touch, a smile, a hug, a laugh.
Time flows.
We are together
and
it is enough.
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On This Day In:
2020 A Post-Valentine Thought
2019 A Little Magic
‘Cause It Makes Me Feel Happy
The Mark Against Your Name
2018 Nice To Meet You
2017 All Nations & Religions
2016 Given The Choice
Why Is He Wearing Red?
2015 Within The System
2014 None But…
2013 Obviously Longer
2012 A Childhood Poem
Who Are You Callin’ Leather-Faced?
2011 In No Particular Order
The Need For Proof

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Is there anything more badass / sexy than a lady out walkin’ her dog in sweatpants and her Caterpillar sh*t kickers?
Tell me they don’t SCREAM attitude…  LoL!!!
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On This Day In:
2020 Skyin’
2019 I Hope He Has A Lot Of Room Down There
2018 What Time Is It?
2017 Gifts
2016 30 Seconds
2015 Success
2014 Create The Fact
2013 Overpowering Curiosity
2012 On Planning The Invasion Of Iraq…
2011 This And That
I’m Bettin’ On The Bible

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My “Do It Yourself” (DIY) efforts on setting up a home workout station are proceeding.  Below are some images of the yesterday’s progress…
Yesterday, I assembled my “double-double”.  Basically, it’s two striking targets attached at two ends.  The bottom target is roughly the height of a body shot (waist to lower ribs).  The top target is roughly the height for head shots (chin, front and side of the head).  You may notice a few things:
1)  the top attachment is vertical while the bottom is horizontal.  The bottom target would normally be either fixed to the flooring below or (using some type of rope or bungee) attached to a weight to stabilize the target and limit random / excessive swinging movement.  In this case, I had to work within the “command structure” of:  “I don’t want any of your weights damaging my concrete!”  So, I used a horizontal bungee (with a loop to keep the rope from sliding left and right).  The practical limitation to this setup is I cannot work around the target;  I am limited to the 180° on the front side.  Still, I can live with it…
2)  less obvious until you start hitting the targets…  They are not “fixed” within the netting.  There are gaps above and below the balls where they can move when struck.  The practical effect of this is they are not staying in the same place in the netting when you try to do a double-up punch (like two jabs to the head).  I will try to correct this by tying rope / paracord around one end of each ball / net to “lock” them into a more standard position within each net.
3)  FAR less obvious, (but which I have learned from recent experience,) is that these targets hit back at you – and from unexpected angles (at least up to now unexpected).  In my initial setup (prior to my wife’s objection), I had the bottom ball / net secured by weights.  This tended to produce reaction motion for both balls in a relatively circular motion around a vertical axis (much like an up-right cylinder).  After the modification to the bottom to include the horizontal bungee, a solid right punch to the bottom target resulted in a solid left hook by the upper ball to the right side of MY head.  My wife started laughing and said:  “It hits back!!”  (Note: NotAre you okay, dear?“)  As near as I can tell, this is due to the back and forth (back to front) motion of the lower horizontal bungee and the circular (like a vertical cylinder) motion of the upper vertical bungee.  My response:  “I’m gonna need a head-guard.”  Her reply:  “You sure are!“, still giggling.  Fortunately (for me), there wasn’t sufficient mass / speed in the basketball to knock me out, because it certainly struck me full on the side of my head at roughly temple / cheek height.
My next brilliant (okay, obvious) idea was to attach the original horizontal double-end target (“bag”) and see what that felt like.  To my surprise, a “triple-double” and it is terrific!  I now had a target (the bottom ball) for body shots, a target (the middle ball) for upper-cuts and body jabs, and a top target (the top ball) for chin and head shots.  The only trick now is to find a way to attach the original double-end to the double-double which keeps them together (when used together), but which also easily separates so I can continue to use the single-double on its own.  The original horizontal “single-double” works as a “slip-rope”.  A “slip” is when you move your head side to side (like a metronome) to avoid an incoming punch.  It is frequently accompanied by a “bob” (up and down head movement).  Together, they are referred to as “bobbing and weaving”.  Basically, I stand next to one post and move to the other ducking under the rope with each step to the side.  When I get to the middle, I release an upper-cut.  I then continue to the opposite post.  When I reach the post, I turn around and start back, trying to time the steps so my next upper cut with be with the other hand.  (Always try to practice every punch with both hands.)  Anyway, there is still some tweaking to do…
The next image is what’s happening in the background.  I attached a “hook-screw” to the back post and then I just swing the weighted chain up to it and hook onto it.  The lat-pulley set up is then out of the way for the boxing.  It is adjustable for more clearance, but because of the angles, it (the chained weights) doesn’t have to be as far back as I initially expected.
And, finally, here’s an image of the “normal” lat-pulldown.  We timed the set up and take down and it takes under a minute to set up or take down!  It takes longer to put on a single boxing hand-wrap than it does to set up the station for boxing.
And so the adventure continues…
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On This Day In:
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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Apologies to all of you putting up with less than ideal weather conditions…  Here in the San Francisco Bay Area it’s a comfortably warm 72°…  In other words…

Image of the hammock in our backyard

17 Jan 2021 – It’s Hammock Time!

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On This Day In:
2020 Still Crazy After All These Years…
2019 20 / 20 Foresight
He Knew Damned Well…
2018 Be Someone’s Kindling
2017 When The Moment Comes
2016 Changed Clothes Lately?
2015 Like Stone
2014 Resistance Is Futile
2013 Subtle Humor
To Look Behind Green Eyes
2012 The Path Is Endless
2011 Happy MLK, Jr Day!!!
A Factor Of Ten
Better Late Than Never?
Whoops!
Acceptable Beginnings
Slow Progress
Useful Confrontation
When Phenomena Are Different
Creative Avoidance
Thinking
Fast And Flexible
Surrender Certainty
Techniques
Vive La Difference
Destiny
Completeness
Art

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