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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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Waaay back when I was a child, we had a dog we found as a stray puppy.  She was a little Scottish Terrier mix / mutt;  white with light brown ears.  No more that a foot high at the top of her head.
One day I took her to Golden Gate Park (in San Francisco).  At the entrance to the park is a pond named:  Alvord Lake.  Actually, it’s really more of a pond than a lake, and I didn’t even know it had a name.  Anyway, as we were coming down the rise from the park entrance, I let me dog off her leash.  My dog looked up and saw some ducks floating / swimming on the lake and she was off like a flash…
Now, at that particular time of year, the lake surface was covered with a dense cover of bright green pond scum – some kind of seasonal algae growth.
Back then, the lake did not have the palm trees or ferns which you can see in a more recent photo (below), but it did have the large rocks on the edge of the paths and around the edge of the water.
My dog was racing full bore towards the nearest ducks, intending to bound off of one of the boulders and into the middle of the her prey / victims.
Seeing her coming, the ducks were starting to move away and separate.
She hit the rock, leaping in the air more than her own full height and braced her feet to land on the dead run, pivot and continue the chase…
Yes, the predictable happened!  Splash!!  Surprised, she emerged covered in the scum / algae.  She was able to shake a good deal of the muck off once she swam back to shore.
Generally, it is wrong to anthropomorphize your pets, but I have never seen a dog / pet look more embarrassed by such an obvious mistake in judgement.
Needless to say, I was beside myself with laughter (at least until I got home and had to bathe her).  And, no, the GIF above is not of my dog 50+ years ago.  But it reminded me of the incident and made me chuckle.
[Disclaimer:  the two images are from Google and Google Maps.  The GIF was found on the net.  I don’t remember where.  I make no claim to ownership and they are being used for informational / illustrative purposes only.    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 I Don’t Want To Get Any Older…
Maybe I’ll See You There
2019 Free At Last!
2018 Some Basic Virtues
Day 17: Fit In 48’s
2017 Too Soon We Part…
Rigorous And Difficult
2016 Where And Why
2015 The Beauty Of Thy Voice
2014 Faith In Men
2013 An Average Verge
2012 Dew Drop Secrets
2011 Champion Freedom

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So, this was our house last year after the new paint job…
And here it is after updating our front garden to help conserve water…
As you can see, we’ve removed the front grass and replaced it with (mostly) white stone.  We’ve circled the two trees with larger riverbed stones and red pumice (like) stones.  We’ve high-lighted the roses on either side of the brick path and added river stone edging on the sides.  We added a “fake” stream bed curving from near the top of the path, around our big tree, down to the sidewalk.  And, finally, we sprinkled various plants in the white stone areas.  We hope they will fill out and add a bit of color to the otherwise plain white space.
Many (not quite most) of the houses in our neighborhood have already done the same to their front gardens.  I don’t know how much money we’ll save, but every drop of water counts in this age of climate change.  Over 25 of the last 30 years have been drought years here in California, so our action is long past due.  Hopefully, better late than never…
And, of course, the best news is:  NO more mowing the lawn, while reducing the expense of our water bill.
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On This Day In:
2020 Was #IncompenentDonald Born To Be A Diplomat?
2019 Have You Planted Lately?
2018 Something / Nothing
2017 Kindness
2016 Dealing With It
2015 Too Many Choices!
2014 Vini, Vidi, Vici
2013 Heroes
Education, n.
2012 Who I Want To Be
2011 Mythic Forgetfulness

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The Long And Winding Road

Thirty-Seven years ago I met the love of my life…   It took awhile, but my winding road finally lead me to her.
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On This Day In:
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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A while back, I mentioned my wife still has her childhood teddy-bear: “Teddy”.  I also mentioned I think of Teddy as guarding our bedroom / bed during the day.  The other day, I was making the bed (well, straightening the bed) and my thoughts wandered back to the court scene from the movie: “A Few Good Men” and Colonel Jessep’s (played by Jack Nicholson) lines:  “You want me on that wall.  You need me on that wall!”  I chuckled to myself as I put “Teddy” on station.

Image of Teddy under the covers

Teddy “Under Cover” for Winter duty

Image of Teddy on top of covers.

Teddy In Summer Position

 

Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.
   —    Winnie the Pooh
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On This Day In:
2020 Precious Life
2019 Nothing Is Too Difficult For Me
Patterns Of Caring
2018 And May Never Be
2017 Don’t Forget
2016 I Was A Percentage Man
2015 It Waits Patiently
2014 Unknown
2013 Explaining Love?
2012 Echoes of 1%
2011 Salaam, Egypt!!
Where Do You Learn?

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As of today, there have been 378,777 COVID-19 related deaths in the United States.  This post is about one of them…
Last week, while we (the nation) were going through a violent civil insurrection in the nation’s capitol, Joseph Beierly was engaged in his own personal “insurrection” battle.  Sadly, he lost his battle.
I met Joe back in 1962, through his older brother, Ralph Beierly who was in my grammar school class.  Ralph had five brothers (in order: Dave, Frank, Ray, Ralph, Joe and George) he lived with and two half-brothers who were already grown up and no longer living at home.  Joe was the second youngest of those still at home.  Joe / Ralph’s parents took me under their wings and it was not unusual for me to have dinner at their house more than once a week.
At some point, you realize the older and younger siblings of your friends (like your own brothers and sisters) become “real” people, instead of “big” or “little” brother / sister of… (whomever).  Sometimes this realization is sudden.  Frequently, it is not.  For me, this happened with Joe while we were on a “road-trip” to Canada.  Joe and I had gone up to Lake Shasta to water ski and hang out on another friend’s pontoon houseboat for a week.  Unfortunately, my other friend had a family emergency and had to secure the houseboat and return to the Bay Area, so Joe and I were left high and dry for the remainder of the week.
Joe Beierly on our trip to Canada

Joe Beierly on our trip to Canada

At the time, Joe was working for a telephone manufacturing company which was doing something in Canada and offering U.S. staff the opportunity to relocate if they wished to.  Joe asked if I would mind spending the remainder of the week driving up to Canada to “check out” the new location to see if he was interested.  With nothing else to tie us down, I agreed to split the costs and off we went.
Joe drove up to Seattle and then we boarded a ferry to Vancouver.  That’s pretty much it.  We saw a lot of greenery.  Joe and I rode our first car ferry.  (Why a car ferry?  Just because neither of us had ever been on one.  We drove back.)  We listened to a lot of music during the drives.  A couple of nights we camped and a couple we stayed in “inexpensive” (cheap) motels.  We mostly did just enough to keep the trip going.  Then we’d park and chill.  Did I mention we brought along seven cases of beer for the week we expected to stay at Shasta?  As I recall, we got through five of them and I let him have the remainder when we got back to S.F.
What did I learn about Joe?  Mostly he had grown up to be his own man while I was away in the Army.  He was a bit of Dave (he enjoyed working with his hands).  He was a bit of Frank (he could be a charmer when he wanted to be).  He was a bit of Ray and Ralph in music tastes and how he treated other people with respect – irrespective of their job / station.  Like his dad, he had a way of looking at things logically and figuring them out.  Like George, he had a “little brother” attitude: “You may be a bit older, but I’m nippin’ at your heels, and I’ll catch up soon.”  But mostly, what I realize now is that he had what I call the Beierly “give it try” attitude.  “If it doesn’t work out, we’ll fix it or try something different.”

Joe in his Dress Whites

I’m not sure if Joe ever got offered or accepted that job in Canada.  (I don’t believe he did.)  The next thing I heard he was in the Navy.  I was a bit surprised by that because Joe wasn’t one to take “instruction” from his older brothers (a mind of his own), but he took to the Navy like a fish to water.  Joe got married (to Ceal, the proclaimed love of his life).  He made a career of service.  And he raised a family which he openly cherished.  We were both raised Roman Catholics.  I’ve tended to fall off the wagon periodically, but Joe became a working Christian (“by their acts you shall know them”).  Unfortunately, with my living in Europe and his living around the world (and / or way over on the East Coast), I never got a chance to ask him about that.  I would check in with Ray before and after football season and Ray would tell me about Joe’s kids this and Joe traveling there and Joe helping these people with that.  All the things “family” talk about when you’ve known each other long enough to not have to say anything and you’re sure there’s always time to kick-it again in a few months.

Joe and Ceal

And now, Ray and Joe are both gone…
The world is a better place for them having been here.  My world is a little less sunny for their passing.  And once again I mourn the loss of a brother by another mother…
COVID-19 is just a virus.  It doesn’t care about how many lives it takes or the families and grief it leaves behind.  378,777 of our fellow Americans have died…  This post has been about one of them.
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On This Day In:
2020 Implications
2019 Just To…
2018 Still Going…
2017 Great Risk
2016 Robbery
2015 Humanity Plus
2014 Dinner For Two?
2013 Exercise For Those Over 50
2012 Tearful Joy!!
Except When He’s Left

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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).  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.)

For the X-mas movie geek (me)

Peanuts Anniversary

Doggie Ornament (will be Shiva when we can get a decent photo after the lock-down)

Our 2020 Tree

2020 Tree and our “Saudi Tree” in the right background

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On This Day In:
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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Grow old along with me!  The best is yet to be, The last of life, for which the first was made . . .  Trust God; see all, Nor be afraid.
   —    Robert Browning Hamilton
[Happy 36th Anniversary, Hil
You are my sunshine!!
Love Always,
Your Kev
XXX
00
X
  —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
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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We remember…
The two images below are of mementos from my wife’s family side.  The medallion was given to her family for her father’s uncle who died in World War I (“The Great War“, “The War To End All Wars“).  The second image is of a Christmas card from 1917, which Hil’s grandfather (her mum’s dad) sent home while he was a prisoner of war (POW) in a German camp.
A token of service for a life given and a signal of life for continuing hope.
Sacrifice and service…  We remember…
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On This Day In:
2019 Veterans Day – 11 November 2019
2018 Veterans Day – 11 November 2018
2017 Veterans Day – 11 November 2017
2016 Veterans Day – 11 November 2016
2015 Veterans Day – 11 November 2015
2014 Veterans Day – 11 November 2014
2013 Veterans Day – 11 November 2013
2012 Monkey Business
Veterans Day – 11 November 2012
In Others
2011 Veterans Day – 11/11/11
Deeply Confused (Still)
2010 We are not from fearful men and I Am Not Afraid!!
Veterans Day – 11 November 2010
2009 Narrowly missed first weight goal, but still happy…

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Cleaning Windows

The “original” LP version…
And a “live” version…
Comment(s):
When my son was young (pre-teen) and we were living in Liverpool, his mum and I used to ask him what he wanted to grow up to be.  He always replied:  “I want to clean windows.”  We always assumed he’d grow out of this “job” answer, but he kept saying it for several years.
One day I asked him why he wanted to clean windows.  He replied:  “Because when you’re up on the ladder, you don’t have a boss constantly looking over your shoulder and watching you work and you get your money in hand after each house.”  I asked him why that was important.  He replied:  “Because the tax man will never know how much you earned, so you can diddle him dead easy.
I used to chuckle about that conversation every time I heard this song.  Nowadays, I think:  “Someday my son could turn out to be a Republican candidate for the Presidency.
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On This Day In:
2019 Running History, But I Don’t Expect Many To Match It…
It’s Probably Easier When You Live Alone
2018 25 Days Until The November Election
Old And Young
2017 Universal Soul Sounds
2016 Not Rivals
2015 Dead Sure
2014 Are You Educated?
2013 For Myself
2012 And When I’m Gone…
2011 Complete Conviction

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I’m Coming Out

Comment(s):  This was my wife’s favorite song while she was in San Francisco (the spring we met) in 1984.  I gave her the “Diana” LP as a going away present when she left to go back to the U.K.  We still have the LP in our vinyl collection.  (LoL)  It’s seen a few miles in its day!
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On This Day In:
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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Sink The Bismarck

Comment(s):  This song followed the black-and-white movie from the same year (1960).  At this point in my life (early to mid-1960’s), I was still heavily influenced by country-music on the AM radio and 45’s which told stories.  Johnny Horton was famous in this song genre which included: “The Battle of New Orleans” and “North to Alaska“, and both were also movies – the former with Charlton Heston and the latter with John Wayne.  With the coming of the “British Invasion” vs The Beach Boys, I lost most of my taste for country twang.  Yes, I had exceptions for “softer” country like Johnny Cash (“A Boy Named Sue“) and “traditional” like Hank Williams (“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry“), but I had pretty much switched to Rock, R&B / Soul, and some ballads.  In the mid-1970’s, I had a roommate (in Germany) who was a college DJ from Dallas, Texas.  Over many nights of cards, beer and German white wine he introduced me to the finer distinctions between Western, Country, Hillbilly and Nashville music and I really never looked back.  When I got back home, my family and friends were surprised to see ABBA, Motown, Hendrix, Dylan, Cash and Nelson all sitting side by side.  And, of course, the 1970’s brought Disco…  So, yes, I’ve a long list of songs to reminisce through…
A final note:  if you haven’t seen the three movies, I recommend them – particularly “Sink the Bismarck“.  Hmmm,  maybe this will prompt me to re-watch and review the movies, too.  LoL!
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On This Day In:
2019 Ooh, Shiny
Day 4: Surprised
2018 We Are Approaching Default
Running On History
Day 37: Blended Not Juiced
2017 Today Is Not Lost
Day 8
2016 Paying Attention
2015 An Awful Ordeal
2014 What Are You Doing?
2013 Lives > 1
2012 Strange To All The World
2011 Unnecessary Stagefright

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Truly, Madly, Deeply

Favorite Line(s):
I love you more
With every breath
Truly
Madly
Deeply do…
Comment(s):  Just 36 years ago (today), my future wife came back to me from Liverpool.  We had met a few months earlier while she was visiting San Francisco on her holidays.  We were married a few months later and I love her more “With every breath“…   —   KMAB
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On This Day In:
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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A few weeks ago, we finally got our back yard area worked on.  We had a fence repaired.  A wind storm toppled it and it was propped up with some supports ever since.  We got the path on the north side of the house re-done.  We’d had it done, but it didn’t slant away from the house, so it tended to puddle, or worse, tilt water towards the house.  And, we got two small patio areas added – one with some left over bricks we’d had for years, and one with some paving squares.  Here are some before, during and after photos…
Image of Old North Side Path

Old North Side Path

Image of New North Side Path

New North Side Path

Image of Original NE Corner w/ rusted shed

Original NE Corner w/ rusted metal shed

Image of NE corner w/ shed gone and bricks stacked up on dirt between the trees

NE corner w/ shed gone and bricks stacked up on dirt between the trees

Image of New NE corner w/ gray stones added, red path pads added and sitting areas completed.

New NE corner w/ gray stones added, red path pads added and sitting areas completed.

Image of New sitting areas (brick and pavers), with white stone trim and invading gnomes and other varied yard critters.

New sitting areas (brick and pavers), with white stone trim and invading gnomes and other varied yard critters.

Image of me in a hammock.

Moi assuming the position. I always swore I’d put up a hammock between those two trees!!

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On This Day In:
2019 Seeking Nobility
2018 My Family Calls It Hoarding
Day 30: Done & Dusted
2017 Rogers’ Rules (Hexadecimal)
2016 But, It’s Such A Simple Mistake
2015 Crawl Towards The Light
2014 Sweet Songs
2013 The Wife Of An Ordinary Man
2012 Three Words
2011 Know Anyone Like This?
2010 Apoplexy??
When Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…
Sibling Awareness

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