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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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Mid-Night Train To Georgia

Favorite Lines:
I’d rather live in his world
(live in his world)
Than live without him
in mine
(Her world is his,
his and hers alone)
[Why I agreed to move to England back in the 1990’s when my Hil got homesick.   —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 And #IncompetentTrump Is A Failure At Both
2018 To Excel At Your Craft
Day 12: Waiting
2017 Like When You Can Order Others To Fight For You
2016 Holding Fast
2015 Alms Or Balms
2014 A Day At The Beach
2013 Pillows
Steppin’
2012 Invincible Summer
2011 Being Objective
2010 First Things First…
Northwest Passages – Intro
Northwest Passages – Day One
Northwest Passages – Poetry
Northwest Passages – Evening One
Northwest Passages – Morning Two

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Yesterday was the 4th of July, so Hil and I broke the rules (“guidelines”) and went out to my sister’s house for a BBQ.  We know it’s poor form, but sometimes you risk more than you should to be with family (Gemutlichkeit) – if only because these moments will be fewer in the future than they’ve been in the past.  It doesn’t make it “right”, but we ate outdoors and, when inside, the rooms had the exterior doors and windows open.  Fortunately, it was a beautiful sunny and warm day with a steady, cooling breeze coming off the Bay.  Oh, yeah, and except for the time it took to take these photos, we were mostly socially distanced.  Anyway, here’s three photos commemorating our throwing caution to the wind…  (And one for history.)
Me in my “flag” cap…
With the hostess… (2020 version)

Kev & Carm at 4th of July BBQ

Kev & Carm at 4th of July 2016 BBQ

And with our mom (who now lives with my sister).
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On This Day In:
2019 I Walk Faster (Too)
2018 Modern Day Behaviour
2017 On Misogynist Tweets From #DumbDonald
2016 Cowboy Boots & Missing Teeth
Or Electricity
2015 Oh, To Be Vulnerable
2014 Neglected Horror
2013 The Price Of Illusions
2012 Once Again
2011 And The “Market” Isn’t Always Right

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Thirty-Six years ago I met the love of my life…   And holding her hand still makes me happy inside.
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On This Day In:
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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Nana And Poppa With Big Smiles

Hil’s Mum and Dad with Big Smiles

Early this morning, my mother-in-law, Doreen Carter passed away from COVID-19 back in Liverpool, England.  She was predeceased by her husband, George Carter, by some twenty-years.  They are survived by their three children and five grand-children.  Below are some photos to remind us of her journey through life…

Hil's Mum and Hil's Grand-mum

Hil’s mum (as a little girl) and her mum at the beach.

George and Doreen in their wedding limo…

The newlyweds with their parents…

Doreen and her three at the beach… (Hil on the left)

Grand-dad (Doreen’s father), Doreen and the three on picnic…

A (Brit-side) family portrait…

The American side…

George, Doreen and our Sarah (back when we lived in Liverpool)

And more recently…

“Nana” and Hil in Mike and Viv’s back garden…

A recent Facebook post…

Together again…

In our hearts, thoughts and prayers…

Way back in 2011, I posted a conversation I had with “Nana” Carter:  Things I’ve Learned From Life – Nana Carter
Her thoughts on “Life’s Lessons” may give you some insight into our loss…
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On This Day In:
2019 Laugh With Me
2018 Both Sides, Mr. President?
2017 Republicans Better Wake Up
2016 Truth Telling
2015 To Be Effective In The Modern World
2014 A Little Cover
2013 Binding
2012 Lift
2011 Another Good Movie, Another Excellent Book
miSFits
I’m Just Not Sure

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This is Teddy (the one-eyed bear)…

Image of my wife's teddy-bear

Hil’s Teddy

Teddy has been with my wife for as long as she can remember.  Originally, “saved” to be passed down to one of our own, Teddy was reclaimed by my Hil for want of “proper” attention.   For most of the last 15 (or so) years Teddy has been the proud daytime resident of our bed – tucked to the waist under our sheets and propped up against the pillows on Hil’s side of the bed.  Occasionally, slipping between both sets of pillows with an arm extended on either set.  Our ever vigilant guard bear…
Teddy is a fierce survivor!  As you can see (if you click on the image to see the larger version), Teddy has lost his left eye, had major reconstructive surgery on his right shoulder and has worn a fair bit of fur off of both arms and feet and under his chinny-chin-chin.
All things said, he’s a good little bear who doesn’t demand much by way of food or drink.  He gets by on lots of love and the occasional snuggle.
And each day he performs his duties:  by daylight he guards our bedroom and by night he watches over us as we sleep.
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On This Day In:
2019 The Importance Of A Deadline
Chaos Is Not Really A New Remedy
2018 History Will Judge Harshly
Father Time, Perhaps?
2017 Odds Are
2016 Prayer, Too
2015 History, n.
2014 See It Sometime
2013 Precious Friend
2012 It Couldn’t Be Done
Feeling Surrounded?
2011 Surprise!

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