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This post marks the first day of my second decade of blogging here on WordPress.  Below is an image of the various countries which have someone who has visited my site…  I’m guessing Cuba and North Korea will be the last two to eventually visit (but you never know).  Someone should advise them:  “Resistance Is Futile…

Image of a world map with visiting countries colored.

My first decade of viewers…

The Past:
I started this blog to experiment with writing and for an opportunity to stand on my soapbox and shout at the universe.  It turned out I am not that creative a writer and not angry enough to maintain a full throated shout / tirade.  Also, time became a factor.
Not knowing what I was doing, I was spending a whole day composing one long (or several short) posts about whatever bone I had to pick that day.  My daughter suggested I try scheduling so I would stop bombarding her with posts two or three times per month.  (She was my first follower, and, my only one for most of the first year.)
Sometime around year three, I reached my tenth follower.  By then, I had switched (added to) my blog by posting quotes from my early adulthood journal.  After another period, I added book and movie reviews.
I had already begun adding poems, speeches and the lyrics to favorite songs.  …Again, the same as my hand-written journal.
By then, I was following about 30-50 other sites, but I am not (and have rarely been) much of a joiner, and my own interests tend to be broad rather than deep, which I guess limits my appeal to others as much as it does others appeal to me.
The Present:
My blog has become a regular part of my daily life now that I’m retired.  (Yes, that does sound sad, doesn’t it?)  I still do book and movie reviews, but I’ve found keeping up with the several hundred bloggers I follow to be quite time consuming.  I probably spend about 60-90 minutes a day reading posts – which my wife considers a complete waste of time.  My better half thinks my time would be much better spent on her “Honey-Do” list or actually reading “real” books.  (Did I mention I have two walls lined with unread books I’ve acquired over the years?)
Although my site says I have over a thousand followers, I believe it’s closer to 15-20 on a good day.  I would say I consistently have 3-5 likes most days and these are my steady followers / visitors.  (You know who you are!)  To all of you, I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks for your valuable time.  I honestly hope I bring you a smile (or a groan) every once in a while.  At the very least, I hope you occasionally wonder: “What’s that guy Kevin thinking about today?”
As mentioned above, I follow several hundred bloggers (almost 300).  That’s not a daunting as it may sound as a few are dead (at least three), many more have stopped blogging, and most rarely post anymore.  I get about 100 emails a day, but a few you (them) are newbies who post 5-15 times a day (you know who you are, too).  And, yes, I remember the excitement of posting multiple times a day and getting a handful of “likes” every month or so.  I don’t mind, because they’ll get tired eventually…
The Future:
Who knows what the future holds…  I sure don’t.  I’ve been posting every day since mid-January 2011.  Will I keep up the streak?  I don’t know.  I’ve come close to missing a day more than once in the last eight years, but now it’s kind of become a “thing”.  I trust this means the universe will offer up an interruption soon…  LoL!!  And that’s okay too.  As long as I’m enjoying it, I’ll just pick back up and start a new streak.  And, when blogging stops being fun…  Well, hopefully, that’ll be quite a while from now.  For now: “Excelsior!
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On This Day In:
2018 Happy 9th Anniversary — Three Thoughts
Day 2 – Notes On Progress
2017 Happy 8th Anniversary
2016 Happy 7th Anniversary
2015 Happy 6th Anniversary
2014 Happy 5th Anniversary
2013 I Resemble That Remark!
2012 Happy 3rd Anniversary
2011 Is America Safe Tonight?
2009 Hello world! (See how it all began…)

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Image of a fallen tree branch

And when the bough breaks…

As I was out walking my dog today, I heard what sounded like someone stomping on a 2-liter plastic bottle and then dragging it underfoot.  I looked up and didn’t see anything.  I thought it might be a bottle being tossed down the street by the winds.  As I got a little farther along, I noticed some folks standing outside their homes looking across the street.  The wind had caused a tree branch to snap and fall across the road.  I went back a little later (after retrieving my phone) and took this picture.  The workmen had already cleared the opposite side of the road.  The branches originally fully crossed the street.
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On This Day In:
2018 No Religious Test, Yes Religious Ban
2017 Looking At #DumbDonald
2016 No Great Thing
2015 Happy Memory
Of Two Minds
2014 Sums
2013 Memories & Binging
Admiration Due
2012 Choices Matter
2011 Acceptance Is The Key
2010 Just A Permanent Crease…
Bodily Functions

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Is this a metaphor for life?
At the end of March, my daughter gave me a puzzle for my birthday…  (see image below)  She knows:  I like puzzles.  I like trains.
So, after much diligent effort, I got it assembled!  (see image below)  Well, almost…  If you double click on the image to see the large version, you’ll notice one(1) piece is missing.
Now, because I am OCD, you have to understand, to solve a puzzle, I do the following:
1) separate out all the edge pieces;
2) assemble all the edge pieces;
3) if not complete, return to (1);
4) separate out and assemble (in order) all the pieces of the largest or most visually obvious items; trains, tracks, bright leaves, bridge structures, the rest;
5) Hmmm…  separate train pieces – check.  Assemble train pieces – check.  Ooops!  Piece missing.  Back to 4)…
Now, understand.  1,000 pieces total.  Edges and corners: approximately 100 pieces.  Two trains: let’s be generous and say 300 pieces.  That leaves me 600 pieces to search through looking for one specific piece.  Okay…  We do it the old fashioned way: pour them out and go through them one at a time.  Did I mention I’m kind of OCD?  No luck…  Search floor.  Search under couch and other near by furniture.  No joy…  Look at dog with accusatory glare.  She licks her lips nervously and slinks away.  Pour out pieces and try again.  No joy…  Pour out pieces and try again!
So, after three full piece searches (what I call “positive visual confirmation”) over two days (this is in my “spare” time), and did I mention about five(5) hours(!), still no joy.  I come to accept conclusion that either my wife or daughter are playing an evil trick on me (saving the final piece for themselves), or the piece was never in the box.  I ask casually and they both proclaim their innocence.  Ow, well…  Complete the puzzle anyway.  Maybe it will turn up…
Upon completion, my daughter comments that her friends have this happen to them frequently(!).  What????  Yes.  Several times her friends have bought puzzles and then had them miss a piece.
I am stunned, but unappeased.  I jump online and go to the web site (www.sunsout.com) for the manufacturer.  I email them with the information they request and ask for the piece.  I receive a response the next day.  (Great customer service!)  They respond they will send me a new puzzle in 2 to 3 weeks.  They include the message they are not able to send individual pieces and do not guarantee the puzzle will be from the same die-cut.
A little over a week later, I get my replacement puzzle.  (Again, great customer service!)  I tear it open and the pieces are shaped completely differently.  Arggghhh!!  I don’t even have to open the plastic see-through bag to tell the pieces are cut differently.
Now I have to consult with my wife.  Should I complete the replacement puzzle?  I have no guarantee this version won’t have the same issue: missing piece(s).  Should I toss them both?  Should I search out the missing piece and its neighbors and then cut them to fit my puzzle?  Should I use a close up of the box cover to overlay the missing piece by getting a physical picture and backing it with cardboard?  She says email them back and request a different puzzle.  Then, if it’s missing a piece (too), at least you didn’t solve the same puzzle twice.
In the end, I trash the (almost) completed puzzle and put the unopened bag back into its box to re-gift to someone else…
Somewhere, deep inside…  a frustrated little OCD train loving child is crying.
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On This Day In:
2018 I Doubt #45 Is Listening?
2017 Life’s Oddity
2016 Just Asking…
2015 Two Thoughts On Thinking
2014 From The Top, Please…
2013 You Are The Stars
2012 Just One??
2011 Anything But

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Today my thoughts and prayers are for those who have lost their family members in Iraq, Afghanistan, around the world and here at home – and to all those (civilian and military) who’ve suffered injury and those still at risk serving their country and our communities.  God Bless You and Keep You.  Your country and fellow veterans honor your sacrifices as you have honored us with your service.
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On This Day In:
2017 Never Forget
2016 It’s All Greek To Me (Well, Latin Actually)
2015 Truism
2014 Thank You
2013 Really
2012 Ordinary Five Minutes Longer
2011 The Wealth Of Sons (And Daughters)

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Cheers to you, my blog readers!  Here are a few suggested resolutions for 2018:
1) Give of yourselves…
2) Love others (and tell them / show them often)…
3) Enjoy long walks (preferably while holding someone’s hand), nutritious food and candle-lit meals, good reading, music which touches your soul, and quiet moments for reflection…
4) Laugh frequently and loudly…  Cry freely and unashamed when you must…
5) Look forward (Hope), while living in the moment (Enjoy), and not forgetting the past (Memories)…
May you have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018!
Please have a happy (and safe) New Year’s Eve!
[Yes, this is a similar post (okay, the same as) to last year’s New Year’s Eve suggestions.  And, this year, yes, I’m just being lazy!  LOL   —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2016 Best Wishes For 2017!
2015 Better Red Than Dead
Tomorrow Starts A New Year
2014 Recovering
2013 Best Wishes For 2014!
2012 My Creed
2011 It Probably Isn’t So

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Cheers to you, my blog readers!  Here are a few suggested resolutions for 2017:
1)  Give of yourselves…
2)  Love others (and tell them / show them often)…
3)  Enjoy long walks (preferably while holding someone’s hand), nutritious food and candle-lit meals, good reading, music which touches your soul, and quiet moments for reflection…
4)  Laugh frequently and loudly…  Cry freely and unashamed when you must…
5)  Look forward (Hope), while living in the moment (Enjoy), and not forgetting the past (Memories)…
May you have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017!
Please have a happy (and safe) New Year’s Eve!
[Yes, this is a similar post to many of my earlier New Year’s Eve suggestions.  And, no, I’m not just being lazy!  LOL  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2015 Better Red Than Dead
Tomorrow Starts A New Year
2014 Recovering
Best Wishes For 2015!
2013 Best Wishes For 2014!
2012 My Creed
2011 It Probably Isn’t So

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I want a small truck.  But I’m definitely NOT feelin’ the love…
Every now and then I want to take stuff to the dump or bring home some home & garden stuff (cans of paint, stones for a path, a sheet of plywood), but I’m frustrated because it either doesn’t fit in my car or it would mess the car up (fertilizer in your trunk on a hot day).  Why do I have to buy (or rent) a MONSTER truck just to accomplish this?  If a small (4 cylinder) truck is done right, it can also be light and (relatively) fuel-efficient, so I could even substitute it for my commuter car.  I’d even trade a shorter bed (as long as it’s not too much shorter) for a small, side-ways jump-seat extended cab (but not a full back-seated cab).
It seems to me, the manufacturers are really missing a market.  I’m getting ready to retire in the next couple of years and after that I’ve probably got (maybe) five good years of puttering around the house ahead of me.  You’ve got a window to reach a LOT of baby-boomers just like me.
It’s not like you guys don’t make these trucks.  You do.  You just don’t sell them in America – or at least not here in California.
Missed opportunity.  Lost profit.  Just saying…  Or, maybe it’s just me…
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On This Day In:
2015 And Some Not So Brave Too
2014 In My Lifetime…
2013 Democracy
2012 Borrowed Expectations
2011 Not Necessarily True

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