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About a month and a half ago I started playing a daily word / search / complete game:  “Wordle“.  It is a once a day game hosted on the New York Times news website.  Basically, you have six chances to figure out the five letter word of the day.  Incorrect letters appear as grey;  correct letters in the wrong location as yellow;  and, correct in the right location, as green.
As of today, I have only missed twice.  I have found it EXTREMELY addictive and also a great vocabulary refresher.  Highly recommended!
Here’s the link to the NYT site’s version:  Wordle – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
[Disclaimer:  I have nothing to do with the New York Times or the producers of the Wordle game.  I am merely offering this link / game as a suggestion of something I’ve enjoyed playing.    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 The Principal Difference
Picture Perfect
2020 So Sad, Faux Crowd
The Spirit Is Willing
2019 And The Same For Blogs And Posts
2018 The End Of Asgard (For Now)
I Learn The Hard Way Every Time
2017 For Some
2016 Fragile And Explosive, Provocation And Privacy
2015 Bound Up
2014 Economic Engines
2013 Weren’t You Supposed To Be Reading?
Absent Friends
Where I Stand
2012 Hangin’ With His P’s
Help Save
2011 Six Facets Of Good Leadership

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Image of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Arlington National Cemetery
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

As we gather around our dinner and picnic tables
enjoying the freedom you sacrificed your lives to provide for us,
a grateful nation
remembers
and prays for you and your families…
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On This Day In:
2021 How Trump Won The Fringe Right
Hold My Hand
2020 I’d Include Health Care
2019 Accustomed To It
2018 Booking My Trip Into The Expanding Universe
2017 Fear Instead Of Convictions
2016 Memorial Day – 2016
2015 A Handful Of Reviews
And You Can Quote Me
2014 Get Wisdom
2013 Enjoying The View?
2012 Adam’s Rib
2011 I’m Sure I Remember That…
Memorial Day, 2011

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I mentioned in a post a few weeks back that the roses on either side of our front path were budding and would be blooming soon.  Well, here they are!

Roses In Bloom

It’s early May and today’s temperature is forecast for mid-80s and getting warmer through the week.  This is probably as good as they’ll get as the 90° – 100° is very hard on them.  We’ll enjoy them as long as they last…
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On This Day In:
2021 Thrive
Are You Still Here?
2020 Perceived Wisdom
Lessons Are Extra And Blondell
2019 Live It
2018 Mostly Unconsciously For Most People
Desperately Ginger Lass
2017 Explaining My Equally Meager Results
2016 Every Tool And Every Chance
2015 Something That You Love
2014 Not Really At All
2013 Listening And Deserving
2012 I’m Still Not Certain
2011 True, False And Useful

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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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For the last 10 years, I’ve been posting personal health / fitness updates on pages under my menu topic “Sweat Equity“.  I was doing this to create an open site for me to refer to if I ever needed to, while not having access to my home computer.  I have used the pages very rarely – no more than 2 or 3 times per year and I’m fully settled into retirement now so I don’t really have the need for this type of access.
As such, I will no longer be updating or adding to these pages.  If anything of note happens, I will simply publish a “normal” post.  Typically, it will be as an additional post for a given day.
I will be updating my “Tributaries and Eddies” section (on my sidebar).  Two of the blogs there have (more or less) stopped updating, so I’ll be removing them.  One has changed location, so I’m just updating the address.  I used to do this updating (removing and adding) every six months, but I’ve kind of let it slide, so this will be a bit of New Year’s housekeeping.
Third, for now at least, I will no longer be posting music videos every day.  I’ve been doing it for almost a two years and it started off as a “lark” – just to share music (lyrics) I’ve enjoyed.  Once I got past a month, I thought, I’ll just do it for year (365 days straight).  Then I thought, well, just do it for a full calendar year.  Now, that’s done, too…  I will post a music / song video every now and then, I just won’t be doing it every day.
Finally, I’m going to try to write more posts of my own.  I started this blog to practice my writing and to vent at the universe.  When I began to run out of bile I began using quotes and book / movie reviews more and more and using the post titles as my “creative” tool.  My intent was to express a view / twist of the quote / review with a pun or hi-lite of a few words from the quote(s).  This was my way of pretending to be a newspaper headline writer.  I feel this was mostly unsuccessful, but I’ve enjoyed trying, so I will keep at it (on post titles anyway).
I hope everyone reading this has a prosperous year and that you keep on blogging!  Excelsior!!
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On This Day In:
2021 Happy New Year — 2021!
Facing The New Year
2020 Happy New Year — 2020!
2019 Happy New Year — 2019!
2018 Happy New Year — 2018!
2017 Happy New Year — 2017!
2016 Happy New Year — 2016!
Remembering My Brother
2015 Happy New Year — 2015!
2014 Happy New Year – 2014!
2013 Another New Year’s Thought (In Case It Rains)
Happy New Year – 2013!
2012 Best Wishes For 2012!
Where Did You Spend New Year’s Eve?
2011 Happy New Year (2011)!!

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If you’re reading this, it means you’ve survived 2021 and last night’s New Year’s Eve party…  Congratulations!
A new year full of opportunities awaits us.  Let’s all make healthy choices as we try to survive politics, climate change(s) and a dicey economy.
Happy 2022, everyone!!    —   KMAB
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On This Day In:
2021 Happy New Year — 2021!
Facing The New Year
2020 Happy New Year — 2020!
2019 Happy New Year — 2019!
2018 Happy New Year — 2018!
2017 Happy New Year — 2017!
2016 Happy New Year — 2016!
Remembering My Brother
2015 Happy New Year — 2015!
2014 Happy New Year – 2014!
2013 Another New Year’s Thought (In Case It Rains)
Happy New Year – 2013!
2012 Best Wishes For 2012!
Where Did You Spend New Year’s Eve?
2011 Happy New Year (2011)!!

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Simplicity is the final achievement.  After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.
    —     Frederic Chopin
[After barely 200 hours of practice, I can not claim to say I’ve played “a vast quantity of notes”.  But, in seeking my own “voice”, I believe I am already seeking simplicity.  I can (already) see why some become obsessed with playing an instrument and making the music in their head come out.  It is very much like the first time you get a computer program to run successfully and then successively pare the program until it feels elegant (to you).    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 51 Days Until The Moron (#45) Is Out Of Office
Tearing The Roof Off It
2019 #Impeach45: Once A Buffoon, Now A Bad Joke
2018 Good Sense
2017 E Pluribus Unum
2016 Lacking
2015 Chip, Chip, Chip
2014 nom de plume
2013 The Real Reason
From The Book
2012 When Young
2011 14 Ways To A Better Judgement

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Ho Jayegi Balle Balle

Comment(s):
A few days ago, I posted about watching music videos on the “V” Channel.  I could not remember the name of the artist I saw and enjoyed the most.  Well, persistence pays off!  I found him…  His name is: Daler Mehndi and one of the songs I used to see every day was this one (“Ho Jayegi Balle Balle”).  There were a couple of other artists and videos I really liked, but I haven’t been able to pick them out of the line-ups yet.  When I first got to Saudi, my family didn’t come out for almost eight months, so I watched a LOT of cable:  sports (cricket, tennis, rugby, track), movies, and music videos.  As I recall, you could see Mehndi on “V” a couple of times a day and this video AT LEAST every day – if not twice.
I don’t speak any Indian dialect, but a quick Google search says this is Punjab.  Like the K-Pop video I posted about a few years ago, you don’t need to speak the language if the music / video “speak” to you.  As a quick aside, I’ve also read this song is actually a series of songs based on a mega-hit by this title.  I’m pretty sure this is the one I remember, but I could be wrong if the video sequels (beat and videos) are all about the same.  LoL.
I think the “V” experience also primed me for my Netflix “Bollywood” binge viewing a couple of years ago.  But, that’s another story…
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On This Day In:
2020 Sometimes Just Being There Is Enough
And I Owe It All To You
2019 Or Live For It
2018 Happy Thanksgiving (2018)
2017 Grateful Humility
2016 Obstacles
Election + 2 Weeks
2015 Done What You Could
2014 Impossible To Other Men
2013 Just In Case
2012 Isn’t This Just Pleasant?
2011 No Void In Sight

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Iron Man

Favorite Line(s):
Has he lost his mind?
Can he see or is he blind?
Can he walk at all
Or, if he moves, will he fall?
Comment(s):
I remember first seeing the movie (back in 2008), hearing this song and thinking:  “Great music, but I don’t remember a single word from the lyrics.”  Truth is, twelve-ish years later…  I still don’t.  Can you have “favorite lines” if you have to look up the lyrics?  Probably not.  But the music / song still rocks!
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On This Day In:
2020 I Just Want To Stay Happy
Fading…
2019 Show Righteousness, Not Fear
2018 Sounds Like Politics, Too
2017 Resist More
Conservatives Are Not The Enemy
2016 Two Weeks To Go…
2015 Remembering
2014 The Creeping Death Of Civilization
Orange October (X) – A Blue Morning Turns Into An Orange Evening
2013 License Problem
2012 Giants Win Game 2 Of The 2012 World Series 2 To 0!!!
Adage, n.
Questions Women Should Ask Before Voting…
2011 What Are You Looking At?

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Today my wife and I both got our COVID booster shots!!  We got same day scheduling at the pharmacy in our local supermarket.
Six(6) months and two days after receiving our second original vaccination.
No ill effects to speak of other than a slight soreness at the shot location which passed after a couple of hours.  (That was me.  Hil had NO effects.)
If everything works out, we should be good to go until next year when they’ll probably have an annual regime in place.  Time will tell…
If you have not received your vaccinations yet…  Get on it!  Protect your health and let’s get living our lives back to normal.  If you have received your initial vaccinations, but not your booster shot – get it scheduled as soon as you are eligible.  Life (and health) is too precious to risk losing it over politics.
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On This Day In:
2020 Three Down, Four To Go
Twenty-Four ‘Til You
2019 Two Down, Five To Go
2018 Year One, Done!
2017 First Day Of Retirement!
2016 Revere And Criticize
2015 Global Climate Change May Test This Statement
2014 Adaptability Won
2013 Disappeared
2012 Fuller
Life On The Range
More Classics
2011 Stoned Again?
2010 Insubordination… And That’s Why I Love Her!
Losing – Week One

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I sent the club a wire stating:  “PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION.  I DON’T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT ME AS A MEMBER.
    ―     Groucho Marx
I, on the other hand, will make a few exceptions to my own “no joining” policy…
It normally takes seven to seven and a half years of retirement for the average American to “recover” all of the funds paid into their Social Security retirement funds during their forty odd years of work.  I’m over half-way there!    —    KMAB
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On This Day In:
2020 Three Down, Four To Go
Twenty-Four ‘Til You
2019 Two Down, Five To Go
2018 Year One, Done!
2017 First Day Of Retirement!
2016 Revere And Criticize
2015 Global Climate Change May Test This Statement
2014 Adaptability Won
2013 Disappeared
2012 Fuller
Life On The Range
More Classics
2011 Stoned Again?
2010 Insubordination… And That’s Why I Love Her!
Losing – Week One

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Night Fever

Favorite Line(s):
Here I am
Prayin’ for this moment to last
Livin’ on the music so fine
Borne on the wind
Makin’ it mine
Night fever, night fever
We know how to do it
Gimme that night fever, night fever
We know how to show it
Comment(s):
This song is (IMHO) a “classic” disco tune.  My “issue” with disco music wasn’t that I didn’t like it (the music).  Generally speaking, I liked it a lot (and still do – in doses).  My problem was that disco music (/ dance style) became a super-fad while I was in the Army and I had a psychological block against memorizing moves and dancing in formation.  I had the same problem when the next “fad” was country line dancing, YMCA and Macarena.  The “interesting” thing, for me, was I enjoyed marching in formation – when we had to do it.  I just mentally objected to carrying it (acting in formation) over into the civilian part of my life.  I still do…
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On This Day In:
2020 Your Challenge
2019 The Tragedies Are About To Get Worse
2018 Plunge
Time To Meet God
2017 Wealth Within
2016 Soaring
2015 Gone To The Library…
2014 Choose To Lead
2013 Not Sent Yet
2012 Wall-Crawler Reboot
Learning To Count
On Worshiping God
2011 Emancipated Differences
2010 A Little More Technology, Please…

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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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Rockin’ Robin

Favorite Line(s):
He rocks in the tree tops all day long
Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and a-singing his song
All the little birds on Jaybird Street
Love to hear the robin go tweet-tweet-tweet
Rockin’ robin (tweet, tweet, tweet)
Rockin’ robin (tweet, tweedle-lee-dee)
Blow rockin’ robin
‘Cause we’re really gonna rock tonight
Comment(s):
The video’s a little slow due to a “longish” intro, but it’s still interesting to see the original performers, even if it is (obviously) lip sync.    —    KMAB
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On This Day In:
2020 Why My Dentist Loves Me
Live, Learn And Teach Goodness
The Lesson Of Trump’s Life
2019 You Really Don’t
No One Can Imagine
2018 Until Integrity, Decency, Wisdom, And Humility Return
Just Tell (And Re-tell) The Big Lie Often Enough On Fox News
2017 To Laws, Not Office Or Individuals
Beast / General / Civil
2016 Patronage
2015 For Blogs, Too!
2014 Righteous Anger
2013 An Irish Blessing
2012 But Is It Worth It?
2011 Let Us Start

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Memorial Day

Monday 31 May 2021

Thank You, Veterans!

Some give more than others…

Some give all…

Memorial_Day_2021
[This weekend, when you are celebrating with your family, please take a minute to think about these soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who throughout our nation’s history have made the ultimate sacrifice for us all.  Please try to think of them, not as warriors, but as sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters… as part of a “greater” American family – which all (they and us) surely are.
I know that Memorial Day is specifically set aside to honor these brave souls in uniform, but please also take an extra minute or two to remember and be thankful for the over 3,600 medical and health care staff around the country who also fought the good fight – just doing their jobs – and who gave their lives in the last year defending us from COVID.   They too have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
All five images were found on the web.  No claim of ownership is intended or implied.
    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 At Least A Lot More Gray
2019 Walking The Lonely Path
2018 The Ultimate Trial
2017 Vain Expectations
2016 Or Of One Thought
2015 What’s In Your Future?
2014 Light In Darkness
2013 How ‘Bout Just Obeying The Law?
2012 Or Maybe Not
2011 My Interval Is Too Short!

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