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I continue to run because I like running.  I like to run even though I’m not, by their standards, any good at it.  What matters to me is that I like to run, not what they think about my running.
    —     John “The Penguin” Bingham
From his book:  “No Need For Speed
[LoL!!  Pretty much how I feel about learning to play guitar.    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Make Voting A Habit
You Ought To Hear Him Tell His Stories
2019 2019 49ers Season Starts 5-0!!
Will Any Republican Senator Vote For Impeachment?
2018 VOTE – We Need A Wave
2017 Soothe, Inspire And Recharge
2016 Aren’t We?
2015 Cold Embrace
2014 Delightful
2013 Apprenticeship
2012 Curtain Rods
2011 A Living Force
2010 BART Rides – A Tipping Point

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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 would rather have my ignorance than another man’s knowledge because I have so much more of it.
    —     Mark Twain
[I watched an “anti-vaxxer” getting interviewed and his excuse for not getting a shot was:  “We all gotta die of somethin’.
This is a poor attempt (by me) at sarcastic humor.  And, no, there is no indication AT ALL that Samuel Clemens was anti-vaccination.  In any case, at the time of his (Clemens / Twain) death only five vaccines had been discovered:  Smallpox (1798), Rabies (1885), Typhoid (1896), Cholera (1896), and Plague (1897).    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Is #45 In Good Spirits?
Alone With My Tears
2019 Learning To…
Day 15: Die By The Scale
2018 Just Wondering
2017 Until I Think Of Something Better
2016 Who Are You?
2015 Renaissance Reptiles
2014 Book Return
2013 Keep Writing Your Truths
Perilous Times For The U.S. Military
2012 The Victor
2011 Forging Away At My Deadlines
2010 Try This With Your Shoes…

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Sometimes re-posts are entirely appropriate…  This isn’t “exactly” a re-post, but the first three following paragraphs are pretty close…
For the last twenty years, on 11 September my thoughts turn to those heroes who quietly serve to protect us:  those in the military services, those in law enforcement, and those in health and other protective services.
Today (as it was last year), my beloved State of California is under a state of emergency as fires rage up, down and across the the breadth of the State.  I would just like any of my readers to share with me a few moments of thought (prayers if you’re that way inclined) for those firefighters who are risking their lives daily (and have been for several weeks now) continuously fighting fires to save lives, pets and property.
I, for one, can never express my gratitude enough for what you do.  I can only offer you (and your families) my thoughts and prayers.  God keep you all safe!
This year, we are also engaged in a second wave (and second year) of battle against an indiscriminate virus which is ravaging the nation as well as our state.  Last year – at this time, we didn’t have a vaccine to help protect us in this battle.  This year we do have an effective vaccine, but it has not been fully distributed.  Consequently, the virus is now running rampant among those who are unvaccinated – particularly children under 12 years of age (for whom the vaccines have not yet been proven safe).
We do not know how long the vaccines will remain effective.  We do not know how severe “long-term” COVID effects will last or even if the effects ease or get worse for those COVID does not kill immediately.  What we do know is the vaccines are very effective in reducing the number of folks going to the ER with serious (life-threatening) illness.  We know masking, practicing social distancing and washing your hands frequently also reduces the rate of spread of the virus.
Unless you have an underlying medical condition which prevents you from getting vaccinated, the best thing you can do to help our doctors, nurses, EMTs and other health professionals is to get your shot(s).  The life you save may be your child’s…
And finally, my thoughts (and prayers) go out to the people of one third of the country damaged by the winds and rain of the recent hurricane (Ida).  With countless individual acts of courage, strength and charity, I believe you will come through these difficult days and be the stronger for it.
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On This Day In:
2020 Current Heroes
I’m Mid-West Born, But California Raised
Appropriated To Her Being
2019 All In Good Time
Day 13: Pause & Resume
Ghrelin And Leptin
2018 Gratitude And Warmth
Remembering Loss, Sacrifice And Service
Making Little Ones Out Of Bigger Ones
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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Frustration is the first step toward improvement.  I have no incentive to improve if I’m content with what I can do and if I’m completely satisfied with my pace, distance and form as a runner.
    —     John “The Penguin” Bingham
From his book:  “No Need For Speed
[Running is a lot like learning to play guitar.  Or gaining any new skill, I suppose.    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 You Too?
Six Degrees
2019 A Branching Stream
Day 9: One Day At A Time
2018 Pity The Nation (Part 2)
Day 1: Redux
2017 Good Blogs, Too
2016 My Prediction For #AmnestyDon
2015 Worth A Try
2014 I’m Feeling It
2013 May I Have A Little More, Please?
2012 Increasing Doubt
2011 You Can’t Touch This

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Drivin’ My Life Away

Favorite Line(s):
Those windshield wipers
Slappin’ out a tempo,
Keepin’ perfect rhythm
With the song
On the radio,
But I got to keep rollin’
Ooh,
I’m drivin’ my life away,
Lookin’ for a better way for me
Ooh,
I’m drivin’ my life away,
Lookin’ for a sunny day
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On This Day In:
2020 Diets And Lifestyle Changes
Pay Attention
Just Not Sure, And That’s Okay
2019 The Right Questions
Day 3: Still Difficult
2018 A Thought For Those Continuing To Support President Trump
Day 36: Pushing On
2017 Imagining Humor
2016 So Go On And Deal With It
2015 From A Letter To A Friend
2014 Your Part (Here)
2013 Complements
2012 Sound And Light
2011 Two Politicians Visit A Farm…
2010 Labor Day And Honorable Men

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It isn’t the shoes, socks, clothes, or even the speed that makes me a runner.  It’s running.  I pay my membership dues every time I lace up my running shoes.  I realize that every time I challenge myself to do more, struggle to get a little faster, or face the limits of my abilities, I am a runner.
      —    John “The Penguin” Bingham
From his book:  “No Need For Speed
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On This Day In:
2020 Diets And Lifestyle Changes
Pay Attention
Just Not Sure, And That’s Okay
2019 The Right Questions
Day 3: Still Difficult
2018 A Thought For Those Continuing To Support President Trump
Day 36: Pushing On
2017 Imagining Humor
2016 So Go On And Deal With It
2015 From A Letter To A Friend
2014 Your Part (Here)
2013 Complements
2012 Sound And Light
2011 Two Politicians Visit A Farm…
2010 Labor Day And Honorable Men

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The days when you have to drag yourself out the door are very often the days when you will learn the most about yourself, not necessarily as a runner, but as a person.
     —     John “The Penguin” Bingham
From his book:  “No Need For Speed
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On This Day In:
2020 I’m Just Being Skeptical
Setting My Feet Upon The Road
2019 We’re Eating Faster And Enjoying It Less
2018 Great Views
Day 8: One At A Time
2017 Trump Supporters Will Always Find An Excuse
2016 More Posts
2015 A Last Request
2014 It Matters
2013 And You Are?
2012 Not Too Late
2011 Persistence
2009 Health Care?

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This post marks the first day of my 13th year of blogging here on WordPress.  The number of countries who’ve visited this site continues to grow and the number which haven’t continues to decrease.  North Korea and Cuba are still among them (the latter…)  I’m also still missing a belt across the middle of Africa and a few spots in Asia.  (Slowly, slowly…  Resistance is futile.)
On reviewing my content over the past year, I have done mostly two posts a day.  One is a thought, review or quote; one has been a music video.  My intent was to offer up to any who stumbled onto my blog a chance to sample some of the music which affected my life.  In the process, I’ve rediscovered a tremendous number of songs which came and went (in my life) and a core of songs and performers who have helped make me – me.  Not, physically, like food or drink or air, but spiritually…  Now that the year is completed, I doubt I’ll be continuing with the videos every day, but I will include them periodically (sporadically?).
My blog has continued to be an increasing part of my “normal” retired life.  I routinely receive about 20 to 60 emails (per day) from the roughly 300 blogs I follow.  I say “roughly” because I don’t check how many I follow.  I just looked, and I have fewer than 2,000 followers myself.  Every year there is a trade-off:  you pick up a few steady followers and a few drop off.  Those who actually post about leaving (their own sites) say they are simply moving on to other things.  Most, don’t bother and just stop posting.  A few come back after some period of time.  Many do not.  It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve stopped blogging.  Some just move to a hosted service to try to monetize their thoughts and don’t provide me a way to follow them.  Or maybe they did and I simply missed the link…
At any rate, I am still posting thoughts, quotes, movie reviews, book reviews, and favorite music videos.  I easily spend an hour per day reviewing the posts I get (via email subscription) and sometimes that is simply overwhelming.  It’s not always the average blogger’s fault.  If you post something interesting, I (still) will go off and investigate it further: authors, artists, locations, books, movies, science / math / history topics – they will all lead me off down the rabbit hole.  And that hole can be DEEP!  I don’t know why, but this year, less frequently, I’m choosing to delete fewer (unopened mail / posts).  I apologize to you if you are one of those authors.  I will admit to only viewing actual posts sent to me (most of the time).  I seem to get a lot of “read more” posts / emails.  I’m not sure why this is.  I guess it’s a WordPress feature I don’t use or don’t know about.  There are a few (a handful) of sites which I know are visual and I more frequently click through to the actual site, because I’m interested in the bits which are not offered in the smaller / limited / text based emails I tend to receive.  I apologize if that affects your view stats negatively…
So, besides this blog, what am I up to?  My health has been mixed.  Last year, I was back in the hospital for “jump start”.  I have AFib and every now and then I get my heart zapped (“reverted”) to a normal rhythm.  We’ve also had this whole COVID lock down, which has put a damper on things.
In January, I purchased my first guitar and I’ve been practicing most every day since.  I “know” some basic chords and scales.  I’m still having a dickens of a time with strumming and chord changes, but I’m told that will come with time.  I now own two acoustic guitars and one electric (a Stratocaster style), and I have another acoustic on loan from my brother.  I have the four on a rotation calendar, but the first is still my favorite.  I’m looking into picking up a few more inexpensive guitars and two basses.  There is no time pressure.  It’s all about my ability to save (here and there) until I can justify a purchase.  [Wife:  How many guitars do you NEED?  Me:  …One more.]
The few things I’ve learned have truly been amazing (to me).  I do seem to have a smidgen of musical ability (although it’s still buried under layers of doubt).  I’m finding the ability to concentrate on practice to be as relaxing as zoning out in computer programming used to be (in my youth).  Sixty to ninety minutes can easily seem like five or ten minutes.  There is also the complete exhaustion which results from prolonged concentration – however “relaxing” it may feel at the time.  In a strange way, it feels good to be mentally tired at the end of a practice session.
But, am I getting any better at playing?  An objective opinion would be:  Yes!  Am I any “good”?  An objective opinion would be:  No!  Does it matter a whit?  No.  Why not?  Because, like blogging, I’m doing it for the enjoyment of doing it and not for the expectation (mine or anyone else’s) of being any good at playing guitar.  Again, like blogging, as long as it’s fun and interesting and fulfilling, I’ll just keep doing it…  My not so secret goal remains to write a song (lyrics and music) for my wife.  (LoL)
My personal goals for last year (to learn some assembly language programming and to have a play with chat-bots) never really got off the ground.   I spent a few weeks looking into them and playing with some free software, but the former has been passed by history so resources are limited and the latter is beyond my means as a retired person on a limited income.  In any case, I have usually been at my best when given a customer with a problem, not when I have to make up my own problems (and then create their solutions).
So, it’s guitar and blogging to keep me occupied (and mostly out of trouble).  LoL!!
Once again…  “Excelsior!!
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On This Day In:
2020 Happy 11th Anniversary Of Blogging
2019 Happy 10th Anniversary — Thoughts On My First Decade Of Blogging
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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Try to keep your expectations reasonable.  You’re beginning the journey of a thousand miles with a single step.  Each step is important;  every step counts.
    —    John “The Penguin” Bingham
From his book:  “No Need For Speed
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On This Day In:
2020 Perhaps There Has Been Some Method In My Madness
2019 An Accidental Escape
2018 And I Thought It Was Just My Deodorant
2017 Hannity And Limbaugh
2016 Or He Could Just Be Lazy
Small Hero
2015 Seeking Cultured Leadership
2014 Examining Failure
2013 Driving Passion
2012 Cannibal, n.
2011 Moments Of Truth

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It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.
    —    Mark Twain
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On This Day In:
2020 Didn’t I Just Post Yesterday?
2019 A Long Slog
2018 There Is No God But God
To The Uncommitted Reader
2017 Not Yet That Well-Organized
2016 Probably Whatever Was Sought Yesterday
2015 What We Choose To Divide Us
2014 Peace With Honor
2013 Dangerous Systems
2012 Useful Science
2011 Say It, But Please Don’t Make Me Listen

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I do not know which of our afflictions God intends that we overcome and which He means for us to bear.  But this is certain:  Some I have overcome, some I continue to bear.
  —  Jean Toomer
[This is an unusual post for me.  This post is being written on 28 May, three days after the Memorial Day weekend.  Yesterday, the U.S. passed 100K in deaths due to COVID-19.  We are dying at just under 1,000 lives per day.  We are engaged in a great social experiment testing whether we can open our economy without a plan to deal with the virus.  This post is scheduled to go online roughly 15 days after the holiday weekend.  If the President’s gamble was correct, the average death rate will be at or below 1,000 per day.  If his gamble (with our lives) is incorrect, the death rate will be higher – and potentially much higher.  Only time will tell.   —   KMAB]
Follow Up to Last Year’s Post (115,000+):
The “post” above is from one year ago.  It is still too early to tell how good / bad a gamble President Trump took with the health of the nation.  Partly because it is still too soon to have had academia take a look at the data and partly because a number of states – mostly (but not exclusively) with Republican governors (Florida) – are using their office / administrations to hide the true / accurate numbers of illnesses and deaths for political reasons.  We do know that since the Inauguration, the vaccine count has gone from under 50 million to over 300 million.  Over 50% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of vaccine.  Part of this success is attributable to a competent President / Administration and part to the manufacture and distribution of the various vaccines ramping up.
As for our losses, the current “rolling” weekly death average is under 500 per day.  A few weeks ago, the CDC also updated the information on their site to “confirm” that not only are the vaccinated unlikely to get seriously ill and die (still 5 – 10% chance of illness, and less than 1% chance of death), you are also unlikely to become infected and ill at all (15 – 20% illness rate once vaccine period is completed).  Again, it’s too early to KNOW the exact numbers, but in this case it’s because (it is my understanding) “illness” is being self-reported.  Still, this is “good” news and we should see the economy and society begin to return to normal.  We’ve dodged a bullet this time folks.  I am not making light of the individual losses to family members and friends, but the virus could have been a lot more lethal and we still have a considerable way to go on getting the rest of the way to herd immunity.  Let’s hope we are better prepared for the next epidemic…
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On This Day In:
2020 115,000+
2019 One Generation’s View
2018 The One Thing
2017 Never Give Up
2016 Which Generation Are We?
Congratulations, Kyle!
2015 Centered
2014 Economic Trinity
2013 At Both Ends
2012 Holding Allowance
2011 The Power Of Good

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Our bodies are apt to be our autobiographies.
    —    Frank Gelett Burgess
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On This Day In:
2020 Unlike Faux News Viewers
2019 I Don’t Know Truth, Either
2018 An Approaching Disgrace
2017 Liberty, Collusion, History And The Republican Majority
2016 But I Have Too Many Questions
2015 A New Friend
2014 Do I Have To Fall In Love?
2013 More Democracy, Please
2012 Speaking Of Love
2011 Limits

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Plagues don’t come for one tribe or another;  they don’t smite a population because it’s gone astray;  they’re neither divine punishment nor a sign of the Rapture.
    —    Virginia  Heffernan
From her article:  “Words To Live By
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  dtd:  May 2020
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On This Day In:
2020 Social Distancing
2019 Touched?
2018 Chillin’ With My Bro
Inconvenient Adventure
2017 Genuine Tragedies
2016 Why I’m Scared Of November
2015 I Can Tell Too
2014 In Hand
2013 No Fear
2012 Comic Books
Keeping The Peace
2011 You Still Have To Pay For It

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The low cost of generic drugs makes them essential to global public health.  But if those bargain drugs are of low quality, they do more harm than good.  For years, politicians, regulators and aid workers have focused on ensuring access to these drugs.  Going forward, they must place equal value on quality, through an exacting program of unannounced inspections, routine testing of drugs already on the market and strict legal enforcement against companies manufacturing subpar medicine.  One model is the airline industry, which through international laws and treaties, has established clear global standards for aviation safety.
Without something similar for safe and effective drugs, the twin forces of subpar medicine and growing drug resistance will be so destructive that developed countries won’t be able to ignore them.  As Elizabeth Pisani, an epidemiologist who has studied drug quality in Indonesia, put it, “The fact is, pathogens know no borders.”
    —   Katherine Eban
From her article: “The Worldwide Threat Of Generic Drugs
Appearing in Time Magazine, dtd: 3 June 2019
The article also appears online at:  https://time.com/5590602/generic-drugs-quality-risk/
[I personally subscribe to the hard copy of Time Magazine.  This quote is being offered without permission or authorization.  I make no claim of ownership or authorship.  I am receiving no compensation from the author or the magazine for posting this quote.  I found the article interesting and am simply offering the quote for your consideration.    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Life’s Mysteries
2019 I Doubt I Ever Will
2018 Who Will Thank (If Not Remember) Me
2017 Reinforced Learning
2016 I Choose To Believe
2015 What They Don’t Teach You At School
2014 Still Trying To Die (5)
2013 Honest Doubt
2012 Choice
2011 Ownership Of Thought

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