Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Places’ Category

The image above is a plaque in one of the pubs located in Liverpool, England – which my wife visited on her latest trip to spend time with her mum and family…
.
On This Day In:
2018 Intensity Doesn’t Make It Correct
HF2: 1940’s Grapes
2017 Proof Sits In The Oval Office
2016 Tragic Determinism
2015 Maybe It Should Be Clearer
2014 Make It Your Strength
2013 Four Score
2012 The Ruler
2011 Forever
2010 Just Cuz
How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?
It’s Alive!! (3rd Pair Shoe Review)

Read Full Post »

My wife’s favorite flower is the daffodil.  Before I met her, I never thought much about flowers.  I knew what a rose was (is) and I knew they came in different colors.  I didn’t know the variations had different names or much of anything else.  I used to buy my wife roses several times a year.  Not for any particular reason.  Just to make her smile.  This stopped after a few years because she said she didn’t really like flowers – except daffodils.  When we moved back to Liverpool in the early 1990’s, I found out why.  They (Liverpool city) have fields and fields of daffodils and they all bloom at roughly the same time each year – in February / March.  Here are some of the photos from my Hil’s trip home last year (2018).

Photo of 2018 Liverpool Daffodils

2018 Liverpool Daffodils (1)

Photo of 2018 Liverpool Daffodils

2018 Liverpool Daffodils (2)

Photo of 2018 Liverpool Daffodils

2018 Liverpool Daffodils (3)

Photo of Hil w/ Daffodils

2018 Hil w/ Daffodils

Photo of 2018 Liverpool Daffodils

2018 Liverpool Daffodils

Photo of 2018 Hil's sister Lynn w/ Daffodils

2018 Hil’s sister Lynn w/ Daffodils

Several years ago, Hil began planting bulbs in front of our house.  They never seemed to take.  They would pop up (bud), but never bloom.  Then about 2016, the “miracle of Spring” began.  (Unfortunately, we had to remove the tree shown in the first picture.)  For whatever reason, we seem to get a few more each year…

Photo of 2016 Feb Daffodils

2016 Feb Daffodils

Photo of 2018 Feb Daffodils

2018 Feb Daffodils

Photo of 2019 Feb Daffodils

2019 Feb Daffodils (Thur)

Photo of 2019 Feb Daffodils

2019 Feb Daffodils (Sat)

On Monday of this week, they were just buds.  On Thursday, the first five blossomed.  The final photo is from this morning…
.
On This Day In:
2018 But Take Heart
Poetic Marker
2017 The Few, The Many, The Most
2016 To My Brother
2015 For Junior
A Roman Rome
2014 Hmmm
2013 What’s A Motto With You?
2012 Worthy Companions
2011 Bourne Again
Which Ten Are You In?

Read Full Post »

Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good plays, good company, good conversation – what are they?  They are the happiest people in the world.
   —  William Lyon Phelps
.
On This Day In:
2015 Jumping Into The Dark
2014 I Would Be Sillier
2013 It Keeps Happening Anyway
2012 Take Time
2011 A Mother’s Lesson
2010 3rd Pair – Shoe Review (DOA and Final)

Read Full Post »

As an adopted son of Liverpool, one is inevitably forced to take a side – to make a choice…  Because my wife made the mistake of buying me a book about growing up in Liverpool and the author stated Liverpool was home to the two greatest soccer teams in the world: Everton and Everton Reserves…  With my wife (and her father and brother) being committed Reds fans, you might say I was destined to be baptized a Blue…

Image of Everton F.C. jersey patch

The Everton F.C. kit jersey patch

Notice at the center of the patch is a round tower.  This is an image of the magistrate’s tower where the police held drunks and criminals for overnight stays.  I didn’t see the original tower for many years – even after I lived there (in Liverpool) for almost a decade.  Still, visiting the “Tower” remained on my bucket-list.  In my imagination, this is what I pictured…

Image of Glendalough Round Tower

Glendalough Round Tower

or

Image of a Round Tower in Northern Ireland

A Round Tower in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

The reality was not quite as impressive…

Image of Everton Lock Up Looking Up Hill

Everton Lock Up – Looking Up Hill

and

Image of Everton Lock Up Looking Down Hill

Everton Lock Up – Looking Down Hill

And here’s a historical image…  (The sheep “cutting” the grass just kill me.  LOL!)
 EvertonLockUp_Old
Sometimes the reality of a bucket-list item just doesn’t quite live up to the spirit of the item.
.
On This Day In:
2014 Penalty Period
2013 Theft
2012 Cranky Old Man
2011 A Man’s Got To Know His Limitations

Read Full Post »

Thomas Robert “Tom” Laughlin (August 10, 1931 – December 12, 2013)
Before Steven Seagal (all three word title movies), before John Rambo (“Rambo” series), before John McClane (“Die Hard” series), before Paul Kersey (“Death Wish” series), before Kwai Chang Caine (“Kung Fu” TV series) – there was Billy Jack in “Born Losers” (1967).  Tom Laughlin brought to the big screen the start of the modern vigilante movie genre with the character of Billy Jack.  It seems strange how a little martial arts on the big screen, mixed with some social awareness and righteous indignation can affect people’s lives.
As a twelve year old kid I remember thinking, “Wow, I’ve got to learn how to do that!”  What I was looking at was Hapkido – a Korean form of Karate (open hand fighting).  Ten years later, I found a Hapkido dojo in Germany and studied it for almost a year during my off hours (I was in the Army).  That was set aside once I returned to civilian life…  Until I found Judo, while I was in college.  I took that for a semester, too.  When I moved to England in the ’90’s, a friend from work (who was a black belt in judo) said he’d love to get me on a mat and asked if I was interested in going to a dojo to learn Aikido.  My friend (Dave) and I found a local dojo and began our lessons.  We continued on with that for about two years.  It was great having someone who was a lifelong martial artist as a co-student because he could explain things in much greater detail than I could ever have gotten (except in one-on-one personal lessons).  For his side, he got someone who was bigger and heavier who he could throw around for a couple of hours twice a week.  We both moved on and I stumbled on to a Philippine “combat” style of Aikido while I was in Saudi Arabia which I tried for another year.  And then finally, once back home in America, I was back to traditional Aikido at a local dojo for several years (until I developed AFib and went on blood thinners).
Practicing martial arts, of course, lead me to read about martial arts, which in turn lead to me reading about martial philosophy and then philosophy in general.
Did I ever “become” a martial artist?  No.  Did I ever learn how to do that?  Not hardly.  I never took it seriously enough to be more than what I was – a novice and a bit of a dojo sampler.  Did I enjoy it?  Yes, very much.  Did it affect me?  Yes!  And for at least some small part of that, I have to thank Billy Jack (Tom Laughlin).
Beyond the enjoyment of playing Aikido itself, I learned timing, balance, grace, philosophy, and I gained a certain amount of inner peace.  For all of which, I will always be extremely grateful.
R.I.P. Tom
Signed,
KMAB (A Fan)
[Please also go check out the song lyrics to “One Tin Soldier – (The Legend of Billy Jack)” on my poems page.  —  KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2012 All Aboard
2011 Sail On, Sailor

Read Full Post »

The Marine Corps War Memorial

The Marine Corps War Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery

Around the base is inscribed:
In honor and memory of the men of the United States Marine Corps who have given their lives to their country since 10 November 1775
Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue

 

To a Marine, the sky coloring was unusual – a light blue, thin and distant.  The scene was Arlington National Cemetery.  
 

On a single pedestal before me stood the memory of five men; the glory of one nation; the pride of one corp.  
 

They fought for peace, justice, and freedom in a war plagued, strife wrought time.  
 

They stand bronzed, still, silent.  Reassuring, uniting, proclaiming.  
 

Above them, what they and their friends fought for, lived for, died for; a piece of cloth; a dream of man’s; a fraction of history.  
 

Their bravery is America’s life.  Their willingness is America’s pride.  Their strength is America’s glory.
 

[The text above was written on Nov. 18, 1969, before I had ever actually visited the statue or cemetery.  Based on the pictures I’d seen, I didn’t realize there were six Marines in the statue.  —  KMAB]
 

 

Read Full Post »

Back on December 14, my younger brother (Sean) called and I made a typically crude male joke about a recent “minor” procedure he just had to remove a sore on his tongue.  He’d had a similar procedure about five years ago, so it didn’t seem like a big deal.  His response shook me: “Yeah, about that.  I’ve got cancer.”
Of course I didn’t believe him and thought he was trying to punk me with a riff off of my joke, but when I said, “Man, you’re just kiddin’.”  He replied, “No, really.  I just got off the phone with the doctor and they just got the biopsy back.”
I felt dizzy…
We spoke for a few moments.  I told him how much I love him and how I’m here if he needs anything.  He broke down crying and said he had to hang up now.
I waited about an hour and called back.  We talked some more and he sounded better.  He apologized for earlier and said he just had to get used to the news so he could move forward.
About a week later, I went to the doctor with him and his doctor said it was “good news, bad news”.  The good news was the earlier operation appeared to be successful and they got it all off of his tongue.  They took off a bit around it and there was no cancer there (more good news).  But just to be safe (the bad news), my brother really should agree to another – more lengthy – exploratory procedure in his neck (his lymph glands) to see if the cancer has spread.  The doctor was reassuring, saying it was probably only a 25% chance they’d find anything, but better safe than sorry.  He wanted to get my brother’s agreement so he could arrange for the surgery in early January.
Well, to make a longer story shorter, tomorrow is the procedure.  It’s supposed to take 6+ hours, so it’s not a trivial “nip-n-tuck”.
If you believe in God (and I do) or some ultimate force for good in the universe, please offer up a prayer for my little brother.  (He’s bigger than I am, but he’s still my “little” brother.)  If you don’t believe, just think a positive thought for him.  To quote John Coltrane: “One thought can produce a million vibrations…”
I love you, Bro…

Sean and me at the Grand Canyon

.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: