Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Blog Changes’

This is a test.  This is only a test.
Facebook has funked us up so we have to post to a page instead of to our normal timelines.  I love technology…  If you are looking for me on Facebook, try:  http://www.facebook.com/kmabarrett.blog/
.
On This Day In:
2017 A Good Habit
2016 The Minds Of Trumpism
2015 Expressing Nonsense
2014 A Real Fight
2013 Unravelling
2012 I Resolve
2011 Practice, Practice, Practice
2009 Phoenix Trip (July ’09)

Read Full Post »

When I started blogging (back in July 2009), I didn’t really think anyone would be much interested in my posts or blog site (in general).  That’s proven to be more or less correct… in the grand scheme of things.  I have some regular followers (about 10, I guess) and I must admit to being mildly surprised the number is that large.
Generally, my purpose for this blog is to relate things I’m doing, what I’m thinking about, movies I’m watching and books I’m reading.  I must admit to one bit of ego stroking I have developed over time, though – watching the incremental increase in the count of countries which have visited my blog.  I would like – at some point in the not too distant future – to look up my statistics and see I’ve been visited by at least one person from each country on the planet.  I don’t have any real expectation of having a visit from Cuba or North Korea, as I understand they are fairly closed countries in terms of internet access.  Having been visited by every continent (except Antarctica), I would just like to imagine my site had become “truly” global.
Today I added the Google Translate widget to my site under the monthly calendar in my right-side column.  Maybe being a little more local language friendly will help.  I guess only time will tell…

Image of Worldwide Visits as of 2 July 2018

Worldwide Visits as of 2 July 2018

.
On This Day In:
2017 We Can Figure This Out
2016 Just Enough
2015 Bourne Bond
Springs Eternal
2014 Brains First
2013 Not Listening Anymore
2012 At Your Marks!
2011 We Are Not Alone
Underlying Rationality
2010 Is the Obama Administration Failing?
In Other Words…
Quite Please!
In A Hostage Situation…
Are We Done Yet?
In Order…
Flip-flopping…
Proof of Choice…
On “Leading” A Democracy To War…
Actually, It’s All About Me…

Read Full Post »

Earlier in the week, I had a post called: Site Update / Poems Page Evolution in which I stated I had completed the updating of my “Poems” page so now there was a video associated with each of the song lyrics.
Well, it turns out YouTube has changed some of it’s policies so certain videos are banned from display based on the copyright laws of your country.  I have about 150+ lyrics posted and only about 50 have been recently updated, I’m not sure how many or the earlier videos are affected by this policy change.  I checked my first four and only one worked for me.  They may still work for you in your country.
In any case, I’ve made a good faith effort to provide this convenience for you.  I doubt I want to take the time and energy to update them again when YouTube (or the initial poster) can just change their policy / mind and make future changes fail again.  I’m afraid (for the time being) you will have to go look the videos up yourselves (again).  “The best laid plans of mice and men…
.
On This Day In:
2017 A Cautionary Wish
2016 Slogging
It’s About…
Man / Man
2015 Memorial Day – 2015
Content People Love To Share
2014 I Resemble That Remark
2013 Long Range Exploration
2012 UBI
2011 Opportunity

Read Full Post »

When I started adding my own poems to this site (see tabs on top), I decided I was also going to add famous speeches which moved me.  After a bit, I decided I would also add my favorite songs – again based on the words (in this case lyrics).  Over time, that evolved a little to also include some songs for humor or just because I liked them and not just for the words / lyrics themselves.  Again, after some time, I eventually decided to start adding the videos.  To be a little more honest, I started actually using YouTube to listen songs and watch their associated videos.  About three years ago, I started adding the videos to the lyrics pages.  Unlike in my postings though, I put the videos at the end of the lyrics (beneath the lyrics), instead of front and top.  At that time, I began indicating which had videos by placing an asterisk after the song title on my “Poems” (“menu”) page, with the promise I would go back to add them all “as time permitted”.
Well, after a couple of years, I finally made the big push to get it done.  Over the last week, I have updated the last fifty (50) or so songs which still did not have videos.  If any of you have time to go check them out, I’d appreciate any of your feedback.  I haven’t bothered to remove the asterisks, even though there is really no reason to retain them on the page.
Anyway, I hope some of you will enjoy the lyrics and the videos as much as I have enjoyed reading them and listening to them over the years…
.
On This Day In:
2017 Our Thirst
2016 History Favors The Victor
2015 This We’ll Leave Them
2014 Sounds Like Faux News To Me
2013 Reasons
2012 American Libertarianism
2011 The Goal

 

Read Full Post »

The following is a quote which recently caught my attention and which I think (somewhat humorously) describes my blog (so I’ve added it to my “About” page):
A Miscellany is a collection without a natural ordering relation; I shall not attempt a spurious unity by imposing artificial ones. I hope that variety may compensate for this lack, except for those irreconcilable persons who demand an appearance of unity and uniform level.
  —  John Edensor Littlewood
From the introduction to his book: “A Mathematician’s Miscellany
.
On This Day In:
2016 Are Your Prayers Functioning?
2015 Expressing Love
2014 Cyclical Attitudes
2013 Footprints
2012 Broken Resolutions
Bin It

Read Full Post »

Of late, I’ve been watching more DVD’s in my free time and reading less books.  I’ve also been reading a lot more other blogs instead of books.  I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, or even if this can fall under such “moral” concepts as good and bad.  I am generally against reading a book on-line.  Not because I am anti-technology, but because I’m a dinosaur and like the physicality (the touch and smell) of a “real” book.  e-books simply seem sterile.  I’m not sure why I don’t “feel” the same way about reading blogs, but I don’t.  I think it’s because reading blogs doesn’t seem to be discrete in the same way that reading a book feels.  Books start and end.  Blogs start and die.  Maybe “die” isn’t the correct word.  Maybe “wither and end” is a better description.  I guess most folks simply run out of time when other things in life start to get in the way.  Blogs are more conversational, and people sometimes just quit speaking…
I also really seem to be going through phases in my own blogging “life cycle”.  The first one to two years I was posting infrequently but they were longer posts about things which were moving me emotionally.  Gradually, I started adding quotes, favorite speeches and poems (and favorite song lyrics) and then finally my workout history.  Typically, I made multiple posts on the days when I had free time, and then there was nothing for a couple of weeks.  My daughter “introduced” me to scheduling, and that kind of evened out my postings.
Every now and then I’d post a review of a movie I’d seen or book I’d read.  Then, of course, my tendency to be obsessive meant I had to do them daily (or as near as possible to the actual day viewed / completed).  “Mostly” that has remained true, which means that some days, you’d read my scheduled post and then later get a second about whatever was currently happening (like today).
I had few “views” and even fewer “followers”, but that was (is) okay because I was (am) blogging for me and not for you (sorry about that dear readers).  A couple of times a month I might get a “like” and once in a blue-moon I would get a “comment”.  I always responded to the comments, even if it was only to smile ” 🙂 ” and say thank you.  I almost always went back to the “likes” to see what their sites were about.  Not because I wanted to read anyone else’s site (per se), but because I was curious about the someone’s which were responding to my random thoughts (postings).
It wasn’t long before I was stumbling upon really creative and interesting people.  You’ll have to excuse me if I seem anthropomorphic, but I think of your blogs as you (and yes, I realize they are only the “you” you want me to see).  Over time (sometime in year three), the number of “likes” got to be too great to visit each every day and I began the slow slide into “following” myself.  I now have a couple hundred “followers” and I “follow” several hundred too.  At first this wasn’t a big deal as most bloggers either post a couple of times a month or post five or six times a day (but they are photos and quotes which don’t take long to view).  Slowly, though, I noticed I was reading more and more blogs which were posting more frequently, with more content and which took more and more time to consider (not just read, but think about and consider the “impact” on my thoughts).
I must admit I’ve now reached the saturation point.  Where once I obsessively followed each posting on every blog, I then began to flitter like a butterfly amongst the blogs I follow.  I now have realized that I simply lack the time to “touch” them frequently (even with the weekly round-up).  However, I simply do not have enough hours in the day to enjoy all of your work.  Reading (books in particular) is my passion.  Trying to note / record a few of the thoughts which touch (or move) my soul has become the purpose of this blog.  For now, I must apologize to those, who like me, are casting threads into the ether.  If you see me “like” or “comment” on your sites fewer times than I have in the past, this is not a dispersion on your blog, as much as it is a recognition that time is fleeting and life is wondrously short…
DVD Reviews:
I’ve actually watched five different DVDs since my last movie review, so in addition to my lengthy lead-in (above), you’ll now have to bear up under another large chunk of reading.  The five DVDs are: “The Informant!“, “The Last Airbender“, “The Iron Giant“, “The Dark Knight Rises“, and “Ip Man: The Final Fight“.
The Informant!” stars Matt Damon as an up-and-coming executive at a corporate agribusiness, who upon feeling threatened by the failing project he is assigned, decides to become an inside agent for the FBI in an investigation of price fixing.  The movie is based on a real-life case, but is meant to be treated as a kind of black comedy.  To be honest, although I am a Damon fan, this was a movie I could not wait to end.  I found it tiresome and humorless.  I guess the comedy was supposed to be in the irony, because it certainly wasn’t in anything else.  If you are a committed anti-agribusiness advocate, this movie may confirm / support some of your worst fears.  For anyone else, give it a miss.  Final recommendation: not recommended.
The Last Airbender” is a children’s kung-fu, magic, sorcery, fantasy movie.  The story and acting is suitable for the target age (5 to 12 yrs old).  The special effects are quite good.  My son watched the TV series the movie is based on and he hated this movie.  My daughter, who did not follow the TV show has friends who did and she says they all uniformly hate this movie.  I have never seen a single TV episode, so my review must be taken with a grain of salt.  I enjoyed it!  It’s not great cinema, but really, how much great cinema comes out of the 5 to 12 target audience which is based on the above description (okay, I grant you the first “Kung-Fu Panda” was pretty good).  This movie has none of the humor or heart of “Kung-Fu Panda”, but it’s okay.  By the way, I got it used for $3, so it’s not like it broke the bank to view it.  It is obviously meant to be the first in a long line of series / sequels.  Will I watch them.  Probably, but I won’t see them at the theater, even at a discounted matinee price.  Final recommendation: an okay action movie to kill a few hours watching with your kids, nieces and nephews.
The Iron Giant” is throw-back to earlier animation movie style – pre-3d (“Toy Story“), Saturday-cartoonish flat style.  Basically, a metal robot is sent to destroy earth.  It is damaged and then assisted by a young boy who befriends the robot.  The robot is a weapon which “learns” to be non-violent.  This is a twist on the “Frankenstein” / “Number 5 Is Alive” Sci-Fi movie where the “bad guy” is not necessarily the “un-human” character.  Anti-military, anti-government, pro-peace movie…  In any case, this is a very charming movie which (deservedly) has kind of a cult-classic following.  It is suitable for almost all ages.  Final recommendation:  Highly recommended!
The Dark Knight Rises” is the final movie in the Christian Bale, “Batman” trilogy.  I reviewed this movie back when I saw it at the theater (see that review here), and my review as it stood remains very accurate.  Well, maybe too kind…  Not much of this movie plot/story bears thinking about too much as it is all comic-book fantasy – even within the scope of comic-book adaptation it’s pretty far fetched.  But as stated in my original review, this is not the type of movie you go to for anything but fun and action.  One final point: the sound problem I had at the theater was not present while viewing the DVD, so basically the sound levels in the theater were screwed up.  The dialog is fully understandable.  Final recommendation: Still highly recommended.
Ip Man: The Final Fight” stars Anthony Wong in a dramatized biography of the Kung-Fu Sifu who taught the famous Chinese movie star / martial artist Bruce Lee.  This is the third in the series and it follows the life from the end of World War II to Ip Man’s death.  This is “Americanized” Chinese movie making, similar to a number of movies which have come out in the last ten or so years.  The movie’s production value is superb and up to the level of the martial arts in the film.  As such, plot, dialogue and action all make for a pretty enjoyable movie.  In terms of pure martial arts, I think the first movie was the best of the three, but again there is not much of a fall off between the sequel and this, so the series holds up very well.  If you are into the modern age of Chinese martial arts movies, this is definitely a must see.  Final recommendation: Highly recommended!
Thank you to all of you who’ve managed to make it through this lengthy posting!
.
On This Day In:
2012 Thoughts And Communications
2011 But How Does Peter Feel?
2010 Name That Regret

 

Read Full Post »

This song, which I wrote in April, is a response to what I have observed and experienced, and is also an act of personal accountability.  It was not easy to write, and I struggled with how I, as a straight male, could genuinely speak upon this issue.
Initially, I tried writing from the perspective of a gay, bullied kid, but after getting some feedback, I felt it wasn’t my story to tell.  What I do know, and where I wrote from, is my own perspective growing up in a culture where “that’s gay” was commonplace, with a huge stigma on those who identified and were perceived as gay.
Growing up in the Catholic Church, I saw first-hand how easily religion became a platform for hate and prejudice.  Those who “believed” were excused from their own judgments, bypassing the stark issue of basic civil rights.
More than anything, I am aware of how comfortable I (and many other straight people) have become in staying silent on this issue.  If we choose to not speak on an issue of injustice out of fear, or how our peers might perceive us, we’re part of the problem.  We know the truth, and vainly refuse to uphold it, when people’s lives are caught in the balance.
This song is a humble submission to help bring this conversation to the surface, so that we can reflect on the language we use, and how powerful it can be.  Rethinking, and understanding the gravity of how we communicate with each other.  Change happens when dialogue happens.  When we confront our prejudice and are honest with ourselves, there is room for growth, and there is room for justice.
  —  Macklemore
From:  http://macklemmore.com/post/27481163762/this-song-which-i-wrote-in-april-is-a-response
[“As a straight male” who is also a practicing Roman Catholic, I am powerfully moved by the lyrics to this song:  “Same Love“.  I have included the lyrics to “Same Love” on my Poems page.
My God is a god of LOVE.  Writ large – LOVE!  It is simple, yet profound – love…
If you spend your life trying to bring love to the world, the God of my beliefs will reward you with love.
I do not recall ever making a decision to be straight.  I do recall making a decision to try to spend my life bringing love (and respect for others) to the world around me to the glory of God’s spirit.  Posting this song (lyrics) is one (another) small step in demonstrating, publicly, my commitment to a loving God.
As an aside, because this song moved me so, I have included a YouTube link to the video.  This is a first for me as I normally take “my” lyrics from multiple versions of a song (many times by multiple artists, too) or, alternatively, sometimes I pick the version which I remember as being definitive (for me).  I do believe the inclusion adds to the page.  I was not convinced before.  In the future I will add the YouTube video link to all lyrics.  If you have a video link which you prefer, please let me know and I will be happy to alter the link to another version or video provider.  I have no personal interest / preference to YouTube.  It is simply convenient.  Over time, I will be going back to add the videos for the other song lyrics on my Poems page.  Inshalla…
As always, please read the lyrics before viewing the video.  Also, please remember to go see your local artists performing live.  There is NO substitute for living life – and that means live performances.  Support your local arts in all their glorious flavors and hues!!  —   KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2012 Extinction, n.
2011 Snap!

Read Full Post »

It may be that men are not equal in all respects, but they are all equally men.
  —   Hugh Gaitskell
[Nowadays, you would have to substitute “men” with “persons”, but the quote remains correct.  —  KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2012 Still Growing
2011 Are We Still At War With The Poor?

 

Read Full Post »

I don’t know how many folks ever bother to look at anything on my page except the actual blog posting for that day.  On the right hand side I have a category of links to pages I find interesting.  The category is titled: “Tributaries And Eddies” (TAE).
TAE’s tend to be sites from folks who have “liked” one or more of my postings and who I’ve tracked back to see what their site looks like.  If I find the site “interesting” and relatively frequently maintained, I put it on my list for sites to add to TAE.  Now, “interesting” doesn’t mean I agree with the site content or purpose and I tend to not include company sites (although that’s not a hard and fast rule either).  They simply tickle my fancy (for whatever reason) at the time I view them.
About every six months or so, I go visit each current TAE and drop those which are no longer maintained and add one or more from my list.  Again, I don’t have a firm rule on how many I keep on the list and it’s been over twenty and as low as four or five.  I mean no offense to any who notice their site has been dropped.
.

 

Read Full Post »

 

Well, today my blog (this here disturbance) turns three years old.
My first entry was the obligatory: “Hello, World!
I didn’t particularly note the first or second anniversary.  I guess, I wanted a certain body of work to accumulate before I thought much about recognizing it as an accomplishment.
The blog started slow – about three or four entries per month.  Some days I had that many posts alone and then had nothing to say for weeks (days) at a time.  Since 17 January 2011, I’ve had a post every day.  Most of them are simply quotes which gave me pause and / or made me think and I’m simply passing them on to anybody who happens to stumble across my site.  Sometimes I comment on the quote.  More often than not, I simply throw them out there for the reader to consider without my bias.  Every couple of weeks I post something a little more substantial.  When this happens, sports, politics and my family are the normal topics.
Other UBIs (“Useless Bits of Information) about my blog:
As of today, 29 July 2012, I will have had –
988 Posts
175 Pages
206 Comments
I will have used up about 2% allowed free space (about 52 MB);
I will have had about 12,000 views (all time)  (probably 25-33% are my own views just admiring my handiwork);
About 52 of my entries have been book reviews (some entries have multiple books), but basically I’m averaging about a book every three weeks.
About 49 of my entries have been movie reviews (again many of the entries are for multiple movies and some are re-reviews of movies I’ve taken a 2nd – or 50th – look at, and just feel like adding more comments to / about.
Probably 90% of my pages are song lyrics, poems or speeches which particularly moved me at some point in my life.
There about 70 folks following my Blog via the blog (WordPress) itself,  but there’s no way to tell how many are looking at it frequently – or simply deleting the notification.  Beyond that, there’s another 83 folks following my blog via Facebook and 12 more who follow via twitter.  I have no idea what they’re seeing off of twitter feed, unless it’s merely the daily titles.
Anyway, three years and no end in sight…
I hope you’re enjoying reading my 2¢ worth enough to come back every once in a while, and, as I said at the beginning of all of this, I hope you “Live long and prosper!
.

Read Full Post »

On Saturday, I completed the 7th in the John Carter of Mars (JCoM) series book: “A Fighting Man Of Mars“, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1930©).   I’ve been carrying the series around with me since my early 20’s, and couple of years ago I decided to bite the bullet and read them.  I actually read the first book in the series way back when, but never progressed to any of the others.  I managed to read the fist six and then stalled out.  I believed the series was about John Carter.  Actually, only about half the books are.  The rest are about his son, daughter, grand-daughter and this latest, about an arbitrary low ranking officer in the Helium Army.  (Helium is the city-state on Mars over which John Carter has become Warlord.)
As I thought I’d been recording the books I’ve read on this blog, I went back to see what my other (earlier) blogs said about the series – only to find out there is only the briefest of mentions that I’ve started reading the series and have completed the first five.  I then went back to see if the same was true for any number of other books I’d read and found it was(is).  I’ve therefore decided to go back and begin reviewing other books I’ve read.  I’ll try to come up with a notation of some type to indicate which are current reads and which are prior, but I haven’t come up with anything yet.
Anyway, there is a new John Carter of Mars movie coming out on March 9th which really looks promising, so I’m going to try to complete the series before then.  I believe the movie only covers the first and second book, so I may try to re-read those, too.
For anyone not familiar with Edgar Rice Burroughs, he’s the creator of the “Tarzan of the Apes” series of books which came out in serialized fashion back in the early 1900’s.  Roughly the same time, he was producing the John Carter series (from 1910-ish to 1940-ish).  As the time predates TV and air flight – let alone spaceflight, his novels are very much science fiction.  Beyond that though they are what I would call Sci-Fi/Sword and Romance novels.  I would estimate the target audience for teens to mid-twenties (about the same as now, but you could probably throw in some younger pre-teens) and mostly male.  Women are always “virginal” and men (good-guys) are always swashbuckling and heroic.  The reverse is also true for the “bad-guys” (and gals).  The bad women are always vicious and conniving and the men are always fat, detestable, frequently ugly, and almost always willing to “take” the heroine’s “honor” – usually by force, but sometimes by manipulation.
This book (“A Fighting Man Of Mars”) follows the familiar format: hero falls in love, love interest is kidnapped (becomes endangered), hero sets off on quest to save love interest.  Hero goes through many trials, but finally saves the love interest.  In this case, the twist is the initial love interest is undeserving and inevitably loses the hero to a more worthy love interest.  If you are intending to read this book (and are under 15 years of age) – stop reading here because I’m about to disclose the final plot twist.  The hero believes the new love interest to be a slave and on the last pages of the book, she is discovered to be a long lost (kidnapped AGAIN) princess of Helium.   And they live happily ever after…
As you can deduce from my review, the reason I stopped reading the books is they are not that interesting to me.  They are light, adventure novels with a little too much Victorian-era romance thrown in for my taste.  Will I complete the series?  Yes.  They are not bad; they’re just not that good.  They make a nice change from any heavy reading – kind of like watching a half-hour situation comedy on regular TV after watching a documentary on PBS.
A final thought, if you were trying to get your 8-10 year old son or grandson to enjoy reading, you could do worse than reading these to him…
.

 

Read Full Post »

Today I made a minor change to my blog.  Last year (1 Jan 2011), I began including a journal of my exercise habit(s) so I’d have a record to look back on.  The record has been as hit and miss as my routines, but it is accurate.
Now that we’ve started 2012, I’ve changed the main tab at the top of the page to read “Sweat Equity” and I’ve added extra pages to show the new year’s record.  I don’t imagine anyone but me will find them very interesting, but the main benefit of creating my own blog is I get to include what I want to…  Just another facet of a very rough, uncut diamond.
My goal this year is the similar last year:  to walk at least 30 minutes each day.  I didn’t last very long on the objective last year (to jog 30 minutes each day) because I ended up going to the ER / hospital with AFib.  Hopefully, I’ll do better this year.  Wish me luck…
.

 

Read Full Post »

 

Happy 4th of July weekend everyone!
I’m slowly getting over some kind of flu.  I was off work for two days.  Sinuses were terrible and my right ear was effected.  Quite dizzy and disorienting.  Anyway, I’m feeling somewhat better today.
I got up to watch Germany crush Argentina in the World Cup this morning – 4 to 0!!  I don’t usually favor the Germans, but I’m coming around with this team.
After the game I went out for my first jog in what seems like ages (actually six days).  I was fine until about 30 minutes and then my right calf cramped up badly.  I almost stopped, it was so painful.  In the end, I limped for a few minutes and then it eased up.  It was still painful, but it wasn’t getting worse, so I felt it was something I could work through.  I got in my usual 70 minutes – about 4 miles.  Not fast, but they all count in the end.
Just in case anyone else ever does read this, I’ve started adding in some new bits.  The first thing is quotes.  I’ll just be adding them randomly as I come across them and they “tickle” me.  Most I will agree with, but not all – and it won’t be the criteria for me adding it.  The criteria will be – did it make me stop and think.
I also plan to start including the lyrics to songs I like.  I will probably simply add lyrics to the poetry pages I’ve already started adding.
.

 

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: