Posts Tagged ‘Family and Friends’

Deep in my heart I know I am a loner.  I have tried to blend in with the world and be sociable, but the more people I meet the more disappointed I am, so I’ve learned to enjoy myself, my family and a few good friends.
    —     Steven Aitchison
On This Day In:
2021 Your Best Heat
Memphis Group
2020 Me Too
2019 No Regrets
2018 In Times Of Crisis
Genes, Desire And Luck
2017 The Voice Of Experience
2016 Who And When
2015 Change Process
2014 What Is Still Possible
2013 Strength Is There
2012 Beyond Reasonable Doubt
2011 Celebrating Values
2010 Is it just me, or is it suddenly dark around here?

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Today is my mom’s birthday…  Yesterday, my sister brought her over for lunch and an afternoon in the sun.  Here she is with her cake / candles.  We opted for fire safety and didn’t use 95…  (LoL)

Let them eat cake

On This Day In:
2021 Maybe Faith Is Based On Hope
I Want To See You Smile
2020 Thank You (To Those Who Serve)
Hanging In There
2019 Her Job, Too
2018 Just Another Song I Like
Earlier Still
2017 Ten To Go
2016 Unstable Emergence
2015 88
2014 Some One-Liners Are Too Easy
2013 Greatness
2012 Memories Of Arlington
2011 Wake Up

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Out of the depths of the mysterious box,
Flowed the marvelous symphony,
Of all the virgin voices of the forests of America
    —     Agustín Barrios Mangoré
From his poem:  “Profession of Faith
[Happy Birthday, Mom!  Love, Kevin    —    KMAB]
On This Day In:
2021 Maybe Faith Is Based On Hope
I Want To See You Smile
2020 Thank You (To Those Who Serve)
Hanging In There
2019 Her Job, Too
2018 Just Another Song I Like
Earlier Still
2017 Ten To Go
2016 Unstable Emergence
2015 88
2014 Some One-Liners Are Too Easy
2013 Greatness
2012 Memories Of Arlington
2011 Wake Up

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As of today, there have been 378,777 COVID-19 related deaths in the United States.  This post is about one of them…
Last week, while we (the nation) were going through a violent civil insurrection in the nation’s capitol, Joseph Beierly was engaged in his own personal “insurrection” battle.  Sadly, he lost his battle.
I met Joe back in 1962, through his older brother, Ralph Beierly who was in my grammar school class.  Ralph had five brothers (in order: Dave, Frank, Ray, Ralph, Joe and George) he lived with and two half-brothers who were already grown up and no longer living at home.  Joe was the second youngest of those still at home.  Joe / Ralph’s parents took me under their wings and it was not unusual for me to have dinner at their house more than once a week.
At some point, you realize the older and younger siblings of your friends (like your own brothers and sisters) become “real” people, instead of “big” or “little” brother / sister of… (whomever).  Sometimes this realization is sudden.  Frequently, it is not.  For me, this happened with Joe while we were on a “road-trip” to Canada.  Joe and I had gone up to Lake Shasta to water ski and hang out on another friend’s pontoon houseboat for a week.  Unfortunately, my other friend had a family emergency and had to secure the houseboat and return to the Bay Area, so Joe and I were left high and dry for the remainder of the week.
Joe Beierly on our trip to Canada

Joe Beierly on our trip to Canada

At the time, Joe was working for a telephone manufacturing company which was doing something in Canada and offering U.S. staff the opportunity to relocate if they wished to.  Joe asked if I would mind spending the remainder of the week driving up to Canada to “check out” the new location to see if he was interested.  With nothing else to tie us down, I agreed to split the costs and off we went.
Joe drove up to Seattle and then we boarded a ferry to Vancouver.  That’s pretty much it.  We saw a lot of greenery.  Joe and I rode our first car ferry.  (Why a car ferry?  Just because neither of us had ever been on one.  We drove back.)  We listened to a lot of music during the drives.  A couple of nights we camped and a couple we stayed in “inexpensive” (cheap) motels.  We mostly did just enough to keep the trip going.  Then we’d park and chill.  Did I mention we brought along seven cases of beer for the week we expected to stay at Shasta?  As I recall, we got through five of them and I let him have the remainder when we got back to S.F.
What did I learn about Joe?  Mostly he had grown up to be his own man while I was away in the Army.  He was a bit of Dave (he enjoyed working with his hands).  He was a bit of Frank (he could be a charmer when he wanted to be).  He was a bit of Ray and Ralph in music tastes and how he treated other people with respect – irrespective of their job / station.  Like his dad, he had a way of looking at things logically and figuring them out.  Like George, he had a “little brother” attitude: “You may be a bit older, but I’m nippin’ at your heels, and I’ll catch up soon.”  But mostly, what I realize now is that he had what I call the Beierly “give it try” attitude.  “If it doesn’t work out, we’ll fix it or try something different.”

Joe in his Dress Whites

I’m not sure if Joe ever got offered or accepted that job in Canada.  (I don’t believe he did.)  The next thing I heard he was in the Navy.  I was a bit surprised by that because Joe wasn’t one to take “instruction” from his older brothers (a mind of his own), but he took to the Navy like a fish to water.  Joe got married (to Ceal, the proclaimed love of his life).  He made a career of service.  And he raised a family which he openly cherished.  We were both raised Roman Catholics.  I’ve tended to fall off the wagon periodically, but Joe became a working Christian (“by their acts you shall know them”).  Unfortunately, with my living in Europe and his living around the world (and / or way over on the East Coast), I never got a chance to ask him about that.  I would check in with Ray before and after football season and Ray would tell me about Joe’s kids this and Joe traveling there and Joe helping these people with that.  All the things “family” talk about when you’ve known each other long enough to not have to say anything and you’re sure there’s always time to kick-it again in a few months.

Joe and Ceal

And now, Ray and Joe are both gone…
The world is a better place for them having been here.  My world is a little less sunny for their passing.  And once again I mourn the loss of a brother by another mother…
COVID-19 is just a virus.  It doesn’t care about how many lives it takes or the families and grief it leaves behind.  378,777 of our fellow Americans have died…  This post has been about one of them.
On This Day In:
2020 Implications
2019 Just To…
2018 Still Going…
2017 Great Risk
2016 Robbery
2015 Humanity Plus
2014 Dinner For Two?
2013 Exercise For Those Over 50
2012 Tearful Joy!!
Except When He’s Left

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You can tell a lot about a person by the things you see laying about their house.  This item on my sister’s window sill above her kitchen sink for example…
Image of a wine glass holder...

Everyone needs a calling in life…

On This Day In:
2019 #DullDonald
2018 And Start With Charity
2017 First Things First
2016 Why Would We Expect Truth From A Liar?
Unknown Fear
2015 Something Pagan
2014 A Note To Self
2013 Determining Our Degree Of Freedom
2012 Journalism And Fantasy
Known Knowns
Jerk, n.
2011 Love Questions

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Over the weekend, my cousin Tony (from Arizona) dropped in for a little business (on Monday) and a quick weekend visit with friends and family (us).  I hadn’t seen my cousin since 1971!  (That’s 48-odd years!! for you math challenged readers.)  Anyway, we went out to lunch and to support my brother-in-law who was playing in a “teachers” band at a charity event (and beer tasting).  He teaches music in one of the local school districts and he’s part of a orchestra of teachers from the various school districts in the Oakland, California area.
In the group photo you see (L to R): me, my wife (Hilary), my cousin (Tony), my mother (Carmen), my nephew (Kyle) and my sister (Carmen).
In this photo are: me, Hil and Kelly (a friend of my nephew).
The music was good and lively.  The beer and wine tasting was excellent.  (I was told…  I was driving.)  And, a great time was had by all.  I made my cousin promise not to wait another 48 years to visit us again and he promised he wouldn’t.
On This Day In:
2021 Well Within Our Power
Hammer Time
2020 3 November Is Coming!
Bee Gees’ing
2019 Senate Republicans: Impeachment – Because It Is Right!
Dave’s Not Here, Man!
Mixing Business And Pleasure
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)

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What difference if I hail from North or South
Or from the East or West?
My heart is filled with love
For all of these.
I only know I swell with pride
And deep within my breast
I thrill to see Old Glory
Paint the breeze.
With hand upon my heart,
I thank the Lord for this, my native land,
for all I love is here within her gates
My soul is rooted deeply in the soil on which I stand,
for these are mine, my own United States!
This is my country
Land of my birth
This is my country
Grandest on Earth
This is my country!
Land of my choice!
This is my country!
Hear my proud voice!
I pledge thee my allegiance,
America, the bold,
For this is my country!
To have and to hold.
Lyrics by:  Don Raye
Music by:  Al Jacobs
[I am a first generation American.  My father was born in Ireland and came to America as a teen.  My mother was born in Mexico, but came here within a year of birth and was raised here in America.  My parents were divorced and I have no idea if my dad ever became a U.S. citizen or not.  My mother did not.  She is still a Mexican national.  I was born here in the United States, as were my sister and brother.  I volunteered for four years of active duty in the Army near the end of the Vietnam Era.  I also served in the Army Reserves when my active duty was completed.  Including my civilian time as a Federal employee, I have over 26 years in service to my country.
All I can say to President Trump and any other Republican who would claim I’m not a “REAL” American “just” because I was born here is:  “This is MY country!  And I ain’t goin’ anywhere…!!”    —    KMAB]
On This Day In:
2017 Use A Bigger Can
2016 Vote Tomorrow – 8 November 2016
2015 Old Bond
2014 Preferences
2013 Prudence
2012 Reason Against Reasons
2011 The 1% Rule Of Large Groups
2010 Going, Going, On…
Expect Mike
Wasted Again?
You Did?
Reflecting Plenty
Old Math
Mental Images
Here’s Lookin’ At You, Kid
Nothing Feared Today
I Had Other Plans
Encourage Greatness

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Image of Willie McCovey


Two days ago, on Halloween, the world lost one of the true gentlemen of sports history:  Willie Lee McCovey.  Nicknamed “Mac”, “Big Mac”, and (my personal favorite) “Stretch”, McCovey was a first baseman who defined the position for me as a child.  He played for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball for 19 of his 22 seasons in the majors.
My earliest memory of ANY sports event was attending a baseball game as a youth at Candlestick Park and seeing McCovey, Willie Mays, and Juan Marichal in person.  My mom and I sat high in the upper deck, underneath the shell which used to line the stadium.  I don’t recall if the Giants won the game or much else about the game except – Marichal’s high-kick pitching delivery style, Mays hit a home run and “Stretch” made a terrific catch at first base.  It wasn’t a high catch (as shown in the image above).  It was low, near the ground and McCovey had to practically do the splits to make the catch.
It seems “funny” to think of this, but imagine you are Willie Mays – arguably the greatest baseball player of all time and in the top five career home run hitters in history and you bat third in the order because the guy (Willie McCovey) batting fourth, behind you, has more power…
None of the above speaks to the true greatness of the man, himself.  It is better to think of Willie McCovey this way:  his last active year was 1980.  That same year, the Giants retired his jersey number (44) and began awarding “The Willie Mac Award” which is given to the team’s most inspirational player that year, as voted on by the team’s players, coaches, training staff, and (just recently included) fans.  Finally, in 1986, in his first year of eligibility, Willie McCovey was voted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
R.I.P “Stretch”.  And thanks for the childhood memories…
On This Day In:
2021 Maybe A Tiny Bit Wiser
On The Other Side Of That Hill
2020 Resistant Expectation
Every Second
2019 Two More Reasons Trump Is Such A Poor Leader
2018 Conservatives Have 20/20 Hindsight
2017 Dodgers Choke Away World Series
Firing Director Comey = Obstruction
2016 Why Do Republicans Always Seem To Be Angry?
2015 All Things Being Equal
2014 Fearful Light
2013 Unexpectedly Knowledgeable
2012 Seems Obvious
2011 See The Specialist

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Image of Bec's Website Logo
Images of Campaign T-Shirt
The above is some campaign information about my daughter who is running to become a member of the local Community College Board.  She wants to give back to our community and try to make a positive impact in the lives of other people.  (And, we are very proud of her!)  October 22nd is the last day to register to vote in California for the election to be held on November 6th.  Please register to vote and then get out and vote in the up-coming elections and remember to look all the way down the ballot.
Oh, yeah, today is her Birthday!  Happy BD, Princes!!
We love you always,
Mum and Dad


On This Day In:
2021 Strong Women Make Them Too
Gather Moments
2020 Another Opportunity
Stand Up, Shout Out
2019 Birthday Gifts For Our Daughter
Feeling Age
2018 Seeking To Make A Difference
2017 Happy BD, Bec!
2016 BD Quotes
2015 Princess
2014 Optional
2013 Happy Birthday, Rebecca
2012 Be Not Old
2012 National League Western Division Champions!!!
2011 What Kind Of Work Do You Do?
2010 Another Loser… And Come November

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The end of day twenty-five and the start of day twenty-six…
Morning weight:  332lbs.
I am now down “41/48”.  As in, 41lbs down from my fasting start weight:  373lbs, and 48lbs down from my highest weight ever (two days before I started the fast):  380lbs.  Today’s loss is a 2lbs loss, down from 334lbs yesterday.
The difference between humans and machines is our singular (for now) ability to interpret data and decide to believe / accept it or not.  This morning, my scale is bouncing between 329 and 330lbs.  This is four or five pounds less than the the previous day’s weight.  I simply do not believe that this far into a fast it is possible to lose 4 to 5lbs in a single day without most of it being water weight.  As such, I’m recording the loss for today as only 2lbs.  I will make an extra effort to ensure I stay hydrated today / tonight, and see what the scale says tomorrow.  IF it still says I’m down that much weight, then fair enough, otherwise I’ll feel vindicated in “suspecting” something was just funny with today’s weight.
Other news:  Not a lot.  The day has been grey, overcast, cool and windy.  Not conducive to an outdoor swim, but I went anyway.  I have to admit I am enjoying swimming a little more each day.  Oh, yeah…  My oldest is running for an elective office in November.  Today I went an ordered a few t-shirts for the family (and a couple of friends).  Hopefully, everyone will get a kick out of them when we host our house party for her campaign.  LOL!!
Tomorrow I take Hil for her surgery on her skin cancer.  They’ve said it’s very minor and there is nothing to worry about, but I’ll be the judge of that after it’s done and dusted.  It will be at least a half day affair and starts at 6:00am.  Meanwhile, I will be sleeping uncomfortably in the waiting room…   Any and all prayers are gratefully accepted.
On This Day In:
2017 Cowardly Defamation
2016 With No Allowance For Chance?
2015 Details
2014 Here’s One…
2013 Non-Fungible Commodities
2012 Hope And Tears
2011 Just Long Enough
Meaningful Thoughts

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The end of day twenty-two and the start of day twenty-three…
Morning weight:  339lbs.
I am now down “34/41”.  As in, 34lbs down from my fasting start weight:  373lbs, and 41lbs down from my highest weight ever (two days before I started the fast):  380lbs.  Today’s loss is a 2lb loss, down from 341lbs yesterday.
My son (James) moved out of the house about seven years ago.  I “inherited” his bedroom.  Over the course of time I’ve turned it into another library storage room for my book collection and I’ve (slowly, slowly) added bits and pieces of workout equipment to make it into a mini-gym.  My wife has been in constant battle with me over this as she believes the room is her personal rent-a-space.  I routinely go in and find she’s moved something into “storage”.  I then have to find some way to organize the new items so I can still walk around and use the room as I want to.  LOL.  It’s a constant battle which I slowly win as she doesn’t care what I do with the things as long as she doesn’t have to see or dust them anymore.
Today I moved a bunch of my weights and barbells around in the room.  I laid down some more rubber floor pads.  (Almost the whole floor covered now.)  And, I (re-)setup my inversion table.  Because our housing association community pool was extremely busy today, I decided to pack in the swim and do some step-ups instead.  I cleared a bit of floor space, and did my 30 minutes.  (That was more than enough to raise a sweat and to remind me how old I am.)  I started using step-ups to workout way back in the 1990’s while we were living in Liverpool.  Step-ups are one of those routine exercises that benefit you by giving you a workout without taking you anywhere.  So you have ready access to as much water as you want and to a toilet if needed.  Just my cup of tea…
After the step-ups, I hopped up on “the rack” and gave it a flip for about five minutes.  I got “into” inversion therapy (“hanging”) back in the early 1980’s.  I had a partially slipped disc in my lower back when I was in high school and I spent a good deal of time in pain, which got substantially worse (severe, chronic and constant) when I left the Army and started getting out of shape.  I heard about hanging on TV one evening and I felt desperate enough to try anything (but surgery).  I went to a store which offered them.  I tried one.  Within five minutes my back “popped” and it felt like an exploding nova in the base of my spine.  And then, nothing…  Absolutely, no pain for the first time in close to four or five years.  I got off the demo machine, handed the man my plastic and I’ve owned and used an inversion table ever since.  Sometimes frequently.  Most times only occasionally (once or twice a year).  Either way, I’ve carried my tables to Europe and back again when we returned.  And, yes, I am a avid proponent, advocate, champion (etc.) for inversion / hanging.
Epiphany:  I just re-read the last paragraph and it just hit me how I’ve spent most of my late twenties and most of my fifties and early 60’s in pain.  Chronic and sometimes debilitating pain.  Between my pinched nerve in my lower back and my kidney and gall stones, I’ve been a mess!  LOL.  It’s amazing to me how adaptable the human mind is.  When you are in pain, it is all-consuming.  When you are not in pain, you can take time to smell the roses (forget about the thorns) and look forward to meeting the challenges of day to day living.  We really are strange creatures.  (Or at least I am.)
Apologies to anyone who came expecting to read about my fast.  Sometimes my thoughts wander…  To tell the truth, other than being a bit tired, it’s been an easy (boring) day – fast wise.  And I think that’s a good thing!
On This Day In:
2017 Adrift In The Oval Office
Regrets – The Donald Failed The Test
2016 Just Ask “The Donald”
2015 Did You Pass On It?
2014 Even When It Ain’t, It Is
2013 Still Happens
2012 Possessing Eternity
2011 I Thought We Were Talking About Afghanistan

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The World Cup is upon us and today my son and I watched England defeat Tunisia by the score of 2 to 1 in both teams opening game of group play.
It probably should have been 5 or 6 to 1, but England missed on what appeared to be multiple “easy” chances in the first half.  (Easy to my eyes, anyway.)  Still, a win is a win.  Three points to England!  The teams which win their first game in group play, go on to advance to the next stage about 60% of the time…  Fingers crossed!!
On This Day In:
2017 Go Where?
2016 Returning To The Same Box
2015 The Hunter’s Music
2014 Dedication
2013 Unhappy Alternatives
2012 Implications
2011 Never Let Us Down

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Earlier in the week (Tuesday & Wednesday), I went in to the doctor’s office for a “nuclear” (Adenosine / Thallium Study) stress test on my heart.  I suffer from AFib.  Anyway, yesterday I met with my cardiologist for the results.  I am all clear with no blockages at all.  Yippie!!
This was my second nuclear test in five years.  (I’ve also taken the standard treadmill test twice in the last 10 years.)  The last one was the same results.  I was having (again) radiant pain in my left chest / shoulder / arm / elbow / wrist / hand, so the test was just to be on the safe side and make sure nothing had changed since the last test.  Same results as last time, so that’s even better.
I told the doctor I’ve started going to the pool as he advised and I’m feeling a lot better for it.  He said terrific.  He added, he would like me to eat a little healthier and try to get my weight down.  We discussed it and I (of course) agreed to try.  I see him again in six months – unless something changes…
The not so good news is that while boiling water for dinner (ravioli) last night, my wife spilled a pot of boiling water on her lap.  So, after a visit to Urgent Care, she got some pain killers and instructions for taking care of the 2nd degree burns.  Fortunately, instead of rising, the blisters all but went away during the night, so we got away very lucky.  I had a terrible night (lack of sleep) worrying about accidentally touching hurting her.  My Fitbit, said I got a little over two hours of interrupted sleep.  It needs a minimum of three hours to identify the types of sleep (deep / light / REM / awake).  Hil, on the other hand, got over eight hours and slept like a log.  LOL!!!  How do you spell relief?  (SLEEPING wife = happy husband!)
On This Day In:
2017 Forms Of Conservation
2016 Oh, So Lacking
2015 e pluribus unum
2014 Nothing So Far Removed
2013 Positions
2012 Two Errors
2011 Long Live The King!

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I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.  I love you simply, without problems or pride:  I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.
     ―     Pablo Neruda
From his book of poetry:  “100 Love Sonnets
On This Day In:
2017 Happy Meeting Day 33 (And Counting)
2016 Picture Perfect
2015 Life Showed Compassion
2014 And Then I Met Her
2013 Defining Maleness
The Run Continues
2012 All Set
2011 Not Always

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Picture of Sean and Kevin relaxing.

Not many meals missed by these brothers…

My sister (Carmen) and I visited my brother (Sean) today.  He is suffering from kidney failure and has to go for dialysis four days a week.  We just wanted to cheer him up with a mid-week visit.  He is trying to convert me into a Oakland fan by giving me an A’s sweatshirt for X-mas and sitting me in the Raiders recliner.  (LOL)
On This Day In:
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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