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In my continuing efforts to learn more about playing guitar and making music, towards the end of last year, I began trying some  “finger-picking” styles.  Before that I was either using a “plectrum” (guitar pick) or just casually strumming with my thumb / index finger.  There is an obvious tonal difference between the two: using a pick tends to be louder and with individual notes better defined;  no pick (to me) sounds “fuller” but softer (muffled isn’t the right word to describe the sound, but it’s all I can think of).
Finger-picking is used the most extensively (exclusively) in Classical and Spanish style guitar playing and frequently in Country (“Travis Style”) and Jazz.  As these styles are all far beyond my basic skill set, I have (to date) paid little heed of the physical requirements of this / these style:  Fingernails.
As I began exploring these styles (yes, my reach exceeds my grasp), I kept stumbling on advice for how to maintain appropriate nails – length and shape.  And, in turn, I’ve tried growing my nails out…

PIMA“: P = pulgar (thumb); I = indice (index finger); M = medio (middle finger); A = anular (ring finger)

Traditional “Classical” style uses the thumb (“P”) and three fingers (“I”, “M”, “A”).  The “pinky” is unused.  Traditional “Travis” style uses only thumb and index finger, but most guitarists nowadays use at least two fingers (and usually three).

1 – 2 mm past your finger / nail join point

The traditional “strike-zone / sweet-spot” for finger-picking is the point where the nail and finger join.  This allows the guitarist to both deaden a moving string (using the finger pad) and get the most precise release point for the string (the edge of the finger nail).
Of course there are a variety of individual factors which determine how long and what shape your nails need to be, including: the shape of your fingers, the width of your nails, the shape of your nails, the distance from the join point (finger and nail) to the top of your individual fingers and the angle of “attack” you use to pluck each string.

Poorly shaped, but approaching the correct length

Bottom line?  Too much, too soon.  Yes, I can feel the difference when playing, and yes, I can hear the difference, but this is a LOT of hassle.  I have a LONG history of OCD with my fingernails.  I don’t bite them, but I keep them VERY short and just going a few weeks to grow them out this far is driving me crazy!  LoL!!
So, no, I won’t be keeping my right hand nails long…  And, so, my dreams of becoming the next Andrés Segovia / Merle Travis must fall by the wayside…  (Just kidding.  I have NEVER dreamed that!)  Now, where are my clippers?
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On This Day In:
2022 Do People Know What You Stand For?
2021 The Republican Party Can Survive Trumpism (If It Wants To)
Don’t You Ever Ask Them Why
2020 Art Work
One Person (Republican) Can Make A Majority
2019 Hopefully, Closer To Noon
Can You See The Bottom?
2018 Stock Market Sets Another Record Under #DumbDonald
#LyingDonald: About That Special Prosecutor Testimony
2017 We Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
2016 But You Have To Learn It Feels Good
2015 Never Stop
2014 Caution
2013 Treat Her Like A Lady
2012 Build New Worlds
2011 I Grok Elegance
Standing Relish

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At the start of each football season, I say the same thing:  “Two things define a “good season” for the 49ers – 1)  win the Super Bowl, or 2)  beat the Rams twice.  I don’t care if we go 2 and 15, as long as we beat the Rams twice.
Today we were defeated in the NFC (National Football Conference) Championship Game by the Philadelphia Eagles.  It was not a close loss.  It was a resounding beat down (31 – 7) based on the final score.  Congratulations to the Eagles and their supporters!
As a LONG time 49er fan, I am (of course) disappointed in the defeat, but this was a VERY good year for us.  No, we didn’t win the Super Bowl – we didn’t even qualify to lose the Super Bowl.  But, if you look back at my earlier standard for a “good season”, we DID beat the Rams twice.  Please recall this is (was) the defending Super Bowl Champion Rams (last year), which beat us in NFC Championship Game to go on an play in the Super Bowl.  Last year, I qualified my original standard to insert: “Defeat the Rams in the playoffs” as #2 and the original #2 became number three.
After review, I added:  defeat the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs or defeat the Cowboys and / or the Raiders in the regular season.  Defeating the Cowboys in the playoffs is a borderline #4, but beating either the Cowboys or the Raiders in the regular season is really just a sweetener – nowhere near satisfying enough to make an otherwise unsuccessful season a “good” one.
So…  How did the Niners do this season?
1) No Super Bowl win  – oh, well…  You can’t win (or lose) if you don’t qualify.
2) Beat the Rams twice in the regular season – sho ’nuff!!  We smoked them twice within five weeks:  03 Oct (24 – 9) and then 30 Oct (31 – 14)!!
3) We beat the Cowboys in the playoffs:  19 – 12, and,
4) We beat the Raiders in the regular season:  37 – 34
5) NFC – Western Division Champions
6) Winner of two playoff games
Unfortunately, luck, injuries and good / bad calls are a part of every game and every season.  It’s hard to say which individual breaks / events were the most significant.  Obviously, losing your two suited-up quarterbacks was important, but the defense played (most of the game) well enough to win if a few of the other things had gone our way.
And so our team will watch the Super Bowl from their living room couches instead of from the sidelines – just like us…  There’s always next year!
And once the taste of this last game fades, we’ll all realize (remember) this was a VERY good year.
So, I’m offering a big THANK YOU to the team and all the staff of this year’s San Francisco Forty-Niners!!  Rest.  Recover.  And, let’s get ’em next season!
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On This Day In:
2022 A Murmuring Note
2021 Satisfied If Not Fulfilled
You Don’t Know
Urban Ballroom
2020 R.I.P. Kobe
2019 Looks A Lot Like #45
2018 Trying To Stay Young
2017 Seems Reasonable To Me
2016 We Can Get Through This Together (In Time)
2015 How Long Is A Piece Of String?
2014 Heathen, n.
2013 Wisdom’s Folly
2012 When The Student Is Ready
Disconnected Leadership
2011 The Complex Richness Of Life

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Today was a surprisingly emotion tugging day for me…  I received a notification of subscription renewal for Wired Magazine for just shy of $30 for the year (a monthly issue – hard-copy via “snail-mail”).  This is more than normal (at least in the past) and I just don’t believe I can justify the continued subscription now I’m into my sixth year of retirement.  So, I’ve canceled my subscription…
 
I started reading Wired back in 2000, when I got hired as a web-development manager in San Francisco (just before the “dot-bomb”) at a “dot-com”.  The company I was working at had a whole bookshelf of every back issue of Wired from inception to present (2000).  I started at issue #1 and read them all – cover to cover – during the time I was separated from my family.  After I got current, I purchased my own subscription and have maintained it all of these 20+ years – until today.  So, I am probably one of just a few people who can say they’ve read EVERY issue of almost 30 years of Wired.  Interestingly, (to me anyway), I was the only person at the company who EVER read the magazine.  I asked!  I also asked why we kept the annual subscription if no one read the magazine, and was told:  “We have a handful of subscriptions and we just renew them all each year.”
 
Now, in full disclosure, I have to qualify that I’m “currently” a few months behind in my reading, due to “life issues”, so you will probably see multiple quotes from 2022 issues in the future as I wrap up the outstanding reading.  My future son-in-law is also a hard-copy subscriber, and he’s promised to hold on to and pass along his copies.  Other than that, there’s always the public library…
 
Having cancelled my subscription to Time Magazine last year (June 2022 – after a near 50 year relationship), it feels strange to cut another string from my past primary written information sources.
 
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On This Day In:
2022 You Ought To Be Having Fun
2021 Democrats Talking To Republicans
  Talkin’ To Myself And Feelin’ Old
2020 You Are Not Late (Yet)
2019 Too Difficult To Try
2018 Hold Fast
2017 The Only Real Security
2016 Time Said
2015 If Only Common Sense Were More Common
2014 PTI
2013 What Now, Then?
2012 Big C, Little B
  Duty, Honor, Country
   

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If you’re reading this, it means you’ve survived 2022 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 2023, everyone!!    —   kmab
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On This Day In:
2022 Happy New Year — 2022!
New Year Changes To My Blog
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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To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life.  The money is the gravy.
    —    Bette Davis
[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 well over half-way there and looking forward to the gravy!    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 Four Down, Three To Go
It Still Ain’t
Boosted
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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LoL!!  Yesterday, I reported I was shocked to find that for the first time since starting my blog a country other than the U.S. had recorded the most views for a day…
Well, it turns out I pulled a “#TrumpTheLoser” and created Fake News before the final tally…
The “next-day” / yesterday full view count is in and the “balance in the force in the universe” has been restored with the U.S. well over the view count of Australia.  No “Ashes” for the Ozzies, after all.
In my defense, I can only say nobody told ME in advance there would be a end of day surge – AND it didn’t occur to me until today.  (LoL!!  And now I’ll go back to almost never looking at meaningless blog numbers.)
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On This Day In:
2021 No Profit Without Risk
And One For Me
2020 He’s Forgotten About Drugs And Rock ‘N Roll
2019 I Still Walk Daily
A Windy Monday
2018 No Religious Test, Yes Religious Ban
2017 Looking At #DumbDonald
2016 No Great Thing
2015 Happy Memory
Of Two Minds
2014 Sums
2013 Memories & Binging
Admiration Due
2012 Choices Matter
2011 Acceptance Is The Key
2010 Just A Permanent Crease…
Bodily Functions

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Shocked!  Shocked, I say.  For the first time (since starting this blog back in 2009) I’ve gotten more views from a single country which are greater than from the U.S.  Somebody pinch me…  🙂
Over the years, Canada and India have come the closest (Canada most often), but they never quite got there.  Thank you “Down Under”!
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On This Day In:
2021 The Truth Shall Keep Us Free
Let Your Hair Down
2020 But What About Tomorrow’s Blog Post?
2019 Don’t Forget Obstruction Of Justice
An Honest, Unvarnished Assessment
2018 #45 And The Republicans Are Pretending (So Far)
2017 Made
2016 Halves
Accepted Fraud
2015 Even The Little Ones
2014 Who’s On First?
2013 No Equal Measure
2012 A Single Host
2011 No Exemptions
2010 Memories Of KSA – Inside The Fire

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WAY back when I was starting high school (just before the meteor killed most of the dinosaurs), I signed up for a social studies / current events class.  As our homework, we were expected to become familiar with current events by reading at least one “national” publication (as opposed to a local newspaper with national news).  My mom always tried to encourage our reading so she signed up for three (four actually):  Time Magazine, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report.  The fourth was more for herself and the whole family:  Life Magazine.
Thus began my (more or less) life-long subscription to Time Magazine…
We dropped the other two after the first year’s subscriptions ran out – but she kept me going on Time.  There was a brief lapse while I was in the military and in training, but I picked it back up when I got stationed in Germany for my last two years.  I was reading the “International / European” edition.  I didn’t realize there was a “different” version until after I’d already subscribed.  I just assumed everybody in the world got the same news – after all, our “national” version contained international and European news.  But of course, this was a completely different focus / emphasis and I – being the ugly American – resented I wasn’t getting as much American news.
Anyway, I kept it up when I got out and went to college and, in fact increased my subscriptions to include the Time / Life book series on “understanding computers”, the book series on history and civilization, the book series “Reading Program” – (kind of a mini-“Great Books”) secondary works of famous authors, and two music series: “Great Men of Music” (classical composers) and “Big Bands”.  I continued my weekly subscription when we moved to Liverpool and again upon returning to the Bay Area.
Now, however, my 50+ year relationship with Time has run its course.  My subscription ended towards the end of last summer (2021).  For whatever reason, they continued to send me issues until the end of January this year (2022), but I did not and will not be renewing my subscription.
There are three primary reasons for my non-renewal:  1)  As of five years ago, I retired and funds are getting tighter.  Now don’t get me wrong…  I can still “afford” the subscription.  I just choose to spend the limited discretionary funds on other things.  2)  the magazine has gone from a weekly to a every-other-week magazine.  They are under pressure to turn everything over to the internet and are apparently struggling to keep up staff, quality and quantity.  The practical effect was the weekly was getting thinner and thinner.  Their shift has “almost” restored the number of pages in any given issue, but it’s still only half as many pages of information.  And, 3)  the magazine has modified the typeface in their hard-copy.  I’m fairly confident they explained / justified their reasons for doing this in one of their editor columns, but frankly, it (the magazine) is just less appealing to look at now.  And so I’m moving on…
And just to make a long story (post) longer…  Why now?  If the subscription ended last year and the “bonus” issues back in January, why am I writing this (blog post) is the end of “Time“?
It’s purely personal.  I get the issue in the mail.  I take a quick glance to see if there’s anything I “NEED” to know about now.  I read that.  The issue then goes into my “throne” rack to be read cover to cover when I’m doing “something else”.  So, now, at the end of six months, I’m all caught up and “moving” to other things…
I am continuing my subscription to “Wired” magazine and I will be occasionally be posting quotes from that source.   I will miss the Red border and (regretfully) I’m sure my overall knowledge of current events will suffer / decline.
Back in the Principal’s Office of my high school, there was a framed question on the wall:  “Time is passing…  Are you?
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On This Day In:
2021 Best To Be Trained And Educated
The Great Relief
2020 Diversity And Uniqueness
2019 Ebb And Flow
2018 America: Paging #45
2017 Near By
2016 Maybe Someday
2015 How’s The Cow?
2014 Mind Made Up
2013 On Purpose
2012 The Dream
2011 What Could Be More Comfortable?

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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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“The untold story of the election is the thousands of people of both parties who accomplished the triumph of American democracy at its very foundation,” says Norm Eisen, a prominent lawyer and former Obama Administration official who recruited Republicans and Democrats to the board of the Voter Protection Project.
“Every attempt to interfere with the proper outcome of the election was defeated,” says Ian Bassin, co-founder of Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan rule-of-law advocacy group.  “But it’s massively important for the country to understand that it didn’t happen accidentally.  The system didn’t work magically.  Democracy is not self-executing.”
From an article written by:  Molly Ball
The article is titled:  “How Close We Came:  The secret history of the shadow campaign that saved the election
Appearing in:  Time Magazine
Dtd:  15 February 2021
[This story is not even close to being over.  Unless there is a massive turnout of Democrats this November, the Republicans will likely take both the House and the Senate.  If that happens, the treasonous insurrection of 6 January 2021 will be swept under the rug and the Republicans will use their dominance at the state level to guarantee the election of a Republican nominee, irrespective of the actual vote totals.  They will “find” the votes necessary to win.  Voter suppression and fake ballots?  You ain’t seen nothing yet…  After all, to Republicans it seems it is less important who wins the election at the ballot box than who actually gets to take office and rule.  (And, yes, I said “rule”.  Not “govern”;  rule.)    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2022 Defeated: So Far (Anyway)
2021 Elections Have Consequences
It’s Cold Way Down There
2020 Fearless Security
2019 I Prefer A Neat Single Malt
2018 Seeking Finer Fruits
2017 Something That Is Absolute
2016 Animate And Encourage
Out Of Time
2015 In Time
2014 Robust Interconnectivity
2013 What Have We Here?
2012 Tributaries And Eddies
An Honest Politician
2011 Penultimate

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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:
2022 Happy New Year — 2022!
New Year Changes To My Blog
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:
2022 Happy New Year — 2022!
New Year Changes To My Blog
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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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:
2021 Four Down, Three To Go
It Still Ain’t
Boosted
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:
2021 Four Down, Three To Go
It Still Ain’t
Boosted
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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