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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:
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:
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:
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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So, this was our house last year after the new paint job…
And here it is after updating our front garden to help conserve water…
As you can see, we’ve removed the front grass and replaced it with (mostly) white stone.  We’ve circled the two trees with larger riverbed stones and red pumice (like) stones.  We’ve high-lighted the roses on either side of the brick path and added river stone edging on the sides.  We added a “fake” stream bed curving from near the top of the path, around our big tree, down to the sidewalk.  And, finally, we sprinkled various plants in the white stone areas.  We hope they will fill out and add a bit of color to the otherwise plain white space.
Many (not quite most) of the houses in our neighborhood have already done the same to their front gardens.  I don’t know how much money we’ll save, but every drop of water counts in this age of climate change.  Over 25 of the last 30 years have been drought years here in California, so our action is long past due.  Hopefully, better late than never…
And, of course, the best news is:  NO more mowing the lawn, while reducing the expense of our water bill.
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On This Day In:
2020 Was #IncompenentDonald Born To Be A Diplomat?
2019 Have You Planted Lately?
2018 Something / Nothing
2017 Kindness
2016 Dealing With It
2015 Too Many Choices!
2014 Vini, Vidi, Vici
2013 Heroes
Education, n.
2012 Who I Want To Be
2011 Mythic Forgetfulness

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Memorial Day

Monday 31 May 2021

Thank You, Veterans!

Some give more than others…

Some give all…

Memorial_Day_2021
[This weekend, when you are celebrating with your family, please take a minute to think about these soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who throughout our nation’s history have made the ultimate sacrifice for us all.  Please try to think of them, not as warriors, but as sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters… as part of a “greater” American family – which all (they and us) surely are.
I know that Memorial Day is specifically set aside to honor these brave souls in uniform, but please also take an extra minute or two to remember and be thankful for the over 3,600 medical and health care staff around the country who also fought the good fight – just doing their jobs – and who gave their lives in the last year defending us from COVID.   They too have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
All five images were found on the web.  No claim of ownership is intended or implied.
    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 At Least A Lot More Gray
2019 Walking The Lonely Path
2018 The Ultimate Trial
2017 Vain Expectations
2016 Or Of One Thought
2015 What’s In Your Future?
2014 Light In Darkness
2013 How ‘Bout Just Obeying The Law?
2012 Or Maybe Not
2011 My Interval Is Too Short!

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Cat’s In The Cradle

Comment(s):
Every father’s prayer:  “Dear Lord, Help my children be better than me.
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On This Day In:
2021 Givin’ It All Away
Memories Will Remind You
2020 Does Blogging Count?
Just Like You
2019 None Absolutely Certain
Destroying The Republic
2018 Maps For Those Difficult Times
2017 A True American Hero
Or Desserts
2016 What #AmnestyDon Is Really Afraid Of
2015 What Are You Doing?
2014 The Ideal Man
2013 Daring Ripples
2012 Evermore
2011 Unpredictable Opportunity
2010 Giants Fall In Game 2 (1 to 6) – Leave PA With 1-1 Split !!

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Get The Funk Out Ma Face

Comment(s):
Did I ever tell you I luv me some thumpin’ bass?  (Sly and the Family Stone, the Brothers’ J, Parliament / Funkadelic – and the list goes on and on…)
I can’t say much for the rather repetitive lyrics, but I’m not on my feet dancin’ to the lyrics…  (Well, actually I am.  LoL!)
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On This Day In:
2021 And Fields Of Green
Success Has Been So Easy
2020 Build It To Last
Thumpin’ Bass
2019 30 Day Health / Weight Update (Oct 2019)
When Reason Comes
2018 One Of The Great Ones
2017 Mirror In The Oval Office
True Courage
2016 What’s Your Excuse?
2015 Some Meaningful Resemblance
2014 Bloom
Orange October (VII) – The Giants Win The Pennant!!
2013 Walking The Walk
2012 Legacy Of Star Trek (TOS)
2011 Tolerating The Intolerant
Passionate Germs
2010 Giants Win Game 1 In Philly (4 to 3)!!

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