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This year, my wife has spent seven long (to me anyway) weeks visiting her family back in Liverpool, England.  She is coming back to me today.
If my life can be described as a tree with all of the branches and leaves as my personal choices and experiences, then our marriage has been the tree’s trunk and my Hil has been the tree’s roots, binding us to the good earth.  Winter is over and Spring has arrived!
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On This Day In:
2018 You Have Just Begun To Climb
2017 Equal Protection Under Law
2016 A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion
2015 Or You Don’t
2014 If You Ever Fall…
2013 Glory Days (part 2)
2012 They Follow A Pattern – If You Know What I Mean
What I Live For (Precis)
2011 Giving
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[Happy Birthday, Sis!  Keep fighting the good fight!  I’m proud to have a sister I can still look up to.  LOL!!  —  Love, Kevin]
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On This Day In:
2018 I Trust Cows
No Boundary
2017 Don’t Sink Now
2016 A Burning Passion To Teach Freedom
2015 Before Debit (And Credit) Cards
2014 Herding Cats
2013 Ooops!
2012 Understand A Great Truth
2011 Start Here…
2010 Random Acts of Vandalism On Easter Weekend…

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Goodbye, Mr. Chips”  (1969)  —  movie review
This movie is a musical adaptation of the novel about the life of a schoolteacher, Mr. Chipping, written by the James Hilton.  The book was first adapted into movie form back in 1939 (also a great movie).  This version is a modification of both the novel and the original version.  It’s placed later in history – around World War II instead of WWI; Chipping is married longer; meets his wife differently; and, it’s a musical (instead of a “normal” drama / romance movie).  I have not read the novel, but I have seen the 1939 version several times before.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to find it somewhere and watch it again so I can do a review from a fresh viewing.  This was my first viewing of this movie!
Mr. Chipping is a staid and stern housemaster at an English public school.  (That’s a “private” school to those of us in the U.S.)  The boarding school is where the upper crust of society send their boys to learn to be proper British gentlemen.  Chipping teaches Latin and Greek.  He gets talked into going to a play to see the future bride of a friend.  The lady doesn’t realize this is the “arrangement”.  Chipping unknowingly embarrasses himself and his friend.   Chipping goes on his holiday (vacation) to Pompeii, where he coincidentally meets the lady again.  As he is an expert on Greece, she asks him to be her tour guide for the day – which he does.  They hit it off and she falls in love with him (and he her).  Blah, blah, blah.   Mild comedy and laughter ensues.  They marry and she returns to school with him.  They become popular at the school.  She dies during the war.  He spends the remaining years of his life at the school.
The movie stars Peter O’Toole as Arthur Chipping (“Mr. Chips”), Petula Clark as Katherine Bridges / Chipping, Michael Redgrave as The Headmaster, George Baker as Lord Sutterwick (the wealthy donor who is at odds with Chipping due to his own previously sordid background), Siân Phillips as Ursula Mossbank (a famous actress who has a “background” with Lord Sutterwick), and Michael Bryant as Max Staefel (a German teacher who “must” return to Germany).  Phillips is “simply marvelous” in her take on being a famous actress.  Bryant is also impressive in his subtle expressions.  In fact, I repeated several scenes just to re-watch his facial reactions.
So, is this movie any good?  Does it work as a musical?  And, did I enjoy a rom-com musical?  Yes.  Mostly yes.  Emphatically yes!  I know I’ve seen Peter O’Toole in other roles (obviously “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Becket“), but I really think this is my new favorite role for him.  He was nominated for the Oscar and a Golden Glove for Best Actor for this role.  One of his eight Oscar nominations for Best Actor.  (He holds the lifetime record for nominations without a win.)  Interestingly, his wife (Siân Phillips) at the time was also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role (Mossbank).  He won the Golden Glove.  She did not.
As a musical, the movie is not “great” – in my opinion.  With the exception of “Fill the World With Love” (see videos below) only a couple of the other songs were entertaining, let alone memorable.  This is partly why the movie was panned by the critics on its release.  In fact, I understand several of the songs were removed from the theatrical release because initial audience reviews were so poor.  The songs have been re-added for the “TCM” version which I watched.  The result is the movie is a “classic” movie with an introduction, intermission and exit production which add almost 15 minutes to the viewing time.  The total run time I watched was over the 2hrs 35min of the “official” run time.  But, it is worth it!!
Final recommendation:  VERY highly recommended.  While at one level, this is the story of one man’s struggle with the apparent mediocrity of his life, at a more profound level it is a love story – personal (husband and wife) and general (Chippings love for knowledge, teaching, manners and character).  I am sure some will find this a bit of a “chic flick” and a tear-jerker.  I did not find it the former.  I did find it the latter.  But then, I often find movies about character and integrity (and love stories) to be tear-jerkers.  So, get the Kleenex ready.
As a “bonus” for this review I am including two videos.  The first two verses of this song are performed by: Petula Clark (from the 1969 musical: “Goodbye, Mr. Chips”).  The last verse is performed by Peter O’Toole and is slightly different from the “actual” lyrics as he is singing to his deceased wife at the end of the film.  (Listen for the “Shhsh” and watch for Bryant / Staefel’s expression during Clark’s singing.  Priceless!!)
I sang this song many times back in my senior year of high school.  It was the first year of our high school choir – and they were taking anyone who was willing to volunteer to sing in public.  LOL.  I did not know the song was only a few years old.  Nor did I know it came from a movie / musical.  But then, I had not seen either version of this movie – 1939 or 1969.  I think I’m better for now having seen both.  If you can find them, I highly recommend them!
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On This Day In:
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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When in a relationship, a real man doesn’t make his woman jealous of others, he makes others jealous of his woman.
   ―  Steve Maraboli
From: “Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
[Happy 34th Anniversary, Hil
You are still everything which is precious to me…
Love Always,
Your Kev
XXX
00
X
— KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2017 Happy 33rd Anniversary, Hil!!
2016 Happy 32nd Anniversary, Hil!!
2015 Happy Anniversary Hil!!
2014 30th Wedding Anniversary
2013 Number 29 (And Counting)
2012 Hammer ‘N Roses
Happy Anniversary
2011 I Can Hear It Now

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There is a recently released biopic of Freddie Mercury out now, which means there are numerous social media links to the music of Queen.  Now, there is (IMHO) little doubt Queen was one of the most significant rock bands of the 1970’s – 80’s.  Everyone has heard of “Bohemian Rhapsody“, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions“, but I’ve recently been listening to one of the bands last releases: “These Are the Days of Our Lives” – over and over again.  I hope you enjoy the video (and the lyrics below) as much I do…
These Are the Days of Our Lives
Sometimes I get to feelin’
I was back in the old days,
long ago
When we were kids,
when we were young
Things seemed so perfect,
you know?
The days were endless, we were crazy, we were young
The sun was always shinin’,
we just lived for fun
Sometimes it seems like lately,
I just don’t know
The rest of my life’s been,
just a show
Those are the days
of our lives
The bad things in life
were so few
Those days are all gone now but
one thing is true
When I look
and I find
I still love you.
You can’t turn back the clock,
you can’t turn back the tide
Ain’t that a shame?
Ooh, I’d like to go back one time
on a roller coaster ride
When life was just a game
No use in sitting and thinkin’ on what you did
When you can lay back and enjoy it through your kids
Sometimes it seems like lately,
I just don’t know
Better sit back and go,
with the flow
These are the days
of our lives
They’ve flown in the swiftness of time
These days are all gone now but
some things remain
When I look
and I find,
no change
Those were the days of our lives,
yeah
The bad things in life
were so few
Those days are all gone now but
one thing’s still true
When I look
and I find,
I still love you
I still love you
Performed by:  Queen
Written by:  Brian May, Freddie Mercury, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor
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On This Day In:
2017 On Our Wall (Part 1)
2016 Or The Ripples From A Good Life
2015 Titles And Reputations
2014 Unfolding
2013 Again
2012 Needs
Damned
2011 Potter & Prejudice
Blink, Blink

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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]
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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
Learn
Nothing Feared Today
I Had Other Plans
Ratings…
Really?
Encourage Greatness

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All I Need Is A Miracle

[I am praying for a gigantic BLUE tsunami.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2017 Islam Is Not The Enemy
2016 A Checkered Past, A Checkered Future
2015 Preferences
2014 Have You Taken The Pledge?
2013 Nurture Tolerance
2012 Election Day – Please Hear What I’m Not Saying
2011 Mostly Strange, Always Blue
What Is It You Want?
2010 MSNBC, Bring Back Keith !!!
Value..
Worse Still…
Afraid So…
Making It
Don’t Jump Small
Time
Push!!
I’m Still Here… (A Message To Keith Olbermann)
Choose
Not Yet…
Mean Too
Still Building (and Planning)
Hangin’ High
Always…

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