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Posts Tagged ‘Places’

There are too many books I haven’t read, too many places I haven’t seen, too many memories I haven’t kept long enough.
   —  Irwin Shaw
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On This Day In:
2016 Not Yet, Anyway
2015 On Pornography
2014 Nudge, Nudge
2013 The Journey Will Be Joy
2012 Hopeful Flights
2011 Irrationally Predictable
Lawful Restraint
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As an adopted son of Liverpool, one is inevitably forced to take a side – to make a choice…  Because my wife made the mistake of buying me a book about growing up in Liverpool and the author stated Liverpool was home to the two greatest soccer teams in the world: Everton and Everton Reserves…  With my wife (and her father and brother) being committed Reds fans, you might say I was destined to be baptized a Blue…

Image of Everton F.C. jersey patch

The Everton F.C. kit jersey patch

Notice at the center of the patch is a round tower.  This is an image of the magistrate’s tower where the police held drunks and criminals for overnight stays.  I didn’t see the original tower for many years – even after I lived there (in Liverpool) for almost a decade.  Still, visiting the “Tower” remained on my bucket-list.  In my imagination, this is what I pictured…

Image of Glendalough Round Tower

Glendalough Round Tower

or

Image of a Round Tower in Northern Ireland

A Round Tower in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

The reality was not quite as impressive…

Image of Everton Lock Up Looking Up Hill

Everton Lock Up – Looking Up Hill

and

Image of Everton Lock Up Looking Down Hill

Everton Lock Up – Looking Down Hill

And here’s a historical image…  (The sheep “cutting” the grass just kill me.  LOL!)
 EvertonLockUp_Old
Sometimes the reality of a bucket-list item just doesn’t quite live up to the spirit of the item.
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On This Day In:
2014 Penalty Period
2013 Theft
2012 Cranky Old Man
2011 A Man’s Got To Know His Limitations

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Thomas Robert “Tom” Laughlin (August 10, 1931 – December 12, 2013)
 
Before Steven Seagal (all three word title movies), before John Rambo (“Rambo” series), before John McClane (“Die Hard” series), before Paul Kersey (“Death Wish” series), before Kwai Chang Caine (“Kung Fu” TV series) – there was Billy Jack in “Born Losers” (1967).  Tom Laughlin brought to the big screen the start of the modern vigilante movie genre with the character of Billy Jack.  It seems strange how a little martial arts on the big screen, mixed with some social awareness and righteous indignation can affect people’s lives.
 
As a twelve year old kid I remember thinking, “Wow, I’ve got to learn how to do that!”  What I was looking at was Hapkido – a Korean form of Karate (open hand fighting).  Ten years later, I found a Hapkido dojo in Germany and studied it for almost a year during my off hours (I was in the Army).  That was set aside once I returned to civilian life…  Until I found Judo, while I was in college.  I took that for a semester, too.  When I moved to England in the ’90’s, a friend from work (who was a black belt in judo) said he’d love to get me on a mat and asked if I was interested in going to a dojo to learn Aikido.  My friend (Dave) and I found a local dojo and began our lessons.  We continued on with that for about two years.  It was great having someone who was a lifelong martial artist as a co-student because he could explain things in much greater detail than I could ever have gotten (except in one-on-one personal lessons).  For his side, he got someone who was bigger and heavier who he could throw around for a couple of hours twice a week.  We both moved on and I stumbled on to a Philippine “combat” style of Aikido while I was in Saudi Arabia which I tried for another year.  And then finally, once back home in America, I was back to traditional Aikido at a local dojo for several years (until I developed AFib and went on blood thinners).
 
Practicing martial arts, of course, lead me to read about martial arts, which in turn lead to me reading about martial philosophy and then philosophy in general.
 
Did I ever “become” a martial artist?  No.  Did I ever learn how to do that?  Not hardly.  I never took it seriously enough to be more than what I was – a novice and a bit of a dojo sampler.  Did I enjoy it?  Yes, very much.  Did it affect me?  Yes!  And for at least some small part of that, I have to thank Billy Jack (Tom Laughlin).
 
Beyond the enjoyment of playing Aikido itself, I learned timing, balance, grace, philosophy, and I gained a certain amount of inner peace.  For all of which, I will always be extremely grateful.
 
R.I.P. Tom
Signed,
KMAB (A Fan)
 
[Please also go check out the song lyrics to “One Tin Soldier – (The Legend of Billy Jack)” on my poems page.  —  KMAB]
 
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On This Day In:
2012 All Aboard
2011 Sail On, Sailor
   
   

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The Marine Corps War Memorial

The Marine Corps War Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery

Around the base is inscribed:
In honor and memory of the men of the United States Marine Corps who have given their lives to their country since 10 November 1775
Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue

 

To a Marine, the sky coloring was unusual – a light blue, thin and distant.  The scene was Arlington National Cemetery.  
 

On a single pedestal before me stood the memory of five men; the glory of one nation; the pride of one corp.  
 

They fought for peace, justice, and freedom in a war plagued, strife wrought time.  
 

They stand bronzed, still, silent.  Reassuring, uniting, proclaiming.  
 

Above them, what they and their friends fought for, lived for, died for; a piece of cloth; a dream of man’s; a fraction of history.  
 

Their bravery is America’s life.  Their willingness is America’s pride.  Their strength is America’s glory.
 

[The text above was written on Nov. 18, 1969, before I had ever actually visited the statue or cemetery.  Based on the pictures I’d seen, I didn’t realize there were six Marines in the statue.  —  KMAB]
 

 

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Well, if there was much doubt about my review the other day about “The King’s Speech“, it was laid to rest tonight when the movie won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Screenplay at the 83rd Academy Awards.  Bravo Colin Firth!  Well done, lad!
 

I must admit, “Inception” did not do as well as I thought it was going to when I first saw it.  I felt it was a brilliant movie and would have a long term impact on the industry and society – much like “Matrix” did.  But it (“Inception“) never has.  It also won several awards tonight, but they were technical awards mostly about sound.
 

Friday night, I rewatched “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen“.  I must admit it was much better on the smaller screen and I was able to follow the fight action much better with the limited view of having everything directly in front of me instead of having to shift my eyes or head as I would have to do at a theater.   I’m going to watch T:I and T:II again before T:III comes out later this year.  I think, so far, the first was better than the sequel because the first had more (and better) humor, but T:II had some pretty good moments too.  I particularly like the action shot of the carrier being destroyed by the Transformer bad-guy “meteors”.  That was a very well done action sequence.
 

Last night (Saturday), I rewatched “The Guardian” with Kevin Cosner and Ashton Kutcher.  It’s a cross between “An Officer And A Gentleman” and “The Karate Kid“, but it really works for me.  They both worked individually (for me) so there is no reason to think a combo wouldn’t.  The movie is about the US Coast Guard elite jump-swimmers (they jump from helicopters) who save lives at sea.  Of the two, I’d rate Guardian over T:II if only because it was less comic bookish.  All in all, a good weekend for watching movies and relaxing.
 

Non-Movie Notes:
Friday I got a permanet crown put in.  I got the temp a couple of weeks ago.
 

Yesterday, Hil and I went out for another meal with Donnie (my son’s god father).  He’s going away on vacation for a couple of months, so it was kind of a farewell dinner.
 

Hil and I went for an afternoon walk around Lafayette Reservoir this afternoon, after church.  It was beautiful – sunny but with a nice cool breeze.  It felt good to spend some time out with Hil – just walking and enjoying the air, view and each other’s company.

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Well, it was getting down to the wire, but it looks like I’ve got a place to stay when I get to Baltimore next Monday.  I’ll be staying at the Camden Court Apartments.   I’m leased for all four months.  I guess the clock tower (in the left of the picture) has some significance.  I’ll blog about it when I know more…
 
 
Camden Court Apartments

My home away from home...

 

The apartments are about two blocks from Orioles Park at Camden Yard, so I should be able to take in a couple of baseball games when the season starts.  If nothing else, the baseball park will give me a nice, well lit place to jog around.  It looks like it’s about 800-900 meters around the park.  The web site says it (the apartment complex) has a fitness center, so I should be able to use the tread mills there until the weather improves.
 

Work was busy again.  Lots of explaining to my backup and I gave a class on a data store query I run for a different team.  The team will be given access to the query and data so they’ll be able to run the query themselves in my absence. 
 

I had my third consecutive jog tonight.  I was tired after work and didn’t really want to go, but I sucked it up and got out there.  The night was cold and the going was slow, but I finished the 4 miles.  I tried to add in a little interval training, but my Achilles both flared almost immediately, so I went back to long and slow.  Getting better, but not healed.  The sky was clear after all the rain and there were a million stars out.  Still, cold, clear air.  It doesn’t get much better than that when you’re out for a jog.

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Today, Hil and I drove down to Merced, CA to watch our youngest daughter (Sarah) participate in her final Concord High School Marching Band competition.  They still have two more performances in December, but those will not be “judged” competitions. 
 

Sarah plays the flute in the Marching Band and Cymbals in the Percussion Line. 
 

This is Sarah’s fourth and final year in Band and the following photos are just a few from this trip and from the Santa Cruz Band Review (back in Oct. 2010).  Also included are a couple of photos showing the Band Moms helping to get the students ready for the competition.  The dedication of some of the Band Moms to their kids and to the Band / Music program is really something to watch (and experience.)
 

Enjoy…  (And please support Music and the Arts in your schools!!!)
 

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