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Posts Tagged ‘YouTube.com’

Thirty-Six years ago I met the love of my life…   And holding her hand still makes me happy inside.
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On This Day In:
2019 Happy Meeting Day 35 (And Counting)
2018 Happy Meeting Day 34 (And Counting)
Storytelling
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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And yet the President STILL has 93% approval by Republicans and 7% by Democrats!!!  And an average job approval of 49%!!   Who are these people???  He asked:  “What have you got to lose?”   Over 80,000 lives so far…  With no ending in sight.
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On This Day In:
2019 I Hope So
2018 Painted Into
2017 Prayers, Miracles And Lottery Tickets
Roman View
2016 Dignity And Grace
2015 Is It Warm Enough For You
2014 What The Right STILL Wants
2013 Embrace Serendipity
2012 Your Order, Please
2011 Well Enough Anyway

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A few days ago, I did a review of the movie “That’s the Way of the World” which had the soundtrack performed by the R&B / soul group Earth, Wind & Fire.  This reminded me of how much I used to play their songs / albums.  Here’s one of my all-time favorites of theirs:  “Keep Your Head To The Sky“…   Great music and philosophy, too.  Enjoy!
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On This Day In:
2019 I Hope He Has A Lot Of Room Down There
2018 What Time Is It?
2017 Gifts
2016 30 Seconds
2015 Success
2014 Create The Fact
2013 Overpowering Curiosity
2012 On Planning The Invasion Of Iraq…
2011 This And That
I’m Bettin’ On The Bible

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The end of day eight and the (now) most of the way through day nine…  One full day completed into week 2 of juice / blend fasting.
Morning weight: 359lbs.  (on Day 9)
I am down / down “2/14”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 14lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).  For those who are British: I have now lost a “stone” from my starting weight!
Yesterday was a fairly uneventful day: walked the dog (30min), TV (news), blog a bit / watch YouTube / read emails, read a book, go for a swim (1hr, breast stroke), watch the first half of a movie.  Basically, a nice, relaxing day.  Nothing major to report.  Drink my juice / blend too fast, get runs…   This is both good and bad.  Bad:  You got the runs.  Good:  Another day without being constipated.  Believe it or not, THAT is a BIG thing when you are fasting.
So, today is Day 9 and I woke feeling pretty well.  I’m feeling slightly thinner and I’m not having any of the (my) normal aches and pains.  It’s all good…
This afternoon I went to see my General Physician (GP) for my annual health check.  BP: 114 / 64.  HR: 67.  Weight: 350lbs.  BMI: 50.22.  The good news is my blood test was also generally positive, with most bad numbers edging closer to good and good numbers getting better.  So, it’s: “See ya’ in six months.”
Today I am finishing my last bottle of “juice / blend” so tomorrow I will need to grind up a new batch.  Here’s the menu:  2 bunches of celery, 2 large cucumbers, 2 large onions, 2 bunches of spinach, 3lbs of carrots, 1 large broccoli, water (for blending) and various processed juices (for calories and taste).  The processed juices vary depending on what’s on sale, but normally include V-8 Greens, V-8 Bananas / Strawberry, Apple Cider, Grapefruit, Cranberry and Pomegranate.  None of these have added sugar.  That’s not the same as having NO sugar.  It only means there is none added.  I also add 1 or 2 cans of beans (Kidney, Pinto or Black).  This makes enough bottles for 6 to 8 days of fasting.
Now the first thing any health / juicer person is going to shout is:  “You can’t store juice that long!!!”  Yes!  I know.  I know.  “Traditional” veggie juicing theology (protocol) mandates you MUST drink your veggie juice within an hour of juicing and certainly no longer than the same day.  Well, that’s fine if you’ve got the time, energy and dedication.  I could probably find the time if I had the other two assets (energy and dedication), but – to be perfectly honest – I don’t.  When processes get too complicated, a somewhat lazy stiff like me blows off the process or at least a few steps.  I wish I could afford to have someone else do the preparation before ever juice meal or even every day, but I can’t (afford it) and I don’t have the motivation.  I’ve tried it a couple of times when I first got into juicing and, to quote Bob Dylan:  “It Ain’t Me Babe.  No. No. No.  It Ain’t Me Babe.”  So, I have to focus on what I can:  bunch process the blend and drink it each day.  That I CAN do.
Backing up a bit, some of you may have noticed I showed my weight this morning as 359lbs, but my doctor’s office visit was 350lbs.  What’s up with that?  Well, first I use an analogue scale and they use a digital scale.  I don’t know if they program the scale to discount for clothing or not.  When that is programmed into the digital scale they are normally set for either 3lbs, 5lbs, 7lbs or 9lbs depending on if the person is fully dressed or in shorts and either barefoot or in shoes / trainers.  I didn’t see the nursing assistant punch anything in so if it is programmed it’s probably for fully dressed with work shoes – so the max: 9lbs.  But, for the sake of argument, let’s say it doesn’t have an offset programmed in.  What else might cause the difference?  Standing!
Standing??  Yes.  Standing…  What is the scale standing on?  Carpet or a hard surface?  And, where are you standing on the scale?  Surface can add / drop 5lbs from the reading.  My own scale is on cement.  If a scale is not my own, I try to stand in the center of the scale, as flat footed as I can get and with my weight as balanced as I can be.  On my own scale (at home), I take two measurements daily (each morning):  1) knees slightly bent, feet flat, but with my weight shifted as much as possible (without falling) over my toes; and, 2) knees straight (not locked), feet flat, but with my weight shifted as much as possible (without falling) over my heels.  On my scale, the variation between the two is normally 7 to 10 pounds!  It has been as low as 5 pounds and as large as 12 pounds.  (Sarcasm:  “The beauty of using a spring based scale.”)  The first is the high for the day.  The second is my low for the day.
My daily record (these posts) shows the highs.  My monthly “Sweat Equity” page (with daily updates) shows both weigh-ins.  The temptation is to pick the lows, but because I don’t “really” know how accurate my scale is, I don’t want to pick the lows and then show up at the doctor’s office a get a rude surprise.  The last time I was at the doctor’s office, his scale matched my scales low weight for that day.  Today, the doctor’s scale was 2lbs below my low scale weight from this morning (and I was wearing shoes at the office but not this morning).  Which means I got a pleasant surprise!
So, now having read all of this post, aren’t you glad to know there are some folks out there who are WAY crazier and OCD than you are…??
Yesterday I offered up a 20-ish minute video about the math of fat loss.  Today I’ve got a reply.  It’s marginally shorter (17-ish minutes) and I don’t know the presenter or what he is trying to “push / sell”, but I found it interesting, so I’m passing it along…
(Reply Video to:) The Mathematics Of Weight Loss Ruben Meerman TEDxQUT (presented by: Dr. Sten Ekberg)
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On This Day In:
2018 Pity The Nation (Part 1)
Day 41: Hiccup Or End Of Days?
2017 Sharp-Edged Beauty
2016 Start, Keep, Finish
2015 Lifetime Friends
2014 Acknowledgement
2013 Longevity, Tenacity and Diversity
2012 What Reagan Really Cared About
2011 Seeming Sane (Or Not)

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The end of day seven and the start of day eight…  Today is now the start of week 2 of juice / blend fasting.
Morning weight: 361lbs.  (on Day 8)
I am down / down “1/12”.  As in, 1lb down from yesterday and 12lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).

Image of scale at 361lbs

End of Week 1: 361lbs

As I am typing this, I am past noon on Day 1 of Week 2 (Day 8).  After walking the dog, Hil and I had a brief chat about the fast.  She is supportive, but not enthusiastic about my fasting as she believes dieting and losing weight is about personal discipline, portion size, and not eating foods you like (except VERY rarely).  And DISCIPLINE.  Did I mention she believes in discipline?  She, therefore, is not a big fan of fasting because:  “What’s next?”  You come off the fast and you gain it all back…  I asked her how she felt about my continuing the juice fast.  She replied by asking how I felt.  I said good.  She said, well then go for another week.  So, it’s decided: I’ll go day to day and “try” to make it another full week.   (Did you see how I made that “modest” change?  LoL.)
The good thing about committing to a week is you have a set goal with an end day / date.  The bad thing, of course, is that if you are a “goal setting / objective” person, you feel like a failure if you don’t hit the goal.  Since today was my original goal (“finish the jump start and move on to MADF”), I am reluctant to arbitrarily double my goal and now be only half done (half way through two weeks).  Hence the day to day goal…  Hopefully, this will also help me try to stay in the moment (or in the day).  Yesterday is done and I was successful.  How am I doing today?
The following is a TEDx video I’ve watched multiple times over the last two years.  It deals with the chemical mathematics of burning fat tissue.  Enjoy…
The Mathematics of Weight Loss
Presented by: Ruben Meerman
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On This Day In:
2018 Hey, #45: Are We Sick Of Winning, Yet?
Day 40: Wrists
2017 Heart Vision
2016 A Labor Day / Pre-Election Hope
Trust Me, Too
2015 Without Hope
Things Known And Unknown
2014 A Wall Too High, A Bridge Too Far
2013 Glory = Danger
Chicago Magic
Feelin’ It
2012 How Did We Get Here?
2011 Labor Day Weekend Mishmash
More, More, More

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Caution: this is a relatively long post reviewing two movies…  You’ve been warned.
Today’s reviews are re-watches from my childhood:  “Tribes” (1970) and “The D.I.” (1957).  Both are movies about being in Marine Corps Boot Camp.  “The D.I.” was released when I was two years old, so I obviously never saw it on original release, but I remember seeing it in my early teens.  “Tribes” I saw on its original TV broadcast.  I recently discovered / watched both movies on YouTube.
The D.I.” — movie review
If you’ve ever wondered what “Dragnet” would look like if it were turned into Marine Corps Boot Camp, this is the movie for you.  The movie stars Jack Webb (who also produced and directed the film) as Sergeant Jim Moore who is a Drill Instructor (“D.I.”) at Paris Island.  His job is to turn civilians into Marines and he has a problem in the person of Private Owens (played by Don Dubbins).  Whenever Owens feels he’s under pressure, he quits / gives up.  The company Captain (Lin McCarthy) feels Moore is getting soft and orders Moore to bring Owens around or get rid of him.
There are (of course) side issues:  one – Moore is falling for a shop clerk (Jackie Loughery) named “Annie”, which is wrecking his “tough-guy” Marine self-image;  and, two – Owens’ mother (Monica Lewis) appeals to Moore that she coddled Owens and she lost her husband (in WWII) and her two older sons (in Korea).  She wants Moore to make her son into a Marine or he won’t be able to live with himself.
This movie is shot in black and white and it is fairly dark.  I guess as a nod to realism, the movie has a scene with Moore and Annie which (shockingly) edges very close to date rape.  It doesn’t happen, but I was surprised it was even implied in a movie from that period.  Incidentally, in real life, Loughery married Webb the following year (1958).  Despite this being a “Webb” movie (“Just the facts, Ma’am…”), from the 50’s, it is also a happily ever after ending movie – for the Private / mom and the Sergeant / clerk.  Who woulda guessed?
Final recommendation: moderate to strong.  Viewed as a “Webb” production, this is a classic.  As a period piece, I would say it’s still pretty much a classic.  This movie was my first introduction to the concept of “Basic Training / Boot Camp”, and I remember it had a fairly strong effect on my impressionable mind.  Don’t get me wrong, this movie is not a cinematic “classic” and it’s really only a fair movie, but, in watching it, it reminded me of the simpler times of my childhood when things did seem more “black-and-white”.
Tribes” — movie review
Tribes” is not strictly speaking a “real” movie.  Back in the 1970’s, one of the main TV networks (ABC) used to run what it called the: “ABC Movie of the Week“.  Some of the ninety minute movies were pretty good and some even became TV series in their own right.
Tribes” is a movie about a free-spirited (that’s “hippie”) individual who joins the Marine Corps and who has to go to (and survive) Boot Camp.  It stars Jan-Michael Vincent as the free-spirited Private Adrian, Darren McGavin as Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Drake, and Earl Holliman as Chief Drill Instructor (and Drake’s boss) Master Sergeant Frank DePayster.
The movie always seemed to me to be a message about the changing times of the 1960’s / 1970’s in America.  You’ve got two straight-arrow Marine lifers, but one has a streak of decency and the other does not.  Ultimately, the leadership abilities of the young recruit pushes not only his platoon to excel, but also to win over the D.I. nominally there to break his individuality and “turn him into” a Marine who will follow orders.
Final recommendation: strong to highly recommended.  I was very surprised how much of this movie I could recall after nearly 50 years from my first (and only) viewing.  LoL – this movie also introduced me to meditation / alternative states of consciousness and boxers vs briefs.
I am very biased towards this movie as it had a personal effect on me when I was in Basic Training for the Army four years later.  When I was learning to fire the M16, I asked my Drill Sergeant why we used “human” silhouettes instead of “bulls-eye” targets, he replied, “because we want you to learn to shoot at people.”  He went on to explain Fort Ord (where I had my Basic Training) had the highest casualty and injury statistics of any of the training facilities which sent soldiers to Vietnam.  It was determined this was because “West Coast” city boys didn’t shoot at other humans instinctively.  Using silhouettes, trained them to shoot as a reaction instead of pausing to take aim.  Fortunately, I never had to put this to the test…
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On This Day In:
2018 Being President Doesn’t Make You Presidential
Day 27: 4 Weeks / 55lbs
2017 I’m Seeing It, Too
2016 Personal Decisions
2015 Verbal Fluency
2014 Familiar
2013 Unbending
2012 Simple Sayings
2011 Wupped Again?
2010 3 and 1…
Musical Notes…
Doubt Tries…
Northwest Passages – Evening Two
The Beierly’s Web Site

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Thirty-Five years ago I met the love of  my life…
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On This Day In:
2018 Happy Meeting Day 34 (And Counting)
Storytelling
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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My wife and I were walking our dog this morning and a “techno / hopped-up” version of this classic R&B song was blasting out of a garage.  I HAD to listen to the original – so I thought I’d share it…
Enjoy!  (The lyrics are also available on my “poems / song lyrics and videos” page.)
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On This Day In:
2018 Lost Time
2017 Are You Talking To Me?
2016 Here, Desire Is Purified
2015 Hopefully Just Visiting
2014 Fond Memory?
2013 Distress, Hope, Trust
2012 Creating Interlocking Fragility
2011 Four Stories And A Gospel
What Have You Burned Lately?

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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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The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”  (2012 – 2013)  —  YouTube series review
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single viewer in possession of a good internet connection, must be in want of a new adaptation of Pride & Prejudice.
At any rate, as an addict to P&P, I certainly am, “in want” that is…
For about the last year or so, I have fallen into the well which is YouTube.  I am beginning to fear it (my addictions to YouTube and P&P) is like the prison exit in the third episode of the “Batman Trilogy: The Dark Knight Rises”  – you can climb and climb, but eventually you slip and fall back in.
Periodically, YouTube feeds me a morsel of P&P as a temptation to restart my viewing addiction.  And, once again, it succeeded.  Over the weekend, I re-watched the 1995 BBC version of P&P starring Colin Firth.  I have already reviewed this version, but not individually, so I’ll have to add that to my list of things to do (sometime).  Anyway, after coming back to YouTube, they were prompting me to go see a clip from another version (2003 – P&P: A Latter-Day Comedy) which I have not seen nor was I aware of.  …And, then there was a link to “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KisuGP2lcPs).  Huh?  “What’s that?”, I ask.
My interest piqued, I clicked, and so began another marathon session of P&P.  The series is presented in 100 (yes, one-hundred) vlogs episodes, each running between a few minutes and 8-ish minutes.  (There are also a number of side vlogs, which I have not yet viewed.)  The series is meant to be a multi-media / channel creation with the characters (and actors) also having social media presence on other sites: FaceBook, Twitter, etc., which serves as an adaptation of the classic romantic novel: “Pride And Prejudice“, written by Jane Austen.
The series stars Ashley Clements as Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bennet; Julia Cho as Charlotte Lu (Charlotte Lucas in the book) is Lizzie’s best friend and often the director / editor of her vlog; Laura Spencer as Jane Bennet, the eldest of the Bennet daughters; Mary Kate Wiles as Lydia Britney Bennet, the youngest Bennet child (the flirtly one); Christopher Sean as Bing Lee (Charles Bingley in the book) is a young, wealthy (eligible) Asian-American medical student who has moved into The Netherfield House in the same neighborhood as the Bennets; Jessica Jade Andres as Caroline Lee (Caroline Bingley in the book) is Bing Lee’s sister; Maxwell Glick as Ricky Collins (William Collins in the book) is a former classmate of Lizzie and Charlotte’s, who asks that he be addressed only as Mr. Collins; Daniel Vincent Gordh as William Darcy (Fitzwilliam Darcy in the book); Wes Aderhold as George Wickham (the cad in the book and adaptations); Craig Frank as Fitz Williams (Col. Fitzwilliam in the book) is Darcy’s friend and colleague; and, Allison Paige as Georgiana “Gigi” Darcy (Georgiana Darcy in the book).
Obviously, as a vlog / diary, this version is set in modern times and therefore has many alterations in the details of the story to make it conform to the “PC” standards of our time.  However, never fear, the basic romance / love story is the same: boy and girl meet, boy and girl seem to dislike each other.  After much travail, love wins out…  Happily ever after.  Blah, blah, blah…  Whatever, right?
Yes.  Pretty much.  But does it work and is it entertaining?  That would be a YES and a certainly!  I thoroughly enjoyed the series and plan to revisit the channel to catch the side lines and other bits which I skipped in order to race through the main story.  It turns out there is a “real” company called Pemberley Digital (http://www.pemberleydigital.com) which exists to adapt classic works into new media format(s).  Who knew?  (By the way, Pemberley is the name of the estate Darcy lives at in the P&P book.)
Final recommendation: very highly recommended!!  Even with the “modernization”, the series follows quite closely to the original book and the three sisters are actually outstanding actors in their respective roles – with special kudos to Ashley Clements who is outstanding throughout the series and Mary Kate Wiles who really hit it out of the park in the last few episodes.  If you are a P&P fan, you will definitely want to check this out on YouTube.  It is also available on DVD’s, but I’m not sure what extra value you get for your $60.  There must be some great bloopers and behind the scene gags for that price.
LoL, now I want to go find some of the other P&P adaptations which I was not even aware of until I started researching this post.
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On This Day In:
2018 Does Fatalism Equal Mental Health?
2017 Choice
2016 Growing Worlds
2015 Change The Tide
Martyr, n.
2014 You, Too!
2013 Bitter Stand
2012 Lost For Words
2011 On Market Reactions…

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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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[My wife (Hilary) is on a holiday cruise along the North Atlantic coast before looping down to the Bahamas.  I heard this song, thought of her and how she makes me feel.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2017 Play Well With Others
2016 Surviving And Challenging
2015 On Destroying Historic / Archaeological Sites
2014 Magical Power
2013 How Awesome Would That Be
2012 Two Views
2011 Still Looking For Examples
2010 Giants Win Away 3 – 2!!

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Today is the last day of my first year of retirement!
Things I’ve Learned:
1)  You need more money up front than you think.  Because of the way Social Security, retirement plans and private savings are set up, there is a “substantial” delay between when you retire and when you start getting your money on a regular basis.  In my case, I couldn’t make up my mind how much to draw down my personal / private savings until after I got my final payment figure from SSA.  This meant pulling in our belts more than expected (for a few months) until I felt comfortable making this decision – and then waiting for it to kick in and start paying.  Everyone’s situation will be different, but I saved four months of “working” net pay to cover the expenses and I probably would have been more comfortable if I had been able to save up six.
2)  Make sure you can cover your health care expenses!  This out of pocket expense has been significantly more than I estimated.  I made sure to cover the cost of insurance and prescriptions and a “normal” amount of routine visits.  I didn’t “really” budget for trips to the ER, colonoscopies, cancer surgeries, … and the list goes on.  This will remain a cost I will have to constantly monitor until we get a “real” national healthcare system which covers medical, dental and vision.  You know – all of “health”.  For us, this probably means Medicare when we turn 65 in a couple of years.
3)  You need to get organized and then try to stick with a flexible plan.  Even with all day, every day, if you aren’t eating the elephant one bite at a time, big jobs on the “honey-do” list will get away from you.  Most stuff is day to day, but you need to allocate time to longer term goals and what you want accomplished or they will drift and just not get done.
4)  It always ends up being more complicated than what / how you learn to do it on YouTube.  And usually more expensive, too…  Sometimes, you’ve just got to bite the bullet and pay a professional.  Do your retirement budget a favor and pay to get it done before you retire.
5)  It takes longer to adjust to a “non-work” schedule than you think.  I thought my body would adapt to a different sleep pattern within a couple of weeks.  WRONG.  It’s been twelve months and I’m still adjusting.  Sure, I can stay up later now, but that doesn’t get things done the following morning when you sleep in to make up for it.
6)  I wanted to read more books, learn to play an instrument, learn basic fluency in a foreign language and get in better shape (lose weight).  I am sleeping more.  I’ve lost weight and I’m getting more exercise.  I’m reading fewer books, because I’m on the computer a LOT more.  No progress on music or a foreign language.  (See #3 above…)
7)  Relax, smell the roses, and have a cuppa’…   About six weeks into my retirement (last November), I had to go into the ER / hospital to get my heart stopped and restarted due to my AFib.  So, once again I’ve been reminded I’m living on borrowed time.  (Hence the more sleep and trying to lose weight.)  It felt so un-natural to not have to get up for work, I think I let that (by itself) stress me out.  Now, I really am trying to take it a bit easier and settle into “being” retired.  LOL…  I think it might take me another two or three years, but I’m determined to get better at it.
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On This Day In:
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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The Message (1976 / 1977) — movie review
Today’s review is for “The Message” (originally titled: “Mohammad, Messenger of God“), which was released in Arabic in 1976 and in English in 1977.  The English version of the movie stars Anthony Quinn as Hamza (the Prophet’s uncle), Michael Ansara as Abu Sufyan ibn Harb (the leader of Mecca), Irene Papas as Hind (Abu Sufyan’s wife), Johnny Sekka as Bilal, and Michael Forest as Khalid.  Although the movie is “about” Mohammad, the movie follows the Muslim tradition of not portraying the Prophet or his voice.  Therefore, the movie has a few awkward scenes where the camera appears as the Prophet’s view and his lines are said (or rather repeated) by one of the actors on screen.  The movie depicts the historical drama (biopic) of the Prophet from his conversion until his death, and the birth / growth of Islam as a religion.
I first saw this movie almost twenty years ago when I was working as a contractor in Saudi Arabia for their national steel company: Hadeed.  A co-worker of mine, who became a friend, was trying to convert me from being Catholic into a Muslim (Sunni).  This may sound a bit strange, but I found almost all Muslims felt it their duty to Allah to try to convert all non-believers.  This was never a pressure-sale kind of thing, it was simply an attempt to share the joy of his / their faith.  In any case, my first viewing had the benefit of having an English speaking Saudi there with me to elaborate on parts of the movie.  Obviously, I didn’t have this luxury for this second viewing.
To start off with, the movie is just under three hours long.  I think this is partly an effort to stay true to the story and partly for the production value of making the film into an “epic” like “Lawrence of Arabia” or any of the Cecil B. DeMille Hollywood Jewish / Christian epics.  Due to life getting in the way, I had to break up the viewing this week into chunks of 30 minutes, 60 minutes and 90 minutes.  I don’t believe the viewing (or this review) suffered from this as I now do this quite often.  The nice thing is the movie is free on YouTube, so you only have to write down where you stopped and you can go right back to that spot or a couple of minutes earlier with no problems at all.  I must admit to finding viewing of older movies (particularly made for TV movies) on YouTube to be a lucky fortune for me.
So, is the film any good?  Is it accurate?  Did I learn anything about Islam which I didn’t already know?  Yes, yes and yes (well, kind of).  This is not a “great” movie in the sense of great cinema.  It is a great movie in the sense of relating God’s will for mankind.  I don’t mean God / Allah seeking to turn everyone into a Muslim as much as God’s will to have men live in peace, respect women, help the poor and those less fortunate, and most of the doctrines of the other two religions of the book (“the Bible”).  Given the length, the movie has slow parts, but it also has some fairly well done battle scenes (for its time and special effects).
Is the movie accurate?  Not being an expert on Islam, I can’t definitively speak to this.  I can only say my friend felt it accurate enough to recommend to me (and view with me) and to relate that Wikipedia says the historian advisors worked on the entire filming while the religious experts did not.  The religious experts quit before the movie was completed.  It should be pointed out the film took over half a decade to get completed and was shot with two different casts (one for Arabic and one for English).  Part of this delay was due to the difficulty of keeping funding and part was due to location issues – some of the countries involved in shooting pulled their permissions over religious grounds.
Did I learn anything?  Yes, but not really anything “major-new”.  I was reminded of things and certain parts were emphasized in this second viewing (and background reading), and I think that was a good thing.  My Saudi friend either wasn’t aware of the political issues, the funding / duration issues or the multiple version issues, or if he did know about them, didn’t feel they were important enough to mention them to me.
I would say, that if you are coming into Islam blindly by stumbling onto this film, you will certainly learn a lot about the faith.  However, it should be recognized the similarities between Islam and Christianity are cherry-picked to hi-light the beliefs most closely aligned, and the differences are virtually ignored (unstated).  I don’t have any problem with this because I am aware of some of the differences.  They might be more problematic for someone less informed.
Final recommendation: strong to highly recommended movie.  It is an older movie and it shows in the production values.  A historically based epic, I think the movie faithfully relates the story-line of the beginnings of the Islamic faith.  As such it is recommended viewing for anyone interested in comparative religious studies, Middle-Eastern history or, more specifically, the Islamic faith and its origin in Saudi Arabia.
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On This Day In:
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[You can find the lyrics on my “Poems” page.  And, I like the movie, too…  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
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