Thursday, February 23, 2017

Gone, but not forgotten......................


Richie Valens.....................................................Come On Let's Go

On car payments......................

Will the next financial crisis come from a bubble in auto lending? Ehh, I don't know, I think it would be a little too cute to have two U.S. financial crises in a row that are both precipitated by securitized loans to consumers to finance durable-goods purchases. Financial crises usually show more creativity than that. The next crisis will probably be in something weird, like clearinghouse collateral or bond market illiquidity. But "the country’s auto debt hit a record in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, when a rush of year-end car shopping pushed vehicle loans to a dubious peak of $1.16 trillion," and "delinquencies among lower-rated borrowers have risen to the highest level since 2009," so if you want to worry about it go ahead.
While I have you here, though, I should say that a reader pointed out a glaring omission in my discussion of auto lending and smart contracts yesterday: self-driving cars! In the fairly near future, if you borrow money to buy a car, and you miss a payment, the car will just tootle on back to the dealer's lot. There'll be no GPS tracking or ignition override or anything messy like that; the car will just execute the contract itself. The future will be amazing, but also kind of tough.

Before you start feeling all special..............



......................................................................................consider this:






more than you probably want to know about beetles - here


maybe from these archives

Checking in with........................


................................................................Daniel J. Boorstin:

“The hero reveals the possibilities of human nature; the celebrity reveals the possibilities of the media.” 

“We have become so accustomed to our illusions that we mistake them for reality.” 

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” 

“I have observed that the world has suffered far less from ignorance than from pretensions to knowledge. It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress.” 

wiki here

Combinations......................


“In the first place you can be so absolutely honest and so absolutely wrong at the same time that I think it is better to be a combination of cautious and polite”

-attributed to Flannery O'Connor


via

Just some random stuff....................






























































Fifty years ago..............................


Young Rascals.......................................................How Can I Be Sure

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

a peaceful easy feelin'......................




Change......................


“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”


-John C. Maxwell, as excerpted from here

Music..............................





"Musick has charms to soothe a savage breast"


-William Congreve

Gone, but not forgotten..................


Buddy Holly........................................................That'll Be The Day

Getting.........................................



......................................ahead of the trend.  We call this good news.

Seriously..........................................?



..........................................It's National Margarita Day?










Arguing about reality...............


On this whole matter, I would not say that Trump’s remarks have been correct and for sure they have been irresponsible on the diplomatic front.  Still, the overall presentation of his critics arguably has been further yet from the reality, and that is part of the reason why Trump finds such an audience.

-Tyler Cowen, as culled from here

Kind..............................




“Be kind to unkind people. They need it the most.” 

-Ashleigh Brilliant, who is extremely quotable


Fifty years ago..........................


The Buckinghams..........................................Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Just a reminder......................





“If the only prayer you say in your entire life is thank you, that will be enough.” 

- attributed to Meister Eckhart


Till....................................


“Untilled ground, however rich, will bring forth thistles and thorns; so also the mind of man.” 

-attributed to Teresa of Ávila

Gone, but not forgotten.................


Bobby Freeman............................................Do You Wanna Dance

Have always admired Althouse.........



...........................now, apparently, I get to be like her.  Cool.

Rumi and the Mongols..................


     Yet as Genghis Khan was establishing his brutish militarist state in Central Asia - an absolute threat to the religion of Islam - curiously resilient were the mystical practices of Sufism, already established in the western provinces and revivified by those Khorasni immigrants, including Baha Valad and his family.  Sufi lodges became welcome cultural outposts of refinement, where sheikhs, or spiritual leaders, offered messages of hope and transcendence, friendship and love, as well as musical concerts, poetry, and dance, evoking rapture.  Sufi orders, loosely similar to Western religious orders, were beginning to multiply and would become more formalized in the next decades and centuries.  As the German Middle East scholar Annemarie Shimmel summed up the contrast:  "This period of the most political disaster was, at the same time, a period of highest religious and mystical activity."
     The full force of the Mongol campaigns would be concentrated in two aggressive phases - the first, the conquest of Central Asia, and the second, commandeered by the grandsons of Genghis Khan, marked by excursions into the Middle East and Anatolia in the 1250s.  A newly configured world map spread contiguous Mongol-controlled territories from Korea to Hungary.  From the age of ten until his death, Rumi coped with the turmoil caused by this churning realpolitik of the Mongols.  Yet either ignoring, or because of, the pain and suffering caused to his family and community, as an adult, Rumi stuck resolutely to his surety of an "invisible hand" in these dark historical events: 

          While everyone flees from the Tatars
               We serve the Creator of the Tatars

He framed the issue even more starkly for his circle, often immigrants from Khorasan, writing, "If you are afraid of the Tatars, you don't believe in God."

-Brad Gooch, Rumi's Secret:  The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love

The question...........................
























To be, or not to be--that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep--
No more--and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep--
To sleep--perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. 


-William Shakespeare, channeling Hamlet

Haven't exactly figured this one out.......


........................................................................Any ideas?



















We were in Tampa last month and strolled around Ybor City.  It didn't take long before I was captivated by their sidewalk "paver" project.  My Sweetie not so much.  Still, what a cool idea.

It is that time again...............


..............................................................................Rising

Opening paragraphs....................


It was Saturday, which meant that Julius would be spared the shame of school.  He would not be hectored by a teacher demanding tuition and thus wouldn't have to jump out a window to escape a caning.  He wouldn't fee humiliated by his lack of a school blouse, he wouldn't grow light-headed because he had nothing to eat between dawn and evening, and his guts wouldn't seize because he'd drunk out of a ditch where the cattle wallowed.

-John Brant,  The Boy who Runs:  The Odyssey of Julius Achon

Fifty years ago...........................


The Seekers...............................................................Georgie Girl

Monday, February 20, 2017

Franklin..................................




In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution, with all its faults, — if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people, if well administered; and I believe, farther, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.

-Ben Franklin, from his 9/17/1787 speech before the Constitutional Convention.  Full text here.

Concur.......................




“I am sure there are things that can't be cured by a good bath but I can't think of one.” 

-Sylvia Plath

photo via

Gone, but not forgotten.................


Al Jarreau............................................We're In This Love Together

On the glory that is.......................



........................................................................market capitalism:


Well, if American power and influence is declining in the world and Mr. Burke-White is an example of the thinking of the Obama administration over the last 8 years, I now have a better understanding of why.   Sure there are really rich people.   There were probably 8 really rich guys in 1400 (though they would have all been Kings and Emperors rather than private business people).  The really different, world-changing event over the last 50 years has been the emergence from poverty of over a billion people, as facilitated by market capitalism.  Never before in all of the history of the planet have so many people been pulled out of poverty in such a short time.  Never before has such a large percentage of the globe moved beyond pure subsistence farming.  If the leaders of this country find it impossible to communicate this simple good news, then of course the post-WWII liberal world order is going to struggle.


-Warren Meyer, as culled from here

Recommended........................























Chapman suggests that we each have a language of love.  If our spouse speaks to us in our language, and we speak to our spouse in their language, then our "love tanks" start to fill up, and our relationship grows and prospers.  If we miss our spouse's language of love, however, the relationship suffers.  The problem comes from the fact that there are, to Chapman's thinking, five languages (and more than a few dialects) and our language of love may not be our spouse's language.  That old communication thing.  Chapman's five languages are:
     Words of Affirmation
     Quality Time
     Receiving Gifts
     Acts of Service
     Physical Touch

A book worth reading, pondering, and acting on.

Yesterday and today..................


I am amazed by how many individuals mess up every new day with yesterday.  They insist on bringing into today the failures of yesterday and in so doing, they pollute a potentially wonderful day.

-Gary Chapman

Say what you will.....................


................,,,,,.....I'm glad this thing is 5,000 light years away:



Just for fun, let's do the math.  Light can travel about six trillion miles in a year's time.  So this nebula thing is 5,000 x 6,000,000,000,000, or 30,000,000,000,000,000 (30 quadrillion) miles away.  Pretty amazing photography, don't you think?

larger photo and description here

Fifty years ago.....................


The Casinos................................Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye



#40 on the Hot Singles chart for 1967.  Who knew doo-wop was still alive and well at that late date?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dappled....................................

“Feeling offended is invigorating. Feeling offended is a reassuring sensation. It's easier than asking ourselves if the redeeming love of God is evident in the way we communicate with people.”

“We probably ought to be careful about deciding we're feeling offended; it can get old after a while. We become offended in all the ways God isn't. The seat of offendedness (like the seat of judgment) can be a real tricky spot to occupy. Before we know it, it can become a twenty-four-hour-a-day job. It becomes all we're known for, and when we're all caught up in all the things we're against, we forget the beauty of the things we're supposed to be for. We forget what the kingdom of God looks like and all the wonderfully odd characters taking up residence there. We forget to revel in dappled things. We forget we're dappled.” 

-David Dark

thanks

Gone, but not forgotten........................


Arthur Conley.............................................Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

On toadhood........................




“Think as I think," said a man, "or you are abominably wicked; you are a toad." And after I thought of it, I said, "I will, then, be a toad.” 

-Stephen Crane


Seeking common ground..............


.................................................................wherever you can find it:

In November, Amazon released a video ad portraying a pair of aging friends—a priest and an imam—laughing, hugging, and then ordering the same knee braces for each other. It is a sensitive and moving vignette, portraying Amazon as a connector of cultures, the kind of compassionate business it has not always been given credit for being. The ad arrived just two weeks after Donald Trump was elected president, so I ask Bezos what the company’s role might be in bridging the divides that exist in the U.S. After all, he bankrolls the Washington Post, which went after Trump aggressively during the presidential campaign (and was an early and influential opponent of Trump's immigration ban). His answer is almost laughably narrow. "Well, I’ll tell you one way that I don’t think anybody is divided," Bezos replies. "Everybody wants fast delivery. Low prices. I’m serious about this. Our job is to provide a great customer experience, and that is something that is universally desired all over the world."

-as culled from this Fast Company essay on Bezos and Amazon

Not sure that is the definition of "loyal".....


............................................................but his point is well taken:

 "Our customers are loyal to us right up until the second somebody offers them a better service," he says. "And I love that. It’s super-motivating for us." 

-Jeff Bezos, as extracted from here

via

Uh-oh...............................




















While I'm a firm believer in the 12-Step movement, this is an addiction that may not be worth fighting.  Full story here.

Our boy....................................


........................................................................is on a hot streak.

Fifty years ago..........................


Arthur Conley...................................................Sweet Soul Music