Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friend Dave turns artist on me..................

Ceiling art of the 'yellow horse'. Chalk on the luan
plywood ceiling of the carriage house.

More chalk on luan ceiling art. The flag flew
over the Capital in Washington on September 4,
1992. Dave thought it looked lonely so he drew
the Capital building.

Monochrome plaster
impressionism of the
Licking County Courthouse.
Started with 1/4" plaster
daubed all over a plywood
board. While the plaster
was still soft, the image
was etched out with a
palette knife. After the
plaster set up, the image
was washed with
pigmented linseed oil,
creating the artwork.
Let's all raise a glass and
toast creative expression in
all its myriad

"Don't Relax"....................

Wisdom from Harvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons and
Teachings from a Lifetime in Golf.

"You hear it all the time on the range and on the course- relax,
relax, relax.

I have even heard a golfer attempt to help a companion by
saying, 'try real hard to relax'.

If you try real hard to relax, you will become either very tense
or else so limp you might fall over on the grass and go to

Neither of those states is conducive to hitting a golf shot.

You do want to keep tension from creeping into your muscles,
of course, and from allowing fear in your heart.

But I prefer to put it this way:

Be at ease.

If you feel at ease, you are relaxed- but ready.

The secret is the feeling of 'controlled violence,' as Jackie
Burke, Jr. says."

Roy and some friends having fun.........

Friday, June 25, 2010

Inventing Modernism.........a local boy makes good.

Re-reading through Bruce Humphrey's blog, I found a number
of posts about Clarence H. White. White (1871-1925) was a
photographer of the first order. He got his start in Newark,
Ohio. Part of the story is here and here. Below is a copy of
his "Telegraph Poles", taken along the canal banks in
downtown Newark, circa 1898.


Not only that, but the slogans of the Party etched on the
facade of the Minitrue (The Ministry of Truth) building say:


And if that is not plain spoken enough for you, consider this:


Eric Arthur Blair was born on June 25, 1903. Better known
under his pen name of George Orwell, he was the author of two
classic works, Animal Farm (published after some difficulty in
1945) and 1984 (published in 1949). This English born writer
was a volunteer combatant (wounded) for the Republican side
in the Spanish Civil War. He was intensely opposed to
totalitarianism. He also was not fond of "doublespeak".

Orwell died shortly after completing 1984. His
headstone says, "Here lies Eric Arthur Blair". Maybe he knew
that the word "Orwellian" would be entering our vocabulary.

On the hundredth anniversary of Blair/Orwell's birth, Harcourt
published Animal Farm and 1984 in one volume with an
introduction by Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens concludes:

"It took courage, physical and moral, to write these books and
to fight for their right to be read. Orwell's life was a struggle in
which the distance between what he said and what he meant
was as near to nil as made no difference. He was a participant
as well as a witness. He suffered a good deal in making the
discovery, but he has assisted us in realising that, while the
drive to power and corruption and cruelty is certainly latent
in human beings, the instinct for liberty is innate as well. This
battle takes place within ourselves as well as in the world we
inhabit, and these books are weapons of self-respect as well
as self-defense."

Well said. Happy Birthday Eric/George!

An idea whose time should have come.........

Disconnecting bonuses from the mere sale of a financial
instrument and connecting bonuses to the actual viability
and performance of said financial instrument. In other
words, one should not have been able to make huge bonuses
by packaging, rating, and selling sure-to-fail junk.

Full rant here.

Key quote:

"Your view changes completely if you have to be responsible
in your wallet for your actions."

Dylan gets to do whatever he wants.......

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Being honest about time...........

"When you say, 'I don't have time,' this puts the responsibility
on someone else: a boss, a client, your family, capitalism,
society. The power slips out of your hands. 'It's not a priority,'
turns those 168 hours back into a blank slate to be filled as
you choose with the things you decide matter."

Time management out, time prioritization in. 168 hours per
week. Laura Vanderkam's essay here.

Born in Meigs County, Ohio on June 24,1842....

.....Ambrose Bierce was a journalist, a writer, and a satirist.
As the author of The Devil's Dictionary, he also had a
reputation for being a little bit cynical.

I can't see the cynic here:

"Land: A part of the earth's surface, considered as property.
The theory that land is property subject to private ownership
and control is the foundation of modern society, and is
eminently worthy of the superstructure."

I see the cynic here:

Logic: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance
with the limitations and incapacities of the human

Mayonnaise: One of the sauces which serve the French in
place of a state religion.

Optimism: the doctrine or belief that everything is
beautiful, including what is ugly.

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to

Politeness: The most acceptable hypocrisy.

Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest
of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private

A cold shower for the real estate development industry......

That pesky supply and demand thing re-asserts itself.
Jonathan Miller looks at several sectors of the real estate
market and sees no growth in demand, here.

In the great scheme of things, our economy will become
stronger and more sustainable when real estate development
and new housing construction plays its traditional role of
supporting actor rather than trying to be the star.

Significant quote from Miller's essay here:

"Office owners should be especially concerned about the
demand side. Companies realize they just don’t need as many
people working under their roofs. The days are over when
every executive had a secretary. Heck the days are over when
whole departments have any administrative help. Filing clerks
gone, receptionists have been replaced by voice mail, and who
needs a girl or boy Friday when you have a blackberry or
I-Pad? There’s one company I’ve been working with recently
where neither the CEO, COO, CFO, head of transactions or
head of marketing have any admin support. These are
executives who 15 years ago each had at least one secretary to
do their bidding."

This is not a foreign policy type blog........

.....but I am interested in the subject. Tom Friedman's essay
in Wednesday's New York Times has some interesting
comments about our war in Afghanistan. Full essay here,
excerpts below:

"Why do we have to recruit and train our allies, the Afghan
Army, to fight? That is like someone coming to you with a plan
to recruit and train Brazilian boys to play soccer. If there is one
thing Afghan males should not need to be trained to do, it’s to
engage in warfare. That may be the only thing they all know
how to do after 30 years of civil war and centuries of resisting
foreign powers. After all, who is training the Taliban? They’ve
been fighting the U.S. Army to a draw — and many of their
commanders can’t even read. "

"Ownership is everything in business, war and diplomacy.
People will fight with sticks and stones and no training at all
for a government they feel ownership of. When they —
Israelis, Palestinians, Afghans, Iraqis — assume ownership
over a policy choice, everything is possible, particularly the
most important thing of all: that what gets built becomes
self-sustaining without us. But when we want it more than
they do, nothing is self-sustaining, and they milk us for all
we’re worth."

His 1974 recording is actually my favorite, but here a much older Dave Mason tries his hand....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bruce Humphrey.....1935-2010........

My first real job when I arrived in Licking County in 1975 was
with the Newark Advocate. Bruce Humphrey was one of the
first people I met. At the time Bruce was writing and taking
pictures for the paper. Soon after, he became editor. He was
kind and supportive to this youngster, even though that was
not part of his job description. It was just who he was.

It seemed that Bruce was always making a stand for the
regular, every day, citizen. If that meant taking on the big
employers or the government, so be it. It was just who he was.

Bruce started blogging long before I knew what the word
meant. He called his site the Newark Tea Party. I never asked
him, but have wondered, if he minded it when his site name
got hi-jacked after the 2008 elections.
There was never much doubt about what Bruce believed in.
There was also never much doubt that Bruce cared deeply
about his community and its people.
He will be missed.
Thanks Bruce.......

Another fine morning for a walk.......

Dave Mathews and band try their hand at 'Watchtower'......

Understanding what you are investing in..........................

What a great idea.

Richard Green, a professor at Southern Cal, offers a clear eyed
view of a more stable, albeit smaller, commercial real estate
finance marketplace in our future.

The Education of Mark Twain.............

"My school days began when I was four years and a half old....
I was sent to Mrs. Horr's school. Mrs. Horr was a New England
lady of middle age with New England ways and principles, and
she always opened school with a prayer and a chapter from the
New Testament; also she explained the chapter with a brief
talk. In one of these talks she dwelt upon the text, 'Ask and
ye shall receive,' and said that whosoever prayed for a thing
with earnestness and strong desire need not doubt that his
prayer would be answered.

"I was so forcibly struck by this information and so gratified
by the opportunities which it offered that this was probably
the first time I had heard of it. I thought I would give it a
trial. I believed in Mrs. Horr thoroughly and I had no doubts
as to the result. I prayed for gingerbread. Margaret
Kooneman, who was the baker's daughter, brought a slab of
gingerbread to school every morning; she had always kept it
out of sight before but when I finished my prayer and
glanced up, there it was in easy reach and she was looking the
other way. In all my life I believe I never enjoyed an answer
to prayer more than I enjoyed that one; and I was a convert

-Mark Twain, Autobiography


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It is all Sigmund Freud's nephew's fault...........

"Edward Bernays is widely regarded as the creator of modern
emotion-based advertising. Bernays used his famous uncle's
ideas about the drives and desires surging below the surface
of our rational, fact-based consciousness to brainwash
millions of people into becoming consumers instead of
makers and fixers. Born in Vienna in 1891, Bernays moved to
the United States as a young man and became Enrico Caruso's
press agent. Soon he was selling his public relations services to
major corporations around the world. In a few years he
managed to change the way people felt about being self- reliant.

He did this by persuading people to buy products and
proposals through tantalizing depictions of fantasy worlds
that stoke their unconscious urges, instincts, and sexual
impulses. His campaigns sidestepped rational thought,
appealing to the subconscious parts of the mind- the parts
immune to logical argument. The best part of Bernays's
technique (to the manufacturers who hired him) was that
no matter how much stuff people bought, they never felt
satisfied. Like a mirage, the promise of fulfillment seemed
alluringly attainable but remained always just out of reach."

-An excerpt from Mark Fraunfelder's new book,
Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway

A whole lotta firepower...........

Summer Solstice..........

click to

credit here

"I had always loved sunrise: was always renewed in spirit.
For all my life I'd felt cheated if I'd slept through dawn. The
primeval winter solstice on bitter Salisbury Plain had raised
my childhood's goose pimples long before I understood why;
and it had long seemed to me that dawn-worship was the
most logical of primitive beliefs."

-Dick Francis, Wild Horses

Monday, June 21, 2010

Execupundit and the Rosetta Stone.......

Michael offers the keys
to understanding
management here.

I think what he has
really offered are the
keys to successful

A poem for Monday.........

The Holy Longing

Tell a wise person, or else keep silent,
Because the massman will mock it right away.
I praise what is truly alive,
What longs to be burned to death.

In the calm water of love-nights,
Where you were begotten, where you have begotten,
A strange feeling comes over you
When you see the silent candle burning.

Now you are no longer caught
In the obsession with darkness,
And a desire for higher love-making
Sweeps you upward.

Distance does not make you falter,
Now, arriving in magic, flying,
And, finally, insane for the light,
You are a butterfly and you are gone.

And so long as you haven't experienced
This: to die and so to grow,
You are only a troubled guest
On the dark earth.

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
translated by Robert Bly

Jimi tries his hand at 'Watchtower'......

Aging like a fine wine...................

Michael Stanley and the Resonators graced the Midland stage
on Saturday night. Nine talented and veteran musicians having
fun and playing old and new music for two hours. A good time
was had by all.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thinking about my Dad...........

I have been missing my dad lately. As I watch my teenage
children begin to spread their wings and become more and
more independent, I a parent, did I do enough
of the right stuff? It's not so much about what have I may,
or may, not have taught them; it is more, what have they
learned from me?

My dad was never an overt teacher. Nothing was ever
framed as a lesson. He taught by simply being himself. Here
are a few of the lessons I gleaned from his life:

The importance of self-respect; finding your own way- all
while earning and keeping a "good name".

The dignity of work; work that you love to do for the work's
sake, that going the extra mile was not a burden but the
pathway to happiness and success.

The importance of thinking for yourself; he paid a price for
this lesson- facing an argumentative son night after night
at the dinner table must have been beyond tedious.

The importance of coupling high standards and high
expectations with the gifts of compassion and understanding.

The importance of acceptance and non-conditional love.

And, that the bedrock of life is faith. He learned his at his
mother's knee. It became his during the Second Great War.
It never deserted him. When he went to the hospital for the
last time, he told my mom, "my cup runneth over". He
spent his final few days at home, with his family, and he told
us several times, "how blessed I am". When I was about 14
he tried to help me understand "the peace of God which
passeth all understanding". There was no question in his
mind (or mine) that when he died he would find completion
and fulfillment in that peace.

The textbook of my father's life was 84 years long. I am
still learning. I love you Dad. Thanks for it all.

One of my father's favorite prayers......

"I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, 'Give
me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown,' and
he replied, "Go out into the darkness and put your hand
into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a
light and safer than a known way!' "

My Father's Eyes.........................

Not my story, but still a great song...........

Cat Stevens, Father and Son

Happy Fathers Day

click to enlarge. Thanks gocomics