Saturday, January 15, 2011

Great musicians having fun...............

Lone Jack................Pat Metheny.  

"I have a dream".......................

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born this day in 1929.\

".......we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical
force with soul  force........"    "..........I have a dream that one
day this nation will rise up and live  out the true meaning of
its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all
men are created equal....."   "......let freedom ring........."


An amazing letter............

On April 16, 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his seminal
"Letter from the Birmingham Jail."   Addressed to the clergy of
Birmingham, King used the letter to explain why his exercise of
civil disobedience was not "unwise and untimely" and he further
sought to convince them that the segregation statues were unjust
and that the time to nullify them was at hand.  The full text is here.

A few excerpts here:

Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension
in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage
of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative
analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for
nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society
that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and
racism to the majestic heights of understanding and

 Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups
seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may
see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust
posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups
tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We have waited for more than 340 years for our
constitutional and God-given rights. The nations of Asia and
Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political
independence, but we stiff creep at horse-and-buggy pace
toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter.  I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has
not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws.
Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust
laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law
is no law at all"

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one
determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a
man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law
of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with
the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas:
An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law
and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is
just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All
segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts
the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator
a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense
of inferiority.

An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority
group compels a minority group to obey but does not make
binding on itself.

One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly,
and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that
an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is
unjust and who willingly accepts the penalty of
imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the
community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the
highest respect for law.

On freedom.................

"Political freedom has always been a rarity, and a great
inconvenience for governments."
-posted on Maggies Farm - here

"Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain
security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one."
-Benjamin Franklin

"The only freedom which deserves the name is that of
pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we
do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede
their efforts to attain it."
-John Stuart Mill

"While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to
choose the consequences of our actions."
-Stephen Covey

"Freedom is independence of the compulsory will of
another; and in so far as it can co-exist with the freedom
of all according to a universal law, it is the one sole,
original inborn right belonging to every man in virtue of
his humanity."
-Immanuel Kant

"Cause I'm as free as a bird now,
and this bird you can not change."
-Ronnie Van Zant
"And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring,
when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet,
from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up
that day when all of God's children, black men and white
men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be
able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro
spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty,
we are free at last!"
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, January 14, 2011

FinerMinds sets a goal.................

That's good.  But for me, I'm just going to read Nicholas Bate by
6:00 every morning, straight with no chaser.  Like here.

Good news........!

ORLANDO, Fla. (MarketWatch) — Home building is set for a
rebound in 2011, with single-family housing starts projected
to climb 21% to 575,000 units, the chief economist for the
National Association of Home Builders said Wednesday.

21% sounds like a big number.  Is this increase possible?  The
estimated number of new houses built in 2010 was 475,000.  A
very low number by historical standards.  A 21% increase means
that almost 100,000 more houses, or 575,000 in total, will need
to be constructed in 2011.  That is a lot of houses.  But, it is a
big country.  The combined 50 states have a total of about
3,100 counties.  On average then, to hit our goal, each county
needs to have 32 more homes built this year than last year.  Not
quite three houses a month more per county.  Seems doable to me.

Did I tell you we have some fantastic building lots available?

From a more practical point of view, a reasonable person could
look at the chart below (Thanks Calculated Risk), and believe that
the nation historically needs an average of 1,000,000 new homes
a year.  The steep decline and bottoming out of the past four
years seems fairly close to averaging out the incredible excess
capacity built during the bubble years.  It is about time for
demand for new homes to grow.  If not this year, then certainly

Andy Rooney explains why Bill Gates is so rich............

Oh, yeah, wish the old boy a happy 92nd birthday.

Was Malthus a closet optimist?

The Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus, the scholarly prophet,
who has been telling us for two centuries that our burgeoning
species is doomed to famine, knew there was a "way out."

This interesting excerpt comes from the last paragraph of
Chapter XV111 of  Population: The First Essay:

“That the difficulties of life contribute to generate talents
every day's experience must convince us.  The exertions that
men find it necessary to make, in order to support themselves
or families, frequently awaken faculties that might otherwise
have lain for ever dormant, and it has been commonly
remarked that new and extraordinary situations generally
create minds adequate to grapple with the difficulties in
which they are involved.”

"Extraordinary situations generally create minds adequate" indeed.

Thanks to Maggies Farm for pointing the way.

This is credible...................

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Get up, stand up..................?

Nah, sit down, put your feet up.......savor!

A craftsman talks quality.............

...........of life and other things.  Excerpt here:

"The Golden Rule. Sermon on the Mount. The Ten
Commandments. I'd bet 99% of the people who have ever
trod the earth would agree to live under that framework.
Then they'd kill each other for ten millenia over punctuation
or something. Things are only useful in practice.  If wishes
were horses, beggars would ride.

I 'invent' things all the time. They are of the most modest and
unpretending sorts of accomplishments, and not very
interesting to anyone not intimately involved in what I'm
doing. I'll take a scrap of plywood, and screw some blocks on
it just so, and a table leg will fit between some of the blocks,
which likewise register the position of a tool that cuts a
mortise in the leg in a precise and repeatable pattern. Thus
I am more efficient, and eat more often.

The utility of such a thing is apparent to me. It is obscure to
my best friend. To a stranger, it is literally unknowable. You
can never know everything. You can't even know very much
about very little any more. We are not agrarian subsistence
farmers in a Newtonian Universe any longer. You're reading
this, aren't you?

Is the Internet Good, or Evil? How about a gun? A
chainsaw? Petroleum? A jig to mortise table legs?

The question is silly. But I can assure you, that when you see
someone ask such questions, with the intention of allowing 
them to regulate you on the basis of an assessment of
inanimate things being "Good" or "Evil," you are looking
at: Evil.

Full post here.

Thanks Greg

Problem solving..........Step 1

"Today I have got myself out of all my perplexities; or
rather I have got the perplexities out of myself - for they
were not without, but within; they lay in my own outlook."

-Marcus Aurelius
Penelope Trunk has to be one of the most interesting people
in the whole world, certainly in the blogosphere.  She is
introspective and is willing to write honestly (and well) about
what she finds.

Here is an excerpt from today's episode:

"The farmer has owned many dogs in his life. He has lots of

My son finds a dog that is half Pitbull and half Border Collie.
He shows it to us.

The farmer says, 'Great, it can bite you and then run for help.'

The farmer points out that all dog breeds are meant for a job.
Retrievers retrieve, Basset Hounds sniff, Pitbulls protect. The
farmer says you have to let the dog do its job or it will not be
happy. (This sounds like the animal version of my favorite
career counseling book, Do What You Are. The problem that
people have, which dogs don't, is that people judge certain
jobs as 'good' and others as 'bad,' and often the result is a
person refuses to see what is really right for them.)"

Penelope is worth reading.

Best selling books the day I was born............

Tyler Cowen offers this link.  Click the link to discover the
best sellers being read when you were born.

I have read a few of these, suspect I've seen movies made from
a few more, and have passed on the opportunity to read a few
more.   Most of them are unfamiliar.  So many books, so little
time.  Oh well......................
Fiction 1 THE CAINE MUTINY Herman Wouk
Fiction 2 THE CRUEL SEA Nicholas Monsarrat 
Fiction 3 MELVILLE GOODWIN USA, John Marquand 
Fiction 4 THE END OF THE AFFAIR Graham Greene 
Fiction 5 THE PRESIDENT'S LADY Irving Stone 
Fiction 6 MOSES Sholem Asch
Fiction 7 THE WANDERER Mika Waltari
Fiction 8 FROM HERE TO ETERNITY James Jones 
Fiction 9 WE FISHED ALL NIGHT Willard Motley 
Fiction 10 WAIT FOR THE WAGON Mary Lasswell 
Fiction 11 WINDS OF MORNING Harold Lenoir Davis 
Fiction 12 THE IRON MISTRESS Paul I. Wellman 
Fiction 13 THE CATHERINE WHEEL Jean Stafford
Fiction 14 THE DARK MOMENT Ann Bridge
Fiction 15 SYBIL Louis Auchincloss 
Fiction 16 BARABBAS Par Lagerkvist 
Non-Fiction 1 THE SEA AROUND US Rachel Carson
                      ALBUM New Yorker Magazine 
Non-Fiction 3 A MAN CALLED PETER Catherine Marshall 
                       Fulton Oursler
Non-Fiction 5 CLOSING THE RING Winston S. Churchill 
Non-Fiction 6 THE FORRESTAL DIARIES Walter Millis and
                       E.S. Duffield 
Non-Fiction 7 SHOW BIZ Abel Green and Joe Laurie Jr 
                      PEOPLES William O. Douglas 
Non-Fiction 9 DANCE TO THE PIPER Agnes de Mille 
Non-Fiction 10 KON-TIKI Thor Heyerdahl 
                         Robert A. Taft
Non-Fiction 13 THE CONFIDENT YEARS 1885-1915 Van
                         Wyck Brooks 
                         Herbert Hoover
Non-Fiction 15 MOTHER AND QUEEN Marion Crawford 
Non-Fiction 16 AMERICAN DIPLOMACY 1900-1950
                         George F. Kennan

Robert Stack...................... American original, was born this day in 1919.  He
appeared in over 50 movies and some classic TV shows.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Someday you'll understand.............

Feels like a Creedence kind of day.............volume up!

Not in my lifetime...................

I once told my favorite residential Realtor that he eventually
would sell me a bookcase, and I would take the house that
came along with it.

Thanks Jeff

Jack London..............

....was born this day in 1876 (as John Griffith Chaney).  A prolific
writer, London penned the classics White Fang, The Call of The
Wild, and Sea Wolf as well as a host of short stories. Our friends
from Wikipedia say, "London left Oakland with a social
conscience and socialist leanings; he returned to become an
activist for socialism. He concluded that his only hope of escaping
the work 'trap' was to get an education and 'sell his brains.' He
saw his writing as a business, his ticket out of poverty, and, he
hoped, a means of beating the wealthy at their own game."

A sample of his writing "business":

     "There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and
beyond which life cannot rise.  And such is the paradox of
living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it
comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.  This
ecstasy, this forgetfulness of living, comes to the artist,
caught up and out of himself in a sheet of flame; it comes
to the soldier, war-mad on a stricken field and refusing
quarter; and it came to Buck, leading the pack, sounding
to old wolf-cry, straining after the food that was alive and
that fled swiftly before him through the moonlight.  He was
sounding the deeps of his nature, and of the parts of his
nature that were deeper than he, going back into the womb
of Time.  He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the
tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle,
joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not
death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself
in movement, flying exultantly under the stars and over the
face of dead matter that did not move."

Excerpted from The Call of the Wild by Jack London

I've been a lot higher than this a lotta times.................

Thanks Ed

On being "unembittered".............

49.  Be like the headland against which the waves break and break: it stands firm, until presently the watery tumult around it subsides once more to rest.  'How unlucky I am, that this should have happened to me!'  By no means; say rather, 'How lucky I am, that it has left me with no bitterness; unshaken by the present, and undismayed by the future.'   The thing could have happened to anyone, but not everyone would have emerged unembittered...............So here is a rule to remember in the future, when anything tempts you to feel bitter: not, "This is misfortune,' but 'To bear this worthily is good fortune.'

An excerpt from Marcus Aurelius's Meditations

Scary numbers...................................

Dr. Dennis Embry, and his Paxis Institute, is currently doing
consulting and support work for Our Futures In Licking County.
Based on my brief exposure to him, I would say he is a talented
scientist/teacher advocating simple - not easy by any means, but
simple - and practical changes to our standard operating
procedures in dealing with problematic behaviors.

After the shootings in Arizona, Embry posted  a longish essay
on his Facebook page.  The whole thing is well worth reading.
Here is an excerpt:

"Christine Amanpour was interviewing three guests on ABC.

George Will said to Ms. Amanpour, “…we have 308 million
people in America, a few of them are unhinged.” He was implying
that this is inevitable.

No, Mr. Will, it is not inevitable, and it is not a few. We have
tens of millions young people on psychotropic medications in
America—many times the rate of other rich democracies. And the
rates or percentages of these mental, emotional and behavior
disorders you call “unhinged” have been increasing in America,
based on peer-reviewed science.

If we have millions of our young people with such mental,
emotional and behavioral disorders and more of such young
people afflicted that our economic competitors, what does this
bode for our national security, public safety, health and
economic competitiveness—let alone public and political

Mr. Will argues that this small percentage of unhinged people is
the final explanation for what happened at our Safeway store
shooting. That might be a sound bite; it is not an explanation or
indication of what we might do to curb or prevent the millions
of young people who might be tipped to into tragedy.

Dick Armey—one of the founders of the Tea Party—said on the
same show that we needed not pop sociology. Rather, Mr.
Armey said, “If we really want to understand deviance and danger
in this country, we should apply the correct field of study, the
correct tools of understanding and discipline with rigor and
responsibility [of psychology].”

I could not agree more with Mr. Armey. He describes what my
colleagues and I do as prevention scientists.

According to the Wall Street Journal that gets delivered to my
home, there are 25 million children on ADHD medication, almost
10 million on anti-depressants and about six million on psycho-
tropic meds. Added together, that’s about 50% of the young
people in America with mental, emotional or behavioral
disorders. Or maybe it’s just 1/3—if you say it’s all these same
kids all together. Whatever the absolute percentage, it’s probably
twice the percentage as most rich democracies based on data
I’ve seen across countries.

If one-half of our youth out of 75 million are vulnerable to erratic
outcomes like the shooter, that means there are millions children
and youth with mental, emotional or behavioral disorders that
could metastasize to violence against others, suicide or both. Our
children are not well in thinking, mind, emotions or spirit. It’s
pretty clear that the shooters was not well, just by watching his
YouTube videos, and hear about all the problems he had at

Around noon on Sunday, I went on TV to discuss the prevention
of violence like what happened. It was a live interview on the
news desk.

Initially, the anchors wanted me to focus on the deviance of an
individual, along with screening and referral for the suspect. My
point is that the rate of these problems is out-of-whack and too
many people are doing such terrible things across the country.
There are 38 people per day in America murdered; 58 people
are arrested for rape per day in America. 1165 people are
arrested each day for aggravated assaults. Almost 1,600 people
are arrested per day for some form of a violent crime, and 4,550
people are arrested each day for drug crimes. Another 3,950
people are arrested for driving under the influence each day. And,
every day, American children take at least 200,000 pills for
mental, emotional and behavioral disorders.

Is all this acceptable? Is all this inevitable? Is all this simply the
way human children, youth and adults are supposed to live?
My short answer?


Full post is here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Not a bad day's work.....................

Alexander Hamilton was born this day in 1755.  A life worth
honoring.  An excerpt from Ron Chernow's biography:

  "Whatever his disappointments, Hamilton, forty, must have
left Philadelphia with an immense feeling of accomplishment.
The Whiskey Rebellion had been suppressed, the country's
finances flourished, and the investigation into his affairs had
ended with a ringing exoneration.  He had prevailed in almost
every major program he had sponsored - whether the bank,
assumption, funding the public debt, the tax system, the
Customs Service, or the Coast Guard - despite years of
complaints and bitter smears.  John Quincy Adams later stated
that his financial system 'operated like enchantment for the
restoration of public credit.'  Bankrupt when Hamilton took
office, the United States now enjoyed a credit rating equal to
that of any European nation.  He had laid the groundwork for
both liberal democracy and capitalism and helped to transform
the role of the president from passive administrator to active
policy maker, creating the institutional scaffolding for
America's future emergence as a great power. He
demonstrated the creative uses of government and helped weld
the states irreversibly into one nation.  He had also defended
Washington's administration more brilliantly than anyone else,
articulating its constitutional underpinnings and enunciating
key tenants of foreign policy.  'We look in vain for a man who,
in an equal space of time, has produced such direct and lasting
effects upon our institutions and history,' Henry Cabot Lodge
was to contend.  Hamilton's achievements were never matched
because he was present at the government's inception, when he
could draw freely on a blank slate.  If  Washington was the
father of the country, and Madison the father of the
constitution, then Alexander Hamilton was surely the father of
the American government.

Rapture, indeed.........

If the video won't play, click here TimeScapes: Rapture

On Peace..................

"When peace is more valued than the entertainment of the
insatiable ego, it will be discovered to be ever present and
-David R. Hawkins

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet
must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself."
-Abraham Maslow

"If you can, find that peace within yourself, that peace and
quiet and confidence that you can pass on to others, so that
they know that you are honest and you are fair and will help
them, no matter what, when the chips are down."
-Dick Winters    (Thanks Ray)

"Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to
be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances."

"Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more
- George Bernard Shaw

"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a
means by which we arrive at that goal."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I
want the understanding which bringeth peace."
-Helen Keller

"Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without."
- Buddha

"Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle
conflict by peaceful means."
-Ronald Reagan

"Never continue in a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in
what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner
peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you
will have had more success than you could possibly have
-Johnny Carson

Words to live by....................

"Change isn't necessary. Survival is not mandatory."

My friend Rick Platt blogged about change yesterday, here.

A spectacular $2 investment....................

The Hotel Palomar in Chicago pays attention to Mathew Ferrara,
and then makes a friend for life.  Full post here.  Excerpt here:

"While checking email that afternoon, there came a knock at
the door. A staff person stood there with a bottle of ginger
ale. He explained that they had noticed that I drank a bottle
of ginger ale from the mini-bar yesterday. So he was bringing
me a complimentary bottle to enjoy today. Then he left.

Standing there with a bottle of ginger ale in my hands, I was
stunned. Most hotels make you pay for a bottle of room-
temperature water. A nice cold bottle of soda – free – even
after they knew I’d be willing to pay for it from the mini-bar?
Just delightful!

What did it cost them? Maybe two dollars, probably less. But
what did it earn them? My testimonials to many – at dinner
that night, today on this blog, in the future to others who
travel as much as I do. Merely paying attention to their
customer’s habits – actually, to their customer’s trash –
presented them with an opportunity to inexpensively but
effectively delight their customer. $2 became priceless in
terms of marketing. And it was spent with exacting precision,
on the precise customer who could not only become a repeat
customer, but a powerful source of word-of-mouth marketing.

Mathew then asks the $64 question:
"So what’s your $2 customer delight plan?"

Monday, January 10, 2011

On risk..................

"To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach for another is to risk involvement.
To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to
     risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To believe is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard
     in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing,
     is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot
     learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their attitudes they are slaves; they have
     forfeited their freedom.
Only a person who risks is free."
quoted in Abounding Grace

This may be the Truth...................

"Most Boomers don’t believe old age begins until 72 years
of age."

.........but after watching my parents age so gracefully,  80 seems
more like it.

The quote comes from Mathew Ferrara's post on the impact of
10,000 people per day (baby boomers all) retiring for the next
nineteen years.  Full post here.   There will be an impact.  My
guess is that its too early to tell what it will be, and beyond that-
mostly we will surprise ourselves.

A Poem for Monday................

Then a ploughman said, Speak to us of Work
And he answered, saying:
     You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the
soul of the earth.

     For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons,
and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty
and proud submission towards the infinite.

     When you work you are a flute through whose heart the
whispering of the hours turns to music.
     Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all
else sings together in unison?

     Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour
a misfortune.
     But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of
earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was
     And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving
     And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's
inmost secret.

     But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the
support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I
answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash
away that which is written.

     You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your
weariness you echo what was said by the weary.
     And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is
     And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,
     And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
     And all work is empty save when there is love;
     And when you work with love you bind yourself to
yourself, and to one another, and to God.

     And what is it to work with love?
     It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your
heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
     It is to build a house with affection, even as if your
beloved were to dwell in that house.
     It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the
harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the
     It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your
own spirit,
     And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about
you and watching.

     Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, "He
who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in
the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil.
     And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the
likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for
our feet."
     But I say, not in sleep but in the overwakefulness of
noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant
oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;
     And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into
a song made sweeter by his own loving.

     Work is love made visible.
     And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste,
it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate
of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
     For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter
bread that feeds but half man's hunger.
     And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge
distils a poison in the wine.
     And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing,
you muffle man's ears to the voices of the day and the voices
of the night.

-Kahlil Gibran    The Prophet

Wonder what he would have preferred...?

"A mistake; a gigantic mistake, it is true, but a mistake none
the less."..............."I don't hate America, I regret it."
-Sigmund Freud

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

Saw Jim Croce, a South Philly boy, live at the Main Point in Bryn
Mawr, PA.  The year was 1971 (or thereabouts).  The Main Point
was a great venue.  Seated a couple hundred.  Lots of rising talent
played  there.  His was a really good show by a really likeable
performer.  It was a bad day when he died in a plane crash in
1973.  He was born this day in 1943.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

When it is not your time to die.................

Thanks Grant

By their fruits......................

"...for wisdom is the perfect blending of intelligence and love.
Love without intelligence may do much undesigned harm -
the spoiled child is a case in point - and intelligence without
love may ultimate in clever cruelty."

-Emmet Fox,   The Sermon on the Mount

There was a long silence..............

"Rabbit's clever," said Pooh thoughtfully.

"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit's clever."

"And he has Brain."

"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit has brain."

There was a long silence.

"I suppose," said Pooh, "that that's why he never
understands anything."

-an excerpt from  The Tao of Pooh

Sunday's Verse.................

6.  Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek
and find all the barriers within yourself that you have
built against it. 2 It is not necessary to seek for what is
true, , but it is necessary to seek for what is false.
-Chapter 16:III:6:1-2

3.  There is a deep responsibility you owe yourself, and one
you must learn to remember all the time.  The lesson may
seem hard at first, but you will learn to love it when you
realize that it is true and is but a tribute to your power.
3 You who have sought and found littleness, remember
this:  Every decision you make stems from what you think
you are, and represents the value that you put upon
yourself.   4 Believe the little can content you, and by
limiting yourself, you will not be satisfied.  5 For your
function is not little, and it is only by finding your function
and fulfilling it that you can escape from littleness.
-Chapter 15:III:3:1-5

from The Course in Miracles

File this under good news..................

Nationally, vacancy rates for apartment units are about 7%
and falling.  Full story from the Wall Street Journal, here.

All real estate is different.  In the decade of the 2000's
multi-family housing was more different than usual.

When the housing bubble started growing in 2003 and anybody
who could fog a mirror could get a mortgage, vacancy rates in
the apartment business quickly got unexpectedly high.  Houses
were all the rage, apartment living became passe.

In the ensuing real estate mania, way too many houses, offices,
and retail outlets got built.  The resulting oversupply combined
with waning demand led to a slowdown that accelerated into
a crashing market.

Except for multi-family.  During the easy money days, when
everyone could be a developer, the existing high vacancy rates
made apartment development unattractive.  As a result, there
has been precious little new product brought to market in the
last ten years.   I suspect that will change in the next several

Once the bubble in houses burst, vacancy rates declined.
By mid-2008 vacancy rates were low enough that developers
started thinking about building apartments.  Fortunately,
mortgage money for any type of development was exceeding
scarce so very few new units got built.  By the end of 2008
and into early 2009, vacancy rates started to rise again as
the unemployment picture, and other economic news, caused
significant numbers of people to seek non-traditional housing.

The reason that falling vacancy rates are good news, is that
it is an early signal - to me anyway - that the economy is
improving.  Go team!

Everything's Alright..............

My fraternity never did this...............

Richard Feynman, one of the great ones, talks left/right, up/down,
and north/south.  Fun with mirrors.