Saturday, March 5, 2011

Twenty-fours hours at a time...............

Midnight Rider................

11 O'Clock tick tock

10:15 on a Saturday night

It's nine o'clock on a Saturday........

8:05..................

At 7:00 pm the main hatchway gave in..........

6:00.................

Five O'Clock..............

After 4 O'Clock............

Three O'Clock.................

2:00 Courage

One O'Clock Jump..........Benny Goodman

It's only half past twelve, but I don't care.........

12 O'Clock High.........

AM 11:00..........

10:00 postman bring me her letter...

warning - disco alert

Nine to Five

Eight O'Clock this morning..............

7:00

Six O'Clock.....................

Five O'Clock in the morning

embedding disabled Godley & Creme   here

embedding disabled Nonchalant  here

........4 o'clock in the morning and it's starting to get light..........

5

25 or 6 to 4:00...........

3 AM..........

Two O'Clock in the morning....

One O'Clock...........................

Rock around the clock............

on that midnight train..............

Friday, March 4, 2011

A moral document.....?

This interesting ad taken out by the Sojourners got me thinking,
especially the part saying "a budget is a moral document."

My first thought was that a budget was supposed to be a
matching of income and expenses, with expenses being weighed
and prioritized.  Then I remembered it is the Federal Government
we are talking about.  Plus there is that whole Preamble thing:

      .....in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish
      Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the
      common defence,  promote the general Welfare, and
      secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our
      Posterity.....

The insuring and promoting parts are probably fairly high on the
Sojourners' list of high priorities, while I would guess the
providing and securing parts are not.  Just a guess, mind you.
























Other bloggers have commented on the ad, using some Biblical
quotes.  Some for it, like here.  Some against it, like here.

Two interesting quotes from supporters of the ad:

"Cutting programs that help those who need them most is
morally wrong. Reducing the federal deficit is critical for our
nation’s long term health but it should not be done at the
expense of the most vulnerable."

"As evangelical Christians, we stand committed to a biblical
solution in respect to America’s fiscal crisis. A biblical
framework reconciles deficit reduction with the preservation
of spending for compassionate empowerment domestically
and abroad."

Every government program has a cost.  Every government
program has some group who benefits from  the Federal largess.
Good luck reconciling "deficit reduction with preservation of
spending for compassionate empowerment." 

Lest we forget the source of the budget problem, here is a rerun
chart showing the "entitlement" portion of the Federal budget.

Considering the topic of the above post....

...it seemed appropriate to reach into the archives for a re-play.
From April 9, 2010.............

Jim Rohn, one of my teachers, tells
the story of Jesus and the Widow.....


...with her "two mites". As Jesus and his disciples are watching
people contribute at the Temple, Jesus states that the Widow
gave more than all the others. (Luke 21: 1-4) Rohn goes on to
talk about what Jesus did not do. Jesus did not tell the Widow
that she was too poor to contribute and that she should take
her money back. No, he extended to her the dignity of
participation, of contributing what she could.

Rohn calls paying taxes the "care and feeding of the goose
that lays the golden eggs". (Rohn also said that while he
understood that maybe the goose was eating too well, we
should be careful about judging, because one appetite should
not accuse another). Rohn further believed that everyone
should contribute, even if it is only "two mites". Not expecting
everyone to fully participate in the responsibilities of
citizenship, is to deny them the dignity of saying, "I did my share".

What brought his story to mind is the Associated Press
story here. 47%. Wow.

On the importance of knowing........


















Michael Wade offers us 21 things you (we) should KNOW.
Can't think of anything to add.  Full post here.   21 things here:

Your goals

Your resources

Your weaknesses

Your strengths

Your friends

Your allies

Your enemies

Your surroundings

Your deadlines

Your habits

Your values

Your prejudices

Your image

Your debts

Your health

Your priorities

Your direction

Your mistakes

Your achievements

Your pace

Your God

Seth on taking the initiative..............

Don't wait your turn if waiting your turn is leaving doors
unopened.     Here

Initiative is taken, it's not given.     Here

...most people have been brainwashed into believing that
their job is to copyedit the world, not to design it.   Here

Step one: Open all doors. Learn a little about a lot. Consider
as many options as possible, then add more.
Step two: Relentlessly dismiss, prune and eliminate. Choose.
Ship.    Here

Looking around with stars in your eyes and amazement at
the tools that are available to you can inspire generosity
and creativity and connection.       Here

.....but we're not going to sit here and listen to you bad-mouth the United States of America.....

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"We chose you"

Ray Visotski, who is way more than a simple village undertaker,
has a deeply personal blog post about redeeming love, here.
It is powerful.  Excerpt here:

"How do you decide if a baby is right for you? This was
happening very quickly and I suppose they may have been
second guessing the idea and questioning their taking this
step. There was little time to prepare for making this
decision. What would they decide?

The answer, I am told, was provided when that bruised,
sickly three month old, complete with almost healed cigarette
burns on his body, reached up and took a hold of the man’s
finger and wouldn’t let go.

That baby was me."

Cicero..............























    "And now when Cicero, full of expectation,was again bent
upon political affairs, a certain oracle blunted the edge of his
inclination; for consulting the god of Delphi how he should
attain most glory, the Pythoness answered, by making his
own genius and not the opinion of the people the guide of
his life; and therefore at first he passed his time in Rome
cautiously, and was very backward in pretending to public
offices, so that he was at that time in little esteem, and had
got the names, so readily given by low and ignorant people
in Rome, of Greek and Scholar."

excerpted from Plutarch's Lives

The Wisdom of Cicero..............

A happy life consists in tranquility of mind.

If you aspire to the highest place, it is no disgrace to stop at the second, or even the third, place.

A mind without instruction can no more bear fruit than can a field, however fertile, without cultivation.

Everyone has the obligation to ponder well his own specific traits of character. He must also regulate them adequately and not wonder whether someone else's traits might suit him better. The more definitely his own a man's character is, the better it fits him.

He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason.

In men of the highest character and noblest genius there is to be found an insatiable desire for honour, command, power, and glory.

A life of peace, purity, and refinement leads to a calm and untroubled old age.

In so far as the mind is stronger than the body, so are the ills contracted by the mind more severe than those contracted by the body.

It is a great thing to know our vices.

It is a true saying that "One falsehood leads easily to another".

Laws are silent in times of war.

Freedom is a possession of inestimable value.

Our span of life is brief, but is long enough for us to live well and honestly.

The strictest law often causes the most serious wrong.

Live as brave men; and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts.

Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to be always a child. If no use is made of the labors of past ages, the world must remain always in the infancy of knowledge.

Our thoughts are free.

Let your desires be ruled by reason.

Reason should direct and appetite obey.

The evil implanted in man by nature spreads so imperceptibly, when the habit of wrong-doing is unchecked, that he himself can set no limit to his shamelessness.

The first duty of a man is the seeking after and the investigation of truth.

The man who backbites an absent friend, nay, who does not stand up for him when another blames him, the man who angles for bursts of laughter and for the repute of a wit, who can invent what he never saw, who cannot keep a secret - that man is black at heart: mark and avoid him.

The name of peace is sweet, and the thing itself is beneficial, but there is a great difference between peace and servitude. Peace is freedom in tranquillity, servitude is the worst of all evils, to be resisted not only by war, but even by death.

We must not say every mistake is a foolish one.

The wise are instructed by reason; ordinary minds by experience; the stupid, by necessity; and brutes by instinct.

There is no duty more obligatory than the repayment of kindness.

To be content with what one has is the greatest and truest of riches.  

Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.

A room without books is like a body without a soul.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.

While there's life, there's hope.

The shifts of Fortune test the reliability of friends.

Nature herself makes the wise man rich.

About that "Sputnik moment"...............

"Each new cycle of panic and self-flagellation has brought with it a fresh crop of reformers touting a new solution to U.S. scholastic woes. A 1961 book by Arthur S. Trace Jr. called What Ivan Knows That Johnny Doesn't, for instance, suggested that American students were falling behind their Soviet peers because they weren't learning enough phonics and vocabulary. Today's anxieties are no different, with education wonks from across the policy spectrum enlisting the U.S. education system's sorry global ranking to make the case for their pet ideas."

Full essay here

".....watercolor is not a game of perfect."

Neither, I have found, is blogging.  Blogging has opened some
amazing doors, however.  Scrolling through the Hammock
Papers this morning, Rob led me to a new blog - here.  Looks
to be a great addiditon.   A few sample watercolors here:


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A moment in time...................

Forty nine years ago (yesterday), John and Annie Glenn received
a hero's welcome home and a  "ticker tape" parade in New York
City.  Glenn completed three orbits of the earth aboard his Project
Mercury space capsule, Freedom 7.  It was a big deal.
















More fabulous photos here

"...technium as the 'seventh kingdom of life'...."

Kevin Kelly, in his excellent essay on The Positive Balance of
Technology, defines technium as a "super system of codependent
inventions."   Full essay  here.  Interesting excerpts here:
 
".....a somber insight: life itself is no utopia, and neither is
the technium. Every new invention births almost as many
problems as solutions. In fact most of the problems in the
world today have been created by previous technologies.
I would suggest that most of the problems in the world
tomorrow will be caused by technologies that we are still
inventing today."
 
"Each new invention also creates more than one new moral
choice for us, and this accumulation of free will over time
supplies a positive charge to the technium. Over the long term
technology gives us greater differences, diversity, options,
choices, opportunities, possibilities, freedoms. This is the
definition of progress."

Happy..................

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If
you want to be happy, practice compassion."
-Dalai Lama

My favorite economic futurist has a wish list................

From Jeff Thredgold's Tea Leaf comes a "wouldn't it be nice"
list.  Full list here.   A sampler here:


…Wall Street “high rollers” had greater legal and financial
accountability for the financial market abuses of recent years

…some of the mind-boggling research advancements in
energy production and alternative energy more rapidly made
their way into the economy

…high quality teachers were paid better while poor teachers
were weeded out

…our illustrious Congressional representatives actually knew
what was in various bills they voted on

…the Administration would stop talking about being “pro-
business” and actually a) promote pro-business policies, and
b) remove anti-business initiatives that dominate its agenda

…members of Congress had to participate in the same health
care program as the one being dumped on the American people

…incompetent corporate CEOs who drive companies into the
ground were not rewarded with multi-million dollar “golden
parachutes” to simply go away

…the Administration was more focused on providing
incentives for wealth creation and less focused on wealth
redistribution

…our national campaign season was much shorter and less
exhausting…for candidates AND voters

…we actually got serious about U.S. energy independence
with a program geared to 1) conservation, 2) alternative
sources of energy, 3) access to much more oil and natural gas
in Alaska and on the Continental Shelf, and 4) developing
massive deposits of oil shale and shale gas across the nation
…“government” would recognize that it is there to serve the
people, and not the other way around…we could make real progress in “clean burn” coal technology

…each long-term member of Congress was required to take a
year off, start a new business with limited funding, meet a
payroll, and then deal with the complexities and hassles THEY
have created

…the role of “peacekeeper” wasn’t associated with so much
violence

…we would all keep in mind that despite the problems and
challenges we face in the U.S., this is still the greatest country
in the world.

I wonder if this means anything...........?








From Mother Jones

Intoxicated.................

















thanks Hugh

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

More fun with language...........

"A dry Massachusetts banker named Delcevere King wanted
to find an opprobrious word to describe imbibers who openly
violated the Eighteenth Amendment.  Publicized in the pages
of the Boston Herald, the contest King sponsored drew more
than twenty-five thousand entries.  Thus did the English
language acquire 'scofflaw', winner of the first prize and two
hundred dollars."

An excerpt from Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition
by Daniel Okrent

Standing in the shadows of Motown........














The youtube embedding link is disabled, so you have to there
your own self.   But.......if you grew up with the sounds of
Motown, go visit Joan Osborne here and especially here.   A great
singer and great musicians doing their thing.  The truly good stuff!

....a smooth, sweet amber spirit, with a melange of charred oak and vanilla notes.....

What to do with all that corn?  Raise a glass to an entrepreneur!
Story here.  Cedar Ridge Distillery home page here.  Still here:

















Finished product here:























Thanks TigerHawk

How high is high?
















From Slate

Irony............

"I can advise no young man to enter the Army.  The same
application, the same self-denial, the same endurance, in
any other profession, will advance him faster and farther."
-Robert E. Lee,  1853

Monday, February 28, 2011

"Without your love I'm nothing at all..........'

A Poem for Monday
























                       Another Spring

The seasons revolve and the years change
With no assistance or supervision.
The moon, without taking thought,
Moves in its cycle, full, crescent, and full.

The white moon enters the heart of the river,
The air is drugged with azalea blossoms;
Deep in the night a pine cone falls;
Our campfire dies out in the empty mountains.

The sharp stars flicker in the tremulous branches;
The lake is black, bottomless in the crystalline night;
High in the sky the Northern Crown
Is cut in half by the dim summit of a snow peak.

O heart, heart, so singularly
Intransigent and corruptible,
Here we lie entranced by the starlit water,
and moments that should each last forever

Slide unconsciously by us like water.

-Kenneth Rexroth

Photo by Piotr Uklanski

Untitled (Starlit Water), 1997

Time to wake up.......................



Thanks Jeff

For fun with language...............

.........visit James Geary's  blog- All Aphorisms, All The Time
(especially if you are interested in metaphors). 

If your interest is in aphorisms, try here.  Excerpts below:

"The successful aphorism doesn’t require the context of an
elaborate explanation, nor should it be undercut by amusing
asides.......Here are some of Robert Priest’s witty and poetic
aphorisms…”

No matter which way you turn there’s always something
you’re not facing.

Whitewash comes in many colors.

Every little ruler wants a 13th inch.

There is no camouflage like a good philosophy.

The teacher is the lesson.

The edge comes from within.

Good lovers come in pairs.

The most dangerous people are the obedient.

The apology is never as loud as the insult.

Hurricanes at home move faraway sails.

People begin as dreams and end as memories.

You can’t forgive yourself without forgiving others.

Serious times breed comedians.

Quotes............

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the
tide will turn.”
-Harriett Beecher Stowe

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
-Albert Einstein

"Let everyone sweep in front of his own door and the whole
world will be clean."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"The best way out is always through."
-Robert Frost

"Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary
to a worthwhile achievement."
-Henry Ford

"Just as iron rusts from disuse, even so does inaction spoil
the intellect."
-Leonardo Da Vinci 

"One of the functions of intelligence is to take account of the
dangers that come from trusting solely to the intelligence."
-Lewis Mumford

"The proverb warns that, 'You should not bite the hand that
feeds you.'  But maybe you should, if it prevents you from
feeding yourself."
-Thomas Szasz

"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal.
My strength lies solely in my tenacity."
-Louis Pasteur

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Serenity..........................



Thanks Ka-Ching!

Miracles..................



I know this is a replay, but this song just gets to me......................

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

                        Psalm 91

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty,

2.  I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my
fortress:  my God; in him I will trust.

3.  Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the
fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4.  He shall cover thee with his feathers and under
his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be  thy
shield and buckler.

5.  Thou shall not be afraid for the terror by night;
nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6.  Nor for the pestilence the walketh in darkness;
nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7.  A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand
at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8.  Only with thine eyes shall thou behold and see the
reward of the wicked.

9.  Because thou hast made the Lord. which is my
refuge, even the most High, thy habitation.

10.  There shall be no evil befall thee, neither shall
any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11.  for he shall give his angels charge over thee, to
keep thee in all they ways.

12.  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou
dash thy foot against a stone.

13.  Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the
young lion and dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14.  Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore
will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because
he hath known my name.

15.  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him:
I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and
honour him.

16.  With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him
my salvation.

The Holy Bible,  King James Version