Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hey now.....all you children.....

The Instruction Manual from Gapingvoid....

Funny man Avery Schreiber would have been 76 years old today...........

Ahhh, the imagination.................

Advanced Marketing.................

The local landmark makes the list, as expected.  Check here
for some more fun buildings.  Architects at play.

Thanks Gerard

Good Morning...........

Going Inside........

Don't go outside your house to see the flowers.
My friend, don't bother with that excursion.
Inside your body there are flowers.
One flower has a thousand petals.
That will do for a place to sit.
Sitting there you will have a glimpse of beauty
inside the body and out of it,
before gardens and after gardens.

The heavy is the root of the light.
The unmoved is the source of all movement.

Thus the Master travels all day
without leaving home.
However splendid the views,
she stays serenely in herself.
Why should the lord of the country
flit about like a fool?
If you let yourself be blown to and fro,
you lose touch with your root.
If you let restlessness move you,
you lose touch with who you are.
-Lao-Tzu, Tao-te-Ching

Direct your eye right inward, and you'll find
A thousand regions in your mind
Yet undiscovered.  Travel them and be
Expert in home-cosmography.
-Thoreau,  Walden

All quotes lifted from Wherever You Go There You Are
by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Friday, April 8, 2011

....the crowd called out for more.........

The tonic........................

for whatever ails

"Tear down that mirror....."

Ben Casnocha points to a four minute clip from Arnold
Schwarzenegger on finding true greatness-  here

Long version here:

" requires almost no human interaction...."

Oh great.   This is beginning to remind me of the Star Trek
episode (#23) when Captain Kirk violates the prime directive
and intervenes in a "clean" war.  The warring parties were fighting
only via computers, although some people then had to check into
disintegration chambers when the computers said they were dead.
Kirk thought the only hope for peace was to make war too
terrible to contemplate, so he destroys the computers they were
waging war with.  Or something like that.  It was a long time ago.

Original post here.

So many blogs, so little time...........

According to BlogPulse:

Total identified blogs: 159,297,624

New blogs in last 24 hours: 68,825

Blog posts indexed in last 24 hours: 1,150,448
Now I know how the needle in the haystack feels.
Thanks Mark


If you like either marketing or secret messages, you may
enjoy this.   Obliviousness rules in my neighborhood.

Thanks Gerard

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Janis Ian turns 60 today...............

                Come to my door, baby,
     Face is clean and shining black as night.
        My mother went to answer you know
                 That you looked so fine.
Now I could understand your tears and your shame,
     She called you "boy" instead of your name.
            When she wouldn't let you inside,
                 When she turned and said
              "But honey, he's not our kind."
                           She says
             I can't see you any more, baby,
                   Can't see you anymore.
             Walk me down to school, baby,
           Everybody's acting deaf and dumb.
Until they turn and say, "Why don't you stick to your own kind."
          My teachers all laugh, the smirking stares,
               Cutting deep down in our affairs.
                      Preachers of equality,
   Think they believe it, then why won't they just let us be?
            They say I can't see you anymore baby,
                     Can't see you anymore.
          One of these days I'm gonna stop my listening
                    Gonna raise my head up high.
One of these days I'm gonna raise up my glistening wings and fly.
             But that day will have to wait for a while.
                     Baby I'm only society's child.
               When we're older things may change,
         But for now this is the way, they must remain.
                I say I can't see you anymore baby,
                      Can't see you anymore.
        No, I don't want to see you anymore, baby.

On the "fugitive fermentation of an individual brain", or, a history major learns something new...........

First U.S. Patent to Samuel Hopkins of Philadelphia

"The first Patent Act of the U.S. Congress was passed on April 10, 1790, titled "An Act to promote the progress of useful Arts". It empowered  "the Secretary of State, the Secretary for the department of war, and the Attorney General, or any two of them" to approve the grant of a patent to an inventor fulfilling the appropriate formalities "if they shall deem the invention or discovery sufficiently useful and important". The first three members of this Patent Commission were Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of War Henry Knox, and Attorney General Edmund Randolph."   Full wiki entry here.

An essay on ideas, by one of the first Patent Commissioners- here:

"Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society.  It would be curious then if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property.  If nature has made any one thing less susceptible that all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but in the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it.  In peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it.  He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.  That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and the improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation.  Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property."

As Ben Gates might have said, "people just don't talk like that anymore."  The quote above, attributed to Thomas Jefferson, comes from Steven Johnson's Where Good Ideas Come From.

The poker face......................

That reminds me....tonight's the night for our monthy poker game.

Thanks to Kurt for opening this door.


"The information we've discovered is very compelling.
Like all science, we discovered it by accident."
-Andrew Florence

"All the big mistakes are made in the first day."
 -Paul Adams, architect

"Mistrust increases the cost of doing business by 50%."
-Stephen M. R.Covey,  The Speed of Trust

"Organizations that attempt to substitute increased
communication for increased collaboration learn the hard
way that there is a tremendous difference.:
-Michael Schrage, No More Teams

"The keys to our success are familiar -  assemble a
great team, provide strong leadership, and be willing
to take responsibility and make decisions quickly."
-Larry Fees

"Trust goes hand in hand with, and is dependent on, a
perceived risk.  Without risk, there is simply no need
to talk about trust.
-Mathew May, The Elegant Solution

"In today's global marketplace speed is everything and in
my experience one thing creates speed more effectively
than anything else.  That one thing is trust.  It is the
hidden variable that changes everything."
-Stephen R. Covey

"Business and human endeavors are systems........we tend to
focus on snapshots of isolated parts of the system, and
wonder why our deepest problems never get solved.
-Peter Senge

All of the preceding quotes were lifted from the book
The Commercial Real Estate Revolution

On acceptance and humor..........

"To transcend the world requires compassion and acceptance.  They are the result of inner humility by which the world is surrendered to God with increased peace of mind.  One of the most valuable spiritual tools about which, historically, little has been said is the great value of humor.  Comedy arises as a result of the comparison that is made between perception and essence, and the resolution is a consequence of the acceptance of the ambiguity.

"Humor is quite different from ridicule or malice as it is compassionate in that it accepts human limitations and foibles as being intrinsic.  It therefore assists 'wearing the world like a light garment' and illustrates that in being like the reed that bends in the wind, one survives instead of being broken down by rigidity.

"The relief of laughter via a joke expresses the pleasure at the dissolution of conflict, and the capacity to laugh at oneself is essential to positive self-esteem."

-David R. Hawkins   Reality, Spirituality, and Modern Man

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

That old "human element" strikes again...

  "Human beings suffer from a 'centralized mindset';  they would like to assign the coordination of activities to a central command.  With self-organization, the behavior of the group is often unpredictable, emerging from the collective interactions of all the individuals.  The simple rules by which individuals interact can generate complex group behavior.
    "My experience trying to  'sell' the concepts of swarm intelligence to the commercial world is that managers would rather live with a problem they can't solve than with a solution they don't fully understand or control."

-Eric Bonabeau, co-author of Swarm Intelligence

John Dryden................

Last night I was re-reading Without Remorse, my favorite Tom
Clancy book.  Before his Prologue, Clancy had this quote from
John Dryden, "Beware the fury of a patient man."

Made me wonder about John Dryden.  Read about him here

He said some cool stuff.  More quotes from Dryden here:

Dancing is the poetry of the foot.

Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment
are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon
as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.

Beauty, like ice, our footing does betray; Who can tread sure
on the smooth, slippery way: Pleased with the surface, we
glide swiftly on, And see the dangers that we cannot shun. 

 Happy the man, and happy he alone, he who can call today
his own; he who, secure within, can say, tomorrow do thy
worst, for I have lived today.

All things are subject to decay and when fate summons,
monarchs must obey.

To die is landing on some distant shore.

Death in itself is nothing; but we fear to be we know not
what, we know not where.

Even victors are by victories undone.

For they conquer who believe they can.

Go miser go, for money sell your soul. Trade wares for wares
and trudge from pole to pole, So others may say when you
are dead and gone. See what a vast estate he left his son.

But far more numerous was the herd of such, Who think too
little, and who talk too much.

Great wits are sure to madness near allied, and thin
partitions do their bounds divide.

Self-defence is Nature's eldest law.

He has not learned the first lesson of life who does not every
day surmount a fear. 

He who would search for pearls must dive below. 

What passions cannot music raise or quell?

Roused by the lash of his own stubborn tail our lion now
will foreign foes assail.

War is the trade of Kings.

Shame on the body for breaking down while the spirit

Words are but pictures of our thoughts.

The intoxication of anger, like that of the grape, shows us to
others, but hides us from ourselves.

The sooner you treat your son as a man, the sooner he will
be one.

There is a pleasure in being mad which none but madmen

They that possess the prince possess the laws.

Look around the inhabited world; how few know their own
good, or knowing it, pursue.

Only man clogs his happiness with care, destroying what is
with thoughts of what may be.

We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.

If you be pungent, be brief; for it is with words as with
sunbeams - the more they are condensed the deeper they burn.

Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers,
rivers run to seas.

Jealousy is the jaundice of the soul.

Let grace and goodness be the principal loadstone of thy
affections. For love which hath ends, will have an end;
whereas that which is founded on true virtue, will always

Love is love's reward.

Love works a different way in different minds, the fool it
enlightens and the wise it blinds.

love's the noblest frailty of the mind.

But love's a malady without a cure.

Pains of love be sweeter far than all other pleasures are.

Dogs and tricks..............

Not only can old dogs learn new tricks, they are often the ones
who value the new trick the most.

Showing some backbone..........

A letter from a Midwesterner, here.  Excerpts here:

"Midwest equals blue collar, people used to hard work, the builders, machinists and growers of America. The West has Bill Gates, we have Henry Ford. The South has sunny days, we have character-building season changes."

"But if the nation needs a backbone, we’re it. As the country struggles from the banking industry collapse, as the US thrashes around in service-orientated capitalism in big cities, Midwesterners are still punching that factory time-clock."

"For the country to become great again, it’s going to take workers and engineers striving to create the next American product. It’s going to take residents used to low pay and long hours to keep the country moving forward."

"It’s going to take hardy souls used to snowstorms that make New Yorkers weep."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

3D..........the ultimate productivity enhancer

The Commercial Real Estate Revolution advocates BIM, or
"building information modeling".  A growing part of BIM is the
usage of virtual three dimensional modeling in lieu of the
traditional two dimensional blue prints and CAD drawings.

Never having experienced three dimensional building plans,
it was with great anticipation that I joined a group of local
folk who care about economic development in Licking County
 for a presentation at the Virtual Customer Integration
Laboratory (VCIL) at the Boeing plant in Heath.

Boeing has been doing great things with virtual manufacturing,
and is a leader in the collaborative use of 3D technology in
the manufacturing process.

Boeing is a bit proprietary about their stuff, so I have nothing
Boeing to share visually.  They did show us this video from
BMW.  The viewer does not need the fancy 3D glasses to watch.

I'm not sure how one measures the productivity gains that will
accrue from the increasing usage of this technology, but those
gains have to be enormous.

Pat Guanciale, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Licking
County Chamber of Commerce, strikes a pose while waiting to
take in some of Boeing's 3D virtual reality.

Uncommon Cause..........

A few more quotes from John W. Gardner:

Pity the leader caught between unloving critics and uncritical lovers.

The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.

One of my less pleasant chores when I was young was to read the Bible from one end to the other. Reading the Bible straight through is at least 70 percent discipline, like learning Latin. But the good parts are, of course, simply amazing. God is an extremely uneven writer, but when He's good, nobody can touch Him.

We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.

History never looks like history when you are living through it.

Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.

A pretty bold claim.....................

"Here’s why TARP’s $24 billion profit is so important: The
profit confirms that what happened in October 2008 was
truly a panic, truly a situation where a buyer of last resort
could restore values by decisive action. Which is what
happened. Had such a thing happened in 1931, the whole
history of the world would have been different.

"There’s a lot to indict in the recent financial management
of the United States. TARP should not have been necessary.
But it was, and the profit is the proof."

So says David Frum -hereMight be prudent to wait a few years
before we are sure that those values have really been restored.

Thanks Andrew

Lean Construction continued.......

"In 1984 General Motors and Toyota entered into a joint agreement, New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI).  By all accounts, the original GM plant had been a failure, while NUMMI was a success.  Toyota used its unique management approach - Lean - to transform the same workers using the same equipment into an award winning factory.
     NUMMI has become a famous case study that is often cited to highlight the contrasting mindsets.  That contrast is perhaps best captured by this quote from a worker in Mathew May's The Elegant Solution:
     "Never in a million years would I tell you this work is creative.  Then Toyota took over twenty years ago.  They teach us their system and say to us. 'We want you to tell us how to make it better,'  We went from 'just do your job' with GM to 'no one knows your job better than you' with Toyota."
     GM was so impressed with the results that they created a Global Lean department.  Yet several Lean experts to whom we spoke note that GM's results still lag far behind that of Toyota.  They offered the explanation that, "Toyota has no department for Lean, no central program.  Toyota develops their 'masters', called Sensei's, through a non-directed mentoring process, and new masters seek to develop others.  It is simply a part of their culture, not a department."
     The lesson for commercial real estate?  In the absence of a new paradigm, Lean might as well be just another bag of tools.  Leadership's biggest challenge is to transform its legacy management system and culture."

-another excerpt from The Commercial Real Estate Revolution

Valuable skills................

Michael Wade just posted a list of valuable skills - here.

My son turns 20 today.  He is a sophomore at The Ohio State
University.  I sent him the list and told him if he graduated with a
mastery (maybe mastery is too strong, I would settle for an
understanding) of most of these skills, his education at OSU
would be considered a huge success.

Thanks Michael.

Happy 20th Birthday Dan..............

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ollie, Ollie in come free.................

On risking failure...........

We pay a heavy price for our fear of failure. It is a powerful
obstacle to growth. It assures the progressive narrowing of
the personality and prevents exploration and experimentation.
There is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling.
If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking
failure - all your life.
-John Gardner

Monday's Poem

             Zero Circle

Be helpless, dumbfounded,
Unable to say yes or no.
Then a stretcher will come from grace
    to gather us up.

We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty.
If we say we can, we’re lying.
If we say No, we don’t see it,
That No will behead us
And shut tight our window onto spirit.

So let us rather not be sure of anything,
Beside ourselves, and only that, so
Miraculous beings come running to help.
Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute,
We shall be saying finally,
With tremendous eloquence, Lead us.
When we have totally surrendered to that beauty,
We shall be a mighty kindness.

-Rumi, as translated by Coleman Barks

Exactly how much should (can) we know......

It is a pretty big universe out there.

Thanks boingboing

Great Moments in writing reviews of Indie books.........

BigAl's Books and Pals reviews the Greek Seaman by Jacqueline
Howett.  Al thinks maybe the downloadable book had some
 possibilities, but those died for want of an editor/proofreader:

"However, odds of making that final click are slim. One
reason is the spelling and grammar errors, which come so
quickly that, especially in the first several chapters, it’s
difficult to get into the book without being jarred back to
reality as you attempt unraveling what the author meant....
....Reading shouldn’t be that hard."

The author took exception to BigAl's review and then the fun
began.  309 comments followed, most of them advising Ms
Howett a) to get an editor, b) don't respond to negative reviews,
c) learn some manners, and d) they will not be downloading her

A brief sampling:

Jacqueline Howett said...
Well what should I expect of anyone associated to Big ALs snake
pit and rat hole.
You are a big rat and a snake with poisenous venom. Lots of luck
to authors who come here and slip in that!
Look how you are all enjoying it!
I think you should stick to horror books only.
March 28, 2011 11:56 AM
Anonymous said...
The best part is that even your comments, Jacqueline, are full of
misspellings, awkward phrasing, grammatical errors, and typos.
So I'm certain those creep into your writing. And if you didn't
have a good editor (or even an editor at all), then it's not hard
to believe what the reviewer is saying.

It's almost like you're proving Al's point for him just by your
own writing in the comments.
March 28, 2011 12:01 PM
Jacqueline Howett said...
Fuck off!
March 28, 2011 12:03 PM
Thanks Gerard

The path of least resistance.....

....................or, how to have fun while blogging.  I don't know
Scott Adams, but I suspect like many of us he mostly blogs for
his own amusement.

You may have already read about this.  News come slowly to
my part of the blogosphere.  On the off chance you missed it,
Scott has been busy shaking up the worlds of feminists and
"men's rights" advocates.   Post here.   Excerpt here:

If he’s smart, he takes the path of least resistance most of
the time, which involves considering the emotional realities
of other people. A man only digs in for a good fight on the
few issues that matter to him, and for which he has some
chance of winning. This is a strategy that men are uniquely
suited for because, on average, we genuinely don’t care
about 90% of what is happening around us.

"A network of commitments......."

Still reading The Commercial Real Estate Revolution.  The authors believe the traditional way of bidding out commercial building projects is hopelessly broken, leading to significant cost overruns and completion delays.  They propose several "mindshifts".

An extended excerpt:

Some of Stan's buddies in Michigan have told him about a process they follow called Lean Construction.  When he heard them say, "We focus on the relational interactions between the trades," he had to laugh.  That just seemed like chaos; they were asking for trouble.   One friend described the project as a "network of commitments."
  "What does that mean, a network of commitments?" Stan laughed.  "That's no different from what I do,  It just sounds cool and New Age-y."
   He clicked through a few more channels and ran across another show, "The Legends of Jazz" with Ramsey Lewis as host.  He watched bass guitar player Marcus Miller begin with a few quiet and simple chords and then shift to an up-tempo syncopated rhythm.  Within seconds, the drums, guitar, and piano entered at the same time.  Stan brought his recliner forward and now sat at the edge with elbows on knees and staring directly into his television.  Stan was having what he called "a music moment."
   Stan watched the way the musicians looked at each other for cues, they way they leaned toward one another during transitions.  He noticed the way the lead switched from player to player.  Suddenly, the idea of a project as a "network of commitments" took on a whole new meaning.  Stan realized that he was trying to run projects like that Marine drill sergeant; there was no network of commitments.  The only commitment was to learn your part and follow the leader.  Jazz, on the other hand, now that was all about commitments to one another - from tight interaction to listening, really listening.  Music wouldn't work at all if one guy tried to take charge, but it sounds fantastic when everyone is working to synchronize with the other musicians.
    Could this be what his buddies in Michigan meant?  Can a project really flow like a jazz session.  Stan promised himself that if he managed to survive this project, he was going to call his buddies and find out more.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mellow is the feeling.....................

Sunday's Verse

14   For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father,

15   from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives
its name,

16   that He would grant you, according to the riches of His
glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in
the inner man;

17   so the Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

18   may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is
the breadth and length and height and depth,

19   and to know the love of Christ which surpasses
knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of

Ephesians 3:14-19
The Open Bible

Jesus rides the subway............

Jesus rides the subway
With the junkies and the freaks
Jesus rides the subway
With the hustlers and the creeps
He rubs shoulders with the thieves
And he looks a lot like everyone he sees
Jesus rides the subway
While the pretty people sleep, and he says
“You can lay your burden down
You can lay your burden down
Oh, maybe you’ve been kicked around
But you can lay your burden down.”

Jesus strolls the sidewalks
On the wrong side of the tracks
Jesus strolls the sidewalks
That poverty attacks
He makes his home among the shacks
Where the fatherless have fallen through the cracks

Jesus strolls the sidewalks
While the righteous turn their backs, and he says
“You can lay your burden down
You can lay your burden down
Oh, maybe you’ve been kicked around
But you can lay your burden down.”

Jesus went to church on Sunday
Sat in the back and sang the hymns
Jesus went to church on Sunday
But they didn’t recognize him, and he said
“You can lay your burden down
You can lay your burden down
Oh, maybe you’ve been kicked around
But you can lay your burden down.”
Thanks Nicole.  For a superior audio version go here.

The Mighty E. keeps opening doors............

Like to this fun site- here.  Austin Kleon is making art, and a
statement or two, by "newspaper blackout", here.

Austin Kleon is making art out of tea bag stains on a three x five
card and an ink pen.  The mind reels at the creativity.
Full post here.  Samples here:

Thanks E.

A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths
of the heart. We know so many things, but we don't know
ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard
as an ox's or bear's, cover the soul. Go into your own ground
and learn to know yourself there.
-Meister Eckhart

Thanks Scott

Speaking of Meister Eckhart..............

Meister Eckhart was a German mystic, preacher, and philosopher 
who said his  "sermons were meant to inspire in listeners the
desire above all to do some good. In this, he frequently used
unusual language or seemed to stray from the path of orthodoxy,
which made him suspect to the Catholic Church......"  A more
complete story hereSome quotes here:

God is at home; it is we who have gone for a walk.

God expects but one thing of you, and that is that you should
come out of yourself in so far as you are a created being and
let God be God in you.

A just person is one who is conformed and transformed
into justice.

All God wants of man is a peaceful heart.

No one knows what the soul is.. But what we do know is, the
soul is where God works compassion.

You may call God love, you may call God goodness. But the
best name for God is compassion.

His divinity depends on His power to share Himself with
whatever is able to receive Him. If He was not sharing
Himself, He would not be God.”

Every creature is a word of God.

He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing,

God flows inside creatures, yet He remains untouched by all

of them, He has no need of them whatsoever.

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you,
it will be enough.

Man goes far away or near but God never goes far-off; he is
always standing close at hand, and even if he cannot stay
within he goes no further than the door.

One person who has mastered life is better than a thousand
persons who have mastered only the contents of books, but
no one can get anything out of life without God.

The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which
God sees me.

The knower and the known are one. Simple people imagine
that they should see God as if he stood there and they here.
This is not so. God and I, we are one in knowledge.

The more we have the less we own.

The outward man is the swinging door; the inner man is the
still hinge.

The outward work will never be puny if the inward work is

The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making
a mistake.

There exists only the present instant... a Now which always
and without end is itself new. There is no yesterday nor any
tomorrow, but only Now, as it was a thousand years ago
and as it will be a thousand years hence.