Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ghost Riders................

Following the money...............

When we decide to pay for (as opposed to borrowing) all of the
government we seem to want, taxing the rich won't get us there. 
Taking all the money the rich have won't get us there either.
Looks like it is time to define "rich" down again.  Full post here.

As renowned philosopher/songwriter Alvin Lee wrote,
"Tax the rich, feed the poor
Till there are no rich no more."

Then what?

More great moments in advertising....

On logistics........

"Before the 1980's, logistics was a military term.  By 1985, logistics management - the task of scheduling production, storage, transportation, and delivery - had become a routine business function, and not just for manufacturers.  Retailers discovered that they could manage their own supply chains, cutting out the wholesalers that has stood between manufacturers and consumers.  With modern communications and container shipping, the retailer could design its own skirts and transmit the designs to a factory in Thailand, which used local labor to combine Chinese fabric made from American cotton, Malaysian buttons made from Taiwanese plastic, Japanese zippers, and decorations embroidered in Indonesia."

"The improvement in logistics shows up statistically in reduced inventory levels.  Inventories are a cost:  whoever owns them has had to pay for them but has yet to receive money from selling them.........In the United States, inventories had begun falling in the mid-1980's, as the concept of just-in-time manufacturing took root..........Wal-Mart stores have taken the concept to extremes, designing their entire business  strategies around moving goods from factory floor to customer with minimal time in between.   In 2004, nonfarm inventories in the United States were about $1 trillion lower than they would have been had they stayed at the level of the 1980's, relative to sales.  Assume that the money needed to finance those inventories would have to be borrowed at 8 or 9 percent, and the inventory reductions are saving U. S. businesses $80-90 billion per year.

This precision performance would have been unattainable without containerization."

-a final excerpt from The Box

Barbie has her own global supply chain......

"Barbie was conceived as the all-American girl.  In truth, she never was:  at her inception, in 1959, Mattel Corp. arranged to make her at a factory in Japan.  A few years later it added a plant in Taiwan, along with a whole cadre of Taiwanese women who sewed Barbie's clothes in their homes.  By the middle of the 1990's Barbie's citizenship had become even less distinct.  Workers in China produced her statuesque figure, useing molds from the United States and other machines from Japan and Europe.  Her nylon hair was Japanese, the plastic in her body from Taiwan, the pigments American, the cotton clothing from China.  Barbie, simple girl though she is, had developed her very own global supply chain."

"...vertical integration was the norm in manufacturing.........As freight costs plummeted in the late 1970's and as the rapid exchange of cargo.......became routine, manufacturers discovered that they no longer needed to do everything themselves.........Integrated production yielded to disintegrated production......Low transport costs helped make it economically sensible for a factory in China to produce Barbie dolls with Japanese hair, Taiwainese plastic, and American colorants, and ship them off to eager girls all over the world."

as excerpted from The Box

I think this is true...............

Thanks Maggie's Farm


Friday, April 22, 2011

Dear Earth...............

Dear Earth,
       As we human types celebrate Earth Day today, I, for one,
would like to say "thank you."  Thank you for supporting all seven
billion of us.  Thank you for reminding us with the occasional
earthquake or volcanic eruption that you are still evolving and
that we are pretty silly for taking things for granted. Thank you
for the capricious nature of your weather that reminds us that we
are really just visitors here and not so much in charge.  Thank you
for the beautiful days of spring - like yesterday- which make me
think, that despite all of our foolishness, you are happy to have us
visit.  Thank you for your amazing balance and restorative
powers.  It still amazes me that at 93,000,000 miles away from
our heat source you manage to keep temperatures within such a
narrow, and generally comfortable, band of variation.  All I really
know for certain is that you certainly love life - in all its
manifestations.  Thank thee kindly.
                     Best wishes,


"The prices of electronics, clothing, and other consumer
goods tumbled as imports displaced domestic products from
store shelves in Europe, Japan, and North America. 
Low-cost products that would not be viable to trade without
container shipping diffused quickly around the world. 
Declining goods prices in the late 1990's, thanks largely to
imports, helped bring three decades of inflation to an end."

"The huge increase in long-distance trade that came in the
container's wake was foreseen by no one.  When he studied
the role of freight in the New York region in the late 1950's,
Harvard economist Benjamin Chinitz predicted that
containerization would favor New York's industrial base
by letting the region's factories ship to the South more
cheaply than could plants in New England or the Midwest....
Through the 1960's, study after study projected the growth
of containerization by assuming that existing import and
export trends would continue, with cargo gradually being
shifted into containers.  The prospect that the container
would permit a worldwide economic restructuring that
would vastly increase the flow of trade was not taken


Excerpts from The Box.  Editorial comment from me.

Stevie Nicks.............

Drowning in the sea of love,
Where everyone would love to drown......

It was a system, just not free enterprise...

Be careful of those pesky customers!

"The regulators, who were easing regulations slowly and
gradually, warned Congress against haste. 'Certain shippers
command substantial and sometimes overwhelmingly
superior bargaining power,' the ICC's chairman cautioned,
asserting the need for the government to keep control in
order to protect truckers and railroads from their customers."
-circa 1975

   "The loss of traffic that has always been theirs forced the
railroad executives to do some serious thinking about what their companies could still do best.....carry heavy loads over long distances are relatively low cost.......railroads began to chain truck trailers to flatcars.  They called it 'piggyback.'

    "Piggyback, like almost every innovation in transportation during that era, faced a very large obstacle:  the Interstate Commerce Commission.  The ICC regulated the rates and service of both trains and interstate trucks.  It had quashed railroads' attempts to carry truck trailers in 1931 under its mandate to avoid unfair and destructive competition.  Putting trailers on trains confounded the ICC's basic instincts, but in 1954 it finally outlined the conditions under which railroads could transport freight in trailers........"

-more excerpts from The Box

On not watching the news...............

My Sweetie asked if I had seen Diane Sawyer's "Made in America" report on the evening news.  Pretty easy answer.  Nope.  With the exception of flip-flopping the remote between Fox News and MSNBC during the run-up to the last presidential election and watching CNN intently as they covered Chesley Sullenberger's landing in the Hudson River, I haven't watched more than ten minutes worth of  TV news programming in the past seven years (assuming that ESPN does not count as news.)  Not bragging, just saying.

It wasn't always so.  Growing up, our family regularly watched Walter Cronkite and the CBS Evening News.  When Walter said, "and that's the way it is," I believed him.  (It helped that a daughter of a close family friend worked as his executive assistant.  It made it seem like we actually knew him.)  

Bruce Springsteen, in the introduction to his live version of "War", talks about watching the war in Vietnam nightly on TV.  We did some of that as a family.

I'm not sure exactly when I lost my taste for network news.  Somewhere in the mid-1980's I found myself saying to the TV, "wait a minute, what did they just say?"  Objectivity blurred into subjectivity with an agenda.  Usefulness waned.  They lost me.  I really can't say I have missed them. 

Anyway, back to the question about Diane Sawyer and ABC.  She had a multi-part story on things "made in America."  Since my sweetie knows this is something that interests me, she suggested I find it on Youtube. 

The following post contains Part 2 of that three part story.  It's fairly well done.  I know it is not the whole story.  For instance, we exported almost $94 billion worth of goods to China last year and the rate of our exporting to China is growing by leaps and bounds.  But's an interesting video to watch.

Made in America..............

The Boss on War...................

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I gotta go make it happen.........

Can one man change the world?

  Yep.  Malcolm McLean did.  In ways even he never imagined.

The humble shipping container.  It just changed about everything.

Malcolm McLean was not a man to sit and enjoy his success......His inventive brain churned out idea after idea for making money.

     One such brainstorm came in 1953, as McLean was fretting over increasing highway congestion and worrying that domestic ship lines, able to buy war-surplus cargo ships from the government for almost nothing, might undercut his trucking business.  Rather than driving down crowded coastal highways, why not just put truck trailers on ships that could ferry them up and down the coast?  By the end of that year, McLean was proposing to build waterfront terminals that would allow trucks to drive up ramps to deposit their trailers on board specially designed ships.  The ships would move the trailers between North Carolina, New York City, and Rhode Island, circumventing the worsening traffic jams at a time when expressways were few and far between.  At the port of arrival, other trucks would collect the trailers and haul them to their destinations.

     In the context of the 1950's, McLean's plan was revolutionary.  Law and regulation ensured that trucks and ships had nothing in common:  trucking companies ran trucks, and shipping companies ran ships.

-excerpted from The Box: How the Shipping Container Made
the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger, by Marc

More to follow........................

The idea morphs to a reality......

  "A modern containerport is a factory whose scale strains the limits of imagination.  At each berth - the world's biggest ports have dozens - rides a mammoth oceangoing vessel, up to 1,100 feel long and 140 feet across, carrying nothing but metal containers.......A ship carrying 3,000 40-foot containers filled with 100,000 tons of shoes and clothes and electronics may make the three-week transit from Hong Kong around the Cape of Good Hope to Germany with only twenty people on board.

"on the wharf, a row of enormous cranes goes into action almost as soon as the ship ties up.  The cranes are huge steel structures, rising 200 feet in the air and weighing more than two million pounds.  Their legs stretch 50 feet apart, easily wide enough for several truck lanes or even train tracks to pass beneath.......each crane moving 30 or 40 boxes an hour from ship to dock.  As parts of the ship are cleared of incoming containers, reloading begins, and dockside activity becomes even more frenzied.  Each time the crane places an incoming container on one vehicle, it picks up an outbound container from another, simultaneously emptying and filling the the stacking crane lifts the container onto  a steel chassis pulled by an over-the-road truck.  The truck may take the cargo hundreds of miles to its destination or may haul it to a nearby rail yard, where low-slung cars specially designed for containers await loading."

"The colorful chaos of the old-time pier is nowhere in evidence at a major container terminal, the brawny longshoremen carrying bags of coffee on their shoulders is nowhere to be seen.  Terry Mallory, the muscular hero played by Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront, would not be at home.  Almost every one of the intricate movements required to service a vessel is choreographed by a computer long before the ship arrives."

"The result of all this hectic activity is a nearly seamless system for shipping freight around the world.  A 35-ton container of coffeemakers can leave a factory in Malaysia, be loaded aboard a ship, and cover the 9,000 miles to Los Angeles in 16 days.  A day later, the container is on a unit train to Chicago, where it is transferred immediately to a truck headed to Cincinnati.  The 11,000 mile trip from the factory gate to the Ohio warehouse can take as little as 22 days, at a rate of 500 miles per day, at a cost lower than that of a single first-class air ticket.  More than likely, no one has touched the contents , or even opened the container, along the way."

Excerpts from  The Box: How the Shipping Container Made
the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger

more to follow..........................

Stevie Ray Vaughan..................

Intended consequences............


"When New York longshore leader Teddy Gleason warned
in 1959 that the container would eliminate 30 percent of his
union's jobs in New York, he was simply wrong: between
1963 and 1976 longshore hours in New York City fell by

"Two types of freight appear to have filled those first
containers crossing the Atlantic:  whiskey on the west-
bound run, military goods to Europe on the voyage to
Europe.  Liquor exporters had long complained of huge
loses to theft on the docks, and convincing them to use
containers was not a hard sell."

more excerpts from The Box

In other words...............history repeats itself

"Any changes in technology," the economist Joel Mokyr
observed, "leads almost inevitably to an improvement in the
welfare of some and to a deterioration in that of others."
That was as true of the container as of other technologies,
but on an international scale.

-as excerpted from The Box

On pushing buttons...........

The Furniture Guy tells the story of the Tin Man:.

"The man was pushing all the buttons, as he had done
before countless times to numberless people, no doubt. But
all men's buttons are not the same, are they? Or maybe the
buttons are all the same but are mislabeled on some people."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

blind faith..........

Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood

Jeff is hanging off the ledge................. the world goes to hell in a handcart and the social
media generation completely loses its mind, here and here,

but, this E-Trade spot makes me think there is hope yet........

The return of sensible America?

The KCM crew provides some evidence the the "get rich quick
through real estate" mentality that supported the late great
housing bubble may finally have dissipated.  Full post here.
Excerpt here:

This survey conducted by Fannie Mae showed:

96% of all homeowners said homeownership has been a
positive experience.

64% consider buying a home as a safe investment. Buying a
home was considered safer than buying stocks by over three
times the number of people (64% vs 17%).

The top four reasons to buy:

1.  It means having a good place to raise children and
provide a good education

2.  You have a physical structure where you and your family
feel safe

3.   It allows you to have more space for your family

4.   It gives you control over what you do with your living
space (renovations & updates)

"History is bunk"

As an undergraduate history major, there were times that I
heartily concurred with Henry Ford's oft quoted phrase.

Thumbing through George Seldes's very interesting compilation,
The Great Thoughts, last night, I finally got to see the quote in

    "I don't know much about history, and wouldn't give a
nickel for all the history in the world.  History is more or
less bunk.  It is tradition.  We want to live in the present,
and the only history that is worth a tinker's damn is the
history we make today."

Put that way, it doesn't seem quite as harsh.  Here are two
more quotes Seldes attributed to Henry Ford:

       "Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20
or 80.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young.  The
greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young."

       "Capital punishment is as fundamentally wrong
as a cure for crime as charity is wrong as a cure for

On Luck.........................

"Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted
but getting what you have, which once you have got it you
may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted
had you known."
-Garrison Keillor

"I'm a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work,
the more I have of it."
-Thomas Jefferson

"I've found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more
luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more
-Brian Tracy

"Luck has a peculiar habit of favoring those who don't
depend on it."

"Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember it
didn't work for the rabbit."
-R.E. Shay

"My luck is getting worse and worse.  Last night, for
instance, I was mugged by a Quaker."
-Woody Allen

"For a long time now I have tried simply to write the
best I  can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better
than I can."
-Ernest Hemingway

"Luck affects everything. Let your hook always be cast; in
the stream where you least expect it there will be a fish."

"No one has as much luck around the greens as one who
practices a lot."
-Chi Chi Rodriguez

"Luck never gives; it only lends."

"Luck is where preparation meets opportunity."
-many, many people

Tech support with a laugh track.................

Came across this again last night while visiting Youtube.  To quote
my young son, "It cracks my head up."

I know I first saw this on someone's blog.  Just can't remember
where, when, or who.  Sorry.

A bit of Little Stevie Wonder to start your day.............

This one sounds better........

The reason why................

........Michael Wade is considered one of the best bloggers:

                                  April 19, 2011

Quotes, Escapes, Considerations, Recreation, Thoughts, & Notes.

       Consistent top-notch output daily.  He is an inspiration.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Guitars and more guitars.............

Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.....................

Now, if I could only remember whose book it is...........

Thanks Leah

Great moments in advertising...........

Thanks Jan

Sign at my accountant's office.....

I golf, therefore I am (not here).

The eyewriter............

Thanks Wimp

Obsessing on this song............again

state esteem...................

Nobody believes in all-things-Ohio more deeply than Rick.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Kravitz and Clapton tackle a favorite............

Thanks Jb

Great moments in blog creation.........Or, from tiny seeds grow giant oaks...

Start ups. New beginnings.  God love 'em.  The quintessential human experience. Where would we be without them?  Here is a very small collection of the opening posts from favorite, or noteworthy, blogs.  Please feel free to expand the list.  Enjoy!


Hello. My name is Liz and I know nothing about music.

You steal my Ipod right now and you've got enough music to last you...well...let's say you could get about halfway through a flight across the country.

67 songs.

What's on there? Well let's see. I have five songs I downloaded from the American Idol performances. I do love me some Adam Lambert but we're hardly talking the classics yet. We've got a series of Backstreet Boys and NSync.

Shut up. BSB is awesome.

And despite the fact I just wowed you with my awesome taste in music, I'm here to discuss my mission. There's a book out there that I've had on my shelf for years but never really touched. It's the "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". They start with Frank Sinatra's "In The Wee Small Hours" from 1955 and go all the way up to 2007. (List is over here!)

So here's the plan. 1001 Albums. 1001 Days. I'll listen to the whole album, start to finish, no skipping. I'll write about how I feel about the album, my thoughts about the music, my life, etc. We'll see how this goes..
-Liz's 1001 Albums   8/9/09

Welcome Aboard

“Anybody who works is a fool. I don’t work, I merely inflict myself on the public.” – Robert Morley

This is a blog about work and the workplace and as such, it is about a great deal of life. Since I’m a management consultant, much of the commentary will be on management and leadership issues although other topics will occasionally creep in.

Over the years, I’ve found that any discussion about the workplace that goes beyond the most general terms can be stress-producing to some and just plain undesirable for others. This may be because so many people work in jobs that are not satisfying or for supervisors who are trolls. With that in mind, I’ll strive to make this painless and productive so regardless of your job, you’ll be able to visit and carry away something of value.

Take care.  More is coming     12/28/05

How to boost your productivity

You will never have enough time. There, we needed to state that up-front. In this busy, busy world with a generous supply of devices to enhance our productivity such as Blackberries, and well thought out methodologies such as Getting Things Done, it is essential we recognise that basic premise. To not do so will generally cause such systems to fail.
-Nicholas Bate     9/19/06

I'm Up!

After watching Glen Reynolds on C-Span's Q & A a couple of weeks ago, basically he said that blogging was fun! I'm about that too. So I've launched today and we'll see what happens. Maybe no one will read it, but will it be there for posterity and my son will see what his pop was up to way back when? I'm sure it will evolve but I wanted to start somewhere. Welcome!!!!
-Eclecticity          5/1/06

2005 Best Places to Live

Greetings and salutations, my compadres.

You know me pretty well by now. You know I can't leave this "Best Places to Live 2005" thing from CNN/Money alone. I've got to crawl underneath it, check the hoses, look for hidden rust and concealed damaged, and maybe loosen the oil drain plug a little before I come back from under there, just for mischief's sake.
-Sippican Cottage       7/13/05

Government drone by day, renegade foodie by night. Too old for theatre, too young for children, and too bitter for anything else, Julie Powell was looking for a challenge. And in the Julie/Julia project she found it. Risking her marriage, her job, and her cats’ well-being, she has signed on for a deranged assignment.

365 days. 536 recipes. One girl and a crappy outer borough kitchen.

How far will it go? We can only wait. And wait. And wait…..

The Julie/Julia Project. Coming soon to a computer terminal near you.
-The Julie/Julie Project  8/25/02

Good Friend and a little Hiatt

Brought my friend Doug to Tally for some consulting work and found a Hiatt CD stashed away in my truck on the way to dinner. Seemed fitting as the Dman turned me on to John Hiatt way back in the day, back in the Big Easy. Great songwriter, great feel, all that and Sonny Landreth on slide guitar no less. From his song Circle Back - "I gotta circle back/touch something near/find out which way to go/to get on out of here/I lost my thread/And I've lost some time/but it takes a lot of ground/for me to change my mind."

Just doesn't get much better than this. Not a bad way to pass some time with an old friend before he heads back home.
-Jet Boy & My Dog Skip   3/18/10

The Truth Hurts.

-Cultural Offering    8/7/07

My First Blog

My first blog was in 1995. No kidding.

Back then, when I worked for the State of Ohio, the state Department of Development's marketing guru John Damschroder post a daily column on ConnectOhio. That was an early blog, really.

Every once in a while, he let me put up a few guest posts and continued to do so until the site evolved away in the late 1990's.

So, my first online column was 15 years ago.

With this new site, I'll be more frequently posting my thoughts from a family, work, and community perspective.

My purpose, as it was in 1995 and will be now in 2010, is to promote a greater public interest in economic development for Licking County and Ohio.
-Rick Platt           1/26/10

what's the big idea?

As I skied around our big backyard with three dogs on this snowy afternoon, the seed of an idea came to me. What if I make a pledge to be outdoors during the first light of day, every day for a full year, and write about it in my first blog?

This could serve several purposes:
-a year of getting up to meet the day    12/29/09

Avoiding Difficult Customers

This blog will often touch on the insanity that is the current American tort system. I don’t think there is any greater threat to capitalism, due process, or democracy than the growing power of the litigation bar.
-The Coyote Blog   9/24/04
Getting nothing done at E3

There were no available hotel rooms in Los Angles last weekend. That’s because E3 – the Electronic Entertainment Expo – is the biggest trade show that ever comes to LA, unless you count the Democratic National Convention.

There were no available hotel rooms in Los Angeles, but I persisted. For some insane reason I forgot how incredibly stupid E3 is, and I told my company I would go. I told my company I’ve been to E3 a million times (true) and I’d be able to cut some deals (false).

I forgot, though, that I have hated E3 every time I’ve gone, and every time I’ve gone I say I’ll never go again. I also forgot, that I am not really a deal maker. I am great at strategy and I’m great at process, but I am not a person who can sell oil to Arabs, or whatever that expression is.

So I stay in a hotel an hour from the convention center and work out in their crappy gym in the morning to prepare myself for my powerfulness on the negotiating floor. I check my email but I cannot check my email because I cannot dial up. I call the front desk and they send up a “technology person" who says he’s not allowed to touch peoples’ computers.

I am in my DKNY negotiating clothes and I look like an adult who came to pick up her kid at a birthday party. I spend about ten minutes roaming through the multi-leveled Microsoft booth, the beer-filled Apple booth, and the Nintendo booth that is so large and packed that I have to push a kid off his video console in order to escape.

I realize the sad truth is that the people cutting deals are not on the trade show floor – they are in rooms at the edge of the building where it is invitation only and I don’t have one. I realize the sad truth is that my company spent $1300 for the plane ticket and $500 for the hotel and I will do nothing at E3.
-Penelope Trunk   5/25/01

Welcome to TigerHawk. I am an executive in a public medical technology company, and interested in lots of different things. I work hard, have a family that includes a spouse, children, dogs, horses and various other hangers-on, so I do not know how frequently I will write to this blog. However, I am keenly interested in many of the great and small controversies of the age, and my friends would probably rather that I spare them my views, at least most of the time. How wonderful to have a space to write and imagine that people are reading it (even if they aren't).

All the best,
-TigerHawk     12/18/03

Why blog?

I think I was meant to be a blogger. I never kept a diary because it seemed like too much work, and I didn't really want my thoughts of any given moment in time to be around to be seen later. But once Matthew was born, instead of keeping a baby book or diary, I started jotting notes on a calendar. Every day. And I am still doing it. It has become a calming routine to summarize a few thoughts from each day in the space of 1.5 x 1.5". That is how I will approach this blog.
-Jade Page Press   12/23/06  (Ed. Note:  This was day 2)


The first note heard. The first stroke of the brush. The first word written. The first letter of the first word carved into the blank sheet. The pressure to begin at the beginning. And that’s it where it all gets stuck. Rather let’s do this….

In one of my favorite films, King Arthur (with Clive Owen), there’s a scene where the Knights are celebrating their upcoming freedom from Roman rule. With laughter and ale, Gawain and Galahad have a little competition throwing their knives at a target. Gawain goes first and hits the center of the target. He removes his knife and then Galahad launches his, also hitting the bullseye.

But before Galahad can remove his knife, Tristan takes aim and throws his. And hits Galahad’s knife right in the center of the butt of the knife. Scoring a bullseye on the knife that had already scored a bullseye.

Gawain is startled, turns to Tristan and asks, “How do you do that?

And Tristan says calmly, “I aim for the middle.”

And that’s where we’ll go….
-View From the Ledge     6/22/08

Speed it up a little..................

Miracle worker..........

"When we do the best that we can, we never know what
miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.
-Helen Keller

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


Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles
      as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with the winter outside
And hymns in the cozy parlor, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamor
With the great black piano appassionato.  The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for
       the past.

-David Herbert Lawrence

It's getting Smokey in here....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

When Mark Knopfler calls a guitarist great.... know he must be something special.  Volume up!  Enjoy!

Thanks Jb

Mission accomplished?

"The student came to the master and said, 'Please help me
to quiet my mind.'  The master answered,  'Bring me your
mind and I promise I will help you.'   The student stood
there for a moment and then said, "But Master, I cannot
seem to find it.'  'Ah', replied the master, 'then I have
already quieted it.'"
-excerpted from Tales From The Tao, Solala Towler

It's about those words in red..............

A Verse for Sunday..........

From  How to Know God: The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali

     In order to control the mind, we have to get to know it. 
Few of us know, objectively, what the insides of our minds
are really like.  Our dominating fears and desires have
become so familiar to us that we do not even notice them;
they are like the recurring drumbeats going on in the back-
ground of our thoughts.  And so, as a preliminary exercise, it
is good to spend some time every day simply watching our
minds, listening to those drumbeats. We probably shall not
like what we see and hear, but we must be very patient and
objective.  The mind, finding itself watched in this way, will
gradually grow calmer.  It becomes embarrassed, as it were,
by its own greed and silliness.  For no amount of outside
criticism is so effective and so penetrating as our own simple

Excerpted from III:55

From the Ragamuffin..........

“I’m learning how much I have to learn, how little I know, how fragile my understanding is. I’m learning to be thankful and patient… today is all that we will ever have in this life. If we spend our time obsessing with the future or regretting the past then we will never live. Tomorrow will always be tomorrow and yesterday cannot be changed. The wise man seeks God in the now and brings both his regrets and fears before Him. The freedom that we are offered is truly amazing– to live, today, free from even our own fallen desires. This is where I want to be.”

– Jon Foreman

Thanks Nicole
Picture from the archives here

Return on Investment..................?

Thanks once again Mark