Saturday, July 30, 2011

Jeff commented about the Summertime post.......

"This and "Ball and Chain" had me in agony...the woman
"insisted" on every note...no one ever came close to her
heat again..."

Hard to argue with that........Enjoy!

We are truly blessed..........
















Who could be so lucky? Who comes to a lake for water and
sees the reflection of moon.

- Rumi

Thanks Rob
Photo courtesy of

On the tide.................

BRUTUS:  There is a tide in the affairs of men,
                  Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
                  Omitted, all the voyage of their life
                  Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
                  On such a full sea are we now afloat,
                  And we must take the current when it serves,
                  Or lose our ventures.

Julius Caesar Act 4, Scene 3, 218-224

Pretty, but I wonder what kind of mileage this baby gets..............?

Hopping on the brilliance bandwagon......

In this corner of the blogosphere, Nicholas Bate is the standard
bearer for real life brilliance and his blog the touchstone.  By now
you have probably heard about his brief essay on "uncertainty."
If not, do yourself a favor and read it here.  A few excerpts here:

But the wiser we get, we realise that certainty is just an
occasional fortunate blip in a vast ocean of uncertainty........
......Forget it. Read and stay super mentally fit. Find, support
and be loyal to great friends and colleagues. ......Celebrate
certainty when you get it, sure. Strive for it, definitley: the
quest is (literally) enlightening. But get comfortable, really
comfortable with living with uncertainty. And then Life
becomes so much easier, more relaxing and ..er.. certain.

Thanks Nicholas

The Young Rascals

The Little Rascals.................

Where does he find this stuff?????????

From the mind that is the Mighty E........

Friday, July 29, 2011

Summertime...............

August, 1972.  JB, his brother Steve, and I took a road trip
before heading back for our senior year in college. Traveled south
on the Blue Ridge Parkway; drove across Tennessee with stops
in a few college towns, Knoxville and Nashville.  For a reason that
made sense then, we walked down Beale Street in Memphis; then
with a turn to the south we were passing thru Oxford, Mississippi. 
Not sure whether we were looking for Faulkner or the co-eds,
but we didn't stay long.  The target all along was New Orleans,
we just took our sweet time getting there.  Forsaking the big
highways we drove two lane roads through Mississippi, staying
as close as we could to the Big River.  Eventually, we crossed
Lake Pontchartrain into the Big Easy.  JB and I determined, over
brother Steve's mild objections, that it would be a good thing to
stay up all night and then watch the sun come up over the
waterfront.  We did some touristy things, sat on the hard benches
to enjoy the music at Preservation Hall, and amused ourselves on
Bourbon Street.    It was closing in on 4:00 a.m., and we were
contemplating second guessing the staying up all night thing,
when,  out of some back alley off of Bourbon Street, strains of
music wafted our way.  Following dutifully, we ended up in this
delightful hole-in-the-wall called Molly's Irish Stew.  It's funny
what you remember.  Anyway there was a piano being played
and a trumpet being sounded and a song being sung. The song
was Summertime, and I thought it was the most beautiful thing
I had ever heard.  We spent the next two hours joking, talking,
and eating scrambled eggs with the piano player, like he was
some long lost comrade-in-arms.  We parted company just in
time to find our way to one of the waterfronts to greet the dawn. 
It was a great night, and I have been partial to this song ever
since.  There are many versions to choose from, but I think Janis
strikes the right notes.  Enjoy!


Damn, that "work" thing keeps popping up...

Stuart Schneiderman disses The Secret, suggesting there isn't one.

Credit where credit is due. The book and its attendant visual and auditory aids was a feat of marketing genius. By now everyone should know that it preyed on our extreme gullibility. But it also demonstrated how averse we had become to the notion that we might actually have to work in order to succeed.

Full post here.   Another telling excerpt here:

How do you get to success? Halvorson explains that you have to do it one step at a time.

In her words: “In fact, study after study shows that people who think not only about their dreams, but about the obstacles that lie in the way of realizing their dreams--who visualize the steps they will take to make success happen, rather than just the success itself--vastly outperform those who sit back and wait for the universe to reward them for all their positive thinking. Whether it's starting a relationship with your secret crush, landing a job, recovering from major surgery, or losing weight, research shows that if you don't keep it real you're going to be really screwed.”

Success lies in methodical, tedious step-by-step effort

Suspicion..............

IAGO:        O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
                    It is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mock
                   The meat if feeds on,  That cuckold lives in bliss,
                    Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger:
                    But O, what damned minutes tells he o'er
                    Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!
OTHELLO: O misery!

Othello   Act 3, Scene 3, 165-171

Living large with Amazon Associates......

Haven't quite figured out this whole "monetization" thing:










$6.10.   We're gaining on it.

Just for today............

....start your day out right by reading  Cultural Offering

Standells......Dirty Water

Can't repeat this often enough......

"The philosophy of the rich versus the philosophy of the
poor is this:  The rich invest their money and spend what
is left; the poor spend their money and invest what is left."
-Jim Rohn

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Programming reminder and note........

26 days ago we started playing Walker Lamond's Required
Listening for Boys.  The playlist is 37 songs long.  If you harken
back to the beginning, you may recall that the playlist would
continue unless boredom set in.   I am now officially bored with
playing someone else's musical choices.  Today's entry is the last.
For the three or four of you that cared about this project,
here are the remaining songs:

Cheap Trick's Surrender
Elvis Costello's Peace, Love, and Understanding
The Ramones' I Wanna be Your Boyfriend
R.E.M's Radio Free Europe
Joe Jackson's Steppin' Out
Big Country's Big County
Prince's Let's Go Crazy
The Replacements' Waitress in the Sky
The Pogues' Fairytale of New York
The Smiths' Girlfriend in a Coma
The Jayhawks' Nevada, California

If that's moving up.................

Setting the bar way high...........
















Agent Genius gives us a post that purports to ask if the sales force
is exhausted by "over-training."  I suspect what is really being
asked is, "are we doing enough of the right kind of work?"

Having been in sales since 1977, my experience has been that
making 15 "on-purpose" and "in-person" sales call per day is a
daunting task.  I can occasionally string two or three such days
together, but those calls tend to generate so much follow-up work
that I lose my focus on making new sales calls.  Working for
myself, I sometimes have a discipline problem with the boss.

Anyway, the full post is here.  Key excerpts are here:

They say what an over-trainer should do, to turn things around, is slow down. Maybe you should slow down? But before you do, let me give you a quiz to see if you’re Over-Doing-It. It’s a Yes or No quiz, one question.

Here’s the question:

Five out of seven days, do you initiate On-Purpose and In-Person conversations with 15 or more civilians per day?  Yes or No. If you answered No. Guess what? I have good news, bad news, and good news.

Good News

You’re not over-training. You’re not over-doing-it. Phew.

Bad News

You’re not over-doing it, you’re under-doing it. You don’t need to slow down and take it easier, you need rise up and work like you’re in it to win it. The reason you’re not enjoying the success you want, basically boils down to you, and you alone. You have to take responsibility for what you’re not doing and the results you’re creating. If you do that, then there is good news.

Good News

If what you don’t do creates crappy outcomes, then what your do do can reverse crappy outcomes and create happy outcomes. You’re the boss of yourself and if you want to turn things around you can, you don’t need anyone’s permission. Nobody needs to tell you know what you need to do. Everything you need to know is either in your head or at your fingertips. All you need to do is Decide, Commit and Act.

A friend of mine, Marilyn Eiland, has a quote that goes like this.....“Your raise is effective as soon as you are.”

How lucky are we that we are in a business where all we need to do is Decide, Commit and Act like our life depends on it, and we can’t be held back.

So let me ask you . . .What’s your decision?
____________________________________________
Thanks for reading, cheers.

PS. If you answered Yes to the quiz, congratulations, you’re a rare cat. If you’re feeling fatigued and dull, and biz is stagnant, most likely it’s because you need some support to help you execute the mundane and mechanical parts of your business. Think about ways you can unburden yourself, to free yourself. Decide what changes you need to make, commit to them and get started.

How to cause property values to rise.......

....and rise and rise and rise and rise some more:



































Coincidence that the upward trend in very low down payment
mortgages matches the trend of increasing home prices through
2006?  I think not.  Remember...... low interest rates and easy
financing terms always benefit Sellers more than Buyers.

Thanks Mark

Earl Tupper, born this day in 1907.......

More than you wanted to know about Tupperware, here or here.
Excerpts here:

Tupper founded the Tupperware Plastics Company in 1938 and in 1946 introduced Tupper Plastics to hardware and department stores. Around 1948, he joined forces with Brownie Wise who caught his attention after she made a lengthy phone call to his office in South Grafton, Massachusetts, in which she explained her extraordinary success selling Tupperware via home parties. Based on a marketing strategy developed by Wise, Tupperware was withdrawn from sale in retail stores in the early 1950s and Tupperware "parties" soon became popular in homes. This was the first instance of "party-plan" marketing, which has been successfully emulated by other companies.



















More than you ever thought you wanted to know about Tupper
himself, a very interesting man, hereExcerpts here:

In 1958, Earl Tupper unceremoniously and abruptly kicked Brownie Wise out of the company. He didn't give any reasons. Within a year, Tupper sold out to Justin Dart of Rexall Drug Company for $16 million, and also divorced his wife. He bought himself an island in Central America, and eventually moved to Costa Rica, giving up his U.S. citizenship to avoid taxes.

At the age of 71, he wrote in an autobiographical essay, "I'm ready to really go to work... so we older people don't look so lazy and stupid to our children and grandchildren, or to space visitors who will certainly be landing here one day and putting the torch to 75% of us, considering us to be worthless and damned poor breeding stock for the future."

Amend the Constitution?

The Dirt Lawyer is seriously fed up with those servants-of-the-
people in Washington D. C.   He proposes a significant change
to our Constitution.  Full post here.  Proposed Amendment here:

Section 1. Congress shall, on or before 11:59 PM Eastern Time on June 30 in any calendar year, adopt all legislation necessary pertaining to the budget for the government of the United States. No extension of time, continuing resolution or any procedure whatsoever shall substitute for the actual adoption of a budget, except as provided in this amendment. If Congress fails to adopt such budget, then all members of Congress and all persons in the employ or service of the legislative branch shall serve without pay or benefits until the budget is duly adopted, with no back pay provided for members of Congress.

Section 2. If Congress adopts a budget where all expenditures for the United States exceed all revenues by an amount that is greater than three percent of the gross domestic product of the United States in the preceding calendar year, then all members of Congress who vote in the affirmative to adopt such budget will, following the completion of his or her current term in office or his or resignation from office, be rendered permanently ineligible from serving as a member of Congress or working or volunteering in any capacity whatsoever in the service or employ of the United States, either with or without pay.

Section 3. For the purposes hereof, "gross domestic product" means the market value of all final goods and services produced in the United States in any calendar year.

Section 4. The provisions of this amendment will not apply to any budget adopted (a) during a time of a war actually declared by Congress until the cessation of hostilities pertaining thereto, or (b) by an affirmative vote of not less than three-fourths of the members of each of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Section 5. In the event the provisions of this amendment conflict with or are repugnant to any other provision of this Constitution, the provisions of this amendment will govern and control.

Anyway..........

Childrens' stories.............

When the kids were mostly young, we did lots of reading. My
favorites were:





























Occassionally we read Rainbow Fish. While a nice little story, it
seemed to contain an agenda. I like this version better.


Thanks Greg

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

So far gone........

Speakers at our Rotary meeting..........
















.......are often surprisingly good.  Chris Evans, local Civil War
buff par excellence, spoke yesterday about "The Music of the
Civil War".  Chris is a passionate and practiced public speaker.
He did a great job talking about a topic that this history major
never thought too much about.

Chris offered this one quote that stuck with me:

"Music is the language of emotion."

Idly sitting at the computer, I wondered who else had used
that quote.  With the wonder that is Google, this blog post
showed up in response to the query.  Cool excerpt is here:

"The problem is, the human brain doesn't have a delete key. So even if I didn't consciously relate music to my experience, and even if those associations are ancient and strange to me now, they still bubble up in my brain from time to time. For example, a lot of the rock music of the late 60s and early 70s still has the power to trigger the same feelings I had during that time of war and social unrest - even if they are irrelevant to my life today.

"Other music that moves me: Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" (remember the movie, Platoon?), the second movement of Beethoven's 7th Symphony, and Bedrich Smetana's "Die Moldau." And many more classical pieces. Lots of early rock music. All this stuff calls up old images and memories that stir my feelings.

"Music has this power. Music is a language of emotion."

Photo courtesy of  G. L.

Top 50 Blogger........

Michael Wade, dba http://www.execupundit.com/, makes the Top
50 HR blogs for 2011.   Congratulations Michael.

Any list of top bloggers in the fields of management, HR, sales,
coaching, business and/or personal development,  leadership,
and all-around-how-to-be-successful-in-life that does not
include Michael is a highly suspect list in my book.

His is simply an outstanding blog.

Anarchy.........

"In times where work is worshipped as the only Goddess,
idleness becomes an act of rebellion."
-Fabian Kruse, the friendly anarchist


Where is Neville Longbottom when you really need him..........?

















A Nate Beeler cartoon

It seemed so funny to me.......

Dress for a tie......?

"Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes."
-Henry David Thoreau

Been reading Guy Kawasaki's EnchantmentYesterday I came
across this passage:

Dress for a Tie

The second factor is how you dress.  This is one time you
want a tie (no pun intended), not a victory or a loss.  Over-
dressing says, "I'm richer, more powerful, and more
important than you."  Underdressing says, "I don't respect
you.  I'll dress any way that I please."  Equal dressing says,
"We're peers."  My recommendation is to park your ego.
You don't have to "make a statement" and try to show
people you have money, power, or great taste.  The goal
is likability - not superiority.

Kawasaki then gives an example or two of when you
should contradict this advice.  The section concludes with this:

Second, except for cases where doing so is organizational
suicide, dress in a manner that makes you feel comfortable.
It's hard to enchant people when you're uncomfortable,
and besides, there's something enchanting about a
person who is who she is and lets it rip.

OK, I feel better now.

Jeremiah Dixon.............

........was born this day in 1733.  An English astronomer and
surveyor, Dixon may be remembered for the Mason-Dixon line. 
Or he may be remembered because of Mark Knopfler:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

She don't always say what she really means...

Raising the debt limit........

Douglas Holtz-Eakin thinks the debt ceiling will be raised. It is
not pretty.  Short video below.  Significant quote here:
"The decision, what gets the money what doesn't, gets
made by the executive branch - no input from Congress.
That's not going to happen.  We're going to raise the
debt limit."



Thanks Megan

On acceptance............

"I wish they would only take me as I am."
-Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers - by Paul Gauguin


America's ladder........

"America is unique because it offers you an economic
ladder to climb.  And here's what's exciting:  It is the
bottom of the ladder that is crowded, not the top."
-Jim Rohn

Statism versus free enterprise....

Bill Gates suggests the difference:

"You could have the government throw money at the most
politically favored guy in the country to go build a battery
factory. And there are billions of dollars that have been
assigned to that waste. Or you could actually back people
who have better battery ideas."

"But the economics are so, so far from making sense. And
yet that’s where subsidies are going now. We’re putting 90
percent of the subsidies in deployment - this is true in Europe
and the United States - not in R & D. And so unfortunately
you get technologies that, no matter how much of them you
buy, there’s no path to being economical. You need
fundamental breakthroughs, which come more out of basic
research."

The above quotes were lifted from a fairly interesting interview -
here - between Gates and Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson
in which Gates expounds on the world's energy crisis.

Thanks Mark

We'll never turn you away........

It's all about the attitude.....



















Thanks

Jeff blazes the trail............

The news is here.   Wish him a happy belated..............

Monday, July 25, 2011

Have you been an un-American?

For the competitive amongst us...........
























How many words do you know?  How large is your working
vocabulary?   It only takes a few moments to find out.  It
starts out easy.  The last column on page two had more than
a few stumpers. 

According to the test, my total vocabulary size is estimated
at 33,200 words.  Sometimes it is not enough.

Find out for yourself:  http://testyourvocab.com/

thanks gerard

image courtesy of

Monday's poem

       I Remember, I Remember


I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day,
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!

I remember, I remember,
The roses red and white,
The violets and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday, -
The tree is living yet!

I remember, I remember,
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now,
The summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow!

I remember, I remember
The fir-trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky;
It was a childish ignorance,
But now 'tis little joy
To know I'm farther off from Heaven
Than when I was a boy.

-Thomas Hood

You really can go home again..........

My Sweetie and I went back to Philadelphia to spend a
few days with Mom.  A great time was had by all.

The old homestead looks pretty good.




I used to love to climb this linden tree.  Fifty years later
one would have to say the tree has aged well.


The magnolia tree that my kids loved to climb

The mighty oak in the back yard is a much a
Phillies fan as Mom!

























She loves her roses

A remarkable gardener grows a remarkable garden

Christmas in July........

A time for everything and everything in its season and all that.....,

but we need a break.   See if this helps.

That direction thing..................























"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go
from here?"

"That depends a good deal on where you want to get
to," said the Cat.

"I don't much care where - " said Alice.

"Then it doesn't matter which was you go," said the Cat.

-Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

image courtesy  of here

Do you thing I'm fooling....

That Freddie sure can dance....

...early to rise.....

To business that we love we rise betime,
And go to 't with delight.

-William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra

Sunday, July 24, 2011

One of those days................

Live Gladly...............

"The greatest honor we can give Almighty God is to live
gladly because of the knowledge of His love."
-Julian of Norwich

Sunday's Verse

6.  The Christ in you is very still.  He knows where you are going, and He leads you there in gentleness and blessing all the way.  His love for God replaces all the fear you thought you saw within yourself.  His Holiness shows you Himself in him whose hand you hold, and whom you lead to Him. And what you see is like yourself.  For what but Christ is there to see and hear and love and follow home?  He looked upon you first, but recognized that you were not complete.  And so He sought for your completion in each living thing that He beholds and loves.  And seeks it still, that each might offer you the Love of God.

7.  Yet He is quiet, for He knows that love is in you now, and safely held in you by that same hand that holds your brother's in your own.  Christ's hand holds all His brothers in Himself.  He gives them vision for their sightless eyes, and sings to them of Heaven, that their ears may hear no more the sound of battle and death.  He reaches through them, holding out His hand, that everyone may bless all living things, and see their holiness.  And He rejoices that these sights are yours, to look upon with Him and share His joy.  His perfect lack of specialness He offers you, that you may save all living things from death, receiving from each one the gift of life that your forgiveness offers to your Self.  The sight of Christ is all there is to see.  The song of Christ is all there is to hear.  The hand of Christ is all there is to hold.  There is no journey but to walk with Him.

A Course in Miracles
Text    Chapter 24: Verse 6-7

Creation........

"Creation discloses a power that baffles our minds and
beggars our speech.  We are enamored and enchanted
by God's power.  We stutter and stammer about God's
holiness.  We tremble before God's majesty..........and
yet we grow squeamish and skittish before God's love."
-Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

When you start to think you've got a firm grip on this whole existence thing...........

.........try wrapping your mind around this.................

"Billions of years from now, only one of these two galaxies will remain. Until then, spiral galaxies NGC 2207 and IC 2163 will slowly pull each other apart, creating tides of matter, sheets of shocked gas, lanes of dark dust, bursts of star formation, and streams of cast-away stars. Astronomers predict that NGC 2207, the larger galaxy on the left, will eventually incorporate IC 2163, the smaller galaxy on the right. In the most recent encounter that peaked 40 million years ago, the smaller galaxy is swinging around counter-clockwise, and is now slightly behind the larger galaxy. The space between stars is so vast that when galaxies collide, the stars in them usually do not collide."

 Credit here

It started long ago in the Garden of Eden...

Context matters........a lot

"I don't know much about history, and I 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."
-Henry Ford