Friday, November 4, 2011

...if I act a little strange................

David Gray......................................Please Forgive Me

OK, Coach.......................


"It's not the will to win that matters - everyone has that.
It's the will to prepare to win that matters."

-Paul Bryant

Who would have thought......................

...........that an increase of 5% in the homeownership rate would
cost us all so much?  Looks like the effects from the bubble
binge will be with us for another year.




















thanks Mark

Wrong question..............












Thanks Will

Father and Son............

"Rough work, iconoclasm, but the only way to get at truth."

"Don't be 'consistent' but be simply true."

"We are all sentenced to capital punishment for the crime of
living."

-Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894), the father
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
"On the whole, I am on the side of the unregenerate who
affirms the worth of life as an end in itself, as against the
saints who deny it."

"If there is any principle of the Constitution that more
imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the
principle of free thought - not free thought for those who
agree with us but freedom of thought for the thought that
we hate."

"The character of every act depends on the circumstances
in which it was done........The most stringent protection of
free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting
fire in a theatre and causing a panic."

-Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935), the son

squeeze me baby with all your might....

Paul Anka..........................................................Diana

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Like a one-eyed jack of diamonds.....

The Highwaymen............................Silver Stallion

On the glory of journals.....

Some wise man said that history is written by the victors.  It is
equally as true that history is written by those who take the time
to scratch out their thoughts on paper, and then save the paper.

One of my prized possessions is my grandfather's journal.  He
died during the Great Influenza epidemic in 1919.  Family lore
is a bit cloudy as to whether it was the flu or some other malady
that took him away.  My dad was only six years old at the time
and never knew the answer.

Cultural Offering regularly dips into his treasure trove, the
journal of his great grandfather, D. C.Richards.  His post today 
is a classic. Written in 1931, perhaps we are confronted with
its echo.

    When one twists and turns over these hills seeing the 
    hidden hollows and little valleys one thinks how big the
    whole earth must be.  "Hard times" and the "panic" is
    absorbing everyone.  We are afraid of the banks and the
    bankers are afraid of us. 

Do go read it.

The child could not be made amenable to rules.

Nathaniel Hawthorne.  My daughter is reading The Scarlet Letter
Before dinner I made the comment that I recalled Hawthorne's
writing as being "ponderous."  After dinner, she sought help in
understanding a few paragraphs.  I now remember why, 161 years
later, we still read him and why we call this sort of work "classic."

The following is just a random passage from the puzzling section:

      This outward mutability indicated, and did not more than fairly express, the various properties of her inner life.  Her nature appeared to possess depth, too, as well as variety; but - or else Hester's fears deceived her - it lacked reference and adaptation to the world into which she was born.  The child could not be made amenable to rules.  In giving her existence, a great law had been broken, and the result was a being whose elements were perhaps beautiful and brilliant, but all in disorder; or with an order peculiar to themselves, amidst which the point of variety and arrangement was difficult or impossible to be discovered.  Hester could only account for the child's character - and even then most vaguely and imperfectly - by recalling what she herself had been, during that momentous period while Pearl was imbibing her soul from the spiritual world, and her bodily frame from its material of earth.  The mother's impassioned state had been the medium through which were transmitted to the unborn infant the rays of its moral life; and however white and clear originally, they had take the deep stains of crimson and gold, the fiery lustre, the black shadow, and the untempered light of the intervening substance.  Above all, the warfare of Hester's spirit, at that epoch, was perpetuated in Pearl.  She could recognize her wild, desperate, defiant mood, the flightiness of her temper, and even some of the very cloud-shapes of gloom and despondency that had brooded in her heart.

I'm speechless.

On the superior virtue............















"Die every day.  Be born again every day.  Deny everything
you have every day.  The superior virtue is not to be free
but to fight for freedom."

-Nikos Kazantzakis

The question.....................

Campfire anyone...............?

The Highwaymen..........................................Michael

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Foghat.........................................................Slow Ride


This is what sanity looks like.......

"The return landscape for 2012 presents a mixed bag, and all depends on where and when investors bought, the amount of leverage employed, and asset quality," said ULI Senior Resident Fellow for Real Estate Finance Stephen Blank. "Many players will back off from bidding on trophy properties in top-tier markets, fearing that pricing is outpacing the potential for recovery in net operating incomes. Additionally, investors believe that cap rate compression has ended and a leveling off is expected with possible upticks in cap rates for some property sectors in certain markets."


A promising trend, if it holds.  This excerpt was taken from here.

Too big to fail is too big.........

Jerry Webman, writing in the on-line version of Financial Times,
offers some perspective on the importance of  a healthy world
of finance.  Full post is here.  Excerpt is here:

Adding another 800 pages to the Dodd-Frank Act would
probably not solve the problem. We will never write enough
regulations in enough detail to forestall bad judgment - and
more importantly bad judgment and its consequences are
essential to market discipline. The problem is preventing
bad judgment from bringing an economy to its knees and
impoverishing people who did not even know that bad
decisions were being made. That’s why size matters.

Thanks Ben

Short meeting................

This from the Speaker (former) of the House.......

"One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope
that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation."
-Thomas Brackett Reed

With the lyrics............feel free to sing along.....

Barry Mann............................................Who Put the Bomp

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I walk a road, horizons change....

King Crimson (sort of).........In the Court of the Crimson King

Volume up, please

Did someone mention a "higher education bubble"?

Can we hear an AMEN for the public universities in Ohio? Long
may they prosper!  Never thought I would appreciate Ohio State
this much.  Apparently there are now 123 institutes of higher
education that charge over $50,000 per year for tuition, room,
and board.  Yow.   My beloved alma mater now checks in at
$50,160.  I think my parents paid $4,500 for my senior year,
that being 1973 for those keeping track.  While I valued my time
at Denison, I'm not sure I believe it would be worth $200,000+.
I realize that financial aid is available and that nobody pays the
full sticker price, but still............

The following is taken from the full list of 123 schools and shows
the full cost for 2011-12.  Go here if you want to see the whole
thing.  Thanks to Mark for pointing the way.

Or blog instead...............

Two sides of the same coin...........

WRM suggests a pox on both houses as he disses the leadership
of the two major political parties here.  Excerpt here:

"The rise of populism means that a gap has opened up between the leadership elite of a society and ordinary voters. Alienated from a system that is no longer seen to be working, populist voters believe that the system and the establishment are the enemy. Clearly, an establishment which allows such a climate to flourish is an establishment without the skills or the character to lead."

Minimalist October at Eclecticity. Creativity abounds..............Do go visit









And why not..........?



















    When we think about loss of freedom, we seldom focus on
the ways in which we voluntarily impose constraints upon our
lives.  Everything we are afraid to try, all our unfulfilled
dreams, constitute a limitation on what we are and could
become.  Usually it is fear and its close cousin, anxiety, that
keep us from doing those things that would make us happy. 
So much of our lives consists of broken promises to ourselves. 
The things we long to do -  educate ourselves, become
successful in our work, fall in love - are goals shared by all. 
Nor are the means to achieve these things obscure.  And yet
we often do not do what is necessary to become the people
we want to be.

-Gordon Livingston,  Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

image courtesy of

With a cameo from Mitch Miller................

The Brothers Four..........................................Greenfields

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hoping for aliens..................

The latest Euro bailout explained.  We shouldn't laugh.  This
could be our future if we are not careful.


Thanks Judith

Ice cream castles in the air...............

Judy Collins................................................Both Sides Now

About the Universe.............























"The universe is not only queerer than we suppose; it is
queerer than we can suppose."
-J.B.S. Haldane

Opening paragraphs



















    They could write like angels and scheme like demons.  Trained as attorneys, they thoroughly mastered that craft only to turn their formidable legal skills toward statecraft.  Both men preferred farming to law or politics.  But the year was 1776, and their respective colonies - North America's two most populous British domains - had sent them to Philadelphia as delegates to the Second Continental Congress.  When all reasonable hope of reconciliation with Britain expired, the Assembly named them to a special, five-member committee charged with drafting a formal Declaration of Independence for the "united colonies." Standing shoulder to shoulder with delegates from the thirteen self-proclaimed sovereign states on that first Fourth of July, John Adams of Massachusetts and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia signed the subtly eloquent document that their committee had crafted.  Among the delegates, Adams had argued longest and most effectively for independence.  Within the committee, Jefferson had taken the lead in writing the Declaration itself.

-Edward J Larson, A Magnificent Catastrophe

Living on purpose.......................


















The Furniture Guy feasts on the simple pleasures - here.

"You appreciate things more if you know the true value of them. What is lost, what is gained. We cannot do everything ourselves, of course. But what we give to others is precious to us, and so we tend to have an appreciation for what we get in return..."

A poem for Monday

           The Dark Night

In the delicious night,
In privacy, where no one saw me,
Nor did I see one thing,
I had no light or guide
But the fire that burned inside my chest.

That fire showed me
The way more clearly than the blaze of the moon
To where, waiting for me,
Was the One I knew so well,
In that place where no one ever is.

Oh night, sweet guider,
Oh night more marvelous than the dawn!
Oh night which joins
the lover and the beloved
So that the lover and beloved change bodies!

In my chest full of flowers
Flowering wholly and only for Him,
There he remained sleeping;
I cared for Him there,
And the fan of the high cedars cooled him.

The wind played with
His hair, and that wind from the high
Towers struck me on the neck
With its sober hand;
Sight, taste, touch, hearing stopped.

I stood still.  I forgot who I was,
My face leaning against Him,
Everything stopped, abandoned me,
My worldliness was gone, forgotten
Among the white lilies.

-St. John of the Cross

The great escape..............


















thanks bitsandpieces

...........she smiled and said...........

J. Frank Wilson.....................................Last Kiss

Sunday, October 30, 2011

And here we are.................


















"The more I examine the universe and study the details of
its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe
in some sense must have know we were coming."
-Freeman Dyson

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

              Putting a value on status
             will create contentiousness.
            If you overvalue possessions,
                   people begin to steal.
   By not displaying what is desirable, you will
   cause people's hearts to remain undisturbed.

                       The sage governs
              by emptying minds and hearts,
by weakening ambitions and strengthening bones.

                    Practice not doing....
          When action is pure and selfless,
   everything settles into its own perfect place.

3rd Verse
Tao Te Ching
Wayne Dyer, Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life

Good enough for me..........























Thanks SMBC






















thanks nicole

A bit more of the Doo Wop.............

The Velvets..............................................Tonight