Saturday, January 7, 2012

On stomachs and brains...........

   "I see two views of humanity.  In the first view people are stomachs.  More people mean more eaters and less for everyone else.  In the second view, people are brains.  More brains mean more ideas and more for everyone else."

"Most importantly, as the rest of the world catches up to the United States both politically and economically, our relative status will inevitably fall.  Their gain, however, is not our loss.  As other countries grow in stature, we need to remember that we benefit when other nations grow rich."

-Alex Tabarrock, Launching the Innovation Renassaisance

Tabarrok also employs a quote from Thomas Jefferson.  It starts:  "He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper from mine, receives light without darkening me."   That quote sounded vaguely familiar.  A quick search turned up this post that puts the entire quote in its context.

Missing the Mighty E..............

While the Eclectipundit continues his non-blogging ways, here are
a few of his past blog headers to help remind us of the good old
days.  Enjoy:























On aging gracefully...................

"Wherever I turn I see fresh evidence of my old age.  I visited my place just out of Rome recently and was grumbling about the expense of maintaining the building, which was in a dilapidated state.  My manager told me the trouble wasn't due to any neglect on his part: he was doing his utmost but the house was old.  That house had taken shape under my own hands; what's to become of me if stones of my own age are crumbling like that?   Losing my temper I seized at the first excuse that presented itself for venting my irritation on him.  'It's quite clear,' I said, 'that those plane trees are being neglected.  There's no foliage on them.  Look at those knotty, dried-up branches and those wretched, flaking trunks.  That wouldn't happened if someone dug round them and watered them.'   He swore by my guardian angel he was doing his utmost:  in everything his care was unremitting but the poor things were just old.  Between you and me, now, I had planted them myself and seen the first leaf appearing on them myself."

"So I owe it to this place of mine near town that my old age was made clear to me at every turn.  Well, we should cherish old age and enjoy it.  It is full of pleasure if you  know how to use it.  Fruit tastes most delicious just when its season is ending.  The charms of youth are at their greatest at the time of its passing.  It is the final glass which pleases the inveterate drinker, the one the sets the crowning touch on his intoxication and sends him off into oblivion.  Every pleasure defers till its last its greatest pleasure.  The time of life which offers the greatest delight is the age that sees the downward movement - not the steep decline - already begun; and in my opinion even the age which stands on the brink has pleasures of its own - or else the very fact of not experiencing the want of any pleasures takes their place.  How nice it is to have outworn one's desires and left them behind!"

Seneca,  Letter XII, Letters from a Stoic

Opening paragraphs.............

     "He rode into the dark of the woods and dismounted.  He crawled upward on his belly over cool rocks out into the sunlight, and suddenly he was in the open and could see for miles, and there was the whole vast army  below him, filling the valley like a smoking river.  It came out of a blue rainstorm in the east and overflowed the narrow valley road, coiling along a stream, narrowing and choking at a white bridge, fading into the yellow dust of June but still visible on the farther road beyond the blue hills, spiked iwth flags and guidons like a great chopped bristly snake, the snake headless in a blue wall of summer rain."
-Michael Shaara, Killer Angels

Of growth and happiness...........

"Man is formed for growth, and he is under the necessity of growing.  It is essential to his happiness that he should continuously advance.  Life without progress becomes unendurable, and the person who ceases from growth must either become an imbecile or insane.  The greater and more harmonious and well rounded his growth, the happier man will be."
-Wallace D. Wattles, The Science of Being Great

faineant.........

This word for the day is brought to you by Mr. Webster
and the third edition of his New College Dictionary:

faineant      adj.        lazy; idle

Having had a killer week at work, a faineant mood overtook
him.  He didn't even have enough energy to blog.

Ouch.....................





























thanks jonco

Friday, January 6, 2012

On giving..............





"You were given a gift by the Creator, God, the Universe......
Whatever.   Until you have returned the favor, life will have
a certain, feckless emptiness to it."

     "I've had my share of crappy jobs, as have we all.  You
know what?   I never hated a job because of what it took
from me - all jobs take a lot from you, especially the best
ones.
     "I hated a job because it never allowed me to give
enough to the world."
    
     "I'm not the world's most talented person at what I do.
Neither or you.  That doesn't make the gifts we have any
less valid.
     "Giving the gift is an act of love.  And love is the only
thing that matters."

-Hugh MacLeod,
Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination

Major Tom..................?
















photo courtesy of  (do follow the link for the stunning full size photo)

"Ground control to Major Tom"..................so go the opening
lyrics to David Bowie's  1969 hit, "Space Oddity."   For some
silly reason the embedding of his Youtube performance of this
classic has been disabled.  What are they thinking?  Anyway, it
is worth the trip over there to watch and listen - just
follow this handy link.

Nine things to avoid while investing...........

During the time of this blog's infancy, I posted my 33 Guides for
Investing in Real Estate.  One of these days that list will receive
an update.  So, it was with great interest then that I read Richard
Green's recent post about "nine abuses common in pro forma
cash flow projections."  This list, which may come under
the heading of "wishful thinking" as much as "abuse," is pretty
much right on.  We have made a few of these mistakes ourselves. 
Thanks Richard.   The list:

Over-inflated expected income
Under-inflate expected expenses
An assumption that tenants will always pay expenses
Failure to examine individual leases
Underestimation of vacancy and collection losses
Forgetting that tenant improvements and lease
        brokerage fees are real expenses
Going-out cap rates that are lower than the going-in
        cap rates
Ignoring sales expenses
Understating the discount rate.

About that regulatory itch..............

     "Regulation is another area in which we have failed to put innovation at the center of our thinking.  There are good regulations and bad regulations and lots of debate over which is which.  From an innovation perspective, however, this debate misses a key point.  Let's assume that all regulations are good.  The problem is that even if each regulation is good, the net effect of all the regulations combined may be bad.  A single pebble in a big stream doesn't do much, but throw enough pebbles and the stream of innovation gets dammed.   The patent thicket we illustrated in Figure 1 (editor's note: added and explained below) has an analog, the regulation thicket.
-Alex Tabarrok, Launching the Innovation Renaissance


















This chart (taken from here) was used by Tabarrock in his
chapter about the sorry state of patents.  The above chart
attempts to show all the patent infringement lawsuits that
have been filed over "smartphones."  I believe his point is that
complexity imposed upon innovation hinders it.

Mobility...............



















It probably is a mistake to compare the Great Recession with the
Great Depression, so.......I am not going to.  But, we would be
remiss in not pointing out one of the Great Differences.  One of the
most re-played images of the 1930's was the Okies, fleeing the
dust bowl, heading for their grapes of wrath future in California.
It was almost a mass migration, as folks and their families fled
from territories of no hope to a distant land of maybe some hope. 
The country was mobile.  "The transient knew in his bones
that things were no better ahead than they had been behind,
but somehow the movement itself seemed positive. It was
something, however a hopeless thing, to do." (excerpted)

Fast forward 80 years.  Unemployment and under employment
are the talked about problems of this day.  What is missing is the
migration, the movement from areas of no work to areas with
some work.  According to my favorite economic futurist Jeff
Thredgold, "manufacturers cannot fill 600,000 skilled
positions, or 5% of all current manufacturing jobs....".  One
of the reasons given is the mis-match in location, skilled workers
not living in proximity to where their skills are needed.  The
culprit - the moribund residential real estate market and the
amazing number of people (25%) who owe more than their home
is worth.  Just when mobility would give hope, "the movement
of Americans is at its lowest level since World War II." 
Blame it on the real estate.

On exploring..................























Thanks Ka-Ching!

Mind Itself..........


     "Let me give you an illustration.  People have eyes, by which they can see all sorts of forms, like long and short, square and round, as so on; then why do they not see themselves? Just perceiving forms, you cannot see your eyes even if you want to.  Your mind is also like this; its light shines perceptively throughout the ten directions, encompassing all things, so why doesn't it know itself?
     "Do you want to understand?  Just discern the things perceived, you cannot see the mind itself.
     "An ancient said, 'The knife does not cut itself, the finger does not touch itself, the mind does not know itself, the eye does not see itself.'  This is true reality."

-Instant Zen:  Waking Up in the Present
Translated by Thomas Cleary

photo courtesy of

tergiversate................

This word for the day is brought to you by Mr. Webster
and the third edition of his New College Dictionary:

tergiversate    v.     1  to desert a cause, party, etc;  become a
                                      renegade; apostatize     2  to use
                                      evasions or subterfuge;  equivocate

as in:

He tergiversated the green ideology when he realized that global
warming was preferable to global freezing.
                 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mismatch.................

"In 2009 the U. S. graduated 37,994 students with bachelor's degrees in computer and information science.  Not bad, but here is the surprise:  We graduated more students with computer science degrees 25 years ago!  In comparison, the U. S. graduated 80,140 students in the visual and performing arts in 2009 - more than double the number of 25 years ago!

"Few fields have been as revolutionized in recent years as microbiology, but in 2009 we graduated just 2,480 students with bachelor's degrees in microbiology - about the same as 25 years ago.  Who will solve the problem of antibiotic resistance?

"The U. S. graduated just 5,036 chemical engineers in 2009, no mare than we did 25 years ago.  In electrical engineering there were 11,619 graduates in 2009, about half the number of 25 years ago."

"Bear in mind that over the past 25 years the total number of students in college has increased by about 50%...."

"In 2009, for example, we graduated 94,271 students with psychology degrees at a time when there were just 98,330 jobs in clinical, counseling, and school psychology in the entire nation.  The latter figure isn't new jobs - it's total jobs."

-Alex Tabarrok, Launching the Innovation Renaissance
























thanks Alex

It is no wonder that...........................

......Seth Godin's blog is widely read and highly respected.  He
offers a different way of thinking about things..........daily.    A
smattering of excerpts from recent posts for your enjoyment:

"As usual, when confronted with two obvious choices, it's the
third choice that pays."
1/3/12
--------------------------------------------------------------

"This notion of lockstep started to inform all elements of our
culture. Not just what time rush hour was (what a bizarre
concept) but how old you should be to go to college and to
get a job and to get married and to have kids and to retire."

"........ The decision to work at a different rate than others
can be a significant competitive advantage.

"Celebrate New Year's when you want to, and as often as you
choose. They're your resolutions, not ours."
1/1/12
---------------------------------------------------------------

"So stop thinking about how crazy the times are, and start
thinking about what the crazy times demand. There has never
been a worse time for business as usual. Business as usual is
sure to fail, sure to disappoint, sure to numb our dreams.
That's why there has never been a better time for the new.
Your competitors are too afraid to spend money on new
productivity tools. Your bankers have no idea where they can
safely invest. Your potential employees are desperately
looking for something exciting, something they feel
passionate about, something they can genuinely engage in
engage with.

"You get to make a choice. You can remake that choice every
day, in fact. It's never too late to choose optimism, to choose
action, to choose excellence. The best thing is that it only
takes a moment -- just one second -- to decide."
12/31/11
--------------------------------------------------------------

"As soon as you accept that just about everything in our
created world is only a few generations old, it makes it a lot
easier to deal with the fact that the assumptions we make
about the future are generally wrong, and that the stress we
have over change is completely wasted."
12/29/11
--------------------------------------------------------------


"I'm often stunned by the lack of questions that adults are
prepared to ask."

"Is the weather the only thing you can think to ask about?
A great question is one you can ask yourself, one that
disturbs your status quo and scares you a little bit."
12/27/11
--------------------------------------------------------------

"If your plan will only succeed if there is no turbulence at
any time, it's probably not a very good plan (either that or
you're not going anywhere interesting.)"
12/22/11

If this is true............I'm in trouble

"But, just like I had to eat all of the vegetables on my plate
when I was a kid – - I bought the book, so I had to read it."

This quote was lifted from David Kanigan's latest book review.
One of the more undisciplined areas of my life falls under the
heading of "book buyer."  Over the years, I have bought books
because they were highly recommended by a trusted source,
because they looked interesting, because they felt good in my
hand, and just because.  My observant daughter, seeking to
fatten her purse, once told me that I needed to pay her $.25
for every book I bought until I had read all the ones that I had
bought but not read.  Not falling into that trap.  If I stopped
buying (or downloading) books today, the supply of unread
books would provide sustenance for years to come.  And yet...
yesterday I downloaded a book David recommended.  Go
figure.

More stuff I never knew................................ or, the Framers swing and miss

     "In 1796, Hamilton made a bolder move against Adams, a harbinger of the intraparty conflict that would break out among Federalists in 1800.  He tried to manipulate the Electoral College system to deprive Adams of the presidency and get his own favored Federalist Thomas Pickney, elected to the position instead.  Hamilton's scheme took advantage of the complex and sometimes seemingly perverse mechanics of the original electoral system.
     "In their conception of the Electoral College, the Framers foresaw an elite group of well-qualified electors exercising their collective judgment in picking the best-qualified President and Vice President from an open field of leading figures across the country.  Through this process, the Framers hoped to avoid both the formation of national political parties, which were never mentioned in the Constitution, and the development of coordinated partisan voting.

-Edward J. Larson, A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous
Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign

Opening paragraphs............

"In an era when nearly every college president bore a triple-
barreled name, none carried as potent a charge as Nicholas
Murray Butler.  To his intimates the president of Columbia
University was 'Murray': to the associates who saw him found
the school's Teachers College in 1887 at the age of twenty-
five he was 'Nicholas Miraculous.'  His employees simply
called him President (when they didn't refer to him as 'Czar
Nicholas'), his acquaintances, Doctor.  The editors of Life
named him 'one of the most erudite men of his time.'  None
of this necessarily contradicted Senator Robert M.
La Follette, who said Butler was a 'bootlicker of men of
fortune.'  Theodore Roosevelt was even blunter: he
considered him 'an aggressive and violent ass.'"

-Daniel Okrent,  Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center

Caught in the middle...................














"While we persistently look forward for tomorrow's technologies to solve our problems, we often find ourselves simultaneously looking backward, reexamining ancient wisdom on how to understand and enjoy ourselves and others in the process."
-Robert V. Adams, as quoted in the introduction of Thomas
Cleary's Instant Zen: Waking Up in the Present

photo courtesy of

operose.............

This word for the day is brought to you by Mr. Webster
and the third edition of his New College Dictionary:

operose         adj.             1  done with or requiring much toil     
                                               2  very busy; industrious

as in:

2012 was going to be a very operose year for those in the
real estate business.

How could I have missed it?

Faithful readers will know that this blog loves music written prior
to the break up of the Beatles.  Careful readers will have realized
that R..E. M., while not quite meeting that requirement,  is still
much loved none-the-less.  Rob, at the Hammock Papers,
appropriately noted that yesterday was R.E. M.'s lead singer
Michael Stipe's 52nd birthday.  Belated birthday wishes are in
order.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

No wonder they're mad............

     "More than half of the college graduates in the humanities end up in jobs that do not require a college degree.  Not surprisingly, these graduates do not get a big 'college bonus.'  A college graduate who finds a job requiring a college degree had median annual earnings in 2009 of $21,000, but for the majority who end up in jobs not requiring a college degree, median annual earnings were only $14,000."
-Alex Tabarrok, Launching the Innovation Renaissance

On not "fitting in".............

"I meet young, creative people all the time, just out of college.
They are tending bar, waiting tables, stacking shelves in book-
stores, folding jeans at the Gap, working in offices.  All trying
to get by, all trying to figure out what to do next, where they
fit in this big ol' world of ours.  And it's tough for most of
them.  Of course it is.
     "My advice to them is always the same:  'Make Art Every
Day.'
     "When I tell people to make 'art,' I don't necessarily mean
paintings or literature or music or what-have-you.  By 'art'
I mean whatever it is that's most meaningful and powerful
to them."
-Hugh MacLeod, 
Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination

About those voices.....................























Brain Pickings offers a series posters from the Advice to Sink
In Slowly project..........."What better way to kick off the new year than with words of wisdom from those who have threaded before us? That’s precisely the premise of advice to sink in slowly, a wonderful project enlisting design graduates in passing on advice and inspiration to first-year students through an ongoing series of posters — part Live Now, part Everything Is Going To Be OK, part Wisdom, part something completely refreshing, based on the idea that we all have subjective wisdom we wish we’d known earlier, but often don’t get a chance to pass it on to those who can benefit from it in a way that makes them pay heed."

As they say:

"Advice is subjective. But, by passing on advice in a creative way, it is possible to create something that lasts, that people will want to live with and which can let the advice sink in slowly and help out later on.”

About perspective...............























"So many Americans still admired Louis XVI for his role
in their struggle for independence that his portrait
continued to hang in a position of honor at the U.S.
House of Representatives in 1800 - more than seven
years after his own people had overthrown and
beheaded him."
-Edward J. Larson, A Magnificent Catastrophe

Mme Scherzo simplifies life..................


this goodie found amoung other treasures here

Making light of the dismal science.................

Yoram Bauman takes a delightful rip at Mankiw's "10 Principles"

banausic...............

This word for the day is brought to you by Mr. Webster
and the third edition of his New College Dictionary:

banausic   adj.     1  merely mechanical   2 materialistic
                                    3 mundane or utilitarian

as in:

He was going to comment about his new year's resolutions,
but figured the last thing that was needed was another
banausic post.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Four Thumbs Up....................

My sweetie and I went to the cinema over the holiday to watch
the latest Sherlock Holmes movie.  It is fabulous.  Do go see it.

On passion.................

  "'It is not easy to express the inexpressible,' he answered with a laugh.  'Holmes is a little too scientific for my tastes - it approaches to cold-bloodedness.  I could imagine his giving a friend a little pinch of the latest vegetable alkaloid, not out of malevolence, you understand, but simply out of a spirit of inquiry in order to have an accurate idea of the effects.  To do him justice, I think that he would take it himself with the same readiness.  He appears to have a passion for definite and exact knowledge.'"

-Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet

We live in amazing times.  For a mere $.99 you can have this wondroustale downloaded on your Kindle and meet Holmes in person.

On teaching, knowledge, and personal power.....

     "Knowledge is power.  From Florence in the 14th century
to Great Britain in the 19th and the United States in the 20th,
the leading economic power has always been the leading
educational power."

     "It's astounding that in the 21st century about 25% of men
do not graduate from high school in the U. S.  Even more
astounding, the number of high school dropouts has increased
since the 1960's, when about 18% of men dropped out."

"In 2010, the unemployment rate among high school
dropouts was close to 15%.

     "At times, teacher pay in the United States seems more
like something from Soviet-era Russia than 21st-century
America.  Wages for teachers are low, egalitarian, and not
based on performance.  We pay physical education teachers
about the same as math teachers despite the fact that math
teachers have greater opportunities elsewhere in the
economy.  As a result, we have lots of excellent physical
education teachers but not nearly enough excellent math
teachers.  The teachers unions oppose even the most
modest proposals to add measures of teacher quality to
selection and pay decisions.

     "Soviet-style pay practices helped to eventually
collapse the Soviet system, and the same thing is
happening in American education."

-as excerpted from Alex Tabarrok's Launching the Innovation
Renaissance: A New Path to Bring Smart Ideas to Market Fast

Book learning worth learning.........

The postman brought me my very own copy of Nicholas Bate's
Be Bold 101.    A small sample for your enjoyment:

41.  get exercise in a society which takes exercise away;
42.  find facts in a society which drowns in opinions;
43.  take ownership in a culture which generates excuses;
44.  take time for civilization in a civilization which has no time
       to be curious;
45.  wander barefoot on the beach;
























Thanks Nicholas

Back to the drawing board................


















thanks Hugh

American history........................or, some things change, and some things don't.............

     "No candidates openly campaigned for the presidency in 1796 or even publicly declared their interest in holding the job.  Washington had acted that way in 1788 and 1792, and his would-be successors were careful to emulate him.  Jefferson remained at Monticello; Adams went home to his farm near Boston.  Others conspired on their behalf, typically without consulting them.

     "As it turned out, Adams secured votes from 71 of the 139 electors - or one more vote than he needed for the requisite majority - in what was to be the last old-style presidential election.  Jefferson was the runner-up with votes from 68 electors, and, as the Constitution then stipulated, he became the Vice President.

     "Adams swept the northern states, gaining votes from every elector in New England, New York, and New Jersey.  Delaware also went for Adams.  Jefferson carried the South and the West, except for votes for Adams from one elector in Virginia and another in North Carolina.  The two nascent parties had secured regional bases of support, where they dominated state and local parties as well.  The middle states of Pennsylvania and Maryland split their votes and emerged as key political battlegrounds of the future.  For the only time in American history, partisan opponents served together as President and Vice President."

-Edward J. Larson, A Magnificent Catastrophe

benedict............

This word for the day is brought to you by Mr. Webster
and the third edition of his New College Dictionary

benedict    n.     a recently married man, esp. one who seemed
                              to be a confirmed bachelor.

as in:

Dr. Watson was a benedict, whose honeymoon was interrupted
by the machinations of both his friend Holmes and the Professor
Moriarty.

Monday, January 2, 2012



"Backstory:  http://improveverywhere.com/2011/08/22/say-something-nice/

Like us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/improv.everywhere

"For our latest mission we constructed a custom wooden lectern with a megaphone holster and an attached sign that read, "Say Something Nice." The lectern was placed in public spaces around New York and then left alone. We wanted to see what would happen if New Yorkers were given the opportunity to amplify their voices to "say something nice." This project was produced by Improv Everywhere as part of the Guggenheim Museum exhibition stillspotting nyc."

thanks jonco

Marketing techniques for the new year....























I'm thinking this might be worth a shot.  My first reaction
was "photoshop", but if you go to the source and read the
comments you will find otherwise.

Thanks Tyler

On the proper intolerance of tolerance..........

On aging gracefully................

If I showed this picture to my kids, would they have a clue about
what these women were doing?

Worth pondering....................

"Technology. A wonderful tool that should not be allowed
to take over our lives."

"Remember: 'Where we're going we don't need roads'!"
-Steve Felix


"Success will go to those with the best questions, not those
with the cleverest answers."
-Tom Asacker, from his very excellent post Predictions for 2012


"It's just like the evidence that shows the most dangerous
people are those that have been taught some financial
literacy. They're the ones who go out and make the worst
mistakes. It's the people that realize, 'I don't know anything
at all,' that end up doing pretty well."
-Tyler Cowen, from this TED talk


"It’s a good metaphor for what life in this universe is: a situation we’re stuck with. We were born far along in its existence and we will die long before it changes or ends. Its conditions were created in a distant past beyond our comprehension through organic, emergent forces powerful beyond our measure. The sooner we can get over this, come to terms with it, and accept our infinitesimalness, the sooner we may be able to live properly and with perspective."
-Ryan Holiday

The gift of optimism.............

     "It is a primary task of parents throughout their lives to
convey to the young a sense of optimism.  Whatever other
obligations we have to our children, a conviction that we can
achieve happiness amid the losses and uncertainties that life
contains is the greatest gift that can pass from one generation
to the next.  Like all the values we wish to teach our children -
honesty, commitment, empathy, respect, hard work - the
supreme importance of hope is taught by example."

-Gordon Livingston,  Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

A poem for Monday.................

Jim Croce's Time in a Bottle

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day
Till Eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and then
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with

declivitous.................

This word for the day is brought to you by Mr. Webster
and the third edition of his New College Dictionary:

declivitous        adj.      fairly steep

as in:

With 99 weeks of unemployment checks in front of
him, his desire to seek new work took a declivitous
turn.

or

 As he came out of the mountains, the sign on the
declivitous roadway suggested he test his brakes.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A pause to refresh.................

"Humans need stopping and starting points to chart progress.
The end of the year offers us a brief stopping point before
getting back into the game. Enjoy yours."

-Cultural Offering, on the importance of December 31st and
January 1st.  Kurt's full essay is here.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2012.

From the ragamuffin...................















"Get this if you don’t get anything else - the spiritual
life begins with accepting God’s wholehearted love
for our wounded, broken, surly, frightened, sorry
selves. There is no other starting point."

-Brennan Manning

Thanks Nicole

On being mindful..............


A SIMPLE LOVE/METTA MEDITATION

We begin practicing this love meditation on ourselves:

May I be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May I be safe and free from injury.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.

After that we can practice on others (he/she):

May he/she be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May he/she be safe and free from injury.
May he/she be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.

After that we can practice including our selves with others (we):

May we be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May we be safe and free from injury.
May we be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.

"Thich Nhat Hanh encourages us to practice metta meditation in the first three days of the new year. On the first day we practice for ourselves. On the second day we practice for the other person(s) we love. On the third day we practice for the other person (or institution) that makes us suffer."

From the Jade Page Press blog.  Thanks Nan

Sunday's verse..................

          In governing people and serving nature,
          nothing surpasses thrift and moderation.

     Restraint begins with giving up one's own ideas.
         This depends on virtue gathered in the past.
If there is a good store of virtue, then nothing is impossible,
      If nothing is impossible, then there are no limits.
           If a man knows no limits, he is fit to lead.

This is the way to be deeply rooted and firmly planted in the
        Tao,  the secret of long live and lasting vision.

59th Verse
Tao Te Ching
as interpreted by Wayne Dyer
Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life

Out of the realm of abstraction.........

WRM has written series of essays (Yule Blog 2011-2012)
about God, faith, and the meaning of Christmas.  His New Year's
Eve entry, sub-titled Personal Meaning, is here.  Excerpt here:

"I won’t try to speak for Islam or Judaism, but to understand where Christians are coming from with this whole God thing, it’s probably more useful to think about the heart of the universe than its king. If you think of God as the source of the meaning that flows through people’s lives you will come closer to how Christians think of him than if you think of God as the universal lawgiver or even as the creator.

"Christmas takes the universal creator out of the realm of abstraction and brings him into our world. God is the baby in the heart of his family, the adored child whose presence gives new meaning and hope to the parents and friends. This is not God as the Punisher and the Avenger; it is God giving himself to the world out of uncontrollable, unstoppable love. For Christians, the familiar scene around the manger is among other things a way of saying that we can be at home in the universe; despite the immensity of stars and space stretching away from us on every side, the universe makes sense – and we are loved."

On doing today's work today.....

"Every day is either a successful day or a day of failure; and it is the successful days which get you what you want........"

"You cannot foresee the results of even the most trivial act; you do not know the workings of all the forces that have been set moving in your behalf.  Much may be depending on your doing some simple act; it may be the very thing which is to open the door of opportunity to very great possibilities. You can never know all the combinations which Supreme Intelligence is making for you in the world of things and of human affairs; your neglect of failure to do some small thing may cause a long delay in getting what you want.

"Do, every day, ALL that can be done that day."

"You are not to overwork, nor rush blindly into your business in the effort to do the greatest possible number of things in the shortest possible time.  You are not to try to do tomorrow's work today, nor do a week's work in a day. It is really not the number of things you do, but the EFFICIENCY of each separate action that counts.

"Every act is, in itself, either a success or a failure.
"Every act is, in itself, either effective or inefficient.
"Every inefficient act is a failure, and if you spend your life in
doing inefficient acts, your whole life will be a failure.'

"On the other hand, every efficient act is a success in itself, and if every act of your life is an efficient one, your whole life MUST be as success."

Wallace D. Wattles,
as excerpted from The Wisdom of Wallace D. Wattles

Arms entwined........................................

U2..............................................................New Years Day

Hmmmmmmm...........