Saturday, June 16, 2012

This old engine...................

The Grateful Dead................................Casey Jones

This won't surprise anyone...............

.....who follows his blog:
    "His business insight and creative spirit have been
     vital to everything we have accomplished in the
     past two decades."
Kurt Harden, of Cultural Offering fame, was recently named president of Med Ben.  Full succession-plan story is here. Belated congratulations Kurt!

A healthy and successful Med Ben, with its give or take 170 employees, is important to Newark, Ohio.  It looks like the company's tradition of  being well led will continue. You might check out their FRED approach to business, go here first, then click on "Our Values".

When times get tough..............

......some sales people quit, some sales people complain, and some just roll up their sleeves and work harder and smarter.  This is what a good attitude combined with a good work ethic combined with a great focus on the customer looks like.

Amendments..................

                                     Amendment XXII

Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
Section 2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

The Twenty-second Amendment was ratified on February 27, 1951.  We will be having no more of that Rooseveltian behavior, thank you. 

That vision thing again..............



I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.  
-Michelangelo

rivulets looking for a river............


















                 Watercoloring


The sky began to tilt,
a shift of light toward the higher clouds,
so I seized up my brush
and dipped my little cup in the stream,

but once I streaked the paper gray
with a hint of green,
water began to slide down the page,
rivulets looking for a river.

And again, I was too late -
then the sky made another turn,
this time as if to face a mirror
held in the outstretched arm of a god.

-Billy Collins

Friday, June 15, 2012

Just try not to smile............

R.E.M............................................Shiny Happy People

Opening paragraphs

The Pentagon is the world's largest office building, six and a half million square feet, thirty thousand people, more than seventeen miles of corridors, but it was built with just three street doors, each one of them opening into a guarded pedestrian lobby.  I chose the southeast option, the main concourse entrance, the one nearest the Metro and the bus station, because it was the busiest and the most popular with civilian workers, and I wanted plenty of civilian workers around, preferably a whole long unending stream of them, for insurance purposes, mostly against getting shot on sight.  Arrests go bad all the time, sometimes accidentally, sometimes on purpose, so I wanted witnesses.  I wanted independent eyeballs on me, at least at the beginning.  I remember the date of course.  It was Tuesday, the eleventh of March, 1997, and it was the last day I walked into that place as a legal employee of the people who built it.
-Lee Child,  The Affair

This is a re-play, but..................

...........still well worth re-watching.......immediately....quickly


thanks for the reminder Craig

Amendments.....................

                                      Amendment XXI
Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.


The Twenty-first Amendment was ratified on December 5, 1933.  It was proposed by Congress on February 20, 1933.  Unlike all other Amendments, Congress stipulated that State legislatures would not be doing the ratifying.  They raised the bar by decreeing that special  State conventions had to do the approving.  Even with this higher hurdle, it took less than ten months for the Amendment to be ratified.  I suspect they were all thirsty.


....eroded by the gap..........


"The problem in talking about humans beings is precisely that there is always a problem.  As to other living creatures on this planet, the details of their lives may happen to be largely unknown to us, but they can be observed and studied.   The life of the bald eagle, or the common skunk, or the Malay tapir is lived as it is lived, and the facts are there to be discovered.  But which facts, which thousand facts, will give the real picture of human beings?"
     "When we speak of a wild animal as good (or bad) we mean its meat does ( or does not) taste good to us, or that its fur is (or is not) valuable to us, or that it does not (or does) take food from our garden.  It has nothing to do with the moral virtue or vice on the animal's part.  With humans, on the other hand, everything seems to have some sort of connection with virtue or vice.  What men or women do is usually to a greater or less extent morally good or bad.  When we talk about one another, such moral judgements are largely what we discuss.  It is precisely these moral qualities that are important in human life.  The 'best' eagles, or skunks, or tapirs might be those of exceptional size, or of unusual longevity, or with especially handsome feathers, fur, or hides.  The best men and women, on the other hand, are those of superior moral discernment, those who perceive what ought to be done, and who have the courage and perseverance to do it.
     "Human life is blemished and eroded by the gap between what ought to be and what usually is.  The effort to close that gap, to make what is become what should be is the peculiarly human challenge; this is the distinctive calling of people.  Prophets, moral philosophers, preachers, and teachers have the uniquely human task, the preeminently manly and womanly task, of helping us to see the gap and motivating us to endeavor to close it.  A saint is not only a 'better' man or woman that you or I, but also more of a man or woman, a more complete human being, one who is closer to the center of the human enterprise."
-H. Boone Porter, excerpted from his essay Eagles, Skunks, and 
Tapirs, as found in his book A Song of Creation

Zen..................



"A day of no working is a day of no eating."

"When hungry, eat; when tired, sleep."

"Don't cling; don't seek."

When asked about seeking for the Buddha nature,
"It's much like riding an ox in search of an ox."

-sayings attributed to Po-chang by Alan Watts
in his book, The Way of Zen

Thursday, June 14, 2012

You know you got it................

Janis Joplin..........................................Piece of My Heart

Giving capitalism a bad name...........



Mark Perry riffs on the abuse of "regulatory schemes" for fun and profit.  The spirit of Milo Minderbinder is alive and well.  Excerpt here:
The NYC taxi medallion system cartel is a good example of "government failure" and crony capitalism that harms consumers and impoverishes the citizens of New York City, while enriching a small group of wealthy, politically-connected rent-seekers.  Where's the outrage from the OWS crowd, this seems like it would be a good issue for them? 


Full post is here




Amendments.......................

                                   Amendment XX
Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.
Section 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.
Section 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.
Section 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.
Section 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.


The Twentieth Amendment was ratified on January 23, 1933

Myths about us introverts.........



Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk. This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.


full post, with 10 myths, here.

Joyous abundance..............


The woods and pastures are joyous
in their abundance now
in a season of warmth and much rain.
We walk amidst foliage, amidst
song.  The sheep and cattle graze
like souls in bliss (except for flies)
and lie down satisfied.  Who now
can believe in winter?  In winter
who could have hoped for this?

-Wendell Berry

image courtesy of

If you have to compare..........



"The goal ought to be to compare yourself not to the best your peers or the competition has managed to get through a committee or down on paper, but to an unattainable, magical unicorn."
-Seth Godin  (full post here)


image via

Things were so much simpler back then..........

TV commercials from when I was a lad..........

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Scary good................

Mr Rogers..............................The Garden of Your Mind


thanks jonco

But, it's not fair to expect you to read my mind...


image courtesy of

Protection of a guilty conscience........

      "In a Lincoln campaign for reelection to the Illinois legislature, he tangled in debate with one George Forquer, a onetime Whig who had changed his politics to Democrat in order to receive a prize appointment from President Andrew Jackson.  With his handsome new emolument, Forquer had a mansion built, topped with a lightning rod.
     "In the debate, Forquer brutally savaged the young Lincoln.  When it was Lincoln's turn to speak, he replied to Forquer's argument clearly and effectively.  Then he paused - and with cutting sarcasm launched and attack on his opponent.
     "'Among other things, my opponent in this debate has said that 'this you man,' alluding to me, 'must be taken down.'  I am not so young in years as I am in tricks of the trade of a politician, but,' Lincoln said, pointing a deadly finger at Forquer, 'live long or die young, I would rather die now than, like that gentleman, change my politics and with it receive an office worth three thousand dollars a year and then feel obligated to erect a lightning rod over my house to protect a guilty conscience from an offended God.'"
-James C. Humes, The Wit & Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln

On doing..........or not doing........


"It is not what you do, but what you stop doing that matters."
-Nisargadatta Maharaj

Rules...................

for blogging  life from Todd Lohenry, who's channeling Chris 
Brogan.  Full post here.  Cherry-picked rules here:

Start writing.
Spell-check.
Do NOT get hung up on the tech. Get hung up on passion.
The best way to write better is to read more. Second best: write more (often).
Inspiration is a verb and a muscle.
Lazy is, too.
You’re doing it wrong. So is everyone.

Amendments............

                                   Amendment XIX
     The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
     Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The Nineteenth Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920.  About time.

Never mind the machine................



Job Davies, eighty-five
Winters old, and still alive
After the slow poison
And treachery of the seasons.
Miserable? Kick my arse!
It needs more than the rain’s hearse,
Wind-drawn to pull me off
The great perch of my laugh.
What’s living but courage?
Paunch full of hot porridge,
Nerves strengthened with tea.
Peat-black, dawn found me
Mowing where the grass grew,
Bearded with golden dew.
Rhythm of the long scythe
Kept this tall frame lithe.
What to do? Stay green.
Never mind the machine,
Whose fuel is human souls.
Live large, man, and dream small.

A rut................


"The most difficult lie I have ever contended with is this:  Life is a story about me"
     "I hear addicts talk about the shakes and panic attacks and the highs and lows of resisting their habit, and to some degree I understand them because I have had habits of my own, but no drug is so powerful as the drug of self.  No rut in the mind is so deep as the one that says I am the world, the world belongs to me, all people are characters in my play.  There is no addiction so powerful as self-addiction."
-Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hugh on gratitude..................




















via gapingvoid.com

Epictetus on gratitude............



"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." 
-Epictetus

Hoffer on gratitude........................



"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings."
-Eric Hoffer

Kennedy on gratitude................













"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the 
highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."  
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy


image via

Eckhart on gratitude..............



"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice." 
-Meister Eckhart

Schweitzer on gratitude.......


Breathnach and Cicero on gratitude.....


“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” 
-Sarah Ban Breathnach

Jowet on gratitude................



 “Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.” 
-John Henry Jowett

Buddha on gratitude.......



 “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” 
-Buddha


cartoon via

Day on gratitude...............



 “Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.”
-Doris Day

Ward on gratitude............


“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?”  
-William A. Ward


image courtesy of

Peterson on gratitude..................

 “When we become more fully aware that our success is due in large measure to the loyalty, helpfulness, and encouragement we have received from others, our desire grows to pass on similar gifts. Gratitude spurs us on to prove ourselves worthy of what others have done for us. The spirit of gratitude is a powerful energizer.” 
-Wilferd A. Peterson

Monday, June 11, 2012

Don't you approve.....................

Frank Sinatra...................................Send In The Clowns

Amness..................


Amendments.................

                                     Amendment XVIII
     Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
     Section 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
     Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.  


The Eighteenth Amendment was ratified on January 16, 1919.  This first serious governmental attempt at behavior modification was later repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment on December 5, 1933.   The historians amongst us may remember that the driving force behind the passage of the Sixteenth Amendment (permission to create the income tax) was the anticipated need for governmental revenue caused by the loss of the liquor excise taxes if alcohol sales were banned.  The repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment did not occasion the repeal of the Sixteenth.

A really long opening paragraph.....

     King Don Ferrando succeeded to the states of Castille after the death of his father King Don Sancho el Mayor, in aera 1072, which was the year of the Incarnation 1034, and from the coming of the Patriarch Tubal to settle in Spain 3197, and from the general deluge 3339, and from the creation of the world 4996, according to the computation of the Hebrews, and from the beginning of the false sect of the Moors 413.  And in the year 1037 Ferrando slew Bermudo the King of Leon in battle, who was his wife's brother, and conquered his kingdom, and succeeded to it in right of his wife Dona Sancha.  So he was the first person who united the states of Castille and Leon, and the first who was called King of Castille; for till this time the lords of that country had been called Counts.  He was a good king, and one who judged justly and feared God, and was bold in all his doings.  Before he reigned he had by Dona Sancha his wife the Infanta Dona Urraca, his eldest daughter who was a right excellent lady, of good customs and bounty and beauty; and after her he had the Infante Don Sancho, his eldest son and heir; and then the Infanta Dona Elvira, whom after the death of the King her father, her brother King Don Alfonso married to the Count Don Garcia de Cabra.  And after he became King he had the Infante Don Alfonso, and the Infante Don Garcia, who was the youngest of all.  And he put his sons to read, that they might be of the better understanding, and he made them take arms, and be shown how to demean themselves in battle, and to be huntsmen.  And he ordered that his daughters should be brought up in the studies beseeming dames, so that they might be of good customs, and instructed in devotion and in all things which it behooved them to know.
-The Chronicle of The Cid, as translated from the Spanish by Robert Southey

Could I interest you in a "flat tax"...?


Against Dieting............

Please, darling, no more diets.
I've heard the talk on why it's
good for one's esteem.  I've watched you
jogging lanes and pounding treadmills.
I've even shed two kilos of my own.
But enough.  What are love handles
between friends?  For half a stone
it isn't worth the sweat.
I've had it up to here with crispbread.
I doubt the premise too.
Try to see it from my point of view.
I want not less but more of you.
-Blake Morrison

Abe had a way with words.............

As we step back in time to the Lincoln-Douglas debates:
     "When Douglas tried to reconcile the philosophical inconsistencies, Lincoln answered that the Senator's logic was as 'thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by baking the shadow of a pigeon that had been starved to death.'"
-James C. Humes, The Wit & Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln

more truly artistic...................

The Good Samaritan
"The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.
-Vincent van Gogh

What we did this weekend..............

Road trip..............................................
The good stuff.   Four generations having a back yard picnic:
















A baseball diamond (Orioles Park in Camden Yards in this case)
is about as close to perfection as us humans are likely to attain.
The Phillies played stinky baseball and lost Baltimore in the 12th
inning, but even that can't erase the good feelings of being at
the ball park: