Saturday, July 14, 2012

there'll be no end....................

The Troggs.....................................Love Is All Around




The art of blogging...........

Creative?..................check
Fulfilling?...................check
Worth keeping?.........check


A visit here daily improves everything.

Wait a minute......................


Revel......................

The 99% blog suggests there is more to success than having goals and good intentions.  Full post here.  Quotes here:
"Staying focused on our goals detracts from the inherent pleasures of the activities we need to pursue to achieve those goals."
"Revel in the process and you're more likely to make it to the finishing line."

Taxes................

" 'Friends,' says he, 'the taxes are, indeed, very heavy; and, if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us.  We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us, by allowing an abatement.  However, let us harken to good advice and something may be done for us; 'God helps them that helps themselves,' as Poor Richard says.' "
-Benjamin Franklin, The Way To Wealth

On purpose.....................?


Flash fiction..............

Flash fiction is the art of telling a really short short story, in many cases a story inspired by an old photograph.  There are more than a few practitioners of the art, but none better than Greg Sullivan, dba Sippican Cottage.  The boy has a feel for humanity and a love for the language.  His first book, The Devil's In The Cows, is a collection of flash fiction originally posted on his blog.  You can buy it here.  Do.  The following is a transcription of his story "The Young Man Don't Know Nothing":

     
     You see, the young man comes in here and he don't know nothing.  That's a  given,
     Well, not precisely nothing.  He knows all sorts of things.  It's just that everything he knows isn't so, or isn't worth a fart in a whirlwind to have rattling around in your head.  Useless.
     A young man isn't born to be useless.  You've got to make him so.  A young man is born into this world to be a boon to his fellow man and a credit to his parents - if his parents don't pay too much attention to him and ruin him.  Let him be.
     They come all in here, one after another, extravagant of hair and miserly of manners.  They want to start right in being something.  They want to nuzzle up at the front of the pig, right off.  Son, you're an unthrowed pot.  Stand up straight and listen.
     You see, you're not born knowing, and you can't learn much useful from a book.  How you gonna know to put fabric softener in the steam box to make the oak come out of there real withy and limber?  Your grammar school teacher don't tell you that out here in the real world you gotta use the ceiling for a brace for the inner stem while you make down the bolt.
     Oh, a smart one or two do come in, though not as often as you'd like.  Often enough, maybe, to remind you how dumb you were when you were their age.  They're young and handsome and clever and the whole world stretches out to their horizon.  You're already on the horizon and you know it.
     You think to yourself how wise beyond his years that boy is to come in here and stand up straight.  He's wearing the wrong clothes and toting a comical box of the wrong tools, and not enough of them, either, and his hands are like his momma's, or more likely his daddy's if he's an ink-stained wretch.  He's wrong, all wrong, and in every aspect and from every vantage point - asleep or awake, in action or repose, drunk or sober - but he's smart enough to look you straight in the eye and say, "I don't know nothing but I'm willing to learn if you'll show me."
     A boy like that know's everything.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Don't stop now................

The Hombres.......................................Let It All Hang Out

Freedom....................

"There is no rehab program for being addicted to freedom.  Once you've seen what it's like on the other side, good luck trying to follow someone else's rules ever again."
-Chris Guillebeau, The $100 Startup

The foolish superstition................

     "The same guards which protect us from disaster, defect, and enmity, defend us, if we will, from selfishness and fraud.  Bolts and bars are not the best of our institutions, nor is shrewdness in trade a mark of wisdom.  Men suffer all their life long under the foolish superstition that they can be cheated.  But it is as impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself, as for a thing to be and not be at the same time.  There is a third silent party to all our bargains.  The nature and soul of things takes on itself the guaranty of the fulfilment of every contract, so that honest service cannot come to loss.  If you serve an ungrateful master, serve him the more.  Put God in your debt.  Every stroke shall be repaid.  The longer the payment is withholden, the better for you; for compound interest on compound interest is the rate and usage of this exchequer."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, from his essay, Compensation

Perceptions.................


"An oft-quoted story about Pablo Picasso is about the time he was hanging around an exhibition of his paintings in Paris. He was approached by a man who asked Picasso why he didn’t paint people the way they look. 'Well, how do they look?' asked Picasso. The man took a photograph of his wife from his wallet and handed it over. Picasso looked at the picture; then handing it back, said, 'She is awfully small isn’t she. And flat too.' We have to accept the fact that much of what seems real to us is governed by our own perceptions."
-as excerpted from here

Living and learning...............

"One mark of genuine learning is a person's ability to live comfortably and intelligently with the fact that he can't possible know everything.  He feels no shame about the fact that he may be uninformed about a given subject, for he has substantial access to an answer if he really needs it, and he can evaluate the answer.  He won't lose himself in unfamiliar terrain where he may grab a the first intelligible answer and not necessarily the most competent one.  He knows what a blind alley looks like, and he doesn't clutter himself with facts beyond his needs."
-Norman Cousins, Human Options

A review of the basics..................

Random quotes from Lincoln.......


"As labor is the common burden of our race, so the effort of some to shift the burden onto the shoulders of others is the great durable curse of the race."

"I believe it is the inalienable right of man....to be happy or miserable at his own election and I for one make choice for the former alternative."

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues."

"Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves."

"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair."

"Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."

"Nothing valuable was ever lost by taking time."

"Work, work, work is the main thing."

"Property is desirable, and is a positive good in the world.  Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, this by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."

"I don't believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good."

"Fearlessness for the right is a better thing than fearfulness for peace."

"I believe that - intoxicated with unbroken success - we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace - too proud to pray to the God that made us."

Hmmmmmm..................

"I personally think we developed language because of our deep need to complain."
-Lily Tomlin

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Come along if you care...........

Amboy Dukes............The Journey to the Center of The Mind



On teamwork.....................


The Experiment......................

     "Success must be attracted through understanding and application of laws which are as immutable as is the law of gravitation.  It cannot be driven into the corner and captured as one would capture a wild steer.  For this reason you are requested to enter into the following experiment with the object of familiarizing yourself with one of the most important of these laws; namely, the Law of Increasing Returns.
     The experiment:
     During the next six months make it your business to render useful service to a least one person everyday, for which you neither expect nor accept monetary pay."
-Napoleon Hill

New software.....................


Trouble with the boss................


Fundamental truths about dining out/life......

     "I'd say there are four.  First, a person isn't always able to find every dish he wants on the menu.  Second, he can nonetheless usually find enough of a variety to satisfy both his hunger and his palate.  Third, while eating he should obey the old maxim and never bite off more than he can chew.  Fourth, this, however, should not prevent him from taking healthy mouthfuls - for any food worth eating should be eaten, not toyed with or nibbled in a finicky fashion."
-J. Paul Getty

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

From the Coyote Blog:

"There is room, I think, for a left-right coalition against corporate cronyism (of which licensing is among the worst forms, helping to protect incumbent businesses against upstart competitors).  Unfortunately, such cronyism is so deeply ingrained in both Romney and Obama that it is certainly not going to happen in this election."


Full post is here

Now, don't look up....................















storm clouds as an art form.............here

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I need you girl......................

Count Five........................................Psychotic Reaction

No vague dream...........

"One is happy as a result of one's own efforts, once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness - simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and above all, a clear conscience.  Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain.  By the proper use of experience and thought one can draw much from oneself, by determination and patience one can even restore one's health.....so let us live life as it is, and not be ungrateful."
-George Sand

Life its ownself.............

“Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another.” 
-Marquis de Condorcet


from Tiny Buddha
thanks Todd

A bad day in American history...............

The Hamilton-Burr duel.  History here and here.


true quiet.................


Ask the world to reveal its quietude -
not the silence of the machines when they are still,
but the true quiet by which birdsongs,
trees, bellworts, snails, clouds, storms
become what they are, and are nothing else.

-Wendell Berry

image courtesy of

Maybe it's because we're not careful about what we aim at.................

"There are two things to aim at in life:  first, to get what you want; and after that, to enjoy it.  Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second."
-Logan Pearsall Smith

That incognito blessing................

A new word for the day:























thanks Todd

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Early in the morning................

Deep Purple...........................................Hush

Uh-oh.............................

"Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones."
-attributed to Ben Franklin

"Habit is a cable.  We weave a thread of it everyday, and at the last we cannot break it."
-Horace Mann

"The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken."
-Samuel Johnson

"We first make our habits, and then our habits make us."
-John Dryden

"An unfortunate thing about this world is that the good habits are much easier to give up than the bad ones."
-W. Somerset Maugham

"Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking."
-Albert Einstein


"Curious things, habits. People themselves never knew they had them.'
-Agatha Christie

A primer on creating wealth by giving people value........................

A far ranging essay by Paul Graham talks about creating wealth, start-ups, the impact of averaging individual contributions, creating value in the market place, barriers to entry, scale, measurement, leverage, the pie theory, and every thing else about earning money that your basic high school senior should be taught.  Full essay here, excerpt here:


"Making wealth is not the only way to get rich. For most of human history it has not even been the most common. Until a few centuries ago, the main sources of wealth were mines, slaves and serfs, land, and cattle, and the only ways to acquire these rapidly were by inheritance, marriage, conquest, or confiscation. Naturally wealth had a bad reputation.

"Two things changed. The first was the rule of law. For most of the world's history, if you did somehow accumulate a fortune, the ruler or his henchmen would find a way to steal it. But in medieval Europe something new happened. A new class of merchants and manufacturers began to collect in towns.  Together they were able to withstand the local feudal lord. So for the first time in our history, the bullies stopped stealing the nerds' lunch money. This was naturally a great incentive, and possibly indeed the main cause of the second big change, industrialization."



thanks craig

I would have signed up.............

Ernest Borgnine as a recruiter................................

Now, if it only could have really rained....

Last Saturday eve, my Sweetie and I enjoyed the wonderful Weathervane Playhouse's sold-out final performance of "Singin' In the Rain."   The acting was first rate and the dancing and choreography superb.  A great night of entertainment?   For those of you unable to attend, here is the original cinematic version for your viewing pleasure:

On the right to be left alone.............


Bird Dog at Maggie's Farm riffs on our local and individual freedoms.  Full post is here.   Excerpt here:

"Are America's components too large, too diverse in culture, religion, geography, population, prosperity, politics, way of life and point of view, for one-size-fits-all directives from Washington?


"I believe so. That's why I don't care that Vermont is socialist, or that Massachusetts has Romneycare, or that Texas is Texas, or that Stockton is Stockton.


"Or that California - by itself the 8th largest economy in the world - is wacky California. I'm in favor of letting them be what they want to be, but not on my nickel. Do your own thing, dude, take responsibility for it, but don't ask me to pay for it. I have my hands full caring for my own."

Don't tax, but spend...........

A brief essay on the recently held notion that deficits provide painless paths to growth is here.  Excerpt here:


"Until the 1960s, Americans generally believed in low inflation and balanced budgets. President John Kennedy shared the consensus but was persuaded to change his mind. His economic advisers argued that, through deficit spending and modest increases in inflation, government could raise economic growth, lower unemployment and smooth business cycles.


"None of this proved true; all of it led to grief."

A generation's problem..............


Monday, July 9, 2012

Canned Heat.........................................On The Road Again

Hamilton.......................


"It has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity."

"We are now forming a republican government. Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments."

-Alexander Hamilton

Democracy and Liberty........

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.  Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
-a quote widely, and probably mistakenly, attributed to Ben Franklin

"The self is more distant than any star"



"I am becoming a fan of the fat guy with a cigar who died in 1936."
So says the not-so-simple Ray Visotski in his recent post about C. K. Chesterton.  I have enjoyed, and posted, a number of Chesterton's quotes over the past few years, but Ray is taking it up a notch.  He is reading a book about Chesterton.  Now, why didn't I think of that?  Thanks to the glory that is Amazon, I will be shortly.  Thanks Ray.

Yeah, I get that feeling too..........


Us introverts...............


A mid-summer's dream........


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Where the water tastes like wine.......

Canned Heat...........................Going Up The Country

Foodies of the World, Unite......


Go visit Fuck You, Broccoli and learn more fun stuff about veggies than you thought possible.  A wee sampling:
Dear Lentils,
I get it.
You’re nutritious and packed with protein. You cost like two bucks a silo. You keep forfucking ever. You’re like Nature’s Perfect Food, except for one, small, niggling detail: You taste like a road accident. Not a drive-by, minor-injuries, share insurance cards and get on our way accident either, but one of those haunting ones that lingers, like when a school bus with a drunken driver shoots over a median and into a hearse which stopped to let by a family of baby ducks. Such an awful, sad, waste which didn’t have to happen if people would only have made better choices.
The color of sludge and the texture of recently moulted beetle casings, you lentils are nevertheless pushed on us regularly as a universal good, as if donuts and chocolate and macadamia nuts never existed. As if the only purpose food served was to nourish, with no regard for aesthetics or deliciousness at all. 

Sufficient.........................


“I think there’s a big problem in the church. I think everyone thinks if you have struggles in your life it’s because you’re not really filled with the Holy Spirit, or you’re not really reading your Bible daily, or you’re doing something wrong. I think life, by nature, is a struggle. You know, whether or not you believe in the health, wealth, and prosperity doctrine, the ideas of that… have polluted almost all of our thinking about Christianity — where we think that a really great Christian is someone who does not struggle.”
“But the Apostle Paul was a man who was obviously filled with the Spirit, a man who obviously had studied the Scriptures, a man who had had an authentic encounter with the living Christ, and he prays to God and says, ‘Lord, I beg you to take this thorn from my flesh.’ Paul says, ‘Lord, I’ve been praying for you to take away this infirmity of mine, and you haven’t.’”
“And God looks down on him and DOESN’T say, ‘Yeah, it’s because you’re so spiritually immature.’ God didn’t look down on him and say, ‘Well, it’s because you don’t have enough faith.’ God didn’t look at Paul and say, ‘Well, you know, if you would just get up earlier and pray a couple more hours in the morning’ or ‘If you would just memorize another ten psalms.’ He didn’t say any of that. He merely said to Paul, ‘Hey, my grace is plenty. My grace is sufficient.’”
– Rich Mullins

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

   The world is imprisoned in its own activity, except when actions are performed as worship of God.  Therefore you must perform every action sacramentally, and be free from all attachments to results.
          In the beginning
          The Lord of beings
          Created all men,
          To each his duty.
          'Do this,' He said,
          'And you shall prosper.'


-Bhagavad-Gita
Karma Yoga
Prabhavananda/Isherwood

Hanging with Jeff...............

"No one got hurt, no one threatened to sue, and the fat kid was the hero."


A recent post at View From the Ledge takes us back to the hot and sultry days of a long ago Brooklyn summer.  While the names of the games are a bit different it all sounds so familiar to what was happening on Avon Road and Almur Lane outside of Philly.  Ah, the summertimes of our youth.  No A/C, no video games, no cell phones.  Moms chased us out of our respective homes in the morning, expected us home for a sandwich around noon, and didn't want to see us again until suppertime.  Thanks for the memory Jeff.

Reverence...........................

"There is something inherently fragile about the United States of America. France will be France and Slovakia will be Slovakia so long as French and Slovak are spoken, irrespective of their mode of government. But if Americans cease to govern themselves in a way that no people ever governed itself before, America will not be America. We are the only nation founded on an idea, rather than on blood, territory or culture. We look back at our founders with reverence. Each day we should ask ourselves whether we are good enough to keep the republic which they bequeathed us. We came close to losing it more than once. If we continue to drift into dependency, we might lose it now."
-Spengler, from here

Albert Schweitzer says...........





















image courtesy of