Saturday, November 3, 2012

Something to keep our kids busy...............

WRM offers a different answer to the problems caused by  trying to continue something that cannot continue.  Full essay here.  His conclusion, but not his answer, here:

The bad news is that America’s governance problems cannot be solved without a deep rethink of many of our most important institutions—and that cannot happen without bitter political battles with the entrenched guardians of the status quo. The good news is that our governance problems are so expensive that like it or not we’re going to be forced to do the intellectual and political heavy lifting needed to fix them.

Lip-synch heaven......................

The Temptations.........................Just My Imagination

Help......................


"Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him and to let him know that you trust him."
-Booker T. Washington

The Unnecessary Punctuation Ribbon would look sharp, hanging from my bookcase................























thanks Ka-Ching!

Saying "no".........................














"The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes.  It is very easy to say yes."
-Tony Blair

"Learn to say no.  It will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin."
-Charles Haddon Spurgeon

"If I have one vice, and I call it nothing else, it is not to be able to say no."
-Abraham Lincoln

“Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.”
-Josh Billings

"No can be a hard word to say.  It taps fears of not being liked, and, especially, of not being productive.  Actually, by forcing us to become more focused, refusing to take on more tasks can make us more productive."
-Ralph Keyes

"What is a rebel?  A man who says no."
-Albert Camus

"I'm going to spend this month saying 'No.' I'll call it November."
-anonymous

image via mme scherzo

Unintended consequences indeed..................















thanks jessica

The TV must be on...................


Trending the right way.................

A new chart from Calculated Risk:
















Residential and commercial construction spending seems to be improving.  A good thing in blogger's opinion. For those interested, my guess is that the steadily rising public construction shown on the chart is due to the building of both new schools and new jails.  Ohio in particular has been on an aggressive school construction program for the last decade.  As noted by the leveling off of public construction spending on the chart, the bulk of the new schools have now been completed - at least in our neck of the woods.  Just as an observation, those school jobs provided a safe harbor for many a tradesman during the recent difficulties.  A twofer - good school buildings and good jobs.  We should be thankful.

Do...........................


"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
-John Wooden

Can I get an Amen.......................?

















via

Friday, November 2, 2012

A sign of the times..................




thanks jonco

Go back..................................

Dave Edmunds................................I Hear You Knocking




Welcome to my world.................

"It’s getting harder to succeed simply by following the conventional high-achiever path and doing what you are told, even on Wall Street. The careers of the future will be a much bumpier ride, but they will also be more exciting."
-Walter Russell Mead

full post, titled MBA's Ditching Wall Street, is here

tremendously................


"Whether you are flying the Atlantic, selling sausages, building a skyscraper, driving a truck, or painting a picture, your greatest power comes from the fact that you want tremendously to do that very thing well.  And a thing well done usually works out to the benefit of others as well as yourself.  This applies to sport, business, friendship."
-Amelia Earhart

Details, details, details......................


"Beware the man who won't be bothered with details."
-William Feather, Sr.

Into every life some whimsy must fall............






















thanks bilbo

Words, words, words, and..............

...............more words.  If only they were harmless.

Obamacare regulations now at 2.8 million words.

Story, with charts and graphs, is here.

thanks craig

And herein lies the rub...............


"Many people see discipline as the absence of freedom, when in fact it is the source of freedom."
-Stephen R. Covey

image via

Simple...........................


"Creativity is more than just being different.  Anybody can play weird; that's easy.  What's hard is to be as simple as Bach.  Making simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple - that's creativity."
-Charles Mingus

art via

Imagine....................


"The opportunities of man are limited only be his imagination.  But so few have imagination that there are ten thousand fiddlers to one composer."
-Charles F. Kettering

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The View From The Ledge............

Jeff is alive and well, enjoying life without electric.  He says:


Hi steve -

Thank you so much for checking in! All ok at our house. Trees down and wires down. Heard 90% of Long Island without power. Will be a week or more before thet start to restore at neighborhood level.

No power or heat but we have hot water and can cook with gas stove.

Getting all our info via radio and newspapers delivered every day. Ha!. Print gets the job done! Aint no 'net to be seen!

Reading books by lantern light and actually sitting around the table like a real family again. No screens to be seen!

Let everyone know I miss 'em. Tell Kurt that Obama and Chris Christie are now BFFs!

Love to all!

- Jeff
via the magic of BlackBerry

clicked his heels...............

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band...................Mr. Bojangles

Discreet......................

Belshazzar's Feast              Rembrandt     c 1635



















            The Bearer of Evil Tidings

The bearer of evil tidings,
When he was halfway there,
Remembered that evil tidings
Were a dangerous thing to bear.

So when he came to the parting
Where one road led to the throne
And one went off to the mountains
And into the wild unknown,

He took the one to the mountains,
He ran through the Vale of  Cashmere,
He ran through the rhododendrens
Til he came to the land of Pamir.

And there in a precipice valley
A girl of his age he met
Took him home to her bower,
Or he might be running yet.

She taught him her tribe's religion:
How ages and ages since
A princess en route from China
To marry a Persian prince

Had been found with child; and her army
Had come to a troubled halt.
And though a god was the father
And nobody else at fault,

It had seemed discreet to remain there
And neither go on nor back.
So they stayed and declared a village
There in the land of the Yak.

And the child that came of the princess
Established a royal line,
And his mandates were given heed to
Because he was born divine.

And that was why there were people
On one Himalayan shelf;
And the bearer of evil tidings
Decided to stay there himself.

At least he had this in common
With the race he chose to adopt:
They had both of them had their reasons
For stopping where they stopped.

As for his evil tidings.
Belshazzar's overthrow,
Why hurry to tell Belshazzar
What soon enough he would know?

-Robert Frost

Good......................

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?


Micah 6:8
New American Standard Bible

Thank you fracking.................























Ambrose Evans-Pritchard offers a rosy view of our future - if only we don't mess it up. Once again cheap energy, this time in the form of natural gas released by new drilling technologies, is going to drive our economy upward and onward, while the rest of the world is apparently behaving foolishly.  Full story is here.
A smattering of excerpts here:

"The wonders of US shale gas continue to amaze.  We receive fresh evidence by the day that swathes of American industry have acquired a massive and lasting advantage in energy costs over global rivals, demolishing assumptions about US economic decline.

"Royal Dutch Shell is planning an ethane plant in the once-decaying steel valley of Beaver County, near Pittsburg. Dow Chemical is shutting operations in Belgium, Holland, Spain, the UK, and Japan, but pouring money into a propylene venture in Texas where natural gas prices are a fraction of world levels and likely to remain so for the life-cycle of Dow's investments.
"Some fifty new projects have been unveiled in the US petrochemical industry. A $30bn investment blitz in underway in ethelyne and fetilizer plants alone.
"A study by the American Chemistry Council said the shale gas bonanza has reversed the fortunes of the chemical, plastics, aluminium, iron and steel, rubber, coated metals, and glass industries. "This was virtually unthinkable five years ago," said the body’s president, Cal Dooley."
"Europe is going in the opposite direction, drifting towards energy suicide. So is Japan as it shuts down its nuclear industry after the Fukushima disaster."
"As of last week, US natural gas prices were roughly one third of European levels. The German chemicals group BASF said it had become impossible to match the US on production costs."

full geological profile here

Simple...........................


















"Life is pretty simple.  You do some stuff.  Most fails.  Some works.  You do more of what works.  If it works big, others quickly copy it.  Then you do something else."
-Tom Peters

Ordinary men..........................

The Jury                     John Morgan       c 1861

"Our civilization has decided, and very justly decided, that determining the guilt or innocence of men is a thing too important to be trusted to trained men.  If it wishes for light upon that awful matter, it asks men who know no more law than I know.....When it wants a library catalogued, or the solar system discovered, or any trifles of this kind, it uses up it specialists.  But when it wishes anything done which is really serious, it collects twelve of the ordinary men standing around.   The same thing was done, if I remember right, by the Founder of Christianity."
-G. K. Chesterton

It's been lively around here lately..................



















"Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit."
-Henry Brooks Adams

thanks bill

It's not a race.......................

















"Have I created a race out of something that ought to be a journey?"
-Charles Wheelan

image via

More.......................

















"There is more to you than you know."
-Gandalf

art via

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mashed-up monsters........

Bobby "Boris" Pickett..................The Monster Mash

Progress is not necessarily improvement.....















via

Faithful readers will know..................

...that this blog likes to chronicle "unintended consequences."  Robert Samuelson riffs on the Mother of All Unintended Consequences - here.  Opening and closing paragraphs here:

"Just recently, the Internal Revenue Service issued an 18-page, single-spaced notice explaining how to distinguish between full-time and part-time workers under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”)."

"It creates powerful pressures against companies hiring full-time workers — precisely the wrong approach after the worst economic slump since the Depression. There will be more bewildering regulations, more regulatory uncertainties, more unintended side effects and more disappointments. A costly and opaque system will become more so."

thanks craig

Sandy.......................


Slowly, but surely.....................

From the KCM blog:


A lifetime....................


Can we get an Amen......................?










"Sandy isn’t an irruption of abnormality into a sane and sensible world; it is a reminder of what the world really is like. Human beings want to build lives that exclude what we can’t control — but we can’t."
-Walter Russell Mead

Happy Halloween...................















































for some truly disturbing pumpkins, go here

A few laughs for Wednesday................

Whose Line Is It...................................?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Twofer......................

Santana.......................................Open Invitation




Santana...................................Daughter of the Night

 

Duke Long posts........................

.......the top 57 commercial real estate blogs for 2012.  Naturally
I checked the list out.  Since we only-every-so-often discuss commercial real estate here, yours truly, as expected, failed to make the cut. Duke's got himself a good blog though.  He makes my list, should have made his own.  If you are in sales, and really, who isn't, check him out.

Probability.............








"Ce que nous connaissons est peu de chose, ce que nous ignorons est immense."
( "What we know is not much. What we do not know is immense.")
-Pierre-Simon Laplace

Reflecting, not shaping, a generation..............

Billy Jack was a perfect movie for a confused time. I suspect if we watched it again now we would go, "WTF?"   In 1971 it seemed pretty cool.  Anyway, here are the Cliff Notes:

One Tin Soldier...............The Legend of Billy Jack

Who says we are too impatient..............
















thanks jonco

Ten most beautiful...............

........libraries in the U. S. of A. - here

Hey, wait a minute..................

"There is no evidence that God ever intended the United States of America to have a higher per capita income than the rest of the world for eternity."
-Robert Solow

Steve Jobs..................

Jobs speaking of Bill Gates:
"He'd be a broader guy if had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger."

Jobs responding to questions about market research:
"Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone."

"No," he replied, "because customers don't know what they want until we've shown them."

Jobs on why craftsmanship and beauty matter:
"When you're a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you're not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it.  You'll know it's there, so you're going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back.  For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through."

"Great art stretches the taste, it doesn't follow tastes."

all quotes came from Walter Issacson's book, Steve Jobs


Truth............................



















"The farmer and manufacturer can no more live without profit than the labourer without wages."
-David Ricardo

image via

I just look forward to the day when public opinion polls are not passed off as "news"...............


















via

Monday, October 29, 2012

Good books..................





















“A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic”
-Carl Sagan

Brain Pickings offers "A History of Reading."   Read it here

image via

Of your love........................

Bad Company................................Can't Get Enough

...to create massive surplus value.............























"I am not a die-hard capitalist. I do not view capitalism as a credo. Much more important to me are freedom, compassion for the poor, respect for the social contract, and equal opportunity. But for the moment, to achieve those goals, capitalism is the only game in town. It is the only system we know that provides us with the tools required to create massive surplus value."
-Hernando de Soto,   The Mystery of Capital

image via mmescherzo

Embrace uncertainty...................
















"Nothing in life is guaranteed and living your life according to a predetermined formula is not a guarantee of success. You can't predict your company will succeed, your art will fly off gallery walls, or your love will be returned. You have to embrace the uncertainty of it all and remember that the more waves you go for, the more you'll catch."

"As a surfer, every time I get in the water it's a risk, every time I paddle for a wave it's a risk, and every time I catch wave it's a risk. Surfing is completely unpredictable, which keeps me constantly coming back for more. But there's a strong correlation between your success and your tolerance for risks in both the ocean and life - and both require the same approach and process:" 

approach and process here.

image via

Procrastinating................



































image via

More from Harry Truman's diary......















June 28, 1948

     Bess and I are eating supper on the south porch of the White House at 7 p.m.  I am facing the Jefferson Memorial across the White House lawn.  There is a fountain in the center of the lawn surrounded by petunias - we had dwarf cannas last year, and the Jap beetles ate them into rags and tatters.
     A ball game or two goes on in the park south of the lawn.  Evidently a lot of competition, from the cheers and calls of the coaches.  A robin hops around looking for worms, finds one and pulls with all his might to unearth him.  A mocking bird imitates robins, jays, red birds, crows, hawks - but has no individual note of his own.  A lot of people like that.  Planes take off and land at the National Air Port south of the Jefferson Memorial.  It is a lovely evening.  I can see the old Chesapeake and Potomac Canal going across the Washington Monument grounds, barges anchoring west of the Monument.  I can see of J. Q. Adams going swimming in it and getting his clothes stolen by an angry woman who wanted a job.  The old guy didn't have any guards or it wouldn't have happened.  Then I wake up, go upstairs and go to work and contemplate the prison life of a President.  What the hell!

All things in moderation..........

......(including moderation, as we used to say about forty years ago), are not always what they seem.  David Brooks recently explained his vision of moderation.  Essay here. Longish excerpt here:

Moderates start with a political vision, but they get it from history books, not philosophy books. That is, a moderate isn’t ultimately committed to an abstract idea. Instead, she has a deep reverence for the way people live in her country and the animating principle behind that way of life. In America, moderates revere the fact that we are a nation of immigrants dedicated to the American dream — committed to the idea that each person should be able to work hard and rise.
This animating principle doesn’t mean that all Americans think alike. It means that we have a tradition of conflict. Over the centuries, we have engaged in a series of long arguments around how to promote the American dream — arguments that pit equality against achievement, centralization against decentralization, order and community against liberty and individualism.
The moderate doesn’t try to solve those arguments. There are no ultimate solutions. The moderate tries to preserve the tradition of conflict, keeping the opposing sides balanced.

Not now.............................

















The Creativity Post on the down side of instant gratification:

"Which all suggests that the ability to delay gratification—that is, impulse control—may be one of the most important skills to learn to have a satisfying and successful life. The question is, how do we learn it?"

"In other words, one of the most effective ways to distract ourselves from a tempting pleasure we don’t want to indulge is by focusing on another pleasure."

Please make them stop..................

Can I survive another eight days...............?

















via

...dangerous new hallucinogen.....




















larger image here

Sunday, October 28, 2012

the benefit of not too much education..........



















“That’s been an oak tree a long time,”
said Arthur Rowanberry. How long a time
we did not know. The oak meant,
as Art meant, that we were lost
in time, in which the oak and we had come
and would go. Nobody knows what
to make of this. It was as if,
there in the Sabbath morning light,
we both were buried or unborn while
the oak lived, or it would fall
while we stood. But Art, who had
the benefit of not too much education,
not too many days pressed between pages
or framed in a schoolhouse window,
is long fallen now, though he stands
in my memory still as he stood
in time, or stands in Heaven,
and a few of his memories remain
a while as memories of mine. To be
on horseback with him and free,
lost in time, found in place, early
Sunday morning, was plain delight.
We had ridden over all his farm,
along field edges, through the woods,
in search of ripe wild fruit, and found
none, for all our pains, and yet
“We didn’t find what we were looking for,”
said Arthur Rowanberry, pleased,
“but haven’t we seen some fine country!”


-Wendell Berry

painting via

How long.......................?

Kansas.................................Point of  Know Return
(warning:  psychedelia alert)

Bloggery.....................