Saturday, December 22, 2012

Library cards............

..........................Jeff notes their value - here

Questions...............


So the world is supposed to be ending today huh?
That’s bad. I never have found out who let the dogs out, the way to get to Sesame Street, why Dora doesn’t just use Google maps, why we don’t ever see the headline “Psychic Wins Lottery”, why women can’t put on mascara with their mouth closed, why “abbreviated” is such a long word, why lemon juice is made with artificial flavor yet dish washing liquid is made with real lemons, why they sterilize the needle for lethal injections, why do you have to “put your two cents in” but it’s only a “penny for your thoughts”? Where’s that extra penny going to? Why did Joanie love Chachi? If a deaf person has to go to court is it still called a hearing? Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane? Does the alphabet song and twinkle twinkle little star have the same tune? Why did you just try to sing those two previous songs? And just what is Victoria’s secret?
You see, the world just has to keep going. I have too many questions……
And for this, and more, we give thank to Bits and Pieces 

21 habits........................

Michael points the way to a richer, happier, and more meaningful life - here

Fun with Joy..................

Mannheim Steamroller.................Joy to the World

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

In peaceful and prosperous countries, the children of landowners, bakers, or bankers have an easy option: to follow in the family traditions and trade.  But I was born in Poland and my family came from Lithuania - neither peaceful nor prosperous.  As observed by a writer native to that part of Europe, Woe to the poet born in an interesting piece of geography in a violent time.
-Benoit B. Mandelbrot, The Fractalist:  Memoir of a Scientific Maverick

Damn.........................


















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Tough duty..................























"Poor is the student who does not surpass his master."
-Leonardo Da Vinci

Nope.......................

















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Well, why not......................?






















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Mencken's dictionary................

Faithful readers may remember our recent attempt to buy a copy of H. L. Mencken's A New Dictionary of Quotations on Historical Principles from Ancient and Modern Sources.  Didn't try very hard after discovering the lone Amazon.com offering cost $750.00.  A bit off the budget range.















Remembering that my library card is one of my most valued possessions for a reason, I strolled over to the Newark Public Library and inquired therein.  While the Newark Library does not own a copy, the Washington County Public Library (Marietta, Ohio) does.  I asked the inter-library exchange to send me a copy, they delivered.  What a neat system.  While the book is not mine, it will be in my possession for the next four weeks.























Probably will not be running out of postable quotes any time in the near future.

Judge.......................................



















"One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results."
-Milton Friedman

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Close.....................

























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Friday, December 21, 2012

Yonder star...........................................

Blondie...........................................We Three Kings




Absolutely.....................






















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Creativity requires...........................



thanks swissmiss

Choices..................

"A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both."
-Milton Friedman

Fate.......................

The cop climbed out of his car exactly four minutes before he got shot.  He moved like he knew his fate in advance.  He pushed the door against the resistance of a stiff hinge and swiveled slowly on the worn vinyl seat and planted both feet on the road.  Then he grasped the door frame with both hands and heaved himself up and out.  He stood in the cold clear air for a second and then turned and pushed the door shut again behind him.  Held still for a second longer.  Then he stepped forward and leaned against the side  of the hood up near the headlight.
-Lee Child, The Persuader

A question...........................

"How can great minds be produced in a country where the test of a great mind is agreeing in the opinions of small minds?"
-John Stuart Mill

Precipitated....................................

"It happens that crashes and panics often are precipitated by the revelation of some misfeasance, malfeasance, or malversation (the corruption of officials) engendered during the mania. It seems clear from the historical record that swindles are a response to the greedy appetite for wealth stimulated by the boom. And as the monetary system gets stretched, institutions lose liquidity, and unsuccessful swindles are about to be revealed, the temptation to take the money and run becomes virtually irresistible. It is difficult to write on this subject without permitting the typewriter to drip with irony. An attempt will be made.” 
― Charles P. KindlebergerManias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises

A very few things right................


The Mighty E. points to this post about Buddha and Buffet (Warren, that is) and investing and lifeitsownself.  It is well worth the read.  Any of the twelve bullet points could have been highlighted, but we settled on #10:

10. You’re on a never-ending journey of self-discovery

“You do things when the opportunities come along,” says Buffett. “I’ve had periods in my life when I’ve had a bundle of ideas come along, and I’ve had long dry spells. If I get an idea next week, I’ll do something. If not, I won’t do a damn thing. … You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.” You’re on earth for a reason. Not just to get rich. What is it? That journey never ends.





















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Thursday, December 20, 2012

God, I hope so...........................

















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Merry and bright.......................

The Drifters...............................White Christmas

The way................................























Thanks Todd

Seasonally adjusted....................

Are you sure we are all alone now...............?
















Fun with clouds........................here

Christmas trivia.....................Part 10

Saint Nicholas, the fourth century bishop whose life may have served as the inspiration for the personhood of Santa Claus, hailed from where?

Yesterday's answer:  Egypt

A little slice of show business history...........

Bob Hope entertains the troops, Christmas 1967

Is Santa a woman.................?

Bilbo thinks so.  You have to admire his logic:


Men can't pack a bag.

Men would rather be dead than caught wearing red velvet.

Men would feel their masculinity is threatened by being seen with all those elves.

Men don't answer their mail.

Men would refuse to allow their physique to be described, even in jest, as anything remotely resembling "a bowlful of jelly."

Men aren't interested in stockings unless a woman is wearing them.

Having to do the "Ho, Ho, Ho" thing would seriously inhibit their ability to pick up women.

Milk and cookies left out by the fireplace? A man would demand beer and beef jerky.

Finally, being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment.

The physics of Santa..............

More fun with numbers.  As this blog has shown before, numbers can be twisted every which way just to prove a point.  As an example, we have this benighted soul trying to scientifically disprove Santa Claus. What?  Decide for yourselves.  Full post is here.  First paragraph is here:

1.   No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

Bah humbug....................
















































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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

O little town.......................

Frank Sinatra.................O Little Town of Bethlehem




 Frank and Bing Crosby with a quick duet of same

Christmas trivia......................Part 9

After leaving Bethlehem, to where did Joseph, Mary, and Jesus travel?

Yesterdays answer:  Donner and Blitzen  (thunder and lightning in German)

C'mon, tell us what you really think.............

Dear Mr. Berko: 
      My new broker, who is a sincere, caring, sweet young man, thinks the market could drop 20 percent to 25 percent. Because I'm in my late 60s he advises, that to preserve my assets, I should sell all my stocks: IMB, Abbot Labs, Southern, 3M, American Electric Power, Clorox, Campbell, McDonalds, General Mills, Duke and Consolidated Edison that I inherited in 1985. This amounts to $228,000, which he wants me to put into a government bond fund for income and principal safety........

"Your charming broker must be tarred, feathered, rendered unable to reproduce, X- branded on both cheeks, banished from the brokerage industry, then forced to enlist in the French Foreign Legion as a fluffer. His recommendations are felonious, reek of self-interest and couldn't pass a smell test in a slaughterhouse sewerage system. Investing $228,000 in government bond fund will be injurious to your health and wealth. Almost three years of record-low rates have increased the potential for an epochal decline in bond prices. Yields are so low today that even a slight increase would devastate your principal value."

Full letter and answer here

Speaking of investing................

























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All that and more...................

























via

Simple questions and wrong answers........


Try the following puzzle:
A bat and ball cost $1.10.
The bat costs one dollar more than the ball.
How much does the ball cost?


Before you get cocky, check your work and know that over half of the students at Harvard, MIT, and Princeton asked this quesiton answered incorrectly.   Full story is here.


thanks Craig

Six shopping days left till Christmas.....

















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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Back in business.........................

Kevin Zoladz is back in business.  After closing Souper Sammies, his popular west Newark eatery, because of capacity issues, Kevin spent the summer and fall renovating the much larger building at 5 North Third Street to suit his tastes and needs.  The former site of the Manna restaurant, on Newark's downtown square, is now Sharona's and it is open for breakfast and lunch business. Same quirky menu, same good service, same tasty food.  Do visit soon!

Open

Kevin and Jenn


































He spent the summer painting.................

and exercising his whimsical side

Fun with voices......................

Straight No Chaser...........12 Days of Christmas (sort of)

I've often wondered....................

















via

Hate it when that happens...............


Question.............................


Sneak pre-view.......................

NASA has prepared a video for December 22, 2012, the day after the world didn't end (hopefully).  The Mayans were pretty smart folk.  It might pay us better to stop dwelling on their calendar and start thinking about the things they knew and how did they know them and - the big one - where did they go?  Anyway, enjoy the video.

The Nativity....................Circa 2010

(as always.........click on through to YouTube. Thank thee very kindly)

About the smartest thing I read yesterday..............

...........and if I may say so myself, most of the time I spend on the computer (when not rooting through old New Yorker cartoons) is reading stuff written by smart people............comes from our old friend Mathew Ferrara.  Do not let the brevity and simplicity lull you. This is important.

"But income isn’t the same as wealth."

The context for this quote is Ferrara's blog post Forget College: Buy a House Instead.  The general drift of his essay is that while some college graduates will undoubtedly out-earn most high school graduates, many of those same college graduates will be carrying significant debt loads upon graduation.  If your average high school graduate were to smartly invest those same tuition dollars in a home, or duplex, and work for four years, their net worth would be amazingly higher - and will likely stay that way.  Read the whole post.  It is a good one.  Having said that, my daughter, a high school senior, will probably be attending college next fall.


Santa Scrooge............................






















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Christmas trivia..................Part 8

Two of Santa's reindeer are named after weather phenomenon. Name them.

Yesterday's answer: here

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bring.......................

Carrie Underwood....................Do You Hear What I Hear

Opened versus closed..................

...............................Jeff has the answer

Pay.........................






















"Christmas is the time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell government what they want and their kids pay for it."
-Richard Lamm 



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Jolly.................................























"The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live."
George Carlin 



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Grant.......................

"Part of Grant's authority derived from his silence.  In a world in which politicians spoke for hours (the speech preceding Lincoln's address at Gettysburg ran longer than two hours, and most of the audience thought it was too short), Grant's reluctance to speak at all seemed like proof of his wisdom.  People listened carefully to what he did have to say - like the utterances of the Sphinx - puzzled over his meaning, and interpreted his silences as a sign of greatness.  In an age when speech making was a popular entertainment (the term 'stemwinder' comes from a speech so long that listeners had to rewind their watches during its course), and when folksy, comic, and sometimes bawdy stories were political assets (Lincoln was the past master of these), Grant had neither a gift nor a taste for either one.  Way back when he had been chosen to command a regiment of volunteers by the governor of Illinois, he had listened to other people's full-blown rhetoric as they addressed the troops; then when it was his turn, stood before his new men, who were no doubt expecting more rhetoric, and said, 'Go to your quarters, men.' "
-Michael Korda, Ulysses S. Grant: The Unlikely Hero

The fun of making of some Christmas music.....

Paul McCartney and Diana Krall doing the Christmas Song.  Enjoy

Christmas trivia...............Part 7

What is myrrh?

Yesterdays answer: Read about it here

Tabled...........................

















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Greetings.........................

















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Santa Ho........................


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Deo...............................

Andrea Bocelli....................Angels We Have Heard on High




Mormon Tabernacle Choir.....Angels We Have Heard on High

Amen.................................

From the Jade Page Press


Christmas trivia.....................Part 6

From whence came the tradition of kissing under mistletoe?

Yesterday's answer:    Clement Clarke Moore in his famous 1823 poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

On writing and thinking..........

 “Full sentences are harder to write.  They have verbs. The paragraphs have topic sentences. There is no way to write a six-page, narratively structured memo and not have clear thinking.”
-Jeff Bezos

“I don’t know what I think until I try to write it down.” 
-Joan Didion

"Writing is thinking. A lot of busy people say they wish they had more time to “think” — to be proactively thoughtful rather than reactive. But “thought time” is a hard thing to actually schedule, let alone measure. Writing, on the other hand, is something you can schedule to do and then evaluate and measure the output (e.g. 700 words a day or a blog post a week). When someone tells me they don’t do much writing anymore, I sometimes wonder, When do you think deep-ish thoughts? And how do you ever know how coherent your thoughts actually are?"
-Ben Casnocha

all quotes taken from this blog post

A bit of Norman Rockwell........................










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

New England abounds in people named Allen, Allein, Allyn, Alleyn, Alain, and even Ailin.  Their numbers are legion, and most of them, if it occurred to them that there might be some reason for doing so, could trace their ancestry back to three brothers, Samuel, Thomas, and Mathew, who as young men set out together from Baintree, England, and arrived in the New World in 1632 - "the year of the hunger when many suffered and saw no hope in the Eye of Reason.....and the Crusts of my Father's Table would have been welcome unto me."
-Charles A. Jellison,  Ethan Allen: Frontier Rebel

Feeling the need for some snowman cartoons?

Just to get you started, visit Bilbo

Methods..............................






















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Decisions decisions..........................