Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dickey Betts.....................

Allman Brothers............................Jessica

When benefits trump...................


















via

The Brain Pickings blog........................

......has a feature story up on Bertrand Russell's Education and the Good Life.  If you don't follow Maria Popova's blog, well, you should.  Her post on Russell is here.  Some additional fun quotes from Bertrand Russell are here:

We all have a tendency to think that the world must conform to our prejudices. The opposite view involves some effort of thought, and most people would die sooner than think — in fact they do so.

The widespread interest in gossip is inspired, not by a love of knowledge but by malice: no one gossips about other people's secret virtues, but only about their secret vices. Accordingly most gossip is untrue, but care is taken not to verify it. Our neighbour's sins, like the consolations of religion, are so agreeable that we do not stop to scrutinise the evidence closely.

The place of the father in the modern suburban family is a very small one — particularly if he plays golf, which he usually does.

The fundamental defect of fathers is that they want their children to be a credit to them.

I think people who are unhappy are always proud of being so, and therefore do not like to be told that there is nothing grand about their unhappiness. A man who is melancholy because lack of exercise has upset his liver always believes that it is the loss of God, or the menace of Bolshevism, or some such dignified cause that makes him sad. When you tell people that happiness is a simple matter, they get annoyed with you.

All who are not lunatics are agreed about certain things. That it is better to be alive than dead, better to be adequately fed than starved, better to be free than a slave. Many people desire those things only for themselves and their friends; they are quite content that their enemies should suffer. These people can only be refuted by science: Humankind has become so much one family that we cannot ensure our own prosperity except by ensuring that of everyone else. If you wish to be happy yourself, you must resign yourself to seeing others also happy.

Prologue..............................

He had seen everything, had experienced all emotions,
from exaltation to despair, had been granted a vision
into the great mystery, the secret places,
the primeval days before the Flood.  He had journeyed
to the edge of the world and made his way back, exhausted
but whole.  He had carved his trials on stone tablets,
had restored the holy Eanna Temple and the massive
wall of Uruk, which no city on earth can equal.
See how its ramparts gleam like copper in the sun.
Climb the stone staircase, more ancient than the mind can 
     imagine,
approach the Eanna Temple, sacred to Ishtar,
a temple that no king has equaled in size or beauty,
walk on the wall of Uruk, follow its course
around the city, inspect its mighty foundations,
examine its brickwork, how masterfully it is built,
observe the land it encloses:  the palm trees, the gardens,
the orchards, the glorious palaces and temples, the shops
and marketplaces, the houses, the public squares.
Find the cornerstone and under it the copper box
that is marked with his name.  Unlock it.  Open the lid.
Take out the tablet of lapis lazuli.  Read
how Gilgamesh suffered all and accomplished all.
-Gilgamesh, as translated by Stephen Mitchell

Ed. Note:  For some quick info on Uruk, go here.  For a
brief description of lapis lazuli, go here

Fifty years ago...................

Sam Cooke...........................Another Saturday Night

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

The finished product











September 25, 1987:  Bulldozers hit the job site.  There was no groundbreaking ceremony for the Crawfordsville Project, no time for that, this was an emergency.  The Nucor Corporation, the ninth largest steel company in the United States, had purchased a square mile of cornfields south of the town of Crawfordsville, Indiana, a blank piece of Hoosier farmland upon which Nucor intended to restore American steel to its former greatness.  At the southern border of Nucor's greenfield site, the bulldozers pushed up a wall of earth near the hamlet of Whitesville, to protect a farmhouse and a couple of bungalows from the thunder of melting steel.
-Richard Preston, American Steel

Fun with currents..................

Just one more fun piece to the puzzle that is this fascinating place we all call home:




thanks jonco

The divinity of simplicity..................

Cavett Robert on asking questions..............

Me too...............................

























via

Friday, February 22, 2013

Blow you away....................

Tim Conway/Carol Burnette...........Wrong Number

Confusion............................

Dave Mason..............................All Along the Watchtower

The "I" in T-E-A-M.................























thanks swissmiss

Foreshadowing................

You can't build something these days without a permit or two or three.  You can't get a permit without having   (at least in our neighborhood) stamped architectural drawings.  You can't get a stamped architectural drawing (at least in our neighborhood) without generating a bill from said architect.  Ergo, weak architectural billing foreshadows a bleak time for the development/construction businesses.   Fortunately...............this handy chart would indicate that bleakness is not in our future.  Good thing.  And, as always, please remember that we have some dandy development land for sale.


















thanks for the chart Mark

Fifty years ago......................

Sam Cooke.......................Love Will Find a Way

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

She took the corner too fast, and it was definitely not much of a road.  She drifted it through the corner on the gravel, with one hell of a drop at our left, and then there was a big rockslide where the road should have been.  She stomped hard and the drift turned into a rough sideways skid, and I hunched low, expecting the white Alpine to trip and roll.  But we skidded all the way to the rock and stopped with inches to spare and a great big three feet between the rear end and the drop-off.  The skid had killed the engine.
-John D. MacDonald, A Purple Place For Dying

What 200 calories looks like, or, a calorie is a calorie, or, is it?...........................

The Execupundit asks the question:  Are we miscounting calories?  His post is here. To further the discussion, Twisted Sifter offers twenty-five photographs of what 200 calories looks like. Full display is here.  A quick taste is here:





















As one might say to Alex Trebek, "Bacon for 200, please":





















via

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























via

A few one-liners from Earl Nightingale....

“Our attitude toward life determines life's attitude towards us.” 

“You become what you think about.” 

“A person who does not read is no better than one cannot read.” 

“We are all self-made, but only the successful will admit it.” 

“Your world is a living expression of how you are using and have used your mind.”

“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become reality.”

“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” 

“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.”

"People are where they are because that is exactly where they really want to be - whether they will admit that or not."


You can read about Earl Nightingale here.  You can listen to his classic 1950 recording The Strangest Secret here.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Heating up........................

Gato Barbieri..................................I Want You

Simple story....................

Mountain......................For Yasgur's Farm

Why art..............................?


















"Different. It is an obsessive driving need to do. It is both an imprisonment as well as a bursting out from restraint. It’s something that needs to be done for no other reason than it needs to be done. I don’t think we need to color it with passion, drive, determination, or ambition. It’s even possibly beyond explanation by the artist himself or herself."
-Jeff Kopito, excerpted from this essay

art via

Checking in with Walter Russell Mead.........

"Too many American debates are between true blues who want to shovel more money into badly designed institutions and grim reds who are more focused on cutting costs than on getting the important jobs done. Both sides need to take their blinkers off and begin thinking creatively about new solutions."  - full essay on higher education reform is here.

"The core problem with Obamacare is that it depends on ripping off the young and healthy to subsidize the old and infirm. On the one hand, we’re glad that young people are able to escape the clutches of this trap, but we can’t help but notice that their escape will bankrupt the system. It’s almost as if the politicians didn’t read the law before they passed it, and had no idea how its various provisions would cause car crashes as they tried to roll it out." - full essay on another crack in Obamacare is here

"This story is also further evidence that Malthusianism is nonsense. Human ingenuity keeps finding new methods in agriculture and other fields of endeavor. There are no signs that this process is nearing an end." - full essay on a new farming revolution in India generating world-record yields is here.


"Consumers want and need new houses, cars, computers, tablets, refrigerators, you name it. Business wants to gear up to supply these and other needs. Central banks are printing money. 
"People want to make money. The economy wants to grow. Politicians are making this as hard as possible, but at some point the sheer dynamism of capitalism seems likely to put us on course for another solid expansion." - full essay on booming and busting is here

A thought for the day................

"It is a lot easier to get older than it is to get wiser."
-Denny Hesselgesser

Fifty years ago..........................

Sam Cooke...........................Frankie & Johnnie

Trying.......................

















thank Todd

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

Despite the mist, she spent an hour working Chica, and working herself, and she smelled of it, mare-sweat and woman-sweat, with a tingle of Chanel No. 5.  They'd turned down the trail from the south forty, easing along, and she could feel the mare's heart beating through her knees and thighs.
-John Sandford, Dead Watch

Now, tell us how you really feel.....

When asked: The biggest challenge in American politics in the next 10 years will be?   Michael Munger replied:

To force our broken political system back toward working on problems, rather than claiming credit for partisan obstruction.  Our last two presidents have been disastrous, and the Congress is a toxic waste dump.  The “leaders” of both parties are brutal thugs, and everyone seems satisfied just to throw bombs.

vitai lampada..........................






















Sic rerum summa novatur semper, et inter se mortales mutua vivunt.   Augescunt aliae gentes, aliae inuuntur, inque brevi spatio mutantur saecla animantum et quasi cursores vitai lampada tradiunt.
- Lucretius

translated as:
"Thus the sum of things is ever being renewed, and mortals live dependent one upon another. Some nations increase, others diminish, and in a short space the generations of living creatures are changed and like runners pass on the torch of life."

image via

The Great Flydini....................

Steve Martin performs for Johnny Carson

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chill.......................

Stan Getz..............................Autumn Leaves

Rich as Rockefeller................

Willie Nelson..................On the Sunny Side of the Street

Five bobbleheads, or Presidents' Day revisited, or the case for Franklin Pierce....................


Chris White has five bobbleheads on his desk:  Steve Carlton, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, and Franklin Pierce.  What?  Franklin Pierce?  Ah,  the rest of the story is told in this fun to read essay.  Teaser excerpt here:

Most of history is people mired in mediocrity or tragedy—those who tried to live up to a father’s example, or couldn’t control their drinking, or were paralyzed by grief. Most of history is people who were products of their time—Franklin was nobody’s first choice in 1852, but he fit a profile Democrats wanted: young Northern guy who tolerated slavery, had decent hair and could claim some military experience. He was bland by design. (Plus the name “Pierce” allowed for campaign knives, and if poll workers are sporting machetes, that’s good for a few votes.) Was he wrong to reach for the brass ring? Wouldn’t you?

It’s easy to care about a Lincoln or a Washington—they give us so many mattress sales. But greatness is a relative condition. There is no Lincoln without Pierce, and when you ignore those who failed, you miss out on the humanity of the past. You miss out on the reassuringly universal stories that will play out again in our future.

My guess is.........................

.........that I disagree with Charlie Rangel about many things, including the reinstatement of the draft.  Having said that, I find myself liking the following:

“Now that women can serve in combat they should register for the Selective Service alongside their male counterparts,” Rangel said in a statement. “Reinstating the draft and requiring women to register for the Selective Service would compel the American public to have a stake in the wars we fight as a nation. We must question why and how we go to war, and who decides to send our men and women into harm’s way.”…

“The Congress never gets a chance to vote up and down on these war questions. Every president just puts our kids in harm’s way and we just foot the bill, but there’s no real sacrifice in what’s going on. Less than 1 percent of American families are involved in the military and they really pay the price for it,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Fifty years ago......................

Sam Cooke............................Ain't That Good News

You mean toys don't count.................?







-a Buddhist saying from Michael's blog,  Journal of a Nobody

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


















After seven years of bickering and fussing, the Fort Lauderdamndale city fathers, on a hot Tuesday in September, killed off a life-style and turned me into a vagrant.
-John D. MacDonald,  The Scarlet Ruse

image via

Great lines....................

From Bilbo and his random thought collections:

"Russia is cleaning up after the spectacular meteor impact that hit the Siberian region of Chelyabinsk last week. The impact injured more than a thousand people, most of them cut by flying glass from shattered windows, and caused damage estimated at more than a billion rubles (about $33 million). According to scientists, it was the largest amount of damage not attributable to Congress in the last ten years."

Full post is here.

Regurgitation.............................

Even casual followers of this blog will recognize how much I value the wonder that is YouTube.  So, it was with great interest that I read this quote from Pat Metheny:

"It's an unexpected turn of events for me. When you play that crappy gig in Germany in 1983, it's like, 'OK, we got through that one, and it's behind us.' Then it gets regurgitated 20 years later. The main thing is the way it limits the possibilities now. I used to love going and playing jam sessions, doing things spontaneously. I can't do that anymore. Everything you do is documented, nothing is casual anymore. You can't even have a conversation with someone after the gig, because there's somebody filming it. It turns out the Big Brother thing that was predicted, it's us."

Full interview is here.

thanks mungo

Cause and effect.............?















thanks Jessica

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Soothing...................

Lee Ritenour........................Pavane

Revolution.....................



















There can be only one permanent revolution - a moral one; the regeneration of the inner man.  How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.
-Lev Nikolayevitch Tolstoy

image via

It's all in the wrist.....................

Johnny Carson and Ed Ames..................................

What is Music....................?

The opening paragraph from Daniel J. Levitin's This Is Your Brain on Music:  The Science of Human Obsession.

What is music?  To many, "music" can only mean the great masters - Beethoven, Debussy, and Mozart.  To others, "music" is Busta Rhymes, Dr. Dre, and Moby.  To one of my saxophone teachers at Berklee College of Music - and to legions of "traditional jazz" aficionados - anything made before 1940 or after 1960 isn't really music at all.  I had friends when I was a kid in the sixties who used to come over to my house to listen to the Monkees because their parents forbade them to listen to anything but classical music, and others whose parents would only let them listen to and sing religious hymns, in both cases fearing the "dangerous rhythms" of rock and roll.  When Bob Dylan dared to play an electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, people walked out and many of those who stayed, booed.  The Catholic Church banned music that contained polyphony (more than one musical part playing at a time), fearing that it would cause people to doubt the unity of God.  The church also banned the musical interval of an augmented fourth, the distance between C and F-sharp and also known at the tritone (the interval in Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story when Tony sings the name "Maria").  This interval was considered so dissonant that it must have been the work of Lucifer, and so the church named it Diablolus in musica.  It was the pitch that had the medieval church in an uproar.  And it was the timbre that got Dylan booed.  It was the latent African rhythms in rock that frightened white suburban parents, perhaps fearful that the beat would induce a permanent, mind-altering trance in their innocent children.  What are rhythm, pitch, and timbre - are they merely ways of describing different mechanical aspects of a song, or do they have a deeper, neurological basis?  Are all of these elements necessary?

Fifty years ago........................

Sam Cooke.........................Change is Gonna Come

Gubernet.....................

















Quod siquis vera vitam ratione gubernet,
divitiae grandes homini sunt vivere parvo
aequo animo; neque enim est umquam penuria parvi.

-Lucretius

translated as:

"But if one should guide his life by true principles, man's greatest wealth is to live on a little with contented mind; for a little is never lacking."

painting by Andrew Wyeth

That's Entertainment......................!

Don't see too much of this anymore.  Our loss.

Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Nicholas Brothers

Scheming........................























I stand here and watch the people of this world
all against one and one against all,
angry, arguing, plotting and scheming.
Then one day, suddenly, they die.
And each gets one plot of ground:
four feet wide, six feet long.
If you can scheme your way out of that plot,
I'll set the stone that immortalizes your name.
-Han Shan, as translated in The Poetry of Zen

Great lines........................

From Mathew Ferrara, encouraging us old-timers in real estate to dispense with our resistance to the latest evolution in communication technology:

"As we’ve often said: Even the Pope uses Twitter to take his message to the people, because nobody’s going to his Sunday Open House’s either."

Full post is here

Monday, February 18, 2013

It's getting hungry out..................

15 pictures of scrumptiousness from Jon Chonko


Now you have..........................

Pat Metheny Group..........................Have You Heard

Honest habits..................

The Mighty E. (and Michael) points to this essay by James Altucher on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Mediocre People.  Premise here:   

"We want to make our business, make our art, sell it, make some money, raise a family, and try to be happy. My feeling, based on my own experience, is that aiming for grandiosity is the fastest route to failure."

Conclusion here:























“I thought being mediocre was supposed to be bad,” one might think. “Shouldn’t we strive for greatness?” The answer is: “Of course we should! But let’s not forget that nine out of ten drivers think they’re above the median in driving skill.” People overestimate themselves. Don’t let overestimation get in the way of becoming fabulously rich, or at least successful enough that you can have your freedom, feed your family, and enjoy other things in life.
Being mediocre doesn’t mean you won’t change the world. It means being honest with yourself and the people around you. And being honest at every level is really the most effective habit of all if you want to have massive success.

Things of beauty.....................
















I don't have a clue what it means either, but apparently bloggery like this would be impossible without it.  For a whole bunch of other beautiful and important equations (with handy historical backgrounds, purposes, and current usage values) - go here and or here

thanks craig

Fifty years ago..................

The Contours................Don't Let Her Be Your Baby

Road trip..................

Johnny Carson and Don Rickles once more......

Opening paragraphs

Formidable and grand on a hilltop in Picardy, the five-towered castle of Coucy dominated the approach to Paris from the north, but whether as guardian or as challenger of the monarchy in the capital was an open question.  Thrusting up from the castle's center, a gigantic cylinder rose to twice the height of the four corner towers.  This was the donjon or central citadel, the largest in Europe, the mightiest of its kind ever built in the Middle Ages or thereafter.  Ninety feet in diameter, 180 feet high, capable of housing a thousand men in a siege, it dwarfed and protected the castle at its base, the clustered roofs of the town, the bell tower of the church, and the thirty turrets of the massive wall enclosing the whole complex on the hill.  Travelers coming from any direction could see this colossus of baronial power from miles away and, on approaching it, feel the awe of the traveler in infidel lands at the first sight of the pyramids.
-Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror:  The Calamitous 14th Century













old photo of Coucy castle prior to its 1917 destruction

The Cooke Book....................

My Sweetie and I celebrated our fifth anniversary on Saturday by taking in a show at the fabulous Midland Theatre.  Darrian Ford presented the Cooke Book, the music of Sam Cooke.  Cooke was a multi-talented man who died way too early (1964).  Ford does him justice.  A great show.

Vivivda.....................



















Ergo vivida vis pervicet et extra
processit longe flamentia moenia mundi
atque omne immensum peragravit mente animoque.

-Lucretius

Translated as:

"The vivid force of his mind prevailed, and he fared forth far beyond the flaming ramparts of the heavens and traversed the boundless universe in thought and mind."

image via

Your assignment....................

Using music to teach economics.  What a concept.  Site, with extensive playlist, is here.  Interpreting, and questioning, Tom Petty here:























Bonus:  The song




Thanks Mungo

Sunday, February 17, 2013

serenade................

Mark Knopfler...................Romeo and Juliet

Metrics.......................

Only a comparison of today to the "bubble years" would cause you to think the housing market wasn't doing well.  Please don't go wishing for another bubble.

Fifty years ago............

The Valadiers..................................I Found a Girl

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

A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green.  The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool.  On one side of the river the golden foothill slopes curve up to the strong and rocky Gabilan mountains, but on the valley side the water is lined with trees - willows fresh and green with every spring, carrying in their lower leaf junctures the debris of the winter's flooding; and sycamores with mottled, white, recumbent limbs and branches that arch over the pool.  On the sandy bank under the trees the leaves lie deep and so crisp that a lizard makes a great skittering if he runs among them.  Rabbits come out of the brush to sit on the sand in the evening, and the damp flats are covered with the night tracks of 'coons, and the spread pads of dogs from the ranches, and with the split-wedge tracks of deer that come to drink in the dark.
-John Steinbeck,  Of Mice and Men

Heeere's Johhhhhny......................

Johnny Carson with Frank Sinatra and Don Rickles

Pennies......................























A penny saved is a penny earned, excluding all the pennies you dump in a jar for an eventual trip to a Coinstar machine, but the prospect of carrying a jar of loose change that’s top-heavy with pennies to Food Emporium to earn $12.47 is so depressing that you never do it and the jar remains unused, so, really, sometimes saving pennies actually ends up making you lose money.
-Teddy Wayne, from Teddy Wayne's Unpopular Proverbs

Edison and religious inquiry........

     "People say I have created things," the mystical Edison said in an obscure 1911 essay published in the Gary, Indiana, Gazette.  "I have never created anything.  I get impressions from the Universe at large and work them out, but I am only a plate on a record or a receiving apparatus - what you will.  Thoughts are really impressions we get from the outside."  Several days later, Edison elaborated in similarly transcendental fashion in The Columbian Magazine.  While he did not believe in a "Supreme Being," calling such an image of "creedism...abhorrent and fallacious," he did on the other hand fervently espouse the existence of a Supreme Intelligence ("I do not personify it"), which acted as a kind of "Master Mind" informing all singular intellects on the planet.  The crux of individuality, to Edison, was to be found on the most rudimentary and essential cellular level of man, as a biological construct, a machine with parts; each and every cell in the human "machine...governed by unalterable laws" contained within it the essence of a man's personality.  "They, not the men and women, are the individuals."  This idea had been and would continue to be the locus of Edison's scientific yet simultaneously religious inquiry into human nature.
-Neil Baldwin, Edison: Inventing the Century