Friday, March 1, 2013

Tales from the young West.........

The Beatles.........................Rocky Raccoon

Ever notice how gas prices can affect your attitude?


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

     Success has always had its price, I guess, and I learned that lesson the hard way in October of 1985 when Forbes magazine named me the so-called "richest man in America."  Well, it wasn't too hard to imagine all those newspaper and TV folks up in New York saying "Who?" and "He lives where?"  The next thing we knew, reporters and photographers started flocking down here to Bentonville, I guess to take pictures of me diving into some swimming pool full of money they imagined I had, or to watch me light big fat cigars with $100 bills while the hootchy-kootchy girls danced by the lake.
-Sam Walton:  Made in America:  My Story

A few quotes from Sam Walton...............

You can make a positive out of the most negative if you work at
it hard enough. 

Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem 
of their personnel.   If people believe in themselves, it's amazing 
what they can accomplish.

Many of our best opportunities were created out of necessity.

There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody 
in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending 
his money somewhere else.

I had to get up everyday with my mind set on improving something.

Celebrate your success and find humor in your failures. Don't take
yourself so seriously. Loosen up and everyone around you will
loosen up. Have fun and always show enthusiasm. When all else
fails, put on a costume and sing a silly song.

Eat what you cook.

High
 expectations are the key to everything.


I probably have traveled and walked into more variety stores
than anybody in America. I am just trying to get ideas, any kind
of ideas that will help our company. Most of us don't invent ideas.
We take the best ideas from someone else.

Capital isn't scarce; vision is.
There's a lot more business out there in small town America than
I ever dreamed of.

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

The Rolling Stones................................Come On

Mencken on liberty.........................

I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that men have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years. I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air – that progress made under the shadow of the policeman’s club is false progress, and of no permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave. 
-H. L. Mencken from his 1/30/27 essay "Why Liberty?”, in the Chicago Tribune

Reasons why I like living in Newark and Licking County.............

Reason #65:   Southgate Corporation.

     Readers familiar with Licking County will recognize the name.  For those whose memories need refreshed, go here.
     If the past five years has taught us anything, it is the importance to a community of having steady and reliable employment opportunities. Ample employment opportunities lead to a happy, healthy, and growing community.  Absence of those employment opportunities leads to - well, all sorts of unpleasantness.
      Ah, but how to get those jobs.  Businesses seeking to expand and/or relocate have untold options.  It is a big country.  How does a community of our size seeking to attract a new employer ever hoped to get noticed?  I'm glad you asked.
      One way is to have a brand-new 50,000 square foot industrial building available for immediate occupancy.  Easier said than done.  Such a building, including land cost and site work, will cost close to $2,000,000 to put up.  On top of that, the carrying cost, until a user for the building is found, is not an insignificant number.  A worthy venture, but not without risk - serious risk.
     Southgate Corporation has a forty year tradition of developing such industrial buildings on a speculative basis.  Sort of an "if we build it, they will come" philosophy.  It is a risky business, but  they have done it exceedingly well, and have properly prospered as a result.  So has our community.  Some 50 "spec" buildings later, Licking County finds itself blessed by a broad base of industrial employment operating out of those Southgate Corporation developed buildings.
     Now the good news.  They are at it again, building a new 50,000 square foot (expandable) building on one of their few remaining sites at the Newark, Ohio Industrial Park (see photo below).  As a betting man, I'm willing to wager that before the year is out, I will be posting about the new company coming to occupy this building and opening up with +/- fifty new jobs.  Can't wait.

New home for some lucky manufacturer

Interior of the new 50,000 square foot building receiving the finishing touches

















The Newark, Ohio Industrial Park developed by Southgate
Corporation.  Construction of the new spec building started
after this picture was taken, but is is at the bottom of the
photo on the left side of State Route 79.

THE secret...........................

"My secret formula is nothing more than watching really good companies and making a move when the price looks good."

So says the Crossing Wall Street blog; full blog post is here.  What a concept:  buy value when it is discounted.

It has a sort of universality about it, don't you think?

Gotta stop eating Chinese..................


Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Mighty E.....................

..........is on another one of his hot streaks.  Do your young self a favor and check out his posts for the past few days.  Commence checking here.
















Ed. Note:  Egad!  He beat me to the punch on Leo Babauta's 28 tips.  Now I've got to find something else to post for tomorrow.  Bah humbug.

The future of health care..................?

Humble Pie............................I Don't Need No Doctor

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


Mencken on life itsownself......................

The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is a bore. It is not so much a war as an endless standing in line. The objection to it is not that it is predominantly painful, but that it is lacking in sense.
-H. L. Mencken as excerpted from the 8/9/26 Baltimore Evening Sun

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

Skeeter Davis............................The End of the World

Having a hard time believing this one..............

"The discerning Washington insider listens closely to what's said outside the Beltway to find out what's likely to happen next in D.C."
-as excerpted from this article from the Foreign Policy blog

Really?    Seriously?

Investing in crony capitalism................

Actually, investing in companies that excel in crony capitalism seems to be profitable. Full essay is here.













cartoon via

thanks mungo

A few quotes attributed to J. P. Morgan..........

A man generally has two reasons for doing a thing. One that sounds good, and a real one.

Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see farther.

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.

Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of plutocracy.

When you expect things to happen - strangely enough - they do happen.

No problem can be solved until it is reduced to some simple form. The changing of a vague difficulty into a specific, concrete form is a very essential element in thinking.

I made a fortune getting out too soon.

Remember, my son, that any man who is a bear on the future of this country will go broke.

Opening paragraphs... (dedicated to us history majors everywhere who sometimes forget there is not much new going on)..............


When Baltimore merchant George Peabody sailed for London in 1835, the world was in the throes of a debt crisis.  The defaulting governments weren't obscure Balkan nations or South American republics but American states.  The United States had succumbed to a craze for building railroads, canals, and turnpikes, all backed by state credit.  Now Maryland legislators, with the bravado of the ruined, threatened to join other states in skipping interest payments on their bonds, which were largely marketed in London.  As one of the three state commissioners assigned to renegotiate the debt, Peabody urged officials to tone down their rhetoric and placate British bankers.  But American legislators found it easier to pander to the hatred of foreign banks rather than to raise new taxes to service debt.
-Ron Chernow, The House of Morgan

Brandalism....................

Anarchy combined with art and advertising............here








Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Horns.............................

Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong...................Umbrella Man

Clearing skies.......................

Beach Boys............................Disney Girls

Un-squeeze..................

















"Much in life needs planning and longer-term thinking."
-Nicholas Bate and lessons to be learned from our bed-time stories

More than you ever wanted to know about taxes....




via

Mencken on laws and lawmakers..........

Laws are no longer made by a rational process of public discussion; they are made by a process of blackmail and intimidation, and they are executed in the same manner. The typical lawmaker of today is a man wholly devoid of principle — a mere counter in a grotesque and knavish game. If the right pressure could be applied to him, he would be cheerfully in favor of polygamy, astrology or cannibalism.  It is the aim of the Bill of Rights, if it has any remaining aim at all, to curb such prehensile gentry. Its function is to set a limitation upon their power to harry and oppress us to their own private profit. The Fathers, in framing it, did not have powerful minorities in mind; what they sought to hobble was simply the majority. But that is a detail. The important thing is that the Bill of Rights sets forth, in the plainest of plain language, the limits beyond which even legislatures may not go. The Supreme Court, in Marbury v. Madison, decided that it was bound to execute that intent, and for a hundred years that doctrine remained the corner-stone of American constitutional law.
-H. L. Mencken, as excerpted from the 5/30 issue of The American Mercury

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

The Crystals.....................Da Doo Ron Ron

Remind me again...................

Exactly how much are we supposed to know.........?


















APOD pix of M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, a mere "30 million light years distant and fully 60 thousand light years across"

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

In the early 1900's, as Rockefeller vied with Andrew Carnegie for the title of the world's richest man, a spirited rivalry arose between France and Germany, with each claiming to be Rockefeller's ancestral land.  Assorted genealogists stood ready, for a sizable fee, to manufacture a splendid royal lineage for the oilman.  "I have no desire to trace myself back to the nobility," he said honestly.  "I am satisfied with my good old American stock."  The most ambitious search for Rockefeller's roots traced them back to a ninth-century French family, the Roquefeuilles, who supposedly inhabited a Languedoc chateau.  The clan's departure from France is much better documented than its origins.  After Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685, the Huguenot family fled from religious persecution and emigrated to Sagendorf, near the Rhenish town of Koblenz, and Germanized their surname to Rockefeller.
-Ron Chernow, Titan:  The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

Bring it on.............................

















via

At this age, not me........................






















via

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Thrill.................................

BB King and Eric Clapton........The Thrill Is Gone
("You're getting better all the time, young man")

Appointed duty..................

Bill Withers..............................Use Me

Sequester away.........................



















Story, from whence the chart came,  is here.

Mencken on happiness................


















Human life is basically a comedy. Even its tragedies often seem comic to the spectator, and not infrequently they actually have comic touches to the victim. Happiness probably consists largely in the capacity to detect and relish them. A man who can laugh, if only at himself, is never really miserable.
-H. L. Mencken, as excerpted from Minority Report

cartoon via

Scott Adams on happiness............

We humans leave a lot of happiness on the table by believing our moods are caused entirely by our luck on any given day plus our genetic makeup. But I think moods are 80% controllable by lifestyle. If you exercise, get enough sleep, eat well, and project a positive attitude you can generally have a good day even if the facts of the day argue otherwise.

Full post is here


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

The Ronettes................................Be My Baby

At this age, it is easier to be patient............


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

Each Spring, for many years, I have set myself the task of writing a personal statement of belief: a Credo.  When I was younger, the statement ran for many pages, trying to cover every base, with no loose ends.  It sounded like a Supreme Court brief, as if words could resolve all the conflicts about the meaning of existence.
-Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten

Speaking of a Credo...............

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge —
That myth is more potent than history.
I believe that dreams are more powerful than facts —
That hope always triumphs over experience —
That laughter is the only cure for grief.
And I believe that love is stronger than death.

-Robert Fulghum

It's a Robert Fulghum kind of day..................


















One of life's best coping mechanisms is to know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you've got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy.A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the difference.

You want my opinion? We're all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness — and call it love — true love.

The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.

Live a balanced life — learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

The examined life is no picnic.

Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.


Speed and efficiency do not always increase the quality of life.

Ignorance and power and pride are a deadly mixture, you know.

As one old gentleman put it, " Son, I don't care if you're stark nekkid and wear a bone in your nose. If you kin fiddle, you're all right with me. It's the music we make that counts."

All quotes attributed to Robert Fulghum

image via

Majesty...........................


















via

Monday, February 25, 2013

Easy.........................

Earl Klugh..................................Heart String

At this age, time goes by fast enough without wishing it would go faster, but still...............

























The Muses.................................

Yes......................................Roundabout

Quite the selection................

















via

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



















Charles Howard had the feel of a gigantic onrushing machine:  You had to either climb on or leap out of the way.  He would sweep into a room, working a cigarette in his fingers, and people would trail him like pilot fish.  They couldn't help themselves.  Fifty-eight years old in 1935, Howard was a tall, glowing man in a big suit and a very big Buick.  But it wasn't his physical bearing that did it.  He lived  on a California ranch so huge that a man could take a wrong turn on it and be lost forever, but it wasn't his circumstances either.  Nor was it that he spoke loud or long; the surprise of the man was his understatement.  What drew people to him was something intangible, an air about him.  There was a certain inevitability to Charles Howard, and urgency radiating from him that made people believe that the world was always going to bend to his wishes.
-Laura Hillenbrand,  Seabiscuit:  An American Legend