Saturday, May 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Kate..................


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

Duane Eddy.........................Rebel Rouser and Ramrod




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

     Once upon a time, nearly two thousand years ago, a young camel boy named Hafid fell in love with a wealthy merchant's daughter.
-Og Mandino, The Greatest Secret in the World

Ed. Note:  I've got a handful of Mandino's books on my shelves.  All I can say is that he is the king of the one sentence opening paragraph.

Treasure.....................................






















"Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity."
-Og Mandino

Render........................................















“The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be.” 
-Og Mandino

cartoon via

Action............................

























“My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible.  All are of no value unless they are followed by action.” 
-Og Mandino

cartoon via

Kindness................................























“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do so with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” 
-Og Mandino

cartoon via

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


Jay & The Americans.......................Only In America

Habits..................................























“Only a habit can subdue another habit.”
-Og Mandino

cartoon via

Laugh...............................


















“Laugh at yourself and at life. Not in the spirit of derision or whining self-pity, but as a remedy, a miracle drug, that will ease your pain, cure your depression, and help you to put in perspective that seemingly terrible defeat... Never take yourself too seriously.” 
-Og Mandino

cartoon via

























“Realise that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.” 
-Og Mandino

cartoon via

Guard...................................




















“Never allow anyone to rain on your parade and thus cast a pall of gloom and defeat on the entire day. Remember that no talent, no self-denial, no brains, no character, are required to set up in the fault-finding business. Nothing external can have any power over you unless you permit it. Your time is too precious to be sacrificed in wasted days combating the menial forces of hate, jealously, and envy. Guard your fragile life carefully. Only God can shape a flower, but any foolish child can pull it to pieces.” 
-Og Mandino

cartoon via

Ask..................................



























“Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new. ” 
-Og Mandino

cartoon via

Friday, May 24, 2013

Culture...........................................

Gioachino Rossini..................The Barber of Seville   Overture

Fun with culture...............................

Bugs and Elmer......................The Rabbit of Seville

Progress........................

Us humanoids are getting better at this "living" thing.  31 charts saying so can be found here.

thanks craig

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

Bob & Earl.............................The Harlem Shuffle



Info on the song is here.  Info on Bob & Earl is here.

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

My name is Bruno Salvador.  My friends call me Salvo, so do my enemies.  Contrary to what anybody may tell you, I am a citizen in good standing of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and by profession a top interpreter of Swahili and the lesser-known but widely spoken languages of the Eastern Congo, formerly under Belgian rule, hence my mastery of French, a further arrow in my professional quiver.  I am a familiar face around the London law courts both civil and criminal, and in regular demand at conferences on Third World matters, see my glowing references from many of our nation's finest corporate names.  Due to my special skills I have also been called upon to do my patriotic duty on a confidential basis by a government department whose existence is routinely denied.  I have never been in trouble, I pay  my taxes regularly, have a healthy credit rating and am the owner of a well-conducted bank account.  Those are the cast-iron facts that no amount of bureaucratic manipulation can alter, however hard they try.
-John le Carre, The Mission Song

To swap or not to swap.......................?

What to do?  What to do?   One of our real estate partnerships is contemplating entering into an interest rate swap on our outstanding debt.  Said sway would benefit us greatly if interest rates were to take an upward move in the near future.  If interest rates waited a few years to turn up, then the deal is not so good (still not bad, but not so good).  The partners are not all of one mind.  I just phoned in my vote to exercise the swap as soon as possible.  My reasons are many, but by way of summary, let's just say that things that can't continue, won't.
















Larger chart and trend update is here.

A tough call...............................


















via

Essential..........................

















"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-Benjamin Franklin

via

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






















via

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Synthesize this..............................

Wendy Carlos....................Switched-on-Bach



Carlos created the first commercially successful use of the Moog Synthesizer.  The year was 1968. Part of the story is here.

Born this day in 1934..........................

Robert A. Moog, the creator of the Moog synthesizer.  Wiki is here.














"The more you get into material and matter, all you realize is in matter, there is energy. There is a blur between energy and consciousness. All material is conscious to some extent or another. All material can respond to some extent or another to vibrations of energy that is different to energy you learn about in physics. There are all sorts of reliable information now on people and animal being able to be able to effect the operations of machines—even of computers—and I think that has great implications for what goes on between a musician and his instrument. There is a level of reality where there is no time, and there is no space, there is just energy."

On vision and limits....................





























via

It's actually the hard part......................























via

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

The Marketts...........................................Out of Limits
(If you want to get a grip on 1963, watch the video)




Information about the 1963 TV show "Outer Limits"  is here

On Cornwell and le Carre..........


David Cornwell did not want to be a writer. As a teacher in the 1950s he dreamt of being an artist, and would paint in his spare time. By 1960, however, as an intelligence officer for MI6 in Bonn, he was writing in frantic hours after work. From then on, he was John le Carré.
Born in Dorset in 1931, he was brought up by non-conformist grandparents and a Micawber-like father who had spells in prison and sent his son to an expensive school. "From a largely working-class background," he once said, "I was being groomed for something more refined." He read languages at Oxford, emerging with a first.
"The Spy Who Came in from the Cold", his first hit, turns 50 this year. Written in the early days of the Berlin wall, it anatomises the horror of the cold war. "We forget the terror too easily," le Carré says. His 22 novels, eight of which feature George Smiley, prevent us from doing so. The master of dialogue as a form of interrogation, he writes with an urgency that distances him from the pack of thriller writers. His next arrives this month; his 2010 novel "Our Kind of Traitor" is being made into a film.
-Emma Hogan, as excerpted from here.
Ed. Note:  A very quick look via the Oracle Google found no examples of Cornwell/le Carre paintings in the Intertunnel.  A disappointment.

1963..........................























John le Carre's third work, and first best seller, was published in 1963.  It is the novel Ian Fleming never would have written.  There was the time I spent a year or two lost in the world of George Smiley, and was always grateful for it.  Interesting book review is here.

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

Ten minutes to midnight:  a pious Friday evening in May and a fine river mist lying in the market square.  Bonn was a Balkan city, stained and secret, drawn over with tramwire.  Bonn was a dark house where someone had died, a house draped in Catholic black and guarded by policemen.  Their leather coats glistened in the lamplight, the black flags hung over them like birds.  It was as if all but they had heard the alarm and fled.  Now a car, now a pedestrian hurried past, and the silence followed like a wake.  A tram sounded, but far away.  In the grocer's shop, from a pyramid of tins, the handwritten notice advertised the emergency: Lay In Your Store Now!  Among the crumbs, marzipan pigs like hairless mice proclaimed the forgotten Saint's Day.
-John le Carre, A Small Town In Germany

Speaking of the spy game..................




















via, via, and via

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Every morning...........................
















via

Beautiful................................


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

Bob Dylan.......................A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall



This little tune was written and performed live by Dylan in 1962,  It was recorded and released on the Freewheelin' Bob Dylan album in May of 1963.

Walter Russell Mead...................

Even casual readers of this blog will realize that I am a fan of WRM and his Via Meadia blog.  Here are a few recent excerpts that may help you understand why:

Our suggestion: American wonk wannabes spend too much time in school studying IR and economic theory, leading them to think about the world in ideological ways. Less theory, more history would make for a smarter and more cautious wonkocracy. We especially recommend the study of the long effort to spread liberal governance and cultural ideals, an effort that began in the early 19th century and that has had many successes, failures and hard-to-categorize surprises since. Today’s democracy promoters, whether liberal or conservative, are almost always illiterate about the rich and complex history of the endeavor they usually cluelessly seek to push forward.      As excerpted from here.

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The policy needs to be carefully considered and managed at the very top—and not just as a warm and fuzzy Kumbaya songfest in which we all hold hands. Clarity of vision, strength of purpose, coordination of policy, and a reasonable degree of consistency are what’s needed. We aren’t there yet.   As excerpted from here.

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But this revision is bad news for alarmist greens, who are finding that once again, their exaggerated claims turned out not to be true. This, in turn, is bad news for their less alarmist peers, since green scaremongering is the leading cause of climate skepticism. Add this to the impracticality, and in many cases sheer absurdity, of green policy recommendations and it’s clear why this movement keeps punching well below its weight.  As excerpted from here.

Amoral and immoral.....................

Althouse points to a Fast Company interview with Nate Silver about politics.  Fun excerpt/quote here:

" Silver stops to reach over for a french fry, eat it, and think. "I mean, well, the fact that it's seen as so optional to actually be truthful?" It offends his sensibilities as a data scientist in pursuit of truth. "You know," he continues, "whereas business can be amoral, I think politics is actively immoral on many occasions. So people will ask if I will go work for a campaign and I say, 'No way.' I can make a lot more money working for a hedge fund and it would be a lot less actively evil. At least you're not trying to manipulate people's belief systems."

113 slides worth shuffling through......

Reid Hoffman, via Ben Casnocha, offers significantly good advice for graduates of all ages.  Full slide deck is here.  A wee sampling, in the form of slide #89 and #90,  is here:



Good thing....................................


2)  Temptation is not necessarily a negative thing.

So says The Strategic Learner.  While his full context is here, I will be applying it to the whole grilled-pecan-roll-context at breakfast:


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Raspberries................................Go All The Way

Inalienable.................?

From time to time you may come across verbiage such as this:

All men are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, rights guaranteed regardless of gender, race, or religion. If a man commits a crime, he may lose his liberty but not his basic human rights such as food and humane living conditions (at least in enlightened societies, anyway). No one is more human than the next person. If you breathe, you deserve basic dignity. Period.

On the surface it is difficult to disagree with the author's sentiments.  The history major in me, however, rebels every time I read stuff like this (my deepest regard for Thomas Jefferson notwithstanding).  I could create a list from now to next Thursday of times and places in the recorded history of man where the idea of such rights would be considered laughable.  Just consider the fifty year stretch beginning with 1930: Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Mao, and Pol Pot.  Between them the deaths of ordinary citizens by government policy run to tens of millions.

I believe we do ourselves a injustice by not recognizing what a special place the United States is (hence my deep regard for Thomas Jefferson, et. al.) in terms of personal liberty.  We do ourselves a greater injustice by not recognizing how fragile liberty is.  From a historical perspective, it is not the natural order of things.  Liberty and all those other "rights" are  inalienable, and deserved, only  to the degree we are willing to respect them, teach them, nurture them, practice them, defend them, and grant them to others - even then it's a crap shoot.

We are truly blessed.

About those "summer" jobs.........................

From Forbes comes this conclusion to an essay on the minimum wage (that includes information about a faulty, but much cited, study on New Jersey fast food employment):

Ignoring the law of demand to adopt a higher minimum wage in the hope of helping low-wage workers is a grand delusion.  The persistence of this false belief ignores economic reality.  It is a red herring that diverts attention from alternative policies that would increase economic freedom and prosperity for all workers.

From The Center For American Progress comes an essay highlighting the unemployment problems of low skill workers (i.e teenagers).  Said essay includes the charts below.   Of a different political persuasion than Forbes, CAP does not link the dearth of employment opportunities for teenagers to the rising minimum wage.














Economics was never my strong suit in school, but I suspect there is more that a bit of truth in this:














cartoon via

Hot streak.............................

Take a ramble with the fabulous duo of Jetboy and that dog Skip.  One of them sure knows fine music.

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

The Beatles......................Roll Over Beethoven




Chuck Berry penned this tune in 1956.  The Beatles recorded it in the summer of 1963, releasing it in November of 1963.  The video dates to 1964.  Better audio can be found many places, but wouldn't you like to bottle that energy.

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

Looking back upon the unceasing tumult of the war, I cannot recall any period when its stresses and the onset of so many problems all at once or in rapid succession bore more directly on me and my colleagues than the first half of 1941.  The scale of events grew larger every year; but the decisions required were not more difficult.  Greater military disasters fell upon us in 1942, but by then we were no longer alone and our fortunes were mingled with those of the Grand Alliance.  No part of our problem in 1941 could be solved without relation to all rest.  What was given to one theatre had to be taken from another.  An effort here meant a risk there.  Our physical resources were harshly limited.  The attitude of a dozen Powers, friendly, opportunist, or potentially hostile, was unknowable. At home we must face the war against the U-boats, the invasion threat, and the continuing Blitz; we had to conduct the group of campaigns in the Middle East; and thirdly, to try to make a front against Germany in the Balkans.  And we had to do all this for a long time alone.  After shooting Niagara, we had now to struggle in the rapids.  One of the difficulties of this narrative is the disproportion between our single-handed efforts to keep our heads above water from day to day and do our duty, and the remorseless development of far larger events.
-Winston Churchill,  The Grand Alliance

Beauty...................................


Offensensitivity.....................






















from the wonderful  mind of Berkeley Breathed

Wait, I pushed the button and.....................

..............oh....... never mind.....................everything IS ok




















via 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Get to it............................................

Slim Harpo............................Baby Scratch My Back

Breadth........................................

    39.  Or by fixing the mind upon any divine form or 
           symbol that appeals to one as good.

     One of the most attractive characteristics of Patanjali's philosophy is the breadth of vision, its universality.  There is no attempt here to impose any particular cult upon the spiritual aspirant.  God is within us, and it is by the light of his presence - no matter how dimly it shines through the layers of our ignorance - that we fashion our own pictures and symbols of goodness and project them upon the outside world. Every such picture, symbol, or idea is holy, if it is conceived  in sincerity.  It may be crude and childish, it may not appeal to others;  that is unimportant.  All-important is our attitude toward it.  Whatever we truly and purely worship, we make sacred.
     Therefore, we should always feel reverence for the religions of others, and beware of bigotry.  At the same time, however - as has been remarked above in reference to aphorism 12 - we must limit ourselves to one way of seeking and keep to that;  otherwise we shall waste all our energies in mere spiritual "window-shopping."  We can find nothing in a shrine or a place of pilgrimage if we bring nothing into it, and we must never forget, in the external practice of a cult, though the Reality is everywhere, we can only make contact with it in our own hearts.
     As the great Hindu saint Kabir says in one of his most famous poems.

          I laugh when I hear that the fish
             in the water is thirsty.
          You wander restlessly from forest
             to forest while the Reality
             is within your own dwelling.
          The truth is here!  Go where you will -
             to Benares or to Mathura;
             until you have found God
             in your own soul, the whole world
             will seem meaningless to you.

-How to Know God:  The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali

Beautiful.......................

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

Friend Ray asks himself some hard questions.  Actually, he has been asking them for a long time, and has been generously sharing his quest for answers with us for the past three plus years.  Thanks Ray.

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

Little Johnny Taylor.......................Part Time Love



Hit #1 on the U.S. R & B charts and #17 on the Billboard 100 pop charts in the fall of 1963

Chapter Twenty-four............................

A man on tiptoe
                           can't walk easily.
The man who strides on ahead is bound to tire.

The kind of person who always insists
on his way of seeing things
can never learn anything from anyone.

Those who always want to be seen
will never help others to be.

The showman is never
secretly respected by anyone.

People like these, say the Wise Ones
are as useless as the left-over food found at a feast.

No true follower can relate to them.

-Tao Te Ching, translated by Man-ho Kwok, Martin Palmer, and Jay Ramsey

-------------------------------------------------------------

Who is puffed up cannot stand,
Who is self-absorbed has no distinction,
Who is self-revealing does not shine,
Who is self-assertive has no merit,
Who is self-praising does not last long.

As for the Way, we may see these are
     "excess provisions and extra baggage."
Creation abhors such extravagamces.

Therefore,
     One who aspires to the Way
     does not abide in them.

-Tao Te Ching,  Lao Tzu as translated by Victor H. Mair

---------------------------------------------------------------

Who tiptoes doesn't stand
who strides doesn't walk
who watches himself doesn't appear
who displays himself doesn't flourish
who flatters himself achieves nothing
who parades himself doesn't lead
on the road they say
too much food and a tiring pace
some things are simply bad
thus the Taoist shuns them.

-Tao Te Ching, Lao-tzu, as translated by Red Pine

The road to truth................................


Bless....................................


May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection,starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.
And the Blessing of God, who Creates, Redeems and Sanctifies, be upon you and all you love and pray for this day, and forever more. 
Amen.

- A Franciscan Blessing


via the Journal of a Nobody

Parenting....................................























thanks jonco