Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sing along................................

David Gates and Bread.............................Guitar Man

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

People set out early, harnessing steaming horses in the post-dawn chill or walking across stubbled fields still drifted in mist.  The veins of frost in the rutted trails Virginians called their "High Waies" returned to mud under the pale wintry sun, and farm wagons and the gentry's coaches alike struggled across the hilly, broken ground of Prince Edward County, through the long stretches of pine forests separating the tobacco and wheat fields and the peach, pear, and apple orchards not yet in bud.  They came from thirty miles around, fording creeks or the meandering Appomattox, then climbing one more ridge to the crossroads hamlet that was Prince Edward Court House.
-Henry Mayer,  A Son of Thunder:  Patrick Henry And The American Republic

So, did you know this........................?

"We don't really know much about him.  Patrick Henry's fame rests upon a single resounding sentence that rattles somewhat emptily in our heads, devoid of context and separated from the man.  We know, vaguely, that his oratory helped propel the colonies towards independence, but we have forgotten that a dozen years later his dissenting voice, directed against the proposed Constitution of 1787, nearly defeated the measure and forced its proponents to adopt the conciliatory amendments known as the Bill of Rights."
-from the preface to A Son of Thunder

The timelessness of Patrick Henry....























“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” 

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” 

“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.” 

“It is when a people forget God, that tyrants forge their chains.” 

“Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense?” 

“Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts.” 

"Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty?"

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

The Cookies....................................................Chains

Undiminished.............................

All that patriotism requires, and all that it can be,
is eagerness to maintain intact and incorrupt
the founding principles of the nation, and to preserve
undiminished the land and the people.  If national conduct
forsakes these aims, it is one's patriotic duty
to say so and to oppose.  What else have we to live for?

-Wendell Berry
Sabbaths  VIII
2003

"The play's the thing"......................................*






















*courtesy of the Prince Hamlet

It's "let's pick on the accountants" day...


















































first seven cartoons from here

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


Friday, September 20, 2013

Gone, but not forgotten..........................

Jim Croce.....................................Time In A Bottle



It was a sad day, forty years ago today, when 30 year old Jim Croce was killed in a plane crash.  I saw him perform live at the Main Point in suburban Philly in the very early 70's.  It was a great show.

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

Both of Hemingways's grandfathers fought in the Civil War and the family was proud of its military traditions.  Ernest Hall, a tall man with gray eyes and dark hair, was born in Sheffield in 1840 and had some comical troubles with constipation on the ship that brought him from England in his late teens.  In August 1861 he left the family farm in Dubuque and enlisted in the First Iowa Volunteer Cavalry.  He furnished his own horse and saddle, and agreed to serve for three years.  In Warrensburg, Missouri, in April 1862, Hall received a gunshot wound in the left thigh.  The bullet remained lodged in his leg, rendering him incapable of riding on horseback; and he was discharged with one-tenth disability a year after his enlistment.  When offered a military pension by the government, he proudly refused it.  "I gave my services to my adopted country.  I did not sell them."  Hall later cultivated the appearance of an English gentleman - complete with muttonchop whiskers and a white Yorkshire terrier - and prospered in the wholesale cutlery business in Chicago.
-Jeffrey Meyers, Hemingway:  A Biography

Well, have you read any Hemingway lately?

    Johnny Goodner's cruiser, Narwhal, where they were waiting for Roger Davis, was headed into the ebbing tide and astern of her in the same slip, made fast so that the two cabin cruisers lay stern to stern, was the boat of the party that had been at Bobby's place all day.  Johnny Goodner sat in a chair in the stern with his feet on another chair and a Tom Collins in his right hand and a long, green Mexican chile pepper in his left.
     "It's wonderful," he said.  "I bite just a little piece and it sets my mouth on fire and I cool it with this."
     He took the first bite, swallowed, blew out, "thew!" through rolled tongue, and took a long swallow of the tall drink.  His full lower lip licked his thin Irish upper lip and he smiled with his gray eyes.  His mouth was sliced upwards at the corners so it always looked as though he were about to smile, or had just smiled, but his mouth told very little about him unless you noticed the thinness of the upper lip.  His eyes were what you needed to watch.  He was the size of a middleweight gone a little heavy; but he looked in good shape lying there relaxed and that is how a man looks bad who is really out of shape.  His face was brown but peeling across the nose and the forehead that went back with his receding hairline.  He had a scar on his chin that could have been taken for a dimple if it had been just a little closer to the center and his nose had been just perceptibly flattened across the bridge.  It wasn't a flat nose.  It just looked as thought it had been done by a modern sculptor who worked directly in the stone and had taken off just the shadow of a chip too many.
     "Tom, you worthless character, what have you been doing?"
     "Working pretty steadily."
     "You would," he said and took another bite of chile.  It was a very wrinkled and droopy chile about six inches long.
     "Only the first one hurts," he said.  "It's like love."
     "The hell it is.  Chiles can hurt both ways."
     "And love?"
     "The hell with love,"  Thomas Hudson said.
     "What a sentiment.  What a way to talk.  What are you getting to be?  A victim of sheepherder's madness then on this island?"
     "No sheep here, Johnny."
     "Stone-crab herder's madness then,"  Johnny said.  "We don't want to have you have to be netted or anything.  Try one of these chiles."

-a brief excerpt from Hemingway's Islands In The Stream

Hemingway on writing...........................

"My attitude toward punctuation is that it ought to be as conventional as possible. The game of golf would lose a good deal if croquet mallets and billiard cues were allowed on the putting green. You ought to be able to show that you can do it a good deal better than anyone else with the regular tools before you have a license to bring in your own improvements."

"Fuck literature."

"You know lots of criticism is written by characters who are very academic and think it is a sign you are worthless if you make jokes or kid or even clown. I wouldn't kid Our Lord if he was on the cross. But I would attempt a joke with him if I ran into him chasing the money changers out of the temple."

"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master."

"You know that fiction, prose rather, is possibly the roughest trade of all in writing. You do not have the reference, the old important reference. You have the sheet of blank paper, the pencil, and the obligation to invent truer than things can be true. You have to take what is not palpable and make it completely palpable and also have it seem normal and so that it can become a part of experience of the person who reads it."

"Then there is the other secret. There isn't any symbolysm. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The shark are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know."

"It wasn't by accident that the Gettysburg address was so short. The laws of prose writing are as immutable as those of flight, of mathematics, of physics."

"All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn... American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since."

"A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book."

-more quotes from Hemingway can be found here

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

The Orlons.....................................Don't Hang Up



The Orlons were another Philly group.  Released in 1962, Don't Hang Up reached #4 on the Billboard Top 100.  The song was still in the top twenty in 1963

On advice................................


Mixed....................................

















via

Filed under: Good things to know......

How to survive an anaconda attack.......................














Interesting suggestions can be found here.

thanks gerard

The will to compete and the will to win..............

There's a lot to admire in human nature......................


















via

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What can I say..........................?

Badfinger.............................................Baby Blue

What? We're being outspent?........

"The health care industry now spends more money on lobbying in Washington than any sector of the economy—more than $243 million last year alone, slightly higher than the $242 million spent by financial, insurance and real estate companies, according to the Center for Responsive Politics here."




















Image courtesy of Hugh.  Quote taken from this Via Meadia post on the ever-continuing, never-ending government-servant-to-paid-lobbyist revolving door in Washington.

Smart, very smart..........................

Dow Chemical has been a major employer in our part of the world for a long time.  For several decades one of their research facilities was located here, employing over four hundred really smart people.  While that particular facility no longer has a Dow presence, they still have a manufacturing plant here.  Never paid too much attention to the company's founding until reading this yesterday:
Herbert Dow founded Dow Chemical after he figured out a way to produce bromine cheaply. He was doing well in the U.S., but couldn't break into Europe because a giant German cartel fixed the price.
He eventually went to England, beat the cartel on price, which prompted the Germans to start dumping bromine into the U.S. at incredibly low prices. Dow simply stopped selling in the U.S., and started secretly buying all of that German bromine, and selling it in Europe at a fraction of the cartel's prices.
He massively expanded his business, broke the German monopoly, and created "the textbook response to predatory price cutting."  
You can read more about Herbert Dow (February 26, 1866 – October 15, 1930), and the company he founded in 1896, here.
Herbert Henry Dow    c. 1888






















The source for the above "cut and paste", and eleven more really shrewd business decisions, can be found here.

thanks craig

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

Dickey Lee......................................I Saw Linda Yesterday



Another 1962 tune that rose to #14 on the charts in 1963

I have a shirt just like that..........

















"A plan without action is not a plan. It's a speech."

A slide show of 21 more "brilliant insights on how to succeed in business" from T. Boone Pickens can be found here.

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

Risk has always been a part of my life.  I'm not sure whether I'm drawn to it or it's drawn to me, but at every point in my eighty years, I've been faced with a challenge, and in just about every instance I've taken it.  Even my birth was a do-or-die proposition.
-T. Boone Pickens,  The First Billion Is The Hardest:  Reflections On A Life Of Comebacks And America's Energy Future

From the "You Can't Win Them All Department"....

As excerpted from the introduction to T. Boone Pickens's The First Billion Is The Hardest:

I've been in this business for over half a century, and I've heard more than my share of stupid ideas.  These are the worst:
       
       Myth No. 5:   New technology will enable us to discover enormous untapped reservoirs of oil.

Oops.  The book was published in 2008.  Talk about timing.  Check out the following charts showing oil production, just in Texas and North Dakota, from the "new technology" of horizontal drilling combined with fracking.


















Well, it's a comfort to know that very smart, very capable, and very successful people can often be spectacularly wrong.

Win-Win.................................

A few years ago we bought a 160,000 square foot industrial building.  The previous owner had shuttered two plants in our community; this was the larger of the two.  At the time, it was a big loss of jobs and energy.  After the building sat empty for a while, we made our offer and it was accepted.  About the same time, we were introduced to two seasoned entrepreneurs who had purchased some large manufacturing equipment overseas and were seeking a Central Ohio location to set it up in.  We liked them.  They liked us. Our needs coincided.  We agreed to a one year lease, with one very long option period.  Gave them a chance to make sure their plan would work.  If it worked, it would give us a very nice investment. It worked. The lease option was executed. It is now a few years later, I stopped in to check out the action yesterday. The new plant is humming along nicely.   It is highly automated operation, so the employment numbers are modest, but a second shift may be on the horizon.  Still, it has been a win-win.  The community gained a new employer with growth and profit on their minds, and a vacant building was put back into productive use. All good.

And then she said...................

















via

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Puts on Sinatra and starts to cry.............

Stephen Bishop......................................On And On

Well, yeah.................................................

BETHESDA, MD—A groundbreaking psychiatric study released Monday indicates that hearing the words “2016 frontrunners” is currently the leading cause of chronic depression in the United States. “As our research shows, the vast majority of major depressive disorders arise instantly after the words ‘2016 frontrunners’ are uttered in any context, with most cases developing mere seconds after the words are heard and processed,” said National Institute of Mental Health director and study author Dr. Thomas Insel, pointing to thousands of test subjects who sank into an acute and irretrievable state of melancholy upon being exposed to any reference to the impending U.S. presidential race and its candidates. 
-Full Onion post is here

Yep.................................

"The fellow that owns his own home is always just coming out of the hardware store."
-F. M.. Hubbard

Life is great.......................................


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

Gene Pitney.............................Half Heaven, Half Heartache

How....................................

Success is not about avoiding problems - it is about perseverance and overcoming them. If you really want to learn from the most successful people, rather than enviously dreaming about their success, try to find out about the problems they faced on the way and how they overcame them.
-as excerpted from here


Rohn...............................






















"Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion."
-Jim Rohn

"Economic disaster begins with a philosophy of doing less and wanting more."
-Jim Rohn

Not sure how I missed it, but yesterday would have been Rohn's 83rd birthday.  Faithful readers will remember that I have long been a Jim Rohn fan.

Loving kindness, in any language...........

From personal experience.........................


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hamilton, Joe Frank, & Reynolds......Don't Pull Your Love

Those pesky computer models........................

...................... haven't quite yet figured out how to make reality bend to their wishes.  Full story here.  Interesting chart here:


Those pesky Republicans.............................

How dare they..............................


















Of course, the way the law (and the corresponding rules and regulations) was written has nothing to do with the difficulties involved.  If only those darn Republicans would behave.  Sheesh.  Biased much?

Checking in.................................

..............................................with Todd Lohenry

"Make something out of yourself"




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

Les Cooper and the Soul Rockers..............Wiggle Wobble



Another fine instrumental tune released in the fall of 1962 that was still on the Billboard charts in 1963

There's many a way to handle adversity........

Here's one of my favorites............




Thanks Greg

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

"Notice the idea that writing on the internet is an addiction, a mental problem that ought to be disparaged. The blogger is an egotist, who pours out verbiage to further inflate his own grandiosity."

As excerpted from Ann Althouse, as she comments of the "confessions" of a Chinese blogger.

Where.....................................

........................................does he find this stuff?

Monday, September 16, 2013

We were all a lot younger back then.......

Jimmy Buffett......................................Come Monday
(you know the drill, please click through to YouTube)

Roots and wings............................

As a parent I have always admired and respected other parents who have given their children "roots" and "wings."   Wings to take off and fly on their own, wings to explore and soar, wings to be independent.  Roots to provide stability, roots to provide a depth of character, roots to provide a solid foundation, roots to know who they are.

Maybe age 18 is too early to declare victory and the job complete, but maybe not.  Here is the blog of one 18 year old and here is the blog of her father.  Make sure to check out this post.  Looks to me like a job well done.

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

The child who became the world-renowned psychologist C. G. Jung was christened Karl Gustav II Jung, after his illustrious grandfather Carl Gustav I Jung, but with the spelling of his first name modernized.  His parents did observe the old Swiss custom of indicating that he was the second to bear it by placing the Roman numeral between his given and family names.  Born on July 26, 1875, in the vicarage of Kesswil, he was the fourth-born but first-surviving child of Paul Achilles Jung, a poor country parson in the Swiss Reformed Church, and Emilie Preiswerk, his unhappy and unstable wife.
-Deirdre Bair, Jung:  A Biography

Warmth...................................

























"One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child."
-Carl Jung

cartoon via

Acceptance............................

















"We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses."
-Carl Jung

cartoon via

Balance..............................

















"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."
-Carl Jung


cartoon via

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

The Routers...............................................Let's Go



Purists will remember that this song was released in September of 1962.  It was still on the Billboard charts in 1963, much to the delight of cheerleaders everywhere.

If you want to experience an................

.........................exceptionally good blog, you should go here.

58...............................................

Jagged thoughts....................................
35.  Tomorrow is indeed another day. But today is the day. Go to it.

Found something beautiful.............


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Blowing gently.........................

Kingfish..........................................................Hypnotize

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

The story seems too good to be true - but people who should know swear that it is true.  The first time that Huey P. Long campaigned in rural, Latin, Catholic south Louisiana, the local boss who had him in charge said at the beginning of the tour:  "Huey, you ought to remember one thing in your speeches today.  You're from north Louisiana, bu now you're in south Louisiana.  And we got a lot of Catholic voters down here."  "I know," Huey answered.  And throughout the day in every small town Long would begin by saying:  "When I was a boy, I would get up at six o'clock in the morning on Sunday, and I would hitch our old horse to the buggy and I would take my Catholic grandparents to mass.  I would bring them home, and at ten o'clock I would hitch the old horse up again, and I would take my Baptist grandparents to church."  The effect of the anecdote on the audience was obvious, and on the way back to Baton Rouge that night the local leader said admiringly:  "Why, Huey, you've been holding out on us.  I didn't know you had any Catholic grandparents."  "Don't be a damn fool,"  replied Huey.  "We didn't even have a horse."
-T. Harry Williams,  Huey Long

Huey Long on the difference between Republicans and Democrats in Congress (circa 1934).....

The text to the minute long speech can be found here.  Just ignore the YouTube title.

 

The Kingfish...........................

Huey Long was governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932.  He was one of Louisiana's U. S. Senators from 1932 until he was assassinated in 1935.  He was a populist's populist.  More here.  A few quotes attributed to Long here:

"They've got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side, but no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen."

"The time has come for all good men to rise above principle."

"Every man a king, but no one wears a crown."

"Mr. President, I am not undertaking to answer the charge that I am ignorant. It is true. I am an ignorant man. I have had no college education. I have not even had a high school education. But the things that takes me far in politics is that I do not have to color what comes into my mind and into my heart. I say it unvarnished. I say it without veneer. I have not the learning to do otherwise, and therefore my ignorance is often not detected."

"I'm for the poor man — all poor men, black and white, they all gotta have a chance. They gotta have a home, a job, and a decent education for their children. 'Every man a king' — that's my slogan."

"They say they don't like my methods. Well, I don't like them either. I really don't like to have to do things the way I do. I'd much rather get up before the legislature and say, 'Now this is a good law and it's for the benefit of the people, and I'd like you to vote for it in the interest of the public welfare.' Only I know that laws ain't made that way. You've got to fight fire with fire."


"We do not propose to say that there shall be no rich men. We do not ask to divide the wealth. We only propose that, when one man gets more than he and his children and children's children can spend or use in their lifetimes, that then we shall say that such person has his share. That means that a few million dollars is the limit to what any one man can own."

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

Brook Benton............................................Hotel Happiness

Wine..................................

Drinking Alone in the Rainy Season

Whatever lives must meet its end - 
that is the way it has always been.

If Taoist immortals were once alive,
where are they today?

The old man who gave me wine
claimed it was the wine of the immortals.

One small cup and a thousand worries vanish; 
two, and you'll even forget about heaven.

But is heaven really so far away?
It is best to trust in the Tao.

A crane in the clouds has magic wings
to cross the earth in a moment.

It's been forty years of struggle
since I first became reclusive.

Now that my body is nearly dead,
my heart is pure.  What more is there to say?

-T'ao Ch'ien (365-427),  The Poetry of Zen

Verse....................................

My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

2  For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

3  Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

4  So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

5  Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

7  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

8  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

9  Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase:

10  So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

11  My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction:

12  For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Proverbs 3: 1-12
The Holy Bible
King James Version

All you need to know about IPOs.....

"You see, investment banks try to guess what the market will pay for a stock. But, to be completely honest, we have no idea."
-Blog post from whence this quote came, with supporting information and commentary, is here.  A handy reminder is here:


Both ways....................................