Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Quest.................................

Frank Sinatra................................The Impossible Dream

Dreaming..........................

 "To imagine - to dream about things that have not happened - is among mankind's deepest needs."
-Milan Kundera,  The Unbearable Lightness of Being 

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” 
-Edgar Allan Poe


"Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy."
-Sigmund Freud

“You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one.” 
-John Lennon


“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” 
-T.E. LawrenceSeven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph


"Dreaming about being an actress, is more exciting then being one."
-Marilyn Monroe 


“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.” 
-Gloria Steinem


"We should be dreaming. We grew up as kids having dreams, but now we're too sophisticated as adults, as a nation. We stopped dreaming. We should always have dreams."
-Herb Brooks 


thanks michael

Dreaming..............................................





























all non-chicken cartoons via

Hard to improve on this......................




















thanks Jeff

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

Bob Dylan.....................................Ballad of Hollis Brown




lyrics here

Contentment..........................






via Swiss Miss

On motivation............................

"The best motivation is self-motivation.  The guy says, 'I wish someone would come by and turn me on.'  What if they don't show up?  You've got to have a better plan for your live."
-Jim Rohn



















Fish stories.................................



On being human...........

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth...
-John 3:8

Friday, November 1, 2013

The show goes on.........................

Michael Stanley Band.............Let's Get The Show On The Road

On having "personal laws"...............................

Sounds like a fine idea.  I'll be working on mine.  Here are Bilbo's Five Laws:

Bilbo's First Law"Don't let anyone else do your thinking for you."

Bilbo's Second Law"Don't ask the question if you don't want to hear the answer."

Bilbo's Third Law"Never pass up a chance to hug your children (and/or grandchildren) and tell them you love them." .

Bilbo's Fourth Law"Never drive anyplace to which you can walk."

Bilbo's Fifth Law"Never pass up a chance to go to the bathroom."

Libraries.................


















“Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.” 
-Zig Ziglar


"A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life."
-Henry Ward Beecher 


“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.” 
-Walter Cronkite

"The library is the temple of learning, and learning has liberated more people than all the wars in history."
-Carl T. Rowan 

"Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital."
-Thomas Jefferson

“To add a library to a house is to give that house a soul.” 
-Cicero


“When I got [my] library card, that was when my life began.” 
-Rita Mae Brown


"Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest."
-Lady Bird Johnson 


"Everything you need for your better future and success has already been written.  And guess what?  It's all available.  All you have to do is go to the library."
-Jim Rohn

"these Libraries have improved the general Conversation of Americans, made the common Tradesman and Farmers as intelligent as most Gentlemen from other Countries, and perhaps have contributed in some Degree to the Stand so generally made throughout the Colonies in Defence of their Privileges."
-Benjamin Franklin

And the choice is ours...............

"Life has no limit on opportunities. But they have to be taken."
-Nicholas Bate, as excerpted from here

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

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez............................

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

"Let me add, that only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
-Benjamin Franklin, from a letter dated April 17, 1787

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

A small man in physical stature, Francis Marion stood tall in the eyes of the age in which he lived.  His primary thrust into history lasted no longer than three years, yet his name was, and still is, bestowed on countless babies, while some twenty-nine towns and seventeen counties throughout the land have been named for him.  In one sense this is an extraordinary recognition when it is remembered that he fought in only three major military operations in the American Revolution:  the 1776 siege of Charleston, the assault against Savannah, and the battle of Eutaw Springs.  Although he performed well in each, his activities were not such as would have earned his niche in history.  In general, these skirmishes that he fought might be termed the froth of battle.  But as early as 1775, on British general had seen in such engagements the seeds of defeat when he wrote, "Our army will be destroyed by damned driblets...America is an ugly mob...a damned affair indeed."  And six years later the staid Annual Register was to voice its opinion from London:

         Most of these actions would in other wars be considered 
         as skirmishes of little account, and scarcely worthy of a 
         detailed narrative.  But these small actions are as 
         capable as any of displaying military conduct.  The 
         operation of war being spread over that vast continent, 
         by the new plan that was adopted, it is by such skirmishes 
         that the fate of America must be necessarily decided.  
         They are therefore as important as battles in which a 
         hundred thousand are drawn up on each side.

-Hugh F.Rankin,  Francis Marion:  The Swamp Fox

Imagine................................


















     Chess grandmasters have coined a phrase - "that's a computer move" - to describe those ugly, counter intuitive decisions made by computers, the moves that surely appear wrong.  Yet the machines that produce those ugly moves beat the grandmasters virtually every time.  It is true that a computer chess has developed, we humans have actually gotten a little better ourselves - in large part because we are learning from computers - but not better enough to make another contest against a chess computer close.  You might say, when it comes to at least this kind of decision making, we are well below the best in the world.

The contests between the machines are already so scintillating, so deep, and so intricate in their tactics that even the best human players have trouble following what is going on nowadays.  The moves of the machines show, regularly, how puny and reliable our intuitions are, even if we spend decades studying chess.
     It makes you wonder if the same is true about the rest of our lives.
     Imagine using machine intelligence to guide our daily decisions.

-Tyler Cowen,  Average Is Over:  Powering America Beyond The Age Of The Great Stagnation

image via

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Is this a great country, or what......?

The Healthcare Mash....................................



thanks mungo

Happy Halloween..........................

The Monster Mash.......................................

The Great Game revisited....................

The original Great Game may have been the nickname for the geopolitical machinations of rival powers, Great Britain and Russia, during the nineteenth century.  The current Great Game would seem to be the contest between the Regulators and the Regulated. Barring a massive and aggressive police state, the safe bet is on the Regulated (with a side bet on the ever-unpredictable Law of Unintended Consequences).  The Economist is on the story:

"Time and again, the imposition of new burdens on business distorts the flow of money......Finance has yet to meet a rule it doesn't want to game."

About those rules and regulations.........................
































cartoons via

Fun with pumpkins.........................


























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

Mahalia Jackson.................................How I Got Over

Ever the optimist......................

"The more salient trend to draw from weather in the modern era is that whatever it throws at us, we are getting better at coping: civilisation has become steadily more resilient in the face of natural disasters."
-Matt Ridley, as excerpted from this blog post

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

The storm began as a mild weather disturbance, one fairly common for that time of year.  For several days in early June 1914, a hot dry breeze had come of the Sahara Desert to pass over the winter-cooled waters of the eastern Mediterranean.  By the morning of the ninth, this convergence had spawned a strong southwesterly wind, one that grew in intensity as it made landfall over southern Palestine.  By the time it approached Beersheva, a small village on the edge of the Zin Desert some twenty-five miles inland, this wind threatened to trigger a khamsin, or sandstorm.
-Scott Anderson,  Lawrence In Arabia:  War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East

I probably wouldn't have said it that way......

......but having now read it, I might say it that way in the future.

  • This announcement was a nothing-burger.

Some of us real estate people.....................

..........are more worried about deflation than inflation.
















back story and enlargeable chart is here

That vision thing.............................



thanks jonco

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The house band at Sippican Cottage tries their hand at video making...........The kids are doing just fine

Unorganized Hancock............................Like Humans Do




Back story is here

Stand beside me.......................................

Marshall Tucker Band........................Dream Lover

Delight......................................



















thanks hugh

Bet you didn't know this.................

     One central characteristic of the Model T now generally forgotten is that it was the first car of consequence to put the driver's seat on the left hand side.  Previously, nearly all manufacturers placed the driver on the outer, curb-side of the car so that an alighting driver could step out onto a grassy verge or dry sidewalk rather than into the mud of an unpaved road.  Ford reasoned that this convenience might be better appreciated by the lady of the house, and so arranged seating for her benefit.  The arrangement also gave the driver a better view down the road, and made it easier for passing drivers to stop and have a conversation out facing windows.  Ford was no great thinker, but he did understand human nature.  Such, in any case, was the popularity of Ford's seating plan for the Model T that it soon became the standard adopted by all cars.
-Bill Bryson,   One Summer:  America, 1927

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

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

During his previous visit to Hawaii, at the height of his fame, Jack had learned to surf, to ride the waves that batter the island's golden shores.  Ten years later, in 1916, the sands in front of his beloved Seaside Hotel have washed away.  Razor-sharp coral is all that remains.  Now his Pacific paradise soothes neither his body nor his brain.
-Alex Kershaw,  Jack London:  A Life

Opening paragraphs........part the second

Dark spruce forest frowned on either side of the frozen waterway.  The trees had been stripped by a recent wind of their white covering of frost, and they seemed to lean toward each other, black and ominous, in the fading light.  A vast silence reigned over the land.  The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness.  There was a hint in it of laughter, but of a laughter more terrible than any sadness - a laughter that was mirthless as the smile of the Sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility.  It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life.  It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild.
-Jack London,  White Fang

On Writing............................

I've often viewed blogging as the way us folks who are currently too undisciplined to actually be writers scratch their writing itch.  Here is Ryan Holiday on what it takes to be a writer.  Wee excerpt here:

"Getting published is easy.  Getting anyone to care?  Well, that's the hard part."

Blankness...........................


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Some amazing lyrics for a Billboard Hot 100 song...

Lou Reed...................................Take A Walk On The Wild Side

This IS interesting.................................

English-language media completely ignored a noteworthy statement that led Der Spiegel’s German-language website October 12, a call for China to “take on responsibility as a world power” in the Middle East. Penned by Bernhard Zand, the German news organization’s Beijing correspondent, it is terse and to the point: now that China imports more oil from the Middle East than any other country in the world, it must answer for the region’s security. “America’s interest in the Middle East diminishes day by day” as it heads towards energy self-sufficiency, wrote Zand, adding:
China’s interest in a peaceful Middle East is enormous, by contrast. Beijing is not only the biggest customer of precisely those oil powers who presently are fanning the flames of conflict in Syria; as a VIP customer, Beijing has growing political influence, which it should use openly. The word of the Chinese foreign minister has just as much weight in Tehran and Riyadh as that of his American counterpart.

Feed..........................................



















"...it’s not compassion when you use coercion to spend other people’s money."
-Dan Mitchell

Wish they'd asked him about a "flat tax"...

Here is an interesting essay on a non-partisan "tax-wonk."  It is actually possible to make a living reading and analysing the foot notes to corporate financial statements.  Glad someone is willing to do it.

“What politicians keep forgetting is that you can’t ‘partner’ with the corporate community when it comes to writing the tax laws,” Sullivan explains. “They’re not partners — they are adversaries.”

If you truly want to get the big money out of politics, a flat tax system may be the only way.  Just saying.


















via
cartoon via

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

Frank Zappa visits the Steve Allen Show and makes bike music

Decoration...................................

“Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.” 
-Frank Zappa

Now that's really being mean..................

To fire, or, not to fire:

"Instead I would love to see her stay in office three long years and answer every press question and Congressional inquiry about Obamacare, over and over and over."

Teach the children well....................................


















thanks Michael

Fun with illusions.........................

Monday, October 28, 2013

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right....

Stealers Wheel........................Stuck In The Middle With You

A wee slice of American history...............

The trivia buffs amongst us may choose to remember the answer to this little quiz:  Name, and rank, the shortest-serving Presidents of the United States.

1.  William Henry Harrison (1771-1841).  The eighth president, elected in 1841, he died after serving only 31 days.

2.  James A. Garfield (1831-1851).  The twentieth president, elected in 1881, he was assassinated after serving for only 199 days.

3.  Zachary Taylor (1784-1850).  The twelfth president, elected in 1849, he died after serving 491 days in office.

4.  Warren G. Harding (1865-1923).  The twenty-ninth president, elected in 1921, he died after serving 881 days in office.

5.  Gerald R. Ford (1913-2006).  The thirty-eighth president, Ford was serving in the U. S. House of Representative when he was named Vice President upon the resignation of Spiro Agnew in October of 1973.  When Richard Nixon resigned the presidency in August of 1974, Ford became president.  He was defeated in the next election by Jimmy Carter, who took office in 1977.  Ford served for 895 days.

6.  Millard Fillmore (1800-1874).  The thirteenth president, Fillmore took office upon the death of Zachary Taylor in 1850.  He completed that term, but was not re-nominated to a run at a term of his own.  He served for 969 days.

7.  John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963).  The thirty-sixth president, Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon in the election of 1960 and took office in 1961.  Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 after serving 1,036 days in office.

For what it is worth, eleven presidents were in office for 2,922 days (two full terms).  Franklin Delano Roosevelt served the longest term, 4,422 days.  George Washington served two full terms, but his first term was shorted by 57 days, as Congress had not yet reached quorum status.  Now you know.

Another wee slice of American history.......

With Lindbergh temporarily unavailable, what America needed was some kind of sublimely pointless distraction, and a man named Alvin "Shipwreck" Kelly stood ready to provide it.  At eleven in the morning of June 7, Kelly clambered to the top of a fifty-foot flagpole on the roof of the St. Francis Hotel in Newark, New Jersey, and sat there.  That was all he did, for days on end, but people were enchanted and streamed to Newark to watch.















































     Kelly would reside for days or weeks on a tiny perch - a padded disk about the size of a seat on a bar stool - attached to a flagpole on the top of a tall building.  The most devoted admirers paid 25 cents to go onto the hotel rooftop, where they could see Kelly at comparatively close range and even engage him in conversation. ....During the whole of his time aloft, he didn't leave the perch.  No record appears to indicate how he dealt with bodily functions.  For two days beforehand and throughout the sitting he took no solid food - just milk, broth, and coffee - which may partly answer the obvious question.  He smoked four packs of cigarettes a day.  Otherwise he just sat.  He billed himself as "The Luckiest Fool Alive."

-Bill Bryson, as excerpted from One Summer:  America, 1927

The Columbus Museum of Art..............

Went to the wedding of my business partner's son on Saturday.  The venue was the always interesting Columbus Museum of Art.  They are currently holding an exhibition of the works of George Bellows.  If you have the opportunity, take it.  It is an exceptional exhibition.




















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

Bill Cosby............................................Noah




In 1963, Bill Cosby released a very funny album titled Bill Cosby Is A Very Funny Fellow Right!  This clip is the first of his three sketches on Noah.  The post below is the third of the three.


Noah......................................

So, the reading in church yesterday was about Noah and his ark.  The sermon following the reading suggested that the real story of Noah is the story of his obedience.   I really like our minister.  I really liked his sermon.  However, the whole time he was talking, my undisciplined mind kept flashing back fifty years to Bill Cosby - "me and You, Lord."

Investing 101...................

How high is high?......or, Heads up, kids.......................

"Everyone knows that investor sentiment is a very reliable contrary indicator for future stock market action. As investors become more optimistic, the market becomes more risky, even dangerous. And vice versa."
-Stuart Schneiderman, as excerpted from this blog post

Yin and Yang......................

Success is so often the power of complementary forces.  Without failure, how can you be successful?  Without the journey, how can we get to the destination?

Not just masculine, but feminine, too.
Not just certainty, but uncertainty, too.

-Nicholas Bate, as excerpted from You, Only Better

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A little banjo work to get the day started right...

Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt................Cripple Creek

Worth celebrating.......................


















David Kanigan's Lead.Learn.Live blog celebrated its second anniversary yesterday.  If you don't follow him, do.  It is worth your time.  David puts thought, positive energy, creativity, and himself into his posts (and comments).  The Intertunnel is a fairly amazing place, mostly because people like David Kanigan inhabit it.  Long may he blog!

a verb................................

God, to me, it seems
is a verb,
not a noun,
proper or improper.


-R. Buckminster Fuller

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

Vaughn Meader does stand-up comedy as JFK (quite well)

Vaughn Meader......................

The youngsters out there may not be familiar with Vaughn Meader.  He had a meteoric, if brief, rise to prominence in the American psyche when he recorded a comedy record titled The First Family.  His impersonations of John F. Kennedy were considered spot-on, and hilarious.  When JFK was asked about Meader, he good naturedly suggested Meader sounded more like his brother Bobby.  Hey, we just report you decide.  Compare the previous Meader "press conference," with the following "press conference" with JFK himself:

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














The Tao gives rise to all forms,
yet it has no form of its own.
If you attempt to fix a picture of it
in your mind, you will lose it.
This is like pinning a butterfly:
the husk is captured,
but the flying is lost.

Why not be content with simply
experiencing it?

-Verse Six
Hua Hu Ching:  The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu
Brian Browne Walker

Accidentally On Purpose.................

The Universe is but the Thing of things,
The things but balls all going round in rings.
Some mighty huge, some mighty tiny,
All of them radiant and mighty shiny.


They mean to tell us all was rolling blind
Till accidentally it hit on mind
In an albino monkey in the jungle,
And even then it had to grope and bungle,


Till Darwin came to earth upon a year
To show the evolution how to steer.
They mean to tell us, though, the Omnibus
Had no real purpose until it got to us.


Never believe it. At the very worst
It must have had the purpose from the first
To produce purpose as the fitter bred:
We were just purpose coming to a head.


Whose purpose was it, His or Hers or Its?
Let's leave that to the scientific wits.
Grant me intention, purpose and design -
That's near enough for me to the Divine.


And yet with all this help of head and brain,
How happily instinctive we remain.
Our best guide upward farther to the light:
Passionate preference such as love at sight.


-Robert Frost