Saturday, November 9, 2013

Such a strange vibration..............

Scott McKenzie.....................................San Francisco

The kids will be just fine...................


















via

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

What matters?  Lives of the good and the great, the innocence of dogs, the cunning of cats, the elegance of nature, the wonders of space, the perfectly thrown outfield assist, the difference between historical guilt and historical responsibility, homage and sacrilege in monumental architecture, fashions and follies and the finer uses of the F-word.
-Charles Krauthammer,  Things That Matter:  Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics

Cognitive flaws............................

Tyler Cowen, in his book Average Is Over:  Powering America Beyond The Age Of The Great Stagnation, spends a interesting chapter thinking and writing about the intuitive algorithms behind computer dating and about how top-flight chess has become more computer-like.  "Machines have no fear of the unfamiliar."  He comes to some conclusions about our decision making processes:

1.  Human strengths and weaknesses are surprisingly regular and predictable.
2.  Be skeptical of the elegant and intuitive theory.
3.  It's harder to get outside your own head than you think.
4.  Revel in messiness.
5.  We can learn.

I'm good with #4.

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

An early super group?  This version of the Journeymen toiled on the folk music circuit from 1961 to 1964.  The trio was John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas fame; singer and songwriter Scott McKenzie of San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) notoriety;  and singer, banjoist, writer, and teacher Dick Weissman.   Enjoy.

The Journeymen.....................No One To Talk My Troubles To

Lessons..............................

      One of the key lessons that I taught my students is that poor people and rich people have wildly different philosophies.  For example, here's the philosophy that ensures poverty:  spend your money and invest what is left.  The bottom line is that this strategy will make you poor.
      On the flip side, here is the philosophy that will make you rich:  invest your money and spend what is left.  You can have the same amount of money, but thanks to a difference in philosophy, you can achieve dramatically different results.
-Jim Rohn

I don't like all this Christmas focus (ads, sales, music, etc.) in early November either.............


















via

Friday, November 8, 2013

Rocking..............................


When the fog horn blows...............

Van Morrison.......................................Into the Mystic

Possibility......................................

“The war of ideas is a Greek invention. It is one of the most important inventions ever made. Indeed, the possibility of fighting with with words and ideas instead of fighting with swords is the very basis of our civilization, and especially of all its legal and parliamentary institutions.” 
-Karl Popper



image via

A poem for Jeff........................


















            Reader

Looker, gazer, skimmer, skipper,
thumb-licking page turner, peruser,
you getting your print-fix for the day,
pencil-chewer, note taker, marginalianist
with your checks and X's
first-timer or revisiter,
browser, speedster, English major,
flight-ready girl, melancholy boy,
invisible companion, thief, blind date, perfect stranger -

that is me rushing to the window
to see if it's you passing under the shade trees
with a baby carriage or a dog on a leash,
me picking up the phone
to imagine your unimaginable number,
me standing by the map of the world
wondering where you are -
along on a bench in a train station
or falling asleep, the book sliding to the floor.

-Billy Collins

photo via

Checking in with Walker Lamond.....

.....and his 1,001 Rules for His Unborn Son:

546. Don’t blame the refs.



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

Thomas Jefferson was a man with a lifelong fascination with trees.  He thought of them as his favorite kind of plants, wrote of them as his pets, and went to much effort and expense to place those he liked best around the great west lawn of Monticello, the house he made for himself in the foothills of the mountains of Albemarle County, Virginia.
-Simon Winchester,  The Men Who United The States:  America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics, and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible

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

Al Martino.........................................Living A Lie

So you want to be a photographer................?

Chase Jarvis at work...(or play).........................


The kids will be just fine............................

Lessons learned along the way....................

Ripples.............................

     Lindbergh's flight, it has been calculated, spurred as much as $100 million in aviation investments in America.  In the mid-1920's, Boeing, a small manufacturer of airplanes in Seattle, had so little work that it sometimes built furniture just to keep going.  Within a year of Lindbergh's flight it employed a thousand people.  Aviation became to the 1930's what the radio was to the 1920's.
-Bill Bryson, One Summer: America, 1927



Attract..............................

     Here is the core of the philosophy.  It all boils down to this:  if you work hard on your job, you make a living.  If you work hard on yourself, you can make a fortune.  What is the reason for this truth?  Success is not something you pursue.  Success is something you attract by becoming an attractive person.  The way you become rich is not by wishing your life were easier, but instead by focusing on making yourself better.
-Jim Rohn

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Long versions................................

Back in yesteryear, there was often the "album" version and the "top 40 radio" version of hit songs.  The difference was typically about seven minutes of music.  Here, for your listening pleasure is the long version of:

The Temptations..........................Papa Was A Rolling Stone

"Hope is not a strategy”.........................

The Aleph Blog tells you all you need to know about co-signing for a loan:

 "I am here to tell you never to co-sign for a loan.  There are no exceptions.  None. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Null. Nil. Zilde."

Opening lines.............................

"I've watched through his eyes.  I've listened through his ears, and I tell you he's the one.  Or at least as close as we're going to get."
      "That's what you said about the brother."
      "The brother tested out impossible.  For other reasons.  Nothing to do with his ability."
      "Same with the sister.  And there are doubts about him.  He's too malleable.  Too willing to submerge himself in someone else's will."
      "Not if the other person is his enemy."
      "So what do we do?  Surround him with enemies all the time?"
      "If we have to."
      "I thought you said you liked this kid."
      "If the buggers get him, they'll make me look like his favorite uncle."
      "All right.  We're saving the world, after all.  Take him."

-Orson Scott Card,  Ender's Game

Light...................................

















"We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light."
-Earl Nightingale


image via

The set of the sail.........................

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

Confession is good for the soul......

Andrew Sullivan offers some sound advice to our president.

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

The Beatles being interviewed.  Dublin.  November 1963

Over The Edge.............................
















To tell a girl you loved her - my God! -
that was a leap off a cliff, requiring little
sense, sweet as it was.  And I have loved

many girls, women too, who by various fancies
of my mind have seemed loveable.  But only
with you have I actually tried it: the long labor,

the selfishness, the self-denial, the children
and grandchildren, the garden rows planted
and gathered, the births and deaths of many years.

We boys, when we were young and romantic
and ignorant, new to mystery and the power,
would wonder late into the night on the cliff's edge:

Was this love real? Was it true? And how
would you know? Well, it was time would tell,
if you were patient and could spare the time,

a long time, a lot of trouble, a lot of joy.
This one begins to look - would you say? - real?


Taking the bureaucracy to task...................

Via Meadia opines that, regardless what size government you favor, the government you have must be effective.  Blog post is here.  Two excerpts here:

"Obama made many mistakes in the roll out of his health care law, but one of the biggest may be that he overestimated the quality of our country’s public service system."

".....we’ve been so focused on using government jobs as a solution to social ills that we’ve forgotten that the government actually needs, well, to get things done."

Signs for the times..............................














































For reasons unknown.................



















Explanation: For reasons unknown, NGC 6357 is forming some of the most massive stars ever discovered. One such massive star, near the center of NGC 6357, is framed above carving out its own interstellar castle with its energetic light from surrounding gas and dust. In the greater nebula, the intricate patterns are caused by complex interactions between interstellar windsradiation pressuresmagnetic fields, and gravity. The overall glow of the nebula results from theemission of light from ionized hydrogen gas. Near the more obvious Cat's Paw nebula, NGC 6357 houses the open star cluster Pismis 24, home to many of these tremendously bright and blue stars. The central part of NGC 6357 shown spans about 10 light years and lies about 8,000 light years away toward the constellation of the Scorpion.

The photo and explanation come from the Astronomy Picture of the Day site, one of my favoritist places in the whole Intertunnel.  Reading the explanations is often as much fun as looking at the pictures.

Say it's not so..........................























via everyman

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A jam for Jetboy..........................

War with Eric Burdon...............................Paint It Black

Let others...........................

"Let others lead small lives, but not you.  Let others argue over small things, but not you.  Let others cry over small hurts, but not you.  Let others leave their future in someone else's hand, but not you.
-Jim Rohn

Cleanliness........................

Shorpy (from 1924)......................................

"As we wash our hands, so must we wash our brains"

















Enlargeable picture, which allows for the reading of the posters, can be found here.  For instance:




Victor Davis Hanson.....................

.....a student of history and no fan of President Obama, suggests that the administration's "neo-isolationism" in the Middle East will be interesting, if not fun, to watch:
"In sum, the American people think the Middle East is, well, the Middle East: support democracy and we are derided as cultural chauvinists, Western interventionists, and clueless about the nuances of Arab culture. Support the existing status quo, and we care only about oil, not the masses, and geopolitics rather than democratic reform. Stay out entirely and we have abdicated moral responsibility. Intervene and we are “nation-building” in the old colonial fashion."
"But now the U.S. and North America are nearing self-sufficiency in oil and gas production. The United States soon will not need much Middle East or Mediterranean oil. Perhaps the oil-hungry Chinese and Europeans can deal better with Sunnis, Shiites, Baathists, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the theocrats in Iran, Bashir Assad, the coup in Egypt, and whoever is rioting, blowing themselves up, or storming an embassy this week."
"Obamism could not have happened to a nicer region."

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

Marvel's....The Amazing Spiderman....Issue #6....November 1963

Digging..........................









Between my finger and my thumb   
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound   
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:   
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds   
Bends low, comes up twenty years away   
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills   
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft   
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.   
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.

Heating season is upon us...............

Stoked     The Glazier Stove Company    c. 1901






















enlargeable photo and back story here

I wish........................

.........Execupundit.com had a search feature.   Michael Wade recently posted "Random Thoughts."  Priceless observations from a very wise man.  There is this vague memory twitch that says he has done this sort of thing before.  Wish I could easily find them.  Anyway, here is a wee sample of his latest collection:

One wonders what is being taught in journalism schools. Cars need housekeepers. A dental appointment is more enjoyable than a legislative hearing. For a better week, carve out some time to walk and some time to read. Every home should have at least one extremely comfortable chair.

What happens...............................






















via

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

More than anything.............................

The Animals.....................................Don't Bring Me Down

Lasting legacies...........................

Ed. Note:  For previous coverage of the Great Flood of 1927, go here.


















Out west, the good weather was the best possible news, for the waters of the Mississippi were finally receding, if slowly.  One and a half million acres were still underwater as July began, but the worst was over and Herbert Hoover was at last able to leave the day-to-day running of relief efforts to others.
     For Hoover, the Mississippi flood relief was a personal triumph.  He was especially proud that the federal government had provided no financial assistance at all.  All the money for relief efforts came in the form of donations from private citizens and organizations like the Red Cross and the Rockefeller Foundation.  "But those were the days," Hoover noted with a certain misty fondness in his memoirs thirty years later, "when citizens expected to take care of one another in time of disaster and it had not occurred to them that the Federal Government should do it."  In fact, the support provided for those trying to get back on their feet was hopelessly inadequate.  Hoover helped push through the creation of a $13 million loan fund to help flood victims, which sounds reasonably generous, but worked out to just $20 per victim, and was, for all that, only a loan, hardly useful to even the poorest person who had lost everything.
     The great Mississippi flood of 1927 had two lasting legacies.  First, if accelerated the movement of blacks out of the South in what is known as the Great Migration.  Between 1920 and 1930, 1.3 million southern blacks moved north in the hopes of finding better-paying jobs and more personal liberty.  The movement transformed the face of America in a decade.  Before the Great Migration, only 10 percent of blacks lived outside the South.  After the Great Migration, half did.
     The other important effect of the Mississippi flood was that it forced the Federal government to accept that certain matters are too big for the states to handle alone.  For all of Hoover's proud reminiscence of how relief efforts were entirely private, it was widely recognize that government could not stand by when disaster struck.  1928, Calvin Coolidge reluctantly signed into law the Flood Control Act, which appropriated $325 million to try to avert future disasters.  It was, in the view of many, the birth of Big Government in America.  Coolidge hated the idea and refused to have any kind of ceremony to celebrate the passing of the act.  Instead, he signed the bill in private, then went to lunch.

-Bill Bryson,  One Summer:  America, 1927