Saturday, January 11, 2014

...........wings of angels.....................

Dave Koz....................................Love Is On The Way

Today's quiz...................................


















When all frozen pies had 12 inch diameters, apple was the most popular flavor - but when 7 inch pies came on the market, apple immediately fell to something like fifth place.  Why?

(And it is not because they ran out of Cinnamon ice cream.  Scroll down for the answer)

picture via
thanks mark

Crony capitalism is alive and on display......

Just remember:  it is not capitalism, and these people are not customer-centric:

Maine: The faint of heart need not apply....

He might not call it thriving, but it is as good a word as any for what's going on at Sippican Cottage. If there is a writer practicing their trade in the Intertunnel who is better than Greg Sullivan, I'm not aware of them.  Check for yourself.

"My son came out with me. He shows no enthusiasm, but does not complain. It's the mark of an adult, I think. The sun looked like a cataract and hung low in the sky, skulking across the horizon for the few hours it deigns to shine in January, and looks ashamed of itself the whole time. You could look right at it, but why would you?"

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

Surgeon General Luther Terry issues official warning on smoking

Just a bit......................

















via

All you can do...........................


















Back in the late 1980's, a guy by the name of A. L. Williams wrote a book, All You Can Do Is All You Can Do but all you can do is enough.   As a self-help book aficionado, I'm mostly certain that I read it.  What I mostly remember though, is not the book, but the reaction of my favorite teacher, Jim Rohn, to the book title.  Rohn told the story something like this:  If you were to get down and start doing push-ups, and if after you had done five, you, and everybody watching you, agreed that five was all you could do, you would all be wrong.  Why?  Because all you would have to do is wait a reasonable period of time and do push-ups again, and this time you could do six.  Rohn would then ask, if five was all you could do, how come you can now do six?  In his rohnish way, Jim would call it a miracle.  His obvious point was that all we can do right now does not set the limit on all we can do tomorrow.  A little discipline.  A little time.  Miracles are possible.

Your friendly neighborhood blogger visited the local YMCA on January 2nd.   I've had a family membership for years, but had never personally used the wondrous facility.  Thinking that swimming might be easiest exercise for these old joints and this out-of-shape body to handle, I ventured into the pool.  Eight laps later, everyone watching would have agreed that eight laps was the best that I could do.  Flash forward eight days. Yesterday morning I managed sixteen laps, and anyone watching might have thought that a few more were possible. From eight to sixteen.   It's a miracle.

Will......................................


Answering today's quiz question......................

Spoiler Alert:   If you want to read the question before reading the answer, scroll up to the 12:50 A.M. post. The source of the question, and the answer, comes from here.

Turns out the apple is everybody's second choice of pie.  Apparently a 12" pie is best consumed by more than one person and when feeding many, apple is the most acceptable choice for the group.  Once we set about feeding only one person (or a much, much smaller group),  a 7" pie will do (quite nicely, I might add). At this point individual, not group, choice takes over, and individuals apparently tend to value non-apple pies more highly than apple pies.  The easy lesson to be gleaned from today's quiz is that choice is good.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Then close them..................................

David Sanborn.........................Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

 

On agendas...................

















The cartoon above has been clogging up the "unused" file for a while now.   Since the conversation has turned toward agendas, it seemed an appropriate time to post it.

Being self employed, my work life is not comprised of meeting after meetings.  I've been on enough committees and boards, though, to know what a pleasant experience a well-run meeting is, and conversely, what agony a poorly-led meeting is.

For more on the importance of (and joy in) a good agenda, check out this post from Cultural Offering.
As Kurt said, "I love agendas almost as much as I hate meetings.  If the world had better agendas, I might even like meetings more."

cartoon via

Attack...............................


Bigger..................................












Knowledge is a big subject. Ignorance is bigger…and it is more interesting.” 
-Stuart Firestein,  Ignorance:  How It Drives Science

thanks joe

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

The Supremes.....................................Baby Love

Checking in with the Trend Czar..................

In theory, and according to the masthead, this blog has something to do with commercial real estate.  And here you thought we were all about cartoons. Occasionally then, a real estate centric post is required. There are some really bright observers of the BIG TIME real estate scene (read: New York and other major markets) whose opinions I enjoy reading.  Mind you, my little real estate business in my little world of Newark, Ohio bears almost no resemblance to BIG TIME real estate, but still......Jonathan Miller, aka The Trend Czar, writes a blog that I follow sporadically, and sometimes comment on.  His world view seems to slant toward the pessimistic, so a little bit goes a long way.   Anyway, here is his blog post welcoming 2014.

He opens with this:  "In the real estate world, 2014 will be more of the same. And so you want something more exciting and different? Look it could be a lot worse."  Good to know

After adding in all the reasons why the economy is lackluster, he adds this:  "So in the right place with the right product, we can make money."    Good to know as well, although, I would add to his "rights",  "at the right time."

He concludes with:  "Are we no longer the land of opportunity?"  

The view from Central Ohio would lead one to believe that opportunities still abound.  I think the Trend Czar needs to get out more. 

Stop sugar-coating it, tell us how you really feel...

From a post about "reverse mortgages" at the Black Brigade blog comes this beauty about us 62 year-old baby boomers":

"These people are the most irresponsible, reckless, selfish, narcissistic generation to ever grace this planet with their presence. They had everything given to them, and they squandered it. Not only were they terrible stewards of their inheritance from the WWII generation - everything from moral values to the economy to the nation's infrastructure, all of which are crumbling - they obviously have also been terrible stewards of their own wealth that they created."

Methinks he paints with too broad a brush.

via

A man of action........................


Thursday, January 9, 2014

A wiggle in a walk.......................

The Big Bopper...........................................Chantilly Lace

If you add blogging, it would be seventeen......

David Kanigan points to 16 ways to be happy...............

Refreshing......................................


















“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn't calculate his happiness.”
-Fyodor Dostoyevsky


via


Do it anyway......................................

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.

Give the world the best you have anyway.

-Kent M. Keithas excerpted from The Paradoxical Commandments

Therapy Buying: I thought that's what book stores and (once upon a time) record stores are for....






















“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” 
-Seneca


via

Fleeting..........................................

















"The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself."
-Benjamin Franklin 


via

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

Dave Clark Five.........................................Glad All Over

Thanks, I needed that..............................






















"Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so."
-Robert Green Ingersoll 


via

No-noes.........................................















Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Science without humanity
Knowledge without character
Politics without principle
Commerce without morality
Worship without sacrifice.” 

-Mohandas K. Gandhi

Scout detail.................................






















The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.
-Ashley Montagu 


via

Zest..................................






















True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery 


via

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Swing me....................................

Ritchie Valens..............................Come on, Let's Go

Twainisms.......................................

Here of late, a number of Mark Twain witticisms have crossed my path.  The man was a virtual quote machine. The problem with posting one or two or twelve is...how do you choose?  Then the thought arose...bet you could make a blog just out of Twain's sayings.  Turns out you can.  Like here and here and probably seventeen other places.  Anyway, enjoy a few Twain quotes:

"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."

"The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also."

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society”

"Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world — and never will."

"It takes a thousand men to invent a telegraph, or a steam engine, or a phonograph, or a photograph, or a telephone or any other important thing—and the last man gets the credit and we forget the others. He added his little mite — that is all he did. These object lessons should teach us that ninety-nine parts of all things that proceed from the intellect are plagiarisms, pure and simple; and the lesson ought to make us modest.  But nothing can do that."

“Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.”

"The only reason why God created man is because he was disappointed with the monkey."

Social injustice............................

...........Or "feel good"  is not the same as "doing good."  As always, the Law of Unintended Consequences bats last:



thank maggie's

About markets...................................

Stuart Schneiderman analyses a (gated Wall Street Journal) Paul Rubin essay on markets.  It is worthy of your reading and you may even learn a new word.   Blog post is here.  Brief excerpts here:

How can we explain this emporiophobia—a fear of markets—given the overwhelming evidence that such institutions provide the greatest wealth, health and happiness for humankind?

Why does the free market have such a bad reputation? Rubin suggests that the discourse about markets has distorted the truth. We have all been told that people compete in markets; we have not been told that people cooperate in them.

He wants to rethink the notion of  the free market to emphasize cooperation and to de-emphasize competition. After all, market transactions are negotiated compromises in which both parties feel like they have gained. A market in which some gain at the expense of others cannot long function.

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

LBJ declares "War on Poverty" in his State of The Union address

Thrall....................................






















"The greatest slave is not he who is ruled by a despot, great though that evil be, be he who is in thrall of his own moral ignorance, selfishness, and vice."
-Samuel Smiles

cartoon via

Extrapolation........................

"Astronomers have worked out that there are 70 thousand million million million - or seven followed by 22 zeros - stars visible from the Earth through telescopes."

Full (dated) story here.  Notice the words "stars visible."   Of course they're not even hazarding a guess at how many planets are hanging around all those stars.  Seven followed by 22 zeros is a pretty big number, and yet, we still act as though our little world is the most important thing going.  Wonder why that is?
















Thanks Gerard

Fearing fear...................................


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Understanding youngsters.........................

Buddy Holly & the Crickets......................Peggy Sue

Don't see these around much anymore......

















































































thanks

Little routine men..........................

Willis Gillis in Convoy  World War II  1943   Norman Rockwell




     The life of Willie Gillis, as related by Rockwell, ran counter to the nation's dominant military narrative.  It shifted attention from glamorous military men - from marines and sailors and pilots seated in open cockpits with their long, white scarves fluttering behind them in the sky - to the lowly, unsung infantryman.  Just two weeks after Willie Gillis made his debut, a young cartoonist named Bill Mauldin introduced a soldier named Willie into a strip that had previously featured only Joe, perhaps following Rockwell's lead.  In the next few years, Mauldin's  Willie and Joe moved to the military newspaper Stars and Stripes and its two disheveled "dogface" protagonists became household names.  The journalist Ernie Pyle noted, "War makes strange giant creatures out of us little routine men who inhabit the earth."  Little routine men - they were the heroes not only of war but of all of American life.  That was Rockwell's view certainly and it would acquire the force of a national credo in 1942, when Vice President Henry Wallace paid homage to the "Century of the Common Man."
-Deborah Solomon, as excerpted from American Mirror:  The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell

'Tis the season..............................

 












           Good-By And Keep Cold

This saying good-bye on the edge of the dark
And cold to an orchard so young in the bark
Reminds me of all that can happen to harm
An orchard away at the end of the farm
All winter, cut off by a hill from the house.
I don't want it girdled by rabbit and mouse,
I don't want it dreamily nibbled for browse
By deer, and I don't want it budded by grouse.
(If certain it wouldn't be idle to call
I'd summon grouse, rabbit, and deer to the wall
And warn them away with a stick for a gun.)
I don't want it stirred by the heat of the sun.
(We made it secure against being, I hope,
By setting it out on a northerly slope.)
No orchard's the worse for the wintriest storm;
But one thing about it, it mustn't get warm.
"How often already you've had to be told,
Keep cold, young orchard. Good-bye and keep cold.
Dread fifty above more than fifty below."
I have to be gone for a season or so.
My business awhile is with different trees,
Less carefully nourished, less fruitful than these,
And such as is done to their wood with an axe—
Maples and birches and tamaracks.
I wish I could promise to lie in the night
And think of an orchard's arboreal plight
When slowly (and nobody comes with a light)
Its heart sinks lower under the sod.
But something has to be left to God.

-Robert Frost

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

Terry Stafford........................................Suspicion

On channeling selfishness......................

"Capitalism is rotten at every level, yet it adds up to something extraordinarily useful for society over time.  The paradox of capitalism is that adding a bunch of bad-sounding ideas together creates something incredible that is far more good than bad.  Capitalism inspires people to work hard, take reasonable risks, and to create value for customers.  On the whole, capitalism channels selfishness in a direction that benefits civilization, not counting a few fat cats who have figured out how to game the system."
-Scott Adams, as excerpted from How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big:  Kind of the Story of My Life

Since we've been talking about listening.........................

and since we've been quoting Scott Adams, and since Dennis brought it up, here is Dilbert on the topic of listening:






The race is on...............................

"So let’s get started. Obamacare can’t be fixed by its namesake. It’s up to us to make it happen."
-Michael Moore, as excerpted from here
thanks mungo

Put salt on her tail.....................

Jeff continues to amaze with his knowledge of old science fiction movies:

Okay - I may have done a mashup of The Three Stooges in Orbit, Three Stooges in Have Rocket Will Travel, and Abbott & Costello Go to Mars. But that last one most likely not. All I remember was a square headed martian at which point I grabbed my stomach and told by budz I wasn't feellng well. Heck - I was only eight years old! 

And let's no forget The Incredible Shrinking Man and it's gender alter ego, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. That one really got the hormones going...heh...

- J.


Feel free to watch this clip (or others available at YouTube Central), but friend to friend, don't invest a lot of time in it.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Round two..............................

Bruce Cockburn..................Lovers In A Dangerous Time



A day of so ago we featured the Bare Naked Ladies version of this song.  A commenter suggested that Cockburn, who wrote the song, did it better.  Hey, we report, you decide.  For those who REALLY like this one, go here for a Cockburn/Steven Page duet.

Winners and losers........................

No, we're not talking Clemson and Ohio State here.  Faithful readers will understand that I am a fan of Walter Russell Mead and his American Interest blog.  Mead looks back at 2013 and sees winners and losers, setting the parameters thusly: "AI didn’t make moral judgments. This is a realist calculation, looking at who gained power during the year and who lost."

Ten Biggest Winners

Ten Biggest Losers

As always, Mead is thoughtful and interesting.  In case you're wondering where the good old U.S. of A. lands on scorecard, consider this quote:  "Whatever their politics, Americans should join in hoping for a better 2014."

So............................

..............how are your plans for 2014 working out?















\
"No plan of battle ever survives contact with the enemy."
-Helmuth von Moltke, the elder


image via

Opening the back door........................

Greg Mankiw offers a different look at the push to raise the minimum wage in this NYT-published essay.   The Cliff Note version of his column might be "beware the law of unintended consequences.  A wee excerpt:

Because “tax” is a dirty word in Washington, politicians generally prefer regulations like the minimum wage to accomplish their goals. But many regulations work like hidden taxes. Sometimes, in the process of hiding taxes, lawmakers opt for more damaging alternatives.

Well, it worked for 210 years......................

"The nice men in periwigs who came up with the Fourth Amendment were recklessly naive to imagine that branches of a government, each of whose power is enhanced when the power of the other branches grows, would serve to check one another. The idea of a judiciary that would police the executive as an arm of a self-correcting tripartite government was worse than naive."
-Ilana Mercer

via

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

The Kinks (and more)................................You Really Got Me

Shedding...........................

To travel lightly through life, one must first decide not to carry unnecessary baggage.   Here is a handy guide on five things not to be toting around.



































image via
thanks todd

On sci-fi movies......................

A few days ago, your friendly neighborhood blogger linked to a list of the top-ten scientist ranked science fiction/fantasy movies.  Friend Jeff, who has probably forgotten more about sci-fi movies than I ever knew, sent the following comment to that post:

The problem with lists is that they're always incomplete. How Forbidden Planet was left out I don't know. And if you're going to include Jurassic Park, then what about King Kong, Mighty Joe Young, Rodan, Mothra, and Beast from 20,000 Fathoms? Then there's The Fly (original version with Vincent Price) and The Thing (original version with Marshal Dillon as the monster), Attack of the Crab Monsters, and I just might even add The Three Stooges Go To Mars. Okay - that last one might not make the top ten but it scared me out of the theatre... :) 

A cursory review of YouTube Central did not turn up a clip of the The Three Stooges Go To Mars.  It did, however, turn up this:

It is kind of dark out...................

I'd respect those pushers of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) more is they were a little less certain, a little less in love with computer modeling, and had a little bit more humility.  There is an awful lot we just don't know:

















As a political joke, the idea of global warming scientists out to prove the shrinking Antarctic ice sheet becoming trapped is mildly amusing. But as a matter of science, looking at an infinitesimally small part of the ice sheet and basing any conclusions on how thick the ice is at that small section at a given point during a given time of the year is silly. The Antarctic ice sheet covers 4.5 million square miles and the local concentration of ice that covers a few dozen or even hundreds of miles is certainly not indicative of whether the entire ice sheet is growing, shrinking, or remaining constant.

That said, there doesn’t seem to be a good explanation for why part of the Antarctic ice sheet is shrinking and other parts are growing. The explanation for both cannot be global warming so there is obviously some dynamic about ice masses at work of which we are still in dark.
-As excerpted from this blog post

An update on the situation from The Telegraph

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Are we talking to ourselves............?

Beach Boys/Kathy Troccoli.........................I Can Hear Music

Returning to the theme of listening.........























more Potato Head cartoons via Bilbo here

Since we're really not listening.................

does it really matter........................?

The conclusion she’s arrived at while researching her new book is not, technically, that we’re not talking to each other. We’re talking all the time, in person as well as in texts, in e-mails, over the phone, on Facebook and Twitter. The world is more talkative now, in many ways, than it’s ever been. The problem, Turkle argues, is that all of this talk can come at the expense of conversation. We’re talking at each other rather than with each other.

As Andrew Sullivan quotes Megan Garber in this blog post.

Of course it matters...............................

The importance, and messiness, of real communication...............

Conversations, as they tend to play out in person, are messy—full of pauses and interruptions and topic changes and assorted awkwardness. But the messiness is what allows for true exchange. It gives participants the time—and, just as important, the permission—to think and react and glean insights. “You can’t always tell, in a conversation, when the interesting bit is going to come,” Turkle says. “It’s like dancing: slow, slow, quick-quick, slow. You know? It seems boring, but all of a sudden there’s something, and whoa.

As excerpted from this essay by Megan Garber about Sherry Turkle (and her work) in The Atlantic.

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

13  He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
-Proverbs 18:13
The Holy Bible
King James Version


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

Simon and Garfunkel.......................The Sound of Silence



Purists interested in more information about this tune can go here.