Saturday, March 8, 2014

From Ray's list.............................

Mott the Hoople......................The Golden Age of Rock n Roll



Full list here.  Another taste here

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

Political passions fade with time, leaving their pale shadows to be recovered by historians who usually affect an objective, if not amused, detachment from them.  American politics have seldom generated the fierceness of passion that they did in their first decade.  The extravagant exchanges in the contests between Federalists and Republicans in the late 1790's seem today so to exceed the issues as to merit the patronizing dismissal that scholars have generally given them.  After all, the nation survived, President John Adams did not secure the crown to which he allegedly aspired, and President Thomas Jefferson succeeded him without bloodshed.  Accordingly, the dire predictions of tyranny by journalists like Benjamin Franklin Bache and William Duane in their notorious newspaper, the Aurora, have become mere curiosities, extreme examples of the bad manners that political contests so often provoke.
-Edmund S. Morgan, from the Foreword to Richard N. Rosenfeld's American Aurora


It was a special time in the history of America.  The Vice President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, called it "a reign of witches."
-Richard N. Rosenfeld,  American Aurora

Nonsense..........................

From Barking Up the Wrong Tree comes this blog post:
The Music You Love Tells Me Who You Are
Ever been a bit judgy when you hear someone’s taste in music? Of course you have.
And you were right — music tells you a lot about someone’s personality.
Research has learned a great deal about the power of music:
  1. Your musical taste does accurately tell me about you, including your politics.
  2. Your musical taste is influenced by your parents.
  3. You love your favorite song because it’s associated with an intense emotional experience in your life.
  4. The music you enjoyed when you were 20 you will probably love for the rest of your life.
  5. And, yes, rockstars really do live fast and die young.

     Call me Doubting Thomas, but I suspect some faulty research here.  Unless the total absence of rap music from one's collection imparts some deep political meaning, good luck guessing my politics via my music.  You might well guess my age, though.  A quick perusal of the old CD collection reveals that the artists with the most CDs found therein (5 or more) are Bruce Springsteen, Marshall Tucker Band, The Rippingtons, Frank Sinatra, David Sanborn, Robert Cray, Richie Havens, Mark Knopfler, R E M, Carlos Santana, The Beatles, and the Moody Blues.  The five CD's cued up on the CD machine right now are Dave Mason's Alone Together, The Best of Mountain, Jamie O'Neal's Brave, Sir Colin Davis's interpretation of Moussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition/Night on Bare Mountain, and The Grass Roots' Greatest Hits.  Let me know what it tells you.  
     While I do have some Broadway Show tunes and some George Shearing music from my Dad's old collection, I don't believe he would endorse most of my favorite songs.  For instance, he thought Janis Joplin was a "no-goodnik."  Mom was a sports fan.  Her favorite music was the lyrical voice of Richie Asburn calling the Phillies games. 
     My favorite songs were favorites first, and often later became associated with experiences.  
     Anyone with a passing familiarity with this blog will understand that a love for the 60's music (I was younger than 20) has stayed with me.  
     And finally, if rock stars do really die young, how do explain Keith Richards?

On money...................................


On The People..........................

"In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution, with all its faults, — if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people, if well administered; and I believe, farther, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other."
-Benjamin Franklin, excerpted from a speech to the Constitutional Convention 9/17/1787

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

Dean Martin..................................Everybody Loves Somebody

 

Have we forgotten how to ponder................?

Mathew Ferrara offers the new killer app - "OFF"

"Going 'off the grid' has become the modern equivalent of seeing a unicorn."

Ouch and double ouch.....................

Not all things are possible at all times.  There was a long moment when nimble U.S. diplomacy, combined with the aura of U.S. power and prestige, might have significantly influenced what happened in Ukraine. What Glenn Reynolds has aptly dubbed Obama’s “Smart Diplomacy™” has broken the kneecaps of American diplomatic prowess.  If you doubt that, consider the current of comedy contained in this headline: “Secretary Kerry to meet with Russian counterpart to discuss Ukraine crisis.” Admit it: you tittered slightly. After all, what would a “Russian counterpart” of John Kerry look like? Something like Boris Badenov from the Rocky and His Friends. I doubt that Vladimir Putin maintains a court jester, so it is extremely unlikely that there is a “Russian counterpart” of John “reporting for duty” Kerry.
-Roger Kimball, as excerpted from here

Being pro-active..........................

..................................in the Heartland:

"Once I quit being jealous of Someone Else and just concentrated on being the best me I could be, things got much better.  I even began to respect and like Someone Else … after all, I was learning from them every day"
-John E. Smith

Friday, March 7, 2014

Wishful (and obsessive) thinking........................

Janis Joplin.........................................Summertime (live)

I'll never grow up............................

Tiny Buddha offers 33 ways to be "childlike" today....
















“Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart.”
-Mencius

A few samples: 

10. Tell someone they’re your hero. If you admire what they do, look right in their eyes and say, “I think you’re pretty awesome.”

20. Make a card by hand to give to someone you care about. As Pablo Picasso said, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

28. Relax and do nothing. Don’t try to fill that empty pocket of time. You’ve been productive enough. Kick back, cut loose, and let yourself waste a little time. As John Lennon said, “Time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted.”

Apologizing to all my facebook friends.....






















via

Some things never change..................

Has not the famous political Fable of the Snake, with two Heads and one Body, some useful Instruction contained in it? She was going to a Brook to drink, and in her Way was to pass thro’ a Hedge, a Twig of which opposed her direct Course; one Head chose to go on the right side of the Twig, the other on the left, so that time was spent in the Contest, and, before the Decision was completed, the poor Snake died with thirst.

-Benjamin Franklin, as excerpted from his essay , written circa 1789, Queries and Remarks Respecting Alterations in the Constitution of Pennsylvania 

Growing up.............................

Matt Walsh offers Four Harsh Truths for his 18-34 demographic.  Not wishing to quibble with young Matt, but I would suggest that his truths apply to all demographics.  Here they are, followed by his conclusion:  

1) Nobody owes us anything.
2) We have to work.
3) We’ll never be successful if we don’t take risks.
4) Nobody cares about our excuses.
"History might be written by the old, but it’s made by the young. Just look at Thomas Jefferson, or Alexander the Great, or William Wallace, or Joan of Arc, or Beethoven, or Frederick Douglas, or Martin Luther King Jr. Young pioneers, all of them. Conquerors, artists, heroes. Martyrs."

As a side note:  While most of the real estate in our fair country may be owned by folks of my age cohort (and our parents), below is a chart, recently posted by Greg Mankiw,  to reinforce the notion that real history is mostly made by the younger set:




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

Louis Armstrong......................................Basin Street Blues

Q and A..................................






















via

Master..................................






















Aesop's The Traveler and Fortune

A traveler wearied from a long journey lay down, overcome with fatigue, on the very brink of a deep well.  Just as he was about to fall into the water, Dame Fortune, it is said, appeared to him and waking him from his slumber, thus addressed him:  "Good Sir, pray wake up:  for if you fall into the well, the blame will be thrown on me, and I shall get an ill name among mortals; for I find that men are sure to impute their calamities to me, however much by their own folly they have really brought them on themselves."

Everyone is more or less master of his own fate

cartoon via

Oh, so there is a secret.........................

THERE ARE NO SECRETS IN MONEY MANAGEMENT!  THERE ARE NO SECRETS IN MONEY MANAGEMENT!  THERE ARE NO SECRETS IN MONEY MANAGEMENT!
There is no secret club.  There are no secret formulas. There are a lot of clever lawyers, accountants, and actuaries that the wealthy employ, but for average people, the high fixed costs won’t make it work.
If you want to be wealthy, you have to run your own firm, run it well, providing value to many.  Don’t listen to those who say they have an easy way to wealth.  They are lying, and are looking to make money off of you.  Those who give you free advice are using you in some way.  (Wait, what does that make me to be? Sigh.)

Getting lucky......................................























thanks Todd

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Echo names they've known.........

Poco.......................................................Rose of Cimarron

 

If I had a dollar...........................

...for every time this happened,  I'd be able to buy lunch for y'all.

The best way..........................


Feeling like Wally.................................

Scott Adams learned lots of new things in the past year.  Yeow.   I'm apologizing in advance for being such a slackard.


Overtime...................................

















via

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

Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas..........................Little Children

 

Some days we could all use a little help...
















for a brief (11 seconds) video of an alligator hatching, go here

Malthus will always be wrong.............

....because us pesky humans can be endlessly clever.  John Kay illuminates:

"The most important source of economic advance comes not from doing the same things better, but from achieving the same objective in a completely different way."

Connecting.........................



































"It is clear to all that the animal organism is a highly complex system consisting of an almost infinite series of parts connected both with one another and, as a total complex, with the surrounding world, with which it is in a state of equilibrium."


"It is not accidental that all phenomena of human life are dominated by the search for daily bread - the oldest link connecting all living things, man included, with the surrounding nature."

"Perfect as the wing of a bird may be, it will never enable the bird to fly if unsupported by the air. Facts are the air of science. Without them a man of science can never rise."

"Don't become a mere recorder of facts, but try to penetrate the mystery of their origin."

-Ivan Pavlov

On schooling..........................

When I was young my teachers were old.
I gave up fire for form till I was cold.
I suffered like a metal being cast.
I went to school to age to learn the past.

Now I am old my teachers are the young.
What can't be molded must be cracked and sprung.
I strain at lessons fit to start a suture.
I go to school to youth to learn the future.

-Robert Frost

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

It just keeps on flowing.................................

The Allman Brothers Band...............................Blue Sky

 

Mystery........................................



















"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the true source of all art and science."
-Albert Einstein

AND...........................................


Good to know....................................

WASHINGTON—According to a poll released Monday by the Pew Research Center, the escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine has left Americans sharply and bitterly divided along ignorant and apathetic lines, with the nation’s citizenry evenly split between grossly misinformed and wholly indifferent factions.

-Full Onion treatment here

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

Beach Boys........................................Fun, Fun, Fun



better audio version can be found here

Hmmm...........................................


It has been a long winter.....................


Security...........................

















"Only the insecure strive for security."
-Wayne Dyer

cartoon via

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

..........here in my bag.........................

Simon and Garfunkel.............................America

 

Experience............................


















EXPERIENCE, n.  The wisdom that enables us to recognize as an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.
-Ambrose Bierce,  The Devil's Dictionary

cartoon via

Passion.........................

Those of us who follow the View From the Ledge know that Jeff Kopito is passionate about books ... the real things:  paper, ink, and bindings.  If you asked Jeff to name ten sacred spaces in his world, I'd be willing to bet twenty-five cents that five of them would be small and independent book stores.  Now, I've never met Jeff, but we have become good friends in an Intertunnel sort of way.  Because of that friendship, whenever I mention Kindle on this blog I tend to include the words "sorry Jeff."   Here is our latest exchange:

My comment:    Not being familiar with that work, the Colossus Amazon was consulted.  Since the spot price on a new hardback copy was $77.10, I did the next best thing and (sorry Jeff) Kindleized it. 

Jeff's response:    Actually if you head on over to AbeBooks, you can find if for a couple of dollars. Yeah, a bit worn but well read and respected. Powell's has a copy for $5.50 - and if you try IndieBound, they may even be able to find it for you locally...in a bookstore...I'm just sayin'... :) - J.

Update:   Passion on display here.

Fragile "rights" are.........................

















"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances..."
-Victor Frankl

image via

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

Sarah Vaughan..............................Maria (from West Side Story)

 

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

"It is of the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it."
-Aristotle

Carry................................


Mission Impossible...................

This poll found in the Intertunnel:























Picking my favorite Beatles song?  You've got to be kidding.  Depends on the day and the mood, although I'm pretty sure it's not on this list.

On a trial run............................


















via

Monday, March 3, 2014

With Sahan Arzruni sitting in.....

Victor Borge.............................................Hungarian Rhapsody

 

Wiki on Sahan Arzruni is here

Something to remember...................

Stuart Schneiderman takes a look at "democracy":

"Of course, Benjamin Franklin declared that the Constitutional Convention had created a 'republic.'  And a republic is not quite the same as a democracy. It is fair to emphasize that in the early days of the American Republic, very few people had the right to vote. Since only property-owning males could vote, in the first elections between 3% and 4% of the population participated.

"To call the results democratic stretches the meaning of the term."

One day at a time.........................














via

Unintended consequences of history......

This sounds really familiar:

Ukraine isn’t a country: it’s a Frankenstein monster composed of pieces of dead empires, stitched together by Stalin. It has never had a government in the Western sense of the term after the collapse of the Soviet Union gave it independence, just the equivalent of the family offices for one predatory oligarch after another...

-Spengler, as excerpted from here

Pick.................................

"When you have a choice to be right or to be kind, always pick kind."
-Wayne W. Dyer

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

Shangri-Las........................................Leader of the Pack

 

thine own....................................

"If therefore it be a thing external that causes thy grief, know that it is not that properly that doth cause it, but thine own conceit and opinion concerning the thing:  which thou mayest rid thyself of, when thou wilt."
-Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations, Book VIII, Article XLV

The art of stringing words together in a most interesting fashion.........

From The Epicurean Dealmaker:

Apparently the editor of our culture’s preeminent forum for snark and sarcasm was so outraged by Forbes’ annual encomium to the highest-earning hedge fund managers that he burst a gasket. I guess the shock was so great Mr. Nolan dropped a slice of gluten-free artisanal toast buttered with the tears of free range lambs raised on an anarchosyndicalist commune in Vermont face down on a rug woven by one-armed Peruvian orphans from the frayed fibers of their broken dreams. Or so I presume, given the fulsomeness of his resulting vitriol. Unfortunately for this forum, at least, Mr. Nolan’s righteous indignation was not matched by a similar zeal to get the most basic facts about the situation correct.

Full blog post is here

Fusion...................

Walter Russell Mead's blog points to this article by Raffi Khatchadourian about fusion, saying it's:

 ...a layman’s explanation of what scientists hope fusion can actually do.

Good enough for me.  As they say, read the whole thing.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Solving the student debt issue............

Father Guido Sarducci..........................Five Minute University

 

thanks glenn

People are crazy and times are strange....

Bob Dylan.........................................Things Have Changed

 

Thrive....................

I have become a fan of, and a regular visitor to,  David Kanigan's Tumblr.  Here of late, it has become apparent that David has been deeply dipping into Florida Scott-Maxwell's Measure of My Days.  Not being familiar with that work, the Colossus Amazon was consulted.  Since the spot price on a new hardback copy was $77.10, I did the next best thing and (sorry Jeff) Kindleized it.  Here is the opening paragraph:

We who are old know that age is more than a disability.  It is an intense and varied experience, almost beyond our capacity at times, but something to be carried high.  If it is a long defeat, it is also a victory, meaningful for the initiates of time, if not for those who have come less far.

Expect more.

Life its ownself.....................

5  Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; 

6  Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.

7  And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

-Jeremiah 29:5-7
The Holy Bible
King James Version

Interesting paragraphs.........................

     Geni was in the engineering school at the university.  He had a great love of science.  Through circumstances that I do not now recall, two years before he had managed to come upon a Scientific American magazine.  He explained how much he treasured every page.  The most significant article was on quasars.   I am a scientific illiterate, so he took his time.  It was clear that he wanted me to understand the details of his story.  He explained to me that quasars are among the largest and most luminous objects we have ever discovered.  "They are ultimately huge," he exclaimed.
     "I could not stop thinking about quasars,"  Geni continued.  He was no longer looking me in the eye, but was lost in the memory.  "Compared to a quasar, our galaxy is nothing.  It is only a piece of sand.  Just a piece of sand."  He rubbed his thumb and finger together to illustrate just how small that was.  "Then if you compare our solar system to our galaxy, it is only a piece of sand.  Then you have planet Earth.  Earth is only a piece of sand in our sun system.   That is a piece of sand inside a piece of sand inside a piece of sand."  This mathematical drama was clearly inspiring to him.  He continued, "Albania is a very small country.  Albania is only a piece of sand on the earth and ..."  Geni now looked me straight in the eye.  "Tony, I am only a piece of sand inside my piece-of-sand country.  I ask you, what could be more insignificant than me?  Can you see that I am the smallest piece of nothing in the whole universe."
     Geni's words were so simple; his logic so perfect.  I was now the one lost in his telescoping imagination.
     "But Tony," he went on, "the words of the magazine were speaking to me so clearly.  They reminded me that I am in fact significant.  How could this be?  God was speaking to me through the pages of my magazine.  He was telling me that even though I was ultimately small, I was also valuable, and I knew God was right."

-Tony Kriz,  Neighbors and Wise Men:  Sacred Encounters in a Portland Pub and Other Unexpected Places

An artist's rendering...................


















.....................................of a quasar.   Back story is here.

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

On Broadway..........................................Fiddler On The Roof

 

Fiddler on the Roof opened on Broadway in 1964, and stayed there for 3,242 shows.  Zero Mostel was the original Tevye.   Beatrice Arthur opened as Yente the Matchmaker.

Realpolitik.........................

Walter Russell Mead weighs in on the latest Putin/Obama dance:

"At AI, our concern has always been that Putin sees the United States as an opponent in a zero sum contest, not a partner in a quest for win-win. Putin sees the American faith in win-win solutions as a long line of Russian negotiators back to czarist times have done: as an irritating though occasionally useful blend of hypocrisy and fecklessness. We worry that Putin sees Obama’s effort to keep bargaining in good faith over Syria, Iran and now perhaps Crimea as a weakness to be exploited, not a foundation for mutual trust and cooperation. Putin, we suspect, wants President Obama’s prestige damaged, and for American foreign policy to endure one setback and humiliation after another. He will happily play Lucy as long as President Obama is willing to play Charlie Brown and run at the football Lucy holds."

We live in interesting times.

Explaining..................................

RELIGION,  n.  A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
-Ambrose Bierce,  The Devil's Dictionary

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










via

Lots of years and lots of miles.......

Jetboy shares a clip with Buddy Guy and Ronnie Wood messing around with an old Stones classic.  If you want to see how a pro handles a broken guitar string, hang around until the 3:40 minute mark.  Good stuff.