Saturday, May 3, 2014

Volume up.....................Cue the flute.......

Traffic........................................John Barleycorn Must Die

Self-made.......................................

     There is no physician like cheerful thought for dissipating the ills of the body;  there is no comforter to compare with goodwill for dispersing the shadows of grief and sorrow.  To live continually in thoughts of ill will, cynicism, suspicion, and envy, is to be confined in a self-made prison-hole.  But to think well of all, to be cheerful with all, to patiently learn to find the good in all - such unselfish thoughts are the very portals of heaven;  and to dwell day by day in thoughts of peace toward every creature will bring abounding peace to their possessor.
-James Allen,  as excerpted from As A Man Thinketh

On getting rich quick...........

..........................................Focus on enriching.

Seth Godin lays down the rules here.

Wishing this were true.........................................

Obama’s restraint, including his decision not to intervene militarily in Syria, should not be mistaken for weakness. America’s image in the world has improved under Obama, and U.S. leadership is more welcome.
-G. John Ikenberry, as excerpted from this essay on the strategic wisdom of Obama's foreign policy

Only the passage of about fifty years will tell, but the history major in me thinks that George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq will come to be seen as one of the greatest errors of judgment in American foreign policy history.  Ikenberry paints a rosy picture of Obama's "pragmatic internationalist" "long view" to world affairs.  Hope he is correct, although from the cheap seats  it certainly looks more like ill-conceived ad hocery.  The world is, and has been forever, a bit messy and dangerous.  Grand strategies scare me.  Just once I'd like a leader to come out and say, "You know, we really don't have a clue about ................."

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

The Beatles........................Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey
(don't forget to watch the dairy farmers' ad at the end)

 

On the importance of unsettled science.............

Ten great scientific discoveries (nine, if you do not count LSD as a great scientific discovery) that were total accidents.

"Constantine, I told you to wash your hands before dinner."

Kindle.....................................











from Thrive, David Kanigan's wondrous tumblr

And it is free.........................................

     As you cannot have a sweet and wholesome abode unless you admit the air and sunshine freely into your rooms, so a strong body and a bright, happy, or serene countenance can only result from the free admittance into the mind of thoughts of joy and goodwill and serenity.
-James Allen, as excerpted from As A Man Thinketh

Friday, May 2, 2014

A lot of years and many miles.....................

Dave Mason.................................All Along the Watchtower

A night at the Midland...........................

The fabulous Midland Theatre hosted Dave Mason and his band last evening.  We did not pass up the opportunity to see an old favorite.  They played some great music.   He is aging like a fine wine, just like most of his audience.


The regular crowd shuffles in....................

The first set was Traffic music.  Mason and Winwood are the sole survivors

A little bit of All Along the Watchtower to wrap it up

One of my all-time favorite albums..........






















Dave Mason...............from 1970....................Alone Together

One of my all-time favorite songs..........

..................Look At You Look At Me.

I miss you like I miss the sun
I need you everyday

-Dave Mason/Jim Capaldi


Worked for me........................................















thanks jess

Obvious..............................................

"The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it simply."
-Kahlil Gibran

This quote reminds me of the story of Christopher Columbus and the Egg.   Full story here.  Excerpt here:

An egg of Columbus or Columbus's egg refers to a brilliant idea or discovery that seems simple or easy after the fact. The expression refers to the apocryphal story of how Christopher Columbus, having been told that discovering the Americas was no great accomplishment, challenged his critics to make an egg stand on its tip. After his challengers gave up, Columbus did it himself by tapping the egg on the table so as to flatten its tip.

Engraving by William Hogarth   1752

















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

Chloee Harris..........................................................Little People

Notions........................................





















via

A bit of advice...........................

"Always put off until tomorrow that which you shouldn't do at all."
-anonymous

Us pesky humans....................

My favorite optimist explains why "limits to growth" never seem to pan out the way they are supposed to - here.   Excerpt here:

But here's a peculiar feature of human history: We burst through such limits again and again. After all, as a Saudi oil minister once said, the Stone Age didn't end for lack of stone. Ecologists call this "niche construction"—that people (and indeed some other animals) can create new opportunities for themselves by making their habitats more productive in some way. Agriculture is the classic example of niche construction: We stopped relying on nature's bounty and substituted an artificial and much larger bounty.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

John Steed and Emma Peel...............

Almost Lover....................Maybe performed by A Fine Frenzy?

You don't need to be graduating....................

Every day is Commencement Day.  Here are fifteen things to keep in mind daily.

Thanks Todd

In the past 125+ years, it might be suggested that, all certainty aside, we have only reclaimed "a little more land"........................

"The known is finite, the unknown infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land, to add something to the extent and the solidity of our possessions."

Too...........................................
















thanks Nicholas

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

Veronica.................................................................So Young

 

 "Veronica" is actually Ronnie Bennett. This is Phil Spector's first recording with the Ronettes.  They get better.

Hmmmm.................................

"The guiding motto in the life of every natural philosopher should be:  Seek simplicity and distrust it."
-Alfred North Whitehead

On my love affair with blogging..........................


















thanks hugh

Women tend to live longer than men.........

It is not complicated.  It is not sexist.  Here are some reasons.

from The Archives

One of these days............................

....................I'm going to study-up on this blogging thing.

thanks Todd

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A 2012 tribute at the Kennedy Center..................

Heart and friends.............................................Stairway to Heaven

 

Back story is here

Consequences................................

"Freedom is wrongly understood to mean that no consequences apply. But it really means the exact opposite: the right to make a mistake, so long as you’re willing to pay the price."
-Richard Fernandez

No, it is not Major Tom.......................

Believe it or not, it is actually a satellite.  Back story is here.
















Major Tom is here.

Ripened.................................

Calmness of mind is one of the most beautiful jewels of wisdom.  It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control.  Its presence is an indication of ripened experience, and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.
-James Allen,  As A Man Thinketh

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

Dionne Warwick...................................A House Is Not A Home

 

Here's a radical thought........................

"Don’t talk about income inequality.  Instead, focus on productivity inequality — there are many who are less productive, and deserve less as a result."
-as excepted from this very interesting post at The Aleph Blog

From The Archives.........................





















































From The Archives

Marketing 101..........................................

Friend Bilbo points to this priceless Generic Brand Video.   Now, if only they were selling something.....

Any volunteers for self-impoverishment...........?

"What is not helpful is to focus on the enemies we’d like to have, rather than the complexities we actually face."
-Megan McArdle, as excerpted from this interesting post on "global warming."

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A little Robert Plant and Jimmy Page to round out your evening. Enjoy...................

Led Zeppelin.............................................Stairway to Heaven

 

If it ain't got that swing.........................

Duke Ellington......................................It Don't Mean A Thing

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

He was the most chronic of procrastinators, a man who never did today what he could put off until next month, or next year.  He left letters unanswered, contracts unsigned, watches unworn, and longtime companions unwed, and the only thing harder than getting him out of bed in the afternoon was getting him to finish writing a new piece of music in time for the premiere.  "I don't need time," he liked to say.  "What I need is a deadline!"  Nothing but an immovable deadline could spur Duke Ellington to decisive action, though once he set to work in earnest, it was with a speed and self-assurance that amazed all who beheld it.  At the end of his life, he left behind some seventeen hundred-odd compositions, a number that is hard to square with the memories of his collaborators, who rarely failed at one time or another to be frustrated by his dilatory ways.  That was fine with him.  He knew what he needed in order to create, and as far as he was concerned, nothing and no one else mattered.  "As long as something is unfinished," he told Louis Armstrong, "there's always that little feeling of insecurity.  And a feeling of insecurity is absolutely necessary unless you're so rich that it doesn't matter."  Few of his pronouncements can be taken at face value - he was never in the habit of telling anyone, even those who supposed themselves to be his friends, what he really thought - but this one has the ring of truth.  "He wants life and music to be in a state of becoming," said the trumpeter Clark Terry, one of the many stars of the band that Ellington led from 1924 until his death a half century later.  "He doesn't even like to write definitive endings to a piece."
-Terry Teachout,  from the Prologue to  Duke:  A Life of Duke Ellington

A few words from Duke Ellington........
















“Love is supreme and unconditional. Like is nice, but limited.”

“There are 2 rules in life:   Number 1- Never quit.   Number 2 - Never forget rule number 1."

“I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.” 

“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” 

"By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn't want your daughter to associate with."

"A man is a god in ruins."

"You've got to find some way of saying it without saying it."

"Love is indescribable and unconditional. I could tell you a thousand things that it is not, but not one that it is. Either you have it or you haven’t; there’s no proof of it."

"I never had much interest in the piano until I realized that every time I played, a girl would appear on the piano bench to my left and another to my right."

"A goal is a dream with a finish line."

photo via

Opening paragraphs............Part 2

Washington is a theme park of power, a city to which fifteen million American tourists travel each year, there to gaze upon the marble monuments that enshrine their past and foreshadow their future.  Few go looking for art, though no American city has more museums, and fewer still think of the nation's capital as a center of jazz, though it's said that before 1920 Washington was home to more nightclubs than Harlem.  But even if that boast smacks of boosterism, it suggests the vitality to which there is ample testimony from those who saw it for themselves.  And while only a handful of jazz greats grew up in Washington, one of them was Duke Ellington, who was born in a neighborhood whose name now evokes the black history he would study in its schools as a boy and make for himself as an adult.
-Terry Teachout,  Duke:  A Live of Duke Ellington

As it turns out.........................

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was born on this day in 1899.  Wiki here.  More here and here.


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

Duke Ellington......................................................Perdido

 

No comment.....................................























via

Err in the direction of kindness...............................




This short video is based on a 2013 commencement address by George Saunders.  The full text of his speech can be found here.  Excerpt here:

"Do all the other things, the ambitious things — travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness. Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial. That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality — your soul, if you will — is as bright and shining as any that has ever been. Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Teresa’s. Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly."

thanks

Making lemonade............

In finding the silver lining, the marketing creativity of the real estate industry knows no bounds ...................................
















via

Promoting understanding..............................

........and acceptance, one day at a time, one person at a time.

"How might things change if we all took more time to understand the emotions, the experiences, the beliefs, and the values behind the words?"

Here is a novel idea...............................

"But governments should focus not on redistributing income but on generating more of it by reforming retirement and education."
-as excerpted from the Leaders column, "A billion shades of grey," in the April 26th The Economist

Monday, April 28, 2014

Live on Ed Sullivan................1957

Buddy Holly & The Crickets.................That'll Be The Day

Ah, the 1950s...........................

I suspect a fair number of visitors here did not grow up in the '50s.  It was a time different from each of the succeeding decades.  Friend Bilbo posted a poem, In the Land of Sandra Dee, that captures much of what I remember (not forgetting that I was only 8 when the '60s arrived).  A few excerpts (and some photos to go with some of the words):

We had our share of heroes,
We never thought they'd go,
At least not Bobby Darin,
Or Marilyn Monroe.

For youth was still eternal,
And life was yet to be,
And Elvis was forever,
In the Land of Sandra Dee. 



We hadn't seen enough of jets
To talk about the lag,
And microchips were what was left
At the bottom of the bag.

And hardware was a box of nails,
And bytes came from a flea,
And rocket ships were fiction
In the Land of Sandra Dee. 


Sandra Dee

A scandalous prime time TV soap opera

President Eisenhower "Ike" in the White House

Dan Blocker as "Hoss" on TV's Bonanza

Buddy Holly

Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon

Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty on TV's Gunsmoke

Dennis Weaver as Chester with James Arness as Matt Dillon

Ronald Reagan in Bedtime for Bonzo

Mr. Wizard

Bobby Darin

Marilyn Monroe

Elvis

Game face.............................

My neighbor Kurt working hard to create something beautiful:


Be.............................................


















thanks Andrew

Dispensing.....................

............a mighty fine tune from Toad the Wet Sprocket.

............an impossible-to-pick-only-15 list of Beatles music.

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

Bobby Darin (in his country phase)....The Things in This House

 

Making Strange.........................

I stood between them,
the one with his traveled intelligence
and tawny containment,
his speech like the twang of a bowstring,

and another, unshorn and bewildered
in the tubs of his wellingtons,
smiling at me for help,
faced with this stranger I’d brought him.

Then a cunning middle voice
came out of the field across the road
saying, ‘Be adept and be dialect,
tell of this wind coming past the zinc hut,

call me sweetbriar after the rain
or snowberries cooled in the fog.
But love the cut of this traveled one
and call me also the cornfield of Boaz.

Go beyond what’s reliable
in all that keeps pleading and pleading,
these eyes and puddles and stones,
and recollect how bold you were

when I visited you first
with departures you cannot go back on.’
A chaffinch flicked from an ash and next thing
I found myself driving the stranger

through my own country, adept
at dialect, reciting my pride
in all that I knew, that began to make strange
at the same recitation.
-Seamus Heaney

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

The gravestone stands in an open area, unprotected by trees and exposed to the blustery snow flurries and frigid winds that regularly rake north-central Colorado.  Near the top of this granite marker is a single name:  McParland.  Below is a record of the supposed birth and death dates of a  man once so widely recognized that when his admirers referred to him as the "Great Detective" others instantly knew of whom they spoke.  But James McParland surely would have chuckled at the dates on his tombstone, for throughout his life this master of evasion, obfuscation, and at times, outright deceit maintained that he did not know when he had been born.  So was this the long-hidden truth finally appearing?  Had his widow ordered this particular date for reasons of her own?  Or was it another instance of the elusiveness and ambiguity that marked McParland's entire life?
-Beau Riffenburgh, from the Introduction to Pinkerton's Great Detective:  The Amazing Life and Times of James McParland

I did not know this........................

If you consult the Oracle Google about James McParland, you will find this wiki passage:
Reports of McParland's success against the Molly Maguires came to the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes detective novels. Conan Doyle wrote McParland into The Valley of Fear, creating an encounter between the fictional Sherlock Holmes, and a character whose history loosely recalled McParland's experiences with the Molly Maguires.
Conan Doyle had met William Pinkerton on an ocean voyage, where the writer became fascinated by the "singular and terrible narrative" of the Molly Maguires.[12] Later, however, "William Pinkerton's and Arthur Conan Doyle's friendship ended over the rendition of some Pinkerton exploits in fictional form..."[13] 
The Valley of Fear is one of my favorite Conan Doyle stories, even though Holmes is not at the center of the tale.

Opening paragraphs.............Part 2

     "I am inclined to think - " said I.
     "I should do so," Sherlock Holmes remarked impatiently.
     I believe that I am one of the most long-suffering mortals;  but I'll admit that I was annoyed at the sardonic interruption.  "Really, Holmes," said I severely, "you are a little trying at times."
     He was too much absorbed with his own thoughts to give any immediate answer to my remonstrance.  He leaned upon his hand, with his untasted breakfast before him, and he stared at the slip of paper which he had just drawn from its envelope.  Then he took the envelope itself, held it up to the light, and very carefully studied by the exterior and the flap.
     "It is Porlock's writing," said he thoughtfully.  "I can hardly doubt that it is Porlock's writing, though I have seen it only twice before.  The Greek e with the peculiar top flourish is distinctive.  But if it is Porlock, then it must be something of the very first importance."
     He was speaking to himself rather than to me; but my vexation disappeared in the interest which the words awakened.
     "Who then is Porlock?" I asked.
     "Porlock, Watson is a nom-de-plume, a mere identification mark; but behind it lies a shifty and elusive personality.  In a former letter he frankly informed me that the name was not his own, and defied me ever to trace him among the teeming millions of this great city.  Porlock is important, not for himself, but for the great man with whom he is in touch.  Picture to yourself the pilot fish with the shark,  the jackal with lion - anything that is insignificant in companionship with what is formidable:  not only formidable, Watson, but sinister - in the highest degree sinister.  That is where he comes within my purview.  You have heard me speak of Professor Moriarty?"
     "The famous scientific criminal, as famous among crooks as -"
     "My blushes, Watson!"  Holmes murmured in a deprecating voice.
     "I was about to say, as he is unknown to the public."
     "A touch!  A distinct touch!"  cried Holmes.  "You are developing a certain unexpected vein of pawky humor, Watson, against which I must learn to guard myself.  But in calling Moriarty a criminal you are uttering libel in the eyes of the law - and there lie the glory and wonder of it all!  The greatest schemer of all time, the organizer of every deviltry, the controlling brain of the underworld, a brain which might have made or marred the destiny of nations - that's the man!
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,  from the opening to The Valley of Fear

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Faster please..................................

Rimsky-Korsakov............................Flight of the Bumblebee
























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

13  Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

14  For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

15  She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

16  Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.

17  Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

18  She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

19  The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

20  By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

21  My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

22  So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

23  Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.

24  When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

-Proverbs 3:13-14
The Holy Bible
King James Version

Good question......................

                                   The Astronomer

An Astronomer used to to out at night to observe the stars.  One evening, as he wandered through the countryside with his whole attention fixed on the sky, he fell accidentally into a deep well.  While he lamented and bewailed his sores and bruises, and cried loudly for help, a neighbor ran to the well, and learning what had happened said:  "Hark ye, old fellow, why, in striving to pry what is in heaven, do you not manage to see what is on earth?"
-Aesop's Fables, as translated by George Fyler Townsend

Life its Ownself...............................

Jeff is searching for the poetry............................................

"I believe that cancer, and its treatment, is as much philosophy, language, performance and visual art as well as medicine."

Dinning.....................................

      Some are dinning in our ears that we Americans, and moderns generally, are intellectual dwarfs compared with the ancients, or even the Elizabethan men.  But what is that to the purpose?  A living dog is better than a dead lion.  Shall a man go and hang himself because he belongs to the race of pygmies, and not be the biggest pygmy that he can?  Let every one mind his own business, and endeavor to be what he was made.
      Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises?  If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.   Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.  It is not important that he should mature as soon as an apple tree or an oak.  Shall he turn his spring into summer?   If the conditions of things which we were made for is not yet, what were any reality which we can substitute?  We will not be shipwrecked on a vain reality.  Shall we with pains erect a heaven of blue glass over ourselves, though when it is done we shall be sure to gaze still at the true ethereal heaven far above, as if the former were not?
- Henry David Thoreau,   Walden, as excerpted from the chapter "Conclusion"

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

The Beatles......................................Love Me Do




For all you purists out there, I know this tune was released in the UK in 1962.  It was re-released in the United States on April 27, 1964.  It hit the #1 spot on the US charts in May of 1964.

Hmmmm...............................















via

It's awful big out there....................






















via

Growth and improvement......................

From my favorite optimist comes this missive suggesting more world-wide wealth will lead to a cleaner and healthier environment.  Excerpt here:

Economic growth and ecological improvement go together. And it is not mainly because environmental protection produces higher growth, but vice versa. More trade, more innovation and more wealth make possible greater investment in low-carbon energy and smarter adaptation to climate change. Next time you hear some green, doom-mongering Jeremiah insisting that the only way to avoid Armageddon is to go back to eating home-grown organic lentils cooked over wood fires, ask him why it is that the IPCC assumes the very opposite.

1984.......................................

From The Dish.............a look at a GREAT year at the Cinema: