Saturday, June 7, 2014

A few of my favorite things.....................

John E. Smith:  (I like the new blog header artwork) Offers Five Remembrances

The Shirk Report:  Brings us Dude Perfect and 6 minutes of bowling trick shots

Pat Guanciale:  Reason enough to invite him to the bonfire.

Stuart Schneiderman:   Imagine (it's not that hard to do) that somebody left some pot brownies in the New York Times lunchroom

The Execupundit:  Provides some daily guidance.  If you want to think about something, think about these.

Who's your daddy............................?

The Zombies............................................Time of the Season

Peace, Harmony & Serenity......

My Sweetie suggested I play hooky from work on Thursday and travel with her to nearby Gambier, Ohio.  The plan was to enjoy the one-weekend-a-year-open-house at the fabulous Schnormeier Gardens.  As plans go,  it was a pretty good one.  The air was warm and the sky was blue.  A perfect day for a pathless ramble.  Water, rocks and sculpture abound.  The oriental influence is immediately felt.  The co-creators, (and owners/residents) of the property, Ted and Ann Schnormeier, mingled with the guests, taking time to share and explain.  Nice people. A great experience.  Put it on your calendar for next year.




To celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2007, Ted and Ann had
Alan Cottrill create this scupture

The Japanese Garden House overlooks the five upper ponds
and the Serenity Garden

About the only selfie you will ever see me take


Draco Terribilis, a 1996 steel sculpture by Lou Ferrario, guards
the Chinese Cup garden

"Beginnings", one of a series of bronze sculptures by Charles J. Reina
along the Stream Garden, represents emerging bulbs in the spring.

Looked for Monet, but didn't see him at any of the four lily pad
friendly ponds in the Meadow Garden

A sedge of herons

"Affirmation of Rejection"  by a 2002 steel sculpture by
Michael Kenneth Smith

"Fat Man Dancing" (hey, I didn't name these things)  A 1999 steel
sculpture by Michael Kenneth Smith


"Reflections of a Past Tense"   Michael Kenneth Smith's
steel sculpture influenced by Rodin's The Thinker

Jiku      Silicone Bronze sculpture by Richard Mayer
designed by Ted Schnormeier


The Quarry



The Buddha


There is just something......................

.....................................................about that shirt.

On moderation......................























Again and again the Master would be
seen to discourage his disciples
from depending on him, for this
would prevent them from contacting
the inner Source.

He was often heard to say. "Three
things there are that when too close
are harmful, when too far are useless 
and are best kept a middle distance:
fire, the government, and the guru."

-Anthony de Mello,  One Minute Wisdom

On saving money.............................

It's important.   A gaunt piggy bank is not a good thing.



















Feedthepig.org, a partnership between the American Institute of CPA's and the Ad Council, has been buying billboards ads that encourage all of us to save some money.  This is known as "a good thing."





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

The Dave Clark Five..............................................Because

Just one question.........................

................................................Who is holding the umbrella?


I don't know...........................

"It has long been said that the three hardest words to say in the English language are I love you.  We heartily disagree!   For most people, it is much harder to say I don't know.   That's a shame, for until you can admit what you don't yet know, it's virtually impossible to learn what you need to."
-as excerpted from Levitt and Dubner's Think Like A Freak

One of the things I like about........................

......summer is that Rob Firchau posts more often.  Do visit.

Friday, June 6, 2014

A few of my favorite things......................

From Matt Ridley:  On the inequality kerfuffle:  "The upper class has a welfare dependency problem as well as the underclass."

From the Radiatingblossom tumblr:  Awe-inspiring photos, including this one of  Rio de Janeiro

From Scott Blitstein:  Warren Haynes, of Gov't Mule fame, low keys the Star Spangled Banner

From Bilbo:  A remembrance of that long day seventy years ago at Normandy

From Michael Wade:  He recalls the days of "duck and cover."  I remember doing the drills;  they were my first inkling that adults often make stuff up as they go along.  Bonus pictures here.

Coverage....................................

Joe Walsh..................................................Rosewood Bitters



Michael Stanley's original is here.  Apparently there is some Intertunnel controversy:  Did Walsh or Stanley write the song.  Our vote is with Stanley, but who knows?  Thanks Scott

Unpersuaded.....................................



































What a consolation it is, after
the explanations and the predictions
of further explanations still
to come, to return unpersuaded
to the woods, entering again
the presence of the blessed trees.
A tree forms itself in answer
to its place and to the light.
Explain it how you will, the only
thing explainable will be
your explanation.  There is
in the woods on a summer's
morning, birdsong all around
from guess where, nowhere
that rigid measure which predicts
only humankind's demise

-Wendell Berry
Sabbaths, 1999 IV

photo via

On reason..............................

"So convenient a thing is it to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one had a mind to do."
-Benjamin Franklin

Now that school is out, let's spend the summer working on education reform. What...........? Oh. Never mind................

    "In our society, if someone wants to be a hairstylist or a kickboxer or a hunting guide - or a schoolteacher - he or she must be trained and licensed by a state agency.  No such requirement is necessary for parenthood.  Anyone with a set of reproductive organs is free to create a child, no questions asked, and raise them as they see fit, so long as there are no visible bruises - and then turn that child over to the school system so the teachers can work their magic.   Maybe we are asking too much of the schools and too little of our parents and kids?"

"In the U. S. push for education reform, theories abound as to the key factors:  school size, class size, administrative stability, money for technology, and yes, teacher skill."

"But a mountain of recent evidence suggests that teacher skill has less influence on a student's performance than a completely different set of factors:  namely, how much kids have learned from their parents, how hard they work at home, and whether parents have instilled an appetite for education."

-excerpts from Levitt and Dubner's Think Like A Freak

Priceless......................................

...................................................A list worth pondering.

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

Lesley Gore...............................................You Don't Own Me

One of the greatest......................























Cultural Offering has the story - here

One great song is here

And today's for sale
And it's all you can afford


Be wary of "totalization"............................

"Utopians...consider individual freedom as the stumbling block on which the grandiose idea of mankind’s totalization may flounder."
-Thomas Molnar

Models...................................



















     "Like many economists we believed that if our models did not describe the world, the fault lay with the world, not the model."
-John Kay, as excerpted from the preface to Obliquity: Why our goals are best achieved indirectly

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





















"Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future."
-attributed to Niels Bohr

Nifty....................................

Dean Martin and Paul Lynde having some fun....................

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A few of my favorite things....................

From Jeff:    "we're doomed"

From David:   Magic

From Doug:   Ideas

From Jonco:   Billions

From John:   Worst question

"In the name of good intentions, you began to do me harm."

Switchback..................................................Bamboozled

Camouflage..............................

"Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power."
-Aldous Huxley   

Good intentions........................

From a commencement addressed never commenced:
      In a complicated world, good intentions can have terrible consequences. One hundred years ago, many well-intentioned people championed Communism. When Lenin took power in Russia in 1917, he actually believed that the economy would organize itself, and that without profits production would be more efficient and more equitable. When both his ideas and his leadership proved unpopular, he responded with ruthless tyranny. His took his self-righteousness to a mad extreme, but I am afraid that there is a little bit of Lenin lurking among all of those who are so certain that community service is morally superior to business.
-Arnold S. Kling, as excerpted from here

A night of dark intent..........................














The shattered water made a misty din.
Great waves looked over others coming in,
And thought of doing something to the shore
That water never did to land before.
The clouds were low and hairy in the skies,
Like locks blown forward in the gleam of eyes.
You could not tell, and yet it looked as if
The shore was lucky in being backed by cliff,
The cliff in being backed by continent;
It looked as if a night of dark intent
Was coming, and not only a night, an age.
Someone had better be prepared for rage.
There would be more than ocean-water broken
Before God's last Put out the Light was spoken.

-Robert Frost, Once By The Pacific

Walter Russell Mead.......................

...........pens a thoughtful essay on the administration's foreign policy.  Full essay here.  Two wee excepts here:

"It was a beautiful plan, but it hasn’t worked out."

"But they also think that American policy is confused and narcissistic: that we proclaim ambitious goals because we like to flatter ourselves about our power and our nobility of character, but that we lack the resolution to achieve them."

Uh-oh.

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

Nina Simone...........................Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood



"But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good.  Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood."  Lyrics here.  Back story here.

So where is the "relentless scrutiny"..............?

"This is a generation weaned on Watergate, and there is no presumption of innocence and no presumption of good intentions. Instead, there is a presumption that, without relentless scrutiny, the government will misbehave."
-Dee Dee Myers

Concentrated......................................

"Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it."

Ah, the wisdom of fortune cookies....................

















Done ...


"fulfilling the dreams of ... curious economists everywhere who love it when cities turn themselves into living laboratories."

At last, a worthy reason for raising the minimum wage in Seattle to $15 per hour.  One man's take (and source of the quote) on the issue is here.  My money says the only winner in this experiment will be the law of unintended consequences.  Heads up folks.  The ride is about to get interesting.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A little slice of the summer of 1969...

The Youngbloods.......................................Let's Get Together

 

Hide my yearning..............................

The Youngbloods..............................Darkness, Darkness

To be robust, or to delegate, that is the question...























"A growing body of research suggest that even the smartest people tend to seek out evidence that confirms what they already think, rather than new information that would give them a more robust view of reality.
     "It is also tempting to run with the herd.  Even on the most important issues of the day, we often adopt the views of our friends, family, and colleagues.  On some level, this makes sense:  it is easier to fall in line with what your family and friends think than to find new family and friends!   But running with the herd means we are quick to embrace the status quo, slow to change our minds, and happy to delegate our thinking."
-as excerpted from Levitt and Dubner's Think Like A Freak

On dogma............................

























On thinking...............................

"Few people think more than two or three times a year.   I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week."
-attributed to George Bernard Shaw

Thinking 14..................................

















Balance of list is here.

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

The Beatles...................................................And I Love Her

"The last IS the worst"...................

.......By a factor of about 10 in my experience.  Full story here.

Hoping the next president finds a "middle way"...
















courtesy of

But who's going to clean up the mess.....................



courtesy of