Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Vogues.........................................Five O'Clock World

There was just something about the '70's.........

Earth, Wind & Fire................................................September



#62 on this list

Ah, it is fast approaching "prediction time"......

With the looming new year, the punditry world begins their annual guesses.  What will 2015 bring? Here are ten predictions about the wide wide world of markets and the economy from the fine people at Goldman Sachs.  Here is how the blog post starts:

At the beginning of the year, not many predicted the stock market would blast to new highs like they did. Almost no one predicted interest rates would stay this low. And few would've guessed oil prices would rally and crash the way they did.

Wither goes the housing industry................?

Five predictions from Freddie Mac's economists.  Reading the comment sections of blog post is generally a fine way to waste time.  There is a real gem in this group, however:

 "The fact remains that no matter what the market does, people will be buying and selling homes. If we do out jobs correctly, and work with integrity, we will always be busy real estate professionals."

Checking in with Goethe......................

"Art is long, life short, judgment difficult, opportunity transient. To act is easy, to think is hard; to act according to our thought is troublesome."

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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

Texas Governor John B. Connally, who was wounded during the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, reflects on the one year anniversary of the event.

The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac......................

                            3.

I know, you never intended to be in this world.
But you're in it all the same.

So why not get started immediately.

I mean, belonging to it.
There is so much to admire, to weep over.

And to write music or poems about.

Bless the feet that take you to and fro.
Bless the eyes and the listening ears.
Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.
Bless touching.

You could live a hundred years, it's happened.
Or not.
I am speaking from the fortunate platform
of many years,
none of which, I think, I ever wasted.
Do you need a prod?
Do you need a little darkness to get you going?
Let me be as urgent as a knife, then,
and remind you of Keats,
so single of purpose and thinking, for a while,
he had a lifetime.

-Mary Oliver

... like the spider spin ...

"Many have original minds who do not think it - they are led away by Custom. Now it appears to me that almost any Man may like the spider spin from his own inwards his own airy Citadel."
-John Keats, as excerpted from this letter

Friday, November 21, 2014

Gone but not forgotten.................................

Jimmy Ruffin...................What Becomes of the Brokenhearted

Deserve.............................................

“To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want. The world is not yet a crazy enough place to reward a whole bunch of undeserving people.” 
-Charles T. Munger


"Divinity is impartial by virtue of what it is.  All things sort themselves out by virtue of that which they have become, and that which they have become they have done via their own options and decisions."
-David Hawkins

“There is no way in which a man can earn a star or deserve a sunset.” 
-G.K. Chesterton


"You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection."
-Buddha


"Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them."
-Aristotle

"We are all deserving of love."
-Sandra Bullock

Investment lessons learned at the poker table...

"Any poker player knows that the worst thing that can happen is to have the second  best hand....."

























As excerpted from this blog post.

Opposites.............................................


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

At the movies....................................................Bedtime Story

The Hidden Singer...........................



The gods are less 
for their love of praise.
Above and below them all 

is a spirit that needs 
nothing but its own 
wholeness, 
its health and ours.
It has made all things 

by dividing itself.
It will be whole again.
To its joy we come 

together -  the seer 
and the seen, the eater 
and the eaten, the lover 
and the loved.
In our joining it knows

itself. It is with us then,
not as the gods 

whose names crest 
in unearthly fire,
but as a little bird 

hidden in the leaves
who sings quietly 

and waits, 
and sings.

-Wendell Berry

image via

Amazing..............................................

"It's amazing what ordinary people can do if they set out without preconceived notions."
-Ben Stein

The hard truth is that,..................................

....................historically, this can also be said of a wide swath of the population of our fair country.

"Freedom is NOT a universal value.  Many people from the beginning of civilization through ancient Egypt, ancient Mesopotamia - the Iraq of today - and China and India have consistently chosen benevolent despotism over the awesome responsibility of self-government."
-Rufus J. Fears

thanks Kurt

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The latest chapter...........................

.....................................in what will be a fabulous book, The Random Thoughts of Michael Wade, is here.  A few wee excerpts, in no particular order,  here:

The nanny state is really a bully state.   The cure for many problems requires going to bed early.   Praise may surpass criticism in the harming of careers.  Take time to study your habits because that may be the most valuable "course" in your life.   I'm at the age where an ad for a comfortable chair can be more enticing than one for a sports car.

On such a winter's day.............................

Mamas & The Papas.............................California Dreamin'

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

I've made a list of more than a hundred diets.  The Mediterranean diet.  The USDA diet.  The Michael Pollan eat-what-your-grandparents-ate diet.  The Blood-Type diet.  The Paleo diet.  The Okinawa diet.  Veganism.  Raw foodism.  Not to mention the more outre ones, like The Cookie Diet.  The Rastafarian diet.  The Master-Cleanse diet.
     I want to try them all.  Well, maybe not The Taco Bell Drive-Thru Diet (it exists).  But most of the others.  Eventually, that is.  The thing is, studies show that if you switch habits too rapidly, the changes won't stick.  So my plan is to wade into my new diets slowly, like my five-year-old entering a chilly pool.
     Which is how I've decided on my first dietary reforms:  more chocolate, booze, and coffee.

-A. J. Jacobs,  Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection.

The Waking.......................................

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.   
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?   
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?   
God bless the Ground!   I shall walk softly there,   
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?   
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do   
To you and me; so take the lively air,   
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.   
What falls away is always. And is near.   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I learn by going where I have to go.

“I may look like a beer salesman, but I'm a poet.”

Theodore Roethke    1908-1963























“I trust all joy.”

“Love is not love until love's vulnerable”

“A mind too active is no mind at all.” 

“Over every mountain, there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley.”

“In a dark time, the eye begins to see.”

“What's madness but nobility of soul at odds with circumstance?” 

“May my silences become more accurate.” 

“What we need are more people who specialize in the impossible.” 

"Being, not doing, is my first joy."

Good questions............................


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

Maynard Ferguson Sextet.............................No More Wood

When investing, try not to forget this advice...

"I try to encourage people to be skeptical, because it is genuinely rare when a deal is exceptionally good for an average person.  Most of the time in life, you are doing pretty well if you are getting a fair deal, particularly when it comes to financial matters."
-David Merkel, as excerpted from here

On connecting dots..................................



















"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."
-Steve Jobs

"Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected."
-William Plomer


"Without a doubt, the ability to connect the dots is rare, prized and valuable. Connecting dots, solving the problem that hasn't been solved before, seeing the pattern before it is made obvious, is more essential than ever before.
"Why then, do we spend so much time collecting dots instead? More facts, more tests, more need for data, even when we have no clue (and no practice) in doing anything with it.
"Their big bag of dots isn't worth nearly as much as your handful of insight, is it?"

As a public service.........................................

........14 more things to know about SpongeBob SquarePants.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Resting my bones.......................................

Otis Redding..........................(Sittin' on) the dock of the bay



#58 on this list

Giving............................................

It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding:
     And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving.
     And is there aught you would withhold?
     All you have shall some day be given.
     Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors'.

     You often say, "I would give, but only to the deserving."
     The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in you pasture.
     They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.

-Kahlil Gibran, as excerpted from The Prophet

66,000 books on happiness.........................

Don't have time to read them all?  Here is a handy short cut.  Ten must-read books on happiness, each summarized in one sentence.

thanks craig

Fun with the language........................

The folks at Oxford Dictionaries are working hard to expand our vocabularies.  More on the "Word of the Year" story here.

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

Jerry Lee Lewis.........................Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

The Lollapalooza Effect................................

"There’s a tendency to get extreme consequences when you combine a number of human misjudgments all at the same time when aiming for a particular outcome."
-Ben Carlson, as excerpted from here

The Cold.........................................

How exactly good it is
to know myself
in the solitude of winter,

my body containing its own
warmth, divided from all
by the cold; and to go

separate and sure
among the trees cleanly
divided, thinking of you

perfect too in your solitude,
your life withdrawn into
your own keeping

- to be clear, poised
in perfect self suspension
toward you, as though frozen.

And having known fully the
goodness of that, it will be
good also to melt.


-Wendell Berry

More is not always more.......................

"Adding one more is just fine, until adding one more ruins everything."
-Seth Godin, as excerpted from here

It helps.......................................

.................................when you have a really big credit card.















Recessions are tough on everybody's finances, but it would seem that tax receipts have never been higher.  Hmm.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hold on.....................................................

Percy Sledge..............................When A Man Loves A Woman

Bless your heart.........................................

Leon Russell.........2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction

Growing................................................

"Time is fleeting.  Those of you with children are ever cognizant of this fact - because your children keep growing out of and into themselves.  The goal for all of us is to keep growing out of ourselves, too, evolving to our best possible lives."
-Oprah Winfrey

Yep.....................................................


Look at them differently..............................

"Don't let your possessions overwhelm or control you.  After all, you're really their custodian, not their owner.  Look at them differently.  You can't take any of them with you.  So only keep things that are useful or beautiful.  Live simply.
-Patrick Lindsay

Just......................................................























A most interesting man, Guillaume Apollinaire

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

Leon Russell...........................................Roll Over Beethoven



Can this really be Leon Russell?  This wiki makes it sound plausible.  This is his more familiar look:


You and your.........................................


Another interesting take on Jonathan Gruber......

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!
-Upton Sinclair

From the Naked Capitalism blog comes this post.  Excerpt here:

The CBO used a similar model, and so the administration could run Gruber’s model to predict how CBO would score its legislation (part of the “tortured way” in which ObamaCare legislation was written). HHS paid Gruber $392,600 for the use of the model.
[Gruber] was hired by at least eight states to provide advice or assist in creating the health-insurance exchanges that are at the heart of the Affordable Care Act: Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
We have the prices for four of the eight states:
  • Michigan: $481,050
  • Minnesota: $329,000
  • Vermont: $400,000
  • Wisconsin: $400,000
So, $392,600 + $481,050 + $329,000 + $400,000 + $400,000 = $2,002,650 and if you figure $400,000 a pop for the four remaining states (that we know of) that totals up to $3,602,650. Ka-ching! I know, not much by the standards of a bankster or a criminal CEO, but still, for an academic, a tidy sum.
Now, we all have to eat, and surely nobody would begrudge Professor Gruber his millions had he been “transparent” about what he was doing to earn them. He wasn’t.

A good question.....................................


Me too................................................










courtesy of Mme Scherzo

To add, or not to add, that is the question.....


Monday, November 17, 2014

Beauty.....................................................

Newark's first snow comes early this year. Schools are closed.  Power is out.  No appointments before noon. Life if good.  The only downside:  a very wet and heavy snow for us shovelers.


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

The Beatles.............................While My Guitar Gently Weeps

 

# 37 on this list

Matter....................................................















“In the end these things matter most:
How well did you love?
How fully did you live?
How deeply did you let go?” 

-Gautama Buddha

Simple.....................................................

























"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
-Leonardo da Vinci

Occam's Razor can be found here

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

Dancing at The Whiskey A Go-Go..................................

Seriously.............................................

























" I do take my work seriously and the way to do that is to not take yourself too seriously."
-Alan Rickman

On meditating, sort of..................................


Meditation, so I've heard, is best accomplished
if you entertain a certain strict posture.
Frankly, I prefer just to lounge under a tree.
So why should I think I could ever be successful?

Some days I fall asleep, or land in that
even better place - half-asleep - where the world,
spring, summer, autumn, winter -
flies through my mind in its
hardy ascent and its uncompromising descent.

So I just like like that, while distance and time
reveal their true attitudes:  they never 
heard of me, and never will, or ever need to.

Of course I wake up finally
thinking, how wonderful to be who I am,
made out of earth and water,
my own thoughts, my own fingerprints -
all that glorious, temporary stuff.

-Mary Oliver

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What a price..............................................

Randy Travis..................................................Storms of Life



#49 on this list

But I like salt......................................

     Inventor Thomas Edison had a simple test he used to measure the "unexpectedness quotient" of prospective employees.  He would invite a candidate to lunch and serve a bowl of soup.  He would then watch to see whether to person salted his soup before tasting it.  If he did, he wouldn't be offered the job.  Edison felt that people are more open to different possibilities if they don't salt their experience before tasting it.
-Roger Von Oech, as excerpted from Expect The Unexpected (Or You Won't Find It):  A Creativity Tool Based On The Ancient Wisdom of Heraclitus

Great Introductions...............................

This book makes no pretense to be anything but a popular sketch of a great historical character who ought to be more popular.  Its aim will be achieved, if it leads those who have hardly even heard of St. Thomas Aquinas to read about him in better books.
-G. K. Chesterton, from his Introduction to  Saint Thomas Aquinas:  "The Dumb Ox"

On wealth.............................................

Having a high net worth and living a rich life are two completely different things. In Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth, Nick Murrary says that, “No matter how much money you have, if you’re still worried, you aren’t wealthy.”
-Ben Carlson, as excerpted from this post

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

On the TV.........................................................The Flintstones

Influentials........................................

Michael Wade picked up this survey and dramatically improved it with this list.  Kurt Harden improved it even more.  Not sure whether this will improve the course of study or not, but here are a few more suggestions:

The Richest Man in Babylon, George Clason
Walden and Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau
The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck
Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
The Farther Reaches of Human Nature,  A. H. Maslow
Catch-22,  Joseph Heller
Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu
Plutarch's Lives
Bhagavad-Gita
Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill

If you like maps.........................................

...............(and who doesn't), you might want to check this out.

thanks

"Why do you write something nobody reads anymore?" queried one little trust fund in a blazer.


Scrabble with Matthews

Jerboa on a triple: I was in for it,   
my zither on a double looking feeble   


as a "promising" first book. Oedipal & reckless,   
my scheme would fail: keep him a couple drinks   


ahead, & perhaps the muse would smile   
upon me with some ses or some blanks.   


January, Vermont: snowflakes teased the windows   
of the Burlington airport bar. The waitress   


tallied tips & channel-surfed above the amber   
stutter of the snowplow's light: it couldn't   


keep up, either. Visibility to zero, nothing taking off   
& his dulcimer before me (50 bonus points   


for "bingos") like a cautionary tale. The night   
before I'd been his warm up act,   


the audience of expensive preppies   
doubling to twenty when he shambled   


to the podium to give them Martial   
& his then-new poems. "Why do you write   


something nobody reads anymore?" queried one   
little trust fund in a blazer. "Because   


I'm willing to be honestly confused   
& honestly fearful." Il miglior fabbro,   


a.k.a. Prez: sweet & fitting honorifics he has left   
upon the living's lips. Sweet & fitting too   

that I could know the poems much better than   
the man, flawed as I am told he was. Connoisseur   


of word-root & amphibrach, of Coltrane   
solo & of California reds, of box score & Horatian loss,   


his garrulousness formidable & masking   
a shyness I could never penetrate, meeting him   


would always find me tongue-tied,   
minding my psqs, the latter of which   


I could not play, failing three times to draw a u.   
The dead care nothing for our eulogies:   


he wrote this many times & well.   
& yet I pray his rumpled daimonion


shall guide our letters forward   
as they wend the snow-white notebook leaves,   


the stanzas scrolling down the laptop screens.   
Game after game & the snow labored on.   


Phalanx, bourboned whiteout & the board aglow   
as he'd best me again & again. Qintar


prosody, the runway lights enshrouded   
& the wind, endquote, shook the panes.

Learning two new words today...................




















Whiplash..........................................



































easier to read version here