Saturday, December 13, 2014

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



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Happy Consecutive Day.............................!

12-13-14.

The last "consecutive day" this century.  And you almost missed it.

Like you and me.........................

Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds.....................Christmas Song



Belief............................................................


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

Aretha Franklin....................................Runnin' Out of Fools

Where did it go......................................?


This feels about right............................

The national mood swing continues to.............
















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Friday, December 12, 2014

Everybody knows........................................

Ella Fitzgerald................................................The Christmas Song

Movement........................................

      The movement of grace toward gratitude brings us from the package of self-absorbed madness to spiritual awakening.  Gratitude is peace.  Maybe you won't always get from being a brat to noticing that it is an e. e. cummings morning out the window.  But some days you will.  You will go from being a Doug or Wendy Whiner, with your psychic diverticulitis, able to eat only macaroni and cheese, to remembering "i thank You God for most this amazing / day."  You splurge on a pint basket of figs, or a pair of great socks.  You begin to feel friendship with your flowering pear tree, an interspecies oneness with it, although we usually keep these thoughts to ourselves, lest they be used against us at the commitment hearings.  In fact, your are able to use the word "wonder" again, even feel it, without despair that the New York literati or your atheist friends will find out and send you into exile.
-Anne Lamott,  Help Thanks Wow:  The Three Essential Prayers

thanks David

On creativity..................................................




























-attributed to Heraclitus, as excerpted from here.

An amazing voice from fifty years ago.............

Arthur Prysock (on American Bandstand)..........Close Your Eyes

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


The happiness of aging..........................

I'm feeling pretty chipper.  How about you?  I'm a firm believer that you don't actually need a reason to be happy, you can just be happy.  David Brooks, via this blog post from Stuart Schneiderman, weighs in on the subject:


I’d rather think that elder happiness is an accomplishment, not a condition, that people get better at living through effort, by mastering specific skills. I’d like to think that people get steadily better at handling life’s challenges. In middle age, they are confronted by stressful challenges they can’t control, like having teenage children. But, in old age, they have more control over the challenges they will tackle and they get even better at addressing them.



The Mighty E............................................

..................is on a roll.  Do go visit.  A wee sample:


It is an honor...........................................

...........................to have Kurt as a friend and to be on this list.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Forget about the HR part................................

........The Execupundit is an every day must-read for ALL.  A well deserved recognition Michael!

As we dream by the fire........................

Dave Koz..................................................Winter Wonderland

This would be cool...................................

.........................................energy going directly from a solar roof top to your very own storage battery.

You don't..............................................

















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Well, maybe a little.................................






















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

Life Magazine:  December 11, 1964..............page by page

Parable...................................


I read how Quixote in his random ride
Came to a crossing once, and lest he lose
The purity of chance, would not decide

Wither to fare, but wished his horse to choose.
For glory lay wherever he might turn.
His head was light with pride, his horse's shoes

Were heavy, and he headed for the barn.

-Richard Wilbur

art via

Just wondering..................................

"I wonder how society would be affected if there were a different speed limit for every day of the week or if we completely removed traffic signals."
-Michael Wade, more Random Thoughts here

Sometimes I Feel...................................

...........................Scott goes all Allman Brothers on us.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Says the Grinch...................................

Faith Hill............................................Where Are You, Christmas?

Do you think..........................
















If you don't break your ropes while you're alive
do you think
ghosts will do it after?
-Kabir

Occupational hazard..................................


















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

Martin Luther King Jr. accepts the Nobel Prize for Peace

When it comes to climate change..................

..............I don't consider myself a "denier."  Maybe I'm a "traditionalist."  As near as I can tell, change has been the tradition on this is wondrous spinning and revolving orb we call home for its entire four point five billion years.  Whether we want to talk about Pangaea, or asteroid strikes, rising or falling sea levels, or encroaching and receding glaciers, the one constant is that the Earth is in a state of flux.   I will confess to a fairly simplistic approach to the issue.  Our fair county has, as evidenced by it soils, twice been invaded by glaciers.  Must have been colder.  Those glaciers have retreated (twice) a long way.  Must have gotten warmer.  I prefer Licking County be glacier free thank you, so warming, on the face of it, doesn't scare me much.  The catastrophic (and man-made) warming, predicted by many, seems mostly to live in their computer models.  Maybe they will be proven correct, but so far - not so much.
      There are many who push the notion that there has been no warming in the past twenty years, yet we also hear that 2014 is the warmest year on record - and the year isn't even over yet.  How can that be?
      If questions like this interest you, do read the latest blog post from my favorite optimist.  In it, he despairs of the state of science today.  He seems to think science has become "politicalized."  Imagine that.  Read the whole thing, but here are a few key excerpts:

As somebody who has championed science all his career, carrying a lot of water for the profession against its critics on many issues, I am losing faith. Recent examples of bias and corruption in science are bad enough. What’s worse is the reluctance of scientific leaders to criticise the bad apples. Science as a philosophy is in good health; science as an institution increasingly stinks.
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics published a report last week that found evidence of scientists increasingly “employing less rigorous research methods” in response to funding pressures. A 2009 survey found that almost 2 per cent of scientists admitting that they have fabricated results; 14 per cent say that their colleagues have done so.
      
last week, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a supposedly scientific body, issued a press release stating that this is likely to be the warmest year in a century or more, based on surface temperatures. Yet this predicted record would be only one hundredth of a degree above 2010 and two hundredths of a degree above 2005 — with an error range of one tenth of a degree. True scientists would have said: this year is unlikely to be significantly warmer than 2010 or 2005 and left it at that.

Jim Rohn......................................

Faithful readers of this blog will know that Jim Rohn has long been a favorite of mine.  Last week I stumbled across Twelve Pillars, a book he co-wrote.  They call it a novel, but really is just a vehicle for easily conveying his philosophy for living a better life.  If you get interrupted twice, it might take an hour and a half to read.  Of course, one might benefit from re-reading it weekly.
      The hero of the tale says at one point, "Formal education will make you a living.  Self-education will make you a fortune."  He then offers up a reading list, "Books Everyone Should Read," as a pretty good starting point for self-education.  See if you agree:

1.   The Bible
2.   How to Read A Book,  Mortimer Adler
3.   My Utmost for His Highest,  Oswald Chambers
4.   As A Man Thinketh,  James Allen
5.   Seeds of Greatness, Denis Waitley
6.   Seasons of Life, Jim Rohn
7.   The Pursuit of God, Acden W. Tozer
8.   Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill
9.   Power of Positive Thinking, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
10. Magic of Thinking Big,  David Schwartz
11. Greatest Salesman In the World, Og Mandino
12. How to Win Friends and Influence People,  Dale Carnegie
13. Atlas Shrugged,  Ayn Rand
14. Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl
15. Acres of Diamonds,  Russell Conwell
16. See You at the Top,  Zig Ziglar
17. Seven Habits of Highly Successful People,  Stephen R. Covey
18. Lessons in History, William James Durant
19. The Richest Man in Babylon,  George S. Clason
20. The Story of Philosophy,  William James Durant

Ed.Note:  Ran out of time to link you to all of the books on Amazon, but please find your own way.

What I Can Do.......................................

The television has two instruments that control it.
I get confused.
The washer asks me, do you want regular or delicate?
Honestly, I just want clean.
Everything is like that.
I won't even mention cell phones.

I can turn on the light of the lamp beside my chair
where a book is waiting, but that's about it.

Oh yes, and I can strike a match and make a fire.

-Mary Oliver

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

More fun with lights...............................

Mannheim Steamroller............................................Pat A Pan

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

Not far from the Turin Cathedral, which houses the famous but now disputed Shroud, there is, in the Biblioteca Reale, the least contested self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci.  It is a drawing in red chalk on a medium-sized sheet of paper (33.3 x 21.4 centimeters), highly detailed and finished.  Below the portrait, an unknown hand - but certainly one from the sixteenth century - has written, also in red chalk, the painter's name:  Leonardus Vincius, with a further notation, in black: "portrait of himself in fairly old age" (ritratto di se stesso assai vecchio)  The words have become almost illegible, and the paper is covered with red blotches.  Like the Shroud this self-portrait is rarely exhibited in public;  ravaged by time, it is stored away from the harmful effects of air and light.
      One might say it is Leonardo's destiny, or at any rate it comes close to his spirit, to remain both celebrated and secret, a legendary jewel, buried in the dark.  One of his notebooks contains the following  sentence from Ovid's Metamorphoses:  "I doubt, O Greeks, that my exploits can be written down, although you know of them, for I accomplished them without witnesses, with the shades of night as my accomplice."
-Serge Bramly,   Leonardo:  Discovering the Life of Leonardo da Vinci

Opening paragraphs........................Part Two

       Toward the middle of the sixteenth century, the prolific Giorgio Vasari, a mediocre painter but a respectable architect (he designed the Uffizi in Florence), began to document the lives of the greatest Italian artists.  The idea came to him in Rome, during a conversation with the historian Paolo Giovio.  Giovio had begun to write in Latin some "eulogies" of famous artists, but since he knew little about painting, he hesitated about continuing.  Vasari immediately undertook the task in his place.  He had already amassed a quantity of notes on his illustrious contemporaries and had collected anecdotes, drawn up lists of works, and purchased sketches and drawings, which he kept in bulging portfolios.  He extended his research, drew on new sources, and expanded his catalogue;  a few years later, in 1550, Torrentino published Vasari's Vite de piu eccellenti archittori, pittori e scultori italiani, containing one hundred twenty biographies.  It told of the great adventure of Italian art, from the primitives to the "moderns," and sought to distinguish three styles and three periods:  the age of emancipation (of which the foremost representative was Giotto);  the age of maturity (attained with Masaccio); and the age of perfection (begun by Leonardo and completed, according to Vasari, by Michelangelo).  He was inventing art history.
-Serge Bramly, from the introduction to Leonardo: Discovering the Life of Leonardo da Vinci

Not in our neighborhood...............................























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

The Beatles........................................a Christmas message?

Christmas is in the air...............................

..........and the Licking County Courthouse is doing its part.


Courage.............................................








via Swiss-Miss

A dangerous situation...............................

..................................................................................averted.

















Got a call this morning from Columbia Gas Company.  Apparently one of their gas mains buried in the road right of way developed a significant leak, and said escaping natural gas decided to migrate underground into this empty building of ours. A 30,000 square building can hold a scary amount of natural gas.  By the time we arrived on the scene, the Newark Fire Department was fully deployed.  Four hours or so later, the leak was repaired, building was aired out and the gas dispersed.  A potentially dangerous situation rendered safe.  Kudos to both Columbia Gas and the Newark Fire Department for their professionalism and commitment to community safely.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Let there be lights.....................................

Trans Siberian Orchestra...........................Wizards in Winter

A thing to love about the Intertunnel.................














The above quote has obviously been attributed to Seneca The Younger (4 BC-65 AD).  If you read many quotes by Seneca, you might question if he really said this. The wonder of the Intertunnel is that, by making so many original works available, it becomes possible, and is an interesting exercise, to track down the source quote.  Sometimes, it is just not there.  Then what?  Consider this page from a Doubting Thomas at Wikiquote.  Here are a few things did Seneca did say (with the original Latin and the source identified).

Non qui parum habet, sed qui plus cupit, pauper est.
  • It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.

Nulli potest secura vita contingere qui de producenda nimis cogitat.
  • No man can have a peaceful life who thinks too much about lengthening it.

Recede in te ipse quantum potes; cum his versare qui te meliorem facturi sunt, illos admitte quos tu potes facere meliores. Mutuo ista fiunt, et homines dum docent discunt.
  • Withdraw into yourself, as far as you can. Associate with those who will make a better man of you. Welcome those whom you yourself can improve. The process is mutual; for men learn while they teach.

sciant quae optima sunt esse communia.
  • The best ideas are common property.

Prope est a te deus, tecum est, intus est. Ita dico, Lucili: sacer intra nos spiritus sedet, malorum bonorumque nostrorum observator et custos...
  • God is near you, with you, and in you. Thus I say, Lucilius: there sits a holy spirit within us, a watcher of our right and wrong doing, and a guardian...

sic cum inferiore vivas quemadmodum tecum superiorem velis vivere.
  • Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your betters.

errant consilia nostra, quia non habent quo derigantur; ignoranti quem portum petat nullus suus ventus est.
  • Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbour he is making for, no wind is the right wind.

Saepe aliud volumus, aliud optamus, et verum ne dis quidem dicimus.
  • We often want one thing and pray for another, not telling the truth even to the gods.

Satius est supervacua scire quam nihil.
  • It is better, of course, to know useless things than to know nothing.

Shall we dance..........................................?


























“Life is a spiritual dance and our unseen partner has steps to teach us if we will allow ourselves to be led. The next time you are restless, remind yourself it is the universe asking 'Shall we dance?” 
-Julia Cameron

art via

A gift that keeps on giving...............................


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

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

Spengler.........................................

Amid the stack of unread books rests David Goldman's, aka Spengler, It's Not the End of the World:  It's Just the End of You.  One of these days I will be reading it.  Until then, from his latest blog post:

"Every nation that ever has existed considered itself holy in some way. It is impossible to have a nation except on the premise of the sacred. Men cannot bear mortality without the hope of immortality, and it is the continuity of our nation that vouches for this hope. We are not immortal as disembodied spirits playing harps on clouds, but concretely, in our earthly form. Nations that give up their hope of immortality roll over and die, often through infertility, for example today’s Germans, Italians, Spaniards, Hungarians and Poles."

"I am concerned first of all with America’s strength, and we have weakened our position materially, perhaps decisively, by misreading Russia. Hurling insults at Putin will have all the impact of a small child displaying his courage in front of the lion cage at the zoo. How many disasters will befall us before our policy-making elite stops to consider the basic flaws in its thinking?"

Keep looking.........................................

“By the time the average person finishes college, he or she will have taken over 2,600 tests, quizzes, and exams. The right answer approach becomes deeply ingrained in our thinking. This may be fine for some mathematical problems where there is in fact only one right answer. The difficulty is that most of life isn’t this way. Life is ambiguous; there are many right answers - all depending on what you’re looking for. But if you think there is only one right answer, then you’ll stop looking as soon as you find one."
-Roger Von Oech

A perfect tree topping..............................

























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Sunday, December 7, 2014

That actor doing the introduction seems familiar...

Dinah Washington.............What A Diff'rence A Day Makes



#56 on this list.    Studio version is here.

Happy Birthday Maggie..................

Pharrell Williams and a whole bunch of happy kids...Happy Song



thanks Nicholas

Same tune, very different lyrics......................

 Cloverton...........................................................Hallelujah

The original..........................................

Leonard Cohen........................................................Hallelujah

We took...............................................

......................................our annual turn ringing bells for the Salvation Army last evening.  It was seasonally brisk in the north end of Newark.  We were reminded, once again, of the extreme generosity of this community.  As always, one of the fun things is watching parents teach their little ones about charity by having them put the money in the kettle.  Very cool!




Attention spans.........................................


















“Do stuff. be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration's shove or society's kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It's all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager.”
-Susan Sontag

“Education is every day and everywhere, the only thing you have to pay is attention.” 
-Tim Fargo

"Pat Moynihan could write books with one hand and legislate with the other. I can't; I have a short attention span. The slightest distraction would take me away from writing."
-Barney Frank

Ed. Note:  Considering Dodd-Frank, one might wish he did more writing and less legislating.  Just saying.

"The average attention span of the modern human being is about half as long as whatever you're trying to tell them."
-Meg Rosoff

“Walk slowly through the world and pay attention” 
-Marty Rubin

Fun with statistics.................................

Yesterday, I cast doubt on the prediction that the 2015 norm for work hours would be 9:00 to 5:00,   "and work will contract to fit the time available."   Today, courtesy of Mark Perry, comes this chart indicating that the average hours worked per week does seem to be declining.  Not seeking to be argumentative, but perhaps the shrinking number of work hours is due to the enormous number of folks who have vacated the wide world of work, what with us baby boomers retiring and all.   In my little corner of the world, 9:00 to 5:00 does not seem to be gaining traction.  Your results may vary.


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

John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers.........Crawling Up A Hill

'tis the season...........................................


GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!


















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Stuff like this...........................................

......................is why I follow A Wealth of Common Sense.

Can I get an Amen.......................................?



























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