Saturday, January 3, 2015

A touch of the blues...........................

B. B. King.......................................Woke Up This Morning



#14 on this list

Tough love......................................

..............................................from The Epicurean Dealmaker:

"There is no cure for adolescence but to grow up. There is, however, a cure for adolescent trauma: get over it. And don’t use it as an excuse to oppress or traumatize others."

Just a reminder.....................................




















thanks hugh

Begin........................................

      Success doesn't come out of nowhere.  It can't be conjured up out of thin air, brought to you by the genie from Aladdin's lamp simply because you rubbed it and thought good thoughts.  Success does come from a small beginning, often a beginning so tiny that it seems invisible and most people miss it.  But there has to be a beginning.
-Jeff Olson.  The Slight Edge:  Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success & Happiness

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

      "The fumes which rise from the bottom of a swamp produce frogs, ants, leeches, and vegetation ... Cut a groove into a brick, fill it with crushed basil, and put another brick on top to seal the groove.  Within a few days the vegetable matter will have turned into scorpions."  So claimed a seventeenth-century savant called Jean-Baptiste Van Helmont.  But although Van Helmont lived in the seventeenth century, he belonged far more to its past than its future, for he was one of those whose understanding of the world relied on ideas developed centuries before his own time.  The ideas in question belonged to an intellectual tradition that encouraged belief in miracles, spontaneous generation, and phoenixes rising from ashes.  In this tradition it was an unquestioned fact that the sun and stars go round a stationary earth, with God's heaven above and hell-fire at the earth's centre.  Yet even as Van Helmont premised this notions in his writings, a new world of ideas was coming into existence around him.  One of the chief of those bringing about this change was Rene Descartes.
-A.C. Grayling,   Descartes:  The Life and Times of a Genius

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

Dave Clark Five.......................................I Like It Like That

Keys............................................

"Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success."
-Albert Schweitzer

Oranges........................................

















"You can't compare an apple to an orange. It will cause a lot of self-esteem issues."

About softness..................................










“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”
-Kurt Vonnegut

via    thanks nicholas

Friday, January 2, 2015

Music for a lazy holiday afternoon.................

The Allman Brothers..................................Mountain Jam

Quote of the Day................................!

" ... That 3rd string QB for Ohio State could probably take out ISIS too."
-from this comment section

I feel so unashamed.....................................

Peter Frampton..............................................Show Me The Way

Marching orders....................................




















via

Old.........................................

"I love everything that's old:  old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines."
-Oliver Goldsmith

Sifting..................................

"The one thing technology doesn't provide us with is a sense of how to make the best use of technology.  Put another way, the ability to gather information, which use to be so crucial, is now far less important than the ability to sift through it."
-Pico Iyer,  The Art of Stillness:  Adventures in Going Nowhere

Imagine..............................................

      "Can you imagine if every first grader was required to start reading ten pages of a good book a day?  How would their finances, their health, their relationships change as adults?"
-Jeff Olson,  The Slight Edge:  Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success & Happiness

Studying American history is easier..........

My favorite optimist says, "800 years after Magna Carta and 200 after Waterloo, the UK's in good shape."

Years ending in 15 (or 65) have often been good ones to be British. In January, we celebrate 750 years since Simon de Montfort first summoned Parliament to Westminster. In June, we mark the 800th anniversary of making kings subject to the law in Magna Carta. Three days later it’s off to Waterloo for the 200th birthday of the battle.

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

The Beach Boys.....................................Do You Wanna Dance?

Strange..............................................























“It is very strange that the years teach us patience - that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.” 
-Elizabeth TaylorA Wreath of Roses


image via

Someday...........................

Someday, when I have the time................................

Have I got some sobering news for you:  "some day" doesn't exist, never has, and never will.  There is no "some day."  There's only today.  When tomorrow comes, it will be another today, so will the next day.  They all will,  There is nothing but today.

-Jeff Olson,  The Slight Edge:  Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success & Happiness

Confusion rains.....................................


No wonder this is such a dizzy place........


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Just because................................

U2..................................................................New Years Day

Worth trying..........................................


Also worth trying.....................................


To the New Year....................................

With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning

so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible

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

....................Alabama loses in the "best bowl game in memory."

More resolutions.......................................






Working on the former..............................

................but not the latter, they just seem to come naturally.

















thanks

Don't be in such a rush.........................


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Passing of the Year..........................

My glass is filled, my pipe is lit,
     My den is all a cosy glow;
And snug before the fire I sit,
     And wait to feel the old year go.
I dedicate to solemn thought
     Amid my too-unthinking days,
This sober moment, sadly fraught
     With much of blame, with little praise.

Old Year! upon the Stage of Time
     You stand to bow your last adieu;
A moment, and the prompter’s chime
     Will ring the curtain down on you.
Your mien is sad, your step is slow;
     You falter as a Sage in pain;
Yet turn, Old Year, before you go,
     And face your audience again.

That sphinx-like face, remote, austere,
     Let us all read, whate’er the cost:
O Maiden! why that bitter tear?
     Is it for dear one you have lost?
Is it for fond illusion gone?


-Robert Service

Just because.......................................

Guy Lombardo and The Royal Canadians.....Auld Lang Syne

From wee Robbie Burns...............................

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?
CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak' a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup!
and surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak' a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
CHORUS
We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin' auld lang syne.
CHORUS
We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin' auld lang syne.
CHORUS
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie's a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak' a right gude-willie waught,
for auld lang syne.
      CHORUS

-Robert Burns, 1788

A tip of the cap............................

..........................................to whoever dreamed this one up.


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

Free economies teach us that predictions are confounded by human ingenuity.  Go to the stacks of a library and read the articles from forty or fifty years ago in Colliers or Popular Mechanics predicting what the United States would be like in the year 2000.  All they could imagine was extensions of the existing technology.  Nobody could imagine the microprocessor.  Go back and read the learned economists from the 1960s and 1970s who argued that IBM had to be broken up because of its monopolistic power over the computer market.  There was no place in their world view for a couple of kids who would get together in a garage and revolutionize the industry.  Freedom regularly makes ridiculous anyone who thinks he has figured out the limits of what is possible.
-Charles Murray,  What It Means To Be A Libertarian:  A Personal Interpretation

Who knew...........................................

..................there was such a thing as "interruption science"?

Researchers in the new field of interruption science have found that it takes an average of twenty-five minutes to recover from a phone call.  Yet such interruptions come every eleven minutes - which means we're never caught up with our lives.
-Pico Iyer, as excerpted from The Art of Stillness:  Adventures in Going Nowhere

thanks david

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

"Don't ask a man to drink and drive."

Slow down to go fast..................................

"In other words:  you want big results?  Good -- then do the little things.  Just do them consistently and persistently."
-Jeff Olson,  The Slight Edge:  Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success & Happiness

Teach our children well...........................

      Life is difficult.
      This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.  It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.  Once we truly know that life is difficult - once we truly understand and accept it - then life is no longer difficult.  Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.
      Most do not fully see this truth that life is difficult.  Instead they moan more or less incessantly, noisily or subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if life should be easy.  They voice their belief, noisily or subtly, that their difficulties represent a unique kind of affliction that should not be and that has somehow been especially visited upon them, or else upon their families, their tribe, their class, their nation, their race or even their species, and not upon others.  I know about this moaning because I have done my share.
     Life is a series of problems.  Do we want to moan about them or solve them?  Do we want to teach our children to solve them?
     Discipline is the basic set of tools we require to solve life's problems.  Without discipline we can solve nothing.
-M. Scott Peck,  The Road Less Traveled:  A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth

Resolutions.............................






























all cartoons via

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Well, that was certainly a surprise...................

Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs.....................................Stay

Choices...........................................


Response ability.......................................

"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."
-William James

Send it our way, we'll use it.......................














thanks kurt

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

A classic "Let Hertz Put You In The Driver's Seat" TV ad

Flinging..................................................

........................How Austin Kleon read +70 books in 2014.  I especially like #4.

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

Althouse talks "hit and run,"   and we are not talking baseball.  The Amen part is the prayer at the end of the post.

Choices................................................

As Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius reminded us more than two millennia ago, it's not our experiences that form us but the ways in which we respond to them;  a hurricane sweeps through town, reducing everything to rubble, and one man sees it as a liberation, a chance to start anew, while another, perhaps even his brother, is traumatized for life.  "There is nothing either good or bad," as Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, "but thinking makes it so."
-Pico Iyer,  The Art of Stillness:  Adventures in Going Nowhere

thanks for the introduction David

Helpful advice........................................
























 "Gottman's research showed that it wasn't only how couples fought that mattered, but how they made up. Marriages became stable over time if couples learned to reconcile successfully after a fight."[3]  --  Gottman's wiki is here

image via

About that yellow brick road..................



































"If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard."
-L. Frank Baum, channeling  Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz

Monday, December 29, 2014

Where have you been..................................

The Capris.................................There's A Moon Out Tonight

On judging............................................

      Nor does one have the option of saying that differences exist but that one will not judge them.  To notice a difference is to have an opinion about it - unless one refuses to think.  And that is my ultimate objection to the nonjudgmental frame of mind.  We can refuse to voice our opinion, our judgments, but we cannot keep from having them unless we refuse to think about what is before our eyes.  To refuse to think is to reject that which makes a human life human.  In saying that excellence in the arts is defined in terms of high aesthetic quality, I do not mean to trivialize the complications of determining high aesthetic quality.  I do insist that to deny the existence of such a thing as high aesthetic quality is to take the lazy way out.
-Charles Murray, Human Accomplishment:  The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950

Things are looking up........................


Have I told you lately that we still have.........

.................some wondrous single family building lots available?

According to Bill McBride at Calculated Risk (and confirmed by the pace of recent lot sales), investment in new single family residential houses is lagging historic norms.  Come on, People!  It's a fine time to consider building anew in the Spring.


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

James Brown........................................Please Please Please

Sweating the small stuff..............................

      "The right choices and wrong choices you make at the moment will have little or no noticeable impact on how your day goes for you.  Nor tomorrow, nor the next day.  No applause, no cheers, no screams, no life-or-death results played out on the big screen.  But it is exactly those same undramatic, seemingly insignificant actions that, when compounded over time, will dramatically affect how your life turns out."
-Jeff Olson, The Slight Edge:  Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success & Happiness

Back to work.....................................


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





















“How did it get so late so soon?” 
-Dr.Seuss

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sipp calls the tune..................................

.....with an elegant thirty-seven-and-a-half'minutes' worth of music.

Slowing the fourth dimension..............

"But in saner moments I’m able to approach the fourth dimension not as a thing to be ruthlessly managed, but whose basic nature might be altered to enrich my experience of life. I even have tricks for slowing time—or at least my perception of it."
"Recording the quotidian details of my day seems to add hours a day to my life: I’m not sure why. Another trick is to focus on some ordinary thing—the faintly geological strata of the insides of a burrito, for instance—and try to describe what I see. Another: pick a task I’d normally do quickly and thoughtlessly–writing words for the side of a cup, say–and do it as slowly as possible. Forcing my life into slow-motion, I notice a lot that I miss at game speed. The one thing I don’t notice is the passage of time."

First performed in 1808..................................

Ludwig van Beethoven (Bernstein).................Symphony No. 5

Leaps...........................................

     The second blind spot is the tendency to confuse that which has been achieved with that which must inevitably have been achieved.  It is easy to assume that someone like Aristotle was not so much brilliant as fortunate in being born when he was.  A number of basic truths were going to be figured out early in mankind's intellectual history, and Aristotle gave voice to some of them first.  If he hadn't, someone else soon would have.  But is that really true?  Take as an example the discovery of formal logic in which Aristotle played such a crucial role.  Nobody had discovered logic (that we know of) in the civilizations of the preceding five millennia.  Thinkers in the non-Western world had another two millennia after Aristotle to discover formal logic independently, but they didn't.  Were we in the West "bound" to discover logic because of some underlying aspect of Western culture?  Maybe, but what we know for certain is that the invention of logic occurred in only one time and place, that it was done by a handful of individuals, and that it changed the history of the world.  Saying a few ancient Greeks merely got there first isn't adequate acknowledgment of their leap of imagination and intellect.
      The same complacency about the legacy we have inherited applies to works of art.  Because A Winter's Tale, The Night Watch, and Beethoven's Fifth Symphony exist, it is easy to take their existence for granted.  It is more accurate to think of each as a priceless gift.  If Beethoven had died at 35, as Mozart did, we would have no Fifth Symphony - or Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, or Ninth symphonies, for that matter.  If Michelangelo had died at 35, we would have no Moses, no Last Judgment, none of Michelangelo's architecture, and would be stranded with just a few tantalizing portions of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  Or we can go the other direction, and try to imagine what treasures we would have been given if Mozart had not died at 35, Schubert at 31, Keats and Pergolesi at 26, Masaccio at 27.  It is nowhere written that works of genius have to be created, that something in the air will bring forth another Mozart if the first one falls.  One may acknowledge the undoubted role of the cultural context in fostering or inhibiting great art, but still recall that it is not enough that the environment be favorable.  Somebody must actually do the deed.

-Charles Murray,  Human Accomplishment:  The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950

Priceless gifts..........................................

Rembrandt van Rijn     1642     The Night Watch

Michelangelo    1513-1515    Moses

Michelangelo   1536-41     The Last Judgment






The Best Damn Band In The Land.............


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

The Nashville Teens............................................Tobacco Road

blinded into sight...............................

It takes all time to show eternity,
The longest shine of every perishing spark,
And every word and cry of every tongue
Must for the Word that calls the darkest dark

Of his world to its lasting dawn.  Toward
That rising hour we beat our single hearts
Estranged as islands parted in the sea,
Our broken knowledge and our scattered arts.

As separate as fireflies or night windows,
We piece a foredream of the gathered light
Infinitely small and great to shelter all,
Silenced into song, blinded into sight.

-Wendell Berry
Sabbaths,  2004 VIII

The more things change, the more they......

"This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it. That we have carried as much political bunk as we have and still survived shows we are a super nation."
-Will Rogers (1932)

Long live the printed word........................






















thanks jeff

Fun with numbers...............................

34.   In a poll of 1,000 American adults, asked, "How many millions are in a trillion?"    79% gave an incorrect answer or didn't know. Keep this in mind when debating large financial problems.

I'm sort of impressed that 21% could answer the question.  I will confess that this history major reached for a pad and pencil.  You can figure it for yourself, but here are the basics:

One million =  1,000,000
One billion  =  1,000,000,000
One trillion  =  1,000,000,000,000

From this list of 122 Things ...