Friday, August 14, 2015

Fly on...........................................


Derek and the Dominos.....................................Little Wing



Well she's walking through the clouds
With a circus mind that's running 'round.
Butterflies and zebras, fairy tales,
That's all she ever thinks about.
When I'm sad she comes to me
With a thousand smiles she gives to me free.
Said, "It's all right, take anything you want,
Anything you want, anything."


thanks E.

I'm going to.............................


      I think one of the keys to happiness is accepting that I am never going to be perfectly happy.  Life is uncomfortable.  So I might as well get busy loving the people around me.  I'm going to stop trying to decide whether they are the "right people" for me and just take deep breaths and love my neighbors.  I'm going to take care of my friends.  I'm going to find peace in the 'burbs.  I'm going to quit chasing happiness long enough to notice it smiling right at me.

-Glennon Doyle Melton,  Carry On, Warrior:  The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life

illimitable........................................




















 “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”
-Albert Einstein

On many levels....................................






















via

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


On the TV..........................................................The Big Valley

the invisible hand of social influence..............










“Problems worthy of attacks, prove their worth by hitting back” 
-Adam Smith


cartoon via

A field of beauty...........................



Let's eat out.....................................


















back story, and more fun charts, here.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Friend it's good to see you.....................


Alan Jackson.......................................Midnight in Montgomery



'Cause it's midnight in Montgomery, just hear that whippoorwill
See the stars light up the purple sky, feel that lonesome chill
'Cause when the wind is right, you'll hear his songs, smell whiskey in the air
Midnight in Montgomery, he's always singing there


Full lyrics here                  thanks E.

Staying the course................................


I do not know Zen.  I just know gratitude.  I am grateful for the beauty in the midst of suffering.  I am grateful for the treasure hunt through the minefield of life.  Dangerous or not, I don't want out of the minefield.  Because truth, and beauty, and God are there.

-Glennon  Doyle Melton,  Carry On, Warrior:  The Power Of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life

On statistics versus the evidence of our eyes.......


"But the technological advances of the past decade seem to have increased the efficiency of households, rather than the efficiency of businesses, to an unusual extent. An e-reader in the pocket replaces a roomful of books, and all the world’s music is streamed to my computer. We look at aggregate statistics and worry about the slowdown in growth and productivity. But the evidence of our eyes seems to tell a different story."
-John Kay

This is how we elected...........................


................................Class Presidents in Junior High School.

"Trump, however, is an entertaining sham, and some voters think that if the establishment is going to screw you no matter what you do, you might as well vote for the funny one."
-Walter Russell Mead

Two more excerpts  from the same blog post:

"For voters who’ve come to believe that both parties are owned and operated by the kind of people who pay Hillary Clinton hundreds of thousands of dollars to make platitudinous speeches, who believe that the system is rigged and will never be reformed, that the candidates offering “real solutions to real problems” are fooling either themselves or, more probably, you, Trump at least offers the satisfaction of making the other rat bastards and pompous PC elites squirm. He laughs at them and makes them look small; he defies their hatred and revels in their pursed-lip disapproval. By incurring the hatred of the chattering classes, he seems to some voters to be signaling both that he hates the empty showmanship of the capital as much as they do and that, by making himself the enemy of the self-determined arbiters of the rules of the political game, he is throwing himself on the support of the American people."

"You can also tell a pollster that you plan to vote for Trump simply, as George Wallace used to put it back in 1968, to “send them a message.” Trump offers average Americans the chance to pull the Establishment’s chain, and then watch the wonks and the pundits jerk and squeal. This is a lot of fun for the tens of millions of people out there who think the whole political class consists of high-minded incompetents and unprincipled parasites."

Makes perfect sense to me...........................



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


On Broadway.........................................The Odd Couple opens

Art Carney as Felix Ungar and  Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison

Oh noes......................................
















"the energy being produced by stars and other objects is about half what it was two billion years ago." - as extracted from here

The comforting conclusion to the "Massive Study Confirms Our Universe Is Slowly Dying" post:
"after all, no one really knows what happens next."

o noes via

Aiming at Eternity.......................


St. Paul's Cathedral during the London blitz



















"Architecture has its political Use; publick Buildings being the Ornament of a Country; it establishes a Nation, draws People and Commerce; makes the People love their native Country, which Passion is the Original of all great Actions in a Common-wealth…. Architecture aims at Eternity."
-Sir Christopher Wren


 Photo: AP Photo/Daily Mail, Herbert Mason

Learning from the waitress............................

"Great execution remains the most attention-grabbing, competition-disrupting formula of all.  It's pretty ironic:  What's disruptive in the modern world isn't the latest, but the most traditional of strategies:  Doing a great job."

As excerpted from this Matthew Ferrara post on the Art of Extra Mayonnaise.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Feel the angel of the present.........................

Van Morrison.....................................Dweller On The Threshold




I have seen without perceiving
I have been another man
Let me pierce the realm of glamour
So I know just what I am

I'm a dweller on the threshold
And I'm waiting at the door
And I'm standing in the darkness
I don't want to wait no more

Feel the angel of the present
In the mighty crystal fire
Lift me up consume my darkness
Let me travel even higher

I'm a dweller on the threshold
As I cross the burning ground
Let me go down to the water
Watch the great illusion drown


rest of the lyrics here

Thanks E.

Don't be afraid..................................
























“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid."
-Frederick Buechner

Waiting..................................
























“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” 
-Carl Sagan

You want security....................................?



















“It is when we all play safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity” 
-Dag Hammarskjöld

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

On the TV.............................................................Lost In Space

On achievement and alibis.........................























There are many who find a good alibi far more attractive than an achievement. For an achievement does not settle anything permanently. We still have to prove our worth anew each day: we have to prove that we are as good today as we were yesterday. But when we have a valid alibi for not achieving anything we are fixed, so to speak, for life. Moreover, when we have an alibi for not writing a book, painting a picture, and so on, we have an alibi for not writing the greatest book and not painting the greatest picture. Small wonder that the effort expended and the punishment endured in obtaining a good alibi often exceed the effort and grief requisite for the attainment of a most marked achievement.

-Eric Hoffer

photo via

More fantastic...................................
























“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” 
-Ray Bradbury

Rising........................................




“Few people arise in the morning as hungry for God as they are for cornflakes or toast and eggs.” 
-Dallas Willard

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Let your mercy spill.........................................


Antony......................................................If It Be Your Will




thanks E.

Understanding.......................................


      Much of the Bible is confusing, but the most important parts aren't.  Sometimes I wonder if folks keep arguing about the confusing parts so they don't have to get started doing the simple parts.  So a long time ago, your father and I decided that if a certain scripture turns our judgment outward instead of inward, if it requires us to worry about changing others instead of ourselves, if it doesn't help us become better lovers of God and life and others, it it distracts us from what we are supposed to be doing down here - finding God in everyone, feeding hungry people, comforting the sick and the sad, giving whatever we have to give, and laying down our lives for our friends - then we assume we don't understand it yet, and we get back to what we do understand.

-Glennon Doyle Melton,  Carry On, Warrior:  The Power of Embracing Your Messy Beautiful Life

Whenever I start feeling really smart............


.............I head over to xkcd.  That usually cures that delusion.


Beyond a shadow of doubt........................

 
     I don't know much.  But I know that each time I see something heartbreaking on the news, each time I encounter a problem outside, the answer to the problem is inside.  The problem is always me and the solution is always me.  If I want my world to be less vicious, then I must become more gentle.  If I want my children to embrace other children for who they are, to treat other children with the dignity and respect every child of God deserves, then I had better treat other adults the same way.  And I better make sure that my children know beyond a shadow of doubt that in God's and their father and my eyes, they are okay.  They are loved as they are.  Without a single unless.  Because the kids who bully are those who are afraid that a secret part of themselves is not okay.

-Glennon Doyle Melton,  Carry On, Warrior:  The Power of Embracing Your Messy Beautiful Life

Ouch............................


via

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

The Beatles................................You're Gonna Lose That Girl

On grace and forgiveness..............................


     It's not a once-and-for-all thing, self-forgiveness.  It's more like a  constant attitude.  It's just being hopeful.  It's refusing to hold your breath.  It's loving yourself enough to offer yourself a million more tries.  It's what we want our kids to do every day for their whole lives, right?  We want them to embrace being human instead of fighting against it.  We want them to offer themselves grace.  Forgiveness and grace are like oxygen;  we can't offer it to others unless we put our masks on first.  We have to put our grace masks on and breathe in deep.  We have to show them how it's done.  We need to love ourselves if we want our kids to love themselves.  We don't necessarily  have to love them more;  we have to love ourselves more.  We have to be gentle with ourselves.  We have to forgive ourselves and then ... oh my goodness ... find ourselves sort of awesome, actually, considering the freaking circumstances.

-Glennon Doyle Melton,  Carry On, Warrior:  The Power of Embracing Your Messy Beautiful Life

Better........................................




On carpe diem..............................

    
      Clearly, Carpe Diem doesn't work for me.  I can't even carpe fifteen minutes in a row, so the whole damn day is out of the question.
      Here's what does work for me.
      There are two different types of time.  Chronos time is what we live in.  It's regular time.  It's one minute at a time, staring down the clock until bedtime time.  It's ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time, four screaming minutes in time-out time, two hours until Daddy gets home time.  Chronos is the hard, slow-passing time we parents often live in.
      Then there's Kairos time.  Kairos is God's time.  It's time outside of time.  It's metaphysical time.  Kairos is those magical moments in which time stands still.  I have a few of those moments each day, and I cherish them.
      Like when I actually stop what I'm doing a really look at Tish.  I notice how perfectly smooth and brownish her skin is.  I notice the curves of her teeny elf mouth and her almond brown eyes, and I breathe in her soft Tishy smell.  In these moments, I see that her mouth is moving, but I can't here here because all I can think is:  This is the first time I've really seen Tish all day, and my God - she is so beautiful.  Kairos.
      Or when I'm stuck in Chronos time in the grocery line and I'm haggard and angry at the slow checkout clerk.  But then I look at my cart and I'm transported out of Chronos.  I notice the piles of healthy food I'll feed  my children to grow the bodies and minds, and I remember that most of the world's mamas would kill for this opportunity.  This chance to stand in a grocery line with enough money to pay.  And I just stare at my cart.  At the abundance.  The bounty.  Thank you, God.  Kairos.
     Or when I curl up in my cozy bed with my dog, Theo, asleep at my feet and Craig asleep at my side, and I listen to both of them breathing.  And for a moment I think, How did a girl like me get so lucky?  To go to bed each night surrounded by this breath, this love, this peace, this warmth?  Kairos.
      These Kairos moments leave as fast as they come, but I mark them.  I say the work Kairos in my head each time I leave Chronos.  And at the end of the day, I don't remember exactly what my Kairos moments were, but I remember I had them.  That makes the pain of the daily parenting climb worth it.
      If I had a couple of Kairos moments, I call the day a success.
      Carpe a couple of Kairos a day.
      Good enough for me.

-Glennon Doyle Melton,  Carry On, Warrior:  The Power of Embracing Your Messy Beautiful Life

Fruare die............................


"It helps to seize the day but it is also wise to savor the day."
-Michael Wade, from his latest installment of Random Thoughts


So, the Oracle Google was consulted for a Latin translation for "savor the day."   This is what it provided:

 Best Answer:  Using 'savor' as you have is a sense of the word that veers away from its main uses, and none of the Latin words that translate to 'savor' have followed the same path. I don't know of a Latin expression with the same connotation, but a literal version that fits better is:

Fruare die

The verb 'fruor' means to enjoy, to delight in, to relish. That seems to fit. Note that 'diem' has to be changed to 'die.' That loses the connection to 'carpe diem,' but that's the way the grammar works.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Heaven help him when he falls..........................


Sade.............................................................Smooth Operator

On questioning and answering..............


“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.” 
-Viktor Frankl

Well, that explains a lot.............................


Charlatanism of some degree is indispensable to effective leadership. 
There can be no mass movement without some deliberate 
misrepresentation of facts.
-Eric Hoffer

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

     On a spring day in 1523, Jacob Fugger, a banker from the German city of Augsburg, summoned a scribe and dictated a collection notice.  A customer was behind on a loan payment.  After years of leniency, Fugger had finally lost patience.
     Fugger wrote collection letters all the time.  But the 1523 letter was remarkable because he addressed it not to struggling fur trader or a cash-strapped spice importer but to Charles V, the most powerful man on earth.  Charles had eighty-one titles, including Holy Roman emperor, king of Spain, king of Naples, king of Jerusalem, duke of Burgundy and lord of Asia and Africa.  He ruled and empire that was the biggest since the days of ancient Rome, and would not be matched until the days of Napoleon and Hitler.  It stretched across Europe and over the Atlantic to Mexico and Peru, thus becoming the first in history where the sun never set.  When the pope defied Charles, he sacked Rome.  When France fought him, he captured its king.  The people regarded Charles as divine and tried to touch him for his supposed power to heal.  "He is himself a living law and above all other law," said an imperial councilor.  "His Majesty is as god on Earth."
      Fugger was the grandson of a peasant and a man Charles could have easily strapped to the rack for impertinence.  So it must have surprised him that Fugger not only addressed him as an equal but furthered the affront by reminding him to whom he owed his success.  "It is well known that without me your majesty might not have acquired the imperial crown,"  Fugger wrote, "You will order that the money which I have paid out, together with the interest upon it, shall be reckoned up and paid without further delay."

-Greg Steinmetz,  The Richest Man Who Ever Lived:  The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger

The end of an era..............................

...................................Frank Gifford has passed away.  Age 84.

Howard Cossell, Don Meredith, and Gifford......Monday Night Football

1960 Title Game.  Eagles' Chuck Bednarik put a hurt on Frank



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


The Beach Boys.............................The Little Girl I Once Knew

Making money the old-fashioned way.............

As the NFL’s only publicly owned team (in spirit, anyway, because public shares have no value and cannot be traded), the Green Bay Packers have to release their financial records every year, probably to the chagrin of every other NFL owner who would sooner donate every cent to charity than open up their books.
The full story on the Packers' financial situation is here.  Almost -but not quite - enough  to make you root for them.  Among the re-investments they have made, this may be my favorite:
2. They’re buying up land around Lambeau Field
Mostly over the last four years, the Packers have bought 64 acres east, west and south of Lambeau, paying $53.7 million. The team intends to oversee commercial development — a Cabela’s outdoors store is the first tenant — to generate non-football income.  “We are continuing to look at ways we can grow revenue. We don’t want to do it on the backs of our season-ticket holders,” team president and chief executive Mark Murphy said, per Ryman. “One way is to attract more visitors.”

Meanwhile, on the "minimum wage" front........


New York moves to raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15.00 per hour.

One point of view:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) celebrated the minimum wage hike shortly after it was announced. He said it was “one of the really great days of my administration” — and, just as Briccetti warned, he said the wage board’s decision should seen as a harbinger of bigger paychecks for everyone earning the minimum wage.
“This is not the ending; it is just the beginning because we will not stop until we reach true economic justice and we raise the minimum wage for every worker in every job in this state,” said Cuomo.

Another point of view:

“There simply isn’t any magic pot of money that lets employers pay higher wages just because the government says so, without making adjustments elsewhere like cutting workers’ hours, reducing their non-cash fringe benefits, and/or passing the higher wages along to consumers in the form of higher prices.”

He forgot to mention automation.  Be careful what you wish for.  The Law of Unintended Consequences always bats last.

Books..........................................

“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time- none, zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads- and at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out” 
-Charlie Munger

Source and a suggested reading list from Charlie Munger is here.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Saw this show last night at the.................


.......................wondrous Weathervane Playhouse.  It was marvelous!

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


      The twenty-first century is full of people who are full of themselves.  A half-hour's trawl through the online ocean of blogs, tweets, tubes, spaces, faces, pages, and pods brings up thousands of individuals fascinated by their own personalities and shouting for attention.  They go on about themselves;  they diarize, and chat, and upload photographs of everything they do.  Uninhibitedly extrovert, they also look inward as never before,  Even as bloggers and networkers delve into their private experience, they communicate with their fellow humans in a shared festival of the self. ... By describing what makes them different from anyone else, the contributors reveal what they share with everyone else:  the experience of being human.
     This idea - writing about oneself to create a mirror in which other people recognize their own humanity - has not existed forever.  It had to be invented.  And, unlike many cultural inventions, it can be traced to a single person:  Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, a nobleman, government official, and winegrower who lived in the Perigord area of southwestern France from 1533 to 1592.

-Sarah Bakewell,  How To Live - Or- A Life Of Montaigne:  In One Question And Twenty Attempts At An Answer

"Creative destruction".............................


...............is an important, and necessary, feature of capitalism.  Interfere with that process, and you get "statism" and/or crony capitalism, which are very different systems than capitalism.  Here is one case where creative destruction was forecast long before it actually happened, and no government action was taken to stop it.

















We take a special interest in this chart.  In 1998 we had the opportunity to do a build-to-suit deal with a Blockbuster franchisee.  Everything about the deal was favorable to us, with the exception that the franchisee/tenant would only agree to a seven year lease.  We wanted a ten year lease, which would better enable us to recoup our investment.  Neither party would budge on that issue, so the build-to-suit opportunity never materialized.  It was pretty clear in 1998 that the video rental business would be threatened by technology that would allow for movies to be downloaded onto computers.  We knew something would happen.  We didn't know it would be Netflix.   Netflix was created in 1997, but didn't actually deliver movies until two years later. Twenty years ago, Blockbuster and their competitors leased/owned a great deal of retail real estate.  Their demise jacked up the vacancy rate and hurt our industry - just not us personally.

source of chart, and one version of the story, here.

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


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


Books first published in 1965...............................




















































a whole bunch more here..................

At least they stayed out of the garden......


Here..........................................


Beyond amazing........................


Bruce Lee dominates in ping pong, using "nunchucks."  Must see!