Saturday, September 19, 2015
Fleetwood Mac...............................................Over My Head
Friday, September 18, 2015
..................but certainly not unpredictable. What did they think was going to happen?
“One fears that if reasonable people do not somehow apply a brake to this wild excess of selfless saintliness, unreasonable people eventually will.”
Ten years ago, most of my company's free capacity was used to pursue growth opportunities and refine operations. Over the last four years or so, all of our free capacity has been spent solely on compliance.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
...................................................................this is my hope too.
My hope is that young people have been paying attention to all the intelligent, more experienced people over the last few decades who have been wrong more than they’ve been right. Many of these people never bother to admit they’re wrong or learn from their mistakes so they continue to live in the past.
-Ben Carlson, as extracted from this post on (mis)learning from experience.
..........................I probably would not have watched the Republican debate last night. But, being with several friends who insisted on watching, I did. Found myself totally riveted by the show. Not sure what the outcomes will be, although my immediate responses were that Donald Trump doesn't wear well, and that in a year in which "outsiderism" is supposed to be a benefit, the governor of the fair state of Ohio spent a lot of his time stressing his insider past, and that, if we are obligated to elect our first women president in 2016, Carly Fiorina would be a good option. Looking forward to the next one.
Technological progress constantly renders once-familiar things moot. When was the last time you purchased software on a disc, bought a CD in a store, sent a fax to a co-worker, or even asked for driving directions? In 2005, you probably did a lot of those things and might have just assumed you always would.
Here is a list of ten things that may be obsolete by 2025. As far as #9 goes, be careful what you wish for.
Fleetwood Mac..................................................For Your Love
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
“Don’t rely on the opinions of others. Only you will know what is right for you.”
“Sometimes being happy will require some difficult conversations. Some of those conversations will be with yourself.”
“Challenge your assumptions and identify your limiting beliefs. Every time you find yourself thinking that you can’t do something, ask yourself, ‘Why not?”
“Most of the things you find yourself wanting will have little or no bearing on the happiness in your life.”
“Before passing judgement on someone’s choices, stop and look at the questions they were trying to answer.”
“Just because there are things you still want, that doesn’t mean you can’t feel gratitude for all the wealth and abundance already in your life.”
-Domonique Bertolucci, The Happiness Code: Ten Key To Being The Best You Can Be
"The true light is that which emanates from within man, and reveals the secrets of the heart to the soul, making it happy and contented with life."
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Perhaps this is the place to warn you against an excessive zeal for cleanliness when it comes to ironware. Property seasoned, iron is one of the greatest cooking materials in the world, but the average American housewife (this was published in 1967) has been so brainwashed that she commonly scours off the cooking surface without thinking. Woks and iron skillets should be rinsed and wiped, never washed. If someone comes along and tells you cleanliness is next to godliness, the proper answer is, "Yes - next. Right now I'm working on godliness."
If, however, your family persists in a compulsive and unreasonable attitude, accustom them to a little harmless but definite untidiness in their food. An occasional burned paper match dropped inot the gravy will help them relax a bit. My wife has even managed, mysteriously, to include a cigar band in a casserole of Spanish rice. Once you've seen something like that, it's hard to get upset about the fine points of kitchen cleanliness.
A sense of proportion is a saving grace.
-Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb
I just got the first year bill from my payroll company for the extra reporting we have to do each year vis a vis Obamacare: $7195.50 for 2015. Note that this adds absolutely no value -- this is not the cost of insurance or cost of any extra taxes sent to Uncle Sam. This is merely the cost to handle all the new paperwork required in the law.
I will repeat what I have said before -- the Republicans tend to focus narrowly on taxes and often tend to miss or downplay the regulatory issues, which I think actually loom larger in destroying economic growth.
“If you’re keeping score, in the past month Trump has bitch-slapped the entire Republican Party, redefined our expectations of politics, focused the national discussion on immigration, proposed the only new idea for handling ISIS, and taken functional control of FOX News,” Adams blogged, frighteningly. “And I don’t think he put much effort into it. Imagine what he could do if he gave up golf.”
-as excerpted from this Daily Beast post
Jesse Stone no longer felt adrift. No longer a man caught between two coasts, he had finally left his days as an L. A. homicide detective behind him. If not his private shame at how his life there had gone to hell. He was chief of police in Paradise, Mass. This was his town now. Yet there were still some things about the East Coast and the Atlantic he had never gotten used to and wasn't sure he ever would. Nor'easters, for one. He found their brooding, slate-gray clouds and roiling tides a little unnerving. These late-fall or winter storms seemed to blow up out of spite, raking across whole swaths of New England or the Mid-Atlantic, leaving nothing but pain in their wake.
-Reed Farrel Coleman, channeling Robert B. Parker, The Devil Wins
“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any."
-Hugh Laurie, as quoted in this blog post
Monday, September 14, 2015
We both insist on a lot of time being available almost every day to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. We read and think. So Warren and I do more reading and thinking and less doing than most people in business.
Finally, all systems of theological interpretation, plain or fancy, rot out at an alarming rate. Unlike the house of faith, they are exposed to the wind and weather of prevailing opinion. Even if a theologian never once doubts anything about his system, it remains endlessly vulnerable to scorn, ridicule, or just plain disinterest from the outside. The sheer labor of keeping up with the repairs necessitated by such forces has kept more theologians than one from ever spending as much as a single night under a snug roof.
-Robert Farrar Capon, The Parables of Grace
Moving a guy as big as Keever wasn't easy. It was like trying to wrestle a king-size mattress off a waterbed. So they buried him close to the house. Which made since anyway. The harvest was still a month away, and a disturbance in a field would show up from the air. And they would use the air, for a guy like Keever. They would use search planes, and helicopters, and maybe even drones.
-Lee Child, Make Me
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Here is one take on what passes for journalism today:
The contemporary journalist is voyeur to a “crisis.” He has been flown in, with a crew. He does not arrive knowing the way from the airport. He is taken for a fool by every interested party he encounters, and manipulated accordingly. He is like a rich hunter on safari who must employ beaters to drive a few game animals into his way. He has limited time, before his audience has lost interest in the latest crisis, and he is himself air-freighted to the next one. The result is reportage not quite so good as no information at all.
...........is an honored tradition among Great Britain's political class.
"An empty taxi arrived at 10 Downing Street, and when the door was opened, Attlee got out."
"A sheep in sheep's clothing."
-two comments by Winston Churchill about Clement Attlee
more fun with words here
Fredrik deBoer wants a walk on the wild side......
But corporate entities serve corporate interests, not those of the individuals within them, and so these efforts are often designed to spare the institutions from legal liability rather than protect the individuals who would be harmed by sexual harassment. Indeed, this is the very lifeblood of corporatism: creating systems and procedures that sacrifice the needs of humans to the needs of institutions.
"If you want to get rich, you'll need a few decent ideas where you really know what you're doing. Then you've got to have the courage to stick with them and take the ups and downs. Not very complicated, and it's very old fashioned."
Gaius Plinius Cecilius Secundus, known as Pliny the Elder, was born in Italy in the year AD 23. He was a naval and army commander in the early Roman Empire, later an author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, best known for his Naturalis Historia, a thirty-seven-volume encyclopedia describing, well, everything there was to describe. His opus includes a book on cosmology, another on farming, a third on magic. It took him four volumes to cover world geography, nine for flora and fauna, and another nine for medicine. In one of his later volumes, Earth, book XXXV, Pliny tells the story of a goldsmith who brought an unusual dinner plate to the court of Emperor Tiberius.
The plate was a stunner, made from a new metal, very light, shiny, almost as bright as silver. The goldsmith claimed he'd extracted it from plain clay, using a secret technique, the formula known only to himself and the gods. Tiberius, though, was a little concerned. The emperor was one of Rome's great generals, a warmonger who conquered most of what is now Europe and amassed a fortune in gold and silver along the way. He was also a financial expert who knew the value of his treasure would seriously decline if people suddenly had access to a shiny new metal rarer that gold. "Therefore," recounts Pliny, "instead of giving the goldsmith the regard expected, he ordered him to be beheaded."
This shiny new metal was aluminum, and that beheading marked its loss to the world for nearly two millennia.
-Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler, Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil,
It gathers to a greatness, lie the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade, bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs -
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
-Gerard Manley Hopkins, God's Grandeur