Saturday, January 30, 2016

Two of the great ones................


Jimmy Buffett with George Strait.....................Sea of Heartbreak

This used to happen....................


.............................................a lot more than it happens now.  Not sure what has changed:  me or the books?  Actually, I'm pretty sure.


Frost tries his hand at Aesop.......


                 Haec Fabula Docet

A Blindman by the name of La Fontaine,
Relying on himself and his cane,
Came tap-tap-tapping down the village street,
The apogee of human blind conceit.
Now just ahead of him was seen to yawn
A trench where water pipes were laying on.
The Blindman might have found it with his ferule,
But someone overanxious at his peril
Not only warned him with a loud command
But ran against him with a staying hand.
Enraged at what he could but think officious,
The Blindman missed him with a blow so vicious
He gave his own poor iliac a wrench
And plunged himself head foremost in the trench:
Where with a glee no less for being grim
The workmen all turned too and buried him.

                            Moral

The moral is, it hardly need be shown,
All those who try to go it sole alone,
Too proud to be beholden for relief,
Are absolutely sure to come to grief.

-Robert Frost, 1946

That all important "very long term"..........




Highlights.................................




































Ben S. Bernanke,  The Courage To Act:  A Memoir Of A Crisis And Its Aftermath

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


Paul Revere & The Raiders......................................Kicks

Pollock..............................
























via

Interestingly enough, my favorite Pollock isn't even a "Pollock"

























Back story on Rockwell's 1961 painting "Connoisseur" may be found here.

When you think about it, we already have....




















cartoon via

Scott nails.....................................


..............................the story of this blog

No, but three do.........................


“Two rights don't equal a left.” 
-Roald DahlThe BFG


Friday, January 29, 2016

Well, will you...........................?


The Beatles......................................................When I'm 64



When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

You'll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with you

I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight
If it's not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck & Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

And...........................























An astonishing range............


     But one of Churchill's strengths, both as a man and a statesman, was that politics never occupied his whole attention and energies.  He had an astonishing range of activities to provide him with relief, exercise, thrills, fun, and, not least, money.

-Paul Johnson,  Churchill

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


"One of the things we learn as we grow older is that we missed a lot of things when we were younger."
-Bilbo, the rest of the story here

One harmonious whole................





















“I like to experience the universe as one harmonious whole. Every cell has life. Matter, too, has life; it is energy solidified. The tree outside is life… The whole of nature is life… The basic laws of the universe are simple, but because our senses are limited, we can’t grasp them. There is a pattern in creation.”  

-Albert Einstein, via, with more of same

photo, with desrcription, courtesy of

36 Rules of Life......................



7.   Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

1 4. Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.

21.  Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

28.  People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them

The other thirty-two may be found here.

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


Frank Sinatra........................................Strangers In The Night

A worthy prayer.............................


“Lord, let me live until I die.”
-Will Rogers

Highlights......................................




































Ben S. Bernanke,   The Courage To Act:  A Memoir Of A Crisis And Its Aftermath

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




Happy Birthday Sweetie.................


Paul McCartney..........................................................Birthday

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A time or two............................


Johnny Cash...................................................I'm Alright Now

On the ruggedness of individuals.............


     "We see in almost every part of the annals of mankind how the industry of individuals, struggling up against wars, taxes, famines, conflagrations, mischievous prohibitions, and more mischievous protections, creates faster than governments can squander, and repairs whatever invaders can destroy."

-Lord Macaulay

When................................


when serpents bargain for the right to squirm
and the sun strikes to gain a living wage-
when thorns regard their roses with alarm
and rainbows are insured against old age

when every thrush may sing no new moon in
if all screech-owls have not okayed his voice
-and any wave signs on the dotted line
or else an ocean is compelled to close

when the oak begs permission of the birch
to make an acorn-valleys accuse their
mountains of having altitude-and march
denounces april as a saboteur

then we'll believe in that incredible
unanimal mankind(and not until)


-e. e. cummings

fantastic sunset                      e.e. cummings               oil

A magnificent time to be alive.........


     Human nature will not change.  The same old drama of aggression and addiction, of infatuation and indoctrination, of charm and harm, will play out, but in an ever more prosperous world.  In Thornton Wilder's play The Skin of Our Teeth, the Antrobus family (representing humankind) just manages to survive the ice age, the flood and a world war, but their natures do not change.  History repeats itself as a spiral not a circle, Wilder implied, with an ever-growing capacity for both good and bad, played out through unchanging individual character.  So the human race will continue to expand and enrich its culture, despite setbacks and despite individual people having much the same evolved, unchanging nature.  The twenty-first century will be a magnificent time to be alive.
      Dare to be an optimist.

-Matt Ridley,  The Rational Optimist:  How Prosperity Evolves

On posture.....................



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


The Lovin' Spoonful..............................Summer In The City

TINF......................................

















































Rule #1...................................


.....“Don't gobblefunk around with words.”

-Roald Dahl

Speaking of bacon................


























Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wearing me out......................


Dance as a contact sport...................Rock & Roll '50's mix

The aspirations trap.......................


      An insidious manner in which we fall into the aspirations trap is in our reverence for perfectionism.  We are convinced that this quality is a sign of noble character.  We urge our children to be perfectionists.  But the outcome of perfectionism is that we are constantly looking for ways in which we or our products could be better.  A successful painter I know once told me that when she looks at her work in a gallery, she always focuses on what is missing, what would have made it better.  Epicurus is right:  That is a guaranteed way never to feel completely fulfilled.

-Daniel Klein, Every  Time I Find the Meaning of Live, They Change It:  Wisdom of the Great Philosophers on How to Live

Quote of the day........................


"The pit stop of wisdom is learning. Take a book to lunch."
-as found here

thanks Gene

Far star....................................






















Far star that tickles for me my sensitive plate
And fries a couple of ebon atoms white,
I don't believe I believe a thing you state.
I put no faith in the seeming facts of light.

I don't believe I believe you're the last in space,
I don't believe you're anywhere near the last,
I don't believe what makes you red in the face
Is after explosion going away so fast.

The universe may or may not be very immense.
As a matter of fact there are times when I am apt
To feel it close in tight against my sense
Like a caul in which I was born and am still wrapped.

-Robert Frost, "Skeptic"

image, and back story, via APOD

Life its ownself........................








thanks David

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


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

Somehow I missed this in 16 years of schooling...


      In 1493, his magnificent account of the great Columbian exchange that followed contact between the eastern and western hemispheres, Charles Mann show how again and again the forces that truly shaped history came from below, not above.  For instance, the American Revolution was won by the malaria parasite, which devastated General Charles Cornwallis's army in the Carolinas and on the Chesapeake, at least as much as it was won by George Washington. ...Referring to female mosquitoes of the species Anopheles quadrimaculatus, he writes:  "Those tiny amazons conducted covert biological warfare against the British army."...Most white colonists had survived malaria in their youth and acquired some resistance...So the American south was the worst possible place to invade with foreign troops....When it came time to fight a battle, most of the army was debilitated by fever, including Cornwallis himself...."Mosquitoes," says McNeill, "helped the Americans snatch victory from the jaws of stalemate and win the Revolutionary War, without which there would be no United States of America.  Remember that when they bite you next Fourth of July."

-Matt Ridley, as culled from The Evolution Of Everything

How's this for some linkage...............?


As the technology expert Steve Johnson has argued, the unintended consequences of historical events can be far-reaching.  Gutenberg made printed books affordable, which kicked off an increase in literacy, which created a market for spectacles, which led to work on lenses that in turn resulted in the invention of microscopes and telescopes, which unleashed the discovery that the earth went round the sun.

-Matt Ridley,  The Evolution Of Everything:  How New Ideas Emerge

Some of the most fun writing......................


...................found in the Intertunnel today (that doesn't originate in the nether reaches of Maine) emanates from David Warren's High Doganate.  A brief taste from this essay:


"But getting back to our potato, I can detect no “attitude” at all. I have indeed been unable to discern much emotion, in any of the potatoes I have handled over the years. One gets more feedback from a live lobster; from potatoes, only the Sartrean ennui. But I would not wish to depreciate this one, the price of whose portrait is itself enlivening. Or one might, given the black sheet background, mistake it for the latest moon of Pluto, in which case the high-resolution detail increases the excitement."

Here is our $1.5M potato:












source of photo

So, how did it go....................................?



Tuesday, January 26, 2016

And to love you.............................


The Hollies........................................The Air That I Breathe



If I could make a wish
I think I'd pass
Can't think of anything I need
No cigarettes, no sleep, no light, no sound
Nothing to eat, no books to read

Making love with you
Has left me peaceful, warm, and tired
What more could I ask
There's nothing left to be desired
Peace came upon me and it leaves me weak
So sleep, silent angel, go to sleep

Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
Yes to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe

Peace came upon me and it leaves me weak
So sleep, silent angel, go to sleep

Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
Yes to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe

Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
Yes to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
Yes to love you


On the importance of......................


....................................not letting book learning get in the way of your education:


“It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom. Without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail.”


Schooling...............................


     When you think about it, it is rather strange that liberated, free thinking people, when their children reach the age of five, send them off to a sort of prison for the next twelve to sixteen years.  There they are held, on pain of punishment, in cells called classrooms and made, on pain of further punishment, to sit at desks and follow particular routines.  Of course it is not as Dickensian as it used to be, and may people emerge with brilliant minds, but school is still a  highly authoritarian and indoctrinating place.  In my own case, the prison analogy was all too apt.  The boarding school I attended between the ages of eight and twelve had such strict rules and such regular and painful corporal punishment that we readily identified with stories of prisoners of war in Nazi Germany, even down to the point of digging tunnels, saving up food and planning routes across the countryside to railway stations.  Escapes were frequent, firmly punished, and generally considered heroic.

-Matt Ridley,  The Evolution of Everything:  How New Ideas Emerge

On paying attention.............


"Anyone who after the twentieth century still thinks that thoroughgoing socialism, nationalism, imperialism, mobilization, central planning, regulation, zoning, price controls, tax policy, labor unions, business cartels, government spending, intrusive policing, adventurism in foreign policy, faith in entangling religion and politics, or most of the other thoroughgoing nineteenth-century proposals for governmental actions are still neat, harmless ideas for improving our lives is not paying attention."

-Deidre McCloskey, as excerpted from here

Oh. Well, I was wondering what was going on...


"As you surely know, this is an election year, and that means a combination of sophistry and ignorance is flooding the news media."

-Barry Ritholtz, as excerpted from here

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


Johnny Rivers..........................................Poor Side Of Town

On the evolution of technology......


Every boat is copied from another boat... Let's reason as follows in the manner of Darwin. It is clear that a very badly made boat will end up at the bottom after one or two voyages, and thus never be copied... One could then say, with complete rigor, that it is the sea herself who fashions the boats, choosing those which function and destroying the others.

-Alain 

Highlights.........................










































Ben S. Bernanke,  The Courage To Act:  A Memoir Of A Crisis And Its Aftermath

In themselves.....................


Andrew Wyeth     Due Back      Watercolor   1965



















“We appreciate beautiful things not for their utility only, but also for what they are in themselves—or more plausibly, for how they appear in themselves.” 

-Roger Scruton, Beauty:  A Very Short Introduction

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sailing away.......................


Fleetwood Mac..................................................Safe Harbour

Titans................................


Dean and The Duke.......................Everybody Loves Somebody



Why do I think that is really Sinatra's voice?

Transitioning..........................


"We didn’t have much but we had it all."

Quote, and the rest of the story, from here.

Perhaps the only diet you'll ever need.....


























via

Robert Burns................


.........................was born this day in 1759, and the world  became a vastly richer place.  Here is a taste, take some time with it:

Lang hae thought, my youthfu' friend,
A something to have sent you,
Tho' it should serve nae ither end
Than just a kind memento:
But how the subject-theme may gang,
Let time and chance determine;
Perhaps it may turn out a sang:
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

Ye'll try the world soon, my lad;
And, Andrew dear, believe me,
Ye'll find mankind an unco squad,
And muckle they may grieve ye:
For care and trouble set your thought,
Ev'n when your end's attained;
And a' your views may come to nought,
Where ev'ry nerve is strained.

I'll no say, men are villains a';
The real, harden'd wicked,
Wha hae nae check but human law,
Are to a few restricked;
But, Och! mankind are unco weak,
An' little to be trusted;
If self the wavering balance shake,
It's rarely right adjusted!

Yet they wha fa' in fortune's strife,
Their fate we shouldna censure;
For still, th' important end of life
They equally may answer;
A man may hae an honest heart,
Tho' poortith hourly stare him;
A man may tak a neibor's part,
Yet hae nae cash to spare him.

Aye free, aff-han', your story tell,
When wi' a bosom crony;
But still keep something to yoursel',
Ye scarcely tell to ony:
Conceal yoursel' as weel's ye can
Frae critical dissection;
But keek thro' ev'ry other man,
Wi' sharpen'd, sly inspection.

The sacred lowe o' weel-plac'd love,
Luxuriantly indulge it;
But never tempt th' illicit rove,
Tho' naething should divulge it:
I waive the quantum o' the sin,
The hazard of concealing;
But, Och! it hardens a' within,
And petrifies the feeling!

To catch dame Fortune's golden smile,
Assiduous wait upon her;
And gather gear by ev'ry wile
That's justified by honour;
Not for to hide it in a hedge,
Nor for a train attendant;
But for the glorious privilege
Of being independent.

The fear o' hell's a hangman's whip,
To haud the wretch in order;
But where ye feel your honour grip,
Let that aye be your border;
Its slightest touches, instant pause-
Debar a' side-pretences;
And resolutely keep its laws,
Uncaring consequences.

The great Creator to revere,
Must sure become the creature;
But still the preaching cant forbear,
And ev'n the rigid feature:
Yet ne'er with wits profane to range,
Be complaisance extended;
An atheist-laugh's a poor exchange
For Deity offended!

When ranting round in pleasure's ring,
Religion may be blinded;
Or if she gie a random sting,
It may be little minded;
But when on life we're tempest driv'n-
A conscience but a canker-
A correspondence fix'd wi' Heav'n,
Is sure a noble anchor!

Adieu, dear, amiable youth!
Your heart can ne'er be wanting!
May prudence, fortitude, and truth,
Erect your brow undaunting!
In ploughman phrase, "God send you speed,"
Still daily to grow wiser;
And may ye better reck the rede,
Then ever did th' adviser! 


"Epistle To A Young Friend"
Robert Burns, 1786

Highlights..............................................




































Ben S. Bernanke:  The Courage To Act:  A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath

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


The Monkees....................................Last Train To Clarksville

I would not have guessed it..................


...................................but, now that they have said it, this "biggest predictor" of business success makes much sense.

Dealmaking 101:...................


...never start with, “How do I make this deal?” Start with, “Should this deal be made?”
-Eric Barker,  as culled from here

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

























Lest we forget, our favorite quote around here is that "normalcy is merely the psychosis of the majority."

cartoon via

On the problems of groups..........


      "Individual men may be moral in the sense that they are able to consider interests of others than their own in determining problems of conduct, and are capable, on occasion, of preferring the advantages of others to their own. ... But all these achievements are more difficult, if not impossible, for human societies and social groups.  In every human group there is less capacity for self transcendence, less ability to comprehend the need of others and therefore more unrestrained egoism than the individuals, who compose the groups, reveal in their personal relationships."

-Reinhold Niebuhr,  as excerpted from Moral Man and Immoral Society

On the strength of individuals.......


So seest though not, how, though external force
Drive men before, and often make them move,
Onward against desire, and headlong snatched,
Yet is there something in these breasts of ours
Strong to combat, strong to withstand the same? -

Lucretius,  Of the Nature of Things  Book II

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Like the stars above me...........


America.................................................................Daisy Jane

Verse....................


4  Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 

5  And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 

6  There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 

7  But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 

-1 Corinthians 12: 4-7
The Holy Bible (NASB)

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


      Why did we stop at the 4-Dice Restaurant in Fordyce, Arkansas, for lunch on Independence Day weekend?  On any day?  Despite everything I knew from ten years of driving through the Bible Belt.  Tiny town of Fordyce.  Rolling Stones on the police menu across the United States.  Every copper wanted to bust us by any means available, to get promoted and to patriotically rid America of those little fairy Englishmen.  It was 1975, a time of brutality and confrontation.  Open season on the Stones had been declared since our last tour, the tour of '72, known as the STP.  The State Department had noted riots (true), civil disobedience (also true), illicit sex (whatever that is), and violence across the United States.  All the fault of us, mere minstrels.  We had been inciting the youth to rebellion, we were corrupting America, and they had ruled never to let us travel in the United States again.  It had become, in the time of Nixon, a serious political matter.  He had personally deployed his dogs and dirty tricks against John Lennon, who he thought might cost him an election.  We, in turn, they told our lawyer officially, were the most dangerous rock-and-roll band in the world.

-Keith Richards,  Life

To quote Michael Wade..............


...........................where does he find this stuff?


HIghlights.........................




































Ben S. Bernanke,   The Courage To Act:  A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath

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


Ray Charles......................................................Crying Time

Some good words to live by.................


"I ain’t no saint and I don’t pretend to be
But I hope you all found a friend in me"


-Steve Forbert

thanks Ray