Saturday, December 17, 2016

An important question...................




"When people tell Joe to stop and smell the roses, his first response is 'Who is maintaining the roses?'"

-Tim Ferriss, as extracted from Tools Of Titans:  The Tactics, Routines, And Habits Of Billionairs, Icons, And World-Class Performers

Some randomness for your viewing pleasure...







































































The everlasting light.....................




Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by

enlargeable photo here

With joy approach.....................


Benjamin Britten..............................A Ceremony of Carols



# 3 on this list

Some of each..........


"That’s why you need patience and some courage.  Those will steady you through the hard times.  Hard times will come, and I can’t tell you when. ..Remember, moderate risk wins in the end."

-David Merkel

Compensation................


     "It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."

-attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson

The quote above.......................


...............sounds like something Emerson would say.  One could also assume he might have said it in his essay Compensation.   Sometimes believing in the notion that accuracy is good, I scanned through my copy of said essay.  It was not a thorough reading, but I could not find the quote.  Thus, the Oracle Google was consulted.  Hundreds of sites showed up with the quote, but none providing the location of the quote in Emerson's writings.   Hmmm.  Did he really write that?  Maybe later today a more serious search will be undertaken to find the source.   Meanwhile, true to the wonder that is the Intertunnel, during my brief search, this beauty was found:

"When God measures man, He puts the tape around the heart instead of the head for if there's is no truer measure of a man than by what he does, it is by what he gives. We can speak kind words but without kind deeds they often sound mighty sick. So be kind to everyone and remember, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. One final word Tiana, most of the world's misery is caused by being unkind to those who live with us."

-The Sage, as taken from here

Friday, December 16, 2016

Good question.....................


 "If government really could create heaven on earth, why hasn’t it happened yet?"

-Brian Wesbury, as culled from here

Twenty rules..........................


...............................................of personal finance.  Please read it (and live it).  You will be happier if you do.

20. Don’t think about retirement, but financial independence. The goal shouldn’t be about making it to a certain age so you can ride off into the sunset, but rather getting to the point where you don’t have to worry about money anymore.

Wondrousness..........................


Rimsky-Korsakov..............................................Christmas Eve



#15 on this list

Truth...................................


“Life can never give security; it can only promise opportunity”

-more truths here on a regular basis

Mad skills....................


"It is a skill to hear the unsaid and to see the unseen..."

-Michael Wade

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Breathe..............................


Good-by and Keep Cold


















This saying good-by on the edge of the dark
And cold to an orchard so young in the bark
Reminds me of all that can happen to harm
An orchard away at the end of the farm
All winter, cut off by a hill from the house.
I don't want it girdled by rabbit and mouse,
I don't want it dreamily nibbled for browse
By deer, and I don't want it budded by grouse.
(If certain it wouldn't be idle to call
I'd summon grouse, rabbit, and deer to the wall
And warn them away with a stick for a gun.)
I don't want it stirred by the heat of the sun.
(We made it secure against being, I hope,
By setting it out on a northerly slope.)
No orchard's the worse for the wintriest storm;
But one thing about it, it mustn't get warm.
"How often already you've had to be told,
Keep cold, young orchard. Good-by and keep cold.
Dread fifty above more than fifty below."
I have to be gone for a season or so.
My business awhile is with different trees,
Less carefully nourished, less fruitful than these,
And such as is done to their wood with an ax - 
Maples and birches and tamaracks.
I wish I could promise to lie in the night
And think of an orchard's arboreal plight
When slowly (and nobody comes with a light)
Its heart sinks lower under the sod.
But something has to be left to God.



I'm rearranging.........................


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

Immanent..........................



















"God dwells in His creation and is everywhere indivisibly present in all His works. He is transcendent above all His works even while He is immanent within them."

-A. W. Tozer

Improve.......................























     Working with golf clubs wasn't just a function of being a professional golfer.  To me it was fun, and I looked at each club I worked on as if I were molding a work of art.  Just like my golf game, I was always looking to improve my equipment, too, and that gave me the sense that I was improving on me as I improved on them.  I think that is the essence of life - always striving to do something better.  Or even perfectly.

-Arnold Palmer,  A Life Well Played:  My Stories

to.............................


"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

-attributed to Jiddu Krishnamurti

walking flaws.......................




The superheroes you have in your mind (idols, icons, titans, billionaires, etc.) are nearly all walking flaws who've mastered one or two strengths.  Humans are imperfect creatures.  You don't succeed because you have no weaknesses;  you succeed because you find your unique strengths and focus on developing habits around them.

-Tim Ferriss

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

him who seeks..........................

“We should not be ashamed to acknowledge truth and to assimilate it from whatever source it comes to us, even if it is brought to us by former generations and foreign peoples. For him who seeks the truth there is nothing of higher value than truth itself; it never cheapens or debases him who reaches for it but ennobles and honors him.”


Will ponder this for a while.....


"Everything, except God, has a context."

-David Warren

It will remind me.............................


Dave Koz & Kenny Loggins.......December Makes Me Feel This Way

On power..................................


"The problem of power is how to achieve its responsible use rather than its irresponsible and indulgent use - of how to get men of power to live for the public rather than off the public."

-Bobby Kennedy

Surely you jest.............................












History being what it is, who knows?  The Oracle Google was consulted (in a hurry and without much depth).   Wiki on Wotan is here.  One version of "why Christmas trees" is here.

Kurt's twitter feed is here.

Is there anything......................


............................................those Russian hackers can't do?

As history cycles....................


     But to the south, Toledo's takeover by a powerful Christian monarch who was a real contender, not just another strongman of some minor city, provoked a historically fateful military reaction.  Alfonso's defeated and dismayed rival for control over Toledo, the equally ambitious and accomplished Mutamid, based in Seville, asked for military help from the Almoravids, the fundamentalist Muslim regime that had recently taken control of Marrakech and established the polity we know as Morocco.  The Almoravids were Berber tribesmen who had been building a considerable empire in North Africa.  These fanatics considered the Andalusian Muslims intolerably weak, with their diplomatic relations with Christian states, not to mention their promotion of Jews in virtually every corner of their government and society.  But the somewhat deluded Mutamid of Seville cared little about their politics, and imagined he could bring them in to help him out militarily and then send them packing.  The Almoravids thus arrived ostensibly as allies of the weak taifas and quickly succeeded, in 1086 in defeating Alfonso VI.  These would-be protectors, however, stayed on as the new tyrants of al-Andalus.
     By 1090, the Almoravids had fully annexed the taifa remnants of the venerable al-Andalus into their own dour and intolerant kingdom.  For the next 130 years, Andalusian Muslims would be governed by foreigners, first these same Almoravids, and later by the Almohads, or "Unitarians," an even more fanatic group of North African Berber Muslims likewise strangers to al-Andalus and its ways.  Thus did the Andalusians become often rambunctious colonial subjects in an always troublesome and incomprehensible province.  They had irretrievably lost their political freedom, but the story of Andalusian culture was far from over:  although bloodied, the Andalusians were unbowed, and their culture remained their glory - viewed with suspicion , yet often coveted by all their neighbors, both north and south.

-Maria Rosa Menocal,  The Ornament Of The World:  How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created A Culture Of Tolerance In Medieval Spain

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

But, is it even possible...................?


...................."and a system of market socialism an attractive goal."

-as extracted from this Fredrik deBoer post

Who says there is no good news........?


   via

ringin' in song.....................


Mariah Carey..........................................................Christmas

A wintry wonderland...............................




.............................let it snow, let it snow, let it snow............












Having fun with.........................................



.................................................eminent domain, and other police powers the State has over real estate.  One no longer knows whether to laugh or cry.

Be careful..........................


..................................................................of those curbs.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Great moments in parenting................


"Hit it hard, boy, go find it, and hit it hard again."

-Arnold Palmer, quoting his father's advice about golf, from the opening sentence in A Life Well Played:  My Stories

On diversity........................................



To be fully educated, students should encounter not only Plato, but also Republicans.


We liberals are adept at pointing out the hypocrisies of Trump, but we should also address our own hypocrisy in terrain we govern, such as most universities: Too often, we embrace diversity of all kinds except for ideological. Repeated studies have found that about 10 percent of professors in the social sciences or the humanities are Republicans.


We champion tolerance, except for conservatives and evangelical Christians. We want to be inclusive of people who don’t look like us — so long as they think like us.


I fear that liberal outrage at Trump’s presidency will exacerbate the problem of liberal echo chambers, by creating a more hostile environment for conservatives and evangelicals. Already, the lack of ideological diversity on campuses is a disservice to the students and to liberalism itself, with liberalism collapsing on some campuses into self-parody.


-Nicholas Kristoff, as excerpted from here

What is it with Figgy Pudding............?


August Burns Red......................We Wish You A Merry Christmas



We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year

Good tidings we bring
To you and your kin
We wish you a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year

Now bring us some figgy pudding
Now bring us some figgy pudding
Now bring us some figgy pudding
And a cup of good cheer

We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some
So bring it right here


Figgy Pudding info right here

Be careful of genuflection...........


     In other words, the numerical, chronological age has no power within itself.  It is our beliefs about it, how we hold it in mind, and how we genuflect to all the belief systems that go with it and that we have bought into throughout the years that have power.  How is it that some people are dancing and performing at age eighty, and other people at age fifty-nine are ready for the grave?

-David R. Hawkins, Healing And Recovery

Resistant............................


     Messiness is often taken as a sign of weakness.  In a person it's regarded as a character flaw.  And most companies would be quick to assume that the less tightly organized a competitor is, the more vulnerable it is.  But in fact, disorder can confer certain kinds of strength - ... Because mess tends to loosely weave together disparate elements, messy systems are more resistant to destruction, failure, and imitation.  Neat systems tend to have more sharply defined strong and weak points, and thus are often brittle, easily foiled or disrupted, and easily copied.

-Eric Abrahamson and David Freedman,  A Perfect Mess:  The Hidden Benefits Of Disorder

Presence........................


     It is all too commonplace not to be mentally ill but to be stuck and languishing in life.  Positive mental health is presence:  the presence of positive emotion, the presence of engagement, the presence of meaning, the presence of good relationships, and the presence of accomplishment.  Being in a state of mental health is not merely being disorder free; rather it is the presence of flourishing.

-Martin E. P. Seligman,  Flourish:  A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Solid advice..........................


The advice of a solid old Anglican priest — back when the Anglicans had a use for solids — was to retain one’s balance. “Don’t try to do everything at once,” he said, after my conversion on that bridge over Thames. In particular, “Don’t try to believe everything at once. It is bigger than you, you shan’t be able to do it.” And, “Never abandon your scepticism. If it doesn’t make sense to you, leave it and get back to it later.” And, “The trick to walking, whether you are a babe or very drunk, is: one step at a time. Those who get ahead of themselves tend to fall over.”

-David Warren, as extracted from here

Equality at last...................




  via

You are on your own. I looked up the words....


..............................but still can't exactly explain what this means.
"What is funny is to watch the media try to interpret [Trump] through their prism of politics. It is like trying to understand the workings of a nuclear reactor through the prism of deconstructionist feminist semiotics."

Confused about the looming............


..................................................................public pension mess?   

David Merkel offers seven Central Errors that are casting a dark shadow over promises made.  As he notes,  "Pensions are promises. Sadly, promises are often broken. Choose your promiser with care…"   Full post is here.  Cherry-picked excerpts here:

"Before I start, remember that the rich get richer, and the poor poorer even among states.  Unlike what many will tell you though, it is not any conspiracy.  It happens for very natural reasons that are endemic in human behavior.  The so-called experts in this story are not truly experts, but sourcerer’s apprentices who know a few tricks, but don’t truly understand pensions and investing.  And from what little I can tell from here, they still haven’t learned.  I would fire them all, and replace all of the boards in question, and turn the politicians who are responsible out of office.  Let the people of South Carolina figure out what they must do here — I’m a foreigner to them, but they might want to hear my opinion."

"Forewarned is forearmed.  South Carolina is a harbinger of future problems, in their case made worse by opportunists who sold the idea of high-yielding investments to trustees that proved to be a bunch of rubes.  But the high returns were only needed because of the overly high promises made to state employees, and the unwillingness to levy taxes sufficient to fund them."

Phew..............................


.......................................................permission finally granted.

Run run reindeer...............................


The Beach Boys..............................................Little Saint Nick