Saturday, March 4, 2017

It happens every Spring (so far).............




Ingenious beams of speculation..............


     Well, in an effort to cope with the incomprehensibility of infinite reality, we ever-curious, ever-pondering, compulsively controlling Homo sapiens create theoretical models.  These models are ingenious beams of speculation that we use to penetrate and define the dark mysteries of boundless existence.   Sometimes elegantly structured, usually self-confirming, our models are like the headlights of a car, designed to light our way.  Whatever is illuminated becomes our truth, and we organize our lives around it.  But this light we create can also blind us.   Too often we are blinded into believing that our models are the whole reality, forgetting that they are simply useful fact/fantasy coping devices.

-Gordon MacKenzie, Orbiting The Giant Hairball:  A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving With Grace

Us Boomers............................


.....................................................is there nothing we can't do?

via

Flow...............................




He sticks to this traditional custom because he knows from experience that the preparations for working put him simultaneously in the right frame of mind for creating.  The meditative repose in which he performs them gives him that vital loosening and equability of all his powers, that collectedness and presence of mind, without which no right work can be done.  Sunk without purpose in what he is doing, he is brought face to face with that moment when the work, hovering before him in ideal lines, realizes itself ass if of its own accord.  As the steps and postures in archery, so here in modified form other preparations have the same meaning.  And only where this does not apply, as for instance with religious dancers and actors, are the self-recollection and self-immersion practiced before they reach the stage.
     As in the case of archery, there can be no question but that these arts are ceremonies.  More clearly that the teacher could express in words, they tell the pupil that the right frame of mind for the artist is only reached when the preparing and the creating, the technical and the artistic, the material and the spiritual, the project and the object, flow together without a break.

-Eugen Herrigel,  Zen in the Art of Archery

archer via

Well, yeah..............................






















via

Observations...................


4.   Think more of your habits than of your plans.


Gone, but not forgotten.....................


Mitch Miller................................................Sing Along With Mitch

Tilting at a few windmills today..........


Don Quixote     Picasso     sketch    1955


Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind.


-Michel Legrand

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


The Music Explosion........................................Little Bit O' Soul

Keep a weather eye.....................

Winslow Homer         The Lookout - "All's Well
Oil on canvass                   1896


“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Self-appraisal.......................

























I'm not a great actor - let's face it. I don't have a great deal of scope. There are certain things I can do, but when I'm bad, I stink. There's something about my shaggy dog eyes that makes people think I'm good. I'm not all that good. 

-Steve McQueen

photo via

Creation.................................

























“I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up in the morning and see the light.” 

"A painting is music you can see and music is a painting you can hear."

"If you sacrifice your art because of some woman, or some man, or for some color, or for some wealth, you can't be trusted."

-Miles Davis

image via

The primer.......................


.....................................you always wanted on Pigovian taxes.

Gone, but not forgotten..............


Fontella Bass.............................................................Rescue Me

On liking Mark Cuban...............


.......................................................more now than I used to:

Question:  Do you have a list of books that you would recommend for them to read?

Answer:  In terms of books that I would recommend - all of them.

Me too...........................


"I’ve always thought it’s insane how personal finance isn’t a mandatory subject taught in every school to our young people."

-Ben Carlson, as extracted from here

Of course, if I'm honest, I also think I should have done a better job teaching money to my own kids.

There is no accounting for people.............


 "It was nevertheless shocking to learn this weekend that Trump ordered a $54 dry-aged strip steak well done, with ketchup. At every step, this is tragic."

-as culled from here

via

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


The Supremes.........................................................Reflections

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Bootlegging soda pop..........................


.......................(and here you thought entrepreneurism was dying):

That will likely drive two changes in consumer behavior. First, Philadelphia consumers who are mobile will be able to avoid the tax and purchase the sweetened beverages they demand from retailers outside Philadelphia. Second, the gap between the retail cost of beverages with and without the tax is such that it will encourage bootlegging, where beverages purchased legally outside of Philadelphia will be transported into the city and resold at a profit without having Philadelphia's beverage tax imposed upon them, further reducing taxed beverage sales in the city. And that latter activity is only just getting started....

-as culled from this post which contains lots of fun graphics

Warhol............................




Warhol — who hobnobbed with both the marginal and the 1 percent — crossed paths with Donald Trump and his then wife, Ivana, in 1981 at a party for the infamous power broker Roy Cohn. Later, Andy discussed with Trump the possibility of doing paintings of Trump Tower. "I don't know why I did so many, I did eight," Andy noted in his diary on August 5. "In black and grey and silver which I thought would be so chic for the lobby. But it was a mistake to do so many, I think it confused them." He addressed another possibility further down the entry: "I think Trump's sort of cheap."

-As excerpted from this essay on Warhol, noting his early and untimely passing in 1987.

via        wiki on Trump Tower here

The Great Persuader strikes again................


Trump did a High Ground Maneuver by referring to many of the criticisms of his administration as “trivial.” Now the people who keep making such criticisms are defining themselves to be in the unimportant part of the conversation. That is super-strong persuasion that I think most people missed. It’s a trap. Wait for more “trivial” criticisms, with the President’s supporters calling them out as they happen. It will make the critics look small and unimportant.

-Scott Adams, as lifted from here

Gone, but not forgotten.............


Wolfman Jack...........................................just being the Wolfman

The $74 Trillion global economy in one handy chart.........................................






















larger and easier to read version here.

via

Raise your hand if you knew..........


...............The United States Marine Corps has a reading list.

Full list can be found by clicking on the blue boxes on the left side of this page.  2016 update may be found here.

thanks craig

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


The Hollies.........................................................On A Carousel

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

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


The Washerwomen, Eragny,  1897         Camille Pissarro             Oil





















“The whole world is beautiful, the art is in the seeing.”

-Camille Pissarro

A way of being.............................


“Love is misunderstood to be an emotion; actually, it is a state of awareness, a way of being in the world, a way of seeing oneself and others.” 

-David R. Hawkins

Gone, but not forgotten.............


Carl Wilson.......................................................God Only Knows

Well, good..................................


 “Americans have combined human ingenuity, a market system, a tide of talented and ambitious immigrants, and the rule of law to deliver abundance beyond any dreams of our forefathers,”

-as quoting from Warren Buffett's latest annual report

via

Even though I never watch.................


..................................... award shows, rarely go to the movies, and haven't seen an Oscar winning movie since 2010,  I am suspecting that this is really funny.

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


The Cowsills........................The Rain, The Park & Other Things

Tough choices.............................


When they look at any part of the world, Americans ask: Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?   In most places, there aren’t good guys and bad guys.   There are just bad guys and worse guys.

-Spengler, as excerpted from here

Monday, February 27, 2017

Checking in.............................


.....................................................with Winslow Homer.

Homework                      1874         Watercolor

If I Could Tell You....................


Time will say nothing but I told you so 
Time only knows the price we have to pay; 
If I could tell you I would let you know. 

If we should weep when clowns put on their show, 
If we should stumble when musicians play, 
Time will say nothing but I told you so. 

There are no fortunes to be told, although, 
Because I love you more than I can say, 
If I could tell you I would let you know. 

The winds must come from somewhere when they blow, 
There must be reason why the leaves decay; 
Time will say nothing but I told you so. 

Perhaps the roses really want to grow, 
The vision seriously intends to stay; 
If I could tell you I would let you know. 

Suppose the lions all get up and go, 
And the brooks and soldiers run away; 
Will Time say nothing but I told you so? 
If I could tell you I would let you know.


-Wystan Hugh Auden, 1940

Ed. Note:  I'll bet you didn't know that If I Could Tell You was a villanelle.

On creativity..........................


“What is the biggest obstacle to creativity? Attachment to outcome. As soon as you become attached to a specific outcome, you feel compelled to control and manipulate what you're doing and in the process you shut yourself off to other possibilities. Creativity is not just about succeeding. It's about experimenting and discovering.” 

-Gordon MacKenzie, as borrowed from Orbiting the Giant Hairball:  A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace

On success...................................










       via

Freedom vs Security..................









Gone, but not forgotten...............


Harry Nilsson..............................................Everybody's Talkin'

Can I get another Amen!.......................?






   via

Has anyone started taking up a collection....?



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


Petula Clark.........................................................This Is My Song

Late to the party.............................again.


Yesterday was National Tell A Fairy Tale Day.   Sorry I missed it.  In case you want to make amends and read a fairy tale to someone today, here is a handy reference.  On a related note, am I the only one who thinks that the Brothers Grimm were fairly strange folk?


Sunday, February 26, 2017

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


Like most small children, I learned my home address so that if I got lost, I could tell a grown-up where to take me.  In kindergarten, when the teacher asked me where I lived, I could recite the address without skipping a beat, even though my mother changed addresses frequently, for reasons I never understood as a child.  Still, I always distinguished "my address" from "my home."  My address was where I spent most of my time with my mother and sister, wherever that might be.  But my home never changed:  my great-grandmother's house, in the holler, in Jackson, Kentucky.
     Jackson is a small town of about six thousand in the heart of southeastern Kentucky's coal country.  Calling it a town is a bit charitable:  There's a courthouse, a few restaurants - almost all of them fast-food chains - and a few other shops and stores.  Most of the people live in the mountains surrounding Kentucky Highway 15, in trailer parks, in government-subsidized housing, in small farmhouses, and in mountain homesteads like the one that served as the backdrop for the fondest memories of my childhood.

J. D. Vance,  Hillbilly Elegy:  A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

I'll admit it's pretty cool.................


.....................................but, just wondering how many beers were required to come up with the idea?

Gone, but not forgotten............


Major Lance..........................................................Hey Little Girl

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


2And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.
43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
-The Holy Bible, Luke 6:20-49, King James Version

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


“Woke up this morning with a terrific urge to lie in bed all day and read.” 

-Raymond Carver

People in grief will fight for a cure........


..........................Please read the "Dear Warren" letter from Bill and Melinda Gates updating him on the fantastic returns on one of the biggest investments Buffett ever made.

via

On love.............................


“I will love you forever" swears the poet.  I find this easy to swear too.  "I will love you at 4:15 pm next Tuesday"  -  Is that still as easy?” 

-W. H. Auden

the earth trembles..................


If life cannot be destroyed for good, then neither can history be brought entirely to a halt. A secret streamlet trickles on beneath the heavy cover of inertia and pseudo-events, slowly and inconspicuously undercutting it. It may be a long process, but one day it must happen: the cover will no longer hold and will start to crack.

This is the moment when once more something visibly begins to happen, something truly new and unique, something unscheduled in the official calendar of "happenings," something that makes us no longer indifferent to what occurs and when-something truly historic, in the sense that history again demands to be heard.

-Vaclav Havel, as excerpted from this letter to Gustav Husak

The King of one-liners..............


...........................a tiny sampling from Oscar Wilde:

“I am not young enough to know everything.” 

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” 

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” 

“Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.”

“We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.” 

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


Bobby Vinton.....................................Please Love me Forever