Friday, February 17, 2012

The glory that is the English language....

David Kanigan points the way to a grammar lesson covering
twenty common mistakes.  If correct grammar is your thing,
please visit his source, Jon Gingerich.

The following is the best I could do on short notice.  Please note
that sometimes the correct word is in parenthesis and sometimes
it is not.  What a wondrous (wonderful)  language.  Enjoy:

A disinterested (uninterested) person might (may)
wonder if I was anxious (eager) for the golf tourney to begin. 
I had vowed the outcome was going to be different than
(different from) last year.  Since (Because) I had been
continuously (continually) practicing, I was hitting the ball
further (farther) and was using fewer (less) strokes tee to
green.   The new putter which (that) Santa gave me, has
made putting easier.  One affect (effect) of playing better is
that my Sweetie, who (whom) I love very much, let
(allowed) me to bring (take) my clubs on our weekend get
away.  Ironically (coincidentally) the question of 
whether (if) I should play or not was moot as I felt
nauseous (nauseated) after the bumpy plane ride and
never left our hotel room.  Anyway, back to the tourney.  
All that practice has been impactful.  I hope you will not be
upset nor jealous (envious) when I tell you, I  could win this

This is almost enough to make me........

...............want to Twitter - but not quite.  From Merlin Mann
comes a noteworthy collection of tweets.  To wit:

thanks Nicholas

Opening paragraph...........

The stories began a thousand years ago, but as stories they
hardly survive at all.  In Chaco Canyon, in what we now call
New Mexico, the remains of massive pueblos dominate the
landscape.  In the greater Mississippi Valley, what seem small
natural hills are in fact massive earthen mounds raised a
millennium ago by human hands.  Who built these places and
why are questions that remain shrouded in mystery.  The
structures in Chaco Canyon are attributed to those called
Anasazi (a Navajo slur meaning "Ancient Enemies") or, more
neutrally, "Ancestral Puebloans."  The creators of the eastern
earthworks are known only by the popular term
"Moundbuilders" or by the scholar's label "Mississippians." 
Fragmentary memories of these people survive in Native
American stories about past migrations and conflicts, but the
lack of clear references to the creators of such dramatic
structures is striking.   It is almost as is some trauma led to
cultural amnesia among those who came later.  Traditions
recited at Acoma Pueblo in the early twentieth century speak
of long-ago folk who were unhappy in their homes and
migrated to the south.  "It is not known how far they went,"
the story says, "but finally they stopped at a place where they
went through the ceremony of forgetting....and left their
sickness and trouble behind.

Daniel K. Richter,  Before the Revolution: America's Ancient Pasts

This is interesting....................

An approximation of the Consumer Price Index from 1800 until
2007.  The past forty years have established quite a trend. 
Source (and more legible graphic) is here,

"How To Profit From The Coming Boom In Apartment Real Estate"

While waiting for an afternoon appointment, I scanned through
our office library and found this so-titled gem of a pamphlet.
Written by Milton Klein, it was published by the Apartment
Management Newsletter.   The year was 1980.  It starts out
like this:

                         WHY THERE WILL BE A BOOM IN
                         APARTMENT RENTAL PROPERTY

     In the last 10 years, the economic rules under which we
live and work have changed.

     The average American can no longer expect his standard
of living to improve annually.  He must beware lest his hard
earned savings - perhaps his plan for a comfortable retire-
ment - are devoured by the ravening beast of the new

     The "new" inflation is to the old as a raging tiger is to a
kitten.  This fierce inflationary spiral claws away at the
financial security of each American in ways most of us only
dimly perceive.

     Don't expect Big Government to tame our inflationary

Thirty some years later, many plans for comfortable retirement
have been ravaged.  Partly because us folks fully bought into the
notion that real estate values always, and only, go up.  Ooops.

By way of full disclosure, for the past four years, our concern
has been deflation not inflation. 

Regardless,  Milton is correct in the essential argument.  For
many reasons it is a good time to invest in apartment real estate.   

Call us.

On gardening.............

A man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild: but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth.  If no useful seed are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed-seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.
-James Allen, As A Man Thinketh

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Anniversary Sweetie!

We really aren't a democracy, you know.....

thanks mungo

The Heart of Ethics

I believe that we have lost our sense of the importance of
morality because we have lost our bearing on what ethics is
all about.  Stephen Hawking has said that it is every
physicist's dream to some day discover one law of nature that
will ultimately explain absolutely everything, a law so simple
that it could be printed on a T-shirt, a bumper sticker, or a
business card.  In philosophy, we sometimes pursue similar
dreams.  It would be wonderful if we could come up with a
single characterization of ethics sufficient to explain what it's
really all about, and yet also simple enough for a T-shirt, a
bumper sticker, or a business card.
     Let me give it a try.  Ethics is all about:

                     IN SOCIALLY HARMONIOUS

-as excerpted from Tom Morris's If Aristotle Ran General
Motors: The New Soul of Business

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

In the second century of the Christian era, the Empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilized portion of mankind.  The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valor.  The gentle but powerful influence of laws and manners had gradually cemented the union of the provinces.  Their peaceful inhabitants enjoyed and abused the advantages of wealth and luxury.  The image of a free constitution was preserved with decent reverence:  the Roman senate appeared to possess the sovereign authority and devolved on the emperors all the executive powers of government,  During a happy period (A.D. 98-180) of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines,  It is the design of this, and of the two succeeding chapters, to describe the prosperous condition of their empire; and afterwards, from the death of Marcus Antoninus, to deduce the most important circumstances of its decline and fall; a revolution which will ever be remembered, and is still felt by the nations of the earth,

-Edward Gibbon,  The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:
Volume I

Hey Kurt......time for one more?

thanks jonco


Come on people, believe in your product.

We have often said we need a few more companies doing what
we do around here.  Rather than splitting a not-so-big pie, we'd
all be forced to bake a bigger one. Your basic win-win.

The sound of a whip cracking....................

The Execupundit highlights early TV shows that offered a history
lesson - some more accurately than others.  The major theme
appears to have been the rugged individualist and the opening of
the American west.  I had forgotten how much the genre of
"Westerns" dominated my early TV watching.  Michael suggested
we would probably be familiar with at least seven of the shows on
his list. I can remember thirty of them.  Perhaps that is a sign of a
misspent youth, but I don't think so.   Full list is here.


The crisis of unleadership.............

Mike Myatt ponders the "cheap imitation of the real thing by
those who are role playing, but are clearly not leading" and
the damage that follows poor leadership. 

Full post is here.   Excerpts here:

"Put simply, true leadership isn't about the leader"

"Society has allowed the practice of leadership to be
commoditized, which has made it all too common for non-
leaders to assume leadership positions thus continuing the
devolution of leadership as a practice."

"When it comes to leadership, it's not enough to be all you
can be, you must focus on helping others become all they
can be."

Thanks David

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

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

It was a provincial version of the grand entrance.  On June 20, 1775, Thomas Jefferson arrived in Philadelphia in an ornate carriage, called a phaeton, along with four horses and three slaves.  The roughly three-hundred-mile trip from Williamsburg had taken him ten days, in part because the roads were poor and poorly marked - twice he had been forced to hire guides to recover the route - and in part because he had dawdled in Fredericksburg and Annapolis to purchase extra equipment for his entourage.  As the newest and youngest member of Virginia's delegation to the Continental Congress, he obviously intended to uphold the stylish standard of the Virginia gentry, which the Philadelphia newspapers had recently described, with a mixture of admiration and apprehension, as those "haughty sultans of the South....."
-Joseph J.  Ellis
American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson

On the importance of systems.....

     "Every human being is born to be a creator.  During a lifetime each is able to create far more than he or she consumes.  When in any nation the aggregate of individual creativity is greater than the aggregate of individual consumption, the wealth of that nation increases.  The cause of wealth of nations is human creativity."

"......those who wish to liberate human beings from poverty within their nation should look to its primary resource, the minds and spirits of the citizens at the bottom of society.  The cause of wealth of nations is the empowerment of such persons.  To empower people is the indispensable first step toward rapid economic development."

".....Everywhere on earth human beings are capable of creativity.  But the systems that liberate that creativity are not so universal.  Whether a system of political economy liberates human creativity or inhibits it is the crucial factor."

-Michael Novak, This Hemisphere of Liberty

A funny thing happened on the way to the lecture...............

The Stand-up Economist explains the world:  sh*t happens.
More than several smiles, or your money back.

thanks greg


     Here's a key to understanding the management of time. 
Either you run your day or your day will run you.  It's really
a matter of deciding to be in charge.  You see, it's much too
easy to relinquish control, to hand over the reins of authority
and lose the ability to direct time.
     One of the best ways to start regaining control of our
time is to learn the most effective time-management word. 
Do you know what it is?  The word is "no."  Learn to say "no."

-Jim Rohn,  Seven Strategies for Wealth and Happiness

Being confronted with questions.........

.....................worth pondering is what happens when you follow
Michael Wade's blog every day.  I especially appreciated this one:

As good a reason as any.................

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day Sweetie

The Beatles............................................Michelle

Glad I did...........

artwork courtesy of

On idolatry.............

   So I say that when he quoted right, of course, he quoted the absolute truth.  "The love of money is the root of all evil."  He who tries to attain unto it too quickly, or dishonestly, will fall into many snares, no doubt about that.  The love of money.  What is that?  It is making an idol of money, and idolatry pure and simple everywhere is condemned in the Holy Scriptures and by man's common sense.  The man that worships the dollar instead of thinking of the purposes for which it ought to be used, the man who idolizes simply money, the miser that hordes his money in the cellar, or hides it in his stocking, or refuses to invest it where it will do the world good, that man who hugs the dollar until the eagle squeals has in him the root of all evil.
-as excerpted from Russell Conwell's Acres of Diamonds

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

The English language - so vast, so sprawling, so wonderfully
unwieldy, so subtle, and now in its never-ending fullness so
undeniably magnificent - is in its essence the language of
invasion.  It was always bound to be so: geology and
oceanography saw to it that the British Isles, since long
before their populated time, were indeed almost always
islands, and the ancestors of all who ever lived there first
arrived by sea from beyond, bringing with them their customs,
their looks - and their languages.
-Simon Winchester, The Meaning of Everything: The Story of
the Oxford English Dictionary

to blog, or not to blog............

On the importance of getting lost.........

"The closer man gets to the unknown, the more inventive he
becomes - the quicker he adopts new ways."
-Buckminster Fuller

To enter into the unknown (to partake in an experiment)
involves the willingness to full experience and study things we
don't understand, and to embrace that lack of understanding.

There are different ways of 'getting lost.'  There is the literal
lost, as in being lost in the woods unable to find your way
back to the starting point.  Or there are metaphorical
examples of being lost:  lost in one's head, a lost soul, lost in
time.  In the context of exploring we can think of it in terms
of 'existing in a state where you do not know exactly where
you are headed.'  In this sense we may choose to become
either literally lost, exploring a place we've never been before,
or lost in the sense that we enter into a relationship with
objects and ideas without knowing what the outcome will be.

-as excerpted from Keri Smith's How To Be An Explorer Of
The World:  Portable Art Life Museum

Continuous Education..........

Friend David has an extensive collection of The Teaching
Company's The Great Courses on CD.  He has been kind enough to allow me to dip into it from time to time.  Lately I've been listening to the Books That Have Made History: Books the Can Change Your Life series.  The authors of those life changing books included Plato, Mill, Malory, von Goethe, Thoreau, Gibbon, Acton, Cicero, Gandhi and Churchill.  Yeow.

So it was with great interest that I read this recent essay by Victor Davis Hanson (thanks to whoever led me there - my apologies for not remembering and crediting you). VDH reminds us that "the mind is a muscle.  Without exercise, it reverts to mush."  His solution - to read the great literature. 

"There is an arrogance of an age that comes with access always to better stuff. New technology prompts an assumption that there are always better things to come. Not true. Life was far better in Rome in AD 25 than in AD 425. Would you like to buy a house in Detroit today or in 1940? Me? I would rather drive down the central section of 101 in 1970 than tomorrow. Regress - material, intellectual, and moral - can be as common as progress, if each new generation proves a poor custodian of the laws, behavior, knowledge, and learning inherited from those now gone."

On friendship.............

     My definition of friendship varies with the friend, but certain traits are mandatory.  Friends can occupy the same room without robbing the space of solitude.  They appreciate the difference between conversation and pointless noise.  They don't snipe and bitch about other friends.  They do their share of the mundane tasks without prompting.  They seldom whine, are secure in their own purpose and don't anchor themselves to an energy-sapping cloud of defeat and ready-made excuses when a challenging project presents itself.
-Doc Ford, via Randy Wayne White's Dead Silence

Monday, February 13, 2012

Putting words in their mouths..............

Bottom-up change is a process.  A process that is difficult, often
dangerous, and time-consuming.  History makes me believe that,
when the most successful bottom-up changes have occurred,
those seeking the change occupied the high moral ground, and
further, they behaved in a manner that preserved their hold on
the moral high ground, while continually exposing those
defending the status quo as occupying the not-so-high moral
ground.  Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. come to
mind as practitioners of successful bottom-up change.

Part of my difficulty in seeing much good coming out of the recent
Occupy Wall Street movement was the seeming incoherence of
the message being delivered.  One of my early teachers instructed
that there is little power in being against something.  The power
comes from being for something bigger than yourself.  That sort
of power was not clearly on display last fall.

So, it was with great interest that I read the Business Pundit's
recent post, 10 Clearest Demands of Occupy Wall Street.  The
full post is here.   Rationale for the post here:

"One of the chief criticisms leveled at OWS by detractors
wasthat its message was garbled, incoherent, and the type
of socialism we hate except when its our Medicare.  On the
opposite side of the argument, there's the opinion that maybe
there is just so much wrong that it doesn't easily distill itself
down to a CNN-bullet point.  It may take some reading
between the lines, but here are the most salient points that
emerged from the admittedly schizophrenic protests."

a poem: for monday)

a total stranger one black day
knocked living the hell out of me -

who found forgiveness hard because
my(as it happened)self  he was

- but now that fiend and i are such
immortal friends the other's each

-edward estlin cummings

Happy Valentine's Eve Sweetie......

Righteous Brothers......................................Unchained Melody

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

Eldridge Tyler was driving a long straight two-lane road in
Nebraska when his cell phone rang.  It was very late in the
afternoon.  He was taking his granddaughter home after
buying her shoes.  His truck was a crew-cab Silverado the
color of a day-old newspaper, and the kid was flat on her
back in the small rear seat.  She was not asleep.  She was
lying there wide-awake with her legs held up.  She was
staring fascinated at the huge white sneakers wobbling
around in the air two feet above her face.  She was making
strange sounds with her mouth.  She was eight years old. 
Tyler figured she was a late developer.
-Lee Child,   Worth Dying For

A paean to Julian Simon.........

Julian Simon was the optimist's optimist.  His belief in better
things to come was directly tied to his faith in the creativity and
problem solving capacity of us humans.  Yesterday would have
been his 80th birthday.   The blog at Bleeding Heart
Libertarians asks us to remember his message - here

Excerpt here:

"What he demonstrated is that freedom is the precondition for human progress, and that this progress uplifted not just those at the top but particularly the least well off among us.  It also shows that the increasing wealth of the Western world has not, and need not, come at the expense of the poorer parts of the world.  Economic growth is a positive sum game and leads not to an increasing scarcity of resources and more difficulty in improving the lot of humanity, but to a world of abundance and longer, better, lives for all."


I have absolutely no idea...............

thanks jonco

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A path..................

thanks Jessica

The madness of the herd..............

More about burdens.............

No burden is he....................

The Hollies............................He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

A verse for Sunday..................

21  Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not
been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood
from the foundations of the earth?

22   It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its
inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the
heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to
dwell in.

23  He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges
of the earth useless.

24  Scarcely shall they be planted, scarcely shall they be sown,
scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth, when He will
also blow on them, and they will wither, and the whirlwind
will take them away like stubble.

25  “To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be
equal?” says the Holy One.

26  Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these
things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them
all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength
of His power; not one is missing.

27   Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: “My way
is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by
my God”?

28   Have you not known?  Have you not heard? The
everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the
earth, neither faints nor is weary.  His understanding is

29   He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no
might He increases strength.

30  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young
men shall utterly fall,

31  But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and
not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

The Holy Bible
New King James Version
Isaiah 40:21-31

A few snippets.......................

..................from the Ox Herding blog

The person no one wants to meet is very close to you.
It lives right inside your own skin.

I alone determine how I experience the world.

On faith.................

Is faith not the sense of the heart just as sight is the sense
of the eye?
-Kahlil Gibran, The Eye of the Prophet