Saturday, March 3, 2012

Friday night............

The Green Wave won the District crown last night.   Even
the casual observer would have to marvel at their team defense.
They are truly fun to watch.  Go team!


thanks nan

Informed or cultivated......?

"To be well informed, one must read quickly a great number of merely instructive books.  To be cultivated, one must read slowly and with a lingering appreciation the comparatively few books that have been written by men who lived, thought, and felt with style."
-Aldous Huxley

Sales the old fashioned way........

Nice to know that we're not the only ones using napkins.......

From Coy Davidson's The Tenant Advisor blog:

"The great problem solvers understand that face time with the client is critical because context is important.  I am as much of an early tech adopter as anyone in my industry, but technology is about efficiency not enhancing problem solving skills or developing a culture of collaboration.  I may be able to communicate with anyone, anywhere, anytime, but stuff still gets done on the back of a napkin over a cup of coffee."

About perspective.............

"Although most of us have five senses, two additional ones have special significance:  a sense of humor and a sense of perspective.  Out of these grows a natural outpouring of gratitude.  If we lack perspective, we also lack humor; we may become upset about small disappointments, broken expectations - about the imperfections or mistakes of others."

"Perspective also leads to a profound kind of humility, not in the sense of meekness, but in appreciating our place in the larger universe and the opportunity that live represents, whether or not it happens to be going well at the moment."

-Dan Millman,  Gratitude:  A Way of Life

On comfortable dysfunction.......

"What is normally considered to be power is not real power at all.  Chasing money, glamour, sex; wanting control over others - political and military power - all are manifestations of the ego.  They're often glorified forms of showing off; they dwell in the currency of the ego, and they often appeal only to other egos, so they're subject to people's whims.  A person can be rich and successful and still be very weak.  Money doesn't give you real strength; it just keeps you comfortable while you experience your dysfunction.  The world of the ego is brittle, fragile, and insecure; it never feels really safe, and it has no lasting worth.  The ego's world dies.  More often than not, it self-destructs."
-Stuart Wilde,  Silent Power

Rooting for orneriness.....

"In this century it seems to me that we need not just 'well-adjusted,' 'well-balanced' personalities, not just better groupers and conformers......but more idiosyncratic, unpredictable characters (that rugged frontier word, 'ornery,' occurs to me):  people who take open eyes and open minds out with them into the society they will share and help to transform."
-Adlai E, Stevenson

Friday, March 2, 2012


The art of living..............

“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.”
- L.P Jack

from the swissmiss blog

More than anything, what we really need now.....

........................... is some more of Soupy Sales

(well, if you really want more, try here, here, and especially here)

Inside out.....................

"Whatever  you're looking for must first be found within you, whether it be peace, happiness, riches or great accomplishments.  Everything we do outwardly is only an expression of what we are inwardly.  To ask for anything else is as absurd as looking for apples on an oak tree."
-Earl Nightingale

...better left undone....

As you educate yourself about your own talent and ambitions, you graduate from doing a task right to doing the right task.  It takes some experience to realize that a lot of work is better left undone.  It might be busywork that is performed out of habit, or it might be work that is heading in the wrong direction.  Working smart means making sure you are spending time on jobs that are effective and that actually need to be done.
-Kevin Kelly

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

The Russian colonel stepped out of the shadows slowly and carefully, even though he had seen and recognized the signal.  All meetings with his British controller were dangerous and had to be avoided if possible.  But this one he had asked for himself.  He had things to say, to demand, that could not be put in a message in a dead-letter box.  A loose sheet of metal on the roof of a shed down the railway line flapped and creaked in a puff of predawn May wind of that year, 1983.  He turned, established the source of the noise, and stared again at the patch of darkness near the locomotive turntable.

-Frederick Forsyth,  The Deceiver

The original instructor............

Close observation of a single subject, whether it is as small as Pasteur's microbes or as great as Einstein's universe, is the kind of work that happens less and less these days.  Glued to computer and TV screens, we have forgotten how to look at the natural world, the original instructor on how to be curious about detail.
-Jennifer New
as excerpted from How To Be An Explorer of the World

photo courtesy of mmescherzo


"Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
-George Washington, from his Farewell Address  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

About prestige.................

The Brain Pickings blog offers some insight on how to "find your purpose 
and do what you love".  Full read-worthy post is here.  Quick excerpt on 
the importance of avoiding the prestige trap is here:

"Prestige is especially dangerous to the ambitious. If you want to make 
ambitious people waste their time on errands, the way to do it is to bait 
the hook with prestige. That’s the recipe for getting people to give talks, 
write forewords, serve on committees, be department heads, and so on. 
It might be a good rule simply to avoid any prestigious task. If it didn’t 
suck, they wouldn’t have had to make it prestigious.”

A new habit?

Seth Godin proposes some changes to ponder....

Whims and fancies..............

     Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.  Their whims, fancies, and ambitions are thwarted at every step, but their inmost thoughts and desires are fed with their own food, be it foul or clean.  The "divinity that shapes our ends" is in ourselves; it is our very self.  Man is manacled only by himself:  thought and action are the jailers of Fate - they imprison, being base; they are also the angels of Freedom - they liberate, being noble.
-James Allen, As A Man Thinketh

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

A purple ocean, vast under the sky and devoid of all visible life apart from two minute ships racing across its immensity.  They were as close-hauled to the somewhat irregular north-east trades as ever they could be, with every sail they could safely carry and even more, their bowlines twanging taut:  they had been running like this day after day, sometimes so far apart that each saw only the other's topsails above the horizon, sometimes within gunshot; and when this was the case they fired at one another with their chasers.
-Patrick O'Brian,  The Wine-Dark Sea

"When you come............... the fork in the road, take it."   -Yogi Berra

thanks jonco

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

On risk avoidance.............

February 29th.........

Happy 22nd, Mom............

For more about Leap Year...........

for a more readable format, please visit

Books and covers.....................

From the Business Wisdom blog:

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

Marriage was once represented as a field of battle rather than a bed of roses, and perhaps there are many who may still support this view; but just as Dr Maturin had made a far more unsuitable match than most, so he set about dealing with the situation in a far more compendious, peaceable and efficacious way than the great majority of husbands.
-Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission

Spring is in the air..................

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Opportunity knocks............

Over the years we have acquired a few shuttered big box retail stores. Something just feels right about turning an non-productive building into a vibrant place of activity and commerce.  Seems like a win-win to us.  Plus, they are among our better investments.  So it was with great interest that we read this post from the CRE Console blog.  None of the 126 closed stores are in Ohio, and we don't travel as well as we used to, but these guys think like we do.   What an opportunity.  Somebody is going to have fun.

A certain point of view..................

Abbott and Costello have a go............

From Greg Mankiw's blog

COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment
 rate in America.
ABBOTT: Good "subject". Terrible "times". It's about 9%.
COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?
ABBOTT: No, that's 16%.
COSTELLO: You just said 9%.
ABBOTT: 9% Unemployed.
COSTELLO: Right 9% out of work.
ABBOTT: No, that's 16%.
COSTELLO: Okay, so it's 16% unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, that's 9%...
COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 9% or 16%?
ABBOTT: 9% are unemployed. 16% are out of work.
COSTELLO: If you are out of work you are unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, you can't count the "Out of Work" as the 
unemployed.  You have to look for work to be 
COSTELLO: But ... they are out of work!
ABBOTT: No, you miss my point.
COSTELLO: What point?
ABBOTT: Someone who doesn't look for work, can't be 
counted with those who look for work. It wouldn't be fair.
ABBOTT: The unemployed.
COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.
ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for 
work...Those who are out of work stopped looking. They 
gave up. And, if you give up, you are no longer in the 
ranks of the unemployed.
COSTELLO: So if you're off the unemployment roles, 
that would count as less unemployment?
ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!
COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because 
you don't look for work?
ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That's how you get 
to 9%. Otherwise it would be 16%.  You don't want to read 
about 16% unemployment do ya?
COSTELLO: That would be frightening.
ABBOTT: Absolutely.
COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means 
they're two ways to bring down the unemployment 
ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.
COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone 
gets a job?
ABBOTT: Correct.
COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if 
you stop looking for a job?
ABBOTT: Bingo.
COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment 
down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for 
ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like an economist.
COSTELLO: I don't even know what the hell I just said!

Hope they've been working on their business model..................

Full post, including this quote and this comment, from Mark Perry is here

Quote: It's another one of those huge Schumpeterian gales of 
creative destruction.   

Comment:  At 2/26/2012 9:24 PM, OpenID denbeste said...
The man to blame for this is Craig Newmark. Newspaper ad 
revenue fell off the cliff when Craigslist really hit its stride.

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

The news hit the British High Commission in Nairobi at nine-thirty on a Monday morning.  Sandy Woodrow took it like a bullet, jaw rigid, chest out, smack through his divided English heart.  He was standing.  That much he afterwards remembered.  He was standing and the internal phone was piping.  He was reaching for something, he heard the piping so he checked himself in order to stretch down and fish the receiver off the hook and say, "Woodrow."  Or maybe, "Woodrow here."  And he certainly barked his name a bit, he had that memory for sure, of his voice sounding like someone else's, and sounding stroppy:  "Woodrow here," his own perfectly decent name, but without the softening of his nickname Sandy, and snapped out as if he hated it, because the High Commissioner's usual prayer meeting was slated to start in thirty minutes prompt, with Woodrow, as Head of Chancery, playing in-house moderator to a bunch of special-interest prima donnas, each of whom wanted sole possession of the High Commissioner's heart and mind.

-John Le Carre,  The Constant Gardener

So many different suns.........

 These mist covered mountains 
Are a home now for me 
But my home is the lowlands 
And always will be 

Some day you'll return to 
Your valleys and your farms 
And you'll no longer burn 
To be brothers in arms 

Through these fields of destruction 
Baptisms of fire 
I've witnessed your suffering 
As the battles raged higher 

And though we were hurt so bad 
In the fear and alarm 
You did not desert me 
My brothers in arms 

There's so many different worlds 
So many different suns 
And we have just one world 
But we live in different ones 

Now the sun's gone to hell 
And the moon's riding high 
Let me bid you farewell 
Every man has to die 

But it's written in the starlight 
And every line on your palm 
We're fools to make war 
On our brothers in arms

 -Mark Knopfler

Work yet to be done...............

     In short, humans were not created to be receivers only, or clients only, but also creators.  God gave them minds and imaginations, as well as courage and a zest for trial and error.  He implanted in them a desire to better their condition, for their families and for the whole of human society.  The creation of wealth is a social task and the supportive efforts of all are necessary to its accomplishment.  It is especially necessary for the poor.  Since we now know that wealth can be created in a sustained and systematic way, then - given the immense suffering of so many poor - economic development has become a moral obligation.  We are obliged to work to shape institutions and systems that permit its flourishing.  The cost, otherwise, is widespread misery, from which so much of the world today, lacking such institutions, unnecessarily suffers.
     Both the traditionalist economic vision and the Socialist economic vision have proved inadequate.  The capacity of capitalist and democratic systems to raise up hundreds of millions of the poor has been abundantly proved.  Such systems to not promise, or deliver, paradise on earth.  They are but instruments of our larger moral and cultural purposes.  But it is precisely the leaders and thinkers of the moral and cultural sectors of the free societies that have been most deficient in grasping the moral and spiritual possibilities these novel systems of political economy have opened before us.  The thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment achieved an unprecedented revolution in the human ethos, whose spiritual possibilities have yet to be realized.  It is my hope that moral and cultural leaders, philosophers and poets, theologians and prelates, will awaken from their slumbers, grasp these possibilities, and fashion from them maxims of practical moral guidance, for which so many economic activists are manifestly thirsty.

Michael Novak, This Hemisphere of Liberty

Monday, February 27, 2012


"We are lovers of truth, but also lovers of much else; and 
it is hard to keep the competing loves from interfering 
with each other."

-Brand Blanshard,  Four Reasonable Men

About sauntering..................


    I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks, - who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering:  which word is beautifully derived from "idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked for charity, under the pretence of going `a la Sainte Terre," to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, "There goes a Sainte-Terrer," a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander.  They who never go to the Holy Land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds; but they who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean.  Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre, without land or home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere.  For this is the secret of successful sauntering.  He who sits still in a house all the time bay be the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea.  But I prefer the first, which, indeed, is the most probable derivation.  For every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us, to go forth and reconquer this Holy Land from the hands of the Infidels.

-Henry David Thoreau, from his 1862 essay Walking

photo courtesy of

The rose-colored glasses are coming out......

It is difficult for a normally optimistic industry to stay pessimistic
for long.  Home builders have been gaining confidence for the
past five months.  Let's hope this trend continues.  Have I told
you lately that we have some wonderful building lots for sale?

In case you are curious about what this index means
and how it gets calculated, go here.

The young apprentice................

The Police........................Wrapped Around Your Finger

You consider me the young apprentice
Caught between the Scylla and Charybdis 
Hypnotized by you if I should linger 
Staring at the ring around your finger 

I have only come here seeking knowledge 
Things they would not teach me of in college 
I can see that destiny you sold 
Turned into a shining band of gold 

I'll be wrapped around your finger 
I'll be wrapped around your finger 

Mephistopheles is not your name 
I know what you're up to just the same 
I will listen hard to your 'tuition 
You will see it come to it's fruition

 I'll be wrapped around your finger 
I'll be wrapped around your finger 

 Devil and the deep blue sea behind me 
Vanish in the air you'll never find me
 I will turn your flesh to alabaster 
Then you'll find your servant is your master 

Oh, you'll be wrapped around my finger 
You'll be wrapped around my finger 
You'll be wrapped around my finger 


From the not-so-Simple Village Undertaker...........

................comes this beauty.   Visit Ray's blog here

Sunday, February 26, 2012


     The Hindoos assert, that if the Author of the Universe preferred one religion to another, that only could prevail of which he approved; because to presume such preference while we see so many different religions would be the height of impiety, as it would be supposing injustice towards those he left ignorant of his will; and they therefore conclude, that every religion is particularly adapted to the country and the people where it is practiced, and that all in their original purity are equally acceptable to God.

-an unattributed quote from The Carcanet

A matched pair.............

"A vision without a task is but a dream.  A task without
a vision is drudgery.  A vision and a task are the hope
of the world."

-anonymous, but excerpted from Zig Ziglar's collection,
Inspiration: 365 Days A Year

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

     Twenty years after the Napoleonic War, and Britain, once fearful but now proud in her isolation, stood alone as the dominant power in the world,  Watchdog of the seven seas, workshop foreman of the world, welder of empires, her position appeared invulnerable.  Already historically minded Europeans were comparing their century to that one other period in human history when concentrated power had brought order and security to turbulent civilization - the second century after Christ - and, either in pride or in envy, were calling their age Pax Britannica.

Joseph Frazier Wall,  Andrew Carnegie

Sunday's Verse.................

3   Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother  
trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he 
repent, forgive him.

 4  And if he trespass against thee seven times 
in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to 
thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

 5  And the apostles said unto the Lord, 
Increase our faith.

 6  And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain 
of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine 
tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou 
planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

 7   But which of you, having a servant plowing or 
feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when
 he is come from the field, Go and sit down to 

 8  And will not rather say unto him, Make ready 
wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve 
me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward 
thou shalt eat and drink?

 9  Doth he thank that servant because he did the 
things that were commanded him? I trow not.

 10  So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all 
those things which are commanded you, say, We 
are unprofitable servants: we have done that 
which was our duty to do.

 11  And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, 
that he passed through the midst of Samaria and 

 12  And as he entered into a certain village, 
there met him ten men that were lepers, 
which stood afar off:

 13  And they lifted up their voices, and said, 
Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

 14  And when he saw them, he said unto them, 
Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came 
to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

 15  And one of them, when he saw that he was 
healed, turned back, and with a loud voice 
glorified God,

 16  And fell down on his face at his feet, giving 
him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

 17  And Jesus answering said, Were there not 
ten cleansed? but where are the nine?

 18  There are not found that returned to give 
glory to God, save this stranger.

 19  And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: 
thy faith hath made thee whole.

 20  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, 
when the kingdom of God should come, he 
answered them and said, The kingdom of God 
cometh not with observation:

 21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!
 for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

-Luke 17:3-21
The Holy Bible,  King James Version


I reach the Integral Way of uniting with
the great and mysterious Tao.
My teachings are simple;  if you try to 
make a religion or science of 
them, they will elude you.
Profound yet plain, they contain the
entire truth of the universe.

Those who wish to know the whole truth
take joy in doing the work and
service that comes to them.
Having completed it, they take joy in
cleansing and feeding themselves.
Having cared for others and for
themselves, they then turn 
to the master for instruction.

This simple path leads to peace, virtue, and abundance.

-Verse 1
Hua Hu Ching:  The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu
Brian Walker

Lit up from within.................

     Whether you say "The kingdom of God is within" as Jesus did (in Luke 17:21) or that we all have innate Buddha nature as Tibetans do, in the end, doesn't it come down to the same thing:  We are all lit up from within as if from a sacred source.  Even a child can experience it.  Amazing!
     In other words, don't seek externally for fulfillment; rather turn the searchlight inward.  "Hey, what are you gawking at?  Don't you see, it's all about you!"  the twentieth-century Zen master Sawaki Roshi once said.  It's a fact: You're not going to find truth outside yourself.  Not through lovers or mates, not with friends, not with family, and certainly not through material success.  The only place you are going to be able to find your truth is in your genuine spiritual center.  Truth is found by living truly - in your own authentic way.

-Lama Surya Das,  Awakening the Buddha Within

How are we doing.....?

"Mutual education, in a large sense of the word, is one of the great and incessant occupations of human society, carried on partly with set purpose, and partly not.  One generation forms another; and the existing generation is ever acting and reacting upon itself in the persons of its individual members."
-John Henry Newman,  The Idea of a University