Saturday, March 17, 2012

Proud of my generation.............

Canned Heat..................Going Up the Country/Woodstock

Tax simplification....

thanks jonco


From The Sales Blog comes this reminder that it is not supposed to be a cakewalk:

"If you don’t have issues, you aren’t working deals. Your opportunities come with challenges and obstacles. Part of what we do to create value for our clients and for our companies is to help them navigate these issues. We are resourceful and we find a way through these obstacles.

"They take a step left. You take a step right. And soon, you’re dancing."


"Ye cannot live for yourselves; a thousand fibres connect you with your fellow-men, and along those fibres, as along sympathetic threads, run your actions as causes, and return to you as effects."
-Henry Melvill, often misattributed to Herman Melville 

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

"In 1980, a year after my wife leapt to her death from the Silas Pearlman Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina, I moved to Italy to begin life anew, taking our small daughter with me.  Our sweet Leah was not quite two when my wife, Shyla, stopped her car on the highest point of the bridge and looked over, for the last time, the city she loved so well.  She had put on the emergency brake and opened the door of our car, then lifted herself up to the rail of the bridge with a delicacy and enigmatic grace that was always Shyla's catlike gift.  She was also quick-witted and funny, but she carried within her a dark side that she hid with bright allusions and an irony as finely wrought as lace.  She had so mastered the strategies of camouflage that her own history has seemed a series of well-place mirrors that kept her hidden from herself.
-Pat Conroy,  Beach Music

On scheduling..............

Friday, March 16, 2012

It's complicating............

You know, people just don't talk that way anymore

"Swift's seems to me to be as good a name to point a moral or adorn a tale of ambition, as any hero's that ever lived and failed.  But we must remember that the morality was lax - that other gentlemen besides himself took the road in his day - that public society was in a strange disordered condition, and the State was ravaged by other condottieri.  The Boyne was being fought and won, and lost - the bells rung in William's victory, in the very same tone with which they would have pealed for James's.  Men were loose upon politics, and has to shift for themselves.  They, as well as old beliefs and institutions, had lost their moorings and gone adrift in the storm.  As in the South Sea Bubble, almost everybody gambled; as in the Railway mania - not many centuries ago - almost every one took his unlucky share:  a man of that time, of the vast talents and ambition of Swift, could scarce do otherwise than grasp at his prize, and make his spring at his opportunity.  His bitterness, his scorn, his rage, his subsequent misanthropy, are ascribed by some panegyrists to the deliberate conviction of mankind's unworthiness, and a desire to amend them by castigating.  His youth was bitter, as that of a great genius bound down by ignoble ties, and powerless in a mean dependence; his age was bitter, like that of a great genius that had fought the battle and nearly won it, and lost it, and thought of it afterwards writhing in a lonely exile.  A man may attribute to the gods, if he likes, what is caused by his own fury, or disappointment, or self-will.  What public man - what statesman projecting a coup - what king determined on an invasion of his neighbor - what satirist meditating an onslaught on society or an individual, can't give a pretext for his move?"

-William Makepeace Thackeray,
excerpted from his essay Jonathan Swift

OK, Coach...........

Yesterday's Al McGuire quote was so much fun, it seemed just right to give him another shot:

"Don't call me son unless you're going to include me in your will."

"I don't know why people question the academic training of an athlete.  Fifty percent of the doctors in this country graduated in the bottom half of their classes."

"I think the world is run by 'C' students."

"I'm an Einstein of the streets and an Oxford scholar of common sense."

"When I was losing they called me nuts.  When I was winning they called me eccentric."

"Winning is only important in war and surgery."

"You know what pressure is?  It's when the cheerleaders are jumping and you don't notice their breasts."

A pause to refresh...............

 Ryan Holiday suggests that we focus on our philosophy, here and here.  Excerpts here:
"I knew that philosophy requires work and self-criticism and one inevitable conclusion – that my problems were almost entirely my own fault. Their resolution requires an active process that only I can initiate."
"Stop and evaluate. Read something that challenges, instead of informs...........We must turn to the practical, to the spiritual exercises of great men and actively use them.  It’s the only way we’ll get anything out of the rest of our efforts.   It simple: stop learning (or “working”) for a second and refine."

Impenetrable folds..................

"We can see well into the past; we can guess shrewdly in to the future; but that which is rolled up and muffled in impenetrable folds is today."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Change a habit.........?

About that thinking..............

Well schooled, but bored nonetheless.....

thanks Nan

"Wood fairies and forest elves.........."

WRM reminds us that "wars on arithmetic never end well."

"The trouble with math, of course, is that it is so implacable. You can tell it anything you want; the numbers don’t change. If you don’t put enough money away, and it doesn’t grow as fast as you tell yourself it will grow, you won’t have enough money when the time comes to write the checks."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

OK, Coach................

"I think everyone should go to college and get a degree and then spend six months as a bartender and six months as a cabdriver.  Then they would really be educated." 
 -Al McGuire

Shining like a diamond............

Bon Jovi...........................................Have a Nice Day


Remember: while pessimism may be trendy, for the best results over the long haul, bet on the optimist

Joel Kotkin and  Shashi Parulekar, in an essay at the 
City Journal blog,  point out the obvious:  

"In sum, post-financial-crisis reports of the Anglosphere’s 
imminent irrelevance have been exaggerated—wildly."

Full post is here

examine, watch, observe, and inspect....

"It is dangerous for a man too suddenly or too easily to believe himself.  Wherefore let us examine, watch, observe, and inspect our own hearts, for we ourselves are our greatest flatterers.  We should every night call ourselves to an account:  What infirmity have I mastered today?  What passions opposed!  What temptation resisted?  What virtue acquired? Our vices will abort of themselves if they be brought every day to the shrift.  Oh, the blessed sleep that follows such a diary!  Oh the tranquillity, liberty, and greatness of that mind which is a spy upon itself, and a private censor upon its own manners."
-Seneca,  Seneca's Morals   

...almost all the way....

"Ninety percent of the world's woe comes from people not knowing themselves, their abilities, their frailties, and even their real virtues.  Most of us go almost all the way through life as complete strangers to ourselves."
-Sydney J. Harris

Salespeople of the world, Unite!

The steering wheel desk.  Is this a great product or what?

story here

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The glories of the Intertunnel.......

A friend of a friend of a friend of a friend.  That's sort of how it feels as one navigates the links from links of links.  Pat started me reading Kurt who sent me to David (and lots of other places) who sent me to Len.  There is like zero probability I would have found my way to Waldronpond any other way.  As the wise men have said, half the fun is in the journey.   Below is the conclusion of Len Waldron's essay "Chasing Salmon R. Steelhead and the Market."   Full essay is here.   Enjoy:

OK, Coach...............

"Wax on, right hand. Wax off, left hand. Wax on, wax off. 
Breathe in through nose, out the mouth. Wax on, wax off. 
Don't forget to breathe, very important.
Wax on, wax off. Wax on, wax off."
-Pat Morita, as Mr. Miyagi

When I drink alone I prefer to be by myself

George Thorogood and the Destroyers................I Drink Alone

volume up


"During my eighty-seven years I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions.  But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think.
-Bernard M. Baruch

Opening paragraphs.......

"Among sayings that have a currency in spite of being wholly false upon the face of them for the sake of a half-truth upon another subject which is accidentally combined with error, one of the grossest and broadest conveys the monstrous proposition that it is easy to tell the truth and hard to tell a lie."
-Robert Louis Stevenson, from his essay Truth of Intercourse

A tax that's not a tax but is a tax.......

Ah...............The world of high finance.  Newmark's Door opens to an essay by Carmen Reinhart suggesting that debt will be weighing heavily on decision-making processes for a long time to come.  Can't say that is much of a surprise,   Full essay here.  Excerpts here:
Faced with a private and public domestic debt overhang of historic proportions, policy makers will be preoccupied with debt reduction, debt management, and, in general, efforts to keep debt-servicing costs manageable. 

As they have before in the aftermath of financial crises or wars, governments and central banks are increasingly resorting to a form of “taxation” that helps liquidate the huge overhang of public and private debt and eases the burden of servicing that debt.

Such policies, known as financial repression, usually involve a strong connection between the government, the central bank and the financial sector. In the U.S., as in Europe, at present, this means consistent negative real interest rates (yielding less than the rate of inflation) that are equivalent to a tax on bondholders and, more generally, savers.

Not to worry................

"You can get all A's and still flunk life."
-Walker Percy

Hate it when that happens...........

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Why wait..............?

"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

...and subvert the republic....

     The beginning of the new year brought further glad tidings.  When the federal accounts were tallied on January 1, 1835, the United States government was no longer in debt.  Jackson had been paying down the debt since his first day in office, in the Jeffersonian belief that the debt was a Federalist plot to fatten bankers and subvert the republic.  After six years, his administrative reforms and spending vetoes paid off in this proud accomplishment, which gave the lie to charges that a democracy could never control its fiscal appetites.

-H. W. Brands, Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times

Reasons for hope.....................#23

#23:  These kids will be just fine.

Jordan goes to my daughter's high school.  Every so often we
find music that we both like. This is one of those songs.  Enjoy.

You got to be yourself
Don't let anyone else
Tell you who you are.

Jordan Riley........................................................Storming


"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;  It tolls for thee."
-excerpted from John Donne's The Tolling Bell - A Devotion

Sorry Dan...............

"Would I send a boy to college?  Well, at the age when a boy
is fit to be in college I wouldn't have him around the house."
-Finley Peter Dunne

Monday, March 12, 2012

OK, Coach..................

"This quitting thing,  it's a hard habit to break once you start."
-Morris Buttermaker, aka Walter Matthau

thanks Walker

Reasons for hope...........#47

#47:  The app business.  A decade ago, nothing.  Today, 
almost anything.  The creativity, ingenuity, and instinctive 
entrepreneurialness of the species (when give the liberty to 
use it) is one of our saving graces.  The Pro Commerce 
blog highlights it here.  Excerpt here:

That day has arrived. There are tens of thousands of 
people making a living in the apps business.

What is so stunning about this business is that an individual 

can create their own business by combining modest 
academic skills with insight into human needs.

That tells me this will become a gigantic business category 

in a relatively short period of time.

Some thoughts on happiness.......

"Remember, happiness doesn't depend on who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think."
-Dale Carnegie

"Seek to do good and you will find that happiness will run after you."
-James Freeman Clarke

"The happiness of most people we know is not ruined by great catastrophes or fatal errors, but by the repetition of slowly destructive little things."
-Ernest Dimnet

"Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response."
-Mildred Barthel

"A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes."
-Hugh Downs

"Happiness is not in our circumstance but in ourselves.  It is not something we see, like a rainbow, or feel, like the heat of a fire.  Happiness is something we are."
-John D. Sheerin

How to succeed in business..............

Try the old fashioned the work. From our friend Greg at Sippican Cottage comes this beauty - a re-run, but a beauty none-the-less.  The main course is here:

I was a middle manager. I helped make them a lot of money while everyone else lost it by the bushel. They hired consultants to restructure, and the consultants were instructed to ask me how I did it. I sat in front of them and got the same feeling an ugly puppy must get when the vivisectionist visits the dog pound. Some things are not amenable to being pulled apart for inspection. The components only work when they are working together.

I told them I didn't do anything. I let other people do it. I told them that when the customers called, we always answered the phone, and asked them what they wanted. I told the estimators to accurately determine what it would cost us to perform the required work. I submitted the bids on time and told the customer I wanted the job. If they said someone else was cheaper I instructed them to hire them, and to please keep us in mind for the future. I kept accurate track of how we were doing, and made sure we charged for all the work we performed. And I directed that we deliver the jobs on-time no matter what. When I ran out of one kind of work, I looked for work that was similar to the kind we already knew how to do. I hired good people and I trusted them, while expecting a lot from them.

That was it. They seemed disappointed. They were looking for a slogan of some sort, I think. They promoted me, and I left.

Less trying, more doing................

A poem for Monday..........

     The Future

For God's sake, be done
with this jabber of "a better world."
What blasphemy!  No 'futuristic"
twit or child thereof ever
in embodied light will see
a better world than this, though they
foretell inevitably a worse.
Do something!  Go cut the weeds
beside the oblivious road.  Pick up
the cans and bottles, old tires,
and dead predictions.  No future
can be stuffed into this presence
except by being dead.  The day is
clear and bright, and overhead
the sun not yet half finished
with his daily praise.

-Wendell Berry


Sunday, March 11, 2012

On needs and wants............

"When you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, the day will come when you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them."
-Zig Ziglar

weeping guitars.....................

Carlos Santana...........................

The Beatles.............................. Jeff Healey.............................. Prince, et. al..........................

From the Ragamuffin..............

Mother Teresa once said, “If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.” Praise won’t contribute to your pride because you know you’re a ragamuffin, dust apart from Christ. Disgrace will not plunge you into despair because you know the Creator loves you to an illogical degree and has declared you an adopted child.
The acceptance of a million people will not change that one bit. The rejection of a million people will not change that one bit. So why do we chase after the voices of the world when they have no bearing on anything regarding our identity? If they are based in truth, they can’t tell us anything regarding it that Christ already hasn’t. If they are based in lies, there’s no point in giving them any mind.
Gaining a hundred pounds won’t change that. Losing every cent I own won’t change that. Die married, die single. God is Father. Become wealthy, become impoverished. Christ is still loving. Achieve admiration, achieve rejection. The Holy Spirit is still within me.
As long as I am faithful, nothing that happens, nothing anyone says, can shake me. And even if I am not faithful, Christ will still be faithful towards me because he has declared me his own — “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Tim. 2:13). As I’ve mentioned before, he’s kind of freaking beautiful like that.

-Thanks Nicole

As to knowledge................

"Dr. Bernard Lown, the famed Boston cardiologist, once quoted T. S. Eliot as asking:  'Where is the wisdom we lost in knowledge?  Where is the knowledge we lost in information?'
     "The sequence is carried even further in the comment by Samuel Johnson:  'Knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.'  Or Plato:  'Knowledge apart from justice is not knowledge, but cunning.'"
-Norman Cousins, Human Options

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

30  From there they went out and began to go through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know about it.

31  For He was teaching His disciples and telling them, The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and when He has been killed, He will rise three days later.” 

32  But they did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask Him.

33  They came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house, He began to question them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 

34  But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest.

35  Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 

36  Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, 

37  Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.”

Mark 9:30-37
The Holy Bible
New American Standard Version

On the virtue of plain speaking............

Kurt rejects the new jargon:
"I reach out to pull Libby over the top of the really steep hill in 
our back woods.  I reach out my arm and grab hold of hers, 
then pull her over the top and we continue our peaceful walk.  
I reach out to get something to eat from the cupboard.  I reach 
out to grab a beer from the refrigerator.  But I'll not be reaching 
out to clients, employees, coworkers, friends, acquaintances or 
anyone else again. . .ever."

Michael offers clear and common sense language:
"I need time to think."
"I need to see that in writing."
"Can you boil that down to a one-page memo?"
"Are we making this harder than need be?"
"What are the deadlines?"
"What's really going on here?"
"Is this a battle we should be fighting?"

The Deliberateink blog where "every word means business"
rails against business jargon.  The video is instructive.
"Don't holistically enable cross-media e-business, or 
dynamically incubate long-term high-impact models.  
Instead, try making sense."

thanks mark

On service................

The highest truth cannot be
put into words.
Therefore the greatest teacher has
nothing to say.
He simply gives himself in service,
and never worries.

Verse 23
Hua Hu Ching:  The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu
Brian Walker