Saturday, August 11, 2012

You won't need no harem............

Maria Muldaur......................................Midnight at the Oasis



thanks E.

Hammarskjold................


     I have a vague recollection of the day Dag Hammarskjold died in a plane crash.  It was 1961.  He was flying to negotiate a cease fire in the civil conflict in the Congo when his plane crashed in what was then Northern Rhodesia.  I knew he was the General-Secretary to the United Nations.  At age 9, I wasn't too sure what the United Nations was.  I do know that his death affected my father powerfully.  He considered Hammarskjold a great man, a great statesman, and a great hope for the UN. He was not alone.  John F. Kennedy was quoted as saying Hammarskjold was  “the greatest statesman of our century."
     So it was with great interest that I recently came across the book Markings.  Hammarskjold kept a journal, not of his day-to-day professional activities, but of his day-to-day spiritual journey.  He left instructions that, after his death, the journal could be published, which it was in 1964 as Markings.
     A few excerpts:

"Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step: only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find his right road."

"Never measure the height of a mountain, until you have reached the top.  Then you will see how low it was."

"Life only demands from you the strength you possess.  Only one feat is possible - not to have run away."

"Sun and stillness.  Looking down through the jade-green water, you see the monsters of the deep playing on the reef.  Is this a reason to be afraid?  Do you feel safer when the scudding waves hide what lies beneath the surface?"

"To rejoice at a success is not the same as taking credit for it.  To deny oneself the first is to become a hypocrite and a denier of life; to permit oneself the second is a childish indulgence which will prevent one from ever growing up."

"Do not look back.  And do not dream about the future, either.  It will neither give you back the past, nor satisfy your other daydreams.  Your duty, your reward - your destiny - are here and now."

"The light died in the low clouds.  Falling snow drank in the dusk.  Shrouded in silence, the branches wrapped me in their peace.  When the boundaries were erased, once again the wonder:  that I exist."

Context matters too...................






















"Success in any endeavor requires single-minded attention to 
detail and total concentration."

-Willie Sutton

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

"When I started my first company in Boston twenty years ago, I had little interest in business.  I was just trying to restore my health.  Hindered by asthma since I was six weeks old, I had begun experimenting with my diet and discovered a disquieting correlation.  When I stopped eating the normal American diet of sugar, fats, alcohol, chemicals, and additives, I felt better.  I could breathe freely.  When I tried to sneak in a hamburger and a Coke, my body rebelled.  After a year of going from one diet to the other, I was left with a most depressing conclusion:  if I wanted to be healthy, I'd have to become a food nut.  I bid a fond farewell to my junk foods but then discovered that steady diet of natural food was impossible to obtain without spending ten hours a week shopping at ethnic food stores, farm stands, Seventh-Day Adventist flour mills, Japan Town, and other distant vendors.  The health food stores certainly weren't very helpful.  For the most part, their idea of food included high-priced nostrums and vitamin formulas - sold by women who wore nurses' uniforms and white hosiery that made their legs look slightly cadaverous."
-Paul Hawken, Growing A Business

A fine time to take a nap................

Not true..........................


Government of self would help.............


"The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern.  Every class is unfit to govern."
-Lord Acton

Good questions..................

















The Coyote Blog points to this handy roll-over map that lets you find out what people think about your very own state.  Boring?  You find us boring?

Friday, August 10, 2012

What it is ain't exactly clear...........

Buffalo Springfield...............................For What It's Worth

Thinking...................



















"I think therefore
I think I am."
-Wendell Berry

It's an acquired skill.................

"He knew the precise psychological moment when to say nothing."
-Oscar Wilde

Not always so hidden..................






















"In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play."
-Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzche

A refreshing pause.............


With the volume up..................


Not sure what to make of this...........

Yesterday, we visited the Ed Sullivan show when he presented The Beatles to the broad American public.  Today, we wonder what on God's earth were we thinking when we tuned in to watch Ed Sullivan present Topo Gigio (multiple times I might add).  Not only were we all younger back then, but I suspect life was simpler too.  Without further ado (but promising never to do it again).................................Topo Gigio:

The kids are going to be just fine..........



thanks Maggie

Ready for another vacation.............


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Enough already with the motorcycles.....

The Hondells....................................Little Honda

Thinking....................






















"The aim of education should be to teach the child to think,
not what to think."
-John Dewey

Ergo..................


Busy, busy, busy....................

















"In a bureaucratic system, useless work drives out useful work."
-Milton Friedman

Cheer up........................


"It is the arro­gance of every age to believe that yes­ter­day was calm."
-Tom Peters

Decisions, decisions................


The intellectual vacuum.................

"Intellectuals (especially professors) tend to become silly because they are never called upon to make decisions upon which very much depends."
-Leo Rosten

Did he really say that?














"Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt
from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some
defunct economist."
-John Maynard Keynes

Apparently he did.  Consulting the Oracle Google, the following was found at Wikiquote, as an excerpt from Keynes's famous tome, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money:   The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas.
  • Ch. 24 "Concluding Notes" p. 383

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

And you know that's dangerous.......

Arlo Guthrie.................................The Motorcycle Song

Testing..........................



















"The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the
common people of their common sense."
-G. K. Chesterton

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

"When Paul Jobs was mustered out of the Coast Guard after World War II, he made a wager with his crewmates.  They had arrived in San Francisco, where their ship was decommissioned, and Paul bet that he would find himself a wife within two weeks.  He was a taut, tattooed engine mechanic, six feet tall, with a passing resemblance to James Dean.  But it wasn't his looks that got him a date with Clara Hagopian, a sweet-humored daughter of Armenian immigrants.  It was the fact that he and his friends had a car, unlike the group she had originally planned to go out with that evening.  Ten days later, in March 1946, Paul got engaged to Clara and won his wager.  It would turn out to be a happy marriage, one that lasted until death parted them more than forty years later."
-Walter Isaacson,  Steve Jobs

Treasure....................


















"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot
on Treasure Island................And best of all, you can enjoy
these riches every day of your life."
-Walt Disney

Good..........................


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


Unity...................

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

-e.e. cummings

Monday, August 6, 2012

Yes, we see....................

The Shangri-las...........................................Leader of the Pack

Don't trust us boomers...............

Paul Campos, writing at Salon, offers some parenting advice to us "boomers."  A few things not to say to our job-hunting children - Here   Excerpt here:


"The notion that all boomers are greedy spoiled narcissists, monopolizing all the good jobs, saddling our children with crushing debt, listening to Yacht rock, and otherwise disgracing our heritage as children of the Greatest Generation, is a gross overgeneralization."


I certainly hope so.  I've never even heard of "Yacht rock".

Loafing........................

First day back after a week's vacation.....



God, I hope not......................


File this under the heading of...........

......................that which cannot continue, won't.

These ugly trend lines are courtesy of Alex Taborrok at the Marginal Revolution blog

But not you.....................

"Let others lead small lives, but not you.  Let others argue over small things, but not you.  Let others cry over small hurts, but not you.  Let others leave their future in someone else's hands, but not you."
-Jim Rohn

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Out of the rain.................

America.............................................Horse With No Name

Kitty........................


The quest.....................


Being grateful for a generous world..............

"Humans - despite their artistic pretensions, their sophistication, and their many accomplishments - owe their existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains."
-anon, but re-blogged from the always interesting Journal of a Nobody

Invincible...................


"In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.  In the midst of tears, I found there was within me, an invincible smile.  In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.  I realized, through it all, that...........In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.  And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back."
-Albert Camus

Madame Scherzo recently posted part of this quote.  For reasons unknown, I have always reacted favorably to Camus quotes.  Memory suggested I had multiple Camus posts, although the blog search thing responded that Memory is confused. A quick check of the Oracle Google seeking the origin and context of the quote did not yield satisfaction, but it did yield this:

"Au milieu de l'hiver, j'apprenais enfin qu'il y avait en moi un été invincible." is from Albert Camus' Retour à Tipasa, 1952 (Return to Tipasa, 1952)

Be the first on your block to...................

..............sign up for Personal Brain Management.  The course of study is here.  The gushy background information, complete with potential risks, is here.   The money quote, which makes one think that the authors are late to the party, is here:
"A wealth of data now shows how some ancient contemplative practices (meditation, yoga, tai chi chih) change our brain function and also change the neural regulation of inflammation, with possible links to a broad array of other healthy outcomes. The amazing promise is that by embracing PBM we may achieve the holy grail of living longer, better, happier, illness free, and creative lives."
Meditate, people, meditate.