Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Makes me wish I had one...........................

Weird Al Yankovic................................Mission Statement




[Verse 1:]
We must all efficiently
Operationalize our strategies
Invest in world-class technology
And leverage our core competencies
In order to holistically administrate
Exceptional synergy
We'll set a brand trajectory
Using management's philosophy
Advance our market share vis-à-vis
Our proven methodology
With strong commitment to quality
Effectively enhancing corporate synergy
Transitioning our company
By awareness of functionality
Promoting viability
Providing our supply chain with diversity (versity, ooooh)
We will distill our identity
Through client-centric solutions and synergy (oooooh oooh oooh)
(ahhhhhh)

[Bridge:]
At the end of the day (at the end of the day)
We must monetize our assets
The fundamentals of change
Can you visualize a value-added experience?
That will grow the business infrastructure and
Monetize our assets
Monetize our assets
Monetize our assets

[Verse 2:]
Bringing to the table
Our capitalized reputation
Proactively overseeing
Day-to-day operations
Services and deliverables
With cross-platform innovation
Networking
Soon will bring
Seamless integration
Robust and scalable, bleeding-edge and next-generation
Best of breed
We'll succeed
In achieving globalization

[Outro:]
And gaining traction with our resources in the marketplace
It's mission-critical to stay incentivized
Our business plan will foster flexible solutions for our customer base
If you can't think outside the box
You'll be downsized
It's a paradigm shift!
Hey, hey! Look out!
Well, it's a paradigm shift, now!
Here we go! Here we go! Here we come! Here we come! Ha!





















thanks doug

Honey, please.........................................

The Rascals..............................................................Good Lovin'

This halfway house....................................

I can’t divine your future, but it’s pretty obvious to any naked eye that you have a lot going for you. To say the least, you were born, which is in itself half the battle, and you live in a democracy — this halfway house between nightmare and utopia — which throws fewer obstacles in the way of an individual than its alternatives.
-Joseph Brodsky, as excerpted from here

Faithful readers will remember that................

.............your faithful blogger has traditionally been more concerned with the prospect of deflation than the prospect of inflation.  Since most all his assets are in encumbered real estate, surely you won't blame him.
     The Economist has been noticing the dangers of deflation as well.  This weeks magazine features this article on the subject; it begins like this:

It is a pernicious threat, all the more so because, at its onset, it seems almost benign.  After two generations of fighting against inflation, why be worried if the victory looks just a bit too complete, if the ancient enemy is so cowed as to no longer strain against the chains in which it is bound?  But the stable low inflation fought for in the 1980's and 1990's and inflation hazardously close to zero are not so far apart.  And as inflation drops, slipping into deflation becomes ever easier.  It is in that dangerous position that the world now stands.

This knowledge is good..............................












“We should realize that, if [Socrates] demanded that the wisest men should rule, he clearly stressed that he did not mean the learned men;  in fact, he was skeptical of all professional learnedness, whether it was that of the philosophers or of the learned men of his own generation, the Sophists.  The wisdom he meant was of a different kind.  It was simply the realization:  how little do I know! Those who did not know this, he taught, knew nothing at all. This is the true scientific spirit.” 
-Karl Popper

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

The Beatles...............................................................Boys

The turn around.........................................






















"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
-Leo Buscaglia

So, what really happened........................?

 "Surely Chief Justice Strine, among all jurists, must appreciate the role accident, error, and chance play in almost every complex process such as a merger or acquisition and how, even when said twists and turns are faithfully and comprehensively memorialized the twin imps of imperfect memory and hostile interpretation can confuse and bedevil the faithful interpretation of the facts of the matter."
-The Epicurean Dealmaker, as excerpted from here

Amateurs..............................................

"...innumerable studies suggest that the average worker devotes between one-and-a-half and three hours a day to loafing."
-as excerpted from this Schumpeter column

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A few of my favorite things.......................

From Nicholas Bate:   How you practice matters

From The Execupundit comes this valuable insight:   [Sometimes the Inner Procrastinator is sending a warning signal.]

From Eclecticity Light:  Fun things for your eyes

From The Aleph Blog:  Risk tolerance in investing

From Brain Pickings:  A great commencement address

Checking in with Dick Clark...............................

The Count Five.........................................Psychotic Reaction

Reasons why I like living in Newark and Licking County.....

Reason #47:  The amazing display of the "Great Contributors:"   A series of sculptures on the Ohio State University -Newark/Central Ohio Technical College campus.  Thanks to the generosity and insightfulness of Lou Reese, there are at least six new works of art from Gary Price adorning the walking paths of the campus.  Those hanging out on park benches, just waiting to strike up a conversation with passing students, include Claude Monet,  Ben Franklin, Abe Lincoln, Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare, and George Washington.  If you haven't visited the Campus lately, please do.  It is amazing!



























It's that time of the year.............................







More on the benefits of Mr. Market........

"... it is important to remember that market forces do tend to act to keep economic power balanced and that market actors will look for creative ways around problems.  The combination of need and cleverness in either economics or engineering often ends up yielding solutions."
-as excerpted from this post on China's former monopoly on "rare earth minerals"

On climbing the ladder............................



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

Jan & Dean...............................................Sidewalk Surfin'

On fine spun theoretic systems....................

"Mr. Jefferson is proof of this, he is a man of some requirements, extending even to elegant literature, but his opinions upon government are the result of fine spun theoretic systems, drawn from the ingenious writings of Locke, Sydney and others of their cast, which can never be realized, such opinions very probably are the favorite ones with those who now conduct the revolution in France;  I am far from thinking that the troubles in that great Kingdom are over, and I doubt whether it will be found practical to rule that high-spirited nation, with a single assembly, thwarted as it will be by a dissatisfied Clergy and Nobility."
-attributed to William Paterson,(1745-1806) who was among other things a signatory to the United States Constitution, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and Governor of New Jersey

Earning the respect of a fellow adult man......

Sipp, as only he can, reminisces about what it takes to be an adult, all while honoring Jack Bruce and Cream.

A bridge too far.........................................

The Bacon Cheeseburger D'oh Nut.  Story here.


















"People, if stuff like this can happen, why do we even have a government at all?"
-Mungowitz

via

Fatigues............................................

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine

And it seems to be working..........................
















via

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ride me a southbound.................................

The Marshall Tucker Band................................Can't You See

Dream until your dreams come true..........

Aerosmith........................................................Dream On




Sing with me, sing it for the year
Sing for the laughter and sing for the tear
Sing with me, if it's just for today
Maybe tomorrow good Lord will take you away

Dream on, dream on, dream on,
Dream yourself a dream come true
Dream on, dream on, dream on,
Dream until your dreams come true

I've always thought of him as an "explorer"......

................................................Jeff's latest adventure is here.

Rumi....................................

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, aka Rumi, was a 13th century Sufi mystic and poet.  He wrote in Persian, but has been widely translated.  His wiki is here.  These quotes barely scratch the surface, but should give you an idea about where his head was:

Can you find another market like this? Where, with your one rose, you can buy hundreds of rose gardens? 

If all you can do is crawl, start crawling.

When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you, a joy. When action come from another section, the feeling disappears.

All religions, all this singing, one song. The differences are just illusion and vanity. The sun’s light looks a little different on this wall than it does on that wall, and a lot different on this other one, but it’s still one light.

Water the fruit trees and don’t water the thorns.

Keep knocking, and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who’s there. 

Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.

Work in the invisible world at least as hard as you do in the visible.

Why are you so enchanted by this world, when a mine of gold lies within you? 

Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.

transformed..............................

                  Rumi

When Rumi went into the tavern
I followed.
I heard a lot of crazy talk
and a lot of wise talk.

But the roses wouldn't grow in my hair.

When Rumi left the tavern
I followed.
I don't mean just to peek at
such a famous fellow.
Indeed he was rather ridiculous with his
long beard and his dusty feet.
But Iheard less of the crazy talk and
a lot more of the wise talk and I was
hopeful enough to keep listening

until the day I found myself
transformed into an entire garden 
of roses.

-Mary Oliver

Execution.......................................

Bob Lefsetz is not a big fan of the "ideas guy."  17 reasons why are here.  Cherry-picked examples here:
1. Ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is everything.
6. Success is hard work and very few want to do the heavy lifting. Because it’s boring, because it’s challenging, because no one is paying attention, because it might not pay off in the long run anyway.
7. Too many people want others to do the work. They revel in their seats as they pontificate about the great things that can be achieved with their ideas. Why don’t they just make the effort themselves? Because they don’t have the desire. That’s the secret of life, we all follow our desires, our passions, and a mediocre idea with incredible follow-through by someone who cares about it trumps a great idea with lame execution every day of the week.
12. Opportunities are abundant, but most people are afraid to do the work.
14. What separates winners from losers is whether they’re willing to get their hands dirty. Behind every overnight success is a ton of unseen work.

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

At the movies.......................The Americanization of Emily

Have you tried to get a mortgage lately...........?

Barry Ritholtz has, and found the experience unsettling:

"The solution is obvious: Go back to verifying income, checking credit scores and requiring a down payment. What lenders do now goes beyond absurd. They don't need to see every check written during the past 24 months. An explanation isn't required for every $2,000 deposit into a family checking account. Three years of both personal and professional tax returns seems excessive. Yet that and more is what banks are demanding."

Full post is here.

Geography quiz.......................................

Can you name 39 countries bigger than Texas (without looking at a globe).   I only got twenty, but if you've studied up on Africa you should be able to score in the 30's.  Test is here.


That time of year......................................









via

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The thirty-three hit wonder..........................

Billy Joel......................................................The Longest Time




A wonderful Billy Joel profile from The New Yorker is here.

thanks maggie's

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

     And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

2.  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel;  The Lord our God is one Lord;

3.  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength:  this is the first commandment.

4.  And the second is like, namely this,  Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  There is none other commandment greater than these.

5.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

6.  And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou has said the truth:  for there is one God;  and there is none other but he:

7.  And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

-The Jefferson Bible
Chapter LII

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

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.

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

The happiness of true simplicity..............

IX.  Toys and fooleries at home, wars abroad:  sometimes terror, sometimes torpor, or stupid sloth:  this is daily slavery.  By little and little, if thou doest not better look to it, those sacred dogmata will be blotted out of thy mind.  How many things be there, which when as a mere naturalist, thou has barely considered of according to their nature, thou doest let pass without any further use?  Whereas thou shouldst in all things so join action and contemplation, that thou mightest both at the same time attend all present occasions, to perform everything duly and carefully, and yet so intend the contemplative part too, that no part of thatt delight and pleasure, which the contemplative knowledge of everything according to its true nature doth of itself afford, might be lost.  Or, that the true and contemn plative  knowledge of everything according to its own nature, might of itself, (action being subject to many lets and impediments) afford unto thee sufficient pleasure and happiness.  Not apparent indeed, but not concealed.  And when shalt thou attain to the happiness of true simplicity, and unaffected gravity?

-Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations

Catering to the amygdala.........................

      "These days, we are saturated with information.  We have millions of news outlets competing for our mind share.  And how do they compete?  By vying for the amygdala's attention.  The old newspaper saw "If it bleeds, it leads" works because the first stop that all incoming information encounters is an organ already primed to look for danger.  We're feeding a fiend.  Pick up the Washington Post and compare the number of positive to negative stories.  If your experiment goes anything like mine, you'll find that over 90 percent of the articles are pessimistic.  Quite simply, good news doesn't catch our attention.  Bad news sells because the amygdala is always looking for something to fear."

     "Compounding this, our early warning system evolved in an era of immediacy, when threats were of the tiger-in-the-bush variety.  Things have changed since.  Many of today's dangers are probabilistic - the economy might nose-dive, there could be a terrorist attack - and the amygdala can't tell the difference.  Worse, the system is also designed not to shut off until the potential danger has vanished completely.  Add in an impossible-to-avoid media continuously scaring us in an attempt to capture market share, and you have a brain convinced that it's living in a state of siege - a state that's especially troubling, as New York University's Dr. Marc Siegel explains in his book False Alarm:  The Truth About the Epidemic of Fear, because nothing could be further from the truth:  Statistically, the industrialized world has never been safer."

-Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler,   Abundance:  The Future Is Better Than You Think

More than you wanted to know....................

.................about the amygdala can be found here or here.


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

The Beach Boys..........................................The Monster Mash

Getting to be that time of the year...................

















via

A new crew..........................................

Key of Awesome...............................Modern Monster Mash

Autumn in Vermont...............................
















Way larger photo, and 14 other glorious pictures, of the Green Mountain State can be found here

Hopeless.............................................