Saturday, February 13, 2016

Free your heart....................................


Tedeschi Trucks Band...............................Midnight in Harlem



thanks Scott

Tall order..............................


"You better live your best and act your best and think your best today; for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow."
-Harriet Martineau

On quotations...................


The faithful reader may have noticed an up-tick in quotes by relatively obscure folks posted here of late.  (Before we go any farther, allow me to acknowledge that their obscurity may have more to do with gaps in my learning than anything the quoted did, or did not, do.)  The quote posted above is a sample.

The source of these gems is Elbert Hubbard's Scrapbook.  While recently helping friends pack up the house of their recently deceased mom, they generously allowed that I could take any of her books that I wanted.  Hubbard's Scrap Book, leatherbound and published in 1923, is among those books now residing at our home.

Gently thumbing through it, the thoughts arose:  What a great idea.  Keeping a journal of meaningful quotes.  Oh, wait..........maybe we are already doing so.  

If you scroll down the "Labels" list on the right hand side of this blog until you come to "Quotes," you may note that there are over 3,259 such entries.  Hopefully you may find something of value there.

On being careful what you wish for............


...............From the wiki on Elbert Hubbard.

At the beginning of World War I, Hubbard published a great deal of related commentary in The Philistine and became anxious to cross the ocean, report on the War and interview the Kaiser himself. However, Hubbard had pleaded guilty on January 11, 1913, in the court of U.S. District Court Judge John R. Hazel for violating Section 211 of the penal code.[12] Hubbard was convicted on one count of circulating "objectionable" (or "obscene") matter in violation of the postal laws.[13]Sentence was suspended on five additional counts during good behavior, but Hazel fined Hubbard $100, and the federal conviction resulted in a revocation of the publisher's civil rights.[14][clarification needed]
Hubbard requested a presidential pardon from William Howard Taft, but the administration discarded the request as "premature".[14] When his application for a passport was denied in 1915, Hubbard went directly to the White House and pled with Woodrow Wilson's personal secretary, Joseph P. Tumulty. At the time, the President was in the midst of a cabinet meeting, but Tumulty interrupted and, as a result, the Secretary of State (William Jennings Bryan) and Attorney GeneralThomas Gregory were also able to hear of Hubbard's situation and need.[15]
The pardon was found to be appropriate, and Elbert Hubbard's clemency application process lasted exactly one day.[16] Seventy-five percent of those petitioning for clemency during that fiscal year were not so fortunate; their requests were denied, adversely reported, or no action was taken.[16] On receiving his pardon, Hubbard obtained a passport and, on May 1, 1915, left with his wife on a voyage to Europe.[b]

Death[edit]

Coincidentally, a little more than three years after the sinking of the Titanic, the Hubbards boarded the RMS Lusitania in New York City. On May 7, 1915, while at sea 11 miles (18 km) off the Old Head of KinsaleIreland, the ship was torpedoed and sunk by the German u-boat U-20.
In a letter to Elbert Hubbard II dated March 12, 1916, Ernest C. Cowper, a survivor of this event, wrote:[18]
I cannot say specifically where your father and Mrs. Hubbard were when the torpedoes hit, but I can tell you just what happened after that. They emerged from their room, which was on the port side of the vessel, and came on to the boat-deck.
Neither appeared perturbed in the least. Your father and Mrs. Hubbard linked arms—the fashion in which they always walked the deck—and stood apparently wondering what to do. I passed him with a baby which I was taking to a lifeboat when he said, 'Well, Jack, they have got us. They are a damn sight worse than I ever thought they were.'
They did not move very far away from where they originally stood. As I moved to the other side of the ship, in preparation for a jump when the right moment came, I called to him, 'What are you going to do?' and he just shook his head, while Mrs. Hubbard smiled and said, 'There does not seem to be anything to do.'
The expression seemed to produce action on the part of your father, for then he did one of the most dramatic things I ever saw done. He simply turned with Mrs. Hubbard and entered a room on the top deck, the door of which was open, and closed it behind him.
It was apparent that his idea was that they should die together, and not risk being parted on going into the water.

Right proportions.........................


These truths I hold to be self-evident:  That man was made to be happy;  that happiness is only attainable through useful effort;  that the very best way to help ourselves is to help others, and often the best way to help others is to mind our own business;  that useful effort means the proper exercise of all of our faculties;  that we grow only through exercise;  that education should continue through life, and the joys of mental endeavor should be, especially, the solace of the old;  that where men alternate work, play and study in right proportions, the organs of the mind are the last to fail, and death for such has no terrors.

-Elbert Hubbard, as excerpted from A Message To Garcia:  And Other Essential Writings On Success

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


The Supremes..........................My World Is Empty Without You

A larger whole...........................


      Whatever you're going through, whatever is holding you down or standing in your way, can be turned into a source of strength - by thinking of people other than yourself.  You won't have time to think of your own suffering because there are other people suffering and you're focused on them.
      Pride can be broken.  Toughness has its limits.  But a desire to help?  No harshness, no deprivation, no toil should interfere with our empathy towards others.  Compassion is always an option.  Camaraderie as well.  That's a power of the will that can never be taken away, only relinquished.
      Stop pretending that what you're going through is somehow special or unfair.  Whatever trouble you're having - no matter how difficult - is not some unique misfortune picked out especially for you.  It just is what it is.
      This kind of myopia is what convinces us, to our own detriment, that we're the center of the universe.  When really, there is a world beyond our own personal experience filled with people who have dealt with worse.  We're not special or unique simply by virtue of being.  We're all, at varying points in our lives, the subject of random and often incomprehensible events.
      Reminding ourselves of this is another way of being a bit more selfless.
      You can always remember that a decade earlier, a century earlier, a millennium earlier, someone just like you stood right where you are and felt very similar things, struggling with the very same thoughts.  They had no idea that you would exist, but you know that they did.  And a century from now, someone will be in your exact same position, once more.
      Embrace this power, this sense of being part of a larger whole.  It is an exhilarating thought.  Let it envelop you.  We're all just humans, doing the best we can.  We're all just trying to survive, and in the process, inch the world forward a little bit.
      Help your fellow humans thrive and survive, contribute your little bit to the universe before it swallows you up, and be happy with that.  Lend a hand to others.  Be strong for them, and it will make you stronger.

-Ryan Holiday,  The Obstacle Is The Way:  The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

Audacity........................................


      Pretend you're Samuel Zemurray.  You are thirty-two.  You've been in America less than twenty years.  You lived in Russia before that, in a poor farming town filled with rabbis.  Now you're here, an entrepreneur of considerable means, but still, somewhere in your mind, the little Jew who snuck in the back door.  You're a husband and father, with a young daughter and another child on the way.  You've been summoned to Washington, called to account by the secretary of state, warned.  What do you do?  Put your head down, shut up?  Sit in a corner and thank God for your good fortune?  Well, maybe that's what you would do, but not Sam Zemurray.  He muttered all the way back to New Orleans:  these momzers!  Don't get involved?  How about I overthrow the fucking government?  Is that too involved?  You made a deal with the president of Honduras, Miguel Davila?   Well, what if Senor Davila wasn't president no more?
      Consider the audacity!
      In defying Philander Knox and J. Pierpont Morgan, Sam Zemurray was challenging two of the most powerful men in America.

Zemurray's scheme can be described as a coup disguised as a revolution.  (It would not be hard to stir popular anger in the country, since most Hondurans hated the Knox plan.)  Davila would be driven out and a new president put in his place.  General Manuel Bonilla, who had been president of Honduras until  he was disposed in 1907, was cast in the role of insurgent leader for several reasons:  because he was living in New Orleans; because he was known in Honduras;  because he was trusted by Honduras businessmen; because Sam knew and liked Bonilla, who he called Mi General;  because Bonilla knew and liked Sam, having described him on one occasion as "an angel sent from heaven"; because he had allies in the region who would fight by his side; because he was dark skinned and broad nosed, features described by diplomats as Indian in a way that would give the operation the aura of popular revolt.

Rich Cohen, as excerpted from The Fish That Ate The Whale:  The Life and Times of America's Banana King

You might as well.....................


............................try to pick which was your greatest breath of air.

The question in question is asked here.

If you want me to vote, you better add The Marshall Tucker Band to the list.

Thanks Craig



Friday, February 12, 2016

Like the sun through the trees.........


The Moody Blues..........................................Forever Autumn

On there and here......................


      Zemurray worked in the fields beside his engineers, planters, and machete men.  He was deep in the muck, sweat covered, swinging a blade.  He helped map the plantations, plant the rhizomes, clear the weeds, lay the track.  He was a proficient snake killer.  Taller than most of his workers, as strong and thin as a railroad spike, he shouted orders in dog Spanish.  He believed in the transcendent power of physical labor - that a man can free his soul only by exhausting his body.  A life in an office, deskbound, was for the feeble and weak who cut themselves off from the actual.  He ate outside - shark's fin soup, plantains, crab gumbo, sour wine.  His years in the jungle gave him experience rare in the trade.  Unlike most of his competitors, he understood every part of the business, from the executive suite where the stock was manipulated to the ripening room where the green fruit turned yellow.  He was contemptuous of banana men who spent their lives in the North, far from the plantations.  Those schmucks, what do they know?  They're there, we're here!


Endure..........................


"Rome endured as long as there were Romans.  America will endure as long as we remain American in spirit and in thought."

-David Starr Jordan (1851-1931)

And from the wiki on David Starr Jordan:

In addition to his work as Stanford president, Jordan was known for being a peace activist. He argued that war was detrimental to the human species because it removed the strongest organisms from the gene pool. Jordan was president of the World Peace Foundation from 1910 to 1914 and president of the World Peace Conference in 1915, and opposed U.S. involvement in World War I.[4]

Our throne............................


      Yes, it's unlikely that anyone is going to make an armed run at our throne anytime soon.  But people will make pointed remarks.  They will cut us off in traffic.  Our rivals will steal our business.  We will be hurt.  Forces will try to hold us back.  Bad stuff will happen.
      We can turn even this to our advantage.  Always.
      It is an opportunity.  Always.
      And if our only option - as was the case with Marcus - because of someone else's greed or lust for power, is simply to be a good person and practice forgiveness?  Well, that's still a pretty good option.

-Ryan Holiday,  The Obstacle Is The Way:  The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph



Pretty powerful cup of tea..................








































thanks Rob

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


Peter and Gordon......................................................Woman

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


Life is full of decisions and judgments and guesses, and it gets to point where you're so accustomed to making them you keep right on making them even when you don't strictly need to.  You get into a what if thing, and you start speculating about what you would do if some problem was yours instead of somebody else's.  It gets to be a habit.  It was a habit Jack Reacher had in spades.  Which is why he was sitting alone at a restaurant table and gazing at the backs of two guys twenty feet away and wondering if it would be enough to warn them off or if he would have to go the extra mile and break their arms.

-Lee Child,  Running Blind

On war..............................


"Every war is a national calamity whether victorious or not."
-Helmuth von Moltke

 Which reminded me of this beauty:


Something must be done....................!


"Bottom Line: It might be a little disingenuous and hypocritical for Hillary Clinton to complain about excessive CEO pay when her minimum speaking fee, reportedly $225,000 for a one-hour talk, is more than the $216,000 average annual CEO salary in 2014. We could say how unfair it is that the average CEO in America has to work a full year, 50 weeks full-time, to earn the same income that Mrs. Clinton earns in about 50 minutes giving a speech! How unfair! How immoral! Something must be done!"

Source, and back story, here

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Really.............................


.38 Special...............................................Caught Up InYou

Hey, that's our governor you're talking about.....


"We also saw John Kasich outperform expectations. Or as I like to call him, the tiny spare tire for the establishment. If Jeb and Rubio can’t get traction, Kasich is the last hope of some sort of “normal” Republican candidate."

Regardless of your politics, one simply must love Scott "Dilbert" Adams:

"Now watch me describe my wrong prediction as being more right than wrong. I do this for entertainment, and to make the point that you can force any data to fit the past if you try hard enough. I’ll do that for you now."

"Creative destruction"................


.......................or, the wheel keeps turning.

"To lose one’s accustomed livelihood to new technology is a tough spot to be in, and there will be many reading this, some of them highly paid at present, who should look at Trevor Merralls’ situation and tremble."

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


Dionne Warwick....................................Message To Michael

Shifting viewpoints...................


.....................................of bulls and bears.

"In a bull market you’re not as smart as you think you are and in a bear market you’re not as dumb as you think you are."

It's all about...........................


............................the offensive line  (which is another way of saying: the Cleveland Browns ought not waste their first round draft picks on a quarterback - again).

“Contemporary art has made a cult of ugliness”


..............Roger Scruton once wrote.  Now, is celebrity fashion "contemporary art"?  For the answer to that question, the curious amongst you might want to check this out.

thanks craig

If the world......................


....................................had to be ruled by somebody, John E. Smith might be a good choice. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bring the curtain down..................................


Elvis Presley...................................Are You Lonesome Tonight



#35 on this list

Radical pragmatism........................



















      Pragmatism is not so much realism as flexibility.  There are a lot of ways to get from point A to point B.  It doesn't have to be a straight line.  It's just got to get you where you need to go.  But so many of us spend so much time looking for the perfect solution that we pass up what's right in front of us.
      As Deng Xiaoping once said, "I don't care if the cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice."
      The Stoics had their own reminder:  "Don't go expecting Plato's Republic."
      Because you're never going to find that kind of perfection.  Instead, do the best with what you've got.  Not that pragmatism is inherently at odds with idealism or pushing the ball forward.  The first iPhone was revolutionary, but it still shipped without a copy-and-past feature or a handful of other features Apple would have liked to have included.  Steve Jobs, the supposed perfectionist, knew that at some point, you have to compromise.  What mattered was that you got it done and it worked.
      Start thinking like a radical pragmatist:  still ambitious, aggressive, and rooted in ideals, but also imminently practical and guided by the possible.  Not on everything you would like to have, not on changing the world right at this moment, but ambitious enough to get everything you need.  Don't thing small, but make the distinction between the critical and the extra.
      Think progress, not perfection.
      Under this kind of force, obstacles break apart.  They have no choice.  Since you're going around them or making them irrelevant, there is nothing for them to resist.

-Ryan Holiday,  The Obstacle Is The Way:  The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

Some books are just fun to read...................


By the end of the nineteenth century, the world of banana men - which was a world of shipping companies, warehouses, plantations, ripening rooms, loading bays, and docks - had settled into a hierarchy.  If you step back, you can see it laid out as a cross section, like an exhibit in a museum:  at the top, you have the owners of the companies, men who sit in boardrooms and trade stock.  One of the largest was Boston Fruit, dominated by old New England families.  But there were others, as many as fifty small and midsized importers.  They had names like Tropical Trading and Transport Company, Colombian Land Company, Snyder Banana.  Beneath them were the sea captains who rented cargo space.  These were the sort of salts whose portraits hand in dockside taverns:  bearded sailors in peacoats, their storm-tossed ships painted in the background.  Such men were the backbone of the trade, which depended on speed.  There were tales of ruthless sailors who did whatever it took.  Captain Gus, for example, who rather than losing days in quarantine, dumped a passenger sick with fever into the sea.   Then came the bureaucrats:  dock agents, purchasers, inspectors, and overseers who worked the wharves, filled the hotels and taverns, and spoke only of bananas.  Then the stevedores, loaders and unloaders, African Americans and Sicilians who went everywhere with their baling hooks, always present, never seen.
      Finally, at the bottom of the trade, in the cellar beneath the basement, came the banana peddler, also know insultingly as the fruit jobber,  (For the rest of his life, no matter how high he climbed, the executives at United Fruit referred to Zemurray as "the fruit jobber.")   Almost all were foreign born:  Jews from Russia, Greeks from Anatolia,  Italians from Sicily.  It was the only work many could get.  Bananas were especially disreputable, with the taint of cholera and the stink of the docks.  Most jobbers were small men, feisty, excitable, voluble, prone to anger.  When they argued, it made a kind of symphony.  You saw the crowd whenever a ship came in, fighting for position.  Sam, big, deliberate, strong, and slow, stood out from the beginning.  Nothing could make him hurry.  He had the sort of calm that cannot be taught.  Years later, in a letter to Franklin Roosevelt, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter described Zemurray as "one of few the statesmen among businessmen that I have encountered.  He has the qualities that one usually finds in a great personality:  simplicity as well as size."

-Rich Cohen,  The Fish That Ate The Whale:  The Life and Times of America's Banana King

It's simple really......................................























thanks Maggie

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


Los Bravos....................................................Black Is Black

Dispensing..............................


.....................some mighty fine music.

Seriously? Let's get drinking people................





















Oh wait.  Never mind.................Distillates are not alcoholic beverages.  They are refined oil and gas products.  Who knew?

thanks craig

For better or worse............................


I have to admit that in the past few decades, I don't seem to have much interest in ferreting out my deepest self.  After a while, that pursuit began to feel futile.  There always seemed to be another self hiding beneath the one I had just found - selves all the way down.  Or, as a friend of mine once quipped, "We turned out to be superficial to the core."  I know the Nietzsche would admonish me to deal with it, to keep wrestling with this endless regression of internal contradictions, but these days I would rather spend my time making peace with who, for better or for worse, I have become.

-Daniel Klein, Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life, They Change It:  Wisdom of the Great Philosophers on How to Live

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sweet.................................


John Klemmer.................................................Crystaled Tears

Time for the annual playing............


The Marshall Tucker Band..................Running Like The Wind

Soundtracks.............................




Strange jewels..............................
























"But surely something wonderful is sheltered inside you."

-full quote from here



Jolt..................................














A man without mirth is like a wagon without springs, in which one is caused disagreeably to jolt by every pebble over which it runs.
-Henry Ward Beecher

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


Lee Dorsey........................................Working In A Coal Mine

Grace under pressure..............


"What such a man needs is not courage but nerve control, cool headedness.  This he can only get by practice."
-Theodore Roosevelt





































Tranquil courage...................................


     When we aim high, pressure and stress obligingly come along for the ride.  Stuff is going to happen that catches us off guard, threatens or scares us.  Surprises (unpleasant ones, mostly) are almost guaranteed.  The risk of being overwhelmed is always there.
      In these situations, talent is not the most sought-after characteristic.  Grace and poise are, because these two attributes precede the opportunity to deploy any other skill.  We must possess, as Voltaire once explained about the secret to the great military success of the first Duke of Marlborough, that "tranquil courage in the midst of tumult and serenity of soul in danger, which the English call a cool head."

-Ryan Holiday,  The Obstacle Is The Way:  The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

Good tidings......................


      Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.
-John Muir















photo via

On change and acceptance.........