Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Quick Looks

The trailers for:

Back to the Scythe

"Touch Up My Appearance"

FutureLawyer points to some Zoomie advice.


Block Out Time to Read

man holding reading magnifying glass rearing a book on brown wooden table

If you read when time is available, then you have placed little emphasis on reading because time is rarely available. 

Add to that the idea that reading is goofing off or strictly a form of leisure and those reading moments will be stigmatized.

Block out time to read. It is important and it will pay dividends.

[Photo by Nathan Bingle at Unsplash]


By learning you will teach; by teaching you will learn.

- Latin proverb

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Clearing Up?

Political Calculations on Corona Virus, Atmospheric CO2 and GDP.

Back By Popular Demand

Cut The Red Tape

We need an immediate intervention to break America free from its bureaucratic addiction. It must be done if the nation is to come back whole in any reasonable time frame. The first step is for Congress to authorize a temporary Recovery Authority with the mandate to expedite private and public initiatives, including the waiver of rules and procedures that impede public goals. States, too, should set up recovery authorities to expedite permitting and waive costly reporting requirements.

Save Your Sanity and Escape to Oxford Masterpiece Mystery!: Endeavour: The Pilot & Series 1 ...

During the 2016 election campaign my wife and I escaped the insanity of the political scene by watching all of the episodes of the great Poirot series starring David Suchet as the eccentric Belgian detective.

We're re-watched that series since then. Each time has been a pleasure. 

Now, while eluding the virus and the usual media hype, we are re-watching "Endeavour" - the extraordinary series that covers the early career of Inspector Endeavour Morse.

Highly recommended.


A Taboo Question: Have We Overreacted?

The New York Times (March 18, 2020): Amy Harmon on whether America has overreacted to the coronavirus.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Quick Looks

The trailers for:

Feel Good Films - A Series

How Many People Die from the Flu?

The numbers are jarring and, keep in mind, there already is a flu vaccine.

Once the coronavirus is subdued, there will be detailed comparisons with how the government dealt with it versus its usual strategies regarding the annual flu epidemics. 


The United States COVID-19 Tracker.

This continues to be updated.

Diversity in Weather Reporting

Back by popular demand:

From a 2016 post: Consider international styles of weather reporting:
[Observation: Iran and Mexico should swap for a month and test viewer reactions.]

Dunce Cap, Iron Cross, and a Supporter Down Below

This January account in the Washington Examiner of how President Franklin D. Roosevelt treated the press deserves wider exposure.

I ran across the FDR stories years ago while researching a book on leadership. They should cause a certain amount of eyebrow-raising when reporters act as if the abrasive Trump-media relationship is precedent-breaking.

And, of course, there's also the story of what President Truman did when a critic panned a musical performance by Truman's daughter. 

In Shakespeare's Time

Most of these young men came from either Oxford or Cambridge, where they had been given a good education in the classics but had not been given any way of making a living. Most of them were sons of middle-class parents who had ambitiously sent their sons to the university, either through a scholarship or at some personal sacrifice, but with no clear idea of what they should do with their expensive educations afterwards.

- From Shakespeare of London by Marchette Chute

Use This Time Well

Just because we're hunkering down doesn't mean we should feel trapped.

This is grand time to get thoughts and paperwork in order, catch up with old friends, flesh out a project, and study another language. 

It is also an opportunity to catch up on rest.

My guess is we are going to be returning to a quasi-normal work schedule much sooner than expected. 

It will be nice to be able to look back and say, "I used that time well."

The Week: Let Your Imagination, Not Your Fears, Run Free

woman sitting on brown chair while reading book inside well lighted room

[Photo by Thought Catalog at Unsplash]


black and white Welcome to Carnaby Street signage

Douglas Murray on The New York Times campaign against Britain.

[Photo by Anthony DELANOIX at Unsplash]

In the Greatest Show on Earth

British politics: Keir Starmer replaces Jeremy Corbyn

Saturday, April 04, 2020

An Orchestra Connects

Heather Mac Donald on what the Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel is providing online.

Bravo, Gustavo!

Seger Break

Good Times


If God lived on earth, people would break his windows.

- Jewish proverb

Back in the USSR

The Telegraph in 2018: Marcel Theroux on remembering the Soviet Union.

My favorite part is the one on fellow travelers.

Quick Looks

The trailers for:


man writing on paper

"Reorganization" is a bold word because it implies that a viable organization will emerge from the changes. 

In cases where reality is insufficiently considered, however, what emerges is "disorganization."

Any major change on an organization chart should have, somewhere in the background, an escape plan in case disorganization surfaces. 

Use fences, not walls.

[Photo by Helloquence at Unsplash]

First Paragraph

Jason Tennyson, fleeing for his life, came in low over the precipitous mountain range that lay to the west of Gutshot. Immediately after he caught sight of the lights marking the town, he pressed the ejection button and felt himself flung upward with a greater violence that he had expected. For a moment he was enveloped in darkness; then, as his body spun, he saw the lights of the town again and thought that he also saw the flier. But whether he saw the flier or not, he knew, was of slight importance. It would continue over Gutshot, angling slightly downward over the ocean that hemmed in the tiny town and spaceport against the towering mountains. Some fifty miles out to sea, if his calculations were correct, the flier would go into the water and be lost. And lost as well, he hoped, would be Dr. Jason Tennyson, lately court physician to the margrave of Daventry. The radar at Gutshot space base undoubtedly had picked up the flier and would track it on its course across the water, but at its low altitude, the base would soon lose contact with it.

- From Project Pope by Clifford D. Simak

Friday, April 03, 2020

What's on Your Shelves?

Open Culture lists the 430 books in Marilyn Monroe's home library.

Feel Good Films - A Series

A Good One for These Days

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging: Junger, Sebastian ...

A Soviet Moment

spoon of powder

Yesterday I bought a large package of sugar at the drug store.

I also bought some coffee and some other items that might be hard to find at the nearby grocery store.

When I returned home, my wife and I had what I would call a five second "Soviet moment" in which we rejoiced over my finds, all in recollection of the bad old days when shoppers in the Soviet Union had to seize any chance to buy scarce items.

And that reminds me of George Orwell's story of the Spanish Civil War. As I recall the account, while he was in the trenches with the Loyalist forces who were fighting Franco's Fascists, both sides would shout out propaganda messages to dishearten their enemies. The most effective taunt, he noted, came one day when the other side shouted: 

"We've got toast! Hot buttered toast!"

[Photo by Sharon McCuthcheon at Unsplash]

Remote Working

woman holding white ceramic cup while using laptop

Wally Bock's weekend leadership reading assignments deal with this very timely topic.

[Photo by Becca Tapert at Unsplash]

The Goal

man performing wall climbing under clear sky

I like working slowly, step-by-step, and taking time to read and think.

Life brings inevitable interruptions and there are times when the best thing to do is to do nothing at all.

And yet.

It helps to have one big goal in the back of your mind, especially if it ties together an array of much smaller goals. If it does not do so, then that is a big goal in itself.

[Photo by Mars Williams at Unsplash]

Thursday, April 02, 2020


An Oasis

airliner on flight

Phoenix's classical music station:

KBAQ, a.k.a. KBACH

[Photo by Meritt Thomas at Unsplash]

Rainbow Break

A Legend Has Passed

The Times-Picayune: Ellis Marsalis, Rest in Peace.


Reminder: Make a Note

Good ideas have a schedule of their own and will come and depart when they wish.

Unless you write them down.

When the Jungle is Not as Dangerous

skull lot on forest

I believe that most organizations resemble a farm in a jungle. Without constant care, the jungle will grow over the farm.

Some organizations, however, are so dysfunctional that, although the jungle has not grown back, a tribe of amiable cannibals is now running the farm. People are not valued.

And suddenly the jungle is a pleasant alternative.

[Photo by Cristian Grecu at Unsplash]

Be There for Them

shallow focus photo of thank you for shopping signage

This post by Cultural Offering about helping your small local businesses get through this hard time is very important. 

My wife and I are going out of our way to continue to support the restaurants and shops that are important parts of our life. 

We are tipping even more generously than usual (and that's saying something since the staff starts dancing whenever my wife walks in the door).

Amid all of the hunkering down, let's do what we can.

[Photo Tim Mossholder by at Unsplash]