Friday, June 30, 2017

Celebrating Westerns

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"Same house, same spouse, same car."

Business Insider: Thomas C. Corley on what he's noticed about lifestyle creep and millionaires.

First Paragraph

When the great crash happened it was nothing like we feared. There was no panic. No tears. Mostly just slammed fists and swearing. The Internet was down, and hitting refresh didn't work. "Ctrl, alt, delete" was also useless. No one had Internet. Anywhere.

- From Notes From The Internet Apocalypse: A Novel by Wayne Gladstone

Unusual Office Equipment


CoolTools reviews the Saunders Clip Board.

"Lonesome Dove": Civility Lesson

For the multitude of "Lonesome Dove" fans out there, a memorable scene from the film.


FutureLawyer has an intriguing tip regarding Windows 10 settings.

Decision and Execution

The decision may be right or wrong but often it is boldly made and firmly believed.

It is during the execution that our old acquaintances, sloppiness and sloth, appear.

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

Harry, don't start out with an inferiority complex. For the first six months you'll wonder how the hell you got here, and after that you'll wonder how the hell the rest of us got here.

- Senator J. Hamilton "Ham" Lewis advising freshman Senator Harry Truman

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Trip to the Skin Doc

Phoenix: The Dermatologist's Paradise

Zap, zap, zap. Cut.

All amid lively conversation about trips and sports.

And by the time I got to the car, the pain killer wore off.

I'll have that coveted "bar fight survivor" look tomorrow.

Miscellaneous and Fast

Wally Bock: "Words to Live By."
Emma Rathbone: "Before the Internet."
Yahoo: Vietnam's dictatorship jails blogger.
Jonah Goldberg on the Trumpcare rhetoric.
Cultural Offering: Tucker Carlson on Trump, D.C., and Congress.
Althouse: The creative Chinese version of this Bud's for you.

Novelists Who Deserve a Wider Audience

Well, due to a computer glitch, the previous post of this name disappeared.


I was soliciting names of novelists who deserve a wide audience. My own suggestions would be:
  • Jiri Weil, author of Life with a Star and Mendelssohn Is On the Roof.
  • Gwyn Griffin, author of An Operational Necessity.
  • Gail Carriger, author of the Soulless steampunk series.
  • Tom Lea, author of The Wonderful Country.
  • Godfrey Blunden, author of The Time of the Assassins.
Please feel free to add more. I'll try to keep the post from going off into the cosmos.

Procrastination Smoothies

When you absolutely, positively, need an excuse to procrastinate:

  1. "I'm coming down with something."
  2. "We're waiting for some information."
  3. "Let me see which team member is covering that area and I'll get back with you."
  4. "There's a computer virus going around."
  5. "I have a few calls out."
  6. "A new software version will be issued soon and it will save us a lot of time."
  7. "We really need to rethink that mission."
  8. "You know, there has been some confusion over the deadline."
  9. "We thought you were going to do that portion."
  10. "The lawyers should probably give it a look."
  11. "I can't pinpoint the reason but the numbers don't look right."
  12. "The word is that some new regulations are pending."
  13. "Are you sure that I'm still on that project?"

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

The most important question about today's managerial superheroes, however, is not whether they are "worth it." It's about who works for whom. Do managers exist to serve their corporations, or is it the other way around?

- Matthew Stewart

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Bate: Why We Love The Beatles

Nicholas Bate takes it by the numbers.

Celebrating Westerns

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First Paragraph

My entry into the field of management consulting was like one of those wrong turns that take you into a part of town you never knew existed. At the time, I was just finishing my doctoral dissertation on nineteenth-century German philosophy. My business experience consisted of a miserable summer at a fast-food restaurant, and my acquaintance with management theory was limited to a poster in the restaurant staff room celebrating the virtues of Quality! Service! Cleanliness! I had no clear idea what management consulting was, except it sounded like the kind of thing that people like me should be prevented from doing. I had no clue what I was getting into.

- From The Management Myth: Why the Experts Keep Getting It Wrong by Matthew Stewart

Enough Already

Heterodox Academy: A senior at Yale describes the excessive insertion of politics in the classroom.

Ducks Day

The trivial items abide. They distract and nibble away like ducks. Before you know it, large chunks of time are gone.

Keep a list of your current ducks. Pick an afternoon or a day to devote to nothing but those minor items. Get them out of the way.

Then, assuming they cannot be delegated to someone else, start another list and schedule another Ducks Day.

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

When bad news is riding high and despair in fashion, when loud mouths and corruption seem to own center stage, when some keep crying that the country is going to the dogs, remember it's always been going to the dogs in the eyes of some, and that 90 percent, or more, of the people are good people, generous-hearted, law-abiding, good citizens who get to work on time, do a good job, love their country, pay their taxes, care about their neighbors, care about their children's education, and believe, rightly, as you do, in the ideals upon which our way of life is founded.

- David McCullough

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"The War"

The introduction from the upcoming Ken Burns documentary.

Migration and Europe

The reality is sinking in within the member states as well. Aydan Ozoguz, the German commissioner for immigration, refugees, and integration, admitted this week that three-quarters of the refugees Germany took in recently will still be unemployed in five years.

Read the rest at National Review.

First Paragraph

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.

- From The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

A Day of Mindfulness

Focus on creating a good minute - repeat - and then see how the day has gone.

Most Influential on the Internet?

Time magazine, clearly in a bubble, lists the 25 most influential people on the Internet and fails to mention Glenn Reynolds?

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It is not so common for nations to have birthdays. What is the birthday of England, for example? When did there begin to be a France or a China or an India? Old and wonderful places, their beginnings are lost in the mists of time. What they are today is connected to their past in ways we can hardly guess.

- From The Founder's Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It by Larry P. Arnn

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

We are living in a time of the politicalization of everything. You cannot, at the end of a long day, relax with a talk show because it will take a highly political point of view, in a dominant and aggressive manner, as if politics were not part of life but life.

- Peggy Noonan

Monday, June 26, 2017

Celebrating Westerns

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Health Food Update

Triple Chocolate Brownies from Scratch

The Taylor House gives the recipe .

"Operation Vittles"

Today is the anniversary of The Berlin Airlift.

Avoiding the Thucydides Trap

Politico: They're reading Greek history in the White House. An excerpt:

It might seem curious that an ancient Greek would cast a shadow over a meeting between a group of diplomats and generals from America and Asia. Most Americans probably don’t know Thucydides from Mephistopheles. But the Greek writer is a kind of demigod to international relations theorists and military historians, revered for his elegant chronicle of one of history’s most consequential wars, and his timeless insights into the nature of politics and warfare. The Yale University historian Donald Kagan calls Thucydides’ account “a source of wisdom about the behavior of human beings under the enormous pressures imposed by war, plague, and civil strife.”


Truth may be found in wine and first drafts.

First Paragraph

There once was a town high in the Alps that straddled the banks of a beautiful stream. The stream was fed by springs that were as old as earth and deep as the sea.

- From Soul Keeping: Caring for The Most Important Part of You by John Ortberg

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

It's all in the point of view: armchair strategists can look at the last stages of a campaign and say there's nothing left but mopping up, but if you're holding the mop it's different.

- George MacDonald Fraser

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Saturday, June 24, 2017

One of the Greatest Productivity Devices Ever Invented

Celebrating Westerns

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Miscellaneous and Fast

Wally Bock: Making measurement work for you.
The Onion gives a manliness update from a furniture store.
The President has signed a bill making it easier to fire Veterans Affairs employees.
The trailer for "The Big Sick."
No comment: Liz Phair interviews Elizabeth Wurtzel.
Fraser Institute: Wait times for health care in Canada.
Sports Illustrated: The annual beach-wear feature for the fashion-minded.

Leadership and Gallipoli

Image result for churchill and the dardanelles amazon

Writing in The Weekly Standard, Andrew Roberts reviews a new book on Winston Churchill's involvement in one of the most controversial decisions of the First World War.

Productivity Seminar

The incomparable Nicholas Bate is holding another productivity seminar.

I know if I could be there, I would.

Fame is Fleeting

How many of the following once-famous people could you identify in a line-up? Try this on your children.]
  1. Lloyd Nolan
  2. Veronica Lake
  3. Wallace Beery
  4. Strother Martin
  5. Lena Horne
  6. Warren Oates
  7. Marjorie Main
  8. Scatman Crothers
  9. Sam Jaffe
  10. Lloyd Bridges
  11. Mitch Miller
  12. Cesar Romero
  13. Jean Simmons
  14. Greta Garbo
  15. Joseph Cotten
  16. Godfrey Cambridge
  17. Peter Lorre
  18. Burl Ives
  19. Louis Calhern
  20. Ricardo Montalban
  21. Sidney Greenstreet
  22. Eartha Kitt
  23. Greer Garson
  24. Monty Woolley
  25. Andy Devine
  26. Paul Lynde
  27. Chuck Connors
  28. Randolph Scott
  29. Broderick Crawford
  30. Leo G. Carroll

Quote of the Day

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.

- Ronald Reagan

Friday, June 23, 2017

First Paragraph

Since this book was published there has been a lively debate, among politicians, through the media, in the public square, about the place of Islam in the modern world.

- From Celsius 7/7 by Michael Gove

A Sound Decision

From 2011: Who won the honors as Britain's greatest general?

The Music of Squeeze

Cultural Offering has the essential mixes for Squeeze.

[Confession: Until seeing his post, I had never heard of Squeeze. The man is an almanac of music.]

Celebrating Westerns

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Writers for Dinner

You can invite 12 writers, living or dead, novels and plays, for dinner and they will magically appear. Who would make your list?

My quick choices:
  1. William Shakespeare
  2. Charles Dickens
  3. Flannery O'Connor
  4. Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  5. George Orwell
  6. Leo Tolstoy
  7. Anthony Trollope
  8. Agatha Christie
  9. Tom Wolfe
  10. John Updike
  11. Graham Greene
  12. William Faulkner

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

Put every person on horseback and let the blood be half a foot deep. Be very profane and have plenty of shooting. No episodes must occur in the dark.

- Frederic Remington's advice to Owen Wister on how to write a western novel

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Film Break

The trailers for:

Signs of Decline

Althouse has the details.

Workshop Complaint

Today's workshop went well and there are great evaluations but my feet have filed a complaint.

Threats to Free Speech

Commentary presents an interesting collection of thinkers on whether free speech is threatened in the United States.

First Paragraph

Long before George Washington's death, Americans began writing about him in terms resembling the descriptions the New England Puritans had used to describe God. The Puritans never claimed ultimate insight into God's essence - God, no matter how thoroughly studied, no matter how lovingly worshiped, remained unknown and unknowable. He could be approached, in a manner of speaking, by listing his attributes - his power and justice, for example - but the list could never be more than a beginning, certainly not a full understanding. George Washington, a mere man, was called godlike while still alive - meaning he had been chosen by Providence to do great things; he was the being created to take a leading role, indeed the essential part, in leading his country out of the British Empire and into the new world of republics.

- From Washington's Revolution: The Making of America's First Leader by Robert Middlekauff

Quote of the Day

Almost all unhappiness in life comes from the tendency to blame someone else.

- Brian Tracey

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Turning Off What?

FutureLawyer interrupts beach time to reveal what may happen during Microsoft updates.

The Teacher of the Year, a Fan, and the President

Photo published for Q And A With The 'Sassy' Teacher Of The Year About That Fan And Going Viral

NPR: The story behind the photo that has gone viral.

Where Helicopter Childhoods May Lead

Pratik Chougule explores whether American childhood will create an authoritarian society. An excerpt:

Hard numbers illustrate these trends:
  • The amount of free time school-aged children enjoyed plummeted from 40 percent in the early 1980s to 25 percent by the mid 1990s.
  • The time young children spend in school jumped from 5-6 hours in the early 1980s to almost 7 hours beginning in the early 2000s.
  • By 2006, some 40 percent of schools had either eliminated recess or were considering doing so.

Haidt and the Culture Wars

The Chronicle of Higher Education: "Can Jonathan Haidt Calm the Culture Wars?" An excerpt:

In 2011, during a talk at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Haidt asked the audience of about 1,000 people for a show of hands: How many considered themselves liberals? Eighty percent raised their hands. Centrists or moderates? About 20 hands. Libertarians? Twelve. Conservatives? Three. "When we find any job in the nation in which women or minorities are underrepresented by a factor of three or four, we make the strong presumption that this constitutes evidence of discrimination," he said. "And if we can’t find evidence of overt discrimination, we presume that there must be a hostile climate that discourages underrepresented groups from entering." He likened the situation of nonliberals in social psychology to closeted homosexuals in the 1980s.

First Paragraph

On a morning in May 1804, there arrived at the White House by Baltimore coach, and in the company of the painter Charles Willson Peale, a visitor from abroad: an aristocratic, young German, age thirty-four, a bachelor, occupation scientist and explorer. And like Halley's comet or the white whale or other such natural phenomena dear to the nineteenth century, he would be remembered by all who saw him for the rest of their days.

- From Brave Companions: Portraits in History by David McCullough

Great Book Titles

Image result for is you don't have time to do it right book amazon

Quote of the Day

It is a characteristic mistake of the enlightened to demand too much of humans and then to loathe them for falling short.

- Michael Novak

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Advice with Scars on It

I wrote this back in 2008:

  1. If something doesn't feel right, don't pretend that it is right.

  2. Be wary of wit at the expense of others. It has a habit of turning sour.

  3. There are times when one of the smartest things you can do is to lose an argument.

  4. One of the most dangerous moments in a meeting is when everyone agrees.

  5. There are no little slights.

  6. Don't set higher standards for your secretary than you do for your chief executive officer.

  7. There are people who are wrong at the top of their voice.

  8. Predators may be beautiful but they are still predators.

  9. It can be easier to take a group from the bottom to the top than to keep a group at the top.

  10. If you have no competition you'd be wise to invent some.

  11. Whenever you are being given too much detail, rest assured that it is being used as a cloak.

  12. Look, and keep looking, for new ways of looking.

Celebrating Westerns

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Did the Job Kill FDR?

Look at the photographs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt shortly before his death and you will find an exhausted man. It surprises many to discover that FDR was only 63 years old when he died but anyone who studies his presidency may be amazed that he lasted that long.

Franklin Roosevelt was a brilliant leader but his management skills were terrible. An adept manipulator, FDR intentionally created chaos. He often assigned the same task to more than one Cabinet officer and even at the best of times his Cabinet was not a happy crew. He encouraged rivalry, took on a massive workload, and maintained a White House staff that was almost nonexistent. [A previous attempt to reorganize the executive branch had been blocked in Congress before the war.] 

And then the war came. By 1944, there were 47 war agencies reporting directly to the president. When he arrived at the Yalta Conference to meet with Churchill and Stalin, his health had declined so greatly that the British were shocked at his appearance. Lord Moran, Churchill's doctor, said, "I doubt, from what I have seen, whether he (Roosevelt) is fit for the job here." 

That observation was made on February 4, 1945.

President Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945.

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

When your victimhood is your empowerment, recovery is the enemy.

- Tammy Bruce

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Next 25 minutes

Inc.: This method for using intense focus during 25 minute periods is not necessarily new but it is helpful. Many individuals work in bursts, not in a flow, and focus is key.

Amazon + Whole Foods

Fortune magazine on what Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods could mean for Costco.

You can easily imagine.

"Seven years of college down the drain."

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The Miami Herald gives the background to "Animal House" and includes the story of how "Flounder" got the part. 

[It was a creative move involving pizza.]

Journalism's Demise

Imprimis: Michael Goodwin on the 2016 election and the demise of journalistic standards. An excerpt:

Among the many firsts, last year’s election gave us the gobsmacking revelation that most of the mainstream media puts both thumbs on the scale—that most of what you read, watch, and listen to is distorted by intentional bias and hostility. I have never seen anything like it. Not even close.

First Paragraph

Imagine that you were alive in the summer of 1900, living in London, then the capital of the world. Europe ruled the Eastern Hemisphere. There was hardly a place that, if not ruled directly, was not indirectly controlled from a European capital. Europe was at peace and enjoying unprecedented prosperity. Indeed, European interdependence due to trade and investment was so great that serious people were claiming that war had become impossible - and if not impossible, would end within weeks of beginning - because global financial markets couldn't withstand the strain. The future seemed fixed: a peaceful, prosperous Europe would rule the world.

- From The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century by George Friedman

Back to Basics

FutureLawyer shows how to delete yourself from the Internet.

Great Book Titles

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Quote of the Day

Reason has seldom failed us because it has seldom been tried.

- Edward Abbey

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Much Appreciated Father's Day Loot

  • Lost Illusions by Honore de Balzac
  • The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century by George Friedman
  • SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
  • Lehrter Station by David Downing
  • The American Spirit:Who We Are and What We Stand For by David McCullough
  • Brave Companions: Portraits in History by David McCullough

In the Background

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Father's Day: A Sound Philosophy

Find Something Beautiful Today

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Books on the Southwest

From 2016: The Pima County Public Library's Southwest Books of the Year.

[HT: Karlene Edwards]

First Paragraph

Mary Fisher lives in a High Tower, on the edge of the sea: she writes a great deal about the nature of love. She tells lies.

- From The Life and Loves of a She-Devil: A Novel by Fay Weldon

The Law of Unintended Consequences

The Fresno Bee: Jeremy Bagott on what California's $15 minimum wage is doing to the restaurant industry. An excerpt:

Joining San Francisco’s restaurant die-off was rising star AQ, which in 2012 was named a James Beard Award finalist for the best new restaurant in America. The restaurant’s profit margins went from a reported 8.5 percent in 2012 to 1.5 percent by 2015. Most restaurants are thought to require margins of 3 and 5 percent.

Bock on Books

Wally Bock has book recommendations for business leaders.

Music Break

Indila: "Tourner Dans Le Vide"

Celebrating Westerns

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