09/28/15 – St. Ignace

CURRENT EVENTS

Yoga Berra

635785744880479153-uscp-yogi-now

Yogi Berra’s baseball exploits as a New York Yankees catching great spoke for themselves. He spoke for himself in a charmingly fractured way that introduced “Yogi-isms” such as “It’s déjà vu all over again” into the American lexicon.

The Hall of Famer died at the of 90 on Tuesday evening, the Yogi Berra Museum announced. He undoubtedly would be reminding people of what he once said: “You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise, they won’t come to yours.”  [ ] In 1999 he was one of 100 players selected to Major League Baseball’s All-Century team. (Source: USA Today)

St. Ignace, MI

Carol and I are in St. Ignace, which is in Michigan’s Upper Peninsular, just on the other side of the Mackinaw Bridge, which is behind us.

best bridge

If you are around this area, I suggest you stop in at Fort Algonquin, as Carol is doing below.

Carol at Trading Post

It isn’t really a fort, but an indian gift shop.  You will find interesting items for sale.  And be sure to ask the proprietor, Lone Wolf Dancing on Thunder, about the history of the Indian tribes of this area.

Lone Wolf

It will soon be closing up for the season, like so many restaurants and stores in this area do.  You can find more specific information about Fort Algonquin in St. Ignace at  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fort-Algonquin/136284709744148?sk=wall

SELF-HELP BOOKS – The Yogi Book

I read this book long ago and like most of the books I recommend, this is a fun and easy to read book.

images

MOVIE OF THE WEEK  Moneyball

Out of respect for Yogi Berra, I wanted to suggest a movie this week that had a baseball theme.  

Money Ball

Based on a true story, Moneyball is a movie for anybody who has ever dreamed of taking on the system. Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s [ ]  The onetime jock teams with Ivy League grad Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) [ ], recruiting bargain players that the scouts call flawed, but all of whom have an ability to get on base, score runs, and win games. [ ]

Source: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/moneyball/

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK 

I also think that what’s wrong with all of us

is that we don’t show enough love toward each other.

Source:  Little Richard

**FILE** Little Richard performs during halftime at the Liberty Bowl in this Dec. 31, 2004 file photo in Memphis, Tenn. Little Richard built some goodwill in his hometown when he donated almost half of his concert fees to settle concerns over who was paying the tab for his show Saturday, Oct. 8, 2005. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

LAST WEEK POLL – What You Plan to Do for Halloween

Casa 4

Give out treats – 26%

Decorate your house – 24%

Go to a Halloween party – 21%

Ignore Halloween – 13%

Wear a costume – 11%

Watch a scary movie – 5%

THIS WEEK’S POLL 

In chapter 37 of my book, I talk about time in a number of ways.  One of those ways is aging and the importance of not letting your age stop you from starting projects.  So, I thought I would ask in this week’s poll what decade of our live we think was or will be the best.  Sorry, you can vote for only one decade.

Aging

 

SONG OF THE WEEK -I was fortunate to see Little Richard twice in my life.  Once  in the late 1950s and again in the early 21st century.  I am so glad that some of his early performances were captured.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kM1khne_sg

THIS WEEK’S JOKE -Since this truly extraordinary Pope is making his extraordinary visit to the U.S.A. this week, I thought something related to the Bible would be appropriate. 

Hebrew

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLELittle Richard

I’ve been fortunate to see Little Richard in person, twice in my life, once when I was very young and once again in my 60s.

little-richard-52c67ca2248af

Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5, 1932), known by his stage name Little Richard, is an American recording artist, songwriter and musician.

An influential figure in popular music and culture for more than six decades, Little Richard’s most celebrated work dates from the mid-1950s, when his dynamic music and charismatic showmanship laid the foundation for rock and roll. [ ]

Little Richard has been honored by many institutions, including inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from The Recording Academy and the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti” (1955) was included in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry in 2010 [ ]. In 2015, the National Museum of African American History and Culture honored Little Richard for his pivotal role in the formation of popular music genres and in helping to shatter the color line on the music charts changing American culture forever. (Source: Wikipedia)

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I hope more of you will start leaving comments to this post.  To leave a comment, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post.

And as important, if you think this blog has any merit, please pass it on to your friends.

MY BOOK – My book can be purchased on-line from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million.  It is also available in a ebook format.

My Final Cover

http://www.amazon.com/Tired-Being-Ordinary-Are-You/dp/0990388697

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/im-tired-of-being-ordinary-are-you-wm-allen/1120528064?ean=9780990388692

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Im-Tired-Being-Ordinary/Wm-Allen/9780990388692?id=6429711012885

09/21/15 – Spiritual Practice

CURRENT EVENTS – Tour de Troit

What a fantastic way to spend a Saturday (9/19/15) and my compliments to the riders who braved Saturday’s weather to participate in this extraordinary event.

Tour de Troit

https://www.facebook.com/TourdeTroit

The mission of the Tour de Troit is to promote and encourage bicycling and bicycle safety through education, public events, collaboration with community and government organizations and support for non-motorized infrastructure. The Tour de Troit, the city’s largest cycling event, raises awareness of biking as a mode of transportation and publicizes the growing greenways network in the City of Detroit and all of Southeastern Michigan. Tour de Troit also produces and supports other events that promote a healthy lifestyle and city, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Bike Ride, PaczKi Run, Run du Nain Rouge and Cycle Into Spring.

http://www.tour-de-troit.org/about

SELF-HELP BOOKS – The Tao of Elvis

I know I have suggested this book in the past; but if you give this easy to read book a chance, you will find it contains much spiritual guidance.

“The Tao is great, the king is also great.”–Lao Tzu

The Tao of Elvis

Elvis Presley was an intensely spiritual man. Gospel was his music of choice, and his life–from innocence to addiction, from obscurity to fame, from “Hound Dog” to “Love Me Tender”–was one long quest to balance opposites. The Tao of Elvis is the first attempt to illustrate Elvis’s Taoist nature and interpret his never-ending search for purpose and meaning. Highlighting Elvis’s journey from light into dark, Jungian expert and Elvis scholar David Rosen explores and examines his life through the structure of the Tao Te Ching. In reflections on forty-two Taoist concepts–one for each year of Elvis’s life–Rosen reveals how the Tao, a mysterious force, was and is operating through America’s king. Like the Tao, Elvis is everywhere. (Source:  Amazon)

MOVIE OF THE WEEK – When the Moors Ruled in Europe

If you are Amazon Prime, you can watch this film for free or if you have a Netflix DVD subscription and I was surprised that you can find it on Youtube, also for free.  In today’s troubled times, it is something that you owe to yourself to look at how things could be rather than how they are.  It is a well done documentary of how people thrive when they are tolerant of one another.  As I mentioned in my posts from Spain this year, I have been to many of the cities and buildings mentioned in the film (Alhambra, Cordova, Seville, Toledo, etc.).  I wish I have viewed this film before my trip. 

When the Moors Ruled in Europe

Bettany Hughes traces the story of the mysterious and misunderstood Moors, the Islamic society that ruled in Spain for 700 years, but whose legacy was virtually erased from Western history. In 711 AD, a tribe of newly converted Muslims from North Africa crossed the straits of Gibraltar and invaded Spain. Known as The Moors, they went on to build a rich and powerful society. Its capital, Cordoba, was the largest and most civilised city in Europe, with hospitals, libraries and a public infrastructure. Amongst the many things that were introduced to Europe by Muslims at this time were: a huge body of classical Greek texts that had been lost to the rest of Europe for centuries (kick-starting the Renaissance); mathematics and the numbers we use today; advanced astronomy and medical practices; fine dining; the concept of romantic love; and paper. (Source: http://www.infocobuild.com/books-and-films/social-science/when-the-moors-ruled-in-europe.html )

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK – Chapter 19 of my book discusses “Change”, but the quote below will certainly do if you don’t have a chance to read that chapter in my book.

Serenty Prayer

LAST WEEK POLL – Your Health Habits in Regards to Others

Since I permitted multiple voting, I have no idea how many people participated in last week’s poll, but there were 68 votes.  The highest number of votes went to;

One or less alcohol drinks a day – 11 votes

I exercise more than most people – 9 votes

On average I get less than 7 hours sleep a night – 9 votes

My diet is better than most peoples – 8 votes

THIS WEEK’S POLL – Chapter 20 of my book discusses the importance of celebrating successes (yours and your friends & associates) as well as various holidays.  So this week’s poll is related to the various ways one might celebrate Halloween, if they care to do so.  Again, you can vote for more than one item.

 

SONG OF THE WEEK – Folks, here is another dance video for your viewing pleasure.  I hope you enjoy it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmnSm_d2ll4

THIS WEEK’S JOKE – In chapter 30 of my book, I talk about how important it is to avoid arguments with people.  One sure way of avoiding arguments is to not talk about religion.

Walked into a bar

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE – Lao Tzu

273 Working Title/Artist: LaoziDepartment: Asian ArtCulture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: Working Date: 8th–11th century photography by mma, Digital File DP164014.tif retouched by film and media (jnc) 12_9_11

Little is truly known about the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu [ ], who is a guiding figure in [ ] Taoism [ ]. He is said to have been a record keeper in the court of the central Chinese Zhou Dynasty in the 6th century B.C., and an older contemporary of Confucius. This could be true, but he may also have been entirely mythical [  ].

Lao Tzu is said to have tired of life in the Zhou court as it grew increasingly morally corrupt. So he left and rode on a water buffalo to the western border of the Chinese empire. Although he was dressed as a farmer, the border official recognised him and asked him to write down his wisdom. According to this legend, what Lao Tzu wrote became the sacred text called the Tao Te Ching. After writing this piece, Lao Tzu is said to have crossed the border and disappeared from history, perhaps to become a hermit. In reality, the Tao Te Ching is likely the compilation of the works of many authors over time. But stories about Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching itself passed down through different Chinese philosophical schools for over two thousand years. (Source:  The Philosophers’ Mail)

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I hope more of you will start leaving comments to this post.  To leave a comment, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post.

And as important, if you think this blog has any merit, please pass it on to your friends.

MY BOOK

My Final Cover

http://www.amazon.com/Tired-Being-Ordinary-Are-You/dp/0990388697

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/im-tired-of-being-ordinary-are-you-wm-allen/1120528064?ean=9780990388692

 

09/14/15 – The First Time on the Internet: Perceptions

CURRENT EVENTS

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY DEBATE

Folks, regardless of your party affiliation, you should watch this to either be informed or just for the sake of entertainment.

Republican CNN Debate

CNN Republican Primary Debate

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

6pm ET / 3pm PT – First round debate
8pm ET / 5pm PT – Second round primetime debate
Aired On: CNN
Location: Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA
Sponsors: Reagan Library Foundation, CNN, Salem Media Group
Moderator(s): Jake Tapper, Dana Bash and Hugh Hewitt
Rules: Split field into Segment B (primetime) and Segment A (remaining candidates getting at least 1% in polls)
Candidates 6pm: Santorum, Jindal, Pataki, Graham
Candidates 8pm: Trump, Bush, Walker, Huckabee, Carson, Cruz, Rubio, Paul, Christie, Kasich, Fiorina

SKELETONS

I was reading the Thursday, September 10, 2015 issue of USA Today and came across an article on page 5A about the discovery of some skeleton remains that could be more than 2.5 million years old.  Although I found the article interesting, what interests me more are current skeletons.  When you look at the skeletons below, you will see that underneath the skin and superficial differences, we are all the same.

Skeltons

Well at least all of us, except for pirates.

FOOT RACES

runners-racing-18747099

I did another 5K race Sunday at the Detroit Zoo.  Although I was a little faster (34 minutes & 6 seconds) than last week, I came in 5th out of the ten guys in my 65 to 69 age bracket.  But the interesting thing is that the guy who came in first in my age bracket did the 5K in 24 minutes and 10 seconds.  However, 71 year-old Monte Piliawksy ran the 5K in 23 minutes and 42 seconds.  Actually, there was four guys in the over 70 bracket and they all ran the 5K in less than 30 minutes.  Although the over 70 ladies were not as fast, four of them did complete the race.  There were 13 women in my age bracket and the winning woman did the 5K in 23 minutes and 28 seconds.

You really need to ask yourself, what are you doing today that will help ensure your physical well being in the years to come.  And remember it is never too soon or too late to start doing something to be healthier–please.

SELF-HELP BOOKS:

I don’t agree with everything in this book and most likely neither will you; but still it is well worth reading for the many thought provoking ideas that it provides.  I’ve read and reviewed it many times over the years.

Living a Life That Matters 2

Most of us need to feel that we matter in some way; perhaps this explains the high value placed on titles, corner offices, and even fleeting celebrity. But most of us also need to feel that we are good people. In this luminous yet practical book of spiritual advice, Harold Kushner bridges the gap between these seemingly irreconcilable needs, showing us how even our smallest daily actions can become stepping stones toward integrity. (Source:  Amazon)

MOVIE OF THE WEEK 

Here is a short film (Five minutes) that I made back in 2010, called Perceptions.  It is a “tongue-in-cheek” view of how people perceive the world around them.  There are better films out there, but I made this one with my friends and so I love the film even with all it’s flaws.  

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK – Chapter 40 of my book talks about seeing and hearing what is there, rather than what you want to be there.  As Abraham Lincoln advises below, you may want to fact check some of the things you see on the internet.

Lincoln Quote

LAST WEEK POLL – How well do you use your time.

This week only 19 people voted in the poll.  I can never understand why more people don’t vote.  I personally find the results interesting.

Anyway, here are the results of the 19 people who voted:

12 felt they used there time better than most people

4 felt they used their time the same as most people

3 felt they used their time worse than most people

THIS WEEK’S POLL – I devoted the first section of my book to good physical traits, since if you aren’t healthy, nothing else really matters, does it?  Below is a poll, where you may answer multiple times.

 

SONG OF THE WEEK – Last week my good friend Carolyn expressed here dissatisfaction with one of the male dancers in last week’s Shania Twain video. I think you will find some extraordinary dancing in this week’s music video – Please check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMZwZiU0kKs

THIS WEEK’S JOKE – Batman can obviously see what is there, rather than what he wishes were there.  

Cat Woman

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE – Anwar Sadat (25 Dec 1918 – 6 Oct 1981)

220px-Anwar_Sadat_cropped

[  ] As President, he led Egypt in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 to regain Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had occupied since the Six-Day War of 1967, making him a hero in Egypt and, for a time, the wider Arab World. Afterwards, he engaged in negotiations with Israel, culminating in the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty; this won him and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin the Nobel Peace Prize, making Sadat the first Muslim Nobel laureate. Though reaction to the treaty—which resulted in the return of Sinai to Egypt—was generally favorable among Egyptians, it was rejected by the country’s Muslim Brotherhood and leftists in particular, who felt Sadat had abandoned efforts to ensure a Palestinian state. With the exception of Sudan, the Arab world and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) strongly opposed Sadat’s efforts to make a separate peace with Israel without prior consultations with the Arab states. His refusal to reconcile with them over the Palestinian issue resulted in Egypt being suspended from the Arab League from 1979 to 1989. The peace treaty was also one of the primary factors that led to his assassination. (Source:  Wikipedia)

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I hope more of you will start leaving comments to this post.  To leave a comment, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post.

And as important, if you think this blog has any merit, please pass it on to your friends.

MY BOOK

My Final Cover

http://www.amazon.com/Tired-Being-Ordinary-Are-You/dp/0990388697

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/im-tired-of-being-ordinary-are-you-wm-allen/1120528064?ean=9780990388692

 

09/07/15 – Seeing & Hearing

CURRENT EVENTS

CLEAN OUT YOUR GARAGE DAY

In Chapter 22 of my book, I talk about the importance of reducing the clutter in your life.  This coming Saturday, September 12, is National Clean Out Your Garage Day and would be a good start to reducing the clutter in your life. [Source:  The Detroit News, Friday, August 28, 2015]

FOOT RACES

Saturday, I was in the Arts, Beats & Eats 5K race and came in third in my age group, running 3.1 miles in 34 minutes and 49 seconds..  The two guys in my age group who were faster, were also a bit younger than me.  So, I thought next year I should be able to come in first, when I move into the 70 to 74 age group.

5K Arts Eats & Beats

Well to my surprised, when I looked at the 70 to 74 year old male runner results, I saw that 71 year old Monte Piliawsky ran the 3.1 miles in an extraordinary 22 minutes and 54 seconds.  I look forward to coming in second next year behind this extraordinary individual.

There will be another walk, 5K & 10K race at the Detroit Zoo this coming Sunday, September 13 and most likely you can find similar events wherever you happen to live.  So if you are looking for something to do after cleaning out your garage, maybe you want to try a walk or a short race.  For more information, click on http://www.detroitzoo.org/Events/run-wild?ref=em-QTN6mtFrDGdE

I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS – People really need to think about the people and companies they support with their hard earned dollars.

Walter Palmer, who has spent more than a month out of sight after becoming the target of protests and threats, intends to return to his suburban Minneapolis dental practice Tuesday. (Source: Interview Sunday evening conducted jointly by The Associated Press and the Minneapolis Star Tribune)

We are looking for a dentist

CONTRAST – Contrast cowardly Walter Palmer with hero Ben Kuroki, who  died Tuesday.

Ben Kuroki

Ben Kuroki, a decorated Japanese-American gunner in the Army Air Forces of World War II, who was hailed on the American homeland at a time when tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans were confined to internment camps as supposed security risks, died on Tuesday in Camarillo, Calif. He was 98.

Many Americans of Japanese descent served with distinction in the Army’s ground forces. But the Air Forces had not wanted Mr. Kuroki, or, for that matter, any Japanese-Americans.

He nonetheless became an airman and received three Distinguished Service Crosses, taking part in raids over Europe and North Africa and then, after receiving special permission from the War Department, in missions over Japan. (Source: NY Times, Sunday, September 6, 2015)

SELF-HELP BOOKS:

I’m currently half-way through Katie Couric’s book, The Best Advice I Ever Got and it definitely lives up to what the back cover says about the book.  I particularly like that the wisdom these extraordinary people impart to the reader comes in doses of half-a-page to a few pages.  Below is some of what the back cover says about the book.

In this inspiring book, Katie Couric distills the ingenious, hard-won insights of such leaders and visionaries as Maya Angelou, Jimmy Carter, Michael J. Fox, and Ken Burns, who offer advice about life, success, and happiness—how to take chances, follow one’s passions, overcome adversity and inertia, commit to something greater than ourselves, and more.

The Best Advice I Ever Got

MOVIE OF THE WEEK 

This week’s film is a bit different from my usual recommendations.  It is a DVD that illustrates creativity, nature, generosity and some courage.  It is a documentary DVD about the Pennsylvania house that Frank Lloyd Wright designed.  I particularly like this video because it contains the reflections of Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., the son of the couple that asked Mr. Wright to design this extraordinary house.  However, this video is difficult to obtain and expensive; but there are many other books & videos on Frank Lloyd Wright and I have been fortunate enough to visit his studio in Oak Park, just outside of Chicago.  If you have any time and are in Chicago, it is worth the effort to visit Oak Park after seeing the highlights of downtown Chicago.

fallingwater_new_film_big2

http://www.fallingwatermuseumstore.org/browse.cfm/fallingwater-frank-lloyd-wrights-masterwork-dvd/4,679.html

If I had it to do over again, I would have included a chapter in my book about the physical aspects of the place that one calls home.  I believe one can make any home extraordinary, if one tries.  Although money does help, I believe it is the love one puts into the task that can make any physical place you call home extraordinary.

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK – In Chapter 17 of my book, I discuss the importance of being meticulous about telling the truth.  I know many of us on Facebook have difference of opinion and I think it is good people feel free to express their views.  However, if you are using falsehoods to support your views; you are doing your views a disservice.

Please Fact Check

LAST WEEK POLL – What is your addiction

This week 24 people voted in the poll.  I can never understand why more people don’t vote.  I get general statistics telling me that about 100 people viewed this blog last week, but perhaps they each viewed the blog four times 🙂

Anyway, here are the results of the 24 people who voted:

6 were addicted to reading – That is wonderful, no doubt they are all extraordinary

4 were addicted to nothing – Well, that is extraordinary

4 were addicted to their cell phone – I’m amazed it was so few 

4 were addicted to work – Don’t we wish we could hire these people

2 were addicted to alcohol – You were only permitted to vote once, I’m guessing it was a tough choice between work and alcohol, but perhaps I am saying more about myself than anyone else 🙂

2 were addicted to love – hey, we gotta love these people

1 was addicted to exercise – it wasn’t me 🙂

1 was addicted to television and movies – I can’t blame them, I love movies.

No one was addicted to drugs – I’m thankful to hear that

THIS WEEK’S POLL – In chapter 37 of my book, I stress how important it is to use your time well, so here is a poll on how you use your time.

 

SONG OF THE WEEK – I hope you enjoyed Robert Palmer’s video last week as much as I did.  Well, this week’s song in some ways is the flip side of Robert Palmer’s video – Please check it out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJL4UGSbeFg

THIS WEEK’S JOKE – Chapter 40 of my book talks about seeing and hearing what is there, rather than what you want to be there.  In other words, if it seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.  For this week’s joke, I decided upon a video that illustrates that point.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbuoItyja64

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLERené Magritte (21 Nov 1898 – 15 Aug 1967)

 René Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images that fall under the umbrella of surrealism. His work is known for challenging observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality. (Source: Wikipedia)

I would like to add that he was a philosopher, who just happened to communicate via paintings.  If you wish to think outside the box, you really need to see a number of his works.  He is my favorite artist and his paintings (Copies of course), as well as my wife’s paintings, are all over our house.

Here are just a few examples of his work:

00000381471001042K053JMV   MA959-TH  magritte_6

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If you would like to leave a comment to this post, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post.

And as always, either leave a comment or send me your suggestions for current events, jokes, thoughts, movies, book, extraordinary people, songs, or anything you believe may be interesting and thought provoking for the readers of this blog. My address:  mailto:harmonybooksfilmsllc@comcast.net

MY BOOK

My Final Cover

http://www.amazon.com/Tired-Being-Ordinary-Are-You/dp/0990388697

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/im-tired-of-being-ordinary-are-you-wm-allen/1120528064?ean=9780990388692