03/07/16 – Death & Dance

 CURRENT EVENTS

Death of Nancy Reagan

Nancy_Reagan

(Source: CNN) Former first lady Nancy Reagan, who joined her husband on a storybook journey from Hollywood to the White House, died Sunday.

She was 94 [and] died at her home in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure [ ].

“Mrs. Reagan will be buried at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, next to her husband, Ronald Wilson Reagan, who died on June 5, 2004. [ ]

As first lady during Ronald Reagan’s eight years in the White House, she was known as the “Just say no” spokeswoman of anti-drug campaigns, and as a fierce protector of her husband, both personally and politically. When Ronald Reagan was shot in a 1981 assassination attempt, Nancy Reagan never left the hospital where the president was treated until he was released [ ].

After she and her husband left Washington, she became his protector again as he struggled with Alzheimer’s disease until his death in 2004. After his death, she remained a staunch guardian of his image and legacy.

Tues., Mar. 1, Lord of the Dance

Lord of the Dance

Folks, this was the third time over the last 20 years, that I saw Lord of the Dance and it has changed to reflect today’s technology, but it remains a great show and I urge you to see it, even if you have seen it before.  

However, if you can’t see Lord of the Dance, I suggest you do what Carol did and see the less expensive Ord of the Dance.

Carol at Lord of Dance

PHYSICAL TRAITS 

Honor Thy Temple

In Chapter 1 of my book, I stress the importance of diet in achieving an extraordinary life style.  So please give some thought to what you are eating.

Fear the wurst

CHARACTER TRAITS

The Foundation for Being Extraordinary

In chapter 17 of my book, I mention you should be meticulous in telling the truth, but to not use that as authorization to be cruel.

Lincoln Quote

SOCIAL TRAITS

Getting Along with Others

The focus of Chapter 25 of my book is on being trustworthy and trusting others, at least until they prove themselves untrustworthy.  

Dancing and Alcohol

LEARNING TRAITS

Growth Keeps You Extraordinary

In Chapter 37 I discuss how extraordinary people use their time wisely. We all receive the same twenty-four hours each day, but some make so much of that time and others make so little of it.

Time

Miscellaneous 

The Odds & Ends of Being Extraordinary

In Chapter 29 of my book, I warn about addictions.  There are all kinds of additions.  

Happiness

SELF-HELP BOOKS

The Warrior Within

by John Little

I believe this book lives up to what it says on the cover, “The philosophies of Bruce Lee to better understand the world around you and achieve a rewarding life.”

Here is a taste from the book to whet your appetite.  “On the one hand, there is natural instinct and on the other is control. You are to combine the two in harmony.  For if you cultivate only one dimension, say natural instinct, you will be very unscientific.  If you have the other to the extreme, you become all of a sudden a mechanical man, no longer a human being.

Warrior

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

IL POSTINO

p18253_p_v8_aa

How good is this movie.  Well, the lead actor put off a heart operation to be in this film.  He died before filming was over.  I saw the film and thought the lead actor made a good decision.

If you ever wondered what was the deal with poetry, this film will show you in an entertaining way.

Warning, the version I saw was in Italian with English subtitles.  That will turn some of you off.  Please don’t feel bad if you decide not to watch this film  because of the subtitles, since you probably wouldn’t like it anyway.

LAST WEEK’S POLL – Encouragement

Helping others

The first of last week’s two polls asked about you encouraging others.

And outstanding 76% of you have encouraged someone in the last week.  That is absolutely fantastic.  Another 19% of you have encouraged someone in the last two weeks and the remaining 5% have encouraged someone in the last month.

The second of last week’s two polls asked about you receiving encouragement.

Fifty percent of you have received encouragement from someone in the last week.  Another 22% of us , I am sorry to say have not received encouragement in a while.  While still another 17% of you have received encouragement within the last two weeks.  The remaining 11% of you have received encouragement in the last month.

THIS WEEK POLL – St. Patrick’s Day

 This weeks poll is on your St. Patrick’s Day plans.

Shamrock

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

This week I started to show a February 1958 video of a dance called the Stroll.  I recall watching it on American Bandstand after I got home from school each week day.  I thought it was so cool, but then I recall in the 70s how much I enjoyed watching an updated version of the Stroll on Soul Train.  I did a search to find that version. To my surprise, I found someone had already put these two versions of the Stroll together.  I hope you get half as much of a kick out of this stroll down memory lane as I did.

Soul train vs. The Stroll

Stroll

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Wwlz1FGNu8

ART OF THE WEEK

La Chateau des Pyrenees (translation: The Castle of the Pyrenees)

by René Magritte

René Magritte is my favorite artist, although I believe he considered himself a philosopher, who just happen to communicate via painting rather than words.  I have had a copy of this painting hanging in my home for decades.

Castle Rock

La Chateau des Pyrenees [ ] is truly a surreal painting. The Chateau (castle) sits perched on top of a large mountain floating above a large body of water. [ ]

The levitation of such a large rock literally defies gravity. There are some points to consider here. By the fact that the mountain is in the air, it has no foundation. It was once part of the Earth yet it is now separate. How does one enter such a castle? There is no path up the mountain. It is unreachable by land and by sea. It can only be reached by air and by the imagination.

It is always important to consider the title of any painting, in this case, La Chateau des Pyrenees. Something can always be learned from a painting’s title. The Pyrenees are a range of mountains in southwest Europe that form a natural border between France and Spain. Etymology: According to Greek mythology the Pyrenees are named after Pyrene (fire in Greek) the daughter of Bebryx, who was raped by Hercules. She got pregnant and, the next morning, Hercules was drunk in a slumber. She then stabbed him, and went into hiding. Bebryx, thinking her dead and not knowing exactly where she was, built a great tomb for her; the Pyrenees. [ ]

The concept of a floating city appears repeatedly in science fiction literature and drama. In the Star Trek episode, “The Cloud Minders (1969),” Stratos is a fictional floating city on the planet Ardana and ruled by High Advisor Plasus. And the Cloud City is a floating city on Bespin, a fictional planet in the Star Wars universe managed by Lando Calrissian (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back; 1980).

(Source: http://rene-magritte-paintings.blogspot.com/2009/11/la-chateau-des-pyrenees.html )

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

Bill Murray

Can there be any doubt that the fellow who was in two of my favorite movies, Groundhog Day and Scrooged is an extraordinary person.

I did a number of internet searches and the story below about Bill Murray appears to me to be true and his actions do not surprise me.  

Would not the world be a wonderful place if we all did acts like this.

Bill Murray

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

Warning & Disclaimer – Guys, this blog is not a substitute for advice from qualified professions and I expressly disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects, damages, or other negative consequences arising from the following advice 🙂

Overreacting

BLOG

I always appreciate those that leave comments on my weekly posts, since it encourages me to continue these posts.  Thank you Spiritual Journey, Carol, Judith, Elizabeth and Glenda for commenting on last week’s post.

Leaving a comment is easy, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post.  And if instead of seeing “Leave A Comment”, you see “# Comments”, just click on that and scroll down to leave your comment.  

I now have two more people or 40 in all, who are following this blog, thanks to Elizabeth & Glenda, who started following this blog last week.  It is easy to follow, just click in the side bar area where it says “Follow Harmony Books & Films, LLC”.

I also have 61 people who have liked my Harmony Books & Films Facebook page.  Again, it is easy enough to like my Facebook page, just click in the side bar area where there is a little photo of the cover of my book.

If you think this blog has any merit, please pass it on to your friends.  Thank you Joanne and Pat for sharing last week’s post on Facebook.   Hopefully, more of you will continue to share this blog with others.

And I am please to report that for the month of February 2015 this blog had 153 views and for February 2016 we had 579 views or well over three times the amount of views.

MY BOOK

If you know someone who is trying to change their life or that needs to change their life, please consider my book.

For those of you into reading books on a Kindle, the Kindle version of my book is $4.95.

My book is available on-line from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million.  

And if you have read my book, please leave an evaluation of it on Amazon.  Thank you.

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

02/29/16 – Can Somebody Attack Me Please

 CURRENT EVENTS

Thursday, Feb. 25 Republican Debate

GOP candidates at the CNN GOP presidential debate in Houston, Texas on February 25, 2016.
GOP candidates at the CNN GOP presidential debate in Houston, Texas on February 25, 2016.

Every so often I have encouraged you folks to watch the Presidential Debates.  In case you missed last Thursday’s debate, I thought The Skimm http://www.theskimm.com/?r=66879149 did such an extraordinary recap of the debate that I wanted you to see it, so here it is:

WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOUR CO-WORKER COMES IN WITH A HEADACHE…You watched the debate too? Last night was the 10,000th GOP debate, and the last one before Super Tuesday next week. CNN refereed. And even though five candidates were on stage, it was a three-man fight between frontrunner Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio (FL), and Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) .

They went at it on immigration. Rubio hit Trump for allegedly employing undocumented workers in the past. To which the Donald reminded the stage that he’s the “only one” who’s hired people before. They went at it on healthcare. Rubio repeatedly asked Trump ‘what’s your plan.’ To which Trump finally said ‘Plan. You can’t handle the plan.’ And didn’t elaborate.

Then the Ghost of Mitt Romney appeared and made everybody say when they’re releasing their tax returns. Soon, Mittens. Soon. They talked Apple. And Cruz thinks the Constitution wants the Fruit to take a bite out of that iPhone for the FBI.

Gov. John Kasich (OH) wants everyone to stop yelling and use their quiet voices. And then Dr. Ben Carson asked “Can somebody attack me please?” End scene.

PHYSICAL TRAITS 

Honor Thy Temple

Which came first, the chicken or the egg is an age-old question.  Sometimes we think if we just changed our look, our life would change.  Perhaps, if we changed our life, our look would change.

Life Shape

CHARACTER TRAITS

The Foundation for Being Extraordinary

In chapter 18 of my book, I talk about the importance of detachment to both objects and relationships.  Sometimes you just have to let things go to allow space for new things to come into your life.

Detactment

SOCIAL TRAITS

Getting Along with Others

In chapter 29 of my book I talk about the importance of communications in getting along with others.  Here is something to think about.

Man speaks en forest

LEARNING TRAITS

Growth Keeps You Extraordinary

It is common to buy items that call for assembling before using.  The manufacturer of these items include a strategy for putting the item to gather.  It is important for you to study these assembly directions before you begin putting the item together.  For almost every item I have ever tried to put together, I found I needed a screwdriver as pointed out below.

Instructions

Miscellaneous 

The Odds & Ends of Being Extraordinary

In the last chapter of my book I stress the importance of enjoying the journey and don’t be overly concerned about the destination.

Finish Line

SELF-HELP BOOKS

Fit From Within

by Victoria Moran

This isn’t your typical diet book, which is why I am suggesting you read it if you have any interest in changing your body and your life.

Fit From Within

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

Hail, Caesar

Hail Caesar

Four-time Oscar (R)-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, True Grit, Fargo) write and direct Hail, Caesar!, an all-star comedy set during the latter years of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum, Hail, Caesar! follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix. (Source: http://www.rottentomatoes.com)

LAST WEEK’S POLL – Clutter

Clutter

Last week’s poll asked you if you were conscious of and if you make an effort to rid yourself of various types of clutter.

Twenty-three percent of us try to rid ourselves of harmful habits and toxic relationships.

Another 21% of us try to rid ourselves of beliefs that are no longer right for the world we live in today.

Eighteen percent of us try to discard physical objects that no longer serve a purpose and another 14% try to rid themselves of electronic files that no longer serve a purpose.

When it comes to grading our efforts, 53% gave ourselves a C, noting we have less clutter than many, but still have work to do.

Another 26% of us gave ourselves a D, knowing we have a lot of cutter but unable to get rid of it.

Eighteen percent of us gave ourselves a B, saying we have a minimum amount of clutter and are working of getting rid of it.

Five percent of us gave ourselves an E, saying everything is a mess

And no one gave themselves an A, saying it is rare that they find clutter and if they do, they are quick to eliminate it.

THIS WEEK POLL – Encouragement

What you send out to the world. often returns to you.  This weeks poll is on encouraging others and being encouraged yourself.

Helping others

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

Here is something a bit different from what I usually suggest.  I hope you like it.

Kristin Andreassen is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, old time musician and educator. Currently based in Brooklyn, New York,[1] she started her music career as a professional clogger with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble and in the early 2000s joined the folk bands Uncle Earl and Sometymes Why as a vocalist, dancer, songwriter, guitarist.

In 2007 she released her first solo album, Kiss Me Hello, which was produced by Mark Schatz (Nickel Creek). The opening track “Crayola Doesn’t Make a Color for Your Eyes” won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the Children’s Category,[2] also becoming a hit on children’s radio despite the fact that the overall album was intended for adult listeners. (Source: Wikipedia)

Crayola Doesn’t Make A Color For Your Eyes

by Kristin Andreassen

Kristin 2

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

ART OF THE WEEK

Sky and Water I

by M. C. Escher

Leonard Slain, in his book, Art & Physics, Our  Western mind [ ] has never yet devised a concept, not even a name for the union of opposites through the middle path …

300px-Sky_and_Water_I

Sky and Water I is a woodcut print by the Dutch artist M. C. Escher first printed in June 1938.

The basis of this print is a regular division of the plane consisting of birds and fish. Both prints have the horizontal series of these elements—fitting into each other like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle—in the middle, transitional portion of the prints. In this central layer the pictorial elements are equal: birds and fish are alternately foreground or background, depending on whether the eye concentrates on light or dark elements. The birds take on an increasing three-dimensionality in the upward direction, and the fish, in the downward direction. But as the fish progress upward and the birds downward they gradually lose their shapes to become a uniform background of sky and water, respectively.

According to Escher: “In the horizontal center strip there are birds and fish equivalent to each other. We associate flying with sky, and so for each of the black birds the sky in which it is flying is formed by the four white fish which encircle it. Similarly swimming makes us think of water, and therefore the four black birds that surround a fish become the water in which it swims.”

This print has been used in physics, geology, chemistry, and in psychology for the study of visual perception. In the pictures a number of visual elements unite into a simple visual representation, but separately each forms a point of departure for the elucidation of a theory in one of these disciplines. (Source: Wikipedia)

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

Richard Chacon

I suspect everyone is extraordinary to someone.  I met Chacon at work back in 1981, and it turned out that we were both training for the Detroit Marathon.

He was in my view an artist and an extraordinary person.  A few years later, he returned to NYC.  I recall my last telephone conversation with him sometime in the mid-1980s.  He had cancer, had checked himself out of the hospital and went home and tried curing himself by watching funny movies.

He died, but he died with extraordinary style.  Thirty years later, I still occasionally think of him.

Me & Richard

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

This one is for those of you that enjoy history or furniture 🙂

Ottoman Empire

BLOG

I always appreciate those that leave comments on my weekly posts, since it encourages me to continue these posts.  Thank you Spiritual Journey, Carol, Judith, Carolyn and Tania for commenting on last week’s post.

Leaving a comment is easy, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post.  And if instead of seeing “Leave A Comment”, you see “# Comments”, just click on that and scroll down to leave your comment.  

Currently, I have 38 people who are following this blog, thanks to Renxkyoko, who started following this blog last week.  It is easy to follow, just click in the side bar area where it says “Follow Harmony Books & Films, LLC”.

I also have 61 people who have liked my Harmony Books & Films Facebook page.  Again, it is easy enough to like my Facebook page, just click in the side bar area where there is a little photo of the cover of my book.

If you think this blog has any merit, please pass it on to your friends.  Thank you Valda, Melisa, Nandini and Viswarupa for sharing last week’s post on Facebook.   Hopefully, more of you will continue to share this blog with others.

MY BOOK

If you know someone who is trying to change their life or that needs to change their life, please consider my book.

For those of you into reading books on a Kindle, the Kindle version of my book is $4.95.

My book is available on-line from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million.  

And if you have read my book, please leave an evaluation of it on Amazon.  Thank you.

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

02/22/16 – An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

 CURRENT EVENTS

Apple’s Position on Privacy

Apple-Corp-Logo-jpg

http://www.apple.com/customer-letter/

SELF-HELP BOOKS

1984

by George Orwell

I read George Orwell’s 1984 long before 1984 and I recall 1984 coming and passing without the dire prediction being fulfilled. Obviously, Orwell was mistaken. The only question is was the prediction wrong or the title?

1984

PHYSICAL TRAITS 

Honor Thy Temple

Isn’t it true that there is always another diet coming out and I guess most of them work in the short-term, but I don’t think they work in the long run for most people because there is a constant stream of diet books coming out.

Well, here is a diet that I think will help you in both the short-run and the long-run.  Please give it a try.

Diet

SOCIAL TRAITS

Getting Along with Others

BeIng Happy Leo tolstoy

LEARNING TRAITS

Growth Keeps You Extraordinary

When I started my professional career,  I was advised to “Never let the lack of ability stand in my way.”  Initially, I sort of suspected that I was being tactfully insulted.  However, like many pearls of wisdom; it takes a while to really know and understand a piece of wisdom.  As time went on, I saw that many people kept letting self-doubt prevent them from reaching new heights, while someone less ready took advantage of the opportunity.

Don't wait

Miscellaneous 

The Odds & Ends of Being Extraordinary

Cats were once considered gods by some.  And I have heard that cats have never forgotten that.  So, perhaps it is worth considering advice from a cat.

Advice from a Cat

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

Android Commercial

I come across commercials that have more message to them, than many feature-length films, so I just have to share them with you.

I have long been a believer in diversity for no other reason than if you give it a chance, you will see its benefits in your own life.  However, it is hard to articulate this truth so that it reaches the mind, heart and soul of others.

I thought this Android commercial took a novel approach to communicating the value of diversity.  Please give it a chance by clicking on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLhJIFC8xkY

LAST WEEK’S POLL – Self Improvement

becoming a better person

Last week’s poll asked you about your thoughts towards self-improvement.

An overwhelming 60% of you try to improve yourself, but a shocking 40% of you don’t try to improve yourself.  Perhaps, you are already perfect, so there is no need for improvement efforts.

And 23% of you try to help others, “who want to improve themselves.”  That last phrase, “who want to improve themselves” is key.  As they say, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.  They also say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

There is a sizable minority, 14%,  among us that view self-improvement as a moral obligation.

And alas, there is a small minority of us, 3%, that are simply not interested in self-improvement.  Well, if nothing else, they are honest.

THIS WEEK POLL – Clutter

As the quote below illustrates, there are many different kinds of clutter.  So please keep this in mind when you respond to this week’s poll and again you  may check more than one answer.

Clutter

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

Smokey Robinson turned 76 on February 19, so in appreciation for his providing a song track for our lives, this week if you want to hear something moving, just click on the link below Smokey’s photo.

Tracks of My Tears

by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Smokey Robinson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCwkZrj2VT4

ART OF THE WEEK

Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2

by Marcel Duchamp

Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (French) is a 1912 painting by Marcel Duchamp. The work is widely regarded as a Modernist classic and has become one of the most famous of its time.

Before its first presentation at the Parisian 1912 Salon des Indépendants, it was rejected by the Cubists as too Futurist. Yet the work was exhibited with the same group at Galeries J. Dalmau, Exposició d’Art Cubista, in Barcelona, 20 April–10 May 1912, and subsequently caused a huge stir during its exhibition at the 1913 Armory Show in New York.

Nude Descending a Staircase is in the Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Source: Wikipedia)

Duchamp_-_Nude_Descending_a_Staircase

I understand that Teddy Roosevelt compared this painting to a Navaho rug.  Whereas, Julian Street called it, “an explosion in a shingle factory.”  But my all time favorite critical comment was by a critic who described it as “a staircase descending a nude.”

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

Colin Coleman

I’ve always like the saying, “If the job will not bring honor to me, I will bring honor to the job.”  Colin Coleman has proved the truth of this saying.

Kroger Emp Colin

An Indianapolis supermarket employee is getting recognized for going above and beyond.

A shopper at the Kroger Supermarket at 65th Street and Keystone Avenue snapped a picture of an employee helping a blind man shop.

“Truly, I do anything to help people,” said Colin Coleman, the employee in the photo. “They (visually impaired people) usually don’t particularly want people helping them, but I wanted to help him anyway.”

The interaction happened during Sunday’s snow storm.

Coleman has worked at the Kroger for a year. His job is to bag groceries, clean, push carts and stock. But yesterday even his boss says he went above beyond.

“It’s something that he does all the time, not just yesterday. But he’s always taking care of the customer,” said Andrew Fair, the store’s general manager.

“[It’s] real customer service, I think,” said Ashlee Fujawa, who witnessed Coleman’s kind act and posted the picture to Facebook. “Beyond that, it’s just person-to-person connection. You see someone in need and you can fill that need. How wonderful [it would be] if we all started to do that.”

Colin’s even plowed the parking lot yesterday, when all he was asked to do was retrieve carts, his manager said.

“Basically anything that has to be done, I do it,” Coleman said.

To acknowledge what Coleman did for the blind customer, Fair presented him with a customer service award Monday. The award is usually reserved for entire department. Coleman is the first individual to be presented with it.

“I wish I had 125 Colins doing the exact same thing because that’s what it’s all about; it’s all about the customer. We wouldn’t be here if weren’t for them,” Fair said. (Source: INDIANAPOLIS (WISH TV Channel 8)

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

Ikea Job Interview

BLOG

I always appreciate those that leave comments on my weekly posts, since it encourages me to continue these posts.  Thank you Sue & Carol for commenting on last week’s post.

Leaving a comment is easy, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post.  And if instead of seeing “Leave A Comment”, you see “# Comments”, just click on that and scroll down to leave your comment.  

Currently, I have 37 people who are following this blog.  It is easy to follow, just click in the side bar area where it says “Follow Harmony Books & Films, LLC”.

I also have 61 people who have liked my Harmony Books & Films Facebook page.  Again, it is easy enough to like my Facebook page, just click in the side bar area where there is a little photo of the cover of my book.

If you think this blog has any merit, please pass it on to your friends.  In January 2015, this blog was viewed 214 times and this January it was viewed 608 times, which was a very encouraging increase.  Hopefully, you folks will continue to share this blog with others.

I appreciate Rachel, Joanne, Lestra y Carol; who shared my post last week on Facebook.

MY BOOK

If you know someone who is trying to change their life or that needs to change their life, please consider my book.

For those of you into reading books on a Kindle, the Kindle version of my book is $4.95.

My book is available on-line from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million.  

And if you have read my book, please leave an evaluation of it on Amazon.  Thank you.

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

02/15/16 – Where Do You Go To My Lovely

Note:  If you don’t look at anything else, at least please check out the song of the week.  I believe it will be well worth your while.

 CURRENT EVENTS

Yesterday’s Valentine Day

Folks, the chart below shows two different ways of celebrating Valentine Day.  You have one year to prepare for Valentine Day 2017–I trust it will be as good, if not better than this year’s Valentine Day.

Celebrate Valentine's Day

Last Saturday’s Republican Debate

Folks, if you missed this, you missed some great theater.

Feb gop-debate

SELF-HELP BOOKS

The Peter Prescription

by Dr. Laurence J. Peter

This sequel to The Peter Principle is more than a book on management.  To me, it is an entertaining self-help book, crammed with interesting quotes such as “Our bodies are apt to be our autobiographies” by F. Burgess or “A girl who is easy to get may be hard to take.” by F. Wisely.

The book came out in 1972, but just the above two quotes indicates things really haven’t changed that much from 1972, so the book is still good reading.

The Peter Prescription

PHYSICAL TRAITS – YOUR HEALTH

I’m thankful that I was in Florence and saw this magnificent Statue of David, before it went to the USA.

David after 3 years in USA

SOCIAL TRAITS

Leave some sparkle

LEARNING TRAITS

In chapter 40 I talk about seeing and hearing what is there, rather than what we want to be there.

Hearing

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

Silience best ans

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

Zoolander 2

Please leave your brain at home, when you go to see this movie.  It is a great way to relax and forget any problems you may have.

Zoolander 2

LAST WEEK’S POLL -Valentine Day

Hearts

Last week’s poll asked you about your Valentine Day plans.

It turns out that 49% of us are doing something special with someone, 33% of us are giving someone a card and 11% of us are giving someone a gift.

The remaining 7% are doing nothing out of the ordinary.  As I mentioned under the Current Events section, you have one year to prepare for Valentine Day 2017.  Chapter 20 of my book is devoted to the importance of celebrating holidays, your success and the successes of your friends.

THIS WEEK POLL – Self Improvement

This week’s poll is about your thoughts on self-provement.  You may check more than one answer.

becoming a better person

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

I really think investing a few minutes of your time to hear this song will pay you some significant dividends.  Please tell me via comments, if you think I am mistaken.

Where Do You Go to My Lovely

by Peter Sarstedt

Peter Sarstedt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8JOi1q5ugs

ART OF THE WEEK

Princezna Hyancinta

byAlphonse Mucha

I gained an appreciation of this artist a couple of years ago, while in the Czech Republic, an absolutely wonderful place to visit.  In Chapter 48 of my book I stress the importance of going to places that you have never been.

Alphonse-Mucha-Princezna-Hyancinta-large-1200000694

Alphonse Mucha (24 July 1860 – 14 July 1939), was a Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist, known best for his distinct style. He produced many paintings, illustrations, advertisements, pens and pencils, postcards, and designs.(Source: Wikipedia)

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

Brigitte Bardot

Brigitte Bardot

Brigitte Bardot; born 28 September 1934, is a French former actress, singer and fashion model, who later became an animal rights activist. She was one of the best known sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s.

Bardot retired from the entertainment industry in 1973. During her career in show business, she starred in 47 films, performed in several musical shows and recorded over 60 songs.  After her retirement, she established herself as an animal rights activist. 

She was the subject of Simone de Beauvoir’s 1959 essay, The Lolita Syndrome, which described Bardot as a “locomotive of women’s history” and built upon existentialist themes to declare her the first and most liberated woman of post-war France.

(Source: Wikipedia)

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

A couple of nights ago, I was out for a few drinks with some friends and had too many.

Knowing full well that I had drank well over the legal limit, I did something I had never done before.  I took a taxi home.

It was a good thing that I did, because there was a police sobriety road block set up on my path home.  However, since I was in a taxi, the police simply waved me through the road block.

I arrived safely home, which was a relief, since I had never driven a taxi before and was not sure where I had got the taxi.

BLOG

I always appreciate those that leave comments on my weekly posts, since it encourages me to continue these posts.  Thank you Judith, Ron, Jennifer and Julia for commenting on last week’s post.

Leaving a comment is easy, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post.  And if instead of seeing “Leave A Comment”, you see “# Comments”, just click on that and scroll down to leave your comment.  

I now have 37 people who are following this blog, with the addition this week of Chris.

If you think this blog has any merit, please pass it on to your friends, as well as liking my Facebook page.  Currently, 61 of you have been kind enough to like my Facebook page.

I appreciate Joanne,  who again shared my post last week on Facebook.

MY BOOK

If you know someone who is trying to change their life or that needs to change their life, please consider my book.

For those of you into reading books on a Kindle, the Kindle version of my book is $4.95.

My book can be purchased on-line from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million.  

And if you have read my book, please leave an evaluation of it on Amazon.  Thank you.

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

02/08/16 – Love

 CURRENT EVENTS

Valentine Day

This Coming Sunday, Feb. 14

Hearts best

BCBSM Valentine

SELF-HELP BOOKS

Don Juan DeMarco

by Jean Blake White

This week I am recommending a book that is based upon a movie.  How superficial am I?  Usually, movies are based on books.  Still, it is a fantastic and entertaining love story fitting for Valentine Day.  Plus, as usual, it is an easy read.  The hardest part about reading this book will be finding it, but I believe it will be well worth the hunt.  Or you can go the even easier route and simply watch the movie.

Don Juan

PHYSICAL TRAITS – YOUR HEALTH

Your thinking can have  an impact on your health.

anxiety drugs and antidepressants

SOCIAL TRAITS

bad attitude

LEARNING TRAITS

In chapter 40 I talk about seeing and hearing what is there, rather than what we want to be there.

Free Choice

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

Follow Your Heart

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

Love Actually

Although technically, a Christmas romance film, I believe it is still a good film to watch for Valentine Day.

Love_Actually_movie

Love Actually is a 2003 British Christmas-themed romantic comedy film. The screenplay delves into different aspects of love as shown through ten separate stories involving a wide variety of individuals, many of whom are shown to be interlinked as their tales progress. Set primarily in London, the story begins five weeks before Christmas and is played out in a weekly countdown until the holiday, followed by an epilogue that takes place one month later. (Source: Wikipedia)

LAST WEEK’S POLL – Groundhog Day

Groundhog

Last week’s poll asked if you were doing anything special for Groundhog Day.

It turns out that 59% of us are not going to do anything special for Groundhog Day; however, 27% of us have done something special in the past.  Regarding the  film Groundhog Day, 9% of us watched it, and 5% of us closely follow the weather predictions of a large rodent. None of us plan to do anything special for Groundhog Day this year.

The weather was so nice here in the Detroit area that I could help thinking if the weather would have been a bit more cooperative in the past I would have continued holding my Groundhog Day Happy Hour parties, but the weather was always so iffy and I recall once I even had to cancel the party.

Bill Allen

THIS WEEK POLL – Valentine Day

This week’s poll is about your plans for Valentine Day.

Hearts

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

Some my disagree, but I think this is the best love song of all time.  But perhaps I should sleep on it  🙂

Paradise By The Dashboard Light

by Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C11MzbEcHlw

ART OF THE WEEK

The Lovers

by Rene Magritte

This is a painting that I actually saw at the MOMA in NYC.

the-lovers-rene-magritte[7]

The Lovers is a painting by [ ] surrealist Rene Magritte, created in 1928.

The painting depicts a veiled couple embracing and kissing. Obviously symbolic, many have speculated about why the couple is veiled. Many have also interpreted the painting in different ways – the common interpretation being “Love is blind”.

The Lovers can be viewed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. (Source: http://www.Artpromtivate.com).  

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

Lord Byron

Lord Byron

Portrait of Lord Byron by Richard Westall

George Gordon Byron (22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824), commonly known simply as Lord Byron, was an English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement. Among Byron’s best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, and the short lyric “She Walks in Beauty”.

Byron is regarded as one of the greatest British poets, and remains widely read and influential. He travelled widely across Europe, especially in Italy where he lived for seven years. Later in life, Byron joined the Greek War of Independence fighting the Ottoman Empire, for which many Greeks revere him as a national hero. He died one year later at age 36 from a fever contracted while in Missolonghi.

Often described as the most flamboyant and notorious of the major Romantics, Byron was both celebrated and castigated in life for his aristocratic excesses, including huge debts, numerous love affairs with men as well as women, rumours of a scandalous liaison with his half-sister, and self-imposed exile. (Source: Wikipedia)

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

A woman was walking along the beach when she stumbled upon a Genie’s lamp. She picked it up and rubbed it and lo-and-behold, a Genie appeared. The amazed woman asked if she got three wishes.

The Genie said, “Nope, due to inflation, constant downsizing, low wages in third world countries, and fierce global competition, I can only grant you one
wish. So what’ll it be?”

The woman didn’t hesitate. She said, “I want peace in the Middle East. See this map. I want these countries to stop fighting with each other.”

The Genie looked at the map and exclaimed, “Gadzooks lady! These countries have been at war for thousands of years. I’m good, but not
that good! Please make another wish”.

The woman thought for a minute and said “Well, I’ve never been able to find the right man; one that’s considerate and fun, likes to cook and helps with the housecleaning, is good in bed and gets along
with my family, doesn’t watch sports all the time, and is faithful.”

The Genie let out a long sigh and said, “Let me see that map again.”

BLOG

I always appreciate those that leave comments on my weekly posts, since it encourages me to continue these posts.  Thank you Carolyn.

Leaving a comment is easy, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post.  And if instead of seeing “Leave A Comment”, you see “# Comments”, just click on that and scroll down to leave your comment.  

If you think this blog has any merit, please pass it on to your friends, as well as liking my Facebook page.  Thank you M.J. Shepard for liking my Facebook page.

I appreciate Joanne,  who shared my post last week on Facebook.

MY BOOK

If you have any interest in changing your life for helping someone else change their life, please consider my book.

Again, for those of you into reading books on a Kindle, I reduced the price of the Kindle version of my book down to $4.95.

My book can be purchased on-line from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million.  It is also available in a ebook format.  And if you have read my book, please leave an evaluation of it on Amazon.  Thank you.

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

02/01/16 – Mary Ellen Stanley

MARY ELLEN STANLEY

Recently, there has been a number of deaths of famous people in the music industry and of course those deaths touch us.  However, when a friend dies, it not only touches you, it leaves a big hole in your life.  It is with great sadness that I am reporting that Mary Ellen Stanley died last week.  She was a wonderful person with so many friends.  Some of you who attended my happy hour parties will no doubt remember her and the clever costumes that Mary Ellen and her husband Dean came up with each year.

Below is Mary Ellen’s mother, Mary Ellen and Mary Ellen’s daughter

(Three generations)

Mother Mary Ellen Daughter

 CURRENT EVENTS 

Flint, MI Water

In 2014, the city of Flint, MI left the Detroit water system to save cash money during tight times. Instead, it started taking water from a local river. This was all well and good until people noticed that their water looked and smelled bad. And children’s blood tests started showing higher levels of lead, which can cause serious health and developmental issues for children. Not good. (Source: http://www.theSkimm.com)

This week I was in South Beach, Florida.  Florida is a state that attracts flocks of Michigan snowbirds.  I found the restaurants in South Beach go out of their way to cater to people from Michigan.  When I asked for some water, the waiter was thoughtful enough to bring me some bottled Flint, Michigan water that they kept on hand for Michigan residents.

Flint water

Gov drinking water

SELF-HELP BOOKS

Philosophy for Everyday Life

by Trevor Curnow

This is as easy to read as a philosophy book can be and I believe it lives up to the description below that this book can improve your thinking about everyday life.  If you want to be extraordinary, you need to think clearly.

Philosophy for Everyday Life

This book will show how philosophy can help to improve your thinking about everyday life. And by improving the quality of your thinking, you can improve the quality of your life. It will make you more aware of what you think and why—and how you can change what you think. (Source: Amazon)

PHYSICAL TRAITS – YOUR HEALTH

If you care at all about your health, you must start reading the labels on the food that you purchase.  If some of those ingredients sounds like poison, well maybe you better do some more research before you eat something containing strange sounding ingredients.

Perhaps, you may even want to so so far as to send some of what you are considering eating to a lab.

Lab for testing

SOCIAL TRAITS

In my book under Social Traits, in Chapter 28, I stress the importance of surrounding yourself with people different from you.  Doing so not only makes your life more interesting, but also exposes you to ideas and experiences that will benefit you.  Most of all, doing so will make the world a better place for you and for everyone.

What Is Normal

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

I believe truth trumps any prior statements that a person may have made and if new evidence or new understanding comes to our attention, we should not be locked into past statements.  It seems someone else agrees with me.

My aim is not to be consistent with my previous statements on a given question, but to be consistent with the truth as it may present itself to me at a given moment.

Source: Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

Groundhog Day

Sure, I selected this film in part, because tomorrow (February 2) is Groundhog Day.  But I think the movie is also consistent with the purpose of this blog, which is to make your life something other than just ordinary.

This movie is about a guy who lives the same day over and over until he gets it right.

Groundhog Day

LAST WEEK’S POLL – Spanish or Español

USA Mexico

Spain

Regarding the first poll last week, 40% believe the USA is already started to unofficially adopt the Spanish language.  Another 20% of you believe Spanish will one day in the distant future become one of the two official languages of the USA and 20% believe adopting Spanish will tie us closer together with Central and South America.  Whereas, only 20% thought that adopting Spanish as an official language of the USA was a bad idea.

In the second poll, 35% of us have taken a Spanish class and 31% of us have a little familiarity with the Spanish language.  Another 15% of us can get by with our Spanish in a Spanish speaking country and 7% are fluent in Spanish.  Whereas, only 12% of us have no understanding of Spanish.

And in the third poll, when it comes to visiting Spanish speaking countries:

Mexico – 27%

Spain – 24%

Miami – 19%

South America – 11%

Central America – 5%

Never been to a Spanish speaking country – 14%

THIS WEEK POLL – Groundhog Day

This week’s poll is on Groundhog Day, which is tomorrow (February 2).

Groundhog

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

Since I just returned from Miami, who else but Pitbull

Back in Time by Pitbull

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaSZE194D4I

ART OF THE WEEK

Art on the Road: Miami

by Ken Kaminsky

SoBe-Beacon-Hotel

This is a painting of the Beacon Hotel in the Art Deco Hotel district that we stayed at while in South Beach.  If you would like to see more of Ken’s work about Miami, just click on the link below.

http://blog.kenkaminesky.com/2013/02/18/art-on-the-road-miami/

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

Juan Ponce de León

Juan_Ponce_de_León

Juan Ponce de León (1474 – July 1521) was a Spanish explorer and conquistador. He became the first Governor of Puerto Rico by appointment of the Spanish crown. He led the first known European expedition to La Florida, which he named, and is associated with the legend of the Fountain of Youth, supposed to be in Florida. [Source: Wikipedia]

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

An old guy was working out at the gym when he spotted a young hot girl walking in.

He asked the trainer standing next to him, “What machine should I use to impress that girl over there?”

The trainer looked him up and down and said; “I would recommend the ATM in the lobby.”

BLOG

I always appreciate those that leave comments on my weekly posts, since it encourages me to continue these posts.  Thank you Carolyn.

Leaving a comment is easy, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post.  And if instead of seeing “Leave A Comment”, you see “# Comments”, just click on that and scroll down to leave your comment.  

If you think this blog has any merit, please pass it on to your friends, as well as liking my Facebook page.

I appreciate the  following people who shared my post on Facebook: Theresa, Joanne, Carol y Andre

MY BOOK

If you have any interest in changing your life for helping someone else change their life, please consider my book.

Again, for those of you into reading books on a Kindle, I reduced the price of the Kindle version of my book down to $4.95.

My book can be purchased on-line from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million.  It is also available in a ebook format.  And if you have read my book, please leave an evaluation of it on Amazon.  Thank you.

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

01/25/16 – Take It Easy

 CURRENT EVENTS 

Glenn Frey

glenn-frey-dead

Glenn Frey, a founding member and guitarist for Eagles, died last Monday. He was 67.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our comrade, Eagles founder, Glenn Frey, in New York City on Monday, January 18th, 2016,” the band said in a statement. “Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia. Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide.”

Frey wrote and provided vocals for many Eagles hits, including “Heartache Tonight,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Tequila Sunrise” and “Take It Easy.”

Source: Alex Stedman, News Editor, Variety.com

SELF-HELP BOOKS

Now is the Time

by Patrick Lindsay

This is another quick read, that I believe you will enjoy if you are interested in self-improvement.

Now is the Time

This collection of short reflections will remind you to live your passion, take time out, and expand your horizons. Each page suggests a way to be mindful of the here and now, helping you to recall the value of taking action in the present-and following through. (Source: Amazon)

PHYSICAL TRAITS – YOUR HEALTH

As important and as necessary as exercise is to a healthy body and mind, we have to keep in mind the harm caused by excess weight.  Remember, what you eat typically trumps exercise.  You are highly unlikely to be able to exercise off poor food choices.

Frequent eating in restuarants is often a cause of excessive weight, so it is important of you to study the menu carefully and make good food choices.  However, many restaurants dare not tell you how many calories are in their dishes and some even tell you less about what they are serving.

Getting what you deserve

SOCIAL TRAITS

In my book under Social Traits, in Chapter 30, I state that it is not possible to win an argument.  Even in the unlikely event the other party to the argument admits you won, you have probably only won the other party’s animosity towards you.

Aim of Argument

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

Since the subject of the above Social Traits section is arguments, I thought I should provide a helpful quote for all you fellows out there.

arguments

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

Not in this Weather

Many people in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states are suffering from power outages and being stranded on the highways due to Winter Storm Jonas.  Weather reporting has been intensive and hopefully most people heeded the warnings to stock up on supplies and to stay off the roads.

Of course, as this short and clever commercial shows, some people simply will not stay off the roads.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krhB_An8fT4

LAST WEEK’S POLL – Questions About This Blog

Question Mark

The first question was have you ever passed this blog on to others.  My thanks to the 58% of you who have passed this blog on to others and I wish the remaining 42% would let me know why they haven’t.

The second question was have you ever read a book, watched a movie or listened to music that was recommended.  Five percent of you have never done any of the above.  However, 48% of you have watched a recommended movie, 29% of you have read a recommended book and 19% of you have listed to recommended music.

Regardless of your answers, I appreciate everyone who answered last week’s poll.

THIS WEEK POLL – Spanish or Español 

Canada has two official languages, English and French.  The vast majority of countries to the south of the USA, speak Spanish with Brazil being the major exceptions, so I thought it would be interesting to see where the readers of this poll stand with regard to the Spanish language.  Three polls follow and you can answer more than once to each of these three polls.  Muchas gracias.

      USA Mexico Spain

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

I received many nice comments about last week’s music – Pachelbel’s Canon.  If you were one of those who liked it, than you really should think about obtaining this album.  It is the Canon performed by various artists in their own style.

Pachelbel's Greatest Hit

Take It Easy by The Eagles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhH3mRkKDX8

ART OF THE WEEK

I Keep Smelling Things To See If They Smell Like You

by Kurt Halsey Frederickson

smelling

I saw this painting years ago in the newspaper and went to the gallery where it was being displayed.  I never dreamed that it would be available for sale, but it was and I bought it.  

I’ve shown this painting to many people, but only one person ever made the  rather remarkable comment about something being contrary to reason.  I would enjoy hearing via a blog comment if you have any thoughts about what was that remarkable comment.

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

Johann Pachelbel

Johann Pachelbel

BORN:

In Nuremberg, Germany, probably sometime in August 1653 (he was baptised on the 1st September).
DIED:
In Nuremberg, probably in early March 1706 (he was buried on the 9th March).

BURIED:
St Rochus Cemetery in Nuremberg.

TYPE OF MUSIC:
Classical music from the baroque period.

A FAMOUS PIECE:
Canon in D. 
THE SORT OF MUSIC HE WROTE:
Keyboard music (especially organ). 
Choral (sung) music for the church.
Chamber music (music for a small number of instruments).

SOME INTERESTING FACTS:
He was very popular when he was alive.
He is only really known for one piece of music today—the Canon in D. However this piece is verypopular. Even people who don’t know much classical music will often know this piece.
Most of his music was written for the church.
A lot of his music has been lost.

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

Trip to Enlightment

BLOG

I always appreciate those that leave comments on my weekly posts, since it encourages me to continue these posts.  This week I am thanking the following seven people for leaving a comment.  They are Carolyn, Elena, Spiritual Journey, Judith, Ron, Carole, and Tania.

Leaving a comment is easy, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post.  And if instead of seeing “Leave A Comment”, you see “# Comments”, just click on that and scroll down to leave your comment.  I’m delighted that six of you cared enough to leave a comment last week.

If you think this blog has any merit, please pass it on to your friends, as well as liking my Facebook page.

MY BOOK

If you have any interest in changing your life for helping someone else change their life, please consider my book.

Again, for those of you into reading books on a Kindle, I reduced the price of the Kindle version of my book down to $4.95.

My book can be purchased on-line from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million.  It is also available in a ebook format.  And if you have read my book, please leave an evaluation of it on Amazon.  Thank you.

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