03/28/16 – Brussels

 CURRENT EVENTS

Brussels

A picture is worth a thousand words, so below is my 1,000 words on the Brussels terrorist attack.

crying_blood_by_sophel

Image Credit: http://sophel.deviantart.com/

Found at: http://arwenaragornstar.com/

PHYSICAL TRAITS 

Honor Thy Temple

One way you can tell if you are eating healthy is to look at how colorful the items are on your plate.

Wk 14 Colorful diet

CHARACTER TRAITS

The Foundation for Being Extraordinary

Let’s hear your comments, is George right?

Wk 14 Life by George Carlin

SOCIAL TRAITS

Getting Along with Others

Below is the key for people to think you are a great conversationalist.

Wk 14 Listen

LEARNING TRAITS

Growth Keeps You Extraordinary

Extraordinary people see and hear what is there, and not what they want to see and hear.  

Wk 14 Please Fact Check

MISCELLANEOUS 

The Odds & Ends of Being Extraordinary

Eastern philosophies encourage one to think about their death each day, so that they will make the most of each day.  The question each of us has to answer for ourselves is whether how we go about spending the precious gift of another day. 

The picture below may help some of you answer that question.

Rich Poor

SELF-HELP BOOKS

Be Your Own Life Coach

by Jeff Archer

There are a number of books about being your own life coach, including one with this very same title.  However, this is the one that I read and I thought it was rather good.  You may want to give it a try.

Be Your Own Life Coach

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

I applaud Matt Damon for trying to rescue the viewers of this film from total boredom; nevertheless, do yourself a favor and skip this film.

The_Martian_film_poster

When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead [from boredom after watching this film] after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must utilize his wits and spirit to find a way to [stop this film to survive] survive on the hostile planet. Meanwhile, back on Earth, members of NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to [change the channel] bring him home, while his crew mates hatch their own plan for [doing something other than watch this film] a daring rescue mission. (Source:  Obviously, the words in red are mine).

Bridge of Spies

Now here is a film that is worth watching.  The film also provides some examples of both the noble and ignoble  human character. 

Bridge of Spies

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union captures U.S. pilot Francis Gary Powers after shooting down his U-2 spy plane. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, Powers’ only hope is New York lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks), recruited by a CIA operative to negotiate his release. Donovan boards a plane to Berlin, hoping to win the young man’s freedom through a prisoner exchange. If all goes well, the Russians would get Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), the convicted spy who Donovan defended in court.

LAST WEEK’S POLL – Optimism

2016

It is good to learn that 55% of us believe 2016 will be a better year than 2015.

Another 30% of us believe 2016 will be about the same as 2015 and sadly 15% of us believe 2016 will be worse than 2015.

THIS WEEK POLL – You

people-clipart-02

This week’s poll is about you, the readers of this blog–could I ever find a more interesting topic.

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

Tight Connection To My Heart

(Has Anyone Seen My Love)

by Bob Dylan

Tight Connection to my heart

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nheBN2UWAaM&list=PLknidvzcLCRG4gu8dfe91_flxj1C9h4OM

ART OF THE WEEK

Homesickness (1940)

by Belgium Painter René Magritte

René Magritte is my favorite painter/philosopher and in support of the people of  Brussels, Belgium; I thought I would select art from a Belgium artist, who is also my choice for the Extraordinary Person this week. 

homesickness

In May 1940 his home was invaded by the Nazi during World War II and Magritte fled with his close friends Paul Eluard and Scutenaire. It would be easy to assume then that this painting was about the German occupation of Belgium and Magritte’s homesickness about having to flee the country he loved. Certainly this is an emotional component of the painting but there’s much more.

(Source: http://www.renemagritte.org/homesickness.jsp )

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

René Magritte

Rene Magritte

René Magritte (21 November 1898 – 15 August 1967) was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images. Often depicting ordinary objects in an unusual context, his work is known for challenging observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality. His imagery has influenced pop, minimalist and conceptual art. (Source: Wikipedia)

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

A foreman tells Joe he needs to work in Area A today.

Joe says, “If you send me over to Area A, you are going to have to first write me a pass to see the Plant Nurse.

The foreman says, “Why?”

Joe says, “Because of my eyes.?

Foreman says, “What’s wrong with your eyes?”

Joe says, “I can’t see myself working in Area A.”

construction-worker-supervisor-24546808

BLOG

Thanks to all of you who looked at my post last week for a record-setting 218 views.

I also want to thank Samantha, Carol, Ed & Kathy and Dave & Jan for commenting on last week’s post.  Comments are so encouraging.

Purpleanais & Aquileana,  thank you for following this blog and bringing the total number of blog followers to 51.  

My Harmony Books & Films Facebook page likes stay at 61.  

If you think this blog has any merit, please pass it on to your friends.  Hopefully, more of you will continue to share this blog with others. My thanks to Joanne, Cheryl y Theresa for sharing my post last week.

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