09/12/16 – Let’s See Who Reads This

CURRENT EVENTS

Sorry, I just could not resist.

wk-38-lets-see-who-reads-this

Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo

wk-38-runwild_banner

I ran my first race in my new 70-year-old plus bracket at the Detroit Zoo Run Wild event, held Sunday (9/11).  In the 5K race, there was 13 of us in the 70 and over category.  I came in 4th out of the males and females in that category and I was the 1200 finisher out of the 2,157 people finishing the race.

9 / 11

never-forget

PHYSICAL TRAITS 

Honor Thy Temple

Moderation in all things, especially at the table.

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CHARACTER TRAITS

The Foundation for Being Extraordinary

Often we are our own worse enemy.

wk-38-waiting-to-be-ready

SOCIAL TRAITS

Getting Along with Others

The extraordinary person never forgets to show gratitude of even the smallest acts of kindness.

As for those generic thanks, such as, “You may have donated a million dollars, got your friends to give hundreds or dollars or merely wish me luck.  I just wanted to let you know I appreciate the gesture.” are a lazy person’s way of expressing gratitude, at least for the first two categories of donators.

wk-38-gratitude

LEARNING TRAITS

Growth Keeps You Extraordinary

Ladies, it is important for you to develop a few maintenance skills, so you will not always be dependent upon a guy.  And guys, very few things impress a woman more than a few handyman skills.

wk-38-fixing-the-sink

MISCELLANEOUS 

The Odds & Ends of Being Extraordinary

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SELF-HELP BOOKS

The 15-Minute Philosopher

By Anne Rooney

I don’t agree with everything I found in this book, but that is to be expected in a thought-provoking book. I liked the style of presenting much of the material as questions that thought-provoking people need to be asking themselves.

I would definitely recommend you read this easy to read book and allow it to challenge your beliefs.

wk-38-the-15-minute-philosopher

Leon & Lulu’s

wk-38-books-and-authors-leon-and-lulu

Sunday, October 23, 2016

http://www.leonandlulu.com/events/books-authors/

If you live around the Detroit area and like books, this is a great opportunity to meet and talk to authors, including me.  

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

 Tyrant

This three-year television series will give you a feeling of how complex the Middle East issues are and why it is so difficult to resolve matters to everyone’s satisfaction.

I had the opportunity to live in the middle east for over a year, most of that time in an apartment.  And even with that experience, I still feel I gained some sensitivities to the situation thanks to this excellent show.

wk-38-tyrant

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

Beer for My Horses

By Toby Keith with Willie Nelson

LAST WEEK’S POLL  Alley Opp vs. Helikopter

musical-clipart-MTLLKRaTa

Voting was way down, so I am going to drop the music video challenge.  Nevertheless, here are the results:

50% – Preferred Ally Opp

37.5% – Preferred neither

12.5% – Preferred both

THIS WEEK’S POLL – What is your party preference?

wk-38-political-parties       wk-38-cocktail-party

Since most everyone is talking or thinking politics, with the USA Presidential election so close, I thought it would be interesting to know the party affiliation of the readers of this blog.  I realize some of you live overseas, so just select the party you like best.  And as always, I don’t know who answers what.

ART OF THE WEEK

Versailles, France

  versailles-1991

This photo goes back many years; here I am outside of famous French Place at Versailles.

It has been said that Versailles was built by Louis XIV, enjoyed by Louis VX, and paid for by Louis XVI (along with his wife Marie Antoinette).

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

Christopher Reeve

wk-38-christopher-reeve

Christopher Reeve (September 25, 1952 – October 10, 2004) was an American actor, who actually became the motion picture version of the comic book superhero  he portrayed – Superman. 

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

wk-38-humerus

BLOG

Thanks to Carolyn, Dave & Samantha, for commenting on last week’s post. I urge you to let me know what you are thinking via a blog comment.

My thanks to Jordan, who started following my blog (Currently 84 followers) and Eli & Fiona, who liked my Harmony Books & Films Facebook page (Currently 93 likes).

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 Adaku, Amber, Anni, Carol, Cheryl, Cynthia, Ginny Jean, Joanne, Kimmy, Lynn, Marian, Maureen, Nicole, Shelia, Shirley & Susan, for sharing my post last week on Facebook.

MY BOOK

If you have read my book, please consider posting an evaluation of it on Amazon.

My book is available on-line from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million.  The Kindle version of my book is $4.95.

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

12/07/15 – Mother-in-Laws

 CURRENT EVENTS 

Delores Perkey

Mother-in-Laws are often the butt of many jokes and overall I think they get a bad rap.  My mother-in-law died last week.  I don’t think I’m that unusual in being able to say, “I had an absolutely fantastic mother-in-law.”  Here she is, with her bags packed, and on her way to heaven.

Delores Leaving

I’m so glad that last Christmas I had a trophy made up for her saying “Delores Perkey, World’s Best Mother-in-Law”.  If you also have a fantastic mother-in-law, why not present her with a trophy saying so.  I’m sure it will be something that she will treasure.

Travel

Saturday, I had the opportunity to hear travel tips directly from Rick Steves, who was speaking at the Music Hall in Detroit.

Rick Steves

His travel videos are available from a number of sources and are very entertaining and informative to watch.  If you want to be extraordinary, it helps to go out and see the world.  It is easier than you might think.

SELF-HELP BOOKS

I have no idea how long I have been reading Frog & Toad, nor how many times I have read these books, or even how many copies I’ve given to parents for their children.  They say the book is designed for children 4 to 8; but in some ways we are all a child at heart.  If you are looking for a gift for a child, I strongly recommend a Frog and Toad book.  It contains a lot of wisdom in an easily digestible style.

Frog and Toad Treasury

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

Life by George Carlin

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

I suspect not many of you have ever been to a weight lifting competition, so here is a very short clip to give you an idea of what it is like.

LAST WEEK’S POLL – Goals/Resolutions for 2016

funny-new-years-resolutions-quotes

The results of last week’s poll are:

25% of you have wishes, but nothing specific

22% of you set goals that are specifically measurable

19% of you monitor via action plans your goal accomplishment progress

17% of you don’t bother with goals and another 17% set specific goals and develop action plans.

Interestingly enough, I used this same poll last year about this time and these were the results:

25% have wishes, but nothing specific

15% don’t bother with setting goals

60% set specific goals that are objectively measureable. In addition some of you in that 60% category also develop action plans to accomplish those specific goals and others even go so far as to monitor progress.

THIS WEEK POLL – Drinking

alcoholic_Beverage_Tags_or_Labels_clipart_image

Folks, during the Christmas and New Year’s Eve Holidays, there is a lot of drinking going on, so I thought bringing back a poll on drinking may be relevant, plus it gives me a chance to say, “If you drink, drink responsibly and be very careful with driving so that we all have a safe holiday.

SONG OF THE WEEK

Given the theme of this post, what else could be song of the week other than Ernie K. Doe’s 1961 Number one hit, Mother-In-Law.  Just click on the link below to hear this classic.

Ernie K. Doe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcFkUHvlf5A

PAINTING OF THE WEEK

Whistler's Mother

Whistler’s Mother by James McNeill Whistler

Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1, best known under its colloquial name Whistler’s Mother, is a painting in oils on canvas created by the American-born painter James McNeill Whistler in 1871. The painting is 56.81 by 63.94 inches [ ], displayed in a frame of Whistler’s own design. It is exhibited in and held by the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, having been bought by the French state in 1891. It is one of the most famous works by an American artist outside the United States. It has been variously described as an American icon and a Victorian Mona Lisa. [Source: Wikipedia)

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

Not happy with your mother-in-law, well Catherine de’ Medici could always be your mother-in-law.

Catherine de’ Medici

Catherine De Medci

An Italian noblewoman who married King Henri II of France, Catherine de’ Medici became a political force to be reckoned with during the successive reigns of her three sons. Hoping to consolidate her family’s power, she forced her daughter Marguerite to marry Henri de Bourbon, whose faith—Protestantism—and doting mother—Jeanne d’Albret—Catherine loathed. Jeanne fell ill and died shortly after arriving at court with her reluctant son, leading some to accuse Catherine of murdering her with poisoned gloves. After the wedding in 1572, Catholic mobs unleashed a wave of targeted killings on the Protestants who had gathered in Paris for the festivities. Historians think Catherine authorized or at least knew of the carnage, which her new son-in-law barely escaped. Catherine’s relationship with her daughter-in-law Mary Stuart was also strained. When the young queen’s husband Francis II died, Catherine ordered his grieving widow to return the crown jewels and head home to Scotland immediately. [Source: History Lists)

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

'Of course he'll pick you up at the airport, mother. He's got a season ticket so he can go to football any time.'

BLOG

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

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.  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

11/30/15 – Dave Miller

 CURRENT EVENTS

Dave Miller

It is with shock and sadness that I learned of the sudden passing of my brother David Miller while he was vacationing in Costa Rica yesterday.
Dave was a great guy and loved by many. He was 61 years old.
Please pray for his newly departed soul and for his widow Gail Miller.
There are no plans for services at this time.

Source:  Cheryl Miller, Dave’s sister

Dave was a long-time friend of mine and my euchre partner at the San Marino Club, where one year we actually won this ten-week tournament.

Euchre Winners

I believe a number of you have attended my numerous happy hour parties and know Dave and his wife Gail, who were frequent attendees.

DaveAndGailSM

Police Unions

Apprehended

I’m starting to wonder why there seems to be so many rogue police officers.  I think back to my union days and I recall there were a number of workers that really should have lost their jobs, but the union kept management from firing them.  

Perhaps, the same is true of the police officers unions.  I can’t believe that the other seven (I believe that was the number) officers who was on the scene didn’t know this officer who jumped out of his car and fired 16 shots into this teenager didn’t know they had a rogue cop in their ranks.  

SELF-HELP BOOKS

I bought Rules for a Knight on the 20th of this month and finished it by the 24th of this month.  It is definitely as easy read, but it is also a great guide for your journey though life.

Rules for a Knight

From Ethan Hawke, four-time Academy Award nominee—twice for writing and twice for acting—an unforgettable fable about a father’s journey and a timeless guide to life’s many questions. (Source: Amazon.com)

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

Remember details

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

Meet Joe Black

Death, who takes the form of a young man, asks a media mogul to act as a guide to teach him about life on Earth and in the process he falls in love with his guide’s daughter. (Source: IMDB)

LAST WEEK’S POLL – Thanksgiving

Happy-Thanksgiving-Turkey-02

Probably no surprise that the vast majority of you (76%) were either having Thanksgiving at home or at a friends or relatives house.  The remaining 24% may be of interest to you, if you want to check the results of last week’s poll.

THIS WEEK POLL – Goals/Resolutions for 2016

funny-new-years-resolutions-quotes

As we move into the last month of the year, many of us will start thinking about goals and resolutions for 2016, so this week’s poll is about your goals/resolutions plans for the coming year.

SONG OF THE WEEK

I had the privilege of seeing a live performance of MC Hammer a few years ago and Hammer is right, “U Can’t Touch This”.  

MC Hammer 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otCpCn0l4Wo

PAINTING OF THE WEEK

Liberity Leading the People

Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix

Delacroix depicted Liberty as both an allegorical goddess-figure and a robust woman of the people. The mound of corpses acts as a kind of pedestal from which Liberty strides, barefoot and bare-breasted, out of the canvas and into the space of the viewer. The Phrygian cap she wears had come to symbolize liberty during the first French Revolution, of 1789–94. The painting has been seen as a marker to the end of the Age of Enlightenment, as many scholars see the end of the French Revolution as the start of the romantic era.

The fighters are from a mixture of social classes, ranging from the bourgeoisie represented by the young man in a top hat, a student from the prestigious École Polytechnique wearing the traditional bicorne, to the revolutionary urban worker, as exemplified by the boy holding pistols. What they have in common is the fierceness and determination in their eyes. Aside from the flag held by Liberty, a second, minute tricolore can be discerned in the distance flying from the towers of Notre Dame. (Source: Wikipedia)

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

Captain Jack Sparrow

Jack_Sparrow_In_Pirates_of_the_Caribbean-_At_World's_End

[Captain Jack] Sparrow is one of the nine pirate lords in the Brethren Court, the Pirate Lords of the Seven Seas. He can be treacherous and survives mostly by using wit and negotiation rather than by force, opting to flee most dangerous situations and to fight only when necessary.  (Source: Wikipedia)

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

Cat racing

BLOG

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

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.  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

11/23/15 – A Disturbing World

 CURRENT EVENTS

Viva la France!

France

Normally, I post something different each week; but I’m going to stay with Viva la France again this week.

SELF-HELP BOOKS

Keep Calm and Carry On is a little book of motivational quotes.  The title coming from a motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for the Second World War.  The book came out in 2009 and I first read it in 2010.  It doesn’t take long to read it, since it is just quotes.  But the title appealed to me during these troubled times.

Keep Calm and Carry On

You can read more about the history of the motivational quote used as the title for this book on Wikipedia.  Just click on:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keep_Calm_and_Carry_On

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

good and obedient wives

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

Coffee y Wine

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

Sometimes the world is so disturbing, that one alternative to depression is to dance.  I think I’m going to dance now.

LAST WEEK POLL – A Christmas Carol

A Christ Carol image for poll

It seems like many of us have seen a movie based up the story, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  And I thought a surprising number of us have seen a play based upon the story.  And a good number of us have even read the story.

THIS WEEK’S POLL – Thanksgiving

SONG OF THE WEEK

I guess I’m not the only one feeling the need to dance.  Click on the link below and scroll down a little past the history and you will see some performers from the past dancing to Uptown Funk.  

Uptown Funk

http://www.littlethings.com/uptown-funk-dance-oldies-classic-vintage-nostalgia-vts/?utm_source=LTts&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=performances

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

Napoléon Bonaparte

Napoleon

Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution [ ]

Napoleon dominated European affairs for over a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, rapidly gaining control of continental Europe before his ultimate defeat in 1815. One of the greatest commanders in history, his campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide and he remains one of the most celebrated and controversial political figures in Western history.

In civil affairs, Napoleon had a major long-term impact by bringing liberal reforms to the countries that he conquered, especially the Low Countries, Switzerland, Italy, and large parts of Germany. He implemented fundamental liberal policies in France and throughout Western Europe. His lasting legal achievement was the Napoleonic Code, which has been adopted in various forms by a quarter of the world’s legal systems, from Japan to Quebec. (Source:  Wikipedia)

BLOG

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

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.  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

11/16/15 – Viva la France!

 CURRENT EVENTS

Viva la France!

France

World Powerlifting Congress

I took second place at the World Powerlifting contest in Maia, Portugal; coming in second to the extraordinary Evageny Khudolleev of Russia.

Results at Maia

I found the Russians very friendly and extremely supportive of me.  Below is a couple new Russian friends that I made at the contest.

Me y Russian 2

As I have mentioned in the past; one never accomplishes anything without some help along the way.  You may recall me mentioning Tony, Walter and Art’s contributions to my being at the contest in Portugal.  

Well I owe a big thank you to John Harp, who I met at the weigh-in the day before the contest.  He was kind enough to coach me through the lifting process, which was somewhat different than how I had done it in the USA.  Plus, John was encouraging me for each of my lifts.  I believe without his help, the results would not have been as favorable for me.

John y me

A Christmas Carol

ChristmasCarol(1)

I saw this play yesterday with some of my best friends and I think seeing a live performance of A Christmas Carol is a great way to kick off the Christmas Holidays.  Usually, you can find a performance somewhere near you.  I happened to see this one at Meadow Brook Theater in Rochester, Michigan.

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

Toss

SELF-HELP BOOKS

I first read “The Art of War” back in 1988 and have reviewed it every so often.

Art of War

The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise attributed to Sun Tzu, a high-ranking military general, strategist and tactician [ ].  It has had an influence on Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy and beyond.

The book was first translated into the French language in 1772 by French Jesuit Jean Joseph Marie Amiot and a partial translation into English was attempted by British officer Everard Ferguson Calthrop in 1905. The first annotated English language translation was completed and published by Lionel Giles in 1910.  Leaders as diverse as Mao Zedong, General Vo Nguyen Giap, General Douglas MacArthur and leaders of Imperial Japan have drawn inspiration from the work. (Source: Wikipedia)

LAST WEEK’S QUOTE FOR THE WEEK 

Last week’s poll involved five frogs on a long.  Four decide to jump off the log, how many are left?
Congratulations to the over 80% of you who answered that five frogs were left.  Why, because deciding isn’t doing.

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

Davy Quote

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

French Kiss

To demonstrate my support for the people of France, I thought I would choose a movie with a French theme.  This is a very nice movie and hopefully will take your mind off the troubles of our world, at least for a little while.

 French Kiss

The film is about a woman who flies to France to confront her straying fiancé and gets into trouble when the charming crook seated next to her uses her to smuggle a stolen diamond necklace. French Kiss was filmed on location in Paris, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur région of southeastern France, and Cannes. (Source:  Wikipedia)

LAST WEEK POLL – Health

health-clip-art-126207

Regarding the first poll on health, 57% of us believed the people of the USA are less healthier than other people in the world.

However, 41% of us believe we are as healthy as other people in the world and another 41% of us believe we are healthier than other people in the world.

THIS WEEK’S POLL – A Christmas Carol 

A Christ Carol image for poll

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a holiday classic.  It is not just a book, but a number of movies have been using the story as its basis and many plays are being performed at this time of the year.

SONG OF THE WEEK

Given what happened in Paris and the threats against the USA; it just had to be Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. this song this week.Here is a song about taking care of business, plus I am dedicating this song to  all the business women out there.

Born in the U.S.A.

Born in the USA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPhWR4d3FJQ

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

Davy Crockett

Davy_Crockett_by_John_Gadsby_Chapman

Davy Crockett (August 17, 1786 – March 6, 1836) was a 19th-century American folk hero, frontiersman, soldier, and politician. He is commonly referred to in popular culture by the epithet “King of the Wild Frontier”. He represented Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives, served in the Texas Revolution, and died at the Battle of the Alamo.

Crockett grew up in East Tennessee, where he gained a reputation for hunting and storytelling. After being made a colonel in the militia of Lawrence County, Tennessee, he was elected to the Tennessee state legislature in 1821. In 1825, Crockett was elected to the U.S. Congress, where he vehemently opposed many of the policies of President Andrew Jackson, most notably the Indian Removal Act. Crockett’s opposition to Jackson’s policies led to his defeat in the 1831 elections. He won again in 1833, then narrowly lost in 1835, prompting his angry departure to Texas (then the Mexican state of Tejas) shortly thereafter. In early 1836, Crockett took part in the Texas Revolution and was killed at the Battle of the Alamo in March. (Source:  Wikipedia)

BLOG

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

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.  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