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

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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