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

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

02/08/16 – 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

01/11/16 – $1.3 Billion Powerball

 CURRENT EVENTS 

P0werball

This Wednesday’s Powerball drawing is now up to $1.3 billion, so I thought I would present something that shows you how to read your Powerball ticket. 

Powerball ticket

SELF-HELP BOOKS

Compelling People

by John Neffinger & Matthew Kohut

In your quest to become extraordinary, it will be beneficial if you understand personal magnetism.  Compelling People provides a lot of information about what makes a person engaging and what makes a person forgettable.  This is information you can use to assess yourself and eliminate any of your traits that may be turning people off as well as develop traits that my attract people to you.

Compelling People

PHYSICAL TRAITS – YOUR HEALTH

I, like many of you, made a New Years resolution to lose weight this year.  You just have to look around many places in the USA to see people are killing themselves with their food choices.  Two of the worse food choices are white flour and sugar.

Many of us when setting a weight goal, turn to height weight charts, so I thought I would provide you some information on how to interpert these charts.

height weight charts

SOCIAL TRAITS

In my book under Social Traits, in Chapter 30, I stress that there is never anything to be gained from arguing with someone.  Many arguments are simply over opinions and people have all sorts of opinions and they are entitled to those opinions, even if mistaken.  Perhaps, the following will help you remember that.

perspective vs Truth

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

Chapter 18 of my book talks about detachment to both objects and relationships.  The C. S. Lewis quote below illustrates the point I was making.

Good advice monkey bars

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Some of my friends who knew me in my younger days used to say I sold out when I went to work for a large corporation.  I replied, “Yes, but I got a good price.”  I think you will get a kick out of this film about selling out or is it buying in?

Greatest Movie Ever Sold

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (commonly shortened to The Greatest Movie Ever Sold) is a 2011 documentary film about product placement, marketing and advertising directed by Morgan Spurlock. The premise behind the production is that the documentary itself would be entirely paid for by sponsors, thus being a form of metafilm. The film’s slogan is “He’s not selling out, he’s buying in”. (Source: Wikipedia)

LAST WEEK’S POLL – 2016

    2016

The vast majority of you (84%) believe 2016 will be a better year than 2015.

A much smaller number of you (11%) believe 2016 will be about the same as last year.

And an even smaller number of you (5%) believe 2016 will be worse than 2015.

THIS WEEK POLL – Powerball

I came up with 1.3 billion reasons to make Powerball the subject of this week’s poll.

      powerball_ticket_cash_A1375930130009_697586_ver1.0_640_480

SONG OF THE WEEK

Let’s Dancing by David Bowie

In recognition of the recent passing of David Bowie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4d7Wp9kKjA

PAINTING OF THE WEEK

I conducted a poll of last week’s painting and 72% of you initially saw a young woman, whereas, 28% of you initially saw an old woman.  Hopefully, eventually you saw both women in that picture.  I hope this little exercise helps you appreciate that two people can view the identical thing or situation and yet come away with completely opposite understandings of what they just viewed.

I’ve often heard it said, that we see things not as they are, but as we are. 

oldyoung fine

The Red Model by Rene Magritte

Magritte_1937_red-modle_III

The uncanny affinity between the feet and the shoes drives our curiosity and undermines our habitual conceptual polarity: feet/shoe, human/non-human, civilization/wilderness, inside/outside. If you want to know more, check out:

http://www.nem.tku.edu.tw/courses/modernity/2B/Magritte_01.htm

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aur

Bust of Marcus Aurelius in the Musée Saint-Raymond, Toulouse

Marcus Aurelius (26 April 121 – 17 March 180 AD) was Roman Emperor from 161 to 180. He was the last of the Five Good Emperors, and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers.

Marcus Aurelius’ Stoic tome Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration. (Source: Wikipedia)

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

I am using the following joke as an introduction to a more serious discussion of stereotypes:

heavensgate3white

In heaven, the lovers are French, the cops are British, the food is Italian, the cars are German, and the whole thing is run by the swiss

Hell 2 fine

In hell, the lovers are Swiss, the cops are German, the food is British, the cars are French, and the whole thing is run by the Italians.

The definition of a stereotype that I like best is that of a vastly oversimplified image or idea about something.  One needs to exhibit a great amount of caution when it comes to any stereotyping as the following so elegantly demonstrates:

Stereotypes

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 Tania, Terri, Carole & John for leaving a comment. 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 really hope more of you start leaving comments as it could lead to some insightful discussions.

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

09/07/15 – Seeing & Hearing

CURRENT EVENTS

CLEAN OUT YOUR GARAGE DAY

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

FOOT RACES

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

5K Arts Eats & Beats

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

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

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

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

We are looking for a dentist

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

Ben Kuroki

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

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

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

SELF-HELP BOOKS:

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

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

The Best Advice I Ever Got

MOVIE OF THE WEEK 

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

fallingwater_new_film_big2

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

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

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

Please Fact Check

LAST WEEK POLL – What is your addiction

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

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

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

4 were addicted to nothing – Well, that is extraordinary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are just a few examples of his work:

00000381471001042K053JMV   MA959-TH  magritte_6

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

MY BOOK

My Final Cover

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

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