09/21/15 – Spiritual Practice

CURRENT EVENTS – Tour de Troit

What a fantastic way to spend a Saturday (9/19/15) and my compliments to the riders who braved Saturday’s weather to participate in this extraordinary event.

Tour de Troit

https://www.facebook.com/TourdeTroit

The mission of the Tour de Troit is to promote and encourage bicycling and bicycle safety through education, public events, collaboration with community and government organizations and support for non-motorized infrastructure. The Tour de Troit, the city’s largest cycling event, raises awareness of biking as a mode of transportation and publicizes the growing greenways network in the City of Detroit and all of Southeastern Michigan. Tour de Troit also produces and supports other events that promote a healthy lifestyle and city, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Bike Ride, PaczKi Run, Run du Nain Rouge and Cycle Into Spring.

http://www.tour-de-troit.org/about

SELF-HELP BOOKS – The Tao of Elvis

I know I have suggested this book in the past; but if you give this easy to read book a chance, you will find it contains much spiritual guidance.

“The Tao is great, the king is also great.”–Lao Tzu

The Tao of Elvis

Elvis Presley was an intensely spiritual man. Gospel was his music of choice, and his life–from innocence to addiction, from obscurity to fame, from “Hound Dog” to “Love Me Tender”–was one long quest to balance opposites. The Tao of Elvis is the first attempt to illustrate Elvis’s Taoist nature and interpret his never-ending search for purpose and meaning. Highlighting Elvis’s journey from light into dark, Jungian expert and Elvis scholar David Rosen explores and examines his life through the structure of the Tao Te Ching. In reflections on forty-two Taoist concepts–one for each year of Elvis’s life–Rosen reveals how the Tao, a mysterious force, was and is operating through America’s king. Like the Tao, Elvis is everywhere. (Source:  Amazon)

MOVIE OF THE WEEK – When the Moors Ruled in Europe

If you are Amazon Prime, you can watch this film for free or if you have a Netflix DVD subscription and I was surprised that you can find it on Youtube, also for free.  In today’s troubled times, it is something that you owe to yourself to look at how things could be rather than how they are.  It is a well done documentary of how people thrive when they are tolerant of one another.  As I mentioned in my posts from Spain this year, I have been to many of the cities and buildings mentioned in the film (Alhambra, Cordova, Seville, Toledo, etc.).  I wish I have viewed this film before my trip. 

When the Moors Ruled in Europe

Bettany Hughes traces the story of the mysterious and misunderstood Moors, the Islamic society that ruled in Spain for 700 years, but whose legacy was virtually erased from Western history. In 711 AD, a tribe of newly converted Muslims from North Africa crossed the straits of Gibraltar and invaded Spain. Known as The Moors, they went on to build a rich and powerful society. Its capital, Cordoba, was the largest and most civilised city in Europe, with hospitals, libraries and a public infrastructure. Amongst the many things that were introduced to Europe by Muslims at this time were: a huge body of classical Greek texts that had been lost to the rest of Europe for centuries (kick-starting the Renaissance); mathematics and the numbers we use today; advanced astronomy and medical practices; fine dining; the concept of romantic love; and paper. (Source: http://www.infocobuild.com/books-and-films/social-science/when-the-moors-ruled-in-europe.html )

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK – Chapter 19 of my book discusses “Change”, but the quote below will certainly do if you don’t have a chance to read that chapter in my book.

Serenty Prayer

LAST WEEK POLL – Your Health Habits in Regards to Others

Since I permitted multiple voting, I have no idea how many people participated in last week’s poll, but there were 68 votes.  The highest number of votes went to;

One or less alcohol drinks a day – 11 votes

I exercise more than most people – 9 votes

On average I get less than 7 hours sleep a night – 9 votes

My diet is better than most peoples – 8 votes

THIS WEEK’S POLL – Chapter 20 of my book discusses the importance of celebrating successes (yours and your friends & associates) as well as various holidays.  So this week’s poll is related to the various ways one might celebrate Halloween, if they care to do so.  Again, you can vote for more than one item.

 

SONG OF THE WEEK – Folks, here is another dance video for your viewing pleasure.  I hope you enjoy it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmnSm_d2ll4

THIS WEEK’S JOKE – In chapter 30 of my book, I talk about how important it is to avoid arguments with people.  One sure way of avoiding arguments is to not talk about religion.

Walked into a bar

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE – Lao Tzu

273 Working Title/Artist: LaoziDepartment: Asian ArtCulture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: Working Date: 8th–11th century photography by mma, Digital File DP164014.tif retouched by film and media (jnc) 12_9_11

Little is truly known about the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu [ ], who is a guiding figure in [ ] Taoism [ ]. He is said to have been a record keeper in the court of the central Chinese Zhou Dynasty in the 6th century B.C., and an older contemporary of Confucius. This could be true, but he may also have been entirely mythical [  ].

Lao Tzu is said to have tired of life in the Zhou court as it grew increasingly morally corrupt. So he left and rode on a water buffalo to the western border of the Chinese empire. Although he was dressed as a farmer, the border official recognised him and asked him to write down his wisdom. According to this legend, what Lao Tzu wrote became the sacred text called the Tao Te Ching. After writing this piece, Lao Tzu is said to have crossed the border and disappeared from history, perhaps to become a hermit. In reality, the Tao Te Ching is likely the compilation of the works of many authors over time. But stories about Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching itself passed down through different Chinese philosophical schools for over two thousand years. (Source:  The Philosophers’ Mail)

BLOG

I hope more of you will start leaving comments to this post.  To leave a comment, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post.

And as important, if you think this blog has any merit, please pass it on to your friends.

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

 

09/14/15 – The First Time on the Internet: Perceptions

CURRENT EVENTS

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY DEBATE

Folks, regardless of your party affiliation, you should watch this to either be informed or just for the sake of entertainment.

Republican CNN Debate

CNN Republican Primary Debate

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

6pm ET / 3pm PT – First round debate
8pm ET / 5pm PT – Second round primetime debate
Aired On: CNN
Location: Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA
Sponsors: Reagan Library Foundation, CNN, Salem Media Group
Moderator(s): Jake Tapper, Dana Bash and Hugh Hewitt
Rules: Split field into Segment B (primetime) and Segment A (remaining candidates getting at least 1% in polls)
Candidates 6pm: Santorum, Jindal, Pataki, Graham
Candidates 8pm: Trump, Bush, Walker, Huckabee, Carson, Cruz, Rubio, Paul, Christie, Kasich, Fiorina

SKELETONS

I was reading the Thursday, September 10, 2015 issue of USA Today and came across an article on page 5A about the discovery of some skeleton remains that could be more than 2.5 million years old.  Although I found the article interesting, what interests me more are current skeletons.  When you look at the skeletons below, you will see that underneath the skin and superficial differences, we are all the same.

Skeltons

Well at least all of us, except for pirates.

FOOT RACES

runners-racing-18747099

I did another 5K race Sunday at the Detroit Zoo.  Although I was a little faster (34 minutes & 6 seconds) than last week, I came in 5th out of the ten guys in my 65 to 69 age bracket.  But the interesting thing is that the guy who came in first in my age bracket did the 5K in 24 minutes and 10 seconds.  However, 71 year-old Monte Piliawksy ran the 5K in 23 minutes and 42 seconds.  Actually, there was four guys in the over 70 bracket and they all ran the 5K in less than 30 minutes.  Although the over 70 ladies were not as fast, four of them did complete the race.  There were 13 women in my age bracket and the winning woman did the 5K in 23 minutes and 28 seconds.

You really need to ask yourself, what are you doing today that will help ensure your physical well being in the years to come.  And remember it is never too soon or too late to start doing something to be healthier–please.

SELF-HELP BOOKS:

I don’t agree with everything in this book and most likely neither will you; but still it is well worth reading for the many thought provoking ideas that it provides.  I’ve read and reviewed it many times over the years.

Living a Life That Matters 2

Most of us need to feel that we matter in some way; perhaps this explains the high value placed on titles, corner offices, and even fleeting celebrity. But most of us also need to feel that we are good people. In this luminous yet practical book of spiritual advice, Harold Kushner bridges the gap between these seemingly irreconcilable needs, showing us how even our smallest daily actions can become stepping stones toward integrity. (Source:  Amazon)

MOVIE OF THE WEEK 

Here is a short film (Five minutes) that I made back in 2010, called Perceptions.  It is a “tongue-in-cheek” view of how people perceive the world around them.  There are better films out there, but I made this one with my friends and so I love the film even with all it’s flaws.  

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK – Chapter 40 of my book talks about seeing and hearing what is there, rather than what you want to be there.  As Abraham Lincoln advises below, you may want to fact check some of the things you see on the internet.

Lincoln Quote

LAST WEEK POLL – How well do you use your time.

This week only 19 people voted in the poll.  I can never understand why more people don’t vote.  I personally find the results interesting.

Anyway, here are the results of the 19 people who voted:

12 felt they used there time better than most people

4 felt they used their time the same as most people

3 felt they used their time worse than most people

THIS WEEK’S POLL – I devoted the first section of my book to good physical traits, since if you aren’t healthy, nothing else really matters, does it?  Below is a poll, where you may answer multiple times.

 

SONG OF THE WEEK – Last week my good friend Carolyn expressed here dissatisfaction with one of the male dancers in last week’s Shania Twain video. I think you will find some extraordinary dancing in this week’s music video – Please check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMZwZiU0kKs

THIS WEEK’S JOKE – Batman can obviously see what is there, rather than what he wishes were there.  

Cat Woman

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE – Anwar Sadat (25 Dec 1918 – 6 Oct 1981)

220px-Anwar_Sadat_cropped

[  ] As President, he led Egypt in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 to regain Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had occupied since the Six-Day War of 1967, making him a hero in Egypt and, for a time, the wider Arab World. Afterwards, he engaged in negotiations with Israel, culminating in the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty; this won him and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin the Nobel Peace Prize, making Sadat the first Muslim Nobel laureate. Though reaction to the treaty—which resulted in the return of Sinai to Egypt—was generally favorable among Egyptians, it was rejected by the country’s Muslim Brotherhood and leftists in particular, who felt Sadat had abandoned efforts to ensure a Palestinian state. With the exception of Sudan, the Arab world and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) strongly opposed Sadat’s efforts to make a separate peace with Israel without prior consultations with the Arab states. His refusal to reconcile with them over the Palestinian issue resulted in Egypt being suspended from the Arab League from 1979 to 1989. The peace treaty was also one of the primary factors that led to his assassination. (Source:  Wikipedia)

BLOG

I hope more of you will start leaving comments to this post.  To leave a comment, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post.

And as important, if you think this blog has any merit, please pass it on to your friends.

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

 

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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If you would like to leave a comment to this post, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post.

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

 

08/31/15 – Advice for the Ladies

CURRENT EVENTS

FOOT RACE

The 18th Annual Ford Arts, Beats & Eats takes place in Downtown Royal Oak. The festival offers more than 200 performances on nine stages, a highly ranked Juried Fine Arts Show, and local restaurants with some of the finest cuisine in Metro-Detroit.   In addition, there is also a 5K / 10K race associated with the event that starts Saturday morning, September 5.  For more information, please click on the link below:

http://www.artsbeatseats.com/priority-health-5k-10k/

CHARACTER TRAITS

Character traits such as courage, self-worth, optimism, etc. are so much the foundation of being extraordinary, that I devoted 19 chapters in my book to various character traits.  These four people, as well as the President of France in the Center of the photo below, are truly extraordinary for the courage they displayed in standing up to terrorism.

train-paris-hollan_3416689b

WHAT PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT…
These three Americans. On Friday, three Americans — two of them off-duty military service members — took down a heavily armed gunman on a train going from Amsterdam to Paris. The three men and a British passenger tackled the suspect – who was carrying an AK47 and lots of ammo – before he could do anything. The suspect is a 26-year-old Moroccan man. European officials think he may have terror ties. But yesterday, his lawyer said he was just trying to rob people on the train. Which made everything all better. (Source: The SKIMM)

NEW STORE IN ROYAL OAK

Emmys-Post-1-main-600x

Emmy’s Post is a new and extraordinary boutique store in Royal Oak, MI on 6th street between Main and Washington streets. The inside of the store is even more interesting than the picture above depicts.  Plus, it also has some cool clothes for girls of all ages at reasonable prices. If you would like to know more about the store, please clink on the link below:

http://www.emmyspost.com/about-us/

SELF-HELP BOOKS:

Several weeks ago I did a running poll and 47% of you said that you have never entered a race, not even a one mile race. I have no way of knowing, but I would guess that a number of you in that 47% are younger than 50.

Anyway, there are so many people past the age of 50, who are still running races. Although this book is obviously for the over 50 market, I think much of the advice is good for people of any age. For instance, the human body improves with use, unlike machines that wear out with use. Surely, you have all heard of the phrase, “Use it or lose it.”

In chapter 2 of my book, I stress the importance of cardiovascular fitness and this book will help you.

Running Past 50

MOVIE OF THE WEEK 

Midnight in Paris is one of the best movies I have ever seen and if you know anything at all about the artists who were in Paris during the 1920s, you will enjoy this film all the more and you may want to visit this magnificent city.  Chapter 48 of my book talks about the importance of travel and about purchasing experiences rather things.

Midnight in Paris

This is a romantic comedy set in Paris about a family that goes there because of business, and two young people who are engaged to be married in the fall have experiences there that change their lives. It’s about a young man’s great love for a city, Paris, and the illusion people have that a life different from theirs would be much better. (Source: Rotten Tomatoes)

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK – As I mention in Chapter 24 of my book, people aren’t mind readers, politely ask for what you want, which the quote below that I found on the internet illustrates.

Ask

LAST WEEK POLL – How lucky do you feel on a scale of 1 to 10

Here are the results of 23 people who voted:

10 – 3 votes

9 – 1 vote

8 – 7 votes

6 – 6 votes

5 – 2 votes

4, 3 & 2 – 0 votes

1 – 1 vote

The above poll was part of a research study where participants were asked how lucky they were on a scale of one to ten.  They were then given a fake newspaper and asked to count the photos inside.  Throughout the paper were headlines saying, “the answer is 37, collect $100.”  People who believe themselves to be lucky, generally stopped early and collected the extra $100.  Others, who considered themselves unlucky, diligently completed the task and eventually came up with the right answer.

The researches believed the results indicated that luck is more about being open to opportunities beyond how the task or situation is presented, than simply good fortune. (Source:  Tony Hsieh, NYT Best Selling Author of Delivering Happiness and he is CEO of Zappos.com, Inc.)

THIS WEEK’S POLL – In chapter 49 of my book, I talk about addictions, so here is a poll on addictions.

 

SONG OF THE WEEK – Check this out, it relates to the poll

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcATvu5f9vE

THIS WEEK’S JOKE – Chapter 50 of my book relates to Marriage/Life Partners, so I thought you ladies out there would find this bit of information helpful in retaining a great relationship.

Women’s Five Secrets to a Great Relationship:

1. It is important to find a man who works around the
house,occasionally cooks and cleans, and who has a job.

2. It is important to find a man who makes you laugh.

3. It is important to find a man who is dependable and
doesn’t lie.

4. It is important to find a man who’s good in bed and
who loves to have sex with you.

5. It is very important that these four men never meet!!

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE – Alexander the Great

220px-AlexanderTheGreat_Bust
Occupation: Military Commander and King of Ancient Greece
Born: July 20, 356 BC and Died: June 10, 323 BC at the age of 32
Best known for: Conquering much of Asia and Europe

(What is important is the life in your years and not the years in your life.)

Short Biography:

Alexander the Great was the king of Macedonia or Ancient Greece. He is considered one of the greatest military commanders in history. (Note to all: His tactics are still studied, so it is not what you do that is important, but the excellence in which you do it.  I’m personally against war, but if you make war–do it well.)

Childhood of Alexander the Great:

Alexander’s father was King Philip the II, who had built up a strong and united empire in Ancient Greece, which Alexander inherited. (Note to children:  It is important to chose your parents wisely.)

Like most children in Athens, Alexander as a child, learned mathematics, reading, writing, and how to play the lyre. He also was instructed on how to fight, ride a horse, and hunt. When Alexander turned thirteen, his father Philip II, hired the great philosopher Aristotle. At school Alexander met many of his future generals and friends. He also enjoyed reading the works of Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey. (Note to Parents:  It is important to give you child a good education at a good school, where your child can meet other children of like minded parents).

Alexander’s Conquests

After securing the throne and getting all of Greece under his control, Alexander turned east to conquer more of the civilized world. He moved swiftly using his military genius to win battle after battle conquering many peoples and rapidly expanding the Greek empire.

First he moved through Asia Minor and what is today Turkey. He took over Syria defeating the Persian Army at Issus and then laying siege to Tyre. Next, he conquered Egypt and established Alexandria as the capital. After Egypt came Babylonia and Persia, including the city of Susa. Then he moved through Persia and began to prepare for a campaign in India. At this point Alexander had accumulated one of the largest empires in history. However, his soldiers were ready to revolt. They wanted to return home to see their wives and children. Alexander agreed and his army turned back. (Note to all:  Caution, the more you have the more you want, it may be better to simply want what you have.)

Death of Alexander

Alexander only made it back to Babylon where he became suddenly sick and died. No one is sure what he died from, but many suspect poison. Upon his death the great empire he had built was divided up amongst his generals.  (Note to all:  Nothing lasts)

Source:  Much of the above on Alexander is borrowed from http://www.ducksters.com/biography/alexander_the_great.php

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If you would like to leave a comment to this post, just click on “Leave A Comment”, which is immediately below the title of this week’s post, “08/31/15 – Advice for the Ladies”.

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

 

08/24/15 – Fantastic Short Film and Insightful Poll

CURRENT EVENTS

The 18th Annual Ford Arts, Beats & Eats takes place in Downtown Royal Oak. The festival offers more than 200 performances on nine stages, a highly ranked Juried Fine Arts Show, and local restaurants with some of the finest cuisine in Metro-Detroit. Each year international, regional and local attractions at the festival make the City of Royal Oak the premier destination for Labor Day weekend.

In 2014, over 365,000 visitors attended the festival and over $360K was raised for local charities. Festival admission is $3 until 3pm and $5 after 3pm on Saturday, Sunday & Monday. Ford Arts, Beats & Eats is free to enter until 5pm on Friday only.  For more information, please click on the link below:

http://www.artsbeatseats.com/

There is also a 5K / 10K race associated with the event that starts Saturday morning, September 5.  For more information, please click on the link below:

http://www.artsbeatseats.com/priority-health-5k-10k/

Here is an article I came across this week in USA Today.  I suspect with all the money Walter Palmer has to go big game hunting and pay his way out of sexual harassment lawsuits, he is more than just a dentist who worked in this dental practice.

Dentist Office

Anyway, the photo below sums up my feelings towards this “big game hunter”.

Lion killer

I understand Walter Palmer is in hiding.  I wonder why?

We are looking for a dentist

NEW STORE IN ROYAL OAK

Emmy’s Post is a new boutique store in Royal Oak, MI  on 6th street between Main and Washington streets.  It has some fantastic clothes for girls of all ages at very reasonable prices.  If you would like to know more about the store, please clink on the link below:

http://www.emmyspost.com/about-us/

Here is my wife, Carol, checking out this wonderful store.

carol 2

SELF-HELP BOOKS:

Back in July I did a poll and only two of you said that you bought or read a book that was mentioned in this blog.  So, I think I will repeat a book that I believe contains fantastic advice and is probably a book that I have read and reviewed more than any other book.  It is written by David Brown, the husband of Helen Gurley Brown.  If you don’t know who Helen Gurley Brown is, well.

9780942637939_p0_v1_s260x420 

There is so much good advice in this easy to read, inexpensive book.  Of course, if you prefer to remain ordinary; well that is your choice.

MOVIE OF THE WEEK – This week I selected what I think is a fantastic short film (less than six minutes) by Control Alt Delete that is titled “Fin”. It was awarded Best Film at the 2014 Detroit 48 Hour Film Project and was also awarded Best in the categories of Costumes and Writing, plus was an Audience Award Winner.  I think after viewing this short film, it will be easy to understand what it did so well.

A relative of mine, Cory Oyama, was on the creative and sound teams that created this wonderful little film–I just really like it and want you to see it.

http://www.48hourfilm.com/films/3603

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK – I feel so strongly about Detachment, that I devoted one chapter of my book to it.

Detactment

LAST WEEK POLL – Participating in a foot race.

runners-racing-18747099

The majority (47%) of you say that you have never entered a race–you have no idea what you are missing.

At least 12% of you have completed a one-mile walk/run–anyone should be able to do that.  Majority (47%), are you listening?

An impressive 29% have completed a 5K (3.1 mile) race–well done.

And an amazing 12% of you have done the extraordinary by completing a 26.2 mile race.

THIS WEEK’S POLL – Want to learn something about yourself, than participate in this week’s poll.

THIS WEEK’S JOKE – I understand that so many women want to be appreciate for more than just their looks, so this week’s joke is for those ladies.

Women Personality

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLECleopatra

Kleopatra-VII.-Altes-Museum-Berlin1

Cleopatra [  ]; (69 – August 12, 30 BC), [   ] was the last active pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt, only shortly survived by her son, Caesarion as pharaoh. After her reign, Egypt became a province of the then-recently established Roman Empire.

Cleopatra was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a family of Macedonian Greek origin that ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great’s death. [  ] The Ptolemies, throughout their dynasty, spoke Greek and refused to speak Egyptian.[  ] By contrast, Cleopatra did learn to speak Egyptian and represented herself as the reincarnation of an Egyptian goddess, Isis.

Cleopatra [  ] eventually she became sole ruler. As pharaoh, she consummated a liaison with Julius Caesar that solidified her grip on the throne. She later elevated her son with Caesar, Caesarion, to co-ruler in name.

After Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC, she aligned with Mark Antony in opposition to Caesar’s legal heir, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (later known as Augustus). With Antony, she bore the twins Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helios, and another son, Ptolemy Philadelphus [  ]. After losing the Battle of Actium to Octavian’s forces, Antony committed suicide. Cleopatra followed suit, according to tradition killing herself by means of an asp bite on August 12, 30 BC. She was briefly outlived by Caesarion, who was declared pharaoh by his supporters but soon killed on Octavian’s orders. Egypt became the Roman province of Aegyptus.

To this day, Cleopatra remains a popular figure in Western culture. Her legacy survives in numerous works of art and the many dramatizations of her story in literature and other media, including William Shakespeare’s tragedy Antony and Cleopatra, George Bernard Shaw’s play Caesar and Cleopatra, [  ] and the 1963 film Cleopatra. (Source:  Wikipedia)

BLOG

And as I mentioned the last week, I now have a box at the bottom of the post where you can type in a reply or comment on something.  I’m feeling a bit lonely, without any comments.

And as always, please leave a comment or send me your suggestions for current events, jokes, thoughts, movies, book, extraordinary people or even 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

 

08/17/15 – First Time Ever on the Net (Inside World)

CURRENT EVENTS

Well, did any of you go to The Woodward Dream Cruise?   If so; let us know what you think of it.  I can recall cruising Woodward, when I was in high school.  The Woodward Dream Cruise is the world’s most popular car cruise and largest one-day automotive event.  It is held annually the 3rd Saturday of August on Woodward Avenue and about  one million people attend this event each year.

dreamcruiselogopng-2ae850f6f5099d1b

NEW STORE IN ROYAL OAK

Emmy’s Post is a new boutique store in Royal Oak, MI  on 6th street between Main and Washington streets.  It has some fantastic clothes for girls of all ages at very reasonable prices.  If you would like to know more about the store, please clink on the link below:

http://www.emmyspost.com/about-us/

Here is a friend of mine, Judy, who is also one of the owners of this wonderful store.

JudyFullSizeRender

SELF-HELP BOOKS:

Cindy Glovinsky in her wonderful book, One Thing at a Time, says “… the best things in life aren’t Things”.  

If you want to reduce the clutter in your life, I strongly recommend this book.

One thing at a time1L._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_ 

I feel reducing clutter in your life is so important, that I devoted an entire chapter of my book to the topic.

MOVIE OF THE WEEK – I made this movie in 2007 and if I had it to do over, it would be different; but here it is for the first time on the internet.

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK 

Running

LAST WEEK POLL – What would you do if you were certain that a good friend was making a serious mistake.

Lion Close

The majority (67%) of those voting this week said they would gently hint to their friend that what their friend planned to do was a bad idea and be there two pick up the pieces.  And additional 7% would say nothing, since their friend’s choices are none of their business.

However, 26% said they would strongly say their friend’s idea was a bad one and risk the friendship.

So, which kind of friend do you wish you had?

THIS WEEK’S POLL – I know you can come up with all sorts of reasons, some even legitimate; but if you go to a race you will see all ages and sizes participating.

 

THIS WEEK’S JOKE – I was going to post a political joke, but was told that the recent Republican debate beat me to it and others warned me that people are sensitive to political jokes and that I should be careful as to not offend anyone.  Therefore, I thought I would move to a safer topic for this week’s joke.

 

Shit Happens

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLETHOMAS SOWELL

For as long as I can remember, I have always thought Thomas Sowell was an inspiring individual; but it wasn’t until just the other day I learned that he was a high school drop-out; but that didn’t prevent him from making something of himself, not to mention all the other challenges he must have faced.

Few of us will ever reach the heights of Thomas Sowell, but he is an example that is possible to become all you can be and it is likely most of us face fewer challenges than he faced.

Picture_of_Dr._Thomas_Sowell

Thomas Sowell (/soʊl/; born June 30, 1930) is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher, and author.

He is currently Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Sowell was born in North Carolina, but grew up in Harlem, New York. He dropped out of high school and served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. He received a Bachelor’s degree, graduating magna cum laude[3] from Harvard University in 1958 and a Master’s degree from Columbia University in 1959. In 1968, he earned his Doctorate in Economics from the University of Chicago.

Sowell has served on the faculties of several universities, including Cornell University and University of California, Los Angeles. He has also worked for think tanks such as the Urban Institute. Since 1980, he has worked at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He writes from a conservative and classical liberal perspective, advocating free market economics, and has written more than thirty books. He is a National Humanities Medal recipient. (Source:  Wikipedia)

BLOG

This week I added an “About” page to the blog, which tells a little about what I am trying to accomplish with this blog, a couple of pictures and an email address where you can reach me.

And as I mentioned last week, I now have a box at the bottom of the post where you can type in a reply or comment on something.

As always, please send me your jokes, thoughts, movie & book suggestions as well as anything you believe may be interesting and thought provoking for the readers of this blog. My address:  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

 

08/09/15 – Format, Debates, Dream Cruise, Emmy’s Post, Career Warfare, Holmes & Riki + Jokes

MY BLOG

I changed the format this week to add a side bar with an archive of past posts so it will be easier for you to see old posts.  And to make it easier to comment on these posts, I now have a box at the bottom of the post where you can type in a reply.

As always, please send me your jokes, thoughts, movie & book suggestions as well as anything you believe may be interesting and thought provoking for the readers of this blog, to this address:  harmonybooksfilmsllc@comcast.net

CURRENT EVENTS

Regardless of your political orientation, I think the first night of the 2015 Republican Debates was a good way to learn a little about the people, who want to be the leader of the U.S.A.; besides, it was very entertaining.  Your chance to see the next round of these debates will be September 16.

Early first debate

Prime Time Debate

Source of above photos: Getty Images

dreamcruiselogopng-2ae850f6f5099d1b

The Woodward Dream Cruise is proud to present the fourth annual Cruise In Shoes™ 5K Fun Run/Walk presented by PNC Bank. The run/walk will take place the morning of August 15, 2015, the same day as the 21st annual Woodward Dream Cruise.

The run/walk will begin at 7:30 am on Yorba Linda Blvd, continue with a rare opportunity to run on historic Woodward Avenue, wind through several Royal Oak neighborhood streets and finish at Shrine High School.

Anyone interested in participating in the Cruise In Shoes™ can register online by going to   http://www.cruiseinshoes.com/registration until August 12. Participants can also sign up for the event the day of the run at Royal Oak Shrine High School.

NEW STORE IN ROYAL OAK

There is a new boutique store in Royal Oak, MI  on 6th street between Main and Washington streets.  It has some fantastic clothes for girls of all ages at very reasonable prices.  If you would like to know more about the store, please clink on the link below to see an article in the Royal Oak Review about the store.

http://www.candgnews.com/news/new-boutique-focuses-power-positivity-84690

Here are two of my friends, Tania and Lindsey, who are visiting the store.

FullSizeRender-4

SELF-HELP BOOKS:

I just reviewed a book that I read back in 2004 and oh my gosh was it painful to hear all the advice I should have heeded, but didn’t.  If you still have hopes of building a career, I recommend you take a look at this book.  It has so much good advice and is very readable.  Although my corporate career is over; I’m embarking on a new career as an author, speaker and blogger; and this time I’m going to pay closer attention to the advice in this book.

 Career Warfare

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

Since I am a long time fan of Sherlock Holmes, I had to see the recent movie, “Mr. Holmes”.  I found the story ok, but not up to the Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett productions, but still the acting was amazing.

Mr Holmes

And this story didn’t do much for me; but Meryl Streep was absolutely amazing.

Riki

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK 

Ways to win an argument with a woman

LAST WEEK POLL

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Only 12 people voted in last week’s poll.  Four of you thought about writing a book and another four of your started writing a book, but never finished.  So 2/3s of us wanted to write a book but didn’t.

Of the remaining four, 1 never wanted to write a book, two wrote and published a book; but the book did not sell over 100 copies.  And congratulations to the one of us who wrote, published and sold more than 100 copies of their book.  Well done. My understanding is that 93% of all books published, sell less than 100 copies so this is an extraordinary accomplishment.

THIS WEEK’S POLL 

 

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

If you work for an organization where it is difficult for you to take a day off from work because you don’t feel well; perhaps, this joke will cheer you up.

Chinese Sick Leave

And if you think you have a bad job; well look below and perhaps you will reconsider.

Worse Job

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