03/14/16 – Ides of March

 CURRENT EVENTS

Ides of March

You have probably heard of this phrase many times over the years, most notably in reference to the assassination of Julius Caesar.  Here is a portion of the Wikipedia definition.

The Ides of March is a day on the Roman calendar that corresponds to 15 March. It was marked by several religious observances and became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The death of Caesar made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history, as one of the events that marked the transition from the historical period known as the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire.

The Most Interesting Man in the World

And now we are confronting another transition of historical proportion.  Dos Equis beer is sending The Most Interesting Man in the World on a one-way mission to Mars on Cinco de Mayo.

Leaving for mars

Back in 2009, the Most Interesting Man in the World appeared on the world stage, setting the male standard for being extraordinary.  With his departure, wouldn’t it be amazing if The Most Interesting Woman in the World would come forward.  I know she is out there.

St. Patrick’s Day (Thur., Mar. 17)

And as if you didn’t already know, this Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day.  Please don’t drink and drive.

Shamrock

Spring Forward

Speaking of things you already know, and if you didn’t; I’m guessing you were late to work today.

Wk 12 Go forward, Move Ahead

PHYSICAL TRAITS 

Honor Thy Temple

In Chapter 1 of my book, I stress the importance of diet in achieving an extraordinary life style.  So when in a restaurant, please be careful about what you order, as well as how you pronounce your order.

Wk 12 quiche

On another note, there is a lot of diet advice out there, much of it offering a quick fix.  I think you will find that anything that offers you a loss of more than a couple of pounds a week is not good for you in the long run.

When it comes to body image, I’ve always thought there is no one fix for everyone; and so does the April 2016 edition of Runners World, which said the following:

You are an experiment of one

No one else has to live your precise life, with your specific challenges, biochemistry, anatomy, injury history, calendar, boss, or family.

CHARACTER TRAITS

The Foundation for Being Extraordinary

In chapter 19 of my book, I urge you to embrace change for all the opportunities change can offer.  Still many of you fear change.  I think this basket I saw on the counter of a coffee shop could help those of you who fear change.

Wk 12 Fear change

SOCIAL TRAITS

Getting Along with Others

In Chapter 25, I talk about the impossibility of winning an argument, even if you win.  And in Chapter 36, I discuss of power of a smile.  The following sums up those two chapters.  

Wk 12 Smile

LEARNING TRAITS

Growth Keeps You Extraordinary

In Chapter 46, I discuss reading as an opportunity to learn from the greatest minds in recorded history.  Plus, if you have a book with you; you will never be alone.

Wk 12 Reading

MISCELLANEOUS 

The Odds & Ends of Being Extraordinary

Wk 12 Happiness

SELF-HELP BOOKS

Fall of the Roman Republic

by Plutarch

Warning: This is not an easy to read book, but it has a lot of insights on six personalities associated with this period in history, told in a readable style. 

Wk 12 Plutarch Fall of Roman Republic

The book consists of biographies of the following six people:

Marius
Sulla
Crassus
Pompey
Caesar
Cicero

And this books tells about their interactions with others such as Spartacus, Cleopatra, etc.

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

Cleopatra

Cleopatra_poster

This film came out in 1963 and I believe I saw it in 1965, when I was assistant manager of a U.S. Armed Forces theater in Tehran, Iran.

It has been a long time since I’ve watched this film; but given the Ides of March theme of this week’s post, I think I will watch it again.

(Source: Wikipedia) It received mixed reviews from critics, although critics and audiences alike generally liked Taylor and Burton’s performances. It was the highest grossing film of 1963, yet lost money due to production and marketing costs, making it the only film ever to be the highest grossing film of the year yet still lose money. Cleopatra later won four Academy Awards, and was nominated for five more, including Best Picture

LAST WEEK’S POLL – St. Patrick’s Day

Shamrock

Last week’s poll, asked about your St. Patrick’s Day plans.

The majority of us, 67%, plan to do nothing out of the ordinary; where, 28% of us plan to do something special related to St. Patrick’s Day. The remaining 5% of us said they were going to celebrate with friends.

No one plans to drink green beer and fortunately none of us plan on being arrested for drunk driving.

THIS WEEK POLL – When It Comes To Reading

Wk 12 Books

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

I think this is worth putting up with the brief commercial on this Hulu site to see this clip of Steve Martin performing King Tut on Saturday Night Live.

King Tut

by Steve Martin

more Steve Martin, Saturday Night Live and 1,000,000 pictures at www.morethings.com/pictures

http://www.hulu.com/watch/55342

ART OF THE WEEK

The Rosetta Stone

Here is a photo I took of the Rosetta Stone, while I was at the British Museum in London, England.  The Rosetta Stone is famous for providing the key to understand Egyptian Hyrpographics. 

Rosetta Stone London

The Rosetta Stone is a text written by a group of priests in Egypt to honour the Egyptian pharaoh, Ptolemy V. It lists all of the things he did, which were good for the priests and the people of Egypt. The Rosetta Stone was written in three scripts, so that the priests, government officials and rulers of Egypt could read what it said.

The first was hieroglyphic which was the script used for important or religious documents. The second was demotic which was the common script of Egypt. The third was Greek which was the language of the rulers of Egypt at that time.

The Rosetta Stone was carved in 196 B.C. and was found in 1799 by Napoleon’s soldiers, who were rebuilding a fort in Egypt. It is called the Rosetta Stone because it was discovered in a town called Rosetta (Rashid).

(Combination of Sources: http://www.ancientegypt.co.uk/writing/rosetta.html and Wikipedia)

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

Julius Caesar

The Tusculum portrait, perhaps the only surviving statue created during Caesar’s Lifetime

Wk 12 César_(13667960455)

 

Gaius Julius Caesar (13 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman statesman, general and notable author of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire.

Caesar’s victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC, extended Rome’s territory to the English Channel and the Rhine. Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both when he built a bridge across the Rhine and conducted the first invasion of Britain.

These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC. With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused the order, and instead marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with a legion, leaving his province and illegally entering Roman Italy under arms. Civil war resulted, and Caesar’s victory in the war put him in an unrivaled position of power and influence.

After assuming control of government, Caesar began a programme of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar. He centralised the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed “dictator in perpetuity”, giving him additional authority. But the underlying political conflicts had not been resolved, and on the Ides of March (15 March) 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by a group of rebellious senators led by Marcus Junius Brutus. A new series of civil wars broke out, and the constitutional government of the Republic was never fully restored. Caesar’s adopted heir Octavian, later known as Augustus, rose to sole power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, and the era of the Roman Empire began.

(Source: Wikipedia)

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

Wk 12 Stubbornness

BLOG

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

Sally, Tosha & Sandra, thank you for following this blog and bringing the total number of blog followers to 43.  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, Carol and Tim 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

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