Sassy and Riley want me to tell the Shih Tzu puppy she's not really a Chinese Sheltie, but we're not going to break it to her until she's a bit older...
Observations by and for the vaguely disenchanted.
Risking the wrath of the whatever
from high atop the thing.
Sassy and Riley want me to tell the Shih Tzu puppy she's not really a Chinese Sheltie, but we're not going to break it to her until she's a bit older...
(Today is also the birthday of Frank Sinatra.)
Gustave Flaubert (December 12, 1821 - May 8, 1880) was an influential French writer widely considered one of the greatest novelists in Western literature. He is known especially for his first published novel, Madame Bovary (1857), for his Correspondence, and for his scrupulous devotion to his style and aesthetics. The celebrated short story writer Maupassant was a protégé of Flaubert. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
A thing derided is a thing dead; a laughing man is stronger than a suffering man.
Anything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough.
Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.
Do not read as children do to enjoy themselves, or, as the ambitious do to educate themselves. No, read to live.
Exuberance is better than taste.
Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.
I don't believe that happiness is possible, but I think tranquility is.
Love art. Of all lies, it is the least untrue.
My deplorable mania for analysis exhausts me. I doubt everything, even my doubt.
Nothing is more humiliating than to see idiots succeed in enterprises in which we have failed.
Of all the icy blasts that blow on love, a request for money is the most chilling.
One can be the master of what one does, but never of what one feels.
One must not always think that feeling is everything. Art is nothing without form.
Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times.
Pleasure is found first in anticipation, later in memory.
Sadness is a vice.
That man has missed something who has never left a brothel at sunrise feeling like throwing himself into the river out of pure disgust.
The artist must be in his work as God is in creation, invisible and all-powerful; one must sense him everywhere but never see him.
The more you approach infinity, the deeper you penetrate terror.
The whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletarian to the level of stupidity attained by the bourgeois.
There is no truth. There is only perception.
To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.
What is beautiful is moral, that is all there is to it.
You can calculate the worth of a man by the number of his enemies, and the importance of a work of art by the harm that is spoken of it.
You need a high degree of corruption or a very big heart to love absolutely everything.
Fiorello Henry LaGuardia (December 11, 1882 - September 20, 1947) was the 99th Mayor of New York for three terms from 1934 to 1945 after having been previously elected to Congress in 1916 and 1918, and again from 1922 through 1930. Irascible, energetic, and charismatic, he craved publicity and is acclaimed as one of the three or four greatest mayors in American history. Only five feet tall, he was called "the Little Flower" (Fiorello is Italian for "little flower").
LaGuardia, a Republican who appealed across party lines, was very popular in New York during the 1930s. As a New Dealer, he supported President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat, and in turn Roosevelt heavily funded the city and cut off patronage from LaGuardia's foes. LaGuardia revitalized New York City and restored public faith in City Hall. He unified the transit system, directed the building of low-cost public housing, public playgrounds and parks, constructed airports, reorganized the police force, defeated the powerful Tammany Hall political machine, and reestablished merit employment in place of patronage jobs.(Click here for full Wikipedia article)
I am certain that the good Lord never intended grapes to be made into grape jelly.
I think the reporter should get his facts straight before he distorts them.
It makes no difference if I burn my bridges behind me- I never retreat.
Let's drive the bums out of town.
My generation has failed miserably. We've failed because of lack of courage and vision. It requires more courage to keep the peace than to go to war.
Politics is very much like taxes- everybody is against them, or everybody is for them as long as they don't apply to him.
Prohibition cannot be enforced for the simple reason that the majority of American people do not want it enforced and are resisting its enforcement.
The Devil is easy to identify. He appears when you're tired and makes a very reasonable request which you know you shouldn't grant.
There is no Democratic or Republican way of cleaning the streets.
To the victor belongs the responsibility of good government.
We have had two chickens in every pot, two cars in every garage, and now we have two headaches for every aspirin.
When I make a mistake, it's a beaut!
Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O. (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968), was an Anglo-American Catholic writer and mystic. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a poet, social activist, and student of comparative religion. In 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name Father Louis. (Click for full Wikipedia article.)
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
May God prevent us from becoming "right-thinking men"- that is to say, men who agree perfectly with their own police.
Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.
Technology is not in itself opposed to spirituality and to religion. But it presents a great temptation.
Teenagers have no monopoly (on adolescent behavior), except insofar as we are in fact a teenager society- a society that likes to play "chicken," not with fast cars, but with ballistic missiles.
The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.
The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.
The least of the work of learning is done in the classrooms.
The tighter you squeeze, the less you have.
The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt.
To consider persons and events and situations only in the light of their effect upon myself is to live on the doorstep of hell.
We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have- for their usefulness.
What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?
Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.
The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.
Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.
We have to have a deep, patient compassion for the fears of men and irrational mania of those who hate or condemn us.
To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is itself to succumb to the violence of our times.
We have what we seek, it is there all the time, and if we give it time, it will make itself known to us.
Love seeks one thing only: the good of the one loved. It leaves all the other secondary effects to take care of themselves. Love, therefore, is its own reward.
When ambition ends, happiness begins.
I cannot make the universe obey me. I cannot make other people conform to my own whims and fancies. I cannot make even my own body obey me.
Advertising treats all products with the reverence and the seriousness due to sacraments.
If you want to study the social and political history of modern nations, study hell.
Everybody makes fun of virtue, which by now has, as its primary meaning, an affectation of prudery practiced by hypocrites and the impotent.
We are not meant to resolve all contradictions but to live with them and rise above them and see them in the light of exterior and objective values which make them trivial by comparison.
It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes...
Evan Esar was a writer and compiler of books of humor. (Click here for full New York Times obituary.)
A hamburger by any other name costs twice as much.
A husband is like a fire, he goes out when unattended.
A signature always reveals a man's character- and sometimes even his name.
A vacation is like love: anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort, and remembered with nostalgia.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy, and Jill a wealthy widow.
Character is what you have left when you've lost everything you can lose.
Conscience is what makes a boy tell his mother before his sister does.
Hope is tomorrow's veneer over today's disappointment.
If you think there is safety in numbers, try playing roulette.
Many a man who falls in love with a dimple make the mistake of marrying the whole girl.
Most new books are forgotten within a year, especially by those who borrow them.
Never trust a woman who tells you her real age; she's liable to tell you the truth about anything.
No matter how much you nurse a grudge it won't get better.
One ounce of example is worth a pound of advice.
Romance begins with a prince kissing an angel, and ends with a bald headed man yawning at a fat woman.
Shakespeare murdered Hamlet, and a great many Hamlets have murdered Shakespeare.
The best time to relax is when you don't have time to relax.
The best way to spoil a good story is by sticking to the facts.
The computer saves man a lot of guesswork, but so does the bikini.
The girl with a future avoids a man with a past.
The trouble with the family is that children grow out of childhood, but parents never grow out of parenthood.
We can't do much about the length of our lives, but we can do plenty about it's width and depth.
Writing things down is the best secret of a good memory.
You can never get rid of a bad temper by losing it.
It's surprising what pops up on Google...
It's U.S. Patent #7,249,057 B2, issued July 24, 2007: "Product Information Supplying Method, Product Information Acquiring Method, Product Information Registering Method And Recording Medium," and the description is equally enlightening:
"There is provided a product information supply method for supplying a user who desires to purchase a product with proper information about a related product that could be bought in combination with the product, so that the user is assisted in purchasing products. Registration of combination information to be supplied to the user is made with a database managed by a service provider server by a person who has bought the above product by means of a registration page so that a lot of combination information is accumulated in the database. The registered information includes not only information specifying a combinable product but also information about the effects of the combination and the ways of using products in combination. The database is searched in response to inquiry information from the user who makes reference to a page of products. Thus, corresponding combination information is extracted from the database and is sent to the user."
I'm no expert in intellectual property law, but- this is something patentable? A database of related products, with the added twist of returning information on "effects of the combination and the ways of using products in combination." You mean like peanut butter and jelly? Gin and tonic? Water and Alka-Seltzer tablets?
Even more puzzling is the reference to one of my old DEC Professional DCL Dialogue columns. It deals with referrals and recommendations for computer hardware and software, but its relevance to this patent eludes me. You can read the column here.
Other stuff that passed across the desktop this week:
(Today is also the birthday of James Thurber)
Golda Meir (May 3, 1898 - December 8, 1978) was an Israeli teacher, kibbutznik and politician who became the fourth Prime Minister of Israel. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
A leader who doesn't hesitate before he sends his nation into battle is not fit to be a leader.
Ability hits the mark where presumption overshoots and diffidence falls short.
Being seventy is not a sin.
Don't be humble... you're not that great.
Even paranoids have real enemies.
Fashion is an imposition, a rein on freedom.
I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.
Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!
Men who have reached and passed forty-five, have a look as if waiting for the secret of the other world, and as if they were perfectly sure of having found out the secret of this.
Not being beautiful was the true blessing. Not being beautiful forced me to develop my inner resources. The pretty girl has a handicap to overcome.
Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you're aboard there's nothing you can do.
One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.
Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.
There's no difference between one's killing and making decisions that will send others to kill. It's exactly the same thing, or even worse.
Those who don't know how to weep with their whole heart, don't know how to laugh either.
To be or not to be is not a question of compromise. Either you be or you don’t be.
To be successful, a woman has to be much better at her job than a man.
What person with any sense likes himself? I know myself too well to like myself.
Whether women are better than men I cannot say- but I can say they are certainly no worse.
Women's Liberation is just a lot of foolishness. It's the men who are discriminated against. They can't bear children. And no one's likely to do anything about that.
You can get used to anything if you have to, even feeling perpetually guilty.
You'll never find a better sparring partner than adversity.
Willa Sibert Cather (December 7, 1873 - April 24, 1947) was an American author who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains, in works such as O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, and The Song of the Lark. In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours (1922), a novel set during World War I. Cather grew up in Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska. She lived and worked in Pittsburgh for ten years, then at the age of 33 she moved to New York, where she lived for the rest of her life. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
Desire is creation, is the magical element in that process. If there were an instrument by which to measure desire, one could foretell achievement.
Even in harmonious families there is this double life: the group life, which is the one we can observe in our neighbour's household, and, underneath, another- secret and passionate and intense- which is the real life that stamps the faces and gives character to the voices of our friends.
Give the people a new word and they think they have a new fact.
I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.
It does not matter much whom we live with in this world, but it matters a great deal whom we dream of.
Love itself draws on a woman nearly all the bad luck in the world.
Men are all right for friends, but as soon as you marry them they turn into cranky old fathers, even the wild ones.
Men travel faster now, but I do not know if they go to better things.
Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.
No one can build his security upon the nobleness of another person.
Only solitary men know the full joys of friendship. Others have their family- but to a solitary and an exile his friends are everything.
Only the stupid and the phlegmatic should teach.
People can be lovers and enemies at the same time, you know.
Pittsburgh was even more vital, more creative, more hungry for culture than New York. Pittsburgh was the birthplace of my writing.
Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin. Economics and art are strangers.
Some memories are realities and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.
Success is never so interesting as struggle.
The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young.
The fact that I was a girl never damaged my ambitions to be a pope or an emperor.
The great pines stand at a considerable distance from each other. Each tree grows alone, murmurs alone, thinks alone. They do not intrude upon each other.
The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one’s own.
The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is.
The world is always full of brilliant youth which fades into grey and embittered middle age: the first flowering takes everything. The great men are those who have developed slowly, or who have been able to survive the glamour of their early florescence and to go on learning from life.
There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.
There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.
When kindness has left people, even for a few moments, we become afraid of them, as if their reason had left them.
When people ask me if it has been a hard or easy road, I always answer with the same quotation, the end is nothing, the road is all.
Where there is great love there are always miracles.
Baltasar Gracián y Morales, SJ (January 8, 1601 - December 6, 1658) was a Spanish Jesuit and baroque prose writer and philosopher. He was born in Belmonte, near Calatayud (Aragon). His proto-existentialist writings were lauded by Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
A man of honor should never forget what he is because he sees what others are.
A single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity.
A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.
All victories breed hate.
Be content to act, and leave the talking to others.
Be master over yourself before you would be master over others.
Beauty and folly are generally companions.
Because the ignorant do not know themselves, they never know for what they are lacking. Some would be sages if they did not believe they were so already.
Better mad with the rest of the world than wise alone.
Better to be cheated by the price than by the merchandise.
Complaints will always discredit you. Rather than compassion and consolation, they provoke passion and insolence, and encourage those who hear our complaints to behave like those we complain about. Once divulged to others, the offenses done to us seem to make others pardonable. Some complain of past offenses and give rise to future ones.
Don't take the wrong side of an argument just because your opponent has taken the right side.
Fortune rarely accompanies anyone to the door.
Honorable beginnings should serve to awaken curiosity, not to heighten people's expectations. We are much better off when reality surpasses our expectations, and something turns out better than we thought it would.
Hope has a good memory, gratitude a bad one.
If you cannot make knowledge your servant, make it your friend.
Knowing how to keep a friend is more important than gaining a new one.
Many owe their greatness to their enemies. Flattery is fiercer than hatred, for hatred corrects the faults flattery had disguised.
Never compete with a man who has nothing to lose.
Never open the door to a lesser evil, for other and greater ones invariably slink in after it.
Not believing others implies that you yourself are deceitful. The liar suffers twice: he neither believes nor is believed.
Politeness and a sense of honor have this advantage: we bestow them on others without losing a thing.
Readiness is the mother of luck.
Ridicule is the subtlest form of revenge.
Some die because they feel everything, others because they feel nothing. Some are fools because they suffer no regrets, and others because they do.
The beautiful woman should break her mirror early.
The right kind of leisure is better than the wrong kind of work.
There is none who cannot teach somebody something, and there is none so excellent that he cannot be excelled.
Those who insist on the dignity of their office show they have not deserved it.
Those who want to look like hard workers give the impression that they aren't up to their jobs.
To overvalue something is a form of lying.
Trust the friends of today as though they will be the enemies of tomorrow.
Virtue alone is for real; all else is sham. Talent and greatness depend on virtue, not on fortune.
When you counsel someone, you should appear to be reminding him of something he had forgotten, not of the light he was unable to see.
Words are feminine; deeds are masculine.
You should avoid making yourself too clear even in your explanations.