Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

It takes a village to raise a millionaire

I am a wealthy guy. Yesterday I had lunch with a neighbor. He had sought me out as the result of an editorial I wrote for the local paper. He was my tennis partner when I started 20 years ago; we’ve kept our friendship going for nearly 30 years. Then I had coffee with another friend who had fallen on hard times, but is rising from the ashes, with courage, grace and good humor. Then I picked up some CDs at the library, was able to wish happy holidays to my favorite staff member. I hadn’t seen her in ages but we stay in touch by email. She and I go back to the mid-1990s when she helped me research esoteric math formulas for software I was building. Over the years she has been a genius at locating hard to find books or CDs or information of any kind. She, too, has weathered harsh storms in the sea of her personal life, she, too, is a survivor. Another friend, whose home we visited recently, was inside the library, we talked for a few moments, an unexpected bonus. Spending 31+ years resident in our small village surely pays dividends. It takes a village to raise a wealthy guy; I am a millionaire in friends. I hope you are, too.

Happy holidays, happy 2012, and Merry Christmas, dear reader…..

How Gold, Silver And Platinum Will Respond To ECB's Money Printing - Seeking Alpha

How Gold, Silver And Platinum Will Respond To ECB's Money Printing

Gold prices will eventually respond directly to monetary liquidity increases, no matter how much central bank price suppression intervention there may be right now. With huge euro injections, alongside significant quantitative easing in the UK and the USA, gold will rise stronger than ever, at least over the next three years. Silver, which responds both to monetary liquidity and to commercial demand, is going to rise even faster, especially as commercial demand increases in Europe, and those that "feed" Europe, like China.

From Seeking Alpha......

Friday, December 09, 2011

1000 words


Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Primal Light from Mahler's The Youth's Magic Horn

Urlicht - Primal light

We hear a lot of classical music, vocal music sung in foreign tongues. Every once in a while, I look up what's actually being sung, and came across this remarkable and strange piece of poetry from Mahler's famous work, Das Knaben Wunderhorn, the Youth's Magic Horn. It reminds me a bit of the woman who pursued Jesus for healing, and wouldn't be dissuaded, or the centurion who did the same, and many, many others....

O little red rose,
Man lies in greatest need,
Man lies in greatest pain.
Ever would I prefer to be in heaven.
Once I came upon a wide road,
There stood an Angel who wanted to turn me away.
But no, I will not be turned away!
I came from God, and will return to God,
The loving God who will give me a little light,
To lighten my way up to eternal, blessed life!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Guest Post: Is There No Shame? | ZeroHedge

Re Penn State, one more post, because this says it even better.....puts the issue to rest.

Guest Post: Is There No Shame? | ZeroHedge

Personal rumination: In the days after the scandal broke, but before the heads rolled, it was confidently said by the media something to the effect, 'but the investigation does not involve Joe Paterno.' How could that be? I thought. The perpetrator had free range of the Penn State football facilities the entire decade after he resigned, and it was said he was working out there as recently as last week. How can Joe Pa "not be involved"? If I get rid of this guy for child molestation, i.e. forced "retirement", do I then invite him back --- to work out?

Didn't make sense to me. Appears I was just a couple days ahead of the grim reaper of consequences.


  1. Things are not what they seem, nor are they otherwise.
  2. The media can get it wrong, sometimes way wrong, especially in the early stages of a crisis.
  3. Calls to mind the phrase that was once made popular by another discredited figure: 'we don't know what we don't know.'
  4. Next up: The relative complacency surrounding Greece, Italy, et al -- where will it finally lead? To a conclusion that no one (or precious few) in the media can foresee.....................?

Penn State's Paterno deserves no pity

The Chicago Tribune weighs in:

Penn State's Paterno deserves no pity

So what were the Penn State students possibly thinking as they rioted all over campus and tipped over cars and a satellite truck? When will they realize, after the buzz wears off and sobering reality sinks in, that they were defending the right to cover up pedophilia? As much as they love JoePa, that's the harsh reality.

Woody Hayes threw a punch. Bob Knight threw a chair. But in 10 years or so we will remember Paterno as much as anything for the alleged molestation he enabled that made us want to throw up. He always can be referred to as a great football coach. But I still cringed hearing loyal ex-players refer to Paterno as a great man.

.... out-to-lunch University President Graham Spanier.....

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Meets Wells Tower, newly designated Best Short Story writer for 2011

New voice in short story writing: Wells Tower. Featured from time to time in the New Yorker. You may see yourself, or someone you know, in some of his stories.

Recently included in the 2011 “Best American Short Stories’’ anthology.

The next Cheever, or Murakami?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Fed's Operation Twist -- Explained

............So basically now you know what the Fed’s recent “Operation Twist” is all about (a more appropriate name might be “Operation Payoff”). We are paying a King’s Ransom to pave the way to devalue the dollar in the next QE3 and beyond. Just remember the downside of a falling dollar will be higher import prices and higher inflation.

From Richard Benson via

Full story

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The overlooked Internet technology:
the RSS feed

The Internet has changed life on this planet forever, but dare I say it, it is not perfect.


  • Advertising, ubiquitous
  • Trivialization (Facebook, Twitter)
  • Spam (email)

There is one underutilized technology, however, that holds at bay the aforementioned troika: the RSS feed. You go to a news website, hit subscribe, and read it all updates in Google Reader (or other reader). That's all there is to it.

I was somewhat behind the curve on this recently, before I got going with it, and wondered if I was the only one. I surveyed some 68 members of an email list I maintain (for tennis). Here's what I asked:

BRIEF (nonscientific) TECH SURVEY

1. Do you subscribe by RSS/Atom to newsfeeds and/or blog posts?
2. If so, to how many of each, roughly?
3. If so, do you use Google Reader, or other reader (which?)
4. Any other comments on the subject solicited.

27% responded to a single emailing.

One used RSS, one inquired about it. Here are comments:

  • Read Huffington Post and blogs there occasionally
  • I do absolutely nothing with respect to RSS type news feeds. I am on a number of e-mail distrubution lists, and I virtually always delete those without reading. Now, if it was a news feed about Winnetka tennis...that's another story!!!
  • I do not subscribe to any news or blog feeds.
  • I do not subscribe to any RSS newsfeeds.
  • I do not subscribe, but I do use Google and Ask on occasion.
  • I don't
  • I dont subscribe to those --I read few blogs, but do get three or four daily feeds from orgs or industries I keep up with. They come via Comcast mail, which I use.
  • I don't subscribe to those things.
  • I just got a Kindle as a Christmas gift from my wife, so my reading volume has nicely increased. I subscribe to RSS/Atom feeds directly through My Yahoo page.
  • I rarely subscribe to RSS feeds. To question, do you use Google Reader, "not sure."
  • I subscribe to no newsfeeds or blogs. I do subscribe to 5 podcasts on iTunes. The podcasts are, I think, RSS feeds.
  • No I don't use either.
  • No.
  • Use Google Reader only and cannot get it to do what I what, i.e. spy on my competitors. Not feeds in either formant but am interested - suggestions on a primer for the novice?
  • Wrote back, but did not answer question(s), perhaps didn't understand them.
  • Wrote back, but did not answer question(s), perhaps didn't understand them.
  • Wrote back, but did not answer question(s), perhaps didn't understand them.

In our opinion, RSS offers a quick and easy way to keep up with news, favorite blogs -- and keep the advertising and spam at bay.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Strange but true: J.J. Rousseau

The philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau was celebrated for his contributions to educational theory, but had earlier given up his five children to a foundling hospital.


According to his Confessions, before she moved in with him, Thérèse bore him a son and as many as four other children (there is no independent verification for this number[8]). Rousseau wrote that he persuaded Thérèse to give each of the newborns up to a foundling hospital, for the sake of her "honor". "Her mother, who feared the inconvenience of a brat, came to my aid, and she [Thérèse] allowed herself to be overcome" (Confessions). In his letter to Madame de Francueil in 1751, he first pretended that he wasn't rich enough to raise his children but in book IX of the confessions, he gave the true reasons of his choice : " I trembled at the thought of intrusting them to a family ill brought up, to be still worse educated. The risk of the education of the foundling hospital was much less."

Ten years later, Rousseau made inquiries about the fate of his son, but no record could be found. When Rousseau subsequently became celebrated as a theorist of education and child-rearing, his abandonment of his children was used by his critics, including Voltaire and Edmund Burke, as the basis for ad hominem attacks.

Even stranger:

In an irony of fate, Rousseau's later injunction to women to breastfeed their own babies (as had previously been recommended by the French natural scientist Buffon), probably saved the lives of thousands of infants.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Skin Deep: OSU vs Notre Dame in the Scandal Bowl

The Ohio State University vs Notre Dame: Whose Reputation is most Tarnished?

by guest columnist Rod Gibbs

Now is the season that two behemoth football programs will be putting on their pads for a bruising run at the national championship. There is no doubt that both Notre Dame and Ohio Sate University have been scared and tattooed by scandal. The marks left on skin and reputation will take many scrubbings of PR and good faith actions to dissolve.

Who is more culpable in these infamous incidents? On one hand, we have the OSU football program which has lost “More than a Coach”. They have lost Jim Tressel who has a national championship in 2002 and over an 82 % winning record. A coach who was like a father to his players but it turned out through a little digging by Sports Illustrated that dozens of his charges over the years were getting NCAA illegal assets at a tattoo parlor and car dealerships. On the other hand, we have the Holy of Holies - Notre Dame, which has smoothed over the fate of Declan Sullivan who fell to his death in a windstorm while filming football practice. Notre Dame has also tried to smooth over the suicide a St. Mary’s college student who was sexually harassed by a ND football player.

Jim Tressel had a record of oversight well before he arrived at OSU, including a physical episode on the sidelines. He always claimed he wasn’t aware of what was going on which should be a familiar refrain to USC fans who have watched the buddy to his players Pete Carroll go pro before possible NCAA sanctions.

The sins of OSU were underhanded payments while ND issues involved death in both cases, with blame resting on the shoulders of the ND “family” as they call themselves. Twenty year old Declan Sullivan was killed when the 40 foot tower he was on was toppled by a “sudden extraordinary burst of wind” as noted in the official report. I recall that day and the menace of wind storms was well noted on weather forecasts for the area.

Supposedly, the report of stronger winds didn’t appear to be upgraded until several hours before the start of football practice. However, Sullivan was aware of these severe weather reports before practice and Tweeted from the lift, “Holy shit, this is terrifying….I guess I’ve lived long enough” It is venial (a term familiar to Catholics) for ND to maintain that Sullivan was just joking about the situation since at that time planes were being diverted from landing at South Bend. The lift was rated for wind not above 25 mph while the gusts that came in were above 50 mph according to the OSHA investigation. Coach Brian Kelly called for the practice that day and was so dedicated to bettering his football team that he continued practice for nearly another half an hour after the accident.

The head of ND Rev. John Jenkins concluded, “numerous decisions by many people made in good faith…played a role in the accident” but “no one acted in disregard to safety”. So no one was responsible, no one charged, no one reprimanded, no one was fired. The most apt analogy that applies is the blindness and lack of responsibility by the catholic church in the case of child abuse by priests which lasted for decades. Yes, ND will set up a memorial scholarship and Sullivan’s sweet parents will not sue the university though no doubt they could gain millions if this were prosecuted.

The second issue is more problematic but shows the callousness and carelessness of ND and involves sexual harassment against Lizz Seeberg by an ND football player. She reported the episode to campus and local authorities but nothing significant was done. She supposedly received text messages saying “messing with ND football is a bad idea”. She was suffering emotional problems and several days later committed suicide. The investigation was brief by ND and local authorities who could not proceed because what Lizz had told them was “hearsay” - because she was dead. Just to illustrate the animus against a woman making charges in a campus environment are the words of -naturally – an anonymous pervert on a blog , “Thank god the female is dead. She’s one of those defective females who would be nothing but trouble.”

In comparing OSU to ND we must praise the Irish for a sterling 95% graduation rate, though this is in jeopardy now that the university has given Kelly the green light to recruit less qualified players. OSU has a mediocre 55 % graduation rate which actually breaks down to 85% of white players graduating to only 33% black players. OSU had seven players with felony records which was much less than Papa Paterno’s Penn State 16 felony players.

It is fair to say that Ohio State has far to go in football academics and payoff ethical issues. But these can be seen as essentially skin deep. The scandal issues of Notre Dame perhaps do not rate being banned by the NCAA as advocated by David Zirin in “The Nation” but there are deep flaws institutionally both in the football program and the university administration which have resulted in death and great pain to many families.

The Golden Dome has been tarnished and it will take serious reform to return the luster.

Monday, August 01, 2011


...then let go.

I heard a speaker cite this as his mantra one recent morning on NPR.

Wish I had heard it 40 or 50 years ago.

Acknowledge...then let go....

Friday, July 22, 2011

Soprano Nation -- no not that Soprano....

A particularly thoughtful young man sent this, and we pass it along to you for consideration:

A Polity of Castrati

Soprano Nation

“All of the world's problems are products of the male ego,” said a swaggering bulldagger she-cop in Law and Order the other night. Average gringa. Actually, only some of the world's problems, as for example wars, are products of the male ego.

Of course, a curmudgeonly male—though I don't know any of these—might respond, “Woman, everything that keeps you and your sisters from squatting in caves and crushing lice is a product of the male brain.”

Which is true.

It is curious: Women seem to have no idea how profoundly they depend on men, and not just to fix thingy-whiches that make cars go. The pattern is that men invent and women use. Men invented cars, and women learned to drive them, usually without having the foggiest idea of how they work. Men also invented refrigerators, television, aircraft, hair-dryers, and tampons. Since women with few exceptions do not think technically unless they have to, they are unaware of the inordinate amount of inspired brainwork that led over millenia to computational fluid dynamics, band theory, the double helix, and TCP/IP.

We hear much triumphalism from women these days about the “male malaise,” the poor performance of boys in class, their depression and inattention in school, their declining presence in the universities. Why are these thing happening?/..................

Read on -----

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Inside the hedge fund world

Portrait of no. 1 hedge fund Bridgewater's Ray the New Yorker.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Retail experience
Or pays to shop around

Commerce is as a heaven, whose sun is trustworthiness and whose moon is truthfulness.

Bahá'u'lláh 1817-1892, Persian nobleman and founder of the Baha’I religion.

Had a clink in my bike chain recently. Not every crank, just every ---- so – often -------------?

What did it mean? Was I about to go hurtling over the handlebars like some of the luckless worthies in this year’s Tour de France?

I stopped by the local cyclery, about five blocks from my house. Young guy finally comes up from the basement. I told him my problem. He looked at the bike.

“Your chain is shot,” he said. “And the gears. And the brakes might go out, too. I had three like these in the past month just SNAP.”

How much to fix?

“Chain and gears. $150 to $170. But you know for an extra hundred or so you can get a whole new bike. Let me show you one,” he said walking me to the front of the store. “You’re here, you have your helmet on. Try it out, take a ride.”

He took my driver’s license as security – I guess my bike sitting there wasn’t enough – and off I went. It was a nice new hybrid, a Marin Kentfield FS, in a metallic silver. It was a pretty smooth ride, but I didn’t have the history with it I did with my trusty Trek 800, circa 1990.

Turned out, though, the bike wasn’t a hundred more, it turned out, it was $499. I said I’d think about it. I didn’t think enough at that particular moment on the way out, though, because I forgot my license (so did mr. cool guy bike tech), and had to drive back later that day.

Very next day, I was pedaling north, and remembered that my original bike dealer had moved to Highland Park. Would their service shop take a look, and give an opinion?

I was met at the front counter by a sincere young professional type. He looked at the chain, I lifted the bike, he spun the wheel, the chain wouldn’t clink, I rued.

“Of course not,” he smiled, "they never do once you get here." he laughed, most reassuringly. He studied the bike for a moment, and guessed it’s age within a couple years.

“Can I try something?” He took the bike out on the sidewalk and rode it down and back..

“Your bike seems fine,” he said. “I tried the gears. You don’t need a new chain or gears.”

That was it. He didn’t try to sell me a bike. I inquired about a new one, and he asked me what kind of riding I did. (Up and down the Green Bay trail, about 50 miles a week.) He complimented me, and showed me their Cannondale Quick, $469. “Quick, responsive, sturdy, fun to ride,” he said. We talked a bit, and decided, if I wanted to, a halfway move up would be to try two new hybrid tires on my ancient Trek, $30 each.

The store was spacious modern, with restroom facilities for cyclists. I was treated with respect, not like an imbecile.

Which cycle shop will get my tune-up business end-of-season, even though it’s a long ride north? And whatever the cost? (It’s $110, by the way vs. $89.50 at the first shop I described.) You guessed it.

Postscript: The Marin Kentfield FS can be found online for $319, reg. “$449.” The Cannondale Quicks, of which there are a number, were actually more than the $469 I was quoted by the second dealer. Surely does pay to shop around, pays to meet people, gather information.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Extraordinary Comedown:
Ohio State's Jim Tressel

Pains me to share this, as an Ohio native, holder of two degrees from Ohio State University, and an author who featured Jim Tressel in one of his books, but we call this blog "Digging Deeper," and we go the mines every day, whatever our feelings.

Dig a bit below the gridiron glory of "More than a Coach" Tressel, Ohio Stadium, Buckeye football, and read the inside story on what took Jim Tressel down at Sports Illustrated. The fourth estate is the counterbalance to the illusion and misdirection that institutions -- seemingly nearly all of them -- put forth, and we are grateful for it.

Btw, to balance the ying and yang of these things, we also have a book "Extraordinary Comedowns." Not just for those afflicted with severe Schadenfreude, but for those who want to learn how things really work. It's hard to make it to the top of the mountain, yes, and even harder to stay there......

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Digging deeper into the man behind the legend -- do it at your own risk

And the end of
America’s childhood by Jane Leavy

When baseball soaked up much of America’s consciousness in the 1950s, before there were 500 cable channels, video games, soccer, and all the rest, there was a god who ran the ballfields and basepaths among the mere mortals and his name was Mickey Mantle. Raised by a pro baseball wannebe, dad Mutt and Mom, and named for old-time player Mickey Cochrane so even his name would have the right pop of an icon, he was Mickey Mantle, (MM, like Marilyn Monroe, get it)? We all did.

He backed it all up as a 18-year-old with a 3.1 second burst to first base, and 550 ft. home runs. Strength, speed, power – there was none like Mickey Mantle. For those of us who were boys then, we formed an attachment to him, to his name, to his capability that ‘defied logic,’ as Bob Costas put it, It was based solely on his speed, HRs, and the confident smile. We didn’t need to know more, and it’s a good thing. Because MM was no god, he was Esau selling his birthright out the back door, and author Jane Leavy deftly dis-mantles the legend. It is said ‘weary is the head that wears the crown,’ and in this case, one could add the word ‘cynical.’

What he did to himself with alcohol and womanizing, chronicled meticulously here, unforgiveable. What he did in promulgating his vices among his four sons, being “their friend,” sharing his drink, women, and dissolute ways, unspeakable. When told by someone he wished MM was his father, one of his sons quipped, ‘me, too.’ Their father was distant, away, uncommunicative, uncaring. But that wasn’t the half of it. Following in his steps, they led lives of alcoholism, drugs, dissolution, and even death wish. One played live Russian roulette, and only chance kept him from an untimely end.

Back in the 1990s, when pop Christianity still held some sway over pop culture, much was made of the cancer-ridden, liver-depleted Mantle’s deathbed conversion. Leavy is less than convincing on that score; read the passage there closely: without saying so per se, she’s not buying it. I hope I’m entirely wrong on this count, btw. I chronicle comebacks in my series of “Extraordinary Comebacks” books, and besides volunteering a bit for organ donation at the end, which resulted in some backfire for the cause since some claim he jumped the line to get a new liver (he didn’t), there isn’t much of one here.

In the end, an extremely sad tale, the ultimate cautionary tale for certain, we now have one less hero, when the larder, once stocked with the likes of Brett Favre, Tiger Woods, OJ Simpson, et al, was already pretty thin by now. Mickey Mantle we hardly knew ye, and maybe for the fact that such a great, great star was so fallen from the skies, maybe wished we hadn’t at all.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I like good writing very much.... ad agency mogul once wrote me.

Here is a piece of good writing. I like it very much.

Novelist Salvatore Scibona in the New Yorker.


No books about Aristotle...just Aristotle.....
upper middle-class prejudices about time and space....
even my body needed to read.....
such a gift to find my tribe....
every year since has been a more intense and enigmatic joy.......

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You don't run across writing...

...this transparent and revealing, every day.

Seems everyone has a story. They are as if "flying under the radar" --- only until you know their story. Not many reveal theirs.

Richard Russell has revealed some of his here....

Friday, April 01, 2011

An honors education: creating the self-educating individual

Friday, April 01, 2011, winter is (pretty) safely behind us, we will ignore the snowstorm hitting the East today, and snow on the ground for the White Sox opener in Cleveland, and a few random forecasts for smaller amounts of same here, and look ahead one month to graduation season, and present you with these thoughts on education.

From the archives. Given to Ohio State University College of Agriculture, Honors Banquet, Ohio Union, 6 p.m., Thursday, November 3, 1983. Was chosen to speak since earlier that year college had given me Young Professional Award. Audience included faculty, staff, parents and students -- several hundred in all. I am amused that I called "journalism" a "hard" discipline vs. soft like literature. Otherwise, I am surprised at how prescient my comments were -- 12 years before Al Gore invented the Internet. The meat of the message -- we must continually educate and re-educate ourselves -- remains more timely than ever....

Thank you Dr. Darrow.

I appreciate the opportunity to be back here at Ohio State. I took an awful lot away from this institution and it's nice to be able to bring a little something back tonight.

Of course, it brings back a lot of memories to me.

I remember things like a victory over Michigan, the winning of a Big-Ten title and following a jubilant crowd down High Street ••• a crowd that was carrying part of the goal post down to the state capital. Kind of a crazy thing to do ••• but it seemed like a good idea to many at the time.

I remember personal things like meeting my future wife-to-be at an agriculture college function here in the student union.

And, I remember more sedate things like ••• studying. I suppose all of us in the honors program spend a good deal of time studying.

One of my favorite places to study was the stacks in the main library. I remember going up into the stacks in the early evening and settling into a quiet nook listening to the Orton Hall chimes, looking out occasionally on the Oval, and then getting distracted by all the thousands and thousands of volumes containing the wisdom of the ages in the bookshelves around me. I especially remember coming across one particular book, and happening upon a quote that stuck with me, and this is the quote. It said simply, that "the goal of a liberal education is self-educating man." I suppose for our purposes here tonight, we would not be doing too great a violence to the text if we were to substitute the word "honors" for "liberal" and say that "the goal of an honors education is self-educating man."

As a professional communicator, I try to avoid clichés and trite phrases and hackneyed sayings as diligently as I can. But I think it's important to note that we are living in a changing world. And the phrase "a changing world" is a cliché. But like most clichés it's very true.

And in this rapidly changing world, the need for self-education has never been greater. This need is amplified by the sometimes volatile economic pressures that are forcing these tremendous changes.

We hear a lot about computers.

We hear a lot about consultants and we hear a lot about communications in agriculture. We hear phrases like post-industrial society, third wave society. In his book megatrends, John Naisbitt examines these changes. He cites ten major changes ••• or megatrends. Quoting from his book, he says:

1. Although we continue to think we live in an industrial society, we have in fact changed to an economy based on the creation and distribution of information.

2. We are moving in the dual directions of high tech/high touch, matching each new technology with a compensatory human response.

3. No longer do we have the luxury of operating within an isolated, self-sufficient, national economic system; we now must acknowledge that we are part of a global economy. We have begun to let go of the idea that the United States is and must remain the world's industrial leader as we move on to other tasks.

4. We are restructuring from a society run by short-term considerations and rewards in favor of dealing with things in much longer-term frames.

5. In cities and states, in small organizations and subdivisions, we have rediscovered the ability to act innovatively and to achieve results -- from the bottom up.

6. We are shifting from institutional help to more self-reliance in all aspects of our lives.

7. We are discovering that the framework of representative democracy has become obsolete in an era of instantaneously shared information.

8. We are giving up our dependence on hierarchical structures in favor of information networks. This will be especially important to the business community.

9. More Americans are living in the south and west, leaving behind the old industrial cities of the north.

10. From a narrow either/or society with a limited range of personal choices, we are exploding into a free-wheeling multiple-option society.

Back in the days of antiquity, when I was a student at Ohio State in the late sixties and early seventies, social issues were paramount. Our economy hadn't yet begun to fully pay the price through inflation of the Vietnam War. Our society was still fat, happy and extravagant.

As we came through the economic wrenchings of the 70's, however, everybody found out that the party was over. Really over. Getting a job, keeping a job. These were the things that became paramount. Studies showed that the students of the mid and late seventies were more conservative. And with the tight economy, especially in agriculture of the recent years, this trend has continued.

I daresay your number one interest is your career. Getting started, getting your toe-hold in the marketplace.

From my experience, I can tell you that you already have a leg up on the situation. You are in the honors program. In being named to this program, you're already telling the marketplace that you're a little bit more motivated, a little bit more determined, a little brighter, perhaps, than some of your fellow students.

Will an honors education give you the skills you need in the workplace? It may. Being in the honors program is a great advantage. You can use this experience to help you win the job and create the career that you're working so hard to do.

Not long ago I read a book by an employment expert who recommended that students and recent graduates develop "clusters of expertise." in other words, combinations of expertise, that give them a unique advantage in the marketplace. And I know some of you are doing that. Some of you are combining agriculture and law, for example. Some of you have structured your technical and ag business program to prepare you for law school, thus ultimately giving you a unique agricultural and legal skill for the marketplace. You might be interested to know that an agricultural law center has just opened this quarter at Iowa State university. Immediately, thirty people signed up for this unusual combination or 'career cluster.'

Others of you are combining computer skills with all facets of agriculture, whether animal science, ag econ, horticulture or whatever.

Still others of you are combining agriculture with advertising.

And still others of you are combining technical agriculture with heavy course work in genetics and statistics and related areas to prepare you to take your place in the vanguard of the Biotech Revolution • • • a revolution that many futurists have written on extensively.

So will an honors education give you the hard skills that you need to get ahead? It very well may. But, it may not. But your custom-made honors program may give you something just as important as skills. It may give you curiosity and resourcefulness.

In my program, I took both a hard and soft skills route. Hard -- courses in journalism so that I could learn my trade, so to speak. But I also took independent studies in literature, criticism, music and history. Not hard core skills, but courses to satisfy my own curiosity.

How does this apply to what's happening in the marketplace? Well, in undertaking some of these areas that were not ag related, I learned that you can learn about anything, if you're interested. You can, in

Fact, self-educate.

How does this apply to the "real world" so to speak? Several years ago, our company was faced with a unique problem. Our client, Elanco Products Company, wanted us to develop a multi-image program for the U.S. Feed Grains Council. A multi-image show, as you know, is a rather spectacular and wonderful thing. Many images, music, action and so forth. They are very expensive to produce and very expensive just to put on. We knew that the initial showing of this multi-image show would be spectacular, but we also knew that the resources of the Feed Grains Council were limited; the number of times the show would be seen after that would be limited. So we went back to the drawing board. For some time, our company had had an interest in television, specifically narrowcasting or beaming messages at farmers.

As a matter of fact, we had counseled our clients and developed special reports in this area. We had studied it, read magazines, interviewed people, spent time self-educating. When this moment arrived, when we were to undertake the multi-image program, we told our client that we appreciated the assignment, but let us go back to the drawing board and think about it a bit.

We came back to them with an idea that cost them a great deal more than a multi-image show, as expensive as those are to produce, but our point in so doing was to bring our client an idea that would generate for our client many, many times more the value than a mere credit at the end of multi-image show.

Our idea was to create a television special! A national television special for national agriculture day. Our client liked the idea immediately, and we were commissioned to do the job.

The first year’s program dealt with grain exports; our second year program was a human interest story on three young people who, despite the odds, got started in farming, and wet re right now in the midst of the production for our third year show. We have applied the idea to communications opportunities for the National 4-H Council and the National Association of Realtors. We are presently producing a television special for "Private Property Week" April 8 - 14, 1984 for the National Association of Realtors, the nation’s largest trade association.

The point is, all this was made possible through self-education, the goal of the honors education. Just as you go beyond traditional curriculum to put together agriculture, law, computer, biotech and other unique combinations, so too we had to go beyond traditional public relations: news releases, feature stories, and so forth, to create a public relations concept that expanded our frontiers, and those of our clients. The television program included dimensions of public relations, but also of advertising, programming and so forth. Through this intra-disciplinary broad outlook we were able to go beyond traditional public relations to create an entirely new communications product. One that’s not only of value to agriculture but also to other industries, such as real estate.

I tell you this story to encourage you to use your time now in the honors program to be original, to be thinking, to be expanding your concepts of the areas that you will soon be working in. I also tell you this story to encourage you to take full advantage of your honors program.

How to do that?

Plan for your career. Set goals. Nothing ever happens until a goal is set.

I recently ran across the definition of a goal that I liked very much. Someone said that a goal was a dream with a deadline. So dream, plan, set deadlines.

Second, allow for some serendipity. Allow for synthetic thinking. Take an idea from area A, apply it to area B and create a whole new area, C.

Third, take an academic chance along the way. That's the only way that you can really achieve synthetic thinking. Even if you are not comfortable in humanities, take music history. If you're very literary, take a computer course. Your right brain will start to talk to your left brain. You will create new vistas, new horizons for yourself.

If you do all these things, you'll be well prepared to begin another phase of your education upon graduation from this hallowed ground. You'll be ready for a whole new set of achievements. You'll be self-educating and you will have achieved the goal of an honors education.

Thank you very much


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

La guerre finance and demonstration Madison coming to a city near you

A retired teacher friend writes and says he is on the way to Madison to show solidarity with the demonstrators.

I see this scene as a movie, in black and white.

The labor unions and govt seem to me two cinema noir gangsters.

They collaborate on the heist of public funds until the final scene.

The jackpot turns out to be fake bills.

Then they shoot each other.

Both die in the end.

Have you seen this movie? Appears we are all going to see it very soon. Refer you to this week's cover stories in BOTH Barrons and Forbes on the coming and certain (muni) bond crisis. They can beat the drums in Madison, very entertaining, I love percussion music, but the markets will decide. Bankruptcy, and the shareholders, and the bondholders, and then the pension holders (and the dollar holders, i.e. all of us) will be reset at or near zero. Things that can't be so easily "reset," i.e. gold, oil, corn, wheat, anything "real," will stay the same, but the pricing of it in dollars old or new is another matter. We will be the new Uruguay or Zimbabwe. Or as someone put it, the USSA.

This movie will flash on Internet screens around the globe and will happen like the Mideast -- all in one day, like a blizzard or hurricane.

Just like the Wall St crisis -- greed all around: banksters, politicians, unions, public -- the "something for nothing" political party, and that includes all Americans (except Ron Paul), ends very, very badly. (We have a new mayor in Chicago today, the old one sold our assets for expenses, no one cared. Ho hum. Someday when the markets say "enough" we'll care.)

Mene mene tekel upsharim, we have been weighed in the balances and found wanting....

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bible Prophecy Blog

Bible Prophecy Blog
features posts today on the meaning of events in the Mideast, especially regarding Bahrain. Not to be missed.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Guest columnist Roderick Gibbs chants, rants: MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WEB

Some days ago we engaged the widely-traveled, literate, lover of the arts, and always thoughtful Mr. Rod Gibbs in a discussion of the raging social phenomenon known as "Facebook," and we found his views thought-provoking. The exchange proved to be too brief, and so we upped the ante by saying if he would put pen to paper and fully develop his conception of the never-mentioned downside of the FB phenom we would immortalize his thoughts, right here. He said he would, and being a man of his word, he did, and we share his well-aimed, and well-timed rant here:


By Roderick Gibbs
Sunday, February 06, 2011

“There comes a time in the affairs of men when he must take the bull by the tail and face the situation” said Mark Twain. The asinine situation (on the Jersey Shore or otherwise) has arrived now that Facebook has passed Google as the most popular internet site.

No doubt Facebook is used for mercantile purposes by capitalist vendors and buyers alike, however, the main purpose seems to be to look into the monitor or screen and see the self-reflection and self-referential image. In short, like many other societies , e.g. the Romans who admired their visages in their latifundia pool before they went to the vomitorium to purge for another round before the barbarians came out of the East, we are a nation of narcissists. Now there are benefits to this but mainly for the Chinese, large corporations, and Republicans who can manipulate those looking in the mirror but not the present past or future reality. The Russians have seen what America is looking at and has rushed to invest in Facebook so this ephemeral media is now worth more than 50 billion. See

The founder of Facebook was living as a Harvard dorm dweeb when he stole the idea from two bright twins. Now the grown version who claims he was popular with the girls but has relationship issues sets the agenda for an infantilized nation. TIME names him the man of the year, probably to appeal to “younger readers” who don’t know who previous gravitas cover boys were like Franklin Roosevelt, Hitler, and Eisenhower.

We must invoke George Orwell who wrote, “If you want a vision of the future, imagine about stomping on a human face forever.” Voted into office recently were Tea Party members who had a blurred vision of the future which involves having tea and eating their cake too. They do not care about the nation’s health but are choosing to have free congressional health coverage. They want their taxes cut – especially for the rich of Wall Street and themselves but care nothing about the deficit except to cut education and social security. They can only narcissistically talk about their own little microcosm and how proud they are about using Twitter and Facebook to keep their constituents informed about their seeming desire to follow the Constitution but yet dismantling the lower class safety net.

Camus described culture as “the cry of men in the face of destiny.” Facebook is an anti-cultural force along with cell phones since it focuses on the self to the exclusion of learning about the world and truly knowing others face to face. Yes, there can be a call for a gathering but without the education and real knowledge behind an event the validity is compromised.

Of course, I could be wrong. Karl Lagerfeld has declared “Facebook is a flawless object” It is flawless for a merchandizing machine who deals only in overpriced bits of cloth. A French woman wrote that on Facebook people “create a person they want to be. I don’t see the harm in that sort of dreaming” So is it not Jay Gatsby’s and John Boehner’s strongest goal to create a new persona – the ultimate American Dream. Just mentioning the American Dream can bring tears to Boehner’s eyes. Though giving that to young people in the Dream Act is not his cup of tea or sympathy.

But here’s the rub, dear reader: If we only dream for ourselves then we sleep without a sense of humanity. And yes we can have friends on Facebook though we can “Defriend” them with Jimmy Kimmel Live. Aristotle said,” A friend to all is a friend to none.” but that is Greek to Faceits. The neurotic desire to have more artificial friends and be constantly in somebody else’s life is paradoxically a denial of true self. True self is knowing who you are and being able to leave the ego aside and confront the world in creative and honest ways.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Digging deeper into visual learning style:
The story behind Violin Scale Charts™

This piece was also posted on Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Eyes are vocal, tears have tongues,
And there are words not made with lungs.

The gaps are the thing. The gaps are the spirit's one home, the altitudes and latitudes so dazzlingly spare and clean that the spirit can discover itself like a once-blind man unbound. The gaps are the clefts in the rock where you cower to see the back parts of God; they are the fissures between mountains and cells the wind lances through, the icy narrowing fiords splitting the cliffs of mystery. Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock -- more than a maple -- a universe.
Annie Dillard

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few.
Shunryu Suzuki

Th ink, if you will, of Beethoven.

Do you hear G - G - G- Eb----------?

Or do you see that face: eyes piercing, hair tousled, mouth scowling?

Either way, you activate your 'right brain.'

It's this side of your brain that had historically been overlooked in the traditional academic presentation of lectures and reading, employing left brain and linear thinking, but today many modern educators realize just how productive right-brain, visual, holistic learning can be. They take steps to incorporate it into the learning experience.

As Linda Verlee Williams notes in her book Williams Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind (Touchstone Book: "Visual thinking [should not be only] associated with the visual arts and relegated to a single area in the curriculum; it [should be considered] a part of every subject because it is a basic way of obtaining, processing, and representing information. To ignore its role in any subject is to fail to train students in its use and to deny to those who are primarily visual processors the opportunity to learn in the mode which comes most easily for them."

"Any subject" can even include the 'sound' and serial note world of music, I learned as a Suzuki parent.

Supplementary scales

Expanding on our regular Suzuki regimen, our teacher, Susan Rozendaal, assigned scales to my daughter, Sharika, then 9. To aid her learning, I devised a simple, visual chart of the notes, much like a chord chart common in the guitar world. I used the Hypercard program for the Macintosh -- a graphics and text processing program. Each week she would be assigned a new scale, and each week I would draw up one new chart. I titled these, simply enough, 'Violin Scale Charts.'

So, instead of presenting the information serially, (left brain), as traditional notes on a scale, or aurally, on tape, as pure sound to imitate, Violin Scale Charts™ presents the scale and arpeggio information as a simple (right brain) picture, a map of where to put your fingers.

Sharika used these charts regularly. Her tone, confidence and specifically, `4' finger were noticeably enhanced.

When our Suzuki teacher happened upon my charts in the pile of Suzuki volumes, Applebaum, Auer, Dofflein, Schradieck, Trott, and Wohlfahrt, at our weekly lesson, she said `What a great idea! You must publish these!' Flattered, and thinking that the worst case scenario would be that my daughter would have a full, finished set, I set about to develop a complete set of scales and arpeggios, two octaves, major and minor keys.

Preparing the charts was a formidable task. Just as there is no one way to process information, I learned there was no one way to present scale and arpeggio information. Therefore, I began the Violin Scale Charts™ with the following preface:

While every effort has been made to make this graphic reference work authoritative, it must be noted that there is no single, one and only, and exclusively "correct" way to finger a scale. Different scale passages in different repertory may call for different approaches. Different scales may be, and in fact, must be, played in different positions, different finger patterns from time to time. On an even more individual level, one player's high "3" may be another player's low "4." G major is a good example. Some violinists ascend on open strings D, A and E, and descend using "4" for those notes. This is the most common teaching. Nevertheless, other players go up and down with "4." Still others go up and down with open strings. You see what we mean, of course . . .

These elementary level Violin Scale Charts open the door to various positions and finger patterns. By all means, experiment. Should your teacher differ with anything presented here, please follow his/her approach. What's the position of your editors, you say? As you play through the book, you'll notice your editor has stressed the use of "4" versus open strings in order to develop your facility and confidence in this often called for, and sometimes insecure finger. Indeed, one of the greatest benefits of using Violin Scale Charts, especially at the elementary level, will be to build a strong and secure "4" finger, a more beautiful tone, and stronger and more confident expression.

After all, as a musician who happens to play the violin, expression is what you are all about anyway, isn't it? Have fun with these charts. They will make you a more expressive, more confident musician.

My initial effort was edited by teachers at the Music Center of the North Shore (Chicago), and Washburne Middle School, both of Winnetka, Illinois, including Enid Cleary, Milton Goldberg and Kathleen Paramore.

Hands across the water

Subsequently, two fellow denizens of the Internet global village also made significant and creative suggestions of their own: Klaus Pfefferkorn, Conductor, Bludenz Youth Orchestra, Bludenz, Austria and Christopher Hoff, Violinist and Attorney-at-Law, Germantown, Maryland.

Next step was to make the Charts available to the larger violin world. A mailing to Suzuki trainers and teachers yielded positive results. The large catalog company, Shar Products, expressed interest in carrying the project if I would develop mailers, which I did. Finally, reaching out to string players around the globe, the Violin Scale Charts™ worldwide web site debuted in 1995:

The Violin Scale Charts™ are now used by players across Europe, North and South America, remote islands of Hawaii!, Australia, the Far East. It is offered by major distributors such as Shar Music.

What is it about this presentation of scales and arpeggios that makes it effective and helpful? Actually, there is a good bit of educational psychology behind it, the power of right brain learning, though I didn't realize it per se when I was drawing up these charts.

Developing the inner eye

It was in 1865 that Paul Broca reported that injuries to the left side of the brain almost invariably produced speech disorders while injuries to the same area of the right hemisphere did not. His report was confirmed, in 1874, by German researcher Carl Wernicke. A number of researchers followed in their footsteps, but the next major ground-breaking study came in the early 1960s when Cal Tech's Roger Sperry performed a series of operations which made it possible to study the two brain hemispheres in isolation from each other. His work received the Nobel Prize in 1981.

Sperry was working with patients affected by severe epileptic seizures. Sperry believed that by cutting the thick bundle of nerve fibers (200 million !) connecting the two brain hemispheres he could prevent the seizure from spreading from one hemisphere to the other. Subsequently, he and his team conducted a series of subtle experiments to identify characteristics of the right and left brain hemispheres. Briefly summarizing this complex work, he identified the sides of the brain with the following functions:

Left Hemisphere
Right Hemisphere
Musical - Visual
Serial processing
Holistic processing
Relational, constructional

While subsequent research indicates a much greater complexity within the hemispheric model, (e.g. ability of the right hemisphere to process words, individual variations, variations for left-handed individuals, male-female variation), nevertheless, a path was cut through the mysterious forest of brain function. The importance of the right hemisphere, i.e. musical, visual, spatial mental processing was laid down.

The implications for education cannot be overstated, and in the last 30 years or so, extensive changes have been made to incorporate visual learning into our school systems. Students today, as a matter of course, supplement book-lecture learning with the production of charts, graphs, artwork, and demonstrations. Film and video are considered teaching tools no less than books and monographs, and in some case, possibly superior in their ability to make a lasting impact on the mind's eye.

As author Williams Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind (Touchstone Book) notes, it all begins with seeing. Students must learn to see, they need to know what to look for, and how to interpret what they see. Next, they need to learn to represent information graphically. Some information, such as the spatial relationships between notes in a scale or arpeggio, can be better represented in a picture than via a verbal description. Finally, students must develop their inner eye. Visualizing helps with a wide variety of tasks that go beyond scales and arpeggios, and include remembering information, spelling, math, and solving problems with spatial relations.

From this base, they may gain facility with fantasy, metaphor and self-expression in any mode, including old-fashioned, left-brain, verbal. They may integrate and maximize the dual functions of the brain for maximum creativity and productivity.

Not just for kids

Interestingly, though Violin Scale Charts™ was developed for a young Suzuki student, many of the users are adults.

While Suzuki has traditionally been a children's program, I believe it holds potential as an adult enrichment educational experience as well. From my experience in corresponding with and talking with adult string players around the globe, mature learners -- adult beginners -- are some of the most interested, motivated and passionate musicians around. They are hungry for tools to realize the sounds that are bursting forth in their inner ears.

The other beneficiaries are traditional Suzuki parents. "All my students use Violin Scale Charts™ . . . parents benefit, too!" Laura Polick, Violin Teacher, Wheaton Suzuki Institute, Wheaton, IL., wrote me some years ago. Some parents may lack music and music theory training, but pictures -- well, anyone can understand a picture, it seems. Anyone can read a map. They can see what is to be played, and they can easily enough repeat it on the violin themselves, or check to see if it is being played correctly by their young Suzuki musician. For many parents, the material is less forbidding, less technical if it is presented in a picture.

Summarizing, visual thinking is so basic a part of our daily lives that we use it all the time, whether we are aware of it or not. Violin Scale Charts™ presents another way to literally look at musical information. It takes advantage of everyone's ability to learn through seeing pictures. It is especially helpful for the predominately visual learner, the adult beginner and the Suzuki parent. Finally, it stimulates whole brain productivity, and opens the door to the larger world of fantasy, metaphor and self-expression.

As Lao-Tzu advised so long ago in the Tao Te Ching:

            Give them Simplicity to look at, the Uncarved Block to hold,
            Give them selflessness and fewness of desires.

John A. Sarkett may be reached at or Violin Scale Charts™. Technical research for this feature was provided by educational psychologist Karen Kurtzon, M.S., Evanston, Illinois.

VISUAL Clues VISUAL Learning tips


This piece was also posted on Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Everybody's not so fine here, after all

Film review: EVERYBODY’S FINE (2009). (Netflix allows all of a 2,000 character review, which to me is like a long tweet, and doesn’t even break a sweat, so permit me to vent my spleen here…… follows……)

Leaving behind the world of the Fokkers, and the smash box office and cash flow that has provided, our protagonist, Robert De Niro, sets about making a serious movie here, for which we can only applaud. He loses his wife, and after months or solitude, embarks from his modest, neat, well-tended (“I didn’t know your mother did so much work.”) Elmira NY home on a cross-country trip to visit each of his four grown children, with stops in NYC, Chicago, Las Vegas and San Francisco. Everything about the film very good: the acting, the cinematography, the script. (We especially liked how the telephone line theme – connection, communication -- is employed top to bottom, and in different ways, plot, dialogue, graphics.)

Except one thing. The tone. More oppressive than the oppression it purports to stand against. The father figure here vacillates between decidedly unappealing sad sack “pitiable” all the way up to and through “villainous.”

Why? Because, as a factory worker (he put the coating on telephone lines), he dreamed of a better life for his children, and apparently, pushed them a bit. (How exactly, or how bad, we’re never told, we’re left to dream it. After all, your imagination will make it much worse than it might have been in reality – same way you dread going to the dentist, the reality isn’t as bad as the dread.) But in the esoterica of political correctness law, section 101022.subsection A123B22, this makes De Niro not as bad as a serial killer, no, but worse than, let’s say, a drunk driver.

Why? Because the innocent have been slain. By asking his children to dream and achieve, he has killed or nearly so that beautiful pristine spirit that is resident onboard each and every one of us. So Dad is insufferable because he wants his four children to do better in life than himself. “Mom was nice, she listened to us,” the message from the kids said. “You were hard, you pushed us.” So, after having to endure this indignity, how did they turn out? The kids themselves in this movie are a bit of a mixed bag: the eldest is a successful NY artist with a drug problem. No. 2 is a mega-successful ad agency owner. No. 3 is a percussionist, not a conductor (after seeing him rehearse, in sad sack mode, out behind the concert hall, during a break, De Niro asks him what seems like 22 times, “are you sure you’re not a conductor, I thought you were conducting” --- just to be sure you, the viewer, can plainly see what an ass he is, only trouble is, in straining so hard here to bend your mind for you, the filmmaker loses his credibility, even the believer here knows he’s being manipulated). No. 4 child purports to be a successful and wealthy Las Vegas showgirl, but in reality, is a restaurant hostess with child and no husband (but in a thoroughly modern touch, has instead a girlfriend, another sidelong blow vs. the male in our society, who needs ‘em?).

Doesn’t matter today if you are on the left (this film) or the right (remember the little Cuban émigré, Elion Gonzales) side of the political spectrum, we can all join hands and agree that fathers, father figures, and authority, use your imagination --- evil. Best dispensed with. Anything is better than hanging with Dad, whether it’s freedom or capitalism or whatever. So let’s extrapolate a bit. Why do we so hate authority? Because it requires us do something. Your gym teacher was an authority figure. He/she wanted you to be fit. That takes work, discipline. So where is our nation in terms of fitness? Terrible and getting worse. Obesity is now called an “epidemic,” like it’s the bubonic plague or something and it leaps on and kills people. We have entire NBC serials about it, with lead actors > 500 lbs. So we watch, on our couches, eating Tostitos all the while.

Let’s jump over to financial fitness. Work hard, budget, save. Is that where we are? Or is our nation $14 trillion under? Are our states just as bad – Illinois, California and the rest? The housing crisis – live in a mansion you can’t afford (wink, wink). Didn’t turn out well. Yesterday I heard an NPR radio report that said in Oregon the statewide high school tests you must pass to graduate will no longer require speling (sic) skills. Duh. Let’s keep lowering the bar. Hell, let’s throw the damn bar away. I could go on and on and on. Make it easier, make it softer, fuzzier. Don’t ask me to get up off the couch. Don’t make me get to work on time. In fact, don’t make me work at all. If I have sex and have kids, don’t make me get married. It’s invidious but the vibe is everywhere around us. It’s in the air, it’s in the water. The oldest son here, (I won’t betray his fate, maybe you’ll guess anyway), says “It wasn’t your fault, Dad.” But the other 99% of this film screamed that it was. I don’t believe this film, it’s way too facile an explanation for the ills that beset us (blame Dad). I think step one in building a life is to take responsibility for yourself. We need more benevolent coaches, trainers, teachers, believers, dreamers, hands-on Dads – not fewer. Just don’t tell the PC police I said so, ok?

PS The ending contains an original song by Paul McCartney, created for this movie. Watch the extra on the making of it, excellent. Sir Paul never says why he did the song other than that he was asked through "his office". I think it wasn’t for the money. I think it was for the creative challenge, pride, if you will. Something inside the former Beatle that keeps him going long past 64…..wonderful antidote to the ‘woe is me’ tone of the previous 120 minutes…..(he turns 69, btw, June 18, 2011). Paul, we all still love you, way past 64.........

Paul Mccartney - I Want To Come Home

For so long I was out in the cold,
and I taught myself to believe every story I told.
It was fun hanging onto the moon, heading into the sun,
but it's been too long. Now I wanna come home.

Came so close to the edge of defeat.
But I made my way in the shade, keeping out of the heat.
It was fun shooting out of the stars, looking into the sun,
but it's been too long. Now I wanna come home.

Home. Where's there's nothing but sweet surrender,
to the memories from afar.
Home. To the place where the truth lies waiting,
we remember who we are.

For too long I was out on my own.
Every day I spent trying to prove I could make it alone.
It was fun hanging onto the moon, heading into the sun,
but it's been too long. Now I wanna come home.

For so long I was out in the cold,
but I taught myself to believe every story I told.
It was fun hanging onto the moon heading into the sun,
but it's been too long. Now I wanna come home.
Yeah, it's been too long, now I want to come home.
Been too long, now I want to come home.


And words to the classic, "When I'm 64..."

When I get older losing my hair,
Many years from now.
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine.

If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four.

You'll be older too,
And if you say the word,
I could stay with you.

I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone.
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride.

Doing the garden, digging the weeds,
Who could ask for more.
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four.

Every summer we can rent a cottage,
In the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck & Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line,
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away

Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four.