Ego Vero Seek and you shall find... Ask and the door shall be opened - page 5

Day By Day…

Day By Day…

Each day  there are threads of unpredictability woven in and around our daily schedules and routines.  While it is true that our days are filled with certain events that we are aware of or have planned and that we accomplish or participate in per our calendars, it is my belief that within these routines are countless unscripted moments where most of life is lived – in the background so to speak.  These unscripted seconds, these many spontaneous and often unconscious interactions and decisions are the grains of sand that make up a life of purpose.  Living a life of purpose sounds like a monumental undertaking, possibly too large for even a great man, much less a simple man like me.  But no large task is accomplished at once, if broken into small enough increments anything can be achieved.  And time passes through an hourglass one grain of sand at a time.

A.M.D.G : Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam – “For the greater glory of God”

The origin of the phrase is attributed to the founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, who intended it to serve as a cornerstone sentiment of the society’s religious philosophy. The full phrase attributed to St. Ignatius is Ad maiorem Dei gloriam inque hominum salutem or “for the greater glory of God and salvation of man.” It is a summary of the idea that any work that is not inherently evil, even one that would normally be considered inconsequential to the spiritual life, can be spiritually meritorious if it is performed in order to give glory to God.

Dedicate one second of your life for the greater glory of God.  And then another.  And another.  This is how I will build my life of purpose – one tiny brick at a time.

Music Friday – 1975 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition – The End Of The Line (Part2 of 2)

Music Friday – 1975 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition – The End Of The Line (Part2 of 2)

OK, let’s pick up from where we left off yesterday.  If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, scroll down below this post and read Part 1 or click here.

At first glance 1975 looks like a soup of Bublegum Pop, Folk, Rock Ballads maybe a little heavy on the schlock.  I usually like my schlock on the side, but 1975 is fairly drenched in it.  Oh well…it’s too late to send it back now.  There are bright spots, though – there’s something for everyone here.  And there’s nothing too strange unlike 1974’s chart.  Wait.  With one exception – Lovin’ You by Minnie Riperton, a song hated by dogs worldwide.  Ripperton is definitely NOT all about dat bass bout dat bass no treble.

There were no long running #1’s, with only 9 songs at #1 for more than one week, and of those 9 only 5 stayed at #1 longer than two weeks.  The longest stint at #1 belonged to The Captain and Tennille for Love Will Keep Us Together.

Cough *schlock* Cough.

The award for artist or group with most #1’s goes to Elton John who had three #1’s:  Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (2 weeks), Philadelphia Freedom (2 weeks), and Island Girl (3 weeks).  Three other artists or groups had a song each that stayed at #1 for three weeks apiece:  Tony Orlando & Dawn with He Don’t Love You, Neil Sedaka with Bad Blood and Silver Convention with Fly, Robin, Fly.  Who?  With what?  Yeah, I know.    All of these are wonderful songs…to someone, I’m sure.  Just not to me.  Even being a big Elton John fan, those songs don’t really excite me.  I can take ’em or leave ’em.  So the most popular music of 1975 was not popular with me.  It’s not because I wasn’t exposed to it at the time – I was.  AM radio was still a significant source of music because of the relative scarcity of FM radios and personal and/or portable sound systems.  I remember these songs, I just don’t particularly like them.

Did I like anything about 1975?  Yes, I did.  I liked this:

And this:

And this:

So, I declare the “winner ” of 1975 to be Elton John on the basis of his three #1’s.  And since I am an Elton John fan, I will have to say that 1975 is in the running for selection as my Peak Music Year, though it’s a dark horse.  Stay tuned for my next post which will be the overall analysis of all 11 years and the selection of the prestigious “Mike’s Peak Music Year Award”

Thanks for reading.  Don’t be shy – please leave a comment!

Music Friday – 1975 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition – The End Of The Line (Part1 of 2)

Music Friday – 1975 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition – The End Of The Line (Part1 of 2)

Here we are at the end of my project to determine my “Peak Music Year”.  If you are just joining us, let me provide some background: this all started back in October when, inspired by a post I read at the estimable Althouse blog, I wrote What Does My Taste In Music Say About Me?  I then wondered exactly how one might determine their “Peak Music Year”.  So I arbitrarily devised a plan to select a time frame which I believed was most likley to include my Peak Music Year, examine the popular music of those years, and somehow declare on of those years a “winner” and therefore my Peak Music Year.  With me so far?  Good.  I chose the years 1965 through 1975 – eleven years during which I aged from 11 years old to nineteen years old because I thought it was unlikely my musical tastes formed before age 11 or after 19, and I believed there was a high likelihood that my Peak Music Year would be somewhere in that range.  I then decided the measure of popular music would be the BillBoard Magazine Hot 100 Music Charts for those years.  I would examine the charts, determine an annual “winner” based on something like how many #1 songs an artist or group had that year, or the artist or group with the song that spent the longest stretch at #1.  Completely subjective but I am attempting to determine how I formed my taste in music, a completely subjective subject.

If you like to waste time on the internet like I do, waste a few minutes reviewing the first ten years’ analysis:

Music Friday – 1965 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition

Music Friday – 1966 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition

Music Friday – 1967 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition

Music Friday – 1968 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition

Music Friday – 1969 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition

Music Friday – 1970 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition

Music Friday – 1971 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition

Music Friday – 1972 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition

Music Friday – 1973 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition

Music Friday – 1974 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition

Now you know what’s happening here and I’m sure you can’t wait to see how this all turns out.  I know I can’t.  So here we go with the 1975 BillBoard Hot 100.  Crap….gotta go to work so I’ll finish this tonight.  See you in approximately 12 hours.

 

 

Read This…

Read This…

…then break up into groups to discuss until I get back.

Stray Dog Joins Swedish Adventure Racing Team and Completes Grueling 6 Day Race

Robots Move Into Japanese Homes 

Photos of Two Small Pluto Moons Open The Door To A New Vastness

Music Friday – 1974 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition

Music Friday – 1974 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition

A cursory glance at the calendar reminds me that it has been about a month since my last Music Friday post, so I missed a couple Fridays in there.  Sorry.  In the pursuit of determining my “Peak Music Year” I have so far examined the BillBoard Hot 100 charts from 1965 thru 1973, now all we have left to look at are 1974 and 1975.  What a long strange trip it’s been.  Today we shall inspect the 1974 Chart.  Lemme just get a quick look at it…holy crap.  This is another one of those schizoid years that bounced all over the place.  There’s no shortage of weirdness either, and the mood changed frequently.  A strange trip indeed.  There are only nine songs that stayed at #1 longer than one week and out of those nine, six stayed at #1 for only two weeks, and three stayed at #1 for three weeks.  So…those three songs must have been killer, right?  Right?  WRONG!  These three songs are examples of everything that was wrong with popular music in the 70’s and quite possibly what was wrong with the actual 70’s.  In hindsight I don’t understand why these songs did not cause protests, riots and mass hysteria in general.  If these songs were “killer” in any sense it would be in the sense that after listening to them one becomes markedly suicidal.  I hesitate to even post them here for fear of alienating the very few readers I have.  OK, here goes.  Just remember I didn’t write them or perform them.  I didn’t like them in 1974 nor do I like them now.

Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks

The Streak by Ray Stevens

(You’re) Having My Baby by Paul Anka with Odia Coates

The list of oddball stuff goes on…Kung Fu FightingThe Night Chicago DiedBilly Don’t be A Hero.  AAARRRRGH.

Hmmm…this may have been a covert plot by Canada to overthrow the U.S. because I see in the Wiki bios of Terry Jacks and Paul Anka that they are Canadians.  That’s it.  There’s no other explanation.  This fact alone may disqualify 1974 as my peak music year.

But wait!  There’s more!  There is a smattering of goodenss if not greatness, especially if you are a folk rock fan.  The 70’s were the hayday of artists like John Denver, Jim Croce, Harry Chapin and Gordon Lightfoot, all of whom had #1 songs that year.  And also in the mix are a few #1’s by ex- Beatles John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and (honorary Beatle) Billy Preston.  But 1974 apparently being the year of the short National Attention Span, these songs stayed at #1 for only one week apiece.

How did I describe 1974 earlier?  Schizophrenic?  Maybe Manic-depressive is a better description.  Or bi-polar as they call it now.  High highs and low lows.  I believe I can safely rule it out as my Peak Music Year, but I won’t rank it last because of a few gems in the pile of rubble.  There is no clear winner this year, so I will simply present a couple of my favorite songs from that year.  Enjoy!  Gotta go!

 

 

In Which I Make Excuses

In Which I Make Excuses

I may have mentioned that I am longer a Man Out Of Work.  I am now a Man Who Seems To Work Every Waking Minute Of His Freaking Life.  But that’s a poor name for a blog.  I’m not complaining, mind you, but I am playing the excuse card for light *non-existent* blogging.

I like blogging.  I want to blog.  I know that all the great bloggers whose blogs I read and who have inspired me to begin blogging work jobs that are undoubtedly more demanding than mine, yet they still crank out the content.  I just haven’t figured out how to make the adjustment from having lots of time to having almost no time.

Right now three things take up virtually 95% of my time.  Work 40%; Sleep 30%;  Wife 25%.   The wife’s time budget has already taken the biggest hit, so there’s no cutting back there.  In fact she is in need of an increase of at least 10%.  Can’t cut back on work, so it looks like sleep is gonna have to take the hit.

We’ll see how it goes.  It should be fairly easy for you to tell:  as the posts get more frequent and less coherent you’ll know I am making an adjustment to my sleep schedule.  Stay tuned!

Cross posted at Men Out Of Work Blog

Who’s Smarter? You or Your TV?

Who’s Smarter?  You or Your TV?

 

Who’s smarter?  You or your TV?  You or your phone?  You or your (fill in the blank)?

We are on the verge of The Internet Of Things where more and more everyday devices we use become “smart” and collect data about us which they transmit to a central collection point somewhere all in the cause of creating for us a better “user experience” or a more convenient life.

So if you want to buy a  “Smart” TV because you need that extra convenience of being able to speak to it instead of wearing out your fingers on the remote, you’r in luck.    Such gadgets are available from major manufacturers including Samsung.  And if your able to speak to it, it’s going to have to be able to listen to you, right?  And in order to obey you, it’s going to have to understand you.  And in order to understand you, it’s going to have to learn about you.

So?  What could possibly go wrong?  I mean, as long as I gets to watch me some TeeVee, it’s all good.

Sure, it’s all good now.  As more and more data is collected the potential for it’s abuse grows.  One thing we know for sure is that if something can be abused, it will be abused.  That, my friends is a lead pipe cinch.  First comes prediction, then manipulation, then outright control.

So when your smart thermostat won’t let you turn the heat up, or your smart car won’t drive you to McDonald’s, or your smart bottle opener won’t open your beer (all for your own good), don’t come whining to me.  Of course, I suppose if a smart tv keeps just one person from watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians it will all be worth it.

Cross posted at Men Out Of Work Blog

Cat Videos…

Cat Videos…

…they are the reason why the internet was invented.

 

 

Music Friday – 1973 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition

Music Friday – 1973 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition

Welcome to this week’s Music Friday installment in the project to determine my peak music year.  We are in the home stretch, since starting at 1965 we are now up to the year 1973 with only two more years to go after this.  An initial observation – as we plow forward from the 60’s into the 1970’s, I’m feeling less personal attachent to the music in the BillBoard Hot 100 chart.  One reason for this may be that at this time in my life I was in high school and though I was still exposed to the popular music through the magic of AM Radio (what we had in cars in those days), most of my serious music fare was consumed through my (and my friends’) growing personal music collections and the burgeoning free form FM radio format.  There was little common ground between the AM and FM playlists of the day, and the culture I was part of at that time was more in touch with the FM genre.  So, like I said – an observation.

Here we go: the 1973 BillBoard Hot 100.  This year is similar to 1972 in that it’s a bit of a smorgasbord, though lighter on the bubblegum and with only a little weirdness.  And still, three solo Beatles managed to crack #1 – Paul McCartney with My Love, George Harrison with Give Me Love and Ringo Starr with Photograph.  Another interesting tidbit is that with the exception of only five songs, none of the #1’s spent more than two consecutive weeks at the top spot.  And of those five songs, three spent 4 weeks apiece at the top, and two spent three weeks apiece there.  And finally, no artist or group had multiple #1 songs that year.  So there was no easy obvious runaway “winner” this year, and I could easily call it a three way tie much like I called 1972 a four way tie.  Perhaps we’ll take a poll of the comments?  Of course that would require you, dear reader, to leave a comment.

Here I will present the three songs that spent four weeks apiece at #1, and you can choose your favorite from among them.  First is by Roberta Flack, Killing Me Softly:

Next is the bubblegum entry, Tony Orlando & Dawn with Tie A Yellow Ribbon:

And finally, we have Paul McCartney & Wings with My Love:

Nice mullet, McCartney.  The last offering is the only song of the three that I could say I really like, being a Beatle and McCartney fan.  But it’s nowhere near my favorite McCartney tune.  Even the other songs aren’t horrible, they just aren’t for me.  Safe Bet:  1973 is NOT my peak music year.  That’s all for now – thanks for watching…err…reading.  Listening!  Yeah, that’s the ticket.  See  you soon!

I Told You So…Part Seven Or Eight…

I Told You So…Part Seven Or Eight…

…or I’ve lost count.  Sure, I’ve blathered on about the potential downsides of Artificial Intelligence.  I’ve also expressed my skepticism of the coming Internet of Things.  Certainly I may be paranoid, but even a blind squirrel will eventually find a nut.  No, I have not been found by a blind squirrel.  What I mean is that other less paranoid and more credible people are expressing some of the same misgivings, with actual evidence to back up their concerns.

In this article at TechnologyReview.com, it is posited that the lax security built into comsumer devices, specifically home wireless routers, poses a real hazard to individuals and society in general.  And why is the security so lax in these devices?  Because we as consumers demand it.  We demand easy setup and our attention spans are too short to read more than a 3 step setup process.  So even as we are promised smarter and smarter home appliances and systems, the door is practically wide open for mischief or outright crime.  So when you wake up one morning and your toaster is holding a gun to your head, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Cross posted at Men Out of Work Blog

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