Monday, January 22, 2018

“Calmness is the cradle of power.” - Anonymous

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst
January 23
During the run-up to the presidential election of 1864 the Republican Party appeared in complete disarray and the opposition rejoiced. One who was clearly disturbed about what appeared to be the impending defeat of the Republican ticket came to Lincoln about it. The president seemed oddly unfazed by the whole thing. 'It is not worth fretting about; it reminds me of an old acquaintance who having a son of a scientific turn bought him a microscope. The boy went around experimenting with his glass on everything that came his way. One day at the dinner table his father took up a piece of cheese. “Don't eat that, father” said the boy; “it is full of wrigglers.” “My son,” replied the old gentleman, taking at the same time a huge bite, “let 'em wriggle; I can stand it if they can.''’

'And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh. '
- Friedrich Nietzsche



“Don’t be afraid to surprise yourself. There’s so much beauty inside you to discover.” - Anonymous

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
22 January
In the late 1960’s I was stationed with the US Army in Germany. The good news was that I had NOT been sent to Vietnam [there were 500,000 other GI’s there at the time] but even so I was really depressed being so far from home for such a long time. I was also bored. So I thought about filling the considerable cracks in my life by what I could do at/with a piano.
  • I went to the local officers’ club and asked if they’d like some background music during Happy Hour on Friday night. The guy was over the moon: “You play the piano and you’re American? SURE! What do you charge?” [I was automatically In Demand – local musicians, I learned, didn’t confer any hometown flavor on homesick officers.] “$20.00 for the night, 6 to 10,” I said. He agreed on the spot. That worked so spectacularly well that I did the same thing at another nearby officers’ club for Saturday night, and a third for Sunday afternoon. Check it out: $60 a week when my Army salary was $135 a month. Wow!
  • I put a piano teacher add in the local Army rag, “Stars and Stripes,” [$5.00/hour], and within 4 weeks had 7 pupils.
In the meantime I heard about this 10%-compounded-quarterly dollar-drain savings program the Army was promoting. I saved 90% of my Army salary for the 20 months I was posted in Germany, and paid all my bills – from buying toothpaste to buying train tickets - with what I earned teaching and playing piano in Germany. Saving the Army salary and living on what I could do at the piano made the whole Army-in-a-faraway country actually exciting!
Also, when I was discharged I ended up with a check for over $2,000, money I parked in the stock market until, 5 years later, it had grown to a very respectable downpayment for the first house my new wife and I bought.


“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst
January 22
'Fellow citizens: I have been solicited by many friends to become a candidate for the Legislature. My politics are short and sweet like the old woman's dance. I am in favor of the national bank; I am in favor of the internal improvement system and a high protective tariff. These are my sentiments and political principles. If elected I shall be thankful; if not it will all be just the same.'
- Abraham Lincoln [aged 23]

'Be sincere; be brief; be seated.'
- Franklin D. Roosevelt



Sunday, January 21, 2018

“There’s no such thing as bad weather. Just soft people.” - Anonymous

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
21 January
If you have never gone for a 45-minute jog in a torrential downpour you'll never know how refreshing it is to pump recently washed air – call that ozygen! - vigorously into your lungs, how cleansing it is to get supersaturated - squishy toes and all. You, of course, might be suffering from a pinched imagination, thinking idly, "Running in that downpour and you're sure to catch a cold!" No way - all you need to do is jump into the shower before the heart rate slows down! Trust me: THAT’s when you need the 45-minute jog!


“I would like to apologize to anyone I have NOT offended. Please be patient. I will get to you shortly.” - Anonymous

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst
January 21
After relieving General George McClellan of command of the Army of the Potomac Lincoln was asked what he would reply to McClellan's earlier advice on how to carry on the affairs of the nation. And Lincoln answered: 'nothing - but it makes me think of the man whose horse kicked up and stuck his foot through the stirrup. The man said to the horse, 'if you're going to get on I'm going to get off.''’

'One doesn't have a sense of humor. It has you.'
- Larry Gilbert