Monday, August 31, 2009

When Graphic Artists Get Bored

This is so great! The art of illusion, imagination and "what were they thinking"!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

4 Videos: Funny Speakers at Kennedys Irish Wake

From Denny: The highlight of dreary funerals is when people get to tell the funny stories about you and Kennedy was no exception. In fact he wanted people to tell their opinions and observations about him if only to prove just how human he really was in life. Kennedy's life was an exercise in trials, sorrows, screw-ups and redemption. He was an inspiration to many of us who think our screw-ups are beyond redemption and our sorrows too great to heal. Listen to several relatives and, most of all, even his Republican friends talk about their relationships with the beloved, and often annoying, Ted Kennedy. He was fun to the end.

Caroline Kennedy whom he fathered after the assassination of her father President John F. Kennedy:

Close friend Vice President Joe Biden whom Ted mentored in the Senate when Biden was very young and "very green" when it came to real world politics - and suggested as Vice President for Obama:

Former Senator John Culver, D-Iowa, a best friend from college who played football with Ted, brought the house down with his recounting of a harrowing sailing experience with Ted:

Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a close friend of Ted's for over 30 years in the Senate and the two were like oil and water, never mixing well, yet a real love fest that lasted in spite of political differences:

4 Videos: More Funny Speakers at Kennedys Wake

Senator John Kerry, the junior senator from Massachusetts, recalls Kennedy's booming personality that was like a force of nature. He also recounts how Kennedy never left his side during the 2004 presidential campaign.

Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, recounts his funny and downright annoying experiences with Kennedy. He also declared just how much he loved Ted and how much he misses him already. McCain was so overcome with emotion that after his speech he abruptly left the stage with welling tears in his eyes. Truly that was a close relationship in spite of political wrangling.

Governor Deval L. Patrick, Massachusets, recalls his time with Kennedy and his impressions of him:

Senator Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, recalls how Kennedy, who was more ill than Dodd, called Dodd to see how he was doing. That really touched Dodd's heart. They, too, were life long friends.

Joseph P. Kennedy II, talks about his favorite uncle who helped father him and his siblings after his father, Robert, was also assassinated on the presidential trail in 1968. You really have to ask yourself "What is wrong with the Republicans who are willing to kill politicians in this great country called America? Who are these people who are so willing to kill a fellow American?":

Saturday, August 29, 2009

President Obama's Eulogy of Friend Senator Ted Kennedy

From Denny: This was one incredibly beautiful funeral today - all three hours of it. President Obama was last in line to speak and what a wonderful speech it was. Here's the text in its entirety in case you missed it or only caught a few quotes of what the President had to say about his friend today at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica Catholic Church in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

President Obama:

Your Eminence, Vicki, Kara, Edward, Patrick, Curran, Caroline, members of the Kennedy family, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Today we say goodbye to the youngest child of Rose and Joseph Kennedy. The world will long remember their son Edward as the heir to a weighty legacy; a champion for those who had none; the soul of the Democratic Party; and the lion of the United States Senate — a man who graces nearly 1,000 laws, and who penned more than 300 laws himself.

But those of us who loved him, and ache with his passing, know Ted Kennedy by the other titles he held: Father. Brother. Husband. Grandfather. Uncle Teddy, or as he was often known to his younger nieces and nephews, "The Grand Fromage," or "The Big Cheese." I, like so many others in the city where he worked for nearly half a century, knew him as a colleague, a mentor, and above all, as a friend.

Ted Kennedy was the baby of the family who became its patriarch; the restless dreamer who became its rock. He was the sunny, joyful child who bore the brunt of his brothers' teasing, but learned quickly how to brush it off. When they tossed him off a boat because he didn't know what a jib was, six-year-old Teddy got back in and learned to sail. When a photographer asked the newly elected Bobby to step back at a press conference because he was casting a shadow on his younger brother, Teddy quipped, "It'll be the same in Washington."

That spirit of resilience and good humor would see Teddy through more pain and tragedy than most of us will ever know. He lost two siblings by the age of 16. He saw two more taken violently from a country that loved them. He said goodbye to his beloved sister, Eunice, in the final days of his life. He narrowly survived a plane crash, watched two children struggle with cancer, buried three nephews, and experienced personal failings and setbacks in the most public way possible.

It's a string of events that would have broken a lesser man. And it would have been easy for Ted to let himself become bitter and hardened; to surrender to self-pity and regret; to retreat from public life and live out his years in peaceful quiet. No one would have blamed him for that.

But that was not Ted Kennedy. As he told us, ".[I]ndividual faults and frailties are no excuse to give in — and no exemption from the common obligation to give of ourselves." Indeed, Ted was the "Happy Warrior" that the poet Wordsworth spoke of when he wrote:

As tempted more; more able to endure,

As more exposed to suffering and distress;

Thence, also, more alive to tenderness.

Through his own suffering, Ted Kennedy became more alive to the plight and the suffering of others — the sick child who could not see a doctor; the young soldier denied her rights because of what she looks like or who she loves or where she comes from. The landmark laws that he championed — the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, immigration reform, children's health insurance, the Family and Medical Leave Act — all have a running thread. Ted Kennedy's life work was not to champion the causes of those with wealth or power or special connections. It was to give a voice to those who were not heard; to add a rung to the ladder of opportunity; to make real the dream of our founding. He was given the gift of time that his brothers were not, and he used that gift to touch as many lives and right as many wrongs as the years would allow.

We can still hear his voice bellowing through the Senate chamber, face reddened, fist pounding the podium, a veritable force of nature, in support of health care or workers' rights or civil rights. And yet, as has been noted, while his causes became deeply personal, his disagreements never did. While he was seen by his fiercest critics as a partisan lightning rod, that's not the prism through which Ted Kennedy saw the world, nor was it the prism through which his colleagues saw Ted Kennedy. He was a product of an age when the joy and nobility of politics prevented differences of party and platform and philosophy from becoming barriers to cooperation and mutual respect — a time when adversaries still saw each other as patriots.

And that's how Ted Kennedy became the greatest legislator of our time. He did it by hewing to principle, yes, but also by seeking compromise and common cause — not through deal-making and horse-trading alone, but through friendship, and kindness, and humor. There was the time he courted Orrin Hatch for support of the Children's Health Insurance Program by having his chief of staff serenade the senator with a song Orrin had written himself; the time he delivered shamrock cookies on a china plate to sweeten up a crusty Republican colleague; the famous story of how he won the support of a Texas committee chairman on an immigration bill. Teddy walked into a meeting with a plain manila envelope, and showed only the chairman that it was filled with the Texan's favorite cigars. When the negotiations were going well, he would inch the envelope closer to the chairman. When they weren't, he'd pull it back. Before long, the deal was done.

It was only a few years ago, on St. Patrick's Day, when Teddy buttonholed me on the floor of the Senate for my support of a certain piece of legislation that was coming up for vote. I gave my pledge, but I expressed skepticism that it would pass. But when the roll call was over, the bill garnered the votes that it needed, and then some. I looked at Teddy with astonishment and asked how had he done it. He just patted me on the back and said, "Luck of the Irish."

Of course, luck had little to do with Ted Kennedy's legislative success; he knew that. A few years ago, his father-in-law told him that he and Daniel Webster just might be the two greatest senators of all time. Without missing a beat, Teddy replied, "What did Webster do?"

But though it is Teddy's historic body of achievements that we will remember, it is his giving heart that we will miss. It was the friend and the colleague who was always the first to pick up the phone and say, "I'm sorry for your loss," or "I hope you feel better," or "What can I do to help?" It was the boss so adored by his staff that over 500, spanning five decades, showed up for his 75th birthday party. It was the man who sent birthday wishes and thank-you notes and even his own paintings to so many who never imagined that a U.S. senator of such stature would take the time to think about somebody like them. I have one of those paintings in my private study off the Oval Office — a Cape Cod seascape that was a gift to a freshman legislator who had just arrived in Washington and happened to admire it when Ted Kennedy welcomed him into his office. That, by the way, is my second gift from Teddy and Vicki after our dog Bo. And it seems like everyone has one of those stories — the ones that often start with "You wouldn't believe who called me today."

Ted Kennedy was the father who looked not only after his own three children, but John's and Bobby's as well. He took them camping and taught them to sail. He laughed and danced with them at birthdays and weddings; cried and mourned with them through hardship and tragedy; and passed on that same sense of service and selflessness that his parents had instilled in him. Shortly after Ted walked Caroline down the aisle and gave her away at the altar, he received a note from Jackie that read, "On you the carefree youngest brother fell a burden a hero would have begged to been spared. We are all going to make it because you were always there with your love."

Not only did the Kennedy family make it because of Ted's love — he made it because of theirs, especially because the love and the life he found in Vicki. After so much loss and so much sorrow, it could not have been easy for Ted to risk his heart again. And that he did is a testament to how deeply he loved this remarkable woman from Louisiana. And she didn't just love him back. As Ted would often acknowledge, Vicki saved him. She gave him strength and purpose; joy and friendship; and stood by him always, especially in those last, hardest days.

We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know what God's plan is for us.

What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and with love, and with joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of others.

This is how Ted Kennedy lived. This is his legacy. He once said, as has already been mentioned, of his brother Bobby that he need not be idealized or enlarged in death because what he was in life — and I imagine he would say the same about himself. The greatest expectations were placed upon Ted Kennedy's shoulders because of who he was, but he surpassed them all because of who he became. We do not weep for him today because of the prestige attached to his name or his office. We weep because we loved this kind and tender hero who persevered through pain and tragedy — not for the sake of ambition or vanity; not for wealth or power; but only for the people and the country that he loved.

In the days after September 11th, Teddy made it a point to personally call each one of the 177 families of this state who lost a loved one in the attack. But he didn't stop there. He kept calling and checking up on them. He fought through red tape to get them assistance and grief counseling. He invited them sailing, played with their children, and would write each family a letter whenever the anniversary of that terrible day came along. To one widow, he wrote the following:

"As you know so well, the passage of time never really heals the tragic memory of such a great loss, but we carry on, because we have to, because our loved ones would want us to, and because there is still light to guide us in the world from the love they gave us."

We carry on.

Ted Kennedy has gone home now, guided by his faith and by the light of those that he has loved and lost. At last he is with them once more, leaving those of us who grieve his passing with the memories he gave, the good that he did, the dream he kept alive, and a single, enduring image — the image of a man on a boat, white mane tousled, smiling broadly as he sails into the wind, ready for whatever storms may come, carrying on toward some new and wondrous place just beyond the horizon. May God bless Ted Kennedy, and may he rest in eternal peace.

Barack Obama, Senator Ted Kennedy, eulogy, Politics, America

Friday, August 28, 2009

Art Photo-Rich Poem: People Trees

This was the poem I wrote last week for my Friday poem over at The Social Poets blog and I've been meaning to get it up over here. The folks over at StumbleUpon came in by the hordes for these wonderful photos, enjoy!

Drink in the richness of the wonderful photos from the photographers over at flickr in creative commons. (I find them beautiful and emotionally soothing.) You are free to use their photos if you also give attribution and a link back to their flickr page.

I've been thinking about what poem to write all week, and, as usual, started on another idea which just didn't gel well or in time. That's what's good about setting deadlines for yourself as you get that rush of adrenaline going to get out the words. :) Anyway, was researching some wonderful photos and kept finding awesome trees and one thing led to another as I knew my eternal mind was tapping my everyday mind on the shoulder and saying, "Hey! What about this?"

Photos often do give me inspiration for writing as so many ideas start flowing. Take a trip on over to flickr yourself to get inspired. You can always view my 5,000+ favorites I've found while researching for articles as I keep them bookmarked "just in case."


People Trees

Some of us ruggedly root ourselves mountain high to savor the views

Some of us enjoy beauty’s lingering mirrored perfection

Some of us feel forlorn in life’s landscape, until we see we are a duet

Some of us like to stand tall with a crowd, all in a perfect row

Some of us like to party with different people, the more the merrier

Some of us like to stand out in a crowd, fiercely plumped proud

Some of us see our own rippling beauty, reflected in the mirrors of others

Some of us rush to greet the exploding morning at first blush

Some of us sway and bend with life’s swirling storms yet remain

Some of us rush zig zagging through life and still look wildly beautiful

Some of us safely hold dear a child’s swing and his playful heart

Some of us are strong, sheltering lightly in the shadows

Some of us rise up from the water and tenaciously breathe through our knees*

Some of us suffer, enduring kindly a bit of indignity from time to time

Some of us absorb the strongest truth, filtering softly inner light

Some of us like to stroll unknown passageways and secret gardens

Some of us play hard to get, secretly happy to see company coming

Some of us like to wear jewelry, all decked out at least once a year

And some of us

dream big

just by looking up – lost in thought for hours.

Denny Lyon
Copyright 20 August 2009
All Rights Reserved

* Copyright is for the text of the poem only, copyright for the photos belong to the photographers.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Thanks for visiting!

*Cyprus trees have what are called "knees" - those bumps you see sticking out of the water near the roots which are underwater in the swamps. These knees are how the cyprus tree breathes the air!


Photo Credits

Mountain Mist treeline photo by Lida Rose @ flickr

Rugged lone tree high on a mountain photo By Chris Gin @ flickr

Cherry blossomed tree reflecting photo By rachel_thecat @ flickr

Cherry trees blanketed by snow photo By lrargerich @ flickr

Cherry blossomed trees all in a row photo By VJ flicks @ flickr

Bluebells partying in a stand of trees photo By left-hand @ flickr

Red tree photo By code poet @ flickr

Trees reflected in the river photo by Denis Collette @ flickr

Sunrise in Corfu, Greece photo by Katarina 2353 @ flickr

Bent tree Bonsai Moon photo by h.koppdelaney @ flickr

Rolling hills and tree photo by Katarina 2353 @ flickr

Trees give support to the child’s swing photo by lepiaf.geo @ flickr

Sheltering tree photo in the shadows by Zest-pk @ flickr

Cypress tree at sunrise in the water photo by Bill Swindamon @ flickr

Suffer a bit of indignity tree photo by Scarleth White @ flickr

Filtering Illuminating light tree photo by *clairity* @ flickr

Strolling with the trees photo by Bjǿrn Giesenbauer @ flickr

Tree of Peace photo by h.koppdelaney @ flickr

Christmas tree photo by laffty4k @ flickr

Redwood trees in California photo by aigeanta @ flickr

Strong tree’s canopy photo By -= Bruce Berrien =- @ flickr

Black and white tree canopy photo by anonymous

Thursday, August 27, 2009

How Senator Ted Kennedy Affected Your Life in America

From Denny: Did you know that Ted Kennedy passed over 300 bills during his tenure in the Senate? He also co-authored another 550!

“Ted Kennedy changed the circumstances of tens of millions of Americans,” VP Biden.

How did he affect our lives today? How does that translate into your everyday life that this generation may take for granted was always there?

Here are just a few examples that make life easier for so many to live well:

Wheelchair ramps:
wheelchair access in public places; those are thanks to Ted Kennedy.

Minimum wage: you earn more thanks to Kennedy

Children’s Health Insurance: he went to bat for the most vulnerable members of our society – children

Kennedy was the driving force behind COBRA - for people in need of health insurance when just fired from a job.

He developed personal relationships with people like a 6 year old child suffering from diabetes who could have benefited from stem cell research. He didn’t just use her in front of the cameras for politics. She first wrote him a letter asking for his help on pushing for stem cell research; he read that letter on the Senate floor. For years he privately corresponded with Lauren Stanford, thanking her for her help and encouraging her in her fight with juvenile diabetes. The public never knew about that.

Christi Coombs, September 11th widow: Kennedy wrote her every year on the anniversary of her husband’s death. She recognized he truly did know what loss she was feeling as he had experienced so much loss in his life. The public never knew about that either.

Ted Kennedy at the Democratic Convention in 2008 - Photo (Mike Segar / Reuters)

Senator Kennedy, kicks off the Democratic Party's national convention Aug. 25, 2008, his was a performance that galvanized the audience, producing a roaring frenzy. The crowd cheered, then wiped away tears for several minutes, then cheered again. They knew Ted was thhe last living Kennedy brother.

He smiled and declared loudly, "My fellow Americans, it is so wonderful to be here." He was alluding to news reports hinting his doctors were hesitant to allow him to travel to the Denver convention.

The Senator continued, "Nothing, nothing is going to keep me away from this special gathering tonight. I have come here tonight to stand with you, to change America, to restore its future, to rise to our best ideals and to elect Barack Obama President of the United States."

Take a look at his long list of accomplishments that affect our lives to the postive!

The Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
The Americans with Disabilities Act
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act
The Fair Housing Act
No Child Left Behind Act
AMBER Alert Notification Systems Funding
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
The Meals on Wheels Act (elderly)
The Economic Opportunity Act
The Occupational Health and Safety Act
The National Community Health Center Program
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act
The Bilingual Education Act
The Older American Community Service Employment Act
The Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program
Title IX of the Education Amendments (female athletes)
Individuals with Disabilities Education
Civil Rights Commission Act Amendments
Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act
Comprehensive Crime Control Act
1985 Anti-Apartheid Act
Employment Opportunities for Disabled Americans Act
The Handicapped Children’s Protection Act
The Fair Housing Act Amendments
The National Military Child Care Act
The 1980 Refuge Act
The Job Training Partnership Act
The Civil Rights Act of 1991
Summer Jobs for Youth Program
The Mammography Quality Standards Act
The National and Community Service Trust Act (created AmeriCorps)
The School-to-Work Opportunities Act
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
Children’s Health Insurance Program
Work Incentives Improvement Act
The Minority Health and Disparities Research and Education Act
2002 Bioterrorism Preparedness Act
The Pediatric Graduate Medical Education Act
Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act
The Project Bioshield Act
The Family Opportunity Act
The Ryan White Care Act (for AIDS patients)
The Higher Education Opportunity Act
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

In honor of Ted Kennedy, President Obama signed a $5.7 billion national service bill April 21, 2009.

The bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act strives to open up new service opportunities for millions of Americans, tripling the size of the AmeriCorps service program over the next eight years.

"I'm asking you to stand up and play your part," said the president. Kennedy championed the legislation with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. Photo (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Senator "Ted" Kennedy changed history in America. He fought against racism and sexism. He championed the poor for equal opportunities for jobs, homes and being able to go to college.

Too many middle class Republican families who foolishly denounce Ted Kennedy do so without full knowledge of how he has benefited their lives. They have been the direct beneficiaries of his humanity.

Among many fights for the middle class, it was Ted Kennedy who fought hard to provide college grant money to middle income families, not just the poor. This generation owes a lot of their successful lifestyle to his endeavors to make America a better country and a better society. Let not his humanity fall on deaf ears to the next generation...

Barack Obama, Senator Ted Kennedy, Democrats, diabetes, Politics, September 11th, America

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

4 Videos: Remembering the Lion of the Senate Ted Kennedy

From Denny: It's an end of an era and the beginning of a new one with the passing of the torch from Senator Ted Kennedy to the next generation. The man certainly paved the way for the next generation of liberal social issue politicians who are as concerned for creating a better and more equal society for all.

The Kennedy legacy is well known worldwide as theirs was a wealthy family strongly involved in politics. They put their money - and their daily work - where their mouth was.

Kennedy's character stain upon his name and legacy came during his alcoholic years and crescendoed with the drowning of an aide in a car accident from which he fled. Much of the public figured he drank so heavily because of the not one, but two assassinations of his political brothers: one, President John Kennedy, killed in 1963, and two, Robert Kennedy was killed as he was running for President in 1968.

What exacerbated his alcoholism was a plane crash in the early sixties where he broke his back and was forever left with extreme pain and that "hunch and shuffle" kind of walk that became so distinctive. Back then there were not the pain relievers available today and many people chose to self-medicate through alcohol. Unfortunately, too much alcohol and eventually a person tips over into alcoholism as did Ted Kennedy.

To his credit, trying to sober up and do right again, that sad accident and tragic death of a young woman startled him into getting his act together. He went hard-charging into social reforms across the board. He led on education and health care reform right up until his death, fighting for better health care for twenty long years. Kennedy fought to shape America's political future for 50 years, leaving a longer-lasting legacy than both of his equally popular brothers combined. He was the brother of which the least was expected and he ended up doing the most for his country.

The lion-like Kennedy championed workers' rights, pushing to constantly raise the miserable minimum wage. He demanded civil rights and voting rights for African-Americans. Kennedy championed womens' rights and helped pushed the womens' movement into the public spotlight and into the heart of the Democratic Party. Lately, he was working on immigration reform in a more positive vein than the Republicans.

For decades his life was threatened by Republican supporters who constantly issued death threats if he ever dared to run for President. Even the military threatened to kill him if he did so. Such was the sixties and early seventies. To his credit, Kennedy ran anyway. He lost to unexpected dark horse Jimmy Carter who later became President Carter. Carter was doomed to become a one term president because he was outmaneuvered by Reagen. Behind his back while he was still President, it was candidate Reagen who traded guns for those American hostages in Iran. President Reagen created the Iranian Revolution and terrorist mess in Iran today from this foolish action. Reagen may have won the Presidency with his back-stabbing of a current sitting President but it's the next generation who had to deal with the consequences.

Senator Ted Kennedy's goodbye words were defiantly declared after that fateful loss to Carter and are appropriate all these years later as his epitaph: "The Work goes on, the Cause endures, the Hope still lives, and, the Dream never shall never die."

Kennedy was 77, passed away on Tuesday night from an extended illness with brain cancer. He will be greatly missed but his work was done. Now it is time for the next generation to lead. Thank you for your service, Ted, thank you, from a grateful nation...

President Obama bestows the Medal of Freedom upon Senator Ted Kennedy

Larry King interviews Kennedy about his life in the Senate back in 2006

Kennedy stood up for Obama when others were hesitant in the Democratic Party. Senator Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics, died at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

alcoholism, President Jimmy Carter, civil rights, college education, health care reform, Senate, Senator Ted Kennedy, voting rights, womens rights, Robert Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What Was Gandhis Funny View of Marriage?

From Denny: As I was researching funny marriage quotes for my newer blog housing funny quotes, Dennys Funny Quotes, I practically fell off my chair when I read this one by our beloved Gandhi which the West holds in such high esteem. We often forget that even the saints among us had to learn the road to sainthood, reminding us it can be an arduous journey.

On the serious side of thought, this quote reveals a lot of soul-searching on Gandhi's part about the equality of men and women and the seeking of a more positive manner in which to live that relationship.

You really have to appreciate his sense of humor and personal humility in stating this lesser known quote.


* I first learned the concepts of non-violence in my marriage. - Mahatma Gandhi.

(Gandhi was a philosopher from India who had studied to become a Christian Methodist minister in Victorian England but abandoned it because of the English racism. He was also internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest against British colonial rule, 1869-1948.)

Photo by LadyAmada @ flickr

Monday, August 24, 2009

Two Philosophers, One Same Mind on Friendship!

Available at Beautiful Illustrated Quotations Amazon store for $14.95

From Amazon review: Mencius is known to history as the "other" great philosopher from China. In actuality, Mencius was highly influential as one of the greatest exponents of Conficuan thought, and is credited with bringing Confucianism back from the brink of near extinction in China and cementing its traditions as the major social and ethical current of philosophy in Chinese civilization. This book features some of the greatest teachings of Mencius, with each quote paired with an historical anecdote on the opposite page. Ideal for all collections on Chinese philosophy

From Denny: While I'm rushing out the door to do sales calls out of town I thought I'd start your Monday morning off with two awesome friendship quotes. What struck me as most awesome about them is how they were spoken by two philosophers, worlds apart in different cultures and time periods, yet they saw the same inner illumination. Have a great Monday! Thanks for visiting!


* Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.
Aristotle, Greek philosopher

* Friendship is one mind in two bodies.
Mencius (371 BC - 289 BC), Chinese philosopher

Friday, August 21, 2009

5 Lovely Garden Quotes for the Weekend

Photo of Magnolia Plantation live oak trees and azaleas - what a wondrous place to stroll!

From Denny: Since Hurricane Bill and his severe thunderstorms, deluge of rain and lightning delayed me all afternoon from posting on time guess I'll keep this short! :) Have a great weekend, everyone!


* My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view. - H. Fred Ale

* It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought. - James Douglas, Down Shoe Lane

* Gardens are a form of autobiography. - Sydney Eddison, Horticulture magazine, August/September 1993

* Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration. - Lou Erickson

* Science, or para-science, tells us that geraniums bloom better if they are spoken to. But a kind word every now and then is really quite enough. Too much attention, like too much feeding, and weeding and hoeing, inhibits and embarrasses them. - Victoria Glendinning

* Don't wear perfume in the garden - unless you want to be pollinated by bees. - Anne Raver

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How Do You Feel About Giving Advice? 1 Cartoon, 4 Funny Quotes

From Denny: As we live our lives people are always asking for our advice, or are they? Many times people just want a "sounding board" to hear the sound of their own voice out loud with another live person listening. That little drama is so they don't appear to be talking to themselves like a crazy person. Since the new technology of BlueTooth phones people are now just left wondering if you are still crazy by walking around with an ear attachment that still makes you look like you are talking to yourself in public places... :)

When the (inevitable and dreaded) time comes to give advice the result is usually the expected: outright rejection because of the fear of change, waffling with doubt because it challenges them to change, and, even though they know they need to change to get a better outcome, they are still sitting on the fence in the decision department. Then there are the salesmen who try to sell you on their version of how to handle their dilemma which usually makes no sense, sometimes is laughable and you then you have to stifle the giggle. People: love them anyway!


* Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself. - Cicero

* Sometimes I give myself admirable advice, but I am incapable of taking it. - Mary Wortley Montagu

* When we ask advice we are usually looking for an accomplice. - Charles Varlet de La Grange, Pensées, 1872

* Some people like my advice so much that they frame it upon the wall instead of using it. - Gordon R. Dickson

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just Some Poetry.

Just Some Poetry.

by akeejaho @ HubPages

From Denny: I found this as a wonderful poem expressing a husband's love for his wife. The husband suffers from bipolar depression so he deeply understands how profoundly his wife's love affects him positively and appreciates her. (What every woman wants to hear!)

As a writing exercise this is a delightful take on how to write love poetry from a completely different angle without the usual greeting card mushiness.

Here's the comment I left for the author: "I'm always up for an unconventional take on love poetry and this little gem of a poem takes the prize. Awesome how you contrast inner and outer light, talking on two levels simultaneously, delivered with utter directness and simplicity, well done!"

Photo by AmahRa58 @ flickr

husband and wife, inner light, Light, love poetry, men and women, relationshiops, romance and love, Society and Culture, writing exercise

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Funny View Defining Genius

From Denny: Today I was delayed on my posting as there were too many thunderstorms in the area and had to turn off the computer. Sometimes, the storms are so violent they shake the house and then it's time to unplug the computer! :) The next few weeks are high alert watch for intense hurricanes that could form and come on land.

As I was researching tonight for my Cheeky Quotes Day segment on my other blog, The Social Poets, that occurs every Wednesday there were some really amusing ones about the subject of genius.

Since I grew up around geniuses and the search for and control of geniuses from my father's intelligence community there is a lot I have to say on the subject. Oh, how I wish I had some of these amusing quotes to throw at them all when they were on a self-righteous slam to everyone around them.

There are a lot of angles from which to try and define genius, none of them seemed to be considered by the intelligence community at the time. Their only interest was military application and control of the civilian population. Guess by now you have figured out I used to throw all my IQ tests in school. The last thing I wanted to be was a military tool (or a "tool" in general) or my intelligence to be controlled like I was supposed to be some kind of robot subserviant to another's will, performing cute tricks like some marine animal at Disney World.

This particular quote is intellectually entertaining as it is funny. Emerson was an incredible thinker for his time and even projecting 150 years later into our generation with intriguing angles of thought. How many times have you thought the exact same thing as he discusses here?

How many times have you dismissed what you thought was some smart thinking or problem-solving at the time only to set it aside when you spoke it aloud and others didn't quite understand at the time because you were ahead of your time? Then along came a string of people talking about the subject the same way as you did and suddenly the people around you start to catch on to what you were trying to tell them in the first place. You just happened to be the first guy trying to introduce something entirely new and penetrate their awareness.

Sometimes, I've applied this same thought in the quote to a poem written a while ago, only to revisit it and think: Wow! This is pretty good writing! Why didn't I publish it?

Have a good grin as Emerson really knows how to "tell it like it is."


In every work of genius, we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self Reliance," Essays, 1841

genius quotes, funny quotes, poetry, IQ, Central Intelligence Agency, genius

Monday, August 17, 2009

4 Nimble Irish Quotes to Bless You Today!

Photo by *L*u*z*a @ flickr

From Denny: The Irish are a never-ending source of amusement and their style of thinking sure keeps us on our toes! Here are a few offerings for a good Monday morning chuckle on your way to start your work week.


May you have warm words on a cool evening, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door. - Irish Toast

May you live to be a hundred years
With one extra year to repent. - Anonymous

May those that love us, love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping. - Irish Blessing

May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks
May your heart be as light as a song
May each day bring you bright
Happy hours that stay with you all the year long. - Irish Blessing

Friday, August 14, 2009

Louisiana Summer Sigh

Louisiana Summer Sigh: "Writing exercise in the form of a “simile smile” and an original poem about us and summer changing into the next season of life."

By Denny Lyon @ HubPages

From Denny: I've been writing this summer poem in my head for weeks now and am so glad it's finally on paper! :) Found some awesome images from my flickr friends to illustrate it too.

Thanks for visiting me at HubPages too! Have a great weekend!

Photo by OakleyOriginals @ flickr

summer, summer poem, denny lyon, hubpages, poetry, Writing Exercises, simile

Thursday, August 13, 2009

7 Summer Quotes

From Denny: I seem to be thinking about the ending of summer a lot lately, even wrote a poem about it: finally! Glad to have that off my plate and out of my head where thoughts of summer have been rolling around for weeks! :)

These are some lovely quotes I found on the subject of summer, some wistful in the passing of summer, some profound in their heightened awareness on a summer night, some amusing in how our culture views a time of the year that could be viewed negatively if it came at a different time.

Summer is a great time to relax and hear our creative thoughts. There is a magical quality to the summer night. Come on, even Shakespeare thought so and wrote a play for it! :) It's like a waking dream time full of promise and fun.

Have you entertained the thought to write your own summer poem before the season steals away? These quotes will get you sparked into your own creativity!


"The summer night is like a perfection of thought." - Wallace Stephens

"In summer, the song sings itself." - William Carlos Williams

"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy." - Anton Chekhov

"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability." - Sam Keen

"Summer afternoon: to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." - Henry James

"Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world." - Ada Louise Huxtable

"There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart." - Celia Thaxter

Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography @ flickr

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

7 Funny Back to School Education Quotes!

From Denny: Kids are already going back to school on the Gulf Coast to earn extra days if hurricanes or swine flu outbreaks strike. Parents are rushing around getting supplies and school uniforms. Excitement is in the air for the coming football season as this is a football crazy state: L.S.U. Tigers! (Geaux Tigers!)

To give you parents a chuckle as you decompress from all the flurry of activity starting up again, here are some enjoyable and memorable quotes about school and education, enjoy!

* If the Romans had been obliged to learn Latin, they would never have found time to conquer the world. - Heinrich Heine

* In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards. - Mark Twain

* It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. – Albert Einstein

* If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers. - Edgar W. Howe

* There are three good reasons to be a teacher - June, July, and August. - Anonymous

* Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken. - Bill Dodds

* As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in schools. - Anonymous

Photo by Looking Glass @ flickr

Education, Kids and Teens, teachers, prayer, back to school, funny quotes, America quotes, Mark Twain, Society and Culture,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How Do You Best Develop Talent and Character?

From Denny: Today's quote is an interesting one to ponder and comes from the famous writer, Goethe. He talks about how our talent best develops in calmer times instead of chaos. Isn't it odd how usually it is when in extreme chaos we try to develop our creativity and talent? Then we often wonder why we get so easily frustrated and can't find our balance.

For me, I found that when I'm somewhat stressed that stress actually propels my creativity. When things are too easy we often lose our edge. Goethe did make the observation about it is our talent that best develops during more tranquil times. In that he is referencing how in tranquil times we have more reflective time. More time for reflection and we can analyze how we want to achieve our goals. When times are tranquil it is easier for our minds to be orderly, rested, and, therefore, more receptive to sudden illumination of insight!

His opinion about the long slow development of good character is accurate. How interesting he chose to link both talent and character in the same line as mirror-imaged twins. Can it be that to fully develop our talent we must also focus upon good character? In order to develop good character might we also focus upon nurturing our talent? Perhaps talent and good character are life-long companions, forever linked to the address of excellence high up on the mountain peak of vision.


Talent develops in tranquility, character in the full current of human life. - Goethe

Photo by Lauren Close @ flickr

Society and Culture, Education, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Ethics and Morals, Goethe,

Monday, August 10, 2009

3 Hugs Quotes to Start Off Your Monday With a Smile!

From Denny: Quote Garden is a great site. They have been on the web for ten years now and have quite an awesome collection of quotes! Thinking about hugs from three different angles...


"A hug is a smile with arms, a laugh with a stronger grip." ~ The Quote Garden

"Have you hugged yourself today?" ~ Anonymous

"A hug is the shortest distance between friends." ~ Author Unknown

Photo of Free Hugs at an Obama speech at Arizona University by kevindooley @ flickr

hugs, hugs quotes, Quote Garden, love quotes, love

Sunday, August 9, 2009

3 Wonderful Hug Quotes!

From Denny: These are some awesome quotes about hugging! If more people thought like this there wouldn't be any war, any low self-esteem or any tough times we couldn't handle. These quotes will make you smile both in their sincerity and creativity.


"A hug is a handshake from the heart." ~ Author Unknown

"I love hugging. I wish I was an octopus, so I could hug ten people at a time." ~ Drew Barrymore

"Arm ourselves for war? No! All the arms we need are for hugging." ~ Author Unknown

Photo by Gwennypics @ flickr

hugs quotes, celebrity quotes, hugging, love

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Do You Realize How Much Love There is Between Hugs?

From Denny: Today's quote brings to mind what yoga and tai chi teachers speak about: the infinite amount of time between each breath. They teach about placing our focus not as much "on" each breath but most especially "between" each breath. In that small space lives a large portion of our lives. A lot goes on in that seemingly small interval of time that affects our perception too.

This is the first love quote I've seen that mentions the enormity of time and welling up of extreme passionate emotion that is felt in an instant between hugs extended and hugs received. Instead of focused upon the wonderful hug, this lover is focused upon the small space of time between his reaching out to hug his lover and her response in kind. He felt that moment so strongly he wrote about it!


"Millions and millions of years would still not give me half enough time to describe that tiny instant of all eternity when you put your arms around me and I put my arms around you." - Jacques Prévert

Photo by notsogoodphotography @ flickr

Jacques Prevert, hugs, eternity, quotes, love, love quotes

Friday, August 7, 2009

What is the Simplest Most Unusual Way to Live Our Life to the Fullest?

Water Bombs filled with waterWater balloons like little egos all in a row - Image via Wikipedia

From Denny: And I'm getting caught up since my power outage yesterday from the massive thunderstorms that dropped so much water we thought for sure we would see Noah's Ark appear and float by on our front yard...

This quote is both instructive and downright amusing. How many times have we looked back at a situation we found difficult only to find our own ego was what got in the way of our success? Some egos are bloated with pride, others with doubt, still others with fear.

Forget about feeling guilty or unworthy as those feelings are useless to us. It really doesn't matter what caused the "bloating" over time but rather the ego is so out of shape like a huge water balloon that it is easy to trip over it while pursuing something worthwhile! The whole point of this quote is to get rid of the bloat that is holding us back and making life more difficult than it has to be.

Reality is about interacting with life as it happens without the Negative Nannies filter in our heads. Once we set aside all these silly habits we grew from this or that disappointment here and there along the way in our lives we soon realize it's all old garbage that is time to trash.

Once unburdened of our past attitudes or ideas that have been holding us back, it's easy to relate to this quote. This profound quote is the most wonderful way I've ever seen to describe how easy it can become to live our lives to the fullest!


“When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind, and fearless." - Byron Katie

Byron Katie, Bloat, Water balloon, Home, positive attitude, Family, trauma, PTSD

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

How Do You Gauge How Happy You Are?

Daniel Chester French's sculpture inside the L...Image via Wikipedia

From Denny: Apologies to everyone who was looking for their quote today. We had serious thunderstorms move through yesterday and we lost power. It was like the heavens opened up and decided it was time for a deluge!

Anyway, today's quote was from a U.S. President. We hear a lot of quotes and sometimes don't realize they were said originally by American Presidents. Even a culture often grows up over time around the thought in that quote, so it is with this one.

Generations later we are now addressing how to work our attitudes to improve our lives. Well, Abraham Lincoln, who knew an awful lot of terrible adversity, certainly understood what it took to build and maintain a positive attitude.

He lost 69 elections and he lost all his children over a span of time. He was also President during the trying times of America's only Civil War and was ill with a slow disease. His wife went into a terrible depression upon the loss of their youngest son from illness.

Lincoln was a strong-willed kind-hearted man who even brought his political enemies into his administration in the effort to govern the country in a bi-partisan manner. Lincoln is most famous for several of his inspiring speeches and deciding to dare to go against the tide of convention and free America's slaves. He was all about doing the best job possible for the sake of ALL the American people.


"People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be." - President Abraham Lincoln

quotes, politics, positive attitude, presidential quotes, American Civil War, United States, History, Civil War, President, List of Presidents of the United States

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How Authentic a Writer or Blogger Are You? Quote Included.

the colorful heart of a white flowerImage by Bern@t via Flickr

Blogging with all the other millions of bloggers

From Denny: A lot of people these days are starting up blogs. After a few months many get discouraged and quit; others find out how much work it is to post every day. Right now there are over 1 billion blogs on the planet and Technorati watches the top 100 million blogs. I'm thrilled to be in the top 400,000 as I never expected a quotes blog with my idea of commentary thoughts to do this well. I was just writing and living out loud as I advise others! (Practice what you "preach"!) :)

Technical issues of blogging

As a blogger and writer it isn't just about writing down our thoughts into words on the page; there are the time-consuming technical parts of working with a slowed down computer connection when everyone in the world happens to be online at the same time (usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays here in America), working with the online editor to post when Blogger or your other blogging platform decides to do maintenance and other pesky delays that eat up your time.

Divining readers' interests through free Lijit and StatCounter services

Personally, I love to write and always have; I plan on being here for some time to come. Already I look back at the beginning days of all my blogs and am quite pleased with how my vision has grown as well as the ability to fine tune the theme of the blog and its message and then respond to the readers for your needs and interests.

Responding to readers does take time to "divine" when you don't have a plethora of comments to gauge interest. There are various free services that tell a new blogger which of your posts people liked the best. Some provide the ability to vote up or down like Lijit does which is why you see a Lijit search widget on the sidebar. Others just count the numbers and about a week later let you know how a post on a particular subject did on that particular blog like StatCounter does. StatCounter is out of Australia so if you decide to join their site but you live in America be aware their 24 hour period is not quite the same time zone as yours! :)

Blogging helps you define, explore and expand "You"

As I grow in my knowledge of blogging I'll keep sharing what I've learned along the way to help you in your blogging. Always, I encourage others to write down their thoughts, their feelings, their aspirations. When you write regularly, God starts blessing you with the ability to access your inspirations that were previously locked up inside you all along, waiting to be released for others to benefit.

Authenticity and opportunities

Today's quote is more than about being perceived as authentic when you write, when you blog. Yes, your credibility is truly on the line with others who don't know you in person. But it's much more than that.

Today's quote takes us beyond the field of work outside ourselves to another angle of how to look at authenticity. It talks about every person on the planet is an author without perhaps even realizing it! It is through our authenticity that we become true writers: writing the plot line of what happens to us and how we choose to respond, writing the characters into our lives and how they decide to treat us, writing the theme of our lives as to what we find to call worthy.

Too many people try to do it backwards and start writing to find or create along the way their authenticity. Stop for a moment, consider where you are in life and where you would prefer to be if not satisfied, then step out from that authentic moment and begin writing.

Best attitude for successful writing

If you write just for profit the money will elude you; if you write to be admired or acquire status, it will elude you. If you write from an authentic inner place, choose to give of yourself to others, then your writing will ascend and grow steadily in popularity. Don't rush the process; rather enjoy the journey, continue to grow and your writing will show it! If you try to force the process into a certain little box you might just end up cheating yourself in the long run. Stay flexible, enjoy writing, enjoy interacting with others through the comment section or private email (some people are terribly shy online). Opportunities will come your way as you are patiently perfecting your craft of writing and blogging. So it is also true how we choose to author our lives.


"To be authentic literally means to be your own author." ~ Dan Millman

Was that not a great quote to write about?! Thanks for visiting and have a great day!

arts, Australia, Blog, Dan Millman, Directories, lijit, On the Web, StatCounter, Technorati, Weblogs, writer, Writers Resources, Writing, Society and Culture

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What is the 1 Funny Decision That Makes It Difficult to Plan Your Day?

Charlotte's WebImage via Wikipedia

From Denny: Author E. B. White is best known for his children's books he wrote for his nieces and nephews. One of the most famous is Charlotte's Web.

Do you know much about him other than the books? He was born in New York state in 1899. He went into the Army and after the Army he attended Cornell University. He wrote for the college newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun.

What was his real name? It was Elwyn Brooks White and his nickname was Andy at his college newspaper where people just starting calling him that and the name stuck over the years.

After graduation, White went to work as a reporter in 1927 for The New Yorker Magazine and became quite famous. He also wrote a column for the prestigious Harper's Magazine from 1938 to 1943.

White decided to strike out on an unusual tangent for a newsman of his time period and start writing down tales for his nieces and nephews who kept begging him to tell them stories. He thought it great fun and indulged them. Children and parents today benefit from his pastime of story telling. By 1945 White started publishing these stories as small books. Now the "rest is history" as the saying goes and his stories are considered classic children's literature.

By 1957, he and his wife Katherine picked up and moved to Maine where he continued his writing. He died in 1985 at the ripe old age of 86.

Did you know White was terribly shy about giving a speech, reading aloud or reciting a poem aloud as a child in school? He was embarrassed to speak in public (a phobia most people share). He used to write his speeches for class and then beg someone else to read them aloud for him. Now that's shy! Good thing the man could write. He also shared with us a wonderful sense of humor as indicated by today's quote from him.


"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." - E. B. White (1899 - 1985)

Oh, and in case you are interested for your children or grandchildren, nieces and nephews, I found several titles of his books, including some for adults on writing style, and placed them in the Beautiful Illustrated Quotations Store. There are so many versions available. I always wonder what an author from another time period - before our current technology - would think of their books recycled in various forms like this... Who knows what tomorrow will bring for the writers of today's blogs? That will prove interesting to see how the future markets our writing of today!

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