David Milch, creator of DEADWOOD, discusses God, Gold, Cancellation and Vanity.  (Skip to 6m 26s and keep watching.) What an interesting guy.

If you can’t express what you know in numbers, you don’t know much about it; if you don’t know much about it; you can’t control it; if you can’t control it, you’re at the mercy of chance.
Dr. Mikel Harry

In logistics, you don’t get into logistics because you want to get your ego fed. You do not. It’s real people doing real work, and you better have some appreciation for that person in Brookhaven Mississippi on August the 4th in 120° relative heat, who is loading that trailer.

…The number one predictor of success in your next job, when you went through their program, was how you scored on “judgement.” Not “intelligence”, not “organization”, not anything else. Judgement was the #1 predictor of success. And I think in Logistics you have to make daily decisions, you have to have good judgement to make it all work and to keep it going..

Lastly, I think the reason a lot of people in logistics aren’t moving up is because… I think logistics people underestimate how good they really are. There’s not a buyer or merchant in the world who works for a retailer chain that underestimates their skills… But i think logistics people, for some reason I think it plays to us this humility and all of that, which I like… but we forget the fact that the logistics people have a lot to add.

…A buyer will buy some new socket set, and it’s purple, and they’ll have a 95% sell through rate, and we worship them, but really, when a distribution center runs an entire year and never has a trailer that sits on the lot more than 24 hours without being unloaded, nobody calls them and says “Great job!”

Lee Scott, Former CEO of Wal-Mart


View overhead from a scull rowing on Town Lake in Austin

View overhead from a scull rowing on Town Lake in Austin

The world is full o’ complainers. An’ the fact is, nothin’ comes with a guarantee. Now I don’t care if you’re the pope of Rome, President of the United States or Man of the Year; somethin’ can all go wrong. Now go on ahead, y’know, complain, tell your problems to your neighbor, ask for help, ‘n watch him fly. Now, in Russia, they got it mapped out so that everyone pulls for everyone else… that’s the theory, anyway. But what I know about is Texas, an’ down here… you’re on your own
Blood Simple.

Poem from Wendell Berry’s “A Timbered Choir”

This is my favorite Wendell Berry poem… so far.  It’s one of the many Sabbath poems included in the recent compendium A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997.

Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling,

for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake
of the objective, the soil bludgeoned, the rock blasted.
Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.

I visited the offices where for the sake of the objective the planners planned
at blank desks set in rows. I visited the loud factories
where the machines were made that would drive ever forward
toward the objective. I saw the forest reduced to stumps and gullies; I saw
the poisoned river, the mountain cast into the valley;
I came to the city that nobody recognized because it looked like every other city.
I saw the passages worn by the unnumbered
footfalls of those whose eyes were fixed upon the objective.

Their passing had obliterated the graves and the monuments
of those who had died in pursuit of the objective
and who had long ago forever been forgotten, according
to the inevitable rule that those who have forgotten forget
that they have forgotten. Men, women, and children now pursued the objective
as if nobody ever had pursued it before.

The races and the sexes now intermingled perfectly in pursuit of the objective.
the once-enslaved, the once-oppressed were now free
to sell themselves to the highest bidder
and to enter the best paying prisons
in pursuit of the objective, which was the destruction of all enemies,
which was the destruction of all obstacles, which was the destruction of all objects,
which was to clear the way to victory, which was to clear the way to promotion, to salvation, to progress,
to the completed sale, to the signature
on the contract, which was to clear the way
to self-realization, to self-creation, from which nobody who ever wanted to go home
would ever get there now, for every remembered place
had been displaced; the signposts had been bent to the ground and covered over.

Every place had been displaced, every love
unloved, every vow unsworn, every word unmeant
to make way for the passage of the crowd
of the individuated, the autonomous, the self-actuated, the homeless
with their many eyes opened toward the objective
which they did not yet perceive in the far distance,
having never known where they were going,
having never known where they came from.


I can’t speak for the President of the United States, he runs his shop, I run mine. But I’ll tell you this… bankers are more dependable than governments. We don’t lie to ourselves. We can’t afford to.

Maxwell Emery, Chairman First New York Bank

(From Alan J Pakula’s ROLLOVER)

you are much better and deeper than your disbelief, and I am much worse and more superficial than my faith
Oskar Pfister, Swiss Christian pastor, writing to his friend, Sigmund Freud.

Belshazzar’s Feast

"It shows a panoramic view of a cavernous banqueting room with columns to either side decorated with signs of the zodiac. The hall is filled with crowds of feasting Babylonians, and open to the sky, with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon above, and the Tower of Babel and a ziggurat visible in the background, lit by the moon revealed by a break in dark swirling clouds. The architecture is inspired by Egyptian, Babylonian and Indian styles. Dressed in black, Daniel stands at the centre of the foreground, interpreting the supernatural writing on the wall of the hall. Belshazzar recoils in astonishment and dread to his right, and others look on in shock and horror.” 

Painting by John Martin (1789-1854)

[p.s. this image has been flipped horizontally]

The grave of Austrian rock singer Falco (“Rock me Amadeus”) is a tour-de-force of bombast or tastelessness, you choose.

The grave of Austrian rock singer Falco (“Rock me Amadeus”) is a tour-de-force of bombast or tastelessness, you choose.