Sunday, August 26, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Perhaps serendipitous that Sylvia Boorstein should drop in at just such a time:
Right Livelihood appears to be harder to practice these days than in the time of the Buddha. The rule is still the same: Right Livelihood is organizing one's financial support so that it is nonabusive, nonexploitive, nonharming. However, these days what is abusive and exploitive is not necessarily self-evident. When the Buddha taught, unwholesome livelihood categories were easy to distinguish. Soldiering, keeping slaves, manufacturing weapons and intoxicants--all were on the proscribed list. In our time, soldiers sometimes serve as peacekeepers. It's hard to know the wholesomeness of all the products of any corporation, corporate mergers being what they are. Who knows what else is being manufactured by my detergent company's subsidiaries? . . . For me, a complete picture of wholesome Right Livelihood is even larger than the proscriptions that reflect external choices. Wholesome internal choices—healthy attitudes about one's work—also contribute to mental happiness and peace of mind. Everyone's livelihood is an opportunity for self-esteem.Not that I'm worried that my workplace is involved in anything particularly harmful or unethical.
~ It's Easier Than You Think ©1997
It's just that I think maybe I need to think about needing to Get a Life. Again.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Thanks to a strong global economy, people today also have more money to blow on non-investment property. According to the most recent World Wealth Report compiled by Merrill Lynch and consulting firm Capgemini Group, the combined wealth of those with more than $1 million in investable assets rose more than 11% in 2006 to $37.2 trillion -- the first double-digit increase in seven years. The number of "ultra high net worth" individuals (investable assets of at least $30 million) jumped 11.3% in 2006 to 94,970, and their asset pool increased by 16.8% to $13.1 trillion.
"The $20,000 rental is not such an unusual thing anymore," says Stephen Kotler, an executive vice president at Prudential Douglas Elliman in New York City.
In the past two years, Kotler says, rentals at both the $20,000 per month level and the $40,000-plus level have increased in number in Manhattan. There you can pay as much as $120,000 a month, the going rent for apartment 33A at the Waldorf Towers, which has been home to both Frank Sinatra and Cole Porter. The Waldorf Towers are the super-luxury, high-security, residential component of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which is owned by Hilton Hotels.
Because the housing market in Manhattan has been and continues to be very strong, there is a shortage of four- and five-bedroom apartments on the market, pushing rents on the few available rental properties up even further, Kotler notes.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Anyway, a great time was had on a long weekend prior to the Fourth. Bypassed The City entirely for a coupla nights in bucolic Sonoma County at Huntington's parents' place while they stayed at a string of paradores in Tarragona and beyond, or some such luxury jaunt. We also went beyond bucolic by hitting The River for a day, where we spent time at the pool surrounded by all the River Boys, and of course visited with the always affable Chris & Mark. Of course, someone was a dumbhead and didn't recharge his phone sufficiently the night before, so the camera conked somewhere en route on the Sonoma Highway. Typical.
The pics below show my Amtrak progression through "Sanna-Zay," along San Pablo Bay, in downtown Sonoma with Messrs. Huntington & Allen (including dinner at The Swiss Hotel), and the next morning along the Road to Guerneville.
And one last photo... my guardian angel for the weekend:
Monday, August 06, 2007
Worth mentioning only because it seemed kind of unusual... Left the house for work this morning earlier than usual (6:15) for my walk down the hill into town. About two blocks from home, encountered two cute coyotes merrily skipping down the middle of the street, headed who knows where.
It was strange (for this New Jersey native) when I first heard coyotes howling in the hills a few years ago when spending the night at a friend's place in Agoura, but I never really hear them at home up here in SB. My neighborhood is sort of in "the foothills" but isn't exactly rural and wide-open, so I wonder where these guys hang out and hide during the day.
Anyway, that's my Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom report for today.
update: I meant to make explicitly clear that I have never once seen a cay-yote here in Santa Barbara, much less any out for a morning stroll on Islay Street. Next thing you know, I will need bear repellent when I take the trash out.