Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book: "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz . . .

  This is a book of Toltec Wisdom and subtitled, “A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom”. I positively love this little book of around One Hundred and Fifty pages. Just go buy the Hard Cover RIGHT AWAY !!! Don’t bother with the library or checking into it first… trust me, go get it now, you won’t regret it. I have read it a few times, and I like it more each time (“Is that even possible?”). Well, yes, it is… if you can just remember WPAB.

W = Word, P = Personally, A = Assumptions, and B = Best...
It's how I remember the Agreements: WPBA

  On the back cover it says, “The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love”. There are also quotes from Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, and Dan Millman, three of the most renowned authors of the personal growth / self-help genre.

WARNING:  Once you have read and absorb this potent information

you can never go back. The box is now open and what you

learn about your own ‘self-limiting beliefs’ won't

fit back into the original container.

  More recently, the author’s son has written another book called, “The Fifth Agreement”. It reviews the first four and then gives you the simplest, but most impeccable agreement of all. Do yourself a favor though, and read the first four as a separate version and process the information all in it's own good time. You will thank me if you do. You can lend out the first book while holding on to the second, keeping it all to yourself.

  This is truly one of the more interesting, life-changing books I have ever read. It shows you that you have the power inside yourself to create a heaven here on earth or you can create a hell. It is your choice... you can give yourself permission to live happy and really enjoy your life. Only love has the ability to put you in that state of bliss, an inner peace, and it will change your perception of everything . . . 

That's as far as I can/will go introducing these Agreements ! !

Yours, In Rhythm,


Monday, July 29, 2013

More Shadow Notes ! !

Seventeen - 5/21/38 – Murder on Approval:

  The announcer starts with, “Ladies and Gentlemen, to stay at the top and meet the competition of the underworld’s keenest minds, the Shadow still has to be better than any of them. And it’s the same way with tires…” I often complain about these old time commercials but, when you hear them, well, it also give me a thrill to imagine people all sitting in there living rooms or kitchens together while listening all across the country. What was the mindset then? Do they want these golden new tires or do they need the car first?

  Oh, here we go… this one starts out with a military guy (a general I think) asking a professor if the viral agent that he produced can really infect large numbers of people as claimed, “To cause more deaths in an army than all the guns in the world?” Most ingenious inventions begin with the best intent (yea right!). But somewhere along the line a greed factor gets added to the pot, and once mixed in… (cue the heavy organ music) someone will be used as a guinea pig to prove the effectiveness and then a value can be exploited from those seeking power !!

  I love how the writers find new and fresh ways to place Lamont and Margo at a function that will eventually tie in to the plot. Tonight, they are at a diner party at a military installation. It just so happens to be the same one where the test was to be held to prove to validity of the chemical agent (cuing more organ chords dah dah dah!).

  Lamont wonders aloud, “Maybe it’s some new form of oriental plague?” But it seems to be, at the moment, to be similar to the book by Max Brooks, “World War Z”. The one I haven’t read yet, but is actually ‘in transit’ to the library I find myself sitting. I did watch the movie one week ago. I bought a ‘toasted’ Spicy Italian from Subway and had them place each half in separate bags so they would fit into my pants pockets easier. It was a great pleasure to sit in the theater (only three other people) and munching down a warm sandwich instead of paying for popcorn. I took a super large slice of pepperoni pizza under my shirt to the latest Star Trek film. But I had to wait until movie got very loud because the bag holding the slice was noisy. If you take in a can of soda, I would recommend faking a sneeze when you popped the top.

  I am jolted back from my thought-tangent by the producers of the Shadow show. They’re asking the audience to imagine themselves out driving at night when it’s raining. All of a sudden you must quickly use your breaks and the Shadow then asks, “Will your tires slip or grip?” Wow! They really like cuing up the heavy organ tunes don’t they. Just as my mind was starting to wander down a path about how people are doing horrible things to others in order to gain power or acquire wealth. Well, maybe it’s a ‘Martha Stewart’ (A Good Thing) that I didn’t go too far down that thought path… thinking about how sick some people are causes me a kind of distress similar to drinking too much coffee. When I have a chance to converse or debate the issues with others I enjoy the challenge. But when I am alone in a public or private place I would rather not.

  When people consider using chemical agents for warfare or evil reasons it makes me wonder why we have survived as a race this long . . .

  Here's a Great Subject to Start a Debate: Watch the film, or read the book, “Half the Sky” Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. 

  You can find information about it on the web site of PBS. Be prepared for a long session of tears / laughter, as you watch examples of brutal oppression by people against their own. These are balanced by the many ways that women around our world are overcoming this fear-based oppression and rising up. (I Have tears in my eyes as I write this…) I’ve just decided to create a Post for the three readers of my Blog about this powerful documentary. 

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Eighteen - 6/05/38 – Hypnotized Audience:

  “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men (cue evil laughing) the Shadow knows!”

  “The Shadow, Lamont Cranston, a man of wealth, a student of science, and a master of other people’s minds, devotes his life to righting wrongs, protecting the innocent, and punishing the guilty. Using advanced methods that may ultimately become available to law enforcement agencies, Cranston is known to the Underworld as The Shadow. Never seen, only heard… as haunting to superstitious minds as a ghost, as inevitable as a guilty conscious. The Shadow’s true identity is known only to his constant friend and aid, Margo Lane.”

  This episode begins with us hearing series secretive sounding foreign accents that are speaking of a plot to hypnotize a group of people in order to get a comrade and brother, a brutal convicted murderer, free from the prison that holds him. Ye again, Lamont and Margo are at the same performance that the Governor is, and exactly in the same place these evildoers are plotting (more organ music). Lamont suddenly realizes that the whole audience is being hypnotized and he is the only one immune to these mind controls. “Everyone! Listen to me… the Governor has been kidnapped!”

  I wonder… what level and/or to what degree individuals or groups (public, private, or secret) would go to hypnotize others? By hypnotize, I mean ‘any’ form of control. Whether it’s mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical. We have recently heard of the IRS and other US Government agencies spying on people… for what purpose and to what end ?! We’ve nothing to fear but fear? Really?

  Guess my three readers and I will now be ‘targets’ just for mentioning this… all across our country now we could really use a visit from The Shadow to protect the innocent . . . All because ‘Crime Does Not Pay’ (unless you work for Big Brother). 
More When I'm Inspired to . . .
Your Humble Servant,

Sunday Drums in Brockport . . .

Our Most Recent Community Drumming

 Cumulus Gratitude

Sundays in August at Sagawa Park

7 to 9pm  ~  Downtown Brockport, NY

In Rhythm,


Sunday, July 21, 2013

My Sunrise Drive ! !

Saturday, July 20th... a Spectacular Sunrise ! ! !

Canal Road


Sweden-Walker Rd & East Ave

 Main Street


In Rhythm,


Saturday, July 20, 2013

It's In the Commerce . . .

  While listening to the Shadow lately, I’ve begun to wonder if our modern advertisers use fear tactics to sell their products. Well, the answer is a resounding and definite Y E S ! ! Just the other night during a favorite show, I was determined to stay on this one channel for a minimum of one hour and watch the commercials. What I found was a bit surprising… then after thinking about it for a while, I realized that not only does sex sell, but also ‘fear’ is the easiest way to strike a chord with people. I found that this base-emotion is used by the majority of advertisers.

  So here are some of the commercials I watched in the order that they appeared. Not all used fear, but most began their pitch with something negative (because that's all we'll remember) before they went on to show how their product was the only way to solve this problem.

 The first was a mattress company that absolutely ‘slammed’ their competitor for lacking in quality and for telling you lies about the product. Then they used the same lie about themselves, but changed the tone in the voice.

  Next was an automobile that was distracting you with many different camera angels and activity inside a family’s car, while they were backing out of a driveway… when all of a sudden, a child was behind their car chasing a ball. The car’s back sensors and auto-braking system will apply the brakes before you and save the day.

  Then a company, that we all know their little jingle, shows how sad and unfortunate it would be to only attend one vacation this summer. But guess what? You can go to both because they will save you so much money. Even the music changes and the colors get happier when this good news is shared.

  A well-known local men’s-wear company came on next and did NOT start negative or slam a competitor. I was on a roll and did not expect this at all !! It was information about their top-shelf quality suits and about the special ‘two-for-one sale’ they had for that holiday weekend. Plus for every suit you bought, they would donate one suit to a returning Veteran, so they would be able to use it for job interviews. This was a powerful advertisement and I wanted to buy a suit because it was a GREAT deal… helping a Veteran was all on them, they were the good-guys for helping returning Vets. This was a great add...

  Oh man, right back into the lying Toro Caca (Bull Crap) that I expected from some of these people. Shale Oil… They start out bragging that they have invested mucho dollars into research and development. It’s such a great thing for our country. “We’ll bring jobs to your area and strengthen the economy”. Then they quickly slipped in that in many areas where they were Fracking, they were offering FREE concrete liners for all the water wells. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot !!!?!?!?!?!????? Hello People… Why do they need to protect wells? If it’s so safe and great for everyone…

  NOTE: My Humble Opinion: No one should be allowed to FRACK any where NEAR the ‘Great Lakes Drainage Basin’… on either side of the border… PERIOD !! Don’t freaking risk the best source of drinking water we have on the planet for any reason. Just Frackin Don’t !! This is NOT a case of not in my backyard, but real common sense. If you want fuel, then grow Hemp and make renewable ethanol from this weed that grows anywhere without pesticides and fertilizers. Evil, Greedy MFs that are risking our health and future for the dollar should be prosecuted, fined billions, and then sent to the moon to live.

  Then we’re getting slammed with women flirting with their hubbies who have taken a pill… results may vary… you can be ready when the moment’s right. This is all fine and dandy, but call 911 if you get a woody lasting four hours. Are they bragging about their products effectiveness or warning people that it may not be safe to have that much blood flowing away from your brain for that long?

  After that we get a few not-so-good commercials about a vehicle that traveled around the world and could be great for around your town, advance genomic testing so cancer won’t get you, a travel company that uses many sites at once that will save you time and money, a publisher trying to ask the question about liking $5,000 a week for life, a windshield repair company being better in their mind, taking 12 pills vs 2 pills per day for pain (boring), peace of mind from another, threats about high cholesterol being bad without their pill, blah blah blah buy a Hyundai, an introduction for a new and improved, longer lasting, a no side effects and guaranteed so try it now, more blah blah while fine print races across the bottom of the screen, and then back to exaggerations about a mattress store being better that the competition.

  But what really got me going again, was when a BP spokesperson came on and claimed that they have invested billions in America while showing all this great scenery and wonderful images… but my thoughts were about how this money they spent was forced on them for the oil spill in the gulf and were fines to repay for the horrible damage. Investments my ass… they were probably feeling guilty for how they are perceived around the world and were running these Public Service Announcements to cover up an ugly truth.

  FACT: These companies ‘seem’ to be selling products, but they are actually selling fear. Preying on people through this base emotion causes people to feel bad about themselves. We certainly must be ugly if we need make-up or weight-loss products. We will be lonely, sad, depressed, and be completely unfulfilled without the comfort only they have for us. We are made to feel as if we'll die horribly unless we quickly learn how to become savvy marketplace conquistadors…

  CONCLUSION: It seems that since the beginning of civilization, and those first sales pitches among traders, product marketers have found out that sex sells merchandise, but what really works is scaring people. So when I make fun of the scare-tactics used by sponsors on the Old Time Radio shows, when it seems that they were not regulated on what could be said about their products… this actually started long before and is certainly still going on today. I will try to be more thoughtful before I criticize in the future. (NOT)

I would be happy to engage any comments
or a discussion on this topic (see below) . . .



Shadow Listening !!

Sixteen - 4/24/38 - The Power of the Mind:

  It’s another cloudy afternoon and sitting in our local library. Most of my work is done for the day… so what better break-time-filler than an episode from the Shadow? Holy cows, there’s a new advertiser on the radio for the Shadow ?!! It’s Goodrich Silvertowns with the new Lifesaver tread design.

  Well, that said, this show starts out with a news flash on radio where Professor John Hardy is kidnapped in broad daylight while exiting a limousine. Professor Hardy is known to have recently developed a new and powerful explosive. He is now being tortured by a group of people into international espionage. Sounds funny to me to hear characters with heavy Russian accents. In the late 1930s, did Americans fear the communists as an evil foe?

  But, we find that the Professor’s mind has snapped before the kidnappers can get the formula from him. Now what will they tell headquarters? Maybe there’s another way… Doctor Waldick, a prominent figure from the psychological field, is also missing after an evening with Lamont Cranston at his club. This is the reason for the Shadow to enter the story . . .

  When a show doesn’t cause ideas to pop into my head worthy of commentary, I tend to focus on the silly commercials from that era. I’m listening to one now where the 'Shadow' asks the audience, “On dark rainy nights how fast can you stop? Will your tires slip or grip?” I have wondered and written before, why do some advertisers blatantly use ‘fear tactics’ to induce a purchase of their products? This is the second advertiser, so far, that has used our fear of death to persuade the people.

  I know using emotions is a technique that works. but why not use love instead of fear? Maybe the producers of the show thought that a positive message would stop the flow of emotions that they had generated with the plot? Which would make it difficult to bring the audience quickly back to the storyline. After all, most of the Shadow shows deal with our base fears and explore how the criminal element uses these emotions to easily prey on the innocent. Does that mean that advertisers are treating the buying public as prey? I would be interested in your comments.

  My thoughts are all wiped clean when the scary organ music starts and the mood is reset as the episode starts again. The Psychiatrist is threatened with his life if he doesn’t try to search the Professor’s mind for the formula. Just as the torturers start to whip him the Shadow enters the scene . . . 

  We all know that the Shadow can cloud men’s minds. But did you know, my faithful three readers, that the Shadow developed his strong and powerful mind so that he can communicate over his personal short-wave radio? He uses this power to contact Margo Lane, who then contacts the authorities when he needs assistance. More on Advertisements and Commercials SOON . . . 

Ever Yours,


Friday, July 19, 2013

Book: “Launching A Leadership Revolution” by Chris Brady & Orrin Woodward . . .

  Without a doubt, this is one of the most influential books I’ve read in the last twenty years. It has just over two hundred and fifty pages and a subtitle of, “Mastering the Five Levels of Influence”. First, I am compelled to let you know two things about this great leadership book: 1) The ‘pre-sale’ numbers were enough to get it noticed by the Business Week bestseller list, and it later became a bestseller on the New York Times Business, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week bestseller lists, and 2) All advances and royalties from the sale of the book were donated to All Grace Outreach in Flint, Michigan.

  I met and have listened to both of the authors at leadership seminars. These men are considered to be in the top twenty-five Leadership Gurus worldwide. When they got together in 2005 to write this book about leadership many people took notice. It was after reading it the ‘second’ time that I took an honest look at myself, and by using their Trilateral Leadership Ledger, I enacted small incremental changes in my life that has made all the difference in my personal life and my business.

“Everyone is called upon to lead in some capacity
at some point in their lives!” – Brady & Woodward

  Each chapter contains an historical example (Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington to name a few) of the leadership qualities being described. The second part of the book is a set of ‘five stairs’ that is a metaphor for the Five Levels of Leadership. In this simple way they built a model to effectively show how leaders actually influence people. Leaders don’t really lead (they manage) until the third level when they have ‘learned’ about leadership and then ‘proven’ their performance abilities. The two highest levels are when one is able to develop other leaders, and then to train leaders who develop other leaders. A very small percentage can do this effectively over the long term.

  The first part of this book has a discussion to what leadership is and what they bring to the table. Even thought most of us can agree what a leader is, the actual concept of leadership is a complex issue. These authors broke it down into simple, understandable parts, and then reassembled them in a way that we can all learn be a part of the revolution they speak.

“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable
ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.
- Henry David Thoreau

  The most powerful part of the book is Chapter Four, “The Trilateral Leadership Ledger.” The authors state quite firmly that a leader must continually grow to keep pace with the demands they’ll face. This growth should be in both their personal life and with their influence with others. The chapter only focuses on the personal side. It is a fact that there is but one key to success, you need to be able to track your growth.

  Chris and Orrin have created a simple ‘ledger’ to monitor your personal growth. In each of three categories (character, tasks, and relationships) there is listed a series of characteristics to consider when you rank yourself. You give yourself a number between one and ten, and then multiply these three numbers to come up with your ‘score’. Then make a conscious effort to change at least one-point in each category, and six months later you calculate a new score.

An Example: With an ‘honest’ first scoring, you may
even have a zero in one category… the First scores are
2x0x1=0, Second are 3x1x2=6, Third are 4x2x3=24,
Fourth are 5x3x4=60, and the Fifth are 6x4x5=120.

  Beginning leaders will certainly notice only small levels of increase when they start out. You can see from the example above, that as you continue to grow and develop, the growth will increase by a larger number (in the example above it grew by 6, an 18, 36, and then 60) each time you calculate.

  This book is for anyone who may be ‘called’ to lead. It will show how to gauge your ability and then you’ll learn how and where to grow. You are shown how to evaluate what levels of leadership exists in an organization. Understanding and then applying this information is extremely helpful in diagnosing issues and providing guidance, correction, and direction.

“The only way for evil to flourish is for good
men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

  Chris & Orrin are Calling All Leaders ! ! “Becoming a leader should not frighten anyone… it should inspire. Leadership is one of the most rewarding endeavors known to mankind. It is also one of the most important. Our society is suffering from a leadership crisis. There are too many people sitting idly, while the world cries out for leadership. We need leaders in the government, leaders in business, leaders in the community, leaders in schools, leaders in the homes, and leaders in the churches.” Go Buy This Book Today… 

Ever Yours, In Rhythm,


Monday, July 15, 2013

We Love Brockport !!

So many great activities happening this weekend,
I could not pick just one to write about...

Down By the Canal...

NY State's Flagship Tug the "Urger"

Harvester Park along the Erie Canal

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A Tremendous Sunrise ! !

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Summer Serenades at the Welcome Center 

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Downtown Merchants Annual Sidewalk Sale

 Smooth Groove Mark

George Hogan & Friends

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Here's a Cool Kids' Event on Friday

Generation Cool's Steve

At the Peace Crane Table...

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Catholic Church Annual Summer Festival

Chicken BBQ on Saturday !!

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To End It All...

There Was the 'Community Drum Circle'
at Sagawa Park on Sunday Evening !!

(See an Earlier Post Below)


Ever Yours,


Pics and Vids from Sunday . . .

Greetings to My Faithful and Loyal Three Readers...

Here is a Link to the Pictures & Videos from

More Soon,


Friday, July 12, 2013

Ever More With The Shadow !!

Fifteen - 3/20/38 - The White Legion:

  It’s strange to me how the Blue Coal commercials at the beginning of the show use fear of sickness and disease, and therefore death, as the best reason the buy their product. With the strong advise to call your neighborhood Blue Coal dealer tomorrow for a trial ton.

  This show starts out with members the White Legion barging into a man’s office and demanding that they can do whatever they want to get what they need. Then skips to a secret meeting where the members are accusing someone of violating the code of their group.

  I wonder how long there have been secret societies and groups? Probably as long as we have been creating villages in our ancient past. Men’s clubs, women’s groups, the Skulls, Freemasons, Order of the Buffalo… then we also have no-so-secret groups like Elks, American Legion, church groups, Scouts, the Indian Guides, Moose, Kiwanis, Rotary, and others. There are groups based on a specific activity or function, age, gender, interests, those for selfish interests, some for service to society, and then there are those devoted to evil.

  What is this basic need we have to gather into like-minded groups? There are very few of us that are not in one or more groups, the true loner. And now, more than ever, with our insatiable love with the World Wide Web, how people are connecting via the Internet instead of actually gathering in person. Is this electronic activity fulfilling our need to congregate? Is this often false reality we’re experiencing causing more stress and anxiety than we can imagine?

  Now the show is offering up the varied possibilities of what would happen if the media, specifically the newspapers, got involved to use their immense power to influence society. It makes me wonder how far today’s media will go trying to sculpt society into desired shapes. Do they sell that influence to the highest bidder, or are they so bent on specific political, religious, or social ideals that they offer it only to the groups that have messages that agree with the plans. I think we all know those answers, and it saddens me . . .

  I also wonder about the many groups that gather for selfish reasons rather that to seek ways for all mankind to thrive in abundance. But that’s a topic for a future post.

“As you sow evil, so shall you reap evil.

Crime does not pay... the Shadow Knows !!”

Yours, In Rhythm,


Monday, July 8, 2013

Book: "The Anatomy of Peace" by the Arbinger Institute . . .

  This is a Giant book in a small package of two hundred and twenty five pages. There’s a thought-evoking subtitle of, “Resolving the Heart of Conflict.” When you look on the back cover they (Arbinger Institute) ask the reader one simple question. What if conflict of all kinds, large or small, came from the same root cause? Then we may have to ask our selves if people with conflict really want peace ?! If we expect others to change, is there a wonder as to why conflict lasts or problems continue? What if we, those who want solutions and peace, are the ones actually perpetuating the conflict? These are some of the questions explored by the authors.

  This contains a story how two men, a Jew and an Arab that each lost their fathers at the hands of the other’s people, came together to resolve their personal conflict to help parents struggling with their children. It’s a message for the ages that will allow the willing to learn how to come together in peace. 
  This is a Giant book in a small package of two hundred and twenty five pages. There’s a thought-evoking subtitle of, “Resolving the Heart of Conflict.” When you look on the back cover they (Arbinger Institute) ask the reader one simple question. What if conflict of all kinds, large or small, came from the same root cause? Then we may have to ask our selves if people with conflict really want peace ?! If we expect others to change, is there a wonder as to why conflict lasts or problems continue? What if we, those who want solutions and peace, are the ones actually perpetuating the conflict? These are some of the questions explored by the authors.

  This contains a story how two men, a Jew and an Arab that each lost their fathers at the hands of the other’s people, came together to resolve their personal conflict to help parents struggling with their children. It’s a message for the ages that will allow the willing to learn how to come together in peace. 

  I ask you all to consider reading the book that explores why we are not at peace, and what we can all do to achieve it, at home and abroad . . . 

 "Be the change that you wish to see in the world."
- Mahatma Gandhi

Still Yours,