Not My Fault

“Men at some time are masters of their fates,” says Cassius.
“The fault, dear Brutus,” Cassius continues, “is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)


Oz was out to dinner with two retail store owners.

A young African-American approaches, introduces himself as our waiter and says his name is Cassius. Only Oz finds this name unusual. The waiter politely takes our drink orders and leaves us to mend for ourselves.

The drinks come, a vodka tonic, a scotch, and beer for Oz.  A couple of swallows later the two retail owners commence bemoaning the economy. It is a fact, they say, that recently many more retail stores had opened. This, they said, cut their “piece of the pie” down to nothing.

Oz tried to explain that it is not about the competition, it is about oneself.

Hardly hearing Oz at all, they continued, “Times are tough,” they continued. “How do we compete against so many when we are one?”

Oz wanted to throw a little Nietzsche into the conversation, i.e. competition makes you stronger, that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, etc…, but by this point the two were wringing their hands and casting their eyes to the sky in divine supplication.

Oz wanted to explain that the internet was a new tool that gave everyone the opportunity to reach new markets, to expand and grow, but his audience was commiserating in abject sorrow.

“Bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible.” Oz muttered to himself.



a man hears what he wants to hear

A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest. Paul Simon


True then, true now – a man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest.

A sparrow lights on a branch outside my window, momentarily there, he looks up and down, in stoccatatic movements, he shakes his wings, he swings his gray-brown rump to and fro, like a man who is late to work and waiting for a bus, his head ever alert, wondering has he missed something; now thinking, where shall he go; the sky above is gray and white, a cold and bitter wind blows about him, about us all. See him and the image is stamped upon one’s mind. Now he is gone.

And yet, there he still is, forever on the branch, giving one pause to wonder endlessly where birds go in the rain and the snow.

That ‘s the way the year ends


“I don’t think…” then you shouldn’t talk, said the Hatter.” Just type and blog and pray it doesn’t matter.

Alice had a crazy thought. If she talks to herself, is that a conversation?

That’s the way the year ends, not with a bang but whisper. If thoughts turn into words then conversations never end. Hoping that it matters. Here’s to another 365 days of chatter!

Oz wishes you, my friend, a very happy new year.


From where I sit, it looks much the same. The world is a wild and wonderful place.

But I feel I am going round in a circle. Or, I wonder, is it circling me?

“That depends on where you sit, and what you see, and nothing else,” said Oz.

So, said the Mad Hatter: “In Wonderland, we only go around in circles, but we always end up where we started.”

Demystifying the myth

valentines day chocolates and roses

Trending, I am told, is an article entitled:

The myth of self-control,

whose premise is that maybe we should give into temptation since most of us are not good at resisting it. Why feel bad? Why not enjoy the forbidden apple, the extra slice of pie, the entire box of pizza, etc., etc., etc. ad nauseum, until one collapses in an orgy of excessive consumption.

valentines day chocolates and roses

All hail Nero who had a fetish or two. He divorced his first wife, then had her beheaded and brought her head to Rome for his second wife to see. He kicked his second wife, Poppaea, to death when she was pregnant with their second child. When saw a young boy who looked like Poppaea, he married him, forced him to dress as a woman, and had him castrated, just for kicks.

He also killed his own mother, then there were rumors their relationship was much more than mother and son.

Oh, how we love to talk when it is saucy and racy.

Resisting temptation is a virtue, or is it?

An unpublished study, BORG ALERT, demonstrates that resisting temptation is futile. Besides that, it is exhausting.

I am confused

Now, if there is a point to this study it is this – enjoy better habits then there is less to resist. Or, simply resist the temptation to read and believe something that’s hogwash.


angry eyes clip art

Be glad you sad, for, as Aristotle noted,

“Those who have been eminent in philosophy, politics, poetry, and the arts have all had tendencies toward melancholia.” Problema XXX.1

“But why?” asks Oz. Why does madness touch the creative mind?

Can’t you see? It is mad to think a thought that can’t be shared. Genius is a lonely thing.

angry eyes clip art

He is Risen

Yellow, the color of sunshine, hope, and happiness, and, as this is Easter Sunday, a sign that He is Risen.


If I think I am, am I?

The subject came up this morning when Oz’s daughter tried to quote scripture. ” ‘You are as you thinketh,’ Jesus said,” she said.

Looking it up, Oz found this:

Jesus says in Mark 7:15-16, “There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!” Jesus is explaining that we are what we think. Proverbs 23:7 backs Him up: “For as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he.”

This is a good shout out for the theory of positive thinking. So, get rid of that stinkin’ thinkin’.

You gotta believe.



Are you curious?

My one-day-to-be-famous TV reporter daughter sent me a link to Oprah Winfrey’s conversation with Brian Grazer.

The most important piece of advice Brian Grazer gave in his interview with Oprah Winfrey came when he retold about meeting Lew Wasserman, legendary talent agent and studio executive.

“Kid,” Wasserman told the annoyingly brash and young Brian Grazer, “you know nothing now.” Then, he said, “Get a legal pad,” which Grazer did. Wasserman gave Grazer a number 2 pencil.

“Now, put pencil to paper.” And with that Wasserman left.

An uncomprehending Grazer stood there perplexed until he remembered what his tiny Jewish grandmother told him as a child.

“Brian, you are curious. You will figure it out.”

Did you?

pencil and paper