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"You lie when the truth would sound better!"

Continuing to fly the flag of self-improvement this cold November Friday.  Goodness knows, there is plenty of room for that among humanity.  With that aim in mind, I am occasionally reminded of a saying my late maternal grandmother -- from Asheville, North Carolina -- used routinely when my sister and I were children.  

Sometimes, simple honesty and telling the truth about things, however unpleasant that might be, would sound more believable than continuing to insist on the veracity of the farcical and convoluted story we have woven.  You know?   People aren't that stupid, so being truthful might just win you more credibility than the alternative.

-- Heinz-Ulrich
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Harris Tweed Tuesday. . .

 The upper half for today. . .

Continuing to have fun with dressing up in my day-to-day life here in Mid-Michigan where it has at last turned cool enough for corduroy, tweed, and wool flannel. 

Of course, that was helped by, at long last, bringing the heavier fall and winter items up from the basement cedar closet and placing them into the wardrobe in our bedroom with the oveflow going to the closet in the TV room across the hall.  I know, I know. . .  Until mid-April next year, the spring and summer weight items have gone downstairs to the same closet adjacent to our family room and office spaces.  It's always fun to rediscover forgotten items during this twice yearly rotation.  

On a related note, I took the opportunity to filter out a number of things that never fit quite right or simply don't get worn anymore.  These went to the Goodwill and The Salvation Army stores where they might help someone after a few dressier items at very reasonable prices.

Occasional sifting, win…

Early November Tae Kwon Do Style. . .

The Young Master (left), sparring with a more advanced opponent (right) at last night's 90-minute belt test.

Our son The Young Master, who wrestles with Autism Spectrum Disorder, earned his yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do during a grueling belt test early Friday evening.  I am so proud of him that I can hardly speak without getting all teary.  See?  The are those times when yours truly can -- for all of my scornful elitism -- behave like a normal individual. 

-- Heinz-Ulrich   

The Young Master, in his Halloween grizzly bear costume, getting his new yellow belt tied by The Grand Duchess during today's belt ceremony.

Our Biggest Self-Defeating Habits?

How do you feel about yourself and your abilities?  Your answer can exert considerable influence over the kinds of opportunities presented to you.

Continuing with our theme of self-improvement, there are many internal ways of thinking that can and do prevent people from realizing and reaching their full potential.  To my mind, two of the most crippling stumbling blocks around are an apparent complete and utter lack of self-confidence and the closely related lack of mental agility.  While many who suffer here will go to great lengths to make it look like this isn't the case, lack of self-confidence is usually pretty clear when interacting with people who struggle with this particular habit of thought. 

We all have our low points from time to time, but it is important to remember that we can't let the unexpected derail us and prevent us from moving forward.  My advice, whatever one's education, career, financial, or other aspirations might be is have a serious internal conver…

Late October Lawn Style. . .

Said fleece, a Christmas gift last year from m y wife, The Grand Duchess.

While the now ubiquitous fleece is hardly 'classic' in the same sense as a jaunty tweed sports jacket, a well-tailored suit, or high quality leather dress shoes, it does have its uses.

First, they are great as a top layer for any sort of outdoor winter sport when a sweater would be too bulky.  We are avid cross-country (Nordic) skiers in the winter, weather permitting here in Mid-Michigan, and a fleece worn over some long silk underwear and a wicking middle layer will be all you need on the upper half for all but the coldest days.  Second, fleeces are ideal wear during a chilly fall day like today whether your outdoor activities include preparing the lawn and garden beds for the coming winter, or a brisk walk around the neighborhood.

The fleece pictured above features the logo of my alma mater, the might University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I completed two degree programs before moving onto a third just u…

Addendum: Quit Playing the Victim!

As an addendum to my observations and remarks here the other day on conducting oneself with a bit more classic style and tasteful restraint, one more thing occurs to me.  And it's really a subset of the whole drama queen point I made a day or three ago.  Ready?  Here it is.  It's really time for everyone to stop playing the victim whenever things don't go your way.  

The tendency to play the victim and engage in what I'll call attempted victim bullying -- trying to use your perceived victim status to ram your self-deluding visions through the system and down everyone else's throats at any cost -- is rampant on U.S. college and university campuses, and indeed throughout American society in 2019.  

Tell me I'm wrong.  

For starters, I see it on a daily basis among university undergraduates, aged roughly 18-23, too many of whom pay little to no attention to course requirements, expectations, policies, reading/viewing assignments,  projects, and deadlines.  The rules …

Led Zeppelin - How Many More Times (Danmarks Radio 1969)