She said I love a man with thinning hair.

She was in her twenties. So was he.

Another said the thinning caused a focus on the face, which she liked.

Like hijab or niqab effect. Focus on what is there, based on what is not.

She married a man with thick hair. Later dyed, as age brought grey.

He ended up thinned, if not skinned, with grey to white.

Wondering how much face she observed.

And observes.


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Knowledge of Self and Other

Neil Remington Abramson commented as follows:

I wrote a paper on self-altering (self-fulfilling & self-defeating) prophecies related to North American companies doing business in China, published in Business Quarterly back in the 90s (Abramson, N.R. & J.X. Ai [1994], “Taking the Slow Boat to China”, Business Quarterly, 59 [Winter], 27-36). It seemed that management of companies who perceived themselves to be doing poorly were more likely to give up. So the perception of failure killed managerial hopes and efforts, and were self-defeating. Becomes one of the key success (or failure) factors of doing business in China.

I wonder if that’s all too human. Perception of self becomes reality. What I have learned is that accurate knowledge of self and others, as opposed to perceptions, can be very powerful.

I’ve always believed – learned it in chess I think, and from observing various sports teams (the old Oakland Raiders were good at blowing big leads) – when your opponent thinks s/he’s won, s/he relaxes vigilance and may even adopt a celebratory attitude. If you had a self-defeating attitude when you saw your opponent triumphing, you’d lose hope. I think then it’s the time to throw everything against the opponent, or to engage the opponent in absolutely unbending trench warfare, maneuvering for advantage. S/he’ll think it very unfair and maybe make mistakes trying to sweep you up. When s/he sues for peace, strike harder – don’t be a sucker for acting “civilized”, if they surprise attacked first. Make the opponent suffer. Don’t let the opponent off. S/he’s lost her or his resolve.

Never give easy peace to the person who surprise attacked you. Make them wish they never thought of you. Make sure they never want to try you again.

I learned all this the hard way. Someone surprise attacked me, hoping to get me fired. The boss secretly supported this person, due to that person’s perceived importance. Eventually I could have exposed both of them, putting them both into a difficult position, legal and otherwise, but I let them off. I told myself that they must have learned their lesson. Instead, they tried again, at their first next opportunity.

If someone attacks you, especially if you didn’t deserve it, you shouldn’t let them off easy if you find the way to win. Don’t let them con you into wanting to behave “civilized.” They’re probably only sorry they didn’t “get” you, and not sorry for what they did. They’ll try again unless you make them fight, long after they wished they could just stop – like the North Vietnamese wouldn’t let the Americans off with a “peace with honour” back in the 1970s. Like the Americans wouldn’t let the Japanese and Germans off easy in WWII.

I teach this stuff. It’s Strategic Planning. It’s like Sun Tzu says: If you know just yourself or your enemy, you win half the time. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you never win.

However, if you know yourself and your enemy, you always win.

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Dubious or Unlucky


Daniel Stewart Sutherland
Photo owned by Elinor Mitchell, of Georgetown, Ontario
Reproduced with permission of Neil Remington Abramson

In “Discovered Relatives“, Neil Remington Abramson wrote, in part, as follows:

My great grandfather was Rev. Daniel Stewart Sutherland, the only known member of the family to convert from Presbyterian to Anglican, to win the heart of the woman he wanted to marry. He was born in 1851. No one knows when he died. but my grandmother was born in 1888 and her sister in 1886, so he probably was still alive at the turn of the century. He became an Anglican priest but eventually disappeared. He was my paternal grandmother’s father. As a non-Presbyterian, he was an anomaly, and the only one. His disappearance was not anomalous. Apparently people did that, in the late 19th century… It seemed that for whatever reasons they were very critical of Daniel and he simply walked away, abandoning them.

With the exception of Daniel, the whole family has always been Presbyterian, as I am now. Daniel, the anomaly, was an Anglican, as I was, for many years.

Neil commented further, as follows:

I guess in those days (late 19th Century) you could actually still disappear for reasons other than running off with a new sweetheart or being abducted by space aliens. No one knew the reasons for his disappearance, no one ever heard. He could have been lost in a snowstorm or lost for either of the two foregoing reasons. Possibly he was a dubious character, or just unlucky. No one knew then, and certainly not now.

Posted in Anglicanism, Family | Leave a comment

Stutter Class Contribution

Wrote about the stutter of John Hammond. Thought about how I used to have a class participation mark, early in teaching career, mid-1980s. Would take attendance, and then ask students randomly to contribute to class discussion. Class participation mark being 5%, as I recall.

Student came to my office. Said I want to give up the class participation mark, in return for you asking me no more questions.

His reason:

I had a stutter in high school. I overcame it. Now, when I am in your class, despite being prepared, I become nervous that you are going to ask me the exact question that I don’t know. I am getting tense. My stutter is coming b…b..back.

No more class participation marks. For anyone. Ever.

Posted in Community of Scholars, Ottawa Reflections | Leave a comment

From the tree

Neil Remington Abramson, a Presbyterian elder, commented as follows:

I always thought the two religious traditions of my family were Anglican through my father, and Lutheran through my mother, and I was always happy with Anglican. I regarded Presbyterian as a rather pragmatic choice for reasons of convenience, as much as anything. I try to remind myself that where a person is called to serve may be different from where he might have thought he preferred. Turns out I was wrong about my father’s Anglican traditions. I get communications from my father’s mother’s side of my family and discover they are all so pleased I have “converted” to Presbyterianism, because that whole side has always been Presbyterian and the Anglican was a bit of an aberration, a great grandfather who converted to win his sweetheart to marry him. So in falling farther from the tree, I have fallen closer to the centre, in a way.

Posted in Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Presbyterianism, Religion | Leave a comment


Commenting on the beautiful chaos of the rising flowers throughout a retiree’s front lawn. Her retired next door neighbour has everything manicured and precision throughout. Flowers not yet elevating, seemingly waiting for the command to order.

What she said:

My neighbour worked in a very ordered job, where everything had its place.

I could never have done her job. I preferred to think.

Retiree with the chaos of flowers is a former social worker.

Posted in Various life philosophies | Leave a comment

Thin Lizzy: Don’t Believe A Word

Don’t believe me when I tell you


Live and slowed down:

Def Leppard cover that comes too close to the original:

Space Elevator:

Andreas and Friends:

Couch Covers: Interesting acoustic

Laura Izibor, assuming a degree of ownership:

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