Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Best Apple Tree

August 31st, 2017 by G.

Image result for big apple tree

A smallholder examined his little orchard with a critical eye.  Each tree took the same work in pruning, fertilizing, and the backbreaking work of carrying water from the stream in the dry spells.  But some trees gave much more fruit than others.  One tree, in particular, gave great quantities of fruit and throve the more he devoted himself to it.

“From now on,” the smallholder concluded,” I will only work with my best apple tree.”

He dug a ditch so the stream ran by the tree and fertilized and pruned it with care.  In the fall, it gave a bumper crop, not quite as much as he would have got from the whole orchard, perhaps, but still a great amount, and think of all the leisure he’d had!

That winter, lightning struck the best apple tree and it died.  The other trees had already died from  neglect.

Moral: efficiency means putting all your eggs in one basket

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August 31st, 2017 07:27:03

August 30th, 2017 by G.

Don’t throw good money after bad;

the sunk cost fallacy;

never reinforce failure;

cut your losses;

the definition insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results


We have lots of different adages to get us to stop committing our time and and goods and character to failure.  That we have so many suggests that have a hard time quitting. (more…)

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August 30th, 2017 07:06:23


August 30th, 2017 by G.

In years gone by, our family was larger, but now it consists of only two.

-thus President Hunter

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August 30th, 2017 05:11:56

A Day in the Life of President Howard W. Hunter

August 29th, 2017 by G.

Play video

On the sweetness of Mormon life. (more…)

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August 29th, 2017 07:30:04

Exaggerated Practice

August 29th, 2017 by G.


A scholar’s study suggests that adults can acquire foreign accents more readily than thought.  They just need their teachers to speak to them in an exaggerated sing-song way, like mothers do to toddlers.  And perhaps they need to practice the same way.

On my mission, I hammed up the Spanish accent.  I rolled my R’s like I was the progeny of a rumbling freight train and a Scotch burr, I zhhed like nobody’s business, and my lip v’s would put some parodists to shame.  My fellow missionaries rolled their eyes. (more…)

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August 29th, 2017 05:44:38

Great is the Sun

August 28th, 2017 by G.

Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

-Thus RLS

It has to get down into the 80s, low 90s at most, before you can have this feeling of the sun being hot but not horrible. It’s a pretty English sentiment.

Or else you have to be sick or old.

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August 28th, 2017 05:44:53

A Nation of . . .

August 28th, 2017 by G.

[Not a serious political proposal]

They say democracy is supposed to be bland and homogenizing.

But what if each country ruled by embracing its national stereotypes and character. Each country would have a democracy of distinctiveness, where the prototypical were the electorate.

So England would be a shopkeeper democracy. Or if we let the English themselves pick the types, it would be a democracy of dons, headmasters, publicans, and village eccentrics. (more…)

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August 28th, 2017 05:41:02

Wait, what?

August 25th, 2017 by Vader

Back from the eclipse. (It was way cool.)

Going through my emails. There was one from the local schools, who for reasons unknown are under the impression I have a student attending school from my  home. It was a long discussion of the upcoming eclipse watching activities, emphasizing safety and end with the curious statement:

Students are allowed to opt out of these activities for cultural, religious or others reasons.

I am genuinely puzzled which religions or cultures eschew eclipse observation.

And yet, you can’t decline to customize a wedding cake for a ceremony you sincerely believe, for religious reasons, to be a mockery of one of your most sacred sacraments.

Go figure.

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August 25th, 2017 09:21:08

Summer of Love, 50th Anniversary.

August 25th, 2017 by Bookslinger

So, … how has that Sexual Revolution thing worked out?  It’s been 50 years, about two generations, so there should be plenty of data. (more…)

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August 25th, 2017 09:20:19

The Daring Beaver

August 25th, 2017 by G.

A wandering beaver saw the California redwoods on his left hand and the Pacific Ocean on his right. “At last,” he said, ” I shall build a dam worthy of my ambition!”

Moral: Lofty goals are no substitute for understanding.

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August 25th, 2017 05:38:17


August 25th, 2017 by G.

A fun thumbnail sketch of the history of privateering.

Prize-taking and privateering drives the Aubrey-Maturin books. The captain and crew are always burning for a prize, and at one point Captain Aubrey turns privateer while waiting for a command.

Perhaps my favorite O’Brien novel is the almost unknown The Golden Ocean. Legal piracy is not only the plot of the book, but it is the emotional character and joy of the book.

It would be good for us if we had some other modern outlet for the buccaneering spirit other than looting the citizenry through financial manipulations and regulatory capture.

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August 25th, 2017 05:34:58

The Shepherd’s Wolves

August 24th, 2017 by Patrick Henry

A shepherd was tired of chasing strays from his large flocks. Exemplary punishment was needed, he decided. He ordered his dogs to kill the next sheep who strayed. But his dogs had been raised from puppies with the flocks. They tucked their tails and slunk away and would not.

At this, the shepherd recalled that he himself, the master, not only had to toil chasing strays but also in butchering the sheep to eat, again because the dogs also would not do this simple task. (more…)

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August 24th, 2017 06:56:29

Lord Byron and Count Cavour

August 23rd, 2017 by G.

The list of the 50 other eminent men baptized in the St. George temple is mostly a list of liberal luminaries. Granted, they probably all would be considered nasty racists in the current year. But its impossible to adopt the crabbed perspective of the current year. It’s too crabbed for the mind to scrunch into.

Which is a problem for someone like me, with old guard instincts. Especially now, when we see the abomination of desolations that is the culmination of the liberal project. “It started with loving our neighbor and ended by loving his wife, Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith.”

If I were one of the Godbeite Mormons who call themselves liberal Mormons but are really just a species of Medizers or native auxilaries, this wouldn’t be a problem. I would just assume that the whole episode was made up. But I aspire to a higher standard of membership than that.

So what occurs to me is this–the problem with liberalism may be precisely the taking of it to its ultimate conclusion. The Holy One may have backed liberalism in certain of its stages without willing that we wear it around our necks like a millstone forever and aye. It was a mistake to do so.

We are a civilization that has grown up enough to go to college, but not enough to graduate. Instead, we have vowed to make everything into an eternal undergraduate experience, from the moon to the depths of the sea. What the results are, you see around you.

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August 23rd, 2017 06:10:04

Choice and the Body

August 22nd, 2017 by G.

I sat down in a chair and suddenly was very tired. For a bit, I was too tired to get up or even think about getting up.
Then I reached a point where I physically could have got up if I had decided to, but I was too tired to decide to. The choice wasn’t there.
Finally I reached a point where I could consider and decide. I was still tired, but I had things to do, so I could weigh the options and pick one.

In a very different context a few hours later I went through the same three bodily stages. Unable to even consider an alternative; able to consider it but unable to choose it; able to choose it, if I chose.

It seems to be a pattern.

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August 22nd, 2017 06:06:04

This August

August 21st, 2017 by G.

I’ve had some unusual spiritual experiences. One involving a football game, for instance.

Another one was after posting those August poems.

I heard the voice of the Spirit saying to me, many times, “this August.” It emphasized the this.

I believe it meant something like this”

There are seasons rounds, and in some sense there is an eternal August. But as much as we enjoy this August for being an August, for being part of the eternal August, it’s variations on the themes are also to be cherished.

Its something like an inverse Platonism. There are the forms, of which the particular things partake, but we value the particulars for themselves, and not just as windows to the forms.

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August 21st, 2017 05:47:53