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Being in a foreign place, preferably for the first time, having seen many things and collected new impressions, and returning to an empty hotel room with an hour or so to blow. That mix often yields fine results.

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Bill Gates recently picked up the ukulele. And Warren Buffett is a huge ukulele fan. I even got to strum a few chords with Francis Ford Coppola. It blows my mind that these people, who have everything in the world they could want, have picked up the ukulele and found a little bit of joy.

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I certainly never feel discouraged. I can’t myself raise the winds that might blow us or this ship into a better world. But I can at least put up the sail so that when the winds comes, I can catch it.

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I lift my arm out of the water. It’s a log. Put it back under and it blows up even bigger. People see the log and call it a twig. They yell at me because I can’t see what they see. Nobody can explain to me why my eyes work different than theirs. Nobody can make it stop.

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Chance will not do the work. Chance sends the breeze;<br>But if the pilot slumber at the helm,<br>The very wind that wafts us tow’rds the port<br>May dash us on the shoals. The steersman’s part<br>Is vigilance, or blow it rough or smooth.

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I’m left on a lot of things. If two gay guys want to get married, I could care less. If a nut case from overseas wants to blow up their wedding, that’s when I’m right.

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I’ll say this about the war protesters: At least most of them are only putting duct tape across their mouths so I can still tell the rest of them to blow it out their ass.

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The surest way to know our gold, is to look upon it and examine it in God’s furnace, where he tries it that we may see what it is. If we have a mind to know whether a building stands strong or not, we must look upon it when the wind blows. If we would know whether a staff be strong, or a rotten, broken reed, we must observe it when it is leaned on and weight is borne upon it. If we would weigh ourselves justly we must weigh ourselves in God’s scales that he makes use of to weigh us.

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On a musical level, I do find it rewarding. It’s not like I want to blow my brains out while I’m playing these songs from so long ago. I am still surprised by the way the songs are constructed – note choices, the way the arrangements are made, the way these songs are assembled. I’m still amazed at times.

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Cut out the eye from a photograph of one who has been loved but is seen no more. Attach the eye to the pendulum of a metronome and regulate the weight to suit the tempo desired. Keep going to the limit of endurance. With a hammer well-aimed, try to destroy the whole at a single blow.