Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Life is a Mayonnaise Jar

In these very uncertain times, when the stresses of work, family, the stock market, job security, marital bliss, and friends seems to be all out of order, I am reminded by what is really important from this story a friend of mine sent me a few years ago. I title it, "My life is a Mayonnaise Jar." I hope it brings as much wisdom to you as it did me.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar... Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full and the students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things -- your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions --- and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else --- the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first --- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Matter Discovery

Administratium has no protons or electrons, thus having an atomic number of 0. It has, however, 1 neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons and 111 assistant vice neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

A force that involves the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons holds these 312 particles together. It is also surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since it has no electrons, Administratium is inert. However, it can be detected chemically as it impedes every reaction it comes into contact with. According to the discoverers, a minute amount of Administratium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would normally have occurred in less than a second.

Administratium has a normal half-life of approximately 3 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons, vice neutrons, and assistant vice neutrons exchange places. In fact, Administratium's sample mass will actually INCREASE over time, since with each reorganization some of the morons inevitably become neutrons, forming new isotopes better know as bozos.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to speculate that Administratium is spontaneously formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as the "Critical Morass."

You will recognize it when it occurs.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Tax System - Explained With Beer

There is a lot of talk about "job creators" and "redistribution of wealth" and fair taxation lately. No, I am not an expert on taxation, but I tend to be a good student of the human condition, and I know one thing for sure, that while we are all created equal, we are NOT all endowed with equal gifts. Some of it is just luck, and some is hard work, but however it has been gained, there are differences in all of us and trying to 'make' us equal through taxation is just counter-intuitive. I believe the story below makes the most sense.
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20."Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 ( 25% savings)..
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 ( 22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20,"declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.

For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How To Choose a Successor

A successful businessman was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different.

He called all the young executives in his company together. He said, 'It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you.

The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. 'I am going to give each one of you a SEED today-one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.'

One man named Jim was there that day, and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost ,and he planted the seed. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.

After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.

By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant ,and he felt like a failure. Six months went by -- still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - he so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by, and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach. It was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right.

He took his empty pot to the board -room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful -- in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. 'My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,' said the CEO. 'Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!'

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, 'The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!'

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed - Jim told him the story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim and then announced to the young executives, 'Behold your next Chief Executive Officer! His name is Jim!'

Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed. ''How could he be the new CEO?' the others said.

Then the CEO said, 'One year ago today I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow.. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you.

Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!'

* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends
* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness
* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective
* If you plant hard work, you will reap success
* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation
* If you plant faith in a Creator greater than yourself, you will reap a harvest

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.

'Whatever You Give To Life, Life Gives You Back'

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Terms Of Endearment?

Subject: Letter from Management

Dear Employees,

Due to the current financial situation caused by the slowdown of the economy, Management has decided to implement a scheme to put workers of 40 years of age and above on early retirement.

This scheme will be known as RAPED (Retire Aged People Early Departure).

Persons selected to be RAPED can apply to management to be eligible for the SHAFTED scheme (Special Help After Forced Termination Earnings Disbursement).

Persons who have been RAPED and SHAFTED will be reviewed under the SCREWED program (Scheme Covering Retired Early Workers Earned Disposition).

A person may be RAPED once, SHAFTED twice and SCREWED as many times as Management deems appropriate.

Persons who have been RAPED can only get AIDS (Additional Income for Dependents & Spouse) or HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired Personnel Early Severance). Obviously persons who have AIDS or HERPES will not be SHAFTED or SCREWED any further by Management.

Persons who are not RAPED and are staying on will receive as much SHIT (Special High Intensity Training) and CRAP (Continuous Readiness Asset Programming) as possible. Management has always prided itself on the amount of SHIT and CRAP it gives employees.

Should you feel that you do not receive enough SHIT or CRAP, please bring to the attention of your Supervisor. They have been trained to give you all the SHIT and CRAP you can handle.

Sincerely,
Management

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Modest Proposal

When a company falls on difficult times, one of the things that seems to happen is they reduce their staff and workers. The remaining workers must find ways to continue to do a good job or risk that their job would be eliminated as well.

Wall Street and the media normally congratulate the CEO for making this type of "tough decision," and his board of directors gives him a big bonus. Our government should not be immune from similar risks. Therefore:

Reduce the House of Representatives from the current 435 members to 218 members.

Reduce Senate members from 100 to 50 (one per State).
 

Then, reduce their staff by 25%. Accomplish this over the next 8 years`(two steps/two elections) and of course this would require some redistricting.
 
Some Yearly Monetary Gains Include:

· $44,108,400 for elimination of base pay for congress. (267 members X $165,200 pay/member/ yr.)
· $97,175,000 for elimination of their staff. (estimate $1.3 Million in staff per each member of the House, and $3 Million in staff per each member of the Senate every year)
· $240,294 for the reduction in remaining staff by 25%.
· $7,500,000,000 reduction in pork barrel ear-marks each year. (those members whose jobs are gone.

Current estimates for total government pork earmarks are at $15 Billion/yr) The remaining representatives would need to work smarter and improve efficiencies. It might even be in their best interests to work together for the good of our country! We may also expect that smaller committees might lead to a more efficient resolution of issues as well. It might even be easier to keep track of what your representative is doing. Congress has more tools available to do their jobs than it had back in 1911 when the current number of representatives was established. (telephone, computers, cell phones to name a few)

Note: Congress did not hesitate to head home when it was a holiday, when the nation needed a real fix to the economic problems. Also, we have 3 senators that have not been doing their jobs for the past 18+ months (on the campaign trail) and still they all have been accepting full pay. These facts alone support a reduction in senators & congress.

Summary of opportunity:

· $ 44,108,400 reduction of congress members.
· $282,100, 000 for elimination of the reduced house member staff.
· $150,000,000 for elimination of reduced senate member staff.
· $59,675,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining house members.
· $37,500,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining senate members.
· $7,500,000,000 reduction in pork added to bills by the reduction of congress members.
· $8,073,383,400 per year, estimated total savings. (that's 8-BILLION just to start!)

Big business does these types of cuts all the time.If Congresspersons were required to serve 20, 25 or 30 years (like everyone else) in order to collect retirement benefits, tax payers could save a bundle. Now they get full retirement after serving only ONE term. IF you are happy with how Congress spends our taxes, delete this message. Otherwise, then I assume you know what to do.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Vocabulary Word for the Day - LIQUIDITY

Definition: Liquidity is when you look at your retirement funds and wet your pants.