Monday, December 26, 2011

The Federal Budget Explained (Simply)

Do not understand the federal budget and why the US got downgraded on our economy? Well the explanation below rather brilliantly cuts thru all the political doublespeak we get. It puts it into a much better perspective and is the same for many countries in Europe ...
Why the U.S. was downgraded:

* U.S. Tax revenue:     $  2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget:             $  3,820,000,000,000
* New debt:                $  1,650,000,000,000
* National debt:           $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $       38,500,000,000

Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:


* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts: $385

Got It ?????

OK now Lesson # 2: Here's another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:


Let's say, you come home from work and find there has been a massive sewer backup in your neighborhood .... and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.


What do you think you should do ......

Raise the ceilings, or pump out the crap?

Your choice is coming Nov. 2012. Make a good one.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

You Think You Know Everything?

This Post is a quiz for people who know everything…these are not trick questions, but they will make you think. They are straight questions with straight answers… Hope you feel up to the challenge…let me tell you, it was easier than the drive back from Houston…ha, ha, ha…enjoy and excelsior! BTW: The answers follow the questions if you need them, but I figure most of you will not!! 
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1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends.

2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?

3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?

4. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?

5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?

6. Only three words in standard English begin with the letters ' dw' and they are all common words. Name two of them.

7. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at least half of them?

8. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.

9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter 'S.'









Answers To Quiz:

1... The one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends: Boxing.

2. North American landmark constantly moving backward: Niagara Falls. (The rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.)

3. Only two vegetables that can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons: Asparagus and rhubarb.

4. The fruit with its seeds on the outside: Strawberry.

5. How did the pear get inside the brandy bottle? It grew inside the bottle. The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.

6. Three English words beginning with dw: Dwarf, dwell and dwindle... (of course of the derivatives count too like dweller, but I added dweeb)

7. Fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar: Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation mark, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.

8. The only vegetable or fruit never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form but fresh: Lettuce.

9. Six or more things you can wear on your feet beginning with 'S': Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes, stockings, stilts. (I added snowboard and spikes).

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Reap What You Sow

Tis the Season for kindness and understanding, and this post is a little different from my usual ones. Regardless of your belief or faith, kindness transcends all…and I cannot help myself in forwarding a tale of how actions speak much louder than words. I hope you have a Merry Christmas, a Joyous Hanukah, and good tidings to you and yours.

Good morning said a woman as she walked up to the man sitting on ground. It was mid December, and cold. The man slowly looked up.

This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new.. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life.

His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.. "Leave me alone," he growled....

To his amazement, the woman continued standing.

She was smiling -- her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. "Are you hungry?" she asked.

"No," he answered sarcastically. "I've just come from dining with the president. Now go away."

The woman's smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.

"What are you doing, lady?" the man asked angrily. "I said to leave me alone!”

Just then a policeman came up. "Is there any problem, ma'am?" he asked..

"No problem here, officer," the woman answered. "I'm just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?"

The officer scratched his head. "That's old Jack. He's been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?"

"See that cafeteria over there?" she asked. "I'm going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile."

"Are you crazy, lady?" the homeless man resisted. "I don't want to go in there!" Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. "Let me go, officer. I didn't do anything."

"This is a good deal for you, Jack" the officer answered. "Don't blow it.."

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived...

The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table. "What's going on here, officer?" he asked. "What is all this, is this man in trouble?"

"This lady brought this man in here to be fed," the policeman answered.

"Not in here!" the manager replied angrily. "Having a person like that here is bad for business.."

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. "See, lady. I told you so. Now if you'll let me go. I didn't want to come here in the first place."

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled....... "Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?"

"Of course I am," the manager answered impatiently. "They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms."

"And do you make a godly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?"

"What business is that of yours?"

I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company."

"Oh."

The woman smiled again. "I thought that might make a difference." She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. "Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?"

"No thanks, ma'am," the officer replied. "I'm on duty."

"Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?" "Yes, ma’am. That would be very nice."

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel, "I'll get your coffee for you right away, officer."

The officer watched him walk away. "You certainly put him in his place," he said.

"That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this."

She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently.. "Jack, do you remember me?"

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. "I think so -- I mean you do look familiar."

"I'm a little older perhaps," she said. "Maybe I've even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry."

"Ma'am?" the officer said questioningly. He couldn't believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

"I was just out of college," the woman began. "I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn't find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat."

Jack lit up with a smile. "Now I remember," he said.. "I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy."

"I know," the woman continued. "Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble... Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all right."

"So you started your own business?" Old Jack said.

"I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually, I started my own business that, with heaven’s help, luck, and a lot of hard work, prospered, but it took me away for a while." She opened her purse and pulled out a business card.. "When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons...He's the personnel director of my company. I'll go talk to him now and I'm certain he'll find something for you to do around the office." She smiled. "I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet... If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you."

There were tears in the old man's eyes. "How can I ever thank you?" he said. "Don't thank me," the woman answered. "To God goes the glory. He led me to you. To be able to pay back this debt. I was not sure until today that you were the person who had helped me all the many years ago!"

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways....

"Thank you for all your help, officer," she said.

"On the contrary, Ms. Eddy," he answered. "Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And..And thank you for the coffee!”

Saturday, December 17, 2011

12 Warning Signs of Fascism

1. Exuberant nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic images, slogans and symbols - National flags are seen everywhere in public display. Territorial aggression is explained to be mere destiny -- an unbidden greatness thrust upon the nation by history.

It is this burden of unique responsibility that now raises the fascist state above all previous constraint, no longer bound by international obligations, treaties or law.

2. Enemies Identified
This national cause is identified as unity against enemies - The people are rallied around a unifying patriotism directed against some common threat: communists, liberals, a racial, ethnic or religious minority, intellectuals, homosexuals, terrorists, etc.

The state's message is sometimes couched in an easily recognized religious theme. Amazingly, this language is used even when the full context of the teaching shows the meaning to be diametrically opposed. Any dissent is "siding with the enemy", and therefore treasonous.

3. Rights Disappear
Disdain for human and political rights - Fascist regimes foster an artificial climate of fear by intentionally amplifying stress and anxiety. Citizens naturally feel a strong need for security and are easily persuaded to ignore abuses in the name of safety. The few still willing to question are met with bullying and smear campaigns of intimidation.

Legislative bodies, if still in existence at all, are cowed into rubber-stamp submission with occasional ceremonial opposition. The judiciary tends to become activist in support of state views. The public often looks away, or even enthusiastically approves as rights are stripped away.

The concept of the individual inevitably yields ground, exchanged for the promised safety of the all-powerful state.

4. Secrecy Demanded
Obsession with secrecy and national security - The workings of government become increasingly hidden. Questioning of authority is discouraged at all levels of society. From office talk at the water cooler up through the entire apparatus of rule, guarded speech and secrecy become ends in themselves.

Troubling questions are muted and entire areas of scrutiny are placed out of bounds by simply invoking "national security".

5. Military Glorified
Supremacy of the military - The military establishment receives a disproportionate share of government resources, even as pressing domestic needs are neglected. Individual soldiers and military culture are glamorized and made constantly visible.

This provides both an object for public glorification, as well as sharp warning to possibly restless citizens that the power of the state stands close at hand, ready to use its great potential for violence.

6. Corporations Shielded
Corporate power is protected - Typically, a segment of the business elite plays a major role in bringing fascists to national leadership, often from an unsavory obscurity. This marriage of big money and raw violence is often considered by historians to be the hallmark and backbone of fascism.

As these business-government-military interests meld, the significant threat of organized labor is clearly recognized. Labor unions and their support organizations are either co-opted successfully or ruthlessly suppressed and eliminated as soon as possible.

7. Corruption Unchecked
Rampant cronyism and corruption - Fascist states maintain power through this relatively small group of associates, mutually appointing each other to interlocking and rotating positions in government, business and the military.

With this degree of control, they make full use of both official secrecy and the ready threat of state violence to insulate themselves from any meaningful criticism. They are not accountable and are shielded from scrutiny in a way unthinkable in a democratic society.

8. Media Controlled
Controlled mass media - Sometimes the media are controlled directly by clumsy government functionaries. At other times, sympathetic corporate media insiders shape the themes indirectly, and therefor more skillfully. Image regularly trumps content as the "news" is presented breathlessly and with flashy stage effects.

A practiced formula of tenacious repetition brings even the most absurd lie into acceptance over time. By design, the very language itself and the coloration employed will push alternate views "out of the mainstream".

The terms of any remaining debate are narrowly defined to the state's advantage, making it easy to marginalize a truly differing perspective. Censorship and "self-censorship", especially in wartime, is common.

9. Rampant Sexism
Rampant sexism - Governments of fascist states tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Traditional gender roles are made even more rigid and exaggerated. Condemnation of abortion and a virulent homophobia are commonly built into broad policy.

10. Intellectual Bullying
Disdain for intellectuals - Fascist society tends to create an environment of extreme hostility to critical thought in general, and to academics in particular.

Ideologically driven "science" is elevated and lavishly funded, while any expression not in line with the state view is at first ignored, then challenged, then ridiculed and finally stamped out.

It is not uncommon for academics to be pressured to attack the work of their insufficiently patriotic peers. Writings are censored; teachers are fired and arrested. Free artistic expression in new works is openly attacked, and existing works deemed unpatriotic are often publicly destroyed.

11. Militarized Police
Obsession with crime and punishment - Fascist society is often willing to overlook police abuses and forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. Long jail sentences for clearly political offenses, torture and then assassination are at first uncomfortably tolerated, and then start to pile up to become the norm.

Often a national police force is given virtually unlimited power to snoop through the civilian population. Networks of surveillance and informers are employed, both for actual intelligence gathering and also as a means to keep neighbors and co-workers isolated and mistrustful of each other.

12. Elections Stolen

Fraudulent elections - In the disordered time as fascists are rising to power, the electoral arena becomes increasingly confusing, corrupted, and manipulated.

There is rising public cynicism and distrust over what are widely believed to be phony elections manipulated by moneyed influence, obvious media bias, smear campaigns, ballot tampering, judicial interference, intimidation, or outright assassination of potential opposition. Fascists in power have been known to use this disorder as the rationale to delay elections indefinitely.

Monday, December 12, 2011

It is all Relative

This is a tale of what people throw away...sometimes in business we miss the really important things, like making our customers happy, or selling what you believe, not just for profits. Enjoy this tale of caution....

A Jewish woman says to her mother, "I'm divorcing Jeff! All he wants is sex, and my vagina is now the size of a 50 cent piece when it used to be about the size of a 5 cent piece."

Her mother says, "You're married to a multimillionaire businessman, you live in an 8 bedroom mansion, you drive a Ferrari, you get $2,000 a week allowance, you take 6 vacations a year and you want to throw all that away over 45 cents?"

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Life in Summary

Sometimes as we diligently pursue our monetary goals in life and business, we really forget what is important and true in life...these tidbits are what we should self evident that life is good, and the journey should be fun...
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GREAT TRUTHS THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED:
1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
2) When your Mum is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your hair.
3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food..
6) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
8) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
9) Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
10) The best place to be when you're sad is Grandma's lap.


GREAT TRUTHS THAT ADULTS HAVE LEARNED:
1) Raising teenagers is like nailing jelly to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don't hurt.
3) Families are like fudge...mostly sweet, with a few nuts
4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground...
5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.


GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT GROWING OLD
1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional..
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
4) You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.

THE FOUR STAGES OF LIFE:
1) You believe in Santa Claus.
2) You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3) You are Santa Claus.
4) You look like Santa Claus.

SUCCESS:
At age 4 success is . . . . Not piddling in your pants.
At age 12 success is . . . . Having friends.
At age 17 success is . . . . Having a driver's license.
At age 35 success is . . . . Having money.
At age 50 success is . . . . Having money..
At age 70 success is . . . . Having a drivers license.
At age 75 success is . . . . Having friends.
At age 80 success is . . . . Not piddling in your pants..

Always remember to forget the troubles that pass your way;
BUT NEVER forget the blessings that come each day.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Are you an Oxymoron

An oxymoron is a combination of words that contradict each other. Here is a list of some...how many more can you think of? Let me know and I will add them

1. virtual reality

2. original copy

3. old news

4. act naturally

5. pretty ugly

6. living dead

7. jumbo shrimp

8. rolling stop

9. constant variable

10. exact estimate

11. paid volunteers

12. civil war

13. sound of silence

14. clever fool

15. only choice

16. deafening silence

17. black light

18. concrete jungle

19. tax free

20. unorthodox standard

21. stationary runner

Friday, November 25, 2011

Changing Buying Behavior

As any good marketer knows, understanding your potential client is critical to maximizing your profits and your advertising spends. Below is a good example of how women think as they grow older.

A group of 15-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Dairy Queen next to the Ocean View restaurant because they had only $6.00 among them and Jimmy Johnson, the cute boy in Social Studies, lived on that street.

10 years later, the group of 25-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the beer was cheap, the restaurant offered free snacks, the band was good, there was no cover and there were lots of cute guys.

10 years later, the group of 35-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the cosmos were good, it was right near the gym and, if they went late enough, there wouldn't be too many whiny little kids.

10 years later, the group of 45-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the martinis were big and the waiters had tight pants and nice buns.

10 years later, the group of 55-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the prices were reasonable, the wine list was good, the restaurant had windows that opened (in case of a hot flashes), and fish is good for cholesterol.

10 years later, the group of 65-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the lighting was good and the restaurant had an early bird special.

10 years later, the group of 75-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the food was not too spicy and the restaurant was handicapped-accessible.

10 years later, the group of 85-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant because they had never been there before. 
 
The bottom line: People do NOT like change, and will come up with thousands of excuses to keep doing the same thing...your job is trying to change that...Good luck!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Not What It Appears

Ever run into something too good to be true just to find out that you were just suckered or hoodwinked! It happens to all of us, even in business. We should know better, but we listen to the wrong parts of our body and make stupid mistakes. Well, let this little story help explain why that is so....

A woman and a man are involved in a car accident on a snowy, cold Monday morning; it's a bad one. Both of their cars are totally demolished, but amazingly neither of them is hurt. God works in mysterious ways. After they crawl out of their cars, the man is yelling about women drivers.

The woman says, 'So, you're a man. That's interesting. I'm a woman. Wow, just look at our cars! There's nothing left, but we're unhurt. This must be a sign from God that we should be friends and live in peace for the rest of our days.'

Flattered, the man replies, 'Oh yes, I agree completely, this must be a sign from God! But you're still at fault...women shouldn't be allowed to drive.'

The woman continues, 'And look at this, here's another miracle. My car is completely demolished but this bottle of wine didn't break. Surely God wants us to drink this wine and celebrate our good fortune. She hands the bottle to the man.

The man nods his head in agreement, opens it and drinks half the bottle and then hands it back to the woman.

The woman takes the bottle, puts the cap back on and hands it back to the man.

The man asks, 'Aren't you having any?'

The woman replies, 'No. I think I'll just wait for the police...'

MORAL OF THE STORY:
Women are clever, and can be evil bitches.
Don't mess with them.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Another Look at Honesty

This little post is about honesty and how sometimes even good intentions can get you into trouble…oh I so fondly remember the countless times I was sent to the principal or asked to stand outside in the hallway…it is amazing I learned anything in school!  The moral here is when starting or running a business, no matter what...it is best to be honest..with yourself, customers, clients, vendors, employees ... everyone!

…pretend you are in 3rd grade when you read this story….


Our teacher asked us what our favorite animal was and I said, "Fried chicken."

 
She said I wasn't funny, but she couldn't have been right, everyone else in the class laughed.

Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principal's office. I told him what happened, and he laughed too. Then he told me not to do it again.

My parents told me to always be truthful and honest, and I am. Fried chicken is my favorite animal.


I told my dad what happened, and he said my teacher was probably a member of PETA. He said they love animals very much. I do too, especially chicken, pork, and beef.


The next day in class my teacher asked me what my favorite live animal was. I told her it was chicken. She asked me why, just like she'd asked the other children. So I told her it was because you could make them into fried chicken.


She sent me back to the principal's office again. He laughed, and told me not to do it again.


I don't understand. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher doesn't like it when I am.


Today, my teacher asked us to tell her what famous person we admire most. I told her, "Colonel Sanders". Guess where I am now...

Note: At least he picked a businessman!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Stress Management

Everybody has to deal with stress especially when starting up a business. This is a great story on how to deal with stress, and a good ideal on how to mitigate it. Life can be hard, starting a business can make it harder still, but if you follow this advice..you can mitigate the "stress."
A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?"
Answers called out ranged from 20g to 50g.
The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.
If I hold it for a minute, it's not a problem.
If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.

In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management.
 

If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, the burden will become increasingly heavy.... and we won't be able to carry on.

As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again.

When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.

So, before you return home tonight, or go to bed, or go out, put the burden of work down; don't carry it with you anymore today. You can pick it up tomorrow.

Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can."

So, my friend, put down anything that may be a burden to you right now. Your work, family, job, life, love…whatever. Don't pick it up again until after you've rested awhile.

Here are some great ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

* Just accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

* Always keep your words soft and sweet - just in case you have to eat them.

* Always wear stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of - - whatever!

*Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be "recalled" by their maker.

* If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it probably was worth it.

* It may be that your "soul" purpose in life is simply to be kind to others.

* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

* Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

* Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, make sure you sleep late.

* The second mouse gets the cheese.

* When everything's coming your way, you're either in the wrong lane or going the wrong way.

* Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

* We could learn a lot from crayons... Some are sharp; some are pretty; and some are dull. Some have weird names; and all are different colors; but they all have to live in the same box.

*A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Run Through The Rain

It is funny how life throws mishaps large and small you way...and it is more hysterical how we deal with them. This story about a little girl and rain shows how sometimes just letting go is what you need. I hope it brings a smile to your heart and helps you remember how if you can still see and believe like a child, that anything can happen.

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence.  It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout.. We all stood there, under the awning, just inside the door of the Wal-Mart. We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.

I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

Her little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in, 'Mom let's run through the rain,' She said.

'What?' Mom asked.

'Let's run through the rain!' She repeated.

'No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit,' Mom replied.

This young child waited a minute and repeated: 'Mom, let's run through the rain..'

'We'll get soaked if we do,' Mom said.

'No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning,' the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.

'This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?'

'Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything! ''

The entire crowd stopped dead silent.. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain.. We all stood silently. No one left. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.

Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

'Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If God lets us get wet, well maybe we just need washing,' Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They got soaked.

They were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did.

I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories...So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories every day.

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.

I HOPE YOU STILL TAKE THE TIME TO RUN THROUGH THE RAIN.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.

Take the time to live!!!

Keep in touch with your friends, you never know when you'll need each other --
 
And don't forget to run in the rain!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lawyers Say the Funniest Things!

My Fryday humor post involves lawyers and some of the dialogue they have in court. These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place...Enjoy, and happy Fryday!
________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
________________________________________
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS: We both do.
ATTORNEY: Voodoo?
WITNESS: We do.
ATTORNEY: You do?
WITNESS: Yes, voodoo.
________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, "isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?"
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
________________________________________
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He's twenty, much like your IQ.
________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you ?*/!!!*? me?
________________________________________
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Guess?
________________________________________
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
WITNESS: Yes..
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
WITNESS: None.
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney.
Can I get a new attorney?
________________________________________
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about 20, medium height, and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.
________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
________________________________________
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK?
What school did you go to?
WITNESS: Oral.
________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And, Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?
________________________________________
And the best for last:
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy,
did you check for a pulse?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive
when you began the autopsy?
WITNESS: No .
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

And that my friends is a good example why, most politicians
in our government and courts are lawyers and our nation
is so screwed up.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Warren Buffet's Great Idea....

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is time….. Let us do it!!!

Warren Buffett, in a recent  interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.  The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.  Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

*Congressional Reform Act of 2011*

1. No Tenure / No Pension.  A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

2.  Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.  All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.  Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.  The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.

THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!!  If  you agree with the above, pass it on.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Things to Ponder

I love lists of things...and this one makes me stop and think...hope it does for you too?

Number 10:------Life is sexually transmitted.

Number 9: Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

Number 8: Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich.

Number 7: Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.

Number 6: Some people are like a Slinky....not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

Number 5: Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals, dying of nothing.

Number 4: All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

Number 3: Why does a slight tax increase cost you $800.00, and a substantial tax cut saves you $30.00?

Number 2: In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

And The Number 1 Thought:

Life is like a jar of Jalapeno peppers--what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.
- - and as someone recently said to me: "Don't worry about old age-----it doesn't last long."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lie Lowest - Credit

Someone just contacted me about a quotation I posted some time ago about humility and paying homage, and they asked me about the citation. OK, the quotation is actually mine, and it is derived from Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching Chapter 66:

"That whereby the rivers and seas are able to receive the homage and tribute of all the valley streams, is their skill in being lower than they;--it is thus that they are the kings of them all. So it is that the sage (ruler), wishing to be above men, puts himself by his words below them, and, wishing to be before them, places his person behind them."

Here is my paraphrasing:

“All rivers pay homage to the ocean for it lies lowest.”

--Jeffrey Fry

Some have accused me of stealing from the great master, and I thought I had not. He is talking about leadership, I am talking about humility (though both are intertwined). I had been saying my river quotation for over 30 years, and could not remember where I first learned it! I has to be when I was in military school some 40 years ago and we studied both Sun Tzu (Art of War) and Lao Tzu. My interpretation is he is mightiest who lays lowest. I looked, and looked, and looked all over the Internet to see who might have said this before me and could not find anything, so I guess it is mine? I do not like plagiarizing, but I have never heard this quotation before stated this way….

So now you know….

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Death to the Republic?

In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinborough, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior:

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage."

Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the last Presidential election:

Number of States won by: Obama: 19     McCain: 29
Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000    McCain: 2,427,000
Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million     McCain: 143 million
Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Obama: 13.2     McCain: 2.1

Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory McCain won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country. Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low income tenements and living off various forms of government welfare."

Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the "complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two Wolves

I have been thinking a lot about business and partnerships, and how sometimes people whom you thought you could trust no longer capable of the trust you bestowed them. So, what do you do? Do you get even, or try to rectify things legally, or just walk away? For each person and situation that is a personal decision, but I have found that a very old story told to me some time ago actually makes a great deal of sense when dealing with issues out of your control. It is a Cherokee tale of Two Wolves.

An old Cherokee Grandfather was counseling his grandson who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice. 

"Let me tell you a story,” he began. “I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times."

He continued, "It is as if there are two wolves inside me. It is a terrible fight. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, hate, blame, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, forgiveness, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."

So, in the end...ask yourself. What is the purpose of trying to get even or one up on people, when most of the damage will be done to you. Just thinking...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Cab Ride

Sometimes I have to remind myself that through thick and thin, you are the reason I do what I do…this little story in poignant for a few reasons, none more so as how kindness can affect BOTH parties.
________________________________
The Cab Ride

 
I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minute, I walked to the door and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.


'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.'


'Oh, you're such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive through downtown?' 'It's not the
shortest way,' I answered quickly.. 'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice.'

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice.. 'The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.


'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.


For the next six hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.


We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.


As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired. Let's go now'.


We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.


Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.


They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.


'How much do I owe you?' She asked, reaching into her purse.


'Nothing,' I said


'You have to make a living,' she answered.


'There are other passengers,' I responded.


Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.


'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said. 'Thank you.'


I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life..


I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?


On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.


We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.


But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID ~BUT THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Charlie Schulz Philosophy



(This is marvelous!! Scroll thru slowly and read carefully to receive and enjoy full effect)

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip.


You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just ponder on them.


Just read the e-mail straight through, and you'll get the point.


1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.


2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.


3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.


4 Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.


5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.


6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.


How did you do?


The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.


These are no second-rate achievers.


They are the best in their fields.


But the applause dies..


Awards tarnish..


Achievements are forgotten.


Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

 

 Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.


2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.


3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.


4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.


5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


Easier?

The lesson:


The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the

most credentials, the most money...or the most awards.

They simply are the ones who care the most ……




Sunday, May 22, 2011

Why Accountants and Tatoos do not Mix!

This is a short and sweet story about an account and his tattoo. I personally do not like tats, but Larry, Larry is an exceptional case. His rationale for the tattoo is impeccable and I hope it make you understand why he should have forgone the tat. As you know, accountants do it by the numbers!

Well Larry is the guy who gets home late one night and Linda, his wife, says "Where the hell have you been?" Larry replies


"I was out getting a tattoo!"


"A tattoo"? she frowned. "What kind of tattoo did you get?"


"I got a hundred dollar bill on my privates" he said proudly.


"What the hell were you thinking?” she said, shaking her head in disgust. "Why on earth would an accountant get a hundred dollar bill tattooed on his privates?"


"Well, one, I like to watch my money grow. Two, once in a while I like to play with my money. Three, I like how money feels in my hand. And, lastly, instead of you going out shopping, you can stay right here at home and blow a hundred bucks anytime you want."

 
Larry is in the Hospital, room 233.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sometimes You Can Miss a Good Opportunity

Below is a great story about missing a great opportunity by NOT having the right information...How does the saying go...“Luck is where preparation meets opportunity."

A priest was driving along and saw a nun on the side of the road. He stopped and offered her a lift which she accepted. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing the dress to open and reveal a leg. The Priest looks and nearly has an accident, and after changing gear lets his hand slide up her leg. She immediately says "Father remember Luke 14:10". The priest apologizes profusely and removes his hand but is unable to remove his eyes from her legs. Further on when he changes gear and has ogled at her leg for the Zillionth time he lets the hand slide up the leg again. The Nun once again says "Father remember Luke 14:10". Once again the priest apologizes. "Sorry sister but you know the flesh is weak." Arriving at the convent, the nun gets out and the priest goes on his way.


Once he arrives at his Church he rushes to the bible and looks up Luke 14:10 which says:
"Friend go up higher, then thou shall have glory…..".

MORAL OF THE STORY:
IN YOUR JOB YOU SHOULD ALWAYS BE WELL INFORMED OR YOU MIGHT MISS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Wish You Enough

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more...
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Design Flaws

I am an engineer, so when I see a reason to combine religion, engineering, and an American icon, Harley Davidson I just have to do it. OK, this might be a bit racy for a few of my readers, but it will definitely put a smile on your face. Good design does not always equate to better market share.  May your highways be smooth and your gas tank always full. Ride on my friends:

The inventor Arthur Davidson, of the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Corporation, died and went to heaven.


At the gates, St. Peter told Arthur, "Since you've been such a good man and your motorcycles have changed the world, your reward is you can hang out with anyone you want in Heaven."


Arthur thought about it for a minute and then said, "I want to hang out with God."


St. Peter took Arthur to the Throne Room, and introduced him to God. Arthur then asked God, "Hey, aren't you the inventor of woman? "


God said, "Ah, yes."


"Well, " said Arthur, "professional to professional, you have some major design flaws in your invention:


1. There's too much inconsistency in the front-end protrusion.

2. It chatters constantly at high speeds.
3. Most of the rear ends are too soft and wobble too much.
4. The intake is placed much too close to the exhaust.
5. The maintenance costs are outrageous."

"Hmmmm, you may have some good points there," replied God. "Hold on."


God went to his Celestial super computer and typed in a few words. The computer printed out a slip of paper and God read it.


"Well, it may be true that my invention is flawed," God said to Arthur, "but according to these numbers, more men are riding my invention than yours." 


Amen....