Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A New Year's Wish

May the hinges of our friendship never rust,
Nor the wings of love lose a feather,
May good health find those I love,
And good fortune to those who love me,
May any trouble that finds you be as short
As your New Year's Resolutions
And for better or worse, whatever will be,
May another year be with thee....

Saturday, December 28, 2013

What did You Do for Christmas? (humor)

I hope each and everyone one of you had a stress free, joyous, wonderful, beautiful, memorable Christmas time? I thought you would enjoy this Fryday humor post as Christmas is celebrated in many different ways, by many different people, and some of those people do not believe, and that is where a good sense of humor comes to play…Hope this brings a smile to your faces!!!

The young teacher asked: "What do you do at Christmas time?
A Catholic student answered: "Well me and my twelve brothers and sisters go to midnight mass and we sing hymns; then we come home very late and we put mince pies by the back door and hang up our stockings. Then all excited, we all go to bed and wait for Father Christmas to come with all our toys."

Then a Protestant child replied: Well me and my sister also go to church with Mom and Dad and we sing carols and we get home ever so late. We put cookies and milk by the chimney and hang up our stockings. We hardly sleep waiting for Santa Claus to bring our presents.

Realizing there was a Jewish boy in the class and not wanting to leave him out of the discussion, she asked, "What do you do at Christmas?"

He said, "Well, it's the same thing every year.... Dad comes home from the office. We all pile into the Rolls Royce; then we drive to Dad's toy factory.

When we get inside, we look at all the empty shelves... And begin to sing:
"What A Friend We Have In Jesus." Then we all go to the Bahamas."

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Spirit of Christmas

Grab a cup of coffee or tea, curl up in a blanket and enjoy this story about the Spirit of Christmas. I thought this would be an appropriate Christmas post as it is one of the best stories I have read about the Spirit of Christmas, and whether you celebrate Christmas or not, or believe or not, you will enjoy this story. May God (in any form you see the Creator) bless you this Christmas and all through the year…enjoy…

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn't been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn't hate Christmas, just couldn't find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour, wondering what it was all about and just feeling a little sorry for himself when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.

Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. "Thank you, but I don't mean to intrude," said the stranger. "I see you're busy, I'll just go."

"Not without something hot in your belly." George said.

He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. "It ain't much, but it's hot and tasty. Stew ... Made it myself. When you're done, there's coffee and it's fresh. Help yourself."

Just at that moment he heard the "ding" of the driveway bell. "Excuse me, be right back," George said. There in the driveway was an old '53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front.. The driver was panicked. "Mister can you help me!" said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. "My wife is with child and my car is broken." George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead.

"You ain't going in this thing," George said as he turned away.

"But Mister, please help ..." The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. "I can’t leave, but here, take my truck," he said. "She ain't the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good."

George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. "Glad I gave 'em the truck, their tires were shot too. That 'ol truck has brand new ones on it." George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. "Well, at least he got something in his belly," George thought.

George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant few or no customers. He discovered that the block hadn't cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator was leaking. "Well, shoot, I can fix this," he said to himself. So he started to put a new one on.

"Those tires ain't gonna get 'em through the winter either." He took the snow treads off of his wife's old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn't going to drive the car anyway.

As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, "Please help me."

George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. "Pressure to stop the bleeding," he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. "Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin'," he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.

"Something for pain," George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. "These ought to work." He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. "You hang in there, I'm going to get you an ambulance."

The station phone was dead. "Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car." He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.

He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. "Thanks," said the officer. "You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area."

George sat down beside him, "I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain't gonna leave you." George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. "Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through 'ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time you’re gonna be right as rain."

George got up and poured a cup of coffee. "How do you take it?" he asked.

"None for me," said the officer..

"Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain't got no donuts." The officer laughed and winced at the same time.

The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. "Give me all your cash! Do it now!" the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.

"That's the guy that shot me!" exclaimed the officer.

"Son, why are you doing this?" asked George, "You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt."

The young man was confused. "Shut up old man, or I'll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!"

The cop was reaching for his gun. "Put that thing away," George said to the cop, "we got one too many in here now."

He turned his attention to the young man. "Son, it's Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It ain't much but it's all I got. Now put that pea shooter away."

George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. "I'm not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son," he went on. "I've lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week."

George handed the gun to the cop. "Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can."

He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. "Sometimes we do stupid things." George handed the young man a cup of coffee. "Bein' stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin' in here with a gun ain't the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we'll sort this thing out."

The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. "Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I'm sorry officer."

"Shut up and drink your coffee " the cop said.

George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. "Chuck! You ok?" one of the cops asked the wounded officer.

"Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?"

"GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?" the other cop asked as he approached the young man.

Chuck answered him, "I don't know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran."

George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.

"That guy work here?" the wounded cop continued.

"Yep," George said, "just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job."

The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, "Why?"

Chuck just said, "Merry Christmas boy ... and you too, George, and thanks for everything."

"Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems."

George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. "Here you go, something for the little woman. I don't think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day."

The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. "I can't take this," said the young man. "It means something to you."

"And now it means something to you," replied George. "I got my memories. That's all I need. Now you will have yours."

George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. "Here's something for that little man of yours."

The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier.

"And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too," George said. "Now git home to your family."

The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. "I'll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good."

"Nope. I'm closed Christmas day," George said. "See ya the day after."

George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. "Where'd you come from? I thought you left?"

"I have been here. I have always been here," said the stranger. "You say you don't celebrate Christmas. Why?"

"Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn't see what all the bother was. Puttin' up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin' cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn't the same by myself and besides I was gettin' a little chubby."

The stranger put his hand on George's shoulder. "But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor. The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. That is the season is all about and you keep it as good as any man."

George was taken aback by all this homeless man had said. "And how do you know all this?" asked George.

"Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done here you will be with Martha again."

The stranger moved toward the door. "If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned."

George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing faded into a white robe and a golden light began to fill the room.

"You see, George ... it's My birthday. Merry Christmas, and you gave me a great present. You live the spirit of Christmas."

George fell to his knees and replied, "Happy Birthday, Jesus."

This story is better than any greeting card.

Now clear the lump from your throat, blow your nose, and send this to those who might enjoy the spirit of Christmas too!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Unintended Consequences

Sometimes what is said, and what is meant are two different ideas and as such there are unintended consequences... as this short story demonstrates.

A minister was completing a temperance sermon. With great emphasis he said, 'If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river.'

With even greater emphasis he said, 'And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river.'

And then finally, shaking his fist in the air, he said, 'And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river.'

Sermon complete, he sat down...

The song leader stood very cautiously and announced with a smile, nearly laughing, 'For our closing song, let us sing Hymn #365, 'Shall We Gather at the River.'

Saturday, December 21, 2013

38 Things You Wished You Had Done BEFORE You Were Old

They say youth is wasted on the young. So, what are you doing to prevent wasting yours?  I wish I had this list 30 years ago.  Still, as Jonathan Swift wrote: No wise man ever wished to be younger."  Take these to heart.

1. Not traveling when you had the chance.
Being you (young) means you have a lot less responsibilities. Traveling becomes infinitely harder the older you get, especially if you have a family and need to pay the way for three-plus people instead of just yourself.
“There are three cures for ennui: sleep, drink and travel."
--D.H. Lawrence

2. Not learning another language.
Boy, remember how much you hated Spanish, French, or Latin in School? You will kick yourself when you realize you took three years of language in high school and remember none of it and English is NOT spoken everywhere.

3. Left a Bad Relationship Sooner

If it is not working, learn to leave, but first learn to love yourself. We all think the relationship we are in may get better, but you already know it will not, so you just pour good effort in a bad situation. No one who ever gets out of a bad relationship looks back without wishing they made the move sooner.
Two halves do not make a whole in a healthy relationship; it takes two wholes.”
-- Patricia Fry

4. Not using sunscreen
Hard to believe we used to actually put baby oil on us when we were young!! Wrinkles, moles, and skin cancer can largely be avoided if you protect yourself.  Oh, and remember that Baz Luhrmann song, “Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)?”  Well, he was right!

5. Missing the chance to see your favorite musicians.
 “Nah, dude, I’ll catch Nirvana next time they come through town.”  D’ah? Really, even if you see ONE group, see ONE!!!

6. Letting fear hold you back
"When you run away from fear, it grows. When you move toward fear, it recedes. As you move forward, despite all the anxieties and uncertainties you feel, you'll develop courage."
--John Amatt
Looking back you’ll think, What was I so afraid of? And if something does not kill you, it will probably be a LOT of fun!!

7. Not keeping physically fit.
This kind of goes without saying.   Aches and Pains in old age are usually the result of too many of us spend the physical peak of our lives on the couch. Just going out for a walk every now and then does wonders. When you hit 40, 50, 60, and beyond, you will dream of what you could have done and regret you did not at least stay somewhat active.

8. Letting yourself be defined by gender roles.
Few things are as sad as an old person saying, “Well, it just wasn’t done back then,” or “Girls are not supposed to [fill in the blank].” Remember, history was never made by a well behaved woman!

9. Not quitting a terrible job.
Having a bad job is like a soul robbing existence!! Look, you have to pay the bills. But if you do not make a plan to improve your situation, you might wake up one day having spent 40 years in hell. On second thought, I should have started that company 20 years ago!!

10. Not trying harder in school.
It is not just that your grades play a role in determining where you end up in life. They do not.  But having an eager desire to learn new things do! Eventually you will realize how neat it was to get to spend all day learning, and wish you would have paid more attention when you had the chance.  The best thing you can do now is read as much as you can as often as you can.  Learning is a lifelong experience.

11. Not realizing how beautiful you were.
Here is a NEWS ALERT: God made us ALL Beautiful.  Too many of us spend our youth unhappy with the way we look, but the reality is, that is when you were your most beautiful.

12. Being afraid to say “I love you.”
Of course, the first thing you need to do is love yourself, but when you are old, you will not care if your love wasn’t returned — only that you made it known how you felt. Tell EVERYONE you love, that you love them, and keep learning how to love.

13. Not listening to your parents’ about anything.
Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them."
--James Baldwin
You never want to hear it when you are young, but the infuriating truth is that most of what your parents say about life is true.  They have the experience and knowledge and wisdom.  You have hubris and an attitude.  If you want to learn, listen.

14. Being self-absorbed in your youth
You will be embarrassed about it, frankly, and if you are not, well there is really no hope for you.
Being all wrapped up in yourself makes you a very small package.
–Alford Frost

15. Worrying about what other people think.
In 20 years you will not give a damn about any of those people you once worried so much about.  Yes, in school it was great being “popular,” but in the real world, this kind of nonsense is just a waste of time.
Popularity is a form of success that is seldom worth the things you have to do in order to attain it.

16. Not Supporting others’ dreams over your own.
Supporting others is a beautiful thing, but not when it means you never get to shine.
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal."
—Albert Pike

17. Not moving on fast enough when it was time to go.
Old people look back at the long periods spent picking themselves off the ground as nothing but wasted time.
Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you won't do anything with it."
--M. Scott Peck 

18. Holding grudges, especially with those you love.
What’s the point of re-living the anger over and over? As William H. Walton said, To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee.

19. Not standing up for yourself.
Old people do not take shit from anyone. Neither should you.  Two things here: 1) you first have to believe in yourself, and 2) once you do that, do not take anyone’s shit.

20. Not volunteering enough.
OK, so you probably will not regret not volunteering Hunger Games style, but nearing the end of one’s life without having helped to make the world a better place is a great source of sadness for many.
"Until he has been part of a cause larger than himself, no man is truly whole."
-- Richard M. Nixon

21. Neglecting proper oral hygiene      
Brush. Floss. Repeat! Get regular checkups. It will all seem so maddeningly easy when you have dentures.

22. Missing the chance to ask your grandparents questions before they die.
Most of us realize too late what an awesome resource grandparents are. They can explain everything you ever wondered about where you came from, but only if you ask them in time.  Plus, they know all the deep dark crap about the WHOLE family!

23. Thinking work is important and working too much
No one looks back from their deathbed and wishes they spent more time at the office, but they do wish they spent more time with family, friends, and hobbies.  On the other side…
"Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life!"

24. Not learning how to cook at least one awesome meal
Knowing one drool-worthy meal will make all those dinner parties and celebrations that much more special. Plus, when you are alone..and just want a pick-me-up, making that meal for yourself, will be priceless!

25. Not appreciate the moment you are in enough
Young people are constantly on the go, but stopping to take it all in now and again is a good thing.
Reflect on your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some."
--Charles Dickens 

26. Failing to finish what you start; Failing to Start.
The difference between getting somewhere and nowhere is the courage to make an early start. The fellow who sits still and does just what he is told will never be told to do big things."
--Charles Schwab 

27. Never mastering one awesome party trick or one great skill
You will go to hundreds, if not thousands, of parties in your life. Wouldn’t it be cool to be the life of them all?

28. Letting culture or peer pressure define you.
Don’t let them tell you, “We don’t do that.”
"I am pushed by those who believe in me, but motivated by those who don't."
--Jeffrey Fry

29. Refusing to let friendships run their course.
People grow apart. Clinging to what was, instead of acknowledging that things have changed, can be a source of ongoing agitation and sadness.  Know when to let go.
Some people believe that holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go -- and then do it.
--Ann Landers

30. Not playing with your kids enough.
This is not for everyone, especially those who chose not to have children (which you will regret too), but when you are old, you will realize your kid went from wanting to play with you to wanting you out of their room in the blink of an eye.

31. Never taking a big risk (especially in love).
Knowing that you took a leap of faith at least once — even if you fell flat on your face — will be a great comfort when you are old.
Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.”

32. Not developing you list of contacts and personal network.
Networking may seem like a bunch of crap when you are young, but later on it becomes clear that it is how so many jobs are won. Also, make sure you keep the friends when you are young with you when you are old.

33. Worrying too much about, well anything
As Tom Petty sang, “Most things I worry about never happen anyway.  Great advice but Seth Godin says it better with anxiety: Anxiety is nothing but repeatedly re-experiencing failure in the future.”  

34. Getting caught up in needless drama and the people who are drama queens
Who needs it?  And drama mommas, get rid of them as soon as possible!
The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.
--Reid Hoffman

35. Not spending enough time just hanging with loved ones
Our time with our loved ones is finite. Make it count.

36. Never performing in front of others or being in the spot light
This is not a regret for everyone, but many elderly people wish they knew — just once — what it was like to stand in front of a crowd and show off their talents be it on a stage, on center court, or in a board room!

37. Being an ingrate or not being grateful sooner
It can be hard to see in the beginning, but eventually it becomes clear that every moment on this earth — from the mundane to the amazing — is a gift that we’re all so incredibly lucky to share.

38.   Realizing you do not have an infinite amount of time.
"Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost time is gone forever."
--Samuel Smiles

Friday, December 20, 2013

When Technology Is Awesome (humor)

Since Christmas is only 5 days away, I wanted to send you off with some good cheer. As you know the new diagnostics equipment out there is awesome, so much so it may give you results you never expected. Thanks Jim for the forward… and Merriment to All!

One day, in line at the company cafeteria, Joe says to Mike behind him, "My elbow hurts like hell. I guess I'd better see a doctor."

"Listen, you don't have to spend that kind of money," Mike replies "There's a diagnostic computer down at Costco. Just give it a urine sample and the computer will tell you what's wrong and what to do about it. It takes ten seconds and costs ten dollars - A lot cheaper than a doctor."

So, Joe deposits a urine sample in a small jar and takes it to Costco.

He deposits ten dollars and the computer lights up and asks for the urine sample. He pours the sample into the slot and waits.

Ten seconds later, the computer ejects a printout:

"You have tennis elbow. Soak your arm in warm water and avoid heavy activity.
It will improve in two weeks. Thank you for shopping @Costco."

That evening, while thinking how amazing this new technology was, Joe began wondering if the computer could be fooled.

He mixed some tap water, a stool sample from his dog, urine samples from his wife and daughter, and a sperm sample from himself for good measure. Joe hurried back to Costco, eager to check the results.

He deposited ten dollars, poured in his concoction, and awaited the results .

The computer printed the following:
1. Your tap water is too hard. Get a water softener. (Aisle 9)
2. Your dog has ringworm. Bathe him with anti-fungal shampoo. (Aisle 7)
3. Your daughter has a cocaine habit. Get her into rehab.
4. Your wife is pregnant. Twins. They are not yours... Get a lawyer.
5. If you don't stop playing with yourself, your elbow will never get better!
Thank you for shopping @Costco!