I Guess I had An Awesome Childhood – For Those Who Get It

I absolutely did this a hundred times, then pelted everyone with them. It was when we played outside instead of in front of a screen.

Happy 917 Day – For Those Who Get It

Pin by Geoff Daly on Porsche917 | Sports car racing ...

This is Jo Siffert at Daytona in 1970 in a Gulf Porsche 917. Out of all of the versions of this dominating car, this was both my favorite and my first encounter with it. He was my favorite driver and died too young.

It was the first time I’d seen a car go over 200 MPH in person. I was young, so it was impressive.

I was already a Porschefile by this point, but that day cemented it home.

I’ve seen them race many times, but I was with my Dad that day and it still is memorable for me.

Later, the car was the star of the movie Le Mans. Steve McQueen was in the movie, the king of cool, but the car outshone him.

Some call it the greatest sports car ever, and for those of us who have seen it race, we understand why.

After all…..this is the greatest line ever in a car movie.

More Wedding Bouquet Humor – I’m Not Catching That One Either

She’s a keeper, in the black dress

Today’s Covid Humor, What I Did At Home

I’ve been content free, so enjoy the laugh and do the usual copy and post on your social media of choice.

The trikini and marriage stuff is funny. Some of the Covid stuff makes too much sense.

Some of it just makes you think.

Guy Stuff, Why We Aim When We Pee

If it can be aimed at, we give it a go. Piscuits are low hanging fruit. A moving bug is much more challenging. It also guarantee’s a mess, but we take the shot anyway. We also play peeing for distance and other childish games.

I’m sure girls think we are silly, but when a group of them were asked what they’d do if they had a dick, they said aim it when they piss. (guys said they’d feel their boobs if they had them and shoot milk at each other like a squirt gun, still a dick thing).

When there is a stain on the bowl, we won’t clean it if we can knock it off with a stream. Yes, we write whatever we can on the sidewalk and in the snow. The ones that say they don’t are lying, but a few do need their man card revoked. We don’t even have to be taught this trick. It’s instinctive to try it.

Why do we do it? Because we can. Sure, our equipment isn’t as pretty as females, but it is useful and a built in play toy. Why do you think we hold on to it so much?

Best of all, the whole world is our urinal if needed.

I even broke up with a girlfriend who got mad at me when I had to take a leak by the side of the road because she was worried what people would think of her. They wouldn’t ever look at her for laughing at me. I knew she wasn’t a keeper at that point. Every thing was a joke to me and she couldn’t take a joke. The woman I married knew how immature I can be and ignores it most of the time.

How I (any introvert) Feels When They Go To A Party/Social Event

I start planning my escape the minute I hear that I can’t get out of an event. I just want to minimize the pain of small talk and social crap. This even if I like the people.

It has nothing to do with Covid. My social energy battery starts draining as soon as I hear I have to go.

I can spend endless time however one on one with someone that I can have a deep conversation with, or a dog.

Life Is Happening To Me, And My Memories

My posting has been light as I’ve been moving. It’s almost over. After I get the final truckload into a temporary storage place today, I can finally relax.

This has been months of ass busting to get things ready, turning me into a carpenter, plumber, painter and a no paid laborer.

After that was going through everything I’ve collected, including family stuff dating back to at least 2nd grade. A flood of memories came over me as with each picture or item, I felt the same emotion from decades ago. I also felt the loss of those who were there and are gone now. Some of the memories hurt, some were better. I decided to tell myself that I should be happy that I got to have the memory rather than let it tug too hard at my heart strings, dragging me down.

I had to throw out half my life. Those who will have to clean up my mess when I’m gone should thank me for doing it now for them. I had to go through all of my parents stuff when they died, which took years as some stuff was legal and I had to hold onto it, until this move. The final stuff is now gone, save for a few pictures and mementos.

My life is going to go through another phase now. I thought I was going to live my life out in the last 2 houses, yet here I am in a temporary place until the next one is ready.

It was a lot easier moving when you are younger. You have less shit that you accumulate and no one else to answer to. Now it’s “do you need this or do we need to keep it”. I had a lot more energy then and I know what to expect now.

When you are young and don’t know what is around the corner, it is an adventure. I know every phase of moving, including what is next, and that most people I have to rely on will be late and not really care about me except as a paycheck

I threw or gave away many thousands of dollars of stuff. It won’t fit where I was going and I got tired of selling stuff so I donated most of it to those who need it more than I do. I hope it serves them well. I’m happy if someone less fortunate benefits.

So by Monday, I’ll be as back to normal as I’ve been in a long time. Man, I hope so.

Back to the memories and moving adventures, I realized how freaking old I’ve become. For the first time, it’s dawned on me that the future is no longer endless. As each of us contemplates eternity, I hope you have prepared your soul. It’s way more important than a legacy

Reality bites us all in some way or another. I’m living through that right now.

Tuesday Saying, Who Are The Normal People – Joe Ancis

“The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.”

I swear this is true. I’ve found that everyone has a story. Some people call it skeletons, but when you hear about their lives, it weaves together who they really are. Pretty soon, you have to decide if they are worth it.

There are generally patterns to people and they repeat them, almost predictably. The more you find out, the less you want to do with them, except certain activities you can stand to do together.

There are some that overlook a lot of stuff because they wish to be with someone. That’s why people flock to celebtards for example.

I had to deal with a lot of famous people in my life. After spending only a little time with them, I couldn’t wait to get away.

Fortunately, there are a few people who truly who have a list of qualities that are better than their bad ones. I hope you can find a few.

The rest are people who are people. They show themselves to be who they are. You just learn about it over time. You have to decide if you will be putting up with or they need to be eliminated from your life to avoid being poisoned.

Then there is Mauerbauertraurigheit, or pulling away from groups that just need cleansing from your life.

Finally, examine yourself. You probably are that person to others. I guess try not to be, but don’t fake it, be yourself. If you don’t belong, don’t. If one of you is not normal and it’s not the other person, it’s you.

How To Get To Know An Introvert

There are a lot of jokes about extroverts adopting introverts and so forth, but the answer on really how to get to know one is less obvious to the world. It is clear as a bright sunshine day to introverts.

I know I have little patience for small talk. I don’t want to hear about surface level nonsense that is mostly irrelevant. It becomes a Facebook discussion on saying anything you can to get the most likes in the conversation.

That is a social rule that was written by extroverts because they are louder and dominate the discussions. When the yapping starts, I watch the introverts shutting down. It is mentally draining. It takes me days to recover from having to listen to this.

I’d rather just not talk and I don’t go to a lot of things just to not to have to hear it. I like the people, but the energy draining isn’t worth it.

On the other hand, if you want to talk about something meaningful, watch me open up. We don’t have to talk about derivative equations, but cut the shit and meaningless banter. I have a great depth of knowledge on many subjects and enjoy the conversation that is intellectually stimulating.

Fortunately, I am not bound by whether someone likes me for what I say or comply to. There are a lot of times I’m grateful that someone thinks I may be anti-social because I don’t want to listen to gossip. It’s usually a hate fest anyway.

I had an oncologist tell me that girls will tell other girls how good they look when it is awful, just so they will wear it and look bad. How effed up is that? They hate each other and I don’t want to hear about it.

So get to know me. That is two fold. Don’t gossip or try to keep the conversation going for the sake of talking. The other is try to go below the surface and show that you have thoughts about something sincere, really anything. Try pets for example. How tough is that?

I’ll do my part and even put up with the introductory small talk to get to know you, but if it doesn’t go past that very soon and you start repeating the same thing, or if it’s just trashing someone else, I’m out.

I develop Mauerbauertraurigheit (definition and discussion here) quickly and am gone.

Guys in the morning

There are times I can pee on 3 things at once and not one of them is in the bowl. Every guy has done it. Forget it if you have morning wood, that’s God’s joke on you.

How Social Media Works Against You

I’ve written extensively about this, especially in Internet Road Rage. Go read it to see who these cowards are.

No matter what you do, someone has a beef (vegans will get me here, just another example) with whatever you say.

It used to be don’t talk politics, religion or something else at Thanksgiving or you’ll piss off someone in your family. Now, just like someone and you are one of Hillary’s deplorables (She gave the the best example, why I’m using politics here hoping to draw some ire from a commenter to prove my point. I could care less about her or her opinions other than it works).

Now, you can’t say anything on social media without someone being offended. I think it’s funny if they fall for it though because it just shows how shallow people are. Just go to Quora, hater (twitter) or Fakebook to find a large group of the clueless. That they are trying to censor people who don’t agree with them just shows bias and ignorance.

So, you can either be smart and blow off the idiots looking to be offended or trying to prove their point to the world, or just fall in line with the masses and get into it.

How Did I Ever Survive Growing Up Doing This?

I look at the time out generation and think what a bunch of pussies they are. In reality, it is the parents fault.

I remember getting caught on a coral cliff at the beach and yelling for my Mom. She told me you got up there, you get yourself down. I got down and didn’t try that again.

These are the same complainers and cancel culture morons ruining our lives. They never had to grow up.

They complain on social media now and think someone cares.

On This Day, 10 Years Ago…..A Momentous Occurrence Happened To Me…..

I retired and enjoyed the heck out of it. If you want to know what I did, go to about and about me.

I started planning for it when I was in my 30’s and knew it would be a long game to have enough. I listened to Larry Burkett of Crown Financial Services, a biblical based ministry that taught me to save and to live debt free. I posted about it a while back on how an average Joe can become a millionaire.

Was it hard?

You bet it was. There were a lot of sacrifices and a lot of learning about investing, managing money and faith in God. It turns out that we were blessed with an abundance of riches, only a small amount of which are financial.

We were alone.

Fortunately, my wife was on the same page. Heck, my Mom even taught me how to save as she lived through the depression. She could make anything last longer than possible. That woman sacrificed for us and I noticed. My siblings however never learned. Mom told me she taught each of us the same lessons, but said no one else listened to her.

I caught a lot of crap from my friends.

Working in the airline industry is very common for my family and friends. We have many pilots and flight attendants in that group.

One of them, with whom I went to school with since 7th grade, gave me a ton of grief when I was in my late 20’s. He was serving cokes for a living (flight attendant) and wasted 15 years of his life doing it. He was broke when he quit.

I spoke to him one Saturday when I was at work. He told me that he only worked 2 weeks a month and was off to Hawaii, rubbing it in my face that I had to work. When I hung up, I knew right then that I was making a short term sacrifice for long term gain. I would be retiring early while being financially safe and knew I would have to work hard. I said to myself that I would make it my goal and I’d be playing golf while he was working. He still is working today, and when he got to the real world I’d had 15 years of experience. I had owned my own business shortly after that conversation. FWIW, I played golf this week.

Did I get even with him?

I chose not to rub it in because the facts show our different outcomes. I’m glad I have mine.

Being an introvert, I don’t want to get into it anyway and he doesn’t want to talk much anymore. I don’t care what happens to others as I can’t control anything other than my destiny. I’m sorry he didn’t listen to me. He told me he resented that job for 13 of the 15 years he did it and hates his current job.

A theme and a pattern.

It wasn’t only my siblings and friends. When I sold my business and went to work for IBM, they were the same. When it came time for me to say goodbye, my house was paid off and we had saved. Almost no one could believe that I was pulling the plug that early. They thought it was some scandal that I had to quit and were very disappointed that the reason I retired was because I could. Most of them were keeping up with the Jones and didn’t save. I looked some of them up and they are still stuck working at the same job when I left.

At the end, IBM was a terrible place to work (see managing executive ego’s, the good, the bad and the ugly). I actually pulled the trigger a year early to get out of that hell hole. To a person, everyone said they wished that they could do what I did, get out. They were too far in debt to do so.

I turned down moving to New York to “climb the ladder” because living there sucks and I didn’t want to raise a family there. People told me when they moved to New York, they got to pay 30% more for everything, for less than I made. Again, I knew that I was making the right decision for my family not to go there to “get ahead” (behind would have been the actual case if I’d gone there).

My Father.

Dad worked until he was 70. Work defined his life. He was lost when he retired.

Working was only a means to an end for me. To be fair, I was fortunate enough to be highly successful and God decided that I should be compensated for it. That helped make it happen, but if you go back to my siblings, they earned more than me at times. They still work though as most of it was wasted on useless stuff.

Dad couldn’t understand my goals, but I had so much going on that work was interfering with my life, so I stopped. I never regretted it.

A lot of the IBM’rs died shortly after retiring because they had to work a long time. I saw that and knew I wanted to enjoy my life. Now, every day is Saturday for me.

I have enjoyed each day these last 10 years. Heck, I’m the president of the how to enjoy your retirement club. Never once did I think about going back because I didn’t have to.

If there is any lesson, it is in the post of how to become a millionaire.

Short term sacrifice for long term paradise.

Millennials vs Boomers, How Each Turned Out

I got my ass beat a lot growing up. It was almost every day one summer. I’m pretty sure I earned and deserved every whack. I turned out just fine and respected my Dad even though he was the administrator of spanking.

When I look at the woke people, the cancel culture and the idiots on Twitter, Fake Book and other social media, I’m thankful for my upbringing. It scares the crap out of me that this group of ‘tards are about to run everything while a bunch of them still live in their parents basement.

The ones that made it out of the basement are bringing down the NBA, NFL, MLB and the rest of sports and entertainment (and life).

I also can get anywhere with only a map, write in cursive and can figure out how to fix just about anything without a search engine.

Life Is Hard, And Here’s Why

Ah yes, choices. They separate the wheat from the chaff.

My Mom told me that life is about having to climb mountains, a figure of speech for problems. Once you climb the top, there will be the next one.

We know the right choice and many times don’t pick it. Actions have consequences, choose wisely.

Stuff Only Older Guys Will Recognize

I built a million of these things. It was cars, planes, engines and more cars. I got model glue on everything.

Actually, I’m surprised that my brain isn’t mush from all the glue. This was before people were sniffing it to get high.

Most of the fun is in the building, then you just look at them until you built another.

I learned more about how to build an engine and how things work than today’s mush heads, who are killing monsters or shooting anything that moves.

I now see that I was alone for hours when building these guys. It is a trait that I recognize for life and embrace.

Hillbilly Sushi

I wonder if this is going to offend hillbillies? I wonder if that name is a cultural appropriation? What if it is a racist name?

Fear not, I have a strain in my family as southern as turnip greens.

I shake my head as I’m making fun of woke people using hotdogs, and yet I think there might be someone ready to lead a revolution to protect hillbillies now from discrimination. On second thought, nah.

Oh, and Happy Memorial Day.

The Gender Neutral Bathroom We’ve Had For Ages

I read before the last Olympics that all of the athletes pee in the pool also, they admitted it.

Somebody get me some chlorine or the ocean.

Other than that, have a happy Memorial Day and try to remember those who paid the ultimate price for us to enjoy this day, and pee in the pool

Introvert Stuff I find Funny

This is stuff I laugh at because I know it applies to everyone, not just introverts. I just internalize more than most so I go through this when asked.

FWIW, I ask this about most other people at some point also.

Fashion, From the Same People Who Thought A Man Bun Looked Good

My daughter had a simple nose piercing before she joined the real world. One day while teaching Sunday School, one of the toddlers asked her why she had a booger on her nose (it was a small diamond). Kids tell the truth. It didn’t look good, but what can a Dad tell a teenage daughter? You guessed it, nothing.

I talked to Doctors who told me this is a petri dish for bacteria. What happens in allergy season when your nose is constantly running? It is disgusting to think about.

Finally, I’m not in the dating pool. If I was, this would be on the list of red flags that would tip me off to not everything is going well upstairs. I don’t care what others do to their bodies as long as it doesn’t affect me. It doesn’t mean that I think it looks good or makes anyone more appealing. That affects me.

I try to protect myself from crazy people. Piercing your nose doesn’t make you crazy. It does give a hint that maybe not everything is working well in the decision part of the brain though.

Caveat: I have readers from countries that this is a tradition and perhaps a religious symbol. I get that it is a part of your life. However, are they are getting it done because they have to or are supposed to. I wonder who would do it if the mental pressure to do so wasn’t there?

I still ask myself how does one think that makes them look better? I move along and say nothing, but so far it hasn’t improved anyone’s appearance that I can tell.

Remember belly button piercings? No one is running out to get those anymore either.

Whatever blows wind up your skirt, Oink.

How Is Freedom Safe, By Adlai Stevenson

“My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.”

It’s always been difficult to be unpopular. We learn this lesson in school. No one wants to be an outcast.

With the dreaded social media and their censors against only certain people and certain words that they don’t agree with, the visibility of this subject has leapfrogged past logic, reason and congeniality. You say the wrong thing to the wrong person and your head gets bitten off.

First, you have to care if what people say about you bothers you. I don’t give a flying fig anymore because if they like me they do. If they don’t, what they say probably isn’t going to phase me.

The real hero’s and leaders are those who will stand up against the sheep and go the other way, or lead the sheep. Oh, you are going to piss some people off, but they were probably just there to try and get in your way.

The moral is don’t be a sheep. Fight (say to others, don’t hit them unless you are in Portland) for what you believe in and the hill you want to make your stand on.

Most of all, when you have made your decision, don’t let public opinion or popularity contests sway you. When you are right you are. If you are not sure, you probably aren’t.

Most people who get in your way are jealous or get their kicks by bringing others down instead of worrying about what they should be doing.

Today’s Self-Help Guide To Avoiding/Escaping Poverty

I post this to try and help someone who might listen. I paid attention as did a lot of people who didn’t wind up in poverty.

I’ve known others that didn’t make it. Without disclosing personal facts, you can just look at the graphic and know what happened to them.

I get that nothing is full proof, but this will help the majority I hope.

Introverted Social Media

It doesn’t take many posts for you to see that I think Fake book and Twatter are the cesspools of the Internet. More hate is spilled there than Iran towards Israel and the USA.

I happily quit both. My life is better and while I didn’t waste a lot of time on them, it still was mostly useless.

I always hated those friend recommendations because I’m sure they were on the other side also. My rule was if you aren’t my friend then you aren’t worth being my fake book friend either. I happily forgot most of the people I grew up with and didn’t want to find them again, let alone reconnect.

It’s as bad as a phone call for an introvert without first warning that you are about to intrude on my life. There was an introvert on the team that invented texting to avoid that phone call.

When I saw this one, I realized that it was time to dump fake book. I also can’t stand that they are the arbiters of free speech and who is allowed on, so I made the decision for them. I don’t want to be in a place of hate or that has special rules for people who they don’t agree with personally, and went to other platforms that don’t suggest people I’d rather not see or hear from again in life.

Shakespeare On Heartache

Usually, one of the parties wants something different from the other one and the fun begins.

It’s not only in relationships, but I’m usually disappointed by people more than anything else. They are far more consistent at it than plans are in letting me down.

Why You Should Ask Older People For Advice

If you want to know the road ahead, ask someone who has been there.

Throughout my life, I’ve always asked people for what advice helped them the most, either good or bad. Sometimes, knowing what to avoid is just as, if not more helpful. I stumbled on this by accident when I realized that I didn’t know everything there was to know as an adolescent, even though I thought I did.

Not knowing the outcome is good if you don’t want to spoil a surprise. Knowing the right path in life to take is never a bad thing.

One thing I’ve learned is that most wise people have also learned that a lot of people don’t listen, so their knowledge remains with them because they are tired of offering to help, only to see it rebuffed or not taken. The same mistakes that experience already taught someone is then a lesson never learned or passed on.

It’s up to you. Ask what is the meaning of life, what helped the most, what is your biggest mistake, I have 2 paths in life to take but don’t know which to choose.

But Wait, There’s More In Life Once You’ve Just Overcome Your Obstacle

Behind the mountains are more mountains – unknown, but supposedly an old Haitian saying

My mom told me you are either facing a problem/hurdle, in the middle of it or have just overcome it. If you overcame it, there is always another mountain.

She also told me that we were made to overcome obstacles. We get the most satisfaction from solving and defeating them.

Don’t shy away. From Thinkr:

Will-strengthening obstacles are often the most painful, but the lessons they teach also go the deepest if we allow them to instruct us. To strengthen the will, we must always expect more difficult times to lie ahead.

The Two Types Of People In Your Life

OK, except in machine level coding, nothing is that binary. It does capture a good percentage of the people you encounter however.

People don’t change, they reveal themselves to you. I try to cull the temporary people as life has taught me that lesson.

This One Is For Introverts

I know some introverts. They have a lot to say and are very deep people. The problem is that the others talk over them a lot of the time. I watch the introverts just shut down at that point and a great story or deep conversation stops.

If you know someone like this, give them a chance. You might be surprised to find a loyal and interesting friend.

Monday Saying – The Secret Of Life

“The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well.” – Horace Walpole

I just finished a conversation with a successfully retired executive. He told me the secret to retirement is to keep your life uncomplicated. These two are related.

If you do something really well are paid for it, you hit the lottery. If it is one of your 1000 things, you still are ok. If you are hating your job and don’t something you do well you might be a dumbass.

Life is too short to not enjoy what you are doing. Sure, we have to do things we don’t want to, but not all the time.

If you do this, your life will be a lot easier than swimming upstream doing something you don’t like and aren’t good at. There is nothing wrong with tenacity, as long as it is combined with intelligence.

The moral of the story is don’t be a dumbass.

Tuesday Saying – How To Appreciate Life

Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.  – Madelline L’Engel

Some have to reach their rock bottom to recover from disease, broken heart, addiction or whatever the poison is.  Everyone has a story.

Going through it, recovering or learning how to live with the darkness is when you grow.  Admitting what is bothering you is a good first step, but we move on and deal with things our own way.

You sure appreciate how much you have when you think how little time you have to enjoy it.  Choose light and not darkness.

 

How Fast Do Dogs Age? Hint, The 7 Years Per Human May Not Be Right, And Other Dog Stuff

What I do know is that dogs don’t live long enough for how much they love you.

I found this story and here are the highlights as well as the link to the study, but it’s not how we were told they age and it explains why.

  • Three recent discoveries have changed scientists’ understanding of the nature of dogs.
  • One study found that young puppies age much faster than young humans do, so the common rule of thumb that one “dog year” is equivalent to seven “human years” is wrong.

Dogs live an average of 12 years. Human life expectancy, by contrast, is at least five times that, which is why many people go by the common rule of thumb that one “dog year” is equivalent to seven “human years.”

But that one-to-seven ratio is wrong, researchers found — it’s a misunderstanding of how dogs’ aging processes compare to those of humans. Instead, according to a July study, genetic evidence suggests that Labrador puppies and other young dogs age faster than their older counterparts.

“What’s surprising is exactly how old a 1-year-old dog is — it’s like a 30-year-old human,” Trey Ideker, a co-author of that study, said in a press release.

Ultimately, in order to calculate your dog’s human-age equivalent, you’ll need a calculator. The researchers’ formula is: A dog’s human age = 16 ln * your dog’s age + 31. (The ln refers to the natural log of a number.)

For the full story, here is the link.

Great Sayings – Why We Strive In Life, Not For Participation Trophies

“Don’t do what you want. Do what you don’t want. Do what you’re trained not to want. Do the things that scare you the most.” – Chuck Palahniuk, Author of “Fight Club”

 

The more difficult the struggle, the greater satisfaction from the accomplishment. That saying is from both my Mother and me.

No one gives a rats ass about a participation trophy.  We want to win.  To win you have to struggle, train, learn and fight for what you want.  Look at what athletes do to attain victory.  There is only one winner and second place is first loser.

There is only one CEO, but that person sacrificed along the way in time, travel and lack of attention to their family.

Dedication, training and commitment to any goal is necessary to achieve and succeed.

Overcoming what you are afraid of is and equal victory.  The sense of satisfaction we get from beating our demons is as great for some as is winning a competition or succeeding in life.  We were made to overcome obstacles in life and learn from that struggle.

Don’t give up or give in.  Relish the sweet sense of victory or vanquishing what held you back.

 

Friday Saying – A Different If A Tree Falls In The Forrest Point Of View, Mensa Version

Even if one tree falls down it wouldn’t affect the entire forest. Chen Shui-bian

 

Yes, the one we know is “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it does it make a sound?”, but in a way the above one is more correct.

Of course it makes a sound, but unless it is a forest of one, it doesn’t affect the forest.  The reason is that life goes on.  We are all trees in the forest of life, but we are born, live and then die.  Most are forgotten, but that is the way of life.  What is it’s meaning and what is your contribution to society, family or….?

Here’s a quick test to see what you’ve done.  Write your own obituary.  You’ll see what you’ve contributed and what you have done.

Which brings me to my favorite Mensa joke.  What is the meaning of life, give 3 examples.  Those who understand it will get it.

Monday Saying – Why You Should Be Brave Enough To Say Yes or No (bonus for Introverts)

“In truth, the degree of anyone’s success depends on how often they can say the word yes and hear the word no.” – unknown.

 

Many are afraid of what others will think if they divert from their principles and don’t give the real answer.  It would save both parties a lot of time and angst if you would just be honest.

For Introverts, this is the best conversation.  It cuts through the BS small talk about why you can or can’t do something and gives the appropriate answer.  You’ll be respected for getting to the point quickly and will feel better about yourself for being honest.

Some, albeit a few might get their feelings hurt, but it will pass once they see you have done the right thing.  Many will appreciate that you gave them a straight answer, even if it isn’t dressed up and decorated with flowers and bows before you dance around your answer.

Say it, Yes or No.  Then move on to a deeper conversation.

Friday Saying – John Wooden On Life

All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.

John Wooden

 

Wooden was perhaps the greatest college basketball coach ever.  I think the fans at Duke, UNC and Kentucky may argue, but would still accept his legacy.

My mother told me something similar.  Life is about overcoming problems.  She said it is a series of hurdles that you have to overcome and there will always be another one.

One will always be on one of 3 sides of a situation.  You will be approaching it, enduring it or having just overcome it.  How you deal with it defines you.

With respect to Wooden, it does make life easier when you don’t go too overboard on any of the peaks and valleys.  They all pass and there will always be another one.

Tuesday Saying – Who Is Normal?

“The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.” – Joe Ancis

 

Some say there are skeleton’s in everyone’s closet.  The way I say it is that everyone has a story.

When you meet someone, it’s like a job interview. They put on the best version of themselves.  It’s kind of like a first date.  They show you the best version of themselves and how good they are.

Once you know them, the warts begin to show.   We let our guard down and you begin to see the real person.

Unless you go through this process and learn, you play a video in your head of who you think the other person is.  It’s rarely right because you don’t know them or what they’ve been through, or what they are capable of doing (to you).  That is why they seem normal.  My rule is that most are not.  Everyone has a story.

It’s why I usually don’t talk much about myself and just try to be the real me.  The sooner you show who you really are, the quicker you can weed out the fakes you run into.

Great Sayings – On Why To Be Positive by Wilson Mizner

If you count all your assets you always show a profit.

Wilson Mizner

 

Some people use the version of this that the glass is half full.  Some are optimists, some are pessimists.

How you look at life (and your life) can certainly change your perspective and your attitude.

It’s your choice to be happy or miserable.  Some are happiest when miserable, but I can’t change that.

When you are happy and count your blessings, others will feed off of that and you could change a life.  Just remember who gave you your blessings.

No going back, how Covid has changed us

Covid has changed our lives for good, and possibly/probably not for the better. Let’s take it by activity.

Travel

Here is some history. Flying used to be fun, economical and had good service. We used to like going on an airplane until some jag-off decided to try and light his shoe bomb on a plane.  Then another tried to blow up his underwear. We now have to queue in a long line  and I’m not all that sure that it’s stopped anyone other than the average Joe traveler. It hasn’t stopped the TSA from copping a feel on strangers.  The food sucks now and isn’t free anymore. Flying is more like the line for enlistment (including your prostate exam by the TSA) than to get on a plane.

With Covid, we can now add a temperature check, face masks and the the fear of catching anything from being in a tube for hours with little to no service.  The airports are petri dishes for bacteria.

Given the losses on travel companies and equipment manufacturers, it doesn’t bode well for the travel industry or the travelers.

Going to the office to work.

The requirement to be in person at work not as necessary as thought.

Before remote working, we had to be in the office or no one could be fully sure that you were earning your pay. Travel and working remotely eased that but there still are some bosses who didn’t trust their employees.   I had one piss-ant manager named R. Gorman when I worked at Thinkpad who didn’t trust anyone. He  sent a memo called rules of the road where you had to be in the office. All that got him was no trust or loyalty from the team. We were technologically equipped to work from anywhere and always did on business travel, but there still was some requirement to be in the office otherwise.

Employees want to be empowered to succeed. When that happens, they find ways to be creative and accomplish their goals. Conversely, when you treat them like school children, many will act that way. Just like with Ray, our productivity went down and the Ray jokes went up.

Now, no one can go in to work while we are socially distancing, and most jobs (non-manufacturing) are still getting done. It’s easy to reach anyone at anytime (too easy and too intrusive) but the oversight of said taskmasters is not needed. In a way, the people are now empowered and they still get the work done.  This one could be a benefit of Covid.

The downside is that a lot of empty buildings will lose their real estate value as there is no need to be in the office with the exception of essential workers.

How it affects the home

For us introverts, I thought it would be a time that we could cancel and/or avoid engagements until Zoom invaded our lives. Now even virtual happy hours are like a meeting. I’ve noticed that it’s hard to get privacy when kids and dogs are in the room or yelling in the background. Spouses or parents have been caught parading nude in front of the camera by accident.

When you meet in person, it’s easier to read body language and have someones attention. I tend to drift during Zoom meetings and have multiple devices that I often look at. I’ve noticed that I’m not alone.

Trouble for Introverts

Normally, we would be in pig heaven not to have to go to the office. In addition to the invasiveness of Zoom/Skype, we are stuck in the house with extroverts who won’t leave us alone. It’s like being trapped in hell. You want the quiet and the peace you got when the extrovert was in the office, instead your personal space is invaded and you can’t escape.

Schools

The school model is now exposed, especially at college level. No more extortion for dorms when you can do 90% online. College professors are no longer as essential. Recorded classes, especially at the 100 and 200 level are adequate. Online testing and submitting required homework is routinely done online even well before this virus.

It turns out that colleges are a Breathtakingly overpriced product.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/05/breathtakingly-overpriced-product-mike-rowe-says-covid-19-revealed-college-really/

According to Mike Rowe: “They’re gonna’ find big thinkers with easily accessible ideas who are exponentially more interesting than professors, and soon, I hope, our obscene love affair with credentialing is going to stop, and we’re going to pause in every imaginable way, and look at what is essential – not just in workers or in work, but in education, in food, in fun. Everything is going to be forced through a different filter,” he said.

Colleges will also be exposed on their sports programs. Sports are a bank fund that pays for a lot of other school expenses and is a recruiting tool for enrollment. The schools will now have to rely on actual academics as a draw for students instead of March Madness or Bowl season. Maybe the students will now get an education instead of an indoctrination to Marxism.

Conversely, this is a big positive as the cost of education has the opportunity to go down (but so far the colleges are still extorting the same ransom from parents). Room and board are a large part of the cost of an education. Combine that with the lack of a requirement for many classrooms and there is the road to cutting costs.

It is not in the best interest of the Major institutions to charge less, but the cat is out of the bag that you can get almost as much done online. I hope that the masses will overcome and help this opportunity for cost cutting.

For elementary, middle and high school, I think it will hurt our youth.  There is a need for hands on in basic learning and kids have the attention span of gnats.  Sometimes you need to snatch their asses back to attention when it’s learning time.

New paradigm for getting essential needs like groceries.

Essential services like cancer, emergency rooms are same, but will change. Non-essential Dr. visits are now handled over the phone or via video. Dr.’s can now dedicate more of their time to real emergencies or necessary in-person visits. A person using the Emergency Room for healthcare because they don’t have insurance is going to go way down.

There is no downtime for paperwork and other overhead that comes with any job, but that got handled off-line mostly anyway.

Rely on technology more, but the risk is that you can take down a society like the virus did. Beware of hackers though, where there is opportunity, there will be bad guys looking to make your day worse.

Shopping

Groceries have taken a turn for the better/worse/something different. Now that we went through the great toilet paper shortage and people have enough to wipe their asses for the next 5 years.   They can realize that a little planning can condense 5 shopping trips into one, or one delivery or pickup.

A lot converts have been made for grocery delivery. There are a few kinks that need to be worked out though. I’ve gotten stuff I didn’t order, but mostly I rarely get everything I wanted, even if I put in what the substitute would be product. There is no shopping for the store brand that is a whole lot cheaper.

We have gotten used to queuing a lot more now. It used to be the end of the world for some people who had to wait for more than one person to checkout. Now, we’re standing on X’s taped to the floor like kindergartners waiting to go potty.

As is the trend, online shopping has picked up and the downside is retail stores are less needed.  Again, this is a loss in real estate value and will leave a lot of square footage available.

So all in all, some of this is good, but a lot of it was unnecessary. If it wasn’t an election year or if there were different political leaders, a whole lot of people wouldn’t be losing there freaking minds over every little thing that they look for to be offended by.  HCQ would be over the counter like it is in a lot of countries and we wouldn’t be held hostage for masks as no one really seems to know whether it truly helps or hurts us yet.

I’ll remain optimistic that society will adapt.  I’m pessimistic that this is a political power opportunity to control the masses and we should beware.

Great Sayings – Why We Love Someone

Nobody loves a woman because she is handsome or ugly, stupid or intelligent. We love because we love.

-Honore de Balzac

 

There is someone for everyone.  I once read (so it might be somewhat true) that there are 15,000 Mr. or Mrs. Right’s for each person.  The problem is that they are spread around the world so they might not be next door.

The other saying is that goes with this is that Love is blind.  You love because we were created to love and to be together.

With all the nonsense going on in the world right now, it would be a whole lot better if we concentrated on loving someone instead of causing mayhem because they think they hate someone.

Love is a decision.  The romance usually wears off in 12-18 months.  After that, it is a cause, not an emotion.  Looks wear off with age.  The real beauty is inside a person.

Let that sink in.

Mask Follies – When Covid Kids Go Back To School (Humor)

Local school board is deciding whether or not to make kids wear masks at school. Here is what will happen.

Here’s how I think requiring masks might work in elementary.

Please don’t snap Billy’s mask in his face.

Your mask is not a necklace, bracelet, or any other form of jewelry.

You should not be using your mask as a slingshot. Please put it back on your face.

Please do not chew on your mask.

Your mask should be on your face, not on the back of your head

I’m sorry your mask is wet, but that’s what happens when you lick the inside of it.

I’m sorry you sneezed. Here’s a tissue. Wipe out the snot as well as you can.

No, you may not blow your nose in your mask.

Why is your mask soaking wet? You just came back from the bathroom?

And you put it back on your face after you dropped it?

I’m sorry you broke the elastic on your mask by seeing how far the band would stretch. Now you’ll have to hold the mask on your face … or use this duct tape.

Please take the mask off your eyes and watch where you’re walking. I don’t care if you have X-ray vision.

Please take the mask off of your pencil and stop twirling it.

I know the mask fits over your pants like a knee pad, but please take it off of your leg and put it on your face.

What do you mean you tried to eat your lunch through your mask?

Please don’t share your mask or trade masks. I don’t care if you like Ingrid’s mask better than yours.

I’m sorry, but your mask is not school appropriate.

We’re not comparing our masks to other kids’ masks… everyone’s mask is unique and special.

No, you may not decorate your mask instead of doing your work. I don’t care if you have a Sharpie.

You’re not a pirate, please take your mask off your eye.

Try to get the gum off as much as you can.

Please don’t use your mask to pick your nose.

I’m sorry you tripped, but that’s what happens when you put your feet inside the elastic of your mask.

No, your mask doesn’t make it hard to get your work done.

Your Mom will need to get you a new mask since you chewed a hole in that one.

Why is there a shoe print on your mask?

No, you cannot eat the snow through your mask.

I don’t care if you were in art class and being creative; we do not decorate our masks.

We do not beam other kids in the face with balls. No, their masks don’t make it not hurt.

Please don’t plug your nose holes with your mask.

Who’s making that noise?

I’m sorry your ponytail is stuck, that’s what happens when you see how many times you can wrap it around your mask.

I’m sorry to tell you, but your child thought her mask made her a superhero. She tried to fly off the jungle gym at recess …

I’m sorry your breath stinks in your mask, maybe we should all try to brush better.

Please take those cookies out of your mask. No, you are not a chipmunk.

Things You Realize When You Get Older

I found this and agree with most of it.  It was written by an introvert if you couldn’t tell by the first bullet.

I used the last bullet when raising kids.  It kept them (mostly) out of trouble that a lot of my friends had to go through.

A lot of it really refers to personal responsibility for your actions and outcomes.  I wish more people were doing that right now instead of blaming others for their problems or as an excuse to act improperly

  • Books are your best friends.
  • Looks do not reflect character.
  • It is not necessary to impress people.
  • It is OK to be single.
  • Nothing happens by chance, everything happens by choice.
  • Crying does not mean you are weak.
  • Apologies can be accepted, but after that trust is usually denied.
  • People treat you according to their need.
  • You usually treat people like they treat you.
  • If we believe life is a blessing, it becomes one.
  • You are responsible for your own happiness.
  • Being reason behind someone’s smile is utter bliss.
  • Taking responsibility of your own life is the only way to create the life you desire.
  • There is no excuse for binge drinking. The consequences may be serious.

Great Sayings – On Revenge

Revenge is taking the poison and hoping others die. Forgive everyday. – unknown

I really don’t mean the saying today for what has been going on the last week even though it applies.  It is a saying for all of life.  What happens this week will be over soon and there will be another issue to try and cause strife.

On a personal level, we all run into someone every once in a while who says something or does something that either causes harm or offends you.  It’s best to forgive and move on.  Whether you can forget is up to you, but the other person is probably not thinking about you.

I read the best revenge is not giving a shit.  Once you do that, you can forgive a lot easier.

Great Sayings – Alexander Graham Bell

People breakup in relationships.  They get laid off from work.  Those close to us die.  It happens to everyone sooner or later.

You will always keep that memory whether or not you want to, but moving on is part of life.  Yes, it takes time, more for some than others.  Some never move on as a loss is hurtful.

The best thing I can offer is that every experience can help you grow.  Try to look for the positives.  Try to remember those things or people that you lost for their positive influence on you.  Sometimes if you can’t move on, at least move along until the pain is less.

The other situation I often see is that you don’t get the dream job you thought would change your life.  There is always a next job if you keep seeking and no one thing is the panacea of life that will cause it to stop if it doesn’t go your way.

Great Sayings – Aristotle on Anger

“Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.” — Aristotle

 

It’s hard to figure out who is angry and who is an opportunist with what is going on right now.

Some people can go from zero to life in prison in 2 seconds.  Others seem to be able to take more than most.  As I grow older and with more wisdom, I realize that a lot of things really aren’t worth getting upset over.  I realized this when I was younger, but usually after I got angry and did something I regretted.

Oh, this works for other situations also, like relationships and work situations also.

Great Sayings – Compassion For Animals

Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.

It may not be the ultimate test of a person’s character, but you can easily observe much about a person by their interaction with animals.
I often see how people’s pets behave and you can gather a lot about a the owner.  Pets look to us for care and compassion and give back way more than we give them a lot of the time.  Most of what we call a bad animal is really a bad owner.

Great Sayings – Arthur Schopenhauer on Being Alone (Covid-19)

We have been in quarantine for a while now.  Most are dying to get back to their life of being busy.  I’ve observed that those who want to get out the most are the ones who are trying to escape from themselves.  It is a time of introspection.  If it weren’t an election year, it probably would have been lifted in a lot of places by now.

The extroverts have to talk to others.  The introverts don’t mind being alone, but are bothered when they are quarantined with an extrovert that makes their life miserable thinking that they have to talk all the time.  They can’t wait for it to be lifted so that they can be home alone again.

Those of us who are truly comfortable with ourselves can enjoy the solitude without distress.  The needy are those who have to have others as a salve for their issues.  It is a good time to learn to deal with your issues.  That is when you are finally free.

 

Things You May Not Know, Or Haven’t Considered Yet About Life (6 People Look Exactly Like You)

1. Your shoes are the first things people subconsciously notice about you. Wear nice shoes.
2. If you sit for more than 11 hours a day, there’s a 50% chance you’ll die within the next 3 years.
3. There are at least 6 people in the world who look exactly like you. There’s a 9% chance that you’ll meet one of them in your lifetime.
4. Sleeping without a pillow reduces back pain and keeps your spine stronger.
5. A person’s height is determined by their father, and their mother determines their weight.
6. If a part of your body “falls asleep”, you can almost always “wake it up” by shaking your head.
7. There are three things the human brain cannot resist noticing – food, attractive people and danger.
8. Right-handed people tend to chew food on their right side.
9. Putting dry tea bags in gym bags or smelly shoes will absorb the unpleasant odor.
10. According to Albert Einstein, if honeybees were to disappear from earth, humans would be dead within 4 years.
11. There are so many kinds of apples, that if you ate a new one every day, it would take over 20 years to try them all.
12. You can survive without eating for weeks, but you will only live 11 days without sleeping.
13. People who laugh a lot are healthier than those who don’t.
14. Laziness and inactivity kill just as many people as smoking.
15. A human brain has a capacity to store 5 times as much information as Wikipedia.
16. Our brain uses the same amount of power as a 10-watt light bulb!!
17. Our body gives enough heat in 30 minutes to boil 1.5 liters of water!!
18. The Ovum egg is the largest cell and the sperm is the smallest cell!!
19. Stomach acid (conc. HCl) is strong enough to dissolve razor blades!!
20. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day & while you walk, SMILE. It is the ultimate antidepressant.
21. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
22. When you wake up in the morning, pray to ask God’s guidance for your purpose, today.
23. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
24. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, broccoli, and almonds.
25. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
26. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts and things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
27. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
28. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
29. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive them for everything.
30. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
31. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
32. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
33. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
34. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
35. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years, will this matter?’
36. Help the needy, be generous! Be a ‘Giver’ not a ‘Taker’
37. What other people think of you is none of your business.
38. Time heals everything.
39. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
40. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. Each night before you go to bed, pray to God and be thankful for what you accomplished, today. What if you woke up this morning and only had what you thanked God for yesterday? DON’T FORGET TO THANK GOD FOR EVERYTHING.
43. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

Great Sayings – Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell – “Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

 

Post Modernism has ruined the quality of life for us.  I know there is no going back, but there are but a few of us willing to fight for what is right rather than what the crowd tells us to do.  Just being socially accepted is not a reason for not doing what is right and good.

Sowell has said some of he most relevant and meaningful things that can be read.  I encourage others to heed his words

The Day My Son Became a Fisherman – A Father and Son Memory

This is a story about my young son trying to catch the biggest fish in the pond.

Fathers do things for their children. They take them places and (try to) teach them things.

I like to fish and wanted my son to also like it so we could fish together. I made sure that we went catching instead of fishing. For those who have gone a entire day fishing without catching anything, you know what I mean.

I took him to the fishing show one year to show him around. It is a place where they sell things mostly to catch fishermen’s wallets.

We started the show by dropping quarters into a large fish tank. If the quarter glided through the water and into the shot glass at the bottom, you were a winner with the prize being your choice of worms. He won on the first try and was very excited about it.

I knew his attention span was limited so we went to the trout pond to fish. When I say pond, I mean a temporary pool filled with fish. They were mostly small trout with maybe 3 big boys in the pond (actually the big ones are female). It came complete with plastic palm trees in the middle for décor. You paid your $2 and could keep anything you caught in 5 minutes. The poles were a 4-foot stick with a short line and small hook baited with a mostly inedible piece of plastic half the size of a fingernail.

The odds are with the fish on this one. Especially when they have seen the same bait for 3 days and got fed every night.

My goal was for him to catch anything while I wanted to get enough of the small guys for dinner. I told him that any fish was a good fish.

HUNTING MOBY DICK

Never the small dreamer, he spotted the biggest fish in the pool and said he was going after it. I feared he would be disappointed as everyone threw a line at it, but I knew I could just take him through the line again and tell him to go for something catchable.

I had landed about 3 of the small fish and was well on the way to having dinner by half the time allotted. He kept trying for the big fish (nicknamed Moby Dick).

As time was counting down and I had caught enough for dinner, I heard a huge splash beside me. I looked over and sure enough, my son had hooked Moby.

My new fear was that he would be crushed if the fish spit the hook. The hooks they provided were tiny and easy for the fish get off the line. I saw it happen to every kid before us. If you didn’t get one to the side in less than 15 seconds, it was pretty much over.

This fish was almost too strong for the small stick and line we were given. Over a minute into the fight, it was still on and I knew the odds were against us.

THE FIRST CHANCE TO LOSE THE FISH

Things took a turn for the worse as his fish got wrapped around one of the plastic palm trees. In my mind, I was already preparing to console him for his loss.

I knew I had to try something. After all, I was his Dad so I reached into the tank and grabbed the palm tree. The pond monitors weren’t happy with me but it was my son.

Anyone who ever had a fish on knows that if you get slack in the line, the fish is as good as gone once the line goes taut and the sudden tension pulls the hook out of the fish’s mouth.

To my surprise, Moby stayed on despite the tree incident and he was well past 2 minutes into the fight. Time was now over for that fishing session, but since he had one on we were allowed to finish. We had an audience as everyone waiting to fish and those who just finished could see that he had a good one on.

I decided that if by chance I could get my hands on this fish that I was willing to do anything to get it for my son. I didn’t want him to be disappointed after overcoming virtually everything that could go wrong, just to lose it at the last second. This wasn’t going to be easy, as anyone who has handled a trout knows they have a coating of slime. They are as slippery as greased ice. Landing  them is usually done with a net, which we weren’t allowed to use.

PANIC AT THE MOMENT OF TRUTH

I thought nothing more could go wrong, but to my horror I could see that it was foul hooked (hooked on the body rather than the mouth). My sense of the odds of landing Moby were next to nothing now.

After what seemed like a million circles in the pond, Moby came within my reach and I stuck my hand under the fish and threw it out of the pond in one swoop.

On that day, he had landed the biggest fish in the pond, a Dad was proud and a small boy became a fisherman.

Here is a picture later in life of fishing together.  He learned well

 

Common Core Education, Failing our Kids

 

THE SETUP FOR THE DISCUSSION

I suppose every generation considers the learning of the next generation as inferior to theirs.  If we didn’t, why do millennials eat tide pods?  Why do parents talk about how better their education was and how soft they are on kids today?   There are many reasons for this including prejudice, standards, government intrusion into the learning system and deviation from what made our education system the one that led to more progress, inventions and breakthroughs than any in the history of man.

We’ve now potentially gone backwards and have therefore failed the following generations.

In working with public school kids, I observe that there are many reasons.  People are not equal and some are smarter and learn better than others.  Those with two parent families or with a single parent who is highly integrated in the student’s learning consistently outperform those who don’t.  The system has gone backwards due to interference from do-gooders, government (over)regulation and unions.  Note: that is my observation only.  I see kids rise above the system to achieve, but they have to swim upstream.  Most can coast their way through.

Conversely, children who learn under Classical Education have an advantage in learning as it is taught to a standard the kids must keep up with as opposed to teaching to the lowest common denominator so no one is left behind, penalizing those who could achieve more.

Further, Classical Christian education is an approach to learning which emphasizes biblical teachings and incorporates a teaching model known as the Trivium, which consists of the three stages of grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

Classical education complements a child’s natural development stages. Young children can memorize information easily. So, in the early years, learning is enhanced by songs, body movement, recitation, and exploration. This sets them up for success in their next stage of learning, critical thinking.

The critical thinkers are what companies want to hire.  They look at problems differently and come to the table with better skills for success.

They also have a distinct advantage over the public school system and the below discussion of how we are destroying learning.

WHERE EDUCATION HAS FAILED OUR KIDS

The biggest failure I’ve observed is the Common Core learning system.  It threw away the standards of learning that has proved to produce educated kids by introducing a system that borders on the ridiculous.

It was implemented by those we thought were helping us, yet it may have set us back for years.

Behind a lot of this is none other than Bill Gates, a man I’ve met and have mixed thoughts about.  Microsoft is far more successful than his support of Common Core.

From the American Thinker, I read this snippet:

But Bill Gates should have felt some uneasiness.  Common Core was untested, unproven, and micromanaged by David Coleman, a man with limited credentials but reliably far to the left.  Nobody in the business world launches a big new product without years of research and refinement.  Instead, Common Core was wrapped in $1 billion’s worth of propaganda and dumped on the country as a fait accompli.

The late, great Siegfried Engelmann, a real educator, was asked what he thought of this approach: “A perfect example of technical nonsense.  A sensible organization would rely heavily on data about procedures used to achieve outstanding results; and they would certainly field test the results to assure that the standards resulted in fair, achievable goals.  How many of these things did they do?  None.”

Did Gates realize that Common Core, supposedly a new and higher instruction, incorporates all the dubious ideas from decades prior?  New Math and Reform Math were the basis for Common Core Math.  Similarly, Whole Language and Balanced Literacy were rolled into Common Core’s English Language Arts (jargon for reading).  Constructivism, which prevented teacher from teaching, has been undermining American schools for decades.  Nothing new and higher about these clunkers.

An earlier generation of Gates’s business partners had created so much illiteracy that Rudolf Flesch had to write a book to answer every American’s favorite question: “why can’t Johnny read?”

I don’t hold Gates responsible except for his funding and use of his status to push this, but I hold those who pushed this system on the generation suffering from this learning standard.

The Thinker sums it up like this:

We have to wonder if Bill Gates performed due diligence, that being the care that a reasonable person exercises to avoid harm to other persons or property.  In other words, before putting your business funds to work on anything, you should make yourself an expert.  That’s what we need in this country: everybody becomes an expert.  For sure, nobody should trust the official experts.  If Bill Gates had observed that simple rule, he would still have a billion or two he doesn’t have now.  And the country would have tens of millions of better educated students it doesn’t have now. 

We need to stop this disservice to our kids and have them learn properly, and to learn to think critically.

Here is a video that shows just how far we’ve deviated from the learning system that invented computers, vaccines, technology that has helped mankind and sent men to the moon.  Go to 1:24 under Decompose to see how far we’ve digressed.

CONCLUSION

It would seem the dumping common core and putting real learning would be best for the kids.  The world is getting tougher and we need to give them every advantage possible.

 

 

What It’s Like To Have An Extremely High IQ?

Editors note:  Since I published this, the comments have been coming in and are now far better than the blog post.  I encourage you to read about the lives and struggles of those who have high IQ.  Their stories are quite revealing.-> It’s in the comments, hint, hint, hint.

Authors disclosure: I won’t disclose where I am on the IQ chart, but I do have some in my family with very high IQ.  My father had a gigantic IQ.   Here are the stories of those with high IQ and their travails. See if you identify with any of them.

The blog post actually starts here.  It is a compilation of individuals with their names mostly redacted who have written about the travails of a high IQ:

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – “The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.”


Update: 10/3/16 from Alison Craig

It sounds like you are in the beginning stages of an existentialist crisis. http://plato.stanford.edu/entrie…  I know the word “crisis” looks alarming, but it shouldn’t. In this case it just means you are examining the point of your own existence. Will I always be alone? Why am I here? Eventually you may even question all existence and come to the seemingly frightening conclusion that we’re all born alone and die alone and nothing in life has purpose.

“Well, that’s horrible! You’re depressing, why would you say such things?”

Again, I repeat- it is nothing to be alarmed about. Those things are true – to a degree. We are born alone and die alone, but we work to make connections with people who can support us, and that we can support in return. Intelligent or not, there will always be like minded people in the world somewhere and they are never easy to find for anyone. To me, making those connections is why I am here and is a large part of my purpose.

No matter how intelligent, wealthy or attractive a person is – it can always be difficult to find true connections so that all of the sharing and giving is not a one way street. Intelligent people may have stricter standards for making friends (in fashion or other), but so might a wealthy person, or a very attractive one. All people fear being used and some are just more cautious than others. An intelligent person can read books on understanding human nature ( Ten Keys to Handling Unreasonable & Difficult People), body language Psychology Today and other psychology tools to assist them in making life long connections with other people.

===============================================

From Shah Rukh Qasim on hiding your intelligence:

If you could generalize, the most common would be:

  1. You keep talking to a person, telling him something you think he doesn’t know. He keeps listening. Then he shares his insight which makes you think he has already known everything you told him. Smart people at often silent and active listeners.

Other signs will include:

  1. Good problem solvers. Not just mathematics problem. But even daily life problems. They’ll quickly find what’s wrong and take the best course of action to solve the problem.
  2. They’ll be different in views. And their views will always come with reason. A quote goes around: Small minds discuss people. Average mind discuss events. Great minds discuss ideas.
  3. A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” – William Shakespeare
  4. They often look for reasons. It goes in four levels (worst to best):
    1. What?
    2. How?

=========================================

It sucked when I was younger, but these days it’s just awesome.

There is a very common pattern among highly gifted people, namely:

  • When you’re young it’s very isolating, and it feels like everyone else is just stupid
  • As you grow older, you realize your gift. You also realize that raw intelligence isn’t everything, and that things like social skills matter a lot. Plus, you meet others like you.
  • Your social life improves as you get older and learn to connect on things other than intelligence or go to elite institutions where you can meet other highly gifted people.

Honestly, at this point in my life I feel like there are literally no downsides to having a high IQ. It’s like being born good looking or with great physical health: it’s not a silver bullet to a happy life, but it makes a lot of things much easier.

I only found out I had a high IQ (161) because my professional life was such a mess I had to see a psychologist.

If I had to sum it up in a few sentences, I would say that the most aggravating thing about being very intelligent is that you quickly see and understand things at a level of depth that most people don’t (or can’t), and it is very frustrating.  You want to move on, you want to be pushed, you don’t want to spend time explaining the details of things you have already grasped, but no one else is caught up yet, so you have to pause.  It is particularly painful when dealing with complex topics where the mental models involve feedback loops and non-linearities.

But that said, I’ve learned there is much more to life than intelligence, and being successful is more about hard work and good communication skills than anything else.

====================================================

“One of the indictments of civilizations is that happiness and intelligence are so rarely found in the same person.”

Working successfully in society and business is limited by some really important social choke points.  One of them is that other people, even if they are intellectually slower, must be treated with respect.  Another is that even if you are correct you will have difficulty getting people to act on your insights until they understand why you are correct.  A third thing is that most important activities are done as a team and so taking action requires breaking down your insights into something that your slower peers and employees can understand.  If you try to blow past these choke points you will destroy relationships and even if you are right, your career will languish.  I try to remind myself that being successful is not well correlated to being right.

My career is going pretty well now that I’ve understood these constraints.  It is possible to turn intelligence to practical life-advantage but our educational system doesn’t really give a blueprint for this.  I left school thinking that it mattered that I understood things 5 minutes or 5 years before my classmates did.  It doesn’t.  Most people’s functioning adult lives are not spent solving tough problems.  They are spent going through well established rituals and patterns of relating to each other punctuated by an occasional tough problem.  In most cases, people can even skip the tough problems and still do okay in life.  So how do you convert a parlor trick (like knowing the ending of a movie after 5 minutes) into something that will make you happier?  Mostly, you don’t.  Use it when it’s valuable and relax a little when it’s not.

There’s a great Dilbert where someone invites him to join the company’s Mensa chapter and Dilbert asks why people who are so smart continue to work at the company.  The president of the Mensa chapter answers, “Intelligence has much less practical application than you’d think.”

==========================================

In a word, I find it alienating.

Extremely so, in fact.

And I think this is not only because of what makes me “smart”, but also because of what my brain has to sacrifice to be “smart” in that way.  (More on that in a sec.)

For the record, my IQ was measured (years ago) at 178. [ETA: Just looked up the percentile, and that’s about 1 in 2 million, for some perspective.]  I have 3 advanced degrees and a solid career.  But I’m still single and spend very little time around other people.

It took me some time as a young kid to figure out that the people around me weren’t interested in the same things I was.  And that, often, to talk about the things I found interesting turned people away.

So I hid that.

When they announced that I was valedictorian of my high school, I was in 1st period art class, and one of my classmates refused to believe that they’d said my name.

But I never felt like I belonged anywhere, and I still don’t.

I don’t have kids, TV doesn’t interest me, I don’t follow celebrities or watch sports.  My time is spent with my work, and researching the things that are important to me — astrophysics, particle physics, consciousness research, and although this might seem strange to some people, Biblical scholarship (tho I’m not a believer).

As a result, chit-chat is impossible for me, or else it’s so boring that it becomes impossible.

But like I said, the problem isn’t only that my brain is interested in things that most other brains aren’t.  It’s also what my brain can’t do.

There’s only a certain amount of space in the brain, and if one area is eating up the real estate with more neural power, some other part of the brain is likely losing out.

For me, it’s some of the automatic social functioning which tells you, for example, what emotion another person is feeling based on their facial expression, or whether someone’s being sarcastic or not.  (Sarcasm is a minefield for me, and meeting another person in a hallway is a nightmare — I cannot interpret when to look, or not, what to say, or not, etc.)

That said, I have an enormously rich life, and I’ve adjusted to it.  When I stopped trying to fit in, things got better.

=============================================

HOWEVER…..STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES

The smart can do stupid things such as:

  • Ignoring the importance of design and style – When the iPod originally came out, technical people complained about its lack of features and perceived high price (“ooh, who cares about another MP3 player, I can go buy one at Best Buy for $50” http://forums.macrumors.com/show…).  In the meantime, it was so cool and easy to use that normal people went out in droves to buy it.
  • Using terrible tools, and taking pride in their awfulness – Especially common with programmers, who take pride in using programming languages and text editors that have been designed by programmers, not updated since the 1970s, and never touched by anyone with a modicum of design sense. They believe that mastering arcane, overcomplicated commands and processes are a mark of pride, rather than a waste of time.  I will refrain from singling out specific programming languages and tools here, because smart people also like to get caught up in pointless flame wars about this sort of thing.
  • Following the pack – Many smart people often seem to be followers, probably because they grow up spending so much time pleasing others via academic and extracurricular achievement that they never figure out what they really like to work on or try anything unique.  Smart people from top schools tend to flock into the same few elite fields, as they try to keep on achieving what other people think they should achieve, rather than figuring out whatever it is they intrinsically want to do.
  • Failing to develop social skills – Some smart people focus exclusively on their narrow area of interest and never realize that everything important in life is accomplished through other people.  They never try to improve their social skills, learn to network, or self promote, and often denigrate people who excel in these areas. If you are already a good engineer you are going to get 10x the return on time spent improving how you relate to other people compared to learning the next cool tool.
  • Focusing on being right above all else – Many smart people act as if being right trumps all else, and go around bluntly letting people know when they are wrong, as if this will somehow endear others to them.  They also believe that they can change other people’s minds through argument and facts, ignoring how emotional and irrational people actually are when it comes to making decisions or adopting beliefs.
  • Letting success in one area lead to overconfidence in others – Smart people sometimes think that just because they are expert in their field, they are automatically qualified in areas about which they know nothing.  For instance, doctors have a reputation as being bad investors: http://medicaleconomics.modernme….
  • Underrating effort and practice – For smart people, many things come easily without much effort.  They’re constantly praised for “being smart” whenever they do anything well.  The danger is that they become so reliant on feeling smart and having people praise them, that they avoid doing anything that they’re not immediately great at.  They start to believe that if you’re not good at something from the beginning, you’re destined to always be terrible at it, and the thing isn’t worth doing.  These smart people fail to further develop their natural talents and eventually fall behind others who, while less initially talented, weren’t as invested in “being smart” and instead spent more time practicing.  http://nymag.com/news/features/2…
  • Engaging in zero sum competitions with other smart people – Many smart people tend to flock to fields which are already saturated with other smart people.  Only a limited number of people can become a top investment banker, law partner, Fortune 500 CEO, humanities professor, or Jeopardy champion.  Yet smart people let themselves be funneled into these fields and relentlessly compete with each other for limited slots.  They all but ignore other areas where they could be successful, and that are less overrun by super-smart people.   Instead of thinking outside the box, smart people often think well within a box, a very competitive box that has been set up by other people and institutions to further someone else’s interests at the expense of the smart person.
  • Excessively focusing on comparing their achievements with others – Smart people who have been raised in a typical achievement-focused family or school can get anxious about achievement to the point of ridiculousness.  This leads to people earnestly asking questions like: Success: If I haven’t succeeded in my mid 20s, could I be successful in the rest of my life? and Are you a failure if you are not a billionaire by age 30? What about 40?
  • Ignoring diminishing returns on information – Smart people are often voracious readers and can absorb huge quantities of information on any subject.  They get caught up in reading every last bit of information on subjects that interest them, like investing, lifehacking, or tech specs of products they’re planning on buying.   While some information is useful in making a decision, poring through the vast amount of information available online can be a waste of time.  They end up spending a lot of time gathering information without taking action.
  • Elitism – Smart people often use smartness as measure of the entire worth of a person.  They fail to see the value in or even relate with people who are different.  This is illustrated by the Yale professor who doesn’t have the slightest idea what to say to his plumber: http://www.theamericanscholar.or….  And questions like Am I an elitist to think that most people are stupid?

 

Introvert Meme’s and Cartoons, But They Say Everything Extroverts Should Know (stop trying to change us)

introvert coffer

introvert energycalvin hobbes doing nothing

Reflections On Growing Older

I’ll bet if you ask most people of a certain age, they are going to realize that this is true.  I remember asking my father for life advice on his 75th birthday.  He answered, “where did it all go so fast?”  You’ll find that one below also.

Read and learn if you are young, commiserate if you agree.

    #1  –  I talk to myself because there are times I need expert advice.

    #2  –  I consider “In Style” to be the clothes that still fit.

    #3  –  I don’t need anger management.  I need people to stop pissing me off.

    #4  –  My people skills are just fine. It’s my tolerance for idiots that needs work.

    #5  –  The biggest lie I tell myself is, “I don’t need to write that down.  I’ll remember it.”

    #6  –  I have days when my life is just a tent away from a circus.

    #7  –  These days, “on time” is when I get there.

    #8  –  Even duct tape can’t fix stupid – but it sure does muffle the sound.

    #9  –  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could put ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes, then come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller?

    #10  –  Lately, I’ve noticed people my age are so much older than me.

    #11  –  “Getting lucky” means walking into a room and remembering why I’m there.

    #12  –  When I was a child, I thought nap time was punishment.  Now it feels like a mini-vacation.

    #13  –  Some days I have no idea what I’m doing out of bed.

    #14  –  I thought growing old would take longer.

    #15  –  Aging sure has slowed me down, but it hasn’t shut me up.

    #16  –  I still haven’t learned to act my age and doubt I’ll live that long.


Unfortunately, these are all sadly true!

It’s a dog’s life

I got good response on my dog, Boxer Rebellion as well as my interview series, so I thought I’d interview her by describing her day.

Here’s how it goes…..

Wake up, Oh boy, it’s Christmas day, every day! my favorite!
Go for a walk, Oh boy! my favorite!
Eat Dog Food, Oh boy! my favorite!
Play with my toys, Oh Boy! my favorite!
Bark at the kids leaving for school, Oh boy! my favorite!
Nap, Oh boy! my favorite!
Lunch with Dad, maybe some people food, Oh boy! my favorite!
Go for a walk, Oh boy! my favorite!
Bark at the mailman, Oh boy! my favorite!
Kids come home from school, Oh boy! my favorite!
Nap, Oh boy! my favorite!
If I’m good, I get a treat, Oh boy! my favorite!
Dog food, Oh boy! my favorite!
Bark and play with my toys, Oh boy! my favorite!
Go for a walk, Oh boy! my favorite!
Time for bed, sleep on Dad, Oh boy! my favorite!

Here is a similar version I found on the web, but includes cats.

Air Conditioning, #Migration, and #Climate-Related Wage and Rent Differentials; or why Northerners Moved South

This is an abstract of a piece that being the son of an air conditioning pioneer in Florida, I can relate to.  Before you skip to the link, notice his comments as he contributed a great deal of the original building code for Florida in an area when this technology first was implemented.

ABSTRACT This paper explores whether the spread of air conditioning in the United States from 1960 to 1990 affected quality of life in warmer areas enough to influence decisions about where to live, or to change North-South wage and rent differentials. Using measures designed to identify climates in which air conditioning would have made the biggest difference, I found little evidence that the flow of elderly migrants to MSAs with such climates increased over the period. Following Roback (1982), I analyzed data on MSA wages, rents, and climates from 1960 to 1990, and find that the implicit price of these hot summer climates did not change significantly from 1960 to 1980, then became significantly negative in 1990. This contrary to what one would expect if air conditioning made hot summers more bearable. I presented evidence that hot summers are an inferior good, which would explain part of the negative movement in the implicit price of a hot summer, and evidence consistent with the hypothesis that the marginal person migrating from colder to hotter MSAs dislikes summer heat more than does the average resident of a hot MSA, which would also exert downward pressure on the implicit price of a hot summer.

The link is here, his comments begin now.

He told me that he felt responsible, if not guilty that the d–m yankee’s relocated to the south, especially Florida.  This is particularly ironic as his parents migrated from Boston in the 1920’s, but this was decades before air conditioning.  That meant he spent his childhood growing up in an unairconditioned house in central Florida, a virtual hot house and the location of near 100% humidity.  As a side note, I spent a part of my childhood in an unairconditioned house also, but kids don’t care about what they don’t know.  We played outside in those days.

As he was a part of the team that designed the Epcot HVAC also, tourism wouldn’t have invaded and transformed the south either.  It’s too bad they didn’t figure out AC for the outdoors given the sweltering heat waiting in long lines at tourist attractions.

One can track the swelling of population to the south, particularly Florida to the invention of AC.  One side of the state tends to favor the mid-west (the more polite side) and the east southeast portion is now almost a southern borough of New York City.

He reckoned that what was once a polite southern state had become a haven for the same people that gave the USA a bad name abroad for their brash manners and self centered nature.  He also observed the voting dynamics being changed by the northeastern influence.

Conversely, the south would not have grown near as quickly business and tourism wise had it not been for this technological improvement.  I did enjoy one of the first air conditioned houses, but the heat combined with the imported people caused me to ultimately leave as the city I departed from (in south Florida) earned it’s reputation as the rudest city in the US the year before I left.

Additionally, it did raise wages in the south, although not enough for the liking of those who moved there.  It also turned sleepy little towns into booming tourist traps creating numerous jobs.

Worst of all he said was the level of complaining.  While the snowbirds moved there to get out of the cold, they then complained how everything was much better from (name the state or city) and how it was so hot outside.  Not the most political fellow, he invited them to move back occasionally.

One final difference was that in the south, people let you in when there is traffic. Up north it is a sport to cut someone off.

#DOG PET PEEVES ABOUT HUMANS

  1. When you run away in the middle of a perfectly good leg humping.
  2. Blaming your farts on me…not funny.
  3. Yelling at me for barking…I’M A FRIGGIN’ DOG!! I’M SUPPOSED TO

BARK!!

  1. How you naively believe that the stupid cat isn’t all over everything

while you’re gone. (Have you noticed that your toothbrush tastes a little

like cat butt?)

  1. Taking me for a walk, then not letting me check stuff out. Exactly

who’s walk is this anyway?

  1. Any trick that involves balancing food on my nose…stop it.
  2. Yelling at me for dragging my butt on your carpet. Why’d you buy

carpet?

  1. Getting upset when I sniff the crotches of your guests. Sorry but I

haven’t quite mastered that handshake thing yet.

  1. How you act disgusted when I lick myself. Look, we both know the truth,

you’re just jealous.

  1. Dog sweaters. Have you noticed the fur?.
  2. Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons. Now you know why we chew

your stuff up when you’re not home.

  1. When you pick up the crap piles in the yard. Do you realize how far

behind schedule that puts me?

  1. Taking me to the vet for “the big snip”, then acting surprised when I

freak out every time we go back.

  1. The sleight of hand, fake fetch throw. You fooled a dog! What a proud

moment for the top of the food chain!

  1. Invisible fences. Why do you insist on screwing with us?

4th of July 2014

My mom was born and died on the 4th, so it is a day that gives me mixed emotions.

One thing not in question is that we should be patriotic.  I don’t believe that artists should play it any other way than how it was written.  It reminds me of winning the Gold medal and how proud I am to hear it over and over again.

On that note, enjoy…

 

What is The Best Advice A Dad Ever Gave You, An Internet Compilation

My Dad and me have had tons of conversations growing up and even now  when I go home, It is usually Friday evenings that we spend from late  afternoons till late nights just talking about everything that comes to  our mind. 🙂 It always brings us closer.

After my first break up, It was one of the best piece of advice he gave me. He said

“Never  be naive enough to think love happens only once in your life. It will  happen again, I cant say when, but it will. She was your first love and  you wont have your first love with anyone again. but love, It will  happen. You will find someone who is strong enough to stand up for you  and along with you and not leave you in the first sign of hardship. It  is her you should not miss in life”

There are a few other gems as well.

  • Marks will only get you so much. make sure you learn what is being taught and you can use it when you need to.
  • Never let someone treat you badly. They are doing it because you let them.
  • Drink because you enjoy it and not to get drunk. Don’t smoke.

I just wish I can be as much a father to my son as my Dad was to me!

My dad had always been a big inspiration to me. I realized that after he passed away in an accident.
When he was in front of me, I never took him seriously, just like any other teenager. But I have always been thanking him for all the words of wisdom.
There is one story he always told me about his friend who cleared an IAS – Indian Administrative Services exam.
He used to write his dreams and stick in on the walls of his room his study table and even his wall ceiling above. Wherever he looked up in despair, he saw his DREAMS, which he always strived for till the end.

“Never ever keep your eye away from your goals. If you always keep getting distracted, imagine yourself winning the accolade which provided you the motivation to fight in the first place. Cover your surroundings with people who always bring you closer to your goals.”

“Always try to be the best of the lot. Even if you fail, you will always be motivated to do better the next time.”

“No matter what you do in life, always keep your character clean. People actually remember the good ones.”

“Never betray anyone in your life. You wont be able to live with the guilt inside.”

For the first 25 years of your life, you decide your habits. For the rest of your life, your habits decide you. Don’t ever give in to peer pressure.

My father is a recluse. Even though I lived at home after college, he and I rarely exchanged more than a few sentences. Last fall, I snagged my first full-time corporate job, earning nearly thrice as much as when I taught kids at a nonprofit. Life was beginning to stabilize, and I was happy to assist my parents, but I felt a deep sadness.

One night, my dad was asking me about work as usual. I gave him the customary, trite responses. Instead of walking off to his bedroom, he stood there, looking pensive, and broke the silence:

“Please, please, don’t chase after money. Don’t worry about supporting me and your mother. You come from a family that strives for higher ideals. I know you love painting, writing, music. You love learning. Pursue your passion – money is secondary. Your happiness is more important to me.”

If Wealth is lost nothing is lost, if health is lost something is lost and if character is lost everything is lost….

When I saw a man drawing a beautiful picture I said
– “I’d love to draw like that!”
– “Then what are you doing to accomplish that?” – my father replied

Every person you meet in life, even the last wretch on the street can teach you something.

Since then I don’t judge people but try to learn from them / their state.

My father was a Vietnam vet and a lifelong hunter. He was quiet and didn’t show much affection but he loved me and my siblings fully, in his own way. The advice he gave me that stuck with me the most was the following:

“Never bring a weapon to a fight that you aren’t prepared to use. It will be taken and used against you.”

I’m a nonviolent person but I see wisdom deep in that advice, even now as an adult. I interpret it as always be prepared to keep your word. If I threaten to turn the car around and you keep yelling, I will turn the car around.

“Trees with the deepest roots are those which have bore through the worst of storms.”

Sitting down in the soothing sun, one winter afternoon my dad explained to me the importance of going through hardships in life.

He showed to me that, the trees having the deepest of roots are the ones which have gone through the worst of storms, but those are the ones which persisted, survived and set in deeper.

The same is with us, hardships never hurt us they only make us stronger. And sometimes the best comes out of us when we are facing the worst situations.

A tender sapling pampered in an over protective environment would not last long even in a mild storm, but a young tree nurturing it self in the wild would grow stronger in those storms.

I am blessed to have a dad who knew when to let us fight our own battles, when to leave us to tough times and when to come to our aid.

My father was too busy as a New York area psychiatrist to ever do anything like come to a soccer game or track meet. So I didn’t expect to see him at all when I was at a major east coast track championship about to anchor the final 440 yards for a mile relay team. In fact, spectators were not allowed in at that meet held in the Armory (in upper Manhattan or the Bronx, I forget). I’d been doing high school sports for several years and it had never crossed his mind to watch me. And we lived out in the suburbs. This championship was held in the city.

But, as I was warming up for the race, he walked right up to me, having driven up from a meeting in midtown.

I was dumbfounded. I asked “How the heck were you even allowed in”?

He answered “Always act as if you own the place.” and then added “Now let’s see you own the track”.

I won that race for the team with something like a 58.5 second run (which could win back then). Then I remember throwing up in a bucket he found for me in anticipation of what I’d be like when I finished.

But it wasn’t my “motivated run” that I remember so much, nor the sentimental aspect of a dad remembering a track meet. That’s B movie material. That’s just a checkmark on the box that says “my dad did that too”.

It was the way he walked right in there and onto the track like he was Donald Trump…and then delivered that powerful advice.

“Charge what you’re worth.” This advice from my dad, who has been successfully self-employed my whole life, was hugely helpful when I struck out on my own as a freelancer.

“Sleep on it. You shouldn’t make life changing decisions when you are angry.”

I did. And I changed my mind.

Hire people who are smarter than you.

67

 

Always remember the kid you were. You´re that child, she´s still on you. Remember how she is, the things she likes, the way she sees the world and how she enjoys life. Now, you go and take care of that girl and don´t you ever forget to make her happy.
41

 

Andy Tider, Founder – Munchly

My dad is a character and an inspiration. He’s given me some gems over the years that I’ve applied in a simple and streadfast way to become the person I am.”You can do anything you want. You just have to want it badly enough.”

My dad was a special ed teacher for 30 years. He wanted his kids to have lots of wonderful experiences, but these things cost money and teachers don’t make a ton. He wanted to have a safe, reliable car to drive us places – so he became a real estate agent on the side so that he could write the car off as a business expense. Still not satisfied with the life he could provide for his family as a teacher/real estate agent, he once attended a seminar given by a lawyer about real estate law. As he sat in the class, he thought, “This is bulls**t. I can do this.” So he went to law school. At night. While teaching, and doing real estate and having three kids under 5 years old. He sometimes recounts this time in his life as “the best time ever” because he would come home and all three of us would want to crawl into his lap and have him read to us. He had real estate to sell and law to study, but he sat with us and read until we all fell asleep in his arms. Then he did his work. In the months leading up to the bar exam, his father got sick. He came to live with us and my parents tried their best to make him comfortable as he slowly faded away. The day before the bar exam, his father passed away.

Then he went in and took the exam he had been staying up nights studying for for months. And he failed. By one point.

He retook the test and passed. He got a job as a lawyer at a firm. But they expected him to bill 80 hour weeks (while still doing his teaching job) and he wasn’t getting to spend time with his family. So he quit the firm.

He started his own practice. Out of our house so he could be around. The practice did well and he continues it to this day. He loves to fight for the little guy. One of his proudest achievements is that because of what he did, we were all able to start our adult lives without any student debt.

Another important one was, “This too, shall pass.”

Sometimes, when life is particularly dark, a simple message can be the candle light that gets us through the storm. This one is worth holding on to.

Don’t wait for something to happen. Or suddenly you’re 40 and nothing has happened.
My dad taught me a lot.Here are some of the more priceless gems:

  • Math is patterns.  Look for the patterns.
  • The lottery is a tax on people who don’t know math.
  • No matter what you do… don’t be an idiot.
  • Marry someone you’re friends with.  Love is great, but you need friendship to make it work.
  • Sometimes the rest of the world will be wrong, and you will be right.  But if they’re that dumb… can you really expect to change their minds?
  • Don’t cut your thumb off.  It hurts.

I’m Just Not In That Big of a Hurry

7 cardinal rules lifeI’ve decided to that hurrying through life just doesn’t have the payback it seems.  The hustle and bustle of busy work, conference calls, email and social media keep some in a coffee enhanced mode glued to their screen and missing out on life just isn’t worth it.  I got to thinking about this and decided to take some stress off of things and so whenever possible, I now work on my schedule.  I’ll get around to what is needed to do, but I’m not going to let it keep me up at night.  I’m not as worried that my comments on social media or political diatribes that upset me really don’t matter all that much.  Once you get used to this, those pesky deadlines that are mostly self inflicted become less important.  After all, most of the above described issues are nuisances at best.

WHERE DO WE GET THIS CULTURE?

For many, they just can’t wait to grow up fast (not me).  Then can’t wait to get promoted (partly me),  can’t wait for kids to grow (not me) and finally can’t wait to retire (me even thought I’m working again, but for myself).  Work seems to exacerbate it the most with demands endless meetings (Meeting = a cul-de-sac where ideas get strangled and go to die), phone calls, emails, instant messages, texts and incessant demands from bosses (the less competent usually are the worst like 3 of my last 4 before I retired, on my terms).

head_up_assMy last couple of Boss’s in this picture

It turns out that this extra stress can lead to brain damage.

On the social side, I have a relative with MOP (miss out phobia) who is afraid something is going to happen without her.  Her sibling just doesn’t give a rats rump what others think and has far less pressure socially, but missed out on some things in life.  Striking a balance is good.

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on when not to accept a promotion.  There is a myriad of reasons given including family life, unrewarded extra burdens for the less than promised  climb up the ladder.  I personally turned down 2 promotions as they wanted me to move to New York where I would get a 30% higher cost of living, three times the responsibility that I wouldn’t be compensated for and a back stabbing culture of ladder climbers.  My real reason for not doing it is that I didn’t want to raise a family there and wanted to bring them up in a better part of the country.  After that, I was happy not to be there stressing out more.  Since I’d already been on every rung of the ladder, the need to be at the top was less than taking care of my kids.  I still managed to beat the system to be rewarded better than the curve and on my terms.

All of this adds up to the rat race.  I’m not sure why I didn’t think about it before, but it’s a terrible way to go through life.  Now that I think about it, I just knew that taking it easy and beating the system was the way to get ahead the right way, and not sell your soul in the process

MOUNTAIN TIME AND ISLAND TIME

Having spent time in both places, I noticed that the folks there just don’t seem to be in a rush.  It truly is a New Yorker’s nightmare not to have someone jump when they say how high or to have to be busy in crisis mode over everything.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m for punctuality, but these two groups set a different deadline (sometimes internally) and usually meet it.  They don’t die early from stress usually.

I noticed it in the Caribbean islands first.  They are not in a hurry for anything.

I then noticed it in the mountains that they get around to things..eventually.  It was enough of a coincidence that I quickly connected the dots between the two.

I’M GETTING THINGS ACCOMPLISHED

To be fair, I’m busy and am accomplishing more under my own direction than when under the gun of a manager overlooking by shoulder.  I’m the manager now.  It’s just that I’m making the deadlines and am meeting all of them.

So I’m happier in life and wish that for others and hope that this 24/7/365 mentality doesn’t overtake your priorities.  It’s corny, but true in this video below:

C.S.S. John Simonds Was a Confederate Ship

USS John Simonds

I have half of my relatives on one side of the Civil War and half on the other.  I have equal respect for both.

I searched my name and was surprised to find a ship with my name.  It fell on the Confederate side of my family.

John Simonds, a 1024-ton side-wheel river steamer, was built at Freedom, Pennsylvania, in 1852. The Confederate Army used her as a support ship on the Mississippi River, where she was sunk off the fortress at Island Number Ten on 7 April 1862.  It was sunk to prevent it from being used by the Union forces.

You should search yourself to see what is in your background.

What Does the Internet Say Are Great Pieces of Advice for Life?

Not all of these are my idea, rather they were gathered from a collection of many, many others as I’ve run across them.  Nevertheless, they are interesting to ponder.  I’m sure there a thousands more, but they are here for you to share:

Don’t stop learning: If you start coasting through life, you’re gonna lose. Always stretch your intellect.
Don’t always try to be original: Just tell the story or paint the canvas or whatever.
Focusing on “fairness” will lead to stagnation.
If you’re not failing, you’re doing it wrong. (It’s OK to make mistakes.)
Don’t try to reason with mindless, irrational people.
Don’t stress yourself out with news and “staying informed” too much.
Do something that’s not for money.
The key to happiness is BUILDING stuff, not GETTING stuff.
Time passes by a lot faster than you’d think. This effect accelerates with age.
Wealth is relatively unimportant.
Some things can’t be learned; they can only be experienced.
Figure out who you are, then ACCEPT that person, and then BE that person.
Don’t wait for permission. Give yourself the okay.
Don’t lie to yourself.
Forgive as much as possible. Grudges achieve little.
Be humble (especially to the “little” people).
You and you alone control how happy you allow yourself to be.
Find a mentor and BE a mentor.
Find what you like and let it kill you.
You don’t have to eat everything that’s on your plate.
You don’t have to pick up a phone that’s ringing.
Always take action on things. People regret inaction more than action.
The past is something you learn from.  It is not something you live in.
Wealth is measured by your happiness and not by your financial statement.
Your mind decides what is hopeless.  Your circumstances do not.
More things will happen to you that you have absolutely no control over than things you do have control over. You ALWAYS Have the power to choose how you will react.
Remember that their is a God and don’t stop seeking him.
Do one thing at a time. All that huzzah about multi-tasking? BS
Don’t compare yourself with others. It’s an inaccurate measuring stick. It is more accurate to compare from within. Compare yourself with yourself. How much progress have you made? How have you changed? What negative behavior have you stopped engaging in? That’s what matters.

Don’t believe what you think. Never make up stories in your head about what other people are thinking or why they do certain things. Your made-up stories are making you miserable. You’re often wrong about other people are thinking anyway (I cannot count the number of times I’ve overhead “I think x hates me.”) Quit it. Remember, people are by nature benevolent). The criticism you hear about you is only ever one person’s opinion about you. If it becomes a pattern, then you can re-evaluate course and improve. More power to you.

Learn to handle criticism. Don’t take it personally. Criticism of an idea or project is not criticism of the creator as a person. Everything can always be improved; criticism is the vehicle to allow you to improve. Only apply remedial measures if the criticism has value. ”Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Aristotle

Quit idealizing authority. Don’t try to impress people. If you feel a need to you’re implicitly de-valuing yourself and asserting “I don’t think you’ll like me for who I am, so I will try to “impress” you instead.” You’re not allowing yourself to fully connect with someone when you put them on a pedestal.
Don’t take anything personally. It’s easy to get offended and internalize what others say. Recognize that when you ask someone for advice, responses can be all over the place. Understand that others opinions’ are a reflection of their own world and a product of their own reality. It has nothing to do with you.
Never get into a victim mentality. If you focus on what’s right and wrong, you’ll stagnate. Instead, accept things the way they are. Once you do this you can to start to change things and have the power to redirect the future the way you want to.
Value the people in your life. Everyone wants to feel like they’re important. Look at everyone as if they had a star on their forehead that said, “make me feel special.” People hunger for sympathy. Give it to them, and they will love you. Stop wasting time and energy thinking about how people should be different.
Be happy for other people who are happy. Train your mind to be sincerely happy for happiness and catch your resentments and jealousies before they run off too far. It’s easy to resent people for being happy.
Embrace vulnerability. Embrace discomfort. Doing this will increase your luck surface. Allow yourself to be hurt. When you trust yourself, you’ll be confident enough that you will rise up again when you fall.
Just because you don’t feel like doing something doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it.
You never have anything to lose. You could lose all your money, and become homeless for a while, but you can’t lose who you are, your essence. Be okay with getting your hands dirty and screwing things up – in believing that you have nothing to lose, you will have the power to move through your own life and create change.

Improving Your Credit Score, Continuing Personal Financial Principles

 

This came from Christian Personal Finance, but is in my theme of taking control of your personal finances and helping yourself to use your money wisely and understand successful financial principles.  These days you need to take control of your economic situation and not rely on the government to take care of you as they will take your money in taxes at any chance they can.

If your credit score has fallen recently, due to a missed payment or two, or perhaps you have too much credit outstanding, there are some simple ways you can improve on your credit score that will get it back on the right track. Doing a combination of several of these could see your credit score rise significantly in just the next few months – and that goes for your credit score at each credit repository.

If you’d like to check your credit score,
click to get your credit score for free.

1. Pay your bills on time from now on.

This may sound beyond obvious, but if you have any late payments in the past year or two, they’re having a disproportionately negative impact on your credit score. You can’t fix this overnight, but the best strategy going forward is to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

One of the more fortunate aspects of credit scores is that the older negative information gets, the less impact it has. This is why it is so critical that you put any negative credit situations into your past as soon as possible. If you have a late payment that you made three months ago, you may not be able to do anything about that now, but if you make your payments on time for the next nine months, you’ll put that late payment one year into your past. By then, your credit scores should once again begin to rise. But this will happen only if there are no delinquencies in the future.

2. Take a time out on credit.

The credit scoring models favor older, established debt. Conversely, they take a dimmer view of new debt. For this reason, if you’re looking to improve your credit scores, it will help to avoid applying for and accepting new loans. This will be even more important if you have taken a new loan or two in the very recent past.

This will help your credit scores on two fronts. First, any time you apply for credit, your credit report will show a credit inquiry. While credit inquiries do not have a big impact on your credit score, the one they have is definitely negative. If you apply for credit with several lenders over a space of one or two months, the combined impact could be more significant. By not applying for new credit, you will not be adding new inquiries to your credit report.

The second of course is that any time you take a new loan, you receive a negative hit on your credit reports because of the lack of payment experience. You’ll avoid this hit by not taking any new loans.

3. Pay off small balance accounts.

Another factor the credit scoring models consider is the number of loans you have outstanding. In general, a person with three outstanding loans will have a better credit score that someone who has ten outstanding loans.

For this reason, you might want to pay off some of your loans starting with the smallest. If you have seven loans outstanding, and you can pay off three of them with combined balances of $1,000, you will have reduced the number of loans with outstanding balances down to four.

While this may not cause your credit scores to rise by a hundred points, it could cause a smaller increase but one that will happen pretty quickly. This is one of the best ways to get upside action on your credit scores in short order.

4. Pay down a few debts.

This one is big time, and is usually referred to as credit utilization. The credit repositories measure the percentage of outstanding debt against your amount of available credit. If you have $15,000 in outstanding balances on open credit lines of $20,000, your credit utilization is 75% (or $15,000 divided by $20,000).

For comparison sake, credit repositories generally consider a credit utilization of 80% or greater to be a negative. Less than 80% is considered a positive. It is of course a matter of degree; the lower the credit utilization, the more positive the impact on your credit scores. The higher the credit utilization, the greater the negative impact will be.

Credit utilization is considered one of the best predictors of debtor default. This is why it carries such a heavy impact on your credit scores. And even if your credit scores are good despite a high credit utilization, a lender may still make a decision not to extend a loan to you.

In order to improve on this critical metric it is important that you pay your loans down to a level in which they will be at least below 80% of available credit. You should try to get each loan account down below this percentage, as well as for the combination of all of your loan accounts. This is another strategy that can improve your credit scores pretty quickly – by lowering your credit utilization, you lower your risk of default according to the credit scoring models.

5. Check your credit report for errors.

You should review your credit report at least annually to look for errors. Many contain errors that have a negative impact on your credit scores. For example, you could have loan accounts included in your credit report that are not yours. This will increase the amount of debt that you’re carrying, and lower your credit scores.

Worse is if you have derogatory credit that is either not yours, or is reported in error. Unfortunately, when you have derogatory credit, the responsibility to clear it up rests completely upon you – even if the entry is in error. You’ll have to contact the creditor to ask them to correct the information reported. Usually, in order to do that, you’ll have to present some sort of tangible evidence that what the creditor reported was in fact an error. If you don’t have this evidence, the creditor will probably not remove the information.

Once any errors are corrected, you’ll have to specifically request that the creditor remove the derogatory information from your credit report. You should also obtain written confirmation that the entry was an error from the creditor. Just in case the creditor doesn’t get around to reporting the corrected information to the credit repositories, you will then have written evidence to do it yourself.

6. Pay off any collections, charge-offs or other past due amounts.

If you have any outstanding obligations – even if they’re well in the past – they will still be having a negative affect on your credit scores as long as they are showing up in your credit report. Make arrangements to pay them off, and make sure that you get a letter of confirmation from the creditor. The creditor should report this information to the credit repositories, but once again, if they don’t you will have to do it yourself.

Never assume that outstanding balances don’t matter because they’re five or six years old. Paying them off is another way to provide a quick lift to your credit scores, especially if you’re paying off more than one.

Take as many of these steps as you can, and you should be able improve all of your credit scores in just a few months, if not sooner.

If you need additional help improving your credit score you can hire a credit repair company like CreditRepair.com or Lexington Law.

 

Why Dogs Don’t Live As Long As Humans – Explaned By a 6 Year Old

This story Melt My heart  so I wanted to share it. enjoy.

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said,”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The Six-year-old continued,

”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

ENJOY EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY!

Why Are Your Kids Picky Eaters?

Probably because the parents let them be that way.  Fighting the good fight to be a responsible parent means that you are not trying to be their friend, rather you are trying to prepare them for life.

Part of this preparation is to be able to eat whatever is put in front of them.  You never know when they will be in a new situation, new country or perhaps in survivalist mode.

Nevertheless, here are the top reasons as given by a MD:

1. Parents are afraid to say no. It’s not just that they don’t want to create an ice cream binger. It’s also that feeding our children is a way to nurture them and show our love. It is so tempting to give them treats like French toast or chocolate chip cookies just to see their joyful faces, especially if that was one of the ways our own parents showed their love. The question is, can we break this cycle and express our love with healthy foods?

2. Parents think it’s okay for kids to eat junk food in moderation. Even though parents themselves might not indulge, we are told kids can eat it “in moderation.” But what exactly is “moderation”? Once a week? Once a day? What would be a moderate amount of a chemical like artificial color, which some studies have linked to hyperactivity? Perhaps we are lulled into thinking kids have years to go before they have to worry about calories or fat. But the truth is that even babies have been found to have the early stages of plaque in their arteries, childhood obesity is considered an epidemic, and type 2 diabetes, once only an adult disease, is now all too common in children.

3. Doctors recommend it and schools provide it. Many of our pediatricians tell us we are supposed to feed our kids Cheerios® starting at 10 months old so they can work on their pincer grasp, never mind that the cereal is highly processed and full of simple carbohydrates which quickly turn into sugar in the body. Besides, anyone with kids knows they fine tune their pincer grasp by picking up the tiniest specks of dirt off the floor and skillfully putting them in their mouths. In addition to the doctor’s office, the other surprising place kids get exposed to unhealthy foods is school. It begins with the Mommy and Me groups, where children are handed Goldfish crackers to snack on, despite that they are high in sodium and simple carbohydrates; or, worse, Graham Crackers, which are nothing more than cookies hiding out in a box labeled “crackers,” along side apple juice, another hefty serving of sugar. By preschool my kids were served cookies or cupcakes, often with bright pink or blue frosting, at least once a week to celebrate a birthday or holiday.

4. It is appealingly easy to make a ready made meal we know our kids will eat. “Nuking” chicken nuggets that have been scientifically formulated to please the little ones or boiling up pasta takes a lot less energy than standing in the kitchen for an hour or two to make a meal. Understandably, after working all day inside the home or out, that may not be so enticing, especially in our over-scheduled, highly intense culture, where spending hours in the kitchen is no longer considered time well spent.

Whatever the cause, the question is, what to do now? Whether you have a clean slate with an infant or are trying to change directions with an older child, here are some suggestions.

1. Make sure your children are really hungry for dinner (or whatever meal you are serving). So, for example, don’t allow them to have any sweets or too much bread after school. If it is two or three hours before meal time, provide only fruits and vegetables if they are hungry.

2. Only keep food in your home that you want them to eat. “Sorry, we don’t have any Oreos” is so much easier than “Sorry, you can’t have any Oreos.”

3. Let them be involved with some aspect of food prep. My son once found some kid-friendly recipes online and became totally enthused about making and eating ants-on-a-log (nut butter and raisins on celery). Or, with your careful oversight, let them cut up or peel some veggies, or even just turn on the blender. It only takes me twice as long when my kids help me make a recipe, but it’s worth it (usually!) because they are so much more interested in tasting what they made.

4. If you can sit down to eat together, do it. Kids are so affected by what they see their parents and each other eat. Mind you, I haven’t had a relaxing dinner in the three years since we started eating with our kids, but I remain optimistic that one day soon it will happen.

5. Don’t push kids to eat something if they really don’t want to. When my daughter, the pickiest eater in the family, was younger and would balk at the lentils and brown rice I’d cooked for dinner, I would have easy, healthy back-up options available that I knew she liked, such as a handful of pistachios or whole grain crackers and hummus. Eventually, whether it was that she was bored of the back-up foods or inspired by seeing everyone else eat the lentils and rice, she started eating it, too.

6. Your child may need to try a new food 10-15 times before he is willing to eat it. That’s how it was with my daughter and vegetarian chili. Now she eats it, more or less happily, as long as I pick out the carrots and onions before I serve it to her!

7. Feed your children the same food you eat. This is particularly helpful if your children are fairly new to eating solids. As long as your children can chew the food, there is no reason their menu at home and restaurants should look any different than yours. That way they will have the opportunity to experience the textures and colors of ‘real’ food and not become partial to the soft, white food kids are usually offered.

8.Your children are smart! Talk to them. Explain why you are making the changes you are making — that you love them and are concerned about their teeth and their bodies. You want them to grow up to be healthy and feel well. They may not like the changes, but understanding them should help.

9. Don’t underestimate your kids. My oldest just had his 8th birthday with 14 friends, most of whom eat standard American fare. Although he convinced me to serve regular pizza (I had resisted for many birthdays), I put out piles of grapes, sliced apples and cucumbers all along the table instead of chips. By the end of the party, almost all were gone. I considered the victory to be mine!

 

Homeschooling, The Antidote For Notoriously Inadequate Public School Systems

Our public school system has been decaying for decades.  My parent’s education was actually better than mine for fundamentals.  I only benefited from more current knowledge and information…..and considerable hard work.  When it’s easy to cruise through school as it is now fundamentally flawed (and the US ranks very low compared to the world in math and vocabulary scores), the facts are indicating that the kids learn less.  It has come out that 80% of high school kids in NYC can’t read.

Some have taken a step to leave this indoctrination and are Home Schooling their kids.  If you’ve followed the spelling bee championships, home schooled kids regularly win.  It’s a parent’s duty to do the best for their kids, whatever it takes.

Here is an article from the USA Today describing the dynamics and results of going down this path:

“What about home schooling? You know, it’s not just for scary religious people any more.” That’s a line from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and it should strike fear into the hearts, not of vampires, but of public-school administrators everywhere.

The fact is, Americans across the country — but especially in large, urban school systems — are voting with their feet and abandoning traditional public schools, to the point that teachers are facing layoffs. Some are going to charter schools, which are still public but are run more flexibly. Some are leaving for private schools. But many others are going another step beyond traditional education, and switching to online school or even pure home schooling.

And, as Buffy so accurately noted, it’s not just “scary religious people.” In fact, rather than scary, those religious people are looking more like trendsetters. A recent piece in The Atlantic told of purely secular parents’ decision to take their kids out of New York public schools and home school instead:

Click on the link above for the full story

Update: California public schools are poisoning the minds of youth now also.

Update: Georgia cheats on SAT’s costing careers of students and educators

Happy Chanukah, The Story

I am not Jewish except through the grafting of the family of Japheth into Shem (Gen 9:18  And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
Gen 9:19  These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.)

I still believe that the Jews are God’s chosen people to deliver the Messiah, so any anti-Semitic comments will not be allowed on this post.

This is the story of Chanukah anyway, so i looked it up on a Jewish website and here is what I found:  There is more at the link if you wish to explore for yourself.  If you wish to add more meaning or correct any accuracies, I gladly will accept them.

Chanukah, which begins on the 25th day of the month of Kislev and lasts eight days, is known mainly for the ritual of lighting the Menorah, an eight branched candelabra. Before we discuss this and other rituals and observances associated with Chanukah, a little historical background about Chanukah is in order.

Chanukah, unlike the other Rabbinically ordained observances (Purim, the Four Fasts), is not mentioned explicitly at all in Scripture. Even in the Talmud, there is little discussion about Chanukah. The Gemora in the tractate of Shabbos (21b) writes: “What is (the reason for) Chanukah? For our Rabbis have taught ‘On the 25th of Kislev, the days of Chanukah, which are eight (start), on which eulogies and fasting are not permitted.’ – For when the Greeks entered the sanctuary of the Temple, they made all of the oil there ritually impure (and therefore unfit for use in the Temple). When the Hashmonean dynasty gained the upper hand and defeated them, they searched and found only one flask of oil on which the seal of the High Priest remained (which indicated it was not defiled). There was only enough in this flask to light (the Menorah in the Temple) for one day. A miracle occurred and they were able to light (the Menorah) with it for eight days. The next year, they established and made (these days) a holiday, with Hallel (praises of G-d) and expressions of thanks (to G-d).”

There are many commentators who elaborate on the Gemora. One of these is the Aruch HaShulchan. His words, which follow, add to the very general description that the Gemora offers. There are more detailed historical works which deal with the background of Chanukah. However, the general description of the Aruch HaShulchan is a good starting place for the discussion of Chanukah which will follow in later issues.

The Aruch HaShulchan (Orech Chayim 670) writes that: At the time of the Second Temple, during the reign of the wicked kings known as Antiochus, decrees were issued on the nation of Israel. These decrees had the effect of anulling the practice of the holy Jewish religion. The Jews were not permitted to study Torah or perform Mitzvos. The money of the Jews was confiscated, and the Jewish daughters were snatched. They went into the Temple where they performed improper acts and defiled the ritually pure. They pained the nation of Israel and pressured them immensely until the point where Hashem, the G-d of their forefathers, had mercy on them and saved them from the evil hands that were persecuting them. Hashem saved them through the hands of the holy and pure Hasmoneans, who were high priests, with Mattisyahu and his sons, who fought with Antiochus. The victory occurred in a way that went against the laws of nature, as the Hashmoneans, with their righteous troops, were very small in number, while Antiochus fell upon them with a great number of people, with many elephants, and with horsemen and chariots. However, Hashem favored His nation of Israel and therefore let the strong fall into the hands of the weak, the wicked into the hands of the righteous, the impure into the hands of the pure. Furthermore, those traitors from the nation of Israel who sided with Antiochus fell into the hands of those who studied Torah. Then, the name of G-d was elevated and sanctified in the world, and the light of Torah with its purity shined, and the name of the nation of Israel reached a level of great stature amongst the nations of the world .

This miracle came to a completion on the 25th day of Kislev. There was, however, another miracle. When the nation of Israel entered the Temple to purify it, all of the people were ritually impure because they came into contact with the dead during the course of the battles. A person who is impure because of contact with the dead can only become pure through a process which takes seven days. It was only after these seven days that people were able to obtain a supply of pure oil. Furthermore, it took 8 days to make the round-trip needed to obtain pure oil. Only one flask of pure oil, which still bore the unbroken seal of the High Priest, was found in the Temple. Hashem performed a miracle, and this flask of oil which should only have lasted for one day was able to be used to light the Menorah in the Temple for eight days, until which time no additional pure oil was available. We therefore have eight days on which we praise and give thanks to Hashem.

I wish to all my Jewish friends and those grafted in a Happy Chanukah.

 

 

 

It’s My Birthday, Elvis Day and Madonna also

Not that I care anymore, but one thing that eats at me is that I have to be reminded of Madonna who shares the same birthday.

Also, the Giffords (Kathy and Frank) were born this day.

But the most famous thing is that Elvis died this day in 1977, on the toilet

Here’s a throwback to 1986 – Core Introduces New PC   where I was a spokesman for the company…..

Here is a quote that notes I’ll vanquish my foes:

From the cradle to the grave, fighting, rightly understood, is the business, the real, highest, honestest business, of every son of man. Every one who is worth his salt has his enemies, who must be beaten, be they evil thoughts and habits in himself or spiritual wickedness in high places, or Muslim terrorists, or Border-ruffians, or Bill, Tom, or Harry, who will not let him live his life in quiet till he has thrashed them.

Happy Birthday to My Dog

It is now a year later and my dog  is 12  today.  The average lifespan of Boxer according to my vet is “around” 8-10 years, so I’m living on borrowed time.

I named her after the dog in Jonny Quest because she had a black face like the dog in the cartoon.

Since I’ve worked at home the whole time we’ve had her, she has been my day pal.  Now that my son has gone off to college, she is definitely my dog and I’m very attached to her.

Recently, I watched Marley and Me and I couldn’t bear the thought of losing her.  Fortunately, she is still full of energy and looks like she’ll be around for a while.

I’ve posted about her over the years, some of them being the most read entries I’ve written.

After the story of Shoep and John here is the link I am especially sensitive to her longevity and day to day life.  She has had cancer surgery and still has the energy to love my family, although she is especially attached to me.  It is mutual.

Here are some of the best of links:

Her surgery

Dogs are good for your heart

It’s a Dog’s Life

Boxer Rebellion

Saturday Humor – Joe Isuzu and Monarchy

This series of commercials was especially funny to me, for a particular reason.  This is my favorite one of the bunch as it pokes fun in an acceptable way.  When this came out, I had just taken a picture of my daughter next to a guard who couldn’t move in a very similar guard-house, so even to this day I find it funny.

I hope you do also.

Facebook Overnight Millionaires and Employee Turnover

chatango Pictures, Images and Photos

Update: As predicted, the brain drain has begun with executives leaving and others questioning Zuckerberg’s leadership ability.

As we all know, Facebook will go public in a huge IPO.  This will create many mega-millionaires overnight who work there.

I wonder what the drain in human intellectual property will be when they don’t have to work like maniacs anymore.

WHY PEOPLE WORK

Most people work only because they get paid.  A common cliche is that work is a 4 letter word.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t put up with the job they have, proven by frequent job shifts over a lifetime.  They leave for a better opportunity, or a bigger paycheck.  My observation (not scientific) is that if the paycheck wasn’t a part of the deal, the job wouldn’t get done.

Then there are a few who really like to work like my Dad.  His life was his work (HVAC engineer) and he loved it.  My uncle was a pilot who also loved his job.  Both regretted their retirement.

Finally, there are a few who love what they do because it is their passion.  It has been said that if you do what you really love, it isn’t work.  These are usually the most successful people.

MILLIONAIRE HEAVEN

When Facebook goes public and there will be a group of people created who are the overnight millionaires, many will move on.  Some of them are the creative minds behind what has made the company the success it has been.  Sure you can hire more programmers and throw options at them, but they are in the category of working for a paycheck.  Many won’t have the need (some the desire) to work.  I watched many friends I had at Amazon become millionaires and quit.  They went on to do what they wanted to because they sold stock and had the money to do so.

The people that lived and breathed the Facebook that we know it have and hold the history and the reason that it is what it is today.  That knowledge can’t be replaced.

What will be the brain drain at Facebook?  I’m sure there are loyal employees who will stay.  The executives will likely stay because they already are rich and at that point it is a matter of power, not money.  Others, I’m not so sure.

WILL THEY SELL

You bet they will.  There is already a lot of insider selling:

Insiders and early Facebook investors are taking advantage of increasing investor demand and selling more of their stock in the company’s initial public offering, the company said Wednesday.

Facebook said in a regulatory filing that 84 million shares, worth up to $3.2 billion, are being added to what’s shaping up to be the decade’s hottest IPO.

Facebook’s stock is expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market on Friday under the ticker symbol “FB”.

The entire increase comes from insiders and early investors, so the company won’t benefit from the additional sales.

The biggest increases come from investment firms DST Global and Tiger Global. Goldman Sachs is doubling the number of shares it is selling. Facebook board members Peter Thiel and James Breyer are also selling more shares.

Even the Motley Fool is predicting investors will get burned.

Facebook’s IPO: A Quick Way to Go Broke
Facebook’s IPO will create at least 1,000 millionaires, estimates The Wall Street Journal. Founder Mark Zuckerberg is cashing out $1 billion worth of shares. But most investors who buy shares will get burned…

REASONS TO SELL

Recently, it was stated that Facebook could be a passing fad.  This fact is not lost on those looking to make a killing.

If you recall Palm, Friendster, Sony Walkmans and other technologies, or beanie babies and tickle me Elmo’s, fads come and go quickly.  As Qui-Gon Jin said: There is always a bigger fish.  This means the next bigger and better Social Network or better idea is already being worked on.  Innovation drives technology and history has proven it…..ask 3com, Wang, Digital or many others.

We already know that they economy is still in a recession and cash is king.  If this IPO is anything like Groupon, it will trend high, then the price will go down and people want the most bang for their buck.  I know I’d dump it all and diversify by day 2.  I can’t comment as to whether I’d quit as I don’t know the culture, but I’ve worked for paranoid owners before and I know that it is a tough environment.  Zuckerberg has publicly stated that it’s good to be paranoid.  If that was the case, this is the time to bail.

It’s no secret that Facebook is not fully baked on their mobile strategy or execution yet either.  That is a pretty large faux pas.

Worst of all, millions are choosing to not be on Facebook or are just saying no to it.  Many of these are in the high wealth category.

Compound that with the fact that Google is killing Facebook in advertising revenue with Facebook even facing declining revenue:

A comparison of the two companies from WordStream, a search marketing management company, suggests that Facebook is a much less effective ad medium than Google. (The caveat here is that WordStream is, obviously, rather more dependent on Google than Facebook as a medium.)

So how much brain drain and personnel IP will leave?  Time will tell, but I’m sure there are a lot of folks contemplating this issue as I write.  The pressure of work, making a killing on stock or losing a fortune takes its toll on the workers.

I had a lot of friends at Cisco when they were flying high in the market.  While others played solitaire at the other technology companies, Cisco employees spent half their day watching the stock price to see how high it would go and calculate how rich they were.  The problem was that they weren’t vested.  I hope that Zuckerberg and lawyers are smart enough to make their employee options at least 3-5 years before they are fully vested to keep the best and brightest there.  Still, some might be mailing it in until year 3 while dreaming of being rich.

The average Joe won’t get rich anyway because here are the people who have made the money:

My final comment on the greatest brain drain comes in the form of 2 people, Paul Allan and Steve Wozniak.  They got out and went on to different lives, but I’m not sure they still held the passion they had while building their company’s.

Update on Grocery Shopping

I originally wrote about my shopping adventures from as much as 30 years ago mentioning dressing for the store, meeting someone at work, bikini’s, girls in the frozen isle….and other observations.  Instead of just being out of college which was the perspective of the original blog, I’m now buying groceries for a college student.

I also wrote about the old people and their habits.  It dawned on me today I’m almost one of them now.  I go on BOGO (buy one get one free) day.  My day is complete when I can get BOGO with a coupon for double savings.  When did I get this old?  Actually I’m just smarter with our money now and know there are deals to be had.

I’m even getting balloons for my dog to play with as they float and it gives her great pleasure to bark at them.  If I could just get her to breath in the helium and bark, I’d be the one howling with laughter.

Just think, one more year and I can get another 5% off for senior discount on Thursdays!

Happy Birthday Mom

Most will celebrate the birth of our nation, as will I.  Some are more proud of it than others, they usually are red stater’s.

For me, my Mom was born and died on July 4th, so it  has a different meaning to me.  Much of what I am, why I believe in God and many other things in my life are attributed to her.

She would have been 88 tomorrow, an age I may or may not see.  What I do wish to see is her in my life still.  For now, I’ll wait for the afterlife (read Revelation 21 on)..

Here is one of the last pictures I have of her.  For now, I’ll just have to live with the day lily named after her.

Green Jobs – Teaching my Offspring about Capitalism

Times are tough for teenagers to get a job.  I’ve heard that unemployment is more that 20 +% for teenagers.  My son has struck out getting a job, although he has put more effort into video games than looking for a job, so we started an eBay business.

It’s name is NeonDeal, Click on the name and see what he is selling, vintage fishing lures.   The one in the picture is worth a few hundred dollars.  Of course, I know something about it, but he built the blog and the Twitter account which you should follow and see what he is selling. He sold and shipped his first lures last week and made more money in one night than he would in a month at McDonald’s.  He’s learned a valuable lesson, work for yourself and it’s good to be the boss.  Michael Dell started a company called PC’s Limited out of his dorm room….It’s now call Dell Computers.  Hope my son gets that kind of  taste for the real green.  So he’s self employed for the summer and is understanding inventory, shipping, logistics, marketing, sales, blogging and if you don’t work…you don’t get paid.

Now, when I said green jobs in the title, I mean in terms of Money. If you thought I meant Green jobs in terms of saving the planet, they are tough to come by in real life.   One thing I learned is that if they really were a better solution, they would have succeeded on their own already.  That is the way business works.

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Memorial Day 2011

I am so proud of our country and honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.  It peeves me to no end when some who have been our allies take shots at our country just because we are not like them.  We are not.  We are our own country, based on a Judeo Christian set of principles that have made the exeptionalism of our country great.  It peeves me worse when it is internal. America has been more benevolent, contributed more to the welfare of mankind in it’s short history than any other country in history.  The USA is the only country that built itself rather than conquer another.   We have made sacrifices for the freedom of others our mission.  We have joined with some countries and fought against the same either with bullets or words.

So on this Memorial Day, we remember those who fought the fight for freedom that others trample and don’t appreciate.  I for one, honor them and understand how tough it must have been to go where you didn’t want to go, fight with and on behalf of others who wanted to take freedom from the world.

America has been a uniquely productive nation: a font of invention, creativity and economic dynamism. In America, tens of millions of people have risen from poverty. The United States has been a singularly generous, if not always effective, provider of assistance to other countries including those where Americans are not popular.

My father saw Europe tear itself apart in the 40’s, a continent that has been at each others throats for hundreds of years.  My uncle saw the atrocities of the Pacific Theater as a B-29 bomber Captain.  We now face attack from radical terrorist Muslims from the outside and socialism attacking Capitalism or those who invent faux issues like Anthropogenic Global Warming from the inside.  Now, other religions are trying to take our holiday from us.

We must stand on the principles that made this country great, honor the memory of those who gave their lives to make us free and stand up to those who wish to defeat us now, or tear us down because we are not like them or are able, willing and ready to defend ourselves  and our freedoms This is unlike the pacifistic and appeasers and even some of our current deleterious leaders who didn’t understand what Patton, MacArthur, Nimitz, Bradley and others knew.  You fight to win, then you negotiate the terms of surrender and how business will be conducted.  Even on my blog, there are some that just have no clue as to what we are about as demonstrated in the absurd comments of this entry.

Others feel this way also like Ricky Gilleland, quoting from this article:

Quiet, soft-spoken 17- year-old Ricky Gilleland spends most weekends surrounded by tombstones, as he walks through Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington, D.C. looking for the burial sites of those individuals who have died in the line of duty since September 11, 2001. Gilleland has taken on the job that the historic cemetery has not been able to do itself.

Through his website, preserveandhonor.com, Gilleland has cataloged the thousands who are laid to rest in Section 60 of Arlington Cemetery. With a camera in hand, Gilleland shoots a photo of both the front and back of the headstone, “to provide a virtual place for loved ones and friends to both locate the graves of the fallen and reflect on the memory of their sacrifice.”

Or these great American’s who realize why we have Memorial Day:
 GM’s Place The Last Battle
So I don’t wish a happy Memorial Day, although I hope you enjoy the hot dogs and family celebration.  Rather, remember those who fought so that you could live free