Life

Two Rules

There are two rules for success in life:

Rule 1: Don't tell people everything you know.


Dog's Life

Wellness Tips We Can Learn From A Dog

  1. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride
  2. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy
  3. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them
  4. Let others know when they have invaded your territory
  5. When it's in your best interest, practice obedience
  6. Take naps and stretch before rising
  7. Run, romp and play daily
  8. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm
  9. Be loyal
  10. Never pretend to be something you're not
  11. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it
  12. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them... gently
  13. Thrive on attention and let people touch you
  14. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do
  15. On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree
  16. When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body
  17. No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout... run right back and make friends
  18. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk

Big Rocks First

One day an expert on the subject of time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will probably never forget. As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz."

Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed Mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?"

Everyone in the class said, "Yes." Then he said, "Really?"

He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar, causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. Then he smiled and asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?"

By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not," one of them answered.

"Good!" he replied.

And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in, and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?"

"No!" the class shouted.

Once again he said, "Good!"

Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!"

"No," the speaker replied, "that's not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all. What are the big rocks in your life? A project that YOU want to accomplish? Time with your loved ones? Your faith, your education, your finances? A cause? Teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you'll never get them in at all. So, tonight or in the morning when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the "big rocks" in my life? Put those in your jar first."


A Great Man

A great man must be mindful of nine things: to see beyond when he looks, to listen beyond when he hears, to be gentle in looks, to be respectful in manners, to be true to his words, to take pride in his works, to ask when in doubt, to think of the consequences when in anger, to think of justice and fairness when accepting an advantage

Confucius 551-479 B.C.


Hell

How Hot Is It In Hell? - A True Story from a Yale professor.

A thermodynamics professor had written a take home exam for his graduate students. It had one question:
"Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Support your answer with a proof."

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So, we need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and since most people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

Second, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Miss Theresa Banyan during my freshman year that, "It will be a cold night in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded with her, then #2 cannot be true.

Therefore Hell is exothermic.

The student got the only 'A'.


A Cowboy's Guide To Life

"Texas" Bix Bender "Don't Squat With Yer Spurs On"
  1. Never smack a man who's chewin' tobacco.
  2. Never kick a fresh pile on a hot day.
  3. There's two theories to arguin' with a woman. Neither one works.
  4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
  5. Always drink upstream from the herd.
  6. If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
  7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket.
  8. There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.
  9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
  10. If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.
  11. Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier 'n puttin' it back.
  12. Don't worry about bitin' off more than you can chew. Your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger'n you think.
  13. If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
  14. Never ask a man the size of his spread.
  15. It don't take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.
  16. Never ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut.
  17. Never follow good whiskey with water, unless you're out of good whiskey.
  18. When you give a lesson in meanness to a critter or a person, don't be surprised if they learn their lesson.
  19. When you're throwin' your weight around, be ready to have it thrown around by somebody else.
  20. Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was.
  21. A smart ass just don't fit in a saddle.
  22. The best way to have a quiche for dinner is to make it up and put it in The oven to bake at 325 degrees. Meanwhile, get out a large T-bone, grill it, and when it's done, eat it. As for the quiche, continue to let it bake, but otherwise ignore it.
  23. Never drop your gun to hug a grizzly.
  24. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good that he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: when you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

Military

A military truism:

All officers can be categorized by 2 paired attributes: energetic/lazy and smart/stupid.

The energetic/smart officer is often referred to as "high speed, low drag". They are the hard chargers who will either go far or screw up spectacularly. A commander is lucky to have such an officer as long as they can control them just enough to keep then from crashing and burning.

The lazy/smart officer is a pearl of great price. They will never try to make anything happen that is not already on their plate UNLESS they spot a problem that might make their life more difficult. They will nip such problems in the bud. Every job they have will be easier when they leave that it was when they arrived.

The lazy/stupid officer can be useful for the routine jobs that aren't very demanding but still need to be done. Put them under the supervision of an experienced and competent sergeant.

The energetic/stupid officer is a viper at the breast of any command. They mean well. Catastrophe follows in their wake. They will volunteer for a suicide mission. Find one for them.


The Present

In a university commencement address several years ago, Brian Dyson, CEO of Coca Cola Enterprises, spoke of the relation of work to one's other commitments:

"Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them -- work, family, health, friends and spirit and you're keeping all of these in the air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls family, health, friends and spirit -- are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.
Brian G. Dyson, President and CEO Coca-Cola Enterprises 

  • Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.
  • Don't set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.
  • Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.
  • Don't let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live ALL the days of your life.
  • Don't give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
  • Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each other.
  • Don't be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.
  • Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to find. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.
  • Don't run through life so fast that you forget Not only where you've been, but also where you are going.
  • Don't forget, a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
  • Don't be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.
  • Don't use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved.
  • Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.
  • Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery and Today is a gift: that's why we call it "The Present"

Gone Fishing

The American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied only a little while.

The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time?

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15-20 years."

But what then, senor?

The American laughed and said that's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.

Millions, senor? Then what?

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."


Sunscreen

Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.

Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.


Paradox

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings,
but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we
spend more but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but
less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but
less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too
little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late,
get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk
too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to
make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life, not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing
the street to meet the new neighbor. We've conquered outer space,
but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've split the
atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We
plan more, but accomplish less.

We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We have higher incomes, but
lower morals. We have more food, but less appeasement. We build
more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever,
but have less communication. We've become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men and
short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships. These are
the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less
fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two
incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away
morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do
everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in
the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and
a time when you can choose either to make a difference, or to just hit delete...
 


Railway Gauges

The U S Standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used?

Because that's the way they built them in England, and the US railroads were built by English expatriates. Why did the English people build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did they use that gauge then?

Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing. Okay! Why did the wagons use that odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing the wagons would break on some of the old, long distance roads, because that's the spacing of the old wheel ruts.

So who built these old rutted roads? The first long distance roads in Europe were built by Imperial Rome
for the benefit of their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts? The initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagons, were first made by Roman war chariots. Since the chariots were made for or by Imperial Rome they were all alike in
the matter of wheel spacing.

Thus, we have the answer to the original questions. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the original specification for an Imperial Roman army war chariot. Specs and Bureaucracies live forever. So, the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's ass came up with it, you may be exactly right. Because the Imperial Roman chariots were made to be just wide enough to accommodate the back-ends of two war horses.

When we see a Space Shuttle sitting on the launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are the solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at a factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs might have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line to the factory runs through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit
through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than a railroad track, and the railroad track is about as wide as two horses' behinds. So a major design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined by the width of a horse's backside.


Things to Remember

The value of time
The success of perseverance
The pleasure of working
The dignity of simplicity
The worth of character
The influence of example
The obligation of duty
The wisdom of economy
The virtue of patience
The improvement of talent
The joy of originating
The power of kindness

All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Noah's Ark

  1. Don't miss the boat.
  2. Don't forget that we're all in the same boat.
  3. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
  4. Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something REALLY big.
  5. Don't listen to critics, just get on with what has to be done.
  6. Build your future on high ground.
  7. For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
  8. Two heads are better than one.
  9. Speed isn't always an advantage; the snails were on board with the cheetahs.
  10. When you're stressed, float awhile.
  11. Remember that the ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic was built by professionals.
  12. Remember that woodpeckers inside are a larger threat than the storm outside.
  13. No matter the storm, when you're one with God there's a rainbow waiting

Summit of Years

The words below were adapted from New Hampshire-born writer Samuel Ullman's book, From The Summit Of Years:

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind. It is not a matter or rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions. It is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

Youth means the predominance of courage over timidity, of adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of sixty more than a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm, wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair-these bow the heart and turn the spirit back to dust. Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being's heart the love of wonder, the sweet amazement at the stars and the star-like things, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing child-like appetite for what-next, and the joy of the game of living.

You are as young as your faith and as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.


New Century

Sixteen Things To Remember as We Close the Book on Another Century

  1. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight-saving time.
  2. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.
  3. The most powerful force in the universe is gossip.
  4. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe we are above-average drivers.
  5. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age 11.
  6. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
  7. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."
  8. The main accomplishment of almost all organized protests is to annoy people who are not in them.
  9. If there really is a God who created the entire universe with all of its glories, and He decides to deliver a message to humanity, He WILL NOT use, as His messenger, a person on cable TV with a bad hairstyle.
  10. You should not confuse your career with your life.
  11. A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person. Also a person who is nice to you but not your office staff is not a nice person.
  12. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.
  13. When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.
  14. Your friends love you anyway.
  15. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
  16. Nothing ever changes when you're acting your age.

Corporate Lessons

Lesson Number One:

A crow was sitting on a tree, doing nothing all day. A small rabbit saw the crow, and asked him, "Can I also sit like you and do nothing all day long?"

The crow answered: "Sure, why not." So, the Rabbit sat on the ground below the crow, and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it!

Moral of the story: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very,very high up.

Lesson Number Two:

A turkey was chatting with a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey, "but I haven't got the energy."
"Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull. "They're packed with nutrients." The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the first branch of the tree. The next
day,  after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fortnight, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. Soon he was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out of the tree.

Moral of the story: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there.

Lesson Number Three:

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold, the bird froze and fell to the ground in a large field. While it was  lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on it. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, it began to realize how warm it was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him!

The morals of this story are:
1) Not everyone who drops shit on you is your enemy.
2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
3) And when you're in deep shit, keep your mouth shut


Only in America

  • Only in America can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance Only in America are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink
  • Only in America do we award someone $3,000,000 for spilling hot coffee in their own lap
  • Only in America do we have labels on baby strollers to remind people to remove the baby before folding up the stroller
  • Only in America do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions.
  • Only in America do people order double cheese burgers, large fries, and a diet coke
  • Only in America do banks leave all the doors open and then chain the pens to the counters
  • Only in America do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and leave useless junk in the garage
  • Only in America do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won't miss a call from someone we didn't want to talk to in the first place
  • Only in America do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight
  • Only in America do we use the word "politics" to describe the process so well: "Poli" in Latin meaning "many" and "tics" meaning "bloodsucking creatures"
  • Only in America do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille.

Lip Prints

According to a radio report, a middle school in Oregon was faced with a unique problem. A number of girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick they would press their
lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints.

Finally the principal decided that something had to be done. She called all the girls to the bathroom
and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a
major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night.

To demonstrate how difficult it was to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance guy to clean one
of the mirrors. He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it into the toilet and then cleaned the
mirror. Since then there have been no lip prints on the mirror.

There are teachers and then there are Teachers....


Wealth

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people can be. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"

"It was great, Dad."

"Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked.

"Oh Yeah" said the son.

"So what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.

The son answered, "I saw that we have one dog and they had four."

"We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end."

"We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night."

"Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon."

"We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight."

"We have servants who serve us, but they serve others."

"We buy our food, but they grow theirs."

"We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."

With this the boy's father was speechless.

Then his son added, "Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are."


Instructions for Life

  1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
  3. Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, Respect for others, Responsibility for all your actions.
  4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  8. Spend some time alone.
  9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
  10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  11. Live a good, honorable life. When you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
  12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life. Do all you can to create a tranquil, harmonious home.
  13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
  14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
  15. Be gentle with the earth.
  16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
  17. Remember: the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
  18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
  19. Call your mother.
  20. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Bill Gates

EDUCATION REFORM MOVEMENT vs. BILL GATES

In Bill Gates' new book Business@the Speed of Thought, he lays out 11 rules that students do not learn in high school or college, but should. He argues that our feel-good, politically-correct teachings have created a generation of kids with no concept of reality who are set up for failure in the real world.

Rule #1 Life is not fair; get used to it.

Rule #2 The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule #3 You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with a car phone, until you earn both.

Rule #4 If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.

Rule #5 Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called it opportunity.

Rule #6 If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule #7 Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule #8 Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades; they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule #9 Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

Rule #10 Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule #11 Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.


Words to Live By

Many people will walk in and out of your life,but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

To handle yourself, use your head; To handle others, use your heart.

Anger is only one letter short of danger.

If someone betrays you once, it's his fault; if he betrays you twice, it's your fault.

Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.

God gives every bird it's food, But He does not throw it into it's nest.

He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses more; He who loses faith, loses all.

Beautiful young people are acts of nature, But beautiful old people are works of art.

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.

The tongue weighs practically nothing, But so few people can hold it.


Feeding Time

An old farmer in Kansas had owned a large farm for several years. He had a large pond in the back, fixed up nice; picnic tables, horseshoe courts, and some apple and peach trees. The pond was properly shaped and fixed up for swimming when it was built.

One evening the old farmers decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn't been there for a while, and look it over. He grabbed a five gallon bucket to bring back some fruit. As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his pond.

He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end of the pond.

One of the women shouted to him, "We're not coming out until you leave!"

The old man frowned, "I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond naked."

Holding the bucket up he said, "I'm just here to feed the alligator."

Moral: Old age and cunning will triumph over youth and enthusiasm every time.


Good Night Mom

Mom and Dad were watching TV when Mom said, "I'm tired, and it's getting late. I think I'll go to bed." She went to the kitchen to make sandwiches for the next day's lunches. Rinsed out the popcorn bowls, took meat out of the freezer for supper the following evening, checked the cereal box levels, filled the sugar container, put spoons and bowls on the table and started the coffee pot for brewing the next morning.

She then put some wet clothes in the dryer, put a load of clothes into the washer, ironed a shirt and secured a loose button. She picked up the game pieces left on the table and put the telephone book back into the drawer. She watered the plants, emptied a wastebasket and hung up a towel to dry.

She yawned and stretched and headed for the bedroom. She stopped by the desk and wrote a note to the teacher, counted out some cash for the field trip, and pulled a textbook out from hiding under the chair. She signed a birthday card for a friend, addressed and stamped the envelope and wrote a quick note for the grocery store. She put both near her purse.

Mom then washed her face with 3-in-1 cleanser, put on her Night Solution & age fighting moisturizer, brushed and flossed her teeth and filed her nails.

Dad called out, "I thought you were going to bed." "I'm on my way," he said.

She put some water into the dog's dish and put the cat outside, then made sure the doors were locked. She looked in on each of the kids and turned out their bedside lamps, hung up a shirt, threw some dirty socks into the hamper, and had a brief conversation with the one up still doing homework.

In her own room, she set the alarm; laid out clothing for the next day, straightened up the shoe rack. She added three things to her 6 most important things to do list. She said her prayers, and visualized the accomplishment of her goals.

About that time, Dad turned off the TV and announced to no one in particular "I'm going to bed." And he did...without another thought.


The Marine Corps Management Principles

1. Aim for the 70-percent solution. It's better to decide quickly on an imperfect plan than to roll out a perfect plan when it's too late.

2. Find the essence. When it comes time to act, even the most complex situations and missions must be perceived in simple terms.

3. Build a capability-based organizational mission. Focusing on developing organizational talents creates opportunities; focusing on particular products and services invites obsolescence.

4. Orient to speed and complexity. The ability to react quickly and effectively in chaotic environments usually trumps other competencies.

5. Organize according to the rule of three. In times of stress, most people can efficiently handle exactly three key responsibilities.

6. Build authority-on-demand into the hierarchy. Retain a strong management pyramid, but encourage people even at the lowest levels to make whatever decisions are necessary to accomplish the mission when management guidance isn't at hand.

7. Focus on the small team. Most of the organization's critical tasks are accomplished by the lowest-level managers and their subordinates, so anything done to make them more effective will have a large payoff.

8. Task-organize. The size and make-up of groups within the organization should be changed according to the needs of each specific mission.

9. Hire via trial by fire. Challenging a prospective employee makes it easier to determine the fit, and initiates a bond between the hiree and the organization.

10. Employ extreme training. Situations faced on the job shouldn't seem more daunting than those faced in training.

11. Breed decision by analogy. Managers can't be briefed on every possible situation, but they can be trained to recognize similarities between novel and familiar situations.

12. Cross-train. Running through different jobs creates versatile managers who understand all aspects of the organization, even if at a cost in efficiency.

13. Manage by end state and intent. Tell people what needs to be accomplished and why, and leave the details to them.

14. Distribute competence. Obsessively and ceaselessly educate and train people at all levels of the organization.

15. Reward failure. Someone who never fails probably isn't pushing the envelope.

16. Make personnel functions stepping-stone for stars. The development of the most promising managers should include taking responsibility for hiring, training, promoting and transferring people.

17. Glorify the lower levels of the organization. The higher the manager, the harder he or she should work at making it clear that the rank and file are the heroes.

18. Demand to be questioned. Subordinates should feel free to openly disagree with their managers, up until it comes time to carry out a final and legitimate decision.

19. Install values that support the mission. The ability to get the job done can be a function of shared character.

20. Cultivate opposing traits. Success often requires combining seemingly contradictory approaches.

21. Establish a core identity. Everyone in the organization should feel they're performing an aspect of the same job.

22. Match strength to weakness. Find ways to tilt the playing field to the competition's disadvantage.

23. Surprise and disorient the opposition. A confused and off-balance competitor can be routed with fewer resources.

24. Make tempo a weapon. Controlling the pace of competition can exhaust and demoralize the competition.

25. Keep plans simple and flexible. It's better to have a few options that can be easily adapted to changing situations than to try to make specific plans for every contingency.

26. Make organizational doctrine a living thing. It's good to standardize practices, as long as one of them is to continually refine and occasionally change the practices.

27. Experiment obsessively. Even the most successful organization will eventually stop winning if it doesn't explore radically new approaches.

28. Build new tactics around new technology. Fully leveraging technology requires new styles of competing.

29. Don't depend on technology. Train to be effective regardless of which technologies are available.

30. Get an outside perspective. Insights into organizational improvement can often come from people in seemingly unrelated fields.


Pleasing Everyone

An old man, a boy, and a donkey were going to town. The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked. As they went along, they passed some people who thought it was a shame for the boy to ride and the old man to walk.

The man and boy decided maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions. Later, they passed some more people who thought it was a shame for the old man to make such a small boy walk. The two decided they both would walk.

Soon they passed some more people who thought it was stupid to walk when they had a donkey to ride. The man and the boy decided maybe the critics were right, so they both rode on the donkey. They soon passed other people who thought it was a shame to put such a load on a poor little animal. The old man and the boy decided maybe the critics were right, so they carried the donkey.

As they crossed a bridge, they lost their grip on the animal, and he fell into the river and drowned.

The moral of the story: If you try to please everyone, you will eventually lose your ass.


The Station

The Station
by Robert J. Hastings

Tucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long, long trip that almost spans the continent. We're traveling by passenger train, and out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hills, of biting winter and blazing summer and cavorting spring and docile fall.

But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. There sill be bands playing, and flags waving. And once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true. So many wishes will be fulfilled and so many pieces of our lives finally will be neatly fitted together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering ... waiting, waiting, waiting, for the station.

However, sooner or later we must realize there is no one station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.

"When we reach the station, that will be it !" we cry. Translated it means, "When I'm 18, that will be it ! When I buy a new 450 SL Mercedes Benz, that will be it ! When I put the last kid through college, that will be it ! When I have paid off the mortgage, that will be it ! When I win a promotion, that will be it! When I reach the age of retirement, that will be it! I shall live happily ever after!"

Unfortunately, once we get it, then it disappears. The station somehow hides itself at the end of an endless track.

"Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.. It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad. Rather, it is regret over yesterday or fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot oftener, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, and cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.


Philosophy Lesson

The setting: A College Classroom.

"Let me explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ." The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

"You're a Christian, aren't you, son?"

"Yes sir," the student says.

"So you believe in God?"

"Absolutely."

"Is God good?"

"Sure! God's good."

"Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?"

"Yes."

"Are you good or evil?"

"The Bible says I'm evil."

The professor grins knowingly. "Aha! The Bible!" He considers for a moment. "Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?"

"Yes sir, I would."

"So you're good!"

"I wouldn't say that."

"But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't."

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. "He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?"

The student remains silent.

"No, you can't, can you?" the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

"Let's start again, young fella Is God good?"

"Er...yes," the student says.

"Is Satan good?"

The student doesn't hesitate on this one. "No."

"Then where does Satan come from?"

The student : "From...God..."

"That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?"

"Yes, sir."

"Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?"

"Yes."

"So who created evil?" The professor continued, "If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil." Without allowing the student to answer, the professor continues: "Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?"

The student: "Yes."

"So who created them?"

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. "Who created them? There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized.

"Tell me," he continues onto another student. "Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?"

The student's voice is confident: "Yes, professor, I do."

The old man stops pacing. "Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?"

"No sir. I've never seen Him"

"Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?"

"No, sir, I have not."

"Have you ever actually felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?"

"No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't."

"Yet you still believe in him?"

"Yes."

"According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?"

"Nothing," the student replies. "I only have my faith."

"Yes, faith," the professor repeats. "And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith."

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of his own. "Professor, is there such thing as heat?"

"Yes," the professor replies. "There's heat."

"And is there such a thing as cold?"

"Yes, son, there's cold too."

"No sir, there isn't."

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.

"You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it."

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

"What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?"

"Yes," the professor replies without hesitation. "What is night if it isn't darkness?"

"You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?"

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. "So what point are you making, young man?"

"Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed."

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. "Flawed? Can you explain how?"

"You are working on the premise of duality," the student explains. "You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it."

"Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?"

"If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do"

"Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?"

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

"Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?"

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.

"To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean."

The student looks around the room. "Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?" The class breaks out into laughter.

"Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelled the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?"

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. "I guess you'll have to take them on faith."

"Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life," the student continues. "Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?"

Now uncertain, the professor responds, "Of course, there is. We see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil."

To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God.

God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light."

The professor sat down.


Thoughts

Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.

There is always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it. For example, I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.

Reason to smile:? Every seven minutes of every day, someone in an aerobics class pulls a hamstring.

The best way to keep kids at home is to make the home a pleasant atmosphere ... and let the air out of their tires.
-- Dorothy Parker

Car sickness is the feeling you get when the monthly car payment is due.

Families are like fudge .. Mostly sweet with a few nuts.

Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

Laughing helps. It's like jogging on the inside.

Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.

My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completely.

The more you complain, the longer God lets you live.

One day I shall burst my buds of calm and blossom into hysteria.

If you can remain calm, you just don't have all the facts.

You know you're getting old when you stoop to tie your shoes and wonder what else you can do while you're down there?


Southern Wisdom

  1. Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
  2. Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
  3. Life is simpler when you plow around the stumps.
  4. A bumble bee is considerably faster than any tractor.
  5. Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.
  6. Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
  7. Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
  8. Do not corner somethin' that you know is meaner than you.
  9. It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
  10. You can't unsay a cruel word.
  11. Every path has a few puddles.
  12. When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
  13. The best sermons are lived, not preached.
  14. Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen anyway.
  15. Don't judge folks by their relatives, instead judge them by the friends they keep.
  16. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer, but you can always have an opinion.
  17. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.
  18. Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't bothering you none.
  19. Timing has got a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
  20. If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
  21. Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
  22. The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.
  23. Always drink upstream from the herd.
  24. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
  25. Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.
  26. If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
  27. Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.
  28. Live simply ~ love generously ~ care deeply ~ speak kindly ~ leave the rest to God.
  29. Remember when you quit laughing, you quit living!!!!

There's a Hole in My Sidewalk

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
By Portia Nelson

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost .... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend that I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit ... but, my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street.


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