Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Is the Safety Net Safe???

With the safety net in place why do people continue to struggle? Along with the rising death rate due to the flu, other health issues can be devastating. Then there is the computer that is turning people into robots, not to mention the crime rate, etc. etc. etc. Help! Is the world coming to an end?

No the world is not coming to an end. People give top priority to safety. Look around you and take notice. On the job, in the marketplace, the community, even the church, safety gets a lot of attention.  So where is the problem?

The problem is in safety. Perhaps there is a hole in the net. A hole in a safety net is as useless as a hole in a bucket trying to carry water. Another way to look at it is that people either look for short cuts to skirt around safety standards or just ignore what is best.

Baseball may offer a good example about safety. Through a see-saw battle dating back to 1905, major league baseball in both the American and National League make it mandatory that all hitters wear a hard hat or helmet. For years many players experienced getting hit in the head by the bean ball and thus suffered serious consequences. Wow! Safety has finally come aboard. Now for their own protection a hitter and catcher wear a helmet while in the box at home plate.

The medicine bottle is wrapped with enough jargon to choke ten horses. Besides listing the doctor on the label, users get detailed information about how to use the celebrities along with side affects. Unfortunately many people abuse the privilege to use medicine. 

Would you walk in front of a speeding truck? No, I didn't think so. Instead you would follow The Rules of the Road. And who would be crazy enough to step in front of a speeding truck? Probably somebody whom is lazy, doesn't read The Rules of the Road, and prefers to take short cuts.

How does a guy beat the odds in a stampede? Easy. Hustle and hope to get out of the way in order to be safe. 

Like a safety net, does our law enforcement provide the peace and security we so desperately deserve? Yes, I think they do and should be congratulated for their courage and bravery. 

Next time you are in your car remember to fasten your sit belt. Follow the instructions judiciously on that medicine bottle. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Action is the best policy and always worth a pound of cure. 

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Can You Hit The Bull's Eye?

Hitting the bull's eye is all about good goal setting. How are you at goal setting? Are you able to accomplish your goal?

When I saw the big concentric sign I made a right turn into the parking lot. Then, slowly the monster on wheels crawled into a selected spot closer to the entrance of the big store. Before entering I took one last look at another big concentric sign on the wall.

The Target logo always reminded me about goals and hitting the bull's eye which is a challenging experience.

In the recent Superbowl game, February 4, 2018, between the Patriots and Eagles, the accuracy of quarterback Tom Brady never cease to amaze me. When the wide receiver caught a long pass down field thousands of football fans jumped out of their seats with excitement.

The quarterback diligently works hard every day to ultimately accomplish his goal. Often he throws to nobody. But wait! Suddenly from out of nowhere, a pair of hands bring that pigskin close to his gut before he wheels around and races toward the end zone. Bingo! The number 7 is on the scoreboard.

In baseball a pitcher's goal is to throw with perfection while hoping to place the ball at selected locations and fool the hitter. Uniquely the ball sailed wide, inside, and over the plate at varied speeds. The battery of pitcher and catcher were in control and the fans loved every minute of it.

Hitting the bull's eye requires accuracy and continues to be a part of goal setting. Besides good care a medical doctor strives for accuracy. What would life be like if a doctor gives the wrong diagnosis and thus the wrong treatment for a worthy patient?

Plowing a driveway is another goal I'm sure you all can identify with. Good plans in action help accomplish your goal.

Then there is the cube of many colors. Yes, the Rubik's Cube keeps  people challenged for many hours with a goal to solve the puzzle. If at first they don't succeed they keep trying. No body is a quitter. 

The lady had a goal to finish her knitting project in a given period of time. Unfortunately, along the way she encountered some problems: dropping a few stitches or missing a complete row wasn't in the plan. When starting over she wondered if the project will ever get done. 

So where are you? Are you able to hit the bull's eye? The lists of goals to achieve is endless and probably starts with peace coupled with a good job, nice friends, and a great family. 

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Does Repetition Create Interest?


It's enough to drive a person crazy. I see it in my sleep all the time. I can't get the sound out of my head. It's called repetition.

The good thing about repetition is that it may serve as a good reminder. For busy people with a lot of distractions it's nice to have a string tied around a finger.

On-the-other-hand it can be a nuisance. A nasty salesman just won't go away. Perhaps it's somebody whom loves to invade your privacy. 

TV commercials are a good example about repetition with consistency. The Geico green lizard is everywhere. He travels all over the world and really doesn't have anything to say about the policy other than to save money.

Remember the overtly enthusiastic cashier named Flo, the lady dressed in white? Watch enough TV and you are bound to learn something about Progressive Insurance, and who could forget?

As a diehard baseball fan I love to watch a good baseball game. My subscription to Mlb.com allows me to watch any game, played anywhere, and replayed up to three days. I'm addicted and it's called repetition.

Personally, I find TV commercials to be entertaining. Where is the Geico lizard today? Is Flo riding a motorcycle? But we must be discreet. Don't get sucked in and walk away with empty pockets.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Who is John Doe?

Will the real John Doe please stand up? Immediately three men stood up before a crowd of thousands of people. Perhaps behind gawking eyes the audience was puzzled staring at the average Joe.

From 1950 to 1967 a panel of experts on the popular TV show called "What's My Line?"  tried to figure out the jobs of  guests from the general population. 

Why did all three men stand up?  Probably because no body is ever born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Doctors, lawyers, architect, school teacher, or whomever, all started out at the beginning. Perhaps we call it average.

There is a misconception about being average. Everybody is born of humble means. Then how do people get to high places? Probably by hard work and being in the right place at the right time.

In a scenario of a cause and effect relationship, no body fits this example better than Abe Lincoln, 16th President of the United States. Born in a log cabin, no formal education, self taught throughout his life, and who would ever think about his rise to stardom?

Dolly Parton is no stranger to the ladder of success either. Born in poverty, using her musical talent, she rose to entertain thousands of people, whom didn't hesitate to line up at the door anxious to get a good seat.

George Herman Ruth, better known as "Babe," and twelve times home-run hitter, cheered thousands of baseball fans through out his baseball career. From living in a reform school he became a legendary power and charismatic personality. 

As we continue to focus on personalities that started out with humble means who could ever forget J.K. Rowling? This truly is a rags to riches story. Author of Harry Potter along with ten other outstanding novels, she became one of the wealthiest women alive. 

So everybody starts out in life at the same gate or on the same line. Average. Where you finish the race is your choice. Good luck in the running.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Is There Power In Your Hand?

The hand can be a very persuasive part of the body. Used wisely it says a lot of things. Used inappropriately and it can get you into trouble.

Angry people will give their accuser the finger. Bad. But let's focus more on the positive gestures of a hand.

As a kid I often pointed to people in church. To correct the demeaning intention I often got my hand slapped. "That's not polite." And the process repeated itself until I learned my lesson. Yes life can be tough.

An in-law, many years my senior, often pointed her intentions while riding in the car: turn left at the next corner, the speedometer, person in the back seat, all had significance without speaking that felt very condescending. Silence dominated the air waves.

A pitcher manipulated a baseball in his hand until it felt comfortable for the next pitch: fastball, curve, or whatever, placement on the ball determined how the ball traveled toward home plate. And the fans cheered watching all the action.

A good pair of hands will intrigue anybody. My favorite is the Disney cartoons. I could watch Goofy or Mickey Mouse all day. Then there is the hand movement of the Hamburger Helper in the TV Commercials. Lots of animation.

How do you use the power of persuasion with your hand? Use it wisely and don't take it for granted.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Who Says Nothing is Impossible?

Do you ever get intrigued about something that holds your attention for a long time? It sounds like the old Jays Potato Chips TV commercial that says, "I can't stop eating 'em."

Most people have a wide range of interest. From the recreational to the more serious, lots of things will gain a person's attention like a magnet drawing a pile of nails.

The lists is endless. Perhaps your favorite is reading a good book or naming all the presidents. Some folks can't stop talking about their favorite movie, movie star, recipe or knitting.    

Words fascinate me. I love to watch a fountain pen scroll words across a piece of paper.

However, when I was in grade school many years ago, I developed poor study habits. Need-less-to-say my vocabulary wasn't the greatest not-to-mention SAT scores. Matching antonyms with synonyms drove me crazy. Stress. But I still had a passion for words.  

So I did the next best thing and using  Baron's SAT test preparation book I memorized 1800 words. Adding 10 words every day to a 3"x5" index card I got the job done. Nothing is impossible if we make up our mind to do it.

Among other things baseball fans line up at the ball park to watch an exciting game. There is something about a little white ball with stitches traveling around the field that intrigues the living daylights out of a  baseball fan. Then there is the thrill of stuffing your mouth full of hot dogs while drinking some ice cold soda.

The liking of something out of this world should not be taken for granted. Life has so many good things to offer and enjoy in this troubled world. So I encourage you to identify the passions that intrigue you the most and enjoy them to the fullest.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Where is the Ball?

It's a guessing game. The baseball is rolling on the foul line and who knows where it will stop.

Life is like that baseball and filled with uncertainty. Just when we think everything is OK, something comes along and the bottom drops out. Surprise.

"Why me?" thought the victim.  

Often we play the comparison game. While other people appear to be sitting on top of the world  we sometimes feel like the loser.

When the baseball slugger stepped up to the plate the fans anticipated a home run or something that would leave this world. So after bracing his legs and choking up on his bat, the fans already had their eyes looking in the seats beyond the outfield wall. 

But it never happened. Instead, he leveled his bat over the plate just before laying down the perfect bunt. Gawking eyes from the fans watched in awe while the little white monster gravitated toward the white line.

After a quick bounce in front of home plate the ball started to very lazily roll on the white chalk. While waffling back and forth, first to the right and than left before straightening out again in the center of the line, the 3rd baseman looked baffled. "Should I pick it up or let it go foul?" It was the sixty-four thousand dollar question. 

The ball displayed a lot of uncertainty. From the center of the line it wobbled to the right, than left, then front and center until finally coming to a complete stop just inches from the third base bag on the line. You may say the ball was very stubborn. By now the runner was proudly standing on first base, grinning. The fielder was humiliated.

Using the ball waffling on the line as our example to real life, how do we deal with it? Easy. I call it the U-S-A formula.

First, we must recognize that life is filled with uncertainty (U). It is a problem or trouble of the world that we will never escape. 

Second, we must learn to deal with it. Cope. There has to be a solution (S) to the problem. Accept it for what it is worth. Don't ignore it. People often make up excuses just to avoid it. The do-nothing syndrome will get us nowhere.

Finally, we must put wheels to our dilemma. Real action (A) will get us results. Look at what's given; choose options; and go to work. Now your uncertainty will become a certainty.