Thursday, February 16, 2006


bearing gifts. Perhaps this ancient quote should be revised to state "Beware of PEOPLE offering gifts so they can hold it over your head."

I have seen a large number of people in my life who had to suffer mental outrages because they unwisely took a gift from a fiend/relative who felt it gave them some form of moral superiority over that persons life. Be sure that the "GIFT" is a "GIFT" with no strings attached. Judge the gift from prior experiences and if in DOUBT - DON'T.

However, if it is given from the heart gladly accept it.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Many years ago I can remember my father waiting for his Aunt and Uncle to visit God and leave them their money. My father made casual visits once in a while checking on their health but nothing more.

One day he received a call his uncle died and several months laters the aunt followed. At the reading of the will my father walked out of the room shocked. In stead of the hundreds of thousands he expected he received $500 - with the bulk of the estate divided up among two distant relatives and a handyman who worked around their house.

LESSON LEARNED: If you expect NOTHING you will never be disappointed. My father carried the event around with him for years. He could not get over how "ungrateful" his only relatives treated him. Yet, he was responsible for his own situation. He could have done more and expected less.

What I learned was NOT TO DEPEND on anyone to leave a dime. And While father did leave me his estate I NEVER depended on it in my own financial planning. In the last year of his life his medical bills came to hundreds of thousands of dollars and would have taken everything had not his union health insurance and Medicare picked up the cost. There are no guarantees for tomorrow.

If you should inherit money think LONG and HARD before you spend a dime of it. Many people will decend on your home and urge you to share it with them. But once it is gone you won't see these people anymore.


Yesterday I had to go to a PAIN MANAGEMENT CENTER to deal with a severe neck pain as the result of a neck operation about a year ago. I had already seen my surgeon, taken a CAT scan, X-Ray, and physical therapy prior to this step.

As I talked with the Pain Management Doctor he explained the procedure as inserting cortosone through a 6" syringe into my neck veterbrae while he was viewed through an x-ray monitor.

My first question was - HOW SUCCESSFUL was this procedure? This was like the Poker player trying to determine the ODDS on his bet. He paused and said about 70% of his patients felt it was a definite help in abaiting pain.

My second question was - HOW MANY OF THESE PROCEDURES DOES HE PERFORM? This was trying to determine my comfort level in allowing someone to insert a 6" syringe into my neck. He again paused and said only about 100+ per month.

I still don't know if I should have been better PREPARED with other questions but I allowed him to give me the shot. The entire procedure only took 10 minutes at best.

LESSON LEARNED: I am not sure I feel that much better but the next option is surgery - so I think I will have to go back for shots 2 and 3 over the next couple of weeks. You never really appreciate your HEALTH until something goes wrong. Spend everyday with gusto and good spirits while you can :)


Tuesday, February 14, 2006


You should learn from past mistakes to PLAN for a better future.

(But few people do.)


Monday, February 13, 2006


Bush proves each day what crusading attorney Clarence Darrow meant in the 1920s when he said, "When I was a boy, I was told that anybody could become president. I'm beginning to believe it."


Nothing. It was your choice to HAVE THEM. If they are periodically good to you gleem the moment - otherwise live your life as best you can.

Most parents will watch over their children for the rest of their lives - whether they want it or not. My own father would always tell me to water the Xmas tree (at the age of 90) even after we would tell him each year that it was PLASTIC.

Your children are your legacy - make the most of it.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006


"A Fool and his money are soon parted."


Monday, February 06, 2006


What is the old saying? "No good deed goes unpunished."

Time will tell won't it?


Sunday, February 05, 2006


Just because someone underestimates you does not mean you have to do the same for them.


Friday, February 03, 2006


Today I went to renew a CD with a long established financial institution (having done business with them for over 25 years). This institution would always MATCH any money market rate of a local competitive bank.

I always do my HOMEWORK before investing any monies. I found in the paper a favorable renewal rate at another bank for .47% more than what they advertised. When I told the person on the phone this rate they said they could only give me .15% of that rate. I listened and asked for a SECOND OPINION and following a brief pause in the phone they said that was the best they could do. I said thank you and said I would have to weigh my options.

(Note: a .25 difference in a $25000 CD is $62.50 per year or $312.50 for five years)

I next called back again and got a different teller and went through the entire procedure again. This time I was told the same information BUT if I could wait until 11:00 a.m. the Branch Manager would be in and HE had the authority to override those rates. I said thank you and now I am waiting for a decision.

LESSON LEARNED: Whether or not I obtain the better rate is irrelevant. The fact is that there are many different DOORS into any organization. IF you have enough persistence, connections, and good manners you can greatly enhance your success rate.

It is always better to start at a lower rung in the ladder when seeking changes. You have the possibility of SUCCESS at any one of these levels. If you proceed to the top and fail - you have no recourse.

footnote: Bank just called and will pay the highest rate. An astute teller and manager retained a valued customer - I wish that could be said of all organizations.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


The Bush administration said Thursday (2/2/06) it will ask Congress for $120 billion more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and $18 billion more this year for hurricane relief. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that $320 billion has been spent on Iraq and Afghanistan since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, including $50 billion that Congress sent Bush in December.
Administration officials said the new figures were estimates.

Take the number of people living in IRAQ: 26,074,906
Add the number of people living in AFGANISTAN: 29,928,987
Add the numbers together: 56 M
or $6153.84 per person

I suggest we only bomb with $100 bills until everyone turns into a Republican Capitalist. (Note: the yearly income for a family in Afghanistan is almost $1500.) While there are no accurate figures for Iraq let's just assume the same of $1500.

The average family size has declined to about 5 persons in 2005.

Footnote: Sorry, I left out the new $120 Billion in the calculation. Like the current administration I can't seem to ADD either.

The proposed total is:
$7857.14 per person multiplied by 5 = $29285 per family or if divided by the typical $1500 yearly family income = 19.5 years income for every family in Iraq and Afganistan.

On the other hand every individual in the US (all 295,734,134) paid $1420.19 for this fiasco!


Wednesday, February 01, 2006


This is the first Law of Evolution (those species that adapt - SURVIVE). This is true both both for your personal hardware (body) and software (mind & soul).


Do not ever do business with this company! They cannot be trusted. Always get your BIDS and BILLING of services in WRITING.

THE INTERNET: Growing Important...

In 1993 I can remember our school system being first connected to the Internet. It was a "milestone" but few teachers or technology IT people could fathom the importance of this technology to future education. Now, 13 years later the Internet has been accessed by 3/4's of the people in the U.S. and according to Pew Internet and American Life Project foundation roughly 45% of the population use it for decision making in their everyday lives.

21 million Americans use it to get additional career training
Helps 17 million when dealing with major illness
17 million use it for choosing a school for a child
16 million use it to buy a car
16 million use it for a major financial decision
10 million use it for finding new place to live
8 million use it when changing job
7 million use it to cope with family illness
Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project

The internet is coming the "cornucopia" of knowledge in our society (and perhaps the world as well.) Yet there are some serious questions which needs to be recognized by its users.

For starters:

How VALID is the information being "supplied"? (Wikipedia?)
How do you recognize "fake" websites intended for deceit? (phishing sites, fake credit card sites, fake products, fake philantrophy, fake securities, etc.)
Who monitors the information? (no one!)
Who supplies the information and why? (Hate groups, etc.)
How can you value information that is "always on the move"? (Now you see it - now you don't)
Should we be "paranoid" about the fact that our search questions and what web sites we observed can be "recorded" and "tabulated" by others? (companies, law firms, individuals, US Government)?
How gullible are users?
Doing "business" over the internet can result in serious financial consequences (especially with credit cards).

I suggest that schools supply these "skills" and "questions" to all of our students on a yearly basis.



A friend told me the other day that "chance" was not a consideration in the formation of our life forms. He argued that "no where" else in our universe could life exist.

A quick review of an on-line science encyclopedia shows there are over 100 billion galexies in our known universe (and our Milky Way Galexy is but one.) And in the Milky way we have over 400 billion stars (each with their own revolving cestrial bodies. +- 50% margin of error.) The Milky Way is so large that it takes a single beam of light over 100,000 years to even cross it.

These are just the bodies we can "measure" in some crude fashion. Other "universes" are also possibilities in the space-time continuum.

(Note: just for personal reference - "one billion" measured in seconds is slightly over 32 years of life.)

Placing it all in prospective it seems to me that the "chance" of other life forms existing is very realistic. In fact, if other life forms did not exist it would be very UNREALISTIC.

It makes our presence on this earth seem like a grain of sand in the sea. And if you think that is large: