Friday, March 31, 2006


According to a November Washington Post poll (whose results were published in February), 94 percent of Americans said they are "above average" in honesty, 89 percent "above average" in common sense, 86 percent "above average" in intelligence, and 79 percent "above average" in looks. [Washington Post-AP, 2-5-06] [Washington Post, 2-8-06]


Wednesday, March 29, 2006


If you have ever listened to Jeff Foxworthy (comedian) you leave with the impression that here is a "Good o'le Boy" from the South who made good. The irony is that He was a member of the class of 1979 at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, but left his mainframe maintenance job at IBM (where his father also worked) after five years to become a full-time comedian.

Just think there are alot of career paths available for mainframers..... lol

Climate Change: Instant Expert

"Climate change is with us. A decade ago, it was conjecture. Now the future is unfolding before our eyes. Canada's Inuit see it in disappearing Arctic ice and permafrost. The shantytown dwellers of Latin America and Southern Asia see it in lethal storms and floods. Europeans see it in disappearing glaciers, forest fires and fatal heat waves.

Scientists see it in tree rings, ancient coral and bubbles trapped in ice cores. These reveal that the world has not been as warm as it is now for a millennium or more. The three warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998; 19 of the warmest 20 since 1980. And Earth has probably never warmed as fast as in the past 30 years - a period when natural influences on global temperatures, such as solar cycles and volcanoes should have cooled us down. Studies of the thermal inertia of the oceans suggest that there is more warming in the pipeline.

Climatologists reporting for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) say we are seeing global warming caused by human activities and there are growing fears of feedbacks that will accelerate this warming."

Read the entire article - this will affect the quality of all our lives...


Since 1965 each package of cigarettes has had a warning that "smoking causes" some health risks: lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, complicate pregnancy, premature birth rates. Cigarettes contains carbon monoxide and 4000+ toxins including nicotine. Once you become a habitual smoker, your mind and body develop a physical dependence for nicotine. When ingested the person feels calm because of an elevation in endorphin. The high prevails until it wears off and requires another "reload."

About 47 million adults in the US smoke cigarettes regardless of the dangers on the pack. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death.

9 Deadly Facts
1. Tobacco companies make a narcotic, which kills 1,200 Americans every day. *

2. 4.9 million people die each year from tobacco products. *

3. In 1990, a tobacco company put together a plan to stop coroners from listing tobacco as a cause of death on death certificates. *

4. About 1 out of every 5 deaths in the US can be attributed to tobacco products. *

5. In 2001, tobacco companies spent about $11 billion marketing their products. That's about $1.5 billion more than the year before. *

6.Unlike food and drug companies, tobacco companies are not required to include a list of ingredients on their packaging. *

7.Secondhand cigarette smoke kills about 53,000 Americans each year. *

8.Tobacco kills more Americans than AIDS, drugs, homicides, fires, and auto accidents combined. *

9.Cigarettes will eventually kill half of the people who use if used for many decades. *

* gathers the nine deadly facts


Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Art Buchwald is in a hospice waiting to die (following kidney failure and a refusal to go on dialysis. He said that a number of people asked him "where are you going when you die?" He said the better question is "What are we doing here in the first place."

In either case.... there are no clear answers (to please everybody.) Interesting to note that a search of the internet shows less than 50,000 references as a religious query.


Saturday, March 25, 2006


This topic could probably be a Blog by itself. However I just read a blog entry and thought the ideas were so good that I would post some of the good advice here.

Why kids should get allowances, 'cards'

"• Fewer than 60% of children ages 6 to 17 get any allowance.

• The range for 6- to 11-year-olds is $5 to $9 a week. For 12- to 17-year-olds, the average is $10 to $19 a week.

At our house, each child age 6 to 12 gets a weekly allowance in dollars equal to his or her age. Everyone has to save and bank at least 25%.

When each turns a teen, rules change. Our Alexis, almost 15, has a monthly allowance that includes the money her mom and I used to spend on clothes and other necessities for her. Now she does that buying.

Her teenage banking includes a "debit card," to make purchases without carrying much cash. Debit cards teach owners to spend only money they have. Credit cards encourage them to spend money they don't have. Huge difference.

Allowances for kids aren't just about money to spend. They should teach money management, one of the biggest problems for most grown-ups.

That's why it's more important for teenagers to be able to balance their bank account than it is for them to get straight A's in algebra or geometry."


Friday, March 24, 2006


"Microsoft isn't evil, they just make really crappy operating systems."

- Linus Torvalds (world genius of programmers - created Linux computer operating system in 1991 at the age of 21)


PS - Six versions of Vista announced:

"Microsoft is planning six versions of the next incarnation of its Windows operating system. Three versions of the software, called Vista, will be for home users, two will be for businesses and one will be for emerging markets.

Vista, which was known as Longhorn during its long development, is a major re-working of Windows that makes changes, among other things, to the way the operating system looks and how it handles networking and sound.

Microsoft said the six versions were designed to match the demands different users have for its software. No details have been given about the pricing of the separate versions. When Vista eventually hits the market it will be the longest gap between releases of Windows systems." (6 years and 5-6 billion dollars later.)

Anyone who thinks Vista is going to work perfectly out of the box has evidently never lived through an OS update.

"There's a significant school of thought that... Windows' success happened because of Solitaire" - Wendy M. Grossman


Thursday, March 23, 2006


Charles Plumb

Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane as destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!”

“How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb.

“ I packed your parachute,” the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!” Plumb assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said Good morning, how are you?’ or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.”

Plumb thought of the man hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn’t know.

Now, Plumb asks his audience, “Who’s packing your parachute?” Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory-he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called
on all these supports before reaching safety.

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason.

As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your parachute.
(from Prisoner of war stories website)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


An artist was commissioned by a prominent banker to paint his portait. After two months of work the artist invited the banker to review his "master piece". The banker asked the artist the price and he replied $5,000. The banker looked at the painting again and replied "That looks nothing like me - I'm not paying it!"

The artist said "I am really sorry to hear that - I thought it was a faithful interpretation. But since you don't feel it looks like you - you owe me nothing."

A month later the banker heard from a friend that he saw his painting in an art gallery. The banker went to the gallery and saw his painting on the wall and beneath it was a sign - "Thief" - $10,000. The banker was enraged and approached the artist saying "How could you post my painting with such a label. I'm going to sue you!" The artist responded - "You told me that the picture looked nothing like you - I merely gave it the name of a person who resembled that portrait."

The banked took out his checkbook and paid the $10,000.

Lesson Learned: Even when you are treated with injustice justice is best served cold and with patience.


Know thy enemies but know thy self first. - Lao Tzu


The only way to overcome an opponent's idea is to convert them to a (better?) idea.


Monday, March 20, 2006


"There are two things that make a man stupid - sex and money. But money does not enter the blood stream." - Dr. Stone


There is always RISK in everything we do. I watched a TV poker game the other day where the two players faced off on the final card. The first player had a 99% chance of winning. But when the card was turned over he lost.

LESSON LEARNED: As long as there is a CHANCE the game is never over.

PS - Remember Ron Wayne? He is the long-forgotten third founder of Apple. According to Woz, Ron was worried about owing money for computer parts which they were using to assemble the Apple Is which were basically pre-assembled motherboards. He had some “gold hidden in his mattress” that he was worried about. Sadly, he sold out his 10% share of Apple for a pittance ($800). [Note: 10% of Apple is now worth around $5.6 billion.]


Many years ago a collector friend of mind was at a show and commented to me how much he wanted a particular item. I asked him WHY he didn't buy it. He replied he did not have the amount of money it way worth. Some time later the man came by my table carrying the item. I asked him how much the item was and he replied $1200 (what it was worth). I commented that it was really nice. He asked if I wanted to buy it. I told him that while I would love to have it I only had $700. To my surprise he laid the item on my table and said "Fine, I will take it."

Lesson Learned: If you don't ask - you don't get. Politeness does pay. And opportunity sometimes only knocks ONCE.