Ray's musings and humor

Archive for December, 2008

As I leave I wish you happiness

The Old Year has gone.  Let the dead past bury its own dead.  The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time.  All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months!

Edward Payson Powell

 

 

 

Things are pretty hectic here at the 27th floor of the Ray’s Daily building. The staff is rushing to get everything put away and prepared for the employee annual holiday break. They have even been in my office grabbing things; I think they want me to close early so they can get a head start. So I better get this out quickly before they turn off the power and shut down the presses.

First I want to thank those of you who visited me at my holiday website. While we did not quite make our goal we got really close and because of so many of you there will be many families who will benefit because you cared. I also appreciate the readers from as far away as Russia who could not join us but wished us well and in some cases made a similar effort in their own country. As for me I can think of no better gift that I received this year than your participation in our helping effort.

Since the shop is closing down for a couple of weeks I’ll not be with you as next year begins, I had better get some New Year thoughts out of the way. Of course you know I wish that the next year is all you want it to be. Most of us will find the next year much different than in the past, the economic crisis is taking it’s toll on many families. It seems to me that we must not let the difficulties we face drag us down, in fact I think our band of merry readers are needed more than ever to help others overcome their problems. I know that hope and happiness is contagious but so is despair and depression so please don’t see only the bad and let it spill over into the lives of others rather carry the ray of hope so that they can see that there is more to life than only the material things we have become so use to coveting.

For me I have made a few resolutions. A friend told me that if you are serious about resolutions you need to share them with others so they can help motivate you to carrying them out. So here are my most important.

  • I am going to pay more attention to the people I meet. I will not accept first impressions, surface images, or polite conversation as representing who they are. I will not be put off by the negative but rather search for the positive. And I’ll remind myself that everyone I meet is a potential new friend.
  • I will not be as quickly intolerant of the intolerant but rather see if we can change prejudice to tolerance. Of course within reason. If I can’t change their mind I don’t want to be like them and respond as they do so I’ll walk away sad that they have chosen to unhappiness as their lifestyle.
  • Before I make a purchase I’ll stop and review if the money would be better spent elsewhere. It is time for me to realize I don’t have to subscribe to every magazine, buy more things, belong to every organization or travel as often. I need to give myself the opportunity to put my money where it can do some good or save it so I don’t have to be dependent on others in the years ahead. And where there are opportunities that I cannot help fund I’ll see if my hands and my help might be have value and then offer it.
  • And most important of all I will not take you and those who are close to me for granted. Far too often we spend so much time looking over the horizon that we miss seeing the things that nurture us each day. So let me thank you in advance for your friendship and I am looking forward this next year that we will spend together.

 

So Happy New Year my dear friends I’m out of here, see you next year. Be safe!

~~~

We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce

~~~

I do not recommend any of these! Ray

At the end of one year and the start of another, many of us will renew our commitment to living with daily affirmations. I know the power of affirming my truth, over and over, everyday! While these may not suit everyone’s taste, here are some "possible" affirmations to consider!

1. As I let go of my feelings of guilt, I am in touch with my inner sociopath.

2. I have the power to channel my imagination into ever-soaring levels of suspicion and paranoia.

3. I assume full responsibility for my actions, except the ones that are someone else’s fault.

4. In some cultures what I do would be considered normal.

5. My intuition nearly makes up for my lack of wisdom and judgment.

6. I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper, and complain.

7. When someone hurts me, I know that forgiveness is cheaper than a lawsuit, but not nearly as rewarding.

8. I am at one with my duality.

9. Blessed are the flexible, for they can tie themselves in knots.

10. I will strive to live each day as if it were my 50th birthday.

11. I honor and express all facets of my being, regardless of state and local laws.

12. Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so!"

13. A scapegoat is almost as good as a solution.

14. Just for today, I will not sit in my living room all day in my underwear. Instead, I will move my computer into the bedroom.

15. I will no longer waste my time reliving the past; I will spend it worrying about the future?

16. The complete lack of evidence is the surest proof that the conspiracy is working.

17. Before I criticize a man, I walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he’s a mile away and barefoot.

~~~

Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past.

Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.

Brooks Atkinson

~~~

A Jewish Prayer for the New Year

Dear Lord:

  • May we get a clean bill of health from our dentist, our psychiatrist, our ophthalmologist, our cardiologist, our gastroenterologist, our urologist, our proctologist, our gynecologist, our podiatrist, our plumber and the IRS.
  • May our hair, our teeth, our facelift, our abs, our honey cakes, and our stocks not fall and may our blood pressure, our triglycerides, our cholesterol, our white blood count, our weight and our mortgage interest rates not rise.
  • May we find a way to travel from anywhere to anywhere in the rush hour in less than an hour and when we get there, may we find a parking space.
  • May we all relax about the third millennium of the common era, and realize that we still have 239 years until the down of the sixth millennium of the Hebrew calendar by which time the computer will be long since obsolete and so will we.
  • May G-d give us the strength to get through this presidential campaign and may some of the promises made be kept. May we believe at least half of what the candidates propose and may those elected fulfill at least half of what they promise and may the miracle of reducing taxes and balancing budgets come to pass.
  • May we be awestruck by God’s sense of humor as we realize he really does not want us to touch our toes while exercising or he would have put them further up our bodies; and, the reason so many of us take up jogging is to hear heavy breathing again.
  • May what we see in the mirror delight us and what others see in us, delight them. May someone, as well as God, love us enough to forgive our faults, be blind to our blemishes and tell the world about our virtues.
  • May the telemarketers wait until after we finish dinner to call us. May our checkbooks and budgets balance and may they include generous amounts for charity.
  • May we remember to say "I love you" at least once a day to our spouse, our child, our parent, all of our significant others but not our boss, our intern, our nurse, our masseur, our hairdresser or our tennis instructor.
  • And may the Messiah come this year, and if he does not, may we live as if he has, in a world at peace, with awareness of God’s love in every sunset, flower, baby’s smile, lover’s kiss, and every wonderful astonishing beat of our heart. May we smile and laugh throughout the year.

~~~

One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this:  To rise above the little things.

John Burroughs

~~~

A Senator in the USA was once asked about his attitude toward whisky.

‘If you mean the demon drink that poisons the mind, pollutes the body, desecrates family life, and inflames sinners, then I’m against it.  But if you mean the elixir of a New Year toast, the shield against winter chill, the taxable potion that puts needed funds into public coffers to comfort little crippled children, then I’m for it. This is my position, and I will not compromise.’

~~~

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.

Ellen Goodman

~~~

Stay well, do good work, and have fun.

 

Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana

 Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.

 

This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://starkreality.ning.com/profile/Ray currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

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Joy to the World!

 

 

 

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,

Stood puzzling and puzzling: ‘How could it be so?’

It came without ribbons! It came without tags!

It came without packages, boxes or bags!

And he puzzled three hours, ’till his puzzler was sore.

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!

Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.

Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!

Dr. Seuss

 

 

Charles Dickens once wrote:

I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.

Wouldn’t be wonderful if all of us no matter our station in life, our religious beliefs, or our taught prejudices think of everyone as our fellow passengers and realize how much we need each other. I personally believe that our only hope for the future is to engage as many as we can to join together to reestablish a sense of community and caring.

~~~

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!

~~~

This letter, found in the “Letters to Santa” box at the Post Office in Thompson Falls, Montana, embodies the spirit that we all should cultivate as we face the year ahead.

 

Dear Santa:

What do I ask this year?  I have perused each ad in my mailbox, pored over the colorful ads in the newspaper.  So many lovely things, and yet I need nothing.

I realize this as I walk up the hill on my strong legs. I can hear the air fill my lungs. I feel the cold on my cheeks. I smell the smoke of the fire that warms my home. I see the snow-capped mountains and the slate gray river peppered with fat geese.

I need nothing: there are people who love me. There are people who forgive my sometimes wretched temper and who touch me with loving hands. There are neighbors who smile in the store. There are shopkeepers who are tolerant when I don’t have enough money. There are kind faces in public places.

There is a fat pregnant cat who sneaks into my garage. Dogs and other cats share my hearth; I love to feel their fur with my feet. There are hawks that teach their young of flight, right there behind my house. There are deer that tiptoe into my yard and savor the fat apples in the snow.

Rows of glassed vegetables; green beans, tomatoes, peas and  carrots color my pantry.  And a rusty bucket of hand tools and neatly dried seeds promises next year’s riches.

I need nothing!  Christmas promises already fulfilled redeem my foolish life, and occasionally I glimpse the feast that awaits me when this earthly one is done.

Today I discovered a hole in my jeans. I felt the December air slither down my leg. How mighty is the hand that sweeps the wind along the mountains. Santa, dear old soul, just give me another day like this one in my life.

~~~

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!

Hamilton Wright Mabie

~~~

Love is the greatest gift. It brings warm light to the cold darkness and offers hope where before there was none.

Love changes lives. Even though it has no logical reason to be, love persists after all else has faded.

Love is lighter than the smallest snowflake and stronger than the mightiest army. With love, the impossible becomes real.

What is built and nurtured with love can withstand any challenge. Love understands, enables, protects and inspires.

The more love you give away, the more you will have. In love is the power of patience and the freedom of forgiveness.

On this day of Christmas giving, choose to offer the greatest, most meaningful and lasting gift you can give. With every word, with every thought, with every gesture, with every interaction, give love.

Ralph Marston

~~~

It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one’s fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit."

Isabel Currier

~~~

Santa is caught up in a recount!

This is Santa and I just wanted to let you know that Christmas may be a little late this year. See after checking all the boxes and tallying them up, I found some problems with the results.

The first result showed:

428,534,120 Good

428,523,119 Bad

The second result showed:

428,534,118 Good

428,523,121 Bad

So you see, I can’t, with good faith, go out and deliver presents while knowing I could have made a mistake. Maybe Little Johnny was good for once, then again, maybe not. So, I have enlisted the help of all my elves and the Mrs. To help do a recount. We hope to have this finished up by 5pm on the 24th of December, but there is a possibility that it might take longer. You see the tally cards were not quite clear to me, although I made them my-self, I forgot what they meant.

You know, Good…and Bad??? And the check marks I used were not all the same, some went left, some right, some were just a mark. some went through both boxes, and some didn’t even have much of a mark on them. I leave it up to them to decide what I meant.

So if you wake up on Christmas morning, and there are no presents under your tree, at least you can tell the kids the story. Thank you for your patience and understanding in these times,

Sincerely

Santa

~~~

The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others’ burdens, easing other’s loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas."

W. C. Jones

~~~

 

 

Joy to the world and to all a very good night!

Ray

 

Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana

ray@iquest.net

Back to the drawing board

“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”

Bernice Johnson Reagon

 

 

 

The next few days will be a good time to bask in the holiday spirit and be grateful for what we have, especially our friends and our families. Now is a time in our history that we risk falling into to the depths of despair due to the economic conditions and the challenges that life often lays upon us. Thankfully when we review what is important, our family, friends, the air we breathe, the things that are there for us to see and more, the picture brightens. It often is not easy to see what we have as because of the challenges we face each day. But it is the overcoming of challenge that toughens and strengthens us and allows us to concentrate on what is really important.

What lies ahead will require almost all of us to review and plan for the differences that we will experience in the months and years to come. It is a good for most of us to reassess what is important and what really is not all that important. If we spend our time measuring losses based upon life as it once was instead of measuring what our life can be we may miss the chance to find happiness.

Do you take for granted the little everyday things that provide you comfort? Do you have a priority list of what really is important and what makes you happy? If you do, good for you for those are the things we need to protect and nurture. The year coming up can mark a new beginning where we have the opportunity to set the stage for a life compatible with the times and one that has the potential to bring us true happiness.

Here is a message that I copied from the wise Ralph Marston that I think is appropriate for today’s challenges.

 

There is some challenge you face right now which could move you forward in ways you cannot yet imagine. When you consider your resources and good fortune, rarely do you ever include the challenges in that list. Look back, though, at the challenges you’ve already overcome and you’ll see their immense value. Look back at the forward progress you’ve made and you’ll see all the challenges along the way which ultimately served to push you ahead.

Challenges are truly a blessing, though they rarely seem like it at the time they appear. In order to meet the challenges, you must grow, you must learn, you must take action, you must become more focused and effective. All those things are extraordinarily positive uses of your time and energy. They are the qualities which surely and reliably lead to success and achievement.

What are your most profound challenges? In them you’ll find astonishing opportunities. Acknowledge your challenges. Experience them. Resolve to overcome them and see what great things you can accomplish in the process.

~~~

“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”

Joseph Campbell

~~~

Her Holiday Poem

‘Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house

Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.

The cookies I’d nibbled, the eggnog I’d taste

At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales there arose such a number!

When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).

I’d remember the marvelous meals I’d prepared;

The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,

The punch and the candy, the bread and the cheese

And the way I’d not said, "No thank you, please."

As I dressed myself in my husband’s old shirt

And prepared once again to do battle with dirt— I said to myself, as I only can

"You can’t spend a winter disguised as a man!"

So–away with the last of the sour cream dip,

Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip

Every last bit of food that I like must be banished

"Till all the additional ounces have vanished. I won’t have a cookie–not even a lick.

I’ll want only to chew on a long celery stick.

I won’t have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,

I’ll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.

I’m hungry, I’m lonesome, and life is a bore—

But isn’t that what January is for?

Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.

Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

~~~

Today everyone wants instant gratification, no matter how long it takes.

~~~

The Wednesday-night church service coincided with the last day of hunting season.

Our pastor asked who had bagged a deer.  No one raised a hand.

Puzzled, the pastor said, "I don’t get it.  Last Sunday many of you said you were missing because of hunting season.  I had the whole congregation pray for your deer."

One hunter groaned, "Well, it worked.  They’re all safe."

~~~

A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.

~~~

In a stationery store, I quickly picked out a card for my wife for our anniversary.  The clerk was surprised by how little time it took me, and she began relating a story about another customer who spent a half-hour searching for the right anniversary greeting.

Noticing the man lingering over one card after another, the clerk went to see if she could help.  "Is there a problem?" she asked.

"Yes, there is," he replied ruefully.  "I can’t find one my wife will believe."

~~~

The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.

Friedrich Nietzsche

~~~

She told me that as a single, never-married woman in her 40s, she have been questioned endlessly about her status by her friends, relatives, and co-workers. Over the years, she noticed a subtle change in the nature of their inquiries.

In my teens, friends would ask, "Who are you going out with this weekend?"

In my 20s, relatives would say, "Who are you dating?"

In my 30s, co-workers might inquire, "So, are you dating anyone yet?"

Now people ask, "Where did you get that adorable purse?"

~~~

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.

Meister Eckhart

~~~

A little old man was escorted into the witness box. After being sworn in the lawyer asked him to explain what happened.

After a lengthy discussion of the events leading up to the incident he finally got around to the meat of the case, "…and then she hit me with a maple leaf."

"Surely that couldn’t have caused you any serious injury?" said the lawyer.

"Are you kidding?" exclaimed the old man. "It was the leaf from the center of our dining room table."

~~~

"Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Hold that special someone’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s still time."

Dale Dauten

~~~

Stay well, do good work, and have fun.

 

Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

 Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.

 

This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://starkreality.ning.com/profile/Ray currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

 

‘Tis the season…..

One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind.

Malayan Proverb

 

 

 

Here we are, the second day of Chanukah, the second day of winter and three days away from Christmas and all is well (I hope). In my hometown it is feezing, also everyone in the city was on the road trying to get into shopping centers as I was trying to get home from a lunch meeting and I have yet to figure out what I am going to take with me on my post Christmas trip. As usual I am up to my ears in the hectic holidays but while they can be a challenge I am fortunate that they are also filled with good fellowship and opportunities to share good will.

As an example if you visited my web page today at http://give.salvationarmyusa.org/site/TR?px=1116841&fr_id=1200&pg=personal you would have seen that I am less than 30% away from my goal. Even though my picture there may look grumpy I am really happy.

Another highlight of the day is a gift I got this morning from a friend. She produced a large Christmas bag that held one of my best gifts ever, a large container of homemade Stuffed Green Pepper soup. I love soup, I love stuffed peppers and I can hardly wait for dinner to sample this great gastronomical gift. I think mentally I had anticipated the gift since I was told I should shred some cheddar cheese on top of the soup; we never have cheddar cheese in the house except today as I bought some on impulse a couple of days ago. Like I often have told you I collect friends and this one is rapidly becoming a favorite.

There is a lot to do in the few days left before I’ll have to close down the daily for our annual plant holiday. Even though you won’t get a daily until mid-January I hope you know my thoughts will be with you while I am gone.

As I busy as I will be over the holidays I know I will stop and visit the memory of the time I spent so many of you over the years. We may not see each other anymore but I do relish recalling the moments we shared. I, like so many others, have had bad days and made more than my share of mistakes but all of that pales by comparison to the good times that were shared with others. My life has been filled with the gifts that come from just knowing and being with special people. I wish I had more to offer to each of you than just gratitude but maybe that is worth more than anything else I might have to give.

~~~

Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving,

Make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!

Amanda Bradley

~~~

No one can fracture a Christmas carol better than a kid. Here’s how some young folk completed lines to famous Christmas carols. Sing along with these new takes on old favorites:

"Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly …"

"We Three Kings of Porridge and Tar … "

"On the first day of Christmas, my tulip gave to me …"

"Later on we’ll perspire, as we dream by the fire …"

"He’s makin a list, chicken and rice …"

"Frosty the Snowman is a ferret elf, I say …"

"Sleep in heavenly peas …"

"In the meadow we can build a snowman … Then pretend that he is sparse

and brown …"

"Oh, what fun it is to ride with one horse, soap and hay …"

"Good tidings we bring to you and your kid …"

"Noel, noel … noel, noel … Barney’s the king of Israel …"

~~~

Two rules for success in life.

1. Don’t tell people everything you know.

2.                                                        

 

~~~

Effective immediately, the following economizing measures are being implemented in our "Twelve Days of Christmas" subsidiary:

  1) The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree, which never produced the cash crop forecasted, will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance;

  2) Two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are, therefore, eliminated…doves are out;

  3) The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the French things;

  4) The four calling birds will be replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked;

  5) The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals, as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks, appear to be in order;

  6) The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day was an example of the general decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure management that, from now on, every goose it gets will be a good one;

  7) The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times.  The function is primarily decorative. Shrimp ponds are on order. The current swans will be donated to county jails;

  8) As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought.  The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility.  Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching;

  9) Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps;

  10) Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords, plus the expense of international air travel, prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While Leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant as we Expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year;

  11) Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of an out of date band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music, and no uniforms, will produce savings which will drop right to the bottom line;

Overall we can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and related expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship by UPS in one day, service levels will be improved.

Regarding the lawsuit filed by the Bar Association seeking expansion to include the legal profession ("thirteen lawyers-a-suing"), a decision is pending.

Deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to remain competitive.

Should that happen, the Board will request management to scrutinize our Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs ..sleeping, sneezing, grumping, etc. are in line with our overall projections.

Your Management

~~~

When you carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling inside. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, yes, this is how I ought to feel.

Rabbi Harold Kushner

~~~

She told me why SANTA CLAUS must be a WOMAN!

Men don’t know how to pack a bag.

Most men wouldn’t be caught dead wearing red velvet.

Men don’t even think about selecting gifts until after lunch on Christmas Eve.

Men aren’t interested in stockings unless somebody’s wearing them.

If Santa were a man, everyone in the universe would wake up Christmas morning to find Ronco products, socket wrench sets, and Chia Pets, still in the bag from the mall.

If Santa were a man he would have no reindeer, because they would all be dead, gutted, and strapped across the front of the sleigh. And Blitzen’s rack would already be on the way to the taxidermist. And if he did find some way to power the sleigh, he’d never get to everyone’s house because he would get lost up there in the snow and never stop to ask for directions.

Men would feel their masculinity is threatened by having to be seen with all those elves.

Men would refuse to allow their physique to be described, even in jest, as anything remotely resembling a "bowl full of jelly."

Having to do the "Ho Ho Ho" thing would seriously inhibit their ability to pick up chicks.

And last but not least, being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment!

~~~

"If we are to enjoy life, now is the time, not tomorrow or next year. Today should always be our most wonderful day."

Thomas Dreier

~~~

Stay well, do good work, and have fun.

 

 Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

 Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.

 

This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://starkreality.ning.com/profile/Ray currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

 

Words from the past

Happiness is anyone and anything that’s loved by you.

Charlie Brown

 

 

 

I just got home from morning meetings and a quick lunch and soon I am off for my last Bell Ringing assignment for 2008 so I am going to see what I wrote over the years on December 19th. Hopefully I’ll find something that at least makes a little sense.

~~~

December 19, 2000

 

Inspirational writer Earl Nightingale used to tell a story about a little boy named Sparky.  Most of the world knows him as the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip, the late Charles Schulz.

"For Sparky, school was all but impossible. He failed every subject in the eighth grade.  He flunked physics in high school, getting a grade of zero. Sparky also flunked Latin, algebra, and English.

"He didn’t do much better in sports. Although he did manage to make the school’s golf team, he promptly lost the only important match of the season…He never once asked a girl to go out in high school. He was too afraid of being turned down…Sparky was a loser. He, his classmates…everyone knew it…"

Sparky eventually grew up and recreated his life in the character of a little boy named Charlie Brown.  And while Charlie always stayed a lovable loser, Sparky went on to become one of our most successful and admired cartoonists.

Just about everyone feels like a loser at some point in life. At these times, it might help to think of Sparky, to think of Charlie Brown, to think of the great Charles Schulz.

Earl Nightingale, quoted in Bits and Pieces

 

I had the good fortune to have cocktails with Mr. Nightingale many years ago. He was a truly inspiring guy. One of my favorites of his is "treat everyone you meet as the most important person in the world, for to himself he is." It is amazing what good things happen when we stop and do just that.

~~~

The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant.

~~~

December 19, 2001

 

It was 10 years ago today that Boris Yeltsin took control of the Kremlin. Things might have been a lot worse if he had not succeeded. It has been a difficult struggle for most of the Russian people as they have faced economic, health, and crime problems. I was glad to have had the opportunity to spend time in Russia a few years ago. I found wonderful, hard working people who maintained their dignity while trying to hold a positive outlook. At the time it was sad to see so many who had to do almost anything to just get by. Many were not getting paid, so I asked why most worked even though they were not being paid. I was told that they could not stop. It was then I realized just how interdependent we really are. Just think what our lives would be like if everyone just stopped working. No water, no heat, no food, no health care, and on and on. We truly need each other. My best to all.

~~~

"Where there is hate, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light."

St. Francis of Assisi

~~~

December 19, 2002

 

It was a good day yesterday. I heard from many of you for the first time in awhile. I especially enjoyed learning about families, hobbies, travel, and from many of you about how your work goes on.

I know that many of you continue to be involved in making the world a better place for children both here and abroad. As we approach Christianities celebration of the birth of Christ it is a good time to remember that children are not born our enemies, they are free of hate, and deserve the chance to survive and grow. It is we who leave a legacy for generations to come in the form of adults who were taught by us as children to be what they become as adults. If global turmoil, war, pestilence, crime, religious conflict, poverty, and famine continue it will be due in no small part to our failure to recognize and nurture the opportunity the children of the world provides to each of us. Thank all of you for what you are doing to at least do your part, if everyone cared as much, think of what we might do.

~~~

Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of little children are pure.

Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.

Black Elk

~~~

December 19, 2003

 

I think I mentioned the other day how much I appreciate the feeling of the season. When I ring bell’s outside, helping to raise funds for the Salvation Army I am constantly greeted with a Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday’s from men, women, and children of all ages. Yesterday seniors at a local retirement community warmly greeted my fellow Kiwanians as we did our best to sing carols at their morning meal. While I seldom see many of you, the friends I do run into often close our brief meeting with a hug and their good wishes.

Equally important to me is the holiday messages I get from so many of you. As an example one of my heroes is a Doctor now working with the World Health organization outside the U.S. She was instrumental in helping to put together a partnership between Ted Turner’s UN Foundation and Kiwanis International that put $2 million into programs in Africa. She sent me an E-mail this week for which I am grateful

I am sure that many of you have not heard of Albert Schweitzer. He was an unselfish humanitarian who spent much of his life in one of the world’s most difficult places, French Equatorial Africa. He was a Doctor, world class musician, and theologian who gave up fame and fortune to help others who the world had abandoned. Mary my doctor friend and others like her carry on that tradition. Unsung heroes, often living in the most difficult circumstances, doing for others. Many of you serve others as a profession, personal philosophy, or as a way of life, others of us demonstrate our commitment to others in our daily lives. Humanity is built upon the foundation of people who care, care for their family, care for others, and care for themselves. You are heroes in your own right. Stop for a minute and just think what our world would be like if everyone just turned their back on the needs of others. Thanks for all you do, and especially thanks to those of you who have let me know how you are doing.

~~~

Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid… He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.

 

Raymond Chandler

~~~

Stay well, do good work, and have fun.

Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.

 

This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://starkreality.ning.com/profile/Ray currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

Have you joined up yet?

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.

Dr. Seuss

 

 

 

Some recent events got me thinking about what we can do during the current worldwide economic crisis.

The first event took place this past weekend when I participated in a Salvation Army three day fund-raising effort where I worried about our ability to reach our goal and was pleasantly surprised when we exceeded it by a wide margin.

The second event was when I ran into one of our cities leading philanthropists at the symphony last night. She had read my daily about the three boys that I met during my Kiwanis Clubs annual Clothe-a-Child event. My friend told me that she envied the fact that I could do so much hands-on service while her schedule and her health kept her from doing something similar. Here was a woman that has given more to the community in the form of grants and leadership than I ever could telling me that she was envious of what I do, it was had to believe.

The third event was during a conversation with a former colleague and long time friend over lunch today. I shared the fact that I thought I had discovered that more people than we realize want to help those in need during these difficult times and most don’t know what to do. We all know of people who have seen a huge part of their retirement savings disappear, others who have lost their jobs and still more who have lost their benefits and even some who have lost their homes, people who need help. It struck me that just as people reacted in the 1930’s in America many people are all ready doing what they can to help those who need assistance and others are ready to do so again.

As most of you know I have been a member of Kiwanis International for many years. Kiwanis is a service organization that does what it can to build better lives for children while building better communities for our fellow citizens. America is blessed by the Service Club movement that includes Kiwanis clubs, Rotary clubs, Sertoma clubs, Lions clubs, and many others. Sadly the membership in these fine organizations has been shrinking in recent years and there are those who think that the sagging economy will result in even further losses. I pray that that won’t happen, for the world’s service clubs are needed now more than ever.

It is time for all of us to share the message that everyone is needed now! Far too many want to do something but don’t know what to do, tell them; tell them that Kiwanis needs their help, tell them that the service clubs came into existence to provide help to others. While my philanthropist friend is limited to using her money and her leadership skills to make a difference, others like you and me can use our hands and our hearts as well as what money when can spare to make the lives of those who need us better than they are now. Sadly too many just stand on the sidelines, if we can get them to join us we will be able to do so much more.

Yes America as well as the other countries where our readers live needs us more than ever. If you have not already joined up do it now and I promise you that your rewards will last forever. At the end of your day, year and lifetime you’ll be able to look back knowing that you made a difference.

~~~

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

~~~

More wisdom from the kids.

Never tell your mom her diet’s not working.

—Michael, Age 14

Don’t pick on your sister when she’s holding a baseball bat.

—Joel, Age 12

When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she’s on the phone.

—Alyesha, Age 13

Never try to baptize a cat.

—Laura, Age 13

~~~

I am a nobody, and nobody is perfect; therefore, I am perfect.

~~~

A man showed his friend a ring with a giant diamond in it and explained that it was his wife’s Christmas gift. His friend said, "I thought she wanted a Mercedes."

The man answered, "I know, but where can you get a fake one of those?"

~~~

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow."

Edward Sandford Martin

~~~

The social studies teacher had just finished a unit on war and peace. "How many of you," he asked, "would say you’re opposed to war?"

Not surprisingly, all hands went up. The teacher asked, "Who’ll give us the reason for being opposed to war?"

A large, bored-looking boy in the back of the room raised his hand.

"Johnny?" the teacher said.

"I hate war," Johnny said, "because wars make history, and I hate History!"

~~~

Never moon a werewolf.

~~~

The Rabbi’s wife called a psychiatrist and said, "My husband thinks he’s the new Moses." The doctor assured her that these delusions of grandeur were only a passing fancy.

"OK." she responded. "But in the meantime, how do I keep him from parting the waters in the hot-tub?"

~~~

"We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history."

Sonia Johnson

~~~

Applicants for jobs at the company where my friend Diana works are asked to fill out a questionnaire. Among the things candidates list is their high school and when they attended. One prospective employee dutifully wrote the name of his high school, followed by the dates attended: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  

~~~

Oh yeah? What’s the speed of Dark?

~~~

Patient: My wife beats me, doctor.  

Doctor: Oh dear. How often?  

Patient: Every time we play Scrabble!  

~~~

Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.

W.C. Fields

~~~

A young American tourist goes on a guided tour of a creepy old castle.

At the end of the tour, the guide asks her how she enjoyed it. She admits to being a bit worried about seeing a ghost in some of the dark cobwebby rooms and passages.

"Don’t worry," says the guide. "I’ve never seen a ghost all the time I’ve been here."

"How long is that"? asks the girl.

"About three hundred years."

~~~

We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.

Dr. Loretta Scott

~~~

Stay well, do good work, and have fun.

Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

 Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.

 

This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://starkreality.ning.com/profile/Ray currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

Younger today than yesterday

“It takes a long time to grow young.”

Pablo Picasso

 

 

 

It is another of those days. Blood test, followed by Dentist, followed by a family event, followed by an evening celebrating Christmas at the Symphony and if that wasn’t enough it is my son’s birthday. Write the Daily? Sorry not today, so let me go back and see what I can find from another day.

First sent December 17, 2001

Today is my son’s birthday. I remember when I was 20 times older than he was, now I am not even twice his age. I don’t think it is a case of him speeding up, but rather of me slowing down.

~~~

It was on this day near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, that Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful flight in history of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft. Orville piloted the gasoline-powered, propeller-driven biplane, which stayed aloft for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet on its inaugural flight. While the flight was a lot quicker than non-stops these days, I understand that the on-board service was really poor.

~~~

The Doctor says "You’ll live to be 60!" "I AM 60!" "See, what did I tell you?"

Henny Youngman

~~~

The kids tell us:

PERSONAL QUALITIES NECESSARY TO BE A GOOD LOVER:

"One of you should know how to write a check. Because, even if you have tons of love, there is still going to be a lot of bills." (Ava, 8)

SOME SUREFIRE WAYS TO MAKE A PERSON FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU:

"Tell them that you own a whole bunch of candy stores." (Del, 6)

"Don’t do things like have smelly, green sneakers. You might get attention, but attention ain’t the same thing as love." (Alonzo, 9)

"One way is to take the girl out to eat. Make sure it’s something she likes to eat. French fries usually works for me." (Bart, 9)

HOW CAN YOU TELL IF TWO ADULTS EATING DINNER AT A RESTAURANT ARE IN LOVE ?

"Just see if the man picks up the check. That’s how you can tell if he’s in love." (John, 9)

"Lovers will just be staring at each other and their food will get cold. Other people care more about the food." (Brad, 8)

"It’s love if they order one of those desserts that are on fire. They like to order those because it’s just like their hearts are on fire." (Christine, 9)

~~~

If at first you don’t succeed, you’ll get a lot of unsolicited advice.

Frank G. McInnis

~~~

She told me that:

  • Because I’m a man, when one of our appliances stops working I will insist on taking it apart, despite evidence that this will just cost me twice as much once the repair person gets here and has to put it back together.
  • Because I’m a man, I must hold the television remote control in my hand while I watch TV. If the thing has been misplaced, I may miss a whole show looking for it (though one time I was able to survive by holding a calculator).
  • Because I’m a man, I don’t think we’re all that lost, and no, I don’t think we should stop and ask someone. Why would you listen to a complete stranger — I mean, how the hell could he know where we’re going?

~~~

An alibi is the legal proof that a person wasn’t where he was and, therefore, couldn’t do what he did.

~~~

"How was your blind date?" a college student asked her roommate.

"Terrible!" the roommate answered. "He showed up in his 1932 Rolls Royce."

"Wow! That’s a very expensive car. What’s so bad about that?"

"He was the original owner."

~~~

A psychiatrist was trying to comfort a new patient who was terribly upset. "You see, Doc," the patient explained, "my problem is that I like shoes much better than I like boots."

"Why, that’s no problem," answered the doctor. "Most people like shoes better than boots."

The patient was elated, "That’s neat, Doc. How do you like them, fried or scrambled?"

~~~

The Face Is Familiar But I Can’t Quite Remember My Name

~~~

The British Military writes officer fitness reports. The form used for Royal Navy and Marines fitness reports is the S206. The following are ACTUAL EXCERPTS taken from people’s "206’s"….

– His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of curiosity.

– I would not breed from this Officer.

– This Officer is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definitely won’t-be.

– When she opens her mouth, it seems that this is only to change whichever foot was previously in there.

– He has carried out each and every one of his duties to his entire satisfaction.

– He would be out of his depth in a car park puddle.

– Technically sound, but socially impossible.

– This Officer reminds me very much of a gyroscope – always spinning around at a frantic pace, but not really going anywhere.

– This young lady has delusions of adequacy.

– When he joined my ship, this Officer was something of a granny; since then he has aged considerably.

– Since my last report he has reached rock bottom, and has started to dig.

– She sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.

– He has the wisdom of youth, and the energy of old age.

– This Officer should go far – and the sooner he starts, the better.

– In my opinion this pilot should not be authorized to fly below 250 feet.

– This man is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.

– The only ship I would recommend this man for is citizenship.

– Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.

~~~

You’re Just Jealous Because The Voices Are Talking To Me

~~~

A busy mother sometimes accidentally left pots and pans on the stove with the burners on, so she resorted to posting this reminder on the kitchen door: "STOVE?"

Her daughter, back from college, noticed Mother’s sign. Beneath it she taped her reply: "No — DOOR! Trust me. I went to college."

~~~

The Earth Is Full – Go Home

~~~

A couple of young fellers were fishing at their special pond off the beaten track when out of the bushes jumped the Game Warden.

Immediately, one of the boys threw his rod down and started running through the woods like everything, and hot on his heels came the Game Warden.

After about a half mile the fella stopped and stooped over with his hands on his thighs to catch his breath and the Game Warden finally caught up to him…

"Lets see yer fishin’ license, Boy!!" the Warden gasped.

With that, the fella pulled out his wallet and gave the Game Warden a valid fishing license.

"Well, son," said the Game Warden, "you must be about as dumb as a box of rocks! You don’t have to run from me if you have a valid license!"

"Yes, sir," replied the young feller, "But my friend back there, well, he don’t have one…"

~~~

"Prayer is asking for rain,

And faith is carrying the umbrella."

Barbara Johnson

~~~

Stay well, do good work, and have fun.

 

Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

 Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.

 

This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://starkreality.ning.com/profile/Ray currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

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