Ray's musings and humor

Archive for July, 2009

What will be your legacy?

We were meant to give our lives away.

Spend more time living your legacy instead of worrying about leaving it.

Lee J. Colan




Today ends July, a momentous month for me. I traded a long awaited visit to North Carolina for a stay in the hospital. I added a neurologist and neurosurgeon to my ever growing list of doctors. I started the process of reprogramming the balance of the year with less adventurous travel and a slightly more reserved lifestyle. The reprogramming is turning out to be fun and interesting and provides an opportunity to break some new ground. The month was also enriched by the addition of some new friends, the rediscovery of one of my favorite old friends and as usual I benefited from more than my share of good people.

I did want to share with you that I have researched August as part of putting together my activity list and while being selective I do plan on participating in some of the US special programs. Here is a short list of a few highlights.

August is:

  • American Adventures Month – Boy does this fit into my plans as we have deided to explore locally for awhile.
  • Get Ready for Kindergarten Month – I am ready and really looking forward to the entrance into my second childhood.
  • Happiness Happens Month – This is so true, in fact it is true every month if you only let it happen. Have you noticed those that expect to be happy usually are and those who expect to be unhappy usually are as well.
  • National Panini Month – The thing I don’t understand is why it took so many years before I discovered how good they are.
  • National Win with Civility Month – If there was only one thing we all did this month I would hope this would be it. I worry that we as a society do not value civil behavior as much as we should
  • Neurosurgery Outreach Month – I really jumped the gun on this one, I did it in July.
  • Admit You’re Happy Month – I AM, I AM, are you?
  • What Will Be Your Legacy Month – This is an important question that we should ask ourselves often, not the things we leave behind but the positive memories we leave with others. We should strive to leave the world with folks being glad we had been there.


We change the world not by what we say or do, but as consequence of what we have become.

David R. Hawkins


Andy Rooney tells us that he has learned:

That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

That love, not time, heals all wounds.

That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.


I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done already.


Things To Be Thankful For – Mother’s Perspective

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful to have been born the USA, the most powerful free democracy in the world.

AFTER CHILDREN : I am thankful for Velcro tennis shoes. As well as saving valuable time, now I can hear the sound of my son taking off his shoes — which gives me three extra seconds to activate the safety locks on the back seat windows right before he hurls them out of the car and onto the freeway.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for the recycling program which will preserve our natural resources and prevent the overloading of landfills.

AFTER CHILDREN : I am thankful for swim diapers because every time my son wanders into water in plain disposables, he ends up wearing a blimp the size of, say, New Jersey, on his bottom.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for fresh, organic vegetables.

AFTER CHILDREN : I am thankful for microwaveable macaroni and cheese — without which my children would be surviving on about three bites of cereal and their own spit.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for the opportunity to obtain a college education and have a higher quality of life than my ancestors.

AFTER CHILDREN : I am thankful to finish a complete thought without being interrupted.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for holistic medicine and natural herbs.

AFTER CHILDREN : I am thankful for pediatric cough syrup guaranteed to "cause drowsiness" in young children.

BEFORE CHILDREN:  I was thankful for all of the teachers who had taught, encouraged and nurtured me throughout my formative years.

AFTER CHILDREN:  I am thankful for all of the people at Weight Watchers who let me strip down to pantyhose and a strategically placed scarf before getting on the scale each week.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for the opportunity to vacation in exotic foreign countries so I could experience a different way of life in a new culture.

AFTER CHILDREN : I am thankful to have time to make it all the way down the driveway to get the mail.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for the Moosewood Vegetarian cookbook.

AFTER CHILDREN : I am thankful for the Butterball turkey hotline.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for a warm, cozy home to share with my loved ones.

AFTER CHILDREN : I am thankful for the lock on the bathroom door.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for material objects like custom furniture, a nice car, and trendy clothes.

AFTER CHILDREN : I am thankful when the baby spits up and misses my good shoes.


In a Silver City, Nevada, cemetery:

Here lays Butch,

We planted him raw.

He was quick on the trigger,

But slow on the draw.


One Sunday a young child was "acting up" during the morning worship hour. The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew but were losing the battle. Finally, the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out. Just before reaching the safety of the foyer, the little one called loudly to the congregation, "Pray for me! Pray for me!"


If you have much, give of your wealth; if you have little, give of your heart.


An off-duty police officer, familiar with radar guns, drove through a school zone within the legal speed limit when the flash of a camera went off, taking a picture of his license plate.

The officer, thinking the radar was in error, drove by again; even more slowly.  Another flash.  He did it again for a third time, at an even slower speed.  Same result.

"This guy must have screwed up the settings," the off-duty officer thought.   He planned to mention the problem to his supervisor when he got to work, but forgot.

A few weeks later, when he received the violations in the mail, he discovered three traffic tickets: each for not wearing a seat belt!


A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you, and were helped by you, will remember you when forget-me-nots are withered. Carve your name on hearts, and not on marble.

C. H. Spurgeon


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://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.


Looks like Ray messed up again

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.

If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

Albert Schweitzer




I am going to send you something from years past that has to be better than what I might write today. I have been on the move all morning and into the early afternoon and just now discovered that I double booked speakers for an upcoming meeting. Fortunately I think most of you have learned to tolerate my goof-ups.

Ray’s Daily

July 30, 2004


I heard from another friend yesterday who is taking advantage of a mid-life career change to find those things that he finds meaningful and rewarding, as well as something that will allow him to pursue personal and family interests. Over the past ten years or so I have had the good fortune of spending many hours with people who have decided, often due to job elimination, that they were ready to find the path that would make the rest of their lives all that they want it to be. Many times they are like so many of the rest of us and see job loss as a negative rather than an opportunity that many never get to choose their futures. Too many of us resign ourselves to the belief that we are stuck where we are and must spend the rest of our lives there, at least these people have a great opportunity to break away.

We often sit for hours discussing their wants and needs while developing a model of what they might find that will provide them the greatest amount of satisfaction. We work to develop their market research plan and then use the results to launch an effective self marketing program. I don’t think there is anything better than to have someone understand what they want, develop a plan to get what they want, and then to thrive when they get it. If I make an even miniscule contribution to their success my time is well spent.


Sometimes you wonder how you got on this mountain.

But sometimes you wonder, "How will I get off?"

Joan Manley


He said: Parents are justifiably upset when their children don’t get into the college of their choice.  As an admissions counselor for a state university, I took a call from an irate mother demanding to know why her daughter had been turned down.  Avoiding any mention of the transcript full of D’s, I explained that her daughter just wasn’t as "competitive" as the admitted class.  "Why doesn’t she try anther school for a year and then transfer?" I suggested.

"Another school!" exclaimed Mom.  "Have you seen her grades?"


Life is an adventure in forgiveness.

Norman Cousins


One day I called my mother from my apartment to make some plans with her.  In the background behind her, I could hear a terrible noise, like a jet plane taking off. 

"Mother," I asked apprehensively, "what’s that awful noise?"

"It’s the dishwasher," she replied.  "Your father fixed it."


The secret to immortality is %^^^~### NO CARRIER


When I stopped to visit a friend, I found her on the phone with a real estate agent. "That’s a little high!" she exclaimed. "What can I get for less than $500 a month?" The reply was evidently not to my friend’s liking. "I see," she said abruptly, and hung up.

"What did the agent say you could get?" I asked.

"A car."


Never date a woman whose father calls her "Princess". Chances are she believes it.


The psychiatrists were attending their first seminar on emotional extremes.

"Just to establish some parameters," said the leader, "Mr. Nichols, what is the opposite of joy?"

"Sadness," said the student.

"And the opposite of depression, Ms. Biggs?"


"And you sir, how about the opposite of woe?"

Bubba replied, "I believe that would be giddyup."


She said: A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. And a woman’s gotta do what he can’t.


Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, "My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, they give him $50."

The second boy says, "That’s nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song, they give him $100."

The third boy says, "I got you both beat. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight people to collect all the money!"


To learn from mistakes you must know you’re making them.


Wendy tells us that we may not know that many non-living things have a gender; For example..

1) Ziploc Bags — They are Male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

2) Copiers — They are Female, because once turned off, it takes a while to warm them up again. It’s an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can wreak havoc if the wrong buttons are pushed.

3) Tire — Male, because it goes bald and it’s often over-inflated.

4) Hot Air Balloon — Male, because, to get it to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under it, and of course, there’s the hot air part.

5) Sponges — Female, because they’re soft, squeezable and retain water.

6) Web Page — Female, because it’s always getting hit on.

7) Subway — Male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.

8) Hourglass — Female, because over time, the weight shifts to the bottom.

9) Hammer — Male, because it hasn’t changed much over the last 5,000 years, but it’s handy to have around.

10) Remote Control — Female…… Ha! You thought it’d be male. But consider this — it gives a man pleasure, he’d be lost without it, and while he doesn’t always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.


If God had intended women to exercise, he’d have put diamonds on the floor.

Joan Rivers


In the admitting office of our hospital, some patients were filling out forms, others were being interviewed and still others were being escorted to their rooms.

An elderly woman hesitantly entered my cubicle.  She had completed her admitting forms and, upon my request, handed me her insurance cards. I typed the necessary information and then asked her the reason for her coming to the hospital.

"Just to visit a friend," she said, "but this had taken so long, I’m not sure I have time now."


Hospital is a place where they wake you up to give you a sleeping pill.


A man returns from vacation and is feeling very ill. He goes to see his doctor and is immediately rushed to the Hospital to undergo a barrage of tests.

After the tests, he wakes up in a private room at the hospital and the phone by his bed rings.

"This is your doctor. We got the results back from your tests and we discovered that you have a very nasty virus that is extremely contagious!"

"Oh my gosh," cried the man, "What are you going to do, doctor?"

"Well, we’re going to put you on a diet of pizza, pancakes, and pita bread."

"Will that cure me?" asked the man.

The doctor replied, "Well no, but…it’s the only food we can get under the door."


We have a choice: to plow new ground or let the weeds grow.

Jonathan Westover


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://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

Adapt and enjoy it all!

"We must cut our coat according to our cloth, and adapt ourselves to changing circumstances."

William Ralph Inge




Yesterday I said I did not want to hibernate and live in a protective shell even though my health will limit my travels at least for awhile. What sounded like a restriction that would reduce my enjoyment and opportunity for adventure turns out not to be the case. Looking at opportunity in a different way has resulted in our deciding to quit limiting ourselves to other parts of the world and explore closer to home. We are in the process of planning some trips to places that have the medical services I might need and that are also ripe for exploration.

This morning I realized even that is not required to keep my life interesting for I live in an ever changing tapestry. By staying active and engaged life whirls around me everyday providing a richness too easily taken for granted. As an example I rediscovered a respected dear friend and colleague from my past and we will be having a catch-up breakfast on Friday. A Dean from a local university e-mailed me that she has gone west leaving behind memories of shared tilted windmills and volunteer experiences. I am off this morning to see another friend who is recovering from very serious surgery which was a success and will make it possible for him to return to his current role of helping millions of children. The list goes on and on and I am fortunate that I am part of it and that so many share their lives with me.

I often feel empathy for those who have decided to pull back and coast out the rest of their lives, they miss so much. I am glad that I have had the chance to again look inside my life to see just how fortunate I am and that I don’t require the big adventures since in the aggregate I already have more than I need.

Our lives are faced with multiple opportunities as we experience constant change, to a large extent it is up to us to adapt if we are going to enjoy all that we can. Here is a piece that I thought you might like, it was written by Steve Brunkhorst, one of the bright people you can find on the internet.

Adapting to Life’s Changes

People who are adaptive are able to organize their thoughts in ways that generate appropriate actions during times of challenge and transition. Adaptive behaviors are age-dependent skills that allow us to engage successfully in activities of daily living throughout our lives. We can also think of adaptive behaviors as skills that allow us to be flexible when change occurs in our personal lives or careers.

If we are adaptive, we will handle unexpected events or unconstructive actions in creative or constructive ways. An adaptive individual is able to refocus his or her mind in new directions and make choices based on his or her desired outcomes. He or she is open to change, knowing it is the set of the sail that matters – not the direction of the wind.

Consider these five action-tips on dealing constructively with changing situations…

1. Stop and think to avoid misinterpretations. Give yourself time to analyze situations thoroughly. View actions and circumstances from different angles and perspectives to gain an accurate understanding of what has happened. If people are involved, communicate your concerns and ask questions to get information that might not be apparent. This will allow you to make informed choices.

2. Think long-term. Ask yourself "What if?" questions. Think about the consequences of dealing with a situation in various ways. Ask, "What will I lose?" and "What will I gain?" "How could this choice affect my family, friends, self, and future well being?"

3. Prepare for change with continuous learning. Change is a constant in everyone’s life. The skills needed to meet various needs will change throughout all stages of life – from childhood to old age. We will continue to need updated knowledge in such areas as self-care, relationships, parenting, and financial.

4. Look beneath the surface. Welcome challenges. Every challenging situation brings the chance to grow wiser and more skillful. Somewhere, someone has successfully dealt with the same situation. Even circumstances that seem most devastating carry within them the seed of a new blessing. Those who search for these blessings will eventually find them.

5. Know your core values: the principles that guide your actions. Then look at your needs: those things that must be met in ways that remain true to your values. Ask yourself, "Is my reaction an attempt to meet a personal need in a healthy manner, or is it a creative solution to some other problem?" Then ask, "Is my choice of action in keeping with my core values?"

Thinking conscientiously about these suggestions will help you to make positive choices in situations requiring adaptive change and problem solving. May all of life’s changes leave you wiser, more skillful, and more loving.


"Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast and love sincerely the fellow creatures with whom destiny has ordained that you shall live."

Marcus Aurelius


I knew as early as our wedding what marriage to my wife would be like. The priest asked my wife, "Do you take this man to be your husband." And she said, "I do."

Then the priest asked me, "Do you take this woman to be your wife," and my wife said, "He does."


Someday, we’ll look back on this, laugh nervously and change the subject.


Will Rogers said:

1. Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

2. The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

3. Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know "why" I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.

4. When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

5. You know you are getting old when every thing either dries up or leaks.

6. I don’t know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.

7. One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.

8. One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.

9. Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

10. Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today it’s called golf.

And finally, If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you are old.


There are three things most men love but never understand: females, girls and women.


Leola, who lived in Tennesse, had a serious telephone problem. But unlike most people, she did something about it. . .

The brand-new $10 million Ribrock Plaza Motel opened near her house and had acquired almost the same telephone number as Leola’s. From the moment the motel opened, Leola was besieged by calls not for her. Since she had the same phone number for years, she felt that she had a case to persuade the motel management to change its number.

Naturally, the management refused claiming that it could not change its stationery. The phone company was not helpful, either. A number was a number, and just because a customer was getting someone else’s calls 24 hours a day didn’t make it responsible. After her pleas fell on deaf ears, Leola decided to take matters into her own hands.

At 9 o’clock the phone rang. Someone from Memphis was calling the motel and asked for a room for the following Tuesday. Leola said, "No problem. How many nights?"

A few hours later Dallas checked in. A secretary wanted a suite with two bedrooms for a week. Emboldened, Leola said the Presidential Suite on the 10th floor was available for $600 a night. The secretary said that she would take it and asked if the hotel wanted a deposit.

"No, that won’t be necessary," Leola said. "We trust you."

The next day was a busy one for Leola. In the morning, she booked an electric appliance manufacturers convention for Memorial Day weekend, a college prom and a reunion of the 82nd Airborne veterans from World War II.

She turned on her answering machine during lunchtime so that she could watch Days Of Our Lives, but her biggest challenge came in the afternoon when a mother called to book the ballroom for her daughter’s wedding in June.

Leola assured the woman that it would be no problem and asked if she would be providing the flowers or did she want the hotel to take care of it. The mother said that she would prefer the hotel to handle the floral arrangements. Then the question of valet parking came up.

Once again Leola was helpful.

"There’s no charge for valet parking, but we always recommend that the client tips the drivers."

Within a few months, the Ribrock Plaza Motel was a disaster area. People kept showing up for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and Sweet Sixteen parties and were all told there were no such events.

Leola had her final revenge when she read in the local paper that the motel might go bankrupt. Her phone rang, and an executive from Marriott said, "We’re prepared to offer you $200,000 for your motel."

Leola replies. . . ."We’ll take it…… but only if you change your phone number."


“The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water moulds itself to the pitcher”

Chinese Proverb


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://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

And the Doctor said….

 “Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed.”

Storm Jameson




I met with my neurologist yesterday afternoon. She was dazzled and amazed by my miraculous recovery from my apparent stroke. After we celebrated we got down to the serious business of what I should do about my living with my aneurysm. The first thing was to cut out all strenuous exercise and that is no problem as I have been practicing not doing strenuous exercise for many years. Secondly I need to add the fact that I have an aneurysm to my already loaded med alert bracelet. Then came the serious stuff, flying is OK but cruise and travel that takes me out of reach of a neurosurgeon is a roll of the dice as a surprise major headache requires a 911 call for an medical emergency team and while she was a little more optimistic about the odds of surviving an episode the risk is still high.

So now I need to discuss with my wife what we might do other than sitting around, which I won’t do. Do we limit travel to the US and stay close to metropolitan areas or do we decide to bank on my continued good fortune and go further afield including back to sea. I know others who have lived with my condition for years with no problem. I suspect we will stay travel conservative until they do another brain scan in December and a full review in January as then we will know if the artery has weakened or remained the same as it is now. If it remains the same I would hope we would be a little more adventurous. I do know that there is no way that I’ll become a recluse only because it might buy me more years, in my mind that would have the reverse effect since the mind would go before the body.

Bottom line is that all is well. I am better off than most. Just think if I had not had the stroke I would be coasting fat, dumb and happy not knowing I had a problem. This way I am just fat and happy while gratefully benefiting from everyone’s best wishes and prayers.


It’s Fine Today

By Douglas Malloch


Sure, this world is full of trouble-

I ain’t said it ain’t.

Lord, I’ve had enough and double

Reason for complaint;

Rain and storm have come to fret me,

Skies are often gray;

Thorns and brambles have beset me

On the road – but say,

Ain’t it fine today?


What’s the use of always weepin’,

Making trouble last?

What’s the use of always keepin’

Thinkin’ of the past?

Each must have his tribulation –

Water with his wine;

Life, it ain’t no celebration,

Trouble? – I’ve had mine –

But today is fine!


It’s today that I am livin’,

Not a month ago.

Havin’; losin’; takin’; givin’;

As time wills it so.

Yesterday a cloud of sorrow

Fell across the way,

It may rain again tomorrow,

It may rain – but say,

Ain’t it fine today?


The top ten reasons men should join the church choir

10. Rehearsals are every Wednesday night. Which means that for those few hours, you will significantly reduce your risk of contracting tendonitis from non-stop operation of a television remote control or computer mouse.

9. Because you wear a choir robe every Sunday, you are liberated from a task many men find quite challenging: finding clothes that match properly.

8. From your special vantage point every Sunday, in which you look out at the entire congregation from the choir seats, you will develop interesting new hobbies. Among these is a little guessing game called "Who’s Praying, Who’s Sleeping?"

7. On the other hand, sitting in full view of 400 500 people on a weekly basis makes it much less likely that you yourself will give in to a chronic lack of sleep. Although it has been known to happen.

6. If you think your singing in the shower sounds good now, just wait till you’ve been singing with us for a few weeks.

5. Singing in a choir is one of the few activities for men that does not require electronics equipment or expensive power tools. This could be good for the family budget.

4. For the fitness buffs, singing in the Choir is not only heart healthy, it’s soul healthy. But there are no monthly membership fees, and it’s a lot easier on the knees than jogging.

3. If you think you’ve done everything there is to do, and there are no great challenges left in life, try singing with us guys and staying on pitch.

2. Choir rehearsal lasts half as long as a professional football game, but is at least twice as satisfying. This is especially true if you are a long-suffering fan of the Bengals or Colts.

And the number 1 reason men should join the choir:

1. When people ask you whether you’ve been behaving yourself,  you can say with the utmost sincerity, "Hey, I’m a Choir Boy."


Waiter: Would you like your coffee black?

Customer: What other colors do you have?


Hints From Helga

Dirt: Layers of dirty film on windows and screens provide a helpful filter against harmful and aging rays from the sun. Call it an SPF factor of 5 and leave it alone.

Cobwebs: Cobwebs artfully draped over lampshades reduce the glare from the bulb, thereby creating a romantic atmosphere. If your husband points out that the light fixtures need dusting, simply look confused and exclaim, "What? And spoil the mood?"

Pet Hair: Explain the mound of pet hair brushed up against the doorways by claiming you are collecting it there to use for stuffing hand-sewn play animals for underprivileged children.

Guests: If unexpected company is coming, pile everything unsightly into one room and close the door. As you show your guests through your tidy home, rattle the door knob vigorously, fake a growl, and say, "I’d love you to see our den, but Fluffy hates to be disturbed and the shots are SO expensive."

Dusting: If dusting is REALLY out of control, simply place a showy urn on the coffee table and insist "This is where Grandma wanted us to scatter her ashes…"

Painting: Don’t bother repainting. Simply scribble lightly over a dirty wall with an assortment of crayons, and try to muster a glint of tears as you say, "Junior did this the week before that unspeakable accident…I haven’t had the heart to clean it…"

General Cleaning: Mix one-quart cup pine-scented household cleaner with four cup soft water in a spray bottle. Mist the air lightly. Leave dampened rags in conspicuous locations. Develop an exhausted look, throw yourself onto the couch, and sigh: "I clean and I clean and I still don’t get anywhere…"


Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love.

St. Francis of Assisi


There was a university in New England where the students operated a "bank" of term papers and other homework assignments.

There were papers to suit all needs and as it would look odd if an undistinguished student suddenly handed in a brilliant essay, there were papers for an A grade, B grade and C grade.

A student, who had spent the weekend on pursuits other than his assignment, went to the "bank" and as his course was a standard one he took out a paper for an inconspicuous C, retyped it and handed the work in.

In due course he received it back with the professor’s comments "I wrote this paper myself twenty years ago. I always thought it should have had an A, and now I am glad to give it one!"


I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. 

This makes it hard to plan the day.

Elwyn Brooks White


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://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

What path will you take?

People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Abraham Lincoln




It is intriguing to watch how the description of things and events are viewed differently by people. What we see and what we hear tend to be filtered and even modified by our opinions and prejudices. The same afternoon might be warm to one and cool to another, it is the same with much of our lives. What we see and what we hear are factual and objective yet they are often perceived differently. Sadly more than not we accept our view as being the only right view and fail to try to see through another’s eyes what we might have missed.

I think the same thing happens as we face life’s challenges. The same illness will create despair and even fatalism in one person and a resilient positive reaction in another. Again it seems to me that we react differently because our built in filters let us only see what we are conditioned to see. Expect the worst and you’ll see the worst, expect the best and you will be able to see bright lights in even the darkest corners. The thing that most controls our filters is our attitude. Regretfully too many of us do not prepare for the roadblocks that we often find in our lives as we could if we just developed a positive attitude. Objectively things will happen that we can not change but we can deal with them if we have the right attitude, I may get there a little later because of the detour but I won’t be left behind waiting for some miracle to remove the roadblock.

In my case today is the day I see the Neurologist to see if she is going to suggest I change my lifestyle, give up travel or make other changes that might be unappealing. I am looking forward to the meeting as it will allow me to know more about what is ahead and the choices I have. Wow, that sounds dreadful; it is not like it sounds, I am feeling good, doing good and plan on continuing to do so I’ll just know more that might increase the probability of future happiness.

Enough of that let’s hear from today’s guest.



Rev. Charles Swindoll

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, then circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say, or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.

We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes.


People only see what they are prepared to see.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.

Ingrid Bergman


She said: As a Dominican sister, I lived in a convent named for a deceased pope. One day while I was wearing contemporary clothes instead of my habit, I drove into a gas station to get the communal car filled up.

After the young attendant topped off the tank, he walked toward my car window to return my credit card.  It was clear from his furrowed brow that he had something on his mind.  The young man looked at me shyly and pointed to the convent’s name, John XXIII Hall, imprinted on the card.

"Pardon me," he asked hesitantly, "but how do you pronounce your husband’s middle name?"


The young know the rules, the old know the exceptions.


"I was relaxing in my favorite chair on Sunday," said Doug to Bill, "reading the newspaper, watching a ball game on TV and listening to another on the radio, drinking a beer, eating a snack, and scratching the dog with my foot — and my wife has the nerve to accuse me of just sitting there doing nothing !"


Happiness comes when we stop wailing about the troubles we have,

and offer thanks for all the troubles we don’t have.

Author unknown


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://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

I feel their pain

“It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value”

Stephen Hawking




I had breakfast with a respected friend the other day. My friend is an author, pundit, creative thinker, and educator who is often called upon to help people like me to learn more about our world. He is respected both nationally and internationally and avoids partisanship and philosophical extremes. I won’t go into the details but he is leaving his base of operations due in part to a change in the environment in which he plied his trade. The tough part for me was to listen to the evolution of his institution from one supporting the generation of ideas to both educate and challenge others to one that seems bent on creating product that conforms to the wishes of the accountants and those that wish to manage creative ideas in order not to alienate those with the purse strings.

I don’t know if my friends report of the philosophical differences are accurate or not but I do know that the process of forcing those that don’t agree out by using unfair and unscrupulous tactics such wiping out income owed and more are outrageous. The tough part is that the system has made my friend angry, disappointed and dismayed. In effect his previous boss continues to hurt my friend through the lingering bad taste because of the unfairness of what happened. I suggested to my friend giving in to all this negativism he has let those who deserve little respect manage his life and that I know he is strong enough not to let it continue. Fortunately he agreed and it seemed to make a difference.

In reality my feeling was that he was lucky to get out of there. I know I would not want to work in an organization with flexible values where ideas can be bought and where so often the ends justify the means. Of course that is all well and good if you have someplace to go where you can earn what you need to get by, sadly in today’s economic climate finding a place can be a very difficult and debilitating exercise.

The more I thought about my friend’s situation the more I realized that there are a whole lot of folks hanging on to their jobs only because they have no place to go. Some of these people work in organizations who have taken short cuts, abandoned their ethics and will go to any length to earn as much as they can. Sadly I think that happens whenever things get tight, but if that is true what about the workers, do they have to put their principles and values on hold? What would you do if you knew if you didn’t take short cuts you might lose your job and then wouldn’t know how you would be able to feed your family? It is like being happy that you’re in the life boat but frightened because it is taking you to a place you never want to be. I don’t know the answer but I do know that I need to understand that there are those in the workplace who are getting monetary reward but are loosing their moral grounding. For what ever it is worth I feel their pain I just hope they can resist letting others make them over for we will need a strong ethical foundation for the months and years ahead.


“We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.”

Winston Churchill


The Ferrari Formula 1 Team fired their entire pit crew yesterday. The announcement followed Ferrari’s decision to take advantage of the British governments ‘Work for the Dole’ scheme and employ unemployable youth.

The decision to hire them was brought on by a recent documentary on how unemployed Liverpool youths were able to remove a set of wheels in less than 6 seconds without proper equipment, whereas Ferrari’s existing crew could only do it in 8 seconds with millions of pounds worth of high tech gear. This was thought to be an excellent, yet bold move, by Ferrari Management. As most races are won and lost in the pits, Ferrari would have an advantage over every team.

However, Ferrari got more than they bargained for at the crew’s first practice session, not only were the new Pit Crew able to change the tires in under 6 seconds but within 12 seconds they had re-sprayed, retagged and sold the vehicle over to the MacLaren Team for four bottles of Stella and an old Nike shell-suit.


Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength.

Eric Hoffer


Two very reform Jews from the big city were traveling in Florida where on Shabbos they found an orthodox shul in a small town where they could attend services. The shul Rebbe, seeing strangers at the entrance, greeted the two strangers and asked where they would like to sit.

Looking somewhat confused, one out-of-towner smiled and said, " Nonsmoking please ".


If quitters never win, and winners never quit, what fool came up with "Quit while you’re ahead".


Heather and Marcy hadn’t seen each other in awhile, so they decided to meet for lunch. The talk naturally got around to their respective love lives. Marcy confided that there really wasn’t anyone special in her life. Heather, on the other hand, was beaming about the new man she had found. "He’s perfect. He’s handsome, and last night when we went out to dinner, he said the four little words I’ve been waiting to hear a man say to me!"

"He said ‘will you marry me’?" Marcy asked.

Heather replied, "No, he said ‘put your money away’."


Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.

Woodrow Wilson


Joe’s wife likes to sing so she decided to join the church choir. From time to time she would practice while she was in the kitchen preparing dinner. Whenever she would start in on a song, Joe would head outside to the porch.

His wife, with hurt feelings, said, "What’s the matter, Joe? Don’t you like my singing?"

Joe replied, "Honey, I love your singing, but I just want to make sure the neighbors know I’m not beating you."


If you don’t run your own life, someone else will.

John Atkinson


A company, feeling it was time for a shake-up, hires a new CEO. This new boss is determined to rid the company of all slackers. On a tour of the facilities, the CEO notices a guy leaning on a wall. The room is full of workers and he wants to let them know he means business! The CEO walks up to the guy and asks, "And how much money do you make a week?"

A little surprised, the young fellow looks at him and replies, "I make $300.00 a week. Why?" The CEO then hands the guy $1,200 in cash and screams, "Here’s four weeks pay, now GET OUT and don’t come back!"

Feeling pretty good about his first firing, the CEO looks around the room and asks, "Does anyone want to tell me what that goof-off did here?" With a sheepish grin, one of the other workers mutters, "Pizza delivery guy from Domino’s.


The hatred you’re carrying is a live coal in your heart, far more damaging to yourself than to them.



A man comes running to the doctor shouting and screaming in pain. "Please doctor you’ve got to help me. I’ve been stung by a bee."

"Don’t worry;" says the doctor, "I’ll put some cream on it."

"You will never find that bee. It must be miles away by now."

"No, you don’t understand!" answers the doctor, "I’ll put some cream on the place you were stung."

"Oh! It happened in the garden in back of my house."

"No, no, no!" says the doctor getting frustrated, "I mean on which part of your body did that bee sting you."

"On my finger!" screamed the man in pain. "The bee stung me on my finger and it really hurts."

"Which one?" the doctor.

"How am I supposed to know? All bees look the same to me!"


The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.

George Bernard Shaw


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://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.


“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”

Lance Armstrong




I am again sending a Daily from the past. I have a good excuse though, I had a Kiwanis meeting, a planning meeting and the time helping a friend that just arrived from Spain with planning and purchases. Chances are what I’ll find will be better than what I would have produced anyway.

Ray’s Daily

Published on July 23, 2003

A week or so ago I had a CAT scan for some back problems. My primary Doc called and said I have an arthritic back and possibly a bad disc. The treatment she prescribed was physical therapy and I knew the prognoses, I was going to be hurt again. I don’t know about you, but I have found most physical therapists to be really nice people on the surface but possibly sadistic ex-Nazis underneath. While I went for my first treatment today in some pain, it was nothing compared to the pain I had when I left. If the old adage, “No Pain, No Gain” is true I will be gaining on everyone in the next few weeks as I continue to express my masochistic tendencies by attending therapy sessions a few times each week.


Some odds and ends:

  • My old friend George just added his brother and son to our group. Welcome!
  • Jacque just returned from Nicaragua where she worked beside the natives in coffee fields at 5,000 feet to help raise money to support a Young Life Camp in La Finka.
  • A new friend, Sharon, reported on the trip she took with leaders of Cause Canada to Sierra Leone, earlier this year. Cause Canada is an NGO which is running several projects for former child combatants, girls and women affected by the war, and amputees. It sounds like she has experienced some of the same things we have as we visited overseas UNICEF sponsored projects. I look forward to hearing more from her.
  • Our group is enriched by the people we connect with through our daily. I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to know so many of you. I am especially glad when I hear from you, either to tell me how you are doing, or to send me something you feel should be shared with the group.


Property left to a child may soon be lost; but the inheritance of virtue–a good name an unblemished reputation–will abide forever. If those who are toiling for wealth to leave their children, would but take half the pains to secure for them virtuous habits, how much more serviceable would they be. The largest property may be wrested from a child, but virtue will stand by him to the last.

William Graham Sumner


A Catholic Dictionary

AMEN: The only part of a prayer that everyone knows.

BULLETIN: Your receipt for attending Mass.

CHOIR: A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the congregation to lip-sync.

HYMN: A song of praise usually sung in a key two octaves higher than that of the congregation’s range.

RECESSIONAL HYMN: The last song at Mass often sung a little more quietly, since most of the people have already left.

INCENSE: Holy Smoke!

JUSTICE: When kids have kids of their own.

PEW: A medieval torture device still found in Catholic churches.

RECESSIONAL: The ceremonial procession at the conclusion of Mass led by parishioners trying to beat the crowd to the parking lot.

RELICS: People who have been going to Mass for so long, they actually know when to sit, kneel, and stand.

TEN COMMANDMENTS: The most important Top Ten list not given by David Letterman.


The only people in the parish who don’t know the seating capacity of a pew.


Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.


A backslider suddenly began attending church faithfully on Sunday mornings instead of going fishing. The pastor was highly gratified and told him, "How wonderful it makes me feel to see you at services with your good wife!"

"Well, Preacher," said the fisherman, "it’s a matter of choice. I’d rather hear your sermon than hers."


"The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it."

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Announcement: the mental-disease-of-the-month club is being disbanded immediately. The reasons being:

1. During dipsomania month, the club party spent 10 times its budget on refreshments.

2. During kleptomania month, all of the club furnishings were removed, and (as aforementioned) the budget was already spent and gone.

3. During megalomania month, the club organization broke down due to having sixteen claimants to being Club President, etc.

4. During multiple personality month, our club roster roughly tripled in size with no increase in dues.

5.During paranoia month, the inflated roster dropped to zero as each member changed his or her mailing address and left no forwarding address for the club.

You members were obviously out to ruin us; it’s all clear now. It took all our remaining personal savings to track you all down. Therefore, here is your last installment: clinical depression. Have a nice day."


I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny forks and spoons, so I wondered what Chinese mothers use.   Toothpicks?


A young couple met with their Rabbi to set a date for their wedding. When he asked whether they preferred a contemporary or a traditional service, they opted for the contemporary. On the big day, a major storm forced the groom to take an alternate route to the synagogue. The streets were flooded, so he rolled up his pants legs to keep his trousers dry. When he finally reached the shul, his best man rushed him up the aisle and up to the altar, just as the ceremony was starting.

"Pull down your pants," whispered the Rabbi.

"Uh, Rebbe, I’ve changed my mind," the groom responded. "I think I would prefer the traditional service."


The happiest people seem to be those who have no particular cause for being happy except that they are so.

William Ralph Inge


While I was paying for my items at a local store, the man behind me laid his purchases on the counter.  Among them was a large, flowery birthday card with "To my wonderful wife" printed on it.

The clerk said,  "You’ve chosen our biggest and prettiest card."

The man nodded sadly and replied, "One day late."


Be silent as to services you have rendered, but speak of favors you have received.



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://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

Are you upset?

“Are you upset little friend? Have you been lying awake worrying? Well, don’t worry…I’m here. The flood waters will recede, the famine will end, the sun will shine tomorrow, and I will always be here to take care of you.

Charlie Brown to Snoopy”



As we face today’s challenges there will be folks whose lives will never recover for they have not learned that there is more to life than wealth and material things. Fortunately there will be far more who will find more in their lives than they ever thought possible. These are people who learn that the intangibles add luster and brilliance that they overlooked when they were driven by the pursuit of so-called success, fame and fortune. In my case my new found joys have come from people and not things. New friends have not only given me comfort they have also provided stimulation and new shared experiences. I also have found that looking more closely at friends and family I see things too easily missed in the past, everyone is special in their own way and I have learned to appreciate what they are versus agonizing over what they are not.

OK, why these thoughts today, it is because I just read what Tina, one of our readers sent me. You can see for yourself what triggered my reaction, here is what she sent.

The Wooden Bowl

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson.   The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor.   When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.   ‘We must do something about father,’ said the son.   ‘I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor…’ So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner.   There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.   Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.

When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor.   He asked the child sweetly, ‘What are you making?’ Just as sweetly, the boy responded, ‘Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.’ The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family.. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

On a positive note, I’ve learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.


In my experience the brightest light that will ever shine upon you is the light that is reflected off of the heart of someone who knows you care for them. When we give the gift of our understanding and really care for others we will never have to worry about ourselves for we will never live our lives alone.



“Life is short, don’t waste time worrying about what people think of you Hold on to the ones that care, in the end they will be the only ones there.”

Author Unknown


Jimmie, an 80-year-old gentleman, retired to Florida after his wife of 58 years had passed away. He was quite alone in the world and longed for companionship. One day, as he was walking through a public park, he spied what he considered to be a very pretty silver-haired lady sitting alone on a park bench. Getting his nerve up, he approached the lady and asked graciously, "Pardon me, ma’am, but may I sit here with you."

The silver-haired Marcia looked up to see a distinguished looking white-haired gentleman and replied, "Why certainly," and scooted over gently to give him room to sit down.

For the next two hours the two sat and talked about everything. They discovered that they came from the same part of the country, liked the same big band music, voted for the same presidential candidates, had had long happy marriages and lost their spouses in the last year, and in general agreed about almost everything.

Finally, the old gentleman cleared his throat and asked sheepishly, "Ma’am, may I ask you two questions?"

With great anticipation Marcia replied, "Why certainly!"

The old gentleman removed a handkerchief from his coat pocket and spread it out on the ground before her. He very gingerly got down on one knee and looked her softly in the eyes. "Marcia, I know we’ve only known each other for a couple of hours, but we have so much in common. I feel I have known you all my life. Will you marry me and be my wife?"

Marcia grabbed at Jimmie’s hands and said, "Why, yes, I will marry you! You have made me so very happy!" She reached over and kissed him gently on the cheek. Then Marcia said, "You said you had two questions to ask me. What is the second question?"

Jimmie scratched his neck and said, "Will you help me get up?"


You can learn many things from children…like how much patience you have.


A priest was given the job of hearing the confessions of an order of monks. The priest returned to his parish that night and complained to one of the nuns about how long each of the monks took to enumerate all of their sins.

"Oh Father," said the nun. "It couldn’t have been that bad."

The priest replied, "Oh it was worse than you can imagine. It was like being stoned to death with popcorn."


"No birth is an accident, no experience is without meaning, and no life is without value."

Gary Zukav


The kindergarten class had settled down to its coloring books. Willie came up to the teacher’s desk and said, "Miss Francis, I ain’t got no crayons."

"Willie," Miss Francis said, "you mean, "I don’t have any crayons.’ You don’t have any crayons. We don’t have any crayons. They don’t have any crayons. Do you see what I’m getting at?"

"Not really," Willie said, "What happened to all them crayons?"


“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”

Lewis B. Smedes


A crew of highway maintenance workers were sent to repair some road signs that vandals had knocked down in a forested area. The first one they put back up was a symbol warning of a deer crossing the road.

As they moved down the road to repair the next sign, one member of the crew looked back and spotted a deer running across the highway. She turned to a co-worker and said, "I wonder how long he’s been waiting to cross."


To be civilized is to be incapable of giving unnecessary offense, it is to have some quality of consideration for all who cross our path.

Agnes Repplier


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://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

Let’s take a break!

“Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.”

Leonardo da Vinci




I was with a friend of mine Sunday who seemed really down and worn out. To some extent I think many of us exhibit the same symptoms because of tough economic challenges, job loss and many other things that weigh people down these days. It seems like we don’t hear as much about burnout these days, possibly because folks are just happy to have a job and don’t want to be seen as a whiner when so many people have lost so much, yet it exists.

In my opinion there has never been a time when giving yourself a break is more important. Some of you have heard me often say that “the best time to take a vacation is when you can’t.” What I am realizing now is that you don’t have to be employed to need a vacation, in fact you probably have never deserved one more than when you have been fighting an uphill battle week after week, month after month. If you can’t afford one, take one anyway; if you have too much to do, take one anyway; there just is no substitute for getting away and leaving your troubles aside for a little while. In my experience we cope better, think better and win more often if we have given ourselves a break.

So go to a play, drive to another city, see a movie, go sit along the river, just do something other than let the world beat you down and hold you back. The ever popular Gretchen Rubin recognizes the problem, here is what she offers to us all.


Ever since the subprime mortgage mess began, and with the current financial crisis, many people—like me—have felt distracted and upset by the gyrations in the economy. For some people, the anxiety is intense and relentless. If you’ve lost your job, or your job is at risk, or you’re entering the job market; if you’re planning to retire soon and your savings have taken a big hit; if you need to sell your house in a tough residential market – well, in those situations, you might find it hard to think about anything other than financial woes.

But try to give yourself a break from your worries, at least occasionally. By doing so, you’ll re-charge your battery, find it easier to stay calm and cheerful, find it easier to take action to remedy your situation — and you’ll sleep better. But this is easier said than done.

We all suffer from “negativity bias,” that is, we react to the bad more strongly and persistently than to the comparable good. Research shows one consequence of negativity bias is that when people’s thoughts wander, they tend to begin to brood. Anxious or angry thoughts capture our attention more effectively than happier thoughts.

So look for ways to pull your mind away from your worries onto positive topics. One great way is to watch a movie – preferably something funny! — or watch a favorite TV show. Don’t muddy the experience by trying to multi-task; you’re not going to get the benefit of taking a break from your own thoughts if you’re watching Trading Places while you pay bills or fold laundy. Give yourself a proper vacation: sit down and enjoy what you’re doing.

My favorite activity is reading, and when I really need “comfort food” for my mind, I read Victorian novels or children’s literature. I always re-read, too; when I’m upset, I want the comfort of knowing that I’ll love the book and that I won’t be upset by some unexpected plot twist.

Cooking, cleaning, playing with your kids, playing video games, playing basketball – different people find different solutions. If you can find an activity that gives you exercise, gets you outside, or brings you in contact with other people, that’s especially effective.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, schedule a breather for yourself. By cheering yourself up, you’ll make yourself feel better, and you’ll also equip yourself to deal more effectively with tough situations.


“If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.”



Arthur grabbed a large thermos and hurried to a nearby coffee shop. He held up the thermos, and the barista quickly came over to take his order.

"Is this big enough to hold six cups of coffee?" Arthur asked.

The coffee shop worker looked at the thermos, hesitated a few seconds, then finally replied, "Yeah. It looks like about six cups to me."

"Oh, good!" Arthur sighed in relief, "Then give me two regular, two black, and two decaf."


The human race is divided into two classes–those who go ahead and do something, and those who sit still and inquire, “Why wasn’t it done the other way?”

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


A man was celebrating his 80th birthday and his 50th wedding anniversary.

A reported asked, "Sir, how do you account for looking so fit?"

"Well," the old-timer told him, "when we got married, my wife and I made an agreement that any time we saw an argument coming on, I would grab my hat and walk three times around the block. You’d be surprised what 50 years of outdoor exercise will do for your health!"


Meditation is not what you Think.


Bill has the typical observant wife. One evening after dinner, she handed him a bottle of ‘Rogaine’ hair restorer.

Bill told her while he was indeed starting to thin out some, he didn’t really think he needed hair restorer yet.

She said, "Oh. It’s not for you, it’s for your secretary, she seems to be losing quite a bit of her hair on your jacket."


One way to stop a run away horse is to bet on him.


During a recent publicity outing, Jennifer sneaked off to visit a fortune teller of some local repute. In a dark and hazy room, peering into a crystal ball, the mystic delivered grave news. "There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just be blunt: Prepare yourself to be a widow. Your husband will die a violent and horrible death this year."

Visibly shaken, Jennifer stared at the woman’s lined face, then at the single flickering candle, then down at her hands. She took a few deep breaths to compose herself. She simply had to know. She met the fortune teller’s gaze, steadied her voice, and asked her question: "Will I be acquitted?"


A foolish husband remarks to his wife: "Honey, you stick to the washin’, ironin’, cookin’, and scrubbin’. No wife of mine is gonna work.


She said: I was out walking with my then 4 year old daughter.  She picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth.  I asked her not to do that.

"Why?" she asked.

I replied, "Because it’s been lying outside and is dirty and probably has germs." At this point, she looked at me with total admiration and said, "Wow !  How do you know all this stuff ?  "

“Uh," I was thinking quickly, "Everyone knows this stuff, it’s on the Mommy test.  You have to know it, or they don’t let you be a Mommy."

"Oh." she replied.  We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, but she was evidently pondering this new information.

“I get it! " she beamed.  “Then if you flunk, you get to be the Daddy!"


“A cheerful frame of mind, reinforced by relaxation… is the medicine that puts all ghosts of fear on the run.”

George Matthew Adams


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://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

I’ve got good news and bad news

Life is like a taxi. The meter just keeps a-ticking whether you are getting somewhere or just standing still.

Lou Erickson




I saw the neurosurgeon on Friday and I got good news and bad news. The good news is that I will not be getting brain surgery; the bad news is that I am not getting it because it is too risky. They will do another brain scan in December and if the aneurysm shows further weakening of the artery wall then the risk may be worth taking. I’ll see the neurologist next week to see about any lifestyle changes that she thinks I should consider but I think it will be business as usual. I may have to revisit my planed immortality, but not yet. Life goes on and mine is full and never better although I may reduce some of the content so that I can live a little faster and include more diversions.

In the meantime there is no use fretting over those things you cannot control especially since there is so much other stuff to think about and enjoy. As Erickson says the meter keeps running whether you are standing still or moving and it gets awfully boring if you just sit in one place listening to it tick when you could be moving and enjoying the view.

Anyway you know me well enough to realize that I am a big believer in the philosophy of Isak Dinesen who wrote “Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.”

So enough of that and let us get on with the show for it is like Tina, one of our readers sent me one time:

Always remember…. when life hands you Lemons, ask for Tequila and Salt and call me over!


“Of course life is bizarre, the more bizarre it gets, the more interesting it is.

The only way to approach it is to make yourself some popcorn and enjoy the show.”

Author Unknown


The following are actual comments from MIT’s Course Evaluation Guide:

"His blackboard technique puts Rembrandt to shame."

"Textbook is confusing… someone with a knowledge of English should proofread it."

"This class was a religious experience for me… I had to take it all on faith."

"The instructor would make a good parking lot attendant.  He tries to tell you where to go, but you can never understand him."

"TA steadily improved throughout the course.  I think he started drinking and it really loosened him up."

"The course was very thorough.  What wasn’t covered in class was covered on the final exam."

"He is one of the best teachers I have had. He is well organized, presents good lectures, and creates interest in the subject.  I hope my comments don’t hurt his chances of getting tenure."


I’d like to go to an assertiveness training class but first I need to check with my wife.

Adam Christing


Two women were discussing reincarnation. 

One asked the other if her husband believed in it. 

The second woman said, "Does my husband believe in life after death?  My husband doesn’t even believe in life after dinner!"


Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.


Didn’t get the job? Try this.

Dear [Interviewer’s Name]:

Thank you for your letter of [Date of Interview].  After careful consideration I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me employment with your firm.  This year I have had been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters.  With such a varied and promising field of candidates it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.

Despite [Firm’s Name]’s outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet with my needs at this time.  Therefore, I will initiate employment with your firm immediately following graduation.  I look forward to seeing you then.

Best of luck in rejecting future candidates.


[Your Name]


Nonconformists are all alike.


One day a man approached Groucho Marx and he said, "Please insult my wife. My wife loves your work. It would really give her a thrill if you insulted her."

Groucho turned to the man and said, "Sir, you should be ashamed of yourself: To be married to a woman like that and not be able to think up your own insults!"


The one function TV news performs very well is that when there is no news we give it to you with the same emphasis as if there were.

David Brinkley


A young Scottish lad and lassie were sitting on a low stone wall, holding hands, and just gazing out over the loch. For several minutes they sat silently, then finally the girl looked at the boy and said, "A penny for your thoughts, Angus."

"Well, uh, I was thinkin’. . .perhaps it’s aboot time for a wee kiss."

The girl blushed, then leaned over and kissed him lightly on the cheek. Then he blushed.

Then the two turned once again to gaze out over the loch. After a while the girl spoke again. "Another penny for your thoughts, Angus.

"The young man knit his brow. "Well, now," he said, "my thoughts are a bit more serious this time."

"Really?" said the girl in a whisper, filled with anticipation.

"Aye," said the lad. "Din’na ye think it’s aboot time ye paid me that first penny?"


Waste your money and you’re only out of money, but waste your time and you’ve lost part of your life.

Michael Leboeuf


After they had brought their first baby home from hospital, a young wife suggested to her husband that he try his hand at changing diapers.

"I’m busy", he said. "I’ll do the next one."

The next time the baby was wet, she asked if he was now ready to learn how to change diapers.

He looked puzzled. "Oh," he replied finally. "I didn’t mean the next diaper. I meant the next baby!"


That best portion of a good man’s life; his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.

William Wordsworth


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://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

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