Ray's musings and humor

Archive for September, 2009

Help Wanted

Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes; work never begun.

Christina Rossetti

 

 

 

Here we are my friends about to officially change from the laid back summer months to the work ahead that follows our observance of Labor Day in the U.S. Our Labor Day holiday is always the first Monday in September allowing most of my fellow Americans three days away from their formal work.

For some of the unemployed and my fellow retirees it might just be another day. If there is spent time in leisure pursuits day after day. I am not complaining about them, people have the right to choose their own path, I just feel sorry that they have chosen to miss so much.

One of the definitions of labor (work) is purposeful effort: the physical or mental effort directed at doing or making something. In my mind the things we do, either paid or unpaid, provides us with opportunity and satisfaction that come from successful purposeful effort.

When I think of work as being the contributions we can make by completing the tasks at hand, a whole new vista opens up. If I don’t find meaning in my paid work I can do so through my unpaid work. If I totally retire and no longer reap the benefits that come from a paid job well done I can choose to spend my time helping to make the world a little bit better for one and all. In fact I find that I often earn more in satisfaction now than I did when I was getting paid.

When I think of labor as a meaningful effort to do something of value, work no longer looks like a burden, rather the opportunity to work looks like a gift. So my friends join me as we enjoy our three day celebration of the accomplishments made by our fellow workers and then when the whistle blows on Tuesday bringing people back to work, let’s join them, not only in the pursuit of income but also in the pursuit of opportunities to do a job well for ourselves and for others.

Here is something from Ralph Marston that I think says it well:

As long as there is work that must be done in this world, there is opportunity. And there is always much work to be done.

As long as there are problems to be solved, there is a clear and accessible pathway to success. And there are always problems to be solved.

As long as there are challenges to be overcome, there is a way for you to create whatever things of value you envision for your life and your world. And there are always challenges to be overcome.

When it seems that there is no end to the work that must be done, stop and consider just what that means. It means that the future can be very bright indeed.

For when there is much work to be done, there is much to be gained by doing it. Wherever there is work to be done, there is buried treasure waiting to be unearthed.

Be the person who rushes quickly in the direction of the work that is to be done. And you’ll be the person who tastes life’s treasures in abundance.

PS: There will be no Daily next Monday; I am giving my computer the day off.

~~~

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt:

~~~

TODDLER RULES

If it is on, I must turn it off.

If it is off, I must turn it on.

If it is folded, I must unfold it.

If it is a liquid, it must be shaken, then spilled.

If it a solid, it must be crumbled, chewed or smeared.

If it is high, it must be reached.

If it is shelved, it must be unshelved.

If it is pointed, it must be run with at top speed.

If it has leaves, they must be picked.

If it is plugged, it must be unplugged.

If it is not trash, it must be thrown away.

If it is in the trash, it must be removed, inspected, and thrown on the floor.

If it is closed, it must be opened.

If it does not open, it must be screamed at.

If it has drawers, they must be rifled. If it is a pencil, it must write on the refrigerator, monitor, or table.

If it is full, it will be more interesting emptied.

If it is empty, it will be more interesting full.

If it is a pile of dirt, it must be laid upon.

If it is stroller, it must under no circumstances be ridden in without protest. It must be pushed by me instead.

If it has a flat surface, it must be banged upon.

If Mommy’s hands are full, I must be carried.

If Mommy is in a hurry and wants to carry me, I must walk alone.

If it is paper, it must be torn. If it has buttons, they must be pressed.

If the volume is low, it must go high. If it is toilet paper, it must be unrolled on the floor.

If it is a drawer, it must be pulled upon.

If it is a toothbrush, it must be inserted into my mouth.

If it has a faucet, it must be turned on at full force.

If it is a phone, I must talk to it. If it is a bug, it must be swallowed.

If it doesn’t stay on my spoon, it must be dropped on the floor.

If it is not food, it must be tasted. If it is dry, it must be made wet with drool, milk, or toilet water.

If it is a carseat, it must be protested with arched back.

If it is Mommy, it must be hugged. I am toddler!

~~~

If you’re yearning for the good old days, just turn off the air conditioning.

Griff Niblack

~~~

At the local gas utility written orders are issued to change meters when they are old or malfunctioning. On the order sheet is a "remarks" section, where the service representative notes any problems that prevented the job from being completed. The most succinct explanation to come ever come back was: "DOG DOES NOT WANT METER TO BE CHANGED."

~~~

Marriage is the process of finding out what kind of man your wife would have preferred.

~~~

One morning a man came into the church on crutches. He stopped in front of the holy water, put some on both legs, and then threw away his crutches. An altar boy witnessed the scene and then ran into the rectory to tell the priest what he’d just seen.

"Son, you’ve just witnessed a miracle!" the priest said. "Tell me where is this man now?"

"Flat on his butt over by the holy water!" the boy informed him.

~~~

The Grocery Bag Law

The candy bar you planned to eat on the way home from the market is hidden at the bottom of the grocery bag.

~~~

The veterinarian told the blonde that her dog needed some exercise. You need to make sure the dog runs around, the doctor said. Try playing a game of fetch.

"I can’t play fetch with my dog," the blonde said.

"Why not?" the doctor asked.

"Because," she replied, "He can’t throw!".

~~~

I long to accomplish a great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.

Helen Keller

~~~

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.

Ha…Ha..Ha.Ha.Ha

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

e.e. cummings

 

 

It is going to be a full day today leaving little time to write a new daily so here is another from years ago.

September 3, 2003

With all the turmoil in the world today we should be thankful that we are not caring the burdens of so many others. With what we have it is appropriate that we do what we can for others.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness……….you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation…….you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep…you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace……. you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

If your parents are still alive and still married……..you are very rare, even in the United States.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful…..you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.

If you can read now, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.

~~~

Three things are necessary for the salvation of man:

to know what he ought to believe;

to know what he ought to desire;

and to know what he ought to do.

Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274)

~~~

Jen said:

Have you ever noticed that when you’re of a certain age, everything seems uphill from where you are? Stairs are steeper. Groceries are heavier. And, everything is farther away. Yesterday I walked to the corner and I was dumbfounded to discover how long our street had become!

And, you know, people are less considerate now, especially the young ones. They speak in whispers all the time! If you ask them to speak up they just keep repeating themselves, endlessly mouthing the same silent message until they’re red in the face! What do they think I am, a lip reader?

I also think they are much younger than I was at the same age. On the other hand, people my own age are so much older than I am. I ran into an old friend the other day and she has aged so much that she didn’t even recognize me.

I got to thinking about the poor dear while I was combing my hair this morning, and in doing so, I glanced at my own refection……..Well, REALLY NOW- even mirrors are not made the way they used to be!

Another thing, everyone drives so fast today! You’re risking life and limb if you just happen to pull onto the freeway in front of them. All I can say is, their brakes must wear out awfully fast, the way I see them screech and swerve in my rear view mirror.

Clothing manufacturers are less civilized these days. Why else would they suddenly start labeling a size 10 or 12 dress as 18 or 20? Do they think no one notices that these things no longer fit around the waist, hips, thighs, and bosom?

The people who make bathroom scales are pulling the same prank, but in reverse. Do they think I actually "believe" the number I see on that dial? HA! I would never let myself weigh that much! Just who do these people think they’re fooling?

I’d like to call up someone in authority to report what’s going on — but the telephone company is in on the conspiracy too: they’ve printed the phone books in such small type that no one could ever find a number in here!

All I can do is pass along this warning: Maturity is under attack! Unless something drastic happens, pretty soon "everyone" of us will have to suffer these awful indignities.

PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE SO WE CAN GET THIS CONSPIRACY STOPPED!

PS: I am sending this to you in a larger font size, because something has caused fonts to be smaller than they once were!

~~~

A southern belle was looking to buy a house. The seller said, "This house hasn’t got a flaw in it!" The southern belle replied, "My lands! What do y’all walk on?"

~~~

A minister, a priest and a rabbi went for a hike one day. It was very hot. They were sweating and exhausted when they came upon a small lake. Since it was fairly secluded, they took off all their clothes and jumped in the water.

Feeling refreshed, the trio decided to pick a few berries while enjoying their "freedom." As they were crossing an open area, who should come along but a group of ladies from town. Unable to get to their clothes in time, the minister and the priest covered their privates and the rabbi covered his face while they ran for cover.

After the ladies had left and the men got their clothes back on, the minister and the priest asked the rabbi why he covered his face rather than his privates. The rabbi replied, "I don’t know about you, but in MY congregation, it’s my face they would recognize."

~~~

Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.

Samuel Butler

~~~

A man goes to see the doctor because he has a sore throat. The nurse tells him to take all his clothes off and sit on the bench in the hall. The man tries to protest, but the nurse doesn’t listen and just repeats the same orders then leaves the area. The man complies with her orders and joins another naked man sitting on the bench. The man starts complaining to the man already sitting there, that he only has a sore throat and doesn’t understand why he has to take all his clothes off. The man who was already sitting on the bench nude, looks at the other man and says "You think that’s bad, I’m just here to pay my bill."

~~~

"A man sent a postcard from Las Vegas to a friend:

Having a wonderful time.

Wish I could afford it."

Myron Cohen

~~~

A man owned a small farm in South Georgia. The Wage and Hour Department claimed he was not paying proper wages to his help  and sent an social security agent to interview him.

"You just give me a list of your employees and tell me how much you pay them."

"All right," said the farmer. "I have a hired man. Been with me for three years. I pay him $400 a week, plus room and board. I have a cook. She’s been here six months. She gets $300 a week plus room and board."

"Anybody else?" asked the agent as he scribbled on a note pad.

"Yeah," the farmer said. "There’s a half-wit here. Works about eighteen hours a day. I pay him ten

dollars a week and give him chewing tobacco."

"Aha!" the agent roared. "I want to talk to that half-wit!"

"You’re talkin’ to him now," said the farmer.

~~~

"You seem to have more than the average share of intelligence for a man of your background," sneered the lawyer at a witness on the stand.   "If I wasn’t under oath, I’d return the compliment," replied the witness.

~~~

Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God.

Karl Barth

~~~

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 am working on my legacy, are you?

“You maybe here for a short while, gone tomorrow into oblivion or until the days come to take you away. But, in whatever part you play, be remembered as part of a legacy…of sharing dreams and changing humanity for the better. It’s that legacy that never dies”

Author Unknown

 

 

 

In the past you have heard me say that I thought our chance for human immortality rested in the quality of the legacy we will leave behind. It will be embedded in the changes we have helped to make in our families, our friends, our affiliations and in our community. Often these will be unrecognized by most if not all and yet they will exist. Recognition by others is not at all important but recognition of the value of our efforts is important to ourselves for it is how we can measure our worth.

This morning I was browsing through some e-mails and one started me thinking again about legacies. I, like most have thought of legacy in terms of a life well lived but today I realized that we in fact leave a legacy each day of our lives. The things I do today will remain after the day has gone. The opportunity to do something for someone else exists in the moment that the opportunity to help presents itself. The volunteer opportunity that exists today will not be there tomorrow. What I like about my new realization is that it helps me understand that what might appear on the service to be of little importance in the scheme of things that at that moment it really is. If I examine each opportunity as if today will be my last day the resulting focused view of what I will do takes on new meaning.

Some have said that we should periodically write our own eulogy while we still have time to edit and rewrite it through the life we have left to live. I now feel that spending a few minutes at the end of each day to mentally write my eulogy based on what I did that day will be well worth doing. If my legacy today is wanting, I can make sure I do a better job tomorrow. As time goes by each days legacy becomes a sentence, each week a paragraph, each month a chapter and in the end we will have written our life book, hopefully one that is worth reading.

As always today is our day, we can’t go back, and tomorrow may never come, so do well and when you do you’ll be pleased that you did. Also don’t worry if great opportunity is not there for you, for it is in the little things that great things get done, so smile at a stranger, thank someone for just being themselves and if you can help the fallen stand.

~~~

“Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.”

Billy Graham

~~~

A nun is sitting with her Mother Superior chatting. "I used some horrible language this week and feel absolutely terrible about it."

"When did you use this awful language?" asks the elder.

"Well, I was golfing and hit an incredible drive that looked like it was going to go over 280 yards, but it struck a phone line that was hanging over the fairway and fell straight down to the ground after going only about 10 yards."

"Is that when you swore?"

"No, Mother," says the nun. "After that, a squirrel ran out of the bushes and grabbed my ball in its mouth and began to run away."

"Is THAT when you swore?" asks the Mother Superior again.

"Well, no." says the nun. "You see, as the squirrel was running, an eagle came down out of the sky, grabbed the squirrel in his talons and began to fly away!"

"Is THAT when you swore?" asks the amazed elder nun.

"No, not yet. As the eagle carried the squirrel away in its claws, it flew near the green and the squirrel dropped my ball."

"Did you swear THEN?" asked Mother Superior, becoming impatient.

"No, because the ball fell on a big rock, bounced over the sand trap, rolled onto the green, and stopped about six inches from the hole."

The two nuns were silent for a moment. Then Mother Superior sighed and said, "You missed the &#$&@*% putt, didn’t you?"

~~~

I used to be schizophrenic, but we’re OK now.

~~~

A woman was telling her friend: "It is I who made my husband a millionaire."

"And what was he before you married him?" the friend asked.

The woman replied, "He was a multi-millionaire."

~~~

Law of the Search – The first place to look for any thing is the last place you would expect to find it.

~~~

The police recently busted a man selling ‘secret formula’ tablets he claimed gave eternal youth. When going through their files they noticed it was the fifth time he was caught for committing this same criminal medical fraud. He had earlier been arrested in 1794, 1856, 1928 and 1983………..

~~~

Stick with the optimists. It’s going to be tough enough even if they’re right.

James Reston

~~~

A three-year-old went with his dad to see a litter of kittens. On returning home, he breathlessly informed his mother there were two boy kittens and two girl kittens. "Daddy picked them up  and looked underneath," he replied. "I think it’s printed on the bottom."

~~~

"I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some."

Herbert Rappaport

~~~

I’m not saying our new receptionist is dumb, but this is how she filled out her insurance forms:

Date of Birth: January 12, 1978

Weight: 6 pounds, 10 ounces

Height: 20 inches

~~~

"She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B." 

Dorothy Parker

~~~

A study conducted by UCLA’s Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle.

For example: If she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features. However, if she is menstruating or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with duct tape over his mouth and a spear lodged in his forehead while he is on fire.

No further studies are expected.

~~~

"Every man serves a useful purpose: A miser, for example, makes a wonderful ancestor." 

Laurence J. Peter

~~~

Miss Jones had been giving her second-grade students a lesson on science. She had explained about magnets and showed how they would pick up nails and other bits of iron.

Later it was question time, and she asked, "My name begins with the letter ‘M’ and I pick up things. What am I?"

A little boy on the front row proudly said, "You’re a mother."

~~~

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.

Henri L. Bergson

~~~

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.

Thanks but no thanks

“Affairs are easier of entrance than of exit; and it is but common prudence to see our way out before we venture in.”

Aesop quotes

 

 

 

For some time now one of my challenges is being asked to be somewhere that provides little return on the time investment. Going to a party and then listening to folks who have more opinions than knowledge is just not for me. Making appearances at organization events, dinners and the like just for the sake of being seen does not thrill me at all. I am not at all turned on by organized events that in the end provide no knowledge or opportunities to meet and interact with interesting people. It is not that I think I am anything special, it is just that I feel I have reached a point where my time is too precious to spend it doing penance by sitting through a boring speech when I could be out watching a flower grow or talking with an imaginative child.

In truth I often wonder what value I bring to any meeting, for years now I arrive early for events and then sit at an empty table rather than impose myself on a group already seated.  The habit has paid off for me as I have made many lasting friendships that began with a conversation with a tablemate I just met.

Here is what the wise Gretchen Rubin has written about preparing for a graceful getaway from places you don’t want to be.

 

“Let me tell you one of my personal secrets for happiness,” he said. “Control your exit.”

“’Control your exit?’” I asked. “What exactly does that mean?” “It means, always be able to leave when you want. Drive yourself to a party instead of getting a ride, so you can leave when you’re ready. Try to go to someone else’s house, or a public place, instead of having people over to your house, because there’s nothing worse than seeing someone lean back and cross their legs when you’re ready to go to bed. Or else have people over to your house before some event – before a dinner reservation or a movie – so you have to leave by a certain time.”

My husband would certainly agree with this advice. He never agrees to go to a party on a boat, or to go on a bus tour, or to put himself in any situation that would prevent him from leaving whenever he wants. He feels trapped and unhappy if he knows he’s stuck.

It occurs to me that “Control your exit” is advice that’s figuratively true, too. For me, one of the most memorable pieces of advice from Stephen Covey’s classic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People  is “Begin with the end in mind.” That is (if I remember correctly), know where you want to go. When you start or do something, maintain a vision of where you’re headed – especially important for people who are considering law school! Friends, don’t go unless you know where you want to end up!

My newest Secret of Adulthood is that “The opposite of a great truth is also true.” It occurs to me that in some situations, not controlling your exit would lead to happiness. There’s a lot of happiness to be gained from spontaneity, impulse adventures, and unpredictable undertakings. Even in those cases, however, I imagine it’s better mindfully to embrace this idea of uncertainty – to know that you’re deliberately choosing to give up control of your exit – rather than to have it take you unawares.

~~~

Time is the coin of your life.  It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.  Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.

Carl Sandburg

~~~

A fellow was talking to his Irish buddy and said, "I gotta stop drinking that Irish whiskey."

"How come?" asked his friend.

"Because every Saturday night I go out and drink a fifth of the stuff, come home, make mad passionate love to the wife, wake up Sunday morning, and go to church."

"What’s wrong with that?" the Irishman asked. "A lot of good Irishmen go out on Saturday night, drink a fifth of good Irish whiskey, come home, make love to the wife, and go to mass on Sunday."

"I know," said his friend, "but I’m Jewish!"

~~~

"Of those who say nothing, few are silent." 

Thomas Neill

~~~

A frantic mother told the pediatrician’s office, "My baby has a high temperature!"

"How high is it?"

"102."

"How are you taking it?"

"Oh, I’m holding up pretty well!"

~~~

"I can remember when the air was clean and sex was dirty." 

George Burns

~~~

It was a typically busy day at the bank. After a glance at the line of waiting customers, a harried looking man came up to the side counter and demanded, "What do I have to do to change the address on my account?"

Without missing a beat, the clerk replied, "Move!"

~~~

"Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them."

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

~~~

A gentleman was returning home after a lengthy trip, and was met by his butler at the station. The following conversation took place on their way to his home:

"So, has anything happened while I’ve been away?"

"No, sir, I can’t think of anything at all worth mentioning."

"Come now, I’ve been away for months. Surely something must have happened in all that time."

"Well, sir, come to think of it, your dog died."

"My dear Clyde died? How awful! Still, he was getting on in years, and I suppose it had to happen some time. How did he die?"

"The vet said it was probably from eating the rotten meat."

"The rotten meat? Since when do we leave rotten meat lying around for the dog to eat?"

"Well, it was the horses, sir. They’d been rotting for some time after the barn burned down."

"Good Lord! How in the world did the barn burn down?"

"It must have been some embers that blew over from the house, sir."

"The house? The house burned down, too? How did the house burn down?"

"Well, sir, we think someone must have knocked over a candle."

"Oh. A candle? Wait a moment – we don’t use candles anymore to light the house! What were the candles doing there?"

"They were there for the wake, sir."

"The wake?!? Whose wake? For pity’s sake…"

"Actually, your mother’s, sir. She passed away quite suddenly."

"Oh my Lord. Mother is dead. The house is gone, along with the stable. Even my dog is dead. What did Mother die of?"

"It must have been the shock, sir."

"The shock."

"Yes, sir, the shock. When your wife ran off with the handyman the day after you left, sir.

But aside from all that, it’s been fairly quiet while you’ve been away, sir."

~~~

"A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things." 

Herman Melville

~~~

Most people hate to parallel park. The other day, I saw this woman trying to get out of a tight parking space. She bumped the car in front, then backed up and hit the car behind her. This went on about two minutes.

I walked over to see if I could somehow help. My offer was declined.

She said, "Why have bumpers if you’re not going to use them once in a while?"

~~~

"The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who hath so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief he proposes to remove."

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

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