Ray's musings and humor

Archive for September, 2009

Bring Back Reason

We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart.

Blaise Pascal




I got the following message yesterday from one of my favorite friends who currently is in Uganda:


Hi Ray

You won’t believe what I did yesterday. I started helping a 15 year old with breathing techniques while in labor. Yoga and having two children made me qualified. She ended up having C section and I went into delivery room. It was so sad to see the procedure and then the baby came out. She had no family at first so I held and comforted the baby for the first hour.

Then I was called into delivery for natural child birth. Uganda women take the pain so you don’t hear much. Dennis heard me outside however yelling PUSH.

Found land today for new birthing center we will build by February in a village that has nothing but huts.

Talk soon,



My first thought when I got this message was how amazing it is that my friends can send me immediate messages via satellite using their Blackberry no matter where they are in the world. I often feel that life was better when it was simpler not that many years ago, but I must admit hearing from friends no matter where they are is something I value.

My second thought was that my friend is doing great things while far too many of us are spending our time in heated arguments accomplishing nothing other than making sure we accomplish as little as possible. I am beginning to believe that a person’s knowledge is inversely proportional to how loud they scream.

The voice of reason requires reasonable listeners and reason without a preponderance of reasonable people taking action results in chaos and often in irreversible damage. I yearn for a return to civility; there is far too much work to be done for us to be wasting time and energy in argument.

I may not be able to go to Africa and do what Sally does and will continue do for others, but I can help here at home. I don’t have enough time left to squander it in non-productive pursuits so I am not going to do so.

If you live in Indianapolis and would like to know what you can do to help stop by Monument Circle downtown tomorrow for community day between 11 AM and 2 PM. If you do you will discover all kinds of opportunities to pitch in and make a difference. Oh, and by the way, if you do stop by the Salvation Army tables and say hi, I’ll be there offering all kinds of feel good and do good volunteer opportunities. Maybe we can even do something together in the days and months ahead.


Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.

Albert Einstein


A grandma and grandpa were busy telling their little granddaughter what their own childhood was like: "I used to ice skate outside on a pond during the winter," Grandpa said.

"I had a swing made from a tire," Grandma added. "It hung from a tree in our front yard."

"I rode our pony bareback," Grandpa said.

"My brothers and sisters and I used to pick wild raspberries in in the woods," Grandma said.  "We would eat them right off the bush, staining our mouth and fingers in the process."

The little granddaughter was wide-eyed, taking all this in.  At last she said, "Wow…..I sure wish I’d gotten to know you two sooner!"


"A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier."


You Know Your In Trouble When

A black cat crosses your path and drops dead.

The bride’s family throws rocks instead of rice.

The candles on your cake set off your smoke alarm.

You take an assertiveness training course and you’re afraid to tell your wife.

You’re so lonely that you invite the peeping Tom in… and he says no.

Your children’s school calls to surrender.

Your mother approves of the person you’re dating.

Your plants do better when you don’t talk to them.


Your secrets are safe with me and all my friends.


Little Johnny and Little Mary were talking one day. Little Mary asked "what is the highest number you have ever counted up?" "I counted up to 1,279 once" Johnny answered. "WoW!

Really? Why did you stop at 1,279?"

Mary asked. "Because church was over."


“Better keep yourself clean and bright. You are the window through which you must see the world.”

George Bernard Shaw


A cantor, the man who sings the prayers at a synagogue, brags before his congregation in a booming, bellowing voice: "Two years ago I insured my voice with Lloyds of London for $750,000."

There is a hushed and awed silence in the crowded room. Suddenly, from the back of the room, the quiet, nasal voice of an elderly woman is heard, "So what did you do with the money?"


How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.

Coco Chanel


A devoutly Christian couple felt it important to own an equally Christian pet. So, after careful inquiry, they went shopping at a kennel specializing in Christian dogs.  They found a dog they liked quite a lot.  When they asked the dog to fetch the Bible, he did it in a flash.  When they instructed him to look up Psalm 23, he complied eagerly, using his paws with dexterity. They were impressed; they immediately purchased the animal, and went home (piously  of course).

That night they had friends over. They were so proud of their new Christian dog and his religious skills, they called the dog and began showing him off.  The friends were impressed, and asked whether the dog was able to do any of the usual dog tricks, as well. This stopped the couple cold, as they hadn’t thought about "normal" tricks.

"Well," they said, "let’s find out."   Once more they called the dog, and they clearly pronounced the command, "Heel!"  Quick as a wink, the dog jumped up, put his paw on the guest’s forehead, closed his eyes, and began to pray.


He’s so dumb, if he saw a sign that said "wet floor" he probably would.


An expectant mother was being rushed to the hospital, but didn’t quite make it.  She gave birth to her baby on the hospital lawn.

Later, the father received a bill, listing "Delivery Room Fee: $500."

He wrote the hospital and reminded them the baby was born on the front lawn. A week passed, and a corrected bill arrived: "Greens Fee:  $200."


Clock: A small mechanical device to wake up people without children.


On the first day of college, the Dean addressed the students, pointing out some of the rules:

"The female dormitory will be out-of-bounds for all male students, and the male dormitory to the female students.

Anybody caught breaking this rule will be fined $20 the first time."

He continued,  "Anybody caught breaking this rule a second time will be fined $60.  Being caught a third time will cost you a fine of $180.  Are there any questions?"

At this point, a male student in the crowd inquired, "How   much for a season pass?"


"Be forever a student. He and he alone is an old man who feels that he has learnt enough and has need for no more knowledge."



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.

Invest in the kids!

"An educational system isn’t worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn’t teach them how to make a life."





It has been another one of those non-stop days, primarily filled with my stimulating the medical industry via a pacemaker check, a cardiology visit and more. I have yet to complete the scheduling and rescheduling of my Stress Test in November, my Colonoscopy in October, my Hematology Iron infusion and review, my Brain scan and Neurology visit, and more. I had not planned on my social life after retirement including so much time with medical professionals.

I’ll have to send you something old today but before I do I have a couple of random thoughts. This morning I saw a friend whose husband passed away suddenly way to early in life. He died about a month ago and this was the first time I saw my friend since then. My problem is that I never know what to say; words just never seem to be enough. I find the best I can do is let them know I understand their pain and share in their anguish. I just wish I could do more.

I also got an e-mail saying that a former employee of mine who I had known since the 50’s passed away on Saturday. According to his family it was time for him to go as his last days were very difficult, fortunately he had a long and full life. As I thought back I again realized how much I missed by my not getting to know him and others in our large organization better than I did.  Sadly too many years of my life were spent concentrating on challenges, profit and the changing world and I did not stop often enough to tell people how much I appreciated them. Thank goodness that in retirement we have the time to tell people we really do appreciate them.

So here we go again another dusty piece for years ago.

Ray’s Daily

September 9, 2003

Yesterday I got a letter from a respected University Professor friend commenting on a column written by William Raspberry. My friend said in part:

“I have been an educator for 35 years and, like my colleagues, have endured many more slings and arrows than hugs and kudos.  Long ago I made an unconscious decision to stop fighting the critics and just keep on doing my best for kids and those who teach them.”

My response follows.



I don’t think many people realize what Leave No Child Behind means. Unfunded mandates to already strapped systems has the potential to leave children behind forever. Raspberry’s article could again be interpreted by some that much of the problem is due to children selecting the wrong parents. While I am opposed to social promotion, I also am opposed to using cookie cutters to solve our academic problems. Many of us came from dysfunctional families and broken homes and yet we were allowed to grow in a system that still had some nurturing attached. We also were expected to learn the joys of the arts and the necessity to learn good citizenship. Unfortunately it appears that systems around the nation are cutting out PE, Arts, etc. from curriculums because inadequate funds are available to support our children. Now it appears that many schools are curtailing the extracurricular activities that have been vital to children who need to develop their social skills.

The thing that frightens me the most is that we are not doing what we can for the generation that is going to have to pay for our huge deficits, support an aging population, and make some of the most momentous decisions in history. Why can’t we realize that our investment in education is an investment in ourselves? Washington mandates are useless unless each of us take an interest in our children and support the need for quality education.



Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained.

James A. Garfield


Jen e-mailed me things she has been thinking about……

…*You know, I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people didn’t like me anyway.

…*I was thinking about old age and decided that it is when you still have something on the ball but you are  just too tired to bounce it.

…*I thought about making a movie for folks my age and call it "Pumping Rust"

…*I have gotten that dreaded furniture disease…. that’s when your chest is falling into your drawers!

…*Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do . . . write to these men? Why don’t they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen could look for them while they delivered the mail?

…*I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older then it  dawned on me . . . they were cramming for their finals.


Farmer wins the ten million dollar lottery and is being interviewed. He is asked what he is going to do with all the money.

"Oh, I guess the first thing I’ll do is go and pay a few bills"

"And what about the rest? " the reporter asks.

Farmer shrugs. "Well, I guess they’ll just have to wait"




A college dean was berating a veteran economics professor for having used the same tests for the past 35 years.

"Don’t you realize, professor, that the students have been sharing these tests for decades and that all of your students know EXACTLY what’s on the test before they sit for it?"

"Doesn’t matter," replied the professor. "You must realize that the subject is economics. The answers are different each year!"


"I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult."

Rita Rudner


A man was complaining: "Oh Lord, please have mercy on me, I work so hard, meantime my wife stays at home, I would give anything if you would grant me one wish ‘Switch me into my wife" She’s got it easy at home I want to teach her a lesson of how tough a man’s life is. As God was listening He felt sorry for this soul and granted his wish.

Next morning the "new woman" wakes up at dawn, makes lunch boxes, prepares  breakfast, wakes up the kids for school, puts a load of clothes in the washer, takes the meat out of the freezer, drives the kids to school, on his way back stops at the gas station, cashes a check, pays the electricity and phone bills, picks up some clothes from the cleaners, quickly goes to the market. It was 1:00 o’clock already; he made the beds, took the clothes out of the washer and put another load in, he vacuumed the house, made some rice, went to pick up the kids from school and had an argument with the kids on the way home.

As soon as he got home he fed the kids, washed the dirty dishes, he hung the damp clothes he had washed on the chairs because it was raining outside. He helped the kids with their homework, watched some TV while he ironed some clothes, prepared dinner, he gave the kids a bath and put them to sleep.

At 9:00 o’clock he was so tired and he went to bed. Of course there were some more duties and somehow he managed to get them done and finally fell asleep.

The next morning he prays to God once again:

"Oh Lord, what was I thinking when I asked you to grant my wish, I can’t take it anymore. I beg you please switch me back to myself, please oh please."

Then he heard God’s voice speaking to him, saying: "Dear son, of course I’ll switch you back into yourself but; there’s one minor detail, you’ll have to wait 9 months . . . Last night you got pregnant."


I refuse to admit that I am more than 52, even if that makes my children illegitimate.

Lady Nancy Astor


A young man was sitting in class when the professor asked him if he knew what the Roe vs. Wade decision was. He sat quietly, pondering this profound question. Finally, after giving it a lot of thought, he sighed and said, "I think this was the decision George Washington made prior to crossing the Delaware."


The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.

Plato (427 BC – 347 BC)


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.

The world’s best medicine!

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




I have come to believe that the thread that enriches the tapestry that we weave as our life goes on is the friendships we make. Yesterday I visited a friend and former colleague who has endured an extended hospital ordeal encompassing weeks of multiple surgeries complicated by an infection that ravaged his body that almost ending his life and did result in the need to amputate the toes on one of his feet. When I saw him he was in better spirits that most of us would be if we had gone through so much. He has lost a lot of weight and still is limited to only a few hours a day in a chair and is undergoing a daily stay in an oxygen chamber to accelerate the healing process from his foot surgery.

My friend has built many global friendships over the years and I did my best to keep many of those friends informed about Bill’s ordeal and his progress. As I expected they rallied to the need for prayer and communication of their wishes for a speedy and full recovery. As Bill and I talked yesterday we reminisced recalling the times we spent with our common friends both here in the U.S, and overseas. I honestly believe that the memories revisited in themselves were therapeutic and have hastened his recovery and helped to sustain his positive attitude. So my friends please cherish your friendships for in truth they are some of your most valued possessions. Here is something I saved that I worth remembering.


In kindergarten your idea of a good friend was the person who: -let you have the red crayon when all that was left was the ugly black one.

In primary school your idea of a good friend was the person who:

-went to the bathroom with you;

-held your hand as you walked through the scary halls;

-helped you stand up to the class bully;

-shared their lunch with you when you forgot yours on the bus;

-saved a seat on the back of the bus for you;

-knew who you had a crush on and never understood why

In secondary school your idea of a good friend was the person who:

-let you copy the social studies homework;

-went to that "cool" party with you so you wouldn’t wind up being the only freshie there;

-did not let you lunch alone

In pre-university your idea of a good friend was the person who:

-gave you rides in their new car;

-convinced your parents that you shouldn’t be grounded;

-consoled you when you broke up with Nick or Susan;

-found you a date to the prom or went to the prom with you (both without dates);

-helped you pick a university and assured you that you would get into that university;

-helped you deal with your parents who were having a hard time letting you go

On the threshold of adulthood your idea of a good friend was the person who:

-was there when you just couldn’t deal with your parents;

-assured you that now that you and Nick or you and Susan were back together and you’ll could make it through anything;

-just silently hugged you as you looked through blurry eyes at 18 years of memories;

-and reassured you that you would make it in university as well as you had these past 18 years;

-and most importantly sent you off to university knowing you were loved

Now, your idea of a good friend is still the person who:

-gives you the better of the two choices,

-hold your hand when you’re scared,

-helps you fight off those who try to take advantage of you,

-thinks of you at times when you are not there,

-reminds you of what you have forgotten,

-helps you put the past behind you but understands when you need to hold on to it a little longer,

-stays with you so that you have confidence,

-goes out of their way to make time for you,

-helps you clear up your mistakes,

-helps you deal with pressure from others,

-smiles for you when they are sad,

-helps you become a better person, and most importantly loves you!

By the way, I am really glad we are friends.


“This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.”

Author unknown


After the church service, a little boy told the pastor, "When I grow up, I’m going to give you some  money."

"Well, thank you," the pastor replied, "but why?"

"Because my daddy says you’re one of the poorest preachers we’ve ever had."


"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers." 

Pablo Picasso


The woman was always frequenting small antique shops, but regardless of what she saw there, she always complained about something.  The quality was poor, the prices too high, or the selection was limited. The shop owners took it in stride, but one day, while ranting and raving, she yelled at the clerk, "Why is it I never manage to get what I ask for in your shop?"

The clerk simply smiled and replied, "Possibly, ma’am, because we’re too polite."


"Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot about puppies."

Gene Hill


While teaching children about world religions, a teacher asked her students to bring a symbol of their family’s faith to class. The next day, she asked each student to come forward and share the symbol with the class.

The 1st child said, "I’m Muslim, and this is my prayer rug."

The 2nd child said, "I’m Jewish, and this is my family’s menorah."

The 3rd child said, "I’m Roman Catholic, and this is my Mom’s rosary."

The 4th child said, "I’m Greek Orthodox, and this is an icon of my patron saint."

The 5th child said, "I’m Southern Baptist, and this is my casserole dish."


TEACHER: Willy, name one important thing we have today that we didn’t have 10 years ago.



My daughter-in-law, pregnant with her second child, was certain she wanted an epidural for pain management during childbirth.  Her doctor asked her at which stage of labor she wanted the epidural administered. 

Her response:  "Just meet me in the parking lot!"


I know so little that it astonishes me how many people know even less.


My phone bill was past due and I needed to change my service, so I had to visit the local office. The line wasn’t clearly formed, and there was an old man with a cane nearby me. It was unclear as to who was next.

When we got to the front of the line, the man gestured to me and said, "After you."

I smiled at him and said, "No, please, after you. I have all day."

The he said, "No. You go ahead. My doctor says I have at least six months."


Even though we’ve changed and we’re all finding our own place in the world, we all know that when the tears fall or the smile spreads across our face, we’ll come to each other because no matter where this crazy world takes us, nothing will ever change so much to the point where we’re not all still friends.”

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.

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:



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.


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.


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?"


"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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