Ray's musings and humor

Archive for December, 2009

Yippee, we get to start over!

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

Edith Lovejoy Pierce




I don’t know where Ray and the rest of the staff have gone, probably to decorate for the New Year ’s Eve party. They have to do it early since they are so old they celebrate New Years about five o’clock. I am not going to hang around waiting for them to come back, so Happy New Year. After I send you a Daily from a previous New Year’s Eve I am going to turn off the lights and get out of here until Monday, the Daily is closed tomorrow since it will be New Years Day. Hope you have a great year.

Ray’s Computer


New Year’s Eve 2002

Since this is the last day of 2002 I could not help reflecting back on the year that will soon be behind us. Certainly it has been year filled with anxiety for most of us. The threat of terrorism and war has been with us constantly as we were inundated with the threat in our daily newspapers and the electronic media. For some of us the stock market decline, lower return on our CD’s and money market investments, coupled with runaway prescription costs has created a new set of concerns.

I suggest though that if you are like I am we have much to be thankful for as the year comes to an end. We made it through the year without another terrorist attack. We may have had to tighten our belts but we all know we are still better off than most. In my case I have been blessed with a family that is thriving. My grandchildren continue to mature and to give pleasure to us all. I have been extremely fortunate to be in the care of a variety of medical good guys and gals whose tenacity and skill prevented my having to undergo major heart surgery. Most recently my medical caregivers prescribed iron treatments that have brought back my energy and sense of well being. It has been a year filled with new friends and the rediscovery of old friends. It is a year where I continued to have the good fortune of knowing and working with so many of you in the interest of children in need. All in all, when the scale is balanced it has been a pretty good year, thank you all for helping it be that way.


Warm weather fosters growth: cold weather destroys it. Thus a man with an unsympathetic temperament has a scant joy: but a man with a warm and friendly heart overflowing blessings, and his beneficence will extend to posterity

Hung Tzu-Cheng


Speaking of my medical experience, here are some more medical terms I learned:

Post operative — letter carrier

Protein — favoring young people

Rectum — damn near killed ’em

Recovery room — place to do upholstery

Rheumatic — amorous

Secretion — hiding anything

Seizure — Roman emperor

Serology — study of knighthood

Terminal illness — sickness at airport

Tibia — country in North Africa

Tumour — an extra pair

Urine — opposite of you’re out

Varicose — located nearby

Vein — conceited


MOTHER’S DAY – Nine months after fathers day.


Well, there was this blonde who just got sick and tired of all the blonde jokes.  So one evening she went home and memorized all the state capitals. Back in the office the next day, some guy started telling a dumb blonde joke.  She interrupted him with a shrill announcement,

"I’ve had it up to here with these blonde jokes.  I want you to know that this blonde went home last night and did something probably none of you could do…I memorized all the state capitals."

One of the guys, of course, said "I don’t believe you. What is the capital of Nevada?"

"N", she answered.


"I was high on life, but eventually I built up a tolerance."

Arj Barker


An elderly lady on a cruise ship wanders up to the bar and asks for a scotch with two drops of water.  As the bartender gives her the drink she says, "I’m on the cruise to celebrate my 80th birthday, and it’s today."

The bartender says "Well, since it’s your birthday, this one is on me."

As the woman finishes her drink, the lady to her right says, "I would like to buy you a drink too."

The elderly matron says, "Why, thank you. Bartender, I would like a scotch with two drops of water."

"Coming up," says the bartender.

As she finishes her drink, the man to her left says, "I would like to buy you one as well."

The lady says, "Thank you.  Bartender, I would like another scotch with two drops of water."

"Comin’ right up."  As he puts the drink down in front of her, he says, "Ma’am, I’m dying of curiosity.  Why the Scotch with only two drops of water?"

The 80 year-old replies, "Sonny, when you’re my age, you learn how to hold your liquor. Water, however, is a whole other issue."


The word philanthropy has its roots in the Greek language meaning “love for mankind.” It was never meant to apply only to donors of thousands or millions of dollars.

Arthur C. Frantzreb


As the crowded elevator descended, Mrs. Silverman became increasingly furious with her husband, who was delighted to be pressed against a gorgeous young blonde woman.

As the elevator stopped at the main floor, the blonde suddenly whirled, slapped Mr. Silverman, and said, "That will teach you to pinch!"

Bewildered, Mr. Silverman was halfway to the parking lot with his wife when he choked, "I . . . I didn’t pinch that girl."

"Of course you didn’t," replied his wife, consolingly. "I did."


Q: What did the Jewish Mother ask her daughter when the daughter told her she had an affair?

A: Who catered it?


The obstetrician was used to seeing some unusual tattoos when he was working in labor and delivery.

One patient had some type of fish tattoo on her abdomen. "That sure is a pretty whale," the doctor commented.

With a sad smile, she replied, "It used to be a dolphin."


Character is what you are. Reputation is what people think you are.


My Dad has a sure way to keep my Mom from buying an outfit.

When she tries it on, he says, "I love that middle-aged look it gives you."


Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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.

OK 2010 I’m almost ready

Every man should be born again on the first day of January.  Start with a fresh page.  Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past.

Henry Ward Beecher




I think I hear the drums that accompany the marchers who will lead the New Year in and will soon take the old year out. Truthfully I am not sorry to see it go, it took its toll on far too many folks and many have not much to show for what they have gone through. Fortunately many will find some benefit from learning that most of us really don’t need all the things we thought we did and that we can live simpler and often happier lives. Shame on us if we revert back to our old ways when the economy loosens up.

Anyway it is time to start to make those dreaded New Year’s resolutions. If you are like I am you will want to take the process more seriously this year and set goals that you will lay the foundation for a better and more stable life in the years ahead.


Awhile ago I stumbled across a blog someone put up which focused on the fact that money is not everything. I tried to find his full name but all I could find was the name Trent. I think his thoughts are worth considering. Here is an edited version of what he said.

Three and a half years ago, I was in a desperate debt situation. I had let money become the most important thing in my life. It drove all of my choices and decisions. It chose my career for me. It chose my specific job for me. It chose how I spent my free time – I did expensive things to escape from the debts and the pressure-filled work, usually with a device on my hip that chained me to that job. I was desperate and unhappy. Today, I realize something much more compelling. Money is not the most important thing in life. In fact, in a healthy life, money often follows behind many other elements in your life. If you put your energy and time into other things more important than money, money will follow.

Here are fifteen things I’ve found that are more important than money.

Experiences – Hug someone. Kiss someone. Write someone a letter telling them how you feel. Run (or walk) a marathon. Spend all day making an exquisite meal and eat it by candlelight. The rush you get from experiencing something amazing is one of the best parts of being human, and most of the time the financial cost is minimal.

Wisdom – If you think you know the answer, you’re far from wise. Keep learning. Wisdom comes from knowing how little you actually know. Spend some time learning something new, perhaps even becoming skilled at something. You’ll surprise yourself at what you gain, often far beyond the mere knowledge you hoped to attain.

Marriage – Accepting another person wholly and intimately into your life is utterly life-changing. Opening up every part of yourself to another person is constantly challenging, but constantly powerful in how it changes you and makes you strive to be a better person.

Friendships – The regular companionship and camaraderie of people you care about and share interests with is continually life-affirming. Friendships don’t revolve around the things you have or the activities you can afford – they revolve around people and shared experiences.

Physical health – Health can’t be bought, but it can be helped by the personal choices we make. Exercise. Eating better. Making choices that are less sedentary. Getting involved with activities that get us movingMoney pales in comparison to the value of the physical health needed to enjoy life.

Mental health – On the flip side of the physical coin is mental health. Expressing our feelings in a healthy way. Finding people to talk to and relate our problems. Addressing the issues that bother us. Seeking Again, money is insignificant compared to the value of mental balance.

Personal passions – What activities make you feel truly excited and fulfilled? Those things are the spice of life – every one of us wins by digging into our passions. The best part? Quite often, seeking out and following your passions often means that money will follow in the wake.

Communication – The ability to express our thoughts and feelings to a receptive audience is truly invaluable. it enables us to share elements of our inner world with others, something that can’t be achieved by all of the material wealth on this planet.

Self-reliance – Money comes, money goes. The ability to survive and even thrive with no money means that money becomes significantly less important. The ability to do things yourself reduces the need you have for money to solve your problems.

Security – If we channel our efforts into creating a safe and secure environment where we’re protected from our failures, we create a situation where our fortunes are much less tied to our ability to put money in our pocket. If we put effort into security now, we have true safety later, a type of safety that can’t be broken by ordinary material needs.

Helping others – For most people, the action of helping others provides a great deal of personal joy and satisfaction, something that cannot be replaced by any sort of material item.

Personal growth – Every single person has countless opportunities to improve as a person – their behavior, their beliefs, and so forth. Working to grow as a person only improves you and rarely costs anything.

Thankfulness – When you move from desiring the things that you do not have to being thankful for the things that you do have, your perspective on the world changes drastically.

Hobbies – If you can discover personally fulfilling activities to fill your time, you introduce happiness into your life. Many people fall into routines by default, never asking if their choices introduce authentic happiness, then they try to chase a sense of happiness by purchasing things. Try new things, and dig into the things you genuinely enjoy. Often, it’s the simplest that bring us the greatest personal satisfaction.

Spirituality – Does our life have a purpose? Do we have a spirit? Is there something greater than we can comprehend all around us? Digging into these questions through reading, contemplation, meditation, and prayer can bring an incredible sense of calm, peace, and even joy that can be difficult to find in other avenues – and impossible to find with money.

I know this is a much longer piece than I usually use to lead the Daily but since we are about to start anew I wanted us to consider our choices.


Then sing, young hearts that are full of cheer, with never a thought of sorrow; the old goes out, but the glad young year comes merrily in tomorrow.

Emily Miller


A first-grade teacher was overseeing her students as they experimented with their desk computers. One boy sat staring at the screen, unsure how to get the computer going.

The teacher walked over and read what was on his screen. In her most reassuring voice, she said, "The computer wants to know what your name is," then she walked over to the next child.

The boy leaned toward the screen and whispered, "My name is David."


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

The Little Prince


She told me:

Okay, Okay, it all makes sense now…I never looked at it this way before:

MENtal illness

MENstrual cramps

MENtal breakdown


GUYnecologist …… AND ……

When we have REAL trouble, it’s a HISterectomy.

Ever notice how all of women’s problems start with men?

No wonder we men are always in trouble. Ray


"Isn’t it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?"

Kelvin Throop III


A couple was celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. Their domestic tranquility had long been the talk of the town, "What a peaceful and loving couple." A local newspaper reporter was inquiring as to the secret of their long and happy marriage. "Well, it dates back to our honeymoon," explained the man. "We visited the Grand Canyon and took a trip down to the bottom of the canyon on a mule pack. We hadn’t gone too far when my wife’s mule stumbled. My wife quietly said, ‘That’s once!’ We proceeded a little further and the mule stumbled again. Once more my wife quietly said, ‘That’s twice.’ We hadn’t gone a half-mile when the mule stumbled the third time. My wife quietly removed a revolver from her purse and shot the mule dead.

I started an angry protest over her treatment of the mule, when she looked at me, and quietly said, ‘That’s once.’ And we lived happily ever after."


Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. 

Middle age is when you’re forced to.

Bill Vaughn


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.

Don’t worry about me

To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent – that is to triumph over old age.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich




Since I will probably spend the next couple of days thinking about 2010 and the part I will play, or at least audition for I am spending today looking back on 2009. Most of my friends and relatives have been surprised that I have not been more depressed and worried because of the major health incidents that temporarily knocked me off my feet in the past twelve months. If the truth be known I really don’t need to worry since so many others do it for me, actually I am really fortunate for I have found that worrying about those things that are beyond our control is truly a waste of time. I think there is a difference between worry and legitimate concern, with worry being subjective while legitimate concern is based on objective foundations.

I wish more of us realized that worry driven by our imagination is not only counterproductive it is most often debilitating, sometimes to the point of becoming self fulfilling prophecy. Legitimate concern on the other hand allows us to exercise caution when appropriate and to do contingency planning if necessary. In reality few of us have time to spare wasting it on worry instead of living. I know I am not about to spend my days anxiously waiting for catastrophe, I really don’t have any time to spare since I have so much more I want to do.

I will admit however that I find aging gracefully to be more difficult than I would like it to be. My arthritic fingers point in multiple direction; bending over is not bad, but straightening up is more of a chore than it once was. I also find that I really have to pay attention to make sure I hear and understand what is being said. But you know it does make my days interesting since the challenges substitute for the more physical activities of the past, at least my aging body keeps me occupied. Fortunately I find mental exercise to be more fun anyway.

Speaking of aging gracefully here is something I saved to share with you and now seems to be a good time to do so.


Another year has passed and we’re all a little older.

Last summer felt hotter and winter seems much colder.


I rack my brain for happy thoughts, to put down on my pad,

But lots of things that come to mind just make me kind of sad.


There was a time not long ago when life was quite a blast.

Now I fully understand about "Living in the Past".


We used to go to friends homes, football games and lunches.

Now we go to therapy, to hospitals, and after-funeral brunches.


We used to have hangovers, from parties that were happy.

Now we suffer body aches and sleep the night away.


We used to go out dining, and couldn’t get our fill.

Now we ask for doggie bags, come home and take a pill.


We used to often travel to places near and far.

Now we get backaches from riding in the car.


We used to go out shopping for new clothing at the Mall.

But, now we never bother, all the sizes are too small.


That, my friend is how life is, and now my tale is told.

So, enjoy each day and live it up… before you’re too dang old!!


You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.

Douglas MacArthur


A very thirsty man goes into a bar. As he’s sitting down, he hears the man next to him tell the bartender, "I’ll have another waterloo."

The bartender gives the fellow a tall, well-iced drink, then asks the newcomer what he would like to drink. Thinking the other man’s drink may be a specialty of the house, he says, "I’ll have a waterloo, too."

The bartender gives him the tall, well-iced drink and the customer takes a big drink.

"Hey," he says. "This isn’t any good. It tastes just like water!"

The man next to him looks at the bartender and says, "Well, it is water. Right, Lou?"


Everything works out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out, it’s not the end.



In a small town in the Old Country, the Rabbi died. His widow, the Rebbetzin, was so disconsolate that the people of the town decided that she ought to get married again. But the town was so small that the only eligible bachelor was the town butcher. The poor Rebbetzin was somewhat dismayed because she had been wed to a scholar, and the butcher had no great formal education. However, she was lonely, so she agreed, and they were married.

After the marriage, Friday came. She went to the mikvah (a Jewish ritual bath to get rid of impurities). Then, she went home to prepare to light the candles.

The butcher leaned over to her and said, "My mother, Hana, told me that after the mikvah and before lighting the candles, it’s good to have sex." So they did.

She lit the candles. He leaned over again and said, "My father,Shmuel, told me that after lighting the candles it’s good to have sex." So they did.

They went to bed after saying their prayers. When they awoke, he said to her, "My grandmother, Rivka, said that before you go to the synagogue it’s good to have sex." So they did.

After praying all morning, they came home to rest. Again he whispers in her ear, "My grandfather, Moishe, says after praying it’s good to have sex." So they did.

On Sunday she went out to shop for food and met a friend who asked, "So how is the new husband?"

She replied, "Well, a scholar he isn’t, but he comes from a wonderful family…


“It’s never too late to be what you might have been. ”

George Eliot


My wife called me from her car after she had arrived at an appointment. I could tell from her voice that she was getting frustrated. Finally, she said, "I know I had my cell phone with me and now, I can’t find it!"

I replied, "Aren’t you talking on it?"

There was a solid period of stunned silence as the reality of the situation sank in, followed by, "You are not going to tell anybody about this!"


The hardest people to convince they are at retirement age are children at bedtime.

Shannon Fife


I heard about a lady who was speeding and an officer pulled her to the side of the road. She didn’t have her seat belt on so as soon as she stopped, she quickly slipped it on before the officer got to her window.

After talking to her about speeding, the officer said, "I see you are wearing your seat belt. Do you believe in wearing it at all times?"

"Yes, I do, officer," she replied.

"Well," asked the officer, "do you always do it up with it looped through your steering wheel?"


It takes a long time to become young.

Pablo Picasso


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.

Do you see what I see?

My will shall shape the future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man’s doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice; my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny.

Elaine Maxwell



I hope that the last four days were as good for you as they were for me. My Christmas with family and friends was especially meaningful as we spent even more time together than in the past. In I even got to spend some quality time with two of my young adult grandchildren which I always find to be stimulating, they are pretty smart guys. When I was a young boy it was fashionable to have children stand against a wall and use a pencil to mark their height as a permanent record of their growth. We don’t do that anymore but I do mark my grandchildren’s intellectual growth at each setting and I am always impressed with how interesting they continue to be as they mature.

I am proud of the accomplishments of each of my children but nothing they have done has equaled the successes they have had in raising their own children. I just wish that the young folks were not being burdened by the huge challenges they face in today’s world. At least they have the wherewithal to afford an education at good schools and that they all continue to do well. I wish all children had the same educational benefits as my grandchildren have for they will need all the wisdom they can garner to deal with the heavy burdens being left by their elders. Soon we will enter a new decade and with it an opportunity to translate hope into reality through the efforts of a new generation of leaders. I pray that they will have the wisdom to look beyond the polarization and often selfish actions so often exhibited by us, their forefathers.

Christmas every year brings with it a spirit of caring and human spirit; a time when those so moved by the season that they see today’s society not as a permanent condition but rather as something that can be changed for the better. Sadly too often the vision soon fades and we fall back to a feeling of resignation that it was only a dream and we are powerless to make a difference, and you know what?, that is why we make so little difference, we just give up. Let us make a resolution not just for this upcoming New Year but also for the new decade, let us commit to being on the playing field and not a spectator on the sidelines for it is only by good people like yourselves getting in the game that we will ever have a chance of giving our kids something better than what we have built for ourselves. We may not be able to do everything but in the aggregate we can do more than you might think we can.


The critical responsibility for the generation you’re in is to help provide the shoulders, the direction, and the support for those generations who come behind.

Gloria Dean Randle Scott


Since I won’t be with you for New Years I thought you might benefit from the following advice.

If you are sick of making the same resolutions year after year that you never keep? Why not promise to do something you can actually accomplish? Here are some resolutions that you can use as a starting point:

I want to gain weight. Put on at least 30 pounds.

Stop exercising. Waste of time.

Read less.

Watch more TV. I’ve been missing some good stuff.

Procrastinate more.

Drink. Drink some more.

Take up a new habit: smoking.

Spend more time at work.

Take a vacation to someplace important: like to see the largest ball of twine.

Stop bringing lunch from home: I should eat out more.

Start being superstitious.


"My boyfriend and I broke up. He wanted to get married and I didn’t want him to."

Rita Rudner


A woman and a man are involved in a car accident; it’s a bad one.  Both of their cars are totally demolished but amazingly neither of them are hurt.

After they crawl out of their cars, the woman says, "So you’re a man, that’s interesting.  I’m a woman.

Wow, just look at our cars!  There’s nothing left, but fortunately we are unhurt.  This must be a sign that we should meet and be friends and live together in peace for the rest of our days."

The man replied, "I agree with you completely.  This must be a sign!"

The woman continued, "And look at this, here’s another miracle.  My car is completely demolished but this bottle of wine didn’t break.  Surely God wants us to drink this wine and celebrate our good fortune."

Then she hands the bottle to the man.  The man nods his head in agreement, opens it and drinks half the bottle and then hands it back to the woman.

The woman takes the bottle, immediately puts the cap back on, and hands it back to the man.

The man asks, "Aren’t you having any?"

The woman replies, "No.  I think I’ll just wait for the police."


Steven Wright saw a subliminal advertising executive, but only for a second.


It was a small town and the Catholic Priest, the Protestant Minister and the Jewish Rabbi were very good friends. Of course, there was a lot of kidding and joking between them all year long.

To their surprise, the Catholic Priest and Protestant Minister received a Christmas card from the Rabbi.

It read:

Roses are reddish

Violets are bluish

When the Messiah really comes

You’ll wish you were Jewish.


A crisis is when you can’t say "Lets forget the whole thing".


Mr. Smythe was giving his second-grade students a short lesson in science. He explained about magnets and demonstrated how they pick up nails and other bits of iron. And now it was question time…

"Class," said Mr. Smythe, "My name begins with the letter ‘M’ and I pick things up…. What am I?"

A little boy in the front row said, "You’re a mother!"


Is it because light travels faster than sound why some people appear bright until you hear them speak?


A loaded mini van pulled in to the only remaining campsite. Four children leaped from the vehicle and began feverishly unloading gear and setting up the tent. The boys rushed to gather firewood, while the girls and their mother set up the camp stove and cooking utensils.

A nearby camper marveled to the youngsters’ father, "That, sir, is some display of teamwork."

The father replied, "I have a system; no one goes to the bathroom until the camp is set up."


“When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.”

John M. Richardson, Jr.


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’ll be thinking of you

Christmas is not in tinsel and lights and outward show. The secret lies in an inner glow. It’s lighting a fire inside the heart. Good will and joy a vital part. It’s higher thought and a greater plan. It’s glorious dream in the soul of man.

Wilfred A. Peterson




Today is the last Daily until after Christmas. Your Daily crew is going to take the next four days off to enjoy our family and friends and to embrace the hope that comes with a new beginning. For me Christmas signifies the hope that comes from the birth of millions of children that will be born in the days ahead, children that provide us hope that they will get it right and bring peace on earth and goodwill towards men.

Let us pray that their innocence and hate free view of the world will not be tainted by the failures of the generations that have preceded them. Let them recognize the beauty that exists in a life that focuses on caring for others and seeing the splendor in a world who appreciates the value of the human experience and that is not driven by greed and excess.

The challenges are great and the obstacles monumental but those who taste and remember the simple pleasures of youth and how joy can be found all around for those who care enough to look will know that regaining a world in peace and harmony is well worth the effort.

I hope you’ll bear with me as I decided to visit my Christmas dailies from years past in order to reinforce my belief that we must hope and we must choose lives that have meaning.



No matter where you are in the world today, no matter your religion or your beliefs, I hope you too will embrace “Peace on Earth, good-will to men.” I know of no time when goodwill was needed more. The events of the last few years have shown that hatred, animosity, and terror affects us all, and that no one is guaranteed safety and tranquility. It will take us all, and millions of others working for peace and understanding if we are to stop and reverse the insanity. At the very least we can be kind to each other and invest in the brightest possible future for all children in the years ahead. During this season of celebration let us not forget the fact that our religions and our philosophy is based on the promise of a better life for all.

I hope each of you have the happiest of holidays, hopefully with those you love and care for.



"Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace."

The Bible: Proverbs. III. 17


"Imagine all the people living life in peace.

You may say I’m a dreamer,

but I’m not the only one.

I hope someday you’ll join us,

and the world will be as one."

John Lennon


"All we are saying is give peace a chance…"

John Lennon


"Peace is our gift to each other."

Elie Wiesel



If we understand that the Lord has given us a doctrine of wholehearted, aggressive goodwill, even toward unfriendly people, we can save our world, even at a time when it was never more difficult to believe in ourselves and our fellow-men.

Lee Vaughn Barker



Chanukah ends today and Christmas is but a few days away. In my family nothing brings us closer together than Christmas. Christmas morning we will attend a mass where my 11 year old grand daughter will be one of the servers. Later in the day we will gather at my sons for excessive gift giving, I say that but in reality I like the opportunity that we all have to bring pleasure to each other, especially the kids.

Yes, our Christmas is probably too materialistic, and yes we probably are not as reverent as we might be, but Christmas does live in all of us. The day will be filled with warmth and friendship, a spirit that I would like to see all year. Maybe we would do well to make sure we bank the feelings of the day and use them to make our next Christmas all of 2007 by holding on to the goodwill that we have on Christmas day.

Whatever your religion or beliefs I want to you to know I wish you happiness and joy not only during the yuletide but for the weeks, months, and years ahead. Let us not wait for the world to bring us peace and happiness, let us all join up as missionaries and bring it to others, and through them to the world. Let it begin with you and me and at least we and others like us will rest every night knowing we did what we could to keep the spark of goodwill towards man alive for another day, another of our private Christmas days.



This is a special time of the year for us all; it is a time for us to truly appreciate what we have and especially those dear to us. In that spirit I want to share with you something my friend Jack sent to me last spring.


I ran into a stranger as he passed by,

"Oh excuse me please" was my reply.

He said, "Please excuse me too;

I wasn’t watching for you."

We were very polite, this stranger and I.

We went on our way and we said goodbye.


But at home a different story is told,

How we treat our loved ones, young and old.

Later that day, cooking the evening meal,

My son stood beside me very still.

When I turned, I nearly knocked him down.

"Move out of the way," I said with a frown.

He walked away, his little heart broken.

I didn’t realize how harshly I’d spoken.


While I lay awake in bed,

God’s still small voice came to me and said,

"While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use,

but the family you love, you seem to abuse.

Go and look on the kitchen floor,

You’ll find some flowers there by the door.

Those are the flowers he brought for you.

He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue.

He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise,

you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes."


By this time, I felt very small,

And now my tears began to fall.

I quietly went and knelt by his bed;

"Wake up, little one, wake up," I said.

"Are these the flowers you picked for me?"

He smiled, "I found ’em, out by the tree.

I picked ’em because they’re pretty like you.

I knew you’d like ’em, especially the blue."

I said, "Son, I’m very sorry for the way I acted today;

I shouldn’t have yelled at you that way."

He said, "Oh, Mom, that’s okay.

I love you anyway."

I said, "Son, I love you too,

and I do like the flowers, especially the blue."


Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.



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

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

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


And now my dear friends it is time to prepare for the birth of new opportunity that comes with the arrival of Christmas.

I know some of my time in the days ahead will be spent counting my blessings of which you are one. But while I will find happiness in the glow provided by friends and family I will also be saddened by those who have little or nothing for themselves. I cannot help but wonder sometimes what I might have done in the past for others when I was too busy to see their pain but fortunately the question now fuels the fire that that motivates me to do all I can in the years ahead.

So to one and all I wish you peace and good health and most of all I wish you the happiness that comes from reaching out to others.

Merry Christmas


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.

Joy to your world

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

Hamilton Wright Mabie



As I am sure you understand I was pleased that yesterday was my last planned hospital visit in 2009. I spent the afternoon preparing for and then getting a brain scan to provide my brain docs pictures of my aneurysm to see if it has changed. Hopefully when I see my neurologist in January I’ll learn that it has stabilized and that I’ll be able to start traveling again. If the truth be known I am also hoping that I got all my medical adventures out of the way in 2009 and that 2010 will be uneventful medically, only requiring my normal maintenance.

In fact my plan right now is for you, me and all our friends to have a pretty good year starting the next week.


There are just a few days left until our long Christmas weekend is upon us. In fact I am letting my computer take Christmas Eve and Christmas day off in addition to the weekend. This way he’ll be able to let his drives, printers, monitor and his many applications to do what they wish during the holidays. Me, I’ll be attending our annual Christmas Eve dinner at a downtown club with our extended family and with friends that are dear to our hearts, folks that have been dining with us each Christmas Eve for more than 25 years. The young children have become adults with young children of their own; some in fact are not that young as they have gone on to college and beyond.

Christmas day as always will be a special time as our close family gathers for presents, food and relaxation. We are truly fortunate that all our children and all our grandchildren live nearby.

As a lark I decided to go back to the daily I wrote 10 years ago and see what it said. After reading it I decided that even though it was dusty and somewhat faded it is worth sharing. By the way my body worked a little better then as I was not yet 65 and was about to retire for the third and it turned out not my last time. Here is what we sent to what was but a small group of readers on December 22, 2000.



Polite people,


Smiling children,

It must be Christmas, lets hope the spirit lasts this time.


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

"Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly …"

"We Three Kings of Porridge and Tar … "

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

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

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

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

"Sleep in heavenly peas …"

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

and brown …"

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

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

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


Two rules for success in life.

1. Don’t tell people everything you know.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Management


And finally, what it’s all about:

We pray for the Children who sneak Popsicle’s before supper,

who erase holes in math workbooks,

who can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,

who can’t bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,

who never "counted potatoes,"

who are born in places where we wouldn’t be caught dead,

who never go to the circus,

who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,

who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.

And we pray for those who never get dessert,

who have no safe blanket to drag behind,

who watch their parents watch them die,

who can’t find any bread to steal,

who don’t have any rooms to clean up,

whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s dresser,

whose monsters are real.

We pray for children who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,

who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,

who like ghost stories,

who shove dirty clothes under the bed,

who never rinse out the tub,

who get visits from the tooth fairy,

who don’t like to be kissed in front of the carpool,

who squirm in church and scream in the phone,

whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those whose nightmares come in the daytime,

who will eat anything,

who have never seen a dentist,

who aren’t spoiled by anybody,

who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,

who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children who want to be carried and for those who must,

who we never give up on and for those who don’t get a second chance.

And for those we smother and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.


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

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.

Let’s help Francine today!

“We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other.

If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”





Last Friday I got the following e-mail from my friend Francine that I want to share with you. She is one of our Canadian readers of the Daily. She is special to me as she often sends me notes on how she is doing as well as attachments and messages that make my day.


Hi Ray,

Would you be willing to send me a couple of your favorite emails / presentations / you know the kind that has beautiful pictures and music.

My group at work is very depressed, we are going through a lot of stress and feeling criticized from every direction and I think that if I send them something that is beautiful and uplifting it will help a lot.

Some of the people in the group work in India and have different faith that we do, so I want to send things that are appropriate but if you have anything that you think would put a smile on our faces or make our hearts feel a little lighter – then please send them to me.

Thank you,



I did send her a couple of things but they were not adequate so I will keep looking and I am hoping that some of you will send me what you think might help. Her note is typical of her concern for others and again underlines the fact as suggested in the quote above that we truly need each other. She also recognizes that while it is the season of hope and joy in the Christian world the world is made up of folks with a wide variety of beliefs, cultural backgrounds and other things that on the surface make us appear to be different when in reality we are more like each other than we realize. We all want health, love, happiness and wellbeing and more times than not we need others to help us find our peace.

There is no reason that you, I and our hundreds of reader friends can’t decide that we are not going to be part of the problem. Let us find reason to praise instead of criticize. Let us greet one and all with warmth and a smile. Let us communicate to all who will listen that we know that they are worthy and deserve the best.

Over the years I am sure you have run into folks who were always angry, constantly complaining and blaming everyone else for their faults. I have learned over the years that most did not want to be that way; they just had become so lost that they could not find their way up out of their misery. Every once in awhile I found that if I overlooked their surface behavior and did what I could for them to help them see something more they often changed their outlook on life.

Yes, we do need each other, but in order for things to get better it takes people like you and I to answer the need. So my friends please let the season’s goodwill spill over into your days and then share your positive feelings with others.

And oh yes, please send me something I can send on to our friend Francine.


“We need others. We need others to love and we need to be loved by them. There is no doubt that without it, we too, like the infant left alone, would cease to grow, cease to develop, choose madness and even death.”

Leo F. Buscaglia


The boyfriend said, "We’re going to have a GREAT time Saturday.  I’ve gotten three tickets for the big game."

"Why do we need three?" asked the girl.

"They’re for your Father, Mother, and kid sister." he replied.


In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.

~ Thurgood Marshall ~


The officer pulled me over for speeding.  I explained that I was rushing home to be with my wife on our first anniversary.

But rather than letting me off, he wrote out the ticket, handed it to me, and said, "Congratulations.  The first year is paper, right?"


When you learn not to want things so badly, life comes to you.

Jessica Lange


Scotsman, planning a trip to the Holy Land, was aghast when he found it would cost fifty dollars an hour to rent a boat on the Sea of Galilee. "Hoot mon," he said, "in Scotland it wouldna ha been more than $20."

"That might be true," said the travel agent, "but you have to take into account that the Sea of Galilee is water on which our Lord himself walked."

"Well, at $50/hour for a boat," said the Scotsman, "it’s no wonder he walked."


Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled.


A little son of a Baptist minister was in church one morning when he saw for the first time the rite of baptism by immersion. He was greatly interested in it, and the next morning proceeded to baptize his three cats in the bathtub.

The first kitten bore it very well, and so did the young cat, but the old family cat rebelled. It struggled with him, clawed and tore him, and got away.

With considerable effort he caught it again and proceeded with the ceremony. But she acted worse than ever, clawed at him, spit, and scratched his hands and face.

Finally, after barely getting her splattered with water, he dropped her on the floor in disgust and said: "Fine, be an Atheist."


“The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say, "What are you going through?"”

Simone Weil


Those of us who worked at the front desk of a convention hotel in Houston, Texas prided ourselves on making the guests feel special. When someone arrived at reception, credit card in hand, we would sneak a quick peek at it and address him by name.

Once, during a check-in, one of our guests presented a corporate credit card. "Welcome to Houston, Mr. Bell," the desk clerk said.

"Oh, please," the man replied, "call me Taco."


On my first day of school my parents dropped me off at the wrong nursery. There I was…surrounded by trees and bushes.


Two elderly, excited Southern women were sitting together in the front pew of church listening to a fiery preacher. When this preacher condemned the sin of stealing, these two ladies cried out at the tops of their lungs, "AMEN, BROTHER!"When the preacher condemned the sin of lust, they yelled again, "PREACH IT, REVEREND!"

And when the preacher condemned the sin of lying, they jumped to their feet and screamed, "RIGHT ON, BROTHER! TELL IT LIKE IT IS… AMEN!"

But when the preacher condemned the sin of gossip, the two got very quiet. One turned to the other and said, "He’s quit preaching and now he’s meddlin’."


As you look to finish selecting the rest of your holiday gifts you might want to consider these from an unknown author.

To your enemy, forgiveness.

To an opponent, tolerance.

To a friend, your heart.

To every child, a good example.

To all, charity.

To yourself, respect.


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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