Ray's musings and humor

Archive for May, 2010

Publication Suspended


Ray’s Daily Publication will be suspended until Monday May 17, 2010




I have to close up shop until next Monday. I will be hyper-busy doing good stuff. I will be participating in the opening of a new exhibit at the Indianapolis War Memorial, meeting with numerous folks on a variety of their interests, assisting in a joint study on Neighborhood Livability, working at a downtown event raising money to help feed the homeless, spending a day registering volunteers that will be helping at the regional Special Olympics championships and a few other things. Life will be full and my energy tested so I have decided that I will convert Ray’s Daily prep time into naptime for a few days in order to shore me up. Make sure you keep smiling while I am off, I’ll be watching.


Here are a few thoughts from my friends list of life lessons:

  • It’s OK to let your children see you cry. – I don’t know who it was who said that the brave don’t cry for I think the truly brave do cry. If we mask our concern and sensitivity we may soon bury them. I really care for people who care especially those who care enough to shed a tear once in awhile and don’t care who sees them do it.
  • Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. – I spend many hours listening to people who share their life stories, some are much worse then mine, some better, but all are different. Life is not a competition measured by won-loss between each other. We live our own lives, set our own goals and make our own choices the secret is to do the best we can.
  • Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks. – This is so true, while we all will feel pain it does not have to linger, everyday is a new beginning and more times than not how it turns out will depend on our attitude.
  • Over prepare, then go with the flow. – The Boy Scouts were right, be prepared. Worry and fear should never drive us but skillful contingency preparedness can let us come down running when ever we are faced with new challenges not matter if they are bad or good.
  • Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple. – This is one of my favorites; life is to be enjoyed not regimented and uninteresting. Be silly, make people laugh, act a little crazy and wear what you want, today will soon be over and if you don’t have fun it will be another day entered into to the boring and lost column.


Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.

Khalil Gibran


She said: My husband, Michael, and I were at a restaurant with his boss, a rather stern older man. When Michael began a tale, which I was sure he had told before, I gave him a kick under the table. There was no response, so I gave him another poke. Still the story went on.

Suddenly he stopped, grinned and said, "Oh, but I’ve told you this one before, haven’t I?"

We all chuckled and changed the subject. Later, on the dance floor, I asked my husband why it had taken him so long to get my message.

"What do you mean?" he replied. "I cut the story off as soon as you kicked me."

"But I kicked you twice and it still took you awhile to stop!"

Suddenly we realized what had happened. Sheepishly we returned to our table. The boss smiled and said, "Don’t worry. After the second one I figured it wasn’t for me, so I passed it along!"


The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool.

George Santayana


I was setting up a large, cast aluminum, decorative sundial in my yard that I had purchased from a garden catalog.

A neighbor, an old Florida fellow, was leaning on the fence watching my progress and asked, "What the heck’s that for?"

I explained, "It’s a sundial. See, the sun will hit that small triangular spike and cast a shadow on the face of the sundial. Then, as the sun moves across the sky, the shadow also moves across the calibrated dial, enabling a person to determine the correct time."

My neighbor shook his head and muttered, "Huh, what will they think of next?!"


What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.

Yiddish proverb


Walpole had lived in his loft for six months, and by now it was filled with the paintings he had created. He worked day and night, stopping only occasionally for something to eat. He thought little about food and less about sleep. But what he thought about least of all was his rent. As a result, his landlord now stood before him, demanding the three months’ rent Walpole owed on the loft.

"Give me a couple of weeks," Walpole pleaded. "I know I’m on the verge of making some sales."

"Absolutely not," the landlord said. "You gave me that story last month. You won’t get another day’s credit from me."

"Look," Walpole said, "think of it as an investment. Someday this loft will be famous, and you’ll be able to charge a fortune for it. In a few years, people will come into this disgusting loft and whisper, ‘Walpole used to paint here.’"

"Pay your rent now," the landlord said, "or they’ll be able to say it tomorrow morning."


For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press 3.

Alice Kahn


A woman rushed into the supermarket to pick up a few items. She headed for the express line where the clerk was talking on the phone with his back turned to her.

"Excuse me," she said. "I’m in a hurry. Could you check me out, please?"

The clerk turned, stared at her for a second, looked her up and down, smiled and said, "Not bad."


Work: It isn’t just for sleeping anymore.


My dad and I were talking the other night about love and marriage. He told me he knew as early as their wedding what marriage to my mom would be like.

It seems the minister asked my mom, "Do you take this man to be your husband?"

And she said, "I do."

Then the minister asked my dad, "Do you take this woman to be your wife?" And my mom said, "He does."


Life leaps like a geyser for those willing to drill through the rock of inertia.


One Sunday morning when my son was about 5, we were attending a church in our community. It was common for the preacher to invite the children to the front of the church and have a small lesson before beginning the sermon. He would bring in an item they could find around the house and relate it to a teaching from the Bible. This particular morning, the visual aid for his lesson was a smoke detector. He asked the children if anyone knew what it meant when an alarm sounded from the smoke detector. My child immediately raised his hand and said, "It means Daddy’s cooking dinner."


“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.”

Carl Jung


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 2000 readers from around the world.


There is still time!

Don’t brood. Get on with living and loving. You don’t have forever.

Leo Buscaglia




I had a neat experience the other day. I got an e-mail from someone who has been a Daily reader for some years now, ever since a friend suggested she might like it. What was special is that she lives here in Indianapolis and is a successful business woman in the financial industry so she is nearby. She suggested that we meet for coffee in the belief that we had some common interests. She, like I did so many years ago feels that the time is right to consider adding some more interesting content into her life.

We met for a couple of hours on Saturday and she was right, she is thinking about the same things I thought about a couple of decades ago and have done regularly since, I was older then she is now. I thought about such things as did I want to leisurely coast through the balance of my life taking advantage of the fact I could? Where there things I could do that would give my life more meaning? Were there things I missed over the fast paced years leading up to my first retirement that would enrich the years I had left? You get the idea. I told my new friend it was like hearing Peggy Lee singing her hit “Is this all there is.”

Fortunately some self analysis, dumb luck, and open doors resulted in the years following to be much better than I ever thought possible at the time. What I have found in my own case and in the case of the hundred or more folks who I have worked with as they thought through their balance of life plans is that it is not easy to figure out what we want. It is easy to put on the list such things as more money, less stress, more friends and the like. But we need to go deeper. For example, how much money do we want, how much do we really need, what are we willing to give up in order to do what is necessary to have more and so on. More friends? What kind, casual, best, smart, fun, etc.

I have found that when we revisit the past, and I mean all the way back to when we were kids, we often find patterns that we have suppressed in later life. Did I like the challenges of continuous learning? Was it the freedom to take a few risks and have fun? Was it a special friend or two? When I did it for myself I was able to identify some of the things that I missed without realizing that I had. The wise Ralph Marston knows what I mean, here is something he wrote recently in the same spirit.

Go back

Sometimes the best way to move forward is to go back. Go back, into the experience of your life, and remind yourself why. Go back and remember why you’re where you are, why you’re doing whatever you’re doing. Go back and remember what truly matters to you.

In your mind, go back to a time and a place when life felt positively magical. Realize that the magical feeling is still very much a part of you. See that now, too, is magical. Understand that your best possibilities are with you even now.

Go back and appreciate all the good things you have ever had. From a deep and profound sense of gratitude, know that in this very time is the potential for more joy than ever before. Go back, and see that all the goodness that ever was, still is. Now, carry all that goodness with you as you continue to move positively forward.

I am sorry to ramble on so but my new friend reopened my thought processes and I am glad she did. I also appreciate that she offered me the opportunity to meet her. There are Daily readers all over the world and I wish I could meet every one of them, but I know I can’t, I just have to be satisfied that they give me a few minutes of their time each day.


I believe that you control your destiny, that you can be what you want to be. You can also stop and say, No, I won’t do it, I won’t behave his way anymore. I’m lonely and I need people around me, maybe I have to change my methods of behaving and then you do it.

Leo Buscaglia



The following is from an actual 1950s Home Economics textbook intended for High School girls, teaching them how to prepare for married life.

Then read on for the way things really are….

1.  HAVE DINNER READY: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him, and are concerned bout his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.

2.  PREPARE YOURSELF: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives.  Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking.  He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.  Be a little gay and a little more interesting.  His boring day may need a lift.

3. CLEAR AWAY CLUTTER.  Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables.  Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too.

4.  PREPARE THE CHILDREN.  Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces if they are small, comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes.  They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

5.  MINIMIZE THE NOISE: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, or vacuum.  Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

Greet him with a warm smile and kiss, letting him know you’re glad to see him.

6.  Some DON’TS: Don’t greet him with problems or complaints.  Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner.  Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.

7.  MAKE HIM COMFORTABLE.  Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lay down in the bedroom.  Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.  Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.

8.  LISTEN TO HIM: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time.  Let him talk first.

9.  MAKE THE EVENING HIS: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his need to be home and relax.

10.  THE GOAL: try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.


1.  HAVE DINNER READY: Make reservations ahead of time. If your day becomes too hectic just leave him a voice mail message regarding where you’d like to eat and at what time. This lets him know that your day has been crappy and gives him an opportunity to change your mood.

2.  PREPARE YOURSELF: Make sure to change out of your work clothes into something comfortable.  Who cares if he likes it or not . .after all, it’s most likely his T-shirt and boxers.

3.  CLEAR AWAY CLUTTER: Yeah right!  Tell the kids and your husband if they want maid service, they better call one!

4.  PREPARE THE CHILDREN: Send the children to their rooms to watch television or play with their Play Stations.

5.  MINIMIZE THE NOISE: Yell to him over the loud music your kids are playing, that this is what you had to put up with while he was gone. And mention that it was his decision to buy the kids a new CD player in the first place.

6.  SOME DON’TS: Don’t greet him with problems and complaints. Let him speak first, and then your complaints will get more attention and remain fresh in his mind throughout dinner. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner, simply remind him that the leftovers are in the fridge and you left the dishes for him to do.

7.  MAKE HIM COMFORTABLE: Tell him where he can find a blanket if he’s cold. This will really show you care.

8.  LISTEN TO HIM: But don’t ever let him get the last word.

9.  MAKE THE EVENING HIS: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or other places of entertainment; go with a friend or go shopping (use his credit card).  Familiarize him with the phrase "Girls’ Night Out!"

10.  THE GOAL: Try to keep things amicable without reminding him that he only thinks the world revolves around him.  Obviously he’s wrong, it revolves around you.


A pleasure is not full grown until it is remembered.

C.S. Lewis


While walking through a parking lot, I tripped and fell flat on my face.

As I was lying there, a woman stopped her car and called out, "Are you hurt?" "No, I’m fine," I said, touched by her concern. "Oh, good," she continued.  "So will you be vacating your parking space now?"


What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life.

Leo Buscaglia


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 2000 readers from around the world.

Ray Flew By

Why should we worry about what others think of us;

Do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do in our own?

Brigham Young




Sorry can’t stop now I am on my way to an early north side breakfast, I’ll go straight from there downtown for an early lunch meeting. As soon as that is over back to the far north to pick up grandchildren in order to make a five PM family dinner. So here is another reprint.


Ray’s Daily first published May 7, 2007

I use to define success in traditional terms. Things such as title, income, recognition, status, you know, all the usual materialistic measurement others put upon us. I don’t anymore, now I like to define success as happiness, tranquility, opportunity to do more and worry less, new friends and other things that people overlook when they critique others. It seems to me that those around us who are critics or cheerleaders are people who measure us only by their own belief systems. The sad part is that too often we succumb to their siren song. It is more important to them that we be like them than to be ourselves.

Sometime ago I decided that was not for me. I inventoried the things that gave me pleasure, the opportunities I had to do something meaningful, and how I could avoid the trap of being locked into a job because of salary or benefits. While I don’t think I would change anything in my life, I might have benefited even more if I had made these kinds of decisions earlier. As you have heard me say before, this is as good as I get, take me or leave me. I may miss the mark and not help as much as I might or slip-up but I promise I will continue to do my best.

I think I have used the following before but it is so meaningful that it is worth revisiting once in awhile.


·         People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Love them anyway.

·         If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

·         If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

·         The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

·         Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

·         The biggest person with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest person with the smallest mind. Think big anyway.

·         What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

·         People really need help but may attack if you help them. Help people anyway.

·         Give the world the best you have and you might get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.



Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

  • Dr. Phil: The problem we have here is that this chicken won’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on "this" side of the road before it goes after the problem on the "other side" of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he’s acting by not taking on his "current" problems before adding "new" problems.
  • Oprah: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.
  • Anderson Cooper, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.
  • Judge Judy: That chicken crossed the road because he’s guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.
  • Pat Buchanan: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.
  • Martha Stewart: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer’s Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level.
  • Dr. Seuss: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed, I’ve not been told.
  • Grandpa: In my day, we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road and that was good enough.
  • Barbara Walters: Isn’t that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.
  • Aristotle: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.
  • Bill Gates: I have just released eChicken2006, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken. The platform is much more stable and will never ever, ever reboot.
  • Albert Einstein: Did the chicken really cross the road or did the road move beneath the chicken?
  • Colonel Sanders: Did I miss one?


I’m addicted to placebos. I’d give them up, but it wouldn’ make any difference.

Steven Wright


Jack hadn’t been to a class reunion in decades. When he walked into this latest one, he thought he recognized a woman over in the corner, so he approached her and extended his hand in greeting, saying,

"You look like Helen Brown."

"Well," the woman snapped back, "you don’t look so great in blue either!"


Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.



Married 25 years, I took a look at my wife one day and said, "Honey, 25 years ago, we had a cheap apartment, a cheap car, slept on a sofa bed and watched a 10 inch black and white TV, but I got to sleep every night with a hot 25 year old blonde.

Now, we have a nice house, nice car, big bed and plasma screen TV, but I’m sleeping with a 50 year old woman. It seems to me that you are not holding up your side of things."

My wife is a very reasonable woman. She told me to go out and find a hot 25 year old blonde, and she would make sure that I would once again be living in a cheap apartment, driving a cheap car, sleeping on a sofa bed….


Sign on a desk in a reception room, "We shoot every 3rd salesman, and the 2nd one just left."


She looked like such a sweet little old lady, driving the cute Toyota with a bumper sticker that said, "Grow your own dope."

How sweet, I thought, must be a medical marijuana patient.

Then I noticed the rest of her message … "Plant a man."


A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe, from "Faust"


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 2000 readers from around the world.

Another opening – Another show

“Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal.”




It has been a busy and fulfilling week so far; I have been more productive then usual, reconnected with an old friend and made a great new one. The medical news has been positive, the weather relatively good, and the elections in my state are over so the political screaming has faded. My only real concern is seeing so many people who let happiness slip away as they fail to appreciate their alternatives.

I don’t know all the answers but here are a few from the list of learning experiences that my then 50 year old friend sent me a few years back.

  • Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying. This one hits pretty hard but I think I agree, too many of us spend so much of our time wallowing in self-pity that we never have time to really live, meanwhile the clock keeps ticking.
  • A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write. What ever it might be that you want to, do it! It does not have to be great, it does not have to appeal to others, remember you are doing it for yourself. I can promise you one thing, if you never start you never will do it. And if you are not going to start then forget it and move on.
  • It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else. What I love about my second childhood is that there is no one telling me what I can’t do but myself. I also have learned not to take myself seriously. It did not take me long to realize I was not going to cure cancer, bring peace to the world or many of the other fantasies on my to-do list. So I do what I can, the best that I can and also do everything I possible can to have fun along the way.
  • When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take "no" for an answer. I found taking a realistic inventory what are the important things in life, especially those that are within reach has great value. While I may not be able to touch a star and I can hold a child’s hand. I will never be a master gardener but I can walk amongst the flowers letting their beauty flow into my heart. I have been truly surprised to learn that I have so often been able to do more than I thought could.
  • Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, and wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.  OK, I don’t have any fancy lingerie, but I do have a blazer, dress shirt and tie. A guy reminded me the other day that when you dress up for your day your persona is exhibited at its best. What I especially like is how so many people smile at you through the day and even better how people go out of their way to help you if you need it.


Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: I’m with you kid. Let’s go.

Maya Angelou


Extra, Extra Read All About It:

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted

Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case

Iraqi Head Seeks Arms

Stud Tires Out


Ever notice that the people who are late are often much jollier than the people who have to wait for them.


On his first visit to the zoo, a little boy stared at the caged stork for a long time. He waved, jumped up and down, and stared at the stork a while longer.

Finally, turning to his father, he exclaimed, "Gee, Dad, he doesn’t recognize me."


A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.


A woman goes to England to attend a 2-week, company training session. Her husband drives her to the airport and wishes her to have a good trip.

The wife answers: "Thank you honey, what would you like me to bring for you?"

The husband laughs and says: "An English girl !!!" The woman kept quiet and left.

Two weeks later he picks her up in the airport and asks: "So, honey, how was the trip?"

"Very good, thank you." she replies "

And, what happened to my present?" he asks "Which present?" she replied, forgetting about what they had said before she left. "What I asked for: the English girl?!" he reminded her "

Oh, that!" She said, suddenly remembering what they’d talked about "Well, I did what I could, now we have to wait a few months to see if its a girl !!!"


One who lacks the courage to start has already finished.


Jill wanted a divorce from Todd.  The judge asked, "What fault do you find with your husband?"

"Your Honor, he’s a liar, a brute, a thief and a brainless idiot."

"That’s very serious," exclaimed his Honor, "Can you prove all that?"

"Prove it? Why everybody knows it."

"If you knew all this, then why did you marry him?"

"I didn’t know it before I married him."

Todd shouted out, "She did too!"


Education gets you the only important thing in life. An assigned parking space.


While attending a convention, three psychiatrists take a walk.

"People are always coming to us with their guilt and fears," one says, "but we have no one to go to with our own problems."

"Since we’re all professionals," another suggests, "why don’t we hear each other out right now?"

They agreed this is a good idea. The first psychiatrist confesses, "I’m a compulsive shopper and deeply in debt, so I usually overbill my patients as often as I can."

The second admits, "I have a drug problem that’s out of control, and I frequently pressure my patients into buying illegal drugs for me."

The third psychiatrist says, "I know it’s wrong, but no matter how hard I try, I just can’t keep a secret."


In my day, we didn’t have water. We had to smash together our own hydrogen and oxygen atoms.


He said: My sister went to the local pizzeria to pick up a pizza. Her eight-year-old son wanted to go in and get the pizza himself. So, she gave him $20 and a $2 off coupon for a $15 pizza.

When he came back, he still had the coupon and some change and she asked, "Didn’t they take the coupon?"

He replied, "Oh, we didn’t need the coupon. We had enough money."


"There are two kind of worries….

Those you can do something about

And those you can’t.

Don’t spend any time on the latter."

Duke Ellington


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 2000 readers from around the world.

It is never too late

The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.

Carl Sandburg




Today is another of those “too much to do” days. I start with a 7 AM meeting with a former colleague and then on for a blood draw to see if my blood thinner medications need adjusting. To keep me abreast of things I don’t always understand I’ll be attending a midday lecture on Global Finance. I’ll finish the afternoon with a readout of my Pacemaker to see how I have been doing for the last ninety days. I am sure you already guessed that what follows is a dusted off Daily from the past.

Ray’s Daily May 5, 2004 edition

Since fully retiring I have learned just how important Sandburg’s message is to those of us who have the ability to choose how we spend our time. I only wish I had taken his advice more seriously early in life. I cannot remember a period as full and rewarding as now. Possibly it is because I have not learned all the reasons why not, it seems that more is achievable than I ever thought possible. Maybe I am in my second childhood, if so I would recommend it to everyone.

I never would have thought that I would be able to participate in the awards ceremonies at our region’s Special Olympics, work at an Art Fair helping people find out where they can buy great products made by third world artisans, help at a community outreach programs that will match volunteers with sixty of our local non-profit organizations, or help to secure what is needed to build a world class international facility here in my city. The list goes on and on. Yesterday I attended a seminar on China, signed up for a number of lectures and events that run the gamut from Ancient History, a Vaudeville retrospective, global issues discussion groups, to an evaluation of TV news in the 21st century, and more. In addition almost every week includes a service project or two. But the best part of my days are meeting with old and new friends over breakfast or lunch and getting with you via the daily.

Our cruises are exciting, our adventure trips are exciting, our visits to other countries is exciting, and best of all most days here are exciting. So give yourself a break today go out and play and do some good at the same time.


Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.

Chinese Proverb


Every morning Custer rode through the Indian Reservation on his horse accompanied by his faithful Indian scout. And every morning as he rode past the Indian chief he was greeted with the gesture of first a finger raised vertically – then the finger thrust horizontally.

Eventually Custer said to his scout "I know what the chief means by the vertical finger, but what’s the significance of the horizontal one?"

The scout replied "Chief, him no like your horse either!"


Noah was a trusting soul. Imagine going out in a wooden boat with two termites on board.


What we say, what we mean

Project slightly behind original schedule due to unforeseen difficulties–We got so sick of working on this that we decided to do something else.

Major Technological Breakthrough–Back to the drawing board.

Developed after years of intensive research–It was discovered by accident.

Customer satisfaction is believed assured–We are so far behind schedule that the customer will be happy to get anything at all from us.

The design will be finalized in the next reporting period–We haven’t started this job yet, but we’ve got to say something.

Test results were extremely gratifying–It works, and are we surprised.

Extensive effort is being applied on a fresh approach to the problem–We just hired three new guys; we’ll let them kick it around for a while.

Preliminary operational tests are inconclusive–The darn thing blew up when we threw the switch.

The entire concept will have to be abandoned–The only guy who understood the thing quit.

Modifications are under way to correct certain minor difficulties–We threw the whole thing out and are starting from scratch.


If you wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. If you don’t wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes.

African proverb


At the Henry Street Hebrew School, Goldblatt, the new teacher, finished the day’s lesson. It was now time for the usual question period.

"Mr. Goldblatt," announced little Joey, "there’s somethin’ I can’t figger out."

"What’s that Joey?" asked Goldblatt.

"Well accordin’ to the Bible, the Children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, right?"


"An’ the Children of Israel beat up the Philistines, right?"


"An’ the Children of Israel fought the ‘gyptians, an’ the Children of Israel fought the Romans, an’ the Children of Israel wuz always getting in trouble somewhere, right?"

"Er, yes, you could say that," agreed Goldblatt. "So what’s your question?"

"What I wanna know is this," demanded Joey. "What wuz all the grown-ups doin"?


Women have many faults.

Men only have 2

Everything they say,

And everything they do.


This will make you believe that we CAN make a difference when we give a child the gift of our time.

A young family moved into a house, next door to a vacant lot. One day a construction crew turned up to start building a house on the empty lot.

The young family’s 5-year-old daughter naturally took an interest in all the activity going on next door and spent much of each day observing the workers.

Eventually the construction crew more or less adopted her as a kind of project mascot. They chatted with her, let her sit while they had coffee and lunch breaks, and gave her little jobs to do here and there to make her feel important.

At the end of the first week they even presented her with a pay envelope containing two dollars.

Her mother said all the appropriate words of admiration and suggested that they take the two dollar "pay" she had received to the bank the next day to start a savings account for her.

When they got to the bank, the teller was equally impressed and asked the little girl how she had come by her very own pay check at such a young age. The little girl proudly replied, "I worked last week with the crew building the house next door to us."

My goodness gracious," said the teller, "and will you be working on the house again this week, too?"

The little girl replied, "I will if those jerks at Home Depot ever deliver the darned sheet rock!"


The number of people watching you is directly proportional to the stupidity of your action.


Tax Day, April 15, was looming when an elderly lady appeared at my desk at the IRS.  She said she required a thick stack of tax forms.

"Why so many?" I asked.

"My son is stationed overseas," she said.  "He asked me to pick them up."

"You shouldn’t have to do this," I told her.  "It’s the base commander’s job to make sure the troops have the forms they need."

"I know," she replied.  "I’m the base commander’s mother."


To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children, to earn the approbation of honest critics; to appreciate beauty; to give of one’s self, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived–that is to have succeeded.

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 2000 readers from around the world.

How is your life in the dash?

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies within us while we live.

Norman Cousins




This past weekend I attended a memorial for a former neighbor, friend and fellow Kiwanis member. My friend who had lived a rich and full life had sold his business a few years ago and moved to Colorado to be closer to his daughter and granddaughter. Not many knew about all the things my friend did in his lifetime, but he did and it was a history filled with excitement, challenges and good works. Through all his ups and downs his heart remained filled with caring for others and his legacy exists in the unsung results of his service.

Today I thought back to a poem sent to me by another friend not too long before his wife passed away after suffering with a long terminal disease. He is a man who has had more tragedy in his life than anybody else I know, and yet through it all he has maintained a positive outlook and has never let his burdens take him down.

This poem by Linda Ellis has been read by folks all over the world and for many it has opened their eyes to the meaning of life. I am pleased to be able to share it with you today

The Dash Poem

I read of a man who stood to speak

At the funeral of a friend

He referred to the dates on her tombstone

From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came her date of her birth

And spoke the following date with tears,

But he said what mattered most of all

Was the dash between those years

For that dash represents all the time

That she spent alive on earth.

And now only those who loved her

Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;

The cars, the house, the cash,

What matters is how we live and love

And how we spend our dash.


So think about this long and hard.

Are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left,

That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough

To consider what’s true and real

And always try to understand

The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,

And show appreciation more

And love the people in our lives

Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,

And more often wear a smile

Remembering that this special dash

Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read

With your life’s actions to rehash

Would you be proud of the things they say

About how you spent your dash?

It is up to each of us to decide how we are going to live in the dash. It seems there is hate all around us these days but fortunately there are brilliant lights shining through generated by folks who have chosen to be guiding lights offering us a path to true happiness.


When you find yourself overpowered, as it were, by melancholy, the best way is to go out and do something kind to somebody or other.

John Keble


Mrs. Taylor, aka "The Whip", asked her 5th grade history class, "When was Rome built?" and called on Timothy to answer first.

"Rome was built at night." was his answer.

"At night?" asked Mrs. Taylor, holding her ruler firmly in her boney- knuckled hands.  "How ever did you get such an idea?"

"Well," gulped the student, hoping his answer would satisfy her, "everyone knows Rome wasn’t built in a day."


Blessed are the pessimists, for they have made backups.


A professor stood before his class of twenty senior organic biology students, about to hand out the final exam. "I want to say that it’s been a pleasure teaching you this semester. I know you’ve all worked extremely hard and many of you are off to medical school after summer. So that no one gets their GPA messed up because they might have been celebrating a bit too much this week, anyone who would like to opt out of the final exam today will receive a ‘B’ for the course."

There was much rejoicing in the class as students got up, walked to the front of the class, and took the professor up on his offer. As the last taker left the room, the professor looked out over the handful of remaining students and asked, "Anyone else? This is your last chance."

One final student rose up and opted out of the final. The professor closed the door and took attendance of those still remaining. "I’m glad to see you believe in yourselves," he said. "You all get ‘A’s."


My home church welcomes all denominations, but really prefers tens and twenties.


An elderly woman had just returned to her home from an evening of Church services when she was startled by an intruder She caught the man in the act of robbing her home of its valuables and yelled, "Stop! Acts 2:38!" (Repent and be baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven.) The burglar stopped in his tracks.

The woman calmly called the police and explained what she had done. As the officer cuffed the man to take him in, he asked the burglar, "Why did you just stand there? All the old lady did was yell a scripture to you" "Scripture?" Replied the burglar. "She said she had an Ax and Two 38’s!"


The more things change, the more they stay insane.

Eric Farthing


Little Johnny’s 2nd grade teacher was quizzing them on the alphabet.

"Johnny," she says, "what comes after ‘O’?"

Johnny says, "Yeah!"


Is it my imagination, or do Buffalo wings taste like chicken?


I learned a lesson in marketing from a man who bought an old boat, a trailer and a motor from me.

"Thanks," he said as he loaded them up. "I’m planning to resell them."

Good luck, I thought. I had been trying to get rid of them for months. But when I ran into him a few weeks later, he’d sold everything.

"How did you manage that?" I marveled.

"I took out an ad: ‘Heavy-duty boat trailer with free boat.’ When the buyer came to get it, I asked if he had a motor. He said no. I told him I happened to have one in my garage. Bought that, too."


"If today were your last, would you do what you’re doing? Or would you love more, give more, forgive more? Then do so! Forgive and give as if it were your last opportunity. Love like there’s no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love again."

Max Lucado


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 2000 readers from around the world.

Happy Anniversary BPE

“Work joyfully and peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts will inevitably bring about right results.”

James Allen




This morning I will participate in the 20th anniversary celebration of the Indiana Business and Professional Exchange (BPE) that I helped found a couple of decades ago. I thought since some of you have wondered about BPE and the things I did after my first retirement I thought you might be interested in an edited version of the remarks I will be making this morning to a large group of BPE members and alumni.

BPE 20th Anniversary Remarks

Hi I am Ray Mitchell, a multiple retiree having permanently retired from full time employment a few years back. I do continue to serve where I can make a contribution as an unpaid advisor, consultant, volunteer and friend to both individuals and organizations.

I retired from my first career in January of 1990 after more than thirty years in the computer industry. I was at the time also serving on the Governors Employment and Training Executive committee as well as the Marion County Private Industry Council and on the boards of various community based organizations.

The US was in the throes of a major restructuring of the white collar, managerial and professional workforce. It was euphemistically called “Delayering” at the time. Hundreds of Hoosiers found themselves unemployed and in need of employment for the first time in their lives and soon learned that the available workforce was much larger than the demand for managers, supervisors, professionals and others. The Indiana Employment Security Division and the Workforce Development community were not much help since they focused primarily on the blue collar worker and had little to offer to others.

I had known my BPE co-founder after serving with him on the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce’s employment committee years earlier. He was counseling a small group of these newly displaced workers and invited me to join them. As he and I talked we felt that those in need would benefit from committing themselves to the job of finding a job and so we made arrangements to meet at 7 AM on Monday mornings at a local Denny’s restaurant in business dress, where the attendees would kick off their week of actively pursuing new career opportunities.

That was the birth of the Business and Professional Exchange. We saw it not as a support group but rather as a self help group where ideas, techniques and job leads would be exchanged. We soon realized that many of the highly qualified were being screened out of potential interviews because of the lack of computer skills so we proposed to the two Central Indiana Private Industry Councils that they provide skills training to our members in order to improve their ability to become candidates for a broader range of jobs. We also built a strong working relationship with state and local employment focused agencies, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, the Indianapolis Economic Development Corporation, the Indianapolis based Personnel Organizations and others.

It did not take long before the newspapers and electronic media provided BPE front page coverage and more about our organization, the coverage resulted in explosive growth that I’ll let the others tell you about. The original BPE chapter has had to move to larger quarters three times since its modest beginning and now there are additional chapters in various locations throughout the state where hundreds of members meet weekly following the same model we built so long ago.

I stayed active at the leadership level in BPE until the mid-nineties when I started a new career as director of a global partnership between Kiwanis International and the United Nations Childrens Fund. In the years since I have continued to meet with hundreds of BPE members as they reassessed their career and life goals while working out strategies and tactics to help them make a career change as fruitful as mine has been.

Over the years there have often been times when the question was raised if BPE was really still needed. It is a credit to those who have followed that they kept BPE always ready for those who are in need of new employment. I am proud of what they have done and pleased that so many thousands of folks just like you and me live happy and productive lives in new careers often due to what they had learned as a BPE member.


“A positive attitude may not solve every problem but it makes solving any problem a more pleasant experience.”

Grant Fairley


The teacher asked Johnnie, "Johnnie if I gave you two rabbits and then two more rabbits and then two more rabbits, how many would you have?"

Johnnie replied, "Seven rabbits, Teacher."

The teacher asked again, "Listen Johnnie, If I gave you two rabbits, plus two more rabbits, plus two more rabbits…   How many rabbits would you have altogether?"

Johnnie smiled, "That’s easy, Teacher, I would have seven."

"Ok Johnnie," the teacher said. "Let’s try it a different way.  If I gave you two cans of pop, plus two more cans of  pop, plus two more cans of pop. How many cans of pop would you have?"

"Six cans." Johnnie said.

"OK," said the teacher. "Now think of that with this question.  "If I gave you two rabbits, then two more rabbits,  then two more rabbits how many would you have?"

"Seven, Teacher." Johnnie said.

"Why seven?" the teacher asked, exasperated.

Johnnie replied, "Because I already have one rabbit at home!"


I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.



A preacher was completing a temperance sermon: with great expression he said, "If I had all the beer in the world, I’d take it and throw it into the river." With even greater emphasis he said, "And if I had all the wine in the world, I’d take it and throw it into the river." And then finally, he said, "And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I’d take it and throw it into the river."

He sat down. The song leader then stood very cautiously and announced with a smile, "For our closing song, let us sing Hymn # 365: "Shall We Gather at the River."


"I have enough money to last me the rest of my life unless I buy something."


Jewish lady’s grandson is playing in the water, she is standing on the beach not wanting to get her feet wet, when all of a sudden, a huge wave appears from nowhere and crashes directly over the spot where the boy is wading. The water recedes and the boy is no longer there. He simply vanished.

She holds her hands to the sky, screams and cries, "Lord, how could you? Have I not been a wonderful mother and grandmother? Have I not given to B’nai Brith and Haddasah? Have I not tried my very best to live a life that you would be proud of?"

A few minutes later another huge wave appears out of nowhere and crashes on the beach. As the water recedes, the boy is standing there, smiling, splashing around as if nothing had ever happened. A loud voice booms from the sky, "Okay, okay, I have returned your grandson. Are you satisfied?"

She responds, "He had a hat."


You know you’re getting on in years when the girls at the office start confiding in you.


A university creative writing class was asked to write a short essay containing these four elements:

– religion

– royalty

– sex

– mystery

The prize-winning essay read: "My God," said the Queen. "I’m pregnant. I wonder who did it?"


Everyone takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the world.



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 2000 readers from around the world.

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