Ray's musings and humor

Archive for July, 2010


“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect.

It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”




A few months ago author Gretchen Rubin distributed some tips for folks who had lost their jobs and were stressed by the challenges of an unknown future. It seemed to me that her suggestions have value for all of us when ever we are in a funk and fall into depression. We always have the choice of wallowing in our misery or climbing out of it. Here is what Gretchen has prescribed as a therapeutic anecdote to what is holding us down.


Being out of work is a major happiness challenge, and these days, a lot of people have lost their jobs, or are worried about hanging onto their jobs. So, given this major drain on your happiness, are there steps you can take to feel better at such a time? Even if you don’t think you can feel happy, you might be able to feel happier. Keeping yourself as serene, energetic, and cheerful as possible will make it easier to handle this tough situation.

1. Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep affects your mood more than you may realize. It makes difficult situations seem harder, drags down your energy, and lowers your immune system. When you’re cut off from your usual schedule, it can be tempting to stay up late, so remind yourself to turn off the light at a reasonable hour. If you’re turning off the light but having trouble sleeping because of all your worries, here are some tips for getting good sleep. Also, people who have trouble sleeping sleep better when they…

2. Get some exercise. Exercise both calms you and energizes you. If you can’t face going to the gym or going for a run, just go for a ten-minute walk outside. The sunlight and the movement will boost your spirits.

3. Stay connected to other people. You may not feel like going out, making plans, showing up, or talking to other people. But prod yourself to make the effort. Seeing other people will give you a boost and will help distract you (see #8). Also, by staying connected to other people, you’re more likely to hear information and to create relationships that might be helpful in the jobs arena.

4. Cultivate an atmosphere of growth in some area of your life. You may feel like you’ve been pushed a giant step backward; that you’re out of control of what’s happening to you. Look for a place where you can move forward and take control. Learn to do something new – a new software program, watercolors. Conquer a device – master your camera, a kitchen gadget. Clean something up – your messy garage, your attic. Create something beautiful – plant a garden, catch up on the photo albums.

5. Help someone else. Your self-esteem may have suffered a blow, so remind yourself of how much you have to give. Teach someone something useful. Make helpful connections for other people. Volunteer your skills. Donate blood. Go through your closets and give away the clothes you don’t need (see #6). If you can’t face doing anything else, you can at least sign up to be an organ donor. It takes one minute, and you have potentially saved the lives of five people. You can feel great about your day if you’ve done that!

6. Clear some clutter. For most people, outer order contributes to inner calm – and clearing clutter seems to have a disproportionately positive effect. Bringing order to a messy coat closet shouldn’t make much of a difference to happiness, but for some reason, it gives a much bigger boost than you might expect. Careful: don’t overwhelm yourself. Pick one small area of the messy kitchen counter, or clean out your fridge, or tackle one corner of your desk. Bringing order to your physical environment will help calm you – and is also a good way to observe #4.

7. Be wary of “treating” yourself. One of the Ten Myths of Happiness is that A "treat" will cheer you up. That cigarette, that extra glass of wine, that new pair of shoes, that extra brownie (or two, or three), that big mess in your kitchen because you don’t want to deal with loading the dishwasher…will these treats really make you feel happy, in the long run? Or will you be happier if you don’t treat yourself?

8. Distract yourself. Find your Area of refuge. Or rent a funny movie, re-read a book you love (I always re-read children’s literature when I’m under stress), call a friend with a good sense of humor, visit a museum, or watch some sports on TV. Let yourself take a break from your worries. When you come back to them, you’ll feel refreshed and with a better sense of perspective.

9. Remind yourself of what you have. You may have lost your job, but think about what’s going right in your life, what you have to feel grateful for. It’s a cliché to say "Count your blessings," but it really does boost happiness.


Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Abraham Lincoln


A friend of mine is a deputy with the sheriff’s department canine (K9) unit. One evening, the deputy was dispatched to the scene of a possible burglary, where he discovered the back door of a building ajar. He let the dog out his patrol car and commanded it to enter and seek.

Jumping from the back seat, the dog headed for the building. After lunging through the doorway, the dog froze and backed out. My friend was puzzled until he investigated further. Then he noticed the sign on the building: "Veterinarian’s Office."


If your wife parks the car, don’t sit there and insist she do it properly.

Walking the rest of the way to the curb is good exercise.


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 built the Temple, right?"

"Again you’re right."

"An’ the Children of Israel fought the ‘gyptians, an’ the Children of Israel fought the Romans, an’ the Children of Israel wuz always doin’ somethin’ important, right?"

"All that is right, too," agreed Goldblatt. "So what’s your question?"

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


In my lifetime, I’ve learned two great truths. Sometimes love just isn’t enough, and sometimes shipping and handling is too much.


An old farmer in Indiana had owned a small farm for several years. He had a large pond in the back, fixed up nice; picnic tables, horseshoe courts, basketball court, etc. The pond was properly shaped and fixed up for swimming when it was built.

One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn’t been there for a while, and look it over. As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny dipping in his pond.

He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end of the pond. One of the women shouted to him, "We’re not coming out until you leave!"  The old man replied, "I didn’t come down here to watch you ladies swim or make you get out of the pond naked."

"I’m here to feed the alligator."


Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.

Groucho Marx


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.


The best is yet to come!

Retirement has been a discovery of beauty for me.  I never had the time before to notice the beauty of my grandkids, my wife, the tree outside my very own front door.  And, the beauty of time itself.

Hartman Jule




As professor friend of mine e-mailed me the other day and asked if I had any suggestions or warnings for him he retires this summer. Having retired often I naturally had some thoughts. Since in my case I would have been better off if I had applied the suggestions to myself before I retired so I thought I would share them with you in case you face the same challenges. Here is what I sent my friend, today’s additional comments are italicized.


Dear Jeff,

Having retired four times I learned the following:

  1. Don’t let your things-to-do list drive you, for if you do it may soon empty and leave you not knowing what to do next. Some of us spend full time in early retirement trying to do everything that needs to be done that have been waiting. In my experience it is wise to not make it a full time job until there is nothing left.
  2. Don’t over plan, join others, go to lectures and meetings, visit new restaurants and the like. Let the community take you to wherever your evolving interests lie. Far too many of us seem to feel we need to totally plan our new lives and as such miss some of the best things out there. I find it is much better to just relax, roam and discover things that you never knew where out there for you.
  3. Don’t subscribe to every magazine and buy every book only to end up depressed because you are surrounded by stacks of unread material that is no longer timely. I felt like when I retired I would have almost unlimited leisure hours so I subscribed to everything, added more books to my “Need to read someday” piles only to find I had even less time than I often had in the past. Feeling I had to read what I bought it became a problem reading the five weekly newsmagazines weeks after events and finding that I was always behind the times. I even felt guilty if I didn’t at least try. I solved the problem by letting most of my subscriptions lapse.
  4. Travel while you can, see more plays (I especially enjoy my season tickets to Civic, they are surprisingly professional and a real bargain for old guys), we also especially enjoy some of the Beef and Boards productions. Retirement should not be work, it is a time to reward yourself and hopefully you’ll find as I did that your retirement career is the best career you ever had.
  5. Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer. The time I spend with the Salvation Army and other organizations provides a constant source of new friends from all walks of life. It also provides the opportunity to do some meaningful work for others. As we have often discussed, people make the difference. Social interaction while sharing experiences is like mining diamonds. There are hundreds of good and interesting people out there waiting to meet you, but they are not going to come knocking on your door.

I would also add, have as much fun as possible, don’t take life too seriously and don’t get mad, it’s not worth it. Also be all means let yourself be yourself.

Stay well, be well and do well.



Retire from work, but not from life

M.K. Soni


A man was lying on the psychiatrist’s couch as his therapist addressed him.

"Well, Jim. I’m pleased to announce that this will be our final session. I believe that you finally are cured of your paranoia."

"Yes, doctor. I am."

"I remember how you used to think that men in black were following you everywhere. But you don’t believe that anymore, do you?"

"No, doctor. I don’t"

"I remember also how you used to think that black helicopters were hovering over your house. But you don’t believe that anymore either, do you?"

"No, doctor. I don’t"

"Finally, I remember how you used to think that CIA agents were monitoring your mail, bugging your phone, and snooping into your affairs. But you don’t beleieve that anymore either, do you?"

"No, doctor. I don’t. Thanks to your therapy, I no longer harbor such delusions. In fact, you’ve been so helpful to me, that I’m really sorry that I have to kill you now," said Jim, as he pulled out a gun.

The psychiatrist was shocked. "Wait a minute. Why do you have to kill me?"

"You know too much."


Do Roman paramedics refer to IV’s as "4’s"?


A woman named Emily renewing her driver’s license at the County Clerk’s office was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation, She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself. "What I mean is," explained the recorder, "do you have a job, or are you just a . . . .?"

"Of course I have a job," snapped Emily. "I’m a Mom."

"We don’t list ‘Mom’ as an occupation. ‘Housewife’ covers it," said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation….this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar".   "What is your occupation?" she probed. What made me say it, I do not know? The words simply popped out.

"I’m a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations"

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair, and looked up as though she had not heard right.  I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?"

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn’t), in the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out).

I’m working for my Masters! , (the whole darned family), and already have four credits, (all daughters).Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?), and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk’s voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants — ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby), in the child-development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.  I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom."

Motherhood . . ..What a glorious career! Especially when there’s a title on the door.

Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research Associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations" and great grandmothers "Executive Senior Research Associates also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants”?


You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


If you like gambling, the worst thing you can do is bring your spouse with you to the casino.

If you lose, they get mad.

If you win, they want half!


Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty.

It merely moves from their faces to their hearts.

Martin Buxbaum


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.

Thanks for listening

Because of the interconnectedness of all minds, affirming a positive vision may be about the most sophisticated action any one of us can take.

Willis Harman




I was talking to one of my grandson’s the other day about effective communications. I told him I thought the measure of our ability to communicate should not be based as much on how well we speak or write but rather on how well we connect and are understood. I read somewhere the other day that with blogs, journals and the mass media there is a lot more being written then read. I know many of the subscribers to Ray’s Daily often skip over what they receive because they have too many other things to do. I understand that and often do the same thing. As I believe I told you before I find that having to think about how I feel about our world each day so that I have something to offer in the Daily is good for me. And when something does connect with even only one reader I am grateful that we have shared a thought.

A few times recently I have written about how I felt when I had lost all contact with a close and respected friend. I also mentioned the hurt that comes when we lose a friendship and do not understand why. My comments hit home with a few of you and you shared your thoughts with me and I am truly grateful that you did. Here are a few of your comments:


Your friendship and the Daily mean a lot to me. You are also the reason I joined Kiwanis, which has given me the tremendous gift of a supportive network of friends. I am so thankful for friends like you!

Joyce – New York

Thank you for your balance of thoughtful rumination and humor. Life can get too heavy without the buoyancy of humor, too frivolous without consideration of what is important. Your blog does, in fact, "multiply", as I send forth the kernels I gather hear to inspire and amuse my friends.

Saskia – Pacific Northwest

Here a few more triggered by earlier Dailies.

Without you realizing this, you have helped me. I like to hold on to past situations. They stay in my mind. People can look at me on the outside and assume I am happy, but on the inside, I have just another sore added to my hurts. Since I ask a lot of questions, I have come across some positive feedback as to how to deal with friendship…I have learned a true friend will never leave you and never force you down a wrong path. So my friend, all I want to do is say thank you and God bless! I am learning to have no worries!


I stow sufficiently sick some time behind. Unhappily I did not have a friend as you have close to me, but had some friends here in yahoo and a friend in particular that, although not to be well, supported me. A friend is a treasure, and a treasure is something that we cannot lose….

Célia – Portugal

Wise soul. Buddha like wisdom. Soft centre…kind and funny…takes time to know others and spread some good words…good to be connected.

Julie – UK

To each of you who take a few moments of your time to allow me to share my thoughts, I thank you. I wish I knew everyone of you better, but I know that when you do me the courtesy of listening you provide me the opportunity to be heard and then connected and that is the next best thing to being with you.



Life just seems so full of connections.  Most of the time we don’t even pay attention to the depth of life. We only see flat surfaces.

Colin Neenan


The little boy greeted his grandmother with a hug and said, "I’m so happy to see you, Grandma. Now maybe Daddy will do the trick he has been promising us."

The grandmother was curious. "What trick is that, dear?" she asked.

The little boy replied, "I heard Daddy tell Mommy that he would climb the walls if you came to visit us again!"


She said, you’ve got the brain of a four-year-old boy, and I bet he was glad to get rid of it.


Two smart fellows were in an English pub. They called the publican over and asked him to settle an argument.

‘Are there two pints in a quart or four?", asked one.

"There be two pints in a quart, confirmed the publican.

They moved back along the bar and soon the barmaid asked for their order.

"Two pints please, miss, and they are on the house."

The barmaid doubted that her boss would be so generous so one of the fellows called out to the publican at the other end of the bar, "You did say two pints, didn’t you?"

"That’s right, he called back, two pints."


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

Yiddish proverb


A sailor, while bringing flowers to a cemetery, noticed an old Chinese man placing a bowl of rice on a nearby grave.

The sailor walked up to the man and asked, "When do you expect your friend to come up and eat the rice?"

The old Chinese man replied with a smile, "Same time your friend comes up to smell the flowers."


"Instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and just give her a house." Steven Seagal


The teacher asked the children in the Sunday School class, "If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would I get into Heaven?"

"NO"! the children all answered.

"If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would I get into Heaven"?

Again, the answer was "NO"!

"Well," the teacher continued, "then how can I get to Heaven?"  In the back of the room, a 5 year old boy shouted out, "You gotta be dead.


Friendship is a plant we must often water.

German proverb


Young Chuck, moved to Montana and bought a horse from a farmer for $100.00. The farmer agreed to deliver the horse the next day. The next day he drove up and said, ‘Sorry son, but I have some bad news, the horse died.’

Chuck replied, ‘Well, then just give me my money back.’

The farmer said, ‘Can’t do that. I went and spent it already.’

Chuck said, ‘Ok, then, just bring me the dead horse.’

The farmer asked, ‘What ya gonna do with him?

Chuck said, ‘I’m going to raffle him off.’

The farmer said, ‘You can’t raffle off a dead horse!’

Chuck said, ‘Sure I can. Watch me. I just won’t tell anybody he’s dead.’

A month later, the farmer met up with Chuck and asked, ‘What happened with that dead horse?’

Chuck said, ‘I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars a piece and made a net profit of $898.00.’

The farmer said, ‘Didn’t anyone complain?’

Chuck said, ‘Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back.’


See deeply the beauty and interconnectedness of all life; then think, speak and act from what you see.

Maggie Streincrohn Davis


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.

Your silence hurts

 “The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives”

Anthony Robbins




Lately I have been sharing with you life lessons that others had learned and shared with me. Today I’d like to give you a couple of mine.

The cruelest words are often those unspoken – On two occasions in the last few years I have lost total contact with two close and highly regarded friends. Every effort on my part to reestablish communications via phone calls, e-mails, text messages and inquiries through friends have failed. Both of these ex-friends were characterized by their kindness, intelligence and interests. Their silence has been devastating, partially because I worry that I might have done something to offend but primarily because I don’t know if they are alright.

Unfortunately that which is unspoken often creates pain. I am sure you have experienced folks who are angry but don’t tell you why as an example. There are many situations when even modest feedback would correct misunderstandings, clear the air or at least provide closure. In my case I hope I care enough about others to never leave them in the dark by cloaking feelings in mystery.

To the ignorant someone with an opinion, factual or not, is often viewed to be an expert. – In this day and age it seems like there are so called pundits everywhere. Cable channel after cable channel is filled with talking heads that offer opinion on everything imaginable with little in-depth knowledge on whatever the subject may be.

Our lives get more complicated every day and we are bombarded with information with what seems like less and less time to absorb it all. It is disappointing that so many take the easy way out by either ignoring everything or believing anything. If nothing else we would be better off withholding judgment at least until we learned more, the worse thing we can do is to let unfounded opinion feed our prejudices.

Think about it, how often do we take what we hear from friends and family members that we know and trust with a grain of salt and yet we often parrot what we hear from someone who has the bully pulpit as if it is some profound truth. Trust me the world is not two dimensional, more often than not there is more than two sides to every story.


“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”

Anthony Robbins


My dog had suddenly developed a bad habit of loud barking about 4am each morning. He was disturbing the entire neighborhood, and several people had complained. One morning he started howling, and when I looked out the window – I saw that someone was throwing something at him. I quietly went out the back door and snuck around to the front to catch the culprit. To my surprise, I found my next-door neighbor throwing rocks into my yard, and just missing the dog. Of course, I demanded an explanation. "I’m not trying to hit your dog," he said. "My mother in law is visiting, and she says if she loses another night of her beauty sleep – she’ll leave!"


There is a guaranteed way to get what you want: want less.


Near St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City, I noticed two firefighters standing at the door of their ambulance.  The window was partly down, and they were talking to a small child inside, instructing her how to open the latch.  Nearby, a young mother looked on patiently. 

Assuming they had invited the curious girl into the ambulance to check it out, and she’d locked the doors by mistake, I said, "She locked herself in, eh?"

"No, we locked ourselves out," one of the men said.  "We borrowed her from her mother because she could fit through the open space in the window."


I’m not cheap, but I am on special this week.


A mother wanted to teach her daughter a moral lesson. She gave the little girl a quarter and a dollar for church. "Put whichever one you want in the collection plate and keep the other for yourself," she told the girl.

When they were coming out of the church, the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given.

"Well," said the little girl, "I was going to give the dollar, but just before the collection the man in the pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I’d be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter, so I did."


Thru the years I’ve noticed that conscience gets a lot of credit that really belongs to cold feet.


Moshe was taking to his psychiatrist. "I had a weird dream recently," he says. "I saw my mother but then I noticed she had your face. I found this so worrying that I immediately awoke and couldn’t get back to sleep. I just stayed there thinking about it until 7am. I got up, made myself a slice of toast and some coffee and came straight here. Can you please help me explain the meaning of my dream?"

The psychiatrist kept silent for some time, then said, "One slice of toast and coffee? Do you call that a breakfast?"


On the sixth day, God created the platypus.

And God said: Let’s see the evolutionists try and figure this one out.


The fragrance department of a major New York City store where I shop is always pushing the latest scents. Attractive models move about the floor offering to spray customers with the newest bouquet. One day, outside the store’s restaurant, a model sprayed two women who had just finished their lunch. When one woman commented that the perfume was much too strong, the model replied, "The fragrance will be much softer once it dries and the alcohol wears off."

"See!" her friend chided. "I told you not to have that second drink."


Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.


"Doctor, I’d like you to evaluate my 13 year-old son."

"He’s suffering from a transient psychosis with an intermittent rage disorder, punctuated by episodic radical mood swings, but his prognosis is good for full recovery."

"How can you say all that without even meeting him?"

"Didn’t you say he was 13?"


Hell hath no fury like the lawyer of a woman scorned.


When we put our house up for sale, I stressed emphatically that my sons make their beds each morning. I left for work before they left for school and I wanted to be sure the house looked presentable when the agent showed it to prospective buyers.

I was surprised and impressed that my 15-year-old son’s bed was perfectly made each day. Until, that is, one night when I went into his room, I discovered his secret. He was fast asleep on the floor in his sleeping bag.


If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself alone. A man should keep his friendships in constant repair.

Samuel Johnson


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

 Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.


This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 2000 readers from around the world.

Enjoy your life

Use life to provide something that outlasts it.

B. C. Forbes




I have a full day ahead so I am going to again send you a previously published Daily, this ones from July 8, 2004. Have a good day and please be kind.



We are truly fortunate that we have the lives we do. There are so many in the world that have nothing and if we were not so fortunate to have been born where we were instead of where they are, it would be us who are in desperate need. Yet even with our good fortune we still often wish for something else. I sometimes wonder if we spend so much time looking for something else across the fence we don’t see what we already have.

My friend Judy looks around and knows what she has liked. Her list includes:


Falling in love.

Laughing so hard your face hurts.

A hot shower.

A special glance.

Getting mail

Taking a drive on a pretty road.

Hearing your favorite song on the radio.

Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.

Finding the sweater you want is on sale for half price.

Chocolate milkshake. (or vanilla!) (or strawberry)

A long distance phone call.


A good conversation.

The beach

Laughing at yourself.

Midnight phone calls that last for hours.


Doesn’t that make you wish Judy was your friend too? I when I look around and see the good things I already have, I count Judy’s friendship as one of them and of course yours too.


Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.



A Mother’s Dictionary

AMNESIA: Condition that enables a woman who has gone through labor to make love again.

DUMBWAITER: One who asks if the kids would care to order dessert.

FAMILY PLANNING: The art of spacing your children the proper distance apart to keep you on the edge of financial disaster.

FEEDBACK: The inevitable result when your baby doesn’t appreciate the strained carrots.

FULL NAME: What you call your child when you’re mad at him.

GRANDPARENTS: The people who think your children are wonderful even though they’re sure you’re not raising them right.

HEARSAY: What toddlers do when anyone mutters a dirty word.

IMPREGNABLE: A woman whose memory of labor is still vivid.

INDEPENDENT: How we want our children to be as long as they do everything we say.

POW: The first word spoken by children with older siblings.

PUDDLE: A small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry clothes into it.

SHOW OFF: A child who is more talented than yours.

STERILIZE: What you do to your first baby’s pacifier by boiling it and to your last baby’s pacifier by blowing on it.

TOP BUNK: Where you should never put a child wearing Superman pajamas.

TWO MINUTE WARNING: When the baby’s face turns red and she begins to make those familiar grunting noises.

VERBAL: Able to whine in words.

WHODUNIT: None of the kids that live in your house..

WEEKEND: When Dad gets to play golf while Mom catches up on the laundry, cleans the house, runs errands, etc.


Did you know that the biggest sellers in the bookstores are cookbooks.

The second biggest seller is diet books about how not to eat what you’ve just learned how to cook.


Hey, I like engineers, I use to work with them, so take the following with a grain of salt. Ray

Q: What is the definition of an engineer?

A: Someone who solves a problem you didn’t know you had, in a way you don’t understand.

Q: How can you tell an extroverted engineer?

A: When he talks to you, he looks at your shoes instead of his own.

Q: Why did the engineers cross the road?

A: Because they looked in the file and that’s what they did last year.

Q: How do you drive an engineer completely insane?

A: Tie him to a chair, stand in front of him, and fold up a road map the wrong way.


Q.  Why is it so important for the groom at a Jewish wedding to stomp on a wine glass?

A.  Because it’s the last time he’ll put his foot down.


I don’t think I’ll ever have a mother’s intuition.  My married sister, Anne, her twelve month old son, Timmy, and I were having lunch together in a restaurant one day. All of a sudden my sister gets up and announces she needs to excuse herself from the table to make a telephone call and would I please keep an eye on Timmy.

I said, "What do I do if he cries?"

She said, "Give him some vegetables."

It turns out that jalapenos are not his favorite.


She said: I have the most marvelous recipe for meat loaf! All I have to do is mention it to my husband and he says, "Let’s eat out!"


One day, Jimmy Joe Bob was walking down Main Street when he saw his buddy Bubba driving a brand new pickup. Bubba pulled up to him with a wide grin.

"Bubba, where’d you get that truck?!?"

"Bobby Sue gave it to me" Bubba replied.

"She gave it to you? I knew she was kinda sweet on ya, but a new truck?"

"Well, Jimmy Joe, let me tell you what happened. We were driving out on County Road 6, in the middle of nowhere. Bobby Sue pulled off the road, put the truck in 4-wheel drive, and headed into the woods. She parked the truck, got out, threw off all her clothes and said, ‘Bubba, take whatever you want’.

So I took the truck!"

"Bubba, you’re a smart man!. Them clothes woulda never fit you!"


People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness.

Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.

H. Jackson Brown, 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 2000 readers from around the world.

Happy Landings

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.

Michael Altshuler




A few weeks ago I shared some thoughts from a list of life lessons that someone had sent me. I have a few of these lists saved to savor over time. In today’s abridged world I wonder if we ever give ourselves enough time to stop, savor and think about what we see and hear. As I travel I am often given the opportunity to spend a few hours in a museum, town square, and other of those special places the world has to offer. Unfortunately these digest opportunities seldom let is do any more than sample what would be deeply enjoyed if we had the time to just stop and absorb all that we so often overlook.

Before I got off on the tangent I was about to tell you that I am going to offer you just a few items from a favorite list so they don’t get lost in the crowd of the full list. I have included a few responses to what was written, I hope you will stop and use them to trigger your own thoughts.


A few life observations

Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. I know a minute is still only a minute and a day is still just 24 hours, yet they seem to fly by faster than ever. As the years go by we realize that there is just so many days left and those that we already lived can never be reused. The secret now is to focus in on the quality of what is left and not the quantity. Each day is precious and if they are well lived life becomes more satisfying.

We should be glad we don’t get everything we ask for. Some will find this hard to believe but it is so true. Unfortunately I got more of what I have asked for then I needed and now I find myself surrounded by clutter and items of no value or consequence.

Money doesn’t buy class.  I can really attest to this, in recent years many of the classiest people I have met have had little more than a caring heart, a selfless demeanor and a love of their fellow man.

It’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.  Sadly we often take for granted those things that give our lives texture. Try stopping now and then and think back across a week and think about what it would have been like if not for the little things that fill your days.

Under everyone who displays a hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved. I have often run across folks that are hard to appreciate and in most cases they did not like who they were. The lonesome and under confident often over compensate to cover their frailties. It may be hard but often a caring gesture or offer of friendship can begin the cure that they have spent a lifetime looking for.

The Lord didn’t do it all in one day. What makes us think we can? In my experience those who panic lose, those who persevere win.

To ignore the facts does not change the facts. If only everyone learned that facts are what exists and wishes and dogma don’t change them. We need to learn not to fight based on ideology or rumor and concentrate on understanding the facts so we can work together to find solutions.


Life is a precious gift, love is a wonderful gift, and laughter is glorious gift.

So live life to the fullest, love with all your heart, and laugh as much as you breathe.


TEACHER: If you had one dollar and you asked your father for another, how many dollars would you have??

VINCENT: One dollar.

TEACHER(sadly): You don’t know your arithmetic…

VINCENT(sadly): You don’t know my father…


“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”

Winnie the Pooh


Suzanne was on a flight from Detroit to San Diego when the guy next to her asked if she would like to play a fun game. She was tired and just wanted to take a nap, so she politely declined and rolled over to the window to catch a few winks. The neighbor persisted and explained that the game was easy and a lot of fun.

He said, "I ask you a question, and if you don’t know the answer, you pay me five dollars, and vice versa."

Again, she declined and tried to get some sleep.

Agitated, the man said, "Okay, if you don’t know the answer, you pay me $5, and if I don’t know the answer, I will pay you $500."

This caught Suzanne’s attention and, figuring there will be no end to this torment, agrees to the game. The guy asked the first question: "What’s the distance from the earth to the moon?" Suzanne doesn’t say a word, reaches into her purse, pulls out a $5.00 bill, and hands it to him.

"Okay," says the man, "your turn."

She asks, "What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four legs?"

The neighbor, puzzled, takes out his laptop computer and searches all his references… no answer. He taps into the air phone with his modem and searches the Internet and the Library of Congress… nothing. Frustrated, he sends e-mails to all his friends and coworkers but to no avail. After an hour, he woke up Suzanne and handed her $500. She thanked him and turned back to get some more sleep.

The guy, more than a little miffed, stirred Suzanne and asked, "Well, what’s the answer?"

Without a word, she reached into her purse, handed the guy $5, and went back to sleep.


"Nobody believes the official spokesman, but everybody trusts an unidentified source."

Ron Nesen


A guy was being sold a very cheap suit. "But the left arm is a lot longer than the right arm," he complained.

"That’s why the suit is such a bargain," the sales clerk explained. "Just cock your left shoulder up a little, like this, and tuck this left lapel under your chin a bit, like this."

"But the right leg is way too short," argued the customer.

"No problem," the sales clerk answered. "Just keep your right knee bent a little at all times, walk like this, and no one will notice. That’s why this suit is only thirty dollars."

Finally, the fellow bought the suit, cocked his left shoulder into the air, tucked the suit’s left lapel under his chin, bent his right knee, and limped out of the store toward his car. Two doctors happened along and noticed him. "Good heavens," the first doctor said to the second, "look at that poor crippled fellow."

"Yeah," answered the second doctor. "But doesn’t that suit fit great?"


Our daughter signed up for shop class because she thought it meant visiting different malls.


A man had finally got around to taking all his run down and broken umbrellas to the repair shop. Next morning on his way to his office, when he got up to leave the street car, he absentmindedly took hold of the umbrella belonging to the woman beside him, for he was in the habit of always carrying one. The woman cried "Stop! Thief!", grabbed her umbrella back and embarrassed the poor man no end!

That same day, he stopped at the repair shop, and received all eight of his umbrellas duly repaired and restored.. As he entered the street car, with the unwrapped umbrellas tucked under his arm, he was horrified to behold, glaring at him, the lady of his morning’s misadventure. Her voice came to him charged with a withering scorn: "Had a good day, didn’t you!"


Dance like no one is watching,

Love like you’ll never be hurt,

Sing like no one is listening,

Live like it’s heaven on earth.

William Purkey


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.

Here I come again

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not;

remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”





I have been unusually restless lately. There are major undertakings underway that I have traditionally participated in but for different reasons can no longer do so, I am like the fire-horse that responds to the alarm but no longer has a fire wagon to pull. I also have experienced an increase in available time due to such things as a friend taking on an important role in Washington while others have dropped out, disappeared or are too busy. Of course being in the summer doldrums does not help much either. I absolutely have no reason to be distressed since my life is good; it is just that it seems to have temporarily settled in to the point that it lacks its usual luster.

I have always looked forward to times when there would be enough free time to read, study and explore yet now that I have what may be an excess my mind wanders and yearns for something else. I am not naive to the point to think that the grass is greener on the other side; I have been there too often to think that. But it is different on the other side and often takes some interesting time to adjust.

So what does all this mean? It means that it is time to do another inventory and to realize that there is no reason for anxiety but rather reason to get back on the track to contentment. So you may see me out and about, just not as often with others, but I’ll be there. Who knows I might even watch you for awhile.

Steve Brunkhorst wrote recently about contentment and what he has to say is worth reading, so here goes.

Living with Contentment

Contentment is a gift of the spirit. When we feel content, we are able to look past outer appearances and see possibilities that only our hearts can see. Our eyes see with brainpower. Our hearts see with the power of faith.

We each have a creative genius who sees reality, the true potential within us. The image it registers is joy. It sees obstacles as stepping-stones to a future filled with tremendous excitement. It sees the present moment with an inner intensity that brings emotion to life. It enhances performance and makes us feel enthusiastic about the things we want to accomplish.

As energy and self-confidence flow from our passions, the grace of contentment flows from our conscious gratitude for all we have. As we express our gratitude, we expand our awareness of contentment, certain in the faith that all we experience contributes to our learning and benefit.

In an increasingly complicated world, it seems easy for contentment to slip away. It seems easy to focus on the outer appearances and circumstances we would rather not see. Would you rather live this day with contentment? Focus on what you can give, express, and create. Your creative genius is always calling to you. Stop today and listen for its quiet voice. Look for the beauty of its vision with a new spiritual perspective.

Today, notice all the simple gifts that you usually take for granted. Express gratitude for each. Move consciously into this very moment, and you will experience a genuine contentment and deep appreciation for all the magnificent possibilities and potential, which the Creator has given to you.


“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.”

Dalai Lama


"How’s your mother," a friend asked.

"Not good," I answered. "She’s got chronic frontal sinusitis."

"My goodness," the friend said.  "Where did she get that?"

"Reader’s Digest.  Last month’s issue."


Practice makes perfect, but if nobody’s perfect, why practice?


She said: The bank where I work had just installed its first 24- hour cash machine. I encouraged an elderly gentleman to take an application for the new plastic identification cards, explaining that he would be able to get cash any time of day or night.

He declined, saying, "Lady, anything I’d need money for that late at night I shouldn’t be doing."


"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal."

Albert Camus

I wonder if he means we work hard to be just like everyone else instead of being ourselves. Ray


When the employees of a restaurant attended a fire safety seminar, they watched a fire official demonstrate the proper way to operate an extinguisher.

"Pull the pin like a hand grenade," he explained, "then depress the trigger to release the foam."

Later an employee was selected to extinguish a controlled fire in the parking lot. In her nervousness, she forgot to pull the pin.

The instructor hinted, "Like a hand grenade, remember?"

In a burst of confidence she pulled the pin …. and hurled the extinguisher at the blaze.


Judge:  Was the child born out of wedlock?

Mother:  No, Sir, just outside of Louisville.


He said: My mom had decided to trim her household budget wherever possible, so instead of having a dress dry-cleaned by Stein’s Laundry she washed it by hand. Proud of her savings, she boasted to my father, "Just think, Sam, we are five dollars richer because I washed this dress by hand."

"Good," my dad quickly replied. "Wash it again!"


Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.


The day I started my construction job, I was in the office filling out an employee form when I came to the section that wanted to know:

Single__, Married__, Divorced__. 

I marked single.  Glancing at the man next to me, who was filling out the same form, I noticed he hadn’t marked any of the blanks.  Instead he’d written, "Yes, in that order."


Happy the man, and happy he alone, he who can call today his own;

he who, secure within, can say, tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.

John Dryden


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.

Ah, Sweet Liberty

“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

Benjamin Franklin




I am a little rushed today and have lost my creative muse so I looked back to see what I had published on past Fourth of July weekends. I found this six year old Daily that I feel is worth resending.


Sunday & Monday

July 4 and 5, 2004


I know that today is an important holiday for those of us who live in the United States. For the rest of our readers Monday will be normal workday, so here is a daily for the non-US readers as well as for those of us in the US.

We celebrate that our Declaration of Independence was signed and published on this day in 1776. The Declaration laid the foundation for what has now become the United States. It stated in part that:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” These words have served us well ever since that day so may years ago. Unfortunately from time to time we start to drift away from these basic principles, we start to behave as if some men are created equal, not all men. We behave as if those who have the most are the chosen and these basic truths do not apply to everyone.

Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of the good things that has been done by many in each of our home nations. I especially have great regard for friends that are making huge personal sacrifices in an effort help provide the foundation for a better lives for others. Unfortunately I sometimes think that too many of us withhold our support for these principles until we have personally made sure we are more equal, have more of everything than we really need, and because we believe the protection of the rights of others is the responsibility of someone else. Some of us do what we can as long as it does not require any sacrifice on our part.

It was not the words of the Declaration that laid the foundation for liberty and justice; it was the commitment of the people and their willingness to sacrifice. Each of us has the ability to make our own investments in the principles of the Declaration; all it takes is our willingness to do so.


I am truly free only when all human beings, men and women, are equally free. The freedom of other men, far from negating or limiting my freedom, is, on the contrary, its necessary premise and confirmation.

Mikhail Bakunin


A grandmother overheard her 5-year-old granddaughter playing "wedding." The wedding vows went like this:

"You have the right to remain silent, anything you say may be held against you, you have the right to have an attorney present. You may kiss the bride."


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

There is a hushed and awed silence in the crowded room.

Suddenly, from the back of the room, the quiet, nasal voice of an elderly woman is heard, "So what did you do with the money?"


If you let a smile be your umbrella, then most likely your rear end will get soaking wet.


A lady lost her handbag in the bustle of shopping at the mall. It was found by an honest little boy and returned to her.

Looking in her purse, she commented, "Hmmm…. That’s funny. When I lost my bag there was a $20 bill in it. Now there are twenty $1 bills."

The boy quickly replied, "That’s right, lady. The last time I found a lady’s purse, she didn’t have any change for a reward."


Parents are like shuttles on a loom. They join the threads of the past with threads of the future and leave their own bright patterns as they go.

Fred Rogers


She told me: Someone once noted that a Southerner can get away with the most awful kind of insult just as long as it’s prefaced with the words, "Bless her heart" or "Bless his heart." As in, "Bless his heart, if they put his brain on the head of a pin, it’d roll around like a BB on a six lane highway" Or, "Bless her heart, she’s so buck-toothed, she could eat an apple through a picket fence." There are also the sneakier ones: "You know, it’s amazing that even though she had that baby 7 months after they were married, bless her heart, it weighed 10 pounds."

As long as the heart is sufficiently blessed, the insult can’t be all that bad. I was thinking about this the other day when a friend was telling about her new Transplanted Northern friend who was upset because her toddler is just beginning to talk and he has a Southern accent. My friend, who is very kind and, bless her heart, cannot do a thing about those thighs of hers, was justifiably miffed about this. After all, this woman had CHOSEN to move to the South a couple of years ago. Can you believe it?" said her friend…"A child of mine is going to be "taaaallllkkin liiiike thiiiissss"

Now, don’t get me wrong. Some of my dearest friends are from the North, bless their hearts. I welcome their perspective, their friendships and their recipes for authentic Northern Italian food. I’ve even gotten past their endless complaints that you can’t find good bread down here. And the heathens, bless their hearts, don’t like cornbread! We’ve already lost too much. I was raised to say "swanee," not swear, but you hardly ever hear anyone say that anymore, I swanee you don’t. And I’ve caught myself thinking twice before saying something is "right much," "right close," or "right good" because non-natives think this is right funny indeed.

I have a friend from Bawston who thinks it’s hilarious when I say I’ve got to "carry" my daughter to the doctor or "cut off" the light.  She also gets a giggle every time I am "fixin’" to do something. And, bless their hearts, they don’t even know where "over yonder" is or what "I reckon" means! My personal favorite was my aunt, saying, "Bless her heart, she can’t help being ugly, but she could’ve stayed home."


"My husband said he needed more space. So I locked him outside."

Roseanne Barr


I was trying to get my seventh-grade history class to understand how the Indians must have felt when they first encountered the Spanish explorers.

"How would you feel," I asked, "if someone showed up on your doorstep who looked very different, spoke a strange language and wore unusual clothes? Wouldn’t you be a bit scared?"

"Nah," one boy answered, "I’d just figure it was my sister’s date."


"A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth."

Charles Darwin


A man was sick and tired of going to work every day while his wife stayed home. He wanted her to see what he went through so he prayed: "Dear Lord: I go to work every day and put in 8 hours while my wife merely stays at home. I want her to know what I go through, so please allow her body to switch with mine for a day. Amen."

God, in his infinite wisdom, granted the man’s wish. The next morning, sure enough, the man awoke as a woman.

He arose, cooked breakfast for his mate, awakened the kids, set out their school clothes, fed them breakfast, packed their lunches, drove them to school, came home and picked up the dry cleaning, took it to the cleaners and stopped at the bank to make a deposit, went grocery shopping, then drove home to put away the groceries, paid the bills and balanced the check book. He cleaned the cat’s litter box and bathed the dog.

Then it was already 1 P.M. and he hurried to make the beds, do the laundry, vacuum, dust, and sweep and mop the kitchen floor. Ran to the school to pick up the kids and got into an argument with them on the way home. Set out milk and cookies and got the kids organized to do their homework, then set up the ironing board and watched TV while he did the ironing.

At 4:30 he began peeling potatoes and washing vegetables for salad, breaded the pork chops and snapped fresh beans for supper. After supper, he cleaned the kitchen,ran the dishwasher, folded laundry, bathed the kids, and put them to bed. At 9 P.M. he was exhausted and, though his daily chores weren’t finished, he went to bed where he was expected to make love which he managed to get through without complaint.

The next morning, he awoke and immediately knelt by the bed and said, "Lord, I don’t know what I was thinking. I was so wrong to envy my wife’s being able to stay home all day. Please, oh please, let us trade back."

The Lord, in his infinite wisdom, replied, "My son, I feel you have learned your lesson and I will be happy to change things back to the way they were. You’ll just have to wait nine months, though. You got pregnant last night."


The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal well-meaning but without understanding.

Louis D. Brandeis


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.

Hi July!

"Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world."

Ada Louise Huxtable



I can’t believe that we are now into the second half of 2010. It seems like the days go by faster than ever, leaving much undone. I hope that the next six months are more tranquil than the past six and that we overcome the problems that seem almost insurmountable these days. I know one thing it is not the time to sit idly by leaving to others the task of doing what needs to be done. I can’t stop the oil that continues to pollute the Gulf of Mexico nor can I solve the global economic problems, but I can help others while doing everything I can not to be part of the problem.

While the clock keeps ticking and the world continues to turn there are something’s that provide us a sense of order and warmth. Not the least of these is our traditional holidays including U.S. Independence Day which we will celebrate on the Fourth of July and will be followed by a national holiday for us living in the United States. But lest we forget there is more to July than just fireworks, picnics and family get-togethers on the Fourth. July is also:

Hitch Hiking Month – I am old enough to remember when hitch hiking was practical and safe. These days it might be better to just give the driver all you have and ask him to please not give you a ride. Although I wonder if those who have lost everything have any alternative than to rely on finding a good Samaritan to pick them up.

Hot Dog Month – OK I am going to get into this one, but you must promise not to tell my doctors.

Ice Cream Month – Sure now that I have started my latest diet they want me to eat ice cream.

National Anti-Boredom Month – OK I’m up for this, what do you want to do?

National Eye Exam Month – I do have to see my ophthalmologist this month but the really didn’t have to make this big a deal about it.

National Peach Month – I love this one and actually jumped the gun and started consuming peaches last month

National Purposeful Parenting Month – I don’t really understand this one. Does it mean that kids that you don’t have on purpose are exempt from parental guidance; if that is the case it would explain a lot.

Sports and Recreation Month – I really need to exercise more, I just don’t know where to start, I have yet to get over the leg cramps I got watching the US play in the world cup on television.


"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism."

Erma Bombeck


The new Ensign was assigned to subs, where he’d dreamed of working since a young boy. He was trying to impress the Master Chief with his expertise learned in Sub School.

The Master Chief cut him off quickly and said, "Listen, ‘sir’, its real simple. Add the number of times we dive to the number of times we surface. Divide that number by two. If the result doesn’t come out even, don’t open the hatch."


A man has reached middle age when he is cautioned to slow down by his doctor instead of by the police.


In Miami, the jurors in a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against the tobacco industry were ordered by the judge to not see the new movie "The Insider", because it might influence their verdict. He also ordered them not to see "The House on Haunted Hill".

The prosecutor was surprised to hear this instruction and he said "I understand why you’ve instructed the jurors to not see ‘The Insider’, but why should they avoid the second movie, your honor?"

Being quick and to the point, the judge firmly stated "Because it stinks!"


Those who can’t laugh at themselves leave the job to others.


She was trying to get her seventh-grade history class to understand how the Indians must have felt when they first encountered the Spanish explorers. "How would you feel," she asked, "if someone showed up on your doorstep who looked very different, spoke a strange language and wore unusual clothes? Wouldn’t you be a bit scared?" "Nah," one boy answered, "I’d just figure it was my sister’s date."


Home is where you can say anything you like ’cause nobody listens to you anyway.


An old fellow came into the hospital truly on death’s door due to an infected gallbladder. The surgeon who removed the gallbladder was adamant that his patients be up and walking in the hall the day after surgery, to help prevent blood clots forming in the leg veins. The nurses walked the patient in the hall as ordered. On the third day the had the old fellow up and the nurse told how he complained bitterly each time they did. The surgeon told them to keep walking him, no matter what.

After a fortnight, the patient was ready to go home. His family came to pick him up and thanked the surgeon profusely for what he had done for their father, telling him he was a miracle worker. The surgeon was pleased and appreciated the thanks, but told them that it was really a simple operation and that they had been lucky to get him into the hospital time.

"Oh no, doctor, you don’t understand," they said, "Our father hasn’t walked in over a year!"


A good sermon should have a good beginning and a good ending, and they should be as close together as possible.


The proud father brought home a backyard swing set for his children and immediately started to assemble it with all the neighborhood children anxiously waiting to play on it. After several hours of reading the directions, attempting to fit bolt A into slot B, etc., he finally gave up and called upon an old handyman working in a neighboring yard.

The old-timer came over, threw the directions away, and in a short while had the set completely assembled.

It’s beyond me," said the father, "how you got it together without even reading instructions."

"To tell the truth," replied the old-timer, "I can’t read, and when you can’t read, you’ve got to think."


You gotta be original, because if you’re like someone else, what do they need you for?

Bernadette Peters


Jewish Mothers don’t differ from any other in the world when it comes to bragging about their sons.  One Mother, trying to out-do another when it came to opportunities available to their just graduated-from-college sons said, "My Irving has had so many fine interviews, his resume is now in its fifth printing."


Anonymous, quite possibility the most prolific poet and writer of all time, once said …


He said: After eight days of backpacking, my wife and I were looking pretty scruffy. She came to breakfast in a baseball cap, her hair sticking out at odd angles.

She asked, "Does my hair make me look like a water buffalo?"

I thought for a moment, then said, "If I tell you the truth, do you promise not to charge?"


"Some people need a red carpet rolled out in front of them in order to walk forward into friendship.

They can’t see the tiny outstretched hands all around them, everywhere, like leaves on trees.

Miranda July


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.


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