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About Seniors

March 15th, 2013 by Hank

Written by a second grader, on what his grandparents do —-

After Christmas , a teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their holiday away from school. One child wrote the following:

We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa. They used to live in a big brick house, but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Texas. Now they live in a tin box that has wheels, but its strapped to the ground. They ride around on their bicycles, and wear name tags, because they don’t know who they are anymore. They go to a building called a wreck center, but they must have got it fixed because it is all okay now, and they do exercises there, but they don’t do them very well.

There is a swimming pool too, but they all just jump up and down in it with hats on. At their gate, there is a doll house with a little old man sitting in it. He watches all day so nobody can escape. Sometimes they sneak out, and go cruising in their golf carts.

 Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. And, they eat the same thing every night – early birds. Some of the people can’t get out past the man in the doll house. The ones who do get out, bring food back to the wrecked center for pot luck.

 My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment, and says I should work hard so I can be retarded someday too. When I earn my retardment, I want to be the man in the doll house. Then I will let people out, so they can visit their grandchildren.

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A Lot for Fun

June 30th, 2012 by Hank

Some Native American nations (Indian tribes) give all their male members nicknames based on their behavior (remember Dances with Wolves?) — I discovered a small tribe in the Southwest named the Alots. See if you can envision each person based on their nicknames:

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Origin of Left and Right

March 18th, 2012 by Hank

I have often wondered why it is that Conservatives are called the “right”
And Liberals are called the “left.” ‘

By chance I stumbled upon this verse in the Bible:

“The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
But the heart of the fool to the left.”
Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV)

Thus sayeth the Lord. Amen.

Can’t get any simpler than that.

Spelling Lesson

The last four letters in American……….I Can
The last four letters in Republican…….I Can
The last four letters in Democrats………Rats

End of lesson. Test to follow in November, 2012

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It’s Fat Tuesday Today – Feb. 21

February 21st, 2012 by Hank

Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday, the last day before Ash Wednesday. During Mardi Gras everyone eats, and eats, and eats, and makes merry. New Orleans is famous for its Mardi Gras parades and celebrations, but did you know about Mobile, Alabama? There Mardi Gras-associated social events begin in November, followed by mystic society balls on Thanksgiving, then New Year’s Eve, followed by parades and balls in January and February, celebrating up to midnight before Ash Wednesday.

Washington’s Birthday in February gets much less attention, except for government employees, banks and a few companies that deem to call it a holiday.

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Two Choices at The Ball Game

February 6th, 2012 by Hank

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. Here is his speech:
“When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.
Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.
Where is the natural order of things in my son?”
The audience was stilled by the query. Then the father continued:
“I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled, comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.”
He paused a moment and then told the following story:
”Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball.
Shay asked, “Do you think they’ll let me play?”
I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, ‘We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.’
Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again.
Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat. At this juncture, do the others let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.
The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over.
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game. Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman’s head, out of reach of all team mates.
Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, “Shay, run to first! Run to first!”
Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, “Run to second, run to second!”
Catching his breath, Shay ran awkwardly towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time he rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball. The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions so he too intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman’s head.
Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.
All were screaming, ‘Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay’.
Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, ‘Run to third! Shay, run to third!
As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, ‘Shay, run home! Run home!’
Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.”
“That day,” said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, “the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world”
Shay didn’t make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day !
We all send thousands of jokes through email without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.
The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.
We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the ‘natural order of things.’ So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice: Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?
A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it’s least fortunate amongst them.
You now have two choices:
1. Delete or ignore this
2. Forward this to a friend
May your day, be a Shay Day.

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A Christmas Poem

December 16th, 2011 by Hank

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.

My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.

In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.

Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.

Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!

Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts…

To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.”

“It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stay here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at ‘ Pearl on a day in December,”
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam ‘,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.

I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..

Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”

“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”

“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.

To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.

Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”

Posted in Poetry | 1 Comment »

Afraid Of Rejects?

October 19th, 2011 by Hank

Scores of best-selling books have been rejected many times before being published. Here are just three examples:

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Despite its having sold 40 million copies since 1970, publishers originally thought that the concept of a book being told from the point of view of a seagull was simply ridiculous. As a result, Jonathan Livingston Seagull was rejected a total of eighteen times.

Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
These days, everyone is familiar with the Chicken Soup series. In fact, it seems there is a chicken soup title for just about everyone’s soul, from prisoners to preteens to golfers. In a little under three decades, the title has become the best-selling non-fiction series in the world, selling over 130 million copies. Before the series launched though, Canfield and Hansen were rejected by over 100 publishers. Canfield once reminisced on these not-so-good times, noting, “The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge — no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?”

Animal Farm by George Orwell
Orwell’s second best-selling novel behind 1984 was rejected four times before going on to sell 20 million copies. The main problem Orwell faced was the simple fact that his book critiqued communism while the USSR was a critical ally of the UK during WWII. What is truly interesting about this novel’s rejection though is the fact that author T.S. Eliot wrote one of the rejection letters himself, explaining “We have no conviction that this is the right point of view from which to criticize the political situation at the current time.” It wasn’t until a few months after the war ended that Orwell was able to secure a publisher for the story. The rest is literary history.

So if you want to write a book and are reluctant because you don’t know if anyone will publish it or read it, take hope. In fact, I will guarantee that we can publish it — as a printed book and/or as an E-book. Let’s talk.

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Breaking Barriers

September 23rd, 2011 by Hank

For thousands of years the learned scientists worldwide agreed it absolutely couldn’t be done, but in 1947 we broke the sound barrier in the skies of California and flew faster than sound travels (more than 700 miles per hour). Now it’s routine for aircraft to fly faster than Mach One.

The scientists swallowed their pride, but continued to proclaim that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Einstein said that energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light squared (the speed multiplied by itself). That’s a large number because light travels at 186 thousand miles per second, so c-squared is a gigantic number. The atomic bomb, based on that theory, has tremendous energy — although not as much energy as some of Nature’s thunderstorms. Nature rules, in spite of the theories of scientists. (Some people equate the words Nature and God.)

Now only sixty four years later Swiss scientists have demonstrated that things can indeed go faster than the speed of light. Of course the writers of the Star Wars movies knew that already. The space ships in those movies routinely go faster than the speed of light.

Stay tuned to see what the next broken barrier will be.

Posted in Musings, News, Philosophy | 1 Comment »

Something to Think About

September 11th, 2011 by Hank

Many people lose their health to make money… and then lose their money to restore their health. Thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present,
such that they live in neither the present nor the future. They live as if they will never die, and die as though they had never lived.

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Song Lyrics

August 18th, 2011 by Hank

Ever try to remember an old song and you just can’t remember all the words? When that happens to me, I get very frustrated.

Rejoice! I found a website that solves it.

Go to www.lyricsplayground.com

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Talk About Political Correctness……

August 10th, 2011 by Hank

I was looking up the history of putting handles on cups, on
Google the other day, and ran across the terms BCE and CE describing the dates
the handle thing started (in the Neolithic era).  Puzzled, I looked up the two sets of initials
and found out the following information:

Definition of BCE: Abbreviation for ‘Before Common Era’, a
non-religious alternative to the use of B.C. in designating the first period of
the Gregorian Calendar, the era of prehistory and much of antiquity.

BCE is the partner of CE – a replacement for A.D.: Anno Domini, The Year Of Our Lord – and itself replaces BC, Before Christ. Unfortunately, the repetition of c and e means BCE
can often be confused with CE, especially by someone scanning quickly.

Now how’s that for destroying a tradition of thousands of years, just because some nut complained to the world governments that AD and BC were religious symbols and therefore had to be abolished.

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June 28th, 2011 by Hank


God said : “Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds.. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.”

St. FRANCIS: It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers ‘weeds’ and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

GOD: Grass? But, it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn…

GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.

GOD: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

ST. FRANCIS: No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

GOD: Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

ST. FRANCIS: Yes, Sir.

GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

ST. FRANCIS: You aren’t going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

GOD: What nonsense!  At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It’s a natural cycle of life.

ST. FRANCIS: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

GOD: No?  What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

GOD: And where do they get this mulch?

ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

GOD: Enough! I don’t want to think about this anymore.  St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

ST. CATHERINE: ‘Dumb and Dumber’, Lord. It’s a story about ….

GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis!

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The Rocky Road to Father’s Day

June 11th, 2011 by Hank

Sunday June 19 will be Father’s Day. National Father’s Day originated in Spokane Washington in June 1910 — more than a hundred years ago. It was proposed as a special day one Sunday afternoon by Sonora Dodd after she attended a church memorial service honoring mothers. She wanted to honor her own father. Her Methodist Episcopal church adopted it as a day of remembrance for all fathers. However, a Father’s Day holiday was not easily accepted across the nation. The idea was often met with laughter. It was the target of much satire, derision and jokes in newspapers.

A bill to recognize it as national holiday was introduced in Congress three years after the Spokane church adopted it, but the bill failed to pass. President Woodrow Wilson campaigned in Spokane at a Father’s Day celebration in 1916 to make it official, but Congress resisted again, fearing that it would become commercialized. President Coolidge proposed in 1924 that the day be observed by the nation, but was ignored.

Finally, in 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal sharply accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers Almost ten years later President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers. After 62 years of uphill struggle, the day was made a permanent national holiday by President Nixon, who signed it into law in 1972.

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Change Is Inevitable

May 28th, 2011 by Hank

The typical 9-to-5 job is dying on the vine as more young people, as well as Baby Boomers, decide to create their own destiny by launching their own business enterprises. Yet many new business owners struggle with getting their business ideas off the ground. Once they are open for business, they often flounder as they try to soar to success.

The only thing constant in the world is change. The marketplace is changing rapidly. In fact, it is changing so fast that most of the things this year’s graduates learned may be obsolete before they leave the campus. So in order to succeed, you must be a constant learner. You must be willing to be flexible and open to new ideas. Remember, someone said the automobile would never replace the bicycle. Don’t be the person who resists change. Embrace it and constantly update your skills.

Stick to your core values. Never compromise your core values — either personally or professionally. Every time I’ve walked away from something because it wasn’t in line with my own values, an even greater opportunity appeared.

Put your customers/clients first — don’t be afraid to show them that there is a human side to your business — it makes for stronger and longer lasting business relationships!

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God is a Nickname for the Universe

May 22nd, 2011 by Hank

Many folks have difficulty trying to piece together the answers to the everlasting questions: Where did the Earth and I come from? Why am I here? How long has the Universe been around? Will it die, like humans who age? What happens to me when I die? Will I just dry up and cease to exist? Will I go somewhere? Will my spirit continue to exist, and if so how and where?

These questions have occupied mankind’s minds forever. Two groups of people have tackled the dilemma from two different directions.

Scientists lose themselves in talking with each other, writing papers, making speeches, peering through telescopes, and performing experimental lab work. Many of those who follow the scientist’s agenda band themselves together and call themselves atheists, proudly denying the existence of God.

Theologians and religious leaders spend their time inventing or promoting icons and ideas for the ordinary person to hold onto. They came up with God along the way. Some folks had trouble envisioning God so they made God a sort of amorphous person in a place called Heaven, up above us somewhere. This wasn’t enough, so they came up with the idea of prophets and Jesus, living people with whom ordinary people can identify.

I happen to be a scientist who believes in God. Let me define God though. God is merely a nickname for Nature, which itself is a nickname for the Universe.

The Universe (Nature) has been in existence for at least many billions of years (some including me believe it has always existed and will always exist). Nature sets it’s own pace and takes as long as it likes to make life happen. I don’t mean human life, but all life including everything in the Universe.

Life happens one day at a time. In spite of our efforts to slow down what’s happening, or speed it up, Nature ignores us and makes things happen at it’s own pace.If we relax and accept this fact, life becomes much easier. “God” will take care of us and run things. Continents, oceans and land masses will come and go. Earthquakes and tsunamis will reshape the landscape. Governments will come and go. Species of animal life will come and go. Life will change. We might as well do the best we can and heed the advice “Let go and let God.”

Posted in Musings, Philosophy, Uncategorized | No Comments »

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