Thursday, April 17, 2014

Business Is Good (humor)

This post has to do with stereotypes and that sometimes age and cunning will always overcome hubris and arrogance... Hope you enjoy. 
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Two businessmen in New York, were standing around and taking a break in their soon-to-be new store. As yet, the store wasn't ready, and didn't even have the shelves set up.

One said to the other, "I bet any minute now, some Jewish guy is going to walk by, put his face to the window, and ask what we're selling." 

No sooner were the words out of his mouth when, sure enough, a curious old Jewish man, walked to the window, had a peek, and in a soft voice asked, "Vot ya sellin' here?" 

One of the men replied sarcastically, "We're selling ass-holes." Without skipping a beat, the old Jewish man said, "Must be doing well...only two left."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I'd Rather Be a Pirate

Recently, I have had to make some presentations about what it takes to be an entrepreneur or start up a company, and what type of people I would hire or be associated with.  When asked, I usually come back with this question:  If you had a choice to sail the seven seas either with the Royal Navy or as a Pirate/Privateer, what would you choose?

Incredibly, the answer to this simple question is really at the crux if you can be an entrepreneur or not.  One choice offers the prestige and power of a great power, and known and respected entity, at the price of having to conform to a certain system of rules and regulations based mostly on seniority and position not necessarily performance and merit.  The other offers a high risk lifestyle, but with some freedoms and the ability to join a group of liked minded individuals.  To sail to unchartered, risky lands; to fight for what you believe in, and to seize opportunities wherever you go. How you answer this question is the basis if you will be entrepreneur or not.

If you did not choose being a pirate, does not mean you will not be a success in your own right, it just means that you prefer a more ordered and predictable path to that destination.  Risk and the ability to go to the unknown is not in your character.  Yes, you might have great success in your endeavors, but the likelihood of being wildly successful is slim. As I like to say, you never find riches on a well trodden path.

On the other hand, choosing to be a pirate actually almost guarantees you will fail! You say what?  I thought being a pirate is what it is all about, and now you say being one almost assuredly means we will fail? Well, you have to decide if that failure, or series of failures, stops you from going forward, or if you choose to go forward, for a pirate sees failure, loss and defeat as just mile markers on the road to success.  If the goal (booty) is worth more than the fear of failure?  A pirate realizes Paulo Coelho’s saying of “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

It is precisely the ability to go beyond that fear, into unknown waters that having a pirate-like mentality is so important.  While being able to do what Churchill says, "When you are going through hell, keep going." is so vitally important.  Having a pirate mind means you just cannot give up…on the goal.

Secondly, having a pirate mind also means you choose those people you associate with, and quickly realize that the number is not so important as the quality of the individuals.  As I say, “I find my chances for success improve when I associate with a few talented people as opposed to a plethora of mediocre ones.”  And this is true in ANY startup.  Pick good, liked-mined people that help you achieve your goals, and most importantly, want to be pirates.

Lastly, having a pirate like mind means that you have the flexibility and resilience to keep going towards you goal no matter what.  It is NOT about being viscous or uncouth, but in living by a code of honor that few on the outside can ever understand. So as Steve Jobs once quipped, “It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.” 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

When Wars were About Ransom

This is an interesting development about how what was old is now new again...

Let me see if I have this right...

Ukraine buys almost all its energy (natural gas) from Russia.  Revenues from natural gas are a primary source of Russia's income.

Because of the recent disagreement between Ukraine and Russia, Russia is raising the price of natural gas it sells to Ukraine.

Ukraine is almost broke and cannot afford the increase in the natural gas price because it would be forced into bankruptcy.
 

President Obama just announced the United States is giving Ukraine $1 billion to assist in paying for the higher priced natural gas it buys from Russia. 

So, the United States is actually giving Russia $1 billion because in reality, the money is just passing through Ukraine.

The first question: Has Putin figured out a way to raise the price of his natural gas sales and make the U.S. pay for the increase? 

Next question: Was he really in the KGB or was he a actually a former commodities trader? 

If this analysis is accurate, Putin just got Obama to pay him $1 billion by holding a press conference and trucking some troops across town from the Russian Navy base in Ukraine. In the days of yore, kings were never killed, but held as ransom to extort money... Well done Putin! 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Luck Has Nothing to Do with It.

Sometimes a story comes to me that I have to share.... and this one is about how sometimes luck has nothing to do with success...

This story is confirmed in Elmer Bendiner's book, The Fall of Fortresses.

"Sometimes, it's not really just luck."

Elmer Bendiner was a navigator in a B-17 during WW II. He tells this story of a World War II bombing run over Kassel, Germany, and the unexpected result of a direct hit on their gas tanks. 


"Our B-17, the Tondelayo, was barraged by flak from Nazi antiaircraft guns. That was not unusual, but on this particular occasion our gas tanks were hit. Later, as I reflected on the miracle of a 20 millimeter shell piercing the fuel tank without touching off an explosion, our pilot, Bohn Fawkes, told me it was not quite that simple."

 "On the morning following the raid, Bohn had gone down to ask our crew chief for that shell as a souvenir of unbelievable luck. The crew chief told Bohn that not just one shell but 11 had been found in the gas tanks. 11 unexploded shells where only one was sufficient to blast us out of the sky. It was as if the sea had been parted for us. A near-miracle, I thought. Even after 35 years, so awesome an event leaves me shaken, especially after I heard the rest of the story from Bohn."

He was told that the shells had been sent to the armorers to be defused. The armorers told him that Intelligence had picked them up. They could not say why at the time, but Bohn eventually sought out the answer. 

"Apparently when the armorers opened each of those shells, they found no explosive charge. They were as clean as a whistle and just as harmless. Empty? Not all of them! One contained a carefully rolled piece of paper. On it was a scrawl in Czech. The Intelligence people scoured our base for a man who could read Czech. Eventually they found one to decipher the note. It set us marveling. Translated, the note read:"

"This is all we can do for you now..."
"Using Jewish slave labor is never a good idea."

Friday, March 28, 2014

Pharmacology 101 (New Drug Names)

Some time ago, I used to work for a company that came up with names for drugs. Yes, some of them were pretty funny, but actually, there is some science to it. 

****WARNING*** This post contains some suggestive language, so if you get offended easily, please do not read (which means I know you are still going to read it!). Anyway, this is pretty funny, and I hope it gives you a chuckle!

The trade name is Tylenol® and its generic or common name is Acetaminophen. Aleve® is also called Naproxen.
Amoxil® is also called Amoxicillin and Advil® is also called Ibuprofen

The FDA has been looking for a generic name for Viagra®. After careful consideration by a team of government experts, it recently announced that it has settled on the generic name of Mycoxafloppin.

Also considered were Mycoxafailin, Mydixadrupin, Mydixarizin, Dixafix, and of course, Ibepokin.

Pfizer Corp. announced today that Viagra® will soon be available in liquid form, and will be marketed by Pepsi® Cola as a power beverage suitable for use as a mixer.. It will now be possible for a man to literally pour himself a stiff one. Obviously we can no longer call this a soft drink, and it gives new meaning to the names of 'cocktails', and 'highballs'.

Pepsi will market the new concoction by the name of: MOUNT & DO.

Thought for the day: There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra® today than on Alzheimer's research. This means that by 2040, there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

5 Lessons on How to Treat People

Here is a listing of stories that hopefully help you understand how to treat people... the author is unknown.... the wisdom is priceless.

1. First Important Lesson - "Know The Cleaning Lady"

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

"Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say "hello."

I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

2. Second Important Lesson - "Help When It Is Raining"

One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.

A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab.

She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home.

A special note was attached. It read: "Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."

3. Third Important Lesson - "Remember Those Who Serve You"

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked. "50¢," replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

"Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. "35¢!" she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left.

When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies. You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

4. Fourth Important Lesson - "The Obstacles In Our Path"

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand - "Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition."

5. Fifth Important Lesson - "Giving When It Counts (it always does)"

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.

The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save her."

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?"

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The intent of these five lessons is to inspire us to be more considerate when opportunities present themselves. Like many novels and movies, even if a story is not entirely true, it doesn't diminish the moral of the message. Thank you for your consideration in sharing the uplifting spirit of this thought-provoking collection.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Words of Wisdom

Your father probably told you a few things, but just in case he wasn’t around enough, here are some words of wisdom you might have missed out on:
  1. Buy high quality tools, so you only have to buy them once.
  2. Keep a change of clothes at the office.
  3. Never hit anyone unless they are an immediate threat.
  4. Every hat should serve a purpose.
  5. Never take her to the movies on the first date.
  6. Learn to wet shave.
  7. Nothing looks more badass than a well-tailored suit.
  8. Shave with the grain on the first go-around.
  9. Always look a person in the eye when you talk to them.
  10. Buy a plunger before you need a plunger.
  11. Exercise makes you happy. Run, lift, and play sports.
  12. Brush your teeth before you put on your tie.
  13. A small amount of your paycheck should go directly to your savings account every month.
  14. Call Mom and Dad every week.
  15. Never wear a clip-on tie.
  16. Give a firm handshake.
  17. Compliment her shoes.
  18. Never leave a pint unfinished.
  19. If you aren’t confident, fake it. It will come around.
  20. You can tell the size of a man by the size of things that bother him.
  21. Be conscious of your body language.
  22. The only reason to ever point a gun at someone is if you intend to shoot them. Period.
  23. Always stand to shake someone’s hand.
  24. Never lend anything you can’t afford to lose.
  25. Ask more than you answer. Everybody likes to talk about themselves.
  26. Never have sex with anyone that doesn’t want it as much as you.
  27. Go for women out of your league. You may end up surprised.
  28. Manliness is not only being able to take care of yourself, but others as well.
  29. Go with the decision that will make for a good story.
  30. When you walk, look straight ahead, not at your feet.
  31. Nice guys don’t finish last, boring guys do.
  32. Find your passion and figure out how to get paid for it.
  33. Don’t let the little head do the thinking for the big head.
  34. No matter their job or status, everyone deserves your respect.
  35. The most important thing you can learn is personal responsibility. Bad things happen; it’s your job to overcome them.
  36. The first one to get angry loses.
  37. A man does what needs to be done without complaining.
  38. Never stop learning.
  39. Always go out into public dressed like you’re about to meet the love of your life.
  40. Don’t change yourself just to make someone happy.
  41. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.
  42. Luck favors the prepared.
  43. Women find confidence sexy as hell.
  44. Do whatever you want to do, but be the best at it.
  45. No one is on their deathbed wishing they spent more time at work.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014

10 Country & Western Songs that Should Be Written (humor)

Well, it is that time again…SXSW has hit town, and it used to be about music…so I thought I would throw in a humor post dedicated to some of the best new Country & Western songs that have not yet come out ..but should… enjoy.. 
 
10. I Hate Every Bone In Her Body But Mine

9. I Ain't Never Gone To Bed With an Ugly Woman But I Woke Up With A Few

8. If The Phone Don't Ring, You'll Know It's Me

7. I've Missed You, But My Aim's Improvin'

6. Wouldn't Take Her To A Dogfight 'Cause I'm Scared She'd Win

5. I'm So Miserable Without You It's Like You're Still Here

4. My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend And I Miss Him

3. She Took My Ring and Gave Me the Finger

2. She's Lookin' Better with Every Beer


And the Number One Country & Western song is...

1. It's Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chewed My Ass All Day Long

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Self Made Man

There's no such thing as a self made man 
For everyone needs a helping hand 
Due to flaws in the best laid plans
Until you learn you won't understand
Even with the world at your command
Those sacrifices you had to make
A road that few will ever take
All your friends have flown away
They did not want to stay an play
Now those chances seem all gone
You wonder where it all went wrong
There's no such thing as a self made man