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I Had a Drug Problem When I was Young

I Had a Drug Problem When I was YoungHappy Father’s Day!!!

The other day I was in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and someone asked me a rhetorical question, “Why didn’t we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?”

I replied that I had a drug problem when I was young, “I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.

I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.

I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profanity. I was drug out to pull weeds in mom’s garden and flower beds. I was drug to the homes of neighbors to help mow the yard, repair the clothesline, and if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, my dad would have drug me back to the woodshed.

Those drugs are still in my veins and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, or think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin, and if today’s children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place.

God bless the parents who drugged us!

The original author is unknown.

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Someone’s Son Took My Place by Crowns of Creation

Someone's Son Took My Place by Crowns of CreationJoey and Jeanne, the two musicians who make up Crowns of Creation Ministries on Amelia Island, just released their new song Someone’s Son Took My Place honoring U.S. veterans of foreign wars, especially Vietnam era soldiers.

Their inspirational music and testimonies are filled with emotion as they continue to inspire others into discipleship with Jesus Christ.

This is a personal story of thanks to those who went to war in Vietnam allowing Joey the option for college deferment.

The song is particularly moving and it is appropriate for all of the Armed Forces holidays: Veterans Day, Flag Day, Armed Services Day, and of course on this Memorial Day 2014.

Crowns Of Creation
crownsofcreation.com, © 2014

    I was 18 on my way to war
    When someone’s son took my place.
    Off to college, “2S” deferred.
    I never saw the enemy’s face.

    Soldier’s standing in my shoes
    While I ran barefoot and free.
    I didn’t see it clearly then,
    Someone’s son rescued me.

    I was just a child at 18,
    Thinking I knew everything.
    When war ended I heard things,
    Unimagined sufferings.

    They came home to no support,
    And no appreciation.
    Fighting an unpopular war
    No ticker tape. Just alienation.

    Marching toward the Eve Of Destruction,
    Endless killing season,
    Foxholes turning soldiers into saints.

    One day I heard about a Son of man.
    Obeying orders from High Command.
    Gave His life for the human race.
    Someone’s Son took my place.

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Driverless Cars Force Police Budget Changes

autonomous 1

I think this would be great!!!!

I have been fascinated by the possibilities of driverless cars ever since I read John Barnes’ sci-fi thriller “Mother of Storms” in 1995 after Hurricane Luis devastated my favorite island St.Maarten.
One of the things that makes this story really interesting aside from all of the carnage created by a giant hurricane that spawns off siblings left and right to crush the far corners of the world, is that at this point in time (2028) the entire world is linked by a virtual-reality network, so everyone can experience the devastation as if they were living through it. And in the middle of it operates a media reporter whose driverless RV moves effortlessly between all projected danger zones. Amazon still has the book available and if you like a more qualified glance into the future, I recommend it as a summer read – even though it’s not an easy read.
The line in the novel that I remember as the first time realization that cars in the future will be driving autonomously was: “Randy Householder is cruising I-80 out of Sacramento in a car so old it had to be retrofitted to drive itself.”

Well add 20 years to the timeline and Google’s driverless cars have now combined driven more than 700,000 miles on public roads without receiving one citation, The Atlantic reported this week. While this raises a lot of questions about who is responsible to pay for a ticket issued to a speeding autonomous car – current California law would have the person in the driver’s seat responsible, while Google has said the company that designed the car should pay the fine – it also hints at a future where local and state governments will have to operate without a substantial source of revenue. Many car manufacturers have made major progress in developing autonomous cars.

Changing Law Enforcement Budgets

Approximately 41 million people receive speeding tickets in the U.S. every year, paying out more than $6.2 billion per year, according to statistics from the U.S. Highway Patrol published at StatisticBrain.com. That translates to an estimated $300,000 in speeding ticket revenue per U.S. police officer every year. State and local governments often lean on this source of income when they hit financial trouble. A study released in 2009 examined data over a 13-year period in North Carolina, finding a ‘statistically significant correlation between a drop in local government revenue one year, and more traffic tickets the next year,’ Popular Science reported. So, just as drug cops in Colorado and Washington are cutting budgets after losing revenue from asset and property seizures from marijuana arrests, state and local governments will need to account for a drastic reduction in fines from traffic violations as autonomous cars stick to the speed limit.”

But that is of course only the beginning of the new realities unfolding.
Don’t forget how driverless cars will ravage car insurance companies, public transport, shipping and taxis, inasmuch as electric cars will ruin service and gas stations. In the end, the amount of change happening because of driverless and electric cars is going to be staggering, on a scale that we can’t really fathom yet.

But then also remember the poor horse and buggy, typewriter, 8-track, vhs, projection/crt display, etc. etc. etc and slave whip & chain industries.
We don’t know what the future will bring even if we imagine going back a long time ago, before air travel, electricity, internet, tv, vaccines and whatever else. We only know for sure that things are changing.

autonomous2Ultimately we may see a road system like the Internet. If packets of information can find their own way through private networks to their destination, why shouldn’t people? Imagine if neighborhood roads were privately-owned, a resident committee would set their own speed limits and potential fines. As a customer, if you didn’t feel safe or got ripped off from an arbitrary fine, you could always choose a different route.
But above all the taxpayer would be given a deal he can’t refuse and therefore will not be allowed to take.

Law Enforcement however will have less to fear from diminishing budgets because of technological advancements because it’s function is already secured with the creation of the “War on Terrorism”. Even though Historians have already established the fact that the atrocities of terrorism are indiscriminate because they are committed by groups of dissenting individuals willing to forcefully take their dissent to the street, while as an enemy they are essentially invisible as it can not claim a particular nation as its home.
When war on terror materialized as an option for continuous conflict, Governments rapidly developed a plan to justify budgets like never before, justified by something as ludicrous as the words: “credible threat.”

But with technology moving forward we have to learn to embrace irony in the making. Why do you think we are looking at pot legalization in the next few election cycles? The fact that the entire stance on pot, even the war on drugs, was based on lies, has been known for a long time. The fact that it’s safer than alcohol is pretty much uncontested now, so what changed?
Well two things are happening:
• safety and protection have become the main concern of many western societies, allowing governments to allocate any some of money needed to execute their programs and
• technology allows for complete control of citizens’ lives, whether it’s by controlling the houses they live in, the cars they drive (or being driven in), their jobs, their travels and any aspect of the lives they live.

So the irony for the future foresees, that driving a driverless car while intoxicated by drugs and/or alcohol will not be illegal anymore! Nor will be texting, amorous encounters in the backseat or eating a 4 course dinner while watching a movie about marijuana growers in Oregon.

Take that for a future.

Hilarious Satire Video on Advertising in the 21st Century


The Tender Years
The Tender Years

During a lifetime in advertising and marketing, dating back to the mid 1970s, I’ve always adhered to Bill Bernbach’s Principal Quotes as the one and only “advertising strategy” that works. The founder of New York’s premier agency for much of the 20th century often said: “Everything you write … everything on a page-every word, every graphic symbol, every shadow-should further the message you’re trying to convey.” If Bernbach believed a product could not live up to its advertising, he would not take on the client. No matter the budget. That’s integrity!

Compare that to advertising today and sadly realize that the industry over-all has degraded to vague, inspirational nonsense to try and capture people’s attention. Just watch the stupendous pharmaceutical commercials these days and cringe as a narrator’s voice spews incomprehensible words and terms into your living room in an effort to convince us that they have the answer to what maybe ailing us.

Bernbach would have agreeably smiled however over the words New York copy writer Kendra Eash wrote in an amazing bit of satire mocking how the ad industry these days likes to use vaguely formulated nonsense to capture people’s attention. So when Dissolve, a stock video distributor, that provides many of the emotionally loaded scenes used in commercials took her words and visualized them in an amazingly nondescript, faux-inspirational video (from stock footage) that tells you absolutely nothing at all, I had to naturally think off Bill Bernbach. Watch the video…it’s kind of hilarious. 2:19 is my favorite moment.
If you run an ad agency, please use this as a clarion call to say actual things in your clients’ commercials. Things that actually add something to the discourse. Stop being bombastic.

For the reader’s convenience I have included the written copy.

Narrator: We think first of vague words that are synonyms for progress and pair them with footage of a high-speed train. 
Science is doing lots of stuff that may or may not have anything to do with us. See how this guy in the lab coat holds up a beaker? That means we do research. Here’s a picture of DNA.

There are a shitload of people in the world, especially in India. See how we’re part of the global economy? Look at those farmers in China, but we also do business in the U.S.A. Or want you to think we do. Check out this wind energy thing in Indiana, and this blue-collar guy with dirt on his face. Whew. Also, we care about the environment, loosely. Here’s some powerful, rushing water, and people planting trees. Our policies could be related to these panoramic views of Costa Rica.

In today’s high-speed environment, stop-motion footage of a city at night with cars turning quickly makes you think about doing things efficiently and time passing. Lest you think we’re a faceless entity, look at all these attractive people. Here’s some of them talking and laughing, and closeups of hands passing canned goods to each other in a setting that evokes community service.

Equality, innovation, honesty, and advancement are all the words we choose from a list. Our profits are awe-inspiring like this guy who’s looking up and pointing at a skyscraper or a kite while smiling and explaining something to his child. Using a specific ratio of Asian people to black people to women to white men, we want to make sure we represent your needs and interests, or at least a version of your skin color in our ads. Did we put a baby in here? What about an ethnic old man and his wrinkled smile represents the happiness and wisdom of the poor. Yep.

If only Miss Eash would have put a dancing puppy or adorable kitty somewhere in this wonderful essay, satirical perfection would have been accomplished.

The Car Thief Who Just Got out of Prison

The Car Thief Who Just Got out of PrisonA woman hurried to the pharmacy to get medication. When she returned to her car she found that she had locked her keys inside. The woman found an old rusty coat hanger left on the ground. She looked at it and said “I don’t know how to use this.”

She bowed her head and asked God to send her some help. Within five minutes a beat-up old motorcycle pulled up, driven by a bearded man who was wearing an old, weathered, “do-rag” with skulls on it. He got off of his bike and asked if he could help.

She said, “Yes, my daughter is sick. I’ve locked my keys in my car and I must get home. Please,” she pleaded, “Can you use this hanger to unlock my car?”

He said “Sure.” He walked over to the car, and in less than a minute the car was open. She hugged the man and through tears said “Thank You so much! You are a very nice man.”

The man replied “Lady, I am NOT a nice man. I just got out of prison yesterday, I was in prison for car theft.”

The woman hugged the man again; she was still sobbing, “Oh, thank you, God!” She shouted to the sky, “You even sent me a Professional!”

The moral of the story? “When God sends you help, don’t ask questions.”

Original author is unknown.

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Happy Mother’s Day 2014

Happy Mother's Day 2014The image is of my great-grandmother, holding my great-uncle Carl.

The following is an email I received several months ago, but thought it was appropriate to keep until Mother’s Day rolled around in 2014. For all of you Mothers out there… enjoy! The original author is unknown.

The One Flaw In Women

By the time the Lord made woman, He was into his sixth day of working overtime. An angel appeared and said, “Why are you spending so much time on this one?”

And the Lord answered, “Have you seen my spec sheet on her? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have over 200 movable parts, all replaceable, be able to run on Diet Coke and leftovers, have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart and she will do everything with only two hands.”

The angel was astounded at the requirements. “Only two hands? No way! And that’s just on the standard model? That’s too much work for one day. Wait until tomorrow to finish.”

“But I won’t,” the Lord protested. “I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart. She already heals herself when she is sick and can work 18 hour days.”

The angel moved closer and touched the woman. “But you have made her so soft, Lord.”

“She is soft,” the Lord agreed, “but I have also made her tough. You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish.”

“Will she be able to think?” Asked the angel.

The Lord replied, “Not only will she be able to think, she will be able to reason and negotiate.”

The angel then noticed something, and reaching out, touched the woman’s cheek. “Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model. I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one.”

“That’s not a leak,” the Lord corrected, “That’s a tear!”

“What’s the tear for?” The angel asked.

The Lord said, “The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love, her loneliness, her grief and her pride.”

The angel was impressed. “You are a genius, Lord. You thought of everything! Woman is truly amazing.”

“Yes she is! Women have strengths that amaze men. They bear hardships and they carry burdens, but they hold happiness, love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry. They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous.

They fight for what they believe in. They stand up to injustice. They don’t take ‘no’ for an answer when they believe there is a better solution. They go without so their family can have.

They go to the doctor with a frightened friend. They love unconditionally. They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards. They are happy when they hear about a birth or wedding. Their hearts break when a friend dies.

They grieve at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left. They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all shapes, sizes and colours. The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning. They bring joy, hope and love. They have compassion and ideals. They give moral support to their family and friends. Women have vital things to say and everything to give.

…and the Lord continued, “However, if there is one tiny flaw in women, it is that they forget their worth.”


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Learning from Foolish Mistakes

As the eagle catches the snake

As the eagle catches the snake

You got to be kidding me! Don’t tell me you made another stupid mistake?!  What is the matter with you? Didn’t you learn from the last time you did something this stupid?

Sounds familiar? If it does, you should keep in mind that we all make mistakes.  Edison made 1001 attempts by his own counting before he invented the light bulb, but thank God he kept trying, or we’d all be in the dark right now.  Walt Disney declared bankruptcy more than once, but if he hadn’t gone on, in spite of himself, Mickey would be starving in the street instead of living in that lavish palace of his.  Babe Ruth struck out many more times than he hit home runs, and everybody thought he was “bats” until he turned it towards his advantage (Sorry…couldn’t resist that one).  And you too will fail, again and again.  But the secret to success is forgiving yourself and to keep trying.

Some of these famous predecessors  have demonstrated that we only have failed, when we quit. If you cannot make a successful decision, then every aspect of your behavior is affected. Emotionally, you are hurting inside and not at all aware of how to stop that inner storm. Outside, you attempt to seem like everything is okay, and you are stable and calm, making your inner storm even greater, because you are living your own personal lie. Let me make an attempt to help you out of some of this storm.

Perhaps some of these suggestions will bring you enough calm to get back on the path of making successful decisions that can turn your life around. Before we even begin the decision process, you have to be aware of who you are and where you are going. Millions of people have no idea who they are or why they are here. So many of us wander in mental oblivion, making wrong decisions and watching our world crumble before our eyes, and not even knowing why.

If you need statistics, all you have to do is examine the number of divorces in your county (approximately 2 out of 3 marriages end in divorce), number of murders in the past six months, assaults by juvenile delinquents who are being brought up by confused parents who have no idea how to raise their children, theft and robberies, war, and I could go on and on, and so could you. And of course, the results reveal that all of this is unsuccessful decision making. A simple examination of who you are and why you are making wrong decisions could turn this troubling trend around in no time, and sometimes the solution is no further than a simple change of your mind.

You must match your goals to the decision you are making, determining first if your goal is worthwhile, and then why there are problems that need decisions because of the activity that is bringing you to your goals. And now you are ready to deal with the problem by going through the decision process. Expert decision makers can go through this process quickly and solve many problems, both theirs and others, and they become known for their wisdom. Too many people rely on impulse or intuition to make their decisions, which ultimately causes us to experience divorce, or delinquency, or war. And many besides just the decision makers live with the consequences.

If we walk before we run, if we slow ourselves down to determine the good and bad of what we are about to do, and why we are about to do it, then we can greatly improve our activity and the quality of our life. Now you are ready to begin the Decision-making Process. And just because you have done the research, you still have to supply the input as to what is better or worse for the decision-making process. You must honestly ask questions objectively and see where your research takes you.

Maybe you have a talent for math, but you still hate the idea of being an accountant. You have to pay attention to yourself and the advantages as well as the disadvantage to make your decisions properly. Sometimes a “best choice” is temporary, depending on the circumstances, and that means that the choice will only work for a period of time. There are very few permanent decisions. In fact, believing that a decision is permanent is usually fatal. Getting married and assuming marriage is going to be permanent no matter what, is almost always fatal. We can lose it if we don’t make the decision to refresh our marriage every day. Every new day of our job needs to be refreshing, and any relationship without fresh decisions is almost always fatal. There are short term goals and long term goals, and we must identify which is which, and how each applies to our situation, or situations, as the case may be. Each plan, each decision, is simply a starting point for living right, for making proper decisions, for making your life what you want it to be. Be creative: Search your options and make a decision. Change them as they need to be refreshed, and learn to live happy and in the wisdom of making right and proper decisions.

He who does not pay attention to his personal history and the lessons to be learned from his own experience will be forced to repeat it. And last but not least, learn from those who have gone before us, even if they have already passed away. They also went through a life of experiences, of trials and tribulations, often forced by the same experiences of having made the obvious mistakes.

Rita Kirkland Named Mentor of the Year

Rita Kirkland Named Mentor of the Year

Josilyn and Rita

Yulee, FL – On February 12, 2014 a Leadership Summit was held in Tallahassee for Take Stock in Children’s State Office. Rita Kirkland, a mentor in the Take Stock in Children Nassau program, and a resident of Hilliard, was honored at this gathering as the “2014 Mentor of the Year.” This award was presented to Rita after a very thorough selection process—hundreds and hundreds of mentors all across the state of Florida were nominated. However, the compelling testimonies of all five of Rita’s mentees helped tip the scales in her favor for this honor.

Chetney Woodburn, one of Rita’s students from Hilliard Middle-Senior High School, wrote, “It’s hard to explain how one person can affect your life so deeply in such a short amount of time. I am forever in awe of Rita’s compassion and serving nature.”

Since 2003, Rita has mentored five different students in the Take Stock program, including Chetney. She has helped pave individual paths of success for each one of them. Through her time with these mentees, she has been witness to many personal and academic growths and achievements.

Kenny and Rita

Kenny and Rita

Rita has provided guidance to her students to help them face the many obstacles and challenges in life that make it difficult for them to finish high school and/or go onto college. Rita focuses on teaching them life skills, which she says are as important as academics. Over the years, Rita’s relationship and trust with her students has acted as a platform to help them think through their actions and consequences and confidently accomplish their goals in school and life.

With kindness and compassion, Rita puts a personal touch to the advice and guidance she offers each mentee. For her current student, Josilyn Newman, she offered her direction with her dreams of Veterinary School by connecting her to the program, “Juss Horsing Around.” For Chetney Woodburn, Rita offered balance and stability as Chetney weathered tough personal experiences including her parent’s divorce. For her first mentee, Amanda Woods, Rita helped her grow from a child to a teenager by broadening her experiences through education and exposure to out-of-classroom learning models. For Kenny Zodel, Rita was more than just a mentor. She was the mother-like figure he needed in his life when he lost both of his parents suddenly in middle school. Rita still continues to be involved in Kenny’s life to this day.

Take Stock in Children Nassau is so proud of all of our mentors who dedicate their time and show compassion to all of the students in our program in an effort to help provide them the guidance and direction they need to succeed. If you would like more information on becoming a mentor in the Take Stock program, please call Sharon Collins, Executive Director at 904-548-4464.

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Targeting Innovations in Veteran Mental Health

Targeting Innovations in Veteran Mental HealthWashington DC – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the first of multiple Industry Innovation Competitions in 2014, which identifies, tests, and evaluates promising innovations that enhance the accessibility and quality of mental health care and services delivered to Veterans.

“VA has established a track record as an innovative organization that welcomes new ideas,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “This competition represents an important way for us to tap the significant pool of talent and expertise inside and outside of government to improve mental health care and services for our Nation’s Veterans, their families, and survivors.”

The innovations from this competition will add to VA’s already extensive mental health programs, which can be found at www.mentalhealth.va.gov.

The competition is part of the VA Center for Innovation (VACI), a department-wide program that seeks the most promising innovations from employees, the private sector, non-profits, and academia to increase Veterans’ access to VA services, improve the quality of services delivered, enhance the performance of VA operations, and reduce or control the cost of delivering those services.

“With this competition we are focused on challenges that affect a population much larger than our Veterans; these are challenges facing our entire nation as we rethink our approaches to mental health care and services,” said Patrick Littlefield, Acting Director, VA Center for Innovation. “We anticipate these efforts will benefit a very large community of providers and customers. Here at VA, we continue to be focused on bringing to bear the best-of-breed solutions to serve our Veterans and their mentally healthy futures.”

This Industry Innovation Competition seeks creative solutions in three areas of significant importance to VA. Public and private companies, entrepreneurs, universities and non-profits are encouraged to propose new ways to respond to Veteran mental health challenges specific to the topics:
-Upstream Suicide Intervention
-Improving Veterans Receptivity to Mental Health Care to Promote Treatment, Engagement, and Participation
-Innovative Methods of Incentivizing Behavior to Improve Mental Wellness

These topics and processes are detailed in the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) and can be found at www.fbo.gov (RFP No. VA118-14-R-0077) and at: www.innovation.va.gov/.

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More Pitfalls in the English Language

We pump what our competition talk - Louis

While discussing the virtues of horse shit (I use the word “shit” as long as I don’t say it out loud, can I?), one morning over coffee, I mused once again how moronically complicated and confusing the English language can be. Horse dodo is great fertilizer but somehow the word fertilizer seems inappropriate in transferring a mental picture. Germanic languages use the word “mest” for excrements, which somehow just seems to sound much more in line with the fertilizing qualities of shit. When looking for the word ‘excrement’ the dictionary explains that it pertains to waste, expelled from the body after digestion. Like any good farmer knows, “shit is great fertilizer”. It makes plants and trees grow healthy and big. The redeeming quality of shit is that in nature it rebuilds in a continuous cycle. It’s one of nature’s natural growth enhancers.
But apparently in our language and culture it has been degraded to waste.

So I started thinking about all the bleeps I hear these days on TV when an anchor or actor says ‘SHIT’, because somehow this is considered a curse word. I hear young parent whisper ‘S  H   I   T’ so their offspring does not pick up a word associated for some incredibly moronic reason with cursing. Living on the beach I see people walking their dogs, which eventually bent down in a strained position and relief themselves. The next thing I see is plastic bags coming out of pockets and the shit is carefully scooped into the bag to be discarded in containers at the respective beach entrances. Yes this is considerate behavior when it comes to fellow beach goers. Problem again is that something potentially positive for a healthy environment, ends up in plastic, which is incredibly dangerous for the environment.

Obviously it’s not the language’s fault that humans turn words into meanings they were never intended for. I remember the looks I got the first time I announced here in the States that I was going to take a douche. Considering that English is a derivative language, the word douche should never have been interpreted as dealing with cleanliness of female private parts. The word comes from the Latin word duction-, ductio means of conveying water, from ducere to lead, a water pipe or conduit. In Italian as in most other European languages, douche means SHOWER! I accuse English to be a lazy language, that picks from many other languages, often without properly researching the cultural meaning and thus interpreting loosely.

Here are some other enigmas put forward by the English language, that at some time may or may not become violations of etiquette by the language police.
Homographs are words with the same spelling but with more than one meaning. And then there is the ultimate complication when a homograph is also pronounced differently, which is called a heteronym. Here are some examples that fit either one or both in some weird combination:
•    The bandage was wound around the wound.
•    The farm was used to produce produce.
•    The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
•    We must polish the Polish furniture.
•    He could lead if he would get the lead out.
•    The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
•    Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
•    A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
•    When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
•    I did not object to the object.
•    Can you bank on the Bank you keep your accounts with?

Just saying…

Language Humor

Now humor is always a great language inspiration as you can read from the following examples of business signs:

Sign over a gynecologist’s office:
“Dr. Jones, at your cervix.”
In a podiatrist’s office:
“Time wounds all heels.”
On a septic tank truck:
Yesterday’s Meals on Wheels
At an optometrist’s office:
“If you don’t see what you’re looking for,
you’ve come to the right place.”
On a plumber’s truck:
“We repair what your husband fixed.”
On another plumber’s truck:
“Don’t sleep with a drip. Call your plumber.”
At a tire shop in Milwaukee:
“Invite us to your next blowout.”
On an electrician’s truck:
“Let us remove your shorts.”
In a non-smoking area:
“If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.”
On a maternity room door:
“Push. Push. Push.”
At a car dealership:
“The best way to get back on your feet—miss a car payment.”
Outside a muffler shop:
“No appointment necessary. We hear you coming.”
In a veterinarian’s waiting room:
“Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!”
At the electric company:
“We would be delighted if you send in your payment.
However, if you don’t, you will be.”
In a restaurant window:
“Don’t stand there and be hungry;
come on in and get fed up.”
In the front yard of a funeral home:
“Drive carefully. We’ll wait.”
And don’t forget the sign at a
Chicago radiator shop:
“Best place in town to take a leak.”
And the best one for last
Sign on the back of another septic tank truck:
“Caution—This Truck is full of political promises”

or as a sceptic truck down in beautiful St.Maartin reads on both sides:
“We pump what our competition talk.

Are You a Fan of In God We Trust

Are You a Fan of In God We TrustThere has been a lot of legal talk in the media lately about removing In God we Trust from post offices, and even our United States currency, but there is a movement for payback

for the Texas post offices that were force to take dow their small posters with the impassioned quote. The idea was sent to me after a friend heard the idea on the radio.

Simply write, In God We Trust, on the back of your envelopes.

After all, that’s our National Motto and it is on all of the money we use to buy those stamps that support post offices!

If you want to make an effort to take back our nation from all the people who think that anything that offends them should be removed, well, now is your chance.

Perhaps you can put it on facebook, have a rubber stamp made, add the quote to your email signature, too.

If the majority of Americans believe in God, why on earth is there such a mess about saying, “In God We Trust”?

If God is on our money and in our Pledge of Allegiance, then the next time we “stand up” for our country’s anthem, the rest of you all can just sit the Hell back down and shut up!

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Las Vegas: Age and Skill Usually Beats Youthful Arrogance

Boomer Humor delivered by deNiro,Douglas,Morgan and Kline

I actually often think that I’m a 25 year old mind trapped in a 63 year old body. And the line coming from Michael Douglas in the feelgood funny movie Las Vegas sounded something like: “I went to bed last night and was 19 and woke up 70 this morning.”

If you’re a boomer and haven’t seen the movie yet with co-stars Robert de Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and amazingly well voiced Mary Steenburgen, you should rent it. Not because it’s so amazingly acted, or the aging topics at hand have not been covered a thousand times before, but because it is a feel good movie for baby boomers who are getting squeezed into society’s collection bin of “used to be”. That’s why I smiled when the following dog tale crossed my screen as a lesson I would like to share with you.

Smart Old Dog Tale

One day an old German Shepherd forgetting his age, started chasing rabbits and before long, discovered he was lost. Wandering about, he became aware of a young panther heading rapidly in his direction with the clear intention of having lunch.
The old German Shepherd thought, “Uh oh! I’m in deep trouble now!”

Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settled down to chew on them with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the panther was about to leap, the old German Shepherd exclaimed, “Boy, that was one delicious panther! I wonder if there are any more around here?”

Hearing this, the young panther halted his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror came over him, and he rapidly slunk away into the trees.
“Whew!” said the panther, “That was close! That old German Shepherd nearly had me!”

Meanwhile, a squirrel, who had watched the whole scene from a nearby tree, figured he could put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther. So, off he went to spill the beans and strike a deal. The young panther was furious at being made a fool of and said, “Here, squirrel, hop on my back and watch what I do to that conniving canine!”

Once again, the old German Shepherd saw the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thought, “Oh shit, what am I going to do now?” Yet instead of running, the dog sat down with his back to his attacker and pretended he hadn’t seen them yet. And when they get close enough to hear, the old German Shepherd said…

“Where the hell is that squirrel? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!”

Don’t mess with the old dogs! Age and skill for now will still overcome youth.

Everyone is Afraid of Something

Searchamelia inspirational

What is your biggest Fear?

We all fear something, even though sometimes exactly what we’re afraid of, stays in hiding, because we live in a society that manages to paint over the emotions of fear. We also seem to fear the anticipation of the unknown, like the current snow weather alert here in North Florida, that keeps thousands in house because of fear to drive.

Look at that apparently self-assured man in a nice suit going to work.  And see that mom struggling to keep her four kids nearby so they don’t get lost?  And this may surprise you, but the same fears that you felt fall upon you this morning as you were getting dressed are the same fears inside these people about to face the challenges of the day.

We are all afraid of something, and most of the time, it is something that hides in the dark crevices of our mind of which we normally never reveal. But the fact is, most of us are afraid daily of many things. People you may meet on a daily basis are far more afraid of life and its personal dangers than what you would presume, and you would be very surprised if you knew what it was that plagues them. Would you be surprised to know that the greatest fear is Public Speaking? And that most everybody is afraid of the dark?

We all have things we fear. And when that fear takes over, it is demoralizing, paralyzing, and waiting for us to fail. Fear has kept us from so many of our successes, and to this day causes many to not see what they could enjoy if they were not afraid. And usually their greatest fear is failure. So many dreams and plans have been spoiled or not even ventured simply because we are afraid to get out there and find or even build whatever it takes to make our dreams come true. It destroys our own security and distinctly refuses to allow us the experience of going into newfound places and/or the meeting of new people with ideas different from our own.

Fantastic opportunities available to all of us get destroyed or even ignored simply because we have developed a fear, sometimes because of our experience, or our disappointment, or because we have been lied to, cheated, or just ignored.

Fear paralyzes our movement, and certainly kills our desire to try something new. And what is even worse, somebody takes the opportunity that you had offered to you because you refused to go into that area and try it yourself because you were afraid. But the problem of your fear doesn’t just fade with the loss of opportunity. It leaves residuals that you have not been prepared to deal with, like rejection and anger and bitterness. You are mad at yourself, and sometimes you even turn that anger on to the rest of the world, making you angry with the world and the way it has treated you. Or sometimes you will turn everything inward, angry and bitter, and refusing to leave the house or venture in a new opportunity that just might bring you more happiness, you instead sit in your anger and disappointment, and it shows in your future endeavors. You refuse it because it’s risky, or might hurt you in some way. You would rather stay safe and rejected, often that very rejection coming from yourself.

Often this path is the path that we most choose, a life without risk, a path of security. You hate the job, but you will stay there for 40 years because they offer a retirement plan that you can use in your final years, if you reach that stage. You never meet the man or woman of your dreams because you refuse to experience the rejection of talking to some one new. The levels of happiness you reach are slight, but at least you ponder they are without risk. So what does it take to overcome such fear and to make yourself a success?

Well, one suggestion would be to search your inner heart, the being in the part of you that no one else knows, and you learn whatever it is that you dream and really want. And if the dream is healthy and meaningful, and could make you happy, then you make it come true, no matter what the risk. You move in directions that only appear when you bring your dream into existence, and you follow those road maps within you until you get some kind of success.

Afraid to take the steps? Then start with some small ones. You don’t have to do everything all at once. Ask for advice as you carefully try to get closer to whatever dreams you have. And when you have finally accomplished what you want, when you have finally seen some success, whether it be in a significant relationship, or the way you raise your kids, or your dream job, or even just your dream vacation, you will find that a small success burns into your life a bigger one, and the bigger they get, the more success you will experience. Don’t let fear paralyze you.

Dream, and then make it happen. The risk will be worth it. And remember, you’re not the only one that is afraid: We all are afraid.

(Get his newest book, “If Life Is A Grocery Store, I Need Better Coupons!” by Dr. Keith Johnson at Amazon.com)

Council on Aging Fix It Volunteers at Your Service

Searchamelia: Nassau County Council on Aging Fix It Volunteers

COA Volunteers Suggest Calling them long before this occurs

Here on Amelia Island and Nassau County Florida, we all know of the 5 outreach programs offered to the senior community by the Council on Aging. From transportation services and meals on wheels to Adult Day Healthcare, in-home services and 2 senior centers, COA serves the needs of seniors in this county for more than 40 years.

The Fix It Volunteers is a “new” service that assist seniors with repair issues in their homeplace.

One of Nassau County’s many charms is the sense of rustic Florida with all the nature that comes with it. Sometimes the natural world gets a bit too close, however. Homeowners all over Nassau County are all too familiar with raccoons and possums, and the occasional loud bump as tree limbs or heavy branches hit the roof during storms. But what happens when you’re an elderly person, living alone, and a heavy tree branch lands on the roof?   Unfortunately, there are often no immediate symptoms and soon it’s forgotten.  Time and weather may then become the enemy.

Seniors throughout the county have this happen to their homes regularly.  If there’s no damage to the roof, the branch is just a nuisance. However, if the limb or branch rips a shingle or punctures the roof underlayment, this leads to a cascading deterioration of the home.

Bart Cormier, a Council on Aging of Nassau County (COA) Fix it volunteer, says little roof problems will grow into large expensive roof problems over time.
“The cost of replacing a few shingles or even a small segment of a roof pales in comparison to the many thousands it would take to re-roof a home and perform interior restoration.” he says.

“When I get a call to an elderly person’s home where there is a complaint of water leaks from the roof, I hope to make a small roof repair, but too often the problem has festered far too long, and there’s severe water damage manifested in wood rot and interior mold.  That’s when the WHOLE roof needs to be replaced along with an interior restoration!” he explains. “I went to one seniors’ home and the roof was literally rotted all the way through with extensive damage to both the attic area and the interior ceilings due to repeated rain storms and animal infestations,” Cormier explained, “It severely limits our ability to help them”.

The Council on Aging wants to spread the word that if you are a senior who needs help in any number of areas, give them a call (904) 261-0701. The agency has lots of volunteers with different skill-sets who want to help out in a variety of ways.  Most importantly, the COA asks that you become vigilant of things that happen during storms affecting your roof.  Also, be sure to alert your neighbors if you see something they might have missed, such as a large fallen limb.

The COA Fix it volunteers continue to reach out and assist as many seniors as time and budgets allow.  Unfortunately, the scope of the repairs that the COA Fix-it volunteers can do is mostly limited to common handyman skills, as volunteers may have no professional repair skills beyond the basics, limited tools, and general capabilities of typical Do-It-Yourself (DIY) homeowners.

However, they are driven with a willingness to make a difference, and a sincere desire to keep the seniors living in a safe dwelling.
“Your day isn’t close to perfect unless you can help someone that you know cannot pay you back. I really subscribe to that,” Cormier says.

Put the Glass Down As Often as You Can

When the glass runs over

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question.

Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”
The answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
Then she said, “The absolute weight doesn’t really matter. What does however, is how long I can hold it.
If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem.
If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm.
If I hold it for several hours, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. And holding it for a day will probably send me to my grave.

In any of these time frames, the weight of the glass doesn’t change; yet the longer I hold it, the heavier it will become.” (I remember growing up that mom had us hold a plastic glass or carafe with water, arm stretched out, if any of her five sons became to full of himself!)

The psychologist continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a short while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them for hours, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything. Think about them all day long or for days on end and you find yourself on a shortcut to eternity. Remember to put the glass down.”

I was thinking about the power of stress this afternoon after I read a true to form passage on religious eternity from author, polemicist, debater, and journalist Christopher Hitchins, who departed us at age 62 in 2011 and I wondered if he had found the truth about the religious premise he projected during his life, that at one point in time you get tapped on the shoulder and someone says: The Party is over. Worse yet, the party is going on but you have to leave. The party is going on without you.
He wondered if that could be what upsets people most about their anticipated demise; the fact that the party goes on.
I have promised myself from here on on to put the glass down more often.