Egos

The pro basketball players decided to go on strike, I’m not truly sure why. For that matter, I’m not sure they know why. The pro baseball players have decided not to play. The pro football players have decided to take a knee during The National Anthem.

They all make one mistake. They seem to think they are important. Because they draw a big salary and millions of people watch them, they seem to think they contribute something to society.

They all have big egos because people seek their autograph and wear their shoes. Men fight over the fowl ball hit by one of them. Yet, truth be told, if they all did absolutely nothing for the rest of their lives, the world would not lose a thing.

To be sure, those businesses around the stadiums would suffer. Those who sell the souvenirs would suffer for a while. TV and radio stations would have to find something else to air, but in the end, not one of them would truly be missed.

The actors, directors and producers of Hollywood fame also have the big egos. They think that what they do and what they produce is a necessity of life. The truth of the matter is that not one of them produced a grain of food. Not one of them makes an air-conditioner or automobile.

They all speak to the public as if they know something. However, most actors know nothing more than what is put in their mouth by screenwriters. None of them produce anything more than fantasies. If they all sat down and twiddled their thumbs, the world would be just fine. We would be forced to find something else for entertainment. We might actually play our own games. Some of us might turn to reading books. However, our world, our country and each municipality would be just fine without them all.

So. I ask, just what makes them think they are so important? Is there anything you can put your finger on that they contribute to solve the world’s problems. Why do they think the world spins around them. What makes them think that the world would fall apart without them.

To some degree, the networks are at fault. They pay the teams fortunes to let them air their games. As an aside they advertise the games. They advertise the teams and they imply the importance of the superstar. They get us all involved in points per game, completed passes, and home-runs.

When all is said and done, or, as they really like to say nowadays, “at the end of the day,” none of it matters. It is a fact that they would rather keep quiet. They don’t want us to know how unimportant they are. They want us to believe the world of economics would implode without the all important games.

Just because a man can throw a ball through a hoop, that doesn’t make him one bit smarter. When one of those big famous characters says something, remember, most of them never worked a day in the real world. Some played games for a living. Some pretended to be other people for a living. S were actually kings and queens… in movies. Some have nothing else on their mind other than a little round ball, or a big one. Most of them know nothing else. They have trained all their lives to be able to throw, hit, catch or kick the things. (I’m sure I must have left something out, but you get the idea.)

So, when one of them decides to go on strike, at the end of the day, guess what. I don’t care. It causes me no pain. If the whole bunch never returned to play a game or make a movie, it would mean nothing to me. Baseball, basketball and football are forms of entertainment. Movies, TV shows and stage plays are nothing. I don’t need any of it and neither do you. Don’t let them convince you otherwise.

More important, don’t let them convince you that they are smarter just because they wear a jersey. Don’t let them convince you that they know what they are talking about because they can memorize a script. Not one of them has the ability to put a roof over your family. Not one of them can produce an once of food for you. All their work is less important than the water you drink or the air you breath.

And, by the way, the air you breath is free, at least for now.

Potatoes

A little while ago, I heard a man on TV say that potatoes originated in Peru. “Now that can’t be,” I said to myself. “Everyone knows that potatoes were started in Ireland.”

Shows how much I know. I looked it up. Guess what? He was right and I was wrong. Surprised me but you can look it up yourself. However, it does leave me with a question. What did the people in Europe have for dinner before Columbus. I can hardly think of sitting down to a meal without potatoes, certainly not very often. Like the the guy in the advertisement on TV says, it is usually my bite.

Don’t tell my cardiologist but I could make an entire meal of nothing but mashed potatoes and gravy. I wouldn’t need another thing. Well, it would be nice to have a glass of cold milk with it.

Well. I do like fried rice too. The problem with that is that I have no idea how to make fried rice.

When to Quit

Some folks just don’t don’t know when to quit.


I ordered a pizza over the internet and ever since I received two emails a day from them in an attempt to get me to order more.  Surprise!  It didn’t work.  They angered me so much that I now go elsewhere for my pizzas.  (Did you know Subway makes a very good personal sized pizza?  By the way, it only takes a minute or two.)


I ordered a few books from Books a Million on line.  Now, twice a day they keep sending me messages expecting me to order more.  I wonder how long it will take them to find out that is contra-productive.  Not only that, it angered me.  Not only that, it discourages from ordering anything on line.

They have a little procedure to go through that is supposed to get them to discontinue.  Guess what?  It doesn’t work.  I tried it.  I think it just encouraged them to send more.  Henceforth, their messages will go in my junk folder.  Even before, I didn’t read their ads.  Now I won’t even see them.


I had a plumber come out and fix some stuff in my house.  They did a good job, so the next time I had a problem, I called them.  The woman that answered the phone wanted me to sign up for a yearly plan.  I told her forget the plan; I just want my pipes fixed.

She was stubborn.  She kept trying to sell the plan.  I hung up and called another plumber.  The one did nice work but they simply didn’t know when to quit with the sales gimmicks.


Perhaps, maybe, possibly, one of the best things a person running a company can learn about advertising is just when to quit.  Sometimes, too much is just too much.

By the way, I still don’t buy My Pillow products.  I don’t even watch the ads.  I change the channel or fast forward through them.  I’ve had some practice at it and I’m getting good at it.  However, it does just make me wonder just what kind of an advertising budget the guy has.  My guess is that most of it is wasted.  Yet, he is the one with the big corporation and I am the one living on my Social Security.  I wonder what that says.

Chocolate Taste Horrible

One day I was making a cake, chocolate of course.  The cake was already done and I sat it aside to cool.  Then, I started on the icing.  I had combined cocoa, butter, salt and water when, for some reason I had to pause and leave for a short time.  I can’t even remember what it was, but a child was watching me.

Before I left, I cautioned the child not to eat any of the chocolate.  I told her she wouldn’t like it anyway.  In a while, I returned and saw the expression that told me everything.  It was obvious that she didn’t listen to me.  Clearly, she just had to taste the little bit of dark chocolate in the bowl.

It is easy to understand.  I mean, who doesn’t like the taste of a chocolate bar.  That stuff in that bowl did look very inviting, even to those who know better.  However, most everyone knows that chocolate is very bitter and it has a very horrible taste.  If you taste even the smallest bit, it will contort your face.  In her case, she rushed for the faucet, turned it on.  She didn’t wait for a glass but drank straight from the tap.

Well, there was no harm done.  There was plenty left.  After mixing it into the confection sugar, I iced the cake and we both had a piece of it.

Needless to say, though, it was a well learned lesson for her.

Sometimes I think about the incident and consider that there might be an object lesson that we might take away from it…sort of like, all that glitters is not gold.  In this case, it is more like…chocolate taste horrible.  I don’t know; maybe it is a stretch.  Anyway, I still laugh from time to time when I think about it.

I hear Pelosi likes chocolate.  I wonder if she would like it if I baked her a cake.

Two’s a Crowd

My wife and I had just sat down to eat.  We were in a fast food place.  I won’t mention any names.  It makes no difference anyway.

Suddenly, I was glad we didn’t arrive five minutes later.  Two busses pulled up.  Likely somewhere around a hundred or so people came pouring out of the buses and into the restaurant.

In this case, I say two is a crowd.  That is to say, two buses.

The thought came to mind; what if it were a hundred buses…5000 hungry people.  Just how long would it take for a McDonald’s or Burger King to feed a crowd like that?

Yet, Jesus fed 5000 and it likely didn’t take but around a half an hour.  When we read or hear of the biblical passage, most of us look at the miracle of the food quantity and few think about the logistics.

Yet the Bible makes it quite clear how Jesus did it.  He was very methodical about it.  First Jesus had the people sit in groups of fifty.  After blessing the food, He distributed it to His disciples.  Then, the disciples distributed the food to someone each group.  Finally, the food was distributed the food with the group.

You can do the math yourself.  Each disciple only needed to distribute to five or less groups.  (50 divided by 12 is less than 5)  It would only stand to reason that whoever received the food distributed the food to seven or eight groups within the group.

Slightly, hidden within the miracle is an important object lesson.  Jesus often refers to the Word of God as bread.  It only stands to reason that if we distribute it the same way as when Jesus fed the 5000, it would not take long before it would be distributed throughout the world.

I don’t know why, but God decided to use us to distribute the Gospel.  Unfortunately, we don’t do so good a job of it.  Certainly, I am more guilty than most.  It is just so easy to let the other person do it all.  Moreover, it is so easy to think of excuses.  I know.  I have as list as long as my arm.

Kiosks and McDonald’s

Eons ago, I am sure that a man used a rock to pound on something. Maybe he was building an arrowhead or he might have been using it to build himself some kind of house. I don’t know. I wasn’t there. Then, one day, someone came on the brilliant idea to affix a rock on some kind of handle. Hence, the hammer was invented. Over the years, the hammer has gone through countless improvements. Moreover, there are at least a dozen variations to the modern hammer.

As with most inventions, it can be used for good or it can be used for damage or harm. Indeed, some hammers were actually designed as weapons, though today, most of them are found in museums. Still, a little two-pound sledgehammer can be quite lethal, though it is not designed as one. Please stay with me as I spring forward to a more modern invention, the computer.

By itself, it is neither good or bad. However, it can be used for either one. Being as I was born well before the modern electronic digital computer, being as I have been around them most of my life in one way or the other, I have seen plenty of both. Ideally, when the computer first came onto the scene, their primary is to save time. They save time because they can perform repetitive tasks very fast.

They save time because they perform complex calculations in a timely manner. (for instance space travel) Now that financial institutions use them, errors are as rare as hen’s teeth, which saves time and frustration. Since they first arrived on the scene, they have one more real advantage. (that is, besides games) They provide enormous amounts of storage. In the time before computers, papers had to be saved for years, taking up rooms of storage.

Now, years of data can be stored on something not much larger than a stamp. It even makes Microfiche old-fashioned. Along the way, the computer has changed the worlds of photography, music, teaching and, of course, literature. My wife hardly goes anywhere without her Kindle. The books she has on the little electronic tablet would fill a couple of good sized chests. About all of us carry phones around, which are full of music and photos. I listen to mine wile walking.

One can hardly imagine such a wonder being used for bad, but it started almost from the start. The first place I noticed it was when they were used for tracking employees. Some employers used computers to track the number of keystrokes by the employee as well as how many errors they made. It is a way to keep an employee under thumb. I actually worked under those conditions for a while. Worse, if I did one thing, I was wrong. If I did the other, I got scolded. Instead of using the computer to streamline things, they used the computer to become Big Brother.

Speaking of Big Brother, the government is using computers to track our ways more and more and they are not the only ones. Though they do not yet use the info for such purposes regularly, they certainly can. It would not take much to make it happen. Indeed, it is quite possible that the foundations are in place.

One of the uses that management has found for computers is in fast food. Most of the major chains have computers tracking how long it takes to process an order. While I am not completely in agreement with the use, it does help to make sure the that the guests receive their order in a reasonable time. It does have a problem. Most frequently, the employees simply delay in taking the order. This allows the staff to apparently provide fast service, though the computer is collecting false data. Recently, McDonald’s has started using kiosks to take orders.

I have had the opportunity to use them a few times and I now have an opinion about them. On the positive side, the staff no longer is able to corrupt the data. The computer times the order from when the customer completes the order until it is completed. Also, the employee brings the order to the customer’s table. For me, that is not a big thing, but I do realize it is for some.

On the negative side, the kiosks are difficult. For me to say that it is something. I was a computer operator for about twenty-five years. It takes me twice as long to enter the order on the kiosk than to provide the order the old way. Moreover, I am not sure of what to do next after each step. The other day, the employee entered the order on the kiosk, and even she entered the order slowly.

I am afraid this was one step backward. The fault, as usual, is not the computer but rather those who programmed it. My personal opinion is that the project will likely go through a number of revisions in the next few years, that is, if they hope to have success with the kiosks. Otherwise, they will simply frustrate their customers. Those like me will simply go to the counter and order the good old fashioned way.

Then again, those like my wife will likely stay away altogether. She does not like computers at all and she lets me know it every chance she gets. To be sure, this is in spite of the fact that they helped me put food on the table through most of our marriage.

I Like Spinach

When I was a child, I did not like spinach, not one bit.  They used to have to force it down me.  As I grew a little older, I tried to dress it up some by adding things to it.  No good.  The stuff just had a horrible taste.  Whenever I tried to force it down, it made me gag, literally.

Then, one day, I was eating a salad.  I had it half eaten when I asked the waitress what the green leaves were.  She said, “It’s Spinach.”

Can you imagine my surprise.  I ate half the spinach in the salad and guess what?  I liked it.  It actually had a nice flavor to it.  It was then that I came to realize that they ruin it when they can it.  I ate the salad, spinach and all, leaving nothing but a little of the dressing.

I should have suspected as much.  I don’t like carrots, cabbage or Brussels sprouts when they are cooked.  On the other hand, I really like raw carrots and raw cabbage a lot.  I don’t now about raw Brussels sprouts.  Haven’t tried them yet.  However, I also prefer my celery raw too, though I can also eat it cooked as well.

There is one odd thing about cabbage.  I really like egg-rolls.  I can easily eat four or five of them at once.  Guess what, their major ingredient is cabbage.  Go figure.

At any rate, this might be a good clue to parents who can’t get their kids to eat their veggies cooked.  Try feeding them to your kids raw.  Who knows it might work.  …and by the way, they are more healthy that way.  …and by the way, it takes less time and effort to prepare them.  …and by the way, they make good in between snacks.

There is one more side benefit.  Your kids will like you more.

Unfortunately, now that I like spinach, I can’t eat it.  The doctor told me to avoid it.  Now isn’t that a kicker?

A Plausible Solution for the Problem With North Korea

I was watching the news this morning, about the meeting.  As I watched, a thought occurred to me.  I wonder what would happen if we offered Mr. Kim a billion dollars and a home on some South Pacific island.

Okay, it’s a long shot.  He would likely turn it down in a millisecond.  Still, I was in South Korea for one miserable week.  I know something about the weather there.  I have no idea how it was that we were able to fight a war there.  It gets cold there, especially at night.  Tell you the truth, I have no idea how anyone can live there.

Considering the weather, Kim just might like the idea of going somewhere warm.  A billion dollars would certainly look pretty good too.  So we offer him a billion dollar check, a deed to a big estate and a one way ticket.  If it doesn’t work, nothing is lost.

On the other hand, if he accepts, the two Koreas could be reunited.  The world would be free of another nut armed with nuclear weapons and no one would be killed.  Oh… and by the way, a few million people could actually start eating regular.  If it worked, it would be a bargain at four times the price.

Who knows?  If it works we can try it on Kumani, and then what’s his name?  The one that likes to go around without a shirt in Russia.  Who says money won’t buy happiness.  If it worked, a whole world would be very happy.  Then again, it is unlikely to work.

All those people are controllers.  They would rather starve than to give up an ounce of control over their people, even though they know they are causing starvation.  I don’t think I like these guys.  I cannot understand how anyone could like these guys.  Yet, in spite of the millions they kill, they have their followers… even in this country.  Now that’s stupid.