Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The truth is that we are who and what we are because of all of our past learning and experiences, and that is what gives today its potential for being something special for us. When we feel pleased that we are starting fresh, we are really trying to sweep the past under the rug, and that is a mistake. Each person's life builds on the experiences and values of those who have gone before him or her. What you should do with 2009 is to live it in a way that adds to your values in order to further grow your personal, family, and religious traditions. If you really started over anew, you would be like a tree that had no roots.
The Cubs are who they are in the Friendly Confines because they have learned to cherish their roots. Maybe this year they'll learn how to make those roots sprout.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The bad news is that with the economy and the stock market in a downturn, retailers are finding fewer people going through their checkout lanes. Many stores and restaurants are facing the prospect of going out of business. In this kind of economy, the best thing we can do is to keep buying, but only buy things that are good values. You will find many bargains out there as sellers become desperate. Take advantage of these to get good values for yourself and also to help support the merchants. We want them to stay in business if they are viable. Keeping stores in business preserves jobs and maintains a high level of competition between the sellers for your business. When sellers compete you get good value for your money. When some sellers go out of business, there is less competition for your business, and prices go up because you have fewer places to shop.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
What if the government had been willing to invest even half of the proposed bailout amount into infrastructure improvements so that more people had jobs and the wherewithall to repay their loans (Does anyone remember Keynesian economics?)?
What if the government encouraged people to Buy American so that more of our capital and jobs stayed here and the dollar was worth more?
What if the government encouraged people to save money in the banking system by not taxing interest on savings accounts?
What if business management salaries were pegged to results in both directions so that they went down when the business did poorly as well as going up on increased profits?
What if U.S. imports carried higher duties that could be partially offset by purchases of our exports?
What if non-emergency government spending was required by law to be balanced by corresponding income?
What if banking and credit companies were legally barred from having fees and penalties that were not openly shown in the LARGE PRINT and proportional only to the amount of money specifically involved in the case of late amounts?
What if companies and banks could not disclose your personal information to others unless you specifically allowed them to (Opt IN, rather than Opt OUT)?
What if automobile companies could not promote "Flex-Fuel" or natural gas vehicles in any area where the alternate fuel was not readily available for purchase?
What if we all had to avoid complaining for at least one day per week (You would live longer.)?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Gas prices have started to go down for two reasons, and if we concentrate on those reasons, prices will continue to go down. The most basic reason is that $4.00-plus gasoline (Europeans, stop laughing. We know and appreciate that yours is much higher.) finally encouraged most drivers to cut back on the number of miles that they drive. If you continually evaluate whether a trip is necessary, run several errands in tandem, and drive your car that gets the best gas mileage, total demand for gasoline will decrease as will prices. The other reason for prices going down is that investors, seeing a slight upward direction to stock prices are starting to switch from driving up the market price for oil to investing again in stocks as a better long-term alternative. The problem with driving up the price for oil as an investment is that the resulting high-priced energy drives down all of your other investments, and you end up shooting yourself in the foot (Which you will need after high energy prices make us all walk or ride bicycles.). Of course, increased walking and/or riding bicycles will both decrease the number of total miles driven and start to make us physically fit again, so it's a win-win situation.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Restaurants today are businesses which happen to serve food as their product, rather than hospitality centers where the main goal is to impress the guest with the quality of the food and service. The primary approach is to attract and process through as many customers as possible at a certain average dollar value per customer. This is usually done by compressing the range of prices on the menu as discussed above and by streamlining the process in order to get as many customers as possible through in a given period of time. The latter approach is the fast food philosophy.
It will be interesting to see whether the restaurant business starts to introduce some cost-reduction innovations now that gasoline prices are getting higher every day. The easiest way to compensate for the higher cost of gasoline is to eat at home, saving both the costs of driving and of the restaurant. Some restaurants are now packaging menu items as frozen entrees that you can purchase at the supermarket and eat at home. Is this the best of both worlds?
Monday, June 30, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
This is all part of the slower pace of life that our society used to have. Even if your normal day is a complete rat-race, you should periodically do nothing, smell the flowers, or read for the sake of reading rather than achieving - just to prove that you still can. If you can't relax enough to do nothing, you may have a problem.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
1. Fill gas tank halfway only. – Reduce the weight the car carries.
2. Combine your short errand trips. – Don’t make a single errand and return.
3. Design your route to maximize right turns. – Left turns take waiting and extra gas.
4. Keep your tire pressures up. – Less tire wear and better mileage.
5. Fill tires with nitrogen instead of air. – Maintains tire pressure longer.
6. Turn off engine if idling longer than 30 seconds – IF car is in good shape to restart engine.
7. Park in lot to pull out forward if possible. - Backing and maneuvering take extra gas.
8. Reduce the load in your trunk. – Extra weight requires extra gas.
9. Keep your car clean. – A smooth surface has less drag.
10. Telephone or e-mail rather than driving. – Reduce trips to reduce gas.
11. Move closer to your work to reduce commuting miles.
12. Carpool whenever possible.
13. Take public transportation whenever possible and practical.
14. Buy the lowest grade of gasoline that matches your car’s specifications.
15. Change your oil regularly and maintain oil levels.
16. Use synthetic oil for better lubrication.
17. If you have two cars, use the higher mpg car for long trips.
18. Schedule meetings near the midway geographical point among participants to reduce average travel mileage.
19. Use conference phone calls rather than having meetings.
20. Shop locally.
21. When you have alternate possible places to shop go to the nearest one.
22. Monitor prices and go to the gas station with lowest prices that is within a reasonable travel distance.
23. Reduce eating out. – This saves mileage and reduces your restaurant budget to increase your gas budget.
24. Ride a bike or walk for local trips.
25. Ask yourself, “Is this trip necessary?” – If not, don’t go.
26. Mow your lawn with an electric lawn mower.
27. Keep your car tuned and serviced properly.
28. Slow down approaching red lights. Time your approach to eliminate or reduce complete stops.
29. Use only moderate acceleration. Maximum acceleration wastes gas.
30. Take turns smoothly. Tight turns and stops/starts on turn waste gas and increase tire wear.
31. Cruise at 55 mph on highways. Higher speeds waste gas.
32. Try to maintain constant or slowly changing speeds whether local or distance driving.
33. Shop online or by catalog rather than by car.
34. Use online banking when practical.
35. Don’t idle your car for a long time to warm it up. – Start up and go.
36. Drive in dry rather than wet weather when possible. – Rain causes extra drag and worse friction control between tires and pavement. (same for ice/snow)
37. Don’t use drive-up lanes at fast food restaurants, banks, etc. – Too much idling.
38. Plan your trip to take bridges and underpasses where possible to avoid possible long waits at train crossings.
39. Use limited-access highways rather than local roads to maintain cruising speed and avoid multiple stops at traffic lights.
40. Avoid construction zones.
41. Get an I-Pass (EZ-Pass, etc.) when traveling toll roads to pay your tolls without stopping and waiting in line.
42. Put outgoing mail in your home mailbox for the mail carrier to pick up rather than taking it to a public mailbox or the post office.
43. Walk rather than drive your child to and from school or the school bus stop.
44. Don’t use your air conditioner unless you really need it. If you do use it, set the controls to recirculate the air inside the car. This will mean that the air conditioner cools air that has already been cooled, which uses less energy than cooling hot outside air.
45. Watch your tachometer to keep your rpm’s fairly constant. Generally, cruise rpm’s should be in the 1500 to 2000 range. If you are trying to save gas, they should never be much higher.
46. Use tires designed for highway driving rather than off-road tire types or snow tires (except when required for the conditions you are facing).
47. Avoid bumpy roads and potholed surfaces. – Your car can’t get good mileage if the tires are not in continuous contact with the road.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Always remember to read the questions (if they even show them) when you examine poll results. In addition, you should look at as many polls as possible, and average the results to get more realistic figures.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
You either have good health or bad health.
If you have good health, there's no need to worry.
If you have bad health, you'll either get better or worse.
If you get better, there's no need to worry.
If you get worse, you'll either live or die.
If you live, there's no need to worry.
If you die, you'll either go to heaven or hell.
If you go to heaven, there's no need to worry.
If you go to hell, you will meet all of your old friends and relatives there.
So, why worry?
Worrying never solves anything. It just gets in the way of thinking clearly as you go through the process of making new decisions.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Routines Are Important to Efficient & Enjoyable Living (from DECISION TIME! Better Decisions for a Better Life)
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Friday, February 29, 2008
How about a totally new calendar. Let's have a simple calendar with every month 30 days long. This calendar would have an extra part that is .4375 of a day left over (instead of the current .25). If we stayed with the 30-day months, we could accumulate the fractional days, and every 16 years we would have a Leap Week. Think of the huge parties you can have with a Leap Week! If you like this idea, write to your Congressman, Senator, MP, or the UN Secretary General. Let's start a movement for change!
Monday, February 25, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Fool me twice; shame on me! Fool me over and over; shame on all the readers who laugh at me!
Charlie Brown is an incurable believer in the trustworthiness of others. He believes them when they say they will do something. When you make decisions that will have significant impact in the future, and you rely on others with whom you interact to implement those decisions, be sure that you really know and can trust them. A decision without reliable implementation is only wishful thinking.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
Monday, January 7, 2008
Given the fact that the candidates expect the primary races to be all over in less than a month, the New Hampshire voter will indeed be an important indicator of the ultimate outcome. This is true regardless of comments about demographic distinctions between New Hampshire and other states. People get excited about a winner, and that excitement will carry forward for a period of time before it wanes. Given the short period of time between the New Hampshire primary and February fifth, it will be very difficult for other candidates to overcome the excitement generated by the New Hampshire winners in time to stage a successful comeback.