THE BRYCE IS RIGHT!

Software for the finest computer – the Mind

  • Tim’s YouTube Channel

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,049 other followers


  • "BRYCE's UNCOMMON SENSE SERIES"
    4 New Printed Books & eBooks from Tim on:
    Change/Technology, Management, Politics, and the American Scene
    Click HERE.

  • Categories

  • Fan Page

  • Since 1971:
    "Software for the finest computer - The Mind"

    Follow me on Twitter: @timbryce

    hit counter

     

  • Subscribe

IT IS TIME FOR THE REPUBLICANS TO FLEX THEIR MUSCLES

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 22, 2017

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– No more excuses; let’s roll!

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Congressional Democrats have drawn a line in the sand by making it clear they intend to obstruct any action or decision President Trump intends to make. By doing so, they hope to slow him down and discredit him in the process, thereby presenting an opportunity to retake power in the midterm elections. In other words, the Democrats have made it clear they have no interest in working with Mr. Trump, which is unfortunate.

With this in mind, it is time for the Republicans to flex their muscles and show the Democrats who is in charge of the Congress and the White House. President Trump has demonstrated he is ready to undertake an ambitious agenda, but we haven’t seen the Congress do likewise, at least not yet. Maybe the GOP is intimidated by the push-back of the Democrats, or perhaps they are in awe of the Trump juggernaut, or perhaps it is as simple as they are not used to leveraging political power and forgotten how to do so. Whatever the reason, it is time to flex their muscles and grasp victory from the jaws of defeat.

It appears the only thing the liberals understand is strength. As such, it is time to remove the kid gloves and aggressively change America, which many prefer to call a “correction.” For example, it is obvious the Democrats will move heaven and earth to defeat Neil Gorsuch as nominee for the Supreme Court. The President is correct that the Senate should invoke the “nuclear option” for his appointment, meaning election through a simple majority of Senators as opposed to a minimum of 60 votes. The door for this was opened by then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) during the Obama administration and used to expedite presidential appointments and Obamacare. Now the Republicans are in charge and the Democrats wish this rule didn’t exist as it may very well be used to appoint not only cabinet positions, but to elect Mr. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Prior to the “nuclear option,” Senators of both parties were forced to work together and compromise, which could be construed as a positive working relationship. However, with the “nuclear option” enacted, party polarity has risen which has led to walkouts and boycotts of committee meetings.

President Trump has made significant progress in the early days of his administration, but Americans are impatient for such things as tax reform (both personal and commercial), reducing bureaucratic red tape on companies, repeal and replacement of Obamacare, revoking the Iranian nuclear agreement, and ensuring peace in the Middle East by destroying ISIS and stopping the Syrian civil war. These are all major undertakings, and the GOP needs to be addressing them now, not later. They should be mindful there is no time to lose.

Just remember, the midterm elections will be held on November 6, 2018, that’s just next year. At this time all 435 seats in the House and 33 of the 100 Senate seats will be contested, not to mention 39 governorships. A lot is riding on this election which means it is time for Congressional Republicans to move boldly.

As Lincoln said, “The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.”

Let’s roll!

Also published with The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  POLITICIZING SPORTS – The media will not leave us alone.

LAST TIME:  ESTIMATING – GETTING IT RIGHT  – No Virginia, there is no magic in producing a project estimate.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

ESTIMATING – GETTING IT RIGHT

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 20, 2017

BRYCE ON PROJECT MANAGEMENT

– No Virginia, there is no magic in producing a project estimate.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

It seems every now and then someone comes along with a new spin on how to estimate a project, either in its entirety or a portion of it. I have heard a lot of theories over the years, particularly in the Information Technology (I.T.) field where there is a tendency to pull numbers out of a hat, but I’ve long given up looking for panaceas. Actually, I have always regarded estimating as a relatively simple task and have taken my queue from the construction industry who has had to frequently produce reliable estimates over the years. As such, there are basically three variables involved:

* Methodology – defines the stages of work by which projects are completed, from beginning to end. Some portions of the project will be executed serially, others in parallel, either way, each stage should define precisely what work has to be accomplished to the types of components involved. Typically, components are identified, designed, tested, and installed in moderation which is commonly referred to as “stepwise refinement” (going from the general to the specific) as prescribed by the methodology.

* The components involved – in the construction field, it is the wood, stone, glass, nails, rivets, steel beams, etc. to be used to construct a building. In the I.T. field it is the data elements, records, files, input, outputs, programs, business processes, etc. The methodology dictates the sequence by which the components are implemented. A component assembled at the wrong time and place will likely prove disastrous, which is why the methodology is so important. To make this work, it is necessary to produce a rough design of the object in question. For construction, it would mean a complete rough design of a building, aka, “artist rendering.” In I.T., it would mean a complete rough design of a system or program. Only after the rough design has been completed can a listing of the components be identified.

Another consideration is the state of the components, how many are new versus how many can be reused from other projects. To illustrate, if there are already preexisting nuts and bolts to satisfy the product, they certainly can be reused; if not, new nuts and bolts have to be designed. Within a systems development project, if a data element such as “Customer Number” has already been invented and implemented, there is no point in introducing a redundant component; developers should simply reuse the existing data element. Such reusability of components not only expedites development time, but promotes integration of different products.

“Bill of Material Processors” (BOMP) are commonly used to keep track of components, be it in the construction field or I.T.

* The skill of the people charged with executing the project. A novice worker will obviously take longer to perform a given task than an experienced expert. This is also why it is preferable to have the people charged with the work participate in the estimating process as it becomes a reflection of their commitment. In a situation where project personnel are unknown, the Project Manager can still render an estimate based on “averages” defining the amount of time necessary to build a component for a given task. As projects are executed, the actual time expended to complete a component for a specific task should be captured so such averages can be refined based on historical data.

This approach to estimating is universally applicable to any product development based project. It is based on the recognition that most estimating errors are errors of omission, not commission. It is the forgotten or overlooked components that lead to most estimating errors. Again, this is why the rough design is so vital as it will overcome the problem of omissions. As in any construction project, a rough architectural design is required to effectively estimate the project to build it. The same is true in I.T. projects where the objective is to build a new system. To do so, a complete rough design of the system must first be prepared to effectively estimate the remainder of the project.

This approach also distinguishes the use of time as either “direct” or “indirect.” Whereas direct time represents whole work, indirect time represents interferences detracting from project execution. Estimates should be expressed in direct time, not indirect time, as we want to know the amount of pure effort needed to complete a component and task. This approach to time also implies estimating and scheduling are separate activities. Whereas, direct time is used to express estimates, indirect time is used to calculate schedules. For example, if an estimate for a project task is ten direct hours, and a worker is only able to spend four direct hours of work each day (with another four indirect hours spent elsewhere during the day), the task should be completed in 2.5 working days. Separating time into “direct” and “indirect” greatly improves precision in both estimates and schedules.

Here is a typical scenario for estimating a product related project, be it construction, I.T., manufacturing related, or whatever:

1. Specify and analyze requirements.

2. Prepare a rough design of a product to satisfy the requirements.

3. Prepare an itemized listing of components to be used in the product, aka, “Bill of Materials,” identifying which are new and which can be reused.

4. Based on the materials, define the remaining stages of work to develop the product (the methodology).

5. Estimate the amount of time necessary to complete the various stages. If project personnel are known, have them participate in the estimating process.

6. After the estimate has been defined, calculate the project schedule based on the methodology and use of time (direct vs. indirect).

7. Review with the client for approval.

This approach is certainly not new and has been used for many years in a variety of industries. Ultimately it represents a complete mental execution of the project in order to determine costs. This is essentially no different than what a professional golfer does before swinging his club on a drive; he visualizes everything from how he is to swing the club, the follow through, to where he wants the ball to land, and the ensuing strokes necessary to complete the hole. Preparing a rough design is no different. It is thinking the project through to completion by considering all of the components needed to satisfy the product. Will it be perfect? No, but it will be more accurate than making wild guesses based on some wild pseudoscientific calculation. The only drawback to it though is it requires some hard work in upfront planning and design; it is certainly not a panacea, but then again, there never has been any magic in estimating that I know of.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  IT IS TIME FOR THE REPUBLICANS TO FLEX THEIR MUSCLES – No more excuses; let’s roll!

LAST TIME:  MY TRIP TO THE GYM  – Things have changed over the years.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Business, Management, Project Management | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

MY TRIP TO THE GYM

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 17, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Things have changed over the years.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I joined a nearby gym recently. It’s the first time I’ve been back since I played football 45 years ago. Back then it was mostly free-weights with a lot of lifting involved. One of the first things I learned from this experience is how out of shape I am. Most of my exercise over the years was based on yard work, chasing after my kids, and trying to keep up with the sports teams I coached. Now that they have grown up and moved along, I guess I’ve become somewhat of a coach potato, hence the need to get my butt in gear. For someone who enjoyed working out years ago, it was a humbling experience.

Starting back up, I was mindful of how easy it is to hurt yourself if you are not careful. I was at least smart enough to know I was no longer a man in my twenties or teens, back when you had a strong back, and thought nothing of lifting heavy weights. Now I think before I act, which I have found to be a shrewd policy.

In terms of equipment, the gym I belong to is essentially no different than others. There are still some free-weights to lift, but most of the activity involves machines with built-in computers and televisions. If you are going to walk, run, or drive a bicycle, there are several cable television channels to choose from. Sometimes I watch business and news channels, but I have found myself gravitating to fishing and cooking. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I would rather be in a cold stream somewhere than working out on this machine, or perhaps I am dreaming of some culinary delight they tempt me with on the screen. No wonder I’m hungry by the time I get home.

The machines also have various computer based options to track my heart rate, calories burned, distance walked or bicycled, rotations per minute, etc. Watching this, I feel like I am getting an on-line physical exam, checking my blood sugar, wind, pulse, prostate, testosterone level, sperm count, etc. I find I spend more time watching and analyzing the numbers and less focusing on the exercise itself. Maybe this is by design as well.

Being an early riser, it is common for me to work out in the early hours of the day, as well as after work. It struck me, people seem to deport themselves differently between morning and afternoon workouts. The morning crowd seems to be in a trance as they go through the motions of waking up. As such, it tends to be very quiet at this time of day. It is so quiet, I sometimes drop a weight to see if anyone is listening. They aren’t, as everyone is plugged into their ear buds and have zoned out the rest of the world.

The afternoon crowd also likes to tune out the outside world, but they seem to be a bit livelier and there seems to be some camaraderie in spotting and encouraging others. Whereas the morning crew tends to follow a regular routine, the afternoon people seem to be more willing to experiment with different exercises and push themselves a little harder.

I’ve also discovered what you wear at the gym seems to be very important. Men are more inclined to wear black or gray. Some wear baseball caps, either forwards or backwards. If they have obnoxious tattoos, they wear something to accent them for the world to see. Women wear a lot of spandex and yoga pants which reminds me of the old joke; there are three things that do not lie; little children, drunks, and yoga pants.

As one of the older people working out, I’m viewed somewhat as an oddity. Maybe it’s the simple tee-shirts and shorts I wear, which are somewhat similar to what I wore in high school gym class years ago. Or perhaps it’s my gym shoes which could hardly be called “state of the art.” Either way, the younger people give the “old guy” plenty of space.

I’ve also noticed women are much more sensitive to cleanliness. After working out on a machine, some women fastidiously clean the station with a sanitary wipe of some kind, regardless if they sweated or not. Men are polar opposites. They couldn’t care less about the cleanliness of a machine unless someone deliberately fouled the area. Even then, they still might proceed, regardless of the sweat or mucous involved.

As for me, I just quietly go about my business and try to keep to myself. I am not there for social interaction, but rather to try and work the kinks out after 45 years of lack of rigorous exercise. My entertainment at the gym doesn’t come from one of the many televisions there or from ear buds. Instead I prefer watching the idiosyncrasies of the other patrons.

In the end, my friends ask me, “So, do you feel better?” Physically, I guess so, but I haven’t felt any grand changes yet, but I do love watching the people. It makes my day.

Also published with The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  ESTIMATING – GETTING IT RIGHT – No Virginia, there is no magic in producing a project estimate.

LAST TIME:  WHERE ARE THE ADULTS?  – While liberals run amok, the Republicans are firmly in control.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

WHERE ARE THE ADULTS?

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 15, 2017

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– While liberals run amok, the Republicans are firmly in control.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Since President Trump’s inauguration, the news media has been painting a picture of tumultuous times in this country. They claim it is a result of the president’s new policies which are in sharp contrast to the positions of the Obama administration. Frankly, the media and liberal Left (synonymous) are still sore about losing the election and using tactics to vehemently thwart any action or decision the president makes. Their approach is simple: their proponents demonstrate, the news media spins the news, and the Congressional Democrats try to boycott or filibuster every Trump proposal. They may be able to slow him down, but it is unlikely they will be able to stop him with a Republican Congress in charge.

As to the demonstrations, today we see women dressed as female genitalia, profanity and insults are common during protests which, by the way, their children are encouraged to do likewise, there are threats of violence to the president, attacks on Trump supporters, human chains blocking traffic, violence, boycotts, etc. They are intolerant, crude, obscene, and act like spoiled children throwing a temper tantrum for not getting their way. Frankly, they are embarrassing.

Along comes Donald Trump, someone who is not a community organizer or professional politician, but a no-nonsense businessman who is results orientated. Mr. Trump’s positions on various topics have long been known and articulated on the campaign trail, for which he was elected and is now delivering on his promises. By doing so, Mr. Trump is giving liberals and the media a much deserved spanking.

Liberals are not interested in what anyone else has to say. They are angry their party lost and believe the government should be run by mob rule. The country has never been run purely by democracy, not even during the days of the Obama administration. For some reason, the concept of a “Republic” eludes them. Whenever they are confronted, they claim Mr. Trump’s position is “unconstitutional,” such as when he temporarily suspended immigration of refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries. The Left immediately claimed it was “unconstitutional.” If you check the Constitution and Bill of Rights, you find virtually nothing about immigration. This means the Left has no problem spreading falsehoods, such as labeling the executive order as “anti-Muslim,” which is simply not so.

The Left also claims illegal immigration is a right. Wrong. It is a privilege to lawfully immigrate to this country, certainly not a right. The spread of such misconceptions are aimed at confusing the American public.

There is also a double-standard being implemented. For example, Bill Clinton’s description of illegal immigration in his 1995 State of the Union speech, sounds remarkably similar to Mr. Trump’s position, yet the Left conveniently overlooks this fact.

Democrat mayors of sanctuary cities claim they will perpetuate the concept even without federal funding. Most Americans are perplexed by this as they do not understand why these mayors want to protect criminals and not their citizens. Let’s see what happens when the money runs out.

In Congress, Democrats are stonewalling cabinet nominations, but there is little they can do to actually stop it. They will try to perpetuate their obstructionist tactics and, in the process, lose their chance to work with Republicans to make a better country.

As to the press, Mr. Trump is correct when he says how the media treats people in other industries, such as business and technology, is substantially different than the political press. The news media is certainly not supportive of the president’s policies and smears him at every opportunity. Unlike his predecessors though, Mr. Trump is willing to fight back, which angers the media further.

All of the Left’s tactics are designed to put Mr. Trump on the defensive, thereby slowing him down. These are nothing more than smoke screens to try and distort and discredit what Mr. Trump is doing.

Make no mistake though, what we are witnessing is just the tip of the iceberg. The Left’s resistance will likely continue throughout Mr. Trump’s four year term. As long as he remains cool under pressure, the “silent majority” will recognize what is going on and the Left will again lose during the next electoral cycle.

The Democrats suffered through the 2016 election rife with political corruption and back stabbing. They are in desperate need of some house cleaning and new leadership to improve their image, political ethics, and win back voters. This means a new way of thinking, cleaning up their conduct, and a change of tactics. As long as the liberals remain in charge, this will never happen, but at some point they will inevitably lose control of the party. Only then will a metamorphosis occur transforming the party and creating a new one for the Liberals to exclusively support.

Bottom-line, the Democrats sorely need an adult to take charge of the party.

Also published with The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  MY TRIP TO THE GYM – Things have changed over the years.

LAST TIME:  IN PRAISE OF MENTORING PROGRAMS  – Once almost extinct, mentoring programs are making a comeback.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

IN PRAISE OF MENTORING PROGRAMS

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 13, 2017

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Once almost extinct, mentoring programs are making a comeback.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Mentoring has been a part of the corporate world for many years. When a young person came on board, someone would be assigned to him/her to offer advice. Not just anyone could be a mentor either, they had to demonstrate knowledge and skills for a specific line of work. Most enjoyed being a mentor as they saw it as a sort of “Big Brother/Sister.” From a corporate perspective, it was hoped the senior person would also pass on such things as ethics and decorum, basically a lot of “do’s” and “don’ts” thereby expediting the young person’s maturation and acclimation into the corporate culture and groom the next generation of employees in a smooth and consistent manner. Unfortunately, things started to go awry by the 1990’s whereby mentoring not only disappeared from the corporate landscape, but generational warfare erupted pitting the older workers against their younger counterparts. You could blame this on a variety of things, such as the bean counters who eliminated mentoring and training programs in order to save a buck or two, or on radical changes in Information Technology whereby older workers understood mainframes and legacy systems, while the younger workers rebelled with PC’s and networking. Regardless, an adversarial relationship emerged by the latter part of the 20th century.

Interestingly, mentoring is making a comeback in the corporate world, but it’s not quite the same as before. True, the older employees are taking the younger people under their wings, but there isn’t the same trust between mentor and protégé as there was years ago. Due to changing socioeconomic conditions in our country, both sides are suspicious of the other. Older workers are concerned that the young “upstarts” are going to force them out to pasture. Younger workers are also cognizant the older workers can no longer afford to retire and, as such, are working longer thereby complicating an already overcrowded job market. In other words, the young apprentice of today may become tomorrow’s adversary which, in turn, puts into question the advice being given by the mentor and the young person’s reception to it.

The chemistry between the mentor and protégé is important. Minor incompatibilities are to be expected, particularly between generations, but major differences will cause the mentoring program to become counter productive. One party has to be willing to teach, and the other has to be willing to learn; one has to be credible and authoritative, and the other must possess an inquisitive mind. If there is a clash of personalities or the parties involved put forth minimal effort, the program will self-destruct. This of course means there should be some administrative control over the mentoring program, particularly in the assignment of people and monitoring progress.

I do not know which duty is more difficult, the mentor or the mentee (the protégé). Both carry different responsibilities:

As to the mentee, when you consider the level of competition in the world today, it is your duty as the apprentice or student to challenge your mentor or coach and exceed their expectations, to go beyond them and move to the next level of your personal development. Simply satisfying the status quo is not sufficient, you must strive to rise above it, otherwise your development will stagnate and you will disappoint your mentor.

The person selected to become mentor should be mature and understand the responsibility he/she is being asked to perform. If they cannot devote the necessary time to it or makes light of the responsibility, there is little hope for success. The mentor must grasp the significance of the job and push the protégé to grow beyond their current capabilities. As such, be careful not to give misleading advice. Know your limitations and encourage the protégé to find their next stage of development. If not with you, then another.

The mentor program has a lot of benefits, but like anything, it depends on how much effort is exerted to make it successful. A mentor in name only is not a reliable program. It must be carefully thought out and administered to assure it is working. Key to this is the match up of mentor and mentee. Again, not everybody possess the skills for being a mentor, and not every young person can accept advice and constructive criticism. Then again, the person’s ability to adapt to the company should have been a consideration as part of their hire.

Mentoring is more than just passing on important knowledge, it’s passing on the culture of the company, the history of the industry, and survival tips for life in general. If the mentor has done a good job, he should be thanked with some small token of appreciation, by both the mentee and the company. As a young person, you would be wise to remember all of the people who helped you on your journey through life. After all, you carry with you a little bit of each person who has guided you.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  WHERE ARE THE ADULTS? – While liberals run amok, the Republicans are firmly in control.

LAST TIME:  CLEANING MY SOCK DRAWER  – What I found 25 years later or “How to upset the sock gods.”

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

CLEANING MY SOCK DRAWER

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 10, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What I found 25 years later or “How to upset the sock gods.”

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I recently cleaned out my sock drawer. Guys typically don’t like to clean out such drawers and I am no exception. The reason for cleaning it was because I recently bought some new socks and discovered I had trouble stuffing them into the drawer. I believe the last time I did so was 25 years ago when we first bought the dresser.

It’s interesting what you find when cleaning out a sock draw, it is akin to an archaeological dig. I discovered I had over 40 different socks, none of which matched. This got me wondering where their mates were. Perhaps they were consumed by the washing machine or dryer as part of some demonic sacrificial rite. 40+ socks though is a lot and I cannot imagine who would want them or what they would do with them as individual oddities. I always considered my socks unique and do not believe they could be confused for those worn by my children. So there either must be a sock heaven or sock thief loose in the house.

As I picked through the socks in the drawer I was reminded of the many different types and colors I wore over the last quarter century. The oldest ones were long and came way up my shin, almost to the knee. They may seem awkward today but at the time they were comfortable and effective for covering any exposed flesh between the bottom of your trousers and your shoes. I had others with various bands of elastic to hold them up. Some had lost all elasticity and were rather droopy which is probably why I neglected them. By today’s standards, several socks looked rather strange and archaic. I suspect I would look like a spaz wearing them, and probably twenty years ago as well.

Most of the socks were either black, dark brown, or navy blue, but I also had some lighter colors which, in hindsight, probably made me look like a used car salesman. Fortunately, I didn’t have a white belt or shoes to accompany them. I learned my lesson wearing light colored socks and have stayed with darker colors in recent times.

I felt a little guilty cleaning out the drawer. My first inclination was to say, “But what if we finally find the mates?” I also had a fleeting notion they would make good dust rags, but my wife wanted no part of them. Finally, I came to my senses and purged all of the orphans into the garbage can thereby leaving only my new socks in the drawer all neatly paired up. I felt a sense of satisfaction for finally cleaning out something that was well overdue. My satisfaction was short lived though; about two weeks after cleaning out the drawer I happened to notice a new single sock sitting alone without its mate. My guess is that I had upset the sock Gods who demanded another sacrifice, either that or my wife is deliberately trying to drive me insane. Either way, I give up. It will be more than 25 years before I try to clean out a sock drawer again. Maybe some things are best left undone.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  IN PRAISE OF MENTORING PROGRAMS – Once almost extinct, mentoring programs are making a comeback.

LAST TIME:  WHAT THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON WAS ALL ABOUT  – It is much more than just female rights.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in humor, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

WHAT THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON WAS ALL ABOUT

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 8, 2017

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– It is much more than just female rights.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Unlike the DisruptJ20 protesters at the presidential inauguration, which were actually anarchists, thousands of women marched in Washington, DC the next day, the purpose of which, according to organizers, was to stand up for the rights of women and humanity in general. During the course of this protest, there was no discussion of Kim Jong-un’s brutal regime in North Korea, nor the human rights violations of Cuba and parts of Africa, and virtually nothing regarding the violence in the Middle East, particularly by extreme Islamic terrorists such as ISIS. Instead, they turned their wrath on someone who threatened to “Make America Great Again.”

Some of the rhetoric at the protest was alarming, such as singer Madonna who openly claimed she had been thinking “an awful lot about blowing up the White House” (now that Donald Trump had been installed as 45th President of the United States).

While this was going on, the press began its full court press of the new president, such as falsely claiming he had removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office in favor of one depicting Winston Churchill. There were also claims Mr. Trump didn’t enjoy a sizeable audience attending the inauguration. This resulted in a sharp rebuke by Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

If you have visited the web sites of the New York Times or Washington Post lately, you have probably noticed there has been little, if any, positive news written about our new president; everything is negative and every action and decision is attacked and maligned.

In the Congress, Senate Democrats appear to be dragging their heels on cabinet confirmations, and House Democrats are gearing up to impede the repeal and replacement of Obamacare. In other words, they will try to deter the Republican agenda at every turn.

What we are witnessing is hyper-partisan politics with rhetoric bordering on civil war. I contend none of this has anything to do with Donald Trump. Any Republican, succeeding a Democrat President would face the same frosty opposition, regardless who they might be.

The “resistance” (as they prefer to call it) is led by the Hollywood media, the press, leaders of the party, professional rabble-rousers, and financiers such as George Soros. These are people who prefer socialism over capitalism, skeptical of God and organized religion, believe the Constitution is an antiquated document, and their moral values are better than those who elected Trump. Both the Left and the Right consider themselves patriots, but only in terms of their own interpretation of America, which are incompatible. Whereas the Right thinks in terms of God, country and the rights of the people, the Left thinks in terms of a new utopia where people are controlled. Their Achilles heel is an acute case of pseudo-intellectualism.

In their minds, following the rules and regulations of gamesmanship is meaningless, that it is more important to do virtually anything, right or wrong, to secure victory. This means they subscribe to a philosophy of “the end justifies the means.” As such, fraudulent and libelous activity, confrontation, destruction, even theft, are considered acceptable forms of behavior, so long as you are not caught.

The party faithful are not free thinkers as they cannot point to an individual policy, program or decision of the new president which they oppose. Instead, they regurgitate unsubstantiated generalities in the hopes if they say it enough times, people will believe it. They prefer spewing hatred and misinformation, thereby making them incapable of arguing their point of view effectively. For example, they are naive about how our government works, e.g., electoral college vs. popular vote; a republic vs. democracy; how legislation is enacted. Nor do they have a sense of our history, e.g., the founding of our country, our governing docs, the events leading up to the Civil War, and much more. Instead they rely on the dogma of the party which includes such things as accusations of racism, xenophobia, anti-feminism, etc. They conveniently overlook the fact it was the Republican Party who led the movement to free the slaves, and the Southern Democrats, following the war, who invoked the “Jim Crow” voting laws. In other words, the tactics of the Left includes the spread of misinformation and will passionately refute anyone challenging their point of view. This is commonly referred to as “bullying.”

What the liberals do not seem to realize is the American people do not share their values, which explains why they voted Republican this time. As long as the Democrats continue to be run by the Left, they will remain in decline no matter how loudly they yell. As Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) mentioned when unsuccessfully running for House Minority Leader, the party is no longer national, but coastal instead, where pockets of Liberals remain. He also made the observation that although he wasn’t voting for repeal of Obamacare, he thought House Democrats should work with Republicans in drafting new legislation. This, of course, was not accepted by the party who was intent on delaying or stopping the repeal of Obamacare, despite wide-spread Republican approval.

Bottom-line the Women’s March on Washington and DisruptJ20 were not really about Donald Trump at all. It is a rallying cry to organize in preparation for the next two elections. However, as long as they employ militant tactics, they will continue to dissuade people from accepting their values and agenda. If they lose the 2018 mid-term election and 2020 presidential election, they should look hard in the mirror and realize they only have themselves to blame.

Understand this, while Democrats continue to proudly display their Hillary and Obama bumper stickers, the Republicans have already removed their Trump stickers, swept the board clean, and are now gearing up for the next two elections.

If anything, the marches and demonstrations held around the inauguration suggests a new civil war is emerging in America, but it has less to do with Mr. Trump than it does with ideological differences and control of the country. Is there room for two incompatible ideologies in this country? According to the Left, who are proponents of political correctness, the answer is a definitive, “NO!”

Not surprising, the next four years will be incredibly stormy, probably longer.

Also published with The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  CLEANING MY SOCK DRAWER – What I found 25 years later or “How to upset the sock gods.”

LAST TIME:  TOO MANY TALKING HEADS  – We should thank Howard Cosell for this.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

TOO MANY TALKING HEADS

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 6, 2017

BRYCE ON THE MEDIA

– We should thank Howard Cosell for this.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Just prior to Mr. Trump’s inauguration, he placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Arlington, Virginia with VP-elect Mike Pence. As I happened to be in the office at the time, I watched it on-line through a Fox News feed less the usual background chatter from a reporter describing every detail. Frankly, I enjoyed it immensely and saw it as a dignified ceremony. There were no pesky commercials and no talking heads which I normally find irritating.

Throughout the rest of the inauguration, I watched other related events on-line or on C-SPAN, including the parades and balls. Whenever I turned on the television to a commercial channel, I was bombarded by nonsensical trivialities by the news anchors, forcing me to change channels as I had enough of their blather and wanted to watch events on my own.

I understand the need for sports anchors to report play-by-play activities over the radio, but I think we’ve gone too far on television where every scratch and itch is scrutinized. Frankly, I don’t need it, nor want it.

I blame newscaster Howard Cosell for this phenomenon. Back in the early days of ABC Monday Night Football, Howard loved to hear himself talk when others tried to let the camera tell the story. Cosell’s dialog was so irritating, tavern owners across the country began to run pools; if you won, you had the honor of throwing a brick through the TV set when Cosell’s face first appeared on the screen. This was unsettling to Howard, but he did nothing to change his style as an obnoxious broadcaster.

Today, there is a whole new generation of Cosells, not just in sports but in politics as well. Instead of allowing someone to speak, such as a Congressman or the President, there is a tendency to either interrupt the person or talk over what they are saying. The fact I tuned in to see a political figure talk doesn’t mean I want to know the spin of the news reporter. Let me watch the presentation and you can analyze it afterwards, although there is no guarantee I won’t change the channel.

Enough is enough. The anchors should learn to shut-up before people tune them out in favor of uninterrupted on-line coverage. If people want to listen to the anchors, fine, let them access it through the SAP button on their remote control.

As an aside, in the movie “Sleeper,” featuring Woody Allen who wakes up 200 years in the future after undergoing a minor medical procedure, his character is asked to identify various artifacts from the 20th century. Included was a video of Howard Cosell reporting on sports. The scientist asks Allen, “We didn’t know exactly what this was; we’ve developed a theory, we feel that when citizens in your society were guilty of a crime against the state, they were forced to watch this.”

To which Allen’s character replied, “Yes, that’s exactly what that was.”

That’s how I feel about today’s talking heads. Thanks Howard.

Also published with The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  WHAT THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON WAS ALL ABOUT – It is much more than just female rights.

LAST TIME:  BASEBALL CARDS  – Are they a commodity or a memento of our youth?

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life, Media | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

BASEBALL CARDS

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 3, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Are they a commodity or a memento of our youth?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Something near and dear to a young man’s heart is his collection of baseball cards. Although cards today are bought and sold as a commodity, years ago we collected them simply because of the love of the game. My friends and I would trade them, discuss the stats of each player, and chew the lousy gum accompanying each pack of five cards. We would also attach them to our bicycles using clothespins so they would flicker between the spokes of the wheel thereby making a rather impressive sound as you were riding, something like a motorcycle, at least so we thought. In my day, you weren’t cool unless you had a Stan “The Man” Musial baseball card powering your bicycle. In hindsight I wish I had kept that card as opposed to ruining it on my bicycle, but such is life.

The nirvana of baseball cards in my day was to get Mickey Mantle’s (see accompanying photo). As a kid growing up in the New York area in the early 1960’s, Mantle was a god to us. Sure, we watched other teams and other players, but there was something special about the Mick. So much so, obtaining his baseball card meant a step up in your social stature. Fortunately, I got mine in a regular pack of cards and I was the envy of my friends. I was offered stacks of cards for the Mantle card but I stubbornly held on to it, and I’m glad I did. I was even offered a Willie Mays, Roger Marris, and Whitey Ford. If he had thrown in a Yogi Berra I would have been tempted, but such was not to be. Besides, I had a couple of Willie Mays cards already.

Most of my card collection ended up in a shoe box where I kept them neatly organized. For my really good cards I’ve got a special binder with plastic sleeves which keeps them neat and clean. As the cards were important to me, I kept them hidden in my bedroom. As I grew up and moved away to college, the card collection remained hidden in my room. It’s a good thing I hid them too as my room was purged and cleaned by my mother after I moved out. As is common for moms to do, she disposed of my old comic book collection and “Mad” magazine collection, both of which dated back to the early 1960’s. I’m not sure why mothers do this, perhaps as a form of revenge for leaving the nest, but I know a lot of guys who lost such collections, not to mention coin and stamp collections. Moms view such things as nothing more than dust-catchers, guys cherish them as mementos of their past.

Today, baseball cards are bought and sold at hefty prices, a lot more than the nickel we used to pay for a pack and probably without the bubble gum. In my day, “Topps” was the only manufacturer of baseball cards. Today, there are many others, but I can’t say the quality is any better. Some now have special stamps emblazoned on them, some come packaged in air tight plastic containers, and some are real works of art. Whereas baseball originally had a monopoly on such cards, today there are cards for football, hockey, basketball, soccer, even wrestling, entertainment and politics. I still don’t think I would trade my Mickey Mantle for a Barack Obama, no way, no how. I would be much more interested in a Jackie Robinson or Satchel Page, but I think I would still hold on to the Mick.

I still appreciate the simplicity of the cards from years ago. In preparing for this article, I brought out my baseball card binder so I could scan the Mickey Mantle card. Afterwards I stopped by a friend’s house and showed him the binder. He enjoyed it immensely and as he flipped through it we would discuss the various players, what teams they played on over the years, their statistics, memorable moments in their playing careers, and argue over who were the better players. A lot of baseball ears should have been burning that day. Then again, that’s what we did as kids, we talked baseball, and this is what I think baseball cards were originally designed to do.

I just wish I still had that Stan “The Man” Musial card instead of ruining it on my bicycle.

Also published with The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  TOO MANY TALKING HEADS – We should thank Howard Cosell for this.

LAST TIME:  WHAT HAPPENED TO THE TRAVEL EXPENSE REPORT?  – Are your employees abusing travel expenses?

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life, Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE TRAVEL EXPENSE REPORT?

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 1, 2017

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Are your employees abusing travel expenses?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Recently, I have been hearing stories regarding the abuse of corporate travel expenses, not just in small businesses but in large Fortune 500 companies as well. For example, lavish dinners and libations are being charged during the course of non-sales related events; unauthorized gifts are being purchased for family members; employees being sent to seminars and meetings, only to blow-off the meeting to return home early; and several other indiscretions.

It used to be, managers would scrutinize travel expense reports carefully before approving them for payment, but this doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. The abuse of travel expenses is a serious matter as it can be costly to companies, yet some are treating it like a fringe benefit. If left unchecked, travel expenses can drive any company into the poor house.

Policies regarding travel expenses should be spelled out in a company manual of some kind, be it a policy manual, employee handbook, or something from Human Resources. Such a manual should clearly define what expenses the company will assume, and what they will not. This includes limits of daily costs for lodging, transportation, and meals. If the employee went over the prescribed limit, they were responsible for assuming the expense.

What worries me though, is that some managers are no longer checking the expense reports for excesses, and just rubber stamp them off their desk. To make matters worse, employees can become offended if you question them about an expense, particularly Millennials. It is like they are entitled to the expense for traveling on the company’s behalf.

One way of verifying expenses is to simply attach paperwork to the expense report, particularly receipts. To substantiate an employee’s participation at an event, it is wise to ask for a “trip report” detailing what the employee did at the event and what was learned. If the employee attended a workshop or class, proof of participation should be included, such as a certificate or letter of accomplishment. The point is, no paperwork, no reimbursement.

The one problem here is in the area of smart phones where purchases can be recorded on the fly without any printed receipts, including travel tickets, and hotel expenses. This may be convenient for purchasing such items, but the employee should still be held accountable for producing the necessary paperwork. Digital expense reports may be convenient for the employee to use, but they may not be adequate for recording all of the related documentation.

Thanks to the Internet and smart phones, employees are spending more time making their own travel plans. This does two things: it distracts them from their normal job, and; they do not necessarily find the best travel deals, thereby wasting more money. This is why a corporate travel planner is important, to get the best deals while saving time for the employee.

I guess what I do not understand is all of the hubbub regarding travel expense reports, which is actually quite simple to do. Managers have a fiduciary responsibility to manage such expenses, and implementing them should be a no-brainer. As much as you may want to empower employees, they should obviously not be given carte blanche to do whatever they want. This would be a recipe for disaster.

One last note, should an employee ask indignantly, “Why do you want this documentation, don’t you trust me?” I would make it clear to the person, “If you insist on wasting the company’s money, NO, I do not trust you.”

Also published with The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  BASEBALL CARDS – Are they a commodity or a memento of our youth?

LAST TIME:  TECHNOLOGY CLAIMS ANOTHER VICTIM  – Farewell to the “Greatest Show on Earth.”

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: