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Archive for December, 2017

IS THE GOP REALLY ON ITS DEATHBED?

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 28, 2017

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Or is the main stream media up to its old tricks?

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

To paraphrase Mark Twain, “The reports of the death of the GOP are greatly exaggerated.” To listen to the main stream media, they would have us believe the Republican Party is in disarray and on its deathbed, that the Democrats have already sewn up the Congressional midterm elections for 2018 thereby enabling them to finally impeach President Trump. All I can say is “Bwahahahaha!” This is designed to create nothing more than political intrique so they can maximize viewer/readership and sell advertising. In other words, none of it is based on fact, just money.

The press conveniently overlooks the fact the states are predominantly run by the GOP with 34 Governors, 34 State Senates, and 31 State Houses. According to the latest survey of “State Fiscal Rankings” (July 11, 2017) conducted by the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, the Top 10 States in the Best Fiscal Condition includes (in order) Florida, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Idaho, and Montana. With the exception of Montana, all of these states have Republican Governors, State Senates and Houses (Montana has just a Democratic Governor). The bottom of the list is predominantly run by Democrats, including New York (#39), California (#43), Massachusetts (#48), Illinois (#49), and New Jersey (#50); in other words, the states most resistant to the policies of our Republican President.

The press also contends Mr. Trump’s popularity is sagging. Let us not forget, this is based on the same polls that predicted a run-away victory for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and are controlled by Democrats; a convenient coincidence perhaps? Again, this is designed to make money by creating political intrigue.

If anyone should be concerned about popularity, it should be the main stream media. In an Associated Press report of April 17, 2016, they claimed, “just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public’s view of other institutions.” In other words, Mr. Trump’s popularity is head and shoulders above the media’s.

Despite efforts by the Democrats, Mr. Trump accomplished quite a bit in his first year, including: The tax-reform bill, Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, roll-back of bureaucratic regulations, tougher controls on illegal immigration, declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, bolstering the military and law enforcement, etc. The result has been a revitalized respect for the United States foreign policy, and a resurrected economy brought back from the dead.

Who have the Democrats got to run in the next presidential election? Hillary? Uncle Joe? Governor Moonbeam? Andrew Cuomo? Nancy Pelosi? Chuck Schumer? Hardly. The Democrats have to break the stranglehold of the Progressive movement and demonstrate they represent the interests of the heartland, not the uber-Left. Aside from their distaste for Donald Trump, the country is at a loss as to their platform other than to revert back to the days of Barack Obama (which cost them the Congress and the White House). The Democrats have to overcome the stigma of a party which is faceless and meaningless.

So, the next time you hear the GOP is coughing up blood, the truth is it is the Democrats who are desperate and on the brink of extinction.

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

LAST TIME:  THE AMERICAN CULTURAL REVOLUTION OF 2017  – It wasn’t Trump, it was our changing values.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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THE AMERICAN CULTURAL REVOLUTION OF 2017

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 27, 2017

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– It wasn’t Trump, it was our changing values.

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

As 2017 comes to an end, the country still finds itself in the grips of political polarization, perhaps more so than under President Barack Obama. However, is this truly caused by politics, or is it cultural in nature? I tend to believe it is the latter and not the former. Allow me to explain…

Comparisons of today to the ideological differences leading up to the Civil War are uncanny. The rhetoric was highly visceral for several years prior to the start of the war. The founding fathers realized a confrontation over slavery was inevitable even when the Declaration of Independence was signed. Wrangling over the issue went on for years, until the South finally broke away from the Union. This conflict was ultimately cultural in nature; whereas the North saw slavery along the lines of the immortal declaration, “All men are created equal,” the South perceived it as an issue pertaining to property. The two perspectives were simply incompatible and could not be peacefully resolved.

Today, we suffer from two distinctly different interpretations of America, a liberal or “progressive” perspective touted by the Democrats, and a more conservative version as expressed by the Republicans. So how did we find our way here, and is President Donald Trump truly to blame?

Prior to Trump, the Democrats held both the Congress and the Presidency. During this time, they pressed a social agenda highlighted by the iconic Obamacare which was implemented without any thought of Republican input. Had health care been implemented properly, such as through the development of a feasibility study, both sides would have supplied input and we might have had something we all would have been proud of. Of course, this never happened as the administration jammed it through Congress, thereby creating a split between legislators and the executive branch. More importantly, this split ultimately cost Democrats control over both chambers of the Congress.

The president, unable to overcome differences with the Republicans, implemented a series of executive orders aimed at forging a new social doctrine. These were only temporary as a succeeding president could easily undo them, as Mr. Trump has demonstrated.

So many liberal programs were enacted by Mr. Obama, the thinking and morality of the country began to change. To demonstrate, this past May, the Gallup organization reported on the changes in attitudes in their annual report on morality stating, “Americans continue to express an increasingly liberal outlook on what is morally acceptable, as their views on 10 of 19 moral issues that Gallup measures are the most left-leaning or permissive they have been to date.” This is significant as it demonstrates the country’s conflicting values.

This change in the American personality, along with a lethargic economy, did not sit well with middle class Americans, nor did the perception the Capitol is being run by professional politicians and the press. Consequently, Donald Trump was swept into office in 2016, much to the surprise of Democrats and the media. From this perspective, just as Jimmy Carter begat Ronald Reagan as president in 1980, Barack Obama begat Donald Trump.

The fact an outsider such as Mr. Trump was elected president, someone perceived as the political opposite of an insider like Hillary Clinton, was unbearable to the Democratic psyche. Consequently, the Democrats portrayed him as evil and incompetent, and pledged to “resist” the new President. Whereas most presidents are afforded a grace period at the start of their term, this was not the case with Mr. Trump. The Democrats held up approval of cabinet and judicial appointments, fought passage of tax reform and repeal of Obamacare, and tried to embarrass the president at every opportunity, even going so far as to call for his impeachment and describing him as “mentally unfit.” They implemented a full-court press whereby if he said “black,” they would say “white” and vice versa. Recognizing this, the Republicans excluded the Democrats from major legislation, just as the Democrats did to the Republicans during the passage of Obamacare. This action should not be construed as justifiable, as much as it demonstrates the intense distrust between the two sides.

In the private sector, liberals became organized and launched several marches and protests in defiance of Mr. Trump, many suggesting violence, as was evidenced by the rise of Antifa, a group of self-proclaimed anarchists and communists. During this time, free-speech under the 1st Amendment came under fire, with the left trying to squelch a person’s right for discussing opposing views, particularly on college campuses.

The news media appears to have embraced the dogma of the left and attacks Mr. Trump unmercifully, right or wrong, over the slightest action or decision. Their message is clear, “The president is wrong,” a theme trumpeted over-and-over again on a daily basis. Not surprising, he is not afforded credit for anything positive he has done.

On the other hand, Donald Trump appears to be undeterred by his critics, both Democratic and the press, and takes pleasure in challenging them. By doing so, he has assumed an unanticipated offensive posture in dealing with them, something he is openly lauded for by his supporters. This is in sharp contrast to previous Republican presidents who assumed a defensive posture. His defiance further enrages the liberals who, in turn, contends the administration is corrupt and insists on investigations which, to date, have produced nothing of substance.

What we have witnessed thus far, is not so much political as it is a cultural revolution. During the Obama years, the left made several in-roads in line with their ideology. Now that the right is in charge, they are undoing much of Mr. Obama’s policies and implementing new programs in line with the ideology of the right. To many, this is seen as a “righting of the ship.” Regardless, the country has two distinctly different and incompatible interpretations of the American dream, and the days of finding moderate solutions are long gone.

The difference between the two are numerous and include everything from the size and control of government, the rights of the individual, adherence to the Constitution, different interpretations of right and wrong, to socioeconomic policies (e.g., Socialism vs. Capitalism). They simply possess two separate and incompatible agendas, and this will continue until one side or the other is broken, which implies a vicious political campaign in 2018. The Democrats are cognizant of the fact their future is in doubt should they lose in the mid-term elections. This explains why they desperately resist Mr. Trump and the Republicans.

A strong “anti” reaction is commonplace whenever a new system is introduced. Even Machiavelli in 1513 observed (in “The Prince”), “It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new ones.”

Should President Trump be successful in his initiatives during his first term, he will easily be elected to a second. However, by doing so, it spells the end of the liberal agenda as we know it today and the Democrats will need to redefine their policies and priorities or face extinction. There are some Democratic congressmen who already recognize this and are awaiting for the grip of the liberal left, which controls the party, to loosen.

As long as we have two distinctly separate and incompatible interpretations of America, we will either continue to suffer from gridlock in our Capitol or experience violent confrontations. It is inevitable. However, the silent majority of Americans will not accept revolution and prefer leaving the basic tenets of the country alone and seek prosperity through opportunity and work. They want to return to what they perceive as “normalcy” in the country.

True, 2017 will be remembered as the first year of the Trump administration, but it should be more aptly defined as the beginning of the cultural revolution in the United States.

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

LAST TIME:  2017 YEAR-END WRAP-UP  – Sounds like an innocent question, but do we have a consensus understanding?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics, Social Issues, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

2017 YEAR-END WRAP-UP

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 22, 2017

BRYCE ON BRYCE

– My most popular columns this year.

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

This is my last column for the year as I prepare to enjoy the holidays and rest up for 2018. As has become customary, I’m using this opportunity to review my top essays from the past year.

As you know, I write on a variety of subjects, such as management, systems, technology, social issues, politics, and observations of our changing world. Sometimes my work is instructional and informative, other times it is controversial or humorous. I certainly hope it isn’t boring. By the number of subscribers I have, their comments, and the hits I have on my web site alone, I do not believe this is the case.

NOTE: You can find the audio versions for many of these columns on My Web Page.

My top columns for the year were:

1. The Importance of the Family Restaurant – The popularity of this article was a pleasant surprise for me. In it, I describe the role the family restaurant plays in our lives. I also heard from a few restaurant owners who appreciated the piece.

2. “Penny for Pinellas” faces up-hill Battle – Even though it was an off-year politically, there was one issue commanding the attention of voters in my neck of the woods, renewal of the “Penny for Pinellas” tax which was slipped past the voters due to low turnout.

3. Rebuilding Loyalty – Discussed why loyalty is important in our lives and why we should maintain it.

4. The Liberal Playbook – describing the tools used by the Left as they re-arm themselves for the midterm elections.

5. Where are the Adults? – written as the “resistance” movement heated up.

6. How Liberals Control the Media – this was one of many pieces I wrote regarding the Main Stream Media.

7. The Differences between Left and Right – discussed the differences in codes of conduct.

8. What the March on Washington was all about – more on the “resistance” movement.

9. Why the Left hates Donald Trump – an older piece I wrote which gained ground again.

Remarkably, there were two older pieces that were frequently read this past year:

* The Five Elements of Mass Production – written in 2013, this is a textbook explanation of the components of manufacturing and why they are necessary. The popularity of the piece suggests to me it is being referenced in school programs.

* How Did Our Moral Values Change? – another piece from 2013, I was pleased to see it resurface as morality is a favorite subject of mine.

I will be on sabbatical for awhile until I am ready to get back in the saddle.

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

LAST TIME:  WHAT IS BUSINESS?  – Sounds like an innocent question, but do we have a consensus understanding?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

WHAT IS BUSINESS?

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 20, 2017

BRYCE ON BUSINESS

– Sounds like an innocent question, but do we have a consensus understanding?

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

Recently I was asked to give a couple of presentations at a District meeting of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLE), a nonprofit organization aimed at helping high school and middle school students prepare for careers in business. My sessions were based on my book, “MORPHING INTO THE REAL WORLD – A Handbook for Entering the Work Force.” In between sessions, I had a student approach me. He was a young man, probably 18 years of age, with sandy hair and dressed in a suit and tie which he looked uncomfortable in. I remembered him from my first session and he wanted to question my interpretation of business and how it should be conducted. Although the question sounded rather innocent, I suspected he was looking for something else.

I began by explaining that business was primarily concerned with building, marketing, and delivering a product or service in exchange for compensation; that the goal was to achieve profit by maximizing income and minimizing costs, all of which should be performed by operating within the rules and regulations of the law, even though some people will circumvent the law in order to make a profit. I described business as a truly capitalistic concept which encourages the individual to pioneer, invent, innovate, and assume risk. In return, the person can prosper if successful or suffer the consequences of failure. In other words, conducting business means assuming a certain level of risk and responsibility. It is certainly not for sissies. Beyond this, successful business people have implemented standard practices to cultivate trust with customers, vendors, and employees. This means conducting business with a sense of urgency, honesty, dignity, quality, and pride in workmanship. A little class doesn’t hurt either.

I observed the best business relationships were based on what W. Edwards Deming called a “win-win” scenario, whereby both parties prosper cooperatively. Some people believe in win-lose relationships, meaning one party wins at the expense of the other. Instead, “win-win” establishes a long-term relationship whereby both parties prosper over an extended period of time.

I told him ideally a person should find a career as opposed to just a job, although necessity may force a person to do otherwise. In my many years in the Information Technology sector, I encountered several people who fell into systems and software work by accident, not by design. As an aside, some of the best systems people I’ve met along the way had no computer background whatsoever, but rather began in such fields as music, construction, even library science. These were all fields based on some form of discipline and science. Such people may have been lousy programmers, but they had a keen sense for total systems and how to manage them. They may not have planned a career in systems, but the necessity of possessing a job forced them to embrace a new career which they flourished in. The ideal career or job is one which you take pleasure in performing. Some people though are forced to take positions out of necessity as opposed to choice. However, you can find pleasure in just about any task if you master it. Therefore, it behooves you to put your best foot forward even in the face of a seemingly boring or difficult job.

“Not everyone can be boss though, what about the rights of the workers?” the student asked.

True, not everyone can be the owner or boss, some simply do not have the inclination and prefer being followers. I admonished the student as long as he receives wages from someone, he should do it with loyalty and dedication. He should not malign the character of his superior and respect his/her wishes. If he doesn’t like the person, he should move on to another job, but as long as he accepts the wages of the boss, you are beholden to the person and deserves your loyalty. Conversely, the boss should treat the workers with dignity and respect. The objective is to develop a professional attitude on both sides.

“Then why are there so many micromanagers out there?” I was asked.

“Megalomania,” I answered. Some people wish to dominate others by exerting their will obnoxiously in the workplace, to the point that no decision or action can be taken without the approval of the control freak. Such people are political animals who desperately crave recognition and reward, yet casts blame on others when things go awry. Micromanagement is indicative that respect and trust have broken down between workers and the manager. Instead, managers should manage more and supervise less. This means managing from the “bottom-up” whereby workers are charged with assignments, empowered to make decisions, and work accordingly. In other words managing from the bottom-up seeks to improve the trust and respect of the workers simply by treating them as professionals and holding them accountable for their actions.

The student remembered one of my comments during my presentation where I observed a person’s personal and professional lives were one and the same. “What you are suggesting is that a person should lead a worthy and meaningful life?”

I agreed. There is dignity in all forms of work and I certainly do not look down my nose at anyone who is trying to improve their station in life by doing a competent job, regardless of what it may be. How someone performs their duties and responsibilities is a reflection of their personal character. It expresses their dedication, their sense of professionalism, and whether they care about how they are perceived by others.

“So you believe the employer should provide workers with a meaningful career?”

“Not necessarily,” I countered. Matching a job to someone’s skills and proficiencies should be of concern to the employer, but it’s a two way street. It is in the employer’s best interests to have workers who are striving to improve themselves and, as a result, the company will improve, but for this to work, the employee must demonstrate personal initiative, that he/she is willing to assume personal responsibility and risk. However, if the employee believes the employer is going to spoonfeed them skills and knowledge, they are likely to be more parasitic in their approach to work as opposed to professional.

“Then you are suggesting the person’s morality is an inherent part of conducting business isn’t it?”

I was startled by the perception and immediately agreed. It means a person’s word is a measurement of his bond and denotes his integrity. The boss sets the example for ethical behavior, but it is up to the workers to follow his/her lead.

“So, if I understand you correctly Mr. Bryce, business is about people; it involves people working together harmoniously to build and deliver a work product under a win-win philosophy, and that people should be treated as professionals and held accountable as such.”

Yes, then I added one last note; When it comes to conducting business, everything begins with a sale. Activities such as engineering, research, manufacturing, etc. are all important, but none more so than sales. All workers should be mindful of this and every activity in a business should be geared towards producing income, for in the end, without sales, everything else evaporates.

The young man thanked me for my time before scurrying off to another session. I had enjoyed this dialog with him; it was refreshing and demonstrated his perception of what I was talking about. I only hope I had impacted the other students in the same manner.

First published: December 17, 2012

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:  2017 YEAR-END WRAP-UP – My most popular columns this year.

LAST TIME:  STUNTING THE MALE MATURATION PROCESS  – Is it being driven by technology?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

STUNTING THE MALE MATURATION PROCESS

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 19, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Is it being driven by technology?

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

I have described the adverse effects of technology on numerous occasions, such as its addictive powers and effect on the human brain. However, something recently occurred which causes me to believe it also affects the maturation process, most notably in males.

I recently visited a hospital for some tests (nothing serious, just routine). While sitting in a waiting room, I happened to meet three black ladies who happened to be talking about football. Their personas and banter reminded me of “Diamond and Silk” of Trump fame, who all seemed to be of one mind and possessed an acute case of common sense.

I happened to join their conversation and we discussed everything from high school football, to college, and the NFL. I found their candor refreshing. As Floridians, they were well versed in college football in our state, including Miami’s recent loss to Clemson. We discussed the pros and cons of the college playoffs and who we thought would win the national championship, but they were also keenly aware of the need for effective coaching, both on and off the field. One of them made the observation that college players were often supervised by the coaching staff and disciplined accordingly, but in the pros there were no mentors or supervisors to keep these young men in check, which explains why it is easy for them to get into trouble. The other ladies agreed.

I happened to mention my recent essay, “Understanding the NFL’s Problems,” whereby I noted the players unpatriotic conduct and how they are prone to get into trouble. They agreed with my observations and were frustrated the players were acting immaturely.

Afterwards, I thought about their comments carefully and considered why this phenomenon with young men is occurring. We always knew women tended to mature faster than men, but it appears men are becoming slower in the maturation process. For example, studies show they are less inclined to marry and remain at home longer as opposed to just a couple of decades ago. Men at this age also have trouble managing their money. “Sports Illustrated” performed an analysis of spending habits of NFL players and found 78% of them are bankrupt, or nearly so, just two years after their athletic careers are over. As they break into the league, most go on an insatiable spending spree and develop financial habits which haunts them later on.

To top it off, it appears men are more inclined to become addicted to personal technology than women, not just via computers and phones, but through game consoles as well. This then begs the question, “Does technology stunt the male maturation process?”

Although there is considerable evidence to indicate it does, there is no concrete proof. However, years ago, when a man completed college or a stint in the military, it was assumed they were mature enough to leave home and lead a productive life independently. However, business managers today are spending more time with young people mentoring them and performing what I call “Parenting Management.” In other words, teaching them what their parents failed to do by performing the role of guidance counselor.

All of this explains why the ladies I talked to regarding football are right, the players need to be supervised to keep them out of trouble. Unfortunately, the young men are not mature enough to make proper decisions for themselves. By failing to offer them guidance, morality suffers, not just by the players, but by the younger people who want to emulate them. This is a major failure by the NFL which needs to be addressed.

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 IS BUSINESS? – Sounds like an innocent question, but do we have a consensus understanding?

LAST TIME:  WHERE DOES YOUR TIME GO?  – How it adds up.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life, Social Issues, Technology | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

WHERE DOES YOUR TIME GO?

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 18, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– How it adds up.

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

I was recently stopped at a traffic light on legendary US19 here in Palm Harbor during rush hour. For those of you unfamiliar with US19, it is the main artery running north-south in our county (Pinellas). There are three lanes on each side and traffic volume can be considerable. If you get caught in rush hour traffic, you can be hung-up for quite some time. It can also be quite dangerous; the bumper sticker, “Pray for Me, I drive on US19,” pretty much sums it up. There are traffic lights spread approximately three miles apart, which means there is a lot of stop-and-go traffic. So much so, I started to wonder how much time we waste waiting in traffic. To learn the answer, I checked various sources on the Internet and learned more than what I was originally looking for, for example:

WAITING – on the average, we spend 45 to 62 minutes daily. This includes waiting in traffic, in lines, or for service.

COMMUTING – According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the national average daily amount of time we spend commuting to work is 24.3 minutes. Actually, I thought this was surprisingly low.

EATING – According to the USDA, Americans spend 67 minutes eating and drinking during meal times, but we also spend an additional 23.5 minutes eating while doing something else, and an additional 63 minutes drinking beverages while doing something else, e.g., coffee/tea breaks. In total, 153.5 minutes.

BATHROOM – we average 57 minutes in the bathroom each day, either relieving or grooming ourselves. Women tend to spend more time than men in the powder room, but that is immaterial for the purposes of this article.

TELEVISION – a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicated Americans spend a staggering 2.7 hours watching TV each day.

LEISURE AND SOCIALIZATION – several reports indicate we spend 100 minutes on other recreational activities, excluding television.

SLEEPING – most reports still indicate we spend eight hours each day sleeping. Some reports have it a little higher, but I tend to believe it is less than this. Nonetheless, eight hours appears to be the average.

So, let’s add it up for the typical work day. I’ll round off the numbers to the nearest half hour:

1.0 – WAITING
.5 – COMMUTING
2.5 – EATING
1.0 – BATHROOM
2.5 – TELEVISION
1.5 – LEISURE AND SOCIALIZATION
8.0 – SLEEPING
17.0 – TOTAL HOURS

This leaves us with just seven hours to pursue our labors which doesn’t seem like much when you compare it to everything else. It also makes you wonder if we’re truly earning our keep which is a bit disheartening.

Then there is the matter of how much time we spend on these activities in a lifetime. If I were to use just 50 years as an average, we would find the following number of DAYS spent:

760.4 – WAITING (2 years)
380.2 – COMMUTING (1 year)
1901.0 – EATING (5.2 years)
760.4 – BATHROOM (2 years)
1901.0 – TELEVISION (5.2 years)
1140.6 – LEISURE AND SOCIALIZATION (3.1 years)
6083.3 – SLEEPING (16.6 years)

Please remember, these numbers are based on averages and doesn’t take into account such things as vacations, disabilities, unemployment, etc.

As amusing as these numbers are, they should make us cognizant of whether we are wasting our time or not.

See what happens when you leave me stuck at a red light on US19?

First published: October 26, 2012

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:  STUNTING THE MALE MATURATION PROCESS – Is it being driven by technology?

LAST TIME:  A LITTLE SILLY  – Why we need a light hearted distraction now and then.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

A LITTLE SILLY

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 15, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Why we need a light hearted distraction now and then.

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There’s not too much to laugh about these days; the country is still polarized politically, and the main stream media has the general populace whipped into a frenzy over just about everything. In fact, the general disposition of the country is rather depressing, which is why it is refreshing to see or hear something that lifts our spirits, something a little silly. As for me, not long ago I was waiting in line at my bank’s drive-in window when a man drove up on a red motorcycle whom I judged to be in his sixties. This was no ordinary motorcycle as it had an attached sidecar with a golden retriever proudly perched inside wearing goggles and a red bandana. It appeared the dog was enjoying himself immensely and didn’t seem encumbered by the attire his owner had dressed him in. The sight of the dog stopped everyone in their tracks, both in and outside of the bank. The bank tellers called their colleagues to the window to see him, and the other patrons waiting in line rolled down their window to get a better look. He was simply a very cool pooch who seemed to enjoy the attention, as did his master.

This particular couple have become regulars in our area and are often seen on the roadways around Palm Harbor, a tiny community on the suncoast of Florida. Everywhere the two go, they are met by smiles and pointed fingers. They lift the spirits of people wherever they go. Golden retrievers are pretty cool dogs to begin with, but when you add goggles and a bandana, they become real hams. It’s as if they know what they’re doing and are daring you not to laugh. I’ve seen other types of dogs sitting in sidecars, but the golden retriever seems to own it, particularly if he is dressed properly.

Now, more than ever we need a little silly in our lives. Walking around in a depressed or angry mood can make for some rather deep psychological scars. It is important to now and then do something a little silly thereby lifting the mood of others and ourselves. I believe our friend with the motorcycle is very cognizant of this, which is why the pair take to the streets like Batman and Robin to bring a little cheer to the citizens of our area. We don’t know exactly who the Dynamic Duo are, as their goggles conceal their identity, but they are warmly welcomed wherever they go. It’s a nice little silly that can break the tension regardless of who you are or the problems you are experiencing. For one brief moment, you cannot help by being distracted, thanks to a little silly.

First published: September 14, 2012

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 DOES YOUR TIME GO? – How it adds up.

LAST TIME:  WHY DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?  – Good question and something that has puzzled us from time immemorial.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

WHY DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 13, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Good question and something that has puzzled us from time immemorial.

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On a recent trip to work one morning I was tuned into a local radio talk show. One of the DJ’s mentioned he happened to be married to a vegan, yet he was a confirmed meat eater. The other two DJ’s sharing the microphone with him found this amusing, as did I, and they asked him what life was like living with a vegan, particularly at dinner time. Somehow they found a way to avoid squabbles and respect each other’s culinary preferences. One didn’t intrude on the other, and they have lived happily together for quite some time.

I am always intrigued by couples who appear to be incompatible on the surface, yet somehow find a way to build a successful marriage. I have seen tall people marry short people, fat and thin, wild versus mild, mixed religions, mixed races, and mixed politics. As to the latter, there is probably no better example than political pundits James Carville (Democrat) and Mary Matalin (Republican) who were married in 1993 and have two daughters. Even though they worked on opposing political campaigns, they somehow found the right chemistry to make their marriage work. This particular union has puzzled people for years, particularly due to their different personalities. When they appear on television, Carville is very animated and chatty, and Matalin appears more sedate and thoughtful. Both have strong personalities in their own right. When they appear on television together, they make it clear they do not agree on several political issues and try to correct each other, which can be rather amusing to watch. As I understand it though, politics is a taboo subject at home, particularly around their children. As an aside, I wonder if this political odd couple votes at election time since they will undoubtedly cancel each other out.

Then there are the law-abiding citizens who marry convicts while incarcerated. I never did quite understand this; a spouse who is free on the outside and a convicted criminal on the inside, never having physical contact or living together. Even people committing some of the most heinous crimes seem to score well from within the walls of prison. Maybe there is sex appeal in the forbidden fruit of a mass murderer, or maybe they’re just plain nuts. Somehow I have a hard time grasping death row as a lover’s lane.

How the opposite ends of a magnet are attracted is easier to explain than human compatibility. Scientists have a lot of theories for the attraction of people, but no conclusive facts. There are those who believe it is based on a biological and chemical arousal whereby people are attracted by scent which somehow matches the female’s hormonal status. This would suggest it’s all in the DNA. Then there are those who believe it is based on complementary psychological makeups, or maybe based on some astrological compatibility where the stars must be in some specific alignment.

As for me, I don’t buy any of this. Frankly, I’m not sure what it is that makes another person float your boat. Maybe it’s physical, maybe it’s logical. I tend to believe there is some specific element of the other person we find intriguing, and realizing they are complete opposites, we tend to work harder at building and maintaining a relationship than those people who are much more compatible. Keep in mind, there has to be more “give and take” in a marriage of opposites as opposed to those who are evenly matched. They have to work harder if they want to sustain it. A relationship of opposites will be obviously more challenging than a compatible relationship which will likely be more sedate. I guess some people thrive on a challenge, and some do not.

Maybe the only way this can be proven is by studying the duration of marriages and divorce rates of compatible couples versus polar opposites. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the opposite couples were more successful? Keep in mind, Carville and Matalin have now been married for 24 years, and it certainly couldn’t be due to their politics. In 2009, the two were interviewed by CNN’s John King who asked them how to maintain a happy marriage:

Carville: “I don’t have a position on anything domestically. So I just say yes, and then go on and do it. I mean it. I would say the three ingredients to successful marriage is surrender, capitulation and retreat.”

Matalin: “Spoken like a true liberal. What a martyr. Faith, family and good wine. That’s how we do it.”

First published: September 28, 2012

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:  WHY DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT? – Good question and something that has puzzled us from time immemorial.

LAST TIME:  A LITTLE SILLY  – Why we need a light hearted distraction now and then.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

AMERICAN RENAISSANCE

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 12, 2017

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– It is no longer business as usual.

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There is something in the wind. America is changing, not just a little, but a lot. No, it is not the political intrigue of Washington featuring numerous investigations. Nor is it the recent spat of sexual harassment charges, or Russia for that matter. These are all manufactured distractions by the Main Stream Media (MSM). A new way of thinking about government is starting to permeate society, and frankly it is long overdue, and it is making the Washington establishment nervous.

During 2017, we witnessed the rise of the American economy. The Labor Department reported unemployment is down to 4.1%; the Department of Agriculture reported the number of people on food stamps is beginning to decline; the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported the Gross Domestic Product grew throughout the year and looks to accelerate presuming the tax cuts pass; and the stock market is hitting record highs. The President has also issued numerous orders to cut bureaucratic red tape, thereby freeing up business to prosper and grow. Yet, most Americans are unaware of this as it goes unreported by the MSM.

In terms of immigration, the Department of Homeland Security reported dramatic reductions in illegal immigrants in 2017, and the southern wall is in the offing. Again, the MSM overlooks such changes. The President also signed Pro-Law Enforcement and Anti-Crime Executive Orders. In addition, he is very supportive of rebuilding the military. His no-nonsense approach to trade and statesmanship has been noticed by both our friends and enemies abroad.

Despite all of this, I have friends, both Republican and Democrat, who are offended by the president’s tweets, speeches, and duels with the MSM. I normally ask, “Why does this offend you?” They claim his conduct is unpresidential and not in accordance with political correctness. To which I counter, “You mean, it is not business as usual?” Yes. “Good, because business as usual has led us into the mess we were in.”

Donald Trump was elected president not because he was a noted politician, but for being a hard-nosed businessman who is able to get things done. His super Type-A personality is despised by the Washington establishment, on both sides of the aisle. As is typical of someone with his stature in business, he uses some friendly bullying and humor to get his way, most of which is misunderstood by the media and his opponents. It is this type of defiant personality middle America finds appealing, and resented by politically correct politicians and the press. However, with the 2018 midterms on the horizon, and the clamor from the American public to get the economy working and to safeguard the country, the Republican side of the house is slowly waking up to the fact it is a new day in Washington, not “business as usual,” and they better get aboard the Trump train or pack their bags for home.

This means an “American Renaissance” is in the offing, a reawakening of basic American principles, such as smaller government, individual liberty, respect for family values, and an acknowledgement that the American Dream is based on capitalism. Of course, this does not sit well with the Left who represents the polar opposite of such values and, as such, is fighting President Trump every step of the way. However, the Renaissance concept has already taken hold and is gaining traction. Should the economy continue to accelerate, and the president can deliver on his promises, there will be no stopping the renaissance.

At the time of this writing, the proposed Tax Reform plan hasn’t yet fully passed the Congress. If it makes it to the President’s desk for his signature, this will be a significant catalyst to power the American economy even further, raising the GDP, encouraging business, and putting more money into the pockets of the people. A stimulated economy will then begin the process of paying off the national debt and shrinking the deficit.

As an old systems man, I am acutely aware of the effects of change. The more dramatic the change, the more people tend to resist it. The problem though is Americans have grown accustomed to “business as usual” in the nation’s Capitol for so long, our government and country is denigrating in the process. The changes engineered by Mr. Trump were inevitable as the country no longer accepts the status quo of the Washington establishment which has floundered and produced nothing of substance, other than the enlargement of the government.

Perhaps Mr. Trump’s biggest legacy from his term of office will be the realization it is time to think and act differently in government. This is something past presidents simply do not comprehend, nor his political opponents or the press. However, I’m betting by the time Mr. Trump’s tenure is over, he will make the changes implemented by Ronald Reagan seem minuscule.

What is necessary is to recognize these are extraordinary times we live in, and the status quo simply won’t cut it any longer. “American Renaissance” is the mantra we need to embrace to make America great again.

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:  WHY DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT? – Good question and something that has puzzled us from time immemorial.

LAST TIME:  FLY FISHING IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA  – Beware of hatchery fed trout.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

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

COMMON COURTESY

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 11, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– A simple form of communications which reflects our character.

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I recently discussed the four basic types of personalities; A, B, C and D. In addition to the different personality types, we as humans have a wide variety of interests and non-interests (“turnoffs”), as well as highs and lows. As such, it is impossible to know precisely how to properly relate to everyone in every situation all of the time. The common leveler is common courtesy. By this I most definitely am not referring to “political correctness” which is concerned with pseudo-courtesy for political purposes. Instead, common courtesy represents a genuine respect for the human spirit and how we should interact. This is much more than just saying “please” and “thank you,” it’s treating others as we want others to treat us.

Each day we transmit a series of messages which communicate how we regard others. This is done either verbally or through other means affecting our senses. These messages can either be perceived as positive or negative. For example, someone who dresses or smells badly is sending a message that he has no regard for the others around him, as does foul habits such as belching or flatulence. Conversely, good grooming means you care how people perceive you. Other positive messages are conveyed through such things as greetings and handshakes, punctuality, and simple manners. Common courtesy, therefore, is concerned with sending positive messages as opposed to negative. It also means our ability to practice common courtesy is a reflection of our character and how we want other people to treat us.

Introductions, Handshakes & Greetings

In Japan, an introduction in a business setting is very important. In addition to identifying yourself, it establishes your professional image, and the superior/subordinate relationship for the two parties to assume (the “pecking order”). Consequently, the Japanese practice introductions carefully, particularly how a business card is presented, as they realize its importance. In contrast, people in the western world have a much more cavalier attitude towards introductions. Nonetheless, the introduction is every bit as important and sends signals as to how we perceive each other.

A lot of people underestimate the importance of a handshake. Actually it is the single most important message we can convey in an introduction. Some people like to give a strong vice grip handshake in an attempt to intimidate you, but most handshakes today by young people are weak and flabby. Actually you need to find a good balance, not too flabby and not too strong. Further, look the other person square in the eyes when you shake hands, this conveys your sincerity in meeting the person. Do not trust anyone who simply shakes your hand but doesn’t look you in the eyes; they simply do not care about you.

Shaking hands has historically been a very masculine custom, but this has changed in recent times. However, men still question the appropriateness of shaking a woman’s hand. Because of this, it is the woman’s responsibility to offer her hand. If she does not offer her hand, do not reach for it as she may feel uncomfortable doing so.

Upon meeting someone for the first time, be careful about using the other person’s first name or nickname as this may be reserved for the person’s friends and family. Use “Mister”, “Ms”, “Mrs” or “Miss” depending on how you were introduced and allow them to say, “Please call me Joe.” But if by chance you ask, “May I call you Joe?” Don’t be surprised if someone says, “No.” In other words, do not risk embarrassment, let the other person make the offer to use their first name or nickname. And please, whatever you do, do not call the other person “Dude,” this should have gotten out of your vernacular after graduating from High School.

It is also a good practice to memorize the other person’s name, particularly when a business card is unavailable. Nothing is more embarrassing in a business relationship to both parties than to forget a name. Write it down if you cannot remember it.

It is a good practice to greet your boss and coworkers on a daily basis when reporting to work (as well as saying your farewell at the end of the day). Nobody wants to feel unwelcome or unappreciated. If they do, they will feel like outcasts and less likely to help you with something. The objective is to make people feel at home. This can be accomplished with a simple greeting such as “Good morning” or “How are you?” It is easy to detect when a greeting is sincere or routine. Your goal is to appear genuinely concerned about the person. This can be achieved by:

* Complimenting on some personal attribute of the person (e.g., clothes, hair, car).

* Inquiring about a person’s family (e.g., birthday observed, anniversary, graduation, pets, health, etc.).

* Asking about an event the person recently experienced (e.g., attendance at an event, a trip, participation in a volunteer organization/charity, a new job or project assignment, etc.).

* Commenting on something newsworthy – community, sports, weather (“What did you think about…?”).

Such greetings are an expression of your interest in the person. Too often greetings become routine and, as such, less credible. Try to break it up.

A good basic greeting can work wonders in building cooperation and relations between people.

Attention to Detail

Small details can have a dramatic effect in your relationship with others. For example:

* Be observant – if there is anything constant in life, it is change. Change is always around us, but it takes a perceptive person to be able to spot the smallest of changes, whether it be a new hair style, someone losing weight, a small job well done, or whatever. When a change is observed, ask yourself why it has happened. Be inquisitive and understand the rationale for the change. This will help you adapt to the change as well as improve your interpersonal relations. For example, people are easily flattered when someone compliments them on a change. It means you are perceptive and interested in the person, both of which puts you in good standing with the other person.

It is these little observations that go a long way. As an example, perhaps the best secretary I ever met was a lady named Myrna who worked for an I.T. Director in Chicago. The first time I visited the office, Myrna warmly greeted me and asked if I wanted a cup of coffee. Saying Yes, she then asked me what I wanted in it. I said cream and sugar, which she then made for me. Months later when I returned to visit the Director, Myrna greeted me by name and presented me with a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. Frankly, I was startled she not only remembered my name but how I also liked my coffee. Later I discovered Myrna maintained a simple card file; whenever someone visited the office, Myrna would record their name and the type of coffee they liked. Sharp. Very sharp.

First published: September 14, 2007

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:  AMERICAN RENAISSANCE – It is no longer business as usual.

LAST TIME:  FLY FISHING IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA  – Beware of hatchery fed trout.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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