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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

UNDERSTANDING MILLENNIALS

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 27, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What we read in the news cannot all be true; can it?

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

It seems whenever the subject of Millennials (aka, “Generation Y”; ages 18-36) comes up, be it in a new poll or study, all I hear about is their irresponsible behavior. There seems to be so much of it, it is hard to swallow, such as in how they vote, unemployment, driving, living at home, etc. There are obviously many level-headed Millennials out there, but evidently an inordinate number of deadbeats as well. Frankly, such discussion makes me worry about the future of our country. As a “Baby Boomer,” I have to admit I have trouble understanding them. On the surface, they seem energetic and creative, but I fear there is a dark side.

From a business perspective, I have found Millennials have an aversion to micromanagement, as do I. They desperately want more freedom to express themselves which is causing companies to change their style of management. For example, democratic style of decision making, unlimited vacations, signing bonuses, and other perks.

The dark side of Millennials in business though, according to Gallup, is “Millennials have the highest rates of unemployment and underemployment, and those who hold full-time jobs often struggle to pay their bills.”

As a byproduct, an alarming number of Millennials will remain unmarried through age 40, according to a recent Urban Institute report. The report goes on to suggest their marriage rate may drop to 70%, well below that of Baby Boomers and Generation X. According to a report released last month by the Pew Research Center, 25 percent of Millennials are likely to never marry.

This also means many Millennials will remain at home with their parents. According to Pew in a 2014 study, “for the first time in more than 130 years, adults ages 18 to 34 were slightly more likely to be living in their parents’home than they were to be living with a spouse or partner in their own household.”

Millennials also seem to have an aversion to driving. According to a USA Today report, “Quite simply, cars are becoming less important or less accessible to Millennials.” Their indifference is causing automotive manufacturers to re-think their marketing strategies for the future. Interestingly, Generation Z, the next generation, is rapidly passing the Millennials in terms of applications for driver licenses. why the difference between these two generations? Nobody knows for sure, but it suggests Gen Zers are more ambitious.

According to the Census Bureau, the Millennials recently surpassed the Baby Boomers in terms of volume, making them the #1 age group in America representing 83.1 million people. This represents more than one quarter of the nation’s population. Yet, only 24 million millennials voted in the 2016 election, representing a paltry 28.8% of their eligible voters (see report).

Perhaps the Millennials’ trait of being apathetic stems from their inclination to avoid responsibility in work and marriage, and remain at home instead. It should therefore come as no surprise that those Millennials who vote, tend to gravitate to entitlements and socialism. Had they showed up at the voting booth in 2016, the outcome of the election could have been much different. However, many of them believe the American electoral process is rigged, therefore they do not bother to vote.

Those Millennials surprised Hillary Clinton didn’t win the election because of the popular vote simply do not understand the basics of government in this country, such as the electoral college. It is interesting, this generation, which is more imbued with technology capable of accessing news and information 24/7, is perhaps the most naive when it comes to current events and our mechanics of government.

When you add these reports up, the Millennials are depicted as an irresponsible group of people who are terribly naive about the world around them. This is a frightening conclusion and doesn’t bode well for our future. As to who is responsible for all this, I think the Baby Boomers, who are the parents of the Millennials, should take a close look at themselves in the mirror.

Also published in 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:  THE FAST-FOOD KIOSKS ARE COMING, THE FAST-FOOD KIOSKS ARE COMING! – Get ready for major changes at the fast-food franchises.

LAST TIME:  MANAGING A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION  – It’s not exactly “rocket science” but some people still don’t know how to do it.

Listen to Tim on 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 »

PROCRASTINATION

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 17, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Why we do it and what can be done to overcome it.

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

I think we’re all pretty much guilty of some form of procrastination during our lives. I know I am. The word itself comes from the Latin word “procrastinatus”: pro- (forward) and crastinus (of tomorrow). We try to put something off as long as possible, hoping that it will go away, but it rarely ever does. We avoid it because procrastination means to do something considered painful to us, be it a hard decision or a difficult task. We often use the lame excuse that we don’t have time to do something, but the reality is we plain and simply don’t want to do it. I don’t think anyone actually procrastinates over something they really want to do. So we should look upon procrastination as a sign of how a person really feels about something.

This got me thinking about how many decisions we make during the day. We make all kinds of trivial decisions, such as what clothes we will wear, what to eat, etc., but how many significant decisions do we really make? Probably not as many as we think. Financial decisions are often painfully difficult, such as where we should invest money, the purchase of a new house or automobile, insurance, etc., but we don’t make as many of these decisions as we should. We also infrequently think about career and health related decisions. Probably the two areas we most frequently make decisions about is related to our jobs and maintaining our homes. In terms of our jobs, it seems the bigger the assignment, the harder it is to make decisions regarding it and we often seek advice, particularly if our jobs depend on it. But the same is true at home as well; the bigger the task, the more likely we are to seek advice. For example, there is a big difference between replacing carpeting in a room, and replacing a roof. This implies there is a comfort factor involved with making a decision. In other words, do we know all of the variables and are we convinced this is the proper course of action to take? If we do not, we tend to procrastinate. Replacing a roof is a much more complicated problem than simply replacing a carpet, thereby requiring more studying and advice.

Perhaps the best way to overcome procrastination is to simply prioritize your objectives and assignments, determine not only what you would like to do but what would be most beneficial to you, and get up off your ass and do it. Avoid defeatist attitudes, and try to think positive. You might just find that the problem you have been procrastinating over is not as difficult as you thought it was. But understand this, it will not go away on its own and the old axiom, “Not to decide, is to decide,” will inevitably kick in (and usually not in your favor).

“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”
– Andrew Jackson

Also published in 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:  PROCRASTINATION – Why we do it and what can be done to overcome it.

LAST TIME:  PSEUDO-SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT  – Where you learn to sing “Kumbaya.”

Listen to Tim on 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, Management | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FAMILY RESTAURANT

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 10, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– It is more important than you think.

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

I have a friend who owns and operates a family style restaurant nearby. It has been around for at least thirty years, maybe longer. I’m sure you have one in your neighborhood as well. Sometimes they are called “diners” or “grilles.” My personal favorites are the prefabricated or silver streamliner diners I would frequent up north.

I’ve watched the clientele change in my friend’s restaurant over the years, but he still gets civic clubs, golfers, groups of neighbors, special interest groups, and of course families, where they enjoy camaraderie, a few laughs, talk a little business, or just to pass the time of day. It has become a cultural icon in the area, as most family restaurants do.

I do not believe my friend truly understands the significance his restaurant has on the community though. He sees it as nothing more than a place where people come to enjoy his food, particularly breakfast and lunch. However, it’s much more than this. People come in to discuss such things as local politics, developments in the area, such as the need for a new traffic light or sprucing up the downtown area, business interests, make travel plans, plan family events, or to simply relax from a difficult day. In this way, the family restaurants of today perform the same function as the old taverns of yesteryear, a place to sit and discuss current events or catch up on news. Because of this, it is an important social hub for the community. More business can be conducted in such a venue than can be accomplished over the phone.

Unfortunately, the family restaurant faces two threats to its existence: coffee shops, and fast food franchises. Coffee shops are rapidly becoming the de facto place to meet and talk business. Unlike the restaurant where you typically stay longer and enjoy a full meal, the coffee shop is for quick meetings. You spend less time at the shop, and for good reason, the company wants to flip the table in order to make more money. As such, they do not encourage long dissertations.

The fast food franchises have changed the way people think about meals, particularly breakfast and lunch. Instead of sitting down to a regular meal, people have been trained to consume their meal on the run. The cuisine includes such things as breakfast sandwiches, chicken fingers, burgers and fries. This explains why the menus in family style restaurants have been changing in recent years. Fading from view are such things as Swiss steak, beef tips on noodles, lamb shanks, goulash, meatloaf, even fried or baked chicken. If all you want is burgers, dogs and chicken fingers, what is the point of stopping at a family style restaurant?

Overseas, lunches are considered important. In Europe, for example, it is not uncommon to take a full hour for lunch, not just to enjoy a delicious meal, but to talk business. The same is true in Japan. The Japanese have a fast-paced lifestyle, but they understand the importance of a luncheon meeting, be it formal or informal.

Over the next ten to twenty years, we are going to see the family style restaurants in America slowly disappear. It is already starting to occur in my area. To compound problems, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find qualified cooks who know what they are doing in the kitchen. So, one by one, we are watching such restaurants quietly close their doors.

What I fear, as such restaurants go, they will have an impact on our social mores. We already have problems communicating with one and other, but this is going to be compounded when there is no longer a suitable venue to meet and talk.

As I told my friend, do not underestimate the importance of the local family style restaurant. As they disappear, our socialization skills will greatly diminish, and our communities will not function as well.

Yes, such restaurants are very important as they serve food for thought, as well as meals.

Also published in 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:  PSEUDO-SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT – Where you learn to sing “Kumbaya.”

LAST TIME:  MY TALK ON CITIZENSHIP  – Some thoughts on how to promote citizenship in America.

Listen to Tim on 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 Food, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

MY TALK ON CITIZENSHIP

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 8, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Some thoughts on how to promote citizenship in America.

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

In the Masonic world, we recently observed “Citizenship Month” here in Florida. Because of this, I was asked to give a talk on the subject for a local Lodge. Drawing upon a couple of my past columns, I assembled the following short talk:

My biggest concern regarding citizenship pertains to how we teach history and civics in this country. In some High Schools, “American History” runs from World War II to the present. This means students are not learning such things as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the Civil War, the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark, Prohibition, the League of Nations, and much more. In other words, they only discuss the last 77 years, and not the events leading up to the founding of our country and the turmoils we had to endure. As an aside “World History” is now just World War I to the present. So much for the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Marco Polo, the Magna Carta, Ferdinand Magellan, Alexander the Great, et al. I presume they had no bearing on our civilization.

Such ignorance of our history caused famed historian David McCullough to observe, “We are raising a generation that is historically illiterate and have a very sketchy, thin knowledge of the system on which our entire civilization is based on. It is regrettable and dangerous.”

We are also not educating youth properly in terms of “Civics”; understanding our responsibilities as citizens, such as voting, serving on a jury, how legislation is enacted, or what is included in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. No wonder young people do not grasp the significance of such things as the Electoral College, the structure of our government, or what their rights are.

Naivety and ignorance leads to apathy at the ballot box. In the 2016 elections, only 57.9% of the citizens voted (over 90 million didn’t vote at all). This is a pitiful figure when you compare it to other democracies like Australia, India, and the Scandinavian countries. Surprisingly, this was the highest voting percentage in the United States since 1968 (60.8%). The highest in recent history was in 1960 (63.1%) for the Kennedy/Nixon election. Even though Millennials (ages 18-35) are now the largest potential voting block, they continue to have the lowest voter turnout of any age group.

It is sad when legal immigrants understand the workings of the government and history than native born Americans. Maybe all citizens should take the same oath naturalized citizens do. Since 1778, immigrants coming to this country have had to pass a test and take an oath swearing their allegiance to the United States. The current oath is as follows:

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

Not surprisingly, immigrants coming through this program tend to appreciate this country and are more loyal than native born Americans. Another cause for this could be because there is less emphasis on teaching American government and history in the schools than in years past. In other words, the importance of being a citizen has not been impressed upon our youth.

So, as a proposal, how about administering a modified version of the immigration oath to all native born Americans, perhaps on July 4th? All that is necessary is to simply modify the first sentence of the Immigration Oath; to wit:

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;”

Parents could give it to their children, thereby turning it into a family tradition; civic organizations and local governments could administer it in public group settings, or perhaps some other venue. Maybe even the media could get involved and administer it over the airwaves or Internet. It should be administered in some solemn way with a right hand raised and the left hand placed on either a copy of the U.S. Constitution or perhaps a holy book such as a Bible, Torah, or Koran.

The oath is certainly not the same as the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, this is instead a reaffirmation of our commitment to our country and would help promote citizenship and voting. Maybe this is something that should be given routinely as opposed to just one time; to remind people of their allegiance to this country. I cannot help but believe this simple gesture would have nothing but beneficial effects.

One last observation, during this past year, the talking heads on television recommended avoiding any talk of politics at the dinner table, particularly during Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays. I disagree. We do not do enough talking at the table in a calm and reasonable manner. Instead of leaving citizenship to the school educators and MTV, parents should spend more time discussing it around the dinner table, not in a dictatorial manner, but in a frank and open discussion. I believe our youth would better understand the virtue of the Electoral College if it came from their parents as opposed to an entertainer or athlete.

Maybe then, youth will appreciate the need for “Citizenship.”

Also published in 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:  THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FAMILY RESTAURANT – It is more important than you think.

LAST TIME:  TRAINING MULES  – What to do when you have one in your class.

Listen to Tim on 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 Government, History, Life, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

HANDLING FAILURE

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 27, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Failure is something we don’t handle very well as a species.

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

Failure is something we don’t handle very well as a species. You would think we would be better at it since we all experience some form of failure in our lives, from major blunders to minor snafus. We fail due to errors in judgment, unforeseen circumstances outside of our control, or perhaps we underestimated the amount of risk involved, or we were just plain wrong about something. We have all failed at something and I cannot imagine life without failure. Yet, we don’t seem to know how to handle it with tact and dignity. We even go so far as to cover-up our failures or blame others as opposed to acknowledging defeat. Admitting failure is a bitter pill to swallow, yet I have more respect for the person who admits and takes responsibility for his failings than someone on the sideline who does nothing but jeer or condemns the failure. Nobody should be made to suffer embarrassment from failure if they have put their best foot forward. There is no disgrace.

I’m certainly not suggesting we encourage failure, but we should at least understand it. For example, I’ve noticed people today tend to be sore losers. This may be because of our competitive nature and our inclination to try and win at all costs. Consequently, we do not tend to be gracious in defeat. In contrast, Abraham Lincoln shocked everyone after losing his first Senate race by appearing at the victory party of his opponent and offered a genuine hand of friendship and support. This did not go unnoticed and was well remembered by his opponent who fought for his candidacy years later. From this perspective, Lincoln teaches us that you are not going to lose all of the time, and it might not be wise to burn bridges to those who might assist us later on.

I’ve also noticed some people become so obsessed with the possibility of failure they go into a state of paralysis whereby they prefer doing nothing as opposed to risking the sting of defeat. This is a tragedy as it represents the arrest of progress.

I think the biggest problem with failure is that we do not recognize it as a natural part of life. For every success, there is usually one or more failures not far behind. To illustrate, I believe bankruptcies have quadrupled since the 1980’s, probably due to some rather liberal bankruptcy laws. If you have declared bankruptcy, you may have saved yourself, but I can guarantee you someone else is suffering a loss, such as the creditors you owe money to. If we establish a system where it is beneficial to fail, people inevitably will (see Murphy’s Law).

I tend to believe in the old axiom, “If you make 51% of your decisions correctly, you will be a success.” In other words, you don’t have to bat 1.000 to be considered a success, just stay ahead of your mistakes. Frankly, it’s a matter of carefully picking your fights and contests.

Perhaps Rudyard Kipling put the best spin on failure in his famous poem, “If”; to paraphrase:

“If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”

Perhaps the only thing we do worse than failure is success.

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:  MANUFACTURED HATE – A destructive strategy the left is employing.

LAST TIME:  POLITICIZING SPORTS  – The media will not leave us alone.

Listen to Tim on 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, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 4 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 »

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 »

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 »

TECHNOLOGY CLAIMS ANOTHER VICTIM

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 30, 2017

BRYCE ON TECHNOLOGY

– Farewell to the “Greatest Show on Earth.”

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

It was recently announced the legendary Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, “The Greatest Show
on Earth,” would be closing in May 2017. To fans of the circus, the news was devastating as it had become an institution after 145 years of operation. Like so many families, I took my children to see the circus at a young age. They were fascinated by the trained elephants, tigers, horses, and various other animal acts. The trapeze performers and high-wire acts were also a favorite.

My daughter particularly enjoyed “King Tusk,” a massive elephant, and the animal trainer Gunther Gebel-Williams. My son was more interested in the clowns and their shenanigans. The acts and names of the performers changed over the years, but the excitement of the circus seemed to go on unabated, until recently.

In a letter recently posted to the Ringling web site, Kenneth Feld, the Chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, the producer of the circus, broke the news to the public. Last year, the circus removed the elephant acts due, in large part, to animal rights activists who thought the animals were being mistreated. With the elephants gone, the circus started to diminish. To make matters worse, the attitudes of youth today are changing in terms of entertainment. They are now more imbued with the Internet and computer games than watching live performances, thus causing the death knell of the circus and other forms of live entertainment.

The average price for a ticket was affordable for families, but couldn’t sustain a traveling circus. Ticket prices were much less than Cirque du Soleil which are staged in fixed indoor venues, such as in Las Vegas, Orlando, and New York.

The passing of the circus into memory is another indicator of how technology affects the human spirit. It is sad to think that in the not too distant future, the only way we will be able to experience a circus will be through virtual reality glasses.

Another symptom of technology’s influence is in the area of shopping. Year after year, on-line shopping is said to be making great strides against shopping malls, particularly at holiday time. Unlike retailers in a mall, who have the overhead of renting space and paying for utilities and on-site personnel, on-line shopping has none of these concerns and, as such, can offer products more cheaply. The only time mall retailers have the advantage is when it is necessary to “touch and feel” a product, such as when selecting furniture, a major appliance, and automobiles. Even here though, on-line shopping is being strongly embraced by young people trained in the use of the Internet. If they do not like the product, they simply return it for a refund. Here again, we are losing the personal touch, our sense of customer service and basic salesmanship.

There are trade-offs for the extended use of technology; it may be useful to expedite a sales order or transaction, but at what price? The care of the customer? Or how about the decimation of an old institution such as the circus, where children of all ages sat and marveled at the abilities of man and beast? I, for one, will miss it greatly.

By the way, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus will conclude its tour at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY, on May 21, 2017. Be sure to see it before it fades away into memory.

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 HAPPENED TO THE TRAVEL EXPENSE REPORT? – Are your employees abusing travel expenses?

LAST TIME:  FACING REALITY  – People plain and simply don’t want to know it.

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, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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