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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

WHAT WE LEARN IN SUPERMARKETS

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 17, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– You can learn a lot from a supermarket, perhaps too much.

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

You can learn a lot from a supermarket. For example, if you want to know what a community is really like, visit the local supermarket. To me, it is a microcosm of the community, complete with local cuisine, customs, speech patterns, fashion, and social stature. It also tells us a lot about our driving skills. That’s right, driving. The similarities between how people push their shopping carts in the store and how they motor around town is truly remarkable. Think about it, here’s what you typically find as you meander the store aisles:

Speeders – these are the people who know exactly what they want, and go in and out of the store as fast as possible. They have little time for chitchat and God forbid you get in their way, WHAM! Actually, I like to follow the speeders through the store as they tend to clear the aisles for me (kind of like following an ambulance or fire truck). Most people are put off by speeders though, particularly when they accidentally ram into other shopping carts.

Slow Pokes – obviously this group represents the antithesis of the speeders. These are the people who either go grocery shopping like it is a carefree social outing or the geriatric types who can barely see above the carts. Then of course there are the people talking on cell phones or the handicap wheel chairs the size of a Sherman Tank. All of these people move at a snail’s pace and are totally oblivious to everyone else around them thereby causing traffic jams.

Road Hogs – these are the people who push their carts down the middle of the aisles making it difficult to pass from either direction, left or right. These are the same people who like to double-park their carts in the most congested parts of the store and look offended if you ask them to move (which, of course, they do reluctantly).

Navigation through the supermarket is probably the biggest reason why people loathe going to them. Perhaps if they were designed more like highways it would be simpler, such as turning lanes, traffic signs, and lines painted down the middle of the aisle floors (actually, I think this would be a great idea as people are conditioned to follow painted lines on the road and would probably observe one side or the other).

Thank God nobody ever thought of adding a horn to a grocery cart as I suspect the sound would be deafening. Maybe what we need is a motorcycle cop driving a two wheel Segway up and down the aisles writing tickets or traffic cops strategically located around the store.

Actually, I think they should give driving tests in supermarkets as a precursor to getting your actual driver’s license. Imagine kiosks in supermarkets like Kroger, Publix, and Safeway where you have to complete a written test and then be evaluated by Troopers with drill-sergeant hats and reflective glasses with clipboards judging shoppers on their driving skills. This should significantly cut down on the number of idiots on the road wouldn’t it?

Yes, supermarkets tell a lot about ourselves, maybe too much.

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:  WHAT WE LEARN IN SUPERMARKETS – You can learn a lot from a supermarket, perhaps too much.

LAST TIME:  WHAT CAUSES “THE STUPIDS”?  – With the masses, it’s all about crowd control.

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, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

WHAT CAUSES “THE STUPIDS”?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 15, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– With the masses, it’s all about crowd control.

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

Shortly after graduating from high school I went to work at a large amusement park in Cincinnati for a summer where I ran the cable car ride. I had a lot of smaller jobs while in school, but this was the first where I was exposed to the public on a grand scale. The amusement park provided instructional materials to try and prepare employees in dealing with the public, but I don’t think anything truly prepares you for something like this other than to throw you right into it whereby you either sink or swim.

I have to admit, dealing with the masses for the first time is an eye-opening experience and definitely not for the faint of heart. The public’s indiscretions and atrocities are truly mind-numbing as anyone who has ever worked at such a venue can tell you. While at the park, I saw motorcycle gangs, groups of transvestites, drunk hillbillies, etc., but it was Orphan Day at the park that finally pushed me over the edge. Basically, the park opened its doors to every orphan in the state of Ohio which, to me, seemed like releasing all of the animals from the zoo. The kids basically ran amok throughout the park un-chaperoned. In addition to just being pests, they endangered others on the rides, and frequently injured themselves. As I recall, the log-flume ride had more than its share of chopped off fingers from kids who wouldn’t listen to instruction and keep their hands inside the ride. On more than one occasion they caused my cable-car ride to shut down by jumping up and down in the car during the ride. As an aside, seeing a cable car bounce up and down on a line like a pogo stick is a frightening sight. Bottom-line, Orphan Day was my last day of employment at the park.

Recently, I was asked to help out at a major community event in my area. This was not just another rinky-dink arts and crafts festival, but rather a major outdoor event involving thousands of people. The particular group I was involved with was charged with directing parking and securing the entrances and exits to the event. As the human throngs invaded, I started to experience flashbacks to my amusement park days. Instead of dealing with orphans, motorcycle gangs, etc., I was dealing with basic families and retirees. Interestingly, I discovered they suffered from the same case of “the stupids” as the whackos I had in Ohio, It thereby occurred to me that “the stupids” know no boundary and can be found just about anywhere involving large groups of people.

Here are the earmarks of people suffering from “the stupids” in massive venues:

* Sensory impairment, particularly sight and sound. It seems people cannot see the largest of signs, even when it is blinking in front of them. Further, they seem to become deaf when you are trying to give them instruction; either that or they seem to forget the English language and look at you like you are from another planet.

* People become self-centered. Instead of trying to cooperate and wait their turn, they are more interested in pushing and shoving to the head of the line. When you try to correct them, they become belligerent, regardless of how polite you try to be.

* People develop a herd mentality whereby they follow anyone wherever they are going, right or wrong, kind of like lemmings.

Basically, I find people tend to lose consciousness in mass settings and prefer to have others do the thinking for them. If I have learned anything from this, it is:

1. People have no common sense in massive settings and need to be told what to do, not just once but repetitively until it sinks in.

2. People prefer to be led and told what to do. They are more content if they know someone is watching over them.

3. People are easily manipulated using simple commands. If the message is complicated, the less likely they will understand and obey it. Short, simple commands are all that is necessary (and all that John Q. Public understands).

If this all sounds like a cattle drive, it is, complete with park attendants who play the role of cowboys. Next time you visit an amusement park or political rally, observe how the masses are manipulated and you will see what I’m talking about. Just be careful not to spook the herd though, you might start a stampede. This is why you often hear soothing music at such venues, as it tends to calm people down (like the cowboy’s harmonica).

“Get along little doggie!”

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:  WHAT WE LEARN IN SUPERMARKETS – You can learn a lot from a supermarket, perhaps too much.

LAST TIME:  RESPECTING PRIVACY  – What to do about a loudmouth neighbor.

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, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

RESPECTING PRIVACY

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 12, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What to do about a loudmouth neighbor.

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

When I first went to Japan, I found it fascinating how so many people could get along in a small amount of space. For example, if you take the subway in Tokyo during rush hour, you better not be claustrophobic, as people are jammed in with you any way they can. Fortunately, I’m tall enough where I can keep my head above the fray and get some fresh air, but down below are Japanese pushed into my navel (and just about everywhere else). Remarkably, as close as the quarters are on the subway, the Japanese try to respect the privacy of the people surrounding them. I’ve always admired the Japanese for this; quite simply, there is great respect for the concern of others. Because of the small amount of available space, I guess they really have no alternative.

Contrast this attitude though to the United States where we have a heck of a lot more space, but we still have areas where people live in close quarters, such as apartment buildings and condominium complexes. I recently had a reader complain to me about a neighbor in her apartment building who was causing a lot of trouble for the residents there, whereby he would be loud, knock on doors in the middle of the night to wake people up, and generally be an all-around nuisance. They tried to talk to him, but he disregarded their complaints and continues on his war path. My reader asked me what she should do about the situation.

First, you have to recognize you are dealing with someone who is either immature or socially dysfunctional, and such people can be dangerous as they have no concern for anyone else but themselves, the absolute antithesis of the Japanese culture. Second, find out the rules pertaining to your apartment complex as written and attached to the lease or contract, perhaps some governing documents. If such rules and regulations do not exist, look up local government ordinances. Next, register a written complaint with the proper authorities; in fact, get as many people as possible to sign the complaint with you which adds more credibility to your argument. Although you may want to take your complaint to your landlord, in all likelihood, he will not care. From his perspective, an obnoxious tenant that pays his rent on time is better than a quiet, empty apartment for lease. In other words, you will have to register your complaint with law enforcement officials.

When your complaint is officially registered and the person is notified, he will either be forced to conform or may become more belligerent. Now is the time to keep a journal of any other incidents that may arise, including pictures or audio if pertinent. Hopefully, the situation will go away, but it may also erupt on a grander scale, whereby you end up in court or be forced to move yourself.

Such a situation is unimaginable in Japan. The neighbors would talk to the person who, in turn, would become embarrassed and comply in order to maintain harmony and not to lose face. However, in the “home of the free,” such a talk would only make the problem worse, not better.

There are of course other alternatives, such as a baseball bat persuader, or hire Nunzio “Three fingers” to have a little “chat” with the problem child, but it is probably best to try legal alternatives first. Then again, you could move to Japan, if you don’t mind being squashed into a subway car.

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:  WHAT CAUSES “THE STUPIDS”? – With the masses, it’s all about crowd control.

LAST TIME:  CONFIDENCE IN PRESENTATION  – Getting the audience on your side.

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, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

THINKING SMALL

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 8, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– It is preventing us from achieving greatness.

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

When I catch up with old friends through social media, particularly those from my youth, I am often asked something like, “Well Tim, how has your ride been?” In other words, have I had a good life? More importantly, knowing of my business background, they want to know what I have learned along the way, particularly in my field of endeavor, Information Technology.

Without hesitation, I admonish them that Americans tend to think “smaller” than we did years ago which, of course, requires some explanation. Keep in mind, as a Baby Boomer I lived through the space race, the cold war, and mainframe computers where the intent was to develop massive Management Information Systems (MIS), processing everything from soup to nuts. This is in sharp contrast to today’s world involving smart phones, the Internet, and writing an “app” representing a single program. The idea of writing something small seems to be preferable to working on major systems. In a way, it is like owning a dog, smaller ones do not require as much maintenance as larger ones.

The massive systems of yesteryear are still around, but developing new ones is avoided, primarily because they have forgotten how to build them and, as such, can no longer be effectively developed on-time, within budget, or according to specifications. The government alone is inundated with a plethora of system snafus. In contrast, the idea of writing an “app” is much more appealing to our sense of developing something “quick and dirty.” Consequently, our defense systems, health care systems, agriculture systems, and commercial systems are crumbling much like our physical infrastructure.

Examples are everywhere. Whereas 60-70 years ago we talked about landing astronauts on the moon, building a nationwide highway system, building bridges, dams, and skyscrapers; today thinking “small” has resulted in decaying buildings and highways, and turned over leadership in the space program to others.

Maybe the reason we think small is because most people are looking for an easy way out. I tend to believe there are a lot of people who prefer operating on autopilot as opposed to daring to think greatly. Instead, they rely on talking heads to shape their opinions and attitudes. I realize we rely on the help and society of others in our journey through life, but perhaps too much. It takes men and women of character to think big, and those that do are often scorned and ridiculed because they have the audacity to challenge the status quo.

Our initiative and ambition has also changed. The Greatest Generation were the tough guys who won a world war. In the process, they learned to assume risk and were more inclined to make gutsy decisions than their successors. They also possessed a strong work ethic resulting from the Great Depression where they learned the value of a dollar. Their energy and ambition has never been matched by the Baby Boomers or ensuing generations.

Adding to this is our troubling habit of reinventing the wheel year after year. As an example, in the Information Technology business, there is no sense of history, as I presume is true in other industries. Today’s programmers have little understanding of the earlier concepts of such things as writing in machine code, assembly, and how the procedural languages emerged; nor are they aware of various data base models, such as hierarchical or network. Consequently, there is an inclination to delete and rewrite programs as opposed to re-using information resources thereby saving time, money, and allowing system integration. As we all know, without a sense of history there is a tendency to repeat mistakes from an earlier time.

In the process of thinking smaller, we tend to make life more complicated through excessive use of rules and regulations. Take airline flying as an example, which used to be considered an enjoyable experience. Long before elaborate security systems were established, passengers could just walk to the gate, present their ticket, and walk on to the plane. In-flight, it was common to have a full meal as opposed to peanuts or pretzels. One of the best I remember was on an old Republic Airlines flight from Chicago to Milwaukee where I was served a fabulous corned beef hash and egg breakfast. Not bad for a thirty minute flight.

Today, we have to be sensitive to allergies to snacks, going through security is like the Bataan Death March, a drink now costs upwards to $10, smoking is prohibited, the overhead compartments are packed with luggage, you’re squeezed into seats like a can or sardines, and entering or exiting the airport is like crossing over at Check Point Charley. Today, I would much rather drive my car than suffer through the indignation of air transportation.

Airlines are not alone, and government red tape is becoming stifling, causing companies to become frustrated, and think smaller in terms of determining their objectives. What is the point of trying to tackle major projects if government is going to be more of an impediment than a facilitator? We also see this in how we manage people. Instead of delegating responsibility and empowering people, companies prefer to micromanage every little action of its workers. Very dehumanizing.

Our society is heterogeneous, meaning we are a mixture of people with different perspectives, different beliefs, and different values. We have people residing in this country from every nation on the planet, all of which shapes our morality, our sense of right and wrong. The Gallup organization has been monitoring morality for several years and notes our changing values. Nearly 75% of the people believe our morality is getting worse, not better. I tend to believe this is caused by our inclination to resist cooperation and focus on our individualistic needs, a narcissistic attitude where we think of ourselves first, and others second.

Without a sense of morality and a diminishing set of social skills, people tend to avoid teamwork and assuming responsibility, thereby denigrating our productivity and ability to get things done. Hence, we are back to thinking small again. Teamwork and cooperation can be taught through leadership and the establishment of national objectives. To illustrate, the country typically pulls together in times of war or catastrophe. As another example, in his 1962 speech at Rice University, President Kennedy called upon the nation to win the space race by landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade, which we did. This resulted in a renewed sense of pride, cooperation, and a positive spirit of accomplishment, simply by establishing a national objective.

Even in today’s polarized political climate, we can realize a similar spirit and national pride, but it requires one important ingredient: an ability to think big once again. The only problem though is, it is easier to think small than to think big.

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:  CONFIDENCE IN PRESENTATION – Getting the audience on your side.

LAST TIME:  WHAT IS FAIR?  – Is it in the eye of the beholder?

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 »

WHAT IS FAIR?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 5, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Is it in the eye of the beholder?

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

Good question. This is something we all demand but I don’t think we really know what fair is; to illustrate:

* In this country we have established an extensive system of jurisprudence involving lawyers, judges, juries, appeals, etc. Yet, when a decision is finally reached, we claim it wasn’t fair. Case in point, the Casey Anthony jury decision. America felt she literally got away with murder.

* In sports, we trust the officials will be fair in regulating the game, but we become unglued when we find an official tampering with the rules. When I coached Little League baseball, I would resent umpires who called balls and strikes one way for a team and different for the other. I didn’t realize the strike zone could change so significantly between innings.

* The news media outlets tout themselves as fair and impartial, but I don’t know anyone who honestly believes it.

* In the work place, we hope our bosses and coworkers will treat us fairly in our working relationships, and feel dejected when we find ourselves on the losing end of a political maneuver. All we want is a fair and even playing field to compete on. Rarely do we get it.

* On the highway, we believe everyone should observe the same rules of the road and are aghast when someone flagrantly violates them, while others get stopped for petty moving violations.

* We want people to pay their fair share of taxes, but argue about how this should be accomplished. Some suggest a flat tax, others want regressive taxation whereby the rich must pay for the poor.

* We believe countries should treat each other equitably and are outraged when we find a violation of agreements thereby threatening peace or disrupting economics.

Being “fair” is an obsession with a lot of people, but only if it is in their favor. As much as we harangue about fairness, deep down we really don’t want it. Fairness is a human interpretation. It is in the eye of the beholder. What one person considers fair, another will consider just the opposite, even if the law, rule or regulation is documented in writing. It takes an impartial and informed person to determine what is equitable for all of the parties concerned. Unfortunately, it seems people today are easily prejudiced and rely more on gossip and spin as opposed to facts.

Fairness is based on who interprets the rules, usually by the person(s) in power, not by plurality of vote. As the power shifts, our interpretation of fairness shifts. This means our sense of fairness changes over time as perspectives and priorities change. For example, what would be considered “fair” by our nation’s founding fathers is certainly not the same as those in government today. In the early days, it was considered “fair” for land owners to be the only people allowed to vote in elections because they were considered responsible citizens, not shiftless rabble. Naturally, this changed over the years so any Tom, Dick, or Mary can vote regardless how “responsible” they were as citizens. Today, elections are won more by media spin than by the true issues of the day. Yet, we believe this is fair.

Our perception of fairness is based on our moralistic makeup which, obviously, varies based on cultural and religious differences. To illustrate, the morals of a Salvation Army Colonel will be substantially different than an atheist gang-banger from the ‘hood. I cannot imagine any commonality between the two. This is what happens when you live in a heterogeneous society. Japan, on the other hand is more homogenous in nature and as such, shares moral values which leads to consistent interpretations of what is right and wrong. The point is, as morality declines or becomes splintered through incompatible interpretations, it compounds the problem of realizing consistent fairness. The greater the uniformity in morality, the more likely fairness will be consistently applied.

Fairness is often defined by a plurality of vote, be it polls, legislatures, or a jury. It is their perception only, not necessarily what is fair. We have all seen too many votes that led to erroneous results primarily because those in judgment are not properly informed or lack the ability to offer an unbiased verdict.

As the populace becomes more disjointed, we write legislation based on poll numbers or elections, but this does not necessarily mean it is fair, only that it is the perception of the plurality, which may be right, but also could be wrong.

So, whether you are on a ball field, in a classroom, in the workplace, or wherever, you must recognize that absolute fairness is a myth. It is based on the interpretation and whims of the people who interpret the rules. Even if we were to automate decisions by computer, we must remember such rules are programmed by humans with all of their frailties. In other words, the computer will only render a decision as programmed by the human-being.

If you are upset that something is unfair, get over it. King Solomon died thousands of years ago. You win some, you lose some. Put your best foot forward and hope you’ll be treated fairly.

“Forget fair. Our world was not designed to be fair.”
– Tom Hopkins
“How to Master the Art of Selling Anything”

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:  THINKING SMALL – It is preventing us from achieving greatness.

LAST TIME:  JOB ENTITLEMENTS  – Who says you are entitled to 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, Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

FIGHTING DIABETES

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 1, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– One man’s fight against Type 2 Diabetes.

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

I recently announced on Facebook I had worked my way off of Diabetes medication, having been able to lower my blood sugar levels over a four month period. This resulted in a landslide of congratulatory messages from friends on achieving this goal, of which I give thanks. In doing so, it made me realize how sensitive people are becoming to Type 2 Diabetes and that maybe my story could benefit others.

Following a physical exam last Fall, I took a blood test which revealed elevated blood sugar levels (333 + 10.5). Frankly, I wasn’t surprised as I knew I had developed an addiction to low-carb sports drinks, apple juice and orange juice. The carbs were low but I wasn’t paying attention to the sugar content. My father also suffered with Diabetes, so when my doctor informed me of the problem, I paid attention. He said I could either address the problem myself or take a pill. At first, I decided to address it myself.

I immediately implemented a cease and desist on all of the drinks I had been consuming, along with alcohol. I was told to also eliminate bread, pasta, and sweets from my diet, which presented no problem to me, and I concentrated on protein. I do not normally enjoy a lot of sweets, but I discovered sugar-free Popsicles satisfied my occasional craving.

As to alcohol, I missed my end of the day beer or glass of wine, but I figured if I could conquer smoking, as I did two years ago, I could also set aside booze. Only once during the next few months did I surrender to a lite beer, but this made me feel physically bad and instinctively realized I couldn’t pursue it any longer. By January, my numbers had dropped to 250 + 9, and by February it was 198 + 8. This didn’t satisfy my doctor who recommended I try a pill to accelerate the reduction, specifically Metformin.

Also around this time, I joined a gym and began to exercise regularly (you may remember my column on “My Trip to the Gym”). In addition, I was taking a fat burning pill available from the drug store, Lipozene. Between the exercise, my new diet, lack of alcohol, and the diet pill, the pounds melted off rather quickly. So much so, I am now faced with having to buy new clothes.

During the two months while I was on Metformin, I began to experience some strange side-effects, such as muscle aches and pains, overly sensitive to cold, nausea, trouble breathing, uneven heart rate, and dizziness. The net result was I experienced difficulty in sleeping, causing me to stay awake as late as 3:00am or 4:00am. This made me feel like a zombie during the day and my family noticed a decline in attitude and well being.

In late March, I complained to my doctor about my situation and he ordered another blood test. Remarkably, my numbers were down to 149 + 7, within normal range. Noting my symptoms, he ordered me off the Metformin, which represented an Independence Day of sorts for me. I want to note here that Metformin may be a good drug for combating Type 2 Diabetes for some people, but it didn’t sit well with me personally. Over the next few days, my symptoms abated and I began to catch up on my sleep.

In researching this article I was alarmed by the number of people affected by Type 2 Diabetes (aka, diabetes mellitus). According to the National Institute of Health, it “is now fast emerging as one of the biggest health catastrophes the world has ever witnessed. Almost 6% of the world’s adult population now live with diabetes (Sicree et al, 2003; International Federation of Diabetes, 2006). It has been predicted that the total number of people with diabetes will rise to 366 million in less than 30 years if preventative action is not taken.” The consciousness of the people is swiftly rising in regards to this, which probably explains why I had so many well wishers send me congratulations.

I wanted to celebrate my achieving “normalcy,” but I realized I am now a man in his sixties who cannot live as he did back in his twenties or thirties. Consequently, I haven’t given up on my exercise, diet, or fat burning pill, at least not until I am confident I am stable. As far as soft drinks go, I primarily enjoy Diet Mountain Dew as it has both zero calories and zero sugar (plus it reminds me of my youth when Pepsi-Cola rolled it out in the mid-1960’s as a Hillbilly drink, e.g, “Yahoo, Mountain Dew; It’ll tickle your innards!”).

Although I won’t go back to beer, wine, or certain other sugar based spirits, I allow myself an occasional glass of Scotch whiskey which uses no sugar. I figure since I can no longer smoke or have a beer (I never indulged in recreational drugs), I needed at least one vice to get me through life. Otherwise, it is time for a Viking funeral where I fire up the Kingsford.

One last note, I am indebted to my doctor and old friend, David Lindberg, for guiding me through this difficult period. He listened patiently to me, diagnosed my problems, and was smart enough to know when to back me off the Metformin.

As the Stones said, “What a drag it is getting old…”

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:  JOB ENTITLEMENTS – Who says you are entitled to it?

LAST TIME:  HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS  – Be it ever so humble…

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 Healthcare, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 28, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Be it ever so humble…

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

This is an observation about the concept of “Home.” I don’t think we really appreciate home until we leave it for awhile, whether it is to go off to school, the military, or we simply grow up and move away. Even if we go on a business trip for a day, week or longer, we still want to get back to our own surroundings where we can kickback, scratch, belch, and be ourselves. It is our fortress of solitude.

If we’ve been away from home for an extended period, we notice small changes upon our return, perhaps a new street sign, new neighbors who painted the house next door or changed the landscape, or maybe the decor of your house has changed a bit. Nonetheless, you still know the roads, the people, the weather, the food, along with the schools and buildings. Even though your bedroom has been converted to a guest room, it is still “your” room with all of its hidden nuances.

This leads to an important point, I tend to believe that home is where your parents are. Sure, some things may have changed but home is still basically the same; your parents maintain the same routine, talk about the same type of things, and enjoy the same comfort food and special snacks you’ve grown accustomed to. This means there is a predictability factor associated with home. Even if your parents move, such as retiring to Florida, their new house or condo bears a striking resemblance to their old one; they decorate it the same way, they organize and store things the same way, and the tempo and cooking are still the same. In other words, you intuitively know where everything is and can predict what’s for dinner, what they’ll watch on television, and when everyone will go to bed.

Even when your parents pass away and the house has been sold, and you now live hundreds of miles away, there is still a special fondness in your heart for “home.” Home is much more than a physical structure, it defines what we once were and who we are now; it is our roots, our values, our likes and dislikes, our beliefs, and it represents our growing pains where we experienced both triumph and disaster.

Unfortunately, some people drift through life without any concept of home, perhaps due to a failed marriage or maybe they were orphaned. Such turn of events can emotionally scar a person and leave them with an identity crisis, never knowing their place in the world. As such, home obviously represents much more than a roof over our heads; it is an interesting tapestry reflecting our personalities, our values, and how we want to live our lives. It is most definitely where the heart is. Pity those who do not have one.

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:  FIGHTING DIABETES – One man’s fight against Type 2 Diabetes.

LAST TIME:  OUR RIGHT TO FAIL  – Don’t take away this important God-given right.

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: , , , , | 2 Comments »

OUR RIGHT TO FAIL

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 26, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Don’t take away this important God-given right.

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

As a youngster, one of the things I learned early on was that winning and losing was a natural part of any game I played, be it baseball, football, hockey, Monopoly, cards, you name it. Somebody wins, somebody loses. Nobody likes to lose, but as I have written in the past, there is nothing to be ashamed of if you have tried your best, but still failed. In fact, I have more respect for the person who valiantly tried and lost, as opposed to the person who won by cutthroat tactics.

The point is, failure is a natural part of life and an inherent property of evolution (see Charles Darwin). It is a strong message telling us that what we are doing is not working, and we can either learn from it and change or ignore it and perish. It’s nice to have a safety net, but where would we be if nobody took a risk? Without failure, life stagnates. We cannot make progress if we are not allowed to fail. Entrepreneurs, adventurers, and other Type A personalities understand in any venture there is a certain element of risk, whereby they will either reap the rewards of success, or taste the agony of defeat. They weigh the risks carefully, then work overtime to assure success, but they clearly understand there is no such thing as a guarantee for success.

There are people today who want to eliminate our right to fail, that nobody should experience the pain or embarrassment of defeat. This is why I have a problem with government bailout and stimulus plans. They will only be a temporary fix, and the companies will not make the severe and necessary changes to survive in the years ahead. Only failure will cause them to make the required changes. To my way of thinking, the government bailout plans are only delaying the inevitable.

All of the greed and corruption we allowed to creep into our business practices have finally come home to roost. Consequently, companies are no longer maintaining a competitive edge in business, and are losing money due to unscrupulous self-centered interests and just plain stupid business decisions. The companies are all sorry for the problem and promise to never allow it to happen again. I don’t believe an accused murderer or rapist could say it any better. They all want redemption without having to worry about paying a penalty. I’m sorry, but that is not how the game is supposed to be played, but then again there are those who want to change the rules so that nobody loses. This is just plain wrong.

If you believe companies will make the necessary changes in their policies and operations, simply because the government is going to bail them out, you are taking it in the arm. Like it or not, failure is the only real catalyst to invoke true change. Nothing is more powerful to truly change someone, than failure; ask anyone who has experienced it.

Nobody likes to take their medicine, but I’m afraid it is time to pass out the Castor Oil and tablespoons. It may sound silly and I don’t expect a lot of people to jump on the bandwagon, but it’s time to “Protect our right to fail!”

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:  HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS – Be it ever so humble…

LAST TIME:  MAKING TIME  – What you have to do when you run out of 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: , , , , | 2 Comments »

THE SECRET OF MASONIC HANDSHAKES

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 21, 2017

BRYCE ON FREEMASONRY

– What do they represent?

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

Now and then I like to write about Freemasonry, an ancient fraternity I have much respect for. It dates back several centuries, back when operative Masons were building the great churches, cathedrals, castles and other buildings of the time. Working as a group, the Masons of that period would mentor and teach their skills and building techniques to younger members of their group, thereby improving craftsmanship and bonding as a set of trustworthy brothers. Over the years, the society evolved to allow others to join the fraternity in order to build better men.

Today, the Masons are a very tight knit group who actively participate in their communities, promote morality, and come to the assistance of others, not just members of their own group. As the fraternity spread around the world, certain words and handshakes were invented to identify Brother Masons. Such protocol helped establish relationships between Masons, such as that between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill during World war II. It also opened doors to visiting Brothers and welcomed them to communities, and was used to request assistance in times of peril. The grip between Masons, therefore, is an important symbolic gesture of trust.

The secret to the Masonic handshake is not in how it is given, but what it represents. Those who learn it are taught to subscribe to the three basic tenets of Freemasonry, which are “Friendship, Morality, and Brother Love.” This is more than a catch-phrase, it represents how Masons are to treat each other; to meet on the level as friends, the expected rectitude of conduct, and how to work with others, such as offering wise counsel between brothers. Such a handshake creates a bond between people, just as the ancient Masons tried to build in their society of fellow craftsmen.

Most Masons take the handshake seriously and are mindful of what it represents. Unfortunately, there is a small minority of people who join the fraternity for ulterior motives, such as to build a network of contacts to promote their business. Such people learn the customs of the Masons and use them for personal gain as opposed to the three tenets of the fraternity. I personally have a problem with this and refuse to shake the hand of someone I do not believe embraces the true concept of the handshake.

Over the years I have met a handful of Masons who use the handshake for political purposes and have forgotten its original intent. This is a small number of men, but they do exist and, to my way of thinking, besmirch the character of Freemasonry and hurt the society in the process. If you cannot trust the person, there is little point in extending your hand, regardless of their Masonic title.

So, the secret of the Masonic handshake is that it represents a type of relationship and rapport you expect between Brothers. I would like to believe the Masonic handshake is foolproof. Unfortunately, it is not. Without a clear understanding of what the handshake represents, it becomes meaningless and a symbol of the fraternity’s decay.

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:  MAKING TIME – What you have to do when you run out of it.

LAST TIME:  THE COLLEGE DEBT GETS DEEPER  – It’s now growing faster than we envisioned.

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: , , , , | 4 Comments »

TALKING TO YOURSELF

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 17, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What it says about you.

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

I have noticed as I get older I have developed a habit of talking to myself. Other friends of mine have commented they have done likewise. It would be rather cheeky to say it is the most intelligent conversation of the day, but this is not what I’m getting at.

With me, I think it began years ago while driving around town. Because of all of the northerners who visit the Sunshine State, Florida has some of the most eclectic driving habits around. Evidently, how they teach driving in the Midwest is noticeably different than how they teach it in the East or Canada. This is very frustrating to the natives, such as myself, who often lose patience with other drivers and let loose with a salty tongue of expletives voicing their displeasure.

Naturally, as we get older, we are not as nimble as we once were and might suffer from basic body aches caused by arthritis or whatever the ailment du jour is. Consequently, we are susceptible to bashing ourselves into walls, stubbing toes, and bruising ourselves in the process. When we hit the deck in the morning, we feel our bones and muscles pop into place. None of this is beneficial to our demeanor and we start the day as a bit of a curmudgeon.

We also find simple tasks are no longer simple. For example, I used to be able to change a car battery in just a few short minutes, but thanks to today’s engineering and safety standards, it has become a complicated procedure, like performing a frontal lobotomy that now takes a couple of hours to perform and causes your patience to wear thin. Technology was supposed to simplify our lives, but I find it only complicates it.

With this in mind, we find ourselves becoming impatient with inanimate objects. To illustrate, I have a Kia with man-eating car doors. No matter what I do, I cannot seem to get the door to stay open as I enter or exit the vehicle. I think the Koreans have trained it to intentionally rip my legs off. Naturally, I become irritated with it, and begin to argue with it, e.g.; “Will you just stay put?” I demand. Of course, it pretends to not hear me and continues to ride my leg.

When I am dressing or undressing, I might reprimand an article of clothing or shoe for not fitting or buttoning properly, e.g.; “Will you just get off of me?”

As you work in the kitchen to cook a new recipe you read in a magazine, you try to follow the directions carefully but somehow it doesn’t turn out the way you had imagined, e.g.; “Why, this tastes like s***!” Naturally, you see yourself as the victim and not the cause of the snafu.

At night, a body ache of some form, such as a muscle or joint, might throb thereby preventing sleep. I admonish them as if they were my kids when they were little, “Will you knock it off and go to sleep!”

The interesting part of arguing with an inanimate object is that you never win. It may be nice to vent your frustration, but such talk says more about ourselves than anything else. When you curse an inanimate object, you are actually cursing yourself. The object is not a thinking entity, you are, and the fact you are quarreling with it means you no longer know how to deal with it anymore.

Now, about this stupid computer…

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 COLLEGE DEBT GETS DEEPER – It’s now growing faster than we envisioned.

LAST TIME:  EMBRACING COMPLEXITY  – It’s a matter of how many things we can juggle at one time.

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: , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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