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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

SHOPPING AT MEN’S STORES

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 15, 2019

BRYCE ON MEN’S FASHIONS

– Women are very important in what you select.

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

I have been shopping for men’s clothes for many years. Although I have my own tastes, I have always counted on the opinion of the women in my life, be it my mother years ago or my wife since I’ve been married. Both have good taste and I rely on their opinion. I even enjoy their company when I’m shopping for men’s clothes.

Early in life, my mom worked at a men’s shop in Buffalo (Riverside Men’s Shop). This is where she learned the merchandise and how to judge quality. As to my wife, she always had a good sense in style. Both have picky tastes, thank God.

I find, with few exceptions, guys lack the fashion sense that women possess. I know I do not. A lot of guys want to go in like it is an Entebbe raid, get the merchandise, and retreat. They want to look good, but do not want to go through the hassle of trying on different coats and pants.

If you go with women, they are likely to put the brakes on some of your decisions. One of my favorite lines is, “You’re not going to pay good money for that, are you?” Even though I may be halfway out the door, such a comment makes me stop dead in my tracks and think about what I was about to purchase.

I listen to the female opinion carefully as I know if I cannot pass their test, I won’t be presentable to other people, particularly women. Since they know my conservative tastes, they know I will resist anything flamboyant and help me select something to cultivate a professional image. Frankly, I’m surprised men’s stores do not cater to the woman as opposed to the man. Without the female’s approval, nothing will be purchased.

I have always enjoyed visiting such stores, it is kind of like going to a good cigar shop or golf club for me, thereby making it an enjoyable experience. Sometimes, the salesmen can be rather pushy, which is a real turnoff, regardless of the price. Actually, I prefer female salesmen as they have a better sense of working with men and I value their opinion. Maybe men should work in the dress department as it would have a similar effect.

The most interesting suit I ever purchased was in Hong Kong years ago. I was connected with a tailor who made a suit for me in 24 hours. The trick was to come back for three fittings, which was awkward for me to make. However, I have to admit I enjoyed the final product which was made at a reasonable price. I wore that suit for years.

This brings up an important point, you know you have been successful at a men’s store when the following three things happen:

1. You are proud of the suit you purchased and cannot wait to wear it to your next business or social function.

2. You do not feel cheated by the price, that you got your money’s worth.

3. The women in your life are happy with your selection.

Just remember, clothes may make the man, but women “make” the clothes.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

GOD HAS A SENSE OF HUMOR

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 8, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Now there is proof of it.

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

I am now convinced God possesses a sense of humor. Proof can be described in one word: toenails.

When you are young and very limber, cutting your toenails is not a big deal. Snip, snip, snip… and it is all over in a scant few seconds. However, as we get older and our joints stiffen, it becomes an arduous task to clip them. In fact, it is downright comical how we try to get down to our toes to perform the task. I cannot help but believe God laughs his ass off watching the contortions we put ourselves through to clip something as simple as toenails. It’s a riot. This explains why nail salons make a ton of money on pedicures as nobody wants to do it anymore.

Toenails also evolve over time into something that can look rather gnarly. We thereby become embarrassed to show our feet to others, including pedicurists who gasp at the sight of some of them. It can be rather nasty. Some require a few coats of Sherwin-Williams to make them look half palatable for human sight. Again, I can hear God chuckling over all this.

There are other things which must amuse Him as well, such as ear and nose hairs. I think He invented a mechanism whereby the more hair we lose from our head goes directly to our ears and nose. Then there is the problem of women who grow mustaches which embarrasses them to no end. Actually, I think this one is rather mean spirited.

The one that amazes me though is how the Lord consolidated our reproductive organs with our plumbing system. I think God was having a bad day when he came up with this one. No engineer in his right mind would combine the pleasure center with the sewer system. I think this one had Him in convulsions.

Then He made it so we either can or cannot urinate on a regular basis. It seems men cannot turn it on and women cannot turn it off, or vice versa, with neither being in sync. Feet then become swollen and other problems ensue.

There are many other little nuances in life He has created which seems rather ridiculous, such as nervous perspiration, sunburns, mucous, ear wax, an irritable itch here and there, pains and sprains, gas, and of course hemorrhoids.

Yes, God indeed has a sense of humor.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

MISSING SAM KINISON, REDUX

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 17, 2019

BRYCE ON HUMOR

– Would he have fit in with political correctness?

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As many of you know, we lost comedian Sam Kinison in an automobile accident back in 1992. For those of you who do not remember him, Sam was described as a “heavy metal” comedian who was well known for being raunchy and irreverent. Interestingly, prior to becoming a comedian he was an ordained Pentecostal Minister, but he was better known for his shock-rock humor who made biting commentaries of our time. It seemed nobody was spared, but his favorite targets were Rev. Jim Bakker of the PTL Club and his wife Tammy, Jessica Hahn, the Pope, Oral Roberts, religion in general, World Hunger, Gays, and several commentaries on sex, drugs and Rock n’Roll. I can still vividly remember his trademark scream.

No, he was certainly not politically correct, by both today’s and yesterday’s standards. His humor would make just about everyone blush, but behind it all you had to admit there was an element of truth and wisdom in his comedy, and this is what ultimately endeared him to the public. Many didn’t understand how a former minister could be so vulgar, but as for me, I clearly understood what he was trying to tell us.

What is sad is that Sam was cut down just as the times were changing and we needed his biting humor more than ever. Had Sam survived, imagine what he could have done with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill. He could have done hours on the Clintons and Monica Lewinsky alone. There was also Drummer Tommy Lee and Pam Anderson, Anna Nicole Smith and Paris Hilton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and much, much more.

Sam’s humor though was not confined to sex. I would have loved to have heard his take on Bill Gates and Windows, Steve Jobs and the iPhone, the Internet, the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, Iraq and Saddam Hussein, immigration, and on and on. Unfortunately, Sam missed a period of time which would have given him more fodder for his humor than he could have imagined. But such was not to be.

What few people realize is that just prior to his death, Sam was planning on giving up comedy and going back to being a Minister. As for me, Sam taught me that in an age of political correctness, maybe some intolerance and ridicule is deserved; maybe we shouldn’t just sit back and accept the status quo and instead we should speak up and voice our displeasure, and; perhaps we take ourselves way too seriously.

So, Yes, I miss Sam, not just for how he ranted and raved, but more importantly, what he was trying to tell us.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

WALGREEN FOIBLES

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 10, 2019

BRYCE ON CUSTOMER SERVICE

– What drives me crazy about the store.

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

I normally like pharmacies. I have fond memories of Ben Franklin’s and Kresge’s in Connecticut during my Elementary School Years. In my hometown of Cincinnati, there was a small one named Obert’s where I bought cigars (thanks Greg). As you get older though, you find yourself going more often to pick up a prescription than anything else. I go so often now, I just want to get in and out as fast as I can, a sort of Entebbe Raid if you know what I mean. Being in “God’s waiting room” down here in Florida, there’s a pharmacy on just about every street corner. The big guns down here are CVS, Walmart, even Publix Supermarkets, but the one I reluctantly frequent the most in Walgreens.

The store is located near my house, making it convenient. I say “reluctantly” because the store has certain foibles that drive me crazy. Recently, I was summoned by one of their robo-phone calls to pick up some prescriptions. I was originally called this past Labor Day and dutifully I drove to the store only to find it locked up tighter than Fort Knox. After a few expletives, I drove home and returned the next day. Before going though, I asked my wife if there was anything else I could get for her. Lately, she has had a craving for jellybeans, so I told her I would be happy to pick up a couple of bags.

When I arrived at the store, I discovered all of the Halloween regalia and candy was already on display. I think they put this stuff up months ago, just after Independence Day. Their Thanksgiving material will probably be out any minute, maybe even fireworks for the next Fourth of July to boot.

I dutifully went down the Halloween candy aisle laden with three tons of sugary goodness. Only one problem, I couldn’t locate any jellybeans. I searched high and low, but couldn’t find them. There were other smaller displays with candy, but no such luck. Finally, in desperation, I asked a store clerk where they were. She took me down another aisle, near the greeting cards and lo and behold, on the bottom shelf, tucked away in the back, we discovered the jelly beans, and I quickly snapped up the two remaining bags.

Afterward, it occurred to me this was a common occurrence. Every time I go there, it seems whatever I am looking for is hidden from plain view and always stashed on the bottom shelf somewhere. I guess the rest of their products on display are for show only and a clever ruse to make me spend more time in the store in the hopes I might buy some products I really don’t need. I also believe there is a law preventing them from stocking merchandise in alphabetical order.

I normally go inside to pick up a prescription, even though they have a drive-thru for such purposes. I learned a long time ago to avoid the drive-thru as you have to wait an hour for the clerk to process the orders of the customers in front of you. When you finally make it to the window, you have to wait thirty minutes for someone to greet you. You are then interrogated as to your name, rank and serial number, and asked to show your drivers ID, even though they have seen you many times before. They then slowly check the order before saying, “I’ll be right back.” Three days later they return only to tell you your doctor hasn’t approved the prescription yet.

“Try back in an hour or so,” they will tell you. Right. Translation: “Go away, and wait for your next fallacious robo-call.” This is why I go inside to pick up prescriptions instead, not that they are much better, but I can at least look the clerk in the face.

It’s interesting, most of the regular store staff is helpful and accommodating, they even have a cheerful personality. However, the pharmacy itself marches to the beat of their own drummer, with deadpan looks. Normally, I would go to another drug store, but this one is very convenient and I recognize the others are really not much better.

Maybe this is just a phenomenon affecting me only. I sure hope not. Now, does anyone need some Easter candy?

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

THE NEED FOR COMPLIMENTS

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 16, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

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

Something I don’t think we do enough of, in either our personal or professional lives, is to pay someone a compliment. I’m not just talking about a simple “Thank You,” although that probably wouldn’t be a bad place to start, but a genuine note of gratitude for a job well done. A compliment may sound like a trivial thing, but most people tend to respond to recognition as they like to know they are on the right track and their efforts are appreciated. If compliments are not forthcoming, people tend to believe they are simply being ignored or taken for granted.

When a compliment is given, it is typically delivered badly. Expressions like “Cool” and “Awesome” may seem clever, but are hardly an effective form of appreciation. A compliment comes from the heart, it is certainly not mechanical. It must be sincere and a true expression of gratitude. As such, there is no pat formula for giving a compliment. It may be something as simple as a plaque or an award, perhaps a bonus or gift, some sort of public recognition, or maybe nothing more than a sincere handshake and a few kind words like, “Well done.” Actually, it depends on the person; whereas some people thrive on kudos, others are more private and prefer anonymity. Some are confident enough to realize they have done a good job and simply derive pleasure from the work performed; these are the true craftsmen. So, a lot depends on the person to receive the compliment as well as the person who wishes to express his/her gratitude.

Perhaps the best type of compliment is one where the person isn’t expecting to receive it. In fact, it may seem a little more genuine and sincere coming from out of the blue. Let me give you an example, back when Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor of California, I sent a letter to Maria Shriver complimenting her on how well she handles herself as First Lady of California. As you probably know, she is a member of the Kennedy clan, well known for their liberal politics, but she was married to Gov. Schwarzenegger at the time, a confirmed Republican. She may not have always agreed with her husband’s politics, but she has always been there to support him and the people of her state. Regardless of her political agenda, which I personally differ with, she has always been a model of poise, dignity, and class. To me, she is a role model to be emulated regardless of your political persuasion. Consequently, I wrote and told her so. I don’t know if it is important for her to receive such a compliment as much as it was for me to say it as I believe it is necessary to recognize the integrity of role models, now more than ever. As First Lady, she may not have carried the same authority as her husband, but I thought it was important to let her know that her actions did not go unnoticed or were unappreciated by the public.

Frankly, I do not understand why people are afraid of giving a compliment. If we feel it is necessary to criticize, we should also be prepared to compliment. Whereas one is typically negative and destructive, the other tends to be positive and constructive. Yet we feel more comfortable criticizing than complimenting. I’m not sure why. I’ll tell you this though, a compliment is neither corny or unhip. If done properly, not only is it the right thing to do, but it can actually work miracles as a simple form of encouragement. As the old saying observes, “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.”

As an aside, I received a gracious letter from Maria Shriver thanking me for the courtesy, “I am truly honored to be serving as California’s First Lady and it can be very challenging juggling the many duties, as well as being a mother of four children. However, we are making a positive difference in the lives of many people and I am thrilled to be doing my part to help. Again, thank you for your very kind words.”

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

WHAT “If” TEACHES US

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 11, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Morality, tolerance, and patience.

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

Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the poem “If” by the renowned author Rudyard Kipling was a favorite on college campuses, and was frequently quoted at graduation ceremonies. I have been an admirer of it for many years and have taken Kipling’s lessons to heart. I just wish more people did likewise in these hate-filled political times. If we all took the lessons embodied in his poem to heart, I’m sure we would be more respectful and tolerant of each other. I would like to believe this should be read to every student in school or college at the beginning of the year.

(Here is John Facenda’s rendition of Kipling’s “If”)

“IF” — by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

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;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

The poem was originally published in 1910 by Kipling who was well known as a Freemason; from Hope and Perseverance Lodge No. 782. E.C., in Lahore, India (now Pakistan, near the India border). The Brotherhood tries to instill a sense of morality in its members, and promotes tolerance for those of different faiths and political persuasions. The lessons inculcated here in this poem are common sense and could easily be construed as derived from Masonic lectures.

Through his poem, Brother Kipling is trying to teach us in order to lead a mature and positive life, we should actively try to practice patience and understanding. Further, life is short and the best way to socialize and get ahead in this crazy world is to simply keep your wits about you. This isn’t quite as easy as it seems, particularly in the 21st century where road rage is common, office rage, political rage, religious rage, marriage rage, etc. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I blame a lot of our problems regarding impatience and intolerance on the excessive use of technology where our expectations are programmed to do everything instantaneously, and we resent any form of delay, be it a speed limit, waiting in line, or arguing with another, particularly regarding politics. Patience seems to be in short supply these days.

Practicing patience is an important part of our ability to socialize with others. Quite often, we believe it is someone else causing our frustration, and maybe that’s true. However, we must also admit we create our own problems by being self-centered and not practicing a little common courtesy to others. As Kipling reminds us, if you can maintain your focus, if you can remain calm in the midst of catastrophe, and do unto others as you would have others do unto you…

“Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

THE POLITICS OF CHILDREN’S GAMES

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 25, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Why are we banning certain games?

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

During my elementary grade school years in Connecticut, my neighborhood friends and I would play all kinds of outdoor games. Living in a wooded setting, we loved to run, hide, and tag each other. Kids have been playing such games for centuries. I’m not talking about a card game, board game, or even a computer game, just simple human interaction which we found exhilarating. Interestingly, I never knew these were all designed to be political in nature, but now we are hearing such games are affecting young egos and, consequently, are being banned in schools.

We did a lot of things outdoors, regardless of the season, but we were very keen on summer and autumn as we could run through the forests, play in a river, stay up late, and explore our world. I’m not sure children today play such games as they are probably perceived as archaic. I liked it because it gave us a chance to get some exercise, and use your imagination for competitive purposes.

Here are the games I remember:

TAG – was one of the easiest games to play. Someone is appointed “it,” who must then touch another person who becomes “it.” You, of course, tried to avoid becoming “it.” Remarkably, I have heard stories of adults playing this game today in the corporate world. I also remember watching my son playing it with his friends as well. The version I played included a “home base,” usually consisting of a tree, where a contestant could rest and be free of becoming “it.” The only problem here though, the “it” person stood near you to assure you didn’t get away. You had to time your escape carefully to elude being tagged.

According to “experts,” the game of tag promotes a predatory experience, thereby causing school districts in Alabama, California, South Carolina, and Washington to ban the game. Not surprising, some people today view the game as promoting sexual harassment and bullying. I never thought of the game this way, it was just a great way to learn to sprint, dodge around objects and, if captured, learn to defend “home base.” I never saw it as a game of intimidation, nor did my friends or my son’s generation. If you didn’t want to play, nobody forced you, but if you elected to play, you better be fast on your feet and know how to use your head.

HIDE AND SEEK – another old favorite, particularly being in a wooded setting which afforded some great places to hide. Here, the “it” person would have to close his eyes and count to ten (or higher), after which he would declare, “Ready or not, here I come!” and try to locate everyone who was concealed. Here, the “it” person didn’t wander too far from “home base” as the other contestants would race to the base and yell, “Home free” (meaning safe from capture). If the “it” person discovered a concealed contestant, the race was on for home base where the “it” person declared “Tap, tap, tap, I see Joe, 1, 2, 3.” Joe would then become the next “it” person.

I’m sure Hide and Seek is another game frowned on by some people as they see this it as another way to mentally scar children. If anything, the game taught the “it” person to be more cunning and protect home base. We used to play this for hours, and at night.

RED ROVER – originated in England and migrated around the world. The contestants are split into two teams. Each team holds hands and forms a line. The two teams, East and West, take turns calling for someone from the other team to try and break their human chain, “Red Rove, Red Rover, can Billie come over?” If they cannot break the chain, they join the other side. If the person breaks through, he takes two players back to his team. This goes on until one person is left on a team.

Some would say this somehow promotes discrimination, which, of course, is not so. It is a strategy game to build up your line, promote teamwork, and to find “the weakest link.”

RED LIGHT/GREEN LIGHT – was a favorite of mine. The “it” person would be separated from the rest of the contestants by approximately fifty feet. The objective was for the others to cross the distance as fast as possible to tag the “it” person. However, they had to observe the commands of the “it” person who would hide his face and yell, “Green Light” (meaning to go), and “Red Light” (meaning to stop). If the person yells “Red Light” and turns his head and finds someone moving, the offender must return to the starting line. Again, this was a game of strategy as you had to out-think the “it” person’s cadence.

This is somewhat like tag in that you had to act and think fast. Critics claim it is not fair as the fastest person typically wins. Not true. Quite often, the fast person would be spotted moving and caused to return to the starting line. The winner would be the person who would avoid the line of sight of the “it” person and steadily advance.

COPS AND ROBBERS – was another variation of tag, except this version was played as a team. The cops were “it” and had to find the robbers who would hide out and try to sneak back to home base to spring one of their fellow robbers.

In this age of political incorrectness, I suspect kids want to be “robbers” as opposed to “cops,” just the antithesis of my day.

SCAVENGER HUNT – was a rare game of seeking clues around the neighborhood until we discovered the end. If parents wanted to occupy our time at considerable length, they would have an adult design a hunt that would run us around the neighborhood, and even to our nearby school. Frankly, it was diabolical, but we had a ball chasing our tails around town.

Scavenger Hunts are still common today, particularly by the homeless in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

We also did such things as collecting lightning bugs (fireflies) in jars. Back in the 1950’s there was an infestation of Japanese beetles on the eastern seaboard. I can vividly remember using similar jars to catch the beetles before they ate everything in site. I’m sure someone will say this is cruel treatment for such insects. The lightning bugs we would eventually let go, but we killed the Japanese beetles as they were obnoxious little critters.

And finally, we spent considerable time spinning tops and yo-yos. I still have my top from grade school and know how to tie the string to spin it. I’m sure, those imbued in political correctness would say we were creating a hazard on sidewalks, or worse, we would strangle the blood flow to the finger, thereby causing amputation. Get real.

Again, if you didn’t want to play these games, nobody was holding a gun to your head to do so. If you didn’t want to play, you didn’t play, but if you did, you knew the rules and used your head.

I deeply resent these games being politicized and banned by public schools. Liberals typically object to these games as they feel they are unfair and, as such, accuse them of being abusive. On the other hand, conservatives understand and accepts the rules of the game and participates accordingly.

As far as I am concerned, let kids be kids. Let’s not inhibit their playtime as this is important for developing their socialization skills. Then again, maybe this is what the opposition is trying to control. By the way, in my neighborhood, boys and girls played these games together with no thought of one sex being superior to the other, but I’m sure someone will say it is harmful to equal rights.

One last thing. No, this is not about everyone needing to win a trophy or ribbon for playing such games. It was a simple matter of going out and having some fun.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

A HOME OWNERS ASSOCIATION TONG WAR

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 14, 2019

BRYCE ON NONPROFITS

– and a lesson for others.

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My Home Owners Association (HOA) is currently involved in a dispute between the Board of Directors and the residents. It has become so nasty, it is starting to resemble a Tong War. Interestingly, this is not the first time this has happened. About 25 years ago the association built a substantial brick wall at the front of the neighborhood, but the Board refused to account for the money spent. This turned into an ugly donnybrook and caused a changeover in the board, and feelings were hurt. This is what caused me to get involved and help cleanup the association and restore confidence. Many years have passed since then and many new neighbors have moved in, none with a sense of what happened before, but it appears history is repeating itself.

Our HOA is relatively small, with 163 properties. Shortly after my reign, the board contracted with a management company to implement the administrative detail of the association. This is quite common these days as board members have become reluctant to do hands-on work, regardless of how simple it is. During my day, I built a data base for the group and was able to churn out customized letters, dues notices, and much more. I was fortunate to have a treasurer who was an accountant who used some basic PC financial software. Even though this was hardly rocket science, this was all dropped after the board changed and turned the administrative detail over to the management company.

As time passed, our HOA became overly dependent on the management company. Residents complained of the callous behavior of the company. It got to the point where it appeared the HOA worked for the management company as opposed to the other way around. A flash point occurred earlier this year when our new treasurer asked for a series of financial reports from the management company, none of which were forthcoming. This raised a red flag and caused the treasurer to resign from the Board and write a letter to residents explaining his reasons for his departure.

To me, this was deja vu all over again, as the cover-up of financials is what caused the friction 25 years earlier. Instead of publicly answering the former treasurer’s accusations, the president consulted the association’s attorneys which produced some fine gobbledygook to hide behind, thus arousing suspicions in the neighborhood. Had the president answered the treasurer properly, the issue would have been closed, but instead it escalated, fearing something was being hidden from the residents. So much so, the association called for a full audit of its financial activities by an independent firm, a very expensive proposition I might add. This vote to call for an audit essentially meant the board had lost the trust of the association.

As I mentioned, managing a nonprofit organization as small as this is not exactly rocket science. I have written about this in the past, “Managing a Nonprofit Organization.” In such groups, the board has a fiduciary responsibility to its membership. As such, finances, minutes, and governing docs must be transparent. In both instances, 25 years ago and today, this is the cause for the uproar.

As the board hides behind its lawyers, the association realizes they cannot fight city hall and the only thing to do is to fire the board at the end of the year, and start over again with new members (and hopefully without the management company). I am somewhat philosophical about this, as I have a sense of history with this association. It’s good to clear the air every so often. Like any organization, a lot of crud creeps into a nonprofit over time, and without strong management, it will continue to grow unabated (see Parkinson’s Law).

I have served on many board of directors over the years, for a variety of groups. I would have to say though that participating on a HOA board is the most thankless job around. It is essential to keep things simple, transparent, be well organized, and act professionally. In other words, learn Robert’s Rules of Order, print an agenda, get a gavel and give it to someone who knows how to use it. This will go a long way to simplifying work, communicating with your membership, and maintaining their trust. It is rather sad to see neighbors viscerally attack each other and hurt feelings in the process. This type of pettiness and drama is what discourages residents from participating in such associations. Further, this has an adverse effect on the spirit of the neighborhood and is actually detrimental to house values. After all, who wants to move into a neighborhood where everyone is at each other’s throats?

Hopefully, we can begin the mending process once the board has been voted out of office. The only positive effect of all this, is that people are beginning to ask to participate on the board. I’ve been asked, “Tim, why don’t you get involved again?” The answer is rather simple, after I cleaned it up last time, finally getting us to operate in the black for the first time, I stepped off the board, whereby new members changed it and turned everything over to the management company. I cleaned up one gigantic mess years ago, and they screwed it up. I certainly am not going to go through such madness a second time. What’s the old expression, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice…”?

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

Posted in Life, Management | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

RUNNING THE LIFE MARATHON

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 11, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– It is something we must all run.

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As we pass through life there are several milestones we observe, such as our sixteenth birthday when we normally get a driver’s license, or our 21st birthday when we become “legal.” I didn’t think too much of it when I turned thirty, nor did I pay much attention to forty; frankly, I didn’t know what all the hubbub was about. However, when I turned fifty I suddenly went, “Whoops!” I guess it was the greeting from AARP that got my attention and let me know that time was quickly passing.

I’ve found that once you enter your fifties you become more reflective on where you’ve been and where you’re going. When you think about it, you have an internal clock telling you there are several appointments you have to make during your life, assuming you live a full life; to illustrate:

1. Time to get married – time to grow up, clean up your act, and get a job.

2. Time to have kids – time to start thinking about insurance, including life, medical, and auto.

3. Time to buy or build a house – which, coincidentally, also represents the official point where we start to go into debt.

4. Time to advance your career – after all, someone has to pay all those bills.

5. Time to send the kids off to college, the military, or wherever – it is at this point when you develop a false sense of independence. Even as the kids move away, they still depend on you for guidance, advice, a few bucks, and anything around the house that isn’t nailed down.

6. Time to get the kids married off – time to get a bank loan, particularly if you are the father of the bride.

7. Time to retire – which is also when you make plans for your demise. For example, you no longer celebrate Labor Day at the beach, but rather tour cemeteries picking out grave sights.

8. Time to play with the grand kids and watch them grow up – This is also the time when you celebrate your wedding anniversaries and take trips you couldn’t afford earlier.

9. Time to checkout.

Interestingly, when you go to High School reunions, you compare notes with your classmates as to where they stand on this time line. I guess misery loves company after all.

Actually, I resent the time line we impose on ourselves and don’t recall this as being part of the job description. It’s kind of like saying, “All right, come on, do this, do that, move along, and don’t forget to do this as well, move along.” It kind of reminds me of an assembly line where we are nothing but products moving from one work station to the next. It strikes me that we spend so much time running the marathon, we never take time to truly enjoy the scenery. But alas, the marathon is something we all must inevitably run.

My father-in-law had a simpler way of expressing our passage through life. It was his contention that we have 30 years to learn, 30 years to earn, and 30 years to burn (the money that is). I can’t help but believe he was on to something.

By the way, turning sixty is another wake-up call. Interestingly, you find the physical pains of life intensify, you are no longer care about being politically correct, and you certainly do not impress easily anymore as you’ve seen too much.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

SOMETHING IN THE WATER?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 28, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What’s causing people to become angrier and irrational?

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My mother recently made the observation that people seem to be angrier these days. Frankly, I couldn’t argue with her as I see it too. I would like to believe there is something in the water causing this, but I’m afraid it is a bit more complicated.

I tend to believe it is primarily because we do not promote cooperation but stubborn independence instead. We see this on the road where people like to block traffic, cut in line, or do anything that suits their specific needs. We see this in public schools with a lack of discipline, lack of enforced dress codes, and lack of respect for teachers and others. Students are not being taught how to cooperate, other than in sports. Even then, there seems to be greater encouragement for individual achievement as opposed to team effort. However, I would remind people that every state High School athletic team championship I’ve ever seen is won by cooperation, not by individual effort.

We see stubborn independence just about everywhere, including the politics of the corporate world, someone seeking petty notoriety in a nonprofit organization, or even in the supermarket where people clog the aisles to suit their personal needs, with no concern whatsoever for others around them . All of this means people have become self-aware of their own needs and desires, and lack empathy for others.

This reminds me, ever notice in the supermarket, there always seems to be one person you cannot elude who constantly blocks your path? No matter how you try to alter your path through the store, you inevitably run into the same person time and again. I don’t mean to sound paranoid, but I tend to believe the store assigns “blockers” to shoppers to assure we spend more time in the store purchasing more stuff than we really need. Wouldn’t it be nice if they painted a dashed line down the middle of the aisles to suggest people stay on one side or the other? It would be an interesting experiment to say the least.

The second aspect of our anger deals with our dependency on technology. Whether I’m in a company, a store, or on the highway, people are plugged-in and tuned out. It is no small wonder our socialization skills are deteriorating as people prefer their technology over human contact. Such a shift signals the decline of such things as common courtesy and manners.

The third and final aspect with anger is our declining moral values which includes respect for the human spirit. Gallup polls clearly show religion and morality have been declining in recent years. Again, this affects our socialization skills and recognition of what is right and what is wrong. The media blurs the lines as well as they no longer practice restraint in telling a story or accurately reporting the news. From this, an ideological chasm has emerged which continues to widen.

My mother also made the observation that people seem to be making more mistakes these days. This is based on her shopping experiences either over the telephone or on the Internet. She said it has become quite common for vendors to ship the wrong product, or cause a delay due to improper shipping instructions, or perhaps bank cards are improperly credited or debited. “I’m sorry” is the common excuse, but nothing is done to truly correct the problem which is often repeated. Under this scenario, the problem is apathy, whereby the company is indifferent to the problems of the customer. Even if you threaten to terminate business with a company, the general attitude is “Okay,” meaning they do not really care. Instead of fighting for your business, they just move on to someone else, and the mistakes continue unabated.

Is the anger issue related to mistakes? I cannot help but think it is for the same reasons mentioned earlier. People have become jaded in terms of socializing with others. The sad thing is, it is so unnecessary. If people would only become a little more sensitive to others around them, maybe we would start to wear a smile again.

I don’t know. Maybe there is something in the water after all causing all this. I hope it’s not the fluoride.

Come on America, take a breath and loosen up!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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