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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

PLEDGES, OATHS, VOWS & CODES

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 21, 2020

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– Do they mean anything anymore?

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

I have been watching the History Channel a lot lately. I find as I get older there is little on the “prime time” channels that interest me. Instead, I find myself drawn to documentaries, biographies, and history, as well as classic movies (you know, the films they made before computers and had real scripts). Recently, the History Channel has been running a series on modern day gangs, both in and out of the prison system, and I have found it to be very interesting. These are gangs who have gone way beyond the Sharks and the Jets; bloodthirsty groups who stop at nothing to dominate a territory and extort money any way they can.

During the documentary, several current and former gang members are interviewed. Interestingly, one of the main reasons they join a gang is to establish a sense of family, a desire to belong to something in order to feel wanted and accepted, which is something they were not getting at home, regardless if they have parents or not. They are willing to pay dearly for this too, and voluntarily take a binding oath and suffer through a harsh initiation ritual, all for the sense of belonging. Such blood oaths and initiations leaves a lasting impression on the individual who dares not leave the gang, partially in fear of the consequences, but more as they desperately want the sense of family.

During our lifetime, we make a lot of pledges, and take certain oaths and vows. For example:

* “To love, honor and obey, until death do us part.”

* “To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.”

* “I pledge allegiance to the flag…”

* “I will play fair, and strive to win, but win or lose, I will always do my best.”

* “I, (name), do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

As an aside, I find it interesting that all such oaths related to serving in American government or military end with, “So help me God.”

These pledges are all nice and sound impressive, but I find few people take them seriously anymore and reject them when it suits them. In other words, there is no real commitment to stand behind our words. Consider, for example, “The Journalist’s Creed” or the “Hippocratic Oath” as administered to physicians. If you read them carefully, you have to wonder how many people truly adhere to them.

Mechanisms such as pledges, oaths and vows are intended to define our code of conduct. This, of course, refers to our honor and ability to keep our word, something people use as a measurement of trust. I find it interesting that criminals have a higher regard for such things as opposed to John Q. Public. Maybe its because the criminal code has stiff penalties which will undoubtedly be executed if violated, and the person knows it. In our society though, there is no real penalty for violating our obligations, least of all shame or embarrassment. In other words, taking an oath or vow has become a joke in our society, and as long as it remains a shallow inconsequential ceremony, it will always be regarded as nothing more than a triviality to be implemented only when it is convenient to do so.

It’s no small wonder why today we have a deterioration of ethics, both in our homes and in the work place. It is one thing to enact legislation, quite another to enforce it. You can make all the pledges, oaths, vows, and codes you want, but if there is no real consequence for violating them, there is little point in administering them. The criminal class understands this. John Q. Public does not.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my 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 an author, freelance 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 © 2020 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, Morality | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

HOLIDAY REPETITION

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 14, 2020

BRYCE ON LIFE

– It has become rather predictable.

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

I happened to visit both my local drug store and supermarket on the day after Christmas. Interestingly, I noticed they were dutifully selling off holiday related food and items at rock-bottom prices, and starting to put out displays for Valentine’s Day in February. Of course, I have seen this drill many times before over the years, but it still struck me as odd to see red hearts and exotic chocolates even before the year came officially to an end.

In the United States, we have taken holidays to the sublime as there is something to celebrate or commemorate every day of the year. Fortunately, there are only a handful of “official” holidays requiring the closing of schools, banks, and government offices. Some, like Valentine’s Day and Halloween, may not be “official,” but represent a marketing bonanza for retailers. The obsession with holidays makes you wonder if Americans ever work anymore.

The main holidays observed by retailers include:

Valentine’s Day – February
Presidents’ Day – February
Saint Patrick’s Day – March
Easter, which is mid-April this year
Mother’s Day – May
Memorial Day – May
Father’s Day + Graduation – June
Independence Day – 4th of July
Labor Day – September
Halloween – October
Veteran’s Day – November
Thanksgiving – November
Christmas – December
New Year’s Eve – December

Many people also treat “Opening Day” for major sports as a holiday, as well as championship games. Regardless, these are the holidays retailer’s rely on to sell such things as cards, candies, costumes, libations, food, perfumes, and gifts. Car and truck dealerships take it a step further by offering discounts and rebates on vehicles during these holidays. Then again, they offer these same deals throughout the year; they just broadcast more advertising to show their pseudo-holiday spirit. Even television programming changes to match the holidays to put people in the proper mood. Come to think of it, when was the last time you saw a mattress company not have a sale on one of these days?

There are, of course, many more holidays, but these represent the bread-and-butter for sales purposes. These holidays are so repetitious and predictable, you can practically set the time of day by simply walking into a store. Maybe this is all intended to keep us on some sort of timetable to maintain the cash flow of merchants.

Unfortunately, I have been through this so many times, they have killed my holiday spirit. Instead of celebrating such holidays, they have taught me to loathe them, which is rather sad. I guess I just resent merchants telling me what and how to celebrate. Now I know where Scrooge picked up, “Bah! Humbug!”; at Walmart no doubt.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my 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 an author, freelance 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 © 2020 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: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE LOSS OF A SPOUSE

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 7, 2020

BRYCE ON LIFE

– It is not the same as an elder.

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

Just before the holidays, I suffered the pain of losing my spouse due to complications resulting from COPD, something she suffered with over the last few years. I cannot begin to describe the incredible pain my family experienced as a result of her passing as it is very personal. I have attended a lot of family funerals over the years, including both pairs of grandparents, a set of great-grandparents, and my father. As much as we mourned their passing, it was somehow to be expected. The passing of a spouse though is different.

One of the first things I observed was the outpouring of sympathy and love by our friends, family, and the community during this terrible hour. We were overwhelmed. As a young man, I learned, “We enjoy life through the help and society of others.” This was particularly true since we lost my wife. People were very kind.

From this experience, I have learned there really is a lot of love out there among us, but we have somehow forgotten how to express it. It’s a shame we have to wait for tragedy to strike to express our feelings. Love represents such things as acceptance, affection and belonging. When you think about it, we all crave love but are either clumsy or mute in how to express it. There is nothing wrong with a hug, a handshake, a slap on the back, possibly a gentle kiss, or a word of kindness now and then. We, as human-beings, all need it. Just reach out and tell someone how you feel about them; take nothing for granted.

Since my wife’s passing, we have been on an emotional roller coaster. I think I’ve experienced just about everything;

* Denial, that she is gone. I still expect her to be there when I come home, with all her breathing tubes and medicine. In the morning, I used to prepare her medication, her breathing treatment, and her breakfast. I would also pick her a hibiscus flower for her in the morning and set it on the table to brighten her day. She was my delicate flower. Since her passing, I wanted to just hold her hand and talk with her again. I found myself even going into her closet to smell her clothes, just for the memory.

* I also experienced guilt, that I could have done something more in those last few moments, an image which will forever haunt me, but I felt so helpless. I felt like I let her down.

* I even felt a little anger; that she would leave me so suddenly. We all knew her day would come, but we weren’t prepared for it so soon. I always thought it should be the husband who passes first.

* In the end, I finally came to the conclusion that it was her time. That her lungs and heart had been through enough. And so, reluctantly, I had to accept she was gone.

Yes, her passing still hurts, but I am starting to figure a few things out; three things in particular:

First, I have learned how frail we are as human beings, both emotionally and physically. So it is important we enjoy every moment God has given us and take nothing for granted. It’s the little things in life that are more important than material possessions. For example, I always enjoyed giving her a kiss in the morning, and before going to bed. I still pick a hibiscus for her every morning. And I relished our talks, particularly this past year, and we laughed together, a lot.

Second, I have learned why the emotional pain hurts so much. As I mentioned, the passing of a spouse is different than someone from the family tree. If you have a strong marriage, you become one. Allow me to explain:

As a notary public, I have married a few people over the years. Before doing so, I admonish them that marriage is like dancing the Tango. “It takes two to Tango,” and it’s a matter of the couple working together as a team, both equals, in a spirit of cooperation, give and take. And if you do it right, it’s a beautiful dance; so is a marriage. And when your spouse passes, you are actually losing a piece of yourself, which explains why the pain is so hurtful.

As part of this, I have learned no matter what you do to help or comfort your partner towards the end, I can assure you it’s never enough, and you will beat yourself up over it. I know I have.

And third, I have come to the conclusion the pain never goes away; it never subsides; you just have to learn to live with it. There is no magic pill to get you through this, and sometimes you just have to take the pain; plain and simple.

I want to thank those of you for your kindness over our family’s tragedy. I cannot believe the overwhelming outpouring of sympathy expressed through cards, calls, and social media comments. I hope I can repay you someday. You really are special people, and I want you to know how much your love has affected us, and the spirit of my wife.

God bless you all, and goodnight my D.F.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 © 2020 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: , , , , | 6 Comments »

2019 YEAR-END WRAP-UP

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 24, 2019

BRYCE ON EVERYTHING

– My most popular columns and audio segments this year.

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

This is my last column for the year as I prepare to enjoy the holidays and rest up for 2020. As has become customary, I’m using this opportunity to review my top essays from the past year.

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

This has been a fiery political year and, as such, my political columns did very well. Nonetheless, what follows is based on my “hits” by my readers.

My top columns for the year were:

1. ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: DO WE REALLY HAVE A PROBLEM? – Jan 4th – I began the year with a report from Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who gave a border security briefing to ranking Congressional leaders. Unfortunately, the Democrats were not interested.

2. PRESIDENT TRUMP VS. THE SQUAD OF FOUR – July 17th – How four female freshmen Congressional Democrats are pushing the party left.

3. WHAT EXACTLY IS AN ASSAULT WEAPON? – Sep 19th – I found it necessary to write this column after I discovered how naive Americans are about guns.

4. CAPITALISM VERSUS SOCIALISM: REFERENCE GUIDE – Mar 6th – Another educational piece aimed at describing the differences between the two ideologies. Most young people haven’t a clue as to the differences.

5. HOW I LOWERED MY CABLE BILL – Sep 24th – This was a non-political piece where I described how I brought my bill down. Hopefully, people found it handy.

6. RULES FOR DEPLORABLES – NEW BOOK – Oct 3rd – A review of a new book by Cathi Chamberlain describing the political tactics of community organizer Saul Alinsky and the Democrats.

7. IMPEACHMENT? WHO ARE THEY TRYING TO KID? – Oct 1st – The Democrats’ movement to impeachment was predictable (and frivolous).

8. ANTIFA UPDATE – Aug 27th – The hate group is quickly becoming a terrorist organization. When they are finally declared as such, they will finally be stopped.

9. WHO IS CREATING THE CULTURE OF HATRED? – Aug 13th – It certainly isn’t the Republicans.

10. TIME FOR A NATIONAL DEBATE ON SOCIALISM – Feb 13th – For a country so obsessed with Socialism, I’m surprised how many do not understand what it is.

HONORABLE MENTION

SOMETHING DOESN’T ADD UP – Apr 23rd – It’s amazing how politically naive young Americans are.

THE WHISTLE-BLOWER RULE IS WRONG – Nov 12th – And may very well violate the Constitution.

REPUBLICAN WOMEN GET ACTIVE – Oct 17th – and are pushing back.

BRYCE LAUNCHES NEW BOOK, “Tim’s SENIOR MOMENTS” – May 6th – On how we celebrate aging. I’ve been pleased with the response.

AUDIO SEGMENTS ON YOUTUBE

I also provide an audio version of most of my columns for those people on the go, courtesy of YouTube. I would like to believe people listen to me at the gym or beach, but more realistically, people tend to tune in while they are traveling or at work. Interestingly, the popularity of my audio segments is not the same as my written columns.

1. WHY WE HAVE TO TAKE ALEXANDRIA ORTEGA-CORTEZ SERIOUSLY – Jan 25th – She may appear goofy to us, but young people are listening.

2. THE TRUMP CULTURAL REVOLUTION – Mar 1st – How society has changed under President Trump.

3. REDISCOVERING THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW – Jan 29th – This was a non-political piece where I remembered Dean Martin as an entertainer. A lot of people enjoyed this column.

4. THE WITCH HUNT CONTINUES – Mar 25th – and ultimately found nothing in the end. What a waste of time and money.

5. ANTIFA UPDATE – Aug 27th – See #8 above.

6. TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS, PART DEUX – Apr 16th – There is still no requirement for the President (or anyone) to release their tax records to the public.

7. TIME FOR A NATIONAL DEBATE ON SOCIALISM – Feb 13th – See #10 above.

8. WHO IS REALLY THE RACIST HERE? – Jan 30th – Democrats have been conditioned accordingly.

9. IMPEACHMENT? WHO ARE THEY TRYING TO KID? – Oct 1st – See #7 above.

10. ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: DO WE REALLY HAVE A PROBLEM? – See #1 above.

HONORABLE MENTION

SOMETHING DOESN’T ADD UP – Apr 23rd – how politically naive young Americans are.

PRESIDENT TRUMP VS. THE SQUAD OF FOUR – Jul 17th – See #2 above.

WHY ARE DEMOCRATS ABANDONING RELIGION? – Apr 30th – A very good question. Gallup contends they are.

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

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. Great holiday gifts!

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

“I SCREWED UP”

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 5, 2019

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– “The longer you delay admitting a mistake, the more expensive it will be to correct.” – Bryce’s Law

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

Nobody likes to admit making a mistake. We tend to believe it makes us look bad in the eyes of our coworkers, friends and particularly the boss. It’s a real test of our integrity. Some people like to cover-up mistakes so they go undetected or, even worse, let someone else take the blame for them. I find mistakes tend to fester and grow if left unchecked, thereby causing bigger headaches and costing a lot more money if we don’t catch them in time.

Every once in awhile you have to look your boss straight in the eye and say, “I screwed up.” It’s kind of like having a priest listen to your confession. Although the boss may be disappointed, he will be appreciative of the fact you came clean with him early on and brought the problem to his attention where it can be caught and corrected with minimal damage.

In this day and age of micromanagement you don’t see too many people willing to admit a mistake. They take on an assignment, get in over their head, and fail to yell for help in time. This does a disservice to the assignment, the people depending on you, and yourself. In business, it is not uncommon to see people rising above their level of competency (aka, “The Peter Principle”). In other words, they have been placed in a position where they are incapable of performing their job effectively. Keeping them in this position is a disservice to the company as well as to the person. Frankly, I think we have too many people in over their heads who refuse to ask for help, which I consider a pretty scary operating scenario.

We have all made mistakes we wish we could take back and correct, some small, others real beauts, but there is nobody out there without a blemish on their record, which is why we are all willing to forgive, provided the person comes clean with it early on.

There’s an old axiom in business that says, “If you make 51% of your decisions correctly, you will be a success.” I’m not suggesting we don’t strive for perfection, but we should all realize it is an impossibility. After all, the last guy who was perfect, they hung on a cross.

Originally published: July 15, 2008

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. Great holiday gifts!

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 Business, Life, Management | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

THE USE OF TIME

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 3, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– As opposed to what we produce.

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

I’m seeing a strange perspective emerging in business as it applies to productivity. Instead of considering the amount of output produced, people now seem only concerned with the amount of time served at work. I see this in I.T. organizations where programmers have said to me, “Wow, I spent twelve hours at work today.” I heard this same exact expression from a guy who was laying sod on my lawn. I answered them both the same way, “That’s nice, but what did you produce in that time?” Interestingly, they both were at a loss for words and vague in terms of what they produced. It appeared to me, they thought they were being productive simply by the number of hours attending work.

I contend it is not the hours in the day that is important, but rather what we produce. In a way, counting hours reminds me of how the military viewed performance during the Viet Nam War, whereby they counted bodies as opposed to geography won. Let us also not forget, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is measured by output, not hours worked.

Years ago in business, employees were taught to do what was necessary to get a job done. If it meant working evenings and weekends, so be it, and you didn’t complain as you knew the importance of the assignment and genuinely liked your work. Even if you didn’t, you possessed personal pride to see the job through to completion. Today though, there is more emphasis on personal time and vacations, so employees have become mindful of how much time they serve and how much they can relax, hence the emphasis on time.

When it comes to the nature of time, we have long promoted the concept of “Effectiveness Rate,” (ER) in Project Management. Unlike “Man Hours” which falsely assumes a person is 100% productive, ER considers time in terms of the amount spent on “Direct” assignments versus “Indirect” interferences. “Direct” means real work, it is what you were hired to do. “Indirect” represents those interruptions keeping us from doing our “Direct” assignments, such as breaks, bathroom visits, meetings, telephone calls, casual reading, social media, etc. The ratio between Directs and Indirects is what we refer to as “Effectiveness Rate.”

In the average office setting, the ER is typically 70%, e.g., in an eight hour business day, 5.6 hours are used for direct work, and 2.4 hours for indirect activities. Studies have shown construction workers are typically 25%. The point is, nobody can be 100% effective, there will be interferences which is a much more realistic perspective of time. Further, employees will have different rates based on their capabilities and experience. Also, please understand ER is NOT a measure of performance; it is simply an analysis of the use of time by workers. Just because one employee has a higher ER as opposed to another, simply means the person has fewer interferences. Whereas “Direct” time is the responsibility for the individual to manage, “Indirect” time is the responsibility for the manager to manage. If a manager observes an employee is experiencing too many interferences, he/she may take measures to minimize them.

To illustrate how ER is used in scheduling, let’s assume we have a person who has made an estimate of 100 “direct” hours (who also averages a 70% effectiveness rate), and there are eight (8) available hours in the business day. Under this scenario, 100 Direct Hours divided by .70 (ER) equals 142.85 elapsed hours. In turn, the 142.85 would be divided by 8 (available hours per day) to equal 17.85 elapsed days. The “man hour” approach mentioned earlier does not take the environmental influences into consideration and assumes an effectiveness rate of 100%. Under this approach, the sample schedule would be completed in 12.5 business day. In other words, ER is a more realistic and reliable approach for producing schedules.

So, going back to the programmers and sod layer mentioned in the beginning, when they claimed, “Wow, I spent twelve hours at work today.” I should have asked what their Effectiveness Rate was. I suspect 10%.

For more information on Effectiveness Rate, click HERE.

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. Great holiday gifts!

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 Business, Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

THANKSGIVING & THE LOVES OF OUR LIVES

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 26, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Celebrating the many loves in our lives.

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

Thanksgiving is a favorite of mine and I have written about it on numerous occasions (see below). It’s more than just the food, it’s about being around friends and family. It’s the telling of a joke or story, a fond memory, and a glass of cheer. All of this reflects on the love we have for those who surround us, to wit…

THE LOVES OF OUR LIVES

Throughout our lives we touch a lot of people.

Before you are born, you are the twinkle in your father’s eye.

When you are born, you warm your grandmothers’ hearts.

When you are a toddler, you are the apple of your mother’s eye.

When you are in grade school, you become the buddy of your grandfathers.

You form bonds with family and friends that often lasts a lifetime.

When you play well in a game, you are celebrated by your teammates.

As you enter your clumsy teenage years, you are the scourge of your parents,

But when you graduate from school, you are their pride.

As a young adult, you finally meet the love of your life.

When you marry, your mother is delighted but your father shed’s a tear.

When you have children of your own, your friends and family rejoice.

When you succeed at work, you are the toast of your business associates.

As you retire, you surround yourself with old friends and reminisce.

And when you are gone, you reside in the recesses of our loved ones’ memories, all of whom you have touched.

Each person touches many lives, not only receiving love but passing it on to others as well.

And when we gather around the Thanksgiving table, let us give thanks for the blessings we have and the love we share.

Happy Thanksgiving.

My other columns on Thanksgiving:

* Tim’s 2017 Thanksgiving Grace (Huffington Post, 11/22/2017)
* How not to cook a Thanksgiving Dinner (11/23/2016)
* A Thanksgiving Moment (11/27/2013)
* What are we giving Thanks to? (11/20/2012)

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. Great holiday gifts!

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 Family, Life, Marriage | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE SNOWBIRDS RETURN

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 19, 2019

BRYCE ON FLORIDA

– They’re baaack…

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The snowbirds are finally back in Florida. For the uninformed, this represents the migratory habits of our elderly neighbors in the north who have developed an aversion to winters at home and head for the warmer climate of the Sunshine State for five or six months. Our restaurants thereby become overcrowded and our roads are clogged with motorists with a wide variety of driving habits, resulting in stop-and-go traffic to drive us crazy. Make no mistake though, we welcome our northern neighbors back as they represent +90 million tourists who visit us (yes, it is that much) and pump over $60 billion into our economy.

When the Snowbirds arrive, native Floridians typically drive to work a little earlier, and expect to eat at a restaurant a little later than normal, all to give the tourists ample time to enjoy themselves. The only problem we have with them is their varying driving habits. How someone from Michigan drives is considerably different than someone from New York, which is different than someone from Maine, Ohio, and just about anywhere else. It’s very exasperating to drive under such conditions which tests our patience.

The trademark of the Snowbird is, of course, the Recreational Vehicle (RV) which comes in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and costs. Whatever the size, they somehow manage to clog the roads and Walmart parking lots. I’m always amazed by owners of opulent RV’s who do not bring another form of transportation, such as a bicycle, motor scooter, or automobile. They have to do a lot of walking otherwise. Close to our office is a trailer court where I’ve seen a Snowbird with a state-of-the-art bus-length RV which includes a tow hitch to pull an equally impressive trailer. Inside the trailer are two beautiful motorcycles and a complete shop to maintain them. Although I consider it a rather smart setup, I would be concerned with driving such “Hogs” down here which can be a rather dangerous proposition.

Over the years I have learned there are RV groups who enjoy traveling in “caravans” throughout North America, and Florida gets more than their fair share this time of year. A caravan is nothing more than a group of friends who travel together as a support group on outings. The first RV in line is considered the “Wagon Master” to lead the group. Somehow the image of Gil Favor leading a cattle drive in “Rawhide” comes to mind. The last RV in line is called the “Tail Gunner” which is reminiscent of a B-17 Flying Fortress. Such caravans represent considerable money to trailer park owners and, as such, they are warmly received.

Although you can easily detect snowbirds by their vernacular, you can just as easily spot them by their attitude which borders on pompous arrogance. Coming from the north, they somehow believe southerners are rubes who know nothing, that only northerners know how things should be done. As a displaced northerner myself who settled here many years ago, I am acutely aware of the cultural divide. I have learned Southerners know plenty, they just express themselves differently than their northern counterparts. They may seem rather cold initially, but if you are kind and open to suggestion, they make you feel right at home. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the food of the south who enjoy such things as grits, different interpretations of barbecue, and such oddities as crawdads and deep fried turkey. Northerners simply do not understand southern cuisine. Then again, it took them about 100 years to learn to appreciate southern fried chicken.

Quite often you will hear snowbirds lament, “That’s not how we do it back home.” Maybe not, but you are not in the north anymore and you have to learn to acclimate to the local culture. This begins by losing the stuffy northern attitude, relaxing, and learning to enjoy southern hospitality. Welcome Y’all!

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.  Great holiday gifts!

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

EVEN MORE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 5, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– You won’t believe this.

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For some time we have witnessed how political correctness has affected our speech, manners, even our senses of humor and history. We are asked to forget everything taught to us as it was undeniably wrong, at least according to the far left. Normally, such antics would be dismissed as silly, but then again, there is a subliminal agenda underway here. Two recent examples remind us of how strange it is becoming.

For many years, the expression “okay” was considered a quick way to verify something was satisfactory and ready to go. The question, “Are you okay?” would normally be answered with a thumbs-up gesture or the “OK” symbol expressed by holding up your hand and having the tip of the index finger touch the tip of the thumb. The people at NASA used it for years during the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, not to mention the Space Shuttle and other programs. The expression became so popular, just about everyone used it in all walks of life.

This all changed recently as “OK” is now considered an expression of racism, and as iconic as the one finger salute. Today, the Left contends the hand gesture is a symbol of “White Power” as the three fingers are alleged to represent a “W” (for White), and the thumb/index finger connection represents a “P” (for Power); “White Power.” I don’t know who exactly dreamed this one up, but it is a real stretch of the imagination to do so.

We may laugh at the use of this symbol as a mark of white supremacy, but an actor at Universal Orlando didn’t find it amusing when it cost him his job. The actor, who remains unidentified, was dressed in character and made the “OK” symbol while standing behind the back of a biracial girl in a photo on the set of a movie. Universal confirms the story. In addition, the Anti-Defamation League updated its data base of hate symbols last week with the “OK” gesture.

Frankly, I never realized NASA was so racist. 😉

Next, we recently learned the use of mathematics is racist. Calling it “Weapons of Math Destruction,” Dr. Cathy O’Neil, a mathematician from Harvard, contends math, particularly statistics, has been used extensively to regulate blacks by whites. As such, math is used for discrimination and therefore is evil. She explains this in a recent YOUTUBE video. This one is particularly hard to swallow, maybe it is her green hair that is at the root of all this.

I saw an interview on Tucker Carlson recently where another liberal defended the notion of math being used for racist purposes, but took it further by contending all whites are, by definition, racists. I was confused by this as she was white as well. Perhaps she meant all liberals are nuts for suggesting such an idea.

All of these taboos are getting out of hand and I wonder when it will ever stop. Probably never.

The next thing you will hear is that expressions such as “please” and “thank you” denotes racism as it suggests subservient behavior towards others thereby creating a master/slave relationship. In this case, they are mistaking simple manners with racism.

So, is political correctness “OK” with you? Oy!

Also see: “More Political Correctness Run Amok” (Oct 23, 2018)

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 Life, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

WHEN TRAGEDY STRIKES

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 29, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– How it affects us.

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Whenever I lecture on “Tim’s SENIOR MOMENTS,” I remind the audience how lucky we have been to live in the times we did. Speaking as a Baby Boomer, I particularly rejoice in the music we experienced, not just the Beatles and the British Invasion, but entertainers like Jimi Hendrix who I had the pleasure of seeing in concert in 1968 (and changed my perspective of Rock and Roll). I saw many concerts along the way, including Sinatra in 1984. There was just something extraordinary in our music, but I also appreciated much of the music from earlier in the 20th century, particularly Jazz and Big Band. It was all so imaginative and amazing.

We were also lucky to witness Apollo 11, where we put the first man on the moon, as well as many others thereafter. I saw a wonder horse in 1973 win the Kentucky Derby on his way to winning the Triple Crown of horse racing for the first time in 25 years, Secretariat. In baseball, I had the privilege of watching the emergence of the Big Red Machine, an unbelievably talented team, rock solid in every position, and the likes of which we’ll never see again. There were other sports greats, such as Mickey Mantel, Willie Mays, Joe Namath, and Dick Butkus who exhibited their greatness on and off the field.

We also bore witness to the go-go years of the 1960’s and 1970’s, led by the Greatest Generation. This was when it seemed only the sky was the limit, and computers began to transform offices. We didn’t go out at lunchtime just to eat; such meals were used to plot strategy, forge relationships, and make deals. And, No, we were most definitely not politically correct by today’s standards. It was fun, it was exhilarating, and I’m glad I didn’t miss it.

Such events shaped our character in they represent the joys of life.

Unfortunately, good times are accompanied by bad-

As much as we like to remember the “good old days,” we also faced considerable tragedy which shaped our perspective of life. In the lifetime of the Boomers, we watched havoc strike us time and again, both man-made and natural disasters.

Man-made Disasters-

1963 – The assassination of John F. Kennedy – this shocked the country considerably, both Democrats AND Republicans. To this day, those that lived during this period remember where they were when they heard the news. Some say America was never the same after this. We also saw assassination attempts on President Gerald Ford (1975), and President Ronald Reagan (1981).

1967 – The Apollo 1 fire, claimed the lives of Astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chaffee. Despite testing and precautions, we were to lose more people along the way, such as the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle disaster, killing seven, and the 2003 Columbia Space Shuttle burning up on re-entry, also killing seven.

1979 – “The Who” concert disaster in Cincinnati – where eleven people were trampled to death due to “festival seating.”

1983 – Beirut barracks bombings – resulting in the loss of 307 U.S. and French military personnel.

1986 – The Chernobyl disaster in Russia was a painful reminder of the dangers of nuclear energy. Others followed, such as the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.

1995 – Oklahoma City bombing – resulting in the loss of at least 168 lives.

1999 – Columbine High School mass shooting in Littleton, Colorado, where twelve students and one teacher were killed. This was followed by over 30 copycat shootings plaguing the country to this day.

2001 – The 9-11 Attacks represented the Pearl Harbor event of our generation and forced military action in the Middle East where thousands of U.S. soldiers died or were maimed.

Then there were the serial killers who terrorized whole cities, much like Jack the Ripper did in London during the late 1880’s; Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Richard Speck, Charles Manson, and David Berkowitz (Son of Sam). There were also wackos like Mark David Chapman who gunned down legendary musician John Lennon in 1980.

Natural Disasters-

We have always had disasters caused by Mother Earth. During our time, we’ve witnessed:

1964 – Alaska earthquake – registering at 9.2, it remains the most powerful earthquake recorded in North American history. Anchorage was particularly ravaged and 131 people perished.

1974 – Super Tornado Outbreak – the most violent tornado outbreak ever recorded with 30 F4/F5 tornadoes confirmed. Over two days, there were 148 tornadoes confirmed in 13 U.S. states and one Canadian province (Ontario). In particular, the city of Xenia, Ohio was wiped out by the dedliest individual tornado on record.

1980 – Mount St. Helens volcano eruption – which blew its stack in Washington state and covered the world with ash.

1992 – Hurricane Andrew – a Category 5 storm which decimated southern Florida.

2005 – Hurricane Katrina – another Cat 5 which crippled Louisiana.

2017 – Hurricane Irma – yet another Cat 5 which pummeled Puerto Rico.

We have also had our share of tornadoes:

1999 – Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak

2011 – Super Tornado Outbreak

There were also numerous wild fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, and blizzards. As to the latter, I survived the great 1967 Chicago blizzard.

People will talk about these natural phenomena for many years to come, and, NO, I do not blame it on climate change. We have been plagued by such natural disasters for as long as we have been a nation. For example, the bitter winter of 1777-78 was so harsh at Valley Forge that more than 1,000 soldiers perished.

What have we learned?

These tragedies killed and injured thousands of people, left many homeless, took a toll on our mental well-being, cost billions, and was an insurance nightmare. In many cases, it took mere moments to wreak havoc and considerable time to repair.

Whether it was a man-made or natural disaster, a lot of this could have been avoided, had we performed better planning. For example, civil engineers long knew the weaknesses of the dikes and levees protecting New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina, yet politicians diverted money to other projects. Had the Secret Service insisted on affixing the roof of President Kennedy’s limousine, we wouldn’t have suffered such a traumatic event.

Instead of planning and being pro-active, Americans prefer to be reactive and allow havoc to strike as opposed to preventing it. There are many examples of this throughout our history, including Pearl Harbor, 9-11, and the Challenger disaster.

We do not like to remember such tragedies, but such events also shape our character, just as much as the joys of life, as it affects our senses of empathy, charity, our will to survive and overcome, and learn from our mistakes. To illustrate, it is impressive to see how Americans lend a generous hand to those maimed by disaster. As soon as a disaster hits, such as a major hurricane, we see Americans mobilize and come to their neighbor’s aid in boats, bringing supplies, clearing debris, repairing homes, and much more.

The only good thing you can say about how Americans react to tragedy is that it brings out the best in us.

It is when we forget about these disasters that we court their repetition.

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

 
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