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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

DEATH STEPS IN AGAIN AND AGAIN

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 29, 2020

BRYCE ON LIFE

– I’ve been losing too many friends lately.

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

I lost my wife in December. If that wasn’t hard enough to bear, I also lost six good freinds in the last ten months, which seems a lot to me. Normally, you hear of someone passing away now and then, but six? These were not just acquaintances either, but good friends. I guess I am coming of the age where friends pass away more steadily. It’s an odd feeling too, kind of like in Ayn Rand’s book, “Atlas Shrugged,” whereby certain business leaders suddenly disappear from society (later to reappear secretly in John Galt’s valley).

Here is who I have lost.

Mike Ambrose – we lost Mike just a week before my wife’s passing. He was an old friend who I knew through Little League softball, where we both served as umpires, and on co-ed teams in an over 40 league. Mike made a good living selling medical equipment. He was warm and generous and possessed a great sense of humor. He lost his wife, Ro, about a year earlier and was never quite the same without her. I miss his smile and sincerity.

Wendy Moss – Wendy was a neighbor down the street who suffered from MS as well as other ailments. Despite her problems, she had an indomitable spirit that wouldn’t allow her to feel sorry for herself. I have known her since our children were in elementary school. Wendy kept a bottle of my favorite Scotch whiskey in case I dropped by, which I did on several occasions where we would talk and laugh. Even though I was a Republican and Wendy was a Democrat, we didn’t let politics get in the way of our friendship. In fact, we often discussed it whenever I visited. She was a classy lady who suffered an accident at home which shocked many of us. A lot of people attended her memorial service and grieved her passing.

John Siggins – from Jamestown, New York, John was the first radio personality to have me on his show. He loved his family and was extremely proud of the Jamestown area. His knowledge of history was impressive and we would talk at length about pertinent historical events on his show. He was a good man and Mason with a wry sense of humor. Alas.

Sarah Solo – Sarah was another neighbor in our community. She was proud of her Irish ancestry, and you could hear it in her voice. I would love to listen to her talk and see the twinkle in her eyes. She was very down to earth and was the realtor who sold us our house years ago. Unfortunately, she suffered with a prolonged illness which she eventually succumbed to this summer.

Jerry Spetseris – from Houston, Texas, Jerry and I were college fraternity brothers. He was a smart guy who earned a Masters degree in Geology and worked for the oil companies in Houston. From time to time we would pick up the phone and call each other just to talk, particularly during the Houston hurricanes. We would laugh and talk about old times. Jerry was also an ardent Democrat and we would tease each other about politics. In college, we played rugby, and because Jerry was relatively short, he was the “hooker” on our team and I was his “prop.” We won a lot of scrums thanks to his size and our ability to hold him up. He always appeared to be physically fit, but was tragically struck down by an undetected heart problem.

Louis Vavoularis – A local Greek restaurateur who had retired just a few months earlier. He was a wonderful man who passed shortly after Easter and amid the COVID-19 panic. Lou immigrated with his family from Greece to Chicago back in the 1960’s, It was a hard transition for him, but he acclimated and went into the food retail industry. In the 1980’s, his family moved to Palm Harbor and opened Emily’s Restaurant, a popular family style restaurant. Patrons came not just for the food but for Louie’s warm personality. His passion was restoring cars from the 1960’s, he loved to discuss politics, and was a huge fan of Al Bundy. The suddenness of his passing caught everyone off guard. I saw him just days before and he looked fit. I still cannot believe he is gone. What a good man.

I mourn the passing of all of these people, they left us much too soon. It seems like I was just talking to them and “poof,” they were gone. This is why we need to relish every moment with our friends and take nothing for granted.

I then started to consider what they had in common, even though some lived far away. All of them were honest and hardworking. They had no problem assuming responsibility and gave of themselves generously. They all possessed inquisitive minds and a great sense of humor, and they all loved to laugh. And I guess it is this “birds of a feather” phenomenon I will miss. I just hope they knew how much they were loved by the people around them. I also hope they are happy in John Galt’s valley.

In coelo quies est – In heaven there is rest.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. This is the perfect gift for youth!

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: , , , , | 5 Comments »

MARRIAGE: IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 3, 2020

BRYCE ON MARRIAGE

– Like the Tango, marriage can be a thing of beauty if you and your partner are in synch.

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

I first wrote this piece ten years ago. As a Notary Public in Florida, I have had the pleasure of marrying a few couples along the way. Before marrying them, I admonish them of the old expression, “It takes two to Tango,” which I will explain herein. As my daughter approaches her wedding day, I thought it would be a good idea to remind both her and her fiance of what this means. I hope you enjoy it.

After seeing so many marriages end in divorce, you cannot help but wonder why couples get married in the first place. Maybe they see it as some kind of legal permission slip to do nothing more than to have sex. If so, that seems to be rather shallow thinking to me. I tend to believe most people get married to quell the biological clock in their heads to reproduce. Under this scenario, husband and wife are doomed to failure after their mission has been fulfilled. There are probably dozens of reasons for getting divorced, but regardless, I think most people go into marriage with impractical expectations and hidden incompatibilities that are slow to surface.

Perhaps the biggest misconception about marriage is that it is easy; that by simply getting married all of your difficulties you experienced as a single person will somehow disappear. Hardly. If anything, your problems are only beginning as you have to learn to live with a new person unfamiliar with your customs, mannerisms, and lifestyle. I have yet to meet the couple who was perfectly compatible at the time of taking their marriage vows. Regardless of how long you may have lived with someone prior to marriage, you really don’t know the person until it becomes “legal.”

A lot of people fail to grasp that marriage is a partnership. This disturbs me greatly. With me, I have always compared it to the Tango. It involves forming a team which works together towards common goals and objectives, until we learn to dance as one. True, each person has their own unique duties and responsibilities, but to make such a partnership work, it is necessary for some give and take which some people can accept and adapt to, while others cannot. This means you cannot always do the things you did unilaterally when you were single. Now you must consider and consult your partner. Like any business venture, you must do what is best for both parties, not just one. This is the part of marriage most people do not understand. Any time one party ignores or excludes consideration for the other, the marriage is doomed.

If you have any doubt whatsoever about getting married, don’t do it. You must go into it with both eyes wide open and possess a genuine willingness to try to work together. Anything less will inevitably result in either an unhappy marriage or a nasty divorce.

So, my only advice to young people considering marriage, always be cognizant of the expression, “It takes two to Tango.” If you do it right, it can be a thing of beauty.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. This is the perfect gift for youth!

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, Marriage | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

EXCESSIVE USE OF PROFANITY

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 18, 2020

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Why do we accept it?

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

I’ve noticed profanity has become a natural part of the teenager vernacular lately, perhaps excessively so. I know teachers and parents who are very much concerned with this and are at a loss as to how to handle it. In my school days, we were all well aware of the words but knew better to use them in the presence of adults as schools still practiced corporal punishment back then. If you got out of line, you weren’t just sent to detention, you were swatted with a paddle.

A lot has changed since then. Today, only 18 states in the country allow corporal punishment in schools. As many as 61 countries have outlawed it altogether. I guess this is another area where lawyers have gotten involved and threatened lawsuits on behalf of irate parents who refuse to discipline their own children and subject the rest of us to these clods.

In studying this issue, I noticed all 50 states in the country allow corporal punishment on the part of parents. Yet, I wonder how many parents actually exercise such action. Again, back when I was a kid, if you got out of line, the old man would take a belt to your hide or your mother would wash your mouth out with soap if you spoke foul language (as happened to Ralphie in the movie, “A Christmas Story”). My great grandmother would use a switch or fly swatter if necessary. Such corporal punishment was not unique to my family as just about every kid on the block was keenly aware of the penalties for stepping out of line. It’s called, “cause and effect”; if you screwed-up, you had to suffer the consequences. Believe me, we would have much preferred to have been “grounded” than face the wrath of a displeased parent. Being “grounded” just didn’t exist back then.

I’m not sure why teens use profanity excessively; perhaps it is to appear “cool” or something they learned through the media, but it sure seems they drop the “F-bomb” as if it is a common everyday word. I’m no saint myself when it comes to swearing, but as an adult you realize there is a time and place for everything and you tend to use it more judiciously than our youth. Excessive use of profanity does two things; first, it waters down the effect of the word. Whereas profanity is normally used to stir emotions, inordinate use negates its effect. Second, excessive profanity is a significant indicator of someone’s intellect. Rudimentary language reflects a rudimentary intellect. I am reminded of the old maxim whereby, “Profanity is the attempt of a lazy and feeble mind to express itself forcefully.”

When youth uses profanity in the presence of adults, it does not threaten or embarrass adults as much as it causes the youth in question to lose all credibility in the adult’s eyes. It is just not smart to do. I find it rather amusing when youth resorts to primitive profanity as opposed to articulating their position. It most definitely does not make them look more mature.

As for me personally, I tend to think of profanity along the same lines as Mark Twain who said, “In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.” Amen!

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. This is the perfect gift for youth!

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 | 6 Comments »

EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 2, 2020

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Gosh, I hope not.

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

Years ago, the Firesign Theater comedy troupe recorded an album entitled “Everything You Know is Wrong” (Yes, I am a fan and still have the original LP). This particular album was a satire of New Age beliefs whereby they contend everything we have learned is absolutely wrong and we are all being intentionally misled. Large or small, everything we know is wrong; e.g., that the south won the Civil War, that the Aztecs invented the vacation, etc. It’s a very entertaining album which Firesign fans know well.

As I grow older I get the uneasy feeling everything I’ve learned to date is wrong. It’s hard to describe, but it is a very frustrating feeling and leaves you somewhat bewildered. Let me give you some examples…

I was brought up to believe if you worked hard, and kept your nose clean, everything would work out for you; that your company would keep your best interests at heart and, in the long run, you’ll do just fine. As we all know, there is no such thing as corporate loyalty anymore and, in this dog-eat-dog world, trouble somehow seems to find us, regardless of how honest and forthright we try to lead our lives. Further, it seems unscrupulous cheating and dishonesty is rewarded as opposed to punished. “Quick and dirty” solutions also seem to be preferred over craftsmanship and quality. Instead of getting to the root of a problem, we only address its symptoms for the sake of brevity. In other words, facade is preferred over substance.

I was also taught you should pay your bills on time, and avoid incurring debt which would be difficult to pay back. Now it seems “take the money and run” is the modus operandi of a lot of people, businesses, and government. Between our lenient bankruptcy laws and our inclination to spend, people are taught not to pay their bills. After all, someone else will take care of it for you, right? This also gives me the uneasy feeling that perhaps my money is not my own, even though I worked hard to earn it.

As I was growing up I was taught everyone should be treated fairly; to give each person the benefit of a doubt until proven otherwise; that it was also important to be responsible, and your word was your bond. However, it seems morality is not currently in vogue and notions such as honor and principles are politically incorrect.

Finally, in grade school I was taught the United States was a great country we should all take pride in, and that government was a servant of the people, not the other way around. Boy, I guess I really got this one wrong.

It’s a bit disheartening to realize what you thought was right is wrong, and vice versa. That two plus two no longer equals four anymore. It’s all very confusing. Then again, perhaps it’s not my age that caused this epiphany, but maybe I’m sensing nothing more than changes in our culture. If, in fact, everything I learned is wrong, I sure hope I come down with a bad case of Alzheimer’s Disease soon so I can blot all of this out.

It is disturbing to discover the world described in Firesign Theater’s album makes more sense than the real world.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

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: , , , , | 3 Comments »

FINDING PERFECTION IN IMPERFECTION

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 5, 2020

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Beware of the perfect potato chip, peanut, or person.

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

I do not know what kind of potato chip you like, but I tend to avoid the national brands and enjoy the local variety. For some reason, I have a problem with a perfect potato chip. You know, it is perfectly round and pure in color without a blemish. To me, it seems rather sterile and too good to be true. It lacks imagination (and taste). Instead, I prefer a chip with a little character. Maybe it is slightly burned on the edge or the skin somehow survives the cutting process and remains on the chip. Either way, I find them tastier than the perfect chips.

The same is true with peanuts. If there is a can of nuts on the table, I’ll zero in on those peanuts that are browner than the others or perhaps still have the skin on them. Likewise, I’ll do this with a can of mixed nuts. I’m also not a fan of plain white bread, particularly those soft loaves of bread we typically feed to kids. I like something with a little more imagination, such as rye, pumpernickel, sourdough, or a nutty whole wheat. And, Yes, I love the crust and heels of such breads. As for the crust, the crunchier the better. As to the heel, it is something all fathers have to eat whether we like it or not (I think it is in our job description).

I guess what I am saying is, while most people desire purity, I tend to gravitate towards a little imperfection. In terms of food, imperfection offers a bolder taste; it takes a typically bland pure product and gives it some character, thereby perfecting the taste. In other words, imperfections can lead to perfection.

The same is true with people. Those who seem to have perfect teeth, skin, hair, smile, who always say the right thing at the right time, and seem too be good to be true, I find rather boring. Maybe such people make me cognizant of my own imperfections, but I tend to prefer people with a gap in their teeth, balding, possess an interesting accent, or have some distracting foible. To me, such people are aware of their imperfections, work to overcome them and, by doing so, are much more interesting than the perfect people. The world would be very bland and uninteresting if everyone was perfect. Again, here is where imperfection leads to perfection.

I have also found there is no such thing as human perfection. We all possess some mental or physical blemish we do not want others to know about, or perhaps an embarrassing incident in our past. You will find this in all social classes, especially the elite. We go to great lengths to hide our imperfections from others as we find them painful to reveal. Consider this though, without such imperfections there would be no need for psychoanalysis. We should spend less time worrying about our frailties, and more time trying to rise up and improve ourselves. The only solace in possessing an imperfection is knowing others have them too. This is why I find it interesting that even though we constantly seek perfection, we never truly find it and learn to overlook imperfections. Life is too short to burden ourselves with our perceived weaknesses, particularly those invisible to the naked eye. Let’s be mindful of our inequities, but move on to better things.

I am certainly not suggesting we should all become nonconformists and dress avant-garde, or go out of our way to distract others by drawing attention to ourselves. Instead, we should just understand our imperfections, do not become obsessed by them, and enjoy the company of others. I think there is a tendency for people to focus on people’s shortcomings as opposed to their strengths and assets. When we do this, we miss the delicious brown peanut.

Some time ago I came up with the Bryce’s Law, “Never trust a person who doesn’t have at least one known vice (e.g., drinking, smoking, swearing).” If they do not exhibit at least one imperfection, they are probably too good to be true and masking other imperfections. As for me, I’ll keep looking for the brown potato chip, dark peanuts, and the guy with the bald spot. They may be imperfect, but they will likely have more character and are more interesting than those who purport themselves to be perfect. They aren’t. Although we may constantly seek perfection, we should rejoice in our imperfections as it challenges us to improve ourselves.

As my father liked to say, “Don’t forget, the last guy that was perfect they hung on a cross.”

One last thing, so long as humans control the world, we will always have imperfection.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

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: , , , , | 2 Comments »

WHAT WE DRIVE IS HOW WE DRIVE

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 23, 2020

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What we buy affects our driving habits.

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

I have always found the relationship between humans and their automobiles interesting. I contend what we drive greatly impacts how we drive. To illustrate, I believe there are basically three distinctively different classes of people who drive: those who just want a basic form of transportation, those who use it as a status symbol, and those who have a love affair with their vehicle, a sort of connoisseur. Each group sees the automobile differently and, as such, treats it differently.

BASIC TRANSPORTATION

Those who just want a basic form of transportation are more impressed by the functionality of the vehicle as opposed to aesthetics. Price, reliability, gas mileage, maintenance, and safety are more important than contoured lines, paint, and leather bucket seats. To them, the automobile is a necessary evil; it is nothing more than a tool to move them from point A to point B. As such, it is essentially no different than the role the horse played in the 1800’s. You feed it, you give it basic grooming, and you ride the heck out of it.

I find these types of people do not establish any emotional ties to their vehicles yet tend to hold on to them a lot longer than most as they wish to get their money’s worth out of it. If the car is to be used for nothing more than transportation, they typically buy small to mid-sized cars. However, they are more inclined to buy something bigger if they have to transport samples and paper work, such as what salesmen do, or children. Construction workers are more inclined to buy trucks.

The “basic” people represent the lion’s share of drivers on the road. As such, you must remember they are only interested in reaching their destination. Some will be overly conservative, particularly our seniors, some will go with the flow, some will be hell-bent on reaching their objective, and others will be preoccupied on the phone, shaving, reading, applying makeup or fixing their hair as they consider driving a horrendous waste of time. It is this last group that is the most dangerous as they are more interested in their distraction than driving the car.

STATUS SYMBOLS

Those who see their vehicle as a status symbol are trying to make a statement of some kind; either they are “sporty”, filthy rich, or use it as a means of attracting the opposite sex thereby acting as a phallic symbol. Unlike the “basic” people, looks are of paramount importance. Consequently, they either buy the fastest gas guzzlers, the most opulent luxury vehicles, or something in-between. Electronic trinkets are important here as the vehicle is considered more as a toy than anything else.

The status people have emotional ties to their vehicles only until the next model comes out whereby they trade-up at every opportunity. In other words, owning a car for one year is considered an eternity.

On the road, the “status” people have two different driving personalities: they are either fast and reckless, thereby giving the impression they are eccentric and have plenty of money to burn, or they drive rather conservatively, conscious of their investment.

CONNOISSEURS

Those who truly love cars possess an in-depth understanding of automobiles and a deep seeded appreciation for the design and engineering of the vehicle. Guys like Jay Leno come to mind, as well as people who participate in the many classic car shows across the country. They buy rare cars for several reasons; to remind them of a bygone era, the sheer love of automotive engineering, and as an investment. They drive their car not because they have to, but because they want to as they truly appreciate the automobile as a remarkable engineering achievement.

The “connoisseurs” are passionate about their vehicles and develop strong attachments to them. However, most will reluctantly part with them if the price is right, and will buy something else to work on. They spend their idle time scouring eBay looking for spare parts, visiting auto auctions, and carefully inspecting different vehicles at car shows. To them, it is a serious hobby, requiring them to possess an in-depth knowledge regarding their subject and a close attention to detail.

Those that fall into this category are perhaps the best drivers on the road. They are acutely aware of the capabilities and limitations of their vehicles and drive defensively in order to protect them. They are typically the safest drivers on the road.

DIFFERENCES

The basic difference between the three schools of thought is how the human being perceives the automobile, either as nothing more than a tool or commodity, an expression of one’s personality, or as a prized investment. These perspectives ultimately dictate our driving habits and how we treat the vehicle. We either see it as nothing more than a mule or workhorse, a stallion out to stud, or a fine quarter horse suitable for racing.

These distinctively different perspectives present an interesting dilemma for automotive manufacturers in terms of what types of cars they should be building. Do they develop something for the masses whereby what they lack in profit-margin can be made up for in volume? Or do they develop a line of luxury cars which will feature a much higher price tag? Or do they try to design a “classic” which will stand the test or time? I guess it ultimately depends on who you want to sell to: basic people, the status seekers, or the investors. Each has a different perspective and each wants something different.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

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 Automotive, Life | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE FLYING STIFF

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 16, 2020

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Time for a little humor.

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

A good friend of mine passed away last year, I’ll just call him “Warren” for the purpose of this essay. He was a good friend and had a great sense of humor. He also had an interesting career which, among other things, he served a stint as a New York State trooper several years ago. One day we took a road trip heading north on I-75, I was driving. We talked about a lot of things, as is common on such trips, but he began to describe some of his escapades as a trooper, such as some of the whacko speeders he had ticketed or arrested over the years. It was all interesting, but he had one story which really caught me off guard…

Wintertime in upstate New York can be frigid as anyone can tell you from that area (why they call it “upstate” as opposed to “northern” New York is beyond me). It was on a bright Sunday afternoon when Warren and his partner were called to investigate a homeless person frozen on the side of a road up in the woods. They drove their squad car up into the hills where lo-and-behold there was indeed a gentleman who had frozen to death next to the road. As the passenger in the vehicle, Warren radioed back to his headquarters to report they had found the deceased and requested the Coroner’s Office to send up an ambulance to take it away. They were told that due to the frigid conditions, the ambulance wasn’t working and they would have to bring the body back down the hill themselves.

Their first inclination was to put the body into the trunk of the squad car, but because it was frozen solid, they couldn’t bend it to fit in the trunk. They next tried putting it in the back seat, but again, because of its frigidity, it would have required them to drive with both car doors open. It was now starting to get late in the day and they realized they didn’t have much sunlight left. Becoming a bit desperate, they noticed a nearby toboggan run where they commandeered a toboggan and strapped the stiff to it. Their idea was to tie it to the back of the patrol car and slowly pull it down the hill. They then proceeded cautiously down the hill which was still rather icy. So far, so good.

About halfway down the hill, Warren happened to look out his side window and saw the toboggan with its passenger running alongside of their vehicle. Evidently, the rope they used to tie it to the car had snapped due to the temperature. All Warren could say was, “Oh, oh, that’s not good.”

Without any brakes, the toboggan began to pick up speed and was quickly in front of the troopers before they could stop it. They then began to give chase down the hill, complete with their lights flashing.

At the bottom of the hill was a beautiful little home where the family was just sitting down for their Sunday dinner. Looking out of their picturesque dining room window, the family began to observe the commotion of the troopers coming down the hill towards them.

By this time, the toboggan had picked up considerable speed and was now racing down the hill at full tilt. As it approached the house, it happened to hit a snow bank thereby causing the toboggan to become airborne much to the horror of the family in the house who watched helplessly as it crashed through their window and into their dining room. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

When the troopers finally arrived outside the broken window, they found the flying stiff had safely landed on what was left of the dining room table (and dinner). Embarrassed by the incident, they apologized profusely to the family and assured them they would make retribution (which they did).

Somehow they managed to remove the toboggan and were finally able to transport it to the Coroner’s office without any further incident. Although the snafu was embarrassing, Warren told me it took them five hours to complete the paperwork as they were howling over the incident.

As for me, I had trouble driving the car as the imagery of Warren’s story had me in hysterics. I have since told this anecdote on more than one occasion to some police friends I know and they assure me such stories are common but are only known by law enforcement personnel as the public probably wouldn’t understand such dark humor.

Now some people might be offended by this story but I can assure you the troopers meant no disrespect. I guess the moral of the story is simply not to visit upstate New York in the dead of winter.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

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 History, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

FLY FISHING AT ST. TIMOTHY’S

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 9, 2020

BRYCE ON LIFE

– My church on the stream.

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

Most of the problems of the world can be solved with just a little fly fishing. Although I have fished most of my life in different locales, I took up fly fishing about twenty years ago. One of the first things I learned was that casting a fly rod was unlike any other rod and reel I had ever used. It wasn’t a matter of sheer strength but rather a lot of finesse. The rhythmic casting between ten o’clock and two o’clock in a constant manner represents a harmony between rod, reel, line, fly and fisherman. Consequently, there is a certain amount of grace and serenity in fly-fishing. Watching a fly fisherman who knows what he is doing is truly a work of art which is why they constantly cultivate their skills in search of perfection.

Deep sea fishing is fun as you can drink a few beers and chew the fat with your buddies. However, fly fishing requires you to be more independent. Even when you work a stream with a group of your friends, you are essentially on your own and must respect the space of other fishermen. There is a certain amount of protocol to be observed on the stream, a sort of gentleman’s agreement with the Golden Rule being, “I won’t spoil you’re water and you won’t spoil mine.”

More than any other type of fishing I have experienced, fly fishing teaches you patience, discipline, strategy, and how to relax. It’s not merely a matter of casting a hook, but rather making the proper presentation of the fly to the fish. The difference is analogous to eating at a fast food restaurant versus being served a meal by a waiter at a five star restaurant. Trout are notoriously picky eaters. This requires different types of flies and casting techniques in order to carefully present your offering to the fish. I’m sorry, but the brute-force approach simply doesn’t work here.

Fly fishing also requires concentration, particularly as you change flies, which, in a rushing river, can be a very challenging task requiring considerable patience and skill in tying the fly. Then there is the matter of being able to read the river and look for holes where fish may be waiting, or observing the types of live insects the fish are striking at, thereby causing you to select a suitable fly to use. There are countless things to consider as you work a stream which is why it is necessary for you to remain focused if you want to catch anything and avoid an accident. There is a serenity in such discipline, particularly in the outdoors where you commune with nature. The sounds of the river, birds and other wildlife only adds to the ambiance and you become acutely aware you are doing something rather extraordinary here.

Catch and release can be every bit as rewarding as catch and keep. However, there are few things better than cooking a trout on the grill immediately afterwards and joking with your friends about your mishaps in the stream. Sometimes we take a small propane gas grill and frying pan with us so we can cook our catch near the stream. You have to be careful though as you do not want to attract the attention of a hungry bear, but aside from this, freshwater trout cooked this way is simply marvelous.

I hope to continue to work the rivers and streams for several more years and do battle with the rainbows, cutthroats, brooks and brown trout. Even the little ones can cop an attitude and present an interesting challenge, but to land a big one in the wild, not in captivity, is like reaching a state of Nirvana.

Fly fishing is one of the best things I’ve learned to do, and I’m still learning as it is a never ending educational process. I may not be the best angler, but there is something magical about working a stream with your fly rod. As for me, I get to put away the phones and computers, put on my fishing vest, light a cigar, and quietly slip into the chilly waters in search of my adversary. Whether you catch anything or not is immaterial as far as I’m concerned. There is something about watching the sun squint through the trees, casting long shadows over the melodic rhythm of the river; something quite spiritual. Entering the stream causes you to put things into a different perspective and suddenly all of your problems become minuscule. The solitude of fly fishing offers the fisherman a place for peaceful introspection, far better than any church I have attended, which is why I often refer to the river as “St. Timothy’s.” You may not be able to solve all of your problems by fly fishing, but you sure can tame them.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

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: , , , , | 2 Comments »

THE SOCIAL CHANGES FROM CORONAVIRUS

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 7, 2020

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Is there a silver lining to this panic?

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

I have found the social changes resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) to be fascinating. Most people appear to be staying home, minding their own business, and avoiding human contact either by choice or forced to do so by government regulations. As evidence, there is a groundswell in home improvement projects (just ask the hardware super stores whose profits are soaring). Other people are learning new cooking recipes, surfing the Internet, playing computer games, and watching a ton of television. My brother-in-law tackled a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle while sipping on some rather fine bourbon, and others are getting caught up on their reading. There are even fewer cars on the road, at least down here in Florida. Life has definitely changed since the panic began and the social ramifications are eye-opening.

The people who were asked to work from home or have been furloughed are bored, frustrated, and chomping on the bit to get back to work. When our doors finally re-open, we will likely witness a productivity boom the likes of which we haven’t seen since World War II. Likewise, children are restless and want to return to school. It is interesting to watch Americans react to the shutdown. No, this is certainly not a vacation or holiday as people are sensitive to their ability to generate income and have become rather restless.

One area I found particularly noticeable in neighborhoods is the need for human interaction. First, I have never seen so many people walking or bicycling around the neighborhood, be it alone, as a couple, or with kids and pets. I didn’t realize how many dogs there were in my neighborhood. I also see people walking around who I haven’t seen in a number of years, and frankly, I thought they had moved out of the neighborhood.

Most interesting is how people do not hesitate to stop and talk with their neighbors, usually at the end of a driveway or in a front yard. The virus has caused us to become more neighborly, to ask about each other, if everything is okay, and to lend a helping hand when necessary. Kindness and consideration seems to be the order of the day and a renewed sense of neighborly responsibility.

Since the restaurants and bars are closed, we are seeing people get-together, not in large parties, but simple get-togethers to talk and even play cards. Maybe bridge and pinochle will finally make a come back. Needless to say, the consumption of alcohol has increased and the stores are doing brisk business. People may not be able to get a drink at night, but if government regulators ever close liquor stores, there would doubtless be an open rebellion.

This phenomenon of neighbors becoming reacquainted with their neighbors is healthy for communities as Americans do better when they pull together in times of crisis. This reminds me of the classic 1941 Frank Capra movie, “Meet John Doe,” starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyk, whereby Cooper’s character goes on the radio to promote the concept of “love thy neighbor.” This results in a social movement whereby people renew friendships with their neighbors and help one and other. This becomes the basis for forming “John Doe Clubs” across the nation. It’s an entertaining film with an important message. It’s also vintage Capra.

Yes, I am aware we are suppose to practice “social distancing,” and I believe my neighbors understand this. I just find it interesting how the virus has forced people out of hiding and caused them to think about their neighbors, to lend a hand, to pick up and deliver supplies, or some small menial task. It is refreshing to watch. Maybe there is a silver lining to this panic after all.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

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 Healthcare, Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

THE COMPLICATIONS OF AGE

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 5, 2020

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Why are we faced with so many problems?

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

I have discovered a new Bryce’s Law, to wit: “The older you get, the more complicated life becomes.” This came to me recently as I spoke with some contemporaries who have complained about the burdens accompanying age. I’m not talking about physical pain but rather the hectic pace of today along with the social ramifications accompanying it. I have one friend who is at war with his cable company who has not properly credited his account after overcharging him for several months. Another friend complains about the service policy of his two year old car, evidently nothing is free. And others express dissatisfaction with customer service issues or perhaps traffic has become overbearing or they are simply tired of waiting in lines, etc.

As for me, I have noticed physicians are less inclined to speak with you, the patient, and want you to go to a web site for follow-up questions, such as those regarding a diagnosis. I’m sorry, but it is not very “user friendly’ and I’m less inclined to visit a doctor again if I cannot speak to him. And as you get older, your patience grows thin to the point you want to blow your stack.

I believe as we grow older we assume more responsibilities, e.g., we purchase homes, boats, recreational vehicles, investments, etc.; we assume new responsibilities in our work requiring new skills; we have to fight with people at work, in our neighborhood, or perhaps in a nonprofit, and; children compound the problem as we may love them, but they take up considerable time and attention. We have to maintain all of this, which is not a problem when we are younger, but after the age of 60 we start to wonder why we do the same things over and over again. Maintaining all of these things requires considerable patience, something we start to lose over time.

We find we hate voice mail, sitting in traffic, ordering products on-line, communicating with idiot customer service reps, robo-calls, mysterious invoices for products we know nothing about, on-line banking, and an endless barrage of advertisements on television, none of which are aimed at our age group. Basically, we feel neglected and ignored. Normally we would argue and fight back, but now we’re too tired to do so. Because people have worn us down, we are less likely to be adventurous, and less likely to assume risk. We just do not want to step on any more meadow muffins.

And we finally stop and ask ourselves, “What the hell am I doing?”

The answer becomes rather obvious, we learn to keep things simple, the old KISS approach (Keep It Simple, Stupid). No, we no longer want to rip up and remodel the kitchen. It will keep. No, we no longer need the fancy sports car, just something that is easy to maintain and offers decent fuel efficiency. No, we no longer yearn to visit Timbuktu as we no longer want to drag all of our flotsam and jetsam with us, and what about the grandchildren, and besides, who is going to watch our pets?

No, “simplify, simplify, simplify,” is our mantra, and the only way to maintain our sanity.

Just remember, “Youth is our only true vacation in life, and our most unappreciated.” (another Bryce’s Law)

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: , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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