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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

PUSH BUTTON GRIEVANCES

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 10, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Our Pavlovian response to irritants.

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

I find it interesting how people tend to have knee-jerk reactions to certain things. It’s kind of like a Pavlovian response we turn to in certain situations, particularly as we get older. For example, years ago when I visited my grandparents in Buffalo, New York, my grandfather would automatically go into a tirade if he heard on the radio about crime rising in the area or taxes rising, a common conundrum in New York state. This would automatically trigger a response from my grandfather who would say, “And you know who pays for that don’t you? Your grandmother and me!”

If I heard this expression once, I must have heard it a thousand times over the years as it left an indelible impression on me. So much so, when I hear something similar on the radio while I’m driving around town, I find myself saying, “And you know who pays for that don’t you?”, and I start to laugh.

I think we all have certain hot buttons which trigger some sort of an outcry, mostly things that irritate us one way or another. For example, I know a couple in my neighborhood who is quick to point out the horrible color their next door neighbor painted his house with, a ghastly dark blue. “Do you believe how horrible that looks?” I have been asked several times over the last three years since it was painted. Every time I act as if the question is new to me.

My mother has made a house in the neighborhood a pet peeve of hers. Whereas it was a handsome and well maintained house in the past, the new owners have turned it into a perpetual project whereby something is always being modified or remodeled, be it inside or out. Interestingly, they never seem to get it right, causing the house to lose its charm. Consequently, whenever we pass the house today, my mom is likely to say, “What in God’s name are they thinking of?”

There are, of course, many other push button expressions to convey our displeasure. For example, when my wife was in high school, her mother would say to her or her sisters, “You’re not going out dressed like that are you?” or “You didn’t pay money for that did you?” Women may say something catty about another woman they don’t like; e.g., “Ugh! I hate her.” Guys are a little more colorful, referring to someone as “What an idiot” or something much stronger.

Mothers are notorious for pushbutton expressions, such as, “You can plant potatoes in those ears” or “Eat your vegetables or you’ll wear them” or “You can put your eye out that way.” Another favorite is, “Stop it or you’ll go blind.”

We also see this phenomenon in the area of politics. For example, when liberals hear a reference to President Trump, they instantly respond that he is a racist, a fascist, or is xenophobic. Again, this is a Pavlovian conditioned response requiring no thinking. Ask them what he said or did to trigger their reaction and they won’t remember, but they are sure he is a a racist, a fascist, or is xenophobic, even if they do not understand what the labels mean.

I have heard these expressions so often, perhaps we should consider numbering them, thereby saving us time and effort. In a way, it reminds me of the old story where a man is sent to prison. As the newbie, he asks his cellmate if he knows any jokes to pass the time. The cellmate says, “Here in prison, we’ve heard all of the jokes a million times. So, instead of repeating them, we’ve numbered them to save time. Here watch this…”

The cellmate yells “97” from his cell which results in gales of laughter from the other prisoners.

“Wow, that’s pretty impressive,” the newbie says, “Can I try one?”

“Sure, be my guest.”

“82,” he yells out from his cell. Unfortunately, nobody responds, not even a chuckle.

“Try another,” the cellmate encourages.

“51,” he yells. Again, no response.

Frustrated the newbie tries multiple numbers, “162”, “25”, and “13.” Again, dead silence.

To which the cellmate observes, “Well I guess it goes to prove, some people can tell a joke, but others cannot.”

I’m not sure we should number our grievances this way, as I believe we take comfort in airing our displeasure to others, thereby building consensus of opinion. Besides, someone will inevitably find a way to make money off such a numbering convention, “And you know who pays for that don’t you?”

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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2018 YEAR-END WRAP-UP

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 20, 2018

BRYCE ON BRYCE

– My most popular columns and audio segments this year.

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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 2019. 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 site alone, I do not believe this is the case.

Since this was an election year, most of my top articles were political in nature. What follows is based on my “hits” by my readers.

My top columns for the year were:

1. THE ELEMENTS OF SOCIALIZATION (May 3) – This was far and away my most popular column, not just in America but overseas as well, particularly in India and, No, it wasn’t political in nature.

2. 2018: AS FLORIDA GOES, SO GOES THE COUNTRY (Nov 5) – This was published the day before the midterm elections, which perhaps explains its popularity.

3. 2018 AMENDMENTS TO THE FLORIDA CONSTITUTION (Sep 13) – This was one of the few articles available which attempted to clearly explain the Florida legislation. It was heavily referenced during election time.

4. CHINKS APPEAR IN THE DEMOCRATS’ ARMOR (Sep 26) – Unlike the main stream media, this column was one of the few to note the weaknesses in the Democrats prior to the election.

5. FAREWELL TAMPA BAY TIMES (Apr 10) – This explained my rationale for cancelling my subscription to “Florida’s Best Newspaper.”

6. WHY ARE THE DEMOCRATS TURNING TO SOCIALISM? (Jul 10) – Discussed how the party had turned even further left than before, going well beyond “Progressives.”

7. THE POLITICAL EPIPHANY OF #WalkAway (Jul 19) – Described a new movement of people turning away from the Democrats as it is believed the party betrayed their trust.

8. THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LOSERS (Aug 21) – A sports piece describing problems with the NFL.

9. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO VOTE FOR THE DEMOCRATS IN NOVEMBER? (Oct 4) – describes the dangers involved with voting for the Democrats.

10. A NEW DIGITAL DIVIDE (Aug 7) – Discusses the adverse effects of technology on reading and writing.

HONORABLE MENTION

ARE DEMOCRATS EVIL? (Oct 10) – raises an area of concern by Democrats concerned with how they are depicted.

THE 2018 ELECTIONS ARE OVER, NOW WHAT? (Nov 8) – Some predictions following the 2018 midterms.

SAYONARA HUFFINGTON POST (Feb 5) – describes why I left the publication.

AUDIO SEGMENTS ON YOUTUBE

I 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. THE POLITICAL EPIPHANY OF #WalkAway (Jul 19) – this was very popular among members of the movement, hence its high rating here.

2. PRIDE RENEWAL TOUR (Apr 25) – I was particularly glad to see this become popular as it was based on a seminar I gave regarding morality earlier this year. Highlights from the program are included.

3. IN PRAISE OF POLKA MUSIC (May 17) – I was pleased to see this off-beat column get recognition. It was just plain fun to do.

4. CHINKS APPEAR IN THE DEMOCRATS’ ARMOR (Sep 26) – this segment, like the written version, did very well. Unlike the main stream media, this was one of the few to note the weaknesses in the Democrats prior to the election.

5. MAYHEM IN THE WHITE HOUSE? (Sep 12) – Provides an explanation of why the Democrats attack President Trump.

6. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO VOTE FOR THE DEMOCRATS IN NOVEMBER? (Oct 4) – This did equally well as the written version. It describes the dangers involved with voting for the Democrats.

7. THE BOSTON GLOBE CALLS FOR WAR AGAINST TRUMP (Aug 15) – Describes the campaign created by the Boston Globe to have the main stream media attack President Trump.

8. WHAT OTHER FRATERNITIES CAN TEACH FREEMASONRY (Feb 9) – An unusual piece aimed at making suggestions for improving Freemasonry.

9. TIME TO END THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION (Dec 4) – A recent segment urging an end to this colossal waste of time.

10. WHY ARE THE DEMOCRATS TURNING TO SOCIALISM? (Jul 10) – Another segment which complemented the written version. It discusses how the party had turned even further left than before, going well beyond “Progressives.”

HONORABLE MENTION

CNN’S JIM ACOSTA BUTTS HEADS WITH THE PRESIDENT (Nov 9) – Discussed the incident which caused Acosta being banned from the White House.

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

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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CHASING APRONS

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 19, 2018

BRYCE ON NONPROFITS

– What is more important, the institution or our vanity?

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

As a follow-up to my recent column on “Do Just One Thing,” I want to describe another problem involving nonprofit organizations, and that is “Chasing Aprons.” This is an expression derived from Freemasonry, the ancient fraternity. For those unfamiliar with the Craft, it is customary for Masons to wear a plain white leather apron at our meetings, symbolizing the aprons worn by workmen years ago. We are admonished there is nothing more ancient or honorable than the plain white apron, yet there are other more decorative aprons awarded as gifts to Masonic officers. Over the years, such aprons have become coveted as a means of identifying a Mason of influence. Unfortunately, some Masons desperately pursue these ornate aprons only to denote their authority, not for accomplishing anything of substance, hence the expression “Chasing Aprons.”

The Masons are not alone in this regards as I have seen similar situations in other nonprofit groups. For example, I remember attending a party when I moved into my neighborhood and a man approached me with some swagger saying, “Hi, I’m John Doe, President of the homeowner association” (it was kind of like, “Hi, I’m the Head Raccoon”). He winked at me, then turned away to glad hand someone else. Frankly, I burst out laughing as he thought he was impressing me. In reality, this same gentleman ran the homeowner association right into the ground and nearly bankrupted it.

At some of the I.T. related associations I was involved in, there would be the usual officer titles, such as President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, but then there are higher titles such as “Division Director” as you now oversaw several chapters as opposed to just one. There are other names for this, such as “District Deputy” or “Inspector,” but you get the idea. Such titles denote a loftier position and are either given to people to perform a legitimate responsibility or awarded as gifts to cronies.

I have seen people “Chasing Aprons” in just about every nonprofit group I’ve been involved in, be it fraternal, political, professional, educational, even in sports clubs, such as those related to baseball, softball, football and soccer.

I have found people who covet such titles tend to be more consumed with the title, and less about the responsibility associated with it. This is essentially no different than in business where people yearn for a job title for political reasons as it will look good on a resume. I tend to see such people as rather shallow. They never accomplished anything of substance in their life, so the appeal for recognition through titles and aprons is irresistible to them. Whenever I run into people like this, who obviously don’t know what they are doing, I tell others to give the person the title or apron and get them out of the way as they will only inhibit progress.

As an aside, I wonder how many people would volunteer their service if there wasn’t a title or apron involved? It would be an interesting experiment to see if people care more about the institution they belong to or are in it for themselves.

Obviously, this is all about the human ego. In Freemasonry, we are taught the importance of the title of “Brother” as it is a fraternity, a Brotherhood. There are many other impressive sounding titles associated with the Masons, but nothing more important than the simple designation of “Brother” and the plain white leather apron.

Just remember, being called a “thoroughbred” doesn’t change the fact that a jackass is a jackass.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

Posted in Life, Management, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

DO JUST ONE THING

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 18, 2018

BRYCE ON NONPROFITS

– What can be done to rebuild declining nonprofit institutions?

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

When I travel around town these days, I often run into old friends and neighbors who know my background regarding nonprofit organizations (I served on +50 board of directors over the years), and they like to unload their frustrations on me. For example:

* The president of a homeowner association complained he had to serve a second term simply because they couldn’t find anyone interested in serving on the board and perform some relatively simple tasks. Consequently, they were forced to hire a management company to perform these tasks and the annual dues skyrocketed. Operating an HOA is certainly not rocket science, but if nobody is willing to perform these simple tasks, then they have to be delegated to an outside contractor.

* A local club for a major political party is also having problems attracting people to their Board of Directors. Further, not long ago, participation in parades was well attended and gave the club visibility in the community. This year, they could only attract four people to walk in the Xmas parade, an embarrassingly low number.

* Masonic lodges continue to shrink in size in my area. Instead of addressing the root cause of their problems, membership continues to diminish, and Lodge funds are being drained to maintain aging building structures. It’s just a matter of time before they disappear just like the Odd Fellows did in our area.

* Information Technology related associations for adults have disappeared. Back in the day, professional trade groups enjoyed a major presence in cities, such as the Association for Systems Management (ASM), the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP; formerly DPMA), and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Today, these groups are non-existent in the Tampa Bay area (as well as my old stomping grounds in Cincinnati). ACM does maintain student related chapters, but nothing for adults in my area. Other trade groups are experiencing similar problems.

* Attendance at local churches are down. So much so, some have been running in the red for quite a while and are faced with tough decisions for cutting costs, including the firing of pastors. Further, due to lack of participation, the elders have to serve multiple terms.

* Volunteers for public schools are hard to come by these days, not only for general school activities, but for local Parent Teacher Associations (PTA), and School Advisory Councils (SAC).

* Little League programs have shrunk noticeably. In my area alone, children participating have dropped over 50% over the last few years.

It kind of sounds contagious, doesn’t it? So many different nonprofit organizations with similar problems.

In many cases, nonprofits are run by well meaning people who have some time on their hands, yet haven’t a clue as to how to run a business. Consequently, the execution of simple procedures are neglected, e.g.; the preparation of meeting agendas and budgets, issuing routine treasurer reports, auditing finances, or keeping accurate minutes and membership records. For a list of tasks, see my earlier article, “Managing a Nonprofit Organization.”

I guess I have become somewhat of a therapist on such problems as people continue to confide in me. I try to advise them accordingly, but the sad truth is the people running these organizations are frustrated and exhausted. They desperately want to hand the baton off to others, but there is nobody there.

Now and then in nonprofits, someone with a business background comes in, takes the bull by the horns, and does a good job with an assignment. The problem is, it is assumed the person will do it again next year, and possibly for eternity. With rare exception, this is not what people signed up for. To overcome this problem, ask the person to document the steps they used while they were in charge, perhaps through checklists, thereby documenting the procedure for future reference. The person thereby passes this knowledge on to the group overall, and someone else can perform the responsibility. Bottom-line, execution is fairly easy assuming planning is competently performed.

From my perspective, there are three fundamental problems facing nonprofits:

1. Apathy by both the officers and membership who genuinely do not believe a problem exists. The old maxim applies: “You cannot treat a patient if he doesn’t know he is sick.” Such apathy suggests incompetent leadership from the Board of Directors.

As an aside, I tend to believe our excessive use of personal technology shares part of the blame in terms of apathy as people are more imbued with their technology and are losing socialization skills, including volunteering their services.

2. Organizations are stuck in a rut of repetition. They have been doing it wrong for so long, they believe it is right. Instead of making the programs meaningful and interesting, there is little or no imagination to adapt and improve. Again, this suggests incompetence by the Board of Directors.

3. Failure to recruit and train people to succeed the current administration. People today are less inclined to volunteer as in the past. Now, is the time to personally ask for assistance, indoctrinate them in one aspect, and empower them to conquer problems. Start by asking people to serve on committees. To get the ball rolling, simply make a list of committees and tasks, and get everyone’s name on it. To gain their commitment, have them sign their name.

As to this last point of recruiting support, during my talks to such groups I generally admonish all of the attendees to “Do just one thing.” This is derived from Billy Crystal’s movie, “City Slickers,” whereby Curley (Jack Palance) tells Billy’s character the meaning of life involves “Just One Thing” which we must all figure out for ourselves. In terms of nonprofit organizations, I think I have an answer:

If all members did “Just One Thing” for their club, it would be a better place. I am not suggesting we do anything extremely labor intensive; perhaps it is something as simple as being a greeter at the door, preparing name tags, attending a meeting or social function, helping to write letters, or just helping out in some simple way. If we all did “Just One Thing,” the institution overall would be a better place.

Something that might help is the creation of a “Member of the Year” competition based on points for service, and award prizes or special recognition at the end of the year for their service. It sounds trivial, but people react to such competitions. Simply devise a list of activities with related points, and have people notify an officer of their activities.

Where is it written the club Officers must do all of the work? Sure, they have many responsibilities, but it is the job of the officers to formulate objectives and set the membership to work towards some goals. I am amazed by those members who come to such clubs and are not happy with this or that. For example, how often have you seen a member criticize the club, yet make no attempt to lift a finger to help out? We have developed into a generation of “takers” as opposed to “givers,” and this has to stop. Before you criticize next time, figure out how YOU are going to help solve the problem. Do not be part of the problem, be part of the solution.

I guess the following quote sums it up:

“People can be divided into three groups: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.” – John W. Newbern

It is up to the membership, not just the Board of Directors, to each share in the responsibility of making our clubs successful. If we all did “JUST ONE THING,” be it large or small, think how far ahead we will be.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 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, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

GOODBYE SEARS, FAREWELL OLD FRIEND

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 25, 2018

BRYCE ON LIFE

– We’re going to miss you.

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No doubt you have heard about Sears recently filing for bankruptcy. The one-time retail giant has been facing crippling losses over the last few years which caused vendors to stop shipping supplies to their stores. It now owes billions of dollars which will likely not be paid back.

At one time there were over 4,000 Sears stores throughout North America. That number has dwindled to less than 700 with liquidation sales to begin shortly.

Sears originally started out as a mail order house, then expanded to stores both in urban and suburban areas, but they eventually felt the competition of discount retailers and specialty stores, such as Walmart and Home Depot, and their market share fell. The knockout punch was the Internet, an area they entered too late allowing others to dominate the market.

To me, it seemed like Sears was with us forever. No matter where I lived, there was always a Sears store nearby. It was dependable, consistent, and good value. It was also clean and meticulously organized, making it easy to find whatever you were looking for. If you couldn’t find it, the clerks would be glad to direct you to it and answer any question you might have. As such, the store was like an old, reliable uncle or friend in the neighborhood. You were comfortable in it and, unlike other stores with unthinking clerks, you liked to visit if, for no other reason, than to browse the aisles. This is why I consider this news about the company closing as a sad sign of our changing culture.

As a kid, my brother and I would love to page through the Sears catalog as we approached Christmas time, oohing and ah-hing at the latest toys, and dogear the pages we wanted our parents to see.

Sears was the home of Kenmore appliances, Craftsman tools, and DieHard batteries, products you always had confidence in. A Craftsman tool case was perhaps the most coveted prize to have in your garage. My family bought many a lawn mower at Sears over the years, and had them serviced there as well. Their hallmark was fast, reliable, and dependable service.

The Sears auto repair centers also had a good reputation for reliable work at reasonable prices. If the service man said you needed a new belt on your engine, you knew it wasn’t a con job. Nearby was their key center where you could have a duplicate key made quickly. As a lad, I loved watching the people make keys.

Having lived in Chicago, we were all familiar with the Sears Tower which, at the time was the tallest building in the world. It was a dramatic symbol of stability and strength for the company. Chicagoans would later be shocked when it was sold and renamed the Willis Tower, but even today, natives still refer to it by its original name.

This is why the passing of Sears is so troubling and unimaginable to a lot of us. It was a beloved institution which was trusted, possessed a great reputation and was a pleasure to frequent. We were so confident in its durability that it causes us to reflect on our own frailties. Maybe the problem was they simply overextended themselves and no longer could compete with the discount houses anymore. I find it rather ironic that Sears, which was originally devised as a mail order house, fell prey to the 21st century version of the same; you know, the Internet.

And so we turn another page in our culture.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 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: , , , , | 3 Comments »

MORE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS RUN AMOK

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 23, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

– We need to study all of our history, not just selected chapters.

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

At a recent rally in Lebanon, Ohio (10/12/2018), President Trump happened to bring up the names of the two most famous generals of the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, describing them both as “great.” Liberals accepted Grant’s name as he was the Union general, but were outraged for recognizing Lee as the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Here we have another example of political correctness running amok in this country. Even NBC misquoted the President and was forced to apologize later, but the damage had been done. Liberals were incensed the President would recognize Lee at all, someone they bitterly viewed as a racist.

As I grew up in the north, I was taught the North had their generals, and the South had theirs. The emphasis was on their military tactics and strategies, not their politics. The Union won, the Confederacy lost, and a lot of people died in the process. We recognized the North had generals they were proud of, as did the South, and it basically ended there.

Now, in the 21st century, we are being taught by the Left to never discuss anyone in the Confederate States of America (CSA), as they were all allegedly racist. This is simply foolish as the War between the States, is an epochal event in the development of our country and there are many lessons to be learned. However, liberals would rather have us ignore it as the old racist attitudes of the South are too offensive by today’s standards. I’m sorry, but burying your head in the sand is just plain foolish.

I would remind my liberal friends of a few simple facts about General Lee.

* When war broke out, President Lincoln offered Lee the command of northern forces. However, he turned it down as he couldn’t go against his beloved Virginia.

* Lee had served as Superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point, where many of the cadets were trained and would later serve both the North and the South.

* Lee knew Grant through the Mexican-American War, when Lee was Major and Grant a Lieutenant. At the Appomattox surrender, the two chatted briefly of their days in that war.

* Arlington National Cemetery was Lee’s home prior to the war. Following heavy losses after the Battle of the Wilderness, the U.S. Army Quartermaster commandeered Lee’s home and buried the Union dead there.

* After the Civil War, Lee became the president of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia where he ably served for five years before passing away. To honor him, the college was renamed “Washington and Lee University” and this name carries forward to today.

Regardless of his position on slavery, militarily, historians agree he was a great general, having defeated Union forces many times, particularly in the early part of the war. He surrendered after his losses in the North, Union victories in the South, and the depletion of supplies, making victory untenable.

One little bit of trivia most liberals are unaware of is their beloved U.S. Grant, who went on to switch parties and become a Republican and 18th President of the United States, was a slave owner prior to the start of the war (while he was still a Democrat).

History isn’t always pretty. In fact, it can be quite ugly, but we should study it nonetheless to learn its lessons and avoid making the same mistakes a second time. Instead, Liberals believe this ugly chapter of our history should be removed from the history books completely. This is censorship at its worse.

The Civil War was what it was. We cannot change it by political correctness or deleting chapters. We must look at it in its entirety, warts and all.

I’m just disappointed we have to keep fighting the Civil War over and over again.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 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: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

DON’T YOU FEEL BETTER?

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 19, 2018

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Stop asking. It’s annoying.

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

Some of you will remember a few years ago, I started to clean up my act. This usually happens in your sixties as you start to notice your friends beginning to pass away. I’ve been on this trip for at least three years now. Inevitably, people ask me how I feel. Well, I’ll tell you…

CIGARS

I stopped smoking cigars three years ago as I found I wasn’t really enjoying them anymore. It was an expensive habit which caused me to think about my health. People gave me a lot of “atta boy” compliments at the time as they admired my fortitude to quit. Recently though, somebody asked me if I felt better for staying off cigars for so long. Frankly, No, I didn’t feel any better or worse for it. Shortly thereafter I quietly had a smoke with a friend and felt no different afterwards. I do not smoke as regularly as before, but I will sneak one now and then.

EXERCISE

I’ve been going to the gym regularly now for two years as part of my effort to reduce weight and improve myself physically. I’m still fairly strong but when I’m asked afterwards if I feel better for exercising, I most emphatically answer, “No.” True, my muscle tone is better but I still feel the wear and tear of osteoarthritis, so I certainly do not come out of the gym dancing.

ALCOHOL

I knocked my sugar levels down by cutting fruit juices and soft drinks out of my diet, but I also gave up alcohol in the process. This is perhaps the biggest reason for my loss of weight. I imbibed in a glass of Scotch whiskey now and then as there is no sugar in it, but I certainly missed a quiet beer at the end of the day. Again, I’ve been asked, “Don’t you feel better?” No, not really. My sugar numbers are excellent now, so once in awhile I’ll treat myself to an ice cold Lite beer. I had forgotten how good it tasted.

FOOD

Based on my doctor’s advice, I learned to avoid bread, pasta and sweets. It didn’t bother me to drop the pasta and sweets, but I missed the bread. I haven’t had a Publix sub in probably two years, and I eat mostly protein. I still stick to this regimen, but do I feel any better? Of course not.

WEIGHT

Between the exercise, change in diet and less alcohol, I dropped a significant amount of weight. Do I feel any better from losing the weight? Yes, but I sure do miss the Publix subs. The only problem I encountered along the way was my relatives who started to say I looked too skinny and sickly. You have to remember, these are the same people who encouraged me to lose the weight in the beginning. The lesson here is simple, you cannot win, no matter what you do.

Net, net, net, do I really feel better? Not really. I could keep on knocking myself out concentrating on my health, but I would probably miss the little things in life that make it enjoyable, such as an occasional cigar, a cold libation, and something decent to eat. I guess it is all a matter of moderation.

Now stop asking.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2018 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: , , , , | 2 Comments »

FINDING JESUS

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 2, 2018

BRYCE ON LIFE

– He’ll be back after these words…

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I recently had a friend confide in me that he had found Jesus. Frankly, I didn’t know he was missing. Religion is always a touchy subject, but in the Christian world we still find people who have sudden epiphanies about their faith. I think these are the same people who slept through Sunday School years ago and are just now catching up.

Not long ago, I went back for a high school class’ reunion. I hadn’t seen most of the people in quite some time. Those that were jerks in high school were still jerks as grownups. The people who were “wallflowers” in high school actually turned out quite well. However, what I found particularly interesting were the people who were heavy into alcohol and drugs or had promiscuous reputations in high school had all found Jesus. Some wore prominent crosses around their neck and it was kind of awkward trying to talk to them. When you asked them about what they were doing with their lives, they would inevitably tell you how Jesus had saved them. I never did find out anything else about them. I even had one guy quote me chapter and verse on the evils in the world today. I thanked him for his words but said I needed some more ice for my drink.

I guess the secret to finding Jesus is that you must have screwed up pretty bad somewhere along the line and, in desperation, you turn to the Bible where you have your revelation. What I find disconcerting though is that these people now feel they are authorities of the faith and unless you share their zealousness you are perceived as a heretic. I fail to see how those of us that didn’t screw-up, attended church, and practiced our faith accordingly were somehow not on a par with those who just caught on.

I don’t want to be too harsh on my friends who find Jesus though. After all, I would rather have them study the Bible than continue down a road of self-destruction. But guys please remember this, just because you’ve found the faith, doesn’t mean the rest of us have been napping.

First published: May 26, 2008

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 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, Religion | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

THE PROBLEM WITH PILLS

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 6, 2018

BRYCE ON LIFE

– It’s pop-pop time around the clock.

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The size of the drug culture in our country is truly amazing. We start popping pills as little kids for vitamins and to treat such things as the common cold. As we get older, we take them for just about every ailment we have, be it for mucous, fungus, rashes, infections, aches and pains, or just to get high. Not sure what your problem is? Pop a pill. This mentality has led to the deaths of many entertainers. Instead of dealing with reality, we take a pill to buzz us up.

A few years ago, I was amazed by the number of pills my father took in the morning. It was easily a handful, and I looked at him like he was some sort of chemistry experiment. Since then, I was always mindful of the number of pills I took for whatever reason, and determined to stay away from them.

Lately though, pills have slowly crept into my life. I take a red pill to dry my sinuses, a blue diet pill, a little brown pill for my osteoarthritis. On the weekends, after working in the yard, it is not uncommon for me to pop some Advil to tackle body-aches. If I come down with a cold, it’s pop-pop time. Actually, I think a good Scotch is better medicine.

Whereas I wondered how my father had come to take so many pills, now I find I carry pills of my own wherever I go. And I believe the influx of pills is a disturbing sign of aging. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn the average pharmacist can probably guess your age based on the volume and types of pills you take.

Some people carry their pills in zip-locked plastic bags, others use designer purses and murses (I guess they want to make an impression), and others use well organized plastic trays, be it for the days of a single week, or for a whole month. As to the latter, much time is devoted to sorting pills into such trays. It’s rather impressive the number of pills they can contain, representing a substantial investment in money. Such pills are used for a regular regiment, but for other ailments, such as a cold, a generous backup of pills is maintained in our home base, be it prescription or over-the-counter.

So prevalent are pills in America, I would wager there is probably enough pills in the average household to fill a gallon milk jug. So, the mindset is clear; Got a problem? Pop a pill. Instead of using natural cures, take a pill as the panacea du jour. Want to feel up? Take a stimulus. Need to calm down? Take a depressant. Why I didn’t invest in the pharmaceutical industry years ago is beyond me.

This also explains why we will never find a solution for the opioid problem in this country; pills have become an intrical part of our way of life. Now where is my Fred Flinstone fix for the day?

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

Posted in Drugs, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

DEALING WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 12, 2018

BRYCE ON COPS

– Should you be adversarial or respectful?

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I recently found myself embroiled in a passionate argument about law enforcement. Someone had posted a video on social media showing a man in his car eluding police allegedly after a road rage incident. He refused to stop until he pulled into his driveway at home. The fact he failed to acknowledge police commands and argued loudly when he was caught agitated the police who forced him to the ground and put him in handcuffs. A few of the viewers commented how outrageous the police acted and they would have done likewise in resisting arrest. In contrast, I made the remark the suspect only had himself to blame; had he done as he was instructed, I doubt it would have turned into an ugly episode.

This resulted in a firestorm of comments against me for taking the side of the police. Frankly, I was surprised by the push back. In my defense, I described how I was taught to drive years ago by my father, who said if the police pulled me over, to keep my hands on the steering wheel, do not argue, and treat the officer with respect saying, “Yes Sir” and “No sir.” As the police see a lot of people during the day, they know nothing about me and will naturally approach cautiously. As such, it wouldn’t pay for me to pose a threat to them by being a smart ass.

I found this advice to be invaluable over the years. By acting this way, I was able to talk my way out of a ticket on more than one occasion. Each time, as the officer saw I wasn’t a threat and was heeding his instructions respectfully, I was let go with a simple warning.

After explaining this on the posting, I was accused of being a wimp and should have stood my ground and taken the officers to task. One gentleman claimed it is necessary to resist the police, simply because they are looking for an excuse to impound your vehicle. I have never heard of this before, so I have no way of knowing if this is true or not.

The way I see it, law enforcement has a difficult job, and they meet a lot of strange people in their daily routine, some not exactly playing with a full deck of cards. My philosophy in dealing with the law is to demonstrate that I am not some kook who poses a threat to them. When this is established, I find it is relatively easy to have a rational conversation with them where I can explain my side of the story. Regardless of how I tried to rationalize it, others in the group thought I had behaved cowardly. The only thing I know, I probably get fewer tickets than they do.

In a way, I am reminded of the classic comedy routine by Chris Rock titled, “How To Not Get Your Ass Kicked By The Police.”

What bothered me about this little incident was the total disregard for law enforcement, portraying them as disreputable ogres who are to be fought with, not respected. I recognize not all law enforcement officers are perfect, but to have people openly provoke a confrontation doesn’t make sense to me. Frankly, this adversarial relationship is disturbing as I believe law enforcement serves a vital function for the community and should be appreciated for their efforts. Then again, maybe this is just another sign of our changing times. I grew up in an era when we were taught the police were our friends, but I have a feeling this is a lesson no longer taught. It disturbs me when I hear 29 officers were killed in the line of duty thus far this year (compared to 44 for all of 2017). Frankly, I’m surprised how patient and professional most officers conduct themselves in light of the animosity against them.

Next time you are stopped by law enforcement, keep your cool and act respectful, they are only trying to do their job and not get killed in the process.

P.S. – Perhaps the most imaginative way I’ve heard of someone talking their way out of a traffic ticket was the father of a friend of mine in Chicago years ago. The father, named Al, was a baker and typically worked the late shift. One night, as he was driving home in the wee hours of the morning, he was tired and anxious to get to bed. Consequently, he was driving a bit too fast.

As he passed a billboard, he spied a patrol car hidden behind it, undoubtedly running radar. Seeing the car pull out from behind the billboard, he knew he was going to be ticketed. Thinking fast, he pulled his car over to the side of the road, popped his hood open, jumped out and began jiggling his carburetor (Yes, this was before electronic ignitions). As expected, the patrol car pulled up behind Al’s car and the officer stepped out. Al looked up at him and said, “Oh, thank God you’re here. Something’s wrong with the carburetor and the car was running away on me. Boy, did it scare the heck out of me.”

The officer looked at Al, then the carburetor, and gave him a warning to get the car fixed before he got into an accident. Yes, he let him go. Brilliant, just brilliant, and a great story he told for many years thereafter.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 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 Crime, Law Enforcement, Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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