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This Is A Golf Ball!

Does this fall under the heading of blogging humor?

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I always like the “behind-the-scenes” of movies and TV. The true fundamentals of how they do it. Do you remember the lion at the beginning of some movies?

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This is Leon the Lion. Some MGM executive came up with the roaring idea to have Leon become their signature beginning of each movie. This picture taken in 1928 shows the behind-the-scenes.

It took Leon one take to step on on those crates, look in the camera, and roar. I wonder how they found the production staff willing to film Leon. That roaring lion that is still used in movies was a well executed plan.

Recently I decided to get back into golf. I took a lesson last week and also played a round. I told the pro that I would understand if he started the lesson out with, “this is a golf ball“. Starting out with the fundamentals. The first lesson was using only one club and was about the details like stance, elbow positioning and even how I finished the shot.

Admittedly, I was a bit sore the next day. Using body parts I had not used in a while!

So in discussing the fundamentals of fitness, we start out by remembering the kid who calls from his bedroom, “Hey Grandma, how about another grape soda?”.  I wonder what the script said for that actor. Do you think “need young actor who looks out of shape“?

That is why I perked up when a saw a study/article in the American Heart Association Journal (Here) titled Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Life Expectancies in the US Population.

Condensed down, the authors simplified how to prolong your life expectancy by more than a decade? Their basic suggestions to a behind-the-scenes look to extending your life? Following these five healthy habits: never smoke, maintain a healthy body-mass index, keep up moderate to vigorous exercise, don’t drink too much alcohol, and eat a healthy diet.

According to the study, if you follow these five lifestyle recommendations at age 50, compared with not adhering to any of them, women pick up an additional 14 years of life expectancy, while men live an additional 12.2 years. How about that!

The simple fundamentals of extending life…follow a healthy lifestyle. And maybe not be a camera man for a roaring lion?

 

For pic o’ day… we all need encouragement!

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Some Financial Planning?

 

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This is a picture of a first class cabin aboard the RMS Titanic. They built that ship with true luxury in mind. But when I look at this picture, I think, “did it really matter?“.

I decided to just briefly revisit the topic of Social Security. I promise to be brief! You might think that filing for social security is way out there, or it does not matter because it will not be there when you retire anyway. Or, you have already filed and it does not matter now.

Many probably think… social security  “does it really matter?“. And that reaction makes sense because of the reasons above. So, let me just mention the math.

First things first. If you want to set up your social security account to watch your personal “fundage“, you can go to this social security site  (HERE) and input your information and follow-up to watch your personal account build up. As a disclaimer, I have not done it yet, because I just do not feel like following the directions right now.

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This article (here) from Schwab.com is as good a summary on social security benefits, as I have found. It weighs opting for Social Security early, versus waiting until full retirement age. And it gives a table to consider, if you wait until age 70. (If you wait until 70, you receive 132% of your retirement per month payment)

This article also discusses why you might want to opt for an early social security retirement. Factors to consider include: 1.Your cash needs. 2. Your life expectancy and break-even age. 3. Your spouse’s benefits. (which also discusses when you might be entitled to those benefits) 4. Whether you are still working.

Are you curious about the maximum social security amount that you could receive. Could you live on that in retirement? That’s why I posted this on a Friday. Something to think about!!!!

Have a great weekend and I hope it is a special Mothers Day. I am so looking forward to seeing my mom!

And for pic o’ day…this is just craziness:

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The Story of “Chipper Dean”

It’s Friday! That means positivity and that I can blog on anything. And yes…I am positive that positivity is a word!

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Unbridled positivity!

I always wanted a nickname. But, I learned early on that you cannot give yourself a nickname.

My full name is Joel Dean Bieber. As a little kid, I wanted to be called Chipper Dean Bieber. I cannot say why. Maybe from the RCA dogs Nipper and Chipper?

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My parents wanted to teach me how to introduce myself and shake hands. So, they would tell me to introduce myself to an adult. I would stick out my hand and say, “Hi, I’m Chipper Dean” and my parents would immediately correct me and tell the confused person, “That’s not his name!“. How can you be angry at Chipper?

As a sixth-grader, I was the manager for the junior high and high school basketball team. They all had this “thing” where they would transpose their first and last name letters. For instance, Rob Dibbert would be called Dob Ribbert. So I called myself Boel Jieber. (Bowl Jeeber) No one called me Boel Jieber…thankfully!

When I went to college, I refused to wear glasses, and my contacts hurt my eyes. So, I was constantly asked, “Why are you squinting?”. On the back of my fraternity shirt I put “Squint” as my name. Again no one called me Squint… you probably are getting the continual theme here.

I guess I could now try to call myself Happy Joel. However… again… no one would!

Have you ever heard someone describe themselves as “I’m a people person” or “I’m a real salesman“. I don’t think you can say that about yourself either.

Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver or gold“. Today we would say that a good reputation and respect are worth more than silver and gold.

I guess trying to give myself a nickname is much like trying to tell someone about your character or reputation. It’s what others think about you…not how you describe yourself.

Every day, I am working on my name in my personal and professional life.

And I have to sometimes remind myself of that when driving! Right?

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I hope you have a great weekend! These are the good days!

 

The Controversy of Choosing to Die

This blog reminds me of the expression of the dog trying to catch a fly. I think you might have this same expression at the end. Most of the time, I like to write on positivity. Once you read the article and blog, you tell me!

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At age 104, scientist David Goodall has decided to end his life. At BBC.com, he details why he is ready. According to the article, the well-known ecologist and botanist is not suffering from a serious illness, but he now wants to end his life. Why? Because of his diminishing independence.

David Goodall has bid farewell to his home in Australia to fly across the world. He reports that “My feeling is that an old person like myself should have full citizenship rights including the right of assisted suicide“.

He told ABC News that he hoped that people would understand his decision. “If one chooses to kill oneself then that’s fair enough. I don’t think anyone else should interfere.”

This is how he looks now, and this lady is accompanying him on his trip to Switzerland. That’s where assisted suicide is legal.

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He looks fully functional, but he feels like he has had enough. The article details all the things that he has done recently, including editing a 30-volume-book on the topic of Ecosystems of the World.

I thought I would post this as a topic today because it deals with something that most people want to ignore… death. Plus, there are true differing opinions on whether a person should be allowed to determine the choice of when they die… versus leaving death to determination by God. There is a lot packed into that last sentence. Pretty intense!

I found this article to be extremely interesting because this man is not terminally ill. He just feels as though he has had enough.

And now, I want to lighten up the blog a bit. So……

For pic o’ day… who doesn’t want a pony?

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The Story of Chef Ed

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Those food directions crack me up!

I start out with a food quote because I was reminded by Uncle D about a food story for Our Blog. The story of Chef Ed. Several years ago, Uncle D and I met Chef Ed. He had amazing dreams of a large restaurant and catering business in Virginia Beach.

We showed up for the opening day of his restaurant named “The Rotisserie“.  It was packed. The food was good. He had chickens turning on the rotisserie and Chef was milling about the crowd with a smile on his face, making sure everyone was enjoying the good food.

Over the next year, we would go into the restaurant about once a week. I noticed that there were some empty booths and Chef looked a bit tired. Then one day, we walked in and immediately noticed…. the chickens were not turning on the rotisserie. Dennis pointed it out and we both shook our head.

Sure enough, the restaurant was closed within a month. And now, when we see a business that seems to be failing, we use the metaphor that, “it looks like the chickens have stopped turning on the rotisserie“.

It kinda makes me a bit sad to type that story. And I do not know what Chef Ed is doing today. I hope he has continued to pursue his dream.

In my life, I have experienced difficulties and failures. But I have tried to learn from those failures; pick myself up; just keep trying; not dwell in the past; and “get the rotisserie turning again”.

By the way, do you mind if I throw another food pic o’ in right here?

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Bobby Ukrop recently told me about the advice that his father would always give him. Whether it was about sports or life… “get in there and just make something happen“.

These are the good days!

 

And for pic o’ day, I had to stay in theme. Hahahahahaha!

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What Is Your Passion?

What does your eye doctor think of your eye sight, if they send you this kind of appointment reminder?

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Just sayin’!

Several years back, I was attending a seminar on law and legal marketing. One of the first speakers started his speech by saying that he was going to tell us his secrets for Internet marketing, but was not worried about utilizing them and taking away business. He reasoned that  the majority of us would either be too lazy, or too consumed with our work to follow through on what had made him successful.

Honestly, his speech ticked me off a little. I guess he got my competitive nature riled up. As I thought about what he was saying, it made me realize there was a better way of doing things… but like this fellow in this picture, no matter how hard I worked,  I had lots to learn. There was a better way to do things!

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At the time, that lawyer was one of major Internet marketers in the country. He had his website everywhere. Recently, someone mentioned him to me. That made me realize that I had not seen any of his marketing for a while; that his website was not reaching me. What had happened to him? He is still out there, but it made me think.

A book that I am listening to on Audible, in my car, is written by and also read by Gary Vaynerchuk titled Crushing It!  The book  just came at the end of January At the beginning of the audio book, the author acknowledges that he was going to be adding to it, as he read the audio portion. He noted that technology and marketing had already changed so rapidly, since he had written the book.

I think that’s why the earlier mentioned lawyer was not in my stream of consciousness anymore. He probably has not managed to keep up. It really was not about a competitor catching up to him.

At the Firm, we constantly challenge ourselves to be better. Not just be processors. (I think this coffee server might have just been processing. Right?)

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As Gary Vanderchuk says, “there are entrepreneurs and there are ‘wantreprenuers‘”. Follow your thrill and passion and you will find the “fulfill”. The financial reward will follow the passion. If someone simply wants money, they will not be successful. At some point their “Want To” will run out.

Our motivation and passion can be helping people, beating insurance companies, constantly learning, and seeing something different every day. If someone comes to work to simply get on Facebook or ask everyone how their weekend was, then they probably are not following a passion. It’s just a job to them. Ultimately, their “Want To” is going to run out and make them search for something else.

Coach Vince Lombardi knew how to challenge people. Here is one of his quotes that fires me up! “The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you are willing to pay the price”.

I am challenged by Martha Washington’s (1732-1802) mantra for life, “I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances“.

It’s Our Monday! It’s going to be a great day! I dare an insurance company to deny today!

And finally, for our pic o’ day, I guess this is an example of someone who may enjoy making cakes… but still be processing what someone says to put on their cakes? The definition of literally:

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A Life in Full

I want to start with a bit of humor, because it’s about to get serious!

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And now to the real!

I recently saw a “religious” post on Instagram. It was a selfie of a man with a caption that basically said, “I was just kicked out of a bookstore because they caught me putting all of the Bibles in the fiction section”. There were lots of hearts expressing approval, and expressive comments laughing at the humor of the post.

I have seen several posts on social media that express the idea that there is no God. There is a large movement that believes that it is intellectual to question the existence of God. Many say that they believe in science instead. Poor and desperate people are “believers”. Those in prison, and especially those on death row, only believe in God because they are “cramming for finals”.

I am not going to spend the space of this blog in defending my beliefs. Instead, I would like to write about what I experienced on Monday, as a response to all those who believe that Bibles belong in the fiction section. It’s really a way to remember a wonderful lady.

Monday, I attended the funeral of my aunt at Arlington National Cemetery. She was being buried next to my Uncle Gene, who had been buried there in March, 2016. Here’s a picture of my aunt from that day in 2016; as we were sitting in the waiting area, ready to be called for my uncle’s graveside ceremony.

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On Monday, as we were now waiting to be called for my aunt’s ceremony; her daughter (my cousin) reminded us of why she was being buried next to my Uncle Gene. My uncle had retired from the Navy, as a Commander. At the beginning of his career, they discussed whether she and the family would move, whenever Uncle Gene’s Navy career would change where he was stationed.

At the beginning of his Navy career, she told him that “wherever he went… she would follow“. The family could have chosen her burial at other locations besides Arlington. She had lived many years in Florida. However, they had decided long ago that they would both be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. An expression again of their love and life together. Once again, where he went… she would follow.

While we are all saddened by this loss, we are also lifted by the thought that where Uncle Gene has gone, she has once again followed. The belief that there was a wonderful reunion in heaven.

As we all talked about my aunt, we reminisced about how she lived for her husband; for her children and grandchildren; and for others. On that day in 2016, in that picture above; she knew that there would be a time that she would again see my uncle. On Monday, there was nothing fictional about the certainty of heaven.  A life lived in full.

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch; like me! I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.

 

Whenever I write a serious blog, I always wonder if I should end with our typical pic o’ days. Then I remember how they make me laugh… and of course that’s how we must end the blog!

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A Good Memory From Plants

Today I am starting and ending Our Blog with dog pictures…because they make me laugh!

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Today is the first day of spring. Can I wear white pants yet? Just sayin’

Sometimes I catch myself just thinking about a friend or family member who have gone on to heaven.  I think how I miss them; but I also smile, as I think of good memories.

For instance, I can remember my first bite of cheesecake.  My grandfather ordered it at a restaurant named Johnny’s, outside of Elkton, Maryland. I was eight-years-old and I was having a hard time understanding how a cake could be made out of cheese. Plus, it looked more like a pie. He asked me if I wanted a bite… and I was hooked on cheesecake for a lifetime! In many areas of my life, I am still impacted by my grandfather. Yes I know, not a serious story but… I miss him!

A story posted last year in Huffington Post reminded me of how we can be impacted by others, long after they are gone. The article was titled Woman Pulls Hilarious Plant-Watering Prank On Husband Years After Her Death. The title made me laugh, even before I started to read the content.

Here is a picture of Phedre and Nigel Fitton before she passed away.

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Shortly before she lost her battle to cancer, the 69-year-old asked her husband to keep watering the plants in the bathroom of their South Africa home.

He faithfully did so for several years. Recently, his family assisted him in moving into a retirement home. That’s when the discovery was made. It was pointed out to him by family members that the plants he had been watering at his wife’s request… were made of plastic.

Here is how his daughter described it on her instagram account

Before my mum passed away, she gave my dad strict instructions to water the plants in the bathroom. He’s been religiously watering them & keeping them alive. They look so amazing he decided to take them to his new home, only to discover they are plastic! Can hear my mum chuckling.

In sadness, there is a happy remembrance. I love that story!

And for pic o’ day….

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Helping Each Other

First, let’s start Our Monday Blog with a little spirit, and then on to the story:

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The biggest disease today is not leprosy or cancer. It’s the feeling of being uncared for, unwanted. Of being deserted and alone.” Mother Teresa

Last year, the Washington Post wrote a story titled “He pushed an elevator’s alarm button but no one came, officials say. Weeks later, his body was found“. It is the story of a cry for help… and no one was there.

An 82-year-old man was seen in the parking lot of his Denver apartment building. He was heading to the apartment leasing office. According to the account, he walked to his mailbox, stopped by the leasing office to pick up a few things; and no one knew where he went after that.

He had been experiencing dementia issues, according to his daughter. So, immediately his family was worried. Days went by with no one seeing or hearing from him. They did know that physically he was not capable of walking far from his apartment.

Picture posters and fliers were distributed throughout the Denver area.  Firefighters scoured the area, including even searching five nearby ponds.

A month went by. Finally, maintenance workers at a nearby garage found a decomposed body in an elevator. The body was soon identified as the missing man.

Authorities began to piece together what had happened. At some point, he had stepped inside the parking garage elevator. The reason for that is unknown. Once inside the elevator, he struggled to get out.

In an attempt to seek help, He had pushed the elevator’s emergency button twice over the course of eight minutes…but no one responded.

The electronic records from the elevator’s emergency alarm show that it was pressed at 9:09 p.m. and 9:17 p.m., a day after he had last been seen.

According to officials, pushing this emergency button should have triggered an alert to an elevator monitoring company or the fire department. But no company received the alert and the fire department received no emergency calls from that elevator. No one was there to help.

I cannot end the blog on that story. Instead, here is a more recent story about a random act of kindness in another story from the Washington Post titled At the Waffle House, she cut up a customer’s food for him. It changed her life.

An 18-year-old waitress noticed that her elderly customer was having difficulty cutting up his food. He was having difficulty because his hands did not work well. Without much thought, she says that she “took his plate and began cutting his ham”.

The attached story about her act of kindness also tells how it changed her life. A reminder that helping others in need is actually a way of helping Us!

For pic o’ day today… I feel like I just need to post something completely unrelated. So here goes for all kite lovers. You are the Decider and you Decide!

 

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As Smart as Einstein!

I wanted to give you something to think about in Our Blog.

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For today’s blog, I decided to look online for Albert Einstein’s top ten quotes. I remembered reading those in the past. I was especially looking for quotes on keeping things simple. Then when I googled it, I found a lot more. And even if 55 are too many, number 55 is even a good one. I probably got a little crazy in posting them all… but here they are!

From addicted2success.com comes 55 Mind-Blowing Albert Einstein Quotes.

1. “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

2. “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.”

3. “Truth is what stands the test of experience.”

4. “The only source of knowledge is experience.”

5. “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

6. “There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there.”

7. “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

8. “Human beings must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.”

9. “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”

10. “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

11. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

12. “I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.”

13. “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

14. “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” 

15. “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.”

16. “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.”

17. “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

18. “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”

19. “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”

20. “Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds.” 

21. “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”

22. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”

23. “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”

24. “The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”

25. “Information is not knowledge.”

26. “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

27. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

28. “Without deep reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.” 

29. “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

30. “All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.”

31. “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”

32. “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

33. “You ask me if I keep a notebook to record my great ideas. I’ve only ever had one.”

34. “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

35. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

36. “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

37. “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

38. “The only way to escape the corruptible effect of praise is to go on working.”

39. “The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.”

40. “Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.”

41. “Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.”

42. “A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.”

43. “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

44. “Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.” 

45. “In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep.”

46. “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”

47. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

48. “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.”

49. “The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.”

50. “Most teachers waste their time by asking questions that are intended to discover what a pupil does not know, whereas the true art of questioning is to discover what the pupil does know or is capable of knowing.”

51. “As a human being, one has been  endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what exists.”

52. “Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” 

53. “I very rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in words afterwards.”

54. “Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today’s events.”

55. “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.

And finally… I think this can be classified as more wisdom.

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