Saturday, September 29, 2007

Confucius Says

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.

Today is Confucius Day. Confucius (551 - 479 BC) was a scholar, a teacher, and a philosopher who left 499 short sayings to enrich the world.

We have all heard funny little sayings introduced by "Confucius says," so was he a comedian? Probably not. His philosophy centered around morality and justice, social relationships and sincerity which all sound like very serious subjects.

In observance of this day, we should study his teachings and perhaps incorporate some of them into our own lifestyles.

To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage or of principle.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Well, That's Stupid

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams
Today is Ask a Stupid Question Day, created by teachers in the 1980's. Too often, kids in the classroom did not ask their questions for fear of being ridiculed by their classmates, who were probably not asking their questions for the same reason.

The teachers created this special day to encourage school kids to go ahead and ask.

There is no stupid question! Except, possibly, a question not asked. Christer Romson

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Monday, September 24, 2007

L'Oiseau Bleu

Today is National Bluebird of Happiness Day. I found a reference to this special day, but no official information, so is it really National Bluebird of Happiness Day? In the spirit of the little blue bird, I choose to believe it is.

My introduction to the bluebird of happiness was a play I read in high school, L'Oiseau Bleu by Maurice Maeterlinck for which he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1911. If I remember correctly 40+ years after reading the play, children searched far and wide for the bird and finally found it in their own yard. I apologize if I'm wrong, but it's a nice story and I choose to believe that is the story.

The little bird symbolizes peace of mind. If you, too, choose to find happiness in your own back yard and enjoy the peace of mind it brings, you might want to look into The Bluebird of Happiness Forum.

There was also a song popularized by Jan Peerce in the late 40's.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

International Rabbit Day

Though not everyone agrees, International Rabbit Day is observed on the fourth Saturday in September. In the UK, the day is September 25, so get ready.

We often have bunnies in our backyard. They munch on our long grass before it is mowed. They are not too shy, and rarely run off even when we go outside. However, when the lawnmower is cutting down their feast, they stop
grazing and, fast as a rabbit, take for the fence until that machine racket is gone.

Rabbits are social animals, and they like other rabbits and people, but not lawnmowers. Be kind to rabbits today, because it is their day. They can be playful, as you can see by the picture of the bunny safe on the other side of the fence. I do not know who took this picture. I got it in an email. It is signed, but I cannot read it to give proper credit. Sorry.

My 10-yr-old granddaughter raised New Zealand rabbits for 4-H last year and won first prize for Best of Breed. She was so proud to stand among the other winners -- all teenagers. We were proud, too.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Better Business Bureau Dispute Resolution

If you have a complaint with a product and the company is not responding satisfactorily, the Better Business Bureau may be able to help. BBB Arbitration is one dispute resolution process without lawyers that is fair for both the consumer and the company.

In the 80's I trained to be an Arbitrator, then later to be a Senior Arbitrator, and I heard cases for several years. This is a volunteering experience I highly recommend. It is interesting, fun, and the process gives unhappy consumers an opportunity to correct problems.

Both the company and the consumer present a case for the arbitrator to make a decision. Sometimes it was clear the consumer had a valid point the company just did not address. Other times, however, the company had tried everything to correct the problem, but the customer could not be satisfied.

Satisfaction was sometimes as easy as just knowing someone was listening.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Do You Believe in Good Fortune?

Today is a good day for Chinese food because, well, Chinese food is good every day.

Then be sure to eat the fortune cookie because today is Fortune Cookie Day. Those crunchy little Chinese cookies were first served in California. It's beginning to sound a little suspicious, especially considering the Fortune Cookie Day is also claimed in April, and again in June and July, and even again in August. Just in case you don't have time to go to a restaurant, get your fortune online at one of several online fortune cookie sites. And are we supposed to believe the little paper in that suspicious cookie? I think not.

Good thing today is also Defy Superstition Day. It is a superstition, isn't it, to believe in a good message found in a little Chinese -- I mean -- Californian cookie? But wait. What if the little slip of paper says "Good news will come to you by mail," which is exactly what it did say when I clicked on my online cookie. Do I wait by the mailbox? What if I don't get a letter? Maybe it will be an e-mail.

Well, luckily, today is also Positive Thinking Day so I'll just wait and know the good news will come my way. Norman Vincent Peale, the champion of positive thinking, said, "We tend to get what we expect."

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Read Any Good Books Lately?

September 8 is International Literacy Day designated by UNESCO in 1965.

The objective is to emphasize the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies. There are nearly 800 million adults around the world do not know how to read, and 2/3 of those are women. More than 100 million children have no access to education. How tragic.

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.
Margaret Fuller

To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.
Victor Hugo

A home without books is a body without soul.
Marcus Cicero

Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.
Mary Schmich

Support Literacy. It is important for all of us.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Extra! Read All About It!

Today is newspaper carrier day. This day honors anyone who was ever a carrier. Almost everyone my age knows someone who was once a carrier.

In 1833, The New York Sun advertised for an unemployed person to vend the paper. Ten-year-old Barney Flaherty was hired when he qualified by throwing the paper into the bushes.

Now, the paper is often delivered by being thrown from a car. On cold days, the heat can be turned on; on warm days, the air-conditioning.
Garry's first job was as a newspaper carrier, and he had no such comforts, riding his bicycle on such a long route in three Buffalo, NY, winters. Brrrr . . .

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Number, Please

In the beginning of telephone operators, before there were dials, operators were needed to connect the caller with the called. The operators were teenage boys -- and they were known to be rude and unruly. Can you imagine? Teenage boys, rude?

On September 1, 1898, Emma McNutt (also known as Emma M. Nutt) was hired as the first female telephone operator.

Young women, whose employment opportunities in the 1880's were limited at best, became eligible to connect callers, dispense news, weather, sports and more, and test trunk lines and splice cable. But they were considered only if they were prim and proper, obedient, virtuous, and single. An operator could not be married and employed.

Emma started a trend. Operators were women. In the 40's, there were 350,000 telephone operators and they were women. My first regular job was as a switchboard operator, not with the phone company, but in a small, family-owned motel. I was a teenager, but I wasn't a rowdy boy, and I was always polite. The switchboard was a wall unit of holes that I connected with cabled plugs. It was kinda fun connecting with the plug and disconnecting by pulling the cable.

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