Saturday, January 23, 2010

SAT today

Let's wish good luck to those taking SAT today.  The SAT as well as Subject Test is administered today.

The next SAT is on March 13th, 2010.


Here are some real Spanish tombstones, with their translations below.

Translation: A good husband and a wonderful father, but a bad electrician at home.

Translation: A tribute from all your children (except Ricardo who did not pay for this).

Translation: Now with the Lord.  Lord, watch your wallet.

Translation: Lord, receive her with the same joy with which I sent her to you.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mommy Test

We have all heard that being a mom is tough. Hey - being a dad is not an easy task either; but for now, let's give that title to moms. Meanwhile, how many of us have heard about the mommy test? Here is something written by a mom.
I was out walking with my then 4 year old daughter. She picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth. I asked her not to do that.

“Why?” she asked.

“Because it’s been lying outside and is dirty and probably has germs.”

At this point, she looked at me with total admiration and asked, “Wow! How do you know all this stuff?”

“Uh,” I was thinking quickly, “everyone knows this stuff. Um, it’s on the Mommy test. You have to know it, or they don’t let you be a Mommy.”

We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, but she was evidently pondering this new information. “I get it!” she beamed. “Then if you flunk, you have to be the Daddy.”

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mom song

Does your mom sing to you? If she could sing, it would be something like this, I guess:

Credits: Norrthland Church

Removing decor

When it comes to removing holiday decorations, I am bit lazy.  I no longer have the same enthusiasm when I put them up - especially since the holidays are over. I thought I was the only person - until I saw this:


1. No - that's not me in that picture.
2. No - I do not have a red jacket.
3. No - my wife never removes the ladder like that
4. No - my wife can never take a picture like this.

Are you still planning to scroll up and double check the picture? OMG!!

Anger and Exasperation

A young girl who was writing a paper for school came to her father and asked,

"Dad, what is the difference between anger and exasperation?"

The father replied, "It is mostly a matter of degree. Let me show you what I mean."

With that the father went to the telephone and dialed a number at random. To the man who answered the phone, he said, "Hello, is Melvin there?"

The man answered, "There is no one living here named Melvin. Why don't you learn to look up numbers before you dial".

"See," said the father to his daughter. "That man was not a bit happy with our call. He was probably very busy with something and we annoyed him. Now watch...."

The father dialed the number again. "Hello, is Melvin there?" asked the father.

"Now look here!" came the heated reply. "You just called this number and I told you that there is no Melvin here! You've got lot of guts calling again!" The receiver slammed down hard.

The father turned to his daughter and said, "You see, that was anger. Now I'll show you what exasperation means."

He dialed the same number, and when a violent voice roared, "Hello!"

The father calmly said, "Hello, this is Melvin. Have there been any calls for me?"

The reply was something like this: **&(*^ ^ ) (**&^  #$$#%% &~_(&$%&^)
 (it's waaay beyond the scope of publishing on this blog. U just have to imagine it).

The young girl understood the difference.

Excuse notes

Below are some excuse notes from parents to the school, without altering the original spelling.

My son is under a doctor's care and should not take P.E. today. Please execute him.

Please excuse Lisa for being absent. She was sick and I had her shot.

Dear School: Please exscuse John being absent on Jan. 28, 29,30, 31, 32, and also 33.

Please excuse Gloria from Jim today. She is administratin

Please excuse Roland from P.E. for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.

John has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his fac

Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part.

Megan could not come to school today because she has been bothered by very close veins.

Chris will not be in school cus he has an acre in his side.

Please excuse Ray Friday from school. He has very loose vowels.

Please excuse Pedro from being absent yesterday. He had (diahre) (dyrea) (direathe) the runs. [words in ()'s were crossed out.]

Please excuse Burma, she has been sick and under the doctor.

Irving was absent yesterday because he missed his bust.

Please excuse Jimmy for being. It was his father's fault.

I kept Billie home because she had to go Christmas shopping because I don't know what size she wears.

Please excuse Jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday.

Sally won't be in school a week from Friday. We have to attend her funera

My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired. She spent a weekend with the Marines.

Please excuse Jason for being absent yesterday. He had a cold and could not breed well.

Please excuse Mary for being absent yesterday. She was in bed with gramps.

Maryann was absent December 11-16, because she had a fever, sore throat, headache and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick, fever and sore throat, her brother had a low grade fever and ached all over. I wasn't the best either, sore throat and fever. There must be something going around, her father even got hot last night.

True love

This is a true love story that took place in Japan

In order to renovate the house, a man in Japan tears open the wall.

Usually Japanese houses have a hollow space between the wooden walls. When tearing down the walls, he found that there was a lizard stuck there because a nail from outside hammered into one of its feet. He sees this, feels pity, and at the same time curious, as when he checked the nail, it was nailed 10years ago when the house was first built.

What happened?

The lizard has survived in such position for 10 years! In a dark wall partition for 10 years without moving, it is impossible and mind boggling.Then he wondered how this lizard survived for 10 years without moving a single step-since its foot was nailed!

So he stopped his work and observed the lizard, what it has been doing, and what and how it has been eating. Later, not knowing from where it came, appears another lizard, with food in its mouth.

Ahh! He was stunned and touched deeply. For the lizard that was stuck by nail, another lizard has been feeding it for the past 10 years...

Such love, such a beautiful love! Such love happened even with this tiny creature ... What can love do? It can do wonders! Love can do miracles!

Imagine? it has been doing that untiringly for 10 long years, without giving up hope on its partner. Imagine what a small creature can do that a creature blessed with a brilliant mind can't.

I was touched when I heard this story and started wondering about relationships between family members, friends, lovers, brothers, sisters. As information and communication technology advances, our access to information becomes faster and faster. But the distance between human beings is it getting closer as well?

Never abandon your loved ones. Treasure the one who loves you!

It's not so easy to find a person who loves you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Writing styles

Below is an analysis I found about various 'email writing styles' across the zodiac belt.  It is said that each zodiac sign has an individual email writing style. Take a look:

Aries (March 21 - April 19): Even if they write mails that contain earth-shattering content, they will break it coolly and with a very run-of-the-mill ‘Hi’ in the subject matter. Expect courteous yet very 'terse' (brief and concise) mails from Arians.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20): These folks have two styles. Either they go the whole hog and pour their hearts out or hardsell themselves, as the case maybe. Or they simply desist from writing the mail if they don’t feel like it. It’s best to expect these extremes from them.

Gemini (May 21 - June 20): For them, an e-mail is an e-mail is an e-mail. What can one say in an impersonal e-mail is their favourite refrain. However, should their mail be crucial for the communication, they will take all pains to communicate the same. Their mails are very professionally written and serve the purpose.

Cancer (June 21 - July 22): Cancerians drip honey and syrup, no matter what the core of the content is. They believe in using the sweetest of vocabulary to get their point across. Expect a deluge of words such as ‘request, kindly, solicit etc words in their mails.

Leo (July 23 - August 22): Even if it’s a one-liner in the mail, there are the stuff that you should store in your ‘do not delete’ folder of your mailbox. They display the same wit, charm and sense of humour even in their mails. Even their official mails never go without the familiar Leo spunky touch.

Virgo (August 23 - September 22): Virgos rarely write without reason. Naturally, their mails are usually ‘reply’ mails and neatly list out all the information they want. They are good at convincing others and it’s a good idea to get them to write mails where one has to express clearly or give excuses for not wrapping up a task.

Libra (September 23 - October 22): 'Terse' is synonymous with their mails. They completely dispense with formalities. Don’t be surprised if their mails just have monosyllables in it. But the best bit is that they do manage to convey the information.

Scorpio (October 23 - November 21): These folks often write mails like there are filling in for a classified ad, where every word attracts some money. So each word in their mail is used after a lot of care. No word that is redundant or expresses an irrelevant idea.

Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21): To get them write mails is a big achievement in itself. They are so off mails that the ones they write are usually to inform that the will call up or that they will stop writing mails. A lazy forward from a Sagit is more like it.

Capricorn (December 22 - January 19): If you can catch a Capri in the right mood, you’ve hit the bull’s eye. They are masters of letter writing and are capable of writing the most delightful mails among all the signs. Keep them your e-mail friends and they’ll make your mailbox richer with their interesting mails.

Aquarius (January 20 - February 18): They’re never too excited about being heard. So writing a mail does demand a valid reason from them. They usually write very official sounding mails and never bother to add even a single personal line, even if it’s their buddy they’re writing in to.

Pisces (February 19 - March 20): Pisceans take to extremes. Either they write nice, interesting long mails or simply write terse ones and getaway. But if you’re lucky to catch them in the right frame of mind, there are going to make e-mailing a pleasure for you.

Does this sound right?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


A son and his father were walking on the mountains.
Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams: "AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"
To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: "AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"

Curious, he yells: "Who are you?"
He receives the answer: "Who are you?"

Angered at the response, he screams: "Coward!"
He receives the answer: "Coward!"

He looks to his father and asks: "What's going on?"
The father smiles and says: "My son, pay attention."
And then he screams to the mountain: "I admire you!"
The voice answers: "I admire you!"

Again the man screams: "You are a champion!"
The voice answers: "You are a champion!"

The boy is surprised, but does not understand.  Then the father explains:
"People call this ECHO, but really this is LIFE.
It gives you back everything you say or do.
Our life is simply a reflection of our actions.
If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart.
If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence.
This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life;
Life will give you back everything you have given to it."

And the moral to this story...

Friendship quotes

Side by side or miles apart, dear friends are always close to the heart.
-Author Unknown

Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color.
Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable.
-Author Unknown

Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget
-Author Unknown

A friend is someone who asks how you are and actually listens to your answer.
-Author Unknown

The difficulty is not to die for a friend, but finding a friend worth dying for.
-Author Unknown

A friend understands even when your thoughts aren't fitting into words.
-Author Unknown

A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.
- Hubbard, Elbert

One of the best, beautiful qualities in a true friendship is to be understood and understand.
- Seneca

True friendship is like sound health, the value of it is seldom known until it is lost.
-Charles Caleb Colton

There are only two people who can tell you the truth about yourself - an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly.
- Antisthenes

You may forget with whom you laughed, but you'll never forget with whom you wept.
- Arab proverb

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
- Camus, Albert

A friend hears the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails -- Anonymous

Secret of the 90/10 Principle

Since last week, I started applying the 90/10 secret to my life. Now, after a week, it's turned ot to be one of the most incredible secrets! After reading it, I asked myself, "Was this written for me?"  It sounded so convincing.  Here is a presentation on the topic.  To better view this presentation, go full screen, and use the Esc button to get out.

For those of you who are reluctant viewing presentations, here is the text for your reading pleasure.  I liked it!
Very few know and apply this secret. The result? Millions of people are suffering undeserved stress, trials, problems, and heartache. They never seem to be a success in life. Bad days follow bad days. Terrible things seem to be constantly happening. Theirs is constant stress, lack of joy, and broken relationships. Worry consumes time, anger breaks friendships, and life seems dreary and is not enjoyed to the fullest.. Friends are lost. Life is a bore and often seems cruel. Does this describe you? If so, do not be discouraged. You can be different!. Understand and apply the 90/10 secret. It will change your life! What is this secret? 10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react.

What does this mean? We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane may be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%.

The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%! How? By your reaction. You cannot control a red light, but you can control your reaction.

Don't let people fool you, YOU can control how you react!

Let's use an example.

You're eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just happened. What happens next will be determined by how you react.

You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the coffee cup over. She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize her for placing the cup to close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt.

Back downstairs you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the bus. Your spouse must leave immediately for work. You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit zone.

After a 15 minute delay and throwing $60 (traffic fine) away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs to the building without saying good-bye. After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase.

Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to going home. When you arrive home you find a small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter.

Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning.

Why did you have a bad day?
A) Did the coffee cause it?
B) Did your daughter cause it?
C) Did the Policeman cause it?
D) Did you cause it?

The answer is D. You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day.

Here is what could have and should have happened. Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say "It's OK honey, you just need to be more careful next time". Grabbing a towel you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase. You come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You and your spouse kiss before you both go to work. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good of day you are having.

Notice the difference? Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended different. Why? Because of how you REACTED. You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90% is determined by your reaction.

Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 secret.

If someone says something negative about you, do not be a sponge. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You do not have to let the negative comment affect you! React properly and it will not ruin your day. A wrong reaction could result in losing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out, etc.

How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you loose your temper? Pound the steering wheel? (A friend of mine had the steering wheel fall off!) Do you curse? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try and bump them? WHO CARES if you arrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the blue car ruin your drive. Remember the 90-10 principle, and do not worry about it!

You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep or get irritated? It will work out. Use your "worrying" energy and time into finding another job. The plane is late. It is going to mangle your schedule for the day. Why take out your frustration on the flight attendant? She has no control over what is going on. Use your time to study, to get to know the other passengers, etc. Why get stressed out? It will just make things worse.

You now know the 90-10 secret. Apply it and you will be amazed at the results!!!

Credits: Stephen Covey

Big rocks

One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget.

As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said,

"Okay, time for a quiz" and he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouth mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. He also produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.

When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?" Everyone in the class yelled, "Yes."

The time management expert replied, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. He then asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?"

By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not," one of them answered.

"Good!" he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?" "No!" the class shouted.

Once again he said, "Good." Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it!"

"No," the speaker replied, "that's not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all."

What are the 'big rocks' in your life, time with your loved ones, your faith, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these big rocks in first or you'll never get them in at all. So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the 'big rocks' in my life? Then, put those in your jar first.

You can do it.  I know you can.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The thief of your dreams

Ever heard the question, "What are you going to be when you grow up?"  Here is something that I came across.
I remember as a small child when we would have these gatherings with either family or friends. Invariably someone would come up and mention my "cuteness" and ask, "What are you going to be when you grow up?"

Well, it started out being a cowboy or some super hero. Later it was fireman, policeman, lawyer... As I grew older my dreams of the future changed. When, at last, I was in college, I was asked, "What will you major in?" Another question designed to find out what I would be when I "grew up."

By then I had my heart set on becoming a preacher as my father before me. So I studied and prepared for that life. I reached success in that endeavor. I was preaching nearly full-time for much of my adult life. Physical disability keeps me from plying my trade full-time any more, but I still am called upon to preach here and there. I am content that I could realize my dream and perhaps have a positive influence on someone's life. My kids are now reaching their dreams and it thrills me to watch them achieve their goals.

However, for many, there is a "thief," which goes around stealing our dreams and robbing us of the necessary mental state to attain our goals.

Sometimes, the thief will come as a parent, a relative, a friend or a co- worker, but the greatest thief is, so many times, just ourselves.

We find ourselves just about reaching the pinacle, and this "small" voice inside says, "You'll never make it." "You can't possibly do this." "Very few have ever done this successfully." And on and on the "small" voice predicts some kind of failure. Failure, though, is exactly how dreams are realized. It is one of the most important tools we have, because it teaches us invaluable lessons. And, when we learn these lessons well, we are poised and ready for success, which is probably just around the corner.

The message I always gave my children was, you are capable of doing anything your heart desires. You are smart enough, good-looking enough, strong enough, and worthy of reaching the stars. The human spirit is indominable. Remember the saying, "If you can conceive it, and your the heart can believe it, you can achieve it."

There are no "overnight" successes, but with perserverance, it will come. Imagine yourself in the life you dream of living. Then in your heart, believe it will happen for you, as it has for others. Then work, work, work, work (you get the picture).

So, be true to your dream, and don't let anyone steal it from you -- especially yourself. You can do anything your heart desires, so don't give up or give in. Let the dream in you live forever.
So continue dreaming, and don't let anyone steal your dreams.

Credits: L Harp


"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve."

Would you agree with the statement that a dream is born from an idea-a simple idea conceived in the mind?

Back in the 19th century two brothers had an idea which eventually became their passionate and consuming dream. Their relentless pursuit of that dream was rewarded with an accomplishment that changed world travel.

On Friday December 17, 1903 at 10:35 AM, the Wright brothers (Wilbur and Orville) achieved their dream. They flew "the world's first power-driven, heavier-than-air machine in which man made free, controlled, and sustained flight." This memorable feat took place at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on a cold windy morning.

The dream started with an idea that was planted in their minds by a toy given to them by their father. In the words of the boys, "Late in the autumn of 1878, our father came into the house one evening with some object partly concealed in his hands, and before we could see what it was, he tossed it into the air. Instead of falling to the floor, as we expected, it flew across the room till it struck the ceiling, where it fluttered awhile, and finally sank to the floor." This simple toy made of bamboo, cork and stretched rubber bands, fascinated the Wright brothers and sparked their lifelong interest in human flight.

The Wright brothers were great thinkers. They enjoyed learning new things. Initially, they recycled broken parts, built a printing press and opened their own printing office. Their interest moved to bicycles and in 1893, they opened the Wright Cycle Company where they sold and repaired bicycles. But Wilbur (the older brother) had his mind set on something more exciting. He decided to seriously pursue flying.

The brothers spent many hours researching, testing their machines and making improvements after unsuccessful attempts at human flight. What started out as a hobby soon became a passion. With determination and patience they realized their dream in 1903.

The next time you hear or see an airplane or travel on one, remember where it all started. A simply idea conceived in the minds of two young men who did not finish high school. Believe it or not, they did not have a University degree in Aeronautical Engineering, Mathematics, Physics or any other subject. They were not scientists in the true sense of the word. In fact, many of their peers who did not witness their accomplishment, had trouble believing that two bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio did what they claimed.

What idea or ideas are YOU working on? Have you said you can't do this or that because you are not a scientist? Have you limited yourself by saying you are not smart enough? Or have you joined the majority in saying that everything has already been invented or discovered?

Since the introduction of the first generation of personal computers in 1981, we are able to do many things more efficiently. With a super computer between your ears and the personal computer at your finger tips, your dream can be achieved. First, give birth to that dream with an idea. A simply idea that ANYONE of us can conceive!

I believe it will happen.  I strongly believe so.

Project work

It was nice to see you all yesterday in class. Once again, we had a full house (Yeh!!).  We went over the test questions and most of you were in line with what we learned.  It's quite natural to get few things flipped - which we went over yesterday and corrected hopefully.  

I am giving you an assignment (the only assignment for this year to you, from my side) - to pick a biblical character, research, write and present that character (even dress up and use any gizmo's).  This assignment will not be due immediately; instead, we will go over it in stages in various phases allocating reasonable time to each phase.  If you can stick with the timeline, you will have an excellent report and presentation at the end without causing much pain to yourself.  My intent is to make this project an interesting and educational one.  We will have additional information posted about the project.

Shall we call this project CARS (Character Research and Study).  If you have other creative names - do let me know.  

Stay tuned!!

New Year Resolution

Every New Year we have this huge task in front of us - to come up with a New Year Resolution. Looking back at the long list I used to make, and how they used to slowly drift away in months of March, April, (OK - June the most) makes me laugh now.

This year, I made one resolution, and hope to stick to it.  My new year resolution this year is as follows:

"I will make no more New Year Resolutions", and hope I can stick to it. I have been successful so far (knock on wood (tap-tap-tap)).   This is just my view, since I have never been 100% successful in maintaining any of my past resolutions since childhood.  You may very well continue trying them out.

Here are some interesting New Year Resolutions:

1. I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper, and complain.

2. Stop setting three alarms on my phone, just so I can turn the volume off after the first one.

3. I will no longer waste my time reliving the past; I will spend it worrying about the future.

4. Before I criticize a man, I will walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he’s a mile away and barefoot.

5. I will not sit in front of my computer all day.  Instead, I will stand up and do some of the typing.


Here is an interesting greetings I came across.  While people are still wishing each other a Happy New Year and a Happy Decade, I found this one quite interesting - just because of the way it was phrased.

May peace break into your home and may thieves come to steal your debts.
May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet for $100 bills.
May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips.
May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy
May the problems you had, forget your home address.

In simple words - may 2010 be the best year of your life, and may this decade be the best decade.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Using flower names, I am publishing your results so far..  Names have been chosen such that even if you guess, it's quite hard to decode them.

Azalea - 90/100
Angel trumpet - 95/100
Brazilian red cloak - 105/100
Rose campion - 103/100
Rose turtlehead - 105/100
Rudbeckia - 103/100
Fan Flower - 103/100
Fairy wings - 103/100
Blue star - 110/100

I am quite impressed by your performance.  Call me if you have any other questions.