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Jerry’s Unbelievably Tough Verizon Samsung

I sprayed laundry spotter on the trousers, threw them into the washer, and ran it full of cold water. The next morning, I spun that water off, and at the end of that cycle removed Jerry’s trousers. There in the bottom of the washer was his phone, Verizon Samsung old school flip top. It had soaked all night in water, and now I had just spun it dry.

untitled (6 of 8)

From what I hear, Jerry is unusual in that he does not leave anything in the pockets of his clothes that need to be laundered. I never check his pockets. Mine? Those I always check, for I’m bad about leaving things in them. But he failed this one time, and now I had no doubt ruined his phone.

“Well, we’ll take the battery out,” Jerry untitled (3 of 8)said when I showed him the dripping phone, “and place the battery and the phone over the furnace vent.” We did that, then I recalled reading of placing water-besotted items in a untitled (1 of 8)bag of rice, so I dragged out a sack of rice and immersed the phone into its depths.

The next day, Jerry reassembled the phone, switched it on, and voila! the word VERIZON spread its beautiful self across the little screen. For a few days, water drops appeared under the glass, but finally they disappeared, and from the time that little Verizon baby has been turned back on, until this very moment, it works perfectly! Kudos to Verizon, to Samsung, and to all things old and tough.

untitled (7 of 8)Somewhere in a drawer in this house is a smart phone–a Blackberry. Jerry had quite an experience with it which I post about here. The original post of Jerry and the Blackberry has received more than 80,000 hits. You’ll probably want to take a look. πŸ™‚Β  I also have written about changes in telephone services since I was a child here and in this one titled Number Please. You might get a kick out of them.

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With Hope, We Eye 2009

Given our natures and our ages, both Jerry and I were sound asleep when the significant hand sweep occurred, bringing us all into the year of our Lord 2009. But here we are–all of us, whether awake or asleep–standing in the raw dawn of a new year; tentative, questioning, cautious, hesitating, and probably so unsure of the world that our throats tighten in reluctance when asked for prediction.

A year? What is a year? A period of time–we know that– a 12 month segment: it is God, a space of birth and death, a number of days, a slippery slot where determined hands will craft both good and evil, a cycle of heat and cold–of those we are sure. But, in truth, little else may be stamped of absolute and of certitude.

Were I artistic, I would trace the bent figure of the retreating aged 2008 man as pocked with near-mortal wounds and scars, bloodied and tattered. I would scrawl of ragged and dark lines, and with candor and frankness illustrate the dismal and sad year of recent history. My hand would not linger, nor would I allow hesitation as I chalked the naked, undisguised truth.

Yet, somehow with great pains and endeavor, I
would find a way to infuse the leaving of wounded 2008 with hope and
dream and optimism for the baby of 2009. For we Americans have slogged
through other dismal years…and yet have we emerged a living, vibrant
nation. We have been knocked about, both by others and by ourselves,
but, always, we have struggled to our feet, victorious, our vision
clear and sure. We have fought and scratched and clawed; loved and
tended and bound up wounds. We have failed and, again, succeeded. Anew, then,…in 2009, we will rouse ourselves, and with fresh resolve and determination fix our eye on success–on morality and integrity, so
that from the last page of its calender we may honestly label the year 2009 a good one, one of progress and advancement.

Were I a cartoonist, I would craft such an image. Lacking that ability I scribe instead these words…and, from my heart, wish you, your families and your friends a happy, prosperous year.

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Deliberate Plunge Into Poverty–And Out

Those who with any regularity read my columns know of my disdain for the actions of able-bodied persons who refuse to work, or who are quick to whine about there being no jobs available, or who live with the mantra; “The pay is so little at any job I can find, I am better off living through government programs.” Equally–no to a greater extent–do I admire those who despite challenges of every description–from ill-health, little privilege, severe disabilities, poor job market, inferior education, and racial prejudice–despite these hindrances, they scratch and claw their way into a job which supports them and their families, and that spins them on an upward trajectory.

From the Christian Science Monitor and picked up by ABC News is a splendid story by Adam Shepard who, as an experiment, left the “good life,” and took to the wrong side of the tracks. In this fascinating article, he chronicles his ascent from poverty into success. I’ve printed some of the writing here with a link to the entire article.

Alone on a dark gritty street, Adam Shepard searched for a homeless shelter. He had a gym bag, $25, and little else. A former college athlete with a bachelor’s degree, Mr. Shepard had left a comfortable life with supportive parents in Raleigh, N.C. Now he was an outsider on the wrong side of the tracks in Charleston, S.C.



But Shepard’s descent into poverty in the summer of 2006 was no accident. Shortly after graduating from Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., he intentionally left his parents’ home to test the vivacity of the American Dream. His goal: to have a furnished apartment, a car, and $2,500 in savings within a year.To make his quest even more challenging, he decided not to use any of his previous contacts or mention his education.During his first 70 days in Charleston, Shepard lived in a shelter and received food stamps. He also made new friends, finding work as a day laborer, which led to a steady job with a moving company.Ten months into the experiment, he decided to quit after learning of an illness in his family. But by then he had moved into an apartment, bought a pickup truck, and had saved close to $5,000.The effort, he says, was inspired after reading “Nickel and Dimed,” in which author Barbara Ehrenreich takes on a series of low-paying jobs. Unlike Ms. Ehrenreich, who chronicled the difficulty of advancing beyond the ranks of the working poor, Shepard found he was able to successfully climb out of his self-imposed poverty.

He tells his story in “Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream.” The book, he says, is a testament to what ordinary Americans can achieve. On a recent trip to the Boston, he spoke about his experience.

The entire interview is here:

I’m interested in hearing your opinions on this subject. Should every healthy person in America be able to climb out of poverty? Or, are there families who have lived so long with a “welfare mentality” that it is virtually impossible for them to think differently, and thus they are all but unable to pull themselves upward?


My devotional blog is here.

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Definitely Curious

Sometimes when people speak of one of our personal characteristics, we fail to see ourselves in that light. But there are other traits that someone may speak of and we easily recognize them in ourselves. The latter is true of me and the subject of this article, for I know I am a very curious individual. Now don’t anyone start snickering–I mean I am inquisitive–not strange. (You surely knew I meant that.) My curiosity irritates Jerry sometimes, especially in foreign country travels, for I am prone to wandering off to investigate what lies around the corner, down the trail, inside a distinctive building, or within a secluded nook in an open-air market.

But check it out here–being curious is a good thing!

10 Reasons Why You Should Be Curious

Do you want a rewarding life? Then be curious. The more curious you are, the more possibilities you will open throughout your lifetime. Open your eyes and look around. How many blind assumptions have you made? What do you want to know more about?

β€œI think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

The ten reasons follow; the complete article by Marc is here.

    1. You Will Clarify Yourself –
    2. You Will Uncover the Truth
    3. You Will Release Your Inner Child –
    4. You Will Experience Something Fresh –
    5. You Will Increase Your Productivity –
    6. You Will Learn More Often –
    7. You Will Become More Efficient –
    8. You Will Experience a Spice of Variety –
    9. You Will Be More Positive – .
    10. You Will Establish New Relationships –

Of course I’m interested to hear your take on this subject. Are you an unusually curious person? Do you wander around in strange places? Do your family members become irritated with you? Is being curious such a fine trait, or does it really make that much difference?

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My devotional is here.

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The Aberration of a Day

Is it possible there is a difference in the amount of time in a 24-hour period, depending on who you are? Huh? I’ve met many people who attest to this aberration in time and space, for there are never enough hours for them to perform the tasks to which, either they have been assigned, or they have assumed. Yet others, theoretically having the same amount of time in their 24-hour period, finish all their tasks, and often take on those of another.

I’ve worked extensively with people throughout my lifetime and have seen this series of developments demonstrated repeatedly. Work with enough people–no matter their gender, their socio-economic standing, their age, their creed, their race–and I believe you will observe the same phenomenon. Thus springs the truism that has become the mantra of those who manage people: Want a job done? Give it to a busy person.

You probably fit into one of these two categories, although you may from time to time cross over the lines. Over at Pick The Brain, I found this great article 7 Ways to Grow the Action Habit that will help all of us, no matter our take on the amount of time in a 24-hour period. I’m listing the points here, although you will want to go over and read the entire article, I am sure.

7 Ways to Grow the Action Habit

1. Don’t wait until conditions are perfect.

2. Be a doer.

3. Remember that ideas alone don’t bring success.

4. Use action to curb fear.

5. Start your creative engine mechanically.

6. Think in terms of now.

7. Get down to business immediately.

How about you? Any confessions? Do you feel you have a short changed day? Is it that you just have too much to do? Have you taken on too many responsibilities? Are you a procrastinator?


My devotional blog is here.