Sunday, October 29, 2017


By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, October 29, 2017

FACT:  The Number Two or Backup Quarterback for the New Orleans Saints who may NEVER play even one down for the Saints UNLESS the Number One Quarterback is injured, makes $900,000 a year.  Think about that for just a moment and then apply it to yourself.  How much do you make a year?  What do you do for a living?  Do you think what you do should be worth $900,000 a year?  What makes being a BACKUP Quarterback in the NFL worth $900,000 a year?

Do you know what a public school teacher makes in Louisiana per year?  Would love to know how much you said when you read that question.  My personal guess turned out to be right on the money.  Here it is from the Internet:

Average Elementary School Teacher Yearly Salary in Louisiana.
Elementary School Teachers earn a median salary of $47,460 per year.
Salaries typically start from $40,140 and go up to $60,320.

If I were to use my public educational math skills and compare the two as I did, I discovered that the New Orleans Saints administration could fund the ANNUAL salaries of 14 to as many as 22 teachers A YEAR on what they pay JUST ONE BACKUP quarterback, A YEAR!

What have professional sports figures done to deserve such out of whack incomes?  They can run faster, throw a ball more accurate, sink basketballs, score soccer goals, etc.  Tell me how that improves the lives of the millions upon millions people around the world – I’ll wait. 

Most of these athletes either graduated from universities with degrees in athletics or they didn’t finish at all.  Why?  Because they could run faster, block better, throw more accurately and didn’t need an education to earn the millions they now earn.  Even with their huge salaries, completing a sentence would be a miracle rather than the norm.  Yet when there is something going on in the world, where do the news reporters go for opinions?  When was the last time you saw the national news media interview a school teacher to see what he or she thought?  No, they will instead go to a Hollywood actor or Professional athlete as if these people have some form of intellect far above the “Average Joe” in America.

I am 72 years old and I am NOT a school teacher.  I include this fact because it is important to understand I have been following football, more specifically professional football since Jim Brown played (1950s) for the Cleveland Browns; he was the best that ever played!  That makes me an old timer when it comes to watching professional sports like the New Orleans Saints.  I have followed the Saints since 1967 when they were founded.  This year I have NOT watched a single game.  Why?  Because Roger Godell the National Football League Commissioner had absolutely NO guts, NONE, to do the right thing when Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem to protest the way police treat Blacks; at least that is what he ORIGINALLY said.  His story has changed since first taking a knee.  Unfortunately more and more players thought it was the smart thing to do to show solidarity with Kaepernick because they too have since taken to their knees.  I personally find their actions beyond disgusting.  There is no place for political statements during professional sporting events.  Roger Godell should have been fired for mishandling this BEFORE it got out of hand which it has. Right or wrong, I believe the protests are NOT about social injustice but are reflections of their dislike for President Trump.  Showing their disgust for whatever reason is fine BUT NOT DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM!

WHERE WILL IT END?  What I would like to ask Roger is what he will do when a player wants to take a knee to show his disgust for abortions?  That too is a social issue, is it not?  What if a player wants to take a knee to demonstrate against Israel? Here’s one: what if players took knees to protest the totally inadequate salaries paid to school teachers? I can find any number of causes both good and bad.  What will good old Roger do then?  Oh, and by the way, Roger makes in excess of 44 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR to screw up like he has.  Or to put that another way, 44 Million Dollars would fund the annual salaries of between 633 and 1000 Louisiana school teachers.  Did I hear someone say INCOME INEQUALITY?  

Here is the second part that truly matters.  I have NOT missed watching professional sports.  In fact I have done so much more with my time.  It proves that my thinking is right on the money, no pun intended.  To Roger Godell and all the owners of professional sports teams especially Tom Benson of the Saints, you have broken Business Rule #1 – DON’T PISS OFF CUSTOMERS!  You have done that and it is my opinion you have sealed your own fate and deserve ever bit of what you will now fail to receive – our money!  Let’s see how valuable a punter is when the seats are empty and the television revenues dwindle. 

So why am I singling out teachers?  Glad you asked.  When you have heart surgery, you can thank a school teacher somewhere in the heart surgeons' history causing him or her to become what he or she has become.  I seriously doubt that your heart surgeon was convinced to enter the medical profession because someone scored a touchdown or punted a football (4.7 Million a year for the New Orleans Saints punter to play a total of maybe 2 minutes per game).

I singled out school teachers because it all starts with teachers in Kindergarten classes and progresses through grade 12. Then some students go to college but NOT ALL go to college.   What happens to those students who choose not to go to college and let’s say are taught by another teacher to become a plumber instead? The next time your toilet backs up, call an NFL kicker to fix it or a quarterback, or better yet a 7’ tall basketball player.

I’m sickened by the term “income inequality” because the people at the top of the income scale have no clue as to what they are talking about or protesting.  Let’s start with redistributing THEIR INCOME.  When we get to that point, the discussion will immediately terminate when the reality of their protest/concern actually sets in.  Wait - you want to redistribute MY income?  Seriously?  I never meant that when I said we need income equality in America.  School teachers will NEVER make 4.7 Million Dollars a year but their product is worth more when you realize they mold the future leaders of our country and world; my children, YOUR children.

For the record, when my toilet backs up I would NOT call a teacher or a NFL punter, I would call a plumber if I could not fix it myself.  Also for the record, I could apply this same logic to Hollywood Actors, Writers, Musicians; Politicians (especially politicians) the list of “types” would be endless.  Parents who care, want the best for their children and that would start with the best education their children could possibly receive.  But what are parents doing about insuring that the teachers they trust to teach their children are teachers of high quality.  To get high quality teachers you have to establish high standards for them and then totally raise the bar in regards to how much these vital positions mean to everyone’s future by paying them what they are worth!  Put another way, you cannot become a brain surgeon if you haven’t learned your ABCs.

Therein folks is your INCOME INEQUALITY!  Sleep on that one overnight, if you can.  Some day in the far distant future, it WILL be different and people WILL be compensated on the IMPORTANCE OF WHAT THEY DO TO SERVE OTHERS.  Sadly I will not see that day and I doubt you will not as well.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Meditation; Should I; Should You?

By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, October 23, 2017

How many instructors, authors and some doctors have said that meditation is very beneficial for your peace and happiness not to mention your good or better health?  In my lifetime a great many of them have.

As a form of disclaimer, I have tried to teach myself to meditate, and here comes the but, but I have Tinnitus.  For those who do not know what that it, Tinnitus is a ringing in your ears.  For some people the ringing comes and goes.  For others like me, it is there, always there, and it can be very annoying.

Having been in real estate sales for over 33 years, I have experienced homes that are located very near to railroad tracks.  When the owners put their homes up for sale, I ask the obvious question, “How do you put up with the noise of the trains that pass?”  Almost to an owner they respond, “What trains?”  They have adjusted by blocking out the noise; at least that is what they say. Yet that is pretty much how I have adapted to having a constant ringing in my ears.  I have blocked it out or at least I try to.  What I have discovered is that I will go for hours without hearing it primarily because I don’t think about it.  Then, when I think about it, it’s there, it never really left. 

That leaves me to today.  I purchased and am taking a course Practicing Mindfulness; An Introduction to Meditation by Dr. Mark W. Muesse.  You can see this course and many more on web site; a great site.  I purchased several courses.

I know for certain that the lessons of the course have already had an impact on my life.  Like so many, it did not take much to upset me.  Whether it was stupid drivers; unknowledgable clerks at stores; wrong orders, you name it.  I may not have shown it physically but I can assure you that mentally, I was angry.  A lot of cars dashboards have felt the brunt of my displeasure with the way people drive.  I would jokingly suggest that turn signals are optional items when you purchase a car or drive in Louisiana.  This weekend proved that watching and listening to Dr. Muesse has made a difference.  I was doing work around the house and had a need to go to the Lowe’s store several times.  On more than one occasion, I had to return to Lowes to replace a broken or missing item in a product I purchased.  A week ago, I would have been really angry.  I didn’t realize it until several days later when I had a chance to think about what I had done over the weekend. 

I was focused on accomplishing at least 10 significant tasks around the house.  When I returned from Lowes to unbox a new overhead light for the garage, I found that the globe was busted in a lot of little pieces.  I boxed up the light and headed back to Lowes.  I did not argue with the clerk or even get mad; I simply exchanged the broken light for a new one.  I opened the box to make certain the globe was intact and it was.  I installed the light with no problems until I tried to put the globe on the base unit.  That is when I discovered that 3 of the 6 retainer clips on the globe were broken off.  In the past this would have sent me over the edge.  Instead, I cleaned up and when time permitted I looked up the manufacturer of the light and emailed them to tell them what had happened (twice).  I asked that they simply mail me 3 replacement container clips.  Done.  Have not heard from the manufacturer as yet but I know they will respond.  As per the instructions of Dr. Muesse, I put it aside and moved on and until I started writing this Nugget, haven’t given it a second thought.

Dr. Muesse talks about eating a tangerine in one of the lessons.  I guarantee you that if you were to watch and listen to the lesson; you will NEVER eat a tangerine EVER again in the manner in which you have eaten them in the past.  Me telling you about it simply could not possibly do his presentation justice.  How did that one less apply to me?  Thought you would never ask.

I had an outpatient procedure involving back injections.  As before, I would arrive on time and as in the past being on time only lets the staff know you are there.  That is when they begin the pre-op tasks like asking a lot of questions and inserting an IV.  When they are done, you lie there and wait your turn.  You are in an assembly line of patients.  I was #4 in line.  The actual procedure takes no more than 5 minutes. You are wheeled in, put under and the next thing you know you are awake, groggy and within 30 minutes you are in the car and on your way home.  However, the entire process starting with leaving the house to returning to the house took almost 4 hours. 

How did Dr. Muesse’s lessons help me?  I thought of him eating that tangerine as I lie there waiting my turn.  I could have gotten impatient like I have in the past – I am not the most patient person in the world.  Or at least I WASN’T the most impatient person in the world.  This time I started with the clock on the wall.  I noted the time.  Then I started to peel back the story of that very ordinary clock.  Like Dr. Muesse, I began asking a lot of questions.  I wondered where they bought it. Who bought it?  Who made it? How many people were involved in making this clock? How long have they worked at the company that made the clock?  How long will the battery last?  It was high on the wall, who changed the battery up that high?  I wondered if that person was married.  Did he or she have any kids?  It was amazing; you can ask a lot of questions in your mind.  It did not stop at the clock. There was the device where they heated their blankets.  There were the nurses.  I watched them.  I noticed how they moved, what they said, how they made light of the situation to ease the minds of the patients. The questions can be endless if you think about it.  And isn’t that the goal of the presentation – get you to be in the present?

Suddenly a nurse appeared at the foot of my bed; it was my time to go into the operating room.  I looked up at the clock and to my surprise, the time had flown by and not once did I feel impatient with the lingering time.  If you are going to have a medical procedure done, would it not make a great deal of sense to be as calm as you could possibly be BEFORE the procedure?

Another story for the road. I had tools all over the place.  When I finished the project in the yard, I gathered up all the tools and intended to put them away.  As I turned to look at a pass car, I say my pocket knife lying in the grass.  In days past, I would have just picked up the knife and moved on.  Not today.  I actually said thank you for enabling me to see the knife and put it with the other tools. I know I would NOT have done that prior to this month before I took Dr. Muesse’s course.

My Life’s Mission Statement is “To help people to do what they do to do it better.”  Unless you do not pay attention, there is no doubt in my mind that IF you were to take all 24 lessons of Practicing Mindfulness, you WILL do whatever it is you do, and do it better.  Pretty hard to screw up if you don’t continually get angry or expect the worse.

My advice to everyone is to go to and look up Practicing Mindfulness and order the course.  More importantly, don’t let it just sit there collecting dust, take the course.  Let me say it in advance, you are very welcome!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

RETIREMENT; Are You Ready?

What Happens To You
AFTER You Have Made Other Plans
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, October 20, 2017

Before I write another word, please consider my Life’s Mission Statement:

To help people to do what they do to do it better. 
Got it?

What someone does for employment and even fun, they do for “most” of their lives.  Every little assistance, no matter from where it comes, helps people to do those things better than they otherwise would had they not received that little bit of assistance or piece of advice; sort of a leg up.  Retirement is no different.  How do I know?  I retired not only just once, but TWICE.  In fact I actually retired THREE times (twice from the same position).

Most people who might read this Nugget are probably NOT retired.  They are active and engaged; doing whatever it is they do.  It would be hard for me to believe that they have NOT thought about THEIR retirement.  It would so unusual think that could be the case yet it has been my experience that few people ever give the kind of serious thought that is required to insure that their retirement is as they hope it will become.

Here are some questions to get you started thinking:

  • When do you plan to retire?
  • Where will you be working when you actually retire?
  • How much money will you need to guarantee you that you have the income to sustain your desired lifestyle?
  • Where would you like to be living when you retire?
  • Do you know now, how much income would be required to live in your desire place of retirement?
  • Will you have adequate health insurance upon your retirement?
  • Will you be debt free upon your retirement?
  • When you retire, will it be your decision or the decision of someone else such as your employer, family member or a physical ailment preventing you from continuing to work?
  • What will you do with your time in retirement?

I retired from the U. S. Coast Guard after twenty years in 1985.  Knowing that I could no longer stay on active duty because of a physical issue with my knees, I began studying for a future career in real estate.  I was extremely fortunate that for the last 5 years I served on active duty with the Coast Guard I was also able to engage in real estate sales for four of those five years.  The one year that I could not was because I had been assigned out of the state in which I was licensed - Louisiana.

As a disclaimer to the third and sixth questions posed above, my retirement from the Coast Guard insured that I had an income throughout my retired years as well as health care for not only me but also my spouse.  In all honesty, the opportunity to insure my health care throughout my lifetime was a major consideration in my decision to make the Coast Guard a career. That was 1969, back when people did NOT think that healthcare had somehow become a “right” that everyone is automatically entitled to from the government. People had until the mid 1990s made career choices based on things like retirement pensions, healthcare coverage and employment opportunities just in case you are not old enough to remember the way it was.

In 1980, five years before I retired from the Coast Guard, I became a licensed real estate sales agent and in 1982 a license real estate broker both in the state of Louisiana and later to include Mississippi.  In real estate sales there are for the most part no retirement plans that real estate corporations provide to their agents and brokers.  Of course there are some exceptions if you are an “employee” with the real estate company versus an independent contractor working under the company name.  Therefore, most real estate agents and brokers MUST arrange for their own retirement funds and healthcare coverage for use in their retired years.  It has been my experience that in discussions with real estate agents, they have NOT set up such accounts.  I think the main reason for this is that most are relying upon the retirement/healthcare accounts of their spouse.  Keep in mind, we all must surely know, upwards of 50% of marriages end in divorce.  If that were to happen what happens to the retirement income of the people involved in their divorce.  Most are at least split in half.  Not a pretty picture for sure.

I retired from real estate primarily due to a physical ailment not related to my knee issues.  I simply felt that my physical condition was preventing me from doing the best.  I used my performance level prior to the ailment as my guide; I could no longer perform at that level and that was unacceptable; at least for me.  Still, circumstances called me back from retirement for another two years.  I fully retired in December of 2012.

Now for the real reason for writing this Nugget; THE LAST QUESTION!  What will you do with your time in your retirement?

I have not made retirement a study.  I know what I know based on what happened to me in my retirement.  At one time I envisioned my retired life to include playing a lot of golf, traveling, reading, working around the home and doing writing such as the Nuggets for the Noggin that I started over 20 years ago.  While I certainly would not be confused as an independently wealthy man, I had managed to insure a steady income through the retirement from the Coast Guard, a small disability payment from the Veterans Administration, and the monthly amount from Social Security.  Of course I also had access to my wife’s retirement from the Federal Government and her Social Security.  Being brutally honest with you the reader, I did not set up a retirement fund that I should have done beginning as far back as 1966.  The greatest one piece of advice I have for the reader is that you MUST START THAT ACCOUNT TODAY, NOT TOMORROW, NO MATTER WHAT AGE YOU ARE AT THIS VERY MOMENT – START THE ACCOUNT.  Don’t take the information from your family, your neighbor or your best friend or even me as a guide.  Seek out a good financial adviser and get the information from the one person that knows how to provide you with the financial support into your retirement years.  Every penny counts.

Even so, it is that last question that haunts me the most.  What will you do with your time in your retired years?  You may think it to be one thing years before you actually retire, but when you pull the cord and actually retire, you will probably be much older (and hopefully wiser) and have a plan that you intend to work.  Here is the rub: ‘Life is what happens while you have made other plans.”  While a lot of people have said this, I attribute it to Connie Podesta, a great motivational speaker, author and friend.  The same is true for retirement.  Retirement is what happens to you after you have made other plans.

What was the first thing that struck me that I had not prepared myself for or planned for in my retired years?

To answer that question we need to visit my time in the Coast Guard.  Twenty years service.  During that time I was fortunate to perform a vast verity of jobs such as personnel administration, Merchant Marine Safety, first as a Shipping Commissioner and later as a Safety Inspector on Offshore Oil Producing Platform (that involved flying time), and as an instructor.  During this time I had a lot of people counting on me to (1) do my job, (2) be on the job when I was supposed to be on the job, (3) my supervisors counted on my expertise and advice in order for them to make decisions, (4) the people for whom I was responsible counted on my expertise and advice for them in order to make their decisions, and (5), maybe the most important of all, MAKE DECISIONS that affected a great many people both up and down the organizational ladder and the public at large.  Another way of putting this: people counted on me and as a result, I felt a tremendous amount of responsibility towards them.  This all came to an abrupt halt in August 1985 when I retired.  Suddenly I was without this massive support system.  I was fortunate to foresee this coming and that is why I began working on attaining my real estate license while still in my 30s.

Then came a 33 plus year real estate career.  The first 7 years I was involved in listing and selling real estate.  Everyday someone was counting on me to know what I was doing in order for them to either buy a piece of real estate or to sell a piece of real estate.  The challenges were great but I found them to be the most rewarding of all.  Aside from being part of a team that pulled a drowning sailor from the North Atlantic, sliding the keys to a new home across the closing table, especially to a first time home buyer, was the best experience of all. 

It was during this seven year period that I found a secondary niche – computers.  Real estate agents, new and experienced alike, knew nothing about computers in the mid 1980s and that is what immediately separated me from most of my fellow agents.  As a result, though for the first five years I was considered a “part time agent” (a dirty word in the real estate business), the broker saw that I understood computers and then began using me to train my fellow agents.  My limited success (part time) in sales, my previous personnel management training in the Coast Guard and my computer skills eventually led to becoming a Real Estate Broker in charge of a company of about 25 agents.  That led to being a Broker/Owner and eventually Managing and Brokering a company of 105 real estate agents.

So why am I telling you, a future retiree, all this information?  The reason is veru simple.  During all those years, a great many people relied on me to do my job at the highest level possible.  They wanted to know what I thought.  What I would do in a given situation.  How I would handle something.  How I would handle difficult customers.  How I would handle legal issues.  How I would help insure the agents and the company were profitable.

December 31, 2012 – that is the day IT ALL STOPPED!  Was I ready for it to end so abruptly?  I thought so.  Did I receive any training in my 67 plus years until that date?  No!  Did anyone take me aside and consult with me to let me know that I would soon enter a vacuum? No! As we all know, if YOU don’t fill a vacuum, something or someone else WILL fill it for you.  No one ever wants to lose control.  Yet on December 31, 2012 that is exactly what happened.  I now found myself in a vacuum.  Sure there was golf – but due to a back injury that did not last very long.  Sure I could read and I have.  As for travel, not so much.  Not easy to travel when you have a household pet; something to give serious consideration to if you plan to travel in your retired years.  You are now pretty much on a fixed income. There is only so much work you can do around the house.  In just one minute, I went from being goal driven, to being goalless.  Having a goal to fix a broken window is not something that will keep you afloat in all of your retired years. 

There is one more question that needs to be answered and it is more important than all the others:


I hate to think what my retired years would look like had I not planned and arranged to at least have a steady income and health insurance for me and the family.  If you can’t answer all these questions, there is one more question:


Keep this one thought in mind at all times…


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Back In My Day

Back In My Day
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, October 17, 2017

I can vividly remember some of the older people in my family telling us kids, “Back in my day we…..” and you could fill in the blank.  I also remember making fun of some of their comments.  Now it is my turn to be old enough to remember days that today’s youth are unaware of or simply don’t care about.  When you understand where a person came from, you might be understand why the “older folks” find some of the accepted traits of people today offensive and contrary to what civil people are expected to do.  For example, back in my day:

  • Men opened doors for women
  • Not many men would wear sandals but no man would ever wear sandals with socks
  • Only prisoners had tattoos
  • Men did not wear earrings or body piercings of any kind
  • You may not like something but engaging in violent protesting was simply not even considered
  • We all could read and write in cursive
  • When you entered a building, any building, you removed your hat
  • We did not have to decide whether to talk on the phone when we were with people or pay attention to the people we were with; imagine that for a moment.
  • Few if any of my neighbors ever overly concerned about locking their doors when they were in their homes
  • We actually did walk to school, in my case about a mile, in all types of weather
  • Students served as crossing guards and it was an honor to be selected to do so
  • We could not understand why our parents did not like the music we listened to; some things never change
  • We had to be home when the street lights came on; staying in our rooms for any reason was out of the question
  • Our newspapers were rolled and sealed into themselves; I rolled them myself
  • We/I actually walked the streets with a huge canvas bag delivering the newspapers we rolled
  • We would not think of addressing an older person by their first name
  • We considered talking back to a teacher a capital offense; it just wasn’t done
  • Foul language was ONLY heard when someone hit their finger with a hammer
  • Drugs?  What drugs? They may have existed but I was unaware of them
  • We would walk to the corner drug store to test the tubes in our television sets and repair them ourselves
  • We could not wait to get home from school to go play sports at the local park
  • Most meals were eaten together as a family
  • I played on sport teams where only the best players would be guaranteed to play
  • We learned quickly how to both win and lose a sporting event; we obviously wanted to win
  • No one would ever think of wearing flip-flops into a restaurant
  • No one would ever think of wearing a tank top into a restaurant
  • We often took the bus to where we were going and that often required us to change buses
  • It was much easier to get a date when you had a driver’s license; that was when you became important
  • A lot of us had part time jobs starting at the age of 12 before the government made it illegal to do so
  • Every kid I knew had a bike and would ride it miles from home
  • When someone came down with measles, chicken pox and/or mumps, the city would be a large orange QUARENTEENED sign on your home
  • We had Nuclear Bomb drills at school where we would all climb under our paper thin student desks; as if that was going to protect us
  • Most of us, probably all of us, were deathly afraid of the “iron lung” polio patients, mostly young kids, spent their days and nights in
  • Every kid knew how to play “kick-the-can”; now that is a political sport
  • We actually knew who are neighbors were and could name everyone in their families
  • We considered the police our friends and they would often times stop and play baseball with us
  • Growing up we were extremely fortunate to never have heard of child abuse, spouse abuse, child abduction, drug overdosing; not that these things did not exist, we just never heard of them like you do today
  • No one would ever think of stealing something from the corner store because we all knew who owned and worked at the corner store aside from it just being wrong and illegal
  • We didn’t say prayers in the schools I attended but we did have moments of silence and no one to my knowledge ever objected; imagine that
  • One of the proudest moments at least in my life was getting my first pair of Converse All-Star Basketball shoes
  • I made a considerable amount of money caddying at the local golf club; golf carts were just coming out and only a few used them.  I would make double and get double tips carrying two bags
  • We could shoot marbles, play cut the pie with a pocket knife (it was still legal to carry one then), play cut the pie on ice skates, play washers at the local park and pitch nickels
  • We collected baseball and football cards and traded them
  • Kids in my neighborhood, including me, would turn the radio on late at night and listen to the Cleveland Indians play night games long after we were supposed to be sleeping
  • We, or at least I, would Blue Coral was my parents cars for nothing
  • We did not have to watch a steady diet of war, death, destruction, murder on our television sets; heck half the time they didn’t work anyway
  • We would watch television programs through the “snow” on the screen; some who read this will have no idea about what I just meant
  • Making a 60 mile road trip on two lane roads to Lake Erie was more like a cross country trip today
  • We could actually swim in Lake Erie BEFORE it became polluted, green and dangerous
  • We had great music until the Beach Boys sang Good Vibrations; it all changed shortly after that, at least for me
  • I really did like Country Music before it became cool to like Country Music
  • We use to think Universities were places of learning that just happened to also play football games
  • A “sleeper” was a 1962 Pontiac Ventura with no outward visible signs of what lie beneath the hood, a 455 CU IN (7.5 Liter) GIANT; no one ever knew until of course when you hit the gas pedal
  • On Friday Nights we watched Submarines race
  • Your best friend would disconnect one of the headlights on his car and drive around the block while you sat on the front porch with your girlfriend and played Padiddle or Popeye. (Look it up.)
  • We would roast marsh mellows over the lamp inside the movie projector in chemistry class during movies
  • We would spray Newskin” on our hands to make them sticky so we could palm basketballs
  • A tall basketball player was 6’5” tall and there was only one in town and you were indeed lucky if he played on YOUR team
  • You weren’t cool if your steering wheel didn’t have a suicide knob unless of course the car you drove belonged to your Dad
  • You weren’t cool if you didn’t have a pair of dice hanging from your rear view mirror
  • Also, you weren’t cool if you didn’t install a reverberater on your car’s radio
  • No one was worth anything if he didn’t drive a car without Baby Moon Hubcaps or Spinners

You know I could go on and on.  These things happened “back in my day.”  What will happen TODAY that will eventually become “back in YOUR day?”  The one thing I CAN say with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY is that a lot of “things” we worried about or fretted over in our lives back then that we all thought were horrible and maybe even the end of our days as we knew them – MOST NEVER HAPPENED!  A valuable lesson for today if you are paying attention.

When I first thought about writing “back in my day” I was afraid that I could not think of many things to write about.  Then I became afraid the list might so long no one will want to read them all.  Maybe they won’t read long enough to even get this far.  Kind of like all of our fears is it not?  Most of them never happen.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Is Speech Free and/or Approptirate?

Is Speech Free and/or Appropriate?
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, October 4, 2017

I retired from real estate after 33 years in 2012.  As someone in sales you would have thought common sense would dictate what they say and do in regards to not only what their customers have come to expect but also what their employees and their suppliers have come to expect.  For most people in sales they understand this; but in light of the very recent Las Vegas murders, common sense has been lost on a great many people involved in sales like the entire National Football League owners and players and their sponsors.

Unwritten Rule (or maybe it has been written, I don’t know for sure):  DO NOTHING TO UPSET YOUR WEALTH BUILDERS.  By “wealth builders” I mean those people who in one way or another provide profits and develop your honorable reputation for you and your company and by extension to your employees.  The best advertisement in the world is “word of mouth advertising.”  Too many people have said and written this that to know who was the first to say it to give proper acknowledgement is impossible.

Just so you know exactly what I mean, look at a recent post on Twitter:

Greg Morelli owns a Deli.  When Greg posted this despicable post on Twitter, was he so unconscious to think no one would take offense to his post?  Did he think his “valued” customers would appreciate what he said?  Let’s be honest here.  Some would but I dare say most won’t.  Is it possible that some of Morelli’s customers will now choose NOT to do business with Morelli?  If that were to happen, what do you think will happen to Morelli’s business?  Unless I am wrong and I don’t think I am, his business and profits will suffer.  I also believe that as his business suffers it may come to the point of possibly closing; his indiscriminate post will mean his employees could lose their jobs.  Suppliers to his business will lose their income from the Morelli Deli purchases they no longer make.  This is a perfect example of “trickledown economics” if there ever was one.

America prides itself on its free speech which has been valued and earned by everyone including me.  But there are times when there is no free speech by law if it involves politics and you are employed by the Federal Government, check out the Hatch Act. The Act applied to me for 20 years while on active duty with the Coast Guard and my wife as she was also employed by the Federal Government.  While there was no act prohibiting me from speaking my mind during my 33 plus years in real estate sales, common sales in my opinion was a much stronger “personal Act” that insured I did NOT offend my wealth builders.  My wealth builders were all of my agents in my company and all of the potential customers that chose to do business with my company.  As in the case of Morelli and his Deli, it made no sense whatsoever so say whatever he felt like saying and then not to expect a backlash from outraged employees, customers and suppliers. 

It is true that everyone has opinions, some much stronger than others.  It is also true that everyone “should” be able to speak whatever they feel like saying or writing and they have that right.  But there are consequences for what you say or write.  You may be able to endure the consequences you bring upon yourself, but what about your employees, customers and suppliers?  Maybe Morelli has made his millions and can survive in a hostile world but that is probably not the case for his employees, and most of his customers and suppliers.  They will become known as “collateral damage.”  Not a good place to be at least for them.

Will I ever make a purchase at Morelli’s Deli?  Absolutely not.  First because his Tweet is so over the top and offense to millions of people and Second because I am not in his area.  Either way I would NEVER make a purchase at his Deli.  More importantly, I fear for Morelli’s life and future.  Just as he see thinks the shooting is a “community outreach” activity to rid the country of what he perceives as a threat, there are others who now may think that a “community outreach” activity towards him by a person or persons who oppose what he has said could be detrimental to his life and future.

The opening paragraph in the Charles Dickens novel, A Tale of Two Cities explains it best, at least to me:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, (and the rest of the quote is) it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, …”

We have just witnessed the “worst of times” in Las Vegas and now in the political diatribe but we have also witnessed “the best of times” in the way MOST of the country has come together not only in Las Vegas but also in Texas, Florida and now in Puerto Rico.  It really is the worst of times and the best of times.

The question to everyone should be on which side of that quote to you find yourself?  Are you engaged in the Best of Times or the Worst of Times?  What are you doing to making better all the lives of all those suffering at this very moment in our history or what are you doing to worsen their lives?  Most people in the later category are like Greg Morelli – doing it with their tongues! And to think they eat with those same mouths.  Shameful and despicable come to my mind.