16 August 2015

posted 13 Aug 2015, 22:09 by C S Paul
16 August 2015

Quotes to Inspire 

  • "In order to be a leader, a man must have followers. And to have followers, a man must have their confidence. Hence, the supreme quality for a leader is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible." – Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th US President
  • "In the final analysis it is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings." – Ann Landers
  • "There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other, wings." – Hodding Carter
  • Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. Carl Jung 
  • A person’s true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. Mohammed 
  • Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin. – Unknown
  • People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner of later to find time for illness." – John Wanamaker
  • "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." – John Wooden
  • "Reputation is what you are in the light; character is what you are in the dark." American Proverb
  • "Nothing would be done at all if a man or woman waited until they could do it so well that no one could find fault with it." – John Henry Newman
  • "Behavior is what a man does, not what he thinks, feels, or believes"  Emily Dickinson
  • "Do not wait for leaders–do it alone, person to person." – Mother Teresa

Karoly Takacs : A Hero, An Inspiration

You’ve probably never heard of him. However, in Hungary, he’s a national hero – everybody there knows his name and his incredible story. After reading his story, you’ll never forget him…
In 1938, Karoly Takacs of the Hungarian Army, was the top pistol shooter in the world. He was expected to win the gold in the 1940 Olympic Games scheduled for Tokyo.

Those expectations vanished one terrible day just months before the Olympics.While training with his army squad, a hand grenade exploded in Takacs’ right hand, and Takacs’ shooting hand was blown off.

Takacs spent a month in the hospital depressed at both the loss of his hand, and the end to his Olympic dream. At that point most people would have quit. And they would have probably spent the rest of their life feeling sorry for themselves. Most people would have quit but not Takacs. Takacs was a winner. Winners know that they can’t let circumstances keep them down. They understand that life is hard and that they can’t let life beat them down. Winners know in their heart that quitting is not an option.

Takacs did the unthinkable; he picked himself up, dusted himself off, and decided to learn how to shoot with his left hand! His reasoning was simple. He simply asked himself, “Why not?”

Instead of focusing on what he didn’t have – a world class right shooting hand, he decided to focus on what he did have – incredible mental toughness, and a healthy left hand that with time, could be developed to shoot like a champion.

For months Takacs practiced by himself. No one knew what he was doing. Maybe he didn’t want to subject himself to people who most certainly would have discouraged him from his rekindled dream.
In the spring of 1939 he showed up at the Hungarian National Pistol Shooting Championship. Other shooters approached Takacs to give him their condolences and to congratulate him on having the strength to come watch them shoot. They were surprised when he said, “I didn’t come to watch, I came to compete.” They were even more surprised when Takacs won!

The 1940 and 1944 Olympics were cancelled because of World War II. It looked like Takacs’ Olympic Dream would never have a chance to realize itself. But Takacs kept training and in 1944 he qualified for the London Olympics. At the age of 38, Takacs won the Gold Medal and set a new world record in pistol shooting. Four years later, Takacs won the Gold Medal again at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Takacs – a man with the mental toughness to bounce back from anything.

Winners in every field have a special trait that helps them become unstoppable. A special characteristic that allows them to survive major setbacks on the road to success. Winners recover QUICKLY. Bouncing back is not enough.Winners bounce back QUICKLY. They take their hit, they experience their setback, they have the wind taken out of their sails, but they immediately recover. Right away they FORCE themselves to look at the bright side of things – ANY bright side, and they say to themselves, “That’s OK. There is always a way. I will find a way.” They dust themselves off, and pick up where they left off.

The reason quick recovery is important is that if you recover quickly, you don’t lose your momentum and your drive. Takacs recovered in only one month. If he had wallowed in his misery, if he had stayed “under the circumstances,” if he had played the martyr, and felt sorry for himself much longer, he would have lost his mental edge – his “eye of the tiger” and he never would have been able to come back.

When a boxer gets knocked down, he has ten seconds to get back up. If he gets up in eleven seconds, he loses the fight. Remember that next time you get knocked down.

Takacs definitely had a right to feel sorry for himself. He had a right to stay depressed and to ask himself “Why me?” for the rest of his life. He had the right to act like a mediocre man.
Takacs could have let his terrible accident cause him to become permanently discouraged, to take up heavy drinking, to quit on life alltogether, and maybe even to end his own life. He could have acted like a loser.

But Takacs made the DECISION to dig deep inside and to find a solution. To pick himself up and to learn to shoot all over again. Winners always search for a solution. Losers always search for an escape.

Next time you get knocked down, DECIDE you will act like a winner. DECIDE to act like Takacs. Get up quickly, take action, and astound the world!

Who Packed Your Parachute?

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We mayfail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful     that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. 

Charles Plumb, a US Naval Academy graduate, was a jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat
missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and
parachuted into enemy lands. 

He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the or   deal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience. One day, when Plumb and    his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're   Plumb! You   flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were      shot down!" 

"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb. "I packed your parachute," the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I    guess it worked!" Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't     be here today."

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, "I kept wondering    what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform: A white hat, a bib in the back, and bell bottom trousers.I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said good morning,  how are you or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot, and he was just       a sailor."


Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels    
of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know.


Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?"

Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory - he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his 
emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. 

He called on all these supports before reaching safety. His experience reminds us all to prepare ourselves to weather whatever storms lie ahead. As you go through this week, this month, this year... recognize people who pack your parachute!


My Father's Clothes

Provided by Free Christian Content.org

What my father wore embarrassed me as a young man. I wanted him to dress like a doctor or lawyer, but on those muggy mornings when he rose before dawn to fry eggs for my mother and me, he always dressed like my father.

We lived in south Texas, and my father wore tattered jeans with the imprint of his pocketknife on the seat. He liked shirts that snapped more than those that buttoned and kept his pencils, cigars, glasses, wrenches and screwdrivers in his breast pocket. My father's boots were government issues with steel toes that made them difficult to pull off his feet, which I sometimes did when he returned from repairing air conditioners, his job that also shamed me.

But, as a child, I'd crept into his closet and modeled his wardrobe in front of the mirror. My imagination transformed his shirts into the robes of kings and his belts into soldiers' holsters. I slept in his undershirts and relied on the scent of his collars to calm my fear of the dark. Within a few years, though, I started wishing my father would trade his denim for khaki and retire his boots for loafers. I stopped sleeping in his clothes and eventually began dreaming of another father.

I blamed the way he dressed for my social failures. When boys bullied me, I thought they'd seen my father wearing his cowboy hat but no shirt while walking our dog. I felt that girls snickered at me because they'd glimpsed him mowing the grass in cut-offs and black boots. The girls' families paid men (and I believed better dressed ones) to landscape their lawns, while their fathers yachted in the bay wearing lemon yellow sweaters and expensive sandals.

My father only bought two suits in his life. He preferred clothes that allowed him the freedom to shimmy under cars and squeeze behind broken Maytags, where he felt most content. But the day before my parents' twentieth anniversary, he and I went to Sears, and he tried on suits all afternoon. With each one, he stepped to the mirror, smiled and nodded, then asked about the price and reached for another. He probably tried ten suits before we drove to a discount store and bought one without so much as approaching a fitting room. That night my mother said she'd never seen a more handsome man.

Later, though, he donned the same suit for my eighth grade awards banquet, and I wished he'd stayed home. After the ceremony (I'd been voted Mr. Citizenship, of all things), he lauded my award and my character while changing into a faded red sweat suit. He was stepping into the garage to wash a load of laundry when I asked what even at age fourteen struck me as cruel and wrong.

"Why," I asked, "don't you dress 'nice,' like my friends' fathers?"

He held me with his sad, shocked eyes, and searched for an answer. Then before he disappeared into the garage and closed the door between us, my father said, "I like my clothes." An hour later my mother stormed into my room, called me an "ungrateful child," a phrase that echoed in my head for years to come. 

As I matured I realized that girls avoided me not because of my father but because of his son. I realized that my mother had scolded me because my father could not, and it soon became clear that what he had really said that night was that there are things more important than clothes. He'd said he couldn't spend a nickel on himself because there were things I wanted. That night, without another word, my father had said, "You're my son, and I sacrifice so your life will be better than mine."

For my high school graduation, my father arrived in a suit he and my mother had purchased earlier that day. Somehow he seemed taller, more handsome and imposing, and when he passed the other fathers they stepped out of his way. It wasn't the suit, of course, but the man. The doctors and lawyers recognized the confidence in his swagger, the pride in his eyes, and when they approached him, they did so with courtesy and respect. After we returned home, my father replaced the suit in the flimsy Sears garment bag, and I didn't see it again until his funeral.

I don't know what he was wearing when he died, but he was working, so he was in clothes he liked, and that comforts me. My mother thought of burying him in the suit from Sears, but I convinced her otherwise and soon delivered a pair of old jeans, a flannel shirt and his boots to the funeral home.

On the morning of the services, I used his pocketknife to carve another hole in his belt so it wouldn't droop around my waist. Then I took the suit from Sears out of his closet and changed into it. Eventually, I mustered the courage to study myself in his mirror where, with the exception of the suit, I appeared small and insignificant. Again, as in childhood, the clothes draped over my scrawny frame. My father's scent wafted up and caressed my face, but it failed to console me. I was uncertain: not about my father's stature - I'd stopped being an ungrateful little twerp years before. No, I was uncertain about myself, my own stature. And I stood there for some time, facing myself in my father's mirror, weeping and trying to imagine

... as I will for the rest of my life ...

the day I'll grow into my father's clothes. 

Passing the Torch

John LeBlanc

Most of you know that both my dad and my father in law died in the same week this past July. Since then my wife and I have been busy literally selling the farm my parents lived on and disposing of all the farm equipment and 75 years accumulation of business, farm and personal stuff. Just going through it is a long process, not to mention disposing of it.


I found a few really neat things I had not seen since I was a kid right away. I decided then and there that there would not be any wholesale removal of anything. The memories those things brought back were just too valuable.

After many hours, days and weeks of blood, sweat and tears literally, on the top shelf of my Dad's workshop covered with dirt daubers and spider webs was a Gerber baby food jar. Inside it was a key ring. On the key ring was a Nickel alloy almost round magnet the size of a dine and about 4 mm thick. 

My dad was a radiator repairman and welder. One of the problems right after WWII was radiators had a lot of iron parts on them that caused repair problems. Dad needed a handy magnet to sort out these parts. His uncle was a metallurgist at a local refinery and made that magnet for him. As a kid I always remember it on his key ring. About 10 years ago I asked what happened to it and he told me he did not know.

He obviously put it in a safe place. I found it.

Dad, it is on my key ring just like it was on yours. 

The torch is passed.

When it came time to do the same thing at my father in law's house my brother in law "I just can't do it" is what he told me. Too sensitive of a guy. My dad took that sensitivity out of me with a little strip of leather and the admonition to "suck it up and take it like a man". 

My Dad's parents were both killed when he was 16 in 1932 in the midst of the depression. Dad knew what "suck it up and take it like a man" meant. He had been there, done that. I often thought of him telling me that and it got me through many a dismal hour in my youth, the U S Army, at Philmont and all along life's path.

I even passed it along to my daughters. My 23 year old is often heard telling her whining friends to "suck it up and take it like a man" and they do!

Anyway, the time came to clean out my father in law's attic. He notoriously saved EVERYTHING, packaged it in an appropriate box or bag, tied it with string and labeled it. This was brought to my attention when my wife and I had our first child (the 23 year old) and she was ready to start coloring with Crayolas.

Grandpa fetched my wife's coloring books and Crayolas from the attic where he put them some 35 year earlier.

OK, I approached my brother in law about cleaning out the attic. He told me he just couldn't put his mind to it that it was too painful and anyway almost everything up there was mine. He told his sister she could have anything that was up there. 

True my wife had put a lot of baby stuff in her dad's attic as ours is not very big so we got after it. 

Yesterday we started working on the attic. Besides five computers that belonged to her brother and three degrees worth of engineering notes and texts stored there we also found his Cub Scout uniform from 50 years ago.

She also found a silver tray and coffee and tea service that she had never seen before. The note in the box told that it was her great grandmothers. We had it appraised today at $500.00. It is not the monetary value, but the fact that it is a family heirloom she had never seen or heard about.

Today I found her brother's A. C. Gilbert No 6-1/2 Erector Set complete with instruction booklet and the electric motor and gear box. Mine gave up the ghost long ago and what is left of the "customized" parts is in some landfill. If you have never built things with an Erector Set, you just have never lived.

I don't think the gear box on the motor drive would pass OSHA standards today but back then kids didn't go sticking their fingers into gears to see what it would do. We knew without trying.

Since he told me the stuff was all mine I am enjoying playing with MY Erector Set even though his name is written on the box. I just got off the phone from telling him how much fun it was to play with it again after a 50 year hiatus.

I told him that when I got through playing with MY new toy, he could borrow it someday so long as he returned it the same day. No overnight loans. I did not want him to become attached to it.

In reality, I'll clean it up and give it to him for a Christmas present. In the meantime, I'm gonna make him sweat. I'll throw in his Cub Scout uniform for good measure. He doesn't even know I found it.

His daddy always put the things into the attic and Gene and Susan had no idea where or what was there. The attic was their dad's sanctum sanctuary.

Now I am the custodian of the attic. 

And again, the torch is passed.

Did you know ?


  • Beer was the first trademarked product – British beer Bass Pale Ale received its trademark in 1876.
  • Playing-cards were known in Persia and India as far back as the 12th century. A pack then consisted of 48 instead of 52 cards.
  • Excavations from Egyptian tombs dating to 5,000 BC show that the ancient Egyptian kids played with toy hedgehogs.
  • Accounts from Holland and Spain suggest that during the 1500s and 1600s urine was commonly used as a tooth-cleaning agent.
  • Julius Caesar was the first to encode communications, using what has become known as the Caesar Cipher.
  • The first mention of soap was on Sumerian clay tablets dating about 2,500 BC. The soap was made of water, alkali and cassia oil.
  • The first animal in space was the female Samoyed husky named Laika, launched by the Soviets in 1957.
  • In 1958, the US sent two mice called Laska and Benjy into space.
  • In 1961. the US launched a male chimpanzee called Ham into space.
  • In 1963, the French launched a cat called Feliette into space.
  • Pork is the world’s most widely-eaten meat.
  • In Denmark there are twice as many pigs as people.

Just for Laughs

A sweet grandmother telephoned Mount Sinai Hospital.  She timidly asked, "Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?"  

The operator said, "I'll be glad to help, Dear.  What's the name and room number?"

The grandmother in her weak tremulous voice said, "Holly Finkel, room 302.

The Operator replied, "Let me check.  Oh, good news.  Her record says that Holly is doing very well.  Her blood pressure is fine; her blood work just came back as normal and her physician, Dr. Cohen, has scheduled her to be discharged Tuesday."

 The Grandmother said, "Thank you.  That's wonderful!  I was so worried!  God bless you for the good news."

 The operator replied, "You're more than welcome.  Is Holly your daughter?"

 The Grandmother said, "No, I'm Holly Finkel in 302.  No one tells me squat."


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