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Thank you again and always…

‘Tis the season of thankfulness.  Not that we should wait during the rest of the year to say, “Thank you”, but certainly November and December remind us of our blessings, don’t you agree?  So before going any further – permit me to say, “Thank you”!

Thankfully, I am blessed with family, friends, clients and colleagues who enrich my life beyond count.  Thankfully, smart people have put counting in the proper perspective:

Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted. 

Albert Einstein

Thankfully, I have readers who accept my periodic posts and reciprocate with responses of appreciation towards my little ditties.

I can’t count all that I am thankful for; nor all of the times I have wanted to thank someone for their kindness.  But I am thankful for sure.  I’m thankful for living in Denver – most of the time anyway:

Welcome to Denver:

     The morning rush hour is from 5:00 to 10:00 AM. The evening rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:00 PM.  Friday’s rush hour starts on Thursday.

     Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere.  Denver has its own version.  The car or truck with the loudest muffler goes next at a 4-way stop.  The truck with the biggest tires goes after that.  Blue-haired, green-haired, or cranberry-haired ladies driving anything have the right of way all of the time.

     North and South only vaguely resemble the real direction of certain streets.  University and Colorado are two boulevards that run parallel.  Geometry evidently not working at altitude, these streets intersect south of C470.

     Highway 285 runs North, South, East and West and every direction in between; it can be found in every section of the Denver area making navigation very interesting.  You can turn west onto southbound 285; you can turn north onto westbound C470; and you can drive southeast on the Northwest Parkway.  This is why Denver uses the additional driving directions of “out”, “up”, “in”, “down”, and sometimes “over”.

     Construction barrels are permanent, and are simply moved around in the middle of the night to make the next day’s drive more challenging.  When you see an orange cone, you must stop and then move ahead slowly until there are no more cones.  There need not be construction, just cones.

     If someone has their turn signal on, wave them to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been accidentally activated.

     If it’s 70 degrees, Thanksgiving is probably next week; if it’s snowing, it’s probably the weekend after Memorial Day.

     If you stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended or cussed-out.  A red light means four more cars can go through.  Not three; not five.  Four.  Never honk at anyone.  Ever.  Seriously.  Never yield at a “Yield” sign.  The yield sign is like an appendix; it once had a purpose but nobody can remember what it was.

     Just because a street on the east side of town has the same name as a street on the west side of town doesn’t mean they’re connected. 

Unknown Sage

Thankfully we will spend time with family, friends, food, and fun with a little football during the Thanksgiving holiday.  We will take a few quiet moments to reflect on all we have to be thankful for, too:

Thank you Lord.  I may never have a lot; but I have always had enough. 

Gary A. Pokorn

Thankfully we have the opportunity to experience the peace and power of a positive perspective this Thanksgiving.

GAP

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Special Moms…

Moms are special, true?  My Mom was special – I bet your Mom is (or was) special, too.  This coming Sunday – in mind; in memory; or in person; please be sure to make it a special day for your Mom.

My wife is a special Mom.  She continues to lovingly mother our grown boys and our grandchildren even while their father worries, “How do I get all of these kids off the payroll?”  But I digress.

Our Moms have a special sense of humor – just ask our favorite, Unknown Sage:

A wife invited some people to dinner.  At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?”  I wouldn’t know what to say”, the girl replied.  “Just say what you hear Mommy say”, the wife answered.  The daughter bowed her head and said, “Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”

Our Moms are special teachers.  Remember many of the life-long lessons you learned from your Mom?  These special lessons we learned from our mothers are often passed down through generations.  Back to our Unknown Sage:

What my Mother taught me:

My Mother taught me logic;

“Because I said so, that’s why.”

My Mother taught me irony;

“Keep laughing and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

My Mother taught me about the science of osmosis:

“Shut your mouth and eat your supper!”

Even Bill Gates has a take (including “Mom” in his reference to his parents, and ours):

Excerpt from Bill Gates’ speech to Mount Whitney High School, Visalia, CA:

Rule 1 – Life is not fair; get used to it.

Rule 7 – Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now.  They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were.  So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Our Moms have a special and immeasurable reservoir of power.  I bet your Mom has power; my Mom did.  She was stricken with cancer when I was 6 years old.  In fact, I no longer remember a time when she was not ill.  The last 15 years of her life were spent undergoing cancer treatments.

I watched my Mom’s great power, which she needed in order to deal with a new cancer treatment in the late 1960’s that was so unimaginably harsh – that the administration of this treatment was solely based on the primitive science of trial and error – where the doctors’ routine consisted of observing how much of a dose could she tolerate without dying from the treatment.

It was an experimental treatment back then; offered only as a last resort for terminally ill cancer patients. This wasn’t a cancer cure; just a radical option to extend one’s life another year or two.  It was due to her staying power (and that of many other patients like her) before she finally succumbed in 1974, that has helped pave the way to the development of the commonly used, life-saving cancer treatment we all know today as chemotherapy.

How many special Moms have died fighting terrible diseases (and brutal treatments) so the rest of us can benefit from the overly exaggerated term, “modern medicine”?

Mother’s Day – make it special for your Mom if she’s living; make it special for you through your memories of your Mom if she’s not.

GAP

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Christ’s birthday…

Merry Christmas to all!

Wishing you a day of peace, hope, joy and celebration with family and friends.  Thank you in advance for permitting me to re-post this little ditty – it’s one of my favorites.

Of course, Christmas is more than just one day, true?  Whatever our spiritual beliefs, may each of us find meaning to our life during this season in a way that lasts throughout the entire year.  So here’s to looking back and celebrating 2016; and to looking forward to an even better 2017!

Lest there be any confusion, may we be reminded of that which was important this year, and that which wasn’t.

We are reminded by bankers to be of good cheer:

A little boy received a new drum for Christmas.  Shortly thereafter, his father came home from work and the mother told him, “I don’t think the man upstairs likes to hear Georgie play his new drum, but he’s certainly subtle about it.  “How do you know”? asked the father.  “Well, this afternoon he gave Georgie a knife and asked him if he knew what was inside the drum.” 

Herbert Prochnow

We are reminded by strangers not to lose sight of our common sense:

On most brands of Christmas lights:

“For indoor or outdoor use only.”

(As opposed to…what?)

Unknown Sage

We are reminded by the gospel to be satisfied with who we are not what we bought:

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are – no more, no less.  That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. 

Matthew

We are reminded by the novelists to remember (and be thankful for) our “fortunes”:

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. 

Charles Dickens

We are reminded by the politicians (of all people) to remember why this is a holiday to begin with…

How many observe Christ’s birthday; how few His precepts.  O ‘tis easier to keep a Holiday, than Commandments.

Benjamin Franklin

We are reminded to offer His blessings to you and yours from me and mine.

And to all a good night!

GAP

Still Giving Thanks…

We are in the season of thankfulness.  Not that we should wait during the rest of the year to say, “Thank you”, but certainly November and December remind us of our blessings, don’t you agree?  So before going any further – permit me to say, “Thank you”!

Thankfully, I am blessed with family, friends, clients and colleagues who enrich my life beyond count.  Thankfully, I have readers who accept my periodic posts and reciprocate with responses of appreciation towards my little ditties.

Let me thank Chris Corcoran.  Because he knew how much it would mean to me, Chris bought me the book Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle ©.  Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to work for Oracle back in the day that the majority of this book was depicted.  And wouldn’t you know it?  My career is circling back as I prepare to rejoin Oracle Corporation twenty five years later.

Thankfully, I have been fortunate enough to work for some of the “all time” business leaders, including Josh Weston of ADP; Larry Ellison of Oracle; and Dave Duffield of Integral Systems (which preceded PeopleSoft and now Workday).  Each unique in their style; all the same in their impact.

John McCall is a reader, too.  He generously sent me a very special email:

Gary, about a year ago I tried to compile quotes from one of the most wise men in American history. I enjoy your site and emails and I hope these quotes (or most of them anyway) you will find to be as hilarious, spot on and useful as I do. I hope you are well.

John attached a compilation of Benjamin Franklin quotes for my enjoyment.  Thank you John!

So ready or not, its Thanksgiving week!  Hard to believe it’s here already isn’t it?  I guess time flies when we’re heads down, working during these challenging times.

With the recent snow in Denver we are reminded winter is upon us.  No worries, though.  With the kindness I receive from Chris, John, and all those around me, I will stay warm:

A kind word warms for three winters. 

Chinese Proverb

Thankfully, many are optimistic that we will have a successful “Black Friday”; “Small Business Saturday”; and “Cyber Monday”.  Thankfully, we have retailers who are able to brave the “Advertise & Hope” approach to sales.  That’s why I chose a Business-to-Business sales profession where with a semblance of control, we can go out and “sell somebody something” vs. waiting and hoping.

Thankfully, we have smart people to put things in proper perspective.  You see, I’m not the smartest guy in the room.  But I am coachable; listen well; and have an excellent memory.  The next best thing to being a genius is to mingle with those who are:

Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count;

everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted. 

Albert Einstein

I can’t count all that I am thankful for; nor all of the times I have wanted to thank someone for their kindness or courtesy.  But I am thankful for sure.

Thankfully we will spend time with family, friends, food, and fun with a little football during the Thanksgiving holiday.  We will have a few quiet moments to reflect on all we have to be thankful for, too.

Thankfully, I have readers who read my posts and offer me occasional replies of encouragement.  And thankfully we have the opportunity to experience the peace and power of a positive perspective this holiday season.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Just for fun…

Thought I’d lighten things up a bit today after writing a few heavy posts recently.  I mean, I know life can be tough; but it also can get better:

Life breaks us.  And when we heal, we’re stronger on the broken parts. 

Ernest Hemingway

My wife and I went on a weekend getaway with our best friends Steve and Jacquie.  Beer; bear country; and besties – we headed out to mend a few of those broken parts.  We didn’t see any bears but the trip reminded me of my favorite sighting:

A bear who, displaying a $5 bill, had entered a bar and ordered a beer and; the owner of the bar directed the bartender to give the bear the beer, saying that since the bear didn’t look very smart to only give it 25 cents in change.

Having done as he had been instructed, and having watched incredulously as the bear placidly sipped the beer, the bartender finally could no longer contain himself and sought to engage the bear in conversation.  “You know”, he said to the bear, “we don’t get many bears in this bar.”  To which the bear is said to have replied, “at $4.75 a beer, it’s no wonder.” 

Norman R. Augustine

Ah that Norman R. Augustine, former head of Martin Marietta Corporation a huge US Government aerospace contractor.  Talk about broken parts!  Norman shared his sense of humor in his book, Augustine’s Laws ©.  Here’s an excerpt courtesy of Wikipedia:

Law Number III: There are no lazy veteran lion hunters.

Law Number XIII: There are many highly successful businesses in the United States. There are also many highly paid executives. The policy is not to intermingle the two.

Law Number XIX: Although most products will soon be too costly to purchase, there will be a thriving market in the sale of books on how to fix them.

Law Number XXXI: The optimum committee has no members.

Law Number XXXVI: The thickness of the proposal required to win a multi-million dollar contract is about one millimeter per million dollars. If all the proposals conforming to this standard were piled on top of each other at the bottom of the Grand Canyon it would probably be a good idea.

Law Number LII: People working in the private sector should try to save money. There remains the possibility that it may someday be valuable again.

I know it’s not fair to poke fun at our government during an election year.  In the 1930’s America’s leading political wit, Will Rogers, couldn’t help himself:

The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.

If America’s political process doesn’t drive us all nuts, the cost of living certainly can:

It seems that there was a pretzel stand in front of an office building in New York City.  One day a man came out of the building, plunked down a quarter, and then went on his way without taking a pretzel.  This happened every day for three weeks.  Finally, the old lady running the stand spoke up, “Sir, excuse me.  May I have a word with you?”  The fellow answered,I know what you’re going to say.  You’re going to ask me why I give you a quarter every day and don’t take a pretzel.” The woman replied, “Not at all.  I just wanted to tell you that the price is now 35 cents.”

William Schreyer

Grab your besties everyone – let’s head to bear country for a few beers.  I’m buying!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Grace…

According to Merriam-Webster.com one, simple definition of grace is:

A controlled, polite, and pleasant way of behaving

And under their full definition, is added:

A special favor 

I bet you have had a polite and pleasant person in your life that made a lasting impression; that your time together you would describe as a “special favor”.

Permit me to combine theses definitions in a modest effort to describe my appreciation for the opportunity to have worked alongside my friend Cameron for the past five years (to be exact, five years and four days).  Rarely in my professional career have I encountered someone with such a distinctive manner of grace.  Calm under pressure; positive in spite of uncertainty; pleasant within every circumstance; Cameron is a man any man would respect.

As I was contemplating my post, I found this post in the Masculine Spirit:

Always leave things a little better

Cameron did.

I’m not very good at saying “good bye”.  But I try to be very good at being appreciative of those that leave me a “little better”.   Actually, I’m not really saying “good bye” to Cameron – we remain friends if no longer colleagues at the same company.

I am very appreciative of Cameron’s friendship.  He even gave me a going away present.  (Though for his grace, it should have been the other way around, true?)  Knowing I am a collector of quotes and short stories, he offered me these two pieces of peace:

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.  Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours.  Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.  Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.  Prepare a noble death song for the day you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place.  Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.  If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.  Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.  Sing your death song and die like a hero going home. 

Chief Tecumseh

A little heavy for a just a job change perhaps, but heartfelt nonetheless, yes?  And this second one:

We did not ask for this room or this music.  We were invited in.

Therefore, because the dark surrounds us, let us turn our faces to the light.

Let us endure hardship to be grateful for plenty.  We have been given pain to be astounded by joy.  We have been given life to deny death.

We did not ask for this room or this music.  But because we are here, let us dance. 

Stephen King

I didn’t ask for the sadness of Cameron’s departure; but since it occurred, I will celebrate our time together.   I have wished him well.  And from his grace, he left me a little better off.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com