Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Have a Happy New Year

What are you eating for New Years? Since New Years Day 1866, many eat the traditional black-eyed peas for good luck. Where does this come from you say? Well, many have suggested a tradition that dates back to the Civil War. The Union troops were given a strategy which involved destroying everything in the South. They burned what they saw, pilfered the crops, cows, and other agricultural items. The only thing they left were the black-eyed peas because the Union troops didn’t realize they were an edible food item. Many may say this about them today, unless of course you have someone like my wife who knows the right ingredients to add which make them taste terrific. Anyway, the black-eyed peas provided food for survival so people of the South associated them with good luck. Ever since New Year’s Day 1866, the South has hung on to the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on the first day of the year.
Is there such a thing as good luck or is it that some people just seem to always look at the good side of things; just go for it with no fear of failure and end up creating good luck for themselves. In the entire history of the United States, only one person has ever been officially hit by a meteorite. The year was 1954 in Sylacauga Alabama. Mrs. E. Hulitt Hodge was simply taking a nap in her living room when out of nowhere an 8.5 pound meteorite came crashing through her roof and landed on her hip. She received abdominal injuries which fortunately, were not serious. It caused extensive bruising which took a number of weeks to disappear. The funny thing about the incident is that she lived across the street from the Comet Drive-In Theatre. 

I think there may be something to just looking at the good side of things. A person just can’t sit around in fear of a meteorite hitting them. They’ve got to get out and go for it. No one can accomplish anything if they are always afraid of making a mistake. Why sit around and think of doom and gloom. If someone doesn’t like something, they should change it. Look on the bright side of things because even if something bad happens, it might make you famous. So if you want to eat black-eyed peas this year, go ahead, it’s not going to hurt anything. Then after dinner, open up your lap top or smart phone and watch an inspiring video on YouTube with positive quotes or something.
Of course, you could do like the farmer did on a local commercial in my area of central Texas one time. It was a commercial of an ice cream maker called Blue Bell ice cream. The farmer was having a bad day; his barn fell down, he was struck by lightning, and he fell in the mud. At the end of the day he was sitting at the table eating Blue Bell ice cream with mud on his face and frizzled hair. His wife walked in and asks, “How was your day”. As he took another bite of Blue Bell the farmer said “It turned out good”

After I eat my black-eyed peas this New Years Day, I think

I'll have a big bowl of Blue Bell.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

What Will be Your Story?

After dinner, Annie went out on the back porch. It was a Saturday evening and darkness had started to set over the Delaware sky. Her mom noticed that Annie was looking up at the stars so she went out to take a look. Annie’s Mom had always loved to star-gaze and had recently noticed that her daughter had this same passion so she had taught Annie the constellations. Annie’s Dad was finishing up dinner. Later he would meet with his business manager about a major project in his shipbuilding business.

Several years went by and Annie was home for Christmas. She was taking a few weeks away from traveling and dabbling in photography to think about her future. She decides to go out on that same back porch she used to go as a child to look up at the Delaware sky. She had graduated from Wellesley College recently where she studied physics and was contemplating reentering college to specialize in astronomy at Radcliffe College.

A few more years went by before Annie got word that she had been appointed to the staff at Harvard College Observatory to record, classify and catalog stars based on temperatures. Five years later, this would lead to the publishing of a catalog of 1,122 southern stars. In 1910, her system was adapted by observatories worldwide. Annie Jump Cannon’s system of star classification groups stars into categories labeled O, B, A, F, G, K and M (known by the mnemonic, “Oh, Be a Fine Girl, Kiss Me”)

She later compiled the Henry Draper Catalogue which was published by the Harvard Observatory between 1918 and 1924. The catalogue lists the spectral types, magnitudes, and positions of 225,300 stars and continues to be used internationally by astronomers.

This story is just one of many great stories found when we look into the lives of people that have made a difference. You see, Annie set in motion the tremendous discoveries that are being made today. Just recently, astronomers have found a new planet in a different solar system that may be Earth’s twin; capable of supporting life. They study the brightness of stars and notice a planet because its orbit crosses in front of the star and causes it to dim. Here’s a link: New Planets Discovered.

What will be your story? Right now, you may know of something that no one else could possibly know about. My hope is that this video will inspire you to give some thought to what great discovery you might make in the future: Giants Awakening - Vision for Success.

You may be like Annie’s mom and give a child a dream or you may be like Annie, looking to make new discoveries. Reflect on these thoughts each day and be thankful for the opportunity to reach for the stars in whatever you do.

Check out my other blogs where I receive a constant supply of inspiration for my writings by clicking on the links below:

Step Ahead

Friday, December 9, 2011

Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

The year is around 1970 and two high school students were members of their high school programmers group. The group received free computer time in exchange for writing computer programs. Someone came to them one day about the need to process traffic information so engineers could make good decisions on how to adjust traffic lights and improve roads.

These two friends dabbled with an idea. They kept after their dream with a passion; even making friends with some college students who helped with developing the hardware to a machine. You see, their idea was to develop a device that would process traffic data cheaper and faster than local companies. They graduated from high school and went their separate ways off to college but maintained their dream. They finally got to know enough friends with the hardware knowhow to build a device that would work with their computer programs which would read traffic tapes directly and eliminate the tedious manual work.  

It was a useful device and they started a company called Traf-O-Data. The company produced a few thousand dollars of revenue but later the states started offering free traffic processing services to cities. This ended the need for their device so the company never did take off.  

It was a lesson learned though. They may have failed with their first company but they gained experience in developing software for computer hardware that did not exist. The experience gained in this venture later was used to write a program that started a very successful company. In 1975, the two young friends named Bill Gates and Paul Allen established Microsoft to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for Altair 8800. Microsoft rose to dominate the home computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by the Microsoft Windows line.  

The lesson learned in the story above applies to each of us today. Dream and imagine where you want to go or want to be. Don’t be afraid to take big steps and think about things no one else has thought about. Thinking, believing, passion, and working together may lead to something beyond your wildest dreams.

Check out my other blogs where I receive a constant supply of inspiration for my writings by clicking on the links below:

Step Ahead
This Day with God Devotional

Friday, December 2, 2011

Organize to Fight High Prices

Think of all the inventions that have been made because of having bad days. Bad days make people think up new ways to create better days for someone else. According to amusingfacts.com, it was after dropping and breaking a bottle of milk which spilled on his floor one morning that John Van Wormer invented paper milk cartons.

Last week, I tossed out some ideas on neighbors working together to cut living expenses. Some questions were presented like what if neighborhoods worked together using coupons or buying groceries in bulk? Why can’t neighborhoods run like a business? A business saves money by purchasing items in bulk and organizing to cut cost. Think of the savings on a family’s grocery bill.

The price of food seems to be going up dramatically which is causing a lot of stress and bad days for families. Think of the items like paper plates, paper towels, drinks, diapers, etc. that can be bought in bulk with no expiration date. The main problem is storage. What if neighbors organized so that these items were bought in bulk and then distributed to the neighbors that wanted to participate in this idea? Think of the money savings on the grocery bill.

If enough neighbors worked together and were united as members of a group called “Neighbors United”, could they make a deal with a grocery store chain so its members could get discounts on purchases from their stores? If none of the grocery companies would listen, they could study the possibility or even use as a bargaining tool the development of a website so members of “Neighbors United” could sell grocery products themselves.

If “Neighbors United” could make a deal with a grocery store chain, it would provide a way for its members to save on their groceries and at the same time boost membership growth. If none of the grocery chains were willing to listen, the comprehensive online grocery store idea would take some work but in the end hopefully help to achieve an economic climate that would save families on their monthly grocery bill. The public would get a better price on their food and families would have more money in their own pockets. The “Neighbors United” organization would benefit with growth in membership and gain some power to fight against high prices because of the following reasons:

·       Enhanced public perception of “Neighbors United”

o   Neighborhoods would see benefits of “Neighbors United” membership

o   Members would have a tool that would help provide the best price and quality on their food

·       All neighborhoods would be working together on a joint project to make “Neighbors United” stronger and able to bargain for good prices

If you are willing to fight for lower grocery prices, click to +1 this post. We’ll see how much support is out there to work together at getting it organized and going. 

Check out my other blogs; where I receive a constant supply of inspiration for my writings by clicking on the links below:

This Day with God Devotional