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Rick Lakin

An elephant: a mouse built to government specifications.
An exception TESTS a rule; it NEVER proves it.
–Edmund C. Berkeley
An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.
–Gerald Weinberg
An expert is someone who can take something you already knew and make it sound confusing.
An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my vehicle and vanished.
An old car that served you so well will continue to serve you until you have just put four new tires under it and then it will fall apart.
–Erma Bombeck
An optimist is a person who goes to the window every morning and says, “Good morning God!” The pessimist goes to the window every morning and says, “Good god, morning.”
An optimist proclaims that this is the best of all possible worlds, and a pessimist fears that this is true.
And he gave it as his opinion. that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot if ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.
—Jonathon Swift
Andrew’s Canoeing Postulate: No matter which direction you start, it’s always against the wind coming back.
Energy-State: Any state of condition of the Universe or any portion of it which requires the expenditure of human effort or ingenuity to bring it into line with human desires, needs, or pleasures.
–Dr. John Gall
Anthony’s Law of Force: Don’t force it. Get a larger hammer.
Anthony’s Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will role into the least accessible corner of the workshop. Corollary: On the way to the corner, any dropped tool will first always strike your toes.
Any bus that can be the wrong bus will be the wrong bus. All others are out of service or full.
—John Corcoran
Any discovery is more likely to be exploited by the wicked than applied by the virtuous.
—Marion J. Levy Jr.
Any given program will expand to fill all available memory.
Any inanimate object, regardless of its composition or configuration, may be expected to perform at any time in a totally unexpected manner for reasons that are either totally obscure or completely mysterious.
—Dr. Fyodor Flap
Any jackass can, kick down a bar but it takes a good carpenter to build one.
–Sam Rayburn
Any large system is going to be operating most of the time in failure mode.
–Dr. John Gall
Any man can prove he has good judgment by saying you have.
Any man that can write, may answer a letter.
Any man who hates dogs and loves whiskey can’t be all bad.
–W.C. Fields
Any mind that is capable of real sorrow is capable of good.
Anyone can be great with money. With money, greatness is not a talent but an obligation. The trick is to be great without money. –Italo Bombolini
Any priest or shaman must be presumed guilty until proved innocent.
–Lazarus Long
Any race that doesn’t use all its potential will always stop short of its possibilities.
— Jose Torres
Any stone in your boot always migrates against the pressure gradient to exactly the point of most pressure.
–Milt Barber
Any theory that can be made to fit any facts by means of appropriate additional assumptions.
–Robert E. Schenk
Any time you wish to demonstrate something, the number of faults is proportional to the number of viewers.
Any vacuum cleaner would sooner take the nap off a rug than remove white threads from a dark rug.
Anybody can win, unless there happens to be a second entry.
–George Ade
Anybody has a right to evade taxes if he can get away with it. No citizen has a moral obligation to assist in maintaining the government.
Anybody that wants the presidency so much that he’ll spend two years organizing and campaigning for it is not to be trusted with the office.
–David Broder
Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment.
–Robert Benchley
Anyone who has begun to think places some portion of the world in jeopardy.
Anyone who uses the phrase “easy as taking candy from a baby” has never tried taking candy from a baby.
—Robin Hood
Anything free is worth what you paid for it.
Anything hit with a big enough hammer will fall apart.
–Robert A. Jackson
Anything you can do I can do better; anything I can do you can do better; anything I can do I can do better: anything IBM does is going to cost more money.
Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of weak ones.
Are you a man or a mouse? Come on, squeak up!
Army Law: If it moves, salute it; if it doesn’t move, pick it up; and if you· can’t pick it up, paint it.
As I approached the intersection, a stop sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign has ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident. As a man may be eating all day, and for want of digestion is never nourished, so these endless readers may cram themselves in vain with intellectual food.
–Dr. I. Watts
As long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.
–Edward Gibson
As the dimensions of the tree are not always regulated by the size of the seed, so the consequences of things are not always proportionate to the apparent magnitude of those events that have produced them. –Colton
Ask five economists and you’ll get five different explanations (six if one went to Harvard).
–Edgar R. Fiedler
At no time is freedom of speech more precious than when a man hits his thumb with a hammer. –Marshall Lumsden
At some point, every faculty would certainly lynch its dean–if it could only agree on a date.
At some time in the life cycle of virtually every organization, its ability to succeed in spite of itself runs out. –Richard H. Brian
Atoms are made up of electrons and protons (protons are also nothing). Fifty billion electrons placed side by side in a straight line would stretch across the period at the end of this sentence. Protons are heavier but take up less space. Such an idea is incapable of being absorbed by the human mind
—John Lardner & Thomas Sugrue
Attention to detail is the watchword for gleaning information from an unsuspecting witness.
–Inspector Clouseau
Auditors always reject a newsman’s expense account with a bottom line divided by a 5 or 10.
Auditors are the people who go in after the war is lost and bayonet the wounded.
Authority intoxicates, and makes mere sots of magistrates. The fumes of it invade the brain, and make men giddy, proud and vain; by this the fool commands the wise.
The noble with the base complies. The sot assumes the role of wit, and cowards make the base submit. –Butler
Avoid making irrevocable decisions while tired or hungry (nota bene: Circumstances can force your hand. So think ahead!). –Lazarus Long
Avoid strong drink. It makes you shoot at IRS agents–and miss
—Lazarus Long
BREAKTHROUGH: We finally figured out a way to sell it.
Bad law is more likely to be supplemented than be repealed.
—Dalin B. Oaks
Banish Evil from the world? Nonsense! Encourage it, foster it, sponsor it. The world owes Evil a debt beyond imagination. Think! Without greed, ambition falters. Without vanity, art becomes idle musing.; Without cruelty, benevolence lapses into passivity. Where would be the savior of superior understanding? –Magnus Rudolf
Bare feet magnetize sharp metal objects so they always point upward from the floor–especially in the dark.
-Al Ross
Barr’s Hypothesis: Familiarity breeds content.
Bartz’s Law of Hokey Horsepuckery: The more ridiculous a belief system, the higher the probability of its success.
–Wayne R. Bartz
Be a defensive driver. Buy a Tiger M31.
Be alert! America needs more lerts.
Be careful who you step on on the way up; you never know who you’ll pass on the way down.
Be like a duck–keep calm and unruffled on the surface but paddle like the devil under the water.
Be sure to save your money, you never know when it might be worth something again.
Be tolerant of those who disagree with you–after all, they have a right to their ridiculous opinions.
Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone.
Beauty without virtue is like a flower without perfume.
Beck’s postulate: Murphy was an optimist.
Bedfellows make strange politicians.
Behind every argument is someone’s ignorance.
Behind every great man is a great woman. Behind every great woman is a great behind.
–Anonymous male chauvinist
Being generous is inborn; being altruistic is a learned perversity. No resemblance…
–Lazarus Long
Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game and dumb enough to think its important
—Eugene McCarthy
Better be alone than in bad company.
Better bend than break.
Better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a lamb.
Better to use medicines at the outset than at the last moment.
Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before
—Mae West
Beware of people who fall at your feet. They may. be reaching for the corner of the rug.
Bicycle Law: All bicycles weigh 50 pounds: a 30-pound bicycle needs a 20-pound lock and chain. A 40-pound bicycle needs a 10-pound lock and chain. A 50-pound bicycle needs no lock and chain.
Big people are those who make us feel bigger when we are with them.
Biochemistry expands so as to fill the space and time available for its completion
and publication. –R.T. Hersh
Bismarck’s Law: The less people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better they’ll sleep at night.
Blessed are the young for they shall inherit the national debt.
Blessed is he who expects no gratitude, for he shall not be disappointed
—W.C. Bennett
Boren’s Law of Bureaucracy: When in doubt. mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in
charge, ponder. –James H. Boren
Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.
–Franklin P. Jones
Broken Mirror Law: Everyone breaks more than the seven year bad luck allotment to cover rotten luck throughout an entire lifetime. –Rozanne Weissman
Build a system that even a fool could use, and only a fool will want to use it.
Burn’s Hog Weighing Method: Get a perfectly symmetrical plank and balance it across a sawhorse. Put the hog on one end of the plank. Pile rocks on the other end until the plank is again perfectly balanced. Carefully guess the weight of the rocks.
—Robert Burns
By the data to date, there is only one animal in the Galaxy dangerous to man—man himself. So he must supply his own indispensable competition. He has no enemy to help him.
–Lazarus Long
By the time a person gets to greener pastures, he can’t climb the fence.
Cameras are so simple to operate now that taking pictures is much easier than getting friends to look at them. –Hugh Allen
Campus sidewalks never exist as the straightest line between two points
—M.M. Johnson,
Capital Punishment: the income tax.
Capitalism can ‘exist in one of only two states: welfare or warfare
—Bill Gray
Celibacy is not hereditary. –Guy Godin
Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they’re going to catch you in next.
–Franklin P. Jones
Circular Definition: see Circular Definition.
Clearly stated instructions will consistently produce multiple interpretations.
Cole’s Law: Thinly sliced cabbage.
Colson’s Law: If you’ve got them; by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.
Committee–A group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done.” –Fred Allen
Committee–A group of men who keep minutes and waste hours
—Milton Berle
Committee–A group of the unfit appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary.
–Stewart Harral
Committees have become so important nowadays that subcommittees have to be appointed to do the work.
Compared with everything else in data processing, paper is cheap; use it. But the value of a report decreases as the number of its pages increases.
Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable
—Tom Gibb
Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost. ‘
Conscious is when you are aware of something and conscience is when you wish you weren’t.

A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.
— Herb Caen
A man is never astonished that he doesn’t know what another does, but he is surprised at the gross ignorance of the other in not knowing what he does.
— Halliburton
A man never discloses his character so clearly as when he describes another’s.
— Jean Paul Richter
A man said to the universe, “Sir, I exist.”
“However,” replied the universe, “the fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.”
— Stephen Crane
A man should be greater than some of his parts.
A man who can’t mind his own business is not to be trusted with the king’s.
— Saville
A man who studieth revenge keeps his wounds green.
— Francis Bacon
A man with one watch knows what time it is: a man with two watches is never sure.
A man without religion is like a fish without a bicycle.
A man’s legs must be long enough to reach the ground.
— A. Lincoln
A meeting is a place where people get together to talk about what they should be doing.
A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer.
: — Dean Acheson
A motion to adjourn is always in order.
A new broom sweeps clean, but the old brush knows the corners.
A nickname is the heaviest stone the devil can throw at a man.
A pat on the back is only a few centimeters from a kick in the pants.
A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.
A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell.
— George Bernard Shaw
A person who can’t lead and can’t follow makes a dandy roadblock.
A phenomenon known to anyone who has ever lit fires: You can throw a burnt match out the window of your, car and start a forest fire while you can use two boxes of matches and a whole edition of the Sunday paper without being able to start a fire under the dry logs in your fireplace.
A picture is a poem without words.
— Horace
A piece of electronic equipment is housed in a beautifully designed cabinet, and at the side or on top is (a little box containing the components which the designer forgot to make room for.
— Dennis Parsons
A pig ate his fill of acorns under an oak tree and then started to root around the tree. A cow remarked, “You should not do this. If you lay bare the roots, the tree will wither and die.” “Let it die,” said the pig, “who cares so long as there are acorns?”
A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool something to stick in his mouth.
A plucked goose doesn’t lay golden eggs.
A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits.
A politician will always tip off his true belief by stating the opposite at the beginning of the sentence. For maximum comprehension, do not start listening until the first clause is concluded. Begin instead at the word “but” which begins the second, or active, clause. This is the way to tell a liberal from a conservative before they tell you. Thus: “I have always believed in a strong national defense, second to none, but…” (a liberal, about to propose a $20 billion defense cut).
— Frank Mankiewicz
A pretty woman is a welcome guest.
— Byron
A professor’s enthusiasm for teaching the introductory course varies inversely with his likelihood of having to do it.
A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience.
A quick response is worth a thousand logical responses.
— Merle P. Martin
A real friend is a person who, when you’ve made a fool of yourself, lets you forget it.
A realist lets circumstances decide which end of the telescope to look through.
A recession is when my neighbor loses his job. A depression is when I lose my job. A panic is when my wife loses her job.
— Edgar R. Fiedler
A record of data is useful–it indicates that you’ve been working. A reform is a correction of abuses; a revolution is a transfer of power.
A religion can no more afford to degrade its Devil than to degrade its God.
A river flowing through one of our large Eastern cities is so polluted that it is considered a fire hazard!
A seminar on Time Travel will be held two weeks ago.
A sense of humor keen enough to show a man his own absurdities will keep him from commission of all sins, or nearly all, save those that are worth committing.
A shortcut is the longest distance between two points.
— Prof. Charles P. Issawi
A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.
— Joseph Stalin
A successful person is one who went ahead and did the thin the rest of us never quite got around to.
A successful symposium depends on the ratio of meeting to eating.
A taste of irony has kept more hearts from breaking than a sense of humor, for it takes irony to appreciate the joke which is on oneself. {Irony is when you buy a suit with two pair of pants–then burn a hole in the coat.)
— Jessamyn West
A truck backed through my windshield into my wife’s face.
A true friend will see you through when others see that you are through.
A truly wise man never plays leapfrog with a Unicorn.
A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
— Sam Goldwyn
A wedding ring is like a tourniquet; it cuts off your circulation.
A winner makes commitments; a loser makes promises.
A winner says “Let’s find out.”; a loser Says “Nobody knows.”
A winner works harder than a loser and has more time; a loser is always too busy to do what is necessary.
A wise man who stands firm is a statesman, a foolish man who stands firm is a catastrophe.
A woman, like a good piece of music, should have a solid end.
— F. Shubert
A zygote is a gametes way of producing more gametes. This may be the purpose of the universe.
— Lazarus Long
Running a project in this office is like mating elephants–it takes a great deal of time and effort to get on top of things; The whole affair is always accompanied by a great deal of noise and confusion, the culmination of which is heralded by loud trumpeting. After which. nothing comes of the effort for two years.
ACHTUNG: Das machine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und corkenpoppen mit spitzensparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken by das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keep en hands in das pockets. Relaxen und vatch das blinkenlights!!!
ADVANCED DESIGN: copy writer doesn’t understand it
ALL NEW: Parts not interchangeable with previous design
ARTIFACT: Something only an art major would know.
ARTIFACT: The only true fact in an experiment.
Absence diminishes little passions and increases great ones, as wind extinguishes candles and fans a fire.
—Francis de La Rochefoucauld
Absence of occupation is not rest. A mind quite vacant is a mind distress’d.
Absolute freedom is being able to do what you please without considering anyone except the wife and kids, the company and the boss, neighbors and friends, the police and government, the doctor and the church.
Advice from an old carpenter: Measure twice and saw once.
After adding two weeks to the schedule for, unexpected delays, add two more for the unexpected, unexpected delays.
After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done.
After large expenditures of federal. state. and county funds; after much confusion generated by detours and road blocks; after greatly annoying the surrounding populace with noise, dust, and fumes, the previously existing traffic jam is relocated by one-half mile.
— Alan Deitz
Against stupidity, even the gods themselves contend in vain.
—Isaac Asimov
Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.
Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing–and that was the closest our country has ever come to being even.
—Will Rogers
All committee reports conclude that it is not prudent to change the policy (or procedure or organization, or whatever) at this time.
—Thomas L. Martin
All general statements are false. –R.H. Grenier
All government programs have three things in common: a beginning, a muddle, and no end.
All hierarchies contain administrators and managers, and they tend to appear at alternating levels in the hierarchies.
—Thomas L. Martin’
All men are born naked. –Carlos Eduardo Novaes
All policy interventions in social problems produce the intended effect—If the research is carried out by those implementing the policy or their friends
—James Q. Wilson
All progress is based on a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.
—Samuel Butler
All snakes who wish to remain in Ireland will please raise their right hands.
All the taxes paid over a lifetime by the average American are spent by the government in less than a second.
—Jim Fiebig,
All the things I like to do are either immoral, illegal or fattening.
—Alexander Woollcott
All they (zoos) actually offer to the public in return for the taxes spent upon them is a form of idle and witless amusement, compared to which a visit to a penitentiary, or even to a State legislature in session, is informing, stimulating and ennobling.
—H. L. Mencken
All those who are opposed to the plan I am about to propose will reply by saying “I resign.”
All you need to grow fine vigorous grass is a crack in your sidewalk.
Almost anything is easier to get into than out of.
–Agnes Allen
Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done, and why., Then do it.
—Lazarus Long
Always tell her she is beautiful, especially if she is not.
Always verify your witchcraft.
An apology to the Devil: it must be remembered that we have heard only one side of the case. God has written all the Books.
An economist is a man who would marry Farrah Fawcett for her money–Edgar R. Fiedler

Yesterday, I learned that a Muslim is a person who practices the faith of Islam. I learned that the friend has relatives in three countries and each of those family members is impacted by violence by, for, or against people living in those countries.

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

I remembered that verse because we sang it in 9th grade choir. Every American is either on of those or a descendent of someone who came to America for a better life. Even the Native Americans are descended from Asians who crossed a land bridge 13,000 years ago looking for a better life.

Is America no longer a “shining city on a hill?” Often attributed to President Reagan, the quote actually comes from a Puritan preacher, John Winthrop in 1630.

Are America’s fears and problems so great now that we cannot offer promise to the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free?”

Americans seem to fear violence to such a great degree that they will impose violence to keep themselves safer. That is a true oxymoron. Americans have a crisis of intellect in that they fear violence but they see it as a solution to their problems.

I remember the Sunday School Story about the Warm Fuzzies and the Cold Pricklies. If you substitute peace in the story, we will never have Peace until we learn to share it and promote it and see it as the solution.

So, I wish you Peace for the Holidays and for you to set a New Year’s resolution that Peace is a Solution.

During Easter Week of 1982, I was serving aboard the USS Drum (SSN-677) and we made a port visit to Perth, Australia. I had occasion to visit an Apple Computer store and was given the gift of 27 pages of Computer Taglines. After 33 years, I return these gems to the Internet.

“As a matter of fact” is an expression that precedes many an expression that isn’t.
But officer, I was only trying to gain enough speed so I could coast to the nearest gas station.
I don’t think they could put him in a mental hospital. On the other hand, if he were already in, I don’t think they would let him out.
Lord, please let me find a one-armed economist so we won’t always hear “On the other hand…”
– – Edgar R. Fiedler
The student in question is performing minimally for his peer group and is an emerging underachiever.
$100 placed at 7% interest compounded quarterly for 200 years will increase to more than $100,000,000—by which time it will be worth nothing.
—Lazarus Long
‘Tis better that a man’s own works, than another man’s words should praise’ him.
— L’Estrange
‘Tis distance lends enchantment to the view, and robes the mountain in its azure hue.
— Campbell
‘Tis not the fairest form that holds the mildest, purest soul within; ‘Tis not the richest plant that holds the sweetest fragrance in.
— Dawes
‘Tis one thing to be tempted, another thing to fall.
— Shakespeare
‘Tis strange the miser should his cares employ to gain the riches he can ne’er enjoy.
— Alexander Pope
(a) Completion of any task within the allocated time and budget does not bring credit upon the performance personnel–it merely proves the task was easier than expected; (b) failure to complete any task within the allocated time and budget proves that the task was more difficult than expected and requires promotion for those in charge.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
Cost consciousness and sophisticated design are basically incompatible.
— Richard F. Moore
The less management demands of engineers and scientists, the greater their productivity.
— Richard F. Moore
TRC eht edisni deppart rna I !pleH
7:30, Channel 5: The Bionic Dog (Action/Adventure) The Bionic Dog gets a hormonal short-circuit and violates the Mann Act with an interstate greyhound bus.
8:30, Chan. 7: Bewitched. Tabitha gets carsick and turns Darin into a plastic bag.
9:00, Chan. 5: I Dream of Jeannie. Jeannie and Major Nelson discover new things to do with Jeannie’s bottle.
A “critic” is a person who creates nothing and thereby feels qualified to judge the work of creative people. There is logic in this; he is unbiased–he hates all creative people equally. — Lazarus Long
A Smith and Wesson beats four aces.
A ball hitting a tree shall be deemed not to have hit the tree. Hitting a tree is simply bad luck and has no place in a scientific game. The player should estimate the distance the ball would have travelled if it had not hit the tree and play the ball from there, preferably atop a nice firm tuft of grass.
— Donald A. Metz
A ball sliced or hooked into the rough shall be lifted and placed in the fairway at a point equal to the distance it carried or rolled into the rough. Such veering right or left frequently results from friction between the face of the club and the cover of the ball and the player should not be penalized for the erratic behavior of the ball resulting from such uncontrollable physical phenomena.
— Donald A. Metz
A bathroom hook will be loaded to capacity immediately upon becoming available. This also applies to freeways, closets, playgrounds, downtown hotels, taxis, parking lots, wallets, purses, pockets, and so on. The list is endless.
— John Joyce
A bird in the hand is safer than two overhead.
A camel is a horse planned by a committee.
— Vogue Magazine
A carelessly planned project takes three times longer to complete than expected; a carefully planned project will take only twice as long.
A characteristic of the normal child is he doesn’t act that way very often.
A clean limerick is a contradiction in terms.
A college education shows a man how little other people know.
— Halliburton
A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain.
A committee is a thing which takes a week to do what one good man can do in an hour.
— Elbert Hubbard
A company is known by the people it keeps.
A compromise: the art of dividing the cake in such a way that each one thinks he is getting the biggest piece.
A coward is a hero with a wife, kids, and a mortgage.
— Marvin Kitman
A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
— H. L. Mencken
A cynic is a person searching for an honest man, with a stolen lantern.
— Edgar A. Shoaff
A dress that zips up the back will bring a husband and wife together.
— James H. Boren
A fake fortune teller can be tolerated, but an authentic soothsayer should be shot on sight. Cassandra did not get half the kicking around she deserved.
— Lazarus Long
A fool, indeed, has great need of a title. It teaches men to call him count and duke. And to forget his proper name of fool.
— Crowne
A foot is a device for finding furniture in the dark.
A free people always has the right to dismiss its rulers—whom it regards as its servant—at any time.
— Harry V. Jaffa
A friend of mine stopped smoking, drinking, overeating, and chasing women–all at the same time. It was, a lovely funeral.
A gift of flowers will soon be made to you.
A good leader inspires others with confidence in him; a great leader inspires them with confidence in themselves.
A good name will wear out; a bad one may be turned; a nickname lasts forever.
— Zimmerman
A great fortune is a great slavery.
— Seneca
A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
A guy has to get fresh once in a while so the girl doesn’t lose her confidence.
A journalist, is a grumbler, a censurer, a giver of advice, a regent of sovereigns, a tutor of nations. Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.
— Napoleon Bonaparte
A king’ s castle is his home.
A lie in time saves nine.
A light heart lives long.
— Shakespeare
A light supper, a good night’s sleep and a fine morning have often made a hero out of the same man, who, by indiscretion, a restless night and a rainy morning would have proved a coward.
— Chesterfield
A little help at the right time is better than a lot of help at the wrong time.
A little ignorance can go a long way.
—Solomon Short

A lost ounce of gold may be found, a lost moment of time never.

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Entropy has us outnumbered.
—Solomon Short
Epperson’s Law: when a man says it’s a silly, childish game, it’s probably something his wife can beat him at. .
Erma Bombeck’s Rule of Medicine: Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.
Ertz’s observation: Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Ettorre’s observation: The other line moves faster.
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
Even if it can’t, it might.
Even paranoids have enemies.
Every man desires to live long, but no man desires to be old.
—Jonathon Swift
Every man has three characters–that which he exhibits, that which he has and that which he thinks he has.
Every man of genius is considerably helped by being dead.
Every man who is high up loves to think that he has done it all himself; and the wife smiles. and lets it go at that. —James Matthew Barrie
Everybody has 20/20 hindsight.
Everybody lies about sex.
Everybody should believe in something–I believe I’ll have another drink
—Mary Steele
Everything is for sale; only the price is negotiable.
Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler
—Albert Einstein
Examine the contents, not the bottle. —The Talmud
Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work.
–John G. Pollard
Experience enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.
Experience is directly proportional to equipment ruined.
Experience is the one thing you have plenty of when you’re too old to get the job.
Experiments must be reproducible–they should always fail in the same way.
Exploit the inevitable (which means, take credit for anything good which happens whether you had anything to do with it or not).
FIELD TEST: Putting your software out to pasture.
FIELD TESTED: Manufacturer lacks test equipment.
FOOLPROOF OPERATION: No provision for adjustment.
FUTURISTIC: Can’t figure out another reason why it looks as it does.
Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
—Aldous Huxley
Few of us ever test our powers of deduction, except when filling out an income tax form.
Finagle’s Creed: Science is truth: don’t be misled by the facts.
Find happiness in your work, or you may not find it anywhere else.
Fine’s Corollary: Functionality breeds contempt.
First draw your curves–then plot your data.
Looks fade. Are you willing to love the person when they’re ugly? Is their heart enough? Are their morals enough? Do your insides love their insides?
Food that tastes the best has the highest calories.
Fools are certain, but wise men hesitate.
For every credibility gap there is a gullibility fill.
—Richard Clopton
For every proverb that confidently asserts its little bit of wisdom, there is usually an equal and opposite proverb that contradicts it.
—Richard Boston
For perfect happiness, remember two things: Be content with what you’ve got. Be sure you’ve got plenty.
For the first time in history, one bag of groceries produces two bags of garbage.
—Robert Orben
For they can conquer who believe they can. —Virgil
Forecasting is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future
—Edgar R. Fiedler
Forget your opponents, always play against par.
—Sam Sneed
Fried’s 23rd Law: Ideas endure and prosper in inverse proportion to their soundness and validity.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says, “I thought I was the only one.”
Friendships, like marriages, are dependent on avoiding the unforgivable.
—John D. MacDonald
—Rozanne Weissman
From the errors of others, a wise man corrects his own.
—Publilius Syrus
Fuch’s Warning: If you actually look like your passport photo, you aren’t well enough to travel.
Fudge Factor: A physical factor occasionally showing up in experiments as a result of stopp1ng a stopwatch a little early to compensate for reflex error.
Fudge Factor: The numeric factor by which experimental results must be multiplied
to be in agreement with theory.
GIGO: Garbage in, Gospel out.
Generally, the theories we believe we call facts, and the facts we disbelieve we call theories.
—Felix Cohen
Get ahead!!! You could use one.
Get a shot off FAST! This upsets him long enough to let you make your second shot perfect.
—Lazarus Long
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please
—Mark Twain
Give him an inch and he’ll screw you. —Dave Farber
Go kiss a Wookie!
Go where the money is.
—Bank robber Willie Sutton
God gives us relatives; thank God we can choose our friends.
Good judgment comes from experience. And experience–well that comes from having bad judgment.
“Greener’s Law: Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel.
HAND CRAFTED: Machine that is operated without gloves.
HIGH ACCURACY: Unit on which all parts fit.
HYPOTHESIS: A prediction based on theory formulated after an experiment is performed designed to account for the ludicrous series of events which have taken place.
Half of being smart is knowing what you’re dumb at.
—Solomon Short
Harris’s Law: Any: philosophy that can be put “in a nutshell” belongs there.
—James Gibbons Hunekerm
Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.
Have the courage to live. Anyone can die.
—Robert Cody
He had occasional flashes of silence that made his conversation perfectly delightful.
—Sydney Smith
He hated to set precedents; those who do so were sometimes promoted, more frequently they joined their ancestors.
—Robert A. Heinlein
He that lives upon Hope dies farting.
—Benjamin Franklin
He that uses many words for the explaining of any subject, doth like the cuttlefish, hide himself for the most part in his own ink. —Ray
He that would have a cake out of the wheat must tarry the grinding.
He travels fastest who travel alone…but he hasn’t anything to do when he gets there.
He who can will. He who can’t, will teach.
—M.M. Johnston
He who envies another admits his own inferiorities.
He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals.
He who has imagination without learning has wings but no feet.
He who has not a good memory, should never take upon him the trade of lying.
He who is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
He who is most slow in making a promise is the most faithful in the performance of it.
He who laughs last probably doesn’t understand the joke.
He who lives by the crystal ball soon learns to eat ground glass
—Edgar R. Fiedler
He who receives a good turn should never forget it; he who does one should never remember it.
He who reforms himself has done more toward reforming the public than a crowd of noisy, impotent patriots.
— Johann Kaspar Lavater
Hell hath no fury like a computer scorned.
Hell hath no fury like a pacifist.
—Solomon Short
Hell is a place where the motorists are French, the policemen are German, the traffic patterns are Bostonian, and the cooks are English.
Hell is truth seen too late.
—H.G. Adams
Herman’s Rule: If it works right the first time, obviously you’ve done something wrong.
History proves nothing. I —Bill Gray
History repeats itself. That’s one of the things wrong with history
—Clarence Darrow
Honesty coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar
How can I miss you if you won’t go away?
How immense appear to us the sins that we have not committed.
How you look depends on where you go.
I accept the refugees. You cheat death everyday. There’s danger everywhere but the way you end that is with peace, acceptance and love. And if that kills me, so be it, at least I’m dying with a good heart.
I am not a crook.
I had to hit him, he was starting to make sense.
I buy too many shoes and not enough clothes.
I gave her the ring; she gave me the finger.
I have a SPONGE that’s drier behind the ears than you are!
I have a feeling that at any time about three million Americans can be had for any militant reaction against law, decency, the Constitution, the Supreme Court, compassion and the rule of reason.
—John K. Galbraith
I have discovered the art of fooling diplomats: I speak the truth and they never believe me.
—Camillo Di Cavour
I hate when girls say: I need to find the Jay-Z to my Beyoncé. You can’t expect a man like Jay-Z if you’re no where close to being a Beyoncé. Sit down.
I just DON’T understand human behavior. —C3PO
I like work; it fascinates me; I can sit and look at it for hours.
I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and drove over the embankment.
I went to the race track once and bet on a horse that was so good that it took seven others to beat him!
I’d rather go whoring than warring.
—Bill Gray
I’d rather have ‘a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
I’m not afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens
—Woody Allen
I’ve seen better heads on a half pint of beer.
IT’S HERE AT LAST: rush job; nobody knew it was coming.
If A equals success, then the formula is A = X + y + Z. X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.
—Albert Einstein·
If God wanted us to be brave, why did he give us legs?
—Marvin Kitman
If Patrick Henry thought taxation without representation was bad he should see how bad it is WITH representation. ‘
If a ball rims the cup, it is deemed to have dropped. A ball should not go sideways. This violates the laws of physics.
If a ball stops at the brink of the hole and hangs there, defying gravity, it is deemed to have dropped. You can’t defy the law of gravity. —Donald A. Metz
If a man is happy in his work–exerting himself to the full extent of his capacities, and enjoying it–I’d say he’s a success. —William Romain

James Hansen, NASA’s former lead climate scientist, and 16 co-authors, many of whom are considered among the top in their fields—conclude that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica will melt 10 times faster than previous consensus estimates, resulting in sea level rise of at least 10 feet in as little as 50 years. Courtesy of Slate.com. Link to Hansen’s Report

Impact of Sea Level Rise

What does that mean to the San Diego Metropolitan area? To put it most vividly, Interstate 5 will be under water in at least 8 places south of Camp Pendleton and the jets landing at Lindbergh Field will need pontoons.

San Diego Map of Sea Level Rise Impact

The blue areas of San Diego will be under water with a 10 foot sea rise.

San Diego is hardly the most threatened city in California. At least 300,000 people will be underwater in the corridor from Stockton to Sacramento. The Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach face a much larger challenge than our city.

If San Diego does nothing, we will lose over a trillion dollars in real estate, recreational area and, most importantly, maritime industry including our Navy Harbor. Is there a solution?

Solution to Catastrophic Sea Rise

I propose that we go Dutch. Twenty-six percent of Holland is below sea level. I propose that the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) immediately begin plans to construct a 20 foot tall sea wall and levee system from Puente La Playa in Tijuana, Mexico to Point Loma. A separate stucture would be built to preserve Mission Bay. This would require that the Tijuana River be rerouted to the bottom of San Diego Bay.

Preserving commerce in the bay would require that a locking system be built at Point Loma to allow sea traffic in and out of the bay. The ecology of the bay would be preserved by allowing sea water to flow into the bay at the mouth of the Tijuana River but it would have to be pumped out at Point Loma. It might also be necessary to temporarily separate the flow of the Tijuana River into the bay in case of sewage contamination and that would require marine structures to be built.

Will there be challenges? The minimum cost for this project will be $50 Billion in today’s dollars. Wait a few years and the price will double or quadruple. The environmental impact and the engineering challenges will be significant. The Not-in-my-backyard crowd will stack this up in the courts for years.

My response to those concerns comes from the words of God to Noah as spoken by a recently disgraced comedian from his comedy routine of the sixties, “How long can you tread water?”

<November 23> Items compiled from various sources including the Crime Statistics Bureau – San Francisco.*

1. Driving a car to work.
2. Living in a city where citizens are permitted to carry guns in public.
3. Walking out in the open during a thunder storm.
4. Getting into a confrontation with a police officer while black.
5. Swimming in the ocean off Ballston Beach, Maine at dusk.
6. Living in a home with a depressed individual who owns a gun.
7. Being without health care in Alabama.
8. Being a woman whose only option is to get an illegal abortion.
9. Falling out of Bed
10. Being a Muslim in the United States.

*A west coast think tank cited by leading Republicans

<November 28> Before I posted this 5 days ago, I deleted one item as too far-fetched and too argumentative. I add it back now upon reflection.

11. Working in a Planned Parenthood Center

America has a domestic terrorism problem. It is exemplified by the event yesterday in Colorado where a lone gunman entered a Planned Parenthood Clinic. Two civilians and one police officer are dead. At least 9 others are wounded.

Four Planned Parenthood clinics were the targets of attacks in the past four months, including a Washington state clinic that was set on fire and one in California that was fire-bombed in a similar fashion.

Our militant Christian churches radicalize these jihadists. Our gun manufacturers and the NRA arm them. Our GOP presidential candidates cheerlead for them. Our Republican Congress facilitates their access to weapons. And FoxNews glorifies them.

Pregnant women who seek to control their bodies and their destiny are the targets.

Satisfy the Customer Corporation

Happy Thanksgiving! I had a reasonably pleasant turkey dinner at Black Angus in Chula Vista but one part of it reminded me why I detest corporate restaurant chains.

The Turkey Dinner comes with the basic fixings including mashed potatoes. I asked to substitute the au gratin potatoes for the mashed potatoes. Everyone seemed to be well aware that the corporate office forbids substitutions on the turkey dinner.

The single most important thing you can do for your business is to get to work building true customer loyalty, one customer at a time.
—Micah Solomon, Forbes Website

So I asked the manager to explain and he stated that the turkey dinner was priced out a certain way and he said, “If we do it for one customer, we have to do it for them all.” I am sure that he knew he was sacrificing my customer loyalty to serve his corporate superiors.

The business model for corporate chains is the opposite of mom and pop or as I call them, one-off restaurants. The one-off is competing against the restaurant down the street, including the corporate stores. The employees know that they are working for me, the customer. They provide quality service, I deliver loyalty.

When I walk into a corporate chain, I feel like I am treated like a revenue unit rather than a customer. For example, as a single male, I am always pointed to a barstool rather than a table. My experience at Black Angus in Chula Vista is probably not the worst but it is exemplary of the dedication of the employees to the corporation rather than the customer. I am not that old but I am old enough to remember a time before the corporations began to force down our expecations to this level.

I told my waitress that it is too bad that she will never grow old enough to remember a time when the number one rule in business was, “Satisfy the Customer.”