Checkup

Checkup: (n) a thorough examination

A writer certainly knows, when he submits his material to an editor, that he or she needs to prepare for critique. You can’t keep your job as an editor if you read stuff, smile and say, “Looks good to me.”

I’ve never taken my car to a mechanic without this technician finding something wrong with the vehicle. There’s no money, work or future for a mechanic who admires your car.

If you go to an investment banker, he or she will certainly explain to you why your present rate of consumption and your lack of a retirement plan is jeopardizing
life and limb.

Likewise, arriving at a doctor’s office is an invitation to be dissected–sometimes literally. Although you may insist to yourself that you’re merely going in for a checkup, after they have fully analyzed all your numbers, they will most assuredly recommend some sort of tune-up.

Sometimes if you don’t take them seriously, they will foretell your doom and gloom if you ignore the diagnosis.

Between you, me and the fencepost (and I’m not so sure I trust that piece of wood stickin’ out of the ground) it’s a racket. The American health system is in the business of putting us through tests that we most certainly will fail.

Because without us failing, medication cannot be prescribed, drug companies will lose their profit margins, and financial institutions–where we have invested our money–will not make much dividend.

So in a strange sense, we give $100 to the medical field so that the drug companies and Wall Street can prosper through ailments, and at the end we receive $2.20 of our original money back in dividends in our IRAs.

Is this a good deal?

Of course not.

But welcome to the glories of capitalism.

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 

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Cheap

Cheap: (adv) at or for a low price.

It is time, once and for all, to resolve the conflict between what is being cheap and what is being thrifty.

Since there were no smart people available, I have decided to take on the task.

You know you’re cheap when you really want it done for free.

You know you’re thrifty when you know it should cost money, but you’re just looking for the best deal among several pricings.

The problem with our nation is that we’re a bunch of cheap bastards. We’re not really happy unless somebody gives us something. If we have to open our wallet at all, we’re prepared to complain, no matter how reasonable the price may be.

Capitalism is a system that works on the basis of a free market, with businesses competing with one another to gain customers. If you insert cheap people in there–who want something for free–then you’ll get fakes, shams, hooligans, grifters and thieves who come in to hoodwink the selfish masses.

If somebody does something for me, they deserve something back.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but we do live in a time when the anticipation of “free stuff” has driven us to the point that the poor in our country are just as greedy as the rich.

If I go to a restaurant and a server brings me food and drink and asks me if I like the way my hamburger was prepared, that person deserves money from me. Not just from the boss. From me. He or she is serving me.

We need to stop saying, “They’re just doing their job.”

And if the server ends up not being very likable or helpful, he or she should get nothing from me.

Everybody knows that money talks. It’s what we communicate with.

So when you walk around hoping something will be free, then be prepared to be cheated.

Because even though the bar offers free snacks, they just charge more for the watered-down beer.

 

 

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 

Buy

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Buy: (v) to obtain in exchange for payment.

Commerce: “I want to buy something and you want to sell it.”

Capitalism: “I want to buy something and you want to sell it for as much as you can get, whether it’s worth that or not.”

You see the problem?

Although buying and selling is an intricate part of life on this planet, it has become one of the more dangerous activities, because pride in work, authenticity and integrity have vanished like a bunch of relatives during clean-up time after Thanksgiving dinner.

We keep moving the bar on idealism.

We used to think idealism was expecting people to act god-like. Now we think it’s idealistic to think people are going to act like humans. Instead, we anticipate the grunt of the pig, the huffing of the bull and the growling of the dog.

We have attributed animal tendencies to the human race to such an extent that we no longer feel the need to use the full extent of the brain, since the end result will be barnyard anyway.

I want to buy something–but I want you to sell me a product, an idea or a piece of land that is worth the money that I am forfeiting.

I don’t want you to gloat because you feel that you got rid of swamp land in Florida when you are fully aware that I am not an alligator. Matter of fact, I am so certain that this is a cornerstone to the recovery of true humanity that I am going to implement it in my everyday life.

If I invest ten dollars to make something, I am going to make sure that if I charge you fifteen, you are getting a full fifteen-dollar blessing out of the experience.

I have nothing against profit–but it will profit us nothing if we cheat one another.

 

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 

 

 

American Dream

dictionary with letter A

American dream: (n) the traditional social ideals of the U.S., such as equality, democracy and material prosperity.

I think the American dream has been over-analyzed by Freudian pundits and politicians who plan on using their own interpretation to bring about the enactment of their particular will.

I’m not so sure I agree with the Republicans that every American wants a gun.

Likewise, the more liberal view of the Democrats concerning giving people license to do whatever they want to under the guise of civil rights doesn’t achieve much more than an emotional traffic jam.

I’ll tell you what I think the American dream is: Hunk, Chunk, Junk.

I think the power of freedom in this country, with the intelligent use of capitalism, enables me to go out and get my hunk. I should have every right to do that. If it doesn’t infringe on the needs of others or hurt my fellow-man and woman, I should be applauded for my efforts and be given a barn to store my bounty.

Then from that hunk, I should get my chunk. This is probably where people will disagree with me. Lots of folks think they need every single dime they earn to cover their own personal indebtedness. If that’s the case, you’ll spend your life pretty miserable. I should be able to break off a chunk from my hunk that will make me happy and keep me in grits, gravy, gravel and glee.

What remains from my hunk actually becomes my junk. Things I don’t need. Things I don’t want anymore. It’s a startling but true statement that if everybody in America emptied their attics and garages of all the things they haven’t used in the past six months, and gave them to their neighbors, 75% of the personal needs of others would be fulfilled.

It’s not treasure if moths and rust are corrupting it and it’s being stolen by time and depreciation.

Get rid of your junk.

Bless someone else. They won’t think it’s junk.

They will treasure it as their hunktheir American dream.

 

 

America

dictionary with letter A

America: ( n) a landmass in the Western Hemisphere that consists of the continents of North and South America joined by the Isthmus of Panama.

  • Is it an idea?
  • Is it a connecting tissue of continents?
  • Is it a clumping of exceptional people culled from the available humanity on Earth?
  • Is it a democratic form of government?
  • Is it a slogan?
  • Is it a political rallying cry?
  • Is it divinely inspired?
  • Is it a passing fancy?
  • Is it a big bully to the rest of the world?
  • Is it a savior to the oppressed souls of the planet?
  • Is it an emerging reality, lacking complete definition?
  • Is it a dream?
  • Is it a nightmare?
  • Is it a reason for God to continue to have hope in His heart?
  • Is it united?
  • Is it just states?
  • Is it a purposeful action?
  • Is it a location for capitalism to flourish?
  • Is it still welcoming the teeming poor?
  • Is it symbolic?
  • Is it literal?
  • Is it full of itself or is it full of promise?
  • Is it blessed by God or is it cursed by Allah?

America.

It is a land where I am allowed to ask these questions, post them on the Internet without fear of having my door broken down, being hauled off to jail and questioned in a steamy room by men with cigar-and-liquor breath.

Wow.

God bless America.

 

Ad nauseum

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Ad nauseum: (adv.) referring to something that has been done or repeated so often that it has become annoying or tiresome.

Perhaps it is overstated to say there are things which cause me to want to throw up. It IS a bit dramatic. But still, everyone reading this is aware of the sensation of feeling nauseous, and actually desiring to regurgitate to get it over with. There is a point when you’re sick, when getting the illness OUT of your being seems rather pleasant.

I, for one, have found several facets of our everyday life and social structure to be worthy of such expulsion. Might I give you a list?

1. Religion that is more concerned about religion than it is people. (Urp.)

2. Politicians who tout the importance of debate and never pass legislation to help anyone. (See me quickly run to the bathroom.)

3. Those people who preach the beauty of capitalism only because they’re getting richer and salting it away in a Cayman Island bank account. (Pepto-Bismol will not help.)

4. Individuals who insist they are no longer prejudiced as they perpetuate the bigotry of their parents into their everyday lives, only masking it slightly, as a subtle choice. (Where’s my bowl?)

5. Movies that are chock-full of fantasy or remakes of subjects that have been done so many times that the plots are threadbare. (Please shoot me and put me out of my misery.)

6. Piety in all of its forms–be it Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Scientology, Amish or Republican and Democrat. (Please just bring me some cold 7-Up and soda crackers)

I could make a longer list, but I think you get my point. What creates ad nauseum is when we continue to espouse ideas, beliefs or even platforms that offer no proof whatsoever as to their viability in human life. For some reason, we’re just supposed to bow our heads and mumble some words of consecration in honor of what is really a dead, stinky idea.

When you smell something rotten, it makes you sick. If you decide to hang around until the smell either becomes acceptable or you get used to it, it doesn’t mean that it stinks any less or that you’re not just as sick.

The best way to handle anything that upsets your stomach … is to stay away from it.

Activate

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Activate: (v.) to make something active or operative.

Let me give you a new definition for intelligence: Intelligence is when you find an easier way to do something without sacrificing quality.

Do you remember when they came out with check cards? Or really, at the very beginning, with credit cards? They had a process they used to “activate” your account. Can you recall how ridiculously difficult it was?

It involved remembering some numbers, calling long distance, or driving to your local ATM and punching in something you couldn’t possibly regurgitate. Performing the task was usually followed by discovering that you had left some piece out of the process, leaving you holding your totally useless plastic rectangle.

It’s what I love about this country–discovering the best part of capitalism. That is, creating something, making your money from it as soon as possible and then dropping the price or simplifying the retrieval.

It’s why I would NEVER be the first to buy an I-Phone. I have no desire to be an entomologist. I will let all the first purchasers work out the bugs. I’ll just come along later, when I see signs advertising “New and Improved.”

For instance, I like restaurants that advertise, “Under New Managements.” They’re letting me know that somebody screwed up and that now they’re trying to screw it back down.

  • It would be wonderful at this point in our history if some true leaders and statesmen would appear, to activate our government.
  • If some whimsical, free-thinking theologians would activate our spirituality.
  • If some musical artists would activate our emotional souls.

But for that to happen, complexity will have to be set to the side as we giggle at how foolish it was to make things difficult.

Maybe that’s why I write this daily column–just to activate in each one of us the wisdom that is carried in the power of a single word.