Company

Company: (n) a commercial business.

First comes the idea.

Then there’s the need for a prototype.

How about a pitch for investors?

Investors are found, so they make a product.

A product goes to market.

It is accepted, wanted and sought after.

People are hired to make the product.

A company is formed to make sure the product is delivered and production is maintained.

A CEO is found to represent the company.

A board is selected to discuss adventures of the company, profits and dividends paid to those who have bought stock.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Financial difficulty arrives.

The company decides to cut some corners without losing quality.

Some quality is lost.

The public notices.

The company becomes defensive.

Law suits are filed because the company has failed to recognize its responsibility to the consumer.

The company suffers financial setbacks, which cause even greater difficulty in finding quality people to work on production and represent the company in the board room.

More shortcuts are pursued.

The company loses credibility.

The company files Chapter 13.

All the executives escape with a “Golden Parachute” of profit.

All the workers are laid off with no place to go.

One of the workers, on his way home from being kicked off the job with the company… has an idea.

 

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Answering Machine

dictionary with letter A

Answering machine: (n.) a tape recorder or digital device that supplies a recorded message to a telephone call and can record a message from the caller.

A “Duophone.”

You see, I even remember the name.

It was one of the first answering machines put out by Radio Shack in the mid-1970’s, for those innovative, upbeat, contemporary souls who wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls or commercial opportunities.

I had to have one.

I bought it and after about four hours of comprehensive attempts at understanding the directions, I successfully hooked it up to my over-priced AT&T phone.

I then spent another four hours deciding what message to leave, gyrating between a brief but officious speech and a more silly, fun-loving and comical greeting.

Worst of all, I decided to blend the two. I even remember what I came up with as the final product:

“Hi, there. It’s not really me, it’s my Duophone, which enables me to get your message so I can get right back to you if I end up being right back. Just kidding. I mean, not about getting back to you. About when I will be here to hear the message. Anyway, call you soon.”

Awkward.

Amazing, though–after you listen to something four or five times, one convinces oneself that it’s really cool.

The problem with my Duophone, other than the fact that it had a hit-and-miss quality to it, having been spawned from Radio Shack, was that one of my friends thought it was really funny to keep calling and leaving abstract, silly, or even profane messages until he totally filled up the space provided.

After a while, when other people got answering machines and it was no longer a novelty, the American public became perturbed with having to listen to a contraption instead of completing calls, so my playback upon returning was often a series of hang-ups or disgruntled complaints over my absence.

Mercifully, on one of my moves to another location, the Duophone fell out of a truck and crashed on the pavement and I selected never to replace it.

The problem with answering machines is that they really don’t answer. They just put off a much-needed conversation to a later and usually less fruitful time.

 

 

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Animated

dictionary with letter A

Animated: (adj.) full of life or excitement; an animated conversation.

Do you remember the old commercial where a woman with a sour expression on her face turns to the camera and laments the number of prunes necessary to alleviate her constipation?

“Is two enough? Is six too many?”

I remember when I first saw the commercial–it really grossed me out. I was young and the idea of a constricted bowel life was beyond my comprehension.

Time marches on. Or in the case of this discussion, somewhat stands still.

I feel the same way about living an animated life.

We have many different opinions on whether a certain amount of excitement is enough or if an additional degree of enthusiasm is too much.

Matter of fact, we tend to compartmentalize our lives into occasions where exuberance is acceptable, and those profiles where we normally choose to some degree to be more adult or somber.

What is an animated life?

1. Wherever you are, be there.

I don’t need people to be jumping up and down, but I do like to have the sense that they’re present and aware of their surroundings.

2. Care about something other than your cares.

One of the surest ways to become boring is to have no awareness whatsoever of the feelings, needs, or sentiments of others.

3. Match your surroundings.

The Good Book phrases it really well: “Rejoice with those who are rejoicing; weep with those who are weeping.”

What a fabulous idea.

4. Go for one more.

  • If you’re in a conversation, ask one more question.
  • If you’re enjoying a movie, hang around for one more minute to discuss it.
  • Take another sip of tea before you leave.
  • Think of a reason to express appreciation.

Just one more. It is the definition of the social second mile. It lets people know that you have fulfilled your commitment, but you’re animated enough to offer an additional footnote.

That’s what I think about being animated. I don’t require that people leap to their feet and applaud my efforts, but I would like to know that my presence in their lives was significant enough to create some sort of pleasurable expression on their face.

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Amphetamine

dictionary with letter A

Amphetamine: (n) a synthetic, mood-altering, addictive drug, used illegally as a stimulant and legally to treat ADD in children and narcolepsy in adults.

Thirty seconds to explain what it does and thirty seconds to scare the crap out of you over the side effects.

That is the construction of the normal commercial on television advertising a new drug.

We need to get away from the concept that drugs are miracles.

Perhaps they are miracles in the sense of describing the Grand Canyon if you’re only viewing it from a safe distance or in some sort of slide show.

But if you’re standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and leaping head-first into the abyss, it loses some of the glow of its “miraculous.” Then it just becomes a bunch of rocks smashing your brains.

Here’s my truth: use as few drugs as possible.

For me, this became fairly complicated when I was diagnosed with diabetes. They recommend you try to keep your blood sugar down through diet and medication. But with this particular condition, the doctors began to introduce other peripheral possibilities which they decided to pre-medicate by giving me additional drugs, which, separate from their helpful tendencies, are basically poison.

Just as ministers want to make you a sinner and politicians want to put you into a voting block, physicians feel useful when they discover ailments in you.

I don’t hold it against them. It’s their profession. After all, in the process of being paranoid, even crazy people avoid obstacles and difficulties.

But drugs are nothing to mess with–especially amphetamines. It is beyond comprehension that we pump our children full of chemicals to get them to be attentive when it used to be handled in the schoolyard at recess by somebody throwing a ball at your head and saying, “Wake up, Billy!”

It’s not that I recommend the crude treatment of children to one another. But I am not convinced that rattling the human body with deadly potions is a better alternative.

I am not an individual who places great faith in holistic medicine.

I am not against prescribing cures for those who are hurting.

It’s just that I think the truly mature human being needs to step back from any diagnosis, and before popping a pill of purpose, ask if there is any other way.

Because when drugs get done with human beings, they mostly addict us and hurt us.

Therefore, we should only welcome them temporarily … and cautiously.

 

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Agent

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAgent: (n) 1. a person who acts on behalf of another 2. a person who obtains information for a government or other official organization, at times secretly

I’ve always been told I need one.

An agent, that is.

Somebody to represent me so I don’t have to represent myself, coming across arrogant, and potentially as a “klutz-in-progress.”

Here’s the problem: an agent wants to make money.

I like money. It comes in handy when the cashier sticks out his or her hand, demanding payment for some treat I’ve procured. But I also have a mission, and goals for propelling a message with what I do. Because of this, the handful of folks I have run across in my life who actually thought they might be able to make money off of me almost always began to trim back the intensity of the ideas I put forth because they felt that in doing so, they would make the project more commercial.

Why is it that we think that telling people what they believe they want to hear is the best way to ensure that they will contribute to the cause or purchase our stuff?

Historically, it’s ridiculous. Everything we use today that is common to us was once certainly out of the market and had zero value. I will agree, it takes time for need to catch up with taste. But the truth of the matter is, evolution takes care of stupidity, excess and silliness, and in no time at all, a new species of ideas has to come forward to replace the extinct, stupid ones.

For instance, we can make a fuss about eating fat grams and carbs, but honestly, people will eventually devour more fruits and vegetables or they will die off like the dinosaurs. (I digress, Back to the agent…)

So in lieu of finding that perfect little weasel or weaselette to represent me, who has two eyes on the bottom line and one nose in the air over the purity of the concept, I have discovered friends who join me on my journey, and for some reason or another, find pleasure in chasing dreams through the wilderness of life.

  • I will probably never get rich from being enriched.
  • I probably will never get famous by pursuing ideals that some people would find infamous.

But I’m having fun. And I have discovered that if you’re enjoying yourself, those who have not given up on life and are still willing to have a child-like heart ,,, will come out and play.

 

Advent

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Advent: (n) the first season of the church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four prior Sundays.

Even with the introduction of an Easter bunny bringing candy, we are not able to market the crucifixion and resurrection nearly as easily as the birth of the Prince of Peace.

I suppose that makes some people fussy. They would be the same people who insist that “Christmas is too commercial” or that manger scenes should be mandatory everywhere in spite of civil liberties.

Actually, I take this little piece of information as a harkening. Isn’t that a great word? “Harkening.” A harkening is a quiet shout, informing us of something truly important.

Much as we may need salvation, we are still doing our time on earth before we’re paroled to heaven. Like some people in prison, we can use that sentence to become worse criminals, mean and even turn into killers–OR we can go to the library, study and get more education, find new life and emerge from the experience overjoyed because we have redeemed the time.

I think that’s what happens at Advent.

For about thirty-two days, we allow ourselves to wonder if it might be possible that a baby changed the world–and more importantly, caused us to loosen our purse strings, buy a present for someone else and think about abstract ideas like “peace on earth” and “goodwill toward men.”

If heaven is better than earth, then earth is a place where we’re supposed to learn how to become heavenly, don’t you think?

So merely saving people from their sin does not cause them to learn to win.

  • That takes the Advent.
  • This demands Christmas.

It is a season when we actually believe that a child born of peasants can stir the heavens, beckoning both shepherds and kings.