How the Romans Built the Space Shuttle

by admin on March 9, 2012

Sometimes you come across some facts that are hard to believe and yet are true. For example, the fact that the design for an Imperial Roman war chariot influenced the building of the Space Shuttle. Sounds ridiculous. And yet it’s true. Read on and find out for yourself. 

Train of thought

The U.S. standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used? Because that’s the way they built them in England, and English expatriates designed the U.S. railroads.

Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.

Why did ‘they’ use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that’s the spacing of the wheel ruts.

Roman chariot

So, who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (including England) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since. And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels.
Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore, the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. In other words, bureaucracies live forever.
So the next time you are handed a specification, procedure, or process, and wonder, ‘What horse’s ass came up with this?’, you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear endsof two war horses.

Now, the twist to the story:

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, you will notice that there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah.

The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit larger, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses’ behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse’s ass.

And you thought being a horse’s ass wasn’t important! Now you know, Horses’ Asses control almost everything…
Explains a whole lot of stuff, doesn’t it?


Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. So too, apparently, is obesity. A new study says your doctor is much less likely to point out that you need to shed a few pounds, if he or she also needs to lose some weight.

Problem? What problem?

The researchers, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that physicians who are a healthy or normal weight are more likely to talk to their overweight or obese patients about the need to drop some pounds compared to physicians who had weight issues of their own. In fact 30 percent of normal weight docs had that conversation with patients compared to just 18 percent of the overweight docs.

Pot, meet the kettle

While this may be understandable – after all it’s hard to tell someone they need to go on a diet if you are also on the plus plus side and are doing nothing about it – it’s not very helpful. Many patients look to their doctor to give them guidance about how to lead a healthier life and if their physician is not talking to them about one of the biggest threats to their health, namely obesity, then they are missing out on some potentially life-saving information.

It’s not just doctors who turn a blind eye to weight issues. There was a study not so long ago that found that parents of children who are overweight are not likely to notice their kid has a problem if many of the other kids in their neighborhood or school are also overweight.  Apparently, when they look around and see all the other kids look like theirs they make the assumption that their child is then “normal” and therefore doesn’t have a problem.

Turning a blind eye

It’s a nice way of seeing the world. It’s also horribly misguided. Turning a blind eye to a problem doesn’t make it go away. Pretending that obesity is “normal” won’t help you avoid all the health problems it can bring. And having a physician who doesn’t tell you that you need to lose weight because they also need to lose weight, doesn’t serve either of you well.




Court in the act

by admin on February 23, 2012

They say that justice is blind. After reading these actual transcripts from court cases it also appears to be dumb a lot of the time.

* Lawyer: “Was that the same nose you broke as a child?”

Witness: “I only have one, you know.”


* Lawyer: “Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?”
* Witness: “By death.”
* Lawyer: “And by whose death was it terminated?”


* Accused, Defending His Own Case: “Did you get a good look at my face when I took your purse?”
The defendant was found guilty and sentenced to ten years in jail.

* Lawyer: “What is your date of birth?”
* Witness: “July 15th.”
* Lawyer: “What year?”
* Witness: “Every year.”

* Lawyer: “Can you tell us what was stolen from your house?”
* Witness: “There was a rifle that belonged to my father that was stolen from the hall closet.”
* Lawyer: “Can you identify the rifle?”
* Witness: “Yes. There was something written on the side of it.” * Lawyer: “And what did the writing say?”
* Witness: “‘Winchester’!”

* Lawyer: “What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?”
* Witness: “Gucci sweats and Reeboks.”

* Lawyer: “Can you describe what the person who attacked you looked like?”
* Witness: “No. He was wearing a mask.”
* Lawyer: “What was he wearing under the mask?”
* Witness: “Er…his face.”

* Lawyer: “This myasthenia gravis — does it affect your memory at all?”
* Witness: “Yes.”
* Lawyer: “And in what ways does it affect your memory?”
* Witness: “I forget.”
* Lawyer: “You forget. Can you give us an example of something that you’ve forgotten?”

* Lawyer: “How old is your son, the one living with you?”
* Witness: “Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.”
* Lawyer: “How long has he lived with you?”
* Witness: “Forty-five years.”

* Lawyer: “What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke that morning?”
* Witness: “He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?'”
* Lawyer: “And why did that upset you?”
* Witness: “My name is Susan.”

* Lawyer: “Sir, what is your IQ?”
* Witness: “Well, I can see pretty well, I think.”

* Lawyer: “Did you blow your horn or anything?”
* Witness: “After the accident?”
* Lawyer: “Before the accident.”
* Witness: “Sure, I played for ten years. I even went to school for it.”

* Lawyer: “Trooper, when you stopped the defendant, were your red and blue lights flashing?”
* Witness: “Yes.”
* Lawyer: “Did the defendant say anything when she got out of her car?”
* Witness: “Yes, sir.”
* Lawyer: “What did she say?”
* Witness: “‘What disco am I at?'”

* Lawyer: “Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?”
* Witness: “No.”
* Lawyer: “Did you check for blood pressure?”
* Witness: “No.”
* Lawyer: “Did you check for breathing?”
* Witness: “No.”
* Lawyer: “So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?”
* Witness: “No.”
* Lawyer: “How can you be so sure, Doctor?”
* Witness: “Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.”
* Lawyer: “But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?”
* Witness: “Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.”

* Lawyer: “How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?”

* Lawyer: “And you check your radar unit frequently?”
* Officer: “Yes, I do.”
* Lawyer: “And was your radar unit functioning correctly at the time you had the plaintiff on radar?”
* Officer: “Yes, it was malfunctioning correctly.”

* Lawyer: “What happened then?”
* Witness: “He told me, he says, ‘I have to kill you because you can identify me.'”
* Lawyer: “Did he kill you?”
* Witness: “No.”

* Lawyer: “Now sir, I’m sure you are an intelligent and honest man–”
* Witness: “Thank you. If I weren’t under oath, I’d return the compliment.”

* Lawyer: “You were there until the time you left, is that true?”

* Lawyer: “So you were gone until you returned?”

* Lawyer: “The youngest son, the 20 year old, how old is he?”

* Lawyer: “Were you alone or by yourself?”

* Lawyer: “How long have you been a French Canadian?”

* Witness: “He was about medium height and had a beard.”
* Lawyer: “Was this a male or a female?”
* Lawyer: “Mr. Slatery, you went on a rather elaborate honeymoon, didn’t you?”
* Witness: “I went to Europe, sir.”
* Lawyer: “And you took your new wife?”
* Lawyer: “I show you Exhibit 3 and ask you if you recognize that picture.”
* Witness: “That’s me.”
* Lawyer: “Were you present when that picture was taken?”

* Lawyer: “Were you present in court this morning when you were sworn in?”

After reading this the only proper way to answer a question “Are you showing contempt for the court?” is “Actually your honour I was trying to hide it!”



The salt of the earth

by admin on February 19, 2012

In ancient times salt was highly valued. Some even consider it one of the essential founding elements of civilization. Salt enabled people to preserve food, meaning you weren’t dependent on seasonal production but could keep something for much longer periods of time. And because you were able to preserve food it meant you could go on long journeys and explore the world.

It also makes chips (french fries to you) taste really delicious.

Pretty cool past. Unfortunately its present isn’t so cool. Today salt is considered one of the biggest threats to the health of ordinary working men and women.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine out of ten Americans consume too much salt. I’m guessing the numbers are pretty much the same throughout western Europe too.

Why is that bad?

According to the CDC too much salt in the diet can increase the risk of high blood pressure which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, which can increase the risk of death, which can decrease the odds you are going to be around to enjoy some of your favorite salty snacks. They’re advising people to cut back on their salt intake. And now they have published a list of the ten most common sources of salt in our diet, to help us figure out where we can cut back.

The top ten are:

1) Bread and rolls (7.4 percent of overall salt consumption) and if that surprises you then you haven’t looked at the breakdown of all the stuff that’s in most bread sold in stores these days

2) Cold cuts and cured meats (5.1%)

3) Pizza (4.9%)

4) Fresh and processed poultry (4.5%)

5) Soups (4.3%)

6) Sandwiches and burgers (4.0%)

7) Cheese (3.8%)

8) Pasta dishes – such as spaghetti with meat sauce (3.3%)

9) Meat dishes – such as meat loaf with tomato sauce (3.2%)

10) Savory snacks such as chips and pretzels (3.1%)

What’s the big deal!

So, you might look at that list and think well, each one of those is a relatively small percentage of a person’s diet so it can’t be that bad for you. But if you eat some of each one every day or every few days, they quickly add up. You might have soup for lunch with some bread, a few chips or pretzels mid-afternoon for a snack, pizza or pasta of meatloaf for dinner, and before you know it you are consuming way more salt than you need.

The average American eats 3,266 mg of salt a day. The recommended maximum is 2,300 mg. That’s almost one thousand milligrams less. Do that day after day, week after week, month after month and you can see how it easily adds up into one big problem.

The good news is that all of those items are made/manufactured/processed ones and you can easily avoid them or at least limit how much of them you eat. Instead of canned soup make your own – it really doesn’t take long. Instead of store-bought meat loaf make your own and go lightly on the salt.

In most cases we don’t need salt on foods, they already have so much already. But most of us are just in the habit of unthinkingly sprinkling it on any dish we have – without even tasting it first.




I was reading the newspaper the other day and came across a couple of stories that caught my eye, not because the stories themselves were particularly fascinating but because what they say about us as a society is particularly sad.

You need to choose better friends

One was about a lawsuit filed by the Oglala Sioux tribe against some of the biggest beer brewers in the world,  blaming them for the problems with alcoholism on the reservation. The tribe is asking for $500 million in damages to cover the costs of dealing with crime and social problems brought on by excessive drinking among its members.

The other was a court case involving the driver of a Muni transit bus in San Francisco who ran over and killed a pedestrian. The driver’s lawyer says the accident wasn’t the fault of the driver, it was the fault of Muni for sending him out to drive a bus in a neighborhood he didn’t know. The fact that the pedestrian was in a crosswalk, that she had the right of way, that it was a clear day, none of that matters. It wasn’t the driver’s fault. It was the fault of the people who told him to drive it.

It reminded me of the people suing McDonald’s saying the company was to blame for them being fat because they ate so many Big Macs over the years.

Why are our problems always someone else’s fault

How come people never sue Nike for making them exercise too much? “Your honor, I was helpless in the face of all those ads featuring people working out and sweating. They made me just do it.”

How come people don’t sue Whole Foods for making them eat too many organic fresh fruits and vegetables? How come it’s only the ads that encourage us to take up bad habits that are to blame for our problems. Makers of Big Macs or beer or cigarettes, they’re clearly to blame for the fact that we are overweight, or have a drinking problem or have lung cancer.

No one made you do it

Now, I don’t doubt that excessive alcohol is causing havoc on the Oglala Sioux reservation but did no one in the Oglala tribe ever put down a can of beer and say “you know, maybe drinking another five of these before breakfast isn’t such a good idea.”

Did the driver of that San Francisco bus not stop to think, “hey, I’m driving a 40 foot long piece of metal through a neighborhood I don’t know very well, maybe I ought to look out for unexpected things, like people walking across the street.”

Obviously not. When someone else screws up it’s their fault – they weren’t doing it right, they weren’t paying attention, they were being stupid.  But when we screw up it’s always someone else’s fault and somehow we want to make them pay for it.

Maybe Nike has influenced them after all. Because after they just do it, they’re next thought seems to be to just sue it.




I’m not too fat, I’m just too small

by admin on February 1, 2012

I used to work with a man, let’s call him Jerry. Every year, when he went to his doctor for a physical and was asked what his height was he would add an inch to the previous year’s number. The reason he said was BMI, body mass index, the ratio of a person’s height to their weight that many physicians use as a gauge of whether you are overweight.

Jerry said he wanted his height to increase to compensate for his expanding waist and increasing height. That way his BMI would remain pretty much the same from year to year and his doctor wouldn’t ask him to go on a diet.

“I’m not overweight, I’m just under height” was his explanation.

A well-rounded figure

Apparently Jerry is not the only one doing this. A new study out says that when people are asked to provide their own weight in research surveys they underestimate their weight and overestimate their height. Women are worse than men at doing this. And white women are the worst of all for fudging the numbers.

Now, the researchers, in the journal Ethnicity and Disease say this is not a big deal and people don’t over or underestimate by a lot, just enough to throw the BMI measurement off by a point or two. Which is good news for the researchers because it means their findings are still close enough to the truth to be valid.

But it’s not such good news for ordinary people. I know none of us like to admit we might be a little overweight and so it doesn’t hurt to lie to someone asking us about our weight. Particularly if we’re only off by a small amount.  But who are we really fooling?

The researchers are not going to judge you about your height or weight. All they care about is their data and the odds of them ever seeing you again are slim. So it’s not as if they’re likely to come up to you in the supermarket one day and say “hey, didn’t you say you were 5′ 7″? You only look 5′ 6″ to me.”

But if we are lying to complete strangers about the fact that we are overweight, then we’re probably also lying to ourselves.

It’s like watching those men at the gym who stand in front of the mirror sucking their gut in as hard as they can. They glance at themselves and think “yeah, I look pretty good for my age”. But as soon as they walk away from the mirror they relax their muscles, their belly drops and they look like a naked version of porky pig. It’s not pretty believe me.

Ultimately it all boils down to this: you can’t fix a problem if you don’t acknowledge that you have a problem. Pretending you are taller than you are, or smaller than you are, or thinner than you are, or lighter than you are just means you are hiding from yourself.

Jerry got away with his little game for a few years until one of the office staff, who was taking down the information, asked if he really was 6′ 7′? Jerry looked surprised, then said “oh, I must have shrunk a little”. The tech looked at his belly and it was clear that at least one part of Jerry wasn’t shrinking.

That was the moment Jerry decided he probably should do something about his weight. Because lord knows he couldn’t do anything about his height.


Organize your life and your mind will follow

by admin on January 27, 2012

I was reading an article about the brain, it was all about how the brain  is not equipped to multi-task.  Then, I remembered a conversation I had with my daughter  about her New Year’s resolution:

“Focus more and to block out distractions”.

She felt that she spent too much time reading various websites, taking in information from blogs, news headlines, and a variety of news  sources,  to the point it became a virtual news-knowledge-information fire hydrant slamming her in the mind.  She said while all this information was interesting, it seemed to keep her from actually “doing” anything”.  So  instead of finishing the “Brain:” article I was reading I immediately e-mailed the website to her.  What the!

No, that ain’t right!

I realized,  I was  doing precisely what she was trying to stop.  I was attempting to give her yet, another distraction and a the same time I was distracting myself by not focused on the article at hand.  My mind took off on it’s own trying to be in 10 places at once.  Even now,  at this minute, I just heard the dryer in my apartment stop and my mind is saying, “get up and get the clothes out of the dryer before they wrinkle!”    And yet, I know that my mind is simply creating thoughts that I really do not need to pay attention to.

Who’s the Boss!

My conscious mind is always creating havoc!  There is always drama going on in there!  Thoughts filled with negative messages that may or may not help me get through the day.  Negative thinking.  Thoughts that do not benefit me, making me the “victim”.  A Ha!  the “Brain”  article says, one of the symptoms of multi-tasking too much is “negative” thinking.  See!  Here is proof!

Then the phone rang.

The voice was a woman’s and it was filled with emotion and cracking with the urgency of someone in distress.  She had been referred to me by a friend and she was pacing in a parking lot, smoking and in need of some kind of comfort.  She was filled with adrenaline and she wanted relief!   Man, was her mind racing as she was trying to describe the problems she faced.  Her tongue could not keep up with all the negative thinking that was bombarding her.  She was definitly a victim of her wild mind’s thoughts, and she wanted help….right now!

Hysteria is just a frame of mind!

I told her,
“The first step you can take  is to calm down.”  Hard to do but it is possible if you  understand the emotional process.

Something bad happened.

Someone or something made this happen.

It will continue to happen unless you calm down.

The only way to change about these circumstances is to take control of your own mind.

Because you cannot change anyone else, the only thing you can change is YOU.

So you need to witness, recognize and observe your thoughts.

Before you can focus your attention, you need to take charge of your negative emotional wild thoughts (worry, anger, sadness, irritation).

This is your wild mind, and it  impairs and overwhelms your pre-frontal cortex, the brain’s driver.  When your driver is impaired you can’t make sense of your thoughts.   You can not come to solutions and you have impaired decision making.

Too many negative thoughts and stress damages your ability to focus and it harms your health.  You can change that outcome by taking control of your mind.  Recognize the negative thinking, re-frame thoughts to control the outcome.  For instance, if your thoughts are telling you, “My family is against me, I am the victim of their accusations!  You can re-frame to say, “These accusations are false,  I will present myself and my mind in a rational way to prove them to be wrong”.

How do you get there?  How do you take control of your “wild” thoughts?   You can employ the same things that improve your health.

Breathe!  Sleep well, exercise, do a mindfulness practice, take some time to notice what you are doing in this very moment. When you control your thoughts you will control your brain.

First step?  Stop being distracted, focus on one task at a time.  Finish that task and then take on another.  In other words stop the distractions, and focus.  Because when you organize your life and focus on what needs to be done right now.  You will benefit because your mind will be clear, less stressed and ready for the next task.  Your mind will become more orderly as well.

The payoff is that you will be in control, of your life and your mind.  Why not be the “captain” of your own life the master of your thoughts!


Bending over backwards to defend yoga

by admin on January 24, 2012

I have never made any secret of the fact that I hate yoga. Mostly because I have spent a lifetime doing sports that compact all my muscles and here comes this ancient exercise or meditation or whatever you want to call it that pulls everything out and forces me to stretch parts of me that don’t want to stretch and twist things that shouldn’t twist and have me assume positions that are just not natural. So when I recently saw an article in the New York Times saying that yoga might be bad for people my initial thought was “yeah, I was right all along.” The article said all that twisting and bending can be bad for you, it can strain muscles, rip tendons, pull your back out of shape.

But then I thought

Why am I doing this?

Wait a minute, any exercise can do that to you. If you haven’t played soccer in years then you can hurt yourself doing that. If you used to love ping pong as a kid and took it up again as an adult you can hurt yourself. And maybe yoga is a slightly exaggerated form of any exercise because it really works every single part of your body, but the basic premise is the same. If you do it properly and carefully and with good guidance it can be safe and really beneficial.

That’s not to mean I like it any more, but it does mean that it isn’t dangerous just because you do it wrong or have a crappy teacher who teaches you bad form or you try to get into a full lotus when you have spent the previous ten hours sitting in front of a computer screen and wonder why your tendons just don’t want to go there.

The point is, exercise in any form can be bad for you if you haven’t done it before – or for a long time – and you do it badly. You need to know what you are doing or work with someone who knows what they are doing and knows how to show you how to do it.

Good form is essential

The other day, the other month actually, I pulled the heck out of my calf muscle playing squash. I wasn’t doing anything I hadn’t done a thousand times before. I wasn’t moving in a way I hadn’t done a thousand times before. And yet this time, for whatever reason, my calf went kablooey. Maybe I was just pushing it too hard, or my form was bad. All I know is that as soon as I hit a great cross court shot and was moving back into position in case my opponent – damn you Austin – got it back, my calf went bang and that was that. I’ve been slowly getting back in shape since then. But it takes time. And patience.

And that’s why when I read that article about yoga being bad for you, much as I wanted to jump on the blog and say “see, the NY Times agrees with me” my own experience taught me otherwise. Yes, of course yoga can be bad for you. Playing tiddlywinks can be bad for you if one of them jumps up and hits you in the eye. Anything, done badly, can be bad for you. But that’s no reason to dismiss the enormous potential health benefits of yoga.

Downward facing “you dawg you”

Don't try this at home folks

I once met an 83 year old man who had become a devotee of Bikram yoga. That’s the kind where they heat the room to 110 degrees so you sweat like crazy. It’s meant to warm up the muscles and tendons in your body so that they are more flexible. It’s also meant to replicate the conditions in India where yoga first was practiced. This gentleman had only taken up yoga when he was 80 and swore by Bikram, saying it gave him more energy, made him feel healthier and happier.

Frankly I think he just liked watching lots of young, cute women bend into positions that in his youth would have been unthinkable.

I still don’t like yoga. But I would never tell other people not to do it. For my 83 year old friend it’s the highlight of his day. And that’s reason enough to do any exercise isn’t it.



Are you paying attention? Coz I’m not

by admin on January 18, 2012

When was the last time you sat down at the computer and just focused on one project, one issue, for one hour, without being distracted or checking your email, or finding out the latest celebrity gossip, or seeing how your sports team did, or finding a really funny video showing a cat water-skiing.

Yeah, I thought so. Me neither. But don’t worry. You are not alone. OK, we are not alone.

Short attention span

According to a new study, in the past decade the average attention span has dropped dramatically from 12 minutes to five minutes. Five minutes. That’s barely enough time to boil a hard-boiled egg. Hardly enough time to make a decent cup of tea. You wouldn’t even be halfway through the Derek and the Dominos classic  “Layla” (OK, that dates me) before your time is up.

The study says that today the average office worker checks their email 30 to 40 times an hour. An hour. It’s like a Pavlovian response. The little image appears in the corner of your screen or a sound goes off telling you there’s a new email in your inbox and you rush there to check it out. Odds are it’s going to be worthless or something that could have waited a few minutes, or quite  honestly a few hours, or days or weeks or you could even ignore it completely and life would go on. Yet still you feel the need to go and check it out right, right, now.

To delay might mean. Well, what!

Exactly. We are rushing around from one thing to another and not necessarily doing anything better or more skillfully or thoughtfully. All we are doing is doing it faster. The downside of that is that anything that forces us to slow down, or – god forbid – stop – then just drives us crazy. We’re addicted to speed. Addicted to multiple stimuli at the same time.

Addicted is the right word to use in this context. This new study found that social media may even be changing the way our brains work, re-wiring our circuitry, making us impatient and forgetful and distracted.

OK, what was I saying?

Slow down, let it sink in

Think about it. When was the last time you watched a video – other than a movie – that lasted more than a few minutes. How often do you just dismiss out of hand anything that looks as though it might take a few minutes to watch or read. How often do you just move on from an article that actually requires some real thinking, maybe even reading it a couple of times to understand it.

We are trying to save time. Instead we are losing our minds.



What are YOU missing?

by admin on January 16, 2012

We enjoy reading “News” sources in order to be more informed of what happened and analysis on what it all means, however,  since Tina Brown took over as editor of “Newsweek”, it seems to have become “Newsweek Light”, all about Celebrities with a little “relevant news” thrown in.  I probably will not renew my subscription but there is one section that I do like.  So I’m still on the fence.  It’s the last page of the magazine.  “My Favorite Mistake”  which is usually a short interview of an actor like Ben Kingsley being called suburban, or Dr. Phil making a decision on his own that would affect his and his wife’s life which he regretted, or the famous musician, Lars Ulrich, who talks  about the time that Quentin Tarentino sent him a script written with each scene choreographed supported by music of Metallica (Lars’s Group).  It was an honor, Lars knew it in his gut but he simply did not understand the concept !  Lars didn’t get it!  It was for the movie “Kill Bill”! He didn’t do it. Big Mistake!

Sometimes, none of us get it!  We try to be aware of opportunities, make the right decision, or simply understand; but we just don’t get it.

Listen and You Will Hear

The other day, I was in the coffee shop and a young woman walked in, she was  in a hurry.  There was a short line but it seems she was a regular, so she asked the clerk if she could just grab a cup and begin getting her coffee.  She would pay later.  A woman who was in line in front of her said to the Barrista, “She’s in a hurry, let me pay for her coffee.”  Nice huh?

When the harried gal came back, full cup in hand to pay, the barrista said “Your coffee has been paid by that woman”.   This gal was so involved with being in a hurry, she missed the point entirely.  She said, ” Well, I still need change for the bus!”

Really!  There was no “Thank You”, NO Acknowledgement of a random act of kindness.  No nothin’!

She simply could not get out of her experience of  being harried, that she literally could not see a kindness in her path.  It might have changed the way she saw her entire day.  It could have changed her whole attitude about her life… (well, maybe not).

It did make me think, “What do we miss everyday.”  What wonderful things happen each day that we over look.

What did you overlook today?

Magic? Goodness? Perhaps a miracle?

Oh, and here’s what I like about “My favorite Mistake”; it is that reflection that each mistake is a lesson.  We did not understand the lesson at the time, but when it evolves we can see it very clearly in the rear view mirror.  Perhaps if we slowed down just a little we would have a better view of the experience as it happens.