inspiration AugSep 2006

Shortarmguy's Emails That Made Me Think

On this page, I will post the most inspirational material I receive on any given day.  So email the best stuff you get.  Life can be darn tough sometimes and every now and then you might need a little happiness booster.  I’m hoping this page may accomplish that.  After you read a few of these,  you can push back from your keyboard, throw your arms in the air, wave them back and forth and scream “I’m glad to be alive!”  If this happens to you, please send pictures and I’ll post them here!


September 24, 2006

I wonder what she’s saying?

The Emperor’s Seeds
Author: Unknown

An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose His successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day.

He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you.” The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today, one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!”

One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.

After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks went by. Still nothing.

By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn’t have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by; still nothing in Ling’s pot.

He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn’t say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot but his Mother said he must be honest about what happened. Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his Mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace.

When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful-in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kids laughed at him.

A few felt sorry for him and just said, “Hey nice try.” When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people.  Ling just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,” said the emperor. “Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!”

All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his Empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. “The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!” When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling,” he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of
him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, “Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!” Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?

Then the emperor said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds, which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!”

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory.
If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
If you plant openness, you will reap


September 17, 2006

If you don’t think our military pilots earn their pay … you need to take a look at this picture … and then look again and realize what you’re seeing …

This photo was taken by a soldier in Afghanistan of a helo rescue mission. The pilot is a National Guard guy who flies EMS choppers in civilian life.  Now how many people on the planet do you suppose could set the rear end of a chopper down on the roof top of a shack on a steep mountain cliff and hold it there while soldiers load wounded men in the rear??? If this does not impress you … nothing ever will…. I can’t even imagine having the nerve … much less the talent and ability … God Bless our military!!!!! 


A Little Perspective
Average teenager vs. 19 year-old Private First Class

Your alarm goes off; you hit the snooze and sleep for another 10 minutes.
He stays up for days on end.

You take a warm shower to help you wake up.
He goes days or weeks without running water.

You complain of a “headache”, and call in sick.
He gets shot at, as others are hit, and keeps moving forward.

You put on your anti war/don’t support the troop’s shirt, and go meet up
with your friends.
He still fights for your right to wear that shirt.

You make sure you’re cell phone is in your pocket.
He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags.

You talk trash on your  “buddies” that aren’t with you.  
He knows he may not see some of his buddies again.

You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls.
He walks the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists.

You complain about how hot it is.  

He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.

You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong.

He does not get to eat today.   
Your maid makes your bed and washes your clothes.
He wears the same things for months, but makes sure his weapons are clean.
You go to the mall and get your hair redone.
He doesn’t have time to brush his teeth today.   
You are angry because your class ran 5 minutes over
He is told he will be held an extra 2 months.
You call your girlfriend and set a date for that night.
He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.
You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday.
He holds his letter close and smells his love’s perfume.   
You roll your eyes as a baby cries.
He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they’ll ever meet.
You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything.
He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own government and remembers why he is fighting.
You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of the men like him.
He hears the gun fire and bombs.
You see only what the media wants you to see.
He sees the bodies lying around him.
You are asked to go to the store by your parents. You don’t.
He does what he is told.
You stay at home and watch TV.
He takes whatever time he is given to call and write home, sleep, and eat.
You crawl into your bed, with down pillows, and try to get comfortable.
He crawls under a tank for shade and a 5 minute nap, only to be awakened by gun fire.
You sit there and judge him, saying the world is a worse place because of men like him.
If only there were more men like him??


September 10, 2006

Mystery Drapes 9/11 Flag’s Disappearance


By Rick Hampson, USA TODAY


From USA Today


(Aug. 31) – On April 1, 2002, a flag that had become the emblem of American resilience was unfurled in a solemn, wordless ceremony outside City Hall.


Hours after the 9/11 attacks, three firefighters had spontaneously used a U.S. flag taken off a yacht and raised it in the wreckage of the World Trade Center. A newspaper photographer captured the scene, creating a classic image.


Seven months later, the three firemen were guests of honor as the flag was run up the City Hall pole. But Dan McWilliams, one of the firemen, said softly, “That’s not the flag.”


Bill Kelly, the firefighters’ lawyer, stared at him. “That’s much bigger than the one we put up,” McWilliams explained. Kelly says he looked at the other two firemen: “They said, ‘No, that’s not it.’ ” The men said nothing more, and the flag flew at City Hall for a week before beginning a tour of police stations and firehouses.


It was an impostor. Five years after 9/11, the day’s most famous artifact is still missing.


“It’s a piece of history,” says Shirley Dreifus, owner of the yacht from which one of the firemen took the flag. “I don’t think the average citizen knows it’s missing.”


The flag in the photograph taken on 9/11 by Thomas Franklin of The Record of Bergen County, N.J., was 3 feet by 5 feet. The one raised at City Hall – and flown at Yankee Stadium and on warships and once destined for the Smithsonian – is 5 by 8.


How did the flags get switched? Did someone replace the smaller with the larger at Ground Zero? If so, why? And what happened to the original?

Photo Captured a Moment

The three firemen raised the flag at the darkest hour of one of the darkest days in U.S. history. The twin towers were in smithereens. After six hours of searching, it was apparent there were few survivors.


As McWilliams walked past a yacht docked on the Hudson River, he spotted an American flag attached to a broken wooden pole. He grabbed it and walked back toward Ground Zero, joined en route by George Johnson, a member of his Brooklyn ladder company, and Billy Eisengrein, whom he’d known since they were kids on Staten Island.


At Ground Zero, the firefighters found a long metal flagpole jutting at a 45-degree angle from a ledge about 20 feet above the ground. They climbed up and began rigging the flag to the pole.


They never saw Franklin, who took the picture from about 100 feet away. As he was shooting, he thought of the famous photo of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima in 1945.


The Record sent the photo to the Associated Press – and through its network to the world. Over the next year the image appeared on U.S. commandos’ “calling cards” on the battlefields of Afghanistan, on a postage stamp, on the side of a barn in Upstate New York. 


Within 10 days after it was raised, the flag – or rather, a flag – was taken down by the fire department; the Navy wanted to borrow it for display on the carrier Theodore Roosevelt, heading to the Arabian Sea off Afghanistan.


On Sept. 23, the same flag appeared at a service at Yankee Stadium, where it was signed by Gov. George Pataki, Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the fire and police commissioners. Then it was flown off to the Roosevelt.

In January 2002, Shirley Dreifus called USA TODAY to say the flag came from the yacht Star of America, owned by her and her husband. The firefighters signed an affidavit confirming that claim.


In March, as the carrier returned to Norfolk, Va., Johnson and Eisengrein were flown onboard to accept the flag, folded in a triangle, on behalf of the city.


That summer, Dreifus asked the city to borrow the flag for a firefighters’ fundraiser on the yacht. When she got the flag, she realized it was too big to have been the yacht’s.


“I don’t doubt it flew at Ground Zero,” Dreifus says of the larger flag – it even smelled of smoke. “It just wasn’t the one from our boat.”


Pressing the Search

They demanded that the city find the right one. In what Dreifus describes as an attempt to “put some energy” behind the search, they sued the city for $525,000 – the price at which appraisers valued the flag, which originally cost $50.


The city couldn’t find the flag, and the suit was dropped. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he didn’t know where the flag was: “I don’t know where Osama bin Laden is, either.”


Coincidentally, two flags also were raised on Iwo Jima by different groups of servicemen. The second, larger one was in the Associated Press photo; both are in the Marine Corps collection in Quantico, Va.


David Friend, a Vanity Fair editor and author of a new book on the visual images of 9/11, says he believes the flag was switched within days.


mThe three firemen have declined interview requests over the past five years. But Friend’s book, Watching the World Change, quotes Billy Eisengrein as saying that while working at Ground Zero a few days after 9/11, he noticed the flag was gone from the pole: “Who took it down, I have no idea.”


Was the first flag replaced because it was too small? Was it lowered when it began to rain and innocently switched with another flag found at the site? Did someone in the fire department not want to let the Navy borrow it? Once the photo appeared on the front page of the New York Post on Sept. 13, did a thief realize its value? Was Ground Zero in the week after the attack still sufficiently chaotic to allow someone to take the flag unnoticed?


Dreifus keeps an eye on the Internet to make sure no one tries to sell it: “I think whoever took it down must know what it was.”



September 3, 2006


American Logic

We yell for the Government to balance the budget, then spend our last dime to make the down payment on a car that will take 5 years to pay off.


We’re highly insulted when traveling if the natives don’t speak English, and insulted again when they visit here and still can’t speak English.


We demand speed laws that will stop fast driving, then won’t buy a car if it can’t go over 100 miles an hour.

We have more TVs, radios, magazines and newspapers than any other country, and yet half the population has no idea what the hell’s going on.


We know the line-up of every baseball team in the American & National Leagues but mumble thru half the words in the “Star Spangled Banner”.


We envy other countries’ rich heritage, landmarks and historical sites and continue to tear down colonial homes to build parking lots.


We spend more money and time defending suspects’ rights than we do the victims.

We’re the only country in the world where the citizens own more hand guns than the military and all the police departments combined.

We’ll spend half a day looking for vitamin pills to make us live longer, then drive 90 miles an hour on slick pavement to make up for lost time.

We gripe like hell about politicians and the state of the government at all levels, yet over half of us don’t bother to vote.

We tie up our dogs and keep the cats in the house while letting our teenagers run wild.

We have a growth rate of 80% in lawyers, paralegal & legal secretaries and a 130% decrease in farmers, assembly line workers & doctors.

We whip any enemy in battle, then feel guilty about it and give them the shirt off our backs.

We will work hard on a farm so we can move into town where we can make more money so we can move back to the farm.

We spend untold thousands transporting kids a mile to school where we insist they exercise in their million dollar gyms.

We have more TV sets and watch more TV than any other country in the world, yet no TV sets are manufactured in the US.

We run from morning to night trying to keep our “earning power” up with our “yearning power”.

We have more time saving appliances and devices than ever before in history and never have time to do anything.

We insist on strict enforcement of traffic laws but are highly offended should we get ticketed for a violation.

In the office we talk about baseball, shopping or fishing, but when we’re at the game, we talk about business, shopping or fishing.

We’re highly offended by any reference to sex on TV during the times kids are watching, but never notice the violence, mayhem and murder.

We’re supposed to be one of the most civilized Christian nation on earth, but we still can’t deliver payrolls without an armored car.

We insist on the highest quality produce and toughest inspection laws, but have no similar laws concerned imported fruits and vegetables.

We have more experts on marriage than any other country in the world and still have more divorces.

We demand a good balance of trade, yet lust after almost any imported product.

We have more food to eat than any other country in the world and more diets to help keep us from eating it.

August 27, 2006

Pleasant Thoughts

August 20, 2006

For those who don’t know, Dennis Miller is a comedian who had a show called Dennis Miller Live on HBO. He is not Jewish.  He recently said the following about the mid-east situation.  

“A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service to all Americans who still don’t get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you really need. Here we go.

The Palestinians want their own country. There’s just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It’s a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like “Wiccan,” “Palestinian” sounds ancient but is really a modern invention

Before the Israelis won the land in the 1967 war, Gaza was owned by Egypt, the West Bank was owned by Jordan, and there were no “Palestinians.” As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the “Palestinians,” weeping for their deep bond with their lost “land” and “nation.”

So for the sake of honesty, let’s not use the word “Palestinian” anymore to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths, until someone points out they’re being taped.
Instead, let’s call them what they are::
“Other Arabs Who Can’t Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death.”

I know that’s a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN.

How about this, then: “Adjacent Jew-Haters.”

Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country.

Oops, just one more thing. No, they don’t. They could’ve had their own country any time in the last thirty years, especially several years ago at Camp David but if you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights and garbage trucks and Chambers of Commerce, and, worse, you actually have to figure out some way to make a living.

That’s no fun. No, they want what all the other Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel.  They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course — that’s where the real fun is — but mostly they want Israel.

Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel – or “The Zionist Entity” as their textbooks call it — for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of Arab countries to divert the attention of their own people away from the fact that they’re the blue-ribbon most illiterate, poorest, and tribally backward on God’s Earth, and if you’ve ever been around God’s Earth . . . you know that’s really saying something.

It makes me roll my eyes every time one of our pundits waxes poetic about the great history and culture of the Muslim Middle East. Unless I’m missing something, the Arabs haven’t given anything to the world since Algebra, and, by the way, thanks a hell of a lot for that one.
Chew this around & spit it out: 500 million Arabs; 5 million Jews. Think of all the Arab countries as a football field, and Israel as a pack of matches sitting in the middle of it. And now these same folks swear that, if Israel gives them half of that pack of matches, everyone will be pals.

Really? Wow, what neat news. Hey, but what about the string of wars to obliterate the tiny country and the constant din of rabid blood oaths to drive every Jew into the sea?

Oh, that? We were just kidding.

My friend Kevin Rooney made a gorgeous point the other day: Just reverse the Numbers. Imagine 500 million Jews and 5 million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it. Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades and dynamite to themselves? Or marshaling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab State into the sea? Or dancing for joy at the murder of innocents? Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of children?.

No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace, the worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death.

Mr. Bush, God bless him, is walking a tightrope. I understand that, with vital operations in Iraq and others, it’s in our interest, as Americans, to try to stabilize our Arab allies as much as possible, and, after all, that can’t be much harder than stabilizing a roomful of super models who’ve just had their drugs taken away.

However, in any big-picture strategy, there’s always a danger of losing moral weight. We’ve already lost some. After September 11th, our president told us and the world he was going to root out all terrorists and the countries that supported them. Beautiful. Then the Israelis, after months and months of having the equivalent of an Oklahoma City every week (and then every day), start to do the same thing we did, and we tell them to show restraint.

If America were being attacked with an Oklahoma City every day, we would all very shortly be screaming for the administration to just be done with it and kill everything south of the Mediterranean and east of the Jordan?.

Please feel free to pass this along to your friends
Walk in peace! Be Happy! Have a wonderful life!

August 13, 2006

Things to ponder???

Why is it that when you’re driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on the radio?

Why do they report power outages on TV?

Do one legged ducks swim in circles?

Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?

Do fish get cramps after eating?

How can there be “self help GROUPS”?

Why does Donald Duck wear a towel when he comes out of the shower, when he doesn’t usually wear any pants?

Why is it you get a penny for your thoughts, but have to put in your two cents worth?

Why is a women’s prison called a penal colony?


Do cows have calf muscles?


Why does it say do not use before work with heavy machinery on the back of children’s Tylenol?


If you only have one eye…are you blinking or winking?


Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant? 


What happens if every team in the NFL goes 8-8?


How come the Bible is the most stolen book, and one of the ten commandments is “thou shall not steal”?


How come whenever you start to sing, you automatically sing in a higher voice than you talk?


Why is it that when a person tells you there’s over a million stars in the universe you believe them, but if someone tells you there’s wet paint somewhere, you have to touch it to make sure?


Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but people don’t point to their crotch when they ask where the bathroom is?


If feathers tickle people, do they tickle birds?


Can you sentence a homeless man to house arrest?


What do people in China call their good plates? 


Why is the third hand on the watch called second hand?


Why does mineral water that has “trickled through mountains for centuries” go out of date next year?


Why are they called stairs inside but steps outside?


Why would superman want to leap over the tallest building in a single bound if he can fly?


Why is it we have the weight of the world on our shoulders but have to get it off our chests?


If you’re caught “between a rock and a hard place”, is the rock not hard?


If your born at exactly midnight is your birthday on both those days?


Why in baseball is it called the World Series if it is only played in the U.S.A & Canada?


Why do people say heads up when you should duck?


Why do radio operators say “niner” instead of just “nine”?


Do dumped farmers get John Deere letters?


What happens when you say “hi” to your friend on an airplane who’s name is Jack?


How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?



Why do people say, “you’ve been working like a dog” when dogs just sit around all day? 


If you were born exactly on 12:00 midnight on December 31st – January 1st, which year would you say you were born in?


Can someone give up lent for lent?


What do vegetarians feed their dogs? 


Why is it when we laugh in school the teachers say do you find something funny?



When obviously we do?


Who gets to keep the pennies in a wishing well?


Why do we teach kids that violence is not the answer and then have them read about wars in school that solved America’s problems?


Why is chopsticks one of the easiest songs to play on the piano, but the hardest thing to eat with?


Aren’t the ‘good things that come to those who wait’ just the leftovers from the people that got there first?


When French people swear do they say pardon my English?


Do the actors on Unsolved Mysteries ever get arrested because they look just like the criminal they are playing?


How come only your fingers and toes get wrinkly in the shower and nothing else does? 


Why do bullies always ask “what’s your problem” when they’re obviously not going to solve it?


In that song, she’ll be coming around the mountain, who is she?


okay you can stop singing now..

August 6, 2006

If A Dog Were Your Teacher !

You would learn stuff like…

  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
  • When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.
  • Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.
  • Take naps and stretch before rising.
  • Run, romp, and play daily.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  • Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do.
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
  • When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout – run right back and make friends.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
  • Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.
  • Be loyal.
  • Never pretend to be something you’re not.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • And MOST of all…
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

Author unknown


Inspiration from the past