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Life Advice: Looking Through A Window

Living in today’s metropolitan world of cellular phones, mobile computers and other high-tech gadgets is not just hectic but very impersonal. We make money and then invest our time and effort in making more money. Does it end? Not usually because we are never satisfied. How many times have we convinced ourselves that if only we had some more money, life would be so sweet? But then, after receiving a substantial raise, we realize that it wasn’t enough and that we need more?

What Should You Do?
I have read many books on life such as Robin Sharma’s Monk says this and the monk says that, and they all seem to say that money is not necessary. But it is. Can you do without cash and a lot of it? I know I can’t.

So, I went to the neighbourhood Rabbi and asked for advice that will help me find my true way in life.

The rabbi nodded and took me to the window. “What do you see?” he asked me.

Promptly, I answered, “I can see people walking to and fro and a blind man is begging for alms at the left corner.”

The Rabbi nodded and guided me to a big mirror. “Now look and tell me what you see?”

“I can see myself,” I man answered.

The Rabbi smiled. “Now you can’t see anyone else. The mirror and the window are both created from the same raw material: glass, but because on one of them they have applied a thin layer of silver, when you look at it all you can see is your own reflection.”

The Rabbi placed his arm on my shoulders. “Compare yourself to those two pieces of glass. Without the silver layer, you saw the other people and felt compassion for them. When you are covered with silver, you see only yourself.”

I looked at the Rabbi and stared. “I don’t understand.”

The Rabbi continued. “You will become someone only if have the courage to remove the silver covering over your eyes in order to again see and love others.” He patted me on my back and sent me on my way.

I have thought of what he said and come to the conclusion that he had a point. Yes. We need money and we should not aim to lead a moneyless existence; its pointless and will only cause us and our families many heartbreaks in the future.

Instead, I suggest that we should follow the advice the Rabbi gave me. When we approach life through a silver covering, all we are able to see is ourselves. But discard that covering, and you will be able to see and feel everyone else.

Conclusion:
In life, we are allowed to and should be able to look at both kinds of mirrors, but we should remember that a mirror reflects only us; a window is the door to compassion, health and true wealth. In other words, seek wealth by all means, but don’t let it dissuade you from life, people, children and the poor and needy.

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Life Advice: A Lost Friend Speaks

When my friend sensed that in a few weeks the light of life was about to be extinguished, and that there was no more hope for him, he called me to his side and said, “If only I had lived my life differently, I might not have felt such an emptiness now. Promise me,” he caught my hand, “Promise me that you won’t make the same mistake.” And when I asked him what mistakes, he asked me to get a pen and paper and to jot down his last words. Here they are in condensed form:

  1. Talk less; listen more.
  2. Listen to your grandfather’s stories about his youth. When he’s gone, you will relive the bond through these memories.
  3. Invite friend over for a snack or dinner even if the house is a mess.
  4. Eat popcorn in the living room even though its messy.
  5. Invite the friends who have children home. Don’t worry about their children creating a mess.
  6. Sit on the grass even though it dirties your pants.
  7. Never buy something just because it lasts for a long time or because it is practical.
  8. Stay in bed and at home when sick and stop pretending that the world cannot go one without me for a day.
  9. Light up the wonderfully crafted candles and let them burn out. Better this than they accumulate dust in the closet.
  10. Share life’s responsibilities with a partner, not only expenses.
  11. (Meant for Women) Instead of waiting for the pregnancy to get over, cherish each moment in your heart. Understand that the life in you is the only chance you will get to help god create magic.
  12. Let your children hug and kiss you whenever they wish to. Don’t stop them by saying things like: later, go wash your hands first, we have to eat dinner.
  13. Say the following two phrases as often as possible: “I love you” and “I am sorry.”
  14. Stop worrying about who loves or and who doesn’t or about what others have or don’t have.
  15. Cherish all personal human relations.
  16. Play with a pet every day. Laugh and run with it and take part in all its antics.
  17. Spend more time with the people who love you.
  18. Stop sweating because of all the small details and problems of life.
  19. Grab every moment, look at it and live it. That moment will never return again.

Her name was Susan, and she had one six year old daughter. Susan taught me these few basic ideals that I have tried to follow in honour of her memory. It has made me a better man, a much nicer husband and in general, a happier person. Even now I can hear her say that God has blessed each and every one of us, and that we should accept these blessings and strive to become stronger both physically, mentally and also emotionally. I will always remember what she said to me the last time we met: “Jack, you are lucky. Don’t blow it.”

Las Supersticiones En Los Casinos

La mayoría de los jugadores casino siguen una cultura de las apuestas que es muy personal. Estas consisten en ciertas creencias, supersticiones, objetos, vestimentas y hábitos que deben o no deben hacer a la hora de jugar. Es importante tener un procedimiento en el casino para poder apostar con más seguridad. Próximamente te presento una serie de hábitos y creencias respetadas por muchos jugadores profesionales. Son solo lo que algunos dicen que es cierto, no necesariamente lo son.

La primera es entrar y salir por la misma puerta del casino, lo cual es creíble que traiga buena suerte. Sin embargo, algunos creen que trae mala suerte hacerlo.

Otra de las creencias es a la hora de jugar a los Dados, es importante soplarlos antes de tirarlos en la mesa del juego. Dicen que puede traer buenos resultados.
En el póquer, dicen que jugar una carta que se cayó al piso durante el juego no es conveniente, y puede traer mala suerte. Usar vestimenta negra puede traer mala suerte en el casino.

Los objetos de la suerte también son parte de la cultura de los casinos. Estos sirven  para acompañar a los jugadores en los juegos trayendo buena suerte. La pata de conejo, muñecos de peluche, una foto de un familiar querido, una piedra, o trébol de cuatro hojas son algunos de los clásicos objetos de la suerte.

Las piedras de la suerte están clasificadas por meses. La de Enero es Granate, Febrero Amatista, Marzo Aguamarina, Abril Diamantes, Mayo Esmeralda Junio Perla, Julio Rubí, Agosto Olivino, Septiembre Zafiro, Octubre Ópalo, Noviembre Topacio, y Diciembre Turquesa.

Jugar con dinero de otros jugadores dicen que trae buena suerte. Sin embargo, otros creen que apostar con su propio dinero es más conveniente.

En el casino, las supersticiones de donde jugar, donde sentarse, son muy importantes. Por ejemplo, elegir la mesa en donde apostaras tu dinero generalmente es la misma. Los jugadores tienen su mesa habitual que les ha traído muy buena suerte en el pasado. El asiento también es de respectiva importancia. Sentarse cerca de alguien quien creas que te traerá suerte es muy común, tanto como sentarse cerca de alguien quien no confías no es recomendable.

La vestimenta es parte de las costumbres de los jugadores. En general dicen que vestir de negro no es conveniente, sin embargo la mayoría de los jugadores lucen traje negro.

Muchos, tienen sus números de la suerte escogidos. El 7 es considerado uno de los más comunes, mientras que el 13 no trae buena suerte. Tampoco se acostumbra dejar dinero arriba de la mesa de juego, porque quiere decir que el jugador gano demasiado y suficiente.

Sin duda, todas estas costumbres son muy subjetivas y depende en lo que uno cree o no cree. Pero si lo crees, es mejor que lo hagas!

Las Peliculas De Poquer Mas Recomendadas

Desde la época de oro del Oeste, jugar al Póquer ha siempre sido un juego popular en Hollywood. A pesar de que muchas de las películas de Hollywood que se localizan en póquer no son muy buenas, y a veces presentan al juego de una manera ridícula, mirar el juego desde la gran pantalla es muy divertido, especialmente si eres un jugador de Póquer.

Acá te presentamos las mejores películas que fueron producidas en Hollywood. Algunas son excelentes aparte de ser sobre el póquer, mientras que otras el juego es el tema principal de atracción. De todas maneras, si eres fanático del póquer, disfrutaras mucho de mirarlas!

1) The Sting, dirigido por George Roy Hill, 1973:

Esta película es menos a cerca del póquer y más a cerca el arte de manejar las car6tas pero te proveerá dos horas de diversión sofisticada. El ganador de los Premios Academia de 1973, presenta al joven Paul Newman como el mejor artista de todos quien conduce a Robert Redford al arte de los trucos de carta. El trabajo de David S. Warn es basado en historias de juegos reales.

2) The Cincinnati Kid, dirigida por Norman Jewison en 1965:

Este clásico es conocido por su estremecedor mano final y la inolvidable frase: “Llega a lo que se trata, no? Hacer la movida equivocada en el lugar preciso.” The Cincinnati Kid es a cerca de la batalla entre Steve Macqueen que es un joven jugador de póquer conocido por “The Kid”, y el veterano apostador de póquer conocido por “The Man” actuado por Edward G. Robinson, durante la gran depresión en New Orleans.

Es una de las mejore películas de póquer que he visto en la gran pantalla.

1) California Split dirigida por Robert Altman en 1974:

Puede que esta no sea una de las mejores películas de Altmans, pero es una de las mejores representaciones de la vida de dos apostadores profesionales actuada por George Segal y Elliott Gould. La narrativa no es particularmente directa y el final no es exactamente feliz, pero si logra describir una experiencia autentica. También, los fanáticos de póquer trivial disfrutaran de aprender que el legendario jugador de Póquer Amarillo Slim actúa un papel pequeño.

2) Rounders dirigida by John Dahl en 1998:

No es claro si el éxito de la película empujo al boom del Póquer en el siglo 21 o la popularidad del póquer hizo Rounders un éxito total. De una manera u otra, Rounders es una de las mejores películas de póquer que ha habido en la pantalla. El tema de la película se basa en una maratón en la que Mat Damon y Edward Norton tratan de ganar dinero para pagar deudas de apuestas. EL campeón mundial de Póquer Johnny Chan también aparece en escena.

3) Maverick dirigida por Richard Donner en 1994:

A pesar de que Maverick no es una película brillante en el ámbito del póquer, es una divertida y entretenida película par mirar. Te puede dar una idea básica de lo que era ser un jugador de póquer en el lejano oeste, con Mel Gibson como un maverick que trata de ganar suficiente dinero para el torneo del gran torneo final.

Book Review: Stolen Boy By Michael Mehas

Stolen Boy is billed as a work of fiction, however it actually explores a real event, and that event is still unfolding in the Southern California court system. Jessie James Hollywood faces the potential of the trip to lethal injection for his actions. So real is Michael Mehas’ book that he actually was subpoenaed twice as a witness in the trial, and forced to hand over his notes and tapes of interviews he had conducted.

With a background of Los Angeles, Stolen boy is about drugs, booze, fast cars, and young people. With that combination you will immediately think gangs. But gangs are not involved, the individuals are mostly from regular middle class, though, highly dysfunctional families.

Mickey Youngblood and Rick LeBlanc are young people that have set out on money making careers in the drug business, both have carved out lucrative existences, but a deal between them that went wrong has soured their relationship. So much so, that a $2000 outstanding debt, creates a verbal war, that in turn becomes a physical war of property damage, and threats towards families.

Mickey is to say the least a hot head, and when the windows of his house are smashed out in a late night raid, all rules of right and wrong exit through the empty frames. Revenge is a strong emotion and Mickey is hell bent on satisfying his hunger for it.

His first idea is to find Rick LeBlanc and have it out with him. $2000 after all is chump change in the drug world. In a sheer coincidence it is not Rick they see walking down the street, but his 15 year old younger brother Bobby. Once again though, Mickey lets his rage rule his brain, and persuades the kids with him to firstly beat the kid up “as a warning,” however second thoughts enter the sick and twisted mind, and instead they kidnap Bobby.

It is not the classic kidnap tale, in fact it is anything but classic. Bobby for the most part is free to leave at any time, but he prefers to ‘party’ with his captors, drugs and booze abound! Even stranger there is no attempt made to conceal the fact that Bobby is a hostage. In what has to have been the worst kept secret in the sieve that is the LA underbelly, the whole scheme starts to unravel as more and more people become involved.

Once again the demon Mickey makes poor choices, faced with the potential of exposure by Bobby he must now make a very hard decision. Does he believe Bobby when he says that there is no harm done, and that he will not talk to anyone about the kidnapping? Or is a different course of action needed?

This is a very powerful book, and one that deserves a spot on the coveted shelf space of your local bookstore. It has also cost author Michael Mehas a great deal to write this book, being so close to the factual case he finds himself in a ‘no win’ situation. The real Mickey faces the possibility of the death penalty. What Michael knows could spare him, or could seal his fate. In many ways, Michael has become Mickey, he holds the key to life or death. This is not a situation I would want to be in.

This is not your typical novel, even though the main characters are mere teenagers, they cover the entire gamut of today’s society, the good, the bad, and the very, very ugly!

Stolen Boy is available through Amazon, and Michael Mehas also has a very informative web site where you can learn more about this story that merges fact with fiction.

Book Review: Marketing Your Small Business For Big Profits By David Mason

I have no idea how many books are crammed onto bookshelves all about the subject of marketing, there must be many millions. It is a subject well understood, how do you make someone buy your Widget as opposed to the other guys Widget? Marketing is the answer, but, marketing comes at a price. How much can you afford?

I have a friend who is a retired BBDO exec, and in his mind, marketing that widget should cost the same as the national debt of a small country. Most small businesses can hardly manage to pay the rent and other expenses, never mind a TV spot on The Superbowl.

David Mason has done a very fine job of encapsulating the important aspects of marketing into a very short read. While I am not sure that he has introduced anything new, he has put it on paper that even the most book ‘resistant’ company owner could manage, at a scant 121 pages this should not scare even the skittish book reader.

Of course there is a downside with using such a short format, in a word ‘lists.’ My wife knows me very well, and she always has stuff for me to do. But she also knows that giving me a long ‘To Do’ list makes my eyes glaze over. If the list has less than than 5 items, the chances are good that I will at least attempt a few of them. David Mason prefers longer lists, I believe one was 16 items long! That I found a little of a turn-off, my wife knows better than to try a list that long on me!

On the plus side, he makes very convincing arguments. Arguments that make sense. It is important that every business has a ‘slogan,’ David Mason calls it the USP (Unique Selling Proposition), but slogan or banner is what we are talking about.

How do you attract customers? You have your slogan, but if it only exists on your computer or in your head, who is going to hear the message? Many people have small companies, some sell niche products, some sell niche services, how do you sell your idea? Newspaper Ads might work, but only for the day, a Magazine might work for a month, radio and TV spots last for seconds! How about the internet?

David Mason explores all of the potentials, all of the advertising mediums have their up’s and down’s, cost, effectiveness, even the number of eyeballs that you get your message in front of are important considerations.

The last part of the book I found really helpful, he has included some samples of headlines and opening lines that the small business owner could use in his advertising campaign, and some simple worksheets to assist in customizing the slogans to your own specific needs.

Marketing You Small Business For Big Profits is small enough to be a quick and easy read, but large enough to contain the vital elements important to run an effective advertising program. The author also takes a very down to earth approach in offering advice on implementing the strategies. ‘You don’t have to do them all, just start with one and see what happens.’ In other words you don’t have to do everything, just do something.

Book Review: Alex Webster And The Gods By David Dent

What’s a major deity to do when he finds himself washed up on Mt Olympus? Jupiter, once mighty Roman God has spent two millennia sulking about his defeat at the hands of Yahweh and the loss of the great Roman Empire. Jupiter and his motley assortment of gods have become complacent, even the eternal fountains have mildew on them and are in need of a good clean.

Shedding his robes in favor of an expensive Brooks Bros pin stripe three piece suit and Harvard Business School MBA in hand, the reinvented J. J. Jones is ready to reclaim his throne, the world is ripe for the picking, he rationalizes “…All the old religions are fighting each other, especially the Christians and Muslims. We can come up the middle and be everybody’s second choice.”

He does however realize that the path to glory is not an easy one, the world is a considerably different place in the 21st century than ancient Rome. Also his fellow Gods are going to need a makeover, not only in their appearances but in their attitudes as well, if they are going to fit in.

J. J. realizes that what he needs is a management consultant! Enter Alex Webster. Alex and his sometime girlfriend Victoria take on the daunting task of removing 2000 years of stagnation, of course there are some bumps along the road. Old habits die hard, and it is not long before Carmen Cupido (Cupid) gets the nickname of Dr. Love in a local night club where he has been practicing the art of matchmaking, and coming to the attention of the local police as the likely purveyor of date rape drugs.

J. J’s scheme for ‘world domination’ is to ease into it slowly by becoming the CEO of a global company. To facilitate this he engineers a scheme to merge two companies and become the head. What he doesn’t realize is how much resistance he is going to encounter from a mere mortal. Gerry Shilling CEO of Pharmaglobe has no intentions of stepping aside gently, and sees this merger as a stepping stone for himself!

I found Alex Webster And The Gods to be a thoroughly enjoyable romp. David Dent’s style of writing reminded me a lot of the late Douglas Adams, another master of putting characters in the most unlikely and bizarre situations. The humor is mostly dark and very well executed. Juno for example likens her marriage to Jupiter, to that of Bill and Hillary, and because Jupiter is off chasing every bit of skirt in the universe, “we only have sex every hundred years”.

Every chapter starts with a little quote, some words of wisdom, from Carl Sagen, to Yoda, everyone gets their say, but my personal favorite is from William S. Burroughs “Sometimes paranoia’s just having all the facts”.

If I have a criticism of the book, it is that it is too short. The ending is very cute, and certainly paves the way for a second book, and I’ll bet J.J.’s Brooks Bros suit that David Dent is typing away as you read this. All in all, I give this book very high marks, it is a fabulously crafted concept and one that would transition well into the big screen, or a TV series. The characters are larger than life, the plotlines outrageous, this is what I class as great entertainment.

Although it is officially classified as Science Fiction, it should appeal to everyone that enjoys a light and funny read.

Review by Simon Barrett
http://zzsimonb.blogspot.com