Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Real Motivational Story

Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood And always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all Of the time. How do you do it?"

Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I Can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept Their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose The positive side of life.

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.

"Yes, it is," Michael, said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people Affect your mood. Your bottom line: It's your choice how you live life."

I reflected on what Michael said. Soon thereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw Michael about six months after the accident when I asked him how he was, he replied. "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?"

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone Through his mind as the accident took place. "The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon to be born daughter, " Michael replied.

"Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live."

Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.

Michael continued, "...the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared.

In their eyes, I read "he's a dead man. I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Michael.

"She asked if I was allergic to anything. "Yes, I replied." The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, "Gravity."

Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead ."

Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because Of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

And the Song..

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, "The King and I" and "The Catcher in the Rye"

Eisenhower, vaccine, England's got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser aand Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc

Roy hn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, dacron
Dien Bien Phu falls, "Rock Around the Clock"

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn's got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland

Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Krushchev
Princess Grace, "Peyton Place", trouble in the Suez

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, "Bridge on the River Kwai"

Lebanon, Charlse de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkweather, homicide, children of thalidomide

Buddy Holly, "Ben Hur", space monkey, Mafia
Hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go

U-2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, "Psycho", Belgians in the Congo

Hemingway, Eichmann, "Stranger in a Strange Land"
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion

"Lawrence of Arabia", British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson

Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex
JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodsto/ck/, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline
Ayatollah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan

"Wheel of Fortune", Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide
Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law
Rock and roller cola wars, I can't take it anymore

We didn't start the fire
But when we are gone
Will it still burn on, and on, and on, and on...

"We didn't start the fire" - The Origin!

Billy Joel (reportedly) wrote this song after overhearing a child say that he felt sorry for "older people" like Billy Joel because no "history" happened in their lifetime, that NOW (or the time the song was written) was going to be the world's most historical time period. The comment got to Billy Joel so much that he sat down and wrote this to prove that his lifetime has been FULL of history.


Harry Truman

Well loved 33rd President of the United States (1945-1953). Made the decision to drop the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima & Nagasaki. "Give 'em hell Harry!" The 1949 Inauguration was the first to be nationally televised, and was estimated to have been viewed by 10 million Americans.

Doris Day

Popular singer/actress and later, star of the Doris Day Show (1968-1973). Most famous movies: The Pajama Game ('57) and Pillow Talk ('59).

Red China

"The Red Troops," Communists take over mainland China. Nationalists establish themselves in Taiwan.

Johnnie Ray

Singer who cried when he sang. Hits: Cry and The Little Cloud that Cried. Johnnie Ray was born on January 10, 1927 in Dallas, Oregon. He was partially deaf since childhood and began wearing a hearing aid at age 14. In 1951 singer LaVern Baker and her manager Al Green helped him with his music. He signed a contract with Okeh in 1949.

South Pacific

Broadway musical first produced on this date

Walter Winchell

America's first modern gossip columnist known for his aggressive style and tremendous use of slang. America tuned into him on the radio.

Joe DiMaggio

"Joltin' Joe," "The Yankee Clipper" was an outfielder for the New York Yankees (1936-1951) and has the longest hitting streak in the Major Leagues. In 1949, an inflamed heel kept him sidelined for 65 games. When he returned to the lineup, his home run helped the Yankees beat Boston 5-4, and he went on to bat .500 in their three-game series. It was as if he'd never been gone. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1955 and married Marilyn Monroe in '54.


Joe McCarthy

The Republican senator who led "Witch Hunts" against the communists in America. He also started the dreaded "Black listing."

Richard Nixon

Member of the US Senate and later President. Investigated domestic communism during this period.


Clement, Henry, and John Studebaker, The downfall of this eccentric auto company came when their sports car did not catch on as well as the new corvette.


The "Boob Tube" was introduced and became widely popular throughout the world.

North Korea

Democratic peoples republic occupied by U.S.S.R. They invaded...

South Korea

On June 25, 1950 and remained occupied until July 27, 1953. The United States supported South Korea. Start of the "Cold War"?

Marilyn Monroe

Norma Jean-Baker -- Actress and Pin-up girl. In the movie "Love Happy", United Artists, April 1950 staring: Marx Brothers, Ilona Massey, Eric Blore, Vera-Ellen, Raymond Burr, Marilyn Monroe had a 3 minute walk-on scene with Groucho Marx. She married Joe DiMaggio in 1954 and died of a drug overdose in 1956. Popular Movies: Some Like It Hot and Bus Stop



Ethel-Greenglass Rosenberg and Julius Rosenberg were listed as communists and were convicted of giving secrets to the U.S.S.R. Executed, they were spies, they were traitors.


First tested in 1951. This weapon was more powerful than the destrctive Atomic bomb. Researched by Edward Teller as a response to the fear of communism after Russia duplicated the A-bomb.

Sugar Ray

Five time middle weight champion (1951-1960).
Welter weight champion (1946-1951)


City in South Korea where the cease fire negotiations took place. Talks started in 1951 and the truce was signed in 1953 ending the Korean War.


Marlon Brando Jr. The "Buddy" actor. Won Oscars for: On the Water Front (1954) and The Godfather (1972)

The King and I

Popular musical and book by Oscar Hammerstein based on the novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margret Landon. About King Mongkut of Thailand and the social life and customs therein.

The Catcher in the Rye

Well known book by J.D. Salinger.



"Ike" David Dwight Eisenhower. Allied European military leader and 34th U.S. president (1953-1961).


Jonas Salk, on March 11, 1952, provides the body with lasting defensive powers against 3 types of polio viruses.

England's got a new Queen

Queen Elizabeth II starts her reign, she is 27 years old.


Rocky Marciano, Boxer and Actor. Became the heavyweight champion of the world when he defeated Jersey Joe Walcott on September 23, 1952. Undefeated Heavyweight Champion (1952-1956). Died in a plane crash in 1969.


George J. Liberace. Conductor, violinist and pianist born Wladziu Valentino (1919-1987). Rose to stardom in the fifties and went on to become the highest paid entertainer during the sixties and seventies. Known for his elaborate costumes, flashy piano styles and his token candelabra. Most well known piece: Mack the Knife

Santayana good-bye

George Santayana, (1863-1952), American philosopher, poet, and novelist, whose wide-ranging philosophical speculation was expressed in a style of great literary distinction. died September 26, 1952., Memorable quote: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."


Joseph Stalin

Dictator of Russia (1929-1953), successor of Lenin. Instituted Socialism throught the use of force. Died, March 5, 1953.


Georgi Malenkov was a close associate of Joseph Stalin he, became Prime Minister of Russia after Stalin's death and remained in his position until 1955.


Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egyptian President (1953-1970). He led the disposal of King Farouk in 1952.


Russian Composer who died in 1953 after putting together Peter and the Wolf.


John D. Rockefeller. Most well known of the wealthy Rockefeller family. Founded Chevron Oil company. Nelson Aldridge Rockefeller was Governor of New York from 1958 to 1974.


Roy Campanella was a black baseball catcher for Brooklyn from 1948 to 1957. He led the NL in RBI's in 1953 and held the MVP. He was paralyzed in a car accident in 1958 and was entered in to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.

Communist Bloc

The Communist Bloc refers to the countries that comprised the "enemy" during the Cold War.


Roy Cohn

Lawyer and Chief counsel to Senator McCarthy during his "Witch Hunt" trials.

Juan Peron

Dictator of Argentina, died in 1974.


Arturo Toscanini, child prodigy. One of the great Orchestra conductors who performed in New York and Italy. He retired in 1954 at the are of 87.


The Tradename for Polyester fiber rope. The beginning of polyester clothing.

Dien Bien Phu Falls

Vietnam swamp land, location of the Frenc fortress that was defeated in 1954.

Rock Around The Clock

Number 1 song by Bill Haley and the Comets. Considered the beginning of Rock n' Roll.



It doesn't take a genius to know Albert Einstein. Physicist and mathametician who penned the Theory of Relativity and did substantial work on the creation of the Atomic Bomb. He won the Nobel Prize before passing away on April 18, 1955.

James Dean

Actor and teen heartthrob. Became an icon for American teenage boys after a career in films which was tragically cut short when he was killed in a car accident on Sept. 30, 1955. Films: Rebel Without A Cause (1955), East of Eden (1955), and Giant (1955) filmed before his death.

Brooklyn's got a winning team

The Brooklyn Dodgers wins the World Series 4 games to 3 against the New York Yankees.

Davy Crockett

Frontiersman under President Andrew Jackson who died at the Alamo in 1936. Because of Walt Disney's now weekly show, Davy Crockett becomes the newest fad among kids.

Peter Pan

The Disney Feature Full Length Animated Movie hits theatres.

Elvis Presley

Actor/Singer "The King" of Rock n' Roll


Walt Disney opens his first amusement park in Anaheim, California.



Bridget Bardot, French actress and sex symbol. Famous for marijuana and her long blonde disheveled hair.


Moved towards democracy in Hungary, armored tanks quickly put a stop to it.


Moved towards civil rights with the Civil Rights Movement. Blacks protested against discrimination.


Nikita Krushchev, the Premier of Russia who built the Berlin Wall in '56. " We will bury you!"

Princess Grace

Grace Kelley. Actress who married Prince Ranier III of Monaco in '56. Movies: High Noon (1952)

Peyton Place

First night time soap opera

Trouble in the Suez

Egypt nationalizes the canal and refuses passage to Israel. War erupts and Irael, with the help of France and Great Britain occupy the Sinai Penninsula.


Little Rock

Arkansas, troops are sent to a central high school to enforce racial integration.


Boris Pasternak, russian creator of Dr. Zhivago. Forced to refuse the Nobel Prize for literature in '58.

Mickey Mantle

"The Commerce Comet." NY Yankees outfielder (1951-58). Won the AL Triple Crown in '56 and held the record for 536 home runs. He was a 3 time MVP, including the '57 season, and was entered into the Hall of Fame in '74.


Jack Kerouac, led the "Beatnik" movement, authored On the Road in 1957. b. Oct 20, 1931


The first artificial satellite, launched by the Russians on Oct 4, 1957. Sputnik means satellite in Russian.

Chou-En-Lai (Zhou En-Lai?)

The premier of China sought to normalize relations between the PRC and the USA

Bridge on the River Kwai

Won 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor-Alec Guinness and Best (Adapted) Screenplay.



President "Ike"Eisenhower sent troops to Lebanon where 241 marines died.

Charles de Gaulle

French army general who assumed leadership after WWII, he became the first president of the fifth republic (1959-1969).

California Baseball

In 1958 (between the 1957 and 1958 seasons, at least) the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants (the baseball team) moved out west to California - Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively.

Starkweather Homicide

The Starkweather Homicides - In January, Charlie Starkweather and his girlfriend, Caril Fugate, went on a 11 (we've also heard "over 15") person killing spree over a span of a month and a half. The spree started with Fugate's parents and spread over the Midwest. He was executed in the electric chair.


I can't believe this, we've heard a few explanations! The second is that the lyric is about John Starkweather who climbed a tower at a Texas college and started shooting at people with a rifle.


The third idea is that it refers to the Richard Starkweather murder spree that inspired the film "Badlands."

Children of Thalidomide

Thalidomide was given to women to help with birthing proceedures and morning sickness. Childern are consequently born with birth defects, typically abnormally short arms. Sometimes, no arms or legs at all.


Buddy Holly

My man! Singer/songwriter of Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Died in a plane crash with 2 other rock n' roll singers, including Ritchie Valens, on Feb 3, 1959. (See the American Pie page)

Ben Hur

Nominated for 12Academy Awards. Won 11, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor-Charlton Heston and Best Supporting Actor-Hugh Griffith..

Space Monkey

The first sentient being was sent into outer space, it was... a monkey.


Gangs, mobsters, you know like Capone. Don Vito Genovese jailed for narcotics peddling in 1959, he was turned in by Nelson Cantellops.

Hula hoops

The Hula Hoop was invented and became the latest fad.


Fidel Castro led a campaign to overthrow the Batista regime. The Communist leader took over in Cuba and became the Premier.

Edsel is a no-go

The Edsel, a car too advanced for its time, people were not ready for it and it flopped.



A spy plane, then being flown by Gary Powers, was shot down. News of its existence ruined a summit meeting in Vienna between Kruchev and the American President, Eisenhower.

Syngman Rhee

The President of South Korea (1948-1960) was forced from office for political abuses.


One of the first big music scandals where record companies paid DJs to play certain songs as DJs were asking for money to play records. Allan Freed, a big time radio DJ from Ohio credited with coining the term "Rock and Roll," got caught up in it and it destroyed his career. The film American Hot Wax deals with both Allan and the payola issue.


John F. Kennedy was elected the 35th President of the United States (served 1961-1963). He was also the first Roman Catholic President.

Chubby Checker

Rock n' Roll sensation who created the dance craze, "The Twist."


Famous Alfred Hitchcock movie. Nominated for 4 Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Supporting Actress. Remade in 1999.

Belgians in the Congo

In June, the Belgians lost control of the Congo, which became the independent state of Congo-Kinshasa. Today it is known as Zaire.



Journalist/Author, Nobel Prize winner in 1954. Died July 2, 1961.


Adolf Eichman, Nazi leader and most feared Nazi. He was in charge of Hitler's Death Camps. He escaped to Argentine in 1946 and was captured by Israelies in 1960. Tried in 1961 and hanged in 1962 for his war crimes.

Stranger in a Strange Land

Novel by Richard Heinlein published in 1961. Winner of the 1962 Hugo Award.


Robert Zimmerman/Bob Dylan -- Singer/Songwriter. Blowin' in the Wind (1962), Times They are a Changin' (1964)


The Wall goes up to devide East Communist Germany from West Democratic Germany.

Bay of Pigs Invasion

April 17-19. The unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Communist government of Cuba by U.S. backed Cuban exiles.


Lawrence of Arabia

Winner of 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director.

British Beatle Mania

The Boys, our inspiration, from Liverpool, England. John, Paul, Ringo and George. Popular for their childlike, whimsy looks and attitudes. "Mod" clothing and "Sheepdog" hair.

What about our Beatle mania?

Ole Miss

The University of Mississippi is the first to allow African Americans to attend a University.

John Glenn

First American to orbit Earth

Liston beats Patterson

"Sonny" Liston, Actor/boxer. Heavyweight champion 1962-1964 beats Floyd Patterson, an Olympic gold medalist (boxing 1952) and the youngest to ever win the heavyweight title.


Pope Paul

Paul I installed as Pope in 1963. He died on March 6, 1964. He was also the Monarch of Greece from 1947-1964.

Malcom X

His original name was Malcom Little. After derogatory comments regarding the assassination of J.F.K he was silenced by Black Muslims. Murdered in 1965.

British Politician Sex

British minister Stephen Ward was brought down by virtue of a sex scandal in the early 60s -- he had an affair with Christine Keeler and killed himself in shame. Check out the movie "Scandal" for more details.

JFK Blown away

John F. Kennedy's assassination took place on Nov. 22, 1963 during a political parade in Dallas.


Birth Control

The start of endless debates and controversies over birth control.

Ho Chi Minh

Leader of the Vietminh against the Japanese. An ally of the US during WWII. He was president of North Vietnam during the period of the Vietnam War.

Richard Nixon back again

After Nixon lost to Kennedy in 1960, he ran for governor of California and lost. He called a press conference and angrily declared he was leaving politics and public life for good, telling the press "You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around any more." He didn't keep his promise, though, and hence the "back again" reference. He became the 37th President from 1967-1974, then resigned. He ended the US presence in Vietnam, repaired relations with China, and initiated Detente with USSR.


July 1969. U.S. wins race to the Moon, Neil Armstrong plants American flag.



New York's "Love-in." On a 600 acre farm, 400,000 people gathered for 3 days of Rock n' Roll. It is reported that no fights took place, it rained most of the three days and 1 child was born.


Break in of Democratic National Headquarters, by Nixon White House Aides. Causing scandal, including evidence of missing tapes.


Punk Rock

In the fifties, baby boomers were teens and they rebelled against adults with Rock n' Roll. In the early seventies, their children started punk rock.


Menachem Wolfovitch, Prime minister of Israel 1977-1983. Attended a meeting with Anwar el Sadat resulting in the Camp David Accords. He is the Nobel Peace Prize winner of 1978.



40th President (1981-1989), instituted "Reaganomics" in an attempt to spur the economy. He was also known for his conservative policies and the fact that he has been our oldest President (b. Feb. 6, 1911)


Continuing conflicts over a Palestinian homeland.

Terror on the Airline

Many Hijackings and explosions took place during the 80's

Ayatollah's in Iran

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini began a Holy War with Iran.

Russians in Afghanistan

Russian and Afgan government troops hold the major cities but rebels control the country side.

Wheel of Fortune

One of the most popular TV game shows begins in the 80's

Sally Ride

First woman in Space

Heavy Metal Suicide

In the eighties, a rumor flourished that heavy metal music caused some kids to commit suicide. - Music doesn't kill people, people kill people (and guns).

Foreign Debts

The United States, under Reagan's Reganomics, ran up trillions of dollars in National Debt.

Homeless Vets

Due to the state of the economy and high unemployment, Vietnam vets are forced to the streets by the thousands.


The AIDS epidemic becomes the headline news.


Cocaine has been around for awhile but it becomes popular again in another form.

Bernie Goetz

Was attacked by 2-4 thugs in a New York subway. He returned the attack with gunfire from his legally registered gun. He left one in a wheelchair of the attackers. The incident later went to trial and due to a lack of evidence to prove that Goetz was acting in self defense, the victim (Goetz) was forced to pay approximately 1 million dollars to the families of the attackers. (You better believe we have a great justice system!)

Hypodermics on the Shore

From the Pacific to Lake Michigan, the pollution in our water is recognized when people find hypodermic needles in the seas.

China's under Martial Law

Democratic movement in China stopped by use of military force.

Rock & Roller Cola Wars

Michael Jackson and Pepsi, Paula Abdul and Coca-Cola

The World's always been kinda messed up, it was messed up before I was born, it was messed up during the time that I lived and it will probably be messed up after I'm gone. That doesn't mean you don't try the best that you can and make this a better world.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


The new year is here, and it's here with a bang!

As usual, people are making resolutions (which are anyhow momentary, esoteric, and non-conformatory) - no one can be blamed for not following them day-in and day-out.

And with that came yet another birthday, turning twenty five! A quarter of a century - phew - a long time to stay alive.

Funny it is, how one feels good on such days, because one knows that on their birthday, hardly anyone will crib, and hopes that things will start coming his/her way this day-on!

I think a survey should be launched on people's birthdays, and my quarter-of-a-century experience suggests that more often than not, the optimist and positive framework of human "confucious-like" mind will stay on the right side of the trajectory during this day. And that's not because anything great is happening around - it is more so because we want it to be like it, that day.

That brings us to another question, as to why don't we keep it the same way all the days of the year? Everyone says that they live their day as the last one of the life, but that doesn't hold true to be ideal. What I would say is, everyone should try and live everyday as their own birthday, just like the first one, when they cared about nothing and did what they wanted to (cry, and scream!)

Think about it, AG.