Monthly Archives: May 2017

20 Life Tips all Graduates Should Remember

The end of another school year, and a new batch of graduates are ready to take on the world.  Ready or not, they are about to collide with reality.  The biggest collision for most graduates will occur in accepting responsibility.  For most graduates, during thirteen years of K-12 school, responsibility has primarily floated precariously on the backs of family, friends, and teachers, who enabled them to taste and play at responsibility, but never really commit to it.  That will change dramatically after graduation.  Graduates will learn quickly the world is big, robust, and wonderful, but contrary to high school lore, it does not revolve around them.  Unlike high school, they will learn they are not the center of the universe.  They will come to understand that responsibility is not optional, but a prerequisite for everything of worth in life.  Along with learning to love and respect one another, it is the center piece that provides balance to the world in which they live.

Keeping life in balance is a full time job; therefore, to all graduates, I have a few tips I would like to offer.  Tips from an old guy who has been there is about as fair as it gets in life, so listen up:

20 Life Tips all Graduates Should Remember. . . .

  1. Life isn’t always fair, but it is still good;
  2. Don’t take yourself so seriously; no one else does;
  3. Make peace with your past, or it will screw up your present;
  4. If a relationship must be secret, you shouldn’t be in it;
  5. You are either living, or you are dying; the choice is yours;
  6. If you want to be a writer, write! Don’t talk about it;
  7. Don’t save the good stuff for a special tomorrow; today is special;
  8. Responsibility for your happiness begins with you;
  9. What other people think of you is none of your business, so leave it alone;
  10. Believe in Santa Claus and miracles;
  11. All that really matters in the end is that you loved;
  12. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up;
  13. If you don’t ask, you don’t get; if you don’t play, you don’t win;
  14. Life is not tied with a bow, but it is still a gift;
  15. Try as hard as you like, but the past cannot be changed – move on;
  16. A good cry is okay if you move on after it is over;
  17. The opinions of others do not define your reality;
  18. You miss every shot you don’t take;
  19. Surround yourself with people smarter than you; and
  20. Your most valuable asset is you; invest in yourself.

Congratulations graduates!  Your greatest journey is just beginning.

JL

©Jack Linton, May 21, 2017

100 Days of Madness

Over the past eight years, many people blamed President Obama for the growing divide in the United States, and there is little doubt he was a party to the problem.  However, he has been gone for over 100 days, and we are more divided than ever.  In the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s madness, the nation has been besieged with riots in the streets, claims of fake news, outright lies and twists on the truth, growing threats of nuclear war, continuous Presidential tweets that reek of schoolboy bullying and narcissism, and White House jockeying that appears cloaked in scandal and coverup.  As a nation, we have watched as a once proud political party jerked the power of the Presidency from the hands of their political adversary only to become mired in madness and drown in its own vomit.

This past week, President Trump continued to pile coals on an already blazing fire when he fired FBI Director James Comey.  Whether the firing was justified or not is debatable, but the timing and how it was handled was amateurish.  In what seems to be the norm with this President, he makes decisions on the fly, loosely coordinates a cover story with his staff, and later kicks their feet out from under them when the story begins to unravel.  For example, in an interview after firing the FBI director, he acknowledged his people had not been one-hundred percent accurate in their initial portrayal of the events surrounding the dismissal.  He said he is such an active President that there is no way his people can keep one-hundred percent up to date on everything going on with his Presidency.  If that is true, he has serious communication and logistical problems with his staff; however, it is more likely his staff cannot keep up because the President’s stories keep changing.

Look at the the story behind James Comey’s firing as originally reported by the President’s spokespeople to the news media.  They initially reported the Russian investigation had no bearing on the firing whatsoever.  However, the President later contradicted them when he admitted Director Comey’s investigation into Russian interference in the Presidential election and possible White House collusion played a key role in his decision to fire the director.  We also learned the President took issue with Director Comey’s refusal to pledge his loyalty to him.  Bravo for Director Comey!  Such a request was not only unethical, but in direct conflict with the Constitution of the United States.  Like the President’s oath of office, the FBI Director takes an oath of loyalty to the Constitution of the United States and not to any individual, including the President of the United States.

The White House madness has now escalated from Russians to pledges to possible taped conversations with President Trump’s tweet to ex-Director Comey threatening the possible existence of secret tapes made of their conversations.  Maybe the President needs to study history!  In 1973, President Richard Nixon got into a hell of mess with secretly taped conversations, which led ultimately to his resignation in 1974.  Maybe the tweet was simply the President making up garbage once again – who knows!  Made up garbage certainly fits the bill for the madness surrounding a President who says whatever he feels his supporters what to hear regardless of authenticity, shrugs it off when called to task, and moves on without an ounce of accountability.  That is madness!

Some people say such madness would have never occurred under a Hillary Clinton Presidency, but I am not so sure.  If she had been elected President, I believe things in Washington would be much quieter, but I don’t believe she would have accomplished any more in her first 100 days than President Trump.  I am afraid, she would have consumed her first 100 days sitting in front of the mirror admiring the new President of the United States.  That would be madness of a different kind, but nevertheless madness.  Of course, everyone knew when Clinton and Trump became nominees for the Presidency we were in for a long maddening four years regardless of which one was elected.

JL

©Jack Linton, May 15, 2017

Jimmy Kimmel Stands Tall!

After David Letterman and Jay Leno retired from late night television, I thought the end had come for quality late night talk shows.  However, I have been pleasantly surprised by three of the four new late night hosts.  Jimmy Fallon with his boyish charm, sappy games, and decent interview skills emerged as my favorite, but to their credit Jimmy Kimmel and Steven Colbert are close on his heels.   The only miscast has been Seth Myers.  Poor Seth can’t seem to shake himself free of his old Saturday Night Live routines.  His show comes across as a SNL rerun, especially the first half of the show when his skits are often little more than SNL rip-offs down to the writing style and intonation of the delivery.

Up until a week ago, my order of preference for watching late night television was . . . .

  1. Jimmy Fallon: Fallon is a multi-talented host who comes across as extremely likeable.  He is the best interviewer of the four.  His biggest flaw is he plays it too safe, and has hit on a formula that with time is likely to grow old.  His house band, The Roots, is by far the best late night band on television;
  2. Jimmy Kimmel: Like Fallon, Kimmel comes across as approachable and likeable, which makes him a perfect late night host.  His video challenges are fast becoming legendary although at times controversial.  Unlike Fallon, he does not always play it safe.  He has been known to joust in murky waters with needle tongued jabs at politicians, but almost always with a mischievous little boy smirk on his face;
  3. Steven Colbert: Unlike Fallon and Kimmel, Colbert’s commentary can sometimes be down in the dirt mean.  He is not above outright attacks against those in the public he personally finds despicable and in need of having their faces rubbed in the mud.  Although I enjoy watching Colbert, he can sometimes go too far and pummel his audience with his personal politics.  However, there is no denying he is awfully good, especially when he is so often “point on” with his views; and
  4. Seth Myers: Seth Myers is by far the weakest of the four hosts.  His interviews are extremely thin, and as an added distraction every interview is saturated with his silly school girl giggles.  Myer’s biggest handicap is he can’t seem to shake Saturday Night Live from his system.  That is unfortunate since it is obvious the man has standalone talent.

However, that was my list several days ago.  Recently something happened that made me rethink my rank order.  No, Seth Myers was not fired.  Actually, Seth has shown some improvement, or maybe he is growing on me.  Lately, he seems to be wittier and more in tune to with his subject matter.  He is no longer simply reading jokes someone wrote for him, he is delivering his lines with authority and an underlying message that is not only funny but scary as hell.  He is still a little too much SNL, but he is growing.

However, Seth Meyer’s improvement did not cause me to rethink my list.  Jimmy Kimmel’s heart-felt message about the medical problems faced by his new born son was the catalyst behind rethinking the list.  Although critics, primarily Republicans, screamed he used his son to make a liberal political statement about Obamacare, nothing could be further from the truth.  It takes courage to put potential harm to your ratings aside and lay yourself open like Jimmy Kimmel did a few days ago on his show.  He spoke from his heart, and spoke a message that any father – any human being – can understand.  He was not speaking for The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and trying to sway political winds in favor of the embattled healthcare act!  He was not taking a political stand!  Jimmy Kimmel was speaking with the heart and voice of a father and with the passion of a human being pleading for all human beings to have compassion for those less fortunate.  He said no parent should have to watch their child die because the parent cannot afford to save their child’s life.  If that plea was political, in the name of God on High, we desperately need more such politics!

Jimmy Kimmel spoke from the heart.  Politics speaks from the pocketbook.  Jimmy Kimmel did not have to worry about paying for his son’s operation; his pockets are deep.  His plea was for those without deep pockets.  His tears were not only for his son, but for the realization that all children are not as privileged as his child.  His heart was breaking for the parents who without proper health care might have no choice but to watch their child die.  In the greatest most affluent nation on earth the health of a child – the life or death of a child – should not depend on the wealth or lack of wealth of the parents or guardians.  Thank you, Mr. Kimmel, for having the courage to publicly show your humanity.  You, Sir, are my new number one late night host!

JL

©Jack Linton, May 9, 2017

Five New Pet Products Every Pet Owner must Have

Recently I was introduced to Lickibrush, a rubber brush shaped like a large tongue that is used by cat owners to bond with their pet.  Picture this – the cat owner grips the Lickibrush in his teeth and combs it through the cat’s fur with long grooming licking strokes.  Most cats do this for themselves, but somewhere along the way some smart and crafty cat decided it would be easier to train their human to lick for them.  As a result, the enterprising cat marketed Lickibrush as a tool for humans to bond with Frisky (or whatever their cat’s name might be).  Think about it; who is smarter – the cat getting a massage and groom without lifting a paw, or the silly human with a rubber tongue protruding from his face?

I like cats, and over the years, I bonded with several, but not once did it occur to me to strengthen that bond by licking them.  Whether it is a cat or a human, there are consequences for cat licking.  HAIRBALLS!  A cat choking, gagging, and throwing up hairballs is a disgusting sight to behold and even worse to clean up.  So, why in the name of all that is sane, would a cat owner want to engage in a process that will ultimately lead to convulsive heaving and expulsion of nasty human size hairballs?  Who wants to clean up that mess?  Bonding with my cat or any animal is just not that important to me!

I hope animal loving fanatics will forgive me, but I must politely and emphatically say, “NO!” to Lickibrush.  The product simply does not make sense.  However, I have several products I am preparing to market that not only make sense but are practical and beneficial in the world of animal lovers.  Like Lickibrush, these products may appear to be a bit peculiar, but I can assure you unlike Lickibrush each one makes perfect sense and lends itself to practical application in the world of pet mania.

Five New Pet Products Every Pet Owner has to Have

PooShootSniffer

This device is the ultimate gadget for getting into you dog’s head.  Dog owners wear the rubber dog snout with a soft pliable wet nose (simply moisten with water before each use) over their nose.  When wearing the PooShootSniffer, dog owners can bond with Rover in ways never imaginable.  The instructions are extremely simple – while wearing PooShootSniffer, the owner drops to his hands and knees behind their pet and sniffs.  That is all there is to it!  By sniffing Rover’s butt, the owner says “I care,” “I am here for you,” and “You are special.”   PooShootSniffer is the perfect remedy for dogs that are depressed or lonely.  WARNING:  If your dog growls when you are using PooShootSniffer, back off!  Rover is letting you know that he is uncomfortable, and you are violating his personal space.

Babelshit

This device is designed expressly for pet owners with talking parrots.  However, it could just as easily be used with children to prepare them for watching movies, riding the school bus, or hanging out at the mall.  Babelshit is an electronic device that is mounted on the side of Polly’s cage.  When switched on, it produces profanity in up to 64 languages.  It audibly feeds Polly a steady stream of intoxicating four letter words.  With Babelshit, your pet parrot as well as your kids can learn to curse like all the cool folks do these days.  Now, how cool and classy is that?

Crapsteppers

Have you ever been away from home on business or a vacation and missed your pets?  That can be a real bummer, and make the trip almost unbearable.  However, Crapsteppers can help remedy that lonely displaced feeling.  Crapsteppers are rubber shoe soles that smell like dog crap.  Although it is sometimes impossible to bring your dog with you when out of town, with Crapsteppers, you can always bring the pungent smell of dog crap with you regardless of how far from home you travel.  Simply slip Crapsteppers rubber soles on your shoes, and instantly it smells as though you have been wallowing in dog poo.  The scented rubber soles can be worn on any shoe – casual or formal.  Imagine yourself sitting in your next boring business meeting wearing a pair of Crapsteppers.  While those around you are gagging, you can relax and almost feel Rover between your toes.

For those dog owners with limited room to pack, Crapsteppers also comes in a convenient travel size spray as well as sensible towelette packets.  The great news is the rubber slip ons, the travel spray, and towelettes come in three nose titillating fragrances:  Outdoorsy – a classic mixture of doggy poo and fresh cut grass; OopsyFresh – the warm fragrance of fresh doggy poo in an enclosed area (such as a living room or kitchen) mixed with elegant touches of morning bacon and coffee; and LingeringHeaven – the faint yet distinctive fragrance of well cured and forgotten or lost doggy poo.

Can’t bring your best friend with you? Take along Crapsteppers!  With Crapsteppers, you will never escape the lingering overpowering spice of dog poo that pet owners know and love so well.

DoggySee/DoggyRun

This unique device is for the pet owner who is too busy or too lazy to take his dog for a walk, or the pet owner lives in an apartment with no space for Rover to run and play.  The 3D device straps around Rover’s head over his eyes, so he can have the sensation of going on long walks or running free in vast open fields of daises (watch where you step!).  It is also ideal for overweight couch potato dogs.   The truly smart dog owner will buy two DoggySEE/DoggyRUN devices, so he can share long leisurely walks in the park and runs through mountain meadows with Rover.  For the thoughtful dog owner, DoggySEE/DoggyRUN is all about taking an active interest in the life of your pet.

HumanDoggyDoor

The HumanDoggyDoor comes directly from the why didn’t I think about this department!  This ingenious structure is attached to and around a doggy door.  It expands the opening so humans can also enter and leave the house or apartment at will.  It comes complete with frame, door panels, and hardware to attach to Rover’s door, and it has doorknobs the human can be trained to turn to enter or leave the house or apartment.  The structure also comes with locks as part of the doorknob assembly, so Rover can lock his owner in or out of the house/apartment at his discretion.

 

There is nothing fancy about any of these products.  They are products that are long overdue on the pet market.  Therefore, the next time you are in the car, house, or movie theater and smell dog poo, don’t ask who stepped in the poo, look for someone wearing rubber Crapsteppers instead.

JL

©Jack Linton, May 2, 2017