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  • Tom Brady and Deflate-gate – My Take

    TOM BRADY and Deflate-gate MY TAKE

    nflHere is what I think. Tom Brady’s game footballs were, whenever possible, slightly deflated by a a pound or two. This, I believe, from all that I have heard and read, is common throughout much of the NFL.
    – – – – – – – – –
    Quarterbacks like their balls to have a particular grip and feel, and air pressure is one of the factors in getting a game football to a quarterback’s liking.
    – – – – – – –
    The NFL rule that says footballs must begin the game inflated to between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch; a rule that, as far as we know, has never been enforced by the NFL in the six years that it has been in the rule book.
    – – – – – – – –
    Is that cheating? Let me ask you, when you drive 40mph in a 35mph zone, are you speeding? That’s what we have here, rules violation wise. Most quarterbacks do it and nobody’s been pulled over and given a ticket. Until Brady.
    – – – – – – – –
    What I am upset about is Tom Brady’s reputation. When mid October rolls around and the suspension has been served, the draft picks docked, and the million dollar fine paid by New England, what is left is Tom Brady being forever labeled a cheater and a liar. They can’t take it all back or make it go away.
    It’s a relatively minor offense that he committed, and yes, I think he knew about it, and somewhere in the distant past (Brady has been the starting QB since 2001), Tom had a discussion with some equipment guy for the Patriots and the balls were subsequently “attended to.”
    The fact that Tom didn’t deflate the balls himself is not the issue. It was done at his behest and he was okay with them diddling with the pigskin. That makes him guilty of the violation, but it does not remotely rise to the level of spousal abuse (Ray Rice and his wife in the elevator). It does not remotely or vaguely rise to the level of pleading guilty to obstruction of justice, as another Baltimore Raven, Ray Lewis, did in 2000, regarding the murder to two men in Atlanta. It does not remotely rise to the level of Richie Incognito, a veteran lineman for the Miami Dolphin who engaged in horrendous hazing of rookie teammate, Jonathan Martin.
    Tom is technically guilty of violating a rule has never been enforced and is regularly broken by lots of other teams in the NFL. TB got caught but the price he is paying is far to steep. A man should not lose his reputation for this.
    When it’s mid October and this suspension has been served, where does the greatest QB in NFL history go to get his reputation back?
    All those kids who wanted to grow up to be like Tom Brady, have a hero with an asterisk, a backstory, a black mark, something parents will long be telling as a cautionary tale. From most accounts, Tom Brady is a guy who basically never takes a shortcut, who has never done drugs, who always does the right thing and is unfailingly polite and humble.
    – – – – – – – – –
    Had this sting operation not been bungled from start to finish by the NFL and Roger Goodell, the league’s best player would still be just that. Look, I am a diehard New England Patriot fan and a big Tom Brady guy; still I candidly admit Tom Brady’s associative guilt and subsequent foot dragging during the Wells Investigation regarding what is a relatively small infraction that had never once been enforced, that has now morphed into a public flogging of Tom Brady and his legacy, due to the thoughtless and careless way the NFL has handled this somewhat tragic sports story.


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  • Rioting in the Streets

    I very well remember 1968; the days after the Rev., Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.  Gunned down on a motel balcony.  The ghettos of America erupted and there were riots in every major city in America.  The frustration and anger that was all pent up in Black America boiled over.

    Baltimore, D.C., Hough in Cleveland, Roxbury and Mattapan in Boston, Watts in L.A., in Indianapolis, Atlanta, St. Louis, Philadelphia, NYC, and essentially every African American ghetto had uncontrolled rioting.

    Watching Baltimore re-live the bitterness, fear, resentment, alienation, and despair is heart rending.  The same socio-economic conditions exist.  Today gangs are far more prevalent than back 50 years ago.  I would be angry too if I lived in those conditions.  I’d be protesting and maybe even joining the rioting.  I would hate to live in near or actual poverty, without an interesting job, without feeling safe and respected.  Our Society has addressed some of these issues but while many may be the beneficiaries in 2015, it is quite clear and obvious that we have failed, as a society, to provide opportunity and hope to a lot of Americans, of all races and religions, all ethnicities.   Baltimore may be in for a long hot summer, as the expression would go back in the late 1960s.  “A long hot summer.”

    We have so much wealth that is concentrated in such a way that the chances of happiness and success are limited for a significant portion of the American population in 2015 America.   So tonight on the streets of Baltimore and on the street of Ferguson, there are a lot of voices with a lot of questions, and unfortunately, there are too few answers and no easy, quick fix to a societal problem that truly must be addressed.  I can’t help but think of Peter, Paul, and Mary singing “If I Had A Hammer.”  The lyrics ring true today just like they did in 1949 when Lee Hays and Pete Seeger wrote it. –  Harry on April 29, 2015


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  • Celtics Defeat Cleveland ?

    Well I was wrong. We got swept.

    But, however, nevertheless, in spite of this, say what you will, such is the case, Se la vie. And so it goes…

    You have to hand it to the Boston Celtics. This team is unselfish. They move the rock. Every night they are busting their butts for each other. The scrappy Celtics seem to listen to their young Coach, Brad Stevens, in his first foray into the pro ranks. If all that weren’t enough, these guys are almost always out-hustling their opponents. Diving for balls. Grabbing rebounds. Stealing basketballs. Making the extra pass. Plus, they seem to check their egos at the door. Those are adjectives that describe a Winner. This team fits that description.

    Many teams wear down from the long regular season, Not these kids. The reason for mostly fresh legs is depth. They play a lot of guys every night. The minutes are spaced out between them. Brad Stevens is lucky that his team has so many interchangeable parts, due in fact to their lack of a star on the team. Late in games, the Celtics seem to usually find a way to win. This may all be a big surprise to NBA fans. We kind of sneaked up on everybody. For a team that wasn’t expected to win many games, our record ends up at 40 wins and 42 losses.

    In the last 36 games of the regular season, the Celtics were 24-12. That’s almost the last half of the season there.
    I think the Celtics will beat the Cleveland Cavs. Not too many people believe that is going to happen. It’s just my opinion, but I think every member of the Boston Celtics team expects to actually win the series. I’m going out on a limb, but I say Boston will beat Cleveland, and advance in the NBA playoffs. LeBron James is going down!

    Harry, 4-17-15


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  • 2nd Anniversary

    rosesToday is the 2nd anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.

    4  died, 3 at the scene.  Several hundred were maimed.

    Boston Stronger.


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  • SELMA
    I just watched President Obama speak, standing in the sunshine next to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, a National Civil Rights Landmark. It was, to me, one of the finest and most important speeches of his Presidency; a glorious and proud moment, and a time to reflect on what was, what is, and what is still remains to be done.

    I wish that I had been in Selma, fifty years ago, lending my voice for justice, but at the time, in 1965, I was fifteen, not yet old enough to have my drivers license, living in Tuscaloosa, an hour and a half north of Selma, Alabama. I might just as well have been 3000 miles away.


    Estimates now say there were only 300 to 500 marchers who attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River, on their way from Selma to Montgomery, the Alabama State Capitol, located about fifty miles away. There were three separate attempts made by Dr. King and the marchers (March 7, 9, and 21).

    Back in 1965, fifty years ago, there were just three TV channels (ABC, CBS, NBC). No DISH, no FIOS, no Direct TV.

    Cable TV had not even been invented yet. Of course, no TIVOs or DVRs. There was 30 minutes of local TV news, followed by 1/2 hour of national TV news to watch each day. In fact, all of the TV networks went off the air around midnight and returned early the next morning. In between you could sit in silence and watch a static test pattern. Everyone my age and older will remember this very well.

    Of course, there was no internet. There were no cellphones. No social media. No Twitter. No Facebook. No CNN. No Fox.
    It was a different time, looking back one-half a century later. – Harry


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  • HARRY’S RULES OF THE ROAD:

    HARRY’S RULES OF THE ROAD:

    1. DO NOT FRIGHTEN.
    2. LIKE WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK.
    3. DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK IS TRUE.
    4. DON’T GET FOOLED.
    5. CLEAN AS CLEAN CAN BE.
    6. HONOR EVERYONE WHO COMES IN PEACE.
    7. BE KIND AND GRATEFUL.
    8. SAFETY FIRST IS MANTRA ONE (the healthier the better).
    9. UNDERSTAND HISTORY AND FOLLOW THE NEWS.
    10. SLEEP HAPPENS WHEN SLEEP HAPPENS (no alarms).

    MORE RULES OF THE ROAD:
    1. DON’T GET FAT OR STAY THAT WAY FOREVER.
    2. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.
    3. BELIEVE IN SOMETHING ELSE BESIDES YOURSELF.
    4. SPEAK UP. SPEAK OUT. MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
    5. DON’T JUST FOLLOW THE LEADER.
    6. WHAT YOU THINK MIGHT NOT BE RIGHT.
    7. SEE THE NIGHT SKY, SUNRISES, AND SUNSETS.
    8. FIND BEAUTY IN FLOWERS AND POWER IN TREES.
    9. LOVE YOUR CHILDREN ALL YOUR LIFE.
    10. GOOD BBQ AND CORNED BEEF HASH ARE HARD TO BEAT.

    MORE GOOD RULES:
    1. STOP FOR THE NIGHT AFTER DRIVING ALL DAY.
    2. TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR FEET. BUY N.B. 1080s.
    3. THE PRIUS IS A DAMN FINE CAR.
    4. DON’T SPEND IT ALL. (is your homepage Amazon.com?).
    5. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BACK.
    6. DON’T SMOKE.
    7. EASY ON THE MAYONAISSE.
    8. JOHN PRINE IS SHAKESPEARE’S COUSIN.
    9. IF YOU AIN’T HUNTING FOR FOOD, DON’T BE HUNTING AT ALL.
    10. NYLON TRICOT SLEEPWEAR IS A POOR MAN’S SILK PAJAMAS.


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  • Doug Ashford. – R.I.P.

    daProducing a FolkTree concert at Carnegie Hall. The FolkTree Team, circa 1989 (well, part of it, anyway). L-R, Richard “Gidge” Villeaux, Doug Ashford, Kristin Kunhardt, and Harry Lipson.
    —————————————————————————

    On the 26th of February, 2015, Doug Ashford (2nd from L) passed away after a quietly courageous battle with cancer. Doug was a friend and colleague, and a fount of musical knowledge. I never knew anyone with a better cd collection. And Doug knew every record, every track. He absorbed the liner notes.
    It was music that connected Doug, not just to me, but to a lot of his friends.
    With a passion for live music, If there was a good show in the vicinity, you’d probably find him there in the crowd. If there was an interesting festival across The Pond, or in some far flung outpost, you might very well find Doug there, as well. He made these musical pilgrimages to be present when alchemy connected everyone and everything through the incredible power of song.
    Intelligent, organized (his event calendar was the best such resource in New England), and kindhearted – are some of the things that come to mind as I remember Doug. When the grieving is over, we will have fond memories of all the good times we shared. – Harry


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  • High Heels?

    Tell me that high heels aren’t Big Fashion’s war on feet and ankles.
    If it is just image that you are bringing to the party, perhaps vanity is driving Miss Daisy.

    Notably, orthopedic surgeons overwhelmingly agree. You aren’t doing yourself any favors, and wearing them indicates that you are a slave to fashion’s demands at the expense of you own comfort.

    It is not a secret that some are wearing spiked heels because of height insecurities. Point is, it is quite ok to be whatever height you are. What is the first thing you do when you get home? You kick off the heels. Right?

    While they undeniably make you taller, you don’t need them to be perceived in whatever way you want to be seen.
    It is time to say no to those stilettos. And men who wear elevator shoes because they want to be a few inches taller than they really are; well, not to blow your cover, but you aren’t fooling many people.

    Body image has become such a big deal. Thin, fat, tall, short. We pay a lot of attention and money in pursuit of popularity and self confidence. Psychiatrists couches are filled with worriers.

    I’m not a shrink. I am not a fashion plate or a guru offering the latest and greatest, whatever that may be. Note to the liberals out there: Think of all the cows that will be saved if they aren’t bred, raised, and slaughtered for their hides that get strenuously processed to turn them into your next pair of polished leather high heels. Think of the money to be saved. Think of the extra closet space you’ll have by liberating your under-represented toes.

    You can be fashionable all you want, but high heels look, to me, like someone is trying too hard. – Harry



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  • DANICA

    I am a racing/motorsports aficionado.

    Be it Formula One, Indycar, NASCAR. TUDOR United, Rolex, LeMans- I follow them all. I will get up early and I will go to bed late, watching races from Australia, to the streets of Monte Carlo (The Principality), from Motegi, or Abu Dhabi, to the high banks of Talladega.

    For more than forty years I been following the men who put the pedal to the metal, and for the past ten years, I have been following Danica Patrick, as well.

    In Indycar Danica had a rain-shortened win and three poles.
    In NASCAR’s Nationwide, Xfinity series, she earned a pole.
    In NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, Danica has one pole (a Daytona 500), but she has neither won, nor finished in the top 3 in any race.

    Tomorrow, Danica lines up on the 10th row of the grid, for the 2015 Daytona 500. Like always, it’s a big deal.

    I am here to tell you that Danica Patrick is a gutsy driver who gives as good as she gets. She belongs.

    Some, however, think otherwise, including some of the very same drivers she rubs fenders with in NASCAR every week.
    To make matters worse, Richard Petty, the aging NASCAR legend, doesn’t hide his misogynistic disdain for all things Danica.

    On the other hand, the legendary Darrell Waltrip has not been shy in defending her. And DW is, of course, a mensch.

    If you go through the history of women who have raced in the upper echelons of motorsports, there are pioneers such as Lyn St. James and Janet Guthrie who paved the way. There were quite a few others, like Denise McCluggage, wo raced over the decades, going all the way back to the 1920s.

    These days, Katherine Legge pilots the experimental and semi-competitive DeltaWing in the Tudor United racing series, Jennifer Jo Cobb races in NASCAR’s Truck series, while Susie Wolff is slated to see track time with Williams, in F1, this season.

    Still, Danica stands out among them. For one thing, she is photogenic and chooses to market herself, or be exploited (depending on your viewpoint), as an object of desire and attention. She has gotten pretty rich being pretty.

    I think that Danica Patrick is among the best “interviews” in all of sports. Answering questions directly and usually unfiltered, you can tell that she is a hard-nosed competitor who wants to win every time she straps in.

    There are rumors floating out that Danica will be headed to Formula One in 2016 with Carl Haas’ Racing. If and when she goes, I’ll be cheering her on, as always.
    – Harry


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    br>

  • David Carr: 1956-2015. Media columnist at The New York Times

    carr I am extremely sad to hear that David Carr passed away tonight at age 58, dying while at work, shortly after moderating a New York Times podcast. This tragic news comes on the heels of Bob Simon, of CBS, dying when his limo crashed in Manhattan 24 hours ago.

    Great losses both. And all this within the same week that Brian Williams is banished, for good reasons, from NBC’s Nightly News and then the announcement that John Stewart, resident genius of the Daily Show, will be walking away later this year, ending an incomparable 17 year run which had an influence beyond easy measurement on our culture and society. 

    Now more than ever, we, the public, need fearless reporters/newspapermen/TV anchors who aren’t afraid to find the unvarnished Truth and give us informed analysis on politics, politicians, breaking news, as well as the latest information regarding health, energy, business, and technology.

    We need intrepid reportage that can be found on battlefields, and in far flung outposts. We need the news, good or bad; determined and explained by those we come to trust in media, in print, on the web, or on TV.

    Farewell to Bob and David. So long Brian. Thank you, John.
    It has been a terrible week.

    -photo of David Carr courtesy of Chester Higgins/The New York Times.


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    br>



HarryShotsRadioIcon

John McEuen

“Carolina Traveler” by John McEuen and Earl Scruggs

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Click here to download the mp3 via Amazon.com

My favorite instrumental piece.  World class masters Earl Scruggs and John McEuen lay down a driving, rollicking tune, with back up help by acoustic bass great, the late Roy Husky, Jr.  The word is that Roy arrived very late to the session and there was some concern on the part of Earl and John that he didn’t know the song and what was going to happen.  They played it though once for Roy and then they recorded it.  Roy came through with flying colors.

It is a treat for me to recognize Earl Scruggs, who was such a musical influence; Earl being the pioneering banjo player that he was.  John has his own amazing discography, solo, in collaborations like this, and with his group, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.  So here’s “Carolina Traveler”.  I recommend that you play it over and over about six times in a row.  Fire it up gentlemen.  –  Harry Lipson




In Memoriam: Earl Scruggs 1924-2012

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click to download this fabulous instrumental at Amazon music

One of my musical heroes passed over tonight.  My heart aches for Earl Scruggs.  He does leave us with a wealth of records, three generations of banjo pickers, and legions of fans the world over.

Soft spoken, so far as I know.  Shy as a goldfinch, Earl had a big ol’ case of stagefright for a long, long time.  But he was Mr. Banjo.  Earl invented the Scruggs style of fingerpicking and his genius brought bluegrass, the banjo, and good music to millions throughout the world.  What a mighty oak of a musician.  Earl is a founding father of Bluegrass, with no apology to Bill Monroe, himself a founder and the Father of Bluegrass, for whom Earl worked, beginning in the mid 1940s.

Lester Flatt was never my taste, apparently not Earl’s either.  They split up their Flatt and Scruggs duo after something like 20 years together, as something less than bosom buds.  I know that John Hartford, John McEwen, Tony Trishka, Bela Fleck, Bill Keith, Alison Brown, Steve Martin, Herb Pederson, and Emily Robison thought of Earl in reverential tones.

We lost a living legend but we still have all the music that the legend created.  There are fewer and fewer of the great pioneers left.  We still have Doc Watson, Ralph Stanley, and a handful of others, but we lost one of the very best today.

In tribute, here is Earl with John McEuen and Roy Husky, Jr. in one of my favorite instrumentalsCarolina Traveler.”  HL


The Quotes of "Whatever"

  • chGreat minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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  • goalposts-150x150I’m happy now!” – Nick Saban, 3-time National Champion Football Coach of The University of Alabama




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  • I am easily satisfied with the very best” – Sir Winston Churchill

     

     

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  • Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter Martin Luther King, Jr.

     

     

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  • canA candle loses nothing by lighting another candle

     

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  • May 2013 bring good health and happiness to all my friends; I wish you the very best.
    hcts Let us renew our faith in ourselves, and in each other, and let safety and well-being be a given for everyone, everywhere. Happy New Year. – Harry


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  • There is a time for departure even if there is no certain place to go.” – Tennessee Williams, playright




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  • When those waiters ask me if I want some fresh ground pepper, I ask if they have any aged pepper” – Andy Rooney

     

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  • No coach has ever won a game by what he knows; it’s what his players know that counts” – Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant




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  • Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein




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  • On cable TV they have a weather channel – 24 hours of weather. We had something like that where I grew up. We called it a window.” – Dan Jenkins

     

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  • edEvery day is Earth Day

     

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  • When it rains….rain’s my choice.” – Dr. Harry “Big Daddy” Lipson, Jr.




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  • Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem.” ― Woody Allen




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  • Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing” – William James

     

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  • Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and it looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

     

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  • If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair, oil well fighter




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  • bbhMost American children suffer too much mother and too little father” – Gloria Steinem

     

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  • Don’t confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other.” – Erma Bombeck




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  • Women who seek to be equal to men lack ambition.Marilyn Monroe




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  • Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere“. – Carl Sagan, astronomer

     

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  • Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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  • I envy people who have the capacity to sit with another human being and find them endlessly interesting, I would rather watch TV. Of course this becomes eventually known as the other person.” – Carrie Fisher




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  • You don’t paddle against the current, you paddle with it. And if you get good at it, you throw away the oars.” – Kris Kristofferson




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  • If you’re always battling against getting older, you’re always going to be unhappy, because it’s going to happen anyhow.” – Mitch Albom




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  • Just saying ‘no’ prevents teenage pregnancy the way ‘Have a nice day’ cures chronic depression.” – Faye Wattleton

     

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  • A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle” – Erin Majors

     

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  • Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught.” – Author Unknown

     

     

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  • When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes




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  • A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity.” – Ralph Nader




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  • Dream as though you will live forever; live as if you may die tomorrow

     

     

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  • No man is happy who does not think himself so” – Publilus Syrus




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  • Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better.” – Robert Redford




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  • FUNDon’t cry because its over.

    Smile because it happened.

    Dr. Seuss

     

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  • The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” – Eric Hoffer




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  • The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” – Henry David Thoreau




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  • I’m going to be 60, and I’m almost used to myself.” – Martin Scorsese




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  • I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.” – Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird




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  • If you watch a game, it’s fun. If you play it, it’s recreation. If you work at it, it’s golf.” – Bob Hope




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  • My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.” – Ellen Degeneres




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  • Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.’” – Charlie Brown, in Peanuts

     

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  • If we all did things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” – Thomas Edison

     

     

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  • If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair, legendary oil well fighter

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  • Being invited to travel roads less taken, is like the gods asking you to dance.” – Tom Robbins (as recollected)

     

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  • In the beginning there was nothing. God said, ‘Let there be light!’ And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better.” Ellen Degeneres




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  • Skiing: the art of catching cold and going broke while rapidly heading nowhere at great personal risk.” – Anonymous




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  • Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. – Vince Lombardi




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  • Only in darkness are you able to see the stars” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

     

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  • Looking foolish does the spirit good. The need not to look foolish is one of youth’s many burdens; as we get older we are exempted from more and more.” – John Updike




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  • Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.” – W. C. Fields




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