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Terry's Original Quote Keepers

A minute of silence can be more productive than an hour of debate.
~Terry Braverman

Arrest yourself when under the influence of a negative thought.
~Terry Braverman

Give me levity, or give me death!
~Terry Braverman

An intimate relationship is the ultimate training.
~Terry Braverman

Clarity of purpose is the ultimate decongestant.
~Terry Braverman

Faith keeps the voice of fear out of your ear.
~Terry Braverman

Peace begins between your ears.
~Terry Braverman

Peace begins between your ears.
~Terry Braverman

Be patient, before you become a patient.
~Terry Braverman

Over-analysis causes paralysis.
~Terry Braverman

May the 'farce' be with you.
~Terry Braverman

Plan some time to be spontaneous.
~Terry Braverman

Laugh at yourself, and you will always be amused.
~Terry Braverman

Imagination sharpens the dull blade of routine.
~Terry Braverman

Inquisitiveness cures boredom; nothing cures inquisitiveness.
~Terry Braverman

Feed your soul, starve your worries.
~Terry Braverman

Avoid time in the Tower of Babble.
~Terry Braverman

Release any false sense of insecurity.
~Terry Braverman

Life is a fantasy, made real by our thoughts.
~Terry Braverman

Auto Neuroticism

Quote of the Week:  “A fun game to play with car insurance companies is to see how long you can keep them on the phone before they realize you’re trying to insure the Batmobile.” – Adam Newman

 

Having just traded in my old vehicle for a new Insight Hybrid, I called my auto insurance company to get a quote for the revised premium. As I usually do whenever I need to contact them, I asked if there were any other discounts that I qualify to receive. Already I am getting the good driver and low mileage discounts. The customer service rep informed me of a Business Owner’s discount which would lop off a substantial 20% from my premium. “How long has the company offered this?” I inquired. The rep said this has been obtainable for a long time. “I’ve been a customer for 27 years, a business owner for 31 years. First time I’ve heard of it. Has it been in effect that long?” The rep replied, “I believe so.” Now I am feeling a bit cheated.

 

I continued: “What evidence do you require to get a Business Owner’s discount?” I was told either an academic degree, professional license, or business card would suffice. Easy enough, but what about all those other years that I qualified? I had the rep transfer me to the supervisor, who then turned the issue over to their Special Services Department.

 

Yesterday I received a call from Eileen in Special Services, who stated that the Business Owner’s discount has only been offered since 2006 (front line customer service seldom gets these things right). Still, seven years of being qualified for the discount. Why wasn’t I informed? “We’ve sent out information by mail, updating our customers on new discounts,” she asserted. Initially, I thought I went paperless for this, as is the case with everything else, but it turned out I was wrong. Yes, I suppose it’s my responsibility to rummage through those envelopes typically stuffed with sales offers, the kind I typically discard before opening. I’ve never seen a discount update inserted with a policy renewal notice. After all, most everyone would notice that.

           

If discount updates were sent and I didn’t read them, it is a moot point to request a rebate for all the years that I qualified. And, according to Eileen, “We can’t go back into the system to calculate any sort of rebate.” Still, doesn’t 27 years of customer loyalty count for something? Why wasn’t I told about the Business Owner’s discount when I asked about other discounts on the phone? Is it fair that other business owners are getting the discount, just because someone told them or they sift through every letter received from the company like gold miners?

      

The insurance firm is sending me a form to sign so that my premium will now reflect the added discount. They are maintaining their position that they cannot do anything about the previous seven years that I qualified for this discount. Do I deserve a rebate for those years? What do all of you readers think? Feel free to send comments!

Let's Cut the Crap and Trim the Government Fat

 

According to a recent National Employment Law Project (NELP) report, U.S. taxpayers must cover an enormous bill in the form of public assistance programs to fast-food industry workers who are paid less than a “living wage”. McDonald’s alone cost taxpayers $1.2 billion last year. The top seven fast-food companies combined for $3.3 billion in taxpayer funds. Whether you work in the fast-food business, eat fast-food, or even avoid eating it, this government-subsidized industry is costing you big time. As explained by NELP policy analyst Jack Temple, “The low wage business model that this industry is based on drains resources from the economy by forcing low-pay workers to rely on public assistance in order to make ends meet.”

 

These public assistance programs include the earned income tax credit, SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps), Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. The largest of these is Medicaid. “Almost 90% of workers in the fast-food industry do not get health insurance," Temple said. "In addition to being a low-wage business model, it is also a virtually no-benefit business.”

 

Temple noted that while these companies are trying to save money by paying their employees less, they may in fact be saving much less than they think. One such cost may come in the form of the industry’s high turnover rate. Training even low skill-level workers saps time, resources, and productivity. “Companies are just churning workers, and that’s due to low wages. When you invest in higher wages, you actually get significant savings in the form of reduced employee turnover.”

 

But is high turnover a strong enough incentive for these companies to raise wages? Certainly these corporate behemoths have crunched numbers vis-à-vis turnover rates, wages, and cost control. NELP asserts that these companies, given their growth and considerable profitability, are in a position to compensate their workers more without hurting their bottom line.

 

I believe there is a better solution, based upon a choice we all can make – dramatically minimizing our consumption of fast food. I hear the excuses: "I don't have the time to cook a healthy meal;" "I don't have the time or money for a healthy restaurant meal." Think about what it costs your health by eating fast food – sluggish energy, sick days, visits to the doctor, chronic illness, and how that affects your pocketbook and productivity. A decline in fast food joints means a shift to sustainable jobs that promote sustainable lifestyles which require more job training and better wages. It will also reduce bloated government assistance programs and empower workers with more skilled positions that create more benefits to their communities and the greater society.

 

What would greatly propel this transition is a concerted public health campaign, similar to the “Stop Smoking” crusade witnessed in the 1960s and ‘70s. Where there is a will, there is a way…if we demand it!

The After Lunch Energy Drop

“We don’t need sugar to live, and we don’t need it as a society.” - Dr. Mehmet Oz

 

You’ve been working like a dog all morning long and it’s time to unwind and replenish for a hearty meal. Perhaps you feel that a sinful treat is in order as a topper; after all, you earned it with your professional diligence, yes?

 

The problem, of course, is that the food choices made for lunch lead to that all-too-familiar energy crash in the afternoon.  The culprit in this dietary drama that can wildly swing from exhilaration to exhaustion is sugar. And dessert is not the only accomplice. Savory foods like pizza, pasta, or bread are all high in sugar. White flour and white rice are both sugar-packed. Even when whole grains like wheat and brown rice are stripped of their fiber, what’s left is a simple carbohydrate that is rapidly absorbed by your body just like pure white sugar.

 

Current studies have shown similarities between the over consumption of sugars and drug addiction. One report suggested that sugar cravings were even more demanding than cocaine cravings. What is it about these simple carbs that make them so difficult to resist? Sugar consumption releases opioids and dopamine into the body. Both of these chemicals send pleasure signals to your brain and actually help your body block pain. The narcotic effect makes you feel happy, which is why so many reach for it again and again.

 

Minimize foods that will pique your craving and cause you to eat even more sugar or starchy carbohydrates. These include foods made with white flour, starchy vegetables like corn, potatoes, and winter squash, and high glycemic fruits like bananas, pineapple, and watermelon. Instead eat green leafy vegetables and high fiber fruits like citrus, apples, and blueberries. Consume a lunch that is protein-rich, by ordering fish or chicken.

 

Here are some other tips for slaying the sugar beast: 

Banish all artificial sweeteners (Equal, NutraSweet, Sweet ‘n Low, Splenda). Typically they appear in food and beverages cleverly marketed as "sugar-free" or "diet," including sodas, chewing gum, jellies, baked goods, candy, fruit juice, ice cream and yogurt. Artificial sweeteners are 200-700 times sweeter than regular sugar and cause an imbalance in your palate, causing you to need more sugar, real or artificial, to be satisfied. Aspartame, the active ingredient of Equal and NutraSweet, and a component of many diet sodas, has been linked to cancer in some clinical studies;

 

Honey supplies the body with some valuable nutrients and can help with pollen allergies if it’s organic. However, it also raises blood sugar levels and is high in calories;

 

Agave nectar, despite being a natural sweetener, is high in fructose and calories. Besides the triglycerides issue, some research indicates that fructose doesn't shut down appetite hormones, so the impetus to overeat may be intrinsic;

 

Pure maple syrup is a good source of manganese and zinc, but it is shown to boost blood sugar levels, and is definitely off limits to diabetics;

 

Stevia is a plant-based alternative that is about 300 times sweeter than sugar, but contributes zero calories and may actually help lower blood sugar levels, according to some studies. The availability of Stevia in granular form makes it easy to carry in packets. Its potency in minute quantities makes it inexpensive.

 

QUOTES ABOUT LUNCH  

“I read that 62% of women had affairs during their lunch hour. I've never met a woman in my life who would give up lunch for sex." — Erma Bombeck

 

"When people you greatly admire appear to be thinking deep thoughts, they probably are thinking about lunch." — Douglas Adams

 

"The scientific name for an animal that doesn't run away from or fight its enemies is 'lunch.'" — Michael Friedman

 

"I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon." — Ronald Reagan

 

"Note on a door: Out to lunch; if not back by five, out for dinner also." — Unknown

 

"Having your lawyer pay for lunch will be very expensive in the end." — Unknown

Resurrection Road

“When we honestly ask which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our moments of powerlessness…makes it clear that whatever happens in the external world, being present to each other is what really matters.”

– Henri J.M. Neuwen

    

RESURRECTION ROAD

As someone who is hired to help fix problems in the workplace and geared to assist loved ones to cure various ills, the above quote was a revelation. Not that fixing and curing isn’t helpful, but being fully present for another human being who is under dark skies and in dire straits is perhaps the greatest gift of all. In fact, being fully present for another is a prerequisite for effectively fixing and curing. It may even be the most challenging part of the process – turning off all the noise between our ears and truly being there for someone, becoming a 100% listener and an open vessel by which the person in need can pour their concerns into with trust.

 

Recently, I had an experience of such loving support. One night, after three weeks of travel, I hit the wall of exhaustion. Earlier that day, my computer was usurped my malware that paralyzed the operating system; the hard drive had to be wiped clean to remove the invader, and then reloaded. Several programs were missing, including an entire contact directory, and my external backup was thousands of miles away at my office. I received a Skype message from a young lady and we proceeded to video chat. Initially I planned to cut the call short as I could barely muster the energy to lift my head. I shared with her the exhaustion I felt, and the difficulties with the computer. It looked as though her face and the screen were separated by a hair as she listened so intently, even smiling heartily. She said virtually nothing for long periods but maintained her attentiveness. No fixing, no curing, just the warmth of her presence restored energy to my voice, rejuvenation to my body, resurrection to my spirit.

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