#142 – Skating to Success

Last night, a teacher I know was bemoaning the sad state of our educational system. He complained about students who outright cheat or take massive shortcuts aimed at acing tests without actually learning anything. Though I didn’t disagree, I told him teachers and the system itself are to blame, since they permit the practice to continue. And as I can personally attest, it’s an age-old problem, existing at all levels. I practically perfected the art of the half-assed work ethic during my education, and I got away with it! Just to emphasize the point, I shared a typical example from my college career.

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#143 – Unfiltered Observations

Yesterday, my wife and I attended a get together in our subdivision. Much to my subsequent regret, two people caught me making fun of my in-laws’ suspected (by me) mafia ties again. The first was my wife, who happened to be standing nearby but out of sight when I told my friend Ron the joke I’d recently made up: “How many Gambinos does it take to screw in a light bulb? Zero. Nobody screws with a Gambino and gets away with it, not even a light bulb!”

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#146 – Playing With Fire

When I spoke to my friend Jimmy this morning, he told me his boss just returned from a week in Vegas. The guy had flown first class, stayed at a suite at one of the fanciest hotels, and wined and dined at the best restaurants, all courtesy of the casino where he gambled. Of course, he’d dropped $30,000 at the tables in return for the five-star treatment. As I informed Jimmy, there was a time when a gambler could get comp’d without losing his shirt. I know, because my dad managed it, for years.

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#147 – Batteries Not Included

Today I feel compelled to discuss the importance of flashlights. When Prometheus ran into the woods last night, again, I sped to the foyer for the flashlight I’d purchased against just that eventuality. But I couldn’t find it. Luckily, this time the puppy returned at my call, before any accident could occur. This morning, my wife informed me that she’d “borrowed” the flashlight and “might’ve” left it in the garage. Boy was I steamed. I said her carelessness had endangered our lives.

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#148 – Answering the Bell

I feel for my friend, Ned. Last night, he sadly informed me that his mother has to move to an assisted living facility. Though approaching eighty, she’d retained her independence and functioned well until fairly recently. But she’s begun to suffer dementia, and the accidents she’s suffered in the past two months suggest it’s no longer safe for her to live alone. Not only has she locked herself out of the house on three occasions, but she also forgot to turn a stovetop burner off one evening and nearly burned down the place!

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