Monthly Archives: February 2011

Following the Pack (or not)

We must know what we think and speak out, even at the risk of unpopularity. –  Eleanor Roosevelt

I should start by saying that I’m not, generally, a fan of generalized personality tests, yes, there are some truths to them; though, you can take any number of quizzes and get a variety of results.

33 of 52: Fire storm
(Used under creative commons, thanks Dav!)

There is a book, which launched for purchase today, called Surviving Your Serengeti. which is described as:

As a brutal business environment meets a soft economy, business leaders and managers are looking for sources of both inspiration and survival. This compelling new fable offers a riveting tale of life in Africa’s Serengeti and what lessons it holds for today’s beleaguered business people and struggling society.

This book has been floating around the Real Estate world as it was also prefaced by the opportunity to take the quiz online to find out which kind of Serengeti animal you are. I took the quiz weeks ago, and I’m a Giraffe. Many of my friends have been taking the quiz and discussing their excitement to read the book and find out what it’s all about. I was one of them, until tonight.

Near 5:30 – while on Twitter, I started seeing tweets from people I respect in the industry with the link to the quiz and the hashtag #Serengeti, first only a few, then many, then a virtual storm. Being curious, I decided to look at the Hashtag Stream. Many people, nationwide, were tweeting the same thing, then retweeting others’ posts. These tweets then started calling for people to run out and buy the book, then tell their friends to buy the book.

In that moment, in my eyes, it went from a clever marketing idea to a coordinated spam storm. In not only my eyes it seems, My friend, who is not in the Real Estate circle, tweeted that she was about to start unfollowing a good chunk of those she unfollows because it was clogging up her stream. I echoed her sentiments. This; however, proved to be an unpopular sentiment.I received a tweet from the “book’ itself.

@Schnik @MikeCanDoIt @CherylBle @uthahrepro @mirealestate – This is not a spam campaign. We are busy w/ launch of new book on Amzn & BN.com

I responded that it looked, to me, like a spam storm. They responded again:

@schnik – Some may see it that way. Others see it as business. For us its a launch after 5 yrs. Thx 4 sharing ur view @Serengeti #Serengeti

From Wikipedia: Herd behavior describes how individuals in a group can act together without planned direction. The term pertains to the behavior of animals in herds, flocks and schools, and to human conduct during activities such as stock market bubbles and crashes, street demonstrations, sporting events, religious gatherings, episodes of mob violence and even everyday decision making, judgment and opinion forming.

Recently we’ve all seen the power of social media, from Iran, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya to A recent virtual social media war as I spoke of earlier. Your image on social media is everything when you’re marketing yourself. Just as your image in the marketplace is everything. If you’re doing it wrong, we can only hope your customers will tell you. Most often, they will they’ll tell their friends.

fire poi expo
(used under creative commons, thanks John Curley)

When you’re making a plan to market yourself or your business on twitter, remember, some mention of your business is effective, employing your friends to help you with their endorsements is also effective, but coordinating a torrent of power promotion is, in this guy’s eyes, spam and was really horrible to watch.

This actually seems to have worked in their favor. Cause near eight this evening this tweet came out.

Surviving Your @Serengeti continues to steadily climb and has just broken into the @Amazon Top 10 at #5 of all books! cc @Swanepoel

Sure, you’ve increased your sales, I appreciate that. You have also caused me to rethink my value of an “endorsement” I see on twitter. I was excited to read your book. Right now, I’m not so sure. Also, I found it very interesting, as I publicly dissented against “The Herd” there was a swift move to silence me, and if you know me, that’s not easily done.

Careful where you place your match, you could get a beautiful firework or you could get a burned.

It seems, I wasn’t the only one who thought this was more spam than advertising. My friend Cheryl, who is not in the Real Estate industry, who I have come to respect, includes her opinion here: http://www.engagingothers.com/2011/02/against-the-herd/

Remember, when you are a business on social media, your public persona is whatever the public perceives it to be.

The Lone Zebra, an Educational Opportunity

Competition is not only the basis of protection to the consumer, but is the incentive to progress. – Herbert Hoover

Climbing Silhouette
(Used under creative commons, thanks Matteo De Felice!)

First, I should apologize to you, my reader, as this could be a long post. Second, I am not an expert on anything I’m about to talk about, I’m approaching this as an outsider, from an educational perspective for a couple of reasons. I fully expect my opinions to be unpopular, but the subject is, I feel, well worth discussion. Please understand, I don’t have a dog in this hunt, I do not have a personal connection to any person involved in this complaint, but I do have an interest in the laws around this, and since I know many of my friends/readers come from industries which are constantly affected about the use of Intellectual Property I thought it would be prudent to contribute to the discussion.

Many of you, who know me through my use of social media,(Twitter, Facebook, Here on my blog) have heard me lament about my business law class. I’ve truly been having a rough time with it, mostly because the teacher is generally unreachable, so I’m having a go at it, alone. Now I don’t claim to be an expert but in my business law class, we had a lengthy discussion about the use of Intellectual Property (copyrights, patients, trademarks, trade dress, and service marks) by companies and individuals, which makes the following an interesting real life case study.

Supreme Court IMG_2952
(Used under creative commons license, Thanks OZinOH)

Recently a controversy has erupted over digital media. Since I work with real estate people and I happen to watch what goes on and what agents might have to deal with on a regular basis, so when I speak to agents, I’m coming from a place where I try to understand their business. I came across a news article by Real Estate Reporting company Inman News where a company from Washington State (The Lones Group) has filed a lawsuit against an individual (Daniel Rothamel, The Real Estate Zebra) and his company (Strong Team Realtors, inc) alleging  infringement over the use of the use of the imagery and word “Zebra.”

Now the complaint was filed in Federal Court as The Lones Group is a Washington State company and Rothamel/Strong Team are residents of Virginia. The court, will have to establish jurisdiction, this is significant, since it will be litigated, if it comes to that, in Seattle, Washington.

Now that we know the complaint and established jurisdiction, let’s define the case.  These are the items of redress the Plaintiff seeks to remedy.

  • Trademark Infringement: Infringement may occur when one party, the “infringer”, uses a trademark which is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark owned by another party,
  • Trade Dress: Trade dress is a legal term of art that generally refers to characteristics of the visual appearance of a product or its packaging (or even the design of a building) that signify the source of the product to consumers.

Also, you have to indicate the general public could be confused by the infringement. As best I can tell from reading the information is the following items make the two companies competitors. First: They both work in Real Estate (Location is regardless here, thanks to the wonderful world of the internet, anyone searching for Real Estate and in this case the term Zebra, could potentially bring the two of these results up at the same time. (Note: I attempted to qualify this, but the ensuing blog war has muddied the waters. When I searched “Real Estate” and “Zebra” the two of them come up within 10 results of each other.) Second: Each purports to be a Real Estate Speaker/Trainer on the subject of marketing; The Lones Group for profit (that’s the core of their business,) Daniel, I imagine, not for profit, speaks to real estate agents through his Blog (www.RealEstateZebra.com) and through the Inman News circuit events (www.agentreboot.com,) including Seattle March 11th. Daniel’s own website also claims to be “An Inspirational, Insightful and Motivational Source for REALTORS® and Real Estate Agents.”

Now, Since neither company has filed for copyright/trademark with the Federal Government (I searched for copyright here and for Trademark here) the court will look at the complaint from the perspective of “Doctrine of first use” which describes as plainly as it sounds, if you’re the first to use it in the arena, you get to claim it. Now this only lends to enforceability, had either one actually ran to the government and paid the fee, copyright trumps first use, every time. (I note, however, The Lones Group publishes with the following at the bottom of their webpage: “© 2007 The Lones Group Inc. ·-· 2200 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225 ·-· (360) 527-8904” and Daniel publishes his blog with the following statement at the bottom: “Copyright © 2009 The Real Estate Zebra. All rights reserved.”) It’s great to say that, but if you don’t have it, the courts aren’t going to take any of that into account. So now we have to establish first use! It’s a race to the internet!Well, the history of the internet: The Wayback Archive

I searched the following:

Web archive: www.thelonesgroup.com (And for the first use of Zebra reference) November 2002

Web Archive: www.realestatezebra.com (And for his first use of zebra-when he first published) November 2007

Now that we’ve established first use, we would have to argue the merits of the case and try to determine who has more  documentation, if the judge believes they are in fact competitors and if the Plaintiff has been Injured by the defendant’s actions. That I find interesting here is that the Plaintiff has registered a demand for jury trial, the more expensive of the two types of trials. This is surely calculated. I am not going to argue the merits of the case here, I’m just analyzing the standing to sue. Want to follow the case?

Magnified (8/365)
(Used under creative commons, thanks Jakebouma)

I’ll let you draw your own conclusion, or if you’re inclined, you can read the following blog posts which show the outrage of the Internet Real Estate folk and certain social media people from around the nation who have a personal connection to Daniel and have launched a MASSIVE internet assault on The Lones Group and launched an effort to help Daniel pay for his legal fees.

Some selected posts:

Now that you have all the facts and some of the opinions, feel free to weigh your own decision. Here are some of my major take-a-ways from this who episode: First, You are you, and YOU ARE YOUR BRAND, you MUST protect it, file for the copyright or trademark, it’s a small, but necessary step, easy and it’s the only protection you have. Second, stand in the face of adversity, read any marketing tips out there: All press is good, even the bad stuff. Until now, ‘Nobody had heard of The Lones Group” now, everyone NATIONWIDE and beyond has heard of them, the people listed above has ensured they have a much larger footprint now. BP hasn’t gone out of business has it?

Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea (NASA, International Space Station, 11/09/10)
(Used under creative commons, Thanks NASA!!)

Finally, This, for me, has been a wonderful chance to exercise what I have learned in my business law class, that coupled with discussions with actual Intellectual Property attorneys has added to my understanding of the material. Who knows, I might actually pass this class yet.

The Bottom Line: You work hard to build your brand, business, image. You should endeavor to protect it. Trademark and Copyright registration is a small step to take to stay out of court, unless you’re on the good side.

EDIT: If you want an actual attorney’s take on this whole thing check this out: http://3cpatents.com/_blog/Create,_Consult,_Control/post/Zebra_trademark_backlash/

UPDATED: Two Inman News Stories…

What happens when an online mob/flame storm happens when you’re bound by professional ethics?
http://www.inman.com/news/2011/03/3/zebra-lawsuit-ignites-chain-reaction-in-online-real-estate-community

The Real Estate Zebra Offers Settlement:
http://www.inman.com/news/2011/03/8/real-estate-zebra-settlement-in-works

The Settlement in Daniel’s Own Words:
http://www.realestatezebra.com/in-which-i-explain-my-decision-to-retire-the-stripes

Thanks for reading!

A word carries far, very far, deals destruction through time as the bullets go flying through space. – Joseph Conrad

Quotes

I publish a Quote of the Day to my facebook page, almost every day. I pick them by hand and I look for something silly, profound, or just plain interesting. Here’s the entire archive.

2/20/2011 Rules are like flagpoles in a slalom race: you observe their presence religiously, skirt around them as closely as possible and never let them cut your speed. – Katherine Neville
2/19/2011 Growth demands a temporary surrender of security. It may mean a giving up of familiar but limiting patterns, safe but unrewarding work, values no longer believed in, relationships that have lost their meaning. As Dostoevsky put it, “Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” The real fear should be of the opposite course. – Gail Sheehy
2/18/2011 There are lots of ways of being miserable, but there’s only one way of being comfortable, and that is to stop running round after happiness. If you make up your mind to be happy there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a fairly good time. – Edith Wharton
2/17/2011 Among my most-prized possessions are words that I have never spoken. – Orson Rega Card
2/16/2011 QOTD: “Perseverance alone does not assure success. No amount of stalking will lead to game in a field that has none.” – I Ching
2/15/2011 “You can only be as good as you dare to be bad.” – John Barrymore
2/14/2011 “It is with true love as it is with ghosts; everyone talks about it, but few have seen it.” – François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld
2/13/2011 “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” – Newt Gingrich
2/11/2011 “I’m desperately trying to figure out why kamikaze pilots wore helmets.” – Dave Edison
2/10/2011 “Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road.” – Dag Hammarskjöld
2/9/2011 “Should I abide by the rules until they’re changed, or help speed the change by breaking them? Better start rushing before the rush begins!” – Ashleigh Brilliant
2/8/2011 “It is a great mistake for men to give up paying compliments, for when they give up saying what is charming, they give up thinking what is charming.” – Oscar Wilde
2/7/2011 “Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.” – Sinclair Lewis
2/6/2011 I had only one superstition. I made sure to touch all the bases when I hit a home run. – Babe Ruth
2/4/2011 “When I moved to L. A. with this little wimpy garage band, the first people we met were the Doors. Then we met Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin. All of the people who died of excess were our big brothers and sisters. So I said to myself: How do you become a legend and enjoy it? The answer is to create a character as legendary as those guys and leave that character on the stage.” – Alice Cooper
2/3/2011 “When they are alone they want to be with others, and when they are with others they want to be alone. After all, human beings are like that.” – Gertrude Stein
2/2/2011 Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong. – Ayn Rand
1/31/2011 “Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.” – Thomas Merton
1/30/2011 “I have decided that when we get to 85 it’ll be ‘To hell with it’. It’s going to be drugs, orgies and a lot of cream.” – John Cleese
1/29/2011 I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it. – W. C. Fields
1/28/2011 “We hit the sunny beaches where we occupy ourselves keeping the sun off our skin, the saltwater off our bodies, and the sand out of our belongings.” – Erma Louise Bombeck
1/27/2011 If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” – Lewis Carroll
1/26/2011 “Being happy is something you have to learn. I often surprise myself by saying ‘Wow, this is it. I guess I’m happy. I got a home I love. A career that I love. I’m even feeling more and more at peace with myself.’ If there’s something else to happiness, let me know. I’m ambitious for that, too.” – Harrison Ford
1/25/2011 The only way in which one human being can properly attempt to influence another is by encouraging him to think for himself, instead of endeavoring to instill ready made opinions into his head. – Sir Leslie Stephen
1/24/2011 “The safest road to hell is the gradual one — the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” – C. S. Lewis
1/23/2011 “But where shall I start? The world is so vast, I shall start with the country I know best, my own. But my country is so very large, I had better start with my town. But my town, too, is large. I had best start with my street. No, my home. No, my family. Never mind, I shall start with myself.” – Eliezer Wiesel
1/22/2011 “Pleasure’s a sin, and sometimes sin’s a pleasure.” and “Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.” – Lord Byron
1/21/2011 Nothing ever becomes real ’til it is experienced. Even a proverb is no proverb to you ’til your life is illustrated by it. – John Keats
1/20/2011 Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it’s addressed to someone else. – Ivern Ball
1/19/2011 “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence, whether much that is glorious, whether all that is profound, does not spring from disease of thought, from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.” – Edgar Allan Poe
1/18/2011 Any man who hates dogs and loves whiskey can’t be all bad. – W. C. Fields
1/17/2011 Don’t join an easy crowd. You won’t grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform and achieve are high. – Jim Rohn
1/16/2011 Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots. – Victor Hugo
1/14/2011 “The reality is that changes are coming…. They must come. You must share in bringing them.” – John Hersey
1/13/2011 No matter how cynical you get, it’s impossible to keep up. – Lily Tomlin
1/12/2011 “In order to have an enemy, one must be somebody. One must be a force before he can be resisted by another force. A malicious enemy is better than a clumsy friend.” – Anne Sophie Swetchine
1/11/2011 “Everybody starts at the top, and then has the problem of staying there. Lasting accomplishment, however, is still achieved through a long, slow climb and self-discipline.” – Helen Hayes
1/10/2011 “The perils of duck hunting are great – especially for the duck.” – Walter Cronkite and “Tigers add panache and savoir faire to any social occasion.” – Bill Watterson
1/9/2011 “Don’t show off every day, or you’ll stop surprising people. There must always be some novelty left over. The person who displays a little more of it each day keeps up expectations, and no one ever discovers the limits of his talent.” – Baltasar Gracian
1/8/2011 Many people genuinely do not wish to be saints, and it is possible that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never had much temptation to be human beings. – George Orwell
1/7/2011 It seems to me that trying to live without friends is like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it. – Zora Hurston
1/6/2011 “If you get to the top on your own, who’ll take the picture?” – Thomas Dewar
1/5/2011 “I could never divide myself from any man upon the difference of an opinion, or be angry with his judgment for not agreeing with me in that, from which perhaps within a few days I should dissent myself.” – Thomas Browne
1/4/2011 Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world. – Voltaire
1/3/2011 “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?” – J.R.R. Tolken
1/2/2011 “There’s a myth about actors saying, ‘Oh no, that’s not me on screen at all. I’m just acting.’ OK, if I were to say to you that’s not me, that’s fine. And I would tell you that I don’t behave like a villain everyday, and that’s true, I don’t. But to say there’s absolutely none of me in there is ridiculous.” – Cary Elwes
1/1/2011 “We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” – Marilyn Monroe
12/30/2010 “A free society cherishes nonconformity. It knows that from the non-conformist, from the eccentric, have come many of the great ideas of freedom. Free society must fertilize the soil in which non-conformity and dissent and individualism can grow.” – Henry Steele Commager
12/29/2010 “March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life’s path.” – Kahlil Gibran
12/28/2010 “Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.” – Ellen DeGeneres
12/27/2010 “The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” – William Wordsworth
12/26/2010 “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” – Napoleon Hill
12/25/2010 “Merry Christmas to all my friends and family. May you share this moment with your friends and family. May you find happiness and peace. May you cherish each moment. May you find continued blessings in the coming days, weeks and years.” – Nick Church
12/24/2010 “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” – John Calvin Coolidge
12/23/2010 “We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.” – Carlos Castaneda
12/22/2010 “The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one’s work seriously and taking one’s self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous.” – Margot Fonteyn
12/21/2010 “I never set out to be weird. It was always other people who called me weird.” – Frank Zappa
12/20/2010 “I don’t know anything about luck. I’ve never banked on it, and I’m afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: hard work – and realizing what is opportunity and what isn’t.” – Lucille Ball
12/19/2010 “Days are expensive. When you spend a day you have one less day to spend. So make sure you spend each one wisely.” – Jim Rohn
12/18/2010 “If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.” – Catherine Aird
12/17/2010 “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.” – Robert Frost
12/16/2010 “My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.” – Jane Austen
12/15/2010 “Such is the state of life, that none are happy but by the anticipation of change: the change itself is nothing; when we have made it, the next wish is to change again.” – Samuel Johnson
12/14/2010 “I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent; curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism have brought me to my ideas.” – Albert Einstein
12/13/2010 “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks.” – Phillips Brooks
12/12/2010 “Go in search of your gift. The more you understand yourself, the more you will understand the world.” – Paulo Coelho
12/11/2010 He who cannot rest, cannot work; he who cannot let go, cannot hold on; he who cannot find footing, cannot go forward.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick
12/10/2010 “I don’t profess to be profound; but I do lay claim to common sense.” – Emily Dickinson
12/9/2010 “I may not be totally perfect, but parts of me are excellent.” – Ashleigh Brilliant
12/8/2010 “I do not have a psychiatrist and I do not want one, for the simple reason that if he listened to me long enough, he might become disturbed.” – James Thurber
12/7/2010 But the place which you have selected for your camp, though never so rough and grim, begins at once to have its attractions, and becomes a very centre of civilization to you: “Home is home, be it never so homely.” – Henry David Thoreau
12/6/2010 “Patience is the ability to idle your motor when your feel like stripping your gears.” Barbara Johnson
12/5/2010 “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point” C.S. Lewis
12/3/2010 “There is no such thing as a perfect recovery. Recovery is a process and not an event” Claudia Black
12/2/2010 “The Human Spirit can never be paralyzed. If you are breathing, you can dream” Michael Brown
11/28/2010 “Your friends praise your abilities to the skies, submit to you in argument, and seem to have the greatest deference for you; but, though they may ask it, you never find them following your advice upon their own affairs; nor allowing you to manage your own” – William Lamb
11/27/2010 “Two things a man cannot hide: that he is drunk, and that he is in love.” – Antiphanes
11/26/2010 “True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island … to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing.” – Baltasar Gracian
11/26/2010 “Friendship is far more tragic than love. It lasts longer.” – Oscar Wilde
11/24/2010 “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.” Dorothy Parker
11/23/2010 “I think laughter may be a form of courage…. As humans we sometimes stand tall and look into the sun and laugh, and I think we are never more brave than when we do that.” – Linda Ellerbee
11/22/2010 “People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out.” – Warren G. Bennis
11/18/2010 “The greater the difficulty the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.” – Epictetus
11/17/2010 “The only ends for which governments are constituted, and obedience rendered to them, are the obtaining of justice and protection; and they who cannot provide for both give the people a right of taking such ways as best please themselves, in order to their own safety.” – Algernon Sidney
11/16/2010 “Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad.” – Norm Papernick
11/15/2010 “The trouble with education is that we always read everything when we’re too young to know what it means. And the trouble with life is that we’re always too busy to re-read it later.” – Margaret Barnes
11/13/2010 “Recipe for success: Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.” – William A. Ward
11/12/2010 “I feel like a million tonight. But one at a time.” – Mae West
11/11/2010 “If I have done any deed worthy of remembrance, that deed will be my monument. If not, no monument can preserve my memory.” – Agesilaus II
11/10/2010 “Solitude is a silent storm that breaks down all our dead branches; yet it sends our living roots deeper into the living heart of the living earth.” – Kahlil Gibran
11/9/2010 “People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” – Marilyn Monroe
11/8/2010 “One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
11/7/2010 For disappearing acts, it’s hard to beat what happens to the eight hours supposedly left after eight of sleep and eight of work. Doug Larson
11/6/2010 “It is occasionally possible to charge hell with a bucket of water, but against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain.” Doris Fleeson
11/5/2010 “We always think every other man’s job is easier than our own. The better he does it, the easier it looks.” Eden Phillpotts
11/4/2010 “You never know what a fool you can be till life gives you the chance.” Eden Phillpotts
11/3/2010 History never looks like History when you are living through it. – John W. Gardner
11/2/2010 “Election year is that period when politicians get free speech mixed up with cheap talk.” – J. B. Kidd
11/1/2010 Consistently wise decisions can only be made by those whose wisdom is constantly challenged. – Ted Sorensen
10/29/2010 The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made. – Jean Giraudoux
10/28/2010 All this fuss about sleeping together. For physical pleasure I’d sooner go to my dentist any day. – Evelyn Waugh
10/27/2010 I never met anyone who didn’t have a very smart child. What happens to these children, you wonder, when they reach adulthood? – Fran Lebowitz
10/25/2010 Can success change the human mechanism so completely between one dawn and another? Can it make one feel taller, more alive, handsomer, uncommonly gifted and indomitably secure with the certainty that this is the way life will always be? It can and it does! – Moss Hart
10/24/2010 Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect. – Oren Arnold
10/23/2010 Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them.” Adlai Stevenson
10/22/2010 I have an epic, not a dramatic nature. My disposition and my desires call for peace to spin my thread, for a steady rhythm in life and art. Thomas Mann
10/20/2010 I am a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy. – J.D. Salinger
10/19/2010 A day spent without the sight or sound of beauty, the contemplation of mystery, or the search of truth or perfection is a poverty-stricken day; and a succession of such days is fatal to human life. – Lewis Mumford
10/18/2010 Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion. – Oscar Wilde
10/15/2010 One of my greatest pleasures in writing has come from the thought that perhaps my work might annoy someone of comfortably pretentious position. Then comes the saddening realization that such people rarely read. – John Galbraith
10/14/2010 You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one. – John Wooden
10/13/2010 Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. – Robert Fulghum
10/12/2010 Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. – Maori proverb
10/11/2010 You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do. – Eleanor Roosevelt
10/9/2010 No one has the right to die and not leave something to the public and for the public good.” – Simon Benson
10/8/2010 The four cornerstones of character on which the structure of this nation was built are: Initiative, Imagination, Individuality and Independence.” – Eddie Rickenbacker
10/7/2010 If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. – Desmond Tutu
10/3/2010 What happens if a big asteroid hits Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. – Dave Barry
10/2/2010 I have a mind to join a club and beat you over the head with it. – Groucho Marx
10/1/2010 A schoolchild should be taught grammar—for the same reason that a medical student should study anatomy. Having learned about the exciting mysteries of an English sentence, the child can then go forth and speak and write any damn way he pleases. – E. B. White
9/30/2010 “I used to rock and roll all night and party every day. Then it was every other day. Now I’m lucky if I can find a half an hour a week in which to get funky!” – Homer Simpson
9/28/2010 The small man thinks that small acts of goodness are of no benefit, and does not do them; and that small deeds of evil do no harm, and does not refrain from them. Hence, his wickedness becomes so great that it cannot be concealed, and his guilt so great that it cannot be pardoned. – Confucius
9/26/2010 Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. – Voltaire
9/24/2010 Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person. F. Scott Fitzgerald
9/21/2010 There was never a genius without a tincture of madness. – Aristotle
9/20/2010 Another possible source of guidance for teenagers is television, but television’s message has always been that the need for truth, wisdom and world peace pales by comparison with the need for a toothpaste that offers whiter teeth and fresher breath. – Dave Barry
9/17/2010 Average people look for ways of getting away with it; successful people look for ways of getting on with it. – Jim Rohn
9/16/2010 The citizen who criticizes his country is paying it an implied tribute. – Fulbright
9/15/2010 Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that’s no reason not to give it. – Agatha Christie
9/12/2010 I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant – H.L. Mencken
9/11/2010 “We can’t buy one minute of time with cash; if we could, rich people would live longer.” O’Henry
9/4/2010 If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library. – Frank Zappa
9/1/2010 Why is it when we talk to God we’re praying – but when God talks to us, we’re schizophrenic?” – Lily Tomlin
8/27/2010 “Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees.” – Faith Baldwin
8/24/2010 I want to do something useful in the world. – Amelia Earhart
8/23/2010 We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered. – Tom Stoppard
8/21/2010 “I shall stay the way I am because I do not give a damn.” – Dorothy Parker
8/19/2010 “Dance is a little insanity that does us all a lot of good.” – Edward Demby
8/18/2010 “It doesn’t hurt to be optimistic. You can always cry later.” – Lucimar Santos de Lima
8/17/2010 Don’t keep a man guessing too long, he’s sure to find the answer somewhere else.” – Mae West
8/16/2010 “I prefer lies to truth, especially when the lies are about me.” – T. E. Lawrence
8/15/2010 “Great talent has always a little madness mixed up with it.” – Walter Scott
8/13/2010 Nature creates ability; luck provides it with opportunity.” – François, Duc de La Rochefoucaul
8/7/2010 “If you lived today as if it were your last, you’d buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn’t you?” – Garrison Keillor
8/7/2010 “Vodka is tasteless going down, but it is memorable coming up.” – Garrison Keillor
7/29/2010 “You preach it, I’ll turn the pages” Mary Rarick
6/14/2010 “You can’t expect to hit the jackpot if you don’t put a few nickels in the machine.” – Flip Wilson
6/11/2010 “Any kiddies in school can love like a fool, But hating, my boy, is an art.” – Ogden Nash
6/10/2010 Don’t discuss yourself, for you are bound to lose; if you belittle yourself, you are believed; if you praise yourself, you are disbelieved. – Montaigne
6/9/2010 “Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.” – Paul Samuelson
6/8/2010 Quit while you’re ahead. All the best gamblers do. – Baltasar Gracian
6/6/2010 “We don’t love qualities, we love persons; sometimes by reason of their defects as well as of their qualities.” Thomas Mann
5/20/2010 If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month. – Theodore Roosevelt
5/19/2010 You have to have been a Republican to know how good it is to be a Democrat. – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
5/18/2010 Oh, threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise! One thing at least is certain — This Life flies; One thing is certain and the rest is Lies; The Flower that once has blown for ever dies. – Omar Khayyám
5/15/2010 “Hearts will never be practical until they are made unbreakable.” – L. Frank Baum
5/9/2010 “Happy is the son whose faith in his mother remains unchallenged.” – Louisa May Alcott
5/5/2010 “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” – Karl Marx
4/30/2010 “The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions. But there is also, it seems to me, a moment at which democracy must prove its capacity to act. Every man has a right to be heard; but no man has the right to strangle democracy with a single set of vocal chords.” – Adlai Stevenson
4/29/2010 “A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.” – Max Lucado
4/28/2010 “Every man has three characters – that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has.” Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr
4/27/2010 “For, as blushing will sometimes make a whore pass for a virtuous woman, so modesty may make a fool seem a man of sense.” – Alexander Pope
4/15/2010 The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets. – Will Rogers
4/1/2010 The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible. – David Ogilvy
3/30/2010 Given the same amount of intelligence, timidity will do a thousand times more damage than audacity. – Carl von Clausewitz
3/29/2010 Be open-minded, but not so open-minded that your brains fall out. – Stephen A. Kallis, Jr
2/1/2010 I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think. – Socrates
10/14/2009 “The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.” E. E. Cummings
4/19/2009 Words form the thread on which we string our experiences. – Aldous Leonard