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What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:

If:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

is represented as

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

Then:

H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K is 8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E is 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E is 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

But

B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T is 2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%

AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.

A-S-S-K-I-S-S-I-N-G is 1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that While Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Bullshit and Ass kissing that will put you over the top.

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The car was allergic to vanilla ice cream?

If you work with people long enough chances are that you will hear many implausible stories. Often these stories are ignored because they just sound too silly. This is typically a mistake when the story is describing an effect (what happens) vs. interpreting the cause (why it happens). The following story is one such example. I don’t know whether this story is true or just an urban legend, but either way it has a valuable moral:

A complaint was received by the Pontiac Division of General Motors:

"This is the second time I have written you, and I don't blame you for not answering me, because I kind of sounded crazy, but it is a fact that we have a tradition in our family of ice cream for dessert after dinner each night. But the kind of ice cream varies so, every night, after we've eaten, the whole family votes on which kind of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. It's also a fact that I recently purchased a new Pontiac and since then my trips to the store have created a problem. You see, every time I buy vanilla ice cream, when I start back from the store my car won't start. If I get any other kind of ice cream, the car starts just fine. I want you to know I'm serious about this question, no matter how silly it sounds: 'What is there about a Pontiac that makes it not start when I get vanilla ice cream, and easy to start whenever I get any other kind?'"

The Pontiac President was understandably skeptical about the letter, but sent an engineer to check it out anyway. The latter was surprised to be greeted by a successful, obviously well educated man in a fine neighborhood. He had arranged to meet the man just after dinner time, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the ice cream store. It was vanilla ice cream that night and, sure enough, after they came back to the car, it wouldn't start.

The engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, the man got chocolate. The car started. The second night, he got strawberry. The car started. The third night he ordered vanilla.

The car failed to start.

Now the engineer, being a logical man, refused to believe that this man's car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. He arranged, therefore, to continue his visits for as long as it took to solve the problem. And toward this end he began to take notes: he jotted down all sorts of data, time of day, type of gas used, time to drive back and forth, etc.

In a short time, he had a clue: the man took less time to buy vanilla than any other flavor. Why? The answer was in the layout of the store.

Vanilla, being the most popular flavor, was in a separate case at the front of the store for quick pickup. All the other flavors were kept in the back of the store at a different counter where it took considerably longer to find the flavor and get checked out.

Moral: Even implausible effects have real causes.

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Jesus is watching you

A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around looking for valuables, and when he picked up a VCR to place in his sack, a strange, disembodied voice echoed from the dark saying, “Jesus is watching you.”

He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight out and froze. When he heard nothing more after a bit, he shook his head, promised himself a long vacation after his next big score, then clicked the light back on and began searching for more valuables.

Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard, “Jesus is watching you.”

Freaked Out, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice.

Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot…

“Did you say that?” he hissed at the parrot.

“Yep,” the parrot confessed, then squawked, “I’m just trying to warn you.”

The burglar relaxed. “Warn me, huh? Who the heck are you?”

“Moses,” replied the bird.

“Moses?” the burglar laughed. “What kind of people would name a parrot Moses?”

The bird promptly answered, “Probably the same kind of people that would name a 140 pound Rottweiler Jesus.”

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Analogies and metaphors

Have you ever received a 'humorous story' via email from some friend or acquaintance? I’m sure you have. If you are like most email enabled people you probably have recieved a great multitude. Unless of course you don’t have any friends or acquaintances, in which case you should probably just node your head as if you did.

Was the 'humorous' email actually funny? Usually not; especially not if it involves cats, lists of cats, pictures of cats, or any form of cat byproduct. You may even have considered tweaking your spam filter a time or two.

One of the rare exceptions to this experience is the following account, having no reference to cats, which was forward to me by my friend JB. And no, I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I sure did find it side-splitting funny.


Every year, English teachers from across the USA can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are last year's top 25 winners:

  1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
  2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
  3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
  4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
  5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
  6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
  7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
  8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge free ATM machine.
  9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.
  10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
  11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. Instead of 7:30.
  12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
  13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
  14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
  15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.
  16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
  17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.
  18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.
  19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
  20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
  21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
  22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
  23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
  24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.
  25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

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