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Sixty years and counting.

August 4th 2017 is my sixtieth birthday.

As I reflect on my life, both personal and professional, I am filled with gratitude at my good fortune. I am surrounded by family and friends the high quality of which, I probably don’t deserve.

So on the occasion my of six decades I’d like to pay back some of my good fortune by sharing some of what I think I have learned. Below are a few of the simple “rules” I try to live by. Most are my own and some are borrowed. I hope that you find at least one helpful.


It is commonly held that it is hard to make friends as an adult. Despite the 36 years that separated us, Tom and I were friends. On February 16, 2017 at around 5 pm he passed away. He was 95.

Tom and I met as neighbours across the street from one another. He extended a kindness to me on the day we moved in that set the tone for over twenty years.

From the outside it might have appeared that our friendship was unlikely. The difference in our ages notwithstanding, Tom was religious, conservative, with a background in science ( he had been a chemist professionally). I was none of those things. Yet we never seemed to be at a loss for something to talk about. Many’s the time that I would wander across the street ( or visa versa) and share a cup of tea and have a long chat.

As Tom started to get older I admit that I would find some pretense to cross the street to “check” on him. I don’t think he was ever fooled, but he always met me with a smile and an invitation for tea. His family has often thanked me for doing what I could in support of their Dad and for being a good friend. It is always made me feel awkward, because it was no effort. It was the quality of the man that inspired friendship and loyalty, plain and simple.

When Tom moved out a few years ago, I took to visiting with him as often as I could. As a matter of fact we often laughed that I could not visit as often as I wanted to because he was so busy. A testament to the man that so many people wanted to share time with him.

I did not attend Tom’s funeral. On that day another friend, facing the return of his own cancer needed my support. I decided that I needed to be with him. I am sure that Tom ( with his characteristic unselfishness) would have approved.

I have thought of Tom every day since his passing. I suspect that will change over time, but I hope not. People like Tom deserve to be remembered.

Remove Lice

The following treatment for Head lice was developed by Dr. Moishe Ipp research pediatrician at Toronto Sick Kids Hospital.

Mix a 50/50 solution of mineral oil and vinegar. Massage it into the hair and cover for at least two (2) hours with a shower cap. The vinegar detaches the nits from the hair shaft while the oil suffocates any live lice and makes for easy smooth combing out of any detached nits and dead lice.

Dr. Ipp claims a 100% success rate using this treatment. The treatment can be repeated as often as nessessary.

Cleaning Silver

Cleaning Silver

To clean silver or silver plate quickly & easily – Fill a large glass or plastic bowl with very hot water from the tap add 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup water softener (downy) line bowl with aluminum foil swish—–add article—-clean in 10 -60 seconds. Wipe dry—–like magic

Is Chrome OS the best ?

I have always been a closet techie. I have taught myself computers since 1982. I’m not a programmer, but I’m pretty good and yes I’m a Windows guy, sort of.

I have never been a big fan of Microsoft. They have stumbled a lot over the years but the introduction of Windows 10 is especially troublesome. Seems as if Microsoft is more interested in collecting your personal information than actually selling software. Windows 10 propensity for doing so is now well documented. So I’ve stuck with Windows 7. I realize, however; that that is not a long term strategy.

So I have been looking at Linux. Like most computer enthusiasts I have played around with Linux on and off over the years. I’ll admit I am particularly fond of Linux Mint. My big problem with Linux is the command line. It has been my opinion for some time that until Linux stops relying on the command line it will never become a mainstream operating system. Note to Linux developers, the mouse won, get over it !

Then I realized that perhaps the solution I have been looking for has been under my nose all the time. A couple of years back I purchased a small Chromebook. Since I used Google Apps for my business it seemed a natural choice. It was inexpensive and yet very capable. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not without faults. But the more I used it the more I came to appreciate the “low maintenance” nature of the Chrome OS. Let’s face it Windows is needy and heaven forbid you should have to re-install it. By comparison I have reset my Chromebook in a matter of minutes in a coffee shop.

Gone are the days when I actually enjoyed tinkering with my computer. I just want it to work, and to have it not spy on me. While Google is not immune from keeping tabs on its users there seems to be better tools to secure your privacy on a ChromeBook and you are less likely to get a virus or other types of malware.

Is Chrome OS the best? No such thing. Each individual computer user has different needs. But if you live in the cloud give a ChromeBook a look, you just may be the next convert.

The Man Who Sold Hot Dogs



There was an old man who lived by the side of the road and sold HOT DOGS.

He worked very hard, was happy in his work, and he made very good hot dogs. He had a big neon sign in front of his place telling how good his hot dogs were. He greeted each customer cheerfully and served them quickly, carefully, and with a smile.

He thanked each one for coming.

And the customers came and brought their friends, and they bought his hotdogs.

The old man increased his wiener and bun orders. He bought a bigger coffee maker and ordered a bigger stove to take care of his growing trade. He was so busy that he could no longer keep his own books, so he hired an accounting service.

And then something happened.

The young CPA was appalled, He said “haven’t you been listening to the radio? Haven’t you been reading the newspaper or the business magazines? The situation overseas is terrible. The Domestic situation is worse. Inflation rages out of control, there is violence in our cities, there is no confidence in the federal government and the war overseas goes poorly. We poise on the brink of a financial crisis. This is no time to expand!”

The old man thought,” Well, this fellow has been to college, he reads the newspaper, he listens to the radio, he talks to other business people and he ought to know.”

So he cut down on his wiener and bun orders,  cancelled the order on his new stove started closing two hours earlier, turned his thermostat down to save on fuel and turned off his neon sign to save energy.

And his hot dog sales fell, ALMOST OVERNIGHT.  By the end of the month his business was off 30%

“You’re right, young fellow,” the old man said to his young CPA, the country is on the brink of economic disaster.

You know you are a Dinosaur when…

1)  Technology is a hindrance, not a help.

2)  You resent learning something new, even if it will save you time in the long run.

3)  You confuse “time served” with experience.

4)  You think experience is a substitute for real achievements.

5)  All new hires seem stupid and you KNOW that they will never make it.

6)  You know no one is indispensible but you are pretty close.

7)  You believe things are worse now than they have ever been.

8)  You are looking more forward to retirement than tomorrow.


Frank Bruni