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Archive for the tag “humor”

Overcoming travel woes – humor is when you can laugh at yourself anyway

Overcoming travel woes – humor is when you can laugh at yourself anyway Puzzled

This one is for poking fun at yourself. Do you recall any story where you were embarrassed at first and then later you had a belly laugh at your own expense? I have got a black belt in that resort and is the reason why family members strongly dislike traveling with me.

A while back I had to go to Venezuela. Final destination was Puerto Ordaz and that meant that I had to make a pit stop in Caracas first. Caracas is the capital of Venezuela and the issue with the airport is that there is a domestic and an international side to it that you must pick up your luggage at one just to lugging it over to the other – on foot, on the side walk. On the way to my final destination everything went according to plan. On the way back however, things did not go so well.

The local Puerto Ordaz airport was an adventure right from the get go. The first surprise was that there was no security check worthwhile mentioning. This occurred just before 9/11 but nevertheless this was not something I expected. The 757 was parked right next to what you could define as a terminal and we needed to board the plane by merely walking over and boarding the plane using mobile stairs. The only thing I was really missing was livestock. We had a very eclectic group of people on board.

We took off and after a short while got to Caracas. My brief stint to the country was not enough for me to learn any significant amount of Spanish, but I could at least follow the landing preparation announcements. We un-boarded the plane and I could not wait to get my luggage and get over to the international terminal. I stormed to the luggage carousel just to find myself standing there with no luggage and all alone with the carousel stopped after all the other passengers had gotten their luggage. I was mad as a hornet – all of this was costing me valuable transfer time. I spoke with a luggage handler, gave him 10 Bucks and 5 minutes later he showed up with my luggage that he had retrieved from the airplane.

Now I stormed out of the airport building and was looking for the walkway. I looked back and forth quickly and then my heart sank one or two levels below deck: I had landed at a completely different airport and this was not Caracas at all! What I had failed to notice was that I had another layover airport to stop by and this was it. In the meantime I could see the plane – the plane I was supposed to be on – take off. I went back into the airport building to the check in line. It took a good 2 minutes before the check in folks were able to contain themselves, they were laughing so hard. It was a little miracle but I did manage to get on the last flight to Caracas that day and another flight over to Miami that night. I was not able to get back home until the next day though.

There are, as always, a few take away lessons that can be learned from this story:

  1. When traveling to other countries with a different language than yours, check your itinerary – carefully.
  2. Never assume that ground luggage handlers are always wrong. The mistake can be on your side.
  3. Listen to your wife more carefully, as she had totally gotten the extra stop and even told you so. Improve your listening skills.
  4. Book the earliest flights of the day because when you screw up like this there is a much better chance that there will be another, later flight that can still get you home.
  5. Do not take yourself so seriously and let check in personnel have a good laugh at your expense. They have so little to laugh about.
  6. Remember that these people were laughing with you and about you.

Have a good laugh at my expense. I did not mind it then and I do not mind it now.



George Carlin’s paradox of life

George Carlin’s paradox of life Ralf a

I have to admit, not all of George Carlin’s humor is my cup of tea, but the following quote though really made me think. I hope it does the same for you.


The paradox of our time in history is that we have

taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider

freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more,

but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have

bigger houses and smaller families, more

conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees

but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment,

more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but

less wellness.


We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too

recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get

too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read

too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our

values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate

too often.


We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.

We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve

been all the way to the moon and back, but have

trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.

We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve

done larger things, but not better things.


We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.

We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We

write more, but learn less. We plan more, but

accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to

wait. We build more computers to hold more

information, to produce more copies than ever, but

we communicate less and less.


These are the times of fast foods and slow

digestion, big men and small character, steep

profits and shallow relationships. These are the

days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier

houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick

trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one

night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do

everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a

time when there is much in the showroom window and

nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can

bring this letter to you, and a time when you can

choose either to share this insight, or to just hit



Remember, spend some time with your loved ones,

because they are not going to be around forever.


Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to

you in awe, because that little person soon will

grow up and leave your side.


Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you,

because that is the only treasure you can give with

your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.


Remember, to say, “I love you” to your partner and

your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and

an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep

inside of you.


Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for

someday that person will not be there again.


Give time to love, give time to speak,! and give time

to share the precious thoughts in your mind.




Life is not measured by the number of breaths we

take, but by the moments that take our breath away.


George Carlin


3 fascinating things can be learned from watching Star Trek

3 fascinating things can be learned from watching Star Trek cup

Not too long ago my son and I spent some time watching TV together. Being a family of geeks and nerds, it is perhaps not surprising that we watched Star Trek – The Next Generation . I just could not believe how much he got into the show. He reminded me of when I watched the original series Star Trek (still my #1). How did my son turn into an on the spot enthusiast?

The question still occupies my mind. How does this franchise manage capturing fans year after year? Here are three thoughts that I wanted to share with you:

Inspiration. Humans managed to solve their biggest issues: War, energy, clean water and air, and peacefully exploration of space. How much more inspiring can this get? The original series took on inter racial relationships and equal rights for women. Those are all things we take for granted today.

Intrigue. Will we ever be able to go to other solar systems? Are there other systems out there that can support life? What else is out there? We know what we know, but is it not fascinating to wonder what else is out there to explore for us? Star Trek did a great job capturing these thoughts.

Reflection. It is amazing to me how small and insignificant we are in the big scheme of things. If you want to kick this effect up a notch please watch the film Hubble narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio? The vastness of space is hard for us humans to comprehend.

The greatest thing Star Trek did was to invoking thoughts without providing specific answers. That is the greatest achievement for any show – telling a specific story about something that is based pure imagination mixed with science free from dogma. Let your mind wander and wonder sometime soon. When you have a chance watch an old episode just for fun.


If you want to go on adventure you cannot lie in bed all day

If you want to go on adventure you cannot lie in bed all day

Picture credit: Ralf Weiser, Miami at the end of a beautiful day

Summertime is here and hopefully you have made plans to go places. We are so blessed living in a country that has got so much to see and experience. One thing that I keep encouraging especially young folks is to go to new places. Meet new people. See new cities. If at all possible go and see different countries and cultures. Go camping. Take an RV to travel around. Make a point of seeing as many as possible national parks. Go try see and experience all 50 States we are blessed to have.

How many people do you know who tell you that they are all up for adventure and then never go? How many would rather stick around at home and not go outside your county? How many of those people cannot get off the sofa or bed and away from the TV or computer screen?

  • Travel helps recharge your batteries. Getting away from it all makes a huge impact on how well you feel.
  • Travel encourages synchronicity. Who knows whom you are destined to meet along the way of your travels? Believe in coincidence? I do not. Our paths cross for a certain reason.
  • Travel broadens your horizon. No pun intended as I mean this more on the side of getting to know how many different ways the anything can be done. Therefore, it drives up tolerance for other people and how they see and do stuff. Fewer conflicts and even wars would happen if we all went and met with how every human just wants to be happy, safe, and content as well.
  • Travel gets you involved in totally different circles of people. Advancement in life comes from not whom you know, but who knows you.
  • Travel lets you experience gratitude and a sense of space. How blessed we truly are hits home best when you are on the road and physically get a feel for it. The sheer size and variety of our culture and the many different marvelous sites makes for a very humbling experience.

Go out and travel. As stressful as life can be, it is uplifting and incredibly refreshing to do something different even if at first it may take some effort to get going. Life is too great to waste it on the sofa or bed.


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