Remembered Saying of My Dad #4

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Section 2 of Marion’s Notebook Entries: Remembered sayings and lessons are transcribed from the handwritten log of Marion Thomas Collins, Sr., my Dad.  He recorded these instructions for living a good life over a fifty-year period.

Wok, Opportunities, Success, Leadership and Wealth
Chapter 2 - Section 2
Marion’s Notebook Entries

  • You will learn as much from failure as you can from success.

  • Credit cards can be a friend or your worst enemy. Pay no interest,

  • if possible. Try to use them only if you can pay when due.

  • Winners do what losers don’t want to do—work.

  • If you want the best things in life, remember the words—try, do, I will and persistence.

  • Each person has been given time to spend. All we have to do is use it well.

  • You can get by on charm for about 15 minutes. After that, you better know something.

  • When the deadline comes, it will be too late. So do it now.

  • Motivation is what gets you started; habit is what keeps you going.

  • There will come a time when you believe everything is finished—that will be the beginning.

  • Opportunities are often things you haven’t noticed the first time around.

  • The reward for work done well is the opportunity to do more.

  • Success without honor is an unseasoned dish. It will satisfy your hunger, but it just will not
    taste good.

  • Blessed is the person who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy to worry at night.

  • Persistence is the key to success.

  • Be the task great or small; do it well or not at all.

  • As long as you do your best every job can be a learning experience.

  • The most important lesson from winning is that you can.

  • If a desire to succeed is so intense, no force on earth can stop it.

  • Privilege has responsibility—make sure you use it well.

  • The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.

  • Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising your level of expectations.

  • When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses only results.

  • Wise are those who learn that the bottom line doesn’t always have to be their top priority.

  • Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then you will find the way to accomplish it.

  • Great success is built by turning negatives into positives.

  • There are two kinds of people—the ones that need to be told and the ones that figure it out for themselves.

  • A leader knows what is best to do—a manager merely knows how best to do it.

  • If the window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.

  • Find a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.

  • It is easy to sit up and take notice in life. What is difficult is getting up and taking action.

  • To love what you do and feel that it matters—how could anything be more worthwhile?

  • If you can’t excel with talent, do it with more effort.

  • Opportunities are often things not noticed the first time you looked.

  • Not a single rich person is getting rich by exploiting his or her working labor force.

  • A leader’s role is to raise people’s aspirations for what they can

    become and to release their energy so they will try to get there.

  • The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win.

  • All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.

  • Opportunities are like the sunrise; if you wait too long, you will miss them.

  • Saving is like planting a garden. If you do not plant the seed, you will not get any food.

  • If you enjoy your work and your life, you are rich. If you are not happy with either, how can money help?

  • A window of opportunity won’t open itself. It takes a little help from you.

  • No matter how much money you make, you will always be poor if you spend more than you make. It is not what you earn, it is what you save.

  • Love what you do and feel that it matters.

  • Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get.

  • A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.

  • Being defeated is often a temporary condition; giving up is what makes it permanent.

# # # 

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Remembered Saying of My Dad #3

Section 1 of Marion’s Notebook Entries: Remembered sayings and lessons are transcribed from the handwritten log of Marion Thomas Collins, Sr., my Dad.  He recorded these instructions for living a good life over a fifty-year period.

Wit and Wisdom: Part 3 of 3 Parts 

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  • It is always helpful to learn from your mistakes because then your mistakes seem worthwhile.

  • Plans are only good intentions unless they are carried out.

  • Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

  • Never tell people how to do things.  Tell them what to do and they will probably use their ingenuity to accomplish it.

  • The trail is the thing, travel it too fast and you miss all you are traveling for.

  • There are three things that if a man does not know, he can not live long in this world!  What is too much for him; what is too little for him; and what is just right for him.

  • Knowledge is not simply another commodity.  It is never used up.  It increases by diffusion and grows by dispersion.

  • An optimist is foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come and it usually is!

  • Be one who keeps his work, his temper and his friends.

  • Be careful in giving advice.  Wise men don’t need it and fools won’t heed it.

  • The pessimist is a good teacher.  Watch what he says and does, then you will know what you should never say or do.

  • There is too much said for the sake of argument and too little said for the sake of the argument.

  • Everyone makes mistakes, but the bad ones are the ones you do not learn from.

  • Giving, loving, caring making life better for others are some of the treasures of life.

  • When you are right, no one remembers.  When you are wrong, no one forgets.

  • There is no such thing as the perfect man or woman, but you can be the best you can.

  • Time passes too fast except during an embarrassing moment.

  • One of life’s early lessons is sadly all to true; success occurs in private and failure in full view.

  • A clear conscience is what hurts when all your parts feel good.

  • Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.

  • A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

  • The longer you carry a problem, the heavier it gets.

  • Decisions are too important to leave to chance.

  • No one can get anyone out of a ditch by throwing dirt on them.

  • Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.

  • The bigger a person’s head gets, the easier it is to fill his or her shoes.

  • Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it.

  • If you find yourself in a hole, do not dig it any deeper.

  • The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else.

  • That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.

# # # 

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

 

Remembered Sayings of My Dad #2

Section 1 of Marion’s Notebook Entries: Remembered sayings and lessons are transcribed from the handwritten log of Marion Thomas Collins, Sr., my Dad.  He recorded these instructions for living a good life over a fifty-year period.

Wit and Wisdom: Part 2 of 3 Parts

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  • Tradition lives because young people come along who catch the romance and add new glories to it.

  • To receive a present handsomely and in the right spirit, even when you have none to give in return, is to give a gift.

  • While an original is always hard to find, he is easy to recognize.

  • You cannot buy enthusiasm; you cannot buy initiative; you cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds and souls.   You have to earn those things.

  • If you are lucky enough to find a way of life, you have to find the courage to live it.

  • Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said could not be done.

  • Be patient with everyone, but most of all, be patient with yourself.

  • If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you have done it already.

  • Try it, you may like it, is an old saying, but it has some truth in it—Try it, you may like it!

  • Young people do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore, they attempt the impossible and achieve it generation after generation.

  • Some things are bad; some things are good.  If you want more good things, maybe you should try harder. Good things are out there for those that really want them.

  • One half the trouble of this life can be traced to saying “yes” too quickly and not saying “no” soon enough.

  • Repair people cost plenty. When you do have to call a repair man watch how he does it. Doing your own repair work around your home is like having another source of income 

  • What a strange world this would be if we all had the same sense of humor or if everyone was the same.

  • An optimist thinks this is the best of all worlds; a pessimist fears the same may be true.

  • Incompetent people invariably make trouble for people other than themselves.

(To be continued)

# # # 

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Remembered Sayings of my Dad

Section 1 of Marion’s Notebook Entries: Remembered sayings and lessons are transcribed from the handwritten log of Marion Thomas Collins, Sr., my Dad.  He recorded these instructions for living a good life over a fifty-year period.

bookcover.jpg

Wit and Wisdom: Part 1 of 3 Parts

  • There is some good in the worst of us, and some bad in the best of us.

  • You may not be able to change faults in others, but you can change some of yours.

  • If two people talk at the same time, no one hears the other.

  • No government, family or business can survive without punishment for wrongdoing.

  • All kitchens should have a drawer for small tools, tape, glue, hammer and other small tools that you may need for repairs in the home.

  • Sometimes there is more to gain by being wrong than by being right.

  • Most arguments are two people who don’t know what they are arguing about.

  • It is far more impressive of for others to discover your good qualities without your help.

  • We are all born into the world with nothing.  Everything we acquire after that is profit.

  • If you want to move the world, you must first move yourself.

  • How sad would winter be if we had no expectation of spring.

  • If two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary.

  • The only thing that ever set its way to success was a hen.

  • Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others.

  • Not all of us have talents, so common sense and love will have to do.

  • One never realizes how much or how little he knows until he or she starts talking.

  • Why don’t we say to ourselves, “This is a great time and moment in history, and I can and will make the most of it.”

    (To be continued)

# # # 

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Book Festival Follow-up

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Congratulations to Mr. Mark D. Hill, the winner of a 33-year-old claret from my personal wine collection. The drawing for the wine was held at the conclusion of the Franklin Book Festival, Sunday, June 2, 2019.   I love great wines—especially antique wines from France. That love of wines was one of the inspirations for my book The Claret Murders. The prize claret won by Mark Hill is a 1986 Chateau Certan from the Pomerol region of Bordeaux France.

In addition to signing books during the two- day event, I was one of four panelists on Sunday selected to  discuss the challenges of succeeding as a fiction author. Franklin author, Thom King, snapped this picture of me, obviously making, what I must have considered, some important point.

The books in the photograph include my latest mystery Diversion, as well as The Claret Murders, a mystery that takes place during the 2010 flood in Nashville and Franklin. The term “diversion” is used by the Department of Justice to describe the conversion of legal medical drugs to  illegal recreational purposes.  Of course, that means opioids.  Fueled by a murder mystery and a missing girl, my book, Diversion, explores the opioid crisis in our own back yard—Franklin and the surrounding Middle Tennessee area.

# # #

 

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Franklin Book Festival

Franklin Book Festival 2019 - June 1 (10am to 5pm) & June 2 (1pm to 5pm)
Williamson County Public Library - 1314 Columbia Ave, Franklin, Tennessee 37064

I hope to see you at this weekend’s Franklin Book Festival.

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Of all my mysteries, the one I like best is: The Claret Murders. I will have a limited number of library quality hardcover editions of that book and others available for purchase during the event. And, for wine lovers, there will also be a special treat. I will be giving away a 33-year-old claret from my personal wine collection—a Chateau Certan from the French Pomerol region of Bordeaux.

I’m just one of over forty local authors who will be participating in the Franklin Book Festival. Stop by my signing table, pick up a free American flag pin and enter the drawing for the wonderful claret. You don’t have to buy anything to enter the drawing for the wine.

Book lovers will find plenty of bargain opportunities to build their collection of books signed by authors. Participating authors will be displaying their works and talking with attendees about the art and business of the book world. Many authors will offer their novels at a discounted event price and sign their books for you. For example, my library quality signed novels go for $29.00, but you can purchase one at the event for only $15.00. In addition, you can take home a paperback edition for only $5.00. My book, The Language of Excellence, called one of the best five books on management and leadership, regularly priced at $39.00 will also be available at the Festival for $15.00. Of course, on site quantities are limited, so these bargains are only available as long as the Festival inventories last. If you already own one of my books, bring it and I’ll sign it for you.

# # # 

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Extraordinary Truck For Sale

2003 Toyota Tacoma 2 Door Extended Cab
Engine: 3.4L V6
Millage 145000
VIN: 5TEWN72NX3Z279510
Color: Dark Green 

Features: 3.4L V6 Engine, Power locks, AM/FM Stereo, CD Audio, Cruise control, Cloth Seats, 4WD, Alloy Wheels, TRD Package, Automatic transmission, Power Windows, Air Conditioning, ABS Brakes, Power Mirrors, Bed Liner

SOLD 5/28/2019—NO LONGER AVAILABLE

SOLD 5/28/2019—NO LONGER AVAILABLE

This not your ordinary 16-year-old truck. When we purchased the truck in October 2015, from Toyota of Cool Springs, there was an outstanding recall for the car. Apparently, the antirust treatment had not been properly applied to the frame during manufacture. So, the Frame was replaced under warranty in 2016. While that work was being done, Toyota also added new shock absorbers, new spark plugs, a new valve cover gasket, a new gas tank, new Michelin LTX tires, and a new speed sensor. During routine service of 5/10/19 we also installed a new battery and new wiper blades. Also, an intermitting problem with the right rear turn signal was fixed by installing a new taillight assembly and completely new wiring harness. What we now have is a 2003 body on top of an almost all new base.

 We have extra keys, and in addition to the installed floor mats with have an extra (new and unused) set.

Price $8,500.00
Contact: M. Thomas (Tom) Collins
Franklin, TN 37069
tom.collins@i65n.com
615/948-1544

It Happens in a Flash

Everything can change, without warning, in an instance.

It was Friday night, my wife and I had driven to restaurant near us, BrickTops.   We were meeting my daughter and her family to celebrate my granddaughter’s sixteenth birthday and for a pre-Mother’s Day event. My wife drove. We parked in the restaurant parking lot. I got out of the car. I was using a cane in my left hand and had a great bottle of wine cradled in right arm.  I step up onto the curb of the sidewalk leading to the restaurant’s door.

Unfortunately, my left leg has not been very cooperative lately. I have difficulty lifting that left leg. It’s something I have been working on through physical therapy.  It all stems from problems in my back either due to structural issues or nerve damage from prior cancer treatments. So instead of my foot being securely planted on the surface part of my heal was hanging over the edge of the curb. As I raised up my weight shifted toward my back and over I went. There was nothing but air to grab or hold on to. My feet would not move fast enough to shift them in an effort regain balance. I twisted as I fell. Somehow, I had enough presence of mind to know I didn’t want to fall holding on to a breakable bottle.  I threw it. The wine landed unbroken in the soft turf of a landscaped area.  I didn’t land on anything soft. I landed in the hard pavement of the parking area. It was a sliding fall with my right arm and shoulder taking the brunt of the impact.

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I spent the next five hours in the emergency room.  My elbow required seven stiches (five visible), and the fall tore the skin off a large area of my forearm which is going to take a while to heal.  The arm is really suffering.  I am eating lefthanded, which isn’t easy, and can’t lift my arm.  It is swollen and bruised. The doctor says, I may have a torn my rotator cuff, but I going to wait for the soreness to go away before pursuing that possibility.  The picture is of my right arm.  The elbow is on the left in the picture.

It could have been much worse.  I didn’t hit my head. I didn’t break anything. And, the wine survived!

# # # 

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Quell Miracle

I don’t sing the praises of many products. Most don’t serve their intended purpose, or they could be better built, easier to use, etc. But I can’t say enough good things about the Quell—especially Quell 2.0.

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I have been dealing with chronic pain with since 2004. Most doctors have indicated that they believe my pain is misdirected pain from the back. In addition to structural problems, I probably have some nerve damage resulting from operations, chemotherapy, and radiation.

It is hard to describe continuous pain. One pain will mask another. Whatever is hurting most at the time becomes one’s focus. Recently the worst pain has been in my legs when seated which makes an evening of TV watching a horror show even if it’s on the Hallmark channel. Physical therapy didn’t stop the pain. Medicine was little help. I was almost ready to give the go ahead for surgery to fuse whatever they could fuse in the back just to give me some relief.  I couldn’t spend the rest of my life standing or lying flat, the only positions that stop the constant pain.

Then I saw a commercial for the Quell device.  I paid the full $299 dollars to Amazon.  When it arrived, I charged it up and strapped it to my leg. The pain stopped! I can wear the devise on either leg because it does not matter which leg the quell is on. 

It could be a coincidence. It might not work for everyone. But for me it is a Miracle! I’m not taking any chances. I’m not taking it off!

Quell is promoted as “wearable pain relief technology.” Go to www.quellrelief.com to find out how Quell's neurotechnology blocks chronic pain. The Quell system is FDA cleared for use during the day while active, or at night while sleeping. What's more, it's easy to use.

# # #

 For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Squire Collins

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I got a letter the other day address to Squire M. Thomas Collins from none other than Kevin Sanders, The Barrel Man.

I have received a few titles over the years.  I am, for example, a three times Tennessee Colonel Aide de Camp having had the title bestowed upon me by three different Governors.  Unfortunately, the title Colonel never stuck for me as it did for Colonel Sanders. 

A squire is “a man of high social standing who owns an estate in a rural area.That is how I became Squire Collins.  I own Plot number 3602f in Lynchburg, Tennessee, home of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery.  The land havening been granted to me by Jack Daniel’s several years back for my loyalty to Old No. 7, the top selling American whiskey in the world!

The Barrel Man was just bringing me up to date on things going on in and around my property.  The big news was about Coco, the Barrel Man’s Jack Russell terrier. Coco had seen a fat corn snake which she chased up a tree. The dog never would stop barking and eventually fell asleep under the tree. Of course, the snake managed to slither away at the opportunity.  Anyway, Coco is still hunting for that darn snake and has taking to barking at every tree.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of trees in Lynchburg. The Barrel Man was letting me know in case Coco becomes a nuisance. He says that if you see her, a small brown dog, yapping at a tree, just call her name, Coco, and tell her to move along.  

# # # 

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Middle Tennessee Authors Circle

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Franklin and its surrounding areas are home to many artists including authors. There are several 2019 events featuring local writers for you to consider.

The Authors Circle (an association of local writers) will have a booth at the downtown Franklin Main Street Festival which takes place April 27 and 28 (Saturday and Sunday).  Plan to stop by the Authors Circle booth.  Local writers often offer discounts and they are always happy to sign their books and answer questions.

The Authors Circle is a regular participant in the Downtown Franklin Art Scene held on the first Friday of each month.

One of the largest Authors Circle events in terms of participating authors will take place on June 1st and 2nd at the Williamson County Library at 1314 Columbia Ave, Franklin, Tennessee. Fifty authors, including yours truly, have already signed up for the educational and  book signing event. The event is an opportunity for one-on-one visits with area authors. The June event also includes educational panels for aspiring authors, or anyone interested in the literary world: 

 Saturday, June 1

10:00                    Children’s Books
11:00                    Young Adult
1:00                      Creative Nonfiction
2:00                      Writing for an Anthology
3:00                      Christian Fiction
4:00                      Fiction--Historical, Crime, Fantasy

Sunday, June 2

1:00                      Book Business--From Manuscript to Book Sales
2:00                      Poetry
3:00                     Nonfiction
4:00                      Fiction--Crime, Mystery, Horror.


# # #

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores.
Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Must Have Kitchen Tools for Seniors

Times have changed. Now, you need a new set of tools to survive in the kitchen, and don’t forget the Band-Aids. It is all because of how our foods are packaged. Thank goodness that now we can buy most milk products in bottles, but cartons are still around, and it’s the only way to buy cream or specialty milk products like buttermilk. Just try to open those cartons by following the instruction—"press here”.  Forget about it—can’t be done. Go get the saw!

Opening today’s hermetically sealed jars, (pickles, preserves, mayonnaise, etc.) would challenge Hercules. Hot water, lid tapping, and table pounding doesn’t get the job done any more. Even the simple and safe looking packages of bacon and what we used to call lunch meat has become defeating. The package instructions read “peel from here”. I should read peel from hell! Oh, and what about the resealable Ziploc style packages that will not reseal, at least not  my me. And God help us and bring the Band-Aids, if you try to open a can of green beans, or some other canned goods, using those pull-to-open rings on the top of the cans. I have visions of amputated fingers. I usually I save my fingers, but don’t always succeed opening the things without the help of some tool. More than once, the only thing that stood between me and dinner has been my hammer and chisel!

I have discovered that continuing  to eat requires a new set of kitchen tools.  Luckily, I found most of what I need in the tool shed.  

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# # #

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

You Can’t Fix Stupid, but We Often Elect It!

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“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”― Mark Twain

As a retired business employer and author on management I have put to test my views of competence and incompetence through many years of observation and experience. My firsthand experience with people, in particular evaluating an employee on the job, is they fall into one of the following three categories:

  • Competent

  • Conscious incompetent (inexperienced but learning)

  • Unconscious incompetent (incompetent and doesn’t know it)

Combine incompetence with unawareness and you have “stupid!” And, to make matters worse, the “unconscious incompetents” usually think they are the smartest people in the room!  Also, a prestigious degree doesn’t protect one from being an “unconscious incompetent.” Stupid doesn’t mean uneducated and being smart in one area doesn’t keep you from being incompetent in another. You can be young and stupid or old and stupid. You can be new to your position, or heaven forbid, in your existing role for years. As an employer, I wanted to replace the unconscious incompetent as soon as possible. Why, because “You Can’t Fix Stupid”.

I’m not making this up.  I just read an article in the Post-Tribune titled Science Finally Proves You Can’t Fix Stupid. The article reports on the findings of  now retired Cornell University psychologist David Dunning who since 1999 had been researching stupid— “how totally brick-headed people are, and how little any of them realize it.” His findings demonstrate that dumb people can’t tell they are stupid. “The very factors that impose human incompetence also make them incapable of realizing it.”

Dunning wrote in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, ”What's curious is that, in many cases, incompetence does not leave people disoriented, perplexed, or cautious. Instead, the incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledge. A whole battery of studies … have confirmed that people who don't know much about a given set of cognitive, technical or social skills tend to grossly overestimate their prowess and performance, whether it's grammar, emotional intelligence, logical reasoning, firearm care and safety, debating or financial knowledge."  

I’m no longer in management but I’m trained as an observer of people and I can spot an “unconscious incompetent” person in a New York minute. You can find a swarm of them in the political arena particularly Congress–several new members stand out to such a degree as to mask the incompetence of all the rest.

As an example, David Rutter, in his Post-Tribune article observed, “The research has profound effects on public policy. When a politician starts a conversation about climate change with, "I'm not scientist, but ...," it usually means they have translated their total ignorance about science into a comforting self-delusion.”

Go figure.

# # #

Read more about Tom Collins’s views on management and leadership in his book The Language of Excellence. For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores.
Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

I exchanged my pen for a paint brush today to celebrate the one day of the year I too am Irish!

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores.
Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Earth Has Never Stopped Changing

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Powers far greater than man’s shaped Earth’s past and control its destiny. Some believe the current configuration of land and seas is the result of global expansion—that our earth, as illustrated above, doubled in size over the last million years. Others believe that it was continual shift that pulled Pangaea apart forming the current continental configuration. In addition to the movement of its land masses and formation of seas, Earth has been frozen and defrosted, slammed by Cosmic Objects, and exploded by volcanic eruptions. Earth is also constantly bombarded by solar winds and fluctuating radiant energy from our Sun. Our atmosphere’s chemical composition has never been constant—it too is influenced by solar forces, geological variations, and environmental activity.

Given the enormous controlling powers, the idea that mankind can preserve Earth’s character as of a given point in time, or that such character deserves to be preserved to the exclusion of others, seems a bit silly. Doesn’t it?  

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores.
Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

A Conversation about America's Future That Could Occurred in the Capitol

Them: (Some of our newly elected Democrat Representatives) I tell you we can make a better America! We start with health care—Medicare for all!  We’ll nationalize the insurance companies. That way we get all their “reserves”. That is the money they have allegedly stashed away to pay future claims. As a government, we do not need reserves.  We will operate on a pay as you go method-like Social Security. Now, here is another key element; we get rid of the competing insurance companies. We decide which one is the best, and shut the others down, freeing all those workers to fill the other job openings. We eliminate all the duplication—tremendous savings!  That alone may pay for universal healthcare.

In addition, we can do the same thing to improve other bloated inefficient industries. For example, just think of all the waste because of duplication in the auto industry.  Duplicate factories and work forces –and high paying executive jobs.  Because there are so may different cars, we are very wasteful when it comes to repair and service.  The person who works on a Ford isn’t trained to work on a Lexus for example. And, if you want to know why electric cars have not taken over like we want—it is because our resources are locked into the gas and diesel side of the business.  The sensible thing to is get rid of the wasteful duplication.  We pick one company, decide on one standard model—make it electric. That’s is what everyone will drive. We lower costs. We free up resources and labor to invest elsewhere. With smaller electric cars we also get a bonus—their small footprint means we need less road space. Especially, if we can cut down on the number of trucks and we have some great ideas for doing so. We can take part of those roads (one lane from of every Interstate, for example) and dedicate it to bicycles and walking. People will be healthier. We can finally solve the obesity problem.  Cars will be only for trips of ten miles or more—for shorter distances people will walk or use their bicycle.

Me: Will people really give up their favorite cars for bicycles and the new electric car standard?

Them: Sure, they won’t have a choice. But your question brings up the media issue.  They are not exempt from the capitalist model—wasteful duplication. Think how many different news organizations there are—yet, they are all supposed to be doing the same things. We can clean that up, and while we are at it, we get everyone in the country on the same page. That way we pull this country together to accomplish great things—unity instead of discord. We settle on one national newspaper, one news network and a single news website.  We will get rid of the duplication and freeing resources and enormously talented people to invest in other areas.

There is almost no area exempt from the waste caused by the duplication of effort and resources. That is the real challenge for the future. We are consuming the flesh of Earth! We are using up all the natural resources  and contaminating the rest.  It is not sustainable!  Capitalism is wasteful. So called competition is nothing more that duplication that spreads our resources too thin—we need more concentration not  duplication.

Think about this for a minute.  If you really want to tackle the income gap, then eliminate the benefit of having more income and wealth than someone else.  There is no reason for me to drive a cheap car while you drive a Bentley.  We get rid of Bentleys, 5,000+ square foot homes, first class air travel, etc. Get rid of the distinctions and there is no reason for anyone to have substantially more than anyone else.  Just think of how much more there is for everyone when you get rid of the billionaires and millionaires and free all that money to circulate!

Me: But what about all the people who will reenter the labor force?  Aren’t you concerned that there might not be enough jobs?  

Them: No, that is the beauty this.  Men (and women) aren’t meant to work their lives away.  Once we have gotten rid of duplication and eliminated profits that only go to the very few rich people,  the rest of us will not need to work as much. We will be freeing people to enjoy life more.  We will reduce the work week to thirty hours, add more holidays. Everyone will get at least four weeks of vacation plus maternity leave.

Did you know that as much as 50% of motel and hotel rooms in this nation go empty at times?  In other words, half of the investment in hospitality goes unused. And hospitality profits are some of the highest. We have most of the population just trying to enjoy themselves while their hard-earned incomes are drained away to the pockets of real-estate tycoons who own our hotels and resorts. We can do better than that.  One of the things I have in mind is free vacations for everyone at government owned nonprofit resorts.  We can build them in our national parks and forests. They will not cost us anything. We already own the land, and we can use our Army Corps of Engineers and military personnel to build them.

Me: That sounds good, but how are you going to attract the best and brightest to run things—to make this work?

Them: We save the perks that the millionaires are enjoying now for our leaders. But we are not going to let Wall Street  greed drive things. We will elect our leaders.  Our best and brightest will want leadership positions because that will be the new path to the kind of perks that today only rich people enjoy by exploiting people and accumulating wealth. We will have taken wealth out of equation. The only way you have those special benefits will be by serving the people—not through economic greed!

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It will be a wonderful world····Would you like some more Kool-Aid?

Me: No thanks; I’ll stick with what I’ve been drinking!

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

It's Cold Outside-Time for a Good Book

Why not read something people you know are reading, like this this one—The Claret Murders?  

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The Claret murders tells the story of a fictious mystery during the real life 2010 Nashville flood. It is available in hard cover, paperback, kindle and other digital formats.  If you prefer listening to reading, then get this great story on Audible. You can also buy, a signed library edition at www.tomcollinsauthor.com.

Here is what one reader had to say:

“I am typically not one to enjoy murder mysteries due to my own craving for believable plots. That doesn't stop me from reading one now and then. Collins's novel strains the bounds of my beliefs in some ways as there are tools at Rollins' disposal that would be the envy of any spy! However, the difference between this novel and those I've read in the past is the management of characters and the interweaving of real events with a believable plot. I could see myself in places mentioned in the novel (some of which I have seen) and almost felt the invisible witness to things not even Rollins is privy to view.

Curious as well is the use of drones for reconnaissance, something once unbelievable yet with the news of 106 governmental agencies being granted rights by the FAA to fly them, quite believable now. The story-telling ability of Collins keeps you engaged and makes it hard to stop reading. And his prescience for anticipating the use of drones by non-governmental entities may be foretelling the expanse of their reach and capabilities in the future.

The Claret Murders was an enjoyable read for me and as a skeptic to murder/mysteries, that is quite a feat. I recommend this to anyone who loves to read a good story.”

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores.
Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

The Best Pies

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Over the New Year’s family dinner table the discussion was “Pies.” In the old south there are two kinds of pies:

Pecan pie or jes' pie (it's just pie)  i.e. no pecans. Over time a poor translation of the Southern dialect resulted in jes' pie becoming known as “chess pie” among those who spoke in a more sophisticated vernacular.

It is kind of like a Hershey’s Candy Bar – you can have it with or without nuts.

Jes' pie may have started out as pecan pie without the nuts, but by the time it had metamorphosed from jes' pie into chess pie, it had its own recipe.

The people around the table declared that most pecan pies were too sweet or too gummy—the exception was the pecan pie of Alice Collins, who everyone declared made the best pecan pies.

Well the secret is out! I discovered Mother’s recipe for both pecan pie and chess pie. What made hers the best? It was probably the simplicity of her recipes.

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If you have trouble reading ingredient #3 in the pecan recipe, it is White Karo syrup. 

Her chess pie recipe starts out the same with ½ stick of butter and three eggs but only a ½ cup of sugar and no syrup.  Instead she adds a teaspoon of vinegar, a teaspoon of vanilla, and a tablespoon of white corn meal.

 

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores.
Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

 

What's that Green Stuff?

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The family became much smaller last year, 2018, with the passing of my mother and her sister, Aunt May. To this day, we are still dealing with issues like insurance policies, etc. As I was dealing with one of those that involved going through old documents, I ran across a culinary gold mine—my mother’s favorite recipes including her famous “Congealed Green Salad.” This culinary delight made its appearance at every holiday gathering of the family. This was not the first thing a younger member of the family would turn to. They were more likely to turn up their nose at the dish initially. After all, green is not an appealing food color. Even green vegetables are not usually on your “favorite foods list”. Nevertheless, the Congealed Green Salad eventually won over even the most timid. Once you were brave to try a spoonful, you were forever hooked. Here is mother’s recipe in all its well-used glory!

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores.
Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Five Best Books on Leadership and Management

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Sure, I write fiction, mysteries, but of all the books I have written I am most proud of the one non-fiction work, The Language of Excellence. The book codifies the leadership and management concepts that I used to succeed in business. Gary Slaughter, author and nationally recognized management expert, places The Language of Excellence as one of the five best books on leadership and management. This is what he recently wrote:

“Over the past fifty years, I’ve devoured dozens of leadership and management books. In fact, I’ve also taught hundreds of leadership and management workshops to Fortune 500 corporate executives.

In my judgement, The Language of Excellence by Tom Collins is among the best five books I have ever read on this subject. The other four include these classics:

The Motivation to Work by Fredrick Herzberg
The Practice of Management by Peter Drucker
On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis
The Transformational Leader by Noel Tichy

Moreover, The Language of Excellence replaced One Minute Manager on my ‘best five’ list. OMM, written in 1982 by Ken Blanchard and Spenser Johnson, has sold over 13 million copies and been translated into 37 different languages. Despite OMM’s popularity, The Language of Excellence is far more informative and easy to apply.”

Most of my life has been spent in business. As a corporate executive I made and loss money for other people, before going solo. By the time I was running my own company, I had learned what worked and what didn’t work. My lessons were learned on the firing line and by reading and listening to the experts. I am a great fan of contemporary business authors like Jim Collins, Tom Peters, and Nancy Austin. But it was their predecessors, including Peter Drucker, who were at the cutting edge of modern business management methods and leadership concepts. If you are just starting in business, or if you are a seasoned business leader constantly searching for the answers, their works as well as The Language  of Excellence needs to be on your bookshelf. Better yet, they need to on your desk, and in the case of The Language of Excellence, it needs to be in the hands of those you depend on to help you succeed in business and life.

All five of the best books on the subject are available on Amazon and other online bookstores.

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The Language of Excellence is available in hardcover, paperback, and digital formats. Volume purchases for corporate training and gifting as well as signed copies are available on the author’s official website, www.authortomcollins.com. From now until December 25th enter the code GIFT at checkout for free shipping and a 20% discount. To buy now click on SHOP NOW.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.