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Some handy one-liners to entertain your guests

by Bruno Deshayes on 20 Apr 2017 permalink
When my wife discovered I was using the sofa as a trampoline, she hit the roof.

I told a dwarf a joke - it went right above his head.

I had a terrible nightmare. I dreamt I was eating a giant marshmallow. When I woke up my pillow was gone.

She said she was sick of me. Undeterred I bought her a get well card.

My ex-wife said she wanted to dance on my grave. So I arranged for a burial at sea.

The magic hasn't gone out of our marriage. He still disappears every few weeks...

He's not a complete idiot... some parts are missing.

I never drink coffee at work but I toss and turn at my desk all day.

I told my shrink I thought I was a dog. At my next appointment, he wouldn't let me up on the couch.

If you're feeling unwanted or insignificant... try missing a couple of mortgage repayments.

If God is watching us...we'd better be entertaining...

I bought myself an iPhone, I bought my son an iPad and my daughter an iPod. Finally I bought my wife an iRon.

The drought forced a farmer to turn his field into an auto-parts junkyard. From that time on every year was a bumper crop.

French people do not like fast food. They eat snails instead.

My passport photo does not do me justice. Someone said: "You don't need justice - you need mercy!"

A woman turned me down for a date... I had to explain I wanted to have dinner with her - not having her for dinner.

The government promised me a stimulus package...instead I got a raft of measures.

In a volatile market you want to make sure your liquid assets don't go down the drain.

All the toilets have been stolen from police headquarters. At this stage detectives have nothing to go on.

A giant hole has appeared in the middle of Main Street. Authorities are looking into it.

What does the mayonnaise say to the fridge? Close the door, I am dressing!

I knew a man who was so fat, as a volunteer fire-fighter he would put out fires by just sitting on them!

Seventy per cent of the earth surface is covered with water. The remaining thirty per cent is mostly covered with mortgages.

I have opened an account at a no-frills bank. There are no security cameras. Instead the security guard draws a sketch of everyone who walks in.

When will you learn to speak your partner's emotional language?

by Bruno Deshayes on 13 Apr 2017 permalink
emotional languageUnless it is packaged in the right format, you are wasting your time expressing love or regret. If you don't hit the right chord for that person, it won't come across as sincere and genuine.

That's an astounding truth but it has caused many relationships to go awry. Why? We blindly assume that everybody else communicates appreciation or apology the same way we do ourselves. Because most of us are self-centred we only realize we have a communication problem when it is too late.

Some people will only take on board your token of love, appreciation or affection if you speak to them words of affirmation. Others simply want you to spend quality time with them. There is a group where nothing registers unless you present them with a gift. (Not necessarily something expensive, but something thoughtful, something you made yourself for them, something that demonstrates you know their taste...) others still really enjoy when you do things for them, help out in a thoughtful way. Finally there are those who need physical touch. If it's a man that can be a hug, a double handshake, a pat on the shoulder, etc...

Likewise when you've goofed something and it is your call to apologize you have also to deliver your message in the right shape. Some people will only forgive you if you express regret by saying to their face: "I am sorry". Others want you to take responsibility for your mistake. There is a group of folks who won't be moved unless you make restitution in some way. Another type are those who expect you to take action to avoid a repeat of your mistake. Finally there are those who simply expect you to ask them for their forgiveness.

As you can see there is quite some variety out there and people don't walk around in life with a sign around their neck telling you their emotional language predilection. Ignore it at your own peril. The default behaviour is to express lover or regret the same way, you yourself like to receive it. When it does not work you have some homework to do. The wonderful thing about falling in love is that you can for a while ignore your setbacks and press on expressing yourself in different ways until you hit that person's hot button. But what happens when the routine has settled in 5 or 10 years down the track? You wrongly assume that because you've known each other for quite some time now you have somewhat mingled in your love and apology languages and yours is as good as mine. Wrong! Danger! You need to fan into flame the first bond that got you started in the first place and re-live each day as a new day.

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Rob says:
Bruno, thanks so very much for these insights, very helpful. Hope we can catch up in person the next time you are back in Sydney. Rob

Wedding Speech

by Bruno Deshayes on 06 Apr 2017 permalink

I honour you as the next generation. Those of us who have almost ran our race pass the baton over to you and wish you all the very best. It is a courageous thing to get married these days in a world that has clearly lost its marbles - yet you are very wise in making a lifelong commitment to uphold each other and do life together.

Make sure you guard your quality time together and with the Lord. A couple who can worship together at home is a couple who will be able to tune-in to the voice of God. Sometimes the Scriptures alone do not give us a clear path to go to. It is a humbling experience to find that God sometimes chooses to guide you through a picture, a word or a dream given not to you but to your spouse.

Marriage is a lifelong commitment to uphold and build up each other. It is the bedrock of society where we learn management and social skills - where we raise children in an environment of peace, trust and protection giving them both a male and female role model to look up to. No wonder the family is under attack in our society because some minorities are itching to root out Christian values from our institutions while the majority is doing next to nothing to protect them.

Men are blessed with a logical mind and can work tirelessly on a distant lifelong goal like a career, building a house, etc... Women have a great intuition, share their emotions openly and can handle multiple tasks all at the same time. Use those attributes to complement but not to undermine each another. God made each one of us lopsided so that it is only when we come together that we are complete. If you have issues with that - talk to Him. After all He is your Creator.

Do not try to change each other either by brute force or by constant nagging. Instead ask yourself: How can I facilitate my husband to become the man God intended him to be? How can I facilitate my wife to become the woman God intended her to be? Develop the discipline of turning off the TV, the internet and put the phone on hold while you look into each other's soul. There is an intimacy which is not of a sexual kind that you will have to discover and work at. Some old couples are known to be able to sense each other's emotions and opinions without saying a word. Don't wait until you're old to reach that level. When you look into each other's eyes you should be able to agree on your common goals and trust each other enough to leave the fine details to each other's interpretation.

Do not betray each other's privacy by discussing over the phone matters that should remain within the marriage. Make the most of every opportunity to learn together and maintain a teachable spirit. There will be no shortage of untold pressure to test you but as long as you remain together in heart and mind and seek the face of God together He will take you from strength to strength. This is something no-one can teach you. You will have to write your own story for yourselves. We are all looking forward to read the first chapter.

Sorry That I Exist

by Bruno Deshayes on 30 Mar 2017 permalink
It has sometimes a surreal effect. It's like being a fly on the wall and watching the world go by without you. You force yourself to attend a family function and you realise that the world has moved on without you and it seems nobody really cares.

You might muster the utmost effort to maintain contact with your estranged folks but for all intents and purposes you might as well be dead because for them there is no intent or desire to know where you are at.

Doing life together is a dynamic thing. Unless you share again some sort of activity with those you are disconnected from - there is no interaction flowing again.

If your future is obscured by some stumbling block you might fall back into trying to fix your past - the very thing nobody can achieve. The past is past and you can't go there and redo it again.

As far as work is concerned - the longer you stay out of work the harder it is to get back in. Employers would rather poach key people from a competitor rather than give the one who needs a job the most a fair chance. Trying to leverage transferrable skills is another way to be met with rejection especially if you are going through a recruitment agency. They are trained to look at the negatives in order to thin down a pile of 200 applicants into a manageable shortlist of 5 or 10. Anything that puts you out of the square will label you as a misfit.

Gone are the days where every candidate who applied for the position received a polite letter advising them that "in this instance we decided not to proceed with your application" but "we wish that you succeed in securing the role that you are after..."

You are left wondering what went wrong. Were you undercut by someone willing to work for next-to-nothing? Did someone actually get hired at all? Did an acquaintance of the firm bypass the queue and got the position ahead of everybody? Did a former worker return back from a stay overseas? Lack of feedback is a dreadful thing for someone struggling with rejection. You have nothing to go by, insofar as improving your current approach to the problem.

Predicting the Future - Four Tips to Hone Your Intuitive Skills

by Bruno Deshayes on 23 Mar 2017 permalink
Some people look at the sky one evening and they can tell you exactly whether it will rain tomorrow... can this be done about the economy or politics? Maybe - but not by staring at the sky...

Nobody is left who lived between the two World Wars to relate to us what it was like and what were the signs approaching...

The Great Depression of the 1920s lasted over ten years and was followed by the rise to power of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany. If history has the habit of repeating itself this current recession could well last another 5 or 10 years and usher the rise to power of the antichrist - the champion of globalisation, dividing the planet into ten regions under the umbrella of a revamped UN mashed European Union and combining all religions into one. It doesn't take a genius to see it is just around the corner.

So what would constitute four easy pointers to watch for?

Globalisation: Every time an industry is uprooted by unfair foreign competition we lose a piece of our independence. Every time we give up something as a nation we were quite capable of doing ourselves we become enslaved to global trade for our sustenance. Nations are being robbed of their identity. When elections worldwide turn into a popularity contest you can see how people are eagerly waiting for some charismatic figure with a compelling propaganda to make the great deal of the century (a 7 years peace treaty between Israel and its neighbours...)

Political correctness. Unnatural ideas are being pushed onto people under the guise of "tolerance" and "diversity" and "equal rights". New mumbo jumbo words are being coined to labels things we do not understand nor can control. Carbon footprint, bio-diversity, global warming are terms that were unheard of 10 years ago.

Collapsing birth rate in the western civilization. Within 20 years the next generation will be missing in action. Governments are panicking that there won't be enough taxpayers to fund all the looming pensions soon due to be paid to people who live longer and longer. Their answer is to open wide the doors to immigration. This creates social and racial unrest as the newcomers do not integrate in the society.

Destruction of the family unit. The divorce rate is so high that an entire generation of children is coming up - not having experienced the loving care of a stable home, and looking up to the role models of a man and woman committed to each other for a lifetime. People will enter adulthood with issues - not the strength to cope with any challenge.

For some good life directions click here

Can You Coach Yourself?

by Bruno Deshayes on 16 Mar 2017 permalink
As long as you keep your ability to learn you will be forever young. For some of us though we might have to unlearn a few things first.

Why would you want to coach yourself? It sounds like we have lost the ability to intuitively learn as we go along. Maybe a more sinister issue would be the fact that with so many broken homes around, our mentoring role model is missing in action.

The difference between learning and coaching is that the latter requires a monitoring process, a feedback mechanism if you wish. You can learn the periodic table of elements but unless you find some practical every day application of that knowledge it's not going to change your life. When we talk about coaching ourselves we mean applying knowledge that will improve our quality of life.

You may want to coach yourself to succeed in the competitive job market and secure the employment you deserve. You may decide to coach yourself to tackle your finances and trade the share market without letting your emotions getting in the way. What about coaching yourself to set worthwhile goals and reach them through a deliberate and systematic approach? Finally some of us will do wonderfully if we had the discipline to do some personal accounting and keep our bookkeeping up to date. (See at the end of this article some resources to do all of the above online.)

A coach is your alter-ego sitting on your shoulder and whispering encouragement and determination in your ear. In this world of me, myself and I where many are the casualty of separation and divorce a soul mate is sorely missed. That does not mean to say that you partner or spouse can be your coach but a word of encouragement well spoken at the appropriate time can make all the difference in the world.

What about joining a blog or a forum online? What about finding a support group? But that wouldn't be coaching yourself anymore, I suppose...

In the world of sport where the term "coach" comes from it appears that former champions have recycled themselves into coaching the next generation as well as earning royalties from brand names using their endorsement.

A coach does not need to be an expert in the field of knowledge you are pressing into. A coach is simply someone who keeps you accountable so that you won't give up your worthwhile endeavour at the first sign of resistance, the second, or the tenth...

Therefore in order to coach yourself all you have to do is to develop a split personality where you can play both the role of overcomer and the role of the coach. Simple huh?

For a range of self-coaching online services click here

Coach Bob says:
Sounds to me this is to undermine the growing numbers of coaches that help people do the things you suggest but in fact never do. Show me a successful team or business that doesn't have a coach. It's not a matter of being able to get the information and apply it to yourself, it's the intrinsic part of us that needs someone to come alongside and communicate, encourage, put their arm around us and show a caring and thoughtful encouragement if you can afford the fees.

Driving in Russia is a demolition derby

by Bruno Deshayes on 09 Mar 2017 permalink
If you ask a traffic patrol officer which are the most likely causes of car accidents they would tell you : speed, alcohol (or drugs) and inexperienced drivers.

The Russian society has managed to capitalise on those 3 points : speed limits do not exists (car, motorbikes or trucks often careen out of control at intersections, curves or pedestrian crossings), a little vodka keeps you warm on a long road trip and finally you have to pay bribes to get your driving licence whether you have any road experience or not.

The dash cam has become a compulsory feature on all Russian vehicles. This is the only way to prove your innocence as the road patrol rarely attend to an accident. When they do, it is always possible to pay a bribe to get an out-of-jail card. Also men regularly carry a crowbar in the boot to settle disputes with unwelcome motorists who smash into your car.

There are no car registration safety checks. People rarely would replace bald tyres and if they do they don’t always replace or tighten the hub nuts. A spare tyre overtaking you on the highway with the screeching noise of some metal scratching on the tar is a sure sign that you have lost a wheel…

People are impatient at the wheel. Giving right of way is optional. Looking in the rear mirror before executing a turn is also optional. Major collisions take place when people overtake (sometimes on the emergency lane) only to plough into crossing pedestrians or passing traffic.

You don’t see too many front wheel drive cars so most cars tend to over-steer and with bald tyres there is no grip on the rear axe so that you find yourself slipping head to tail out of control into the oncoming traffic or into the ditch.

People don’t often wear seatbelts and when an old truck cabin is hit the driver may be ejected out as the doors fly open.

Russian don’t waste money on defensive driving skills - they don’t know how to counter steer or apply the brakes gradually.

Strange scenes occur : a bus tyre explodes into a waiting car on the next lane. A bonnet opens up while driving at full speed. (Oh, what’s that button under the dash again?) With no visibility whatsoever you a doomed to crash into something…

People gladly overtake a turning truck only to find themselves squeezed against the curb as the lorry moves into their lane.

Speed and lack of snow tyres provides unique performances of motorised Russian ballet on ice. A graceful exit is to bump into fresh powder piled up on the roadside.

Russian dash-cam videos provide a limitless supply of cheap and sickening entertainment material for opportunistic YouTube advertisers.

No cause for conCERN

by Bruno Deshayes on 02 Mar 2017 permalink
I was driving to my next appointment when suddenly my car fell into a sinkhole in the middle of the road. Instantly I was thrusted into an alternate dimension.

I saw a nutrino playing with a bambino. They were protons whizzing by at the speed of light.
I saw a quark playing hide and seek with the elusive Higgs-boson. It had disappeared into a blackhole but you could still hear the antimatter heaving like a panting runner.

There were Pterodactyls, Pteranodons & other flying dinosaurs.

I saw Dr Felps’ Cyclotron spewing out nano particles from its brass horn. They looked like M&Ms with many bright colours. A fat graviton passed by, mustering them all into its field of attraction. When they came close enough he gulped them all in one fell swoop and then emitted the most obscene burp.

Several electrons were having a spat - firing lightening bolts at each other. A sticky gluon was spreading its tentacles trying to grasp the innocent bambinos. As we passed through yet another ring magnet we got a jolt of acceleration and were all squished into a tiny space.

Then we passed in front of a massive window. On the other side were scores of scientists wearing white gowns and dark rimmed spectacles. Some were looking straight at us. Others were sitting at some computers in the background - all engrossed in their experiments. One had dismantled a microwave oven and was playing with the magnetron inside. But because it wasn't an enclosed area anymore the popcorn wouldn't pop. It was a breach of protocol and he was promptly escorted out by security agents wearing hazmat suits. On the wall was a chart of the Standard Model and you were summoned to state which particle you were. I passed myself off as an x-moron.

Back in my tunnel I saw a photon holding up high a 7 branch candelabra. There was a procession under way. I heard the music of wind chimes and suddenly I was sucked into a wormhole at an amazing speed. This shaft of dazzling bright light was pulling me upward with an incredible strength. Then my vision blurred and when I regained consciousness I was at my destination. All I had to do was to reverse into my favourite parking spot. I looked at my watch. I had arrived actually half an hour before the time of my departure.

Have you found a good reason to do life together?

by Bruno Deshayes on 23 Feb 2017 permalink
Warm feelings will lead you astray. Unless you are passionate about a lifelong goal to reach together, you have no business entertaining a relationship with somebody.

That goal could be as simple and as challenging as being the provider/nurturer for a safe family environment. That being said, you will face scores of obstacles that will stretch you no end. The problem is not what you will do together when things go well - what will you do when things go sour (yes, they will, you can bet on that...)

It's easy to love somebody when you get what you want out of the relationship. The issue is how can you and your partner gauge what your behaviour will be like under pressure.

Introducing a concept rarely heard of in our selfish, fast-paced, get-it-now world of the 21st century: unconditional love. No more "I love you as long as you make me feel good" kind of thing. Unconditional love means that you put somebody else's interests ahead of yours. Ouch! That's a high calling! Some men enter marriage as boys and only gain maturity when they find out that the welfare of a little bundle of life is totally dependent on them. Some women are quite confused with their identity in the corporate world until they fall pregnant and their body chemistry and mindset changes radically to prepare themselves into raising a brand new human being.

If raising a family is the reason you want to get married, it is a most worthwhile goal that will fulfil you to the max. If you enter into a relationship thinking that having children is a distant option in the future and you have no specific reason to walk through life together except having fun, you will fail - guaranteed!

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. If you avoid pain, discomfort, challenges, etc... you will never grow up and will remain a selfish introverted little sod - not the material for a lifelong relationship. Others will do well to avoid you...

If you need two incomes instead of one to make ends meet you are living beyond your means. You put yourself in a situation where a slight mishap could jeopardize your goals. The day of reckoning will come when you realise the values you held dear may not be worth the effort. At the same time the values you discounted as optional extras are the ones that will see you through a difficult patch.

Make no mistake. This generation is greatly unprepared for what is to come. The good times of the baby boomers are over well and truly. There is nobody left around to tell is how they survived the Great Depression of the 1920s.

Even saving for a lifetime to buy your own piece of real-estate is no longer a reasonable dream. Why buy something that could halve in value? But where do you live in the meantime? What about finding out what people need the most (not iPhones or plasma TVs, something more tangible and long lasting than that) and setting out to provide that commodity as your life long goal together? What about practising what unconditional love really means to you?

The Phenomenon Of Thrill-Seeking Sports

by Bruno Deshayes on 16 Feb 2017 permalink
After bungee jumping, mountain biking, parachuting what will people think of next? What is the motivation behind all this?

Is people self-esteem so low that if they don't make it to the Guinness Book of Records they feel like a nobody? Has reality TV challenged the weak that they are indestructible? Are people so bored stiff with their lives that they want to finish with a bang?

The amount of injuries in sport is a worrisome trend - not just for star players but for mundane fans who make the bulk of knee replacement surgery. Just like dentists who invest their earnings in shares of candy and chocolate manufacturers, orthopedics surgeons might be shareholders in sport fixtures and TV channels.

When sport met marketing and money, sport ceased to be sport. Instead it is a trend setter, an arena where champions are made and worshipped, a religion of achievers for achievement's sake, a cosy fraternity of eternally young folks who produce wealth for themselves, their doctors, coaches and their sponsors.

Our forefathers moved from an agricultural society to an industrial society. We in turn have moved from a service industry to an entertainment industry. Marketing used to be about finding out what people really want and giving it to them. When that became overcrowded in every market segment the next stage is to create your own market niche out of nothing.

Sport is the perfect playground for this. Create your own sport and promote it until you get a critical mass of followers. Connect a kite to a surf board and call it kitesurfing. Aficionados spare no expense in buying up the right high-tech gear to be seen in the right places with the right crowd.

If you end-up in hospital then you will have the right story to tell and you may ask your boss to sponsor the next event.

Bike riding is a prime example where an ordinary bike costs $150 but an impressive cycling machine can tally over $10,000 and it does not even have a rear vision mirror!

Like other religions sport is a way to keep your mind off the problems you can't tackle (like a divorce, a lingering court case, a disabled child) and allow you to live in a made-up world where you can make your own rules.

The only problem is that is never satisfies. Even those who make it to the pinnacle of their endeavour do not stay there for very long. Why so many star players fall into drugs, adultery, gambling, match fixing or else? Is that really the role models we want to show our children who do sport at school? Should professional sport be banned so that those champions can also have a regular job like the rest of us and donate their sponsorship fees to charity?

Will you be left behind?

by Bruno Deshayes on 09 Feb 2017 permalink
Are you betting that things will improve just by themselves? Would you take the view that the earth and its inhabitants are doomed, that we have passed the point of no return? Do you want to be left behind to find out?

Suddenly. The effect of surprise. The non-linear discontinuity of future events. Suddenly war broke out. Suddenly a terrorist attack took place. Suddenly someone died on their way to work. Suddenly a tsunami wipes out thousands. Suddenly an earthquake occurs. Suddenly you tremble in your boots, have cold sweat and buy an insurance policy...

Let me tell you about the grand daddy of all suddentlys... It's called the rapture. An event that never took place in the past and will never happen again. Although we can look at pre-runners. Noah's ark for instance. While the earth was surrounded by a water canopy and nobody had seen rain before this brave man was obedient to God and built a huge boat over a long time. He was the joke of the town. The story is found in the bible, Genesis chapter 6. God left us the rainbow as a mark in the sky so that we would not forget.

Suddenly in 1948 the state of Israel was established in the Middle-East. Suddenly God handed Jerusalem over to the Jews. Do you want to hear about some more un-expected, world changing events?

Not knowing the future keeps you on your toes. Will you have enough superannuation to retire comfortably? Do you need to build a nuclear shelter under your house? Do you need to stockpile food, candles, solar panels, gasoline?

Do you need to get right with God? What if all that stuff was true? Can you afford to stick your head in the sand? Would you rather buy a home theatre to watch in 3D and surround sound some apocalyptic movie? Would you convince yourself it was all make-believe and your candy bar is still there at the end on the coffee table?

Suddenly the interest rate goes up. Suddenly the price of electricity becomes exorbitant. Suddenly unemployment rises. Suddenly banks foreclose on mortgages. Suddenly there is unrest in the streets. Suddenly the boss calls you in his office.

Suddenly you grab a bible, get on your knees and start reading.

Left Behind - the movie

For an expose of Christian values click here

I want to finish well

by Bruno Deshayes on 02 Feb 2017 permalink
There are scores of people who had a brilliant start in life but screwed up along the way. Anybody can start the race - will you finish with flying colours?

Adversity is part of life. It is as common as the air we breathe. Actually nobody asked you your opinion. You are part of planet earth and you have a job to do until your number is called. Are you going to make your mark in this world? Or are you going to dissipate your energy and your worth in wild living and obsessions?

Keeping your eyes on the goal at the end of the race is what will keep you on course. But how do you keep your bearings when everybody else is going crazy?

Being a homemaker and raising children is as worthy an existence as being a head of state - and less dangerous too! But what sort of values will you impart on the next generation? Will your marriage stay in one piece by the time it is their turn to marry?

Do you have that sinking feeling that you are losing your connections? Do you find it hard to keep in touch with those that matter to you? Are you always the one to ring up?

What gives your life a meaning is the ability to build up others through simple things. You can talk to people you know on the phone but it is a bad way to get to know strangers. Facebook friends are not really friends unless you get a chance to walk together - meaning share a common activity face to face, not across the internet. That could be something as simple as sharing a meal.

These days people are shy about entertaining folks in their homes. Like if they've got something to hide. Maybe they are afraid you might come back with a pickup truck and steal their belongings.

Just like showing the palm of your hands during a confrontation (meaning you don't hide a weapon), letting people know who you are in your environment (your home) is a token that you are real and trustworthy.

So if you want to finish well, what are you living for? What are the core values that are making your existence worthwhile? What pearls of wisdom have you gathered in a world that clearly has lost its bearings? If you don't stand for something, you are standing for nothing. People say there are no absolutes in this world - everything is relative. Do as you please as long as it does not impeach on the freedom of others...

For some worthwhile core values click here

Fools Falling In Love 101

by Bruno Deshayes on 26 Jan 2017 permalink
This is the one event where a man does not try to process a woman with logic. Something just hit him. He has no clue what it is. He suddenly has the sublime intuition that on his own he is lopsided and that with her, he can become complete.

There is a woman-shaped hole in his heart that only the seductress can fill. He will break a path to her door. In Latin countries you are supposed to take a donkey and a guitar and ride under her balcony and serenade her until she nonchalantly drops the perfumed handkerchief that was tucked between her breasts. Never mind the neighbours. In that culture when a man is in love with a woman the whole village knows about it for obvious reasons. Anglo-Saxons on the other hand are supposed to kneel down and propose with a diamond ring. A whole industry has a vested interest in perpetuating that tradition. I suppose if they also hired guitars and donkeys they would have all bases covered...

Courtship is the art of seeking a woman's affection usually with the hope of marriage. Ballroom dancing was invented to teach women how to walk backwards - utterly relying on the lead of the man they would trust for the rest of their life. Without vision mirrors she goes in reverse totally un-phased at how many walls, pillars or other couples they missed in the journey.

Of course dancing can lead to kissing - which is a way to get two people so close to each other that they can't see what's wrong with them!

Some women conceive courtship akin to an obstacle course to test the skills and resolve of the pretender. They include non-verbal clues as a cheat sheet to give unfair advantage to the favourite. Unfortunately some men compute that if a woman can't express herself with words it's probably not worth listening to her...

It is sad to see some people setting themselves as "dating life coach" to take advantage of those on the rejection heap. On the other hand God is the best matchmaker. Those who are in Christ know He has a sense of humour and knows how to get people to cross paths without feeling manipulated. In fact there are scores of testimonies where people relied on God to find their mate - which in turn released God to perfectly answer their prayer.

Falling in love is the most un-foolish thing you can ever do. Making yourself vulnerable and accountable to someone of the opposite sex is the most risky and rewarding decision you will ever make. Many have despised the day their missed to tune-in to the song of their mermaid. Instead of shipwrecking themselves on the island of bliss they sailed on in a dark ocean of loneliness and unfulfilment.

Connoisseur of French Idioms

by Bruno Deshayes on 19 Jan 2017 permalink
Can a raconteur gild the lily without arousing suspicion?
Can a storyteller keep on embellishing without arousing suspicion?

The crme de la crme of Paris prt--porter was in town to present their wares on the catwalk.
The best of the best of Paris fashion was in town to present their wares on the catwalk.

This poseur of an entrepreneur was advocating a laissez-faire policy to feather his own nest.
This pretentious business person was advocating a no-interference policy to feather his own nest.

The femme fatale committed a faux pas and blended in the dcor.
The dangerous seductress committed a gaffe and disappeared from the spotlight.

The charg d'affaires passed his communiqu to the concierge instead of the media liaison.
The diplomat passed his press release to the caretaker instead of the press secretary.

If you know the savoir-vivre in society, all you need is the savoir-faire to get things done.
If you know the etiquette of society, all you need is the know-how to get things done.

The matre d' wore a boutonnire and presented me the menu.
The head waiter wore a flower in his jacket buttonhole and presented me the menu.

Would you like it sauted, blanched or in a casserole?
Would you like it quickly fried, briefly boiled or baked?

It is customary for the chef to use a blow torch for crme brle.
It is customary for the cook to use a blow torch for caramel.

I shall have the Crpe Suzette flamb with Grand Marnier.
I shall have the Suzette pancake flamed in Grand Marnier liquor.

Would you like some French dressing on your French fries? That would be no pice de rsistance but a crime of lse majest if you dared to do that on the Champs-lyses.
Would you like some French dressing on your French fries? That would be no main course but a breach of proper manners if you dared to do that on the Champs-lyses.

I shall have a little tte--tte with you to explain that in the genre of impudence this tour de force takes the stakes too high.
I shall have a little one-on-one talk with you to explain that in the style of impudence this feat takes the stakes too high.

There is a "je ne sais quoi" about your joie de vivre.
There is an indescribable quality about your easy going attitude.

I shall now take a French leave. Adieu, au revoir, so long, vive la diffrence!
I shall now disappear. Farewell, goodbye, so long, let it be!

Brian Trevarton says:
I blame MasterChef, sorry MasterCook, for most of this!

Miriam says:
Trs bien!

The renaissance of the IT specialist

by Bruno Deshayes on 12 Jan 2017 permalink
I have two friends who left the corporate world to run their own practice. As they navigate their own business through a crowded marketplace they share similar experiences.

How do you call a person who eats and breathes computers? A geek? A computer freak? A nerd? Those two friends, let's call them Paul and Fernando have in fact a lot in common. Although they do not know each other they share a similar background. Both departed the comfort of the corporate world for no fault of their own. Both had the drive to start their own business and the good fortune to find the right contacts to get them off the ground. One single reliable client is all it takes to turn you from an employee to a self-managed consultant. The trick is how you make the move from one good client (all your eggs in one basket) to a dependable clientele.

Business life is a battle and a struggle and the field of computing is no exception. Having your fingers burned in some raw deal, bidding for a tender that is not awarded or extending yourself on trust and not getting paid are things that we hear all too often. Your attitude is crucial. You can get bitter or better. It's your call. You can be all the wiser out of the experience. What doesn't kill you will strengthen you.

So what is the cream of the market as an one-man band IT consultant? Computers by and large have been the bane of humanity creating as many problems as they claim to solve. Because I started in electronics and then quickly moved to computers myself I have learned to do my own support and sharpen my skills along the way. Ah! the reward and satisfaction of being independent and being able to fix your own computer issues. For the rest of baby boomers you have to call for outside help. If Paul and Fernando happen to be within an ear-shot they can make a living out of it. My 14 year old son built his own fancy PC out of spare parts and cleans-up the viruses that spoilt his sisters's laptops.

Paul and Fernando have built-up over time an upper class clientele of people who call the "computer-fix man" whenever something screws-up. Thanks to Microsoft that happens often enough. They also do installation, training, upgrades (both hardware and software). They can advise on the latest technologies (remember they are geeks) and tell you what's the latest smart thing to buy.

So if you have computer issues, who you gonna call? Try Mobilan (Fernando) or Remektek (Paul). You will be in good hands (they are friends of mine!)

One-man band better than a conglomerate?

by Bruno Deshayes on 05 Jan 2017 permalink
In business size matters. You've heard the phrase "When our legal team has talked with your legal team we will release our proposal". In other words those guys are spending their time looking for everything that can go wrong. When you focus on something you will eventually find it.

Enters a new dimension in business ethics: trust. Do you realise than in the old days people would perform a real-estate transaction on a handshake? Without going to this extreme the case has to be made that trust and loyalty today are in short supply. Those who can demonstrate these values will gain a lot of kudos.

So how do you establish your credentials with people who don't know you? Simple, let someone else do the talking. Referral business leads are the best form of advertising. Satisfied customers will brag about their purchase with the people they know.

The problem is that people don't take the time to get to know those they want to do business with. It's kind of hard to have a business lunch with a business partner when you are about to subcontract a job across the internet. Would you talk to them on Skype? Would you check out their Facebook page, their blog, follow them on Twitter?

Dealing with an individual has always been and always will be. They are scores of consultants who once cruised the corporate corridors and are now doing fine for themselves - thank you very much.

Dealing with an individual cuts to the chase with poor communication. Since you are dealing with one person you only need to tell your story once and can spend more time putting emphasis where it counts. Since communication is a two way street you can afford to hear out just one person rather than being drowned in corporate cacophony.

At the end of the day you will have made a new friend - not just some business contact but someone who knows you, who understands you and who has done something worthwhile for you. Someone you can trust.

Sardines & Banana Sandwich

by Bruno Deshayes on 29 Dec 2016 permalink
I am sure you are salivating at the thought of devouring such a treat! Yet the fad in nouvelle cuisine is taking us into unfamiliar paths. It's all in the mind of the beholder.

Tastes, the way you dress, the music you like, etc... are the things that differentiate us. Life would be quite boring if we all came out of the same mould.

In terms of food you have to be mindful of foreign tastes. Spicy dishes have gained some appeal maybe for the wrong reasons. During the war a copious amount of pepper was used to hide the taste of some unfamiliar meat served to famished folks.

Unknowingly they might have eaten the neighbour's cat, dog, rabbit or just a fat rat, possum or squirrel who ran astray past the back of the kitchen. With strong spices you can't differentiate mutton from goat or venison from kangaroo, pigeon from chicken or donkey from camel.

If you are going out in some unchartered suburb here are a few pointers to check: Visit the bathroom before sitting at a table. The care and cleanliness of the restroom is akin to the care and cleanliness of the kitchen. It's even likely the same person cleans both. Before dropping your guests at the entrance check out the back access of the restaurant. A pile of empty tins of dog food at the rear of a Chinese restaurant might be a telltale of what's really on the menu.

Some foreign restaurants can't really explain what you are eating so the menu is just a list of numbers. We'll have number 5 for entree, number 27 for main course and number 33 for dessert. Other establishments display colour photographs of the dishes you can order.

The term restaurant should only be applied to outlets where you sit down at a table and use cutlery to bring the food to your mouth. If you feast on something out of a styrofoam container or out of a paper wrapper it should be called an eatery.

Restaurants don't just cater to empty stomachs though. The appeal of course is to provide an attractive ambience to entertain your guests when you can't be bothered to prepare a meal for them at home. The fact though is that you learn so much more about somebody by visiting them in their own environment than by meeting them in a public place. A young man may never get to sample the culinary skills of a would-be bride before he proposes to her - a classic mistake especially if you come from two different cultures.

Parviz says:
That was good!

Plavers says:
I have just finished a sardine and banana sandwich- good bodybuilding food- great combination. ( -:

Phil says:
Never had one of those but used to live sardines

Cyberspace investigations

by Bruno Deshayes on 22 Dec 2016 permalink
Do not believe everything you see on the net. Yet at the same time journalists spend more time than ever trying to identify the latest trends and report on it. Organised crime constantly looks for loopholes in corporate and government security. Detectives match profiles on social media and elsewhere to follow the trail of their target.

Recently police have nabbed some rather nasty rings of child pornography. This only came about through international coordination of law enforcement to make it an offence to hold such material.

Russian Business Network (RBN) was registered as an internet site in 2006. Initially, much of its activity was legitimate. But apparently the founders soon discovered that it was more profitable to host illegitimate activities and started hiring its services to criminals. The RBN has been described by VeriSign as "the baddest of the bad". It offers web hosting services and internet access to all kinds of criminal and objectionable activities, with individual activities earning up to $150 million in one year. It specialized in and in some cases monopolized personal identity theft for resale. It is the originator of MPack and an alleged operator of the Storm botnet.

The internet is rife with snake-oil remedies to cure everything from obesity to cancer but thankfully you can trawl your search term to correlate information from other sources. Wikipedia is a good source to look at because it is updated by so many contributors.

In the past investigative work involved a trip to the library and a copious number of phone calls. Today everything is available at the click of the mouse. Yet we are no better off because we are swamped by an information overload.

A good way to manage this challenge is to subscribe to RSS feeds. Instead of visiting at random your favourite informative websites the RSS will simply tell you who out of all the sites you monitor has something new to read.

Another method is to benefit from the research of other people who have the same fields of interest as you have. You can follow them on Twitter and filter the streams through hashtags.

Politicians are ever so scrutinized for the next gaffe. Political parties have their own intelligence arm to spy on the opposite side of parliament hoping someone might inadvertently fall on their sword.

WikiLeaks is an Australian made international organization that publishes anonymous submissions and leaks of otherwise unavailable documents while preserving the anonymity of sources. Its website, launched in 2006, is run by The Sunshine Press. Within a year of its launch, the site claimed a database that had grown to more than 1.2 million documents.

Fabric of society falling apart

by Bruno Deshayes on 15 Dec 2016 permalink
A concerted attack on the family will result in a degenerate civilisation. The best way to alienate people is to break up the family unit. Just glance at the North Korean regime to see everyone evenly disenfranchised as a child of the state.

Today the only people to make a fuss about getting married are homosexuals and catholic priests while everybody else either lives in a de-facto relationship or is busy filing for divorce...

The benefits of the family and the institution of marriage are many:

Social skills learned in a small group doing life together can be readily leveraged in the broader community.

Being exposed throughout childhood to an adult role model of each sex results in a well balanced personality.

Having to contend, compete, fight and play with siblings in an environment controlled by mum and dad is the ordained way to move through the early years of life.

Young adults, by making a life-long commitment to each other through their marriage vows provide the peace, trust and love that infants need to experience.

As you raise children together you learn about loyalty, commitment, unselfishness and many other moral traits in very short supply in our society.

Young men become really men when they rise to the challenge of being bread-winners. They are being bestowed with the responsibility of the welfare of this tiny bundle of life.

Deep down barren women pine away at the passing of their child-bearing years no matter the appeal of corporate life might be.

It takes the diversity and the mindset of both sexes to face up to the challenges building up a family brings.

Today we see a whole generation coming up who has been tarnished with experiences of broken homes, broken trust, broken hopes... no wonder the suicide rate is so high.

Today we see grandparents being alienated from their grandchildren and we go around clamouring about the high cost of childcare. The answer is right under our nose if extended families were held together and housing was spacious and affordable.

The birth rate is so low that in some twenty years our civilisation as we know it will become extinct. The government is acutely aware of the problem and their thinking is to allow a massive influx of immigration. This is fraught with danger as racial tension will escalate because newcomers need at least one generation to be assimilated in the fabric of society.

Tanya says:

Farming body parts and more

by Bruno Deshayes on 08 Dec 2016 permalink
The flow on effect of stem cell research is that right now you can use spray-on skin graft for burn victims. You can also grow mice teeth in a petri dish. It is not a matter of "if" but a matter of "when". Dr Who encounter with a warlord machine driven by the brain of a pig is not too far away. Welcome to your brave new world!

Should we welcome such technological breakthroughs with open arms or with a grain of salt? What does the overall political and economical landscape tell you?

Western democracies cannot even balance their budget. Healthcare is an ever deeper financial hole. People contract staph infections in our hospitals instead of coming home healed.

The jury is still out on genetically modified crops. The only people who seem to make money out of it are the lawyers who battle it out on behalf of those who want to establish their intellectual property. All they do is interfere with the design of creation.

The human genome project is public domain but the research made from it is passed to the private sector. After Silicon Valley the gold rush for IPOs is now biotech.

If you could trust mankind to govern the world with equity such inroads of science would abide well. What we see instead is an innate push to lower standards. Many unemployed security agents of the former Soviet Union have recycled themselves into organised crime. Even something as mundane as email spam is a curse that cripples internet communication.

We live in a season of extremes. Some would have you believe that it is commendable for same sex couples to marry. Their hope is that in-vitro fertilisation will give them access to human embryos they can pick and choose for themselves - like children on demand. Would you like to be born in a family like that?

It seems there is no limit to what people can achieve if they put their mind to it. People already worship science as the proof that mankind will be self-sufficient.

Right now what I would need is a money tree. Every week it would grow ten 100 dollar bills. Surely the DNA of such a plant wouldn't be too hard to synthetise!

Can't you see there is an undercurrent to enslave people rather than setting them free? The culmination of this movement will be when some charismatic figure will rise to power and claim to solve all the world problems - at the cost of you forfeiting your soul to him.

Obviously I have read the last chapter of the book so I know how the story ends.

Your privacy out the window

by Bruno Deshayes on 01 Dec 2016 permalink
Do you realise there isn't a safe place in a shopping mall or public lobby where you can pick your nose with impunity? Surveillance cameras everywhere!

No wonder sunglasses sales are up even in winter. Some obscene folks have been dismissed on the spot for installing unauthorised cameras in the ladies toilets. But think of those who didn't get caught and replay to themselves their choice video-clips. What can a security guard do to escape the boredom of the job? Unless she is female...

You can now buy a video camera in the shape of a fountain pen. It is being promoted for evidence gathering to realtors, police officers, counsellors, negotiators, etc... Just like your phone calls are being recorded by every call centre "for training purposes..." it seems everybody with a litigation mindset is investing in Get Smart technology to spy on you.

Then again why would you need to panic? Just like photographs can be retouched, video clips can be edited to modify the soundtrack and make you say words you never uttered. It won't be long before those technological breakthroughs will make such evidence in court inconsequential at best.

People don't trust each other (I wonder why...) and Big Brother is watching everywhere. People are ignoring their neighbours and call for a housesitter to mind their home while they're away. You can setup a webcam in your home and monitor it on your mobile phone to check if pussy finished her sardines and onions. I am sure some hard pressed parents have used the technology to save on childcare. But what is OK for a cat is abuse for an infant. Then again better some child monitoring that nothing at all...

Do you know there is a new discipline in computing called forensic analysis which can spot what you looked for on search engines even without having access to your computer? Marketers have been clamouring for this since everything has to be converted to metrics in order to improve the bottom line and gain market share.

We live in a connected world and we leave our fingerprints wherever we go. Not everything is negative There are applications to check your reach in social media. We know head hunters, HR folks at your work and other anonymous entities are checking your posts if you happen to be the interest of the day.

There used to be a sign in my supermarket: "Smile, you're on camera". They didn't say by how much this tactic reduced shoplifting but my buddy at spynet installations is hiring new apprentices... If spying creates employment then surely it must be good for the economy.

Social media going full circle

by Bruno Deshayes on 24 Nov 2016 permalink
Once upon a time you would subscribe to social media to re-connect with former co-workers, distant family members etc... in the hope of keeping the relationship alive by sharing photos and other snippets of life.

Well, now you can use social media to meet complete strangers face to face! Of course people addicted to dating sites do that all the time - but I am talking about leveraging an interesting tool to widen your horizon. MeetUp allows people to create and advertise an interest group. 3 years ago all activity seemed to be in the US. Today I found some 500+ groups in Sydney alone! What a parabolic growth!

What is refreshing about this phenomenon is that face to face contact is so much richer than online encounters. People can easily project a persona in cyberspace and they can fool you pretending to be someone they are not. I am talking about all those self-appointed marketing experts who shamelessly peddle yesterday's ideas - knowing full-well that reality has moved on.

When you are across a coffee table with somebody, you have to keep eye contact and pay attention. They share something and then it is your time to talk. You just can't press the back button and click on the next entry on your search results! You have to devote your full attention to you interlocutor or else come across as a jerk.

I have sifted through several types of groups: social groups organising activities such as sport, movie-going, bushwalking, music performances, etc... There is definitively a need for people to get a chance to re-connect after divorce, moving to a new city or other life upheavals. Other groups cater for expats or those who seek native speakers to learn a new language and culture.

Finally there are the business groups. Not everyone is a member of your local chamber of commerce or professional association. As technology and markets evolve constantly, everybody is facing the onslaught of the global village. Some international heavyweight is sure to invade your patch at some point of time. Small business owners working from home constantly need to be plugged into the grapevine and extend their sphere of influence.

With the constant decline of the printed press, companies and organisations find this an appropriate channel to advertise their cause by calling you to their cocktail parties.

So - yes, social media has gone full circle. We are human beings filled with emotions, choices and interests. We do not want to be cyberpunks spied upon by marketing trawlers. We want to be validated in our opinions and we have to re-learn how to pay attention to strangers one on one.

Paul Szilard says:
I couldn't agree more. You certainly have a gift in writing, and I think you ought to explore the possibility to get some of your articles published in the appropriate journals - and get paid for it. Well written and poignant.

More oneliners, please

by Bruno Deshayes on 17 Nov 2016 permalink
If you're too open minded, your brains will fall out.

Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a mechanic.

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.

If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.

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

A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.

Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.

No husband has ever been shot while doing the dishes.

A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.

Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.

Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.

Junk is something you've kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.

There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.

Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.

Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.

Someone who thinks logically provides a nice contrast to the real world.

I find common sense not to be very common.

Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused.

How not to take offence

by Bruno Deshayes on 10 Nov 2016 permalink
Forgive and let go. Opportunities abound for us to get ticked off at what someone else does. Does that mean you have to let everyone trample all over you just to have peace? Obviously that wouldn't be peace...

Yet we are called to love our enemies. Ouch! That's a hard ask... It's only possible if you are totally assured of your identity in Christ. Remember He wants to be your burden bearer. Whatever you can't handle just pass it over to Him...

Well said preacher - let me step on your foot and see if you scream or squirm in pain... Yet as you mature spiritually you find that your tolerance level rises. You are able to put up with more imbeciles than before. In fact they are not imbeciles at all - they are precious in God's sight - they just don't know it yet. Why don't you tell them?

So you've made your point and they still laugh their head off. Forgive and let go. You have done what you could.

There is ingrained in us a call for justice - a desire to put wrongs right. Things always start in your own backyard. We have an authority to exercise. How you use that authority will determine if you will be granted more.

Are there people who feel wronged by you? Is it worth apologizing to them? What would be the best approach? Can a relationship be restored? What is the value of a new friend to you?

People do things that are careless, irresponsible, selfish, dangerous, plain stupid. But there is always a tomorrow... The past is the past and you can't go back and fix it. There is one thing though you have control over: Will you let that offense spoil your future? How can you move on from the issue? The perpetrator is probably oblivious to it all but you are the one bound by anger, bitterness and distrust. Well this is the deal: As you forgive others, God will forgive you. Now that's a tall order. You realise the economy of forgiveness goes around full circle.

As you cotton on with God you realise His character will ooze out of you. They are things you don't know about the offending party. What you know though is that God knows everything. In the light of eternity He has a perfect answer for every problem you face. You created a few problems of your own if you're honest. He can fix your broken pieces. Will you let Him?

There is a smell in the air...

by Bruno Deshayes on 03 Nov 2016 permalink
Some impending technological breakthrough has just come to my attention. After 3D movies the major studios are just about to release scented movies.

The recording and digitization of odors is based on a DDO (dynamic dilution olfactometer) feeding into a chemotopic map similar to the one we have in the brain.

The magnitude, flavour and duration of the smells are then played back through special transducers which release the aroma into the surrounding air just like a loudspeaker vibrates the air around you.

Think of the possibilities. For a Western movie you could smell the gun powder when shots are fired, the aroma of a stew cooking on a coal fire or the perfume the starlet is wearing for a close-up.

Many industries are lining up to take advantage of the technology. Now you can buy cheese, wine, perfume by mail-order.

Sanitation systems can be programmed to counter-balance your exact flatulence to clear the air whether you just ate baked beans or mashed potatoes.

Marketers are attracted in droves to this sweet smell of success for the market is huge. Even the army is considering it for psychological warfare where the enemy would be overcome with the pungent smell of rotten eggs or else.

Doctors could use the technology to diagnose stomach ulcers or rotten teeth. Lovers could email each other their body odor aka scent of a woman.

Cooking recipes videos could explain precisely how to saute onions to perfection.

Law enforcement agencies can calibrate their breath analysers to screen offenders who go past legal limits.

What about cost? Would such a system be a bit on the nose? After USB flash drives disguised as novelty earrings women will love to wear an ODD (olfactory digital dispenser) and dial a different perfume for different times of the day. The perfume bottle will never go dry but admittedly the batteries will go flat unless you recharge overnight. We are already used to that for our mobile phones. It is a given.

Tobacco addiction could take a turn for the better as smokers could enjoy the smell of tobacco without inhaling the fumes. Just like people wearing earphones to avoid disturbing others in a crowd you can wear a PSD (personal smell dispenser) to sniff glue, cannabis or your favourite drug - undisturbed.

No doubt some portals will allow you to download your scented ecstasy - for a price. Yet again, what would disillusioned folks do to numb their boredom?

For me I write science fiction for a living and if I got you baited until now, then my writing style works.

Transmuting matters

by Bruno Deshayes on 27 Oct 2016 permalink
People thought the fax machine was dead - well it has had a rebirth!

Some enterprising geek replaced the scanning part of a fax machine with a huge funnel the size of a toilet bowl. Instead of transmitting images the idea was to transmit real objects.

Think of the possibilities - with internet commerce on a steady rise courier companies have never been so busy shifting parcels around the globe. The market is huge.

After successfully transmitting everything from paper clips to a live mouse, our engineer became ready for a bold experiment.

He decided to transport himself through the phone lines as the utmost demonstration of his craftsmanship.

His left foot had already appeared at the other end when suddenly a power surge or other mishap jammed the machine. He pressed the reverse button to return his foot back to home base. When that didn't work he tried to insert his right hand to bring it back. Unfortunately that didn't work either.

He had to be amputated and the left foot and right hand shipped back to him in a courier bag full of ice to attempt surgical reconnection.

To add misfortune to injury his health insurance didn't cover such procedures and it cost him an arm and a leg.

Authorities are concerned about such developments. Crime syndicates could smuggle drugs incognito - just as law enforcement agencies were getting the upper hand.

But think of the implications for a moment: if this technology was plugged into a mobile phone you could have in-driving refuelling. Just transmit a container of gasoline and top-up the tank without even having to stop...

Better still. You don't need your car to go to work. Just dial your office transmutter and you show up at your cubicle in a split second.

People have been toying with this "Beam me up Scotty" idea since the days of Spok and no doubt one day someone will succeed. It is definitively a mind over matter subject.

Witchcraft will teach you about astro travel at the cost of forfeiting your soul but didn't you know that travelling in time and space is found in the Bible? Jesus himself visited the disciples after his death and resurrection by being translated from Emmaus to the room where they were huddling together with the doors locked for fear of the Jews. The apostle Philip departed from the eunuch he just baptized to reappear in Azotus.

No doubt as we are nearing the End Times the Holy Spirit will empower Christians to do likewise as the need arises but they will have to spend a heck of a time in the presence of God to receive that anointing.

Love your neighbour as yourself

by Bruno Deshayes on 20 Oct 2016 permalink
The Ten Commandments are wrapped up in this one simple rule but why is it such tall order for most of us? So put yourself at the receiving end and ponder: "Do to others as you would like it done onto you."

When you greet somebody and matter-of-factly say "How are you?" do you actually wait to hear the answer - and furthermore are you prepared to listen to any concern the person might express?

Someone had the nerve to ask Jesus "And who is my neighbour?" and so came the parable of the Good Samaritan. So in short your neighbour (the person you need to care about as much as you care about yourself) is anybody who crosses your path...

Ouch! How do we fall short of that... yet that would be the number one reason for the moral decay in our society.

Observe a mother. How she is tuned-in to the cries of her child. Even before the infant is able to verbalize anything she knows by the intonation if the problem is hunger, discomfort, lack of sleep or the sheer need for physical contact.

"How to win friends and influence people" the bestseller from Dale Carnegie has become a de-facto must-read for every aspiring network marketing distributor. Unfortunately if it is done with selfish motives it falls flat onto the ground because people are suspicious as to why a total stranger would suddenly be nice to them...

"Love your neighbour as yourself" has been replaced with "What's in it for me?" No wonder we are not cutting it as social animals... So checkout this little score card and see how you rate and where there might be room for improvement:

When is the last time you called a taxi to take home safely a drunken person?
When did you last take the time to get acquainted with somebody over a cup of coffee?
When did you last entertain strangers in your home?
Is the spare room in your house kept tidy to offer shelter for somebody coming to town or is it filled with junk?
When did you last pick the tab for a relative's medical expenses?
Do you know the people next door by first names and have you sneakily figured out the date on which to wish them a happy birthday?
Do you offer to share a ride downtown from the airport with other passengers or do you storm the first cab and take off?
As a matter of courtesy do you offer to share some of your food with the one sitting next to you on a park bench, at the library or in public transport?
Do you engage in conversation with strangers from the country who would address anybody they meet in the train or the elevator - or do you give them a blank stare to signal they have broken a social taboo in the big cities?
Do you carry in your pocket some meal vouchers to hand out to a homeless beggar? (rather than giving out cash which would be promptly converted into drugs or alcohol)

Women naturally compliment each other on their attire - men would come across as sissy if they did the same - but everyone can seek eye-contact with someone who is looking down and give a word of encouragement.

I think you get the gist now. Start the day asking yourself: "Who's day will I have a chance to brighten today?" As you practice this you will get such buzz out of putting a smile on the face of the downcast and you will open heaven's gates to empower you to do even more.

Emotional Abuse Exposed

by Bruno Deshayes on 13 Oct 2016 permalink
Emotional abuse is a powerplay for the control of your mind. It does not come from someone who is a stranger rather that control uses an existing relationship to manipulate you - let it be a parent/child, husband/wife or boss/employee relationship.

The abuse operates because you cannot easily break out from the relationship. It takes hold over a period of time through repetition. The scars remain long after the abuse has stopped (ie - you take that hurt with you into adulthood).

The manipulation operates through words, through actions or through neglect. The abuser is often a victim of abuse and repeats the pattern of behaviour learned from the past generation. To the offender, manipulating you is a way to prop up their low self-esteem and their un-fulfilled life at your expense. What should be a win-win situation is now a lose-lose situation.

Through words spoken the abuse is things like: being always right, judging you, calling you names, making fun of you, lecturing you, reminding you of every detail of your past and lastly isolating you through complete silence.

Through actions the abuse can be a perfectly regimented lifestyle, threats and outbursts of anger, opposite swings of mood taking you by surprise, a perfect personality in public and an outrageous character at home, favouritism towards your siblings, finally chores or responsibilities a child should not bear.

Through neglect the abuser treats you like you do not exist, or is physically missing from the house or cuts out all emotional interaction.

Emotional abuse is an attack on your identity as a person. It prevents you from intimacy. It can be the root cause of anger and depression (which is really anger directed inwards). As you are unable to express yourself, take risks in relationships and enjoy life you become self centered and tend to magnify your problems. In turn you are likely to dish out the same abuse you have suffered.

So what is the way to break the vicious circle of abuse? Well, there is someone who knows you very well and loves you very much. Once your relationship with Him is restored then your relationship with yourself will fall into place and your relationship with others will blossom. So who is that person? Well you know Him already but I guess you need to have a second look.

Maximise5 says:
Sounds very much like my last girlfriend.

Neuro-linguistic programming exposed

by Bruno Deshayes on 06 Oct 2016 permalink
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a cover-up for self-hypnosis and should be exposed for what it is.

Hypnosis has been used as a method of mental, emotional, behavioural, and physical healing for hundreds and even thousands of years.Witchdoctors, Sufi practitioners, shamans, Hindus, Buddhists, and yogis have practiced hypnosis, and now medical doctors, dentists, psychotherapists, and others have joined them. From witchdoctors to medical doctors and from past to present, the rituals and results have been reproduced, revised, and repeated. The hypnotic trance begins by focusing a person's attention and produces many results. According to its advocates, the practice of hypnotism may alter behaviour in such a way as to change habits; stimulate the mind to recall forgotten events and information; enable a person to overcome shyness, fears, and depression; cure maladies such as asthma and hay fever; improve a person's sex life; and remove pain.

Self-hypnosis abounds in rock music, self-help tapes and other "claim it and you have it" business motivation trainings. Some life-coach practitioners peddle the method under various guises to cultivate a captive market. As a consumer you know how to start but you are in the dark as to when and how it is going to end.

Psychology Today published an article titled "Hypnosis may be hazardous," which says: A teenage girl with no history of psychological problems was hypnotized on stage as part of a show. Soon after leaving with her friends, she apparently re-entered the trance. No one could rouse her. She had to be hospitalized and fed intravenously, and took months to recover. (source hypnosis ebook)

We live in a spiritual world whether you acknowledge it or not. If you seek after some magic powers you may get some early results but at what price?

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? These are the words of Jesus Christ recorded in the gospel of Mark (8:36 NIV). Obviously if you are reading this you may have kept the best for last. Do yourself a favour - don't settle for substitutes - go for the real thing. Check out Witness 4 Christ.

Remember to laugh - it's good for you

by Bruno Deshayes on 29 Sep 2016 permalink
What does the wife of a public relation expert say when she cannot sleep at night? "Tell me again darling, just what is it that you do for a living?"

Of course Michael Jackson is alive... I just heard him sing on the radio..

I have been consolidating all my debts. Now each month I just have one bill I cannot pay.

Hey I will be a father in August. I just don't know how to tell my wife.

A PR consultant wants to impress his first client coming to his office by saying on the phone to someone else: "We are so successful I just won't be able to start on your campaign straight away..." then he turns to a young man who walked in the office and asks "What can I do for you?" the young man says "Nothing I'm just here to hook-up your phone!"

Fat? He is so fat when he travels by train he has to buy two tickets.

Fat? He is so fat he bought himself a car with the steering wheel in the middle of the dashboard.

My wife likes fiction rather than non-fiction. So I never tell her the truth.

I really have to acknowledge this about my wife: whenever she's right, she's the first one to admit it.

A tree surgeon recently opened a branch in our neighborhood. The local paper says: "... injured himself critically after falling out of one of his patients."

I was an only child - I learned to play hide and seek with myself.

I'm a free spirit. I have no hang-ups whatsoever!
This explains why my clothes are always on the floor.

Ugly? She's so ugly her licence mentions she can only drive at night.

I was so drunk I fell asleep precisely when my head hit the accelerator.

My wife sometimes runs a garage sale so we can meet with people of similar appalling taste.

Passionate? You can tell how passionate she feels by how she digs her fingernails into my wallet.

The tax system is odd. You pay tax in 2010 on money you earned in 2009... and spent in 2008.

Another thoughtful and inspiring mother's day gift: the ride-on vacuum cleaner.

Poverty: I started out with nothing and I've got most of it left.

Blessed are those who aim for nothing for they shall not be disappointed.

Being caught in traffic: entering a roundabout only to find out all exits have a wrong way sign.

If you haven't got a belly ache by now, here is more of the same:
Laugh on me
Some handy one-liners to entertain your guests
For your health's sake - stay away from hospitals!

Life with the Poatinians

by Bruno Deshayes on 22 Sep 2016 permalink

Poatina, 70km from Launceston, Tasmania was built in the 1960's to house the labour force building the hydro electric scheme of the Great Lake. With the advent of automation the hydro power station is now monitored remotely from Hobart and only a skeleton staff remains on site. The Fusion Christian organisation was able to buy the whole village complete with a general store, a motel, a service station, primary and secondary schools, an oval, a golf course, a swimming pool and a community hall.

Poatina is the hub of Fusion with regular seminars, a radio station, TAFE accredited social work courses and an office overseeing missions overseas. Poatina is run as a strata title rather than being an open real-estate market. Bar a few, all the people here are involved with Fusion. The organisation had a major setback in 2009 when its charismatic leader Mal Garvin fell from grace in a case of sexual indiscretion with a young woman he was ministering to. He admitted his guilt and resigned. Three years on, the organisation changed its structure with a CEO and a board of directors. Poatina is searching for a new identity. Some key people left either to the overseas mission field or out of a sense of betrayal.

There are 2 new buildings in the town. A new library for the school and an aircraft hangar acquired and erected to house a new tourist attraction: a glass blowing studio.

There is no courthouse, no lawyer, no constable, no pub, no liquor outlet, no drugs. The only offenders are the large possums who turn you garbage bin upside down during the night and pooh everywhere on the lawns. A fly invades your house the moment you leave your door ajar but they don't bother you when you are outside. The weather can change in an instant. You may head off with T-shirt and thongs and a sun hat and return drenched and shivering after a howling wind dumps a surprise shower.

I arrived in early January 2012 as a volunteer and helped as a kitchen hand during the 'Faith And The Arts Festival'. Even the simplest things require you to use your brains as I found out when my task was to peel the shell of some 100 hard boiled eggs. After 20 eggs the skin of my left thumb was red and sore. I developed a technique to roll the egg on the table bench to make many small cracks along the middle and then peeling the egg under water like an orange.

My task is to come up with ways to put the Poatina Chalet Motel and Restaurant back on the tourist map. I took photos of all the rooms and cabins and uploaded them onto a booking website

This week I served fuel at the service station which doubles as a bank since it is the only place in town with an ATM. There again I was on my own fumbling on how to replace the roll of paper so that we could continue issuing receipts. There is no longer a mechanic on duty. But he suddenly appeared back from Canberra with his wife who teaches at the next conference. He was quick to reopen the work bay and hoisted on the lift a 'Thomas Tank Engine' with a petrol engine. It was to be maintained for the Australia Day parade and is featured on the Google Maps Street View. I hardly have time to scratch myself but I managed to do some sightseeing last Saturday and visit a church in Launceston on Sunday.

The dining room looks more like a canteen than a restaurant and passing tourists would be forgiven to think they landed in the midst of some grand church retreat. The people you meet are affable and easy to talk to. Most of them are from an open brethren, church of Christ, evangelical background but I also found an ex Christian Outreach Centre pastor from Western Australia.

Well, time to sign off now as I am heading for the Foundation Course - the one week long intensive Fusion discipleship program.

But further down the track, this is my more sedate assessment:

I set myself a period of 3 months to achieve something in Poatina and now time is up.

The moment I arrived here I had an unease about the place. The neglect and poor maintenance of the buildings and facilities was a telling sign of a deeper problem. Poatina is at a crossroad. It will continue to die its slow and painful natural death as a rehabilitation colony and arts centre or it will be hit by a sovereign move of God in a way that only the Lord will get the glory.

The most lacking thing in this place is a good cash cow business to allow people to make a few quids for themselves. How can you be a blessing to others if you are not blessed yourself? But Poatina lacks an enterprising spirit. Sure Tasmania is the worst Australian state for unemployment. There is a brain drain of the local youth migrating to the continent for a brighter future. Poatina is very good at one thing: applying for all sorts of government grants. But it has two drawbacks: it creates a welfare mentality and if you feed off the hand of some government department you run the risk of getting your funding cut-off at the next election.

You can't fix people who do not want your help. Half of Poatina's problems are of her own making. You cannot distinguish Fusion from Poatina. Fusion is the Christian organisation who bought for a song the Poatina village in the 1990s from Tasmanian Hydro Electricity. They setup their own body corporate with its own by-laws making the place a drugs and alcohol free zone. That was perfect in the heydays of Fusion charismatic leader Mal Garvin. Today it is a sting in the tail. People cannot buy or sell property here as it is a closed market where newcomers are subject to screening and the motel cannot serve you wine with your meal. You are not permitted to bring your own either. This makes it difficult to promote the motel as a tourism stop for fly-fishing. Instead of handling things over to the local council the body corporate has to take care of running its own sewerage treatment plant and garbage collection. That was manageable with a population of 350 residents. Now being down to less than 100 it is pushing on the friendship with monthly working bees and rosters to keep the place alive. There is also an issue with most building having asbestos roofs and even asbestos wall lining.

Poatina is a Christian community by name only. Most people go off on Sundays to worship at the local churches in the towns nearby. The result is that there is no pastoral care, prayer group or bible study apart from the specific courses for those in rehabilitation. There is a notion that Fusion is not a church and should not conduct religious services in Poatina. This is the perfect strategy for the devil to cut down any spiritual life and growth in the place. Most Fusion people come from an evangelical background and have no concept of moving in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. There is no desire for divine healing. There is no notion of seeking God's face through corporate prayer and fasting. There is no inclination to prophesy the will of God into one's circumstances.

The best thing for young adults in the process of rebuilding their lives is to walk out of Poatina with a trade. In the past you could do a qualification as a mechanic or in hospitality. Today both the garage and the motel are loss making businesses artificially propped up by volunteer labour. Instead of a trade they are being trained as social workers - having to deal again with people from the toxic environment they escaped from. Not really a glowing future when you need some hope. The golf course has been leased to a nearby club and maybe this could be the solution for other things. If the Poatinians do not have the drive and the marketing skills to bring prosperity into town maybe selling off to another entity could bring some life back in the place.

There is a core group of die-hard Fusion folks who oppose any change hoping that the next round of funding will revive them. In the past many people came with their own trade and left without passing the baton to someone else to take over. Some are dreaming of the good olds days when Poatina had its own baker and its own butcher. Today the general store has stopped supplying fresh produce and is closed half of the time. With transport people are better off doing their shopping in Launceston.

This is the perfect setup for a revival don't you think? Jesus waited four days to attend to Lazarus to maximize the impact of raising someone from the dead. Poatina for all intends and purposes is - dare I say it - dead.

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chr 7:14 NIV)

Paul Szilard says:
Thanks for the great newsletter. You really do have a 1st class writing style. I think you should compile some of your articles into a book. The description of your new environment is interesting, so keep doing further updates. Cheers, Paul Szilard

Terry Khor says:
What a beautiful and inspired place! I am so happy for you. I would like to live there myself! I can imagine myself spending the rest of my life there! I hope you find your happiness in this place, more importantly, find out God's will for your life, and live it to the full. God bless you!

Miriam Deshayes says:
I love it! Wow dad that sounds so interesting, its like a whole different world down there, what an adventure :) Glad to hear about your egg peeling skills ;)

Luke Reifler says:
Praise God for his leading and provision for you - physically and spiritually. God is good! It is so wonderful to hear how your piece of the puzzle fits into theirs so well. May every week challenge you to grow greater faith, greater love, greater passion and greater peace. DaySpring will miss you but Poatina will be blessed by your contribution. May heaven invade earth wherever you go.

Charlie Stantz says:
I wonder what Mal or Mat Garvin would say about this place now. From what I hear from a lot of people is that Fusion destroys more lives than they save. You cannot polish crap, it just does not work. I understand the die hard leftovers from the old days like to see Poatina continue however how much Gov funding does it take to keep an entity like this going. If it's on it's last legs then DO THE RIGHT THING. Pull the pin.

Sasha Man says:

Laugh your head off

by Bruno Deshayes on 15 Sep 2016 permalink
world of lonelinessHad a dream I was a muffler. When I woke up I was exhausted.

After i-messaging back and forth with my wife, I jokingly commanded Siri to pass along this message: “You need to get back to work now; you have a husband to support.”
Here’s what Siri sent: “You need to get back to work now; you have a has-been to support.”

I once gave my husband the silent treatment for an entire week, at the end of which he declared, “Hey, we’re getting along pretty great lately!”

A salesman talked my uncle into buying 10,000 personalized pens for his business with the promise that he would be eligible to win a 32-foot yacht. A born gambler, my uncle agreed. Well, he won, and a few weeks after the pens arrived, his prize showed up: a 12-inch plastic yacht with 32 plastic feet glued to the bottom.

A police officer jumps into his squad car and calls the station. “I have an interesting case here,” he says. “A woman shot her husband for stepping on the floor she just mopped.” “Have you arrested her?” asks the sergeant. “No, not yet. The floor’s still wet.”

A woman noticed her husband standing on the bathroom scale, sucking in his stomach. “Ha­­! That’s not going to help,” she said. “Sure, it does,” he said. “It’s the only way I can see the numbers.”

Teacher: "Kids, what does the fluffy chicken give you?"
Students: "Eggs!"
Teacher: "Very good! Now what does the pink pig give you?"
Students: "Bacon!"
Teacher: "Great! And what does the fat cow give you?"
Students: "Homework!"

Doctor, why is it that my nose runs and my feet smell?
Well, why don’t you try the other way round : Smell with your nose and run with your feet !

In these last days there are many monsters roaming the earth. I heard of one who didn't have a body - only a nose. I asked "What's her name?" I was told "No Body Nose".

Me myself and I - welcome to the world of loneliness

by Bruno Deshayes on 01 Sep 2016 permalink
world of lonelinessBeing alone is not something to run away from. In fact there is much healing in listening to the sound of your own silence.

Just like each relationship started one day each relationship will also end one day. It is a fact of life. Welcome to the real world. The issue is that as we seek out and foster new relationships some of our current ones may come to an abrupt end for no fault of our own. Obviously separation and divorce come blaring loud in our mind but may I suggest that each one of us will be called to widowhood. So what can we learn from our seniors in that matter?

Bad love is better than no love at all? I beg to differ. Leaning onto someone else instead of standing firm on your own two feet is called being co-dependant. It is the fastest way to ruin a relationship. You tend to attract people like yourself. So if you are out of balance you will seek solace with people who are also off kilter and the vicious cycle of misery repeats itself.

Have you even considered that God Himself might be the one to pull the plug on your merry-go-round in order to get your attention and get you to address issues swept under the carpet all this time? God is in the character building business and He doesn't mind breaking a few eggs to make an omelette. There is a day of reckoning for each one of us. In order to be fit for eternity we have to undergo a refining process. Discipline is never pleasant at the time but in the end it produces the fruit that we can boast about. If you are currently undergoing a time of loneliness - don't fight it - embrace it. Learn how to make peace with yourself. Learn how to talk to yourself and forgive yourself. {Learn to improve the quality of your self-talk.} People who talk to themselves are not cuckoo. They are the ones who can shut down the onslaught of nonsense coming out of the TV to take the time to have a good one on one talk in the mirror.

Instead of running around aimlessly to bolster your self-esteem why don't you start at home? What you think about yourself will determine your future. You can rip out the batteries from your clock but time will still tick along. In fact there will be a day of reckoning where we will each individually have to give an account of what we've done with that precious amount of time we have been given on earth.

There are three slices of our time: the past, the present and the future. The past is closed. You may have good memories of the good old days but you can't live in them. Photos and videos may still bear witness of things gone by but unless you are an historian you don't want to dwell there. Be thankful of what you enjoyed but have the courage to say goodbye.

The future has a way of catching up on us. Ever wondered if you could freeze time and stop those bills from arriving in the mail? In fact people say: "Have you noticed how time flies on us?" What you are doing today is a direct result of what you did yesterday and last week and the month before and last year. It's all coming to fruition - today!

So our lives are so ordained that today is where you should make things count. That's the perfect antidote to loneliness. Find something good to do today and you won't feel lonely! Find out what you are good at and do it with all your might. Then you will have friends who will appreciate you for who you are and what you stand for - not for what they can get out of you.

Lonely People by Warren W. Wiersbe

Adrian McCabe says:
Hey Bruno, that's another great article, keep up the good work. Adrian

Where do you belong?

by Bruno Deshayes on 25 Aug 2016 permalink
Divorce, unemployment and homelessness have the effect of causing you to lose your bearings because your familiar environment is no longer there.

Your self-esteem, your self-worth and your self-image are all rooted in what you have achieved in your environment. I was once cruising along nicely when my marriage blew-up in my face after a drawn-out period of unemployment exposed some cracks in the relationship.

As men we see ourselves as providers for our family. You may trust someone with whom you spent 20 years of your life raising the same children only to find out that the love and commitment have grown cold and the rats are leaving the sinking ship.

For a man silence means tacit agreement but when a woman dishes out the silence treatment to her husband it means protracted resistance. That's why it is important to talk things over in a marriage because there might be two opposite mindsets about the same situation.

How do you draw the line in a home business that's going nowhere fast? How do you sell your skills when your own venture is failing? Who wants to hire a loser? In frustration and desperation you go back into your cave and hope to come up with a better gizmo, the killer gizmo that's going to make all this suffering worth the pain after all. What if that does not happen?

What if in this drawn-out struggle you also lose your accommodation? Have you known what it is like to move from place to place but not belonging anywhere? Have you slept in your car and shaved in the parenting restroom of a fast food restaurant? Have you kept in touch with your email lugging your laptop to recharge in a public library?

Have you lost the esteem of friends who don't know if they want to help you anymore because your situation is so protracted? Have you stared in dismay at all your belongings stacked up in a storage facility - not knowing whether you should sell it all or hang-on for a breakthrough?

I have gone through all that and since I do not have anybody to talk to I thought I'll give you the benefit of the experience by writing it down...

Some people advise me I should keep quiet about my circumstances because it will put off prospective employers. I reckon when the time comes I can sell my story and talk about my boot camp experience and how it made me a better person.

Don't have pity on me - your time will come too. I don't wish this on anybody but the fact of the matter is that we are descending into some troubled times ahead. Be prepared. In fact I don't know if you can ever prepare for this. You just have to handle it one day at a time.

Robert says:
Hi Bruno, Thanks so much for your courage. Well written Rob

Alexandra says:
I like the way this is written in such an honest way. I can relate to these experiences. It is comforting to know that Jesus has gone before us and there is no temptation that is sent to us that Jesus doesn't show us the way through!!!! God bless you my new friend! May you always rejoice in Jesus knowing He has won the VICTORY!!!!

Disrespectful wives and unloving husbands

by Bruno Deshayes on 18 Aug 2016 permalink
People who are in a relationship for themselves find that they are not getting a good deal while those who seek to meet the needs of their partner find out that we are wired quite differently.

For a man the main currency is respect. How can you establish your leadership in the home if your authority is under-valued by no other than the one who should be the president of your fan-club?

For a woman the main currency is love. Not sexual intercourse but a steady stream of non-verbal clues that he cares for you and your well-being is always on his mind. How depressing can it be when he says: "I told you at your birthday that I love you! Why do you need to hear it again constantly?"

"Vive la difference!" God in His infinite wisdom made us complimentary - not similar. So how can you leverage the untapped potential of your marriage? For some unfortunately I should rephrase it as: "How can you pre-empt the next clash and rebuild a better foundation?"

Doing life together is an adventure, a risk, a challenge, a step into the unknown. There are things in life that you will never learn at school, things that your mother never told you about, things that you will have to workout for yourselves.

The one and only question that really matters is this: "Are you committed to make this marriage work?" "Are you in it for the long-haul?" "Are you committed to your mate through hail, rain or shine?"

Unless you are fully committed to each other you have no-where to go together. Once you realise it is more blessed to give than to receive you will learn to trust that your goodwill will not go in vain.

Being just flatmates in the same accommodation is no way to run a marriage. You have to be sold-out on a common goal for the marriage to stick. You can bet your resolve will be tested indeed. You might see a happy couple at a social function but you may not want to swap places because precious little did you know about the ordeal they might have gone through together...

As iron sharpens iron a married couple have to grow-up together. Your whole life together is not meant to be a static experience but an obstacle course where each step makes you more understanding, and may I say more loving and more respectful of each other.

The bottom line is this: If you value somebody so much that you have made the commitment to share your lives together then it stands to reason that you would refrain from doing the things that person dislikes and endeavour to figure out how to do perfectly the things that person enjoys from you.

Love And Respect by Emerson Eggerichs

Most dangerous prayer

by Bruno Deshayes on 11 Aug 2016 permalink
I once said to God: "Make me the person you want me to be."

Just one word of advice - don't utter these words lightly. You end-up being on your own trying to make sense of the situation - racing 1000 scenarios of where things might have gone wrong - where did I lose the plot?

God does not owe you an answer on every question you ask. Remember He is Sovereign. I thought being unemployed was bad enough. But I wasn't unemployed. I was running my own business and it was falling apart fast. More to the point it never really got off the ground. But how do you know when to pull the plug on your dearest dream?

Then disquiet and friction crept in the home. Rebellious teenagers, disrespectful wife. Obviously I wasn't the best father and husband they had hoped for. They wanted a cash cow that would keep on providing hail, rain or shine. So I wasn't a man anymore - I was a bum.

After they left I had peace. Peace to stare at the walls wondering how to pay off the credit card, the car loan and the mortgage. I wrote a screenplay about the ordeal while it was still fresh in my mind. Writing brings me peace and closure.

Then I moved heaven and earth in a prayer offensive to restore things the way they were or better. Thinking all of this was just a bad dream. But it got worse. While I was holding an olive branch of reconciliation she was busy seeking another relationship. She found what she wanted and I was devastated. So much for praying and trusting God! You could have at least tapped me on the shoulder and advised me I was barking at the wrong tree.

It is not our business to know the future. What matters is the attitude of our heart. But then another test was forthcoming: homelessness. January 2009 was the housing crisis in Sydney and the lease of my flat wasn't being renewed. I moved my furniture and belongings into storage. I bought a panel van as my mobile living quarters. Then winter came. I read books in shopping centres and worked with my laptop in public libraries. Do you want to be a Christian too?

It's not what happens to you that matters to God. Most of the time He is in control and you're not. It's the way you handle it. You can say to yourself this is just another test. You can say to yourself God values you so much He believes you can pull it through and become in the process the refined gold He is after. Welcome to every day boot camp!

Thomas j Mounts says:
Amen! Hey Bruno, I think you are on the right track. I had exchanged e-mail with you in the past, and you sent me some pictures of the coastline near Sydney. Thank you for those. Unfortunately my world has been going in much the same direction as yours, but I still have faith that it can only get better. God Bless you! We will Have greatness beyond that of our past. I can only say that without the bad we cannot measure the good. Keep up your faith in the future, and be aware that the best is still to come. Talk at you again, Thomas j Mounts...

Laugh on me

by Bruno Deshayes on 04 Aug 2016 permalink
What does the cannibal say after eating a clown? It tasted funny.

Mary took her pony to the vet. The animal is now in a stable condition.

Why couldn't the pony talk? He was a little horse.

What do cows read to their calves at night? Dairy tales.

What does the unloved pig say to the farmer? You take me for grunted.

Why don't anteaters get sick? They are full of anty-bodies.

What do you call two dinosaurs who pranged their cars? Tyrannosaurus wrecks.

What do you call cattle with a sense of humour? Laughing stock.

Men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They have experienced pain before and bought jewellery.

What's the difference between men and women? A woman wants one man to satisfy her every need. A man wants every woman to satisfy his one need.

Judge: "Do you have anything to offer to this court before I pass sentence?"
Defendant: "No, your Honour, my lawyer took every penny!"

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, tree surgeons debarked, models deposed and dry-cleaners depressed?

An accountant suffering insomnia visits his doctor. "Have you tried counting sheep?" "I think that's the problem. I make a mistake then I spend three hours trying to fix it!"

"Doctor, I think I need glasses." "You certainly do, Sir. This is a fish and chips shop."

A woman bet her local butcher $50 that he couldn't reach the meat on the top shelf. "Nope" he said "the steaks are too high."

Employer: In this job we really need someone who is responsible.
Job applicant: I am definitely your man! In my last job every time something went wrong, they said I was responsible.

CEO at AGM: Ladies and gentlemen, last month we were teetering on the edge of a precipice. Today I am proud to announce we are going to take a great step forward.

A boss asks an employee if he believes in life after death. "Why do you want to know?" asks the employee. The boss replies: "Because while you said you were at your grandmother's funeral, she popped in to see you."

A woman got a job as a historian only to realise there was no future in it.

Boss: "I'm going to mix business with pleasure."
Employee: "What's that?"
Boss: "You're fired!"

Global obesity a threat to mankind

by Bruno Deshayes on 28 Jul 2016 permalink
The poorest countries are now seen as a free for all, last marketing frontier by the junk food multinational giants. Subsidised Coke and free chocolate samples are being pushed into every remote hamlet to enslave the natives to a diet their body cannot handle.

The cheap supply of cooking oil and sugar is causing an epidemic of diabetes in India. Schools in Mexico guzzle Coke because it is cheaper than installing water purification. Marketing consultants tour the Brazilian slums to peddle Nestle's snack foods. They even use showboats up the Amazon river to promote their appealing merchandise.

The Chinese are trampling their weight into fitness gyms in the hope of arresting the effects of their munch-on-the-go lifestyle. Fatness is everywhere. Gluttony is taking the world by stealth.

Never mind global warming, the economy, conflicting ideologies and other world issues - we are fattening ourselves to the hilt. The West has a big responsibility to show leadership and progress but it is failing badly. The illusion of self-correcting free markets has failed to deliver anything of substance. Instead it is creating a playground for powerful conglomerates to push their agenda of profit and market dominance on weak local governments. But they will be the ones to foot the medical bills which are ballooning like the waistline of their constituents.

It is worth noting that the food giants marketing tsunami is a repeat of the techniques so successfully used by the tobacco lobby in the past. Colourful packaging, toys and games are there to bribe the parents into feeding their young the junk they don't need.

Coke is half price in rural areas as opposed to the price in downtown Mexico City. Obviously you have to be first before Pepsi gets here - never mind if children get rotten teeth with all that lolly water in their baby bottle.

In Brazil, the turning point is the explosion of local supermarkets complete with barcodes and point-of-sale terminals at the expense of the town square where small farmers used to sell their local produce. Consumers are switching from a diet of fruits and vegetables to one of processed foods rich in starch, fat and sugar. They are lured into leaving their traditional lifestyle to embrace progress and convenience. Their metabolism doesn't seem to agree - not knowing what to do with all those extra calories. People realise that once you put on weight, it is awfully difficult to get rid of it. An obese mother walks her child to school, half an hour each way - without any result on her condition.

Chris Harvey says:
Your clearly think deeply about a range of things, but I'm finding your musings aren't doing anything to help me, so I will be dropping out from your mailing list.

Bruno says:
Sorry to see you go. I thought you would have much to contribute but time is the essence, I understand.

Burning the candle at both ends?

by Bruno Deshayes on 21 Jul 2016 permalink
In a world where the motto is doing more with less, a mental breakdown can bring your productivity to naught.

If you want to last the distance you'd better know how to manage your mount. If people of old knew how to care for their horses how much more should we care for our own well-being?

Super-heroes are for the movies. In the real world those who know how to pace themselves are the true achievers. Have you got any clue where you spent your time last week? Yes, it went like a flash - that's precisely the point. Unless you know where you spend your time you will not reach your goals by accident.

Do you have written down goals? Have you had the discipline to move from wishful thinking to deliberate time management? Have you learned to say no to all those interruptions in guise of urgent take-it-or-leave-it propositions? Do you have any idea how to measure if you are clawing back the lost time or falling further behind?

We are all equal insofar as time goes. We each have been given 24 hours each day. 8 of these should be spent sleeping, 8 of these we exchange for money is something called a job. The quality of where you spend the remaining 8 will make all the difference.

If you commute in transport do you ignore your neighbours or dare to engage in conversation with strangers to further your people's skills and have fellowship with folks from different backgrounds? If you take a lunch break do you gulp down a sandwich in front of the computer while surfing the net or do you seek who you could help and relax with?

The best way to enrich your life and regain control of your time is actually to give it away... weird but it works. Look at a mother how she gives of herself to attend to the need of her infant. See how she persistently tries all manners of non verbal communication - obviously the child hasn't learned any language yet... but their time together is precious.

If you go out and seek who you can bring a smile to, you will find that opportunities to reach your goals will come after you as a by-product. There is a law at work here. The stingier you are with your time and your money - even the little you have left will fly away. The more you seek out how to contribute to society (the people you can reach) the more opportunities will open up to you. That is simply because you will stand out a mile and people just seek someone like that.

Stockbrokers as spin doctors

by Bruno Deshayes on 14 Jul 2016 permalink
Pump and dump strategies and other shenanigans were rife before the advent of discount online brokers. As the saying goes "it's never a bad time to take a commission".

Marketing and spin is taking a whole life of its own if you can spread a rumour and have enough bystanders repeat and embellish the story for you.

Can those good old times survive or has the internet killed the opportunity for brokers to dispense investing therapy? So what made a juicy good story? How easily could greedy investors (gamblers ?) be caught?

Since inside knowledge can be turned into a trading advantage there is an in-built collusion of interest between those who know of some impending market data and those who are eager to trade that information before it becomes common knowledge.

Full service stockbrokers were notorious to cultivate a following of people who wanted to be in on a good trade. For some unknown reason it always became a bad trade. Stock manipulation is more transparent now since any good online trading platform allows you to see the course of trades entered in the market. In the past a broker could interfere with the market of an illiquid stock by withholding either buy or sell orders to cause the asking price to temporarily rise or fall on demand. Then he could place the trades of his "preferred" customers at a more advantageous price. An electronic market has blown out those cosy arrangements.

Insider_trading is a hot issue and authorities play a cat and mouse game to unravel after the facts the actions of operators ever so clever at covering their tracks. After the stock market crash of 2007 authorities had to be seen as doing something. There is even an academic who claims to have written some software to identify suspicious insider trades!

A report by the Australian Institute of Criminology reveals that as long as you don't get caught the practice is too tempting to be passed by.

But life goes on and judging by the stockbroker fraud blog there is still plenty of action going around.

Bottom line: with a fast electronic market the goal post has shifted and there is more transparency. At the same time new opportunities are being created but we will only find out about them when they have been exposed and can no longer be exploited.

One notorious IPO which surprised all the pundits was Google who handled their float themselves. In fact the original Google IPO site is still around. But if you missed out on buying GOOG shares on NASDAQ at $85 on August 19, 2004 which fetched $500 in 2010 don't despair the next hot tip is now the Facebook IPO site

Tickle my funny bone

by Bruno Deshayes on 07 Jul 2016 permalink
An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until she knows absolutely everything about nothing...

The government promised me a stimulus package... instead I got a raft of measures.

A woman turned me down for a date... I had to explain I wanted to have dinner with her - not having her for dinner.

"My passport photo does not do me justice." "You don't need justice - you need mercy!"

French people do not like fast food. They eat snails instead.

"I can't find what's wrong with you - must be the drinking or something..." "I'm sorry to hear that doc, what about if I come back when you're sober?"

The drought forced a farmer to turn his field into an auto-parts junkyard. From that time on every year was a bumper crop.

What do you call a lump of metal, wiggling at the bottom of the sea? A nervous wreck.

If God is watching us... we'd better be entertaining...

If you're feeling unwanted or insignificant... try missing a couple of mortgage repayments.

I told my shrink I thought I was a dog At my next appointment he wouldn't let me up on the couch.

I never drink coffee at work I toss and turn at my desk all day.

A divorce lawyer put on his sign Satisfaction guaranteed or your honey back.

Marriage is the way to stop people fighting with strangers. Divorce is the way to get custody of your sanity.

I've been sacked from every job I've ever had At least you can't call me a quitter.

He's not a complete idiot ...some parts are missing.

I've got an inferiority complex. But I say it's not a very good one...

He never treats a woman like an object. But occasionally he treats an object like a woman.

The magic hasn't gone out of our marriage. He still disappears every few weeks...

Ours was a mixed marriage. She was perfect and I wasn't...

My ex-wife said she wanted to dance on my grave. So I arranged for a burial at sea.

She said she was sick of me. Undeterred I bought her a get well card.

She was so nervous on our blind date. When I picked her up she put the seatbelt around her knees.

I had a terrible nightmare. I dreamt I was eating a giant marshmallow. When I woke up my pillow was gone.

Finding the most searched long tail keywords in your market niche

by Bruno Deshayes on 30 Jun 2016 permalink
The age of website directories has long gone. People now just type a clever combination of words and somehow manage to drill down rather quickly to what they are looking for. Miss out on showing up in this kind of search and you are out of existence in cyberspace.

Time is the essence and convenience is king.

So how does a smart web surfer can cut to the chase and land only the results they are after? In a nutshell the answer is: by being specific enough.

Let's try it. You want to shop around for a computer in your area. So you type two words "cheap computer". That will return who knows what so you decide to be a bit more specific. You don't like the cheap connotation so you say low price instead. Then you don't say computer you say laptop. Now you've typed "low price laptop".

Again you find that some of the vendors are on the other side of the world so you add your location. Now we have "low priced laptop in Sydney"

The long tail label stems from the field of statistics where a distribution tapers off in a bell curve shape. A simple tool to try is http://google.com/sktool if you search "long tail keyword research tool" you are bound to return scores of services that will help you keep ahead of the pack.

So where do marketers and consumers meet? The answer: wherever new buzzwords arise. Think of all the lingo that would be unintelligible to someone who was transported in time from say 10 years ago. What would they make of social media, web 2.0, global warming, political correctness, green gas emission, stimulus package, raft of measures, ecommerce, iphone, gforce, handheld device, smartphone, etc...

For search engine advertising, each of these words combinations had become an auction where you bid against whoever wants to show up there as well.

For the savvy internet boffin which we are all becoming, the name of the game is to uncover quickly enough the results that will address our problem, appeal to our senses or just entertain us about our areas of interest.

For marketers the challenge is to pre-empt what tomorrow's jargon will be and to position yourself in front of those people before everyone else catches on.

If you have the mind of an investigator and read the leading blogs and reviews you might pick up what is hot. If you yield enough influence you might start a new trend and see if it takes off.

Why is trading such a mind game?

by Bruno Deshayes on 23 Jun 2016 permalink
One buys at the current price, one sells at the same current price. A transaction takes place: Can they be both right?

If they are both entering the market one with a long position and one with a short position obviously they have two opposite views as to what the market might do next.

So this is the game of bluff that goes on in our trading exchanges (casinos?) Has investing turned into a game of poker?

How long are you prepared to wait until you bring the bacon home? Are you rationalizing a bad trade by saying you are in it for the long term? Shouldn't that capital be used to ride on a profitable trade instead?

How far in the red are you prepared to let the market go before you call it quits? Do you have a stop in place? Are you thinking about moving it away to take more risk? Can someone see all the stop orders in place and manipulate the market to hit them all and make a quick profit when the stock returns to where it was?

"You have to be in it to win it!" Sometimes you wish you were not into anything at all. Does your trading keep you awake at night? Does your partner know what you are doing?

Do you have enough integrity to monitor your own trading performance? Do you keep a log of all your past trades and the assumption you made at the time you entered each trade? I mean do you set an entry point, an exit point and a stop point BEFORE you place a trade? That is the only way to find out if your method is profitable or not. If it is then you know how long the longest string of losing trades was. You also know that each trade you took brought home x dollars in profit.

In that case instead of fretting and if you keep to your strategy - each new trade in the long run should simply fit into your law of averages - bringing home x dollars of profit. This is simply what you earned for the risk you took, for your participation in bringing liquidity into the market...

You know all that good stuff - so why is it not working for you? The reason might be that you are cheating, have become impatient and are breaking your own rules. That's easy to fix - get back to your own discipline. Don't confuse speculation with gambling.

There is still another reason why things might go astray: the market may have changed just like tides and equinoxes do - you have to redo your analysis all over again.

QR codes

by Bruno Deshayes on 16 Jun 2016 permalink
Have you noticed those ubiquitous black and white squares of dots popping up on travel brochures, billboards, posters, restaurant menus and other consumer venues?

Well, QR stands for quick response and the idea is that you point the camera of your smartphone on it and the advertiser's website somehow just appears on your browser!

Originally invented by Toyota in the mid 90s as a more efficient form of two dimensional barcode it has migrated to other uses.

It is an advertiser's Godsend because Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) are notoriously difficult for people to remember. In the past businesses would pay a premium to obtain an easy-to-remember phone number. It was prominently displayed on service vehicles and ads in local papers.

Now the vintage phonebook is having a rebirth. It is not so much a collection of phone numbers anymore but a collection of websites... Same with the regional newspaper. Scan this code and visit our website.

QR codes are found on Chinese train tickets and Japanese visas for passports. In June 2011, the Royal Dutch Mint issued the world's first official coin with a QR code to celebrate the centennial of its current building and premises

Strangely enough a QR codes scanner is not part of the standard smatphone operating system. Instead you have to download an app for android or iPhone like this one Besides URLs QR codes are promoted to save typing an event, a location on a map, somebody's contact details (vCard), forwarding an enail or SMS or just any plain text.

The use of QR codes is free of any license. The QR code is clearly defined and published as an ISO standard. Denso Wave owns the patent rights on QR codes, but has chosen not to exercise them. The word QR code itself is a registered trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated.

Just like downloading willy nilly mobile phone apps can get you in trouble, scanning a rogue QR Code can also put you at risk. In shopping malls people could distribute handbills to entice customers to scan a code for a free cappuccino only to land onto a dodgy website which would set a virus on your phone. In Russia, a malicious QR code caused phones that scanned it to send premium texts at a fee of US$6 each.

There you have it. The local business guy spent his good money to get a decent website to detail his product or services. Now comes along the organised crime operator who slaps his own QR code on top of the one on the billboard. Scan it and load a Trojan horse to play havoc on your device instead of being enlightened about an honest business trying to serve your needs...

One saving grace is that you get a chance to vet the URL contained in the code before actually going there with the browser.

Manufacturing comes home with 3D printing

by Bruno Deshayes on 09 Jun 2016 permalink
Medical prosthesis, novelty items, replacement parts for vintage cars, replicas of archaeological artefacts are now all coming out of the desktop manufacturing stream which was once the exclusive domain of industrial prototyping.

Now you don't need to send your manufacturing off to China and have your good ideas stolen before your get a chance to establish your market.

Whether it is a one off or a small production run - it can be all made in-house. No more inventory problems - just manufacture on demand.

Isn't that every small business dream?

We live in a plastic world and for the price of a car you can own a machine that lays the ABS plastic creations of your dreams in a range of nine colours!

Have you ever been frustrated playing with your Lego set and not finding that special part you always needed?

As the curator of the native arts museum have you been reluctant to let go of your special collection for a cultural tour? This type of one to one reproduction (a 3D photocopier if you wish) requires first a 3D scanner This will digitize the outer contour of the object with a laser beam. Then this collection of dots has to be converted into a 3D computer model in the STL file format that CAD software programs produce.

Dr Frankenstein is just one step closer to create the bionic zombie. Hip sockets, bone replacement, tooth implants, dentures are all rolling out of the lab. One scary thought is when stem cells are being sprayed into a 3D model for organ replacement...

One sector quietly using 3D printing under the radar so to speak is the custom electronics sector. The outer casing needed to house the circuit board, batteries and various connectors is kept on a CAD database. A new case is made for each application and then printed in ABS plastic. No more tooling. The holes are all the right size. No adjustment needed!

Some stockbrokers have been accused of over-rating the potential of 3D printing companies. The filing of patents has been rife, even registering English phrases as trademarks so that competitors have to use a euphemism to describe the technology.

Now you can manufacture on your desktop any artistic or mechanical object that can be rendered through a computer design. Think of the possibilities. The tech bubble has passed. Prices have come down. Economies of scale demand new methods. Globalisation had its day. Maybe now is the time to make things at home again.

Cyberspace Mobility

by Bruno Deshayes on 02 Jun 2016 permalink
The growing impact of the internet combined with an increase in mobility is bringing about some fundamental changes in our lives.

People who no longer know where they belong want to have access to various services in cyberspace. I want to review here 4 interesting services Resume Digest, Wise Accounts, Goal Setter and Log Book. This all fits around the new buzzword of cloud computing.

The naysayers brandish the spectre of Big Brother and potential loss of privacy but to no avail. The overwhelming momentum of convenience wins the day. A number of services only know you by your email address and you can change it at will (you may lose some mail in the process but who cares about the spam you missed out).

The one event that established the convenience of cyberspace for ever was the rapid uptake of internet banking. Some diehards maintain they will never use their credit card on the internet yet the rate of online shopping is climbing exponentially.

Mobility in the workplace.

Resume Digest is a software coach to roll out a customized version of your cv for each job you apply for. Because it is a web based applications people use it in a wi-fi cafe to email a PDF resume during their lunch break. They hope to get shortlisted for an interview before applications close to stop the stampede. In job search time is the essence. You may not get a chance to apply for that good job if you wait to get back home.

Mobility in a distributed business model

Wise Accounts is a typical small business accounting package with a twist. It does not run on your PC but is available to you whenever you can get on the net - even with an iPhone! So what's the big idea? Well, if you are a club or a partnership where several people need to do the bookkeeping in a timely fashion that can make the difference between having a good cashflow and having a payment defaulting.

Mobility in life coaching

Goal Setter is a mentoring and goal tracking web application. Once people are motivated to commit to set goals the coach can login prior to their weekly assessment review and discuss why some milestones have been reached and others have not. No need for a trip around town. Having access to a management tool from any location gives clients the discipline and accountability they need to turn their life around.

Mobility in Customer Relation Management

Log Book is a web application where employees can fill their timesheets at the office, at home or on-site. Clients can log in to see who is working on their job and when. The boss has an up to date dashboard of who does what and where. Transparency to customers is a powerful public relation effort. Clients don't fall off their chair when they receive their bill because they are able to monitor the hours charged in a weekly timelog format.

Marketing Plan With Potential to Go Viral

by Bruno Deshayes on 26 May 2016 permalink
What do people say about you? Do they know you actually exist? A marketing plan on the internet could go along the traditional lines of SWOT analysis (detailing your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) as well as the four Ps (referred to as Place, Promotion, Product and Price). The catch 22 is that unless people get involved with what you do they will have nothing to say about you.

So what would cause people to stumble across what you do when everybody is mouse trigger happy, clicking aimlessly it seems from one site to another not really knowing what they are looking for? What are the chances of you making it to the front page of Digg? Getting a high score on Stumble Upon? Getting your blog featured on the WordPress homepage?

The stark reality is that you can't do it on your own.

Enters the WOW! Factor. Are you remarkable? Do you offer something so unique everybody will want to have it? (thinking of the iPhone, etc...?)

People will not compromise themselves to promote something commercial on their Facebook page but they will gladly repost, retweet and rehash some stupid stunt on YouTube - because it's cool -

In other words once the ball is rolling a pace already, everybody wants to be in the action and shine amongst their friends for being the one to introduce the idea to them.

How many great ideas died into oblivion with their inventor returning to a 9 to 5 existence after burning all their spare cash? How many articles do you need to write to get some buzz going?

If you then need to enroll folks on the net to promote your widget what incentive can you provide for them to do so? What about sharing some of the profits with those who help you get there? There is a term for this: affiliate programs. How do you connect with people eager to collect a few bucks here and there for republishing your story? How credible is their testimony if they have a financial interest in promoting a given story? What are the chances of mingling with unsavoury characters peddling everything from tarot card reading to tattoo parlours?

The internet pioneers have moved on at the turn of the century. Cyberspace is a crowded and mature marketplace. All the big players have made their claim. A small business or a new internet venture is like a small aeroplane. You need enough momentum to get airborne - otherwise you will crash at the end of the runway.

Tale of the Farmer and the Share Trader

by Bruno Deshayes on 19 May 2016 permalink
Are you in the market? If not, why not? Have you sown your seeds in order to reap a harvest? One thing we know for sure: No seeds in the ground is tantamount to a zero return. So what is it about agriculture that makes a good pattern for long term investing?

First you have to be in the race to win the prize. No matter what adverse conditions prevail the farmer always plants a crop because conditions can change and do change over time. Compare that with fidgety investors staying on the sidelines waiting for that perfect entry point. We know you cannot pick the tops or bottoms of the market. You can only find that out three months later looking back at the charts. By then it is useless information apart from setting a precedent for the next support/resistance level.

Later as soon as the seedlings emerge the farmer waters them with tender loving care. But some investors are so paranoid that they protect their position with a stop too close. Sure enough they get bumped off at the first retracement to re-test the last support level. That would be like a farmer pulling up a plant off the ground to check how the roots are doing.

Lastly plants do grow in the wild without the help of anybody. The farmer knows that time is on his side. The process that was started will eventually reach fulfilment. The seasoned investor also knows that time is on his side. The economy keeps going and going simply because consumers keep consuming what producers keep producing. Yes peaks and troughs follow their erratic ways but there is also an upward bias in the market that will reward those who stay for the long haul.

But what about you? Have you sown your field? Are you in the market? If not, why not? Maybe you heard so many horror stories of people who lost their life savings that you don't know who to believe. Obviously you do not have yet a positive personal experience to fall back on.

What if you could look over the shoulder of a successful trader, gaze at the trading log and ascertain the overall performance?

Find out more at Trading Pal

The eBook Debacle

by Bruno Deshayes on 12 May 2016 permalink
Ever thought of buying an eBook as a gift for somebody? Or maybe sell it second-hand on eBay like you would a paper volume? You would be running foul of the many restrictions of DRM (Digital Rights Management) imposed by dominant players like Amazon, Apple and Adobe.

Their aim is to restrict your freedom in an attempt to build their copyright empires. The fine print in the customer agreement you have to endorse even says that they have the right to delete ebooks from your hard disk! And some would call that progress! Even more worrisome are the big brother implications where a publisher can now know precisely who is reading which book. Marketing intelligence they would say. But think how Big Brother would draft a list of conspirators in a repressive regime. Just pull up a list of all the customers who read a book by Julian Assenge for instance. As you can see, those corporate moguls are a law onto themselves. They used their legal departments to induce the US government into passing the dubious Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

At the same time we have Project Gutemberg where a band of volunteers are turning into ebooks everything they find interesting in the public domain. Mind you, there are some interesting loopholes - for instance in Australia all works of an author who died before 1954 are in the public domain. In the USA it has to be before 1923.

Computer technology makes it ideal to share information. Once a piece of music, a film or a book are digitized - they can be duplicated and shared across the internet at virtually no cost - just like spam email!

So if you are a musician, an actor or a writer - you can get great exposure and quick recognition if you are a master in your art. You would also be down on your luck to prevent one downloaded copy of your work from reproducing like a pair of rabbits...

No wonder the big names in Hollywood see their empires in danger. The DRM strategy is to check with some authority online if a copy of some digital work is genuine or pirated. To that end, each purchase must be recorded at a central server against a given computer, tablet or smartphone where it was originally downloaded. Where things get complicated is when you borrow an ebook from a library, buy an ebook as a gift to be played on an un-registered machine - or when you transfer the digital property from your laptop to your desktop computer for instance.

Publishers have earned the ire of consumers when those authorisation servers go offline or the company operating them goes bankrupt, when eReaders shine in ineptitude because of incompatible standards and so forth. You would think that in the 21st century buying an ebook on Amazon in order to read it on a device other than the Kindle would be child's play - not so.

Just like you can find programs to bypass DRMs that prevent the duplication of DVDs, now you can find programs to strip the DRM from eBooks and to convert them from one format to another.

DRM is an attempt to preserve a dying business model in the digital age and to restrict competition. Contrast that to the success of Wikipedia where collaborative work and knowledge flourish.

Why Investing is Not a Get Rich Quick Scheme

by Bruno Deshayes on 05 May 2016 permalink
You wouldn't pull out a seed you just buried in a pot to see how the roots are doing. You keep watering it with tender loving care. Then the first stem and green leaf show up to confirm it is working. You should do the same when you put your money out to work.

There are many parallels to be drawn between investing and agriculture. The same principles apply to both.

Returns are a function of time
Regardless of the prevailing mood people still need to buy food, petrol for their car, clothes to wear, etc... Invest in those industries because there will always be a demand for these products.

Impatience is your downfall
How many times have you heard of someone pulling out of the market with a loss in a panic attack? Six months later the price of their stock finished 20% higher than their purchase price.

Risk is part of the equation
The knowledge of the future does not belong to us. But one thing we know. If you don't plant seeds there is no harvest. If you're not in the market there are no profits. In fact you could say that the only reason you ought to make a profit is for your ability to handle risk. By buying shares you provide liquidity into the market and allow businesses to raise capital.

Invest in an industry where you are knowledgeable
A farmer doesn't pick a crop at random but knows the intimate details of each plant he grows. Likewise you need to know the drivers behind a company. You need to have contacts with people who work there to corroborate whatever news or rumour is doing the rounds.

Do not confuse investing with speculating
In fact there is a fine line between speculating and gambling. It is manageable to pick a reliable trend over weeks and months but if you go hour by hour like a day trader you are in a fog.

Take responsibility for your investments
Do not hand over your life savings to some manager to do the work for you. That's the only way you will learn something out of the experience. The one who has built the expertise deserves the profit - not the bystander.

Go for companies that pay dividends
Capital growth is good but if the business is sound they should pass on some of the profits without you having to sell your shares. Check the track record on dividend payouts and compare companies with each other in that regard.

Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.

Gamblers, Speculators and Investors

by Bruno Deshayes on 28 Apr 2016 permalink
Gamblers rarely see themselves as gamblers nor would they want their spouse to know what they are really doing. If there are some winners in the market there must also be some losers and I am afraid gamblers make the bulk of it. They compound their misfortune by trading with borrowed money rather than some set-aside capital they can afford to loose if it comes to that. They are attracted to the market for all the wrong motives and supply the grapevine with reasons why you should not be trading. They have no discipline no patience and no accountability. They have no notion of a calculated risk and do not take a break to regather themselves after a loss. Instead they try to make up for it by trading double the original quantity. Their demise is deserved. They suffer from a psychological addiction which blinds them to the consequences of bankruptcy to themselves and their family if they still have one.

Speculators are savvy traders who have a nosy interest in the market. They like to uncover profitable patterns and only trust what they have observed after some long and meticulous research. They use math and charting to document their findings but unlike specialists who know it all but never trade speculators take trades every day as a matter of personal discipline. They learn to take losses in their stride knowing that the next gain is just around the corner if they keep trading and maintain their safeguards. Speculators tend to trade commodities, forex and indices which cannot be manipulated by a single large player. Speculators are predominantly short term and use technical analysis.

Investors are in for the long term and use mainly fundamental analysis. They have a vested interest and inside knowledge of a given industry. They know the main players in the game and keep themselves informed of anything that might impact their industry. Investors tend to trade stocks of all capitalisation. They might know that so and so has been appointed to the board of directors of some unnoticed company and vote with an order for a bundle of shares. Investors are experts at sifting through information. In fact recent scandals have highlighted the fact that what you know and what you do with that information can make you a fortune. Insider trading is hard to quantify, hard to prosecute and hard to expose. Retail investors are in danger of being duped by insiders and recriminations are the norm at company annual general meetings. Share options and the plethora of new weird and wonderful share issues muddy the waters for newcomers.

Find out more at Trading Pal

Capital raising for the masses

by Bruno Deshayes on 21 Apr 2016 permalink
Crowd funding is a new phenomenon in cyberspace at the cross-roads of social media and equity markets.

Raising funds for a small business was an anathema. You either borrowed funds from your bank manager or a local solicitor. Today people seek funding for all sorts of ventures like a music festival, a movie, a video game, a technical innovation.

There are two funding models: All Or Nothing and Keep It All. In the first all monies are returned to investors if the targeted amount is not reached by the deadline. In the later, the onus is on the entrepreneur to return funds to investors or carry on the project with whatever was raised.

The promoting website is the only one with a stable business model if you allow me to be circumspect. They don't offer any endorsements or guarantees as to what gets promoted on their pages but they levy a percentage tax on all donations transacted through them.

The amazing thing is that you see lots of hype about fashion, entertainment, technology but few brick and mortar businesses like your local garage, an independent corner store or a cheese manufacturer.

So what does the future holds? The monopoly of long established equity markets is under threat. The recent annual report of the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange) makes sober reading in the face of CFD trading (contracts for difference) and the growth of dark pools and HFT (high frequency trading).

So it looks like the big players are going to do their own thing anyway. They are a law unto themselves, transcending national boundaries and regulators.

When you have a business idea you would go for seed money or angel funding. As opposed to venture capital these involve much smaller amounts (up to $50,000) and seek active participation in the new start-up business. Many are searching high and low for the next facebook to emerge and you have to kiss many frogs to find Prince Charming.

The emphasis is not on creating employment for those who need it the most. Instead it is for going after the latest fads. A new app for mobile phones which will be so compelling that its distribution will reach a viral effect. It is free to download to gain instant market share and carries a payload of advertisements for all those who will join on the band wagon. It does not offer any intrinsic value until users realise that they have been duped and the cycle repeats itself.

The end is nigh

by Bruno Deshayes on 14 Apr 2016 permalink
It does not take an expert to figure out we have gone past the point of no-return on many fronts: collapsing economy, rampant unemployment, unaffordable housing, aging population, endemic corruption, government gridlock, global warming, epidemics, pollution, sexual abuse, wars, illegal immigration, to name a few.

If God cares about us, why does he allow so much suffering and inequality?

God is going to exact his judgment upon the earth but he also has provided a way of escape for those who love him. This is called the Rapture. The Scripture foretell an event where people who abide in Christ would suddenly vanish and be translated into heaven.

A bit far fetched, you might think? In fact many Christians will miss out because they love their lifestyle more than they love God. There is a movie called "Left Behind" which details this very scenario. Indeed you don't want to be left behind and have to go through the ordeal that is ahead. This is the time to grab a bible and start reading the gospels and the book of revelation.

With a One World Government also comes a One World Currency and a One World Religion. A mighty financial collapse is being engineered through the quantitative easing of the US dollar and now the Euro and a bankrupt Federal Reserve. Use your time left to seek a meaningful relationship with God and His son Jesus Christ whom He sent to reconcile humanity to Himself. A new currency will be ushered - one that prevents identity fraud as everyone will have to take a microchip implant under the skin to buy or sell anything.

One World Religion means the pope is an apostate who has denied Christ long ago and because of that denial a mishmash of religious leaders will have no qualm into forging ahead with a new global religion - we know what that is - the worship of the antichrist.

We are living a unique time in human history - and this calls for a unique response on your part. There have been many warnings before and even scoffers were running "rapture parties" but God will not be mocked. Consider that all the prophecies in the Old Testament of the bible concerning the life, death and resurrection of Christ came to be fulfilled exactly. Now soberly consider that all the prophecies about the second coming of Christ and the tribulation will also come to pass.

How good it is to do nothing when all else is busy around

by Bruno Deshayes on 07 Apr 2016 permalink
Being able to rest from your labour is a privilege few of us know how to enjoy in a world that wants more for less. You are not a machine. Unless you learn how to pace yourself you will burn - guaranteed!

There is a time to work and a time to rest. A time to concentrate and a time to unwind. A time to be creative and a time to relax.

What would be the motivation to get people to break that rule? Who said we had to obey rules? The common wisdom "do as you please as long as it doesn't harm anyone" is flawed.

Human beings work in cycles. We have a heartbeat. We need a regular sleep pattern. Even being deprived of sunlight is detrimental. The short answer is that we were made that way.

Learning to manage your time is a skill that is taught by frustration and disappointment. Something good can come out of a negative experience - as long as you have a teachable spirit. If you had it your way all the time you would become lazy and conceited. Not a pretty sight. Where you spend your time tells me all about your priorities in life. If you care for your family you will spend quality time to build them up. If work is your idol you will bow to a slave master that is never satisfied.

Why not be content with what you have now rather than trying to bite more than you can chew? And you know what? If you don't have the discipline to know when to stop someone else will pull the plug on you. It might be an accident, a mental breakdown, a relationship that ends up abruptly, a large customer taking their business elsewhere, etc...

The knowledge of the future does not belong to us. One thing we can control though is how we spend our time right now. Don't be burdened by past events. The past is gone. You can't go there and try to fix it. It is water under the bridge. Let go and move on. Forgive those who did you wrong. They might be oblivious to the hurt they caused you but by holding a grudge you're the one being bound - not them!

It is by abiding to your own rhythm that you can move forward. When you the least expect it, new ideas will spring to mind, why? Because the pressure is off and you are free again to be who you were meant to be...

Can you ever trust your favourite brand?

by Bruno Deshayes on 31 Mar 2016 permalink
The people you have loved to trust may be just an empty shell. Let us look behind the scenes at some very quiet operators who are the recipients of some many famous brands outsourcing their design and production.

Ideo is a think-tank doing a lot of design work for many famous brands. So if you think a brand you love had a reputation for expertise and know-how - think again.

If you think we live in a healthy competitive market where the best design, the best quality and the best service wins the dominant market share - think again.

If you think that as a consumer you have a choice - think again. You merely have a choice of distribution channels all pumping out the same merchandise repackaged in different flavours to give you the illusion of choice...

Accountants like to set aside an amount under "goodwill" or "industrial property" to quantify the know-how of a given firm. As an investor what do you make of a company who has divested its intelligence and know-how to a third party who also works for your competitors?

The argument behind idea factories like Ideo is that it is very costly to retain the best design brains in the world and keep them busy year-in year-out. So brands have given up being competitive anymore and have surrended to a monopoly of good ideas. Perhaps they take turns in a round-robin arrangements where competitors decide between themselves who will release what and when... Definitively not a good arrangement for consumers...

If you favourite brand can't be bothered to design its own unique products anymore it appears they can't be bothered to manufacture them either. We live in a virtual world, a global village where we are at the mercy of anything happening at the other end of the globe. The following brands are listed as using Flextronics facilities: Cisco Systems, Inc, Eastman Kodak , Ericsson Telecom, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Sony-Ericsson, Western Digital, Sun Microsystems - even Lego toys!

As the Icelandic volcano air travel disruption pointed out we live in an interconnected world where a Japanese car manufacturer can be held-up by parts made in Ireland and shipped by air-freight.

iPad kills

If you think you have a duty of care as a citizen of planet earth and become an environment-conscious consumer have you ever considered the plight of Chinese workers who make your iPad?

How long can companies live a double life through a carefully choreographed marketing campaign? The truth is that when you buy an iPad you are party to a scheme of slavery and mental abuse. Check out the not so glorious record of Foxconn a Taiwanese conglomerate employing 800,000 people in mainland China including those working at the massive Shenzhen complex.

So instead of advertising the virtues of Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Nokia, Motorola, Cisco, etc... shouldn't we scrutinize the shortcomings of Ideo, Flextronics and Foxconn?

How to negotiate for a win-win outcome

by Bruno Deshayes on 27 Mar 2016 permalink
Almost everything is negotiable except selling your mother in law to a slave trader.

Your strategy should operate on 3 levels simultaneously.

Information Do your homework and give the impression that you know more about the other person's background and needs than they know about your own history and requirements.

Time Give the impression that you have a rubbery deadline especially if you know the other person is caught by a given date. Your opponent can eventually be worn out by an unfinished business and can eventually give in for the sake of having the matter closed at last.

Power Give some vibes that you have more connections and authority than is really the case. If you have to take some risks make sure you are not the only one to carry the can but that some other partners are sharing the risk with you.

Being a consumer gives you ample occasions to practice your negotiation skills. Instead of walking in a store and portraying yourself as a buyer of goods think of yourself as an investor in technology. What's the difference? You are no longer purchasing an item - you are selling money!

Whenever the salesperson tries a test close on you like: "If you were to take this item home, would you like it in red or in blue?" Of course answering that question implies that you have already mentally bought the thing. They are softening you by shifting the major choice down to a minor choice. Introducing competition will drive your money further. Inadvertently mention the fact that you were tossing the idea of buying a new car or taking the family for an overseas vacation. Suddenly the salesperson is dragged out of his comfort zone having to argue the benefits of cruising in style as opposed to the benefits of experiencing a foreign culture and relaxing from the rat race. He might have to throw in a few extras fro free to tilt the balance in the favour of the car.

Playing dumb is a powerful disarming tactic. Pretending you have a poor grasp of the English language does wonders as every migrant knows or you can try stammering. Ask questions even if you think you know the answer. Asking the same question twice over a period of time may trigger your opponent to soften his stance and offer an alternative. When you listen hear what people say and also what is being omitted.

Never finish with an ultimatum. Don't try to corner your opponent with a "Take it or leave it" confrontation. Instead give the alternative of two options - one being so bad they'll pick the one you want them to choose but you don't want them to lose face.

Finally before you walk away with a great deal - ask yourself: "Was it a great deal for them too?" You never know when you might have to meet with those people again. If you leave behind a bad taste chances are you will pay for it the next time around which could be sooner than you think. Getting what you want doesn't need to be at the expense of someone else. Be creative and go for the top prize. Why not do business and make friends at the same time? Now that the power play is behind, you have a unique opportunity to make it right for both parties. Don't miss a chance to do good. Sow goodwill for the future you never know when it might become handy to call on an old associate's favour.

Interrupters interrupted

by Bruno Deshayes on 26 Mar 2016 permalink
In-your-face advertising is on its last leg. If you work in marketing it might be time to un-learn what you knew worked so well for so long and do something else...

Since the sixties magazine, radio and television advertising was based on the premise that you had to interrupt as many people as you could with your wonderful self-promoting message.

Cyberspace is pulling the plug on this cosy arrangement - now consumers are googling for what takes their fancy and the smart operators who offer real value are being found at literally no cost to them.

Marketers who want to keep a tight control on their corporate image risk isolation. What matters is being willing to lose control to let a good story spread.

Savvy consumers care more about what social media says about a given topic or brand than what a political candidate or corporation says about themselves.

People are shopping online in droves. Some may like to go down to the local shopping mall but only after doing their research on the net.

Journalists scan the net for bloggers in the know. The official channels of communications are being challenged.

Stakeholders don't buy your corporate gobbledygook anymore. Instead they send an email to your CEO. Some companies waste millions in market research but fail to capitalise on the wealth of trends and feedback that comes freely in their inbox from interested parties.

God has given us one mouth and two ears. It is time for marketers to use them in that proportion. The era of the marketing corporate monologue is over. Instead companies need to engage with their marketplace and it is being done in full view of everybody including your competitors (gasp!).

Corporations have been caught off-guard for ignoring pesky requests when in fact their customer service policies were being scrutinised in broad daylight unbeknown to them.

Today you can't pick and choose the image you wish to broadcast. Your corporate behaviour IS your image. The net is an excellent medium for investigative journalism. Any passionate blogger can get to the bottom of a corporate misnomer and blast the truth from the rooftop.

Even a champion of marketing like Apple got it wrong when they tried to cover-up issues with the iPhone 4 antenna.

Marketers had it so good for so long. Now it is the turn of consumers to call the shots.

Starting Your Own Home Based Business

by Bruno Deshayes on 25 Mar 2016 permalink
Adversity can be the best motivator but going off at a tangent is a real danger too. In order not to be out of kilter you will have to juggle 3 roles: the marketer, the engineer and the accountant. Most people who venture out on their own have either the first or second bias. Rarely would a beancounter start out into business except to setup a public accounting practice of course.

The questions you have to ask yourself are: Where would my customers come from? What unique product or service can I offer that would make me stand out from the crowd? How long can I last before my first sale? Do I need a second job to keep my cash flow until the business takes off?

Being your own boss requires the ability to critique yourself, question the obvious and investigate alternative routes. Let us review the 3 segments you have to balance:

The world is replete with great dreamers who are starving to death because nobody else caught on to the value of their dream. Unless you find customers - people who are eager to trade cash for what you offer - commercially, you do not exist. Women tend to have an advantage here because they are usually well connected through children at school, etc...Who will spread a good word for you? Will your Facebook friends turn out to be real friends or silly bystanders? Will you erect a sign by the main highway to drive a path to your door?

What is unique about my product or service? If you do not have a bullet proof answer to that question you are just a me-too, competing solely on price. Do what hasn't been done before. Do something people will remember and talk about. In the fast paced western world it's all about convenience and time-savers. People don't have servants (maybe they should) but they are happy to pay for someone to mow their lawn, walk their dog, do minor repairs in the house, wash their laundry, etc... is your business proposition bound to your geographical location or can you generate business from elsewhere?

Finally you are in business to make a profit. Your profit is the difference between what people pay you and what you have to spend to meet their expectations. Unless you keep a keen eye on the figures you have no way of knowing whether you are moving ahead or falling behind. Can you charge more for what you do? Can you spend less on what you have to buy? A sense of accounting will keep the dreamer's feet securely on the ground!

To find an online coach to set your business goals click here To find an online cashflow forecast and bookkeeping service click here

Social media makes us autistic cyberpunks

by Bruno Deshayes on 24 Mar 2016 permalink
Can you survive in a world deprived of non verbal clues? Remember the smileys at the end of SMS text messages? Can you really make yourself smile, frown or giggle on demand? What is the quality of a conversation with total strangers when you can't hear the tone of their voice and read their facial expression?

The average facebook users has 250 friends - half of which they have never met face to face. Quantity will never make up for quality. If we are all crying out for purpose and significance is social media a saving grace or a total delusion?

We are made for fellowship with other human beings - that is the fabric of society. On our own we are incomplete. It's only through interaction with other fellow human beings that we can reach our full potential. Social media can become a very void popularity contest.

In the past people would entertain in their own homes. You pick-up innumerable clues about somebody by visiting their environment. Sharing a meal with someone is the basis of hospitality and fellowship. Being brave enough to be yourself in your own home and open up to new friends makes you active in your community.

Today we have become avatars in a virtual village. You can project your own personal brand in cyberspace and you will end-up a solitary lunatic clicking away from one post to another where nobody really knows you. Personal accountability goes out the window.

The sad reality though is that because half of marriages end up in divorce there is a vast supply of broken homes out there where people would rather not let you know how dysfunctional they really are. So we survive in a pretence made-up world where we decide who we want to be in the mouse clicks of others.

We only end-up hurting ourselves in not being real. Personal accountability starts where you are right now. Has it ever occurred to you that by taking the risk to be yourself you can empower others to also drop their mask and receive healing in the process?

Facebook picked up on this by providing instant messaging chat with your friends who happen to be online. But really you should go one step further and setup a video call on skype. Then you can see and hear each other. It all boils down to how you manage your time. Being unselfish is to make time for others. It shows them they are important to you. Starbucks is not in the business of selling coffee. They are selling you an environment where you can unwind and meet people - without the liquor and the gambling that prevail in pubs and bars.

They are only 24 hours in a day. Since you need to sleep 8 hours each night and work 8 hours each working day that only leaves 8 hours for yourself. If it is wasted commuting, doing errands and whatever else no wonder you feel disenfranchised. In the past people used to have writing pals. Today we maintain a clicking diary of our unfulfilled lives. Nothing wrong with that. It's good to leverage technology. But make sure that it leads to meeting real people face to face.

Stock market versus real estate

by Bruno Deshayes on 23 Mar 2016 permalink
You can't live in a portfolio of shares and you can't sell just your bathroom to raise some extra cash. What are the pros and cons of those two forms of investment?

You never know the price of a property until someone is willing to buy it and someone else is willing to sell it at the same price. Equities are very liquid because there is a market quoting current prices for each trading day.

Borrowing to buy shares is risky while borrowing to buy property is virtually the norm.

Real estate is very much an all or nothing proposition. You buy a house and you sell the whole of it. Besides capital gain you can rent the property and it ties you to the duration of the lease. Some clever operators had the idea of getting people to invest in a pool of properties by holding a number of units while others have a time-share arrangement in a holiday condominium. Those arrangements end up having the drawbacks of both investment types and none of the advantages.

Shares allow you to build up a position over time taking a small risk at first because your holding is only a few shares (the broker's commission compounds but then you could use CFDs instead). Shares that you hold over time generate income by way of dividends.

People who are skilled as a tradesperson look for properties they can repair and maintain in order to add value. In real estate the location is crucial. Proximity to schools, public transport, shopping centers is built into the price. What maybe a good family home for you may turn out to be a disaster as a rental property.

You would think a farmer close to a urban centre has the option to subdivide his land into residential blocks and make a huge profit. That's the theory but in practice it is a 10 or 20 years plan and will require going around corrupt local authorities.

If you plan to buy land, build a house on it, sell it and repeat the process as an investment strategy this is a full time occupation - not a dabbling investing past-time. The building trade is notorious to attract unsavoury operators and local authorities are sure to change the rules with more and more regulations - not less!

Two big assumptions maybe falling apart with property: ongoing capital gain and cheap credit through a competitive banking sector. The recent crash has shown that like everything else inflated house prices will have to come down to earth while the few banking institutions left will tighten their credit assessment.

Property transaction costs are huge (conveyancing, local council duties, agent's fees) but online brokers have brought commissions to a bare minimum.

It seems people are either comfortable playing the property game or researching stocks with good growth potential but rarely do you find folks who have the mindset to actually do both.

Do you believe in superannuation?

by Bruno Deshayes on 22 Mar 2016 permalink
The only people who still do are those who derive their fees from it and the government who legislate in order to raise taxes and avoid paying pensions.

The abysmal birth rate in western countries is a time bomb for superannuation. Hear it loud and clear: there won't be enough working people in twenty year to support an aging population.

Legislation has created a whole industry of fund managers - vultures circling around our nest eggs. The government itself can't help reaching into it for its own purposes. It's such an attractive magnet. Not content with inheritance tax - why not taxing people well before their die (in case they live so long, there won't be anything left to tax...)

Superannuation and retirement are modern ideas - by products of our consumer society. The premise that if you keep quiet and obey the rules all your life you can buy at the store anything that tickles your fancy and have the rest of your retirement to enjoy it. Hogwash! Those days are over...

The superannuation crunch is a consequence of the family break-up. In the past people had respect for their elders. People didn't move too far from each other. Housing wasn't a problem. People were content with the basic necessities being met. People had time to read books, play music, teach children, mind grandchildren, cook for each other and store-up for a rainy day.

Today people live longer but what is their quality of life? Even if you have the money to travel the world - what will you do when you get home? Watch the same movies of your trip over and over again? Why are people bored? Because they are disconnected from each other.

Women pay exorbitant child-minding fees when grandparents would love to mind grandchildren if our housing would allow extended families to live by each other.

Government interference with superannuation means that you lose control of how your savings are managed. Maybe one of the best options is still real-estate. Having one or two extra dwellings and living on the rent you collect will ensure your income is indexed with inflation.

Cyberspace and the benefits of a global village have been a big lie. People still congregate in urban centres because bosses don't trust people working from home. Commuting puts pressure on housing prices. Everything is centralised in large monopolies. Small towns are dying as young people seek work elsewhere. But isn't that where the sea change exodus is taking place?

Politically Incorrect Rubberneckers

by Bruno Deshayes on 21 Mar 2016 permalink
Have you ever looked in bewilderment at our ever changing landscape?

One day you find gay men wearing pink ribbons to commemorate breast cancer day. Will they be followed by lesbians wearing blue ribbons to collect donations for prostate cancer research?

Information channels know by now that it is too expensive to gather original news material. Instead they recycle twitter feeds or report on the latest buzz grovelling across social media. They let themselves be hijacked by minorities to push they agendas propaganda.

Here comes SuperMom who had a menopause plus a divorce and now wants to castrate grumpy old men. Will she be the first woman to walk on the moon or the first woman to be the next UN Secretary-General?

What about the minorities who cant speak for themselves? A upstart lawyer is taking on a pro bono basis the case of the stray cats and de-roofed possums. Did you know that cats and dogs can be the beneficiaries of a will and can be covered by health insurance? With driver less cars they will be able to commute from home to the pet parlour for a shampoo with grooming and curls.

What about Old Mother Earth? Have you ever felt being made guilty for pollution, global warming, and threatened ecosystems? If the petrol lobby had not quashed the advent of the electric car some ten years ago, the parking lots of every shopping centre would be fitted with power points to recharge while you shop. The passing of the Carbon Tax and its subsequent cancellation in Australia is a memorable tale of a tug of war between the liberals and the conservatives. Again technology may come to the rescue. Did you know that people have isolated a bacteria that can digest plastic? What about the viral video of a grizzly bear making out with a full dumpster at the back of a Canadian restaurant?

What about marriage inequality? Men want to get married to get a maid, a cook and something warm to cuddle in bed on a cold winter night (aka hot water bottle). Women want to get married to change their name, to show off in a wedding gown, to have access to your bank account and to have someone to take the trash can out.

What about exposing the appalling treatment of women within Islam (which in English means submission)? Are they so beaten up that they have to cover their entire body while seen in public? Whats wrong with pork anyway? The smell of bacon and eggs makes me salivate. Im glad I am not a Jew.

What about churches softening their stance on biblical precepts? Can homosexuals be saved? Do they have to repent of their sin first? What are the signs of the impending rapture ?

Being politically incorrect is going to be the trademark of those who choose to standup against the onslaught of liberal propaganda. Very soon there will be a day of reckoning. Which side will you be on? Wont it be too late to change your mind?

Desperate for purpose and significance

by Bruno Deshayes on 20 Mar 2016 permalink
Have you ever had a job interview only to discover that the employer spent the allocated 10 minutes only to focus on your negatives? The name of their game was 'last person standing' and in order to thin down a shortlist of 10 applicants they were quite willing to waste the time of nine people and humiliate them to pick that so-called perfect candidate who may only stay in the job for a short while...

People question "Can you do this?" or "Can you do that?" really treating you like a gizmo trying to see if you would fit with their style of furniture. I'd prefer if people ask me "Would you like to do this?" or "Would you like to do that?" implying "Would you be challenged and motivated by our corporate goals and would you like to walk some of the journey with us?"

Today's corporate goals pale into insignificance in the light of the values we had some time ago. Today's business ethos is like "Maximizing corporate profits (at the expense of customers, suppliers and employees if we can get away with it)"

20 years ago corporate goals were just like "To release our workforce full potential and be a beacon of strength and reliability in the marketplace as a result". In this by-gone era people had the concept of a social balance sheet. Employers took full responsibility for the welfare and professional development of all those who gave them their working life.

Large companies provided not just employment but also education, housing and health services. The human resources department was planning people's careers from teller to director. Promotion was awarded to acknowledge the good and reliable service of long standing employees. Newcomers had to prove themselves and did not bypass the ranks.

Then greed moved in and strikes took place. The unions demands pushed many manufacturing jobs offshore. Consumers bought foreign goods never questioning why they were cheaper than locally made ones. Nobody dared to say out loud that is was so because labour rates in third world countries were so low it was equivalent to slavery. (Child labour in India is still an issue).

To finish full circle now we are facing significant illegal immigration in the US, Europe and Australia supposing we could offload our labour market issues offshore. Only it's coming back with a vengeance.

Only trade money you can afford to lose

by Bruno Deshayes on 19 Mar 2016 permalink
Share trading forex or commodities trading is mainly a game of bluff. You can only take a trade if you find someone else willing to buy when you want to sell or sell when you want to buy.

It stands to reason that you can't be both right. One will end up with a profit and the other with a loss.

At the end of the day you save face by trading anonymously. You probably would never trade again if you saw the professional rubbing his hands after making an easy win at your expense.

The market loves to backtrack over the values reached in the preceding days and it's a game of who blinks first. You can be prudent and go home with a small loss or you can be bold and hold on for sheer perseverance only to be punished with a much bigger loss.

That's where all the psychology comes in. The market rewards you for taking a risk but your risk taking ability depends on your present situation. Are you under stress to make ends meet? That's' the worst situation to trade with a clear head. Are you going through separation or divorce? Please do not trade now. Have you just lost your job? Smell the roses but do not turn yourself into an overnight portfolio manager...

The more desperate you are to pull money out of the market the more likely you are of being fleeced. There is a fine line between trading and gambling. You are crossing that line when

* You place more than 2% of your capital on a single trade. (Instruments that move in unison count as one trade here).

* You have done no specific research and trade on a hunch.

* You do not use technical analysis to indicate objectively when the market changes from rising to falling.

* You do not set a stop loss and a limit target before placing the trade.

* You hide your trading from your spouse.

* You dash off at work to the bathroom to check your stocks on your iPhone.

* You pray to the god of the markets that this stupid stock should turnaround now.

* You double your position to get even with that wild beast and recover your losses before it reaches back your entry point.

* You have visions at night of yourself placing a bomb in the basement of the exchange.

* You take up smoking and upgrade to a supersize meal at the fast food outlet.

Bad press for social media

by Bruno Deshayes on 18 Mar 2016 permalink
As social media comes of age we start to realise that we might be getting more than we bargained for. Or is it that it only takes a few to spoil a good thing for everyone else?

Project X revisited
This disgusting movie has inspired many attempts to recreate in real life mass parties of violence, drugs, sex and debauchery. The latest incident was in the Dutch town of Haren.

The police had been on high alert after a schoolgirl posted a message inviting friends to her 16th birthday party. She forgot to mark it as a private event, prompting more than 20,000 replies. She posted the invitation on Facebook and sent it to friends, who then sent it to other friends and soon it spread like wildfire across the Internet.

Several websites sprung up referring to the party as "Project X Haren", counting down the seconds to the event and claiming 150,000 people had been invited. It also published the party's address, adding: "By all means bring some friends!"

Previous Project X parties have run riot in different parts of the world including Germany, Australia and especially the United States, where teens wrecked an unoccupied Texas home, causing damage of up to $100,000.

Why not have a sequel to the movie this time replacing youth with elderly. Imagine invitations going viral on baby boomers chat rooms. They are all converging on a secret retirement home with their mopeds and wheelchairs. Any damage caused can be blamed on Alzheimer's disease.

Sport twitters
Australian athletes had been banned from using twitter while their team lost countless medals in a bout of despair. Football players had to deal with racial slurs when they disappointed their fans. Coaches are considering monitoring their team social media profiles to coerce members into towing the party line.

Cyber bullying
At school the offenders would use these tactics:

- Spread lies and rumours about the victim
- Trick the victim into revealing personal information
- Send or forward mean text messages
- Post pictures of victim without their consent
- Pretend they are several other people online also attacking the victim

At work harassment can be malicious false postings seeking to damage their victim's earnings, employment, reputation or safety. The question of liability for harassment and character assassination is particularly important for legislative protection. The original authors of the offending material are, more often than not, not only anonymous, but untraceable. Nevertheless, abuse should consistently be brought to company staffers' attention.

Identity theft
Recently LinkedIn had to confess many of their user accounts had been compromised and asked people to change their passwords. It is not just the LinkedIn account that was at stake - people tend to use the same password over and over. All the hackers have to do is try the same email and password combination to break into your facebook, twitter and whatever accounts you might be holding online.

Does that put you off social media? Do you still believe marketing experts claiming that you need to cultivate your brand on as many channels as possible? I would welcome your comments.

anonymous says:
On the other hand the social buzz about Jill Meagher mobilized a crowd and helped speed up the police investigation.

Loving my enemies up close

by Bruno Deshayes on 17 Mar 2016 permalink
I thought I was doing fine loving my enemies from a distance. Then it occurred to me I had also to love them up close as well.

I had forgiven my ex-wife for breaking her marriage vows and I assumed the matter was closed and it was all water under the bridge. Well not quite. The litmus test was when I was asked to perform my father's duties at my daughter's wedding. I declined with the lame excuse that it would be a parody of the institution of marriage. To witness my daughter's vows with the presence of the one who broke her marriage vows with me and had replaced me with another man even though I am still alive was more than I could bear.

This was all playing in my mind six months before the due date. All sorts of emotions battled in my head so much so that I could not put the matter to rest.

Forgiving is not a feeling - it is a deliberate choice of the heart. It does not make any sense as you try to reason out your self-interest. The circuit breaker for me was when I was convicted of harbouring a root of bitterness. I suffered a compound trauma when I lost my business, my house, my marriage and my children all within one year. Emotionally I had to disconnect all those issues. If I had been the perfect husband I suppose my wife would have had no reason to leave. So there were faults on both sides.

I assumed that if we paid our tithes regularly we would be shielded from financial hardship. It wasn't to be so. I assumed that if I delivered the best product I could engineer God would take care of the marketing for me. It wasn't to be so. I assumed that if we gave our children a Christian education they would not rebel against their parents. Sweet illusion...

If truly I am a survivor of chronic unemployment, divorce and homelessness then I have to behave in a way where those hardships do not block the love of Christ flowing out through me.

I suddenly realised my bitterness regarding the raw deal I got out of life betrayed my Christian witness. I promptly picked up the phone and announced to my daughter that I would attend her wedding, walk down the aisle with her and deliver a speech. What a watershed moment! It was not about my misguided feelings. No, it was all about my daughter's big day and I wanted to make sure I wasn't the one to spoil it.

Adrian McCabe says:
Thank you Bruno, what a great blog from the heart, and challenging to us to love without conditions. God bless, Adrian

Robert Walker says:
Bruno, thanks for being so open. Your story and decisions are very inspiring and encouraging for my walk with Jesus.

Peter DUNN says:
A great bit of sharing to go on your blog, Bruno. Thank you for passing it on. Yes, 2 Cor 1:3-7 confirms it, also 3 John 2. Love always in Jesus. Peter

Chris Harvey says:
This is great stuff. This story of yours was very personal and redemptive. If your can blog your journey as you have here, many will be encouraged

Smile at the drone - you might be on live camera

by Bruno Deshayes on 16 Mar 2016 permalink
Just like computers and mobile phones have forever changed our social landscape, the next technological revolution is just about to hit.

Combined with that is the inept behaviour of governments who lack to provide a clear legal framework for new technology to be rolled out. Remember how queasy you felt when you first saw a picture of your house on Google Street-view? Well, that's just the beginning.

Who are the pundits interested in spying on everyone else? Market analysts have found that law enforcement agencies would be the prime clients but everyone knows that most governments are broke. Police, fire rescue and of course the military are jumping on the bandwagon. Next are the marketers who are outdoing each other in building huge databases of consumer behaviour. Then we have the hobbyists or interest groups or geeks who like to tinker with expensive toys and show off their prowess on You Tube.  Of course through those channels the Taliban will procure themselves some drones to spy on the Americans and we have gone full circle.

Some upmarket realtors in well-to-do suburbs already use drones to film compelling fly-by videos. They show off a property for sale without the clients having to jump on a plane to visit and see the place for themselves.

Just imagine a newscast in five years time: an elderly woman was hit on the head by a flying camera when a nearby investigative reporter lost control of his drone.

What about this one: criminals used a radio jamming transmitter to escape from a pursuing police drone. The remote control plane then lost control and there was a remote possibility that left to its own devices it would crash into the incoming traffic on the highway. Indeed it did and killed a family of four. The criminals are still at bay and it was reported that they themselves also used a drone to plan their escape route ahead of their speeding car.

Wait, there is more: a security guard used his gun to shoot down a drone flying over a private property. A famous actress was on the premises at the time and some paparazzi were on the prowl to take some scoop pictures.

A lawyer for a drawn-out divorce litigation case hired a private detective. A drone was flown outside the couple's window to gather evidence of an adulterous relationship taking place. The drone photo evidence was rejected in court as there was no proof the images were not digitally retouched to incriminate the defendants.

So there you have it. Drones will not change anything. Instead our lives will just be on edge one notch higher.



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Bruno Deshayes

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