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January 10, 2006

Mr. Stupid's First Rule of Life


That would be me — one of my many identities.

The rule: "Anytime anything that's supposed to do something doesn't, check to make sure it's plugged in."

The First Corollary: "If it's battery–powered, put in new batteries."

These two seemingly for–the–brain–dead–only statements will suffice to solve about 80% of equipment–related problems.

The corollary certainly fixed my Bluetooth mouse just now; it's been losing contact and intermittently not working for days but it shaped right up once I changed the batteries.

    Other useful principles and sayings:

    • 80% of success in business is a result of returning all phone calls the same day. You don't have to talk to anyone; in fact, I often wait till after business hours to return a call I might've responded to earlier simply because for one reason or another I don't want to talk to that person just then. I leave a voice message saying I returned their call of earlier today; that's sufficient to buy a delay until tomorrow or later. Obviously, this rule is a specialized case of the Woody Allen 80% rule re: life.

    • When someone tells you that you must do something immediately that requires some of your money, and if you don't do it now you'll lose the chance to take part, always, Always, ALWAYS say "no thank you." You will never see your money again with 99+% of such investment "opportunities."

    • People who ask you to give them a break on price always cause more trouble than those who pay full freight without quibbling. This is especially true of lawyers when they ask for an expert opinion on anesthesiology–related matters.

    • Corollary to the rule above: never, ever do work for an attorney without getting the cash up front. Plastic surgeons don't, so why should you? It's amazing how many attorneys don't know you once they've lost a case in which you've been retained as an expert. Make sure there are no bills outstanding before the verdict — not after.

    Otherwise you'll be the butt of the wonderful Johnny Carson monologue joke, to wit: What do you get if you cross a penguin and a William Morris agent?

    A. A penguin who doesn't return your phone calls.


    January 10, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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    So my wireless mouse was having bad connectivity as well the past few days and I just said to myself it can't be the battery, they said it was supposed to last so much longer. Turns out it was the battery. Thanks.

    Posted by: Josh | Jan 10, 2006 1:35:25 PM

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