I quit school

I quit school in the sixth grade because of pneumonia. Not because I had it, but because I couldn’t spell it.

Rocky Graziano

The first rule

The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.

Bill Gates

A sombrero

A sombrero fell out of the sky and landed on the main street of town in front of the mayor, his cousin, and a person out of work. The day was scrubbed clean by the desert air. The sky was blue. It was the blue of human eyes, waiting for something to happen. There was no reason for a sombrero to fall out of the sky. No airplane or helicopter was passing overhead and it was not a religious holiday.

Richard Brautigan

None of these classy locutions

None of these classy locutions mean anything different from the simpler ones they replace. They work ceremonially, not semantically. Writing in a classy way to sound smart means writing to sound like, maybe even be, a certain kind of person. Sociologists, and other scholars, do that because they think (or hope) that being the right kind of person will persuade others to accept what they say as a persuasive social science argument.

Howard S. Becker

I had neither kith nor kin in England

I had neither kith nor kin in England, and was therefore as free as air — or as free as an income of eleven shillings and sixpence a day will permit a man to be. Under such circumstances, I naturally gravitated to London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained.

Arthur Conan Doyle

Place the body

Place the body near the beginning of your book—preferably on the first page, perhaps the first sentence.

Louise Penny

The only difference

The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.

Will Rogers

Change

Unless you are prepared to give up something valuable you will never be able to truly change at all, because you’ll be forever in the control of things you can’t give up.

Andy Law

The moment

The moment you make a mistake in pricing, you’re eating into your reputation or your profits.

Katharine Paine

But the children knew

But the children knew, as I m sure you know, that the worst surroundings in the world can be tolerated if the people in them are interesting and kind.

Lemony Snicket, The Bad Beginning

If

If it isn’t on Google, it doesn’t exist.

Jimmy Wales

My name is Sherlock Holmes

My name is Sherlock Holmes.  It is my business to know what other people don’t know.

-The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

In a badly designed book

In a badly designed book, the letters mill and stand like starving horses in a field. In a book designed by rote, they sit like stale bread and mutton on the page. In a well-made book, where designer, compositor and printer have all done their jobs, no matter how many thousands of lines and pages, the letters are alive. They dance in their seats. Sometimes they rise and dance in the margins and aisles.

Robert Bringhurst

A child

A child did approach me in a restaurant in Cornwall, but he thought I was Gandalf.

Michael Gambon

I have forty-six cookbooks

I have forty-six cookbooks. I have sixty-eight takeout menus from four restaurants. I have one hundred and sixteen soy sauce packets. I have three hundred and eighty-two dishes, bowls, cups, saucers, mugs and glasses. I eat over the sink. I have five sinks, two with a view.

Rick Moranis

And when her lips met mine

And when her lips met mine, I knew that I could live to be a hundred and visit every country in the world, but nothing would ever compare to that single moment when I first kissed the girl of my dreams and knew that my love would last forever.

Nicholas Sparks

LRRSYEN Rating: Buick

My psychiatrist

My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you’re ugly too.

Rodney Dangerfield

Expecting the world

Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.

Dennis Wholey

At the end of a miserable day

At the end of a miserable day, instead of grieving my virtual nothing, I can always look at my loaded wastepaper basket and tell myself that if I failed, at least I took a few trees down with me.

David Sedaris

A nice, easy place

A nice, easy place for freedom of speech to be eroded is comics, because comics are a natural target whenever an election comes up.

Neil Gaiman

When any government

When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, ‘This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,’ the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything—you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.

Robert A. Heinlein

It wasn’t so much the mistakes

It wasn’t so much the mistakes that people made but how flexible they were in their aftermath that made all the difference in how their lives turned out.

Naomi Jackson

My Life

My life my selfie!

―Ken Poirot

 

And it’s great to have all these readers and fans who, for the most part, are very nice people, saying they love the books and the TV show. But there are so many of them and it just doesn’t end. Oh, and ‘selfies’! If I could clap my hands and burn out every camera phone in the world, I swear I’d do it!

― George R.R. Martin

When you’re obsessive

When you’re obsessive, like me, searching for something unattainable can become unhealthy… it’s like falling through the air and grabbing at the clouds.

Jonny Wilkinson

****

I sometimes picture these unfortunates as men and women being pecked to death by predatory birds. The birds are invisible – at least until a psychiatrist who is good, or lucky, or both, sprays them with his version of Luminol and shines the right light on them – but they are nevertheless very real. The wonder is that so many OCDs manage to live productive lives, just the same. They work, they eat (often not enough or too much, it’s true), they go to movies, they make love to their girlfriends and boyfriends, their wives and husbands . . . and all the time those birds are there, clinging to them and pecking away little bits of flesh.

Stephen King

Show me somebody

Show me somebody who is always smiling, always cheerful, always optimistic, and I will show you somebody who hasn’t the faintest idea what the heck is really going on.

Mike Royko

Why do you think the lottery is so popular?

Why do you think the lottery is so popular? Do you think anybody would play if the super payoff was a job on the night shift in a meat-packing plant? People play it so if they win they can be rich and idle. Like I told you years ago – if work is so good, how come they have to pay us to do it?

Mike Royko

A pessimist

A pessimist sees the glass as half empty; A Cub fan wonders when it’s gonna spill.

Mike Royko

The neighborhood-towns

The neighborhood-towns [of Chicago] were part of larger ethnic states. To the north of the Loop was Germany. To the northwest was Poland. To the west were Italy and Israel. To the southwest were Bohemia and Lithuania. And to the south was Ireland…you could always tell, even with your eyes closed, which state you were in by the odors of the food stores and the open kitchen windows, the sound of the foreign or familiar language, and by whether a stranger hit you in the head with a rock.

Mike Royko

The subject of criminal rehabilitation

The subject of criminal rehabilitation was debated recently in City Hall. It’s an appropriate place for this kind of discussion because the city has always employed so many ex-cons and future cons.

Mike Royko

Organizing

Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.

A. A. Milne

I am in fact a Hobbit

I am in fact a Hobbit in all but size. I like gardens, trees, and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humor (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late (when possible). I do not travel much.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Failure

Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker.

Denis Waitley

Most of the intelligence

Most of the intelligence out there must be artificial intelligence. We keep looking for critters like us living on a planet like ours, where in fact the majority of the intelligence out there is not biological. That would be my argument.

Seth Shostak

Pile the bodies high

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work–
I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and the passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we now?

I am the grass.
Let me work.

― Carl Sandburg

I decided to write Westerns

I decided to write Westerns because there was a terrific market for Westerns in the ’50s. There were a lot of pulp magazines, like ‘Dime Western’ and ’10 Story Western’ that were still being published. The better ones paid two cents a word. And I thought, ‘I like Westerns.’

Elmore Leonard

Daily life

Daily life is governed by an economic system in which the production and consumption of insults tends to balance out.

Raoul Vaneigem

When I was young

When I was young, I used to expect Parisians to wear little black berets, to bicycle about with strings of onions around their necks, and to brandish long sticks of bread, just like they used to do in school textbooks.

Craig Brown

If a writer of prose

If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing.

Ernest Hemingway

You build on failure

You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.

Johnny Cash