Archive for October, 2017


October 31, 2017

Extracts from the book by Thomas W. Adams and Susan R.Kuder



  1. Cindy is on her own She has graduated from college, gotten a job, and is supporting herself.
  2. Barbara has a mind of her own: She does what she feels is best, even if her friends don’t agree with her.
  3. Grace is tied to her mother’s apron strings. She cannot do anything without first asking her mother.
  4. Mary is a copycat. Whatever Cheri does, she does.
  5. Betty lets Bob lead her by her nose. She does whatever Bob wants her to do.
  6. Rob finally cut the apron strings. He moved away from his home into his own apartment.
  7. Frank is a yes-man. He always does what his boss tells him to, even if he thinks it is a bad idea.
  8. Little Mike is a Mama’s boy. Whenever something goes wrong, he runs to his mother.
  9. Dave has learned to stand on his two feet. He makes all of his decisions now.


Mr. Field is speaking to his son Bill.

You are seventeen now and it is time that you cut the apron strings. In a few months you will be off to college and on your own. I would like to give you some advice. Don’t be a yes-man. Make your own decisions and stand on your own two feet. Don’t worry about the failure. You have to learn to have a mind of your own. Don’t let anybody lead you by the nose. Enjoy yourself, son. Your college days are the best days of your life.



October 30, 2017

sound advice


One day Pete approached his Uncle Jack who was said to know all the answers to all the questions and who was always handy at giving a good piece of advice. Generally, Pete was a past master at getting his own way. He preferred to keep his own council (those who like card games may say that he “kept his cards close to his chest”), but this time he was in for a hard decision and determined to lay it on the line. “Just for a kick-off, Uncle Jack”, he began, “you may know that I’m dating a wonderful girl whom I met at The Bull.”

“The Bull is the haunt of all lay-abouts who have nothing but off-hand manners and their fathers’ money. And that girl is just another fancy piece of yours,” said Uncle Jack sarcastically. “With the prices at The Bull, drinking even a glass of beer there is nothing but a daylight robbery.”

Pete didn’t get edgy at all.

“Yes, I was down to my last penny yesterday, he said, “but it’s peanuts when a beautiful “fancy piece”, as you put it, sits in front of you. I’m ready to make a splash.”

“I know your friends,” continued Uncle Jack. “Going on a binge every night, non-stop rave-ups and all that…Their friendship is nothing but mutual back-scratching. When you are up the creek, they will back out and leave you carry the pan.”

“It’s not about THEM, Uncle Jack. It’s about HER. She’s not rich at all. Shall I go steady with her? It’s time for me to get married. I have my choice of two women: this beautiful penniless girl I’m madly in love with and the other – a rich old widow whom I cannot stand. What will you say?”

Uncle Jack put on a thinking cap.

A hard nut to crack,” he said. “But we will make a job of it, while we are at it. You want to look where you are stepping in. I think you should follow your heart. Marry the girl you love.”

“Very well, Uncle Jack,” said the nephew, “that’s sound advice.”

“By the way,” asked Uncle Jack, “where does the widow live?”


October 5, 2017

old-man-jogging-2I usually jog round the lake that is not far from the place where I live. There’s also a high school situated nearby. On my way I overtake other joggers (older than me 🙂 ), I say hello to those who run in my direction, and I zigzag through the dogs being led by their masters for a morning stroll. On my way I may also overhear short phrases uttered by people walking along my track. As a rule, these snaps of conversation flash up my memories too.

Two men are hotly debating something. “…those agreements are good for nothing…,” I hear. Definitely, they are talking about the Minsk agreements that are supposed to do away with the war in the East of Ukraine. The agreements are interpreted differently by different parties and so far are not effective.

…begin standing in line by 7. The bread arrives at 7:30…” Those are two elderly ladies. Every morning, at half past seven, fresh bread at a cheap price is delivered to a kiosk one block away. We call the bread “social bread”. It is sold to the Kyiv pensioners on the presentation of their IDs.

A mother is taking her son to school by hand. The son is no older than a first-grader. In passing, I hear her saying, “When you subtract a number from zero…” Oh my! That’s how Nobel Prize winners are raised!

It’s almost the time when the bell for classes should go in the school. A car is speeding into the schoolyard. It stops abruptly, a teenager with a school bag in his hands gets out and slowly, very slowly goes to the entrance. The mother (a driver) puts her head out of the car window and shouts, “You’re being late!”

Jogging is REALLY interesting. Today it was 14 kilometers (12 laps round the lake) within an hour and a half. Not bad for a 68-year-old. 🙂 … And there were those four conversation pieces I described!


October 2, 2017

Extracts from the book by Thomas W. Adams and Susan R.Kuder



Compromise (with) (one’s) principles.

Compromise on (something) (with someone).

Reach a compromise.


  1. I never thought he would compromise his principles just to get in business like that.
  2. Jane felt really guilty about compromising with her principles when she didn’t turn her friends into the police after she saw them stealing.
  3. Living in this neighborhood is something I’m unwilling to compromise on.
  4. I intend to compromise on this matter with them.
  5. We were unable to reach a compromise and quit trying.


compromise-3Mr. O’Leary is a political candidate who will compromise in some areas. In others, he’s unwilling to compromise.

  1. When it comes to health care, he sticks to his guns. He will not listen to people who say he is wrong. No matter how much others try to get to see their point of view, once he has formed an opinion, he holds on to it.
  2. In foreign policy matters, he is known for his give-and-take. He feels that to reach an agreement, people have to give up part of what they want.
  3. As for capital punishment, it is all or nothing for him. If he cannot have everything he wants in the way he wants it, he would rather not have it at all.
  4. When it comes to welfare, he tries to find middle ground. He does not like extremes. He is comfortable when he is halfway between the two sides of a discussion.
  5. As for anti-pollution laws, he is a middle-of–the-road He can always see the worth of both sides of the argument. He feels that the best decisions are always between the two opposite points of view.
  6. When it comes to law and order, he will meet his opponent halfway. He feels it is important to make decisions that everybody can accept. He will give up part of what he wants for the sake of reaching an agreement.
  7. Generally, he is willing to go halfway. He feels that if people do not give a little on their position, nothing will ever get done. He does not think that people should be so stubborn that they refuse to change their minds.

agree to disagree: (of two parties) to mutually accept that they simply do not (and will not) share the same view on a particular issue, in the interest of moving past the issue or avoiding further confrontation: <I am sick of arguing with you, so let’s just agree to disagree and move on from this issue>

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