Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: It can't end quick enough




I think it is safe to say that none of us can get rid of 2009 fast enough. With that being said, thank you for your support, comments, and readership. I appreciate the loyalty of you 2 faithful readers and hope 2010 will bring happiness and prosperity to both of you.

To the band of Weirdos, Whacko's, and Misfits here at FTI, I don't see how the future could be any more dismal than the present you currently endure.  It is my fervent hope the governor grants my plea to have each of you placed at a more secure facility for the good of society.  One can only hope.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Order from the convenience of your own home



The cheap-assed Board of Directors notified me yesterday that they have taken it upon themselves to hire an independent, outside consultant to help them explore different ways to "raise our level of exposure" here at FTI as we move forward into the future. I have always worked under the assumption that we wanted to bring no added attention to ourselves due to the level of idiocy found here, but, apparently not. 

This clown convinced our Board to explore unique avenues that no one else has previously ever explored. One idea was to develop an on-line store of official FTI merchandise. We don't even have an official logo, and yet, we're talking about merchandise emblazoned with our name that someone would have around the house that remind them of us during use. At first glance, one would think "that's not very unique. Everyone has printed stuff. What's so special about that type of concept?" Ah, but the devil lies in the details. We're not talking about T-shirts, key chains, bookmarks, or ball caps. No. We are thinking stuff along the lines of FTI Doggy Pooper-Scoopers, FTI Chair Donuts for people whom suffer from hemorrhoid difficulty, and my favorite: an authentic, official FTI pencil,  actually previously chewed by one of our staff. Now that is a unique thing! Anyway, as any good consultant does before meeting with a new client, he did some advance research and produced a sample item I have displayed above. (I am considering my own legal challenge to this item as the use of this picture in my younger days is actually an invasion of privacy.)

Our reviled  IT Department has been given the task to set up all of the details of how people will order, pay, etc., so I don't expect anything meaningful to happen anytime soon.   If we ever do get up and going however, remember this one wise caveat:  Buyer Beware.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Some end o' the year housecleaning

Well, it's getting down to that time of year again.  Time to get rid of the old and bring in the new.  Time to implement some new policies,  procedures, and methods designed to assure our 2 faithful readers  that, yes indeed,  though this website is indeed a waste of bandwidth over the internet, maybe there's a glimmer of hope that something useful will eventually surface here.   

Like most major news outlets, I thought it would be good form to review some of our highlights (low points?) of the past year.   Though certainly accessible on our weekly Green Sunday random results tool, I draw your attention to these particular posts  for their ability to demonstrate the properties of what occurs here on a daily basis:  planned stupidity.  Hopefully, we can avoid these type of events in the future.  With that in mind, here are  a couple of examples:

* Pete Barbutti is our adopted musical inspiration here at FTI.  After viewing this, you will know why.

* Dicky the Peap is one of our staff members whom was unfortunately born with this affliction. Chalk this one up to simply "Life isn't fair."

* The staff picnic was the summer highlight for our team at FTI.  Gummo, the Balloon Boy, failed to heed the 30 minute swimming rule after eating and as a result ended up with cramps. Gummo, Mom is always right.

* Mrs. Kfred is highly regarded by both the staff and obviously, myself. She's on her own on this one, however.


* And lastly, our hoped for theme song as we move into 2010.

One bit of 2009 sad news that needs to be passed along:  Our local State Attorney General has informed us that we will be required to continue to perform community service for an undetermined amount of time.  The Institute's orignal charter was envisioned to be based  on need on a short-term emergency basis, but,  has now bloated to a cumbersome bureacracy.  Despite my best leadership efforts, the incompetencies continue.  Oh,  the humanity. 

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Our After the Holiday Sunday Clearance post

Hey c'mon, it's Clearance Sunday.  We get a day off too, you know. 

 Consider yourself lucky. We have our ENTIRE STOCK (!!) of past thoughts on display for reading.  Since you've already spent the energy to get here, it would be wasteful (not to mention how harmful  to the environment)  if you leave now without getting what you came for.  So we'll  do our part: it's not new, it's just gently read.   Take a look here and see if you missed anything from the past.

See you tomorrow. 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It wasn't me

Well, the big day has come and gone.  The weather was perfect,  the gifts were generous, and the prime rib was perfect.  You couldn't have asked for a better day.  While giving the staff  the weekend off to celebrate, the continuing Flatline experiences continue with or without our staff around.  I didn't realize that it would come from within my own immediate family, however.    

Joining Mrs Kfred and myself for the holiday were Kfred Jr. 1 and his fiancé, Goldilocks; Kfred Jr. 2, home from college for the holidays; and Brother Eddie.  Brother Eddie is the member of the family that is in his own world.  A lifelong bachelor, he marches to the beat of a different drummer (one resembling the skills of a beginning player in the 4th grade orchestra).  Regardless, he is family and one of us.  He does, however, possess a certain attitude of superiority that, at times, can be a bit arrogant.  As a result, if I get a chance every so often to bring him down a notch or two, I immediately seize the opportunity. 

After dinner last night, Brother Eddie had been gone for a few minutes.  Shortly thereafter, he comes down the stairs and bellows "Kfred, Kfred".  I answered and asked what he wanted.  He replied, "come here".  In a low, quietly discrete voice, he mentions, "It wasn't me, but, the toilet upstairs needs a plunger".    Now, right away, I recognize the opening I knew that would eventually be forthcoming at some time.  My job was to simply wait for it, tee it up, and swing it over the fences.  Did I?  No, I quietly got the plunger, took care of the task at hand, and considered the incident over. 

He and I both know that I now have my own little comeuppance with him for the  rest of my life.    It's a great spot to be in.  And all for the lack of a high fiber diet. 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Twas the Night Before Christmas





'Twas the night before Christmas, and all ‘round the ‘tute
The dimwits were sleeping, the sight is not cute.
The restraints were hung by the chimney with care,
It’s for their own safety and general welfare;

The misfits were locked in their dormitory with beds,
They’re really no more than slow-thinking pinheads;
And Mrs Kfred in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
He’d be the one to visit our mentally sick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called the dimwits by name;
"Now, Freako! now, Gummo! and Dickie the Peap!
Wake up you slow whacko’s; you need no more sleep!

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
He knew of these idiots I suffer each day,
He couldn’t believe I had chosen to stay.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
Some brand new straightjackets he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Replacing the restraints with an all knowing smirk,
He knew the great burden I constantly bear,
Sometimes I think, I’m in a giant daycare,

"Now Kfred," he boomed, “Don’t Worry, Don’t fuss,
All people know they ride the short bus,
Most readers know they are mental midgets,
Their collective IQ is one single digit”,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“I’m glad I’m not you, none of those idiots seem right!”

(with profuse apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh, the weather outside is frightful

Adhering to the Boy Scout principle to always "Be prepared", I have always strove in both my personal life, and, here at the Institute, to make sure that any unforeseen emergencies will be dealt with appropriately. 

During yesterday's staff meeting, we were talking about winter preparation and the need to have a plan for inclement weather.  True to our ways, I left the meeting with my head shaking and wondering what in God's name was the type of atrocious act I committed in a previous life to be placed with this band of misfits in this life. Previously, Dickie the Peap has spent some time  in the meteorology/weather forecasting field and relayed the incident that led him to being dismissed and placed here with us  at FTI. 


A new Indian chief located nearby where Dickie was located was unsure if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild. Since he was a chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets. When he looked at the sky, he couldn't tell what the winter was going to be like. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members should collect firewood to be prepared.
But, being a practical leader, after several days, he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called Dickie at the National Weather Service and asked, 'Is the coming winter going to be cold?'
'It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold,' Dickie admitted.
So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared.
A week later, he called Dickie again. 'Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter ?'
'Yes,' Dickie again replied, 'it's going to be a very cold winter.'
The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find.
Two weeks later, the chief called  Dickie again. 'Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?'
'Absolutely,' the Peap replied. 'It's looking more and more like it is going to be one of the coldest winters we've ever seen.'
'How can you be so sure?' the chief asked.
Dickie replied, 'The Indians are collecting firewood like crazy.'

Monday, December 21, 2009

Circle takes the square



We received a pre-Christmas gift here at the Institute yesterday that I think is appropriate for our staff. The gift is a board game called "Smart Ass".  Players are asked various questions and, based on your answers,  you progress on a board to the final destination. 

The whole concept reminded me of the old Hollywood Squares TV quiz show.  The set was a  giant tic-tac-toe board where various celebrities were seated and  would be asked random questions.  Two contestants had to alternately determine if the answers were true or false and based on their correct determination, the contestant would win the square.  Some of the greatest one-liner smart ass replies came from this show.

With full credit to the celebrities and writers: 

You're a 71-year old man who has lost interest in sex.  Does your doctor have anything to help you?
Charley Weaver:  No, but his nurse does. 

True or False.  Experts say there are only seven or eight things in the world dumber than the ant.
George Gobel:  Yes, and I think I voted for them. 

In a survey of teenage mothers, most of them said they were listening to this when they got pregnant.  What is it?
Paul Lynde: A pack of lies. 

What are 'Do It,' 'I Can Help,' and 'I Can't Get Enough'?
George Gobel:  I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.

Paul, what is a good reason for pounding meat?
Paul Lynde: Loneliness!

I'm sure our group, being as dimwitted as they are, will never match the clever answers listed here. Perhaps though, they will use it as a form of inspiration.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our green holiday policy

Hey c'mon, it's the final Sunday before Christmas and we've got some shopping to do.  What would you get as a gift for this band of weirdos?

We're glad you're here, though. We have endorsed an alternative holiday "green" policy here at FTI and want to do our part.  Since you've already spent the energy to get here, it would be wasteful (not to mention how harmful  to the environment)  if you leave now without getting what you came for.  So we'll  do our part: it's not new, it's just gently read.   Take a look here and see if you missed anything from the past.



See you tomorrow.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yep. We've seen his kind before

This guy is exactly the type of member that our HR department chooses when we have an opening here at FTI.

If anyone knows him, please advise him that though his credentials are impressive,  we currently have no openings that match his skillset. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Greetings

I haven't sent any Christmas cards out this year.  Though they are nice and fun to receive, I believe the whole concept is rapidly becoming unnecessary.  With the advent of cell phones, instant messaging, Facebook, web cams, etc., a person can be on another continent, up in space, or underwater on a submarine and still contact their family and friends to let them know they want to share the Christmas spirit with them instantly.  Christmas was always the time of year of re-contacting long lost acquaintances or distant family members to let them know you were thinking of them.    With these new types of technology, I can forsee the day when actual card exchanging will go away.  You will just exchange electronic greetings, instead. 

I received 2 different Christmas greetings yesterday.   One was sent via the US Postal Service; the other via e-mail.  Both conveyed the message of wishing me and my family  holiday greetings and that the sender was thinking of me.  Let's compare the two greetings I received:  The card via the Post Office was sent by an elderly aunt whom I keep in contact each year at Christmas only.  Here is the message:  "Wishing you a Merry Christmas filled with Cheer, and many warm wishes for the coming year."  Nice, right?  Pleasant, cheerful, well-meaning.  The Christmas greeting I received via e-mail was from American Airlines.  Here's their message:

"Words. They can have a profound impact.
As 2009 comes to an end, we would like to take a moment to share simple words of gratitude with you. Your business is deeply appreciated and gives us more reason to celebrate and look forward to the fresh beginnings of a new year and the promise and potential 2010 may bring.

From all of us at American Airlines, we wish you a very happy holiday season. And most of all, we’d like to share two more words with you.

Tough Luck. "

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Uh, We're kind of Sorry


This past week has been themed around the incompetence of American Airlines for disallowing  my bag to travel with me when I returned from Dallas, Texas last weekend.  At that time, I held American responsible for the troubles and adopted them as an involuntary affiliate member here at FTI due to their ineptness, stupidity , and lack of common sense in dealing with a minor situation. Due to the dogged determination and investigative skills of the FTI Research team, an added co-conspirator has also been identified.   And of course, I want them to get their due recognition as well. 

It has been uncovered that the  co-party responsible for this screw-up is, in fact, the Transportation Security Administration, a division of the US Department of Homeland Security.  These are the people who man the metal detectors and then paw over you like a 16 year old on a second date should you trip it; so pleasantly practice their customer service skills by barking "shoes off!, shoes off!"while standing in line to go through the above mentioned metal detector; and so animatedly stare into an x-ray machine hoping they run across a set of fingernail clippers that they can confiscate as a threat to airline security. 

For their part, American Airlines, sent me a computer generated email response that cited phrases in my original complaint.  In it, I was instructed that I could access the AA website, drill down  3 times deep into the bowels of the AA website to find out,  in fact, I was a screw-up for not checking the baggage in earlier.  I have never denied, ultimately, I was at fault.  My complaint is that the simple lack of common sense and flexibility would have made it easier for all of us involved; both AA and me.   I would have had my bag; their customer service people would have been able to speak with a potential paying customer for a future flight rather than arguing with one irate for 30 minutes after  a completed flight.  As I see it, that formula doesn't seem to be one that generates new revenue. 

In conclusion, I am over my snit.  I am prepared to release American Airlines from FTI affiliation after Friday of this week.  ( I still have one more  whack I want to give them, yet.)  We wouldn't even think about adding the TSA as an official affiliate:  We have plenty of incompetence practiced by the staff.  They certainly don't need to learn any new techniques.   

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I think it looks nice

Teaming up with Mrs. Kfred last evening, I finished trimming the Christmas tree  in the Executive Living area of the FTI compound.     There is so much involved with the decoration task:  deciding if the tree is straight in the stand, is there  enough room against the wall to walk by,  is a branch  being bent, are the ornaments hung in the wrong place, etc.  If I do say so myself, the tree looks very nice and highly festive.  There normally is a little stress associated with this task resulting in the usual  hurt feelings, raised voices, pouting, name calling,  and ultimately, tears.  (We haven't even discussed the reactions generated by Mrs. Kfred under these circumstances.)   In the end, though, all was forgiven and the affected half of the team got over it. 

I have it on good authority that over at American Airlines headquarters however, a different scenario took place.  Apparently, "the computer", dictated that the  tree in their lobby would potentially be overweight as initially planned to be decorated.  Much debate went back and forth between management and the decoration committee and ultimately, management (you know, the group whom programs "the computer"), prevailed.  Here's a shot of their current tree.   Aren't computers wonderful?

Monday, December 14, 2009

FTI Recommended Reading

Normally,  I don't recommend books for the readership here.  I like to read and actually am in a book club with Mrs. Kfred, but,  choose to refrain from sharing my choices here.  Mandatory FTI reading subjects, however, are different.   The Complete Worst-case Scenario Survival Handbook with such topics as How to Thwart an Affectionate Costumed Mascot, How To  Carry a Date Who Is Passed Out, How To Steer Your Bike Down A Rock Face,  not only are mandatory reading for the staff, but actually , in some cases, penned by some of our staff and affiliate members.

Interestingly, one ominously titled chapter, How To Get A Job You Are Not Qualified For, would appeared to have been used by the Vice President in charge of Customer Service/Baggage issues over at American Airlines.   It can only be assumed that the particular Vice President in question never  read (and as a result was not able to learn) How to Foil A UFO Abduction.  Obviously, the alien got his brain.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's Lost Luggage Sunday

Hey c'mon, it's Lost Luggage Sunday.  Today starts a week of posts themed around the incompetence of our first idiot corporate affiliate, American Airlines.  We're still trying to get someone with an ounce of sense or intelligence at American Airlines to answer our complaint and, as a result, we haven't been able to address other matters. 

We're glad you're here, though. Unlike American Airlines, we have policies of which we inform our readers.  As a result, today we have  implemented a new "lost luggage/prior posts" policy here at FTI.      No spilled liquids, no smelly socks, no embarrassing marital aids.  Take a look here , rifle through some of our past columns, and see if you missed anything that we have previously packed from the past.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Doing What We Do Best



Due to our position in the community, most self-respecting corporations and companies avoid any type of link or mention of their identity with us here at FTI.  As Executive Director of FTI, I understand brand imaging and am aware of the reluctance to be grouped with unsavory individuals or questionable organizations.  To date, our strenuous selection process and monitoring of the  level of incompetence, indifference, and total idiocy equal to the staff here at FTI  has never found any corporation engaging in  this type of behavior..............until now.  After an experience yesterday, however,  our first corporate affiliate has been identified as equally inept as Gummo, the Balloon Boy, Dickie the Peap, Commando Barney,  and the rest of our losers.  And that is not the recipe for a successful business model.   Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce American Airlines.  (Earning a mention in our highly coveted "Government/Public Facility" Ineptness category is DFW Airport.  That will be explored at a later time)

While finishing up my non-Institute duties in the Dallas branch of Dilbert-land yesterday, I had an administrative person pre-print me a boarding pass to avoid the line at check-in.  Arriving 45 minutes in advance of the plane departing, I planned to go to  the desk, get the luggage tag, check the bag,  and be on my way.  Finally reaching the agent after 15 minutes of waiting,  I was informed that I was 4 minutes late in checking my bag and as a result, I could board, but, the bag would be on the next flight to my destination 5 hours later.  Apparently, "the computer" had cut off accepting any more baggage within 30 minutes of departure.  (Results produced by the Factorcrap Truthometer Deluxe during subsequent analysis last night were inconclusive on this statement).    Arriving, I was told that American would not pay to have the bag delivered as it was "your fault" for not having the bag ready on time.  Of course, the fact that I was electronically checked in, but, had not personally spoke with the agent; that Dallas is the location of American's headquarters and major hub; that American had 3 agents on duty at 4 pm on a Friday afternoon at the Gate 28-29 counter area to service the 3 lines of approximately 50 passengers waiting to be processed; and that nowhere on the boarding pass or on the American Airlines website concerning preboarding policies was this discussed seemed to sway anyone I spoke to .  So, it's a trip back to the airport to retrieve my luggage. 

Upon reflection, I understand this type of behavior; I experience it on a daily basis.  To practice this at the level equal to our own, though is noteworthy.   If you ever have the choice between American Airlines and a blind burro to get you somewhere capably, choose the mule.  After all, "We know why you fly.  We're American Airlines".

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Now, here is a sales tip

Well, I have arrived  at my out of town location on non-Institute business.  7 hours late.  And none too happy.     Unfortunately, I can't seem to escape the scrutiny, ridicule, and embarrassment that doggedly follows me when the three letters, FTI, are brought up. 

While checking in at the airport yesterday morning, I was asked to verify that my name and the one on my ticket matched.  I immediately provided my official FTI ID badge, adjusted my headwear, and readied myself to proceed to my gate. The gate agent look at my ID badge, looked at me, checked the badge again, and stated, "Uh, sir. We have a problem".   I realized that the act of adjusting my hat  had vastly altered my looks as compared to that on the badge and promptly removed it.  At this point, the agent cocked her head, narrowed here eyes, and repeated, "Sir, did you hear me?"  I pointed out that the hearing results of my recent physical with the personnel at our outsourced FTI medical facility, Tijuana Medical Clinico and Gringo Coffee, (Our Espresso is Bueno!") noted my hearing was normal.  She replied, "Then, what is this?"  Apparently, the Green Comic had thought it would be hilarious to steal my badge,  switch my image with his , and see what would ensue.  I eventually cleared up the misunderstanding and was finally assigned my seat between two large hulking individuals ("We're grain salesmen from Omaha") with crewcut hairstyles and earpieces.  I was able to get some rest after the ordeal and have arrived ready to fulfill my duties here. 

Upon arrival, I bid my seatmates a hasty goodbye and went to retrieve my bags.  We must have bonded in the air as I did notice them constantly observing me from the time we landed until I caught the cab.  I did point out to the two salesmen that, perhaps, if they were a little less shy and  improved their listening skills while speaking with the customer, their sales might increase.  They didn't seem too interested in listening to what I had to say.   I guess you are only as good as the people around you.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Santa!? Santa!? Have you no shame?




Unfortunately, even the Christmas season is not immune from the sophomoric behavior of our team.  I instructed the staff to decorate the compound here at FTI in festive Christmas lights as we usually try to have a nice display for our neighbors as an offering of goodwill and to thank them for not complaining about living within such close proximity of us year round.    I assigned Gummo, the Balloon Boy, to decorate the staff wing.  Here is the result.  Is there any wonder why I have health issues?


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Now, to tie up some of those loose ends

A little bit of housekeeping from this past week:

The Boomerang effect noted this past Monday is real.  Based on a closer observation of our staff during the recent Chrismas light installation party here at the Insititute, the syndrome couldn't be clearer.  This team is a bunch of idiots. 

The cheap-assed Board of Directors conducted an emergency budget session to approve my request for additional funds for repair of our sewage treatment system.  Previously, my pleas for funds had been ignored, but, when I pointed out the fact that our reputation was now in jeopardy of actually fulfilling itself, literally, I couldn't have received the money quick enough. 

The controversy over the authority succession plan is still not settled.  It was decided that a written proficiency test should be  part of any evaluation when considering candidates for the position of Executive Director.  Unfortunately, the only tests our members are adept with are those that involve a jail nurse, a small plastic cup, and a  restroom.  Anything else is  beyond their abilities. 

I can't get away from this place next week fast enough.   

 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Well, we could draw straws

A recent event has exposed a major flaw here at FTI that has never been addressed. This may, however, be a problem that has no solution.

I am scheduled to be out of town next week on non-Institute business. It has been pointed out that we have no succession plan of leadership to conduct business in my absence or sudden demise. This is a huge problem. The problem is that we have no qualified candidates to assume these responsibilities. I have studied parallel circumstances to attempt to find some solution, but have been stymied at every turn to date. For example, upon the death or incapacitation of members of Congress, there have been instances of spouses assuming the position their spouse occupied. Mrs. Kfred would be a logical choice to be my replacement, but, as Director of Institute Safety, she has no interest in the Executive Director position. I would not be so cruel as to saddle Kred Jr’s 1 or 2 at this point in their young lives to have to deal with this band of Weirdo’s, Whacko’s, and Misfits. Dickie the Peap would probably be the immediate and first choice to carry on our mission, but his disability prevents him from effectively fully carrying out the financial duties associated with the position. Gummo, the Balloon Boy, has some potential, but his recent admission that “sometimes, I’m a Buffoon”, immediately disqualifies him. Freako, Commando Barney, Trumpster, and the rest just are not yet seasoned enough to don this mantle of responsibility. We have a rising star in The Campus Eunuch; he may be a glimpse into the future here at FTI.  Time will tell.  In the meantime, I plan on being as careful as humanly possible to avoid any mishaps that would result in my inability to lead. After all,  who else would produce this stuff?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I wouldn't want you to think we are full of..................

While lounging in the Executive quarters of the FTI compound last night, Mrs. Kfred alerted me to a high pitched alarm occuring outdoors and asked me to investigate.  As the Director of Institute Safety, Mrs. Kfred has been a valuable member in keeping the Institute free of any time lost accidents or harmful events which would raise our liability costs any further.  (The monthly payment to our bondsman whom we have on retainer is substantial enough.  We can't afford any more insurance).  As chief maintenance officer, and at her repeated insistence suggestion, I immediately sprung into action.

Upon further investigation, I determined that the alarm was occurring because one of the effluent pumps on the waste treatment facility here at the Institute was not functioning properly. Our cheap-assed Board of Directors has repeatedly cut our budget so many times that our repair equipment for this division of FTI has been reduced to a single plunger, easily purchased at your local Home Depot for $2.49 (or free if you happen to get a door buster holiday special at the local Tru-Value). Regardless, there was trouble a-brewin'. I quickly formulated a repair plan that calmed Mrs. Kfred, ended the distracting noise, and guaranteed a peaceful night's sleep: I simply hit the "Silence Alarm" button. Of course, this does nothing to address the actual problem in the first place. It does, however, buy me time to deal with the issue in the daylight hours, call a professional, and arrange for the necessary repairs.

I relay this incident to get it out in the open. I'm sure some of our less well intentioned, mean-spirited, affiliates will try to comment, make fun of our plight, and suggest that we are full of it anyway. I remind our staff:  We are what you produce.

Monday, November 30, 2009

It's like the Boomerang effect

The long holiday weekend is over and now we can get back to the regular business at hand.  I'm anticipating our Monday morning staff meeting to be a little less lively than normal as our  full complement of staff are not present.  I think we should be able to conduct the Institute's business,  but,  I am troubled by the attitude of one of our members, however. 

During these tough economic times, I have tried repeatedly to jettison some of our members in order to get the group down to a more manageable size.  I have my preferred candidates chosen whom I feel should  go, but to date, have not been able to convince our cheap-assed Board of Directors to give me the authority to  pull the  trigger. One member in  particular has the attitude that his is a position that he will have for a lifetime and even gone so far as to state, "I'm like a Federal judge.  I'm appointed for life".  In the same conversation, he also admitted, "I'm an idiot", and "Sometimes, "I'm a buffoon".  Those  these qualities are rampant among our membership, it is not something we like to have members openly admit to the public.  The entitilement mentality and "you can't get rid of me" mindset is  one with which I constantly battle.    I am encouraged, however, that this self realization and admission of shortcomings is a positive sign as we move forward in transitioning this member into the general community.   I just wish that the general community would stop viewing the Institute as their repository for these types.  After all, that is why we have elections to choose our government officials.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's Green Sunday after Thanksgiving

Hey c'mon, it's Sunday and tough enough to get this group to think during the week. We get a day off too, you know.

We're glad you're here, though. We have endorsed a new "green" policy here at FTI and want to do our part.  Since you've already spent the energy to get here, it would be wasteful (not to mention how harmful  to the environment)  if you leave now without getting what you came for.  So we'll  do our part: it's not new, it's just gently read.   Take a look here and see if you missed anything from the past.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Flying elbows. Unruly behavior. Official intervention. All done on an icy environment.  The Thanksgiving Night hockey game?  Uh-huh.  Just another round of events at the local mall the Day after Thanksgiving. 

The actions of people on the Day after Thanksgiving all to secure the prized possession at a low price are amazing. As noted earlier, I don't participate in this activity and have no desire to do so. Here around the Institute, the staff was off (literally, as in not here, though they usually aren't here mentally the rest of the time, either). A perfect day to watch some football, put up the outdoor lights, catch up on some reading, and do those little things that you normally don't get to do on a regular day during the week.  Shopping is best done for guys in the "Guy Christmas shopping period" occurring  December 22nd and 23rd.   Dicky the Peap was down at the local quarry at 4am to get a good price on a large stone so Mrs. Peap could wash his underwear, but other than that, none of our staff is cogent enough that early in the morning to make any type of buying decisions. 

What a blessed time of year. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A pause for Thanks

Ah, today is Thanksgiving; my favorite holiday. I like Thanksgiving because it is the only holiday that isn't commercialized or taken over for profit. I'm not being altruistic or Pollyanna-ish.  I just appreciate the fact that family can get together, enjoy each others company, eat some great food, and relax.  I have never thought Thanksgiving has received the proper respect; it's more than a bump in the road on the calendar toward Christmas.  Everyone is in a hurry on the highway of life, but,  Thanksgiving is the "Reduced Speed Ahead" sign that safely brings our life priorities back into focus. 

Kfred Jr 1 and his fiancé, Goldilocks,  are going to join us for dinner.  Kfred Jr 2 has too short of a turnaround time to be with us now, but, will be home later at Christmas (we're anxious to see you buddy!)  I am thankful for these 2 amazing young men.  I am thankful for my wonderful life partner, best friend, lover, and thought compass for 28 years, Mrs. Kfred.  I love you dear.   I am thankful for my friendship with (this is hard to admit) the countless dimwits that serve as inspirational fodder for subjects posted  here on a daily basis:  Gummo the Balloon Boy, Dickie the Peap, Freako Deako, Marv the Neighbor, Trumpster, Ace, Commando Barney, the Boy McCoy,  and the rest.  With the antics and ideas that involve you, this is really easy to do on a daily basis.  Please, don't stop.  And finally, I thank you, the reader.  Plano, Lakewood, Spokane, Seoul, Atlanta, London, Perris, Los Angeles, Columbia.  Wherever you are, I wish you a great holiday and thank you for your support.  I'll be back tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that.

My life is truly blessed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Now, that's got to hurt

Mrs. Kfred and I had dinner over at Freako Deako's house last night.  Freako is an interesting character and I know that every time we get together, I will have more material for this site.  Last night was no exception.

Freako has a very competitive personality; he is hard charging and does not like to lose at anything.  After a great dinner, plenty of wine, and some good conversation, we decided to play a card/board game that we always play.  Guy's against the girls, Freako and I against Mrs. Kfred and Mrs. Deako.  (The women usually cheat and win but that is the topic for another posting. )  Regardless, there was a pivotal moment in the game last night when Mrs. Deako  made a strategic move that blunted the next move that Freako had planned.  Without any hesitation whatsoever, he exclaimed surprise and frustration and noted she was really "tightening the scrotum wrench now".   I have no idea what the composition of the toolbox consists of over at the Deako household, but, I do know that I won't be running over to borrow an item anytime soon.  And we haven't even begun to talk about wearing safety goggles. 

Monday, November 23, 2009

You can pretend to be someone else. Like an Executive Director











I don't understand the draw of Facebook.  I was recently invited to be a "friend" on Facebook by a person I last saw 30 years ago.  This person, as I remember her, was in a circle of people that I ran around with, was a nice lady then,  and I would assume be  the same now.  My difficulty , however, is that in not seeing her in 30 years, I'm not sure we have anything in common any longer.   Now we don't have to have anything in common to be friends, right?  If so, then why are we friends? 


After the initial, "HI, I'm glad I found you, How are you doing," small talk is completed, then what?  Do I let her decide which one of these Facebook inhabitants I most resemble. Or,  do I tell her that  my life has amounted to nothing more than ending up as Executive Director of this rinky-dink Institute?  Do I point out that I don't post much on Facebook because it is inane, meaningless, and nothing that I care about. Hold it.  That whole description sounds really familiar.  Those comparisons are hitting pretty close to home.  Maybe I will just friend her back and be done with it. 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's Green Sunday

Hey c'mon, it's Sunday and tough enough to get this group to think during the week, let alone that  all they are focusing on is the upcoming Thanksgiving break. We get a day off too, you know.

We're glad you're here, though. We have endorsed a new "green" policy here at FTI and want to do our part.  Since you've already spent the energy to get here, it would be wasteful (not to mention how harmful  to the environment)  if you leave now without getting what you came for.  So we'll  do our part: it's not new, it's just gently read.   Take a look here and see if you missed anything from the past.



See you tomorrow.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A more appropriate choice

Well, I must say, I am glad that it is Saturday.  I had been dreading yesterday all week long as I was worried about the musical selection to be posted that I would have no control over.  The choice of "YMCA" by the late 70's band of misfits known as "The Village People" is actually reflective of the make-up of our staff.  Most of our team dresses like it is Halloween all year anyway, so, that part of the depiction was accurate. 

One astute reader noted their personal suspicions had been confirmed by this choice as they felt this was an Institute theme song all along.  I point out that though the majority of our staff have been residents of halfway houses and other treatment facilities, a scant few have ever availed themselves to help at the YMCA.   Had the criteria for the musical selection of the day been related to the  description of our staff, I would have chosen something along this line. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Armed Robbery. What are you in for? Me? I was singin' music.

Gummo, the Balloon Boy, called yesterday and attempted to make some sort of shakedown on me.  He had noted that we were receiving threatening letters concerning tomorrow's Jukebox selection and implied that he had some type of connection with the music Nazi's better known as ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors,and Publishers).  Years ago, Gummo had wandered into one of their yearly conventions, eventually gotten drunk with a couple of their members, and woke up in an alley shoeless, his facepaint smeared, and trademark 80's disco 'fro half shaven off his head.  He truly looked like a bad imitation of Larry from The 3 Stooges.     Anyway, this group has caused many a restaurant and bar owner a large amount of grief by demanding licensing payments if you have a band or playing music on a radio in your establishment because you are playing someone else's copyrighted music.  And this is all legal.  (I am not making this up!)  As our Friday jukebox feature also plays music, Gummo was hinting that he might place a couple of calls and make some trouble if he chose to.

I pointed out to Gummo that such an act would jeopardize his position here at the Institute, I didn't think he had the power to commit such an act, we would not succumb to his veiled threats, and that he could go pound sand.  2 hours later,  the Institute was visited by 2 ASCAP goons whom eventually left with Gummo as well.  Apparently, he had been previously observed performing  a bad karaoke version of  the falsetto portion in "Summer Nights" from the movie "Grease".  And that act is a punishable crime. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You are really hard to buy for

This time of year marks the beginning of the season with the inevitable question of  "What do you want for Christmas"? 

I am always at a quandary when asked this question as I never have a really good answer.  I have most everything I need.  That's not to say I have a of materials.  I just use the things I need, buy the things I want when I need them, and ignore the rest.  I currently have a computer, flat screen TV, and cell phone.  (That eliminates about 50% of the advertised "must have" Christmas items).  The idiot IT department has every gaming system and video game known to  man, so don't need that.  The institute's CRAP (Central Research, Analysis, and Policy) Vehicle, oddly, has been behaving lately; I don't see a Lexus with a bow on it in the driveway this year.  A plea bargain agreement stipulated we would not possess any type of GPS system after the little dust-up we had with the Garmin folks earlier this fall.  No go on that one.   My annual plea to provide me with a quality staff by recruiting and offering meaningful compensation to prized performers to upgrade the thinking around here has fallen on deaf ears of our cheap assed Board of Directors.  So, I guess we are stuck with the losers we have.  I guess it really is going to be a bleak Christmas this year. 



**********************************************

The Institute received 2 registered, return receipt letters yesterday from different organizations threatening legal repercussions should our upcoming Friday Jukebox selection cause any legal or economic damage to their well-being.  I'll admit it:  I'm nervous.  We've had legal problems before, but, this is different.  No only could we be economically damaged, but,  also exposed for what we are:  A collection of misfits generating public policy and positions on various issues that most people think is stupid, irrelevant, nonsensical, or meaningless.  Kind of like our local government.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Oh, woe is me

I normally try to relay positive, uplifting, fun type of messages here to offer the casual reader a glimpse inside my world.  By and large, I can deal with  speedbumps thrown my way with little difficulty.  Recently, however, I am increasingly starting to feel life's wall's close in on me:

1)  Mrs. Kfred and I had a recent "disagreement" over my failure to properly medicate and pay attention to my own health and its attending needs.   I won't bore you with the details, but, suffice to say I was properly re-educated of the error of my ways and will not be engaging in that type of behavior again.  Ever. 

2) The emergence and re-appearance of The Green Comic, aka the Earthworm of Comedy, is troubling.  As noted in yesterday's comments, once this guy establishes a foothold, everything goes down hill from there.  This re-incarnation of Milton Berle for todays generation becomes viral very shortly after it begins.  What starts as an  amusing "Hey, I have heard that one before", soon becomes, "Get some new material, Fathead". 

3) The FTI Legal department worked overnight only to disappoint me when informing me we will be powerless to defend against any claims arising  from the pending Jukebox selection to be chosen by the staff  and  revealed in 3 days.  Should their be any actionable claims, it could potentially ruin the Institute from a financial perspective.   

To deal with this increasing madness, I am trying my best to cope with the mounting pressures.  I think I will survive, but, should any further difficulties arise, one needs to have a back-up plan.  Mine is simple:  I have  researched and identified all countries that happen to have no currently enforced extradition treaties with the US.  Now, where exactly is Burkina Faso?

Monday, November 16, 2009

No need to have your primary care guy make a referral

Marv the Neighbor passed along an interesting story that I thought I would share today. I'm sure he didn't come up with it originally, but it is kind of timely with the current healthcare debate.   If I didn't know better, I would have thought this is the type of medicine practiced around here. 

*******************************************************
A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon.

As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest.

After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, "I'm sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away."

The distressed woman wailed, "Are you sure?"

"Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead," replied the vet.

"How can you be so sure?" she protested. "I mean you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around, and left the room.

He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever.

As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.

The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room.

A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly, and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."

The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys, and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman.

The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!" she cried, "$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!"

The vet shrugged, "I'm sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now $150."

*rimshot*

********************************************************

I've already alerted the FTI Legal department to prepare a statement should any fallout occur from the pending Jukebox selection chosen by the staff  to be revealed in 4 days.    We will be proactive on this matter. 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Well, it is Green Sunday and I am here, but, I am not working

Hey c'mon, it's Sunday and tough enough to get this group to think during the week, let alone the weekend. We get a day off too, you know. I am only here today because I am attempting to do some preventitive damage control in light of this upcoming Friday's jukebox programming event by the staff. I'll be honest: I am nervous of the possibilities and fear a musical trainwreck may be on the horizon. I want to disavow, right here and right now, 5 days in advance, any responsiblity for this week's selection.

We're glad you're here, though. We have endorsed a new "green" policy here at FTI and want to do our part.  Since you've already spent the energy to get here, it would be wasteful (not to mention how harmful  to the environment)  if you leave now without getting what you came for.  So we'll  do our part: it's not new, it's just gently read.   Take a look here and see if you missed anything from the past.



See you tomorrow.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I got news for you. You've got another thing coming

I finally concluded a marathon, grind it out, you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me negotiation session last night with our County Probation Office over the spat we had a day earlier.  I'm none to happy with the result, but, accept it as the price to pay to avoid the longer term liability. 

The alert reader will recall that this same office had planned on dumping placing another of their losers here at FTI to be a part of our staff in honor of our recent blog recognition.  As Executive Director, (and  acting HR manager as our appointed official is finishing a 30 day "recovery" sabbatical),  I felt this would be disruptive.  We've experienced a placement of this type before and the results were not good.  The hair pulling, petty jealousies, disappearance of support materials, etc. disrupted our ability to develop and deliver the clear, concise positions and observations we have become known for.  And this behavior was among our upper management team; we haven't even begun to discuss the effects on the rest of the losers housed here.  I knew such an addition would never work.

I contacted the probation office in question and began the session to somehow avoid being forced to add one more misfit to our team.   I pleaded that our ability to deal with the current members of our tinfoil hat brigade already here were stretched to the limit and more harm than good would come as a result of this action.  Finally, a compromise was reached that will end this conflict:  The individual in question will not be placed with us.  In return, the office extracted a commitment to allow the staff to program next Friday's jukebox selection with no interference with me, regardless of  the selection made.  To date, I have taken on this duty and have felt it was my personal signature contribution to this forum.  I immediately rejected this offer, but was met with a no movement stance from the other side.  In the end, I had one choice:  relent or accept the loser.  You know the decision I made. 

Here is what I am faced with.  This is what the staff wanted to play.  I only hope next Friday is better than this. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ah, the price of success

The recognition and mention of this site yesterday by Nancy, a nice lady and author on her own wonderful  blog, has caused a problem that I am feverishly trying to address while I write this.  While appreciative of her raising our existence among the reading community, there is a new challenge that needs to be addressed. 

This lady graciously noted that our site was "off the wall in a beautiful way".   Initially, we welcomed this recognition and felt positive  about it.  After all, I manage this site  for 3 reasons:  1)  I enjoy writing, 2) I like to entertain others, and 3) to gainfully employ our various thickheaded staff members who would be nothing more than unemployment statistics if they weren't involved here.  Come on, could you imagine Gummo the Balloon Boy, Dicky the Peap, or Freako Deako working at your place of employment?    It's best they are together here at FTI; it's kind of like a stray pound for the weak-minded members of my community.  Anyway,  back to the problem. 

A couple of these deep-thinking individuals decided they alone were responsible for our success and that perhaps their abilities would be compensated at a higher level at a competitive thinking organization and announced they were leaving immediately unless we could come up with more dough.  Privately thinking, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out", but, befitting my professional demeanor  as Executive Director here at the Institute, I reminded them of the previous difficulties in dealing with our cheap assed Board of Directors, that my hands were tied financially, and we couldn't afford any more compensation.  I told them  I was sad to see them go, but, would not want to stand in the way of their future success and  wished them well in their new endeavors. (Truthfully, however, I would be eager to jettison any one of these knuckleheads, let alone 2 on the same day; and was secretly thrilled that I would now have two less problem children to deal with and did my own private, happy dance once out of viewing range of the rest of our staff.)   

At the end of the business day yesterday, I received a phone call from the county probation supervisory office informing me that these 2 were not eligible to move elsewhere.  Additionally, their office, too, had become aware of the recognition bestowed upon us, and figured if we could gain this type of notoriety with the staff we had assembled, perhaps one more loser would really put us on the map!  We have worked so hard to erase the reputation of the Institute serving as a dumping ground for society's weirdos, whackos, and misfits.    Now, I have to determine how to raise the level of thinking and policy analysis currently produced to a level that any new reader would want to come here and view, let alone  re-visit on a regular basis with an additional whackjob on staff. 

In closing, to all of our new visitors and friends, welcome.  Take 15 minutes, look around,  and explore some of  the past postings.  We're here 6 days a week; from simple life observations to cutting edge analysis as interpreted by the staff to the Friday Jukebox, we try to have fun along the way.  I guarantee you will leave thinking, "Boy, I'm glad I'm not in that guy's shoes".   And finally, a large "thanks" to my new friend, Nancy.   Let me return the favor someday.  Like, whenever you are ready to wind down your blog.   I can loan out some of our staff.  They can reduce your readership immediately.   And end it in a week.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Does that include one free phone call as well?

I was awakened this morning at 6 am local time by my cell phone.  I normally do not have my cell phone on 24 hours, but, am out of town traveling.  Unsure whether Mrs. Kfred was calling to inform me that the garage door opener was inoperable and she was once again trapped inside (pull the red cord dear; it's the manual disengage), or that it would be the local bail bondsman's monthly reminder about the Institute's past due corporate balance, I groggily answer the phone.  On the other end is a cheery, chipper, pre-recorded voice informing me that I was eligible for "bailout" assistance on my current home loan.  Apparently, it was determined that I deserved  this assistance due to my excellent credit history and the fact that the government wants homeowners like me to have the access to bailout funds "just like the big corporations".

I do not have the luxury of confirming these statements on the Factorcrap Truthometer Deluxe as it does not have remote access capabilities.  I do know, however, that instead of offering me help with my mortgage, they instead offer me something the big corporations have: legal assistance.  You see, due to numerous complaints, local law enforcement is considering having our guys being subject to a "perp walk" in front of TV cameras for the 5 o'clock news.  This would have nothing to do with financial irregularities, rather, one of engaging in public stupidity.  And for that, we need as much assistance as possible.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Course rules dictate the round to be played in 5 hours or less





A commonly held misconception about FTI is that our guys don't know how to have fun.  Oh sure, we regularly engage in grind-it-out, leading edge, out-of the box-thinking.  That's our job.  And getting there is not always pretty.  Regularly, there are hurt feelings, accusations of stupidity, uneasy alliances, and chipped fingernail polish.  In the end though, the job gets finished and the results are displayed here. Once that is done, though, our guys live by the motto:  Work hard, play hard. 

This past weekend, a couple of the guys got out on the local course and decided to play some golf.  The weather wasn't ideal, but hey, it's a chance to get out of confinement.    Here is a picture of one of our affiliates, Slateface, attempting to convert a simply "miserable" round to just a "horrible" one.    Though the rules of golf actually do allow for such a shot to be attempted, normal  players would accept the extra stroke penalty, drop a new ball, and play on.  Not our Slateface, though.  He brings this type of competitive determination, drive, and idiocy to our thinktank policy meetings on a daily basis.     This might have some connection to the comments of most of our ideas being "all wet".  I don't know what that means. 

 

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Congressman didn't address this health care issue during debate






After my various duties here at the Institute are finished, I sometimes find time to do shopping, particularly for my personal medical needs. The FTI medical staff, realizing the need for me to self medicate, have authorized me to puchase my own medicinal tonic water to mix with Gin to keep me in a state of partial lucidity in order to deal with the daftness around here.

Upon my trip to the market yesterday, I discovered a medication overcharge that is coming to illustrate the problems millions of people face when deciding how to allocate their few remaining dollars between their health and their daily living needs.  The choice was simple:  Buy the 6 pack of 8 oz bottles  of tonic for $4.99 or buy the 32 oz bottle for $1.25.  The small 6 pack offers the convenience of single serve portions without the worry of waste or stale product.    On the other hand, I could buy the larger bottle, get a couple of day's worth of use, have it go flat, and still be money ahead. 

It would appear to me that something is definitely wrong with this equation.   I do not need to consult the deep thinkers I supervise to realize that someone is making a frigging killing on this whole thing. I know the outrage of the debate over costs of the healthcare plan currently before Congress.  I just hope they can settle it and get the costs of tonic under control.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's Green Sunday

Hey c'mon, it's Sunday and tough enough to get this group to think during the week, let alone the weekend. We get a day off too, you know.

We're glad you're here, though. We have endorsed a new "green" policy here at FTI and want to do our part.  Since you've already spent the energy to get here, it would be wasteful (not to mention how harmful  to the environment)  if you leave now without getting what you came for.  So we'll  do our part: it's not new, it's just gently read.   Take a look here and see if you missed anything from the past.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A case can be made for wearing a helmet

A little self promotion today.............

Our idiot IT team, in order to raise their stature as the most reviled dept here at the Institute, has earned a temporary reprieve for developing a method to place our favicon (the little portrait of me)in our header.

Previously, we were saddled with the Blogger "B" in this position, but now we have a brand logo like the "real" Bloggers. It is our sincere desire that this new addition will enhance our status and reputation as a serious organization dedicated to an alternative method of thinking not found anywhere else.

Upon further reflection, I have realized, "Who am I trying to fool?" One look at this website, not unlike a collection of postings generated by post-operative head injury patients and it is obvious. We will never attain that status. At least, the picture looks good.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I guess the 20 year reunion might be a little awkward

"Hey, do you remember raiding the girl's locker room? And that time when we had the drag race in the parking lot? Or how about the time I robbed you?"

"God, those were good days."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dear Dicky

The current economic conditions have resulted in a number of people of being out of work and trying to find employment.   Try as I might to get rid of some of the help around here, I have met strong resistance to cleaning house and upgrading the level and quality of thinking done here.  Thank God for the Factorcrap Truthometer Deluxe; it's the only reliable, consistent, steady "voice" that can be counted on for expertise.  The rest of our idiots would be better suited in  pursuing their career goals in either the fastfood preparation or housekeeping/laundry segments of industry.    Regardless,  I relay this background as a premise for the point of this entry.

A number of self-help articles, success tips, and general advice columns have been increasingly written to help people sharpen their skills to find employment.  In order to sharpen our critical thinking skills, we at FTI are constantly engaging in mental exercises to raise our mental abilities to an "adequate" level.  I gave our staff the directive to write their own type of general advice column in the 3rd person to share and be critiqued by the rest of the team in order to attain this "adequate" status.  Here is an example of what one of our members, Dicky the Peap, submitted:

Dear Dicky,
I hope you can help me. The other day, I set off for work leaving my husband in the house watching TV. My car stalled and then it broke down about a mile down the road and I had to walk back to get my husband's help. When I got home, I couldn't believe my eyes. He was in our bedroom with the neighbor's daughter!

I am 32, my husband is 34, and the neighbor's daughter is 19. We have been married for ten years. When I confronted  him, he broke down and admitted that they had been having an affair for the past six months. He won't go to counseling and I'm afraid I am a wreck and need advice urgently. Can you please help?
Sincerely, Sheila

Dear Sheila,

A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the vacuum pipes and hoses on the intake manifold and also check all grounding wires. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the injectors.

I hope this helps,

Dicky

Obviously, we have a lot of work to do.

Monday, November 2, 2009

There's one born every minute


While conducting our weekly counseling session with Gummo the Balloon Boy this morning, I unhappily found out we share a common trait, something I most definitely try to conceal from everyone. Gummo is a good person, but, as a member of our thinktank personnel, he definitely possesses and exhibits thinking tendencies that would be classified as well, "odd". To share any sort of mental similarity with this individual is troubling.

It turns out that Gummo has been selected as a winner of a British National Online lottery. Amazingly enough, I just found out this morning that the Institute has also been bestowed this high honor and privilege! That means, that combined with our past 2 lucky random foreign lottery selections, the Institute stands to collect somewhere in the range of $10 Million US Dollars! Imagine what kind of good we could do with that type of infusion of cash.

Though exhausted with excitement and anxious for the presentation of funds, I do temper my enthusiasm with the realization that if Gummo has also won, the fix is definitely in. After all, Gummo is on a staff that was assembled as a type of mental sideshow attraction. To share this prize is one thing; to share it with one of our own, which by their own presence of being on our staff is troublesome, I realize that perhaps our similarities are not a good thing.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

An hour late, but it is still Green Sunday

Hey c'mon, it's Sunday and tough enough to get this group to think during the week, let alone the weekend. We get a day off too, you know.

We're glad you're here, though. We have endorsed a new "green" policy here at FTI and want to do our part.  Since you've already spent the energy to get here, it would be wasteful (not to mention how harmful  to the environment)  if you leave now without getting what you came for.  So we'll  do our part: it's not new, it's just gently read.   Take a look here and see if you missed anything from the past.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Heavy on the tricks, this is no treat.

Our virtual weekly staff meeting was held yesterday.  We had decided to let our thinkers  attend in their favorite costume in recognition of the Halloween weekend.  Anticipating the  normal idiocy, distractions, and general ineffectiveness  we normally experience,  we thought perhaps we could accomplish something if we allowed this type of activity.   Boy, was that a mistake. 

Dicky the Peap was in attendance as Donald Trump.  That concept alone is preposterous as Dicky IS Donald Trump.   The hair, the money.   Actually, I think Trump tries to imitate our own Dicky.  Gummo the Balloon Boy, was dressed as Abraham Lincoln and insisting that he would make Stephen A Douglass "his bitch" by the end of the day.  Marv the Neighbor  thought we were having Thanksgiving, insisted not knowing anything about dressing up, and only wanting to deep fry a turkey.   I, of course, was dressed in my best sequined tuxedo, walking stick, and bejeweled top hat befitting  the Ringmaster of a large circus.   After an hour and a half of trying to address the topics  on our agenda, I could see we were going nowhere fast and abruptly canceled the meeting.  

We have these meetings weekly.  We try to include these members so they feel they are contributing to our success here at FTI.  After re-reading the minutes of yesterdays fiasco, I can only conclude that our affiliates don't have to don costume once a year to portray someone they are not.  They already portray someone they are not:  Intelligent beings. 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

We need to watch our expenses

While staying current with the local news around the FTI compound, I have noticed a disturbing trend:  employees and public officials billing their company or local government for numerous personal expenses not related to their job or duties.  Not only is this flat out dishonest and illegal, I find it morally offensive.  My point, however, is not to be some moral compass for others or goody-2-shoes; rather, to highlight the safeguards and checkpoints employed by the FTI finance team.

Here at FTI, all employee expenses (mine) are scrutinized for accuracy in regard to dates and amounts.    After initial scrutiny, the expense report is then  filed in a 3 month aging bin where nothing is done or acted upon until this 90 day barrier is met. In the meantime, I am on my own for any type of payment to my bank.  Appeals to our cheap-assed Board of Directors to speed up this process has been  met to date with the same sound as that found in the middle of the forest in the summer:  *crickets chirping*.   Promptly upon the 91st day following the submission of expenses, a terse denial of all requests is issued.  I then have to resubmit all statements and begin the process over again.  I have always treated company money like it was my own and have never billed the company for my personal expenses.  Before I came Executive Director here at the Institute, I do recall an incident while employed at an earlier position where I had an expense questioned:  I put a 25%+  tip on a meal at a Chinese restaurant which my supervisor thought was extensive.  (Never mind the fact that the meal cost a total of $6.95, he thought the $1.75 was too much of a tip.) Talk about scrutiny! 

I have not billed the Institute for the mental health therapy bills I have incurred recently.  Dealing with this band of Weirdos, Whackos, and Misfits on a daily basis certainly creates the need for this type of expense.  I just hope the therapist will see fit to carry me on their books a bit longer.  My case definitely needs a long term treatment plan.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Take ME out to the ballgame!

While speaking with Kfred Jr. 2 the other night, he happened to off-handedly mention that he was going to be on national TV on Wednesday night.  Of course, I had no idea of what he was referring to and asked him to explain.  He said that he had the opportunity to attend Game 1 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium and not only would he watch the game, but, also participate in the pre-game ceremonies  down on the field! Apparently, an allotment of tickets were dedicated to his school and it was done on a first come/first served basis. 

I have a friend who lives in NYC who is a huge Yankee fan and  would love to have this same opportunity.  I  relayed this incident to him and he told me that the cheapest tickets to this game are $400 and escalate up to $2500 per seat.  And these are face values.  I'm sure the actual amount paid will greatly exceed these numbers.   

Though I am glad for the kid, I am more than a little jealous.  He will be hanging out, enjoying the first World Series game ever held in the new Yankee Stadium, being up close to the entire experience.   I hope he catches a foul ball.

Monday, October 26, 2009

No liquids before bedtime

This past Saturdays post has caused some controversy and hurt feelings which I feel a need to address immediately.

The point of the post was to comment on the untimely alert of a failing battery in a smoke alarm. I happened to compare the sound from this to the sound of the bed-wetting alarms installed in the dormitory where our affiliate thinkers are housed here at FTI. I merely thought this was the original source of the alarm and commented as such. Though they have been noted for their unique thinking, some members of our team apparently are very thin skinned as one tendered his immediate resignation, one is nowhere to be found at the moment, and two more have requested appointments for embarrassment counseling via our employee assistance program.

Having been notified of the possible shame and humiliation caused by my posting, I wish to publicly make a formal apology in this forum. I certainly did not intend to cause any harm or shame. I do, however, regret to inform our team that the raises we had slated to give to our team will now be cancelled as they were to be funded by the sponsorship by the maker of the Depends brand undergarments. Hopefully,
we won't be "underwater" because of this incident.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's Green Sunday

Hey c'mon, it's Sunday and tough enough to get this group to think during the week, let alone the weekend. We get a day off too, you know.

We're glad you're here, though. We have endorsed a new "green" policy here at FTI and want to do our part.  Since you've already spent the energy to get here, it would be wasteful (not to mention how harmful  to the environment)  if you leave now without getting what you came for.  So we'll  do our part: it's not new, it's just gently read.   Take a look here and see if you missed anything from the past.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

You know...it's for your own good


Last night at approximately 3:23 am, I was awakened by a distinct intermittent "beeping" in the Executive Living quarters here at FTI.  At first, I thought I was dreaming, though once awaken, I distinctly heard it about every 30 seconds.  My initial reaction that it was one of the various bed wetting alarms that were set for some of our affiliates in the adjacent Think-tank dormitory, but then realized this couldn't be the case as the sound was emanating from a nearer source.   Realizing I wasn't going to be able to ignore it and fall back asleep, I got up and found the source to be a smoke detector signaling that the back-up battery was losing power.  This particular model  is designed to "chirp" to inform the owner to replace the battery on a periodic basis. 

My issue with the whole design of this device is how something  retailing at $14.95 can consistently run out of backup battery power and emit it's warning sounds ALWAYS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT WHEN PEOPLE ARE SLEEPING!  Does it happen at 6 pm when you arrive home from work and have a chance to go get another battery?  No.   Does it happen at 10 am on Saturday morning when you have the ladder out anyway and doing other fix-it projects?  No.  It happens in the middle of the night. Every time.  I don't know.  I'm getting tired with the issues around this place. 

(EDITOR'S  NOTE:  I am finishing this posting on behalf of our Executive Director as he was so frustrated with this subject, he contacted the FTI Medical Staff and requested an extra dispensation of our own FTI sedative.  Normally, he only takes one per day in order to remain lucid while dealing with the staff and his initial request was rejected due to safety reasons.  Upon further analysis by the FTI medical staff and   in conjunction with this incident, it was decided it would be better to risk a possible over-dispensation and retain his services than to have him resign his post.  Prior to his accepting this position, we had a vacancy for 5 years.  You think this stuff is odd? You  should have seen some of our results then. )

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gee, I guess I am just a lucky person

Hold it!  This is too good to be true!  Not once but twice, TWICE, in a lifetime does anyone ever get these types of opportunities. You see another chance has presented itself that is far too superior to pass up.

Last week, we posted about an opportunity from a banking official in Africa offering us nearly $4 Million US dollars merely by helping them transfer some hidden money out of an African bank account.  Apparently, our honesty, sterling reputation, and superior, deep seated thinking skills here at the Institute are becoming to be well regarded in Africa as we have now been offered an additional opportunity in the connection of the death of another wealthy person who has hidden dollars deposited there.  This time, though, we have an opportunity to share in over 9 Million US DOLLARS! Woo-hoo!

We obviously spotted the earlier solicitation as a fake  as there was no proof of this person's existence or record of his money.  But this one is different.  The lawyer sent me this link proving the existence and subsequent death of this rich American businessman!  Submitted to our staff during our weekly think-tank sessions, their summary consensus was simple:  "If it exists on the internet, it must be true."   The fact that this person was not married and had no children or remaining known family is insignificant.  It's just more money for us. 

We currently are working on the FTI pre-Christmas gift list.  There are going to be some surprised affiliates in regard to the lavishness of their gifts this year.  Lets' see:  a new washer and dryer combo set for Dicky the Peap, a new bicycle for Gummo the Balloon Boy, Freako Deako can get another round of shock therapy; our generosity knows no limits.  I always knew our efforts would become known all over the world.  I never dreamed people would pay us for it, though. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Why don't you just nail it shut?

I am currently  here at the FTI Compound awaiting a maintenance contractor to take a look at one of the doors.  Our own maintenance team couldn't figure out what was wrong, so, we had to call the manufacturer and schedule an appointment. 

In a nut shell, once the door is closed, the latch  has a tendency to engage itself and will not release resulting in being locked INSIDE our executive wing.  (There is an upside to this dilemma as it does insulate us from the rest of the staff we are in charge of overseeing.)  Anyway, our guys solution was to wad up some cardboard, stick it in the latch, thereby making the latch inoperable while still allowing the door to open, and pronounce it fixed.   The keen eyed followers of this blog will notice that this type of thinking is consistent and equal to that of the rest of our contributing staff and related affiliates.  As Executive Director, however, I have a responsibility to the safety and well being of the general public to insure that the door is properly functioning so I can go out and close the main compound gate at night to  prevent any of these same near-award winning thinkers to wander off and scare the population at large.  In reflection, a better solution may be to expand our executive wing, shepherd all of the normal people into it, and keep the door inoperable.   

Monday, October 19, 2009

Gummo? Hell, the guy can't float on water, let alone in the air

The recent uproar over the past few days over the "balloon boy" hoax in Colorado has created some confusion for various people. Some of our readers have inquired into the health and pending punishment to be meted out to our affiliate, Gummo the Balloon Boy. Let me attempt to clarify this issue.

The 6 year old boy in this story is not to be confused with our own Gummo. During the time the Colorado incident was occurring, Gummo was sick in bed suffering to the affects due to a severe latex allergy. Gummo has been repeatedly warned of staying away from the Institute's weather observation equipment (our own slightly rusted, often inaccurate, FTI outdoor Thermometer) and had nothing to do with  this particular incident.

Interestingly enough, we did receive an application earlier from the boy's father to join us as an affiliate member. Over the weekend, our search committee reviewed his application, studied his past accomplishments, and evaluated his role in the recent incident. Based on the ensuing media circus and questionable intent of his actions, they have recommended that he not be offered a fellowship with our group.  The concensus was that this individual's high cognitive ability to execute this hoax was far superior to anything our group could concoct and, as a result, would demoralize the rest of our staff.  Translation:  He's smarter than our guys.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's green Sunday!

Hey c'mon, it's Sunday and tough enough to get this group to think during the week, let alone the weekend. We get a day off too, you know.

We're glad you're here, though. We have endorsed a new "green" policy here at FTI and want to do our part.  Since you've already spent the energy to get here, it would be wasteful (not to mention how harmful  to the environment)  if you leave now without getting what you came for.  So we'll  do our part: it's not new, it's just gently read.   Take a look here and see if you missed anything from the past.

See you tomorrow.