Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Will there be Playboy bunny's then?

I should have know this was going to happen.  During yesterday's staff meeting, Gummo, The Balloon Boy, volunteered the idea of an "alternative event" for our initial FTI sponsored Easter Egg hunt scheduled for this coming Saturday.  I knew there was something in the offing, but had no idea of the sheer idiocy involved.  Once the details were revealed, it made perfect sense.  If you are a moron. 

True to the type of previous thinking and analysis now exhibited here on an oh-too-frequent basis,  Gummo suggested  we involve parents rather than just the kids.  He had noticed similar type of successful organizations that offered hard boiled eggs and thought that we might offer a new twist to a generations old tradition.  I was suitably impressed with this new-found line of reasoning from old "Air Bag" and asked for more details.  The reasoning went something like this:  Easter eggs hunts always involve eggs and similar Easter themed items (marshmallow chicks, jelly beans, and foil wrapped chocolate eggs, etc).   Not abandoning Easter Eggs but, offering a new twist, we ought to appeal to the parents with  something more geared to their tastes.   So far, so good.    (Now, I don't know many people who don't care for chocolate and jelly beans; the marshmallow items might be a bit sketchy, but, let's give Gummo the benefit of the doubt).  Here is where the train ran off of the tracks:  As an accompanying item to the various hard boiled eggs scattered throughout the FTI compound we should also hide adult oriented items related to hard boiled eggs:  Cornuts, Pepperoni sticks,  pretzels, and gambling pull tabs.  Immediately realizing the similarities between this suggestion and the items stocked behind the counter at Any Tavern USA, I abruptly moved that this suggestion was maddening and that  we consider the next agenda item. 

Regardless, the 1st FTI sponsored Family Egg hunt is scheduled for this Saturday, rain or shine.  I was out- voted, however, on one suggestion that will be implemented at our event.   As a result, I have decided to not participate in the actual hunt, but, will be there to meet and greet all of our guests.  The actual event is scheduled to begin in the afternoon, I will be at the compound starting at 9am.  Please come by and say hello.  I will be in the Beer Garden. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

This is why I never get an advance copy

Once again, I haven't seen the advance agenda for today's weekly staff meeting, but do point out a few potential topics of discussion:

  1. The upcoming FTI sponsored Easter Egg hunt is scheduled for next Saturday. I have not been  directly involved with the event planning, but apparently  Gummo, the Balloon Boy,  thought it would be fine if we develop an "alternative event" related to liquor as opposed to the traditional type.   I am sure there will be more about this as the week grinds on;
  2. I will be leaving town mid-week again on non-Institute business and we need to appoint a temporary caretaker Executive Director to fill the vacancy. Giacommo performed capably in my absence and other than the escaping watch-goats incident from 2 weeks ago, seems capable of "manning the store";
  3. The FTI IT Department, the most reviled department here at FTI, is scheduled to present on their plan on how to dispose of the old FTI computer with all of it's sensitive data on the hard drive. Personnel files, financial data, and embarrassing pictures personal digital images meaningful only to us here at FTI should not end up in a shelter somewhere as the results of a well-meaning, but obviously askew,  plan to recycle computers for the less fortunate.
  4.  A request out of the petty cash fund has been requested by Dickey the Peap for purchase of a pair of pants. He lost his a few weeks ago during a "pantsing" incident initiated by some of the other members of our staff after having been labeled a "Nancy-boy" for some comments he posted. I expect this request to sail swiftly through committee. No one wants to see the "Peap" without his pants.
Upon review, I'm glad I didn't get an advance copy.  It only makes me envious of how the real world operates.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's Palm Sunday

Duh. Take a look at the calendar. It's 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.

The weekly struggle begins again tomorrow. See you then.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Technology is a wonderful thing

Having limped along since our initial inception in July of 2009 on a no-name Windows XP computer, I  slipped a provisional line item into the 2010  budget that  the cheap-assed Board of Directors apparently didn't discover during the approval process at the end of the year.  As a result, today's post is the first produced on the newly purchased FTI computer.  True to their form, the FTI  IT department, the most reviled department here at FTI, fumbled their way through set -up and installation over the past 3 days, but, have finally gotten us up and running as evidenced by this posting.

A member of our staff, Marv the Neighbor, did contribute a valuable insight that I wish to share with our 2 faithful readers.  It quite honestly reflects the frustration most of us experience with computers from time to time.

After going through a virus attack,


Losing a hard drive,

Fighting off hackers,

Upgrading all my software,

Installing fire-walls,

Being threatened with being cut-off by my email provider,

And a host of other problems...

I have fixed my computer...

And NOW it works exactly the way I want it to!

 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm OK. It was only a scratch.

And now, the final installment of my story.  Here's part 1,  here's part 2:

The 3rd (that I know of) margarita arrives and play continues around the table.  A couple of wins, a couple of losses.  A Typical Blackjack round.  Then quietly, the tide turns and the cards begin to fall favorably again.  When I win, I steadily increase my bet each time up until the point I lose a hand.  I then start over on the next hand and begin the process anew.  That's the only way you win money at Blackjack.  If you keep the same bet out each time, you will sit there for 3 hours and have about $10 more than when you arrived in the first place.  I don't like that.  Now, this whole time, I have been squirreling a couple of chips away each time.  I figure if the bottom falls out at anytime, I have something in reserve that never gets touched at any point and at least I walk away even for the session.   I know I have at least my original $60, so, I am only playing on the House's money.   

Now the margaritas must have kicked in because my admirer places a $15 bet out waiting for the next hand.  First card dealt; an Ace.  "Alright!," she says.  "Halfway home".  Cards are dealt around the table, dealer gets a face card.  The 2nd cards are dealt,  and lo and behold, another Ace lands on top of the first one.  "Yes!!"  So now, she is forced to split these and play as two separate potential winning Blackjack hands, but, it will cost another $15 to do so.   "Do you think I should do it?" "Quicker than Dickie the Peap heading for the door after dinner," I replied.  I get a highly puzzled look from the rest of the players at the table and suddenly remember I am no longer in Institute territory.  The Dealer says, "Pardon me?"    "Never mind.  Yes, split the cards".  Out go another 3-$5 chips for the bigtime showdown.  "I'm nervous with the dealers King showing."  It doesn't matter as she gets a 10 and a Queen.  Blackjack, twice.  Pay the lady $45.  Well, you would have thought my new friend had hit the lottery.  "Wow!  That was great!  Can I kiss you?"     

Now, I don't know how to exactly explain what happened next.  I was not and had no intentions of flirting with this woman.  I was just in for an afternoon of some relaxing card playing, hopefully pick up a couple of bucks, and enjoy myself.  That's it.    So what did I do?  "Sure, that's fine".  She grabbed the back of my head with her left hand, my chin with her right and gave me a big kiss on the cheek.  No sooner than finishing that act, she screams, "your wife!"    Standing no less than 5 feet is Mrs. Kfred about to ask me the obligatory " how ya doin'?" question, but now the look on her face is a little more puzzled over something more than my well being.    "Hello dear, What's going on here?"  I immediately realize the danger that is fast approaching. 

Part of my leadership skill set is to identify potential problems, implement strategies to deal with those problems, and execute those strategies to eliminate the problem.   Between dealing with a semi-drunk senior citizen, a new player at the 3rd base position of the table who has no problem with hitting a 15 while the rest of the table has pat hands with the dealer's up card being a 6,  and a wife I have NEVER given any reason to question my fidelity over after 28 years of marriage (and has  now lost a total of   $140 on those damn slot machines), I quickly decide it is time to am-scray.  I slide my chips to the dealer and tell him to cash me out.  My one saving grace is that I had been squirreling those chips away the whole afternoon.  My beginning stake has now grown to $200.  Subtracting the initial $60 and the $140 Mrs. Kfred has lost, our total household budget is even.  Same as when we walked in the door of the place.

Mrs. Kfred never got really mad.  I would like to  think my afternoon of adventure was due partly to my rugged good looks, chiseled features, straight teeth, muscular build,  and all of the rest of that bullshit.  Deep down, though I know the true attraction:    Some women are just attracted to men whom know how to accessorize their wardrobe.  I am confident that is what caused this whole episode.  My fashion accessory of choice?   The official FTI Fanny Pack I have been wearing the whole time.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The cougar and the hunted

..........continuing from yesterday or "Why I have no intention of rejoining the dating pool".........................

Anyway, we went on talking and she asked me what I was doing in the area and asked what I did for a living. I answered I was a high ranking official in a non-descript Institute and offered her my official FTI identification badge as proof.  She remarked that she had never heard of FTI and that  I looked nothing like the photo ID on the card.  (Our idiot IT department, the most reviled department here at FTI, in conjunction with the FTI internal security team, came up with the brilliant idea of using photos not even close to bearing anything to our actual resemblances, as a means to thwart parallel groups that offer competitive policy, analysis, and observations.  I'll let you figure that one out.)  Also, the cocktail waitress came by and was asked to bring another margarita. 

Regardless, she asked the question, "So, where's your wife?"  I told her that she was out somewhere on the floor playing slots.  As if on cue, Mrs. Kfred came up to the table and asked me the seemingly  innocent question  "So, how are you doing?"   Based on prior experience, I know this question is actually code talk for "I just lost my ass playing slots and am out of money.  Do you want  to give me some more or do you want me to quit?"  I answered, "fine, how are you doing?"  "I'm down $80."   A total of perhaps 30 minutes has elapsed and my wife has lost $80!  I, on the other hand, with my moderate success am up about $70.   My new friend remarks, "Oh, here she is.  You're cute.  You must be the wife.  You are a very lucky woman".  My wife said, "well, no. I'm not.  I lost my money".  My prospective fiance says, "No.  I mean you are lucky to have this man.  He's a very nice man".  The two of them make small talk and then Mrs. Kfred asks if I want her to stop playing slots.  This question is akin to  the question "Do these pants make me look fat?"  There is no correct answer.  As I am up a few dollars, I give her $20 of my winnings with  the admonishment to not lose it.  She heads for the "Chump Change" machine and I go back to playing 21.

For the next half  hour or so, I experience a pretty good run of cards, betting $15 to $20 hands and winning fairly often.  My lady friend is convinced I am good luck as she is winning as well.  Now, I realize she is getting increasingly "happier" as the afternoon wears on and I  have been receiving smirks from the other players and the dealer.   As they can obviously observe what is going on, I decide to entertain the boys a little.  I begin asking my friend if I should split facecards, should I hit a Jack and an Ace, etc.  She decides that she now wants to be seated on my left side so she can "see me" from that side.  (Of course, this also makes me take the first card from the dealer on each fresh  hand as well.  We will discuss 21 strategy at another time.)  The cards are falling in the winners direction; we all exchange fist bumps and high fives as the entire table runs a pretty good streak.   I come to find out that Ms. Lonely has 2 houses, is not married, used to be a probation officer in San Diego, would  love to find a man, and, I think, loaded financially.  About this time, Mrs. Kfred  now makes a second appearance.   "Are you doing OK?"  This is actually a coy variation of the original question with the exact same meaning.  I reply, "Fine. You?"

Mrs. Kfred:  "Uh, I lost the money you gave me."
Me:  "What?!?"
Mrs. Kfred:  "Yep.  Should I quit?"
My admirer: "Honey, You should rather go shopping."

Now, I am not experienced in some matters, but I can see a potential catfight a brewin' here.  I am, though, winning at 21 and enjoying myself and want to play some  more.  I  immediately give Mrs. Kfred another $20 and wish her the best of luck this time and shoo her off.  My friend observes that, "She needs to go away".   And orders another margarita. 

Tomorrow:  "Can I kiss you?"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Guess Women Are Just Attracted to Authority Figures

Well now, all you little Weirdos, gather round and let me tell you about the Wiley charms of your Executive Director.  Mrs. Kfred and I were on  extended weekend last week to visit Freako and enjoy some sun in the desert.  The sun was wonderful, the food was great, and the luck was positive.........which brings us to our story.

This past Saturday, while attending the Carrot Festival,  we went to a local casino in the  area.   We both like to casually gamble and view it as a basically harmless activity.   I like playing 21, Mrs. Kfred  likes the slots and insists that she has a sure fire method to detect a winning machine.  If I hadn't previously thought enough of her intelligence to appoint her as Director of Institute Safety here at FTI, I swear she would rate only  one rung higher than Dickie the Peap on the IQ chart with this type of analysis.  I must say she has been quite lucky in the past, however.     Regardless, we decided to meet in 90 minutes time and went our separate ways. 

I spot a $5 minimum bet 21 table  populated by 4 men and one woman playing and decide to fill the available chair next to the woman.    The lady is approximately 65 years old, moderately attractive, with a half finished margarita in front of her spot.  We exchange smiles and nods, I greet the dealer, and  lay 3 $20 bills on the table as my entire stake; win, lose or draw that's all I am pulling out of my pocket.  (Coincidentally, this $60 is equal to the current balance of the FTI  pension  fund.  I point this out only to highlight that we, too,  at FTI are not immune to the financial difficulties suffered by the rest of society.)  Anyway, I start playing and attempt to cover the inevitable losses I know that my household budget is about to suffer due to the miscalculations of selecting a winning slot machine based on the cartoon figures on the reels. 

Now, when I play 21 in a casino, I am very intent.  I have no "method" or system and I never drink alcohol while playing.  I study the cards and try to determine at least how many 10's and face cards are still in play.  As a result, I don't make much small talk, chatter much, or congratulate other players on a "good hit".  I just play the game and keep to myself.  Anyway, after about 10 minutes of play, I begin to enjoy a lucky streak and win consistently.  The woman seated to my right comments that, "Hey, you are doing great" and "way to go".  I thank her and think nothing more about it.  After my 5th consistent winning hand, she remarks, " Gosh, you're winning and here by yourself.  Wow".   I ignore the remark and keep playing the game.  A few hands later, I am dealt a blackjack on a $15 bet  and she says, "Wow, that's great!  Do you want to get married?" I point out to her that my wife might not go for that.  "You're married?  You don't wear a ring!  Do you just do that to confuse women?"  I, in fact, do not and have not ever worn a wedding ring, bracelet, or necklace.  Ever.  I am always wearing the  lanyard  with my official FTI identification badge  (it's amazing, the number  perks I enjoy when I show my badge) under my shirt, but other than that, no jewelry.

Coming tomorrow:  "Where's your wife?" and  "She needs to go away"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bits and pieces, odds and ends

Well, a new week is upon us here at FTI and I am back in the Director's chair.  I haven't seen the agenda for today's weekly staff meeting, but, will address a few housekeeping administrative items  in advance myself: 

  • Thanks to Giacommo for the fine job performed in my absence.  Gummo the Balloon Boy has successfully re-gained having his "freak" on; I can only assume this was due to  Giacommo's efforts.  (One astute reader noted that the last time I was absent from duties,  the misfits commandeered this blog with pictures of Gingerbread houses and the like.  FTI settled out of court with the Hayward family on that one, but, insisted on a sealed agreement  in order to avoid needless additional less-than-flattering publicity.   Thank God, that type of event didn't occur during Giacommo's watch.)  The only mishap was that the herd of FTI watch goats did escape their pen, but Giacommo did successfully manage to corral all, but one.  My fear is that Marv the Neighbor may attempt to deep fry it as well if he catches it first. 

  • Freako is doing well and should be finishing treatment his rest in about another 3 weeks time.  It's amazing what drying out  the good weather can do for one's attitude; and finally, 

  • I still got game.  Suffice to say, this event will be plumbed to later depths tomorrow due to my lateness in preparing this in order to meet the publishing deadline.    Let's just put it this way:  Having to fend off the repeated advances of a senior citizen "cougar", I can safely say there is no way in Hell I would want to be dating all over again.  Again, we will discuss it tomorrow. 
It's good to be back home.  Even with the Weirdo's, Whacko's, and Misfit's surrounding me.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's Returning Sunday

Hey c'mon, it's Returning Sunday.  Freako is doing well as the Vitamin D in the sun seems to have clarified his thinking.  As a result and in celebration, all of us at FTI are taking the day off.

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.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Eh, Excuse me Doc. Can you direct me to the Coachella Valley and the Carrot Festival, therein?



By the time this post is published, Mrs. Kfred and I will have jetted off to visit Freako Deako and his lovely wife for a long weekend.  I have purposely planned this event as a means to test the mettle and fortitude of our trustee, Giacommo.  I tend to think of it as kind of a "popquiz" for him and plan to use it as a method to test his resolve to continue on here at FTI.  I have pre-chosen tomorrow's decidedly low-tech Jukebox selection and advised local law enforcement of my absence,  so, he won't have those burdens.  He will, however, be charged with the tasks of deciding  which snack to serve the Misfits, deny any  knowledge of  the status of our overdue account with the local bail bondman, and to help Gummo the Balloon Boy get his "freak" back on.  (Editors Note:  We have no knowledge of what the last duty entails.  We simply transfer copy given to us.) 

As we are still working on a succession plan for the Executive Director  position here at the Institute, I am curious to see the results.  I have high expectations and am confident Giacommo is up to the task.  Failure, however, has it's own downside. Depending on the severity of any screw-up,  he will simply be assigned to sharpen pencils,  be broken down to the status of an ordinary Misfit,  or worse, banished from FTI and go back to dealing with Crazy.    None are options that an up and coming, enthusiastic, alternative thinker would aspire to.  On the other hand, this  is  FTI.  Regardless, I am not going to worry and simply enjoy my time away. 

Say, this place reminds me a lot of Alba-koy-kee.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This is what friends are for?

I note that upon my return from the "procedure", my friends, Non-Institute friends, and even the Misfits were not actually interested in my well being, but, just feigning interest in order to lob assorted insults and one liners in my direction.    Greetings such as 1) "did you have a poop-tastic day?", 2) "Hi Colon Kfred!", 3) "I heard you and your Doctor got married" and 4) "Did you chafe?" from the Rat Bastard G were part of my return.  Gummo the Balloon Boy sent me  an image of a Roto-Rooter truck earlier and wished me the best of luck. 

Under similar circumstances, women tend to show genuine empathy and care.  They  love to talk about childbirth and their various experiences while giving birth, but, they never insult one another or make fun  of it.  Men, on the other hand, just keep "piling" on insults when talking about vasectomies or colonscopies.   I assume all of these smart asses will, at one time or another, undergo this same procedure.   And believe me, I will be standing in line to dump on them twice as much as what they gave me.    But I do know, deep down, they do care. 

Bastards.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Procedure" defined

A recap from yesterday's "procedure":  Upon arriving at the hospital and the pre-admission process, I was escorted back to my room for the prep process.  I must say, I was impressed with the accuracy and verification process as I had to recite my name, birthdate, Doctor's name, and the purpose of my visit 3 times to insure that I was indeed the right person whom was going to be administered the "procedure".  (They obviously could have benefited from having a  fully restored Factorcrap Truthometer Deluxe like we have here at FTI.)    Following that, my nurse gave me an overview of what to expect  and a litany of questions concerning my health habits:  Do I smoke? Do I drink? (What?  Are you kiddin'?), etc.   Finally, a young Doogie Howser-like doctor comes into my room apologizing for carrying a cup of coffee ( I had been fasting for 36 hours to this point and would kill for coffee) and introduces himself.  We make the obligatory small talk and then I realize, "Here I am, handing my ass to a complete stranger with complete trust and absolutely no recourse if this whole thing goes south."

Wheeled back into the operating room, I am introduced to 2 female nurses, Sandy and Sherry.  Both are very pleasant types whom are going about their tasks with a very workman-like efficiency while chatting with me the whole time.  I once again have to verbally give them, my name, birthdate, and purpose of my visit to make sure they've got the right asshole (literally and figuratively) in front of them for the purpose at hand.  Satisfied I am who I claim to be and realizing I have now reached the point of no return, one of the nurses asks for authorization to begin the sedative.  Imagining myself as a poor man's  James Bond, I asked if it would be appropriate to try to fight the effects of the drugs.   All 3 exclaimed, "No!  This is the one time it's legal to enjoy drugs. "  The last thing I remember is to ask the 2 women was, "Now, you girls aren't going to peek, are you?"   The doctor pipes up, "Ah, don't worry.  After the first 30, the novelty kind of wears off."  We were all laughing and everything quickly fades to black. 

Re-emerging from the fog, I sense I am now back in my room with Mrs. Kfred rubbing my cold feet and a nurse offering me a glass of Sprite.  Apparently, the doctor has already come in , declared me "clean as a whistle, no problems, and good for another 10 years."  One of the narcotics given during the procedure causes an amnesia state where the patient does not remember anything.  Apparently during the procedure they had to administer some more anesthesia because of some discomfort.  I imagine this is why, I find out later,  I asked Mrs. Kfred 4 times what she had been doing during my absence,  I asked the doctor the condition of my appendix (?),  and I signed a statement acknowledging that I had been given care.  None of these events do I recall. 

So, that's it.  The Grand Event is over.  I am good to go and back in the saddle.  In celebration of success and as a little gift to myself, Mrs. Kfred are I headed south to visit Freako beginning Thursday for a couple of days.  A little warm weather, some sunshine,  a lot of wine.  I can't wait.   Other than Dickie the Peap, I don't know of anyone whom would sneak into a hospital to have this type of procedure willingly done to them voluntarily.  As a parting gift, I received 3 color images of the probed area.  I have no idea why I requested these during my "don't remember" stage, but, apparently I did.  I am thinking of including these in our newest brochure under the "Meet the Staff" section.  Do you think anyone one would question it? 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Define "Procedure"

It is presently Monday, 2:23 am PST. By the time that our 2 faithful readers read this, I will have returned home, finished, and resting from my procedure.   "Procedure";   1) according to Webster:  n.  a particular way of accomplishing something or of acting;  2) according to my doctor's office: a common, relatively painless medically related act to determine your colon-rectal health; 3) my version:   We're sticking a camera up your ass and not going to say so.

Why I am I writing this at this un-Godly hour?  I have to get up and finish the other half-gallon of orange flavored, slightly salty, stomach turning solution of water and powdered laxative to have me  cleaned out for the procedure.  I already drank the first half gallon earlier this evening resulting  in repeated trips to the bathroom ending in a steady stream of water coursing through my body.  Truly, it wasn't so bad.  I got the joy of taking some Magnesium Citrate earlier after dinner on Saturday evening.  Now THAT! was a treat.  A small 10 oz. bottle of this magical cherry elixir will cure what ails you.  I'm telling you, Ladies and Gentlemen, it cures  hangnails, it cures earwax, it cure...........I think you get the point.  After drinking that stuff, there isn't anything you suffer from which you would ever complain about again.   Everything comes streaming out of you at the same velocity as  that of a firehose downhill from the hydrant. Look out below!  I relay all of this information in advance of our FTI Healthcare Fair coming up  later in the springtime.    Each of the Misfits is to adopt a particular malady, do a bit of research,  man a booth to discuss the condition, and inform our participants of helpful information.  The fact that I am now undergoing this procedure will be my adopted cause.

We have decided to conduct the Healthcare Fair annually as a testament to our devotion to one another and to meet the terms of our original charter.   Ironically, and as a demonstration of our commitment to meet those terms,  Dickey the Peap volunteered to stand in for me for today's pending procedure as he has an affinity for these types of acts.  I gently reminded him it was my health being measured, and though I appreciated the interest and offer, I would undergo it on my own.   It actually brought a tear to my eye:  Our willingness to help out our fellow man knows no bounds.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's Dehydration Sunday

Hey, it's Dehydration Sunday and in anticipation of tomorrow's medical procedure, we are preparing for the Grand Event.  Likewise,  the staff is also purging useless mental material and is taking the day off as well. 

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.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Medic!! We Need a Medic over here!

The entire FTI  currently seems to be (or is headed for) the Injured Reserve list shortly.    That fact  is worrisome to me as the all-important spring season will be upon us very shortly.  You see, springtime is when  the Misfits come out of their collective thinking hibernation and actually produce some type of thinking of actual value.  A quick review of this winter's past 3 months of posts would confirm the above statement and it is my hope as Executive Director that the quality of output rapidly improves.  Our recent addition of 2 new members should help in that department. 

A quick roster status update:   Slateface recently had a new pacemaker installed, and though it is classified as a relatively minor procedure in the surgery world, it does sideline him for a while.  We actually requested some type of cranial enhancement procedure as long as the surgeon was "in the neighborhood", but the medical prognosis was that it would be of little value.  Freako has returned South for treatment "vacation" and is medically unavailable.  The Rat Bastard G has been laid up with a bad back, twisted ankle, and severe dandruff.  His prognosis is strictly day to day.  Dickey the Peap is  paralyzed with fear to grab his wallet and is part of  clinical trials for a medication to combat alligator-arm syndrome.  Unfortunately, even I am subject to the downturn as today marks  Day 1 on my low fiber diet in preparation for an early  Monday colonoscopy appointment.  (NOTE TO FTI PERSONNEL:  Though verbal jabs, insults, and sophomoric attempts at literary superiority are expected, I will be documenting this behavior,  referencing such, and considering it during personnel evaluations later in the year).    I have never had this procedure performed before and am actually not worried over it as much as I am of the preparation that is required before.  I went to the pharmacy yesterday to get the required medication/laxative that I need to take on Sunday and even the pharmacist remarked, "Yeah, this stuff doesn't taste very good".    Oh boy, I can hardly wait.  

Hopefully, we can all get over this minor bump in the road to our ultimate goal of some sound thinking.  Like the finance guys always disclaim:  "Prior  results are not an indication of future activity".   I only hope that is not the case.   

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It isn't fair

Are you kiddin' me?  I work my ass off all weekend with a non-functioning chainsaw to limb that damn tree, clean it up, haul away the branches, etc and then a spring windstorm knocks down 2 adjacent trees I couldn't get too?  What the hell is going on?

I wish there was a way to retaliate against Mother Nature and  punk her back because she sure fooled me. Twice.  Once with the tree thing and then again  by passing off our population as something resembling normal.  Ultimately, I wouldn't do that, though.     Like the old commercial used to say:  It's not nice to fool Mother Nature.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Nothing but work makes Kfred a dull boy

Though my position of Executive Director here at the Institute is primarily an administrative one, I do quite frequently get involved with actual physical activity  as well.  This weekend was a case in point. 

Along with some trees of my own, Mrs. Kfred has been "suggesting" to me that I talk to the owners of some neighboring property to inquire about cutting down one of their trees as well to open up a view corridor.  Though ensconced by a 6 foot barbed-wired topped fence, the compound  is on a hill side and we have a view to some water in the distance.  Taking down these trees would be an improvement on the view.  I successfully got permission and cut down the offending tree last weekend.  I returned this weekend to limb it and remove the cut boughs.  As demonstrated by the inability of FTI landscaping crew in the past to actually beautify matters, I was worried about them actually planting trees rather than taking them down.   None of the Misfits were available to help, so,  I undertook this little program upon by myself. 

My day started with a borrowed chainsaw that refused to start up.  Despite my numerous heroic efforts to coax the mechanical beast from it's  slumber of inactivity, it was not about to have any part of assisting me in my efforts.  So, with my best Paul Bunyan mindset, I set out to  limb a damn 50 foot tree with nothing but an Axe.  Successfully completing the majority of that task on Saturday, I returned yesterday to finish the job.  I consulted with the chainsaw owner overnight whom got the chainsaw operating and was ready to complete the task in record time.  Unfortunately, the chain on the chain saw was as dull as the collective IQ of our misfits and was of no value whatsoever.  (I swear I actually heard the tree giggle as I was attempting to cut it as I am sure if there is anything resembling tickling a tree, this would have  been it.)  Finally finishing this task, I again was given the "suggestion"  that  the lawn should be mowed before it rained.  Since this was the first mowing of the season, the yard resembled the first cutting of a prized alfalfa crop any farmer would be proud to claim.  2 hours later, that task was done.   Settling in  with a tall tumbler of gin and tonic, I had dinner, watched a bit of TV, and fell asleep in the chair in no time.

I relay these experiences to demonstrate that mine is not a glory position here at FTI; actual work is accomplished here on a periodic basis.  Unfortunately, none of it is a result of efforts by the Misfits.   Hopefully, we can someday  get the Misfits up to the level of actually pulling weeds to improve a yard versus collecting them as salad greens to eat at dinner. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

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, March 6, 2010

The unpleasant Springtime Ritual

The FTI Legal/Finance team (rapidly becoming the second most reviled department here at FTI) has just informed me that they failed to "save" our 2009 tax statements and that I would again be need to be available for the 3 hour interview session for necessary information to prepare the documents. 

The fact that we as an organization are subject to possible payment of taxes, let alone that these idiots didn't record our meeting in the first place is astounding to me.  We produce no product,  output, or service of any tangible meaning.  As specified in our charter, our purpose is to "offer policy, analysis, and observations generated by the same staff that mental health professionals have identified as Weirdos, Whackos, and Misfits."  Part of the confusion is due to the finance teams inability to comprehend my position of the Institutes responsibility that when  I traded off the Institutes CRAP (Central Research, Analysis, and Policy) Vehicle from last year that I am now claiming it as a qualified deductible non-profit expense and this should have no bearing upon our current situation.    I also have to defend the act of having authorized the purchase of drool bibs and a golden silk,  highlighted with yellow rhinestones, ceremonial dunce's cap for use here at the Institute. 

I hate tax season. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

One step forward, one step back. Yeah, that's about right.

As posted earlier, we have added 2 new members here at FTI .  During the interview process, I had mentioned to both candidates that upon successful selection and subsequent appointments to their positions,  it would be beneficial  to attend  a simple FTI orientation  meeting to discuss our policies, practices,  and expectations.    Though not mandatory, I  have developed this overview session to help our new members immerse into the FTI "culture". 

Slateface was a no show.  This type of conduct  is not surprising to me as most of our staff have a very limited attention span and clearly have trouble following the simplest of directions. Obviously, he will meld into our population easily.    Giacommo, our  persistent affiliate, showed up at the appointed time, clean-shaven, freshly scrubbed, and determined to make a good initial impression.  Describing the parallel organization from which he arrived, I was immediately struck with his savvy, ability to comprehend a situation, and drive for excellence.  As a result, I have decided to assign him a "Trustee 1" status among our group.  (Giacommo, did inquire about the opportunities for advancement which, while commendable, I feel may be a bit premature as I have yet to see him fully interact with the balance of our staff.)  Subsequent appointments to "Trustee 11" or "Gopher-boy-to-Kfred 1" are certainly possible career goals for qualified candidates.     

I feel good about our latest additions.  As noted by the title of our post, we simply seem to tread water in the float down the river of excellence.  I wonder, however,  if the fact that  the compound has frontage  on a backwater eddy may have something to do with it. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Organizational Announcement

I am pleased to announce that we have added 2 new affiliates to our team here at FTI  and look forward to their contributions to make FTI the success we have sorely waited for during our initial  creation and subsequent existence. 

Our newest misfit, Slateface, has been on the periphery edges of us here at Flatline Thinking for a long time. This same individual, though possessing a keen wit, is somewhat odd in his own right as evidenced by this earlier action photo of him playing golf. He does, however, bring a unique perspective to most issues and though we need another misfit like we need a hole in our head, his main duties will be to act as a counterbalance and "keeper of the fiscal dignity" in deference to the death-gripped wallet antics of Dickey the Peap.

An aggressive individual with obvious hidden problems, Giacommo, will also become a part of the FTI team primarily in a "trustee" status.  In 2005, Giacommo joined  a parallel organization and has contributed to improving that organization's  structure, personnel development, strategic planning and execution in this role. He has repeatedly asked to become a part of the FTI squad, but, we initially rebuffed Giacommo  as we felt his intellect and ability was considerably higher than  any of our staff.  His repeated insistence and determination could not be ignored, however,  and we are pleased to have him on board.   

Rather than relocating here to the FTI compound, both individuals will  remain where they currently reside and  contribute on a semi-regular basis. 

Please join me in conveying our best wishes and congratulations upon their affiliation with FTI.