Monday, May 31, 2010

A Big Thank you



Remember these guys.
They have been protecting our right to do this kind of stuff for nearly 250 years.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's lazy Sunday

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 a "green" policy here at FTI to do our part to minimize our impact on society the environment. Since you've already spent the energy to get here, it would be wasteful (not to mention harmful) 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, May 29, 2010

It's like he was one of our own

Our fleeting passing with fame was sadly was brought to an end. Case in Point: yesterday's sudden death of Gary Coleman has some striking similarities with us here at FTI.

During the breaking of the investigative story surrounding Michael Jackson's death last year and as observed here, Coleman was originally identified as the individual in the hoax video. We later corrected the story to accurately identify Donny Osmond as the person in question, but, still had an odd sense of connection.

Yes, Coleman had financial and legal problems. Yes, his true growth was stunted. Yes, he was misunderstood. At one time Coleman told The New York Times, "I want to escape that legacy of Arnold Jackson. I'm someone more. It would be nice if the world thought of me as something more." We can empathize with this guy. We are always looking for a way to increase our bottom line; we had our own legal dust-up with the Hayward family earlier this year when the Misfits pirated control of this site from me for a few days.

And yes, our intellectual growth is severely stunted as well. I just hope we don't have to send the Misfits out to moonlight as security guards somewhere.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

OK, we will waive the speeding part of the ticket

Believe it or not, we do have strenuous background checks on all of the people whom apply here at FTI.

We received this video in opposition of our desire to hire this applicant as my personal driver. I still don't understand what all of the uproar is over. It's just a slight mistake.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Do you get a DVD with your $25 donation?

Planning for our upcoming membership pledge drive continues in full gear. We are using this event as an opportunity to highlight our organization, demonstrate our method of thinking, and hopefully, attract the type of donors whom will be able to sustain our work on a year round basis through their generous contributions.


The scope of this task is actually quite encompassing. We need to have top flight entertainment to attract our target audience, professional and courteous detail to attention while engaging them, and precise execution when following up to retain them as followers. Some of the scheduled entertainment include: The Factorcrap Truthometer Deluxe will be on display demonstrating our ability to ferret out the truth; Gummo, the Balloon Boy will be riding his bicycle, Slateface will be conducting a wet weather golfing exhibition, and Dickie the Peap will be displaying that same old, tired nickel, he hoarded from a million years ago.

Upon reflection, perhaps the entertainment portion of the program needs to be reviewed. Our target demographic expects entertainment of a higher level. Our current lineup is better suited to the crowd entertained by toenail clipping displays.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Watch for Falling Objects

We suffered an unfortunate incident resulting in personal injury over the weekend that calls attention to the importance of safety. And the ironic part: the injury was suffered by our Safety Officer.


A community garage sale was conducted by some of the direct neighbors of the FTI compound this past Saturday. Earlier in the spring, we had been considering scheduling our own event to offer analysis and policy discussion. The first FTI "Western Hemisphere Relations Forum /Auto Parts Swap Meet" would have been perfect for both individuals interested in world events and backyard shadetree mechanic issues, but, we soon realized that a number of noted speakers invited to headline the event had not replied with confirmations (or offered auto parts, for that matter) to attract a large enough crowd. Though embarrassment and humiliation are two steady visitors here to FTI, it was felt that perhaps we should reschedule a time for later in the year when the car model changes occur. Anyways, Mrs. Kfred and I went to help the neighbors set up their garage sale. We do not have enough items to hold our own personal garage sale, so, added a few of our items to the neighbor's collection as well. One of our items was a 20 year old 19" Hitachi television still in operating order. I had replaced it as a second TV in the Executive Living area here at FTI and, though working fine, replaced it with a new high definition LCD television earlier this year. The TV is the old cathode ray tube type that easily weighs around 50 pounds. As a result, I balanced it on a 2-wheeled handcart not unlike those used by any deliveryman and wheeled it to the sale site. Upon arriving at the site, I asked where I should place it and was directed by one of the ladies organizing the sale to put it up on a shelf. I tilted the handcart up vertically to grab the TV and place it up on the shelf at the exact same time Mrs.Kfred walked in front of me doing so. Coincidentally, unknown to me, the laws of physics and fate decided to meet at the corner of her big and second toes at that same time and the TV fell over resulting in a painful crunch of the same area. The ensuing crash and scream of pain surprised all of us as Mrs. Kfred was doing all she could to not yell out, "You dumb son-of-a bitch, Holy shit, that hurts!" due to the number of neighbors and earlybird buyers already in attendance. Instead, we had a simple restrained, "Oh, Ow, mmph, God that hurts, I'll be ok". We got her to sit down and inspected the affected area to find that the toenail had been missed and the area of impact was the middle section near the joint of the big and second toes. We got some ice on it immediately to reduce the swelling and for the first 2 hours or so, she sat in the chair collecting money and answering questions.

Upon inspection today, she does have a purple big and second toe without, surprisingly, a whole lot of pain. I felt bad the entire weekend because I know the pain she experienced. I dropped an old framed window on my toe a few years back and that was the most painful experience in my life. Regardless, she seems to be on the mend with little to no lasting impact. She did insist, however on filing an incident report detailing the involved parties, the nature and extent of the injuries, and the future action needed to involve avoiding anything like this in the future. (Somehow, I don't know how withholding sexual relations equates to prevention of this type of injury, but, oh well. OK. I made that part up.)

And the real pisser to this entire story? The damn TV didn't even get a sniff of interest. It's now sitting over at the Goodwill store.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

It's Green Sunday

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.


The weekly struggle begins again tomorrow. See you then.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dude, try one of these

This is one of the substances Mrs. Kfred has banned here at FTI.

I suppose the fact that he couldn't see straight for days would turn out to be an inconvenience.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!"

A pause for a little reflection..........Today marks the 30th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens. Of all of nature's various displays of it's force and power, a volcanic eruption is one of it's most potent. The title to this post is the last transmission of the scientist monitoring the mountain, David Johnston, made to alert his fellow scientists. Johnston died as a result of the blast.

30 years ago, I was living 300 miles east of the mountain and remember the day vividly. The mountain had been rumbling a few months earlier with periodic small eruptions but nothing that was considered terribly harmful. I thought that I lived far enough away that I would not be impacted in any way. Then early that Sunday morning, a radio bulletin announced that a full eruption was occurring. At the time, people had no idea of what the impact would be on anyone.

From 300 miles away, allow me to describe the events of that day. Darkness came at 3 pm as all of the streetlights lit up, the sky rained ash for 8 hours, auto parts stores were swamped with customers looking for air filters for their vehicles, TV news warned that breathing the abrasive ash would be harmful to your lungs (everyone had cheap face mask filters hanging on the rear view mirrors of their cars the next day and for 3 months after). If you have ever emptied your woodstove or fireplace of the ash and realize the mess in that small firebox area, imagine cleaning the entire surface area of the parking lot of your business, the outdoor tennis court, or your small patio at home. Cars were covered, equipment was covered, anything outdoors had up to 3 inches of the gritty ash; your indoor space had a heavy layer of dust; it was a mess. Trying to hose it down with water simply made a thick mud. Trying to blow it out with a blower just made a blinding cloud. There was only one way to clean it up: with a snow shovel and broom. And it was heavy. Yet, everyone knew that this was a rare occurrence and took it in stride. (I threw away the authentic St Helens ash Mrs. Kfred had saved at the time a couple of years ago. I caught holy hell for that one, but, could still easily replace it today by dumping the remains of a cigarette ash tray in to a jar. Ash is ash.)

Eventually, 57 deaths were attributed to the blast and ensuing damage. At the time, the entire area around the mountain was considered a dead zone. Scientists were worried the area would be barren for the unforeseeable future. Nature, however, (being much wiser than man) had other plans. As shown below in these two pictures, much has changed. The mountain is slowly rebuilding it's dome to once again explode in the future, plants and wildlife flourish, and the entire area is a working laboratory for the scientific community. If you ever get a chance to visit, I encourage you to do so. You simply will not be disappointed.

Monday, May 17, 2010

How about this one. Will it work?

The FTI grounds-keeping crew normally does an exemplary job in keeping the compound appearing neat, clean, and well landscaped. They do this at my direction in order to give visitors the appearance that all is normal here and since "the first impression is the best impression," we won't scare anyone off before we can fully explain what our mission here really consists of. As yesterday was Sunday and the staff is off on that day, it was decided that perhaps a trip to the local nursery to update some of the landscaping features may well be in order. Doubling as both the Safety and Beautification Officer here at FTI, Mrs Kfred ordered encouraged me to tag along and confirm any choices she made. While finishing the shopping, I went and loaded the truck and she went to pay the bill. Here is where she got the true taste of what I experience on a daily basis.

While trying to pay for the plants, she attempted to do so with a prepaid rebate card issued to me from Verizon Wireless after having recently bought a new cellular telephone . One of the enticements of the phone in the first place was that a $100 rebate would be extended to me via a debit card. Presenting it for payment, she was told that the card had no balance left on it and that it was being declined. I had originally given it to her to use when I received it and she knew there was still an approximate $50 balance on it having it used it only once previously, so, was puzzled and embarrassed over the whole incident. She came out to the parking lot and insisted that I call Verizon and complain that they were cheating us, not taking care of the customer, etc. I told here perhaps we should try the card elsewhere just to confirm there was a problem. A stop at the grocery store confirmed that, indeed, the card had a remaining balance and we purchased some groceries with no difficulty whatsoever. Obviously something was wrong. A mistake, an oversight, a screw-up.

This same type of description could be listed in the personal biographies of the staff of our Institute personnel directory. Coincidence? I think not.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It's retread Sunday

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 a "green" policy here at FTI to do our part to minimize our impact on society the environment. Since you've already spent the energy to get here, it would be wasteful (not to mention harmful) 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, May 15, 2010

You mean Best Buy and Victoria's Secret both stock it?

Leave it to one of our own to further advance the cause of technology:

Marv, the Neighbor has been working on a technology concept that he thinks could revolutionize music as we know it. Far be it from me to stealing his thunder. I share with you the recent email he sent me.

Kfred:

I am working on developing a new product I feel may have mass appeal around the globe and plan on offering it to the Apple Corporation. The concept is basically a breast implant that can store and play music. The "iTit" will cost from $499 to $699, depending on cup and speaker size. This is considered a major social breakthrough, because women are always complaining about men staring at their breasts and not listening to them. What do you think?

Marv, The Neighbor

Hey, our guys actually do come up with some winners every once in a while.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Maybe we ought to offer membership to the Stork

A new little Misfit is on it's way.

While visiting with the various Misfits yesterday, (which doubles as an opportunity to assess each of their individual progress) I was notified by Slateface that Mrs. Slateface is 6 weeks pregnant and that they are expecting a child in January. This is a particularly happy occasion for all of us here at FTI as Slateface is one of our newest members of the Institute. There had been considerable nay-saying among the rest of our staff that he shouldn't have been holding hands with the Mrs. Slateface in the first place. Regardless, after a quick, thrown-together, 6th grade level of basic biology, the rest of the Misfits were satisfied with the explanation of events leading to this milestone and went about their ways.

I congratulated Slateface, inquired whom the father was, and wished him well on the journey to Fatherhood. I began to advise him of the great joys and responsibilities of Fatherhood; that it was a great journey and that he would enjoy it. He stopped me in mid-sentence and mentioned that he had already been dressed as a priest at a Halloween party years ago and felt this was sufficient experience.

We have extended his scheduled departing date from FTI another 2 years.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A note from our HR department

Though I am Executive Director here at FTI and answer to only one higher authority (Mrs. Kfred), until our long term funding is secure, I have to supplement my income via outside sources. Enter my position as a member of a company complete with all of the related bureaucratic policies and procedures including annual employee evaluations. Realizing the value of such an exercise, I have been thinking of trying to develop a type of performance measurement for our FTI staff as well. It's the details that have got me stuck. My problem with creating the "FTI Yardstick of Excellence" program is that our members are more than 2-1/2 feet short in achievement. Consistently down the line in every category of possible achievement, (comprehension, creativity, initiative, ability to identify basic shapes), our losers are consistently categorized as "Needs Severe Improvement". This is troubling if we are ever to achieve the type of renown and reputation we desire.

Until that time, I will have to be satisfied with the "Exceeds Expectations" rating each one of the Misfits earned in one category: Acts of Stupidity Performed on a Daily Basis.

Monday, May 10, 2010

and Free Entertainment, too

Having witnessed the Cirque de Soleil show last night with Mrs. Kfred, I now realize that we here at FTI are at a serious disadvantage with other deep thinking organizations. Of course, our task is not to juggle, balance, leap, or defy death as the performers in that show exhibit on a daily basis, but rather as noted in our original charter, to "offer policy, analysis, and observations" of life events.

Our upcoming membership pledge drive will be a good test of our group. Realizing that our main goal during this event is to find wealthy benefactors to support our ongoing thinking here at FTI, the entertainment portion of our presentation is going to have to be top class. Let's face it, however; people want and need to be entertained. This means a total revamp or our events scheduled to date. For instance, permitting Gummo the Balloon Boy to tie anatomically correct latex characters might not be appropriate. Having Dickie the Peap guessing the weight of our attendees after asking them to empty their pockets of all items, "including any heavy wallets", is only asking for trouble. Marv the Neighbor offering deep-fried cat snacks probably isn't going to attract the target audience we desire.

The Cirque business model is obviously a highly successful one that we could certainly emulate- to a certain point. I don't think the " Rat Bastard G: Its a State of Mind" t-shirts would sell very well.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

It's Green Sunday

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.


The weekly struggle begins again tomorrow. See you then.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Yeah, but who cleans up after the elephants?

Mrs. Kfred and I are preparing to go to a performance of Cirque du Soleil's Kooza under the Bigtop arena with some friends tomorrow evening. We have seen a couple of their other shows previously and never tire of the performances. It truly is a one of a kind type of show. Among the characters in the show are the Trickster, the King, the Pickpocket, and the Bad Dog. Each of these characters are integral to the show and represent individuals that the main character, the Innocent, encounters on his journey to find his place in the world.

In viewing the advance summary on the show, I have come to realize similarities and actual parallels of my life in dealing with the Misfits as to this show itself. Due to the extreme personality profiles of our Misfits, I can envision our own version performed here at the FTI compound without the high ticket prices and certainly just as entertaining. Easily substituting myself as the Innocent, the coincidences are striking: Gummo, the Balloon Boy could effortlessly play the Idiot, Freako Deako portrays the Nut, Dickie the Peap is hands down the Skinflint, and Kommando Barney is easily cast as a body double for Mr. T. My able bodied assistant, Giacommo, would act as Ringmaster, and also perform a small piece by instructing Crazy to climb a set of stairs, climb into a Vanishing Box, and be gone for the entire rest of the show.

The more I think about this, however, I guess it wouldn't be too feasible. The cheap-assed Board of Directors only authorized the purchase of a 2 man puptent.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A rich, rewarding experience awaits you

As part of our ongoing commitment to the community, the cheap-assed Board of Directors have instructed me to explore the possibility of having summer interns placed here at the Institute on a temporary, nonpaid (would you expect anything else?) basis. I have been in contact with the local branches of higher education to offer our facility as a site for placement of young people looking to expand their experience in their various fields of study. To date, we have not received any return calls of interest or inquiry.

Upon reflection, I have been informed by my highly educated assistant, Giacommo, that perhaps our site may not be as desirable as some others for the interns we seek. Competing with the likes of local government, industry, and charitable foundations, our lure and prestige as an organization may not be as great. Accordingly, we have decided to "rebrand" our summary description one could expect to experience as an intern. Something about "Summer at FTI: It's like Costa Rica with Weirdos" doesn't seem to be getting it done.

Monday, May 3, 2010

We're not another "one and done" team

Not only am I the Executive Director here at FTI, but, my duties also include doubling as coach of the FTI Knowledge Bowl Team. Each year a competition is held for various organizations and their associated deep thinkers. As this is our first year of competition, and based on our reputation, the FTI team was granted an automatic berth as a demonstration of compassion, charity, and inclusiveness by the organizers of the event. Based on some of the preliminary questions that were suggested for practice, we may be slated for an early exit. My guess: sometime immediately after the first question of "Welcome. Are you all here?"

The competition itself is twofold: a little friendly rivalry between think-based organizations for bragging rights of intelligence superiority and to offer possible solutions to some of the pressing problems of today. The idea is to collect some of the best and brightest, test them on the needs of society at the moment, and hopefully come up with some alternative solutions. Based on our initial answers to the warm-up question, I have instructed my assistant, Giacommo, to keep the engine warm on the FTI van as I don't think the TEAM FTI representatives will be on the winners podium. Here's the question: "In light of the recent ecological disaster occurring in the Gulf area with the out-of-control gushing oil well, in a simple world, how would you deal with this mess?"


Gummo, the Balloon Boy: "Get some Bounty Towels. It's the quicker picker-upper."

Rat Bastard G: "Dump a tanker-load of Dawn Dish detergent into the ocean. It fights grease and oil."

Marv, the Neighbor: "Is it vegetable or peanut oil?"

Dickie the Peap: "Who else can pay for it?"

Kommando Barney: "Oh, I know this one. The Beatles."


I am seriously thinking of entering our guys into the competitive knitting competition sponsored by the Ladies Aid Society at the local church next month. God help those old bats.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

It's Bloomsday Sunday

Hey c'mon, it's Bloomsday Sunday (look it up) and Gummo the Balloon Boy should be running today. We're out cheering him on.

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, May 1, 2010

................zzzzzzz.......ha-ha.............

This forum is normally one used to relay and re-tell the experiences in my life and the Misfits associated with it. Usually, the Misfits are not cast in a very flattering light as their abilities are, well, less than noteworthy and not eligible to be used as a point of pride. Today, however is different. I experienced something the other night like no other and want to share it.


Among a human's basic needs are sleep, food, and sex. (As I get older, the order of importance changes, but they still remain the same. We can discuss this later. ) Anyways, while enjoying a deep restful night's sleep, I actually awoke literally laughing. You see, in my dream, I was in a hospital room with Gummo, the Balloon Boy. I think I was visiting Gummo as he was in the bed and I was standing talking to him. I don't know what he said in the dream, but it made me laugh so hard that I actually remembering waking from the slumber. I actually also awoke Mrs. Kfred whom relayed to me that she noted I was lying on my back, arms over the top of my head, completely asleep and laughing. The feeling associated with this is absolutely incredible; I have never experienced this before.

When I finally awoke in the morning, the skies were cloudy, the guy on the radio said we were heading for a blistering high of 59, and showers were on the way. It didn't matter. I felt rested, positive, optimistic, and ready to take on the day. It was an amazing feeling. All due to the antics of one of the Misfits. I guess they actually do serve a purpose.