Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Is Elvis on staff?

I received a call yesterday from a writer who wants to do a portrayal story of the Institute and me for an article in an upcoming edition of Mental Monthly. Supposedly it would be a piece on how our work here at FTI has been a positive influence on the Misfits, how our help has enriched their lives, and how our unique perspective is actually a benefit to the community at large. As I am unfamiliar with that publication and unsure of the ramifications of such an interview, I told the writer I would have to discuss it with our FTI Board and get back to him.

The cheap-assed Board of Directors are very excited and think I should go through with the profile. The added exposure, heightened awareness, positive PR, etc., etc.; yeah, yeah, I have heard it all before. In my research, however, I have found some issues that make me a bit hesitant. Mental Monthly is actually referred to in the trade as Moron's Almanac due to it's strange coincidental similarities to the old World Weekly tabloid. The writer who contacted me is, in fact, a former managing editor to the old World Weekly tabloid and once stated, " If someone calls me up and says their toaster is talking to them, I don't refer them to professional help, I say, 'Put the toaster on the phone'. This same publication also profiled a cruel surgeon who re-attached a pair of conjoined twins after they failed to pay their medical bill for the initial surgical separation he performed. I'm just not sure I want to expose my reputation to this type of analysis.

One thing is certain, though. These same people know all about BatBoy. No wonder they are interested in learning about Gummo, the Balloon Boy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Idiots. They're everywhere.

The cheap-assed Board of Directors have instructed me to investigate the possibility of a worldwide outreach program. The goal would be to find other circumstances where our services and type of thinking would be applied. In preparation, I decided I needed to try to recruit some individuals with a foreign perspective that may be of use to us. Needless to say, I didn't have to look very far to find an example:

A drunk driver trapped after overturning his car cracked open another can of beer while he waited for emergency crews to rescue him, a New Zealand court was told.

Police found the man trapped in his overturned Ford Laser on June 1, drinking a can of beer after he failed to take a corner properly and crashed through a wooden barrier, flipping his vehicle.

Authorities said the man found he could not open the doors, realized "he had nothing else to do at that point, so he had another beer."

Though there is certainly nothing funny about drunk driving, we here at FTI do take solace in knowing that a foreign exchange program involving our group of idiots with other idiots worldwide is not an unrealistic goal.

Sunday, June 27, 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 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, June 26, 2010

What exactly is heating up again?

RSVP's for our upcoming FTI Summer pledge drive had been noticeably slow until it was disclosed that former VP Al Gore has been invited as our keynote speaker. Our hope now is that this escapade may actually highlight the idiocy we toil under and actually help people make guilt contributions.

Mr. Gore ran into a little problem recently and here is the Taiwanese interpretation of what may have happened. Believe me, no one here at FTI is smart enough to come up with this type of stuff.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Well, your skills appear to be transferrable

I currently am traveling out of town on non-Institute business and have left the Institute unmanned. Giacommo is a capable assistant, but, unfortunately granted himself an unauthorized leave of absence and, as a result, we have no reliable leadership managing the Misfits.

This entire incident actually highlights a problem I didn't realize we still suffer. Our planning for leadership succession via a written proficiency test or drawing straws has been previously studied. However, chain of command protocol demands that someone of an authority figure be on premises at all times.

We recently did receive an application for employment from a zookeeper whom had been downsized at his previous place of employment. I'm not sure that he wouldn't leave at the first opportunity to get back into that particular field when an opening came available. He did, however, have an enduring quality that captured my eye while reviewing his application. He offered to bring his own nets.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A look forward

I received my yearly Social Security projection statement in the mail yesterday and it is a bit surprising. Though I am close to 2 decades away from even thinking about retirement, it gives me a glimpse of the type of monthly income I can expect to receive when I actually do retire. Putting aside all of the political rhetoric as to where to place blame for the whole Social Security fiasco (and adhering to the official FTI political party line that all elected bastards are liars), I do wonder about my financial future.

As our 2 frequent readers know, ours is a non-profit venture; I receive no direct compensation from the Institute for my efforts here. The state does send a small monthly caretaker stipend in return for my supervision of the Misfits, however. Our steadfast refusal to display any pennies-per-click ads in our area of cyberspace prevent us from collecting a little bit of extra dough, so, basically, I rely on my real job, Mrs. Kfred's part time income, and the belief that Dickie the Peap actually is loaded to such a degree any "crumbs" I happen to pick-up in his wake may well sustain me. Gummo, the Balloon Boy, and the Rat Bastard G have their own special needs and though Gummo has me designated in his will to acquire his bicycle upon his demise, the actual pawn shop value would be no more than perhaps $15. Not exactly big money.

When I retire, I want to have the freedom to go places without worries of money. Throwing all caution to the wind and abandoning the rock solid values I have practiced for years, I am seriously considering making a dramatic life changing financial move: The RV pictured above can be purchased for a song. Due to the current economic crisis, the owner is forced to part with it for pennies on the dollar. I think it would look great, with Gummo's bike on the top and the bumper sticker: "We're spending the FTI endowment fund."

Monday, June 21, 2010

I can always use this

Father's Day was yesterday. I really don't need a day set aside to be honored by my sons, but hey, if society is going to have one, I will be there. It was sort of drizzly and wet outside; not, the sun soaked type of day you see in the ads where "Dad" is posing on the golf course in his new knit golf shirt. I didn't do anything special, and yet, it was a fantastic day.

Kfred Jr's 1 and 2 are both amazing men. Both are like me, but Thank God, are not me. They have some tendencies in their own personalities, political views, preferences, and habits that I don't agree with, and yet, I wouldn't change for a minute. I want them to be them. Recently married Kfred Jr 1 is beginning his 3rd month of married life and I am confident will be a successful husband. He is caring, attentive, and mindful of his new wife, Goldilocks. They will be fine. Kfred Jr 2 is home for a few weeks and is beginning his final year at West Point this fall. He is decisive, highly principled, and hard working. Just the type of personality that tomorrow's society will want leading our armed forces. Both are smart, quick witted, and have a sarcastic edge to their humor. (Credit to Mrs. Kfred on these traits.)

One of the neighbors came over and mentioned her husband was a bit down. She said she suspected that he was a bit miffed that neither of their sons had acknowledged his recent birthday or even called to wish their Dad a Happy Fathers day yesterday. He said it was ok, and surmised they were busy, they had a family, they might be out of town, etc. but, she could tell it bothered him a bit. I felt bad. Both of my guys told me I was the best Dad in the world and each told me they loved me. No shirts, no barbeque tools, no neckties, no power drills. They loved me.

Man, what a great Day.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's Reduce and Reuse 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.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Let's see..the cosine of pi divided by an integer greater than 0

Well, for better or worse, our launch is complete. The new FTI page is now up and running with our new, sophisticated, smart, " hipper" look.

Reviewed after downing a couple of beers and without any feedback provided by our 2 regular readers, I approved the look as recommended by our new page committee and implemented by the idiot FTI IT department. The background image tends to suggest that we actually do some type of complex calculations on a constant basis and develop our inspirational thinking from the solutions of the problems displayed. In fact, these scribblings are actually nothing more than our attempt in determining the amount of dollars Dickie the Peap has squirreled away over the years as a result of being born with the alligator-arm syndrome. To date, the solution has evaded us, but, our best guess is characterized as an amount approaching a quantity best described as a "shit-load." On a diagnosis basis, none of us here at FTI has ever heard of someone whom is pleased for being handicapped, but, based on his personal net worth, The Peap-ed one is delighted. If there ever was a case of "making lemonade when life hands you lemons", this is it.

In closing, it is hoped that our newer, cleaner, crisper graphics will aid you, our 2 faithful readers, as you follow the chronicles of the FTI Misfits. To those random readers whom mistakenly stumbled to our corner of cyberspace, I apologize for exposing you to our embarrassment. It is kind of cool looking though, huh?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Flag Day + 2

Today is Flag Day + 2, which is the way that I keep track of and wish a Happy Birthday to, my very good Friend, the Rat Bastard G.

I have known the Rat Bastard for nearly 33 years, when we both started working in the same restaurant. (He likes to brag that I taught him how to cook and he taught me how to drink.) There was one period deemed the "lost years" when we lost track of each other for a while, but, after re-connecting we have followed each other ever since through moves, relationship changes, loss of parents, etc. From drunken snowball fights, to "man-cations" in Las Vegas, to simultaneously spoken punch lines to the same jokes we have told since 1977, we still enjoy each other's humor and outlook of the world. Time truly has stood still over all of those years as we do act like a couple of 17 year olds to this day when we get together. Though miles separate each of us, we easily speak 3 times or more nearly every day to trade insults, insights, and trivia that we know the other would be interested in. Amazingly enough, during those 33 years, we have only had one incident that ever caused some harsh words and even then, it really didn't amount to much: I had asked the Rat Bastard to help me move a piano at a particular time. After waiting 45 minutes past the appointed time, I got pretty angry and called another friend and we got it moved. The Bastard G showed up a few minutes later and explained he had been tied up looking for a friend's missing daughter whom was missing while on an outing. All of this occurred before the advent of cellular phones and text messaging, so instant communication was not possible. Anyways, after a couple of heated words on both sides and a screeching of departing tires, it looked like the end of a long time friendship. Fortunately, Mrs Kfred intervened and pointed out my long association through, fun times with, and remaining outstanding loans to, the Bastard and perhaps I should soften my stance. (OK. I made up that part about the loans.) 45 minutes later, we were drinking beer together and lying to one another all over again.

As my dear departed Mother used to say, "He's such a handsome young man". And the rest, as they say, is history.

Happy Birthday, Partner.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I thought it was a reference site

Following extensive research, negotiations, analysis, and, yes I am not afraid to admit it, tears on some of our committee members part, a consensus has been reached concerning the new FTI page "look". Currently in beta testing (I just learned that term from one of our IT geeks yesterday), it is scheduled for formal launch this coming Thursday.

The difficulty in reaching a final decision is that a couple of our committee members were steadfast in their resolve to include some reader friendly attributes I felt did not match the sophistication and attract the type of reader we wish to engage. For example, a background of unicorns and rainbows might detract from the decisive, insightful, observations and declarations made here on a daily basis. Interestingly, one faction wanted to alter our page look by actually shifting our entire emphasis to a more narrowed focus type of website. Upon review of the example submitted, I immediately rejected this notion, but, did note this page's creator/host as a highly qualified candidate to join the rest of our Weirdo's, Whackos, and Misfits. I have also recommended that, should he accept our offer of membership, our policy of requiring all candidates to undergo an entrance exam measuring idiocy and odd behavior be waived as this would be a foregone conclusion.

So, only two more days until our new look. The idiot IT department (easily, the most reviled department here at FTI), had better not screw up on this one. Over the past 10+ months, we have experienced enough embarrassment, ridicule, and failure due to the look and feel of our web presence that simply is no longer acceptable. After all , it certainly could not be due to the type of content.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Be aware of Counterfeit Tickets

Steel Wheels. Blond Ambition. Victory.

What do these terms all signify? They are names of highly successful multi-city tours of rock acts (The Rolling Stones, Madonna, and Michael Jackson) staged for millions of people in one season. Thinking along those same lines, the FTI promotions Department has tentatively announced our Summer '10 touring schedule.

Recognizing the logistical limitations of staging such events and attempting to adhere to the geographical limitations as conditions of probation for a couple of our members, the promotions team has tied up a few dates for the total "FTI Experience on the Road". Actual performances by specific Misfits will be determined on the day of shows based on the visiting schedule of local magistrates, but, suffice to say, most people will probably end up disappointed. One major hurdle involved in this type of undertaking is the repeated dismantling and re-assembly of our 1950's model Factorcrap Truthometer Deluxe. Heavy use since it's recent restoration has taxed several key components and replacement parts are not easily obtained. Regardless, we are investigating different ways to bring it on tour with us.

Confirmed dates include:

  1. Spokane July 30 and 31
  2. New York City August 21 through the 25th
  3. Muskogee (tentative September date)

Our schedule is based on the geographic distances between the various cities involved and the relative indifference and interest of the local population. Additional cities and dates will be announced as soon as the level of apathy is determined.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's Renovation Sunday

Hey c'mon, it's Sunday and tough enough to get this group to think during the week. We're also in the middle of playing with some scenarios for our new look. 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, June 12, 2010

You can put lipstick on a pig and it still looks.........

The FTI IT department (the most reviled department here at FTI) recently took a break from battling the evil doers of Zoltar 7 to actually review this site and to offer some tips for improvement. One of the suggestions is that perhaps a facelift and new look are in due in order to make our site "bold". Relevant. Exciting.

Immediately recognizing the medical emergency that the team had been consuming too many Red Bull and Vodka's (Ride the Wave!), I called the FTI infirmary to arrange an immediate triage and evaluation session. Rushed to our state-of-the-art FTI medical facility, once the tub of leaches and reclaimed scalpels were cleared out of the way, it was determined that the staff were, in fact, not drunk, but rather deemed within the normal range of their cognitive abilities.

Among the suggestions made were various page elements I feel would have no appeal to our 2 valued readers including: 1) a real time 24-hour "Gummo-cam" trained on Gummo, The Balloon Boy all of the time; 2) a "Guess the Amount" contest to determine the dollar value of free meals consumed by Dickie the Peap at someone else's expense in one month's time; 3) an "Executive Director's Boredom Meter", capturing the number of yawns I experience while attending our weekly staff meeting. Though all would have some merit, I feel the scope of interest to be too narrow that would justify a new page makeover.

Regardless, I have considered the idea and plan to relaunch our new look sometime next week. As tomorrow is Green Sunday, we can explore some various scenarios and determine what would be appropriate. My goal is that it does not look like this.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Now, thats a goal to pursue

I have become surprised at the recent erratic behavior of one of our own, The Green Comic. Green's increasingly, belligerent, and idiotic behavior has been strikingly out of character. I finally sat him down to discuss what was going on in his personal life to justify his attitude.

Sadly, Green read about this woman and has decided to emulate her in the category of stupidity. Based on our population, the judges will have a tough time determining the champion.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

They call it Poker Ego

I like to gamble a little. I'm not here to convince you of the merits or discuss the moral implications of gambling. It's just something I enjoy once in a while. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose (Sorry about the WAMU stock, dear). Whether playing the stock market or $15 hands of 21, I do enjoy the action.

I am currently involved in a legal dispute where the stakes are rapidly increasing. Once the case is over, I will reveal the details, but suffice to say, the stakes are fairly high. Anyways, I was watching TV the other night and came across some Poker. I play very little poker. It's a moderately easy game to play, but, like anything else, notoriously hard to master. The guys you see on TV with their designer sunglasses, stoic faces, and colorful personalities look like regular people, but, they are professionals. Since my involvement with this case over the last few months, I have discovered two simple poker strategies that can also apply to life:

1) You don't make money in poker by trying to win the most. You make money by trying to lose the least;

2) It's better to get bluffed and fold than to make a bad call and lose your whole stack.

Over time, I think I have come out on the winning side when I gamble; nothing significant, but still ahead. I have a pretty good handle on my skill level and defer when I am overmatched. I only bet what I am comfortable with losing and, of course, am prepared to lose. While playing poker, I use a personal gambling strategy that is pretty simple: When I consider the cards already showing and have studied the other player's habits, I can make a reasonable determination of the odds of the value of the remaining cards. At this point, I see the cards already played and have observed the other player for a long time. I like my odds right now.

I'll see that bet and raise.

Monday, June 7, 2010

C'mon. Follow us.

The entire FTI concept and premise is that we exist to help society by relaying the antics and thoughts of the Misfits in order to help the normal population avoid ever becoming a pseudo-Misfit. In other words, we do this for your own safety and well being. We also do this at no direct charge to our 2 faithful readers. We have no membership fee to be a part of our organization and publish no ads on our website.

I recently stumbled across "The Automated Growth & Money Making System" via Twitter. It is a pitch to employ this guy's system in order to increase your "Raving Fans", "Follower's", and "Friends" so they will eventually buy things from you. All of these great benefits for a one time fee of only $47! The kicker is that one of the testimonials about the system is from a commenter whom noted that he had previously been charging his clients "$100's a month" to deliver what this guy was now doing for a one time fee of $47. And this commenter is a supporter of this system!! Now, it seems to me if you have been collecting "$100's a month" and someone can do the same things for your customers for only a one time fee of $47, you would not be a supporter; you should be a death-sworn enemy. A rival.

Our repeated inquiries for more information of this system were met with cold silence and bounced back emails. Apparently, our reading demographic (save our 2 faithful readers), is not of the type that this system wishes to be associated, nor, would it work. After all who wants to be a follower of the Rat Bastard G or any of the rest of the Misfits? They are already lost.

Sunday, June 6, 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, June 5, 2010

Was it this way for Noah?

The FTI facility is located in a temperate area where we have frequent rainfall. Today is the first day in 20 that we are not scheduled to have any measurable rainfall. This will be a perfect day to get outdoors and help the FTI Beautification team get the compound grounds back into shape.

Today also marks the suspension of my plans to build the FTI Ark. I truly was convinced an event of biblical proportions was about to happen as this damn rain simply will not let up. The Misfits have become increasingly concerned about their ability to get outside an splash about. When I requested the FTI engineering department to submit some design suggestions for a seaworthy vessel, I was to say the least, not overly optimistic. Headed by Dickie the Peap, our engineering department is noted for the strength, ruggedness, budget overruns, and time wasted during construction of it's engineered marvels. I specifically noted these traits in my request to them and pointed out I only wanted the first two as features of the design. 2 hours later, I received their working model: 2 old pallets lashed atop 4 discarded tires found along the interstate highway and covered by a couple of black Hefty garbage bags to act as cover. With today's sunrise, I have had additional time to consider the design (and initial idea) and have abandoned the entire notion for the time being.

I don't think the idea of an FTI Ark is without merit. Rain is scheduled to return next week, again. In my mind, the work "Ark" suggests 2 concepts: 1) a vessel of safety in an epic rainstorm; and 2) a vehicle to house pairs of all species to be preserved. As the reluctant Executive Director of FTI, my primary concern is for the attainment of the first one. The Misfits can get some inner tubes.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hello caller, you're on the air.

I read this news story this morning and it kind of reminds me of the circular logic that occurs here at FTI:

Police in Iowa City said a man who called them to report that he'd been punched while on the Iowa City pedestrian mall, was punched again by a second person while he was on the phone with his 911 call.

Police said the man told 911 dispatchers early Tuesday morning that he had just been assaulted and was following the person who did it. Then, while he was speaking with officers, a friend of the original assailant punched the man and knocked him to the ground.

In dealing with the various Misfits, sometimes immediately after I have solved one of the crises involving them, another one comes up and "sucker punches" me with more stupidity. Like a boxer waiting for the bell to ring, sometimes you just hope to stagger to your own corner and be able to regroup to try again. Talk about adding insult to injury.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Let's jump rope instead

I had a chance to reflect over the 3 day weekend and realized that part of the lingering malaise associated with FTI is a lack of a purpose; a greater good, a sense of what are we here for. Oh sure, our primary duty to offer policy, analysis, and observations will never be abandoned; it's what we have built our legacy upon and admittedly, to date, we have mostly missed that mark. The true target, though, can never be forgotten. And that's where my position as Executive Director becomes accountable. I need to spur our team to greater heights when they offer their mental contributions on a daily basis.

I happened upon the closeout bin in a store that offered some motivational items marked down for clearance. Thumbing through the usual photos of rainbows, ripples on a pond, small furry animals, and weeping third degree burns, I just didn't seem to find the poster that would strike the right cord for what I was trying to accomplish. Then, like a bolt of lightning, it struck. I promptly bought the remaining 5 copies and have installed them at strategic locations around the compound to constantly remind the Misfits of the heights they can achieve with little effort. I think you will now see some real purpose happening around here now.