Thursday, September 30, 2010

Are You Really Sure About This?

I received an email yesterday from Jemma  Clark, senior editor over at a new website, Videojug, whom is   searching for a select group of writers and bloggers to become Founder Members on Videojug Pages.  As she explains it, "Videojug is a powerful new self-publishing website that helps people with unique know-how & expertise (i.e. you) connect with our knowledge-hungry audience. I am searching for a select group of writers & bloggers to become Founder Members on Videojug Pages. I came across your blog - '(n) Flatline Thinking' - and was really impressed. I'd like to invite you to join our growing community of writers."  She also wanted to entice me to join by offering a "coveted Founders Badge" to prove I was part of the organization.  Of course, I didn't tell I already have the only one that matters. 

As flattered, impressed, and awestruck as I am by all of this newfound attention, I don't have the heart to inform Ms. Clark that, for the success of her new website,  I probably won't be joining her organization.  Based on the readership of this published daily struggle, apparently (and rightly) there is no huge demand for knowledge of our efforts here at FTI.  Our 2 faithful readers drop by periodically to trade verbal jabs with me and then are not tracked again for a couple of days.  Additional extensive analysis has shown that the other handful of readers here are a result  of a misdirected search engine query of individuals inquiring about the phrases "pocket-lint creations" and "blogs resembling fatal accidents". 

Ms. Clark:  I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.  I hope you make a million dollars as you move forward.  I hope you become the knowledge/resource site of the masses.  I am just not sure if our contribution will push you to that level.    We've contributed to 3 similar organizations in the past; none of them are still around.  Something about lack of content. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sensitivity Class is upcoming

Our group of Misfit's tend to behave themselves fairly regularly, and other than their frequent bouts of stupidity, normally act in an acceptable manner most of the time.    Our rules and code of conduct are strictly enforced.  A recent incident here highlighted the need for continuing reminders of these rules.

The Factorcrap Truthometer Deluxe, is a highly sensitive, finely tuned, precisely calibrated instrument for determining the truth and is not a toy.  Each of the Misfits has that fact drilled into them on a regular basis, and I tolerate no deviation from this policy.  I was taken back a bit, then, when Dickie the Peap came up to me surprised, excited, out of breath and explaining that he had something to tell me about our mainstay marvel here at FTI.  Now, our 2 loyal readers know that the short-armed one is a frequent, (and might I add,) very easy target for ridicule.   I expected this to be one of those moments that we would all roll our eyes over what ever piece of wisdom I was about to receive.    Instead, Dickie explained that he  had been testing the accuracy of the Truthometer Deluxe with basic test questions and statements which he knew the answers to in order to confirm and chart it's accuracy.  One particular statement caused our mechanical marvel to buzz, whirr, and emit a small amount of smoke, which  caused the Frugal One to panic and immediately exit the room where the Truthometer is stored.  Dickie was worried that as he had left it in a precarious position, and had not followed the proper steps in shutting it down, the result might be some long term damage.  After investigating and determining that no actual damage had occurred, I immediately suspended Dickie from any group activities for the next week and admonished him to never do such a stupid thing again.  As of now, I consider the whole incident over.

Looking back, I shake my head over how much supervision these idiots actually need.  I tell them and tell them and tell them not to touch the Truthometer Deluxe.   It's like baby-sitting a bunch of little kids.  All of this to determine if an actual piece of equipment is working or not.  Can't they see?  Of course, it works.  

Dickie's test statement? 

"Two women were sitting quietly together, minding their own business."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

That's what Friends are for

At our weekly meeting yesterday, I was informed of some displeasure and dissension over my posting and creation of  yesterday's pocket reference guide comparing the Misfits to Zombies.  The prevailing thought that I was a bit harsh, unflattering, and a bit mean spirited in doing so.  Upon further reflection, I suppose it was a bit biting and, as a result, I immediately issued an  apology.   The Zombie representative accepted my apology and that was it. 

To follow-up in that direction, I note that one of our 2 faithful readers seems to be having a blue, introspective period.  Having extensive experience in dealing with, and recognizing situations requiring, harsh interventional  tactics, I immediately  reminded this reader of steps we here at FTI can take to correct such feelings.  In no uncertain order, they include: 

1. When you are sad -- I will help you get drunk and plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you sad.

 2. When you are blue -- I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile -- I will know you finally got laid.

4. When you are scared -- I will rag on you about it every chance I get.

5. When you are worried -- I will tell you horrible stories about  how much worse it could be until you quit whining.

6. When you are confused -- I will use little words.

7. When you are sick -- Stay the hell away from me until you are  well again. I don't want whatever you have.

8. When you fall -- I will point and laugh at your clumsy ass.

These are basic tactics anyone would perform to help a friend out of the dumps.  One other observation I have made is that a good friend would bail you out of jail.  A true friend would be in jail beside you. 

And people say there is no compassion left in the world anymore.  Ha!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Clip it Out and Save it

I recently received as a gift for my Birthday the book, "The Zombie Survival Guide".  I don't know what to make of it as it just reads a bit oddly.  I think the reason I am so confused is that it is obviously a humor piece, but, is written so cleverly and factually that you think it is serious.  Anyways, as I thumb through it,  I do see some reasoning for giving it to me in the first place.  The giver of the gift is aware of my position here as Executive Director of FTI and thought I might use it as a desktop reference on those days that I am feeling my situation seems a bit confusing.


As I was perusing it, it became clearer to me that there are several striking similarities between the Undead and the Misfits.  I have constructed a small, handy pocket reference guide belows.  Feel free to contact us here at FTI and we will rush you a free laminated  pocket sized replica for your wallet or purse to help you identify if you are actually dealing with a Zombie or have encountered one of the Misfits. 

ZombiesMisfitsDifference

No Intelligence                   
Low Intelligence                    Minimal                
No Language abilities    One of our guys can actually burp the "Star Spangled Banner"                      Significant
No Social DynamicsOur team set the World record for the Team Nosepicking Relay RaceWe're still working on all of the words to "Kumbaya" presently.  We should be ready to perform at our Christmas Gala.   
No Financial  Abilities 3 Words:  Dickie the PeapCase Closed
Awkward Physical Coordination       Gummo the Balloon Boy can ride a bike and tie a balloon at the same time.  Blindfolded.  Useful when we conduct our off-site "Once-in-a-Lifetime/Everything Has Got To Go" vehicle disposal Sale


EDITORS NOTE:  Though this posting appears to be a helpful gift by the author for the good of the readership, full disclosure dictates this is actually the result of the state mandated once a year commitment for Community Service to be performed by the Flatline Thinking Insititute as part of their original Charter Agreement. 

Any advice given here should be taken in light of the disclosure made above.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's Sunday Brunch

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. I'm taking the staff out to Brunch.

And just like Sunday Brunch, most of the stuff here is overvalued, pre-cooked, and have already been handled by some snotty 6 year old kid.  So, go ahead:  take a look here and see if any of these days old items are to your liking.  Like most places, our admonishments are the same:  "Take as much as you want, read all that you take".

The weekly struggle begins again tomorrow.  See you then.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Even though they are crooks, they are very similar to our team

TIRANA (Reuters) – Two would-be Albanian bank robbers were arrested Wednesday as they tried to drill a passageway into a bank vault from a shop they had rented above it, police officials said.

In an aborted heist echoing the plot of the Woody Allen film "Small Time Crooks," the two men were caught after the noise from their drilling between the upper floor shop and the bank vault alerted the authorities.

"We moved in when they were in the last stages of finishing the tunnel," Tirana police chief Tonin Vocaj told reporters.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

We all have a purpose

The Summer FTI Roadtrip "Quest for Normalcy" tour has been completed and I can now start focusing on other tasks at hand.  I have scheduled a meeting with my able-bodied Assistant Director/Trustee, Giacommo, for a full review of activities during my absence later this afternoon.  A cursory review of our daily Stupidity log indicates nothing out of the ordinary; of course, with Giacommo on watch I would have expected nothing less.  Regardless, I am prepared to deal swiftly and decisively should  anything arise. 

The final leg of our tour took us to Tulsa, Oklahoma in support of activities of Dilbertland.  As noted earlier, Dilbertland is overall fairly sane, though I can see some potential for unbridled stupidity lurking near the surface.  One of our 2 Faithful readers questioned the need to go to Oklahoma in an earlier comment: What? Tulsa? You are in Oklahoma, seriously? Who comes to Oklahoma ? to which I would reply in the same vein in regard to this site: What?  You are reading this stuff, seriously? Who reads this shit?  Not wanting to appear snarky or condescending, I gently remind our 2 faithful readers that if not for their unwavering periodic reading of this drivel, my work here would devolve into something equal to  the anonymous toiling away of an obituary writer for the weekly community newspaper. 

Upon further reflection, I just realized that at least that guy was writing about someone whom actually had a life.  The idiots I am surrounded with have never had one.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Get the roadies to hurry up

A quick update before I am out of here:

The final leg of the Summer FTI Roadtrip "Quest for Normalcy" tour kicks off today.  I am off To Tulsa, Oklahoma for a related function of Dilbertland activities and meetings.  Dilbertland is, by and large,  reliable, predictable, and dependable,  Lately, however, some actions and decisions have left me scratching my head to make me think perhaps this may actually be a preview for our fall FTI  tryouts scheduled for later in the season to add new members to our cast.  If so, I may have more ahead of me than I originally planned, 

Regardless, the environment should be target rich and the activities similar to what I experience on a daily basis.  I will try to make some remote broadcasts,  otherwise, a full report will be here on Thursday morning.   

Sunday, September 19, 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, September 18, 2010

This is akin to the discovery of penicillin

With absolute and full credit to Gummo, the Balloon Boy......

As part of our on-going therapy and long term care, independent studies and tests are conducted regularly here at FTI to help the Misfits cope with life's everyday pressures. 

Interestingly, one of our own, Gummo, the Balloon Boy, took it upon himself to develop some alternative, natural type of therapy that would not involve medication and to approach the problem from a "natural and holistic" perspective.  Spending countless hours into research, Gummo tested, revised, and ultimately, developed a marketable concept that is  summarized here.   Ultimately, his own double blind study proved that this method of relieving STRESS does not work and did nothing more than  give him a headache.

A remedial solution of  repeated Johnny Walker Red and water cocktails was developed and appears to be addressing the problem.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Once you leave.....

My recent decision to leave Facebook was an easy one.  Apparently, some people have "withdrawals" and go into a state of depression because they miss the interaction so much.  Me?  Not the case.  I had a total of 37  friends comprised in the following categories:  3  people I wish to speak to on a daily basis, 2 siblings, 6 people I know through Dilbertland, 21 people I knew through high school a million years ago and haven't spoke to or seen since, 4 cyber characters that I have absolutely no idea why they "friended" (is there such a word?) me,  and  the remaining one being The Green Comic.

Green mentioned both directly to me yesterday  and made a comment on this forum earlier  that he wished I would reinstate my membership as apparently no one is paying him any attention.  At this point, even negative attention from me is something he values and craves.  My occasional gentle reminders on Facebook to behave and act appropriately would be constantly met with his signature "HEY PAL!" greeting and then followed with some type of misspelled insult which I always found difficult to pay any attention over.  Still, he is one of our own and everyone needs a lift once in a while. I thought I would make a quick log-in, boost the pity factor on his own wall, and bail out once again.

Anyways,  I tried to  log back in yesterday and repeatedly got the message that my email address was no longer tied to any Facebook account.  I contacted the Facebook help desk and was informed that Green's account had been placed on a "Stupidity Watch" resulting in any present and past emails accounts of persons friended by the Green One were now subject to review, evaluation,  and possible termination for the protection of Facebook's own reputation of relevancy.  Apparently, they recognize idiocy as well and want no part of it at their site.

I wish we at FTI had some type of process to deal with  idiocy appropriately.  Facebook is so large they can cover it by having so many members that it can be hidden.  Our small organization does not have that luxury.   As it stands now, we can identify and recognize it, we just can't avoid it.    I guess I will just ignore it and get back to tending my crops at Farmville.   

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Komen people might want to rethink this whole thing

Yesterdays' staff meeting included the agenda item of this weekend's pending  activities.  Included was one that may be potentially troubleful:  The upcoming annual  "Komen Walk for the Cure Fundraiser" to battle breast cancer that is scheduled for our area.

Being past supporters of this fine event for nearly 5 years now, both Mrs. Kfred and I have participated in the fund raising walk portion of their various events.  This year, due to a scheduling conflict, Mrs. Kfred is going to participate as a booth volunteer at the pre-race instead of as a participant.  Understanding the importance of this cause, the Misfits want to be involved as well and have formed a team, "Rubes for Boobs" and want to walk as well.  My problem is that as Executive Director, my job is to preserve the small amount of dignity,  relevance, and importance of our own organization while  trying to babysit  our band of idiots while they march together in solidarity to help raise money to fund research into this horrible disease. 

Obviously, one of the greatest challenges is to determine a way to keep our group together in the sea of thousands of participants.  Various methods were discussed and debated, but in the end, it was decided that we will line the Misfits up, tie old bras to each of their left wrists,  then tie their free right wrist to the  adjacent Misfit's strapped left wrist and VOILA!  A nylon chain gang ala a bunch of 4 year olds at a downtown crosswalk.  Everyone is linked together, we're in a straight line, and no pushing.  (Gummo!  Hold onto the strap!)

I'm a little apprehensive about the whole thing and unsure of the reaction to our efforts.  Obviously, it takes all types and we want to do our part.  My fear is that some walkers will actually think they are attending a walk for the wrong cure and be confused which event is being conducted.  The "Crawl to Stall Idiocy" is the following weekend.  I am the Grand Marshall. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Really?? And whom exactly is saving all of this time?

Recognizing the need to remain at the cutting edge of technological  informational advances in today's world, we here at FTI are trying to embrace as many  options available in order to improve our efficiency,  productivity, and save time.   Of course, this does require a fair amount of interaction with the FTI IT dept (the most reviled department here at FTI) which at times can be quite challenging.  Case in point: my attempt to pay the FTI insurance bill on line. 

I received an earlier announcement from the FTI Treasury, (D. the Peap, Miser in Charge)  announcing that an incentive was being run by the bank to shift any payments previously paid via check to a debit transaction.   If we successfully completed 3 transactions in one month, the bank would make a small deposit into our account as a "thank you".   Never one to pass on any type of  free money, Dickie the Peap advised us to be on the lookout for any opportunities.   Receiving a bill from our insurance carrier, I noted the option  to pay on-line and figured this would be a good place to start.    Of course, this requires  setting up an on-line account with the insurance carrier.  I can understand creating an account with your bank, your broker, Amazon, Facebook, or the local mental health support system.  I don't know why you would set up an account with an entity that you interact with twice a year.   Regardless, I begin the process to provide the personal  information  and repeatedly receive the message :  "All information must be EXACT as on your bill to set up your account".  I check the bill 4 times, re-enter the same amount of times and keep getting the same result.  I then realize that, of course, it would be helpful to provide the policy number in the box that I had ignored and suddenly, PRESTO! the account is created.  Total time elapsed:  6 minutes.  Time remaining until computer potentially takes flight out of window:  90 seconds.  Having set up the account, I now encounter the billing screen where I can enter the payment information.  As I don't have the card on me, I have to get up, go get my wallet and dig through the cards to get the right one.  Enter the type of card , the card number, attempt to enter the expiration date.  Twice.  No luck.  Realize that a debit card transaction doesn't have to include an expiration date.  Attempt to enter the security PIN number on back.  Twice.  No Luck.  Same reason.  Confirm amount of payment.  Enter email address for confirmation.  Re-enter for Security purposes.  Send Payment.  "This transaction cannot be processed as a debit card. Return to previous screen and select credit transaction".    Total time elapsed: 4 minutes. Time now remaining until computer potentially takes flight out of window:  5 seconds. 

In the end, I paid the bill and all is well.  I understand the shift to a paperless environment; It's green, it's less clutter for the customer, blah, blah, blah.  I just don't know if I saved a whole lot of time, vs. writing a check, putting  it in a stamped envelope,  and dropping it in the mailbox.  And that saving time pitch?  Well, I don't think it applied to me. 

Sunday, September 12, 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, September 11, 2010

Never Forgotten. Ever.

The usual mirth, merriment, and silliness associated with our normal observations will be suspended today in honor of the over 3000 lives lost 9 years ago today.

Regardless of your political leanings, interpretation of cause, or assignment of blame, the cowardly acts of that day were despicable. May their be a special place in Hell for those involved with the planning and carrying out of those acts.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Kfred likes leaving Facebook

After a one year foray, I deactivated my personal  Facebook account this morning.    And I don't think I am going to miss it a bit. 

Like a lot of businesses and organizations, the cheap-assed Board of Directors thought that we could create interest and attain new levels of critical thinking by sampling and observing the thoughts of others.  This premise was dismally shot down within the approximate first 20 minutes of activation of our account a year ago.  And nothing has changed in the meantime.   

The facts that you like/are a fan of 1)apple pie, 2)boots made of meat, 3) goats wearing Catholic school girl uniforms, or have a farm and want to share your harvest with me (or any of a number of particular concepts) is actually quite boring to me.  Likewise, I am confident most people don't care of my thoughts of today's weather, where I am traveling, or viewing action photos of the Misfits. 

To paraphrase Betty White's recent observation of Facebook, "It seems like an incredible waste of time."    I agree since after all, why would I want to engage and write about topics that are stupid, mindless, and nonsensical?  That seems like a duplication of efforts. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Precision at it's finest

A little recap of yesterdays Labor Day celebration:

  • Invited to a neighborhood picnic yesterday, Mrs. Kfred and I were assigned the task of bringing some "appetizers".   Actually wanting to expand my comfort zone a bit, I decided I would try to  make some buffalo chicken wings. I have never done so previously, but thought I would give it a try.  Though the FTI commissary is normally closed during holidays, as Executive Director and not fearing raising any eyebrows of our crack security staff,  I was able to climb in through the back window, unlock the delivery door, and give the Colonel a run for his money.   I don't want to brag, but damn, they were pretty tasty for being the result of the maiden voyage. 
  • The FTI Drill team's marching exhibition was  lackluster, at best, while performing at the neighborhood picnic.  Though we drill extensively and I thought that we had mastered the concepts of eyes front, right foot, and counting to 4, everything went awry when our unit encountered a small reminder of the presence of horses further up the processional lane that one of the broom boys missed while cleaning.    Gummo, the Balloon Boy, our honorary Drill major, began shrieking like a little girl in surprise and fright after stepping  in the gooey pile and began goose stepping to try to get it off the bottom of his boot.  The rest of the Misfits, trained to follow their leader, immediately began to mimic our lead Idiot, and as a result, began to perform some type of cadence that would best resemble a fire walker whom had never practiced with actual hot coals.  The forced congratulations and offers of condolences by the neighbors were appreciated, but actually, put a damper on the performance.  I would have rather been told, "Boy, those guys need a lot of work".     
BREAKING UPDATE:  I have just received an email from our neighborhood parade chairman whom noted that next year, all parade entries without the proper supervision to maintain order would  no longer be allowed to participate.   Great.  Those damn horses can stay in the barns where they belong.  Reading further, I note that drill teams are not welcome either.  I guess we will just stick with the Macy's parade at Thanksgiving.   

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hey, we're off today as well!

Hey, what are you doing here?  Though we appreciate your interest, today's a holiday.  Go drink some beer, bbq a hot dog, enjoy the last warm days of summer.  This crap will always be here.  Go on!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, September 5, 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.

It's Labor Day weekend; we get tomorrow off as well.  The weekly struggle begins again Tuesday. See you then.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Best filed as "Oops, wrong number".

HELENA, Mont. – General rule of thumb: when looking to buy marijuana, don't text the sheriff. Authorities said a Helena teen hit a wrong number and inadvertently sent a message to Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton, saying "Hey Dawg, do you have a $20 I can buy right now?"

A detective pretending to be the dealer organized a meeting at a time when the boy knew he and another teen would be at a particular store.

The detective spotted two teenage boys and one of the boy's fathers — who was unaware of what was going on — at the store. He called the phone number three times to make sure he had the right person. Dutton said when the detective showed the teens his badge, one of the boys fainted.

No citations were issued after the parents of the boys, who were 15 and 16, got involved.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Colonel, Captain. Captain, Major. Major, Kfred.

An event in Dilbertland yesterday reminded me of the old M*A*S*H show that highlighted the silliness of appearances. 

One of the upper executives was coming to town for an approximate 8 hour tour and  visit with some key customers.  Involved in his layover was an "inspection" of the facilities and a chance to give the staff a little feel good session, photo-op, and sale of commemorative t-shirts with the dates and cities he has visited to date listed on the back.  (OK, I made that part up.)    Anyways, the amount of cleaning, organizing, straightening, and otherwise ignored tasks to make an operation run efficiently and neatly, was amplified in advance of the upcoming visit.  Like the old M*A*S*H episode, everything was in place, the rehearsal had been perfected and then the phone call came;  there would be a delay.  Suddenly, everything reverted back to normal, routine took over once again, and reality struck home.  A half hour later, MacArthur arrived, looked around, made small talk with a couple of the grunts, mentioned to email him if there was anything that he could do to help, and was again back out the door.  Total time on premises:  10 minutes.

Now I work in a good organization.  It has issues like any other, but, it is basically good.   The real work is not done at the top, however.  It's done down in the trenches.  Everyday. By the little people. On the line. Everyday.   

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

GQ: Meet FTI

There have been two recent news articles about personal grooming habits of professional athletes that make me glad we have a policy in place here at FTI and reinforce the value of it for the Misfits as well. 

In the first case,  Manny Ramirez is set to join the Chicago White Sox and cut his trademark dreadlocks in order to conform to White Sox appearance policy.  Ramirez has always had a "go it alone" attitude and has used his hair to make a statement reflecting the same.  Now, he is going to have to come into the fold, get a haircut,  and be like the rest of the guys.   Secondly, one of the Miami Dolphins football players lost a 2.5 carat diamond earring during practice and was searching for it later on the practice football field.  The player apparently forgot to remove it before the start of drills and subsequently lost it on the practice field.  The earring was said to be worth nearly $50,000.

We don't allow any type of sharp jewelry, piercings, artistic tattoos, or any type of body art to be worn by the Misfits while they are here  for their own safety.  This safety concern is not for violence, retaliation, or gang affiliation identification, but rather to prevent any 2nd-rate roving circuses to claim a wandering Misfit as a potential sideshow exhibit.  Ripley be damned.