Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Some reconstruction of Memory Lane

Kfred Jr. and Goldilocks gave Mrs. Kfred a belated birthday gift while attending the FTI Open House event over the weekend. It was only belated in the fact that he didn't forget, rather, they couldn't get the gift on time  for her birthday in January.  Regardless, it's one of those gifts she will always have.  They converted old video tapes onto digital disk.  And we will have it forever. 

During the formative years of both Kfred Jr's. 1 and 2 during the 90's, we had a video camera.  Starting with the initial rental of the 2-piece, 10 lb monster with the  battery pack you wore on your hip (does anyone remember those in today's age of miniaturization?) to a simple 8mm hand cam we later owned, we documented our families life and events.   Birthday parties, Christmas time, plays, game, etc.  It's all there.  And wow!  The weight was a bit less, the hair was a bit darker, the clothes were a bit different, and the memories were completely forgotten.  But it was (and will always be) fun to go back in time and relive the experiences. 

Mrs. Kfred actually cried during a couple of scenes.  From  the joy of seeing 2 little boys whom have grown to fine men to Grandma and Grandpa still being with us and marveling at "that thing" to the people and events of our past suddenly recreated and visited, it's all there.  And of course, so is the embarrassing stuff.

I know that Kfred Jr. made copies of all of the disks for his own enjoyment.  We plan to make a set for his brother as well.     Obviously, it only means anything of value to our family.  I think the cousins in Colorado might take notice, though, as they might be appearing on a video snippet on Facebook in a less than flattering light.   Hey, it's all in fun.  And I can go back anytime.

Monday, March 28, 2011

It's not easy being me

After a brief hiatus from my official duties as chief correspondent here at FTI, I am back and ready to go. Perhaps, a little bit less enthused for the moment, but, certainly ready to go.  What a weekend.

Let's start in the beginning:   After spending a full weekend on Saturday working with the FTI legal team and hosting an open house yesterday here at the compound, I was busy.    All of Saturday was spent with the FTI legal team scanning and reviewing documents for use in  our official upcoming Kangaroo court appearance and testimony.  The FTI legal team is populated with some of the legal professions brightest minds and I am confident that a the end of the day,  justice will prevail.  Then yesterday,  I missed the "How to remove Moles from your Yard" seminar at the local nursery as it is apparent one of our alumni are in charge of the reader board there. Previously in the week, the sign advertised the event as occurring at "11 am Sunday, the 26th". The careful calendar observer will note that unless they are thinking of November 26, 2011, the date for March is inaccurate.  As I show up at the appointed time yesterday, I note there are only 5 cars in the parking lot and chalk it up to a rainy Sunday morning. I then am informed that the event was actually held the day before, Saturday, the 26th, and was well attended by over 100 people.  All I got for my efforts was a lousy tri-fold pamphlet basically designed to sell mole traps.    Idiots.    In the meantime the little bastard and his ilk are raising havoc in my yard.

Then last night, after wrapping up the open house here at the compound at 9 pm, I note a failed electric circuit including the one routing the FTI nerve center from where this drivel is produced.  Immediately dispatching our multiple FTI electrical engineering teams with instructions to report back to me on an every 5 minute interval basis, I note there is a  void of any useful information coming in.  Observing one of the teams in action, I note their activity consists of a single member, repeatedly flipping a switch at the panel box with no apparent result and summarizing with the statement, "I dunno, nothing seems to be happening".    Realizing that perhaps this member is actually mistakenly deployed to the wrong assignment and would be better suited placed on our critical Analysis and Policy Direction  (APD)committee, I try to intervene.  In the end, a request to re-route an entire circuit, with the accompanying infrastructure buildout, obligatory  overtime labor charges,  and accompanying parts was submitted to me.  Carefully reviewing the request and budgetary liabilities, I immediately vetoed this idea and handled the situation personally with a time tested solution:  A long extension cord to another circuit with a 6 plug power strip to handle all items involved.  Problem solved.

It's Monday,  A new day.   A new week.  I just hope I don't break my neck tripping over that damn cord. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's how much?!

This eerily sounds like the behavior of you-know-who when the check comes after lunchtime.  Perhaps, not to this level of anger, but, the outrage and shock are surely identical. 

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) – A Taco Bell drive-through customer who became enraged because of a price increase on Beefy Crunch Burritos fired a BB gun through the window at a manager on Sunday, police said.

No one was hurt from the shots fired by the man, who also waved a pistol and an assault rifle in the parking lot, Police Sergeant Chris Benavides said.

As the restaurant's employees and customers hit the floor, the manager called police, and when officers arrived, the angry patron fired several shots at the police cars, Benavides said.

The man then barricaded himself inside a nearby motel room, sparking a standoff that lasted until police lobbed tear gas inside and the man surrendered.

Benavides said the burritos had been sold for 99 cents each as a promotion, but the man was apparently angry that the promotion had ended, and the price had gone up to $1.49.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The easy way never works

This past Saturday I decided I would cheat the pain and loss of sleep associated with my standard weekend exercise regimen of rising at 5:30 for the 45 minute regimen, and instead opt to sleep in and do some yardwork instead. Thinking that a couple hours of less intensive work would be a good substitute instead of the high energy workout route, I slumbered merrily along without a second thought.

One key factor in my calculations which I failed to address was the fact that the yard work entailed pushing around a 250 lb. lawn roller to flatten the lawn where those little bastard moles have created havoc in my yard. 2 hours later after pushing and pulling that thing around, I had completely soaked/sweat through 2 shirts on a day where the recorded high was 49 degrees. Today, 2 days later, I feel every muscle in my shoulders and upper body. And they ache.

Next time, I will set the alarm clock.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It must be in the genes

Forgive me for a little self-reflection this morning. Much like the old Ann Landers advice columns, today's post is a "Personal To:" type of submission. It is only meaningful to a specific person. Feel free to exit now and come back tomorrow; you won't hurt my feelings.

Besides Brother Eddie, I have a younger brother, Ace. Ace and I have grown closer over the years and share many of the same traits and values. He got the money, I got the brains, and the looks are a toss-up. We speak to each other 2 -3 times a week, normally about nothing very serious, but, we aren't afraid to ask each other for expertise in our various fields of interest. It is a good relationship and has strengthened as we have gotten older. Like I, he takes life as it comes and doesn't allow it to control him. Yesterday, he experienced some medical procedures with some slight unforeseen consequences out of the ordinary. We spoke yesterday and he will now proceed with plan B. No big deal. Had this been experienced by Brother Eddie, however, a dramatic production would have unfolded. A fully ready intensive care medical team, complete with world quality testing equipment surely would have been at the ready on a moment's notice. To reduce the drama, Ace simply relayed, via email, the seriousness of his situation, the potential and probable excruciating pain associated, along with the certain extended time needed for full recovery back to Brother Eddie to minimize any unwanted advice as to how to proceed. It was a classic message, with skewering points, and yet, completely informative at the same time.

Our lineage can be traced to our father, (whom I have named as Executive Director, Emeritus at FTI as I am sure he would enjoy this exercise if he were still here) who possessed a key wit and wry sense of humor. It's good to know that this key trait was passed on and I am not the only smart ass in the family.

Ace, Well done. Well done, indeed.

Monday, March 14, 2011

RE: 8

As evidenced by the mindless exchanges with Dickey the Peap, we here at FTI are thoroughly willing to engage our reading audience on a regular basis. Most of the dialog is based on  my observations of acts by the little, short-armed, miser committing some type of act to avoid meeting basic financial responsibilities. I use this forum as a vehicle to point out the obvious and hopefully shame the little dwarf into doing the right thing. He then replies to adjust the public record on his own behalf.  To date, I have been wholly unsuccessful, but, that will not deter me from continuing to do so. Now, it turns out, one of our 2 faithful readers is getting in to the act.

I received an email Saturday from one of the 2 with the subject line of "Re:8". That was it; nothing else. Opening the email, I found  one sentence: "Nothing is impossible" and an unknown link to another webpage. I had no idea what this was about. Was this site being ranked 8 out of 10? Were we finally going to be awarded the highly coveted recognition we so richly deserve here at FTI? Was this message a note of encouragement to continue ahead when faced with the daily realization that the dunderheads, dolts, and dopes inhabiting our population are merely the burdens we bear when producing this crap? Excitedly thinking of the possibilities, I clicked on the link: I was immediately directed to the Canadian Health and Care Mall website which prominently advertised Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra on the front page along with other mail order pharmaceuticals.   I think this suggestion was a bit over the top, highly intrusive on my personal life, and, to say the least, misdirected. 

I am not totally put off, however.  I do note that Seroquel, a drug used in mental health therapy, can be had for $3.86 per dose.  Perhaps, all is not lost.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's Clock changin' Sunday

Hey c'mon, it's clock changin' Sunday and tough enough to get this group to think on time. Plus, I'm taking the staff out to Brunch. Every time one of the Misfits say, do, or think something stupid, they have to put a dollar in the jar. We call it our Brunch fund. And as far as I can forecast, there's going to be a lot of Sunday meals.

Just like Sunday Brunch, most of the stuff here is overvalued, pre-cooked, and have already been sneezed on  by some snotty 6 year old kid.  But, 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, March 12, 2011

Water? Check. Blankets? Check. We're good to go.

The recent earthquake in Japan was a terrible tragedy and our thoughts and prayers go out to all people affected by this phenomena regardless of their location in the world. Obviously, Japan took the brunt of the powerful destruction, but damage  (and a few cases of loss of life) in Hawaii, the Western US ports, and elsewhere in the Pacific was noted.

This event also served as an example for Mrs. Kfred, our Director of Institute Safety, to remind us here at FTI to make preparations for the coming "Big One". Initially, I thought this might be raising the alarm factor a bit high, but, I have since become "persuaded and educated" on the wisdom of this mindset. I immediately sent a memo for each of the Misfits to plan accordingly and offer suggestions we may implement in preparation.  The results were less than impressive:
  • Gummo, the Balloon Boy, offered that we have extra tanks of helium on hand to inflate "get away" balloons should the need arise.  I didn't have the heart to tell him that this type of solution is only useful in cartoons and  comic strips.  He is currently unaware of any imminent danger and is presently tying balloons to his bicycle to double as an alternative all-terrain vehicle should the need arise.  Touch down to the ground and pedal away. 
  • The Green Comic immediately formulated the definition of a cow in an earthquake is more commonly known as a "Milkshake".  Welcome to 8 year old comedy.
  • Dickey the Peap totally ignored our request and has not been heard from at all.  I assume that he is deep underground in his protected lair, a concrete-lined stump, which he has steadfastly maintained and  expanded over the years. This location also serves as the area where he  repeatedly counts and logs all of  the money he has squirreled away.  Good to know that at least one of the Misfits will survive regardless of what happens in time.    
I don't know what will happen when the"Big One" hits.  From the suggestions given to me, I am quite confident we won't make it anyway.   

Thursday, March 10, 2011

OK, give me all the ... oops, just a minute

I found this piece of video and am trying to see if he was, in fact, an alumni of our organization. I don't think he was as we certainly do not condone criminal activity, however, his thinking process is eerily familiar.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And headlining next week..........

The Green Comic called me yesterday to inform me that he will be opening at his newest venue on Friday.  I wish him a long successful run and am sure he will do well. 

Green is the type of Comic whom will assume any persona and  shows up in full costume ready to perform on a moment's notice.  Recently playing for tips only  has forced him to suspend internet service which robs him of the ability to search for previously used jokes to employ in his act.  As a result, his material has taken a decidedly old detour through the 50's with stolen  "re-worked" material from Shecky Greene, Bob Hope, and other comedians from 2 generations ago.  

Though, I have noted his mean streak previously, he is a good sport as he takes a fair amount of ribbing from me and never truly gets spiteful back.   Planning is already underway for this summer's Lost Reunion Tour 2 event in which I plan to  visit the library with him to find material that is truly in the public venue and which does not violate existing copyright laws.  It will be a brand new experience for him. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lose 5 pounds in a single afternoon: go shopping

My weight reduction program is moving smoothly ahead with tangible, visible results. Despite the nay-saying, smart-assed, observations from the little, short-armed, tab-ducking, Warren Buffet wannabe, I have clocked in at a hair over 5 lbs lost in 75 days time. Nothing earth shattering, but, I will take it and I really haven't changed my lifestyle much other than exercising fairly regularly.

As noted elsewhere, I have, however, discovered an easy alternative method to have friends and co-workers comment about your recent weight loss and boost your self esteem.  In addition to the grinding 5:00 am workout routines, commitment to fitness, and occasional monitoring of alcohol intake to achieve weight loss, you can get those same positive comments.
"Gee! you look great. Have you lost some weight?"

"Nah. I just bought bigger clothes."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

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. I'm taking the staff out to Brunch. Every time one of the Misfits say, do, or think something stupid, they have to put a dollar in the jar. We call it our Brunch fund. And as far as I can forecast, there's going to be a lot of Sunday meals.

Just like Sunday Brunch, most of the stuff here is overvalued, pre-cooked, and have already been sneezed on  by some snotty 6 year old kid.  But, 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, March 5, 2011

Mea Culpa

Increasingly being accused by one disgruntled reader for the sharpness of tone at this site, I would like to pause to give credit where credit is due. Feeling constantly picked on and, yet, having a lackey do his bidding for him, I want to acknowledge the success of Mr. X for his recent stock picking prowess.

I received an excited phone call from Mr. X recently in detailing his latest success in picking a profitable stock (though insider spies indicate that Dickey the Peap's on-loan-out dart throwing, stock picking, guru/primate Irving the Peap, was actually responsible for the exact choice of company) investment. X finally found a company that earned him a tidy small 4 digit  profit within a few days and he wanted to share his success with me. Of course, me being the generous, happy, magnanimous, correspondent that I am, I am more than happy to relay this success and want to tout it to the world.

I guess that now he no longer has to be ashamed (as we noted earlier) of operating Anchorline Investing: "We drop immediately and never get off of the bottom".

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Will you need help up to your room?

The FTI travel department is currently engaged in a feverish search to find Mrs Kfred and myself reasonably priced and suitable accommodations in New York City for our pending visit later this spring. The results to date are such that even our most fervent skinflint, Dickey the Peap, may have met his match.

We want to stay in midtown Manhattan as it is centrally located to most of the big name tourist attractions.  Note, I did not say the better attractions.  There just is so much to see and do that you have to prioritize your visit. One can stay further outside and save some money, but taxi fares into Manhattan  will just eat you up financially and I have no intention of renting a car to be driven in New York City. I am adventurous; I am not manic.   Suggestions of staying at hotels with shared baths to inquiring at hostels or using the Peap's method of browbeating an elderly desk clerk  to a 60% reduction  to get rid of him are just not my style. Using Priceline's "name your own price" method is a bit scary as you don't know where the actual hotel is until you have paid for it. 

Part of the problem is that I have insisted upon booking the suite options befitting my status as Executive Director here at FTI.    While inquiring for space, our staff was told there would be no problem.  Twice while making inquiries, however, our travel department has detected hesitation on the part of reservation clerks when being told the name of our organization and suddenly glitches occurred.   Excuses were prevalent:  Suites  suddenly rented;  Blocks of room not previously filled suddenly disappeared;  Prior cancellations magically re-booked; a no goat policy was in effect.       

I get the distinct feeling there is something going on.  I will find suitable accommodations.  I just am not sure that I am willing to attend the morning prayer service in order to get a cot. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

They are kind of skimpy with the cheese aren't they?

I think this one is taking competition for customers  just a bit too far

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – The owner of a suburban Philadelphia pizza shop was arraigned on Tuesday on charges he schemed to plant live mice in competing pizza parlours in hope of putting them out of business.

Nickolas Galiatsatos, owner of Nina's Bella Pizzeria in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, is accused of putting bags of mice at nearby competitors on Monday afternoon, according to Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.

The owner of Verona Pizza watched Galiatsatos go into his restroom carrying a bag but emerge empty-handed, and alerted two patrol officers who were in the restaurant, Chitwood said.

The officers found a bag of mice and footprints on a toilet seat, suggesting someone had been trying to reach the ceiling tiles, he said.

The officers then found Galiatsatos near another pizza place, Uncle Nick's, where he was seen putting something in a trash can. There, police found a bag containing five mice, Chitwood said.

"This guy planted them to put these guys out of business," Chitwood said.

"I've been at this for 47 years, and I've never seen mice used as a criminal tool," he added.

Galiatsatos claimed his shop had been infested with mice, and he blamed his competitors for the problem, he said.

Chitwood said that Galiatsatos told police he bought the mice at a pet shop for $10.

He faces misdemeanour charges of cruelty to animals, criminal mischief, harassment and disorderly conduct.