Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm back in the Saddle again

Safely ensconced back  here at the FTI Executive Directors Living Quarters, I have assumed full duties and responsibilities after my 13 day excursion. Fortunately, nothing of any meaningful significance occurred (TRANSLATION: Same old, same old) which I give complete and total credit to my able-bodied Assistant/Trustee, Giacommo for his steady hand at the FTI wheel while I was gone. Good job, son. I  do note that the fluid levels in the bottles of the ceremonial Executive Director sacraments were noticeably lower, but do accept your explanation of testing the effects of evaporation in the atmosphere and your experimentations, therein.   (Regardless, I am recommending to the cheap-assed Board of Directors that his status be upgraded to Assistant Director in Waiting, Level 2. Though certainly not an increase in any type of compensation, the prestige and title alone should allow him to take advantage of the super prices offered on any mattress at any of the 100's of locations of  the Sleep Universe superstores located across the United States. Congratulations.) 

So back at it I begin.  The Rat Bastard is incommunicado, Slateface has had a birthday and Dickie the Peap, ever thinking of ways to save money,  suggested I wait until after his birthday to see if I could get a card half off.  I failed to point out to the  little miser that the greeting card industry has developed a product known as a "Belated Birthday" greeting to combat this type of thinking, but alas, these are the condition under which I work.  In other words, nothing has changed.  I just got a 13 day reprieve, that's all.  I'll take it.     

Monday, May 30, 2011

We Honor you

Remember these guys.

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

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Now this is a roadside attraction

(DES MOINES, IOWA)-On the road through the heartland and America has been quite entertaining.  Hey, we've gone through Williamsport, Pennsylvania, home of the Little League Hall of Fame.  Let's stop there.   Nah. Booooring.   Oh, Canton, Ohio is just a few miles off of our route.  Let's swing down and visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Uh-huh, couple of old footballs in a trophy case.  As we swing through Elkhart, Indiana, however, I note the sign announcing Elkhart as the home of the RV Hall of Fame.  That's right;  Elkhart has a Hall of Fame devoted to RV's!   Now, we're talking, baby!  Home of he largest RV in the world, the most hours spent on the road by a driver, and my favorite, profiles of some of the greatest owners in RV history.  These guys are legends:  who will ever break the 7.8 second world record of Emptying the Dump Tank held by "Flushin'" Frank Grabowski of Mesa, Arizona?  This guy is the Michael Jordan of the RV world.  I just wish he was available for an autograph.  I would insist he wash his hands first, though.      

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

On our journey to greatness

(LIMA,OHIO)-I am currently located in a non-descript Holiday Inn Express, beat after a full day of driving nearly 580 miles from New York City through the entire length of Pennsylvania, almost across Ohio, stopping here outside of Toledo. We are headed for the FTI compound with arrival scheduled later this weekend with a proposed stop along the way at one of our nation's treasures and my personal inspirational monument, Mount Rushmore.

My hope is that if I can get some good pictures of it from my personal camera, I can then post them in the FTI staff lunchroom as a reminder of the great deeds and leadership milestones performed by great men in history. We do have one currently, and though I feel it is reflective of our current staff's abilities, I think we can strive for something greater than a 3 Stooges poster. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

The 47 month journey is over

You gotta love it. 

After 4 years of intensive immersion in classes, training, discipline, physical rigors, and military awareness, it all comes down to a 2-hour graduation celebration and the tradition of the tossing of the hats.   And then "we" are outta here.

A little known fact is that many times, the graduates place a picture, small memento, or even cash inside of their hats that the children in the audience race to  later collect.  I have no idea what Kfred Jr. 2 put in his cap, but, you have to think that no matter the amount of money placed in the hat never to be seen again, it is money well spent.  Unless you are Dickie the Peap.  In that case, no money ever to be seen again is money well spent.  It's money that will never be seen again.   Rumor has it that when the little miser graduated from High school a million years ago, he put an IOU in his cap.  3 subsequent generations of family that originally recovered that hat have been trying for 60 years to collect on this obligation, but, so far, the short armed one has evaded the responsibility of doing so.   I don't think anything is going to change. 

Regardless, young man, congratulations and well done!   

One of many,
one of few,
a proud nation awaits you.    

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's Graduation Sunday

Hey c'mon, it's Graduation Sunday. We get a day off too, you know. I'm taking the family out to Brunch and celebrating.

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 and the roadtrip across America starts Tuesday.  See you then.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I am outta here

It is currently 3:20 am local time, the full moon is shining brightly into the Executive Living Quarters here at FTI, and I am finishing up my last minute duties before departing for my near 2 week Excellent Adventure. I have successfully located Giacommo, my able-bodied Assistant/Trustee, performed an emergency renewal- oath affirming ceremony, and transferred the doomsday scenario codes as a precaution should anything go terribly wrong in my absence. With all of that said, I can rest a bit easier.

At the direction (no,  that's not it)  insistence (uh-uh, that's not it either) "suggestion" of our Institute Safety office, Mrs. Kfred,  3 various clock alarms; one electrical, one  battery operated cell phone, and one sundial (though the actual accuracy of that device is suspect) were set  "just in case" we happened to sleep through so not to miss our departing flight this morning.  I have NEVER overslept on any occasion for ANY event that I woke up tearing around the house like a mad man trying to meet a schedule.  That is funny in the movies and on TV, but it has never happened to me.  I just have a built in internal clock that does not allow for it.  Immediately identifying that this issue  could become a major flash point of disagreement at the last minute that would result in a 6 hour cross country "quiet" flight, I immediately evaluated my options, chose the most prudent course of action, and  acted accordingly in a matter best described as :  "folding like a cheap tent."  Leading by example and exhibiting the type of signature thinking we have become known for, I drank 4 glassfuls of water insuring  that I would have to get up sometime in the middle of the night to relieve myself gambling on the odds that it would occur before the expected time of awakening.  And just like magic, my idea worked perfectly.    We are up in plenty of time, there are no evident disagreements to this point, and all is proceeding according to plan.

I do note, however, that before we use it again a new mattress pad will be needed to be purchased for use on the bed.        

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

And we don't even charge a Dollar

The pre-departure checklist of things to do before I leave is being shortened on a continuous basis:  re-reconfirmation of hotel reservations (under strict orders, I know better when to conform rather than argue), pre-flight check-in (oops, more than 24 hours before departure, no can-do), collection of clothes, shoes, toiletries, chargers, sunglasses, etc.  All good.  Remembering to pack rain parkas purchased at Dollar Tree store.  Affirmative.  Everything looks good. 

The Dollar Tree Store is an interesting place.  Other than buying an occasional theater  boxed size of candies for a snack, I rarely go there.   As the name implies, everything in the store is one dollar and since I wanted to plan for inclement weather, I figured I would pick up a  few rain ponchos for our party to hand out; if it rains I am covered, and if not, I am only out a few bucks.   I trust they will be sufficient to be pressed into use if needed.  The more I think of it, however, I begin to have some doubts.  I mean, come on now, can any of the items other than the food or cleaning  materials be that good if they are only a buck?  Logic dictates that some of this stuff is going  to be cheap junk.  Having trouble reading and need some reading glasses?  No problem, here are a pair of glasses for just a buck.   Need some inexpensive tools to throw in the jockey box in the car in case of emergencies?  Here are a screwdriver and small wrench.  One dollar each, please.  I really didn't look that closely, but, I swear I saw  pregnancy test kits in their as well.   Now, whom are you exactly testing the pregnancy status of and what is the reliability of this kit if it only costs a buck?  Is this a goldfish test pregnancy kit?  For a buck?

The business model seems to be successful as there are a couple of national chains that compete in this arena.  I guess people will buy anything if the price is right, regardless of quality.   I just don't think it is for me.  After all,  I offer thinking and observations for under a dollar on a regular basis and have 2 faithful readers to prove it.    There is always someone willing to use your product if the price is right. 


Monday, May 16, 2011

The Countdown is On

I am currently developing some type of emergency transfer of powers clause for insertion into our FTI bylaws in order to make it look official should there be any question in the future concerning legitimacy. Legally, this act is a crime and called "Forgery by Insertion", however, Shifty, my lawyer, has given me the wink and nod and told me to go ahead and do it.   You see, I am preparing for an extended absence from FTI for the next 2 weeks to attend and celebrate the graduation of Kfred Jr. from West Point and have failed to locate my part-time, able-bodied Assistant/Trustee, Giacommo and inform him that he will be needed and pressed into action during my absence. Inserting this clause will cover my ass if I fail to locate the little knucklehead  and have to institute emergency martial law powers decreeing that all activity is suspended until further notice.

Mrs. Kfred and I leave Wednesday and I hope to return around Memorial Day. The actual Graduation is this coming Saturday, but, we are going to hang out in New York City for a few days and then Jr. 2 and I are going to conduct a road trip from NY back here to the FTI compound on the West coast via car. I am actually looking forward to it as I hope to visit some inspirational historic and cultural sites along the way that have meaning to our Misfits here at FTI. Of course, there is Mecca: The Ripleys Believe It or Not Odditorium (God, I love that name. I wish I had thought of it) in Times Square in New York City; the 2 headed calf described as "8 eyes, 8 nostrils. In the basement. Fabled Freaks of the National Road" in Brookville, Ohio;  the "worlds largest Ball of Yarn" in Cawker City, Kansas, "Carhenge", a Stonehenge replica made of junked cars in Alliance, Nebraska, and other "gotta sees" along the way.  I can't wait.  Of course, all of this is done for professional purposes are are going to be itemized on next year's FTI tax return as being pursued for educational purposes only and counted as a legitimate deduction at that time.  I can't wait.   

Like the lasagna that is prepared 2 weeks ahead of time and put in the freezer when you know you will need to offer it to the family when someone is about to die, I have pre-prepared (?) some posts for future publication.  Unlike the lasagna, they will be fresh and appear to have been made just that day.  I have wound down all of our official FTI commitments during that time, so, expect Gummo, the Balloon Boy, the Green Comic, Slateface, and the rest of the Misfits to do what they do best during this time:  Nothing.    I won't have to worry about them.  After all, I have to figure out the true meaning of Carhenge.

Sunday, May 15, 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.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Jukebox: Hey, it's not my fault

In a stunning turn of events, the genius IT guys at Blogger (our internet hosting service) discovered a problem with their network and had to call in extra help to repair the problem resulting in the removal of some earlier posts and the inability to add anything new for the past few hours.    Unfortunately, it appears that the incompetency of those they called in is equal to, or exceeds,  our own IT loser members here at FTI.  Our own IT team (the most reviled department at FTI) have long been known for bumbling, dopiness, and flat out stupidity.  I hope they don't suffer the same sort of long-term embarrassment as we have over this display of incompetence. 

On another note, I offer this Friday jukebox selection as an appropriate choice 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

2 Brothers of a different mother

I read where an Olympic swimmer from Australia recently took some time off during training at the beach and decided to have a bit of fun. He dug a huge 7 ft hole around himself in the sand when suddenly the walls collapsed around him and he got stuck. Fortunately, rescuers were able to free him, but, not until after 2 hours of strenuous work to do so.

This incident reminds me of a similar  incident involving the Green Comic.  Green is widely accepted as the standard for and regarded as an expert on, (court certified, mother-approved) matters of idiocy.  Having been recently absent of any noticeable activity he is now once again posting, on his Facebook page, repeats of past observations.  Not only  does he steal other comedian's material, but, now is stealing his own and offering them up as new stuff.   In this case, "The Best of the Green Comic" is in fact, the worst of his prior material. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Technology: coming to your house soon

I note that the Green Comic has finally attained his own direct internet connection at his residence versus hijacking the circus's bandwith for his own personal enjoyment. Now, instead of downloading and stealing material not only written or delivered previously, (while wasting time on his employer's behalf as well) he can do so at his own leisure with no fear of job related retribution.

Welcome, Green. To the 21st century. You're only 11 years behind.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

It's Mother's Day

Hey c'mon, it's Mother's Day Sunday and tough enough to get this group to think during the week. We get a day off too, you know. And because no Mother in her right mind would claim any of these idiots, I am taking the staff out to Brunch.

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, May 7, 2011

Edison would be proud

I am happy to report that we are now functioning at 100% efficiency levels following the correction of our small electrical incident of 2 days ago.

Having decided that calling in a professional would be the wisest choice of action, I contacted an electrical contractor and scheduled a repair. As I couldn't seem to convince any of the local electrical contractors that this was a major, code-red emergency in need of their immediate attention, the best I could come up with was a home visit 24 hours after I made the initial phone call. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Degrees of emergency are subjective. Obviously, electrical contractors in this area are quite adept in ascertaining the difference between true emergencies and "vanity calls".) I thought I would attempt one more repair before the electrician showed up by purchasing a new breaker switch for install in the panel box in lieu of a visit by a true professional. Still no change in status. Completing this task, I quickly realized my problem was much bigger. Now a professional would have to trace each outlet in the area in question to determine the open source. That task would require some time and also, in Dickey the Peap terms, moolah, dinero, funds, cashola. If nothing else, I have learned from the little miser that these valuable resources are best left to joyfully dive into and repeatedly counted rather than transfer to an electrician. In one last gasp of an attempt, I plugged in an electric clock into each outlet and found one that behaved, like our staff, oddly. The clock suddenly flashed to life, then just as quickly went dark. Basic electrical knowledge dictates that there should be no current at all if the circuit is open. Yet, I was getting an intermittent flashing of the clock by wiggling the outlet itself. Removing the face plate and then the outlet, I discovered a lead that was not securely attached to the plug. I reattached the said wire and everything once again functioned as designed. My world was complete. And I just saved 200 bones. The Nerve Center once again is in operation.

I called and canceled my appointment with the electrical contractor. I think the receptionist was as happy about the cancellation as I was, though I am sure, for different reasons. I am happy to be up and running all at the cost of a bit of minor inconvenience. I think she was happy she didn't tie up a half a day's time to address a problem that was noted on the job order as "Description: Doesn't Make Sense".

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's labeled "ON"

I have been out of town doing work on behalf of the good folks of Dilbertland and, as a result, did not bring my computer with me.  I am now back, but, am now experiencing other difficulties which are resulting in some transmission difficulties. 

Having arrived at the compound in the early evening from completing my duties, I immediately headed for my Executive Living quarters (aka the FTI Nerve Center) and discovered that we were without power in that area of the compound.  I am currently posting from my auxilary backup laptop in order not to break the continuity of the excellence in thinking, not withstanding our recent 2 day absence.  Regardless,  the well rounded Executive Director that I am, I immediately began the electrical investigation routine so common with most people:  I wiggled the plug at the wall.  Nothing.  Waiting for another 5 minutes and thinking that something must reset in that time, I repeated the step above.  Same result.  I quickly realized that I would most likely have to move to second level diagnostic tests and hearkened back to my training when I was a youngster under the tutelage of my Father, an electrician by trade and our Emeritus Executive Director, in  Memoriam.  This procedure consists of the collection of various electrical tools, a volt meter, some baling wire, and psyching myself into a mindset that usually involved a bunch of swearing.  (I never did know what the wire was for, but, that man could fix most things with baling wire.).  Having none of these tools except the ability to swear, I went to the panel box in the utility area of the compound, removed the framebox and located the appropriate circuit breaker labeled "Nerve Center" and flipped the breaker.  Nothing.  In the meantime, Mrs Kfred is ably assisting me in the task to get in the swearing mood by repeatedly yelling "Nope, Nothing's happening!" while I run  through the diagnostic checklist.   Having spent approximately one half hour with no positive results, I am throwing in the towel and calling a professional out to look it over. 

In the end, I suspect I have a bad breaker.  I noted there was no spark when I pulled the breaker in question and re-attached it into the panel box.  Nothing that, I'm sure, a $100 service call can't fix.  I do find it odd, however that the original electrician in question chose to label this area as the "Nerve Center".     Should we ever suffer some sort of sabotage by members of a competitive thinking organization, this would be the logical place to attack first.  Normally, most organizations think of their members as their most valued parts and see losing them as the most damaging thing that could affect their abilities to compete.  Should some other organization try to lure away Gummo the Balloon Boy or Dickey the Peap to think for them, logic would dictate that this single act would bring our work to an end.  Not so.  Just flip the switch on the Nerve Center Breaker.  Everything stops.     


Monday, May 2, 2011

Ah, I see you have a reservation

I by no means think that the recent news of the killing of Osama Bin Laden indicate that the "good guys" immediately win the war on terror. It does, however, make a lot of people feel much better. And I am one of them. Couldn't happen to a better guy. And now,  back to our regularly scheduled programming:

 Marv, the Neighbor sent this one along.  I thought it was pretty good.  I can tell it with no fear of retribution as Mrs. Kfred is a "Cat-Lick" and she thought it was pretty good. 

Sister Mary Katherine entered the Convent of Silence.

 The Priest said, 'Sister, this is a silent monastery. You are welcome here as long as you like, but you may not speak until directed to do so. '

Sister Mary Katherine lived in the monastery for 5 years before the Priest said to her, 'Sister Mary Katherine, you have been here for 5 years. You may speak two words.'

Sister Mary Katherine said, 'Hard bed.'

I'm sorry to hear that,' the Priest said, 'We will get you a better bed.'

After another 5 years, Sister Mary Katherine was summoned by the Priest. 'You may say another two words, Sister Mary Katherine.'

'Cold food,' said Sister Mary Katherine, and the Priest assured her that the food would be better in the future.

On her 15th anniversary at the monastery, the Priest again called Sister Mary Katherine into his office. 'You may say two words today.'

'I quit,' said Sister Mary Katherine.

'It's probably best,' said the Priest, 'You've done nothing but bitch since you got here.'