Thursday, June 30, 2011

If you can't say anything nice......

I have increasingly become concerned with the tone and civility of comments written by people on the internet to one another.  A number of news story  or opinion pieces articles have a section allowing for readers to comment and leave their thoughts.  I have wide interests and enjoy reading different stories to gain knowledge.    It's the comments, though, that tend to make me a bit disappointed. 

The fact that someone may misspell a word or use grammatically incorrect phrasing and language is, in my mind, no reason to attack the author of the comments.  It's fair to attack the argument; but,  not fair to attack the author personally.  We all don't have to agree on a single subject; there are various viewpoints.  Every issue has two sides to it; it's my job to investigate both sides and make my own determination.  Then, once I decide, I can sit back and read other people's positions, but, I don't have to feel I am superior to them.  I just disagree.  That's all. 

A majority of the subject material displayed here rarely generates comments or criticism for accuracy as everything is fully vetted through the Factorcrap Truthometer Deluxe before publication.  Oh sure, Dickey the Peap will consistently try to defend his short-armed ways when his practices are exposed periodically.  (The telling fact that the little miser still has yet to voluntarily buy lunch without intense prodding and therapy speaks volumes, but, we won't go down that path.)   By and large, though, my job is to observe, analyze, and report.  The fact that the personal attributes of the aforementioned Peap, Gummo, the Balloon Boy, the Rat Bastard G,  or any of the other Misfits happen to be  a) cheap;  b)  idiotic; or  c) mentally deficient,  has nothing to do with it.  They can't help it.  That's why they are here.   

Cue the snarky, smart-assed comments in 3...2.... 1

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hey, how come we don't have any roadies?

Rehearsals and planning are currently underway as I prepare for this year's edition of the Lost Reunion Tour II scheduled for later in July with the Rat Bastard G, the Green Comic,  and Gummo, the Balloon Boy. 

Though  last year's  initial run was an overall success, my desire is that I can somehow improve and build upon the event in order to strengthen it for years to come.  Some of my plans include witnessing the Rat Bastard croon some new karaoke material of old Frank Sinatra ballads,  thumbing through some old obscure Reader's Digest's from the '70's with the Green Comic to find some Laughter, the Best Medicine stories he can steal and use as his own, and attending an advanced balloon-tying art class with Gummo, the Balloon Boy, to show support as he advances his craft.   On a personal level, I hope to attend an all class high school reunion with some of the other fossils of my class from a million years ago and even catch a George Thorogood concert as well.  All of this with in a short 4 days time window. 

Advance interest as evidenced by advance ticket sales appears to be minimal.  This tour will not be canceled, however.    The Rat Bastard cleaned the carpets anticipating my arrival.  I wouldn't want to disappoint him.   

Sunday, June 26, 2011

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. 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, June 25, 2011

Is this where "inner peace" is found?

Some people go to the mountains, the beach, or even just under a tree in the backyard to find solitude.  I didn't know this was such a tranquil setting. 
 
BOULDER, Colo. — Police in Colorado have arrested a 30-year-old man accused of hiding in the tank of a portable toilet at a yoga festival last week.

Kim Kobel of Boulder police says Luke Ivan Chrisco was arrested during an unrelated panhandling investigation Thursday. Police say an officer noticed his resemblance to the toilet suspect, and Chrisco was taken into custody after he was interviewed by a Boulder detective.
Police believe he was the man discovered in the toilet at the festival in Boulder by a woman who lifted the lid. A man who checked said he saw someone covered in a tarp inside.

A festival security officer says he chased a man who eventually emerged, but the suspect slipped away. The man was covered in human waste.

Chrisco faces misdemeanor charges of unlawful sexual contact and criminal invasion of privacy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The low-cost alternative

I recently discovered that Spirit Airlines is running a huge promotion in which they are offering one way fares to Las Vegas from my market for $9 each way. $9! Now, that sounds like a pretty good deal and I thought I would check it out a bit. Competitive airlines are charging $109, so,  even if I didn't go, I would book the flight and only be out a $20 bill if Mrs. Kfred and I changed our plans.

I have been mildly aware of Spirit as a low cost airlines, but, really didn't know their whole concept. Digging a bit deeper into the details and fine print, I figured there would be a few rules and restrictions but, wow, I had no idea. Yes, the fare is $9 each way per person. Want to actually sit on the plane? The ability to select a seat costs a minimum of $10 with the option to move up to a $50 "big seat" with more room.  (I guess you can't opt out of the seat selection process and opt to stand the whole flight and save money.  They charge you anyway.)    Bringing only a carry-on so you don't have to check luggage through and avoid the baggage charge? Uh-huh. That's a ten-spot, as well.  They are actually charging you to put stuff in the overhead bin!  Feeling like a big spender and figuring you will go ahead and check your flippers and snorkel anyway?  Yow!    That's another $30 per bag one way!   Additionally, the others fees, taxes, and government charges boosted it up another $74.  Suddenly, the deal didn't look so hot. 

I ultimately decided to pass on this offer, but, was a bit inspired with the thinking  and am considering adopting it here as a new FTI business model.  Admittedly, our work here is free as we enjoy our  non-profit status for tax purposes, however, I did extend the ideas a bit to our own methods in order to cover costs. For example, our initial analysis on any issue or situation would be free.  Do you  want it accurately identified?  $50, please.    Produced in a timely manner?  An extra $25 charge is added to the bottom line.  Roll out the Factorcrap Truthometer Deluxe for an honest confirmation?  That's another $100.  I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. These kind of gimmicks just tend to turn people off.  Just give me a good bottom line price and quit nickel and diming people to death.  I have, however, instructed our financial department to offer one incentive to any future customer should they come our way:  any  deep analysis by Gummo, the Balloon Boy, would be free.     He never sits down to think clearly.   

Monday, June 20, 2011

A little victory lap

Have you ever had the feeling of having the cloud just lifted from you?  Suddenly, your world is viewed through an entirley different lens.  The little nagging things are no longer a bother; they are an inconvenience.  The bothers are now a challenge; they are something that can be corrected with a bit of work.   And the hopeless issues have disappeared.  They have now reverted to a challenge; again, something to be corrected with a bit of hard work.    That's it.  Nothing more. 

That's how I feel today.  Father's Day was relaxing, quiet, and stress free.  I actually will celebrate with my two fine sons, daughter-in-law, and Mrs. Kfred this evening.  I can get on with my life and fully intend to do so.  I can now turn my attention back to my work here at the Institute knowing full well I will not have a distraction in my life.  It's over.  We won. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's Father's Day Sunday

Hey c'mon, it's Father's Day Sunday. We get a day off too, you know. I'm not going out to Sunday Brunch today, but, rather celebrating tomorrow with Kfred Jr's. 1 and 2.

Just like Sunday Brunch, though,  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, June 18, 2011

VICTORY!

It is 5:30 am on a Saturday morning. I have slept approximately a total of 4 hours last night and write these words in an excited, giddy state. I am still stunned and shocked.  The FTI Dopes trial is over and we have been judged as victors! We Won!

More importantly, not only have my neighbors and I won in our ongoing suit with the developer in our fight as chronicled here earlier, we won on all of the points we filed suit over and were also awarded attorney's fees!. Shifty, our lawyer, has told us from the very beginning it would be doubtful that attorney fees are ever awarded, it just doesn't happen.   Usually, most judges hear a case, decide it's merits, and render a decision with the thought that both sides pay their attorney fees to sort it out.  In our case, however, not only did the judge find in our favor, but announced that we had also been "substantially damaged" and ruled we were entitled to attorney's fees. Like, in upward of $150,000 in attorney's fees and this thing is not completely finished yet attorney's fees!  Now, I don't think for a minute that there is going to be a big ceremonial Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes check with my name and the 150,000 smackers printed on the front of it. More likely, we are going to end up with some property liens and long term claims of monies owed.  But, that's OK.  This was never about money. It was about doing the right thing. 

I have voiced my concerns with the American legal system and all of it's weaknesses in the past.  It is not speedy; it is not efficient; and it is not easy.  And sometimes, it is not right. But this time; this time, it was right.  Not because I was the victor; rather, because an obvious wrong had been committed.  20 or so good, decent, people had been wronged by one individual.    And the wrong was corrected.  As it should have.        

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Today in history

The FTI Dopes Trial resumes today where we left off from last week.  I am so anxious for this to all end  as I am unsure how much longer I can be asked to support the Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous type billings I am receiving from Shifty, the lawyer, to conduct this nonsense.  Shifty is doing a great job, but My God, this is costing WAY more than I ever dreamed.  Now, I am convinced it is the right thing to do, but it is expensive.  How expensive is it?  Let's just say this:  I am seriously studying the habits of Dickey the Peap (including the the thought of having elective surgery to shorten my arms so as to have difficulty reaching for a tab at dinnertime) in order to make ends meet.  Now that is drastic!  

On a totally unrelated note, the calendar reveals it is once again the second day past Flag Day ( or as we call it, Flag Day +2).  This can only mean one thing:  it is the Rat Bastard's Birthday.     Happy Birthday to our own oafish character.   He is a good sport to take the ribbing I direct his way with rarely a protest.  Admittedly, part of this is due to his inability to comprehend the written word; regardless, I note his birthday and salute him as well.  Happy Birthday, Partner.    

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our own Michael Jordan?

I currently am engaged in the middle of an investigation that could become scandalous and cause undue embarrassment to us here at FTI.  Ripped from today headlines, a similar event is brewing in which I am trying to sort out the details.

Recently, photographs of  Dickey the Peap, pictured  in a mirror wearing nothing but his underwear and flashing a handful of $5 bills, were discovered.   The embarrassment and shame of being compromised in such a manner is overwhelming to all of us.  This comes at a particularly unsettling time for the little miser as his continued insistence of not having sufficient funds to ever buy lunch has always been his out at tab-time. 

The little, short-armed one denied any knowledge of this whole affair, but, the facts don't add up and I immediately am placing him on an unpaid suspension until the facts become clearer.   As a result of this incident, he has agreed to go away for a short while to get some help.  Apparently, the Fruit of the Loom people  are contemplating legal action as well.  They're mad because they are now being referred to in some circles as "Nuts of the Loom".  Figuratively and literally.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Time for Sunday Brunch

Hey c'mon, it's Sunday and I am tired.   We get a day off too, you know, so,  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, June 11, 2011

Yes. That's my mark.

My time on the witness stand is over.  In continuation of this week's theme and to cap our nearly 3 year drama, I had studied, researched, and prepared for countless hours for my turn to tell my story.  In the end, it all went so fast I didn't get a chance to relay all of the damning, smoking gun stuff I had accumulated.  Shifty threw me some softball questions he had shared with me in advance, so, I knew what was coming   His 30 minutes of questioning and confirming of my earlier deposition was fairly routine.  He did throw in a few last minute questions that surprised me only in the fact I didn't know they were coming and knocked me off center a bit as I had mentally prepared the sequence of events, but, it really was no big deal.  Then, I got to go face-to-face with Ms. Ding-a-Ling.  And it was game on. 

During this whole ordeal, I have been cast as one of either "instigators" or "ringleaders" of the plaintiffs.  (I actually prefer the term "Head 'Mo-Fo' in Charge", but, feel that may be a bit disrespectful in a courtroom setting which relates to another incident, but, I digress.)   Ms. Ding-a-Ling  approached the podium with her disorganized book of shit loaded for bear with her fangs bared.  I knew this was coming and felt confident, so, really wasn't too fazed over the whole event.  I was prepared to tell the truth and had proof to back it up.   Instead of opening me with a "Good Morning" or other type of  greeting, she immediately launches into a, "Now isn't it true......." line of questioning that puts a spin on an incident to make her client look favorable.  If you ever encounter a lawyer phrasing a question as "isn't it true?", I recommend you listen very carefully before answering because it most probably is not.  For the next approximate 30 minutes, we parried back and forth  and I held my ground consistently.  Then, out came the documents.

The whole basis of this lawsuit has been the denial of documents that pertain to a homeowners association.  State laws require that members be able to view them and examine them with reasonable advance notice.  I and my fellow plaintiffs have not ever been able to do so because they NEVER GOD DAMN EXISTED!   She gave me an exhibit "labeled as defendants number xx" and announced that it was a copy of an email sent to me by her client with a response by me in return.   I answered it looked similar to something I had.  "Similar?!  What do you mean similar?  This is an email with your response.  Is it your testimony that you have never seen or was not sent this document?" Now, her voice went up a full octave and the decibel level had risen a few points as well on that question.  I pulled out my copy and answered that it was indeed similar, but, not identical as mine had an additional paragraph from her client that had been removed that changed the whole meaning of the document.  Other than the deletion, the balance was the same.  I have to admit she didn't visibly flinch, but it definitely caught her off guard.  She immediately pulled out another document and asked me to authenticate it.  "Well, this one is different as well as it deletes your involvement in some of these incidents as well."  "My involvement??"  "Yes, see here.  My copy says these were "drafted by the attorney to protect", etc.  Your copy doesn't have the words, 'by the attorney'."  It was at this point the light went on that most of the shit she had copies of from the idiot developer have been doctored.   Like Lt. Tragg from the old Perry Mason series, I knew which document was mine.   The discovery earlier by other plaintiffs of this same type of behavior definitely was showing a pattern.  And I don't think she wanted to continue to be embarrassed. 

In the end, I was told it was the first time most people had seen a witness actually do better with the defense attorney that with their own attorney.  (I am not sure that was a compliment.) Shifty said I did a good job, but, that I owed the judge an apology.  I asked why and he mentioned that I had referred to the judge as "That guy".  Now, I do remember the comment as it was in the heat of testimony and I was feeling a bit frustrated with  Ms. Ding-a-Ling.  I was trying to explain something to her that she had been badgering me over and I started to speak faster and did indeed say that;  not to imply his lack of importance, rather, as a reference to whom were were speaking.  Anyway, after my testimony, I did make an apology in court to the judge for my comment and explained there was certainly no disrespect intended.     He graciously accepted it and that was the end of it.  I imagine he has been called worse before.

We're STILL not done.  We resume next Thursday and hopefully will be done then or on Friday.  Shifty won't commit  to a guess whether we will win or not, but, he does give a good pep talk.  I can't see how we will lose, but I am sure the other side feels the same.  I wish this was over.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Objection overruled

Alas, My Perry Mason moment did not occur yesterday. 

As is typical of this entire story, everything got bogged down due to the inefficiency of Ms. Ding-a-ling and her rambling, unfocused, and belligerent questioning of some of my fellow plaintiffs.  As a result, I kept being pushed back later in the schedule and now am supposed to be first up to bat today. 

Yesterday did have some interesting moments as there were 2 incidents of altered documents uncovered.  One of my fellow plaintiffs was accused of parking his RV on his own property visible from the street (Whoop!  Thats a violation!) 6 months in advance of even having purchased it!  Ms. Ding-a-Ling pulled an instant 180 when it was discovered and that was the end of it.  I can't read the judge in all of this as he has a cold, stony, pokerface.  Shifty assures me that he has a brilliant mind and is taking this all into account as it occurs.  I hope so, because if I lose this thing,  I and my fellow plaintiffs, are going to be on the hook for a shitload of money in attorney fees.     

I write this with cold, clammy fingers; not from nervousness, rather excitement.  I cannot wait to tell my story and actually mix it up a bit with Ms. Ding-a-ling.  I hope no one wants to shake my hand. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Do you swear to tell the truth............

Well, today is the day.  My explosive, blow this case wide open, God-Country-Applepie and Motherhood moment is upon me.  I get to tell my story after 5 years of nonsense. 

That is, of course, my Walter Mitty moment. Actually, I do know that a lot of court action is a slow, boring, monotonous passing of time.  I have refreshed, reminded, and restudied all of the salient parts of my story to present in a clear and concise manner.   I have to guard against becoming emotional and angry because, though, it makes good TV, it really is not effective in court.  You want to be factual, cool, and ultimately, devastating.  

I can't wait. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It was Tuesday; we were talking to a guy........

Not to be confused with the historical landmark 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, in anticipation of the upcoming FTI Dopes Trial, I had a dream last night that I was being questioned. Instead of being cross-examined by Miss Ding-a-Ling, the defense attorney, I was subjected to a Dragnet like inquiry and examination by someone. I didn't recognize the character and  I do not expect this type of treatment  in real life when I testify tomorrow, but, it was kind of odd. I'm not the one being accused of wrong doing.  I have done nothing wrong. 

"So, you are the guy that founded this "Institute".  Is that right?"
"Yeah, What of it? "
"What do you do there?  What's it's purpose?"
"It's designed to advance and share some alternative thinking."
"How's that?"
"Look, I just observe what I see and write about it.  Nothing more.  I can't help that these guys are idiots." 
"Yeah?"
"Yeah." 
"Look,  Mr. "Executive Director".  It's people like you who make fun of the Gummos, the Rat Bastard's, the Dickie the Peap's of the world. You whine about their actions within your little organization;  the weak-minded, the mentally feeble, the cheapest of them.  You created them. You collected them. Now, they are yours.  You own them.   Got it?"
"But,  I never thought I would end up being responsible for them!"
"No,  I bet you didn't, smart guy.  Sure it's easy to deny any responsibility; take cheap shots, embarrass this group.  Point out their weaknesses.   But in the end, it's guys like you  that guys like me have to clean up after."
"Yeah, how?"
"We use them for stiffs in the morgue.  They're dead from the head up anyway."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Call your first witness

I am in earnest preparation for the upcoming FTI Dopes Trial which is scheduled to begin today. Pre-trial motions and arguments are scheduled to be heard this morning over which evidence will be allowed and which will be excluded with testimony starting tomorrow. I am scheduled to testify on Wednesday.

I have purposely been vague over this whole matter and decided until the last minute to discuss the whole issue. (The attentive reader will remember the significance of this post from a year ago. I feel the same way today.) In a nutshell: The FTI compound is located in an area that is governed by a Home Owners Association  (HOA). I decided to locate the Institute here with the understanding that some day I could employ my Executive Director experiences to help lead and direct this group of neighbors and (as time has worn on through this process,) friends.   The guy I bought the property from is very reluctant to give up control of his little kingdom and has made life very difficult for the entire community to the point that a lawsuit was filed to end the nonsense.  To date, collectively a bit more than $130K  has been expended in legal fees by our group of 16 to fight this clown.  (I will let you do the  math to determine it has been a BUNCH of money to Shifty, our lawyer.)   Anyways, after nearly  3 years of delays, denials, and deferrals,  (see, I know how to play the legal game) the stage is set.  We get our day in court. 

I offered the services of the FTI Truthometer Deluxe for use in the courtroom to help determine the truth should any conflicts arise.  I was politely rebuffed as it was considered to be a prejudicial piece of equipment.  Prejudicial?  Old, slow, confusing, and ill-informed, maybe.  (Wow,  I just realized that describes Dickie the Peap, as well.)  But prejudiced?  No way. 

Truth, justice, and the American Way.  It's not the easiest, the cheapest,  or the most efficient.  It is, however, the best.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Blackberrys are for jam, not talking

Having successfully transferred all of the information and converted my old phone with all of the necessary settings back for use as my primary form of communication, I am now ready to once again join the digital world. 

Back in November, the folks at Dilbertland forced me to purchase a new Blackberry or iPhone as my primary communication device.  This mandate  was made because of an upgrade in the internal email system in Dilbertland and the requirement of an outside support vendor to record other information that was not compatible with the model of phone I owned at the time.  The problem with this requirement was that there was no corresponding allowance or  compensation given to us to convert to something else.  Any purchases made to meet the mandate was to be made at own expense.   (Subsequent research indicates that the Dilbertland Chief Financial officer is a distant cousin of our own Dickie the Peap.  Cheap truly does  run through family bloodlines.)  I was in the middle of a phone contract and was forced to either break the contract and pay all of the attending exit fees or buy another phone to replace a perfectly working one at the time.  Not happy with this dilemma, but, having no choice in the matter, I opted to buy the Blackberry Storm 2 which I recommend no one to ever, ever, buy as  a phone of choice.   I had  chip on my shoulder going in and never embraced the Blackberry system as so many people have. 

Knowing that  the FTI IT team (the most despised department at FTI) didn't have the knowledge, ability, or lucidity to assist me in figuring out how to make the other phone compatible with all of the corporate requirement, I finally figured out a way that I can ditch the Blackberry and go back to what I had before when I was happy; when life was good; when I was satisfied.  I wonder if I can employ those same methods in dealing with the Misfits.