Saturday, July 30, 2011

Die, you little Bastard!

The middle of summer is traditionally a time of slow events and, as a result, translates into a lower volume of commentary, analysis, and announcements.  .  There is, however, a small victory to be celebrated and noted here at FTI that I take much pleasure over:  I would like to formally announce the successful capture and death of  one lawn mole! 

The little Bastard and his family have been playing havoc with the FT grounds for the past 3 years and I have been unsuccessfully battling him  to rid him from our compound.  Moles burrow underground in search of food (earthworms) and their resultant trails are unsightly.  Along the way as they are tunneling, they dig dirt up and leave a pile on top of the ground.  This raises havoc when trying to mow and is just  a pain in the ass.  I have been battling these guys for 3 years and have resolved myself that though I will never eliminate them, I do want to control them.  To date, my efforts have been unsuccessful and I was losing faith if I would ever win or not.  This one small victory, however, has re-charged my spirit and it is now , "Game On". 

Doesn't take much to lift my spirits, huh?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Financial crisis? Here's how to fix it.

Unlike the current spending argument surrounding our nation's capital, we here at FTI have no such drama.    Our chief financial/safety officer, Mrs. Kfred simply issues the edict that "You will not be spending any more money" and that is the end of it.  No endless partisan bickering, no negotiations, no delayed mid-summer recess.  I have been given my marching orders; clearly and succinctly.  There are no worries of any type of household default or downgrading of my financial worthiness. 

Should I choose to ignore this directive, my physical health status would definitely be affected.  And it wouldn't be for the good.   

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

And on a different subject

Doesn't anyone think that the current budget crisis being presently debated in the US Congress is a lot of nothing?  It doesn't seem to be real tough to figure out what is happening:  we don't have enough money to keep spending on services we can't afford.    I'm just a simple guy whom can pretty plainly see the issue at hand.    And yet,  we keep getting the drama and denials by both sides that there is no compromising spirit from the other side. 

It's sad.  We are all going to end up poorer for this  charade.  Yeah, people are going to feel the pinch and there are some people whom are going to suffer when this all ends.  Ultimately though, I think we have to get our financial  house in order and take our medicine.  We are going to probably feel a bit sicker before we get better.   It's not going to be easy.  But it is necessary. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

This is my reward after a busy week?

I am back and firmly in control having spent the entire last week on super, special assignment. 

First, it was the return after the Lost Reunion Tour II from the week prior.  As chronicled earlier, the LRT II was an overwhelming success and save for the one mistaken gender identity issue with the Rat Bastard, I would say it went off flawlessly. Upon my return, I was then thrown into a full 2-1/2 day visit and work session with my boss from Dilbertland; you know, my real job. All of that went extremely well, but it is time consuming. Following his departure, I was then called upon to assist in the yearly inventory function in Dilbertland that entails counting every part and widget that is ever produced, including those with real life-like dust and dirt! It's a great gig. As a small reward after this week, I told Mrs. Kfred to, "Pack it up, we are going away for the weekend".   I had earlier received a coupon in the mail from one of the hotels I stay at during the year offering a "Buy one night, the second is on Us" promotion.  Drawing on all of my knowledge gained from Dickie the Peap  over the years to recognize a good deal when I see one, I immediately booked my reservations and headed off.  I just hadn't realized how fast the place had declined since I last visited. 

Oh well, it could have been worse.  It could have rained. 


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another Tour completed

The Lost Reunion Tour II has ended and would have to be deemed as an unqualified success.  Our Tour bus did not break down, the lone scalper attempting to sell knock-off Tour sweater vests was promptly arrested (though, later released as it turns out he was actually paying people to take vests as there was no interest in people really wanting to buy them), and the Rat Bastard reportedly is once again exercising in the neighborhood with no shame or recrimination over his reputation. 

My reunion went off without a hitch. I was able to reconnect with some classmates I literally hadn't seen in over 35 years. It was fun and exciting to see some of my old chums, but honestly, this is probably the last time I attend this sort of event. If I haven't seen these folks after all of these years, we aren't really that close and the folks I have seen more recently, I am not really that close with anyway.

One event that did transpire during our tour is that I did run into a person I knew from 30 years ago when working at another job. They took the time to laboriously tell me how well they had been doing in real estate investment, how many rental houses he had accumulated, that he was his own boss, and drove a convertible--a 7 year old convertible, etc.  I took all of this in stride as it really wasn't meant to "rub it in", but, rather a proud moment for this guy.  That's OK.   I didn't try to trump him with my current status.  After all, I run FTI.  Now that is the pinnacle of success!    

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A bit fussy, aren't you?

I am currently bunking with the Rat Bastard G as our room reservation arrangements got mixed up while we are presently conducting the Lost Reunion Tour II. The Rat Bastard is easy to get along with as a roommate, however, as documented here on many occasions, his thought processes and mis-firing of brain synapses are their own case studies worthy of further research.

One interesting event that I helped formulate may, however, serve to confuse this issue just a bit more.   Between our daily performances we both choose to get a bit of morning exercise. This entails a 6 am or so morning walk in the neighborhood of around 2-3 miles to get the day started. Of the 2 days we have done this so far, I have encountered an elderly lady walking her dog. After our first day's walk, we had walked in to 7-11 to get a couple cups of coffee and head back. She looked at the 2 middle aged men in walking shorts and black socks thinking, "here are a couple of queens", and yet, politely said, "that coffee sure looks good". Yesterday morning, we repeat our exercise regimen again, but this time, the Rat Bastard opts out of the coffee and said he is going back. I decide I want coffee, go to 7-11 and figure I will buy the Rat Bastard one anyway, and begin to head back  juggling 2 hot coffees, when I run into her again. This time, she remarks "Where's your other half?" I was put back a bit, but decided that I could cement the Rat Bastard's reputation in the neighborhood by just answering, "Oh, he's waiting for me back at the house".  

As I explained to the Rat Bastard, I don't live in his neighborhood.  He has seen this particular woman on other occasions before and,  from now on, will be viewed as a member of the "diverse" community (not that anything is wrong with that.).    His lady's man reputation has not suffered on bit, except with one little old lady.  And that's Okay.  Maybe he can walk with her later, together.  She with her dog.  The Rat Bastard with his cat.   

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tour stuff here! Buy a memory of the show!

Atypical of my experience and expectations, I am in the final stages of launching the Lost Reunion Tour II today. Of course, the fact that the idiot Rat Bastard G made a key scheduling error will not deter us from the goal of having some fun. To recount the phone conversation:

RB G: Uh, before you say anything, I have some good news and some bad news.
Me: Uh-huh.
RB G: We're gonna have some more time to bond together.
Me: I don't need any of that. What's the good news?
RB G: Hold it! That is the good news!
Me: What's the bad news?
RB G: The Thorogood show is next week.
Me: You're an idiot.

The Rat Bastard had secured 2 tickets to a George Thorogood show and was planning, I assume, to demonstrate to me his competence and progress in advancing toward his goal of normalcy. After I booked my ticket, after I scheduled my vacation days from Dilbertland, and after I had gotten the green light from Mrs. Kfred to engage in this nonsense, did this key piece of info that the Thorogood show is on the 20th, not the 13th, surface.

On a brighter note, the Rat Bastard did notify me that our two official tour sweater vests did arrive safely and as ordered. Pictured above for your reference, you will note there are no graphics or gaudy printing on the vests. As the tour will only visit one city during one date, the Rat Bastard went ahead and hand-printed the date and city on the back with an indelible Sharpie.

Hey George, I don't need to spend $25 bucks for your lousy concert t-shirt. I have a vest that also looks good with a shirt and tie combo when I go to work. I just have to wear a coat to cover the back of it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

And the ice maker is Free

Wanting to do as much as possible for the local economy, Mrs. Kfred and I did our part yesterday on a lark and decided to spread a few dollars around by making a major purchase. Deciding that these kind of decisions are best made on a whim, we threw all caution to the wind, and decided, "ah, what the hell? Let's do it." Was it something fun, glamorous, and involved tickets to some far off locale? Nope. Something exotic, extravagant, and over the top? Hmm-mm. Ok, maybe something that would be interpreted as a midlife crisis type of issue and involve a new car? Not even close. Our purchase of choice? A refrigerator.

The FTI auxiliary meat-locker/beer cooler located inside the motor pool storage facility here at FTI suddenly met a mysterious demise this past week. I had suspected things were not right during my daily sampling and testing of the grain based sacraments earlier in the week.  Though Germans prefer to consume these sacraments at room temperature, I have never shared that same affinity.  Keeping with FTI tradition of excellence of deep analysis, careful consideration, painstaking research, and exhaustive testing, I realized the warm pickles were probably a good indicator that the 18 year old Amana had given up the ghost. 
Thinking we could probably move forward without an auxiliary  unit, I was quickly and decidedly shown the errors of my thought process by Mrs. Kfred and immediately  headed for Lowes.  Within 10 minutes of entering the store, we became  the proud parents of a healthy, humming, cute Frigidaire. Congratulations. 

Note to Fourth of July picnic guests:  Hope you are recovering from the mysterious stomach ailments.  Since none of you wanted to take it with you, we had to throw out the creme cheesecake.   

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's 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".

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Never pick on a guy named Ali

If you ever wanted a feel good story, this is it.

I guess reading is not a requirement for this set.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Please enter it now

Just a quick observation today:  Efficiency at some organizations never seems to work the way it is planned.   I have a perfect example.

I just got off of the phone with a customer service representative of the investment house where I keep my Roth IRA account. I have been saving throughout the year and made a small deposit  in order to hopefully insure my financial well-being after I retire someday from Dilbertland. (My account is nothing on the massive scale like Dickey the Peap's, but, hopefully it will grow to something large enough to keep the wolf away from the door in my old age. I would be happy with a simple 1/10 of the little miser's worth.)

Anyways, as I call them, I am instructed to "please enter your account number" into the phone so they may access my records. I dutifully perform that task and then am informed that "all client service representatives are busy with other callers and my call will be answered in the order of which it was received." OK, I can hang out for a few seconds. Sure enough, the guy then gets on the phone and asks me for my account number.   I already gave it to you! Why are you asking for it again?

It's really no big deal in the end; certainly nothing to get grumpy with the person on the other end of the line with whom you are trying to get assistance.  I give him my account number, he confirms my social security number, I get my problem resolved, and that is the end of it.  I do not understand his step of the process if it isn't going to be used during the process.  I have, however, decided to use it as an assistance tool whenever I get service issue calls from any of the Misfits here at FTI.  Upon calling, they are instructed to identify their particular FTI classification in order to best meet their needs.  Push  1 for Idiot, 2 for Numb-o, or 3 for Stooge.  Of course, all of their calls are ignored.   

It makes us much more efficient. 


Monday, July 4, 2011

Have a Happy Fourth

We're drinking beer and having a good time today.  We'll be back tomorrow. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

It's Sunday before the Fourth

Hey c'mon, it's the Sunday before the Fourth 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 Tuesday as we are celebrating the Fourth as well with a bunch of beer. See you then.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Dial 911 only in emergencies

I enjoyed a lunch and a game of golf with Dickey the Peap the other day. And, of course, I paid. To be accurate, I paid for lunch and the beer on the course. The little miser did claim to pay for my greens fees, but, I do suspect he probably browbeat the guy in the proshop so much that he let two of us play for the price of one just to get rid of him. Regardless, we played a round of golf and had an enjoyable afternoon.

During our play, Dickey did relate a story to me that I found to be very ironic. He and Mrs. Peap are doing some updating in their own home and were collecting bids for some new shades and window treatment accessories. A woman from a national chain store came to their house, did the appropriate measurements, and gave them a bid of well over $10K to do the various windows. Obviously, the poor woman didn't know whom she was dealing with and immediately suspected a medical case as the frugal one immediately developed profuse sweating, rapid heart beat, and shortness of breath. Suspecting an imminent heart attack, she immediately dialed 911 to summon medical assistance as she was sure our boy was going to die as he couldn't speak or make any coherent sense while trying to communicate and then suddenly passed out. Upon examination by emergency medical personnel, it was determined to be another  false alarm and nothing more than a good scare. The medical professionals on the scene noted in their call logs that this was another response to this same address as the countless ones performed before.  As a result, they have made a note  for use by the dispatchers when concerning any future emergency calls at this location:  AMMONIA CAPSULES USELESS WHEN USED TO REVIVE PATIENT;  PATIENT INSTANTANEOUSLY RESPONDS TO ROLLED DOLLAR BILLS , INSTEAD.  SUGGEST PERSONNEL FIRST STOP AT BANK WHEN RESPONDING TO THIS LOCATION.