Monday, December 31, 2012

Hey 2012, thanks for dropping by

With 2012 headed out the door, I welcome the impending arrival of 2013. Though 2012 has actually been pretty good, I look forward to a fresh start and new beginnings the new year offers. Before 2012 exits completely, though, I do remember a small list of 2012 posts and memorable thoughts.

Trying to lose weight via the Gummo, the Balloon Boy, method of weight reduction is more harmful than good. No exercise should include a life alert alarm. The pending global warming issue has certainly not been settled in any fashion during the year and this contribution from our FTI scientific division did nothing to help the cause. Never ones to rest on their laurels, the FTI IT department, (the most hated and reviled department here at FTI)did create and implement our ongoing Example of Greed feature on the righthand side bar. It truly does serve as a reminder of what greed can eventually cost you. Lastly, the epic golf struggles of one, D. the Peap, were immortalized by this single event on a nice last summer afternoon. Oh sure, I lost a couple of rounds here and there, but, this is what it is all about. Added to my outing this past Saturday (yes, golf in December)and it's easy to see that the little miser's game is going to appear like he is playing with his hands in his pocket instead of the club when we resume again this springtime. On further analysis, he apparently is so intent on holding on to his wallet, that he does play with his hand in his pockets!

2013, welcome to my world, I can't wait to get going with you.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

The tradition continues






'Twas the night before Christmas, and all ‘round the ‘tute
The dimwits were sleeping, the sight is not cute.
The restraints were hung by the chimney with care,
It’s for their own safety and general welfare;

The misfits were locked in their dormitory with beds,
They’re really no more than slow-thinking pinheads;
And Mrs Kfred in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
He’d be the one to visit our mentally sick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called the dimwits by name;
"Now, Freako! now, Gummo! and Dickie the Peap!
Wake up you slow whacko’s; you need no more sleep!

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
He knew of these idiots I suffer each day,
He couldn’t believe I had chosen to stay.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
Some brand new straightjackets he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Replacing old tethers with an all knowing smirk,
He knew the great burden I constantly bear,
Sometimes I think, "I’m in a giant daycare,"

"Now Kfred," he boomed, “Don’t Worry, Don’t fuss,
All people have seen them aboard the short bus,
Most readers know they are all mental midgets,
Their collective IQ is but one single digit”,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,
“I’m glad I’m not you:  None of those idiots seem right!”


(with profuse apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

We interrupt this posting

After studying the Mayan calendar, meteorologists here at FTI have issued this urgent updated weather forecast. All readers should take the appropriate measures of preparation.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Why?

I don't feel very much mirth today. The shootings in Connecticut simply do not make any sense. Obviously, mental illness makes no sense and, in my mind, gun control is a waste of time. There does, however, have to be an answer of balance between these two. These incidents simply cannot continue to occur.

COMING MONDAY: A recap of my annual Christmas luncheon with Dickie the Peap.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Times are tough

Credit where credit is due: The Green Comic's alter ego came up with this one. I think it is pretty good.

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's a Costco thing

Just in time for the holidays, I paid a visit to Costco and noted some things that really tend to kind of piss a guy off. I might as well get them off of my chest now before Christmas, so when Santa asks me if I have been a good boy lately, I can certainly honestly answer him affirmatively.

During the holidays, Costco is a very popular spot. I actually hate going to Costco. I don't like fighting the crowds and a lot of times I feel like a salmon swimming up stream, but I digress. First things first. Anyways, I pull in to the parking lot and start scanning the parking aisles close to the door. (Hey, I am no different than anyone else.) I see one aisle with 3 stopped cars. Apparently, someone is waiting for someone else to exit a parking spot. I figure, "ixnay" on that choice and move on. I find a spot 3 aisles over further away meaning a sprint in the pouring rain, but, so what, it goes with the territory? As I am on a low speed shuffle toward the entrance, I see that the offending lane plugging car is just now pulling into the spot and now 5 cars are backed up behind them. Apparently, it's better to wait for that one spot and inconvenience 5 other people, than to pass up a spot, save yourself some extra minutes spent shopping, and get on with the rest of your afternoon. We've all been there and all done it. I don't do that anymore. No parking lot is so big that I can't walk to the door. My time is worth something. Offense #2 sends me into vapor-lock even further: The "If-it's-free-I-am-going-to-have-some-and-I-don't-give a damn-about-you-mentality." Completely abandoning any pretense of political correctness, I say this: It's usually fat people in motorized scooters who are the worst offenders. The demonstration cook at the end of the freezer section has a small toaster oven sampling chicken nuggets. (INSIDER FOOD GUY NOTE: Chicken "Nuggets" are not the same as chicken tenders or chicken breast strips. "Nuggets" are the sausage of the poultry industry. Beaks, feathers, claws, and whatever scrap meat left over from a processed chicken are pressed together, breaded, and then frozen and marketed as a great after school kid snack.) Invariably, some old bastard wearing a baseball cap emblazoned with "Korean War Vet" or a 70+ year old woman with bleached blond hair weighing around 240 lbs will aim their motorized gurney straight to the plate on the table, block the aisle, take 10 minutes discussing how they like these better than the pizza rolls they featured last week, then feign deafness when they are repeatedly being told, "Excuse me, excuse me". My experience is that more often than not, this is just a cue for the offender to grab another free sample and linger. A close second is the shopper who passes by, takes a second look and decides they want some, abandons their cart in the middle of the aisle, and expects everyone else to just navigate around their cart. "The freebies are for the shoppers; I'm a shopper, it looks good, I want some, What's the big deal?" Idiot.

There I feel better. Santa, please do me a favor: If we meet in Costco, please don't waddle over to the free cookie samples, OK? We both know you have no intention of buying them.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Meanwhile, back on the Legal front........

I got a bit of clarification yesterday from our co-counsel in our FTI Dopes Trial. It really does make one wonder how we function as a society, yet, also reinforces that right trumps might.

I had contacted this new guy for just a bit of "inside baseball"info as to what we could expect moving forward. We won the Superior Court trial, have submitted our brief in response to the idiot developer's weak-ass attempt at appeal, and should be collecting our dough. "Nnnnotttt so fast", says Perry Mason 2. He then lays out the nearly 18 month possible scenario timeline how both the Appeals court, and possibly, Supreme court would operate. "I had a prior client that endured a trial, two court of appeals and one Supreme Court appeal—7 years in all. The good news is they would have settled for just under $1M in the case, and at the end, received $3.2M (with all of the accrued interest and attorneys’ fees)." That's all well and good, but honestly, I don't care. I want this mess to be done and over with now. Doesn't look like that is going to happen. Oh, well.

In the meantime, I guess the Example of Greed meter just keeps spinning upward.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ain't technology grand?


Recently speaking with Dickie the Peap, it was obvious to me that the short-armed one is all atwitter with his new "smart" telephone. Like Gummo, the Balloon Boy, earlier, he too has ditched his near WWII field model clamshell cell phone he previously had been using for something a bit more updated. The new phone has all of the "apps", and bells and whistles that the little miser finds useful. Especially of intrigue is the "TableBuster" tipping app that automatically calculates the appropriate 7.5% amount of any restaurant bill for ease and convenience, the "wallet excuse" app that generates an easy to repeat excuse of why one can't buy this particular round, and the ever useful "haggling" app that coaches one to grind down any stated price of an item to offer half of the stated amount and then whine, bitch, an moan about the price until the other side simply figures it is better to cave and meet the price than to spend time trying to argue over terms. After all time is money.

Shaking my head in amazement and disbelief, the short armed one did reveal an additional  feature of the phone that, I think, even he didn't realize was so "smart". Apparently, if you speak to the phone and give it a voice command, it will search the web for the appropriate image related to that command and return it on the screen.  It really is kind of neat.  He mentioned that when you call out "Rover", it pictures a dog.  Say "movie snack" and a bowl of popcorn appears.  I suggested he enter his name, "Dickie the Peap".    He excitedly agreed and said, "yeah, do you want to bet it will show a handsome, middle aged man?"  The conversation suddenly went silent and I heard a soft, "oh, that's odd.  Hmm."  I asked "What's the matter?"  Dickie  replied, "well, it doesn't seem to recognize given names and just returns gibberish.  I have put my name in 3 times and it comes back with this same woodworking type of image.  I guess I will have to return this phone to the store".     I said, "Send it to me.  Let me check it out.  Maybe I can save you a trip."

Of course, when receiving the image, I simply nodded my head in amazement and wonder of the ingenuity that man possesses when designing electronics.  They simply think of everything. The image related to the entering of his name is obvious: a Cheap Screw.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Well at least there is room for the turkey carcass now

It currently is 4:50 am.

 I normally do not post at this hour of the morning. Am I posting because today is Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday? No. Is it because I was so excited about the turkey, the bountiful dinner, the football all day, and time spending with relatives and friends in a relaxing atmosphere?  No.  Then what could it possibly be to make one throw off the covers, fly out of bed hobbling across the room to get a pair of shoes, struggle for some pants and a shirt, while ignoring Mrs. Kfred repeated half awake questions of, "What's wrong?  Are you OK?" and fly out the door with the immediacy of running to (from?) a fire?  Why that's simple:  Its the grinding of gears and roaring engine of the passing garbage collection truck as he passes by my house.  Normally, the guy comes around 11 am in the morning, but today, Thanksgiving, I guess he wants to spend some time with his family and enjoy the holiday as well, so, he started early;  before half of the neighborhood even had put their garbage out.   I am certain he will get done early today, if for nothing else, as he only collected half of the cans on the route because THEY WEREN"T PUT OUT!

My solution was to simply put my can on the other side of the street with Marv, the Neighbor's, and then they could pick them both up together on the return pass down the street.  The truck in my neighborhood is automated and only uses a single driver.    I noted through the window that the mechanized arm on the truck made only one dump when it finally arrived across the street.  Marv's gonna be pissed.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

This is hardly Shakespeare

Part of the ongoing burden here at FTI is battling the continuing perception that our best and brightest simply are losers with poor personal qualities, odd behaviors, and borderline hygiene habits. People say they are not "good enough". Oh sure, most of time the Mistfit's embarrass themselves and besmirch the brand I have so mightily struggled to build, by their actions, thoughts, and deeds. Yes, Dickie is a lousy golfer and a cheapskate. Certainly, the Rat Bastard G is obnoxious. It goes with the territory.  I get it.  I am normally a strong person. Not much fazes me.  Once in a while, though, just every so often, their pathetic efforts actually bring tears to my eyes as I realize that these morons will never achieve any type of greatness. We simply have been dealt the losers from the bottom of the deck.

 A recent competition from the local literary society inspired me to assign our staff a quick, fun, writing exercise. My hope is that it would provide them an outlet to do something a bit different and still compete with normal people on an anonymous basis. After all, their sheer appearance wouldn't disqualify their efforts or to be immediately be discriminated against as "idiot looking." Anyways, the contest was to write a small poem using the word "Timbuktu". The society offered an example and encouraged writers to create their own. Their example is published here:
Slowly across the desert sand,
Trekked a lonely caravan;
Men on camels two by two,
Destination Timbuktu.
My immediate reaction was of inspiration. To be challenged to combine the skills of written prose, iambic pentameter, and geography in a single exercise would be an accomplishment. Much like playing with a ball after an accident can be a form of physical therapy for a child. my thought was "here is a task that can be fun without realizing it is actually strengthening their brain".  When announcing the task, they immediately groaned and complained that this was too hard and they didn't even know what Timbuktu was.  I told them to do some research and find out of their own and to use their own brain power to do so.   After much discussion, I allowed them to work on this task as a collaborative effort rather than individually as none singly can even determine the correct side of a piece of paper to begin. The result is here:
Me and Tim a huntin' went,
Met three whores in a pop up tent;
They were three, and we were two,
So I bucked one, and Tim buktu.

So much for the creative writing thing.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pre-Black Friday clearance post thoughts

Getting ready for the upcoming crazy day on Friday, I hope one of our 2 faithful readers can take these thoughts and make some sense of them:

  • How come "Jail" doesn't have it's own personal Facebook page and map location for people to "share" with their friends?
  • Has everyone forgotten that the world is supposedly going to end on December 21st of this year according to the ancient Mayan calendars? I haven't hear much about that lately. Personally, I have to believe there is some secret link to the end of time and the demise of the Hostess Twinkie.
  • Wouldn't it be easier for Best Buy to simply offer a complete in-store turkey dinner along with low priced flat screen TV's? That way you can eat and shop without waiting in line in the cold.
  • Will the sport of football be eventually banned? The amount of concussions experienced by players is almost epidemic; past players have a class action lawsuit against the NFL because of them, the rules are changing to reduce the chance of them, and yet, the sport continues. Don't get me wrong; I like football. I think though, like putting Christians to the lions, I may very will witness a day when the game is no longer played.

    I have a few more that will probably hit the clearance post after the holidays. Go ahead and take those now. And don't forget our low price guarantee: We'll double your wasted time back if you can find these thoughts more succinctly anywhere else.

  • Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    That sounds right

    Have you seen the TV show What Would You Do? It's a program that uses a hidden camera to record ordinary people and their reactions to actors portraying ordinary people doing or saying things that most would object to. These uncomfortable, unethical circumstances are used as a background to observe regular peoples behavior.  Marv, the Neighbor, came across a situation and I share it here:

    A  man returns home a day early from a business trip. It's after
    midnight.  While en route home, he asks the cabby if he would be a
    witness. The  man suspects his wife is having an affair, and he wants
    to catch her in  the act. For $100, the cabby agrees.

    Quietly arriving home, the  husband and cabby tip-toe into the bedroom.

    The husband switches on  the lights, yanks the blanket back, and there
    is his wife in bed with  another man!

    The husband puts a gun to the naked man's  head.

    The wife shouts," Don't do it! I lied when I told you I  inherited money:
    HE paid for the Corvette I gave you.
    HE paid for  our new cabin cruiser.
    HE paid for your season Pittsburgh Steelers  tickets.
    HE paid for our house at the lake.
    HE paid for our country  club membership, and
    HE even pays the monthly  dues!"

    Shaking his head from side-to-side, the husband  lowers the gun.

    He looks over at the cabby and says "What would you  do?"

    The cabby replies, "I'd cover his ass with that blanket before he catches cold."

    Monday, November 12, 2012

    It's always been important; it just means a little more now

    It seems to me that yesterday's America's observance of Veteran's Day amounted to not much more than support by each of the NFL teams saluting our troops and a couple of mattress store event sales. Most of the population doesn't seem to get it.

    The act of Veteran's Day commemoration is simple: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. Sadly, today and until next November 11, it will be forgotten by most people. And, in the past, I have been guilty of forgetting as well. But no longer. Now, I have skin in the game.

    I know various feelings that are broken into categories. On one side are the feelings of worry. Of apprehension. Of fear. I really know them; they are constantly with me. On the other side, though, I do know and have seen the feelings of confidence, preparedness, and sense of right. They aren't always with me. Yet, everytime I summon them, the first set of feelings slink away in cowardice and shame. Oh, they do come back when not challenged, but they are defeated every time. Every time.

    Godspeed, my son.

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

    Let's go over our coverage

    Now that the elections are over, we have had a bit of time to do some post event analysis to further sharpen our skills for the future. Well within our acceptable 50% margin of error, our pre-election analysis was found to be prescient, pompous, and prattle-like.

    Initially disappointed with this type of evaluation, I now realize this characterization actually very reflective of our population and their beliefs:

  • Dickie the Peap WAS for Romney; one's got to protect that small fortune that he has squirreled away over the years, though, he seems to recently begin switching his political allegiance to Donald Trump, if for nothing else, the fact that they share the same hair style.
  • Gummo, the Balloon Boy, did support a fringe candidate but has now shifted his attention to ensuring that the upcoming Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade does include a balloon entry of the Toddlers and Tiaras reality show star Honey-Boo-Boo. So much for political activism.
  • The Green Comic will simply update some old political jokes originally told by Robin Williams from the 80's and present them as his own.
  • Rat Bastard G DOES not know what is going on and, as of late yesterday morning, was still awaiting election results.

    Our methodology, thoroughness, and ability to sample the part of the population normally overlooked by traditional pollsters, appears to be a winning formula when the need for relevance is considered in election polling. Either that, or someone trying to avoid the support of the tin foil hat brigade would be well served to heed our results.
  • Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    My turn on the soapbox

    Well, it's finally here. The nearly 3 year old effort to replace (or retain) the office of the Presidency draws to a close today. And it can't come soon enough.

    I don't understand the need for anyone to be in constant campaign mode, but, that is exactly what our electoral process has become. Every decision, every comment, every action appears to be committed with the intent to only result in re-election the next time around. Forget about solving today's problems. Just do something that helps the candidate the next time around. In the meantime, the world is going to hell. Of course, we, the little people, are also responsible. We vote only for our own self interest and figure "to hell with the next generation". I want "mine" now and , by God, I am going to get it.

    I notice I have become more tolerant as I age. By "tolerant", I don't mean in the politically Liberal sense of the word. I mean, that quite honestly, some things are not meant to be addressed by the government and they should just butt out. You want to marry someone of the same sex? Have at it. I don't buy the argument that it will lead down the slippery slope of allowing someone to someday marry their cocker spaniel and that would be acceptable. That person would still be considered a freak. We seem to have plenty of freaks as it is. Legalize all drug use? No way. But, the War on Drugs has been nothing but a complete failure and we have spent a ton of money fighting it. Legalize pot and tax the hell out of it. Seems like a simple concept. So are you a Democrat? A Republican? I think they are 2 sides of the same coin and it's getting tiresome. Until we demand accountability, we are going to get mediocrity.

    It's the American way.

    Monday, November 5, 2012

    Did you hear that?

    Not once, but twice, this past weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of being roused out of sleep by the incessant, piercing, shriek of the rogue smoke alarms here at the FTI Executive quarters. As opposed to this incident from a few years ago, I instead was treated to the full-on, full-throated, warning capabilities of the Firex model i4618 and pronounce it to be worthy of all advantages it's manufacturer claims it has. After all, there is nothing like getting up in the middle of the night to a high pitched squeal, half asleep, bumbling around desperately trying to figure out how to deal with the incident while simultaneously being enthusiastically exorted by Mrs. Kfred to "shut those goddamn things off!". Thank you, dear. I'll get right on it.

    Subsequent investigation determined one of the models to be non-functioning and apparently the cause of the problem. I don't quite understand why all of the models are inter-wired to each other resulting in all of them shrieking at the same time, but, hey, I am not that smart. I got to the manufacturer's website and noted that they have a 5 year warranty and to return for a complete replacement. Out in the mail it goes today. I attached a note asking if they could change the warning tune to Brahm's Lullaby.

    It makes it easier to sleep.

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    Our data indicates....

    Noting the extreme closeness of the Presidential race, the suggestion for conducting some type of polling was raised during our weekly staff meeting this past Monday. Various polls indicate an extremely close race between both candidates with each identified as the front-runner. Our commitment here at FTI to policy analysis and event commentary while simultaneously offering accuracy, fairness, and timely delivery of issues that mean the most to our 2 faithful readers dictated some type of random political work on our behalf.

    Realizing that sending the Misfits to canvassing our immediate area around the compound would result in jamming the phone lines at our local mental health center, I decided to simply conduct an internal poll here at FTI. And the results were, uh surprising. Devising the simply scientific question of, "To hell with everyone else, whom of the active presidential candidates will benefit you the most, and why?" The results are stunning:

    Dickie the Peap:"That's easy. Romney. He's for us rich guys."

    Gummo, the Balloon Boy: "Levon. He sells cartoon balloon's all day" (EDITOR'S NOTE: Our pollsters were confused by this answer . We had no idea what this is about. Deep research later concluded this answer is in reference to the lyrics of a 40 year old Elton John song, "Levon")

    The Green Comic: "Huh? Oh I get it now. I didn't understand why all of the guys I steal material from were riffing on the President."

    Rat Bastard G: "Obama. He and I both don't know what we are going to do for the next 4 years, so, I figure, what the hell.
    Hey, you wanna see my scar?"

    Our poll was conducted with an established error ratio of 50/50 of troubled individuals contacted during the period of October 22nd to 23rd. We feel certain these results will only add to the uncertainty already associated with this race.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

    Hey, I am having a little dinner party. You want to come over?

    HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich.-Authorities say a blaze that displaced dozens of people from a southwest Michigan apartment complex may have been sparked by a resident trying to cook a squirrel with a propane torch.

    Fire Chief Jim Kohsel said that the resident apparently planned to eat the animal and was burning off its fur on a third-floor deck at the building in Ottawa County's Holland Township when the fire broke out Wednesday. Flames spread to the roof. Kohsel said eight apartments were destroyed and others damaged. No residents were injured though one firefighter suffered a broken toe.

    Residents were later able to return to their homes and enjoy flaming Spanish coffee's for dessert, however.

    Saturday, October 13, 2012

    Justice Delayed is Justice denied

    Once again, I simply cannot understand the depths at which our justice system will afford any and every opportunity to a wrong-doer a chance to avoid judgment. Case in point? My experience yesterday.

    Having been scheduled to hear our case for determing an increase in the amount of bond needed to secure our judgment in my onling legal battle, the Idiot judgment debtor's attorney suddenly claiming that over 80 pages of documents received in the last 36 hours, she simply didn't have time to adequately prepare and so requests another 2 weeks of preparation. Of course, the fact that all but 13 pages of it is old material and is only evidence to buttress the position of the new 13 pages seems to garner a sympathetic ear from a judge who received the same info, but, failed to read any of it in advance. This, of course, is due to a county that is broke and cannot afford to add another judge to an overworked, overloaded, understaffed, and overwhelming amount of cases backed up in the system.

    I am normally an upbeat person. I still think I am going to prevail. My worry, though, is that my remaining plaintiff partners are becoming as disgusted as I am and are considering, like me, to quit this whole exercise which means, ultimately, we lose and are back to square one. It just isn't right.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    That's a lot of clams

    The astute reader will notice the countdown clock to the right rapidly approaching the end of it's cycle as we come upon the day of reckoning for the idiot developer. Today is a milestone as we are now owed a total of over one quarter of a million dollars!

    I am currently reviewing and preparing to sign an affadavit attesting to some pertaining facts to be brought up at our hearing on Friday. The details of the affadavit are tedious, but, the purpose is not. My fellow plaintiffs and I are legally owed some money. Will we ever see all of it? Probably not. Will we see some? I think so and that is the purpose of this important hearing. Unfortunately, our legal system has become so twisted and bogged down that a simple procedural hearing becomes so vast and complicated that, ultimately, no one ever prevails. What good is a multi- million dollar judgment against a tobacco company or auto manufacturer if you will never collect it? The same can be said for this case except the majority of the present award is tied up in property. I don't care about property. I want cash. And that is what Friday is about.

    I have been disappointed, oh, so many times before in this case. Honestly, I have no expectations over this hearing, either. If I never see a cent of this judgment is really of no consequence to me. Wrongdoing was adjudicated and determined to have been damaging. Lies were committed and exposed. And someone has been formally and legally held responsible. And, for me, that is good enough.

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    My simple government policy in 2 words

    I note the continuing need to make government more efficient and more responsible to the citizenry. I think I have found a simple way that would do both, plus as an added bonus, perhaps, make our mail-in election process a bit more honest. And all of it costs nothing. The process is simple.

    I went to the mailbox over the weekend and noted that there was a jury summons from my local county addressed to Kfred Jr. 2. Of course, Kfred Jr. 2 is serving his country overseas and will be doing so for the next 30 months or so. As a result, I am sure his employer will probably not be willing to have him come home for a week in order to phone in by 7:30 to determine if he is available to sit in on a dogbite case to be heard by a jury. More ridiculously, this was the second jury summons he has received in over a year. He wasn't available then and he isn't available now! This incident is on top of the repeated vote by mail ballots we continuously receive addressed to Kfred Jr. 1 during each election season. He (and we) have each called the county elections office twice to notify them that Kfred Jr. 1 is no longer a resident of the county or, for that matter, of the state. Doesn't matter. They just keep coming. Now we throw them out and pay no attention to them, but, this is how voter fraud is perpetuated.

    Wouldn't it seem during this current political climate, with all of the rhetoric and hot air on both sides, that someone would extol the simple practice to make government more efficient? The practice and my policy? It's called "paying attention."

    Thursday, October 4, 2012

    Hey, I paid to let you know that

    I note that Facebook is now testing an option where a person can promote their posts by paying a fee that moves your post up the newsfeeds of friends wall.

    As one facebook user noted, "It would probably be useful for politicians, business owners, and narcissists, but useless for everyone else". Or, put another way: Still, nobody cares.

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

    I'll give you a piece of the good Neighbor

    I recently signed up for an account under my alter ego with Linkedin, the social media site for working professionals. Its kind of a Facebook for working people. No, you don't use it to let your friends know you are having "4th meal" at Taco Bell at 1 in the morning. (On an unrelated topic, isn't it amazing that marketers have figured out a way to describe the appearance of food during a massive drunk as "4th meal" with attractive smiling people sitting around at a party as opposed to half passed-out, cigarettes hanging out of their mouths, obnoxious drunks with too loud of music in the background, slobbering over a bunch of cold tacos? Alas, I digress.) It's more of a place where you can network with other people in your trade or outside of your trade as well. You put up a personal profile of your work experience which is available for others to see. It also is a place where job recruiters search for candidates for various jobs.

    Anyways, my organizational and management skills have recently drawn the attention of the good folks of both State Farm and Bankers Life and Casualty Insurance Companies as candidates for their management programs. Now, they really don't go into detail about which skills they covet so much as an employer. State Farm was impressed because of my "initiative and relationship-building skills" that I demonstrated in my past experiences. Bankers, on the other hand, felt I "had the right mix of skills for a career as an Independent Insurance Sales Agent". I took both of these complements along with the countless thanks-but-no-thanks rejection letters over the years from employers whom always laud my "background and impressive experience, but we have decided to pursue other candidates" when searching for work and put them neatly in the garbage file. They all are meaningless. Hey guys, here's a hint: You can at least expend the energy to halfway personalize your message to me so I don't think it's a robot trolling through profiles for candidates for your half baked job. I don't need another half-baked job. My Executive Director position here more than meets my career goals.

    Monday, September 24, 2012

    Tempis Fugit

    With the impending arrival of fall, I spent yesterday performing the "get-ready-for-change-of-season" duties: Clean gutters? Done. Put away the lawn furniture? Uh-huh. Trim the overgrowth on some of the plants and bushes? Yep. Hydrate with some beer in the meantime? Well, of course. Remove some stubborn moss from the rooftop? Finally, but it's done. Edge around the perimeter of the lawn after avoiding it all summer long? Oh yeah. Repeat beer ritual? It goes without saying. Turn and re-stack the growing pile of brush and debris that will be ignited once the open burning ban is lifted? Oh, boy , I can't wait for that one (and it's gonna be a whopper)!

    Funny. I don't know where summer went. I just unpacked my summer sandals last week.

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

    Fiction? Truth? These are both real.

    CARSON CITY, NEVADA-A quiet recluse who died with $200 in his bank account surprised Carson City, Nev. officials when they were inspecting his run-of-the mill home to put it up for sale.

    Inside Walter Samaszko Jr.'s 1,200-square-foot house, officials found stashes of gold coins and bullion. $7 million worth of it.

    "You never anticipate running into anything like this," Carson City Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover said. "This guy was everybody's next-door neighbor."

    Glover told the Tahoe Daily Tribune that several boxes of coins were found all neatly wrapped in aluminum foil in Samaszko's garage.

    He had so much gold it took two trips on wheelbarrows to haul it out, the Daily Tribune reported. Officials also searched crawl spaces and used a metal detector in his yard to ensure they found all the gold, according to the Daily Tribune.

    "He was a hoarder — there was everything inside that home you could think of," Glover told the L.A. Times. "The workers found a crawl space from the garage. That led to everything else."

    Oddly, in an eerily similar incident, Dickey the Peap was observed emerging from a small, well camouflaged, hollowed-out stump in his own backyard yesterday. Immediately realizing, he had been observed, the short armed one yelled, "Get the hell out of here! I am just checking for termites."

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

    How a +6 was parlayed into .25

    I experienced another semi-infrequent lunch and round of golf with Dickey the Peap yesterday. At this rate, I am not sure that the FTI legal defense fund won't be replenished in approximately 10, 000 years or so. And I am not sure that the little miser still won't be around at that time insisting that the cost of death is simply more than he is willing to pay and that he will find a cheaper option. In the meantime, the George Jetson's of the future will be curiously studying the visitor from another time with the short arms.

    In fairness, for the record, there was no static regarding whom had the responsibility to host yesterday's lunch. We alternate each time and yesterday was his turn to pay. I did find it curious, however, that upon seeing us, our host waiter, turned over to the bar and bellowed, " I need 16 ounces of beer in a 12 oz. glass!". Obviously, he has dealt with this character before. Good service by waitstaff at a restaurant includes knowledge by the staff of what the customer prefers and to try to accommodate the wishes of the guest. The successful business model of some restaurants do include promotional vehicles such as , "all-you-can-eat", "half-priced happy hour", "Taco Tuesday" and the like. I am unaware of any financially solvent operation employing the practice of negotiating menu prices with the customer before the order is taken. I know of only one individual that could systematically, individually, take down an operation by himself: Mr 16.oz of beer in a 12 oz glass.

    Anyways, we had a good round of 9 holes of golf on a warm, later summer afternoon. At the end of hole 3, I was up by a score of 3 strokes and mentioned that I predicted I would probably win by 6 strokes at the end of our round. (For the infrequent reader: I am not a good golfer; I play approximately 5 times a year. My game is such that 90% of the time I flail about and move the ball 25 yards in the wrong direction. The other 10%, though, encourages me to keep playing and think I might have a chance to be actually good. It doesn't matter though; I do it just to have some fun.) The little miser immediately picked up on this and said, "I'll remember that, I'll remember that!". I wasn't trying to insult him, rather, just get inside of his head because he is actually as lousy as I am and each round is basically a coin toss as to whom will emerge the victor. We played even golf up to the last hole, where the wheels finally fell off for the Frugal One and he lost the hole by 3 strokes. Adding these 3 strokes to my prior 3 stroke advantage equaled the previously predicted 6 stroke advantage. Quietly and immediately, he handed me a well worn, aged, shiny from the repeated rubbing by oily fingers, uneven around the edges due to repeated handling while counted, payment for the loss of our standing bet when we play golf, quarter. "Ya know what really pisses me off?" he said. "Now I have to buy beer, too." "Look on the bright side." I told him. "They only sell 16 oz bottles in the bar."

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    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 11 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.

    Thursday, September 6, 2012

    Gee, what's a few days among friends?

    True to form, I have once again had to  reset the money countdown clock an additional 21 days due to the legal system.  The judge ruled today that due to the crushing caseload assigned to him, his earlier opening to hear our round for increasing our long over due bond has been supplanted by a pending  12 day criminal trial and, as a result, has now been pushed back to the 12th of October as the earliest date for adjudication. This is simply unbelievable.

    Here is some free advice (and it is really good, trust me): If you ever, EVER, contemplate a lawsuit, turn and sprint away like your bank account depended on it. Because it does.

    Where are those damn earbuds?

    I wish I could think of this kind of stuff on my own:

    Authorities say a New Hampshire woman has been arrested four times in 26 hours for blasting the AC/DC song "Highway to Hell" and other loud music from her home and for throwing a frying pan.

    Police first issued a warning to Joyce Coffey on Tuesday afternoon at her home in Epping. They say they were called back an hour later and arrested her for the loud music. She was released on $500 personal recognizance bail, but police returned to her home about five hours later -- again because of a report about loud music and arrested her again.

    Police say Coffey was arrested again five hours later. This time, she was released on a $1000 bond, but four hours later was arrested again, this time over  more loud music and a domestic violence charge by her nephew who alleged he was hit by a frying pan thrown by the woman while trying to  remove some of his belongings from her house

    Coffey was jailed Friday and couldn't be reached for comment.

    Reportedly,  a judge has recommended she use headphones.




    Tuesday, September 4, 2012

    Well sure, wouldn't you know?

    The eagle eyed reader will note that the "Example of Greed" countdown clock has been reset by adding another 15 days. Apparently, the local justice system, in it's infinite wisdom, will not consider the request to grant us more money for the bond we hold while the idiot deadbeat's appeal moves forward. Instead, this Thursday will only be consideration of a procedural motion and then the money date is set for the 21st. Of course, I am disappointed; of course, I am disillusioned. But, I am not,defeated. We will have a hearing and dipshit will have to offer up more money. There simply is no alternative.

    Wow, What a deal.



    Well he's back! This guy just doesn't give up. And he now has a new bribe offer to top it off. You have got to admire his tenacity. Ladies and Gentlemen, ol' A. Berry Rand from AARP does not take "NO" for an answer. And this time he means business.

    As determined ever to gain some type of beachhead here at FTI as a remote outpost for his efforts, ol' A. Berry sent a letter to Mrs. Kfred dangling a cool insulated travel bag for a mere $16 a year membership fee to join AARP. In exchange, she would receive an insulated travel bag that "helps you stay organized on the go. It will keep drinks cold, snacks fresh and has enough room for everything you need." Hmmm. Let's examine that one for a moment, shall we?

    This bag must be particularly special because people are actually complaining that what they received is not what was offered. Seriously!? I found an online complaint whining over the fact that the bag is basically a small camera bag and not large enough to hold anything of value. Another commenter was actually conversing with AARP to get the correct bag in exchange for the one pictured here: " I like their magazine, but I'm not happy with the way they communicate things to their CUSTOMERS - and I still want the other bag. I've offered to send this bag back to them."

    Now, I have never met ol' A Berry in person, but, I have got to figure he wants you to send something in alright. And it isn't the wrong insulated travel bag. He wants your money, moohlah, scratch, dough, cake. And he, AGAIN, is not getting any from us. As for the travel organizer, I don't need it. Mrs. Kfred is in charge of that. Snacks, keys, passports, water, pen. She knows where all of that stuff is. On occasion, after one of our "misunderstandings" she even tells me where to stuff the map. I think ol' A. Berry offers medical insurance that deals with that as well.

    Wednesday, August 29, 2012

    With a name like this...........

    I was able to schedule some time in the FTI commissary over the weekend to attempt to produce some jam as a result of the fine gift I received a few days ago. All in all , it was a fairly easy process and I look forward to sampling the results. It was a fairly simply operation with only a minor hiccup.

    Key to making jam is having some type of thickening agent to add to the fruit. I scoured the voluminous FTI resource library and found the "Cooking and food Preparation; Frozen/Preserved; Jams, jellies, compotes" section to determine the best method to follow in producing my project. The recipe included the need for commercially produced pectin. Not wanting to run to the store as I know we didn't have any on hand, I noted that the book mentioned that apples are a high source of natural pectin. You peel two tart apples, finely grate them, boil them with a little bit of water and gradually the pectin will be produced into a liquid form that can be used for my purpose. I thought "perfect", here is my answer. I dutifully followed the directions and began to boil my apple. For minutes. And minutes. And more minutes. At some point, I realized this maybe wasn't working the way I thought it should. The rolling, boiling stuff I had on the stove had changed from a clear brothy liquid to a brown foamy mass that didn't seem to be doing much. Thinking that, perhaps I should test this concoction, I took a small spoonful of it and dropped it into a cup of water. It immediately turned into a strand of caramel. This ladies and gentlemen, is the "hard-ball" stage when making candy. Though it is desirable when making homemade toffee for Christmas gifts, it is not beneficial when preparing a thickening agent for homemade jam as I had long since surpassed the point of viability in this process. I thought it might be a bit odd, but I will try it this way anyway. I dumped the mess into a strainer to remove the bits of apple and that is where a slight glitch occurred. Upon immediately hitting the dry cool area outside of it's boiling environment, it immediately turned to hardened caramel. The edge of the strainer, the sides, the sink, everywhere. What a mess. To top it off, the stuff is as hard as cement and would certainly chip a tooth if you tried to eat it. I did taste some and, though it definitely tasted like caramel, it was so hard and solid that there is no way you could chew it. Fortunately, Mrs. Kfred was yakkin' away on the phone to someone which provided me the nearly 15 minute cover to clean the mess up without her even knowing of my issues. I realized I had suffered a crop failure, threw the first batch out, and decided to go to the store the next day, get the pectin, and follow the recipe to the letter. I did so and now have regular jam. Whew. What a relief.

    I'm not sure all of my efforts were worth it. I probably should just fork out the $4 for the jar and buy some Smuckers off of the shelf. I wonder if they have ever considered a toffee jam. I have a great recipe.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    OH!, It get's better

    Our two faithful readers will note an update and change to the Example of Greed countdown clock located at the side of this page. How does that saying go: It's darkest right before dawn? I think we are approaching that point. The ongoing Dopes trial has been one of great frustration and disappointment. As admonished here many times previously, if you ever, EVER, consider entering into a lawsuit for any reason, either as a plaintiff or defendant, immediately phone your local mental health crisis line and schedule a visit for a complete check-up. There is obviously something wrong with your thinking. Do everything possible to avoid any such action. 

    In a nutshell, due to the dragging of feet by the judicial system, our victory in Superior court, and now on appeal, has languished in the halls of Appeal court scheduling and was referred back to Superior Court for a particular motion to be addressed. Like most venues around the country, the courts are clogged with criminal matters which take precedence over civil matters. Amazingly, Shifty's assistant was able to cut through the fog and actually camped outside the office door of the original Superior Court judge's office and was able to speak with him for a few minutes yesterday, explain the situation, and talked him into adjusting his calendar to an earlier date to address our case. As a result, our September 21 hearing to determine the amount of mo' money to be placed in the court registry has been moved up to September 6. Additionally, he will also sign an order that day compelling the other side to pay for the full transcription of the record to support their assertions in their appeal. Cost: Around 10K. Additional monies needed to be going into the court registry: Around 50K. Total: Nearly 60K. Ouch!

    To top it off, Shifty, our lawyer, announced he would like to host a barbeque in late September with us, his staff, co-counsel, etc. As he states: "A family affair would be nice. My treat." Of course, the fact that we have already paid him approaching 200K for this whole affair shouldn't preclude him from offering unlimited Ballpark Franks for our enjoyment. After all, everyone knows, they plump, when you cook 'em. All kidding aside, it is a nice offer.

    We are all anxious to get this affair over, collect our judgments, and move on with our lives. We all have other matters to attend to and Shifty has other cases to work on. I can't speak for the idiot judgment debtor developer. I am not sure he will ever learn a lesson from this whole matter. It doesn't matter. He's not coming to the barbeque, anyway.

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    Wait until your Father gets home

    I note that the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series is coming to my area in the near future.  It is a wealth accumulation seminar series based on the best selling book of a few years ago that costs absolutely nothing to attend, but, of course, they will  strong arm you into buying their additional books, CD's and other materials once you get there.   Their radio ads include come-on statements including this one which I really had to listen to twice:   "Why you will never get rich saving money".    I thought this is kind of silly, but, oh well. To each their own;  there is always someone out their hustling other people to make a buck.  I, on the other hand, sleep soundly knowing I have access to our own financial guru here at FTI.  

    We here at FTI draw on the knowledge, wisdom, and experience of our own Dickie the Peap who used to run his own series, Cheap Peap, Cheap Peap until repeated complaints forced the entire operation to shut down. Apparently, the complaints did not come from the few attendees bussed in off of skid row to give the appearance of popularity on the promise of free food (only to each get a package of saltines accumulated from repeated orders of Wendy's chili), but rather, from past attendees. The strategy of advocating little to no tipping, "grinding" down the amounts of presented invoices regardless of the amount, and failure to disclose the potential medical liabilities of the repeated classic "short-arm reach for the tab" move added up to be just to much. The gig was up.

    Ill bet Dad wasn't too happy about that.

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

    Best Wishes are in Order

    Recent page maintenance and analysis of this blog's readership has uncovered the fact that our loyal readership has now doubled, and yes, we are back to two faithful readers! This is a milestone event! Congrats to all of us! Let's have some cake and ice cream!

    Though we have an ample supply of ice cream in the FTI commissary, due to staff layoffs, I recently had to let our FTI baker go. As a result, I directed Gummo, The Balloon Boy, to go out and get a store-bought celebratory cake marking this event. I felt a little positive reinforcement for our hardworking staff would be in order. As our budget is a bit tight here at FTI, I instructed him to be wise with the limited funds allotted for this purchase and to pick up "something nice".  Upon his return, Gummo excitedly told me that not only had he found a nice cake for use at our celebration, but, that it was a lavish creation that was cancelled at the last minute by the mother of the intended recipient and that he had bought it at a steep discount to it's original asking price.  This immediately caused me some concern as  I knew that Gummo had been listening to some of the crazy financial philosophies of Dickie the Peap earlier but felt that, under these circumstances, no further harm or embarrassment would be showered upon the FTI Brand.

    I was obviously wrong.



    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    Mmmm...."Beeries"

    To our lone faithful reader:

    I apologize for the pending Old-person post in advance, but this truly is something that gets your correspondent fired up.

    I got a phone call last night from Andy Capp announcing he had something for me and would like to bring it down.  I had no idea what he was talking about, but figure, that if someone is willing to give me something, I will take it.  If I like it, great.  If not, I will give it away without their knowledge and no harm is done.

    An here is what he brought to me:

    To the uninitiated,  these are fresh blackberries picked off of the thorny, prickly, bush about 30  minutes earlier.  They are rampant around my area, but not specifically on the grounds of the compound. When I moved in 6 years ago, I specifically cleared these way back as they have the ability to overtake all vegetation in the area and can get quite dense and troublesome.  They grown vines that can reach 20 feet and are as sharp as a needle when you run into them.  The trade-off, however, is they offer some of the sweetest, most wonderful fruit in all of nature and are truly a treat to eat by the handful when in season let alone to use as in ingredient for cobblers, pies,  jams, or syrup.  In fact, I plan on being in the FTI commissary later this weekend to attempt to make some jam while Mrs. Kfred has promised me a fresh cobbler for dinner tonight.  

    Currently in the store, pints of these are $3.99 each. At that rate, I have approximately $75 worth of fruit! Ah, Summertime and the living is good.

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    How I Spent my Summer Vacation


    While originally thinking it entertaining to write through the eyes of an incoming 4th grader in describing my recent 4 day sojourn, I realized what an insult that would be..........to incoming 4th graders. Their writing and descriptive abilities are far superior to the comprehension of our staff and most of our readers (save our single faithful reader). As a result, I will attempt to recap my small adventure in the most succinct terms with as much effort as our faithful reader can appreciate. Painstaking planning, careful calculations, and a large dose of "where haven't I been lately that would be cheap and cool at the same time" landed Mrs. Kfred and myself in Oregon's Crater Lake National Park this past weekend. And what a wonderful spot it is!

    The lake is over 1900 ft deep and is the deepest freshwater lake in the US. The blueness of the water is breathtaking and (in your humble Executive Director's opinion)every bit as blue as Lake Tahoe. Since it is inside an old volcano, there is no development, homes, cabins, boat launches or any type of commercial activity save for a pair of boats operated by the Park Service that tour the lake. We were remiss in not having reservations, so couldn't enjoy the lake from the water, but did drive the nearly 33 mile loop around the lake by car that includes about 25 turnouts where you can stop and take pictures and just admire the grandeur of it all. This loop is every bit as challenging and potentially scary as the Going To The Sun Highway in Montana's Glacier National Park. I can confirm this small tidbit of information as evidenced by Mrs. Kfred's constant reminders of "Look Out!, Slow Down!, and Watch It!' on the very same type of continuous rotating audio loop that played when we were on that trip years ago. My gentle reminder to her that she was no longer acting in official capacity as the FTI Safety Director during this time, was no longer "on the clock", and would probably best enjoy the tour without the repeated  safety warnings, earned me an approximate 30 mile loop of solitary thought as the cone of silence immediately descended over her area of the front seat. For what it is worth, I used the time during this remaining 30 mile jaunt wisely by examining my actions. I soon discovered the faulty logic in my thinking, realized the errors in my ways, and to avoid any further need for further re-education, decided to  admit my obvious mistakes and beg for forgiveness as, certainly, I did not understand the true ramifications of my actions. Only upon the completion of that soul cleansing process, could I fully appreciate my experience in the park.

    Anyways, should you ever find yourself in the Pacific Northwest and wondering about the true meaning of life, take a moment, kick back in one of the rocking chairs at the lodge, order an  India Pale Ale on a warm summer's day, and take it all in.  You won't be disappointed.

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

    Just so there is no misunderstanding.....

    If you think there truly is nothing here of any importance and still came to check, I commend you: You really do need to get a life and obviously aren't afraid to admit it. Otherwise, you wouldn't be here. Writing this in advance 12 hours ago, the power of the internet allows me to schedule this to publish at a predetermined time. I am currently off on extended weekend for 4 days and am feverishly collecting and observing life to share with you later in new, stupid ways. In my absence of original thought, let me share these pilfered "Man Rules" as forwarded to me by Marv the Neighbor.

    The Man Rules

    We usually hear 'the rules' from the female side Now, here are the rules from the male side. These are our rules! Please note.. these are all numbered '1 ' ON PURPOSE!

  • 1. Men are NOT mind readers.
  • 1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.
  • 1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!
  • 1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
  • 1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 Days.
  • 1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.
  • 1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
  • 1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.
  • 1. If it itches, it will be scratched.. We do that.
  • 1. If we ask what is wrong and you say 'nothing,' We will act like nothing's wrong.We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle. 1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.
  • 1. You have enough clothes.
  • 1. You have too many shoes.

    There. I think that covers it.

  • Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    Ya got nothin' else to say?

    A slow period of renowned summer thinking and policy analysis, so, lets get down to some simple observations:
  • No longer suspected, instead, now confirmed: Justin Bieber is an idiot. Some guy that wears a Little Richard, comb-up, girly hairdo, spouting off about Prince William's receding hairline and then passing it off as a "joke" is, well, not very bright. Get back to us in 15 years Pretty boy. You might be surprised what you look like as well.
  • The increasing personal attacks in the Presidential race affirm my dislike of either of these guys. And the media doesn't understand why Americans are so disillusioned with politics. Would it be too much to ask either guy to tell us what they truly intend to do to help us than snipe about the other guy's shortcomings? (Editor's note to our lone reader: The preceding was the only grumpy, old guy, rant in today's contribution. We now return to the inane and meaningless).
  • Though multi-functional, some kitchen appliances have limitations. British firefighters say they saved an apartment from destruction after its domestically challenged resident tried to dry his wet socks and underwear in a microwave oven. The fire destroyed the appliance along with the two pairs of underwear and socks inside it, and caused smoke damage to the apartment in Weymouth, a town on England's southwest coast. The fire safety message here is to never put clothing of any kind in the microwave or an oven to attempt to dry them. Leftover lasagna, though, tastes great when fresh out of a dryer run in fluff cycle mode.
  • I am scheduled for a personal leave of my duties here shortly and will return with new stupidity, fresh idiocy, and updated pointless observations at that time.

    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    Disappointment, do you know no shame?

    Word that, once again, the patience of the good guys is constantly tested was confirmed with the recent acceptance of the idiot developer's appeal brief and argument by my state's Court of Appeals. The fact that is was 5 days late and 45 pages over in length conflicts with their own administrative rules, yet somehow, "Justice" is being served. Now, it's Shifty's turn to succinctly and punctually refute the gibberish offered by little Pinocchio and set me and my fellow plaintiffs up to collect the moolah as it steadily mounts.

     It truly is not about money any more. I just want his to end , but, I will never give up.  Ever.

    Monday, July 30, 2012

    Hey Heloise, I got your household tips right here

    Certainly giving credit where credit is due, a tip of the 'ol pointed FTI cap goes out to Dickey the Peap for these remarkable insights:

  • Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold the vegetables while you chop.
  • For high blood pressure sufferers - simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure on your veins. Remember to use a timer.
  • If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives. Then you'll be afraid to cough.

    And, surprisingly, my personal mantra which I actually live by on a daily basis as evidenced by the fact that the FTI toolbox solely consists of 2 hammers: one big, the other bigger;

  • If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.
  • Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Thanks God for the Jackson's

    Running a very close 2nd place (and I mean it's a razor-thin margin) to the population of Misfits here at FTI in the category of Oddballs, Weirdo's, and well, Strange Ducks,  I offer the Jackson family. As in Michael Jackson's family.  Their latest adventures typify what seems to always go wrong when money is involved.

    The fact that one side was left out of the estate which is now approaching one Billion dollars creates the conditions for strange lawsuits, family squabbling, and just plain bizarre behavior. Of course, none of this is new to the Jackson's, but, you would think they have enough dignity to keep it a bit more private and not to play out in public.

    We all have family members a bit different. We all sometimes think that our family is a bit strange. None of us, though, experience or come close to approaching the type of behavior of the Jackson's. They truly are the standard.

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    A discovery of some good

    Due to their tireless efforts, unending perseverance, and avoidance to blame failure because "we're out of Mountain Dew", I have now decided to refer to the FTI IT department (formerly known as the most hated and reviled department here at FTI) now simply as the "FTI IT department (the most hated department) here at FTI".  Their efforts over the weekend resulting in the clockdown count feature in the "An example of Greed" section to the right of this post is of their creation.  For that, I commend them.

    During our periodic visit to Superior Court, the judge this past Friday ruled to increase the bond level necessary to guarantee that our judgment is satisfied.  He failed, however, to set an amount by setting the matter over until September21 to allow a ruling by the State Court of Appeals whether this whole mess is even going to advance at all.  If so, he will determine a number and rule accordingly.  If not, this whole mess is over and we collect what is in the kitty and get an order for the rest.  Either way, more money is  on it's way.  The graphic to the right summarizes this in an eye pleasing way.

    I wish there were no need for any of this; I am so tired of this whole matter.    It really does wear a person down.  The one plus, though is that our IT department has garnered some new respect from me.  I, for one, would not want to be both hated and reviled.  I think "most hated" has a nice ring to it.  

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    I guess the motto doesn't have to change

    The recent approval by the FDA of a drug to be released for consumption by the general market to fight obesity caught our eye here at FTI. We have a remote connection in regard to this issue.

    Earlier, a bashful connection of ours, Mr. X, was a huge supporter and major investor in this small, fledgling company. Many hours, tears, and promises for assured returns were spent on the premise that "this thing is going to hit. Soon. I think". Our immediate attention turned from confidence to uncertainty to outright questioning whether X knew what in the hell he was doing or not. (Earlier investigation of noting a primate connection is detailed in the link above.) Regardless, now that Mr. X's choice has been validated by the governmental overseeing body, congratulations are certainly in order.

    UPDATE: Apparently X abandoned all hope in this venture approximately 16 months ago and sold his major stake in the company. As a result, any wildly, fabulous gains will not be enjoyed by X or his front operation, Anchorline Investing. There is an upside, however. The need to re-market Anchorline's tagline motto is not as urgent as one thought. They are safe to continue to use "We drop immediately and never get off of the bottom".

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    OK. That's not bad.

    Our remaining eagle-eyed reader will note the addition of the new "Example of Greed"  feature posted in the right hand sidebar adjacent to this posting.  Congratulations to the idiot IT dept. (the most reviled department here at FTI) for their diligent work over the weekend.  It's not perfect, it's not quite the national debt clock with it's spinning numbers, and  it's not quite what I had expected, but, it certainly relays the message and stands as a beacon to the greed that one person would practice for their own gain.  It really is kind of sad.  Regardless guys, good job.  

    Now, today, I sit on pins and needles.  This should all come to an end.  I am hopeful, I am optimistic, I am anxious.  I am not, however planning on getting a nickel.  I have been so disappointed in our justice system many times in the past.  Time will tell.       

    Saturday, July 14, 2012

    I can think of nearly 250,000 reasons to be happy

    Though not finished, the end is in sight. Hmmm. That thought sounds familiar. Maybe it is because I thought that over a year ago and still haven't collected a damn nickel! But, today it's different. Yesterday, was the fourth "final" deadline for the idiot developer to submit a brief to the state Court of Appeals to submit his case for review in response to our victory in the Great Dopes trial of 2011. Like all of the other past chances, it was met with this. But that's Okay. Shifty is now leading to believe that they are finally running out of bullets. And I can start collecting. I certainly hope so.

    In celebration and as a gift to our one remaining faithful reader, I have assigned the idiot FTI IT dept. (the most hated and reviled department here at FTI) to post a counting meter on our sidebar adjacent to this page to track the money  I am supposed to collect.  Of course, I really don't think I will see much of any significance, but, it is fun to dream.   To date, the techno geeks have been stumped on this assignment  and currently, I see no results of their efforts, yet.  Typical.  But, rest assured:  No sleep will be enjoyed,  no food will be consumed, and no vacations will be authorized until the damn meter is in place.  I may even have to spend some of my new found gains to hire additional staff to perform this task.  Of course, by then, I will have the money and have no need to have a meter running.  Seems a bit odd, doesn't it?      



    Thursday, June 21, 2012

    Can you hear me now?


    Rapidly ascending my list of screw-up companies while simultaneously dropping from  the top of  my corresponding  "Can't miss" list, the good folks at Verizon Wireless are about to momentarily step into  the blinding glare of the FTI Hall of  Shame spotlight. Like the long running advertising campaign using the clever slogan that title's today's post, I would like to ask their upper management this same question.

    I went in to one of the Verizon Wireless stores the other day to get a new car charger for my cell phone.  No big deal.  The old one has lost it's tight connection with the phone such that I don't get a good connection to consistently receive a charge.  As a result, sometimes when I think my phone should be charged, I am at the same place I started 2 hours earlier: a near dead battery powered phone in my hand.  Anyways, normally you are met at the door by a Verizon greeter who, it turns out, is supposed to get your name and put you on a list to be helped by the next available salesperson.  Somehow, I  apparently accidentally engaged my personal cloaking device (I didn't even know I had that ability, but, I must have) and made it over to the charger rack undetected by any of the  employees.  I found the charger I wanted, but, was somewhat stymied as there was a locking device on the rack.  Further investigating, I found a lone wolf charger off of it's wire hanger of the rack and claimed it as the one I wished to purchase.  I  stepped up to the counter to make my purchase, eager to trade my hard earned wampum for the shiny gadget, and be on my merry way.  No such luck.   2 of the tie wearing, bearded, computer monitor staring drones, promptly ignored me for the first 30 seconds  as I stood at the counter.  No acknowledgement, no eye contact, nothing.  They then  both stroll away from the counter leaving me by myself with no "I will be right back", or "we'll ring that up in a minute", or anything else.  As I was pressed for time on that day, I thought to hell with it, left the charger on the counter, and walked out.  Yesterday, I go to a different location thinking I will swoop in and chalk up my previous experience  to bad luck.   This time, however, I obviously have all of my identifying features  as a "customer" working as I am pleasantly greeted by a smiling young woman who addresses me and asks me how they can help.  I tell her I just need a car charger for my phone.  She asks me for my name so that the next available salesperson can help me.  I reply I just need a charger; do I need  a salesperson to help me for that?  "Yes, and the next one available will be glad to help you with that."  So, I give her my name, and wait.  And wait.  There are 3 guys with  customers at the counter and 2 out on the sales floor with shoppers.  2 people are ahead of me  waiting in line and I just want a damn phone charger and get the hell out of there.  After 10 minutes of weight shifting standing from leg to leg making me to appear as if I am imitating a 5 year old who can no longer "hold it",  I decide the wait is not worth it  and vamooose out of the store.  Screw it.  

    I am certain that neither of our 2 faithful readers here are connected to Verizon wireless.  As a result, today's whining effort is nothing more than a written catharsis for me in dealing with this issue.  I understand the idea of customer service, and prompt personal interaction with the customer.  Sometimes, though, the customer does not ask for that.  I am ok with self service when I know what I want, can go get it myself, pay for it in a reasonable amount of time, and be on my way.  To inconvenience me so they might be able to sell me something I hadn't originally intended to buy by interacting with me doesn't seem to be a good way to operate.  It leaves me thinking that perhaps the coverage is a bit spotty.  

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    What junk science?

    Having been accused of being nothing more than a division of the assortment of do-nothings, stooges, and useless idiots on a regular basis, our FTI scientific division has always labored under a cloud of suspicion.   Their past work has been regularly questioned, vilified, and yes, outwardly mocked by the rest of the scientific community.  The research they conduct  bears the mantle of  being "not quite as good" as some of that conducted by their brethren with better reputations within the scientific community.   That might change now. A game changer has been found.  

    While studying the global warming issue and trying to discover ways that our small population here at FTI can help the world community at large cope with the phenomena, our crack team of researchers and scientists decided to look at the issue from all angles.  One of the methods of study and query was to examine the habits and lifestyle of wildlife to determine if a clue existed among them.  A startling new revelation might actually have been uncovered.

    Our team started out with the premise of  why there are no dead penguins on the ice in Antarctica.  Where do they go?

    It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird which lives an extremely ordered and complex life. The penguin is very committed to its family and will mate for life, as well as maintain a form of compassionate contact with its offspring throughout its life.


    If a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members of the family and social circle have been known to dig holes in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into, and buried.

    The male penguins then gather in a circle around the fresh grave and sing:

    "Freeze a jolly good fellow."
    "Freeze a jolly good fellow."

    Then, they kick him in the ice hole.

    Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    Don't bug me

    Having recently been vindicated of all charges of dereliction of duty at a secret FTI tribunal conducted by the nitwit/misfit population I oversee, I am fully back and ready to take on all challenges moving forward.  This kangaroo court literally had  one of the marsupials in attendance as the Misfits thought this would add an air of authenticity to the proceedings.  Regardless, I am back and you had better lookout.

    I had an experience yesterday that still leaves me a bit confused.  The details are too numerous and,  are actually, meaningless.     More importantly, it's the circumstances that I find interesting.  I contacted a colleague on the other side of the country about an issue which we share a common interest.  I do not personally know this person, but rather have had email contact with him on a couple of occasions.  He has always been a bit "prickly" (to that I mean "crusty" or "grumpy"  as opposed to the term with which I refer to one D., the Peap) most of the time, so, I basically handle with him with kid gloves.  I know it is nothing about me, rather, how overworked and under great pressure that causes this reaction.  Anyways, in the course of our exchange,  he cops an attitude via his written word that truly is uncalled for.  Now me, with my magnetic and engaging personality, never wanting to back down from a good insult-fest, immediately prepared to move into retaliation mode.  On reflection, however, I realized that  such a move was probably not in my best long term interests.  I need this guy a lot more than he needs me.  No use stirring up the pond for the rest of the time I have to work with him.  (I could have devastated him, though.)

    I don't understand why some people arrive at work and immediately proclaim, "I am in a bad mood today".  Apparently that gives them the right to abandon all sense of cooperation and have an excuse for their surly and don't-give-a-shit-attitude for the day.   It's too bad your attitude is grumpy today, but you had better check it at the door because now you are at work.  And you aren't paid to be a loner.  You are expected to cooperate with all to get your job done.

    There.   I feel better already.

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    A witness to a rarity

    I lost. There it is.  I have been remiss in not congratulating Dickie the Peap for having won our latest golf grudge match this past Friday afternoon. After a spirited back and forth on the course, we walked away with me being down 2 strokes to the little miser. As a result of suffering this humiliation, the consequence was one of typical Dickie the Peap: me having to lay out a whole quarter (a quarter!) to the triumphant victor. Along with my quarter I offer heartfelt congratulations. You were the winner. You were the victor. You were the better player. For that day.

    It's funny, though.   My prize, however, was much greater. What I took away was well worth the cost of the contest. Like witnessing an unsuspecting, majestic, African lion in the wild; the splitting of a cell under the eye of a microscope, or the pause of a hummingbird in mid flight, I witnessed an event of such epic proportion that I am sure I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It truly was a memorable moment.  You see, one of our rituals during this periodic battle of lousy golfers is that we first have a lunch and a couple of pre-golf beverages to relax the nerves in advance of  the pending battle.  One of the caveats is that we alternate the hosting duties for these lunches.  This particular day's responsibility fell upon the shoulders of the resident Big Spender.   Everything was going well; the food delicious, the conversation varied, the beverages satisfying as usual.  Our waitperson came by and  picked up the bill along with the barely used, like-new condition, 3 year old credit card   from El Cheapo meant to satisfy our responsibility to the restaurateur.  Upon her return, she placed the completed bill and card in front of me.  What happened next was truly a rarity. Imagine a frog that snares a bug with it's tongue from 12 inches away; a serpent that strikes a mouse with almost invisible swiftness, or the force that a machine spring exhibits after losing it's resistance.  That same type of reaction time, force,  and motion was what I witnessed by the exhibition of the arms of the little miser flying across the table to secure his card.  Any inanimate object in the path of flight would have surely been damaged, broken, or I am confident, possibly destroyed.  It was that quick.

    For the price of a quarter, I know now what I am dealing with:  the raw, unharnessed, power of nature.   I just hate to think what happens if we increase the wager on our golf game .    



    Thursday, May 10, 2012

    Twee-da-la-dee-da-la-dee

    I am currently engaged in  a battle with an unwelcome neighbor  whom is making my life quite unpleasant due to their habits.  We have now escalated to a point where I think some sort of weapon may become involved.

    The neighbor in question is identified by their Latin name as "sturnus vulgaris", we know them as English starlings. They are not a particularly cooperative neighbor as I have had a couple of interactions  with them to keep the noise down and clean up after themselves.  They have subsequently ignored me and have kept on their noisy, dirty ways.  Now I do try to be neighborly with everyone and can overlook habits of others I don't care for. But, I draw the line on the constant bombardment of birdshit all around the compound  and am getting tired of the nuisance.  Some one told me that Starlings are basically flying rats and I am beginning to believe that.  They simply are not a pleasant type of bird. They are not particularly attractive and their song is not that melodic.  Anyways, I was on the roof of the compound last night with some bird wire to block the entrance under one of the dormer sections where a family has taken up residence. Mrs. Kfred is a bit sympathetic to the newly born: "What are they going to do?  Just starve?  That seems a bit cruel." I remind her she is the one complaining the loudest about the white spots all over the ground and pavement as a result of their actions.  " You're right.  Kill those bastards".  Your orders are my lifestyle, dear.

    I will persevere to evict these unwanted vermin.  I am normally one that is fairly accepting and tolerant of others.  (Dealing with the short-armed One and the Rat Bastard for years has strengthened my level of tolerance.)  However, if the birdwire fails to do the trick, I am prepared to move to the next level. I am contemplating having Gummo, the Balloon Boy, sit on the roof in the peregrine falcon costume I recently had commissioned. He actually has experience with flight.

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    I am getting too old for this stuff

    The FTI Landscaping and Maintenance team, Beauty And Restoration Keeping section (BARK),  which members are solely myself and Mrs. Kfred, spent the entire weekend moving 12 yards of material around the compound here.  And I am feeling every damn wheelbarrow full of it today.  

    It has been 3 years since I purchased materials previously and it was beginning to discolor and rot into the ground.  Not to mention, it is very effective at holding down the weed growth in areas I don't want weeds, I decided to this year add some more bark.  I probably should have had the bark blown in off of the truck like the smart people do, but, I actually don't mind the work.  I like how the pile slowly goes down one shovel at a time while the beds are, suddenly and slowly,  brightened and brought back to life.

    Looking at my progress so far, I am happy.  The compound looks refreshed, new, and very springlike.   The downside is that I still have a pile of bark has as big as when I started.  There are still more areas to cover.  Any my back isn't ready to go another 2 days worth right now.  I guess I will just have to appreciate the old look for a bit longer.  

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    An example to follow

    I note that a 2 year old Canadian boy has recently been inducted into the Mensa Society.  2 years old!  Apparently, the kid can recite the alphabet both forward and backward, and count to 1000, among other accomplishments.

    The FTI talent acquisition team is targeting individuals such as this for our FTI mentorship program.  The reasoning is that with childlike prodigys like this as an example, our group might be able to advance beyond shoe lace tying basics and tackle the really hard tasks.  Like being able to wake up with dry big boy pants in the morning.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    Well, you think it would be able to identify something


    Long realizing the significance of having the need for some type of evaluation of compatibility and  measurement, thereof,  I assigned the Misfits the task of developing a type of evaluation test that would measure the character, intelligence, and general overall fit-in-ed-ness of any prospective candidates for our population here at FTI.  It was decided we needed to recruit more "cool" people as positive role models for the losers currently housed here.  

    Unfortunately, the example displayed here is below the personal goals I have set for our organization with regards to excellence, but like the coach of the perennial losing Washington Generals against the Harlem Globetrotters, I bear the burden of never winning after all of these years.  I share this as an  indication of the best of anything generated.  My apologies in advance to any test-takers who may feel their own level of competency is higher than this actual test indicates.  

    COOL PERSON TEST





    Saturday, April 14, 2012

    The King has fallen

    I happened into a Burger King Restaurant yesterday for a quick lunch. It has been a long time since I have eaten at Burger King, and, based on my experience, it will probably be a long time before I return.

    It was around lunchtime and decided I should get a quick bite. A lot of times, I like to drop into Wendy's for a side small salad and a glass of water. $1.39 for a healthy lunch which tastes good and I can get fairly fast. I see the BK and figure I will visit "the King". I remember I heard a few weeks ago that Wendy's had finally overtaken Burger King among the big 3 in sales even though Burger King has more physical locations. I can see why.

    Starting with my entrance, I notice the store is a bit shabby in appearance; dirty tables, chipped floor tile, faded posters advertising their specials, but, they do have a plasma or LCD order board. I guess they are in the 21st Century. The woman taking the order is either Middle Eastern Indian or some type of Persian and obviously has some sort of difficulty speaking and understanding standard American English. After relaying twice that my order is not to go and for eating inside the restaurant, I am given my receipt and the mumbled announcement that my order number is "duh-bruddy-tour". I have no idea what that means. Waiting approximately four minutes while NO ONE ELSE ENTERS THE STORE, I am across the counter from a surly Hispanic girl who repeatedly checks the order screen, grabs a to go sack, and crams my Jr. Whopper and Value fries into it before yelling across the counter "Jr. Whopper and Fries"! There is no one else waiting. I figure I will just take the sack and sit down. I go over to the condiment bar to get some napkins and ketchup and notice that the small portion cups are missing from the condiment station. I go back to the counter and mention to the Latina princess that the cups are missing over at the ketchup station and I would like to have some in order to get some ketchup. The astute reader will notice that the key word in this last thought has been the word "ketchup". Apparently the help at Burger King realized the same because she grabs four small to-go packets, throws them at me, and goes back to scanning the televised order board. So much for having it your way.

    I really am a forgiving and tolerant type of customer. We all have bad days or days where we are overwhelmed. Mistakes happen. I get all of that. To consistently leave an unfavorable impression with the customer from the time they walk in the door until they exit, though, just doesn't seem to be the foundation of a successful business model. It's gonna take more than new Fresh Wraps and Mango Smoothies to regain 2nd place.