Tuesday, December 24, 2013

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 18, 2013

"And with no time left on the clock, our final score will be: Good Guys 1, Idiot Developer 0"

Oh, it's done alright.  Finished.  Finito.  Game Over. You lose.  What a great Christmas present.

I and my  fellow plaintiffs received word yesterday that the State Court of Appeals had released their decision:  The decision of judgment in our favor in Superior Court against the idiot developer of the ongoing lawsuit has been affirmed!  We win!  After a small victory earlier, I had developed an attitude that, though I was always confident we would prevail, the justice system is certainly slow in how it goes about affirming so.  

Now, Mr. Bright Guy has always told anyone that would listen to him that he was right and that he would prevail on all counts.  The COA obviously didn't agree and ripped apart his case by including a description of his arguments as "nonsensical" and referring to the CCR's as "certainly... not a model of clarity".  I guess this would best be described as "overplaying one's hand".  

Now, I and my fellow plaintiffs are revved up.  The bastard still owes us over $75K.  And, of course, it will be a fight to get it which will only benefit Shifty, our lawyer.  At this point, however, I don't really care.  The money has been long gone and forgotten.  I am still surviving and I know I won't get all of our money back, but, we certainly are going to get some of it.  And it feels good. Really good.  


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Have you ever felt like you have been somewhere before?

Interestingly, my previous post detailing the wayward travels of the little miser in search of cheap liquor drew nary a protest or whimper. Technology has indicated  that due to the viewing/stalking habits of Whisky Magellan, he has not visited here, yet.  As a result, I make this one prediction with 100% certainty: he will protest, vehemently, my description of his route and purpose and, of course, attempt to cast me in some type of unfavorable light. The guarantee can be assured by the time/date stamp attached to his comment.  Wait for it, it's coming.  That, our dear 2 loyal readers, can be taken  to the bank.

Yesterday, I worked with my supervisor in Dilbertland and had a great day. My direct supervisor is not only my boss, he is my friend, mentor, pal, and all-around-good guy. It's rare to work for a boss that you really like as a person. Oh sure, we have all had bosses that we "get along" with, but, this guy is different. He is supportive, helpful, and yet, no pushover. When I screw-up, he points out my error, suggests how I can do something differently, and makes it a teachable moment. When I want to bitch and whine, he listens, consoles, give me the company line first, then usually agrees with me that, "yeah, I don't agree with it either, but, this is how you can do it and still make everyone happy". I like that. No job is perfect, but you have got to like what you do; I like what I do. And it is a lot easier when you work for someone with whom you implicitly trust.  He did commit one act yesterday that I found a bit odd, however.  We took a client to lunch and had a great meeting.  Business is good, the client is happy, the possibility for more business is wide open, and the future is very bright.  All good things.  At the end of lunch, the bill was set on the table by the waitress and she breezed off.  Normal company policy is that the "senior" level person buys lunch, but the conversation continued and he wasn't reaching for the tab. Realizing that we had to leave for our next afternoon appointment, I pulled out my card, had it processed by the waitress, bid the client to have a Happy Holiday, and were out of there. As we got in the car, he said, "Did you notice how I had a case of short- arms there?   My expenses are over this month and I still have 2 weeks to finish".  I told him that was fine, I understood and had no qualms about paying as he approves my expenses anyway, plus, I get airline miles along the way.   "Hey, before we make the next stop", he asks, "is there a state liquor store around here?  I like this particular tequila and I can save .90  a bottle here versus the state I live in.  I have checked all of the states I have visited this month and, so far, it's cheapest here. "

I already have an order in for an updated satellite image.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

You have got to give me Something

Through the marvels of technology, my recent hiatus from the nonsense, stupidity, and outright lunacy mentioned and displayed here on a semi-regular basis was exposed yesterday, when I received a text (YES, TEXT!) message from Giacommo, my former assistant and Trustee here at FTI exhorting me to at least contribute something/anything as he was losing his bearings in life and needed some guidance.  Yes, it is a heavy burden I shoulder, but I am wiling to do so in order to further the young lad's career.  Due to time constraints today, I am only able to share a limited sampling:

  • The accompanying photo is an actual satellite image  of the path of one, D. the Peap, as he continues his quest in order to find the cheapest liquor in the Western United States.  Irish Whiskey for $42 a bottle in Minnesota?  I'll take 2.  Hold it, what?  I can get the same thing for $39.99 in Nevada.  How many hours does it take to get there?  A demo special in North Dakota?  Mrs. P, saddle up.  We're headed for Fargo.  
    path of attempted and complete liquor purchases by D., the Peap
    EDITOR"S NOTE:  in the interests of complete disclosure, I did request the short-armed one to pick me up a bottle of Gran Marnier should he find one at a competitive price, but alas, I know I am going to pay through the ass for it once he arrives back home.  

I will have an updated subject list in the coming days, but there it is.  Even when the chronicling is missing, the result is the same.    

Thursday, October 10, 2013

You are here. And here. And over here, too.

I was able to squeeze in another grudge match golf game with the little miser yesterday.  We haven't played much this summer due to our conflicting schedules, but, we both committed to the date, the weather cooperated, and we had a great time.  We are approaching probably the last of our scheduled matches as the weather is beginning to turn, and we won't have many more opportunities.    For the record, I beat the short-armed one by 2 strokes and, of course, regained the ceremonial quarter in the exact same condition I had given it up 6 weeks earlier when he beat me by 9 (yes, NINE) strokes. You see,  I had secretly marked the quarter with the term "CHEAPSKATE" etched around the outside edge before handing it over previously as I long suspected that the Frugal One would never part with any quarter, regardless of the circumstances under which it was attained.    Sure enough, my suspicions were confirmed.  The "cheapskate" quarter is back in my possession.       

As compensation for his poor performance on the golf course, however, it was the decision of Dickie Skiltskin to instead focus on my failure to properly read the map of the golf course.  I misdirected our play to  the wrong hole at one point and we ended up getting "lost" on the course.  Finally figuring out where we went wrong, we had to walk an extra 400 yards to the proper point to regain the proper progression of play.  Lost in all of the whining and complaining  was the fact that, at this point, our boy was down 7 strokes to me and fading fast.  I actually offered him that I would penalize myself 5 strokes for the screw-up for compensation and as an incentive to cheer him up for being so far behind.  Hard-headed and vigorously denying that he needed no charity, the little Arnold wannabe played on.  It was the last hole where my wheels fell off (water hazard, lost ball, etc.) and I  lost the hole by 5 strokes.  Had Mr. Golf taken me up on my generous offer, he actually would have won the match by 3 strokes.  But nooooooo, he soldiered on, won the hole, lost the match, and then has the audacity to say, "Well, I know you won, but it wasn't very pretty".  Really!?  Who has the quarter?

Enjoying the 19th hole where we both scored some well deserved beer, we were able to recap our game and the events of the afternoon.     Feeling the effects of the beer, our boy asked me "which way to the restroom?"    Coming back a bit later, I note his frustrated face.  "You dumb shit! That was the ladies room!  The men's is over on the other side",  he said.

I guess I should have studied the layout  of the clubhouse in the first place.  Had I done so, I would have purposely sent him to the clubhouse showroom.   Perhaps he could have found a set of clubs that would help lower his score.   

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A guy's resource to meet his future wife

Certainly not afraid to swing at both sides of  an issue or to worry about someone's "self-esteem" (remember when that was such a buzz-word in the 80's?),  I do find this little story at the expense of the Catholics a bit humorous.   Next up:  a swipe at the idiot politicians for putting us in this current mess.

'Bless me Father, for I have sinned.
I have been with a loose girl'.

The priest asks, 'Is that you, little Joey Pagano ?'

'Yes, Father, it is.'

'And who was the girl you were with?'

'I can't tell you, Father. I don't want to ruin her reputation'.

"Well, Joey, I'm sure to find out her name sooner or later
so you may as well tell me now. Was it Tina Minetti?'

'I cannot say.'

'Was it Teresa Mazzarelli?'

'I'll never tell.'

'Was it Nina Capelli?'

'I'm sorry, but I cannot name her.'

'Was it Cathy Piriano?'

'My lips are sealed.'

'Was it Rosa DiAngelo, then?'

'Please, Father, I cannot tell you.'

The priest sighs in frustration.
'You're very tight lipped, and I admire that.
But you've sinned and have to atone.
You cannot be an altar boy now for 4 months.
Now you go and behave yourself.'

Joey walks back to his pew,
and his friend Franco slides over and whispers,
'What'd you get?'

'Four months vacation and five good leads."

Monday, September 23, 2013

Trust Me. I am a Medical professional.

Having been recently diagnosed to be fully recovered and ready to go  by medical professionals, I am now in the position to resume my semi-frequently activities here at the Institute.  I have been assured that resumption of my duties here will not affect my over all health and I should be no worse for the wear.    I did find the parting conversation with the medical professional a bit odd in the sense that it flew in the face of conventional medical wisdom that I have read before and provide a written transcript of the conversation  here for our 2 faithful readers evaluation.

For the record, the doctor is an older, experienced medical professional whom arrived in this country over 45 years ago from China.  Though being here for so long, his English speaking skills are a bit weaker than most and during our conversation, I now know why.  Anyway, I was fortunate to have recorded it and relay it here, word for word.

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Heart only good for so many beats, and that it... Don't waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually.
Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: Oh no. Wine made from fruit. Brandy distilled wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Bottom up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio one to one. If you have two body, your ratio two to one.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of single one, sorry. My philosophy: No pain...good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU NOT LISTENING! Food fried in vegetable oil. How getting more vegetable be bad?

: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Oh no! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: You crazy?!? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming good for figure, explain whale to me.

Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is shape!

There it is.  I can't explain it.  I have read and re-read it and it all seems to make sense.  I can only surmise that speaking English is what apparently kills you.   

Thursday, September 5, 2013

.......And forgive those whom Trespass against us

Slowly easing back into my duties and responsibilities here at the Institute, I offer this contribution from Marv, the Neighbor, as an example of some of the heavy reading which I have undertaken this summer during hiatus:

Toward the end of the Sunday service, the Minister asked, "How many of you have forgiven your enemies?" 80% held up their hands. The Minister then repeated his question. All responded this time, except one man, Walter Barnes, who attended church only when the weather was bad.  "Mr. Barnes, it's obviously not a good morning for golf. It's good to see you here today. Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?"
"I don't have any," he replied gruffly.  "Mr. Barnes, that is very unusual. How old are you?"
"Ninety-eight," he replied. The congregation stood up and clapped their hands.
"Oh, Mr. Barnes, would you please come down in front and tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years and not have an enemy in the world?"

The old golfer tottered down the aisle, stopped in front of the pulpit, turned around, faced the congregation, and said simply, "I outlived all them assholes" - and he calmly returned to his seat.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

This shouldn't be that tough

Vaunted by the extensive blog  security measures  employed here at the Institute, I couldn't remember the friggin' password to access my own Blog!  As a result my summer hiatus continues.   

Directing our know-little, do-nothing FTI IT staff (the most reviled  dept. here at FTI) develop some sort of method to aide me in accessing my own website, the best they could come up with was to either, a) change the password to "password"; b) drop our  security package entirely allowing continuing guest commentary and contribution from whomever sits down at the public kiosk from which this all emanates; or c) simply re-post already published articles eliminating the need for security as the information will already be known. Finding all 3 proposals as unacceptable, I immediately and forthrightly dismissed the entire staff and am now scouring the Linked-in website for qualified replacements.   Qualifications are simple:  know a little about computers, understand that what I say go's, and be willing to be a part of a constantly hated, minimally respected, team of deadbeats, slackers, and losers.  

In other words: trying to match the team to the target audience.   

Thursday, July 4, 2013

And on the 4th of July no less

I was all set to write today about my vacation when Kfred Jr 2 sent a message and some pictures home from Afghanistan.  I thought I would share the story (most of you already know it) with our 2 faithful readers however, as you are not direct family.

Jr. 2 told us that he was going to be up for an End of Tour duty  award while serving in Afghanistan to be presented by Senator John McCain..  He still has 3 more weeks to go before he rotates out and we figured that, though noteworthy, the ceremony would be "routine."  Again, not to downplay the significance or accomplishment, rather, another part of the military life with a bonus of the fact that he would meet McCain.    After sending the pictures, though, we noted that the award was actually the Bronze Star! He received it for exemplary conduct "while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party."  Wow.  That's big.  

There is nothing else to say.  Do you think his Dad is proud?  Yeah, he is.    

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How I SPENT my Summer Vacation

Poring over the bills from my summer excursion, I now understand the frugality of the little miser.

Mrs. Kfred  and I spent a long planned week in California driving from San Diego up to San Francisco with another couple.  And we had a fabulous time.  I had planned and reserved some hotels in advance via Priceline and Hotels.com, so, I knew my costs going in and actually cut some pretty good bargains.  As I had prepaid them before I left, that expense was already addressed.  As we get on the road though, well, it's time to eat lunch  and get a couple of microbrews for 4. "Thanks folks. Enjoy the rest of your vacation, I will be your cashier."  Sounds innocuous enough.  That will be $85 please.  Hey, here we are at the 18th of Pebble Beach.  Let's eat there.  Yeah, that sounds good. Yike's! they're kind of proud of their setting here.  Oh I know, but c'mon it's Pebble Beach; when are you going to be back here anytime soon? Yeah, you're right. Lets sit outside in the sun. "Table for 4? No problem. You can sit right here.  Let me tell you about the lunch specials". $181 for lunch was a bit of a shocker, but, you know, it will be a long time before I probably go back and I WAS at Pebble Beach.

We go to Mission Ranch in Carmel to have dinner At Clint Eastwood's place.  It's an old working cattle farm on the Bay that he rescued from bankruptcy years ago which was slated to be bought by a bunch of condo developers.  They have a restaurant and piano bar that was a lot of fun and is supposedly frequented by Eastwood frequently on weeknights.  Of course, he didn't show when we ate there, but it was a fun experience.  Apparently, he is getting a little grumpier in his old age and doesn't deviate far from some of his recent movie characters when it comes to pleasantries.  Regardless, dinner for 4 was nothing that couldn't be defeated by the better part of 4 Franklins. 

I know we spent more on food than we did on hotels.  But, hey, I'm on vacation.     I wonder if Pricleine will consider starting a name-your-own-price for dinner option.  


Monday, July 1, 2013

OH, I am back alright

The 2013 summer excursion is over.  I'm back.  And I've got some new ideas to discuss.    And you will see it soon:

 My 2.3 million dollar yacht shopping experience..  The Hearst Foundation's refusal to bargain seriously about the castle.  The failed balloon ride.   Lunch at Pebble Beach.  And the San Francisco treat. Staffers are feverishly working on matching photos with stories.  They are on their way.  I promise.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I guess I should have used the hoe

I ran across this news story and picture about a guy who was using one of those 5 gallon propane tanks and an accompanying 3 foot long wand for weed control around his house.  You can burn weeds right down to the ground and the intense heat many times will kill the root as well.  Some people prefer it to poison as it is safer for pets and kids.  I have considered getting one for use around the compound here but, just have never got around to picking one up.  You can get them at the farm or tractor supply store for about $25 (without the propane tank).  Anyways,  this guy decided to  head out doors and attack those pesky weeds.  He apparently had wet down the tree next to his house before firing up the torch, but,  the tree ignited anyway.  (Pine tree pitch is very flammable and apparently fed the fire.)   The story did not print the guy's name and, rather, referred to him as "the homeowner".  Firefighters had  no estimate of the amount of damage, but, did note significant damage to the roof, and water and smoke damage was found in the living areas of the house.

The good news is the local neighborhood homeowners association did enclose  the "Best Yard" award along with the 30 day notice to clean up the property.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Why, we DO have something in common!

I think the folks at AARP hope the third time is the charm. These guys are like a bad case of jock itch: they just never stop. Well, I got news for them: I use rash powder regularly.

After my second contact to ol' A. Barry of the AARP following the original ridicule  response,  I get a third  solicitation in the mail over the weekend from Steve Cone, Director of Membership,  that now  seems kind of desperate. In fact, it's kind of sad.  Apparently the cool, free, insulated travel  bag they so heavily promoted the first time around, is now basically treated as a consolation  prize if you send in the $16 they want. This time,  the insulated travel bag is now included as an acknowledgment of me sending in some money.  I can only figure this enticement was not that great because it doesn't have the screaming announcement on the envelope about it.  The benefits Steve  recites of joining the AARP  include the "award-winning AARP The Magazine  that will help you feel great, save money and have fun".  Hmmm.  Who knew a magazine could do all of that?   The only magazine  I can  think of  that did 2 of those 3 things was  one the neighbor kid showed me when I was about 11 years old that he had stolen from under his Dad's bed.  If it's got that, I'm in.  Otherwise, I think I will pass.

Just before I prepared to toss this letter, I noticed that the $16 was for a one year membership, but, if I opted for the 5 year membership, I could take advantage of the AARP "Anniversary Discount" price of $55. Yep, that's right. Me and the ol' AARP are both turning 55 this year!  Who knew that so much good has been done for such an amount of time?  

Steve, I do have one question though.  We both have acquired knowledge, experience, and wisdom over the years.  Even at 17, I knew some things were wrong, but, obviously you guys didn't do anything about it because Mom made me wear one for graduation pictures.  Why the hell didn't you fight the prevalence of leisure suits?     


Friday, June 7, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

An update to an old classic

Now demonstrating his propensity for utter and complete "fiscal restraint": [fiscal restraint (n): fis-cul re-straynt; the act of avoiding, denying, or objecting to payment of any kind whether in a social, business, or adversarial setting] in a location other than his own neighborhood, I note that the little miser is now practicing his finely honed art while on vacation.

I received a call the other day that he had the misfortune of actually having to buy lunch for his out of town hosts.  Failing to correctly identify the time-honored direct men's room route in advance of the check coming,  our boy instead excused himself upon viewing the waitress coming with the small paper based kryptonite.  Instead, he miscalculated and crossed the immediate  path of the server whom assumed he was late for another engagement and was searching for her in order to pay in an orderly fashion. She promptly handed him the check,thanked him for his patronage, told him to "have a nice day", and turned heel to attend to her other tables.    Our boy is now left with a  medical condition manifesting itself with a sudden breakout of body perspiration, elevated blood pressure, and an actual desire now to truly use the men's room for it's intended purpose.  

The vacation is only a week over with 2 more on on tap.  A new updated wall map consisting of, instead the image posted above, will be replaced with something along the order of this:  $$!  You can track progress by simply noting the sites of frustrated hosts as the little skinflint journeys  his way home.   

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Really, You just figured it out now?

Either of our 2 loyal readers are familiar with my, and my neighbors, ongoing legal battle with the idiot developer (aka Dipshit) here where the compound is located.  For 5 freaking years, we have been tied up in a lawsuit (in  which we prevailed) and yet is still not finished as it is currently sitting on some appeal court clerk's desk waiting to be assigned a date to be heard before the 3 judge panel.  I am no longer worried about a reversal or partial change of decision.  The merits of the case pointed to only one logical outcome:  the total vindication and validation of our argument resulting in a complete victory.  Now, apparently, we have another believer as well:  The idiot defendant. 

I received word yesterday from Shifty's (my attorney) assistant that a new action has been started by Dipshit against Ms. Ding-a-Ling, his trial attorney, for legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary responsibility.  After taking a complete shellacking against us, after 5 years of legal wrangling, 4 additional years before that in creating the infrastructure to this whole mess, and, now, nearly 2 years past the actual verdict, he realized that perhaps this whole mess is because his attorney gave him bad advice.  In fact, he actually states in his motion for the lawsuit  that he would have done things differently if not for the advice of his attorney.      I guess the fact that multiple neighbors told him what he was doing was illegal, cited references to state law, and simple common sense never carried any weight in his thought process.  Of course, he bore no responsibility, no siree. He's smarter than all of that.  Ask him.    It's someone else's fault.  

It really is it's own sweet little reward.  I have spent too many hours in a dank, sterile, courtroom not sure if I would come out on the right end of this whole issue.  Now, I look forward to bring my own popcorn, sitting down in the lumpy upholstered chairs in the gallery, and watching these 2 snakes wrestle in a pit lying to a judge in an attempt to paint the other in the worst possible way.  

I guess justice is served.     

Monday, May 20, 2013

Here's the view from my chair

Away from official Institute business for a while, I am now safely ensconced back in the FTI Command Center and have retaken command of the good ship, Nutso.  But first, a few random observations and experiences during my absence:
  • Having dispatched of DickieSkiltskin in a recent golf grudge match, (and continuing reining holder of the ceremonial thin quarter prize purse) I am rapidly beginning to think that, perhaps, my game would improve  if I were to ramp up the level of competition which I play.  The little miser is a worthy opponent, but, quite honestly,  I am thinking about checking the local rehab center to inquire if any patients want to improve their mobility by playing golf.

  • While out of town recently, I needed to get some gas for the car.  Pulling all the way to the front pump  into an empty 2-island, 3 pump each, service station, I am greeted by the attendant running up to the car saying, "Whoa, Bud! You just came in my exit! There's the entrance; you have got to turn around. This is a one way station."  I had no idea what the guy was saying, but, he is pointing to the entry point on the lot.  It does indeed say "Exit Only" as I did not observe it when I pulled in.  I simply was aiming for the easiest route to get gas congruent to the side of the car on which the gas cap is located.  "One way station?", I ask. "What does that mean?" "You have to pull in there and exit through that way," he says, smiling with a smug little grin. "You've got to turn around".   I look at him, look behind him to the other island, look back at him, and then swivel  to look behind me.  There is nobody there.  "Turn around? There's nobody here!   I just need some gas."  "I know, but, you have got to turn around.  I can help you on this side", as he walks away to the other side of the island ready to do his job.  I hope he is still waiting for me.

  • Mrs. Kfred greets me upon my return reporting that the sound system in the FTI Executive Living Quarters appears to be not fully functioning  and asks if I can investigate.  Normally a task assigned to the FTI IT Department (the most reviled department here at FTI), I decide I will save the hassle and check it out myself.  "It just stopped working", she tells me.  (EDITOR'S NOTE:  This is not the first time this description of service problems has been used and seems to be a go-to reason when determining the basis of service work provided here at the compound.)  Sure enough, the damn surround sound has crapped out and only functions after I unplug and reset the system only to fail within about 45 seconds. The system is a 15 year old proprietary Bose  system which means only Bose stuff works through it.  Calling the Bose customer service team, I am cheerfully told that, yes, it does appear to be in need of repair, and no, you can't run anyone elses equipment through their system.  The good news is that Bose will gladly  sell me their latest system if I want to trade in all of my current equipment at a steep 50% discount to current pricing.  That, my friends, is still over 1200 bones.  I am currently scouring Amazon for top rated non-proprietary  systems  for approximately 500 bucks.

  • Saturday night was a perfect night for a backyard fire.  No wind, pleasant temperatures, good company, and plenty of ceremonial sacraments.  It was perfect.  It doesn't occur nearly often enough.  
And like a bad habit.  I am back.  Badder than ever.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Now, Who's boss?

Giving credit where credit is due (and to demonstrate to the little miser that this is not strictly a one-sided forum), I acknowledge and give kudos to the folks over at Comcast. Their past billing methods have left some practices to be desired, but, today my outlook is a bit more positive.

I received my monthly reminder that my Comcast bill was now available for viewing and payment. Fully expecting another royal mix-up and waiting to see what the corresponding spin on the Comcast "What-should-we-charge-'em-this-month?" Wheel of Income, I was presently surprised to find that my bill was under $105 for the month. This is the entire internet and digital premier/3 premium movie channel cable TV services for the month. I was fully expecting a battle of numbers, but, alas, they finally are charging me what they told me they would charge me.

Imagine that. Someone doing what they said they would do. It's an increasingly uncommon trait.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The prodigal son returns

One of the few rewards I recognize here is the opportunity of mentorship and ability to mold impressionable minds of certain individuals. Though, truly not an available option when dealing with the dim-witted Green Comic, idiot Rat Bastard G, or cheap-screw Dickie the Peap, once in a while an opportunity is afforded to me. Imagine, then, my surprise and pride when contacted by my former  able bodied Assistant/Resident Trustee, Giacommomo recently relating and updating me with his current status.

Either of our 2 faithful readers may remember his departure from the Institute over a year ago when he was recruited for a management position of a company in North Carolina. I have to believe that solely based on his affiliation and training here at FTI, his credentials, demeanor, polish, and yes, overcoming that nasty habit of pulling out his t-shirt and sneezing down his chest, met the qualifications any company would be looking for and he was swooped up and chosen. Of course, the limited budget we work on here afforded us no opportunity to make any type of counter-offer to retain him, so, we lost his services. Anyways, yesterday  he sent me a message via Linked-In (the social media site for us true, serious Professionals) that not only had he succeeded in his short time away, but, had received another promotion and was now living in the Atlanta area and quite happy! Certainly recognizing the true natural abilities and inner qualities that made him attractive as a job candidate, I take a sense of inner satisfaction knowing that he uses the thinking techniques, ideas, and rationalization gained through his apprenticeship program here at the Institute.  

I have updated the FTI Rolodex with all of his contact information for later reference.  I have a feeling it may come in handy should we ever move forward with our long sought expansion plans.  Does Georgia have laws restricting stupidity?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Move over Verizon

Construction is currently underway for expansion of the FTI Hall of Shame. I held a private induction ceremony yesterday for the newest member and, based on recent experience, feel they certainly are deserving honorees. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great ineptness (as they have demonstrated to me), I give you the folks over at Comcast Cable. Dealing with them is certainly not "Comcastic". For reference, I note they have dropped this slogan. Rightly so.

My monthly routine of paying bills was a bit different this month as I noticed my internet/cable bill had gone up $15 from the normal $129.99. I know we hadn't made any service changes or ordered any premium movies or events, so, I called Comcast Thursday to inquire about the difference. It turns out I  was charged a "prorated" $15 for the month for HBO service. Now, I maybe watch a total of 20 hours of TV a month. That's it. We have 150+ channels here at the compound and I think I view the same 4 regularly. I have so many because of the bundling of features along with my internet service I originally picked a package over 6 years ago that was most economical and, yet, delivered the stuff I wanted. One of the services was high definition broadcasting for both of the TV's located inside the Executive Living Quarters. HBO was thrown in 6 months ago as an incentive when I had an earlier issue, but, I really don't watch it that much and was prepared to let it go away. In speaking with the customer representative on the phone, it was obvious they don't want to lose any customers. I have read that customers are increasingly turning to Netflix and internet streaming programs to their computer versus traditional broadcast methods, so the cable companies are losing out. She made me an offer to allow me to keep the all of the same services I had, waive the $15 HBO charge, and move me to a $99.99 per month package for 1 year guaranteed. "Let me get this right: Same Services, waive the fee, keep the HBO, all for one year for a hundred bucks a month. Is that right?", I asked. "Yep, pretty cool, huh?", she replied. "OK, sign me up", I told her. I hung up the phone and thought I had scored a major deal.

Coincidentally, about the same time, Mrs. Kfred, our Institute Director of Safety and Chief Judge Judy viewer (we both LOVE Judge Judy), called to mention we had lost service on one of our TV's.  She called Comcast herself as well  and was advised that the control box was old and to return it for a replacement. I thought that as an odd coincidence, but, hey, whatever.  She did so on Fri and waited for me to return to the compound later in the day expecting me to set it up. It really is a pretty easy switch-out and I did so with relative ease.  Firing everything up, I noted that our high definition channels were blocked with the message that I needed to call Comcast in order to "order this service".   I go to the other TV, switch on the high-def channels, and everything is functioning perfectly.  Hmmm.............something is haywire here.  I call Comcast again, run through their automated phone tree maze hoping that somewhere, somehow, a real live someone will pick up the phone and I can resolve the matter.  Finally "Julio" answers the line and I explain to him my predicament.  He investigates my account and finally asserts that my new $99 monthly package DOES NOT include high-def programming.  I told him of my previous agreement and he said they could add the high def service but that it would be another $10 a month and a service work order to do so would be filled within in 48 hours.  WHAT!?   Now at this point, I am a bit peeved as I had the original phone rep. repeat the terms of the offer twice so there would be no misunderstanding.  I asked to speak with a supervisor and was told there was none available at the moment and that I could call back.  I let them know that they could set their clock by my follow-up call.

Calling back within 20 minutes, I immediately asked to speak with a second level Supervisor. "Caesar" comes on the line and confirms to me that the package I moved to was not a high-def. package and that for another $10 a month, I could, indeed, be enjoying all of the great programming that Comcast offered.  I politely and firmly informed me that was not the terms of my earlier agreement and  quite honestly, did not care for how Comcast ran their business.   He profusely apologizes for my inconvenience but that he can not offer me high def. programming without the added $10 monthly charge, but, would throw in Showtime, STARZ, and Cinemax for no charge for the next 6 months at the monthly level of $109.  Figuring that was the best I could do, I agree to the deal and now all is as described.

I still haven't paid the bill to this point, so, figure I will call Comcast Saturday to confirm the amount I owe  I get a 3rd phone rep who now gives me another, lower amount due!    Though I figure if I keep calling enough times, they will eventually pay me some money, it is frustrating that there is no consistent number from any of these people.    She also tells me that my "agreement" outlines all of these terms.  I ask her,  "what agreement?"  "You didn't get an agreement?", she asks.  "I will send you one. What's your email address?"  For Christ's sake, YOU ARE MY EMAIL PROVIDER!!  YOU GUYS DON'T KNOW?  

I still haven't received an agreement, I don't know what I owe; I do, though, have high definition channels to watch.   I am going to call again today and run the gamut with them again.  I think they have a Wheel of Fortune type wheel there at Comcast Central which they spin to determine your monthly bill.   In the meantime, I am collecting memorabilia to house here at the Shrine for ineptness.  I think it will be a large display.       

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The way I see it:

I have been away with what seems an inordinate amount of issues to address. I have attended to most of them and can now get back to the mindless drivel displayed here on a semi-frequent basis. With that being said (my favorite set-up line) lets just get into a couple of random observations:
  • If we truly want to dispense justice in the Boston Marathon bombing case and I were in charge of things, I think I could accomplish the goals of both liberals and conservatives. I could spare the bomber's life and still meet the conservative's goal of vengeance without the outrageous costs associated with death penalty cases. How? I would humanely and surgically amputate the guy's legs, nurse him back to otherwise healthy status, and then turn him loose for the rest of his life with the caveat there is no further societal financial help for therapy, new prosthesis, or any other type of further assistance. Let him experience the life he has committed others to while not taking his. That seems appropriate to me.

  • I am always worried when I hear the word advocate. There are advocates for the homeless, children, elderly, environment, animals. You name it. And their ideas and positions all have one thing in common: it's gonna cost me some dough. I am not saying their cause is not just or wrong, but, they are always asking for money. There are just flat out some things for which there is no available money.

  • I don't know if In-n-Out Burgers are truly the best, but, they set a pretty high standard. I was in Oakland last week and stopped in for a cheeseburger. Maybe it's like the Coors beer phenomena of the 70's where distribution was so tightly controlled and it just seemed to taste better because you weren't exposed to it on a daily basis. There are no locations in my local marketplace, so, I can't enjoy them whenever I want; I don't know, that cheeseburger just seemed to be the best.

  • And finally, a little fun:*

    A woman was shopping at the local supermarket where she selected:

    A half-gallon of 2% milk
    A carton of eggs
    A quart of orange juice
    A head of lettuce
    A 2 lb. can of coffee
    A 1 lb. package of bacon

    As she was unloading the items on the conveyor belt to check out, a drunk standing behind her watched as she placed the items in front of the cashier. While the cashier was ringing up the purchases, the drunk calmly stated, "You must be single." She was a bit startled by this proclamation, yet, intrigued by the derelict's intuition, as indeed, she had never found Mr. Right. She looked at the six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about her selections that could have tipped off the drunk to her marital status.. Curiosity getting the better of her, she said, "Yes, you are correct. But how on earth did you know that?"

    The drunk replied, 'Cause you're ugly.

    * this incident was both Neighbor Marv submitted and approved.

  • Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    It's a fun, teaching moment

    I spoke with Dickey the Peap over the Easter Holiday weekend. I was surprised at both the depths of frugality exhibited by the short armed one and, yet, amazed at the training he employs in developing a successive line of little Frugal Ones ensuring the future will always be tight. Rather than me, however, being the arbiter of such an issue, I will leave it to our 2 faithful readers to judge for themselves. Making a couple of slight variations in the information input port of the Factorcrap Truthometer Deluxe, I developed a simple visual test to confirm my suspicions, explored the possibilities, made my own determination, then ran it through the mechanical marvel for validation. As expected, total vindication was indicated.

    A bit of background:  Apparently the 2 little Grand-Peaps were coming over later in the afternoon for an Easter Egg hunt.  Mrs. Dickey the Peap correctly surmised that perhaps the heat from the  brilliant sunshine would penetrate the inside of the plastic eggs being planted around the yard and melt the chocolate candy inside.  Dickey agreed and realized that wouldn't be too much fun for a couple of little kids to find melted goo around the yard and chose to cancel this event for "the kid's sake."  I suggested that instead of placing candy in the plastic eggs, he actually place a few coins or bills  inside.  They would still have the thrill of hunting the eggs and actually get something that would be of use to them in the future rather than a temporary sugar high.  Being part of no such type of thinking, the Frugal One immediately improvised an alternative plan that included both an instant reward which also could be used as a teaching aid for later in life.  I applaud the creativity, but do wonder at the "fun" factor.  ("Thanks, Grandpa.  That was a lot of fun".  Imagine the disappointment on the sweet, little, angelic faces.)     

    I chronicle this experience only to share and have peer review done by our readership. The test is actually quite simple. What is pictured in this image that was included inside each of the eggs to be found:?

    A)  That is a pair of small pinus sylvetris seedlings starting their life that will one day grow to be part of a strong and healthy forest eco-system.  

    B)  Say, that isn't marijuana plants is it?  I hear they grow those things in the forest out there.  

    C)  Those appear to be perfect  gifts for a couple of kids that will grow along side them in time.   Think of them as future, potential  stumps they could bury money under.

    And the education continues.  

    Saturday, March 30, 2013

    That's Right. We bad, We bad.

    Normally the one to discover, direct, and deliver a good verbal kick in the ass, today it appears the target of my efforts appear to be myself. I actually underestimated the power, reputation, and general image of our FTI "Brand". Not realizing the impact we have upon people and entities, I obviously have something more here than what I had originally intended. Case in point: the immediate and swift backtrack by the folks over at World Entertainment.

    A scant 16 hours after affiliating the slime operators of the money grabbing, thieving bastard, adult website operator to our own website here as unknowing sponsors to our efforts, the unauthorized $30 they lifted from our bank account a week earlier was mysteriously returned to the general coffers of the FTI Petty Cash fund with no apology, no explanation, or, for that matter, no request to never contact them again. Simply our 30 clams. I am a bit surprised that a request didn't accompany the funds to never mention them in the same breath again with our organization, but, on the other hand, I like to think they don't want to be messin' around with us here at FTI.

    "We don't take too much shit, we take a little bit, we don't take no money."

    Thursday, March 28, 2013

    ....And don't forget to recognize our unknowing sponsor

    (........Time check: The following is written on my personal time; Perhaps it is best not to surmise about me while you are reading it on company time...)

    Doubling as both chief financial officer and Director of Institute Safety, Mrs. Kfred asked me recently if I had written a check in the amount of $29.95 to "World Entertainment." Knowing that all expenditures I make on behalf of FTI are scoured daily for any inconsistencies, I stated I had no recollection of such a disbursement. "Well, the bank has allowed a withdrawal from someone with this name." Checking the bank website, sure enough, a withdrawal and digital image of the "receipt" transaction was there from World Entertainment. On the receipt was a toll free 877 number along with the statement of a 30 day moneyback guarantee. Now, I figure if am out 30 bucks I might as well call and know what the hell I bought. I dial the number and am answered by a pleasant sounding woman whom sounds like she has just swallowed a spoonful of peanut butter. "Good mornidn, websur pserckskaces." I said "pardon me?" She repeats it again. Rather than embarrass myself to ask her to repeat it a third time, I said, "Look, you guys just took 30 bucks out of my checking account and I figure I ought to know what I got for it, 'cause no one asked me." She said, "Oh. Well, we do web hosting". "Web hosting?", I said. "I don't need web hosting". She replies, "No. Its for your subscription to World Entertainment, it's an adult website". Aha! I've been found out! (Negative; I have not been found out. I waste my time in a number of methods including writing this nonsense, but, with upward of 40% of all web traffic related to porn (and most of it is free), why anyone would pay to subscribe to any adult website is beyond me. To each their own. Whatever.) I gently and calmly relay to her that I did not authorize or sign up for this service. Immediately she says, "Do you want a refund?" I thought this was odd as I hadn't even got to that point, though, I was certainly going to exercise my 30 day money back guarantee option and ask for one. "We do them all the time". Obviously, this was not an isolated incident. I was given an "incident refund reference number" and assurance that my 30 smackers would be returned within 2-5 business days. We are now approaching Day 7 with no money in sight. I have the sleuths at my bank working on it, so, figure I will see something within at least 2 weeks anyway. (On a side note: It's amazing how quick they can remove money from your account, but be damn slow in returning it. I heard that a truck hauling chickens to the processing plant overturned on the electronic highway the other day and they have been having a helluva time getting it all cleaned up. Hmmm.)
    Anyways, I guess the only recourse I have is connecting the folks at World Entertainment with our efforts here at FTI. I don't even know what kind of adult website they run or promote, but, hey, if our affiliation doesn't shame them into going legit, I don't know what will.

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    Brother, can you spare 200k?

    Most serial stories follow a similar format. Lay out the premise, describe the dilemma, report the latest chapter, resolve the issue, and then repeat. It makes for a continuing story that keeps bringing people back. I, unfortunately never wanted to be in this place; I don't want to bring people back and I want this to end. Well, it's not over, but, it just took a giant step toward it.  Like 3 steps ahead.

    Yesterday, we received a decision from the state Court of Appeals that the judgment debtor's appeal of an earlier decision to vacate his security bond and release the current money to us was denied. I, and my fellow plaintiffs, just picked up $95k in cash plus 2 pieces of real estate! I am not crazy about having dirt as now we have to sell it to realize the value of it. Sales around the compound are normally depressed even in the best of times and now to have another 2 hit the market won't help matters. But in the end, I don't care. After nearly 5 years of this nonsense, I am going to see some of my money back. In the meantime, the deadbeat still owes and additional $180k on top of that presently and I know he will drag that out for as long as possible, hence, the amount in today's subject line. I will have to alter the deadbeat meter to the the right of this article to reflect a more accurate appraisal of the situation and will do so after some further legal clarification.  This could, of course, be all for naught and we would have to return the money if he wins on appeal.  I don't worry about that, though, so will keep the money on the shelf until this is all over, but feel a whole hell of a lot better knowing it's back on my side of the table.   In the meantime, I am going to kick back and relax a bit.  It's been a long and winding road.  

    Thursday, March 14, 2013

    Darby O'Peap and the little people

    The Frugal One is in the middle of  planning for his annual St. Patty's Day bash. Preparations are currently being conducted at a feverish pace in order to meet the schedule as planned prior.  Unlike in earlier parties,  extra security has been hired to police the behavior of guests and a special  "volume-pour" monitor will be on hand to ensure that all drinks are honestly poured and not shortchanged as suspected in years past. Our 2 faithful readers will remember the hue and cry that occurred over that observation when we immediately recounted it in year's past.   After considerable editorial debate, the situation was resolved.  (EDITOR'S NOTE:   Though this entity did publish an official apology, whispers have always remained about the true strength of the cocktails involved.)  Regardless, ours is not to question, rather, merely inform.  

    From renting chairs and  glassware to cleaning up around the party site, many tasks are being accomplished. This year holds special meaning as this may indeed be the last year it is conducted.  Though upwards of 40-50 guests are expected to partake, general concensus is that most revelers are finally figuring out that the lure of free watered-down Irish coffees and healthy snacks (thank you Mrs. O'Peap) is simply not worth the $8 per car parking charge, $6 table minimum , and $1 per person exit fee.

    It's always those nuisance fees that kill you, isn't it?  

    COMING NEXT:  We finally are going to realize our own pot of gold!

    Monday, March 4, 2013

    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Kfred

    Ever testing the depths of my personality (Boy, there is a slow, fat one right down the middle of the plate!) I took one of those on-line personality tests the other day. The idea is to identify different traits of a person to see what "type" of person they are and how compatible to a certain situation they would be. I have always viewed these type of test as a novelty and now am almost sure of it.

    The test begins with the admonishment that you can't cheat the test. There are no right answers. Just read the statements and answer them honestly. If you are unsure, go with your first reaction. OK, fair enough; that is how I trust most of those tests, anyway. There were seventy-five identical sets of statements. You are instructed to choose the one how someone judging you would want them to be answered (to form a positive reaction of you) while answering the second one with the way you truly feel. For nearly seventy of the questions, I think I answered both sets identically. Upon completion of the test and before scoring, I received the message that I should review the answers on statements that I had made about how I really feel as my answers had scored an "unusually favorable reaction"! What the Hell! There is something wrong with me for scoring as a favorable personality?

    I think maybe my confusion is how the statements were worded. For example, "Most workers left on their own will do the right thing" and "Most workers left on their own will not do the right thing". I indicated on both sets of answers to the former. I initially trust all people that they are here to do the right things. I am not paranoid or suspecting of people. Likewise, "Bosses will take advantage of their employees if they can" and "Bosses will not take advantage of their employees if they can" was answered with the latter. I think most bosses realize it is better to treat people well as they will be more successful if their employees are happy and successful as well. "I have stolen an item of value" and "I have never stolen an item of value" was an interesting statement. You would initially want to answer as never having stolen anything of value, but, of course that would be a lie. I selected the first statement. I have stolen second, a kiss, time, an idea, and someone's girlfriend to name a few. And yes, when I was 12 years old, I stole a cigarette lighter. Does that make make me a bad person?

    In the end, I immediately jumped to the end of the test not reviewing a single one of my questions and pushed the "Finish" button. My answers are my answers. I answered truthfully. If that makes me appear to be too good to be true and unbelievable, so be it. I always will have the simple chronicles of truth, fact, and thought displayed here on an intermittent basis as basis of proof.


    Thursday, February 21, 2013

    Finally. Finally! Score one for the Good guys!

    After all of the whining, bitching, complaining, and crying, I am not in any way ready to declare any type of confidence in the American legal system. It simply is not a very good system, but, like the man said, "it's the best we got".  (Or something like that.) A long time believer in some type of system that treats all and rewards all equally, I have seen first hand what a farce that whole concept is.  It's a load of bullshit. Make no doubt about it:  Justice comes to those who have money.  If you don't have money, you can't  play in the American justice system.  Even then, it's not a sure bet.  Thank God, my fellow plaintiffs have stuck this whole thing out and kept making the sacrifices to keep it going.     As mentioned here before, though,  I like to gamble a little bit.  I study my odds and wager accordingly.    As my dear late Father (Executive Director Emeritus-in Memoriam)  more than once advised,  "sometimes you have to speculate in order to accumulate."   I do not gamble based on that advice, but, it does serve as a basis for decision making.    Yesterday, the odds worked in my favor.  

    My ongoing  battle and lawsuit with the idiot judgment debtor is approaching the 5 year mark in August.  5 years!  My fellow plaintiffs and I won not only our case and judgment, but also were awarded attorney fees as well.  That does not happen!  It just doesn't.  But, we did; and we should be able to collect.  This idiot, however, has thwarted our every move to collect and has totally frustrated us in the fact that he has escaped responsibility for his actions.  He simply has not paid what he owes.  And a lot of the blame goes to the court system for allowing him to continually stall.  Stalls cost money.  And so far it has cost us money.  To date, he had only posted a bond totalling  $205,000 while accruing a debt far greater than that.    Problem?  Yep, I am what they called "undersecured".  Finally, yesterday in court once again, all of the  "woe is me, they are going to bankrupt me, I can't pay any more, I don't have any money, we are still in appeal" etc., and rest of the lame excuses came to a screeching halt when Sleepy the Judge finally woke up and slapped our boy with the decision that he has 20 days to come up with another $85K in cash (or cash bond).  Now we're talking'.  The beauty is that added to the previous $205K, that brings us up to a total of $290K and, voila, I am fully secured!    For you novice Perry Mason's  out there, allow me to translate:  Our costs are covered.  If When he loses  his appeal, the money comes to me and the rest of the good guys.  No foreclosing, no more legal actions, no more hearings (and no more monthly lawyer bills!)  As the meter on the right shows, as of today he owes something a bit north of   $253,000.  At the present rate of interest, we can go all the way till the end of 2013 and still be owed something like $275K.  Wanna keep stalling?  Go right ahead.  I will take the 12% court ordered interest all day long as long as you want to spread it out. I've waited nearly 5 years.  I can wait for a couple of 1000 dollars more.  

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

    Bones! Analysis! "He's dead, Jim"

    Or so it felt.

    I am posting this message while recuperating in the FTI sick bay.  The rhythmic, intermittent beeps  of the  single AA battery  powered monitor is the only sound in the room.  Gazing around and marveling at the tools and methods we have at our disposal here used to help heal the sick, I am constantly amazed and thankful;  the Mayo clinic has nothing on us.  Jars of leeches, rusted hacksaws, and ground leaves and twigs for making an herbal tea certainly accomplish the tasks to stop bleeding, perform amputations, or rid one of those pesky headaches that the big boys use.  And all without that expensive technology.    The cheap-assed Board of Directors took some heat when initially setting up our infirmary, but now, it appears to have been a stroke of genius.  I truly am blessed.

    I will recount the immediate past history of how I got here in the first place, below.  The details may be a bit unpleasant; the mental images a bit unsettling.  Now, with full disclosure,  I suggest the weak-kneed among our readership pass on today's posting and return again another day when we discuss something more benign, like newly discovered frugal habits of Dickie the Peap.  (Who knew pocket lint could be woven into a 4 x 5 area accent rug?) In the meantime, knowing that our loyal 2 member readership falls in one of 3 categories:

    a) They mistakenly set this as their homepage and don't know how to change it, so, they have to come here;

    b)  They think if they click on this page enough times, they will qualify for a free prize;

    c)  They come here to just to make fun of me and leave some smart-assed crack to provoke me;

    I will proceed while realizing that option "C"   is the heavy odds-on favorite as the correct answer.

    Sunday night at approximately 12:30 am, I awoke to my stomach gurgling and growling and a sudden convulsion that shook me all the way up to my throat; I figure I better get to the restroom.  Fast.  Kicking the covers off, I made into the restroom and stood there, Nothing.  Now, there normally aren't false alarms on this kind of stuff, so, I thought I would hang out for a few minutes.  I lifted the toilet seat and sat down on the floor next to the toilet.  Sure enough, about 30 seconds later, the wave started up from my midsection and I wretch just enough to get a bit of food out, but nothing significant.  Of course, the fact that my body gave it a full effort does not come into play.  A little or a lot, it still hurts.   I sound like a wounded Zombie as I lean over and spew.  Oh, no.  Realizing this wasn't going to be very pleasant, I wait there again for wave number 2.  As I am sitting on the floor and preparing for the next grand event,  I realize the sensation of a relaxed sphincter muscle now starting to make it's presence known as well.  Oh-oh.  Double trouble,  I am on the floor scrambling to get up and sit on the pot while furiously tugging at my underwear to clear the drop zone.  Sure enough, BAM!  Now I have got it going at both ends.  This scenario continued every half hour until 5 am with little to no sleep involved.   In the meantime, I alternate between cold shivering chills and dripping sweat  while I am on my knees paying homage to the porcelain God.  Finally, at 5 a.m. I cleared everything out and was able to fall asleep.    A bonus side effect if this whole matter?     It's so pleasant to feel that acid taste on your lips and inside of your mouth.  Of course, when I try to drink a bit of water to clear it, I end up tossing that right back  up as well.

    I thought this was all related to the flu, but have since determined that Marv the Neighbor and his wife were sick as well Sunday night.  The significance of that?   Mrs. Kfred and I and he and his wife went out to dinner at a BBQ place Saturday night.  3 of the 4 of us ate potato salad.  Guess which 3 got sick in exactly the same manner?  I didn't have the flu.  I got food poisoning.  I always thought food poisoning came on quicker, but, subsequent research shows that it has a 12 to 72 hour incubation period.  I called the restaurant to notify them and, of course, mine was the first call.  I wasn't calling to threaten or beg a free meal.  I just wanted them to realize they may have a problem and to address their food handling procedures.   The manager at the end of the line was sympathetic and concerned, but, I didn't get the feeling that she thought they were involved.  Oh well.

    I have had food poisoning one other time.  It is not pleasant. I am feeling a bit better today but will not be going to Dilbertland today, either.  I just am not up to my full strength.  Spring and summer are a comin'.  Picnics, barbeque's, out door meals are all a bunch of fun.  Just make sure when you load up on that second helping of Aunt Mae's famous potato salad that it has been handled correctly.  It isn't as great coming out as it was going in.      


    Thursday, January 31, 2013

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

    Some simple writing rules

    Writing on a semi-frequently basis for entertainment-only purposes, I face many challenges in order to keep our 2 loyal readers engaged.  Finding practical topics, timely subject matter, providing hard hitting and meaningful analysis, and  being aware of the need to observe proper rules of  writing  dictate I beware of many needs simultaneously.  The writing part is especially important as it give me credibility and the appearance of professionalism. With that in mind, I came across some rules that makes any writer's job a bit easier and wish to share a bit of them here.

    *  Comparisons are as bad as cliches
    *  One should never generalize
    *  Profanity sucks
    *  Avoid being redundant, don't use more words than necessary.  It's highly     superfluous.
    *  Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

    I think you get the idea.  I might violate these basics from time to time, but, it certainly isn't intentional.  My purpose of this whole exercise is to get one to think.   After all, who needs rhetorical questions?    

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    This is a true collectors item

    Mrs Kfred and I bank with the folks at Chase Bank. Through the years, they have done a good job for us and, except for one time they had to become "re-educated" about customer service, I have been pleased. They have, however, now upped their game with a convenience that is very meaningful to me.

    With the advent of electronic banking and on-line deposits, I now have the ability to make deposits from the comfort of the FTI compound without ever leaving it. Adorned in my official FTI bunny slippers and smartly tailored Snuggy (That is kind of an oxymoron isn't it? tailored Snuggy. hmm, oh well.) I can use my cell phone camera to take both front and back images of any check I receive, transmit it to the bank and they deposit it into my account. Pretty cool. The beauty of all of this? This past week, one of the checks I deposited was from Dickey the Peap. The little miser had a failure in his vault last week while counting his money and a malfunction causing an emergency lockdown was commenced as he was twirling around, throwing money in the air, screaming, "Mine, mine. It's all mine". Recognizing he would be trapped and locked inside for the mandatory 24 hours before automatically releasing itself, with sirens blaring, high energy halide lights flashing, and the immobilizing sleeping gasses starting to seap inside, he somehow performed an Indiana Jones type move, leapt for the door, slid under the lowering iron wall, and escaped with only a single dollar bill. This is all meaningful as he was to meet with me to conduct a small business transaction later in the day. While doing so, he relayed this story to me and pleaded he didn't have any cash in order to close the deal. I gave him $105 in cash receiving assurances I would be paid back immediately. I actually didn't have any concerns about this, but, did wish I had some way to immortalize it. Yesterday, I go to the mailbox and, lo and behold, what do I find but a check addressed to me from Mrs. D. the P.  

    Now, back to the technology part:  With the advent of the online deposit, I don't have to make a cheap photocopy of this valuable, rare, piece of paper.  I have a signed  original and yet have realized the value of it by having the bank "cash" it for me.  Win/win.    

    Result? The original check is displayed prominently in a stylish frame in the FTI trophy room. I can think of no other representation of anything more valuable to me. I truly bagged the big one.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Like a bad habit, I am back.

    The fact that neither of our 2 faithful readers have commented on my extended absence from this blog warms my heart and confirms to me that our low expectations here at FTI are at the proper level. With that out of the way, I do wish to make some commentary:

  • Are people surprised and is it really newsworthy that Lance Armstrong went on Oprah to admit to illegal doping and cheating while winning 7 Tour de France racing titles? What did people think he was going to tell Oprah? She really does have a way with people to get them to admit things. In an unrelated issue, we can confirm that Dickey the Peap also recently sat down for a similar no-holds-barred type of interview with the queen of talk. Show insiders are sworn to secrecy but whispers indicate that the short-armed one is going to come out and admit to years of being cheap as well.
  • My recent installation attempt of a rooftop based weather center here at the FTI compound was met with total and utter failure, an actual real life observation of the concepts of gravity, and ultimately, being out an additional $46.95 (plus shipping). I received a newer weather center for Christmas and while on the roof recently to install the wind meter (anonometer), the damn thing slipped out of my hands, tumbled down the frosty roof,cracked while hitting the rain gutter, came apart when landing on the deck, bounced through the railing, and disintegrated upon impact onto the ground. Lesson here? Look at the trees to determine wind velocity and direction.

  • Lastly, an update on the legal front: The updated judgment debtor deadbeat meter to the right has been updated and shown to reflect the amount of money we will never see. The continuing stalling and refusal of our legal system to make people accountable for their actions truly is disheartening. Once again, if you ever, EVER, contemplate a lawsuit, even when you are 100% in the right, run in the opposite direction. It's not worth it.