Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What Stays In Vegas Plays In Vegas?

OK, you’ve been butchered by plastic surgeons, have become more eccentric than Howard Hughes and can still carry a tune 75% of the time. Where do you move? Why, Las Vegas of course! According to news reports, that’s what Michael Jackson has done. Apparently, he is even considering performing there. I guess it was inevitable that the golden voices of the 80s-90s would end up there. Celine Dion, Elton John and even Prince have already settled their shows onto the Strip.

While no hotel name was mentioned, I’m trying desperately to think of a Casino that has recently undergone a face-lift. Could there be a better place to host Michael? I hear the Holiday Inn just off the Strip recently had a remodel. It sure has great ad potential. I can just see the billboard for the hotel out on Interstate 15 now.

Come celebrate our new look! We look nothing like we did 20 years ago and either does Michael Jackson! It’s the best fit on the strip. Ask about our $5 lobster and Michael Jackson Thriller and Bengal Tiger Revue!

Elvis sort of revived his career by putting down roots in Vegas and perhaps his onetime Son-in-Law can do the same. Imagine Jackson strutting across lighted squares while singing Billie Jean as he’s escorted by showgirls. Then later in the show, those same showgirls can don Halloween masks for an encore of Thriller. Heck, maybe he can become the featured entertainer at the Mirage. It only makes sense since they have the Beatles Cirque De Soleil show and he owns their entire catalog anyway. Plus, he’s been the definition of a mirage for the last ten years.

I know I’m crazy, but I’m starting to see the makings of a new Vegas Rat Pack forming. Close your eyes for a moment and picture the following. How does a nightly casino show featuring ‘The Summit ‘07’ starring Wayne Newton, Elton John and Michael Jackson sound? They could sing a little, dance a little, booze a little and hit on showgirls…or do at least 3 of the 4. The show could also feature the comedic stylings of Don Rickles and the touch of Hollywood class could be provided by George Hamilton. I tell ya, it’s a winner! Ok, I will admit the vision of a few of those guys might be a little scary so you can open your eyes now.

The Prince of Pop could herald in an entirely new era of Vegas personalities and performers. Howard Stern could do a Raunchy show downtown and Pink could be the new showstopper at the Pink Flamingo. It makes so much sense it’s hard to believe it hasn’t already been done. Do you think Motley Crue would pack ‘em in on the Strip?

Only one question remains, which hotel could host all of the 80s heavy metal hair bands, The Hard Rock or The Bellagio? I know I’m planning my trip. Viva Las Vegas, dude!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

You Sure Look Trustworthy…And Familiar

The AP reports that a Helsinki software company has created a unique website that might help make their upcoming March parliamentary elections easier. To showcase its software, visitors to a website can upload their photo and match it to the candidate that most looks like them. The story that says there is a belief that voters will choose candidates that have the same features as they do. It sure beats deciding who is the best or worst mudslinger or who you think lies the least, doesn’t it?

With our Presidential election already under way, it would be fun to use the same software for 2008. Putting politics aside, I’m sure there are plenty of women and men that resemble Hillary Clinton. I know it’s wrong, it’s just the way I see it. To send hate mail, my email address is to the right. I also think it’s a safe bet to say that if this software had been around in the 60s that both Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon would not have been elected. I’ve certainly never seen anyone that shares similar features with them. Have you?

If this software were implemented for 2008, I can pretty much assure you what our next President would look like. Since at least 70% of the men over the age of 55 in this country look one particular way, without a doubt, our next President would look like Kenny Rogers. You see men everywhere who look like him. I am obviously talking of the pre-plastic surgery ‘Gambler’ Kenny. Stop and think for a minute how often in a day you see a gray-haired middle-aged man with a beard. OK, just trust me. Once you really start looking for them, then I assure you it seems like they are everywhere. Now that you are thinking about it, I’m sure you’ll see someone tomorrow who looks like him. If not, just humor me.

If we voted for a President because the candidate looked like us, think about how easy it would be to get employment in their cabinet. Saddam Hussein hired people that looked like him all the time. It has long been believed that many public appearances of the late dictator weren’t actually by him but by his doubles. Of course, his doubles didn’t help much when it came time to give himself up, but that’s another story. By the way, I’ve been trying to work the phrase ‘Husseined’ (as in I just got Husseined at work or the Clippers really ‘Husseined’ the Bobcats last night) into my lexicon. What do you think?

So many things are chalked up to looks these days. The longest lasting memory of a debate between Kennedy and Nixon was how sweaty and unflattering Nixon looked on TV compared to Kennedy. Since image is everything, why not personalize it and be a little selfish by finding the candidate that best resembles us? But then again, we could elect someone who is funny looking as our next Commander In Chief. Then, no matter how bad the news is that he needs to deliver, at least we’ll all feel like laughing…

Monday, February 26, 2007

What’s That Growing In Your Desk?

I read in an Arizona Daily Star story a week or so ago that our desks at work can actually have more bacteria than our bathrooms at work. Obviously the study didn’t take into account what our customers and clients do to our places of relievement. I’ll spare you those details though. According to the story, Clorox commissioned the report. How convenient, I say.

The study showed that a woman’s desk is more likely to be worse than their male counterparts because of their more frequent interaction with children and the fact that they keep food and makeup at their workstations. Fortunately for us, female coworker purchased a case or so of mini Purell hand sanitizer. And of course all the men in the office use it all the time (since you can’t seem me, I feel compelled to inform you that I’m winking right now…).

I guess discovering that our desks are breeding grounds for things that would make us gag was inevitable. Although I’m sure it’s not as bad as when all of those investigative reporters decide it’s time to hold a black light up to a motel bed. When you realize that we spend most of our waking moments at our desks, it all makes sense. We come to work with colds and cough and sneeze in the vicinity (which means all over) our work equipment like phones, keyboards, computer mouse, post-it notes, coffee mugs and PEZ dispensers. We shake hands with clients or are handed things to us by our coworkers who may be sicker or dirtier than we are. I suppose it’s possible that we engage in more germ transference than snotty nosed young children do. Obviously we have cleaning crews that come through every night, but I don’t think they are expected to double as HAZMAT officials.

Speaking of dirty things, although it’s a little unrelated, the work gang and I witnessed something interesting at lunch today. We went to one of our favorite little chicken places specializing in chicken burritos, tacos, combo plates and chicken food sculptures. While there, we realized we were sitting across from a food inspector. It was her thermometer that gave her away, well that and the fact that she was sitting by herself filling out a lot of paperwork and not eating. Male coworker #3 observed her in a somewhat heated argument with the proprietors, at which point she walked out to her car quickly to get more paperwork. Here’s a tip: a great way to lose weight is to be eating at a restaurant when the health inspector leaves quickly and visibly upset. Male coworker shouted across the parking lot to her as we were leaving to ask what the restaurant’s score was and she could only give us what we interpreted to be a dirty look and yelled that we could find it on the county website. For some reason, I’ll just let my imagination assume what their score was.

While I feel comfortable in stating that I do not have toxic mold growing in my desk, my top left hand drawer may be a breeding ground for something. If you open it up and move all of the CDs out of the way you will find several varieties of tea and hot chocolate, candy canes that must be 3 years old by my estimation, every flavor of PEZ refills ever made. I could probably run a general store out of that one drawer alone.

There is also a substance in there that vaguely resembles algae. Hey, no wonder I sneeze every time I open that drawer. I wonder how I’m going to clean that out though. Oh yeah, that’s right, I can use Clorox Wipes. Gee, thank you Clorox for sponsoring such a groundbreaking study. Who knew that when you decided to commission research about how dirty our desks are that we’d actually find a need and desire to use wipes to sanitize them.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Things I Learned This Week: 2/25/07

Because I want to spare you from experiencing some of the things I endured over the last few days, I post “Things I Learned This Week” each Saturday (except for this weekend obviously). It’s educational, sometimes insightful and for some reason, always makes me look pathetic. I hope that knowing about at least one item on this list will make your upcoming week much easier. So here are the “Things I Learned This Week” for the week of 2/18/07-2/25/07.

! I learned that even though I spent a day at the racetrack, there is no excuse for me not blogging no matter how late I get home. The guilt isn’t worth it.

! I learned that when I think there is only the slightest possibility that I might receive my annual employee review, I should not wear a Hawaiian shirt to work, especially when I haven’t shaved in 6 days.

! I learned that when I give Lucy and Ethel bike helmets to wear when they ride their motorized three wheel bikes, it only encourages their reckless behavior.

! I learned that just as soon as I get the yards looking green, lush and beautiful, the gophers will remember how to get back to my house and bring several friends.

! I learned that I should not go for frozen yogurt in the middle of the afternoon and bring it back to finish in my office unless I brought some back for everybody.

! I learned that I should not spend almost 5 hours of my Sunday ignoring my family while watching the Daytona 500 and then as soon as that ends head upstairs to watch the NBA All-Star Game for the next 3 hours. Geesh, whatever happened to being the King of the castle?

And lastly,

! I learned that I will never again enjoy a snack peacefully as long as Lucy and Ethel are around. It turns out that constant repetition of the phrase ‘Can I have a bite, can I have a bite, can I, Can I?’ in stereo is actually a great dietary aid.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Top Ten (And A Half) Things Not To Say During Your Annual Employee Review

Inspired by David Letterman’s 25th anniversary on late night TV, I have decided to post a Top Ten and a Half List every Friday. Why ten and a half? Because I don’t want to be accused of stealing a great idea, of course…

So, here are the top ten (and a half) things not to say during your annual employee review:

11. I am rubber, you are glue. Whatever bounces off of me sticks to you!

10. Hey Boss, let’s not talk about me. I know I’ve been working with Jim for 10 years now and he considers me his best friend, but he’s really slipping. We should let him go and since his office is bigger than mine, I’ll take it.

9. So, did the company pony up and provide me that 4-door company sedan yet?

8. When you said employee review, I thought you meant employee revue. When does Lilly from accounting do her song and dance number?

7. It was just a box of pencils, it's not like I took a case of paper like Phil did.

6. Lies! Lies! They’re all lies!

5. You can’t fire me, I resign. Ha, I beat you to it!

4. Uh, I think you’re missing a zero or two there on my raise.

3. You fired me three months ago? Really? Why didn’t anybody say anything? Well yes, I did have a severe attendance problem, but I don’t see how that has anything to do with it.

2. Define unsatisfactory performance please.

And the number one thing not to say during your annual employee review is…

1. Take this job and…

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Chimps Use Spears

I read the above words online and could not believe that the media had found another way to keep Britney in the press. Turns out to my surprise that it wasn’t about Britney at all, but about the fact that chimps have been witnessed making their own spears and sharp tools to hunt primates known as ‘lesser bushbabies’ (can you image a worse name than one that has the word lesser in the title?) who sleep inside hollow branches and tree trunks. (You know, while proof reading this it occurred to me that you might think I was making this up, but sadly and with a tinge of envy, I am not) The story says that the researcher who witnessed this behavior was ‘flabbergasted’ at this chimp behavior. Of course, the chimps also fashioned tools to shave their heads, which you’d imagine would be even more flabbergasting.

The fact that chimps are capable of creating weapons should put us all on alert. I’d recommend that Homeland Security escalate our color-coded warning system, but I’m not sure which color we’re on and which color best matches what I plan on wearing to work tomorrow (although in all honesty, you could pick any color because it’s Hawaiian shirt Friday – now, how to convince my boss that a tank top and cargo shorts are Hawaiian attire). After watching ‘Flipper’ torpedo enemies with his nose while I was a kid and ‘Gentle Ben’ not being so gentle, I’m beginning to now wonder if animals we assume are so intelligent or semi-docile actually have the capability of being cold blooded killers. Remember when one of Sea World’s whales attacked its trainer late last year? I guess I’m just getting overly paranoid about all of this evil animal stuff, but I did get home late and Mabel, my Golden Retriever, was giving me some pretty dirty looks when I fed her a few hours after her normal feeding time -- looks like it’s going to be a long night for me.

I know for sure that our cat hates me and now I’m beginning to figure out why she keeps scratching her claws on the metal filing cabinet in our computer room. She’s obviously sharpening her claws preparing for my demise. When I saw her on the kitchen table last night, I just assumed she was sniffing my Diet Cherry Coke Zero (that plug seems shameless now, but when Coke realizes all the free attention I’m giving them, my product integration strategy won’t seem so embarrassing). It’s now all becoming much clearer. Figaro slipped something into my Coke so that she can get rid of me and finally claim what she feels is her side of the bed.

I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to think that the animal kingdom is mad as heck and they aren’t going to take it anymore. We used to think that the worst thing a primate could do was fling their feces at the window when we mocked them at the zoo, but the fact that they have gotten into weapons manufacturing makes the poo pitching pale by comparison. Now that our little evolutionary cousins are in the weapons making business, can we truly be safe? What’s next? Will they trade weapons for the secret of man’s red fire (why do I hear the voice of King Louis Prima in the back of my head)? Will they want to be like us, walk like us and talk like us? Will they want to be human, too?

The paranoia is probably brought on by the shock of reading about weapons making monkeys, but it seems like history has turned another tragic corner. On the other hand, maybe it’s because we just finished watching the ‘Jungle Book’ and I started a new medication tonight. Wait, what was I writing about again and why is the cat smiling at me like that?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tonight’s Main Event…Is In The Operating Room

This Reuter’s story sounds more like an episode of Scrubs or that serious medical drama with some guy named something like Dr. McDoodle that everyone loves to talk about these days. I think it’s called St. Elsewhere? Seriously, the story was about two professional, by the book doctors in Belgrade who got into a fistfight during an appendix operation. I thought it was called the Hippocratic Oath, not the Hit-ocratic Oath. The fight was a really rough and tumble affair according to the story that reported one doctor pulling the ear and slapping the face of the other. Man, do those Belgradians (or is it just simply people from Belgrade) really know how to fight!

As someone who’s had a few surgeries or so in his day, I would love to have been awake to see it. Do you think the patient was told about the fight that ensued during their operation after awaking from the anesthesia? I vaguely remember signing my life away before being put under but I don’t recall giving the surgeons my OK to go six rounds while my body lay cut open. I guess I would have been fine with it as long as they didn’t bump into my heart/lung bypass machine during the melee.

Once again, I think we’ve accidentally tapped into a great new reality TV series. I’ll give it the working title of Professional Punches until I can think of something better. Wouldn’t it be great to see two lawyers break into fisticuffs during a serious trial? How about seeing members of Congress beating the legislation out of each other? Heck that happens all the time in other countries. I’d suggest postal workers or air traffic controllers fighting one another, but they’ve been pretty well maligned already. Although one of the episodes could involve two brawling airline stewardesses. Oh, never mind, when I stop to really think about it, that would probably fall into an entirely different type of television. I imagine it would most likely be the type of television you have to pay extra for…

Apparently, reports that one of the doctors kept yelling ‘I float like anesthesia and sting like an IV,’ have not been confirmed. Just imagine all of the ‘weapons’ that could be made available to anyone fighting in an operating room. You have to believe that a bedpan to the head would cause some serious pain. Although who’s worried about pain when you could take a shot of morphine and strike back with a scalpel to the arm?

Fortunately, the attending assistant doctor was able to finish the surgery while the fight wrapped up. There is concern though that one of the doctor’s knocked out teeth has still not been found and the patient is complaining of a sharp, almost bite like pain in the abdomen. I’m sure it’s not related though…

** By the way, I need to write this shamless plug for my NASCAR blog. I've toyed with it for a while now and have started trying to devote more time to it again since the new season has started. If you know any NASCAR fans, please feel free to have them stop by**

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Stop The World, Britney Shaved Her Head!

Of all the news that occurred over the weekend, no story has carried on like Britney’s freshly shaven noggin (and yes, I do realize the irony of me complaining about a story continuing to get attention while I am contributing to that by writing about it, thank you very much). This weekend saw the rescue of climbers off a snow covered mountain, one of the best Daytona 500 finishes ever and the second highest scoring NBA All-Star Game ever played (show’s you where my interest was this weekend). But of all those things and all the other ‘real’ news of the weekend, what was everyone talking about when I got into the office today? Yep, Britney’s bald head.

I’m still figuring out why this was news in the first place. It’s not as if she died, gave up music, had a murder committed in her home or even donated her locks to charity. I hear that they are even interviewing the lady who cut her hair. When hairdos (or hair don’ts) of the rich and famous become major news stories, we have a problem. Heck, I haven’t shaved since last Thursday and no one has said a word, although if I go the next 6 days without showering, I bet that would generate some buzz

I don’t know if you are keeping track of the ways to stay in the limelight as I am, but let me give you a refresher. When it comes to press attention, here’s the breakdown. A divorce is good for a few months, a baby is worth a few days (unless you give a major magazine an exclusive cover shot), dropping a child is worth a week, rehab is worth two weeks plus a bonus 2 weeks after you are released and a major hair style change is worth at least a holiday weekend’s worth of coverage. Throw in a crying, soul-baring exclusive on any major TV news magazine program and you earn another week.

Since I have been studying so hard, here’s what I am going to do to generate more interest in my blog. First off, I’m going to start writing more hard-hitting stories. I will make most of the stuff up and probably lose all my friends in the process, but I promise it will be provocative. Then after that, I have a planned nervous breakdown followed by me letting my Lucy and Ethel get photographed doing something outrageous. Sure I’ll take the blame, but it’ll garner me more press attention. If all goes to plan, I will be shaving my head the last weekend of March and checking into rehab for my addiction to PEZ shortly after.

I also have a wild time planned with Bob Newhart and Fred Willard (assuming of course that either one of them bother to return my calls) in Las Vegas at a party thrown by Wayne Newton (assuming of course that he has a party and then actually invites me to it). We will come to be known as The Bad Boy Crown Princes of Geriatric Old School Comedy and the paparazzi will follow our every outrageous move, like reusing our plates at local buffets and tipping cocktail waitresses excessively. I am currently soliciting offers for someone to write a tell-all book about my blog and my exploits that should hit the stands in the next six months. Assuming I worked my timeline correctly, I anticipate generating approximately 20 more blog hits per month by the fall.

Then after all of that is complete, I can take to the airwaves for an infomercial about my CD home course on how to be popular like Britney or Paris Hilton. You get all 12 CDs for just 6 ‘easy pay’ donations of $99.99 plus 3 months free access to my live operators who are standing by to help you do something stupid enough to ensure that Access Hollywood will send a camera crew out to you within 40 minutes, no matter where you are. But that’s not all; you get two tickets to one of my Be Popular seminars and a set of stainless steel knives actually used on the Food Network by Rachael Ray herself. Act now…

Monday, February 19, 2007

President’s Day – It’s Worth A Day Off!!

Today is (or was since I’m posting so late) President’s Day. It’s a mixture of Presidential Birthdays like Washington’s and Lincoln’s, although Reagan also celebrated a February birthday. As several different food types end up on one plate at a cheap buffet, so it was easier to mix all of the commander-in-chief’s birthdays into President’s Day. Did you think about your Presidents today? I know I did as I spent my Washingtons, Lincolns and Grants at Target, a local restaurant and the gas station. Our Presidents have done amazing and memorable things over the past 200+ years, so let us recall the memorable ones.

Who could forget the exploits of our past leaders? Why as far back as 1797 they showed that when elected, they were capable of about anything we could or could not imagine. There was our second President John Adams’ XYZ Affair, which almost led us to war with France. Thomas Jefferson had his fling with Sally Hemmings and the impeachment of Andrew Johnson who took office after Lincoln’s assassination. Second to possibly only Bill Clinton (who I’ll get to in a moment) was Ulysses S. Grant’s Credit Mobilier and Whiskey Ring scandals. 1924 brought us Warren G. Harding’s oil related Tea Pot Dome scandal and need I remind anyone of the Watergate Hotel break in that led to Richard Nixon’s resignation (I am not a crook, but I will be leaving office effective noon tomorrow – I’m mixing two different speeches, but you get the idea). Even the great communicator Ronald Reagan was not immune to major Presidential scandal. Although he left office truly believing he had not part in it, his administration (and the likes of Ollie North) was responsible for The Iran-Contra Affair. You have to wonder if it’s an attempt to try and lighten or romanticize political wrongdoings by calling them affairs. Then there was Bill Clinton who gave us Whitewater, Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky (I guess you could term the last two scandals affairs as well, if you wish).

Of course, our Presidents are capable of more than just full-fledged scandals. It is rumored that even FDR had a lady on the side (although in his defense, have you seen a picture of Eleanor Roosevelt? I’m kidding, really, I’m kidding). Eisenhower decided to allow a U-2 spy flight over Russia right before a summit with them and Nixon had to give the Checkers speech after being accused of taking illegal campaign contributions in 1952. JFK was rumored to have been with Marilyn Monroe and a girlfriend of a mobster as well as getting huge election help from Frank Sinatra and the mob (I won’t mention the Bay of Pigs invasion) and once declared in German ‘I am a jelly donut’ at the Berlin Wall (do you think that speech writer and translator were fired). While not accused of having a lady in waiting (which with Lady Bird Johnson, I guess he technically always did), there are the famous photos of Lyndon Johnson picking his dogs up by the ears. President Ford had trouble walking in a straight line or up stairs at times and Ronald Reagan was once caught on air while waiting to deliver a speech joking about how he had just issued orders for nuclear missiles to be fired at Russia. The first President Bush promised no new taxes and then promptly raised them, which may have caused his famous vomiting in Japan. Bill Clinton once stopped air traffic in Los Angeles by having a hair stylist board Air Force One on the tarmac to give him a trim. Then there is our current President who has trouble just making a public speech.

Despite all of their, um, uh, ‘accomplishments,’ on this President’s Day, let us remember the 43 men who have ascended to the highest office in the land (with the exception of course of Donald Trump). It’s a remarkable thing to be elected as the President of the United States. Our Presidents are mere mortals who transcended their common man. The only problem is that many of them still acted like the common man. And to that, all I can say is Happy President’s Day! At least we got a day off of work for all their efforts and maybe a few really good car dealership or furniture sales, right?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Repost Sunday: Use Your Garage Door Opener And Rule The World

I rerun some of my older posts on Sundays as a way to highlight stories that you may have missed. Just think of it as 'thought recycling' and a day off, or that I am incredibly, incredibly lazy. Besides, they raced the Daytona 500 and played the NBA All-Star Game today so who was going to be reading my blog anyway. This was originally posted December 4th, 2006.

I just read an AP story about how a frequency being used by the government at Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado, the home of NORAD, is affecting the garage door openers of nearby residents. The story says that people within a 10-mile radius were most affected but because the signal is sent from a mountaintop, it could be further reaching. The frequency is being tested as a possible alert system if there were ever a homeland security threat. Obviously that’s pretty serious stuff. I mean it involves the military, testing, communications frequencies, NORAD’s facility and lest we forget, garage door openers.

I don’t want to pick on anyone here, but what scares me is that from reading the story I got the impression that this was a surprise to people. I find it hard to believe that the government would start testing emergency communications and fail to realize the frequency they chose was the same frequency that most garage door openers in the country operate on. Oops. Maybe the folks at Cheyenne Mountain are busy preparing to track Santa on Christmas Eve and forgot to verify the frequency. If I lived in the area, I certainly wouldn’t mind the problem. After all, what better excuse could you have for being late to work or having to call in sick than not being able to leave your home because of a secret military broadcast that’s jamming the signal of your garage door opener. Ok, I know you could manually open it, but that doesn’t sound as James Bondish, does it.

I can remember as a child back when Ronald Regan was President that the same thing would happen here in Southern California. Whenever Air Force One would land at two of our local Air Force bases (which are both closed now by the way), the radio news would report instances of people in the area having trouble with garage doors. Wouldn’t that be a great game to play if elected President? You could fly all over the country, circle certain neighborhoods and leave them wondering why their garage doors stopped working all of a sudden. Then after you’ve been impeached for misusing taxpayers’ money you could include a chapter about your garage door escapades in your memoir and make millions.

It seems to me that we all got very lucky with this same frequency issue. Think about what would have happened if the roles had been reversed. Can you imagine getting home from a long day of working or dreaded Christmas shopping and pressing that big button on your garage door remote only to have it not work? The only thing is, it did work, just not on your garage door. When you finally get into the house, your turn on the news and it’s reporting the launch of a missile, satellite or the unexpected broadcast of secret military orders. All of a sudden several unmarked cars show up and they have a lot of questions. You show them your garage door remote and they all hit the ground to duck and cover. Then our government has to try to avoid an international incident and apologize at the UN for the accidental garage door remote operated firing of a ballistic missile. OK, it’s a little far fetched, but I think we should all be happy that the government jammed our remotes instead of something else happening.

To the government’s credit, the story reports that they have stopped using the current frequency until they figure out how to fix the problem. If they’re having trouble finding a new frequency, I’ve got the location on the dial of an easy listening station in our area that I would certainly recommend turning over for government use…

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Things I Learned This Week: 2/17/07

Because I want to spare you from experiencing some of the things I endured over the last few days, I post “Things I Learned This Week” each Saturday. It’s educational, sometimes insightful and for some reason, always makes me look pathetic. I hope that knowing about at least one item on this list will make your upcoming week much easier. So here are the “Things I Learned This Week” for the week of 2/11/07-2/17/07.

! I learned that when male coworker describes female coworker who smokes as ‘the big lady carrying the death stick,’ I’d better take the rest of the day off.

! I learned that the words all ‘you can eat buffet’ loosely translated means ‘five extra pounds.’

! I learned that when at a pro sports event and my friend and I are in line in the restroom and he has a large bag of merchandise that he just purchased, I shouldn’t ask him ‘you want a hand with that’ as he’s walking into a stall.

! I learned to make sure I have the house keys with me next time I leave home with Lucy and Ethel after it’s dark out and the weather is freezing cold. If not the keys, then at least a cell phone.

! I learned not to leave the litter box outside to dry for the entire day after cleaning it. Apparently, a cat can only hold it for so long.

! I learned not to drink 5-6 caffeine-loaded beverages prior to making the 3 ½ drive to Las Vegas.

And lastly,

! I learned to check my wife’s jewelry prior to shopping for her Valentine’s Day gift. When she opened the necklace I bought her, which was apparently identical to the one I bought her a few years ago, I’m not sure who was more embarrassed.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Top Ten (And A Half) Things Not To Do At A Lakers Game

Inspired by David Letterman’s 25th anniversary on late night TV, I have decided to post a Top Ten and a Half List every Friday. Why ten and a half? Because I don’t want to be accused of stealing a great idea, of course…

So, here are the top ten (and a half) things not to do at a Lakers game:

11. Wear the WNBA jersey of that night’s opposing city

10. Walk up to Jack Nicholson and do your impression of him that your friends say actually remind them of Christian Slater.

9. Attempt to call in sick to work for the next day when the Lakers are on a 5-0 run after a Kobe dunk.

8. Ask a complete stranger when the Clippers will be showing up.

7. Tell anyone within earshot that the team just isn’t the same since Wilt left.

6. Spend more time pointing out celebrities than discussing the game with your friends.

5. Follow every bad call against the Lakers by saying “these refs really do have a hard job, let’s give them our support tonight.”

4. Point at the lady with the face butchered by plastic surgery and whistle.

3. Say “boy the Lakers suck” in the middle of the men’s restroom at half-time.

2. Use your wife’s camera to photograph the Laker Girls in the middle of a routine.

And the number one thing not to do at a Lakers game is…

1. Yell out that you think Kobe is a…

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Great Idea Almost Goes Right Down The Drain

I don’t know if the news was slow this past weekend or not, but I kept seeing one little news item over and over. It wasn’t about the war, the environment or Paris Hilton, the story was about a new urinal cake. Yep, urinal cake, you read it right. A few hundred of the $21 units were recently purchased by New Mexico. If you are wondering what makes the urinal cake so special, well it’s because it’s coconut flavored with a light zesty icing and lemon filling. Of course I’m kidding; the cake actually speaks to users, if users is the appropriate term. It’s all part of an attempt to get men from drinking and driving. The urinal cakes suggest that if you’ve had too much to drink you should find another way home. No word yet on what they are using for women, which is fine with me…

I sure hope there is some type of warning posted in the men’s restrooms where these things are going to be used or the janitorial staff may have a little extra cleaning to do. The voice of the cake (there’s an audition I would like to have been present for) is female, thus ensuring the attention of every drunk male attempting to relieve himself. I personally would just assume that I have finally cracked and suffered a mental breakdown or that my Lord is really, really trying to get my attention when I realize that the urinal cake is speaking to me. It makes me wonder if whatever they decide to use for the lady’s room will be voiced by Antonio Banderas?

Since the technology is now available, it got me thinking about other great uses for talking urinal cakes (which I have to admit is another great name for a rock band). Perhaps the cakes could question a man’s choice of date by asking ‘hey dude, do you really want to take her home?’ They could be used to remind the male patron to zip up, check his hair or tip his waitress. If a restaurant is trying to promote a new great dinner item or appetizer, what better way to promote it than a talking urinal cake? After all, the best place to hear things in a restaurant or bar is the restroom. As my family can attest, there are times we are out at dinner when I hear a good song I haven’t heard in a while and excuse myself to go into the restroom to hear it.

Although the talking cakes are being used to deter drinking and driving (and hopefully for their original purpose of maintaining a semi-clean urinal), their advertising potential is unlimited, with the exception of lemonade perhaps. You could advertise virtually anything you wanted that would appeal to men. Ok not everything, since we have to automatically take fashion out of the equation since it’s a men only audience. Cars, sporting goods, home repair, etc. are all fair game. I’m sure Dewalt, Black and Decker, Budweiser, Chevy, Bass Pro Shops, Swanson, Coke or McDonalds would love to run ads on urinal cakes, especially at sporting events. The only decision facing the advertising and marketing agencies is whether to use a woman’s voice and if the ads should be serious or funny. I wonder which would work better:

‘Hi sexy, this is Beyonce and while you’re busy going, I want to talk to you about the new line of Chevy trucks,’


‘Hey, this is Jerry Seinfeld. Why is it called a rest room? You really don’t rest in here and it’s not an actual room. Now I need to speak to you about erectile dysfunction…’

It seems to me that both approaches would work pretty well, although Beyonce may get a little more attention. Now if you could figure out a way to insert a radio receiver inside the urinal cake and place ads on the cake itself that would actually stay attached, you could provide play by play of sporting events that are in progress and corner any market. Talking urinal cakes, isn’t technological progress grand?

The batteries for the cakes are estimated to last about three months. Replacing the batteries in a used urinal cake? Now there’s a job that makes cleaning up after a horse parade look palatable…

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Oh Shoot! It’s Valentines Day!

Nah, I’m just kidding, I knew it was coming and am prepared. After all, if you’ve been to any retail store since the day after Christmas then you already knew Valentines was on its way. My guess is that the spring and/or summer stuff will be put out tonight (whew, I can finally get my new garden gnomes, bug zapper and watering cans themed with ladybugs or flowers). You truly have to love Valentines Day. There are not many days on our calendar that are actually designated to show our love for that special person in our lives, or to feel the pressure to find one if we don’t have anybody. Just because it says so on our calendars, Daytimers and Palm Pilots we get all prettied up, buy flowers and chocolates and try to make our lovers swoon. I have to admit that I feel a little like Forrest Gump on his bus bench. That’s all I have to say about that.

Everyone has gotten into the spirit of cupid this year (not many know it, but the Spirit of Cupid was actually the name of Charles Lindbergh’s first plane). While at Target the other day I came across a ‘new’ collection of Sinatra music called ‘Romance – Songs from the Heart.’ Predictably, it was all love songs, including ‘In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.’ What is funny though is that if you are familiar with that tune, it’s about heartbreak and losing a lover. That certainly smacks of Valentines romance to me!

All over the country, people will be eating romantic dinners in or out tonight (geez, there’s a definitive statement). I guesstimate that Dean Martin’s Volare will be heard about 8,000 times at Italian eateries everywhere, whereas ACDC’s ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ will probably be shelved for the evening. Perhaps more candles will be burned tonight than any other day with the exception of Christmas Eve (or a major metropolitan power outage). We are getting into the celebration as we have a romantic dinner planned for two adults and two children at our favorite Italian Restaurant. If we’re lucky, Lucy and Ethel will actually consent to sitting next to each other (and not fight) so that I can sit next to my wife for a change during dinner this year. When it comes to the meal itself, there’s nothing like consuming lots of garlic-accentuated pasta on the most romantic night of the year. You just need to be careful not to speak in attractive breathy tones or long drawn out syllables after eating all that garlic. That my friend is a definite mood killer. I’ll spare you my pasta/body odor dissertation for now…

Despite the feeling of love in the air, it’s still easy to do something wrong tonight. I can offer some tips on things not to do. For instance, never look at your love one and question the portion size of what they are ordering or suggest that maybe they don’t really need dessert this year. Never point out how nice someone else looks when they walk by. May I also suggest that any phrase that starts with ‘you know, I was going to get you flowers tonight, but…’ should never under any circumstances be uttered. No matter how tempting or funny it may be, stay away from the humorous Valentines Day cards. I personally make this mistake every year and actually repeated it again this year now that I think about it.

I made my own Valentines mistake earlier today at work. When I over heard female coworker tell someone on the phone ‘well, try to have a decent day,’ I mentioned to her and the rest of the office that what she just said was a lovely Valentines wish. After everyone in the office chuckled, she gave me a dirty look and told me that the person on the phone was going to a funeral. Oops. All I could say after that was, ‘at least they’ll get flowers today…’

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Crème Bru-lay? Recollections of 72 Hours In Sin City, USA

The title was suggested by friends as we spent this last weekend in Las Vegas, part of it devouring buffet sized crème brulees. Yes, I know that possibly the most overused slogan is currently ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,’ but I’ll let this stuff leak out. The fact that my friends discussed whether our weekend should be blogged about had nothing to do with my decision to write about it. I swear.

It’s been about 7 years since I last stepped foot in Sinatra’s playground and I can’t recall ever having stayed on the strip. Let me put it this way, some people are strip worthy and some people aren’t (wow, that sentence applies to both clothes and Las Vegas Blvd., go figure). I for instance am not strip worthy (I’m still speaking about the street, by the way). This was evidenced by two things. 1. The mumbling I did about how people were still out walking around when we exited the highway at 1:30 in the morning and 2. I am far too under-hip to be on the Vegas strip. I mentioned to one of our friends as we strolled by an in-casino nightclub waiting line that even in my best shirt, my hipness was dwarfed by the people around us. This was further reinforced when my wife and I checked into an off the strip hotel after our friends went home. Let’s put it this way, when a casino markets itself as ‘the place where locals bring their friends,’ you know it’s a lot more relaxed. In fact, we had to be the two youngest people there by at least 2 generations. Although for some reason, we were the only two not smoking! And I’m the one with the heart problem? Who knew?

Need some tips for entertainment when in Vegas (if you choose not to gamble of course)? Well, since a Wayne Newton museum apparently does not exist, I have two words for you: interactive and wax. OK, I guess I had better add a few more words, sorry I thought that would work. I was trying to describe the interactive wax museum. I have no idea who Madame Toussad was or is, but she sure can do wonders with wax. When a museum of waxed celebrities lets you do whatever you want with them, you know there will be photo-ops aplenty.

You can pose in bed with Hugh Hefner (and that’s the guys, not the ladies), pose with the Rat Pack, flirt with Jackie Onassis while she stands with JFK or knee Jeff Gordon in the crotch. Inspired by an old episode of Archie Bunker, I kissed Sammy Davis Jr. on the cheek and shared jokes with a smiling Al Roker. Perhaps our best photo op was of all the guys pointing out something for Stevie Wonder to look at. I realize that’s mean, but it got a lot of laughs. I felt a little bad for the Michael Jackson figure, he was pretty much left alone by everyone who walked by. Even in wax, he’s a scary dude! Of course, the photo of my wife looking up Shaq’s basketball shorts will need to be hidden from Lucy and Ethel for several years to come, but I guess that’s the price you pay for good entertainment. I’m still a little bewildered by the fact that we weren’t kicked out of the place. Regardless, we have the photos to prove we were there.

When your party makes dinner reservations for the time you usually go to bed, you know you’re in Las Vegas. When the restaurant is a Brazilian BBQ serving all you can eat meat, you know that your digestive system will be hanging up its ‘closed for the winter’ sign. I got to talk racing with one of the members of our party and whether it was the great choices in meat or the NASCAR talk, (or both) I got a little emotional. With everyone in our group in possession of a digital camera, I know that pictures of me openly weeping at the sight of all that red meat are bound to surface eventually. The restaurant was just feet from the Beatles’ Revolution bar, which provided a few surreal moments. Let me add another ‘you know’ to the list. When you are dining while watching go-go girls dance in the letters of the word ‘Revolution,’ you know you are in Vegas. Who ever thought that ‘Love Me Do’ would be the perfect song to gyrate sensually to? I suggested that one of our female friends get up and dance in the letter ‘V’ but was reminded how little room the letter actually provides and how inappropriate that might look.

So what about that provocative spelling of crème brulee in this post’s title, you ask? Well, I’ve already forgotten. I guess that like our money at the $5 dollar craps tables, some things are destined to stay in Vegas. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I promise there will be no more product integration or references to over hyped marketing slogans in my posts. Now, where did I put my deliciously refreshing ice-cold Coca-Cola?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Top Ten (And A Half) Things Overheard At NASA In The Wake Of The Female Astronaut Scandal

Inspired by David Letterman’s 25th anniversary on late night TV, I have decided to post a Top Ten and a Half List every Friday. Why ten and a half? Because I don’t want to be accused of stealing a great idea, of course…

So, here are the top ten (and a half) things overheard at NASA in the wake of the female astronaut scandal:

11. Oh Sputnik! This never happens to the Russians.

10. I didn’t see that coming when we chose the $25 special background check/physiological assessment combo.

9. Anyone here think John Glenn is available?

8. I hear E! is going to start a new reality show called ‘Ass-Tronauts: Behind the Launchpad.’

7. You mean to tell me we’ve been spending millions of dollars to figure out how to go to the bathroom in space and our astronauts can still fit into Huggies?

6. Abort! Abort! Reentry denied! Reentry denied!

5. Hold on, this could be the best press we’ve had in 10 years.

4. (To the tune of the Love Boat): The Love Shuttle, shining and new. Come aboard, you can date the crew…

3. When you look back, I guess the writing was on the wall when she beat up that NASA engineer when he took the last Snickers Bar out of the vending machine in the astronauts lounge.

2. Lt. Uhura never tried a stunt like this.

And the number one thing overheard at NASA in the wake of the female astronaut scandal…

1. Houston, we’ve got a…

Now for the housekeeping stuff. This will me my last post until probably Tuesday evening. It’s vacation time for a few days and it’s long overdue, especially when my best post this week was about a bionic President.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Will The Next President Really Be Worth One Billion Dollars?

That’s what I was asking myself after reading about how the 2008 Presidential campaign could very well become the first to cost over a billion dollars. Gee, do you think it has anything to do with the fact that the ‘campaign season’ started so incredibly early this year? The increases are attributed to needing more staffers earlier, internet and marketing requirements, etc. I wonder what we will get for this increased cost of the 2008, I mean 2006-2008 campaign.

Maybe it’s because I grew up watching the Six Million Dollar Man (or was it called the Bionic Man, I’ve never been sure), but if you ask me, something worth one billion dollars should be pretty special. To justify the incredible cost of electing our nation’s next President, I hope we’re getting something spectacular. To me (and probably to me only), our next President (who I will refer to as President X so I don’t have to keep typing the phrase ‘our next President’) should possess either superhuman or technology enhanced powers. Man, now I can’t get the names Bionic Obama, High-Tech Hillary and Juiced Up Giuliani out of my head.

I’m talking about powers that will allow President X to single handedly take on the entire axis of evil without back-up, military intervention or having to put down his latte emblazoned with the Presidential seal. For one billion dollars, President X should be able to get a bill through Congress or veto a bill by merely waving his or her hand. The one billion dollar powers will allow President X to speak in New York and then appear on the West Coast a mere 5 minutes later. If an engine on Air Force One ever fails, President X will be able to will the plane safely to the ground. President X could balance the budget in a single bound. Come to think of it, for that type of money, the next time someone tests a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, the President will be expected to knock it out of the air with his laser-enhanced vision. It’ll make the Star Wars/SDI initiative look like an ancient philosophical pipe dream and the idea of walking softly and carrying a big stick obsolete.

Of course all powers can be used for bad as well as good so we need to be very careful of who we elect if President X were expected to possess powers worthy of a billion dollar price tag. We need to make sure that the President can’t hypnotize the nation with special Scooby-Doo inspired spinning wheel eyes into following his agenda whenever he speaks to us on television. What if President X could kiss a baby or shake a hand and instantly convert that person into a member of his political party forever? That really doesn’t seem fair to the opposition party now, does it?

There is the potential that President X could do more harm than good. The President could literally crush his/her opponents in a debate or use the Darth Vader elevated death choke on members of Congress who oppose his/her legislation to turn the Virgin Islands into the new Camp David. It would be no use to try to stop President X with force since the billion dollar powers would render the secret service useless. Bullets would bounce off President X and he/she would only laugh mockingly at the threat of impeachment. To picture President X, just imagine Max Headroom combined with The Incredible Hulk having the personality of Jack Nicholson’s Joker in Batman and Simon Cowell.

Hopefully this chilling insight into electing our next President in a billion dollar election will inspire or scare us enough into exercising our responsibility to vote. I guess November 2008 will answer the question of what you can get for one billion dollars. I’m hoping it includes the ability to increase the speed limit, make downloading music free and a tax rebate for blogging. A way to ensure that Studio 60 and 30 Rock on NBC aren’t cancelled would be nice too…

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Recycling, It’ll Put A Bounce In Your Step!

According to the Associated Press, a Philadelphia city councilman wants to look into using sidewalks made of rubber. Apparently they are more environmentally friendly (is that truth convenient or inconvenient, I wonder), last longer than concrete and do not crack. They would be made of recycled tires and could also provide a surface that wouldn’t cause as many slips. This of course would lead to fewer lawsuits against the city. Now what city council wouldn’t be in favor of that?

I wonder if they’ll leave the tires’ cool tread patterns intact when they create the sidewalks. That would sure make channeling rain or spilled beverages away from the sidewalk’s surface easier as well as increase speed walkers’ grip. However, tires are black and my simple mind can’t stop imagining black sidewalks in the middle of summer. That might make it a little hot to ‘tread’ on. Also, what if the rubber softened or became sticky in the heat? Then everything from pedestrians’ shoes to dirt and trash would permanently become part of the sidewalk, not to mention little trophy dogs. It could be our 21st century version of prehistoric tar pits. Thousand of years from now people will tour our rubber sidewalks to learn more about us by the debris that became stuck to them during hot weather.

“Here is a littered Starbucks coffee cup. Believe it or not, there was once a time when Starbucks coffee shops were only on every other street corner. Oh and across the street appears to be a coupon for a McGriddle sandwich from McDonalds.”

Although the story says the sidewalks would be very hard, we used the rubberized faux bark made from recycled tire pieces in Lucy and Ethel’s play area and that stuff makes walking a pure joy. The minute you step onto it, you feel the difference. It almost feels like walking on a spongy mattress like surface. If there was a way to make the sidewalks feel like this, it might be easier to promote walking for exercise. Plus, the better the bounce, the easier (and quicker) it would be to get from place to place. Seriously, this stuff is a pleasure to walk on. I was tempted to rip up the carpet and tile in the house and replace it with recycled rubber, but then was reminded how badly the house would smell when closed up for a day or two.

I’m all for recycling and believe we should find other areas where recycled material can be utilized. No, I do not mean recurring gags like spit takes or blonde jokes, although those are recycled quite liberally. I mean recycling things we use everyday into well, things we use everyday…just different things. Oh heck, you get the point.

How about recycling my fake wood laminate desk at work into stairs for retirement homes? I’d be more than willing to make that sacrifice, believe me. My office phone could be broken down and recycled into PEZ dispensers or some plastic medical device and my cubicle walls could be shredded and used to insulate attics. They already insulate me pretty well from my coworkers, so I’m sure they could be used successfully in a home. I guess recycling all these things wouldn’t really do anything for the environment, but it would eliminate my workspace and do wonders for me. And from where I sit, although it’s a bit selfish, that is the most convenient truth of all. Hey, that reminds me, I’m open to recycling my office chair, too…

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Stories Of Life In A 7X7 Box

Most people spend the majority of the time they are awake at work. They may not be alert or attentive, but that is an entirely different issue all together. This creates a kind of Brady Bunch family dynamic where everyone learns to get along and suffer or succeed as a whole (albeit without a dog named Tiger) out of the sole fact that we were all forced together by some cosmic randomness…or our HR department.

For many office workers, the center of their work world is their workspace (i.e. their cubicle). This is obviously a very depressing thought. Some people attempt to personalize their workspace with photos of their families, newspaper cutouts, cartoons, etc. I have tried bamboo sticks, pink flamingo party beads and a whole bevy of other décor ideas, but nothing has worked. One of our coworkers has been on a mission over the last several months to extend his cube’s size by moving the wall he shares with another co-worker by a fraction everyday. So far, no one has noticed.

Despite the depressing walled-in environment in which we sometimes labor, working in a semi-open space does provide opportunities to collaborate with or receive the help of our co-workers. I was reminded of this yesterday when female co-worker expressed concern over whether or not she was spelling the word ‘doable’ correctly. All she had to do was ask aloud if she was spelling it correctly. What followed was at least fifteen minutes of everyone in the office yelling how they would spell it, providing alternatives to use and the office prerequisite: making fun of her. I asserted my seniority and suggested that we use the Spanish pronunciation of doable (phonetically pronounced as due-hable), but for some reason was overwhelmingly rejected. Of course doable has become the buzzword of the week. It turns out that doable is well, a doable word for many situations. Except maybe for this one, sorry.

Listening to music at work helps one get through the day. I began a practice a few years ago of using my office PC to play my cds. That practice has caught on and it’s now impossible to walk through our office without hearing a cacophony similar to the last 45 seconds of the Beatles’ ‘A Day in the Life.’ It is not uncommon on one pass through the office to hear gospel, standards, rock n roll, country and whatever the coworker next to me is playing (I’d ask but I don’t want to embarrass anyone or give the false impression that I am interested in it). I like bringing in Louis Prima, Ray Conniff or something else unique just to annoy my office mates. I do have to be careful now since for the first time in three years I have someone in the empty cubicle to my right. She put her computer facing the same wall as mine so I really have to monitor my music’s volume level (not to mention my talking to myself…I like to speak to myself in rhymes for some reason…I guess it’s just the season).

Like most offices, we have a break room. The drawback to having one is that this is the room where everyone prepares their meals. Have you ever smelled the combination of microwaved popcorn and chicken? Let’s just say that the lunch hours bring a stifling combination of scents as 20 different people prepare 20 different meals. It’s actually a good deterrent for hunger. There is a longstanding tradition in our office of people leaving bags of candy, popcorn or chips out that they don’t finish so that all can partake. I’ve always thought it was a nice gesture. However, why is it that whenever someone finishes the bag of food, they leave that empty bag out? Is it because they don’t want to feel the guilt of having finished it? Did they somehow not realize that when they removed their handful of fatty, salty goodness that there was no more left? Did it not occur to them that their fingers didn’t touch any other morsels while their hand was in the bag? I don’t understand it. Besides, I hate being teased and nothing is worse than walking into the break room for a glass of water and getting your hopes up when you see an unexpected bag of chips there for the taking, only to have your joy shattered by an empty bag! Folks in our office like doing the same thing with the last cup of coffee. I guess no one feels guilty thinking they have left a few drops for someone else. Ahh, the complexities of the human mind.

These are just some of the things experienced in our office on any given day. In rereading this, it almost sounds fun. I must have left something out. Oh yeah, I did. I forgot to mention the work. I think I turned to blogging as a vent or outlet in order to cope with working in a box all day. I just hope I can keep blogging because I think I’m going blind from staring at everyone’s beige cubicle walls and matching file cabinets. It doesn’t help that the guy across from me wore a shirt today that matched his office…

Monday, February 05, 2007

Ten Grand...Ain't It Grand.

Well, the unthinkable has happened. According to my little site tracker dohicky, the 10,000th visitor hit my blog at 10:55 AM today. It’s pretty neat to know that it has been seen so many times. I actually began tracking site hits a little over a month after I started blogging so unfortunately, the eight or so people who visited during that time before I started tracking aren’t counted in the total.

The technology involved with blog and website statistics is fascinating. People from countries I have never even heard of have viewed my blog. I do feel bad for some site visitors because they came from places like Google where they were clearly searching for a news item or assistance with a research topic when they stumbled across my version of the truth. Hopefully none of these people have ever quoted or cited anything I have put forward as a fact. If they did, it’s safe to say they probably have never been back to my blog.

While I am an advocate of accuracy and believe it is necessary for our news reporters and leaders, I have found time and time again that it’s just easier to make facts up when unsure about them. After all, if you make it up, can it really be inaccurate? It’s a personal policy that has worked well for me at the office and once in a while at home. Although I do have to be careful around Lucy and Ethel because I can just see them as they get older repeating to their friends what they think are the ‘facts’ I have told them. I’m sure the first person that will notice will be their teachers and then their friends’ parents. Eventually one day my phone will ring and someone will have to tell me that I should no longer tell my children things like ‘the Devil created gophers to punish people for bad things they did when they were young’ or ‘chicken nuggets come from the rare chicken nugget mines of West Virginia.’ So, to anyone who has been directed to this blog in hopes of doing research, I apologize.

I have often wondered what people from other countries think of my blog when they come across it. Have I unknowingly contributed to someone else thinking that if Americans are like me then we are nothing but a country of blithering idiots? I sure hope not, that’s the job of people like Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and perhaps many of our politicians. Have I provided someone from another country and culture a window into our daily culture with my thoughts on office cubicles, hatred for Mondays, raising twins who are far smarter already than I am or how to turn mundane work chores into fun? When you start to think about it, writing something and posting it out into the world is quite a responsibility since anyone from anywhere can view it. Does this new global responsibility include writing about the top stunts you can attempt to ensure that you or your sworn office enemy gets a visit from your HR department at work? I sure hope so!

Tracking my site visit statistics showed me one other noticeable trend. I am amazed that over 75% of the visitors to my site, no matter where they were referred from, all go to the same website after leaving my blog. That reminds me, does anyone know anything about

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Repost Sunday: Hello CIA, I’m Responding To Your Ad

I rerun some of my older posts on Sundays as a way to highlight stories that you may have missed. Just think of it as 'thought recycling' and a day off, or that I am incredibly, incredibly lazy. Besides, it's Super Bowl Sunday. Who's going to be reading my blog today anyway. This was originally posted November 27, 2006.

I joked last week about wanting to do a story based on a radio commercial I heard about the fact that the CIA is hiring, but I was too afraid of Big Brother. Well, after reading this AP story about the CIA on Yahoo, I’m ready to. The story is about how the CIA is looking for new employees, which I guess they call recruits. The story says that they have shown ads during baseball games, taken out ad space in various magazines and airport billboards as well as during movie trailers. It even says the CIA has hired an ad agency. I bet the ad company’s creative folks are having a blast pitching ideas to CIA employees. I can hear it now, “ok guys, if you don’t think this tagline is good, you’re not going to shoot or torture me, right? Guys, smile, that was just a joke, really.”

Now I’m glad to know that I wasn’t the only one noticing how weird it is that our government’s intelligence agency is publicly seeking employees. Apparently one of the things the CIA wants to do is wipe away the notion that all CIA work is like the very fictional world of James Bond. I’m sure my stereotypical driveling in the next few paragraphs is the exact type of thinking they want to discourage, but I just can’t help it.

What a relief though to know that if the CIA were to hire me I wouldn’t have to go out and buy enough tuxedos for every day of the week. It would be a little sad in a way to be hired by the CIA and have all of those myths associated with covert work demystified so quickly. I could see myself sitting in my new cubicle saying to no one in particular, “so this is it, really? Can my ballpoint pen kill anybody? When do I get to meet Q? Did I miss the lady with the caviar cart or does she come by after lunch?” At that point I’m sure I’d be executed…I mean fired. Oops.

Although I know nothing about the workings of our country’s intelligence agency (I swear), I would imagine that working in a cubicle there beats working in a cubicle for anyone else. My guess is that the two most interesting departments would be HR and the requisitioning department. My mind can only imagine what items would be requisitioned at the CIA. Of course, in reality it’s probably the same type of stuff at any company like pencils, pens, computers, paper, copier toner and explosive tie clips. Wouldn’t it be great to hear a line like, “did you get that order of magnetic, homing device, self destructing wrist watches filled yet,” just once while at work.

HR might be the easiest department since every personnel file would be marked ‘classified.’ Imagine having to review someone’s file to determine whether administrative leave is necessary after he or she destroyed an entire riverfront Bistro in pursuit of a wanted dangerous international smuggler. More than likely, the day-to-day monotony of a CIA HR person would be filled with healthcare enrollment options, retirement packages and sexual harassment claims filed by older cold war relic spies who keep hitting on their new, young secretaries by calling them Ms. Moneypenny and asking if they’d like to see his Aston Martin (if you catch my drift).

Man, I bet the training films are great to watch. Do you think they save money and just show Bond films or do you think they actually make the training films themselves? Do the training films talk about how important it is to forget what you overheard during lunch or to only look down at the floor or up to the ceiling when walking down the hall? Does it cover the importance of leaving your disguises in the office and not forwarding government email to your best friend from high school just because it says ‘for your eyes only’ or ‘this message must be destroyed after receipt?’ My mind tingles at the possibilities.

Do you think the CIA plays other government entities in a governmental softball or bowling league? I bet that all the CIA players show up in Ray-Ban sunglasses and fake beards. I wonder if the other teams just throw the games because they are afraid of what would happen if they beat the CIA. No matter what the answers to all of these questions are, I think it would be great to join the CIA. Do you think our nation’s security could be better achieved with the help of someone who willingly and proudly writes daily about nothing worthwhile? Or perhaps my blog is just a decoy…Bwahahahaha…

**Author’s Disclaimer: Of course, I do not work for the CIA. Although if I did, I could not tell you. No, seriously, I’m just your everyday Monday through Friday cubicle dweller who writes a blog. I have no knowledge of espionage or intelligence gathering. I am not even pretending to, as that is probably a crime. Although if I did have knowledge about it, telling you would definitely be a crime. But I’m not, so there…

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Things I Learned This Week: 2/3/07

Because I want to spare you from experiencing some of the things I endured over the last few days, I post “Things I Learned This Week” each Saturday. It’s educational, sometimes insightful and for some reason, always makes me look pathetic. I hope that at least one item on this list will make your upcoming week much easier. So here are the “Things I Learned This Week” for the week of 1/28/07-2/3/07.

! I learned that when applying weed killer to the lawns, I need to leave just a little more room around the wife’s rose bushes.

! I learned that my Lucy and Ethel are now old enough to realize I’m after their French fries when I circle them like a hawk while they eat.

! I learned that one of our favorite restaurants has been adding nine cents to the tip total every time we eat there. It doesn’t seem like much until you add it up.

! I learned that Sam’s Club is a great place to get a free meal comprised of every appetizer known to man on the day before the Super Bowl. A little tip though: just don’t try and go back for seconds, they’re pretty particular.

! I learned that I may be a little too out of shape when I pulled a muscle during a tickle fight with the twins.

! I learned that my female coworker finds the phrase ‘If you’ll excuse me, I need to go recycle my can’ offensive. Seriously, that’s all I meant and I can show HR the can if necessary.

And lastly,

! I learned that I had better check whether Lucy and Ethel are wearing their ‘good pants’ or ‘play pants’ before I surprise them with a visit to the park again. Although, I personally find dirt and grass stains to be a wonderful addition to any piece of clothing.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Top Ten (And A Half) Reasons Why You Should Not Blog At Work.

Inspired by David Letterman’s 25th anniversary on late night TV, I have decided to post a Top Ten and a Half List every Friday. Why ten and a half? Because I don’t want to be accused of stealing a great idea, of course…

So, here are the top ten (and a half) reasons why you should not blog at work:

11. Uh, duh, it’s not allowed.

10. When blogging at work you can’t do your usual pre-writing/pre-blogging rituals to pump you up like shouting the phrases of motivational posters while strutting to ‘Eye of the Tiger’ or ‘Stayin’ Alive.’

9. Chances are that your measly office PC is slower than your sleek home model and as everyone knows, that creates impatience and impatience stifles creativity.

8. If your employer had wanted a staff writer, they would have hired one.

7. Blogging takes away from essential office duties like gossiping and playing Solitaire.

6. Blogging at work increases the chances that a co-worker will drop in on you and discover your secret online identity, Mr. Grrrrt Luvuh83.

5. Blogging is a delicate activity and requires your complete attention and focus…oh wait, that’s what your job requires.

4. It’s probably not a good thing when you go to check your favorite blogs during a conference call and you are redirected to a page that displays the words ‘Company Web Policy Violation Page’ in bold red color.

3. If you blog at work, you’ll have to spend more time at home doing chores and honey-do’s and you will most certainly be expected to spend more time with the spouse and kids.

2. You can get easily distracted when writing your post only to discover that you have accidentally typed your post into an email that you unknowingly sent to upper management.

And the number one reason why you should not blog at work is:

1. If you aren’t paying attention, your boss might….

Get it? Number 1 on the list wasn’t completed. That was the half. That’s the gimmick…see you next Friday for another Top Ten and a Half List.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

All Hail The Debut Of A Late Night Legend

Twenty-Five years ago tomorrow night (or tonight, depending on when you read this), the landscape of late night television changed, for the better. Haven’t figured what it was yet? Well, I could give you the top ten reasons why, but I did post a picture of him so I guess it rather takes away all the suspense (sorry). On February 2, 1982, David Letterman hosted the first episode of Late Night with David Letterman, his NBC talk show that aired right after Johnny Carson. Is this a blogworthy event? If you have ever read my blogger profile then you know this anniversary is a big deal for me.

Oh can I remember fondly the times growing up where I would watch Letterman on a Friday night and just giggle incessantly like a twelve-year old schoolgirl. I am probably one of the few people alive who thought he was funny as the host of the Oscars (which was the only Oscar broadcast I have ever, and probably will ever, watch from start to finish). Does anyone remember the movie ‘Cabin Boy’ with Chris Elliot? It was Letterman’s first movie. For weeks after seeing it, I would quote his big line and go around asking anyone if they wanted to buy a monkey (I can’t believe I just admitted that publicly). I normally do not dress up for Halloween but broke with tradition in my sophomore year of high school. I colored black crayon in between my two front teeth, put on tennis shoes, jeans, a sport coat and tie and went as David Letterman, complete with my own Top Ten List. Geesh, as I read this I sound a little fanatical. It’s not like I’ve ever tried to break into his house or anything and I now only reference canned hams twice a week, I swear.

See, I’m not fanatical, even though I did tell people when we graduated from high school that my goal was to host a late night talk show. Hmmm, after driving home from my monochrome office cubicle tonight, I think I fell just a little short of that goal…

In school, whenever I was at a boring event that students are often forced to endure, I would write my own Top Ten Lists about the event and distribute them to my friends. The only reason I ran for office in high school was so that I could read the morning announcements. Somehow, I persuaded school administration to allow me to read a Top Ten List every Friday. I would try writing similar lists for my blog nowadays, but don’t want to infringe on any established legal ground (translation: I don’t have the money to be sued). Therefore, I can announce here that in honor of Letterman’s 25th year in late night television, beginning this Friday I am going to try a new weekly installment called the Top Ten and a Half List. Look for it every Friday until I figure out that no one is reading it. Therefore, I can also announce here that most likely this Friday’s first installment of my Top Ten and a Half List will probably be my last.

I really can’t think of how to properly praise someone who has inspired me to want to be funny as much as David Letterman has. Maybe the best praise is to reiterate the fact that it has long been rumored that Johnny Carson had hoped Letterman would be his hand picked successor. Can there be a bigger compliment than that? In fact, after Carson’s death it came to light that Carson would write jokes for Letterman’s monologue after he retired and Dave would use them. Having Johnny Carson as a ghostwriter for you must be pretty cool. I don’t know that Jay Leno or anyone else can claim the same honor.

Whether it’s Stupid Pet Tricks, The CBS Mail Bag, The Top Ten List, Oprah-Uma, reuniting Sonny and Cher or any of the other hilarious things we have been treated to by David Letterman, he has consistently been a pleasure for me to watch. After all, this was the first man who got back onto TV to try to bring a smile to our broken and shattered country after September 11, 2001.

Maybe I’ll even be able to stay awake long enough to watch him on February 2nd in honor of this anniversary. David Letterman deserves at least that much from me. Although, I do have TiVo…