Friday, October 29, 2004

I'll Have the Turkey, Thanks

Here's what I heard on a New York talk radio station yesterday: "Stop smoking, or we'll buy your next 2 cartons of cigarettes!" Huh? The ad was for a product that supposedly gets people to quit. Does this make any sense to you? Seems to me they're really saying "If you can't stop smoking using our product, you don't deserve to live. Prove to us that you are such a loser and we'll pay to help turn your lungs into charcoal!"

I was outraged by this ad, but later got to thinking it's not a bad idea. Apply this principle to other vices and you might have something! Drug and alcohol rehab centers should offer the same guarantee. Why not give away a case of Jack Daniels or a few vials of crack to the people who can't kick these habits? If they really are hopeless cases, what else is going to cheer them up? Just take away their car keys and any weapons they may own, give 'em what they crave and send them on their way - to your divorcee's house!

Now, before I start getting death threats, let me say that I wrote the last paragraph to point out the ridiculousness of the smoking ad. I think putting free drugs and alcohol into the hands of addicts is totally wrong, with the exception of former mayors.

Oops, back to the smoking ad. I say 'cold turkey' is better - it's free, and you can always use the money you saved during your self-delusional attempt at kicking the habit to buy more cigarettes!

Note: For all you sticklers out there - No, I wasn't in New York. I was listening to Al Franken (think of a slimmer, funnier, left-wing Jewish Rush Limbaugh with thick glasses) on Air America Radio. The ad actually stated they would buy your cigarettes, then later mentioned they would send you $100 to buy cigarettes should their program not work for you.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

They Got it All Wrong!

*Updated with new content - read it now or I'll send Leo Sayer to your house!

I hope those Red Sox are happy! They took from us the one thing we've been able to count on for 86 years! Throughout generations - wars, depressions, terrorists and bad '80's music - we've always counted on the Boston Red Sox. To lose.

People say the 'curse' has been lifted, but what happens now? The World Series is over and we have to move on, a little less sure of our world. There's no telling what negative effect this will have on us all - especially the folks in Boston. My thoughts are with you, Bostonians.

Speaking of Boston - or I should say NOT speaking of Boston...During FOX's coverage of the game last night, there were several 'cutaways' to a bar filled with Red Sox fans, drinking beer and cheering their team on. The only problem is that the bar was in New York! I guess there just weren't that many bars in Boston filled with Red Sox fans :).

My question is, if you're stupid enough to cut away to a bar in a town other than Boston during a Red Sox game, why in the world would you choose New York? Didn't the Yankees just lose in spectacular fashion to the Red Sox? And what self-respecting Boston fan would be caught anywhere near a New York bar to watch his team play?

Now, maybe you can see what I'm talking about with this curse thing. The ripple effect has begun...

*Update: Today I was informed that the reason FOX showed Boston fans in a NY bar (a sad day) was that alcohol sales were not permitted in Boston area bars. Yep - only drunken, out-of-control fans are good enough for FOX! It was a smart move on Boston's part - they got their most hard-core, partying fans to go wreak havoc in NYC (accomplishing what the Yankees themselves could not, heehee).

And the ripples continue...

Monday, October 18, 2004

Fried Banana Puddin'

You just can't beat the NC State Fair for down-home, artery-clogging edibles! Apparently, there's just not enough fat in most foods to satisfy the NC palate. In order to rectify this, we tend to dump whatever food is handy into the deep fat fryer. And guess what? It works!

Walking around the Fair yesterday, I recognized many of the favorites from previous years - fried dough, deep-fried twinkies and candy bars (you haven't lived until you've tried a Snickers bar fresh out of the fryer). These are very popular, but there were some new players in town this year. I'm not sure if the deep-fried cheeseburgers (really, I'm not kidding!) were new, but it was the first time I'd seen them.

My favorite new fair food was the Fried Banana Puddin'. This is a deep-fried banana served corn-dog style on a stick with a small cup of banana pudding for dipping. Or if you prefer, you can have your 'nanner' cut into chunks for easier handling. Either way, it's full of potassium! OK, it's mostly fat, but there is some potassium in there (not that anyone cares). I thought the 'FBP' was delicious and it got me to thinking about the possibilities. There must be hundreds of foods just waiting to be rediscovered as deep-fried delicacies!

Here are some ideas I had as my cholesterol spiked to an all-time high:
  • Deep-fried apples with caramel sauce - My favorite idea. Just peel and core the apple, ok?
  • Spaghetti with deep-fried meatballs - OK, maybe not.
  • Deep-fried bagels with lox and/or cream cheese - Just to prove it can be done.
  • Deep-fried pork ribs - Seems like this would be a huge hit in pig country!
  • Deep-fried ham biscuits - I can't believe they haven't tried this. They sell thousands of ham biscuits at the fair!
  • Deep-fried fudge - Hey, it worked for the Snickers bar!
  • Deep-fried PBJ - OMG, this could be big!

I may even start a restaurant for families that hate their mom's or dad's cooking. Instead of eating another boring, tasteless, nutritional meal, pack it up and bring it to Steve's Fry-All! I'll dump it in the fryer and in minutes your family can enjoy the rich, fatty flavor that completely obliterates the original taste! And if you don't like it, I'll just throw in some bananas and open a can of pudding. That's what I call good eatin'!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Keeping Salaries In Line

Today I'm going behind the scenes to reveal the secrets of corporate performance appraisals. This information will help you understand why it's best to suck up to your boss, even when everyone else hates you!

Here's how the system works: 1-2 times a year, your HR department sends out the form managers will use to confuse and disappoint everyone but the very best brown-noser in your organization. The rating system looks something like this:

1 - Miracle Worker (MW): Performs miracles daily, including weekends and holidays.

2 - Miracle Potential (MP): Performs miracles occasionally and may hang around after hours.

3 - Average (A): Rarely if ever performs miracles and has a watch alarm set for quittin' time.

4 - Needs A Miracle (NM): It's a miracle if this person shows up for work.

There are more specific criteria, but you must arrive at an overall rating similar to one of the above. Simple, right? But try to be nice and submit all of your direct reports as MPs or higher - even if they really are - and you'll be laughed out of the review meetings.

When it comes to handing out ratings and raises, HR departments follow guidelines drawn up by drunken former congressional committee members. Their interpretation of performance data shows that Average workers make up the majority of the work force (60% or so), followed by Miracle Potential (25%) and Needs a Miracle (14.9999%). This means you can only have a Miracle Worker (.0001%) if there are at least 1,000,000 employees in your organization! In other words, pigs will fly in a frozen hell before you see an MW next to your name (unless it's a typo).

The problem with the system isn't the formula, however - it's the way companies contradict themselves when it comes to handing out the ratings. See if you can spot the inconsistencies in the following examples (if not, you were born to lead a company):

Company X claims to hire only the very best people. In order to accomplish this, they would need to hire Miracle Workers! Sounds good, right? But remember the formula - only 1 in a million can have this rating. This means that if you hire a Miracle Worker, you must also hire 600,000 As, 250,000 MPs and 149,999 NMs to make your numbers!

Company Z told their managers that they only want 1's and 2's working in their organization, so naturally all the managers had to be fired! Not really, but I think you can see the problem here. If you somehow manage to build a team consisting solely of MWs and MPs, you get to tell some of them they're Average and compensate them according to the A criteria. Since these people aren't stupid (the reason you hired them in the first place), they'll see through your poor attempt to spin the data according to the company line and immediately begin updating their resumes.

I think we've all learned a lesson here: Update your resume now! And if you somehow manage to score the evasive MW rating, let me know. I'll have 2 tickets to Flying Demon Pigs On Ice waiting for you at will-call!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Keep That Whistle In Your Pocket

I try to stay away from political stuff here, but a NY Times article caught my eye and I can't resist...

Who wouldn't want to go to work for Uncle Sam now? Losers and bleeding hearts - that's who! President Bush has made it clear: He won't tolerate further protections for federal employees who blow the whistle on their superiors and co-workers. Can you say party time?

Now, federal employees can do whatever they want and get paid for it. If someone blows the whistle, they will be punished and possibly fired! This is a can't-lose proposition, folks! Jump on the gravy train now because once the masses figure it out, all the good jobs will be taken.

I'm focusing my efforts on government agencies that waste the most money (unfortunately Halliburton doesn't count), because those folks know how to live it up. Of course, once I'm in I'll be happy to share my knowledge with you. Just send me a blank check - Uncle Sam and I need the money to dispose of all those $99 whistles!

Quote of the Day:
Last year the IRS said I owed $2000 in taxes, so I sent in a Black and Decker circular saw and told 'em to keep the change! -- Jay Leno

Friday, October 01, 2004

He Said, He Said

Shaq and Kobe have proven there's no playground big enough to separate them. They're on different coasts, for god's sake! Now they're fighting over who sleeps with strange women on the road and how best to ensure that these women stay quiet (They must've skipped that class at rookie orientation).

Our shock and outrage over the Kobe affair lasted almost a full 20 minutes. Bring the subject up now and people will say 'Yeah, that was shocking and outrageous! You wanna order Chinese for lunch?' But this Shaq/Kobe thing is escalating. It's not so much outrageous as it is, well, FUN!

It's entertaining to watch two supposedly grown men who can't manage to do what they regularly expect from women all over America: Shut the hell up! They can't even set an example! How are our young people ever going to learn to manipulate, deceive and quietly get some on the side with these morons as role models?

I'm hoping this one lasts awhile. Who needs to buy tickets to a game when you can watch all this fun for free? Just keep your own 'hush money' in the bank, sit back, relax and enjoy the feud!