Monthly Archives: December, 2009

Someone actually pays this Consultant in real money?

Post title:

“How to write an effective business email when the recipient does not speak English.”

This new post (title above) on Linkedin gives 10 pieces of advice on the subject. Advice Tidbit No. 8, below and verbatim, is particularly intriguing, given the title and subject matter of the post.

“Where possible, send the letter or email in the recipient’s native language. This shows that you respect and care for their language and culture. Using the recipient’s native language will usually be accepted very positively and will usually reduce cultural gaps or potential misunderstandings.”

I guess that’s savvy advice, given that THE RECIPIENT DOES NOT SPEAK ENGLISH. 


Ten Simple Rules for Dating My Daughter

My best guess is that serious dating occasions may begin to arise for my daughter in about nine months to a year. So it’s best to get things clear right up front.




Rule One: If you pull into my driveway and honk you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure not picking anything up.


Rule Two: You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them.


Rule Three: I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don’t take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose his compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.


Rule Four: I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilizing a “barrier method” of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate; when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.


Rule Five: It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is “early”.


Rule Six: I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.


Rule Seven: As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don’t you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?


Rule Eight: The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka — zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies that feature chainsaws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.


Rule Nine: Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a potbellied, balding, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.


Rule Ten: Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy near Hanoi. When my Agent Orange starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car — there is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine.


(Thanks to my friend and fellow parent Dan, who has not one but two daughters approaching the perilous age.)

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

My holiday card to all my Twitter friends (and Facebook friends, too) reading this….

(Click the link below & then click on the Xmas tree picture to view the animated card. Please have your sound turned up on your computer).

Season’s Greetings to you all!

Voice Recognition Software: Not there quite yet.

I use GoogleVoice, which captures voicemails left at my GoogleVoice phone number, and sends a transcription (computer generated) of the Voicemail to my email inbox (plus the actual audio file).

Sometimes the transcription is a little “off”. Below, the text of a voicemail message from Carolyn Kirk, Mayor of Gloucester, Massachusetts (sent via the “Code Red” alert system), about our continued Snow Emergency and parking ban. Shaded words indicate text that the software is not sure of. The boldface and underscoring is mine.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need go and splash on some good men’s cologne (and put on my pajamas, per the Mayor’s order).… 

Voicemail from: (866) 419-5000 at 12:21 PM
Google Voice
Good afternoon, This is Maher Carolyn, Kirk with an important message from the city of gloster is go to bed. Emergency messaging systems cities Director of Public Works has requested that the parking damps be extended until 6 AM tomorrow morning blowing snow has made it necessary to continue smell Paul Operations well into the overnight hours. All vehicles are banned from parking on city streets until 6 AM tomorrow, Monday, December 21st, violators of this emergency declaration are subject to to getting in telling the orders expense residents may park in public school and municipal parking lot. All residence are also reminded that they are responsible for clearing snow from side boxed adjacent to the property. Also, per city ordinance residence shell not throw snow back into streets. When shoveling snow blowing or plowing their property inside parks your cooperation during this parking than is necessary for a position in safe snow removal efforts to repeat the city of gloster has extended the parking P. M on all city streets until 6 AM Monday, December 21st. Thank you for listening. Drive safely and. This concludes this message.
Play message

Texting While Driving: Bad Idea.

Do you have a Blackberry? Do you use it when you're in the car (maybe stuck in traffic and not really moving fast)???? Come on, I know some of you do. And what about your kids?

This recent British PSA (or something similar) couldn't be shown on American TV, I'm sure: realistic violence is fine here, but not if it gets in the way of hand-held electronics sales. Take a minute or two to watch, and remember: talking on the phone is pretty much just as dangerous as texting.

New Meaning to the term “Public” Toilet

Although a recent (and welcome) phenomenon in the USA, public toilets and urinals have been a fixture in many European countries for many decades. When WW I broke out in 1914, there were over 4000 pissoirs on the streets of Paris, for example.

But the USA is catching up, and being a technologically innovative country, we've come up with some interesting examples, such as this public toilet in Houston, Texas. It boasts a sleek mirrored-glass exterior that reflects the surroundings and thus does not draw attention to itself.


The surprise comes after you step inside. This public toilet requires an enormous act of faith on the part of the user, because the walls, although indeed made of mirrored glass, happen to be ONE-WAY mirrors, giving the user this startling view from inside:


My guess is that it takes a very confident man or woman to use this facility ??? or an exhibitionist. And it certainly proves that some Industrial Designer has a sharp sense of humor.

My Alternate Plan for Afghanistan

From 2001 through fiscal 2006, the US Congress appropriated $76 billion for operations in Afghanistan. That's over $15 billion a year, an amount that has now been seen as insufficient.

So, on the one hand we could:

1) Outsource our troop operations to, say, India, as we do with Call Centers and Telemarketing, and probably save 70% of that cost, not to mention US soldiers' lives;


2) We could round it up to a nice even $20 or $25 billion a year in cash and just hand it over to the populace, after first making them recite the Pledge of Allegiance and cross their hearts and hope to die if they do anything bad. Additionally, a special "Cash for Guns" program could be offered to the hard-core Taliban, similar to those put in place in some crime-ridden US inner cities.

Instead of 30,000 extra US troops being sent, we could then hire only a few hundred out-of-work corporate Comptrollers to disburse the money evenly (Jobs too!!!), with another few hundred Blackwater tough guys to protect the cash itself.

Further savings in money and lives could be realized by parachuting in a few thousand fully-loaded Coke machines around the countryside, and setting up several hundred McDonald's franchises. Not only would the profits come back to the USA, but after a couple of years, the Taliban would be so obese and lethargic, they wouldn't even be able to lift an RPG launcher, let alone have the motivation to fire one.

Phase 3 might involve endless reruns of "Family Guy" and "That 70s Show" to be shown on Afghan television, to complete the "Hearts and Minds" portion of the pacification process.

Eventually, the entire operation could be handed off to The Walt Disney Company: the name "Afghanisland" has a nice ring to it.??

How an Email Signature Should Read

This, from Joel Veitch, founder of, a British humor and oddity Web site that I happen to like. The brilliant thing here is that Joel also gives you a concise yet exhaustive (some would say "scraping-the bottom-of-the-barrel") r??sum?? in his signature.

And the Pork Butchery Course leaves you wanting more.???

  • Joel Veitch
  • Founder of
  • Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences
  • Winner of 3 Webby Awards
  • Master of Arts (Electronic Media) Oxford Brookes
  • Bachelor of Arts (English and History) University of Leeds
  • Marksman (.22, 5.56, 7.62, LMG)
  • Former Sixer of Grey Six, 19th Forest Hill Cub Scouts
  • Former Member of MGS school cricket team
  • Former Sergeant, Combined Cadet Force (RAF Section)
  • Silver Swimming Badge
  • 3rd best Cross Country runner in my class at age 12
  • Once had a letter published in the New Scientist
  • Attended one-night Pork Butchery Course

(Bullet Points were added by me, to make HR Dept. readers more comfortable.)

Last year’s holiday party memo


Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

DATE: October 1, 2008

RE: Gala Christmas Party

I’m happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23 starting at noon in the private function room at the Grill House. There will be a cash bar and plenty of drinks! We’ll have a small band playing traditional carols… feel free to sing along. And don’t be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus! A Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00 PM. Exchanges of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone’s pockets. This gathering is only for employees!

Our CEO will make a special announcement at that time!

Merry Christmas to you and your family,


Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

DATE: October 2, 2008

RE: Gala Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday’s memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Hanukkah is an important holiday, which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on, we’re calling it our “Holiday Party.” The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians and to those still celebrating Reconciliation Day. There will be no Christmas tree and no Christmas carols will be sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment.

Happy now?

Happy Holidays to you and your family,


Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

DATE: October 3, 2008

RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table, you didn’t sign your name. I’m happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, “AA Only”, you wouldn’t be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this?


And sorry, but forget about the gift exchange, no gifts are allowed since the union members feel that $10.00 is too much money and the executives believe $10.00 is a little chintzy. REMEMBER: NO GIFTS EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED.


Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

To: All Employees

DATE: October 4, 2008

RE: Generic Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20 begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees’ beliefs. Perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party or else package everything for you to take it home in little foil doggy baggy. Will that work?

Meanwhile, I’ve arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet, and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms.

Gays are allowed to sit with each other. Lesbians do not have to sit with Gay men, each group will have their own table. And yes, there will be flower arrangement for the Gay men’s table.

To the person asking permission to cross dress, the Grill House asks that no cross-dressing be allowed, apparently because of concerns about confusion in the restrooms. Sorry.

We will have booster seats for short people. Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet.

I am sorry to report that we cannot control the amount of salt used in the food . The Grill House suggests that people with high blood pressure taste a bite first.

There will be fresh “low sugar” fruits as dessert for diabetics, but the restaurant cannot supply “no sugar” desserts. Sorry! Did I miss anything?!?!?



Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All F*%^ing Employees

DATE: October 5, 2008

RE: The F*%^ing Holiday Party

I’ve had it with you vegetarian pricks!!! We’re going to keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the “grill of death,” as you so quaintly put it, and you’ll get your f*%^ing salad bar, including organic tomatoes. But you know, tomatoes have feelings, too. They scream when you slice them. I’ve heard them scream. I’m hearing them scream right NOW!

The rest of you f*%^ing wierdos can kiss my *ss. I hope you all have a rotten holiday!

Drive drunk and die,

The B*tch from H*ll!!!


Company Memo

FROM: Joan Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director

DATE: October 6, 2008

RE: Patty Lewis and Holiday Party

I’m sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery and I’ll continue to forward your cards to her.

In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay.

Happy Holidays!


Lady Gaga Explained, At Last!

This music video finally explains her unique appeal.???

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