Archive for October, 2008

Are You Crazy? Are you just CRAZY!?!

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Here’s a stylish, new sportjacket for anyone voting the McSame/ Palin ticket. Since McSame voted for Bush policies over 90% of the time, if he’s elected, we can expect four more years of pretty much the same thing.

The Bush legacy:

– An unnecessary war without end which costs America $3-billion/ week.

– A failure of focus on the war in Afghanistan and losing Asama Bin Killer.

– A record budget deficit despite the promises to “cut government spending”.

– The Katrina cleanup debacle.

– A crashed economy.

– A tripling of the national debt.

– A stock market which has lost over 40% of its value in one year.

– Unemployment rising every quarter.

– The Patriot Act.

– Torture by our military.

– The $700-billion undeserved buyout.

– An arrogant attitude towards the rest of the world resulting in a new wave of anti-Americanism.

– Strong attempts to turn back the clock on issues like abortion, execution, sex education, and the rights of citizens.


– a theft of pride and hope in America by the American people.

Thinking of not voting for Obama because you’re not quite sure what he’s going to do?

Let me ask you this – could he do any worse than the WORST PRESIDENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY?


The ‘I Believe in You’ Seminar Sale

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

It’s easy to feel good about a company when it’s doing well. When it’s a monopoly or the leader in its field, money flows and everyone is happy – the future looks bright. High goals are established and the methods to achieve those objectives – such as training – are planned and funded.

But when a company is not doing well, things are different – very different. When there are layoffs, benefit cuts, slashed budgets, and tumbling stock prices, a cloud of negative doom descends and flourishes. It’s like a foul odor in a long elevator ride.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

I have taught my ‘Great Presentation’ Seminars to over 4000 people in the companies above for over 30-years. I have also written speeches for and coached their top executives. I would be proud to do so again.

Here’s what I’ll do: I will run my seminars as I did before for a flat $500/day for 10-participants. As many of you know, this is about 20-25% of my normal fee. I will also drastically cut my fees for speechwriting, executive coaching, and my speeches. I ask other training vendors to do the same. And to show you how much I believe in the future of your companies, I will be happy to take my fee in company stock. Just contact me at 546-3244 or

If you know me or know my work, you know how valuable this offer is. Please pass it along to your training managers or senior executives. We can all sit around, wring our hands, and lament about the “old days”. Or we can get off our asses, stop sniveling, and get ready for a brighter, better future!


Damn Your Right-Clicks!

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

As most of you know, my beloved i-Mac didn’t survive my move*. Consequently I have been FORCED to learn some PC skills on a laptop given to me by my friend, Gary. The best thing I can say for the world of Microsoft is IT SUCKS!

Everything is so complicated – and klunky. WORD is a nightmare compared to simple WP programs. But the worst is a mouse with Right Clicks. There are just too many choices. I lived happily for over 25-years with MacIntosh 1-Click mice. Most times you click once (to select) – or twice (to open). Simple.

When Apple first introduced Mac in the mid-80’s, it’s tag line was “For the Rest of Us”. In other words, you might not be a computer wizard – but you didn’t need to be to enjoy the benefits of bits & bytes. You don’t have to be an auto mechanic to enjoy driving, right?

Some computer geek told me there was a reason PC’s are much more complicated than anything Apple. Apple jumped into the field first and sucked up all the patents for the easy methods. Microsoft had to come up with similar processes without stealing the simpler, Apple ways. True? Who knows.

All I know is I’ve got better things to do than to search through the strange list of Word fonts – like playing string games with Tuesday and Wednesday.

Microsoft literally means small and not hard. They couldn’t even get their damn name right.



*BTW- all my e-mail addresses were destroyed. And yes, I know I should have BACKED EVERYTHING UP! But I didn’t, OK? So friends and clients, if you ever want another e-mail from me, just drop a line to You don’t even have to say anything – I’ll put your address on my new list AND BACK IT UP. Right.

Beautiful Bead Earrings

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

A few short months ago, my Gal-Pal Becky’s Mom was getting ready for the Park Avenue Festival. She made bead earings that never sold very well – but they were beautiful – and she loved making them. She really thought they were “something” – although she probably hadn’t sold three dozen of the damn things in all the years she crafted them.

On a warm summer night, Connie felt a little dizzy, couldn’t walk quite right for a few minutes, and seemed confused. Even though it was no big deal, her family insisted she go to the doctor. Doctor ordered some tests – brain tumor – inoperable –maybe four months to live.

“Pardon me? What was that you said? I don’t think so. I feel fine and I’m only 60-years old. You see, I make these bead earings….and teach my Sunday school classes…and………………….”

A few hours ago, Connie died.

We all know we’re going to die someday, don’t we? Naw, not really. Really can’t imagine it. This lack of true belief in our own death is probably necessary for us to live. And that’s OK. But maybe today – for just a few moments – we can look at the beautiful glass beads in each of us – and love them – even if no one else realizes how very valuable they are.


Can It Get Any Stranger?

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Like my best friend Amy says, “You don’t have to make things up.”

Strange: a 20-year old, female McCain supporter told police she was at an ATM in Pittsburgh and was attacked by a 6-foot-4-inch Black guy, who pulled a knife on her and promised to “teach her a lesson” for driving around with a McCain bumper sticker on her car. He then scratched a backward letter “B” into her cheek. The next day the woman said she made the whole thing up. Surprise!

Stranger: Police were skeptical but many people actually believed the story and some people in the media featured it in their newscasts and newspapers.

The world’s economy is swirling down the toilet, the murderous war in Iraq goes on, and Madonna is getting a divorce – but this bizarre, nut case can eat up loads of air time and newspaper space.

Strangest: Few people even think this story strange and some believe the police actually made the girl say she lied so Pittsburgh’s reputation wouldn’t suffer.


“Screw It. Just Leave It Up.”

Friday, October 24th, 2008

“The work order doesn’t say anything about taking it down.”

Can you imagine the work crew which got the assignment to put up the THIRD ‘Elmwood’ sign? Of course, they’re not paid to think – nor make heavy executive decisions. Their aesthetic sense might be a little challenged and God knows they don’t have the balls to strike out on their own – but C’MON!

This picture is from the ‘Signs’ section of ‘The Refrigerator’ – “The Coolest Spot in Virtual Rochester”. You can get there by its link on the right. The Refrigerator is another production of Peggi and Paul, my friends from 4-D Advertising (do these people never sleep?) Give it a click – you’ll have a good time.


Maniacs in Yorkville

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008


When my sister was 7 and I was 8, we used to love staying at Aunt Esther’s house in Yorkville, New York. Aunt Esther never had any kids so she treasured these visits in her large Victorian home and always took us on strange ‘capers’. We came from a small town, Mom and Dad were Beaver Cleaver parents, and we never knew ANYONE who was “out there” – so these visits were always special for us.

On one visit, Aunt Esther was ‘spooked’ – so she sat us down for a serious talk. She told us (can you imagine?) that Marcy State Insane Asylum was close by (I now know it was about 20 miles away) and sometimes the patients escaped and murdered unsuspecting, naive people who let them into their homes – usually slitting their throats with their own kitchen knives.

I can only imagine our faces and open mouths as we heard this unhappy news. (Thinking back, maybe the lesson here was not to let anyone in when we were at her house…. or …maybe she was just crazy.)

BUT – not to worry – Aunt Esther had a PLAN to save ourselves if a crazy person got in (which must have slipped the minds of all those naive Yorkville homeowners who had their throats slit.)

The plan? DISTRACT the maniac. He was crazy, right? As soon as he picked up a knife, we were to say (in a friendly voice) “Say, would you like something to eat?”

And when we went to the kitchen to make him lunch or a snack, we were to throw open the back door and run like hell!

I don’t remember questioning the wisdom of this plan, but I know neither Joanne nor I EVER let anyone into Aunt Esther’s house.


“Can’t We All Just Live Together?”

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008


I agree with a lot of conservatives and other criminals when I say I am against repressive gun control. Of course I AM in favor of some restrictions. My favorite is the 3-day “cooling off” rule. In many states, you have to wait three days between the time you purchase a handgun and when you actually pick it up. This is the time to listen to your lover’s lover side of the story – or hatch an escape plan – or both.

I thought of this when I was throwing out stuff and came across a yellowed, newspaper article which I had saved from the ’80’s. It still made me laugh.

An old couple was coming home from Bingo. When they opened the back door and turned on the lights, they were confronted by a burglar with a gun who demanded they put their hands over their heads. The old man begged the robber not to harm his wife – he would take him into the living room where they kept all of their money.

The burglar thought this a good plan and marched the old man down the hall- probably not even hearing the door as the old woman bolted from the house to rouse the neighbors. The old man pointed to an end table with a drawer. The burglar indicated with his pistol that he should open it. The old man opened the drawer, dramatically pulled out a huge pistol, and threatened to blow off the head of the robber.

The burglar freaked, dropped his gun (which happened to be a toy) and ran out the back door in time to see the old guy’s wife pointing at him from a neighbor’s porch. The neighbor picked up a baseball bat and gave chase but fortunately for the burglar, he could not catch him.

Punchline to the story? The gun the old man pointed at the burglar was his grandson’s toy pistol.

The police issued a statement saying citizens should not take the law into their own hands. Right. They said the use of toy guns to bluff criminals is very dangerous. I agree. That’s why I think the old man’s gun should have been large – and real.


Coloreds Need Not Apply

Sunday, October 19th, 2008


Is there still racism in America? Of course there is. The fact that you can buy this button for $4.99 + $3.99 shipping on E-Bay is a pretty good indication of it. The ad copy calls it “cute”. I wonder how many Black Americans would think it “cute”?

I’m not a big Obama fan. But there’s no denying he’s an intelligent, charismatic Senator who rose from a lower, middle class background to become a member of one of the most prestigious institutions in this country – the United States Senate. I respect him for working hard to achieve that goal – and succeeding against incredible odds. To reduce this man to a dumb, mocking, racial stereotype makes me sick.

But this is America. Even assholes get to express their demented views and make a few bucks off them in the process. May it always be so.

We’ve come a long way, America – but don’t doubt for an instant we still have a long way to go.


Happy (belated) Columbus Day

Friday, October 17th, 2008

OK, it slipped by – so what? Most Italians don’t really care much about Columbus Day. It’s supposed to be a day of national pride – but most Italians shrug their shoulders and just don’t give a damn. We don’t paint ourselves in our national colors (whatever they are) – we don’t get drunk and start stupid barroom brawls that day, wrap ourselves in strange tribal dresses, or blow off our fingers with patriotic fireworks.

While other holidays have their cheery, little sayings like “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Easter”, “Erin go Bragh”, and “Happy 4th of July!”, the most common greeting on our day is “Did we get mail today?” And to me, that’s how ALL holidays should be celebrated.(“Merry Christmas!”- “Yah…whatever.”)

Columbus was a typical, hustling paison. He sailed for the highest bidder – Queen Isabella of Spain – convincing her that he’d find the West Indies – supposedly a land of untold riches they could easily exploit. Contrary to popular opinion, he knew the world was NOT flat – he just didn’t know how big it was.

In 1492, Columbus’s three ships crashed into the Bahama Islands. They knew that wasn’t right, so they set sail again – and landed in Haiti. A third major voyage landed in America which he then claimed he “discovered” – despite the fact that Vikings had landed ashore at least 500-years before, and the country was already populated by “Native” Americans (who may already have been dancing about looking for sites for future casinos).

So ‘Columbus Discovered America’ is a good story – but probably not historically true. Oh well, at least he “discovered” America on a Monday – giving Americans another long weekend.