Friday, December 8, 2017

Where Work is Play

December 8, 2017

It’s an old story: Bankrupt company—in this case Toys“R”Us—pays millions in bonuses to executives if they make sales goals during the holiday season. The bonuses are to encourage them to give it their all to make the goals, and so that they won't jump ship during the crisis.

They’re obviously not doing that hot a job in the first place, so who cares if they jump ship? And why aren’t they giving it all they’ve got anyway? They’re already making over $1 million per year.

Do they get paid that much just for showing up?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Why Mr. Spock Shouldn’t Decorate

December 6, 2017

I texted my sister a picture of a Christmas display I had made of a baking scene: a mixing bowl and baking accessories, some cookie cutters, and some decorations that look like cookies on a saucer.

After I sent it, I looked at it full-scale, and noticed that, while I was trying for a whimsical, carefree look, all the cookie cutters were precisely positioned for even spacing and maximum display potential. It was very geometric and soothing, but didn’t exactly scream “Good times!”

So I picked ’em up and dropped ’em randomly. It looks much less rigid, and more like fun.

I wonder how long I’ll be able to stand it.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

But Are They The Same Bars?

December 2, 2017

A man in federal prison got his time behind bars extended for running a drug-smuggling ring inside the prison.

Question: Does he do the extra time at the same prison, or will they move him somewhere where they can keep a better eye on him?

Not Right Now, I’ve Got a Headache

December 3, 2017

I keep thinking I’m done writing about sexual harassment, but news items just keep appearing.

The latest: Did you know that Congress has an actual fund (paid for by taxpayers) to settle sexual harassment cases?

So the members know that it goes on, and instead of making rules to deter it, or punishing the offenders, they have a ready-made fund to bail them out!!! (There are not enough exclamation points in the world for that sentence.)

I think that while Congress works on getting its moral act together, there should be a mandatory automatic payroll deduction for each member to put into the fund. Every member of Congress, man or woman (because women can harass, too), should be required to pay into it—like dues. If you can’t make them behave decently on moral grounds, maybe making them pay for the awful behavior that they allow will make them more eager to fix the problem.

And now, I have simply got to stop writing about this. I’ve got a splitting headache.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Interview With A Vampire

November 29.2017

Now that so many news personalities are joining the ranks of accused sexual predators, I’d like to see one of them interviewed as follows:

1.      Mr. Newsman, how did you select your victims? Many women who worked with you said that they are stunned at the accusations, as you never once gave any indication that you were an abuser. What made you pick the specific women you targeted?

2.      Were there certain women that you wouldn’t have harassed even if their jobs made them vulnerable to retaliation if they reported you or refused you? What characteristics made you not pursue them?
(In other words, were there people that you were scared to mess with? Why?)

3.      Did you sexually harass people before you were famous and powerful, or was the activity an outgrowth of your increasing power and a sense of entitlement or invulnerability?

4.      If you didn’t harass people before you were powerful, was that because you didn’t have those tendencies, or because you didn’t think you could get away with it?

5.      If you don’t feel that you had those tendencies before, what was it that led you to act this way once you became powerful? In other words, are we all doomed every time somebody gets famous and/or powerful?

These are actual scientific questions that I’m interested in, by the way, and they apply to politicians and bosses as well.

Did their high profiles lead to an increased sense of entitlement, or a lowering of inhibitions, that told them that they should act on any impulse? Or would they have acted like this anyway?

Please, somebody, interview the predators. I really want to know.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Ah, That Christmas Spirit

November 26, 2017

When the ornaments persist in twisting so that the scene is toward the tree and not the room:

“Damn, it, Santa, why can’t you ever face forward?”

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Old Twinkies Never Die

November 17, 2017

There used to be unkind jokes about the shelf life of Hostess Twinkies. Well, now they’ll last even longer.

I read recently that a distillery is using expired baked goods as a sugar source for its vodka, and Twinkies are a part of the mix.

They really are indestructible, huh?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Update to “Interesting Development”

November 15, 2017

On September 1, 2017 I wrote that the St. Louis Blues had started grading ground in a public park for their practice rink. I assumed that they would get away with it, as the organization has lots of money to spend in convincing municipalities to see things its way.

But once it was informed of the situation, the National Park Service nixed the project, and the Blues are looking for a new spot. It feels good to see that business interests didn’t get to steamroll over the wishes of ordinary citizens.

My thanks to the citizens who fought for the park, instead of being like me and just assuming that there was nothing to be done.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

November 14, 2017

We’re at the sweet spot of the season: People are looking forward to the holidays,

And are not yet stressed about all the shopping they have to do.

The Eternal Question

November 15, 2017

Why is it that I can accidentally shrink any sweater that fits well,

But the one that’s just a little too large won’t budge?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

It’s On a Case-By-Case Basis

November 14, 2017

A woman who says that she was assaulted by Roy Moore when she was 16 voted for Donald Trump years later, even after he had bragged about forcing his attentions on women.

I guess as long as he wasn’t assaulting her, she was OK with him.

Monday, November 13, 2017

What Could Go Wrong?

October 25, 2017

In order to keep people from stealing packages that are left on your front porch, Amazon has designed a sophisticated way for delivery people to leave the items inside your house if you’re not there.

So to recap:

In order to keep your neighbors from stealing your packages, Amazon will let a stranger into your home.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Who’s Sorry Now?

November 12, 2017

Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby aren’t sorry, because they didn’t do it. Louis C.K. is sorry because he did it. Kevin Spacey is sorry if he did it, but he doesn’t recall doing it. Roy Moore didn’t do it, but if he had, he could have joined Warren Jeffs in using the Bible defense, according to one of Roy’s supporters. Harvey Weinstein has nothing to apologize for, but he is getting treatment for it.

While they’re sorting it out, I suggest that everybody else travel in pairs; 

or carry mace and a recording device.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Is That What’s Meant by “Karma”?

November 8, 2017

I read in the paper this morning that a man scammed some pharmacists and health care providers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Ironically, he had hooked them by promising to get rid of their convictions, and subsequent license revocations, for…health care fraud.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

So, You Want To Be In Pictures

October 20, 2017

More musings on the Weinstein situation:

If you’d like your shot at the small screen, but don’t want to take your clothes off for the opportunity, there’s an easier way.

Volunteer for something.

Within 2 months of moving to Idaho, I’d been filmed helping at a local festival. Two years after moving to Missouri I was also caught on camera doing something useful. My sister was filmed helping out at a food pantry in Illinois. It was accidental for us, but you can strategize if you want to.

The great thing is, in addition to helping out a worthy cause, you can see how you’d look on camera. Who knows, maybe you’ll decide it’s not for you.

It won’t make you famous, but it might make your mother proud.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Car-Chase Scenes of Ballet

November 5, 2017

I just got back from seeing “Giselle.” Nice ballet. But what is it with ballet and dancing villagers? Do you know how much time you could save going to the ballet if the villagers didn’t all start dancing around for no apparent reason?

Dancing villagers are like the car chases of ballet: They do nothing for the plot, but they take up time and they look good.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Oh, THAT Old Excuse!

November 3, 2017

Organizers of a pet expo that was to be held in St. Charles, Missouri canceled it at the last minute, claiming that one of their accountants had destroyed a large number of the company’s financial records.

Apparently she believed that the COO was the Antichrist.

As excuses go, it’s pretty original.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

But It’s What I Excel At!

November 1, 2017

Seen on Facebook this morning: “You did not wake up this morning to be mediocre!”

I’m like, “Hey, go with what you know.”

A New Personal Best

November 1, 2017

This year I didn’t open the Halloween candy until Halloween.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

You Could Earn Up To $100,000,000 A Year!

October 26, 2017

When you’re making your annual budget, I hope you don’t follow the reasoning of politicians, and of businessmen who are looking for handouts.

For example, St. Louis is bidding to be Amazon’s 2nd headquarters. That, of course, means throwing in lots of tax incentives and other handouts to a business that hardly needs them. Know why?

Because it “could bring up to 50,000 jobs” to the area.

And the group that’s putting in the Ferris wheel at Union Station “hopes that it will bring up to 500,000 visitors annually”. (Side note: It’s a 30-seat Ferris wheel. I’m going to hope that the article misquoted someone, and that it’s the combined aquarium and Ferris wheel projects that the group “hopes” will bring in the unrealistic number of people.)

Well, sure. Of course these things could bring “up to” fantastic amounts of jobs and visitors.

By that reasoning, each and every citizen of the world could make “up to” $100,000,000 annually. But as optimistic as that makes you feel, I hope you’re not basing your budget on it.

So could we get some realism into the discussion?

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Lock Up the Spam

October 25, 2017

No joke: In Hawaii, Spam is so popular that people steal it to sell for drug money.

There’s been a recent surge in Spam thefts, and some people attribute it to a law that raised the threshold for felony theft from $300 to $750. So thieves are stealing just enough to stay below the felony limit.

And some retailers are locking up the Spam.

Could You Pick It Out of a Lineup?

October 25, 2017

How well do you know your Halloween pumpkin?

After three teenagers went on a pumpkin-napping spree in Maryland Heights, MO, people started reporting their missing decorations. When police noticed an SUV stuffed with 48 pumpkins, they dealt with the offenders, then posted a picture of the pumpkins (and one gourd) on their Facebook page.

To their surprise, people came forward after recognizing their individual pumpkins from the picture. When the Post-Dispatch went to press this morning, only 13 pumpkins and the gourd remained unclaimed.