Monthly Archives: October 2012

Ronald Reagan writes Mitt Romney – A #RomneyRyan2012 #obama Short Story

Dear Mitt,

I’m not voting for you even though I was one of those undecided voters who seriously considered it.

I tried, I really tried.

You were the winner of Republican Idol, for darn sakes! Who doesn’t like a winner? Losers, that’s who.

But I’ve learned that you’re really a cargo cult of other people’s terrible ideas.

I was going to text, but I didn’t want you to have my phone number.

YouTube was completely out, because I didn’t want you to see me and I’m having a very bad hair month.

Twitter was like your own beliefs, too short and ephemeral.

And I couldn’t use Pinterest because I couldn’t think of a clever e-card or find one that would work.

Facebook, was, well, Facebook, and I didn’t want to surpise my friends, family, acquaintances, and people I’ve forgotten how I know until I told you first because it’s a manners thing. I didn’t want to run the risk of you asking me why I did it before I got a chance to tell you why I did it.

So here we are.

Since the Internet is such a small place nowadays and we might just have people from our respective camps mingle and speculate on if I might change my mind, I wanted to publicly avow now and here before the world that we are never going to be a thing together and that I think you are a self-righteous, uptight, hypocritical, boring, lame, overreaching, cold oligarch of the worst sort that extracts instead of invests, and that I still I love my friends even if they’re voting for you.

We had some good times together looking at your hair and forehead, and laughing our way through the primary at the nutbags you had to crawl over in order to grovel in front of us today, but neither excuse your boorish, sexist, misogynistic, paternalistic behaviors and philosophies, nor your twin, idiotic, anti-thought, reactionary, spreadsheet-selected excuses that are your policies and your running mate.

Dan Quayle looks like an elder statesman in more than age compared to Paul Ryan. Do you know how hard that is for everybody else but John McCain?

Staged photo-ops in soup kitchens? Not what, but who the fuck came up with that one? I’ll take the risqué carving from South America flashed to the press any day of the year instead. At least Dan’s handlers had a sense of humor unlike the useless, cynical charlatans in your employ.

If, on the odd chance you actually win, I will continue to agitate and ferment my personally-held beliefs about you amongst the populace while respecting the process by which you were elected.

Ronald Reagan

P.S. – Did you know that Jane Goodall’s laywers once tried to sue everybody on the Internet who said something bad about her?

P.P.S. – This article is a parody and should be considered satire, and is in no way designed to suggest that Dr. Jane Goodall or any of her registered agents has ever authorzied or consented to the use of her name to sell foreskin slippers, or that Mitt Romney is anything other than an upstanding and outstanding candidate for President of the United States.

P.P.P.S. – No llamas were harmed writing this.

P.P.P.P.S. – I’m very sorry that I used foreskin and Mitt Romney in the same sentence. Lawyers, and all.

Which One? – A Visual Puzzle

Which one is the 3 year-old’s plate?


Passive-Aggressive Capitalism – A Short Story

The contract job I landed in 2003 at Starbucks corporate headquarters thankfully removed the “un” from the employment I had been sinking further into for months.

Things had become desperate, so while I wasn’t thrilled about the job, I was thankful to have something. The merry-go-round of taking a cash advance on one credit card and then paying it off with a zero- to low-interest balance transfer from another had come to a lurching halt, with my last application for a new card being having been denied. I had sold everything I could sell on Craigslist. I had applied for over one hundred jobs and from those efforts had secured one in-person interview where I crashed and burned so hard that I’m sure my name is still on a “do not hire” blacklist there, and one phone interview that seemed promising but I never got a call back or had my calls to them returned. I was about two weeks away from having no capacity to pay any bill and was facing being homeless.

I got the job through a friend’s girlfriend. She worked at a temporary agency and vouched for me. I did have to go to the agency for an interview with the account representative for Starbucks, and she seemed to have a hard time wrapping her head around the fact that I was looking for entry-level contract work when my last gig had been as CEO of a 25 person high-tech startup. I spun a bullshit story about taking a break from technology and evaluating Starbucks as a future employer from the ground level.

Body shops being body shops, I had a pulse, was well-groomed, could carry a conversation, and represented that I had skills, so I was phoned back the next day and told when and where to report – 8 AM sharp at 2401 Utah Avenue South. Oh, and dress was business casual.

My business casual wardrobe was jeans with a belt, a collared shirt, and a decade-old pair of penny loafers. I figured I’d blend right in.

I had an inauspicious start before I even made it through the threshold of the building.

Their headquarters occupies a gigantic and historic brick building built in 1912 by the Union Pacific Railroad that successfully lured Sears, Roebuck and Co. to Seattle. Today the complex also includes two large parking garages. Traffic and parking is what made me late that first morning.

The house I shared with a college buddy was in North Seattle. Wedgewood to be exact, and not having commuted across the Ship Canal Bridge for eight or so years, I completely misjudged the traffic on Interstate 5. And how long it would take me to slog my way past downtown. And then navigate a course through the warehouse and industrial area, which is also bisected by a working railroad carrying commuters, travelers, freight, and garbage to points North, South and East.

I’ve always strived to be a punctual person, and when it comes to jobs and business, I try to build buffer time into my travel so I can arrive early for appointments so as not to have to feel rushed. As my buffer was chewed through stopping-and-going down I-5, twinges of anxiety began to pluck at me. Being fairly unfamiliar with the destination area, locating the correct thru street that would carry me all the way westward to where I needed to be was, to put it mildly, difficult. I became more agitated at the dwindling time, the lack of my ability to locate the correct street, and my ill preparation as I executed illegal u-turns and blew down alleys at unsafe speeds.

I thought that the dead halt I had to come to at the clanging South Lander Street railroad crossing somewhere around 8:15 AM was as bad as it was going to get, until the freight train before my eyes slowed down and then actually stopped for what seemed like an eternity before it reversed direction and then slowly chugged out of the way.

Bulleting across First Avenue, I went to turn north onto Utah Avenue towards the parking garage, only to discover it was a pedestrian promenade. Foiled, I roared around the back of the building and past the loading dock to Colorado, only to discover that it summarily ends without a dead end sign unceremoniously in an acute angle of cinderblock wall and chain link with no access to the parking garage. Frantic, I pulled the car around and zoomed back towards First, and finally found myself before the Starbucks Partner Parking garage entrance.

Whipping in to the driveway, I screeched to a stop.

It’s a cardkey-only parking garage and I most definitely did not have a cardkey for entrance.

When pushed beyond panic, a clarity can emerge from deep within the fight or flight response.

If I had had any money in the bank or not been under crushing debt or even had the slightest glimmer of another job, I would have flighted myself right back out of there home, climbed back into bed, and pulled the covers over my head.

But I was broke, over $52,000 in debt, and was seriously considering camping and scouting food banks as my next occupation.

Choking down the fearful freak-out that I was already fired for being late before even getting through the front door, I made my way back south and hunted for street parking. I’m not exactly sure where I ended up that day, but it was likely on Colorado, somewhere around Hinds. Lucky for me at the time, since that’s an industrial area, there were no timed parking restrictions.

There was a curious mix of parked vehicles in the area, ranging from empty, shiny BMWs to cluttered, rusty American sedans and semi-truck cabs and trailers. During the following months, I would play leapfrog throughout the neighborhood in my Jetta with the nicer cars as we battled for closer parking to Starbucks, and learn which local residents it was better to avoid. That first day my dash clock showed somewhere close to 8:25 and I couldn’t afford to be discriminating about parking location.

I uneasily left my car parked in front of a vacant building and near some derelict cars that looked like dumpsters, and quickly hoofed it down Utah.

Yes, yes you! – A Short Story

“Yes! Yeeeessss you sir in the cleanblack duster with the headphones in listening to Rage Against the Machine off Napster, I’m talking to you! I know we’re all having a white angst day today, but I really need you get on setting up those accounts,” Clavius ordered with a mean, happy smile.

Indifferently, Diablo, not even bothering to look up from his screen, gestured vaguely stage right while muttering in a whiny voice, “I’m waiting on sales to finish their stuff before I can do anything.”

The other tech support drones groundhogged their heads up over their privacy screens to watch.

Clavius’ smile melted into an annoyed sigh that preceded a sharp, “What?”

Sensing provoked annoyance, Diablo locked eyes with Clavius before theatrically whirling counterclockwise about in his task swivel chair with his arms raised above his head. At 180º he dipped his right hand, snatched a signup sheet from a stack on his desk and flutterswooped it up into the air. Coming to an abrupt stop at 360º, Diablo simultaneously slapped his white flag down and loudly stated, (ensuring that the sales department would hear,) “Here!” Look at this!” while also stabbing with his index finger.

“Here! There’s no contact email address, only credit card information! This one,” and again with the spin and page drop, but this time in a much more businesslike demeanor, “doesn’t have an MX record.”

Clavius blinked.

“Does it need an MX record?”

Hesitatingly now, “Er, why wouldn’t it? It’s on the form.”

“What if I just wanted a place to park my website presence, but not any other service. Do I technically need an MX record set up with my account?”


“OK. So it is possible to set up an account without an MX record, even though the MX record field is blank on the signup sheet. Yes?”

Acknowledging, “Yes.”

“But have you asked sales if there should be an MX record for this account?”

“Yes, of course!” with a shake of the head and the wave of a hand.


“I sent them an email.”

“You sent them an email.”


“So why isn’t the form on the salesguy’s desk so I can chew him out instead of you for the signup backlog?”

Diablo saw the light. Without another word but with the chattering of the other techs buzzing behind him, he turned to the stack, dug out a few, unplugged himself from his computer, rose, and then delivered the signup sheets to the unsuspecting salesguys with a casual, “I need these forms fully filled out before I can do anything.”

The other groundhogs scurried themselves and followed quickly behind.

There was rarely such a polite exchange between factions, and the salesguys were uneasily quiet.

Satisfied, Clavius barked, “Keep up the good work, men! But get cracking on those signup sheets or I’ll filter the network!”

Cackling, he turned to the sales pen.

Backyard Visitors – A Photograph

My wife was always texting me photos of these when I was at work. I was finally able to see them in person the other day!