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Frank Mahony

You’ve run out of Uncles

3/22/2009   Comment on This

Did you ever notice, on the Monday after the first nice weekend of the year, people suddenly become sick or have other family reasons why they can’t make it to work? Mondays are not the only day people seem to have family emergencies - but that nice weather does seem to wreak an unusually high percentage of havoc on otherwise healthy people.

You almost wonder if they should just do the following on Friday night:

  • Bring the kids right to the doctors’ office.
  • Bring Auntie Betty to the hospital (an illness that is bound to hit at any moment)
  • Bring the car to the shop so they can fix it before it goes bad
  • Install an extra pump in the basement.
  • Leave bail money on “will call” at the police station nearest to where your cousin lives.

That way, they could get the most common problems “cleared up” before Monday and show up to work on time and ready to go.

My “real” suggestions are either:
A) Admit that there is not family emergency - you just overindulged on the weekend and are in no condition to work (you’re aren’t fooling anyone anyway)
B) Start coming up with more interesting reasons why you can’t make it to work

If you admit the truth, some bosses may not be very forgiving - so here is a list of alternative extraordinary reasons why you just can’t make it to work today (you still probably aren’t fooling anyone – but you might get away with more)…

  • I accidentally swallowed my car keys and had to wait for an extra set to be made.
  • A meteor shower changed the time on my clocks – I thought it was still Sunday.
  • I won the $20 million dollar lottery and was planning on quitting but then I lost it all at the gambling boat and had to come to back work
  • Turns out my neighbor is a CIA operative and needed my help with a quick mission that was supposed to be over before Monday
  • I made the first cut on American Idol

Next time, try one of these or at least something different than “My uncle got sick.”

You’ll probably get fired anyway – but when your next employer calls for a reference, the Human Resources Department will be too busy giggling to say something bad.

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Frank Mahony

Deer and Morons

3/13/2009   Comment on This

deer in my headlightsWhen I’m driving home at night, I travel through the northwest suburbs. Although the circumstances are slightly different each time, I keep having these recurring issues – like a déjà vu experience.

Firstly – I seem to be some sort of deer magnet. If there are deer anywhere within a 20 mile area, their “whacked out,” biological, animal instinct GPS sends them in my direction. I am constantly swerving or slamming on the brakes to avoid deer. I even had to dodge deer in the parking lot of my ten story office building where nobody else but me has ever seen deer (I was not drinking – this really happened).

And ... for the record, the plural of deer is deer, not deers. That annoys me too.

Can we ship these deer to Wisconsin? Can we have a big deer cookout? Who can help me get rid of the deer?

Next - If you’re a city person, you either don’t drive much and/or hardly ever use your car’s brights (bright headlights). I hardly ever use my brights, even when driving though wooded areas on a dark night. It’s a pain to constantly flip the bright lights on and off when a car is approaching. I can see well enough at night.

However, I know I’m whining about nothing – but this is really getting on my nerves too. At least once a night, I am accused of driving with my brights on by some “John Q Citizen” that flashes his brights at me. Mostly, I ignore their ignorance (nice).
I know when the brights are on on my SUV
click to see my brights...
But occasionally, when I’m in a bad mood – I retaliate.

Oh those aren’t my brights moron – THESE ARE MY BRIGHTS

And I leave them on until the helpful citizen has past me. I’m not driving some off road vehicle with special lights – just a normal SUV with factory headlights.

So, I need a new product - a combo repellant that make a sound which simultaneously wards off deer and morons in my vicinity?

Got an idea where I can find that? Send me the Info

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Frank Mahony

Myspace is dead

3/10/2009   Comment on This

I’m sure there are many people who will disagree with me, but myspace jumped the shark at least 6 months ago (maybe a year ago). I resisted joining facebook based on the stigma that it was initially a “college kids” networking platform and I regarded it as something for kids only. It’s not like I was on a soapbox in the middle of an intersection railing against it with a megaphone (I reserve that for describing my wife’s purse collection). Instead - just "in my head" - I categorized it as a site for young people.

After using it, I see that it has evolved into a networking, communication and sharing platform for people of all ages.

With many years as a software developer and software user under my belt, it is easy to spot when one platform is drastically better than another. The whacky themes, music players, disorganized look and horrible slowness of myspace makes it look like "something from the past" in comparison to cleaner look and feel of facebook. Recent changes on myspace feel like they are trying to catch up to facebook but public perception moves faster than programmers.

Don’t get me wrong – facebook also needs to work on several of their weirder screens and features that are confusing or presented in an awkward way to the user. These little problems are the "barriers to entry" that prohibit the less technical user from joining and using a site like facebook regularly. keeps gaining in popularity as well. It’s so much more compact in comparison to either facebook or myspace. But there’s only so much time in the day. Unless you are retired or unemployed, you’re only going to have so much time to hang out at the social networking water cooler.

For now, I’d say facebook is leading the pack. What do you think?

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Frank Mahony

The Teaching Debate

3/6/2009   Comment on This

Geoff got into a friendly debate during last Sunday’s show with Amy’s guest - a teacher and author. In speaking with him and based on Amy’s recounting of his good influences on her education, he seemed to be the type of dedicated teacher you hope for.

The debatable issue was when Geoff made the broad generalization that most teachers he’s encountered teach the smart kids and don’t bother with the kids who need special attention. Our teacher/guest countered that the teachers he’s worked with over the years were very dedicated and did extend themselves to help all the kids.

Even if both of them were being 100% honest about their own experiences, neither of them can be correct about the teaching profession in general. I strongly believe in education, but like any other business or profession - how can everyone in the school be either “terrible” or “the best?” Think of any business, sports team, government or other type of organization where everyone’s work, value and performance are equal. Inevitably, some individuals are great, some are good and some are bad.

The question is: what evaluation systems are used and what happens when someone falls below an acceptable performance level.

In the business world, you frequently see family members and/or good old boys promoted to jobs they do poorly because they have “protection” and their inability is never debated. In a well run organization, this doesn’t happen. Everyone’s value is regularly reviewed for effectiveness and only those categorized as valuable are allowed to stay. Within those who stay, there is great variance between the best and the least productive. The people towards the bottom know they’re “on the bubble” and need to improve or their days are numbered.

If the management isn’t willing (or able) to evaluate and take action – long standing employees can become complacent and ineffective. Even worse, the entire structure of an organization (or institution) can become complacent and ineffective with a lack of motivation to be the best.

People who have worked and thrived in competitive Business Darwinism get annoyed by concepts like permanent employment (tenure) and wonder why everyone doesn’t need to demonstrate their value in comparison to other possible applicants year after year.

If you’re good at what you do, you have nothing to worry about – right?

Agree? Disagree? - Tell me why.

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Frank Mahony

Singing Toilet

2/27/2009   Comment on This

When you’re out of town, you hope for the best when it comes to a hotel room. In most cases, you get what you pay for, but I’m not staying in a $600 per night room unless you’re paying.

When you set you’re sites lower, you sometimes end up with fascinating and remarkable “features” in your hotel room. I think I’ve seen it all over the years: leaking sinks and tubs, wallpaper falling off the wall, worn out carpet.

But here are my top hotel room pet peeves:

The room with the thermostat that has only two settings “HELL” or “HELL Freezing over”

When the water is so “over conditioned” that you can’t rinse the soap off in the shower no matter how much you try.

A bed/pillows that are so uncomfortable that you wake up with a back or neck ache.

An uncomfortable “decorative” chair instead of an office chair - when you’re traveling for business, you end up sitting at the supplied desk and chair working on your computer. Is it too much to ask to have a comfortable chair?

This week – I experienced a totally new thing: A Singing Toilet

Every time I flushed the toilet, as it refilled with water, it made a deafeningly loud “WHHZZEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” sound for about a minute. I never before remember rationing my trips to the bathroom to avoid listening to an annoying toilet sound.

I "think" it was really loud – or maybe too much time cooped up in a hotel affected me...


Am I losing it? Tell me what you think.

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Frank Mahony

A Bold Move by Phelps - Lets See How it Works Out for Him

2/5/2009   Comment on This

By now, you’ve probably read or heard about all the heat coming down on gold medalist/ swimming star Michael Phelps. Sponsors are dropping him. The team is suspending him. From a dollars and sense standpoint, he may have really goofed – but it’s easy to understand why.

All around us are examples of successful Americans who have demonstrated that wrong is not necessarily wrong and if something is illegal, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can't do it.

  • We have a current President that discusses his teenage drug usage in his book
  • We have a new head of the treasury (and IRS) that didn’t pay all his taxes
  • We have a former Illinois Governor that claims he “did nothing wrong” and a former-former Governor that is doing time
  • We have a former President that didn’t inhale but did tap an intern for special services
  • We have a former New York Governor that had an appetite for high priced women
  • Potential Cabinet appointees are dropping out because of tax problems and ethics issues
  • The list goes on and on and on…

With so many wonderful examples for Michael Phelps to follow, it’s obvious he is just setting the stage for his entrance into politics.

Without some kind of scandal or illegal activity, he just won’t have the edge it takes to get noticed in our reality-TV society. This may be just what it takes to make him interesting enough for politics. Who wants to hear about a boring guy that works hard and wants to do good for the people and follows the rules and pays his taxes?

Welcome everyone… to the sad and bizarre reality we live in.

Am I wrong? Am I alone here? Tell me what you think

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Frank Mahony

LOL Funny Cheese

2/2/2009   Comment on This

When I was a kid – I remember my mother and grandmother saying “don’t eat that… It’s funny.”

According to
fun-ny1   [fuhn-ee]
adjective, -ni-er, -ni-est, noun, plural -nies.
1. providing fun; causing amusement or laughter; amusing; comical: a funny remark; a funny person.
2. attempting to amuse; facetious: Did you really mean that or were you just being funny?
3. warranting suspicion; deceitful; underhanded: We thought there was something funny about those extra charges.
4. Informal. insolent; impertinent: Don't get funny with me, young man!
5. curious; strange; peculiar; odd: Her speech has a funny twang.
6. Informal. a funny remark or story; a joke: to make a funny.
LOL Cheese = Funny American Cheese
Of course I thought that’s what they meant – something has gone wrong with that food and it has become suspicious, deceitful, underhanded or just plain bad. But cheese is one of those foods that are supposed to get funny (or moldy). I don't remember them ever telling me not to eat any cheese that had gone funny.

So now, I’m really confused because I bought Laugh-Out-Loud (LOL) cheese. It's past the freshness date so it is now "technically" funny. It said LOL on the cheese when I got it - so did I buy funny cheese or did the cheese become funny? Did they know I wouldn't finish it before it became funny?

Is it LOL funny because it’s “LOL White American cheese?” I don’t think so, because they also have “LOL Yellow American Cheese” - which tastes pretty good until it gets funny.

Maybe this entire blog entry was a bad idea and my sense of humor has gone funny.


Email if you don’t get it -OR- if you think this is funny. I’m not sure I can help you but it will be LOL funny to hear from you anyway.

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Frank Mahony

Following the Gutpa weight loss blog, it’s time to talk resolutions.

1/15/2009   Comment on This

Every year, when the bitter cold and reality of January rolls in after New Year’s Eve, it’s resolution time. For so many people, it’s losing weight or otherwise getting healthy. In some years it might be to get a better job – good luck with that one this year.

Every January, my health club is packed for about 3-4 weeks and then the resolutions fade away like a prolonged New Year’s Eve hangover. After a while, the size of crowd decreases and everyone’s back to normal. It’s as predictable as a Chicago political scandal, funny Super Bowl commercials and cold weather.

I’m a keen observer of this as a guy who hangs out at the health club but never really over commits to doing anything too healthy. I’m there once a week to monitor the traffic and make sure everything seems in order.

If the crowds continued or even grew through and past February, it would be like a rip in the space-time continuum. I would worry about the earth breaking free of the Sun and everything we know coming to a crashing, fiery end.

So let’s stay predictable for the sake of my sanity.

Please continue to make and then break your new year’s resolutions - the way it’s always been done.

As the wise Hank Moody once said:
I Like it here… It’s nice. The Sun is chirping, the birds are shining, the water’s wet… Life is good sweetheart, life is good…

Got a resolution comment? Tell me about it.

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Frank Mahony

The Wrong Gupta?

1/7/2009   Comment on This

Obama reports today that he has asked CNN medical correspondent, Dr Sanjay Gupta, to be the new Surgeon General of the Unites States. He thinks having a well known television doctor will be helpful in getting people’s attention.

I think he missed a golden opportunity – Possibly the biggest health issue facing America is obesity. I know – I’m a perfect example.

Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon. How many people in the United States need neurosurgery at any given moment? (I probably need neurosurgery right now for writing this)
Dr Sanjay Gupta
Dr Sanjay Gupta
(He looks like Reality TV to me)

Since Obama has been stack’n the deck with folks from Chicago, why not choose the Chicago weight loss doctor - Gautam Gupta? Think about how many FAT people we have in the United States. If we could get American thinner – I bet tons of other health problems would be dramatically reduced: Heart Disease, Diabetes, etc…

Okay, maybe my judgment is a little clouded because has been an advertiser on WIND.

I guess I understand Obama's concept to pick a celebrity, but it’s just another example of how this is going to be a Reality Television Presidency (see my Joe the Plumber Moron Blog). We’ve already got a good base of suspected trouble makers which are the sorted and dissimilar characters you need for a good reality show.

For a great Reality Television Presidency, how about Dr Phil?

Maybe that wouldn’t work since Oprah is mad at Dr Phil but Obama and Oprah are best pals.

Hang on… Now we're getting somewhere - a Reality White House with: Obama, Oprah, Dr Phil, Gupta and Gupta. Maybe add Jerry Springer in there somewhere. Can Paris Hilton be Secretary of Fashion? Maybe Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan as Secretary of Entertainment?

We just need a wackier version of the White House for them to live in. Can we spend just a little of that bail-out money on a big-ass White House Hot Tub?

I’d watch that. How many bailout billions can we recoup in commercials?

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Frank Mahony

Whatever happened to Joe the Plumber Moron – Does anyone care?

1/4/2009   Comment on This

He stands up at a political rally, says something that hits a nerve,
Emril says Bam!
and BAM!

Another instant celebrity made famous through the continued dumbing down of America.

When the Joe the Plumber phenomena really got legs, it occurred to me that I will never be a household name. Frank E Boy the “computer guy/radio sidekick/smart ass” just doesn’t flow off the tongue as neatly as “Joe the Plumber.”

Of course, there is now a website. I’m sure 10,000 web savvy people all thought the same thing (instant web traffic) and one of them got it first. It’s is an “online resource for all your plumbing needs” – my guess is that the “Joe” of legend is in no way connected to the site. This is all fine by with because the more you know about “Joe,” the less you’ll like. If he is connected to the site, it’s another example of what an opportunistic slime-ball he is.

From moment one, Joe had an agenda. Who else shows up at both campaigns and somehow weasels his way to the microphone being allegedly undecided? Really, Joe is just another goof who was seeking his 15 minutes of fame like a typical reality television contestant.

After he weighed the issues using his finely tuned plumbing skills, he decided to support McCain and flew around the country with him. Like so many reality celebrities, when the 15 minutes is over, the only way to “cash in” is to do something sad and pathetic. Just weeks later, the leech has announced a new coming book out where he’ll be trashing McCain.

The famous plumbing business we all heard about was really a ridiculous story all along. An idiot who expected Presidential Candidates to “do something” to help him figure out how to buy a small business will never successfully run anything. He should have asked me.

How much have you saved for this purchase Joe?
Do you have a business plan or financial plan?
Have you looked into securing loans, financing or partners?
Were you turned down? Why?

I have an answer to Joe’s questions: To own a business, you’ll need to do the same things that smart, hardworking, frugal, savvy business entrepreneurs before you have done. Going to political rallies with an entitlement attitude and needy questions is not a solution. Joe will most likely never solve his “problem” because Business Darwinism is not on his side.

But wait – the story keeps getting better.

He believes that the experience has shown him he’s got the goods for politics. Recently on a radio show, he said (you can’t make this crap up) “I like to think I’m a little more educated than some out there in politics just because it is interesting to me.”

We hell…

Frank E Boy counters - “I like to think I’m a little more educated than some out there in ‘Moron Spotting’ just because it is interesting to me.”

I urge, plead and beg you – DO NOT ALLOW anyone you know to buy a book from this scam artist. His 15 minutes is LONG over.

Let Joe the Moron disappear into obscurity without your hard earned dollars.

Agree? Disagree? Tell me what you think.

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Recent Blogs

3/22/2009 You’ve run out of Uncles
3/13/2009 Deer and Morons
3/10/2009 Myspace is dead
3/6/2009 The Teaching Debate
2/27/2009 Singing Toilet
2/5/2009 A Bold Move by Phelps - Lets See How it Works Out for Him
2/2/2009 LOL Funny Cheese
1/15/2009 Following the Gutpa weight loss blog, it’s time to talk resolutions.
1/7/2009 The Wrong Gupta?
1/4/2009 Whatever happened to Joe the Plumber Moron – Does anyone care?

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