Blog of Frank Mahony (aka Frank Eboy) Tue, 25 Dec 2012 00:00:00 CST Tue, 25 Dec 2012 00:00:00 CST en-us RSS feeder Content (c) copyright 2007-2022 by Frank Mahony. All rights reserved worldwide. comedy Frank Mahony frank.asp Tue, 25 Dec 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Journey Through The Holiday Gift Basket]]> We received a holiday gift basket at the office recently. It was a nice gesture by the people that sent it to us but the contents highlight a symptom of why we are doomed. We've really lost all respect for ourselves and so we are very easily herded and manipulated by marketers possessing skills on par with those of the reality television geniuses.

Case in point:

"Biscuit croquants au chocolat" - which are advertised to be "riche et delicieux"

The Brand tag line reads "chocolat extraordinaire"

So this must be good - because it's "French" - it's so chic and uber cool because there is no "E" at the end of chocolate.

But then when you turn the box around, you'll see that it is made in Indonesia (A.K.A. the Epicenter of French Baking). Now don't misunderstand, I'm not saying there is anything inherently wrong with French Food from Indonesia. It's just not where I instinctively expected my French cookies to be made. Why French you ask?

Are they selling these to people in France? Who have a penchant for buying French cookies from California? And who also prefer foods actually made in Indonesia?

Seems unlikely, but you never know for sure.

The most likely answer: A distribution company from El Segundo California figured you wouldn't be impressed by chocolate cookies (sorry - croquants au chocolat) that seem just like all the other unhealthy crap made in America. They made it sound French, and it was transformed from empty calories to a mysterious foreign treat.

On the other hand, if you tell me these are primarily sold to French Canadians - then it all makes sense and you can ignore my rant. They would never know the difference.

Another box of cookies in the Gift Basket features cookies with the simple brand name: BETH'S.

Like me, I know you're immediately picturing a cute freckle faced girl with a perpetual smile making cookies for you and your family. I imagine Beth's "back story" is that she did "ok" in school but she was always drawn towards baking so now she works 24 hours a day making cookies. The long hours are all worthwhile, because she is doing what she loves...

After 10 seconds of my Beth daydream, my cynical nature kicks in. Now back in reality, I know that when I turn over the box I will surely find that Beth's cookies are also be made in Indonesia (or maybe India).

But dammit - I'm wrong... - There is allegedly a real Beth.
(She is also in California - go figure).

I can't tell if she has freckles but she does look a little frazzled - which could be because her website kinda sucks and has print which is so tiny that nobody could ever read it.

Poor Beth - she went from being a cute little girl with a creepy/sleepy doll to a fourth place finisher in an Annette Funicello look-alike contest. If she had only poofed her hair a tiny bit more, she might have taken second place. Her unnecessarily detailed yet mostly incomprehensible life story of world travel and endless job changes is making me cry.
(See for yourself - I can't make up anything this funny)

So I say - enough with the "fake" French food and other glorified "fake" foreign crap. Give me the real deal from France or else sell me anything made by Beth...

If we just keep her busy by ordering lots of her cookies hopefully she will never have time to write again.

Happy Holidays!]]> (Frank Mahony)
Fri, 30 Nov 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[They Fucked Up my Mid-Life Crisis]]> I'm of that age where I should get to have my Mid-Life Crisis. It's a rite of passage just like getting a driver's license or kissing the first person of a gender that interests you (damn I hate this new politically correct terminology!)

The "Mid-Life Crisis" is an expected part of our culture and I just wanted what I am "entitled" to like everyone else.

One woman is more than enough trouble, so I wasn't going that route. Instead, I was thinking I'd go for the cars and toys route. I'm not a "bright red" Corvette kind of guy either, so I was kind of looking forward to something more subtle - like a dark charcoal-grey Porsche 911 Turbo (I've wanted one of those since I was 16).

However, I don't know if you noticed, but over the last 4 years, we've had the shittiest economy since the Great Depression and that really pours some ice water on a Mid-Life Crisis.

What rotten, bullshit timing...

So now, I'm worried about college tuition, mortgages, new taxes and retirement savings. What kind of stupid Mid-Life Crisis is this?

I'm trying to keep my 130k miles 2002 Ford Explorer running when I should be recklessly flying through town at 90mph in a sports car getting tickets.

I should be buying $2000 Canali suits at Nordstrom but instead I got 20% off on new underwear at Kohl's.

I should be hanging out in bars drinking too much expensive Scotch and "Living It Up" but instead, I'm... hanging out in bars drinking "sort of" expensive Scotch while trying to display a last semblance of dignity.

This sucks.

I really need someone/something to blame for this situation and it has to be: Congress and The Banks.

Between the two of them, they drove this country off the cliff and into the crapper and gypped me - hard.

If a guy was standing in front of me with a sign on his chest that said "Congress" or "The Banks" - I'd kick him in the balls.

That's how mad I am.

Ok, enough bitching - back to work for me!

I guess I need to figure out how to fix the economy myself so I can pay for my crisis and not worry about it. I'll probably be the only guy having a Mid-Life Crisis at 90 - but that's life.

]]> (Frank Mahony)
Wed, 7 Mar 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Evanston Takes a Stand]]> You cannot argue that people driving while using a cell phone has either caused, or in some way contributed to, SOME car accidents. So naturally, the elected ruling class in Evanston, IL decided that YOU cannot operate a car while talking on a cell phone - even if the phone is hands free.

But I say, why single out cell phones?

There are many other equally distracting obstacles that drivers encounter which draw their attention away from the road and surrounding vehicles. If these distractions were analyzed, we would conclude that they have caused a significant (maybe equal) number of accidents. The only logical conclusion, for driver safety, is that these should be banned in Evanston also.

Therefore, today I begin my petition requesting that the Evanston Elders work on laws to make all of the following Distractions to Drivers illegal:

  • Street Signs
  • Headlights
  • Any Bright or Flashing Light (Including Red Light Cameras)
  • Any Writing, Logos or Pictures on Vehicles (Trucks)
  • Attractive People (Especially Hot Women)
  • Heavy Traffic (Actually an other Vehicles on the road)
  • Speeds beyond 20mph
  • Color
  • Speaking
  • Singing
  • Humming
  • Music
  • Sound
  • Bad Weather
  • Food or Drink (including Gum)
  • In fact when you consider all the facts driving isn't 100% safe, so consider Banning Driving altogether

If you think of anything I've missed, please add it to the list and then sign my petition.

Pass this on to everyone you know so we can finally make Evanston safe.
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Bathroom Hands]]> How many times has this happened to you?
Old School Hand Towels
You use a public restroom. You wash your hands. You dry your hands.
(pretty much)

And by pretty much, I mean how much drying can you do?

If you're at home, it's home base. You know the tactical situation, all available exits and the location of all useful materials for accomplishing your mission.

But when you're at work, at a restaurant, at a neighbor's house... you're at the mercy of whatever you might find.

I've routinely had to deal with:

  • Damp community towels (what else is on this thing?)
  • A giant box dispensing an endless roll of some weird white cloth from the 1950s
  • Puffy/fluffy disintegrating decorative paper hand towels
  • Electric Hand dryers that take 14 hours to do minimal drying
  • Generic non-absorbent sheets that resemble sandpaper
  • Nothing at all

So, in most circumstances, you probably just alternately brush your hands up and down your sides and use your pants to dry your hands. At least you know how clean your clothes are. You think to yourself, "My hands will %u2018[145]air dry' within a few minutes - this is fine."

But then, inevitably, and usually within seconds, people descend on you like a SWAT team, dragging along a person that you absolutely MUST meet at this exact moment.

As the person extends a hand to shake, you're partially mumbling some excuse about just coming from the bathroom and then you realize that story doesn't sound good. Are your hands damp because you just washed them? - or because you just didn't?

This is the awkward situation known as "Bathroom Hands"

Wet Bathroom HandsYou can try to quickly give your hands a few more passes up and down the sides of your pants - but you know they're still going to be sufficiently damp. That moment of squishy hand contact is inevitable. You can only stall for so long.

If you try to explain the reason your hands are damp, you sound either like you are lying or like you are overcompensating (possibly unbalanced).

Bottom line - There is no easy way to get out of this.

So my newest recommendation is this: Don't even try to dry your hands anymore. Come out of the bathroom/restroom with water dripping off your arms and hands like you're in the middle of fixing the plumbing in there and you just stepped out to take a break.

Then, go ahead and shake hands vigorously and proudly. Make it the other guy's problem to wonder about what just happened. And don't say a word about it.

You'll feel better - trust me...
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Mon, 30 Jan 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[It's kind of funny...]]> I am officially calling for a ban on ANYONE introducing a story/comment by saying: "It's kind of funny..."

Before I get into it any farther, let's get to the bottom line: It is NOT funny.

It's not at all funny. It's nothing that Ricky Gervais would say, nothing that Chris Rock would say. In fact it's so "not funny" that you couldn't even get Judy Tenuta or Emo Phillips to say it.


"It's kind of funny... The other day I was waiting in line at McDonalds and this lady was screaming at her kids."

"It's kind of funny... Last week my friends and I were at a bar, and we just sat there for hours talking and never ordered any drinks"

"It's kind of funny... I usually forget to get gas in my car until I'm almost on empty."

See what I'm saying?
No funny anywhere to be seen.
Funny has left the building - TYVM.

So my suggestion/DEMAND is that everyone make the move towards accuracy. I must insist that you start your sentences and stories with something closer to the truth like these alternatives:

Speaking of things that are very uninteresting...

Something really boring happen recently...

I like to hear myself talk, would you mind listening?...

Now, next time you're speaking and the people you're talking to avoid eye contact, or groan/sigh or even spontaneously go into a coma, you'll understand what is "actually" happening.

When you preface your concept appropriately going forward - you're politely giving people the option of faking a sudden need to use the restroom or pretending to get an important text messages so they can back away and save face for everyone involved.

If I can leave you with one thought it would be: Don't oversell it.

With that said, happy story telling to you.

]]> (Frank Mahony)
Fri, 13 Jan 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Can You Please Rate Me?]]> Many retail stores and other types of business that deal with the public have been told by customer retention consultants and by various business books that they need to measure and constantly improve their customer service. Nowhere in the world is that more true than in the US where customers are very demanding of service and, sadly, service is becoming our primary business.

To accomplish these measurements of quality, you've probably been asked by a customer service employee to fill out some sort of form to "rate them." Some are bold enough to explain: We don't get any sort of commission but my bonus pay is entirely driven by these customer ratings so if you would please fill out a survey, I would appreciate it.

Bad Service Can You Rate Me?Now, that's all fine for a good employee and as long as it isn't some giant pain in the ass questionnaire, I'll fill it out. But lately, it seems like only the crappiest employees are giving me the full court press for these evaluation.

As I'm hearing the words come out of their mouth, I'm thinking: "You really must exist in another dimension on the other side of the universe. You're saying you actually want me to 'write down' what a terrible job you did? You ooze lack of interest in doing a good job. What good thing could you possibly expect me to say?"

And then for some stupid reason - I do nothing. Why do any of us feel bad complaining when we spend good money and get bad service? I think many of us have some weird sense of ultra-politeness that urges us to not saying anything unless we have something nice to say.

So going forward, I've decided that if they ask - I'm gonna oblige.

Remember service people, you asked me to do this for you. You asked of me a "favor" and in all fairness, you now "owe" me a favor in return - regardless of what I say.

I guarantee it will be a fair and true evaluation based on your performance. If by my assistance you end up needing to "locate" more suitable employment, then I think I did a favor for you in the long run.

Consider this my "public notice" of fair warning. Don't ask unless you mean it.

]]> (Frank Mahony)
Mon, 9 Jan 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Death Chairs]]> I was a mall walker last Sunday before the show.

It's not like I had a track suit on and got there at 6:30am. It was midday and I was walking around to kill time - but I still felt ridiculous.

I went with The Diva to see the "newest place" she's found... which sucked...

Women have a weird (damaged) genetic coding sequence that causes them to hallucinate whenever a new store opens or they find a store they've never visited before. I believe they see rainbows, butterflies, unicorns and free pots of gold (or something like that).

Women see a Shimmering Shopping Fantasy.
Men see Shopping places for what they really are.

So I wandered around looking for anything remotely interesting: a book store, a cigar chop, a Tilted Kilt, whatever.... It was either that or end up like one of those guys that get stuck sitting in a "Death Chair"

You know the "Death Chair" - "Chair of Death" - whatever you like to call it.
You've seen them a million times...

They put them near women's dressing rooms (any chair in a women's shoe department is also a "Death Chair"). They are disguised as a convenience for a weary companion that has been dragged from store-to-store in search of the perfect purse/dress/shoe/pants/jewelry.

In reality, "Death Chairs" are a place dumb guys go to die - like an Elephant Graveyard.

The "Death Chairs" are never normal chairs. They are either overly "worn in" club chairs that make you sink all the way down to the height of the trained pet you've become. Or, other "Death Chairs" are instead a flamboyant purple-striped high back throne better suited for Liberace than you. The worst kind, is the silly looking mini-bench thing without armrests. They are just barely wide enough for two - which is awesome so that you can sit "super close" to a new "man friend" you'll be meeting any moment who is also there to die.

Misery loves company.

I never found anything I would categorize as interesting - just miles of clothing stores, shoe stores and lots of mall food court crap.

At least I got some exercise accomplished for the day.

]]> (Frank Mahony)
Fri, 10 Jun 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Show Us Your Weiner]]> All you people calling for Congressman Anthony Weiner to resign are so far off base!!...

You really don't get it, do you?

Dude, ur an idiot and a noob - this is the way people are now. what cave are you living in? - this is not, like, the 1950s anymore.

Anthony Weiner Pictures On Twitter - Weinergate - Anthony Weiner ShirtlessYou gotta have "at least" one FBGF or twitter GF - prolly lots or ur a total loser geek.

This ultra cool dude I just chillin with his peeps and keepin in touch like the rest of the world.

I mean, like, nobody cool does anything without tweeting it or posting it to FB. And you gotta put up some pix to get some l0ve. The dude is like totally ripped. He must be in the gym, like all day, or something. If I was that ripped, I would tweet my junk to hotties all day too.

ur just a hater and totally jeal...

Weiner is a real hipster. He's my new freakin idol. Like - who actually "works" at work anymore? It's all about how many of ur peeps and hotties are checkin out ur tweets and hittin you up on FB.

I bet they send him some smokin pix too - Yeah! You know it!...

The Weiner Dude is a Total Man of the Peeps - He is teh c0nGr3SSmaN of da future.
He is representin - new style - for the peeps that elected him.
Doing the job like hes sposed ta - right?

A translation table for you internet impaired noobs:

Internet Term Translation
chillin relaxing
c0nGr3SSmaN a way cooler way to spell congressman
FB Facebook
FBGF Facebook Girlfriend
GF Girlfriend
jeal jealous
LMAO Laughing
noob newbie (inexperienced)
peeps people
pix pictures
prolly probably
sposed supposed
ta to
teh THE best, numero uno
ur Your or You're

Hahahahahahaha - ROFL LMAO
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Mon, 6 Jun 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[In the "Heat" of Retrial, Blago Admits ...]]> It was almost all over but the shouting and Former Governor Rod Blagojevich (Blago) certainly knew that his day of inevitability had come.

And so today in open court, with his back up against the wall, Blagojevich finally admitted the truth that he had been avoiding and desperately hiding from everyone, including his lawyers, for all these months and years...

That he is the brain child behind pop music sensation: Justin Beiber

Nobody expected this surprise announcement, especially since so many moments of concealed tape recordings somehow managed to miss the very important megalomaniacal background dealings that it took to catapult his prodigy into the limelight.
Justin BeiberRod Blagojevich (Blago)
"People thought I did it for my fame, for my future and my fortune," proclaimed Blagojevich, "But they got it all wrong."

He continued, "I knew this kid was something the moment I heard him and I put everything on the line to secretly mentor him to greatness from the hairstyle right on through to the dance moves..."

"It almost doesn't matter what they do to me now because I've achieved my goal."

While many were shocked and confused, those closer to the controversy began to nod with understanding.

"It all finally makes sense," acknowledged prosecutor Reid Schar. "We all thought he was possibly just crazy or mentally disturbed in some way but he had a plan that was bigger than anything we saw on the surface."

With the popularity of Beiber's music, the prosecution is now wondering if they have a case left. Prosecutor Schar explained, "Have you seen the arenas the Beiber sells out? How do we get a jury to convict Blagojevich now?"

With the case coming to a close, the question on everyone's mind is: how did we miss this?
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Wed, 2 Mar 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Let There Be Light... Bulbs]]> refrigerator dead bulbYesterday I was thinking of grabbing a late night snack and I headed to the refrigerator. Some might head for the pantry for their brand of snack like: cookies, chips, crackers, etc... I'm usually more of a cold snacks kinda guy - cheese, lunch meat & leftovers.

When I opened the fridge door, the appliance bulb was burned out. Of course everyone who has this happen to them immediately thinks - "shit" - I don't know how to replace this stupid bulb, I don't know what plastic cover thing I'm going to need to unhook, I know I'll probably break some tab that holds the thing in place trying to figure it out.

Aren't those bulbs supposed to last forever?

So, I shut the door an reopened it - maybe the fridge just didn't notice that I opened the door?

Nope - still burnt out.

I tried pressing and jiggling the closed door sensors - still nothing.

As I'm looking at this unlit food, I'm thinking - this is definitely not looking very appetizing. In fact it's kind of creepy looking like a dark cave with potentially bad things hidden back there in the darkness. It occurred to me that it might be a good idea when you're dieting to take the bulb out of you fridge to make the food look less inviting. I know I was suddenly not thinking of eating anything from in there.

freezer with lights onI thought about going over to the pantry to see if anything looked good over there. I wasn't in the mood for chips - but you know - I wasn't going to reach into the dark recesses of that fridge and get my hand bitten off.

And then it hit me - "Duh... what was I thinking? What about the freezer"

See, that's more like it. The food looks so bright and shiny. It's all "good" and ready to be eaten.

So for now, I'll just have to stick to a diet of frozen pizza, cream puffs, toaster strudels and Haagan Dazs Bananas Foster Ice Cream until "somebody" figures out how to fix that stupid bulb.

Why is everybody looking at me?
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Tue, 15 Feb 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Countdown to the Royal Wedding]]> I just saw yet another "Countdown to the Royal Wedding" segment on the morning news which makes me want to ask Mr Owl - how long can you beat a dead horse? So rather than all the dumb questions everyone is asking, I wonder if the Royal Wedding has any of the same problems and issues as our family's weddings?

the royal wedding video game
When Does the Royal Wedding Video Game Come Out?
Picture courtesy VT Game Reviews
We need to find a place for the Ceremony, Reception and Rehearsal Dinner about a year in advance because everything books up that far out. They can just "have it at the house." If I did that, it would be considered cheap, but for them, it is an "honor" to be invited to the Palace. That's a sucky double standard. Why isn't it an "honor" to be invited to my Palace? Maybe I should start being more exclusive with the guest list at my parties.

No matter which church they choose, for whatever date, it will become open. Imagine if you were supposed to get married and you booked the date a year in advance. Then, one day you get a call from someone who says "I'm sorry but you've been bumped by the future King and Queen." Maybe you get an invite to their wedding as a "concession prize" in exchange for being bumped.

Speaking of invites, I wonder how that works...

At our family weddings, we decide to invite Auntie Betty who will give a $10 wedding gift even though it will cost us over $100 for her to be there. The parents want every conceivable friend and relative to be there. The kids hardly know these relatives or have met them only once. They want to trim the list to make room for their friends.

PrinceLady Gaga
Do you think the Queen and Prince debated over inviting guests. Maybe the Prince thinks that the Prince of Yugoslavia is cheap?

Queen (in a queenly voice): We must invite the Prince of Yugoslavia. His family has supported our family and country for centuries.

Prince (in a South Park voice): Screw him - he always makes an ass of himself. Nobody even knows Yugoslavia has a Prince and he's so cheap - he'll probably only give $50,000. Who would we sit him with anyway? At the last party, he picked a fight with the King of Zimbabwe. Let's invite "Prince" from the United States instead and maybe Lady Gaga too.

Lastly, there is the Music and Photographer. They'll ask Paul McCartney and he will "gladly accept the honor" and probably be paid nothing. We have to pay some bad DJ $1000 to play a Paul McCartney CD. We also have to pay a photographer for the wedding - They'll have thousands of photographers capturing pictures and video of every move they make.

The more I think about it, I'm pretty sick and tired of the whole monarchy/royalty thing. Seems silly in this day and age - no?]]> (Frank Mahony)
Sun, 30 Jan 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Donuts, Burgers and Sushi]]> I was in Los Angeles and Hollywood recently, so I was "on the look out" for the stereotypical "LA" type - as in:

"Hey babe... No time to talk... I just got back in town and I'm at LAX. I've gotta meet my agent and we're gonna jump on the 405 and head up to Hollywood to pitch our new project to some studio execs. I'll call you later - we can grab sushi in Beverly Hills. "

Randy's Donuts in LA
In general, I think us Mid-westerners tend to think of LA people as: having a very Hollywood laden jargon-y superficial language, at the gym every day, more spiritual and definitely eating healthier than we do. Actually, I didn't see much of that stereotype but I didn't try to gain access to the underbelly - there is certainly a hidden city you'll never see. The chief export from the town is a weird amalgamation of culture, politics, fashion and entertainment subject to an even weirder international amalgamation of praise, scrutiny and disdain. I think people see what they want to see, especially if they're intimidated or in awe of a place. I saw an army of people and business to support the LA export product. I found the LA people I encountered to be very pleasant and attentive to a fat guy from Chicago.

Maybe they confused me with someone famous...

However, while driving around LA and Hollywood, I started to see one really unexpected trend:

Randy's Donuts, Winchel's Donuts, Yum Yum Donuts, Tasty Donuts, Tang's Donuts, Stan's Donuts, M & M's Donuts, Spudnut's Donuts, Kindle's Donuts, Michell's Donuts, Magee's Donuts, Granny's Donuts, Donut King, Donut Time and so on...

In-N-Out Burger, Fatburger, Bob's Burgers, Astro Burger, Mel's, Pink's, Jim's, Dino's, Tomboy's, Molly's, Cassell's, Tommy's, Cisco Burger and so on...

FYI - they have a Portillo's that people drive from miles to get to.

I can't even count, spell or lookup the names of the all the sushi places I passed, but the only type of eating establishment as prevalent as the Donut and Burger places were the sushi places.

In N Out Burger in LA
I did NOT see that many workout places, maybe two or three tops.

Over all, I'm not so sure anything is healthier in LA. I think they eat the same crap we do - maybe more - but they do a good job of pitching the city as health conscious.

I think if they're any thinner, it's because they may work harder to be "in shape" to be employable in a town where many people are involved in the entertainment business and also because it's always so damn hot that you sweat off all the donuts and burgers. They only healthy thing was, possibly, the sushi - but we have plenty of that here and I don't know of any dramatic weight loss related to sushi restaurants.

Overall, I'd say you'd end up eating just as badly in LA as you do in Chicago. If they opened a few more places to get a decent hot dog or Italian Beef - I think they might have us beat.
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Thu, 21 Oct 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Super-Seniors at the DMV]]> So, I'm at the DMV the other day waiting forever to get my eye exam, get my picture taken and get the hell outta there. As you know, this is a 45 minute ordeal on a good day and an hour plus when you're in a hurry - I was.

As I was sitting in the many rows of chairs, bored out of my mind, I glanced at the organ donor pamphlet they handed me on the way in. The picture of a super enthusiastic, smiling Jessie White is a little creepy to me. It's a good program that saves lives, but Jessie looks a little too excited to get his claws on my lungs and liver. He needs to tone it down a little and look more somber like the funeral parlor guys.

As everyone sits down, they leave a little buffer between themselves and the next person. Some people are in groups of three. why does it take three or more people to get a driver's license?

Being a scary looking guy - I get an entire row to myself - which is fine by me.

I'm bored with Jessie and everything else in this place in about 3 minutes. Then I start noticing the sizable number of people that I'm suspecting are 90+ years old getting licenses. There is no specific age when you aren't able to drive. For some people, I'm sure they can drive and function into their 90s. Other people probably shouldn't be driving in their 70s. Common sense should prevail here.

Hang on! That guy who is shuffle-walking like the Tim Conway character and can't hear anything is going to re-new his DRIVING privileges and nobody is saying "NO" - ???

"Sir, can you please read the second line of the eye chart." Tim Conway looks up from the eye exam machine, he stares at the DMV employee still squinting and says nothing. After about 10 seconds he looks back down into the machine. He knows somebody is talking to him but cannot figure out who and he cannot understand one word. "Sir, can you see the second line?" Again, no response... HOW is this guy able to drive?

Image courtesy Wired Magazine
The lady with the cane, who can walk about 6 feet at a time and then needs to stop to rest for a minute, is also going to continue to drive? She is so frail, that it took her more than a minutes to figure out how to hang on to something to sit down in a chair. How could she possibly brake quickly or swerve to avoid something?

All these super-seniors are accompanied by a younger person (presumably a daughter) who is supporting this process.

They can't see, can't hear and can barely move. How do they possibly belong behind the controls of a one ton steel projectile, moving at 30-70 miles per hour, filled with twenty gallons of flammable liquid?

I blame the family for not putting their foot down when grandma and grandpa are too "out of it" to understand that they are no longer road worthy. When they are at that point, tell them you WILL NOT help them renew their license. If they get mad and "take you out of their will" - so be it.

At least you can sleep at night knowing you have protected the kids standing at the bus stop.
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Sun, 17 Oct 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Just Say Blow]]> There are signs that all this talk of legalizing marijuana is having a small effect. According to a recent survey, between 2008 and 2009, drugs use grew from 8% to 8.7% among people aged 12 and over.

If you think about our current state of world competitiveness contrasted against our current sense of entitlement and "all about me" priorities - this is probably not a good sign. The old saying is: "when the going gets tough, the tough get tougher." Somehow, if you hear "Dude... pass that shit down here," - it just doesn't sound like a competent plan for redoubling our efforts towards being the world leader of innovation and finance.

cheech and chongThe desire to be "mind altering" our way through difficult times is a sign and symptom of the weakness that plagues our nation. We think it's somebody else's fault that we're in our undesirable position and if we can just drink/puff/snort/shoot/tax our way through the next week, we'll be fine.

I'm probably guilty of pizza-ing, McDonald's-ing and Portillo's-ing my way through a week - but I can't allow anyone to put drugs and junk food on the same level. You need to eat... It doesn't actually help me get through the week, it doesn't stop me from performing well in my work and I can quit any time I want. Hmmm - that's probably what an addict would say too. Come to think of it, I have sometimes felt like I was sort of drifting off into another plane of consciousness after having a Cheeseburger, a Maxwell Street Polish or freshly made Churros.

Actually, I'll get off this junk food stream of thought for now... It's really going nowhere and we need to get back to the important debate over drug legalization.
(Note to self: Look into 12 step programs).

wow dudeThere are people ranging from tax hungry politicians right on through to modern day hippies (is that the same thing?) that are very anxious to legalize, legitimize and tax the shit out of marijuana. The legalization of one drug is possibly the slippery slope to another - especially when we get hooked on the tax revenue. Hooked on drugs, hooked on government hand outs, hooked on taxes, hooked on the power of a political office - they're all junkies to me. If they were legalizing it for genuine reasons, I might have different feelings. They're not REALLY supporting legalization as a freedom issue; they're taking a we-failed-trying-to-stop-it-so-lets-tax-the-hell-out-of-it approach. Those tax and vote junkies are the worst - they'd sell their mother to get more taxes and more votes.

Maybe we can come up with the equivalent of a Methadone clinic for people hooked on tax revenue, political office and entitlement thinking.

What's really ironic is that the same assholes that have banned smoking are probably "OK" with legalized marijuana because they can use the resulting tax money to buy more votes.

Regan era politics championed the phrase "Just Say No" - I think the political drug slogan for the modern day might end up being "Just Say Blow"
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Fri, 17 Sep 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Calling all you iPhoneys!!]]> I respect Steve Jobs, Apple founder, for being an innovator and pushing for the best technology. But when you take a boneheaded stance, at some point you have to admit defeat and move on - unless your ego is bigger than Cupertino, CA...
Steve Jobs is wrong this time
Jobs has backed some bad decisions and some really smart ones, but taking the stance that the "iPhone will not support Flash" is going to be a bad move in the long run.

The Verizon Motorola Droid just got an update to allow flash in the browser and that makes the phone's browser almost as powerful as the one on your computer (it's just smaller)

Will Apple and Jobs eventually come back with their tail between their legs or will you iPhonies forever look at the missing block where the Flash capability ought to be.

Coming soon is the new Windows 7 Phone - I'm sure it will have Flash as well as all the usual Microsoft goodies like Xbox games, Microsoft Office, etc...

I think either: Apple admits they were wrong or eventually their phone device lead will fade and Apple will eventually lose the phone market.

Think I'm wrong? - ask the guys at Motorola how easily the lead slips away.
They had it all locked up at one time.

Thankfully, the Boys From Illinois are back with their Motorola Droid.
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Wed, 18 Aug 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Jet Blue Baby]]> Jet Blue Flight Attendant Steven SlaterI'm really tired of hearing about this Jet Blue Idiot. I cannot believe all the comments from people that have sympathy, support, understanding, compassion, and other "feelings" about his "situation."

What situation?

If someone (really) hit you in the head, you call it an accident or you file a police report if it was actually intended to injure you - you don't slide down a slide. WTF is that?

He picked a crappy job in the airline industry where he was essentially a servant to air travelers.

Plus, it's a business where customers are pissed off all the time. flight was delayed, my flight was cancelled, they lost my bags, the seats are uncomfortable, why do I need to buy another seat for my fat ass, stop that baby from screaming, it's too hot in here, why aren't the snacks free, the flight attendants are so rude, the flights are too expensive, I don't want a middle seat...

Jet Blue Flight Attendant Steven SlaterPeople hate the necessary evils of the airline industry. Anyone working in the business, even for a short time, knows what to expect.

We've all had jobs we eventually hated. You either "suck it up" and deal with the hassles of the job in exchange for the paycheck you're accepting - or you quit.

You go directly to your management and say, "I'm resigning. Do you want me to work out the next two weeks?"

The drama and stupidity and going down the slide like a child are just screams for attention. He's like an obnoxious kid stomping his feet in the grocery store because you wont buy him a candy bar.

Goodbye and Good Riddance.]]> (Frank Mahony)
Sun, 15 Aug 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Portillo's Drive Through Reform]]> I got a salad recently at a Portillo's Drive-Through. Not the most glamorous lunch, but for some reason, I had a taste for Caesar Salad dressing.

For those of you from Chicago, you know the deal with Portillo's - the lines at Portillo's are so long you think you should drive right past - but they have it covered...

Their food is reasonably good as fast food goes, but their real skill is volume. They gave up on those retarded drive through talking-menu aggravation-devices a long time ago.

Portillo's drive troughWhen it's even a tiny bit busy, they deploy Portillo's reinforcements out into the front lines of fast food battle with wireless head sets, cash, coin changers, numbered order tickets, wireless credit card processing units and foul weather gear if needed. At some locations the cars get to 15 deep and/or 2 wide - but the lines keep moving quicker than any drive through operation you've ever seen.

So, this time, the bag they handed me contained lots of paperwork...

I'm thinking, what is all this crap?

It turned out to be "take out" menus, catering menus, applications for employment - a big stack of stuff in the bag for one food item. Really odd.

It kinda reminded me of walking out of a hospital after having a blood test with all the paperwork and post care instructions, etc...

Then the light bulb went off...

What if you combined Portillo's drive through efficiency with healthcare?

First, they probably would never let you order anything off their menu ever again - but beyond that, I think they could help with the speed and cost of healthcare.

I can just picture it now...

Drive-through Blood tests, drive-through x-rays, maybe even Drive through Plastic Surgery?


That's some real healthcare reform.
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Tue, 27 Apr 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Remember Monopoly: I Want to Be The Banker]]> lighting money on fireI had a few moments break between phone calls today and thought I'd take a crack at solving this whole National Debt thing. You know, when you finally get tired of something, you put your nose to the grindstone and you come up with a solution.

It's like pulling an "all nighter" in college to prepare for an exam.

I really don't have a ton of time to put towards this, but I figure any time is more than the current Congress has put towards it, so maybe I have a shot.

You know the old saying, if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself.

So, I figured...

When banks need money, they always find a way to get what they want. Whether they break the law, pass some crazy fee onto the customer, get a loan from somebody else or get bailed out, they always find a way to resolve their money issues.

So, I took a play right out of their playbook...

Click the Letter I wrote. Think this will work?

If it does, I may just be the smartest guy alive.]]> (Frank Mahony)
Thu, 15 Apr 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Happy Birthday!]]> As you know, my blog can sometimes take a distracted turn - disgracefully disappearing for shuddering periods of time. And so, in a new turn, I return; yet emerging unquestionably different from retirement with a priceless old pal willyS. Not that he's some fat-witted and fiendlike gangstah rappah, but maybe a consanguineous semi-distant cousin (the real OG) who was dealing unrivaled rhyming roguery back in the day and the birthplace of the language. With overview, he guides this overblown overgrowth toward nonregardance from the overcredulous.

You think you're marketable?
You're nothing but a zany, foul-mouthed bump.
You couldn't champion the same roadway as my nimble-footed, catlike pedant silly-willyS

Ok - what they hell am I talking about?
Are you totally lost? Good!

By now, some understand - but the others... well... you need to cover up because your GED is showing.

We're talking about the master of the King's written word, the employer of excitement who will always be the foregone hero.

You have no idea, still?

As willyS might say - you appear "uneducated" - or do you feign batty for expedience?

If you compromise defeat and stand prepared to expose your seamy, idle-headed nature - know that I am not cruelhearted or distrustful, yet duteous, and offer the goods of my depositary with nary more than a click.

Happy Birthday (soon) willyS. Long gone, but your presence continues to glow in unquestioned fixture.

How many words have you coined? We lost count... (See here)

Clicked on the picture and can't make out the signature?
(you STILL don't get it? - wow!!) CLICK HERE]]> (Frank Mahony)
Sun, 14 Mar 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Time Stimulus Package]]> Hey it was "just" that time of year again! No, no... not that weird, naked ritual you and your neighbors do in the back yard - I'm talking about daylight savings time.

So on Saturday night, I'm grazing on some snack food with my son and the Diva reminds us: "Don't forget... The clocks change tonight..." I asked "we gain or lose an hour?" If I wasn't in a potato chip induced food coma, I would have remembered ("spring ahead"). When she said, "we lose an hour," we both simultaneously let out a sound that sounded like swearing and letting the air out of your tires.

Obama Time Stimulus PackageI'm too tired to lose an hour.
I need that hour.

So, we both considered, can't Obama do something about this? Didn't they goof around with daylight saving time a while back to extend it or something?

Since the Obama team comes up with a new Tsar and spending plan almost daily, we think this should be the next thing he tries to push through Congress: The Time Stimulus Package.

The Time Stimulus Package of 2010 modifies daylight savings so that regardless of the season, Spring or Fall, the clocks are adjusted to provide an extra hour of sleep. Forget about sunlight, energy savings and all that other crap. When you think about the other financially impossible things they've proposed, this sounds like a "no brainer" - right?

We want more sleep and we don't care who has to deal with the consequences. So, for the next 10, 15 or 20+ years, we get more sleep and then one day in the future, when there is only one remaining employed American - the poor bastard will need to work 22 hour days forever. He'll curse the former president and his staff every day, but by then Obama will have retired from politics and will be a Television Talk Show Host, working for his new boss, Oprah, making billions.

Plus, I'll be retired by then too, living off all the free benefits the government will provide from taxing the life and soul out of that one sorry sap.
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Wed, 3 Feb 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Hospital Pickup Lines]]> Over the years, I've spent a lot of time around hospitals and medical offices at my "other" job. The people that work in healthcare have a tough assignment - it's not easy being around people that have health problems. Healthcare workers have to stay focused on "helping people" to avoid getting depressed. Eventually, many become a little twisted and look for the humor in what is otherwise a non-humorous place. The twisted humor somehow adds sanity to an insane place in a weird way.

So, the other day, I'm in a hospital waiting room. People are walking up, and signing in for tests and surgeries. Some have a smile, while others have a pretty somber look on their face.

Then, along comes along "Mr Story" (with vocal volume set to 10)

Greeter: Hello sir, are you checking in?
Mr Story: My doctor says I should have this test because for the last year I've been having this problem and he thinks...

Greeter: Can I have your name sir?
Mr Story: (has not stopped taking) ...and I don't know if I need this but he says we should do it anyway because then...

Greeter: (trying to get a word in) SIR, are you scheduled for a test today?
Mr Story: (has not even taken a breath) I'm just supposed to show up here and you will know what I'm here for and...

Greeter: (interrupting) Your NAME sir, please?
Mr Story: (finally pausing) ...Oh - I'm Sam Story - and so do I wait here or is there somewhere else I need to go to...

He just can't help himself. Some people talk a lot when they're nervous but this guy ain't nervous - he's a talk-a-holic who can't stop. It's a symptom of bad parenting and I shouldn't laugh but I can't help it. He's obnoxious and hilarious.

So they tell him to go sit down and he does sit - but he's poised like a hawk waiting to pounce on the next victim. After a few moments, a pair of twenty something girls show up for a "test." They're very giggly and look a little trashy with lots of piercings, tattoos and thick makeup - I'm postulating maybe an STD test but I could be wrong.

Mr Story is watching them like a spectator at a tennis match - his eyes and head change direction from one to the other and back as they giggle and whisper to each other.

Finally, I think he realized that he hadn't talked for almost five minutes and something just bursts out of nowhere... I'm not even sure he was conscious of it until it came out.

Mr Story: So.... Are you girls here for surgery?...

I am so glad I hadn't just taken a sip of coffee - because I would have sprayed it all over the room out of my nose. That's "the best" ice breaker/pickup line I've ever heard.

They simultaneously said "NoooOOO" - almost like backup singers in harmony. Then they retreated into quieter whispers and louder giggles while Mr Story (oblivious) scanned the room for his next target.
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Sat, 23 Jan 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[We Are So Weak]]> I purchased a car charger for a cell phone recently for $5.00 at a big box store. When I got it home, I noticed on the package there was huge writing with a warning that the wires may contain small amounts of lead which can be hazardous to your health and blah, blah, blah....

I understand that we need consumer protection laws - but I think some of this stuff has really gone over the top.

When I was a kid, we used solder and soldering irons to fuse wires together - they contained a lot of lead. Remember fishing weights? It was certainly a lot more than I could possibly be exposed to by a wire, containing trace amounts, that is inside a rubber coated wire of a phone charger. In school science class, I remember pouring mercury on the lab tables and we pushed it around with our fingers, splitting and combining the droplets - an amazing substance. Now I know better - and I guessing we probably absorbed some of that mercury into our bodies. I "think" I remember washing my hands afterwards - maybe not though.

Today, if that happened, they would send in a team from the World Health Organization wearing bio-hazard uniforms as if we had been exposed to Ebola. The school would be shut down and the National Guard would be called in.

I'm in favor of smart protection against real threats. But when the nut jobs want a warning label on "everything," the whole concept of a warning label gets so diluted that nobody pays attention anymore. The moronic "do-gooders" are slowly desensitizing everyone to the point where you'll not care anymore. A seriously dangerous warning will carry no more meaning than one of these meaningless CYA legally mandated warnings.

As a country, we're so weak as we've "dumbed down" to this level of silliness where people expect a warning so they don't have to learn, understand and respect the world around them. Expect anytime soon a warning everywhere you look about the air, water and sunlight and everything else you come in contact every day.

My suggestion... isolate yourself from the world like the "bubble boy" so you don't come in contact with anything or anybody. Then you won't have to worry about all the warnings.
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Fri, 1 Jan 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[I'm Pessimistically Optimistic.]]> I'm Pessimistically Optimistic.

It's not a joke - its how many people feel. You want to get excited about a new year and new possibilities and you "hope" for a "change" in the economy.

On the other hand, we've gone through a pretty rough couple of years so you're not letting your guard down that easy. While Pinkus is the champion of "get off your ass" and "go for it" - I'm the official spokesperson for "look before you leap".

You may or may not know of a company called Intel. They make the main processing chips in the majority of our computers. For many years, Andy Grove was the leader and driving force behind Intel's dominance of the computer chip industry and he wrote a book called: "Only the Paranoid Survive".

I like the sound of that - it's a great lesson of caution and preparedness.

I'm not saying things aren't on the upswing and I acknowledge that the future looks brighter. Instead, I'm saying lets keep a more careful eye on the assholes that got us here. People like Bernie Madoff and companies like Enron or AIG get most of the press but our stupid politicians set the stage for what really happened.

They are morons and/or manipulators who will say anything to get in power and stay there.

They vote on things that they don't read and don't understand.

We have people in congress that couldn't balance a checkbook voting on how to raise and spend trillions of dollars. How is anyone surprised when everything doesn't work out?

You know how when you have a problem with your phone service, the first person you talk to is an idiot and they transfer you to a manager (also an idiot) and after an hour of complaining you finally get through to a smart person who really knows what's going on and fixes your problem?

Well, there is no "back room" of smart people backing up congress. The people you voted for that you see on TV are the ones making the decisions. Their number one consideration for how they do their job is manipulating the system so they stay in power.

It's like letting your goofy neighbor take a shot at fixing a space shuttle engine with duct tape and a hammer. He means well. He "hopes" he can figure it out. He knows he's fixed things before -so he's optimistic.

But he's seriously under qualified and you know it.

If you let him do it anyway because you get caught up in his optimism - you're the cause of our problems.

So have a successful 2010 thusly:

  • Use what you know wisely to your advantage
  • Continuously educate yourself about what you don't know but should
  • And... when a guy tries to sell you magic beans, realize that you don't live in "fairy tale land" and vote appropriately

Always remember that talking about great things is very different from being great.
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Fri, 11 Dec 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[What has happened to getting gas?]]> I'm almost ready to start looking for any remaining full service gas stations. Are there any still?

Gas stations have become such a pain in the ass. Remember the good old days? You pulled in and heard "ding ding" "ding ding." Then, a guy with blue overalls and grease all over his hands walked over and asked, "Premium or regular?" Finally you handed him cash (less than a dollar a gallon) and then - "ding ding" - you were on your way.

Fast forward to now...

I have to figure out which way to pull in - because every other car I drive has the gas door on the opposite side. I have to look in the rear view mirrors to find it and figure out which way to pull in. Of course, whatever way I need to pull in, there are two cars facing the wrong way blocking me from getting to the pump.

At the pump, there is no longer a friendly grease monkey. Instead, I have to deal with the automated gas pump. When these first came out, they were quick and easy, but along the way bankers and marketing people have turned these into an abomination that is an argumentative pain in the ass. It's like they programmed a snotty concierge from a French hotel in there. It's polite in a smarmy kind of way. It would be better if was just plane rude.

Me: I put the card in

Me: I remove card

Me: Come on!!! I did what you asked. I can't remove it any slower - was that too slow or what?

Me: I put the card in again

Me: I remove card slowly - but not too slowly - This is like some Olympic event where I'll be scored for removing the card at exactly the correct speed. I try to use a little wrist action at the end for style points.

Me: Hey, Alex Trebek - I'm trying to get gas - can't you figure this out?
Me: Fine - Alex I'll take "Credit for $400" - because I have no idea what my Debit card PIN is

Me: What... are we dating now? Are you coming to meet my parents next? I just want gas and its freaking cold.

Me: Typing numbers on a shity keypad that half the time doesn't register so you have to press over and over, harder and harder, until it works. I'm seriously thinking about getting the tire iron from my trunk about now, to teach this machine a lesson.

Me: Sure, what the hell else am I going to do - leave now?

Me: Its four fucking degrees outside. Am I on Candid Camera or something? Of course - NO.
Me: Also, I am aware that if I said YES - I need to prepare for another series of questions.

Me: I'll take an A+ - and you're really starting to piss me off. Are we anywhere near me getting gas so I can get out of here?

(Finally I pump the gas, which somehow ends up all over my hands and the side of the car as they try to distract me with Jay Leno or Conan O'Brien - what is this supposed to accomplish? If I wanted to watch television, I would go to a sports bar)

Me: You know, this has been SO FUN, I actually would like a memento of our time together. Maybe I can display it in my office next to the pictures of my wife and kids - were practically like family now. On second thought - NO.

Me: So that's it? After all you put me through, no thank you? No we appreciate your business?

You know what? I "am" getting the tire iron to teach this ungrateful pump a lesson. Can one of you scratch together some bail money to spring me after I get arrested for destruction of property?
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Fri, 27 Nov 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Newest Government Bailout Program]]> This Just In...

Obama's new bailout: Cash for LeftoversIn a move likely to score a big win with much of the American public, the Obama administration announced a new federal bailout program.

The President explained today:
(in his usual teleprompter style)

Many Americans... have eaten... quite a bit... of the turkey... dinner they prepared... yesterday... and now face the... dilemma... of plastic baggies... and containers filled... with leftovers... in their refrigerators... These leftovers... while still edible... and nutritious... pose a problem... to the grocery... industry... for reduced sales... in the coming... weeks... And so today, we... are announcing... our latest program... we call...

Cash for Leftovers...

(at that point the teleprompter broke and Geithner took over)

Tim Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury and Bailout Concepts, clarified: "The program offers families the ability to bring their Thanksgiving leftovers to the neighborhood grocery store and redeem a voucher worth $150 towards a brand new turkey dinner. The grocery store will then destroy the food to prevent it from being used by anyone trying to defraud this important new federal program. Rather than allow people to eat their "used' turkeys, we're trying to spur new turkey sales and hopefully improve the long term survivability of turkey agri-business in general."

Turkey Carcass: Obama's new bailout planWith over 100 million leftover turkeys hanging in the balance, critics are already complaining about the costs to the American taxpayer. The program is expected generate $800 million in retail sales while costing approximately $1 billion plus an additional $400 million in paperwork and oversight to verify the destruction of all leftovers.

In response to naysayers that say the financials of the program don't make sense, the Obama administration said the GAO will work up some new numbers and it will all make sense later. However, they stress that it is imperative that the program be implemented immediately before leftovers are either eaten or thrown away.

Reporting Live from Washington DC, this is Frank E Boy for Geoff Pinkus News.

]]> (Frank Mahony)
Mon, 26 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Subject Jumper's Husband]]> Quantum Leap TV showThere used to be a TV series called "Quantum Leap" where a science experiment goes wrong which causes the star of the show to be transported from one time and place to another for each episode of the show.

Then there was a movie this summer called "The Time Traveler's Wife" also about a guy who flips around through time and his wife gets left behind waiting for him to return (or something like that). Obviously I didn't see it. It's not Man's Show material. It sounds like a bad "chick flick" with some sci-fi thrown in to fool the guys. If you have to use trickery to get people there, the movie premise can't be all that compelling. By the time you guys that saw it realized that you were bamboozled, it was probably too late and you were trapped in the theatre for the duration.

The Time Traveler's Wife - a Chick FlickAs I was riding in the car with my wife (The Diva) the other day, I realized that our conversations could be the subject of a movie plot that would be called "The Subject Jumper's Husband."

We are sometimes in the car, sometimes in the house, wherever... having what I mistakenly believe to be a linear conversation (yes, I was a science major in college).

And then it happens suddenly.

There are no cool special effects or flashes of laser light like the movies/TV to signal the "leap" but I am suddenly transported to another conversation that has no similarities, relevancy or even vague connections to what we where just discussing seconds ago.

Because of the lack of special effects, I am clueless that the "leap" occurred for several seconds and sometimes minutes. I'm sure I look puzzled for a while and then it hits me...

The Subject Jumper's Husband"Wow! I guess we just leaped!"

Just so you understand, The Diva is way more powerful than any of those TV/movie characters you've seen before. She can "leap" any time she wants and isn't victimized by random "leaping." When she realizes that "I understand" that we've leaped and that I may be a little bit traumatized - she just laughs and then "boom" she can bring us back to where we were as quickly as she wants.

Sometimes we "leap" back and forth so many times - I get lost.
She is never fazed.

It's not easy being married to someone with super powers like that. But I'm a secure enough man to admit I am no match for her abilities.
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Fri, 9 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Clunkers for Peace]]> Ok, I really try not to get political. I've got friends of every political persuasion and some of them get really bent out of shape when you criticize their ideals or their party. Why is it when someone criticizes my moderately conservative political leanings, I am able to ignore it so easily without bouncing off the walls?

(Maybe that's a blog entry all by itself)

Clunkers for Peace - Peace Prize
Fist Bump Peace Prize
Give The Queen an Ipod Peace Prize
Checking out a "Piece" - Peace Prize
Sadly, the Pinker was passed over for consideration as a possible recipient of the Nobel Prize and the selection committee completely ignored his tireless work in keeping the People of Chicago either awake or asleep overnight as needed. He's kind of like an all purpose "Radio Ritalin" - affecting each person differently; he makes some people more hyper and other people less hyper. Go figure (for my doctor friends: Radio Methylphenidate didn't sound as funny).

I've got to be the 20 millionth person weighing in on Obama's Nobel Peace Prize. But here's the question: what are the criteria used to select a winner of the Peace Prize?

Do you win the Nobel Peace Prize because of something you've already done or what you plan to do?

If it's based on what you've done, we have to consider some of the cool and impressive things that the President has already been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time:

  • Cash for Clunkers Peace Prize
  • Wall Street & Automaker Bail Out Peace Prize
  • No Olympics in Chicago Peace Prize
  • Political Tsar "Du Jour" Appointee Peace Prize
  • Give the Queen an iPod Peace Prize
  • Fist Bump with the First Lady Peace Prize
  • Checking Out "A Piece" - Peace Prize
  • A Beer at the White House with a Harvard "Hot Head" and a Cop Peace Prize

For my left leaning friends, you'll notice I did not include any accomplishments that are not fact checked. There is no hearsay and the results are auditable. Moreover, "hot head" is not opinion; when you go "psycho" on a cop, you're a "hot head!" (look it up)

All I'm just saying is... if you give the man a Peace Prize - what was it for?

On the other hand, if the Peace Prize is not based on what you've ALREADY done - but instead based on what you plan to do or HOPE you "might" do... Well, then the possibilities are limitless.

I'll task you use your imagination to think of the possible Peace Prizable "accomplishments" that the future might hold in store for our President.
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Fri, 2 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Nothing is Funny]]> A friend of mine asked me - what's going on with your blog?

I guess at one point, your blog becomes like your evil twin that you are expected to control. Sometimes your blog is entertaining and everyone tells you how good your blog is and you can be proud of your digital sibling. Other times, you are accountable for your blogs inactions and lack of effort or inability to deliver the goods. It's kind of a relief that you aren't directly accountable. I can easily brush off criticism with a comment like:

"My blog... Yeah you're right; I really need to get that in order. That blog of mine is really slipping these days. I need to sit that blog down for a talk and get things back on the right track."

But, I didn't brush it off. I did the uncommon thing and I told him the truth of my current medical/mental condition which I'll call blog constipation. "Nothing's funny anymore," I explained.

He laughed - which kind of shot holes through the statement (there is humor in the fact that I am unfunny). So, maybe I should have stated it this way: "Nothing is funny to me anymore."

The irritating scowl of Nancy PelosiI'm only partially serious but it seems were at a time in the history of the world where it's so much easier to write about news and events than humor or entertainment. Everybody is so unhinged on politics, class warfare, right vs. left, healthcare, the economy, etc...

The easy solution is to force my evil twin to go to the dark side and blog about topical "news" items. But who needs more of that crap?

It's kind of like the world had a huge, going-out-of-business clearance sale on "funny" and the only things left on the "funny" shelf are old, picked over, recycled and refurbished.

the wonderful dance moves of Tom DelayObama got Internationally Dissed
Let's just go through the list:

  • Obama being shunned in Copenhagen - not funny
  • Healthcare reform - not funny
  • The irritating scowls of Nancy Pelosi - not funny at all
  • The slow economy - not funny
  • Tom Delay on Dancing with the Stars - a little funny, but not enough

I'm not giving up. I just need to look harder. Funny comes from the weirdest places. I can't wait until I find something funny - because then we can all be proud of my blog again.

]]> (Frank Mahony)
Mon, 14 Sep 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Septic Flush]]> Wow - what a weekend!

septic flush of your systemIf you don't live way out in the middle of nowhere, you may not know what a septic system is. See, we don't have sewers way out here - we have a tank and drainage field where the stuff that goes down your drains ends up (that's why the front lawn looks so green). Every once in a while, you have a septic service come to empty out the system when it becomes overly full.

I'm feeling a little bit like a full septic system right now. I'd say the level of crud in my system is somewhere above my chest and rising fast - overflow is imminent.

In the last few weeks, I've been eating less and eating better - trying to get in shape. You know how they say your stomach "shrinks" and you get used to eating less food.

So, when you go back to eating "normally" and eat that way you used to eat, like I did this weekend, you get really, really stuffed...

(beep... beep... beep...)

Hang on a second, that's my wife's blog beeping in on another connection.

Hey Diva - what's up?

Diva's Blog: Lets not kid ourselves or anyone else, you didn't go back to "normal eating" - you ate like a pig this weekend.

meatballs and sausage have to be tasted to get the seasoning rightWell... Yeah, you know I was cooking a big meal... and I was tasting as I was cooking... and that all starts to add up...

Diva's Blog: I'm pretty sure you had a meatball or sausage and some spaghetti sauce every 30 minutes. That's not "tasting!" - The meat didn't change flavors 2 times an hour.

Ok, so I probably had a few more helpings of meatballs and sausage than "normal" but that couldn't stuff me like this...

Diva's Blog: True, not alone; but when you compound that with the cheeseburger and bratwurst the next day, you're getting there.

Hang on a second! I had those with no buns. I was trying not to eat too much.

Biscotti: The Diva's Biscotti were really goodDiva's Blog: True again - which left you room for two pieces of pie - Mister "eating less and eating better"

Those were tiny, tiny slivers of pie. I was being polite to our sister-in-law who puts a lot of effort into those delicious homemade pies...

Diva's Blog: Fine. But after all that, did you really need to rip into that huge plate of biscotti cookies I made while watching the Bears game?


Hey - I hate to let you go - but I've really got to get back to the readers of my blog. I've got them "on hold" on another connection. Thanks for checking in... see you later at home... hope your day is going well... you're the best... bye...

Sometimes, two consciences are better than one.

Those biscotti should be illegal.
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Wed, 2 Sep 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[And then we can get something to eat...]]> I'm trying to get in better shape - or should I say better proportion. Proportionally, it is my goal to look more like a tree than a shrub or more like a stalk of celery than a bowling ball. But, the American dream is working against me. People have immigrated to America from around the world because they were looking for the opportunity and abundance that this country is famous for.

you need to work on your shape if you're out of proportionAnd - Wow. Do we have abundance...

Drive down any popular suburban or city street and they're lined with places to get pizza, donuts, burgers, coffee, bagels, chicken, pancakes, beer, steaks, pasta, pastries - literally, foods every kind.

As an added bonus, our food choices are "open" pretty much all the time - they close for a short time when you're sleeping. It is so incredibly easy to get food everywhere: in the airport, in the shopping mall, at the beach, at the train station. Next, there will be food vendors in your local place of worship. And if you aren't within reaching distance of food - we've got food delivery to bring the food to you. Much of our food is also pretty cheap when you think about it. Really, all the barriers are knocked down.

I don't know if I can find any food aroudn hereAs Americans, our culture is highly food oriented - we don't know how to interact with each other unless food is involved. Can you imagine going to a park, beach, movie or sporting event without a food plan? I know when we go to a movie, the popcorn, soda and candy are as important as the movie. Food is interwoven into EVERYTHING we do.

I'm sure you've heard:
"We'll stop and get some snacks or coffee on the way to the %u2018[145]thing,' then we can grab a burger or something when we're there and then later we can meet up with everyone at have some dinner." You thought it was a day about some event, but really it was a food map that included the event as one stop.

I am truly happy that I don't have to worry about how to raise food to feed my family. Many years ago, you either figured out how to grow and cultivate enough food or you didn't make it. Now, you either learn how to control yourself from lure of the hyper-availability of food - or you might not make it.

Even worse, the food we eat is precisely formulated to make it so tasty that "you can just eat one." The food tastes so good that we can't help but eat huge portions like we are preparing for a famine. Think of the justifications that have gone off in your brain to instruct you to eat another serving when you know you shouldn't: "I don't want this to go to waste. It won't taste as good re-heated tomorrow. I really haven't eaten much else today." It's an amazing culinary and food science achievement with horrible results. A doctor friend of mine recommends this book about the power of formulated food: The End of Overeating.

(all this talk about food making me hungry)

Here is my challenge to you (if you are overweight):
Go about your business for a day (or more) without a food plan - just wing it. Be so unconcerned about food that you maybe unintentionally skip a meal because you were too busy doing something else.

I bet you can't do it - I can't.
It's a constant battle to avoid the powerful lure.
]]> (Frank Mahony)
Fri, 14 Aug 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Legal Considerations of The HLBPR]]> Please note: I appreciate the fact that as a society, we are compassionate enough to provide special services, protections and assistance to handicapped people. Furthermore I apologize that my genetically predisposed male mind is always attracted to the lowest common denominators of humor, in this case, bathroom humor. I will venture to be more philosophical in future writings but for today, welcome to the boys locker room.

That being said...

Do you have a "special purposes" restroom in your building? In some buildings, they are just labeled "Handicap Restroom" - but in my building, they've taken it to a new level. Our "special purposes" restroom features the expected wide doors and convenience handrails but somehow is intended for additional purposes.

You might think I am kidding - so to prove I am not, I snapped a picture with my cell phone.

Our building features a HANDICAP/LACTATION/BLOOD PRESSURE RESTROOM. For some reason, this strikes me as something you would find in a legal contract.


In consideration of the desire to explore the possible permitted and non-permitted uses of the HANDICAP/LACTATION/BLOOD PRESSURE RESTROOM (hereinafter referred to as the "HLBPR").

Whereas you the reader of this blog have come upon this collection of purportedly organized but potentially random words, intended, but not likely to convey humor, either on purpose or by accident and;

Whereas the writer of this drivel has assembled this collection of relatively random words and thoughts;

Now, therefore, in consideration of the fact that you ended up here;

You agree in advance to hold the writer(s) of this blog and all related parties, heirs and assigned parties harmless for any possible direct, indirect or consequential damages you may experience, in perpetuity, related to exposure to this information or from using the HLBPR.


Enough of that.

What I want to know is - "How does a handicap restroom evolve?" Darwin might be proud that a fledgling single purpose restroom has now found multiple uses but was this really necessary?

I "sort of" understand the progression. A lactating person (likely a woman but not necessarily) didn't want to handle the business of lactation in a public place or in a restroom with people walking in and out. Depending on what the person looks like, I may agree. The "special purpose restroom" offered privacy and someone petitioned to turn the room into the HLBPR. I can't pretend to understand the complications of public or private lactation. I've never had much personal experience with lactation (I'm pretty sure that was just sweat). So, I reserve judgment on whether this was really warranted.

Similarly, I suspect a person medically required to check their blood pressure during working hours may have felt uncomfortable using a portable blood pressure machine at their desk, in the lunch room or in the regular restroom and another "new use" was established. Again, the question that comes to mind is: Really?

Now I'm wondering who makes the decision about what Symptom makes the cut. You would need to order a new sign and probably send an announcement to all the building occupants. That can't be cheap.

Since the need for privacy seems to have entered into the equation I wonder if any of these other "conditions" might qualify for additional uses of the "special purposes restroom:"

  • Horny

  • Recently ate Mexican/Thai food

  • Not in the mood to work

  • Sleepy

  • Need to trim nose hair and don't want anyone watching

  • Of course, I think this is all ridiculous. We are so weak, spoiled and lazy. Suck it up people and let's leave the handicap restroom open for the people that truly need it.

    However, I am totally in favor of an executive restroom with a special key for very important people like me.]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Thu, 6 Aug 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Bike Roosters]]> Ok. I've been avoiding writing this one because I know it will piss off some people but I cannot stay bottled up like this forever or my head will explode.

    Bike Roosters Ride in packs showing their colorful plumageI've had it - up to here - with the obnoxious bicyclists.

    I'm sure some of you ride bicycles. I occasionally ride a bicycle for exercise when I am in downtown Chicago. I'm not complaining about people using a bike "smartly" as a vehicle or for exercise or just for joy riding with the kids.

    I'm talking about the wannabe "gold medalists" that travel in hoards while wearing their pretty outfits and going out of their way to disrupt traffic.

    I'm talking about the Bike Roosters...

    I live in a rural town where we have narrow, winding 2 lane roads. On the weekends, we are infiltrated by "men" (?) zipped into fluorescent/skin tight costumes that are pink, yellow, lime green and orange. Assuredly, these high tech racing suits must improve their average speed by at least 1/1000 of a second over a 10 miles stretch.

    Bike Roosters know the skill of squirting water in a stylish way so that it drips out of their mouthThe Bike Roosters are not from the neighborhood. Instead, they drive here from wherever with bikes clamped onto car trunks as they descend on the parking lots of the local nature preserves and ball fields. Just because they aren't from "around here" doesn't mean that they don't own the road though. They want you to know that they are operating a vehicle too, deserving the same respect as any Hummer or Escalade. Even though they should be single file, they ride three or more across in the lane, shoulder to shoulder, while simultaneously squirting bottled water in their mouths like some synchronized swim team.

    Never mind that they can't achieve even 8 miles per hour on an uphill road with a 40 MPH speed limit. And they know you're behind them because they all have rearview side mirrors hooked onto their safety helmets. They expect you to drive at a crawl behind them, holding your foot on the brake pad, until the next downhill coast point where they can get up to 2/3 of the posted limit.

    If you are behind them, just try to go around them! They pour on their best "extra effort" to see if they can match your 5.0L V8 that was designed to pull a 50 foot yacht. Suddenly, you'll see a wild but impotent flailing of arms, legs, knees and elbows achieving no additional speed but instead swerving them all over the road like some haywire gyroscope to prevent you from getting ahead.

    Bike Roosters own the roadEven though they will work feverishly to stop you from passing them, if they approach from behind while you're waiting at a red light, they'll all drive around and ahead of you - stopping in front of your car to be first when the light turns green. If the cross traffic is light enough, they'll ignore the red light and go.

    The rules of the road only apply to them "sometimes" when it works to their advantage.

    • Is it a power trip?

    • Is it their "look at me" moment for the week?

    • Do they expect Olympic talent scouts to be around the corner looking for the next Lance Armstrong?

    • What is going through their heads?

    If you're a Bike Rooster and think I am wrong, send me an email to tell me why. I can't wait to hear your side of the story.

    Either way - stay out of my neighborhood or I'll laugh you off the road.
    ]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Thu, 16 Jul 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Skinny Bitch or Fat Ass]]> I found a diet book called "The Skinny Bitch Diet", written by some models, lying on a table in my kitchen. For clarification, it was the book lying on the table in my kitchen, not the models (that's an entirely different blog).

    I suspect the book belongs to my wife or my girls. I'm sure it doesn't belong to any of my boys because they're reading "The Video Gamers' Cherry Coke and Cheese Fries Diet."

    I was curious to know, what does a Skinny Bitch eat?

    So, I took about 30 seconds to thumb through it, Evelyn Wood style, looking for key phases. I found: vegetables are good... blah, blah, blah... fruit is great... blah, blah, blah... meat is bad blah, blah, blah... eat whole grains blah, blah, blah... dairy is bad blah, blah, blah... sugar and bread are bad blah, blah, blah...

    Ok - I get it. What a shock to find that models are vegans.

    I started wondering - could I eat that way? I've never been skinny and I'm more of an ass than a bitch. So I would lean more toward a book called "The Not Skinny Ass Diet" or more succinctly "The Fat Ass Diet."

    steak is on the MEA-GAN DietI can handle the veggies and fruit; I can deal with little or no sugar/bread; but no meat?

    It's like the best scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding - "What you mean he don't eat no meat? That's Ok - I make Lamb."

    So, I think we need a new variation on vegan - a vegan that eats meat. Lets call it a MEA-GAN.

    I see where they're going - I know that pizza, cheetos & soda are bad for you, but come on... I've got to have some beef, chicken, sausage and fish now and then.

    So I'm taking pre-orders for my upcoming book: "The Fat Ass Diet: Learning to Eat MEA-GAN."

    Anyone want to write the forward?
    ]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Thu, 9 Jul 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Thanks Mom...]]>
    Amy Jacobson Feeding my Dad?
    Is that Amy Feeding my Dad?...
    If you were at our last "Live Broadcast" - you may have met my mom (and my dad). They were on hand, supporting us and enjoying our first "live on location" show.

    The next "live broadcast" is this Sunday (7/12/2009) at Club Amore - 8166 Grand Ave, River Grove, IL - please be there at 5:00pm sharp!


    Our former co-host and pal Amy Jacobson was also nice enough to be there to support us which was great until she makes the same comment as I always hear when people first meet my mother: "This cannot be your mother - she looks younger than you!"

    Yes, I know I look old - Thanks Amy.

    A couple weeks later, at my daughter's graduation, more people meet my mother for the first time and again - "This cannot be your mother - she looks younger than you! Are you sure she's not you sister?"

    Hmm. You know, I'm not 100% *sure* - but I'll look into it and get back to you.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm happy for her because she does look great - but the unspoken implication directed at me is:
    "What the Hell happened to you?"

    All this is fine, fun and even humorous until the "what's your secret?" question pops up. Then she gives her explanation of why she looks young. Mom doesn't say anything about genetics or anything about nutrition, lifestyle, vitamins, climate, or any of the usual stuff.

    Her answer is: Ponds Cold Cream.

    That's it. All you need to do is plaster yourself with Ponds.

    Immediately, all the women break out their iPhone/BlackBerry/Palm PDA or find something to jot down "Ponds Cold Cream" (including my wife). Officially, my mom is now the Guru of Youthful Skin.

    Now, every night for the last few months, I get to smell "Ponds" - which has an aroma that is a cross between paint thinner and cream cheese. I can't take that smell. It makes me keep my distance like using garlic to fend off a vampire.

    It's like a combination of face cream and birth control. No wonder I only have one brother.

    Thanks Mom...]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Thu, 18 Jun 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Can You Lose Friends With Spell Check? - Depends ]]> Ok, the guy really wasn't a friend. Really, he was somebody sending mass emails and I was explaining to him the problem of his ways.

    "Nobody is getting these emails!" I explained, "These go to me only... and since they aren't addressed properly, I delete them and assume they are junk."

    So, he replies:spell check can be dangerous so you should always wear depends to be safe

    "Sorry for any incontinence."

    I know that he meant "inconvenience" rather than incontinence. I could have been a nice guy and let it slide - but that wouldn't be the "Man's Show" thing to do - would it? I need to maintain my smart ass edge to hold my own with Pinkus.

    So I reply:

    "Fortunately, I haven't experienced any incontinence - (LOL, spell check can be dangerous)."

    So now, some guy thinks I'm an ass for busting his balls... And I am. That's a fair assessment.

    Bottom Line:
    • When you use spell check, pay attention or you might make a mess in your pants

    • Better yet, learn how to spell and don't rely on spell check

    • Above all, be extra careful when corresponding with me

    Got an incontinence or spell check story for me - tell me about it]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Fri, 12 Jun 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[I've lost a lot of respect for David Letterman]]> He's backpedaling now and trying to imply that he was making a "knocked up" joke about the older Sarah Plain daughter - not the 14 year old. So, making a "knocked up" joke about the 18 year old daughter is better?

    No. It isn't.

    Sarah Palin's daughters are not pop stars or publicity seekers wearing skimpy clothes trying to get attention. They are the kids of a politician who have been made visible by nature of their mother's visibility.

    I'm not defending the girls because of their mother's politics - going after kids is just wrong. Neither daughter deserves this harsh treatment, especially from a guy who "knocked up" a woman he was not married to.

    He can't blame this on the writers; if he blindly says anything that gets handed to him then he's an idiot and a parrot.

    With that joke, I think Dave has officially Jumped the Shark. While defending himself, he sounded like a cranky old man belligerently justifying an outdated worldview. It was almost pathetic.

    I always liked Letterman more than Leno but maybe now "it's time"

    He initially addressed this controversy by reiterating and justifying the appropriateness of the joke. Now he is backing down and acknowledging that is was in "poor taste" only because he's now got the press and advertisers taking an interest.

    I'm happy about the new era of Conan O'Brien (an Irishman) to usher in the late night retirement of Leno/Letterman.

    Recent articles indicated Letterman was starting to outperform Conan in the ratings (Letterman was always behind Leno). Let's see what happens after this shake-up. It only takes one wrong move to radically change public opinion.

    Conan's star is rising; Letterman's star is coughing up blood.

    Vote with your remote.]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Mon, 25 May 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[I "am" crying over spilled milk]]> There are infinitely more important things happening in the world to discuss compared to the stupid things you'll find in my blog - but sometimes you need a break from the "smart and serious world."

    Which brings us to Sam's Club and Costco's new milk container...

    This is fresh in my mind because against better judgment, we purchased a gallon of milk in one of these new milk containers recently (hoping for the best) and I was reminded of how much I can't believe somebody thought these were a "good idea."
    Wal-Mart and Costco new milk container
    In case you don't know, the "Club Stores" (Sam's Club and Costco) came out with a new rounded rectangular cube container for milk in 2008, when the gas prices were at their peak. This new design was pitched as a more cost effective way to transport and distribute milk. When it first came out, many people in "The Media" applauded the effort and the energy savings and eco-friendliness but you could hear the reservation in their comments because it was an equally stupid idea back then. These retailers have provided a whole host of reasons why this is so superior to the old milk container ranging from how well if fits in your refrigerator to how efficiently they stack in trucks. I'm sure they are right about all of that - but they goofed on at least one important "feature."

    It's completely UNUSABLE and I will never buy one again.

    When you open one of these, the first few pours are almost guaranteed to cause milk to spill everywhere. After the thing is nearly empty, it gets better, but the wide cap seems to have been designed to cause drips. It seems as though ZERO thought was put into usability testing. The whole thing seems like a publicity stunt and a knee-jerk reaction to gas prices without thinking it through - like the brilliant "New Coke" maneuver a few years back.

    So far, the people at the helm of these "Club Stores" who made these dumb decisions have not backed down and called it a failure.

    Now, let's throw some more fuel on the fire. In case you haven't looked closely, these "better jugs" are made with significantly thicker plastic compared to the old containers. I'm guessing nearly twice as much by weight. So, do these require more plastic to produce? Last time I checked, plastic is made using OIL. How can that be the smartest and most well "thought out" solution? Is this really any true progress? A better solution? Should technological advancements be harder to use and consume more resources in a different way?

    There are two ways to let people know they've made a bad decision - tell them or show them.

    So I invite you to "show them" by not buying milk in these ridiculous containers. If you are bored, you can find contact information on their websites and "tell them" by emailing too.

    Sadly, I "am" crying over spilled milk - due to special circumstances.]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Fri, 15 May 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Good Things Happen When You Get Off Your Ass ]]> I know what you're thinking - You think I found some old Richard Simmons VHS-Tape at a garage sale and I'm now on a new "exercise kick" or something.

    Maxwell Street PolishNope.

    Nothing that sinister.

    In fact, it's almost the opposite. I had a fast food craving and a "Maxwell Street Polish" came to mind. If you've never had a "Maxwell" you haven't lived yet. It's all wrong and all right at the same time.

    The best place I can get one of those near work is Portillios. It wasn't pouring rain but it was drizzling. As I get nearer to Portillios, I see the traffic jam and the "drive through" line wrapping around the parking lot and onto the street.

    I admit, I planned on using the "drive through" too but when I saw a line around the building, I took a chance on parking and running in for my order. Last time I checked, a little rain wouldn't kill me and I hoped to save a few minutes compared to the "drive through" line which looked at least 25 minutes long.

    When I walked in, I was shocked to see NOBODY in line to order food at a Portillios at 12:20pm on a Friday. When I say NOBODY, I don't mean just a few people - I mean NOBODY.

    I had my choice of two available/empty registers.

    By the time I ordered, paid and casually walked over to the "pick up" counter - they called my number and it was ready.

    I was back in my car in less than three minutes and I don't think the "drive through" line had advanced more than ONE car. I chuckled at all those sorry/hungry/stranded/lazy people.

    I got off my ass and something good happened. Nothing worthy of an Ayn Rand novel; I just shaved a few minutes of mindless waiting out of my busy day. The fact that was able to eat a Polish Sausage dipped in a deep fryer with greasy onions "quicker" probably negates anything good about the story in the long run. But your mileage may vary.

    So - Get off your ass... and wherever you go - tell %u2018[145]em I sent ya.]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Fri, 8 May 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[River Grove - Where It All Started...]]>
    O'Connor Drive in River Grove, IL
    Identical Rows: building blocks of mischief

    When I heard we are doing a LIVIN LARGE remote broadcast on May 17th from River Grove, I thought I heard wrong. I was expecting a super-mega sports bar with 500 plasma screens in some high rent suburban town.

    Instead, I'm going home.

    River Grove is where I grew up (where it all started):

    As kids in River Grove...

    • We accidentally lit the back of a grocery store on fire playing with matches
    • We found Playboy magazines in the trash behind the Men's store
    • We jumped the fence and ran around in the cemetery while the caretaker chased us
    • We played football at "the pumps" (some kind of water pumping building at Belmont and Thatcher)
    • Uncle Dennis treated me to hot dogs and tamales at "Little Jacks Corner" - the beginning of my fast food addiction.
    • We rode our bikes up and down alleys until the wheels came off
    • We collected carts at Dominick's for the guy who was supposed to be collecting carts and he paid us 1cents per cart

    The Pumps at the corner of Belmont and Thatcher
    Security Fences have ended football at "The Pumps"

    Elmwood Cemetary
    Acres of land to explore in the cemetary

    It was our little square of The Earth and we knew every inch of our turf. We knew every rock, every line of yellow parking lot paint and every good hiding place. Every day, we would freshly travel around the streets, alleys and gangways. We knew just how far we could go, in any direction, before we were beyond some mysterious "boundary of safety" that should not be crossed.

    When you go back, it's never the same. Everything looks a little smaller and a little different than you remember at the intersection of passing time and childhood fascination. Either way, I'll feel a little bit like the Mayor that day.

    I expect a banner across Thatcher that says "Former local street urchin %u2018[145]does us proud' and returns for a visit"

    Do you think there will be a parade?

    Me Neither.

    Above all, I hope the cemetery guy doesn't spot me - I can't run as fast as I used to.
    ]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Thu, 30 Apr 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[How Can We Stop "The Economy" From Catching Swine Flu?]]> With the arrival of the Swine Flu consumers have started to reduce their pork intake. If you're reading something I've written, you've already identified yourself as above mean intelligence. However, consider this snippet from an article found in the NY Times (I'm confident these people do not read my blog):

    At a grocery store in downtown Houston, Gina Tran, a homemaker, said she usually bought pork but had stopped because of safety concerns.

    "People in Mexico ate some pork and got sick, right?" said Ms. Tran, who was looking for selections in the beef case. (That is not what happened, as far as anyone knows.)

    Yvonne Enard, a retired warehouse worker, said she too believed there was a connection between pork and swine flu but figured it would be safe to eat anyway. "I'll buy it, but I wouldn't buy it from just any store, and I would season it and cook it very well," she said.
    Hang on, I'm taking notes...
    1. Season Pork to eliminate possibility of viral infection.
      I wonder what seasoning (maybe bleach?) I'll just cook it instead.

    2. Don't buy from just any store. That's good advice all the time.
      I never shop at the Bact-e-Viru Grocer anymore. The meat looks a little grey there.
    Can you be Harvard Educated and still think Swine Flu comes from eating pork? Now, places ranging from the Philippines to Russia (including Kazakhstan) are banning meat imports from the US. Hmmm... Either the leaders of those nations are as dumb as they are portrayed in so many "action movies" and think the virus is in the meat - or - they are opportunistically using a catastrophe to promote a protectionist agenda to improve their local and/or nearby economies.

    So, why can't we just ban our way back to prosperity too by getting rid if imports?
    We can start with foreign cars and move on to electronics, oil and foods (Irish Guinness and anything Italian are excluded of course).

    Ok, I know that this is a really stupid and simplistic idea, wrought with inaccuracies and false conclusions, and that it is doomed to fail, but these are the kind of courageous decisions world leaders need to make these days to be considered brilliant.

    And, I didn't even go to Harvard...
    ]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Mon, 13 Apr 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Somalia Pirates to U.S. - That's Just Rude]]> Somali citizens and pirates alike are "steaming mad" that the US has broke from tradition and acted in a very unsportsmanlike way. For years now, both sides of the Somali Pirate Drama have known their roles and expected performances. But when the US messed up its lines in a recent performance, Somali critics were quick to chastise.

    Somali Pirates protest and demonstrate, demanding better treatment including a union with benefits and healthcare coverageSomali Pirate Spokesperson, Weshowedup Nowgivedaboat elaborated, "The fact that we brandish heavy weapons and threaten to kill hostages while holding property for ransom is irrelevant. The US knows how the game works: we take boats and hostages by force and you give us money. That's how it has always been done. The British would never act this way! That's just rude!"

    Pirates came out in droves to protest outside the US embassy in Mogadishu. A representative for the protestors threatened, "If this happens again, we'll be forced to Unionize. With the establishment of The Somali Pirate Union (TSPU), we'll be able to negotiate better terms of engagement that are safer for Somali Pirates and higher ransom fees to return ships. Additionally, we'll demand 401k, disability and healthcare benefits."

    A spokesperson for the Navy Seals, Lt. Col. Headshot responded, "We never got the memo instructing us to implement a %u2018[145]pretend fighting scenario' and due to recent budget cuts, we're eliminating %u2018[145]pretend fight training' altogether - plus, our boys were so juiced up on Red Bull after floating in the water for days, we had to let them do something."

    For now, Somali Pirates are only hijacking non-US ships and taking a "wait and see" attitude, trying to determine if they'll allow the US back into the game, or shut them out completely. As one Somali put it, "It's our game and our rules; they either play the game the right way or we'll take our machine guns and go home."

    Reporting "Live" from the Golf of Aden, this is Frank E Boy from LIVIN LARGE news.
    ]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Thu, 2 Apr 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Pinker's Best Quality]]> Dan Levy and I had a thought provoking discussion and summit within the confines of a Greek Media event last night

    Neither of us is Greek, but we like Greek people and Greek food - so we snuck in anyway.

    We have an ongoing debate about which of The Pinker's reoccurring "catch phrases" is the best.

    Geoff Pinkus - The Pinker - Not Getting It
    Geoff Pinkus (The Pinker): Doesn't Get It!
    Dan likes that the Pinker "doesn't get it" - Dan will be explaining something to The Pinker either "ON" or "OFF" the air and The Pinker replies with a high pitched "I Don't Get It" - which is really the intro to a rant he'll be dishing out shortly about the topic at hand (or really anything that drifts into the scope of his A.D.D. within the next 3-4 seconds).

    There's also this variation: "Hang on a Second... Do you mean to tell me..."
    (not said in high pitch) which leads directly into the rant.

    I prefer when Geoff says either: "Beautiful" or "He's the Best" which he delivers in ascending pitch with his right hand face-high, palm facing up.

    You'll be saying to Geoff: "maybe we can get So-and-So to help us - he's a good guy." And The Pinker responds: "He's the Best!"

    After a considerable amount of Greek food and Gin, we couldn't come to a "catch phrase" conclusion - so in the end we decided that The Pinker's best quality is...

    Kathy Pinkus]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Sun, 22 Mar 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[You've run out of Uncles]]> 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.
    ]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Fri, 13 Mar 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Deer and Morons]]> 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 deja 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]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Tue, 10 Mar 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Myspace is dead]]> 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?]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Fri, 6 Mar 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Teaching Debate]]> 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.]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Fri, 27 Feb 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Singing Toilet]]> 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.
    ]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Thu, 5 Feb 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Bold Move by Phelps - Lets See How it Works Out for Him]]> 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]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Mon, 2 Feb 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[LOL Funny Cheese]]> 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.]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Thu, 15 Jan 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Following the Gutpa weight loss blog, it's time to talk resolutions.]]> 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.]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Wed, 7 Jan 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Wrong Gupta?]]> 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?]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Sun, 4 Jan 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Whatever happened to Joe the Plumber Moron - Does anyone care? ]]> 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 %u2018[145]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.]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Wed, 17 Dec 2008 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[...and brief smoking]]> I heard a radio commercial for a movie the other day. I don't remember what the movie was but at the end of the commercial, they gave the movie's rating. It was something like this:
    This movie is rated "R" for adult language, nudity, drug use and brief smoking...

    At first, I thought I heard it wrong. Brief smoking?

    I replayed it in my head and decided I DID hear "brief smoking" as one of the reasons why the movie was rated "R". I couldn't believe it, so I googled "smoking rated R" - and up came pages and pages of articles that discuss how the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is expected to use smoking as a factor in determining if a movie is rated "R".

    Apparently, I didn't get the memo on this.

    So far, it seems that no movie has been rated "R" just because of smoking. The American Medical Association (AMA) is mad about this. They argue that movies glamorize smoking which causes kids to start smoking. Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is the same agrument about movies and video games causing kids to perform violent crimes. Never mind the fact that the most violent times in history were before movies or video games.

    I sat puzzled upon thinking about this. I understand all the "good intentions" but where do political correctness, personal accountability and parental guidance intersect. I really think this whole line of reasoning is heading off the deep end. It kind of makes you wonder where this trend will lead as the people of the future try to shield and protect everyone from every potentially bad thing in the world.

    Imagine this promo in the year 2109:
    This summer, from director Duplicitous Spielberg (cloned from the toe-nail of legendary movie maker Steven Spielberg)
    Unnecessary Unsightliness - a hologram-movie staring Brad Jolie and Angelina Pitt about a young man and woman that encounter things they were never prepared to see.

    This hologram-movie is rated "XXX" as it contains ugly and/or overweight people, fast food, moments of unproductiveness, complicated words, cloudy weather and brief smoking...
    ]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Thu, 11 Dec 2008 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Where Do Old Television Careers Go to Die? ]]> Have you ever heard the myth/story about elephants being drawn to an elephants graveyard when they're about to die.

    I think I found an even more mythical destination; it's the place where fairly successful former television actors go when their career has been over for a while. When they get there someone talks them into doing a bad television or radio commercial.

    I have nothing against commercials or informercials featuring celebrities. They are a valid advertising and infotainment medium.

    What's really funny and awful is the low points some of the commercials have hit lately. Paul Michael Glazer from Starsky and Hutch fame is on a "late night" television commercials with possibly the worst video quality I've ever seen. It's so bad that I cannot remember what he's hawking - some get out of debt thing I think.

    A few years back, Tom Bosley, from Happy Days was selling some home business catalog company. When he was doing Glad Garbage bag commercials - I was ok with that. But I don't get why he got involved with a catalog company. He was a pretty big star in his day. Maybe he has a piece of the action.

    Recently, I heard a radio commercial featuring the professor from Gilligans Island and in the background was an "elevator music" version of the Gilligans island theme. Just like with Starsky, I don't remember what he's pitching because I couldn't stop laughing long enough to listen to what he's saying.

    When he said, "you don't have to be a Professor to know ..." I lost it.

    Bottom line - beware of a commercial that features an old sitcom theme song.]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Thu, 4 Dec 2008 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Guardian Angel of Parking Lots]]> I'm sure I'm not alone on this. I've developed a case of "Parking Rage" and I need to vent verbally before I do something physically that I'll regret. Driving in parking lots has become like driving through an enemy territory gauntlet - especially now that the "Holiday Shoppers" have landed.

    My biggest issue is backing out of my parking space...

    When you're trying to back out of a space, idiots come flying past and around you, even if half your car is already out of the parking spot. You are a reasonable person and understand that you are driving a large dangerous vehicle while many people act like we're all driving bumper cars - where anything goes.

    All the Mario Andretti antics are usually to get to some "closer" parking spot so they don't need to transport their fat ass an extra 20 yards on foot.

    Sometimes, the truest of morons walks behind your car while you're backing out. Your white reverse lights are on, your car is in motion, you are already backed several feet out of the parking space, but they walk behind your car with no concern - eyes forward in a glazed trance.

    I believe that based on Darwin's theory, they are supposed to get hit, which would help end a lineage of subspecies that escaped natural selection. But surprisingly - I don't see that happening.

    Darwin didn't factor the guardian angel of parking lots into his theory.]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Sun, 23 Nov 2008 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Toaster Pizza]]> When I was a kid, I remember that when mom and dad went "out on the town," we would frequently be rewarded with a pizza, delivered from the local pizza joint, to enjoy with the baby sitter. Time spent with the babysitter is a whole %u2018[145]nother topic for a different blog.


    toaster pizzaI'm sure we were less difficult to handle after a pizza carb overloading. Pizza delivery was a special treat back then. This was before the Chicago deep dish was widely available in our neighborhood - so we're talking thin crust.

    As a kid with Italian blood and a fat future ahead of me, that "left over" pizza was calling my name from the fridge the minute I woke up on Saturday morning. There was nothing better than cold pizza and cartoons.

    Eventually, we realized it would taste better if it wasn't 40 degree cold pizza, but we were too young to be permitted to touch the oven. To my own kids' dismay, this was all in the pre-microwave days. When I tell my kids about life before microwave ovens, they look at me like I'm talking about the cave paintings of Altamira.

    Thus, an invention based on necessity: toaster pizza

    Being the smart kids that we were, we determined you could put two squares of cold pizza in the toaster to warm them up. You had to watch it though, if you let it heat too long without forcing them to pop up, the cheese got overly melted and the downside was significant. It did leave an unmistakable scent in and around the toaster but by the time mom and dad made it downstairs, we had the evidence squirreled away.

    It was "toasty good" until we got caught one time - which put an end to toaster pizza.

    You know the drill - We could have started the house on fire... The toaster could have been ruined... and blah, blah, blah...

    Sadly, I firmly believe an entire new genre of kitchen appliance went extinct on that day.]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Mon, 10 Nov 2008 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Boycott Kentucky?]]> Ok, I admit when I first heard this story, I thought to myself - Do I really even need a good reason to boycott Kentucky? I'd do it because it sounds funny.

    Well it turns out there is a good reason to Boycott Kentucky.

    The recently elected governor of Kentucky came up with a plan to increase revenue through gambling taxes. But first, he needed to get rid of the competition. If this plan sounds like a mob takeover - it kind of is.

    How do you "get rid of" all other online gambling all over the world?

    You just seize their websites.

    He got a judge to go along with his plan and now, 141 website domains like face being confiscated by the state of Kentucky. Some of these websites do significant business worldwide and Kentucky probably accounts for a negligible portion of their business. Even better - they left a Kentucky based online gambling site off the list because the site pays Kentucky taxes.

    You may not care about online gambling but is it reasonable that a state can take your domain away if they pass a law to make your business illegal?

    What if the city of Gooberville USA (or the government of China) passes a local law that declares your business illegal and they are allowed to take your domain name? What if they pass a law requiring you to pay a $500,000 permit to do business or they'll take your domain name? What jurisdiction does Kentucky have for a website used in other states or internationally?

    If this ridiculous decision is not overturned, no domain name is safe from government extortion.

    The best way to get the governor's attention is a boycott of all products and services from Kentucky to let his citizens know he's overstepped the bounds of reasonability. Follow this link to see how you can Boycott Kentucky.

    10 Ways to Boycott Kentucky

    I don't like Kentucky Whiskey that much anyway.]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Sun, 26 Oct 2008 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Price of Hollywood Egos ]]> You want to talk about gouging in a bad economy? Let's talk about Hollywood! Gas prices are going down, food prices are going down, and real estate prices are going down. But the price to go see Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie isn't going down.

    In these difficult times, people are expecting oil companies to reduce their profits. Why not Hollywood? $10-$11 per person to see a movie is insane.

    Do these actors really need $20 million to do a movie? Do theaters need $8 for popcorn? Are the movie theaters and Hollywood taking advantage of the fact that during hard economic times, people spend more of their dwindling money on entertainment?

    No, No, and you bet they are.

    For some reason, nobody is calling it un-American - so, I will.

    If it is obscene for an oil company to make 8% profit then it is "like clubbing a baby seal to death" for ONE actor to make $20 million for ONE movie that grosses $186 million (Mr. & Mrs. Smith) - that's 10.8% for Brad.

    I am very entertained by Brad Pitt as an actor and he is entitled to his political opinion - I just think it's important to note how ridiculously hypocritical Hollywood has become.

    If they just made their millions and shut up, it would be one thing. Instead, their heads get warped and they misguidedly think their popularity translates to knowledge of world economics. Some of these Hollywood folks are so juiced on their own ego that they've lost touch. Here's a funny example - they even irritate fellow liberals:
    Brad's entourage vs. the Senator

    How can they complain, with a straight face, about corporate greed while at the same time earning at the top of the food chain?

    I think we need a "windfall popularity tax" on liberal actors and people in the entertainment business earning over $250k a year. Let's take 80-90% of anything over $250k and split it up amongst us hard working people.

    They better watch out. If they complain too loudly, the oil companies will just raise the price of gas so high that you'll be unable to afford to drive to the movies.

    That will shut them up.

    What do you think? Tell me!
    ]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Fri, 24 Oct 2008 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Saturday Morning]]> Remember when you were a little kid and Saturday Morning cartoons were the best programming on television. I remember it as a weekly ritual. We would finish off a box (or two) of breakfast cereal while watching our favorite shows - Tom & Jerry, Road Runner, Bugs Bunny, Tweetie & Sylvester...

    Photo Credit: Warner Brothers

    These days, if you flip around the channels, cartoons are on more often during the day and they've evolved into some sort of japanimation craziness I don't get. Some of the newer cartoons were ok - like Ren & Stimpy. But the latest ones mostly look the same and they're all about kids with super powers battling against other kids with super powers and pet monsters.

    I think it all started to go downhill with Speed Racer. I'm no expert, but I think that was the first mainstream Japanese Style animation (japanimation).

    How is this holding kids' attention?

    Recently, my youngest son was home from school (was it institute day? Columbus Day? Whatever...). It was morning, and he was watching Cartoon Network. They were playing an "old school" Tom and Jerry episode. It was like a flashback.

    Why would those EVER go off the air? They are timeless and funny in the simplest way.

    Everyone is invited to my house next Saturday morning. Wear your PJs (but not the kind with the footies please) and we'll sit in front of a 14 inch (barely color) screen watching Road Runner while eating Cap'n Crunch right out of the box.

    The good ole' days...

    What do you think? Tell me!
    ]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Sat, 4 Oct 2008 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Shower Time]]> I'm taking a shower and I find none of my normal, 99cents per bottle, shampoo; so I'll have to improvise. There are lots of choices here - maybe 15 or more bottles, jars and tubes of stuff. Something will do the trick - right?

    As you can see, I'm a big greasy Italian guy (with enough Irish DNA to irritate you senseless). I need a strong shampoo, on the scale of Tide or even Drano to cut through the oily coating.

    Hmm... Lots of bottles but not too many things call shampoo. Instead, there are "hair systems." What is all this crap? There are color enhancers, moisturizers, conditioners, revitalizers, protectors, cleansers, and other weirder stuff that's all written in french but manufactured and distributed out of places like Franklin Park, IL.

    Even better, I can choose from poppy, french lavender, mango or vanilla. This will be perfect. I'll smell like a flower shop dipped in ice cream and then cotton candy.

    I also don't get the moisturizer thing. My hair starts getting greasy again 14 seconds after I step out of the shower. The LAST thing I need is to rub additional grease into my hair right after I've just cleaned it.

    Now, the inane steps... Why does everything have 2-3 steps: rinse, work into hair, wait, rinse, add more, wait more, rinse again, thoroughly. This is going to take 45 minutes.

    Forget it - I'll just use soap.]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Sat, 13 Sep 2008 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[I'll have "The Special"]]> If you're a big guy like me, it may mean that you eat at restaurants more than the average person. Smart restaurants know that serving portions big enough to require a survey team are the way to pack in customers. You normally can't (or at least shouldn't) eat all that food; but they put it in front of you and finishing it seems like a good idea at the time.

    Here are some other restaurant oddities that I find funny and/or sad:

    double bacon cheeseburger with everything"I'll have a double bacon cheeseburger with everything, large fries and a Diet Coke."
    I've placed that order myself (too many times). We're now so conditioned to ordering a diet drink that we forget how ridiculous it sounds along with the other 3000 calories we'll be eating. A diet drink also goes good with one of those 2000 calorie monster salads. Those are great with all the ham, bacon, steak, eggs, cheese, creamy dressing and anything else they find in the fridge. I'm at the point where I'm so conditioned to the taste of diet drinks that I don't like regular soda anymore.
    My conclusion: Keep ordering the cheeseburgers but drink water. It accomplishes the same objective and sounds less diety.

    "Would you like hash browns with that?"
    What's the problem here? Some breakfast places serve egg dishes with hash browns, others charge extra. We're talking about 14cents worth of food. Just charge me 25cents more and let's get on with it. Otherwise you look cheap and I look irritated.
    My conclusion: Skip restaurants that charge extra for hash browns.

    "Welcome to Billy Bob's Food Shack - let me tell you about our Specials..."
    What the hell are "The Specials?" When you go to a place often and the specials are the same crap every time, what is so special about it? The price usually isn't so special. The food isn't any more special than everything else on the menu. More than likely, it's food they are stuck with or with really good profit margin.
    My conclusion: Don't order anything called "The Special"

    Got a favorite restaurant annoyance? Tell me about it:]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Thu, 31 Jul 2008 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Bloggin Without a Noggin]]>

    Everyone knows that having a blog has become huge on the internet. It allows every genius an outlet for his or her creativity. Put another way:
    "Every idiot now has a village."

    To me, there are two types of bloggers:

    • People who are passionate about something and want to persuade you towards their way of thinking
    • People who "think" they could have been writers (mainly comedy) and end up writing mindless crap that nobody cares about.

    Guess which one I am.

    I suppose I am excluding pros that really write for a living but somehow, I think I can jam anybody that writes a blog into one of the above two categories.

    In a technical sense, I write for a living. All day long I write emails, programs, specifications, proposals, letters, marketing materials, etc... My entire day is spent mouse clicking and typing while simultaneously on the phone. By the time the day is done, I'm usually out of steam to write some more.

    Some people have more than one blog and post new entries every day. I cannot imagine the time that must take. I can hardly think of something worth blogging about once a month. The bigger problem is: once you get on that roller coaster, how do you get off? If your daily blog changes to weekly or monthly, it's kind of admitting you aren't as smart or creative as you thought. You don't have as much to say as you'd like to think. Basically, you ARE the loser everyone thinks you are.

    Inevitably, people want to keep cranking out the text and they resort to a brand of drivel that sounds like the family newsletters that I'm sure you've seen.

    Little Timmy lost a tooth while we were on vacation near the worlds largest garbage dump. Next week, Ed starts his new job testing and categorizing cow manure. And, our cat "Pickles" is going to have kittens again...

    I'm sticking with low expectations so I don't hurt myself.

    Photo Credit:

    ]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Sun, 15 Jun 2008 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Chef Has No Clothes]]> If you've read my blog, you know that I am a chronic complainer. Like my old philosopher pal Rene Descartes used to say, "I complain, therefore I am" (or something like that).

    You may have heard me express my dissatisfaction about a recent dinner at Alinea - voted the Best Restaurant in America in 2006. I had Grant's food at other restaurants before, so I knew what to expect. I have no "issue" with the chef, Grant Achatz. He's doing his thing - making food he "believes in" which reflects his tastes and style. I know all about his battle against cancer and how he is a very dedicated and hard working guy. I can't give him a hard time for following his vision; I just don't like his food.

    My problem is the "ass kissing" critics. Nobody has anything negative to say except me. I cannot be the "only" one who didn't love it.

    I've had all types of far out food at all types of far out places that I sometimes liked and sometimes disliked. You can't like everything. Yet, I can't find any negative "professional" critique of Alinea. It's the opposite; critics describe the food as if some kind of perfection has been achieved. In my opinion, the courses don't flow well and I didn't like many of the ingredient combinations that oddly jumped back and forth between sweet/bitter/savory until my palate felt like an ashtray after 20+ courses. One entree featured a pasty sauce called "burnt bread" that tasted like a puree of the crap that falls to the bottom of your toaster. I'll concur that the food is plated more artistically than at any other place I've been but I would not vote Alinea the best restaurant in America or even Chicago.

    As I said, I cannot be the only one who had this thought - but obviously, I'm the only one speaking up and/or being honest. It's not that I don't appreciate unusual foods and flavor combinations. During a recent meal at Schwa, we had pickled crab in a slightly-sweet banana sauce and a dessert of sweetbreads (thymus glad) in a sweet rutabaga sauce. Both were unusually different and awesome.

    These days, chefs are celebrities and it seems nobody wants to be the one to say, "The Chef Has No Clothes." In the June issue of Chicago Magazine, writer Dennis Ray Wheaton laid it on so thick I can see the brown stain on his nose. You wonder if he is just positioning himself to get a table any time he wants (always be wary of guys with three names).

    Come on critics! You're like little kids in the big city for the first time, amazed by the bright lights. You're not supposed to be drinking the Kool-aid. We read your "professional" opinions to hear real pros and the cons. There should always be some of both or you're not being honest to us or yourself and you don't sound credible.
    ]]> (Frank Mahony)
    Mon, 26 May 2008 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[All You Can Eat Foie Gras Bar]]> The Chicago City Council officially ended the ban on Foie Gras that was enacted in 2006. Once they had their toe in the door with with Foie Gras, the "nut jobs" could take us down the same slippery slope with any food that is objectionable to any fringe group for any reason.

  • Cheeseburgers banned because they are too fattening
  • Pork banned because pigs are smart animals
  • Plants as food banned because they are injured as they are harvested

    If you think I'm kidding, read these:
    Plant's Rights

    Not so long ago, if you spouted this silliness, men in white coats would show up at your door with a straitjacket to take you away for your sanity evaluation. Now we have governments evaluating the merits of absolutely kooky ideas. I know, I know... We're talking about the Swiss Government. I think the Swiss government buildings are rectangular and yellow with random holes that you climb in and out of rather than doors and windows. Possibly, the entire country needs an evaluation at Bellevue, but I do dig the Swiss Miss chick sprinkling mini-marshmallows in my hot chocolate.


    On a not very recent dinner in the kitchen at Charlie Trotters (years ago, he was a Foie Gras fan, not a protester), my wife told Charlie that the Foie Gras course was outstanding and that he should open an "All You Can Eat Foie Gras Bar." He leaned back towards her, arms folded, and with an almost Groucho Marx delivery said, "That might significantly shorten the life expectancy of the diners." I think he lost that fun lovin attitude after his divorce.

    If chefs or diners don't approve of a food, that's their choice but don't try to legislate my food based on your whacky opinions. Geoff and I are both members of (PETA) People that Eat Tasty Animals (I stole that from some comic). When the animals (or plants) evolve to the point that they are picketing my favorite restaurants, maybe I'll hear their argument.

    Until then, let's keep the government out of our food and cigars. They have enough other important issues to solve.
    ]]> (Frank Mahony) Thu, 15 May 2008 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Shopping Your Dump]]> Sorry in advance. This blog entry is going to be a little disgusting, but this phenomenon really irritates me. It just happened to me again today, so it is fresh in my mind. If you work in a building with many floors, you will know what I am talking about.

    You walk into the restroom on your floor and see somebody you've never seen before who is either about to "stink up" the bathroom or has just done so. When he's finished, he heads for the stairs or the elevator to go back to where he came from. He knew he was going to cause a Level 5 Hazard Zone, so he located a floor where he could be more anonymous. A guy from the 2nd floor comes up to the 7th floor. A guy from the 7th floor goes down to the 4th floor, and so on and so on... You've got people wandering the building picking their spot.

    It's what I call - "Shopping Your Dump"

    I really want to tell these migrant dumpers that I need to see some form of ID that associates them with this floor or I'll have to ask them to leave. Get the hell outa here! You don't belong on this floor - move along...

    Am I alone here?

    I suspect this is a guy thing - I don't know for sure though. I haven't spent enough time in women's restrooms to get the facts. I'll put that on my list for future research.

    If you are one of these wandering dumpers, be aware that I'm on to your scheme. I'll be snapping pictures of you with my cell phone and posting your picture to warn people on the other floors.]]> (Frank Mahony) Tue, 1 Apr 2008 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[You've been Rick Rolled!]]> The people at YouTube have a good sense of humor. Today, in honor of April Fools Day, YouTube spoofed everyone who clicked on a "Featured Video" and Rick Rolled them.

    What does it mean to be Rick Rolled?

    Being Rick Rolled is when you click on a link that says something like

    hot pictures of Britney Spears

    and instead of being directed to what you expected, you are taken to a Music Video of Rick Astley singing his 1980's hit "Never Gonna Give you Up". This started with kids playing pranks on each other in chat forums about video games. Why they picked this song, nobody knows for sure.

    Wikipedia on Rickrolling

    Way to go YouTube!

    Featured Videos:

    ]]> (Frank Mahony) Tue, 19 Feb 2008 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[World Gone Legal!]]> Have you noticed that the whole world has gone legal crazy? Everybody is suing somebody about something in 2008. There is always someone "at fault" for everything that doesn't work out the way we planned and it can all be settled with huge sums of money. Everyone remembers the woman who initially won millions because she spilled hot coffee on herself.

    Since then, the whole world has taken up the new pastime of "legal posturing" to minimize liability. An example of this stupidity is right on the keyboard I'm using where it says:

    WARNING: To reduce the risk of serious injury to hand, wrists or other joints, read Safety & Comfort Guide.

    I don't happen to remember where I left my Safety & Comfort Guide so I searched for it on the internet. It was easy to find on the company's website. This ridiculous document contains 58 pages translated into 32 languages to tell me how to sit in front of a computer and type on a keyboard - safely and comfortably. I can guarantee this exists because somebody sued some computer company.

    This kind of thing isn't just on machinery. I just cracked open a box of snack bars and the packaging is like a legal contract and disclaimer between me and the manufacturer with:

    • A warning about freshness dates
    • A warning for people that may be allergic to nuts
    • A disclaimer of what is meant by "100% natural" and "a good source of fiber."
    • A warning by the picture of the snack bar that "the image has been enlarged to show detail."
    • Helpful tips to teach me how to open and close a box

    Years ago the product package gave us "the pitch" and a few facts (size, weight. etc...) without a legal team standing by. I found this cool website that shows what food packaging looked like in the good old days.

    Everything was simpler back then and nobody was legally liable if you were too stupid to know that the picture on the box was a little bigger than the actual food inside or that coffee is hot.]]> (Frank Mahony)