Monday, December 28, 2009

In case you didn't get what you want for xmas....

Did you get socks and underwear for xmas, but not the really interesting books you wanted to cuddle up with during the cold months? Hoping to read about British Beheadings, manly ways to use feminine hygiene products, or why you vomit? Wishing that could learn more about The Beverly Hillbilies relationship to the bible, natural breast enhancement with mind power, and how to fart proudly? Well then, you need to check out the WEIRD BOOK ROOM. Books on those topics and more. Check it out!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Stress Reduction......kill a snowman!

Got an email from an old friend from high school, Pete Mitchell, who sent along THIS LINK TO CERTAIN HOLIDAY STRESS REDUCTION!

Merry Whatever.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Finally, My Xmas Poem

So they keep moving the last day of school back a few days every year, and I now teach 4 classes a semester, and .......oh, enough with the excuses. I had trouble getting this one together. Hope you enjoy it anyway.
“THE NIGHT BEFORE XMAS” told by someone named Rudolph

Twas the night before Xmas in my dull little town
By the chimney I waited for him to come down
I watched out the window in hope I'd be spotting
The arrival for which so long I'd been plotting
The outfit I wore was designed to be right
To give me success on this fateful night
And nearby and ready I'd laid out my gear
Expecting St. Nicholas soon would be here.

When what in the sky as I'd hoped, should I spy
But 8 smelly reindeer and one big fat guy
Coming with toys on his annual gig
That all over the world had made his name big
But this year Santa's would not be the sole name
That on this night would have worldwide fame
I'd been working for months on my cunning plan
To become as well know as the jolly fat man.

In a flash there came from the chimney a boom
And there was old Santa, right in my room
With his silly red suit, black boots and big gut
He laughed like he was some kind of nut
But his laugh stopped abruptly though his ZZ Top beard
When he got sight of what for him I'd prepared.
My furry brown suit and and well crafted rack
of antlers had seemed to take him aback
His look told me clearly that surprised Santa was
He pointed and said “What is this mishegas?”

I replied “Welcome Santa, glad you are here
For you're giving me a really great gift this year
I'm wearing this suit instead of my pants
because I'll be flying with your ruminants
I've glued this red light on to my nose
To guide you tonight as off your sled goes
this may sound like a crazy way to behave
But to me it will bring the renown I so crave
I'm one of those folks who'll do stuff that should shame us
All in the hope of becoming famous”

Santa just shook his head “Oy, what a putz,
the third time tonight I've had one of you nuts
willing to do something amazingly dumb
Thinking that his chance at fame will now come.
Maybe I'm backward, but I still believe
In getting acclaim for what you achieve

I said “You don't understand, I'm sad as can be
I have yet to secure my own show on TV
Sure I have no talent, but that doesn't tame
My need to attain a great level of fame
And as for talent, well there is no need
when I can get by on chutzpah and greed.
For look at the people around who have shown
You can be famous for being well known
So fame I shall have, just wait and see
I'll be on “Extra” and “TMZ”
My flying with you surely will bring me
A reality show on Bravo or E
Or maybe a talk show, cuz, what the heck
You don't need to be smart, just look at Glenn Beck
No I have no skills, I can't dance or sing
But by Monday I will be guesting on Larry King.”

Santa shook his white head and said “Tish Tish tish
Is this for Christmas what you really wish?”
And he reached in his bag for a pipe made of lead
And with one mighty swing, cracked open my head.
His face filled with rage as I fell to the floor
“I won't help you become a media whore”
And he picked up his foot and I thought “Egads”
As his black boot came crushing down on my nads

“You have no talent but lots of nerve
So you just got for Christmas what you deserve
Balloon Boy, the gatecrashers and Joe the Plumber
And all of the ilk who are even dumber
Have made you believe fame and the big buck
Can be gotten by folks who at everything suck
If you think being famous is really the goods
Think about all that it brought to old Tiger Woods”.
As his sled rose away while I lay there in pain
He yelled “maybe next year I should bring you a brain!”.

Oh, my failure with Santa may to you seem funny
But wait til you see me with the Easter Bunny.

Merry Christmas, or Whatever, to all, and may you not spend your holidays sleeping on a bench in an airport like I did last year.

If you didn't think health care is complex.....

One of the problems with fixing our health care system is that health care is so complex, and what individuals do has an effect on everyone else. As busy Americans, we want the problem solved in some nice little sound bite we can understand. Since that is not possible, we tend to believe any crazy thing we hear or are told, because, well, it just might kill us.

Which gets back to the sentence on the title of this post. If you don't think health care is complex, then you need to read THIS ECONOMIST'S TAKE ON MAMMOGRAMS!.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I didn't write the Tiger Woods thing

Several folks have emailed me a version of "The Night Before Xmas" about the travails of a certain golf pro. I didn't write it. It was no where near up to my standards. It didn't really have a story, and it had no Yiddish whatsoever, and no violent acts involving Santa.

My poem will be up by Monday morning. In the meantime, in honor of the death earlier this year of The King of Pop, HERE is one I wrote about him back in 1996.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dave Barry Fights Dead Weight Loss

I wrote recently about the dead weight loss of Christmas, the economic loss caused by buying people gifts that they don't want. Fortunately for those of us hoping to avoid that economic phenomenon, Dave Barry is out with his annual Gift Guide. I am sure everyone on your list can be made happy with one of these fabulous gifts. In fact, they'll wonder how they ever lived this long without the Nose Shower Gel Dispenser.

My own annual bit of xmas writing will be out in about a week. In the meantime, re-read last years.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tiger and the Gate Crashers

This week's two big news stories that have no important effect on anyone's lives show a very interesting contrast. On the one hand you have Tiger Woods, who is desperately trying to keep some part of his life private after becoming extremely famous for being extremely talented. On the other hand you have the Salahi's, who apparently have never done a worthwhile thing in their lives but are desperate to become famous.

I guess the grass is always greener. Tiger has been famous most of his life, and is probably jealous of the rest of us, what with our ability to go wherever we want without anyone getting excited. Of course, he hasn't exactly turned down the money that came with that fame. The Salahis likely see the money that fame can bring, and how many other people with no talent have become rich and famous. So, why not them? Personally, I think I would like Tiger's money with exactly the amount of fame I have right now.

Harry Shearer had a good idea for how the media should treat posers like the Salahis on his radio show "Le Show": Give them the fame they want, in big hairy OJ Simpson-like doses, with helicopters over their house 24/7 and paparrazzi in the bushes. Maybe they should have checked with The Balloon Boy's family about how much fun and profit fame can bring, when it comes as a result of just being an idiot. But then, it has worked out well for Joe the Plumber, I guess.

Here's an even better idea for the media than Harry's: Why not stick to covering news that really matters, instead of crap that sells. This couple gets more ink than health care reform, and we'll all be dying with no insurance long after these jerk are no longer flavor-of-the-week.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

GM's Board Starts to get it.

About 4 years ago a former student who was at CU business school had a paper to write about what GM should do to become profitable in the future. My response was that they needed to re-think everything they do. In order to do that, I suggested doing what IBM did in the early 90's: Get a CEO from outside the industry who will not be tied to the old ways.

When the government took over GM, then had CEO Rick Waggoner fired earlier this year, a many people were upset that they should let this veteran leave, that they needed his experience to get out of their hole. What they needed is more of what they did yesterday, which was to dump their new CEO for being too tied to the old GM.

We are all stockholders in GM now, so we need to pay attention to what goes on there. Keeping guys with 25 or 30 years of leading GM into the crap company it became could hardly be a good idea. GM lacked imagination, vision, commitment to quality, engineering expertise, innovation......pretty much anything that makes a company successful. They were good at putting cupholders in their crap cars. And I guess ONStar is a good idea.

GM has tried to survive by fighting progress and the idea of competition. Getting rid of it's old baggage is a good start. Notre Dame would have had a better excuse for keeping Charlie Weis.