Monday, July 27, 2009

Twitter Power Becomes More Powerful Each Day

I love Twitter.  Chances are, so do you.  Where else can you crawl out of bed, and joke with somebody from Australia about their sloppy housekeeping habits over your first cup of coffee?  Then a minute later, you could be engaged in some philosophical debate with a transplanted American now living in Sweden; and then it's time to catch up with your core base of personal favorites---to see how the Giants did last night, or if that tornado touched down in Houston.

How hot is Twitter?  Incindiary.  Heck, six months ago, I thought Twitter was some silly gimmick to add flair to your emails.  That was my first reaction.  I thought it sounded silly.  It's anything but silly; it's a very, very powerful way to connect with the world, in real time, 140 limit character posts, aka "tweets".  The power of Twitter can kill a bad movie's box office total in a flash.  To me, that's not a bad thing.  It might force Hollywood to start making better flicks.

In Washington, DC, the use of Twitter has actually been banned by the President.  It seems as though the leader of ObamaNation is worried about the bad publicity that's been building within the once liberal based core of Twitters.  The once "silent minority" is silent no longer.  My favorite, is an outrageous stock broker from Phoenix, Todd Fritz, aka @thewonderbroker.  The guy's hilarious in his disdain for Obama and his love for his old home town Brewers.  He's a free-wheeling self proclaimed party animal and he's not afraid to say exactly what's on his mind. 

Speaking your mind---that's the First Amendment.  I like that.  The Constitution.  I like that, too.  Sometimes I wonder if the power brokers in Washington DC have ever heard of the Constitution.  From what I've seen, they may have heard of it, but don't care about its significance.

Maybe in 2012, they'll find out that the vast majority of Americans do in fact, care about the Constitution.  With any luck, we'll see some changes---finally for the better. 

With any luck, Twitter will still be going strong & perhaps the new administration will be active Twitters as well.  Maybe I'll follow them.

Larry Underwood wrote Life Under the Corporate Microscope---A Maverick's Irreverent Perspective

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Guest Article---What Happened to America? Todd Fritz (thewonderbroker)

If you're one of the 900 or so followers I have from Twitter, you probably know I'm not a fan of our newest President, Barrack Obama---The King of Financial Trauma.  For some reason, the majority of Americans in the land known as ObamaNation, don't feel the same way I do.  That's okay.  I know I'm right, and sooner or later, I'm pretty sure the rest of America will realize that, as well. 

I'm a pretty simple guy.  Give me my golf clubs, an early morning tee-time, a few beers and a hot dog at the turn, and I consider it a good day.  Sure, I'm a stockbroker by trade, but the "good days" in that business are as rare as a double eagle---at least in this millennium.  Will things get better again?  Sure.  Do you have 100 years?

That's kind of a joke, but unfortunatey, it doesn't seem far off the mark.  Our fiscally irresponsible President, B.O., doesn't seem to have a clue.  He also doesn't seem to have a birth certificate.  Yet somehow, he qualified to run for President?  Sure, let's bend the rules for our home boy.  Who cares what country he was born in?   As long as he's got his teleprompter, he can fake it.

Somehow, his lack of motor skills doesn't instill any confidence from me.  Here's a guy who bowled a 37 during last year's Presidential campaign.  A 37.  The obvious question:  Why in the hell did he go bowling to begin with?  And why didn't he ask for those bumpers to keep his ball out of the gutter?  A 37?

Of course, to further his reputation as a complete spaz, he took to the mound in St Louis for the All-Star Game pre-game ceremony, and tossed a ruptured duck to Albert Pujols.  This was supposed to have been the ceremonial opening pitch, but it looked like something out of Field & Stream.  It was the most embarrasing moment I've ever witnessed at a sporting event, with the possible exception of Roseann What's Her Name yelping the National Anthem a decade or so earlier, and then grabbing her crotch after that performance.

Whatever happened to common sense?  How did we let this happen?  The greatest nation in the world went brain dead and nobody seems to care.  Well, I care!  The budget deficits created by this economically challenged politician are killing us.  But nobody seems to care.

The fact that the leader of our country can't even cough up a lousy birth certificate makes me think he's hiding something and I hope we find it before it's too late.  Why should we let him set his own rules for taking over this country?  Either he proves he's a citizen of the United States, or we get him out of office.  It's as simple as that.  Of course, the things that are so clearly obvious, clearly don't matter.

It matters to me. 

I promised Larry Underwood (lau56) I wouldn't go balistic here.  Normally, I do, so you should thank me for being so civilized.  Now, go buy his damned book so he'll let me come back and spout off again one of these days.

Life Under the Corporate Microscope---An Irreverent Maverick's Perspective 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Prediction From America's Foremost Baseball Authority

Now, that's quite a bold statement---"America's foremost baseball authority" is making a prediction.  Never before have I gone so far out on a limb, but wtf...I know baseball, and I know the National League All-Stars will defeat the American League All-Stars in the game played later today in St Louis.

To me, that prediction is a no-brainer.  I mean, come on...The game is being played in St Louis, for crying out loud (home field advantage), and the National League lineup, led by the great Albert Pujols, is far superior to the one put together by the outmatched American League.

Say, "what"?  Oh, the last time the National League won the All-Star Game, Bill Clinton was President, and Monica Lewinsky was still an intern with very limited experience with smoking cigars.  The stock market was going through the biggest bull market of bull markets, and the Florida Marlins had yet to defeat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series...The New York Yankees were reigning World Series Champions after upsetting the previous World Series Champion Atlanta Braves...

That was a pretty long time ago, huh?  Conventional wisdom says the American League is incapable of losing the All Star Game.  Bullsh*t!  Conventional wisdom is wrong so often, you could write a book about all the ways it's been wrong in the history of mankind.  I won't even go into that, but "conventional stupididty" might be a better phrase...I rest my case.

So yes, my friends, you can take it from me, Uncle Larry; a guy who never lies and is always right!  Well, at least as far as you know.  But don't take my word for it.  Here's a brief sampling of my baseball expertise, compliments of a book I wrote, Life Under the Corporate Microscope.  I think this speaks for itself.  If not, I'll try better next time!

Chapter 4---"Tell Us Another Story, Uncle Larry"
"Anybody who knows me well knows I like to tell stories.  If the subject matter is baseball, I could go on for hours; actually, I have gone on for hours; I'm a regular baseball historian.
Thanks in large part to growing up in St Louis, where baseball is revered and understood far more than any simple 'pastime'; St Louis fans are widely regarded as the most knowledgeable in all of baseball...
As a franchise, the Cardinals have been successful in winning World Championships more than any other National League team, and rank second in all of baseball, with ten titles.  The New York Yankess are in the number one position, with 1,592 World Series Championships, as everyone knows; but they would've had 1,593 titles, had the Cardinals not beaten them, mercilessly, in the 1964 World Series (actually, the damned Yankees have won something like 26 World Series Championships).  How about that?"
I continue the chapter by discussing the exploits of a turn of the century ballplayer by the name of Dummy Hoy, who singlehandedly changed the game by forcing the umpires to use hand gestures to signal the outcome of a play...You see, Dummy Hoy (aka William Ellsworth Hoy) happened to be baseball's finest deaf mute player.  As the late great Paul Harvey would've said; "Now you know the rest of the story!"
You can look it up.  The reason umpires do those silly little hand gestures is the result of a tradition that was initiated to help a guy by the name of "Dummy", know precisely what the outcome of a given play was.  Thanks, Dummy, for being you!  This Bud's for you.
I'll bet you're wondering how I know so much about stupid little trivia like that.  I guess you could say...I'm just a lucky stiff.  Baseball's my life.  And baseball predictions are my business.  And business is good.  And won't I look like a complete idiot if I'm wrong?  Ha!  It won't happen.  You can take that one to the bank.
Disclaimer:  Results may vary.  Consult a doctor before taking any of my advice (a psychiatrist).
Larry Underwood wrote Life Under the Corporate Microscope---A Maverick's Irreverent Perspective

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Review This!

As a retired executive with valid observations to share on the state of affairs in Corporate America, I've made a few noteworthy observations lately.  Many of my observations stem from my growing interest & influence in that social networking site called, Twitter.  More on that later.

While not engaged in the activity of posting my tweets and reading others' words of wisdom (or spam attacks), I do a lot of reading, and as a result, a lot of reviewing on Amazon.  Year to date, I've polished off close to 100 reviews of mostly good books; some even great; some not so good; a couple, fairly wretched.
One thing I've noticed about doing reviews is the passionate responses that come from the Amazon masses.  If your opinion of a particular book doesn't fit with many people's agenda, you'll experience the thrill of having the review "voted down", which is a curious option for those reading your words of literary opinion.

Frankly, whether you agree with my perspective (very centrist in every respect), my book reviews are stellar.  However, if I mention one piece of criticism towards the author or the subject matter at hand, the Amazonians answer the question "Was this review helpful?" with a resounding "NO".  I'm not sure what satisfaction they derive from voting an honest, and thoroughly comprehensive review "down"; and I won't even try to understand their motive; but it's clear they have their own very strong agenda, and feel it's their duty to quash the facts.  It's pretty lame; especially when they attack something as innocuous as favorable reviews I've given to books about Vin Scully & Joe Torre.  I mean, come on people.  I enjoyed the books, and gave a very valid argument as to these books' merits; there's absolutely no reason to vote them down.

Of course, when you offer opinions on controversial topics, such as anything to do with President Obama, or anything to do with the state of the economy, or for that matter, any type of social issue, the hate mail comes trickling in.  There's no hiding from the angry masses; but that's quite all right.  I've got supporters, too.  It just seems weird that a few paragraphs giving my insightful perspective should be considered so dangerous; so "unhelpful".  Yeah, right.  Review this.

More to come.  My next post will deal with the baffling censorship I've run up against on Twitter's platform for big-shot executives---Exectweets.  Plus, a strange encounter with a Linked In Group known as "Little Media".  I've run afoul with them, as well; simply by having an opinion that didn't meet the agenda of the Group's commandant---a P.hD with zero tolerance for my valid observation.

PS---I wrote a great book about my experience in dealing with Corporate America (which as it turns out, is an "on-going" experience long after the book's release).

The book:  Life Under the Corporate Microscope---A Maverick's Irreverent Perspective

The book's website: