Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"You Oughta Go"

Alanis Morissette was probably quite justified when she penned her little tirade against an old boyfriend in the hit song, "You Oughta Know".  It became the anthem of pissed off women everywhere, giving hell to all those thoughtless cads for being such heartless jerks.  I must admit, I like the song and sympathize with Alanis over her devastating breakup.  I hope she's found a decent boyfriend since then; she deserves it.

I often wondered what the ex's rebuttal would sound like, and I'm surprised there hasn't been a parody to this song; maybe there has been and I just missed it.  If not, here's my masterpiece for your listening pleasure.  I call this one "You Oughta Go", because it rhymes with "know" and it gives a whole different perspective on things.  Again, this is only a silly rebuttal, for entertainment purposes only.  This is not based on any people or events, living or dead, so help me God.  Any similarities to anyone in the world is strictly a coincidence; okay?

"You Oughta Go"

I want you to know, I'm happy for me, too
I wish nothing but the best for me, too
A kinder version of you
Not always bitching like you
And she likes to go to the theatre
She speaks rationally
At times we may disagree
But unlike you she's never threatened to kill me

'cause the love that I gave that we made wasn't able
To make it enough for me to not break up with you
And every time I speak her name
I'm glad it's her - not you - I'm talking to
I'd wanna die, wanna die
But I'm still alive

And I'm here to remind you
Of the mess you made when you wouldn't leave
It's not fair to deny me
A little peace of mind to set me free
You, you, you oughta go

I'm doing very well, free from Hell
You're not quite as well, so what else is new?
How could I forget about you Miss Coldhearted-Shrew
You always bug me in the middle of dinner
Now my potatoes are cold, this routine is so old
Why can't you call while I'm not eating?

'cause the love that I gave that we made wasn't able
To make it enough for me to not break up with you
And every time I speak her name
I'm glad it's her - not you - I'm talking to
I'd wanna die, wanna die
But I'm still alive

And I'm here to remind you
Of the mess you made when you wouldn't leave
It's not fair to deny me
A little peace of mind to set me free
You, you, you oughta go

'cause the joke that I laid on the bed that was you
And you are gonna fade
As soon as I close my eyes and I'm happy
And every time you scratch your nails down someone else's back
Of course I don't feel must be crazy

Well I'm her to remind you
Of the mess you made when you wouldn't leave
It's not fair to deny me
A little peace of mind to set me free
You, you, you oughta go


If you haven't already read my book, Life Under the Corporate Microscope, here's your chance.  I guarantee there are no stupid song parodies; just honest and irreverent commentary on the state of affairs in Corporate America.  Order on Amazon:

If St Louis Cardinals baseball is your bag, you'll certainly want to read my latest book -St Louis Cardinals IQ - The Ultimate Test of True Fandom (Volume 1) - 250 fun-filled trivia questions to challenge even the most diehard fan, like YOU!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2010 All-Star Game Predictions

Last year, I boldly (and erroneously) predicted the National League would prevail in baseball's legendary Mid-Summer Classic.  After all, I reasoned, St Louis was hosting the game, as its great player, Albert Pujols would probably hit a home run every time he came to the plate.  I mean, why wouldn't he?

Not quite.  In fact, Albert's first inning error helped produce an unearned run for the American League, while his bat remained dormant throughout the game.  Ironically, it was the other St Louis hero, Yadier Molina, who provided the early excitement for the St Louis fans, temporarily putting the senior curcuit on top with a run scoring single; or was it a double?  Whatever it was, it wasn't enough to prevent the inevitable from happening.

The American League won again; and guess what?  They're going to win again this year; and so on and so forth.  That's just the way it is.  I realize this now.  I'm so much smarter now than I was a year ago.

The final score of this year's debacle will, of course,  be 1-0.  I figure the game should be over by the 13th inning or so.  The run will, of course, be unearned.  In fact, both teams will muster maybe two hits between them.  Welcome to the New Year of the Pitcher:  2010.  You thought 1968 was dominated by pitching?  Ha!  After this year's in the books, they'll probably lower the mound once again; this time, the hurlers will have to deliver their pitches from a small ravine; maybe three or four feet deep.  Yeah, that sounds fair.

With that slight advantage, maybe next year the hitters will avoid being "no-hit" with the startling regularity we're seeing in 2010.  Thank God, Jim Joyce blew that call at first base; a third perfect game would've made the whole feat seem so pedestrian.

Of course, there's an entire second half of pitching heroics to unfold.  If Jamie Moyer throws a perfect game, don't be too surprised; after all, he's only a couple of years away from collecting social security.  He could go on for another few seasons.  After all, he's lefthanded.  That always seems to help prolong the life of any pitcher; especially when hitters can't hit much of anything these days. 

Think they miss their daily dose of steroids, kids?

Monday, May 24, 2010

40 Terrific Business & Motivational Books

Over the years, I've read hundreds (maybe thousands?) of books related to the subjects of "business" and "motivation".  Most of the books I've read have been worthy efforst; some quite profound.  Rarely have I read a boring or mundane book about anything, simply because I could usually spot them shortly after the introduction; maybe slightly past "chapter one".  I don't count those brief forarys into mediocrity as having "read" those particular books.  I'd stop before I wasted any more of my precious time.  When you get to be my age, the last thing you want to do is waste any time on a futile activity, although one might argue that my attempt to play golf was a tremendous waste of time.  After all, I sucked at golf; now I stick to bowling.

Certainly, my golf skills were never better than slightly "above average", and I had many embarassing moments on the links, however, I rarely had a round of golf that I didn't enjoy.  Henceforth, my time spent hacking the ball from one side of the course to the other was time well-spent, simply because I had fun. 

Reading boring books isn't fun.

Now that I'm a big-time Amazon author and reviewer, I thought it would be nice to share with the world the 40 business & motivational books that I really think have the most value.  You won't be disappointed you perused these gems.  Naturally, mine's on there, for two reasons:  (1) I think it's great (2) I want you to buy it because I really believe you'll agree and I need the commission.  Yes, there were three reasons there, disguised as two. 

Big deal.  Where would we be as a society without shameless self-promotion?  Don't answer that.

Do read these books; you won't regret it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Arizona's Bad Rap (Again)

Ever since Barry Goldwater's landslide defeat against Lyndon Johnson in 1964, many Americans have viewed the state of Arizona as predominantly right wing, anything but progressive, and even racist.  After all, it was then governor Ev Meacham's ill-advised decision to not observe Martin Luther King Day in Arizona, back in the early '90s; setting off a tidal wave of national outrage. 

Rightfully so.  Frankly, I was embarassed to be an Arizonan.  By '93, the proposition was finally approved, and Arizona joined the rest of the nation in celebrating the legacy of Dr King.  Still, the lingering sentiment around the country was largely unfavorable, and more than a few people now labeled the state as "racist".

They still do.  This time, the criticism is unfounded; stemming from a law that was recently passed which is designed to cut back on illegal immigration in the state.  This is a real problem for those of us living here and our lawmakers finally took some decisive action to address the issue.  What people who oppose the law don't understand, is it simply mirrors the federal law; only now, it gives local law enforcement officials the ability to enforce it.

Opponents decry this measure, claiming it will lead to discrimination and "racial profiling".  Proponents point out that it will help rid the state of illegal immigrants who are increasing the rate of crime while glutting the already crowded workforce; costing legal residents some employment opportunities.  In other words, it would be good for the general well-being of the population, and help spur the state's economic growth.

Sounds good to me.  The vast majority of Arizonans agree; in fact, 70% think this law is fair.  Nationally, the consensus isn't so overwhelming, although a slight majority think the law is reasonable (51%).  The strong opposition comes from those who have a knee jerk reaction to anything that even comes close to broaching someone's "civil rights".  Some have even gone so far as to claim these measures are "gestapo-like", comparing it to Hitler's persecution of the Jews.

Please.  Asking someone to whip out their driver's license after they've been clocked at 90 heading up I-10, is a far cry from Auschwitz.  If they can't produce a valid AZ driver's license, don't you think it would be reasonable to assume they may be running around this country illegally?  Should they be allowed to stay?  Was it violating their civil rights to have asked for a bit of ID?

Yes.  No.  Hell no.

Personally, I had a close encounter with the illegal immigration issue a little over five years ago.  A car driven by a nice young lady with no form of identification, no insurance, and no comprehension of the English language, decided to make a U-turn just as the car I was driving was about to pass her.  In the split second that she made the fateful maneuver, I had just enough time to swerve sharply to my left to avoid killing her.  However, her car was whacked pretty good, and my entire right side was pulverized.  As I recall, the repairs came to ten grand or so.

Not sure what happened to the lady with no license.  The cops at the scene gave her a ticket for her violations, told me "She doesn't have insurance", and sent her on her merry way.  No problemo.  In the meantime, I've got to have State Farm cover this mess, since that's the only insurance available to cover it - mine.  Now, imagine that scenario being played out thousands of times a year.  Sure, it's illegal to drive a car with no insurance in the state of Arizona; but if you're here illegally to begin with...

See where this is going?  Illegal immigration is a real issue.  Arizona had the courage to deal with the issue head-on, because Washington, DC hasn't done much to help.  Now, maybe President Obama will push for a more comprehensive federal law that works.  He has already voiced his disapproval over it; now maybe, he'll come up with a reasonable alternative.  Or not.

In the meantime, Arizona's taking heat from the misguided poplace; this time from all around the world.  Even China is blasting it as a "violation of human rights".  China?  Violation of human rights?  Well, they're certainly a progressive country when it comes to human rights.  They haven't slaughtered more than a few hundred million citizens in their glorious history.  Not bad, China; not bad at all.

Yeah, but Arizona is the villain in this instance?  Sorry folks; not this time.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Piano Blues for Dummies

I have a pretty good ear for music and can generally play anything I hear, on the keyboard, right along with the performer.  I've jammed with the best of 'em; from Eric Clapton to BB King.  If I hear the blues, I can play it in the right key, every time; no exceptions.

What's the secret to being able to jam with any artist?  It's really quite simple; even dummies can do it (like me).  Now, I'll teach you; a very smart person.  I hope you have a piano or some sort of keyboard, so you can take advantage of your new found skill; if not, go out and buy one.  You can afford it; the economy's booming again?

Okay, so you're still short on cash.  Big deal; make the purchase, anyway.  A lifetime of playing the blues is worth the investment.  If you're fortunate enough to have already acquired that keyboard; when you still had money; congratulations.  You're one step closer to becoming a semi-professional musician.

For the purposes of this lesson, I'm only going to deal with the white keys on the piano; I'm not racist; I love the black keys, too; however, I don't want to throw out too much information here and confuse you.  I want to keep this simple, so even the dummies can figure it out.

As you know, there are seven white keys in every octave (and five black keys).  If you start out at middle C (the key just to the left of the two black keys), and work your way up the scale, you'll find D...E...F...G...A...B.  Then it starts all over again with C.  In case you were wondering what a DEFGAB is; I don't know, either.  I saw a comedy program on HBO a while back; something about "Def Comedy", but that has nothing to do with playing the blues.  Also, if you don't know what an octave is, ask someone to explain it to you.  Basically, it's the clump of keys on the piano that have seven white keys and five black keys!  Okay?

You may ask why I'm not starting in alphabetical order (A...B...C...D...E...F...G).  Good question.  The reason:  It's more confusing (for me) to find A on the piano.  It's over by the three black keys, to the left of C, so it's kind of hard to spot.  Okay?

Now, here's the deal.  Every blues song in the world has the same "key structure" - the same combination of notes that blend in perfectly; always.  There are five notes in every key that blend in.  That leaves seven that don't blend in.  If you hit one of those seven, you'll end up with something referred to as, "discord"; in other words, it sounds like Roseanne Arnold singing the National Anthem.  If you hit the other five notes, it sounds like you're a part of the band.  Congratulations.  When's your next gig?

Since learning seven different key structures in one blog may be difficult for someone with no musical background; relax.  I'm only going to cover the key of C today.  Can you dig it?  Who wants to play the blues in the key of C?  You do?  You're in luck.

Ideally, I'd have a diagram of the piano keys for you to refer to as I'm explaining this stuff to you; but I don't.  However, with the information I'm going to give, you'll be able to figure it out, sooner or later; especially if you get someone with a few piano lessons under their belt to help you; if need be.



Now go out and play Howlin' Wolf's "I Ain't Superstitious" (Track 2 THE LONDON HOWLIN' WOLF SESSIONS).  You'll love it.

The next lesson:  Blues piano in the key of D. 

In the meantime, practice the key of C, take two aspirin, and call me in the morning.

If you haven't already bought my book, Life Under the Corporate Microscope, here's your chance (It has nothing to do with playing the blues, but it's still highly entertaining).  Just head on over to Amazon and grab a few cases to give to friends and family.  It's a great entertainment value for the money.

I just completed another book, but it's still in the pre-publication phase; but look for it soon.  It's called St Louis Cardinals IQ:  The Ultimate Test of True Fandom (Volume 1)

From business to baseball to the blues; I do it all; sort of.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Startling Economic Development

I was at my local friendly grocery store the other day buying a few odds and ends; most notably, some chicken; specifically about a dozen or so drumsticks.  As the cashier was ringing up my purchases, she took a look at the chicken and suggested to me that it "didn't look right". 

"What's wrong with it?"

"It looks funny."

"Looks like a bunch of chicken legs to me",  I surmised.  "I'll take 'em." 

"Well, okay; but if you decide later that they're no good, by all means bring them back for a full refund."

I thanked her for her dilligence, as I mentally pictured how that scenario would play out.  I suppose after cooking these tainted drumsticks on the grill, I'd take one bite, realize they were indeed spoiled, vomit, wrap up the remains, and head back to the store with the evidence so I could be fully reimbursed for this travesty.  Somehow, I couldn't see myself doing that.  Some procedures just don't seem practical to make it worthwhile to engage in; dealing with bad chicken falls into that category.

I then mumbled something like, "Don't worry about it; we're only talking about four dollars here."

"Well sir, four dollars is four dollars!"

She was right; four dollars is four dollars.  I googled it, just to make sure.  Not only is four dollars four dollars, I surmised; five dollars is five dollars; and so on and so forth.  During these trying economic times, it's good to know things like this.  Of course I was startled by this revelation; but it makes perfect sense.

Finally, with the world economic meltdown that's crippled us over the past couple of years, we have some good news to savor.  Four dollars is four dollars, and all is right with the world.

I hope that chicken's good.  I'm hungry.

Hey, I just got finished with another book which is due to be released sometime in April.  It's a St Louis Cardinals trivia challenge; 250 mind boggling questions to test your knowledge of your favorite team.  I think it's going to sell for something like nine dollars.  If you buy it and you don't like it, just wrap it up and send it back to me.  I won't refund you any money, but if it's any consolation to you, nine dollars is still nine dollars.

While you're at it, why not buy another copy of my original masterpiece, Life Under the Corporate Microscope.  It's available on Amazon:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Evolution of the Corporate Vice President

The Corporate Vice President, or Corpus Evictus-cya, has a strange evolutionary history. Its appearance on our planet began about 20 years ago, although the exact date is still unknown. Records back in those days were somewhat informal, and largely incomplete. However, one thing is clear: The species began as what many believe to be real, live, human beings, before evolving into the familiar jellyfish we all know in today's mutated version. But how did it get here? Is it going to continue evolving; perhaps grow a spine; perhaps have a useful purpose in Corporate America? Don't count on it.

However, understanding the evolutionary history of the Corpus Evictus-cya will help us prepare for whatever it has in store for future generations of backstabbing victims. With enough knowledge, perhaps our children's children will live in some better world; with no budget deficits, bailouts or government subsidies. We can only hope.

For the purposes of this particular study, the "Corporate Vice President" will simply be referred to as the "CVP"; those they undermine will be referred to as "us", or "we"; the hard working business people in Corporate America who try to be productive in our jobs; and who try to engage employees in being productive, as well, with no hidden agendas. Despite the insidious nature of the CVP, we aren't on the verge of extinction - yet. Strangely enough, we outnumber CVPs by a wide margin, although they possess the lethal backstabbing capabilities which can be unleashed at any moment; preparation is our best defense.

The most often asked question I've encountered is simply, "Where did they come from; why are they here?" From my research, it appears the CVP originated sometime around the end of the Reagan Administration, although there is no direct link between politics and Corporate America, as far as the early stages of CVP development is concerned. Early forms of CVP appeared friendly; even useful. They demonstrated human characteristics, seemed to have a logical thought process, and showed no signs of malice. Certainly, they possessed tremendous strength, and were capable of killing us at the drop of a hat; but they were good-natured and friendly; they liked us and wanted us to continue our evolutionary journey, just as much as we wanted to keep going. It seemed to be a good balance of nature.

Then, sometime in the early '90s, something happened to our common sense; it seemed to go away. It all started with the legal system; wrongful termination lawsuits started proliferating, along with sexual harrasment lawsuits; then, it seemed like everyone was being discriminated against, in one way or another. This was good news for the attorneys in America; and whatever is good news for attorneys means bad news for the vast majority of honest, hard-working people. Even businesses that had good intentions were becoming victimized by the malicious attorneys looking to score a jackpot for their scumbag clients; soon, most big businesses in Corporate America were being run in a climate of fear and loathing; and that's when the CVPs began losing their "human" characteristics; early forms of CVP resembled rodent-like animals in the wild - the badger and the weasel were the most common forms of CVP; they were dangerous but were so hostile, or slovenly that they could be warded off with a clever approach. Some forms of CVP were amusing, but you could tell that they had devious intentions by listening to their diatribes; they spoke in riddles; corporate speak. It sounded good, but the recipients knew it was for show.

The CVP knew the game had long since evolved into a matter of "kill or be killed"; they knew their best chance for survival with the CEOs of Corporate America was to stay out of harm's way, while throwing others under the bus. That's when their spines disappeared; and that's when they became even more lethal - they lulled their victims into a false sense of security by disappearing into their cubicles, and slithering around the corporate office, trying to avoid any contact with the CEOs or their agents of doom - the second or third in command.

Of course, eventually, the CVPs had to come out of hiding and make their presense felt with those they "supervise"; to justify their existence, they knew they had to start creating problems - which only they could fix. The problems, were of course, "us". "We" were somehow screwing something or other up; it didn't matter if the problems were fictitious; all that mattered was the problems needed to be addressed.

When "addressing" the problems; or the "issues"; the CVP's lack of a spine comes in handy; it enables them to deal with all that stress from the CEOs without sustaining any damage to their organs; and because they're so flexible, they fit almost anywhere, and are easy to care for. They never complain; and they never say anything that will cause the CEOs any aggravation. In short, they've evolved into the perfect life form for survival in Corporate America.

Is it any wonder we're in the shape we're in today? The solution is simple; but who's going to do it? Who's going to get rid of the spineless jellyfish known as the Corporate Vice President? It's going to take the enlightened CEO with enough sense to realize this species should be extinct by now; they're no longer needed.

In fact, if the CEOs don't realize this very soon, they may find themselves becoming extinct, as well.

For my first hand account of life in Corporate America, buy my book: Life Under the Corporate Microscope on Amazon: or visit my author's webpage: