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KeithSpeak - December 2007

December 1, 2007
Here at Keith Ryan Publishing we’ve grown so rapidly and become such an enormous success that we’ve had to hire IT specialist Muriel ‘Bits’ Jensen, to keep our burgeoning Empire network running smoothly. “Working on state of the art equipment keeps me sharp”, Muriel let on, seen here at the keyboard of her super sleek computer, ‘Mr. Byte’.
“Me and ‘Mr. Byte’ have been together since 1971. ‘Bits’ and ‘Byte’, get it?” We sure do, Muriel! Welcome!

December 2, 2007
‘Bits’ is driving me nuts. Everything is newfangled this and what’ll-they-think-of-next that and she is constantly petting and cooing “It’s all right” to 'Mr. Byte' as he chokes up the whole network while trying to single task a spreadsheet. When I asked her why she didn’t post yesterday’s site content, Muriel said, “I never learned any of that fancy-pants HTML stuff, and evidently this newfangled Internet can’t read good old CP/M either! So I threw it away.”
This hiring fiasco falls straight on the shoulders of one man,
Human Services Director, Ernesto Pilchuk.
If you'll excuse me...

December 3, 2007
I confronted Ernesto and here is his complete, unexpurgated response:
“I was horny. She liked my pipe. I was blinded by lust. Sorry.”
Bad Ernesto. Bad bad Ernesto.
Fortunately, the whole thing resolved itself later this morning when Muriel, Ernesto and ‘Mr. Byte’ went out for lunch and never returned. Not long after that, Becky in Shipping thought she saw them on an episode of Flip That House, but wasn't sure it wasn't another IT specialist and pipe smoker. Regardless, we now have a couple of positions to fill. We'll see what shakes out as the month progresses.

December 5, 2007
The last couple of days have been crazy busy. I have a bunch of irons in the fire and they’re all starting to glow red at the same time. People are offering me this and that - I had to yell at the last guy, I’m only human! You know?

December 6, 2007
How’s it going these days? You doing all right? Sometimes I get so involved with me me me, that I forget to ask about you. Silly, huh? Ok then, as far as you’re concerned, I hope all is well and getting better still. I hope that your personal development is at an all time high. I hope you like you as much as I like me. There, that oughta do it.

December 7, 2007
It was kind of hazy and not very clear this morning but I think I saw a big, hairy, insanely tall bipedal creature at the edge of our woods. But isn’t that what always happens? You think something occurs, maybe you see Bigfoot, maybe a circus bear on its hind legs, but it’s hazy and fast and you’re not really sure because it’s so out of this world that your rational mind tries to make sense of it, and failing that, you’re left to memory, which is, as everybody knows, malleable and factually dubious and quite frankly, not very reliable in Bigfoot/circus bear sightings. So what did I see?

December 8, 2007
Isn’t it interesting how certain people seem to have that innate something - caché, charisma, je ne sais quoi - that makes them noticeable, memorable, and let’s face it, sort of irresistible. This attraction is not physical (though it can be), a product of their personality, or the result of some success. Nor, apparently, is it something that can be turned on and off like, say, charm. It can’t be acquired, and it certainly can’t be taught; clearly, one has it or one doesn’t. If you are the possessor of this charisma, the world reacts to you differently than it does the regular mortal joe. You get something ranging from interest all the way to love from everyone you meet. Like the pretty girl who wants to be seen for more than her looks, you can scuff it up, diminish it, pooh pooh its effects, but you cannot get rid of this halo that adorns you and infuses your life. If that’s not a state of grace, I don’t know what is.

December 9, 2007
When the soulful
becomes the soulless

why do they call it progress?

December 10, 2007
Let’s see, what going on up here...oh, the guy down the road just bought a monster truck, and now he’s building a monster garage to keep it in. His wife Sharla, who wanted a Lexus, has filed for divorce, citing the fact that he “just plain lost his freakin’ mind. I tell him to go out and buy us a LS300 and he comes home with a monster truck? A MONSTER TRUCK?! And DON’T...DON’T get me started on the garage.” In his defense, her husband Marshall said that sure, it may have begun as an impulse buy, but he had grown to love his monster truck and Sharla could suck it if she didn’t like it. When asked by Sharla’s lawyer if he was using the children’s college funds to build his monster garage so that he can deplete the family assets so Sharla has nothing, Marshall replied, “What, afraid she can’t pay your fees?” At which point, Hendrick P. Lawson of Lawson, Larton and Lavigne, afraid of precisely that, lunged across the table to throttle Marshall, but was restrained by Sharla herself, who had bigger and better plans for Marshall’s demise, later that night, when he was asleep, when the last thing he would see would be that big ‘ol fat tire squashing him all up. You probably heard about it, it was in all the papers, Woman Runs Over Husband With Monster Truck. Sharla says she’s going to turn the garage into a school for disadvantaged children-of-divorce who can no longer afford college because their father did something unbelievably stupid with the money. Other than that, not much going on here, I guess.

December 11, 2007
My first motorcycle was a Triumph Daytona 500. Like all Triumphs, it had a small reserve gas tank that you could open up if you managed to run the main tank dry. It may not have been enough to get you where you were going, but it didn’t leave you stranded where you were. The first time I had to use it, I thought the whole reserve tank concept was positively brilliant. So, um, why didn’t they ever do that with cars?

December 13, 2007
Man, if you think Bush is a stupid, corrupt, lying hack, take a look at the idiot politicos vying to replace him. Has there ever been a bigger group of witless public fools? War, torture, and who's your god have replaced doing the right thing, common sense, and individual freedom. Yeesh. Can anyone say the Decline of the American Empire?

December 14, 2007
I had hot coffee and cold pizza for breakfast - and I feel like a million bucks. Two million bucks! Stand back!

December 15, 2007
I’d like you to meet our new Head of Human Resources, Shane ‘No Nonsense’ Buckholtz. When Shane showed up for his interview in B&W, all stern looking, with the shadows and the light and the Dickensian outfit, well you could just tell he ran a tight ship. “Discipline is our friend. Without discipline, I get deeply disturbed, then you’ll find me flailing like a madman, whip in hand - CRACK! Get to work!” Yeah? Good. You’re hired. We need an iron hand around here because in the interim between losing Pilchuk and hiring ‘No Nonsense’, a whole gang of computer ruffians have insinuated themselves in the IT Department.
It’s party central down among the servers. Led by Pancho, a database guru, his motley crew of script kiddies and system engineers have laid waste to the shy gals of Accounting, who’ve been drawn to this den of computer bad boys like moths to the flame. Sure, IT is going great guns, but accounts receivable hasn’t posted since Tuesday! It will be up to ‘No Nonsense’ to keep the women of Accounting at their desks, and restore order down in IT. We’re holding our breath.

December 16, 2007
I almost couldn't believe it. ‘No Nonsense’ has hired Tex and the boys to keep the IT Department in check. Another gang of crude, dirty guys?!
“You have to fight fire with fire,” Shane told me. I told him the place is looking like the set of the Magnificent 7. Turns out Tex is an SQL genius and quickly discovered that Pancho was running an offshore gaming server on our domain. He said he would get it all straightened out or his name isn’t Tex. Yes, things were at that level.

The shootout started at approximately 3:00. When it was over, our servers were smoking and fried - and everyone was gone! Including ‘No Nonsense’. A mystery! I immediately promoted Benny, who works hard down in the boiler room, to Official Company Investigator.
I told him to find out what happened, where everybody went, and report back to me pronto. In the meantime I got us back online, secured our network and waited. Benny never returned either! Can you believe this? A little while later, we got this picture in the mail.
It's Shane as some big wig being chauffeured by Benny with a moustache! We're all shocked! The whole affair remains a mystery even today. Incredible, no?

December 17, 2007
I love a good hat.
I do too, sir! And a lariat from my shoulder to my neck.
Spot on.
Do I look regal and imperious?
You look quite pompous, sir!
Spot on.
This tall hat, makes me look pompouser, I bet.
Yes, sir! Does too, sir! You forgot to add how much your overblown moustache cum mutton chops makes you look pompous AND ridiculous, sir!
Spot on.
Are there little people about?
Yes, sir! They’re throwing garbage at the carriage. The people hate you, sir.
They’re just jealous 'cause I’m rich.
No sir, they’re laughing at you for being so out of touch.

Take that.

December 19, 2007
It’s been snowing all day, I haven’t yet plowed and I have friends with beer coming over in an hour. I know these guys; if they can't get down our driveway, they'll go in search of some other plowed driveway. That will never do. Needless to say, I’m warming up the tractor as we speak. Ta.

December 20, 2007
My friends got in but couldn’t get out. It continued snowing as we consumed their holiday beer. When the beer ran out, it was time for them to leave (unwritten guy law # 41), but the snow was so deep that their car couldn’t get traction. No problemo, I towed them up the driveway with the tractor, but our road hadn’t been plowed either and they would never had made it up that. Where were they going next? Turns out to spread some more seasonal cheer to a mutual friend who lives a couple of blocks away. What the heck, I towed them down to our friend’s house where I parked the tractor and their car and we all went in to merry Christmas each other some more. After which I drove the tractor home, feeling all the world like I was in some country music video, singing and plowing the streets as I went.

December 21, 2007
I called my Dad this morning to chat, but he was in the middle of something so he said he’d call me back. The phone rang 3 times after that, and each time I picked it up I expected it to be my Dad, only to find it was someone else, which was disconcerting and frankly, unsettling. Then he never called back!, so I finally called him to ask why not, and he said, Your line was busy. Jeez. What were you calling about anyway? By then I’d completely forgotten. Man.

December 22, 2007
Got a big gig this weekend. I’m psyched.
December 24, 2007
If I told you all the errands I have to do today, you’d weep for me, even if you had lots of errands to do yourself. My list is two sheets long, single spaced, 8 point font, dense. I’ll be gone from sunup to sundown. I will travel many miles, see many strange and wonderful things, run into friends, acquaintances and merchants, go from north to south and back again. Of course it’s only natural that you must be wondering how ever will I cope. Well, my secret is to make even an interminable list of errands be fun. Why, I’ll be out and about on a fine, cold wintry day, which I love, accompanied by our pack of three winter loving malamutes, which I love, and each stop will be unique and original and different from the others. Stuff’ll happen. Fun stuff. Will too. We’re off.

December 25, 2007
This past Fall I’m up in the field with the dogs when a helicopter comes over our place and hovers. After a minute or so, it flies to another spot in our field and hovers again. Next time it moves, it goes up higher and hovers right over the smack dab center of our field for a third and final time. What the...? Then it flies off. A mystery!
Mystery solved. A friend just dropped off his Christmas gift to us - you guessed it, a large, framed, beautiful Fall foliage overhead shot of our entire acreage accomplished from the open door of a hovering helicopter. Neat, eh?

December 26, 2007
I have to leave you for a week! I’m too popular! I am of course mortified by this turn of events and beg your forgiveness endlessly. And I’m not insensitive to the fact that a lot of you got really crummy presents like leg warmers and bad sweaters and this is just piling on, but circumstances prevail. I just pray I’m not needed until my return. Ok then, have a swell New Year’s. See ya in January. Ta ta.

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