Unbranded and home on the range.

Dear Israel

Dear Israel,

Sit down and grab a cup of coffee. Lets talk.
Read the rest of this entry »


Filed under: Uncategorized

Do you have an IQ over 120?

Got this in the mail:

Only people with an IQ of 120 and over get the answer to this question.
Q: Find the 6th number in the series.

1, 2, 6, 42, 1806, …

Write your answer but not the process used to arrive at it. Just the answer.

Filed under: Uncategorized


Better cheer up: Optimism is key to longevity

Study: Happy folks live longer, healthier lives than gloomy counterparts

March 5, 2009

CHICAGO – Optimists live longer, healthier lives than pessimists, U.S. researchers said on Thursday in a study that may give pessimists one more reason to grumble.

Researchers at University of Pittsburgh looked at rates of death and chronic health conditions among participants of the Women’s Health Initiative study, which has followed more than 100,000 women ages 50 and over since 1994.

Women who were optimistic — those who expect good rather than bad things to happen — were 14 percent less likely to die from any cause than pessimists and 30 percent less likely to die from heart disease after eight years of follow up in the study.

Optimists also were also less likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes or smoke cigarettes.

The team, led Dr. Hilary Tindle, also looked at women who were highly mistrustful of other people — a group they called “cynically hostile” — and compared them with women who were more trusting.

Women in the cynically hostile group tended to agree with questions such as: “I’ve often had to take orders from someone who didn’t know as much as I did” or “It’s safest to trust nobody,” Tindle said in a telephone interview.

“These questions prove a general mistrust of people,” said Tindle, who presented her study Thursday at the American Psychosomatic Society’s annual meeting in Chicago.

That kind of thinking takes a toll.

“Cynically hostile women were 16 percent more likely to die (during the study period) compared to women who were the least cynically hostile,” Tindle said.

They were also 23 percent more likely to die from cancer.

Tindle said the study does not prove negative attitudes cause negative health effects, but she said the findings do appear to be linked in some way.

“I think we really need more research to design therapies that will target people’s attitudes to see if they can be modified and if that modification is beneficial to health,” she said.

And she said while a pessimist might think, “’I’m doomed. There is nothing I can do,’ I’m not sure that’s true,” Tindle said. “We just don’t know.”


Filed under: Uncategorized

JetBlue helps with your economic blues …

This one nearly had me in stitches and was too much to pass up.

Thrift airline JetBlue recently launched a new ad campaign which is cheekily targeted at all the formerly high-flying corporate fat cats in the finance and business worlds who are either out of a job or on reduced pay due to economic stress.

From their website:


Welcome Aboard!

We understand it’s not easy being a high flyer these days. The CFO is picking apart your expense reports. Congress is mad about your bonus. And you can’t even hop on a private jet to the Cayman Islands without freaking out the shareholders.

But even this economic cloud has a silver lining… actually more of a bluish lining. Because now you get to try JetBlue.

Jetting on JetBlue is a lot like on your private jet with a few basic differences. Let us walk you through the features.

The Best Seat in Coach

JetBlue gives you more legroom in coach than any other U.S. airline1. And all our seats are leather, just like you’re used to. In fact, because our seats don’t come with a whole bunch of media scrutiny and public outcry, we think they’re actually more comfortable than a private jet. Take a tour of our aircraft

Dozens of Alternatives to Cable Business News

Every seat on JetBlue has 36 channels of free DIRECTV®2. That’s lots of channels of glorious live entertainment and a few business news channels that can be complete bummers. But fret not. Nobody will blame you if you just want to watch kittens on Animal Planet. Browse our channel line-up

All the Free Snacks You Can Eat

On JetBlue, we give you unlimited snacks and sodas for free. We want to repeat that.  FREE.  Our blue potato chips are not a government bailout and there are no strings attached. See a menu of our free snacks

Jetting to the Business Capitals of the World

JetBlue offers service to many of the places where you need to conduct business. Places like Bermuda, The Bahamas, St. Maarten, Aruba and West Palm Beach. And if the Board forces you to go places like Boston, New York or Los Angeles, we can do that too. Peruse our route map

Fares That Won’t Give the CFO a Conniption

JetBlue’s fares start at very low prices. Let’s just say, they’re way, way, way less than the $5300 an hour you used to pay for your private jet. Now, in exchange for these shareholder-friendly prices, you’ll have to share the plane with strangers. Just think of it as jetpooling, only we find the other people for you. Check out our latest deals



See the ad here.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Foreign Interventions and Ethical Paradoxes … a la office.

I decided I’m split 50-50 on this issue.

Do you stay out of arguments that you aren’t a part of, even if it happens right in front of you in such an insulting manner [see below] or do you stand up and intervene to preserve law and order?

Here I am at the office and usually I eat my lunch at my desk, while surfing the internet or flipping through an issue of any one of the numerous Conde Nast publications – GQ, Portfolio, Details, etc. It makes for interesting viewing, as the less-privileged, clock-bound serfs from other business units walk by, muttering all sorts of insults under their breath about me and how I have it so seemingly easy. Today however I decided to saunter over to the large cafeteria and harass the natives. Its a sport, and today is Friday so all my contacts at client companies had gone home for the weekend by lunch time.

I spotted Alena* the young Greek receptionist sitting at a table with Lilly, the short lady who did cleaning work around the office and took care of the staff lunchroom’s coffee supplies. We all respected her by default. She’s a hardworking, middle-aged, petite Albanian lady. Speaks in European / Italian-accented broken English but nice to a fault. There is literally nothing about her for you to dislike or pick on.

As I sat down at the adjacent table, slouching slightly in the chair and propping up one foot on the other knee, Alena asked me if I had heard about anymore lay-offs and cutbacks. Ah yes, time for the usual water-cooler variety of gossip. I told her I had, that some of the sales directors in one of the finance divisions at the corporate HQ were gone. No two-week notice, no advance warning. The guillotine had come down and heads were rolling on the floor.

Alena gasped as she recognized some of the names I had mentioned. “But he was such a nice guy!! How could they let him go?”
I shrugged and rolled my eyes. “That’s the nature of the beast. We’re a public company. Shareholders want results. They don’t care who gets fired.”

Lilly asked about others who had recently been let go and if there were any more cuts coming. I said of course, more are expected. We ain’t done trimming the fat just yet.

At this point some black girl – maybe Jamaican, who knows – who was sitting at another table got up and walked over full of pomp and self-inflated importance, stiletto heels clicking sharply on the hard floor.

Lets call her Queen B.

I had seen her before a few times, working in a division that serviced a large Canadian bank. Once, I had laughed at her when she was walking around wearing her designer shades inside the office. I asked her pointedly in front of other co-workers if the shades were genuine or were they imitation? It’s a loaded trick question – if the person replies they’ll get publicly torched either way. I had tried to give her the benefit of doubt by asking her if it was because she couldn’t get a proper glare screen for her monitor. But that incident had bruised her ego badly enough that she could barely hide the contempt on her face whenever I was around. I didn’t mind; I knew I could dish out far more than she had the ability to take. So the feeling was probably mutual.

Fast forward to the present scene.

Queen B comes and stands directly between my table and Alena’s. Directly between me and Lilly, disrupting the conversation. No permission asked to interrupt, no apologies given. Not even a glance indicating the same.

Queen B in her heels, is clearly at a towering 5’9 or so above Lilly who is seated. And even when Lilly is walking around in her non-slip Ecco work shoes, she’s maybe 5’0. Without any greetings or pleasantries, she started interrogating Lilly about some incident earlier in the day. Apparently, earlier in the day Queen B had complained to Lilly that one of the vending machines had swallowed her five-dollar bill and given no change when she pressed the change button. If this was true, then Lilly’s job required that she post a notice indicating that the machine was out of order, and thus forbidding further use until repair. At that time, Lilly had walked over and inserted her own five-dollar bill to commit her own due diligence and test the machine. She pressed the change button and the machine dutifully spit out change as expected. That had apparently insulted Queen B, so here she was grilling Lilly about those actions and the attendant motives of the same, charging Lilly of trying to portray her as a liar or scammer. And to Lilly’s credit, there were a few cheapskates in the office who had tried all manner of attempts, including some bordering on outright extortion, of getting their money back from the vending machines or their managing vendor. She had no choice but to double-check each complaint.

Queen B was growing increasingly agitated. Her body posture gradually became more aggressive, leaning forward with one hand on her hips and the other hand stabbing an accusing finger in the air towards Lilly. Her questions grew more and more accusatory; and to which she demanded black-and-white “Yes” or No” answers. Her voice kept rising until she was screaming at Lilly, who in response was asking Queen B to cease talking in such a manner or else she would go complain to Queen B’s manager. There were probably 20 other people in the cafeteria watching the ruckus, and more co-workers coming in for their own lunch. In the meantime, Lilly was able to maintain her composure and voice, while explaining procedure for such incidents. I exchanged looks with Alena, trying to figure out what sparked this seemingly random outburst. Alena rolled her eyes, shook her head, and kept listening to the exchange. I remained slouched in my chair with an amused look on my face and one eyebrow arched.

During the stellar, one-woman performance which had all the beauty of a reeking sewer drain in a filthy gutter, I contemplated several times about actually intervening. Initially my reaction was just to stand up and come between Queen B and Lilly, look her in the face and tell her to “take a number and get in line”, because in case she hadn’t noticed, I was the one currently talking to Lilly. Well … scratch that.

Then I thought about commenting loudly how “it must be that time of the month!” or maybe a “well, looks like SOMEONE’s surfing the red wave … eh boys?!” – remarks like that are usually guaranteed to cut real deep and make the target so publicly embarrassed that she’ll want to hide in a dark corner and just die. And if Queen B had redirected her pathetic venom on me, it would have been a simple matter of silencing her by reminding her who pays her salary [sales & marketing]. But again, I kept my peace. This show was after all, very amusing. It would provide plenty of fodder later on for office politics, drama, soap operas, and so on. The joker in me was asking: “… why kill perfectly good source material?”

As the temper tantrum continued unchecked, I knew I could have simply knocked out the entire hall with a deep, earth-shaking, incontestable command to “SHADDUP, SIDDOWN and LEARN SOME MANNERS!!” On my feet and with one arm extended, finger pointing to an empty chair. In the tense few seconds of locked eyeballs that would have followed, it would have been a game of brinkmanship that she knew she would have had a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning – being as it was that she was employed in an aging business unit that was a cost center, and I was working in a unit that was a profit center, the mechanics of it all would have boiled down real fast to rank. I report directly to a vice president, she reports to some lowly supervisor. Plain, cold, and simple political math that everyone knew like 1+1=2. If the HR folks got involved, she was expendable, I was not. Particularly given that she was the clear aggressor with so many witnesses present.

And yet I remained amused but calm, choosing to stay silent.

Queen B had finished her screeching and posturing. With a dramatic flourish of her arms, she stomped off. Without even looking at her direction, I mustered an extremely annoyed look on my face and began clapping my hands very slowly but loudly. With everyone still watching, I took out my wallet and gave Lilly a five-dollar bill to test the machine again. She took it and arose without a word and walked over to the machine. It worked perfectly, spitting out two $2 coins and a single $1 coin, which Lilly then collected and handed back to me.

Later, more developments were unvcovered – Queen B had stomped off to Laurie’s office, the HR rep. I’m guessing she wanted to pre-empt any visit by Lilly. Hmmm … sneaky. Or maybe she was rattled and wanted to spin her story to Laurie, who already knew of Queen B’s reputation. Lilly of course was called in as well to explain her side of the story, after which Laurie counseled everyone to calm. Queen B walked out of Laurie’s office and back to her area of the cubicle farm, proudly boasting that she had put Lilly “in her place”.

Um, yeah.

::: – ::: – ::: – :::

The oh-so agonizing quandary such incidents place me in, is as follows – what do you do?

You see one person clearly aggressing against another. Berating them in public, shouting and acting in an uncivilized manner, in a manner unbecoming of a gentleman, or of a lady, in this case. Add to that the obvious physical disparity – Queen B would have had much softer words and tone had Lilly been her size or taller – and it seems you have a cut and dry case of an office bully getting off by venting some steam on the little janitor lady. She wants to go on a power trip? Maybe I should have told her to stick her vitriolic tongue in an electrical socket and suck on it till she dropped dead.

Do you choose to stay out of such arguments because … ? It’s someone else’s problem? No need to get involved and make things worse? Not my problem? Are you afriad of being labeled as nosy?

Or do you stand up because you don’t want to be someone who was silent and complicit in the face of such improper behavior? What if you knew that a polite, firm rebuke would have no effect, and that the only way to get someone like Queen B to cease and desist from such future behavior was to publicly rip a strip off of her [or him] in front of your co-workers? I’m sure public humiliation in such a case has its benefits and most might even argue its justified, but then … aren’t you dragging yourself down to their level? In the defense of civility and workplace professionalism, are you willing to abandon civil behavior and resort to crass behavior … just to stop the same thing?

Where do you draw the line?


*all names have been changed for privacy.

Filed under: Exhaust, Ghetto, Uncategorized

Sins of the Father

While I strongly believe that the son should not pay for the sins of the father, it is noteworthy that Rahm Emanuel has stepped up to the plate regarding his father’s recent racist remarks, and in doing so has certainly upset some stereotypes about himself as well as set what may be a precedent-setting first amongst US Administrations.

We are cautiously optimistic that such a commitment to fairness and equality will continue throughout the Obama administration :


November 13, 2008

Emanuel Apologizes for Father’s ‘Arab’ Comments

By Sarah Wheaton

Representative Rahm Emanuel, President-elect Barack Obama’s chief of staff, called the president of an Arab-American group today to apologize for comments his father made to an Israeli newspaper.

In the remarks, Benjamin Emanuel discussed the potential impact of his son’s new position on U.S.-Israeli relations.

“Obviously he’ll influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn’t he? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to be mopping floors at the White House,” the elder Mr. Emanuel told the Israeli daily Ma’ariv, according to English-language reports in The Jerusalem Post and The Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Calling the comment an “unacceptable smear,” the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee had sent the younger Emanuel a letter (copied to Mr. Obama) calling on him to “disavow and repudiate these remarks publicly.”

“All we ask is to be treated in the same way as any other ethnic, racial or minority group,” said Kareem Shora, the A.D.C.’s executive director. “We’re not treating it as simply an Arab-American issue, we’re trying to treat it as an American issue.”

That led to Rahm Emanuel’s apology today.

“Today, Representative Emanuel called Mary Rose Oakar, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, apologized on behalf of his family and offered to meet with representatives of the Arab-American community at an appropriate time in the future,” said Nick Papas, a spokesman for the congressman.

Before Mr. Emanuel made his apology, Mr. Shora said the structure of the elder Mr. Emanuel’s remarks made their meaning clear. “The sequence of the statement was very important,” he said, adding that the ‘Arab’ line “was not separated in any way” from the ‘mopping’ line. He said there would be public outcry if “Arab” had been replaced with the name of any other ethnic group.

Benjamin Emanuel is not yet available for comment, according to an associate at the office of Ari Emanuel, a Hollywood agent and the congressman’s brother, to whom a message on the father’s answering machine referred press calls. Mr. Obama’s campaign declined to address the issue.


Filed under: Uncategorized

Gallows Humor from the Finance World

Here’s one thing there’s still a wealth of: Jokes

09:14 EST Monday, Oct 20, 2008
Globe & Mail

The financial crisis may ruin some banks and throw thousands of people out of work, but it has generated a wealth of jokes spawned by gallows humour. Here is a sample:

Q: What’s the definition of optimism?
A: An investment banker who irons five shirts on a Sunday evening.


An investment banker said he was going to concentrate on the big issues from now on. He sold me one in the street yesterday.


A man went to his bank manager and said: ‘I’d like to start a small business. How do I go about it?’ ‘Simple,’ said the bank manager. ‘Buy a big one and wait.’


The credit crunch is getting bad, isn’t it? I mean, I let my brother borrow a tenner a couple of weeks back, it turns out I’m now Britain’s fourth biggest lender.


Q: What is the difference between an investment banker and a pigeon?
A: A pigeon can still make a deposit on a BMW.


Q: What is the difference between an investment banker and a large pizza?
A; The pizza can still feed a family of four.


Q: What does a hedge fund manager with no fund to manage say?
A: Would you like fries with that sir?


Q: What is the capital of Iceland?
A: About $3.50


I tried to get cash from the ATM today but it said “insufficient funds.” I don’t know if that meant them or me.


Mark Twain was ahead of the curve: “October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.”

Filed under: Uncategorized

Why Men Are Never Depressed:

 Hat tip to Haseeba for providing this gem – and being able to handle the jealousy

Men Are Just Happier People– What do you expect from such simple creatures?

Your last name stays put.
The garage is all yours.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
Chocolate is just another snack.
You can be President.
You can never be pregnant.
You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.
You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
You don’t have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
Same work, more pay.
Wrinkles add character.
Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100.
People never stare at your chest when you’re talking to them.
New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
One mood all the time.

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
You know stuff about tanks.
A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
You can open all your own jars.
You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.

Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
You almost never have strap problems in public.
You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
Everything on your face stays its original color.
The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life.
One wallet and one pair of shoes — one color for all seasons.
You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
You can ‘do’ your nails with a pocket knife.
You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.

No wonder men are happier.

Send this to the women who can handle it and to the men who will enjoy reading it

Filed under: Uncategorized

Hijabi vs. Robber …

She’s barely 5-feet, about 90 pounds. Unarmed, except with a small axe.

He’s got a 6-foot frame, probably at least 170 pounds or more, and packing a gun too.

And its ALL caught on video.

Clerk uses an axe to fight off armed robber.

Hijabi: 1
Robber: 0

Now that’s ma [Muslim] sis, y’all better reco’nize!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized