Excuses to Avoid Networking

So when I was working for YPrime, I met a tall fellow named Andy Russell. He had quite a CV (that’s Curriculum Vitae for those who don’t know) {Another side note, that reminds me of a great t-shirt I saw: People say I’m condescending: that means I talk down to people}. But let’s get back to the key features of Andy’s CV:

  • Taller than the average man
  • Quarterback candidate for the NC State Wolfpack; however, I do not see any mention of NC State on his LinkedIn profile, so my memory may be failing me – maybe it was at Cornell with the Nard Dog or University of Maine, but regardless, I bet this tall guy can toss a football over 60 yards
  • When fully-bearded and wearing a hoody sweatshirt with back lighting on a web meeting he appears quite intimidating
  • Goes out of his way to escort venomous snakes out of his basement believing they’re the answer to ending the rodent problems in the greater Philadelphia metro area

But I digress. The real intention of this post was to share his sense of humor. I had invited he and many other YPrime colleagues to go out for some casual networking, he appeared to be less than 100% available. So I gave him excuses in advance:

Getting the house re-roofed?
[AR] – I rent my place
Girlfriend has other plans for me?
[AR] – she’s got BIG plans for me
Family is in town?
[AR] – they were last week
Gotta get home and turn on the lawn sprinklers?
[AR] – I don’t have a lawn but have been known to have to “water my sidewalk” to avoid commitments
Meeting the cable guy at the house?
[AR] – we’re getting rid of cable
Fortune teller advised against it?
[AR] – THIS is my excuse this time
Jury duty?
[AR] – I make sure that my disdain for authority is documented in my Jury Questionnaire so as to never have to go
My plot to take over the presidency of the book club is thickening, and I must stay home to make sure everything is working out smoothly.?
[AR] – I can’t read
I have to go to the post office to see if I am still wanted.?
[AR] – this might be true
Mani/pedi appt?
[AR] – this was the girlfriend’s other plans for me!
Hair cut and color appt.?
[AR] – after joining the software business, I really could use the color treatment…
Now that these responses are from 8-ish years ago – it is possible that a Hair Color for Men Get out the Gray is in order.

Southwest Influenced Cooking

I grew up in Yuma, AZ and as such I have eaten a lot of Sonoran-style mexican food. Sonora is the state in Mexico directly south of Yuma. Sonoran style Mexican food shows its differences in a few particular dishes. Perhaps I’ll cover that in a future post. The point it is, I think you can just about put any food into a tortilla with cheese and salsa and it will be very good.

I’ve done several videos demonstrating such on my youtube channel.


A Life Hack

So one day I got in the mail a note from the Lakota Sioux tribe with return address labels, so I sent them $10.  I also order things from the Southwest Indian catalog and they sent me labels. I sent Easter seals $20 for some labels they sent me.  This was in 2018 that I did that.

I get labels from so many places now: ASPCA, Doctors without Borders, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Southwest Reservation Aid, Susan Komen Foundation, Guideposts, Foundation, March of Dimes. I’ll never need another return address label for as long as I live.

Some also send note pads, shopping list note pads, To-do list note pads, bookmarks; it’s been great!


A Matter of Perspective

This humorous story was sent to me by a friend of 53 years, Greg Stanford.

I mowed the lawn today, and after doing so I sat down and had a cold beer. The day was really quite beautiful, and the drink facilitated some deep thinking. 

My wife walked by and asked me what I was doing, and I said ‘nothing’. The reason I said ‘nothing’ instead of saying ‘just thinking’ is because she then would have asked ‘about what?’ At that point I would have had to explain that men are deep thinkers about various topics, which would lead to other questions. 

Finally I pondered an age old question: Is giving birth more painful than getting kicked in the nuts? Women always maintain that giving birth is way more painful than a guy getting kicked in the nuts, but how could they “know”? Well, after another beer, and some more heavy deductive thinking, I have come up with an answer to that question. Getting kicked in the nuts is more painful than having a baby, and even though I obviously couldn’t really “know”, here is the reason for my conclusion. 

A year or so after giving birth, a woman will often say, “It might be nice to have another child.” On the other hand, you never hear a guy say, “You know, I think I would like another kick in the nuts.”  I rest my case.  Time for another beer, and then maybe a nap in that hammock.

Senior Citizen Jokes

Submitted to me by my brother, Jon.

Senior Wit

1. Gone are the days when girls used to cook like their mothers. Now they drink like their fathers.

2. You know that little feeling you get when you really like someone? That’s common sense leaving your body.

3. I decided to stop calling the bathroom the “John” and renamed it the “Jim” I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.

4. Old age is coming at a really bad time. When I was a child I thought “nap time” was a punishment. Now, as a grownup, it feels like a small vacation.

5. The biggest lie I tell myself is…”I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.”

6. I don’t have gray hair; I have “wisdom highlights.” I’m just very wise.

7.  If God wanted me to touch my toes, He would have placed them on my knees.

8. Why do I have to press one for English when you’re just going to transfer me to someone I can’t understand anyway?

9. Of course I talk to myself; sometimes I need expert advice.

10. At my age “getting lucky” means walking into a room and actually remembering what I came in there for.

11. I am what is called a “Seenager” (senior teenager). I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 60 years later. I don’t have to go to school or work. I get an allowance every month. I have my own pad. I don’t have a curfew. I have a driver’s license and my own car. I have an ID that gets me into bars and the whiskey store.

12. Life is great. I have more friends whom I should send this to, but right now I can’t remember their names.

Humorous Look at Gender Differences

A humorous look at men.

Men are simple creatures.
Their last name stays put.
The garage is all theirs.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
Chocolate is just another snack.
You can never be pregnant.
You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a waterpark.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.
The world is your urinal. 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 is $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 $12.95 for a three-pack.
Two pairs of shoes are more than enough.
You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe
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.NICKNAMES
� If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other
Laura, Kate and Sarah.
� If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to
each other as Fat Boy, Bubba and Wildman.

� When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20,
even though it’s only for $32.50. None of them will have anything
smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
� When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

� A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
� A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn’t need but it’s on sale.

� A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste,
shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.
� The average number of items in the typical woman’s bathroom is 337.
A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

� A woman has the last word in any argument.
� Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

� A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
� A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

� A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t.
� A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change, but she does.

� A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
� A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

� Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
� Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

� Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about
dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods,
secret fears and hopes and dreams.
� A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

A married man should forget his mistakes. There’s no use in two people remembering the same thing!

Courtroom Humor

FOCM Member in good standing, Art Coppola (we first met in 1977 in Kaibab-Huachuca dorm at the University of Arizona) sent this series of humorous courtroom dialog.

These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.

ATTORNEY:    What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS:       He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’
ATTORNEY:    And why did that upset you?
WITNESS:       My name is Susan!

ATTORNEY:    This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
WITNESS:       Yes.
ATTORNEY:    And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS:       I forget..
ATTORNEY:    You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

ATTORNEY:    Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS:       Did you actually pass the bar exam?

ATTORNEY:    The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS:       He’s 20, much like your IQ.

ATTORNEY:    Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS:       Are you shitting me?

ATTORNEY:    So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
WITNESS:       Yes.
ATTORNEY:    And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS:       Getting laid

ATTORNEY:    She had three children, right?
WITNESS:       Yes.
ATTORNEY:    How many were boys?
WITNESS:       None.
ATTORNEY:    Were there any girls?
WITNESS:       Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

ATTORNEY:    How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS:       By death…
ATTORNEY:    And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS:       Take a guess.

ATTORNEY:    Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS:       He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY:    Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS:       Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.

ATTORNEY:    Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS:       No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

ATTORNEY:    Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS:       All of them… The live ones put up too much of a fight.

ATTORNEY:    ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
WITNESS:       Oral…

ATTORNEY:    Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS:       The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
ATTORNEY:    And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS:       If not, he was by the time I finished.

ATTORNEY:    Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
WITNESS:       No.
ATTORNEY:    Did you check for blood pressure?
WITNESS:       No.
ATTORNEY:    Did you check for breathing?
WITNESS:       No…
ATTORNEY:    So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
WITNESS:       No.
ATTORNEY:    How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS:       Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY:    I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS:       Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

Dabbling with YouTube

So, as many of you know I am an extremely well known social media influencer*. What many of you may or may not know is that I have been dabbling in creating content for YouTube. I have even gone to the extreme of creating a character, Uncle Robby.  Uncle Robby stops by to put up and take down outdoor Christmas lights.

For the cooking videos, that’s me, yep,  just me, no character, simply dull me.  After posting one cooking video, my brother (Jon) provided me with some brutally honest feedback and so I enrolled in an extensive series of media training courses*. I believe that my performance has improved immensely.  The entire premise of this particular cooking series is to demonstrate my culinary belief that virtually any food that I enjoy can be put into a tortilla with cheese and salsa and be particularly tasty.

Leftovers from dinner the night before are especially good in a tortilla with cheese and salsa with an egg added making for a delicious breakfast burrito.

I have made a pot roast, carrots and potatoes burrito. I have made a boneless pork ribs, sauerkraut and carrots burrito. My most recent one was chopped shrimp and couscous to  which I added tomatillo salsa, red chiles and red onions.

I trace this back to my childhood. I grew up in southwestern Arizona, about 10 miles from a Mexico border crossing. Mexican food was a staple, such that we didn’t even think of it that way. That the high school cafeteria had chimichangas (fried burritos) as an option everyday wasn’t noteworthy.

The great thing is I’m doing what I love to do and the various platforms on which I post things is paying me to do so. I average around $10,000 per month and am often paid to attend parties and dining events.* People ask to get their picture taken with me.+ https://focmnetworking.com/networking/focm-membership-ceremony/


*Fact checkers have determined that these statements are false.

+Fact checkers have determined that this statement is somewhat true.

Confessions of a Salesman

So after 16 years of selling e-clinical technologies (technologies used in clinical trials), I felt like I had truly absorbed vast amounts of technical knowledge.  After all, sales is learning some words to say in the right order to demonstrate one’s knowledge.

I know there’s probably more to it than that as there are technical sales people that have done real work and know exactly what they’re talking about.  For example, I can say, yes we’ll provide you your data in a flat ASCII file.  I have absolutely no idea what that means, stands for, looks like and how it happens.  There are some who do know. I’m told it’s a computer file (not a manila folder file) that has rows and columns with info in each cell.

So after those 16 years I go to another e-clinical tech company and in helping prepare a proposal I demonstrate my expertise thusly by writing this:

We need some words here to describe the application architecture.  The CIO is to provide some dazzling descriptions of this stuff.  To help him with it, here is a start from which he can edit my text.

We utilize a three layer approach (see image below).  The integration layer, known in tech language as “the back end” has a persistence layer as well as this really cool feature known as “hibernate”; similar to what bears do in the winter, the data rests in small caves until the proper conditions occur for it to be released.  Herein is also a rectangle labeled DAO and another one that says Resource.

In the business layer, we utilize a spring framework, which resembles a complex set of slinkies going down a never-ending escalator.  This endless loops allows for us to refresh data continuously.

For the “front-end” or presentation layer, also known as the user interface (UI) or graphical user interface (GUI – pronounced ‘gooey’), we have 5 rectangles of different sizes and the components of this layer are listed below:

Application Architecture

Halloween Fun

So one member of FOCM, Jack Minster, a member in good standing shared with me the fun he has at Halloween in his home town. Here is what he shared with me:

I know all the kids in my neighborhood.  However, strangers from other areas bring their kids to my neighborhood on a mission to collect as much candy as they can.  I am not kidding.  It’s a racket for these people.  So I make these little grubbers earn it.  I lure them in with real pumpkin jack-o-lanterns I carved, and interesting “scary” decorations.  But then I activate a remote control device and a very disturbing very loud animatronic ghoul pops up out of the liriope leaves (from laying to standing).  It’s shrieking with eyes blinking.  Kids scream staring at it.  But the noise from this sets off a sound-activated giant animatronic spider which leaps out immediately after, directly behind them making loud “scree” noises.  By now the kids are totally freaked.  Then by the door, rising up out of the ground come more, sound-activated even scarier ghouls saying “Welcome to our graveyard, join us…”

Groups of kids run away screaming, they just bolt, whole herds of them running back down my lawn lacking the courage to follow through and knock.  Last year a group of tween girls made it through the gauntlet of horror, knocked, and I overheard one say, “I will have nightmares from this for the rest of my life.”