Monday, September 20, 2010

An Incredible Flogging

Flog #3
Sometime in the 1990s I came home from a long day at the office to find that my wife, Margaret, had purchased and installed our first answering machine.  It quickly became a great source of entertainment - even better than TV (which FCC chief Newton Minnow had deemed "a vast wasteland").  I turned on the vast wasteland, picked up the newspaper, and lay down on the couch. 
The phone rang.   My older daughter's voice said, "My parents are finally living in the 20th century!"  The phone rang again.  "Hi Mom," my younger daughter said.   "I know you're there, so pick up the phone."   Mom's not here, I thought to myself, and did not pick up the phone.  Not long after, my brother called.  "I have a date with a married woman who is having an affair with her boss.  Would you and Margaret like to join us for dinner?"  I silently shook my head.  I found myself suddenly in love with our new mechanical secretary.  I shifted positions on the couch and lazily flipped channels with my remote control, looking for more waste.
Again, the phone rang ...I could hardly wait to not answer it.  This time it was my mother-in-law.  "Uh-oh!  You've got one of those," she said with her distinctly southern twang.  "I got a letter from Mrs. Knight's daughter ... do you want to hear it?"  Apparently she deemed the machine's silence as an affirmative response.  Ten minutes later, I thought, Mrs. Knight's daughter writes well.
Fast forward to 2010.  I am now the proud (if bewildered) owner of a new Droid HTC Incredible.  It's not just a phone - it's a communications miracle.  It does everything except colonoscopies (although there is probably an "app" for that).  After only two weeks,  I have now learned how to answer a call, check the weather conditions in Abu Dhabi, and read text messages from my life coach (who writes that I shouldn't be so dependent on technology).  I have also learned that as a Verizon customer, I get a tuition discount at MIT, should I ever want to learn how to make a call. 
I think instead I will enroll in the local community college's class, Communicating with Signals Using Smoke From Burning Cell Phones.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Yeah Ruth, I'm Talking To YOU

Flog #2, From Scottsdale, AZ

I can’t believe the underwhelming response to my first FLOG.  Thanks Mom.

I’m incredibly busy crafting answers to the deluge of email I expect from you, my fascinated readers, so I will have to make this installment brief.  This will no doubt be a relief to my daughter, Ruth, who once replied to a brilliantly penned e-missive with a curt, “your e-mails are too long.”

 I responded, “for 40 years I wrote 30-second radio spots, 10-second TV IDs, and 7-word outdoor billboards.  If 3rd graders can read Harry Potter 750 pages at a time, a brilliant woman with access to the President of the United States can read a damn e-mail from her father.  Hereafter, if you want to know how I am, or who died, or who’s getting divorced, ask your sister (she reads my email).”

Meanwhile, back in the salt mines, Eileen is busily tending to the myriad details of forming a new business entity which will not only generate vast riches, but protect us from lawsuits, the IRS, long-lost relatives, and Glen Beck.

Until next time my Flog Followers (Floggowers?) ...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Somewhat Floggy

I've never liked the word BLOG. Probably because a few years ago when I was still trying to make a living, people began referring me to their "Blogs" and I was too proud to tell them I had no idea what a Blog was. Reading a few of them was a lot like the time I was prescribed the sleeping pill, Lunesta, and accidentally received Viagra instead (my pharmacist had vision and hearing problems).  The results were disturbingly ... interesting ... and not at all what I expected from a so-called sleep aid. 
So back to Blogs. The first ones I read were disturbingly interesting, but once I found those I was supposed to read, they put me to sleep at my computer. And they kept getting longer.  And, unable to stop the aging process, I was aware that my time was getting shorter.  So I stopped reading blogs.
Then I went to a Social Media Conference and learned about Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Something Awful, Talkbiznow, Vox and other Social Network Media. I said I would never get involved with any of these. I've never Twitted or Tweeted or even sent a Text Message or a Sexed Message. My daughter set me up with a Facebook account, although the only time I looked at it, there were requests from sixteen unkown girls who wanted to "friend" me.  Their photos were sexy but viewing them I could only wonder, "where did I put those antibiotics?"
Now, at the age of 73 I am establishing a new business and Eileen, my unsentimental and often brutally blunt editor, says I've got to have my own Website and Blog. I agreed to both on the condition that I could call my Blog a  FLOG.
"Why do you want to call it a Flog?" Eileen asked. "Flog" I said, "means to whip or beat severely." Nearly all of my contemporaries started new careers when they retired from their old ones. They all play golf. Some more than 40 hours a week. Golf spelled backwards is flog. So as I write my log I want to replace B with F and pretend I am out on the flog esruoc having a good time like Tiger Woods.  Although I suppose Elin's having a better time these days.
So, Eileen, this is the first FLOG, severely whipped out by David Stern.