Friday, September 28, 2012

Brig Wins Emperor of Atlantis Engineering Medal of Galactic Freedom

So, in a closed door meeting I was recently awarded the Emperor of Atlantis Engineering Medal of Galactic Freedom.  I know what you are thinking, "WOW, Brig is a pretty awesome guy if he can win an award so awesome and prestigious that I have never heard of it, he must be a member of the Galactic .005%, hobnobbing with the Masters of the Universe at parties I will never be invited to."

That could be true.  I am pretty awesome.

But it got me thinking,as He-Man awarded me the Flying Purple Titanium Tiger, which is the symbol of the Atlantis Engineering Medal of Galactic Freedom,  did I really deserve this?

I was also thinking that He-Man was really small, he told me it was so he could fit inside the TV, that seemed to make a lot of sense. How else was he going to get in there?

Sure, the Thunder Cats were there cheering me on, the entire Legion of Doom was there, [though I'm not sure how Grod got there, last night he got captured by Batman in the #2 Little Reader that I read to the boys] . 

Snake Eyes said some nice things about me including:  "“We see a great deal of emphasis and attention paid to ensuring that people know about galactic Freedom,"  he continued, “That is a really important message.”

Aqua Man, the self appointed acting Chairman of the Emperor of Atlantis Engineering Medal of Galactic Freedom Selection Committee showed the Grand Assembly an un-sourced document citing my promotion of galactic nuclear nonproliferation and a "new climate" in intergalactic relations that I had fostered by giving a speech to my 4 year old twins before bed last night, but especially in reaching out to the Martian world by advising others not to stereotype all of them as being big-headed green automatons.

“Over the past four years, Brig has gone to great efforts to make asteroids less menacing and distant planets more accessible than ever, and to provide people with information about those planets that they can use in their daily lives,” said Voltron, who noted that Brig also received an award for his commitment to open inter-planetary travel. However a press release later that day noted "The March 2011 presentation of that award was held shortly after Brig blew up one of the several planets that served only mayo on their super-sized galacto-burgers, Brig prefers mustard."

As I continued to ponder the great honor that I had received and whether my actions warranted such accolades, I ran across this story on Bloomberg.com. The article talks about how even though your actions are in direct opposition to the award being given, the fact that you may have "emphasized" or "encouraged" the importance and necessity of the underlying good work is enough to earn the honors of self appointed honor bestowers [not a word BTW] for actually accomplishing that great work, even though you didn't.

So, in the spirit of giving people awards for hypocrisy and self delusion.  I will award great praise and benevolent honors (and a medal [will probably be plastic, which is probably why it is not spelled "metal"] to the reader that leaves the best comment "promoting" some great cause or idea for which you have absolutely no intention of ever working to improve or fulfill.  Good Luck!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Career Day... Is Ex-Con a Career?

Career Day.  I get it, schools and teachers want kids to explore the idea of different career choices, but do schools really give kids all of the information to make these kinds of decisions?  Add to that the element of dressing up and you are going to get a lot of firemen, nurses and doctors.

Why are there going to be lots of firemen, nurses and doctors?  Because lots of kids have access to various elements of the costume, especially if there is a uniform.  This is good as we need lots of these kinds of workers.

The topic swirling around Facebook and Instagram last night was "What does your kid want to dress up as for Career Day, and what did you finally convince him/her to be".  I thought I had heard it all.

Some kids told their parents they want to be Olympic gymnasts and "track runners", then it got crazy, one kid wants to be a garbage man and another a guy in jail.  WHAT?  A guy in jail?

Now I am not opposed to the kid wanting to go to jail, but it all depends on how he gets there and if he has a "Post Imprisonment Planned Embezzlement" (PIPETM).  More on that later.

My son wanted to be a policeman, but we don't have a uniform for that, and I hate polyester.  Personally I think that cops should be able to wear more cotton based uniforms, the SWAT guys do.  In my opinion, any job that requires a really odd shaped hat is aesthetically and functionally problematic.

Then he wanted to be a karate instructor.  Not too bad, helping people become self sufficient from attackers, or better yet, he could be like Cobra Kai Dojo Sensei John Kreese.  "No Mercy!".  Then he could tell a bunch of little Johnny Lawrence's to sweep the knees and win a decade's worth of karate trophies.  But we didn't have a karate uniform either, so no dice.

I started thinking, maybe I should have a sit down with the kid and ask him about what he is thinking, and what his goals are.  Then I could give him some of my famous advice like:

"Only go to college if you promise you won't go to class and let the professors fill your head with useless information."  and;

"Make sure you hang out at the frat house enough to find the really smart kids with good ideas, and then either partner with them, or get them to sign something that you can use to sue them later on when they get really successful."

Then I asked him what kind of house he expected to live in, he said big, with a pool.  Then he said he wanted a submarine, etc.

So I started to fill him in on reality.  "Little Guy, If you want to have stuff like that, you need to know the facts, you either have to be really smart, and genetics is not on your side here, or you have to find a way to leech onto really smart people.  So you should consider being a venture capitalist."

He was intrigued, especially when I started showing him pictures of  yachts owned by VCs.  When he saw a picture of the Maltese Falcon (Left) owned by Tom Perkins of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the deal was sealed.

I accidentally let him get a glimpse of the Paul Allen yacht "Octopus", and he started asking questions like:  "How many helicopters can you land on the Falcon?" 

I had to fess up and tell him "None."  To which he replied, "I want one with with 2 helipads and a submarine like the Octopus."  I told him not to set his expectations too high, everyone knows if you want the helipads and the submarine, you have to be the smart guy with the idea, not the guy who finances that guy's idea.  Again, sorry kid, it's not in the genes.

Then he asked, how do I dress like a venture capitalist?  This is when I got excited.  So I showed him the typical uniform of a VC is jeans, belt, dress shirt, tie and shiny leather shoes.

Now in a perfect world the Jacket would be Zegna, the tie Hermes, dress shirt by Beauhunks, jeans by whoever, belt by Gucci, and shoes by Berluti.  But we had to settle for Jacket by Walmart, Tie and Dress shirt by Calvin Klein, jeans by GAP, belt by generic, and shoes by Nordstrom.  If you can't tell though, he is using a five dollar bill as his pocket square to finish the ensemble.  I say close enough for a 6 year old.

I have been doing some research, and despite a recent singular outlier, I cannot prove that when you retire from being a venture capitalist and run for president, you are required to wear "mom jeans."  I think that was just a personal preference.

So this is how he went to school today, and when anyone asks, he says "I am a venture capitalist, I give people money to start businesses, hire people and make products, like Apple, Google and Facebook".

Hopefully he doesn't end up like the kid that wanted to be in jail, otherwise I'll have to teach him about establishing a good "PIPETM" or a plan to stash the cash in various overseas numbered bank accounts where he could go upon release and live off the ill-gotten gains for the rest of his life in a nice seaside villa in a non-extradition country.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Open Letter: NFL Players Association, Chill Out!

Dear NFL Players Association,

Chill out!  Seriously, your whining about the Replacement Referees is getting annoying, and a bit hypocritical.  Your latest statement:  "We believe there is substantial evidence that you have failed in your obligation to provide as safe a working environment as possible," is idiotic.

How exactly do the refs provide a "safe working environment" for your players?

You do know that all the Referee can do after one of your own players/members executes on a $10,000 bounty to critically injure another one of your own players/members inflicting enough damage to possibly end their career, is pick up the football and walk it 45 feet closer to the end zone making it 13% more likely that the injured players team will score 3 or maybe 6 points.

That injured player is thankful for that ref's service, because now that broken neck is going to feel much better after his team racks up those 3 points, but still loses by 26.

You do know that it is not the Refs that are grabbing face-masks, horse collar tackling, eye poking, arm stomping and helmet spearing your players right?  Well, OK, there was some confusion with this Ref who had a WWII flashback when he heard a cannon shoot off after this guy scored a touchdown and thought he was punching a communist while storming the beaches at Normandy, but nobody is perfect.



You may claim that in the absence of "different" referees, your own players/members have no choice but to critically injure one another, but seriously, do you really want to do that?  Are your players so undisciplined that in the absence of a different guy in a Foot Locker uniform, they can't control themselves?

I have an idea, why don't you sit down with your own players/members and ask them nicely to try to not kill one another, despite the officiating.  Is that outside your sphere of influence?  Do your own players/members not bear any responsibility for their on field actions?


My favorite part is that you then go on to berate the NFL owners by saying: "Your actions are looking more and more like simple greed."  Really?  You do remember that you just got done negotiating your own sweetheart deal with the NFL right?  Did you just take the NFL's first offer and thank them for their generosity?  Maybe if you didn't hold out for so much $$$, the NFL wouldn't have to pinch pennies everywhere else.

I seem to remember lots of "We are the product, without us there would be no NFL".  Do you now think there might be something else other than your own players that are required to make the league run?  Apparently your product is defective without adult supervision.

Oh, you think the league should just give up whatever the refs want?  Oh, that changes everything,  good strategy.  In that case I need to go to buy Disney World for my kids, otherwise they are never going to eat their vegetables.  The mind and logic of a 4 year old is an amazing thing.

Just wait until the Lawnmowers , Electrical and Helmet Makers Unions all go on strike.  Then I'd like to hear you complain about playing Monday Night Football in an unlit parking lot without helmets.  But hey, at least you might have good Refs to keep your guys safe, right?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Brig Chats National Security with President Obama

If you remember, I sat down with President Obama back in February 2010 to have a chat about his upcoming healthcare legislation.  That meeting went pretty well, we came to a meeting of the minds on healthcare and cooler heads ultimately prevailed. 

So I wasn't really surprised when he decided to stop by again this week, he is looking for a bump in his ratings since he didn't get one from his convention, and I guess he thought that my 3 readers were "community thought leaders" in their communities, so anything he tells me will reach at least 9 other people.

Since he is getting beat up because of the new CBO estimates that his signature healthcare law will double in cost from $940B to $1.76T, the President suggested we stay far away from that topic and focus on one of his administrations strengths, National Security.  Here is a transcript of our discussion:

Brig:  Mr. President, thanks for coming by.  I'm always happy to have you and your security staff over to the house for a chat.

President:  Brigham, we love coming here.  Sorry Reggie Love couldn't make it, he had a good time throwing the twins around last time, but you did hear he is getting ready to finish his MBA at Wharton.  Funny story about that, he actually made me write his recommendation to get in, I thought just stamping the form with my presidential seal would do it, but I had to write 3 paragraphs about a time when Reggie encountered a hostile situation outside his sphere of influence and how he resolved the issue to the satisfaction of everyone involved.  I wrote a bunch of nonsense and taped a thumb drive to the application with video of Reggie walking out of an interview with Fox News. 

Brig:  Hilarious!  Hey, lets talk about Obamacare.

President:  No.

Brig:  Noted.  National Security?

President:  That would be great.  I saw your copy of "No Easy Day" on your desk, did you read it?

Brig:  Yes, I read it last weekend.  It was really good.

President:  Did you read about the part when I shot Bin Laden?

Brig:  Ummmm, yes, nice work.

President:  I meant when I told that Navy Seal guy to shoot him, of course.  I wasn't there, I was bagging my putter on the 16th green when I got a call that those military guys were on a BlackHawk helicopter flying into Pakistan.  Good thing I got the call though, if I had finished the round, the course pro would have forced me to set my handicap back 7 strokes.  I barely got to the White house in time to see the action live.  Thank goodness Hillary was standing by ready to TiVo it for me in case I ran into traffic.  She is the best secretary.

Brig:  Let's talk about National Security Briefings.  There has been a lot of controversy around this subject, and the rumor is that you never go to them, in fact it looks like you only go to 38% of them, is that right?

President:  Kind of, most of that is spin from the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.  I get the briefings, I just get them on my iPad.  I get nervous sitting in a room with Military Generals and other people that are carrying guns, especially if the guns are loaded.

Brig:  So i hear.  So you read the briefings on your iPad.  By yourself?

President:  Yes, I can read...  let's not get all crazy Breitbart "Obama didn't really go to college" here.  Although I will admit that sometimes I have Siri read them to me.  I had her voice changed to Marilyn Monroe's voice, Apple takes care of me like that.  #itisgreattobepresidentkillertoys

Brig:  I don't think saying "hashtag" really does anything.  But sorry, I did not mean to imply that you can't read, I mean you were the editor of the Harvard Law Review, of course you can read.  I meant are you in the Oval Office by yourself when you read them.

President:  Sometimes, but sometimes I read them while watching Sponge Bob with the girls before school.  I believe that national security starts at home, Michelle told me last week that the biggest threat to national security was obesity and that teaching our kids to eat right will lessen that threat, did you know that?

Brig:  Wait, what?  Back to the point Mr. President, how does that work?  They email you the brief to your Gmail account?  Is that secure?  You know that Apple was just hacked and all of the user names stolen right?

President:  Don't be ridiculous Brigham, I have a Yahoo Mail account.  And the brief didn't say anything about the hacking, so it must not have been that big a deal.  I had to write in the obesity thing myself and send it back because they missed that part last week.

Brig:  Fair enough.  So Middle East, thoughts?

President:  Yeah, love that Arab Spring.  Democracies popping up all over the place.  People's voices being heard for the first time in decades.

Brig:  You do know about the Embassy attacks in Lybia, Egypt, Syria, etc?

President:  Of course I know about those, they were in the Briefs.  Sad events, somebody should look into those.

Brig:  Isn't that your job?

President:  I have people for that, somewhere.

Brig:  Let me just throw this out there, but isn't the purpose of the security briefing to keep you informed about security threats, and give you a chance to ask questions, get clarifications, or give orders to keep America safe?

President:  Calm down a little bit.  I read most of the briefings, I figure that if there is anything serious that my national security team would brief me on it in person.

Brig:  You mean they would schedule a national security briefing?

President:  Exactly.

Brig:  Wow.

President:  I know, the gears of government keep turning.

Brig:  Mr President, thank you for coming by again.  I always love having you here and getting your teleprompters perspective on national and global events.

President:  It is my pleasure.  But I have to say I was disappointed to hear that you named your kid after Mitt Romney's kid.  I had some great names picked out for #4.

Brig:  Yeah, sorry about that, that was an accident.  We named him after a character from Atlas Shrugged, and found out about the Romney thing later.

President:  You were being ironic though, right?  I know you and the wife are hipsters, love the picture by the way, I like how you incorporated my campaign logo into your OWS sign.

Brig:  That was a picture from Halloween. we were, never mind, always happy to help.  Best wishes in your upcoming election!

President:  Thank you.  Are you going to blog this interview?  Michelle loves your blog, she told me I had to tell you that.  She especially liked it when you went all black ops and infiltrated the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, that was hilarious.  That James O'Keefe has nothing on you!