Thursday, August 31, 2006

Trivia From Soggy Bottom

My city's nestled in a valley so, yeah, it looks like Soggy, Foggy Bottom today. It's been raining hard, coming down in those sheets that make it hard to see more than a few feet ahead of you, much less drive. My neighborhood is up a hill, so we don't have to worry about actual flooding. When it rains hard enough, long enough, though, the back yard floods and the basement can take on water. By sometime tomorrow, I may be bailing out the basement. Joy, joy. It's that "extremes" thing -- from bone dry to needing a canoe. You can't win. And it'll probably get worse before it gets better.

Gov. Kaine declares state of emergency --
Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine declared a state of emergency for the Commonwealth of Virginia, in preparation for Tropical Storm Ernesto.The emergency declaration helps state agencies provide resources to communities in need. According to the statement, "It makes state resources immediately available to rescue, evacuate, shelter, and provide essential commodities in affected localities if needed."

CNN anchor Kyra Phillips was covering President Bush's speech the other day when she slipped out to the ladies room -- forgetting that her mic was still live. Viewers heard heard "girl talk" from the ladies room, including an unflattering remark Phillips made about her sister-in-law. So, yeah, okay, it went out live for a few seconds before someone came to the rescue and yanked the plug. You can't unring that bell. But was it really necessary for the remarks to be rebroadcast on every network over the next few days? It was embarrassing to Phillips and her family, and so totally unnecessary. It wasn't "news." It was an accidentally overheard private moment. All the other networks could have had a private snicker at Phillips's expense and left it at that.

Oh, man, talk about ruthless, callous business tactics. Some 400 employees at the Fort Worth headquarters of Radio Shack received this e-mail Tuesday morning:

"The work force reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately your position is one that has been eliminated."

Is that cold or what?

Derrick D'Souza, a Management professor at the University of North Texas, said he had never heard of such a large number of terminated employees being notified electronically. He said it could be seen as dehumanizing to employees. Oh, gee, do you think?

D'Souza said, "If I put myself in their shoes, I'd say, 'Didn't they have a few minutes to tell me?'"

Last month, the company replaced its previous CEO who resigned after admitting to lying on his resume with former K-mart executive Julian Day. Ooooo, Blue-Light Specials at Radio Shack? Yeah, that's a step up.

One of Day's first actions was to cancel conference calls with analysts to review Radio Shack's financial results, an unusual step for public companies. Unusual? I'd say so. If I worked for Radio Shack, I think I'd be updating my resume as we speak. I'd be dumping my stock, too.

Here's today's lineup of Words Gone Wild. Take a good look, and if you recognize any of them, be sure and call the Word Crimeline. There's a $1.00 reward on each of them.

authour - Nifty little contraction of 'the author's hour.'

After monthys of training - Working with monkeys? Somebody's got their monthlies? Baby talk? Beats the hell out of me.

a hit of a clue - Evidence recovered in a horrible bludgeoning.

furgal - Term of endearment for a hirsute lady.

horizone - Short for Zone of Horror.

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