Friday, June 19, 2009

Not with a bang…

This will be the final post for Positively Unemployed.

For professional reasons, I feel that maintaining this blog, with its focus on the Elderly Menace and the University of Chicago alumni association (among other topics), will be at odds with my career and current outlook.

A little bit of history for those joining us late:

The year was 2005, and I was a new transplant to the “state” of Minnesota. I was recently engaged to my now-wife, and I was looking for a job because my company was undergoing budget cuts. I called up the Minneapolis representative of the University of Chicago alumni association in the hope of getting some job leads or advice. Instead, I was told, and I quote:

“Good luck.”

Maybe it was surprisingly cold that night, or the newspaper’s comic strips were particularly lame that day. But I got angry. And this blog was born. To add to the topics at which I was going to aim my righteous fury, I started pointing out news stories in which old people did bad things. I was tired of the Greatest Generation narrative surrounding anybody over the age of 65. So, the Elderly Menace came into my crosshairs.

So it went for a while, occasionally veering off-topic and picking up new pet peeves. But mainly, Positively Unemployed was a voice in the wilderness, a point of view Tom Brokaw wasn’t going to listen to, and one that wouldn’t get printed in the letters to the editor section of your local fishwrapper.

But, like Bob Dylan says, things have changed.

For one thing, I am now a full time employee with a steady job and a career track. I am no longer Positively Unemployed. I have an MBA, and as Mrs. Machine tells me, I kept my soul.

Second, I feel this blog has served its purpose. In looking back, we can take pride in some achievements that occurred here.

1. This blog helped defeat Fred Thompson and John McCain, two old people who would have done the republic great harm.
2. We were featured in Minnesota Monthly magazine for our petition asking that Minnesota have its statehood revoked. In fact, Senator Al Franken is more of a statement on Minnesota’s zaniness than anything I could ever imagine.
3. We drove Giant Van Lines out of business, and Gabriel Suissa has not been heard of for a long, long time.

Most importantly, I think that the country has changed for the better these past three years. This country is still in economic turmoil, but for those of us who weren’t born into trust funds, our economy has always looked bleak. For us, the fact that we have a President who can speak to us as adults and who does not come from the moneyed aristocracy is enough. It means that this country hasn’t been totally bought and paid for yet. And we can still fight. Yes, we can.

So, I bid this part of my internet life farewell. It’s been fun, and I’ve had a good time interacting with this site’s four regular readers. Some of my favorite comments from you are listed below:

"to sum it up all i can say is you have the mentality of a democrat and it's people like you that have no morals - good luck buying a gun to defend yourself against the middle easters."

"Let me guess - you are certainly less than 30 and may well be less than 20. Believe me it shows."

"I like watching the FAA and NATCA fight. They're like a fat, old, drunk, homeless married couple."

"As to the prom for seniors, it's my only chance to finally get to go to the prom. Nobody asked me the first time around. Now that I'm older and wiser and no longer dependent on an allowance, I'm going to hire myself a dude-licious escort. "

And my personal favorite:

I congratulate all Soon Christmas
Here some sites about the Christmases, a lot of interesting here

And so it ends. But know that I have not quite laid down my sword. To borrow the words of Tom Joad:

Wherever there's a fight so young people can get a decent job, I'll be there. Wherever there's an elderly person beatin' up a child with a cane, I'll be there. I'll be in the way Minnesotans get laughed at - I'll be in the way a smart young punk ridicules how bad comic strips have been. An' when the comic strips are actually funny, and my friends are actually are proud to be graduates of the University of Chicago - I'll be there, too.

Have a good day.

Frankie Machine

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Twitter Update

I changed my Twitter location to Tehran, Iran, to confound the Iranian authorities searching for bloggers. Details here.

Security forces are hunting for bloggers using location and timezone searches. If we all become ‘Iranians’ it becomes much harder to find them.

It's the least I can do. Power to the people.

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Ah, Reminisce Magazine, where have you been all these years?
I gave my old skates to my brother. He promptly got a wooden apple crate from the grocer, nailed a few pieces of wood to it and made a scooter using the old skates for the wheels. As a finishing touch, he nailed two tin cans to the front of the scooter for “headlights” and went rattling down the street on this noisy vehicle.

Although the scooter was supposed to be off-limits to me, I’d sneak it out of the backyard when my brother wasn’t home and join the other kids, mostly boys, in the fleet of apple-crate scooters racing up and down the neighborhood streets.

The Elderly Menace tells stories like this, then expects us to listen. Apple-crate scooters....zzzzz. The most telling part of this story is that the scooter was supposed to be "off-limits" to her. Most normal children would take a look at a contraption like that, with its tin can headlights, and soil themselves from laughing too much. Not the author. She had to be parentally forbidden from pushing it up and down the street. And these were what are now known as "the good old days." Do those sound like good times to you?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Madness! MAD ness.

The Machines are very busy packing and getting ready to head back to Washington, D.C., the land whence this all started.

I shall post soon. But you know how things are when boxes and tape are involved.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Deep scary thought

Tomorrow, at 5 PM, I will have an MBA.

Frankie Machine, Businessman.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Read to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

I, too, hate the South.
Get on 395 in DC and take the bridge across the Potomac, exiting onto Route 1, and you’ll find yourself on Jefferson Davis Highway. Yes. A highway named after the political leader of a rebellion against the duly constituted government of the United States of America, founded on the principle that democracy was less important than the right of white people to own black people. Right there on signs and everything.

As is common with blogs, the jewels are in the comments section:

“Have you seen the Confederate Cemetry in places like Alexandria or Chattanooga vs. the National Cemetries? The National Cemetries are cared for while the Confederate Cemetries are overgrown and run-down. Those grounds should be cared for as well.”

Im all in favor of Confederate Cemeteries, I just wish that there were more of them and as full as possible

But no, the Nation takes care of the graves of our nations fallen war heroes, not traitors.

Monday, May 04, 2009

A whole new bonanza of material

Reminisce magazine. A magazine for the elderly.

I am going to mock the HELL out of this.

Some features:
"The Jewish family next door kept things interesting."
"Tight family strung together many uses for string."

My God. I don't see why elderly people get mad when they come on my blog. Positively Unemployed is a a damn sight better than anti-Semitism and string.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Taboola Attacked My Computer

A Brief Technical Note:
A "provider of the world's first Personalized Video Discovery Platform for publishers, marketers and users" attacked my computer. Norton Protection told me so:

So, watch out for Taboola. They attack your computer.

I'm going to write Taboola to find out why they attacked my computer. I'll keep you posted.

Things I Learned In Business School, UPDATE!

As bad as corporate role models may be... Some business students are all about the brown shirts.

Booksellers told The Daily Telegraph that while it is regarded in most countries as a 'Nazi Bible', in India it is considered a management guide in the mould of Spencer Johnson's "Who Moved My Cheese".

I think whoever wrote this paragraph deserves an award for comparing "Who Moved My Cheese" to "Mein Kampf."

Having said that, this trend really shows what poor readers a lot of business school students are. Take any book full of batshit crazy genocidal ideas, which led to worldwide destruction, then claim that it has insights for managers. People will buy it and read it without really stopping to think, "Holy crap. The guy who wrote this started World War II, ended up shooting himself in an underground bunker, AND his name is synonymous with evil."

And these same people will be running businesses in a few years. Oh, boy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Things I Learned in Business School

Yesterday, in class, a Professor started off the discussion with the following challenge:
"Name a CEO or business leader who you admire."

Well, damn. People I admire are half-mad writers and musicians who changed the way I looked at the world and engaged my fellow humans, but only after they wasted their youth in varying degrees of inebriation and alienation from their loved ones. Also, my father.

Admire's a strong word, professor.

The pathetic thing was...PEOPLE STARTED RAISING THEIR HANDS and naming CEOs they admired. Steve Jobs. Bill Gates. Alfred P. Sloan. The Shamwow! Guy.*

I'll break that down for you: Full-grown, educated adults were expressing their admiration for wealthy businessmen whom they had never met. CEOs who, if the balance sheet demanded it, would kick them in the nuts and slap their children.

Again, I must be nearing the end of my time in Business School, because I already knew the following: Business School does not turn out soulless sycophants. It attracts them and charges them tuition.

The great thing? At the end of the discussion, the professor expressed his disappointment at our "admiration." "Don't admire the CEOs," he said. It was awesome.

* Again, I made this last one up. Only I admire the Shamwow! Guy, and I didn't get called on.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The elderly are immoral

This is why I'm never going to Florida again.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Obama on a Sunday.

Obama knows how to deal with pirates.
Administration officials say President Barack Obama approved the military operation that rescued a U.S. captain held hostage by Somali pirates.
The officials say Obama ordered the Defense Department to use military resources to rescue Richard Phillips from a lifeboat off the Somali coast.

Too bad the priests over at Notre Dame don't have the same respect.
The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, the university’s president at the time, told me that he conferred an honorary degree on Mr. Reagan because he admired his unflinching stance during the 1980 campaign on the protection of the unborn. This was a difficult position at the time, for pressures were building in support of abortion rights after the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973. Mr. Reagan’s views and policies were recognized in the honorary degree he received.

The Obama policy on abortion is pretty much the opposite of Ronald Reagan’s. It is precisely what the Catholic Church fights against. That is why my alma mater, while welcoming him in its midst, ought not confer an honorary degree on Mr. Obama.

Maybe they're just pissed that Obama chose the UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO over their little Catholic school. By the way, Irish: The U of C's football team is STILL undefeated by your football team. Suck it, Churchy.
Concerning Ronald Reagan and Catholics, what I know is this:
Ronald Reagan laid a wreath at Bitburg. If that's the kind of pro-life message Notre Dame embraces, then Obama should consider himself honored to be so rejected.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Things I Learned in Business School

1. PowerPoint is the future of communication. Within two generations, the best-selling novel will be a 30-slide PowerPoint Presentation. Available on Kindle.
2. When proposing a solution to a problem, you MUST use the phrase "Web 2.0".
3. There aren't enough hugs. When you hang out with these people, you'll understand why.
4. Blah blah blah. I'm tired.

What I just wrote is called the "Executive Summary." It's the only part of your report or project that anyone will ever read...

Come to think of it, I didn't learn that in Business School. I learned that when I worked in Government. Can I go home now?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Delays and Complications

I am still out there.
Sorry for the lack of updates.

I will be better next week.
I promise.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My newest foe: Bob Greene

Apparently, the Elderly Menace has dirt on Bob Greene.

How else to explain the following paragraph?
Now they are feeling it, and there is nothing that we -- their sons and daughters, their grandsons and granddaughters -- can do to convince them that their fear in the night is groundless. What they are being forced to go through now is -- in the most elemental sense of this word -- a shame. I hope they know how sorry we are.

Well, Mr. Greene, I'll apologize when they apologize for making me listen to their rambling pointless stories about turnips, for their gibberish letters to the editors of newspapers that always start with "As a senior citizen...", for their insistence on being knelt down to. And let's not even get into Ronald Reagan.

Until then, I'm too busy trying to restore my own shattered savings.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Keep Talking, You Crazy Old Man.

Rush Limbaugh IS the Elderly Menace.

Where is the compromise between good and evil? Should Jesus have cut a different deal? Serious. From the standpoint of what we have to do, folks, this is not about taking a policy or a process that the Democrats have put forward and fighting around the edges. If we're going to convince the minds and hearts of the American people that what's about to happen to them is as disastrous as anything in their lives in peacetime, we're going to have to discuss philosophy with them. We are going to have to talk about principles, because our principles are not present in what's happening here. So where the hell do we go to compromise what we believe in when our principles are not their principles, they're just the opposite of what's happening?

He's really unhinged, isn't he?

This is what Conservatives believe. They believe everything Drug Addict Rush Limbaugh says. When you run into a Conservative (and my sympathies if you do), know that they agree with Draft Dodger Rush Limbaugh and think his ideas are what America needs.

Rush Limbaugh hates America, and so do Conservatives.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Current State of the Economy

The elderly menace will take your job.

Good jobs were hard to find for most categories of workers during that period. One of the results has been that older men and women have been taking and holding onto jobs that in prior eras would have gone to young people.

“What we’ve seen over the past eight years, for young people under 30, is the largest age reversal with regard to jobs that we’ve ever had in our history,” said Andrew Sum, the director of the Center for Labor Market Studies. “The younger you are, the more you got pushed out of this labor market.”

That's some great leadership there, old people. Why don't you twist the knife in the back a little more?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Elderly Menace will take your money

Now, what would an 89-year old person want with millions of dollars?
It doesn't make any sense.

HONOLULU - An 89-year-old alleged swindler may have stolen millions of dollars from local victims, prosecutors said.

Maria Ching, who gave Winfred Hung Wong $200,000, said many people believed his promises because of his age.

More people in Honolulu need to read this blog.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Memo to Old Man Huggies: You Lost.

I thought I was done with John McCain.

Apparently not:

McCain, who lost the presidential race to Obama, says the president is backtracking on promises of bipartisanship. McCain is not happy with the process that led to passage of the stimulus bill. He calls it a bad beginning to Obama's presidency.
McCain acknowledges that Republicans excluded Democrats when the GOP held power on Capitol Hill. But he says Obama had promised to work differently.

Obama tried to work with Republicans on this one, and your cranky old man caucus simply went all contrarian. Old Man Huggies,have you ever considered that nobody wants to talk with you for a reason?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Frantic Update

Here are a few more things I learned in Business School. In bullet form in the interest of time:
1. The men's rooms might just as well consist of a single drain in the middle of the floor.
2. Any subject, no matter how foreign and uninteresting, can be endured if broken into 90 minute sessions twice a week for 13 weeks.
3. If you are ever giving a presentation to a class of business students, and every one of them has their laptop open, they are not taking notes. They are on Facebook.

I'll elaborate further soon. You know how it is.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Frankie Machine: Right Again!

It wasn't just me!
Nearly half of Americans would like to live someplace else

Dog bites man, right? That's the American way: Pulling up stakes and moving on. I'll grant you that. But I really like the list of cities:
Some of the most and least popular cities in the survey:

Most Popular:

• Denver (43 percent)

• San Diego (40 percent)

• Seattle (38 percent)

• Orlando (34 percent)

• San Francisco (34 percent)

• Tampa (34 percent)

Least Popular

• Detroit (8 percent)

• Cleveland (10 percent)

• Cincinnati (13 percent)

• Kansas City (15 percent)

• Minneapolis (16 percent)

• Pittsburgh (17 percent)

Oh, Gosh. I thought Minnesotans loved their little piece of tundra paradise. Turns out, they don't. Nobody else likes it there, either. And once again, I was right.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Things I Learned In Business School

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Abraham Lincoln
16th president of US (1809 - 1865)

There I was, in class today, following a professor's explanation of how to analyze a financial statement. I was writing the key points and revelations in my notebook, listening intently, and honestly learning.
I was so wrapped up in the experience I didn't see it happen.
Someone raised his hand and asked a question.
At the conclusion of his sentence, I was actually less knowlegeable than I had been before.
This is because he was trying to appear smart and asked an irrelevant question which clouded the topics the teacher was trying to cover. I can't remember the exact question because, like I said, the question killed some of my brain cells. And this brings us to today's Thing I Learned In Business School:
Only listen to people who know what they are talking about.
The professor is very well respected, and he was attempting to lay a foundation of understanding and fundamentals that could permit a student to ask good questions later on in their careers. Good questions, like:
"Who the hell makes money off of these derivatives?"
"Gee, Mr. Skilling. Why should I trust you?"

Instead, people who were asking these questions when they were pertinent and could have helped us avoid the shit rain that we see today were drowned out because people with money to invest were listening to people who did not know what they were talking about.

Follow that?

Part of being a mature person is having the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff, and recognizing when listening is more important than picking up some participation points. I used to get chastised when I would withhold comment on a speaker or not raise my hand in class with spastic frequency. I'd just write it off to being a nice Midwestern native, a son of the Heartland or something. Turns out, I was actually not getting stupid. Whether I was getting smart is up in the air, but I can definitely say I did not interfere with someone else's learning. And some days, not getting stupid puts you ahead of the competition. And that's a Thing I Learned In Business School.

Friday, January 23, 2009

"A Smut Magazine."

Another great letter to the editor.
Regarding the political cartoon on the Opinions page of The Press' Jan. 11 edition, the depiction of an almost nude man (Leon Panetta, President Obama's choice to head the CIA) covered only by a fig leaf over his private area which states "CIA Experience" belongs not in a municipal newspaper but rather in a smut magazine. Regardless of political persuasion, The Press should not allow such degrading depiction's of any person in the public eye and/or service. You should be ashamed.

I think the word "smut" is a shibboleth for the elderly. Nobody under the age of Leeching Off Social Security uses that word. The term nowadays is "porn." It's what all the kids say.

So, out of curiosity, I looked all over the internet for any evidence to back up my theory. I Googled the name of the writer, John Koehler, of Byron Center. Sure enough, he's almost 80. I won't name the site I used, since I don't believe in free advertising on this site. Trust me on this or check it out for yourself.

So, the lessons for today are:
1. The elderly are back to complaining about lewd pictures on the editorial page. Man, it's good to have a Democrat back in the White House.
2. If somebody uses the word "smut," run away from that person. You've just had a brush with the Elderly Menace

Sunday, January 18, 2009

President Obama

This picture makes me very happy.
Let's start fixing things!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Another old person letter to the editor.

And it's a doozy.

I prayed the words Jesus taught us over and over and asked our Father above to help us through the next four years until we can correct our terrible mistake.

As she slept on my shoulder, I hugged her tight. Why did we do it? I think because the price of gas went up and the economy took a cyclical plunge.

I bet if each voter had a one year old hug before they went into the booth, the result would have been much different.

Good responses in the comments, though.

On a non-related note, this man is why I hate clowns:

Remember, he's federally funded. And lives in a van. Down by the river.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Um, HBO?

I was checking out the lineup for the concert celebrating the inauguration of a politician from the South Side of Chicago. I found this:

Mary J. Blige
Garth Brooks
Sheryl Crow
Renee Fleming
Josh Groban
Herbie Hancock
Heather Headley
John Legend
Jennifer Nettles
John Mellencamp
Usher Raymond IV
Bruce Springsteen
James Taylor
Stevie Wonder

How Garth Brooks gets on that list, and not a single blues musician, is so far beyond me I can't begin to describe it.
Buddy Guy?
Koko Taylor?
I could go on. Those are just two musicians from Chicago who you could call on. And those are off the top of my head. And who does HBO get? Garth Brooks.

The more things change, etc.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Got an iPhone? A Blackberry? A new Palm thing?

Good, because now you can access this blog in all its mean and bitter glory wherever you are. On the subway, at a coffeehouse, on a 16-hour Amtrak ride, at the police station. Wherever your adventures take you. Just click on the link titled "Positively Unemployed for Mobile Devices" in the right sidebar.

Have fun out there.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Blog recommendation

Scott Meets the Family Circus.

A blog that gets updated about as frequently as this one. I guess because "Scott" actually has to put creativity, time, and talent into his creations, whereas my posts are either divinely inspired or spontaneous explosions of rage.

In the latest from Scott Meets the Family Circus: