Nov 9, 2006

Albany Rants: post-election political predicitons

Guest Submission
(Originally published on Albany Rants)

Well, it was pretty good stuff, wasn't it?

The Republicans got the butt kicking they deserved. Spitzer is in and we just need to count the days down to get Pataki on a train to Iowa. Everyone's favorite thug was given his walking papers in the 20th congressional district.

I would say that my favorite result nationally was that fascist cretin Ricky Boy Santorum going down in flames in Pennsylvania. But the question here in A-town is: can any real government reform and progressive legislative action be accomplished with Bruno and Silver still hanging around? What's it take to move this pair out of the picture? How about the state offering them each a severance package, of say, $1billion to leave?

Think about that proposition, why don't you. Wouldn't that be a better investment for New York's future than a chip fab or a convention center or road repairs or anything else?

Now that these election are over, it's time to look ahead. So here are my political predictions for the next year or two here in the Capital District:

- Jack's Oyster House offers up a new dish called Lame Duck. State Republicans are offended and announce a boycott

- Joe Bruno's grandaughter (the one that went missing until found walking the streets of NYC under the control of some alleged pimp) emerges from hiding and is given a judgeship in Rensselaer County.

- Patricia DeAngelis and I become an item

- Patricia and I have a child and he is crowned as the new Sun King

- Jerry Jennings announces he is running for Governor -- as a Republican- Brian Stratton announces he is running for Mayor -- of Albany

- Kirsten Gillibrand appoints Mike McNulty as her Chief of Staff

- Bill Clinton starts hanging around Mrs Gillibrand's office a bit too much, thereby giving her the creeps

- The NYS Republican Party, in a move reflecting its status, announces that it will be operating out of a PO Box at the local MailBox USA franchise in Scotia.

- After George Pataki is quickly dismissed from presidential consideration by primary contests, he is seen in downtown Albany asking pedestrians "does anyone know where the NYS Republican party has moved to ?"

- John Sweeney lands some political lame duck appointment. He celebrates by crashing some keggers at RPI.

- An anonymous tipster phones the Times Union, saying she heard a rumor that John Sweeney never actually graduated from college. The reporter decides not to follow up, concluding that there really isn't any difference between having a degree from Russell Sage College and not having one.

- Sweeney's wife, flush with the high of her success in taking a piece of the policital contributions of her hubby's camapaign, becomes the new chief fundraiser for United Way. Two months later, the organization goes broke.

- Sweeney's son, the convicted felon, announces he is entering politics. When told by an advisor that there are voting restrictions on convicted felons, he punches him

- With the Republican party hacks all losing their jobs, that gay "rent a room by the hour for massages" health club in Troy shuts down, citing a loss in business.

- Alan Hevesi is removed from office, but he refuse to actually LEAVE his office. He sits at his desk with his arms folded and won't budge, forcing a SWAT hostage crisis team to be deployed to his downtown Albany building.

- Shelly Silver moves the entire NYS Assembly to lower Manhattan

- Not to be outdone, Joe Bruno moves the NYS Senate to Troy

- Five-hundred lobbyists walk away from the leases on their Albany offices to follow them. Economic prosperity follows as the offices are soon filled with real businesses doing productive work.

Nov 5, 2006

What's a friend worth?

Working on the weekend brought an unexpected chuckle....

Yesterday, I was asked to glimpse through the financials of a small local company. Their balance sheet listed 'MySpace Friends' as an asset category, with a value of $1497. Footnotes explained this as representing the worth of the 1497 people that answered "Yes" to accepting the incoming friends requests from these folks --- or $1 per pal.

Pretty funny, isn't it? While I give these youngeters credit for realizing the potential and value of one's social network, I think I'll be advising all involved that this valuation might be a bit on the high side.

Nov 1, 2006

Former associate makes the national news

Hey! I know that guy!

I'm always heartened to see one of my former employees making a name for themselves. It makes me think that I might have been a postive role model in his or her's life , giving that little extra push to go on to do glorious deeds for the greater good. It can bring moist tears to my eyes. Yeah, right.

But I wasn't quite sure how to react to today's airing on CNN of one Michael Stark getting manhandled by a group of Senator George Allen's campaign thugs down in Virginia. All for asking the good pubic servant "if he had ever spit on his wife." Now what's that all about, Michael?

Stark, who once served as a web developer / programmer for me in the e-Comm Square complex on Broadway here in downtown Albany, went on to attain a certain degree of notoriety soon after as the one and only Mike From Albany. His gig: incessantly calling into radio and television talk shows to take on what he called the wingnuts of the right wing. He then chronciles the fun in his blog Calling All Wingnuts. Mike even got himself a front page cover story in Metroland and on a first name basis with Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly. It's funny; I never recall having any sort of political discussion with him when we worked and socialized together--but something obviously set him off.

When I last spoke with Mr Stark, he told me of his need for a major career shift and of his decsion to enter law school at the University of Virginia. That's why he's showing up for verbal ambushes on Mr. Allen, I assume. Allen just happens to have the unfortuanate luck of being the closest wingnut to our hometown hero.

Take a look at the video of this ugliness here.

*** Late breaking news...

Apparently, this stunt may have provided that "career change" mentioned above: various sources are reporting that Mike has been hired by the producers of an Air America talk show program.

This news gets me to thinking. What is more amazing: that Mike Stark has become the the new Stuttering John (from Howard Stern's show), or that Stuttering John took over Ed McMahon's old job on the Tonight Show?

Repeat: "That just ain't good enough!"

Last Tuesday's edition of The Training Group's CEO Luncheon at Saratoga National, of which the Tech Valley Times was a proud sponsor, had as its subject matter the tricks to better managing one's sales team. Featured speaker Dave Kurlan came to town to give his thoughts on the subject, backed up by a distinguished career in the field and a couple of books to boot.

Like all such seminars, the 60+ attendees didn't walk way in possession of everthing he or she needs to know in mastering the art of sales management. But we all did leave with additional tools for our toolboxes which we can grab now and then and put to good use.

Here's one reflection that Mr. Kurlan made that I enjoyed, and am hereby sharing:

If our CPA reported to us that she can account for 94% of the cash in our business, how would we react? Likewise, if our Quality Control Manager told us that we are now at a 95% defect - free manufacturing rate, what would we say? The answer, of course: we'd be none too pleased with either.

So why, then, are we so forgiving when one of our salespeople celebrates attaining just 75%, or 85%, or 90% of sales quota?

Good question. Kurlan points to complacency as a large part of the problem here; not just on the salesperson's part, but also on the sales manager's. Good point. Take it with you.

A sign of the season: I saw just one single golfer on the ride up and down the long driveway leading in and out of Saratoga National.