Tuesday, December 28, 2004

12 Days of New Year's

On the 12th day of New Year's the mayor sent for meeeeeeee.......

12 Federal Agents
11 Sheriff's Deputies
10 District Attornies
9 DEA men
8 ATF Dudes
7 Public Defenders
6 US Marshals
4 German Shepherds
3 Paddy Wagons
2 Detroit Cops
and a crossing guard amped up on LSDeeeeee-eeeeee-eeeeeeeeeeee....

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Tube Fishing  Posted by Hello

Does Sex Really Sell? - You Bet it Does!

Pornography. By just typing that one word, I am virtually guaranteeing that I will get at least five visitors to one of the most obscure blogs gracing the information superhighway, The JEP Report. If I have learned one thing in this larval stage of internet entrepreneurialship, it is that there is definitely a lot of money to be made on the internet. Unfortunately, for those of us cursed with a moral threshold too high to profit off of the perverse or a body that no one in their right mind would pay to see in positions that would send the Marquis de Sade into a hysterical blushing fit, we need to rely upon something other than our juicy booties to make an e-buck.

Now, I’m not trying to pass judgment upon those web surfers who blew $1500 at CompUSA for what essentially amounts to an electronic subscription to Hustler. Nor am I trying to be hypocritical and try to pass myself off as one who has never entered an adult website (Don’t give me that “holier-than-thou” look either. If you received an e-mail promising explicit pictures of Bea Arthur and Walter Cronkite at the 22nd Annual Mud Wrestling Mixer in Memphis Tennessee you’d bite too, even if only out of morbid curiosity more than anything else). So, what is my point? There isn’t one. The last two paragraphs you just read were nothing more than a shameless attempt to attract more site hits using specific keywords.

Not everything has been so bleak here at The JEP Report over the past couple of days, however. In fact, The JEP Report just recently logged its first visitor referred to the site as a result of a Google search. Apparently on December 21st, some hapless web surfer was sent to The JEP Report’s December 13th article on Al Sharpton as a result of typing “picture of a retarded llama” into the Google search engine. This was a significant development because it confirmed that The JEP Report was being queried by Google. It did however, raise several more pressing questions like: Why in the world was someone out there looking for a picture of a retarded llama? Did they actually find one? Who is the person that did this? I’m dying to know. Sounds like a person I would really like to party with one day.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Skunk Fishing Posted by Hello

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Wash. Court Rejects Democratic Recount Lawsuit

The Pacific Northwest has long been the stronghold of a school of thought so liberal that it could make a Greenpeace delegation look like the unholy brown-shirted emissaries of the Third Reich. The fact that a Republican could even come close enough to being the governor of Washington to warrant a recount is cause for utter amazement. The fact that, due to this latest ruling by Washington’s Supreme Court, he could possibly win it leaves one almost speechless and wondering what the Democrats could possibly have done to force so many dedicated constituents to cross party lines. Granted, the recount is still ongoing and the election is not completely in the bag yet, but if it goes Dino Rossi’s way I would expect a lot of Democratic turmoil in Washington over the next four years. I can only imagine what is being said in all those organic coffee shops infesting the sidewalks of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Seattle right now.

10-Year-Old Arrested for Bringing Scissors to School

Last week the Philadelphia Police department apparently cuffed and stuffed a ten-year-old school girl who was suspected of violating the district’s weapons ban by bringing a pair of scissors to school, sparking outrage among parents and staffers but bringing an overwhelming sense of relief to construction paper everywhere.

Geriatric Robbed in Nude Scam

My bet is that this 81-year-old man was speculating from the start that something was wrong the moment two young attractive women approached him on the street and asked him to peel off his Pampers and join them on a wild naked photo safari. Now he knows for sure and is probably sleeping much better at night than he would have had he turned down the deal and been left forever wondering if he had passed up what was sure to be the last really juicy deal for the rest of his life.

Mobsters Attack al Queda Terrorists

This story inspires a new strategy. Shaken by the prison scandals at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, maybe the US military should just turn its terror suspects over to the Italian prison system and let the mob, who is less sensitive to ACLU, Amnesty International and Red Cross criticism, take over the interrogation of our terror suspects. Fifteen minutes with those guys and I predict the terrorists will unleash a wave of plane hijackings to Cuba on a scale not seen since the 1970s. The only difference will be that they will be bypassing Havana and flying straight to Gitmo and the warm, loving bosom of the United States Marine Corp. With interrogators like the Corleones sweating them under the spotlight, we’d have Osama sharing cell space with Martha Stewart inside of a week. If that fails, we should then try the CD club people. From personal experience, I know those guys can find anybody.

Scott Peterson Sentenced to Death

Frankly, I’m sick of hearing about this but judging by the rest of news, no one else is. So the burning question is: Did Scott Peterson get the punishment he deserved? In my opinion, he absolutely did not. Unfortunately, our constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment assures that officially, he never will either. Our only hope is that that he will spend the next two decades with a full dance card at the Death Row Shower Room Ball for the Hormonally Deranged. Of particular note was Scott’s complete lack of emotion while the verdict was read. It will be interesting to see if he remains so stoic after receiving his first playfully seductive wink from the fur-bearing motorcycle enthusiast with the sweat gland disorder in the cell across the hall.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Democrats gather in Lake Buena Vista FL to Choose New Leader

Disneyworld has long been known as the one of the most prolific fairy tale factories the world has ever known and last Saturday, Disney’s spiritual hometown of Lake Buena Vista, Florida played host to another gathering of aspiring dream-weavers: The Democratic Party: The goal of this group was to dream up a new DNC chairman; someone who will have the intelligence, charisma and perceived moral values to enable him to break out of the “blue state” coastal enclaves and into the hearts and minds of “red-state” America. Walt Disney himself, with his own overactive imagination, a belly full of booze and a head full of hardcore hallucinogens, would have been hard pressed to create such a character out of the DNC’s current list of candidates.

Take former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. Imitating the infamous “scream” speech that allegedly torpedoed his failed run for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, he roared, “WE WON IN ALABAMA, WE WON IN GEORGIA! WE WON IN IDAHO, WE WON IN SOUTH CAROLINA!” Obviously somewhat less than entirely lucid, my guess is that he then ripped off all of his clothes in a fit of apoplectic fury fueled by copious amounts of Everclear and then went after centrist Simon Rosenberg with a contraband pool stick.

To view a picture of 2008 presidential candidate wannabee Sen. Clinton enthusiastically endorsing the 2005 Janet Reno Swimsuit Calendar, go to: http://www.pi.net/upload_mm/9/f/c/hillaryclinton-30428.onlineBild.jpg

Al Sharpton Paid $86,000 to Aid Kerry Campaign

How does Al Sharpton, a man who launched his career by nearly inciting a race riot in New York City over a fraudulent rape accusation, become a legitimate political entity who was actually taken seriously enough to be considered as a viable contender for the White House in 2004 and invited to the Democratic Party debates? More importantly, why should anyone be surprised that he would not stump for anyone but himself without being paid for it?

As a Republican, I find it reassuring that the DNC has no shortage of fruitcakes to waste its energies upon when shamelessly prostituting itself for minority votes. These self-aggrandizing charlatans have a penchant for sucking up airtime desperately needed by those who actually have a shot at winning to spread their agenda (or obvious lack thereof). From a race relations standpoint though, it is a tragedy. Many denizens of white America see imbeciles such as Al Sharpton and Marion Berry as the chosen mouthpieces of the black community even though most African-Americans I know consider them less as role models and more as horrible examples. Unfortunately, the more cross-appealing minority candidates with a more intelligent, eloquent and genuinely positive message for their constituents, such as Barak Obama, have their words and actions diluted, or even overshadowed, by the inane antics of these morally corrupt headline-grabbers.

If the DNC wants a legitimate shot at reaching at the American heartland, it needs to distance itself from these poster children of unabashed of self-promotion and award Al Sharpton the status he truly deserves: that of a third-runner-up contestant in the 7th Annual African-American Elvis Impersonator Contest in Podunk, Arkansas. I doubt there is such a thing but if there was, I imagine it would be one of the few avenues of success available to a man with a persona akin to a retarded mountain llama on a bad acid trip and a Presely-esque haircut outside of Democratic politics.
To view a picture of Al Sharpton wondering, "#!%$&!, did I say that out loud?" go to: http://images.usatoday.com/news/_photos/2004/12/09/sharpton-inside.jpg
Newberry U #1 Posted by Hello

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Britain's Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents States That Photocopying Parts of Anatomy can be Hazardous to Health

Britian's Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents urges the Queen's subjects to resist photocopying parts of their anatomy warning, "If the copier breaks, you'll have Christmas with glass in painful places." Frankly, I think the Brits are being a little overzealous. I've been making Christmas cards using this technique for years and have never even come close to anything resembling a Xerox enema. Granted, I have suffered mild discomfort due to posterior sunburn and chaffing but that was my own fault for trying to get all of my cards out of the way in one shot.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Closing Time Posted by Hello

President Bush's Comedic Timing Draws Canadian Admiration

President Bush may have found religion, but his frat-boy roots definately showed themselves during his recent trip to Canada, causing widespread speculation that he may have fallen headfirst off of the wagon and into a vat of 'Brador (that mind bending elixir of the north that's been lowering the standards of visiting American women ever since I was in high school).
Actually, I do not not understand why everyone is so surprised to see that the president has such a great sense of humor. He was one of the origninal party animals in his prime. I mean, he was arrested for drunk driving in the NINTEEN SEVENTIES for crying out loud! Can anyone fathom how drunk someone had to be to get a DUI in the 1970's? It was not even a crime back then! It was more like a hobby. You did not GET DUIs in the 1970's! You had to practically EARN them!

The Rally of The Virgins

Yes, reality is indeed sometimes stranger than pornography.
Apparently, 500 virgins descended upon the streets of Kampala, Uganda in some sort of surreal anti-orgy put on in front of this African nation's first lady (who apparently was not a practicing participant, much to the relief of the nation's president and self-proclaimed sexual dynamo, Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni).
One of the event's organizers, Sam Ruboga, the Ugandan Youth Forum Chairman, was quoted as asking, "You know what it is like when you eat a young, unripe mango?", apparently using the fruit as a metaphor for a Ugandan virgin. He later answered his own question with, "It is very, very bitter."
Either Mr. Ruboga was commenting on the chronic shortage of feminine hygene products in sub-Saharan Africa or he's just never had two of them in one serving covered with a healthy compliment of whip cream and chocolate syrup.

Friday, December 10, 2004

The Pack Strikes Back Posted by Hello

Office Party Etiquette

As stated in the Genesis posting on December 4th, my entire department was laid off a few weeks ago. Last night was the farewell / annual holiday party for everyone so, needless to say, I did not do a whole lot of thinking about my entrepreneurial internet experiment yesterday. Today is not looking good either. Once again, I woke up on the couch this morning in an excruciating condition, mentally battered, physically drained and utterly clueless about how a rolled up $5 bill found its way into the waistband of my BVDs. If my company had a more liberal policy towards Monday / Friday absenteeism, I certainly would have spent a good eight hours becoming better acquainted with daytime television and Ibuprofren.

All was not lost however. Last night was a great learning experience and, as I’m always eager to pass on useful tips to my two hardcore fans, please find enclosed some tips on office party etiquette.

The bartender is your friend, at least until the savage pagan scallywag attempts to cut you off. The bartender should be treated like royalty, spoken to with respect and tipped often. If you have the tragic misfortune of being served by one who has such incredibly poor judgment as to try and cut you off however, extreme measures are not only socially acceptable….they’re expected. The proper etiquette for dealing with a flippant gin jockey is to immediately begin to Tazer his sorry posterior once every 45 seconds until he breaks out into hysterical fits of uncontrollable sobbing or incontinence has been induced. Then start tasering him every 30 seconds until he gets the happy juice flowing again. I am not sure where this little-known article of etiquette originated from; I think I first heard of it while watching a Martha Stewart segment on The Food Channel. Is it legal? Probably not. Is it fun? Incredibly so. As a matter of fact, it’s about as much fun as you can possibly have while keeping your clothes on.

If you cannot be responsible, at least be entertaining. Controlled acts of wanton mayhem, contrary to conventional wisdom, can be an asset to one’s longevity in a corporation. Now, if you are a person who knows your limits but still opts to exceed them with wild abandon, you need to ensure that your antics are amusing and not just offensive. That way your colleagues will look to you as the life of the party and not just an obvious candidate for a six-week holiday in the Courtney Love Suite at the Betty Ford Clinic. You become a morale builder, crucial to maintaining the emotional well being of a corporation’s human resources. For example, if you exceed your stomach’s tequila-threshold and suddenly spew Technicolor laughter all over your boss’s plate of Chicken Oscar, little good will come of it. You will become an instant pariah, held at arm’s length throughout every future company gathering. Trying to blame it on bad gouda will only make matters worse. If you manage to leave the table and get violently sick into the aquarium however, your name will spread like wildfire throughout the entire company with extremely negative connotations, especially if the said aquarium is located in your boss’s house instead of in a restaurant. Hurling into the aquarium while singing an off-key rendition of Canadian rock superstar Gordon Lightfoot’s anthem of maritime tragedy “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” however, will make you an instant legend. You will be lauded for your creativity, admired for your self-depreciating assessment of a bad situation and become a “must-have” accessory for every upcoming bachelor party from that point forward. Every-one is going to want to party with you!

NEVER entrust your emergency bail fund to the care of your best friend. Your best bet is to leave your bondsman’s commission with a wannabee, someone who wants to be associated with your notoriety but is too much of a wuss to participate in the random acts of social irresponsibility that gained you your reputation. No matter how trustworthy, loyal or reliable your best wingman may be, it is impossible for him to make that early morning trip to the bail office when he is sitting in the cell beside you wondering aloud what the cops were going to do with the llama you liberated while you are spending your one phone call trying desperately to convince your mother to, if she’s not going to front you the $1500, at least come down to the county hoosegow and bring you a hacksaw and a pepperoni pizza.

Finally, always triple check the venue you are celebrating at for personal items before you leave. After 8 hours of savagely attacking your own liver, the last thing you want to do at the end of the evening is leave something major behind (dignity not included). No matter how resourceful you are, once the officer asks you to step out of the car, it is virtually impossible to conceal the fact that you have absolutely no idea where you had your pants last.
With these tips in mind, you should be able to ensure that this year's holiday is talk of the office for decades!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

 Posted by Hello

An Experiment in Midwestern Cuisine Goes Horribly Awry

I have been spending my spare time pouring over the plethora of blogs inundating the internet, trying to figure out what is working and what is not. What I’ve found is there are a lot of people out there who are extremely talented at building eye-catching, attractive websites but stumbling across one with content that I would consider having appeal outside of the author’s immediate circle of friends is a rare prize. I’m not saying the other blogs are bad by any means, there is actually some really good writing out there if you look hard enough, but it is just focused upon a very small target audience, amusing enough to peruse but not enough to return. I have launched The JEP Report with a different purpose than theirs, hoping that it will become more widely read.

With that in mind, I decided I needed a gimmick. The most successful blogs, meaning the ones where the authors were offered book deals, dealt with a defined subject and stuck with it. One successful blog dealt with the breakup of relationships. Another chronicled a blogger’s efforts at cooking every recipe in a certain cookbook. I needed something like this. Then, as if handed a mandate from God, a discussion about movies gave me an idea. Two movies played a part in this inspiration. The first, “Supersize Me”, chronicled director Morgan Spurlock’s experience with trying to survive off of nothing more than McDonald’s food for an entire month. The second, “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle” portrays two dope-smoking morons’ experiences while trying to satisfy a biblical case of the munchies. I put the two together in a stunning example of unoriginality and decided to record my experiences of trying to live off of White Castle hamburgers for 30 days.

For those of you deprived readers that have never seen “Harold and Kumar” or have never traveled through the Midwestern United States, let me describe a White Castle hamburger to you. It is a tiny thing, easily able to fit in the palm of your hand. It is a thin square hamburger patty, no more than 5 millimeters thick, that is fried (or, more accurately, boiled) on a flat grill in water, grease and onions. The bun is placed on top of the hamburgers as they cook and allowed to soak up the steam, grease and whatever else is on the grill for extra flavor. It is a Midwestern delicacy, strangely delicious and easy to eat but a little hard on the digestive tract, hence the reason they are affectionately known as “Sliders” among knowledgeable fast-food aficionados. They are typically consumed just after one has been forcibly ejected from a sleazy watering hole a half hour past closing time by a couple of steroid-addicted ex-felon bouncers but just before he makes a desperate incoherent phone call to an old girlfriend at 4:00am. They are a cultural icon in the quarter of the United States that rests east of the Mississippi River but north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

On the first day of my experiment, I swung through the White Castle drive-thru on my way to work and ordered ten hamburgers, a sack of fries and a large Coke. My wife does not usually let me eat those things regularly, so this was a covert operation. In a frenzied blur of culinary ecstasy, I wolfed down the entire order in the restaurant’s parking lot with a feeling of inner wellness that fell somewhere between ecclesiastic rapture and anti-nutritional orgasm. I then slowly made my home, savoring the onion aftertaste and trying to devise a cover story to give to my wife that would explain my loss of appetite. As I was pulling into the driveway I decided to feign a stomach ailment. Knowing what the side-effects of a White Castle meal usually were, I knew I could pull it off easily with corroborating symptoms. Pulling it off for a month without ending up being the subject of an invasive intestinal scan would prove trickier however, especially since my wife works in the medical field.

There was little to note after that until late in the evening. I passed on dinner and got a couple of hours rest on the couch, which is a rare luxury when you have kids. After the children went to bed however, things started going horribly awry. It started with a rumble in my stomach that slowly began working its way through my abdomen. It eventually became pressure and before long, had transformed itself into real pain. The discomfort ended as a deafening warning shot that sent the dog scurrying for cover and drew disapproving facial expressions of disgust from my wife, who had tragically sat herself downwind. I think that she was probably on the verge of following up her dirty look with a verbal bludgeoning, but after a quick look at my face, she apparently reconsidered. It was painfully obvious that I was in real trouble. I had damn near lost complete control.

To make a long story short, my toilet seat now has nail marks gouged into the bottom of it while my toenails have torn the wallpaper to shreds. The softest toilet paper on the market now feels reminiscent of coarse grit sandpaper and after performing more paperwork than an IRS agent at an Enron audit, I have been sorely tempted to put that half gallon of orange sherbert in the freezer to use in ways that the people at Ben & Jerry’s could never have possibly imagined. My dog, who has always been gun-shy, has developed a nervous tick and the interior air quality of my home has deteriorated to levels that can’t be good for the kids. On account of that, I’ve called off this exercise and resigned myself to the fact that I’ve had better ideas.

Back to the drawing board.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Blitzen (or "Blit-zed" as he's known at Ye Olde Tundra Tavern in Yellowknife, Yukon) has become a little bit jaded. Posted by Hello

The Unholy Duck Fart

Here it is, my third posting to The JEP Report and I have yet to figure out what it is that I am actually supposed to be saying. While I try to determine what direction the blog should take, I would like to pass on a recipe to my loyal readers (or expressed lack thereof), that has played an invaluable role in the development of key experiences in my life and has helped mold me into the man I am today. This recipe is to a magical mind-bending elixir that arose, according to legend, from a sacred alchemist’s urn hidden deep within the darkest grounds of Ferris State University and has escaped its confines to wreak havoc all across the Great Lake State.
This concoction is known as the “Duck Fart”. Utter its name only with the deepest respect and caution. The Duck Fart is made of one third Crown Royal Whiskey, one third Kahlua and one third Bailey’s Irish Cream. Substitutions do NOT work. Mix all ingredients well and consume with wild abandon. It tastes like caramel but bites like a rabid ferret with a methamphetamine habit. Side effects include slurred speech, trouser-loss, domestic problems arising from aforementioned trouser-loss, pregnancy (also arising from aforementioned trouser-loss) and playfully seductive winks thrown your way from the hormonally deranged fur-bearing motorcycle enthusiast with a sweat gland disorder in the cell across the hall from you. Hallucinations are rare, but unexpected encounters with thirteen-foot-tall, three-headed, chainsaw-wielding Teletubbies are not unheard of.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Santa leaves a little "extra-special" something in the naughtiest people's Christmas stocking. Posted by Hello

A Little Bit About Myself

So, why should anyone bother reading this and care at all what I have to say? Well, at this point, I would venture to say that they probably shouldn’t. If I expect anyone to read this journal and put any credence to it, it is only fair that they should know at least a little bit about the person behind it.

I was born in the Downriver Area of Detroit, Michigan, an area most aptly described by the rest of Southeastern Michigan as the “wrong side of the tracks”. Though this is the wide perception of many people native to the Motor City, it’s not an entirely fair one. I grew up in Allen Park, and though the backbone of the city’s population were assembly line workers, blue collar, union and Democratic, the city itself could still be accurately described a middle to upper-middle class community. If Downriver was the wrong side of the tracks, I can honestly say that from a material standpoint, I was not wanting for much in my earlier years.

I was adopted at birth in 1970 and came to be with my family via the family that lived across the street from me. My parents and this couple were both trying to adopt at the same time. They had apparently applied to several agencies and soon after adopting a son in late 1969, received word that they could also adopt me a few months later. They somehow found a way to transfer my adoption to my parents across the street to where I came to belong. The neighbors’ boy is now my brother-in-law and we have remained best friends for our entire lives.

My early childhood was turbulent, to put it mildly, and I would rather leave it out to avoid the appearance of a shameless attempt at eliciting reader pity, which is neither wanted nor deserved. The only thing I will say about it is that my father died when I was thirteen and my mother, little brother and I were much better off for it.

After that, the fun really started. I was fourteen when I fell in with a wild crowd. It was a fun group from the start, filled with a penchant for mayhem and chaos that got us into just enough trouble to be entertaining but stopped shy of inflicting any real damage on anyone else but ourselves. I was 6’3” when I was fourteen and able to sport a full mustache. Naturally, I became the alcohol supplier. Wearing my father’s wedding ring, I would enter a convenience store and buy a package of diapers, a box of feminine hygiene products and a couple of cases of beer. In hindsight, the clerks had to eventually start suspecting something since I seemed have had one extremely incontinent baby with a terminal case of diarrhea and a wife who was on the verge of bleeding to death. If their suspicions were aroused however, they must have been offset by the amount of business we were giving them since I never got questioned.

This pretty much set the tone for my entire high school career. It was also during this period that, as an avid reader, I discovered the writings of PJ O’Rourke and Hunter S. Thompson. As misdirected a path that I was already embarked upon, it was the words of these two men that really pushed me over the edge. I had already developed keen interests in street pharmaceuticals and amateur gynecology before I read them but afterwards my interests became obsessive pursuits and worse, I was determined to pursue them all over the globe in places where civil rights and reservations about police brutality were not quite the pressing points of public concern as they are in the US. I found myself set upon a path that could only have ended in the tragic obliteration of my health and sanity. I am eternally grateful to them for that. I do not think that, without their unknowing guidance, I could have possibly gotten into as much fun as I did. I owe them a few drinks if I ever run into them.

Desperate to get out of Detroit and see what else was going on in the world, I joined the US Army Reserve when I was seventeen. The plan was to spend my summer vacation going to boot camp, return to finish high school and then graduate to make a career an Army MP. My friends threw my going-away party on the roof of a local high school and a large portion of my last night as a civilian was spent in the Allen Park City Jail. My recruiter managed to work out a deal with the police however that allowed me to still go off to the army as long as I returned to deal with my charges when I came back to finish school.

A lot of people do not have very fond memories of basic training but personally, I had the time of my life. I left a house where my mother would not allow me to run down the hallway with a pair of scissors to some twisted version of summer camp where the counselors made you play with automatic weapons, anti-tank rockets and high explosives. We got to stay up late and blow stuff up. The only thing missing were the panty raids on the girls’ camp a couple miles up the road and a huge field of wild growing cannabis on the outer perimeter. True, there were a lot of people yelling at me all of the time but I got into a lot of trouble in school and was pretty much used to that sort of thing. The hours were a little long but at least there was always something to do. There were some guys who really hated the random tear gas assaults, but as someone who had had more than one girlfriend tell him “we should start seeing other people” with a blast of mace and a restraining order (especially after catching him making out with her younger sister) I had built up a pretty high tolerance to that kind of stuff as well.

After finishing the army’s basic training, I returned home, pled guilty to my trespassing charge, paid my $35 fine and picked up where I left off. As I approached graduation, I returned to my recruiter to change my job part of a verbal agreement I had made upon enlisting. I was still in high school when I joined the service and obviously was not yet the recipient of a high school diploma. A consequence of this was that I was not yet qualified to be a military police officer. So, in order to still go to boot camp when I wanted, I initially enlisted in the infantry. When I returned to change my job, I was told there were no longer any open billets for MPs so I was effectively trapped in the infantry. Don’t get me wrong, the infantry was an incredibly good time but if something happened and I got discharged, the few jobs available for someone with my set of skills would be in either the Irish Republican Army or in the mafia. Despite my somewhat less than spectacular grade point average in high school, I scored very highly on the military’s entrance examination and wanted something a little more marketable once I left. After a lot of wrangling with the army, I went across the hall to the navy and made a deal with them. If they got me out of the army, I would sign for as long as they wanted.

I ended up signing on with the navy for six years. I spent eighteen months training to be an electronics technician, over a year in San Diego and Long Beach California and then nearly three years home-ported in Sasebo Japan. During that time I went to Hawaii, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Guam, Okinawa and Australia. Basically, I was bar-brawling my way across the entire Pacific Rim. I embraced the lifestyle whole heartedly. I had a girl in every port, a terminal hangover and the uncanny ability to get my face slapped in seven different languages. I fought US Marines and French Foreign Legionnaires but unfortunately came out on the losing end of that pastime then not. I was nearly arrested for driving an elephant while drunk in Thailand and once came out of four-day bender in a run-down bar in Olongapo surrounded by midgets. I saw and did things during that time that I could not have possibly imagined, and I have a very broad imagination. It was an awesome time that I will never forget except for the times that I just can’t, for the life of me, remember.

The navy did have its down side though. My last year was during the tenure of a very bad captain and President Clinton’s attempts to practically destroy the US’s ability to defend itself. Up until that last year, I was a military Democrat having the time of my life. Twelve months later I left the navy pretty jaded with a new found appreciation for the Republican Party. I came home to an economy in recession with a trade that was anything but in high demand. My greatest attributes at the time were my cast-iron liver and a set of moral values that would make a Kennedy blush. The only job I managed to land was one sorting parts for a foreign automotive supplier, six months after leaving the service, for $6 an hour. The one thing I really had going for me was a strong work ethic and a lot of exposure to working in an international environment. I was hired full time within six months, traveling all over the country troubleshooting product failures within eight, and before I was employed a year, was traveling to our plants in Europe, Mexico and South America, trying to prevent problems from arising in the first place. Within two years I was making more money than my step-father, who did not believe I had a real job because I didn’t have a union card.

Five years later I got married and, though still with the same company, changed jobs to one that would still keep me going abroad but at the same time keep me home enough to avoid an early trip to divorce court. Our first year of marriage was a killer. I had been enjoying single life so much that initially, I just was not sure whether I could handle being tied down. When my wife became pregnant three months after our wedding however, I did not have a lot of choice. I had to settle down and I did. I am very glad I did because after our daughter was born, everything just fell into place. Our son was born two years later and we presently have another child on the way. Things are going great on all sides.

The thing about having a demanding career, a house, a wife and a few kids is that after a while, you really start neglecting your drinking. The next thing you know, your head starts clearing up and you find yourself thinking a lot more. For most people, this can be a good thing. For those of us who have gotten nothing but trouble out of having to think too hard though, it can be very disconcerting. Here I am now nearly 35 years old and painfully aware that, though I have everything I could have possibly wanted, I really need something else. Now, I’m not talking about a new wife, new kids or new dog (well, I have to admit I have entertained the thought of turning the dog in for a newer model with better bladder control). I’m talking about the lifestyle thing in general. I don’t want to be financially comfortable anymore. I want to be prosperous. I no longer want to be a wage slave. I also am not willing to sacrifice any more time with my kids in order to be so. I want to make a great living off of whatever marketable talents I possess without contributing any capital, excessive time or effort in the endeavor. I am just stupid enough to truly believe that it can be done. I just have to find a way and the chronicle of that endeavor (along with a lot of nonsense that has absolutely nothing to do with it) can be found right here in the pages of The JEP Report.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Posted by Hello


I was sitting in my own little personal psychological torture chamber (also known as a “cubicle” in most multi-national corporations), when I was suddenly struck by an epiphany over a cold cup of really bad vending machine coffee. I had just been informed that, though the rest of my team had been suddenly laid off due to budgetary reasons, I was being retained. I should have been relieved and maybe even a little proud of myself for making the cut even though the rest of my group, most of whom are far more pedigreed and technologically talented than myself, did not. In actuality however I actually envied my teammates to a certain extent and, though genuinely concerned about my friends becoming suddenly unemployed in an uncertain job market, felt as if I had somehow been left behind. It was then that I realized that I was so disenchanted with my professional life that I actually thought that courting financial ruin and risking relocating my family to a cardboard condo overlooking the Canadian Riviera a preferable alternative to gainful employment in a multinational automotive corporation.

At that point, I felt as if my entire existence desperately needed a sober re-evaluation. Unfortunately, sobriety has never been one of my strongest character traits so what I ended up with was an alcohol-fueled list of things that I wanted to achieve in life, written in ink on the back of a dirty bar napkin. Some of the entries were reasonable and obtainable, such as the several pertaining to getting more beer that evening. Others, such as the one about shooting a video of Osama bin Laden wearing a leather negligee and Richard Nixon mask while sharing a box of Twinkies with Martha Stewart (which I was certain would fetch a hefty commission from the CIA, SEC and National Enquirer), were somewhat less so.

By midnight, my blood alcohol level finally surpassed my IQ. After looking over what, at the time, I considered to be an exceptional bar-napkin-list of money-making alternatives, I found myself enveloped with a comforting aura of overconfidence and invincibility. I decided right there to quit my job. I grabbed another bar napkin and scribbled out my nine-word letter of resignation. It read, or more accurately would have read had it been legible,

“Dear HR,

You suck. I quit.

Get F---ed,


I then settled my tab, put on my coat and began making my way back to the office to turn it in. I had barely reached the parking lot when I began to think that just handing my letter to some flunky in HR was not going to suffice. I wanted to make a statement. I wanted bridges burned. I wanted to make absolutely sure that I crossed a point of no return, that no matter how hard I begged, once I quit, they could not take pity upon me and take me back. I decided I was going to turn my resignation in while dressed in nothing but a gaudy sombrero and a French tickler. I was going to quit naked.

Fortunately, my master plan of spectacularly terminating my own employment in the buff started running into serious hitches from its inception. For starters, I was way too drunk to find my car keys let alone attempt to drive the quarter mile back to work. Second, it was highly unlikely that I would find an HR flunky at the office at a quarter to one in the morning and the only thing I would likely accomplish by the immediate execution of my master plan was freaking out the third-shift cleaning lady while earning a coveted spot on the state offender registry’s Hall of Fame. Third, I didn’t own a gaudy sombrero. Fourth, I had no idea what a French tickler actually was or where I could possibly find one at that ungodly hour. Last, but certainly not least, I recognized that the same instinct pushing me towards carrying out this last act of professional suicide was the very same one that, in my younger years, often persuaded me to pick fights with bruising bar brawlers three times my size. As those incidents nearly always ended up with me in a lot of pain and saddled with expensive dental bills, I decided to sleep on my master plan and carry it out if it still seemed like a great idea Monday morning.

The next day I woke up on my living room couch. My head felt as if it had just endured a chainsaw lobotomy, my eyes were redder than an embarrassed Chairman Mao in rouge and I had a taste in my mouth that caused me to suspect that I had mistakenly liberated a midnight snack from the cat’s litterbox. I had covered myself up with a Little Mermaid blanket that was sized to accommodate one of my daughter’s baby dolls. Luckily, I had never bothered to remove my coat or shoes so I did not get too cold during the night. I had however, slept deeply in a position that would have been the envy of any yoga guru worth his salt causing me, a non-yoga practitioner, excruciating bolts of pain throughout my body at the slightest attempt at movement. Unfortunately, I also had to deal with a morning bladder that was filled far beyond capacity making not only movement, but very swift movement, an immediate necessity if I was to avoid expensive couch cleaning charges, an incredible loss of personal dignity, and the setting of a very bad example to my young son who was at a critical stage of his own potty training.

Eventually, I did make it off of the couch and answered nature’s call but not without a great deal of excruciating agony. It was evident early on that I was not going to be good for much more than spending the day lying around pondering my future.

The allure of my sans wardrobe resignation plan faded away with the final mind-scrambling effects of the thirteen-plus beers I had consumed the night before. I was married with two children with a third on the way. I was in the process of building a new house three times the size of my old one and actually, with all things considered, I had a pretty good gig with the company I worked for. I am a benchmark engineer, also known as a technical intelligence analyst in some companies. In short, I get paid to find out what my company’s competitors are up to. I tear apart products to figure out what makes them better or worse or cheaper or more expensive than our own. A couple of times a year, I fly to Europe and Asia to cover one of the international car shows. Though the pay is not making me rich, it’s keeping me well away from the poor house and overall, I could be doing much worse.

Still, I thought that I could do better. I felt that if I really put my mind to it, I could figure out a way to make more money and spend a lot less time doing it. I decided to list what I believed to be my best talents and try to figure out how I could profit by them.

The first talent that came to mind was my uncanny ability to party far harder than my fragile psyche could handle. I decided however that the area I lived in already had far more town drunks than the market could handle and by the looks of them, it was a career choice with negative income potential. True, my inherent susceptibility to spontaneous acts of random nudity while under the influence could bring a new gimmick to the field but with my tragic lack of a bodacious backside, I did not see how I could possibly make a living off of it.

The second talent on my list was my writing ability. This was the main catalyst that had advanced me through my career to this point and likely to be my most significant saleable skill. I needed to find a way to exploit this that did not require a lot of time or financial investment.

A third talent, one that had lain dormant for my entire life until I recently discovered it by accident, was the ability to draw cartoon characters. I considered trying to start a comic strip, but the market is already so flooded with potential cartoonists that it is virtually impossible to get syndicated. I also realize that my sense of humor, though by no means vulgar, was not necessarily suitable for a family newspaper either. I figured my odds of success in this field would be greatly improved by building a following prior to submission for syndication.

My next step was to figure out how to get my work out into the market. The internet was the obvious choice, but for someone who is extremely cyber-retarded, the mechanics of designing, publishing and maintaining a website are daunting. There are also costs involved that are a little prohibitive for a man with a wife, 2 1/3 kids, a mortgage, a new house under construction and a liver that grows morbidly suicidal every other week. Then there was blogging.

Prior to the 2004 presidential election, I thought blogging was something kids were doing these days with a hallucinogenic mix of vintage industrial solvents and brown paper bags. The more I read into it however, the more appealing it became as a good place to start, hence the birth of The JEP Report.

So, what do I expect to accomplish from this new endeavor? Well, I hope to, at the very least, possibly initiate an enjoyable hobby and creative outlet. If The JEP Report manages to build any type of following, I hope to maybe sell some advertising space on it and possibly supplement my income. If the blog’s following grows, I can try to sell related products off of it, hopefully increasing its profitability. Then of course, there are always the remote possibilities of being discovered on-line. Maybe I can score a lucrative writing gig or syndicate a comic strip. I could become rich. I could become famous. I could also have fallen victim to my own computer illiteracy and after years of effort building The JEP Report, discover that the settings were on “Personal Private Diary” mode and realize that I spent all that time writing to, effectively, myself.

The possibilities are endless. I have no idea what this will lead to or what I will eventually accomplish but, as the ancient Chinese saying goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.

Welcome to The JEP Report. I hope that you will enjoy the ride.
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