College Professor Destroys New Year’s Resolutions

In a study submitted to “The Journal of the Psychology of Economics”, Professor Dane Zeller has shown the deleterious effects of the making of New Year’s resolutions.

Only eleven more days until Stephen Foster Memorial Day

“Centering a resolution on January 1st of the new year has the effect of postponing good habits until the end of the year. No one uses August 1st to make their resolutions,” Zeller concludes.

Furthermore, this annual habit has immense cost to the economy when the resolutions are broken days after they are made on January 1st. Zeller states that the widespread practice of lowering our efforts, economic and otherwise, until the 1st of January, causes a 6.4% reduction in our GDP. That is after factoring out the increase to the economy of the purchase of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes, and the chasing of designing women.

The forward-thinking college educator suggests having multiple resolution days such as Columbus Day, Labor Day, and Halloween.

“With several resolution days, we will make and break many more resolutions, allowing us to reach many more of our goals, and causing our GDP to soar,” argued Professor Zeller.

The editor of “The Journal of the Psychology of Economics” will not comment on Zeller’s submission, citing his New Year’s resolution not to publicly criticize “oddball, without merit, phony studies made by scholars of questionable credentials.”

The Lord Giveth; Let Him Take it Away

Another insidious practice alert by Dane Zeller: shoveling snow.

There, a few more things out of my garage and I’ll be able to park my car inside this winter. You may think I’ve been hasty in my decision to throw away my snow shovel. Not so. God drops snow on all of my neighborhood. He covers my lawn, the branches of my trees, the leaves I didn’t rake this Fall and the driveway leading to my garage.

Cleaning Out the Garage of Unnecessary Tools

Rest assured, what god provides, he removes…with sunlight. I need no shovel to assist in this natural process. Any snow removal that I perform will be by driving my SUV over it in my driveway and mashing it to a manageable thickness. It requires no dangerous winter exercise to do this; it’s just a byproduct of the comings and goings of our family.

Those of you who need wide swaths of snow removed from their driveway can simply drive up and down the pavement several times at different angles. Job done.

By the way, the neighbors will no longer complain about the leaves I left on the lawn this Fall. Such is the joy of a blanket of snow.

Local Author Fails at Writing

Words Typed So Far

NaNoWriMo (National Write a Novel in a Month) is a writing project that is sweeping the nation. This is the fourth day of the month, and if you divide the number of days (30) into the number of words (50,000), your daily quota is 1,666 words. Your counters should stand at near 4000 right now. Of course, if you are shy of 4000, you can compensate in the days ahead.

My counter stands now at…let’s see…add the subtrahend…multiply by the divisor…square the root…yeah, I’m at zero, right now.

Not to worry. There was this little thing with daylight savings time that threw my clocks off. The world series intruded into my writing time, and my wife wanted me to change the oil in her car, and dust off the dash a little.

Things are different now, in the fourth day. I do have to get my exercise in, but I plan to write 4,000 words this afternoon, if my depression lets up.

No problem, I’ve experienced this before, and shit, I’m a writer for god’s sakes! I ought to be able to write a lousy 4000 words, especially when quality is not required!! Geez, this is it! If I can’t write 4000 words, I should become a greeter at Walmart. Damn. And my coffee…why isn’t it warm? And, what did my wife mean by “love you”. Was she mocking me? And what’s with my dog peeing on my shoe?

This is not good…


ipALERT !!! Your Dog Doesn’t Want to Wear a Costume on Halloween: An Insidious Practice Alert !

You might think your dog looks cute with a Donald Trump wig on at Halloween, but “cute” is not a dog concept. If King is wagging his tail and smiling when you photograph him in his Aardvark, or Mongoose, costume, do not misunderstand his behavior. He is planning to visit dog karma on you, not soon, but maybe closer to Easter.

One day, after having a few beers more than usual with your work buddies, you will come home to a redecorated house. This is a proven fact. The couch pillow you got from your girlfriend will be in shreds. The reclining lever of the chair you got from your dad, will look like a bad totem pole carving. Your 150.00 pair of tennis shoes will need more than shoelaces to affix them to your feet. King will be standing next to the shoes, smiling and wagging his tail.  If he could talk, he would ask, “do you think I’m cute now?” But he can’t. That’s why he chewed up the Donald Trump wig, too.

Don’t put a costume on your dog. You will regret it.

Insidious Practice Alert !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Someone soon will ask if you want to be a participant in NaNoWriMo. Refuse! Otherwise, you will have to write a whole novel in November. (National Novel Writing Month.)

During those thirty days, you will not be:

  1. Watching college basketball.
  2. Sleeping in your recliner.
  3. Relaxed.

Your Target For NaNoWriMo Words for Today

You will be:

  1. Regretting how far behind you are.
  2. Punishing yourself for not being on a writing schedule.
  3. A failed writer.

Think about it! Start your preparation for November by #1 taking up the hobby of… oh, say… cooking? Politics? Drawing by number?

Is it me or the world? Lulu talks at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Hello ladies and germs,

Lulu Rose

Thursday, October 1, 2015, Lulu will be talking to us on KKFI 90.1, on the program, “Shots in the Night”. The show will begin at 7:30 pm, with several stories.

You can listen live at KKFI,  Streaming audio.

For those of you who missed Bob’s confession on September 3rd, click here at ShotsInTheNight.

Also, Bill answers, without a pause, the question, “Do You Love Me, Bill?” It’s at the 18 minute mark of the same ShotsInTheNight recording. Warning: if you don’t like the sound of sweat, don’t listen to this one.

It’s called “radio”.

Appealing to just one of the senses, I remain,


Employment Advice From The JobBuster: Beeeeep!!

Dear Mr. Monk,

I own an auto parts business in Tupelo. I have seven employees who get along real well. I usually hire someone by word of mouth. So, they’re likely friends of friends, or relatives of friends.

JobBuster's Typewriter

Last week someone walked in with a resume. No one knew him, and I didn’t feel comfortable about offering him a job, even though I had one open. Also, I think a few of the guys would have trouble working with a black man. Do you think it’s good strategy to rely only on word of mouth to find prospective employees?

Ted in Tupelo

Dear Ted,

That strategy, Ted, is illegal. And, worse than that…it’s wrong.

There may be ways, with a good lawyer, to do an end run around our laws. Following laws, however, is not enough. Our laws represent our society’s need to identify right and wrong behavior. But human behavior is complicated, and can’t be completely prescribed by lawmakers.

I can make it easy for you. Right and wrong can be answered most always by asking yourself if you would like to be treated the same way. A concrete example: your business fails, and at age 59, you go looking for a job. Would you like to interview with a 30 year old who feels uncomfortable with old guys?

Your business fail? If the laws and ethics are too complicated for you, you might consider the effect of hiring friends of friends who guarantee little difference among your employees. That is a recipe for failure.

I suggest you hire the black guy, the woman, the senior, the guy in a wheel chair, because your team will be better. Your business will change not just because there is variety in your work force, but because you’ll have a variety of skills, attitudes, ideas, and influences.

In the Church of the Free Market parlance, variety is profitable.

Comfortable and legal are not enough.

Jobbuster Monk

My Boss Stole My Idea

Dear Mr. Monk,

My boss has these employee meetings where he asks for suggestions. I’ve given him three or four good ideas, but he always says why they won’t work. This morning he changed the president’s parking space to “employee of the month”. It’s the one closest to the front door. Mr. Monk, that was my idea about six months ago. He stole my idea. How do I get appreciated around here?

Mary in Marysville

Dear Mary,

The problem with great ideas is that they always look like bad ideas. (You don’t want the president having to walk two blocks to his office. The president’s time is worth far more than an employee’s time.)

Also, your idea was not your boss’ idea, originally. Time went by with so much to

JobBuster's Typewriter

remember. So many ideas. He wanted to reward his employees. Let’s see…hey, I’ve got it. Honor an employee each month! Nothing like the power of one’s own idea.

He stole it from you? You shouldn’t care.

You actually got something for your team. His idea, your idea…what does it matter? Keep flooding him with ideas. Make him look like the genius you are.

Jobbuster Monk

What’s your beef with your employer? E-mail me at danezeller@ yahoo dot com

JobBuster Monk’s Employment Advice: Don’t Piss Off Your Boss

Dear Mr. Monk,

I’m angry. On my last annual review I scored low on “works efficiently”, and I’m their best programmer. Today I received an email from my boss setting up a meeting in his office for 10:15 a.m. next Monday. I’m rarely asked to meet him in his office, and the dumb ass copied to HR. I’m going to be fired. I can’t wait for Monday. My wife says to slow down. I want to confront him now. Who’s right?

Ben in the Binary Department

Dear Ben,

I’m not a marriage counselor. They don’t let you be one if you’ve been married five times. However, being fired on seven occasions makes me an expert in this employment matter.

JobBuster Monk

Take the whole weekend, or not. Think about all the valuable things you got from your soon-to-be ex-employer. You got good annual reviews until the last one. They probably helped you get training. You enjoyed your salary and benefits. Certainly your experience was worth the effort.

Then, when you can get a smile on your face, go talk to him. Ask him if you’re being fired. Don’t break the smile. Whatever his response, thank him for the valuable experience you’ve had under his supervision.

You’ll recognize this as following the don’t-burn-your-bridges theory. There is great satisfaction in lighting the match. I know. I’ve done it myself.

Your task will be to stay out of the righteous-outrage world. Focus on your gains from your last job. You’ll be a better job candidate.

You’ll be a better person to live with, too, like my third wife said.

Jobbuster Monk

Dear Readers: If you want advice on getting, ending, or doing a job, send your question to danezeller@ yahoo dot com. I’ve got plenty of time to respond.

The Silent Pink Slip

Dear Mr. Monk,

I teach psychology courses at several universities as an adjunct. One of the schools has not contacted me about next semester, and I’m getting worried. I’m wondering if I asked too much of my students or if my tests were too easy. Maybe I didn’t do enough to communicate with my international students. I do like to bring current issues into the classroom. Maybe the students complained. I won’t know until the student survey results come back to me next semester, if there is one. I’ve been meaning to talk to the dean, but I fear all I’ll get is embarrassed. I don’t make much money as an adjunct, but I think it’s important work. What can I do to avoid this constant doubt?

Fred at Many U.

Dear Fred,

My advice, Fred:  Stop trying to come up with the reason.  I’ll do that for you.  Seeking a reason for your silent pink slip is not worthy of your study.

JobBuster Monk

You and your university have conflicting purposes.  It’s a topsy-turvy conflict: they want to run the school like a business; you want to run their business like a school. They like to create and meet budgets by trying to drive tuition up and salaries down. They see teaching as a line item; you see it as a cause.

There are a variety of actions to take, depending on your style. One is to walk up to the dean and tell him you’re making out your schedule.  Remember though, it’s possible to mistake tact for the truth.

I recommend you sidestep the semester survey. They are always too late. Do your own.  In your remaining courses, ask your students daily or weekly the questions from the semester survey. Also, throw in your own: “Am I making myself clear?” “Do you think this video is worthwhile?” “Are you having fun?”

They will be reluctant to answer, at first. But, when they do, your doubt will fade away.

JobBuster Monk


Dear readers: Having been fired eleven times in my life, I am an expert in employment advice. If you have a question, please send it to me  danezeller@ yahoo dot com. 

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