Saturday, December 31, 2011


There's a lot of talk about the decline and impending death of the magazine industry.  But as John Hodgman says: "At one point in 2011, there were more magazines laying around people’s homes than any other year in history — and you can take that to the bank, the MAGAZINES BANK."


1.  OK!

2.  Men's Health

3.  Parade

4.  Readers Digest

5.  People

6.  InStyle

7.  Living

8.  Real Simple

So there you have it.  Long live the magazine... well into the year 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Hey, guys, what's up?

This week's business round-up comes a couple of days before New Year's, so I'll make it kind of brief so that everybody can get back to doing whatever it is people do during the holiday.  To be honest, I'm not in the best mood right now.  The reason is that I was kicked out of my bedroom for three days while my sister was in town last weekend with her family.

Basically, my two nephews and one niece got my basement room and I had to sleep on the couch in the den.  To make it short, they trashed the place - they got into freakin' everything: my CDs, my clothes and even my Star Wars figurine collection! - and now I can't bring myself to clean up.  I'm like paralyzed.  I can't think.  It's over and they're gone, but it totally sucked.

So, now you get an idea of what I'm dealing with.  Sleeping on the couch isn't that bad (I could play the new Skyrim game all night!) but getting up 7:00 a.m., when the kids got up, was absolute torture.  Now I know what it might have been like to be that Russian guy in the labor camp when Stalin was around.

Okay, enough about me.  Here are my predictions for next week:

1.  I've got a good feeling about tech stocks.  I see some major announcement coming out of the industry that will give a good bump to companies like Intel and IBM.  Thumbs up.

2.  Stay away from Verizon.  Yes, now!  There's gonna be some big fallout from their $2 fee for online billing, and I wouldn't want to be around when the peasants revolt.

3.  Dump your Euros.  Last week I would have said "buy", but this week I'm back with a bearish stance.  Greece is going to come up with some doozie numbers soon and I think Spain is going to be making news about being on the economic brink.  Just another reason to move toward advancing Asian equities.

All right, that's it for now.  Take care and have a happy New Year.  Me... I'll be locked in the basement till at least Monday (avoiding the rent my mom will come looking for...) just me and Skyrim and 10 2-liter bottles of  Mountain Dew.


Thursday, December 15, 2011


Here are FIVE SIX! gift ideas for you to use when participating in this year's office Secret Santa. Each item cost no more than $10!

1. WrisTimer Wrist Support $10 (therapy for symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome)

2. Office Max Stapler $9.99 (staples papers and documents)

3. Purell Sanitizing Wipes $6.00 (sterilizes headsets and keyboards)

4. Jarden Heating Pad $10 (soothes aching lower back pain)

5. FOX Pepper Spray $9.95 (keeps away the unwanted co-worker!)

6. "The greatest book ever written!": Faking Smart!: Get Hired, Get Promoted and Become a V.P. in Six Short Weeks - GUARANTEED! $9.99!

Merry Holidays!
the FSRI

Monday, December 12, 2011



In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, the FSRI has decided to a offer a limited time only special promotion.  That's right, when you order a copy (either hardback or digital) of the Faking Smart! book, the FSRI is offering a free slice of Danish Kringle - DELIVERED TO YOUR FRONT DOOR!*


This offer is for a limited time only, so act now!

*The TERMS AND CONDITIONS of this offer are to be found at the conclusion of this short promotional video:

Friday, December 9, 2011


Hey... what's up? In our attempt to make Faking Smart! a New York Times Bestseller this month, we've realized that we should throw in a promotion or two to help encourage more people to buy the book. Here's one you can't resist:

For the weekend beginning the 9th of December, all proceeds from the sale of Faking Smart! will be donated to the Faking Smart! for Kids' Sake Foundation.

You can't beat that!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


The December semester is in full swing this week at the FSIHL (Campus Northwest).  Student, Candace DeBarge, (left) takes a break between classes to study.  Way to go, Candace!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


ST. ANTON, AUSTRIA - This evening, the FSRI (Faking Smart! Research Institute) has announced its intentions to build a new campus for the FSIHL (Faking Smart! Institute for Higher Learning) in China's southeastern Guangdong province, just outside the city of Yunfu.  According to a press release from the FSIHL Board of Regents, this "sprawling" new campus will accommodate upwards of 40,000 residential students, with the flexibility to double student capacity within a decade.  Not only will this campus serve as home for tens of thousands of FSIHL students, but it will also serve as the headquarters for the new FSRI Institute for World Peace, the FSRI Organization for Organizational Research and as training ground for the pilot FSRI Olympic Team.

When asked about the FSRI's plans to build its campus near Yunfu, city officials released this statment: 雲浮市被認為是亞熱帶,喜歡晴朗的天氣一年四季,氣溫溫和,雨量充沛,陽光特點每年平均氣溫22℃,年平均降雨量1,670.5毫米和1418年度平均日照時數。在今年降雨時空分佈不均。這是陰和乾燥的春季,夏季炎熱和多雨,秋季涼爽,乾燥,冬季陽光明媚的。

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Here's a quick tip from the FSRI.  Around this time of year you'll be expected to send out tweets that contain holiday greetings to certain people or certain groups of people.  Below are two twitter templates that you can use when in a pinch:

The personalized tweet:

The "group" or "followers" tweet:

Remember, you don't have to use up all your 140 characters to create a successful tweet!

Happy tweeting!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

From everyone here at the FSRI, we hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that nothing majorly wrong happened.  Like someone getting Salmonella or something like that.  Or that nobody got into a car wreck driving to or from your party.  That would be bad.

Also, we hope that you didn't drink and eat too much.  And lastly we hope you didn't throw up.

your good folks down at the FSRI

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Hey, all.  What up?  Whatever...  It's been a while since I've posted anything to the site, but I've been real busy and that's about all I'd like to talk about right now.

Let's just say that there's been a lot of gutters full of leaves lately, and with Elliot (my helper) back in school I've been slammed.  Hey... it's not like I don't appreciate the money.  I do.  (I've almost got my October rent paid off to my mom.)  What I don't like is the work I have to do to get it. And also, I got hurt the other day coming down from the neighbor's roof.  I tripped on one of the ladder rungs and landed in a bush.  I'm okay, so don't worry.  Just a little scratched up is all, and I think I twisted my ankle.  But after that I decided to take a break for a few days and get some of the FSRI work done that I promised.

Anyway, that's what's up with me.  As for this post, I'm supposed to be writing a review for a new book.  It's called Waffle Street, by a guy named James Adams.  It was pretty good.  About 250 pages or so.  It's a "Hilarious true story of one man's journey from hedge funds to hashbrowns..."  And I think he decided he'd dedicate the book to his friend Rebecca, which is a really nice thing to do.

Actually, to be honest, I don't know if I liked this book so much.  There was not a lot in the way of pictures, other than on the front and back covers.  Also, the picture on the front, with a waffle with George Washington's picture on it, is a little bit weird.  I don't get it?  Does that mean that waffles are a good way of making money?  If making waffles is profitable, then I want to know about it!

Apparently the guy, James Adams, was laid off from the front lines of a hedge fund.  What that has to do with waffles just doesn't make sense to me?  If he was working in the lawn care business, and then decided to make money with waffles, then that's great!  I just don't know if it's worth writing an entire book about it?

So, that's that for now.  I gotta do a few more posts before the month is out, so stay tuned.  Maybe I'll do the Weekly Roundup tomorrow if I get up early enough.


Sunday, November 6, 2011


Hello, everyone!,

The FSRI wishes to announce that, due to an accounting error, we have overstocked our Kindle version of Faking Smart!  To free up warehouse space in our Detroit distribution center, he have decided to release these coveted editions for a price so low that online retailers are quaking in their corporate cubicles.

If you buy your Kindle version of Faking Smart! today, you will pay only $0.99!  But do not hesitate..!  These books are selling fast, and once we have reduced our stock to "pre-accounting error" numbers, the price is sure to jump.  

BUY NOW, and get a copy of the book someone once called "The most astounding collection of words ever assembled!"


Saturday, October 29, 2011


Have a great Halloween, everyone!  The FSRI also wants to extend its best to each and every employee that helped put together this year's FSRI ALL HALLOWS' EVE Celebrity Football Game - FOR KIDS' SAKE Celebration!  We are grateful for all who attended and give our sincerest apologies to all the children who wound up in intensive care with bone injuries.  Next year's game will certainly be flag football instead of tackle.  ;-)

FSRI OFFICIAL MEMO: Remember, all full and part time FSRI employees (including contract workers) must come to work both Monday and Tuesday.  Failure to do so will result in termination.

Thank you, and have a wonderful (ghoulish) weekend!

the FSRI

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Tom Spinner Jr.
NEEDHAM, ENGLAND - The FSRI has announced early this morning from their Northern European headquarters that Tom Spinner Jr., former head of Widget Technologies Inc., has replaced Harry Jankowskowitz as acting CEO.  When asked to comment on Jankowskowitz's abrupt departure, Ella Foster, V.P. of Media Relations, said that she wasn't at liberty to discuss the leadership change, but that "the FSRI was fully operational and no one should really be worrying about it.  Our offices are still open!"

Spinner's ascendancy to the top post at the FSRI has come as a surprise to many.  His appointment marks second leadership change in as many months for the post formerly held by FSRI founder Karl Wolfbrooks Ager while Ager is away for reasons of "unspecified" travel.  Spinner is set to give a brief press conference at the end of the week.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA - Tom Spinner Jr., FSRI executive and challenger to Harry Jankowskowitz's leadership position, has announced that he will be giving a press conference within the next two days.  No other information was given.  At the time of this brief, no one at Spinner's office was available for comment.

It is widely believed that Spinner has been making a move to replace Jankowskowitz as head of the FSRI, but Jankowskowitz's office had denied this claim.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC - Two top FSRI officials clashed on Friday in what appears to be a struggle for leadership of the organization.  Sources say that Tom Spinner Jr., former CEO of Widget Techonolgies Inc., confronted Jankowskowitz during a late board meeting yesterday arguing, more or less, that Jankowskowitz leadership style would soon sink the FSRI and that he should abdicate.

When Jankowskowitz's office was contacted for comment, none was forthcoming.

The FSRI has been in trouble as of late due to Karl Wolfbrooks Ager's departure as chief.   The power struggle for control of the FSRI has sent investors scurrying and has further destabilized a fragile Euro.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - The FSRI has just announced that Harry Jankowskowitz, acting CEO of the FSRI during Ager's sabbatical, has released all senior staff effective immediately.  No reason was giving for these terminations other than a short announcement given by the Department of Media Relations stating that "necessary changes were in order."

This shake-up at the FSRI took many by surprise and shareholders have been vocal with their concerns over the changes taking place while K. W. Ager, CEO and founder of the FSRI, makes a short trip to the future.  "We're going to wait and see what is going on and then make adjustments on an as needed basis," says investment analyst Clive Shorter.  "We would all like to see Ager wrap up his trip and come back to the current time.  Until then, we'll just have to hope for the best."

Many eyebrows were raised when Ager appointed of Harry Jankowskowitz to run the FSRI while it's founder was away.  Consensus regards his resume as woefully lean, with no experience at running a company the size of the FSRI.  Jankowskowitz is said to be a firm adherent to most of Ager's business theories, but it remains to be seen whether or not his actions can match his reputation.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


UPPSALA, SWEDEN - Harry Jankowskowitz, Acting CEO of the FSRI, will soon be giving an announcement regarding the FSRI daily operations.  No further information is given at this time.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Hello, everyone, I'm here to confirm that I'm now in complete and comprehensive control of the FSRI. As sad as it is to hear of Karl Wolfbrooks Ager's time travel dilemma, I'll assure you that the FSRI is presently in excellent hands (...MINE!)  As the official appointee of Karl Wolfbrooks Ager, I'll do everything in my power to fulfill the ideals Ager worked so hard to achieve.  I hope you'll stand with me as we work through these difficult and challenging times to help the FSRI through to a positive and productive future.

Glad to be onboard,
Harry Jankowskowitz CEO, FSRI

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Decateur's Weekly Business Roundup

Hey, what's up.  How's it been hanging?
Eh, whatever...

I know, I know...  You're frustrated and scared.  Right now the Euro Zone is in fiscal paralysis with Greece, Ireland and Portugal struggling with insolvancy, Asian equities markets are in a tailspin over global economic anxieties and the U.S. unemployment figures indicate that all the talk of recovery was nothing but pie-in-the-sky hogwash.  If this is true and we are approaching a period of extended negative growth (the big "double dip"), there is only one thing to do...  sit back and chill, for gosh sakes!

Sure, there's a lot of things to worry about right now, but let's look at the bigger picture.  At the beginning of summer I was in pretty deep.  My mom was complaining that I hadn't been paying rent on time (which is only partially true) and that she was tired of seeing oil drips on the driveway from my 92' Taurus.  (I needed a new pan gasket, but whatever...)  Yes, money was lean at the time.  It had been a rainy spring and my lawnmower wasn't powerful enough to handle real heavy grass... so I was stuck.  I was depressed and basically shut myself in my room and played World of Warcraft for about two weeks straight.  One morning I came upstairs and noticed that it was pretty good mowing weather.  I made a few calls and bingo!, I was back in the game!

I called the Wilsons, the Everetts, the Boehms and the Allens (my stand-bys), and the next thing you know I'm booked solid for a week.  After a few days I had real money in my pocket and I wasn't about let it go to waste on car repairs and rent.  I got smart!

Using my mom's printer I printed up about 20 flyers and had my neighbor run around the neighborhood rubber-banding them to different door handles.  Elliot is like 13 or 14.  Good kid, but a little dim.  Anyway,  next thing you know I start getting calls - tons of calls! - I get like five more jobs locked in and my worries are basically over.  Recession-smession!  Here's the math for an average yard in our neighborhood:

2 Gallons of gas (average amount to run mower per yard) $7.25
8 oz. oil (1/4 a quart Pennzoil) $.75
Elliot's pay (he bags the grass and cleans the mower blade and air filter @ $2.00/hr) $4.50

You don't have to be an Einstein to see where this is going, do you.  Anyway, I'm sitting pretty good right now, regardless.  I almost got my rent paid through August and I started parking my car on the street where it won't drip oil on the driveway.  I guess what I'm saying here, is that with a little hard work anybody can get by, even in this economy.  Sometimes you gotta pull yourself up by your bootstraps, as they say.  It's all about initiative and drive...

Thanks everybody.  My next project, for those who are interested, is starting a gutter cleaning side business.  Elliot's really good at it, and all I have to do it direct him from the ground.  Thing is, he's back in school in September, so I have to see how much we can get done before he starts soccer practice.

Thanks... whatever,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Decateur's Weekly Business Roundup to Appear Friday

Lillehammer, Norway - The FSRI has announce that Decateur Thoms will be delivering his weekly business roundup at the end of the current week.  Maybe friday.  Rumors are circulating that Mr. Thoms, chief Business Pundit at the FSRI, will announce some radical analysis of today's business ongoings.

At the time of the writing of this article, neither Decateur nor the FSRI were unavailable for comment.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Diagram of Dr. Ager's Cryogenic Cave

High up in the Cascades the FSRI designed a fail-safe way for me to be frozen for my journey into the future.  Here is a rudimentary illustration of how this was accomplished.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


As you well know, I'm freezing myself this Friday and I'll be sleeping in this cryogenic state for five years whereupon I'll be "reawakened" to continue to live my life as I do today, but five years later.  This "sleep" will seem like a short nap to me.

Anyway, as my journey begins I started wondering what I would miss when I awaken half a decade from now.  My thought experiment required that I come up with ten things that are around today that most likely won't be around when I wake up.  Here they are:

1.  My subscriptions to "Popular Science", "Better Homes and Gardens", "Wired" and "Men's Health" magazines.  (These subscriptions will not be paid during my absence.)
2.  Facebook.  (At least nobody will be using it.)
3.  The half-used tub of sour cream I bought last week.
4.  Pickle, my neighbor's 17-year-old labrador retriever.
5.  The duct tape wallet.
6.  The 2012 Summer Olympics.
7.  Bananas.
8.  Permafrost.
9.  Tuna.
10.  The Pontiac Fiero.

Thank you,

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Kortrijk, Belgium - In a brief press conference today in front of the Belgium headquarters of the FSRI (Faking Smart! Research Institute), Karl Wolfbrooks Ager, founder and CEO of the FSRI and award-winning author of Faking Smart!: Get Hired, Get Promoted and Become a V.P. in Six Short Weeks - GUARANTEED! gave a brief statement indicating he will step down from overseeing the the daily operations of the FSRI while he goes on sabbatical.  Dr. Ager's full official statement is given below:

I want to thank everyone who has made the past fiscal year at the FSRI and FSIHL one of immeasurable success.  Without the hard work from our staff and students our venerable institutions would never have attained the global status and profitability that Faking Smart! enjoys today.  Thank you all!  And thank you, Jenny, for sweeping up the spilled bag of Cheetos somebody "forgot" to clean up in the physics lab last Wednesday.

Anyway... you are probably wondering why I've called for this press conference, and you are no doubt wondering if I'll be attending this year's FSRI/FSIHL July 4th Independence Day cookout?  To the second part of your question I'll answer by saying "Do not fear, I will be attending the cookout."  As to the first part of the question... this is where things get a little tricky.  The reason I'm calling this press conference is to state my decision to step down from overseeing the daily operations of the FSRI for exactly five years time.  In my stead, for that five year period, Harry Jankowskowitz will serve as acting CEO.  I hope you welcome him and make him feel at home.  Thank you, Harry.

Harry Jankowskowitz, Acting CEO
Why am I stepping down?  The answer is simple.  I have come to the conclusion that I am in no way interested in living in our current time.  This may be shocking to some, but I say it with utmost sincerity.  I have decided that I, in the middle of the month, on the 15th of July 2011, will enter into a cryogenic sleep-state in our prototype FSRI Dreamtank™ facilitated by the FSRI's Cryogenic Science Division.  This state of hibernation will last for a period of five years whereupon I will be reanimated and join with our future civilization.  The entire process will seem to me as nought but an extended nap.  I am assured that when I awaken five years hence that I'll be no more aware of my extended somnolence than I am after my late-afternoon toddy-induced snooze.  In other words, in a mere snap of a finger I'll arrive in the future!  Which brings me to my next announcement.

While on my voyage to the future I'm told by our scientists that my brain wave activity will be drastically reduced.  But not completely!  Therefore, I'm am a willing participant in a pioneering study that will involve the implanting of a micro-computer transmission chip in my brain so that I can maintain basic communication with the outside world.  In conjunction with this chip I'll be posting my insights into the future via a new twitter account @fakingsmart where my reflections on our future world will be broadcast for all to see.  Because of my quick leap in time I feel it incumbent to share my knowledge with those eager to learn what our future has in store.  In other words, I'll be tweeting from the future!

Again, this move may come as a surprise to many of you here at the FSRI and FSIHL.  But I'm doing what I feel has to be done.  It's not that I'm bored with our world as it is...  It's simply that I desire to see the future sooner than it takes to wait around for it.  I hope you understand this and permit me my eccentricities.  Take care, and I'll see you in five years!


(Any written correspondences should be sent to my current address FIVE YEARS LATER, due to the fact that I will be sleeping until then.  Once I am fully awoken and cognizant of my temporal displacement I'll do my best to respond.  If you reply to my tweets I can't guarantee that I'll get back to you right away.  I have no idea how this is going to work, and I'd rather not make any unreasonable promises at this time.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ager Set to Make Announcement Thursday Night

Kortrijk, Belgium -- In a surprise move today, Karl Wolfbrooks Ager has announced that he will be making a statement to the world Thursday night.  The subject of the statement is unknown and neither Karl Wolfbrooks Ager nor the FSRI has provided any further details.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The FSRI Hopes You Had a Nice Weekend...

We know that it's nearing the Holiday weekend, but don't get too lazy yet!  (Just joking...)  This is a reminder to be sure all safety precautions are being followed when working with any FSRI heavy equipment and that you are monitoring oxygen levels during any and all FSRI deep mining excavation.

Cheers, and have a nice day!


Saturday, June 11, 2011


New research at the FSRI Paranormal Research Division (no affiliation with the University of Florida or its recent research on canine telepathy) has demonstrated that dogs (particularly Jack Russell terriers) are able to communicate with humans via a rudimentary telepathic exchange.  The video included in this post shows indisputable evidence to support this claim.  Watch carefully as you witness the first documented telepathic conversation between man and dog!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dig This Gig, a Book Review by Decateur Thoms

Hey, all!  What's up?  Whatever...

So, I've returned from my vacation from the FSRI and I'm kinda jacked to get back to work.  As you know, I was actually placed on "administrative leave" a few weeks ago after publishing an interview that some of the FSRI "higher-ups" didn't think was appropriate.  So to show how pissed off they were they decided that I should take a little break.  So I did.  Now I'm back.  No hard feelings.  Whatever...

The reason I'm back, though, isn't a good one (...for me that is.)  I'm back to do a book review, and as most of you know I don't like book reviews very much because I don't like books.  (It's not that I don't like books... it's more like because I don't like to read, and I don't like to read for several reasons; none of which I'll get into now.)  But for some reason they couldn't find anyone else to do the review, so here I am and I'll give it my best shot.

The book I'm reviewing today is call Dig This Gig: Find Your Dream Job - or Invent It, and it's by an author by the name of Laura Dodd.  I don't know if she's any relation to that guy out in Connecticut who was a congressman, but if she is, I didn't find out through this book.  Anyway, back to the review...

At 250 pages, the book is a nice size.  It's about six inches by nine inches and has a simple blue cover (the color of a robin's egg).  It has a nice weight to it too, and I found it very easy to hold when I was reading it.  (Yes, I read the real book and not the ebook!)  One thing I noticed while flipping through the pages one night before going to bed was how orderly everything looked inside.  It seemed like it was very well written and very well thought out.  Man there were tons of words!  But from what I could tell her points were easy to understand and well argued.

The minuses...  There were a few things that really bothered me about this book, and here they are.  The first, there were hardly any pictures!  Yes, I know what you're saying: How can a book grab your attention if there's nothing to look at but words?  This must have slipped past her editors and hopefully she can put in some more graphs and pictures in the next edition.

Second, Ms. Dodd mentions in her title that you can invent a job... NOW WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT?  Sheeeeesh, I can think of a thousand jobs that I'd never invent, and a thousand jobs that I'd never do!  Which brings me to my last point...  why on earth would you write a book about making work for yourself?  In this day and age there are already a million things to do.  Would you actively go out and make more work for yourself?  Especially now when the economy is so bad and there's a ton of people out there looking for work?  It doesn't make sense.  After I write this review I promised my mom that I'd take out the garbage and recycling, clean the gutters after last night's storm, start up the dehumidifier and clean up the dog poop in the back yard.  Uggh!  Laura Dodd, GET OFF MY CASE!!!!

So that's my review of the book.  I hope it helps you figure out if you want to buy it or not.  Whatever...

Decateur T.

Friday, May 27, 2011



All FSRI offices will be closed for the holiday weekend.  Offices will reopen on Tuesday 31 May at 8:00 a.m.

If you are participating in our Six-Week Program and have an emergency to report, please visit the FSRI hotline at and click to speak with one of our thousands of our stand-by computer workers.  If you feel that you need to speak to an actual living consumer-relations agent, please try this number: 889-343-1492-5483-232-1

Have a great weekend!


(All employees will be require to work overtime next week to account for Monday's recess...)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Loss Proves a Gain...

With Spinoza's departure there was an uncomfortable feeling of quietude in the halls of the FSRI.  No longer was there the scratching at the door when Spinoza needed to be let out.  No longer was there the affectionate snoring in front of the fireplace while I burned the midnight oil trying to put the finishing touches on some groundbreaking article for an FSRI publication.  No longer were there the comforting growls and calls for help when Spinoza latched himself onto Decateur's leg during one of Decateur's rare visits to our headquarters.

Grief seems to be the only description for the emotions I have been experiencing these last days since Spinoza's passing.  But just as I was ready to accept the fact that, from now on, my life would be devoid of love...  enter Bertrand.

Yesterday, after a board meeting of our executive staff, I retired to my office to catch a few winks before proceeding with my quotidian duties.  Just as my eyelids grew heavy I heard a scream for help emanating from the hallway and I was jolted back to consciousness.  When I opened the door to the hall, I discovered Decateur in a violent and losing battle with a small, frenzied Jack Russell terrier.  After prying the tiny jaws loose from Decateur's immobilized leg, Decateur fled and I was left alone in a staring match with this unknowable and wild beast.  My instincts told me to retreat... and as I did, the terrier took it upon himself to follow me.  He came right into my office and sat down at the hearth of my glowing fireplace, right in Spinoza's old spot.

With mouth agape, I could only feel surprise at my situation.  "How peculiar," I said to myself as I lit my pipe and set to pondering.  "I could be wrong, but I think this pup has just found himself a new home?"  With that the terrier dropped to repose and let out a self-satisfied yawn.  It was then that I began the long work of ascertaining his name (for, indeed, he was male...).

I began where I should begin... at the beginning.  "Abercrombie?" I called.  The terrier took no notice.  "Adonis?"  Again, he paid me no heed... and on I went through every name recorded in Western scholarship until, later that night, I struck upon the name of Bertrand, the revered philosopher and intellectual of the 19th and 20th centuries.  When I uttered this venerable monicker the pup leaped to life and approached me, tail awag, in a gesture of friendship and loyalty.  I tossed him a section of a hotdog that I'd been snacking on and he gobbled it up with eagerness and joy.  His belly now slightly less than completely empty, he returned to his corner of hearth where he lowered himself and immediately fell into a comfortable doze.  Alas!, I congratulated myself.  Bertrand it is!

So be it...  when one part of your life closes, another always seems to open.  I had my VP of Domesticated Pets call our local humane society, and it was learned that our new friend Bertrand had been missing from the society for nearly a day, having escaped his cage where his previous owner was forced to leave him due to economic circumstances.  A few pieces of paperwork and all was settled.  Bertrand was a new member of the FSRI family.

Welcome, Bertrand!


Sunday, May 8, 2011


R.I.P. Spinoza

I regret to announce that my faithful servant and intrepid companion, Spinoza, has made his transition today.  No longer will his churlish bark echo through the halls of the FSRI.  No longer will his menacing incisors puncture the soft ankle skin of Betty, the administrative assistant in our Wichita offices.

It's not often that one finds a true and trusting comrade during our short but tumultuous sprint through this plane of existence.  Spinoza was just that.  Since the day I found him weakened and abandoned and curled up in a shoe box that was set adrift down the river Nile near our Cairo office in Egypt, I knew he was something special.  From that moment on he accompanied me in many of my most ambitious expeditions.  Spinoza has, among other things, mounted Kilimanjaro, windsurfed across the Atlantic, motorcycled over the Great Namib and even entered orbit (albeit briefly) during an air force testing mission.  He will be missed.

But on must we go...  We must raise a glass to memory, and drink to future compatriots.

I'll miss you, Spinoza, dear friend.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011


At about this time every year, the FSRI likes to sit back and take a break from its hectic blogging schedule and take a moment to thank each and every one of our faithful blog followers.  Sure, you could be checking up on other blogs, or checking your Facebook and Twitter accounts for more timely updates on more relevant news.  But for some reason you keep coming back, year after year, for something you don't quite get from those other social mediums.

But we know why you keep coming back to visit.  We know why you return, because we get in the minds of our readers and produce exactly what they need (not necessarily what they want), and that is a feeling of familiarity and comfort.  At Faking Smart! you get just that...  A feeling that you find nowhere else.

When you visit this blog, it's almost like gliding into a reading parlor on a pair of rollerblades.  The next thing you know you're sitting in an enormous chair (a chair about 56 feet tall) and all you can do is relax and close your eyes.  The you start to drift... drift... drift into that expanse we like to call infinity, until every last one of your muscles is loose and all your thoughts are far, far away on a distant planet...

Where a futuristic galactic race is shooting plasma rays at your escaping planetary exploration team!  You round the corner and see your ship.  But when you turn back to rally your comrades, a plasma ray cuts through your sex partner's right clavicle.  And she drops.

In a scream of vengeful madness you turn back and rush the advancing aliens, past your team and right into the heart of the hoard.  You raise your woefully primitive projectile weapon and say these words: "I might have been a furniture maker if it wasn't for my father!" and then you fire indiscriminately into the flesh of the fiendish attackers.  One desperate look gains you a meeting with your lover's sorrowful yet glimmering eyes.  Her lips part to form a word.  It's  "I..."  or something like that.  "I... lll..." she stammers, blood oozing from her wound.  "I llllllloooov...."

But a directed plasma ray strikes you in the side of the head and a brilliant flash overcomes you.

That's right.  That's what we're talking about.  That's what it's like to visit this blog.  Out.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


TRONDHEIM, NORWAY - In a stunning move today, the FSRI apologized for its previous blog post containing Decateur Thom's interview with author Martin Fossum.  Spokesperson and VP of Media Relations, Ella Foster, in a brief statement outside the FSRI's Trondheim headquarters, said that due to his actions Mr. Thoms would be placed on immediate administrative leave:
"We regret that Mr. Thoms chose to post his discussion with Mr. Fossum," she said.  "While we acknowledge that Mr. Thoms has, in the past, demonstrated excellence and unfailing commitment toward our institution, this latest post clearly indicates that professional boundaries were crossed.  In the meantime, the FSRI will continue to provide the kinds of services that one has come to expect from our award-winning institution."

At the time of the writing of this story neither Mr. Thoms nor Mr. Fossum were available for comment.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Hey, all...  How's it going?  Whatever...

So, last week I got together with Martin Fossum to talk about the new book he wrote along with Dr. Ager.  This is the interview:

Decateur Thoms: Thanks for taking the time to meet with me today.
Martin Fossum: Thanks for having me!  It's a pleasure.

DT: So, you've just published this book.  That's pretty cool, huh?  It must feel pretty good?
MF: Oh, yes, it sure does.

DT: So, you wrote the book with Dr. Ager.  What was that like?
MF: It was wonderful to be asked to be a participant in such a challenging project.  And to be honest, Decateur, I was a little nervous about the whole thing at the start.

DT: (laughing) Oh, come now...
MF: No, seriously...  With Ager's reputation as an industry giant in Faking Smart!, I was pretty intimidated.  But as time went along I got more and more comfortable working with him.  He was always open to new ideas and always ready to lend an ear when I was up against something that was troubling me.  It was a great experience.

DT: Really?  I find him kind of a bore.
MF: What?

DT: Nothing.  Whatever...
MF: If you're referring to Ager's insistance on excellence and professionalism, I would agree with you whole-heartedly.  And sometimes, yes, he might come across as a little stuffy, but that's his style.  I'll promise you that he is anything but a bore.  What Ager has done to revolutionize the business world is perhaps one of the greatest contributions to mankind in this early part of our 21st century.

DT: Whatever...
MF: Whatever, what?

DT: Ah, nothing.  I think I'm just hungry.
MF: Shouldn't we get back to talking about the book?

DT: Suppose so...
MF: How about another question?

DT: Umm...  So, the book comes in at 146 pages.  How did you decide to keep it at that specific length?
MF: That's a good question, Decateur.  Well, initially we were looking at the book to be in the 142-143 page length, then once we got going it looked more and more like we were going to come in at around 146 or 147 pages.

DT: Are you serious?
MF: Now you're starting to bore me...

DT: You know what's boring?
MF: What?

DT: My life...  My life is so f*%king boring it's killing me.  My mom's breathing down my back for April rent and my Xbox is still out of commish.
MF: You know what's boring to me?

DT: What?
MF: This whole dang Faking Smart! crap.  It makes me sick to my stomach.  Every day I have to talk and talk about how great this book is, when in reality it's just a piece of garbage.  Worthless.

DT: You're kidding!
MF: No.  In fact, most of the stuff in the book is just made up.

MF: I kid you not.  Most of the stuff in there is just fiction.  Not a grain of truth in it.  That's why I laugh whenever anyone trumpets how good the whole concept of the six-week program is.  As far as I'm concerned, it's all hogwash, and Ager, as far as I could tell, couldn't care less.  All he cares about if flying around the world to attend dinner parties and international career coaching junkets.

DT: No way, dude!
MF: Oh, yeah...  It's totally true.

DT: Well shut the front door!  Who'da thunk?
MF: Yep.  That's the truth, my man.  Straight up.

DT: Man.  I wish I could do what he does...
MF: Yeah, he's got it made all right.  If I had a 100th of his fame, I'd be set for life.

DT: And all that fame is built on the backs of people like me and you...
MF: So true.

DT: Do you play World of Warcraft?
MF: Oh, yeah.

DT: No way, what realm?
MF: Llane.  Got a level 73 lock.

DT: Nice.  I got an 85 DK.  Hey, wanna ditch this interview and meet up at ogmr.
MF: k

DT: np
MF: cya at the AH

DT: l8r
MF: out