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Thursday, 01 December 2016


Too many cooks! I know it's hard but you should fire* at least two thirds of them.
*fire : is that OK now you are banning "shoot", and is "Lard" another of those funny US euphemisms like shoot, sheesh, gosh darn and funniest of all, rooster?

Shouldn't there be some dogs in there somewhere?

Sounds like your IT guy is going to have a bad year end review.

On the other hand you should throw money at the rest of your staff to make sure that they stick around.

Mike, isn't there a law in New York prohibiting hiring so many relative for a small business? ;<)

With best regards,


Couldn't help but think of the Rock Ridge Town Council from "Blazing Saddles", though the names ain't quite the same.


I wouldn't get rid of him. Everybody deserves a second chance.

And just which Mike Johnston was that who signed the piece? Please give him my compliments. He seems faithfully to have described my establishment, only changing the names to protect the guilty/innocent.

I guess you only hire employees named Mike Johnston.

I would suggest that you follow the example of many American companies and outsource all of these jobs to a foreign country. I think this would be most easily accomplished by moving your whole team to, say....Paris, or....Bali!

I was hoping your proofreader and copyeditor would be Mike Johnson.

Nice. Thurber would have been proud of this.

What... no staff photographer? I hear there's a pretty good one - goes by Mike Johnston - who's looking for some part-time work.

So what does that guy called Butters do?

[Mainly hunts down and retrieves a certain blue tennis ball, looks cute, and sleeps and poops. And of course provides moral support for the staff. --Mike]

All of the Mike Johnstons are great even if none of them is perfect.

[ :-) --Mike]

Sounds like a bit like a Monte Python skit ("Bruces") in which all faculty at the "University of Walamaloo" were named Bruce. When a new guy named Micheal showed up, it cause some consternation:

"First Bruce: Is your name not Bruce?

Michael: No, it's Michael.

Second Bruce: That's going to cause a little confusion.

Third Bruce: Mind if we call you 'Bruce' to keep it clear?"

So, Mike, as long as you avoid hiring anyone named Bruce, you might avoid any confusion among your staff.



This reminds me of all the many people named Aureliano in 100 Years Of Solitude.

I'm looking for a job. What one can I fill from the west coast? You definitely need help!

Reminds me of a "Not the Nine O'clock News" sketch about cars made by Roberts. I attach a youtube link for you.



Chris Stone

It seems me you have a good stuff :-)

Isn't this like the Monty Python sketch with all the Australians named Bruce?

Maybe if provided the guy with some like a "real title" such as the other Mikes have, instead of simply "the IT guy," he'd be a tad more responsive, ya know? Title means a lot in this day 'n age. Just look at...well...I was gonna say "President-elect," but wishing not to offend, I'll simply leave it at that...

Too many staff for the size of the business, it seems to me. Maybe time for some reductions in force?

" ... our proofreader and copyeditor is Miek Johnton."


Should you decide to start your own City you can hire the Janitor Mike Johnston to run the City Dump. Not the "landfill" as the land is already full - but the City Dump! He sounds like the right guy for the job.

Carbon Copy Cloner is your best friend on a Mac. I have a weekly, and daily copy. Macs aren't what they used to be, unfortunately. However, with CCC you can restore from any problem in half an hour by cloning your hard drive from the clone.

It's a no-brainer.

Long ago I once said, "I am my own unpaid intern."

Anytime over the next four years is going to be a mighty fine time to get away. Perspective can be a mighty fine thing from 10,000 kms away. Might even kick start a little inspiration for getting off a few frames. New horizons always does it for me. It could be great... tremendous.

I think Butters moral support comes from his appreciation for what you do, because he is not impacted with the concept of what you should be doing....like backing up your data! :-)

All those Mike Johnston working together is just a very small chance to occur, unless the tyrant owner force them to switch their name when joining the company :-). Joking apart, I have always been surprised by your multiple activities to keep this site running so well.
That's a gift, a rare gift, that's why I land in this site every day.


I use crashplan.com to backup to the 'cloud'. It's painfree and sends you a nice email once a week to let you know that backups are happening (or not). I use it in addition to TimeMachine, and like the assurance that having an offsite backup gives me.

Good lard? Really?? I can only assume that you have been watching Tom Cruise in Far and Away ......!

Backups: http://mutable-states.com/backups.html

Can I see your LinkedIn profile? *grin*


You're a pretty amusing guy, Mike Johnston.

I always suspected you were a bit scitzo . . .

Did your father do a "George Forman" and name all his sons "Mike Johnston"? Hope you get it!

So you're saying that your staff is like _The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater_? You should do staff photos.

This was surely a good way to create a company staff image. It is so easy, I am afraid, there must be copyright infringers out there already.

Mike: My friend Paddy usually visits around 3am with Jamesons in hand. He asked me to forward this to you. Forgive his lengthy Wodehousian rambling, he is Irish after all.
Dear Messrs. Johnston:
We at the Irish Distillers Association happened upon your post of the 1st Dec. You multi-dimensional Johnston brothers have struck a sympathetic chord among us here at the IDA, especially concerning your IT woes. Our own mise-en-scene is not too dissimilar from yours as our aging iMac also devours patience each nanosecond of each nanoday.
Recently, a problem with the accursed Macabacus required us to summon our IT specialist, an unkempt cur from Connemara named Crumme, who on this occasion swore to the assembled that the ingestion of six ounces of Bulmer’s Cider while simultaneously pressing the ESC key would give a positive result. He said all this with such outsized certitude that we at once fell victim to his blandishments ignoring the fact that they bore an uncanny resemblance to the fiction that Napoleon, horseless at Waterloo, had been triumphant.
It is certainly true that historically the unintelligible slush emanating from this Belshazzar had not always found favor with the Board but to a man we all felt that after several hours in the IT wilderness, with disappearing cursors, unresponsive printing directives, and other BP-raising misbehavior, we had no recourse but to accede to Crumme’s Bulmer’s solution.
Astonishingly, within a swish of a shrew’s tail, our intolerable computer began idling with something approaching steady revs. And with the techgods, who as you know reside just abaft the stern of Hades, now spinning on a slow spit, we nevertheless remained suspicious that pressing the ESC key and slugging down the cider met the standard for some sort of technological advance. In fact, we thought it as unlikely as a Murphy wedding a Guinness, however pleasingly stout the bride and groom might appear.
A clearer path was afoot when Mrs. Gilcooty from Accounting mentioned that a slight amount of Bulmer’s may have spilt upon the Z through / row of keys. She suggested that the resultant boink from the computer, a noise she recalled from her MS-DOS home study course, might have caused a mitigation, as she called it, that promoted the smooth operating condition as now exists with our fine appearing Apple iMac. Since we were drinking at the font of incredulity anyway, this wasn’t altogether unsurprising news.
It is never a good thing to have too many brothers of so many disparate guises too approximate to one another, but in our case, ten O’Hooligan brothers, all of whom witnessed Crumme’s ministrations, did feel duty bound to clap him on his victorious backside rendering him, I might add, more senseless than usual. And so, in need of our own drop of cider, we swept up the tottering Crumme and hied ourselves to the local for pints and darts and several racks of nine ball firm in the knowledge that our iMac was in fine fettle, drunk with power.
Wishing all of you the very best during the approaching holidays,
I remain yours truly,

Paddy O’Hooligan
Director of Public Affairs, IDA

[Beautiful! Thanks for that, Paddy. --Mike]

Are you using Time Machine?

Mike whatever happened to the lady in the UK who was supposed to help out, I think it was about a year ago or maybe more?

[Ailsa McWhinnie. We hadn't quite gotten far enough—she was far too expensive for me. And I was being a bit grandiose, I must admit, in believing I could afford someone of her caliber. In an ideal world, she will be the chief editor of TOP and I'll just be the columnist!

One of the columnists I should say...I have the others picked out as well. --Mike]

Michael: Hello.

Fourth Bruce: Michael Johnston, Bruce. Michael Johnston, Bruce. Michael Johnston, Bruce.

First Bruce: Is your name not Bruce?

Michael: No, it's Michael.

Second Bruce: That's going to cause a little confusion.

Third Bruce: Mind if we call you 'Bruce' to keep it clear?

Oh, I see another Bruce has already made reference to Bruces. Pardon me.

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