Monthly Archives: February 2010

Olympic Village 2010: Dearth of Black Hooded Anarchists, Plethora of Bunny Eared Positivists!








Best Experienced With:    Neneh Cherry;   Buffalo Stance (12” Dance Mix)

(ladies and gentlemen….I’d like to introduce the high hat.  Please right click on the link below to open the suggested background music to this evening’s missive.

As we rolled out of Vancouver this afternoon, Bob Costas and his posse ran us off the road  just before we hit the Lion’s Gate bridge.  Kyle and I nearly made a clean escape from the madness that was downtown Vancouver.  Costas has prevented many a clean escape in the past and Costas always will prevent clean escapes.  Calcutta on its most busy day does not hold a candle to downtown Vancouver when both the men’s figure skating exhibition and the curling gold medal match happen simulteously.  Downtown Vancouver today made blood seep out my ears and our singular purpose was escape.  CostasCostas always spoils everything.

Costas wanted to do a segment this evening as a capstone to the Vancouver Olympics.  Sort of a Julie Newmar meets Abbot and Costello in a dark alley while the Mad Hatter tosses back mercury boilermakers and blabbers on and on about ravens and desks.  Believe it or not, most of the world viewing audience has no earthly idea what curling is, how curlers curl, or how curling is scored.  After watching the gold medal curling match with our new friends here at The Howe Sound Inn, we have two solid suggestions for the Mind of Mully readers.

First, each of us needs a pair of the trousers the gentlemen from Norway wore.  Those were fashion forward trousers, sure to appear in Milan this spring.  Second, always watch curling in a pub in the gold medal winning country.  When you watch curling in the gold medal winning country, you can feign attention and simply cheer when everyone around you cheers.  Occam’s razor rears its head again, yes?

Costas, ever the fan of analogies and euphemistic reporting, wanted to explain curling to the world using my dating history as the allegory.  Brilliant!  Kyle threw orange smoke to confuse and we hit the gas.  Speedometer pinned, the two of us laughing like hyenas, we took all the hairpin curves near Horseshoe Bay while Costas sat feeding the Canadian geese in Stanley park.  I like to think Costas was mumbling “Mully always gets away” while making wide, arcing gestures with arms.  In my imagination, Costas always mumbles in some dead language like Crimean Gothic.

My first celebrity crush was Kim Richards from the first version of Escape From Witch Mountain.  Sent Kim a handwritten letter inviting her to my sixth grade dance.  Four weeks later, my mom and I steamed open a typed letter from Kim thanking me for my idol worship and a signed black and white 8.5” X 11” glossy picture.  The picture was signed to “Don”.  I doused the photo in gasoline, torched it, and jumped Tonka trucks on my purple banana seat bike with a sissy bar.  Rear view mirrors are for pansy anarchists.

Next celebrity crush was Olivia de Hussey.  To this day, her portrayal of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet is unsurpassed.  Unfortunately, Olivia was thirty when I was thirteen and both of us realized this was untenable.  Thereafter followed a long line of random, obscure, and mostly unattainable beautiful women.  Each choice was intentional and all choices remain unrequited.  “Intentional” is my middle name and it too is pronounced “X-E-N-O-P-H-O-B-E. ”

We are the sum of our experiences.  Was this the first time I waited for Julia Mancuso for eleven hours, sobbing and carrying on?  Yes.  Will it happen again?  Kind of depends upon whether she qualifies for the Olympics again four years from now and whether Julia is still a hottie then.  I am nothing if not shallow.  Even refused the Jello shots sent to the table by Canadian Olympic freestyle skier (and hot blonde), Veronika Bauer while waiting on little Ms. No Show, Julia Mancuso.  Next time I am going to take Kyle’s sage advice and “go Canadian early.”  Kyle is wise beyond his years.

Curling and my attraction choices…………….…… attraction choices and curling.  Each is a Rubik’s cubic wrapped in a Ponzi scheme.  You can never to expect to fully understand either.  The best you can hope for is to cheer at the right time and know when to cut your losses as the room remains silent and people glance uncomfortably at their loafers. 


The Mind of Mully

Wind on my face

Sound in my ears

Water from my eyes

And you on my mind



Bomb the bass. 

Bomb the bass, indeed.

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Canadian Women Ice Hockey Celebration, Anarchist Pansies, & MofM @ The Olympics


Best Experienced With:    Maroon 5;    Harder to Breathe

(please right click on the link below to cue up the suggested background music for this morning’s entry….the first of an Olympic trilogy.  Feel free to do the line dance from last week if the music moves you to move)


As a serial monogamist and periodic polygamist, have found the last eighteen months of singledom refreshing.  You know that feeling you get when you skate for six or seven days straight and then put your tennis shoes back on?  That type of feeling.  If all goes well with Julie Mancuso when we meet for the Mind of Mully interview at the Garibaldi Bar and Grill later this afternoon, I may be throwing the Bauers back on for a while.  If Perez Hilton can get interviews with his blather, Julia cannot possibly say “no” to a Mind of Mully interview.

Along with providing us China’s applications for the 2009 Nobel Prize, my friend Pam has been mentally pimping me and suggesting potential dating partners.   Pammy demanded that the crack Mind of Mully team spend at least thirty-six hours at the Vancouver Olympics wooing Julia Mancuso.  And here we are. 

As any good business person going into a meeting, spent four minutes last evening diligently preparing a list of questions that will guide my conversation with Julia Mancuso.  Would suggest that you sales and marketing kids always walk into any meeting with your list of eleven.  You are welcome!

  1.  May I please wear your medals and tiara when we go to sushi?
  2. Does it still look like I have a chocolate swim cap on?  Had my hair painted the other day and want to make sure it does not look like I am wearing a chocolate swim cap after a hair painting.  That’s not a good look for me.
  3. Do you find gentlemen with faux chocolate swim caps dead sexy?
  4. Really?
  5. Do you prefer wallpaper or paint?
  6. What do you prefer to do when it gets cold outside and you got nobody to love?
  7. Does Vonn get on your nerves some times?
  8. Ever backhand her when the cameras are over on the snowboarders? 
  9. Are you fond of all animals or do you buy into that “dog person”, “cat person” thing like those animal misogynist bigots do?
  10. 10.   Do you have tickets to the USA-Canada hockey match on Sunday?
  11. 11.   Good!  Can you please take me and Kyle?


Am going to miss the anarchists at the Vancouver Olympics.  Man, but they were fun to mess with at the Republican National Convention back in 2008.  If you want to make an anarchist’s head blow up, ask the following question:  “when I stop by your little apartment later on this evening to smack you in the head and steal your appliances, who are you going to call to make the pain stop?”  True anarchists will get stuck in a brain loop and their head will explode.   Sure you are ungovernable!  Right up until the moment I smack you upside the head and you start to cry like a little girl.

 Picture above is from a peace/anarchy rally at the 2008 RNC. 


Absent anarchists, we can still have some fun at the Vancouver Olympics.  Anarchists wear black hoods because deep down inside, they are pansies.  Real men wear bunny ears. 

Game on, Vancouver!   


Game on


The Mind of Mully


I have the tendency

Of getting very physical

So watch your step because if I do

You’ll need a miracle




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George Wallace Segregated Easter Candy, STP, & Foreshadowing for Street of Dreams


Best Experienced With:          Stone Temple Pilots;     Plush

(please right click on the link to open the suggested and strongly recommended background music for this evening’s thing.  Really.  Even if you never click on the music.  Tonight is the right night to right click on the link.    Is that a new shirt?  Really?  Looks good on you.  Makes your eyes pop.)


Standard Tuning


   G5       G(B)   Am7(C6)  G          








   G            D/F#








   F              C          Emaj7















 Dsus2     Cadd2  G6/B








(Chorus)Guitar 1

   G5                      F5







   C/E                E5        D5







(Chorus) Guitar 2




























The Mind of Mully


And I feel

So much depends on the weather

So is it

Raining in your bedroom?



“I’ll have three Cadbury Eggs, some Joe Paisley, three batches of kale, a Stella draft, whatever we can get from Marshall Moonshine, and two scholarships for the kids that we love at Street of Dreams.  Thanks!”






Thanks, Saint Louis!   Mully Opes Aid (Joeapalooza) 2010.  Bigger, badder, longer, stronger….and this time with an actual sound system and a venue with acceptable acoustics.  Next stop:  closing ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics where we will shamelessly promote Joe P.  Because Joe P. rocks off faces.  All hail Joe P. and bow down before the bunny ears.    Unless, of course, you have a Holy Hand Grenade.  Few do.   Good night.

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Table For Eight Under “Mully”. Of Course We Have a Reservation. M-U-L-L-Y (rolls eyes)



Best Experienced With:   Social Distortion;        Don’t Take Me For Granted

(please right click on the link below to cue up the suggested background music for this evening’s treatise)


Rambling Intro

Like most of us, at twenty I could do eight minutes of cardio each day, lift for twelve minutes and maintain a fighting weight of a buck ninety while eating at least a dozen pizzas for breakfast.  Some days I would smother several of the pizzas with a thick coating of Crisco and top them off with pork rinds and back fat.  Because I could.  Back then.

These days, I need to average eight hours of cardio (morning and night) to eat two slices a week.  This leaves very little discretionary time each day for robbing gas stations, drinking Foster’s in the shade and general mayhem. 

My friend Jim and I joined one of the first nationally syndicated gyms, a Nautilus gym, in Westlake, Ohio back in 1979.  We were thirteen and our parents took turns driving us to the plaza on Center Ridge Road three times a week.  I owe my lifelong love of staying relatively mesomorphic to Jim.  Jim was one of my best friends and Jim was one in three billion.

This is eight.  Eight it not a prime number, yet eight fits this evening.           This is eight.


The Perfect Dinner Party of 8

You may choose seven people, alive or dead (Christian or heathen) to be your ideal seven dinner partners at a dinner party.  Who would you choose?  Here are mine.

Please imagine a round, eight-top table with Travis Bickel at the twelve o’clock spot and each subsequent person sitting equidistant from the other in chairs like these. 


The centerpiece is royal purple anthurium.  Seating is boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, etc with Natalie Imbruglia sitting to my left.  My chair and Natalie’s chair are somewhat closer together than the other chairs at the table, but not that much closer together because I’d be a bit nervous around Natalie.  The dinner is black tie.  Over to the left is a champagne and chocolate fountain as well as a pastry table chock full of Hostess snack cakes.  On the right is a bar where Checkoslovakian Pilsner flows as freely as liberal insults at a TEA Party convention.

Here’s the crew at Mind of Mully’s dinner party. 

Travis Bickel (at the end of Taxi Driver, not the beginning of Taxi Driver)

Farah Pahlavi


Natalie Imbruglia

Heinrich Harrer

Princess Grace

Menachem Begin

Sylvia Plath


Jen B’s Eight Questions

Jen B. was my cheerleading partner at Miami University and one of Boston Scientific’s first surgical sales representatives in 1988.  In 1989, Jen made $150,000:  this is roughly $2,453,800,000 in 2010 equivalent income.   Jen was disciplined, focused, hard working and one of the best surgical sales representatives any of us has ever met.  She was also one of perhaps eight women surgical sales representatives in the entire universe back in 1989.   Jen dragged me kicking and screaming into the world of hips, knees, cervical implants, Roux-n-Y’s, ad infinitum back in 1989.  My aquarium is all the better for it. 

If you think surgical sales is a testosterone fest today, you should have seen it in the late 1980’s.  Jen was methodical in her question asking and her process for qualifying customers was remarkable.  Most of the questions I teach surgical sales representatives to this day are Jen’s questions.  Jen was one of my best friends and Jen was one in three billion.

These are Jen’s questions:

  1.  Who are all the people that that will make this decision and what are their titles?
  2. What is each person’s role in the decision making process?
  3. Can you please introduce me to them?
  4. What exact date have you, as a group, decided to issue the purchase order?
  5. Should you choose my offering the week before that, what is the exact paper trail that the purchase requisition follows?
  6. How long does it take at each place and have you ever walked one through in a day or two?
  7. Does a board or committee have to give final approval
  8. What is the first step and when would you like to start that step?


Who Was Your Crush on Eight is Enough


Who was your crush on the hit television show Eight is Enough?  The doctor sister, Mary?  Me too.  While the blonde sister, Nancy was indeed fine, pretty is easy.  Genetics simply………. are.  Great choice


Rambling Conclusion

One of the Mind of Mully Singles Awareness Day gift suggestions was Rick Bragg’s All Over but the Shoutin’.  The introduction has a fantastic line:  “…because dreaming backwards can carry a man through some dark rooms where the walls seem lined with razor blades”.  All hail Rick Bragg and his prose.

Facebook is an interesting and entertaining beast.   You can choose to take memories, pickle them to keep the flavor in, and seal them in airtight mason jars.  You can then wrap those mason jars in bubble wrap, carefully pack the mason jars in cardboard boxes and wrap the boxes in kryptonite laden twine…then carefully place them in a Morgan vault.  Doesn’t matter.  Some days, Facebook can snatch those memories out of the neatly stacked boxes and toss you into Mr. Bragg’s dark rooms. 

Jim passed away in 1998 from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, leaving behind a wife and young son.  She is remarried and raising a beautiful family with her husband on the right coast.  Jen passed away in 2008 from a brain aneurism.  She left behind a loving husband and three beautiful children.  Jen passed away  about twenty miles from where Jim passed away.  That’s quite random.  To the best of my knowledge, they never met.

I miss Jim and Jen.  Thanks for pulling out those boxes, Facebook. 




The Mind of Mully

I’m the blood

on your guitar

I’m that wave you caught

back in 1975



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5 Porcupines, 4 Schopenhauers, & 3 Rot Luftballoons…..



Best Experienced With:    X-Ray Specs;     Oh, Bondage Up Yours


(please right click on the link below to cue up the suggested background music for this evening’s get together.  Kind of makes you want to dye your hair pink and pull out that 1977 “Sid Vicious for President” black tee, doesn’t it?)


“In the sphere of thought, absurdity and perversity remain the masters of the world, and their dominion is suspended only for brief periods.”



“The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice.”






“The first forty years of life give us the text; the next thirty supply the commentary on it.”





“To find out your real opinion of someone, judge the impression you have when you first see a letter from them.” 





The Mind of Mully

Thrash me

Crash me

Beat me

Until I fall

















Hey!   Hey 432 lbs!   There are two things I choose not to live on…..Ramen noodles and maybes.  Get your passport, get to Portland Friday night and we can help douse the flame in Vancouver on Sunday evening with glasses of beer.  Pilsner beer!  No excuses. 


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Grape Jelly Covered Bully Pulpit, Indoctrinating Kids, & Gimme My Pez Dispenser


Best Experienced With:         Foo Fighters:                   The Pretender


(please right click on the link below to open up the suggested background music for this evening’s option to texting ten dollars to the Red Cross every sixth hour.  I know these peeps down below and can vouch for them)

Here’s what you asked for, Bitar & Jones……..with a bit more color.

Back in September when President Obama relinquished the coveted bully pulpit, we posted a signup sheet on the back bulletin board asking for someone to replace him.  Someone evil and deceitful enough to goad innocent ten year olds into rooting for our country or, God forbid, participate in thinking.  Oh Lord……the humanity!  Work hard and stay in school?  Left wing pinkos always say you should work hard and stay in school.  Rubbish.

The bully pulpit remains empty, covered in grape jelly and dozens of empty blue Foster’s oil cans.  What good is a bully pulpit without a bully and an agenda involving the brainwashing of secondary school children?   If you guys aren’t going to use it, then I’m going to pop up on the bully pulpit this evening and force my left wing pinko agenda for schoolchildren firmly down your throat.

Our friend Anderson Cooper and his silly black tee shirts have returned home, yet there’s still roughly fifty years of clean up on the left portion of Hispaniola.  Gave you surgical sales and marketing folks some options ten days ago and a bunch of you have come through.  Thanks a million and keep it up, please.  We’re going to get it to Pignon and into patients starting March 19th.  If you know anyone with extra debriders, there are some burns that need mending.  

Back to my bully pulpit.   If you have an extra hundred dollars that you don’t feel like texting to the Red Cross, or if you want to stay home and skip a baker’s dozen of martinis this coming week, feel free to print out the form below and send a check for $100 to put a Haitian child in the central plateau through elementary school for a year.  Education, and the education of women specifically, is one of the key levers to eradicating poverty the world over.  School is not free in third world countries…..probably because property taxes are hard to levy when no one actually owns property.  That’s just a guess.

Should you choose to invest your $100 with these folks, they will send you report cards and progress reports.  Should you ever choose to take a holiday with me down to the central plateau, you can meet the children you sponsor and they will give you the biggest hugs you may ever receive in your life.

Should you choose to read more about eradicating poverty, there are several excellent books at the link below which will surely win The Mind of Mully a Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.  The name of the program alone…… “Treat Everyone Like They Are Going to Die Today” ……deserves some sort of prize.  Heck, a Pez dispenser would be fine today after getting jacked around on the Polk last week.   Robbed……………..

Thanks for joining and thanks for whatever it is you choose to do to help Haiti on an ongoing basis.  It took The Man hundreds of year to thoroughly disenfranchise that population.  It’s going to take us a few decades to help fix it. 


And we will, provided we educate the children immediately.


The Mind of Mully


The page is out of print

We are not permanent

We’re temporary….temporary

Same old story

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The Breakfast Club at Tiffany’s, Rat Dogs & Norwegian Buhunds


Best Experienced With:    Deep Blue Something;    Breakfast at Tiffany’s

(please right click the link below to cue up the suggested background music for this evening’s treatise in a new browser window)


Thanks for joining this evening.  Soon we will examine the injustice of Mind of Mully not winning a Polk Award for the fifth consecutive year.  First we will examine the injustice of a Scotty winning “Best in Show”.  Clearly the Norwegian Buhunds were robbed, as were the Bishon Frises.   Am beginning a strong lobbying effort this week with the Westminster Kennel Club to award bonus points if a certain dog breed name is more fun to say aloud than another. 

For example, please say “Scotty” aloud three times.  Fast.  That breed is chock full of cacophony and sounds awful said aloud three times fast.  Now please say “Bishon Frise” aloud three times and say it slowly.  Sort of rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?   You want to elongate the syllables and pretend you are in the south of France drinking Champaign with Catherine Deneuve.  Catherine says “do you have a dog” and you reply “why yes, I have a Bishon Frise”.  Far more smooth than “Scotty”.

Although fun to say, the Bishon Frise is, unfortunately more ferret than dog and the true winner of “Best in Show” last week at the Westminster Kennel Show is now the Norwegian Buhund because the Norwegian Buhund is actually dog sized and a great deal of fun to say. 

Winner, winner chicken dinner.

Am unfortunate enough to be in the same Census age bracket as Michael Dell and Brad Pitt.  Fated to roll through life watching Dell get richer and Pitt get prettier, I look forward each year to the obscure awards with the hope that I might get something for the mantel.  Try as I may, those bars will always be my benchmarks for wealth and good looks.  This explains my humility.  Pitt even looks better than me with that odd growth of hair he was sporting on his chin in People last week.   Odds are that Dell and Pitt will never attend the luncheon where Long Island University hands out the obscure George Polk Award for Journalism.  

Last week, Long Island University handed out thirteen 2009 George Polk Awards, none engraved “Mind of Mully”.  One went to a reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat in Illinois?  The Belleville News-Democrat got a Polk?   I can get behind David Rhode getting a Polk because he was abducted and held by the Taliban, but the Belleville News-Democrat?  Have they ever written about velociraptors?  Did they do an expose like we did here on the Balloon Boy in Colorado where on the first day we disproved the science behind the story by using one of the Chez Mulligan cats?  Heck, they don’t even shamelessly promote themselves to Natalie Imbruglia.  Robbed, I say.

I went to Honduras during the non coup.  Is it my fault it was fake coup and no one had the least interest in kidnapping me?   Heck, I even had a visa to Iran until The Prez opened his mouth two days before I was heading over there and ruined my chances of getting kidnapped in Tehran.  Had a good plan, too.  Was going to set up a booth in Haft Tir square with a sign saying “Free Sketches of You and That Crazy Mahmoud”. 


2010 is Mind of Mully’s year for a Polk Award.  We will win a  2010 Polk Award with Mind of Mully’s analysis of the most daunting challenges facing the world today, seen through the eyes of John Hughes’ characters in The Breakfast Club.  

Again:  winner, winner….chicken dinner.

Bender on classism and the inherent conflict between the “have’s” and the “have nots”:  “Don’t you ever talk about my friends. You don’t know any of my friends. You don’t look at any of my friends. And you certainly wouldn’t condescend to speak to any of my friends. So you just stick to the things you know: shopping, nail polish, your father’s BMW, and your poor, rich drunk mother in the Caribbean.”

Alison on being a lemming or bowing down to demands by the World Bank or WTO:  “You do everything everyone tells you to do and that is a problem.”

Andrew on the disenfranchised and dispossessed:  “And the bizarre thing is that I did it for my old man. I tortured this poor kid because I wanted him to think that I was cool. He’s always going off about how when he was in school and all the wild things he used to do. And I got the feeling that he was disappointed that I never cut loose on anyone, right? So I’m sitting in the locker room and I’m taping up my knee, and Larry’s undressing a couple lockers down from me. And he’s kinda, he’s kinda skinny. Weak. And I started thinking’ about my father, and his attitude about, about weakness. And the next thing I knew, I jumped on top of him and started wailing on him. And my friends, they just laughed and cheered me on.”

Vernor on using a disproportionate show of force to quell a disturbance:  “The next time I have to come in here I’m cracking skulls.”

Bender on the obesity problem in developed nations, as well as the accompanying health problems such as diabetes:  “Well not at present, but I can see you really pushing maximum density. See I’m not sure if you know this, but there are two kinds of fat people: there’s fat people that were born to be fat, and there’s fat people that were once thin but became fat… so when you look at ’em you can sorta see that thin person inside. You see, you’re gonna get married, you’re gonna squeeze out a few puppies and then, uh.”


Andrew on the benefits of therapy and all 6B of us that bought the ticket and are taking the ride:  “We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.”

















The Mind of Mully

I hate when

Things are over

With so much

Left undone


Dear George Polk Award Committee:  We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was that we did wrong.  But we think you’re crazy to make us write this essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us…in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each of us is an ocelot, a wombat, a stick man, a dinosaur and a robot.   Does that answer your question?

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Crocodiles, Squirrels, Fish, & Monkeys…………….Oh My


Best Experienced With:          De La Soul;    Tread Water

(please right click on the link below to open the suggested background music in a new window.  A little head check for those of you in the second oldest profession….selling.  Nothing happens in the business world until you sell something and for that the rest of us worship those of you that carry the bag.  You pay our salaries.)

Ah, Lent

For some, a time to look backwards in reflection and take stock.   Preparation and self denial, combined with abstinence and repentance all mixed together in a tasty broth of preparation for rock removal at the end.  Forty days and forty nights of mental self flagellation for some.

For others, a time to have their mom’s tasty tuna fish casserole each Friday evening topped with either crumbled up Saltine crackers or Lays potato chips, depending upon mom’s mood that evening.  Tuna casserole was quite the taste sensation.  Thank you Pope Paul VI and the Second Vatican Council for changing the rules.  Much like pancakes and Spam for dinner, most can only handle that tuna casserole taste sensation every seventh day.

For those of us with a number to hit, Lent always means that we are getting towards the sprint portion of the first lap.  On Ash Wednesday, some cool priests will put your quarter number on your forehead in the ashes they made from the palm fronds.  This past Wednesday, I proudly walked around Dallas with $XXM written in ash on my noggin.  Looked good, too.


A fiscal year is like four 440’s instead of a mile where the best runners break at the end.  Four 440’s where you sprint like a lunatic the last month of the quarter.  March, June, September, and December are always magical mystical months where if you sprint hard enough and you have an executable plan, you will always be at your quota at the quarter marks.   Promise.

First quarter head check. 

What is your 2010 number?  Where do you need to be on March 31st?   Where are you as of this minute in dollars, PTQ, and YTD?  Did you have to look that up or did you know?  Do you know where your next three purchase orders are coming from in this quarter?  Did you see those folks face to face in the past two weeks?  Did they smile when you walked in?  Who is buying from you in April?  Who is buying from you on September 23rd?  What kind of music do they love and how many children do they have?  When will you see these April customers next?  Really?

More?  Sure.   There are always more questions.

How many places can you sell in your territory?  How much are they buying from folks in your market space this year?  What percentage do you have to capture of that to make your number?  What is your historic market penetration in your territory?  How does it historically vary from year to year?  What is your penetration plan for the next three years? 

Let’s say you and I sell zoo quality crocodiles, squirrels, fish, and monkeys.  We can split the country right down the middle.  I’ll take the left half because I live there.  You get the right because I wear the cape so I get to make to “SWOOOOOOOOSH” sound.  Let’s take a look at what we have.


Each of us has 53 zoos.  Each zoo is of equal size with an average distribution of our offering as follows:

Crocodiles:           131

Squirrels:              3637

Fish:                      10301   (what up Staten Island?)

Monkeys:             151

Asset life (average life span of each animal) is:

Crocodiles:           23 years

Squirrels:             7 years

Fish:                     1 year

Monkeys:             13 years

Let’s assume that all the zoo quality animals we offer get upgraded every fourth year to make the math more easy.  Our customers choose to rotate in the order we have written above:  crocodiles, squirrels, fish, and then monkeys.  Our customers all buy those items in the same order and they all buy each in the same fiscal year.  All of their fiscal years are calendar years.   If you feel like doing harder math, use the asset life above and assume that you have some sort of normal upgrade cycle.  I’m no good at Maff so going to stay with the every four years thing here for this example.

Average sales price (ASP) on our zoo quality animals is:


Crocodiles:           $7,013

Squirrels:             $  101

Fish:                     $   299

Monkeys:             $3,013


Should you and I choose to throw this very basic info into a spreadsheet, here is what we would probably see for each of our halves of the country:

53 131 6,943 7,013   48,691,259
  3,637 192,761 101   19,468,861
  10,301 545,953 299   163,239,947
  151 8,003 3,013   24,113,039


For the most part, we are not going to change our customer’s buying habits.  Customers buy when they choose to buy.  The best we can do is ask “when do you need those monkeys here”, “when can you issue me a purchase order for the monkeys”, “who are the monkey decision makers”, and “what is the exact monkey buying paper trail”.  We can also plan our forecasts based upon these schedules and, barring us adding wallabies or snow leopards, some years we will sell less than previous years because our customers choose to buy when they want to buy.  That is how the world rolls and there’s nothing we can do to change how the world rolls.  The best we can do is be in front of customers every week developing relationships, asking questions, taking notes, and basing our strategy on the customer’s unique needs and budget.    The most you and I can sell in our respective territories over a four year event horizon is $255M with our current product offering.  

If we are in the monkey year, the total amount available for us is $24M and some change.   If our 2010 monkey number is $8M, we need to capture 25% market share to keep our jobs.  This equates to roughly 2,000 monkeys and we can keep our jobs by selling 14 of our zoos all 151 of their monkeys or we can sell all of our zoos at least 38 of their 151 monkeys.  Upside to the former is we can focus our efforts on fewer zoos………..downside to the former is we need friends at our zoos when we hit 2011 running with our crocodiles.   Ah, strategery!


Two more questions?  Sure…………..

Where you going next week and what are are you going to do when you get there?  And where are you going the week after that?  What are you going to do when you get there?  Rinse.  Repeat.


The questions are not market specific.  This is why selling surgical gear is no different than selling women’s hosiery.  The territory analysis is always the same.  Ibid.  The market analysis is not market specific.  Ibid.  Have been fortunate to play in many sandboxes and have had many folks say “it’s different in this market, Mully and you just don’t know this market.”  It is never different.  Those folks are like The Little Prince with his rose and the behavior is understandable.  Give me a big hug while I explain to you that strategic sales and marketing is always the same, whether it is women’s hosiery or surgical gear.

The questions are market agnostic and the questions always lead to driving top line revenue.    Just don’t let your sheep eat your rose. 












The Mind of Mully


Always look to the positive

And never drop your head

For the water will engulf us

If you do not dare to tread.




This evening’s musing is dedicated to my father, Glove Man.  He retired from selling meat this past Friday at the age of 72.   Glove Man not only taught me the lessons in this De la Soul song, he has consistently asked the following question of me for twenty-four years when I call on a school day:  “you sell anything today”?   If I replied “no”, he would immediately say “well, why the hell not”?    Thanks, Glove Man.  



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The Ramones, The Circle Jerks, and Ministry Never Needed a Line Dance…. (but what the heck)














Best Experienced With:      Big & Rich;      Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy

(Please right click on the link below to cue up the suggested music for this evening’s first and last Mind of Mully line dance lesson)

Have heard the grumblings over the past few weeks.  Mostly from Jack because he tends to hog the conch.   Jack always hogs the conch, doesn’t he?  Jack is why I have never completely trusted red headed people.  Grumblings that we gather in The Attic and yet we never have a line dance. 

I hear you loud and clear……..let’s have a line dance! 

Please clear as big of an area around you as feasible, given your space.  Those of you in studio apartments, just stand over there in the corner near your 54” flat panel and make your arm and leg movements sparse.  Those of you in big old four bedroom homes, put all the living room furniture in the den and really explore the space.  Move around:  really explore the space.   Those of you saving your Mind of Mully reading for airplane reading, please close your eyes and follow along in the Mister Rodgers area in your mind.  Say hi to Miss Kitty for us while you are there.

Our line dance will be similar to the one that I wanted to use for the 1989 NCA College Cheerleading Championships when I coached the University of New Hampshire cheerleading squad.  For reasons that will be clear very soon, my girlfriend at the time voted me down and threatened to not only dump me if we used this, she bought a shovel and a big bag of lime for rapid body disposal.  Kim was deceptively dangerous and lethal with over three hundred weapons.


Do you have your space clear?  Five, six, seven, eight………………………………

Side step left  (1)

Side step left (again) (2)

Feet stationary….full sprinkler right (3,4,5)

Feet stationary….full sprinkler left (6,7,8)

Spin right a half turn, keeping right foot planted (1)

Kick (either leg…allowing for creativity) (2)

“The Prep” hand motions up high to left, then to right.  Not full ones, thalidomide baby arm motions (3,4,5,6)

Squat (7)

Hop while screaming “yeeeeeee hah” (8)

Repeat as often as needed…………………….



The Mind of Mully




Save a horse

Ride a cowboy
















Yes, 432 lbs……they even teach us about frog gigs in The Land of Cleve.  Run well……………..trip people if you feel the need.

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Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty…………..This is a Love Story

Best Experienced With:        Indigo Girls;     Closer to Fine

(please right click on the link below to open the suggested background music to this evening’s treatise in a new browser window.  Happy Singles Awareness Day.)

My friend Mav commented here last week, asking why the ex would pop up in a MLOG since I stuck a fork in her three years ago.  Great question!  Writing things in a semi permanent location makes them real and fits the Mind of Mully “hit by a bus” test.  Were a kryptonite laden bus to run me over later today, a real estate agent might show Chez Mulligan next month.  This real estate agent may have to field the questions: “Why would a single guy have such a massive walk in shower?  Wouldn’t a great big Jacuzzi tub be better there?”

Said hypothetical real estate agent would simply have to pull up his or her laptop, point the potential buyer to that MLOG, and remain silent.  Mostly because that was not an objection… was simply a question.   Same real estate agent might also have to explain the dog house safely and strategically placed on the ledge outside the shower window.

Mom and Glove Man will celebrate their 47th wedding anniversary on May 4, 2010.  My three sisters will celebrate their, respectively, 22nd , 14th , and 10th wedding anniversaries in 2010.  Each has a unique relationship, different from the others.  All love and fight in a different fashion.  Would imagine they fight like cats and dogs at time because they are all at 100% in this era of 50% of marriages failing.  Am certain they learned the following cycle from mom and Glove Man:

Fight……fight…..….fight……come to agreement…….hug it out.

This is a love story.  A very long love story.

This is a love story.

The love story began one summer morning in 1995 when I awoke to the soft gentle sound of “SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” in the room that is now Chez Mulligan’s surfboard room.  In those days it was an open, overgrown garden.    “SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEE”.  Thought maybe the nine volt battery in the downstairs smoke detector had died of natural causes overnight.   “SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”.  Rolled onto the floor, pulled aside the blinds, and saw four teeny tiny kittens hidden in one of the overgrown shrubs.  Mama Cat (as we creatively named her that evening) was out making the acquaintance of more gentlemen callers for when the kittens left the nest.  “SCREEEEEEEEEEEEE” is kittenspeak for “please may I have some kitten milk…I am famished.”



As the Mama Cat family got older, they moved from the back patio to a more comfortable spot in the bottom hallway.  They came in when hungry, had snacks, and then went back outside for badminton, volleyball, or whatever was on that day’s list of feral cat activities.  None ever allowed petting and we all kept our distance during meal time.  Some lived in the board room and shared nose kisses through the screen with the indoor cats.

The Mama Cat family, along with a host of others, took their meals at Chez Mulligan and took shelter from the storm here for as long as they wanted.  5433 ½ La Jolla Blvd has been a halfway house for wayward and feral animals since that morning.  Over fifteen years we have trapped and released fifty-four ferals and most spent some part of the life in the doghouse just above the zillion foot walk in shower my ex installed.  All but three have moved on.  Some tell me the other fifty-one are dead, yet I never saw their bodies.   I prefer to  believe these fifty-one moved two blocks over because some more wealthy home owner feeds their feral colony serious gourmet cat food.

The “love” part of this love story began in Q1 1997 when the Hale Bopp Comet cruised by Earth for a visit.   While the Heaven’s Gate folks were lacing up their tennis shoes for their rendezvous with the master ship, I was taking out the trash to the dumpster behind Chez Mulligan.  On the way back, met a very plump, very preggo cat eating at the communal feeding dish for the first time.  Named her Haley and did not see her again until I found her body near my back door two months later.

That’s love, yes?    Haley chose to die near my door because she wanted me to find her six week old kittens and make certain they had a longer life than she did.  Saw Haley exactly twice:  once that first evening and the second time when I buried her.

Searched high and low for the next week for Haley’s litter.   One evening I saw three tiny shapes trying to get into a garbage can two doors down.   The next evening we set up a cat carrier with two cans of smelly salmon.  Sat in a prone position with three hangers tied end to end for a few hours until out of the darkness came a single file line of three shadowy, tiny kittens.  Look left.  Five steps.  Look right.   Single file kitten sprint!!!!!  Attack smelly salmon and BOOM… carrier door slams shut.

We spent that evening in the spare downstairs bathroom picking roughly seven million fleas off of three feral kittens that had no desire to lose these fleas or be indoor cats.  Spent the next five weeks sleeping in the spare bedroom with the feral kittens cowering under the couch in the spare bedroom, visions of me carving coffee mugs out of their skulls running through their little kitten heads.  Woke up one morning with the black and white kitten sitting on my chest, gently tapping my chin with her paw and then rearing back after each tap.  Was a great deal of fun to watch her swatting my chin through squinting, fake asleep eyes.

Two weeks later the kittens (named Marsha, Jan, and Cindy by my friend Jen) were ready for adoption.  Overnight their internal switches flipped from “fully feral” to “awesome pets” and they were ready for loving homes.  Posted the following ad around The LJ:

Then I thought about Haley and kismet………and I kept the stupid morons.  Haley loved them enough to crawl over and die near my door as a message, so Marsha, Jan, and Cindy were clearly mine for life.  Marsha still owns my chest and she has been at the top of the stairs each time I return from a business trip.  Should a significant other choose to spend the evening, Marsha will perch like a vulture on my shoulder as we spoon, staring at the date and doing her darndest to make date-erasing laser beams shoot out of her green kitty eyes.  Marsha is not overly fond of female visitors.

Jan still makes me laugh like a hyena each time I reach out my finger and say “smell my finger”.  As the shiest of the three, she has sniffed that index finger 2,634,986,003 times before allowing me to pet her and I still laugh like a hyena when she does it.

Cindy has taken over the top floor of Chez Mulligan and brooks no nonsense up here.  Her kitty treats must be delivered to the top of the table.  She will not jump down, even for kitty treats.  I give Cindy the kitty treats up top because she is here more than I am.

Bruiser and Sage joined us after that and added to the fun.

Then, Ceeeeeeeeeeatie and Deeeeeeeeeeegie made it just a bit more ridiculous ten years later.

I like to think the reason my sisters all have marriages lasting between ten and twenty years is that mom and Glove Man taught us to fight to the finish and then hug it out.  None of that nambly pambly passive aggressive crap while we were growing up.  No, sir.  You dug right in and you fought to the finish.  Afterwards, you hugged it out and passed the peas because only the strongest of relationships can handle and respect the differences.  Life would be boring and intolerably vanilla if we agreed all the time.  Attraction and love are easy because they are surface feelings and emotions.  True love and marriages are decisions we make each morning when we hear “SREEEEEEEEEE”.  We should be willing to fight for true love and marriage………………….sometimes with each other.   Be happy when you hear “SCREEEEEEEEEEE”.  Handled properly, it is an excellent opportunity to grow closer.

Thanks, mom and Glove Man for teaching us Mulligan kids the value of fighting and hugging it out.  Erudite scholars and PhD’s have opined on love for years and would benefit from watching the cats here in Chez Mulligan beat the snot out of each other and then clean each other’s heads.  It is a time tested, solid offense.

To those of you out to dinner this evening with potential “last first dates”?  Have fun and I hope it works out exactly like you want it to work out.  Those of you madly in love?  Slow clapping, rising to a loud crescendo as you bow before us with your beloved.  The rest of us celebrating Singles Awareness Day in The LJ…..  please direct your attention to the sheet on the south wall where we will show Pulp Fiction in exactly three seconds.

Three, two, one……………………………………………..disco.












Darkness has a hunger

That’s insatiable…..

Lightness has a call

That’s hard to hear.



This is dedicated to Cupid and my friends Patty and Jillian.  Happy fifth wedding anniversary you two kids……have enjoyed watching your love.  Always find it hard to understand how some folks can experience true love and yet not embrace all couples’ love.  Interesting.  Perhaps they are afraid and that’s OK.  We all get scared.  Come over here all you homophobic folks!  Give me a hug. 




Last minute gift suggestion?  Of course I have last minute gift suggestions:  I’m the gift freaking master!  Get him or her one of the books below.  Each is a love story and one is told from the point of view of a dog.  Brilliant!  The thing in the middle?  Oh, that’s just from church this morning.  I highlighted the part in the middle that says it’s perfectly awesome for anyone to marry whomever they love.  Silly left wing Christians……..that’s just crazy, blasphemy talk!

And yes, as Too Much Joy opined musically years ago in their theme song, one of the precepts up here in The Attic is “to create, you must destroy”.  In fact, one of the walls has a colorful mural, lest we forget.
















This is a love story.


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