Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Where have all the squirrels gone?

When market analysis goes wrong: the story behind the success of the ‘Rocky’ aftershave product line

We get it wrong sometimes at Blader Industries, Inc., something I’ll be the very first to admit. It’s not at all uncommon for a big player in any industry to act upon poorly developed data or upon the basis of errant assumptions.

Well, at Blader Industries, Inc., our guiding principle is that recovery from institutional error defines us just as much as do our successful product campaigns.

I’m often asked, “Blader, how did your Rocky fragrance become such a great success?” Well, the story is far more convoluted then you could possibly imagine, but like all good stories, it begins with a chautaqua that first led to a marketing disaster.

While out on a chautauqua in western New York state, I just love the chautauqua, I spent an afternoon reflecting alone in a temperate mixed oak/hickory climax forest. A pair of squirrels scampering on the branches and limbs above served as a distraction. At one point, they raced down a tree trunk from high in the canopy to ground level, pausing in front of me on an old decaying fallen tree. There, fifteen feet away, the male, without taking his eyes off of me, briefly mounted the female while perched on a bed of lichen. And they copulated.

If I had turned my head for only an instant I would have missed it. But I was transfixed by the boldness of their act and could think of nothing else for the remainder of the week-long chautauqua.

Each afternoon I returned to that forest, but never saw the squirrel pair again.

Before that day, I had only observed copulation between wild animals at the zoo, or on the Discovery Channel. At home during the night, I am sometimes awakened by the sounds of feral cats “doing the deed”. But that’s as close as its come.

And so it struck me that what I had witnessed was something rare and privileged, not unlike, for example, getting a peak inside Catherine Zeta-Jones’ locker at her health club.

Upon returning to the executive suite at our corporate headquarters, I promptly called a meeting to confer with our New Products subsidiary. Heady over the enormously successful rollout of our ‘Forged’ and ‘Cast” copulatory aids, we hatched a plan to market product that all of us felt would be a sure thing: radio controlled stuffed squirrels as toys.

You know how the mind can race at times, and I confess that this idea crystallized in my mind out in that forest as quickly as those two squirrels completed their business.

We stole a page from the book of my good friend Bill Gates and so a member of my crack team of MBA’s came up with a code name for the development phase of the product. We called it “Rocky doing the wild thing”, as it aptly describes a unique feature of the product unprecedented in the radio commanded toy space: By flipping a switch Rocky and his mate could be directed to mimic any of three copulatory acts….missionary style, spoon style or the rear mounting “squirrelly style” I witnessed in that New York forest.

Working off of some dusty market research data that Blader Industries, Inc. had collected years before, we felt we could use “Rocky doing the wild thing” to tap into a niche market comprised of children, aged 4-8, who enjoy both fury animals and who were developing important motor skills with simple radio controlled toy objects. Our target market also included those who are also regular viewers of nature programming on Animal Planet and Discovery Channel.

We positioned “Rocky doing the wild thing”, a stuffed animal toy that could copulate upon command, to take the environmental educational toy sector to an entirely new level. The idea was both robust and revolutionary, exactly the kind of thing consumers have come to expect from Blader Industries, Inc.

You might wonder by now what on earth any of this has to do with a successful aftershave fragrance?

Unfortunately, two issues conspired to destroy the genius of “Rocky doing the wild thing”. First, we were quickly sued by attorneys representing a class of customers claiming defective manufacture and false advertising.

These parents mistakenly believed they were purchasing toys that would only copulate. In fact, the toys were programmed to scamper up and down trees and across telephone lines, leaping into nearby bird feeders, and so on, and to copulate at any point in this ‘foreplay’ upon command. The parents claimed to incur extraordinary, painful and unexpectedly high battery costs as a consequence of this programmed ‘foreplay’.

Furthermore, since the children so much enjoyed watching the toys copulate, they would trigger the ‘copulate’ button whilst the toys scampered high on wires or in trees. Oftentimes, the toys would lose their balance and fall from these positions. Unlike real squirrels, the toys would shatter and break from falls in excess of 50 feet or so. On this basis, their lawyers claimed defective manufacture.

A second crippling issue was that 80% of our inventory during the rollout phase was purchased at retail cost by a single, and initially mysterious, client. This made it very difficult to keep up with demand from our retail outlet customers, who eventually grew tired of the persistent back orders and eventually stopped ordering the product.

Before we knew it, competitors had taken a cue from us and began marketing copulatory paired toys. For example, Mattel began co-packaging Barbie dolls with members of their GI Joe collection. Before we knew it, the competition had saturated the very market that Blader Industries first cultivated!

Details on the mysterious client were initially nebulous. But it soon became clear that it was none other than JDerion, who attempted to remain anonymous during the process. He would instruct our delivery personnel to deliver shipments to a remote and apparently abandoned New Jersey warehouse in the vicinity of the Pine Valley Golf Club, making every attempt to evade visual contact. He ordered the shipment to be stacked outside the warehouse, from which he would only emerge after the driver had left and was well down the road.

I had spent much of the rollout period, while all this was going on, in the Djiboutian Highlands, negotiating for delivery of the fall wool harvest. I only became aware of this development well after the damage was done.

I knew instantly that it was JDerion when our driver mentioned, almost in passing, that the oddest feature of what had become for him a regular delivery, was the music booming over the warehouse campus each time he visited: Glen Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy” :

Well, I really don't mind the rain
And a smile can hide all the pain
But you're down when you're ridin' the train that's takin' the long way
And I dream of the things I'll do
With a subway token and a dollar tucked inside my shoe
There'll be a load of compromisin'
On the road to my horizon
But I'm gonna be where the lights are shinin' on me
Like a rhinestone cowboy
Riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo
Rhinestone cowboy
Gettin' cards and letters from people I don't even know
And offers comin' over the phone

Knowing JDerion’s obsession with my life’s work, and his compulsive taste for awful music, it was simple to connect the dots.

Our associates were eventually able to draw him out of the warehouse by erecting a king kong sized fake stuffed squirrel near the entrance of Pine Valley. Upon entering, they managed to shut off “Rhinestone Cowboy” only to be horrified by the sight of tens of thousands of stuffed squirrels strewn about the facility haphazardly. Perhaps what is most sickening was that a small incision was made in the genital region of each male, from which the os baculum was removed. The stuffed female squirrels were untouched but the missing os baculum were nowhere to be found.

We faced a problem. What on earth could we do with the corpses, albeit lifelike in every way thanks to the finest taxidermy this side of the Pecos, of tens of thousands of stuffed squirrels, half of which no longer possessed their os baculum?

After a quick brainstorming session we struck upon an obvious solution: We’d make a male aftershave fragrance based upon a squirrel motif. It turned out, at that very point, we were searching for a product that could go head to head against “Ouder”, the latest from the formidable marketing talents of our competitors at Calvin Klein.

We called our aftershave “Rocky”, and the real genius behind Rocky is our sales driving promotion: with each bottle sold, the customer receives a complementary mounted squirrel head, for show in his home or office or even in his remote wilderness cabin. Our customers know that nothing primes their mates better for copulatory activities than wall-mounted representation of fierce, wild creatures, slain by their man in a death match for the ages!

The “Rocky” fragrance rollout has been so successful that we’ve long since exhausted our supply of squirrel heads from that New Jersey warehouse.

And so this story also explains how Blader Industries Inc. has become the top squirrel farmer in North America, where simple due to corporate necessity we have revolutioned sustainable squirrel farming to the extent that we’ve practically invented the industry as everyone now knows it.


Monday, November 21, 2005

I am Bob Woodward's Source

All I need is a little soap and a shave and I'm coming clean

In a sort of a high stakes exercise in musical chairs, everybody who is anybody in Washington is issuing a public denial that they served as Bob Woodward's source for the leak that Valerie Plame, the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson, worked at the CIA and was classified as a spy.

So to save everybody a lot of angst worrying about where they might be when the music stops playing, let me simply admit, on the record, that I was the source of this information.

And it was a total accident.

I ran into Bob in a terminal at the Boise Idaho Airport some time ago. Here's a relatively recent picture I have of him. Although quite frankly, he didn't have the beard and appeared somewhat older at the airport than the picture shows. I wondered if perhaps the irregularity that comes with frequent travel might be responsible for the latter.

Bob pretended not to recognize me, which is not surprising given the sensitive nature of his work, but we chatted it up anyway. He was real fidgety, and actually didn't really say too much. He had a nervous smile, kept looking at his watch, and at me, and elsewhere, seeming kind of anxious, while we talked.

He did say he was on his way home, and offered me his autograph, but I declined because I didn't have one of his books on me.

His behavior reminded me of some of the people I'd interact with back when I worked for the government, so after we chatted about my business ventures and so on, I got to talking with him about some of the better looking women I knew who worked at the CIA. I was just listing them off, starting with the natural blondes, and Valerie's name just kind of tumbled out.

What was really neat was that when the flight to Los Angeles was called, Bob got up and boarded, even though he said he was going to his home, which I'm sure is in Washington because I've been on his front portch, talking to him through the door, on several ocassions.

What a professional!! He can really be trusted to keep a secret, even though he got this one by total mistake.

Friday, November 18, 2005


The genesis of the 'transcendental TV' genre

People often point out that I have a lot in common with guys like Donald Trump and Richard Branson.

I'm usually insulted by such talk.

Those guys just play themselves in their "reality tv shows", which doesn't strike me as very difficult or particularly creative.

I can assure you from personal experience that there is nothing at all difficult about being a larger then life megamogul. I can't imagine having an easier life and I find nothing simpler than being me. So how could me playing me in a tv show prove challenging?

True, I am hounded by an obsessively halluncinogenic jihadist-wannabe, hell bent on seeing a tortured and bloody end to my life...but that's all mostly just a nuisance that, if anything, adds more color and texture to my life.

As I write this I'm comfortably reclined in the first class cabin of a Delta Boeing 777, piercing the sky over the pacific en route to Atlanta, smugly satisfied that I've just, once again, intuitively taken advantage of an opportunity to set an entirely new cultural paradigm.

Currently, I think it's fair to say that my media presence transcends life, and so it only makes sense that any programming based upon me should also be transcendental in scope. As I routinely tell producers and pitchmen, it's not enough for me to just be some central character cultivating proteges in a reality tv format.

I boarded the flight with several members of a troupe of World Wrestling Federation members, heading home after a string of shows in Japan, where their performance art is highly valued. Still creatively juiced from their tour, the wrestlers were very receptive to new ways of thinking when I introduced myself.

They are now back in the business class cabin, sleeping off one heck of a beerfest we enjoyed together in the Narita Airport Delta Crown Room, where we hatched and consummated a plan to revolutionize mogul TV.

My loyal readers, you are witnessing the end of the tired 'reality TV' genre and the dawn of a new media epoch tentatively called, 'transcendental TV'

For in that waiting lounge I and the wrestlers broadly outlined the development, along with some of the initial choreography, of a new slam-fest wrestling event that will depict, as allegorical epic, my righteousness, my struggles and my ultimate victory against my archenemy, JDerion.

In the matches, I will be depicted by a wrestler in white trunks, as white is the internationally recognized symbol of the good guys. The wrestler depicting the evil JDerion will wear black trunks.

The show, tentatively entitled, Bladerpalooza, will air on WTBS at 11:00 pm EST on Saturdays.

[To my good friends at Delta Airlines I deeply regret the damage caused to the Narita Crown Room sofa and also the 4 chairs and table next to the beer refrigerator. These were inadvertant casualties as we experimented with some initial staging for our allegory. However, the damaged pair of reclining chairs closest to the entryway are NOT our responsibility. The middle easterner wearing the fez and the suspicious, paranoid and vaguely familiar looking man with him were not members of our party and were involved in an entirely separate imbroglio. You can contact the help-desk at Blader Industries, Inc. to be compensated for your losses, in addition to a generous 10% discount off our products and services for your troubles.]

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Stunning Research

The Importance of R&D

I tell my associates over and again that you can't do too much research in our industry. If you pause for just an instant, the competition will be watching you from their rear view mirrors.

Because of that, I'm always proud of Blader Industries, Inc. record of innovation in the world-wide copulation market sector, and I'll boast about it to anybody who listens.

So it's a rare day that you'll find me impressed and humbled by the research conducted by other entitities.

It doesn't take a brilliant business person to notice the importance of carefully conducted placebo controlled research on breast size in terms of long term profitability.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What a long strange trip

From Uzbekistan to Narita

Well, it turns out I needn't have worried about that caravan approaching up the valley. They were not a JDerion-led death squad, but a contingent of CIA and US State Department operatives desperately hoping I'd help them out with a little problem.

Good thing too, because I never did find my kalashnikov in that whore house.

It's a long story, but they came to ask me to join President Bush's diplomatic mission to Asia, which will be capped by extremely important high level discussions in Beijing.

The bottom line is President Bush has a notorious reputation in diplomacy. He routinely forgets the names of his counterparts from other countries.

For example, at last years Chilean APEC conference, the President persistently addressed China's President Hu Jintao as, 'Cowboy', as in the following off the cuff statement he made to the assembled press: "Good ol' President, er, Cowboy, and myself just discussed my opinion that he should allow more US exports to China, especially guns and tanks."

For reasons not entirely clear to me, career diplomats find this kind of talk embarrassing.

So I agreed to help them and caught a CIA transport out of Uzbekistan, landing at Andrew's AFB just in time to board Air Force One. There I was given a Stewards' uniform and instructions to frequently service the presidential cabin.

For his part, President Bush was instructed to address me as 'Hu Jintao' each time he saw me. Other 'stewards' had joined the flight to play surrogates for other heads of state in Japan and Korea. The hope was this would burn the names of these important people on President Bush's, lips so that by the time we arrived in Asia, the names would be second nature.

But by 3 hours into the flight President Bush was hopelessly confused, and had reverted to addressing us all as, "cowboy" each time he saw us.

So we simply chilled out in the press cabin, becoming involved in a vicious high stakes scrabble game with an AP pool reporter and some hack from the Washington Post.

When we landed in Japan, the State Department functionary responsible for the plan learned of our failure and became livid.

She called a taxi, and gave us each a $1000 voucher for return travel.

So I'm in the Narita terminal, pondering my next move.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Rolling out new copulatory products

Blader Industries, Inc. announces "Forged" and "Cast"

Blader Industries, Inc. is a world wide leader in copulatory aids and devices, with a corporate mission to improve copulation frequency and effectiveness, thereby ensuring the survival of the species.

It is our position that "Forged" is the most significant advance in breast implant material since the invention of salt, and it will revolutionize copulation.

Briefly, "Forged" provides instantaneous feedback to a gentleman when properly massaged during the commission of a foreplay act. When caressed perfectly, "Forged" emits a very long wavelength, inaudible hyposonic tone perceptable only to his subconscious, triggering receptivity in the female and instinctual mounting behavior in the partner, leading to successful completion of the copulatory act.

The research and devlopment group at Blader Industries, Inc., a crack group of engineers and scientists recently returned from their annual brain-storming chataqua on the Bikini Atoll, recognizes that copulators come in many sizes, shapes and talents.

Therefore, we have also released our companion product--"Cast". "Cast" is almost identical in every way to forged except that in addition to triggering the brain's mounting centers, "Cast" also directs subliminal information towards the brain motor centers. These cues allow for a more forgiving fine motor control of copulation in those customers for whom this is problematic.

Not intended for use with farm animals. Blader Industries, Inc. is a multinational publicly traded concern listed on the worlds major stock exchanges. This announcement contains forward looking statements that may or may not be true and is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as a sole source in making investment decisions.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

My most embarassing professional moment

Cruising with retired homies ain't what it's cracked up to be

Several years ago, as I was just starting out after college, I was hired on by North Star Cruiselines to serve as the night shift Entertainment Steward on their New York to London trans-Atlantic voyage.

One of their representatives had seen me in action one night while I was in college, where I frequently volunteered as a DJ at fraternity parties. My natural talents at working a party crowd into a throbbing frenzy, whether drunk or sober, were obvious to most even at a young age. And I liked the challenge.

The whole market model of this particular cruise ship service was to attract recently retired passengers for some "roaring 20's escapism." The shipping lane went through the North Atlantic ice fields as the customers, newly unshackled from the responsibilities of making a living, partied on and laughed in the face of the apparent danger.

Normally after a night shift I'd go catch some sleep, but on one day I went up to the tee range, driving golf balls off the deck for hours on end, trying to hit passing ice bergs. I was working to 'sustain the lag' during my downswing, and having pretty good success groving this particular 'secret of the golf swing'. I was enjoying the joviality and digging with some of the passengers, who had gathered to marvel at my shotmaking prowess.

Whether it was because I hadn't napped following the previous night shift, or the chill North Atlantic air or the hard excercise, or a combination of all three, but I became pretty tired, and the sun was beginning to set.

One of my duties each evening was to program the Muzak system, piped into the ships restrooms, hallways, decks and elevators, for a 12 hr intervals. I simply had to make some musical selections and load the play list of about 100 tunes, and hit 'replay' after the last tune just in case it doesn't run through the night and it can start back at the 1st tune of the list.

Well, as I mentioned I was tired, and when I get tired I tend to get a little goofy. So I added the theme song from the movie "Titanic" deep in the middle of the playlist. I figured maybe one or two guys with enlarged prostates waking up to urinate might hear this at 3am and get a little chuckle from the irony.

Unfortunately, before closing the window on the playlist page I somehow managed, without noticing, to check the replay box on the "Titanic" tune and simultaneously delete every other song in the play list!!

So what ended up happening was that the only song piped out that night on the Muzak system was the "Titanic" theme....over, and over, and over again.

I went to my cabin to take a little nap before going on shift, only to fall asleep immediately before setting my alarm clock.

I didn't learn of my mistake until the next morning, when the captain woke me up. He told me that all of the ship's passengers, and some of the crew, had begun assembling on the decks in life jackets beginning at about 1 am, and that by 6 am it was a full panic situation!!

The captain was kind enough to stay in my stateroom to help me compose an explanation and apology to our passengers, which I went out on deck to read shortly before breakfast.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Since the public debut of my log yesterday, I've been inundated with questions. This FAQ list should answer the more pressing issues that have arisen so that we all can get back to focusing upon my work and my ongoing adventures.

Who are you?
I am Blader, an international man of mystery without portfolio.....and captain of industry, I almost always forget to mention the latter.

Are you an enigma?
No, but I am complex.

Why are there no pictures of you anywhere on the internet?
The short answer is for security purposes.

The full answer is that there are murderous sycophants who walk this earth, most especially an accountant chap from New Jersey with deep and unfullfilled interests in constitutional law, who perceive me as their mortal enemy and will stop at nothing to snuff me from the face of this earth.

Where are you now?
At the moment, I'm laying over at a whorehouse in Uzbekistan. I arrived here accidentally. My intention was to check some of my property on the Gaza strip, as rumors were swirling that the Iranians intended to wipe Israel off the map. Instead, I boarded the wrong flight in Port Said, which landed here in Gazalkent.

I remain because it is the only facility within hundreds of miles with a reliable internet connection. The reason this particular whorehouse is 'wired' is because the proprietor also runs a side business...a clearinghouse for Uzbekistani women seeking to become internet brides in American and Europe. At first I'd hoped to develop certain corporate synergies between our enterprises, but the situation is deteriorating rapidly and I'll be moving on as soon as I can find durable transportation.

Can you describe your childhood for me?
Sure. I was born into humble surroundings.

Not "out in a manger in Bethlehem" humble, but close enough for comfort, if you catch my drift.

My father grew up in the only Caucasian share- cropper family in Tupelo County, Mississippi. He was a hard working, self-made man with only a primary school education but a superb and complete set of teeth, which he was smart enough to take advantage of as he made his fortune in the widget sector.

His success was all the more remarkable because, unlike me, he wasn't a WASP.

From where do you derive your obvious self-confidence?
About the time I reached middle school age, Daddy's garage-based widget business was becoming something of a success. In fact, it was so successful that it became frequently mentioned in many of the leading business and economics textbooks of the time.

Our home became a destination for many pilgram-type characters hoping to capture the scent of his success just by driving by on the front road. Kind of like Graceland.

He decided to move the family from the Mississippi co-op farm where I was born and where he worked as a mechanic, out to a large and more private estate in the Hamptons of New York.

It was in the Hamptons that my natural talent for lawn games blossomed. I was simply unbeatable...I knew it as did every other child and parent in the neighborhood. I derived a great deal of self-confidence in my abilities from that.

Before long, none of the parents in the neighborhood would allow their progeny to accept my challenges to compete. I turned these talented gifts from badminton and croquet and focused upon golf, which I could play alone.

To this day, the course records that I established in country clubs up and down Long Island as a youth remain unchallenged. I excel in golf to this very day but I only compete in badminton and croquet against my children.....who are no match for my talent.

Is that talent in golf somehow related to the derivation of your name?
It is true that in golf I play with an extremely unforgiving set of classic forged blade irons that only a few among the best players in the world would dare use. Most people in the world now play with dull feeling 'forgiving, cast cavity back irons'....something I cannot tolerate since I am a 'feel' player.

My talent and my equipment make me a rare sight on most golf courses. People mistakenly believe that I have been nicknamed after my style of golf play, as in: "What a great shot with some very unforgiving irons, man o man that guy is a superb blader!"

True enough. But in fact, I am named after my maternal great-grandmother: Wilmette Corinthia Blader, a well known activist in the suffrage movement.

Do you enjoy golf?
Golf both obsesses and completes me.

Back to your business interests, how did you come to focus upon the copulation industry?
Inspired genius, I suppose.

A few years ago it struck me that scientists in western societies had only recently (within the past few hundred years) put two and two together to discover that procreation is a consequence of copulatory activity. Simply put, Blader Industries focuses upon the copulatory sector because we want to be a major player in the procreation markets for a long time to come. You can't have the latter without the former.

Our competitors have accused us of simply hitching are trailer to a self-replicating entity that even the most challenged company could profit from, but any dispassionate observer who takes a look at our diverse product line know it's a lot more than that.

As I continued my analysis of the industry it became quite clear that a mistaken perception was that pornographers 'owned' the copulatory sector. However, our carefully conducted, scientifically controlled and double-blinded two-tailed analysis of variance research showed that the vast majority of pornography consumers were actually engaged in acopulatory activities, in private, all by themselves! Without partners!! And in copulation never is the old adage that it takes two to tango ever more applicable.

I think you know what I mean when I say that the only way pornography consumers were going to get any procreation out of their consumptive activities would be to evolve into hermaphrodites! LOL!!

So we saw a niche that pornographers weren't filling, and we stepped right in. I suppose I owe my fortune for achieving this insight before most others.

Are you bullish on the copulation sector?

There are enormous opportunities for growth in the sector. For example, there are many primitive peoples throughout the world who have yet to put two and two together and connect the dots between their copulatory activities and that a little bundle of joy squirming around on the dirt floor of their hut. Blader Industries sees enormous mercantile potential in cultivating those consumers and helping them draw the lines between the dots, much as westerners have. Our test marketing, particularly in Djibouti, has proven that as the primitive come to understand better the basic biology of reproduction, they'll want our products.

If you'll forgive me, they'll come in and out of our stores again, and again and again.

So growth is limited to the third world?
Not at all.

Don't kid yourself, there are a LOT of people in Kansas, for example, and other areas of the Bible belt who think that pregnancy is something that is spread on tractor seats....or even just sort of happens spontaneously through prayer.

I'm sure you've seen the type: "Well, if I'm meant to be pregnant God will make it happen." Nine months later they've forgotten all about the copulation but the memory of that prayer is seared in their minds.

In a nutshell, what Blader Industries, Inc. does is reverse that. As a group of companies, our goal is to enhance the copulatory experience to ensure that every instance of copulation is seared into the minds of our customers.

We foresee a time when playground conversations are not about pot roasts, or leak proof diapers or even how to position little Johnny's extracurricular activities to improve his chances of being accepted in the more prestigious pre-K programs. No, we want those mothers discussing with their peer groups every detail regarding the conception of that child!

Do you see these fundamentalists as threats to your mercantile interests and growth prospects?
Not at all, they amuse us.

And they will be our customers down the road, it's inevitable. Look, the process of evolution has equipped humanity...even fundamentalists...with the irresistable urge to copulate.

Heck, look at Jimmy Swaggart, who experienced unnecessary emotional pain as a futile reaction brought on by suppressing his deep-rooted biological urges. Since then, he not only has became one of Blader Industries, Inc. most important customers, I'm happy to report that he now sports a much improved haircut. It's remarkable what we've been able to accomplish for him.

Blader Industries has a lot of non-profit subdivisions, what's up with that?
It should surprise nobody that our interests are simultaneously mercantile and in service to humanity.

Look people really like to copulate, and almost all cultures treasure new born babies. At Blader Industries, Inc., we came to recognize that these are primal, insatiable pleasures. And it's not only pleasurable, but also absolutely essential for the species to propagate if it hopes to ward off extinction.

C'mon, there are a lot of people out there, should we really be concerned about the extinction of humanity?
That's exactly what they used to say about passenger pigeons.

I see you are getting distracted by that caravan of trucks moving up the valley from a distance, so one last question: Are you really Richard Branson, head of the Virgin group of companies?
LOL!! I've heard those rumors, too.

No. I'm actually very much afraid of heights, and my beard is much darker than his.

But I'll be honest with you, since these rumors began to swirl I've found it difficult not to conclude that in many ways, Richard Branson is almost a caricature of myself.

But that's probably a judgement I'm least well positioned to make. I'll leave that to you, instead.

I'm sorry, but you are right, I should be moving....that caravan is both unexpected and getting closer.

Do you remember if I came into this room carrying my kalashnikov? Where did I last put that?


Allow me to introduce myself. I am known by my many friends simply as Blader.

Strictly as a matter of corporate protocol, my associates refer to me as 'Fearless Leader'.

If you have found this log, then we shall presume that you have joined my circle of friends and so I ask that you address me by my given, rather than by my corporate, name.

I am a rare, dark eyed natural blond with a thick dark beard that I shave daily. My chest hair is impeccably groomed. In many primitive areas of the world that I travel, great attention is given to how a man cares for his chest hair and I have grown to cherish this protocol.

Who is Blader? Blader is complex, but hardly an enigma. I won't bore you with the details of my upbringing and education, other than to allow that both were considerable.

In some parts of the world I am extremely popular, and as I exit whatever mode of transportation I had taken to arrive in any particular hamlet, I'm often greeted warmly by the indigenous people. I am a neo-colonialist.

This is most especially true in my adopted homeland of Djibouti.

My association with the disobedient goes back many years. How it began was a mixture of good fortune and inspired genius.

Briefly, I discovered Djibouti one evening as I passed time in the bathroom leafing through the "D" World Book of Encyclopedia. I'll never forget the haunting feeling that came over me when I read that their birth rate was estimated to be slightly less than 20 births per 1,000 population.

As a leader in the copulation industry, my firm is known as the Haliburton of the copulation industry, I saw a clear opportunity. After finishing my business and flushing, I made some phone calls and before you could say "clip clap scally wag give your dog a bone" I was comfortably reclined inside my Gulfstream IV shooting towards the east coast of Africa where I was to meet President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti.

As your time is no less valuable than my own, I'll cut to the chase: It was not difficult to persuade President Guelleh of my proposal for he is a brilliant man. He accepted my offer that Blader Industries, Inc. would provide a no cost nationwide copulatory consulting service in exchange for access as the primary exporter of the fine wool that is harvested from virgin sheep in the Djiboutian highlands.

As you can discover for yourself, since Blader Industries has been on the job, the birth rate in Djibouti has doubled to 40 births per 1,000 population.

In the copulation industry, news of that kind of success spreads faster than a drug resistant venereal disease. As such, in addition to running my conglomerate, I'm frequently on the road giving speeches at various trade meetings, conferences and chataqua's.

At the moment I'm in a Uzbekistanian whorehouse. How I got here is a long story that I've posted elsewhere, but it began with an unexpected, and thankfully brief, imprisonment in Burkinio Faso on trumped up charges brought by, shall we just say, my nemesis.

After escaping I made my way to the west coast of Africa, then through the Mediterranean to Egypt, where I mistakenly boarded a flight that took me to my current location.

I'm not exactly trapped here, and feel I'm doing some good work by using computer skills to assist these wonderful southwest asian ladies become American Brides.

I hear the usual late afternoon commotion down below.....the mullahs are out and about 'cleaning' the streets and so we must all sit quietly as the rampage exhausts itself.

I will post you again later