Recent Articles

Questioning the CIB, Brizzi and 'The Bachelor'

March 16, 2009
All right, class, put a fresh point on those No. 2 Dixon Ticonderogas, because here it comes, the News Quiz.

Questioning Obama, Favre and the CIB's $50 million

February 16, 2009
It's the season for bailouts—banks, businesses, capital improvement boards are all standing on street corners shaking empty Burger King cups at passing taxpayers.

Sharpen your #2 pencil-it's Redmond's news quiz

January 19, 2009
Welcome to the news quiz. Each month in this space, I'll ask questions based on recent news events, and give you four answers to choose from. Some of the answers will be fake; at least one will be real ... and correct.

Computers may be sensible, but consumers manipulate them in weird ways

November 17, 2008
Computers are sensible, but humans using computers are anything but.

FUNNY BUSINESS: The art of letter writing: before the text generation

October 20, 2008
My sister's kids, Deniece and Denephew, think it is just hilarious to watch their fumbling uncle trying to send a text message-which has recently become the No. 1 use of cell phones, instead of talking. I poke and prod one measly letter at a time. Meanwhile, the kids-with agile thumbs and secondnature knowledge of a cell phone touch pad-are incredible. To watch them is to see an intricate ballet of the opposable digits (pas de pouces) performed at lightning speed....

FUNNY BUSINESS: This election goes beyond just boxers or briefs

September 15, 2008
Now that those Laff Riot nominating conventions are over, the major political parties can get down to the serious work of promising to change things by campaigning pretty much the way they always have. Wait. I take that back. I have seen something different about this year's presidential election campaign, and I don't mean the obvious stuff, like John McCain and Joe Biden being (and I can't believe no one has pointed this out) white guys. This is the first...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Wrap-master Redmond on Reynolds e-mail

August 18, 2008
I suppose you got the e-mail about Reynolds Wrap. Oh. Well, then, you're among the few Amer icans who didn't Actually, you might want to check your e mail after you finish reading IBJ. It'll probably be waiting in your in-box Although I guess you really won't have to, seeing as how I'm going to go ahead and spoil the surprise. Under a subject line full of typical Internet understatement ("OMG! THIS IS SO AMAZING! YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!")...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Wrap-master Redmond on Reynolds e-mail

August 18, 2008
I suppose you got the e-mail about Reynolds Wrap. Oh. Well, then, you're among the few Amer icans who didn't Actually, you might want to check your e mail after you finish reading IBJ. It'll probably be waiting in your in-box Although I guess you really won't have to, seeing as how I'm going to go ahead and spoil the surprise. Under a subject line full of typical Internet understatement ("OMG! THIS IS SO AMAZING! YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!")...

FUNNY BUSINESS: You'll know really bad drivers when you see them

July 21, 2008
A reader recently forwarded an e-mail ranking the worst American drivers by city, along with the suggestion "Make fun of this." While I usually don't respond to such directives, this case was different, seeing as how it came from my mother. You know how it is. Anyway, here we go-a column about the worst drivers in America, as ranked by a well-known insurance company and recommended by Mom. The Top 10 "Where-Did-These-People-Get-Their-Licenses?" cities are: Columbia, S.C.; St. Louis, Mo.; Greensboro,...

FUNNY BUSINESS: A farewell to fairways: Why I'm retiring from golf

June 16, 2008
More than once I've been told that to get ahead in business, I need to play golf. Sorry. Not going to happen. Oh, it isn't because I don't like golf. Quite the contrary. I love golf. Golf, properly done, can be beautiful: the ballet of the swing; the crack of the driver against the teed ball; the drive rocketing away from the tee box, curving to the right and then drawing itself back onto the fairway; a laser-guided short iron...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Begging for a Super Bowl: The ego and the bid

May 19, 2008
And so another Indianapolis Super Duper Bowl offering is in the hands of the immortals, also known as the NFL owners, delivered there by scrubbed, shining, briefcase-toting eighth graders. Now we know how far some adults will go to avoid rejection. The kids were chosen for this mission to, in the words of the organizers, show that the entire community wants to host the 2012 Championship of the World (Not Including All The Countries Outside The United States.) What a...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Wing and a prayer: Surviving today's air travel

April 21, 2008
One of the great struggles of the day-Airlines vs. Human Beings-has taken some interesting turns lately, but the score remains the same as it has been for years: The human beings are not winning. Consider these touchdowns, so to speak, just from the last couple of weeks: A piece of a wing detaches itself from a US Airways jet and smacks into several of the plane's windows before falling to the ground somewhere in Maryland. "May I have your attention,...

FUNNY BUSINESS: One paper goes Britney-free-it's a darn good start

March 17, 2008
With the possible exception of the people who run this newspaper and either allow me to write for it or haven't noticed that I do, David Little is the greatest newspaperman in America today. Little is the editor of the Chico (Calif.) Enterprise-Record, who declared his paper a Britney-free publication-No Spears, None Of The Time. He wrote in his column: "This is a woman who seems to have mental health issues, shall we say. We'd never make light of a...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Oklahoma has a state meal. What about Indiana?

January 21, 2008
I hate to be the bearer of news like t h i s - e s p e c i a l l y when the legislators are in town and looking for ways to distract themselves from having to make real decisions-but Our Beloved Indiana is falling behind at least one other state. We don't have a state meal. We have a state bird (cardinal, same as 35 or 40 other states). We have a state rock (limestone-what else?)....

FUNNY BUSINESS: 'Twas the office pitch-in before Christmas

December 17, 2007
I love this time of year ... the lights, the music, the hustle and bustle of shoppers rushing from optometrist to optometrist trying to use up their flex spending money before the year runs out. And then there are the holiday greetings. How meaningful and thoughtful they are, especially the ones that begin, "Due to lower-than-expected performance in the first three quarters, the traditional holiday bonus will this year be replaced with the enclosed certificate good for 50 percent off...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Pushing my luck with two good trips to the BMV

November 19, 2007
Like a lot of people-which is to say, most Indiana residents-I have long greeted going to the license bureau with the enthusiasm customarily reserved for dental surgery. The difference, of course, is that you get drugs for your root canal, but not even a double helping of nitrous oxide could make a fun afternoon out of getting new license plates. Well, hold on to your hats. I had to go to the license bureau twice last month, once for a...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Survey says: I think I'm still in seventh grade

October 15, 2007
Goof that I am, I joined one of those social network Websites, Face Space or something, thinking it might help me get a little speaking or entertaining business. What I have gotten instead are surveys, lots and lots of surveys. And I use the term loosely. Most surveys in which I've participated in the past had some sort of point-usually for marketing purposes. They wanted to know what sort of dishwasher you have, which political candidate you prefer, or how...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Newsflash to Christmas marketers: It's still summer

September 17, 2007
Four days after Labor Day, the first Christmas catalog showed up in my mailbox. Four. Days. After. Labor. Day. Sometimes, all you can do is shake your head. Now, don't get me wrong. I love Christmas. I start looking forward to Christmas every Dec. 26. I am a bona fide, certified Yuletide nut. That does not, however, mean I wish to "get a jump" on my Christmas shopping, as the catalog advised. Jump? JUMP? This isn't a jump. This is...

FUNNY BUSINESS: The World of Tomorrow hovers, prepares to land

August 20, 2007
It's a hovercraft, the M200G from the fine folks at Moller International of Davis, Calif. It has eight rotary engines that create enough oomph to lift the thing about 10 feet in the air, just high enough to zoom over traffic and crack your head on a stoplight. Which, let's face it, would add a much-needed element of comedy to the average morning commute. But anyway, about the car: It's about time. I've been waiting for this thing since I...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Working from home not all Sprite and Cheetos

July 16, 2007
Being selfemployed and working at home is usually a pretty good deal. You set your own hours and your own dress code (you haven't seen Casual Friday until you've seen Home Office Casual Friday). Snack time is never far away. And if you need to take a break for the 4 p.m. showing of "Hong Kong Phooey" on the Boomerang channel, well, who's to stop you? But that's not to say it's all Sprite and Cheetos. I'm thinking of vacations....

FUNNY BUSINESS: Biz buzz like "at the end of the day" puts me at the end of my rope

June 18, 2007
As part of my ongoing search for things to make fun of, I've spent the last few years collecting Business Buzzwords-Biz Buzz, if you will. I now know why they're called buzzwords: Because if you read or hear more than two or three in a single sen tence, you feel a buzzing sensation in the back of your skull. Followed shortly thereafter by a full-blown migraine. That is precisely what happened to me after receiving an e-mail in which two...

FUNNY BUSINESS: A sensible airline's rules to fly the friendly skies

May 21, 2007
We're heading into the Summer Travel Season, and travel this year likely will be even more ridiculous than usual. Gasoline will be more expensive, traffic will be heavier, roads will be messier. Tempers will flare and danger will lurk at every intersection. And that's just driving across town to pick up those spare suitcases from Mom. In this country, we are given two choices for summer travel, driving or flying. The train is kind of a non-starter, which is a...

FUNNY BUSINESS: New plate options better than the 'Wander' years

April 16, 2007
The state of Indiana (For Sale Or Lease: Ask Mitch About A Privatization Plan To Suit You And Your Budget) came up with four proposed designs for license plates, and you know, they didn't look half bad. In fact, all four were fairly attractive. Which, of course, leaves us to ask, "How did that happen?" Let's face it: This state hasn't had a greatlooking license plate since ... well, ever. From the minimalist plates of my youth, blue and maroon...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Indiana's rural counties fall short of 'progressive'

March 19, 2007
I notice that my home county, LaGrange, did not make Progressive Farmer magazine's 2007 list of Top 10 Rural Counties in America. Then again, "progressive" is not a word that leaps to mind for a county that is about 40-percent Amish. Actually, none of Indiana's 92 counties made the Top 10. According to the magazine, the best rural places to live in America are (in reverse order): 10. Polk County, N.C.; 9. Amador County, Calif.; 8. Garfield County, Okla.; 7....

FUNNY BUSINESS: Forget Elvis on velvet; Art Bullies have other plans

January 15, 2007
I've seen the picture of the proposed ginormous art installation for downtown, and I think I speak for many of us when I say ... Well, come to think of it, I better not say that, seeing as how many of us do not use that kind of language. In case you missed it, here's the deal: There's a movement afoot to erect a large, circular, steel, Dairy Queen curlicue over at 11th and West streets-a $10 million large, circular,...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Holiday favorites-and not-so-favorites-liven up work

December 18, 2006
On the first day of Christmas, the workplace brought to me: One allegedly funny memo written in the style of Clement Clarke Moore: "'Twas the night before Christmas and all through Accounts Receivable, not a creature was stirring, isn't that unbelievable?" It goes on like this for 27 stanzas, representing at least four hours of someone's workweek. On the second day of Christmas, the workplace brought to me: Two half-gallon cartons of eggnog for the kitchenette refrigerator, where they will...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Being your own boss doesn't save you from idiots

November 20, 2006
I work at home. Well, I call it work, but really it's just sitting around making fun of things. Which is the same "job" description I used when I "worked" (boy, this is going to date me) at what used to be known as The Daily Newspaper. Nowadays, it's The Manually Delivered User Operated Lifestyle Enhancement Information Platform. Anyway, the good thing about doing whatever I do at home is that I'm free from the tyrannies of the workplace-meetings, idiot...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Planetary restructuring hits Pluto where it hurts

September 4, 2006
Poor Pluto. One day it was spinning through the galaxy, meandering around the sun at a stately 248.54 Earth years per lap, rotating in the wrong direction as compared to the other planets, minding its own business, and then-Bam! It got downsized, reclassified as a planetelle or planetina or planette, whatever they've decided to call it. Reminds me of some businesses I know. One day everything's A-OK, to use space parlance. Next thing you know, Pluto is putting all the...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Land sakes! State Fair celebrates farms of all sizes

August 21, 2006
I take a back seat to no one in my love of the Indiana State Fair. I haven't missed one in about 35 years-including those years when the fair seemed outmoded, doomed to go the way of the Model T and the icebox. I was there when it struggled through the Injun Andy mascot debacle, the concerts with attendance numbering in the dozens, and the shocking revelation that elephant ears did not come from actual elephants. And so I have...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Customer service may be modern-day fairytale

July 17, 2006
Gather 'round, kids. Let me tell you a little story about how things work nowadays. Or maybe how they don't. Once upon a time, there was a customer named Mike. He had two accounts with a credit card company known as-well, let's just say it's the card you don't want to leave home without, according to the TV commercials. Mike had recently closed one of the accounts, with a balance due of about $100. However, he left the other account...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Do you fake it? You're not alone in the excuse biz

June 19, 2006
Being self-employed -a term I prefer to "being a guy who sits around the house in sloppy clothes, unshaven, making fun of things"-I worry that I might have trouble adjusting, were I to go back to an office job. Would I fit in? Would I be able to get along with people? And most important, would I be able to come up with convincing excuses when I am scamming a day off by calling in sick on a lovely day...

FUNNY BUSINESS: 'Restart Your Engines'-we have refrigerator magnets

May 15, 2006
I'm not sensing a lot of enthusiasm for the state's new tourism slogan, "Restart Your Engines." Wait. What am I saying? What I sense is some outright hostility because the state paid $85,000 for this clunker, then was so tone deaf as to unveil it right after the income tax deadline, setting off a wave of "Your tax dollars at work" jokes in newspapers, blogs and coffee shops. So here we are in May, at the start of another tourist...

FUNNY BUSINESS: Spare me from the dreaded brown-bag lunch

April 17, 2006
All right, boys and girls, what are we to make of the survey that says worker morale in America is tanking? Harris Interactive conducted the survey for staffing agency Randstad and came up with figures showing only 40 percent of employees said morale at their workplace was good or excellent, down from 44 percent a year ago. This, of course, raises the question: How did it get so high to begin with? I see little good coming from this survey....
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