HARE PEOPLE (note 1)

By FrancisPeople, THE AGENCY, Uncategorized

Francis: On New Year’s Day, I found (carefully stored in a long-unused file drawer) a 1981 R.E.M. 45 RPM single—released on Hib Tone Records, and signed by the entire band. Bassist Mike Mills included a personal note to Martha: “Hi Martha — 404-546-0365”. Seeing as how I haven’t felt the need to play it in … Read More

Reductio Ad Absurdum

By FrancisNeat Ideas, Uncategorized

In January 2009, the Birmingham News reported that the Jefferson County Commission was seriously considering a sewer system Non User Fee—to be paid by residents, you guessed it, NOT on the system. In response, my good friend Tassos Touloupis authored the press release below. When it (shockingly) didn’t generate any coverage, I brought it to … Read More


By FrancisQuotations, Uncategorized

“Writing is easy. You just sit at your typewriter and concentrate until beads of blood form on your forehead.” —George Axelrod, 1922 – 2003 “If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of Elements of Style. The first … Read More

Dome And Dumber, or Return To Larryland.

By FrancisCULTURE, Rants

There is a pivotal scene in the 1984 mockumentary classic “Spinal Tap”—the comic history of a band’s slow decline from second-rate psychedelic hucksters to fourth-rate thud-rock has-beens. The band’s members are discussing ideas for rebounding from yet another career low, when someone roars, “I’ve got it!—Let’s bring back ‘Stonehenge!!’” (an atrocious rock opera Spinal Tap … Read More

What’s Your Brand Got To Do With Recruiting?

By FrancisBUSINESS, Communications, Trucking, Uncategorized

Everything. (This column was written for Randall-Reilly‘s January, 2011  e-newsletter) Having served my first truck-firm client in the early 1990’s, I’m often surprised by how much companies will invest in their recruitment advertising budget, without first investing in clearly defining their core branding strategy. With the likelihood of CSA 2010’s cumulative point system forcing a … Read More

FMCSA Asleep At The Wheel?

By FrancisBUSINESS, Trucking, Uncategorized

(This column was written for the November, 2010 issue of Randall-Reilly‘s RPM For Truckers magazine) Coping With The New HOS Rules. We’ve already used this space to point-out the one unintended consequence of CSA-2010’s points system that seems obvious to everyone except the FMCSA: Forcing companies to replace a lot of good veteran drivers with … Read More

What To Look For In A Trucking Company

By FrancisBUSINESS, Trucking, Uncategorized

(This column was written for Target Publications, November, 2010) If you’re a driver considering a change of employment, the words of Samuel Butler (1612 – 1680) still ring true: Look before you leap. Look At Their Equipment For starters, you can tell a lot about a trucking company by the kind of equipment they put … Read More