Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Predictions

1. The Republican convention will be deadlocked and in a massive drunken stupor - Nancy Pelosi will be nominated to run on the Republican ticket.
2. A third party - the Mugwumps - will stage a comeback and Lee Aaker will be elected as President carrying all 57 states. Lee Aaker was the kid on the Rin-tin-tin tv show in the 50's.
3. Lady Gaga will be nominated for the US Supreme Court.
4. The Graphic Novel  "Batman gets Poison Oak" will win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
5. Dave and Deb Flomberg will be astounded at the quality of their father's sense of humor.

Note:  The Mugwumps were Republican political activists who bolted from the United States Republican Party by supporting    Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland in the United States presidential election of 1884

2012 - yeah - really?

OMG, 2012 already? I honestly believe that time goes faster as one gets older. This year I turn 65 - on April 16 if anyone cares to send me greetings.  I am missing the functionality of body parts that I used to depend on. My attention span is that of a gnat. I can talk in obscure detail about the presidencies of JFK and LBJ but Obama who?

My son is approaching middle age. Just the thought of running a marathon is an obscene joke. On my desk is a "land line."  It is a telephone with wires coming out of it. In actuality there are two wires, one from the handset to the base and one from the base to somewhere else. I love it. I stubbornly refuse to use or even carry a cell phone. I've given in to modernity my accepting pushbuttons instead of a dial.

When I sit down with my peers, those that are left alive that is, the conversation rapidly turns to medication or illness.  These bodies evolved to be old at 35. Did we really gain that much be pushing that number to the ridiculous  lengths?

OMG, I remember Harry Truman. I remember 15 minute TV shows. I used to watch Howdy Doody.

Happy New Year all my friends, but really - do you think 2012 will be much better?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Judy Cullins

Look at the list on your right - I have two links to the Lovely lady. If you are writing, thinking about writing or wondering about writing - you have to follow this lady. I cannot say enough


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I try and post regularly - but I'm going to relax during the holiday season. May we all have a healthy and successful 2012.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I was lucky enough to have two living grandmothers. Grandma Sadie was my mothers mother. We lived with her and Grandpa till Grandma Sadie passed away.

Every morning Grandma Sadie would get up at around five. she would bake these awful sugar and raisin cookies for me - I loved them. She then went to work in a sweatshop running a sewing machine till late. When she was home  she either cooked, cleaned or argued. Given the fact that she argued in  Yiddish - I never really understood what, or occasionally with whom she was arguing.  I was the center of her life at that point in time.

She slept on a cot in the kitchen when my Mother and I lived with her and Grandpa. One night my mom woke me up, very quietly. Grandma was lying quite still and my cousin Jerry was waiting to take me to my Aunt Margaret's house. As a 9 year old I didn't quite understand that she had died during the night.

Grandma Sadie was a well-dressed woman - she always wore makeup and spoke english quite accent free.

Grandma Ida, on the other hand,  had a thick east-European accent and spoke English haltingly. Her father was a salt-merchant. Grandma Ida worked on the back of his horse-drawn truck heaving around 100 pound bags of salt. She was a big, powerful woman. She lost her husband, Harry, before I was born and I was named for him - Howard.  My Father was her youngest and dearest. When he died young, I slipped into that spot.

Friday nights we went to Grandma Ida's home for Shabbos dinner. I could smell the chicken and gefilte fish blocks away. On Passover she made Latkes, fried potato pancakes. My cousin Bennett and I would go to her apartment and get plates piled high with her latkes. The recipe, actually all of her recipes passed on with her.

As I said:I was lucky enough to have two living grandmothers.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On Being Jewish in the Air Force

It was about my fourth day in the Air Force. We were marched into a movie theater along with two or three other flights. (Flight - a group of airmen, sort of like a platoon in the Army.)  We were marched in formation wherever we went. 

We were told that we were going to get our religious orientation.  An officer got up on stage and made an announcement: "All you Catholics - join me on the left." About a quarter of the audience got up and moved to the side and gathered around the officer, who I later learned was the Catholic chaplain. 

"All you Mormons, join me" and about a dozen airmen gathered around the Mormon chaplain. They then went through the litany of the other Christian denominations, gathering groups of airmen  around their chaplain.

I looked around. I was sitting in the audience all alone. "Airman, what are you?" "I'm Jewish, sergeant." "Wait right there."  The sergeant ran off to the side of the theater, and picked up the phone. I heard him say "Rabbi, you got one this time."

Welcome to the Air Force.

By the way - in spite of a few stupid jokes, which I replied to in kind, I never experienced any anti-semitism in four years in the Air Force. 

Happy Chanukah to all of my Jewish friends.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas in Southeast Asia

I spent 1968-69 in Southeast Asia. At Christmas time I was at Korat AFB in Thailand. We were told that the Bob Hope Show would be at the base. I got there the afternoon before the show and we  partied overnight waiting for Mr. Hope and company. 

He brought Ann-Margaret, Rosie Greer, the Gold diggers and his usual gang. Unfortunately Jerry Colona and Dolores Hope, his wife,  were unable to be there. The show was great - the banter between Hope and us was one thing that was unexpected and fun; and not broadcast-able. At the end of the show Hope explained that they would be doing Silent Night with the Cameras on us. This was our opportunity to be on his broadcast, so that our families could see us.  His wife normally led the singing, but was home ill. So he and the cast led us.

Can you imagine a few hundred GI's singing and crying simultaneously? It was one of the most memorable events in my young life.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A question

That poem seemed to get much more traction than the book. I dropped me defenses on that one. I need to write - but should I get more personal?

I'd appreciate opinions?


I wrote this poem in boot camp in 1965, when I was 18. I really don't think it's that good, but my wife found it and we're using it in little community play. For some reason I have been getting some amazingly positive comments about it. It's short, judge for yourself.

                By Howard Flomberg

The morning came bright & clear & cold,
I was barely 18 years old,
I went to fight a war,
I don't know what for,
I was only 18 years old.

The politicians said we should go,
The newspapers said it was so,
Go fight that bloody fight,
For God is on our side,
And I am only 18 years old.

But war is a terrible sight,
Grown men indulge in childish fight,
For Honor, blood is spilled,
For Honor, men are killed,
And I was only 18 years old.

A man stands up; he is just my age,
His face is full of ungodly rage,
The sound is bright & sharp,
His bullet finds its mark,
I am only 18 years old,

Is there a reason for all this strife?
Aren't we entitled to life?
On the ground I lie,
On this ground I'll die,
I wish I could be 19 years old.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What is the miracle of Chanukah?

The miracle of Christmas is evident, the birth of Jesus. What, however, is the miracle of Chanukah? The standard answer is that the lamp, that only had enough oil for one day, burned for eight days.  Let's examine the story.

During the period that we celebrate, the Greeks had the most powerful army in the world, yet a small band of guerrilla fighters recaptured the holy land. The miracle of Chanukah is  G-d's dedication to freedom.  The fact that the Maccabee fighters could beat the superpower of the day was a miracle. The fact that a small band could beat a major army was a miracle.

Freedom is G-d's gift to man. Our desire for freedom is a miracle.

Merry Christmas and happy Chanukah to all of you. My thanks to all of the men and women who are fighting and dying for freedom.        

Oh my G-d, where did I go wrong?

I am a retired Computer Programmer. I spent decades making technology  useful to  business. I also spent decades as an adjunct college professor. But I went wrong somewhere. My son is an EDITOR.  While I was an  applied mathematician, he works with (shudder) words. I guess the gods are punishing me for all of my misused capitalizations, run-on sentences and misused pronouns.

If I ever graded any of  you down on a paper for grammar - I apologize.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


The topic of leadership has been in my mind and I thought I'd write about it a bit. When we hear about leadership, we automatically think of people such as George Patton.  A leader is someone who is willing to take risks by being out front. Leaders show imagination, fearlessness and initiative.

Is that the sina-quo-non of leadership?  A fast google on the word "Leadership" gives me a half-billion hits. The Wikipedia entry reads like a textbook, boringly, I think. Let's talk about the person who leads from within by setting the  example.

Ever notice the person who is always there during a crisis? This person is working quietly. This person is always willing to give you a hand. There's never any question of this person's value system. May I suggest that this person, the hidden leader, is the one whom you need to emulate.  Tell your management about him/her. Thank him/her.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Judy Cullins!

I've been following Judy for quite a while - it is a great habit to get into:

Judy Cullins
Book and Blog Coach Judy Cullins helps you transform your blog into an income stream for life. Author of 14 books for business people authors that include "LinkedIn Marketing: 8 Best Tactics to Build Book and Business Sales," Judy
offers free, weekly publications on writing and online marketing at

A comment from John Kenworthy

I have begun to feel that the true path for most of us who struggle to find our way in this writing world - is through the networking of fellow writers. Whether it be to improve our craft, to learn the business, or to just commiserate - it is a vital sense of community for this modern age. Best wishes to you Howie! Looking forward to your blog!

You might keep an eye on John in Linkedin. His questions are insightful and the discussions that they create are valuable.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The ultimate "Poor Taste" gift site.

I'm hooked on this site. has all of the stuff that you would love, but are afraid to look for. How about a pad of "Crap I've Got To Do" notes, or a book on "How to Traumatize your Children." Maybe you'd like some "Duh Sticky notes". And it gets worse and frequently obscene.

I now have my Christmas/Chanukah shopping taken care of. Browse it and keep from laughing.

I am in no way connected to this site, nor do I receive any compensation from it, but is the owner wants to?????

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Shameless Self-Promotion

Looking for that special gift for the reader in your family? How about Management, American Style? It will go under your tree of near your menorah.

One day shipping from Amazon is available

I said I was shameless!


Saturday, December 10, 2011


Stuff! We are measured by our stuff. You have stuff. I want your stuff. I can get stuff two ways. I can buy it or steal it. There's a third way. I can run for office and you give me stuff so that I'll vote for laws that will get you stuff.

I had a rough childhood. I was poor and raised in a slum in a fourth world country. I was deprived therefore I'm entitled to be depraved. I can buy a cheap gun and take your stuff. If I get caught I can get my lawyer to tell the jury why I deserve the stuff.

Work? Buy stuff? You have to be kidding

Friday, December 9, 2011

Man plans, G-d laughs

I was prepared for a simple, orderly presentation. All my plans went out the window in minutes. It was a drinking crowd. They were ... is there a word for boisterously-orderly?

I pretty much winged my presentation, I modified it by using the old professors trick - watching their eyes.

There was a full house, if you're in Denver- the Emerald Grill went out of their way to make the party a success. My daughter has assumed the role of my business manager, and is showing a lot of talent for that.

Oh yes money. Book sales covered all of my expenses and left me with a few bucks to throw in the bank.

Do I sound happy? Well, I am happy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm sooooo confused

My Book Launch is today. What do I do? Do I lecture like I did when I was teaching college? Do I sit behind a table, pen in hand and look like I'm selling kitchen knives on Television?

One of my advisors, with whom I am related, tells me to read a chapter aloud. Another advisor, with whom I am related, tells me to relax and talk a bit about the book.

In the book I talk about the foundation of American ethics. When I discuss the Judeo-Christian roots will I alienate my progressive friends and relatives?

'splain something to me - I stood in front of classes for 30 years or so. More than once I lectured on a topic, struggling to keep a chapter ahead of the class. I wrote this darn book. I SHOULD know the material. Why am I nervous?

Well, wish me luck. I'll let you know how is goes!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Books! Physical paper and ink! Let me share a story. Some years ago I found myself in a discussion with my son and one of Mark Twain's books came into the discussion. I asked him when he had read that book. his answer made me very happy; "Pop, you have all of Mark Twain's books on the bookshelf."

You can get a peek into a person's make-up by looking at that person's bookshelf. When I had student's who did no outside reading I felt sorry for them.

This Christmas or Chanukah buy someone a book! maybe even mine??

Physical books will never disappear. Never!

Monday, December 5, 2011

As an Aside

I'm having a Book Launch party this Thursday, 12/8/2011, at Emerald Grill - in Windsor Gardens, Denver CO. Email me at if you can come! I'll be presenting Management, American Style. Wish me luck!

Editing, editing, editing

I've got this disease - it's called editing. Every time I read a paragraph I want to rip it out and re write it. I think I've rewritten the book thrice already. I sent it to a friend who has impressed me with her writing style. She ripped me a new one "You write like a Business School grad." "Err I am a business school grad." "I use too many bulleted lists. " Those are the nice comments. Ok, rewrite.

I did another pass, rewriting major sections. Then my son and heir commented on my use of Capitals letters Everywhere. oops - re-check and modify.

I've been writing since Mrs. Skulsy's class in PS 19, Brooklyn. Do I need to go back?

I'm too old to learn anything new! Or is that just a defeatist attitude? Do I need to go back and rewrite this blog entry?


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Who am I?

I finally retired. After being a system developer - I was around computers since 1966 - for decades. I was involved in projects in every role from jr. programmer through project manager. Way back in 1978 I started teaching college part time. I taught COBOL and the old mainframe stiff till the industry changed. I started teaching Management Science (Statistic) some years later.

Health problems got in my way. The constant stress of project work and then some actual physical problems stopped me and I retired. Now how does a man who has been actively working since he was 15 (in 1962?) keep from going bonkers?

I wrote a textbook a few years ago. I then wrote a couple of small books - Ok, what now? I put it all together onto a 240 page tome, My son Dave did the cover for me. Some friends tore my writing style apart. It's written.

Now How do I sell it?