I Recently Joined a Health Club. Eventually, I Might Even Try Using It.

health club - buff guyI’m a little discouraged. You see, about six months ago, I joined a health club with all the latest fitness equipment. But in all that time, I have hardly lost any weight. And by “hardly” more specifically I mean I’ve gained five pounds. I have seen no improvement in my strength, flexibility or endurance since joining the club.

There are several possible explanations for these disappointing results… most notably perhaps the fact that I’ve only gone to the club five times – and three of visits those were to catch the game on their large screen TV in the juice bar.

But in my defense, there are many perfectly valid reasons for my slow start. First, I had to re-organize the Christmas decorations in the garage in alphabetical order. Then there was that project to restore several dozen art projects our kids made in elementary school, some of which were missing buttons and sparkles in critical places. And most recently, Downton Abbey started Season 6. It’s a serious time commitment, keeping abreast of whether the Earl of Grantham is going to lay off the under butler or the senior lady’s maid. I would not want to have to make that difficult decision.

My point is, I’ve been extremely busy lately.

Make no mistake. I’m not lazy. I love the idea of getting in shape. I’m just not particularly fond of the “working out” part. I love my health club’s many amenities, like the hot tub, sauna, and juice bar, which they call the “Barbell Bar.” Catchy name, eh? I’m just not crazy about the club’s complex fitness machines, some of which were clearly inspired by medieval torture instruments.

Oh, sure, we all may like the results of doing 50 chin-ups or skipping rope for 30 minutes. But no honest person can look you in the eye and truthfully claim they have fun doing it. If they say that, they are lying – either that or they may be having a brain aneurism, in which case call 911 immediately.

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  • Published On Feb. 08, 2016 by TEJ
  • Don’t Let Email and Facebook Take Over Your Life

    Email addiction - GrouponThere is a growing problem in this country. It’s the bombardment of messages we receive virtually nonstop every single day, thanks to the increasing omnipresence of email, text messaging and social media in our lives.

    Today I want to tell you how you can break free from the distraction of – hey look! An email from Ace Hardware. They’re offering 15% off hammers today only. How’d they know I needed a new hammer? Where was I? Oh yes, I was talking about the importance of staying in the moment and not letting outside email distractions cause us to get – Wow! My team is up by 10 at the half.  Thanks for the text, Sis. Go, Buckeyes!

    My point is, we need to take back control of our lives and not let our laptops and smart phones dictate how we spend our time. There is nothing more important in life than – Adele’s latest tweet announcing, “I’m back with a brand new single. Watch the video now: http://trib.al/utC***z”.  Wow, that was awesome. She sure has a set of pipes….

    As I was saying, too often we bounce from one distraction to the next when what we really should be doing is using our time to appreciate – this important email I just got from Donald Trump claiming that Ted Cruz is an idiot….

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    • How true, Tim! Just the other night my daughter Eva and I were talking about Facebook as we waited at…
      Lynn Gaertner-Johnston
  • Published On Feb. 02, 2016 by TEJ
  • My Plan to Donate My Powerball Jackpot Winnings to the Kids in Africa

    Powerball jackpot - Tim with kidsI was really bummed to learn that I did not win the recent $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot. I was so close to winning it all. I was only off by four or five numbers. Drat! It took me a while to overcome the shock and disappointment of my razor-thin loss. But after a week of eating nothing but cookie dough ice cream and Double Stuff Oreos by the sleeve, I was able to get out of bed and face the reality that my near-term future would not include a castle surrounded by an alligator-filled moat after all.

    My deep despair got me to thinking: What would I do if I actually won the billion dollar jackpot? I reflected on this question for what seemed like hours but was actually the duration of a TV commercial about hemorrhoid cream. I wrote down a list of things that I would do with the money if I were lucky enough to win. I’m not hinting that my incredible list of philanthropic plans makes me a better person than you. I’m not hinting anything at all. Let me spell it out for you. I’m a way better person than you – at least I will be, once I get my hands on that money.

    As someone who is profoundly deep and constantly reflects on the meaning of life whenever I’m not hungry, I realize I have been given a great amount over the course of my life – starting with two (occasionally) wonderful daughters. But there are so many others who have been given far less. So, if I were to win the Powerball jackpot, it would be my heartfelt desire to travel to Africa to provide food and clothing to all the starving children of that great nation. (I’m pretty sure Africa is a nation.) And I would build them a modern school with clean, safe running water, and give each child their very own iPad, pre-loaded with both Minecraft and Candy Crush – for educational purposes only. I would do this because, let’s face it, it’s all about the kids. And I already have everything I need….

    Except for a private jet. Yeah, I would love to get me one of those babies – um, so that I could transport food and clothing to the starving kids in Africa, of course. And my jet would come with a scantily clad female flight attendant with a sexy British accent, and she’d serve me martinis. I don’t even like martinis, but who cares? And just as soon as I got my private jet, I would immediately get to work on helping those starving, shabbily dressed kids in Africa….

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  • Published On Jan. 18, 2016 by TEJ
  • Announcing My Candidacy for President of the United States

    Tim for President - Hope posterFor months now I’ve been watching all of the presidential debates, and I’ve heard some pretty incredible promises by the 16 serious candidates running for president (17 if you include Donald Trump). I have to say: They are really good at making outrageous promises and telling lies. And then it hit me: So am I! I do this every week here in this blog. Which is why I feel there is room for one more candidate in this year’s presidential election: ME!

    Naturally, this raises a number of questions, such as:

    • What are my credentials to be considered for such an important responsibility?
    • What are my views on immigration reform?
    • Where do I stand on gun control?
    • How did I get your email address?

    All perfectly reasonable questions – all of which I plan to deflect by answering a completely different question from the ones posed above, further establishing my credentials as a legitimate presidential candidate. For example:

    Question: How would you solve the problem of funding Social Security so that it does not run out in my lifetime? 

    Answer: The stability of our Social Security system is of paramount importance. America’s greatness is built on the backs of its citizens, who have worked hard and paid into Social Security for years. And it is these people who have made this nation the great nation it is today. That’s why we need to protect our rivers, lakes and air from pollution – for our children and our grandchildren. After all, if our kids can’t swim in a lake without the fear of being attacked by terrorists, then how will we ever stop China from hacking into our electrical grid? I for one won’t stand for it. And that’s why I’m running to be your next president. God bless America.

    Question: What are you credentials to be our next president? 

    Answer: I can see that the moderator has only given me 30 seconds to respond to this question, so let me be direct. Did I mention God bless America yet? I did? Okay, well then, let me address this very important question about my qualifications to lead the highest office in this country. The second amendment is something we must not take for granted. And there is no greater nation in the world than the United States. It is for this reason that – Oh, I see my time is up. Next question, please.

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    • I love what you stand for...but why limit yourself...go for two big roles in one... Vote for…
      Tim Fletcherd
  • Published On Jan. 11, 2016 by TEJ
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better) – Part 2 of 2

    Its a wonderful life - Happy family[From Part 1: I had the weirdest dream recently. A lot like the Jimmy Stewart classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. In the film, Stewart’s character, George Bailey, questions whether the people in his life would have been better off had he never been born. Then a guardian angel named Clarence shows him how their lives would have turned out much worse had George never existed. Well, my dream was a bit like that.  A bit…. 

    To read Part 1 of this 2-part series, click here. We pick up with my guardian angel named Tyrone continuing to show me what life would have been like for others if I had never been born.]

    Me: So where are you taking me to now, Tyrone?

    Tyrone: To see someone who was your best friend as a young child.

    Me: My childhood playmate Danny Scott?

    Tyrone: That’s right. Look out there. What do you see?

    Me: A baseball field – with a bunch of kids playing.

    Tyrone: And notice who’s playing short stop?

    Me: Is that Danny? It can’t be. He could barely walk for most of his childhood on account of a bad fall off a swing set.

    Tyrone: No, he didn’t have a bad fall.

    Me: Are we going to start this again, Tyrone? Yes, he did. I know. Because I was the kid who pushed him too hard from behind, and he flew 12 feet into the air before landing hard, breaking his leg. He never walked the same after that.

    Tyrone: You didn’t push Danny off the swing. Because you were never born, remember?

    Me: Oh right. That It’s a Wonderful Life thing. I almost forgot. So what happened to him?

    Tyrone: Well, because Danny never had that terrible fall, he never injured his leg. He played little league and went on to play high school ball, then college ball. He got so good the Chicago Cubs recruited him as a pitcher in 1977. He became a Major League all-star. He went on to earn millions. Technically, hundreds of millions. All those Nike endorsement deals added up. Read More…


    • Thanks for their perspective Tim. Course in miracles says, "the smallest pin point of light can light the darkest room."
      Davie
  • Published On Dec. 13, 2015 by TEJ
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better) – Part 1 of 2

    Its a wonderful life - Happy familyI had the weirdest dream the other night. Remember the Jimmy Stewart classic, It’s a Wonderful Life? In the film, Stewart’s character, George Bailey, questions whether the people in his life would have been better off had he never been born. Then a guardian angel named Clarence shows him how their lives would have turned out if he had never existed. Well, my dream was a bit like that. A bit….

    Me (in my dream, thinking to myself): Today was a crappy day. Nothing went right. My boss chewed me out for botching an important deal. My wife is upset with me too, for – um, to be honest, I have no idea why. Something about my buying a pet yak without consulting her. Who knows? Even my kids were pissed at me again – although in fairness, that’s been their normal feeling about me since puberty. Gosh, I’m depressed. Sometimes I wonder if everybody in my life would have been better off if I’d never been born.

    Angel Tyrone: Why do you say that, Tim?

    Me: WHA??? WHO THE HELL ARE YOU!!!!???? AND HOW DID YOU GET IN MY BEDROOM!!!!????

    Tyrone: Nice to meet you, Tim. I’m your guardian angel – Tyrone.

    Me: The Hell you are. Who ARE you and how did you get in here!!?? I have a pistol under my pillow, and I’m not afraid to use it.

    Tyrone: No, you don’t.

    Me: Oh, yeah? Just try me. And how would you know anyway, TY-RELL, if that’s even your real name?

    Tyrone: It’s Tyrone. As I said, I’m your guardian angel. So I know you don’t have a gun under there. I’ve known you your entire life, Tim. For example, I know where you stashed the Playboy magazines you stole from your brother when you were 11.

    Me: Oh, you do, eh? Well, why don’t you just tell me, Tyson? Read More…


    • Great Photoshop work Tim. If you were never born - the world would be a much sadder place without our…
      Janice Strong
  • Published On Dec. 07, 2015 by TEJ
  • My Trip to the Dentist

    Dentist - drillI hate going to the dentist – the sound of a dentist’s drill carving up my tooth and that painful Novocain needle. And that’s what I’m about to endure today. I am going to dread this…..

    12:15pm: I am sitting in the lobby of the dentist office, reading an issue of Lady’s Home Journal from May 2007, because it’s either that or a 2009 issue of Field & Stream – anything to distract my brain from the fact that shortly I’m going to be in serious emotional distress, contemplating the dentist’s drill boring through my mouth like a construction worker chiseling a concrete sidewalk.

    12:21: Uh oh. It’s time. They just called me in. The hygienist’s name is Maria. She seems nice. Kind of cute, actually. But I know what’s in store after I walk through that door. The dentist will start wielding his evil-looking torture device, and I’ll be clutching the armrests so tightly I’ll leave permanent indentations.

    12:25: Time for the Novocain. Did I mention I have a phobic fear of needles? The dentist is pulling one out of his quiver roughly the length of a knitting needle. Is it only me or did he just flash a sinister sneer behind his mask? I’ll bet he loves this part. My stomach is a ball of knots. My heart is racing.

    12:26: Maria sees me closing my eyes and grimacing. She asks me if I would like them to use nitrous oxide (laughing gas). “What’s does it do?” I ask her. She explains that it may help me relax and take my mind off of the procedure. “Sure, why not?” I tell her.

    12:29: Maria puts a mask on my face and tells me to breathe in and out through my nose. Nice try, but there’s no way this is going to help me relax. Just look at that needle – it must be as long as my 9-iron.

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    • My dental surgeon is also an M.D. with a surgical residency. He took out two wisdom teeth and installed the…
      Drew Fisher
  • Published On Nov. 29, 2015 by TEJ
  • How to Help Your Child With Their Science Fair Project

    middle school science project - ChildIf you have kids, then by the time they reach middle school, it’s a certainty they’ll turn to their parents for help with their science fair project. In our family, they naturally turned to me because they respected my enormous wealth of scientific knowledge [after all, I’ve watched more than two episodes of Nova] – and not at all because my wife has told them “I’ve driven you to 600 soccer practices and 125 piano lessons over the past three years. It’s time your father got off the couch for once. Go ask him!”

    Helping your child with his noble science fair project can be a wonderful bonding opportunity – parent and child working together to bring a complex endeavor from inception to completion. Remember, your role is merely to coach, not to take over the project. Use this chance to teach your child a life lesson in taking responsibility. Follow this simple seven-step roadmap, and before you know it, your little wunderkind might learn a lot more than just how many planets are in our solar system (I still say the answer is nine. Pluto rocks).

    Step 1: Help your child select a project that’s achievable.

    Kids are naturally competitive. They want to impress their teachers – and their parents. So don’t be surprised if your child’s concept for a project is overly ambitious. When he decides to build a nuclear particle accelerator using bicycle parts and silly putty, you may want to counsel him to scale back his plans to something more realistic – so he might actually complete his project during your lifetime. 

    Step 2: Remind your child of your role in this project.

    Okay, so you took your kid to the movie, The Martian, and now he’s decided he’s going to build a rocket ship that can travel to Mars and back. Did you skip over Step 1 above – the part about choosing a project he can actually achieve? As you get started, remind your little rocket builder that this is his project, not yours. Insist he take the lead. Gently reassure him that you’ll be there every step of the way if he gets stuck.

    Notice how he gets stuck as soon as he hands you the instruction sheet from his teacher, at which point he may say something like, “Dad, this looks really hard.” Don’t worry. This is an excellent opportunity to teach him the lessons of patience, self-reliance, taking a project from start to completion and going without texting for more than three minutes. 

    Step 3: Encourage your child when he gets stuck. Read More…


    • Not having kids we helped by judging science fairs. What a learning experience trying not to crush budding scientists,…
      Janice Strong
  • Published On Nov. 16, 2015 by TEJ
  • Have You Heard About Dyzastra?

    DyzastraHave you been feeling sluggish lately? Why not try Dyzastra? (“Di-ZAH-Struh”)

    Do you have a spare tire around your middle that you’d like to get rid of? How about trying Dyzastra?

    Stomach pain, the common cold and restless leg syndrome are no match for Dyzastra.

    Do you have toenail fungus that just won’t go away? Maybe it’s time you tried Dyzastra. 

    Dyzastra is perfect for just about anything that ails you. Thinning hair, chronic lower back pain, indigestion, arthritis, pinkeye? Dyzastra can help. And Dyzastra can do so much more.

    Dyzastra can lower blood pressure, reverse the effects of diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and even improve your memory. Gingivitis, halitosis, constipation? They’re all things of the past, thanks to Dyzastra.

    If you’re suffering from asthma, eczema, sore throat, depression, or illusions of grandeur, ask yourself one question: “Why haven’t I tried Dyzastra?”

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    • Love your drug name. All the side effects made me giggle. Who cares about the side effects if you…
      Janice Strong
  • Published On Nov. 09, 2015 by TEJ
  • I love you daddy, but not enough to give you my Snickers bar

    Halloween - me and my girlsIt was a dark and stormy Halloween night. My two young daughters, Rachel and Emmy, could not wait to get started. Earlier that week I’d spent an evening helping them come up with their costumes. Emmy could not decide between a fairy princess or Barney the dinosaur or Hello Kitty. So naturally, the only solution was Barney the Hello Kitty dinosaur princess. Whatever makes you happy, my little angel, I mean, dinosaur kitty princess.

    Rachel’s outfit was easier. She insisted on being Harry Potter wearing an invisibility cloak. So I drew a lightning bolt on her forehead, put a sliver of duct tape on a pair of my black-framed glasses and found a blanket to which I affixed a big sign that read: INVISIBILITY CLOAK.  YOU CAN’T SEE ME!

    The girls kept asking, “Daddy, when can we go trick or treating?” To which I would respond, “It’s only Wednesday. Halloween is not for another three days. Be patient.” This went on every few hours until the big day, at which point, the incessant questioning accelerated to every 5 minutes.

    Finally it was time for the main event. They looked so cute – Emmy in her princess tiara, sparkly gloves and Cinderella flowing gown, with the matching kitty ears, whiskers and a long purple dinosaur tail. Meanwhile Rachel was almost completely hidden underneath her Mighty Morphin Power Rangers invisibility blanket. Of course, once we ventured out into the 42-degree drizzling weather, it was actually hard to make out their costumes beneath their winter coats and Thomas the Tank Engine galoshes.

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    • What a nice dad! When our girls would come back from trick or treating, I had them sort through…
      Pam N
  • Published On Oct. 27, 2015 by TEJ