Archive for January, 2012

My close brush with death: Seattle’s Snow-mageddon

It is a miracle I am alive right now. I could have been a statistic but thankfully, my life was spared. I live in Seattle, which recently experienced a devastating snow storm that shut the city down for five days.  The powerful storm became the top story on national newscasts until another nasty storm front with heavy wind(bag)s blew into South Carolina in the form of a Presidential Debate.

Forecasters, predicting the worst storm in four decades, called for 12 to 18 inches of snow in the Puget Sound region. When the last flakes finally stopped, almost six inches of snow covered some areas, proving once again that it is impossible to forecast the weather in the Pacific Northwest. What made it treacherous, however, was that the snow turned to freezing rain, coating roads, trees and power lines with a half inch of ice. This caused hundreds of cars (including mine) to get stuck and thousands of tree branches and hundreds of power lines to collapse. That’s when my terrifying near-death experience began.

At about 5am on Day 1 of Seattle’s Snow-mageddon, our house lost power – lights, heat, phone and internet. Venturing out by car into the blizzard was a foolhardy suicide mission. According to my best estimates, Seattle has exactly three snow plows – four if you count my neighbor Fred’s snow blower. There we were – without power, without heat, without hope, and barely a month’s supply of non-perishable food and beverages. Someone had to venture out for food. That someone would be me.

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  • Tim, now you know what it's like to suffer! Sure wish I could have been there to share it with …
    Vann Helms
  • Published On Jan. 26, 2012 by TEJ
  • Business Lesson #39: Awlays Proffread Yoru Wrok

    As a successful entrepreneur and highly sought-after business guru, I am constantly being asked by people trying to climb the latter of success “How can I ever become as successful as you?” Well the short answer, of course, is “You can’t. Don’t waste your time trying.” That said, there are still several things you can do to ignite your career, including offering to have sex with your company’s president or blackmailing the CFO with photos from last December’s Holiday Office party. But these strategies are best reserved for the experienced career climber. For someone with your more modest level of talent and ambition, how about we start with something a bit more basic, shall we?

    One of the most important things every business professional can do to improve their chances of getting promoted is this: Awlays proffread yoru wrok.

    How we communincate in righting can leaf lunglasting impassions about us. Weather its an emale massage, a business mammo or a for mall propostal, it is criticial to revue your work for accuratecy. By making egreekious grammer and spoiling misteaks, it can from in the mind of the reader a severally negative impersonation abort you. They may persleeve you too bee someone who is lazey, careles, disogranized or somewon who simply can’t finnish their

    I can’t stress how pearamount it is to careflee skan your work for posse ball tie pose. Remember, how you communionate in rightwing may be the differents between getting a raze and getting fried. I could knot be moor serialous about this then I are.

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    • Sorry I didn't see this one sooner. I was in Vietnam when you posted it. They sent me there in …
      Jim Hayden
  • Published On Jan. 20, 2012 by TEJ
  • The Tangled Truth about UHS: Uncombable Hair Syndrome

    Won’t you please help? Millions of dollars are spent every year on life-threatening illnesses like cancer, heart disease, and restless leg syndrome.  But precious little is being done about a chronic, as yet incurable condition that frankly, most people are not comfortable talking about. I’m talking about UHS.

    If you’re like many women, you probably think it stands for Ugly Husband Syndrome (which afflicts roughly half of all marriages after 15 years). If you live in Arizona, perhaps you think it stands for Unregistered Hispanic Syndrome. If you’re my teenage daughter, your guess might be Unbelievably Hideous Handbag Suckiness Syndrome (my daughter is not good with acronyms). But you’d be wrong. I’m talking about an actual medically diagnosed and thus far untreatable condition called Uncombable Hair Syndrome. Yes, there actually is such an affliction. It even has its own web site.

    What exactly is UHS? This silent killer (of any hopes for a social life) usually presents itself between the ages of 3 months and 12 years and typically results in thick, frizzy, light-colored hair which simply will not respond to combing.

    So the next time you see a slovenly teenage boy who looks like a complete toad, with his over-sized pants hanging down around his knees, shoelaces untied, a tattoo of a snake slithering through the eye socket of a skull on his left arm, and unkempt hair flopping about all over the place, don’t be so quick judge. He just might have UHS. Underneath his sliced-up Judas Priest T-shirt and nipple ring, he might be crying silent tears (from the pain of the nipple ring). Give him an understanding nod, and while you’re at it, a hat.

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    • Where do you get those photos? They are fabulous.
      Janice Strong
  • Published On Jan. 12, 2012 by TEJ
  • How to turn on a light in less than 23 steps

    I consider myself an expert handyman. If there is something broken, stuck, loose or making a sound it’s not supposed to be making, I possess an innate ability to quickly identify the problem – and within minutes make that problem significantly worse than it was before I began fiddling with it. There are three things every homeowner should instinctively know:

    • #1: The location of your main circuit breaker box: In most homes, this is conveniently located in the garage behind a clearly displayed grey metal panel. In our house, it’s conveniently located behind three boxes of stuffed animals, four crates of ancient photo albums, and nine cans of 14-year old dried house paint. Our circuit breaker was last seen in spring, 2003.
    • #2: The location of your main water shut-off valve: This could save you thousands of dollars if ever your pipes burst. This valve is typically found somewhere inside the house on the first floor, either in your laundry room or front hall closet. In our case, it’s conveniently located nine feet up our fireplace. Apparently I must have pissed off some plumber as our house was being built.
    • #3: Righty-Tighty, Lefty-Loosy. That little lesson sure could have come in handy had I known about it before my gas grill’s propane tank gas leak and subsequent explosion during the surprise party we threw in the kitchen of our former friend, Agnes Turlington in 1995.

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    • Oh Tim I feel your pain. This sounds like the same experience anytime I attempt a plumbing repair. …
      Jim Hopkins
  • Published On Jan. 05, 2012 by TEJ