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Rain, clouds, moss and other reasons I love Drip City

Seattle - Space NeedleI’ve lived in Seattle for over twenty years and I still love it here. It’s known by various nick names: Jet City (because of all the Boeing jets built here) and The Emerald City (because of all the greenery). Personally, I prefer Drip City because it’s more accurate, thanks to all the rain and the fact that at last count there were at least 1,542 Starbucks locations in downtown Seattle alone.

For many people in the eastern two-thirds of the country, Seattle is this mysterious, faraway place they only know about from Sleepless in Seattle. But there is so much more to this city than a spunky Meg Ryan (although let’s not understate Meg’s importance).

Let me debunk a few myths about my adopted city:

  • Myth: It rains here all the time. That is simply not true. The weather here is gloriously sunny and mild with zero humidity – if you happen to be here in August. Otherwise, yeah, it does rain a fair bit.
  • Myth: The sun vanishes for nine months of the year, from October through June. Again, utter hyperbole. There are many winters where you may see the sun for long stretches of time – usually during the second week of August.
  • Myth: It is so damp here that the roofs of most houses are covered in thick moss. Actually, it’s more like a light dusting. And this also goes for the dusting of moss you’ll typically find on our lawns, driveways, patio furniture, and any toddler who has been left out in the backyard for more than 45 minutes.

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  • Ha!! Drip City - SOOOOO perfect!!! My new favorite name!
    Lee
  • Published On Sep. 10, 2014 by TEJ
  • IMPORTANT HEALTH SAFETY WARNING: THESE FOODS WILL KILL YOU!

    bad food - food pyramidIt seems every week there is a new study about yet another popular food staple that has been linked to cancer or heart disease. It’s all very confusing. First experts tell you that grape juice is a heart-healthy beverage. Then other experts claim that it’s bad for you (containing as much sugar as soft drinks).

    As one of the nation’s leading nutrition experts, I have compiled a comprehensive list of unhealthy foods. Avoid these foods and you should be able to lead a long and healthy life – assuming, of course, you don’t live in Afghanistan, Somalia or Detroit, in which case all bets are off.

    FOODS TO AVOID

    Cake, cookies, candy and ice cream. When I first discovered that these foods were considered unhealthy, it came as quite a blow. For years I had considered these to be the four basic food groups. But apparently no longer. They are all high in sugar, carbohydrates and polyunsaturated fat. Avoid these at all costs – unless you prefer to be happy.

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    • Let's not forget that fruitcake can be used as a lethal weapon
      Dave driscoll
  • Published On Jun. 11, 2014 by TEJ
  • America’s worsening attention span probl – Hey, Pam just texted me : )

    attention span - frowny faceRecently I have noticed a disturbing trend. People’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. In fact, if you’re like 85% of Americans under the age of 35, you lost interest after the sentence Recently I have noticed a disturbing trend. It’s an epidemic.

    For the 15% of you still reading, let me explain. Thanks to texting, people now spell the words U and B4 because they don’t have the patience anymore to take the extra two seconds required to spell out you and before. God forbid the word might contain more than two syllables, such as a word like, well, syllables. People simply can’t be bothered – too many keystrokes. And when was the last time you wrote a personal handwritten letter? Let me guess. President Clinton was still dating Monica, right?

    Thanks to Facebook, we have all become conditioned to posting micro comments on people’s “walls” which according to the Facebook Code of  Condensed Communication Conduct (FCCCC) must not exceed 24 characters. Say your family dog passed away after 18 years, and you decided to share your grief about your loss. Here is the response you would likely receive from one of your closest  friends:

    1)     In 1974: Hey, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dear Golden Retriever Buster. I know that he was a family member to you. I hope you can be heartened in your time of grief knowing that he lived a good life. I hope you don’t mind but I baked you my homemade apple pie. I am always here for you. (This note would of course have been handwritten.)

    2)     In 1994: Hey, so sorry to hear about the loss of your dog. What was his name? Anyway, imagine you’re pretty bummed. Would love to talk more, but gotta go – Monica’s soccer match. Can’t be late. (Sent by email.)

    3)     In 2014: Hey,  attention span - frowny face - small(Sent by iPhone.)

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    • Q. How many kids w/ ADHD does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A. Let's go bike …
      Peter Cohen
  • Published On May. 14, 2014 by TEJ
  • Kids, Ask Me About God
    – By Reverend Tornquist

    [Note from the staff at VFTB: This week, we are privileged to feature a LIVE CHAT with noted Christian evangelist Reverend Norman Tornquist, host of the popular webcast, Kids, Ask Me About God. Tornquist is the renowned author of children’s books including God Loves Kids with Braces Too, and Skittles – The Devil’s Gateway Snack. We join the LIVE CHAT already in progress….]

    Kids ask me about GodReverend Tornquist: I see we have a question from Sophie. Hello, Sophie. How old are you?

    Sophie: Hi, Reverend Toadkiss. I’m four years old.

    Tornquist: That’s Tornquist. An understandable mistake.

    Sophie: Whatever. I wanted to know – Is God left-handed like me?

    Tornquist: What an interesting question, Sophie. I really don’t know. I will have to pray about that one.

    Sophie: So what you’re saying is you know nothing about God. How did you ever get to become a priest?

    Tornquist: Actually, Sophie, I’m not a priest. I’m a minister. I see that Billy has a question. Go ahead, Billy. How old are you?

    Billy: I’m eight. Hey, Cardinal Tornquist –

    Tornquist: Actually it’s Reverend Tornquist, Billy. What’s your question about God?

    Billy: I want to know, where does God go to the bathroom?

    Tornquist: Another fascinating question. Thank you, Billy. Well, God is all-powerful. So, I guess he can go to the bathroom anywhere he wants. When it rains in the forest, maybe that’s God’s way of peeing.

    Billy: Wow, I had no idea God had to pee so much. Maybe he has a tiny bladder. Sure hope my parents never make me go on any more camping trips. I never knew how gross the outdoors was. Thanks, Cardinal T.

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      No Recent Comments
  • Published On Apr. 15, 2014 by TEJ
  • Tax deductions I’d like to see

    tax deduction - bibIt seems like I’m paying more in income taxes every year. My tax preparer just completed my return and it appears that I owe more in taxes than I actually earned last year. Very discouraging. In full disclosure, my tax preparer was my college-age daughter. I’m thinking subtraction may not be her forte. But in her defense, she was tutored in math by her father.

    Like most Americans – other than my brother Todd – I always pay my taxes. But I am concerned the government will just squander my taxes on unnecessary government boondoggle projects. I assure you, I am perfectly capable of squandering those funds on my own boondoggle projects with no help from Uncle Sam, thank you very much.

    I read the other day that many of the largest Fortune 500 companies routinely claim so many business deductions and tax loopholes that they avoid paying any federal income tax at all. Apparently the key is to become a multi-billion dollar global enterprise with incriminating photos of a U.S. Senator having gay sex with an under-age intern or a sheep, and you won’t have to pay a dime. That seems totally unfair. The only incriminating photos I can get my hands on are a couple embarrassing selfies I took at last year’s company holiday party dressed as Gumby in drag.

    I believe it’s time that we demand our government take drastic action to simplify the tax code. I’ve come up with a plan that will make it far easier for me to pay my fair share – which based on my rough calculations, comes to nineteen dollars and forty-seven cents (give or take a quarter). Under my plan the following items would become tax deductible expenses:

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    • Oh, yeah, Tim, pick on a poor defenseless corporation like GE. I mean, what did GE ever do to …
      Drew Fisher
  • Published On Apr. 10, 2014 by TEJ
  • Warning to husbands: Shopping at Costco can be hazardous to your marriage

    Costco - snowglobeIt started out innocently enough. My wife asked me to go to Costco because we were low on shampoo. No biggie.  Quick errand.  I’ll be back in time for the start of the baseball game.  My mistake was listening to my wife when she asked me to go to COSTCO.

    The second I entered the behemoth warehouse, I was overcome by the allure of wall-to-wall gigantic flat screen Hi-Def TVs showing exotic tropical waterfalls. Some in 3-D. Ooh! I noticed a sign that said if you buy the home theatre sound system package, you can get a 65” flat screen HDTV for only $850 more. What a bargain. So I added an LG 65″ Class 3D 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV with 4 Pairs of 3D Glasses (for the kids) to my flatbed cart.

    As I was lugging my cart towards the shampoo aisle, I couldn’t help but notice the festive Christmas tree display. An 8-ft Pre-Lit Clear Mixed Country Artificial Pine Christmas Tree complete with 800 Clear Dura-Lit Mini-lights for $20 off! Think how much I will save by buying it now before the holiday season. Plus, I’d be doing my part to save the world’s endangered commercial tree farms. So I wedged the tree in between the TV and the sound system and continued on my merry way.

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    • Your resistance to bargains is overwhelming. If, I remember rightly, you once bought a car from Costco. Another …
      Eleanor Rushworth (Yer MiL)
  • Published On Apr. 02, 2014 by TEJ
  • There’s no better time than RIGHT NOW to start PROCRASTINATING!

    [Note from the staff at VFTB: This post was originally scheduled to run in September 2012, but Tim  didn’t get around to it. He was extremely busy attending to more pressing matters, by which we mean trying to break his record score in Angry Birds.]

    Procrastination - TV setDo you wake up some mornings feeling overwhelmed by all the things you need to get done? Do you sometimes wish you could just stay in bed for another hour? Another six hours? The month of April?  Wish you could avoid all the items on your never-ending to-do list? Well, then what are you waiting for? There’s never been a better time than right now – right this second – to start PROCRASTINATING!

    Hi, friend. This is Tim Jones – professional procrastinator and author of the book Why do today what you can put off till forever (a future best-seller – if I ever get around to finishing it). That’s right, friend. Now you can discover my proven techniques to put off completing even the most urgent, unpleasant project.

    Tired of your spouse nagging you with her “Honey-Do” list? I know I am. Well here’s my first tip: just keep stalling. Before too long, I guarantee that your spouse will stop nagging you once and for all. (Of course, her attorney may pick up where she left off.)  Keep reading for more time-tested tips.

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    • Here's my two cents worth.....oh! I forgot Canada has stopped making cents. I'll finish this next
      Eleanor Rushworth (Yer MiL)
  • Published On Mar. 27, 2014 by TEJ
  • Common Courtesy Rules for the 21st Century

    courtesy - smiley faceLet’s face it. We’re all busy. Life now is much harder than it was back in the days before cell phones, the internet and Roomba vacuum cleaning robots. There’s barely enough time in the day to update our Facebook status, let alone find time to see if our kids remembered to make themselves dinner before putting themselves to bed.

    In a more primitive era, say around 1989, life was far less complicated. People had much more time to show appreciation and be considerate of others. But thanks to social media and 982 cable channels to choose from, our lives are much more hectic. Nonetheless, it’s still important to try to be polite – okay, maybe not that important come to think about it, but still something to think about when you’re not too busy admiring your own reflection in the window at Prada’s. Here are some common courtesy guidelines to ensure you extend every bit as much consideration to others as do, say, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.

    Tip #1: Cell phone etiquette: One thing we can all agree on is how much fun it is to talk on your cell phone anytime, anywhere. But when using your phone in public, be sensitive to people around you.  When yakking on your phone to your buddy Eddie while watching a film in a crowded theatre, smile at the person next to you and whisper, “This will only take a minute. The game is in sudden death overtime.”

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    • When I finally got to the end of your post, Tim, I had almost forgotten what I was going to …
      Drew Fisher
  • Published On Mar. 05, 2014 by TEJ
  • Forgotten wedding vows – a wife’s rebuttal

    [Note from the staff at VFTB: Last week Tim Jones wrote a piece called “Wedding vows I don’t remember making.”  This week, Tim’s wife Michele has requested equal time for a rebuttal. Tim is confident his wife’s piece was written with as much love and sensitivity as Tim displayed in his post.]

    wedding vows - rebuttal  - Tim and MicheleI read my husband Tim Jones’ post last week titled Wedding vows I don’t remember making. I love my husband very much, and when I say “love” I mean, I put up with him. Can I be honest? Being married to a humor writer is no picnic. It’s almost like living with an eleven year-old, except that I don’t want to belittle the maturity of any eleven year-olds out there.

    I have so much to be thankful for, being married to you, my husband / man-child, these past 26 years. I want to thank you for:

    … your never-ending concern that I might get over-heated on a winter’s night from having too many blankets covering me and your thoughtful habit of yanking all those blankets to your side of the bed in your “crocodile death roll” maneuver in your sleep.

    … your willingness to educate me about defensive pass interference in football. Thank you for being so flexible about our television viewing options each evening too. You’re always so willing to let me choose, so long as it’s ESPN 1, ESPN 2, ESPN Classic, or whatever channel broadcasts the Lingerie Football League.

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    • I guess this means you won't be coming to the workshop on the dropped third strike rule?
      Rey Carr
  • Published On Feb. 19, 2014 by TEJ
  • Wedding vows I don’t remember making

    wedding vows - wedding dayIt’s Valentine’s Day – a day each year when millions of us husbands take time to show our wives just how much they mean to us, before we go back to complaining about them to our male friends the other 364 days. Today, I’m thinking about all the joy my wife has given me these past 26 years. It’s the little things mostly, like when she gently reminds me for the fourth time that I forgot to take out the trash, or her endearing habit of nagging me about my weight whenever I reach for a donut, or her playful quips about how she’d be living in a far nicer house if only she had married that other guy.

    I fondly recall that magical day when she and I walked down the aisle and both said, “I do.” I remember the vows we made to love, honor and cherish one another until one of us decides to kill the other. Admittedly, I was so lost in happiness that day that I may have forgotten a few details. Now, as I think back on our 26 years of wedded bliss, it seems that list of wedding vows must actually have been much more extensive. Here are some of the other vows I apparently made on that special day:

    My dearest darling, I promise you, for as long as we both shall live…

    …that I will respect you as my equal and never ask you to do a household chore that I would not be willing to do myself – with the addendum that I agree to killing all bugs like the icky spider in the bath tub, for that is a “man’s job” for which it’s perfectly reasonable to interrupt my Sunday afternoon nap even though you could have killed the damn bug simply by stepping on it with your shoe.

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    • I think you're the best husband ever, keep on agreeing with your wife and have fun killing those bugs and …
      Sarah Payne
  • Published On Feb. 12, 2014 by TEJ