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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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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • TGIT – Thank God It’s Tuesday

    TGIT - whistleFor several years, every November and December, I experienced three-day work weeks thanks to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Due to the shortened workweeks, I had to be extremely focused, making efficient use of my limited time those weeks. I cut way back the amount of time devoted to watching adorable cat videos on YouTube.

    With only three days to get everything done, I dutifully avoided sending our my normal two dozen humor emails a day with links to things like hilarious parody music videos on the Twelve Days of Christmas. I discovered that I accomplished so much in these shortened work weeks that it got me to thinking: Imagine how much more efficient workers would all be if we all had a three-day work week. 

    There are many companies – and even a few cities (El Paso, TX, Melbourne, FL) and at least one state (Utah) that are currently experimenting with a four-day work week. Instead of five 8-hour days, their employees work four 10-hour days, and they really get a lot of things done in these ten-hour days…well, in the first 8 hours anyway. Polls of workers who have shifted to a four-day work schedule indicate that 85% prefer it to the previous five-day schedule and an overwhelming 99% prefer it to the seven-day 80-hour work week with no time off for Christmas.

    The advantages of a four-day work week are obvious:

    • Reduced commuting time and reduced energy consumption by eliminating one day of commuting travel per week
    • Improved energy efficiencies from reduced use of electricity and heating in offices and factories which are closed one more day each week
    • You can get drunk on Thursday night and don’t have to make up transparent excuses for not showing up to work on Friday, like “I can’t make it into work today, boss because my four-year old Nate is sick with the measles again… Yeah, I know it’s the 7th time this year. He has a really crappy immune system…”

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    • What a great idea. We've decided to do this at our conglomerate. Our Board of Directors was so enthusiastic about…
      Rey Carr
  • Published On Sep. 29, 2015 by TEJ
  • Sears’ customer guarantee: Delivery between 1:45 – 3:45pm – No matter what!

    [Author’s note: I recently purchased a mattress from Sears. They were supposed to deliver it this past Thursday. But things did not quite go as planned. They sent me a customer feedback survey the following day. Below is the exact, unaltered response I sent back in my evaluation.] 

    Sears - delivery truckDear Sears Customer Service Team,

    Thank you for your very prompt email survey asking about my recent purchase experience. I am pleased to report my online ordering experience went off without a hitch. No wait, there was actually one very minor hitch which I probably shouldn’t even bother mentioning, but since you were kind enough to ask, would you mind if I share it with you?

    My fantastic customer experience started to go just slightly off track when it came to the DELIVERY of the mattress I purchased online. And for that, I take full responsibility. It was completely my fault to place my mattress order with Sears. Why I didn’t order it through Sleep Country USA is something I can’t explain.

    You see, my delivery was scheduled for this past Thursday. The evening before, I received an automated call from Sears Customer Service informing me that my mattress would be delivered between 1:45 pm and 3:45 pm. And that presented a problem, as I had an important appointment which required me to leave by 2:00.

    I immediately called your toll-free customer support number (1-800-PLZ-HOLD), and after waiting ten minutes, I reached a live person named Roger – at least I presume Roger was a live person. In retrospect, given that he kept spouting the same answer over and over, I’m wondering whether perhaps he was an automated phone bot with a highly developed user interface.

    I told Roger / your phone bot that a delivery window of 1:45 pm to 3:45 pm would not work for me and asked if Sears could change the delivery to 7am to 10am, to which he kindly responded, “Please hold.” No more than eight minutes later, he came back on the line helpfully to inform me that a delivery window of 7 to 10 am was not available. “However, we can deliver your mattress tomorrow between 1:45 and 3:45”, he shared. That time sounded eerily familiar, in part because that was the precise time window I had called about to inform your team would not work for me.

    I then asked whether it could be delivered between 10am and noon. This is when I suspected that Roger might be a highly advanced computer algorithm. Because after my second eight-minute wait on hold, he / it returned on the phone and repeated almost the identical message as before, informing me that a delivery window of 10 am to noon was not available, “However, we can deliver your mattress tomorrow between 1:45 and 3:45.”

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    • Oh no Tim! You have made me very edgy now! My friend has asked me to be available…
      Sue Thees
  • Published On Sep. 01, 2015 by TEJ
  • The case against marriage equality for left-handed people

    Lefthanded - No left turnchartIt’s time patriotic, flag-waving Americans stand up for our God-given right to oppose any minority group that makes us feel slightly uncomfortable. The time is now to raise arms – and legs – against the moral decay of this once great land. Join me in opposing the misguided policy of marriage equality for left-handed people. As our forefathers would no doubt agree: WHAT’S RIGHT IS RIGHT! Therefore anything else must be wrong.

    Now, before you start getting all tied up in knots, I’m not saying that all left-handed people are bad. I’m just saying, why take the risk of letting them marry? If we do, the odds are their innocent children may grow up to be left-handed too. We need to stop this epidemic – for the children.

    I honestly don’t mind if someone is left-handed – just so long as they don’t behave left-handedly around me. Thankfully, southpaws represent only a tiny sliver of the American population – less than 11% of our nation’s 321 million people. So it’s not like we have to interact with their type on a daily basis – unless we are forced to leave home to get groceries.

    Have you ever met a left-handed person you really trusted? Me neither. And I should know. I’m married to one. There is no shortage of hysterical – I mean historical – reasons for treating left-handed people differently. Those reasons date back more than 2,000 years. In ancient Rome, the Latin word for “left” was sinistra. It’s where the modern term “sinister” comes from, which, according to Webster’s Dictionary, literally means “threatening or portending evil, harm, or trouble; ominous.”  The word “left” derives from the Anglo-Saxon word lyft, which means “weak”. The Dutch word for “left” is links, which also can be translated as “cunning, shifty or risky”. And the Dutch invented Dutch Chocolate, which I love. So if they don’t trust left-handed people, who am I to argue with the wisdom of people who wear wooden shoes and live below sea level, protected only by dikes?

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    • You've taken your handest bias too far. It's one thing to be anti-left-handed marriage, but to then fail to mention…
      Rey Carr
  • Published On Jul. 07, 2015 by TEJ
  • America is the greatest nation on earth – In your FACE, Denmark

    America is #1 - hey hey signOn July 4th, we will once again celebrate our independence from the tyranny of England. Those British monarchs can be so oppressive. If it were up to Queen Elizabeth, we’d all be forced to drink Earl Grey tea with every meal.

    Every year at this time, Americans proudly mark our independence with fireworks, burgers on the grill and binge drinking. And why shouldn’t we? Ours is the greatest nation in the solar system. I’m a patriotic American – something my wife will never understand because, sadly, she’s Canadian.

    When it comes to being great, no country on earth is better than the U.S. of A. We’re NUMBER ONE! Look at the Olympics – God almost always backs the Americans – except in soccer – because he knows that Americans love God more than any other country.  Every time a U.S. athlete wins, the first thing he does is give thanks to God.  The Czech Republic (ranked the least religious nation on earth) never thanks God. And do you remember the last time they won a gold medal? Me neither. Because they hate God.

    Oh sure, I’ve read a few misleading statistics about how the USA ranks 12th in college graduates, 27th in life expectancy, 37th in healthcare, 47th in press freedom and 53rd in ability to locate Mexico on a map. (I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere west of France.) But most of those statistics came from CNN’s World Desk Editor Fareed Zakaria. And that sure doesn’t sound like an American name to me. He probably has an axe to grind about his visa status.

    I don’t care what statistics you want to throw in my face. It doesn’t change the fact that the USA is #1 in the world. Finland may rank first in education. And technically speaking, the Netherlands’ first place ranking in broadband access just nudges out our 23rd place finish. But in many other categories, the USA is Numero Uno. For example, America ranks …

    • 1st in guns per capita
    • 1st in cocaine seizures
    • 1st in obesity
    • 1st in percentage of the population that’s incarcerated
    • 2nd in carbon emissions – but we’re coming after you, China! So watch your back!

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    • Love this! Thanks Tim!
      Gail Palmquist
  • Published On Jun. 30, 2015 by TEJ