Index of Articles

Index of  VFTB blog articles (Listed in order of caloric content)

Thank you for taking time to learn about my blog, View from the Bleachers.  I would like to share with you my collection of brilliant writing, erudite ponderings and insightful commentaries about the human condition, politics, business, parenting,  events of the day and my personal battle with male pattern baldness. Unfortunately, I am still working on those insightful articles. In the meantime I invite you to check out  what I actually have written instead. 

Below is an index of some of the least offensive, I mean most popular articles I have written, as determined by a prestigious advisory panel of highly respected columnists, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and A-List professional bloggers, most of whom have strongly recommended me… for a career in the food services industry. But I am sure that if they ever actually read any of my postings, they would overwhelmingly agree with me that I actually have profoundly important things to say… about the food services industry, that is. 

Don’t listen to the critics. And thank you for taking the time to read some of my favorite articles. To see my own personal favorites, scroll down to the bottom of this page.

– Tim Jones

Pop Culture / In the News 

  • A Solution to Our Prison Problem – Soccer Balls – The cost of housing our 2 million prisoners is growing exponentially. Finally an innovative solution from the Argentina prison system that just might work, if we can just work out a few tiny bugs in the plan.
  • World Cup Special Offer from VFTB: Vuvuzela music lessons – Kids half price! World Cup soccer was all the craze in the summer of 2010. And the world fell in love with the sound of the Vuvuzela horn.  Learn more about this amazing pop phenomenon and save money on lessons. Act now.
  • VFTB Exclusive: Breaking News!  Sheen and Gaddafi agree to a job swapThis week features a VFTB Exclusive – a breaking news story that will stun the world. I just brokered a peace deal that may help the world avert not one but two international crises. I am proud to say that yours truly has brokered a tentative deal in which Muammar Gaddafi and Charlie Sheen have agreed to swap jobs.
  • So you think you know Canada, eh? Seven myths about our neighbors to the northHaving been married to a Canadian for 25 years, and having understood her for 9 of those years, I’ve learned a few things about Canada that may surprise you – like the fact that not every Canadian lives in igloos – although most of them dream about owning one someday.
  • America ranks FIRST for Personal Energy Conservation (otherwise known as laziness) – America now has one more prestigious Number One ranking it can add to its collection: We’re number one for personal energy conservation. We won’t take second place to those damn Samoans.
  • A dark day in America – Black are getting happier –  A recent study has found that over the past 40 years, blacks in America are getting happier while whites are getting unhappier. Why? Personally, I blame Obamacare. Read the shocking findings here.
  • Back away from the car, mom, and give the car keys to GrandmaContrary to widely-held public opinion, my elderly mother is a very safe driver. That’s the conclusion of a new State Farm Insurance study which conclusively concludes the following conclusion: Grandparents are safer drivers than parents when kids are in the car. So turn over the keys to Grandma and just relax.
  • VFTB Exclusive: Americans mourn the sudden passing of Osama in Laden – In this shocking expose, VFTB reveals that thousands of Americans are discouraged and disheartened over the news of President Obama’s decision to take out Osama bin Laden – starting with Donald Trump.
  • 8,000 drunken sailors sent on a mission to capsize Guam – Why didn’t the mainstream media cover this urgent news story? The people of Guam are at risk of their island tipping over from an invasion of US sailors. Don’t believe me? Just ask a US Congressman from Georgia.
  • Lindsay Lohan is NOT a milkaholic! – Will the media ease up on this American icon? She has been accused of being addicted to everything from cocaine to wine spritzers. But when you accuse her of being addicted to milk, you have crossed the line, mister.
  • The Tangled Truth about UHS: Uncombable Hair Syndrome– Every day thousands of Americans suffer from a little known chronic untreatable condition called UHS. Okay, well maybe not thousands.  Maybe more like hundreds. Well, at least a few dozen. Okay, maybe just Donald Dobson of Paducah, Kentucky. But for him, it’s no laughing matter.
  • A moment of sadness – America’s greatest inventor has tossed his last toss – There have been many important inventors who have changed the course of our great country, but none, perhaps more important than Walter Morrison, the inventor of the Frisbee.
  • GOP eyes Watson the Computer as front-runner candidate for 2012 election – Recently, IBM’s super computer named Watson defeated two past champions on the quiz show Jeopardy! Well, you knew it was just a matter of time before Republican strategists vetted him for the 2012 election. (First in a two-part series.)
  • Watson vs. Palin mock presidential debate – Who will win? – I go behind the scenes and witness a mock presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Watson the computer. You won’t find this sort of coverage in any other serious news outlet. Find out who wins in this VFTB Exclusive. (Second in a two-part series.)
  • Rapture a non-event – Except for one lucky winner – The Rapture happened on May 21, 2011, and shockingly only one lucky winner got called by God to Heaven.  Don’t despair that you didn’t get picked. You still be around to watch the final episode of Oprah.
  • My fun weekend at the Royal Wedding with Willy and KateSometimes, you just have to be impulsive to get the most out of life. So that’s why I decided not to mow the lawn this weekend and attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton instead.
  • Vancouver Olympics – Have you no shame? – My in-depth undercover report on the seamy dark under-belly of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Canadians should be ashamed of their games, their country and their accent.
  • A Preview of TV’s Mid-season Replacement Reality ShowsWe have entered the Golden Age of Television. Check out some of the mind-expanding reality shows coming soon. If you think the Jerry Springer show is Must See TV, you’ll love what the cable channels have in store for you.
  • 2009 – The Year in Review – As seen from the Bleachers – My recap of the stories that really mattered to the world in 2009 – from Susan Boyle’s stunning performance on Britain’s Got Talent to the stunning passing of Michael Jackson to the stunning launch and survival of View from the Bleachers.
  • 2010 – The Year in Review – As seen from the Bleachers – If you thought my 2009 Year in Review was good, wait till you read my 2010 Year in Review. From The drama (and trauma) of the Vancouver Winter Games to the Gulf oil spill to the rise of the Tea Party to the landmark Healthcare Reform Act. There is something to piss off everybody. (This issue is a two-parter. For Part II, click here.)
  • View From the Bleachers’ Annual Predictions for the Year Ahead – 2010 Edition – Every now and then, my psychic ability to predict what will happen in the world in the upcoming year is eerily accurate. 2010  was not one of those years.
  • View from the Bleachers’ Annual Predictions Issue – 2041 Edition Okay, so I have not had a lot of success with past Annual Predictions issues. This time I gaze out 30 years into the future and make some bold predictions. Since I probably won’t be around by then, I really don’t care how far off the mark I might be.
  • The dangers of texting while breathing – The dangers of texting while driving have long been known. But the alarming truth is that even texting while walking can pose a serious health threat. Just as the California man who, while texting, walked straight into a bear. Fortunately the bear was not harmed.
  • Job Opening: Do you have what it takes to be al Qaeda’s new Number 2? – Still struggling to find work in this listless economy? Enjoy hikes in the mountains? Want a slower pace without being barraged by email and text messages? Like living in dark spaces and blowing things up? Then have we got the job for you!
  • Tally Ho! Exclusive VFTB Preview of the London 2012 Summer Olympics – Just in time for the 2012 Summer Games, VFTB takes you behind the scenes to learn about several new sports introduced for this year’s Games.  Personally, I can’t wait to see Queen Elizabeth compete in the Corgi Toss, even if she is a bit of a dark horse.
  • Important Health Safety Warning: These Foods Will Kill You! – Turns out that a lot of foods are really, really bad for you. Even 32-ounce bottle of water can kill you, especially if it falls on your head from a height of 5,000 feet. Read this week’s important health scare, er, alert, about some which foods can kill. Spoiler alert: Brussels sprouts is one of 5 foods that is actually not harmful.
  • NFL addresses fan discontent by hiring new replacement referees from Foot Locker – After a dramatic Monday Night Football game which ended in a controversial game-changing blown call by the referee, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that he plans to fire all the referees and replace them with Footlocker store clerks.
  • I just found out I’m related to Jesus – on my mother’s side– A recently deciphered ancient Coptic Christian papyrus text reveals that Jesus was probably married. It’s not too big a leap of logic from that revelation to the conclusion that I must be the savior’s direct descendant. I mean, just look at any 15th century painting of Christ. I totally have his chin. 
  • Famous Americans share Thanksgiving messages of gratitude – Thanksgiving is a time to pause and reflect on all the things you’re grateful for this time of year. VFTB shares inspirational messages of gratitude from some of America’s most famous celebrities.  Even with all their wealth and fame, in the end, it’s about the little things in life, like having wealth and fame.
  • 2012 – The Year in Review – As seen from the Bleachers – Part 1: January – June – A look back at the major news stories of the first half of 2012. Who could have known at the time that investing in Facebook would be a bad move or that Newt Gingrich would not become our next president?
  • 2012 – The Year in Review – As seen from the Bleachers – Part 2: July – December– Part 2 of our Year in review.  What an incredible six months it was. The Presidential Election, The David Petraeus sex scandal , Hurricane Sandy and the amazing London Olympic Games were just a few of the important stories we totally forgot to include in this very special report.  Every now and then, I take stock of tiny news stories which catch my attention – in particular, stories about people and businesses making bone-headed moves.
  • Bad Ideas in the News – Every now and then I read stories about people and businesses making incredibly boned headed moves. They remind me that no matter how badly I may feel about my life, all over the world, there are people making me look like a veritable genius by comparison.
  • NRA solves gun violence problem: Bullet-proof vests for every American– The national debate on gun control has escalated recently.  The NRA recently took a bold stance, arguing that what America needs to solve the problem is MORE guns. The fact that this would result in millions in additional gun sales for NRA member gun dealers is strictly a coincidence.
  • My predictions for 2013: It is going to snow a lot…. somewhere… eventually  – In past years, I have made some incredible, shocking predictions.  What’s not so incredible or shocking is that almost none of them ever came true. So this year, I am going to play it a bit more conservative, in the hopes that at least one of my predictions finally comes true.
  • World’s Oldest Person dies – AGAIN In what can only be described as an epidemic of tragedy, the World’s Oldest Person died again. When will our nation’s leaders stand up and take action to stop this never-ending cycle of death from taking so many innocent lives.
  • Communities on high alert in wake of killer guinea pig attacks – Authorities in Australia report that in one community, guinea pig attacks equaled the number of shark attacks. It’s time Americans wake up and realize that millions of us have a deadly killer living in our homes within inches of our precious kids. And that killer’s name is Fluffy, or perhaps Mr. Bubbles.
  • Rumor has it I may be the next Pope– I know, it’s hard to believe. If elected as your next Pope, I promise to make helping the poor and needy my first priority, just as soon as I update the Papal residence with a 120” flat screen TV and make sure the Swiss Guards upgrade my premium cable plan to include HBO.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama – Coming soon to an Applebee’s near you – America’s First Lady can be seen just about everywhere lately.  I mean everywhere. Hang out at your local Costco long enough, and I’m pretty sure she’ll show up eventually, probably hawking a new juicer.
  • In wake of Zimmerman verdict, Florida legislature criminalizes being black – The George Zimmerman trial split the state of Florida and the nation along racial lines. Realizing the state had to do something drastic, the Florida legislature has found a way to reduce crimes between blacks and whites once and for all. 
  • The secret to happiness: Always remain twenty-three – A recent study by the London School of Economics concludes that the happiest ages are age 23 and 69. And the least happy age is age 55 – tied with any age range you were during the George Bush administration.  
  • Seattle’s narrow escape from the icy grip of winter – In a weather crisis no one saw coming, Seattle endured ten straight days of a winter pounding. Oh no, there was no snow. No ice. No brutally cold wind chill. No, we endured something far worse: Sun glare.
  • The perils of living in a state of stoners – I live in Washington State, one of the first two states to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Many people feared that legalization would unleash a torrent of addiction, crime, and fornicating with goats. The reality is much, much worse.
  • I was snubbed by the U.S. Olympic Ski TeamIf you watched the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, you no doubt witnessed many incredible performances. But there was one performance you missed: Mine. I was completely shut out of competing at the Winter Olympics. I don’t mind telling you, I’m more than a little ticked off about it.
  • Announcing a new and improved name for the Washington Redskins – In recent months, the controversy over the name of the Washington Redskins NFL team has gained momentum. Many people feel the term “Redskins” paints a racially demeaning stereotype of Native Americans. So I have come up with a way to solve this problem once and for all.
  • 2014 – The Year in Review – As seen from the Bleachers – Part 1: January – June – A look back at the major news stories of the first half of 2014. Who could have known at the time that Russia would do such a great job of hosting the Olympic Games and then just two weeks later fuck everything up with an invasion of its next-door neighbor Ukraine?
  • 2014 – The Year in Review – As seen from the Bleachers – Part 2: July – December  – A look back at the major news stories of the second  half of 2014. If you enjoy reading about deadly viruses, murderous terrorists and criminal kidnappers, well, then you’re one twisted dude. This installment doesn’t discuss any of those horrible events of the past year. Sorry to disappoint.

Politics & the Economy 

  • BP has a plan to solve the gulf oil problem, and another plan, and another plan… – Well, you knew I had to weigh in on this topic since it was the only thing on the news for three months. I don my investigative reporter cap and share several back up plans that BP was prepared to unveil if they could not stop the leak. I plan to try some of them with my lawn the next time my sprinkler won’t shut off.
  • The end of freedom in America. Blame it on the tyranny of Obamacare – Freedom in America stopped forever roughly in week five of the Obama presidency. Everything that is wrong with our country clearly is his fault, starting with health care reform, which was working wonderfully for the executives of the health insurance industry until he had to go muck everything up.
  • The Tea Party’s bold plans to eliminate the debt completely by December 17th Part 1 of 2– What’s everybody so worried about with our growing debt problem? Just chillax. Our Tea Party representatives in Congress are ready to take control. They’ll have our debt problem resolved before you can say Ben Franklin impersonator. Read about some of their innovative solutions. Click here to read Part 2.
  • GOP Halloween Haunted House of Terror – ENTER IF YOU DARE!!! – If you thought most Halloween Haunted Houses were scary, they’re like Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood compared to the latest crop of GOP presidential hopefuls. Check out the GOP Haunted House.  It’s terrifying.
  • I’ve been having an affair. Please don’t tell my wifeRecently, my wife and kids were out of town for two weeks, and I was all alone – two weeks. A man has certain needs, ya’ know? So I fell for another woman – Rachel Maddow. But the attraction was purely intellectual. Honest.
  • Torn about who to Vote for – Surprisingly this year, the political campaign rhetoric was on the negative side. I never knew how many socialist sympathizing, tax evading, terrorist pacifying, morally bankrupt politicians hell-bent on destroying our country were running for office this year.  So I was a bit torn about who to vote for.
  • Let Our Corporations Speak – Thanks to a stunning, landmark US Supreme Court decision in January, 2010, corporations now share the same right of free speech as individuals. I speculate on the many wonderful new opportunities that this may open up for our country as a result.
  • The Myth about Global Warming –if you ask me, there is absolutely no proof that global warming exists or that man has played any part in it – unless you happen to be swayed by those silly little scientifically validated research studies with their fancy charts and graphs.  I rebut their claims once and for all. (This post sponsored by Exxon Mobile.)
  • In Defense of Big OilThis post is my frontal assault on all those leftwing liberal global warming conspiracy fear-mongers who think we’re going to run out of oil next week. Trust me, we have several months before we have to be the least bit concerned.
  • And the winner is….. Obama???? – Upon learning that President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, I did some investigative research and discovered a shocking list of other awards he was soon going to win. But the Westminster Dog Show’s Best in Show was not among them.
  • Confessions of a Reformed Bleeding-Heart Liberal – I used to be a left wing liberal – that is until President Obama crossed the line and preached the socialist message that our kids should stay in school and study hard. How dare he try to indoctrinate our kids like that!
  • Great News: Wall Street is Back in Business! – Thank goodness the economy recovery is complete. Wall Street investment banks like Goldman Sachs recorded record bonus payouts at the end of 2009, a sure sign that you and I can rest comfortably knowing that everything is fine, even though your unemployment benefits run out next week.
  • VFTB’s Take Back America, Do-It-Yourself Self-Government Tool KitDo you stress over government incompetence and inefficiency? Then try VFTB’s new Government-in-a-Box. We’re talking Government By the People – just the way our very first president, Abraham Lincoln, would have wanted it.

 Family & Parenting 

  • When it comes to our kids, winning isn’t everything. Whining is….. – We parents put way too much pressure on our kids to succeed, work hard and be nice to others.  It’s not our job to prepare them for the harsh realities of adulthood that is around the corner. That’s their future therapist’s job.
  • Who’s the King (or Queen) of Your Castle?Take a quick quiz to find out if you’re still the King (or Queen) or the farm hand. This post offers several brilliant suggestions for how to take back your kingdom – if it’s not too late, which in your case, it probably is. Sorry.
  • If you’re not a Chinese Tiger Mom, your kids will end up in prison – Take a short quiz to find out whether you’re a good parent or not.  This article explores what it means to be a Chinese Tiger Mother and how that compares with say, an Antelope Father or a Musk Ox Aunt.
  • Six Simple Steps to becoming a Chinese Tiger Mother – Now you too can become a Chinese Tiger Mother. Step one: Become Chinese. Okay, so that could be a problem for someone from Idaho.  If you love your kids, try my six-step system and your kids will thank you – in about 40 years.
  • VFTB’s Failsafe five-step strategy to guarantee your kid a spot in PrincetonWorried your child might not even get into their safety school, Burger King University? Relax. Follow this step-by-step guide and your student will be assured a spot in Princeton – just so long as their grandpa is the Dean of the Business School.
  • Five strategies to take the worry out of saving for your kids’ college education – If you’re like most parents of kids approaching college age, you know that saving for college is a daunting challenge. Which is why I suggest never having kids in the first place and buying that condo in Hawaii instead. But if you must have kids, here’s my guide to surefire ways to take the stress out of saving for college.
  • My advice to the graduating class of 2010: Don’t use Sunscreen – My annual “commencement address” to the graduating class of 2010. Hey, mom and dad, you could learn a thing or two as well from my sage advice, gained from years of making horrible academic and career mistakes.
  • Look, Daddy! I landed the Space Shuttle!Inspired by the loving air traffic controller at JFK International who let his son take over the controls at work, thousands of caring dads all over the USA are taking their kids to work with them. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Dr. Tim, Help me! My daughter has a boyfriend  – It started with this letter in my mail bag: “Dr. Tim: My 16-year old daughter now has a boyfriend. Should I kill myself?”  The answer, of course, is “Probably yes.” Read my advice to parents about teenage boys here. And keep that boy Axel away from your daughter. Trust me. He’s bad news.
  • My triumph over overwhelming adversity– Many people have no idea of the tremendous adversity I overcame to achieve the success I have.  Join me for this candid journey through my painful, deprived childhood in a private college prep school and life without an iPod.
  • Are all teenage daughters evil? (Part one of a two-part post) – What a silly question. Of course not. Perhaps 85% of them are, tops. Read why most teenage daughters are evil and why you’re not the failure as a parent that you think you are. (I just said that to be nice. Actually you are a failure.)
  • Is your own daughter evil? A simple seven-question test (Part two of a two-part post) – Take this simple test to find out conclusively whether or not your teenage daughter is evil or just moderately wicked. Don’t worry. There’s at least a 30% chance your daughter is not the spawn of Satan.
  • Nine things I wish I hadn’t worried about so much as a parent – Part 1 – I realize now that for the past 16 years, I should have worried less about getting my kids to brush their teeth and more about how to cure my slice in golf. Now that I think about it, both things have one thing in common: They were both exercises in futility from the outset.
  • Nine things I wish I hadn’t worried about so much as a parent – Part 2 – Okay, so I couldn’t say it all in one blog post. Truth is there are a lot of things I worried about that I shouldn’t have.  Good thing my two daughters were able to overcome the humiliation of having me as a dad.
  • A letter to my younger self: Jocelyn will never go out with you – And other helpful advice – If I could write a letter to me back when I was much younger, there are so many humiliating mistakes I could have helped myself avoid. Then again, knowing me, I probably would have paid no attention to advice from letters sent to me from 50 years in the future, particularly if they were from me.
  • Turn left NOW! No, your OTHER left!! The joys of teaching your teenager to driveSooner or later, as a parent, your teenage son or daughter will ask you the question every parent dreads: Will you teach me how to drive? When that day comes, here are some valuable tips to keep your teenager from driving you insane, not to mention driving into oncoming traffic.
  • Warning signs you may be experiencing Kronic Incessant Disorder Syndrome (KIDS) – In recent decades there has been an explosion in the reported cases of KIDS. There are more people grappling with the symptoms of this chronic condition now than at any previous time in human history. Learn whether you may have KIDS and what you can do about it.
  • Encourage your Challenging child – through POSITIVE parentingIf there is one thing I’ve learned as a parent, it’s that in the end, your kids will crush your dreams, ignore all your well-intentioned advice, join a biker gang, and never write you to thank you for teaching them how to ride a bike. But if there is a second thing I learned, it’s that you need to be positive.
  • Freshman Year College Essentials Packing Checklist…. Item 756: their 1,649-piece fourth grade seashell (remnants) collection – There comes a day in every parent’s life that can be very difficult – the day you send your child off to college, and later realize they secretly took your iPad with them. Read my advice, based on my own actual experience, on how to prepare for this difficult day. And no, you won’t get your iPad back.
  • Better parenting though polling – Politicians have been using polling data for decades to help them gauge voter sentiment and make more informed policy decisions. Now you can apply the same techniques the politicians use to make far more informed parenting decisions.  It may not help you make better parenting decisions. But at least now you can point the blame to someone else.
  • Preparing for life as an Empty Nester and hoping for an occasional text from my kids – In just a few months, both of my daughters will be off to college, leaving me and my wife alone in our house. The adjustment to life without kids will be extremely hard. But somehow, I will try to manage, starting with booking a cruise to the Caribbean. Or maybe a bike tour of Tuscany. Or perhaps sailing lessons in Cabo. Gosh, I’ll miss my kids.
  • Meet the world’s smartest person – my daughter. I had no idea that my child was the smartest person in the world but it’s true – at least, based on the fact that ever since she was age 7, she has apparently ALWAYS been right about EVERYTHING, and her parents have always been lame. 
  • A parent’s survival guide for when your college kid returns home for the holidays – It’s the day their college student returns home for Christmas break. At first mom and dad are filled with excitement at being reunited with their child … until she tells you to drop her off on the way home from the airport so she can hang with her buddy Marisa. And that’s the last you’ll see of your child until it’s time to take them back to college.
  • Memo to our kids: The family has decided to downsize – It was a difficult decision. But I looked at the future cash flow projections and our dwindling retirement fund, and I make the hard choice. I had to let our two kids go. But the severance package is more than fair, if you ask me.
  • When it came to the journey of parenthood, I took a guilt trip – As a parent, I have struggled with feelings of guilt. Was I too strict a parent? Was I too lenient? Was I wrong to require them to mow the lawn when they were toddlers? Should I have intervened sooner when they started drinking beer at age seven? I did the best I could.
  • Always lie to your kids – When it comes to the keys to good parenting, there are tons of advice books out there all claiming they have figured it out. But if you ask me, the key to being a good parent is to lie to your children – as often as you can – ideally starting while they are still in the womb.
  • Lessons in bonding  – By the time my daughters reached college age, they no longer felt they needed my help for anything – except for money for airfare home to visit their friends. So recently, when one of them emailed me for help, I was able to use this opportunity to bond with her, and help her work through some very thorny, complex problems – like the difference between then and than.

Fun & Leisure 

  • Women, help end discrimination against men. Get struck by lightning. – For years the media has highlighted discrimination against women. It’s time someone spoke up about rampant discrimination men suffer, starting with the fact that men are five times more likely than women to get struck by lightning. We must end this blatant sex discrimination once and for all.
  • Forget about Low-Impact Aerobics. Try the latest fitness craze: No-Impact Yoga– For too long, millions of Americans have been straining, twisting and suffering through dangerous yoga classes. No more! Thanks to my amazing breakthrough No-Impact Yoga system. Try it today, and see how relaxing and restful yoga can be. Sleep pillow and comfy blanket sold separately.
  • The nightmare of living in America’s friendliest town– My town, Sammamish, Washington, was recently selected by Forbes Magazine as the Friendliest Town in America. Everyone here is amazingly nice. And that’s just one of my complaints about living here.
  • Humor writer admits to using banned substances and lying to everybody – In a stunning revelation, Tim Jones admits publicly that he used banned performance-enhancing substances to gain a competitive edge against other humor writers. Based on writing samples we have tested, it apparently hasn’t helped.
  • President Obama, deport my next-door neighbor. His lawn looks like crap. – Every day, thousands of Americans are signing petitions, asking our federal government to do everything from conduct a recount of the 2012 election to deport CNN’s Piers Morgan. It’s time I jumped on the bandwagon with a few petitions of my own.
  • Welcome to Seattle – the land the Sun Forgot – If you’re  about to visit the Emerald City for the very first time, read this fun, fact-filled overview about Seattle before you pack your suitcase. By the way, those sunglasses you were planning to bring? You won’t be needing those.
  • VFTB Commentary: Why baseball is way better than sex…  – I love baseball – if that’s not obvious from the title of this humor blog. This week, I come to the defense of this great game and try once and for all to explain the infield fly rule.
  • Searching for a way to turn off my brain – Sometimes I have difficulty relaxing and just letting myself unwind. My brain is racing all the time, even when I am relaxing. So I decided to try massage. My body loved it. My brain, well, it had quite a few things to say about the experience.  
  • So you think you can dance?– It seems that every generation brings with it a new dance craze – the Twist, the Electric Slide, whatever you call that annoying horsey dance from the music video Gangnam Style. I am launching the latest craze: The Soccer Dad Shuffle. Warning: Not appropriate for people with rhythm or any sense of dignity. 
  • Please forgive my need to rank everything. It’s 1 of my top 5 flaws. – I once asked my wife what there the top ten things about me that annoyed her. #1 on her list: My need to ask people to rank things.  I admit I tend to rank things. For example, this post just barely made it into the list of my top 500 humor posts.  
  • My sports-impaired wife – I love my wife, but she knows about as much about sports as our cats know about politics.  To her, the best part of a watching a football game is that she can lie on the couch and read a book about ancient Pompeii while completely ignoring what’s happening in the football game.  So I cheer for my team alone, in quiet desperation.  
  • My harrowing Italian vacation adventureYou might think a two-week guided tour of Italy, including Roman ruins and gorgeous mountainside towns on the Mediterranean would be a wonderful vacation. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was grueling – starting with my stark realization that there would be nothing for me to eat but Italian food for two whole weeks. 
  • I am not a happy camper I love my wife, but she said something recently that was terribly upsetting. Three words, actually: Let’s go camping.  It was horrible. There is a reason people live inside and not outside. And our camping weekend was conclusive proof of why.
  • My wild “Hangover” weekend in Vegas – It’s all a blur to me now. I really don’t know how I spun so out of control but Vegas will make you do crazy things. I woke up the next morning to find a half-naked woman in my bed. How did she get there? What had I done? Then I remembered. Oh right, my wife went with me on this trip.
  • Welcome to cricket. It’s a lot like baseball, only even more boring.  – ESPN is now broadcasting the sport of Cricket. If you’re like most Americans, you probably have no idea how cricket is played (or why). Let me explain everything you need to know to enjoy watching this ancient game. Start by getting seriously liquored up. It’s going to be a long match.
  • A Survival Guide for coping with airline travel – On a list of my favorite things to do, airline travel ranks 497th, just behind having a root canal and just ahead of getting a bill for $2,950 for a root canal. There are ways to make airline travel tolerable. For starters, consider staying at home. How important is that trip to Houston for the national sales meeting anyway?
  • Loser for HireI love to play sports. There’s just one problem. I’m actually not very good at it. People love to play me because they know they will have the satisfaction of winning. So I’ve decided to offer my services for hire. If you’d like to feel better about yourself, just hire me to play you in any sport. You’ll feel like a winner in no time. Anybody up for a round of golf?
  • My open letter to the guy crossing the street against traffic without looking up – We have all seen this person – the person who is completely oblivious to the impact they have on everyone around them, as they make everyone else wait for them to get done. This is my open letter to that person on behalf of all of the rest of us they’ve kept waiting all these years.
  • Fashion advice for men who wear shorts – When is it appropriate to wear shorts? That’s the subject of this post. Men have been wearing shorts for as long as there have been bullies beating the crap out of other guys for, well, for wearing shorts. But heck, if it was good enough for the ancient Romans (shorts, that is, not beating the crap out of other people) then it’s good enough for me.
  • The Interrogation – This week I try my hand at detective fiction writing. It’s the story of a hard-nosed, chain-smoking, foul-mouthed but brilliant detective named Drake Marlboro, who is trying to crack a case involving a middle-aged suburban guy with a receding hairline who professes to write a weekly humor blog. But his story just doesn’t add up. I patterned one of the main characters after myself. You guessed it – Detective Marlboro.
  • Fifty shades of white – When your wife asks you to go to Home Depot with her to pick out white paint for one of your rooms, be prepared for a long outing. You might want to request a couple vacation days. You’re going to be there a while.

Computers, Technology & the Internet 

  • My fleeting friendship with an Internet Scammer – This is part one of my actual email exchange with the nicest man from Latvia wanting to purchase bleachers.  I thought I had made a new friend across cyberspace, only to learn that the scammer did not really want to be my friend after all. What a shock!
  • My fleeting friendship with an Internet Scammer – Part Two of Two – The rest of the story of my fleeting friendship.  Spoiler alert: Turns out he never did purchase my bleachers. What a disappointment. The boys in the factory had worked so hard on those shiny bleachers.
  • The secret to writing a successful humor blog….  – in this post, I share the secrets of writing a successful humor blog – not that I would know the first thing about that, mind you.  If pressed for time, skim through the text and enjoy the colorful charts.
  • My love letter to my Internet Service Provider’s tech support help desk – Read my THANK YOU letter to my ISP,  detailing my gratitude for the 19-hour ordeal they put me through in which their tech support call center was unable to fix a problem that corrupted my computer that resulted from my installing their own internet security software to prevent internet security threats from corrupting my computer.
  • Myth-busting website Snopes.com revealed to be a hoax – according to Snopes.com – Thanks to Snopes.com, we can quickly learn that most of the email warnings we receive about nasty computer viruses and flesh-eating bananas are just hoaxes. But what if this myth-busting web site is itself just a hoax? That’s the focus of this shocking investigative report. Honest. No hoax.
  • Jesus vs. the “Jesus Tablet” – a side by side comparison of our Savior vs. the Apple iPad – This side-by-side analysis compares the features of Apple’s iPad with Jesus Christ. Scoring them for features such as processing speed, multi-tasking and user interface, it’s a very close call. And the winner is…..?
  • History Improved through technology: Martin Luther King’s Famous “I have a Dream” TweetCan there be a more wonderful enhancement to our lives than Twitter?  Now if only we could create Twitterized versions of the great speeches and historical texts. Then our kids could read Romeo & Juliet in seconds rather than weeks.
  • Hey, this blogging thing is a snap!My very first blog post – discussing the challenges of setting up my blog. Please don’t judge me by this maiden voyage post.  The posts get better over time. Honest. At least that’s what my wife tells me. But then, she tells me she likes my ties too.
  • OMG! GR8 News. IC LOC has Twttr. Itz 4 Real. Deets B-low. TTYL RLWNM – The Library of Congress has digitally archived every public tweet ever twatted. And people say our government wastes taxpayer money. Learn more about this important step forward as a society – 140 characters at a time.
  • VFTB humor blog garners international praise from people who can’t read English – From time to time I read the comments from readers. And at the risk of sounding immodest, I have received thousands of comments from  readers praising my blog. And some of these readers can almost comprehend English.
  • The latest innovation from Google – Google Translate – Family Edition – The brilliant technologists at Google have improved their Translate service to help families understand each other better than ever. Now husbands can translate what their wives are nattering on about into plain English. Our lives may never be the same.
  • Welcome to Windows 8 – Microsoft recently unveiled their latest operating system. Okay, so it has a few bugs. Read this helpful overview to make your user experience as easy as ru8r5c]=om ]o(I6(i68BVY^ 404 ERROR
  • No, Grandpa, that’s not how you beam up. Let’s go over this one more time – Recently my elderly mother got a computer for the very first time. It’s been a struggle for her to figure out how to use this contraption. It got me to wondering: What modern gizmos will be a part of everyday life when I get old, that I will have absolutely no clue how to use – like trying to tweet a photo on my cell phone.
  • Welcome to Cat.Match.com – Why should humans be the only ones allowed to find their soulmate online? That’s about to change thanks to CatMatch.com. Now cats can find their purr-fect soul mate with just a few keystrokes – just as soon as they can figure out how to use a mouse.

Lifestyles, People & Relationships 

  • My Sister Betsy, AKA Bad Betsy in a Previous Life – I love my sister, but she has simply the worst luck of anybody I know. Read this post and stop bitching about how bad your life is. Just be thankful you don’t know this person. She is bad news, plain and simple. Avoid her at all costs.
  • America’s worsening attention span probl – Hey look, Pam just sent me a textHave you noticed how recently it seems like everybody’s attention span is getting shorter and – Hey, I’m still talking here! As I said, have you ever noticed – Hey, where are you going? Oh, never mind…
  • Rain, clouds, moss and other reasons I love Drip City– A lot of people don’t understand the allure of Seattle. Doesn’t it rain 350 days a year there? I’m here to set the record straight. And by the way, it’s only 315 days. Stop exaggerating.
  • Have you hugged a racist today? – A heated issue in the news in 2010 was immigration. Racial tensions are escalating. I did some research and it turns out that racists really aren’t so evil after all. They suffer from a medical disorder. Learn about their tribulations and give them a hug of understanding, won’t you?
  • Humor blog revealed to be a tangled web of lies– Okay, I confess, sometimes I make things up when I write my blog. I can’t be bothered with actually looking things up, so I wing it. In this post I come clean about a few lies I have written, and by “a few”  I mean less than 5,000.
  • Household Budget Super Committee reaches 11th hour compromise – After months of gridlock and heated name-calling on both sides, the Jones-Rushworth budget super committee reach a last minute compromise, over  the objections of lobbyists, and by lobbyists, we mean our teenage daughters.
  • Valentine Tip #17: When planning a romantic getaway, don’t forget to invite your wife – Every Valentine’s Day, I receive hundreds of letters asking me for advice around matters of the heart. As a foremost expert on the subject of romance, I open up the mailbag and share my advice to the lovelorn. Maybe I can help you. Ah who am I kidding? You’re beyond help.
  • Has anybody seen my car keys? – This post was supposed to be an insightful commentary about the challenges of attention deficit disorder, which afflicts many people as they approach middle age. But well, I got a little distracted. Read my excuse for why I never quite got around to finishing this blog post.
  • My painful dark confession – For the first time anywhere, I come out of the closet and admit something I have long felt ashamed to admit. I can’t deny the rumors any longer. It’s true. For most of my life, I have been, yes, it’s true, a sloooow reader.
  • 22-Step Guide to turning on a light bulbWhen it comes to home repairs, there are simple repair projects and there are complicated repair projects. And then there are the simple repair projects that I find a way to turn into complicated projects. This would be one such example.
  • Warning to husbands: Shopping at Costco can be hazardous to your marriage – If I can give the men out there one piece of important marital advice, it’s this: NEVER SHOP AT COSTCO. That, and don’t leave your dirty underwear on the floor. But if you can only remember one of these, it’s the one about never shopping at Costco. You’re just going to have to trust me on this.
  •   Lowering the bar (once again) on my New Year’s ResolutionsEvery year I write down my new year’s resolutions for the upcoming year. In this post, I review my resolutions from the past 30 years and make a startling discovery:  I suck at sticking with my new year’s resolutions.
  • Kanye West’s Guide to a Kinder, Nicer YOU! – Kanye West may be the nicest, kindest, most sensitive rapper mogul I have ever known. But people still wrongly judge him based on his tirade before Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards. I share a sneak preview of his new book on manners. You could learn a lot from his example.    
  • Don’t Let Five-Year Olds Vote – In this post, I bare my soul and share with my readers exactly what I am for and what I am against.  I hold nothing back, starting with my deep-seeded conviction that we should never let five-year olds vote. Nine-year olds, maybe, but not five-year olds.
  • A letter to our wives: What we dads really want for Father’s Day this year – Every year we dads get the same lame gifts from our families for Father’s Day. It’s time someone stands up for all of us dads and tells you wives what we men really want this year. If you ladies can’t handle the truth, then all I have to say is, I promise to mow the yard right after I empty the trash, sweetie.
  • My true story of the greatest prom night of all timeWhen it comes to prom season, I am always taken back to that memorable, magical evening of my high school prom in my senior year. It was almost like a fairy tale in every way, except for the beginning, the middle and the conclusion. But otherwise, it was a perfect evening.
  • Before you get romantically involved, don’t forget the Relationship Agreement50% of couples that marry today end up getting divorced. That’s shocking.  So I’ve created a useful standardized Relationship Agreement to help couples set some ground rules upfront in the spirit of understanding and compromise. If every couple used my relationship agreement form, before you knew it, the divorce rate would plummet to 49%.
  • Researchers unlock the key to a happy marriage: Husbands, let your wives do ALL the housework– A recent Norwegian study shows that marriages in which men share equally in the housework have a 50% higher divorce rate.  The survey sample consisted of 1,500 husbands who really sucked at doing housework.
  • Don’t let your dishwasher destroy your marriage – Being married for 25 years takes commitment and hard work, especially if you’re married to me.  Our marriage has survived many ups and downs. But it was a major household appliance that drove our marriage to its knees.  Read how we were able to overcome our differences about dirty dishes.
  • The secret to maintaining your New Year’s Resolutions– Every January 1st, millions of people start off the year making bold, ambitious New Year’s Resolutions. And every January 17th, all but about 23 of us have utterly failed and already given up. How do you break the cycle of failure? It’s simple – if you know the secret. And if you do, could you tell me? Because I have no idea.
  • 12 things I admire about my dad – By Emily Jones– I decided to invite my high-school-aged daughter to write a guest post and she decided to write about all the things she admires about me.  Turns out the title of the post is just a tad misleading, unless you consider the fact that she hates how I always nag her about cleaning up her room to be something she admires about me.
  • Rebel with a weed whacker– For most of my adult life, I followed the rules, obeyed stop signs and took my vitamins. Not anymore. From now on, I’m living life on the edge, and calling my own shots.  I won’t be told what to do anymore, starting with not mowing the lawn this weekend. But I’ll still take out the trash. I’m not a barbarian. 
  • Tracking my progress towards a slimmer, fitter me – For too many years I have made excuses for not taking better care of my body and my health. Ate too many donuts and ice cream and not enough asparagus. So I came up with a new fitness regimen. And I am committed to getting rid of my old bad habits – right after I finish this pepperoni pizza. I’ll start tomorrow. I promise. 
  • An important message from your cat – There are a couple items of business that your cat needs to discuss with you, starting with some apparent confusion you over whose house this is. Your cat sets the record straight in this guest commentary. 
  • A brief history of the apology – For as long as there have been human beings living together, there have been human beings doing some pretty egregious things. And with those egregious things comes, eventually, an apology. – or something vaguely related to an apology, at least. 
  • Common Courtesy Rules for the 21st Century – If you still think you need to hold the door open for the person behind you or wave thank you when someone lets you in front of them in traffic, your concept of common courtesy is totally 20th century. It’s 2014 and the rules of courtesy have evolved.
  • Wedding vows I don’t remember making – Don’t get me wrong. I love my wife. I am deeply committed to my marriage – unless Jennifer Aniston becomes available.  Still, sometimes I wonder if I pledged all the things in my vows that my wife insists I did. But her memory is better than mine.  Not sure what I was thinking at the time. But a promise is a promise.
  • Forgotten wedding vows – a wife’s rebuttal – This week, Tim’s wife demands equal time to explain what it’s like to be married to a humor writer with the maturity of an eleven-year-old. And that’s probably his best quality. It gets worse. Much, much worse – according to his wife.
  • Kids, Ask Me About God – By Reverend Tornquist – This week’s special guest tackles the tough questions about God and Heaven that kids need to know, like In Heaven, do I still have to eat my peas? And Will my daddy get all his hair back when he meets God and Jesus?
  • Man Cave 2.0 – a wife-friendly version – We are getting ready to move to our retirement dream home. And every man knows that his dream must include a very special room – a Man Cave. So I wrote up a list of my requirements for what I wanted in my man cave. And then I ran it past my wife. The result? A more wife-friendly version of my original man cave plan.
  • The secret to taking the stress out of moving – My wife and I just completed a move so heed my advice about how to take the hassle out of your next move. Rule #1: Ask yourself the following important question: What in the hell are you thinking, wanting to move anyway? Do you have any idea of the nightmarish Hell you’re about to embark on?
  • My open letter to the guy crossing the street against traffic without looking up – This is my earnest apology letter to all those people who never look up when crossing the street or the parking lot, for almost running over them because let’s face it, the world revolves around them.
  • This holiday season, give the gift of guilt – I have long wondered what the spirit of the holiday season was about. I think I’ve finally figured it out. Apparently, it’s about making sure the people you give your gifts to know that you care about them way more than they care about you.
  • Like Martin Luther King, I have a dream – While I don’t claim to possess Mr. King’s eloquence with words, I too have a dream. And it involves blacks and whites living together in peace and harmony, oh, and a really posh slopside condo in Vail. But mostly it’s all about blacks and whites living together in peace and harmony.
  • Things I hope people won’t mention at my funeral I recently turned 60. And when you turn 60, you start asking yourself uncomfortable questions like “How long has that mole been there?” I started to think about my mortality and my funeral and who might actually come to it and what they might have to say about me. And then I started to get worried. Uh oh. This might not end well.  
  • How to more spiritual than your friends In the game of life, it’s not just who makes the most money or has the nicest house. It’s also about being a better person. And by better person, I, of course, mean better than the other guy you’re competing with for a slot in Heaven. Learn what you need to know to gain the spiritual edge over everyone on your Christmas list.
  • The Island of exceptional people – My wife and I recently moved from our suburban home to a lovely island home. The view of water and mountains are lovely. There is just one problem. Everyone we have met is extraordinarily talented and handy. And it’s really getting on my nerves.
  • The joys and perils of working for my wife – Recently I decided to join my wife in her business. What could possibly go wrong? Our skill sets are remarkably complementary. On the one hand, my wife is an extremely talented portrait artist. And on the other hand, I am the husband of an extremely talented portrait artist.
  • Stressed out meditation – Recently I’ve been experiencing a lot of stress in my life. So I decided to purchase a meditation / relaxation CD to help me relax and clear out my mind. But I have to say, I’ve been listening to it. And I don’t think it’s actually helping. In fact, I think it’s making things worse. Not sure why.

Business & the Workplace 

Tim’s Personal Favorites