Posts Tagged ‘in the news’

Seattle’s narrow escape from the icy grip of winter

Seattle cold weather - HouseWhew! That was that a close call. There was a point earlier this week when I thought I might never see my kids again. Worse yet, I feared that my final blog post might be last week’s lame rant about Sarah Palin. How humiliating. I live in Seattle, and for the past ten days, the entire city has been hunkered down in the grips of an arctic blast so bone-chillingly cold that most of us wondered if we’d ever again be able to venture outdoors in December in flip flops and shorts.

You see, normally the high temperature in Seattle is required by law never to dip below 45 degrees any day from November through May. That’s because of the nearly permanent cloud cover that acts like a thermal blanket to keep us from ever needing to put on gloves or a scarf – which we still do anyway because we Seattleites are extremely fashion-conscious. Oh sure, we might have the occasional fleeting cold front that dips the high temp to 43. But we are a hardy stock. We’ve been known to weather conditions as low as 41 with only mild bouts of panic.

All of that changed last week when suddenly, freakishly, the clouds mysteriously parted. Temperatures plummeted to the low 30s by day and – I kid you not – into the teens at night. It was excruciating. It was chaos. And the only way to survive the brutal blast of frigid air was to put on, say, a Burberry overcoat and matching scarf, and perhaps a pair of J. Crew cashmere-lined suede leather gloves, accented by some Uggs. Now that I think of it, staying indoors might have worked too.

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  • Awww Tim, you can have my shoulder to cry on. I probably won't feel the tears because I'm wearing …
    Eleanor Rushworth (Yer MiL)
  • Published On Dec. 12, 2013 by TEJ
  • President Obama, deport my next-door neighbor. His lawn looks like crap.

    I believe it’s every American’s duty to do their small part to make our country a better place to live. That’s why I’m calling on President Obama to take immediate executive action to DEPORT MY NEIGHBOR BERT ZABLINSKI NOW! Have you seen his lawn? The last time his grass was less than a foot high, dinosaurs roamed the earth. And don’t get me started about his front yard collection of 47 plastic African garden gnomes or his 14-foot tall sculpture of Elvis giving the finger which he made using only Budweiser cans and Cheez Whiz. 

    Someone has to take action. Why not the President? I discovered this great web site called We the People, which lets you directly petition the White House. It gets over 300 petitions a day, many from people able to construct nearly complete sentences with nouns and verbs. 

    The We the People Petition-the-White-House web site was launched in September 2011, and has since received more than 142,000 petitions and 9.2 million signatures. The volume of petitions has spiked since Obama’s re-election in November 2012, mostly from disaffected white southerners furious about Obama’s apparent plans to take away everyone’s guns and require us all to convert to Islam. I must have missed that news story. 

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    • I will gladly sign the petitions to deport Piers Morgan; to insist Starbucks to use s, m, and l; and …
      Betsy Jones
  • Published On Apr. 18, 2013 by TEJ
  • Communities on high alert in wake of killer guinea pig attacks

    It seems no animal is safe to keep as a pet anymore. There was a time when people kept turtles as pets. But no longer, thanks to research which proved turtles often carry the deadly Salmonella bacteria, which can easily be transmitted to people. Then came warnings against frogs and spiders as pets because some turned out to be poisonous. Millions of kids loved to keep bee colonies until two words changed everything: Killer Bees. Now authorities are urging families to take precautions against the latest deadly threat to their kids’ safety: guinea pigs. 

    When you ask an American what comes to mind when you mention Australia, the first thing they think of is drunken Australians. But the second thing they think of is shark attacks – no wait, actually, second would be the Sydney Opera House. Third would be shark attacks, perhaps tied with Rupert Murdoch, but those are basically the same. 

    Well, move over, sharks! A newspaper in Newcastle, Australia, the Newcastle Herald, recently reported a rash of terrifying guinea pig attacks throughout New South Wales, Australia (see actual headline below right).

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    • You've pretty much stated the case for not having babies. I wish youd warned me 23 years ago. And btw, …
      Betsy Jones
  • Published On Apr. 11, 2013 by TEJ
  • First Lady Michelle Obama – Coming soon to an Applebee’s near you

    In case you’re just now emerging from a three-month coma or don’t have a television, you may have missed that Michelle Obama seems to be everywhere lately. Ever since she unveiled her brand new, trend-setting bangs in January, you almost can’t turn on the TV without seeing the First Lady. In February, she was on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon where she and Jimmy performed The Evolution of Mom Dancing, which became an overnight You Tube viral sensation. Days later she announced the winner of Best Picture at the Academy Awards. And I’m pretty sure I saw her substituting for Judge Judy last Thursday. (Michelle ruled in favor of the beautician who warned her customer that a rainbow-colored perm… oh, never mind.) 

    If you can’t get enough of the First Lady, you’re in luck. View from the Bleachers has gained access to her upcoming schedule of appearances. She is one busy lady. Here is an exclusive sneak peak at her travel schedule for the next 30 days: 

    March 15: Travels to Rome to perform a dance video with newly appointed Pope Francis, grooving to the tune of The Harlem Shake. Zips over to Milan to welcome contestants in The Amazing Race to their next pit stop. (We at VFTB are rooting for the deaf lesbian twins. They’re so nice.)

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    • Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog based upon on …
      car accident voicemail
  • Published On Mar. 13, 2013 by TEJ
  • World’s Oldest Person dies – AGAIN

    Medical experts are scratching their heads as another individual has mysteriously passed away this week. Newspapers the world over shared the sad news that the World’s Oldest Person has just died. This is the latest in a rash of similar news stories. Just last month, Besse Cooper, at the time the World’s Oldest Person, died quietly in her bed at a Monroe, Ga. nursing home. She was a spry 116 years old.

    Sadly, barely two weeks later, another sweet woman, Dina Manfredini, from Johnston, Iowa, who with Besse’s passing had become the reigning World’s Oldest Person, barely had time to enjoy her newly bestowed crown before she too passed away, at the age of 115.

    Dina’s heir apparent’s tenure as World’s Oldest Person was seemingly every bit as brief as Dina’s, because last week this shocking headline appeared:  Koto Okubo Dead: World’s Oldest Woman Dies at 115. The accompanying report described a frail, quiet Japanese woman who passed away peacefully in her sleep at her nursing home, barely having had time to thank the awards committee before she too fell victim to this unbroken curse.

    The passing of Koto Okubo opened the way for Ingrid Jørgensen, a retired school crossing guard from Trondheim, Norway, to win the coveted title of World’s Oldest Person at the relatively young age of just 114. Ms. Jørgensen is reportedly feeling rather uncomfortable with the news of her achievement, insisting it must be an accounting error. She claims her neighbor Heidi Fjelstad is several months older than she and therefore is the person who should be recognized, not her. (Norwegians are notoriously modest.)

    Until now, there has been scant evidence that any government leaders or world scientists have made any efforts to combat this outbreak, which cruelly appears to target only the very oldest and most frail among us. Lest anyone think the latest deaths are isolated coincidences, Nate Silver, the uber-statistician who correctly picked all 50 states in last year’s presidential election, places the odds that the current World’s Oldest Person will die within the next twelve months at 97.5%. Friends of Norway’s Ingrid Jørgensen have reportedly urged her not to put off her once-in-a-lifetime vacation to Greece until next summer.

    Millions of senior citizens are up in arms, arguing that this health crisis has been ignored for far too long. The AARP pointed out recently that the United States spends billions of dollars on wars in the Middle East but has invested almost nothing to try to stop the revolving door of World’s Oldest Persons falling prey to the Grim Reaper.

    Recent World’s Oldest Person honorees like Besse, Dina and Koto have tended to be shy about shining the spotlight on this global crisis. They tend not to complain, which may be in part due to the fact they’re deceased. But AARP representatives are urging Americans to fight for these helpless elderly victims and are asking people to write their congressperson to demand that they find a cure once and for all for this mysterious affliction that is targeting the most senior of our senior citizens.

    As one AARP spokesperson bluntly put it, “Our leaders must stop turning a blind eye as our World’s Oldest Persons continue to die off one by one. If we don’t do something about it, eventually all of us may suffer the same fate.”

    That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

    PS:  If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by sharing it on Facebook, posting a comment or giving it a.  Remember, for every person that shares this post, I will donate a dollar to the Tim Jones Foundation to find a cure to save our World’s Oldest Persons from meeting a tragic fate. So please share generously. 

    © Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2013


    • Oh!... sure Tim ... as if the throngs of helpless people suffering the same affliction every minute, although they …
      Janice Strong
  • Published On Mar. 07, 2013 by TEJ
  • Bad ideas in the news

    Every now and then, I like to read quirky stories about people who are in the news for having made really bad decisions. I find it helps me feel better about myself. If you’re having a rough day, if you’re questioning your judgment skills or perhaps just kicking yourself for some lame decision you made without fully thinking it through, cheer up. At least you’re not one of these people or businesses ….

    Drunk driver arrested after trying to make a cell phone call using breathalyzer

    In Coburg, Germany, a man named Bernhard Becker was pulled over for driving erratically. Police, suspecting he was intoxicated, attempted to administer a breathalyzer. When handed the device, Becker, thinking it was an iPhone, attempted to call his attorney without success. Things went downhill for Mr. Becker when, attempting to tidy up his hair, he grabbed the officer’s radar gun, mistaking it for a blow dryer. Rumor has it Apple is developing a new breathalyzer app for the iPhone 6.

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  • Published On Feb. 28, 2013 by TEJ
  • Rumor has it I may be the next Pope

    Recently the world’s one billion-plus Catholics were stunned by the news that, for the first time in almost 600 years, a living Pope has decided to step down. The 85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI recently announced his plans to resign on February 28, citing poor health and depression over scores of snarky comments his Facebook page has received lately about his red leather Prada shoes (most critics sniping that he should have gone with Gucci, an Italian brand). 

    Rumors are swirling about who will be selected as the next Pope. Las Vegas odds makers say the three front runners are: 

    • Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Tukson of Ghana
    • French Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet and
    • Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras. 

    Most of the mainstream press has completely overlooked a rather unexpected name which is being floated for consideration: Mine. Okay, so most of those rumors have been floated by yours truly. But even a cursory review of my qualifications makes me the obvious choice as God’s representative on Earth.  

    First of all, my name, Tim Jones, is much easier to pronounce than any of those other candidates I just listed. But that’s not all. Check out my impeccable credentials: 

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    • Oh great. I can picture it now. "I conferred with the Lord, and he sayeth that I may kick my …
      Kevin
  • Published On Feb. 21, 2013 by TEJ
  • My predictions for 2013: It is going to snow a lot…. somewhere… eventually

    Every year since this blog began during the Nixon Administration, I have made bold predictions about the year ahead – in politics, world affairs, pop culture and advances in cutlery. I possess an uncanny ability to peer into the future and predict fascinating events no other prognosticators are able to see. The fact that my predictions historically have had about as much chance of coming true as Lady Gaga has of becoming the next Pope is the only small blemish tarnishing my otherwise stellar reputation.

    To show you what I mean, here are a few notable predictions from previous years which would have been newsworthy except for the minor inconvenience that they failed to materialize:

    2002: A resoundingly brisk victory will be won in the war in Afghanistan after just 11 months, and a flourishing democracy will spread throughout this previously troubled region. Afghani women will be elected to several prominent political posts, as Pakistan and the USA become bosom buddies.

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    • News item: POPE GAGA CONGRATULATES NEW NBA COMMISSIONER HILTON, POSTS BAIL FOR LOHAN, NAMES RHODES SCHOLAR JONES KNIGHT OF …
      Drew Fisher
  • Published On Feb. 06, 2013 by TEJ
  • 2012 – The Year in Review – As seen from the Bleachers – Part 1: January – June

    As has been the proud tradition of this prestigious news publication since 1975, it is time for VFTB’s Annual Year in Review for 2012, where we look back at the important news stories of the past twelve months that you missed because you were too busy playing Resident Evil 6 on your PlayStation 3. In Part I of this two-part special report, we cover January through June. We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get started.

    January: The Euro Zone crisis continues to deepen. But European Central Bank and IMF leaders calm jitters when they declare they’re close to reaching consensus on the outline of a resolution to come up with a tentative roadmap for a possible plan to assemble an exploratory advisory board to study the feasibility of launching a steering committee to look into a possible framework to solve the crisis, thus forestalling a complete economic collapse for another two weeks, and giving European leaders and bankers just enough time to funnel all their assets into an account in the Cayman Islands.

    Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insists there is absolutely no truth to the speculation that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. He further denies that he cheats at poker, is a lousy tipper or uses Just for Men to dye his beard. But he does confirm that he is in negotiations to appear on Dancing with the Stars.

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    • I like this episode so much that I want to read all the back copies - all the way to …
      Betsy
  • Published On Dec. 06, 2012 by TEJ
  • Humor blog revealed as tangled web of lies

    Okay, maybe I make a few things up now and then in this blog. I’m not proud of it. I have decided to turn over a new leaf and come clean about some of my previous false and potentially slanderous comments (with the exception of my previous remarks in which I have publicly questioned the patriotism of actor George Clooney – I stand by those comments).

    As a professional humorist, it’s my job to provide illuminating commentary on the important people and events that make the news – like the Florida Boy Scout troop leader who this past week accidentally set his arm on fire – or the recent shocking study that concluded that sex with farm animals can lead to penis cancer. (Both are true stories. I would not lie about things as important as boy scouts and farm animals.)

    In my thoughtful commentaries, I often make use of insightful research – unless it takes more than five minutes on Google to obtain this research, in which case I usually just make it up. But, please don’t judge me. I am not the only offender. The fact is that 68% of statistics cited by bloggers are complete fabrications. Okay, it’s possible I just made up that statistic.

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    • There's probably a 12-step program out there for you. Just sayin'
      Lee
  • Published On Nov. 18, 2011 by TEJ