America’s Great Debate: Pie or Cake?

America’s Great Debate: Pie or Cake?

In the past two years, our nation has become increasingly polarized. We’ve become a divided nation, with people firmly rooted in one camp or the other. There appears to be no end in sight to the name-calling and stereotyping. We’ve even taken to unfriending people on Facebook simply because they don’t agree with us on this fractious issue.

I am, of course, talking about the seismic upheaval created by perhaps our country’s most contentious debate: Which is better, pie or cake? If you’re expecting me to be the voice of moderation, forget about it. Because the answer is so obvious. CAKE IS WAY BETTER THAN PIE!

Go ahead and disagree if you like. That just means you’re dead to me. You clearly are living in Crazy Town! To all those Piehards out there, I say: LET THEM EAT CAKE!

Now let’s get one thing out of the way right up front. You pienosaurs tout the slogan “as American as apple pie.” Nice try. That saying became popular back in the 1850s. You know what else was popular back then? Slavery – something no cake aficionado would ever condone.

If you love America, then in this food fight you’d choose cake. Oh sure, pie was pretty cool once – back in the 1920’s, sitting on the window sill of your great grandmother’s kitchen. But wake up. It’s 2018. Pie is so 20th century. If you ask me, pie is nothing more than a glorified, overstuffed pop tart. Cake, on the other hand, is almost a euphoric experience. You think I’m half-baked making that claim? Then you’ve never tasted red velvet cake. What a pitiful life you must lead. Continue reading “America’s Great Debate: Pie or Cake?” »

The Downside of Having a Common Name

The Downside of Having a Common Name

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Tim Jones. I’m unique – just like the other 58,730 people in the world with the exact same name. No, wait. I’ve just been informed that another Jones family in Topeka, Kansas has christened their newborn Tim. Okay, so make that only 58,731 Tim Joneses.

Having such a common name is more of an annoyance than you might think. First, it is utterly uninspiring. Do you recall the Civil War hero Tim Jones? Or the movie star? I thought not. Great men throughout history possessed distinguished, memorable monikers – like Alexander the Great and Stonewall Jackson and Winston Churchill – not that I’d have preferred being a “Winston”, mind you. But you get my point.

It’s just that the typical response to hearing the name Tim Jones is an irresistible impulse to yawn. Let me prove my point with a short story:

Once upon a time there was a poor, old Italian fisherman. Every day he would row his crusty rowboat out to sea, in hopes of catching just enough fish to feed his family. He did this for several years, fighting the high winds and rough waters, until finally, he no longer had the strength to do it anymore. So, he decided to retire, began collecting social security and moved to a condo in Arizona to be close to his grandkids.

Okay, that’s a pretty lame story. But let me ask you a question: If you had to guess, what would you say was the fisherman’s name? Take your time. Aha! I bet you concluded it probably was Tim Jones! Didn’t you? Wrong. The fisherman’s name was Antonio Vespucci. Why in the world would an Italian fisherman be named Tim Jones? Not exactly a Sherlock Holmes, are you? Which reminds me, now that’s a memorable name! But I digress.

My last name is so prosaic that my own wife, a world-class artist, opted to keep her own – refusing even to hyphenate it as Rushworth-Jones. And who could blame her? Which would you rather own, an original Rushworth painting or an original Jones? It’s kind of an oxymoron anyway – an original Jones. Continue reading “The Downside of Having a Common Name” »

Fashion Tip for Middle-Aged Men: Hair to Dye For

Fashion Tip for Middle-Aged Men: Hair to Dye For

I’m 63. By the time most men reach this milestone, they have more than a touch of gray, like me. Some men have gone completely white on top. And in the case of my older brother, there is scant evidence he ever had hair.

But then I noticed at my yoga class that the women didn’t seem to have this problem. Their ages range from 50 to 75. And yet, not one of them has a single gray hair. The obvious takeaway is that women have a much easier life than men.

Then it struck me like a thunderbolt – their youthful-looking hair was a dye job. I know this to be so because I conducted a survey of the class  – and now none of them will speak to me.

That gave me an idea – perhaps I could look younger too if I colored my hair. What’s the worst that could happen? So, I did it. I would like to pass along to other men just how simple the procedure is. The whole experience will take years off your life, I mean, off your appearance.

Below is the exact step-by-step method I followed. You might want to take notes. 

Step 1: Get out of your comfort zone and do something daring. Realize that your past efforts to “pray away the gray” have been futile. Take the plunge and decide to dye your hair.

Step 2: Choose your desired hair color. Be bold. If you’re thinking purple or green, stop! I said be bold, not be a circus clown.

Step 3: Go to the pharmacy and decide which brand you most identify with: Just for Men, Manly Guy, or Natural Instincts. Look at the photos on the packaging. Choose the one whose picture most closely matches your vague recollection of your former self – the HAIR color, not the ruggedly handsome face on the box.

Step 4: Accidentally purchase a color two shades darker than your natural tint. Fail to notice this until it’s too late.

Step 5: Apply the dye. Get distracted by a radio broadcast about a seven-year-old in Nebraska with the world’s largest bunny rabbit and inadvertently leave the goop on your scalp for nine minutes instead of the recommended maximum five. Continue reading “Fashion Tip for Middle-Aged Men: Hair to Dye For” »

Welcome to Portland

Welcome to Portland

[The following is a message from the Portland, Oregon Visitors’ Bureau.]

Welcome to Portland, Oregon, America’s Most Livable Liberal City.

If you’re planning to spend a few days in the Rose City, we at the Portland Visitor’s Bureau would like to offer a few friendly suggestions to help make your stay as pleasant as possible.

First, we might as well get this one right out of the way. In Portland, we’re slightly left of center in our politics. If you’re a lifelong Republican or you accidentally voted for Donald Trump, no need to apologize. But, you might want to rethink your travel plans. We hear Tulsa is a place you might enjoy, with its expansive plains and oil rig fields.

But if you’re someone who thinks Hillary should have been our 45th president, or better still, Bernie, or even better yet, Spider-Man, then you’ll feel right at home here. Our city’s motto is KEEP PORTLAND WEIRD. In case you thought that was Austin, Texas’ motto, you’re right. We don’t mind sharing.

One of our more iconic residents is The Unipiper. He can be seen pedaling around town on his unicycle, donning a Darth Vader helmet while playing the Star Wars theme on his bag pipes, as they shoot flames. In most cities, such a sight might be a bit unnerving. Here in Portland, we just wave and say, “Hi, Brian.”

We’re extremely laid back about most things – that’s because at any given time, roughly half of us are stoned. We don’t mind if you’re a couple hours late to work, so long as you remember to buy a latte for a co-worker when you stop at Stumptown Coffee on your way in. Continue reading “Welcome to Portland” »

Side-By-Side Comparison of the Roomba vs. the Timba

Side-By-Side Comparison of the Roomba vs. the Timba

Recently I ordered one of those cool robot vacuums called a Roomba. It’s pretty amazing. It will quietly clean an entire floor while only mildly terrorizing the cats. And when it’s all done, it returns to its charging station and goes to sleep.

We’ve had it now for a couple weeks. In the interest of science, and to my great chagrin, my wife decided to do a side-by-side comparison of the Roomba and her previous ‘Go-To’ method of vacuuming – her humanoid husband, Tim. For purposes of this peer-to-peer product review, my wife’s once indispensable husband will henceforth be referred to as “Timba.”


Roomba: Elegant, smooth, circular shape. Compact. Less than 24 inches wide. Has rotating soft but powerful whiskers that brush dirt into the machine, which then sucks it up. Great along walls and corners.

Timba: Also comes with a circular shape – mainly around the belly. Has two-day old extremely abrasive whiskers (because it couldn’t locate its razor). Tends to skip walls and corners, which it figures will go unnoticed.


Roomba: Like clockwork. Can even be programmed to repeat the cleaning process daily. 

Timba: Like a broken clock. Not noted for its reliability, often responding to multiple chore reminders with the phrase, “I know. I’ll get around to it. Stop bugging me.”

Maintenance required

Roomba: Minimal. Comes with one-year manufacturer’s warranty. Receives 4.5 stars on Amazon customer reviews. 

Timba: According to a focus group consisting of its wife, the Timba is high-maintenance, especially when it’s hungry or didn’t get its usual ten hours of sleep. Requires regular infusion of pizza and peanut butter to stay focused. Needs constant reinforcement from the wife for accomplishing the bare minimum on the ‘to-do’ list.  Continue reading “Side-By-Side Comparison of the Roomba vs. the Timba” »

The Amazing Happiness Diet

The Amazing Happiness Diet

I’m excited to announce that recently I went on a diet and have lost forty-five pounds (true). I didn’t follow any of those silly fad weight reduction schemes like the Mediterranean or Adkins or Weight Watchers or even serious programs like the Just Eat Cake Diet (still not sure how that one works). It’s actually a regimen of my own invention. I call it The Happiness Diet. And it’s incredibly simple because it requires only two steps.

Step One: Write down all the foods that give you happiness. (Take your time. Be thorough.)

Step Two: Don’t eat anything on that list.

That’s it. No other restrictions. If you follow my Happiness Diet exactly as outlined above, you’ll lose a lot of unwanted pounds (as well as any reason for living) – guaranteed!

Let’s practice how it works, okay? Let’s say there are two food groups. In Group A we have a slice of pepperoni pizza, cookie dough ice cream, a bag of Pepperidge farm cookies, and a glazed donut. In Group B we have kale, broccoli, lentil and carrots.

If you determined that Food Group A gives you more happiness, congratulations. You’re a normal, honest human being. However, if you indicated that you prefer the items from Group B, then you are – how shall I say this? A BIG FAT LIAR! Get off your high horse. Who else are you lying to? Your spouse? Your kids? You disgust me.

Here’s the important takeaway for my patented Happiness Diet. You must strictly avoid all foods that give you any pleasure – unless you’re training to be a Sumo wrestler. Then by all means, have another sleeve of Double Stuff Oreos. Or, if you’re the lead in a theater production about President William Howard Taft, who tipped the scales at 350 lbs., and for whom was built the largest porcelain tub ever made for an individual, then sure, you have my permission to hit the nearest Dairy Queen for breakfast.

Continue reading “The Amazing Happiness Diet” »