Archive for February, 2011

Caesar’s Suit

(from my 2002 Archives)

Whenever I don’t know what to write about, I remote-control through the television channels until a likely snippet of information strikes my fancy. More often than not it’s something so absurd I have to write it down and come back to it later just to make sure I’m not making it up. I take such notes on whatever’s handy. Like right now, I’m reading what I jotted down earlier this week (on a large, coffee-stained manila envelope) about a guy named Caesar Barber.

Seems like Caesar’s quite overweight despite many attempts at eating sensibly. So he’s decided to sue Wendys, McDonalds, Burger King, and Kentucky Fried Chicken for having served him fatty-types of food for decades that were not appropriately labeled as being such. Caesar claims he became overweight because he was fraudulently led to believe the term “100% BEEF” meant fast food was nutritious.

Give me a break.

I am even more amazed as I write this (2002) because I just performed a search using the keywords “Caesar Barber” and came up with SEVEN pages of link information about this 272-pound slug. (Tim says [2011]: I just performed the search again. This time Google turned up 697,000 results!)

Caesar: get a life. Take responsibility for your shortcomings. Quit blaming everyone else for your sloppy habits.  And why you’re at it — with a name like Caesar — show a little fortitude: push aside those greasy fries and burgers, and reach for a salad, instead.

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Tim says, some more food for thought: Apparently, the case was dismissed in September, 2003. Through the years, many other obesity lawsuits have circulated through the courts. In 2004, the “Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act” was passed. Who knows, maybe these lawmakers read my 2002 Simply Tim. Then again, maybe not.

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Today’s Quote

“If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?”

–Abraham Lincoln

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Today’s Groan

–submitted by Analee

A young man was a slow worker and found it difficult to hold down a job. After a visit to the employment office, he was offered work at the local zoo. When he arrived for his first day, the keeper, aware of his reputation, told him to take care of the tortoise section.

Later, the keeper dropped by to see how the young man was doing and found him standing by an empty enclosure with the gate open. “Where are the tortoises?” he asked.

“I can’t believe it,” said the new employee. “I just opened the door and WHOOOOOSH, they were gone!”

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Tim says: Okay. Here’s a couple more of my favorite tortoise jokes:

A snail was crossing the road when he was run over by a tortoise. A policeman came along and asked him how it happened. “I don’t know,” replied the snail, “It all happened so fast!”


Q: What does a snail say when it’s riding on top of a tortoise?
A: “Wheee! We’re really moving now!”

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Today’s Quote

“The two most abundant things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.”

–author, Harlan Ellison

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Every once in a while I get to playing around in the kitchen knowing full well that whatever I’m about to concoct may wind up in the garbage can. When I get into one of these playful moods, anything is possible.

Like yesterday.

After having deep-fried some potato wedges (and after dusting them with chopped oregano, Cayenne pepper and onion powder), I decided to plop a raw egg into the 400-degree oil just to see what would happen. Being careful not to splash, I slipped the egg in by sliding it from the safety of a small bowl. I counted to twenty-five and dipped the crispy-edged, dancing amorphous blob from the boiling pit using one of those Asian wok fry-dipper contraptions. I briefly drained the galaxy-shaped egg and plopped it on a piece of English muffin, followed by a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside. What’s not to like?

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Today’s Quote

“All you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be.”

–Roger Waters, Pink Floyd, from “The Dark Side of the Moon”

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“Take off on a thrilling flight across America, a journey that allows you to leave yourself, and your travel organizer, at home. Shot entirely in high definition, this series offers rare glimpses of some of our nation’s most treasured landmarks, all seen from breathtaking heights.”

That’s what the Smithsonian Channel web site has to say about their captivating series, “Aerial America”. I began watching it a couple months ago, and I have to admit: I’m hooked.

“Aerial America” is a series of hour-long, mini-documentaries, enriched from beginning to end with exquisite nonstop aerial views which spotlight — state by state — America’s incredible geographic diversity and beauty from an aerial perspective; taken from a slow-moving, rock-steady helicopter, the production value is everything you’d expect from the Smithsonian Channel — and more. Several episodes have already been produced, and many more are in the works.

Packed with interesting — and often little-known — state histories and trivia, “Aerial America” is an incredible snapshot of America at it’s best. Watch it if you can, but look out: it’s addicting.

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For the most part, I like turkey-based food products, not necessarily for the health benefits, but for the taste. And now there’s a new one out there that tastes pretty good: “Ball Park” brand “Smoked White Turkey Franks” all-white-meat dogs. Traditionally, the Ball Park brand is more expensive than some other brands of hot dogs, and — after comparing various brand name ingredients from time to time — I  usually tend to gravitate toward the cheaper ones. I’m not sure if other turkey franks use all-white-meat or not, but the new Ball Park dog is definitely a very light color, lighter than the dog depicted on the packaging. Could be the only difference between a “regular” turkey dog and an “all-white-meat” turkey dog is the exclusion of the use of artificial food coloring. I’m not saying that’s the case. I don’t know.



Frankly, I suspect the novelty of eating a colorless, higher-priced turkey hot dog may soon wear off.

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Tim says: Rereading the last sentence made me wonder what the difference between a “hot dog” and a “frank” really is, and — being the curious person that I am — I searched on “hot dog vs frank” and discovered many pages like this one. To me, a hot dog will always remain a hot dog no matter who invented it.

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SENIOR’S Department

With my  93 year old father’s Glaucoma progressing, he had trouble operating his microwave, so we put little sticky backed (black) Velcro strips on the start button and door opener, as he only warmed cups of coffee, etc., that were pre-programmed for him. Thus, he only had to feel the Velcro, and was able to remember which dot meant which.

For his TV remote, all buttons were taped over, except for the on/off button and the channel changer. He always knew which was which in that area too, and it made all so nice for him, watching TV.

–submitted by Shirley

Tim says: I played a Tommy Dorsey song for Mom through my iTunes system over the phone the other day. Mom is 91. In no time at all she was tapping her foot in tune to the music and having a grand old time. She enjoyed it so much I decided to search the Net to see if I could find a senior’s-friendly MP3 player of some kind that I could load up with her favorite 30′s and 40′s music. (I have lots of 30′s and 40′s Big Band music.) Something with a simple charger, headphones, an on-off switch, preferably with a PLAY ME IN SHUFFLE-MODE ONLY button for hours and hours of uninterrupted senior bliss. None are available. In fact, modern technology has gone in the exact opposite direction… smaller units (1 x 3-inches ???). Yeah, right.  I can really see Mom trying to fiddle with a 1 x 3″ remote control with her arthritis. Actually, I have enough difficulty fiddling with my much larger iPod classic.

Maybe I can somehow adapt Shirley’s Velcro idea, but it would be much better to find a unit made especially for seniors. Maybe a cassette-type recorder-player that would let me download songs directly from my computer. Any suggestions out there?

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Here is how to get extra mileage from a roll on deodorant such as Ban. Turn the container upside down when it starts to go dry. Keep it turned upside down every time you use it. You will be surprised how much is left in the bottle.

–submitted by Kathryn

Tim says: not sure if this is a “senior” tip or not. But if you want a real treat, put the upside-down deodorant right next to the ketchup in the fridge… [joke]

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I don’t think this is just a senior tip, it could apply to any age.  At the super market or other stores where the carts have the baby straps, you can hook your purse strap with them and keep it safer.  I carry a fanny pack that has a strap that opens, so if there is no baby strap I can still hook it with it’s own strap. If someone tries to snatch your purse, they will have a hard time as the cart will be attached.  I’ve seen many women, with their purses in the baby compartment, walk away from their carts…..I could have stolen their purses right then.  I always tell them my tip and most appreciate it.

–submitted by Nancy

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Today’s Quote

“Don’t tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”

–George S. Patton

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Scar Management

Used to be the “Band Aid” brand was the only Band Aid brand in town. I could visit nearly any store and find just the right Band Aid in a single box containing an assortment of sizes and types that covered any mishap that could happen. Even mine. It didn’t matter whether I required a tourniquet for a severed finger, or a butterfly patch for a compound skull fracture — I could find exactly what I needed in the same box of Band Aids. For a long while, Band Aid marketing changes consisted of politically correct flesh colors and size options that eventually required us all to buy several boxes of different-sized Band Aids instead of just one user-friendly package.

Nowadays, it pays to know exactly what I want from a Band Aid before I go to the store. Is this a butterfly-patch day or will the tourniquet-stopper suffice? There are so many Band Aid-type products available now that I can bleed to death while comparing labels and descriptions. One new brand is challenging 50 years of Band Aid dominance by unleashing “SCAR MANAGEMENT PADS” into the once-ordinary Band Aid vernacular.

Scar management pads?

Just give me back my old tin of Band Aids.

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Simply Tim Classic (circa 2001)

Back in the days, it used to be watching television was fun and easy and took little effort. The only brain-work required was when an occasional bouncing ball guided us through a slowly moving string of words while a musical theme song prompted us to sing along with a 100% transparent TV commercial’s message.

“Okay people … Here we go … Let’s all buy … some IVORY SNOW!”

Nowadays, there’s so much happening on screen that I need to record almost everything for playback to make sure I don’t miss anything. Just the other day I was watching the evening news, where I counted three distinct bars of information scrolling by at different speeds near the bottom of the screen. Above that — just underneath the rectangular space that had  been begrudgingly set aside for actual news footage — yet ANOTHER caption bar displayed a taped interview that was being translated on-the-fly into English off-camera. All of this while a live human newscaster read from a teleprompter script, rambling on and on about such-and-such or something-or-another happening to somebody with an unpronounceable foreign name. My vision raced to establish a center of equilibrium among all the dancing TV screen clutter;  just as my eyes were beginning to learn how to simultaneously conjoin four distinct areas of my brain stem with multiple data stream synaptic feeds, the television image snapped to black and teleported me into a commercial.

Gone in a nanosecond were the three separate levels of right to left scrolling messages. Gone were the caption bars and thickly-accented translation. Gone were the flashing backgrounds, the talking heads; gone the glittering news-desk logo, the twinkling star-filtered studio lights, the upbeat jingle.

Gone. Poof — just like that!

I was instantaneously reassembled, dead center, into a dreamy setting depicting a little girl swimming effortlessly underwater, alongside a majestic humpback whale. Soft music floated in the gentle current. More kids gurgled by in a slow motion aquatic ballet. The humpback’s giant eye moved right up against the television screen and stared at me…


My brain cross-circuited, disconnecting with an explosion something like the sound a gallon bottle of vinegar makes when dropped onto a tile floor. And when I tried to adjust my eyes to the pastorally hypnotic, eco-perfect scene, I darn near fell out of my chair in an attack of left to right vertigo caused by the afterimage of all those previously right to left scrolling lines of text.

“Okay people … Don’t run from it … Grab your TUMS … and pat your STOMACH.”

I’ll take those bouncing balls anytime.

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