🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Good Journalism 📰
Fish Farts 🐟💨
I’m officially old. I say that not because of a birthday or a sudden recognition that I am, indeed, 47. Rather, I say it because I’m increasingly pining for “the good-old days.” Now, I get it, Billy Joel. The good-old days weren’t always good, and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.” But the good-old days were often good.
My latest longing? I miss the relevance of good journalism. The Washington Post published an ah-may-zing investigative piece on the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington, D.C. It is a master’s class in effective information gathering and clear, concise, factual writing.
And it won’t matter a damn bit.
We are so polarized as a society that we are no longer able to be swayed by rational, factual work that might counter our dominant ideology. The ironic thing is, this piece will be off-handedly dismissed by supporters of its subject, who literally orchestrated the creation of the environment in which such things can happen. The fact that I have relatives — close relatives — who voted for that man — twice, and will unashamedly vote for him again if given the opportunity — is nauseating.
The other reason it won’t matter is because it’s long-form journalism and we have the attention span of gnats. And oh, by the way… if you don’t think these two things are related, go soak your head. A population that doesn’t have the time to educate itself on anything more than soundbites and snippets is easily manipulated by charismatic narcissists.
So yeah, I miss the old days when reading the news was a daily event. It didn’t happen in constant spurts of Tweets and posts before facts were gathered. It was something you settled in to soak in, knowing that the people delivering it were trained and knew the difference between fact, conjecture, opinion and propaganda. You grabbed the paper, you poured yourself a cup of coffee, and that’s what you did for awhile. A half hour. An hour. All damn Sunday morning. And when you were done, you were smarter, better, more informed. You weren’t a damn sheep.
God, I’m old.
In Other Writing …
Top 5 Things You’ll Learn If You Read This Whole Thing: Kids who grow up on communes aren’t very clean Baths can cause people to fart. Russians suck at coming up with excuses. Sweden has to look to Denmark for smart people who can solve their problems. Fish farts almost led to nuclear war. Bath…Keep reading
Give me my damn zombies! I am a fan of The Walking Dead. Yes, it’s still on TV. In general, I love dystopian stuff. There’s a reason the genre has existed for so long and that some of the classics are a part of it — Animal Farm, 1984, 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s a way for us to deal with our anxieties when we realize exactly how fragile this thing called “civilization” really is. Of course, my contention is that the popularity of such things as The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games comes because they scratch an itch we don’t even feel. We aren’t consciously aware of our fears of societal breakdown. Just beyond our acknowledged senses is the thrumming hum that courses underneath.
The final season of TWD is being released in three parts. I just finished the first installment of eight episodes and found out the next eight won’t start dropping until 2022. Which, if you’re looking at the bright side, gives me something to write in the bottom chunk of today’s Puzzle Pieces.
Oh, and me? I’m a Daryl guy. You?
Today’s ‘What Did You Say?’ of the Day
I got rejected today from a job I applied for … back in early May. It wasn’t a job I particularly wanted. It just paid something that actually approximated what independent data said my value was in the marketplace. At the time, while I watched my savings disappear as I continued to work my ass off for my previous employer at about a 50% to 60% discount, it seemed like a good idea to try to do something about it.
So I did. I applied for that job. And a few others. And then happened upon the position I currently fill. I had completely forgotten about the position for which I was rejected today. I heard absolutely nothing from them in the wake of my completion of their online application form, which was merely me entering the data I had already submitted to them through the resume they requested I attach.
Not a “Thanks for applying. We’ll get back to you.”
Not a “Here’s where we stand on filling this position we so urgently posted on the job boards.”
So if you don’t see why some workers don’t give really care to rejoin the almighty American workforce, let’s talk.
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Gotta stick around until The Walking Dead wraps up.
- Can’t wait to put all my useful knowledge to work in dystopia.
- Wifey Poo has surgery Thursday. She needs me.
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What’s BelowShoulder Ouchies 😧Chris the TigWaBaFatu 💁♂️Murder Pods 🔪 I’d love to know what idiot thought it was a good idea to get a COVID booster shot in one arm and a flu shot in the other less than a minute apart yesterday. Oh, that would be me. I spent much of the night sleepily…Keep reading
👇🏻 What’s Below 👇🏻🚦 Red Means Stop 💉 Vaccination Ethics ✍️ The Many Voices in My Head I’m convinced that people in every state think their state’s drivers are the worst, and never do they count themselves among them. I learned to operate a motor vehicle in New York, whose drivers have a particularly bad reputation, but…Keep reading
🔻 What’s Below 🔻Heading South for the Winter 🥶Laughing With Wifey Poo 🤣👩Americans Suck at Math 🧮Therapy 🧠 I love my role as the family’s vacation planner. I’m not sure exactly when I put on this hat, but I think it’s a generally recognized Family Truth that it’s something at which I’m good. I’ve planned everything…Keep reading
👇🏾 What’s Below 👇🏾In the dugout ⚾What if I’m … wrong? 😢Angry face 😡 I spent part of the morning in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout. The fam took a trip downtown to tour Busch Stadium. It was a good visit. We saw the owner’s suite (posh), the Champions Club (pricey) and peeked in on the batting…Keep reading
👇 What’s Below 👇On Men and Crying 😭 Why I write ✍🏻Back Crackin’ 👨⚕️ So here’s a thing I sometimes hate about myself: I cry. Like, easily. And often. Or at least it’s “often” in comparison to how often men normally cry. At least, I think it’s often in comparison to the frequency men normally cry. I…Keep reading
What’s Below 👇🏼Nazis and Mongols ⚾Hippie writing ☮️Inside marriage 💍 The Astros playing the Red Sox to see who advances to the World Series is, to me, akin to the Nazis fighting the Mongols to determine who gets control of the planet — and if you haven’t heard about how the Mongols killed their prisoners,…Keep reading
What’s Below 👇On being self-taught 📷The Bee Battle 🐝Ahhh, Ben Platt 🎶 I set up a little makeshift portrait studio today in a training room at my office. Lights, a backdrop — the color of which matches our new brand hue — and a tripod with my Nikon Z6. It all looked very fancy-shmancy. Here’s…Keep reading
Human beings of the modern age like to think of themselves as the pinnacle of all creation. Of course, this is not necessarily new to the modern age. It wasn’t all that long ago that some of the brightest minds of their modern age — guys like Sir Isaac Newton — thought women got pregnant…Keep reading
Being a bald man, I don’t have many reasons to be in a barbershop. And I miss barbershops. They are one of the few remaining oases for guys, and barbershop talk is fun. I took Boy The Younger to have his mop managed Saturday morning. Boy The Elder found Walt’s Barbershop a few years ago.…Keep reading
Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, and even almost 21 years later, I’m not sure how I feel about it. So much of time is arbitrary. We screw it up so badly that we have to add a whole day every four years. So for me, today is just like any other day…Keep reading
There’s this state of being that’s not quite asleep, not quite dreaming but definitely not awake. That’s where I found myself Thursday evening at Livin’ Sublime Wellness, my little yoga studio in Wentzville. Restorative yoga is a lifesaver for me. If you haven’t tried it, you should. Not to sound all Hippie-Dippy or anything, but…Keep reading
A vegan, a person on a gluten-free diet, and a person who does Crossfit walk into a bar. How do I know? Because none of them would shut up about it. If you haven’t heard this joke before, you can probably relate. I know I can. I remember meeting Sarah on Day 1 at a…Keep reading
The one thing I know how to do better than anything else is write. I love it. But it’s also sometimes very difficult. Because I know how to tell a story, I’m tapped to do so in trying times. I did so when my father-in-law died in January, writing his obituary and helping my beautiful…Keep reading
I found it funny this morning to be walking through Kohl’s with a meat thermometer in my right hand and two toilet seats tucked under my left arm. There are some moments in life that are just serendipitous. Boy The Elder and Wifey Poo are indirectly responsible for this little portrait you now have in…Keep reading
I’ve been a Yankees fan since I was a small boy. Some of my best memories were born in the old Yankee Stadium. It’s in my DNA to not like the Red Sox. I can think of no good reason to despise the Sawx or their fans, but I still am repulsed by their logo,…Keep reading
I once played in a baseball game in which it was raining so hard that, when I picked up a ball stuck in the mud in the middle of a puddle in a centerfield that resembled a shallow lake, it felt like I was throwing a shot-put to the second baseman 15 feet away. Today,…Keep reading
Life sucks when you’re tired. I know this. I’ve lived this. A lot of people like to say they have insomnia. I used to say I had insomnia. Then I actually got insomnia. There’s a difference between a few nights of poor sleep and insomnia. Which isn’t to diminish a few nights of poor sleep.…Keep reading
The one-and-only competitive footrace I have ever won came during Field Day 1980 at Pound Ridge Elementary School in suburban New York. I was in kindergarten, on the green team, and was a part of the 50-meter dash. I remember being most fascinated that day by the starters’ pistol, wondering if it contained real bullets…Keep reading
I’m all about lists. I love making them. I love crossing things off on them. And it really annoys me when things I wanted to get done on a list don’t get done. I came into today with a lot of things left on my weekend to-do list. Rather than end the day annoyed, I…Keep reading
Our boys are not “stuff” kids. We learned this early on, when Boy The Elder was but a wee little lad and we did what normal first-time parents do: Buy him a ton of what I call KidShit for Christmas. The KidShit went largely untouched. BTE, we learned, was more of an “experiences” kid. He…Keep reading
Tonight was date night for me and Wifey Poo. We swung by Stone Summit Steak & Seafood for a drink — she, a fruity white wine; me, a Woodford Reserve, neat — and then went to see Dear Evan Hansen. I’d wanted to catch it back when it was on the stage and never had.…Keep reading
One of the interesting truths about this whole “living” thing is that we make so many important decisions before we know what the hell we’re doing. For example, I chose my career path the same year I got my driver’s license. I had absolutely no concept of a mortgage and office politics and exactly how…Keep reading
I have seen in person how protective a mother grizzly bear can be of her cubs. The Fam was on a two-week Alaska vacation between my seventh- and eighth-grade years, a trip on which my voice changed and I enjoyed the company of twin 14-year-old sisters from Alabama, which is a story for another day.…Keep reading
I spent the morning in my office at work ensconced in my gray shirt-jack. If you don’t know what a shirt-jack is, that’s OK. I didn’t either until I found it on Amazon a few years ago while searching for something that wasn’t quite a sweatshirt but not quite a jacket to wear around the…Keep reading
Today was all about my father-in-law, Marvin. FIL died in November following complications from heart surgery and COVID. Wifey Poo and the sisters-in-law organized an ice cream social and issued an open invitation to the family and FIL’s friends. When we set the date for late September, the thought was that we’d be past the…Keep reading