🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Stable Family 👪
Armed America 🔫🦅
Good or Nickelback? 🎶
Thanksgiving was a quiet affair for the Core Four — my nickname for the entity that is Wifey Poo, Boys The Elder and Younger, and me. We had no family visit, and none of us left the house until BTE traveled to his girlfriend’s for Thanksgiving II: The Food Orgy Continues.
On Saturday we’re traveling to our former hometown of Tipton (home of the world famous eight-ball water tower) for the Wifey-Poo’s-Side-of-the-Family Thanksgiving Extravaganza. I am beyond blessed to be a part of her family. They have provided for me a new template for what family should be — devoid of drama and volatility and problems that never get resolved. In every way the word could possibly be defined, they are the embodiment of “stable.”
About six months ago, I completely revolutionized the way I eat. I booted — among other things — anything processed and all dairy and became one of those annoying people who asks for the gluten-free option when ordering at a restaurant. I didn’t do this to be any sort of vegan/paleo/granola-lovin’ super warrior. I did it because I felt like I was going to die.
Longhaul Covid obliterated the first half of my 2021, and I’d tried everything out there to make it better. By the time I stumbled into the world of functional medicine, I was so defeated and unhealthy that I would have tried to lasso a tiger had the doctor said it might help me feel something close to “good” even one day a week.
Funny thing is, changing my diet, combined with about eight or nine other get-healthy steps, helped me feel better six or seven days of the week. And — side benefit — I lost 30 pounds!
But tonight? Tonight I would have given a kidney for a piece of my wife’s pecan pie. And here’s the thing: I don’t even like pecan pie! Not like I like her apple pie or pumpkin pie or strawberry rhubarb pie. But for the first time since I started this new-food journey, I was jonesin’ like a tweaker.
And I’m a grown-ass man! I could have whatever I want to eat. If I wanted to head to Wal-Mart this morning, buy a birthday cake and eat it in the parking lot with my bare hands, I can do that.
In the end, though, I don’t want to. I allow myself one cheat day a month, but even then I make sure I don’t go overboard. Good habits can disappear awfully fast, and the American food industry is set up to push you to foods that are more addictive than some of the stuff Nancy Reagan told me to Just Say No to. I don’t consider what I started six months ago a diet. For me, it was a lifestyle change to help deal with a virus no one understands. In the end, my new way of eating led me to feel not just better than I did before Longhaul, but better than I have in 20 years.
So I made myself my kind of ice cream — frozen bananas, some almond milk, a scoop of almond butter and some honey, mixed in our Ninja.
And I was happy.
📚 Let’s Learn Something Together 📓🖊️
Did you know there are more guns owned by civilians in the United States than there are people? It’s true.
There are more than 120 guns for every 100 Americans, according to a recent survey. No other country in the world has anything close to a gun per person.
Top 10 Gun-Owning Nations
|1. United States||120.5|
Which side of the aisle on which you fall is going to determine how you feel about this. You’re either going to point to the 39,707 gun deaths in the United States each year or you’re going to stand on the principle of protection from tyranny.
I’m all for the Constitution and its flexibility that has allowed this grand experiment to survive for a couple hundred years. It’s easy to look back and say, “But owning a gun that can spit out 5,192 rounds a second and turn a deer into jelly isn’t what the Founding Fathers had in mind!” True, but I’m not quite sure we should base our lives today on what those guys intended. After all, these are the same gentlemen who had very little problem writing, “All men are created equal” before heading back to their plantations to whip a man for asking to be treated a little more equal.
I look at ancillary data a little more closely before forming my personal opinion. If the data showed that, as a third of Americans stated in an April 2021 they believe would happen, more guns reduced crime and made society safer, I could say, “Amuricah is an example of restraint and the benefits of self-policing for the rest of the world.” The problem is, those Amuricans are just plain wrong.
As gun ownership has increased, so has the homicide rate, suicide rate and rate of unintentional deaths via firearms. Our rate of gun violence is eight times greater than Canada, 22 times that of the European Union when it was a viable thing and 23 times Australia’s. We account for 4% of the global population but 44% of global suicides by firearm. And we export our misery to other countries. More than 200,000 guns cross into Mexico from the United States every year, contributing to its escalating gun violence rates.
Turns out, we’re not really that responsible.
“But if killers didn’t have guns, they are still going to kill and suicidal people are still going to kill themselves!”
I think that’s more of an indictment of us as Americans and human nature as a whole. How can we tolerate the existence of a society in which the value of a human life is zero for so many people? Why do accept a culture so broken that ending existence is seen as the best option by those who fall through the gaping holes in the our mental health treatment system’s safety net and who then find inadequate love and support from friends, family and the community of humans in general?
In the end, I think it would be a good experiment to see what would happen if we bumped that number-of-guns-per-person thing down to say, 100 for every 100 or — eek-gahd — maybe, like 80 for every 100. Let’s set a goal of not being just in front of Yemen in anything. I can’t imagine it would make us any less safe from whacko tyrannical leaders who rile up their rabid dogs to try to violently overthrow our government.
And maybe, just maybe, it would do some good.
The ‘What Did You Say?’ of the Day
High Five ✋
Today’s official endorsement goes to Parmalee’s “Only You.” My music tastes are eclectic and I’m truly a fanboy for only a handful of singers or bands. I have no knowledge of whether liking a song from Parmalee is as egregious as saying, “That Nickelback song sure is catchy,” but I dig a tune that expresses the the things in my heart.
Only you could ever know my scars
‘Cause you’re the only one I’m telling (yeah)
Only you could make me fall this hard
Take me all the way to heaven
In Other Writing …
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- We’re putting up our outside Christmas lights tomorrow.
- Day 2 of a four-day weekend awaits.
- Leftover turkey.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dieudonne 🌍Hoops Win🏀Cornhole Roll ✔️ In 2021, during some of the darkest and most difficult times in our lives as individuals and couple, Wifey Poo and I did a thing. It was a big thing. It was a challenging thing. It was an amazing thing. But to say it was just…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Full Stop’ 🛑Needles 💉Business Lessons 🧑💼 Here’s something I learned about myself today: One way to ensure that I will debate you on a topic until I give my last breath or until you are huddled in a corner in a fetal position is to end the statement of your opinion…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mindfulness 🧘Mullet Prez 👩🦳Murder Family 🔪 Our brains are amazing things. So adept are they at routines that they can essentially run on autopilot and let you do the everyday stuff like operating a multi-ton object advancing at 70+ mph among lots of other multi-top objects advancing at 70+ mph without…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bloody Hell 💂Circus Moments 🤡Silence 🤫 OK, people: I’ve got a bone to pick with you. But first, a little digression. What in the bloody hell does that phrase mean? “A bone to pick with you?” That sounds absolutely disgusting. And if you’re wondering why I said “bloody hell,” well, that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩24 Hour Video 😡Rubik’s Kid 🧊Dilbert Doofus 🤪 There are two things I cannot stand in the working world — and in life, in general. The first is people whose lack of preparedness turns ordinary stuff into emergencies. The second is when people criticize the result of something they previous approved.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mormon Billionaires 💰Bigger Packages 🍌Birds Really Aren’t Real 🐦 Can we just get on with blowing the tits off the world with nuclear weapons or something and end this stupid thing we call the human race? Yeah, I know that’s a little dramatic, but when I take a look at the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Muricah The Evil 🦅You Buy You 💰Big-Ass Van 🚚 I find it rather humorous that Muricah warned China not to send arms to one side of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine … and that we issued this warning with a straight face. I’m quite sure most Muricahns believe their country…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Salve 🩹Car Wash 🚗💧Light Removal 🎄 I try not to venture too often into a Wal-Mart, especially on the weekend. I cling to slim hope for this nation as it is, and I find Wal-Mart trips do not help my grip. Alas, this weekend, Boy The Younger was under the weather…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩CC, BCC, FU 📧Basketball Poll 🏀Andy Rooney 🎙️ This week has largely been a Shit Week marred by Shit People. What are Shit People? They aren’t exactly easy to define, but one hallmark of a Shit Person is his rampant use of the CC function at work to passive-aggressively play power…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chill Day 🛋️Busy Weekend ⚾Halftime 🏈 I’m not working today. Not only am I not working at my day job, I’m not doing any work for my side gig today. I’m not planning on doing much of anything, actually. And I don’t feel guilty about that. This weekend was insanely busy.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Big Pharma Sucks 💊Work Rules 🧑💼Big Weekend 🏈 Spend any time in front of the television and you’ll see ads touting the latest drugs that you shouldn’t take if you’re allergic to and that you most definitely need to ask your doctor about. Now comes a study showing that the people…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Top 5 🎈Symphony 🎻Living Eulogies 💗 Top 5 things overheard in Missourah last week as a purported Chinese spy balloon made its way over the state en route to its rendezvous with an F22’s missile: Despite my high-brow upbringing in Suburbia, New York, I’m not what anyone would call A Symphony…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Space Walk 🧑🚀Bye-Bye Brady 🏈Failure Rate 🐿️ When Boy The Elder was just Boy and devoid of a younger brother, we had a nickname for him: Pokey Joe. BTE didn’t do anything fast, but more than anything, what he did incredibly slow was get out of a car. That would suck…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Raccoons 🦝February 💘Man Nips 🕺 Today I bring you the story of a raccoon who got his balls stuck to railroad tracks. But the reason you think I’m bringing you this story is not the reason I’m bringing you this story. You think I’m bringing the story of the raccoon Neil…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tyre Nichols 😔Tattoo Day ✒️Nephew Hoops🏀 I was a white kid in suburbia, New York, in 1988 when the gangsta rap group N.W.A. came out with its album Straight Outta Compton, featuring the song Fuck Tha Police. It was scandalous, at the time, to suggest that the police would be anything…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Car Concert 🎵Sick Wife🤒People Suck 🖕 Within the 24 hours in the run-up to Snowpocalypse 2023, the estimates on the Weather Channel app for our snowfall total ranged from 1 to 10 inches. That’s like going to the doctor and being told you have anything from a splinter to terminal cancer.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mission: Failed 👎Ho 🤣Handy Family 👍 It has to suck to work at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Why? It took exactly 75 minutes for all of 2023 to be a failure. Let me explain. Those of you unfortunate enough to have been involved in any sort of corporate planning process…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Houston 🖊️Sad clown 🤡Taco Seasoning 🌮 Houston, Missourah, is not unlike a lot of other rural Missourah towns through which I’ve driven and bears a resemblance to the Small Town USA in which Boy The Elder did a lot of his early growing up and to which Boy The Younger came…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Definitions 📖Missing Bourbon 🥃Mysterious Knocks 😵 I generally abhor any writing that starts with, “Webster’s dictionary defines …” Webster’s dictionary defines “ceiling” as a noun meaning “the overhead inside lining of a room.” The implication is that it’s a limitation, a max, a point of demarcation between what’s out there and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Annoyance 😠Disappointment 😞 When Boy The Elder was Boy The Only in our home, he watched one of the Air Bud movies featuring a basketball-playing dog. Or maybe it was football. Or soccer. By the time that series was over, that dog had played them all. Anyway, whichever Air Bud…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thor’s Blurry Hammer 🍆Pigeon Delivery 🕊️Idiot List 🤪 Thor is really, really good with his hammer. And by that, I mean that Thor the walrus in Scarborough, England, is really good at masturbating and ruining New Years Eve. If you haven’t heard about this story, stop reading stupid news like politics…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bruising Basketball 🏀Poke ☝️Six?!? 🔫 I grew up in the NBA era of the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons while loving a New York Knicks team that was, to put it mildly, quite physical. Guys like Steph Curry and LeBron James can makes basketball seem like artistry these days, but give me…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What There is Like! ⛅’Modern Policing’ 🚨Xylophone Time! 🎵 When you decide to talk about a time in which you truly believe you more-or-less died and saw what comes after this life, you have to be comfortable with the fact that people might think you’re nuts. Hell, talking about it on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Grace Ashford! 📰Idaholy Shit! 🥔Story of the Year! 🍆 The three most influential people in my life as a journalist are, sadly, all part of the Great Newsroom in the Sky now. Professors Michael Perkins and Bob Woodward (AKA Bob Woodward-Not-That-Bob-Woodward) helped educate me at Drake University, and Lisa Warren was…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poor Puppy 🐶Romeo and Juliet 🤴👸Meta Mistake 🙊 Disturbing news out of Washington, D.C., today as Republican Congressman-elect George Santos (if that’s his real name) brought a 6-month-old puppy to the house floor and screamed “Hey, look at me!” before slitting its throat and lapping up its squirting blood like a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Pretty Good Rant 😠Tesla Plunge 🚗Missed Lasts 😥 Those of you who regularly read my drivel (I see you, DirtySciFiBuddah) might have become aware of the fact over the past year or so that I am not a huge fan of our world’s modern institutions. All of them might, in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Incomplete 🕮Frustration 😠Bowl Bust 🏈 To say that I know how to write is like saying I know how to breathe. No one considers that they know how to breathe. They just … breathe. No one is particularly good at breathing or bad at breathing. Again, they just … breathe. I’ve…Keep reading
Welcome to Issue No. 15 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to email@example.com. So last year, I had a list of 100 intentions for 2022, and I did fairly well,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩2023 📅Helping 🧠The Universe 🔭 I’m not much for long-term plans and goals. This isn’t to suggest I don’t think they’re important. I just think that spending a lot of time on them is futile. What’s the saying? Man plans, God laughs. Something like that. Anyway, I’ve learned through experience that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chain Links 🔗”Work” 🧑💼Popular Toys 🧸 After my first son died in December 2000, I spent a lot of time wondering why. Why me? Why Wifey Poo? Why Jacob? Why this level of suffering in a world supposedly created and run by an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God? So I did what…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chiefs! 🏈Indy Tickets 🏎️Bank Visit 💰 When I bought the tickets to the Christmas Eve contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks as a gift for Boys The Elder & Younger, it was sometime in September and temps hovered around 90 degrees. The thought that the game might…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Timelines 👶Extinctions 🌋Sin City 👌 As I fall deeper down the rabbit hole learning more about theories on space and time, the concept of alternative timelines comes up again and again and again. Whether it’s the stuff of science fiction or one day will be proven to be the stuff of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Cousin’ Laughs🎤Improv!?!? 🎭Drake Hoops 🏀 Back when I was a boy, I had a favorite Cousin-Who-Wasn’t-A-Cousin. His name was Joey DeVito, and he was in no way a blood relation to me, though I called his father Uncle Frankie and his mother Aunt Celia. I’m pretty sure this is an East…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Glazed 🍩Bingo! 🖥️Disappearing Christians ⛪ I didn’t intend to bring doughnuts for my co-workers yesterday morning. It just sorta happened. How it happened and how it played out is a window into my weird mind. First, an explanation: I have a card purchased from Boy The Younger that entitles me to…Keep reading