🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Worst Mom Ever 🦘
Death to Autoplay 💀
Internet outage, Day 2. I’m sending this message via carrier pigeon. Or maybe it’s just some bird I caught with my greasy-fast speed.
Things are looking bleak. We’ve been without internet service for more than 24 hours now. The weather outside is cold, and inside it’s even colder without the sweet, sweet heat of a connection to the outside world. Streaming TV is dead. I hear rumors NFL games were played today anyway. How they could do so in the middle of this catastrophe is beyond me.
All I see is darkness. I say, “Alexa, turn on the lights in the family room,” and nothing happens. I have a vague memory of having to turn some knob or flip some switch-like thingy to bring forth the magic light from the lamp, but that was so, so long ago.
I have to get up off the couch to change the settings on the thermostat — at the actual thermostat instead of on my phone! This isn’t how humans are meant to live!
Help might be right outside my door, but because my doorbell is a Ring doorbell and doesn’t actually ring unless it’s connected to the interwebs, I hear nothing.
The guardians of the world at Centurylink tell me our plight will stretch well into the morrow. But the guardians are the most dim-witted, moronic, unhelpful assclowns of human society. I fear contact with the outside world will never be restored.
Unless one brave soul from my tribe is willing to venture forth and try to find a place still connected to the mainframe. This person will need to be brave, to battle the Thanksgiving weekend crowds and find a coffee shop or restaurant with the gold that is free wifi and send out a signal to others out there that they are not alone. We are here. We are here!
I think I’ll send Wifey Poo.
There is something absolutely exhilarating about not having an internet connection and living out in the country such that any sort of data connection from outer space brings back memories of the AOL-beeeee-booop-beeeeeeee-swwwshhhhhh days. Boy The Younger might be a little twitchy. Wifey Poo is doing fine. I’m somewhere in the middle, missing some of the things I do online while loving the freedom from the devices I really am not cuffed to yet somehow find attached to me on the regular.
We’ve played board games. I’ve read my book (Billy Summers, by Stephen King). We put up our Christmas decorations in the house. I took a nap. Then I took another nap. We had a blackjack tournament, something we haven’t done since the early days of The Great Plague.
Often, when the emotions and pace of this world become a little too much for me, I talk about “giving it all up” and moving to a cabin in the woods of Montana, off the grid that is the world wide web. No cell phones. No internet. No TV. Just me, my family, music, books and an old-fashioned way of living — by which I mean 1992 living, before email and internet and smart phones and all that crap that makes life what I’ll call BetterWorse.
Wifey Poo laughs at me. She doesn’t think I’d last a week. She might be right.
But I think the fact that I have to say “Once the detox process is over, I’ll be fine” is an indication that something probably should change.
📚 Let’s Learn Something Together 📓🖊️
Did you know that no matter how bad of a parenting day you have had today, you’re not the worst parent in the animal kingdom? It’s true.
That title currently is worn by the quokka.
Cute. Ain’t he?
This little bastard also is called the short-tailed scrub wallaby, which isn’t anything I’d want to be called but is something the quokka appears to be OK with. It is found only on some dinky islands off the coast of Western Australia, but don’t feel bad for its endangered status. That’s its own damn fault.
If a momma quokka is being chased by a predator, she will toss her baby out of the protective pouch in which the little guy thinks he is lovingly and safely stored. The baby, not surprisingly, will sit up and say, “What the hell was that about?” at which point the predator will rip his tiny baby head off.
Yes, the quokka thinks it’s a good idea to survive by literally tossing its baby to the wolves, knowing the baby’s cries will alter the predator’s course.
So if you’ve had a bad day with junior, pour yourself a glass of wine, sit down on the couch, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and know that at least you’ve got tomorrow to try to turn things around.
The ‘What Did You Say?’ of the Day
I translate this to mean, “Centurylink better get your internet service back working soon, John, because you’re going to be spending an extended period of time this winter working from home.”
Lovely. Just freaking lovely.
Slap in the Face ✋
Today’s official smack goes to websites on which videos autoplay. I’m looking at you, CNN.com. I have set every setting possible to “don’t just randomly start making noise,” yet some websites are all, “Coolcoolcool … but you certainly don’t mean us.” If I want to watch your video content, I know what the play button looks like. Until I click that button, zip it.
In Other Writing …
“Her name was Misti, but to those who lived around her in her Fairfield apartment complex, she was River Rat.” That was more or less how I started the story I wrote about the 8-year-old girl’s death back in July 1997. I was just more than a year out of college and was the editor…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- It’s nice to sit down after a long day and bathe in the light of the Christmas tree.
- The leftover turkey hasn’t gone moldy yet.
- Restorative yoga tomorrow night.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Car Crash 🚗Video Day 🎞️Five No. 2s!? 💩 The Core 4 is headed out on a winter vacation to Memphis and New Orleans soon. The plan was to rent a vehicle through Turo.com, which is kinda like an Airbnb for cars. I had a quality vehicle picked out and reserved, one…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Shirt Stain 👔Score One for the Unabomber💣Oh Canada 🌈🍁 I arrived at work this morning, put my stuff down on my desk and hit the men’s room because evidently a 42-minute drive is too long for a man of 47 years to comfortably hold his bladder. I did what I do,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Baseball God(ess) ⚾Alice in Chains 🎸What About the Golfers!? 🏌🏽♂️ To say that baseball was my life when I was a kid is an understatement. I watched it as much as the scant channels we had at home would allow — the Yankees were on Channel 11 WPIX and the (ugh)…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Detached 💭Intentions for a New Year 📆Red is Deadly 😷 Today sucked. The problem is, I don’t really know what the hell happened. I woke up just after 6, later than I have been recently, and I felt so significantly off that I truly don’t remember much of the first 45…Keep reading
Circles are interesting things. They have no beginning and no end. They just keep going around and around and around. And yet we set Jan. 1 as the day to mark the start of our journey around the sun, a journey we measure so incredibly poorly that we have to add an entire extra day…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Ice Violence ⛸️Movie Night! 📽️Most Popular Dog Names 🐶 Today was date day for Wifey Poo and I. We’ve been trying to do a date a week since, oh, back in 2018. That was interrupted for awhile by a certain African host child this year, but we’re back at it. Today…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Top Songs of 2021 🎶Where’s the Snow? ❄️Thunder Struck ⛈️🏀 Because I didn’t already feel incredibly old and out of touch, I looked at the list of top 100 songs from 2021. It wasn’t until song No. 65 that I even thought I knew one of the songs, “Go Your Own…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Redemption 😊Spice-Lovin’ Tree Shrew 🌶️Mark The Freaking Elf 🧝 I spent the morning in a hotel conference room down in STL learning from a man named Jeff Glover about 21 ways to get 21 listing of homes to sell. Glover is a big fish in the real estate industry. He runs…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Maria and The Chickens 🐔Strange Cyber Monday Offers 🧪Bloody Gift 🩸🎁 I hate wasting time. I hate it hate it hate it. Everything about my life centers on efficiency — the routes I take when I drive, how I go about getting ready for the day, how I organize my work…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Paul 🧙♂️Slowest Speeder Ever 🐢Another School Shooting 🏫🔫 I found myself tonight in a dark jail cell surrounded by four zombies, some kind of wizard, and my son. This is not what I expected for my Tuesday evening. After a months-long absence, I returned tonight to the Dungeons & Dragons game…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Canadian Oil 🍁Freaking Covid 😷Namaste, Yo 🧘🏿 Monday started out with the news that the Bosslady has Covid. This whole “living through The Great Plague” thing somehow has been incorporated into our lives to the point where we don’t really even realize that thousands of people are dying from it daily.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Family Rituals 👨👩👦👦The Grinch Rocks ❤️Churros and Poke Bowls 🤤 It’s interesting to think about how family rituals actually become family rituals. There are some that are very intentional. You had something done for you as a child, so you do the same thing for your kid. Others just sort of…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Coffee With Wifey ☕👱♀️Armadillo Lepers 😳Choice Cigar 🚬 To say Wifey Poo and I have been through some shit is an understatement. When we said “I do” back in March of 1997 as freaking twenty-two-year-olds (!!!!), neither of us had a clue how challenging the “or for worse” part of a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Self-Teaching 👨🏫Beer Flood 🍺🌊Space Mission 🚀 When I left the newspaper industry in 2009, I knew how to write, take decent photos, design pages and copy edit. I landed a job in which the mandate was, “Go make our communications program better,” something I’d assured those who interviewed me I knew…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Beard Trim 🧔🏽Grunge Shopping 🛒Funny Animals 🐒 When you find yourself with a straight razor poised a millimeter from your neck, you realize this is probably what was going on when the Almighty said “Be still and know that I am God.” I found myself in this situation this morning, in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Wifey Poo’s Laughter 🤣Expensive Turkey 🦃🍗My Boys 👨👦 Walking back to my car last night from The Funny Bone comedy club in St. Charles, I got to thinking. This comes as a surprise to no one who knows me (not many people, as I’ve recently discussed) and no one who reads…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Drinking on the Job 🍷The Land of the Giants 🏀Joseph McCarthy Returns 🏴 It the past week, my job has taken me from a chocolate factory to a wine bar — all in the name of business, of course. Last week, Big Bosslady and I visited Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate, which is…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Itchy Foot 🦶Pay Cuts ❌💰The Best Pen Ever 🖊️ Wifey Poo woke up around 4 a.m. itching, itching, itching her recently repaired foot. Underneath the Ace bandage and the gauze and the padding to keep it safe, she’s got a rash of some sort, and the foot is swollen. Doc says…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Warm November 🌡️The Jaguar People 🐆Squid Game 🦑 I’ll take a 70 degree day in the middle of November, thank you very much. I spent part of my workday on my back deck doing the things I do for my real estate team — social media ads, flyers to promote open…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Year of Hell 😷Where’s Ben? 💔Profiting From Pollution 🏭 Happy Covidaversary to me. On this day one year ago, I had a Q-tip shoved up my nose to confirm what I already knew. Wifey Poo’s sister had been diagnosed with it. Wifey Poo’s mother had been diagnosed with it. Wifey…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Oh Deer 🦌The Thought Gap 🧠Unplugged 🔌 I was sitting in my as-yet-to-be-named home office this morning when this big boy ☝️☝️☝️ walked out of the woods into my yard. It’s the opening day of deer season in Missourah, a day of significance for many local inhabitants on par with their…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Picnic in November 🥶Happy Wife 👩Pour-Over Coffee ☕ Scheduling a picnic outside in Missouri in November seemed to me to be a very gutsy call. That’s until I stopped to realize who was scheduling it — Boy The Younger’s cross country team. These folks run everywhere, and, thus, I assume are…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hoops at Twain’s House 🏀Lunch With The Big Bosslady 🥪Breaking Up Is Efficient 💔 After a long week of work, I traveled north this evening with Boy The Younger for his second hoops game of the season. I missed the first because of an early start time, but this one was…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Gross Photos 📷Sand? Sand!? ⏳Sleeping With Cheese 🛏️🧀 I had major ankle surgery back in 2008 to essentially reconstruct my left foot, which had a nasty propensity to roll over without the rest of my leg accompanying it on the journey. After a four-hour operation and two weeks, I went back…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Pizza Visit 🍕French Fry Vodka 🍟🥃Let’s All Move to Portugal ✈️ We were surprised at dinner time last night with the sight of a kid who’s really no longer much of a kid. Matthew, who’s been Boy The Elder’s friend since the two weren’t even toddling, stopped by, pizzas in hand.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Death List ☠️Doctor Day 🩺Stay Calm, Be Confident 🧘 Sometimes the internet does something useful. For example, in the early days, there was the site that was nothing but The Hamster Dance. I’m not making that up, kiddos. The only thing this website had was The Hamster Dance. Don’t believe me?…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What Makes a Sloth a Sloth? 🦥Launch Day is Nigh 🚀Talkin’ Free Speech 🎙️ I find myself going down some interesting rabbit holes lately. For example, tonight I wondered why exactly sloths are so slow and how exactly such a creature could survive in a survival-of-the-fittest world, especially when they live…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Good Morning, Bank of America, How Are Ya? 🎮Woods Walk 🌲🌲🌲Big Bird’s a Commie ☭ I awoke this morning to a text from Bank of America about potentially fraudulent charges on my debit card. “Pshaw,” thought I. “Probably just a scam.” So I stumbled into the kitchen, made my coffee and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Cute Pic, Dumb Response 📷A Musical Connection 🎵A Time-Change Analogy ⌚ My first solo venture into Costco today did not end up in familial bankruptcy, surprisingly. Oh, it could have. It just didn’t. I walked right past the $40 slabs of ribs and steered clear of the $2,000 monster TV that…Keep reading