🧩 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 🧩So Long, Kid 👨👦Steak Celebration🥩Chip & Joanna 🪚 Regular readers of my drivel know that I’m kind of an emotional guy, which is like saying that Jack kind of could have fit on the spacious floating door with Rose in Titanic. So it should come as no surprise when I say…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Cash 4 IRS 💰Cash 4 Workers 💸Sound of Silence 🤫 Be extra careful on your taxes this year. The IRS is expected to receive nearly $80 billion when The Inflation Reduction Act eventually becomes law, and its plan is to hire 87,000 full-time workers. More than half of the $80 billion…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Spoon Nose 🥄👃🏻Dump Truck 🚚Twitter Traitor 🐦 Every night, I strap a mask attached to a long hose to my face so I don’t die. Not satisfied with looking kinda like an idiot, I then wrap a flexible Velco-enabled strap around my chin and fasten it on top of my bald…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thanks, Yankees ⚾Kitchen Moment 👩🍳McDonald’s Glasses 🥛 Wifey Poo and I were recent college graduates and months away from becoming Married Folk when our relationship nearly faced its greatest test. The New York Yankees were rolling toward their first World Series appearance since I played with Matchbox Cars, and the St.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mammoth Dilemma🦣Zombie Pigs🧟🐖Stadium Pals⚾ Finding the fossilized remains of a Wooly Mammoth in New Mexico isn’t exactly news. It seems the furry elephants loved to hang out in the land so frequently visited by aliens. What is news is the condition of the fossils from the latest find. Some of the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Ankle Shot 🦶🏻Teamwork 🤝🏽Talkspace Stupidity 🤪 Over the years, I’ve played catch with Boy The Younger dozens and dozens of times. From those early days of him aimlessly flinging an oversized soft thing a few feet forward, to now when he’s zipping a real baseball the regulation distance from a pitching…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Creative Desert 🎨So Long, Supra 🏎️Taco Truck 🌮 I have absolutely nothing today. On most days — even the really, really bad days — I can push out something creatively worthwhile. A blog post. A flyer. A video. Not today. Today I have jack shit. This is professionally problematic, considering my…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hungry=Stupid 😋Strategic Planning 📅Bed Sizes 🛏️ Hunger is a strong motivator. This, most of us know. Yet I witnessed this truth at a whole new level this weekend. Wifey Poo and I traveled up to Hannibal, Missourah, for a few days. Hannibal, for you uncultured folks, is the hometown of Mark…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Change 🌀Me, Different 😷Bad Baseball ⚾ I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Most everything in humanity is governed by two intertwined forces. Supply and demand. Scarcity. Whether its the economy or human emotions, everything about us is geared toward responding to these two things. For example, when there…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Double Standards 🦅Birthday Deals 🎁Video Guy 📹 The United States has a problem with hypocrisy. Don’t worry, though; it’s nothing new. It just happens to be glaringly apparent right now. Our revered Founding Fathers got things off on a really bad foot when they penned the lofty statement that all men…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Revolution 🌍Rain 🌧️Refund 💰 By this time tomorrow, I will have completed 48 trips around the sun. Or is it 47 and I’ll be starting my 48th? Whatever. I’ll be 48 years old tomorrow. I have to admit, I’m feeling kinda blah about it. Looking back, this past revolution was busy…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bitchy Mother Nature 🌧️⚡Tech Woes 🖥️Maturation 👦 Overnight storms made for a restless night, as waves of rain and thunder rolled through our section of Missourah. Flash flood warnings pinged my phone sometime in the middle of the night, and by the time I left for my drive to work, eastbound…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Rollercoasters 🎢Sad Puppy 🐶News Roundup 🤖 It’s possible to think a lot of thoughts while plummeting 90 feet at a 90-degree angle while staring up at the sun. This I learned yesterday while at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missourah, with the Core Four, Div, Wifey Poo’s baby sister and baby…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Date Day 🤟🏽Prison Justice 👊Universe Questions 🚀 Wifey Poo and I ended up having more than 12 hours to ourselves yesterday here in the Midwest Redneck Mecca of Branson, Missourah. Boys The Elder and Younger, along with BTE’s lovely girlfriend of nearly three years, and Wifey Poo’s baby sister and family…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩WFH WTF? 🧑💼Rebel Ball ⚾Psych Myth 🧠 As a writer/columnist/blogger/thought-spewer, I always enjoy when I get something out there before anyone else. I dug that when I was a newspaper journalist, and I dig it now. That’s why I’m happy to be hearing national publications and sites like Business Insider starting…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Fahrenheit 🌡️Blindingly White ⬜Alone Time 👴 Muricah is very much a reactionary nation. Much of what we do and who we are is because we were pissed off about the way someone else did things. Monarchy? We’ll have a democracy, thank you very much. The metric system? We’ll measure stuff our…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tryouts ⚾BBQ Sauce🍖TMNT🐢 There is cause for celebration in the Core Four: Boy The Younger has been drafted. Sadly, we’re not talking about the ongoing Major League Baseball draft. Rather, we’re talking about the sick modern world of Little League baseball. Not to get too “Get off my lawn!” on you,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Growth 💗Dreams 💤Redecorating 🛋️ There are moments in a dad’s life in which he can see the growth of his sons quite clearly. Sometimes that growth is physical. One day, Boy The Elder was a short, stocky little boy and then, boom, he came home from his high school job at…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Burn Pit🔥Alaska Ass🍑Nose Hair🐽 Having a plan is a far different thing from having a plan work out. I’m really good at the former, yet the latter seems to be extremely elusive. Yesterday, my plan was to take the huge pile of chopped-down cedar-tree limbs that have been in my backyard…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Jewel💎First Kiss💋Slow Ahead🐢 Wifey Poo and I are headed out into the sweltering hell that is Missourah this evening to see the woman who, should she knock on my door and say “let’s go,” I am fully empowered to join in the next part of life’s journey. I jest. Sort of.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Parenthood 🚓Alexa 📋Quick-Hitters 👋 Just about every statistic imaginable tells us we shouldn’t have kids — at least, not if we’re concerned about our own happiness, mental health, marriage, career, finances, time or ability to buy a really boss car instead of a freaking minivan. Yet here we are, still a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Lawrence Pfaff Sr. Sucks 🚓Engagement Talk 🌯Quick-Hitters 👋 From what I know of Lawrence H. Pfaff Sr. of Belmont, NY, he was kind of a douche. The 81-year-old man died on June 27. I never met him. Never even heard of him. Until I read his obit. And about that obit?…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Travelling Companion🚓Free Beans 🌯Unfollowed 👋 Brandy Bottone is either stupid or brilliant. Whichever it is, she’s also right. The Texas woman was traveling in the HOV lane — which, for the country folk out there, stands for High Occupancy Vehicle and is reserved for cars with two or more people to…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Slots 🎰Dude Perfect ⚽Bye Bye Facebook? 👋 My mother-in-law (AKA The Judester) is nearly 81 years old and has knee problems that keep her from getting around too well these days. Watching her stand up from a chair is to feel pain yourself. Yet when I walked into the Ameristar casino…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Reflections on Grandma 👵Kids & Death 👨👦👦Don’t Say It 🤫 My grandma died yesterday, four days shy of her 96th birthday. As it goes with people at that age, it wasn’t a surprise. She had been fading for more than a year and, though she still was breathing, that version of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sleepwalking 🧨DnD Gang 🎲Gas Idiots 🛢️ If there were a day-by-day measure of the collective output of workers in these here United States of Amuricah (and for all I know, there is), I would venture to guess that July 5 ain’t our most productive day. I base this on my observations…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Stupid Parade 🧨Math Matters ➗What Amazon Reveals 🚚 Not being a hugely patriotic person at this point in my life, I made no plans to go to any Fourth of July parade this year. It seems mighty foolish to be celebrating freedoms that are eroding right before our eyes, though I…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Alone Time, Girl Time 👩👧Picture Hanger🔨What Amazon Reveals 🚚 Wifey Poo and I found ourselves in an interesting position at home today for a little bit: Alone. Boy The Elder took off for Six Flags with his buds, and Boy The Younger left with a friend and his family (Chicken Owner,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Oil Change 👨🔧Goose Lover🛦Church & State⛪ Based on my history, the last place anyone should ever look for me is underneath a car. Yet that’s where I found myself late this morning, side-by-side with Boy The Elder as he showed me exactly how stupid I’ve been all my life. I’m not…Keep reading