🧩 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 day, how I get ready for bed. I understand this probably crosses over into a bit obsessive, though certainly not obsessive-compulsive-disorderish because the reality of that is far more difficult to live with than my own efficiency eccentricities.
This makes me particularly vulnerable to losing my freaking mind when I’m dealing with people who are very much the opposite of me, and today was filled with those people.
A highlight reel of the bullshit I waded through today includes:
- An unsuccessful attempt to roll the 401(k) from my previous job into my IRA because Wifey Poo has to print out a form, find a notary and sign it in front of him or her so then I can take a picture of the signed form with my phone and upload it to their website so they know I’m not trying to screw her out of the grand total of $1,366 that’s in the account by moving it to some secret offshore bank. All of that took two phone calls and 25 minutes on hold.
- An unsuccessful attempt to roll the 401(k) from my previous previous job into my IRA because I moved. When the kind woman told me I had to change my address in their system first, I enthusiastically replied: “Great! Let’s get to it!” I was then informed I have to wait 10 days for my address change to be verified. Never mind the fact that I verified my identity through Social Security number, birthday and voice imprint. And never mind the fact I’m not asking them to mail me a check at any address — previous, current or imaginary; I’m asking them to mail the check directly to the guardians of my IRA, Merrill Lynch. This took three phone calls, including one during which I was disconnected the moment the hold music disappeared after a 25 minute wait and a man said, “May I help yo-….”
- An unsuccessful attempt to pay my first month’s health insurance for 2022, a thing I need to do by Dec. 15 do per regulations of the U.S. gubment. It’s also a thing I very much want to do and a think I was very much prepared to do at that very moment. The kind woman at Cigna named Maria, who had chickens cock-a-doodle-dooing in the background for added effect, told me I needed to make the payment before Dec. 15, to which I replied, “Great! Let’s get to it!” before she then told me I couldn’t make the payment because no payment was due. “But there is a payment due. And today is before Dec. 15. So great! Let’s get to it!” to which she replied that we couldn’t get to it because it wasn’t the right amount of time before Dec. 15 and that I would have to call back when it was closer to Dec. 15. “Great. How much closer to Dec. 15?” I asked. “I don’t know the answer to that,” she replied in between a cock-a-doodle-doo. “Well can you find out the answer to that?” I asked. “I’m sorry, I cannot.”
I believe America is doomed for many, many, many reasons. We are the prototypical declining empire and have been for about two decades now. If and when we do fall, the horrible inefficiencies that beset honest citizens who have to take their eyes of their actual jobs for more than an hour to try to get done what should be easy life-things is going to be one of those reasons.
Cyber Monday was fun, wasn’t it? Of course, Cyber Monday has been going on since before Black Friday, which was going on since around Veteran’s Day. The strangest “Cyber Week” ad that landed in my inbox came from Quest Diagnostics, the company responsible for taking gallons of my Longhaul Covid-infused blood this year. It’s offering a 15% discount on all QuestDirect lab tests like health profiles and allergy screenings, if you use the code CYBER15. But hurry. This offer expires Dec. 10.
📚 Let’s Learn Something Together 📓🖊️
Did you know people are paying lots and lots of money for properties that don’t exist? It’s true. And I’m curious how it’s all going to play out in my industry — real estate.
It’s very easy to look at immersive meta experiences like Fortnight and it’s now-ancient predecessor Second Life and think of those who participate in at game-addicted kids and socially awkward weirdos. The reality, though, is that digital-currency investor Grayscale thinks the global market for goods and service in the metaverse will soon be worth $1 trillion-with-a-T dollars.
The metaverse is already filling up with entertainment-starved locked-down global citizens who, among other things, attended a live concert earlier this month by Justin Bieber during which the Beebs belted out songs from his hit album “Justice” while people admired his too-sexy avatar.
Real estate investors are now jumping into the metaverse game. If you’re particularly forward-thinking and technologically inclined, you see a metaverse that blossoms into a fully functioning economy — and you see the reality of that virtual reality coming soon. Those metaversians are going to need many things — meta clothes, meta music and, yes, meta places to hang out.
Which is what’s drawing very real commercial real estate investors to start snapping up meta properties. Two months ago, Tokens.com, a tech company focusing on metaverse real estate, bought 50% of Metaverse Group, one of the world’s first real estate companies, for about $1.7 million. That company is headquartered in the earth city of Toronto but has a much nicer setup in what it calls Decentraland in Crypto Valley. Think of it as meta’s version of Silicon Valley, but with districts for gambling and virtual shopping.
As I said, it’s easy to dismiss this. But with actual reality becoming more and more bleak (hello, Omicron) and the technology to pull all this off right on the meta doorstep, don’t for a second think this doesn’t have a shot of becoming a preferred reality for a whole lot of people. And where the people are, the money will follow.
The ‘What Did You Say?’ of the Day
I hope I’m around when the definitive retrospective is written on Mr. Musk. I’m wondering if he’ll take his place in the pantheon of technology greats or be lumped in with the likes of P.T. Barnum. The jury seems to be very much still out.
Today was a slice-your-hand-open-on-a-Christmas-present-you-ordered-for-Boy-The-Elder-that-was-shattered-in-the-box-unbeknownst-to-you kind of day. I’m trusting tomorrow will be better.
In Other Writing …
It’s easy to say Facebook — sorry, Meta — is evil. They do such a good job of proving the point for us. They routinely violate their own privacy policies, they know what they do is bad for people and bad for society, and they lie when subpoenaed to testify before Congress because they know…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Got a work conference in-person tomorrow. I wonder if the coffee’s gotten any better since The Great Plague shut these down.
- I spent much of the day thinking today was Tuesday. Little gifts like realizing you’re one day closer to the weekend than you thought are nice treats.
- Honey. I love honey.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩No-Phone Sunday 🚫📱Creepy Moles 🐀Doc Talk 📽️ Today was sort of a practice day for something I put on my “Hundred Things” list for 2022. It was a Digital Detox Sunday, which is No. 63 on the list. To me, this meant that I wouldn’t have any sort of device in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Trombones are Loud 🎺Birds Aren’t Real 🐦Death to Gymnastic Judges 🤸 Top 5 things that happened at In-Law Family Christmas, held at our humble country home, today. The realization that the mass of youngins has gotten so large now that our little babies have grown up to various new stages that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hey There, Dorothy 🌪️Christmas Hurts 🎄Bye-Bye, Checks and Balances ✔️⚖️ If you’re ever in need of some entertainment, might I suggest being in a church with a bunch of homeschool parents when tornado sirens go off? That’s where I found myself tonight, accompanied by Boy The Younger at a spring track…Keep reading
🧩 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 🧩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 🧩Disconnected 🔌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,…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