🧩 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 my hand from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. except for the absolute necessities.
I recently wrote about how the problem with technology today is not the technology itself but rather the fact that regulations haven’t caught up to it. By “regulations,” yes, I’m talking about government regulations and business regulations, but I’m also talking about personal regulations. Parents are struggling to figure out how to allow technology in their children’s lives. Individuals are struggling to simply be present in reality with their heads up. In recent months, I’ve witnessed more than one man in a public restroom sidle up to a urinal and pull out … his phone to stay connected while he’s peeing. Seriously?
Truthfully, if someone wants to be that connected, hey man, go for it. What I know for myself is that I don’t want to be that connected, and honestly, I was struggling with disconnecting. I’d find myself absentmindedly picking up my phone to scroll through stuff I really don’t have any desire to see simply because a commercial is on or Wifey Poo leaves the room. I was starting to feel really uncomfortable with how much the phone had become an extension of my body instead of a tool to use for increased communication, productivity and information.
And here’s the thing: Today was great. Yes, there were times when it was an inconvenience. I did the Wal-Mart pickup this morning and had to override the restrictions I’d put in terms of allowable apps for the day to let them know where I parked so they could bring me my stuff. There were times I had questions to which I’d grown accustomed to finding the answer through a simple Google search that just sort of hung out there.
And in that I found the first great relief: There’s something nostalgic about not knowing. I remember not knowing a whole lot of stuff back in the day. Then, it became really, really cool to an intellectual knowledge-seeker like me to be able to know basically everything within 10 seconds of wondering. Today, I found joy in saying, “Hmmm. I dunno” and then just letting that be.
Was all this a bit uncomfortable? More than I’d like to admit, which kind of underscores the severity of the problem.
In the place of the phone, I found myself letting my mind simply rest when the Chiefs game went to commercial. I put on my shoes and went outside with Boys The Elder & Younger when I saw they were headed there to throw a football around. That turned into a two-hour family time in which we started a fire in the backyard fire pit that hadn’t been used since we moved here and a Berenstain Bears moment with BTY when he helped me put these sonic mole deterrent things into the ground.
I read my book. I cleaned stuff up. I just simply stopped.
It was nice. Very nice. So nice, in fact, that I’m looking forward to the next detox day when I can disconnect again.
There was a moment this evening as the sun made its way to its resting place and the glow of the fire in the backyard fire pit started to become not just a source of heat on a nippy late-fall evening that I looked around and realized that everything was simply good.
BTE and BTY were playing football along with BTE’s long-time girlfriend, who is so intricately woven into our family already that I’m going to punch BTE in the throat if he screws this up. Wifey Poo was helping make the fire grow because, well, she’s kind of a closet pyromaniac. We were all out there surrounded on the perimeter by the trees that ring our humble country home, the moon had started its nightly ascent, it had been a great weekend filled with fun and family, and everything was just good.
Give me more of that, please.
📚 Let’s Learn Something Together 📓🖊️
Did you know moles are pretty sadistic little bastards? It’s true.
I have a mole problem. Moles are tearing up my lawn. In my research to find ways to gently encourage these creates to move along (such as pour gasoline down one of the mole holes and light it up), I learned that moles create special sections in their underground tunnel systems. One of those special sections is a kitchen area, in which — get this — moles will store earthworms whose heads they bite off to immobilize them yet keep them alive because they like fresh meat.
That’s some seriously creepy shit, moles.
High Five ✋
Today’s official endorsement goes to the documentary “Four Hours at the Capitol,” on HBO Max. It still stuns me how, now nearly a year later, we have just sort of moved past the fact that armed insurrectionists. led by a disgraceful demagogue, tried to take over the country. This documentary does the best job I’ve seen yet of portraying the actual chaos and severity of the situation. For those who would like to downplay what happened on Jan. 6, 2021, well, your position is severely weakened by the raw footage shown in this documentary. That The Idiot Grand Wizard was simply allowed to leave Washington for his Florida retreat without being tried for treason is a disgrace.
I have soured on America tremendously over the past four or five years. This documentary, which I highly recommend, merely confirmed my thoughts about our “country.”
In Other Writing …
Top 5 Things You’ll Learn If You Read This Whole Thing: You can never quite catch up with the present. Weird isn’t weird if you don’t think it’s weird. The exception to the rule is a dangerous thing. Overheard late-night conversations can change your life. America is founded on hypocrisy and rooted in bullying. One…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- BTY has a hoops game Monday late afternoon, and it’s close to my office. I’m hoping to scoot a bit early so I can see him play.
- I’m filming footage for a cool video idea tomorrow.
- I’m expect more good moments like all the ones that made up this weekend.
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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