🧩 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 🧩Losing Money 🥊The Best F’N Mom Ever👩Heat 🥵 Wifey Poo and I took our weekly date Saturday and went to the city made famous in the original National Lampoon’s Vacation movie: East St. Louis. No, East St. Louis isn’t in Missouri and no, it’s not a popular data destination, but what…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩One Long Sentence 🖊️Birthday Boy🎂Wine & Chocolate 🍷🍫 I remember being a kid and wanting to be an adult. I wanted to drive and have a girlfriend and be able to do whatever it was that I wanted to do, not what someone else said I should do. And now, here…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Ink Stain 🖊️Big Week 🎂Gas Pumps 😂 If getting a link of ink right across the front of your shirt while trying to catch a falling pen isn’t one of the Mondayest of Monday things that can happen to a dude, I’m sure there aren’t too many things that can beat…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tater Tots🥔The Waffle House League🧇The Baseball Speech ⚾ There’s a reason why baseball was America’s pastime and now is sinking in popularity. Baseball is different from other sports. It has a pace unlike today’s more popular games. It’s meant to be savored, not downed like a shot. Yes, it’s gone from…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Truth ⚖️The Poor Man’s Chipotle🌮Jokes 🤣 Anyone else get sucked in by the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial? I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I did. This is extremely odd because Hollywood culture and all things pop culture in general annoy the crap about of me. There’s just something about…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What A Game ⚾Brain Power 🧠Stupid People 🤣 The Best Damn Real Estate Team on Either Side of the Mississippi spent much of the day yesterday inside a luxury suite at Busch Stadium, as the Cardinals took on the New York Mets. The game had a little bit of everything —…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Shanghai Surprise 👖Baseball Game ⚾Lawyer Joke😜 On March 27, I ordered some pants. I fully admit I went through Indochino because of its ads on The Tony Kornheiser Show podcast. Marketing works, folks. I’d ordered two custom-made pairs (not pair, Michael) before, and they are great. So I added some khakis…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Marketing Earth Day 🌎Lifeshit 💩Mawwiage 🪢 Happy Earth Day. I love that we celebrate a planet that demonstrates in so many ways how much it doesn’t like us. Today, The Best Damn Real Estate Team on Either Side of the Mississippi is doing a highway cleanup project, so I’ll be on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩 A Humbling Sport⚾A Kick-Ass Trophy🐴Punk ⛓️ Happy 4/20. This edition of A Puzzle Known As Life is delivered in an edible format, and you’ll feel the effects of all the awesome in about 45 minutes. Enjoy. Boy The Younger had a baseball game last night. It was a cold, windy…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩 Why We Suck🤡No Finishing Power🔚McReally? 🍔 The world is dumb, and America is the leading idiot. I don’t reach this conclusion with any sort of glee. It’s simply what I see. Societies hold together because of three things. Shared stories Strong institutions Social networks that engender trust. The past 10…Keep reading
Time is a fascinating concept to me. I’ve written about it before, but it just seems so arbitrary sometimes. It amazes me how we can suck at it so badly that we have to add an entire extra day every four years to keep our system going — and no one really bats an eye.…Keep reading
I am not good at fantasy sports. This makes absolutely no sense to me. I have been a religious follower of statistics since I was, like, 5. My father would bring the newspaper home from NYC and I’d pour through the sports section to see who did what in the previous night’s baseball games. I…Keep reading
As I’ve previously detailed elsewhere on my site, I have a bit of a Dark Knight problem. It’s kinda like I have a bit of a Shawshank Redemption problem, a Jewel problem and, currently, an Amy Lee/Evanescence problem. I watch or hear something that speaks to my soul, and it becomes an area of intense…Keep reading
There was a time in my life when I had swagger. I was never the most popular or athletic kid in school, but for a while there, I was a really good baseball player. I could hit. I could field. And, boy, could I pitch. Some of the most “over” kids in high school would…Keep reading
I am my music. I don’t know how much simpler to define me than to say that if you want to know who and where I am at a particular moment, check my “recents” in Amazon Music. Music has always been a big thing with me. I understand it now, but I didn’t understand as…Keep reading
I have a complicated history with alcohol. So stupid and naive was I that I it wasn’t until I was 8 years old that I learned a woman could drink beer. I mean, I actually believed beer was not something women were allowed to drink, or maybe it was that I thought that if they…Keep reading
It seems to me that a lot of things are easier these days. For example, I think it’s much easier to be a police detective now than, say, back in the 1960s-90s, when my uncle/godfather worked in Spanish Harlem. There are databases for everything from fingerprints to photos to DNA, and every block in the…Keep reading
Ahh, January 2022, the month that will be remembered as the one in which, despite being vaxed and boosted, that little bitch Covid came to live with me again and as a month that lasted approximately 758 years. Yet despite its general assholeyness and inexplicable length, I managed to actually cross off very few items…Keep reading
I saw yesterday a post on Facebook in which the poster asked, “Is it just me or does it seem like the days are getting longer? I’m not sure what’s happening, but it sure seems like it.” I paused, thinking that it might be a joke before realizing that, no, this poster, a 40-something professional…Keep reading
ACCOMPLISHED No. 42: Create a college football bowl pool with a traveling trophy Sports bring people together. Of course, they also tear people apart. Look no further than the idiots supporting opposing teams in football stadiums who end up in alcohol-fueled brawls. But forget about that for a second. As I was saying, sports bring…Keep reading
In Progress No. 1: Go on 52 dates with CC Wifey Poo (AKA CC, AKA Carla) and I have known each other roughly 30 years. That’s a long time, folks. That’s the amount of time my parents were together when I was like, “Damn, you guys. That’s a long time to be together.” And now…Keep reading
ACCOMPLISHED No. 64: Get into (and stay) in the 99th percentile on Lumosity Back when Longhaul COVID was effectively killing me and sapping my will to live, I went to a neuropsychiatrist, which is essentially a dude who studies the results of the brain’s functioning. I’ve had at least five concussions in my life, which…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩The Voices In My Head 🎤‘Puzzle Pieces’ Origin Story 🎬A New Direction 🧭 I spent much of the past year with my writing trying to find a distinct voice. I dabbled in characters and tried to give each his or her own style. There was Q.F. Conseco, the free-spirited former Hippie…Keep reading
In a few hours, this revolution around the sun will be complete and a new one will begin. Unless something unexpected happens, I will have made it out alive. Hyperbole? Perhaps. But when I look back at the year that was, I feel I’m justified in counting it as a victory that I’m alive and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Creepy Mail 📪License Plate Strategy 🚗Donald Dick, Err, Duck 🦆 Wifey Poo received a piece of mail recently from a company that looks to buy your car. It was astoundingly bad marketing. The first sentence read, “According to our records, it looks as if you’re driving a VEHICLE.” First of all,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩The Sad Dad Club 💔A Toast 🥃🥃Done Writing? 🖊️ It took me less than 24 hours as a part of the Dad Whose Child Died Club to learn that membership came with a myriad of uncomfortable situations. It was the day after Jacob (AKA Boy The Eldest) was born and died,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Plague Life 😷The Real Plan 😭A Hilarious Obituary 🤣☠️ Does it ever randomly smack you in the face that we’re living through a historic freaking pandemic? Are you ever going about what you might fool yourself into believing is your Before Times life and then suddenly something jolts you out of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Kix 👶Greg 🐟The First iPhone 📱 Life has a way of kicking you in the balls when you least expect it. Wifey Poo and I were cleaning up our lower level today and trying to get all of our crap that was put against the wall in the back by the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Christmas Video 🎥Fighting The Big Boss 🥊Roland The Farter 🍑💨 I spent much of the day making a video for my job with The Allen Brake Team. I shot the footage a few weeks ago, and today was the day to identify the clips to actually use, assemble them, find the…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