Promises — June 3, 2022

Promises — June 3, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
New Job🧑‍💼
Happy Times🤗
Small World ⚾


Buckle up. It’s story time. Today I made a reservation for Ruth’s Chris steakhouse on Sunday for me, Wifey Poo and Boys The Elder and Younger. The Core Four is getting dressed up.

Keep in mind, we are not Ruth’s Chris people. It’s not that we don’t love good steak, but $50 hunks of meat are not a part of the budget Wifey Poo and I creatively stretch every month to pay for things such as our boy’s education, basic clothing and the electric bill. It’s not that we’re poor; we’re not. But we’re certainly not “Let’s hit Ruth’s Chris on a Sunday because we don’t feel like cooking” people.

Rather, the reservation comes because, today, I stopped relying on other people’s promises (a completely different kind of OPP than Naughty By Nature sang about) and created a brighter future for the C4 myself.

The story begins …

I’ve been living on OPP — first from Shriners Children’s, which promised me that if I, indeed, did what I had told them in my interviews I would do, I would be rewarded, and lately by The Best Dang Real Estate Team on Either Side of the Mississippi. The amorphous promises of the former didn’t materialize despite my success, and so I took a position with the latter, whose promises were much more defined.

Here’s where math comes into our story, and I hate math, so take all these numbers with a grain of salt. They’re probably wrong. And Wifey Poo will let me know about it.

For simplicity’s sake and because I don’t feel like talking about my actual salary, let’s just say Shriners paid me $100 a year with vague notions of making $100 + ?. I was fine with the ? for awhile, but then Bossman came calling with from the real estate world and offered $100 + unlimited ? based on the success of the team. The projected first-quarter 2022 ?, when I looked at their forecast, was $100 + $40, a pretty damn good percentage for one quarter (about 40%, if my math is correct).

“Even if their forecasts are off by half, $100 + $20 is still better than $100 + nothing. And that’s just for one quarter! And surely their projections have to be at least half-accurate.”

Then I set about doing my thing. And I did it well. Yet there are many things great marketing can’t do. It can’t change a culture overnight. It can’t bring strength to people who need to hold others accountable if there’s going to be real change and growth. And it can’t change the forces of the free market.

So when the first quarter ended, there was no $100 + $40. There was no $100 + 20. There was no $100 + $1. There was $100. Period. Full stop.

Well, that’s not entirely true. Not “full” stop. Stop, but promises. And I believed them because I believed (and still believe) in the Bossman. He’s a great real estate guy. He knows his stuff.

So I got back to work doing my thing. The mission had been clear from the start, and we’d agreed upon our strategy — build brand awareness and build a lead generating machine. I had done both. Brand awareness isn’t built overnight, and it’s not built in a quarter, yet we were making progress. A lot of progress. Search Engine Optimization is an art and a science, and my work was artistically effective. It was working.

Let’s jump out of the math and rewind to December 2021. Me and Bosslady went to lunch, and there I told her that my 25th anniversary was coming up and I really wanted to take Wifey Poo to Alaska in the summer of 2022 to celebrate. “We’ll make that happen,” she said. It wasn’t quite a promise, but you can give it promise-adjacent authority when it comes from the Bosslady.

When the first quarter ended with $100 + nothing, Bosslady was kind enough to give me and Wifey Poo a gift card for Ruth’s Chris, and said, “I know it’s not Alaska, but we’ll get there.”

Promises.

So I asked: Can I please have a look as the second quarter goes on into the second quarter numbers so I can track what’s happening and make plans for my family?

I can’t stress this enough: $100 wasn’t enough to make the budget work. I have a kid in college. I have a family to support. And I needed to have at least an idea of what was coming.

As all of this was happening, I revived my side business and picked up some marketing work to make ends meet. I love creating. In many ways, this side gig is my hobby, not another job.

I waited to see the numbers.

And then I was told those numbers were visible only to “leadership,” which, based on what I had been asked to contribute far and above my role as marketing dude, I had pretty much considered I was. In fact, the Director of Operations had told me I was. Yet when I asked for transparency, I wasn’t.

Do you see what I saw?

So I let Bossman know: Yes, I wanted to be with the team for the rest of my career. But I had a family to think about. And I was told about what was coming, what was going to happen, what was just over the horizon.

Promises.

Yet I had reached a point where I couldn’t just accept the promises of someone who wouldn’t give me visibility into the foundation for those promises. So I polished up my resume, and I let the LinkedIn algorithm know I was available should anyone want to talk to me about what I have done and what I can do.

Enter Samantha.

Sam is a former first-round draft pick in this here country’s women’s professional soccer league. She had a good career doing that, then coached collegiate women’s soccer — and now she works as a recruiter. She sent me a message about a new opportunity — one that paid, going back into the math world, $100 + $50 or $60 as a base, with bonus and profit sharing opportunities. $100 + $50 or $60 is a gamechanger for my family, so I listened.

Over the past week, I’ve had three interviews with the company, and today they offered me a position for $100 + $60. Five more vacation days than what I’m getting. Three more holidays.

Five minutes after saying “I do” to them, I turned in my resignation, effective in two weeks, giving Bossman the first shot at securing my creative services as a side gig at various levels and for various prices. He and his wife/Bosslady are considering their options over the weekend. If they don’t sign on, I have good relationships with other Realtors in the area. I’ll be fine.

And so it came to pass that I made the Ruth’s Chris reservation. We’ll dine on the generosity of Bossman and Bosslady. It’s not Alaska. But it’ll taste good. Irony sometimes does.

And so I texted the C4 to let them know of the reservation. And I told them who’d be paying for the first large chunk of our meal. I told my boys: “Yes, the irony will taste good on Sunday. But I say this as a lesson to you. It’s OK to trust people and believe in people. Be careful whom you trust and believe. And make sure you hold people accountable for their promises. And know this: People can promise you a lot of things. But ultimately YOU make your future. Don’t ever put it heavily in another person’s hands for very long.”

This is the lesson I take from the past 17 months or so. I think it’s a good sign of growth that I can look back at my younger self and think “Damn, he was an idiot.” I was.

But I’m not anymore.


And then I left for the office for the day. I can do what I do from anywhere, so I did what I do from a sculpture park. It was a gorgeous day. I smoked a cigar to celebrate. I took a lunch break and read my book (Stephen King’s Later, which I highly recommend.). It feels good to be me right now, and that hasn’t been a thing until very recently.


It’s a small world. Over the course of my time talking with Samantha The Recruiter, I got to know that her fiance is a member of the Rocket City Trash Pandas. What the hell is that, you ask? It’s the Double-A affiliate of the Anaheim Angels, and that team name is freaking awesome. So I was telling Boy The Elder about this.

“Her fiance is Braxton Martinez,” says I.

“I know Braxton Martinez!” says BTE.

It seems as if, when Braxton was playing independent baseball while trying to catch on with a team affiliated with MLB, he played for the now-defunct River City Rascals, based right here in my section of Missourah. One day when BTE was 16 or so, he, his brother and his cousins went to a Rascals game with his grandparents. That night, Braxton went off and hit some big homers. After the game, my crew went up to the railing to get autographs.

BTE disappeared down to his bedroom and returned a few minutes later with an autographed ball. I texted a pic to Sam. Yup. It was her Braxton’s signature.

Small world.


In Other Writing …

SoS15: So Far Away

Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. So Far Away, Staind, from the 2003 album, 14 Shades of Grey Line of Significance Now that we’re here it’s so far away/And I feel like I can face the day, and I can forgive/And I’m not ashamed…

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I can tell you that I haven’t felt the lyrics of a song as much as I’m feeling these today.

Now that we’re here
It’s so far away
All the struggle we thought was in vain
All the mistakes
One life contained
They all finally start to go away
Now that we’re here it’s so far away
And I feel like I can face the day, and I can forgive
And I’m not ashamed to be the person that I am today

Fuck yeah.


Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

  1. A new job awaits.
  2. I want to know what it feels like to comfortably meet my expenses with income. It’s been awhile.
  3. Wifey Poo and I have a breakfast date tomorrow.

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List Item Achieved! #90: Here’s Lookin’ At You, Kid

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…

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List Items Update! January in Review

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…

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List Items Update: The ‘In-Progress’ Stuff

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…

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List Item Achieved! #42: Bowlin’

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…

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List Item Update! #1: Dates!

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…

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List Item Achieved! #64: Lumosity

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…

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Changing Course — Jan. 1, 2022

🧩 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…

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Reflections — Dec. 31, 2021

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…

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Disturbing Duck Fact — Dec. 23, 2021

🧩 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,…

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Balloons — Dec. 21, 2021

🧩 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,…

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‘The Plan’ — Dec. 20, 2021

🧩 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…

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Thinking of Kix — Dec. 18, 2021

🧩 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…

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Battling Bowser — Dec. 14, 2021

🧩 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…

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Digital Detox Day — Dec. 12, 2021

🧩 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…

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In-Law Family Christmas — Dec. 11, 2021

🧩 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…

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Tornado Sirens — Dec. 10, 2021

🧩 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…

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‘When Crazy Comes Knockin’ ‘ — Dec. 9, 2021

🧩 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…

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What the Hell is on My Shirt? — Dec. 8, 2021

🧩 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,…

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Wifey Poo, The State Champ? — Dec. 7, 2021

🧩 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)…

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Off — Dec. 6, 2021

🧩 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…

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One Hundred Intentions for 2022

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…

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Bumper Car Aggression — Dec. 4, 2021

🧩 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…

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The Song of the Year is What? — Dec. 3, 2021

🧩 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…

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Death to the Elf — Dec. 2, 2021

🧩 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…

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United States of Inefficiency — Dec. 1, 2021

🧩 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…

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Return to the Dungeon — Nov. 30, 2021

🧩 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…

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Let’s Talk Syrup — Nov. 29, 2021

🧩 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.…

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Internet Outage Dispatch — Nov. 28, 2021

🧩 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,…

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Tree Haulin’ — Nov. 26, 2021

🧩 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…

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Pie Tweaker — Nov. 25, 2021

🧩 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…

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Don’t Touch Armadillos — Nov. 24, 2021

🧩 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…

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Boy The Singer, Nov. 23, 2021

🧩 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…

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The Costco Plaid Mafia — Nov. 20, 2021

🧩 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…

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Family Matters — Nov. 19, 2021

🧩 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…

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Wine & Chocolate — Nov. 18, 2021

🧩 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…

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Who Needs Medical School? — Nov. 17, 2021

🧩 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…

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Warm November Day — Nov. 16, 2021

🧩 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…

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Happy Covidaversary To Me — Nov. 15, 2021

🧩 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…

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Big Buck — Nov. 14, 2021

🧩 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…

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Homeschool Stuff — Nov. 13, 2021

🧩 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…

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Huckleberry Hoops– Nov. 12, 2021

🧩 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…

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Toys in the Hall — Nov. 11, 2021

🧩 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…

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Absolut Curly? — Nov. 10, 2021

🧩 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.…

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Inventor Regret — Nov. 9, 2021

🧩 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?…

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Sloth Talk — Nov. 8, 2021

🧩 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…

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Early Morning Gaming? — Nov. 7, 2021

🧩 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…

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Adventures in Costco – Nov. 6, 2021

🧩 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…

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