🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Dessert, Not Desert 🍨
Happy Belated Birthday, McLovin 🎁
Men Kissing 🏳️🌈
I started out my career in the news business and quickly learned that people suck. I mean, back in the mid-1990s, the internet was just becoming a thing — we even capitalized it … Internet … and wrote “e-mail” instead of “email” and Web site instead of website, thanks to the Almighty AP Style Guide. People still largely got their news from the newspaper and evening news, and there were a limited number of pages and minutes in which to cram all the stuff going on out there.
It took me exactly one day as a professional copy editor to realize how much I controlled what people learned about. The AP News Wires were filled with interesting stuff that you never read because people like me couldn’t find a place for it in print. Hell, it wasn’t just the wires. The police scanner was similarly filled with hints at human tragedy that you never knew because we didn’t necessarily have the staff — even then before the ax fell across the necks of so many great journalists — to send someone to every single thing.
Nowadays, the media landscape is different, and we’re constantly deluged with a fire-hose of information right in our wide-open maws. No longer are copy editors making decisions on the limited amounts of stuff you see. Now, it’s algorithms that are directing your personal fire hose (and increasingly radicalizing you, I might add). I’m not quite sure what’s worse, but I lean toward the latter, as at least I had a conscience and a soul when I was making my decisions.
What often happens now is that the quirky little stories I found interesting and would make room for in the printed paper get ignored so The Algorithms can shoot you your latest dog video or Amber Heard story (he writes blushing and hiding his own YouTube home page).
Not on my watch, motherf’r! I might no longer have access to 55-gallon drums of ink, but I’ve got Internet — err, internet bandwith, so get ready! It’s a Tour de Headlines, Snark Edition.
Missourahns aren’t known for being, shall we say, svelte. Indeed, Wifey Poo and I attended a St. Louis Cardinals game recently and sat in the rightfield bleachers, which blessedly have backs but still are just numbers slapped on an aluminum bench to tell you where to place your ass.
The problem as I saw it that hot spring day was that Missourahns asses don’t exactly conform to the space allocated by the numbers.
That’s a lot of words to stay that we are a more fat state than, say, California.
Which makes it ironic that, according to GoogleTrends, the most misspelled word by my people is “dessert.” I’m imagining we’re saying we’re eating a lot of sand instead of delectable treats. But at least we’re not Michigan, whose residents most commonly misspell “lose” or Louisianans who misspell “gray,” which I forgive because of the whole Cajun thing and because “grey” is acceptable.
Want something funny? The most commonly misspelled word in West Virginia? West Virginia. Seriously.
Before we leave this topic, can we look at Utah and wonder how the hell its most commonly misspelled word is “boutonniere?” How many times and ways are you people actually using that word?
I have said frequently in discussions about Tesla CEO Elon Musk that I’m not quite sure yet what history will ultimately see him as. He’s either going to be one of the greatest visionaries of our time or a charlatan up there with P.T. Barnum.
Musk wrote in an email to execs on Thursday that he had a “super bad feeling” about the U.S. and (because of rampant globalism, I imagine) world economies, ordering an immediate hiring freeze worldwide. He also announced 10% of salaried employees would be going the way of the dodo bird, at least as far as Tesla was concerned.
I’m not saying whether I feel like he’s right or wrong. I’m just loving his choice of words. “Super bad feeling” is hardly insightful economic analysis.
Speaking of Superbad, happy 42nd birthday yesterday to McLovin. He can definitely buy beer now.
The company that makes Tasers wants to put them in your kids’ classrooms. More specifically, they want to put stun-gun-equipped drones in schools to combat mass shootings, calling political efforts ineffective.
As with Musk, I’m not here to comment on the rightness or wrongness of the idea, but I will say it’s funny that the announcement came mere hours before the company’s own ethics board said it had voted against the idea.
Internal communication is important.
Pour yourself that second cup of coffee this morning. It’ll save your freaking life.
OK, it probably won’t. But a study in the Annals (be careful when writing that word, kids) of Internal Medicine found that people who drink 1.5 to 3.5 cups of java a day had lower mortality rates than people who didn’t drink any coffee. (Who exactly are those people?)
As with any study, this is an important time to bring up the axiom “correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation.” Other characteristics of coffee drinkers could be the source of the not-dropping-dead thing. For example, coffee drinkers tend to exercise more than non-coffee drinkers. Plus, if we’re going to say that coffee is the key to a longer life, well, two things.
- Why exactly are we wanting to live in the middle of this shitshow any longer than we have to?
- The benefit of coffee falls off after 4.5 cups (he reads before removing the freshly place coffee IV from his vein).
While we’re talking about numbers and studies and such, a new Gallup poll shows that 71% of Americans (the other 29% being Amuricahns) support legal same-sex marriage. When Gallup first dared to ask the question in 1996, the number was 27%. Times are a’changin’, folks.
In Other Writing …
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. Black, Pearl Jam, from the 1991 album Ten Line of Significance I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life/I know you’ll be a star/In somebody else’s sky/Buy why/Why/Why can’t it be mine Black has so much behind it.…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- I want to see that same-sex study in, say, 2040. I imagine it’ll be considered offensive to even ask the question, kind of like we today wouldn’t poll Americans (well, at least not outside Trump’s South) with: “Do you think people with darker skin should be slaves?”
- I want to be there to celebrate McLovin’s 50th.
- I want to drink more coffee.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Racist Billboard🐲Roe Silence😶Guest Bulldog🐶 Driving out of rural northern Arkansas today to return home after several days in a cabin in the boonies, I passed a billboard that was startling, to say the least. It starts off innocently enough with a very true statement: “It’s not racist to 💗 people.” I…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Uranus Sleeper🔭Cabin Rules🩲Taco Seasoning🌮 What does Cuba, Uranus, Sleeper, Doolittle and a billboard saying “If we don’t return to 2 Chronicles, than were finished” have in common? They all were on the route from my Humble Rural Missourah Home to the cabin in the boonies of Arkansas that is my home…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Check Engine 🚗Declined 🥡Murder Suspect 🔪 Every once in awhile, life throws you a pleasant surprise that seems to even the score a bit. Wifey Poo’s car is up for an emissions inspection this year. Her “check engine” light has been going on and off for a year or so, and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩River Thoughts 🛶Little Annoyances 😠Birthday Boy 🎂 I didn’t know what a float trip was until I met Wifey Poo. I’m not even sure today that the term “float trip” is used outside Missourah. But if you’re a Missourahn, when someone says, “Wanna go on a float trip?” you know a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩My Boys 👨👦👦Work Drinking🥃Feeling Good 😎 I’ve understood since seventh-grade science class how a child is a somewhat random and yet somewhat traceable mish-mash of his parents and their parents and their parents ad infinitum. It’s so cool to see that play out with my own boys. Boy The Elder is…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩The Stinger 🦂Inflation 🎈Housing Costs 🏘️ There’s something quite amazing about witnessing a human dinosaur be thrown through a stack of four tables. That was just one of the scenes from last night as Boys The Elder & Younger and I attended AEW Dynamite and Rampage. The biggest news from the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Shitty Goodbye 💩Bald Is Beautiful 👨🦲Housing Market 🏘️ It’s official: My duty ensuring the continued breathing of roughly 20 chickens for Wifey Poo’s and Boy The Younger’s vacationing friends is over. Success! All birds were present and accounted for this morning, as I said goodbye to my new friends — Gertrude,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩CrytpoStupidity ₿Coffee Seltzer ☕Chicken Update🐓 I like to make fun of Matt Damon. I know this comes from a place of deep-seated insecurity because Matt Damon is, well, Matt Damon and I am not. Yet it’s fun to make fun of Matt Damon, precisely because he is Matt Damon — all…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Meatloaf🦎Ugly Fish🐟Chicken Update🐓 You can buy insurance for many things. Your car. Your home. Your boat. Your health. Your eyes, teeth or brain (which, for some reason, is separate from your health). And now, according to a Missourah court, you can buy insurance that pays you if you contract a sexually…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Kentucky Fried Idiot 🍗Johnny Boy Marketing✏️Airplanes!🛦🛦🛦🛦🛦 There’s a scene in the 1979 film Rocky II in which the titular character (sorry, I’ve always wanted to write that …) is tasked by his trainer Mickey with chasing a chicken. Rocky was pummeled into oblivion — though somehow managed to eek out a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Rogue Golfers 🐝Nay Voters🐟Chicken Day🥤 Golfers are known as being a genial sort. Whereas a basketball player could maul an opponent driving the lane, leaving him bloody and unconscious, and still complain about the foul called on him, golfers actually call fouls on themselves! Yet the world of professional golf is…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bees Suck 🐝Bees As Fish🐟Cup O’ Pee🥤 I hate bees. Yes, I know they’re somehow the lynchpin on which our species’ survival will turn, but seriously, if we’re so fragile that we’re depending on a stinging invertebrate to keep us going, well, perhaps we’re not really so special after all. My…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poultry Responsibilities 🐔Fine Dining🥩Crappy Year For Music🎵 I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a marketing guy, a storyteller, a jokester, a damn good parallel parker and a guy who played on a basketball team that lost 135-3. What I am not is a farmer. I left my…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩NASCAR President ₿Creepy Coffee☕Chef BTE 🍖 We all know that just about every politician at any level is, in some way, bought and paid for, right? I mean, perhaps your local school board representative isn’t (though she might be owned by her kid), but when you reach the state and national…Keep reading
🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Pants on the Ground👖Pimp Slap✋Pissin’ in the Wind🌬️ I had occasion to wear a suit yesterday. This was notable because I evidently hadn’t worn said suit in about a year. Over those 365 days, I’ve lost roughly 30 pounds. Thus, I showed up to the engagement necessitating a suit looking like…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chainsaws Suck🪓Early Arrival✈️Shrimp on the Barbie🦐 I awoke bright and early this morning, kissed Wifey Poo on the forehead and went outside ready to put chainsaw to felled tree. I live far enough out in the country that crankin’ up a chainsaw at 6:30 a.m. on a holiday morning isn’t a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Racin’🏎️Heat☀️Gorilla Guy🦍 When I was a small boy, the Indianapolis 500 was must-see TV. I’m not sure exactly how it started, but it must have been around 1978 — when I was a 4-year-old boy who loved Matchbox cars and big wrecks. It was around that time that Pops brought home…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩My Fullback 🚑Sicky Poo 🤒Helium Shortage 🎈 I don’t get paid anywhere close to enough to deal with St. Louis traffic when it rains. Not that St. Louis drivers are uniquely bad. I would imagine large swaths of drivers in other cities react just as poorly to the presence of moisture…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Taking Toys Away 🔫Checked Out ✈️Windsurfing Kid 🌬️ Many moons ago, I had a toy rubber snake. That my parents would have allowed such a purchase is shocking, given that Mother Dearest was terrified of anything remotely reptilian and Sister wasn’t that far behind. Yet there, in the depths of my…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Shut Up🤫Waffle House 🧇Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes🤗 So here’s something I don’t quite understand: Why is anyone, especially our political leaders, expressing “shock” over what happened in Texas yesterday. Dude … the sun rose yesterday. The sun has risen every single freaking day for the course of humanity. The sun will rise tomorrow. That’s…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Subway Obsession😞Guard Dog 🐶Chainsaw John🪓 Every child is peculiar in his or her own way. It’s an early indication we all should recognize that none of us is normal. We’re all weird. And that’s OK. Boy The Younger has always had his peculiarities. As a small child, he was fascinated with…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Musical History🎹Why Write? 🖊️Loser Level😔 We finally have only one piano in our house! Now, don’t get to thinking we’re this uber-musical family. We’re not. Wifey Poo, from what I hear, was a helluva clarinetist back in her day and did, indeed, take piano lessons. Boy The Elder is really good…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Beyond Tired😫Busting Ass 🐝Covid Sadness😔 Everything is knowable. When I look back at the pace of change in my life, I think that’s the biggest difference between my life as a child and my life as an adult. Back then, if you wondered something, you just … wondered it. I mean,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sad Anniversary😞My Back! 😳Dachau😭 Thirty-five years ago today, my first grandparent died. Grandpa was my favorite grandparent, and in looking back, I think it was because of his willingness to join my world. Grandpa played games with me endlessly. He taught me how to play rummy. He would spend hours on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bye-Bye BTE✈️Rival Riot Rumble 🤼♂️Old Man John🤕 In a few hours, Boy The Elder will board a plane headed for Germany. He just completed his sophomore year at Mizzou, and now he’s going overseas for a two-week study-abroad session in which he’ll allegedly learn more about food science and fermentation and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Double-U🧸Big Sis 🦸♀️Preggo Healer 🤰 Anyone remember Speak & Spell? If you’ve seen E.T., you’ve seen it before. Don’t know why, but I was thinking about this toy the other day. For some reason, spelling wasn’t school if you had one of these things to play with. I can still hear…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Heat Wave🥵Lawn Mowing🚜Last Podcast 🎙️ It’s hotter than balls outside in my section of Missourah, and I’m not happy about it. I am not a hot-weather person. I hate heat. I sweat easily. I turn red even easier. Having a bald head does not match well with sun exposure. And has…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Friends😔What To Do?🙋Creepy Dolls 🎎 Yesterday was a rough day. It’s one thing to be a person with essentially no friends. It’s another thing altogether to not be friends with yourself. That’s where I was yesterday — all up in my head and imagining the worst was about to happen in…Keep reading
🧩 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