🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
The Stinger 🦂
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 event was the crowing of new AEW tag team champions, as Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy were dethroned by the wildly entertaining Young Bucks.
I’ve been a pro wrestling fan since I was BTY’s age, when, on a Saturday morning, I was flipping channels (by turning the knob on the TV set among the five channels we received!) and came upon a mohawked man with his face painted driving a spike into a fat bleach-blond man’s eye.
“Dad! Look at this!” I screamed, not realize yet that what was happening was scripted violence and not a televised assault.
Over the years, I have wandered in and out of the sport, but it’s never been far away, and getting a chance to enjoy some of the most athletic and charismatic names in the game today with my two boys was something special.
The highlight of the evening for me won’t air on television until Friday — the return of “The Icon” Sting, whom I watched as a boy BTY’s age wrestling 60 minute classics vs. Ric Flair.
Sting is old now — in his 60s — but he still does crazy stuff, including jumping off of balconies onto his opponents. Last night marked his return from a “broken leg.” When the lights went out while the heels were attacking his protege Darby Allin, I realized we were in for a treat. And when the lights came back on, there he was.
Yes, folks, I know how much of a dork this makes me. I don’t care. I never have. “You know wrestling is fake, right?” If by that you mean that the outcome is pre-determined, of course, but there’s nothing fake about what these men and women put themselves through. I’ve always been attracted to the storyline development, the swerves, the unexpected moments, the acts of crazy athleticism.
And last night, I got to enjoy all that with my boys.
The Federal Reserve did yesterday what the Federal Reserve indicated it would do, raising interest rates by a massive 75 basis points, an increase not seen since 1994 (which was, like, a few years ago, right?). I began talking about coming inflation in around 2010, when the government was pumping huge amounts of money into the economy after the near-collapse of our capitalistic society thanks to the greed of bankers and the stupidity of regular humans.
Inflation sucks, and most everyone is feeling it. I remember being wowwed when I was a kid on a family vacation in Mexico that a taco would cost something like 7 bazillion pesos. I’m not saying we’re going to get to the point where a Big Mac is going to go for $1,500, but I’m also not saying we should be sure our “great” nation is always going to be great (it won’t and, in my opinion, never was as great as its been made out to be, considering it was built on a foundation of racism and hypocrisy). Empires come and empires go, and to think that we’re somehow different or ordained by a creator to be a beacon of light (we’re not) is insane.
The Fed is (belatedly) doing what it should be, making spending more painful so that we don’t. Just about everything in life runs on the basic principles of economics — supply, demand and scarcity. If a Big Mac costs $1,500 and fewer people have $1,500 to blow on a Big Mac, the price of a Big Mac, absent government interference, will come down.
That it took the brilliant minds that run our government this long to pump the brakes on massive injections of cash to prop up our failing systems is disturbing.
While the average Amuricahn has only lately been feeling the strongest pinch from higher prices, those in my soon-to-be former industry (last day: Friday!) have been seeing it for a few years now. The cost of buying a home has been skyrocketing since the pandemic began, and it, also, has been fueled by scarcity. Here’s what happened.
- A ton of Gen-Zers came of age and flooded the housing market with buyers (demand).
- The pandemic showed us that work didn’t have to be done from an office near a city-center, enabling more people to move further from their jobs (more demand).
- People got sick of living in tiny apartments constantly occupied by their loved ones who weren’t going to work to work anymore (more demand).
- People with nice houses in desirable neighborhoods disproportionately decided to stay put because moving in a pandemic is unnecessary if you’re already good with Nos. 2 and 3, above (less supply).
When you combine those factors, it’s a foregone conclusion that prices are going to rise, and rise they did. With few homes on the market and tons of buyers, would-be home buyers started making insane offers well above the list price. My real estate team recently had 54 offers on one home. FIFTY-FOUR! That’s nuts.
We’ve all been waiting for interest rate increases to slow things down, and, indeed, interest rates have triggered massive mortgage rate hikes. The average 30-year rate at the end of 2021 was somewhere around 3% here in Missourah. Now it’s above 6%. That should price some people out of the market, right?
Not so fast, sunshine.
Remember, these folks are flush with government-infused cash and big pay raises brought on by the Great Resignation that made employers desperate (and willing to fork over $$$$) for warm bodies. On top of that, those with investments in the stock market have seen their portfolios swell like an undiscovered tick.
And on top of that is that fact that, while 6% is high in comparison to the historically low rates of 2021, it’s still not all that high.
What that means is that there is still a huge imbalance in the housing market, with far more demand than their is supply. It’s wise to consider a market balanced if there is about four months of inventory. That means that, if no other homes went on the market starting right now, it would take four months for the existing supply to dry up.
That number has been around two weeks for much of the past year and, according to the data I’m looking at, hasn’t improved all that much.
My prediction is different from Bossman, who says prices aren’t going to come back down. They will. It’s just going to take awhile to happen. People need to blow through their stockpile of cash (Amuricahns are good at that), and we have to get through this demographic wave of Gen-Zers looking to move out of mom’s basement. Only then will higher interest rates (which will easily reach 7% by the end of the year) start pushing people to the sidelines.
And then, once demand is less, supply will be comparably more, which means prices will come down.
For as much as we try to complicated it with heady notions such as meaning, purpose and lasting significance, life essentially can be boiled down to two principles with roots in economics. Strip away all the not-unworthy teachings from self-help books, leadership seminars and religious institutions, and what you’ll find is that humans act as…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- One more day after today in my old job.
- Date Night with Wifey Poo tomorrow night.
- Paella party at Baby Sister-in-Law’s on Saturday evening.
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🧩 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 🧩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…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