🧩 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 🧩’Full Stop’ 🛑Needles 💉Business Lessons 🧑💼 Here’s something I learned about myself today: One way to ensure that I will debate you on a topic until I give my last breath or until you are huddled in a corner in a fetal position is to end the statement of your opinion…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mindfulness 🧘Mullet Prez 👩🦳Murder Family 🔪 Our brains are amazing things. So adept are they at routines that they can essentially run on autopilot and let you do the everyday stuff like operating a multi-ton object advancing at 70+ mph among lots of other multi-top objects advancing at 70+ mph without…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bloody Hell 💂Circus Moments 🤡Silence 🤫 OK, people: I’ve got a bone to pick with you. But first, a little digression. What in the bloody hell does that phrase mean? “A bone to pick with you?” That sounds absolutely disgusting. And if you’re wondering why I said “bloody hell,” well, that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩24 Hour Video 😡Rubik’s Kid 🧊Dilbert Doofus 🤪 There are two things I cannot stand in the working world — and in life, in general. The first is people whose lack of preparedness turns ordinary stuff into emergencies. The second is when people criticize the result of something they previous approved.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mormon Billionaires 💰Bigger Packages 🍌Birds Really Aren’t Real 🐦 Can we just get on with blowing the tits off the world with nuclear weapons or something and end this stupid thing we call the human race? Yeah, I know that’s a little dramatic, but when I take a look at the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Muricah The Evil 🦅You Buy You 💰Big-Ass Van 🚚 I find it rather humorous that Muricah warned China not to send arms to one side of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine … and that we issued this warning with a straight face. I’m quite sure most Muricahns believe their country…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Salve 🩹Car Wash 🚗💧Light Removal 🎄 I try not to venture too often into a Wal-Mart, especially on the weekend. I cling to slim hope for this nation as it is, and I find Wal-Mart trips do not help my grip. Alas, this weekend, Boy The Younger was under the weather…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩CC, BCC, FU 📧Basketball Poll 🏀Andy Rooney 🎙️ This week has largely been a Shit Week marred by Shit People. What are Shit People? They aren’t exactly easy to define, but one hallmark of a Shit Person is his rampant use of the CC function at work to passive-aggressively play power…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chill Day 🛋️Busy Weekend ⚾Halftime 🏈 I’m not working today. Not only am I not working at my day job, I’m not doing any work for my side gig today. I’m not planning on doing much of anything, actually. And I don’t feel guilty about that. This weekend was insanely busy.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Big Pharma Sucks 💊Work Rules 🧑💼Big Weekend 🏈 Spend any time in front of the television and you’ll see ads touting the latest drugs that you shouldn’t take if you’re allergic to and that you most definitely need to ask your doctor about. Now comes a study showing that the people…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Top 5 🎈Symphony 🎻Living Eulogies 💗 Top 5 things overheard in Missourah last week as a purported Chinese spy balloon made its way over the state en route to its rendezvous with an F22’s missile: Despite my high-brow upbringing in Suburbia, New York, I’m not what anyone would call A Symphony…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Space Walk 🧑🚀Bye-Bye Brady 🏈Failure Rate 🐿️ When Boy The Elder was just Boy and devoid of a younger brother, we had a nickname for him: Pokey Joe. BTE didn’t do anything fast, but more than anything, what he did incredibly slow was get out of a car. That would suck…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Raccoons 🦝February 💘Man Nips 🕺 Today I bring you the story of a raccoon who got his balls stuck to railroad tracks. But the reason you think I’m bringing you this story is not the reason I’m bringing you this story. You think I’m bringing the story of the raccoon Neil…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tyre Nichols 😔Tattoo Day ✒️Nephew Hoops🏀 I was a white kid in suburbia, New York, in 1988 when the gangsta rap group N.W.A. came out with its album Straight Outta Compton, featuring the song Fuck Tha Police. It was scandalous, at the time, to suggest that the police would be anything…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Car Concert 🎵Sick Wife🤒People Suck 🖕 Within the 24 hours in the run-up to Snowpocalypse 2023, the estimates on the Weather Channel app for our snowfall total ranged from 1 to 10 inches. That’s like going to the doctor and being told you have anything from a splinter to terminal cancer.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mission: Failed 👎Ho 🤣Handy Family 👍 It has to suck to work at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Why? It took exactly 75 minutes for all of 2023 to be a failure. Let me explain. Those of you unfortunate enough to have been involved in any sort of corporate planning process…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Houston 🖊️Sad clown 🤡Taco Seasoning 🌮 Houston, Missourah, is not unlike a lot of other rural Missourah towns through which I’ve driven and bears a resemblance to the Small Town USA in which Boy The Elder did a lot of his early growing up and to which Boy The Younger came…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Definitions 📖Missing Bourbon 🥃Mysterious Knocks 😵 I generally abhor any writing that starts with, “Webster’s dictionary defines …” Webster’s dictionary defines “ceiling” as a noun meaning “the overhead inside lining of a room.” The implication is that it’s a limitation, a max, a point of demarcation between what’s out there and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Annoyance 😠Disappointment 😞 When Boy The Elder was Boy The Only in our home, he watched one of the Air Bud movies featuring a basketball-playing dog. Or maybe it was football. Or soccer. By the time that series was over, that dog had played them all. Anyway, whichever Air Bud…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thor’s Blurry Hammer 🍆Pigeon Delivery 🕊️Idiot List 🤪 Thor is really, really good with his hammer. And by that, I mean that Thor the walrus in Scarborough, England, is really good at masturbating and ruining New Years Eve. If you haven’t heard about this story, stop reading stupid news like politics…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bruising Basketball 🏀Poke ☝️Six?!? 🔫 I grew up in the NBA era of the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons while loving a New York Knicks team that was, to put it mildly, quite physical. Guys like Steph Curry and LeBron James can makes basketball seem like artistry these days, but give me…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What There is Like! ⛅’Modern Policing’ 🚨Xylophone Time! 🎵 When you decide to talk about a time in which you truly believe you more-or-less died and saw what comes after this life, you have to be comfortable with the fact that people might think you’re nuts. Hell, talking about it on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Grace Ashford! 📰Idaholy Shit! 🥔Story of the Year! 🍆 The three most influential people in my life as a journalist are, sadly, all part of the Great Newsroom in the Sky now. Professors Michael Perkins and Bob Woodward (AKA Bob Woodward-Not-That-Bob-Woodward) helped educate me at Drake University, and Lisa Warren was…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poor Puppy 🐶Romeo and Juliet 🤴👸Meta Mistake 🙊 Disturbing news out of Washington, D.C., today as Republican Congressman-elect George Santos (if that’s his real name) brought a 6-month-old puppy to the house floor and screamed “Hey, look at me!” before slitting its throat and lapping up its squirting blood like a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Pretty Good Rant 😠Tesla Plunge 🚗Missed Lasts 😥 Those of you who regularly read my drivel (I see you, DirtySciFiBuddah) might have become aware of the fact over the past year or so that I am not a huge fan of our world’s modern institutions. All of them might, in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Incomplete 🕮Frustration 😠Bowl Bust 🏈 To say that I know how to write is like saying I know how to breathe. No one considers that they know how to breathe. They just … breathe. No one is particularly good at breathing or bad at breathing. Again, they just … breathe. I’ve…Keep reading
Welcome to Issue No. 15 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to email@example.com. So last year, I had a list of 100 intentions for 2022, and I did fairly well,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩2023 📅Helping 🧠The Universe 🔭 I’m not much for long-term plans and goals. This isn’t to suggest I don’t think they’re important. I just think that spending a lot of time on them is futile. What’s the saying? Man plans, God laughs. Something like that. Anyway, I’ve learned through experience that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chain Links 🔗”Work” 🧑💼Popular Toys 🧸 After my first son died in December 2000, I spent a lot of time wondering why. Why me? Why Wifey Poo? Why Jacob? Why this level of suffering in a world supposedly created and run by an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God? So I did what…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chiefs! 🏈Indy Tickets 🏎️Bank Visit 💰 When I bought the tickets to the Christmas Eve contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks as a gift for Boys The Elder & Younger, it was sometime in September and temps hovered around 90 degrees. The thought that the game might…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Timelines 👶Extinctions 🌋Sin City 👌 As I fall deeper down the rabbit hole learning more about theories on space and time, the concept of alternative timelines comes up again and again and again. Whether it’s the stuff of science fiction or one day will be proven to be the stuff of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Cousin’ Laughs🎤Improv!?!? 🎭Drake Hoops 🏀 Back when I was a boy, I had a favorite Cousin-Who-Wasn’t-A-Cousin. His name was Joey DeVito, and he was in no way a blood relation to me, though I called his father Uncle Frankie and his mother Aunt Celia. I’m pretty sure this is an East…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Glazed 🍩Bingo! 🖥️Disappearing Christians ⛪ I didn’t intend to bring doughnuts for my co-workers yesterday morning. It just sorta happened. How it happened and how it played out is a window into my weird mind. First, an explanation: I have a card purchased from Boy The Younger that entitles me to…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩STL’s Homeless 😥Snake Hoo-Hoos 🐍That Was Epoch 👴 I found James huddled underneath a blanket as he sat, knees to his chest, head bowed, just outside the doorway of a CVS in the Delmar Loop section of St. Louis. If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s a fun place filled…Keep reading