🧩 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 simple head nod means you’ve committed to a leisurely jaunt down a river inside a canoe, raft, kayak or other floating device.
The C4+my potential future daughter-in-law took a Father’s Day/Boy The Younger’s Birthday float trip down the Meramec River yesterday on a day that thankfully was cooler than the straight-outta-hell days we’ve been getting lately.
There’s something cathartic about cutting through nature on water on a peaceful Sunday morning. Wifey Poo and FDIL piloted one canoe, Boys The Younger & Elder navigated a second, and I enjoyed a solo float inside a kayak.
Aside from a random strip of sunburn on my left foot, all returned with nothing but good memories.
I think we’d all agree that, in the course of an average day, we’re handed our fair share of inconveniences and annoyances. It’s one of the costs of being alive. I think we’d also agree that there are some really obvious things that, were someone just a little more thoughtful, would lead to fewer inconveniences and annoyances.
I say this after spending a half hour searching for the right battery to purchase to replace one that no longer holds a charge for use in the Family Weed Whacker.
First, I would think that we’re at the stage in societal development where we could have one standard weed whacker battery. There shouldn’t be more than a thousand results when I type “weed whacker battery” into the Amazon search bar. I feel the same way about the placement of whatever turns on a lamp in a hotel room. I don’t care if it’s a switch, knob, touch or magic words — just freaking agree on something!
This process was made more difficult because, foolishly, I was not so proud of my weed whacker when I purchased it that I committed its model number to memory, as I did my children’s birthdates and my Social Security number. Stupid me then had to thoroughly examine the thing until I found — in teeny-tiny-itty-bitty print at the business end of the thing the combination of three letters and numbers that should have opened the door to my battery purchase.
I say should have because when I typed in “Battery for Black and Deck LST 522,” Amazon returned me a ton of results, precisely none of which listed as a compatible model the LST 522. That sent me into Googleland to see if batteries for, say, the LST 220 fit the LST 522 or if attempting to do so would create a Three Mile Island situation.
Finally… finally I stumbled my way in to the right battery, using a combination of Amazon, Google and words my children shouldn’t hear me say.
But that’s not all! These batteries come in packs of two. Unnecessary, sure. But whatever. What they don’t come with is the battery charger. That’s a separate item with a separate cost … and a different shipping date! Coolio if it was before the batteries arrived, but it’s not.
And I get how first-world this is. I really do. What I’m saying is that, humans, we’re better than this.
Here’s something I learned this weekend: It’s not a great idea to tackle the chainsawing of a massive partially dead pine tree while wearing shorts. My legs look as if they were attacked by a pint-sized Edward Scissorhands. But! I am about a quarter of the way through getting this nasty thing chopped down.
The occasion of BTY’s 13th birthday yesterday gave me the chance to share Father’s Day with one of the creatures that makes that celebration a thing for me in the first place. It also gave me a reason to pause and remember how he was almost born in a car.
We lived about an hour away from the hospital in which BTY was to be born, thanks to the fact that, at the time, we lived about an hour away from anything useful or necessary. Rural Missourah is big on nature but short on services.
Wifey Poo went into labor literally the second after consciousness for me faded into sleep, and then, as we leisurely set about packing up and heading north, her contractions went from randomly far apart to regularly three minutes from one another.
There was a moment while driving up a rural Missourah “highway” at 90 mph with Wifey Poo hee-hee-haaaawwwwwwing next to me and BTE talking obliviously and incessantly in the back seat about the tiny toy Bakugan’s that he loved that I thought my new child was going to lead to one whopper of a car cleaning bill.
Alas, the emergence from the darkness of Interstate 70 and, thankfully and hilariously, a police escort at 100+ mph the last 2 miles, meant we got to the hospital before BTE received a really advanced homeschool lesson. BTY then decided to slow the F down and wait another three hours before joining our little party.
Now that kid is thirteen.
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. One, Metallica, from the 1988 album, And Justice For All Line of Significance Darkness/Imprisoning me/All that I see/Absolute horror/I cannot live/I cannot die/Trapped in myself/Body my holding cell Metallica had a dedicated fan base of headbangers before One.…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Writing retreat starts Wednesday!
- Big meeting for the future of Johnny Boy Marketing today.
- My new weed whacker batteries arrive Tuesday.
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🧩 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