🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Lawrence Pfaff Sr. Sucks 🚓
Engagement Talk 🌯
From what I know of Lawrence H. Pfaff Sr. of Belmont, NY, he was kind of a douche.
The 81-year-old man died on June 27. I never met him. Never even heard of him. Until I read his obit. And about that obit? Wooo-weeeee buddy.
If you missed the clue that the blue text is a link, now you know so go click it. Pfaff’s obit was evidently placed by one of his children. Now, I’ve said in the past that I hate the rampant dishonesty in obituaries. No one ever anywhere was loved by everyone who knew him unless he was taken directly from his mother’s womb and put in an isolation cell seeing no other people until he died. And doing that would be mean.
No such problems for Lawrence H. Pfaff Sr. His obituary is filled with such nuggets as …
“He passed away on June 27, 2022, living a long life, much longer than he deserved.”
“He is survived by his three children, no four, Oops, five children.”
“His love was abundant when it came to himself, but for his children it was limited.”
And that’s just from the first paragraph!
Other notable gems include …
“Lawrence, Sr.’s hobbies included abusing his first wife and children.”
“Lawrence, Sr. did spend over 20 years in the NYPD, but even his time in service was negligent at best. Because of his alcohol addiction, his Commanding Officer took away his gun and badge, replacing them with a broom until he could get his act together.”
Now, to be fair, the obit does credit Senior with getting his shit together … to a degree, and even then it sneaks in a great backhand slap.
“Lawrence, Sr. did claim to be clean and sober for over thirty years, but never worked any of the twelve steps, including the eighth and ninth steps with his children, making amends.”
It mercifully ends with this zinger:
“Lawrence, Sr. can be remembered for being a father to many, and a dad to none.”
Which is exactly why I’m in the process of writing my own damn obit, and if it isn’t run precisely as I write it I expect one of you to come visit me on the Other Side and let me know so I can haunt the crap out of Wifey Poo.
When a new dad first holds his child, the future unfolds in front of him. At least, it did for me the first time I held Boys The Elder & Younger. All of a sudden, my arms were filled by this tiny little boy who was depending on me not to screw him up too bad before he could make decisions for himself. In that moment, I could see so many major milestones the two of us would experience together — from his first words to his first time behind the wheel of a car to when he himself would hold his child in his arms.
Then, real life takes over and fatherhood because a very now thing. My boys have been generally easy to raise — certainly easier than some of the nightmare scenarios that land a parent in a Dateline interview or starting out sentences with things such as, “Your honor …” But that doesn’t mean it’s been easy to be a dad. It hasn’t been. Not even close.
The daily ups and downs of a child’s life — not to mention the daily ups and downs of a dad’s life — do a great job keeping us focused on the here and now, and those moments of having your kid’s entire life flowing out before you disappear for a good long time.
BTE is now 20 and well on his way to being a successful adult. I’d like to take some credit for that, and he’d probably be generous enough to give me some of it — though, if we’re being fair, Wifey Poo and BTE himself deserve the solid majority of it. Seeing him on the verge of adulthood and on such solid footing has given me some space to sit back and future-gaze a bit.
Last night as dinner ended, the Core Four were going through our daily thank-yous. BTE and BTY don’t know this, but I started that entire tradition because BTE had fallen into a stage of being a tad unappreciative of all the blessings that surrounded him everyday, many of which were being provided by a mother whose work was to homeschool him and shepherd him to and from all the amazing experiences he was allowed to have because of it. So we started saying one thing we were thankful for each day at the dinner table, and whether because of that or not, BTE soon put that phase behind him.
Now, BTY is steadfast in keeping the tradition alive. With BTE back home for the summer while he interns at a business literally two minutes from my office, Core Four family dinners have become a thing again, and when it was BTE’s turn to give his thankful, he brought up his girlfriend, Div.
Div is awesome, and the two of them are awesome together. We joke about how, if the two of them ever broke up, we’re keeping Div, but the reality is, I highly doubt they are going to break up. They’ll have been together three years together in October and have survived both a pandemic that pushed them apart early in their relationship and a year apart when BTE went off to school and Div completed a year of community college before heading to Mizzou as well. The two of them remind me so much of the early years of me and Wifey Poo it’s scary.
BTE says he knows Div is The One. And yesterday after saying how thankful he was that Div is so awesome, he brought up the topic of getting engaged. Talk about a moment that makes a dad smile.
Wifey Poo and I became engaged in September of our senior year and were married the March after graduation. Some said we were too young, but I knew she was The One. Our life together hasn’t always been easy, but it has been exceedingly good and created many positive things for this world — BTE and BTY chief among them.
Now, BTE unknowingly is starting to form a similar timetable in the back of his mind. Hearing him talk about getting engaged and being married left me feeling extremely blessed to be his father. He’s a good kid. Many dads like to brag on their kids. It’s easy for me to do that with both my boys while simultaneously saying that so much of what I have to brag about is because of their own hard work and innate goodness, not anything that I did to make them that way.
The two of them still have some time to go before anything like engagement happens. Yet if there’s a top reason I want to stick around for the next few years or so, seeing what happens with BTE and Div just might be it.
A few quick-hitters:
- I wore a new pair of shoes to work for the first time in forever yesterday. I tend to wear any pair of shoes until it’s falling apart, and the previous pair of black dress shoes were no exception. The new ones marked the first time I bought dress shoes through a website and not a shoe store. They fit perfectly.
- I’ve been in training the past day-and-a-half at work, with one more day to come. My new company sells a ton of different products, and this training aims to get me and a new sales manager up to speed on all of them. It’s kind of like trying to take a sip from a firehose, but I’ll get there. In the past, I’ve learned how to market everything from electricity to benefits to life-changing pediatric surgery and real estate. HVAC products are the first tangible, on-the-shelf thing I’ll be marketing, but I’ve got this.
- As part of that training, I’ve learned how absolutely disgusting the ice machine in restaurants get without good water filtration. Restaurants with high yeast environments (think Subway or your local brew pub) have it worst. You guys … I’ve seen some stuff … photos of unclean ice machines … that are gonna keep me up at night — and away from Subway.
- Speaking of keeping me up at night … I woke up at 3:58 a.m. today and couldn’t get back to sleep. What the actual fuck, people?
- BTY has tryouts for a new Little League team today. After the hell that boy went through because of an idiot coach with his last team, well, that kid deserves something good to come from this. His attitude about it, in the face of that moron’s stupidity, has been spectacular. “Something good is going to come from something bad,” he said.
- Social media detox is going well. I’ve pretty much been on Facebook only to post links to these silly missives. I don’t really miss it.
- I haven’t been feeling “right” for a few days. Feeling this way freaks me out because I spent nearly a year feeling not-right with Longhaul COVID, which was sometimes impossible to explain to those who cared to wonder what was going on with me. Wifey Poo says its likely just physical manifestations of the grief I’m feeling over my grandmother’s death last week. She’s probably right.
- I ordered a championship trophy for The Waffle House Fantasy Baseball League I started with family and friends this year. Actually, it’s not a trophy. It’s a title belt, similar to professional wrestling title belts. It’ll be a traveling championship, meaning the winner gets to keep it until a new champion is crowned. BTE is leading the league right now. I’m in fourth and within striking distance. I want that belt.
- Amazon Prime Day did a great job of showing me all the stuff I didn’t know I needed. I was able to find great deals on some stuff for Wifey Poo’s coming birthday and managed to spend the money The Judester gave me for my own pending celebration of another successful trip around the sun.
- I read with disgust the coverage of the hearing on the Jan. 6 rebellion. The fact that 49% of Republicans still would choose Trump over any other possible GOP presidential candidate in 2024 shows me how far I’ve moved away from that party and, in reading the list of possible candidates, have broken said party is. When your political system is putting forward doofuses like Biden, Hillary, Sanders, Trump and now maybe Ron DeSantis, Ted Cruz, Mike Pence and Nikki Haley, well, I’d put forward that your political system is broken. And I very much agree with the former Oath Keepers stooge who warns that another Trump candidacy has the very real possibility of leading to further violence and a possible Civil War. Pop the popcorn, y’all.
In Other Writing
🔻 What’s Below 🔻What shows our vulnerability 👨🏼🦳👨🏾🦳What step we’re currently on 🎈What the spark would be 💥 Ahhh, Dystopia, that imagined land where we watch zombies and Katniss and Mark Zuckerberg dance a creepy new form of the tango while asking ourselves, “If that’s what things are going to be like after The Fall,…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- As I said, I want to see what happens with Div and BTE.
- Jewel concert this Saturday!
- Five more concert before the end of the year!
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Little League Flap ⚾Grandpa Joe 🤦Psychedelics 🍄 Boys are interesting creatures who aren’t easily understood. One of the many, many weird things boys do is mercilessly make fun of their best friends. My closest friends in middle school and early in high school were affectionately nicknamed Goon, Tree Frog, Butt and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩 Death Cometh Sooner 💀Twitter Security 🔓Game Over 🌑 Average life expectancy in the United States dropped in 2020 by almost two years in 2020, the biggest decline since World War II. Every state and the District of Columbia saw a drop. Guess it was a little bit more than that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Worm brain 🧠Chicken Big Mac 🐔Eye Twitch 👁️ Caenorhabditis elegans is probably too elegant of a name for something that is really just a disgusting little worm about a millimeter long and most easily found in rotting fruit. It is more commonly known as a lab roundworm and was the first…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩The Agliata Homeschool Academy 🚌Hypnosis 😳Sunburn 🌞🔥 When you tell people you homeschool your children, you typically receive one of three responses: An enthusiastic: “Oh, that’s so cool!” An I’d-rather-be-dipped-in-acid: “Oh wow! I could never do that!” A you’re-one-of-those-weirdos: “Oh… really… homeschooling, huh?” The percentage for each has changed in the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Indycar 🏎️Best Friends 😎Baseball Irony ⚾ There are certain people who look at car racing as an endless series of left turns. These people are idiots on whom nuance is lost. Boy The Elder and I crossed the border yesterday late-morning to head just past the fine city of East St.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Swine Inflation 🐖Swamp Thing 🎥Phone Calls 📱 Life was different when I went to college in Iowa after growing up in suburban New York City. This isn’t to suggest I was a city kid. I wasn’t. The city was a place we went to a few times a year, and where…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Triple-Threat 🖥️🖥️🖥️Tasmanian Tiger 🐅Video Work 📹 Humans were not meant to stare at laptop screens. At least, humans of a certain age were not meant to stare at laptop screens. I say this after successfully lobbying for a second monitor at work, which effectively turned my laptop screen into a third…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Look Before Brewing ☕Hoop Construction 🏀Nuclear War ☢️ If you’d like an indication of how much of a Monday yesterday was for me, know that I ended up with an orange in my coffee. Well, to be fair, it wasn’t a full-blown orange. It was something called a Cutie, which is…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Weird Date 🪦Nature Walk🌳Bulldog Bath 🐶 If you have a date walking around a cemetery, you’re either weird or goth, and neither Wifey Poo nor I were wearing black today, which I guess tells you all you need to know about us. Old cemeteries are something of a fascination for us,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩So Long, Kid 👨👦Steak Celebration🥩Chip & Joanna 🪚 Regular readers of my drivel know that I’m kind of an emotional guy, which is like saying that Jack kind of could have fit on the spacious floating door with Rose in Titanic. So it should come as no surprise when I say…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Cash 4 IRS 💰Cash 4 Workers 💸Sound of Silence 🤫 Be extra careful on your taxes this year. The IRS is expected to receive nearly $80 billion when The Inflation Reduction Act eventually becomes law, and its plan is to hire 87,000 full-time workers. More than half of the $80 billion…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Spoon Nose 🥄👃🏻Dump Truck 🚚Twitter Traitor 🐦 Every night, I strap a mask attached to a long hose to my face so I don’t die. Not satisfied with looking kinda like an idiot, I then wrap a flexible Velco-enabled strap around my chin and fasten it on top of my bald…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thanks, Yankees ⚾Kitchen Moment 👩🍳McDonald’s Glasses 🥛 Wifey Poo and I were recent college graduates and months away from becoming Married Folk when our relationship nearly faced its greatest test. The New York Yankees were rolling toward their first World Series appearance since I played with Matchbox Cars, and the St.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mammoth Dilemma🦣Zombie Pigs🧟🐖Stadium Pals⚾ Finding the fossilized remains of a Wooly Mammoth in New Mexico isn’t exactly news. It seems the furry elephants loved to hang out in the land so frequently visited by aliens. What is news is the condition of the fossils from the latest find. Some of the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Ankle Shot 🦶🏻Teamwork 🤝🏽Talkspace Stupidity 🤪 Over the years, I’ve played catch with Boy The Younger dozens and dozens of times. From those early days of him aimlessly flinging an oversized soft thing a few feet forward, to now when he’s zipping a real baseball the regulation distance from a pitching…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Creative Desert 🎨So Long, Supra 🏎️Taco Truck 🌮 I have absolutely nothing today. On most days — even the really, really bad days — I can push out something creatively worthwhile. A blog post. A flyer. A video. Not today. Today I have jack shit. This is professionally problematic, considering my…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hungry=Stupid 😋Strategic Planning 📅Bed Sizes 🛏️ Hunger is a strong motivator. This, most of us know. Yet I witnessed this truth at a whole new level this weekend. Wifey Poo and I traveled up to Hannibal, Missourah, for a few days. Hannibal, for you uncultured folks, is the hometown of Mark…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Change 🌀Me, Different 😷Bad Baseball ⚾ I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Most everything in humanity is governed by two intertwined forces. Supply and demand. Scarcity. Whether its the economy or human emotions, everything about us is geared toward responding to these two things. For example, when there…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Double Standards 🦅Birthday Deals 🎁Video Guy 📹 The United States has a problem with hypocrisy. Don’t worry, though; it’s nothing new. It just happens to be glaringly apparent right now. Our revered Founding Fathers got things off on a really bad foot when they penned the lofty statement that all men…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Revolution 🌍Rain 🌧️Refund 💰 By this time tomorrow, I will have completed 48 trips around the sun. Or is it 47 and I’ll be starting my 48th? Whatever. I’ll be 48 years old tomorrow. I have to admit, I’m feeling kinda blah about it. Looking back, this past revolution was busy…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bitchy Mother Nature 🌧️⚡Tech Woes 🖥️Maturation 👦 Overnight storms made for a restless night, as waves of rain and thunder rolled through our section of Missourah. Flash flood warnings pinged my phone sometime in the middle of the night, and by the time I left for my drive to work, eastbound…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Rollercoasters 🎢Sad Puppy 🐶News Roundup 🤖 It’s possible to think a lot of thoughts while plummeting 90 feet at a 90-degree angle while staring up at the sun. This I learned yesterday while at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missourah, with the Core Four, Div, Wifey Poo’s baby sister and baby…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Date Day 🤟🏽Prison Justice 👊Universe Questions 🚀 Wifey Poo and I ended up having more than 12 hours to ourselves yesterday here in the Midwest Redneck Mecca of Branson, Missourah. Boys The Elder and Younger, along with BTE’s lovely girlfriend of nearly three years, and Wifey Poo’s baby sister and family…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩WFH WTF? 🧑💼Rebel Ball ⚾Psych Myth 🧠 As a writer/columnist/blogger/thought-spewer, I always enjoy when I get something out there before anyone else. I dug that when I was a newspaper journalist, and I dig it now. That’s why I’m happy to be hearing national publications and sites like Business Insider starting…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Fahrenheit 🌡️Blindingly White ⬜Alone Time 👴 Muricah is very much a reactionary nation. Much of what we do and who we are is because we were pissed off about the way someone else did things. Monarchy? We’ll have a democracy, thank you very much. The metric system? We’ll measure stuff our…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tryouts ⚾BBQ Sauce🍖TMNT🐢 There is cause for celebration in the Core Four: Boy The Younger has been drafted. Sadly, we’re not talking about the ongoing Major League Baseball draft. Rather, we’re talking about the sick modern world of Little League baseball. Not to get too “Get off my lawn!” on you,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Growth 💗Dreams 💤Redecorating 🛋️ There are moments in a dad’s life in which he can see the growth of his sons quite clearly. Sometimes that growth is physical. One day, Boy The Elder was a short, stocky little boy and then, boom, he came home from his high school job at…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Burn Pit🔥Alaska Ass🍑Nose Hair🐽 Having a plan is a far different thing from having a plan work out. I’m really good at the former, yet the latter seems to be extremely elusive. Yesterday, my plan was to take the huge pile of chopped-down cedar-tree limbs that have been in my backyard…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Jewel💎First Kiss💋Slow Ahead🐢 Wifey Poo and I are headed out into the sweltering hell that is Missourah this evening to see the woman who, should she knock on my door and say “let’s go,” I am fully empowered to join in the next part of life’s journey. I jest. Sort of.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Parenthood 🚓Alexa 📋Quick-Hitters 👋 Just about every statistic imaginable tells us we shouldn’t have kids — at least, not if we’re concerned about our own happiness, mental health, marriage, career, finances, time or ability to buy a really boss car instead of a freaking minivan. Yet here we are, still a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Travelling Companion🚓Free Beans 🌯Unfollowed 👋 Brandy Bottone is either stupid or brilliant. Whichever it is, she’s also right. The Texas woman was traveling in the HOV lane — which, for the country folk out there, stands for High Occupancy Vehicle and is reserved for cars with two or more people to…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Slots 🎰Dude Perfect ⚽Bye Bye Facebook? 👋 My mother-in-law (AKA The Judester) is nearly 81 years old and has knee problems that keep her from getting around too well these days. Watching her stand up from a chair is to feel pain yourself. Yet when I walked into the Ameristar casino…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Reflections on Grandma 👵Kids & Death 👨👦👦Don’t Say It 🤫 My grandma died yesterday, four days shy of her 96th birthday. As it goes with people at that age, it wasn’t a surprise. She had been fading for more than a year and, though she still was breathing, that version of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sleepwalking 🧨DnD Gang 🎲Gas Idiots 🛢️ If there were a day-by-day measure of the collective output of workers in these here United States of Amuricah (and for all I know, there is), I would venture to guess that July 5 ain’t our most productive day. I base this on my observations…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Stupid Parade 🧨Math Matters ➗What Amazon Reveals 🚚 Not being a hugely patriotic person at this point in my life, I made no plans to go to any Fourth of July parade this year. It seems mighty foolish to be celebrating freedoms that are eroding right before our eyes, though I…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Alone Time, Girl Time 👩👧Picture Hanger🔨What Amazon Reveals 🚚 Wifey Poo and I found ourselves in an interesting position at home today for a little bit: Alone. Boy The Elder took off for Six Flags with his buds, and Boy The Younger left with a friend and his family (Chicken Owner,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Oil Change 👨🔧Goose Lover🛦Church & State⛪ Based on my history, the last place anyone should ever look for me is underneath a car. Yet that’s where I found myself late this morning, side-by-side with Boy The Elder as he showed me exactly how stupid I’ve been all my life. I’m not…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Media Bias 📰Rudy’s Sandals 🩴Lack of Faith ⚖️ I’ve watched with interest the blowback against newspaper tyrant Gannett following its reminder to its journalists in the wake of the Supreme Court’s undoing of Roe v. Wade that they are not to take sides on social media. “You cannot use social media…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Censorship 🍈🍈Newspaper Talk 📰Toothbrush 🦷 I did my first actual “work” thing at my new job yesterday. The first two-plus days have been filled with meeting new people and learning about the kazillion awesome products we sell so I can talk somewhat intelligently about what we do. But then Nu Bossman…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hitler Talk ⚖️Chicken Postscript 🐣Green Seats ⚾ I wonder when the average German in the 1930s/1940s said something akin to “Oh shit.” There has to be a point when the rational, sane sauerkraut-lover realized that perhaps his or her vote for a certain mustachioed politician was a really bad idea. For…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Take Me Away🛀Period Tracker🩸Choose Wisely💒 Arriving for the first day at a new job is kind of like showing up in a new town after throwing away your old identity. It’s a blank slate, and you can be anyone you’d like to be. Want to go by a different name? Go…Keep reading