🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
The Agliata Homeschool Academy 🚌
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 wake of the Great Modern Plague that shut down schools and thrust parents into situations homeschool parents willingly sign up for. We get many more #2 responses these days.
Today, the Agliata Homeschool Academy again opened its doors — by which I mean Boy The Younger’s bedroom door so he could stumble out and grudgingly begin eighth grade. We’ve been doing this homeschool thing for 15 years now, and be “we” I mean a heavy dose of Wifey Poo with some academics and, shall we say, gentle behavioral modifications from Principal Daddio from time to time.
Homeschooling ain’t easy, even when you have a kid as scholastically minded as Boy The Elder. The blurring of the lines between mom and teacher, home and school, academics and play are difficult to navigate for both parents/teachers and kids/students. To say that we have it mastered, even after a decade and a half of trying, would be to willfully and heartily lie our asses off.
And compared to most in the homeschooling community, we’ve got it easy, with “only” two kids. A majority of homeschool families have sports team-sized broods of youngins’ who spill out of conversion vans when they arrive at events like clowns from a tiny car at a circus. Wifey Poo was charged with educating both our boys at the same time for “only” five years, though the last two of those BTE was largely handling his own stuff through co-ops and college classes.
Which isn’t to suggest what Wifey Poo does is easy. It’s not. Far, far, far from it. Most parents know this in the wake of the aforementioned school shutdowns. Though BTE was a smart kid who wanted to do well in school, he was also a royal pain in the ass for a few years because, well, he was a kid. We had more than one come-to-Jesus talk with him, and there were numerous days where I could feel the tension inside the house when I came home from work and pulled the car into the garage — forget walking in the front door.
Yet Wifey Poo has always made it work … and work well. She’s really, really good at what she does, despite the fact that BTY is most decidedly not like his older brother and many times could give a rip about learning anything. Yet she — and to give myself a little bit of credit, we — has never given up. We didn’t set out with a plan to homeschool our kids all the way through school. We merely said “We’re going to homeschool today, and probably tomorrow too.” We stuck with the goal, when all else was insane around us, of “Turning out good young men who don’t leech off society.” So far, so good.
I’m not one of those who hates on the public school district and thinks all kids should be homeschooled. They shouldn’t. Some kids and some parents aren’t made for that, and that makes them no better or no worse than any other parent or kid. Homeschooling simply was right for us. So we do it. It’s that simple.
And that hard.
Tomorrow after work, I’m going to be hypnotized. Call it a Hail-Mary effort to cure whatever the hell has been going on in my mouth since November 2020, when COVID came along with a nasty metallic goopy taste/feeling that has been with me every single goddamn day since then.
I’ve been to dentists. “Your mouth looks normal.”
I’ve been to my general practitioners. “Your mouth looks normal.”
“I’ve been to ENTs (ear, nose and throat). “Your mouth looks normal.”
I’ve been to functional medicine doctors, had my wife look in my mouth and invited random strangers to gaze into my open maw to see absolutely nothing wrong.
Finding someone in the medical profession to take seriously what can’t be seen or indicated on a scan or through a blood test is exceedingly frustrating, yet I’m pretty sure that if I don’t find some sort of solution to this situation, I’m going to one day be annoyed enough by it that I’m going to jump mouth-first off the top of the Arch.
Karen the Hypnotist thinks she can help. She’s got lots of examples of uncovering the root causes of medical situations by having the subconscious mind, which apparently knows all, be freed up to talk to the conscious mind.
Listen, do I think this is nuts? Sure, I think it’s nuts.
I also think most of what we now call modern medicine was at one time considered nuts. I think the fact that we can take a few pills because our heads hurt and that our head hurts will reliably go away despite the fact that no one really knows why is absolutely nuts too. We know so very little about what the brain is, how it works and what goes wrong with it that we should be much more open to that which we call “alternative” than we are. “Alternative,” absent the massive financial influence of Big Pharma, offers a lot of people who are at the end of their ropes something approaching hope.
So I’ll go to this session tomorrow, and probably a few more. I’ll let Karen the Hypnotist tinker around with my brain. And hopefully one day, my mouth won’t feel like a rat crawled in it and died.
Calling someone a Redneck isn’t exactly a nice thing to do. I mean, it’s one of the last remaining somewhat socially acceptable racial slurs, but that doesn’t mean it’s a kind thing to call a person. Unless, of course, it’s literally true.
BTE and I went to the Indycar race on Saturday. Well, I should say “races,” because we actually were there for three races and about 10 hours, the majority of which the sun was at our backs.
I learned the lesson long ago that, as a bald dude who shaves his head at least three or four times a week, it’s a wise idea for me to wear a hat outside. I apparently haven’t learned that the sun can torch the rest of my fair-skinned body.
The back of my neck is now an angry scarlet. Wearing a collared shirt to work today has been less than pleasant. Yet will it teach me to remember sunscreen the next time I am in a situation like this? Of course it won’t. I’m a guy, which means there are certain things I am biologically blocked from doing.
Reading directions is another, in case you’re interested.
Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. When the coronavirus epidemic shut down the country in March 2020, Kent Taylor refused to accept his base salary as chief executive officer of Texas Roadhouse restaurants and instead poured that money back into his frontline restaurant workers to help them stay financially afloat. A…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Can’t wait for the skin-peeling part of this sunburn.
- Hypnosis awaits!
- Looking forward to see what Wifey Poo does after she’s all “Mission Accomplished” with educating our boys.
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🧩 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
🧩 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 🧩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…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