🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
3, Unassisted ⚾
A Sad Day 📅
Tracking Your Vagina 🌸
The last time Boy The Younger was on a baseball field, the “coach” of his team removed him from a game in the middle of an inning because I had privately messaged him to not attempt to steal home with my kid when the batter obviously didn’t have or understand the “take” sign to not swing. It had happened twice that game and multiple times that season.
I did it quietly and privately so as not to cause a scene and to avoid my kid being blasted with a line drive that could seriously harm him. Baseballs hit at people from close range can do a lot of damage. Here’s about 20 minutes of of that …
After reading the message during the middle of an inning, the “coach” called for time and then made a show of yanking BTY from his position at first base and throwing him off the team, while loudly and obnoxiously yelling in my direction.
Last night, BTY returned to the field, with a new team led by a real coach and run by a real organization dedicated to baseball fundamentals.
In a little bit of serendipity, the first game of the fall season was against a team from his old organization, coached by its leader. In the first inning, BTY took his position at first base. The first pitch of the game was hit directly to him. BTY did what BTY does. He fielded the ball, ran to the bag, and the batter was out. That alone would have tied a nice bow on this little saga. But the Baseball Gods weren’t finished.
BTY’s Rebels were up 3-0 in the fourth when the starting pitcher ran into trouble. After a two-out base hit tied the game, the coach summoned BTY from first and handed him the ball on the pitcher’s mound.
One pitch later — a comebacker BTY fielded cleanly and threw to first — and the Rebels were out of the inning. In the top of the next frame, their bats came alive again, sending BTY out to the mound needing just three more outs to earn the victory with the score 6-3.
BTY worked himself into some trouble, allowing a hit and a walk. With two outs and runners on second and third, he got ahead of the next hitter 1-2 before zipping a fastball by him for a strikeout to end the game.
What happened to BTY on his last “team” should never happen to any kid. That a supposed adult would act the way his “coach” did and then be backed by a supposedly Christ-centered organization is disgusting. I have examined my own actions leading up to and following the incident, and though I found myself lacking in the latter, I most certainly was not wrong to quietly and privately insist on baseball fundamentals that protected the safety of my child in the former. The fact that this “man” chose to take out his hurt feelings for being challenged on his lack of baseball knowledge on a child says all I need to know about him. I will never forgive nor forget what happened.
Call it God, the Baseball Gods, the universe, karma or whatever you want … everything that happened in last night’s game just felt good.
I try to tell myself that time is arbitrary, that dates on the calendar merely represent a certain point in another revolution around the sun and that we, as a species, really aren’t that great at measuring it, to the point that we need to add another entire day once every four years just to make it right. I felt this before the recent news that our planetary rotation has been getting wonky lately, leading to actual shorter days than the accepted 24 hours and that it could get to the point where we actually need to take a reverse leap year to set things straight.
All that said, when Aug. 30 comes around every year, my heart feels sad. It was on that date in the year 2000 that my world changed forever. Wifey Poo and I went to the doctor that day excited to find out the gender of our first child. We left a few hours later knowing that that child, a boy, would most likely not survive much past birth.
For five blessed hours on Dec. 20, 2000, we were able to love the very real presence of Jacob Alexander Agliata. And then we had to let him go.
Handing my son over to a nurse following his death knowing I’ll never see him again here was the hardest thing I had ever done. That was then eclipsed a few days later by having to bury him while I was ravaged by chicken pox and delirious with fever and grief.
Life has never been the same.
In the wake of all that, and even in the midst of it, people would say, “I don’t know how you are doing this. You are so strong. I could never do that.” Yes you could. There was nothing strong or brave about what I did. My heart was committed to still beating, and so life went on. Every morning, the sun rose and my eyes opened. Every night, it grew dark and I would eventually fall asleep. I had no choice.
The capacity for humans to endure is sometimes astounding, yes. I feel like, despite what Wifey Poo and I faced, we’ve made a damn good life for ourselves and the two boys who followed Jacob. Yet there will always be a hole in our hearts that nothing this side of Forever can fill.
And so when Aug. 30 hits, as it seems to do every single year, I pause, I remember, I feel it.
I wrote about it mere days after the Supremely Idiotic Court got all up in your uterus, that Big Data was going to be a big problem for women. Then, Facebook data was used to charge a raped teenager who sought an abortion. Now comes news the Federal Trade Commission has sued ad tech firm Kochava for selling geolocation data (read: tracking of your whereabouts) that could expose people’s movements to sensitive locations such as abortion clinics.
Digital surveillance of your reproductive healthcare … that’s what this is, and it’s as creepy — and wrong — as it sounds.
Every decision carries a consequence. Economists call it an opportunity cost. Politicians often simply call it an opportunity. Parents sometimes call it grounds for punishment. Whatever it’s called by whomever it’s called, the fact is that every single decision we make sets us down a new path, a new timeline, a new reality wholly separate…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- I’m gonna live in yesterday’s baseball victory a little while longer.
- Hypnosis, Day 2, is this evening.
- There are lots of good documentaries that remain unwatched in my Netflix queue
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🧩 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 🧩Lawrence Pfaff Sr. Sucks 🚓Engagement Talk 🌯Quick-Hitters 👋 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?…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