🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Toilet Training 🚽
Apple’s Long Game 🍏
A little bit of randomness for a Thursday.
- If you see a shrimp sitting there on a plate, you would say, “I want to eat that shrimp.” Unless, of course, you’re like Father Dearest and are allergic to them and your lips swell up like balloons at the mere thought of shrimp. Then you’d say “I don’t want to eat that shrimp.” But what if there are three of them on the plate? This became a topic of debate among Wifey Poo and Boys The Younger & Elder and I on the drive home from the Shinedown concert Monday night/early Tuesday morning. I would say, “I want to eat those three shrimp” and everyone else in the world apparently would say “I want to eat those three shrimps.” Isn’t it sad when so many people are so wrong?
- After visiting the facilities at work today, I was washing (excuse me, I’m in Missourah … warshing) my hands and looking in the mirror (“Hey, you handsome devil, you,”) when I noticed one long beard hair jutting out of the left side of my face. I keep my beard trimmed pretty close. Yet this one hair either escape the wrath of the clippers or got real motivated to grow quickly. Whatever the case, attempts to smooth it down with water have proved fruitless and I’m now faced with plucking it out by the root because surely everyone who walks within 15 feet of me can see just how stupid it looks.
- A dude drove around Memphis shooting people for a day. Two dudes drove around Canada stabbing people for a day. What the actual fuck, people?
- Yesterday was (and today is, for that matter), a big-feels day. I have a love/hate relationship with these types of days for me. My heart feels like an exposed nerve, which leaves it both available for the tenderness of the world but horribly exposed to what the world actually is most of the time. Hug?
- As part of that big-feels day, I thought yesterday how life is kind of like a diamond turned on its side. We start at a point of convergence in one room (or, if you’d rather, as one cell or in one womb. I’m not here to debate when life begins. That’s, evidently, for the Supreme Court to decide). Then we learn to crawl, then walk, then run, and the walls get further apart. Then we get to travel! We see more of our city, our state, our country, our world. We meet people and do things and have experiences and form opinions (so. many. opinions) and have beliefs and influence people just by our very being. We look around and all the way to the five horizons we see no trace of those walls that once were so familiar. But then at some point, we pass the middle. We rarely know when this happens. But one day, we look off at the formerly open horizon, and we catch a glimpse of those walls way out there, angled slightly inward. We get older. We can no longer travel the world (the damn flights are too long and those foreigners are too damn annoying), so we stay in-country. Then we don’t want to go too far from home so we stay in-state. Pretty soon, we’re just tooling around our city to do what’s necessary. And one day, we don’t really feel like leaving the house. Finally, many of us end up in one room, in one bed. The walls that surrounded us at birth have converged again. I have no clue if there’s any significance to this thought. It was just one I had.
- A few months ago, Wifey Poo was out of town. It took three days for me to realize that putting the toilet seat down was nothing more than extra work for me. So yes, ladies, you can train a man.
- Kind of like what everyone says after the latest school shooting, I’ve got my own “Someone’s got to do something!” But it’s about passwords and authentication, not largely preventable violence. Surely there’s a better way to go about the whole password thing than this two-factor crap that forces me to either have my phone tethered to my side at all times or to get up to retrieve it to, say, check my bank account. I’m sick of passwords with symbols and numbers and capital letters. I’m tired of logging into stuff, in general. Yet I want all the security … and more! So somebody… since you’re not working on the school shooting thing … do something!
- Wifey Poo was trying to get a chunk of money out of an ATM (not at ATM machine, says the department of redundancy department) yesterday and was blocked by a fraud alert. Of course, she couldn’t just punch a key on her ever-present phone and say, “Um, yeah, I’m good.” She had to call someone. Why didn’t she just go into the bank where she was? Because it was a no-teller day due to labor shortages (Thanks, Obama. Or Biden. Or Trump. Or Jesus). So she had to call, go through the dumb automated menu, wait on hold and then talk to an idiot Bank of America person who said the fraud alert was triggered by her very attempt to get money out of the ATM. “You’re asking for too much,” she was told. “Well how much of my own money from my own account that I know is sitting there can I ask for without triggering a fraud alert?” she replied. “I don’t know,” she was told. And this is why we are all so cranky these days.
- Something they don’t tell you in college about your career in marketing: Someday you, too, could be sitting at your desk sorting normal-flavored jelly beans and disgusting-flavored jelly beans by color for use in an upcoming event-opening video!
- I am well aware very few people actually read this shit. Analytics tell me so. So why do I write? Part of it is because, if I didn’t, too much crap would get jammed up in my soul and I’d explode, which would be a) messy and b) not pretty. But more of it is about the thought that maybe someday when I’m gone, someone who knew me once or was thinking of me fondly or loved me at some point in time will stumble upon it and learn more about who I was or be able to reflect positively on their link with me. And maybe that’ll make a difference in their lives … for the better. Or maybe some stranger will stumble upon it and it’ll help them out in their journey as a meatsack for a soul. I’m imagining the shrimp/shrimps debate won’t be that difference-maker.
- I’m recovering well from my Monday morning ladder fall. The bruises I have are actually quite pretty. Wifey Poo is exceptional at finding them with her feet when she’s trying to snuggle with me at night. The pain is worth it. She’s a great snuggler.
- I don’t want to be at work today. Not in the least. It’s not that I don’t like my job. I do. I just feel the call to be outside. The temperatures have cooled off a bit. It’s not quite fall-ish, but it’s fall-ish-adjacent. I’ll be heading outside after work before I pick up BTY from cross-country practice and jet him up to baseball practice.
- CM Punk appears to be an unhinged idiot.
- Eight years ago today, I killed a wild Russian boar that I named Putin before he was carved up and I ate him. I was a true visionary. He didn’t taste very good, though. Too gamey. I have a necklace made out of one of his tusks, though. That’s pretty dope.
- Every pay period (which occurs twice a month) I earn the right to take five hours off. I’ll just leave that right there.
- Whether it’s professional wrestling, a good book, an enjoyable movie or the news, I love a storyline that plays out over time. Which is why I found it so interesting to read this morning about how Apple, apparently with a pipeline devoid of actual new ideas and products, is hiring a crapton of people to double the size of its advertising staff to bolster its business, which means you’ll be seeing Apple-led ads on everything Apple and Apple-related. This is the same Apple that lambasted Google and Facebook (rightfully) for their digital advertising and which helped damage their business by pushing App Tracking Transparency (again, rightfully) last year. “But but but!” Apple said… “We’re going to do digital advertising … responsibly.” Sure you are.
- If I told you 4,000 current and former Boy Scout leaders have faced sexual abuse allegations for their actions against more than 10,000 children in the United States over the past 50 years, would you let your child be a Boy Scout? What if I told you that the higher-ups in the Boy Scouts are well aware this was going on and chose to cover it up and then move Scout leaders to other troops for a “fresh start?” Would you continue to donate money to support the Boy Scouts? Sure, you could ask for stats on the numbers of leaders and scouts so you can calculate percentages, but that would be ignoring the ugly truth of the actual numbers. Yeah, this ain’t about the Boy Scouts. I’m just wondering how these ugly stats — and many more — can be known by the Catholic faithful in the United States and there’s anyone in the pews on Sunday mornings? Why would anyone want to be associated with a group — religious or not — that has abused its authority so badly? It’s not a really good reflection on the god you say you believe in.
- This might be a flip-side argument to the previous item, but I find it interesting that there’s outrage against professional golfers leaving for a new tour funded by the Saudis. These golfers are being said to have taken “blood money,” because those funding the league are linked to a regime with a less-than-impressive human rights record. The PGA tour is by far the more virtuous tour, by that standard, right? Um, the PGA tour is funded by various TV networks, which means those golfers are paid from American capitalism. And the American government, in furtherance or defense of American capitalism, has of course never done anything sus regarding human rights. I mean, forget the fact that we exist as we look on a map because we massacred and moved those who were here first, that we have the world’s largest incarceration rate, the world’s largest percentage of those not convicted of any crime incarcerated on any given day and that we sit among a rather inauspicious crowd on a list of countries that still have the death penalty, which every once in a while, ooopsie, claims the life of someone who didn’t do the crime. We’re all good here. Fore!
- I don’t know if this is a good strategy or not, but when I get annoyed enough by spam phone callers, I’ll just answer the call and let the phone sit there while I go about whatever I was doing. It’s fun to hear them repeatedly say, “Hello? Hello? Sir? I can hear something in the background. Sir?”
- That’s it. That’s the last bullet. I don’t have anything else right now. Or, at least, not anything else I’m willing to write.
Soul Comforts A just-because gift An accidental nap Shared fries A hidden note, found A joined passion A soft hand Communicated desires A hug, freely given A safe landing place A secluded table Memory-filled songs Appreciation, openly stated Take me away from here Take me away Take me Take A common blanket A slow dance…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Looking forward to being outside this aftenroon/evening.
- The NFL season starts today, as does the Drum For Shriners Fantasy Football League.
- These exist.
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🧩 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…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hydrogen Issue 🚀Karting 🏎️Lake Life 😌 I was all excited to watch the launch of the moon-bound Artemis 1 rocket this morning, only to see the clock stopped at T-minus 40 minutes because of a “hydrogen issue.” Don’t know about you, but I’m thinking having an issue with hydrogen is a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Karen in Control ⌚Karting 🏎️What podcast? 🎧 In the winter of 1993, I went to a comedy club with a friend and, in the spur of the moment, decided to be one of those who came forward to join the fun and be hypnotized. This was decidedly out of character for…Keep reading
🧩 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 🧩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