🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Concert Craze 🎵
My year of music is over. And, my God, has it been good.
It started on a sweltering mid-July afternoon at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in which Wifey Poo and I watched my Backup Wife Jewel do her thing. It ended last night on an evening that started out unseasonably warm before we entered The Pageant to see Gin Blossoms and ended with a blustery walk in the rain back to our cars.
- The Core Four rocked out to Shinedown, with the meh opener of Jelly Roll.
- Boys The Elder and Younger accompanied me to grunge gods Pearl Jam.
- Wifey Poo joined me later that week to see fellow grunge Mt. Rushmore band Alice in Chains, which featured an amazing opening set by Breaking Benjamin.
- Boy The Elder and his awesome girlfriend took me to see The Marcus King Band.
I. Love. Music. I can’t play it, I’m marginally acceptable singing it, but I love love love it. Whether it’s the nu hard rock of Breaking Benjamin, the soul-filling lyrics of Jewel, the music of my young adulthood in PJ and AIC and Gin Blossoms, the genre-bending tunes of Marcus King or the always-amazing-live Shinedown … I need music. When COVID shut down the world, I felt the absence of live music in my life, so when it came back with a vengeance this year, I was determined to gobble down as much as possible.
Wifey Poo has already declared a moratorium on this for 2023. She’s got the travel itch, so that concert money will go to a different line in our budget, though I’m sure she’s be OK with me shoehorning in a band or two if something good comes to down.
I’m just thankful I had the opportunity to see as much good live music as I did this year.
Back when I was a cub newspaper editor, all of 23 years old and a one-man-show at a weekly in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio, I did a story on an older woman who was a fortune teller/psychic. I’d driven past her home or seen ad in the paper or something or other, so — being the infinitely curious journalist I was — I called her up to see if I could do a story on her and her gift.
One weekday afternoon, I sat in her family room, decorated much as you might expect a 70-plus-year-old woman to decorate a home (think “Hummels”), and discussed the roots of her gift, how it had played out in her life and the blessings and curses of it, all the while hinting that I wanted her to take a look-see into me and let me know at least something about my own future.
Toward the end of the conversation, she got the hint. She told me that she could see my future would be plagued by back problems. Whether that was her gift or that she noticed during the interview I had a tendency to sit like a lazy contortionist, slouched and with a leg tucked underneath me, I don’t know, but she sure nailed the crap out of that one.
I don’t remember much else about that story, all these years later. I don’t remember her name or what I wrote, and this was in the pre-interwebs days, so that article has been lost to history. I’m pretty sure, 25 years later, the woman has to be dead.
The first time I really hurt my back, Boy The Elder was a kindergartener and, one day before work, I was swinging him around by his feet, as dads do with their kids. Ten minutes later, I was flat on the ground, unable to move without excruciating pain. This was back in the days when I thought chiropractors were evil witch doctors, and so I ended up going to the emergency room, where I was given some fabulous muscle relaxers and sent home. I spent two days either doped up or in massive pain before I could go back to work, and my back has never been the same since.
Then, in 2017, I got in a car accident and suffered whiplash. By that time, I’d overcome my fear of chiropractors, and a combination of adjustments, massage and physical therapy got my neck back to not horrible, but it’s never been any better than that.
There’s a thing about low-level pain in that you can kinda get used to it and it just becomes a part of your average every day. Such is the base state of my back and neck, a constant, not horrible ache and pain across the middle of the former and the right side of the latter. Every once in a while, I’ll do something so dastardly as sneeze or sleep wrong and end up in higher levels of pain, and that’s where I was last week.
Thankfully, I found a chiropractor covered under my new insurance, and Friday I went for my initial appointment. All hail Dr. Clay and the crew at CenterPoint Chiropractic in O’Fallon, Missourah.
This woman is my new best friend. She did a great job of diagnosing some of the problems and adjusted me to relieve some of the worst pain. A woman on her staff hooked me up to some electrical stimulation and had me lay down on this awesome table with a roller thingy that goes up and down your back while you just chill and relax. I could live on that table.
I go back Monday and Friday or next week for more treatment. Maybe just maybe I can find a better base level than constant aching.
Welcome to Issue No. 12 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to email@example.com. It’s easy to appreciate the big things. That I have two sons here on Earth who are…Keep reading
Today has been a day of getting stuff done around the house. So far, I’ve finalized the results from our October budget/spending, developed our November budget with Wifey Poo, gone to Man Land (Home Depot) to buy a ladder to replace the one that broke when I fell off it with a running chainsaw, mudded the fire tape that was peeling off in the garage, fixed Wifey Poo’s driver’s side car door that wouldn’t lock and fixed a sliding door to the hall closet that kept coming off the track.
Still to go?
- Get gas in the empty containers for the lawn mower.
- Check Wifey Poo’s car oil. It’s been sucking up oil like crazy and I’m not exactly sure why, but it’d probably be a good idea to keep putting oil back in until I can figure it out. And no, it’s not a leak.
- Hang up a corkboard in my home office/mancave
- Check the “loud noise” coming from the ceiling fan in Boy The Younger’s bedroom.
- Mail the championship belt to the winner of the Waffle House Fantasy Baseball League.
- Send a note and a gift card to a dude who helped me out earlier this year by giving me rides a few times I needed one.
- Go to World League Wrestling with Boy The Elder this evening.
I’d say that’d be enough for one Saturday, right?
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- WLW with BTE tonight!
- Some big family news coming this month. Stay tuned!
- Who knows what other home repair projects I’ll be needed for?!?!?
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🧩 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