🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Election Message 🗳️
School Priorities 🏫
Tickets Aplenty 🎫
It would seem to me that if a common sentiment from wise people following an election is that it’s a good thing the results were so muddled because it means not much will get done in the next two years, you’ve got yourself a broken political system.
This isn’t to suggest I’m in favor of the Muricahn gubment doing much of anything these days. I’m sure the people who run it were at one point well-intentioned patriots, but our system is so rigged that it’s impossible to win such a lofty spot without being compromised. I have absolutely zero faith in any representative from either party, and collectively, the groupthink scares the shit out of me.
There’s been numerous studies on how riots and mass violence occur. Most often, rioters aren’t people who individually would cause any harm. But put human beings together, provide the smallest of pushes and even your Great Aunt Martha will light up a Molotov cocktail to throw through the window of her favorite sewing machine store to gain entry and grab the latest Singer for free. This observation was a common refrain in the wake of the Jan. 6 coup attempt from people who saw their relatives on TV doing incredibly crazy things they never would have done on their own and without the verbal shove from the demagogue who incited them.
The House … the Senate … the White House … those environments don’t seem to me to be much different environments these days. So is it a good thing no party comes out of this Election Day errr Week with a clear mandate? Probably? But is that in and of itself a good thing? No. It’s not. Our democracy is irreparably broken. It’s just a matter of time before it collapses.
Wifey Poo was back in the public schools yesterday as a substitute teacher, which isn’t exactly an accurate term for what she was tasked with doing. Both days since her return to the schools, her job has been to sit with a fourth-grader who has been determined to have special needs because he’s a disrespectful, foul-mouthed punk. Her job is to be by his side, and when he drops F bombs or other choice words, tell him that what he’s saying is inappropriate for a school setting.
Yesterday, the punk had occupational therapy. I’m not sure exactly what occupational therapy can do for a kid whose issue is that he “says inappropriate things.” Unless it’s work on how to keep your mouth shut and your tongue still, it seems like even more waste of taxpayer dollars.
Listen, I’ve got nothing against this kid except for the normal defensiveness a husband would have against anyone who says unkind things to his wife. But what he is is an example of what’s wrong with our public schools and our country. These types of kids aren’t new. How we handle them is new.
Back in the day, these kids got one warning in class and then were sent to the principal’s office. The principal would warn the kid and threaten that the next step would be a call to his parents. That stopped most situations in their tracks. If it didn’t, the principal would actually follow through on the threat, and the parents would most often handle the situation. If they didn’t, a further incident would be met with suspension. Ultimately, a kid who didn’t realize that it’s not OK to curse out fellow students and adults wouldn’t be welcomed back in the classroom.
Today, that same kid slows down the entire educational process for those who are willing and able to learn. The result is that the best and the brightest are never able to reach their full potential because they’re sitting around waiting for the taxpayer-funded teacher, the taxpayer-funded one-on-one babysitter and a whole host of other support staff to handle this one kid.
Image if, instead of funneling all that money to make sure no child was left behind, it was instead used to accelerate the growth of those with the greatest potential. Imagine what our country would be like with several generations of that instead of coddling the lowest, least-willing, least-deserving, least-respectful. Imagine the economic and social impact of advancing the talented and correctly dealing with the disruptors.
This isn’t a school system issue. It’s a democracy issue.
By John Agliata “Have a seat,” Mr. Polson said. And so she sat. Cheryl’s backside sunk into the chair, and the cushion expelled a humiliating whoosh of stale air. She tugged at her flowered calf-length dress to unpinch it from the too-tight sides of her seat and smoothed it over her thick legs. No chair…Keep reading
Further making me lament the future of our lovely nation is how Wifey Poo reported kids are rewarded these days in the public schools. I’m all for positive reinforcement over punishment, but it’s ridiculous when kids are rewarded for doing things they should simply just do because they’re alive and human beings in a society.
These kids get reward tickets for everything. Those tickets can be redeemed for stuff. Come into class and have your stuff ready to learn after announcements? Here’s a ticket. Stand in line quietly? Here’s a ticket.
Worse still, these kids are treated like soldiers in boot camp. If your half of the line is quiet, you get a ticket. But if you’re quiet and little Billy, who is a part of your half of the line, isn’t, you’re both not given a ticket.
The problem with all this is that most of the real world doesn’t work that way. I show up to work on time because that’s what I have to do. I don’t get a ticket or praise for doing so. I’m able to sit in my chair at a meeting and listen to the person who’s talking (or, at minimum, not be disruptive and disrespectful) because that’s just what human beings should do.
I understand, yes, that you have to learn that behavior, but these constant rewards create humans who expect something for every little thing they do. That makes them a royal pain in the ass in the workforce. No one has the time or inclination to boost your ego just because you did the minimum that is expected of every responsible human being.
Further, this military mentality is stupid if you’re not in the military. I suffer no individual negative consequences from my boss if my colleague throws his computer through the window. It’s not on me if my fellow marketing person talks on his cell phone in the middle of a meeting. Yes, we work as a team, but we have a social contract that we’re all going to act like civilized people and take care of our stuff. If any one of us doesn’t, the expectation is that the higher-ups will deal with that person, not us as a collective.
What are the public schools if not a training ground for adulthood? We should be setting expectations for what the rest of their working life is going to be like, whatever their chosen occupation might be. I know of no plumber, fast food worker, barista, factory employee, school teacher, marketing guy, CEO, accountant, janitor, Uber driver etc etc etc whose daily life looks anything like the system that’s set up in the public schools.
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Big news coming tomorrow!
- The weekend is nigh.
- Cloudy, cool fall days make me happy.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Full Stop’ 🛑Needles 💉Business Lessons 🧑💼 Here’s something I learned about myself today: One way to ensure that I will debate you on a topic until I give my last breath or until you are huddled in a corner in a fetal position is to end the statement of your opinion…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mindfulness 🧘Mullet Prez 👩🦳Murder Family 🔪 Our brains are amazing things. So adept are they at routines that they can essentially run on autopilot and let you do the everyday stuff like operating a multi-ton object advancing at 70+ mph among lots of other multi-top objects advancing at 70+ mph without…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bloody Hell 💂Circus Moments 🤡Silence 🤫 OK, people: I’ve got a bone to pick with you. But first, a little digression. What in the bloody hell does that phrase mean? “A bone to pick with you?” That sounds absolutely disgusting. And if you’re wondering why I said “bloody hell,” well, that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩24 Hour Video 😡Rubik’s Kid 🧊Dilbert Doofus 🤪 There are two things I cannot stand in the working world — and in life, in general. The first is people whose lack of preparedness turns ordinary stuff into emergencies. The second is when people criticize the result of something they previous approved.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mormon Billionaires 💰Bigger Packages 🍌Birds Really Aren’t Real 🐦 Can we just get on with blowing the tits off the world with nuclear weapons or something and end this stupid thing we call the human race? Yeah, I know that’s a little dramatic, but when I take a look at the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Muricah The Evil 🦅You Buy You 💰Big-Ass Van 🚚 I find it rather humorous that Muricah warned China not to send arms to one side of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine … and that we issued this warning with a straight face. I’m quite sure most Muricahns believe their country…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Salve 🩹Car Wash 🚗💧Light Removal 🎄 I try not to venture too often into a Wal-Mart, especially on the weekend. I cling to slim hope for this nation as it is, and I find Wal-Mart trips do not help my grip. Alas, this weekend, Boy The Younger was under the weather…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩CC, BCC, FU 📧Basketball Poll 🏀Andy Rooney 🎙️ This week has largely been a Shit Week marred by Shit People. What are Shit People? They aren’t exactly easy to define, but one hallmark of a Shit Person is his rampant use of the CC function at work to passive-aggressively play power…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chill Day 🛋️Busy Weekend ⚾Halftime 🏈 I’m not working today. Not only am I not working at my day job, I’m not doing any work for my side gig today. I’m not planning on doing much of anything, actually. And I don’t feel guilty about that. This weekend was insanely busy.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Big Pharma Sucks 💊Work Rules 🧑💼Big Weekend 🏈 Spend any time in front of the television and you’ll see ads touting the latest drugs that you shouldn’t take if you’re allergic to and that you most definitely need to ask your doctor about. Now comes a study showing that the people…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Top 5 🎈Symphony 🎻Living Eulogies 💗 Top 5 things overheard in Missourah last week as a purported Chinese spy balloon made its way over the state en route to its rendezvous with an F22’s missile: Despite my high-brow upbringing in Suburbia, New York, I’m not what anyone would call A Symphony…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Space Walk 🧑🚀Bye-Bye Brady 🏈Failure Rate 🐿️ When Boy The Elder was just Boy and devoid of a younger brother, we had a nickname for him: Pokey Joe. BTE didn’t do anything fast, but more than anything, what he did incredibly slow was get out of a car. That would suck…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Raccoons 🦝February 💘Man Nips 🕺 Today I bring you the story of a raccoon who got his balls stuck to railroad tracks. But the reason you think I’m bringing you this story is not the reason I’m bringing you this story. You think I’m bringing the story of the raccoon Neil…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tyre Nichols 😔Tattoo Day ✒️Nephew Hoops🏀 I was a white kid in suburbia, New York, in 1988 when the gangsta rap group N.W.A. came out with its album Straight Outta Compton, featuring the song Fuck Tha Police. It was scandalous, at the time, to suggest that the police would be anything…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Car Concert 🎵Sick Wife🤒People Suck 🖕 Within the 24 hours in the run-up to Snowpocalypse 2023, the estimates on the Weather Channel app for our snowfall total ranged from 1 to 10 inches. That’s like going to the doctor and being told you have anything from a splinter to terminal cancer.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mission: Failed 👎Ho 🤣Handy Family 👍 It has to suck to work at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Why? It took exactly 75 minutes for all of 2023 to be a failure. Let me explain. Those of you unfortunate enough to have been involved in any sort of corporate planning process…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Houston 🖊️Sad clown 🤡Taco Seasoning 🌮 Houston, Missourah, is not unlike a lot of other rural Missourah towns through which I’ve driven and bears a resemblance to the Small Town USA in which Boy The Elder did a lot of his early growing up and to which Boy The Younger came…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Definitions 📖Missing Bourbon 🥃Mysterious Knocks 😵 I generally abhor any writing that starts with, “Webster’s dictionary defines …” Webster’s dictionary defines “ceiling” as a noun meaning “the overhead inside lining of a room.” The implication is that it’s a limitation, a max, a point of demarcation between what’s out there and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Annoyance 😠Disappointment 😞 When Boy The Elder was Boy The Only in our home, he watched one of the Air Bud movies featuring a basketball-playing dog. Or maybe it was football. Or soccer. By the time that series was over, that dog had played them all. Anyway, whichever Air Bud…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thor’s Blurry Hammer 🍆Pigeon Delivery 🕊️Idiot List 🤪 Thor is really, really good with his hammer. And by that, I mean that Thor the walrus in Scarborough, England, is really good at masturbating and ruining New Years Eve. If you haven’t heard about this story, stop reading stupid news like politics…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bruising Basketball 🏀Poke ☝️Six?!? 🔫 I grew up in the NBA era of the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons while loving a New York Knicks team that was, to put it mildly, quite physical. Guys like Steph Curry and LeBron James can makes basketball seem like artistry these days, but give me…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What There is Like! ⛅’Modern Policing’ 🚨Xylophone Time! 🎵 When you decide to talk about a time in which you truly believe you more-or-less died and saw what comes after this life, you have to be comfortable with the fact that people might think you’re nuts. Hell, talking about it on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Grace Ashford! 📰Idaholy Shit! 🥔Story of the Year! 🍆 The three most influential people in my life as a journalist are, sadly, all part of the Great Newsroom in the Sky now. Professors Michael Perkins and Bob Woodward (AKA Bob Woodward-Not-That-Bob-Woodward) helped educate me at Drake University, and Lisa Warren was…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poor Puppy 🐶Romeo and Juliet 🤴👸Meta Mistake 🙊 Disturbing news out of Washington, D.C., today as Republican Congressman-elect George Santos (if that’s his real name) brought a 6-month-old puppy to the house floor and screamed “Hey, look at me!” before slitting its throat and lapping up its squirting blood like a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Pretty Good Rant 😠Tesla Plunge 🚗Missed Lasts 😥 Those of you who regularly read my drivel (I see you, DirtySciFiBuddah) might have become aware of the fact over the past year or so that I am not a huge fan of our world’s modern institutions. All of them might, in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Incomplete 🕮Frustration 😠Bowl Bust 🏈 To say that I know how to write is like saying I know how to breathe. No one considers that they know how to breathe. They just … breathe. No one is particularly good at breathing or bad at breathing. Again, they just … breathe. I’ve…Keep reading
Welcome to Issue No. 15 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. So last year, I had a list of 100 intentions for 2022, and I did fairly well,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩2023 📅Helping 🧠The Universe 🔭 I’m not much for long-term plans and goals. This isn’t to suggest I don’t think they’re important. I just think that spending a lot of time on them is futile. What’s the saying? Man plans, God laughs. Something like that. Anyway, I’ve learned through experience that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chain Links 🔗”Work” 🧑💼Popular Toys 🧸 After my first son died in December 2000, I spent a lot of time wondering why. Why me? Why Wifey Poo? Why Jacob? Why this level of suffering in a world supposedly created and run by an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God? So I did what…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chiefs! 🏈Indy Tickets 🏎️Bank Visit 💰 When I bought the tickets to the Christmas Eve contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks as a gift for Boys The Elder & Younger, it was sometime in September and temps hovered around 90 degrees. The thought that the game might…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Timelines 👶Extinctions 🌋Sin City 👌 As I fall deeper down the rabbit hole learning more about theories on space and time, the concept of alternative timelines comes up again and again and again. Whether it’s the stuff of science fiction or one day will be proven to be the stuff of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Cousin’ Laughs🎤Improv!?!? 🎭Drake Hoops 🏀 Back when I was a boy, I had a favorite Cousin-Who-Wasn’t-A-Cousin. His name was Joey DeVito, and he was in no way a blood relation to me, though I called his father Uncle Frankie and his mother Aunt Celia. I’m pretty sure this is an East…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Glazed 🍩Bingo! 🖥️Disappearing Christians ⛪ I didn’t intend to bring doughnuts for my co-workers yesterday morning. It just sorta happened. How it happened and how it played out is a window into my weird mind. First, an explanation: I have a card purchased from Boy The Younger that entitles me to…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩STL’s Homeless 😥Snake Hoo-Hoos 🐍That Was Epoch 👴 I found James huddled underneath a blanket as he sat, knees to his chest, head bowed, just outside the doorway of a CVS in the Delmar Loop section of St. Louis. If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s a fun place filled…Keep reading