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Rolling into the weekend
The sun is out, it’s going to be 81 with like 15% humidity and the Screencaps emailers absolutely killed it this morning. This is how I like my summer Fridays!
A traditional columnist wants to have all the big-brain ideas so he/she can feel self-righteous over his/her readership. Not me. You think Thursday Night Mowing League was my idea? Not exactly. A reader spitballed the theme and then I developed it. You think Summer of the Patio was my idea? Nope. It was my buddy Diesel who activated Summer of the Patio via our group text.
Shoot, even Morning Screencaps isn’t my idea. I’ve written about how SEC Network’s Peter Burns used to write for me like a decade ago. He had this idea for a morning column where he would recap the night before in sports via social media. Peter came up with poll questions that turned into conversational topics. Those topics were then turned into a Morning Screencaps column.
Peter was just a Denver sports-talk radio guy back then. Eventually, his incredible hair was recruited to SEC Network and Screencaps was passed down. Once again, I redeveloped Morning Screencaps into it’s current iteration with the IG models, the food, the Dale, and the travel photos.
While media outlets run away from allowing their readers to have any control over the content, I run right into that fire. Not only do I want MORE and MORE content from the readers, I’m willing to allow them to have a say in how this column is programmed.
And that leads to what you see today from the likes of Jeremy M. and Jeremy P.
Keep it up. Keep sending the ideas.
I’m off to have a great weekend. My wife and I celebrate 12 years of marriage on Sunday. We don’t have any grand celebration plans — yet. We need to sit on the patio tonight and has this out.
The emailers can take it from here.
On high school graduations and life in the neighborhood
As I’ve said in the past, it’s always great to read thoughts from Jeremy M. who has his finger on the pulse of America. Today he’s tackling the youth who grew up too fast as their parents tried to live by a “Don’t Blink” mentality.
We’ve made it to another year of graduations and Jeremy has a special message for this passage of time:
Suburbia, it’s where you collect your neighbors’ mail when they leave town for a week, or where you know which houses are occupied by renters.
There’s neighbors with adult children who want nothing to do with basketball hoops and bicycles, others who either aren’t ready for children or aren’t interested in having them. There’s that old couple who spends all day lamenting on the Facebook neighborhood page, they’re next door to the folks who decide it’s always appropriate to virtue signal in their front yard.
Then there are neighbors whose children are growing up. The days of being walked down the sidewalk by their parents or being a part of a crew are over. High school is coming to an end. They have cars complete with stereos that sound like garbage when the volume is turned too high, though that won’t stop them. They park on the grass, seem to slam the car doors 18 times every time they come or go, and never leave their car unattended without making sure the alarm goes off.
We are in the time of year where kids are graduating from high school.
I was swinging my 4-year-old on the playset, which, by the way, required more bolts than a modern pop star, and my neighbor’s graduated daughter shuffled along her driveway wearing a work shirt. I caught her eye (as suburban Dads do, we catch anything that moves for some reason). I gave her the “I see you but we don’t have to talk” half smile. She continued shuffling in.
School is a bitch, School-aged peers are, in perpetuity, horrible. You remember. You may forget, when you see that young guy in his stupid car, parking in front of your house, with a muffler that only other idiots would appreciate. You’ve lost friends, you were called awful things in school. You realized you weren’t very good at that sport. Maybe it turned out you weren’t as good-looking as your family told you. Meanwhile, you were asked to learn life skills, keep grades up, and do stuff you don’t want to do when you were told to do it.
Being invited to a graduation ceremony may be cumbersome. After all, graduation from high school is the only expectation we have of folks that age. Remember what it was like, remember that they were children as recently as today and as long ago as a year ago.
I hollered “HEY!”. She looked up having no clue what this world was going to lecture her about yet again. I said “CONGRATULATIONS!”. Nothing else. She said Thank You, Sir. Then shuffled inside.
She earned congratulations. As do her parents.
The analytics of TNML and how to keep a marriage rolling along
• Jeremy P. writes:
My neighborhood is pretty small, only 86 homes. There are 11 of the guys from the neighborhood that are good friends and we have had a group text going for a few years now. Several of us are TNML members and discuss it in the group text. A young couple that were first time homeowners moved in last year. Travis, the husband, fit right in with my friends and I and we added him to the group text. His lot had lots of trees so the previous homeowners had just laid down mulch between the trees and never tried to grow a lawn. This spring Travis had most of the trees cut down and laid in sod and now has a very nice lawn going.
I tried to get him interested in the TNML but he nicely rebuffed me saying he likes to mow on Sundays. I respected that and didn’t bring it up again. A few days later I overheard his wife talking about how much Travis loved numbers and went to GA Tech. I came up with a different way to recruit Travis to TNML.
Our lots are small at about 1/3 of an acre per and it only takes about 45 minutes to mow and trim both the front and back. So I broke it down this way for Travis in our group text. 45 minutes to get the yard done, 45 minutes to cool down, shower, change clothes is 1.5 hours. There are about 35 weeks in the mowing season here in Alpharetta. 1.5 hours x 35 weeks = 52.5 hours. So by mowing on Thursdays you save more than an ENTIRE weekend every spring and summer.
That’s got him interested. I don’t know if he is committed yet, but definitely interested. I just wanted to throw that out there to any other readers who are on the fence about the TNML. Hopefully that will win them over.
My 15th wedding anniversary is tomorrow and I thought I’d share what works for my wife and I. Treat all your household chores as if they are 100% your responsibility. If you both buy into that idea, then there won’t be any resentment in doing the dishes, making the bed, cleaning up the kid’s toys, etc. When you see something that needs doing, just do it. COMMUNICATE, can’t stress that enough.
My wife knows I don’t enjoy gathering up the trash before trash day so she does that each week if she can. Then I just haul the big cans to the curb. I know she can’t stand any yard work so I take care of all of it. Any other chores are fair game, just get it done. Lastly, tell the other person thank you when you see they have finished something that needed to be done.
I’ll thank her for putting the dishes away, she will thank me once the yard is finished. I feel appreciated when she does that and she feels the same way. Sorry for the way too long email but just wanted to get both the story and the advice in one email. Keep it up, Joe.
Summer of the Patio
• Ryan W. writes:
Been a while since I checked in but, it’s #summerofthepatio couldn’t let that go without a pic…. #perfectpour too. Just to perfect of a night for a grande B.latte so went with the Alaskan Amber. Stripes in the background..
The beer photos just hit differently during the Summer of the Patio.
• Mike T. in Idaho writes:
You know Cindy T and I love the patio life. At home or on vacation we always choose the patio (or fire pit) first. This is our patio in Eagle, which the fire pit backs into.
• Rich G. writes:
First time, long time. Had to write about the Summer of the Patio. We are here in Frisco, TX. My wife and I decided a couple of months ago to stay in more and use our patio and pool on the weekends to save money. Way too much to go out. Better to buy a 30 pack of Busch Lights for $19.99 than two craft beers out for the same price. My Texas A&M degree comes into play and I can easily determine that 30 beers are better than 2!.
The Summer of the Patio is an idea screaming for merch!! I can easily picture my wife and I in our Summer of the patio t-shirts with our S.O.T.P. koozies. Catch phrase could be “Don’t Go, SOTP!”.
Renewed faith in kindness of the service industry
• Mark from Indiana writes:
Joe; I recently traveled to Boston and rented a place in the Chelsea neighborhood, which must be predominately Latin American. The customer service and kindness shown by the servers and owners were amazing. One woman left the counter to show us how to get to the bus stop and the next day asked us if we got there ok.
Another server had the cook make a dinner entree just so we could try it (this was breakfast) as we had never tried the type of turnover before and she did not charge us. She also was very kind to everyone she met and waited on.
In these post-Covid days it has been a challenge finding good customer service and sometimes even kindness. This trip reminded me what service and kindness was to strangers and reminded me to show that to others.
The Holy Grail
Have I found the Holy Grail of beer koozies? Hank Williams museum in Montgomery, AL. Top it!!!! Great city to hang out in for a day.
So many people continue to amaze me on Linkedin
It just doesn’t stop. So many huge job titles. This column has to be the most-read daily column in the United States by VPs who need 15 minutes of me-time.
Only in Northeast Pennsylvania
• Brian L. sent this in:
As someone who spent four years in NEPA and ate those pierogies, I’m not shocked someone broke into a house to steal some. They’re that good. Simple food, but so good. Trust me, you haven’t had pierogies until you’ve had them from coal country. There’s just something about the level of butter they use on those things.
Raise hell, praise Dale
• Andrew D. writes:
KSR in Indy representing your boy!
KSR is a stellar dive in Indy
I believe Andrew is referencing Keystone Sports Review north of the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Any bar with a Dale tribute is a bar for me.
On how to settle the Will Smith-Chris Rock slap thing
• Paul B. writes:
Here’s how you end the slap nonsense. Will offers to stand up on stage, in front of a bunch of elitist actors, and let Rock slap the taste out of his mouth. Every one of these rich people donates 5 grand to an abuse charity and all the proceeds go to that. Or have them fight it out on a Jake Paul undercard. Nobody wants to see a giant Will Smith beat up on a tiny Chris Rock though. So maybe WWE and let Rock squash him. Will gets no offense at all. Just spitballing here.
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Joe be loving that PVS pussy
You know Christy Brinkley didn’t do shit in that garden except, maybe, pull a weed or two.
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