Completing the blet wall: time to get a new house

What we have here, are the newest additions to my collection: blet #24 – the 2014 PG-era WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and #25 – the John Cena Spinner US Championship.

As has been the case with the last nine blets I’ve purchased, these have been primarily financed by money earned through doing online surveys.  Which is great in the sense that I haven’t used any of my earned income in order to purchase such frivolities, but when I write out that I’ve basically bought 11 blets, I’m trying not to add up the dollar amount and not wince at what maybe a little more productive or substantiative things I might’ve been able to have done with such a slice of coin but whatever no regrets

The thing is with #24, I never really thought about getting another WWE World Championship blet, since I had the Attitude-era winged eagle blet, but whether it’s just random blet itch scratching, or when I was happy when Big E won the championship, the idea of getting one didn’t seem that unappealing.  That’s sometimes all it really takes for me to want to get a blet; acceptance of a current holder, a good deal, or just plain wanting a new blet for the sake of getting a new one.

Also, I was sitting on a small cache of Amazon gift card and gift card codes, and instead of putting myself through the rigors of I don’t know what to spend this onnnnn, once I learned that WWE actually sells some things through Amazon, including blets, and makes them subject to Prime benefits, I knew what I would be saving up towards, instead of bullshit consumables like soaps and socks.  So once I hit the price threshold for a 2014 WWE World, I pulled the trigger and here we are.

The bigger story though, would be the John Cena US Spinner that I had long been waiting out.  For years, friends would “troll” me and tell me that my collection would never be complete if I didn’t have this blet, and truth be it, when it was actually on TV way back when, I wasn’t a fan of it.  I didn’t think it was cool for John Cena to be above everyone else and have his own edition of the historic United States championship, and I was up on a purist high-horse scoffing down on a spinner blet in the first place.

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Dad Brog (#085): Let the scapegoating begin

The bubbling in the tub didn’t even finish before #1 boisterously proclaimed that #2 farted.  The thing is though, #2 was not the one who had farted in the tub, it was most definitely #1. 

Mythical wife and I cracked up because farts are fucking hilarious.

However, it wasn’t just because of that, but also because this was not the first time that this had happened, where #1 had flagrantly thrown her little sister under the bus.  The first time was a funny anomaly, but it happening again appears to be the start of a pattern: the classic tactic of blaming your sibling.

For now, it’s just farting, but who knows what #2 will get blamed for in coming days, weeks, months and years.  The most fascinating thing about it is how organic and how completely unprovoked and untrained in which this happened.  We’re still at the stage of parenting where just about everything is okay and is teachable, and isn’t necessarily a bad behavior in which #1 should feel embarrassed or feel the need to pawn off on her little sister, but she’s decided to do it anyway.

Otherwise, my kids are the joy of my life, and absolutely nothing in the world brings me more happiness than seeing how much my daughters love each other.  Even if #1 has decided to use her little sister as a scapegoat now, and I’ll probably have sisters declare Mortal Kombat on each other at some points in their lives, for the time being, seeing the pure, tender and wholesome love between the sisters are the best parts of any given day. 

But how fast those tables turn once #1 rips a fart and decides that #2 is the guilty party.

Mark this as one of the brog posts that I hope one day my children will read and then cringe and bemoan the fact that this is an embarrassing story about them.

Oh happy days abound

I never thought I’d need something so much until I heard this: Tim Hortons coming to Georgia

Welp, so much for that whole idea of getting into better shape.  Once those iced capps start flowing, it’s all downhill from there.

Seriously though, this news tickles me pink as my daughters’ wardrobes.  The best news I didn’t know even needed to come to fruition.  I love Tim Hortons, it’s no secret to anyone who’s known me for a minute or two.  Specifically their iced capps, which I’m bound to consume in ridiculous quantities whenever I’m remotely close to an area where Tim Hortons are accessible.

When I went to upstate New York, I hit up at least seven different Timmy’s.  When I visited Detroit for a day, I hit two different Timmy’s on the way out of town, one of them being inside of an Arab supermarket.  When my dad and I drove to Cleveland for baseball, I made a nearly 30 minute out-of-the-way detour to Youngstown, Ohio just because there was a Tim Hortons up there.  Every single layover in Toronto means an iced capp, and for someone who doesn’t have Tim Hortons remotely accessible on the daily, I’ve consumed more iced capps than some Canadians.

And now they’re coming to Georgia.  Reportedly 15 locations between Atlanta and Columbus, so hopefully some of those are remotely accessible to where I am now.  I can’t say I’d be optimistic about the quality of their baked goods considering the available workforce around here, but considering the iced capps will be coming out of machines and bagged concentrate, I think I still have reason to excited about the potential of being able to get iced capps down here in the near future.

Man, first it was Buc-ee’s and now Tim Hortons coming to Georgia.  Just need Wawa to miraculously crack into this state and I’ll have to tell myself to stfu when I get mad and ragey in Georgia traffic and asking myself why I still live here.

In praise of Miguel Cabrera’s quietly good career

Hearing about Miguel Cabrera’s closing in on 3,000 hits, my mind at first was a little surprised that he was at that stage of his career, seeing as how I still feel like it was yesterday that this spry thin third baseman for the then-Florida Marlins was showing off impressive power for his age.  But when I actually put more than five minutes of thought behind it, I realize that it’s really of no surprise at all that he’s at this stage of his career, because basically there’s never been any season where Miguel Cabrera has played where he has been an ineffective hitter.

Even way back, I always had pegged Miggy as a guy that would probably be an MVP-caliber guy, seeing as how he broke into the majors at like 20 years old.  But the thing is, he showed up at a time where guys like Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez were the marquee hitters of MLB, and sluggers like Barry Bonds, Vladimir Guerrero and Frank Thomas were still around.  It was easy for a guy like Miguel Cabrera to kind of get lost in the shuffle.

But nearly 20 years later, most of those guys are gone, be it through retirement, collusion, age, degradation of skills or any combination of the above.  Albert Pujols is the only guy still active, and he’s at the twilight of his career where he’s doing his farewell tour for the team that brought him into the world, after a pretty unimpressive contract with the Angels.

And Miguel Cabrera is still around; although age is catching up to him, taking some power away, he’s still hitting the ball for a decent average in a period of the game where batting averages are bordering on historically bad.  Honestly, my knee-jerk thoughts were wondering on where Cabrera stood on possibly being the greatest of all-time, or just the best player for a generation, but clearly I’ve been not paying enough attention to the numbers or the game in general, and upon a closer examination, the last few years haven’t been as kind to him as I thought they might have been.

All the same, I felt like writing some words in appreciation of Miguel Cabrera.  Father Time might have grabbed him by the scruff five years ago, but up to that point, the guy was probably on track to be as good as Hank Aaron from a consistently great standpoint.  And I think it’s still safe to put Miggy on the pedestal of possibly being the greatest player of his generation, because when you look at his personal accomplishments throughout his career, there’s only some really snug and exclusive company in numerous categories: Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Albert Pujols.

But when you factor in the fact that Miguel Cabrera has hit for the triple-crown (traditional and the geeky sabermetric) on top of everything else, that literally puts him in a category of his own; Triple-crown winner, MVP, 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. 

Statisticians tend to poorly favor those who decline quickly, like Cabrera has been over the last five years, which will likely take him out of the GOAT debates, but there’s no mistaking that with his body of work and all his achievements throughout his career, Miggy’s name definitely deserves to be mentioned frequently as one of the GOATs.  It’s just hard to imagine that in a game rich with history and numbers, that my generation would be one to have been able to witness and watch one of them rise, thrive and produce throughout his career.

It only took me 21 years

When I was a wee lad, obsessed with cars and Initial D, I wanted little else than a really fast Japanese car.  One to become a drifter with, or just plain go fast. 

Although Initial D shit on them, I really was fond of turbo-charged cars that were all-wheel drive.  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions, Subaru Imprezas, Nissan Skyline GT-Rs, etc. Obviously the latter would never be available in America but I really would have liked to have gotten my hands on an Evo or an Impreza at some point in my life.

Well it’s been like 21 years since those days, but I’ve finally got my turbo-charged, AWD Japanese car.  A Mazda CX-9.

Not quite the same thing, huh?  But yet it does fall possess those variables I wanted when I was a kid.

Regardless, this is the culmination of my recent car search where I decided to capitalize on the fucked up car market, and upgrade to the larger car that my famiry will ultimately command, while the opportunity was hot.

Sure, most people are innately aware that car values are bloated like an HP computer out of the box, but at the same time trade-in values are also insane as well.  My new car’s MSRP is well north of $40,000 and more so due to current market bloat, but when I had my previous ride appraised, it was insanely high and that’s what got the wheels in motion.

Yes, all numbers were pretty all over the place, but I like to look at it from the perspective of the facts that I don’t think I would’ve been in a position of having nearly $9,000 in positive equity to put towards a new car in three years when my previous one would’ve been paid off.  Yes, the sticker price of my new car was a little bit bloated, but my total out-the-door cost was substantially lower than the MSRP of it, so I take solace in that above all else.

But most importantly, I’ve filled the anticipated need of having a large famiry vehicle for my famiry to grow into, as opposed to feeling progressively more and more cramped from my prior car as my kids grow and their needs evolve and they start amassing tons of shit.

And now I can make the dad-like jokes about how I have the AWD turbo car that I’ve been pining for, for over two decades.  Nobody has to know that it’s also 4,400 lbs and can seat seven.  Might as well be the Evo that beat Tiff Needell, even though he was cheating.

Why I’m the only guy in the office still wearing a mask

Both my kids are sick now.  Still possible that I caused it, but also some reason to believe it might not have been me.  Either way, strep was brought to them somehow, and obviously through basic transmission of germs.

But this is why I still mask up, even if in doing so, it’s still not foolproof at protecting my famiry.  I went all of 2020 with not even a common cold and it was glorious.  But as time progressed, people selfishly got sick of masks and arrogantly believed a vaccine made them invincible, sure as the sun rises, the common sicknesses that nobody got in 2020 were waiting around and it’s been a fucking war zone since.

Literally, a night nurse at the hospital #2 was born at got my wife and newborn baby sick, who immediately passed it onto #1 as soon as we got home.  That was real fun, dealing with a house full of sick people, among them a literal newborn.

2022 literally started with coronavirus infiltrating my house, where mythical wife got it, and although untested, myself and #1 probably had it too.  Amazingly, #2 seemed to escape unscathed.

And since then, I think it’s accurate to say that one or both of my kids have been sick every single month of this year.  Coincidentally, mask mandates are relaxing all over the country, and Georgia was full of yeah cmon hicks who already began ditching them, and shocker, fucking sicknesses are goddamn everywhere.

And when my kids get sick, I’m the one who has to eat the load and work from home and compromise my work responsibilities and often times run double duty on the girls.  I’m the only one who’s work suffers and the backlog usually ends up with me working into the evenings and/or having to rush and be at higher risk of shoddy work.

I’m just sick of my kids getting sick.  It’s by no fault of their own, they’re just kids.  I blame the fucking world around us full of arrogant and selfish assholes who can’t be bothered to wear masks in public, happily content with spreading two years worth of backlogged colds and other niggling ailments that everyone is spreading and getting all the fucking time.

I refuse to feel like the outcast in public because I choose to wear a mask still.  It may not be fool proof at preventing sicknesses but I’m doing the best I can to try to protect all my girls, even if it makes me seem like the outlier that was just barely months ago, the norm.

How I spent my 40th Birthday

Mythical wife, my brother and several close friends and I actually celebrated my birthday this past weekend.  Because my birthday fell on a Tuesday which is probably the worst day for a birthday to ever fall on, it made sense to do stuff on the weekend before.  It was a pleasant time to hang with people I love and eat and drink while my in-laws watched the girls.

It was probably for the best because as far as my actual birthday has gone, there wouldn’t have been any time for well, anything.

#2 is sick with strep where I’m probably prime suspect to have been patient zero that got her sick.  Subsequently, the new nanny got sick and didn’t come in, so as is the case when someone is sick, I had to eat the day and work from home and take care of both girls all day, and get no work done and miss the gym when I’m trying to stay on something of a routine.

However, being my birthday I refused to let myself get upset or fall into disappointment because nobody wants to feel either on a birthday.  I made the best of my day, and thankfully my workload could permit it, and I actually had a pretty pleasant day with my kids before the sickness started to really overtake #2.

Regardless of the circumstances and minutiae, I did get to spend my birthday with my daughters.  At the end of the day that is what matters and it’s always time well spent.

And this is how I bring in my 40’s.  I knew I would probably end up writing some sort of drivel for the occasion, and all I knew was that I was going to compare it to how I ushered in 30, where I was discovering a donut burger in Midtown in comparison.

Aside from the fact that I moved out of my old house and into a new one, met a girl that would have me, marry her and have not just one, but two kids, not much else really feels like it’s changed between 30 and 40.  I still brog, I still watch wrestling, collect blets, casually follow baseball, it’s just now I have my own family interspersed among it all, and my days are packed every day.

I don’t make big deals about birthdays, even supposed milestones like 40, because i don’t want to get my hopes up in the event things go tits up.  Frankly if I were a more selfish person a day like today might’ve constituted tits up but perhaps I’ve grown or my priorities have changed to where I recognize a day with my girls as good in every way shape or form.

Otherwise the only real things I feel like I need to concern myself with other than the litany of old jokes I can make about myself is to better take care and be cognizant of my own health and well-being.  But a day like today, even if it is the only 40th birthday I’ll ever have, just feels like any other day.  Same overload of chores, childcare, feeling overworked and having no time for myself.  Except I made a very conscious effort to not give into the usual feeling of despair.

Except if I’m lucky, I’ll get some cake to eat and some gifts to open up.  But bring on 40; I’ve got not intention of slowing down at the gym and I’m determined to get my running speed back to where it was pre-pandemic.