A reminder that popped up in my phone today.

Don’t really have the heart to delete the occurrence, despite knowing that if I don’t, it’ll pop up again next month, and the month after that, to remind me that my sweet boy is no longer with me.

I’m sure this is going to go over very well

There’s a popular narrative that the National Football League is basically incapable of doing anything right.  And that the financial bulldozer that they ultimately still are, is completely in spite of the general lack of ethics, competent leadership and all of the just in general inability to not keep doing stupid shit.

Players want to celebrate touchdowns and look like they’re having fun?  Those are penalties.  A player who is on injured inactive status wants to bet on some football games?  That’s an exiling.  But multiple players who were caught, have video evidence, or were found guilty of domestic violence?  2-4 game suspension.  A Muslim player kneels after a touchdown?  Penalty.  Tim Tebow kneels after scoring a touchdown?  Hero.

I mean, the list can go on for an embarrassingly long time, regardless of the fact that the NFL is a veritable money printer.  Regardless of the fact that I don’t have the time to indulge in as much sports as I used to or liked to, the NFL doesn’t exactly make itself particularly compelling or attractive to want to pay any attention to, even if I had the capacities to.

Recently, the NFL made a public amendment to what has been called the Rooney Rule, which was already basically the NFL’s version of Affirmative Action, where teams are basically PR strong-armed into having minorities somewhere on the coaching staff.  And up until this amendment, just about every person of color ends up being a defensive coordinator, which depending on the reputation of the team, might either be a really important role, or a really insignificant one.

But the amendment states basically, that a minority must be added to the offensive staff, and also now includes that women can be implemented in order to fulfill these obligated positions.

So just like that, the NFL has basically admitted that defensive coordinators are mostly patsy positions, and that they’ve been stashing all of their mandatory minorities in them.  And now they’re trying to rectify it, as well as backhand placate women, by amending the Rooney Rule, to include more minorities and/or women onto the more glamorous offensive side of coaching.

Already, the public acknowledgment of all this is embarrassing enough, but because the NFL can’t do anything right, I can already see what’s going to happen: a whole lot of bogus bullshit positions are going to magically materialize, and they’re going to immediately be filled by minorities and/or women.  Or, there will be some team that’s extra ambitious, and fill them with black women, and go for that double whammy of Rooney Requirements:

  • Head Quarterback Football Asset Return Specialist (ball boy or girl)
  • Running Backs Nutrition Management Coach (personal chef)
  • Receivers’ Public Relations Coach (social media manager)

By labeling these with specific offensive positions, they’re now parts of the offensive coaching staffs, meant to fulfill the Rooney Rule.  And make no mistake, as hyperbolic and snarky as some of these things might appear for the sake of being brog material, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if we see some surreptitiously new coaching titles start to appear on the coaching staffs of teams in the very near future.

Trolling the troll for the win

As I was driving to my car appointment, I drove past a house that had a massive display in their front yard that went to the trouble of spelling out, of all the things in the world, Let’s Go Brandon.  Which is basically the dog whistle phrase that hardcore baked potato worshippers have latched onto like ticks to an elephant’s asshole, for how they feel about the actual president of the United States.  And I feel stupid for having to explain but ticks on an elephant’s asshole seemed too accurate and good of an analogy to pass up.

Firstly, fewer things seem more pathetic to me than anyone, right or left, who is that into politics, that they pollute their properties with propaganda that they are so wanting everyone to notice.  Like, you have absolutely nothing else in your life to be passionate about other than politics, and to a degree that you just have to make sure everyone knows where you stand?  Quite saddening.

Second, the Let’s Go Brandon thing is about the stupidest shit I’ve seen emerge from political meme-licking over the last few decades, and between the last three presidents, we’ve definitely seen some declining bullshit over time.

The thing is though, if I’m the Democratic Party, counteracting Let’s Go Brandon should be the easiest thing in the world to do; as long as we were willing to stop trying to play so high and mighty and stop worrying about the perception of sinking to their level. 

Republicans haven’t been the least bit shy or tried to hide their willingness to capitalize on unethical shit like racism, memes, Twitter and racist memes on Twitter in order to have the upper hand in the political arena.

Plus what I’m about to suggest isn’t even unethical or underhanded, it’s just capitalizing on the opportunity that was dealt to them.

If I’m the Democratic Party, across the board, I’m pushing as many elected officials I can, whose name is Brandon.  Like, legitimately. 

Brandon Affleck for Senate in California.  Brandon Jablonski for Lt. Governor in Wisconsin.  Brandon Marshall for Secretary of State in Mississippi.  Brandon Wojchehowski for Superintendent of Education in Butts County, South Dakota.

Doesn’t matter how big or small the position is, if it’s an elected official, push out a guy named Brandon.

So when the baked potato idiots are all flapping their gums about Let’s Go Brandon or driving around with their stickers on their cars, or wearing shirts or caps with the message on it, or decorating their front yards with the message… they’ll now be supporting these actual politicians named Brandon. 

Preferably Democrats.  Or fuck, even third parties should consider capitalizing on this strategy.  I’m sure a Green or Libertarian party candidate would have more success in the ballots if their name were Brandon, solely based on voters who vote entirely on name recognition alone, which last time I checked is a legitimate reason and tactic behind why some candidates go so ham on signs and campaign awareness.

And that’s basically the point of this whole strategy.  Take the power of the message away from the baked potato’s buffoon followers and it will die faster than Kentucky in this years tournament.  But until then, let all these idiots basically be free advertising for aspiring politicians around the country named Brandon, and see just how much power at the polls name recognition alone does.

I’d wager some money that there would be a laughable amount of Brandons throughout the country who would find themselves in a job after election season is over.  Sure this bones most women and minorities from taking offices, but last time I checked it wouldn’t be illegal for Elizabeth Warren to change her name to  Elizabeth Brandon or Andrew Yang to change his name to Brandon Yang.

Fuck man.  I don’t even like politics, or ever wanted to have shared so many opinions on politics on my brog, but here we are. Fixing political scenarios for free, if I had any readership at all.

Car conundrum

Recently, I took my car to the dealership to have some maintenance done. Prior to my appointment, I got a message asking if I wanted to get an appraisal done on my car towards a possible trade in.  Considering I’ve already been thinking about a larger car since two kids have already made my current one feel like a Ford Festiva sometimes, I figured why not?  I was already going to be waiting there so there was no harm in seeing what my current value was.

Especially right now, where the car market is as volatile as the housing market and there’s been lots of speak about how used cars were supposedly netting way more than people were owing on them.  I’d gotten emails and snail mail over the recent months claiming that my car would be worth well over $20,000 which was amusing to me considering I still owed around $13.5 on it. 

I figured such estimates were bullshit and that there was no way my car would fetch that much once I were to get it officially appraised.

Well turns out that it’s not that much bullshit, because the dealership estimated my car at $24,000 to trade in.  It’s a 2019 with under 20,000 miles and in fantastic condition because I take care of my shit and the pandemic really prevented me from doing any real hardcore driving.

So, despite me not being that serious about switching cars just yet, these kinds of numbers make it very interesting towards the possibility of doing so now.

I get that the car market is similar to the housing market right now and I read the news too; I’m aware that the car business has been hit with staggering inflation right now and that cars effectively have become haggle-proof.  The demand for cars versus inventory means that if someone tries to be cute and haggle too much, the dealerships can pass and someone will purchase it for less trouble.

In “normal” circumstances, I would look in two years when my car were to be paid off, and I’d hope to appraise for like $4,000 and then haggle the shit out of 2-3 dealerships before hoping to get $4,000 down from a not-so inflated sticker price.

However in two years, my kids will be older and probably be in command of a whole lot more shit than they have now and I could already be too late in needing bigger then; especially when I have the opportunity now to potentially upsize and be ready for the future.

So what I’m looking at right now, is the opportunity to have nearly 8-9k in equity to put towards a new car, which is more than I’ve ever put down in the past.  Sure, it restarts my clock of payments back to the start for the next 60-72 months but frankly car payments are about as certain as death and taxes, and it’s really the exception to be without them.

I’ve been casually looking at numbers and basically $8-9k towards an inflated sticker price still seems like a more attractive option than waiting for then car market and it’s potential trade market to cool and hope to look for a bargain and that my car doesn’t appraise for peanuts in two years.

Currently, I could flip my $30k car and aim for a $40k+ car but only needing to finance like $35k~.  I feel like there’s no guarantee I’ll be able to do such if I were to wait.

However on the flip side, I’m concerned about the future of gas prices considering how easy it is for the price at the pump to flip on a whim, and mythical wife and I have had discussions about the disadvantages of owning a car that isn’t gas powered.

And that’s where I am now. Leaning hard towards capitalizing on my car’s current trade-in value and upsizing to a more famiry-friendly dadmobile, but hesitating on what exactly to change to.

Waiting and standing pat doesn’t seem as appealing because my car now already feels too small and capitalizing while the market is volatile seems like a good idea. I just don’t want to make a rash choice that I might regret, but time doesn’t exactly feel like it’s on my side.

Getting an appraisal was clearly a mistake, lol

As if Vanderbilt had a hard enough time existing in the SEC

Impetus: Vanderbilt changes their logo to their athletic department; impresses nobody

A long time ago I saw some quote that I never really committed to memory, but the gist of it is something that always stuck with me.  It went something along the lines of, there’s few better ways to hide mediocrity than stashing it behind a new logo and branding.

When it comes to college athletics, Vanderbilt is pretty mediocre.  They suck at football, they suck at basketball, and they’re occasionally good at baseball, but college baseball has a level of parity that most other sports wish they had, so it’s not really saying that much.  What doesn’t help is that Vandy is part of the SEC which is obviously the biggest football conference in the country, and they’re also not that terrible at basketball either.  So they’re mediocre at just about everything, but also in one of the most competitive athletic conferences out there.

But as far as logos are concerned, I had to give it to Vandy’s old logo, for standing out.  Sure it was just a letter V inside of a silhouette of a star, but there really weren’t many other teams or identities out there that were similar.  No interlocking letters, no script fonts, no abstract bullshit, just a letter V inside of a star.  They came before the Houston Astros rebranded, so they had a lock on that concept first too.

It wasn’t my favorite logo out there, but it was identifiable, and one of the more noteworthy things about Vanderbilt athletics in general.

But then for whatever reason, they decided to change it up, and in a horrific, downgrading manner.  They basically have turned into a generic high school logo, with their plain old V, with some instances of it having a thick stroke, and others having a slight bevel in the center.

It reminds me of playing a video game where someone makes their own team in an established league, but custom teams only have a selection of generic letters to choose from, so someone made the Valdosta or Vinci, and they have this boring looking V on the marquee going up against the Chicago Bulls.

The link above has a lot of the initial greatest hits of internet snark and armchair comedians sharing their takes on the new logo, and there’s really not much else that I can add to it, plus I’m too lazy to write stupidly long-drawn out posts anymore.

What really spurned me to post something at all, was the claims that this new logo was two years in the making, and came after extensive research:

Updates on the Vanderbilt identity come after extensive input from across the community, with more than 500 completed surveys, 70-plus one-on-one interviews and dozens of workshops and group engagement sessions conducted during the past two years.

Yeah, that’s all bullshit.  Either Vandy is lying about how it really took two minutes to come up with such an unoriginal and boring concept, or this is a textbook example of overthinking and overplanning something into oblivion.  By adding as many cooks into the kitchen as 500 surveys and 70+ interviews and workshops and focus groups, every person who thinks they’re an artist or a designer chips more and more away at something with potential, until it turns into this new Vanderbilt V logo.  I do a lot of surveys; I’m a Senior Manager of IT for a Fortune 50 company if it helps me get $1.58, I’m sure I’d be a fan of a boring generic V too if the price were right.

When the day is over, it doesn’t really fucking matter and is more something for me to write about, being the logo and design snob I can be.  Vanderbilt is kind of the definition of mediocrity, but now they have the perfect logo to help visually exemplify their position in the collegiate ranks.

Dad Brog (#082): will life ever ease up?

Most of my adult life, I’ve always kind of had a list to guide my general objectives. Get a good stable job. Unload the old house. Find a girl to date. To marry. To have children with. Get a new home. Leave toxic job, find better one.

Obviously, things change, life changes as does the general list. But the things on said list are pretty broad and pretty concrete things when they are checked off, with the thought being with the more things checked off, the more complete and presumably easier things get with life in general.

Well, over the last few years I’ve accomplished a large bit of my broad list.  I unloaded my old house. I found a new one. I got a good stable job that became toxic, and I left it and found a better one. And I met a girl, married her, and had kids.  For the most part, I’ve succeeded in checking off all of the big ticket items on the list, so the rhetorical question is, why is life still so fucking difficult and when will it ever ease up?

Obviously, children are the easiest thing to cite as why things are difficult, which isn’t inaccurate, but lately it feels like shit is happening in a way that feels like a competitive video game that allows a losing party suddenly get lucky, score easier, and catch back up, except in my case it’s like nothing is allowed to go smoothly for too long before shit starts happening that has me back in na position of wanting to rip my hair out and scream sometimes.

Recently, my nanny has basically inexplicably left us, currently indefinitely, since they haven’t reached out since calling out.  I won’t go into specifics, but the result of it is basically fucking me because mythical wife can’t take any time off because teachers get dick for privileges as such, so the burden falls on me, to stay home, skirt my job responsibilities and wrangle two babies all day long.

Mind you, I’m still new at my job, and I’m concerned, if it’s not already manifested, I’m going to have the reputation of being that headcase worker who’s high maintenance on account of their children.  Pre-kids I loathed people who did it at prior places I worked, but I’m basically becoming that person when my paid help flakes on me.  Plus, I don’t exactly have the formal PTO accrued, so I’m instead trying my best to pretend to work while watching the girls, and I’m extremely lucky to have colleagues with children who can empathize and understand and give me more leeway than my old C of a boss did.

This isn’t to say I have no empathy for what the nanny is going through, but there’s a finite ceiling I have for the circumstances that they’re citing.  I’m upset and disappointed for a variety of reasons, but more for ones beyond the, I have to take time from my job and looks like an asshole to my team.  All the same, I’m in a position where I can’t operate in the unknown, and might have to start looking for a plan B, in a highly, highly nanny’s market.

Oh, also it appears that #2 is at yet another sleep regression, according to mythical wife.  Except that she’s sucked at sleep since her arrival, so it’s hard to tell when things are at a regression, or if we’re just back to the usual routine of nightly she won’t sleep routine bullshit.

It’s classic fallacy of thinking things will get better, but we’re back to the point where we spend so much time just trying and praying and hoping she’ll go down that by the time we get anywhere it’s like 9 pm, way later than I want to eat dinner, and I still have a fuckton of daily chores and cleaning that has to get done that I get no fucking help with ever.

List or no list, this is life at its most classic. Nothing is ever allowed to be easy, and just when things look like they might be easing up, shit just happens that ratchets the difficulty back to fuck you mode, and I’m in a position where I can’t really do anything about it but make agitated dad brogs.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge fails at first impression

While mythical wife and I were down at Disney for #1’s birthday, we earmarked one evening to go see Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios.  Paid for the lightning lanes, made reservations at Oga’s, etc.  Capitalize on one evening away from parenting to see something with a monumental amount of hype behind it.

Now I like Star Wars just fine.  I’ll admit I’ve soured over the last few years because the fandom of the property has become insufferable and taints everything the IP produces, and I’m over other fans and the property itself at invalidating my fandom because I happened to really like all of the novella in the past, like Timothy Zahn and Kevin J. Anderson’s respective trilogies.

But I like Star Wars enough to watch all the movies and Disney+ originals with expediency, and enjoy them as is without even trying to entertain the idea of seeing what others have to think on the internet.  It works out best that way.

So I was looking forward to visiting Galaxy’s Edge, mostly to ride the new rides, as well as hoping I could maybe find some place that might sell reprints of the storyboard sketches from The Mandalorian or Book of Boba Fett.

Conditions were great to have a good first impression; the Florida evening was not hot and not was rather pleasant. The lightning lane mythical wife paid for would help us avoid oppressive lines, and the park itself wasn’t stupid crowded, going right at closing.

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