I would like a small Batmobile to curate my lawn pls

You know what I’ve found out to be an extraordinarily harder task than I imagine it would be?

Finding a landscaper.

With baby #2 on the way, and my general limits already pressed past capacity on a regular basis, mythical wife and I decided that perhaps we’re long overdue to just hire landscapers to take care of cutting the grass and making it HOA/NIMBY Karen-proof at the very least.  I had done it for the vast majority of the time we’ve lived here, and it’s never been easy because I have a lot of grass I’m expected to cut, so we’ve decided to bite the bullet and just pay people to take care of the problems that we don’t want to deal with.

I would say that 75% of the homes in my neighborhood have landscapers, but getting any of them to come and service my property has proven to be as frustrating as one of those speedbike levels in Battletoads.  For the landscapers that have actual names, branding or contact information on their company’s vehicles, literally none of them ever return my phone calls or reply to my emails.  For landscapers that people have referred me to, it’s easy to speak to any one of them once, but again, getting any sort of follow-up is pulling teeth.  And then, there are all sorts of landscapers with no identifiable affiliation that are teams of efficient Hispanic men who show up, get the job done, and then gtfo before I can get shoes on and try and stop them to ask for service; those are the types of guys I’d want, but it’s like they’re a shiny Pokémon and hard to catch.

I think I’ve finally gotten someone now, but it’s only been one cut so far, and this guy services one of my neighbors, so the jury’s still out on his affordability, but I have to say that I never would’ve thought it would be such a colossal pain in the ass to get a landscaper, and I hope I don’t have to deal with this again any time soon.

Anyway, because theFacebook is scary and clearly listening in on conversations and/or my general rants about the frustrations of landscaping, I started getting targeted ads for this robotic mower made by Husqvarna, that looks like a miniature Batmobile.  Now there’s a rich guy’s house outside my subdivision, where I’ve driven past, and seen a little robotic mower doing its job at the edge of his property; it looked like a little lawn version of a Roomba.

It also felt a little Black Mirror-ish to me that the idea of robotic mowers exist now in the first place, because it’s one part the pinnacle of human laziness, that robots that cut grass have emerged in the real world, but also to go back to that Black Mirror thought, one step closer to having machines dominate us like Maximum Overdrive

Regardless, something that looks like a Roomba doesn’t seem as insidious or intimidating if they were to go rogue and try to kill humanity, I feel like I could probably stomp on it like a goomba from Super Mario Bros. if one tried to revolt against its makers and snuff out the rebellion.

But one that looks like Husqvarna’s Batmobile?  This little motherfucker looks like it might have some machine guns that will emerge from some hidden compartments and end my life if it chose to.  It basically looks like it was already sprayed with that shit from Transformers that turned a Nokia into a killer robot, except that the Batmobile is just laying dormant in standby mode and not yet ready to kill everything in sight.  It looks like it’s ready to team up with the robot dogs from that one episode of Black Mirror to go on hunting sprees for remaining human life.

All the same, if it didn’t cost $4,000, I think I’d want one.  The idea that this little murder mower would run constantly in order to keep the lawn short always versus landscapers coming weekly/bi-weekly is appealing in that I’d have to interact with nobody ever, and on a long enough timeline, it would probably pay itself off fairly efficiently.  But a $4,000 tab is a tough pill to swallow, when there are several other things that I’d probably want to do with my property to where that would be better spent in a lump sum.

But it would be great at deterring assholes who let their dogs shit on my property, if something that looked like the Batmobile were patrolling my yard, to menacingly threaten people and their pets away.

The new IWGP blet makes me go IWTF

Despite my general admiration for New Japan Pro Wrestling, I don’t really follow them beyond the snippets of news that pass through my Apple News feed, or whenever a wrestling fan bigger than me brings it up on social media.  But if there is always one thing that is relevant to my interests, it’s whenever blets are brought up, regardless of what fed or promotion they might be for.

So one of the more prevalent storylines throughout NJPW over the last few months has been double champion Kota Ibushi striving to unify the IWGP World and IWGP Intercontinental championships.  I actually give NJPW some credit for taking this and making it into a storyline, instead of just merging them, as it created yet another solid matchup between Ibushi and Tetsuya Naito, with Naito trying to “rescue” the Intercontinental championship from unification, only to fall short in his efforts to strip it away from Ibushi.

With Naito vanquished, the path to unification was clear, and the above blet is the ensuing result.

I’ve definitely seen worse blet designs in my life, but my first impression when I saw the new, unified IWGP World Championship blet, was definitely, a WTF face.   The center plate basically looks like a Phoenix emblem from X-Men comics, and as a belt, it just looks really imbalanced.  I’d hate to feel what wearing that blet would be like, since the top part of the plate juts out at angles, and any sort of abdominal contracting would have them digging into your ribs.  But I guess if you’ve got the action figure-physique that someone like Kota Ibushi has, he can probably just no sell it all the same.

Aside from the design, I’ve heard that the decision to unify the blets has been mostly unpopular, due to the general history that the IWGP Intercontinental championship has carried throughout the years.  Even in the shorter time that I’ve followed NJPW, guys like Shinsuke Nakamura, El Sombra (Andrade), Tetsuya Naito and Chris Jericho were notable carriers of the belt, and much like the WWE’s IC blet, it’s one very much given to workhorse types.

But the reality is that at this current juncture in time, with coronavirus having rampaged the world much less rosters of all professional wrestling promotions, NJPW just has too many blets for as diminished of a roster that they have.  Aside from their unified title which encapsulates two blets now, they’ve still got the NEVER championship, the IWGP US championship, heavyweight and a jr. heavyweight sets of tag team championships, and a jr. heavyweight championship. 

Frankly, they practically have enough blets for most everyone on their entire roster to have one at this point, so shelving the intercontinental championship isn’t a bad idea, because most anyone with a brain should know that the blet will be back in the future when the pandemic is behind us, the rosters start expanding, and then they’ll have the perfect opportunity to do what NJPW does best, which is have some massive tournament, where a brand new IWGP Intercontinental champion will be crowned.

Back to the main point though, I’m not impressed with the new design of the IWGP championship.  Bootlegs as they may be, I’m glad that I have replicas of the former World and Intercontinental championships, and I most definitely wouldn’t plunk down $2,400 for a replica of this new blet.

Maybe in the future, when the IWGP Intercontinental championship comes back, it’ll have a design worth paying for a Pakistani bootleg, but until that day comes, RIP IWGP Intercontinental championship.

**EDIT: it figures Kota Ibushi loses the championship in his first substantial defense after getting the new blet.  Given the fact that it changed hands to gaijin Will Ospreay, I wouldn’t have put it past New Japan to have make it some microaggression, symbolically made sure the old, prestigious blet wouldn’t be held by someone not Japanese or some weeb lifer like Kenny Omega or Scott Norton.

New Father Brogging, #037

Honestly?  Maybe it’s because I’m months past the period of infancy where babies do not sleep throughout the night and I’ve long forgotten the rigors of sleepless nights and daytime fatigue.  Or maybe my daughter has been particularly amenable as far as babies go.  But if you were to ask me how difficult raising a baby for the first time has been, and I think I would say that it wasn’t nearly as hard as people made it out to be.

Sure, early on there’s the endless amounts of fear and anxiety at the start as new parents, we don’t know what the heck we’re doing.  And then there’s sleep regressions quarterly that make me want to jump out windows.  And then there’s teething, and the introduction of solid foods, and then more teething that make running with razor blades seem like a mercy.

But once routines are established, reinforced and set in, things actually operate fairly smoothly.  The days become somewhat predictable, and once you know when you might actually have time to manage, things become somewhat more manageable.  So either I’ve been cruising on a nice little routine for a while, or I simply was not prepared for the difficulty jump that comes with the start of being able to say “years” in age, instead of just months.

Needless to say, the photo above has been a frequent view of mine throughout the last weeks since my daughter turned one year old.  It was almost perfect at the rate in which she hit 12 months and it just kind of clicked for her to go from awkward army crawling, to not just full-fledged crawling so much as she often uses her little left leg to thrust her further and faster, and covers ground at an impressive pace.

When I saw that there was a class of Huggies diapers called Little Movers, I just had this feeling that my child was destined to become one of those kids.  And at one point, mythical wife and I had a little concern that she might be falling behind in mobility, and prepared for more time of constantly disclaiming adjusted age since she was premature.  But then came army crawling, and like lightning striking she’s not just crawling at a rapid pace now, she’s been experimenting with getting up onto her legs and standing without assistance periodically now.

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There’s a reason why I call it AEWCW

I can’t see how far my career has fallen from here…

Although with each passing week, it stands to believe that it could very well be turning into TNAEWCW, based on the questionable decisions the company keeps making in spite of their bold proclamations that they are going to be the anti-WWE, not compete with WWE, and don’t really concern themselves over what WWE is doing.

So Revolution was over the weekend, and although there’s plenty to criticize about what seemed like a pretty wince-worthy show, there’s one thing that stood out the most to me.  And no, it wasn’t the embarrassingly pathetic “explosion” that was supposed to kill Jon Moxley that was set to the same timer that’s in the background of the battle against Emerald Weapon from Final Fantasy VII because Kenny Omega is huge FFVII fanboy, because as far as the actual match itself went, it wasn’t that terrible, and tried its best to harken back to the days of old Masato Tanaka matches in FMW, it’s just the post-match shenanigans were pretty cringe-worthy bad.

Or the face of the revolution ladder match to which the prize at the top of the ladder wasn’t a sack of money, the managerial services of Terri Runnels or a blet, but a giant golden ring that looked like the one that took you to the bonus stages in Sonic the Hedgehog, that was at least won by a guy with actual legitimate talent in Scorpio Sky, who really is one of the shining beacons of the entire promotion.

Leading up to Revolution, there was all sorts of buzz on the scuttlebutt about how AEW was going to reveal this big massive acquisition, and there were all sorts of predictions thrown about.  Some as grandiose as Brock Lesnar, some as wildly unlikely as CM Punk. My personal take was that since the W in AEW stands for Weebs, I figured it would be a Japanese wrestler that few in America had ever heard of, and since the so-called forbidden door is open between AEWeebs and New Japan, maybe it would be an on-loan Kazuchika Okada to threaten Kenny Omega in North America for a change of scenery.

And then there were the less-fun predictions of hardcore marks who actively scour and look for the contract status of active, or recently-retired-not-retired guys or potential free agents, out there like Kurt Angle, Christian, Marty Scurll or Tessa Blanchard.

All the same, AEW had successfully generated some buzz and hype, and even the most lukewarm of fans like me were remotely curious to who it possibly could be.

When it was revealed to be Christian, I literally laughed out loud.  As loud as a dad to a 1-year old in a nearby room could possibly laugh, but an actual, audible sound came from my mouth when I found out that of all the names that were thrown out there, it was a 47-year old WWE mid-carder who’s biggest success in the big leagues came as a metaphorical substitution to an Edge storyline when Edge himself had to call it quits at the time due to neck injury.  A former TNA world champion at a time when that belt was passed around to other “TNA legends” like Bobby Roode, Bubba Ray Dudley and a pre-renaissance Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley.

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Something I’ve started doing at work now

Despite the fact that I generally try to avoid writing about work as much as possible, it’s gotten pretty bad, to the point where it unfortunately permeates into my time off the clock, and poisons my thoughts and emotions on a regular basis.  And because nobody actually reads my bullshit in the first place, this is probably about as safe as a place to vomit all my thoughts and emotions without needing to burden my wife, friends, famiry or anyone else I give a shit about with talking about work.

But lately, I’ve decided to stare directly into the camera during certain meetings, like I were Robert De Niro in HeatThe scene where he’s doing some recon for Val Kilmer when they’re on a heist, and he just so happens to be looking directly at a night vision camera being actively monitored by Al Pacino.  It looks like De Niro and Pacino are having a fierce stare down when in reality, they’re two guys in different locations who have no earthly idea that they’re looking right at one another.

Just like the virtual world of professional meetings, that we’re living a reality of these days.

It’s one of my favorite scenes in cinema, and captures the feeling of tension like few really can, and it’s what I think about whenever I stare directly into the green light of my computer, so that everyone else on these particular calls can feel like I’m staring directly at them, mostly when leadership is feeding me all sorts of bullshit lectures, attempting to emasculate me, tell me I suck at my job, or any other verbal act of trying to tear me down, which has become something of a sport to them, it really seems.

But I feel like staring at the camera which in turn makes it look like I’m staring directly at them, makes me feel a little empowered and I hope that I’m making them uncomfortable by looking like I’m staring directly at them.  The irony of it all is that while I’m staring at the camera, I’m not looking at anything that’s actually particularly important, like whatever subject matter we might or might not be discussing if it’s instead how much I suck at my job, but I can also type without looking at the keyboard unlike some of my peers, so if I ever need to be typing something, I can maintain my steely stare directly at the camera.

Metaphorically, it’s my way of standing up to all the bullshit that’s constantly flung in my direction, and I will do my very best to not let it get to me and ruin my confidence as a worker.  But really, I just hope it makes people uncomfortable being stared at so directly.

Is giving out of spite better than giving out of goodness?

I know it’s a rhetorical question, and when the day is over, giving is giving, and in lots of cases, the end objective is still good and true, but I ask it mostly because I question the royal people, that are doing such.

When Rush Limbaugh died, the very first words that formulated in my brain were simply “who cares?” because I thought he was a piece of shit in the first place, so it’s not skin off my back to hear when a piece of shit like him kicks the bucket.  In fact, good riddance, the world doesn’t need such hate spreading cretins in the world in it anyway.  I had really hoped the day he died would be the last day that I would hear his name, but because the internet is always in pursuit of the next great meme, that wouldn’t be happening any time soon.

Some dude on the internet started a movement where, at the time I’m writing this, has surpassed over $1 million dollars raised for Planned Parenthood; in honor of Rush Limbaugh, the piece of shit who had gone on record countless times bemoaning their existence, and going out of his way to be contrarian in every regard to the idea of it.

When the day is over, it’s really fantastic that Planned Parenthood is getting his massive donation, regardless of the ironic, meme of an impetus that served to provide it.  Surely those who actually liked Rush are probably aggravated that their hero’s name is being besmirched in such a manner, but therein lies the objective of a good troll-y meme, to put the haters in a position where they can really do nothing about it.

But one of the first thoughts that came into my mind was that yes, the donations and the end objective are good and true sure, but why did it have to take a joke to get people to open up their wallets and donate in the first place?  Why does generosity have to have a conditional opponent, or detractor?  Why does it require the expense of someone else, in order to get people to want to do a good thing?  Sure, that someone is already dead, but not that it really would have mattered if this happened when he was alive either, but the point is, this is a prime example of people being eager to give out of spite, as opposed to giving out of goodness.

It kind of reminds me of when Rick & Morty caused such a stir about McDonald’s Szechuan sauce, that McD’s actually brought out the sauce in limited releases, and the ensuing response to them were people showing up to McDonald’s across the nation in droves, trying to be the lucky people to actually acquire some.  There were stories of people flipping individual sauce packets for thousands of dollars, and even one story where a guy traded a car for a sauce packet (too lazy to cross-check).

There was a meme that came from that whole movement, where the “joke” was Rick & Morty’s second favorite sauce was universal healthcare, to see if the apathetic flocks that got up in arms to basically force McDonalds to release Szechuan sauce might actually mobilize and try to get this country to make a difference.  Naturally, nothing but a few sad laughs came from it, but the observation was mostly the same vein: why are people so passionate about spiting others or getting worked up over inconsequential things, when there’s clearly strength in numbers and people in large quantities can make a difference, regardless of the motive?

I digress though, because it was a rhetorical question in which I know there is no right or wrong answer, and I’m frankly running out of gas in regard to this topic because of such.  As I stated already, it’s fantastic that Planned Parenthood is getting such monumental support, because it is an organization that I do personally support.  I just personally wish that people were more willing to regularly donate to and support them out of the kindness of their hearts, and not require a joke at some dead shithead’s expense in order for them to open their wallets.

Of course there’s a BTE Championship blet

It’s funny: despite Cody Rhodes’ insistence that he doesn’t believe in mid-card titles, he sure helps run a fed that seems to be utilizing a whole lot of mid-card titles.  Like most wrestling federations, AEW has a world champion, tag team champions, as well as a women’s champion.

But in addition to the trademark blets, AEW also has a TNT championship which I’m still not entirely sure of the logic behind it but is somehow more regarded to than the world championship.  Despite the fact that it doesn’t really count for anything, Brian Cage is running around wearing Taz’s old FTW championship blet from ECW, and despite the fact that they keep saying it’s not recognized by AEW, everyone knows it’s only a matter of time before it’s going to trade hands and suddenly become a thing.  Because Billy Corgan sucks and has basically killed the NWA, Serena Deeb is representing and defending the NWA women’s championship on AEW, and by virtue of regularly appearing and performing, has surpassed their own women’s championship, much like the TNT blet.

More recently, because AEW has interestingly enough opened the doors to collaborations with other feds, TNA Impact’s tag team champions, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows have been usurping screen time on AEW programming to promote Impact shows.  And even more recently, KENTA from New Japan Pro Wrestling has shown up to advance his feud with Jon Moxley over the IWGP United States Championship, which has yet to physically show up on AEW, but has been referenced as the justification for KENTA’s run-in.

And although it’s not a blet, let’s not forget the AEW Dynamite Diamond ring that is a low-key title, twice held by MJF, and has won by virtue of a battle royale, that everyone is desperate to win.

Oh yeah, Kenny Omega is also Mexico’s AAA champion, and has brought that belt onto Dynamite, to antagonize Rey Fenix, the man he defeated to win it. 

So, for those keeping count, outside of the traditional standard championships in AEW, there are six seven titles-not-midcard-titles floating around in the AEW atmosphere right now.

For those who like to criticize the WWE universe for having too many blets, at least there are some fairly defined lines and separation between the jurisdictions of them, and six different weekly shows in which they are circulating between, and not one weekly show, and one YouTube show.

But speaking of YouTube, add one more blet to the mix of AEW-related championships, because of course there had to have been a BTE World Championship blet added into existence, because nothing is more epitomizing of the importance of BTE than giving it its own championship belt.

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