It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway

photo courtesy: Matt Altmix

As excited as I am to have my brog back up and running, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about how absolutely none of this happens if not for my brother.  For pretty much as long as I’ve known him, he’s been the rock in which my internet presence has always existed upon, and he’s literally hosted almost every iteration of my site(s) going on three decades now.

Back in like 2000, before my original webhost expired, he volunteered to host a mirror of my original site.  Eventually the subscription lapsed, and then the mirror became the primary.  As a joke, he purchased the domain to also point to my site, but then because I was poor and stupid, I let my domain lapse, get cybersquatted by eBay, and then became my primary domain.  Eventually, I would register, which for those of you who don’t know, stands for TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN because when it comes to actual blogging, I firmly believe that is what I am, and it would become the domain I’ve had since, and my brother hosted it the entire time, all the way from when it was a catch-all site for a lot of all my internet bullshit, to when in 2010, I switched it to a WordPress, because I realized that the brogging was really the only thing I actually cared about.

It was a sad few years when the brog went down, because life gets in the way, and he had moved from North Carolina to Louisiana and then finally to Bratislava, and naturally, servers need to physically move as well.  And he had things going on in his life, as I had things going on in mine, as does everyone, so getting the site back up definitely sat on the back burner for all of us.

But with my daughter on the way and eventually having arrived, I always felt that I wanted to have my brog back up, because one, it was a logical and desired project for me to work on while I was out on paternity leave, but two, given the fact that I’ve definitely got plenty to say about being a new dad, and raising a baby in the midst of a pandemic, I really wanted to have an outlet in which I could actually share my thoughts, emotions and experiences to anyone who might want to stumble across and find my blatherings one day, if not my daughter herself, hopefully when she’s like 23, grown-up and capable of understanding and comprehending the words I’ve slapped onto the internet.  I mean, I’ve been brogging for 20 years now, who’s to say I won’t be doing it when she’s that old?

And as he always does, my brother came through, and took the time to dust off all my old shit, put it back up online, and put me into a position to where I could resurrect the brog.  I could’ve just picked back up from where I last left off, but I figured now was as good of time as any to try and at least remain somewhat in the present in terms of platform, and almost all of my free time over the last three months have been spent working away at this task, which brings us back to today.

I love him more than Floridians love Publix chicken tender subs, Philadelphians love Wawa, and more than he loves Bojangles.  And I want him, and all of my zero readers to know that, that I treasure his brotherhood, friendship and companionship, and that I thank him every single day for being the brother I never had, and hosting my decades of internet nonsense that really doesn’t mean anything to anyone except for me.

Shad for father of the year

This story breaks my heart.  Shad Gaspard, former WWE performer, has gone missing after being swept out to sea by a rip current in Venice Beach.  The last thing he did was to instruct rescuers to get his 10-year old son first, before a wave crashed down on him and submerged him.  His son was successfully rescued, but at this point Gaspard has been missing for over 24 hours.

I hate writing it out, but after this much time, the outlook does not look positive.  Open water is about as frightening as being lost in the woods, but at least in the woods, it’s entirely possible to remain stationary and hope someone can find out; out in the ocean is like trying to hit a moving target.  We can all hope for the best, until something definitive emerges.

It’s ironic, because while in the WWE, Gaspard was in a criminal tag team called Cryme Tyme, which was even for the standards back then, tasteless and racist, but being the pros that he and JTG were, made it work, and got over with the fans.  They never achieved any notable success, because the team simply wasn’t really given a chance to achieve any success, but they can at least take credit for being entertaining whenever they were on screen.

Eventually, they were bid best wishes on their future endeavors (read: WWE speak for fired), but the two remained active on the independent scene.  One of the more notable stories to emerge post-WWE was when Cryme Tyme actively prevented actual crime time, when in Orlando, Gaspard himself foiled a robbery attempt by beating the shit out of a would-be gunman at a gas station, and detaining him in a chokehold until the police arrived.

But the thing is, in spite of their tasteless WWE personas, Gaspard was anything but the degenerate thug he was portrayed to be and it turns out that he was some pretty heroic father of the year material, ultimately.  My heart breaks hearing this story, and can only wish for miracles for Gaspard’s wife and son.

This only makes me respect Costco more than I already do

TL;DR – Costco makes it mandatory for all patrons to be wearing masks in order to enter their warehouses

I hold Costco in pretty high regard, generally.  I admire and respect their general business practices, and I appreciate that they take such great care of their employees to where they have outstanding retention numbers, and so much of their own profits simply come from employees who recirculate their own earnings back into the company; who would’ve thought paying your workers adequately would result in profit growth??

However, I haven’t been to a Costco in several months now, much to the dismay of the Costco Visa card I recently acquired along with my membership, to where I can’t capitalize on the yearly cashback, because I’m barely using it anymore.  Plus, I miss the hell out of their cheap food court.  But because of the rise of coronavirus, Costcos have become some of the most contentious battlegrounds as far as people trying to get general food and supplies, and frankly I’d rather not deal with the aggravation of trying to maneuver through their parking lots and deal with lines to get in, much less get out.

Plus, the last time I was there, it was really early stages of the pandemic hoarding mentality, so there was absolutely no bottled water left, and they were probably out of toilet paper then too.

Anyway, I’ve enjoyed from afar the little things that Costco has done here and there since the start of all this bullshit.  And as much as I love their new no-refund policy on things like toilet paper, bottled water and other sundries that shitheads hoard and try to resell at gauged prices, in order to fuck hoarders over, when the day is over, I have to give the most kudos to the company for implementing a mandatory masks rule.

Mostly because there are so many idiots out there who have become all triggered and ragey over being told they have to wear masks that they’re going out on the internet to try and publicly shame Costco into infringing on their freedom with the masks rule, all while people with brains watching quietly on the side are all silently thinking what I’m thinking: good!

I’m ecstatic knowing that a place that I respect as a business is only going to become better, knowing that when I eventually do go back to a Costco, I can at least know that the fat of stupidity will have been trimmed somewhat; naturally, in spite of all the shitheads that claim they’ll never shop there anymore, we all know that that’s not actually going to happen, because almost nobody on the internet can back their internet words up with real-world actions, plus even idiots love Costco pizza and $1.88 hotdog and drink combo too.

But even if this rule makes one out of a hundred ignorant shitheads stay away from Costco, that’s still a win enough for me.  And given where I live, there’s a strong possibility that several of those ones might be staying away from the Costcos that I would be going to. 👍🏿

Probably a little forced, but I’ll take it

On the night of the Oscars, I didn’t bother watching any of it, despite the fact that I probably would’ve been happy enough to see Parasite clean up the awards for Best original screenplay, director and international film.  But there was no way I figured it was actually going to win Best Picture, because Hollywood is Hollywhite, and I would have bet money that the award was going to go to like The Irishman or Marriage Story instead.

So color me surprised, when settling into bed, I looked at my phone to look at the news before turning in, and seeing that Parasite actually did the improbable, and won Best Picture.

Suck it, whitey.

However, after the initial pleasure of Parasite’s victory wound down, I naturally began thinking skeptically about the whole thing, and wondered what agenda there could be to awarding the most prestigious award in film to Parasite.  Naturally, the number one agenda is Hollywood taking a stab at trying to debunk the notion that they’re Hollywhite, and actually giving a major award to some colored folks; among the film industries in non-white cultures, Korea and India stand out, so perhaps giving the nod to a Korean film is the lesser of available evils, since us Orientals are widely accepted in white people-land while Indians are kind of brown and white people hate brown people.

Passive-ironically, I like to believe Hollywhite is tired of all the endless bitching from critics, pundits and SJWs about how white-washey they are, so they’re conducting something of a social experiment where they finally gave Best Picture to a foreign film, to see if the talking heads will shut the fuck up.  The ball is kind of in the court of the talking heads to see if they’ll now bitch about there not being enough black representation, or transgendered performers or any other maligned demographic, but then the narrative becomes that the masses just want something to complain about, but white-washing can’t necessarily be one of those things anymore. 

Continue reading “Probably a little forced, but I’ll take it”

I love everything about Andrew Luck’s retirement

With the start of the 2019-2020 NFL season mere weeks away, the big news to come off the gridiron was the seemingly abrupt and out-of-nowhere announcement by Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, that he was retiring from football.

At a still young 29, this comes as a shock to many, as lots of star quarterbacks are typically capable of playing well into their late-30s, and you look at Tom Brady whom at age 42 is coming off of his sixth Super Bowl, and it seems to believe that Luck is walking away way early.  Obviously, he has his own reasons for making this decision, but the reactions have definitely varied throughout the world of sports fandom.

Obviously, there are lots of enraged fans, mostly out of Indianapolis and/or are fervent fantasy football players, at the thought that their franchise quarterback and/or stat printer would have the audacity to abandon ship and leave them in the middle of the ocean.  These people are the ones who are blasting comment sections across the internet to opine how selfish and stupid Luck is, abandoning Indianapolis, the fans, and how stupid he is to be leaving a kabillion dollars on the table by walking away early.

And then there are fans like me, who stand and applaud Andrew Luck for walking away while he still has his head, (most of) his health, and a world of potential ahead of him to mold and shape the rest of his life ahead of him that doesn’t have anything to do with football.  Sure, he’s probably leaving a tremendous amount of money on the table by calling it quits now, but if there’s one thing that’s always been the primary adjective for Andrew Luck is that he’s smart; I think it’s safe to assume that of the nearly $100M he’s earned in his career, not including endorsements, Luck is going to be just fine throughout the remainder of his life financially, and I’d wager he’ll be just fine being a physically mobile and capable millionaire now, instead of being a physically addled, hobbling, brain-mushed multi-millionaire in ten years.

I always love it when professional athletes leave on their own terms, and not being forced into retirement by injury or old age.  Especially ones like Andrew Luck who obviously have a lot left in the tank, but just don’t feel like putting their bodies on the line in order to bilk more money out of a machine that they’ve already gotten more than enough out of in the first place.  Even if it means the teams they depart are left high and dry, it’s still admirable to me when a guy realizes that not everything is sports and money and has goals and ambitions outside of sports, and makes the bold decision to pursue them instead of letting themselves wreck their bodies in pursuit of what may never come.

Continue reading “I love everything about Andrew Luck’s retirement”

Life as a married man, brog post #1

photo courtesy Matt Altmix

Let this be the first time I put in writing that I am now an officially married man, and this is the first time that I’ve had the time to sit down and write since both the wedding and the honeymoon.  After planning for both of these things for the better part of the last year, and then actually doing both things, I have to say that it feels kind of like having been on a train for a while and then having to adjust to the speed of walking all over again.  Literally, I’ve spent parts of the last two days sitting there in a dazed stupor, not having any clue of what to do next with, life in general. 

There are certainly things that should get done and need to get done, but I’m having a hard time bringing myself to make the first step in any direction to actually get started on doing anything really just yet.  It’ll all fix itself pretty quickly as daily life and routine begin to settle back down, but for the time being, it’s definitely taking some adjustment on getting back to normal life after finishing up a journey with some finishes in extreme rhythms.

As for the wedding, I have to say that I think the wife and I put on an excellent weekend for our celebration of union.  Trying to be as objective as I can for my own event, but I really genuinely believe that just about everything went so well and smooth, and I really couldn’t have asked for anything else,* as far as how the entire weekend went, from the arrival of friends and family, the rehearsal party to the wedding itself.

*except maybe some actual leftovers from our catering, which was completely obliterated by everyone, regardless of a few no-shows, resulting in nothing left for wifey and I after the wedding, but I guess that’s just another sign of success that we picked a good caterer who put out some irresistible food

I think it started with the location, and getting hitched in downtown Decatur made for a fantastic location for guests to stay where they were right next door to the venue, in an area where there were tons of restaurants and bars to eat and hang at, and a rarity in the Metro Atlanta area, somewhere that was MARTA accessible, meaning people could easily hop aboard the train and actually do tourist things.  Plus, the hotel was brand-spanking new, and the staff was outstanding beyond belief, and there’s little reason to believe the weekend wouldn’t have been as great as it was without them themselves.

Throughout the weekend, fewer things made me happier than seeing friends and family decisively doing their own things, and going out to eat or to the aquarium or the World of Coke, and making the most of their free time.  I took great pleasure and enjoyment in seeing people having a good time in Decatur and Atlanta, and not feeling like they were just humoring us, and like they actually got some time for themselves instead of feeling like they were just here for us.

Continue reading “Life as a married man, brog post #1”

Baseball’s Hall of Fame finally gets it right

In short: Mariano Rivera headlines the 2019 Hall of Fame class, being the first player ever inducted unanimously

Let me first start off by saying that I am ecstatic for Mariano Rivera, in being the first player ever inducted unanimously with 100% of submitted ballots all voting for him.  There is zero debate in history that he is the most clutch pitcher of all time, having something of like a ridiculous 0.70 ERA throughout over nearly 100 postseason games, becoming more and more unhittable as the Yankees advanced in the playoffs every time.

I still remember in 2009, which was the last time that the Yankees won the World Series; against the ridiculously explosive offense of the Phillies, the Yankees time and time again throughout the six-game series went to the bullpen and brought Rivera out for the save.  And in each of the Yankee wins en route to the championship, it was Rivera who slammed the door, allowing no runs and just three hits over 5.1 innings of clutch relief. 

It should be worth noting that this was when Rivera was 39-years old, and people had long already been proclaiming that age was catching up to him, and that he was going to be limping to the finish line.  Instead, he ate the Phillies’ lunch and carried the Yankees back to the top of the mountain, which was again, the last time that the Yankees have been World Series champions.

And it wasn’t even the saves and the innings that Rivera really brought, whenever he took the mound, it was more the fact that he inspired calm and confidence, among fans and his teammates.  And among the opposition, the legend of Rivera’s cut fastball literally rendered generations of hitters with a feeling of defeat and dread of getting to be one of the guys giving up critical outs at the end of a baseball game.  The saying of “he can tell you it’s coming, and there’s nothing you can do about it” rings entirely true with Rivera, because he basically threw nothing but the cutter his whole career, but the numbers speak for themselves; nobody could do anything about it.

I’m not even a Yankees fan, but even I had this feeling of calm and no real fear that the Phillies were going to make a comeback.  And even when the Yankees asked of him to pitch more than an inning at a time, he just continuously delivered, methodically putting Phillies hitters away again and again, until there were no more outs to get.

Continue reading “Baseball’s Hall of Fame finally gets it right”