Dad Brog (#120): Hey look it’s me

I never thought I’d ever see such an accurate representation of me in a book, but considering the fact that there’s basically no such thing of a parenting story where there aren’t thousands of other parents who can’t relate, I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised.  Frankly, I’m rather tickled at the notion that this picture is basically me to a tee, seeing as how it’s clearly an Asian dad with two daughters that surreptitiously look to be if anything at all, a similar gap in age as my own daughters.

Not that I want all my dad brogs to be nothing but giant written bitch-fests about the plight of my life as a dad, it’s safest to assume that when there is no news, it’s probably in an adequate state to where I don’t want to jump off a cliff.  I know that that’s not necessarily the best approach to when it comes to writing about my life as dad, but when things aren’t so bleak, then my mind is usually free to write about other things, like sports, wrestling or commentary about design or the bullshit of Atlanta.

Really though, things as a parent have been pretty steady.  Then again, I’m unfortunately in the office four days a week now, which really cuts in my ability to actually spend time with my children, but as the days go, I’m still the one waking up at 7 am every morning, every single day, week day or weekend, to make sure that breakfast is ready for the girls, and I get a little bit of time with them every morning before I go to the office, and by the time I get home, I have maybe an hour to 90 minutes of time before it’s bath and bed time.

On the same token, the kids are enrolled in pre-K and dance classes, which takes a tremendous toll on my family’s finances, but boredom is the penultimate enemy of toddlers, and I do like the idea that my kids have extracurriculars to explore and participate in, as opposed to being at home where they’re more likely to get bored and cranky as a result of boredom.

#1, aside from irrational meltdowns over the silliest shit, is pretty easy going as far as three-year olds come, and I’m proud of her daily growth and her demonstrative patience she shows for her little sister, and instead of resorting to biting and shoving first, she’s shown the ability to try and verbally attempt to discourage instead of going straight to physical action.

#2, however, as the story of my life goes, has been the more challenging child, and I have to often be reminded of how different my kids are and how normal that is, and to not compare apples to apples.  But with her, we’re dealing with a seemingly deliberate rebellion to potty training, and almost daily, we’re dealing with peeing and occasional pant-shitting, because she just won’t verbalize when she needs to go to the bathroom.

Sometimes it seems deliberate, and it really could be just that, but there was a period when she first began potty training that it seemed like she was a natural, solely because she had a big sister whom she watched and emulated, but over the last few weeks, there are times in which it seems like she is peeing or pooping outside of the potty, almost in an act of defiance, or jealousy to attention being given to her sister.

Furthermore, we’re dealing with a lot of picky eating habits with #2 lately, where there are times in which she just doesn’t eat.  I know I’m dealing with a toddler here, but wasting food drives me bonkers, and it’s hard to not take it personally considering I’m basically the only one who cooks in my household, and when my kids or honestly anyone I cook for, doesn’t at least appreciate the effort I put in for them, it really is disheartening.

I’m hoping in time all of these not-quite savory behaviors will correct themselves sooner rather than later, as both are rather important, but all things considered, the overall picture of my life as a parent right now, compared to where it was like a year ago is still glowing comparatively.  It’s like we’ve long passed the threshold where my first kid was basically being repeated with a second child, and we’re in a stage of life where #1 is experiencing new things on a regular basis and we as parents can see it through their eyes as well, and #2 has marched into territory in life where she’s as old as her sister was when she came into the world, and I have a really hard time believing that my kids are 3 and 2 respectively

Ted Lasso: maybe the best show since Parks & Rec

I actually had intended on writing this post almost a week earlier, but as usual life gets in the way, my kids come first, and the thing is that this is the kind of post where I didn’t want to phone in any part of it, and really wanted to be in a good clear headspace when writing it, because I really, really enjoyed the show so much, that I wanted to make sure that my writing about it would do it the justice I think the show deserves.

Over the last few years, I knew about the existence of Ted Lasso.  All I knew was that it was about an American going over to England to coach soccer, but that was about all I knew about it; I figured with a premise like that it had to be comedy, but I didn’t know that Ted Lasso himself was a charming good ‘ol boy from Kansas, I didn’t know Roy Kent used F-bombs in every single sentence he spoke, and I didn’t even know of the existences of Beard or Rebecca or Nate.  It wasn’t until really this past year did I begin to notice more of my friends and acquaintances on social media talking about it, and I figured that a show that’s about sports that seems to be winning over a lot of people I know that really couldn’t give two shits about sports, there must be something extra quality about this show that I should probably check out sometime.

And a few weeks ago, that time came, and despite my general hesitation to dive into any show that exceeds a season or is in an episodic format, I took the plunge and I began watching Ted Lasso.  By the end of the first episode, I understood that I was making a good choice, and by the end of the third episode and my first evening of watching, I understood what I had been missing, and that this was very much the show that I really needed to be watching in this current juncture of my life.

I’m going to try and not spoil anything about the show because it’s something that I really do recommend everyone watching if they have any at all similar interests in television and movies as I do, but the takeaway I have for the show as a whole is that it’s a show that can really be summed up in the fact that it has a big beating heart, is genuinely uplifting, and as I’ve come to realize in my taste for shows, has an optimistic journey that doesn’t ever get cynical without a purpose.

The characters from Ted, Rebecca, Beard, Nate, to all of the players like Roy, Jamie and Sam are all wonderfully written, are given strengths and flaws, given fairly linear and not overly complex story arcs, which might make some of the storytelling basic and predictable, but it’s like it has such a firm strong grasp of fundamental storytelling, acting performance and strong directing, that everything plays out so positively well regardless. 

I felt as a viewer, I’m introduced and encouraged to care about everyone in the show, which I think is the point considering Ted’s character is just that, the guy who cares about everyone and everything, and I feel so much of myself in his character, as the guy that cares so much about the people around him while giving so little back to himself, that it’s impossible to not fall for the charm of his eternal optimist persona, even if he sounds like Yankee Doodle or the hillbilly wanker or whatever pejorative the citizens of Richmond Green heap onto him upon his arrival in England.

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This is why I don’t go to Braves games

The last time I went to a Braves game was in 2021.  The Yankees were visiting, and since mythical wife and her mother are both Yankee fans, an opportunity arose for the wifey and myself to go to a game.  I had tremendous apprehension being in such a gargantuan crowd in 2021, and the Yankees draw like gangbusters no matter where they go, but we still went, and unsurprisingly, the Braves lost.

Sure, they went on to win the World Series later in the season, but in the one and only game that I went to, the Braves would do what I’m conditioned to seeing them do whenever I see them in person: lose.

As part of trying to allow our au pair to try things out and experience the little things that makes ‘Murica America, I took her to a baseball game; regardless of if you’re a sports fan or not, the American pastime is something that should be experienced at least once.  Frankly, it wasn’t my idea since despite my distance from baseball fandom, I still want to see the Braves succeed and win baseball games, but mythical wife went ahead and bought tickets and insisted we go.

Considering the fact that the Braves were 90-game winners hosting the 60-win St. Louis Cardinals, it seemed like a good bet that the Braves might have some success on this game.  It was compounded by the fact that upon getting to the ballpark, seeing Spencer Strider starting the game, who is a legitimate candidate to win the NL Cy Young this year.  And of course, there’s Ronald Acuña, Jr. who is a very strong candidate to win the NL MVP this year, there was plenty of reason to be optimistic that maybe, just maybe, the Braves could deliver a win for my au pair to witness.

Naturally, in spite of the monumental favoring of the Braves, they would completely shit the bed and roll over and die, losing an abysmal contest 11-6, where the final score hardly tells the story of just how bad of a game it was for the Braves.

Spencer Strider would basically have his worst start of the season, pitching only 2.2 innings, while allowing six runs on six hits, with one of them being a titanic home run that happened before we even got to our seats, meaning it was 2-0 by the time we sat down.  He couldn’t find the strike zone, and for a guy whom Atlanta grew accustomed to seeing striking out 8-10 guys every start, it’s a miracle he even struck out five.

Ronald Acuña, Jr., despite being the likely MVP of the league was just as bad on this night, going hitless until the ninth inning where he finally connected on a meaningless single when the score was already 11-6.  He flew out, ground out, struck out and completing what I like to call the cycle of suck, ground into a double play with runners on base, effectively killing the one rally the team scraped together.  Him and Ozzie Albies were completely ineffective on the entire night, and it was quite surreal seeing the two of them basically being the rally killers, for whenever the team got going, they’d be the ones to snuff out any and all momentum built up by the others in the lineup.

Needless to say, when we bounced early in the seventh, it was quite humorous that no sooner did my feet touch the ground outside the gates is when Austin Riley connected on a home run, but by then, it was already too late.  I’d been to enough baseball games in my life to know the rhythm of a game like this was pointing towards an L.  It kind of sucks that the Braves would flop so badly in my au pair’s first ever experience at a baseball game, but it was still a pleasant time where she got to see the sights, eat ballpark trash food, and she did get to see a bunch of homeruns; even if the majority of them were hit by the opposing team.

All the same, this is why I don’t go to Braves games anymore, because now the Braves have lost three in a row, run the risk of getting swept by the strangely woeful Cardinals, and probably begin a September swoon which will lead to their inevitable yearly NLDS collapse, because baby luck is long past gone now, and regardless of how many regular season games and division championships they win, it’s about time for the Braves to stick to the status quo and remain being the Braves.


Made in Korea: it’s discovered that talent in the Korean Basketball League have developed a system of converting high percentages of free throws across the league – the bank shot

Let me tell y’all just how much I love this story.  Most of my zero readers probably know just how much of a fan of Tim Duncan I was, with a large part of it being his reliance on the bank shot, so it should come as absolutely no surprise that this story gets me pumped up like nothing else, more so because it’s coming out of Korea.

Frankly, the only reason why bank shots are not utilized more in the most popular variants of basketball in Europe and America is simply the fact that “it’s not pretty” and is universally accepted as such, as if using the glass makes a basket count for less points.  A three-pointer is still worth three points whether it’s a high-arcing rainbow swish or a flat, zero spin clunk-clunk off of the glass.

But honestly this isn’t something that should be any surprise, because whether it’s a corner jumper from the wing, or from the free throw line, bank shots are designed to be high-percentage by utilizing geometry and physics to optimally a basketball through a hoop as safely and optimally as possible. 

Korea is obviously no powerhouse when it comes to the sport of basketball globally, but regardless, every Korean boy grows up thinking he can hoop and make it to the NBA.  Despite my dumpy prepubescent stature before hit my teenage years, there was no sport I loved more than basketball and I’m confident to say that I had a pretty decent jumper throughout the years in which I played a lot, but the point is basketball is still a distant runner-up when compared to the presence of baseball, soccer and even esports nationally.

That being said, with such low-presence, good for the Koreans for putting aside silly biases like the need to be aesthetic in exchange for improved efficiency and higher accuracy when it comes to shooting free throws.  And I love that they’ve found so much success with banking home a ton of free throws to the point where it’s gotten global attention, and opening up for discussion the validity of the technique, which of course, is best summed up with, why the fuck NOT consider the possibility of having struggling shooters try the bank out, especially if what they’re doing isn’t working?

I’ve touched on it before, but Shaq could have easily, easily eclipsed the vaunted 30,000 point milestone, had he been even just 5% better at shooting free throws in his career.  Here’s a guy that most definitely should have tried the glass at some point in his career, instead of chunking up the bricks that only went into the hoop at a career 54%.

And even LeBron James, as good as he, he’s still a career 73% free throw shooter; had he been able to reach even the 80% clip that both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant both exceeded, he would’ve passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record nearly two seasons sooner.

I don’t disagree, bank shots aren’t pretty.  They’re ugly to watch, the clunk-clunk sound they make is goofy, and the way they explode the net and hang for a second before they fall through is unsightly.  Who doesn’t love the nice wet swish of a perfect shot, or when a Steph Curry bomb just pings the bottom of the back of the rim and barely moves the net at all?

I most certainly do, but there is one thing that I like more – scoring a lot of points.  And if an aversion to the glass solely because it’s just not as pretty is the only thing that stops me from scoring MJ points and keeps me in Jeff Hornacek scoring territory, I’m going to the bank seven days a week.

Like in so many walks of life, y’all can learn a lot from Korea.  It’s a culture obsessed with identifying ways to be more efficient, and it should come as zero surprise that they found and are exploiting a massive efficiency in the game of basketball, simply by sacrificing aesthetics for accuracy.  Because especially now and until the end of time, I don’t think there’s going to ever be another Mark Price who had both, the sweet shot and the deadeye accuracy at the stripe, so may as well start getting good at using the glass if we want to start evolving the game.

Orange Cassidy: giving credit where it’s due

OFC when I actually get the opportunity to write this post, it just so happens to be right after Orange Cassidy finally lost the AEW Intercontinental All-Atlantic International championship after 31 previously successful title defenses.

But it doesn’t matter; all the same, despite the fact of how critical I am of AEW, I still wanted to make this post to give credit to where it’s due, to Orange Cassidy, whom in my opinion, has probably just concluded the greatest championship reign in the promotion’s short history.  Better than Cody’s TNT title run, better than Mox’s first AEW World title run and most definitely better than Jade Cargill’s TBS title run.

Over the last 11 months, Orange Cassidy successfully defended the International championship 31 times after winning it from PAC last October, which is a pretty unprecedented run, especially in today’s day and age of the industry where championships are either seldom defended, or passed around like a hot potato. 

Sure, it might seem silly to applaud the results of a scripted industry, but the fact of the matter is that in spite of the predetermined outcomes, the dancing still has to take place, and over the span of the last year, OC has participated in 30+ high-output matches which over time is a colossal physical workload, that he’s endured and thrived through, bringing the stock of the AEW International championship to quite frankly, the heights of a 1B tier, right behind the World championship.

Admittedly, I wasn’t really that big of a fan of OC, as I thought his whole schtick was too juvenile and apropos to the kid fans of today, but it dawned on me that that’s just exactly what he is.  He’s a guy meant to appeal to the younger audience, the guy that can capture the imaginations of the 17-and younger audience, as well as the younger rung of the vaunted 18-35 male demographic that AEW loves to tout being the kings of.  And the last time I checked, I’m firmly outside of both demographics, so OC is not a guy that’s meant for me no matter how his character is booked.

But work is work, and I have tremendous respect for a guy who can go 11 straight months and performing at the pace in which he does, and who has clearly been working through a lot of aches and pains throughout that stretch, as the amount of RockTape™ on his body seemed to increase every single month.

And 31 title defenses doesn’t account for the times he was involved in programs with Best Friends or with other stable vs. stable feuds in between his singles bouts, which only adds to the workload that was heaped upon him over the last year.  Again, the outcomes might be predetermined, but there’s an expectation of performance in AEW for title bouts, and OC has done a tremendous amount of work over the last year, and it goes without saying that the guy deserves a boatload of credit, recognition and acknowledgment of the effort he’s put in.

In a way, it’s almost a relief that he finally dropped the blet, although I’m perplexed to why it’s going to Jon Moxley who needs a mid-card title win as much as some rich guy needing another million bucks, but I really hope that OC gets to take some time off soon in order to rest his body, because I’ve grown to respect the worker, and I’d like for him to get back to an optimal condition to where he can get back into the game and keep pleasing fans and earning respect from olds like me.

But for what it’s worth, I just wanted to tip my e-cap to Orange Cassidy, for basically being the MVP of AEW over the last year, because as all fans of the WWE Intercontinental championship know, that 1B title is the workhorse blet, and they’re the guys that really shoulder a substantial load that satisfies the wrestling fans, even if they’re not involved in the World title storylines.

The joys of running on the Silver Comet Trail not

The above image encapsulates exactly what it’s like to run on the Silver Comet trail, which is a super awesome run/bike trail here in the Metro Atlanta area that basically stretches from the outskirts of the city and supposedly connects all the way west, to almost the Alabama state line.  It’s a great trail for people of all skill and experience levels, because it has so many points of access, people can use it for leisurely walks, lengthy excursions or just to train or casually exercise on.

I’ve always used it as a place to train up for long runs, as well as my preferred location to do any of the longer, numerous virtual runs that I always sign up for in order to add to my running medal collection, and it really is a wonderful trail because it’s fairly flat, completely shaded by trees which helps in even the hottest of summers, and there are multiple break points for people to rest, get water and take bathroom breaks if needed.

However, my only real criticism of the Silver Comet trail, isn’t something that can really be controlled, and is actually something that I’ve gripe-brogged about in the past, which is all the fucking bicyclists on the trail who think they own the entire thing, and go around flying down the path at 30+ mph, screaming ON YOUR LEFT all the time as if they were getting paid a quarter every time they had to wail it out.

Seriously, thanks to the Silver Comet, I fucking hate bicyclists, more than the times when I used to have to traverse around the city and had to share the roads with all the hipsters on their fixed gears clogging up lanes.  And to be more specific it’s not all bicyclists, and it’s not even the mega-tryhards that act like they’re participating in the Tour de France with their matching uniforms and barely existent thin-ass aluminum bicycles.

It’s the weekender bicyclists who think they’re on Lance Armstrong’s level when he was roided up to the gills, who are usually by themselves or with 1-2 other douchebag weekenders, who get on the trail and act like the whole thing belongs to them.  They’re the ones who are incessantly screaming ON YOUR LEFT to everyone as if they’re taxicabs in F-Zero, strategically placed just to ruin their day when they’re the ones in fact ruining everyone else’s day by being entitled assholes, hogging the entire trail for themselves and screaming at everyone.

Like, real pro-tryhard bicyclists for one, travel in large packs, but also have been doing what they do long enough to understand that all other travelers on the trail are not stupid, blind or deaf, all at the same time, and don’t hardly ever spam ON YOUR LEFT, unless they have a reason, like some dumbass who’s swerving along the trail.  The weekenders scream at everyone as if it’s their problem that they haven’t noticed that the people in front of them 100 yards away have maintained their lines and paces, and need to be reminded to watch out for them, while they travel at speeds, which in a car would definitely kill a pedestrian, but on a bicycle could be pretty lethal too.

For real though, weekender bicyclists are the god damn worst.  Nothing pockmarks a good run session than any time some bicycle douche screams ON YOUR LEFT and whizzes past me way too close to comfort when I’m already running on the edge of the trail, because it’s slightly flatter than the slight slope which is meant to control water on the surface from pooling aboard.  It’s like these cocksuckers all think I actually can pull over to the right any more than I already am at to convenience them, and they’re really lucky I just don’t stick my arm out and start clotheslining from hell every shithead who thinks they’re going to win the Tour de Douchebag.

I’d say as much as I loved being able to get back out onto the Silver Comet for the first time in nearly three years over the Labor Day weekend, that the weekend bicycle douchefucks were the worst thing about my run, it actually turns out that my 10K time crept over the 60-minute mark that I so fervently try to stay underneath.  At 61:14, I’m glad I was able to complete a 10K without any difficult laboring, but I’m pretty dissatisfied that it took me over an hour to accomplish.  I can’t use a lack of training as an excuse this time, considering I’ve been fairly consistent with my maintenance running over the last year, so I guess this is just a sign of age starting to catch up with me, and that I have to make some actual changes if I want to get my speed back up.

God Bless Rednecks, Sometimes part 2

Nope, the following picture is not a photoshop or a sports meme gone awry.  General Booty’s legal name is actually, General Booty.  There is a man living in the United States who’s birth certificate is legitimately General Booty.  General Axel Booty, and not an actual military rank.

I really hope this becomes more of a thing in coming years, because fewer things are more smugly amusing than hearing about rednecks from Texas who have ridiculous names like General Booty or Bumper Pool, whom to their credit of overcoming the criticism that silly names tend to degrade at, manage to get good enough at football to where they can actually try to make a future out of it.

Because I was quite tickled pink six years ago when I found out about Bumper Pool, and I’m quite amused to find out that there’s an actual possible starting quarterback for fucking Oklahoma, named General Booty.  I mean we’re talking about possibly being a successor to guys like Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts and Spencer Rattler.  General Booty has the opportunity to get his name into the annals of Oklahoma football, and not just because his name is General Booty, although I think he’s already on his way there, regardless of if he ends up as QB1, 2 or even 3.

Regardless of his chances, let’s just do a little mini-dive into this guy named General Booty, and how the hell he came to fruition:

To no surprise, his father is a former player himself, having played at LSU as a wide receiver.  I say no surprise, because it’s the meathead jock type like a guy who played at LSU whom would be so fixated on the military rank of General to where he vowed to name his son by a rank should he have one, and by god did he ever, and therefore we have a legitimate person named General Booty.

Aside from his dumbass dad, it turns out that General Booty is actually related to former USC quarterback John David Booty, who actually made it to the NFL, even if he didn’t last that long in the show, but it goes to show that there’s clearly football in the genetics of the ol’ Booty lineage.

If I’m a betting man, it doesn’t seem likely that he’s going to be QB1 for the Sooners, seeing as how fifth-year senior Dillon Gabriel seems to be the more likely candidate to start, but stranger things have happened in sport.  I imagine that with the awareness of General Booty spreads, he’ll have a Brian Scalabrine-like cult following in the world of sports fandom, and any time he steps onto the field, people will be snickering and chuckling over his name, and by proxy, probably cheer everything he does, just so that they can talk about and spread the word about a guy named General Booty.