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BSD Mailbag 7.13.2018

You asked and I answered - the latest summer mailbag for your reading pleasure

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

What is the first movie you remember going to see at the theater? Second question. Who goes on your Mount Rushmore of movie villains? - Gerry Dincher

The first movie I can definitively remember seeing in theaters was the Lion King in 1994. I’m sure I saw movies before then, but that was my first movie memory. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Scar makes my Mount Rushmore of movie villains. Here’s the list:

  1. Scar – The Lion King
  2. Dolores Umbridge – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  3. Joker – The Dark Knight
  4. Gmork – The Neverending Story

Scar was the first movie villain I can recall seeing on the big screen, and his entire aura was straight up evil. Killed his brother, schemed to kill his nephew, usurped the throne, and drove the realm into decrepitude with the help of the only sworn enemies of the kingdom.

Dolores Umbridge just makes me so mad. Using a position of power to subjugate and torture school children, with literally no recourse from superiors, enrages me to no end.

As much as I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Dark Knight is still my favorite superhero movie, and Heath Ledger’s Joker is a big part of that. Smart, psychotic, and without any true ambitions, beyond wanting to torment Batman. A true wildcard villain, who would as soon kill you as look at you. Creepy to no end.

Gmork was the scariest thing to ever be in any movie ever. Nightmares for years because of this face.

Corollary to the above question: first movie Mom and Dad let you and/or you and your crew go watch without parental supervision. - NittanyPUMA

I remember the summer before high school, I wanted to see Gladiator with my friends, and got shot down because it was rated R. Then I asked if I could see the Patriot, also rated R, also no. Finally got the go ahead to see Mission: Impossible 2, a paltry PG-13, and was really disappointed. Turns out, it’s actually my second favorite film of the franchise, after the original. The soundtrack is so good, and the motorcycle duel is movie magic.

”Success with Honor” Is it still possible to compete at the highest levels of football in today’s competitive environment, while achieving the highest levels of academic success? The impression I get (no data to support it) is that some top football programs have really given up on the academics. And with the top athletes we’re recruiting, the expectation is that they will stay three years and move to the NFL. - 48-14

I don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible. Franklin has said repeatedly that he wants his athletes to graduate in 3 years. That way they can head to the NFL with their degree in hand, or stick around and work on a master’s degree. There may be schools out there that spurn academics for athletic success, but Franklin knew the environment he was stepping into when he arrived. Penn State fans, for better or for worse, have long held Success with Honor as a badge. It is of utmost importance to the fan base that the players be pillars of the community, as well as successful on the field. Don’t expect that to change under Franklin.

I’m looking to get tickets to the season opener. One of the sites I’m considering only gives me an option to get tickets on my phone. No email or print option since I don’t have a desktop or laptop. Has anyone entered Beaver Stadium this way? - swift_retribution

The smartest thing you can do is download the tickets at home, and then take screenshots of them. That way you don’t have to rely on the spotty cell or WiFi service at the stadium. I haven’t done it with sporting event tickets, but I have done it with airline tickets. Saves you from having to bring paper tickets, which can easily be misplaced or get wet/dirty from tailgating.

Why do all preseason rankings rely so much on returning # of starters? This is extremely misleading and wrong. All these “analysts” should be counting returning production by the # of snaps IMHO! Most of the elite teams (including us) rotate heavily players on both sides of the ball, so that a valuable experience is actually built in the two- and three-deep rosters. In addition, injured starters from last season should be counted as a bonus as well (e.g. Reid in our case). In the current digital era is very simple to process and derive the proper data with several clicks of the mouse. Has anybody done that? In all of the rankings I have seen from mainstream media, the number of returning starters was always utilized. - lamgol

I can’t say that I disagree with you, but I think you may be overselling the ease with which some of this data can be compiled – or the extent to which a desk jockey may be willing to go to determine a preseason top 25. I imagine if I put my mind to it, I could probably have a reasonable value of returning snaps for Penn State within the hour. Now imagine doing that for 128 FBS teams. That’s a lot of man-hours to come up with a silly top 25 estimate. Compare that with the amount of time it would take to determine number of returning starters – 5 minutes? You can see why a more simplistic, easier to compile statistic would be used in place of a more comprehensive one.

What’s the worst show on TV that your family enjoys? I would love to watch an episode of property brothers where both brothers get punched square in the face. I would DVR that and then lock it so it could never be erased. - Dbridi

Me, personally, has to be the Walking Dead. I’ve read the graphic novels, and was SUPER stoked when Negan finally showed up. Then the showrunners proceeded to pile drive the show into oblivion over the last 2 ½ seasons.


In my opinion, this past season should have been its last. End it with Negan defeated, and the communities at peace. Rick has put his wrath behind him and helps run everything as a benevolent leader. Negan has been reformed and is a valuable member of the community. Maggie and Darryl don’t hate Rick for some stupid reason or other. Oh – AND FREAKING CARL IS STILL FREAKING ALIVE.

As for the rest of my household, my wife is a pretty big fan of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, as well as Jersey Shore.

Lastly, how dare you speak ill of the Property Brothers? We duel at dawn, sir!

I’m currently trying to upgrade my wardrobe, or at least begin one that’s more professionally appropriate. Every time I get a new job I tell myself “this will be when I start dressing like an adult”, but within 2-3 weeks I’m back in a t-shirt. I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to begin actually acquiring an adult wardrobe so that when I have client meetings or need to look professional it won’t be a struggle. So with that said, where do I begin? I have a bunch of suits, 1 that’s about a year old and was tailored then. I have a few others that I can still wear, although they don’t fit as well. As far as dress shirts, I have a ton, although they don’t fit that well so I’m thinking of getting some tailored shirts. But I’m trying to figure out where the hell to begin. I don’t really have slacks outside of the suit pants, I’m lacking a casual blazer unless I use one of the suit coats. And practically all of my jeans are boot cut because unsurprisingly I wear boots most of the time. So where do I start to dress like an adult. - Succss With Honor Always

Speaking in generalities, you need the following items:

  • 1 pair of black dress shoes
  • 1 pair of brown dress shoes
  • 1 black belt
  • 1 brown belt
  • 2-3 pairs black socks
  • 2-3 pairs brown socks
  • 1-2 pairs khakis
  • 1-2 pairs gray/black slacks
  • 4-5 polo shirts
  • 4-5 button down shirts

The reason I start at the bottom and work my way upward is so many people think it’s okay to wear black shoes with a brown belt, or vice versa. It’s not.

Now, I recognize that this is a sizable list, and probably an expensive one to get all at once. I’d definitively start with the shoes and belt (personally I always get a reversible belt, saves me from making two purchases), a pair of khakis, and a pair of dark slacks. Then a few easily interchangeable shirt colors, and you already have at least a full week of wardrobe. Just add to it from there. Personally, I save a lot of my shopping for when Kohl’s is offering 30% off, and shop online for maximum savings.

As for jeans, I used to be all about the boot cut. Of course, fashion moved on, and boot cut fell out of style. Not that I need to be stylish all the time, but I don’t want to be 100% identified as a Millennial just because of my jeans. If you’re not into the more modern skinny/extra slim style jeans, the best compromise is the classic straight jean. Works in most scenarios, be they more casual or more business, and helps bridge the fashion gap between boot cut and skinny.

Which is the worst scenario?

a. Self-administering 6 barium enemas in one day

b. Having to include the word [redacted] in each and every writing you do for a year

c. Go on a 3 hour fishing trip with Narduzzi and D’Antonio with no food or booze

d. Waking up the day after consuming an entire box of pink wine

e. Having Ohio State win the Big Ten football and wrestling championship for 10 years straight. - LarzLion

So, none of these things are fun sounding. But I like to think more of long-lasting ramifications. Enemas, using certain verboten words, fishing trips, and hangovers would all suck. But they’d all be fairly fleeting. But if you told me that for the next decade, Penn State’s endeavors on the gridiron and on the mat would be almost entirely in vain? No thank you. Sure, we could still sneak into the playoffs, and still win the national wrestling championship without B1G titles. But it’s that much harder – and very tough psychologically.

Would you rather know the exact moment of your own death or be shown a video of exactly how it will happen - joey.taylor.jt

I’ll go with the video. Part of the reason death is so easily dismissed for most people is that they don’t know when it will happen – they go about their life knowing it will happen someday, but not planning for it to happen at 5:23 PM on a Thursday. Seeing my death would be off-putting for sure, but it could happen in 50 years or 5 minutes. I can still go about my daily business without knowing exactly how much time I have left to live my life.

What is something you’ve given up as you’ve grown older? Your answer could be anything but it came to mind to me this morning while I was in a meeting and offered coffee and declined because I gave up caffeine years ago. Made me like, super wired after about age 35 and even drinking a soda would keep me awake for much longer than i wanted and if i had too much it would make me talk even faster than i talk normally and jittery. So i ditched it. - mbailey71

I still partake on occasion, but I have given up most alcohol. Getting drunk for the sake of getting drunk doesn’t sound like fun. If I’m watching a game and have a couple, sure, that’s fine. Or out to dinner and have a few, you betcha. But the idea that some people need to have a drink or two each and every day just doesn’t sound fun to me, and getting hammered has lost its appeal.

Buying a sedan: what do you recommend?

Case Facts: I’m a big, fat, stupid American. I want to stretch inside a massive interior and float on a figurative cloud whilst rocketing down a dull highway. I’m unconcerned about fuel economy, the environment, or others with whom I share the road. I require ostentatious opulence. This vehicle will not be a daily driver.

Firm Requirements: $40k budget, less than 30k miles, cannot involve either Germans or Elon Musk, must have 4 doors, 4 wheels, and a trunk.

Preferences/biases subject to change: I’m anti-turbo, and prefer more cylinders. I prefer a manual transmission but realize that’s likely an impossibility. Nevertheless, I don’t want to wait around for torque when I need torque. I’ve never leased a car. I’ve never purchased a new car. I have an impact driver and can use a multimeter. I’m skeptical of “crossovers”. Change frightens me. Get off my lawn.

Open to idears / willing to change – but not on zie Germans. - bscaff

There are a few cars I thought to recommend, especially since you said this isn’t a daily driver. Hello Rolls Royce. But the budget really threw me. How to find ostentatious opulence on a budget?

Being the smart, savvy shopper I am, I went on over to autotrader and punched in your relative qualifications. The first car that met all of your needs was a 2018 Chrysler 300 Limited AWD, followed by a 2018 Nissan Maximum Platinum, and then a 2018 Buick Regal GS AWD. No turbos to be found, all with six cylinders. If you want to go the American route, the Buick does include a 9-speed shiftable automatic transmission, which is just about as close to a manual transmission as you’ll find in a land yacht nowadays.