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BSD Mailbag 7.26.2018

The march toward the start of the season, and we’ve got all the answers to your most important questions

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Am I the only one who watches the Tour de France as much for the crashes, as the competition and scenery? - Pasadena’95

Absolutely not. Like any sport, some of the fanfare and to-do around the event are a little overblown, but watching some of the technical aspects of long-distance rides, and the sprints to the finish are fascinating. And France is a beautiful country, with some great imagery.

Watching a bunch of highly trained athletes catapult over their handle bars because of a twig on the road is one of the best thing in sports.

What is your favorite dish to order at an Italian restaurant? Why is it always so difficult to choose between the lasagna or the stromboli? Can you go wrong when ordering at an Italian restaurant? - Gerry Dincher

I’m always down for some fra diavolo, but frankly I hate ordering the same dish at every restaurant I go to. What’s the point of life if you find one thing you like, and only ever order that one thing? Explore! Try new things! What’s the worst that’s going to happen - you dislike it, order a new dish, and you’re out an extra $20?

And I’m much more of a calzone fan than stromboli - especially when the calzone is just filled with mozzarella and ricotta, with a side of marinara to dip. The best. Now, if someone said they only had stromboli, I’d still eat the heck out of it. Like you asked - you can’t go wrong ordering at an Italian restaurant, so give everything a try.

You can replace the cast of any movie with The Muppets, but you keep one of the human actors. What movie and which human do you keep? - mattinglywasking

Well this was a fun exercise. I thought about going with Full Metal Jacket, and keeping Gomer Pyle. Then I thought about going with Full Metal Jacket, but keeping Gunny. Finally, I settled on Forrest Gump, keeping Forrest Gump, with Miss Piggy in the role of Jenny, Kermit as Lt. Dan, and Fozzie as Bubba.

Pretend you go a popular beach town every summer with your in-laws family. Also pretend that your mother-in-law is particular about her space when on the beach, and that it is the family practice to hit the beach first thing in the morning to “set up the perimeter.” In this hypothetical, the perimeter involves a pop-up tent surrounded by chairs and towels. How do you feel about this practice? What size perimeter is acceptable, if any? Is it more or less acceptable if the perimeter is set up close to the water line vs. back up to the dunes? - UnreasonablyTall

I actually go to the beach fairly often my with in-laws, and we usually set up shop fairly early in the morning. Similarly, our setup includes a pop-up tent, and occasionally some extra umbrellas. However, we tend to keep all of our chairs, towels, coolers, etc. more or less inside the confines of the tent and umbrellas. If you mean to say that she further extends the perimeter, that’s probably a bit much, and would be better received further away from the water.

That being said, a gigantic pet peeve of mine is when there’s a bunch of beach space available, and a family sets up within 3 feet of my camp. Get your own beach space, ya dirty squatters.

I’m looking into buying my first house this fall, currently in the search process. As a single, young architect with modern/minimalist preferences I’m looking at places with a full renovation and putting in a home gym and woodshop. So here goes:

  • Is there any benefit to base cabinets or just go all deep drawers
  • Should I be firm on looking for houses with a garage, detached shop, or carport that can be enclosed? Or would a woodshop in a bedroom be enough, and then fix up that bedroom before inevitably leaving?
  • Why do homes from the 50’s-70’s have blue and pink bathrooms, including the fixtures?
  • Why do people do terrible additions to otherwise nice homes? A nice brick slab on grade ranch with a vinyl sided floor joist addition makes no sense. - C.McKean

As someone who doesn’t own a house (yay millennials), take all of my thoughts with a grain of salt.

I’d say you’d want to keep at least some base cabinets, for larger pots, pans, bowls, and appliances. Though I do get the appeal of more drawers, I’m often left wanting for some more drawer space. Seems to me that the woodshop is fairly flexible in its location, just bear in mind that you may be single now, but if/when Mrs. C.McKean comes along, and little C.McKeans, having actual bedrooms may be more beneficial.

Older houses continually amaze and confuse me with their color/texture choices. That being said, I’m sure in 50 years people will look at current houses and shudder. And lastly, strange additions to houses are always a head-scratcher - similarly, people that do gigantic renovations, and the results are just awful. I’m not saying every choice in home upgrades needs to be made with resale in mind, but most of them should. If you can’t undo something over the course of a weekend to maximize profits, you probably messed up.

What’s the most physically painful thing you ever endured? - PSU Mudder

I must have lived a fairly tame life, because I can’t think of many super painful things in my life. When I was little I broke a collarbone, and had wisdom tooth surgery, but that’s been about it. The only other thing that still happens with any regularity is that I can easily roll an ankle. That’s more irritating than straight up painful though.

What’s the best way to show appreciation to a mentor? If you’ve been lucky enough to have a mentor or two that really showed you the ropes, and saying “thanks” and token gifts isn’t enough, what’s appropriate? And when does it become too much? - 48-14

Truthfully, I think the best thing your mentor could ask for is that you blossom and progress in your endeavors, whatever they may be. Knowing that they had a direct impact on your life, and can take some small responsibility for your success is going to be the best thing for them. Beyond that, however, I’d say the best thing you could do would be to keep in touch - don’t just hit them up when you need advice on something. Get to know them, keep up on their life, keep them informed of yours. They can see you be successful, and earn a life-long friend from the deal.

If you could pick three Penn State players from this decade and put them on the 2018 team, who would you choose? Only caveat is that they can’t currently be in the NFL. - Patrick Koerbler

Can’t currently be in the NFL? Well that makes this a bit more difficult. I’m of the opinion that DT, LB, and K are our three biggest needs this season.

At DT, I’ll go with Devon Still, a run-clogging, double team-absorbing DT who will instantly raise the quality of play around him.

At LB, I’ll take Paul Posluszny, one of the best LBs to have ever suited up for the Blue and White, and who would instantly allow Micah Parsons to slide outside.

And at K I’ll go with Kevin Kelly, who I believe is the only decent kicker from the last decade that is not currently in the league. I’m hoping that Pinegar is as good as advertised, but having a reliable, experienced All-Big Ten kicker would be a nice safety blanket.

If you had to choose one, would you rather have Saquon Barkley on your football team or Zain Retherford on your wrestling team? - wx570

This is going to draw some ire, but I’m actually not a huge wrestling fan. I’m learning and getting more into it as time goes on, but I just don’t get as worked up over wrestling as I do for football. Assuming the playcalling would allow for Barkley to actually rotate and not be ground into dust over the course of the season, I’ll take Saquon.

Who is the assistant coach on the hot seat? - lamgol

I’d say Limegrover, as this is the most talent we’ve had on the OL in an extremely long time. If the OL doesn’t finally become a strength he may be on the outs. But really, I don’t think anyone is truly on the hot seat. There was a bunch of staff turnover this past season, and we’re expected to be another top 15/top 10 team. You don’t change things too much if that’s your situation, and opt instead for continuity and growth.

What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to commuting (whether by car, bus, train, whatever)? - Succss With Honor Always

I’m a suburbanite, so my commute always centers around driving my car into town, parking, and then walking to the office. Summertime construction aside, probably the single biggest nuisance I have is aggressive drivers. If everyone on the road is doing ± 2 mph of the same speed, and are fairly well spaced out, don’t be the guy that has to go 3 mph faster than traffic, repeatedly cutting out of the left lane, passing 1-2 cars, and then cutting back over. You mess everything up for everyone else, just so you can be a handful of cars ahead of where you were. You’re not that important.

When do we find out which freshman have been given “green light status? - Dinsdale Piranha

I’m sure we won’t officially know until they play, but we should have a solid indicator after camp wraps up. We’ll start to get reports about who is playing well, who was scrimmaging with the starters/backups, and of course when the first game’s depth chart is released. Getting close now!

How does a microwave know when the popcorn is done? Some microwaves have a “popcorn” setting, and it works fabulously. How does it know? - 48-14

I’ve never actually used the popcorn button, though I saw some comments mentioning special sensors. I usually just hit 2:30 and mill around the kitchen until the pops stop popping.

Also, whoever said use a wok is off their rocker. Wokker? Wokker.

After twenty-nine years of faithful service, my can of Barbasol shaving cream finally ran out. It was the can that my daddy bequeathed to me on my 15th birthday, the same can that pa handed to him decades earlier. I was under the impression that it would never run empty. Now I am left with a dilemma: Do I replace the can with its newer version, the new-fangled Barbasol cans that don’t rust on the bottom? Or do I search for the old-style can, that leaves little rust-colored rings on everything that it touches? Or, and this is kind of scary to say out loud, do I take this opportunity to change brands? Is there a better solution than Barbasol? - ChrisTaylor

Like I said earlier, why not try different things in life? Maybe a different brand is out there, waiting to be discovered. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend shaving with a safety razor - much better shave with much less irritation. If you’re feeling fancy, you could try getting some shaving soap, a soap dish, and a badger hair brush to create a nice lather. Treat yo’self.