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BSD Mailbag 7.4.2019

Happy Fourth of July y’all

Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

Out of morbid curiosity... What is it exactly that you’ll be doing yourself? - Smee


PS5 or XBOX Scarlett? Not that Scarlett. - JayMPSU

So I used to be a pretty intense gamer in college, and my ride or die was Master Chief. On that alone I’d say XBox, BUT I have heard that Mister Chief may be opening up to other platforms in the near future. Gotta be honest, if Chief and Arby were available on a PlayStation I’d probably go that route. Seems to have more titles available, things like PSVue and all that stuff.

In any case - whatever system let’s you play as Chief, go with that one.

[O]ne for the parents - Our 3 yr old (girl) absolutely refuses to potty train and when I say we’ve tried everything we’ve thought of i’m probably selling that short. She has 2 older sister that were absolutely dreams in this regard, as in we hardly had to do anything at all with them but with this one we are stuck. It’s not like she’s in any way developed less than her peers, heck she’s nearly reading at this point with knowing abc’s, 123’s and recognizing words, talks great, she’s great with kids her age with playing. Just can’t get her to go on any number of little potties we’ve bought, etc.. So i’m open to ideas. Anyone? - mbailey71

I have two thoughts on this:

First, we got one of those toilet seat inserts for our oldest, and got a step stool to go with it, so she could feel like she was mommy and daddy using the big potty. That seemed to help.

Second, we definitely waited longer than we should have to get her potty trained. In fact, she was the last kid in her class still in diapers, and she basically asked us to be potty trained. When that happened, we threw her diapers away and she went cold turkey. I believe we had two accidents over the course of a weekend, and then she was done.

In any case, best of luck! Potty training is something that no one really knows what to expect.

On a scale from Jeff Spicoli to Cameron Frye, how nervous should we be about the recruiting, really? - RWReese

Probably like 80/20 Spicoli/Frye.

Look, it sucks to lose highly rated kids. You want all the blue chip players. But decommitments happen - kudos to Franklin that he can identify the good players and get them to commit in the first place. Now, keeping them in the fold would be nice but truthfully, part of it is just that these are teenagers. It sucks, but it happens.

Personally, a lot of the kids that have been coming in lately are high upside guys. 3-stars, but could see ratings bumps during their senior season. There are also a bunch of blue chip players that seem to be in “wait and see” mode - go 10-2 and look like the team is having fun and we’ll see more of them commit.

Regardless, this should still be a top 15 class on number of commits alone. I’m expecting at least 25 kids, if not closer to 28. It’ll be all right y’all.

Why has the sleeveless flannel become the cliche outerwear for “Billy badasses”? Clothing wise, it’s really not much different than a puffy vest, but if you wear a Patagonia vest people think “Oh, I bet he drives a nice car”, but if I walk out to get the mail in a cutoff flannel it’s like I’m doing this to everyone I see:

- vern05

I literally don’t know what you’re talking about. I just googled it and I still don’t know what you’re talking about.

If you feel like a hockey player, though, it can’t be all bad, can it? Hockey players are, indeed, badass.

I have a football-viewing dilemma coming this fall and desperately need your help. I’ve had the same fall Saturday set-up for years- get up early, get a few things taken care of and then be showered, have food and beer ready for company, etc., and in front of the TV by 11:45 a.m. to watch Lee Corso put on the headgear that leads into a full day of college football until I pass out on the coach watching a PAC 12 or MWC game around 2-3 a.m. This dedication to college football leaves little to no time on Sundays for the NFL, which has never been much of a problem as a Browns fan. Sundays are typically devoted to spending time with my wife, family, running errands, home projects, or whatever else I neglected on Saturday. I would simply check my phone around 3:40, and if the Browns were somehow still in the game I might watch the ending if I were at home. However, typically Siri would inform me they were losing 34-10 to the Ravens and I would just go about my day. This year could be different though, as the Browns could be (checks notes) good. Not only might they be a playoff-caliber team, but they should even be fun to watch! So how do I go about finding a balance? Here’s some solutions of come up with so far, with none being a slam dunk:

-skip noon games when Penn State plays later in the day, getting more done and freeing up some time on Sunday (really not an option considering there are only so many college football Saturdays per year)

-go to bed at midnight at the end of the ABC 8 p.m. game and get up earlier on Sundays (wouldn’t miss the super late games that much but see above)

-DVR Browns games and watch them later in the evening (this is probably my favorite option so far, and even gives me a reason to stay off social media for the day but makes it more difficult to work on BSD stuff for the week without seeing spoilers)

-continue being a fairweather fan (It’s the Browns after all)

-Haphazardly follow the Browns the first half of the season, but pay more attention later in the year when it’s cold out and there’s less things we want/need to do on Sundays

-wear a fake mustache, tell my wife and any visitors that Jared is out running errands but said that I, his twin brother, could come over and watch the Browns game (people would find it odd that they never heard any mention of my twin brother before. Also pretty certain it wouldn’t work on any family members if I had plans with them that day).

So what would you suggest? Is there a way to open up time for Browns games without losing much of my college football Saturday? - Jared Slanina

This may get me some flack, but I actually don’t watch a ton of football.

That’s not because I don’t love it, but because all of that family stuff I end up doing both days. I usually get around to the Penn State game and then maybe little snippets of other games throughout the weekend. Especially as a Giants fan, I haven’t had much Sunday football to watch the last few years.

My best advice would be to dedicate your time to what you think is most valuable. If it were me, and I absolutely had to watch both of my teams, I’d allot those 8 hours over the weekend, and then spend the rest of the time with wife/family/errands/etc.

You’ll miss out on some MACtion and Pac-12 after dark, but really, is that so bad?

This has been bothering me for a while.... …..What were the odds that EVERYBODY was Kung Fu figthing? And given that statistical improbability, what were the odds that they all then happened to be fast as lightning? - MJBPSU

So I’m not statistician, but there are approximately 7.53 billion people on the planet. The odds that just one person was kung fu fighting is 1/7,530,000,000. The odds of just that one person ALSO being as fast as lightning should be 1/7,530,000,000. So for just one person to both be kung fu fighting AND fast as lightning would put them at 1 in 56,700,900,000,000,000,000. The odds of just one person doing it is one in 5.67 quintrillion. I assume everyone would have those same odds, so you’d have to raise that probability to the 7.53 billion?

Someone better at stats back me up. But it seems very, very unlikely that everybody would both be kung fu fighting AND be fast as lightning.

The meme where youngsters get mad about having to learn math concepts instead of how to do their taxes is meant as an elaborate joke on old folks like me, right? - WorldBFat

I actually don’t think it is.

I’m an engineer, and so I have perhaps a higher appreciation for the various maths I learned over the course of my education. Though to this day I couldn’t tell you the actual benefit of partial differential equations.

But I digress.

While I think it is important for high schoolers to get through algebra II, geometry, trigonometry, and some introductory calculus, I also think high schools could do a better job of preparing kids for the real world.

Taxes are just one example of a skill that kids leaving high school don’t know how to do. It’s not the hardest thing to learn, mind you, but they can certainly be overwhelming, especially if you happen to owe money.

But it’s not just taxes. Home economics, woodworking, basic home or auto maintenance, these are all skills that many high school graduates don’t have. Should history or english be dropped for the sake of these life skill classes? No, but I have to believe there’s a way to sneak in one extra class a day, perhaps even as an elective, to help get high schoolers just that much more ready for the real world.

Did you know robotic mowers are a thing? I kind of just became aware and I’m seriously considering it now. - GSAPS

I actually did know that, since I saw one at the Pittsburgh Home and Garden show.

In the 5 minutes I watched the little robot trundle along the fake lawn set up, it went over the same area approximately a dozen times, leaving the rest of the lawn untouched.

I imagine the real thing would be a bit better, but it does seem like some kinks could pop up. Not unlike a roomba getting stuck under a couch, I could see a robotic mower wedging itself under a hedge followed by panicked beeping.

So... CJF is in Omaha, NE cheering on Vandy in the rubber game of the College World Series and getting his grill on the tube. Is this a good or bad look?

(Full disclosure: Vanderbilt is playing Michigan.) - Smee

Any chance to rub it in Michigan’s face is a good thing. I think Vanderbilt will always have a special place in CJF’s heart as his first P5 head coaching gig. I see nothing wrong here.

When do formal practices start, and will we get many progress reports during that time? - 48-14

I can’t seem to find a specific date, but formal practices usually start at the very beginning of August. I assume we’ll have some updates from the coaching staff, but right now I don’t see very many spots across the roster that are up in the air. There’s no QB competition (unless Clifford forgets how to throw a ball), RB will be a committee, and TE is set. There’s some uncertainty at WR, but right now I’d still peg Hamler, Dotson, and Shorter as the starters. The biggest thing on offense is the OL, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the coaching staff juggles that through the first few games of the season.

On defense, we’re really just talking about one of the DT positions, and then one of the safety positions.

We will, of course, provide updates, but assuming everyone stays healthy, there won’t be a ton of new people in new positions, or controversies at key spots on the roster.

Is the infatuation that United Statians have with associating monetary wealth acquisition to a persons value as a human being corroding the soul - psualum9931


I mean, we all go through life working so that we can pay our bills and afford nice things for ourselves and our families, right? And the idea of keeping up with the Joneses is a real thing. But at what cost? Is being chained to your desk for 50+ hours per week worth that fancy sports car? Is missing your kids’ games and recitals worth that 5,000 square foot palace?

It’s a give and take to me - I personally would rather put in my required 40 hours, and then spend as much time with the family as possible, and cruise around in an old beater. But then I find that the older I get, the less I care what others think of me.

Another CJF question for you Chris... I just received my Save-The-Date announcement for the Renaissance Fund Dinner this year. For those who are interested, being honored at this dinner is a pretty hoity-toity honor. Here’s a LINK to the list of past honorees (scroll down that page – it’s a bit of a Who’s Who of Happy Valley) and here’s the description of the honor:

Each year, the Renaissance Fund honors an individual or couple for a lifetime of service to the Penn State and State College communities. Chosen by the fund’s Advisory Board, each honoree has committed his or her life to philanthropy, especially service to the Centre County region and Penn State University, while being involved with local civic leaders. Penn State hosts a dinner each year to honor the recipient and contributions raised at the dinner are added to the Renaissance Fund scholarship endowment.

Guess who this year’s honoree is? You got it – CJF.

So the question is: is this maybe jumping the gun a bit for a “lifetime service” award? Especially given that every other honoree really did spend a “lifetime” serving PSU or Happy Valley.

To add some info — this years dinner is scheduled for Wednesday, October 30, 2019. That’s eight games into the season, and Saturday, Nov. 2nd is a bye weekend. The dinner is at the Bryce Jordan Center, not the ballroom at The Penn Stater where it’s usually held. (I say “usually” because that’s the only place I’ve ever attended it and I don’t ever recall BJC being used. But I’m not doing the homework.) So somebody is expecting a crowd. Or maybe CJF is going to make a donation to the wrasslin’ program?! - Smee

I think Franklin could probably leave after this season, and be considered one of the better coaches we’ve had at Penn State.

Given what he walked into, the expectations that the program would be lucky to have a pulse by 2019, and then what he actually accomplished cannot be understated. We like to complain about losses to OSU and MSU, but think about where we are versus where we were supposed to be right now.

Now, a lifetime service award? Ehhhh maybe not just yet. But if the showrunners at this dinner think he’s deserving of it, who am I to judge? I do agree that they’re expecting a bigger crowd than usual if they’re going with the BJC, but that’s probably due to the celebrity nature of the honoree. In looking at previous recipients, no one in the last decade has the glitz and glamour that Franklin has.