Sunday, February 19, 2017

Swim Moms Play Tech

Matthew and the Swim Moms played at the Georgia Tech Student Center Saturday night. They continue to improve. A crowd of fifty attended.

Matthew played guitar and sang lead on several songs.
No one said anything about his M.I.T. shirt.
Anna spent the weekend at Camp Highland.
Out in Vegas Greg Maddux donned a sound man disguise to prank Cubs star Kris Bryant.
Check out the video:

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Valentine's Week

Tuesday: left work after 6 pm and stopped by Kroger to get C some Valentine treats. She had driven home from SC and stopped by Augusta and later the Dekalb Farmers Market. We went out and brought home two Zaxby's Zalads. Neither of us finished, so we piled the leftovers together. Watched The Middle and Hallmark Channel. I went upstairs to bed before 10 pm. Barney wasn't feeling good. He slept downstairs. He came upstairs during the thunderstorm but stayed on the floor. Not sure if something's wrong, or if Okie had worn him out again.

Wednesday night I discovered our 78 year old teacher on Wednesday night used to referee professional basketball. Bob Serafin. Perhaps the ABA. I'll have to ask him for details. He mentioned that when the blizzard hit Atlanta in 1973 he was out in California refereeing. He's not a big computer guy so I found hardly nothing about him on the internet. He's constantly telling stories, chasing rabbits in a way I love but Ceil hates. Hilarious. Pretty good how he's still teaching at JFBC.

Made it home after the meeting. Watched the ever-zanier Hunted, in which private investigators are bullying potential sources of information despite having no legal authority. Then a funny Modern Family episode with guest star Peyton Manning. Blackish was funny as well. I went to bed at 10 pm but woke up early for a workout, for a change.

Barney was feeling better Wednesday night. C had taken him for a walk. Perhaps he's just now realizing how much fun it is to be able to play with another dog, and that he has spent his entire life not being able to that. Then again he may consider himself a person, though he watches TV mostly to see other dogs and other animals.

Let work at six Thursday night. Stopped by two eyeglasses places near North Point Mall looking for frames I like. I really need to get my eyes checked. Got a battery for my watch.

Ceil grilled chicken and tossed a salad. Made me an apple pie for valentine's day. Gory episode of Chicago Med.

Speaking of reading, I checked out a book of Stephen King short stories. A little on the gory side but King explains how he got the idea for each one. Good character development and details. He's just a nerdy kid who never grew up.
Ceil's cousin Phil and his wife Teresa took a trip to Charleston. For readers who don't know them, they live in Jefferson, are the life of every party, and are great beach companions. Phil works at Nucor Darlington. The puppies from across the street from them continue to steal hearts. The same puppies I had recently posted a video of.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Top Ten Falcons

Top Ten Atlanta Falcons.
List compiled solely by me.

10. Mike Kenn OT
9. Deion Sanders CB (HOF)
8. Jeff Van Note C
7. William Andrews RB
6. Steve Bartkowski QB
5. Jesse Tuggle LB
4. Matt Ryan QB
3. Tommy Nobis LB
2. Julio Jones WR
1. Claude Humphrey DE (HOF)
Best of the Rest: K Morten Anderson, LB Greg Brezina, LB Keith Brooking, S Ray Brown, TE Tony Gonzalez, RB Dave Hampton, P John James, WR Alfred Jenkins, OT George Kunz, P/S Billy Lothridge, TE Jim Mitchell, CB Ken Reeves, WR Roddy White.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Reading Body Language

Tricks to read people’s body language, another article by Travis Bradberry on LinkedIn. It’s not that I consider Bradberry to be any kind of guru. Just another blowhard trying to make you think like he does, so you’ll buy what he’s selling. His information is just readily available, periodically invading my in box every week or two.
Body language provides information on what others are thinking – if you know what to look for. You already pick up on more cues than you’re consciously aware of. Research shows that only 7% of communication is based on the actual words we say. Tone of voice is 38% and the remaining 55% from body language. Learning how to become aware of and to interpret that 55% can give you a leg up on other people. Watch for these cues:
Crossed arms and legs signal resistance to your ideas – even if they’re smiling and engaged. They signal a person is mentally, emotionally, and physically blocked off from what’s in front of them. It’s not intentional, which is why it’s so revealing.
Real smiles crinkle the eyes. The mouth can lie but the eyes can’t. People often smile to hide what they’re thinking and feeling, so look for the crinkles. If they’re not there, the smile is hiding something.
Copying your body language is a good thing. Even notice someone doing this? It’s a good sign, done unconsciously when we feel a bond with the other person. It’s a sign the conversation is going well and the other party is receptive to your message. Especially useful in negotiations, as it shows what the other person is really thinking about the deal.
Posture tells the story. Have you ever seen a person walk into a room, and immediately you have known that they are in charge? This effect often includes erect posture, gestures made with the palms facing down, and open and expansive gestures. The brain is hardwired to equate power with the amount of space people take up. Standing up straight with your shoulders back is a power position. Maintaining good posture commands respect and promotes engagement.
Slouching is a sign of disrespect. It communicates that you are bored and wish you were somewhere else. Slouching projects less power.
Watching the clock while talking to someone is a clear sign of disrespect, impatience, and inflated ego.
Fidgeting with your hair signals that you’re anxious, over-energized, self-conscious, and distracted. People will perceive you as overly concerned with your appearance, and not concerned enough with your career.
Scowling (or having a generally unhappy expression) sends the message that you’re upset with those around you – even if they have nothing to do with you mood. It turns people away. Smiles suggests you are open, trustworthy, confident, and friendly.
Weak handshakes signal you lack authority and confidence. Too strong of a handshake can be perceived as an aggressive attempt at domination. Make sure it’s always firm.
Close talkers signal they have no respect for personal space, and will make people feel uncomfortable.  
Avoiding eye contact makes it look like you have something to hide, or a lack of confidence and interest. Whereas eye contact communicates confidence, leadership, strength, and intelligence.
Eye contact that’s too intense may be perceived as aggressive or an attempt to dominate. The way we break eye contact also sends a message: glancing down communicates submission, while looking to the side projects confidence.
Eyes that lie. It’s common knowledge that it’s tough to hold someone’s gaze when you’re lying to them, so people will deliberately hold eye contact to cover up a lie. But most over compensate and hold eye contact to the point that it feels uncomfortable. If someone’s stare makes you squirm – especially if they’re still and unblinking – something is up and they might be lying to you.
Raised eyebrows signal discomfort. Three emotions make your eyebrows go up: surprise, worry, and fear. If someone you’re talking to raises their eyebrows, but the topic isn’t surprising, worrisome, or fearful, there is something else going on.
Exaggerated nodding signals anxiety about approval. They are worried about what you think of them, or that you doubt their ability to follow your instructions. Exaggerated gestures can imply you are stretching the truth.
A clinched jaw signals stress. Also a tightened neck or furrowed brow. Regardless of what they’re saying, these are signs of considerable discomfort. Perhaps the conversation is something they’re anxious about – or their mind is elsewhere and they’re focused on the thing that’s stressing them out. Watch for a mismatch between what the person says and what their tense body language is telling you.
Inconsistency between your words and facial expression causes people to sense something isn’t right, and they begin to suspect you’re trying to deceive them.
Turning yourself away from others (or not leaning into your conversation) portrays you as unengaged, uninterested, uncomfortable, or distrustful of the speaker. Try leaning towards the speaker and tilt your head slightly.
I get it now. On LinkedIn you can click a button to write your own article. Might have to try it sometime.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Jobs: Part Two

Moving Van (late 70’s). Helped Bill Jackson move antiques in a truck. Hard labor + heavy lifting = not fun. Luckily it wasn’t a long term job.
Chickfila Omni International (CNN Center) 1981. After moving into the BSU for fall quarter 1980, with the Center closed over Christmas I didn’t get my grades until after New Year’s. I had flunked out. The same day someone posted a notice on the Baptist Center bulletin board: the new Omni Chickfila was hiring. I went up for an interview and was hired. Went back to the BSU and shaved off my beard, and was working that afternoon – the very first day the store had been open. Late in the day my best friend Don Lott walked in, and I knew he wasn’t there to eat. Like me, he had flunked out of school, and was looking for a job. Don was hired and the dynamic duo was reunited. We wrote up Chickfila songs. One changed “I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N” to:
I am a C.
I am a C-H.
I am a C-H-I-C-K-F-I-L-A.
and I have C-H-I-C-K-N my M-O-U-T-H
and I will R-E-G-U-R-G-I-T-A-T-E—I-T (which matches up perfectly with the original
song’s L-I-V-E—E-T-E-R-N-A-L-L-Y).
Another changed She Na Na’s “Duke of Earl” to “Chick chick chick, chick fil a chick chick…” We taught the songs to coworkers and serenaded customers while we were breading the chicken in the back. Back then the chicken was cooked in pressurized “Henny Penny”s located right behind the cash registers. After cooking the sandwiches were made and kept in warming drawers. This was before waffle fries, so regular frozen French fries were cooked. We also had “Chick-N-Que” – shredded chicken in BBQ sauce scooped onto a bun.
I worked the day shift on weekends. I would walk straight down Techwood past Grant Field and the retirement high rises, through the projects and parking lots into the Omni office building, now known as CNN Center. I’d get to work making breakfast, which in those days included frozen sausage biscuits heated on a portable griddle and the bun warmer. I was given a donut maker – a metal contraption that spit out dough in round circles with a hole – and cooked up the doughnuts every morning in the Henny Penny peanut oil.
I would gobble down a sausage and biscuit and/or doughnuts for breakfast. I’d get a lunch break, taking a load of food up to the unique upstairs dining area. We’d try to vary what we ate, covering the entire menu: Chick-N-que, chicken salad, chicken and cole slaw. We’d vary the drinks as well, mixing the glass bottles of Tropicana orange juice with Sprite or Fanta Orange. I always remember questioning owner operator Jim Mixon’s beverage choice: low calorie Tab. He said one day I’d be drinking it. He was right. I’d get off work at five. Every day I’d grab two sandwiches on my out the door, and eat them for supper on my walk home. So for five days a week I had zero costs for food and transportation. My room in the BSU was covered as well.
After a couple of months we had a banquet celebrating the successful store opening. That’s where I first met Truett Cathy. I would later cross paths with him down on his farm with the SPdL youth, and later at the Chickfila Bowl fanfest, where he handed young Will a card for a free sandwich.
The Omni CFA was located near the doors leading outside to the arena – the closest doors to the MARTA station. McDonalds was across the hall, so we got lots of foot traffic. That summer we set the record for highest sales in a week when the Bill Gothard Seminar was held in the Omni. Another busy day was when the Flames welcomed Olympic gold medal goalie Jim Craig. Once I saw Ted Turner taking a back route through the building. Former Falcon receiver John Gilliam ran a shoe store upstairs. When the Omni Arena was torn down and replaced, Phillips Arena was built connected to CNN Center. My Chickfila was moved to its current smaller location.    
I worked a 40 hour shift for the first three months, then enrolled at Dekalb Community College to rebuild my poor grades. I made use of free parking at the Omni, as well as using the new MARTA train to ride out to Decatur for class. Seemed longer, but I only worked at Chickfila for six months. Should’ve made it a career.
Buford Highway 7-11 cashier (graveyard shift) 1983. Somewhere along the line I took a job working the graveyard shift at a 7-11 on Buford Highway, north of Druid Hills Road. Not the safest part of town. I only lasted two or three weeks. Thank God it didn’t work out.
Loading Dock with Buddy (1983). A friend at SPdL – his name was Buddy – got me a job with him on the loading dock off Monroe Drive. I worked a week before going on a trip. I didn’t realize the job was permanent, so I didn’t report back to work when I returned. I found this out when I stopped by to pick up my check. Was probably for the best.
SPdL Early Childhood School Assistant Teacher (1984-1985). Best job I ever had: working with preschoolers every day. I was loved by the kids and loved by the teachers. Good times.
Stephens Landscaping (1984). Helped Mark Stephens with his yardwork. Digging, planting bushes and trees. Not fun. One night after work we stopped for pizza. We both had leftovers. I was so tired I just left the pizza in my car overnight and are it for breakfast the next morning on the way to Mark’s. He had done the same thing.
Sealco, Doraville GA (1985-1987). Pam & Pat Poythress’ parents Earl and Nancy helped my job search. SPdL member Jim Suggs gave me a job at his gasket company, where three of his sons worked. My training began in the shipping department, where the open doors on the loading docks provided views of the outdoors. Late one day plant manager Jim Suggs Junior asked us to UPS a package. It didn’t get picked up due to the late hour. The next morning Jim Junior walked over to check on the shipment, holding a mug of coffee. Shipping supervisor Wayne told Jim he didn’t think it shipped. Then Jim walked over and asked me if it had shipped. When I said no Jim turned toward the large open doorway and heaved his mug far out into the parking lot, where it shattered on the pavement. That day I learned two things: (1) make sure the shipment gets out, and (2) Jim Junior had a case of coffee mugs in his office.
Jim’s brother Rob was my inside sales supervisor. We had a blast making jokes and bantering about. Rob was in the middle of his successful run drawing the Brother Biddle cartoon for “The Wittenberg Door” magazine. Author of the famous Bingo Bob skit at Camp SPdL, Rob sparked my creative juices, helping me create various projects for camp, choir tour, and the youth group. Younger brother Steve was also hired on as a salesman. Little Joe made occasional appearances.
I handled the large Westinghouse and Georgia Power contracts, which unknowingly prepared me for my career at Ryerson. Once on my way to Jefferson I made a Friday night delivery to the DuPont plant in Lugoff South Carolina. To this day we still pass that plant on our way home.
The business was sold to a company in Ohio. I took a flight to Dayton to review what we did. 1987 was an eventful year: in March I bought my grandfather’s house, and in April I got engaged. Then in May the company announced it was closing its doors in June. Not the best timing. But in July I interviewed with Tull, started work in August, and got married in September.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Still Allergic

As a kid growing up my family didn’t eat much fish. When I was at Tech eating lunch at the BSU we often had fried fish on Fridays (perhaps in an effort to attract Catholic students). Once after eating fish I got sick and threw up. After that I didn’t eat much fish. Years later I’d go out to seafood buffets at the beach with Ceil’s family. I’d eat fish (and hushpuppies fried in the same oil) and I could feel my throat closing up. It wouldn’t close completely, but I felt bad. Caffeinated soft drinks made me feel better. I never had to resort to Benadryl, or the emergency room. 
So I’ve gone over twenty years without eating fish, and most everyone knows that I’m allergic. It’s been so long that I had about convinced myself that I wasn’t allergic - I was just using it as an excuse to get out of eating a dish I didn’t like. I starting to think that at some point I would announce to everyone that I really wasn’t allergic – it had all been a ruse.

Saturday night my friend Lee was grilling. I thought great: hamburgers. Nope. He had nice salmon filets. With three other couples there I didn’t want to create a stir, so I ate the salmon without complaint. Tasted good for fish, but it still ranked below my favorite meals. By the end of the meal I could feel my throat swelling slightly. I could’ve switched to Coke but didn’t think about it. I lived. Later Ceil asked if I had attended the dinner and she exclaimed “You ate the salmon! And you didn’t die?”

Do you remember a GT basketball player from the 50’s or early 60’s named Jim Nolan? In the game above against Kentucky, Nolan scored 32 points. Crew cut. After graduation he moved to Macon, started a family, and joined our church: Northminster Presbyterian. As a little kid he was an imposing figure.
Who would be the top ten Atlanta Hawks? Georgia Tech?
1. Dominique Wilkins
2. Lou Hudson
3. Pete Maravich
4. Kevin Willis
5. Dikembe Motumbo
6. Doc Rivers
7. ?
Surely not Joe Johnson or Mookie Blaylock.

Georgia Tech’s Top Basketball Players
1. Mark Price
2. Roger Kaiser
3. Matt Harpring
4. Kenny Anderson
5. John Salley
6. Dennis Scott
7. Tom Hammonds
8. Brian Oliver
9. Jim Nolan
HM: James Forrest, Duane Ferrell, Yvon Joseph, Brook Steppe, Bruce Dalrymple

Monday, February 13, 2017

Soft Serve

Reading “Killing Reagan” by Bill O’Reilly. Lots of stuff I didn’t know, like about Reagan’s movie career. Tidbit #1: Before becoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher invented soft serve ice cream. I posted this on Facebook and caused such a stir you’d think I said I supported Trump.
When Ronald Reagan was first sworn in as governor of California, the ceremony took place at midnight because of the advice he received from his astrologers. Jupiter was in the sky and was a portent of great power. The astrologers predicted great things for Reagan, including becoming President of the US. Reagan took a pay cut to become governor and had to sell his ranch to 20th Century Fox. The ranch was where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was shot. Also MASH.
When Reagan was shot, the motorcade took four minutes to get to the hospital. At first Reagan thought he’d only broken a rib when the secret service agent had pushed him into the car. Amazingly, the wounded Reagan walked from the limo inside the hospital.

Tuesday dinner was beef tips and rice, and tossed salad. Ceil likes her steak. You can’t say we don’t eat well. Watched Wheel, Jeopardy, The Middle, and the show after that, but I was dozing off. Turned off the TV and worked on homework for tonight’s class. M had run out to visit friends. Later I packaged an eBay item. M and I went out to gas up our cars. I stopped by the post office on the way home. Didn’t get to bed until 11:45.
Thursday: C and I ate at Pappasitos. We split the chicken and steak fajitas, and she got soup. Had plenty of both to take home. The meat was great. Service ok. I just don’t like all the tables crammed so close together. Waiters and servers walking past all the time carrying food. Afterwards we drove around SunTrust Park, then home for Chicago Med.
Friday: Busy at work just because I’ve been explaining things all day. That means I’m not sitting at my desk doing all the work I need to get done. For lunch a vendor took Rodney, Brad, and I to Taco Mac. The three of us got chicken wraps. OK, but the tortilla was dry and there was too much lettuce and not quite enough chicken. After being out Wednesday and Thursday past nine, it was good to have an evening at home Friday night. Ceil cooked spaghetti and tossed a salad. Didn’t do much.
Saturday morning I cleaned upstairs for a long time. C met her friends for a class at the YMCA. When she got home she decided to go to SC. Her mom has bronchitis and isn’t eating. This week C’s art classes are on winter break, so she isn’t missing school. On the way C stopped by to visit W&MC. Young Okie wore out old Barney.
After packing C’s car and starting the laundry, in the afternoon I ran errands: got a much needed haircut, picked up a battery at Target, swung by the library, and mailed off two eBay packages. GT won a game they needed to win. It’s great to beat the big boys, but it’s all the other game that need to be won in order to make the tournament.

Went over to the Earhart’s for dinner with three couples. Lee grilled salmon, which I ate with minimal swelling in my throat. I sure can’t make a habit of eating fish. Got home at 10:30 and started watching “Crazy Stupid Love” while working on my laptop. I had stuff to do on my computer, including a little work stuff, so I watched the entire movie even though it didn’t get over until 1 am. Before going to bed I flipped over to see Andy Stanley on Channel 11. He comes on after Saturday Night Live.
I couldn’t run a needed work report from home, so at 7 am Sunday I drove over to work. Caught all the lights and made it in 26 minutes: a record. On the way I was trying to get help from coworkers. Several months ago I’d gone to work on a Sunday and set off the alarm. Since I didn’t have the alarm code I sat in the vestibule and logged on using the work Wi-Fi. Took me five minutes, and I was on my way. Stopped by the bank and Stinky Kroger on the way home.
Went to JFBC. Bryant mentioned to Super Bowl in passing, and reminded worshippers that the church offered counseling services. Plenty of food to eat while C is out of town. Trying to eat the leftovers oldest first. For lunch Saturday and Sunday I made quesadillas on the Panini press. Brought grilled chicken for lunch today. Still have the Pappasitos leftovers and enough spaghetti for three meals, plus more quesadilla ingredients. Then there’s three more meals in the freezer.

Watched some of the Pebble Beach golf. I like the Pro Ams. Peyton Manning won a trophy, but I didn’t see he or Aaron Rodgers play. Justin Timberlake did well, as did WR Larry Fitzgerald. Saw Belicheck and Larry the Cable Guy. When a lady yelled his name when he was about to tee off, Larry hollered back “I told you to wait in the truck!” Bill Murray’s overalls and flannel shirts were made from high performance dri-fit material.  
Also watched “Crazy Stupid Love” again. Great movie. My back hurt from being on my feet all day Saturday, so I took it easier Sunday afternoon. Took M out to Willys on his way to work. Service was terrible. The food from Willy’s was good. We had originally gone to Panda Express but the line was long and slow there as well. Chinese would’ve been good. M had to work from 7 pm to 1 am for physical inventory. I skipped the Grammys and watched “Autumn in New York” and “Forces of Nature.”      
The Braves keep bringing in old guys. Bartolo Colon. RA Dickey. Brandon Phillips. Billy Joel. Metallica.
Stephen King used to be in MYF in the 1950’s in Maine. Years later he still had the Bible he had used to memorize verses for MYF.
When Hurt went into the work uniform business he was working long hours trying to make a go of it, not long after he and Mary got married. They were living in their little house off Collier Road. At the time. Gee since then they moved to Sandy Springs, then Milton, and now Johns Creek. Their next move might be out of state, huh?
Saw the first Harpring bobble for sale on my group listing - $55.00, including shipping. Several scolded the guy for such a high price, but Tech bobbles are rare, and there were only a thousand of these. Two people have expressed interest, but it may still be available. Knowing my group, any posted at a reasonable price will be scooped up quickly.  
It’s wild how areas change. The Lenox area has changed several times over the years. I loved that old back way from Piedmont through the neighborhood to Lenox, past the house on the corner with several Chevelles. Downtown before Centennial Park. Lindbergh and Lenox.
This morning I sold a T-shirt on eBay for $35.00. to a guy in Macon. I looked up where he lived – a quarter mile from the house I grew up in. But I had no idea apartments had been built where before had just been woods. A new street had been built across from our old house, and my elementary school had been torn down and completely rebuilt.