Monday, July 22, 2019

Communion on the Moon

In the 50 years since the moon landing I never knew that Buzz Aldrin had taken communion on the moon. Right after the lunar module landed Aldrin read John 15:5, the first words read on the moon.

Just finished an excellent book: James Patterson’s Miracle on the 17th Green. A fifty year old copywriter finds his putting stroke, gets laid off, and signs up for Q School for the Senior Tour. The experience rekindles his family relationships as well as his own moribund life. Looking forward to the sequel books.
Friday I stopped by Taco Bell on the way home. I think that was Friday. Stopped by Kroger and saw Ceil’s friend Noelle, Reid’s husband. Also their son Andrew. Friday night late after the Braves I noticed the SEC Network was showing the 2009 national championship game: Florida vs Oklahoma, Tebow vs Heisman winner Sam Bradford. Having just read the Tim Tebow book, I watched the 4th quarter.
Saturday morning when I went downstairs I turned on the TV and it was still on the same channel. UGA was playing Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. I watched that 4th quarter as well. Then Ole Miss Alabama came on. I changed the channel.  
Saturday morning I drove downtown to pick up Okie. W&MC spent a restful weekend in Serenbe, down 85 south near Palmetto. I had a PB&J before leaving. Stopped by two thrift stores. Picked up a Bobby Jones EZGo dress shirt and two cool Atlanta Hawks ties: one red reminiscent of the one Ted Turner used to wear, and one bright yellow – a.k.a. “bolt.”
Back home I turned on the British Open, started some laundry, cut the grass, blew the driveway, and transplanted some grass. Then watered the grass and plants. Had a grilled ham & cheese sandwich for lunch and a frozen pizza for supper. Watched some Braves and the Oliver Stone movie “W” about George W Bush. Didn’t seem to be as much of a hack job as I thought it might be. Shows how he grew from an alcoholic to a confident leader, who ended his staff meetings in prayer.
Sunday school, then Kroger. Learned Bryant Wright is moving out of his office at JFBC. He has an office down the street at his Right From the Heart headquarters. The new pastor’s last Sunday at Matthews FBC will be next week. Several listened to his announcement on line. Clay will preach at JFBC on August 4 then start for good before or after Labor Day. We spent half of the Sunday School lesson time talking about the transition, since it was our teacher Brian’s first Sunday back from a mission trip. Brian is on staff. He said Bryant would hang around showing Clay the ropes until late October or early November, then get out of the way.
Grilled ham & cheese sandwich for lunch. Did dishes and cleaned. W&MC came to pick up Okie. They showed me pictures of the house they’re trying to buy. Hardwood floors. Most of the work they’d have to do would be in the yard. The Atlanta Beltline runs right behind the house’s fenced in back yard, with an Beltline entrance where their driveway used to be. M came home from work in time to see W&MC.
Was watching the movie “Vice” about Dick Cheney. While it meant to be another hatchet job, leadership at the highest levels of government is often not pretty no matter what party you’re in.
Left for the Braves game. Not incredibly hot on the uphill walk to the ballpark. Since it was the weekend there were already lines at the Chop House Gate and Right Field Gates. I bought a ticket for Tuesday’s game at the box office, avoiding on line fees. Got in line at Miss Marion’s First Base Gate. Visited with her for a bit. Got my Designated Driver Coke Zero and some bumper stickers, then sat out in the bleachers to watch batting practice.

After BP there was still an hour before the game. Saw the line for the pregame parade around the field so I got in line. Allowed me time to edit photos and catch up on emails and social media. Always fun to go down under the stands and out on the field. Greeted Marcus Giles, Paul Byrd, and Mark Wohlers. Passed by Brian McCann warming up. Then out the big gate in centerfield. Went back to visit with Miss Marion, who had been busy when the gates had opened. She gave me a second Braves backpack. I also picked up a Walter Banks bobblehead.
Went upstairs to watch the game. Found a spot in the shade where a breeze was blowing. Later went down to the second level. Visited with Kelly Clark Lewis Vonfeld. Turns out she teaches with a friend of ours. Checked out the Team Store. Later I walked back to the car. Stopped for gas and a Vitamin Water. Got home after 9:30. Stayed up late posting pictures and tying to see the extra backpack.   
Downloaded a sleep app onto my iPhone and Apple Watch, to better track my sleep.      
There is a huge peach farm about 15 miles from Jefferson SC, on the way to Myrtle Beach. We used to stop there to get peaches and watermelons for the week at the beach. Used to used be a little peach stand that grew into an entire store that sold jams and jellies, all kinds of fruit, and pies. Then they added ice cream. Now there’s a second building with a full service restaurant. They also make cakes. Ceil just brought back a pie from the place that I guess I’ll have to eat this week.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Braves Nationals

Beautiful day for a game. Arrived before gates opened,
so when they did I stretched out in the sun to watch batting practice.
Two balls came close, but no cigar.
After BP there was still over an hour to kill.
Was walking on the mezzanine and saw a sign to the pregame parade.
While waiting I caught up on email and edited pictures,
then walked down the ramps to the tunnel circling the field.

Got to say hello to Marcus Giles, Paul Byrd, and Mark Wohlers.
I told Byrdy I knew his buddy Brian Coley.
 Thought I would take a photo of the corner.
Passed by Brian McCann, warming up in the outfield grass.
 I think he looked at me.

Where the two walls come together
a little go pro camera sat atop the fence.
Zoom in and check out all the marks home run balls
that hit off the batters eye below.
We exited out this gate in centerfield.
First time I'd been out this gate. 
 Nice to know the parking area is secure.
 The Bloopermobile.
Found out where they store the firewood. Huh?
The Terrapin Taproom is way over on the other side of the stadium.
 Fun sign outside the employee area.
 Found a spot in the shade where a nice breeze was blowing.
 After several innings I went down to the second level.
Later I went down to see who was in the company seats.
On the way the mascots were causing a ruckus in the stands.
Freddie the Falcon (above) and the Nationals mascot (below).
In honor of the Cumming resident
who I had mentioned earlier this week.
 My route from my parking space.
Was able to score today's giveaway, which I wanted badly.
Actually two. Plus a free Coke Zero, a Walter Banks Bobble,
Brian McCann poster, and perhaps a $25.00 restaurant gift card.
Not bad for a $15.00 ticket.
Of course I was stuck in line behind an even cooler backpack.

Saturday, July 20, 2019


Big win Friday night.
Every day more Donaldson naysayers fall by the wayside.
Collected two Hawks ties today from the thrift store.
Also a Bobby Jones EZGo dress shirt.
Everyone knows the Braves need more pitching. Most teams do. Dude, Rome wasn't built in a day. Or Gwinnett. GM AA is working on it. It ain't easy. We'll see.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Gridlock in Roswell

Thursday: clocked out at 5 pm. Hung around 30 minutes working on my scrapbook calendar before heading out. Traffic bad pulling out onto Peachtree Industrial. Stopped by Chickfila for a sandwich to go. Stopped by the bank, which took me across 400 on Holcomb Bridge. Rush hour traffic is always bad, so I turned off on a side road and zipped over to Oxbo, a mile long road that cuts over to Atlanta Street in downtown Roswell. Oxbo was backed up the whole way. Made a U turn with several other cars and went a different route.
Downtown Roswell was having an event, so people were parking and walking. The entire town was gridlocked. Took me twice as long to get home, 1-1/2 hours instead of 45 minutes. Roswell’s restaurant row is packed every night.
Watched Seinfeld and Holy Moly and some of the Braves. Played on my laptop, Went to bed.
Barney is out of town but this weekend I get to babysit W&MC’s dog Okie.    

Wild story about a crazy New Jersey water park back in the day. Kids loved the thrills and didn’t mind the risks. Daily injuries and six deaths in 18 years.
Climbing Mt Yonah up and down in 2-1/2 hours showed me that I am in no shape to tackle the Appalachian Trail, where you’d better cover 20 miles / 10 hours per day or more. I was beat after five miles.    
Actress Mandy Moore climbed 17000 feet to Everest Base Camp – 1/6 of the way to the top. She had no designs on climbing further, as that was rough enough. Sounds like this year is similar to the book I read on Everest: bad weather and overcrowding has contributed to eleven deaths on Everest this year, one of the deadliest on record.
Hopefully Lang’s team has the momentum and can go deep into the playoffs. Hope that last sentence doesn’t jinx them. Maybe these $60 rally caps would help. 

EDDIE MATHEWS  [SABR Bio] the one-time Detroit Tiger twice led the National League in home runs - 47 HR in 1953 & 46 HR in 1959 for MLN. Played for DET 1967-68. Was the first player to hit two home runs in each of two different opening day games - 2 X 2 HR: 13-Apr-1954 & 14-Apr-1958 Was over .500 as a manager only in his final season - 50-49 for the 1974 Braves

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Uecker Collection

Wednesday: went shopping on the way home. Trying not to buy any more Nike products, and of course I found a nice navy long sleeve pullover. Also a cool pair of black high tops that I didn't need. Didn't buy either. Did find a nice blue short sleeve casual dress shirt, nice Under Armour shorts, and a Stripers cap I'm hoping to trade. 
Couldn't believe I also found a pair of Bob Uecker nesting dolls, that I'd been wanting to add to my Uecker collection. Made from wood (not cheap plastic), given away by the Brewers in 2006 depicting Uke as a Brave, Cardinal, and Brewer. Just what I needed. Well on my way to being like Jimmy Fallon's character in Fever Pitch, with all my Braves crap and bobbleheads. My Uecker collection, best I can remember:
1962 Milwaukee Braves #8 Uecker jersey
Uecker talking alarm clock
Harry Doyle talking bobblehead
Uecker bobbhead in catcher's gear
Uecker statue bobblehead
Magic 8 Ball with Uecker wisdom
Uecker talking bottle opener
Catcher in the Wry, book written by Uecker
Uecker nesting dolls

Good column by Albert Mohler. Summary: Liberty depends on the existence of truth. Truth depends upon the existence of God. No God, no truth, no liberty, no human dignity, no human rights, no religious liberty.
Informative speech yesterday by Christian novelist Joel C Rosenberg at the State Department's conference on religious freedom, on the state of religious freedom in Israel and the Arab world.
I try to keep sunglasses in Ceil's car as well. Doesn't always work out.
Fixed two grilled ham & cheese sandwiches on the panini press. Watched "A Clear and Present Danger" with Harrison Ford as Dr. Jack Ryan.
Jim Thorpe's Carlisle Indians team beat an Army team led by young tailback/linebacker Dwight D Eisenhauer, but missed out on an undefeated season when, emotionally drained, lost the next week to Penn, a national power. Almost all of Carlisle's games were on the road, and Pop Warner scheduled tough, extra games for the extra money, then blasted his exhausted players when they didn't play well. While a creative offensive genius (Warner invented the single wing offense and unveiled it that year against army), the coach often pocketed ticket money.
When the story broke that Thorpe had played professional minor league baseball (as many college athletes did), Warner and the Carlisle headmaster turned against Thorpe, untruthfully stating they had no knowledge of Thorpe's two months of pro baseball. While many Olympic athletes often took appearance money and were amateurs in spirit only, while Thorpe was away someone went into his room at Carlisle and took his gold medals and trophies, and returned them to Stockholm. Public sentiment was on Thorpe's side, and it only gre when Thorpe refused to name the other college athletes on his pro baseball team. The silver medalist refused to accept the gold medal.
After that Thorpe signed with baseball's New York Giants, but only saw limited playing time. So Deion Sanders was not the first football star to appear in the World Series.
JIM THOME  [SABR Bio] was the first player to hit thirty home runs for each of six consecutive seasons for the Cleveland Indians - 30+ HR 1996-2001 for CLE. He once hit a home run in each of seven consecutive games - 25-Jun through 03-Jul-2002. Ryan Howard broke his franchise record for most RBI by a Phillie in an expansion‑era season - 131 RBI for PHI in 2003. Howard broke it 4 X, 2006-09. He retired as an Oriole before catching up to Reggie. Finished in 2012 w/BAL w/2,548 K, 2nd only to Reggie Jackson's all-time record of 2,597.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Jim Thorpe & Donald Trump

In college Jim Thorpe played tailback, linebacker, returned kicks, placekicked, and punted. Once Thorpe punted the ball 60 yards, and raced downfield, leapt into the air, and caught the punt on the fly. He broke four tackles and ran another 20 yards for a touchdown. I’d never heard of such.
Then in the next game at mighty Harvard, Thorpe’s Carlisle Indians led late in the game. Facing fourth and long the QB called for a 55 yard field goal, a distance unheard of in those days. Even with a badly sprained ankle Thorpe made the kick. He was chosen first team All-America. Carlisle finished with one loss,   
That next summer Thorpe earned a spot on the US Olympic team and sailed to Stockholm, where he won gold in the pentathlon and decathlon – in basically the first time he competed in those events. Though he had ran track at Carlisle, at the Olympic trials he placed first despite not knowing the proper form for javelin and shot put. At Carlisle his first high jump (in work coveralls) set the school record.     
Dock’s dad Neil is on another of his famous road trips. They toured Green Bay and Lambeau Field. Also attended Monday’s Brewers/Braves game in Milwaukee. Ate cheese curds. Today they’re touring the Louisville Slugger Bat Factory and Museum.
Trying to wear sunglasses more. Just when I’m inside I don’t like wearing them on top of my head. Could get a string to wear around my neck but don’t like that either. Also don’t like wearing them when I am talking to people.
Tuesday: doctor appointment went well, though I was there almost 1-1/2 hours. Was examined and got the go ahead for the sleep study. Had time afterwards to get my car emissions and a wash. While waiting I read the AJC.
With Ceil in SC it is leftover time. Ate a black bean and rice dish. Added sauce and chips. Also ice cream. Between me and M we got rid of seven containers. Caught up on computer stuff. Bought a ticket for next Sunday night’s game. Ceil’s women’s ministry  is taking the mothers and kids to next Tuesday night’s game. Not sure they’ll get there in time to get bobbleheads. Guess I’ll go to that game as well.
Watched Modern Family and The Office. Some of the Braves, but went to bed before the bad 7th inning.
The loss ends a five game winning streak.
They’ve won 8 of their last 10.
They’re 22-9 in their last 31 games.
Twenty games over .500.
Record is 58-38.
Both Soroka and Fried have ten wins.
Today the “Cultural Theologian” Jim Denison was spot on, dividing people’s reaction to Trump into four categories, and posits that not all Christians are Trump supporters, despite what the media would have you believe.  
Denison: my purpose today is not to take a side in this debate. Rather, my goal as a cultural theologian is to offer context and analysis and then to consider biblical responses.
With regard to Mr. Trump’s presidency and the current controversy, there are four broad categories on a spectrum of response.
One: Some are opposed to Mr. Trump himself. They consider the current controversy to be another example of character unfit for the office of president.
Two: Some are opposed to the president’s policies. They disagree with him on abortion, border security, transgender persons in the military, and a host of other issues.
Three: Some support the president’s policies. They voted for him in 2016 with the Supreme Court and judiciary in mind. They agree with his stance on abortion and are grateful for his support of religious liberty. Many regret the president’s rhetoric, but they consider him a better alternative than Hillary Clinton in 2016 or the Democratic Party today.
Four: Some support the president personally. They believe his business background, lack of political debts, and aggressive defense of America are necessary for the times. Some evangelicals believe his leadership should be understood in light of Romans 13 and the priority of defending the nation rather than the Sermon on the Mount and its descriptions of personal character. Some also liken him to Cyrus the Great, the Persian king who liberated the Jews (cf. Isaiah 45:1–7).
Of course, many who are in the first category also embrace the second; some in the first category embrace the policies affirmed by those in the third. And many who are in the third category also affirm the fourth. However, this is not necessarily so, especially with regard to evangelicals.
While the media seems to believe that every evangelical who voted for Mr. Trump also supports everything he says and does, this is not true. I am personally acquainted with Christian leaders who fit in the third category but not the fourth, just as I know of Christian leaders who embrace both categories.
We must “connect before we correct”
Judging from comments on previous Daily Articles, we have readers in various combinations of each category. Wherever we see ourselves, it is important as culture-changing Christians that we relate to those with whom we disagree in ways that honor our Lord and extend his kingdom.
In his excellent work, The Daniel Dilemma: How to Stand Firm & Love Well in a Culture of Compromise, Pastor Chris Hodges notes that for many Christians, “We mean well, but we don’t love well.” He explains: “Truth without grace is mean. Grace without truth is meaningless.”
According to Hodges, “People are ready for God, but they want hope, not a debate.” He adds that we must “connect before we correct,” since “reaching people is our purpose.” As a result, he warns, “The moment you make engaging with other people about ‘being right,’ you need to stop and check your heart.”
He quotes author J. S. Knox, who stated, “You cannot antagonize and influence at the same time.” Hodges adds, “We have to earn someone’s respect before we can build a relationship. And we have to have a relationship before we can have influence.”
“Be kind to one another”
How are we to build such a relationship? According to Scripture, you and I are to “walk in wisdom toward outsiders” and to “let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:5, 6). And we are to “always [be] prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). I italicized “always” to show that there are no exceptions to these priorities.
How are we to respond when people disagree with us? “The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness” (2 Timothy 2:24–25).
We are to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). And we are to “pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Romans 14:19).
Here’s the bottom line: “Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:1–2). We are to speak the truth, but only and always in love (Ephesians 4:15).
Choosing light and love
You and I have little influence on President Trump or his supporters or critics in Washington and the media. But we are directly responsible for the way we talk about them and to each other.
Let’s give Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. the last word: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Will you choose light and love today?
CHUCK KLEIN  [SABR Bio] was the first National League player in the modern era to hit four home runs in one game - 4 HR 10-Jul-1936, 10-inning G. He was the first outfielder voted Most Valuable Player by the BBWAA, as it is done today - NL MVP 1932, by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. No other player received even one 1st-place vote and all for 4th-place PHI. No other outfielder in any league in the modern era had more outfield assists than he did in the season where he also led the majors in total bases. Both were personal bests - 44 OF A in 1930 w/445 TB (4th best all-time).

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Get Your Dodger Bobbles

Took photos of my Dodgers bobbleheads in an effort to sell some. Koufax. Sutton. Hershiser. Young Lasorda. First base coach Babe Ruth. Kirk Gibson pumping his fist. Pee Wee pushing Campy in the wheelchair. UGA Alex Wood. Rick Monday saving the American flag from being burned.

After Pop Warner returned to his alma mater Colgate as head football coach, he disliked the pressure from pandering alumni and assistant coaches wanting his job. The job at Carlisle was appearing because the Indian boys were fast, smart, and eager to beat the top four schools in the country: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Penn. In Warner’s first year they beat Penn, then later traveled to San Francisco at the end of the year on beat Cal 2-0 on Christmas Day. Granland Rice ranked them fourth in the nation.

I think the Billy Graham Rule is in the news because of Vice President Mike Pence, who adheres to the same rule. When it first came out several months ago that Pence never allows himself to be alone with a woman that’s not his wife, it made national news. Yet still Pence is blasted and disrespected by those who don’t agree with him. Used to be politicians worked together for the good of the country even though they were in deferent political parties, like Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan. No more.
Andy Stanley and others also follow to the same rule. Andy tries to not make a big deal about it. Harder for a lowlife like me to follow the rule 100% of the time, but not impossible.
Used to be “I may disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” Now its “Not only do I disagree with what you say, but I’ll threaten you (or your career) with death to keep you from saying it.”  
Hopefully I am back to 100%. Stopped by Trader Joes on the way home for cheese. C fixed spaghetti and meat chunks with tossed salad. M ate with us. Working on that farm is wearing him out, which is good.
Not much on TV. Can’t remember what we watched. Some of the Braves game. Was playing on my laptop.
Coworker Jonathan brought in Dunkin Donuts. Since I skipped breakfast I ate one. Lunch meeting catered by Mellow Mushroom. Shouldn’t need any supper.
This afternoon I haven an appointment with an ear nose & throat doctor in preparation of a sleep apnea test study. Hopefully I’ll also have time to get my emissions checked.