Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Habits of Authentic People

Habits of authentic people, another article by Travis Bradberry. I yearn to be authentic. Living authentically is a real challenge. You must own your actions and insure they align with your beliefs and needs. This can be difficult when external forces pressure you to do something you’re not comfortable with, or be someone you’re not.
Studies show that when people fail to behave authentically, they experience a heightened state of discomfort that’s usually associated with immorality. People who weren’t true to themselves were so distraught that they felt a strong desire to cleanse themselves physically.
It’s clear our brains know when we are living a lie, and like all lies, being inauthentic causes nothing but harm. But how do you start living authentically?
Authentic people are deeply in tune with who they are and what they want. Their ability to live in harmony with their true selves comes from some clearly discernable habits that any of us can study and add into our own repertoire.
They help others to be their authentic selves. Authentic people don’t expect others to play a role either.
They let go of negative people. Authentic people have too much respect for other people to try and change them (staying positive is a constant fight for me).
They express their true feelings and opinions, even when they’re not popular. Authentic people don’t live a go along to get along lifestyle. They simply aren’t capable of living that way, even if there are repercussions. They prefer not to lie to other people, and they especially can’t lie to themselves. (ME: some people go out of their way to make a show of voicing their own contrary opinions, even when it’s not necessary. That’s not being authentic, that’s being a jerk, putting yourself ahead of others for no reason).
They are confident. Much social anxiety stems from the fear we have of being “found out.” We’re afraid that somebody is going to discover that we’re not as smart, experienced, or well-connected as we pretend to be. Authentic people don’t have that fear. Their confidence comes from the fact they have nothing to hide. Who they appear to be is who they are.  
They prefer deep conversations to meaningless chatter. Eleanor Roosevelt said “great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” You won’t find authentic people gossiping about others or giving their opinions on the latest celebrity scandals. They choose to talk about things that matter. (Hear, hear. Still, sometimes my mind drifts away and I lose interest).
They don’t take anyone’s advice without evaluating it carefully first. First they make sure it makes sense for them.
They don’t complain about their problems. Complaining is what you do when you think the situation you’re in is someone else’s fault, or that it’s someone else’s job to fix it. Authentic people are accountable. They understand that they are responsible for their own lives, so there’s no point in complaining.
They’re internally motivated (i.e. motivated by God).
They make the best of any situation. Authentic people have a very firm grasp on reality. When things don’t go their way they don’t get trapped in denial (or try to BS their way out of it), and they don’t sit around whining about how things should be different. They simply take stock of the way things are and, if there’s nothing they can do to change the situation, they figure out a way to make the best of it (my reality is colored by my sensitivity and introversion).
They don’t get stressed or upset when someone doesn’t like them. Authentic people don’t have that anxiety because they would never try to change themselves to influence someone else’s opinion (not really a big concern to me).
Summary: living authentically is a perpetual challenge that yields great rewards. It is a noble path that you won’t regret following.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Dansby Dansby Danbsy

TIP: when in doubt go with the headline that grabs readers.

Ran into JP at the game Thursday. I wasn't surprised to hear a Dansby story from him, since he knew the Swanson's years ago when J pastored a church in Cobb. Dansby's dad told J that his son had called from the minors, frustrated with his hitting/swing. His dad told him to get it worked out before a possible September first call-up. A few hours later Dansby called back with the news of his call-up. J's daughter is a freshman at UGA, involved in some of the same activities as Anna. They have yet to connect.

Any thoughts about Dansby's first series?

ROB: I have not seen Swanson field a ground ball yet, but I think I have seen all of his AB's.  Offensively, he looks like he belongs.  He seems to have competitive AB's, which was the scouting report on him.  I think they chose a good time to bring him up.

I wonder if they will bring up Albies during the next homestand.  I trust the scouts more than I trust me reading stats, but it looks like he has handled AA really well.

I don't think Jenkins misses enough bats to be a MLB starter.  Whalen has really good K numbers.

ME: Will's former coach Henry is no longer teaching at Wheeler – he's now teaching with Ceil at M's school in Alpharetta: Legacy. Friday we went over to Bill Willit's house for Matthew's class gathering. C is talking about returning to NP, I think.

Anna came home Saturday to celebrate her birthday. When she and C went to the mall I drove out to Gwinnett to collect the Chopper bobblehead, but didn't stay for the game. Got my picture taken with several mascots, including Buzz. Hairy Dog wasn't there. Went back home for Anna's birthday dinner. Seemed like I washed dishes all weekend, and Ceil did the dishes Saturday night.

Four team members were out this morning. Another new girl must be trained. Sales meeting for lunch. BBQ, I think. My sister-in-law's mother passed away this weekend. Visitation Tuesday night and funeral Wednesday mid-day. Mom's surgery Tuesday. This weekend Ceil and I have the chance to be together with all three kids for the same time since before the wedding over eight months ago, but I may need to be in Macon.

Getting brakes put on Anna's Jeep, so she drove my car back. I'll have to make a trip over there this week to switch them back.

Monday morning office music: Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson. Can You Feel it, by the Go Go's. A Rolling Stones song.

Ted Williams pitched one time. So did that Ruth guy. Gehrig pitched in college.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Chopper's Birthday

Arrived early as usual to CoolRay Field yesterday for the Chopper bobble. Second in line behind the Kennesaw nurse and her husband. Rocked the old Boston Braves cap, which matched my black tee.
Searched for baseballs in the weeds outside the outfield fence before the downpour, which didn't last long.
Soon the blue skies reappeared, bringing with it the humidity. The regulars began to show: the Maldondo kids, LJ, the red-haired kid and his mom, Johnny and Hugh. Finally at 5:10 Bobby dragged in. Co-worker Samantha showed, with nieces and nephews.
 Had to get a donut pic for Facebook friend Drew.
Hoping to blackmail me, Samantha eagerly took the pictures.
A good time-killer before the gates opened. 
Chopper climbed over the fence and stirred up the kids. Several local mascots showed to wish him a happy birthday.
Couldn't resist having my picture made with Oglethorpe's Stormy Petrel. My tweet of this picture was re-tweeted and liked more than most of my social media posts. I asked the foul if he knew Oglethorpe basketball star Conner Smith, but the bird shook his head no. Hmm.
I told Buzz that not only was I a Tech grad, but I remembered when the original Buzz made his debut.
Teams represented included the Gwinnett Gladiators, Emory?, Oglethorpe, Tech, the Greenville Bats, Atlanta's professional lacrosse team, and the Atlanta Dream.
Wore my old Reebok Zigs to the game - aka my Krypto shoes.
The bobble wasn't bad, gaining kudos from many in the community.
Obligatory panoramic photo taken soon after the gates opened. After I gathered my bobbles I hit the road, fighting southbound traffic home for Anna's birthday dinner. She didn't want pictures taken of that.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Thurday Braves Photos

More photos from Thursday's Braves game:
The game was delayed almost an hour and a half. Gave LJ and me time to explore. 
During the delay good-guy Mark Lemke climbed into the stands to deliver a gift to his buddy Darrell.
Nice view from the Ryerson seats.
Fan Plaza. We hung out on the other side of the Sweetwater kiosk in the middle.
The 755 Club offered a nice view of downtown.
The Mercedes Dome is coming along.
Last year I took this same photo.
Panoramic of the 755 Club buffet,
overlooking the tarp-covered field.
The bobble was the popular "wall catch" design, depicting Andruw's famous "Spiderman" catches against the centerfield wall. With the popularity of superhero bobbles also a thing, it would've cool had Andruw been wearing a spidey suit. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Dansby's Second Game

Tough day to leave work early - at least six people were out. I was able to get in almost eight hours and left around 2:15. Since 85 south was jammed back to the 400 merge, I took PIB to 285 to 20 - a speed limit drive. Walked up to the stadium around 3:30 wearing my official Braves Facilities shirt, home cap, and khaki shorts. I quickly noticed that employees were going out of their way to greet me. This would happen throughout the evening.

Few were in the dollar line except John Parkes, but we had plenty to discuss. Later we were joined by LJ and later Kevin, who had my Glenn Hubbard bobblehead and 1991 NL Championship ring. Kevin had 14 Andruw bobbles to gather. Old Johnny T had brought grandson Josef. Bobby Myers, the nurse, and her husband were in line. Renee called from work, and emailed me the four company tickets. We chatted up the security guard monitoring the dollar line, and messed with Crazy Darrell.

Bought the dollar ticket and entered the gates to get my first bobble. John abled in and generously gave me his, though LJ had asked him for it first. I immediately exited and was able to secure a second dollar ticket, and a third bobble. By now LJ was sitting with John, holding my growing backpack. I try to unassumingly walk out the gates with my eyes on my phone, and was never bothered when I did - perhaps because I was wearing my uniform. I didn't mind making eye contact with the stadium employees. I went to the nearby west gate for bobble number four, the BBQ gate for number five, the main gate for number six, and the east gate for number seven.

At that point I checked out the nearby game used store, which had a $300 Niekro spring training jersey. Saw BP regulars Norman, Johnny, and Marshall, all taking shelter. Since I was having such success and LJ was keeping my bag, I gave him one of my bobbles. The sky had grown dark and it began to sprinkle. LJ and I headed from out perch near the left field foul pole around to the right field corner to see if there would be a pre-game parade, but none was scheduled.
We grabbed our free designated driver cokes and sat out in the tents overlooking the player parking lot. With some time to kill, I checked work email and made a couple of calls.

We continued our clockwise circumnavigation of the lower deck, paying a visit to the season ticket holder lounge, to ask some questions about future games. Then we took the elevator to the upper deck and headed counterclockwise from the Coke bottle all the way around to the other end of the upper deck. Since it was raining we took the elevator down to the club level. Saw the Coach and the Duke fan at their usual hangout near Chickfila. Later Katie would get Andruw to autograph Duke's bobble. We proceeded clockwise all the way around the stadium again, taking in all the photos of old Braves and who wore which number, pausing at 96 (Bill Voiselle), 41 (Eddie Mathews), 31 (Greg Maddux), 28 (Mike Lum), and 8 (Bob Uecker).
Went through the 755 Club, past the massive buffet. Sliders, chicken tenders, brats. Nothing healthy there, but there were healthier options on the club level. Also BBQ and Moes-type burritos.
Thought I saw a ghost at the bar. Nice jersey. We took the elevator down to the Fan Plaza. LJ greeted an usher friend he knew. She asked "need a bobblehead?" and handed each of us a box. Number eight.
With the game delayed due to the rain we took shelter under the Sweetwater Brewing Beer kiosk, people-watching as fans entered the main gate. This turned out to be a fun thirty minutes. Every now and then a fan would forget to grab a bobble, so I might "remind" them what they missed. Most would thank me, some ignored me, others outright lied to me, saying they already had one. Only once did someone give me their bobble (nine) that I passed on to LJ (my backpack was full). Many thought I worked there, asking directions and calling me "sir."
As first pitch neared we circled the park counterclockwise from the Fan Plaza in centerfield around to our seat in section 115 by first base. Row 20. I quickly posted bobbles for sale on Facebook and eBay. One sold pretty quickly. The Nationals first batter popped a foul behind us. I scrambled that way and came close to nabbing it. With two out in the top of the first, leftfielder Matt Kemp dropped a very catchable fly ball near the foul pole - allowing two unearned runs to score. When the third out was finally made, I watched as Kemp lumbered to the dugout, his trot slowing to a walk as he crossed the foul line. Perhaps next year the Braves should switch to the third base dugout at SunTrust Park to give Kemp a break.
Snapped photos of the stadium and rookie shortstop Dansby Swanson, who had made his major league debut the night before.
Swanson struck out to end the all-important RaceTrac inning, but later made a nice running catch in the outfield.

As always, the Braves organist played creative tunes as the opposing Nationals came to bat:
Shaggy-haired Jayson Werth: "Jesus is Just All Right with Me"
Anthony Rindon: Billy Joel's "Movin' Out" - "Anthony works at the grocery store..."
First-baseman Clint Robinson: Simon & Garfunkel's "Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson"
Trea Turner: Tina Turner's "Rolling on the River"

As we made our leave I stopped for a chat with Johnny Pierce, sitting behind the plate instead of his usual spot on aisle 222. Wasn't surprised that he'd been visiting with Dansby's father, as the Swanson's had attended the Cobb County church Johnny had pastored. We learned our daughters might be crossing paths at UGA's Wesley Foundation. LJ and I circled back clockwise to the right field west gate to exit - our fifth trip around the stadium, not counting my six trips in and out of the turnstiles after the gates opened.

I hadn't eaten supper, but I didn't stop on the way home. By the time I pulled in the driveway all five of the bobbles I'd posted on eBay had sold, at the market rate set by the bobblehead mafia. C and B had gone to bed but I wasn't sleepy. Unpacked my backpack, edited the photos I'd taken, watched some Olympics, and washed a load of clothes. Hit the sack at midnight. Oddly, I couldn't sleep. Not sure why. Was almost 1:20 am before I finally nodded off.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Second-Ponce Volleyball

Church league volleyball was one of the first things that attracted me to SPdL - the family atmosphere where a college student from out of town could get to know not only other college students and their Sunday School teachers, but also parents and high school students, and others. I started attending in April of 1978, the end of my freshman year at Tech.

Games were Wednesday and Sunday nights. Teams were coed, and a girl had to hit the ball at least once every time. This made girls like Deborah Light, Kelly Clark, and Janet Williams valuable. No spiking, of course. Teams included youth, college, singles, choir, and various adult Sunday School teams. The youth team was always slightly disorganized. The college team was good, but not as experienced as some of the teams that had been playing together for a long time.

Mike Ayers took the volleyball seriously. He'd wear official volleyball shoes. Also athletic shorts, kneepads, a cap, and gloves, all kept in the gym bag he carried. When he started dating his future bride Miss Shirley, she had to play as well. Mike gave her volleyball shoes and gloves, but I never saw her wear kneepads. Noel Turner might've courted his future bride on the volleyball court as well.

Steve Norman and David Hurt anchored the Singles team. Norman took softball and basketball seriously, but I can't remember him going overboard on volleyball. Hurt didn't either, though he excelled at the look one way / tap the other way no-look/misdirection/almost soft-spike from high above the net. John and Margaret Condra led the choir team. Their kids Stuart, Susan, and Scott all played.

My college team included roommates Jeff Yearwood and Brett Freemon, who both loved the intramural volleyball at Tech. Also roommates Wayne Smith and Don Sells. Collegians Fred O and Charles "Too Tall" Vaughn. Jimmy Light and Jerome Mathis might've been two of the more serious players. The entire Head family played for various teams: Jerry, Marcine, Don, Debra, Steve, and Stacy. Chad Eaton may have been too young, but the rest of his family played.

To me those were SPdL's glory days. The huge annual church picnic at Chastain Park. Family Fun Nights in the Fellowship Hall. Perhaps a movie would be shown, like that Don Knotts fish movie. An occasional talent show after the Sunday night service, usually starring those cute little Whitaker kids all decked out in matching outfits. Mighty Mite Basketball - much better than today's watered down Upward version. The Chapel Choir packed the choir loft for the 8:30 am service. Youth retreats and choir tours and Camp SPdL. Banquets for sports, youth, choir, etc. I wore my SPdL jacket and SPdL polo shirt and carried my SPdL gym bag for years, until they tore apart.

Reid Whitaker adds: Actually, volleyball started at FBC. It was BIG there playing on Tuesday Nights labeled SAP (Single Adult Players) Night. I went every Tuesday night no matter what. Even returned from a two week vacation early not to miss SAP night. The players were part of about 50 single adults who were mixing it up with eventual dating and marriage as a result. I walked into the gym one night in November '63 with my best friend Bill Stewart. A girl walked into the gym on the other end that I considered the best looking girl I had ever laid eyes on. I turned to Bill and asked who the girl was. He said he thought the girl was named Edith Edfeldt or something like that. I was too shy to ask her for a date, but chatted from time to time while on the court during games. She mentioned several times that we never asked her to go with us out to eat after church on Sun and Wed nights, but I didn't use that remark to my advantage. UNTIL, one Sunday night in Dec of '63 when we just happened to be standing next to each other in the foyer after church one Sunday night. A girl named Sybil Fortner came whizzing by and said "You two are invited to my house tonight for after church fellowship" !!!! You remember this story, and the rest of the story.

Edith and I both played on the choir team at Ponce, but I don't remember much about it except for what you said. I hated the rule about girls having to hit the ball. Too distracting.

MORE: see where UGA has won almost as many Olympic medals as host country Brazil?

Every week Sports Illustrated has a "hot/not" feature. This week:

HOT - the New York Yankees. Call-ups Tyler Austin, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez (from Atlanta) have impressed. A-Rod must be a great instructor.

NOT - Carson Wentz. The Eagles rookie QB suffered a hairline crack in a rib during his debut. The Liberty Bell was not impressed.

Sports Illustrated also ranked five recent Olympic mascots on a strange to terrible scale. The mascots of the last three summer games were all deemed worse than Atlanta's Izzy.

Co-workers Rodney and Jonathan are traveling yesterday and today. Dialysis called in sick. New girl went home sick. So did two other ladies. Today is the day I had marked back in April to leave early.

Sports Illustrated ranked Olympic mascots on a weirdness scale. Those from the last 3 summer games were all deemed worse than Atlanta's Izzy

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Olympic Sports We'd Like to See

Olympic sports I'd like to see: longest drive , closest to the pin, longest field goal, longest football throw, punt, pass, and kick, longest baseball throw, home run derby, three point contest, slam dunk contest, H-O-R-S-E, bass fishing, stock car racing, WWE, and the dreaded obstacle course

Yesterday I had my front end aligned at the East Cobb Firestone. Hadn't had that done in years, perhaps never. Lately when I'd hit 60 MPH the front end and steering wheel would shake. I knew it was almost time for new tires so I went ahead and bit the bullet on those as well. I might could've gotten more life out of the back tires, and had I gone to my regular tire dealer he might've sold me on four as well.

Firestone checked out the engine cooling system and it checked out, tell me that many 2005 Civics have a phantom overheating problem. The guy complimented me on how well maintained my Civic was. He was very thorough. My friend Lee takes his cars there all the time, but I try to stay away from places like Firestone and Tires Plus, that try to upsell you on every service.

The price for the Bridgestone tires wasn't too much more than I pay at Tire Deals, and plus road hazard was included. When I got home I looked up the Firestone Bridgestone promotional website and discovered a $70.00 rebate the Firestone guy hadn't told me about. That made the tires much cheaper than Tire Deals.
Anna wanted new sneakers for her birthday, so I ordered some New Balance 696 from Zappos. I had Amazon gifts cards to use, but they didn't have her size.

Since M and C were going to be late, I swung by Moes after picking up my car. Watched the Olympics, checked email, and played on the computer.

Guy in my office is watching replays of preseason NFL games instead of the Olympics. That would be like watching a split-squad Braves vs Georgia Tech spring training game instead of the Super Bowl.

Tonight is Dansby's major league debut. Some will be disappointed if he's not the second coming of Willie Mays AND Mickey Mantle, forgetting how Mays was almost sent back to the minors after his slow start. I'll get to see his second game.

Listening to the sound recording of Bill O'Reilly's book "Killing Patton." Learning a lot. Next up is a re-read of Dan Brown's Inferno, in anticipation of the movie release this fall, starring Tom Hanks.