Sunday, December 04, 2016

The Old Lefty

Ceil wasn't the only one to throw baseballs at the Turner Field open house.
I hate posting pictures of myself, but it was a slow day.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Revenge of the Nerds

Things every Type-B person wishes you knew, another list from Travis Bradberry for LinkedIn.  Bradberry says Type A’s are the candles that light the room, usually burning at both ends, and Type B’s are merely the mirrors reflecting the same light – and not receiving as much recognition for it. At least Bradberry, himself a Type A, has it half right.
Since Type B’s aren’t as in your face about their contributions, they have a tendency to get mislabeled as lazy or indifferent. Originally Type A personalities were determined as impatient and more prone to heart disease. The traits that Type A’s assume are the products of laziness or indifference are distinct personality characteristics that help Type B’s achieve and prosper.
Unlike Type A’s, Type B’s don’t feel like they have to be perfect. They’re OK with recognizing and admitting their weaknesses. Type B’s are also easier to get along with. They tend to be supportive rather than pushing, rushing, and criticizing others. Type B’s don’t jump to conclusions. Since they’re not in a constant rush they take time to analyze all the facts instead of hurrying to just reach a conclusion as soon as possible. Type B’s won’t keep beating a dead horse. A’s can obsess with making their chosen strategy work, but B’s can easily switch gears when it becomes obvious something isn’t working.
Type B’s deserve a lot more credit than they get. What it means to be a Type B:
We’re not lazy, just laid back. We care just as much about our goals as Type A’s. But the goals are a journey, not a sprint. We may stop and smell the roses along the way, but we’re still focused on where we’re going.
We have a plan. Just because we’re not telling everyone in sight every little thing we do, it doesn’t mean we’re not doing anything. We just keep it to ourselves.
We care. We’re not disengaged or indifferent. We care so much that we work at the pace we’re most effective.
We’re content. And that’s a good thing. Type B’s report a higher level satisfaction with our lives. That lets us enjoy today without worrying so much about what we must achieve tomorrow.
We’re healthier than Type A’s. We suffer less stress, which can lead to insomnia, relationship problems, substance abuse, and the aforementioned heart problems. Our ability to relax paves the way for better decision-making, and helps us avoid cancer, fight off infections, and maintain a healthy weight (ME: most of the time, anyway).
We make great friends. We see the best in everyone – including those insufferable Type A’s. We don’t view life as a competition. Lawd you can tell a Type A wrote this. Robert Lewis Stevenson: “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
We work best when we’re allowed to color outside the lines. We’d rather have a blank canvas than a color by numbers.
We like group projects (?) B’s focus on the process as well as the outcome, and are happy to share the credit and success. In some of these details Bradberry’s guesses are downright incorrect. These I will leave out.
Type B's admire and respect Type A's – but we wouldn’t trade places. “We’re awed by your drive and breathtaking pace” – what? Bradberry is full of his Type A self. Is he making this crap up? Maybe we don’t, Travis! Bradberry is partially right: We’re wise enough to know that we’re not wired that way. We’re content to hang out in the slow lane and see you at the finish line (don’t forget the story of the tortoise and the hare, Travis!). B's are the ones who are smiling calmly, rather than gasping for breath.    
Perhaps Bradberry should stick to writing about the things he knows, rather than trying to be all things to all men.
One he missed: Type B’s aren’t so full of ourselves that we have to list every degree, title, mission statement, and fax number after our names in an effort to impress strangers we’ll never meet - unlike the Type A's screaming for attention by posting comments on Bradberry's posts.  
Also insufferable: the screaming for attention titles for all these posts.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Greatest Pass Receptions?

Watched the NFL Network’s Top Ten Pass Receptions of all time. As usual, the list was only ranked to spur discussion. This from the network who brought you “Tackle My Ride.”  
Honorable Mention: RC Owens’ alley oop catch
HM: Montana to John Taylor to beat Bengals in Super Bowl.
HM: Terrell Owens last second TD catch to win a Wild Card game.
10. The Immaculate Reception (should be first).
9. Tom Brady to Randy Moss
8. Blink and you missed it?
7. Antonio Freeman on Monday Night Football
6. A Seahawks’ bobbling catch?
5. Lynn Swann’s Super Bowl catch against the Cowboys
4. The Giants’ Odel Beckham’s one-handed TD catch
3. Antonio Holmes’ Super Bowl-winning TD catch with 34 seconds left
2. Dwight Clark’s “The Catch” to beat the Cowboys for the NFC Championship
1. Giants’ David Tyre’s Super Bowl catch off his helmet
   My rank:
HM: Fred Belitnikoff in Super Bowl against Vikings
HM: Herschel Walker’s 93 yard TD reception for Eagles
HM: Montana to John Taylor to win Super Bowl
10. Falcons Hail Mary to beat Saints
9. John Mackey Super Bowl tipped TD against Cowboys
8. Billy White Shoes Johnson’s game-winning TD for Falcons
7. Antonio Freeman on MNF
6. NYG Beckham’s one-hander
5. NYG David Tyre against helmet
4. Lynn Swann
3. Antonio Holmes
2. Dwight Clark
1. The Immaculate Reception

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Last Requests

Tuesday evening after M’s doctor appointment we ate at Jalisco. Marby Rainer and his wife were eating with a couple I didn’t know. Mary Elizabeth Teem was just finishing up, and we had a nice chat. Hadn’t seen her since the choir reunion. Her table was next to a shelf filled with Mexican vases and other trinkets. I posted a picture of the shelf on Facebook, saying that when I die I wanted Mary Elizabeth to sneak my ashes onto that shelf. Bruce, who overanalyzes everything, very humorously commented “That leads to so many questions. I don’t even know where to begin.” True. I could’ve answered, but thought it was funnier if I didn’t.
Answers to unasked questions:
1 Reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated. I am in relatively good health.
2. Ceil and I are happily married.
3. Ceil would have no use for my ashes.
4. In lieu of making my family go out of the way to spread my ashes somewhere (a baseball field?), Jalisco seems like as good a place as any.
5. I “see” Mary Elizabeth on Facebook. Known her since she was 9 and I was 19. We rarely cross paths.  
6. It’s nice that she’d willing to fulfill my last request. I’d like to think I’d be as willing to do likewise.
7. Bruce did not know we’d seen each other at Jalisco. Most understood my comment to be a joke, though the idea would be fun.
Didn’t get home until almost 10 pm. Somehow Ceil beat me home. Watched some Last Man Standing, a PBS special on The Carpenters, and Bernie Sanders on Conan.  
There used to be one of those official putt putt courses south of Macon. It was a long way away, down near the seven bridges area. I’d go there some in high school and college. When I was a kid the only McDonalds in town was way down there, but we’d occasionally make the trip. The one with the huge golden arches that you’d walk up and order, and eat outside. Later they built a Burger Chef closer to home, so we’d go there instead. Before they built Shakey’s Pizza we’d go to this stuffy Italian restaurant. The pizza there was like the Chef Boy Ore Dee we used to get at the grocery store.
There are no dinosaurs to putt around or windmills at the two remaining courses. The holes are pretty standard with some bumps and bank shots to make. Similar to that on line putt putt game (that does have a windmill or two). Both courses aren’t super flat, like that one in Chamblee used to be. In Chamblee that official putt putt place had three 18 hole courses. We used to go there when I was at Tech. I used to think Wayne Price was so cool for using his own putter that he kept in the trunk of his car.
1. Drought: I was out of the loop on the Gatlinburg fires. Someone joked those wax museums better watch out. Longest stretch without rain in 142 years. What? These extreme conditions happened before? Doesn’t that mean the climate is NOT changing – that what’s happened in the past is happening again?
2. Tornados: Not sure exactly where Heather Swilley lives in East Cobb, but a couple of trees near her were sheared off. Slugging catcher Andrew Arasmith’s neighborhood had trees down. Just a few branches down in my yard. I drove home from my focus group in the dark. A wreck in Sandy Springs had an intersection blocked. Saw on Bradford Pear tree down, not quite blocking the road. Didn’t see it until the last minute. Got gas so I took little windy two lane Bishop Lake Road. A crew was working on some power lines – right behind my friend Reid’s house. Turned out their power had been out for over 8 hours. And what’s new about tornados? Our area has been having them for as long as I can remember. And recent memory is all that counts with climate change, right?   
Left work at 5:20 for my focus group on Tetley iced tea. The eight of us all contributed and had a fun time.
1. Big Frank from New Jersey could talk about anything, including a girl’s cell phone texting prowess.
2. Pretty girl in a cartoon T-shirt. Nice smile. Didn’t talk too much but made good points. We may have been in a previous group together. I remembered the T-shirt.
3. Pleasant mother of three children aged 1, 2, and 3. Spoke several languages. Also from Jersey. Gentle manner. Made good points and knew her tea.
4. Woman who lived in a household of nine. Brewed a lot of tea. Bought 100 at a time.
5. Kristin, the mother of a special needs 16 year old.  Brought the same Tetley box as me.
6. Outspoken Randy, retired from the military. A little like Uncle Si with his tea and camo cap. Kept us in stiches. Luzianne man.
7. An older lady who likes ginger in her tea. New Balance sneakers and Fitbit Blaze.
8. Jean the moderator was a fashionable older lady, who laughed along with us. Halfway through the session Frank said her sweater looked like Oreos. Kinda weird moment. Randy dissed corduroys, which she was wearing.
9. I didn’t talk as much as Frank or Randy, but made some good points and jokes.
The consensus of the group was that Iced Tea – aka Sweet Tea – was uniquely Southern. Luzianne and to a lesser extent Lipton were the leaders, based on taste and packaging. Tetley is thought of as an English hot tea, even though their iced tea is produced in Georgia. The cold blue box doesn’t really scream Southern Iced Tea. The tea we sampled wasn’t that good.   
Monday night C ran to the mall to do some Christmas shopping. I went home and crashed. C had made spaghetti using spicy chicken sausage from Whole Foods. Not my favorite.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Stadia Around Town

Three new stadiums are under construction in Atlanta: the Mercedes Dome, SunTrust Park, and Georgia State’s new baseball stadium. Until the Georgia Dome is torn down, metro Atlanta has more than 16 facilities housing professional and collegiate sports teams.
Atlanta Civic Center (weightlifting/wrestling)
Atlanta Municipal Auditorium (basketball/boxing) 1909
CoolRay Field (Gwinnett Braves) 2011
Emory University (baseball/basketball)
Georgia Dome (Falcons) 1995
Georgia State baseball stadium 2018
Georgia State basketball arena
Georgia Tech Aquatics Center 1996
Georgia Tech Baseball Stadium 1970
Grant Field (Tech football) 1940
Herndon Stadium (Morris Brown) 1996
Infinite Energy Arena (Gwinnett Gladiators) 2005
Kennesaw State football stadium 2015
McCamish Pavilion (Tech basketball) 1960
Mercedes Dome (Falcons/soccer) 2017
Oglethorpe University (baseball/basketball)
O’Keefe Gymnasium (Georgia Tech Volleyball)
Phillips Arena (Hawks/Dream) 2005
Piedmont Park (college football/road races)
SunTrust Park (Braves) 2017
Turner Field (Georgia State football) 1996
Already demolished:
Alexander Memorial Coliseum (Tech/Hawks)
Atlanta Fulton County Stadium (Chiefs) 1965
Atlanta Sports Arena (basketball/concerts)
Georgia Tech’s “Navy Gym”  
Georgia Tech’s “Old Gym” and Drownproofing Pool
The Omni (Flames) 1970
Ponce de Leon Park (Crackers)
Second-Ponce de Leon Gymnasium 
When President-Elect William Howard Taft dedicated the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium in 1909, he was served a possum dinner. The AMA (above) went by a few other names. I was looking for the place Cassius Clay fought. Sounds like the AMA hosted basketball tournaments back in the 20’s and 30’s.
REID: What about the Atlanta Sports Arena that used to house basketball games back in the '40s ????? My dad used to take me a lot on Sunday afternoons to see the Ladies Sports Arena Blues Basketball team play their home games.
Where was the Sports Arena located? The AMA is on the Georgia State Campus across from the old Coke Museum and Underground Atlanta. It is now called Alumni Hall. I tried to do a little research – I guess the Atlanta Sports Arena was not another name for the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium. The Sports Arena may have been at 210 Chester Avenue, a couple of blocks east of Oakland Cemetery.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christmas in October

The Hallmark Channel prides itself with its constant barrage of Christmas movies from Halloween to January. Yet in last night’s made for TV movie the characters kept referring to the “Holiday Party” and “Holiday Tree.” Who do they think watches these things?
Last Tuesday: Crazy busy day at work that bled into the evening. Tracked W&MC’s drive drove Augusta west on 20 through downtown to 285 on the Westside, up to 75 and up to Cartersville. M was in Buckhead at the doctor. A was downtown as well, spending the evening with a friend down near the Lakewood Ampetheater. Watched The Middle.
Last Wednesday was more than 8 hours of fire drills. Finally left at 3:10 pm. Traffic to Athens wasn’t too bad. Drove to Augusta and stopped at Chickfila, then on to Jefferson. On I-20 west of Augusta a bad wreck had westbound traffic backed up 11 miles, and eastbound traffic one mile. A backup of 5,000 cars and 10,000 people. Saw the helicopter take off and head to Augusta. Cost us 30 minutes. Speed kills.
Thursday we ate over at Rusty’s at 1:30. Turkey casserole and pumpkin casserole and salad. Cheese biscuits. Very good. Twelve people. Watched the Lions and Vikings. For supper we ate at our house: turkey and dressing. The same twelve. Will & MC ate at her grandmother’s house with her extended family. Then they visited her grandfather in the assisted living home. Okie hung out at our house. They stopped in Augusta and arrived in SC late. Watched Baylor get blown out by Texas Tech and Texas lose to TCU.
Friday morning I drove to Pageland for Bojangles, and some last minute grocery items. Saw two people I knew at the BI-LO. Came home and didn’t leave for over 48 hours.
Twenty-two for lunch. As final meal preparations for the meal took place a fire broke out in the oven. Smoke. Alarms. Fans. Cameras. Photos. Videos. Fire Department came out. We finally ate. Chicken tetrazzini. Coconut cream pie. More football. Leftovers for supper, and more pie. Barney and Okie loved playing and wrestling with each other.
Saturday was leftovers and all day football. College GameDay. UGA/GT. Ohio State/Michigan. Alabama/Auburn. Clemson/SC. Will and MC left around six. More pie.
Sunday Anna had to get back to school. For breakfast I finished off the pie. Made a too-long stop at the Lugoff McDonalds for M, then drove straight on to Athens. Then all the way home to East Cobb. C went out for groceries. I grilled me a beef quesadilla on the Panini press. Took a quick nap. 
Some GT and Clemson fans may be gloating a bit too much. Clemson still has a few more games to win to complete their mission.
I saw Killing Kennedy was on, with Rob Lowe. Based on Bill O’Reilly’s book, which I read.

Another crazy day. Thinking about getting a less stressful job, like air traffic controller.

Hot Stove Photo

Where the magic happens: November's Hot Stove meeting at the Tallant Baseball Museum north of Cumming. Note the walls lined with posters and other memorabilia, cabinets loaded with bobbleheads, and the baseball field painted on the floor.

Johnny in white at the head of the table (behind the pole). In front of him in black is Georgia State's pitching coach. Across from him seated up high, Georgia State head baseball coach Greg Frady holds court. That's me to his right in navy blue, and ol' Hugh to my right in the dark cap. A larger than normal crowd. Through the door on the right is the room loaded with baseball bats and caps hanging from the ceiling. Come join us December 14 for Cap Swap Night.

Monday, November 28, 2016

"NFL"'s Exclusionary HOF

This past September the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced 94 players as nominees for enshrinement. In November the list was whittled down to 26 finalists. The inductees will be announced on Super Bowl Eve.
Herschel Walker was one of the 94 nominees, but did not make the cut as a finalist. Four running backs made the list: Roger Craig (83-93), Terrell Davis (95-01), Edgerrin James (99-09), and LaDainian Tomlinson (01-11).
Like Craig, Herschel (86-97) played in an era before many running backs were used as pass catchers. Craig played in the first pass-happy West Coast offense, but Herschel retired as one of the most prolific pass-catching running backs in NFL history despite playing in the more standard offenses of the day.
While Tomlinson had more pass receptions playing in a later era than Walker and Craig, Herschel still had more career receiving yards and touchdowns, and a higher average yards per catch than any of the finalist running backs. He also had the longest touchdown run, reception, and return of the group – all over 90 yards. In fact, Walker is the only player in NFL history to have a run, reception, and return of over 90 yards.
11  170 13684 145 85  634  4772  7.6  17  74 LT
11  146 12246 080 72  433  3364  7.8  11  60 EJ
12  187 08225 061 91  512  5859  9.5  21  93 HW
11  165 08189 056 71  566  4911  8.7  17  73 RC
07  078 07607 060 72  169  1280  7.6  06  35 TD
While Walker’s NFL rushing and receiving total is comparable to Tomlinson, James, and Craig, what sets him apart are his 5084 return yards. The four finalists had a total of 43 return yards between them.
Run& yards
18456    0000  0   00  18456 LT
14084    5084  2   94  18168 HW
15610    0000  0   00  15610 EJ
13100    0043  0   00  13143 RC
08887    0000  0   00  08887 TD
There is no doubt Tomlinson is worthy of enshrinement, despite the fact he never played in a Super Bowl. Craig played with Joe Montana, Steve Young, and Jerry Rice. James played with Peyton Manning, Davis played with Elway. Herschel played with young Troy Aikman - before the QB had matured into an All-Pro. Then Walker bounced around to four other average teams – always producing, always contributing. He was still able to compile the third highest combined yards total in NFL history.
These NFL numbers above do not include the 7000 plus yards Herschel gained in the USFL. Add these and Walker has gained more yards than any other player in pro football history.

Like Gale Sayers, Terrell Davis’ injury-plagued career is a special case. But if so, why isn’t Herschel’s all-around career also considered as well?
The answer is obvious: the NFL is blocking Herschel for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame because of his years as the face of the rival USFL. While former USFL stars Steve Young, Jim Kelly, and Reggie White had no problem making the HOF, Walker remains blocked for being the first high-profile collegian to sign with the USFL – and doing so as a junior. For a place that calls itself the Pro Football Hall of Fame, this is injustice.  
The other finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame: coaches Don Coryell and Jimmy Johnson. Players Morten Anderson, Steve Atwater, Tony Boselli, Isaac Bruce, Brian Dawkins, Alan Faneca, Chris Hinton, Torry Holt, Joe Jacoby, Mike Kenn, Ty Law, John Lynch, Clay Matthews, Kevin Manae, Karl Mecklinberg, Terrell Owens, Jason Taylor, Hines Ward, Kurt Warner, and Darren Woodson.
Like life, the NFL ain’t fair. The HOF elects Super Bowl Champions, good soldiers, and players from big cities. They exclude players from losing teams, smaller markets, and those who go against the grain. Owens’ numbers are almost as stupefying as Herschel’s, but that’s not my fight. Owens was the complete opposite of the hardworking, great teammate Walker. Owens was a brash loudmouth. Johnson was a flash in the pan compared to Coryell. Redskin Jacoby will no doubt edge Falcon Kenn. The NFL loves pretty boy Taylor and grinders like Boselli and Ward, compared to small market receivers Holt and Bruce.