Monday, January 30, 2006

Jan 28th Practice Game

Will and Matthew had their baseball tryouts Saturday. Afterwards Will played in a twelve-year old practice game at Shaw Park, against an East Cobb team. The East Cobb team had been practicing for weeks and was outfitted from head to toe in new, matching Rawlings and Reebok gear, names on the back, etc. The five East Cobb coaches also wore matching outfits. East Cobb won, but it was only because the team Will played with wasn’t that good.

Will played centerfield and shortstop, but didn’t have any balls hit to him. He also caught two innings. At the plate he walked three times and hit the hardest ball of the day, a screaming low line drive that hit the fence on one hop, for a double. Will was the only player to steal third all day, and he also stole second two or three times.

Will was on second when the batter grounded a ball into the hole between the first and second-baseman. The first-baseman had ranged to his right but couldn’t field the ball. The second-baseman charged to his left and was able to field the ball, but there was no play at first base. Instead the second-baseman threw home, and Will was out on a close play, attempting to score from second on a grounder to the second-baseman. He appeared safe to me.

Since it was a practice game the teams would bat through the order instead of changing sides every three outs. The last batter in one inning took a walk to end the inning. The same batter came up last in the next inning, with Will on third. Working deeper into the count, it was apparent the boy wasn’t going to swing. Will noticed the pitcher and catcher weren’t paying him much attention after the pitch, so when the catcher tossed the ball back to the pitcher, Will broke for home on a steal attempt, and was out on another close play.

Will should find out soon what team he’s on…we think we know. Matthew got a good coach…the same fellow that coached Will’s championship Tigers team two years ago. Should be a fun season. At Matthew’s tryout he hit the only pitch in the strike zone, and had some pretty swings at the balls pitched in the dirt. I had told him that since this was tryouts, to go up there and try and hit everything, and that’s what he did.

Friday afternoon I had gotten a call letting me know that Anna had been selected to be the student weather girl on the radio station 104.7FM. This morning they called the house at 6 AM, and Anna repeated back the weather, and they edited the tape and put her on the air. She wasn’t thrilled.

Yesterday afternoon Ceil and Anna went to Staci’s Southern Living party, so I took the boys to see the Zathura movie. Matthew had been feeling under the weather, so Ceil stayed home from church with him yesterday morning. Will had spent the night with Preston and went to church with him, so Anna and I stopped for a doughnut on our way home from church.

2004 Perfect Game

Our family has been on the go every night for the last nine days, and 17 of the last eighteen. So when Will’s championship game was rained out yesterday afternoon, we got back to the house at six, able to enjoy a quiet evening at home, knowing we’d be on the go the next five days as well.

Monday evening at Will’s practice, I had a nice conversation with another dad, who was excited to have secured corporate tickets to the Tuesday Braves/Diamondbacks game. We discussed the logistics of getting to the game after the 5:30 Little League game ended, where to park, etc. I commented on how with future Hall-of-Famer Randy Johnson pitching, it would be one of the top 5 home games of the year (on my personal calendar, where I noted all home games, I had highlighted the Diamondback series in red months ago).

Five minutes after we got home Tuesday evening the phone rang. It was the dad, wondering if Will & I would like to go to the game. With our busy schedule I declined, but told him that driving home a few minutes earlier in the driving thunderstorm, I noticed the southern sky looked clear, so the game should start on time. It would’ve been nice to go…at least we’d been to the Orioles/White Sox game at Camden Yards just two weeks ago.

We actually got the kids to bed earlier than usual. Will and Matthew were having a hard time going to sleep, but I was back downstairs before 8:45pm. Ceil was going to dial into a conference call at nine. Anxious to check on the game, I quickly noted Johnson hadn’t allowed a hit through four innings. I settled in on the couch. After Arizona was retired in the top of the ninth, I tried to wake up Will, but he wouldn’t budge. With Eddie Perez pinch-hitting with two out, I motioned Ceil over to the TV, interrupting her conference call.

Last night’s was the 17th perfect game, out of hundreds of thousands of major league games that have been played in the last hundred years. I missed a chance to be there, as I missed the 2004 NCAA Championship game with Georgia Tech.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Constant Gardener

"Gardener" was ok, but not a good movie for the guy's night out. Something to laugh about later. My movie-buff/committed-Christian boss liked ‘Gardener’ but said it wasn’t exactly a feel-good movie…his wife wouldn’t want to see it again. Most reviews will tell you the wife dies, and that the movie deals with big drug companies testing drugs on the poor in Africa. But there’s even more depressing stuff than that! Kind of political, kind of educational, but most definitely a thriller. I do like Ralph Fiennes. Plugged In liked Gardner (it could win Best Picture), but said it could’ve been better had it been cut to make it PG-13 instead of R.

Before the movie, Steve Falis was talking about picking out movies for Sarah, that didn’t turn out well. Then we picked ‘Gardener’. It did have a story…(spoiler alert) both the main characters died! Even Steve was pretty quiet. A political movie slamming big drug companies testing new drugs out on the poor in Africa.

While last week’s classic ‘Flightplan’ moved on, we still had a couple of options. I ruled out ‘Saw 2’, since none of us have seen the original, so we’d had been lost (did I use that joke last week?). Ceil has already seen ‘Pride & Prejudice’, so that one’s out (feel free to overrule me, but our wives will either be jealous, or think even higher of us if we saw that). Aeon Flux is supposedly a real violent, futuristic sci-fi movie. This morning I re-read the Aeon Flux review…that it’s like most sci-fi action movies. They weren’t that crazy about ‘Just Friends’…about a guy that didn’t want to advance his relationship (sleep with) his high school friend, for fear of messing up the friendship. I suppose it’s a comedy. Everyone here is high on the old movie ‘Office Space’…they say it’s funny. Jennifer Anniston is in it, but the guys supposedly steal the show.

We've been seeing lots of movies lately. I may have told you about last Saturday, when we went to see three different movies at the same time. We still don't go as much as some folk.
Wallace & & M...Sat
Dreamer...W & A (then me & M)...Sat
Pride & Prejudice...C...Sat
Tip of the Spear...W...Sun
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory...both Sun &Mon
The Constant Gardener...Tues
Pirates of the Caribbean...Wed
My Fellow Americans...Wed

Ceil's going off tonight, so there might be another movie tonight.

Signed up to chaperone on Will's Science expedition to Jeckel Island...a five day trip. Becky Norman will be chaperoning as least three, perhaps all four of her youngest boys will be going. Willis is now 16, I think, and is very tall...6'8"...he still pays basketball for the home school team, far as I know. Willis is very artistic, and this summer he’s going overseas on a two-week drama-mission trip, sponsored by the science school.

The Steelers got to pick what color jersey to wear, and the coach picked white instead of black. Interesting SI article on the NFL commissioner.

Women's tennis seems as popular as ever, even with hardly any Americans in the top of the rankings...Davenport and Capriati aside. Seems like the Williams sisters aren't very consistent...only playing well when they 'feel' like it. Their choice, I suppose.

I like the Burns baseball documentary, and yes, it’s hard it get interested in the 1900s…all those shots of photos/drawings. The Negro Leagues is more interesting, but its hard to compare eras and leagues that played a different number of games per season, where stats aren’t available. Too bad for Josh Gibson.

No surprise the Braves are loading up on arms going into spring training. The younger guys will really have to do well to beat out the older guys…at least that's the way it was when Leo was here.

The good thing about our wedding was that Ceil's mom made all the arrangements in SC while we were in Atlanta. There wasn't much Ceil and I tried to manage (just the music and preacher).

Been in a trance here at work. Had writer's block, coming up with stuff to talk about.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


"New FOX show, 'Skating with Celebrities,' starts tomorrow night. You've got Dave Coulier, Debbie Gibson, Todd Bridges...
...No word yet on the celebrities."

Angelina's Top Ten Pet Peeves About Brad
10. He's apparently too cool to jump on couches proclaiming his love
9. Refuses to appear on Maury Povich show to confirm paternity
8. Keeps introducing her as his future ex-wife
7. Wears William Shatner's kidney stone around his neck
6. Fight Club, my ass. He can't take a punch.
5. Small feet, if you know what I mean.
4. His freakishly undersized lips
3. He looks good enough, but when you have been married to Billy Bob, everything else is a step down
2. Doesn't kiss as good as her brother
1. Spews more crap than O'Reilly

"Top Ten Surprises in Clinton's State of the Union Address"
2. If re-elected, would bring back the McRib Sandwich.

Amazing Similarities between Abe Lincoln and George W Bush…
Lincoln…was a lawyer.
Bush…once hired a lawyer.

Lincoln…never found Osama.
Bush…just like Lincoln!

Bush…knew Strom Thurmond.
Lincoln…also knew Strom Thurmond!

Lincoln…likeness on the penny.
Bush…likeness on bumperstickers.

Lincoln…shot in head at a theater.
Bush…laughed head off in theater watching ‘Big Mama 2’


Vanderjagt was on Letterman last Thursday. I had always thought he was the mouthy, confident Canadian who has called out Peyton a few years ago. But when he had to sit and be interviewed he appeared almost depressed, like he’d much rather be somewhere else. Perhaps he had agreed to kick footballs in the street, and hadn’t thought that he’d be interviewed beforehand. Letterman introduced him as ‘the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history’, and recited his 2005 stats…23 of 25 kicking field goals, including 7 of 8 beyond 40 yards.

When Dave asked if he wished they had moved in closer before the attempt, Vanderjagt said that before they got the ball, he had talked to Dungy, the offensive coordinator, and Manning, and had told them he was prepared to make anything within 53 yards. So when the Colts got in his range, they took three shots at or near the end zone. Vanderjagt had no beef with that, and also defended Manning a bit regarding Peyton’s post-game comments. He wore a black Air Jordan cap during the whole interview, and answered every question tossed his way.

His holder and snapper joined them outside, but the holder had to stand by and watch while Dave took the snap. You could tell Dave really enjoyed his part. Vanderjagt moved forward as Dave caught the ball, then steadied himself and successfully connected on the only attempt they aired on TV…from 46 yards.

As a kid my family would always drive up to Atlanta to see grandparents, or go to a Falcons or Braves game…even before the interstate ran all the way to Macon. The Ford plant used to have that garage for the car-carrying trucks, right next to the highway. As a boy that was always a highlight, checking out the parking lot, as we rode by. That’s a whole bunch of workers that have to get jobs.

My grandfather took me to the potato chip factory on the other side of the interstate, that eventually became a Keebler plant. (random). I played softball with a guy who worked at the GM plant.

Has Glory Road been to the Picture Show dollar theater yet? Last week I went with small group guys there to see Flightplan, which was better than expected (the new guy laughed at a tense time…it made for a good story at small group Friday night). He had such a good time, as we all could tell, we’re supposed to go again tomorrow night…probably to see Aeon Flux or the Constant Gardener (any suggestions?). You can join us if you’d like, or if Glory Road hasn’t been there yet…

Saturday we went to the Picture Show at 4:45. Matthew and I saw Wallace & Gromit, and it ended at 6:15. Anna and Will went to see that horse movie Dreamer, so Matthew and I slipped in the back to watch the last twenty minutes. Ceil didn’t get out of Pride & Prejudice until 7:10. Ceil saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for the first time last night. Everyone’s a big Johnny Depp fan now. We may have to watch it again tonight. Great dance numbers.

Did you read today’s ‘the ten spot’ column? He discussed Anna Benson’s own press release regarding the trade.

I was catching up on Todd’s blog earlier today…he said the same thing I had about North Point…all the minivans and SUVs with the W stickers. His dislike was a little stronger than mine. Also I was unsure about attending a church led by a Stanley, before I had ever heard him.

Bill Curry is speaking Sunday at my old church…didn’t know if I wanted put on a tie and take Will down there or not...Steve Martin is hosting SNL next week, but I usually don’t remember to flip past NBC.

Monday, January 23, 2006

tips to lose weight
No doughnuts, cookies, candy, or chocolate…always eat breakfast...Eat bagels and bread with cream cheese or butter…saves 300 calories...Snack smarter…apples and bananas…Drink water all day…Use pita instead of bread/buns...Pizza Pat…blot pizza with a napkin to cut over a teaspoon of grease…saves 50-100 calories...Order smaller portions…saves 400 calories...Use whipped butter instead of stick butter…to cut calories in half…saves 30 calories...Order a clear soup instead of salad…you’ll feel fuller and eat less of the main course…and save half the calories…saves 100 calories...Substitute whole grain pasta…saves 50 calories...Substitute oat-bran pasta…saves 90 calories...Sprinkle Equal or Splenda over cut apples, microwave for a minute, saves 275 calories over pie...Angel-food cake has half the calories of pound cake…saves 70 calories...Sugar-free reduced-fat Jell-O chocolate pudding instead of a candy bar…saves 185 calories...Bacon instead of sausage…pat the grease off with a napkin…saves 90 calories...Hot dogs…pile on the pickles, onions, and relish. Skipping cheese and chili saves 250 calories...Strawberry daiquiris have about 300 calories...Choosing sorbet instead of ice cream saves 125 calories...Choosing onion rings instead of fries saves 60 calories...Order pizza with half or no cheese…instead sprinkle on parmesan…saves 100 calories...At a Chinese restaurants avoid ‘general tso or crispy, which means fried.

Singing in church…burns 70 calories a service…Playing catch for 30 minutes…burns 90 calories…Making whoopee burns 300 calories.

Ankle twists…extent your leg out and slowly bend it up and down, squeezing and holding in the up position for at least five seconds…repeat on each leg 5 times…sculpts quads…burns 10 calories...Stair-stepping...Run to the mailbox…Sit ups…push ups…tummy twists…Stand while talking on the phone…pace if possible…Walk more around the office...Shoulder Squeeze…while standing in line, stand evenly on both feet, clasp hands behind back and squeeze shoulder blades together to open your chest…stimulates the nervous system…hold for 10-20 seconds while slowly breathing in and out, taking longer on the inhale…burns 5 calories...During a game, walk around the field 4-5 times…walking a mile burns 75 calories...Crunches while watching TV…tones abs…burns 24 calories...Hip lifts…lay on floor with feet on chair. Slowly bend knees, lifting hips off floor…hold for 5 seconds, relax, and repeat 10-12 times…firms hamstrings and core…burns 10 calories...Stretch…sit with feet uncrossed, grab wrists and raise hands over head to lengthen spine…take a deep breath in as you reach and hold the position. Breath slowly in and out for 20 seconds, taking longer on the exhale…instant relaxation…burns 5 calories...Taking the stairs…two minutes for 5 days/week is the same as a 20 minute walk…burns 100-140 calories...Dips tone triceps…burns 10 calories...Knee lifts…seated in a chair, squeeze knees together and bring them to you chest…strengthens abdominals…burns 10 calories...Heel Rises…while pumping gas…firms calves, burns 10 calories...Alternate standing on one leg while brushing teeth…every 30 seconds switch…develops core muscles and is good for the brain, and burns 10 calories...Ballerina leg stretches burns 10 calories, and tones thighs, hips, and quads...Buns of steel…squeeze derriere 10-15 times per car trip…saves 10 calories...Squats…15-20 throughout the day…strengthens quads…burns 15 calories.


I'm penciled in as a chaperone for Will's Living Science Expedition. Today I realize I'll have to take off the last three days of the month, which is always the busiest time for me. Pray that everything works out.

Last Sunday morning there were several patches of ice on the North Point parking lot and sidewalks...I was scared I was going to slip myself. May have to visit SPdL on the 29th to hear Bill Curry.

Since I cut my teeth on 24's last season, and now I've started this season, I need to finish this season before I could watch any earlier seasons.

Lang appears to be having fun with the blog.

My wild guess which team was won the most playoff games in the Super Bowl era...Dallas (or the Steelers). I was right, except Denver was in second, ahead of the Steelers. Will is doing something similar today, for this year's playoffs. You know that eventually I'll have something similar...during the World Series I compiled a list of the baseball playoffs going all the way back to when I was born (I know I still have a way's to go!).

I also have another list by year of stuff that's happened during my lifetime...what I was doing (grade, church, address, car, etc), hit movies and TV shows, presidents, Heisman, World Series, and super bowl winners, stuff the kids are doing, vacations, choir trips and camps, Falcons QBs, etc.

Could've gone to the Pistons game Wednesday night...sorry I missed that one, even thought the Hawks didn't finish well.

The Panthers are banged up, but it seems like there are a few Seahawks getting in trouble. Should be a close game. I'd like Carolina if they had a running back and Julius Peppers. The AFC game should be good as well...both teams playing well. (at least I was half right).

At work I agree that you should have the option of not having to put up with whatever criteria you don’t want to. I had meant that currently, once you finish one deadline for one thing, there are time constraints looming for the next thing. And I’m in a similar boat in terms of salary…if faced with the hopes of no more than minimal increases, why have to face the constant pressure with no payoff.

The last time I had checked out Todd’s blog, he hadn’t posted in a while, so I’ll have to check back. Andy mentioned someone’s blog or writing recently and I immediately thought of Todd, but it didn’t sound like him.

Dawn, Ceil’s roommate when they were single living in Columbia SC, came to visit. Myron, her husband, was our current group leader’s roommate in Columbia...Lee. So when they visit Atlanta they can both visit friends. When Will and I went to Washington with Lee and his daughter, we stayed with them in Fredericksburg. Myron was an accountant in Columbia before he joined the FBI, which he seems to enjoy. They moved to Jacksonville and Ocala before Virginia.

We want financial security, but it’s hard to stop spending on day to day stuff. I need to do better at planning and giving Ceil information, and we need to get back to the envelope system.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Dr. Denmark

I was here at work yesterday...figured out how much we spent on Christmas. A fellow wanted me to go to the Hawks game yesterday...I knew it was a day game, and one guy here already had off. Another person was bad (hospital) sick, so it wasn't a good day to take off. And with McGrady and Yao out, I guess I could've watched Barry he still on the Rockets?

In the early days Ceil really got a lot out of taking the kids to Dr. Denmark, when they were sick or she was at her wits end. We have photos and receipts...she always used those old carbon-type fancy paper receipts for the seven or ten dollars she charged. A friend has photos and paperwork from Dr. Denmark framed on their wall. I think she was the only doctor the Norman kids ever went to.

Have y'all been watching '24' last night and Sunday? We're hooked again, to the extent of ignoring the ringing phone and our children. Luckily the two nights with two-hour episodes are over...but tonight I have a meeting and late movie to go to, tomorrow night another meeting, and Friday we have small group, so I'm on the go for a while.

Will Bill Curry get the job at Tech? Sounds like Hewitt wants to eventually go to the NBA...and the Knicks. Did Lang go see the Hawks play in NYC?

I was worn out from staying up late Thursday night…napped Sunday afternoon for three hours.
Was up late Friday and Saturday as well. Still feel tired. Our company stayed at a hotel near North Point Mall, so Saturday afternoon the kids went swimming. Myron enjoys fixing things more than sitting around chatting, watching TV, or doing touristy things, so he spotted some things to fix, so we hit Home Depot and got’r done.

Anna got to spend Saturday night at the hotel with the daughter, and enjoyed the breakfast buffet.

Wanted the Colts, Redskins, and Pats to win, but Plummer and Ben will be fun to watch. Can’t believe that was Champ Bailey with the long interception return. Didn’t watch much football or anything elsethis weekend.

Andy just covered the foyer/living room/kitchen table concept yesterday instead of a ‘regular’ sermon, but our friends liked it anyway. Funny opera man skit in KidStuf.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Cam Bonifay

I umpired with Cam Bonifay in 1973. His brother Brannon was in charge of umpires at the Little League I had played in. I was turning 15 that year and umpiring was great fun. Brannon was all business, but Cam came in to fill in and he was more fun. He was the first not to wear the balloon chest protector for the 8 & 9 year old games, so the rest of us followed suit.

Have some out-of-towners coming in the weekend. We thought about hitting the aquarium, though we have yet to make reservations. Matthew wants to go to the aquarium for his birthday, so perhaps we can put it off until October. He wants to be a veterinarian and loves animals and Animal Planet. He's cool with going to UGA.

Things have been busy here at work, and promotion/raise prospects aren’t looking good. I need that job with the Hawks or Thrashers, or perhaps Bill Curry will hire me when he gets the job at Tech.

The Star of Bethlehem

Notes from Rick Larson’s lecture at JFBC in December 2005…
Rick is a Texas A&M professor and lawyer. When building a nativity scene, the star intrigued Rick, and he started researching the topic. He approached the star as a mystery to be solved.
Matthew Chapter 2

Constellations are referenced in the Bible…David said the stars communicate.
Job 9:9 and 38:31-32
Psalms 19:1-4
Isaiah 40:26
Even though there are billions of stars and galaxies, the universe doesn’t seem big to God.
Romans 10: 17-18…Paul quotes Psalms.
Luke 21:25 Jesus says there will be signs.

The mathematical discoveries made in the 1600’s by Keppler and Newton made it possible to calculate what the sky looked like at any time, from any point on earth. Computers have helped to make this process much easier.

There are nine characteristics of the Bethlehem star…any theory would have to have all nine work for it to work.
1. Birth…verse one
2. King…verse one
3. Jewish…verse one
4. The star rose in the east…verse two. The Maji came from the east…supposedly good Maji, as opposed to bad Maji. Perhaps of Jewish descent…were they descendants of Joseph?
5. Exact timing
6. Herod didn’t know when the King was born…he had to ask.
7. The journey from Babylon to Bethlehem was 650 miles…so the star had to hang around for a while.
8. The star was ahead of the wise men in the southern sky as they traveled from Babylon to Jerusalem to Bethlehem.
9. The star stopped over Bethlehem.

Possible Theories
Meteor…they don’t stop.
Comet…these can be timed. The Chinese kept accurate records. There was no record of a comet or exploding star in 2-3 BC.
Fixed Star…rotation paths are regular and predictable.
Wandering Star…Planet…Jupiter was named for a King.

CORINATION On 9.11 in 3 BC Jupiter crossed paths with Regulus…also named after a king. This may have happened only two or three times in the Maji’s life…they would’ve taken note of this. Then Jupiter looped around Regulus…planetary retrograde motion, passing three times…making a crown.

The Lion of Judah Genesis 49:9-10…prophesy of the Messiah connected to a lion of Judah. Jupiter and Regulus were in the constellation of Leo.

The Birth of a King Revelation 12:1-5…a vision in the sky…dragon, woman, baby.
Dragon…in human terms…Herod’s attempt to kill baby Jesus. After Leo rose in the sky on that day, the constellation Virgo rises, followed by sunrise, …then the new moon…’clothed in…’ Nine months before, when Jesus was conceived, Jupiter and Venus were so close they couldn’t be distinguished…one on top of the other…an extremely rare sight in the western sky…proved by computers to be the brightest star in history…the King planet and Virgin planet together.

The Star Stopped More retro grade motion began on 10.30 in 2 BC. Jupiter stopped at the apex of its retrograde motion on 12.25 in 2 BC. When the Maji left Jerusalem and headed south to Bethlehem, Jupiter was ‘stopped’ over Bethlehem…in retrograde motion.

A. Signs and Wonders
Acts 2:19-22 Jesus rose and appeared for 50 days…almost to Pentecost, where Peter quoted Joel, who predicted the moon would turn to blood. Blood moon = lunar eclipse

B. Christ’s Execution Date
Luke 23:54
Lev 23:5
Luke 3:23
…at Passover, Jesus started his ministry at thirty, Pilate was in office, a Friday. April 3, 33 AD was the only Friday that meets all this criteria. Jesus was tried and beaten so bad that he hardly looked human, per Isaiah’s prophesy. While Jesus was on the cross the sky went dark. On that date the sun set at 6:37. The moon rose in eclipse that evening. Mark 15: 25-37…Jesus died about 3 pm, the same time the eclipse was total.

Since all this happened in the clockwork (regular) of the stars, this means that God knew all this when he created the universe and set the stars in place and motion…and also when He would come to earth as a man. Important that the star could be explained as a normal event as opposed to an extra-ordinary event.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

January Golf

Tuesday January 10th was beautiful, and thanks to Ceil scheduling appointments at noon and six pm, I was able to sneak in nine holes after giving my car a needed washing. Will had been itching to go, and I was still able to surprise him with the trip. The first tee was vacant, so we were able to get off quickly. Making good time was important because I couldn’t be late for the six o’clock, and traffic would be an issue.

I decided to focus on swinging easily, without tension or hitting it too hard. My first drive sailed near my clean car, so I eased up and put one in play. Then a nice five wood short of the bunker, followed by a chip just over the green with my eight-iron. Two putts for a bogey five…nice start.

Hit the five wood high and short on two. Will was proud that he out-drove me with a four iron. He had trouble with his woods on the first hole, and stuck with his irons the rest of the day. I tried out the new Lynx wedge…bad idea…three times. I was getting tense.

Will lost two tee shots right on three. His swing was all messed up…picking up his front foot, turning his hips way to quick. I hit two seven-irons short. The shortest one was the less dangerous route to the green, but I picked the tougher chip, and put it over the green into the brush. I hacked it up in the air back onto the green and two-putted for a five.

On four Will got hold of one and sent it over the green. My five-iron was nice and high, but faded right. I putted from far off the green halfway close, better than I could’ve chipped, then twice more for a bogey.

Five was twenty yards long, so my five-iron was short of the green. Will was shorter, but hit a low chip that rolled just past the hole. He missed the par putt. My long approach putt faded left, so again I finished bogey.

Hit a long, low driver into the creek on the left on six, though I wish I could hit more low ones like that. My second drive went right, into familiar territory. Then I hit a real nice five wood around a tree. Evidentially Will hit a nice long fairway shot. While walking to my next shot I found my first ball in the creek. I’m never in the left side of this fairway, and I was amazed to find three more balls in the creek. Two were identical new balls that someone had just lost. The grass was so short that my next shot, a worm-burner, rolled fifty yards to the green…and over and past. OK chip and another two putt for a six on the ‘long’ par four…I couldn’t complain.

Will hit another tee shot right. He seems to always hit them over into the eighth fairway. As usual, there were three balls over there, but this time Will was careful not to hit someone else’s ball. My drive was my best shot of the day, straight to the top of the hill. Hit a five-iron next. Felt real good, but it was short. Then I discovered I left my new best friend, my eight-iron, back at the sixth green, after using it to chip. So my nine-iron worked out well, and I two putted for a bogey five.

On eight Will nailed another four-iron just left of center, and it bounced down the hill about as good as you can hit one. I hit another nice straight drive, though again it was more high than I’d like. I hit a two nice nine irons exactly alike, though both were just a little long and left. Chipped onto the sandy green and two-putted again for another bogey five. While Will took both bags to the ninth green, I jogged back to six to retrieve my eight-iron. On the way back I found Will’s Nike ball near the creek, as well as another ball next to it.

I can never reach the uphill ninth green from the tee. Hit a nice high five-wood and chipped onto the green. Had a nice first putt up the hill and drained the second putt for a four…not bad at all. Except for the disaster on two, I had six bogeys and 2 doubles.

Will also carded a 46, with a par on eight, two bogeys, five doubles, and one triple. Found two balls on the street while we were driving off, and northbound traffic on the connector wasn’t bad at all.

We had time for a leisurely snack at Taco Bell before meeting up with Ceil at the Earharts. Made it to Dr. Pipe’s fifteen minutes early. Afterwards I scoped out four McDonalds looking for the Lucy Narnia toy before Anna said she could get one from her friend Molly. I was worn out by the time we made it home at 9:30. Anna and I also hit the library, Old Navy, Wendy’s, Publix, and the post office.

The Texas Cap

After going to a Clemson game and hanging around his cousins, Will had been clamoring to go to the mall to get a Clemson cap. He didn’t find one after Christmas when we went to Perimeter Mall. Then he changed his mind as to what cap he wanted. Last night we went to North Point Mall and ducked into one cap store where the employee was the only one in the store. He asked if there was a particular team we were looking for, so I told him to guess. The guy got it right…Will wanted a Texas cap. They actually had one Texas cap 'on sale'...half the price of the regular ones. Will wanted one of the regular ones. There were many caps on sale...including some UGA and GT caps. I wasn't in the mood to get one for me. More kicker / punter stories…Randall Cunningham set punting records at UNLV, and had a 90-yarder for the Eagles…Herschel was on the punting team for Philly on that punt (you can see him in the photo). In the new SI, I learned that Flutie converted a drop-kick PAT in the Pats loss to Miami. The first since 1941…the Bears’ Scooter McLean. Didn’t Mick Luckhurst make one in a Falcons preseason game? Got a headache Friday that lasted until Sunday…coming off caffeine, lack of sleep due to bowl games, sinuses. Slept late Saturday and took an afternoon nap. Forgot about the Ron Howard salute on Bravo Saturday night, but caught some of it Sunday afternoon. They showed a trailer for the “Code”. Will’s been wearing my Longhorns Football long-sleeve tee that I got in 2004 and never wore. A few years ago in Dallas I picked up a Ricky Williams for Heisman tee…had the statue with dreadlocks (it was on sale, of course). Last week Will reorganized all his cards, so he’d love to have more (as would I, but I’ll defer). Never checked to see if he finished. Duplicates pile up, and for a while you think you want to keep them. No one has more Randy Bush cards than me. Had small group Friday. Moved it back from 7 to 7:30 so people wouldn’t be late. Murphy’s Law…many were still late, and 1.5 couples were no-shows. Since it was so nice Sunday I had to paint on the playhouse, and Will helped me clean out the garage. This weekend Ceil’s old roommate comes to town, her husband is a good guy…accountant/FBI agent. They’ll stay for church Sunday. Matthew didn’t hesitate when I asked if he wanted to play baseball…he does. Then when he found out a birthday party might interfere with tryouts, he said he didn’t want to play! Will's not into shoes yet, but he wears them out pretty quick. May have told you that he's been wearing some of my smaller pairs that I hadn't been wearing. Yesterday we went to play golf, and his golf shoes were too small, so he wore a pair of mine. I was needed at home for Ceil’s noon appointment, she didn’t get home until 1:30. I would’ve had to leave work shortly after four to make my doctor’s appointment, so I took the afternoon off. Took Will to play golf, since it was so nice. Hadn’t washed my car in a while so I did that…and today it rained. Needed to wash it anyway. After my doctor's appointment, Anna and I went to the library, Old Navy, Wendy's, post office, Publix, and stopped at a few McDonalds looking for the one 'Narnia' Happy Meal toy that we can't find. Boss just told me to schedule a trip somewhere to view the company’s new SAP computer system…several days somewhere in the west…SF, Seattle, Denver, Phoenix…LA wouldn’t be good. I’ll try and do it in April, and go to some baseball games. Easier to expense than NBA tickets! When I typed that about small group people being late/missing, my thoughts turned to the fact that we’ll be disbanding this summer…almost added that, though I do enjoy the people. The couple that misses the most has been going through the most…they aren’t the type who responds well to having many activities crammed into one day/week. Of course, meeting on Fridays is a big part of the problem. Some were saying Jim Rice’s numbers look pretty good compared to today’s steroid-inflated numbers.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Kicker Trivia

Don’t get me going on kickers! I was an old-style straight-on kicker in high school…never could quite get the soccer-style gig. Got to kick a little in college intramurals. If you dig on the blogspot blog, a few months ago I wrote my personal kicking history.

I wasn’t paying close attention in the Rose Bowl, or I would’ve figured out who the USC kicker was…the son of former NY Giant kicker Joe Danelo. (how many Danelo’s do you know?).

Texas’ Russell Erxleben, Arkansas’ Steve Cox, and Texas A&M’s Tony Franklin were all booming 60-yard field goals down there in the old Southwest Conference at the same time…I remember an old SI article on them. Wasn’t Erxleben the first to punt a ball off the Superdome gondola? He was the only straight-on kicker of the three. Number 14 for the Saints when they were wearing those black pants, right? It appears he ran into some trouble with the law, according to Google.

Cox was drafted by the Cardinals and never made it either…was he in an accident? Little Franklin kicked for a long time in the NFL, barefooted, mostly for the Eagles.

I barely remember that about Saints RB Tony Galbreath filling in as the kicker. Did he not kick in college, at a small black school?

Steve Crumley was that UGA straight-on kicker. Didn’t think he was good enough to wear the same number 5 as Kevin Butler and Rex Robinson. Robinson kicked for four years, then Butler came in the next year and kicked as a freshman. An older friend at Tech said there were older UGA alumni who thought Robinson was still out there.

Mark Mosley was the NFL's last straight-on kicker. He and Butler wore those single-bar face masks, as did Gary Anderson of the Steelers/Vikings/Titans. Now the single-bar has been outlawed by the NFL……you can only wear it if you were ‘grandfathered in’. This year only the Cards’ punter wore one.

Todd Sauerbrun keeps things interesting, especially his feud with those Gramatica brothers, who didn’t seem to stick around very long.

Billy Lothridge was the first Falcons punter…as a GT QB he was a Heisman runner-up to Staubach…in the pros he filled in at safety. The Falcons first kicker, Lou Kirouac, was also an offensive lineman. Guard Jerry Kramer and RB Paul Hornung kicked for the Pack. Jim O’Brien won the Super Bowl for the Colts was supposedly a backup WR…that’s why he was number 80.

Interesting line from the old ‘Brian’s Song’ movie…when Piccolo was struggling to make the Bears as a RB, he commented to Sayers that perhaps he could make the team as a punter. He kicked in college.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

fantasy baseball camp

Ten years ago I won a week at a fantasy camp. Picked the Cubs…I’ve been to Florida! Hanging out and developing relationships with the other campers was fun, but a good chunk of them were losers. Two of the campers worked in radio and took advantage of interview opportunities. Mike North was a character…his baseball card pose was a goof. They screwed up and put his pic on my card.

It was nice to be young enough (35) to run and actually play…they had to put older, less mobile guys at places like first-base. As a lefty, I didn’t mind playing outfield…Jimmy Piersall complimented a great running catch I made.

Spending time with the ex-players was also interesting. I had read about the antics of Moe Drabowsky, and it made my week to be on his ‘team’. Chain-smoker Glenn Beckert also went out of his way to get to know campers, as did an amiable ex-catcher whose name escapes me. Ron Santo, pre-amputations, had to leave camp early, so he sat down in the locker room and spun many tales before his exit. Randy Huntley ran his camp and did a great job, but was more business than pleasure. Joe Pepitone played to his image…still wore a wig and one day had a hangover. Told good stories. I had never heard of Larry Bittner, who homered in the big camper-player game. Bert Campaneris showed up for the big game, sporting an Angels uniform.

Jose Cardinal lockered next to me, and was the brunt of the other ex-player’s ethnic slurs, which Jose took in stride. Told me to look him up when he came to town with the Cardinals, who he was with at the time. I did…even wore my Cubs jersey to the Braves game, so he’d recognize me, but at the time he was more interested in making time with some ladies in the pre-game crowd.

The death of “Blue”, the old man character in the Old School movie, reminds me of Charlie, the 90-something year-old fantasy camper who actually left his old-folk’s home to come to camp. Wore his uniform with some old brown slip-on loafers. Too old to even put balls into the pitching machine (they were scared of line-drives back up the middle), he still took a few turns at the plate (got hit on the hands). We all took Charlie under our wing, but I couldn’t resist swapping my buddy’s jersey with Charlie’s. Charlie came in early and dutifully donned my buddy’s jersey…after all, it was in his locker. Then my buddy came in and discovered the ruse.

Here’s the web site for Joe McDaniel’s book on Willingham High…Noticed in the Sunday AJC that this was editor Jim Wooten’s favorite book.

I’m tired after staying up to watch the end of those last three bowl games. They sure missed Young’s knee hit the ground before he pitched the ball, but they probably would’ve scored anyway (but they might’ve lost a fumble or interception…ya never know!). And had they ruled that freshman’s “drop” as a fumble (the USC defender knocked the ball out), that would’ve taken away a field goal. But USC squandered a couple of opportunities, and they couldn’t stop Young. If they knew he was best at running to his right, it seems like they would’ve defensed that better. Young ran around that number 90 on three TD runs. It looked like 90 was supposed to contain, but was juked inside. Jim Volyes will be crushed.

There are a lot of decent writers out there! I gave that next great sportswriter contest a go. You create a blog and post articles, but to be picked, they can’t be simple blogs, but well-written, thought-provoking opinion pieces…much harder than I expected. The site is well organized in that you place your post under the category it was written about…MLB, NFL, NHL, etc. This way readers are more likely to read and respond to your post. That’s how I stumbled across that guy who ranked Schuerholz as the #1 MLB GM.

I tossed a few columns out there, mostly related to my world…Braves, Hawks, GT, UGA, Clemson. Got a few comments, and one posting actually made it to the ‘most popular’ list, based on the number of comments generated. Theoretically you could post something, then add a bunch of comments yourself. The postings with juicy and sexy titles, and of national interest, tended to get more comments. Supposedly not a popularity contest, but being able to generate readership surely figured in. You’d think Fox would be looking to pick a youthful viewpoint, and my comments always come out sounding old school (though one of the most popular bloggers was past fifty…sleeplessinseattle).

So I stayed up late writing the last two weeks of December, getting into the habit of checking other’s blogs. The in-laws didn’t mind me hanging out on the computer for much of the weekend. They picked the final 12 or 16 on the 30th, and there were few surprises. The finalists had great opinions and content, and also posted a lot of material…and most were active at commenting on other’s postings. Some were better at adding photos, and some hinted at writing in other venues. The judges said that some point in the future there’ll be a second, similar contest.

Lately I’ve been busy catching up, going through all the accumulated mail and other stuff that piled up over the holidays. After two days I still have piles of stuff to do.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Braves vs. Mets

Ever since the Amazin' Mets railroaded the 69 Braves in the first ever NLCS, I have considered the Mets a formitable foe (I continue to date myself as old school, which I hate!). I cherish every division title the Braves win...a crown is certainly not a birthright, but a title earned every year, won between the lines as well as with the superior efforts of John Schuerholz and Bobby Cox.

Many debate whether the loss of pitching coach Leo Mazzone will be the straw that breaks the Braves' backs. Many debate on each side, and I can only hope for the best. Luckily the pitching cupboard is full, with the exception of the closer role. Even with Mike Hampton out for the year, the starters are stocked with Smoltz, Sosa, Hudson, Davies, and Ramerez. Several of last year's fearless rookie cast return to the pen, including Boyer, McBride, and Devine. Either of those three could turn into a dominant closer, if Schuerholz isn't able to charm another one by opening day. Chris Reitsma could also get the nod.

In a predictable move the Mets signed 47 year-old Julio Franco to a two year contract. Two million dollars isn't that much these days, especially for a New York team. That's money not available for the Mets, and extra salary room for the Braves. If anyone can play at such an advanced age it's Julio, but Adam LaRoche has shown he's ready to play everyday at first base. The pinch-hitting slack will be ably handled by Wilson Betemit and Pete Orr, who both hit .300 most of last year.

The Braves steer away from most veteran (read: high priced) free agents because they've discovered that less experienced players can be just as productive. The younger guys also usually hustle more and have better attitudes. In the past few days Jeremy Burnitz has been rumored to be picked up by the Orioles, who follow the same big money free agent approach as the Mets (with similar results). Jeremy is a supposed power hitter, but his overall stats aren't much better than what the Braves got from rookie leftfielders Ryan Langerhans and Kelly Johnson last year.

Many Braves fans view Tomahawkin' Tom Glavine as a traitor for signing with the enemy. It was just as much the Braves' decision not to open the vault for an aging arm. I'm just sorry his quest for 300 wins has slowed since he moved north. Cagey Greg Maddux stayed around long enough to get 300 wins easily within his reach no matter where he went.

Yes, the Mets annual free agent signings produce high expectations from the 'experts', who usually don't bring up the predicted division title come postseason time. I'd rather every NL East team dismantle thier roster like the Marlins. The Mets look good, but I'll stick with my Braves.

Emerald Bowl Blues

After Utah handed Georgia Tech it's worst bowl defeat in it's storied football history, the Utah players told of how the Tech players quit in the game. Comments like 'they went from trash-talking to hanging their heads' and 'I saw no fire in their eyes'. After scoring ten second-quarter points, the scoreless second half tends to agree with the Utah comments.

Even sophomore All-American receiver Calvin Johnson was discouraged, gathering only two receptions against previous opponent Georgia and Utah. He is perhaps the finest athlete to don shoulder pads for the Jackets, one of the finest offensive players in the country. A noted student who's said in the past he's at Tech to get a degree. But with the program unable to properly use such a fine weapon, there are rumors next season will be his last on the flats. Johnson is almost always upbeat, but after the game he wisely chose not to comment on the game.

QB Reggie Ball was not as accommodating. As Reggie goes, so goes the Jackets, and Ball completed less than half his passes and threw two interceptions. After the game, through a Tech official, he declined to speak to the press. Bush (league, not Reggie). But next year we'll be treated to the Reggie Ball show once again. Look for one upset if they're lucky, as well as at least two losses to lesser teams.

Why the poor performance? How can a team that beat Auburn and Miami, who played even with SEC champ Georgia for 59 minutes, play so poorly against a 6 -5 team from a smaller conference, led by a backup quaterback? The fact that the Emerald Bowl came off so shoddy is no excuse. Slippery field, baseball park, both teams on the same side, like when the Vikings played in old Metropolitan Stadium? Didn't Tech get shafted out of a better bowl, as the gtalum's blog accurately recapped? The way Tech played, they got what they deserved.

Is it not the coaching staff's job to get a team up for games like this? Anyone can get fired up to play the big boys, but how can you brag about beating the Canes when you're favored by eight and lose by twenty-eight? Do these guys realize they only have a pecious few fottball games to play in thier lives? Do you not go all out because you're not happy with the opponent or level of the bowl game?

Same old Tech. At least the Sugar Bowl is played Monday. Happy New year, and Go Dawgs.

Bowl Week Thoughts

Random alma mater laid another egg, this time in the Emerald Bowl. That second half must've been ugly. You'd think they'd planned on taking several types of prevent slippage, you know. Reggie Ball...another 2 INTs. Talented and experienced enough that Chan Gailey has to play him, but he seems to lose as many games as he wins. Expect more of the same from GT next year. Seeing the outcome mades me glad I left at halftime to take the kids to see 'Dreamer' at the Picture Show.

I've yet to see the last play of last night's Nebraska win. Since Michigan didn't score, it won't overtake Cal's 'the Play'. They could call it 'the play that will live in infamy.'

Why does the media expect coaches and players to bow to their every whim? Jim Mora's job is to win games, and I think it's great that he doesn't cow-tow to the press. He does seem to enjoy the back & forth banter in the press conferences, but he's in control.

That said, Tony Dungy is a class act. Nice to see the Bucs and Seahawks fans show thier support. I'd like to see the Colts go all the way.

Hopefully Mike Vick will mature sooner than later. Someone wants him to be the Air Jordan of the NFL (the NFL? Nike? Fox?)...but Micheal never shaped his game to please the press. Vick ran less this year to prove he was a passer, and the Falcons missed the playoffs. Much is made of the fact that the Falcons have never had back-to-back winning seasons in their history, without mentioning that several times they did go .500 after a winning season.

Will Payton and Eli ever meet in the Super Bowl? It would have to be a harmonic convergence of both team's peaking. Quite possible, though.

Shaun Alexander has piled up the stats and TDs, but I still think LaDainian is more exciting. I saved everyone from an entire column extolling the virtues of the great Herschel Walker. Set the NCAA single season rushing records for a three-year career, which remains in the top-ten all-time...surrounded by nine runners with four-year totals. Had he not become the first ever collegian to leave early, his total would stand forever.

Never realized the shoulder injury Herschel suffered as a freshman in the Sugar Bowl stayed with him his entire career, changing his running style. It didn't prevent him from reaching second place in career all-purpose yards. Is he not the only player in NFL history to have an 80-plus yard rush, reception, kickoff return, and punt return? And what marque player continued to contribute years past their prime, as Herschel did? He enjoyed special teams play, usually being the first downfield on kickoffs.

And how many football players make Olympic teams? Don't give me Willie Gault. Walker narrowly missed making the Summer Games as a sprinter, and did make the bobsled team in the Winter Olympics. I equally enjoyed Bo's career, though it wasn't as long or productive as Herschel's. Now Herschel has taken up bicycle racing, though I doubt Lance's records are in jeopardy.

Following Johnny Damon's free agency, it wasn't a huge surprize to me when he signed with the Yankees. The 'leaving Boston' angle didn't phase me either. But when I heard the news, my first thought was...he'll have to cut his hair! Nice sideburns!

I managed to also neglect my Atlanta Braves in this blog. Sorry Mets fans, don't get your hopes up for a division title in 2006. Chipper and Smoltz will be healthy, the starters and bullpen are deeper than last year, all those rookies will only get better with experience, and Renteria's consistency will be an improvemant over Furcal's hot/cold (then injured) streaks.

Beautiful Swans...or Ugly Ducklings?

Clemson beat the beleaguered Colorado Buffalos 19 – 10 last night in the Champs Sports Bowl, but their performance was less than inspiring. The Tiger defense held Colorado to 17 yards rushing, and toyed with replacement quarterback James Cox. On offense Clemson relied on freshman man-child halfback James Davis to carry the load, and Davis responded with 147 yards and a touchdown.

This took the pressure off senior QB Charlie Whitehurst, and allowed him to finish with 196 yards passing on 19 of 27 throws. Whitehurst has the size NFL scouts love, as well as ex-Packer David for a father. Charlie’s name fell down the list of top-NFL QB prospects the last two years, as he failed to lead Clemson from the middle of the ACC pack in none of the four years he started. The longest Clemson reception last night was only 29 yards, and Whitehurst’s interception was thrown right into the safety’s hands. Next year the Tigers’ offense may actually improve when understudy Will Proctor moves under center.

By comparison, Vandy senior Jay Cutler’s stock skyrocketed this season. He was named SEC offensive player of the year, because he brought the Commodores out of the SEC basement. Vandy even scored over forty points in two losses. Cutler threw for 3,073 yards, 21 touchdowns, and only 9 interceptions…for Vanderbilt! Beat out SEC veterans Brodie Croyle, D.J. Shockley, Chris Leak, and Kenny Irons for the conference honor. Whitehurst could only muster 2,278 yards, eleven TDs, and 9 INTs, placing him in the middle of ACC stalwart QB’s Weatherford, Hollenbach, Baker, Wright, Hagans, Ball, Vick, Ryan, and Asack.

Why the hate? Does Whitehurst not have the downfield arm? Is Clemson’s languid offensive scheme to blame? This is not a one game, or one season, phenomenon. Will Tiger Nation ever tire of settling for field goal after field goal? Will they ever tire of playing in below-average bowl games, and winning between six and nine games? That’s all Clemson has to look back on since their 1981 national championship.

The ACC has become much tougher, thanks to the addition of Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College. This year Clemson ran into FSU and NC State at a good time, and rolled over mighty Duke. But its four other victories were squeakers, only one play away from defeat. This against the nation’s 36th toughest schedule.

Game day at Memorial Stadium is a sight to behold, rivaled in the ACC only by FSU and Virginia Tech. A sea of orange, fans who know how and when to make noise. A place that should be able to attract a bevy of quality athletes (if they’ll go to Blacksburg, why not Clemson?). Coached by football royalty, son of the king.

King Bobby lost his starting QB before the season and had an off year. Lost several top assistants the last few years, but he hasn’t lost his charm. FSU fell to 7 – 4 and was on the ropes, poised to be knocked out in the ACC Championship game, before getting off the canvas to knock off Virginia Tech. Like Papa Joe, perhaps King Bobby still has a few rounds remaining in him.

But maybe Clemson got the Prince Charles of the family. Tommy Bowden mostly stays above board and gets a princess of a recruit from time to time (like Whitehurst, Davis, and receiver Chansi Stuckey). But he hasn’t transformed the recruits, or the program, into beautiful swans. And so far at least, his subjects haven’t figured out that perhaps the emperor has no clothes.

Clemson is in the weaker of the ACC’s divisions, beat FSU, and still finished second behind the Seminoles. Perhaps next year Proctor, Davis, and Stuckey can lead the Tigers to the conference championship game. But why do I get the feeling another 7 – 4 record is on the horizon?

Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire"

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray,
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio (1949)

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television,
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe (1950)

Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom,
Brando, "The King and I" and "The Catcher in the Rye" (1951)

Eisenhower, vaccine, England's got a new Queen,
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana good bye (1952)

CHORUS: We didn't start the fire
It was always burning since the world's been turning.
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it but we tried to fight it.

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev,
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc (1953)

Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, dacron,
Dien Bien Phu falls, "Rock Around the Clock" (1954)

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn's got a winning team,
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland (1955)

Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Krushchev,
Princess Grace, "Peyton Place", trouble in the Suez (1956)
Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac,
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, "Bridge on the River Kwai" (1957)

Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball,
Starkweather, homicide, children of Thalidomide (1958)

Buddy Holly, "Ben Hur", space monkey, Mafia,
Hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go (1959)

U-2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy,
Chubby Checker, "Psycho", Belgians in the Congo (1960)
Hemingway, Eichmann, "Stranger in a Strange Land",
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion (1961)

"Lawrence of Arabia", British Beatlemania,
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson (1962)

Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex,
JFK blown away, what else do I have to say? (1963)
Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again (1964)
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock (1969)
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline,
Ayatollah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan. (1980)

"Wheel of Fortune", Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide,
Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law,
Rock and Roller cola wars, I can't take it anymore! (1980)

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning since the world's been turning.
We didn't start the fire
But when we are gone
It will still burn on, and on, and on, and on...

A Yankee Christmas Carol

Sung to the tune of ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire"…with apologies to Billy Joel.
Quickly written the day after Christmas while paintballing, returning gifts, getting the oil changed, and placating family and in-laws.

Harry Walker, Game Day, Red Sox, Johnny Ray...
...Sal Maglie, Walter Alston, Joe DiMaggio
Joe McCarthy, Trot Nixon, Studio Television...

...North Carolina, South Carolina, Marilyn Monroe
Hank Greenberg, F bombs, Sugar Bowl, Prancing Deion...

...Bando, Clyde King, Uecker’s Catcher in the Wry
Eisenhower cabin, Jeter's got a new queen...

...Maciano, Vegas lines, Balboni homers bye bye

Steinbrenner’s quick to fire
Yes, his temper’s burning, though turnstiles are turning
Steinbrenner’s quick to fire
Though Joe Torre’s winning, the Boss is not grinning

Joe Girardi, Aaron Boone, John Kruk...Rocky Five, Campanella, crackback block
Roy Clark, Juan Pierre, Oscar Gamble, Rick Cerone...

...Big Unit, Niagara Falls, up against the clock
Ichiro, Dizzy Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team
...Lou Gehrig Iron man, Angels play near Disneyland
Bahnsen, Barfield, Pedro tosses Zimmer down...

...Mark Grace, Peyton’s place, trouble in the bullpen


Swingin’ Joe Pepitone, Mickey Mantle, Tony Kubec...
...Spud Webb, Hee Seop Choi, Peter Gammons Red Sox fan
Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon, California baseball...

...Steinbrenner, Knoblauch, Don Larsen perfect game
Buddy Bell, Ben Sheets, Space Needle, SkyDome...

...shooting hoops, Candy Man, Wells throws a no-no
2U, Jorge P, Fox’s Kevin Kennedy...Chubby Felder, Psycho Lyons doin’ the congo


Yawkey Way, Whitey Ford, Sunday night on ESPN...

...Nomar, Wade Boggs, Bay of Pigs Invasion
Angels of Anaheim, Dodgers’ Fernandomania...

...Olerud, Jack Clark, Reggie beats Bob Welch
Leo D, Tony C, second baseman Steve Sax...

...RFK game today, what else do I have to say?


Bat control, No-hit Nomo, Billy Martin back again...

...moon shot, Wood’s shot, record gate, Billy Beane
Bernie, Cashman, Thurmon Munson plane crash...

...Riveria’s in the pen, Bucky Dent off the screen
ARod, Oscar G, Roger Maris losing hair...

...foreign vets, bleacher bums, Jackie Robinson stealing home
Hypodermics, steroid creams, Teddy Ballgame’s frozen dreams... agent bidding wars, I can’t take it any more!

Steinbrenner’s quick to fire
Yes, his temper’s burning, though turnstiles are turning
Steinbrenner’s quick to fire
Though Joe Torre’s winning, the Boss is not grinning.

Christmas & New Years

Ran some errands (Wendy's, etc) last night that took longer than planned. Was listening to the pregame on the radio, but got back in the car from the store and had missed the start of the game. Munson was frantic...didn't know if they could come back. The score was 7-0! Munson was also talking the whole time about how bad the refs were. (speaking of Munson, he has a grandson that sings in the Johnson Ferry children's choir).

Nice to see UGA come back and make a game of it...unlike Georgia Tech and Miami. It's my belief that the coaching staff determines stuff like that. Both UGA and West Virginia seemed to be well coached. West Virginia took less highly-recruited players, developed good offensive, defensive, and special team schemes, and took advantage of turnovers and field position. Still UGA almost won.

Didn't think LSU had a chance without their starting QB, the way they played in the SEC championship game. I was thinking the LSU coaches had done a poor job in the UGA game, but they sure turned it around against Miami.

Ate at P.F. Chang's on New Year's Eve, then had dessert at a friend's, the kids stayed home watching Sky High. Still made it home in time for everyone (but me) to be asleep by midnight.

Hadn't ran across a Wendy's without cups until your email came through last Thursday…on the way home one Wendy's had no medium cups. All 32 credits have posted to my account, but I need to check Ceil's account. Cut out a bunch of cups last night during the Sugar Bowl. Figured there'd be some capacity control issues…does this mean the sooner the flight is booked, the better? With Little League and ballet, our trips will probably be in June. Do these credits not need to be used within a year of when they're posted?

I was six cups short, so I ran out at lunch and got five. A coworker says he has one at home, but I’ll probably stop on the way home one last time. I wasn’t in a hurry about getting cups, but only had Christmas Day planned to get zero. Got several when we left town on the 23rd, but didn’t make it on the 24th. Turned out it didn’t matter, as the closest Wendy’s to Ceil’s parents, across the NC line 30 miles away, didn’t have the blue cups on the 26th (I had to run up there for Ceil on both the 24th and 26th. This past Sunday we went to Macon, and the one in Forsyth had medium cups, so I hit it coming and going.

Nice explanation...You have 1 year from when the credits post to your account to redeem the credits for a flight voucher... once the flight voucher is issued, you have 1 year to redeem the flight voucher... i.e. (hypothetically) my credits posted on 12/31/05, I could redeem my credits for a voucher on 12/30/06 and redeem my voucher on 12/29/07 for a flight leaving November 20 2008 and returning Nov 27, 2008 (I believe AT is like other Airlines and releases Cap Control seats 330 days before the flight)...if you are going to shoot for June, it would probably be best to book ASAP (especially since there will be 5 of you).

The Wendy’s south on Sandy Plains had large cups last night. The one west on Canton Hwy, north of Piedmont, last night had mediums only if you ask.

If you go more than once in a calendar year to Disney World, is it worth getting a season’s pass? My friend whose wife has a hard time with uncommitted small group members has gone the season’s pass route for several years, but I don’t know how many times they’d go.

Other Christmas stuff…was up past midnight Christmas Eve getting stuff out, and Central Florida’s Hawaii Bowl OT loss was entertaining. Had to go play paintball in the woods with Will and other cousins and relatives, etc, on the 26th. The company paintballing was ok, but I’m not a big paintball fan. Got lots of organizing done on the 31st and yesterday, but could use another 4-day weekend.

Got Will a nice red Francoeur jersey for Christmas. Didn’t like the replica they had at the Braves store for $54.00, and I found an ‘official’ one at Gwinnett Mall for only $89.00. You never know if the fabric is official, and it doesn’t have the name plate on the back, now that I think about it. But the Francoeur letters are stitched on, so it looks as close as possible. Pet peeve…there are so many white Braves jerseys with blue numbers or red letters…why bother?

That said, he also got some Nike under-armor with one navy sleeve and one red sleeve, like those Florida/Miami/Virginia Tech jerseys. He and Matthew got matching white tees with navy sleeves, with A. Jones 25 on the back. Anna likes her karaoke machine. On the 2nd I cleaned out her room and put a desk in there.

Got back on the 27th in time to pick up my formerly flat tire, a story I'll bore you with later. Unpacked the van, ate supper, helped Will put the tire on the civic, and ran to the airport to pick up a friend.