Friday, February 24, 2006

Sports Stories

Made an A in typing when I took it in high school, but now I mainly use just one finger on each hand, and I stare at the keyboard, not the screen. In the 80’s I read about the student managers at NC State going to the Alaska Shootout and got in trouble for running up tabs. Then I realized that would’ve been fun, that there would’ve been benefits from being part of the team…travel, etc. By the time I finished high school, I was tired of the August to Thanksgiving grind of football, and in the off-season it was weight-lifting, and I continued to kick in the off-seasons. Johnny Smith was the varsity kicker at Tech, a freshman the same year I was. He was in a few of my classes. Played other positions in HS…QB I think. Might’ve gone to Greater Atlanta Christian. A little strong leg than mine, though in college I finally filled out (got fatter), and that added distance to my kicks. Any thoughts of walking on were dispelled by that HS burnout and wanting to concentrate on school, though I didn’t realize the benefits, including help with my classes / tutors. Besides intramurals, after college I played church basketball for a few years in the mid to early 80’s. I played softball through 94. Then a new young guy was hired at work who wanted to play basketball. I told him I thought they were still playing at church, so he signed up…and made me play with him a couple of years, with a whole new batch of younger guys. I was the oldest one on the team…just a body to fill minutes and give others a rest. Set screens, hustle, pay defense, get a rebound, make a pass…not many shots, only when there was an opening. It was fun. Career highlight…in a mid 80’s church game fast break I had the ball on a fast break, one on one with the best player on the other team. As a lefty who couldn’t use my right hand much, I naturally drove left, catching my opponent off-guard, and I made the lay-up. Coming back up court Hurt hollered from the bench ‘He’s left-handed!’ C does seem to spend a lot of time on Beth Moore, but she likes it. She never likes game nights because she says she’s not quick thinking, and has been embarrassed in the past. I like board games, but wasn’t good the time or two I played Clue type games, so I’ve shied away from those types. She dislikes charades the most, which is supposedly on the docket for Friday. She hasn’t said anything about Friday. Our group hasn’t had many game nights, just one or two, though we have had other non Bible study nights. I'm one of those who worries about sophomore jinxes, though most of these sophs aren't Furcal-types, who was the type to have the jinx. Francoeur was hot out the gate and then slumped late last year. As young as he is, I could see him having a repeat of last year, with a hot start, followed by a slump, then rebounding late in the year. I'm not too worried about Orr, Langerhans, or Johnson. Betemit started hot, then cooled, but hit .300 for the year. The young pitchers are different. I could see Boyer, McBride, or Davies having a sophomore jinx, though they could keep going strong. Devine was just out of NC State last year, so he should do better with a camp under his belt. In basketball or football a starter may come out after a while, but he usually returns to play more later in the game. It is weird that Ivey starts, comes out, and doesn't return. Kinda like baseball, which is different because of the rules. Flipped over last night to ESPN and told Ceil that the Bulls were wearing their throwback top, white 'belt', royal trunks. Her comment: More like 'throw-up uniforms!' I agreed with most of the points of that Fox article on jerseys…I’ve told you my beef about people wearing stuff like Braves jerseys with navy numbers, as opposed to red. Looks like the Braves are wearing black spring caps, instead of navy. Don’t know if that means there will be more changes…more black trim, like the Mets. Hope not. Interesting article on team jerseys... I certainly remember Richway, but they were already few and far between by the time I hit Atlanta…in college I was pretty sheltered…didn’t do much shopping, except for food. The distinctive roof things outlasted them.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Things to Remember in Business

1. Be Your Own Hero.
…heighten awareness about your contributions.
2. Take Charge…
…volunteer for jobs no one else wants.
3. Polish an Industry Image…
…give glory to the company.
4. Be the Glue…
…team leaders run companies.
…understand how my work relates to other’s work.
5. Speak Up and Take Credit…
…when another takes ownership of your idea,
say “I’m glad you agree.”
6. But Share Just Desserts…
…recognize your supporting class.
7. Relate Your Success Stories…
…when someone asks what you do.
8. Let Others Sing Your Praises.
9. Re-Imagine…sell your benefits.

Quotable Quotes

Be known as an individual who can deliver. Don’t wing it--Norman Swartzkoft Now Joseph’s master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord caused all that he did to prosper. --Genesis 39:3 Bankruptcy is not losing your money and assets. It’s living without a dream for the future. --Walt Disney For I know the plans I have for you…to give you a future and a hope. --Jeremiah 29:11 Build the people and the people will build the business. --Earl Tupper Let us pursue the things that makes for peace and the building up of one another. --Romans 14:19 Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work at work worth doing. --Theodore Roosevelt Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord, rather than for men. --Colosians 3:33 Instead of asking ’why is this happening to me?’, a strong leader asks ‘what kind of opportunity does this problem provide?’ --Rev. Jay Strack Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials. Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance--James 1:2-3

Hammer Time

My friend at Turner Broadcasting is doing the music again for the Braves commercials. This week he is in LA to tape MC Hammer. Maybe he’ll have some stories when I see him on Friday. Farnsworth didn’t like the direction the Braves were going in…towards lower priced youth, who were just as productive as the higher priced old guys like him. Good thing the Hawks didn’t go after Darko. If they couldn’t make a player out of Boris D, then Darko would’ve been in the same boat. Will they trade a Josh along with Harrington? Who should they get in the draft next year…Reddick, Gonzaga, a big man, or point guard (who?). If they draft JJ or Morrison, they’d have to do something with Joe Johnson…but who would take him at his salary? They missed out on Chris Paul…hopefully Marvin becomes a player. Woodson isn’t the answer. They have a better record this year, but with the improved roster, they should. But they should only make a change when they figure out/land a coach who is the answer, and not just fire him in mid-season just for the sake of firing him.

Lunchtime reading included some NBA lottery picks, including some 6’11” youngster from Europe. The 6’8” UConn phenom is losing ground…a good thing, since the Hawks have a glut of guys that size. See the SI comparison of Reddick to Jon Barry? Others thought more of him.

Lang exaggerates his career a bit, though he was ok. Saw little time playing for North Fulton. Played against Bow Wow in rec leagues.

No one in the north Macon suburbs played much basketball, so I didn’t start playing pickup games until college. Did play one or two years of rec ball when I was 11 or 12, but I didn’t get it. Career high was ten points in an intramural game. My sister played high school ball, back when it was six to a side, when two stayed on offense, two stayed on defense, and there were two ‘rovers’. Public school.

The girl from C’s home course is holding her own on the Big Break, but she doesn’t get much face time because she’s not an outspoken quote machine. Or they’re editing the show in such a way where they give more time early to the girls who don’t hang around as long.

This new GT AD from LSU got the job over Bill Curry...because he has come out of ‘nowhere’ to be a finalist? GT hosted Duke…it was close for a while! Every year the AJC has the contest to design the Peachtree road race t-shirt. The finalists are always graphic artists. Many of the runners every year never like the designs. Jeff, this young guy at work, studied graphic design at GSU. I always vow to enter, so I sketched out some ideas I think the masses would like, and Jeff is going to put them on his Mac. We’ll see what happens. I’ve run it about 20 years now, and just when I’m ready to quit, W is fired up about it. A wants to enter a design for the Peachtree Junior, as a student always draws it’s design. My thoughts of a blog, or a big Word file, is to copy over emails with stories, so they can be compiled/saved for kids/grandkids to read…should they be interested. I made a year by year timeline with events, and I’d like to write short essays about those events…courtship, wedding, honeymoon, trips, college, teams, etc…like my years as a kicker. Cute things kids do and say…throw in pictures as well. I know I’m completely self-absorbed, but I love having all the old stuff that belonged to my grandfather, including old documents. He had an old notebook he put letters his grandkids wrote (not many). It included the time my sister had made some long distance calls from his house, so she had to write and apologize. A West Virginian walks into a hardware store and asks for a chain saw that will cut 6 trees in one hour. The salesman recommends the top of the line model. The West Virginian is suitably impressed, and buys it. The next day he brings it back, complaining that it would only cut down 1 tree and it took ALL DAY! The salesman takes the chain saw, starts it up to see what's wrong, and the West Virginian says, "What's that noise?" Do you have one of those health insurance saving accounts, where they deduct before taxes? This is the first year for us, and I seriously under-estimated our medical expenses. At least there won’t be any left in the account. I’m still learning the ropes. C doesn’t go to SC alone as much as when W and A were tiny, as now we have more going on during the weekends. Always a nice break…I try and do things that take me away from home, as well as projects. Perhaps I’ll suggest they take a trip, but these days all the cousins are really turning into negative influences. C’s dad is giving us his old PC, which should be an upgrade, as he had it reconditioned. We’ll put our current one in A’s room, probably. I didn’t take notes, but the ‘Pause’ finale was addressed to driven achiever people, whom Andy said ‘must be attracted to this place’. The main point was that when someone does something outside of God’s law/will, just a one-time thing as a shortcut to success, they miss out on both the ‘real’ success as well as closeness to God. Get the NPCC email about new elders? Elder candidate Rocky Butler is an acquaintance of mine…he is friends of the Hurts…the ones impatient with small groups who aren’t committed. Rocky was at the super bowl party we didn’t go to because we were sick. C is doing that in this women’s bible study she’s in, and enjoys it. She had stopped taking her drugs when she started feeling better not long ago, and is getting sick again. May have something to do with Friday’s small group being a game night.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Spring Training

I am the classic carrot and stick guy…I hate it when work piles up, like the situation I’ve been in since I was sick/in my boss’s office for hours/out of town. I’m not good at doing what’s most important, as opposed to the easy, fun, or urgent. I need to plan better. Today I’m spending most of the day straightening out other people’s messes.

This afternoon I’ve got a doctor’s appointment, Will has practice, and Anna's ballet. Tempted to work through lunch, but I vowed to go order my new glasses today.

We’ve said it before…everyone keeps talking about all the division titles and how that isn’t good enough, as opposed to how the 2006 team is built, compared to other 2006 teams. Many teams sign the big money free agents who are on the downhill side of their careers…Mets, Baltimore, Dodgers, Boston. The Cards, Angels, and Yankees seem to build with players in the prime of their careers, but the Yanks were like several teams to throw big money at pitchers that haven’t panned out, like Jaret Wright. Atlanta (JS) is different, though the bullpen is so different than other parts of the team. Apart from a closer, only the Yankees will pay big time for relievers. Can’t blame JS for going with quantity in the bullpen…you’re right, hopefully several would separate themselves from the crowd.

That guy with the French name that came over in the D’Backs Estrada trade seemed to be a workhorse, doing well against the Braves (in my memory). Will it be an issue that Francoeur won’t get as much work this spring playing for USA than he would in camp?

Frucal’s stolen base numbers had declined since his rookie year, until he rebounded in his walk year…right? So it would be no surprise if his numbers declined this year. I suppose LA could give him the steal sign more…he probably won’t run on his own as much, though health will certainly be a determining factor…he’ll slow up if he’s banged up.

CPA had a nice blog recap on the Wendy’s cups. That ‘profile view’ thing on the blog works weirdly. Mine said 8 for the longest time, then it said 16 for a long time…now it says 32, probably thanks to your mention. I’m impressed with the counter...I’d be scared to see my small number.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

NBA All Stars

All-Star weekend notes…we watched most of the Saturday night stuff and the first half of the game. The TV announcers were onto LeBron for carrying the ball during the skills challenge. Can Kevin Harland give Barkley a hard time? My seven year old was talking about his dislike for Barney the dinosaur, so he thought it was cool when I told him how Charles Barkley beat him up. Not a big deal was made about Dirk reaching the finals of the three-point shootout by hitting the money-ball shot after the buzzer…then going on to win the event. The game introductions were hilarious…guys having fun and laughing at themselves and the others. They sure went all out to attract the white audience all weekend, didn’t they? The symphony and all that other stuff. Lang watched Saturday night on TV, as opposed to being there? Judging the Slam Dunk may be the thing that needs a makeover, though Moses got it right by tying the score to produce a dunk-off. Enjoyed how Nate got Spud to help. Lang might not’ve realized that in the first round the rule was that they had to have a helper on one dunk. Josh Smith is too laid back to win, no matter how good to is, but one day he’ll learn that. His height is another detracting factor. After the off the back side of the backboard dunk, did Andre run across the court, all the way out of the building? Nice touch. Other weekend notes…Friday night we went to see ‘Cheaper by the Dozen 2’ with another family…it was better than I thought it would be, better even than the first remake with Steve Martin. Saturday we went to Lowe’s, HHGregg, and Sears to buy a new dishwasher. Will and Ceil had a meeting at church Sunday afternoon from 1:30 to 3 pm, so I took Matthew to get a haircut and run some other errands with Anna. Ceil wanted to see ‘Yours, Mine, and Ours’, so we went back Sunday afternoon to see that. Stopped by Borders on the way home…Anna wants to buy a Carrie Underwood CD. So I was on the go all weekend, barely catching up on my rest. Gotta stay after my boss about getting me a laptop. Had some downtime in Houston waiting for the customer to arrive, and I worked on some promotion stuff to keep my boss thinking about it…no immediate results, but now I’ve gotta keep the ball rolling. I was afraid that a new phone system would make us change numbers, and this morning I got the bad news…it is. At some point it will the new business cards we got last month are useless. The trip was pretty uneventful…the vendor was pretty established, quality and accounting wise…it doesn’t appear we’ll have many problems, except for the distance. They took us to Papasitos, the Mexican part of the chain. Didn’t get to do any NBA stuff…Lang hadn’t called, it was late, we were tired, so we crashed. It was like the Wizard of Oz…seemed like everyone there reminded me of someone. The plant manager reminded me of Chris Freund, the sales guy reminded me of a co-worker, and the quality guy reminded me of an old friend, except as James Earl Jones said in ‘Field of Dreams’…he was from the 60’s. About 8:30 Thursday night I was driving up 85, taking Randy to meet his wife at Chamblee Tucker. I was in the HOV lane behind a slow moving Explorer. Wanted to get around him, but there was too much traffic…just past Lenox Road. Then the Explorer slammed on its breaks…there was all this wood that had been hit by other cars, broken up. Swerved as much as I could to the left, avoiding most of the wood on the ground. Then there was a bunch of airborne plastic wrap that hit my front bumper on the passenger side…gave me some scratches and a small crack in the plastic bumper. Over the weekend I discovered a few more scratches down the passenger side of the car.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

UGA/Tennessee basketball

Won tickets to Saturday’s UGA/Tennessee game…from WSB radio. Also $50.00 in lottery tickets…zero winnings. Will had gotten a cough at his Thursday practice, but he had invited his friend to go to the game in Athens. We got there just in time for the NBA-style introductions. They do it up over there, turning out the lights, dancing girls, and everything.

UGA applied the pressure and jumped ahead 19-6. Tennessee was led by sophomore Chris Lofton, a Mr. Basketball in Kentucky, that wasn't recruited by the Wildcats or Louisville. They didn't think he could get his shot off, though he's listed as a generous six - two. At the beginning of the game he kept trying to drive inside, with little success. Only when he started hanging around out on the wing and shooting three-pointers (reminding me of Dennis Scott), did Tennessee mount a run. Actually Lofton looks very similar to the old LSU scorer Chris Jackson/Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.

The Vols went from 13 down to 20 up early in the second half, and I was wondering if it would be a blowout. Then UGA started playing like they did at the beginning of the game, Tennessee turned it over a few times, and UGA closed the gap to five. Exciting game. Lofton finished with 33, and went 9-12 from three-point land, breaking a UT single-game record held by Allen Houston.

The UGA fans left quickly after the game. The UT coach led the team into the stands...up one aisle, across the walkway, and down another aisle. Major Wingate, a junior center from Florence SC, was wearing a headband. Will was busy positioning himself to give the team fives. He asked Wingate for his headband, but instead the big guy pulled off an Addidas sweatband and handed it to Will.

Then the UT fans migrated down behind the radio guys, and the head coach and Lofton came out for interviews. Will and has buddy were two of the few to later go over near the Tennessee locker room tunnel. All the players were coming back out, wearing grey sweats, getting ready for the bus ride home. Wingate sported yellow pajama pants, and when Will's friend asked him for a sweatband, he went back into the tunnel and dug one out of his duffel. Will got the entire UT team to autograph his sweatshirt, then walked around the radio side and got the coach's autograph as well. On the way back we stopped at the Athens Varsity.

Friday night we dined at IKEA. In the future we'll probably eat somewhere else.

Sunday Ceil finally got a chance to work on school stuff, so I took the kids to see 'Yours, Mine, and Ours'. Anna dragged me to Borders, where we ran into the Freunds. A guy in their new small group works for a company in the metals industry, and he told them to get me to send him a resume.

Last night Ceil was running around getting ready for Valentines, and we had a small celebration this morning. May go out to eat tonight after Will's ball practice. Gotta pack for tomorrow morning's trip to Houston.

Nice to see more Braves stories on the news and in the paper. There are tons of sports blogs out there. Lots of them are good, but I have to remind myself that they are just people's opinions.

Flying to Houston Wednesday morning, coming back Thursday evening. I wanted to come back on a late flight so I could do some NBA All-Star stuff (Bow Wow concert!), but the last flight back leaves at 7 pm. Lang said he would pull some strings to try and get me in to an event Wednesday night that’s not open to the public.

Matthew plays 14 games this year! He struggled in practice yesterday, but he’s out of practice, and it was cold. Hopefully it’ll motivate him to get out in the yard.

How/Where does Todd get others to read his blog? I don’t advertise much. I was going to post a comment (isn’t that the nice/proper thing to do?), but I keep forgetting my blogspot password while at home.

Just finished helping my boss for over two hours. Got in two hours late from a dentist’s appointment this AM. Yesterday we all had a meeting that lasted over an hour. Tuesday I left early for a doctor’s appointment. All after being out for 2-1/2 days. Keeping my head above water, but not much progress besides that.

Lang was on the front row of Emeril’s audience last Wednesday night, as his wife was the main guest. He said he’d work to get me entrance into some NBA stuff next week in Houston.

Matthew has fallen into the habit every day when I arrive home of asking if I brought him anything. He treasures little toys. A guy here just gave me a Rome Braves 2006 pocket schedule. I scanned it, noticing two things…
May 27th…Francoeur bobblehead night
June 24th…Brian McCann bobblehead night
I’ll see how long it takes Matthew to discover this…his two favorite players.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Puppy Bowl II

My boss is sending me to visit a vendor next Wednesday & Thursday…in Houston. Right now the Houston trip is to fly in Wednesday and out Thursday. There are no late flights, so it'll be hard to stick around and even go to the publicly open Jam Session...trying to get two passes to the not-open-to-the-public Wednesday night Jam Session.

Watch the Big Break last night? Pretty interesting. They replayed it later, after the Duke/UNC game. One competitor, a Duke grad, is married to a guy who works and golfs with Ceil’s brother...Kristina Tucker’s quiet, small-town life is about to change. At least, she hopes so. In her adopted hometown of Pageland, the slender 25-year-old draws attention. In conversation with native South Carolinians, her soft Swedish accent stands out, too. The full article will be available on the Web for a limited time...

Notice Jagger’s Nikes? Another Stone was wearing them as well.

Ceil always goes all out when she fixes a meal for's usually better than we eat, with bread and dessert. But our kids don't eat the fancy stuff that much...but they do love bread and dessert.

My youngest was all over Puppy Bowl II…my phone was ringing with kids making sure we were watching. Did you see last year? A lot less commercialized than this year. Notice the stadium wall was covered with ads for dog food and Bissell Vacuums. The kitty halftime was bigger than the puppy bowl, though the kitty halftime grand finale was a letdown…all the fireworks distracted the cats. I liked how the ref came out before halftime with the Bissell to clean up.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Spring Team

Great team! The way I ranked the boys after the tryout, they’ve got 5 of the top 7 players and 6 of the top nine. Some of new boys I didn’t know were pretty good as well. Mark Allen…solid player, hits it hard. Had some game-winning hits, but could only play first last fall due to arm problems. His mom did a good job as the team mom. Nice pick! Barrett Atkins…can pitch and play several positions, like shortstop. Newcomers Robbie Becknel, Nicholas Cmar, Parker Filkins. Garrett Blackmon…led the fall team in hitting, beating out Will and Christian Maiocco. Third base. Jared Daniels…really has improved in the last year…smashes the ball. Shady dad. Corey Hursh…solid player. Malcolm McCray - could be the best player out there, the way he hits and runs. Centerfield!Luke McElwain…solid player, can help behind the plate as well. When he connects, look out. Will Murphy…hopefully you can coach him up to the other’s level, but his dad is a meddler. Russell Sloss…solid for his size…really contributed, especially at second base…made several heads up plays. Can catch, but has a weak arm due to size. His dad is a big help in the dugout and at practice. Henry Stubbs…another catcher, which is good.

Sick Days

Back at work, yes. Feeling better, the drugs the doctor gave me are working well.

1. Yesterday when I called in sick, my boss said to get healthy because he was sending me to Houston. I thought that once I got the time frame that I might check the Rockets’ schedule. I knew a customer was going there to inspect our vendor……I wondered why several months ago the Carrier quality guy wanted to visit a particular vendor on a particular date. Guess the date…end of next week…the NBA All-Star game. Hopefully I can get a hotel and rental car. Wed & Thur won’t be as bad as later in the week. I’ll be in touch with Lang!

2. This morning I got a call from WSB…I won tickets to Saturday’s UGA/Tennessee game in Athens!

Emeril, the TV host whose guest is…
Isabel, whose husband is…
Lang, whose friend is…

This girl competing on The Big Break is married to a guy who works and golfs with my brother-in-law. The is the second ‘six degrees of separation’ TV event this week! So I’m closer to Emerial than that girl on the golf channel.

Kristina Tucker...big break golfer
Paul Tucker, her husband…works with…
Rusty Miller, my brother in law, sister of…
Ceil Murphy, my wife
David Murphy

Isabel Gonzalez Whitaker, my friend Lang’s wife, will be on Emeril tomorrow night at 8 pm, pushing the Latin entertaining book she co-wrote.

Wednesday was when I started feeling bad. Stayed home from work bed til 12:30 pm, and didn't do much the rest of the time.

Left late Friday, got to work at 9:30. Still felt bad...was taking Motrin. Ran some needed errands at lunch, then went home at 1:45pm. Took a nap, and ran kids around Friday night, making an appearance at our small group in between trips. I was falling into a pattern of getting a lot of rest, and eventually doing a little bit of housework to help out. Ceil's throat and ears started feeling bad Friday, unlike my achy joints and chest.

Stayed in bed Saturday morning, then took Matthew to his team's parent's meeting...indoors. Didn't have to do much except listen. Ceil did lots of housework and grocery shopping Saturday, so by the end of the day she was worse off. Will taught her Sunday School class while we slept in. She stayed in bed most of the day while I moved downstairs to watch old Super Bowl recaps on ESPN2. Stayed on the couch for the first half, then watched the rest of the game while folding clothes. Could've gone to either of two Super Bowl parties, but stayed at home.

Monday I got up and got ready for work, took all my stuff to the car, sat down, and realized I felt so bad that I shouldn't go. So I climbed back in bed. Ceil got up, she's at the doctor this afternoon. My doctor gave my three prescriptions and a blood test, said it wasn't the flu. I seem to feel a little better in the afternoons...if I stay in bed all morning!

Rothlisberger was on Letterman last night. Didn’t watch long enough to see the beard go. Why did Hines Ward say he was from 'Forest Park Georgia' instead of UGA when he was taped by ABC? I've heard players do that were supposedly out of favor with their university, but didn't know Ward had any problems with UGA.

Our bball goal had these plastic snap-on things that held the rim, that weren't good at staying on, so currently we're without a net. Wondering if duct tape would hold a net better/longer than other types of tape.

Aeon Flux wasn’t too bad…lots of flips and machine guns, but actually down deep it was a love story. Steve F, Scott, and Reid went…Reid stuck it out the whole time.

Will is playing Pony on McElwain's team. If they only have two pony teams, they could be ok. Malcolm McCray is a teammate, along with several other good players. Will is also a fill-in player for two Shaw Park travel teams...the 12 year old team and the 13 year old team. This past Saturday while Matthew was trying out, Will was playing a practice game and had a line-drive double off the fence. He's grown's almost like he's a different player. This year he needs to learn to use his size, especially throwing and pitching. Skip's instruction has certainly paid off with his hitting.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Matthew Swings / Anna Sings

I had registered Anna (and Will) to be weather-kids for the Christian radio station. Friday afternoon I got 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. We won a McDonalds breakfast for her "class".

Matthew had taken greater interest in baseball after his 2004 season ended, practiced more, and last year in Shetland made contact of the coach's pitches most of the time. Saturday I told him to swing away, and he missed those pitches in the dirt, but made contact on the only pitch in the zone. He has a nice swing, just not much power.

He also paid more attention in the field last year. The only time he played pitcher he fielded the ball cleanly and got rid of it quickly, but the first-baseman wasn't able to hold on...three times this happened in the one inning. So Matthew won't be a star, but I think he'll be a solid contributor. But we'll all have a fun year!

Both Scott and Steve were looking forward to getting out again last night. Lee is out of town, but did mention he would miss getting such a deal. Reid doesn’t have to feel any pressure…this movie might keep you awake more, or you can pull a Lee and nap during the movie. We saw Aeon Flux (PG-13) at 9:55 and saved Derailed (R) at 9:50 for later, since it just opened.

We have been lucky going to IKEA…it’s either been just before closing on a weeknight, or early Saturday morning. We haven’t been in a while.

I mailed the last of my Wendy’s coupons last week, after waiting to make sure all the credits had posted to Ceil’s account. Currently all posted to mine and Ceil’s accounts…32 credits each. I need to check my dad’s account to update, but so far so good.

The big issue at home is whether to get a dog. I’m against, as I’m the only one looking at our finances. I’ll list it with all the other things we need and let Ceil prioritize.

Interesting that Boston traded Marte. Like the Yankees, they want to win now.

I was going to ask about the Bill Curry speech. I had wanted to go, but Matthew was sick and Ceil had a function she couldn’t miss. Saw the ad in the AJC on Saturday. Sounds like it was good…he’s really been out there in the public trying to land the job.

Late yesterday afternoon I saw the ad during the golf tourney about registering at Tiger was one back with fives holes to go, so I fired up the computer and registered. The submit button wasn’t working on the web site, so I’m not sure if it went through or not. We were watching the tourney and the first playoff hole, but when they went to the second playoff hole, we started the DVD…Finding Neverland…so the kids could get to bed.

Missing the Final Four

Last week after Kobe went for 81, the story came out about the guy who gave away tickets to both the 100 point Chamberlain game AND Kobe's 81 point night. In 2004 I missed out on two big sporting events in a little over a month. Just as incredible? You make the call. Missing out on attending the perfect game, the next day I commiserated by writing that recap for my friends…I’m sure they were spellbound. The last sentence referred to missing my alma mater play in the Final Four just a month earlier. Here’s that story… As a sports fan in Georgia, the Masters holds a lofty spot in the universe. Since I’m not among the privileged, a corporate insider, or in the press, Masters Badges scarce. So as a sports fan in Georgia, I dutifully enter the lottery for practice round tickets every year. In 2003 I hit the jackpot, and eagerly drove over to Augusta for the Monday practice round. On the way disaster struck, in the form a thunderstorm. Practice was delayed, and then cancelled, for the first time in history. The only consolation was the guarantee of practice round tickets for the next year. In November 2003 lightning struck again. I won a sweepstakes for a trip to the 2004 Final Four in San Antonio. Checking the calendar, I knew I had a decision to make. The 2004 NCAA Championship game would be played on the same day I had Masters practice round tickets. I enjoy college basketball and am quite aware what a big deal the Final Four is. I was also quite aware of the taxes I would have to pay should I accept the trip. Struggling to make ends meet on the home front, I opted for the less expensive option…entry to the hollowed grounds of Augusta National. Besides, my alma mater Georgia Tech was a long shot to advance deep into the tourney that year. Four months later Tech made their improbable run not only to the Final Four, but also advanced to the Monday championship game with a win on Saturday . And I could’ve been there. Luckily it was a glorious day at Augusta National…not a cloud in the sky. We walked the grounds, saw all the players we wanted, ate egg salad sandwiches. My son got Jose Maria Olazabal’s autograph. We arrived home tired, but it was a good kind of tired. Got home just as a basketball game tipped off.