Monday, October 29, 2007
Saturday night we were supposed to eat with a family in town from Germany, but I stayed home because I felt so bad. Got to watch the Series on the couch. Did a little late Sunday afternoon, and Ceil and I snuck out for some nearby Mexican. Anna painted some shelves for her room. Will has something every night this week, which means I do as well.
I would be more motivated to go to my high school reunion, but like no one from my old gang goes. I know many that do go, but they weren’t my best friends. So I really didn’t miss going this time.
Saw Joe Saturday morning at Publix. I knew his oldest daughter Jennifer lives near him (and us) in East Cobb, and has a child. Probably haven’t seen her since Claire’s wedding. Kathryn is getting married to a Clemson grad. “Little” Joe is still living at home, he said.
Friday, October 26, 2007
My top five…
24…have yet to see the first few years.
Good Eats (& Alton’s on the road show).
Best Damn Top 50…whatever.
Comcast Sports Tonight
Suite Life of Zack & Cody
Drake & Josh
Newhart reruns (or the Bob Newhart Show)
Reba (though I don’t know the characters names)
…NOT Hannah Montana.
…Outgrown Jimmy Neutron.
…RIP Turner South’s Junkin and the West Wing.
…Doesn’t count movies.
Sometimes when it’s late the child gets tired, and nothing works but rest. Makes it hard when there’s a lot to squeeze in. We’re not too good with discipline, and our three have different personalities. Kids constantly grow and move into different age groups, meaning new and harder challenges. I would say I’m no Bobby Cox or Joe Torre when it comes to parenting…unfortunately I’m more like Leo Mazzone. I have three Cy Young winners, but how much of it is me?
Scorekeeping: I’m going to have to work up to recording missed shots, rebounds (offensive and defensive), assists, and steals. Right now keeping the running score, individual scoring and fouls, team fouls, and timeouts. And the possession arrow!
Dave O’Brien’s AJC blogs have been pretty good this week. Looks like I was wrong about the Rockies. Missed most of the game last night, but saw the exciting BC comeback over VT.
No more Poronto. He’s 32, the new guy is 25. I guess some team will scoop up Poronto, based on his record last year.
When we arrived I was handed a whistle and asked to referee the first middle-school scrimmage. Luckily l found a more able volunteer, because the refs had to official the entire evening. I hung around Living Science dad Eric at the scorer’s table, where I knew I’d have to volunteer during the season. There’s a certain pressure that goes with keeping the clock and scoreboard. Keeping score in basketball requires a lot more attention than baseball, where you can be looking down or chatting, and hear the crack of the bat, thump of the ball in the mitt, or umpire’s call, and have time to look up and not miss anything.
There were several Living Science kids playing, on all six teams. Many familiar faces from previous expeditions and retreats, in the stands and on the court. The middle-school girls played first. Will’s friend Abby hustled, moved well without the ball, made crisp passes, and played tight defense. She stayed out on the perimeter, and needs to use her height inside in upcoming JV games. I recognized her dad from an expedition…husband of the somersaulting Tammy. Another little LS girl was aggressive and pretty good.
Charles looked like Spud Webb even against the middle-school boys. He played point the entire game and almost orchestrated a dramatic comeback for his white team. With time running down he split the defense and drove the lane for a clutch layup. As he ran back down the court I caught his eye and tried to get him to grin, but he didn’t want to remove his game face.
A few 8th-graders are playing both middle-school and JV, including LS students Conner and Holt. Conner is a younger/smaller version on 10th-grade sensation DJ, a sharp-shooting slasher. Conner dominated the middle-school game, making several three-pointers and almost some nice cuts to the basket for one-handed shots. He also held his own against the big boys in the JV-Varsity game. Afterwards I asked his dad if Conner was going to play varsity and he laughed, but he appreciated the compliment. Conner’s older brother Garrison was on last weekend’s retreat.
Holt is tall and plays inside. Like Will, he’s a baseball player with little roundball experience, but his size will serve him well in middle-school games. He also mixed it up against the big boys, drawing two fouls. Holt is the adopted younger brother of the blonde servant-leader MaryKathryn, and during much of the older boys game I chatted with their parents. I confessed that I had planted the crackers in MK’s shoes.
The JV-Varsity girls game had more action than the middle-school games. Eric’s daughters are aggressive and good inside…once one blocked the other’s shot.
After the girls finished the big boys came out to warm up. Will was wearing number 34, making him look even less like a basketball player. All night the games had been two quarters, and after those 16 minutes DJ’s burgundy squad had blown out older brother Ben’s white team. They reset the scoreboard and played another quarter, but the white team still lost by three points. Birthday-boy DJ put on a show, scoring 32 points. He had 4 three-pointers, 9 two-pointers, and two foul shots. Ben led the white team with ten points. It’s their older brother that wants to walk on at Tech.
Brothers Willis and David also played on opposite teams, and both played important inside roles. Willis had several good shots that just missed, but David had four points. David is a little more aggressive than the taller Willis, but he could get in foul trouble once the season starts. Younger brother Joel started the game and didn’t back down, but had several of his shots blocked.
After practice tonight Will leaves with the older boys and girls on a north Georgia team-building campout/retreat.
While we're on shoes, these were the ones on sale, but a size too small for Will.
Had the picture, so I thought I'd share.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
A few weeks ago I spied a pair of red suede Puma court shoes at Marshals for $25.00. Didn’t bite. Yesterday while looking for a pair of basketball shoes for Will I bought some driving shoes. Today I found the red Pumas are 25% off for the next two days. May have to get them tomorrow.
As justification, I’ve listed my current shoe inventory…
1. Black "Gucci" loafers…2006...work & nice occasions.
2. Black Brutini air loafers…2005...worn to work most days.
3. Black Timberlands…2006...look good with jeans/kaikis.
4. Brown Timberlands…2004...identical to the blacks.
5. Brown penny loafers…2007...mostly worn at work.
6. Brown driving shoes…2007...just got'em.
7. NB – good…2004...still look new.
8. adidas Nastasis…2005...one of my favorites.
9. Puma Romas – blue trim…2006...best with jeans.
10. Puma driving shoes…2007...funky blue & grey trim.
Knock-Around the House Shoes
11. Puma Romas – less blue trim…2006...worn out more than # 9.
12. Nike Air Mocs...1995...look like a baked potato.
13. Merrill Loafers…2004...wear with jeans for the outdoor look.
14. Converse One-Stars…2001...blue suede, looks best with jeans.
15. Timberland Sandals…2003...great for going out in the summer.
16. Nike Prestos…2001...all black, I run in them at night!
17. NB grey/black…2003...for yardwork.
18. Reebok Pumps…2003...yellow! My houseshoes, or for movies.
19. Nike soccer slides…2001...at the beach or washing the car.
20. Oakley flip-flops…2005...black, so not really in style.
21. adidas coaching shoes…2006...for the ball field. Blue!
22. Converse Chuck Taylors...2005...black, they look too new.
Retired Shoes (keepers!)
23. Nike Air Flight Lites…1990...NY Knick colors.
24. Nike vintage Air Flights…1990...great with jeans, Will wears 'em.
25. Air Jordan 3’s…1988…busted, or I'd wear'em.
26. Nike Air Max…1988...classic running shoe.
27. NB running shoes…1998...yardwork.
28. Reebok basketball…1990...from Lang.
29. Nike All-Court (white)…1982...what everone used to wear.
30. Nike All-Court (black)…1983...the black version.
31. Tretorns…1984...my preppie phase.
32. Cordovan loafers…2004...just replaced by newer loafers.
33. Black pointy loafers…2002...still hanging in the closet.
Besides the groups, they’re in random order. Might’ve missed some retired shoes. Will has also inherted at least five other old pairs of mine, since he now wears the same size as me.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The football game idea was brilliant…surely I still have my 21 jersey somewhere. My orange letter jacket still hangs in the closet! (Coach Jones’ 9th grade team was the best, though).
I am doing well. Healthy family, beautiful wife, growing kids that make me proud (and laugh!). We’re not rich but we make ends meet…we’re able to do many things important to us. Like Mr. Foster in Houston, north Atlanta has become our home. My parents still live in the same Macon house and are in reasonably good health…they ask about old classmates from time to time.
Tell everyone what a sorry SOB I am for not attending…but it should be a one-reunion thing!
Interesting that the AJC.com's DOB senses the Rockies are wide-eyed going into Boston, and Beckett and Schilling and Dice K could cool them off real quick. And I agree with Rowland’s Office, that it will be more interesting with Boston than Cleveland. I didn’t watch enough to know as many Indians as Sox.
What were they talking about this morning on 680, that someone in the Boston ownership group had something to do with breaking the Paul Byrd story right in the middle of the ALDS? With millions on the line, I guess there will be pitchers (and hitters, and football and basketball players) that roll the dice with steroids and HGH. The temptation of Paul Byrd.
Adding seats behind the plate at the Ted…less foul territory was the first thing I thought of. Goes both ways, but…
I felt fine until I got to work this morning…been sneezing ever since. Interesting ghost stuff on Q100, though I wonder how much of it was manufactured.
So last Friday the sale of our company went through, to the Platinum Group. The top three bigwigs “left the company” and a director from here in Norcross was named COO. They say they’re going to decentralize, which is good for us outlying types, I suppose.
Margaret, David & Mary’s 12 year old daughter is home from the hospital now, and is expected to recover fully from leukemia. There are more treatments, and she could lose her hair (she dyed it red for fun, since she was losing it anyway). The Hurts have received lots of support, particularly from Buckhead Church and Living Science, where my oldest two also attend. Ceil and the kids visited their new house yesterday…they’re going to fence in their yard and get some miniature horses.
PIG: Sorry! It was more her pink complexion than her weight, but both stood out all the more in her too-short-for-her black dress. Red hair.
Loveable Dog: The European moderator had a gentle smile and manner.
COW: Maybe I’m not the best at this, but I thought I saw her in Barnyard. A sometimes gentle, sometimes gruff mother, not too old or not too young. Lithonia resident…a long way from our Perimeter Mall-area setting. Afterwards in the elevator she was sharing focus group tips with the Donkey and Poodle…she loves the tax-free money, so she can be found most nights at a focus group. Has her young daughter in the same racket. Figure she takes in about $300.00 a week. Obviously she must stretch the truth to qualify for all these studies. The money would be nice, but I certainly don’t have the time or inclination to make it my second job.
Mule/Donkey: A “gentleman” older and more overweight than me. Long grey hair. Spins records on weekends, does focus groups during the week.
GOAT: Skinny, hard-working Nigerian entrepreneur in a dark shirt and monochromatic tie. Wanted us to know he did a lot of walking, a MARTA regular.
Angry but Devoted Sheep-Herding Dog: Working mother from Cartersville. Looked like a Texan, whose opinion was not to be swayed. Tough. Eyes close together like a sheep-herding dog. Very interesting / unusual name, which I forgot. Late in the session she rambled a conclusion, summing up each person’s stance…”Some are this, some are that. Some want to kill themselves…” WHAT? Did I miss something? Was she talking about herself! Sad, but I had to keep from laughing!
POODLE: A well groomed but casually-dressed lady older than me. Didn’t say much.
BULL: Big guy, didn’t say much either. Wore black urban attire. What he did say didn’t make much sense…seemed to contradict himself (I probably came across the same way).
Notice I skipped myself, vain soul that I am.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Leo Mazzone: I kinda think the Braves won’t hire him, even for the minor leagues. The Braves have tried to steer away from such volatile personalities over the years, like David Justice and Gary Sheffield. Roger McDowell may not be the best, but with Cox only having a year or three left, I doubt they’ll upset the apple cart.
Went to the dentist this morning, over across from Clairmont Hills Baptist.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Each day adds info that culmanates in a quite funny experience.
Hopefully you didn't have to be there.
Let me know if any details are inaccurate!
We still departed early, at 5:45 am. I didn’t know the four high schoolers in my first group. Lain rode shotgun and plays soccer, but is working on his football kicking. North of Macon the students switched, and Andrew, the slugging catcher, rode shotgun. Will and basketball marvel DJ rode the last leg of the trip.
The male chaperones were responsible for keeping the beverage coolers well stocked, which meant us Diet Coke devotes were never lacking at meals served without Cokes. It always takes a while for the chaperones to get to know each other, and which kids belong to whom. Bryan saw me speaking several times to dark-headed guitar-player Kyle, my young friend I’d chaperoned on two earlier expeditions…and asked if Kyle was my son.
Discovered junior servant leader MaryKathryn enjoyed jokes, so I tried to have one ready every time I saw her. She reminded me of Kelly Curran.
We arrived at our Tybee hotel in time for lunch on the ocean pier, then we drove over to tour the Tybee lighthouse and museum. The guide pointed out homes owned by John Mellencamp and Sandra Bulloch. While half the group toured, the other half worked on a science project on the nearby beach.
After supper popular teacher Andy spoke on Monarch butterflies…how a chubby six-eyed caterpillar enters his cocoon, turns into a yellow liquid, then into a skinny four-eyed butterfly with wing markings resembling predator eyes (to ward off enemies). Monarchs migrate thousands of miles over several generations, returning to the same area south of Mexico City…without brains. Andy’s point: Evolutionists don’t have an explanation for this.
Kyle and Willis & David Norman performed a short skit from “Monty Python & the Holy Grail” Mr. Cain, another popular teacher, leaned over to me and asked “Bring back memories?”
A videographer arrived to document these studies…they are to be turned into curriculum to be sold to home school families for individual use. Tammy and Sandy were drafted to assist and record video taken and needed.
That night Andy spoke on fresh-water mollusks, which attract fish with an amazing decoy technique. The mollusk deploys an appendage with markings that look exactly like a small fish…it even has markings like eyes. This attracts a larger fish. Just as the fish tries to take a bite, the blind mollusk shoots its eggs into the fish’s mouth, where they attach to the gills to grow. When larger they drop off and repeat the process. Again, unexplainable by evolutionists.
We also saw a film on how the earth is situated in a specific area in the solar system and Milky Way, making it most conducive not only for life, but also telescopic exploration of the universe.
In elaborate costumes David Norman, Meg, and other students dramatisized caterpillars turning into butterflies in a humorous skit.
Kyle and Andrew played in the band, and Will had his first go at the video board, broadcasting words to songs.
Drove to a nearby picnic area for a cookout. After lunch the kids broke back up into groups and entered the adjacent march, to collect crabs and other wildlife samples for study. Some got muddier than others, and many boys wore muddy handprints on their shirts.
Tammy and Sandy again assisted the straight-laced videographer. Tammy is an East Cobb mom with long blonde hair (on this day pulled back in a ponytail, sticking through the rear opening of her pink-trimmed Auburn cap). Looks like the former Georgia State tennis player she was. Sandy looks like the English teacher she is, and is greatly loved by her students. She wore her glasses and straw hat trimmed in pink decorative fabric familiar to the students. Sandy joked she was old enough to be Tammy’s mother, though Tammy said that was a stretch.
While the two weren’t peas-in-a-pod, they hung together all weekend like BFFs, enjoying their videographer assistant duties a little too much. As we cleaned up the area at the end of the day Tammy and Sandy planned out their futures, which apparently included Hollywood, limousines, gowns, chocolates, rehab, and guest spots on Oprah.
My mind raced back to my days at church youth camp, where this was golden skit material. I quickly shared this with Mrs. Switzer, whose role I aspire: guardian of skits. She agreed, and called over dark-haired Meg, the fun-loving senior. Meg enlisted blonde Marykathryn to play Tammy, and both began studying the chaperone ladies for the skit.
As fate would have it, a few minutes later students gathered as Sandy’s daughter performed somersaults. Sandy proclaimed that she could do better, and proceeded to execute several of her own. Then Tammy emptied her pockets and tucked in her shirt as the crowing crowd cheered her on (and her teenage daughter Abby cowered in embarrassment). Her somersaults were even better, and the crowd roared. Then tall Willis Norman tried some.
I was standing next to the boisterous Andrew. He loudly called me by my Living Science nickname, and the crowd joined in. “Krypto! Krypto! Krypto!” I’d never tried a somersault in my life, and wasn’t quick-witted enough to think of anything else. I made a half-hearted attempt, making sure to wind up on the ground for comedic effect.
Jim, another chaperone (and school trustee), stood on his head. Senior gymnast Brittany ended the performance impressively, by going from a split to a handstand.
Out bounded Meg and MaryKathryn, wearing Sandy and Tammy’s hats. MK had her jeans rolled up to match Tammy’s. The crowd loved it, including Sandy and Tammy (and Abby-her mom was now famous!). Meg and MK spoke of shopping and the horrible mud, driving David more crazy than Sandy & Tammy ever could. Meg/Sandy bragged on one of her students…Meg, of course. Meg and MK sang ‘Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better’ and stumbled through somersaults. Then they called offstage “Mr. Murphy!”
Out came Kyle. When Kyle had been drafted to play me, he asked what costume he should wear. He couldn’t accept just dressing normal, so he put together his own outfit…white T-shirt with a large blue (duct-taped) “K” and a shiny cape. Kyle made his entrance and said “I am Krypto! Mud? I run marathons through mud! And water! And fire!” The girls pointed and asked “Is that a skirt you’re wearing?” Kyle stammered “It is a Kilt!” With that he performed a forward roll much better than mine. The skit was a huge success, a riot.
Afterwards Sandy and Tammy learned the skit was my idea, and I had some explaining to do.
A special evening in the conference room where the graduates gave a charge to a younger sibling or friend, and the students read their letters of encouragement their parents had written in advance. Will liked how I’d complimented his improved wardrobe. Appropriately, Meg’s dad had sent a card that played a song, disturbing the quiet moment.
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Mr. Cain presented short, fascinating character sketches on Christians who made great contributions to science, like Louis Pasteur.
Sunday: Packing for the return trip. MaryKathryn had left her shoes outside, next to Meg’s hoody. I opened a pack of peanut-butter crackers and put one deep in each shoe, and stuck the opened packet in Meg’s hoody pocket, in plain view. I told MK I was playing a joke on Meg, that MK was sure to find out. As I was pulling out of the hotel I saw Meg and asked if she had any crackers.
The kids aren’t supposed to purchase snacks on the trip, but two in my van bought large energy drinks…just what a teenager needs when the next five hours are to be spent in a car. One actually sang 600 verses of “Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall” (quietly, fortunately for the rest of us). After his first hundred I said “one more time!” – big mistake.
Our four-van B group caught the A group near the Chattahoochee on 75 North. All nine vehicles arrived at the same time, and soon it was over.
Missed the Red Sox win last night…guess they’ll be more interesting to watch than Cleveland. We’ll see if the Rockies cool off, with the layoff.
Ceil had left yesterday’s sermon CD in my car, so I listened to it on the way to work. Andy’s take on judgment was pretty good, but he waited to the last moment to make his point, I thought.
Many are optimistic about the Hawks…saw where Horford had 22.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Tuesday night Ceil and Becky went to the hospital while I kept Anna and Matthew at Will’s basketball practice, not far away in Sandy Springs. Yesterday Ceil took big sis from Living Science to the hospital. Little sis was just getting out of surgery…the spinal tap revealed the disease had yet to spread, so things are looking better…90% chance of full recovery. Matthew bought both girls a WebKins stuffed animal…with his own money.
Interesting meeting this morning regarding staffing for our office. The ogre had several unpopular ideas that other co-workers didn’t like, so there was heated discussion. I didn’t take sides, though VP CK nixed one of the changes. Monday the ogre and I will interview Maria, and perhaps she’ll start a week later. CK had me up high on the organizational chart he passed out, and said he planned on keeping me busy next year. Guess that’s good news, though it sounds like my travel has been moved up a month to Jan/Feb as opposed to Feb/March. Finally a little encouragement.
Game two was won on a two-out walk-off dropped third strike. Preston swung and missed, and took off for first. West Cobb didn’t have to throw to first, but their thrown got away, allowing the winning run to score.
Interesting play in the desert when D’back SS Drew was ruled safe at second, but figured he was out and ran off the field, only to be tagged out. The Rockies are the team with the hot hand and look to roll on into the Series, where they’ll be trouble even for the media-darling BoSox. Good news from the Arizona Fall League. May have seen that guy play in Rome. Doesn’t surprise me that the Rockies swept, as hot as they are. I was surprised that many experts picked the DBacks instead of the Rockies.
Last week I was too busy to write that they moved up month end to this Friday, to coincide with the sale of our company to the Platinum Group. I try not to take off at month end, but have this school trip planned for tomorrow through Sunday, so I have to wrap everything up today.
Q100 had a girl call in about a Match.com experience that’s created international attention, about an Atlantan from Ohio making these false claims about himself. He keeps digging a deeper hole. Other women called in this morning saying he’s hit on them, that it’s all true. Even a story in today’s AJC (below the Peach Buzz on page 2)…the guy wouldn’t speak unless they paid him. Now he’s selling T-shirts.
It was tougher finding the hotel, even though I was taking my time. GM Nelson took me out for an Italian dinner. Back at the hotel I ran next door to Target/Sports Authority for a poncho, since thunderstorms were in the Saturday forecast. Sports Authority is such a ripoff…the poncho had a $6.99 “sale” tag, though it rang up $5.99. Later I peeled off the $6.99 sale tag to reveal the original price: $5.99. Murphy’s Law: It didn’t rain.
Saturday morning my old boss Steve drove down from Melbourne Beach, meeting Nelson, his wife Sarah, and I for a nice breakfast at a New York Deli.
At Nelson’s house after the game Sarah showed us mementos from her uncle, a fellow named Robin Roberts. Nelson and Sarah attended a HOF induction with him. Photos with Yogi, Killebrew, Jim Palmer, a bitter Reggie Jackson. Ball autographed by Stan Musial and Bob Feller. Afterwards my late flight gave me plenty of time to return to the airport and write this up.
Tech’s O-line dominated the game, springing running backs for big gains and protecting QB Taylor Bennett in the pocket. Occasionally the left-handed Bennett would roll left and find that entire side of the field open. That’s how he scored Tech’s two touchdowns. Senior RB Tachard Choice broke into the open several times, once for 56 yards. As in the past, he was never able to break all the way into the end zone, and several times gave up yards by running out of bounds.
The Tech offense stuck to a simple game plan, the exact recipe they need to stick with to win games. They actually missed out on several more scoring opportunities…
1. A third-down deep pass hit the receiver in the chest on the goal line, but the ball bounced off the receiver’s chest, directly into the adjacent arms of the DB covering him for an interception. Better than a missed field goal, I said.
2. The Miami QB was pressured in the pocket and fumbled on his own 15-yard line. Two GT lineman eyed the ball, but instead of safely falling on it, they attempted to pick it up and score. Instead Miami recovered.
3. The Miami QB hit a GT linebacker in the hands on the 35-yard line, but the LB dropped the interception.
4. The backup GT QB quickly moved the offense down the field with a long run, that was called back due to two penalties against the same offensive lineman (#61): holding and roughness. Later 61 was called for holding again.
Tech’s All-American punter was only called on for three or four punts, mostly into the stiff breeze. Though the punts were short, they were effective. Kicker Travis Bell hit his only FG attempt, a 39-yarder.
Going to a game provides the opportunity to see things you can’t on TV. Usually I’m amazed at the quickness and speed of the players hitting holes, running routes, etc…but this time most of the players seemed slow, especially Tech (even Choice).
After Tech’s two touchdown drives were capped by Bennett’s rollout scores, a very haughty Choice strode back to the Tech bench, hands on hips, daring the Miami crowd to cross him. He also did this immediately after his 56-yard run. Instead of leading lesser teammates to focus on the task at hand, he instead sand and dance to the incessant hip-hop music piped over the decrepit Orange Bowl PA system. This in the third quarter with the score tied, the game’s outcome still very much in doubt.
At least several of the hip-hop songs were written especially for Miami football. It did appear that 90% of Miami fans weren’t devotees of hip-hop, though the cheerleaders certainly got into it. There were a few endearing Hurricane cheers. Whenever Miami made a first down the PA announcer would finish with “…and another Miami first down.” The entire crowd would point downfield and join in saying “first down!”
Tech only punted once in the second half, instead putting together four long drives, chewing up yards and clock. We left as the final seconds ticked away. With the Hurricanes moving next year to Dolphins Stadium, it was Nelson and Steve’s last-ever trip to the “OB”. Nelson had played there in high school, and as a twelve year-old played tag in the upper deck during Hurricane games. As a boy he befriended Dolphin RB Benny Malone, who would give him and his friends game tickets.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Saturday afternoon I caught the end of the Tech loss, some of the UGA loss, and most of the Clemson loss. We cleaned up the whole house, especially the downstairs. Matthew had a friend come over and spend the night, and Will cooked burgers. Sunday after church we went to Moes with Ceil’s parents.
I took the kids to see Gameplan, the sappy football/ballet movie with The Rock. I fell asleep during the early commercials/previews, but stayed awake during the movie. An older than ever looking Jim Gray and ESPNs John Clayton had small role, and both participated in the post-credits Elvis ‘Hunka Hunk Burnin’ Love sing-along (sorry if this was a spoiler). Interesting mix of Under Armor and Nike product placements, including a male ballet dancer wearing a black Under Armor shirt. Funny when the first thing the spoiled girlfriend/model says when the Mercedes Pacifica-like wagon drives up is “station wagon?” Also a big “BeJeweler” product placement. Predictable family entertainment…ballet for the girls, football for the dads.
Missed the Falcons drama, but saw some of the Yankee win. Last night we went to O’Charleys. Today Matthew is sick.
Looks like Glavine is our if we want him. Think he’ll take less than ten? Think he and JS already have something worked out?
Monday, October 08, 2007
Will was the only Saints player to reach base all four times. He went 3 for 3 with a walk and three runs scored, three stolen bases, and two RBIs.
In the second inning of Game One he walked, advanced to second on an infield single,
stole third, and continued home when the throw was wild.
In the fourth Will hit an exciting two-out double. He hit the ball into the gap in right-center and took off around the bases, hoping for a triple. But the centerfielder made a great play to cut the ball off, and he fired the ball quickly back to second-base. Will had to hustle to second, and he barely slid in safely ahead of the tag. He stole third base, but John Fulton struck out to end the inning. The pitcher was the grandson of Pirate great Willie Stargell.
In Game Two Will grounded to the shortstop, but beat out the throw to first for a hit. Again he stole third base, and again the throw got away, and Will scored.
In the fourth Will again came up with two out and the bases empty. He hit a fly ball over the centerfielder’s head and raced to third. As he rounded the bag the throw get away from the cutoff man, allowing Will just enough time to slide home safely.
Will also had some exciting plays in the field. Will played shortstop the first three innings. The leadoff hitter walked and tried to steal second, but catcher Tanner’s throw hit Will in the mitt for an easy out.
In the third the number three hitter hit a sharp bouncer straight up the middle. Will ran over it into short centerfield, reached out and barely snagged it, and wheeled and threw across his body to first, just missing making a remarkable play.
In Game Two a pesky Smyrna baserunner was trying to distract the pitcher. Tanner stepped off a few times, and at shortstop Will was chasing the runner back to second. Finally Will broke quickly to the base, and Tanner wheeled and threw a strike. The runner slid back headfirst, and the rookie umpire called him out. The runner wasn’t happy, and grudgingly stomped off the field. At the time the Saints held a slim two-run lead, and with no out the runner was foolish to risk things. Hours later I asked Will about the play, and he smiled and admitted he had missed the tag.
With the two oldest boys not at the game, Will was the only player to not sit out an inning in either game. Besides pitching 4-2/3’s innings, Will caught two innings of Game Two and played shortstop the other five innings.
Saints pitchers continue to control games…
…Thursday Christian started and struck out five in two innings.
…Will M pitched in all three games, striking out twelve in 5-2/3 total innings.
…Will G finished the Thursday game and struck out three in two innings.
…Saturday Game One starter Colin struck out four in two innings.
…Josiah struck out two in an inning and a third.
…Game Two starter Tanner gutted out four tough innings and struck out seven, to earn the win.
Thursday the Saints scored seven runs in the first and six in the third, then cruised to a 14 – 6 victory. In the first Curtis and John Fulton White both walked. Christian stretched a single to left into a double, scoring Curtis. Russell reached on a bunt, and he and Christian scored on Tanner’s triple over the center-fielder’s head. Jack’s single up the middle drove home Tanner, then Will Murphy beat out an infield hit. Next Josiah drove a pitch over the left-fielder’s head for a two-RBI triple. Josiah scored on a wild pitch before Will G’s and Patrick’s walk.
John Fulton singled to right to get things going in the third, and he scored on Christian’s triple to left. Russell drove in Christian with a single to right, and then stole second base before scoring on Tanner’s double…again hit over the centerfielder’s head. Jack walked and scored on Will M’s line drive triple to the right-centerfield fence. He scored and Will G walked before the Volcanos finally ended the rally.
The Saints loaded the bases with two out in the fourth. Joe walked, Colin reached on an error, then Curtis walked. But the pitcher fielded John Fulton’s grounder and forced Joe at the plate. They added a run in the fifth: Christian doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored on Tanner’s RBI groundout.
Several Saints made good defensive plays…
…John Fulton caught a long fly ball in rightfield Thursday…Saturday he turned two double-plays!
…while catching Tanner threw out a basestealer at second.
…when Tanner played shortstop he knocked down a hard grounder and fired a bullet to first for the out.
…playing third, Russell threw out at batter at first, did the same playing second, and caught a fly ball in center.
…Preston fielded a grounder at second and threw out the batter at first.
…Curtis made several putouts at first, and stopped several hard grounders.
…shortstop Colin forced a runner at second by tossing to second-baseman John Fulton.
…Patrick had a busy time in leftfield, stopping several hard-hit balls to hold runners from extra-bases.
Saturday the Saints beat Smyrna Navy 5 – 3 in Game One, outdueling the grandson of Pirates’ great Willie Stargell. Four runs came in the second inning: Will M led off with a walk and reached second on John Fulton’s infield hit. Will stole third and scored when the catcher’s throw skipped into the outfield. Jack walked, then JF scored on Tanner’s RBI groundout. Josiah walked, and when his steal of second base drew a throw, Jack was able to score from third. Josiah then took third on a wild pitch, and scored on Joe’s RBI grounder to short. Later in the game Jack scored again: He singled, took second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on Tanner’s grounder to the right side, and scored on a passed ball.
The Saints beat the Smyrna Athletics 7 – 2 in Game Two. JF led off the first and reached first on a bunt. He stole second and took third on Curtis’ single to right, then scored when the throw in missed the cutoff man. Tanner doubled to right-center to score Curtis.
In the second Will M beat out an infield hit, reached second on an error, and stole third. Again he scored when the catcher’s throw was off the mark. Later in the inning Preston had a nice bunt and Kevin a good grounder, but both were thrown out at first.
In the top of the fourth a pesky Smyrna baserunner was trying to distract the pitcher. Tanner stepped off a few times, and at shortstop Will was chasing the runner back to second. Finally Will broke quickly to the base, and Tanner wheeled and threw a strike. The runner slid back headfirst, and the umpire called him out. The runner wasn’t happy, and grudgingly stomped off the field. It was big at the time…the Saints held a slim two-run lead.
Colin led off the bottom of the inning and reached on an error, stole second and third, and scored on Curtis’ RBI single. Again Tanner drove home Curtis, this time with a base hit. Tanner stole second and third, and scored on Russell’s RBI groundout. Will M hit a fly ball over the centerfielder’s head and raced to third. As he rounded the bag the throw got away from the cutoff man, allowing Will just enough time to slide home safely.
The Saints won Saturday's doubleheader without the services of 15-year olds Christian and Will G.
Friday, October 05, 2007
I left my scorebook in Principal York's good hands, so this is from memory...
Will ripped a low line drive just to the centerfielder’s left. The ball took two bounces and hit the fence, and Will raced around to third with an RBI triple. With the score 12 – 0 Will had basketball on his mind. Not a good time to steal home, but the lanky left-handed pitcher had his back turned and arm wrapped around behind him, presenting the perfect opportunity to get a great jump.
Josiah struck out for the second out, so when Will Gray worked the count to 2 – 1, Will M waited for the pitcher to receive the ball back from the catcher and turn back to the rubber. Will then broke for the plate, and crossed the plate by the time the pitcher was alerted to the heist. Will G walked, but was forced at second on Patrick’s grounder.
Will played shortstop in the first and caught the second. He made two good throws that almost nailed base-stealers at second, but the Shaw Park base umpire wasn’t calling any close outs.
Will came in to pitch the third and struck out the first two batters on only seven pitches. The next hitter reached on an error, but Will struck out the next batter to end the inning. Since Will was due up 11th in the order, it was time to drive cross town to basketball.
The Saints scored seven in the top of the first…
…after Colin grounded out to second,
…Curtis and John Fulton walked.
…Christian doubled, driving in Curtis.
…on the safety squeeze Russell laid down a bunt that the pitcher fielded, and John Fulton was tagged out at the plate.
…Tanner drove a pitch well over the centerfielder’s head and raced around for a two-RBI triple.
…Will hit a high chopper that the shortstop fielded cleanly, but Will beat out the throw to first for an infield hit, and Tanner scored.
…Josiah then pulled a pitch far over the left-fielder’s head, and he raced around for a two-RBI triple.
The Shaw Park pitcher threw 41 pitches in the first, but came back out in the second and struck out the side, needing only eleven pitches.
In the third the Saints added six runs…
...Curtis hit it hard but right at the shortstop.
...John Fulton singled to right-center.
...Christian stroked an extra-base hit.
...Russell poked a single to right.
...Tanner hit one even further to center for an RBI double.
...Jack single up the middle to score another run.
...then Will had his triple and steal of home.
I just booked my Miami trip. Kinda have to fly American, so I’m not getting Delta or AirTran frequent Flyer miles. My friend/old boss Steve is driving down from Orlando and will go to the game with Nelson and me. They’re both big football and Miami fans, just not the kind to wear the team colors or anything. Steve thinks Tech should win, that Miami hasn’t played anyone. Tech could let up this week after the big win, then be ready to play against Miami.
Ceil has been real sick this week. I couldn’t sleep Monday or Tuesday night…Tuesday I left work at noon, and wound up running the kids around all afternoon/evening. Ceil was going to work another wedding this weekend, but backed out due to her sickness, business, Matthew’s been a pill, and her parents coming Sunday.
All the Yankee sports talk guys on the radio are going on and on about the Cubs, Mets, Phils, Red Sox, and Yankees…as if us Southerners live and die for those teams like they do. At least they’re talking about baseball. The local guys hardly ever talk baseball or golf or basketball…it’s mainly football, especially from July to February…then there’s the draft as well. I like the 790 midday guys better than Cowherd, but they’re mostly football.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
I'd forgotten the name of the Falcons kicker that lost the Jacksonville game just a few weeks ago, and had to look it up. Just another guy in the sea of bodies trying to make a name in the NFL. Same guy...Matt Prater.
At the time I wondered if that miss would be his last ever kick in a game. I was wrong.Just wondering…we are told that kickers are different, that they aren’t real football players. More low-key. Prater had a shaved head and tattooed arms. Looked like a football player, except for his size. Made him not look like a kicker. Perhaps he doesn’t have the makeup for the job.
JS plays the game well, taking the first post-season shot in the Andruw soap opera. If you consider it a choice between Andruw and Tex, it’s a no-brainer. But will it be the 2009 Hampton payroll slot be used on Tex? Funny to see all the AJC columnists line up and voice their opinion on TG and AJ.
My Moe’s list is only in my head. We have eaten there in Dawsonville…perhaps more than once. Ceil likes some Moes more than others. We ate at the one on Mansell Sunday after church. There’s one somewhere on Crossville with not that great coupons in the East Cobber type booklets. Ceil says she wants to go back to the Laredo Nuevo Cantina off Howell Mill for her birthday next month, but she could change her mind.
I wouldn’t mind seeing the Yanks make a run. No big fan of the Angels, White Sox, Rockies, or Phillies. I have OD’d on all the Red Sox fans…Ortiz and Wakefield I like, perhaps even Varitek and Schilling. These days even the Yanks have lots of guys I don’t know. I fell asleep watching that game Monday night…didn’t know who won til Tuesday afternoon. Did Maddux pitch in relief?
ESPN's John Clayton reports several NFL QBs, including Harrington and Kitna, are on pace to break the single-season completion percentage record.
The Dawsonville area is really growing, as is the 575 corridor. Don’t know how Hurt will get from Birmingham/Crabapple GA down to Bolton Road…no good choices.
Ceils parents are coming Sunday, after attending the Clemson/VT game. They’ll miss Will’s Saturday doubleheader and North Point, but see Anna’s ballet practice if they want.
The four youngest Normans were there. After stretching they started with full court layups. The second time down Willis threw down a dunk, just to start off the season. Little Charles lives for basketball, and shoe expert Joel arrived in street clothes so he could change into his gear.
I’ve mentioned the Hoffer boys in the past. John is the sophomore trying to walk-on the Tech varsity. I had seen 9th-grader DJ practice, and he’s a smooth, sharp-shooting perimeter player. I knew HS senior Ben as a servant-leader at Will’s Living Science school. On the court he’s the hard-playing team leader.
Will loves playing with his friends. Besides the Normans and Hoffers there are two other school buddies on the team, good kids.
True story: last weekend I hit a Rugged Warehouse sale, loading Will up on basketball gear. He walked off and came back with some of those tank-top T-shirts, wanting to wear them underneath his uni. Last night it was hot in the gym, and Will took off his nylon sleeveless tee and wore the tank, as did 3 or 4 other boys, including David Norman. Becky quietly turned to me and said, ”You know what they call those things!?” I didn’t, and it was funny that I heard it from her…wife beaters, of course.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
You know I enjoyed the Astros throwback unis this weekend. This month Biggio requested that they wear grey road tops instead of the red they’d worn all year. They had to make new jerseys for all the call-ups as well. I wanted to watch the Braves to see all the backups and rookies play (except Woodward, of course).
Month end Friday and today, the first day of the month, have both been busy. Finally got my 20th anniversary reward (two months late), which I’m returning for a plain ring to replace my current wedding ring. They didn’t make a big deal about the anniversary…my actual off-site boss didn’t show, instead passing the reward presentation to Damon, who did make a nice speech and write a nice personal note. Then today while Damon was out of town they hit me with extra work. In previous regimes if the boss couldn’t celebrate, they’d tell me to take Ceil out for a nice dinner. I’m tempted to go to Canoe and turn in the bill, but these are different people I’m dealing with.
Andy said something that reminded me that he is at least a little like me…when telling the Starbucks drive-thru story, he was very wary of taking too much time at the drive-thru window, saying that if he were the one waiting back in line he’d be honking his horn and shaking his fist.
All in all, if Tech beats Clemson, I don’t mind if they lose all the rest of their games. Ceil usually doesn’t follow the season, but is always in a bad mood when they play. Neither team played super great. Tech (or Clemson) has not been good enough over the last 30 years for me to spend thousands of dollars traveling around going to games. Not worth it to me. But even if the Braves don’t make the playoffs, it’s nice to have them nearby so I can spend a few bucks to see them play whenever I feel like it. And over the past 17 years they’ve certainly been worth following, especially compared to their competition.
Will’s basketball will take up more time than baseball, I am just now finding out. Practices from 8:15 – 10:15 pm. I let Ceil sign up for her Bible Study and knitting class because she wanted to...now she’s overwhelmed with all her commitments.
There were two runners on base with two out the next time he batted, and the coach wanted him to put the ball in play as opposed to walking. He swung at a pitch he didn’t like and hit a hard grounder to third. The ball took a Sunday hop right into the third-baseman’s glove, and the third-baseman had all day to throw Will out at first…though Will hustled and made it close.
Here’s the recap I submitted for the Mt. Paran website:
Saturday September 29th the Pony Saints won 8 – 0 over a competitive Acworth Lookouts team, stretching the pitching staff’s scoreless innings streak to ten innings. All 13 Saints reached base, and the 8 runs were scored by 7 different players.
In the first Jack was hit by a pitch. He stole second, then his brother Curtis singled to centerfield. On the next pitch Curtis took off on a steal of second. The shortstop moved toward second to take the throw. Tanner hit a grounder right up the middle, and the shortstop made a diving catch. He then moved his glove straight down six inches to tag the base, robbing Tanner of a sure hit.
The first five batters in the second scored for the Saints…
--Josiah got things going with a single to right field.
--He scored all the way from first on Will’s double down the left-field line.
--Will stole third and scored when the throw was off the mark.
--Russell reached base and stole second.
--Christian’s fly ball dropped in for a double,
--then Colin knocked them both home with a single to right.
--Colin stole second and scored on Preston’s two-strike single up the middle.
That did it for the scoring in the second, though Preston stole second and Joey singled to center before the side was retired.
The next inning Jack was the leadoff batter. The rightfielder wasn’t playing shallow, but Jack drove the ball over his head for a stand-up triple. Tanner walked and took second, but they too were stranded on base. In the fourth Christian drove the first pitch he saw to left center. The ball bounced to the fence, and Christian raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run. Preston lined a single over the shortstop’s head and Kevin walked.
Patrick reached first to lead off the fifth, and took second when the pitcher’s pickoff throw was wild. He advanced to third on a passed ball. John Fulton reached base on the shortstop’s error, driving in Patrick. JF stole second, took third on a wild pitch, and scored when the catcher’s throw sailed past third. Curtis singled to right for his ninth hit in ten at-bats. Tanner hit a hard grounder just to the left of second base. A different shortstop made a lunging catch, snow-coning the ball at the very tip of his glove. The shortstop’s momentum carried him over to second base to force Curtis, then the throw to first doubled up Tanner. Tanner had twice been robbed of base hits up the middle!
Christian, Josiah, and Tanner each pitched two innings of the shutout, and each struck out three batters. Only four Lookouts reached base in the six innings: two on hits and two on walks. Only one ball was hit out of the infield the entire game. Defensively Christian and Josiah tagged out batters, John Fulton, Will, and Patrick caught popups, Tanner and Curtis made putouts at first, and Colin and JF threw out runners at first.