Friday, November 30, 2007

Flight Training

Things I Covet (continued)

Akadema makes modern gloves as well as several version of throwback mitts. This three-fingered model is my favorite. When I get it I'll wear it to play catch.
Here's the catalog description:
Replica "Three Finger" Glove which was the rage after World War II and lasted to the mid 1950's. (The era of Stan Musial) Many baby boomers will remember this design as the their first glove (and maybe first love). Players of all ages loved the comfort and found it "easy to catch" with three fingers.

Motley Crew

These guys actually appeared on the scoreboard in hi-def, as well as on the braves telecast that night. The letters worked better than I'd expected...we'll have to try it again next year.


Tonight's dress rehearsal for tomorrow's 'Grinch' performance at Eastside.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Turtle and Treasure

Besides paper, Matthew often "draws" on the computer. While I'm on Ceil's computer, I have the chance to post one of his masterpieces.

Things I Covet (continued)

One more thing from 'remote control tee.' Many teams are represented, but not the Braves. Besides the Padres, the Astros, A's, White Sox, Indians, Mets, and Cards look good. Pricey...$34.99.

Check it out here.

Things I Covet (continued)

Old baseball jackets are great...this is one of my favorites, with all the stripes and simple color scheme. It's only $500.00 at I wouldn't turn down the $575.00 1951 New York Giants jacket either, or the 1950 Phillies or the 1963 Reds.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tech Coaching Vacancy

Looks like the GT AD wants a young guy who can also relate to the older GT alumni…and 50 may be too old. That rules out Bobby Cox! I don’t think the AD cares if the new coach has ever been a head coach before, but it doesn’t sound like defensive coach Tenuda has much of a chance. With Michigan, Texas Tech, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Duke, GT, and Arkansas all needing new coaches at least, GT isn’t the most attractive school for a coach.

Many of those candidates listed only had one or two feathers in their cap. Cuttcliff had ok success at Ole Miss, which is a hard school to win at. He’s great at developing QBs…Eli Manning, Erik Ainge, but doesn’t seem the type to rally around. That Johnson guy at Navy sounds good, but why would he come to GT…he’ll probably get better offers elsewhere. The Florida defensive coordinator is a great recruiter, but I’d rather have an offensive guy (then perhaps Tenuda will stay). The UConn coach Edsel may be good, but please not the FSU offensive coordinator. The best pick to me is the Ga Southern coach Chris Hatcher, but he’s only been there a year.

In a related note, last night I bought my dad a gold Georgia Tech golf shirt for Christmas.

I know I didn’t do well last week on my picks, with the Giants and Titans and Cardinals all losing. I’m not good at tracking it.


Great picture, considering how tired we were. Not the biggest tree in the wood, but this cut came perhaps three-quarters of the way UP the mighty tree.

Note the junior ranger working on his badge. Not exactly hiking shoes, but that's all he wears.


What’s you favorite uniform number? Why? Numbers fall in and out of fashion. I’ve worn many uniform numbers over the years, now I discuss this with my son.

Might as well go at it in numerical order…

1. As a teen kicker I bought an expensive Falcons jersey before the practice was popular…number one with D.MURPHY on the back, so my brother couldn’t wear it. Now I consider the number to be selfish. Only kickers like Garo should be number one. Tech should retire number one…for Eddie MacAshan, not Reggie Ball. UGA could retire it for that current WR. Then they wouldn’t have to deal with it any more. In baseball it means good field, no hit.

2. To me, Two means second-best. Besides Jeter, who’s worn two? Will’s basketball number, Ugh. My brother’s favorite, also worn by his soccer-playing son.

3. Good number. The Holy Trinity, or Ruth, ARod, or Lamonica. Dale Murphy. Will wore it for a while.

4. Made cool by Blauser and Farve, though it’s not one of my faves. The Iron Horse, Lou Gehrig.

5. Joltin’Joe. Paul Hornug, or Falcons Charmin’ Harmon Wages and Morten Andersen. Different and good, but not a great basketball number. Will’s current baseball number.

6. Not a fave, though Cox and Torre wear it. The devil’s number. OK if your name is Sonny Sixkiller.

7. Everyone’s favorite number…it’s too popular. God, the Mick, Francoeur. I even wore it for a while. Will wore it some, too. These days you can find a lot of cheap number 7 Falcons jerseys at Goodwill stores.

8. Yaz and Yogi, Buck Belue. Steve Young. Not a fave of mine.
9. Ted Williams. OK number, but not great
10. The perfect ten. It just doesn’t look symmetrical. Chipper. Peachtree Bart. Fran Tarkenton.
11. OK in some cases. Has that slimming look, except on Joe Kapp.
12. Another number that doesn’t look symmetrical. Used to be popular, but not these days.
13. Unlucky number made cool by ARod.
16. Joe Montana made it cool for a generation of QBs.
17. Havlicek made it cool in basketball…I like 17 a lot. Chris Gardocki. Jefferson Street Joe Gilliam. Billy Kilmer.
18. Cool because it’s a good age. Peyton. Growing up it was Roman Gabriel.
19. Unitas. An old-school number, like 18.

21. My high school football number, because of Jim Kiick. Worn by many greats: Spahn, ‘Nique, Calvin Johnson, Tim Duncan.

23. Jordan. Now everyone wants it, including LeBron. I wore 23 before it was cool, as a kid. At the Cubs camp Sosa was 21, before all the HRs. Instead I picked 23 for Ryne Sandberg, but they put our names on the back. Had I known that I would’ve picked three.

24. Great baseball number…Willie Mays.
25. Biletnikoff, my favorite receiver. Art Malone. Andruw.
27. Classic baseball number.

Ending in Zero: Not that great.
Ending in One: My favorite.
Ending in Two: Not bad.
Ending in Three: Above Average.
Ending in Four: Generally OK.
Ending in Five: Some good, some bad. Too square.
Ending in 6 isn’t good, like 26, 36, 46, 56, 76. But 66 and 86 are ok.
Ending in 7 is better, kinda old-school. But not 37, 57, 77. These days 27 & 47 are great for kickers.
Eights and 9’s are like 6’s, though 89 and 99 are good.

31. Greg Maddux made it good.
32. Magic
33. Larry Bird and Kareem. Cannonball Butler.
34. Herschel. Not a good basketball number.
35. Knucksie was the only good 35.
39. Only on Larry Csonka.
41. Eddie Matthews and several others. Brian Piccolo.
42. A good number…21 times two. Jackie Robinson. Paul Warfield.
43. Richard Petty
44. The Hammer. Reggie Jackson was a copycat.
47. Glavine.
51. Butkus. Guys with skinny necks shouldn’t wear it.
55. Orel Hershieser.
80. Many WRs copy the great Jerry Rice.
81. OK, but not symmetrical. Carl Eller. Wes Chesson. Looks good on Calvin.
82. Wore it my sophomore year and liked it. Ken Burrow made me like it.
83. Not bad
84. Looked good on Randy Moss.
86. Boyd Dowler. Hines Ward. The late Jim Mitchell.
89. Better than 88. Otis Taylor.
99. Gretzky.

Totem Pole

My youngest with artwork that looks like he could've produced, in from of the Pacific Ocean.

My daughter is like me. Most of her pictures were great, but most didn't have people in them.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Thursday late-morning traffic through town was heavy but not gridlocked, though south of town it was slow through McDonough. No one brought dressing for Thanksgiving dinner, so I was at Kroger ten minutes before we were to eat. Didn’t get to see much Thursday football, but made up for it the next two days.

Left the gas station in north Macon at 8:40 pm Thursday and drove non-stop to Jefferson, arriving at 1:05 am. Nice cut-through to I-20 via Gray, Eatonton, and Lake Oconee. When we got on the interstate and saw we were 73 miles from Augusta, I was able to calculate exactly when we would arrive…and we did. Jefferson is 30 miles closer to my parents in Macon than our house in Marietta! Ceil saw a group of deer on the side of the road.

Didn’t move the car for two days. Saturday at 5:30 I went outsides and noticed something had leaked out from under the van…antifreeze. The reservoir was nearly empty. Sunday morning we called a local shade-tree mechanical…turned out to be the water pump. We ran up to Advanced Auto Parts to get the last one they had, and $120.00 later it was fixed.

Saw a gaggle of 25 wild turkeys in a field Sunday morning as well. Instead of leaving around ten, we didn’t leave until two, making traffic was much heavier…particularly at the I-20 & 285 interchange.

UGA / GT Game Notes

Saw the kicker grab his hamstring on a kickoff,
so it was no surprise Andy Bailey kicked (and missed).
Dropped pass on first play of the game would’ve been an easy TD
& swung momentum GT’s way.
Worst pass interference penalty ever called led to a UGA TD.
Booker didn’t step into throw, leading to a short throw & an interception.
GT CB makes a heads up play to pick up lateral, and then fumbled the ball back instead of setting up GT first and goal…another touchdown blown. On next play GT is called for a personal foul: another dumb GT play.

GT backup QBs hadn’t played enough to be ready for a tough game situation.
Putting Booker in to pass and Nesbit in to run made it easy for UGA to defend.
GT dropped 3-4 passes, which didn’t help.
If Gailey is to be fired, they don’t need to wait till after the Emerald Nut Bowl.

Paul Maguire only stated the obvious and wasn’t needed in the booth,
with Nessler & Greise there.
Don’t they know that all year the previous announcers have said the same thing?
Same thing with Clemson games and Boston College games.
Nice for Munson to call some plays, but dumb for overcoat-wearing Zeire to sneak in a comment on national TV…he just doesn’t represent UGA like a Buck Belue would.
Great to have Nessler calling games in Atlanta…
…like having Al Michaels call a game in San Francisco.

Kentucky blew an easy chance to win their game.
Miss State’s comeback to beat Ole Miss made it a good game to watch.
Same with Hawaii/Boise…hard-hitting play by DBs after catches.

Clemson / Carolina Game Notes

With Clemson’s offensive talent, there was no way they should lose.
The State newspaper ran the top number wearers in SC & Clemson history…
…I didn’t see the Fridge on the list.
Will got to go to his first SC/Clemson game, & first game at Williams-Bryce Stadium.
SC’s helmets and jerseys looked good, but both teams had ugly stripes on their pants.
Clemson & UGA have great-looking helmets,
but ugly them up with all the little bone & tiger paw stickers on the back.

For all their talent, Davis & Spiller often make bad decisions…
…they have nothing on UGA’s Brown & Moreno, who break off long TD runs…
…I think a lot of it has to do with coaching.
Choice is tougher up the middle.
Spiller is quick, but a below average punt returner.
Clemson’s kicker would’ve been run out of town had he missed that easy kick…
…they still need to upgrade for next year if they want to win more games.

The Tigers could’ve/should’ve beat GT & BC…
…they would’ve been in the top 3 with a chance to play in the championship game.

Spurrier appears to have a motivation problem with his special-teams players, which is completely unreasonable. Any college athlete should realize why they’ve been given a scholarship: to give their all on the field. If walk-ons don’t hustle they should be kicked off the team.

Top Five All-Time College Football Players

The last five they’ve added…
10. Vince Young. Better than Vick, but no Teabow.
9. Roger Staubach. Won the Heisman at Navy
8. Bo Jackson: Correct top ten pick.
7. Tony Dorsett: Had him on earlier lists.
6. Jim Thorpe: Correct top ten pick.

Here's my updated Top Five:
5. Ricky Williams: broke rushing record.
4. Tommy Frazier: won 2 national championships.
3. John Hannah: greatest lineman ever.
2. Barry Sanders: a sure top 5 pick.
1. Herschel Walker: a sure top 5 pick.

Teabow could be up here before it's all over.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nike Shox Team Ups

Just as I discovered the Flight shoes posted below, my cell rang. As I talked to Ceil I became even more excited when I discovered this pair of Nike Shox Team Ups. It was a size eleven, but I figured they were worth getting even if Will had to grow into them.

Turned out they fit exactly the same as the 10-1/2 Flights. Will wore these Ups Monday night.

The both pair were white with navy trim, though this photo is actually a dark-green shoe.

My Hometown

Anna and ballet…yesterday she didn’t want to go to an extra class because she wanted to watch the big Oprah Favorites show. She and Ceil usually don’t watch Oprah. Today she’s unveiling the new American Girl doll, and Hannah Montana is on as well. You may have heard Oprah filmed yesterday’s show in Macon, in the beautiful City Auditorium, restored not long ago. I actually played my first recreation basketball games there.

Speaking of Macon, last night I saw pictures from the reunion I had missed…more on that later! As expected, there were very few from my old crowd there. Three basketball players who were good friends showed up…it would’ve been nice to see them, as well as one close friend who’d only been back for one reunion.

Nice family comments from Glavine at his press conference.

Over the weekend I may write a lot, then post it all Monday when I'm back under more normal conditions. Missy, is that proper blogging etiquette?

Nike Shox Flight

I had given up the search for a nice, cheap pair of basketball shoes for Will. Then last Saturday I stumbled across TWO deeply discounted pair.

This Nike Shox Flight pair was his size 10-1/2.

I was so excited I couldn't shop any more, so I headed for the checkout. Afterwards I realized an older gentleman I'd seen was someone I knew, but hadn't talked to.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday Stuff

Haven’t been to the new Sears yet, though I doubt I’ll have many reasons to. Ceil was at the Avenue Saturday afternoon…at the Gap and probably some other places, between 5 and 7 pm.

I’m sure Necessary Roughness hasn’t aged well. The uniforms were plain, but interesting that they were green. Long striped socks and adidas turf shoes. I had forgotten about the prison team, but remembered Bakula and Ireland. Like Cindy Crawford, Ireland has built a big business empire.

Except for DOB, the media hasn’t hit on the fact that getting Glavine for $8 million was a good deal. Sure he could flop, but so could anyone else who would’ve costed even more for a multi-year contract. Hopefully this year one or three of the youngsters will step up.

Listening to a book on tape about baseball history by an older NY Times sportswriter. Several chapters on the invention of the game and on play in the 1800’s, which I knew little about. Even the stuff about the Black Sox, Ruth, Jackie, the 50’s, and free agency had facts I didn’t know. Think it’s just called “Baseball, A History.”

Thanksgiving in Macon this year, which means the NFL games can be watched a little. Everyone wants to go the SC, so instead of driving back home late Thursday, then taking most of the day to make it to SC, I suggested driving straight from Macon to SC that night, even if we get a late start. I’ve missed a few SC trips, so I’ll make the trip, even though there’s never much to do. I’ll have to get out of paintball…”touch” football being guarded by an overzealous 20-year old distant nephew is bad enough (though that makes beating him on a route all the more fun).

Flight Beats Arch Rival

Will’s Flight JV team overcame a first quarter deficit to beat arch-rival Crown 45 – 37 last night, before a packed crowd in the cramped Crown gymnasium. The JV boys won after the JV girls blew out the Crown JV, and then the Flight Varsity girls and boys led throughout their games to finish the sweep.

The starting lineups were introduced on the PA before the game, so it was the first time Will got to run out like that. He ran down the opening tip, grabbed 3 rebounds and a steal, and got off 2 shots. The coach continues to insert Will to provide more defense in key stretches of the game. Crown had a shooter make several early three-pointers, but Will came back in and stayed close, and the guy scarcely made a basket the rest of the way. On defense Will also forced a jump ball.

The parking lot was already full when I arrived late in the JV girl’s game. With the benches on one side of the court, there was only room for 2 rows of folding chairs on the other, where the parents sat. The younger Crown students congregated on the stage at the far end of the court, in front of several Christmas trees. Older Crown students and some parents stood on one side of the balcony overlooking the court. The large crowd of Living Science students filled the other side of the balcony, cheering relentlessly with their faces painted, giving Flight a home-court advantage in the Crown gym.

Thanks to several 3-pointers, Crown led 13 – 9 after the first quarter, but surged ahead, leading 22 – 18 at the half. Flight extended their lead in the 3rd-quarter to 37 – 29. DJ was having a good game shooting and rebounding, but he continued to feed the ball to Connor in the corner for a three or a drive to the basket. In the fourth quarter DJ and Connor slowed down the game, actually running the 4-corners offense.

…DJ scored 17 points, going 4 – 7 on 3-pointers. He had 13 rebounds, 5 assists, and 7 steals.
…Connor led all scorers with 24 points. He was 2 – 4 from 3-point-land, and added 8 from the foul line.
…Seven of Holt’s 11 rebounds came in the first quarter.
…Isaac only made one free throw and had 3 boards, but again played a key role with his ball-handling and on defense.
…Josh scored a basket and had 5 rebounds to go with a steal and a block.
…Jonathan, Joel, and Max didn’t play much.

Flight Varsity Game Recaps - Nov.19th

Ceil hated to leave, but Anna and Matthew were antsy, so they left after the first quarter of the Girls game. We hated to take Will away from all the excitement, so I stayed and hung out with the Living Science parents I knew. Up above us Will, Holt, and slugging catcher Andrew (with his face painted) beat on the balcony overhang leading the cheers. Catherine, home from Furman for Thanksgiving, caught up with old friends.

Varsity Girls – Flight led throughout the game, with all 9 girls seeing lots of action. Crown cut the lead to 5 with 2:42 to go, as Flight continued to run normal plays, working the ball inside. Both teams were rebounding defensively, and Crown hit 2 foul shots to cut the lead to 3 with 1:05 to go. Then the Norman’s neighbor Catherine made a clutch basket, as did Will’s 9th grade classmate Kara. Flight outscored Crown 8 – 1 the rest of the way. Catherine drew a charge, and Flight won a 58 – 48 thriller.

Right after the game all the Living Science students trooped downstairs and congregated by the Flight bench with the girl’s team. They made a long tunnel for the boys to enter through. At halftime of the girl’s game I thought it interesting that Connor, an 8th-grader, was shooting lay-ups with the varsity team. As it turned out he got to dress out with the varsity, though he didn’t get into the game.

Varsity Boys - I had wanted to see Willis and DJ’s brother Ben play. Again Flight led throughout the game. Ben hit an early three, but it was Willis and Josiah who carried the team in the first half. Willis demonstrated a soft shooting touch around the basket and at the foul line. Although he had several shots blocked, he clearly frustrated his opponents inside. Josiah had the hot hand inside and out, nailing a couple of threes and well as repeatedly driving to the hoop.

Flight led 13 – 11 after a quarter and 28 – 17 at the half. No one played the entire game, but it seemed like Josiah sat out long stretches of the second half. He scored 16 in the first half but only 2 in the second. I’m not sure if Coach H was keeping the score relatively close out of respect for the other team. Crown crept back to make it a 9 point game after three, 39 -29.

It didn’t get much closer in the last period. Early on a Crown player missed a dunk. With 10 seconds to go he finally dunked on a breakaway, but Flight quickly inbounded the ball and passed downcourt to Willis, who laid it in at the buzzer. He almost dunked, but with a defender nearby he wisely just laid it in.

...Willis finished with 20 points, making 3 of 4 from the line. He had 12 rebounds and a steal.
...DJ scored 6, but had 8 rebounds.
...Ben had 5 points and rebounds and a block, but he also sat out a good deal.
...Willis’ hard-playing brother David made 2 free throws and grabbed a rebound in limited playing time.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dave Matthews Acts!

Friday night Ceil couldn’t find Rattatooie to rent, so we wound up watching “Because of Winn-Dixie”, which wasn’t terrible. Jeff Daniels, Cecily Tyson, the bubble-gum chewing girl from “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory” - and Dave Matthews. Afterwards I read a review of the movie...Matthews received good marks.

We’ve been trying to go on more walks around the neighborhood. Matthew and Anna need the exercise, so we make Will go along as well. When I get home from work and change clothes many of my winter outfits are all black. The other night it was chilly, so I pulled out a little-worn Nike running vest that I’d received as a Christmas present. Nice, but lime green. Anna in particular laughed at my appearance. Yesterday morning on the way to church we passed a group of runners. Anna excitedly exclaimed “there’s daddy’s vest!” Sure enough, one of the runners had on the same vest. LOL.

Sunday afternoon I was clipping my hedges and was standing in my next-door neighbor’s side. Will was blowing our leaves, and was playing nicely with Matthew. I had a great view of Matthew’s friend Quinn characteristically bolt out his front door and race across the street to our house. I told Matthew to hide in the leaves. Quinn briefly stopped to chat with Will, before running into our garage to knock for Matthew. Eventually Ceil escorted him back outside to look for Matthew, who was still hidden in the leaves. We encouraged Quinn to jump in the big pile, and he finally found Matthew.

Last night we had a Thanksgiving dinner with our small group. Ate too much, of course.

Top 10 College Football Players (revised)

This week they added three to the list:
10. Vince Young. Better than Vick, but no Teabow.
9. Roger Staubach. Won the Heisman at Navy
8. Bo Jackson: Often played hurt.

Here's my updated Top Seven:
7. Calvin Johnson: short career, no QB may keep him out.
6. Ricky Williams: broke rushing record.
5. Jim Thorpe: played for Walter Camp.
4. Tommy Frazier: won 2 national championships.
3. John Hannah: greatest lineman ever.
2. Barry Sanders: Top 7 lock.
1. Herschel Walker: Top 7 lock.

Not OJ, Dorsett, Dayne, Red Grange, Deion.
Damon says Spurrier. No way.

Baseball Bits

Great deal to get Glavine so cheap. Hopefully Tom doesn’t think he has nothing left, with all the talk of a no-trade clause being waived because he would retire instead of being traded. Good trade to get the young Houston centerfielder, because Oscar would’ve been non-tendered anyway.

From the year-end SI Kids issue. A Twins pitcher collects signed baseball cards. If a fan mails him any signed card he’ll mail them one of his signed cards. They had a guy who lives in LA who has so many game-worn jerseys that he’s opening a museum to display them. A NJ cardiologist has a game-used bat from all the members of the 500 HR club.

A web site is reviewing the worst-ever Braves. Makes me wonder if batting averages for many non-stars back in the 60’s were near the .200 level, back before the mound was lowered. You read of all those low averages, particularly for SS, 2B, and catchers. Probably even more so for second-division teams out of contention.

The Braves have hit so well the last few years you get spoiled to have a lineup with almost everyone hitting .260 or better. Some of the guys on the lists were backups who could’ve had inflated games-played totals because of pinch-hitting appearances. And how much of a factor was the hard AFC infield, oft-mentioned as the worst in baseball?

When I was at the Astros game their lineup consisted of these averages: .227 Biggio....257 Lamb....351 Pence (rookie call-up)....293 Lee....303 Loretta (not the 3B starter, right?)....232 Burke....214 Munson....230 Everitt....208 O. Palmero....216 Ensberg.

And the A’s weren’t much better….244 Kotsay....256 Ellis....287 Swisher....237 Chavez.....263 Dan Johnson....243 Crobsy....232 Cust....199 Kendall....228 Scutaro.

First Loss

Will’s Flight Jayvees lost a tough game 47 – 34 to a talented Grace Baptist team Saturday afternoon. The score did not indicate how closely the teams played…it was a close game well into the 4th quarter. The game was lost only because the Flight shooters were cold, easy lay-ups were missed, and careless passes were stolen.

Will started the game and played parts of three quarters. At one tough point in the second quarter Flight needed defensive help inside, and Will was put back in the game…his coach hoping Will could help out. Late in the game Flight was trying to mount a comeback, and Will had a key steal and nice rebound.

Catherine was at the Saturday game, much to the delight of Matthew. Anna missed her, instead hitting the American Girl Store with a friend.

The first quarter ended with Grace leading 5 – 4. Coach Hoffer played everyone, but kept his strongest five on the court most of the time: DJ, Connor, Holt, Josh, and Isaac. DJ was all over the court, running the offense, shooting, and racing after lose balls. But on the final possession of the half DJ passed off to Connor, who nailed a clutch three-pointer to cut the lead to 16 – 13.

Flight kept the momentum early in the third quarter. DJ hit a three to tie the game at 20, then drove the length of the court for a layup to again tie the game at 22. The game remained close, with Flight playing tight defense, gathering several steals and rebounds against a seemingly superior opponent. In the Thursday night practice DJ had been on fire, hitting most every 3-pointer he tried. Saturday he was cold, only hitting a frustrating 3 – 12 outside the line. But the third quarter ended with Flight only down 4 points.

In the fourth quarter Grace stepped it up, outscoring Flight 20 – 12. It was the first tough opponent Flight had played, and the consensus was the when DJ and Connor aren’t cold, Flight could beat them in a rematch.

DJ finished with 15 points and 2 assists, with 4 each rebounds, steals, and blocks. He could’ve had more rebounds and putbacks, but needed to lay back to defend against fast breaks.

Connor had 5 points, 2 assists, and a rebound and steal. His tight defense caused a backcourt violation.

...Holt had 4 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals.
...Josh had 8 points and 5 rebounds, and played well inside.
...Isaac played a good game, using his quickness to be a big help on defense. Two points and boards, and a steal, assist, and block.
...Joel started but struggled. He and Max didn’t see much action.
...Jonathan is a good player, a guard who aggressively mixes it up inside. I was surprised that Will played more than Jonathan, who may have doomed himself with an errant pass.

Tonight Flight plays at arch-rival Crown, the other big home-school team who plays around the corner from Living Science. The JV girls and varsity girls & boys are playing as well, so a big crowd of students and parents are expected.

Friday night the middle-school team cruised to a win over Kings Ridge. They have at least six good players. Little Charles had a great game, scoring 19 points…as John Smoltz watched. Smoltz stood upstairs on an unused balcony, probably to keep the attention on the court as opposed to him.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ballet Blues

Think Anna is a little frustrated with ballet. She’s always done a good job with it and seems to do the right things at the right time, and she does it with a graceful smile (in the recitals, anyway). But she’s never chosen for the featured parts, and I think that’s getting to her. Maybe a little touchy about being seen in her leotard, Ceil says. We’ll see.

Won a Chick-fil-A Bulldog Pack from WSB…a tray of nuggets, 2 gallons of tea, UGA T-shirt, seat cushion, etc. Today I didn’t win the Hannah Montana tickets that Anna wanted…guess you can’t win them all.

Got home from basketball at 10:45 last night, then figured out we needed milk, so I ran to Kroger. When I got back I saw it was the Letterman with Seinfeld and Torre, so I watched most of it. Now I remember Joe and Dave went out on the street to play…I missed that. Torre said following Seinfeld was like hitting after Hank Aaron. Nothing was said about Jerry being a Met fan. When asked about the Aaron / Bonds thing, Joe said that Aaron didn’t start out as a HR hitter, and that Bonds won 4 MVPs “before he got big.”

Interesting in the college basketball SI in the front there’s a thing about having essays on Sportsman of the Year candidates…along with Tony Dungy, Big Papi, Peyton Manning, etc, there’s a picture of Hank Aaron. This morning when I heard a WSB AM-740 poll showed 94% of listeners weren’t surprised about Bonds being indicted, I laughed.

Will has a game at 3 tomorrow. Nothing else on tap…need to clip hedges.

I don’t normally, but today I read all the comments bashing Gailey on the AJC after Bradley took his shots.

Wren denied the Lowell rumor. McGuirk says there’s more money. Hampton threw well. Prospects are doing well in Arizona. Good times. Doesn’t surprise me that ARod’s closing in on a deal with the Yankees, but it’s real interesting that he did a lot of it without Boras. Perhaps Tex should take note, though he’s in a different boat, you think? Andruw did something similar, and Maddux and Glavine and Smoltz did similar things.

In that Intimate Encounters class they suggested having a planning weekend getaway every year. Several couples that took the class have done so, so maybe Ceil and I will go somewhere in January, to set family and financial goals, etc.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Top 10 College Football Players (revised)

Been kicking around that Top Ten again.
Here’s a revised list:

10. Calvin Johnson: greatest college receiver ever.
9. Ricky Williams: broke the rushing record.
8. John Hannah: greatest lineman ever.
7. Jim Thorpe: played for Walter Camp, right?
6. Red Grange: made college football big time.
5. O.J. Simpson: greatest of the USC tailbacks.
4. Tommy Frazier: won 2 national championships.
3. Bo Jackson: now he likes to cook.
2. Barry Sanders: went out with his body intact.
1. Herschel Walker: still fighting at 45.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

SF's Lombard Street

Did I share this one of Anna in front of Lombard Street?

Most pictures must come from ladders or you can see, the ground level angle is not good. Most must block traffic...there was a steady stream of cars going downhill all day.

Ceil and I drove down it...were the kids with us? Surely so. When we drove past on the cross street Ceil and Anna hopped out and joined the crowd of tourists, snapping pictures.

Welcome Reader Number Eight!

Got a call yesterday from an old coworker friend who lives in Little Rock. He’s done a better job than me at keeping up, but it’s once-a-year at best. He had heard of the sale of the company and Googled for details. At the bottom of the page was a link to one of my blog posts, with details of the sale. When he saw the photos he figured out it was me.

It’s great that he sees my blog, but I wasn’t crazy about the easy Google link for other co-workers, so I deleted the post. It still comes up on Google, but when you click on it doesn’t go to my blog.

How many readers now? Gee, I lose count. At least eight!
To celebrate, a list...

My Top Web Sites
Uni-Watch Blog…daily updates on uniform stuff. Paul also writes for…how I read the paper most days. Dave O’Brien is the best.
Rowland’s Office…there are several Braves blogs out there. I hit this one daily.
MyCokeRewards…I always have caps to put in. Nice when the kids help.
PluggedInOnline…informative Christian movie reviews, a must have with kids.

Visits are rare, but sweet…
Fox Sports…my Tilting Windmills blog is here, though I rarely post. Too slow!…there’s a great game called “Spaced Penguin”…an easy place to look up consumer info.
HGTV…every January I check out the Dream Home.
SLAMonline...the Links reveal a different world to me.

One More

Thanksgiving Already?

It’s turning out good that Will joined a good team even though he’s never played…more of a challenge. He could’ve played at a lower level and I don’t think it would’ve turned out as good. Against tougher teams he may not get to play as much, but the coach has been good about letting the newer guys get lots of playing time and not running up the score.

It’s been good to have so many friends and classmates on the team…DJ, Conner, Joel, Holt, Jonathan…it’s helped us get to know those families better as well. There won’t be many games, but that’s no big deal.

Yep, it’s been a while…I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week…I’m looking forward to it. It was good that Ceil got to go to Robert’s funeral, she needed the break. I felt bad about not being there too, as much time as I’d spent with him over the years. As it turned out, Will could’ve stayed with the Normans, but we didn’t think about that.

Will has the chance to play a lot of baseball this spring, but he doesn’t seem excited about playing several times a week. He needs to if he wants to keep getting better. We’ve got to let the teams know.

I’m doing ok…things are slow at work but will heat up in February, and next summer my job will change. Met with my boss. He thinks highly of me, so hopefully it’ll be good.

Clemson’s been doing good…big game this weekend. Harper may be the best QB since Fuller and Jordan when it comes to winning. We’ll see if GT keeps Gaily after the season…they may let him go. They need someone to fire the team up. Gaily is supposed to be good at developing QBs, but he hasn’t had one get any better yet.

Bad News?

Will's First Basket

The Flight JV team easily beat King’s Academy 46 – 26 yesterday afternoon. The Kings team was made up of many big and athletic players who may have out-rebounded Flight, but they lacked much shooting touch.

Will didn’t start but played well over half the game, scoring his first basket in the third quarter. He took two other shots, had 5 rebounds, 2 fouls, and a steal and a blocked shot.

Will scored when DJ drove down the right side of the court. Had the game been closer DJ could’ve easily continued to the basket and scored. Instead he passed ahead to Will in front of him. Will stepped around a defender toward the basket with the ball held high in his right hand, but since that didn’t give him the best angle, at the last minute Will switched the ball to his left hand and tossed it up to the basket, and it went in.

With the big lead Coach Hoffer had instructed the Flight team to not fast break. Will had one fast break opportunity, and the coach’s instructions made him hesitate, though he missed the lay-up because he drove in and shot while out of control. But later in the game a shot bounced off the rim. Will was alone in the middle of the lane. He jumped up and caught the ball with both hands, and immediately pushed the ball back to the basket. A great play, but the shot bounced off the rim.

As the teams warmed up I noticed a girl shooting with the Kings team. Between games both girls and boys often shoot together, but this girl had on the same uniform and was definitely a member of the team. She even went to half court for the captain’s meeting with the refs, which captain DJ later said was a “weird experience.” She started the game and was a good player. Her coach said she sees the court better than his other players, and he sends her to the halfcourt meetings for the very reason DJ discovered. When Will entered the game Coach Hoffer joked with me, saying Will had asked to guard number three, the girl (he hadn’t, though he did later foul her). Kings doesn’t have a girls JV team, so she took up the coach on his offer to play with the boys.

In the first half both teams took many shots, but it seemed like only the Flight shots were going in. Coach Hoffer’s starting five included players with differing ability levels, perhaps knowing this would be an easy win. With an early lead he put in the four players off the bench halfway through the quarter, and repeated this strategy in the second quarter. Flight led 15 – 7 in the first quarter started, then outscored Kings 11 – 0 in the second.

The second five started the third quarter and was given the ball on the first possession. Speed skater Jonathan brought the ball up and had it stolen by the girl, who drove the court for an easy lay-up. Later she stole the ball from him again. After the game Jonathan’s mom brought up the steals, and we agreed that the boys would rib him unmerciful. As the third quarter continued Kings quickly scored two more unanswered baskets, and I detected a slight momentum shift. But Flight outscored Kings 12 – 2 the rest of the quarter. With the best players on the bench, Kings cut into the lead in the fourth quarter, outscoring Flight 11 – 8.

DJ’s scoring wasn’t needed much, and he concentrated on passing. He finished with 4 points, 3 rebounds, a steal, and 3 assists. After the game he came to the scorer’s table. When I chided him for only scoring 4 points, he was more interested in his assist total.

Conner also didn’t shoot much, scoring 8, with 2 bounds and a block and assist. Will said he scored 31 in the Monday middle-school game.

Holt had another good rebounding game, grabbing a career-high 17 to go with 7 points and 2 steals.

Shooting guard Isaac also spent most of the game passing, making only one foul shot and grabbing 2 rebounds.

Big man Josh also wasn’t needed, but added 7 points and 7 rebounds and a block in limited playing time.

Catherine’s brother Joel started and got off a few shots, grabbed a rebound and added a steal. Late in the game he was wide open and attempted a three, and it swished the net. Minutes later he attempted another, but it was off the mark.

Living Science classmate Jonathan played hard as usual, scoring 6 to go with an assist and steal. He’s the talker on the court, and a lot of fun.

Max started again and played a lot. He isn’t as athletic as Will but not afraid to mix it up or shoot. When he shoots he doesn’t jump, instead just taking a step toward the basket. It gives him a quick release and catches defenders off guard. Max usually is fed the ball near the baseline, between the lane and the three-point line. He just turns and shoots. Against Kings his shots were falling, and he scored 8, perhaps a career high. He added 5 boards and a steal.

Will’s friend Spencer came to the game to watch. Before the game I noticed he was holding a baseball. I didn’t make the connection until after the game…Joel had said that last year John Smoltz’s son played for King’s Ridge, so several boys brought baseballs with the hopes of an autograph. But there was no Smoltz on the roster, and John wasn’t in the small crowd. No Foxworthy, either…but Jeff has daughters.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Talk To Me!

At home recently Matthew posed for a series of candid photos.
For a nine-year old he can talk to his buddy Daniel for unreasonably long periods of time!

Selecting a Gold Glove Winner

We’re talking about the GOLD GLOVE AWARD. What third-baseman should be held up as the example of fielding excellence. Brooks Robinson. Clete Boyer.

Did Gold Glove voters consider Ozzie Smith’s hitting or base stealing abilities? To not consider Mr. Felix for a Gold Glove because of his lack of hitting, or because nobody knows him, speaks of big-city / regional media bias. Perhaps the Gold Gloves should be divided between the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, and Red Sox!

Likewise games played should be a factor, though it’s not as big a deal as when determining the MVP. Perhaps it’s like having enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title. Fielding percentage, range factor, great plays – yes, they all should be considered. Errors are a valid statistic, certainly not antiquated.

The MLB rulebook concerning Official Scorekeeping addresses errors in section 10.12. When it comes down to it, it says: “…in the scorer's judgment, the fielder could have handled the ball with ordinary effort, the official scorer shall charge such fielder with an error.”

While there may be minor differences in judgments of official scorers in different cities, those differences are minute. Review each error? I trust the scorers…they’ve attended tons of games just to qualify, many more than you or me. You could review the errors to see how greatly they contributed to the outcome of that game. The Mets had a losing record in games Wright committed an error. Great plays could be reviewed and tabulated as well.

Players make spectacular plays, but Zimmerman and Wright botched ordinary plays twice as often as Felix, Ramirez, and Jones. For that reason alone the GOLD GLOVE shouldn’t be given to Zim or Wright.

We’re pulling each other’s chains here. A bunch of words and pretty pictures aren’t convincing arguments, guys. I’ve only been watching / studying / loving baseball over all other sports for 45 years, but I don’t know everything. My CPA friend is more of a student of the game than me. He agrees that Wright shouldn’t have won. The last post gave the opinion of a veteran MLB beat-writer (who’s always respected Wright’s hitting), who was similarly perplexed.

Upon further review, perhaps travesty is a strong word. Between Zim, Wright, Felix, Ramirez, and Jones, there are numerous arguments and perhaps no clear favorite. But using any quantifiable measure of fielding, what places Wright first?

I can't believe the responses coming from the Fox Sports bloggers regarding Gold Glove criteria on my Tilting Windmills blog. I hadn’t been posting much there, but Saturday night I wrote up the Top 25 college football players list. About the same time I read DOB’s post on the Gold Glove, and quickly quoted him on the Fox blog. Evidently some thing Wright worthy. Range, hitting, and stolen bases matter more than errors!

Last night I checked the box score of every Met loss. Wright made 11 errors in losses, only 10 errors came when the Mets won. I didn’t review each box to see how damaging the error was.

Games / Error
Zimmerman 7.0
Wright 7.6
A. Ramirez 12.4
C. Jones 13.8

I’m sure Felix was closer to Jones/Ramirez than Wright/Zim.

Matthew & Friends

Speaking of Gold Glovers, here's Matthew with Andruw and Willie Harris.

Monday, November 12, 2007

More on David Wright & Chipper

Big debate over on my Fox Sports blog... http://http//
Wright made 21 errors! That's one every 7.6 games. Zimmerman made every 7 games. No one else played as much. Ramirez only had 10 errors in 126 games. Chipper had 9 in error every 14 games.

The Mets had a losing record in games Wright made an error. Sure he made spectacular plays, but the fact he plays in the Big Apple means he makes WebJems more often.

Range factors, I don't know. But fielding percentages and errors per game don't lie. Everyone's not Cal Ripken. We'll see how Wright and Zim hold up when they're 35!

I don't know who should win the Gold Glove. I just think fielding awards should be based on fielding...not hitting, popularity, or anything else.

Back in the late 90's it did look like Chipper was juiced. He was a lot bigger than he'd been in earlier years. The last few years he's looked smaller. He's been hurt, but he's played through most of the hurts - and compiled amazing offensive stats...particulary Batting Average and OBS (among the top 2 or 3 in baseball).

With Smoltz, he's the unquestioned team leader. As a switch-hitter he ranks only behind Mantle and Murray, and ranks among the greats in many categories, like consectutive years with 100 RBIs. Many experts say he'll be a first-ballot HOF-er after another year or two.

Few major leaguers are perfect, but I'll keep Chipper. As I've said, us Braves fans certainly respect Wright, he's a great kid. For baseball's sake, hopefully he'll keep doing what he's been doing for many many years.

For the Braves' sake...don't the Yankees need a third-baseman?

Runnin' Against the Wind

Studly shot of Will playing football on the windy Jekyll Island beach, at the Buccaneer.

That's Becky in the background. Because of her 15-passenger van, she was fortunate enough to attend all three of the recent retreats that her boys (and Will, DJ, and Abby) went on the last four weekends.

The Eagles played at last week's CMA Awards show!?

Another Weekend Recap

Friday I left work a little early to make it to the Sandy Springs game. Mercifully the blowout games went quickly, and I made it on time to our small group. When I arrived the three other men were outside shooting baskets. It took me a minute to find the basket, then I made a nice shot to bounce two guys out from a game of PIG. They want to play more often. One of the guys had never accepted Jesus as his Savior, but had been coming to small group with his Christian wife. Saturday we heard that he finally became a Christian.

Saw some of the Dawgs on Saturday after cleaning upstairs all day, then we hit Costco and Moe’s. I had forgotten my wallet, so I gathered all my change and was counting it on the way in. As we finished eating while watching the UGA game, I noticed the sign in the window…I had forgotten about the “buy a $20 gift certificate, get a $5 gift card” promotion.

Good sermon Sunday about what to do when being judged…as Christ did even on the cross, we are to forgive. Played Monopoly with Anna and Matthew, then went to pick up Will from his retreat. Took his classmate Abby home as well, and on the way remembered Ceil was eating out with friends. Will and Abby ran in to say hello, then I came in after parking the car. All the women loved the visit.


Matthew and Anna on a northern Jekyll beach.

Friday Flight Blowouts

Both the Flight JV girls and boys beat badly overmatched Bridgeway teams Friday afternoon. Bridgeway’s squads were mainly built with younger players filling out the school squad, compared to Flight’s home-schooled students who specifically signed up for basketball. Due to the Living Science TSL retreat, both Flight girls and boys fielded seven players, and still the best two players stayed on the bench for most of the game, including the entire fourth quarter.

The Flight girls won 55 – 12. The Bridgeway girls matched up size-wise, but like their boys team, didn’t even sport basketball shoes.

The Bridgeway boys took the court with only one 9th-grader, the rest 7th and 8th-graders. With DJ on the retreat with Will and Joel, I expected to see a big game from Conner. He would bring the ball up and was left open for three-pointers. Because of the lack of defensive pressure Conner missed many shots, but most of the time dutifully ran the offense and passed. He only played parts of the first and third quarter, finishing with 10 points, 2 rebounds, and an assist.

In this game young Isaac played second-fiddle, running the show the rest of the game without another good ball-handler on the court. He does well as the shooting guard, but hung in on the point, scoring 8 points, with 2 rebounds and 2 steals. Isaac plays with Conner and Holt on the younger middle-school team, which must really be good.

Holt was the tallest one on the court and had his way inside, grabbing 15 rebounds. Unfortunately many of the boards were from his own misses, as he had trouble putting the ball in the hole. Finishing with ten points, Holt played the entire game and had 4 steals, but missed all four free throws. Jordan, another big man, didn’t score but had 6 rebounds. Older center Josh started the game but was pulled out with Conner. He still blocked a shot and scored six.

Like Will, Max hasn’t much experience, but hustles. This was a good game for him, as he went the whole way, grabbing seven rebounds. Newcomer Ethan wasn’t afraid to shoot or drive, and he scored eight points.

Bridgeway’s ballhandlers were much smaller than the Flight defenders, and couldn’t penetrate or work the ball inside. As such they only scored one basket the entire game. They added one foul shot in each quarter, making the final score 42 – 6.

Seining in the Cold

It was a bitterly cold April day on Jekyll Island the Living Science students had for seining. Will took his turn, and Mr. Cain did yeoman's work, sticking it out in the water the entire time.
The catch wasn't as plentiful as it had been the previous year, when it was warmer.
Here Mr. Cain looks quite similar to our next-door neighbor.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Top Ten All-Time College Football Players

ABC / ESPN / IBM have been counting down the Top 25 All-Time College Football players. They've listed numbers 25 through 11. Help me figure out who the top ten are. Here's who we have so far...

No. 11 Charles Woodson
No. 12 Earl Campbell
No. 13 Glenn Davis
No. 14 Hugh Green
No. 15 John Elway
No. 16 Tom Harmon
No. 17 Bronco Nagurski
No. 18 Jim Brown
No. 19 Dick Butkus
No. 20 Charley Trippi
No. 21 Archie Griffin
No. 22 George Gipp
No. 23 Johnny Rodgers
No. 24 Reggie Bush
No. 25 Ernie Nevers

This tells us they're not afraid to name defensive players or legendary figures. Here's some possibilities: Marcus Allen, Sammy Baugh, Brian Bosworth, Billy Cannon, Ron Dayne, Eric Dickerson, Marshall Faulk, Doug Flutie, Paul Hornung, Rocket Ismael, Bob Lilly, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, Anthony Munoz, Joe Namath, Brian Piccolo, Jim Plunkett, Gale Sayers, Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach, Lawrence Taylor, Andre Ware, Doug Williams. Probably one or two legends from Army, Navy, Notre Dame, Nebraska, or Oklahoma.

MY top ten:
10. Archie Manning: a huge hero.
9. Jerry Rice: small school, big numbers.
8. Deion Sanders: better than Woodson.
7. John Hannah: greatest lineman ever?
6. Red Grange: didn't he help put the game on the map?
5. Jim Thorpe: revolutionalized the game.
4. O.J.: greatest of the USC tailbacks.
3. Tony Dorsett: broke the all-time NCAA rushing record.
2. Barry Sanders: just as amazing at OK State as he was in the pros.
1. Herschel. Broke the NCAA rushing record for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, finishing third all-time in rushing in only three years.

Travesty: Wright Beats Out Chipper For Gold Glove

I can't believe the Mets David Wright won the Gold Glove. He's known to be a hack in the field, and has often made errors that led to Mets losses. Chipper had another slick-fielding year, despite numerous injuries. Here are some comments from the AJC's David O'Brien, who thought the voters must've taken into account Wright's hitting:

"Wright had the fifth-most errors (21) among NL third baseman, and his .954 fielding percentage was fifth-lowest among NL third baseman, far behind the top three of SF’s Pedro Feliz (.973), Chicago’s Aramis Ramirez (.972) and Chipper (.971), who had nine errors in 126 games at third base.

The managers and coaches do the voting for Gold Gloves, and I told Chipper it wouldn’t be the first time their votes were swayed as much by a player’s hitting totals as his defense. Wright hit .325 with 30 homers and 107 RBIs in 160 games.

“When I find out [Wright won] I was speechless, for quite some time,” Chipper said. “Certainly the guys with the least amount of errors and best fielding percentage quite obviously didn’t win it.”

O'Brien continued: "This afternoon I was going over stats and started comparing. And it made me realize, again, just how potent Chipper’s bat has been whenever he’s been in the lineup the past two seasons.

Consider this: Wright had what was widely hailed as a terrific offensive season, batting .325 with 40 doubles, 1 triple, 30 homers, 113 runs, 107 RBIs, a .416 OBP and a .546 slugging percentage (.962 OPS).

Now consider this: Chipper played 24 fewer games than Wright, and Hoss hit .337 with 42 doubles, 4 triples, 29 homers, 108 runs, 102 RBIs, a .425 OBP and a .604 slugging percentage (1.029 OPS).

Wright killed him in steals (29 to 5), but otherwise Chipper’s numbers are all nearly equal or better than Wright’s, in 24 fewer games."

At least Jeff Francoeur won one. Andruw & Greg Maddux did too...perhaps the voters felt that was enough "Braves."

Nike Footscape Woven

Here's the side view. The men's version in black or white snakeskin doesn't look this good.

See the post below for more details.

Nike Footscape Woven

Saw these at the Gwinnett Rugged Warehouse for $49.99, size 6...perfect for the two girls in my life. But they didn't like them!

$260.00 suggested retail. Ever seen a pair? There was only one pair in the entire store!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Buccaneer Beach Resort

Aerial view of the Buccaneer Hotel on Jekyll Island, which will be torn down soon. Must be high tide...usually there's more beach than that.

Used to be a hotel where the vacant lot now is...we stayed there in April 2006.

Moe's vs. Chipotle vs. Willie's

I plan to use the Moe’s promotion sometime soon. Ceil’s favorite is the one down JF near Ted’s, as opposed to JF & Shallowford. Chipotle…I’m not crazy about the spicy taste, and what a rip to charge for chips and the little bit of salsa you get, which is not as good as the variety on the Moe’s salsa bar. The chipotle taste at Willie’s is ok with me, and it’s more like Moe’s, but Ceil and the kids don’t like it as well. Locations aren’t as convenient.

Our MCS rankings:
1. Nuevo Laredo Cantina
2. El Porton
3. Moe's
4. Willie's
5. Chipotle
(Mexican Championship Series)

This morning I was checking 2008 schedules and came across this…
Even if you don't click on it you can get this gist by reviewing the address.

Last night I laid down on the couch not long after 9 pm and woke up at 12:30,
then didn’t have a problem sleeping til after 6 am.

Meetings yesterday went well. I was the last one to go to the group meeting (just by seconds) and it was clear I was expected in the meeting. We discussed how vital a role a new guy was filling, someone mentioned we needed five more of him. It’s exactly the supplier quality role I had been thinking about. Afterwards my boss met alone with one guy, then came out and called me in for a one on one. I mentioned the role, as I had in my e-mail the day before. My boss agreed I needed to be in a higher profile role, and he floated the idea that I NOT go to Little Rock for 2 months next year. I told him it wouldn’t break my heart if I didn’t go, though we both agreed the assignment was important…and left it at that.

My assistant/replacement was also mentioned. I lobbied for one person to learn my job, but there could be a division between my department & the Ogre’s, who would keep them.

Hopefully this weekend I’ll finish all the clothes upstairs…not much else on tap.
Have to see if the Dawgs wear black, which looks likely.

At the Picture Show…The Brave One (Jodie Foster), Hairspray(jealous, Missy?), No Reservations, The Seeker (early-teen boy adventure), Underdog, Nancy Drew & Ratatouie (kids have seen’em), and Bourne (I need to see 1 and 2 first).

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Live Oaks on Jekyll Island

These beautiful live oaks are on the north end of Jekyll, just off the wind-swept northern beach.

The live oak forests on Cumberland Island look like this, but stretch as far as the eye can see.

Eating Habits (Mine Need to Change!)

We’ve only been to Nuevo twice, though we hit the nearby El Porton more often, and Moes more than that. Ceil likes Chipotle now but I don’t. We rarely go anywhere else…P. F. Changs or Canoe for special occasions, and O’Charleys only when Ceil’s parents are in town. I wouldn’t mind a burger place…I’ve never been to Fattburger or Five Guys or a place like that, though I’ve heard mixed reviews. Lunches are more rare these days…usually Fuddruckers or a sports bar every now and then with the Ogre.

Ceil loves red meat. We rarely eat burgers or steak…it’s mostly chicken and pasta or potatoes or rice. It’s hard for me to resist…I should be the one only eating salads and vegetables and fruits, cereal, and yogurt, if that. I could lose 20 pounds myself.

Read in SI where Bill Buckner re-created his famous ’86 Series error in the sports spoof movie The Comebacks…so his actress daughter could get in the movie.

Loved how SI picked the best player for each height. I could stare at that foldout for hours. Jordan’s head appears ‘older’ than he was when he wore the original red & black Jordans. I thought Kareem wore adidas even when he played for the Bucks. Spud’s multi-colored shoes were Ponys…I don’t recall a star on the tongue. Interesting that several players were wearing their college unis, where they were more famous…Walton, Sampson, Bing, Murphy, Boykins. Sean Bradley and Chuck Nevitt and Manute Bol certainly have had a long 15 minutes of fame.

Nice win for the Hawks, even with Joe Johnson not leading the way. I was worried that they get into a losing funk after a few losses.

It’ll be interesting to see if Glavine were to struggle next year what will be said, considering how many in the media support his return. Nice that Frenchy won the Gold Glove…and didn’t take his cell phone on his honeymoon. Guess they got married at Peachtree Presbyterian because they wanted a nice place that could hold a lot of people…but 500 wasn’t that many.

Jekyll Island's Buccaneer Hotel

I uncovered more pictures from our April trip to Jekyll Island. This one isn't the best, but it shows the view from the beach looking back over the dunes at the Buccaneer Hotel. It's against the law to play in the dunes, which give the island a nice undeveloped look. Hotel guests access the beach by using a boardwalk. It's the same way one Tybee Island.

Yesterday's AJC had a aerial photo of the Buccaneer, showing the cleared land next door where another hotel used to be. There's the beginning of a big squabble, as governing officials gave a ten million dollar tax break to developers poised to build luxury high-rise hotels...out of the price range for the majority of Georgians and a violation of Georgia law.

Eating Out

Took Tuesday off to give Ceil a break, but I actually got a decent amount of rest. We went to a J. Christopher’s for breakfast…it appears to be quite the East Cobb meeting spot.

In the afternoon Ceil took the kids to Living Science and visited the Hurts (13 year-old Haley and 9-year old Matthew are still best buddies). I worked on the mountains of winter / summer clothes that need to be changed out. Matthew is finally growing into Will’s hand-me-downs, so he’s loaded with “new” clothes to wear. As usual, Anna has no winter clothes to wear…she’s been growing as well. Ceil fixed that with a trip to Target.

Tuesday night the whole family went down to Nuevo Laredo Cantina off Howell Mill for a good dinner. We were almost home when I discovered I had dropped my nice black Callaway golf pullover under the table. Were it some other piece of clothing I might had let it go, but today at lunch I trekked all the way down there to recover it. Would’ve ordered take-out, but we already had two take-out containers full of leftovers.

Big meeting Thursday wih KR, our new (& old) VP. We’ll see if they let me stay in the meeting.

I still feel a little weak, but better. I’ve been trying to eat less to lose weight. My excuses for not exercising include trying to get more rest to get over this sickness, and now the cold.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Halloween Closeup

Alton Brown Story (& the Weekend)

Alton Brown story I’d been forgetting to tell: One Sunday morning a few weeks ago my Turner Broadcasting-employed music producer friend Reid pulled into a parking space at Johnson Ferry Baptist. In front of him Alton and family were unloading from the minivan. Reid tried to start up a conversation, but his entertainment industry comments were met with silence from Alton. Only when Reid told Alton that he had once provided the music for one of Alton’s shows did Alton open up.

Friday Ceil took Anna and Matthew to SC for a funeral. Saturday I was alone, so I ran errands and did housework. Didn’t figure out until late Saturday night that this was time-change weekend. Sunday morning driving the van up 400 I noticed a huge locust hanging onto the windshield wiper. It hung on as we exited and parked at NP. Anna’s science project is on locusts, so we trapped it in a Chick-fil-A cup for Anna’s display board.

Good sermon, but Andy’s entertaining rafting story was a stretch to fit an interesting topic…confronting a sheep who’s gone astray. Ya’ll go? Looked like he was wearing brown running shoes.

Will had a dream weekend. After the game he went straight to his first big high school party, then rode home and spent the night at the Normans. He hung out there until basketball practice. I picked him up and we ate at Moe’s, then we watched Mission Impossible 1 and The Hunt for Red October. After church Sunday Will did homework, then played baseball and football at his team party. When we got home from the field I realized I’d left my glove. I grabbed my laptop and looked up Coach Chris’s number. He had grabbed the glove, so I’ll get it back.

Ceil stopped at the Dekalb Farmer’s Market on the way back into town yesterday. She likes it better than Harry’s, but rarely goes since it’s so far. Did y’all ever shop there? Sunday night Ceil and I went to Borders, but didn’t get there til after 7:30.

This morning I grabbed my briefcase and stuffed it with all the mail and receipts from the weekend. There was more junk than usual, since I’d cleaned up Saturday. Drove to work, came in and set my briefcase on the desk…but no laptop. I had left it on the kitchen table, so I had to go back. In the car from 6:50 to 9:10 am…so today I’ll get to listen to two book-on-tape CD’s instead of one.

Halloween Costumes

For Halloween Anna wanted to be a reindeer, and she convinced her brother to be an elf. After this was taken I suggested Anna wear herbrown Ugga boots, which fit in well.

Note the bell-tipped elf shoes and matching hat.

Perhaps these outfits will get some wear this holiday season as well.

Lots more photos to come!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Basketball Season Begins

Will's Flight JV team won their first game Friday night in a rout, allowing Will ample playing time in the second and fourth quarters. Will collected three rebounds and four fouls, but the coaches appreciated his hustle and aggressiveness. He got off one shot but missed.

The game was played at Cherokee Christian Academy, located just around the corner from Living Science. A large group of LS students and parents came out for the game. Cherokee fielded their varsity squad, so Flight played three junior players from their varsity team, including David Norman and Josiah.

DJ led all scorers with 31 points. On the way home from practice Thursday eighth-grader Conner wondered if he would get in the game, telling Will that he would play more, since inside players were more needed. Conner was first off the bench, played all four quarters, and tallied 18 points. He was often on the floor with four novice players and had to take charge.

Holt, the 8th-grade younger brother of Mary Kathryn, also got plenty of playing time and did well both scoring and rebounding. After the game I saw Holt with a Cooperstown bag. Talked his dad, and it turns out they were there the same rainy week last year as Will and me.

Joel Norman didn't play quite as much as Will, but got off a shot or two, grabbed a rebound, and collected a foul. David had 4 fouls, 2 points, and some rebounds. Nationally ranked speed-skater Jonathan grabbed four boards but didn't score.

The JV girls also played a few varsity players and also won handily. Abby got to play and mixed it up...grabbed some boards, played tight defense (and created several turnovers) and even ran over a girl for a nice foul.

Sick Days

Tuesday I had the sniffles and a cough. You never think it’s as bad as you sound, though I try to be mindful of co-workers. Hate to take sick days. If I’m sitting at my desk, even if I’m not working like crazy, stuff doesn’t pile up as much. Over the weekend I had felt worse, with aching joints, etc. Was feeling better Sunday afternoon (most afternoons the last week have felt better than mornings). But a couple of co-workers said I didn’t look very good Tuesday morning. I knew there was a lot going on at home and I wouldn’t get much rest, so after eating lunch with the Ogre, I went home.

Took all the kids up to Living Science for Anna’s class while Ceil ran errands and sewed Halloween costumes. Visited with the Hurts…Margaret isn’t able to do much due to being worn out from the treatments. Took a quick nap, then ran Will to basketball. Ceil had her last Bible Study. Will was getting sick as well.

Wednesday I got up, got ready, and started driving to work…mainly because it was the last day of the month. There wasn’t that much going on, particularly because we already had month-end on the 19th. I remembered the afternoon traffic jam that Halloween always is, at that was the last straw…I turned around, drove home, and went back to bed. Never even called in.

Lots of workers at the house, putting on the primer coat. Hard to sleep with all the noise, but I actually rested most of the day. Only went out once for a quick trip to Kroger for drugs. Saw the end of “Fever Pitch” Will dragged out the winter clothes to complete a Halloween outfit, so I organized half of that. Ceil took the kids out trick or treating…we only had a few at our house…less than ever. Anna decided to be a reindeer, and convinced Matthew to be an elf. Will actually stayed home. Guess he gets what wasn’t passed out.

Better today, though still weak. Talked Ceil out of going to SC this weekend…bad move. House is a wreck, and we have two things Friday, one on Saturday, and two on Sunday. Will is better, but Anna and Matthew are coughing as well.

Another Tech Disappointment

Big game, and GT doesn’t show up…big surprise. Down two touchdowns they should’ve stuck to their strength, running the ball. Instead they throw against excellent defensive backs, and also let VT recover an onsides kick. Typical Tech.

More and more I’m seeing how college football is an emotional game. Perhaps Tech has too many analytical types to get up for big games. Last night’s game was a big contrast to last Saturday’s UGA/Florida game. Certainly Tech fans are less emotional/passionate than most. The faithful show up dressed in Tech colors, but the numbers are significantly less than the Bulldogs, Clemsons, Gamecocks, Auburns, Alabamas, Gators, Nols, or Volunteers. Most pragmatic GT grads move on to other pursuits and passions besides college athletics.

Chan wouldn’t have lasted so long at an SEC school, not that they would’ve hired him.