Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Back to the Hospital

Monday night Ceil took her good friend Nancy’s son Daniel to his gymnastics class…Matthew’s best friend. Her friend’s daughter had an important appointment, and Lee, the dad, was out of town. While watching, Matthew commented that he might want to give gymnastics a try. Then they saw Daniel break his arm in two different places. Nancy barely made it back to ride in the ambulance.

Ceil took older daughter Martha home, then later she and another friend went to the hospital, since Nancy didn’t have a car. Ceil didn’t get home until after 1 am.

Glad to see Wren is interested in Hampton. Hopefully he’ll be cheap. Did the AJC not say he had 8 quality starts in 9 of his last starts? Also that Smoltz and Glavine will only be considered once they’re healthy. Smoltz would return to the bullpen anyway, and younger starters would be seduced, like Dodger Lowe and the Blue Jay ace. Every now and then a player wants to come to Atlanta, so no one should be ruled out. Sounds like they’ll have 40-45 million to spend. Now I’m looking to see if Torre puts Maddux on the playoff roster (he did).

Liked the “Air Moreno” t-shirt at the UGA game.

Been crazy busy with month end and physical inventory. Friday I was in an unrelated meeting all day long. Got to finish so I can go on Will’s Living Science Senior Retreat in the middle of October.

The gas lines are crazy. Tuesday AM I found a station with no wait. By the time I finished the line was out in the street. Ceil had similar fortune with the van.

Monday, September 29, 2008

More Letterman Fun Facts

1. Barack Obama notified his supporters of his VP choice by text message. John McCain notified his supporters of his VP choice by telegraph.
2. Harry Houdini once escaped from jury duty with only seconds to spare.
3. If you'd invested $1000 with Shearson Lehman 10 years ago, it would be worth nearly a quarter in 2008 U.S. dollars.
4. You can remove club soda stains with red wine.
5. The saying "If you break it, you buy it" was first coined by Ghandi.
6. The operating hours of Dollywood are 9 to 5.
7. An employee who loves his job is considered gruntled.
8. World's first Fun Fact? "Fire hot!"
9. During the 80's, Sting had the authority to hand out speeding tickets.
10. Magician David Blaine once mesmerized an audience by sitting through an entire Dane Cook movie.

RIP: Paul Newman made a surprise cameo appearance in the audience on the debut LATE SHOW, August 30, 1993, demanding to know "Where the hell are the singing cats?" On April 6, 1994, he reappeared, again in the audience, asking, "No Madonna?" Dave then escorted Paul outside to see "Cats."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gas Lines Brings Out the Worst in People

Tuesday evening I met Ceil at the East Piedmont Publix to swap cars. Then I helped Will with his shooting again, waiting for Anna’s ballet to end. The van needed gas, but at the Lower Roswell QT cars were backed up onto the 120 Loop. The QT at 41 & Allgood was in similar shape, and the Scufflegrit QT was out of gas. So I decided to take the van to work Wednesday, just to get gas.

Since I had to take Will to the Normans I got a later start, and the Shell next to Centennial High was already crowded at 7 am. I had a short wait, then as I was backing in to a pump, a big black SUV cut me off…a high school kid. I kept backing up to make a point, and he honked at me. I was able to secure the pump on the opposite side, but the teen stayed in his SUV while the gas pumped.

Monique and the CPA also had recent run-ins while in line for gas.

New Floors!

We’re getting new floors today and tomorrow, thanks to the plumbing problem we had a few weeks ago. Insurance is paying for most of it, less the deductible. The parquet in the foyer (and foyer closet) will be hardwood. Since a small section of living room carpet was messed up, so they’re replacing all that carpet, which continues on to the dining room. That was the old off-white Berber carpet that was in the house when we bought it almost 14 years ago. We’re upgrading the dining room to be hardwood as well.

This means our little dining room has been completely renovated this year, and hopefully we’ll reconfigure the living room and TV area at the same time. Surely pictures will follow.

Yesterday the AJC noted that the Yankees failed to make the playoffs, which would’ve been their 14th straight year…some were wild card appearances. Currently no one team has been to the playoffs more than two years in a row.

It prompted me to write a powder-puff Braves essay that wasn’t worth sending. I did post it below, and submitted it to Facebook…since that was an appropriate place for it (though it appears few read them…no one has commented on earlier posts). People do post short comments about the Braves, that are responded to, but not the longer, supposedly more thought out blog posts. The trivia questions appear popular. I’m considering joining the Facebook Tech fans section, so I can post things there. I really haven’t been spending much time on the internet lately.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Braves will be back!

A Wednesday AJC tagline…The Atlanta Braves still hold the big league record by reaching 14 straight postseasons. No one team in the majors has currently made the playoffs more than two years in a row.

The Yankees made the playoffs 13 straight years, with a payroll twice most MLB teams…but several times they were the wild card team. Fewer still are the teams that made the World Series, and even fewer won the Series.

So many Braves fans still think the team should win every game, every World Series, every year. This is not reality. We should consider ourselves fortunate to have experienced the unequaled run of success that they were able to achieve. People think only elite, expensive free agents like Mark Texeria should be signed, not remembering the Braves consistently won with much less expensive players…and players coming back from injuries, like Andres Gallaraga, John Burkett, Denny Neagle, and Jaret Wright.

Every team has an All-Star or two. During the playoff run the Braves were fortunate to field perhaps the greatest starting rotation ever assembled, and several potential Hall of Famers: Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, Chipper, Bobby Cox, John Schuerholz, and Leo Mazzone. All Stars are already being forgotten, but include MPV Terry Pendleton, David Justice, Steve Avery, Javy Lopez, Fred McGriff, Andruw Jones, Marcus Giles, and now Brian McCann. Other players became fan favorites because of the games they won and memories they created…Steve Bedrosian, Kent Mercker, Alejandro Pena, Mark Wohlers, John Rocker, Otis Nixon, Rafael Belliard, Jeff Blauser, Mark Lemke, Deion Sanders, Lonnie Smith, Greg Olsen, Rafael Furcal, Jeff Francoeur, and Francisco Cabrera.

But the Braves rich Atlanta history also includes fond memories from losing years as well. Memories of games, seasons, and the old stadium are cherished even as the standings are forgotten. Besides Hank Aaron, Phil Neikro, and Dale Murphy, other players still remembered include Rico Carty, Ralph Garr, Dusty Baker, Tony Cloninger, Glenn Hubbard, Rowland Office, Mike Lum, Orlando Cepada, Felix Millan, Joe Torre, Bob Horner, Bruce Benedict, Claudell Washington, Willie Montenez, Rick Camp, Rick Mahler, Buzz Capra, and Chris Chambliss. The list could go on and on.

Before this 2008 season there were experts out in the anti-Braves media who actually picked them to win the World Series. The talent was there. Then many more injuries than usual were suffered. The top three relievers and the entire starting rotation spent the majority of the year on the DL. With little hope of making the playoffs, GM Frank Wren made wise decisions, trading expiring contracts for talented youngsters who can contribute in the future. This off-season there will be lots of money to dangle at free agent pitchers and outfielders. Youngsters will also compete for positions. Next year there’s no reason the Braves shouldn’t be right back in the playoff hunt.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chipper at Shortstop?

Not much was made of this AJC.com photo...but note Chipper is covering second base! He's not playing shortstop, but rather covering the entire left side of the infield while the braves employed the shift against Ryan Howard. Earlier in this game he snared a Howard line drive, standing where the shortstop usually plays.

Emergency! Matthew Runs Out of Shampoo

Monday night I had to run some errands…it’s always an event lately when Matthew runs out of shampoo…he’s quite particular. At the store he’s got to smell each one. Plus it’s got to be in a cool package.

Comics…Guess I ceased being a kid when I stopped reading the funnies a few years ago. I actually read Mary Worth for a few years. Don’t remember Terry and the Pirates. Now I rarely see a printed newspaper, but AJC.com is my most visited web site. Yesterday I commented on Mark Bradley’s quick hit…he said Greg Maddux’s 7-13 record shows he’s finished. I’m pretty sure he left seven Padre games with the lead, only to have the bullpen blow it. I’m looking forward to the playoffs to see Maddux pitch…now he may be left off the playoff roster.

Random Thoughts: I’ll join the growing tide…move Kelly Johnson off second-base. Speaking of the Tide, I hate those UGA black jerseys. I’m glad the Falcons have been keeping it simple…just red and white. Mark my words…when they break out the black, they’ll lose (but UGA beats Bama in black). Hate to see Munson go. Did I mention that GT QB Jaybo Shaw could play? I want to see some of those dancing stars as well. Books…I just go into the library and pick out 3 or 4 books on CD that look good.

Saw Paul McNeal during the Peachtree Road Race. He was down the hill at that little church near that Burger King.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fun Facts

1. Alaska spelled backwards is almost Alaska.
2. In the pilot of the 1960s TV show, The Monkees were actually played by four chimpanzees.
3. When spoons were invented, they came with an instructional book.
4. The first object ever photographed was the tip of an index finger.
5. Due to inflation it now takes three to tango.
6. Not only does the planet Saturn have seven rings,
it also has three piercings and a lower-back tattoo.
7. Whipped cream is really shaving cream with sugar.
8. Nostradamus correctly predicted the 2003 N
ASCAR champion.
9. The average office chair rolls 39.5 miles each year.
Al Gore owns the world's largest gravy boat.

NOTE: Copied from Letterman.com. And my spellcheck auto-corrected Nascar to NASCAR.

Weekend Update

Joel went home on Saturday…Becky called on their way home. It must’ve been dehydration…he was getting better Thursday night. With only one MIR machine working, late Friday he still hadn’t had one. The Davis’s, who run the Living Science school, drove up to Toccoa to fetch Willis Friday afternoon. That night Will rode up to the hospital with Kara and Abby. UPDATE: No basketball until he returns to the cardiologist.

I think I remember that time Edith got dehydrated.

We went over to some friends Friday night to celebrate a birthday. Always inquisitive, my friend Lee had lots of questions about the Thursday night Braves game he’d attended, and I was happy to oblige. Saturday morning I took Matthew to the East Cobber parade, which he loved…the dogs, etc. Saw many people we knew. John Oxindine was there, walking alongside a Fair Tax float. Lee had plenty of questions for the policeman stationed next to us, so we learned a lot about that. The policeman even opened up his trunk to show us all his SWAT gear. One vest was very heavy…I could hardly hold it.

Ceil was into the Ryder Cup, so we watched a lot of that both days. I got to occasionally flip to the Tech game, and Will watched a lot of the Clemson game on the internet. We grabbed dinner at El Porton, then watched the UGA game. Sunday after church and Harry’s I helped Matthew with homework, before taking all the kids to see Get Smart. It was pretty good, though it would’ve been just as good had they left out some of the lowbrow humor.

Last night I watched a good deal of the Yankees pregame, as I am a sucker for that. Never knew the fans call out to the NYY starters during the first inning of every game. I enjoyed the ESPN split screen showing each player respond.

Relay to the Hospital

Thursday night I drove over to Living Science to pick up the carpool. I saw Joel Norman come out of the Bible Study, and he looked ok. He had been ok in the earlier prayer group, and then played in the big kickball game. During the Bible Study he said he couldn’t see to read, but said he was ok. Later he walked back inside, and when I went in he was laying on the couch, perhaps suffering from dehydration. I was quickly enlisted to take him home.

On the way it was evident he was in a state of confusion. We got him some Poweraide, but it was clear something was wrong. Will and Abby were worried, not their usual bubbly selves. I called Becky, who had earlier been called by the grownups at Living Science. I met Becky at Holcomb Bridge and 400, so she could head south to the hospital. She was clearly upset when she saw Joel. I called Ceil, who drove down to be with Becky. Younger brother Charles came home with me and Will, and when older brother David came over to pick up Charles, they hung around for a while.

I was reminded of our friends son Andrew, who had a stroke and subsequent like-threatening gamma knife brain surgery, with a year’s recovery without sports. Andrew made a miraculous recovery, but how might Joel fare? Another East Cobb family’s son had a similar stroke, with a much more drastic result. I’m sure Becky was recounting her previous losses…her husband and good friend Jenny.

At the hospital Joel was able to catch a nap and get an IV, and was starting to look and feel better. They wanted him to spend the night, so he could see more neurologists and have an MIR (The MIR wasn’t until noon today). So far, so good.

Abby says her brother Spencer could be an Olympic caliber swimmer.

I’m watching the Braves more these days, soaking it up before the season ends.

Uni Watch had an interesting interview yesterday with the beat writer for the NYY……a 33 year old who published his own baseball magazine as a kid, which was subscribed to be Costas, Versay, George Will, and others. He’s in to unis as well.

Had my recap of my recent Braves game visit published as a blog entry on the Facebook Braves page, where there are few blogs posted…it was my second. There are fewer comments about those blogs…but lots of “discussion” (with little regard to facts).

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Anna has ballet Tuesdays until 8 pm at the Eastside Baptist gym, so I told Will he should use the time to practice basketball.

This week I went up with him to rebound and feed him balls, so he could work on his inside shots. He still shoots with his left hand, I guess from watching me shoot…he plays baseball right-handed. I got him to at least shoot with his right hand when he was on that side of the basket, and he seemed to get the hang of it.

After 30 minutes Will wanted to play one on one. I’m not in good enough shape to drive on him…he’s quicker than me. I relied on quick jumpers from my favorite two spots…the foul line, and bank shots from inside the 3-point line. Luckily I was hitting a high percentage from both places. He often drives hard to the basket, but by the time he gets there his momentum is so forward that his shot clangs to the underside of the rim.

I looked up on the track and saw my friend Jim watching us, while waiting on his daughter to finish ballet. Thank goodness I didn’t embarrass myself, though I was wearing my red ABA-era Pumas.

The Eastside gym has 6 baskets…one full court or 2 smaller courts running the other way. There was a competitive pickup game on one of the smaller courts…there were a bunch more guys there this week than last.

Did you see the Tuesday game, where Chipper was on first and McCann popped to second, with no out in the 9th inning, Braves down by a run. Chase Utley got under the pop, which hit his glove before falling out. He threw to second, but Chipper stayed on first. What was the call? Did the umpire rule it was a catch?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lines at the Pump

Friday I left work early and ran some errands on the way home. I needed gas, but decided to wait until later that evening, as I didn’t know about the impended gas crisis. Then we took the kids places, and I was worried that PFChang would be crowded, so I didn’t want to stop before dinner. I wasn’t surprised by the heavy Friday afternoon traffic, but then noticed a huge crowd at the BP on Mansell. Jeff Hullinger on AM750 said not to panic over gas, but 104.7 the Fish said to fill up.

I had no choice…I was running on fumes. After dinner I was headed to one BP, then remembered the one on Haynes Bridge next to the Varsity. They were out of gas! We went back to Mansell, but the line was longer, and the RaceTrac was full as well. I continued on Mansell past PFChang again, knowing the Shell wasn’t that crowded. But Children’s Healthcare had a helicopter parked in the middle of the road, waiting on a patient. I thought I was supposed to run out of gas, but we made it to Shell for $20.00 worth.

We ran down to Perimeter Mall, then stopped at the BP just north of the river. It was a little crowded. We stopped at the “Land of a Thousand Hills” Coffee Shop in Roswell, supposedly the latest hot spot. A couple of customers were hanging out with their Mac laptops, of course. When we got home there was little to do, I took the van back to the same BP to fill up with gas, so it wouldn’t be a chore in the days ahead.

Saturday I watched some of Clemson/NC State and the game one of the Braves and Mets. Then I was flipping back and forth on just about every play of the GT and UGA games. I saw a little of the USC trouncing of OSU. If UGA runs the table, hopefully they’ll get rolling better, because USC looks tough.

Sunday I blogged about the college games, did housework, and saw Norton’s dramatic shot, which I loved. Jumped in the middle of the Chipper debate on Rowland’s Office. I was one of the first, and was glad there were many who agreed with me. But the later posts are correct…like the old pitchers, it’s most likely Chipper won’t play 150 games. Few hit .360 in 130 games, though. Unlike last year, Hoss won’t compete for the Gold Glove this year…unless he gets the sympathy vote. Or I just happened to see all his bad plays.

Just finished a good book on Bill Belicheck, which made me a NE and Tom Brady fan. According to the book, the loss of Brady, who doesn't get credit for his hard work, the Pats should be OK with Cassel at the helm. Now I'm reading a book about Neil Armstrong, that says Buzz was upset he wasn't the first on the moon...a position he lobbied for. This helped lead to his bout as an alcoholic.

I know nothing of why hitters are doing bad...all that mechanical stuff...though of course I'm an expert on Will's woes!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Behind the Wheel

Matthew was looking forward to the Middleton Reunion Golf Tourney...not to play, but for the chance to drive the cart.
He didn't know the fellow he drove for, but still gave him a hard time for being a Gamecock fan.


Lessons About Football

Will learned a couple of things about football this weekend. As expected, Clemson beat NC State. With seconds remaining, State’s last pass was intercepted near the goal line. The DB returned the ball 70 yards, though all he had to do was take a knee to end the game. A score would’ve been meaningless, only creating ill-will in the ACC rivalry. Had Clemson fumbled, a State touchdown would’ve made the final score closer. Bad coaching, I told Will.

Later that afternoon one of Fox Sports 50 Most Remarkable College Football Plays was a similar situation. All Baylor had to do was take a knee to beat UNLV. Instead Baylor handed to a RB, who gained several yards before fumbling. Sure enough, UNLV returned it 90 yards for a game-winning touchdown.

Later the UGA / South Carolina game also ended with an interception. The UGA DB dutifully fell to the ground, foregoing personal glory and not risking a fumble. Good coaching.

Lesson number two: Late in the GT game Virginia Tech kicked a FG to go ahead 20-17 with about five minutes remaining. On the ensuing possession the GT offense was lethargic, taking their time in the huddle and dropped a key third & ten pass. They ran over two minutes off the clock and had to punt. All the while I was going crazy, telling Will that this series lost the game for GT.

I blame QB Nesbitt for this blunder. His pass was on target, and he made plays the entire game. But as a sophomore he still has a lot to learn. The freshman backup can run the option much better, and I really don’t think he’s that far behind. Hopefully Nesbitt won’t get hurt, but if he does, there won’t be much of a dropoff.

Anyway, the excellent GT defense quickly forced VT to punt. GT had a little over a minute to go over 95 yards. They did well, gaining 60 before the clock ran out. Will said, "Man, they’d had won if they had another 30 seconds!" My reply: "They did"...referring to the earlier time consuming "3 & out". Lesson learned.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Thursday night I was watching TV with W and A, and the History Channel was showing NYC 9/11 footage. They had no idea or recollection. I remembered how LW had to walk home, and home for days/weeks afterward his column was devoted to 9/11 stuff.

Wednesday night I took W and A to youth group, then Matthew and I continued to Office Max…he HAD to get a composition book to put the song lyrics in that he and Kyle’s brother wrote Tuesday night. Then we hit the Merchant’s Walk Kohl’s. They had a bunch of Braves stuff on clearance as well, but I didn’t bite. I’d like a grey road jersey, which you don’t see that often. I do wish they’d go back to wearing “Braves” on the road, though it’s been over 25 years.

Think Kelly Johnson can become a more consistent hitter?

Hopefully I’m taking off Friday afternoon. Ceil and I are going out…probably PF Chang. Today I’m exposing a $700,000 unfavorable variance in the bus group’s orders, that I recently uncovered.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tuesday at the Ted

Wednesday afternoon was raining in Duluth, but I left work at five and could soon see that the downtown sky was clear. I made good time, and by 6:08 I was seated in the LF stands watching the Rockies take BP. The Bobby Cox bobblehead looked nothing like him, but it did have a little rail he was standing next to.

Saw two guys I remembered from the Marlins game two weeks ago. One was a young guy in a Chipper NL all-star BP jersey. His glove held three balls he must’ve caught during BP. Later I saw another dude who brings one of those cups-on-a-string to snag balls that fall just beyond the fence. I asked him if he got any today, and he said several. He always gives the balls to kids, which is nice. I also spoke to the nice old lady at the designated driver booth…she was rocking a new navy Braves jersey.

I had the dugout seats, which was nice. During the pregame meeting at the plate Rockies 1B coach Glenallen "I hate spiders" Hill HUGGED an umpire...similar to what NBA players do before tipoff. Amazing!

In the bottom of the first Chipper was called out on strikes, on a bad call. he was pissed, with RISP, but said nothing. Later the ump called out a Rockie, who briefly voiced his displeasure with walking back to the dugout. The ump took off his mask and stared as the batter walked away...just waiting for him to say something else. This was the ump that later called the balk that ended the game...though it appeared it was indeed an obvious balk.

I had to leave after the third inning, and Campillo still had a no-hitter (in the parking lot I heard the Colorado leadoff hitter get a hit). Made it out to Woodstock to pick up Will and Matthew.

Parr looked good again…but why did he try to take third on a fly to left-center? Too bad he didn’t get the win.

If you want Phillies tickets I can probably get them for you…the weeknight tickets don’t go fast in September.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Uni Stuff

As I expected, DOB’s rant on the Braves unis to show up in Uni Watch, where the general consensus is that the blue jerseys are bad and the red jerseys are tolerable. I do like the all-navy caps.

UniWatch had a story recently about a guy in Portland? who ran a bowling alley, who showed off all the jerseys, jackets, and sneakers he had picked up at thrift stores. He had a huge closetfull at least, a whole bunch of stuff. He didn’t seem to be picky…if it was sports related, he got it.

I’m much more choosey…there are often cool shoes, but I rarely bite. I only get stuff that’s relatively authentic (I do like the Dodgers jersey, even if it’s got the wrong name on back). But should I go off the deep end, that Portland guy was me. I’m actually hitting thrift stores less often, and buying less. I used to get replica NFL jerseys that Will loved. Matthew wore a Farve jersey a little bit, but he’s pretty anti-sports these days, probably because Will is so into sports. Matthew is a sucker for a cool t-shirt, and often wears his Andruw, Wrigley Field, or NYY t-shirts. He won’t wear the Mets tee that Ceil got in NYC. He used to love the Red Sox Nomar tee I got him in Cooperstown, but didn’t wear it once this summer.

When you think about the Braves that will be back next year, plus all the salary money becoming available, there’s a lot to look forward to for next year. It’s really the storylines that have me interested in football. It’s interesting who you can run in to at a Braves game. I ran into an old roommate a few years ago that I hadn’t seen in years. I got the dugout seats for tonight’s game, but I can’t stay long…I have to pick up Will and Matthew.

Matthew went to the eyedoctor today. Tonight he’s going over to play with a kid in his 5th grade science class, the younger brother of the ever-popular Kyle, who Will will be hanging out with.

Monday, September 08, 2008

How Good is UGA's Moreno?

I’m more into football this season…don’t know why. I watched most of the GT game, perhaps because it was close…that was a nice one to put in the win column.

Then I watched a good chunk of the UGA game, to see if they could really put the game away. At times it was a relatively close game. Moreno had two amazing runs…the long TD run where he broke some tackles, put a quick stiffarm on a DB, then quickly pulled away from him. Then when he was driven out of bounds, Moreno dove and stuck the ball into the end zone. It really fired him up when he leaped over the DB. You’d think ESPN would put that in a top ten…that hardly ever happens in football. Kinda like Vince Carter in the Olympics a few years ago.

We’ll see if Moreno can keep it up for a career like Herschel did. Not many you can put in the Herschel-Bo-Barry Sanders-Walter Payton-Dorsett category…but Moreno is something. Reggie Bush was great in college, but he’s got a ways to go in the pros.

Saturday night Ceil and I ate at Jalisco, and ran over to Lenox real quick.

Sunday after church I took M and A to see Indiana Jones, then I watched the 4th quarter of the Falcons, then the end of the Jets game. Then Will and I watched the 9th inning on of the Braves. Last night everyone watched Enchanted on the DVD. I really did a lot more than sit around and watch TV all weekend!

We had small group Friday night. Will and I went to a breakfast at his school Saturday morning.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

16 - 14

I saw most of the 16-14 game and was trying to count how many were used. How many pitchers did the Marlins use? Sammons was trying to lose the game last night…usually he does better. And Julio what's his name Lugo… Think Anderson can nail down CF for next year? Kinda glad to see Hampton stick around this last month. You know I’m the captain of his fan club.

My friend in Saipan who reads the blog became my friend on Facebook, and now I’m getting friend requests from people I knew years ago at out old church. I haven’t been checking it much lately, though.

Matthew’s first day of 5th grade science went well…he likes it better than his 4th grade Wednesday class. Hopefully homework won’t be such a chore for him this year.