Saturday, November 29, 2008

Top Ten Braves Uniform Enhancements

The Braves are pretty well set in the uniform department, and team management knows it. They aren’t going to mess with a good thing. But they also know they need to introduce new product to keep the marketing revenue stream flowing.

Here’s ten Braves uniform suggestions to keep the team looking sharp:

Wear “Braves” on the road. Atlanta never looked quite right. For decades they wore “Braves” on the road, without complaint. Just because other teams wear the city is no good reason to follow suit. The Braves are special.

Numbers on the front. Another traditional baseball look, often worn in the past by the Braves.

Darker greys. Most every team wears the same shades of white and grey. It makes the exceptions look all the better. In the old days the Braves and other teams wore a darker shade than the bland shade used today.

Off-white home uni. Like the Giants, the Braves used to wear off-white. A great time to go back to that look, to further set the Braves apart.

Striped socks: From time to time the Braves break out the unique striped stirrups familiar to fans. Time to make it a permanent look.

Dark tomahawk: The tomahawk has become a permanent fixture for all fans. But it hasn’t always been red. The old dark tomahawk was a great look.

Red names (or none). The names looked great until 2007, when the vertically-arched lettering was ditched in a cost-saving move. It was hard to keep a uniform look when new players kept coming through the door. Lousy excuse. Check out Frenchy’s rookie year…a great look. Here are two alternatives: Back in the early 60’s the Braves wore huge red names, trimmed in black. A traditional baseball look worn by several other teams. Or NO names. Think about it, they’re no longer needed. Every stadium has huge video screens these days, and TV graphics let viewers at home know who’s who.

Ditch the red jerseys (and blue). The blue road jerseys were a disaster, purely a moneymaking scheme. A great new idea is sweeping baseball: instead on alternate jerseys worn on a certain day, instead wear a throwback uniform set that day. The Brewers, Phillies, Twins, Blue Jays, Indians, Padres, Royals, Rangers, and others look great. The Braves could wear the ever-popular feather unis, the early 80’s powder blues, the late 60’s pinstripes, or even the late 70’s red pinstripes. After a year or two, they could switch.

Navy road cap. One success from last year were the navy alternate caps. Wear them on the road, or at least every road Sunday, or something.

Patches. Just about every year there’s a reason to wear a patch. That’s a good thing! Patches are part of the fabric of baseball. If there’s good patch, the American flag (or even the Georgia state flag) would work.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Greatest Day Ever

That's what Matthew called his time spent out in Uncle Lennie's fields on Thanksgiving. That's Lennie's house. Us guys are in the distance chipping golf balls from left to right, on Lennie's home-made driving range.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Back to Back Thrillers

The Flight Boys split two thrillers with Covenant Monday night. DJ’s foul shot with 3.3 seconds remaining in the JV game gave Flight a 44 - 43 win. In the nightcap Travis’ two foul shots with 15 seconds gave Flight the lead, until Covenant hit a long game-winning 3-pointer just before the buzzer. Also, the JV Girls won 59 - 18, and the Middle School Boys lost by four.

Covenant jumped out to a quick 7 - 2 lead before Flight got their bearings. Gerald even tapped one in the wrong basket. Jos scored off a rebound. Q stole the ball and passed ahead to Jared, whose lay-up was goal-tended. Later Jared sank two foul shots, then DJ’s three-pointer tied the game. David checked in, bringing his much needed physical intensity...and grabbed three rebounds before the quarter ended. Flight was only down two: 13 - 11.

Flight opened the second quarter with three missed three-pointers, before Phillip drained one from the corner. After a steal, Travis went the distance for a lay-up. Q passed in to Travis, who made a running jumper in the lane, with some nice touch. Then Travis returned the favor on the next possession, passing to Q in the corner for a three-pointer. Next DJ and Travis added three-pointers. Travis again assisted Q, then DJ passed in to Travis. Flight held a slight 31 - 30 halftime lead.

In the third quarter Covenant came out in a press, and they reeled off twelve straight points. They would extend their lead to 17 points. The game was getting even more physical. DJ was fouled hard on a lay-up. On the way back upcourt DJ got in the way of the ball-handler and was called for a flagrant foul. At the same time other players were involved in some pushing. Covenant only sank one of four foul shots.

Later David sank two free throws to cut the lead to ten, 45 - 35. Matthew came off the bench and got three quick assists: first inside to David, then to Travis, then to David again. But Flight trailed 59 - 42 at the end of the quarter.

It took a 14 - 4 Flight fourth quarter run to make the game even more exciting. Gerald drew an offensive foul. Travis went coast to coast. Dj hit a three. Josiah made a lay-up after a steal, then drew an offensive foul. Q’s attempted fall-away jumper was an airball...rebounded and put back by DJ. Travis hit a short jumper in the lane. Another three by DJ. Intense.

After Q’s free throw made the score 58 - 63, Chris came into the game. Several of the girls cheered, and Chris looked over, smiled, and gave a quick wave. I saw one of the referees crack a smile. Jose scored two baskets in a row, the second a lay-up on a long pass from DJ. A technical foul was called on the Covenant coach. On the ensuing inbounds play Josiah made a long pass to Travis, for an easy lay-up. Later Q leaped for a rebound, immediately tossing the ball into the basket, while being fouled. Travis’ lay-up made the score 69 - 72. Another argument led to another technical, and Travis made both foul shots.

DJ then hit a runner in the lane, putting Flight ahead 73 - 73 with 33 seconds left. On the other end DJ was called for a blocking foul as the Covenant player made the lay-up. Then DJ made a foul shot, then had to foul to put Covenant back on the line. After a Covenant miss, a technical was called on a Covenant fan! With 15 seconds left and the lead, an over-eager Covenant defender fouled Travis, and his two free throws gave Flight the lead, 77 - 76. Covenant inbounded the ball and ran the clock down. Flight’s defense extended out to the three-point line, but the Covenant sharp-shooter fired from far outside the stripe. The shot swished just before the buzzer sounded.

Travis...28 pt, 4 rb, 1 steal, 2 assists, block
DJ.....19 pt, 3 rb, 2 assists
Josiah...9 pt, 5 rb, steal, assist
Q.....8 pt, 2 rb, steal, 3 assists
David...6 pt, 4 rb
Jared...4 pt, 4 rb.
Philip...3 pt, rb
Gerald...5 rebounds
Matthew...rebound, 3 assists wave to the girls in the crowd, drawing a chuckle from the ref.

Connor...22 pt, 4 rb, 2 steals, block
DJ...10 pt, 4 rb, 3 steals, 3 assists, block
Isaac...7 pt, rb, 3 steals, assist
Jonathan B...3 pt, 2 rb, steal, 2 assists
Kevin...2 pt, 9 rb
Josh...7 rb, assist, block
Jonathan...3 rb
Will...rebound, block

Connor Goes For 46

Saturday morning I was reading the latest issue of Sports Illustrated. I noticed a blurb about a previous cover subject, the all-time collegiate scoring champ, Pete Maravich. The Pistol averaged an amazing 44 points per game for his entire college career. Little did I know I was about to experience a sample of scoring magic later that same afternoon.

The Flight JV squared off against Pinecrest Academy up in far away Forsyth County, around the corner from Kara’s house. Pinecrest had all the trappings of a first class Catholic school, and they did games up right. Before the game I took my place at the scorer’s table, greeting the other scorekeeper and clock operator.

The game was close during the first quarter. Starters Josh, Isaac, Kevin, and Will followed Connor’s lead as he ran the offense. Kevin grabbed three rebounds and sank two baskets. Isaac, Will, Jonathan, Chase, and Joe also snared rebounds, and Josh had three steals.

After taking a few outside shots, Connor found he was able to drive through the Pinecrest defense with ease. When he didn’t make the lay-up he was fouled. Connor finished the quarter with one three-pointer and three two-pointers. He was also 6 of 7 from the foul line.

It was more of the same in quarter two. Isaac scored six, with three steals. Jonathan and Ethan sank foul shots (Ethan also had a block. But Connor continued his assault, with four baskets and a perfect 3 – 3 from the line. There was little need for him to shoot jumpers from the outside, there was more defensive pressure on the perimeter than in the lane.

With Pinecrest holding a halftime lead, Flight courted a strong lineup in the third quarter. DJ added presence on both ends of the court, and in less than a quarter racked up five points and a steal, rebound, and assist. Chase was having his best Flight game, adding four points and two steals in the period. Joel scored in the lane, Will sank a free throw, and Isaac added three more steals. Connor? His worst quarter of the game. Three baskets and rebounds, a steal, but only two made foul shots.

The third quarter offensive surge gave Flight the lead to stay. Connor ran the offense for most of the fourth quarter as Coach Hoffer emptied his bench. Jonathan K made his debut, scoring four points and a board. Joe had two rebounds and a steal. Paxton added a steal, Josh a foul shot, and Joel an assist. Connor had three baskets and went 6 for 8 from the line.

Busy keeping the score, I failed to note certain game details, like the score. After the game Coach Hoffer asked me how many points Connor scored, guessing thirty. I hadn’t counted, and was amazed at the total. By quarter the tally increased: fifteen, eleven, eight, twelve. Connor had scored 46 points!

Connor: 46 points, 7 RB, 5 steals (17-23 from the line)
Chase: 6 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals
Isaac: 6 points, 2 rebounds, 6 steals
DJ: 5 points, rebound, steal, assist.
Kevin: 4 points, 5 rebounds, steal, 2 assists
Jonathan K: 4 points, rebound
Joe: 2 rebounds, 2 steals
Joel: 2 points, assist
Josh: 1 point, 2 rebounds, 4 steals
Will: 1 point, 3 rebounds, steal, assist
Jonathan B: 1 point, rebound, 2 steals
Ethan: 1 point, block
Paxton: steal

Notes: Several distinguished Flight alumni returned from college in time for the game, and even participated in forming the traditional tunnel for the varsity to enter through.

After a slow start the Varsity Girls got their heads, shutting down the two Pinecrest scoring threats in a 59 – 28 win. The large margin provided plenty of playing time for the entire squad.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two Nail Biters

Will’s JV team edged a tough opponent last night, on the road. DJ hit a foul shot at the end to go ahead. Connor had 22 even though the tight, physical defense shut down most of his drives to the basket. When he did drive, few fouls were called by the inconsistent refs. Will started again, and played some prime minutes down the stretch of the tight game. He battled inside and just missed some close shots. He’d never been in such a physical game before. On defense DJ had to play center.

The varsity game shouldn’t have been close, as Flight was undersized. Three or four technicals were called on the other team. The games were at Covenant, the big church on the corner of Fairground and the North 120 Loop, not far from the Marietta Square. Flight took the lead with 15 seconds left, but Covenant hit a long three just before the buzzer. DJ had 19, and Travis 28. I stayed up til one posting the varsity recap…I’ll have it on the blog soon.

Will is going to the Clemson/SC game…they’re looking for me a ticket. Looks like I’m going to more football games in 2008 than baseball games (pro/college).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Downtown Traffic

Small group Friday. The youngest mom said she’d like to live in town. They have four kids under eight, including a newborn and a toddler. I told her we had, and it’s great except for a few things

…heavy traffic pretty much 24/7.

…lack of convenient, inexpensive shopping (the few Targets and Wal-Marts inside the perimeter are still hard to get to).

…several factors make raising kids there more difficult (like A and B).

Steve the accountant was in on the conversation, and Sunday he said his family went to IKEA Saturday, and had gotten stuck in gridlock traffic. He had also gotten stuck in downtown traffic for two hours Thursday night.

Saturday Matthew and I took 75 south and exited at West Paces Ferry. We made a left and drove to Buckhead…it was a crawl the entire way. Same thing going home up Roswell Road (until I took Lake Forest up to Sandy Springs). I can do without that traffic…East Cobb traffic is bad enough. Thank God for back roads.

Got the Civic oil changed. M and I hit the Sprayberry CFA before heading south. When we got home it was time to go up 400 to 141 for Will’s game. Afterwards we ate at the CFA at the Avenue Forsyth, then went back to the varsity boys game.

Will’s friend Connor scored 46 points in the JV game. He made only one three-pointer (on at most 3 attempts). He was 17 – 23 from the line, and most of his baskets were drives into the lane for lay-ups…then he was fouled most of the time. He’s more methodical than explosive, but he holds onto the ball until the last moment before shooting, helping him draw the fouls. DJ had been slated to start, but his dad decided after the warm-ups he wasn’t needed, so DJ played less than a quarter.

Stayed up until after 1 am writing and posting the varsity recap. DJ’s brother Ben immediately responded…he and DJ were online, as was Mrs. Switzer, the skit lady.

Sunday we saw our friends the Hurts at NP. Will stayed and listened to the sermon at 11 am. Anna went home with a friend from her Wednesday class, and C, M and I went by Harry’s. I always sit in the car and listen to radio football talk. In the afternoon Will practiced baseball, while I checked out a problem with the van (mass air flow sensor). Saw a little of the Falcons…nice win. Ceil and I went to El Porton and Kroger while the kids watched Meet the Robinsons.

The Sandy Plains Prowlers want Will to play…the rival team from the Wildcats, which won’t field a 15-year old team. Two years ago Will pitched the game of his life against the Prowlers, striking out 11 in four innings. I heard the coach tell that story four times yesterday.

Friday I vented that GT’s Michael Johnson was dominated by the Miami OT Thursday night. Checked on it yesterday and today…I’ve never seen a more lower rated vent. I thought that’s what the vent was for!

Been going to Target for the last few years for eye appointments. Need to go back before year end, and get a new pair of glasses.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nov 22 Flight Varsity Boys Recap

Flight came away with three more wins Saturday night, sweeping Pinecrest up in their own gym, in southern Forsyth county. Connor led the JV boys to victory with an amazing 46 points, and the varsity girls also won in a rout, 59 - 28. The varsity boys, fueled by a 17 unanswered 3rd quarter points, cruised to a 80 - 67 win.

Varsity Boys: Josiah led the team with 23 points, Gerald had 15, and DJ ten. After falling behind 0 - 6 early, Jose blocked a shot, then later stole the ball and scored. This started a 13 - 0 run for Flight. David and Gerald grabbed rebounds, and Gerald was fouled as he scored, then he converted the foul shot for a three point play. Jose rebounded and was fouled, making both. Then his steal led to an assist, to Jared. Jared then returned the favor, passing off a rebound back to Josiah for a basket. DJ drove into the lane and hit a short jumper.

With the quick nine point lead, DJ and Gerald grabbed rebounds, then DJ passed to Q, who hit a three. Gerald and Travis grabbed rebounds, then again a DJ pass resulted in another three, this time by Jared. As the quarter wound down, DJ hit a three, and Travis later grabber a rebound. Flight led 22 - 16.

In the second quarter Flight extended their lead to twelve. After a DJ rebound, Matthew passed to Josiah for a bucket. DJ drew a charge, then Travis drove the distance for a layup. Gerald’s blocked shot was called a foul. Matthew grabbed two boards, then Josiah scored twice, first off a rebound, then off a steal.

Up 30 - 20, after a Josiah rebound Gerald was alone at the other end of the court. He grabbed the pass and threw down a rim-rattling dunk, giving Flight what would be their biggest lead of the half. Josiah stole the ball, and scored on a layup. Matthew had a rebound, and David made a good defensive play, deflecting the ball out of bounds. Gerald, Travis rebounded, then David grabbed three in a row. Q had two straight steals, then Jared’s rebound netted him two foul shots, both true.

Leading 36 - 25 before the half, the tide of the game turned. Pinecrest scored three straight baskets going into the half. In the third quarter the Paladins kept charging, going on a 18 - 2 run to take a 42 - 38 lead. Nothing was going right for Flight...the fouls were piling up, Flight kept turning the ball over, and foul shots, layups, and jumpers alike were missed.

With 3:28 left in the third, Coach Hoffer called time. As Coach Dan huddled with the players, Coach Hoffer humbly asked for a word with the referee, and their conversation lasted the entire timeout. Shortly afterward Flight scored 17 unanswered points, retaking the lead for good.

Travis again drove all the way in for a layup, then assisted on a Josiah basket, then stole the ball and again drove all the way in for another layup. This time he was fouled, and he converted the three-point play. Jose got a steal and was fouled, and made one foul shot. Next Matthew got the steal, and passed over to jared for a three. DJ made a three, Jared a steal, David a rebound. DJ scored a basket, then stole the ball and was fouled. He made two free throws. Bring the ball upcourt, Jared fired a long pass inside, underneath the basket to a cutting Josiah, who made a twisting layup. As the final seconds ticked down to end the third quarter, Q banked in a three. An amazing quarter, and Flight led 62 - 48.

Still, the game seemed close to us fans. But in the fourth quarter Coach Hoffer was able to empty his bench. Flight maintained a 17 point lead through most of the stanza. Jared made a foul shot, and David grabbed a tough rebound. Inbounding the ball underneath his basket, Josiah fed Gerald for an easy two, Gerald grabbed a rebound. Chasing an errant pass in the backcourt, Jose leaned in and drew a foul, and made both shots.

After making another steal, Jared fired to a wide open Gerald under the basket for another dunk. Matthew fed inside to Gerald for two more. Then Gerald was fouled going after a loose ball, and made one foul shot. Travis had two more steals and a free throw before being called for a charge, fouling out with 4:14 remaining. DJ fed inside to Josiah for two, then grabbed two rebounds. Running clock, Flight passed the ball around before Q hit a jumper. DJ was fouled, and his two free throws made the final score 80 - 67.

Josiah...23 pt, 3 rb, 7 steals, 2 assists, block
Gerald...15 pt, 9 rb
DJ...14 pt, 8 rb, steal, 2 assists
Jared...10 pt, 2 rb, 3 steals, 3 assists
Q...8 pt, 4 steals, assist
Travis...7 pt, 4 rb, 3 steals, 2 assists, block
David...6 rb, steal
Matthew...4 rb, 2 steals, 2 assists

Friday, November 21, 2008

5 Things God Uses to Grow Your Faith

Five Things God Uses to Grow Your Faith

  1. Practical Teaching
  2. Providential Relationships
  3. Private Disciplines
  4. Personal Ministry
  5. Pivotal Circumstances

Personal Ministry

In the New Testament individuals are invited to connect with God…through faith. That’s cool because in the Old Testament theme was man separated from God, because man didn’t trust God. Jesus repaired that separation in the same way…building and healing relationships through trust.

“Growing” relationship…increasing trust/faith/confidence. We’ve all met people who trust in God through good and bad.

Personal Ministry…discovering a need that served and benefited others. We didn’t feel prepared to do it, but you were drawn to it. God was nudging us to do it. Some of us might be in the middle of that tug of war.

The main issue isn’t that these people need someone to serve them. Perhaps more importantly God is wanting to stretch our faith muscles by serving.

Matthew 14:13 – 32

Jesus tells his disciples “you give them something to eat!” The main issue is getting outside our comfort zone. Jesus then said ”Bring it to me…give me what you’ve got”

19. The disciples were handed the bread and fish…what do we do now? (eat it?) Hand it out? I can do that! The issue is that God wants to do something through you.

If you look at every amazing ministry story, each time it was someone who had to trust God to use them. In the process their faith muscles grew.

20. After the 5000 ate, the disciples knew it was a God thing. It all happened to teach the disciples, to grow their faith.

Taking faith to the next level.

22. Jesus dismissed the crowd, went off to pray.

24. The disciples were growing, but the boat wasn’t making any progress.

25. Jesus walked out in the lake. The guys who wrote about this made themselves look bad, like a fool. Why would they have done this if it wasn’t true? It gives credibility that that the disciples were cowards.

25. Jesus tells them to not be afraid. Peter has an insight and begins to understand…whenever Jesus invites me to do something beyond my capability, if I do what I know how to do (get out of the boat and walk) then God will do the rest (walk on water).

30. When Peter saw the wind, he was reminded of what he couldn’t do, and he began to sink. Jesus was telling him “you were so close!”

Starting point leaders, 7th grade teachers…they were all cowards as well. Now they give God the credit. Where is God nudging you? This is the one where you have a role to play…you have to take a step.

Would you be willing to do what you can do & trust God for what only he can do? It will grow your faith like crazy!

White-Out? Washout!

Tech alumni completely missed the white-out concept. Seems like most have season tickets because that’s their main social outlet…last night they seemed more concerned about socializing with people around them than what was going on in the game.

The 10-year season-ticket holder quoted in the AJC exemplifies this. Why does he keep going to games if he’s not concerned with the overall success of the program? He expects results, but not enough to take part. Many wore navy or gold GT hats and sweatshirts…did they think they were supporting the team? Were they too cheap to get something white?

GT Alumni don’t see/care how important recruiting is…the lifeblood of the program. How the school/team/game atmosphere “represents” on national TV to the recruit. No recruit wants to go to a school where everyone’s not sold out for the program. If most schools can pull off a white-out with gusto, why go to a school that can’t?

GT alumni think that since they thing GT is a superior school, surely everyone else thinks the same as they (or to hell with them!). Interesting the video board was running “I want my GT” ads…admonishing fans to implore retailers to carry Tech merchandise. The same fans too cheap do buy something white to wear to the game!

Besides, participating in the white-out would be a fun thing to do.

I know Michael Johnson intercepted a pass and scored a TD. He made a few other good plays as well. But the Miami OT completely dominated him, keeping him far away from pressuring the QB. Johnson spent most of the evening at the line, looking to block passes, dropping back into coverage. That is where is was most effective. On first downs and other obvious running situations he wasn’t even in the game. As some experts say, he’s no dominant defender…certainly no David Pollack.

Did go to the GT game last night, despite of my sickness…sore throat (strep?), ache all over, etc. Nice seats, parking right by the stadium, where Techwood is blocked off from traffic. Downtown was gridlocked last night…Thrashers, something at the Fox, etc. Arrived just before game time, missed half the first quarter.

Saw the space shuttle/space station at 6:13 pm slowing moving across the sky.

The fellow that took us said he also has basketball tickets, and would just give me the tickets if I wanted to go.

Discovered a Home Depot Promotion to get Falcons tickets, since we bought the washing machine there.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm an Unpopular GT Grad

I had forgotten that last week I had posted a GT vent on the AJC, saying Michael Johnson was a better play-celebrator than play-maker. Last night I was looking at the GT vent, and my vent was the worst ranked vent of them all…I laughed out loud. This morning I submitted a couple more, about everyone looking forward to the UGA game, and how dumb GT will look on national TV if they attempt a whiteout and half the crowd doesn’t participate. It’s cold. Who has a white coat?

Left in the midst of a crisis Friday, and spent an hour on the cell making sure everything got done. Will’s team won without DJ. Then I drove from Lilburn to East Cobb for small group, making pretty good time during Friday evening rush hour, going Beaver Ruin to downtown Norcross, then Holcomb Bridge to 120. Our group is doing the “5 Things” study. This Friday I’m leading, so I’d better get to work.

Saturday W, M, and I went up to help with Living Science work day. That night C and A went to a friend’s gymnastics meet. Will went with the Normans to Toccoa to see Willis in a play at his college. M and I should’ve gone…instead we went to Moes, the pet store, and to see Get Smart.

Sunday A went to the aquarium and C to the Dekalb Farmers Market. W and I raked the yard. Saw Roddy’s drop. Tough play, but the best make that clutch catch. Some funny Kenny Mayne videos on

See where Boras is trying to broker an Andruw trade back to the Braves? Jones wouldn’t be in his situation if he didn’t have Boras as his agent. At least Andruw have made a lot of money so far. Think the Braves are just negotiating with SD about Peavy?

I need to post a video I saw this weekend, about former Monte Python’s Michael Palin’s political TV ad. I had googled it after seeing a Cleese – Palin 2008 bumper sticker, a sure Monte Python spoof. Speaking of blogs, my friend who just moved home from Saipan is looking for a job (lawyer), and is making her blog invitation only.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday Night Flight Recap

Flight swept all four games at Killian Hills Friday night, way over in Gwinnett County. The JV Girls squeaked by in the afternoon opener by one point, then the JV Boys pulled ahead in the second half for a twenty point win. The Varsity Girls won by a wide margin, though they fielded the same JV roster, just adding two more players. The Varsity Boys played a sluggish first half and fell behind by eight points, before rallying to win the game.

JV Boys Recap
Starters Chase, Connor, Josh, Ethan, and Will played even with Killian Hills, swapping baskets. After falling behind 5 - 4 early, Flight’s next basket gave them a lead they would never let go. Connor was running the offense and got several good looks at the basket, but it wasn’t until later in the quarter before his shots started falling. Killian’s defense was tighter than Tuesday night’s Barons’ defense, where Connor was able to drive at will. Josh and Connor split the first quarter scoring, which quickly ended at 10 - 7.

Coach Hoffer got almost everyone into the game in the first half, except DJ, who was held out with his sore wrist. Without the Marvel, Conner kicked in six more in the second quarter, scoring after going coach to coast: once after a rebound and once after a steal (he would duplicate this feat in the second half). Ethan added a steal and foul shot, Joe a steal, and Kevin added a basket. Killian Hills rallied at the last minute to pull within a point, and the half ended 21 - 20.

Flight buckled down in the third quarter, outscoring Killian Hills 10 - 2. Josh grabbed four more rebounds and a steal, while Chase, Jonathan, and Kevin grabbed two apiece. Connor scored eight, and Chase scored one bucket. Isaac added two steals.The clock seemingly ran quickly the entire game.

Everyone got into the action in the fourth quarter. Connor completed his fine game by quickly adding another seven points and two more steals, before retiring for the evening. Joel blocked a shot, grabbed a rebound, and scored from the lane. Chase added a foul shot and rebound, and Jake a steal and a quick basket.

Though Killian Hills had many scoring opportunities and rebounds, they couldn’t add points to the scoreboard. Late in the game Paxton had a very scary collision, and the game was briefly stopped. Paxton stumbled to his feet and wobbled around. I thought he would be replaced, but he stayed in. On the next play he was knocked down again. Up 45 - 25, the game ended shortly after that.The Flight JV is now 3 - 0 for the young season. But word is the Crown JV is 7 - 0 or 7 - 1, and both teams are looking forward to facing off later in the season.

Chase...5 pt, 4 RB, 1 assist
Connor...28 pt, 4 RB, 6 steals
Ethan...1 pt, 2 steals
Kevin...2 pt, 3 RB, 2 assists
Isaac...3 steals
Jake...2 pt, steal
Joel...2 pt, 2 RB, block
Jonathan...2 RB
Josh...7 pt, 7 RB, 2 steals
Will...3 RB, assist

Friday, November 14, 2008

Nice House

The AJC features photos of different houses every week. This week’s Adirondack house is in Vinings, just behind the village. We went to an old softball teammate’s 50th birthday party there a few years ago. We don’t know the owners, but I liked that house about as much as any I’d ever seen.

Will had a 5 pm game Friday afternoon in Lilburn, and we have small group as well. Ceil and Anna may go see a friend in a gymnastics meet. I don’t have much else on tap.

W, M and I went to LS work day...I trimmed hedges. Later W went to Toccoa with the Normans...Willis was in a play. So M and I went to Moes, the pet store, and to see Get Smart.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Basketball Marvel

Often times when writing about one of Will’s friends I’ll add a description, to perhaps help you remember that person…like ”slugging catcher” Andrew. Last fall I’d prefaced DJ with “basketball marvel” in an email recapping last year’s retreat. Last week I dug out that recap and posted it on Facebook, after getting a big response from this year’s retreat recap. Normally reserved, DJ commented on my post, loving the “Marvel” nickname. Tuesday I was sure to add the Marvel nickname in my game recap, saying DJ’s game was off due to a wrist injury (though he still scored 23 in 3 quarters). DJ told the world that the Marvel would be back in force for Friday’s game.

Ceil and Matthew may be getting sick, and I’ve been having headaches all week.

Martha in Purchasing celebrated her 35th work anniversary yesterday. She’d been with a company we’d bought, working in the office near Cumberland Mall. Now she’s over here. For the last few years she’s been a great help to me, but 99% of the time we communicate exclusively by email. She’s been here in our Norcross office for a year or two, but I’d always forget to go meet her. So yesterday’s gathering was only the 2nd or 3rd time I’d ever spoken to her face to face. I made a point to drive over since she’s such a big help. As many from the Cumberland office came that could (2 of the 3).

When Reid’s vacation recap came I was rushed with getting ready for company. I’d been busy at work, and today am finally catching up, and came across the recap…great stuff! It’s funny how he remembers / records exactly the same kind of stuff that I do. That makes it all the more interesting to read. It’s fun for me to go back years later to read and relive stuff I’ve done.


I’ve noticed recently that I get significantly better gas mileage when I drive a car than Ceil does. I’m sure she idles more, and I try to coast more and take routes with more right turns than left turns, avoiding lights and high traffic areas. My commute varies pretty much every day, based on traffic, time of day, whether a light is red or green, etc.

Dorky Dad had a good MPG post a couple of months ago with a good link, but these last few years I’ve really tried to drive with MPG in mind.

In the Civic I can sometimes get 36 MPG around town, and sometimes Ceil gets as low as 28 MPG (usually 30). I mostly drive the MPV on trips, and on the retreat I got over 27 mpg. Getting 25 mpg on the highway hasn’t been hard, but around town sometimes Ceil doesn’t get 20 mpg. MPG was one of the deciding factors on getting another MPV. Odysseys get good mileage but are expensive, and Pilots get around 19 or so. Pacificas were only rated at 15 mpg, which was a factor against them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nov 11 Flight Recap

Both the Flight boys and JV teams beat the Barons Tuesday night, taking the sting out of a disappointing girls loss. The Varsity Boys won what was said to be an amazingly exciting game.

Flight took the lead just seconds into the game. Gerald won the opening tip, and Josiah quickly passed to DJ for an easy layup. Josiah was then fouled attempting a 3-pointer, and he converted all three foul shots. Gerald got the first two of six firth-quarter rebounds, and Q nailed an open 3-pointer to extend the lead to 8 - 0.

David Norman and Josiah snagged rebounds, DJ sank a foul shot, then Josiah was called for a technical foul. The Barons had a chance to take back some momentum, but the first technical shot was missed. Josiah then made a layup and a foul shot, and Gerald blocked a shot and later scored.

David was playing an incredibly intense game, grabbing another rebound and later violently colliding with an opponent. DJ added another steal. With Flight leading 19 - 9 with 1:23 left in the quarter, Coach Hoffer went to his bench. Gerald scored and was fouled, but missed the free throw.

The quarter ended with Flight up 23 - 10. Will and I left with the score 28 - 15. Word is we missed an incredible finish.


The Flight Girls lost a 52 - 49 heart-breaker. After re-taking the lead at the end of the third quarter 38 - 36, Flight extended the lead to 45-40. Shelby was all over the court, forcing jump balls, drawing charging calls, and getting the ball inside to Danielle and Kara.

Then Shelby fouled out with 3:23 left. Flight was clinging to a 48-47 lead when Danielle fouled out with 1:24 remaining. The Barons hit both foul shots to retake the lead for good. With few remaining ball-handlers, Kara was called for a charge...fouling out with 1:05 left.

Flight was finding it hard to get set up on offense and take a shot, and the Barons ran out the clock for the win. Sorry girls, next time I'll take better notes!


The Flight JV Boys won 59 - 44, largely by outscoring the Barons 18 - 6 in the third quarter. Conner led Flight with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals.

Flight used a tight press to stake an 14 - 7 first-quarter lead, though they were not converting many scoring opportunities. DJ had 8 points in the quarter. Kevin scored on a putback, Conner added a three, and Ethan added a foul shot.

The Barons came back in the second quarter, closing the score to 24 - 21 with a layup just before halftime. DJ had 5 points and 3 steals, but the Marvel was struggling due to an injured wrist. Conner and DJ teamed up in the third quarter to combining for 16 of the 18 points. DJ had two third-quarter 3-pointers, then sat out the fourth quarter. Conner continuously drove the court, later adding ten fourth quarter points.

While the JV played far from it’s best basketball, everyone had their moments...
DJ: 23 points, 6 steals, 1 rebound
Ethan: 1 point
Isaac: 4 points, 2 rebounds
Jake: 2 rebounds, 1 assist
Joel: 1 point, 2 rebounds
Jonathan: 2 points, 2 rebounds
Josh: 3 points, 3 rebounds
Kevin: 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal
Paxton forced a jump-ball
Will: 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist
(of course, these stats are far from official!).

And the Middle School Boys team showed improvement in their 57 - 25 road loss. Charles scored twelve, including one nice three-pointer.

Basketball Jones

Will started the second straight JV game and showed good hustle, grabbing a few rebounds and steals. His contributions are outweighing his turnovers. The coach rarely plays his best 5 together, though DJ (23 points) and Connor (24) did play some together. The girls lost, but the boys varsity blew out a rival.

I was watching Will play ultimate and football on the retreat, and it’s similar with him in basketball, like inbounding the ball…when people are covered, he waits too long, looking for the perfect pass. He wants to score on every pass. Or he’ll quickly make an immediate pass, with mixed results. Last night he got a rebound out near the wing, and immediately whipped a pass back toward the foul line. It was intercepted, giving the guy an easy shot.

In baseball he instinctively knows where to throw the ball, often times amazing me…with eyes in the back of his head. He almost never throws to the wrong base, or tries to make an impossible play…though he makes many remarkable plays.

Will does not at all mind being a role player, or sitting on the bench for long stretches. I’m sure the coach loves the way he hustles and goes all out. Other less-talented boys and girls last night were attempting things against more talented opponents, with predictable results…air balls and turnovers. Will knows his limits, for the most part…BUT supposedly in Chattanooga Saturday he made a jumper from just inside the 3-point line. Last night he attempted another, and missed.

Connor’s dad gets more excited than I do at baseball games….critiquing his son like I critique Will in baseball. Conner did ten things right for every one pass that was just short of being perfect. I know how Mr. Smith feels. Like most other baseball parents, it’s relaxing/enjoyable watching basketball games for me.

We’ve been Costco members in the past, but based on what we buy, sometimes I wonder if we really save. Monique here at work says the staples…milk, eggs, etc are cheaper at Costco, but I’m with you. Once I bought a 2-year supply of Sudafed and razors…never again.

Andruw wouldn’t mind finishing his career with the Braves. Hopefully that doesn’t come to pass.

Ceil just turned 50, so perhaps we’ll join AARP. Last night a cashier asked me if I got the senior discount, which I didn’t mind…until she went to the detail that the discount starts at 55!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Birthday Surprise

Back in August Ceil’s friend from Virginia emailed, wanting to come visit on Ceil’s birthday. We decided to make it a surprise, though eventually I let several people in on the secret. Friday C took M on a field trip Friday. I left work at 11:50, and W and A and I quickly cleaned up the house (always a huge job). Ceil stopped by IKEA ($30), which bought us more time. Dawn made good time, so she and her friend stopped at Starbucks to visit more. Ceil got home and went upstairs, then her parents called. Dawn arrived, so we hustled her upstairs to surprise Ceil.

We dropped M at a friends for a 4 boy sleepover party, then let Will sleepover at the Normans. The rest of us went to PFChangs. Anna decided she liked it so much she wanted to go back on her birthday (that will thrill her grandfather). Saturday C and A went to Lang’s sister’s baby shower, while Dawn and I picked up Matthew. Ceil and Dawn went to Decatur Saturday afternoon. I was all set to watch football when the tree fell. That night we had chili, and the Earharts came over. Lee was Dawn’s husband’s roommate.

Sunday at NP we saw Mark Price, looking out of place with his shirt-tail out…he’s too straight-laced for that. Good service, but traffic was bad afterwards…I saw at least one car broken down. We went to Moes and Harry’s. Moes has last year’s deal where you can buy a $20.00 gift card and get a $5.00 in Moes bucks. I asked and they let me redeem both immediately, so Sunday I saved the $5.00. W and A went to a pickup football game, then we rented Hoodwinked, one of Ceil’s favorites. Ceil took Dawn to the airport yesterday afternoon, and I drove the Living Science carpool last night.

3 X Bad Things

Hopefully bad things happen in threes. The new washer was delivered this past Thursday…the same day Ceil had a plumber come out to look at our leaky water heater. We had to get a new one…two birthday presents she did not want.

Then Saturday the wind split one of the Bradford pears, sending a huge section onto our neighbor’s driveway. In the past I'd tried to claim ownership of the trees on the property line, because several years ago a previous neighbor cut two of them down without asking. A few years ago we had them trimmed back, but they’re over 15 years old, so there will soon be more splits. But technically they’re on my Hooter's neighbor’s property. We started to cut the tree up and soon realized the job was slightly too big for us. He called some guys who do repair work in his restaurants, and they finished the job. I helped drag the limbs back into the woods and placed them where it would lessen erosion.

I always thought Andy to be a smaller SUV guy, but perhaps that’s another area where we’re similar (they are more areas where we’re different!). That newest Mustang always looks good. Ceil had a 626 when we got married that was fun to drive. It was her sister-in-law’s and got caught ina hailstorm. Her sister-in-law got the insurance settlement and got a new car, and sold it to Ceil cheap. I see where the new / old Dodge Charger is at dealerships. I hear it’s expensive, but it sure looks good. My FBI friend got a good deal on a new Jetta for his wife, but to me VW’s are more expensive than Toyotas or Hondas (but more fun).

Today I brought all the leftover Halloween candy to work.

Our Accounting Department always throws a lunch party, though every year fewer people wear costumes. They throw bean bags and have other small contests. The only other time a similar event is planned is Christmas, when everyone brings a covered dish for lunch.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dirty Cars

Once Andy said that when his kids were younger, he’d arrive home to find toys blocking his parking space, and he’d have to remind himself to be thankful for the mess. I remind myself of that story often. The dirty car thing is tough, especially when it’s a new vehicle. My Civic is a lot more dirty because of kid use, and the van is always a mess. That’s why I’ve been overpaying for oil changes at Carnetts Car Wash…to get my car cleaned out.

Hate to lose Escobar’s .300 average and defense, but good pitching ain’t cheap. At least we have options at SS. Last night I went with W to Dunwoody HS…his friend Holt had a baseball game…HS level. His tutor is a Braves scout, who says Heyward is amazing. He’s a RF…we’ll see what they do long term with Frenchy (who has been going to that same tutor…JF wanted to wait to the off-season to make any major changes/reverting to past practices.

Will scored six in their Saturday opener in Chattanooga…I didn’t go. The JV and both the boys and girls won easily.

GT didn’t show up from the get-go against UNC. As I had said, Nesbitt isn’t a good decision-maker, running that complicated option. The AJC reported that he was afraid to pitch the ball. On short yardage UNC knew he would give to Dwyer up the middle, and they repeated stuffed it. Got to see the exciting end to the UGA game…their defense just doesn’t have it. Strong win by the Falcons yesterday.

Went to PFChangs Friday night and Moes Sunday. After taking off Thursday and Friday afternoons, I’m snowed under today at work…my boss and I aren’t in good moods.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


more on voting

Normally I vote in the evening…the line wasn’t long at all. Usually my boss has no respect for my time, and in the past has gotten in trouble for trying to keep people at work instead of voting. With long lines last week and month end, I told him I was ok with being tied up and not early voting, but I’d vote Tuesday AM. He had scheduled meetings Tues-Wed-Thur, flying 3 people in on election day, not checking that me and another person had vacation days scheduled (I changed mine to half days today and tomorrow).


C and I drove the mile to the church where we vote…at 5:50 AM. There were about 50 already in line. Danny Downing was about 5 people behind us. Another friend came over to chat. Starbucks had set up and was giving away coffee and hot chocolate. We were back home by 7:30. I stopped by Chickfila and the bank, and still got to work before 8:20. Been in a meeting ever since…yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Supposed to take off thurs and fri afternoons.

Monday, November 03, 2008


My Friday was month end…always bad in October and Friday, with Halloween traffic. I was able to leave work at 5:30, ahead of six co-workers. Had good news on the EZGo account…we were “profitable” and I wrote off over $30,000.00 in unfavorable variances. Then traffic home was much lighter than expected.

For the first year ever the kids didn’t trick or treat in our neighborhood. Will spent the night at the Normans, Anna went with her ballet pals, and Matthew went with his friends in our small group. Ceil was unclear about what she and M were doing, so after arriving home and chatting with the neighbors, I had a relatively quiet couple of hours at home. The new neighbors had a good idea…they set up a table at the end of their driveway and greeted trick-or-treaters there (and their parents, who normally stay at the street). I bought too much candy, so we had a lot left over.

C and M got home around 8:30, and we viewed Will and Joel Norman’s Halloween photos on Facebook…they had already posted them. Matthew scampered out to visit neighbor friends, dressed as an artist. Ceil made him a beret, and he splattered a white labcoat with paint to wear. Then we went over to pick up Anna. I was exhausted, so after visiting with the Johnson Ferry friends for an hour, we came home and went to bed.

Our washing machine died, so Saturday Ceil was determined to knock out all the laundry at a Laundromat. I knocked out a bunch of housework. My allergies kicked in about the time UGA and GT came on, so I popped some corn and rested. The GT game was more interesting, and it was nice to have Nessler and Griese do the game. Even Paul McGuire, whom I dislike, made some good points in GT’s favor.

C had taken A to a High School Musical 3 viewing / birthday party, then grocery shopped. I was all wrapped up in the game, and she walked in just when FSU made the critical goal-line fumble. When the GT DB - a Division 1 football player - tried to pick up the fumble instead of falling on it, I screamed. What was he going to do, run 105 yards for a touchdown? Miraculously, he recovered the fumble, and Tech held on. My man Jaybo Shaw didn’t fare well against the tough FSU defense, but he was due a bad game. Nice win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if GT loses to UNC, Miami, and UGA.

Once again, nothing went right for UGA. Still, Meyer pulled a Spurrier, calling needless timeouts with less than a minute to go. Richt took the high road, but the meeting at midfield sure was quick. We all went to bed early Saturday night.

After church we did some shopping. After lunch Ceil and I went to the East Cobb Sears, then bought a new washer at Home Depot. That took most of the afternoon. I popped more corn at watch the second half of the Falcons. I wouldn’t have been so interested had they been losing. I cleaned up a bit, and Ceil went out to dinner with friends. We went to bed early again. I felt like I needed all that extra sleep.