Monday, November 29, 2010


Grace is inviting to the unrighteous and threatening to the self-righteous.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Braves By The Numbers

Some of the more notable Braves players, listed by the number they wore.

1. Otis Nixon, Jerry Royster, Albert Hall, Rafael Furcal
2. Rafiel Belliard, Marty Martinez, Barry Bonnell, Albert Hall, Rico Brogna, Alex Gonzalez
3. Dale Murphy, Edgar Renteria
4. Jeff Blauser, Omar Infante, Bob Didier, Larvell Blanks, Biff Pocoroba
5. Bob Horner, Ron Gant, Freddie Freeman
6. Bobby Cox, Clete Boyer, Tony LaRussa, Davey Johnson
7. Jeff Burroughs, Joe Pepitone, Jeff Francoeur, Gil Garrido, Brad Komminsk, Kenny Lofton, JD Drew
8. Javy Lopez, Bob Watson, Jody Davis, David Ross, Bob Uecker
9. Marty Perez, Pepe Frias, Ozzie Virgil, Terry Pendleton, Marquis Grissom
10. Chipper Jones, Chris Chambliss, Charlie Lau, Greg Olson
11. Edgar Renteria, Gary Sheffield, Tito Francona, Darrell Evans, Ken Caminiti, Mark Kotsay
12. Dusty Baker, Tom Paciorek, Sid Bream, Eddie Perez
13. Bob Uecker, Blue Moon Odom, Ozzie Guillen, Juan Eichelberger, Billy Wagner
14. Andres Galarraga, Martin Prado, Woody Woodward, Andres Thomas, Brian Hunter, Julio Franco
15. Tim Hudson, Joe Torre, Johnny Oates, Darrel Chaney, Denny Neagle, BJ Surhoff
16. Brian McCann, Rafael Ramirez, Sonny Jackson, Reggie Sanders, Mark DeRosa
17. Andy Messersmith, Glenn Hubbard, Felix Millan
18. Tommie Aaron, Claudell Washington, Zoilo Versalles, Omar Moreno, Trench Davis, Steve Lyons, Ryan Klesko, Garret Anderson
19. Denis Menke, Terry Harper, Craig Nettles, Francisco Cabrera, John Burkett, Vinny Castilla, Adam LaRoche, Yunel Escobar
20. Bruce Benedict, Mark Lemke, Clay Carroll, Mike Marshall, Todd Hollandsworth
21. Warren Spahan
22. Jason Heyward, Rowland Office, Brett Butler, Ken Griffey, Walt Weiss, Marcus Giles
23. Dave Justice, Matt Diaz, Denny Lemaster, Jim Nash, Ted Simmons, Bobby Bonilla, Johnny Estrada
24. Roric Harrison, John Montefusco, Ken Oberkfell, Deion Sanders, Michael Tucker, Bret Boone, Mark Teixeira
25. Andruw Jones, Rico Carty, Troy Glaus, Willie Montanez, Rufino Linares, Larry McWilliams, Pete Smith
26. Gene Garber, Tom House, Alejandro Pena, Kyle Davies
27. Pascal Perez, Ty Cline, Pat Dobson, Lonnie Smith, Fred McGriff, Gerald Williams, Jaret Wright
28. Mike Lum, Bob Wickman, Gerlad Perry
29. John Smoltz, Felipe Alou
30. Orlando Cepeda, Denny McLain, Bruce dal Canton, Mike Stanton, Horacio Ramirez
31. Greg Maddux, Donnie Moore, Jeff Reardon
32. Milt Pappas, Earl Williams, Steve Bedrosian, Charlie Leibrandt, Dennis Martinez, Mike Hampton, Derek Lowe
33. Pat Jarvis, Doyle Alexander, Steve Avery, Fredi Gonzalez, Brian Jordan
34. Cecil Upshaw, Zane Smith, Kevin Millwood
35. Phil Niekro
36. Joe Niekro, Gary Matthews, Gaylord Perry, Claude Raymond
37. Rick Camp, Mike Remlinger, Chris Reitsma
38. Ron Reed, Greg McMichael
39. Hoyt Wilhelm, Al Hrabosky, Walt Hriniak, Ben Barker, Rafael Soriano, Jonny Venters
40. Tony Cloninger, Bruce Sutter
41. Eddie Matthews
42. Biff Pocoroba, Rick Mahler, Bruce Sutter
43. Tony Gonzalez, Cito Gaston, Bob Walk, Mark Wohlers, Tim Spooneybarger, Raul Mondesi
44. Hank Aaron
45. Paul Byrd, Paul Doyle
46. Kerry Lightenberg, Charlie Spikes
47. Tom Glavine, Buzz Capra
48. Ralph Garr, Tommy Hanson, Mack Jones, Juan Berenguer, Bruce Chen, Andy Ashby, Russ Ortiz
49. Jair Jurrigans, John Rocker, Carl Morton
50. Preston Hanna, Tommy Boggs, Scott Kamieniecki
51. Mike Gonzalez, Terry Forster, Pedro Borbon
52. Jay Howell, Brad Clontz, John Thompson
53. Melky Cabrera
54. Chris Medlin, Chad Paronto
55. Mark Grant
56. Jim Bouton,
57. Antonio Alfonseca
58. Peter Moylan, Chris Seelbach, Phil Stockman
61. James Parr
65. Jorge Julio
68. Jason Marquis
70. Ismael Villegas
72. Luis Rivera
73. Ryan Langerhans
78. Blaine Boyer

Thursday, November 25, 2010

NBA By The Numbers

My list of the great NBA player to wear a particular number.
Honorable mentions in parathesis.

00. Robert Parish
1. Oscar Robertson
2. Moses Malone (Alex English, Mitch Richmond)
3. Dennis Johnson (Chris Paul)
4. Dolph Schayes (Joe Dumars)
5. Bill Walton (Kevin Garnett)
6. Bill Russell (Julius Erving, LeBron James)
7. Pete Maravich (Nate Archibald)
8. Kobe Bryant
9. Bob Pettit (Tony Parker)
10. Walt Frazier
11. Isiah Thomas
12. John Stockton (Dwight Howard)
13. Wilt Chamberlain
14. Bob Cousy
15. Earl Monroe (Tom Heinson)
16. Satch Sanders
17. John Havilchek (Chris Mullin)
18. Dave Cowens
19. Willis Reed (Lenny Wilkens)
20. Ray Allen
21. Tim Duncan (Dominique Wilkins, Kevin Garnett)
22. Elgin Baylor (Andrew Tony)
23. Michael Jordan (LeBron James)
24. Kobe Bryant (Rick Barry, Bobby Jones)
25. KC Jones (Doc Rivers)
26. Kermit Washington (Kyle Korver)
27. Jack Twyman
28. Quinn Buckner (Sam Cassell)
29. Paul Silas (Pervis Ellison)
30. Rasheed Wallace (Terry Porter)
31. Reggie Miller (Cornbread Maxwell)
32. Magic Johnson (Bill Walton)
33. Lew Alicindor (Larry Bird)
34. Charles Barkley
35. Reggie Lewis (Darrell Griffith)
36. Shaquille O'Neill
37. Nick Van Exel (Ron Artest)
38. Kwame Brown
39. Tom Tolbert (Greg Ostertag)
40. Bill Lambeer
41. Wes Unseld (Dirk Nowitzki)
42. Nate Thurmond (James Worthy)
43. Brad Daughtery
44. Jerry West (Pete Maravich, George Gervin)
45. Michael Jordan (Rudy Tomjanovich)
46. Bo Outlaw
47. Jerry Lucas
48. Walt Gilmore
49. Shandon Anderson
50. David Robinson
51. Michael Doleac
52. Buck Williams
53. Mark Eaton (Darrell Dawkins)
54. Horace Grant (Tom McMillen)
55. Dikembe Motumbo
56. Brandon Hunter
60. Dick Wehr/Walt Kirk (the only two players to ever wear this number - both in 1949 for the Indianapolis Jets. The Jets and Detroit Falcons were fond of high numbers).
61. Bevo Nordmann (no relation to the singer)
62. Scot Pollard
65. George Ratkovicz
66. Price Brookfield / Grady Lewis
67. Moe Becker
68. Milt Schoon
70. Dennis Rodman
71. McCoy McLemore
72. Jason Kapono
73. Dennis Rodman
76. Shawn Bradley (for the 76ers, of course)
77. Jack Ramsey
84. Chris Webber
86. Semih Erden
88. Antione Walker
89. Clyde Lovellette
90. Drew Goodin
91. Dennis Rodman
92. DeShawn Stevenson
93. Ron Artest
96. Don Ray (Ron Artest)
98. Chet Aubuchon
99. George Mikan

Other interesting retired numbers include:
432. Doug Moe
529. Bobby Leonard
613. Red Holzman
832. Cotton Fitzsimmons

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Over Thanksgiving I’ll try and compile the greatest NBA player for each jersey number. I’ve seen similar lists of football or baseball players, but not basketball. I will need help, and suggestions.

There’s that white guy on the Celtics who wears 86, and Shaq is 36 this year, right? It may have helped that Kobe switched numbers, but LeBron loses out on both 23 and 6. What were all the numbers Dennis Rodman wore? 19 and 91?

Last night Will was throwing up, and he’s still sick this morning. C and M are also complaining about their stomachs. Don’t know what this will do to our trip.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


What you did yesterday is of far less concern to God than where your heart is today.

One Fine Day

Last night I saw on the internet that the Hawks had the poor start against Boston. The kids went to see Harry Potter, so Ceil and I had a quiet evening at home. Neither of us felt like doing anything, so we watched the Clooney/Phieffer movie “One Fine Day”.

Some people at work aren’t realizing that when I leave at 3 pm, I’m not leaving early. In fact, three days a week I stay cover when others leave early.

We won’t get to SC until late Wednesday. Ceil’s dad just got out of the hospital, so it will be different this year. After we eat on Friday Will leaves with a gang going to the away high school playoff game. They’ll spend the night in Abbeville, then go to the 7 pm Clemson/SC game. We’ll probably pick Will up in Anderson after the game, and come home late Saturday. So I’ll miss watching that game and GT/UGA.

Matthew won’t have to miss his Sunday practice. Hopefully we can get out and shoot some over the next few days. He has been enjoying it so far, frequently displaying a sheepish grin, and telling Ceil stories from practice. He must like the assistant coach in particular, as he asked me why he missed most of Sunday’s practice.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Basketball Begins

Matthew had his first basketball practice Friday night. He made me laugh right off the bat…during lay-ups he unknowingly returned to the shooters line three times, before finally being directed to the rebounding line. The coaches put him at center, where he looked relatively imposing. He shifted from side to side on defense, but refrained from sticking his nose into the crowds of boys fighting for the ball. They scrimmaged, and he needs to get faster running the court. His coaches were great, repeatedly instructing him with great patience.

At the end of practice they lined the players according to height. Matthew was at the end, the tallest on the team. Right before handing out Carolina blue jerseys, they shifted Matthew, placing two beefier boys at the end. The third jersey was still a huge men’s large, but it was the number Matthew wanted…three. All the other boys immediately put them on, but Matthew just looked at how big his was.

Sunday’s practice involved various drills before another scrimmage. Matthew held his own, and showed improvement. Playing forward, he be began to contest shots. On offense he even got off a shot. At the end the league director made them play without dribbling, and the level of play actually improved. His team has at least six decent players, so perhaps they’ll have a good season.

Friday afternoon and evening Anna had two babysitting jobs. Will spent the weekend in Gainesville, practicing and performing as “Jesus” in his friends’ ballet recital. Ceil drove Anna over on Saturday morning to help with the Tech Crew. Both W and A stayed with the Stevenson’s in a hotel. Ceil sat with Lucy and her mom. Charissa and a few of the other college girls also went.

Sunday Ceil took Mary-Clayton. Alyssa and Kara brought Will six congratulatory roses and a ballet balloon. That night Mary-Clayton went with us over for a small group dinner.

Sunday at the 9 am service Bryan baptized two men. The second guy told in his video testimony of unexpectedly losing his infant daughter during surgery. After the video it was evident how much it had effected Bryan, who courageously completed the sacrament. Looks like he’s already documented the event:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rambling Like an Old Fart

Lets hope the Kennesaw loss will be a springboard for the rest of the season.

These days it seems like there is parity in talent between college football and basketball players. The main difference is in the coaching, both in schemes and getting the athletes to focus and play to the best of their ability.

A team can play below expectations and squeak into a Shreveport or Nashville bowl game. Players should be embarrassed to be seen in those bowls, but instead wave their arms and draw attention to themselves like they’re the greatest on earth. Players these days are too busy hanging out, texting, playing video games, and making time with girls to watch many games on TV, though in games they act like their peers are watching them.

A team like Tech will waltz into a Shreveport bowl game and underestimate a “lesser” team, and get embarrassed. Just like the Kennesaw game, or when the football team lost to Kansas. Or SC losing at Kentucky.

It could be argued that both GT and UGA’s football seasons shouldn’t be considered disappointing. Tech had four drafted into the NFL and had a new defensive coordinator, then their QB was hurt in a key game. They still should’ve beat Kansas. Georgia had a new QB and defensive coordinator, and lost their best player for four games.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hewitt Won't Go Away

The Kennesaw loss was another nail in Hewitt’s coffin. No one is surprised any more. The young alum here at work was thinking the same thing, that we use the coliseum money to pay off Hewitt. He thinks after last season Hewitt was told he’d be gone if he didn’t make the tourney. AD DRad surely has been working behind the scenes. Right now I bet Hewitt wishes his wife would’ve been happy moving to St.Johns.

It is enjoyable to watch Vick play, when he’s “on” and healthy.

Both Monday and Tuesday night I watched the end of the GT/Miami game, some of the MNF game, and the end of the Kennesaw game. It was almost like GT didn’t have a chance. Also watched some of Ken Burns The Tenth Inning. Saw it was on while looking for a rerun of the Tina Fey Mark Twain Award Show. Interesting about the Expos…they often had talented players.

I’ve been coming in early, since my coworker is out for 8 weeks, recovering from wrist surgery. I leave early on Tues & Thurs…on MWF another coworker has to leave early to get dialysis. I might as well get up early, since I’m waking up before five anyway. In January I’ll need to keep getting up, and exercise in the AM. I’m trying to exercise every Tuesday & Thursday for the rest of the year…but ever since I ran last Thursday my knee has killing me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Harry Potter Trumps GA/Auburn!?

M enjoyed the Harry Potter weekend on the ABC Family Channel. I let him watch HP instead of GA/Auburn, since he went to the GT game. At the game I remembered my vow after the Clemson game, to never go to another football game. Long TV timeouts, senseless penalties, etc. I did enjoy watching the new QB, who I like better than Nesbitt (or Jaybo Shaw). Stopped by the Varsity both before and after the game.

Saturday night we watched the Clemson game on TV, thought C went to bed before the game-winning 55 yard FSU field goal. Will was in the other room, on the phone.

Sunday I went to Macon in the morning, and working like a dog. Went to Will’s baseball team’s pot-luck dinner at six, with Matthew. Hung out with Mary-Clayton’s parents…her little brother is on the middle school team.

Early Monday I took the GT basketball schedule and logged all the home games on my calendar, secretly hoping to be asked to a game. I even created my 2011 calendar, so I could log in the second half of the season.

This past weekend Ceil had been scheduled to go to Virginia. She didn’t go, then didn’t even go to South Carolina for her father’s surgery. Then I went off and spent all day Saturday at the Tech game, so I’d better not go to Tech games this week.

Friday night Matthew has his first basketball practice, and he needs all the practice he can get. I need to look for a new basketball goal. The old rim hangs almost straight down.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Got Reid’s letter in the mail, along with the GT basketball ticket stub. That “legend” looks familiar, but I’m having a hard time remembering his name. I love ticket stubs…I tape them into my scrapbook calendar. Ceil opened the envelope before I got home, hoping to find stamps. That’s what she’s into these days…even bought a magazine/catalog.

We may go see “Despicable Me” at the movies. Got Tech tickets for Saturday, against Miami. Matthew wants to go. Will is helping someone move all day. Ceil will probably go to Decatur.

Anna is going to a weekend event at Johnson Ferry. No weekend basketball game. Last week Lucy & her mom were there, along with 2 or 3 other mothers. Matthew had on the exact same outfit as Joel.

Thursday night M and I went to JFBC for the kickoff event with Anna. Clay Scroggins from North Point is the weekend speaker. There was a ton of kids there, with lots of them talking or walking around. I asked Anna if they did that at NP, and she said no.

Sunday I need to go to Macon to see my parents, but I need to get back to take Ceil over to Lilburn that night.


Matthew is going to play basketball for the first time. The two churches closest to our house have programs, so he could play in both. St. Anne’s may be best: 5th & 6th grades play together. Mt. Zion puts 6-7-8th graders together, where they sell the pumpkins every year. Johnson Ferry’s Upward program only goes up to 5th grade…6th graders play in the spring.

He wants to wear number 3, like the high-scoring Connor.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Good News / Bad News

GOOD: Joe Morgan’s contract will not be renewed.

He will no longer be on Sunday Night baseball.

BAD: John Miller will probably move to calling the game on radio.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This Day in History

November 10, 1984: Maryland trailed Miami 31-0 at halftime on the road, in the Orange Bowl Stadium.

The Terrapins staged college football’s greatest comeback by overtaking Miami, 42-40.

Frank Reich directs six consecutive scoring drives, including touchdown passes of 39 and 68 yards to Greg Hill.

After building a 42-34 lead, Maryland’s Keeta Covington breaks up a two-point conversion that would have tied the game with a minute left.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

2011 Vacation Plan

Alyssa’s mom is organizing next year’s trips. I may go in late February with Will, and in April with Matthew and Will. I think Anna goes the other week. That leaves a week for the July beach trip and a week for other stuff. We need to get to Washington. Both sets of parents are having health problems, so it should be an interesting year.

Friday when we went to the Avenue I stayed in the car, since I was tired. Almost went to sleep. C and A were in 2-3 clothing stores. Had I gone into Borders it would’ve been fun, but much longer.

M wanted to play basketball, but options for a 6th grade beginner are limited. Still looking.

With my 6 am 3 pm co-worker out for the rest of the year recovering from wrist surgery, I’ve been asked to come in early. MWF I have to stay late, since my other co-worker has dialysis. I intend to leave at three on Tue & Thurs. I need to use the time to work out. Ogre moved Dialysis into the recently vacated desk between me and Surgery. That’s good, eliminating the possibility of me moving. I have been called into Ogre’s office more in the last two days.

Phones: My Sprint/Sanyo phone is ok, but not great for the internet. Recently C got a Blackberry she seems to like. She’s on her father’s plan, which I think is Verizon.

Tozer Tuesday

God waits to be wanted. Tozer

Monday, November 08, 2010

Retreat Recap: Day Five

One Friday story I failed to mention was the continued travails of Mrs. Wiggins. Bless her heart, she had a rough trip. Not wanting to get her own personal vehicle trashed, she opted to rent a nice white Town & Country for the trip. Wednesday I saw a noticeably noticed a large dent in the back. She had used her hip to make sure the back was shut, as many of us have done in the past. One student remarked "The dent was exactly the same size as her hip!"

Friday afternoon all the vans loaded to depart Washington Oaks Park at the same time. I was one of the first to leave. Windows down, the road made a U-turn through the woods. Through the trees you could see and hear excited students. I thought that odd, since the entire tired group had been loaded into vehicles.

Mrs. Wiggins THOUGHT her van was in reverse. It wasn't moving, so she pushed on the gas a little...then harder. The van was in DRIVE, and eventually the front wheels hopped the concrete thing. She was stuck! The event was commemorated with pictures.

Both Thursday and Friday my return trips to the hotel were quiet. Most of the guys fell asleep on the way back, exhausted.

Thursday night Mr. D's evening reading included an amazing passage about time, and how God transcends it. The researchers at Answers in Genesis have some amazing theories on the subject. Friday afternoon many of the chaperones had down time. Some visited the gardens, some frantically wrote skits. Mrs. Braswell pulled out a book, that had similar theories on time.

Saturday morning we pack and lug our gear down to the trailers. Before breakfast I made a short trip to get gas. It was 7:30, the sun was up, and I was able to hear the familiar voices on AM 750 WSB on the radio. Atlanta had suffered a low of 39 degrees that night.

Peyton Roth and Will Sykes remained excellent students throughout the trip. Faced with having to share the king sized bed, they considered taking turns sleeping on the floor. Not long before wake-up time that first night I happened to witness Will, in his sleep, roll over and almost put his arm around Peyton. They both quickly recognized the slip, and both edged back to their respective edges of the bed. After surviving the first night with only one close call, the rest of the week seemed to go well. One night, just before lights out, Peyton reminded Will "no snuggle-buddies tonight!"

One time we were in the room, chatting as we prepared for the next activity. Peyton was talking about his four years at Living Science. Though only his first year at LS, Will said he did know of some of the Living Science "legends." Interested, I asked him to name one. "That tall guy...Willis." I agreed.

After breakfast Mrs. D called on the Servant Leaders to encourage each member in their group. It was an amazing, wonderful time. For the most part each SL did an excellent job, granted sincere, detailed, personal encouragements. Then one group member individually encouraged each SL. Wes hopped up and told how exited he was to discover he was in Caleb & Joanna's group, that it would be "an explosion of awesomeness." And it was. As I recall, Sandy and Elin were among the other students with encouraging words for their SL's.

Due to the heat, we put off wearing the black trip shirts until today. Brianna and I sported the same outfit, which included black adidas warmup pants. I was wearing a similar outfit Sunday night when I ran into DJ at a Halloween party.

In my return car: co-pilot Mrs. Leiner, Emerald, Sandy, Mary-Clayton, and Charlotte (again, in order by last name). Not long after passing around Jacksonville we have to take an early Whether Stop, and we all eat lunch. I spy a spry Ninja sneaking around with vans, with an accomplance. When I went to intercept them, they ran the other way. Instead I discovered all the van windows had been written on.

The students discovered dozens of empty locust shells clinging to the pine trees, and made sport of tossing them on one another. I decided my fellow drivers Mrs. Braswell and Mrs. Howell would like to take one home, so I placed one on their dashboard. Amy found hers as soon as she got in her van, and had Wes remove it. Mrs. Taylor, Mrs Howell's co-pilot, saw the present but kept quiet. Mrs. Howell didn't see it until she was miles down the road. Her girls squealed, especially when Allison flung the carcass toward the back of the van, and more screams erupted.

Since we were to pass through Macon, Mr. Leiner was again the subject of ridicule from his fellow chaperones. I had wanted to time my barb just right, but since so many beat me to the punch, my joke was only moderately funny. You might not know from reading these recaps that I try to publish only the funniest jokes I think up. Aren't you glad?

In Tifton we stopped for fuel. Several of the guys were eyeing the energy drinks, literally forcing me to retell how a 9th grade Caleb drank one in my return car from Tybee Island, thinking it would help him be more like Krypto. Only Ryan purchased one.

In our van, MC and Charlotte sat in the back, swapping war stories about chorus. MC brightened when she saw a south Georgia 4H outpost/tatoo parlor. She launched into some 4H stories, so I knew she'd be fascinated with a few of my Rock Eagle memories. I think Sandy was sleeping by this point.

Emerald was sitting quietly, jotting in her notebook. Fearing she was collecting notes for a retreat recap of her own, I asked her what she was doing. Quite interestingly, she was writing a screenplay for her dad, who makes movies. Mrs. Leiner and I learned alot about her interesting family life. Made my trip!

In Macon just about every car descending on Chick-fil-A. Mrs. Taylor grabbed me and Mrs. Howell for a Wendys run. Though much quieter, I think the rest of the mob at CFA may have received quicker service than we got at Wendys.

As we finally turned off 575 at Hwy 92, Charlotte piped up, telling us of her superpower: control over traffic lights. In my car it only worked about half the time.

If you're still reading, hoping for some great ending to this five part saga, you are quite mistaken.

Will's Ballet Recital

Will is playing Jesus in a ballet recital in Gainesville Nov 20 & 21. He’s real popular with the girls, of all the age groups. He has to grow out his beard for the part, which he likes.

He took M to the basketball game Friday night (Connor had 18). C, A, and I went to Willys, and shopping for A at the Avenue.

Had a busy last week, didn’t get everything done. Friday night I slept almost ten hours, and Saturday about 9-1/2. Most of last week I had stayed up late, so I guess I caught up.

Saturday we went to Perimeter Mall. The parking lot was full, the walkways jammed with people not paying attention. Then we went to two shoe stores up near North Point, then Target. Hated the traffic…no fun at all.

Saw some of the UGA first half and more of the Clemson game. That night we ate at Longhorn in Roswell. We first went to the Counter, but the wait at 8:15 was an hour.

Saw chunks of the Falcons game, but little else. Atlanta looks good, especially at home. Could this be the year? Still a long way to go.

Sunday night I drove Will and Joel Norman downtown to the Tabernacle for Passion City Church. I had never been inside before…neat place.

November Reading List

Wait Till Next Year, by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Cabin Pressure, by Josh Walk

The Age of Shakespeare, by Frank Kermode

I Hate People, by Jonathan Littman

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Retreat Recap: Day Four

Friday: We head south, to Washington Oaks Gardens State Park. After the science team leaves, Mrs. D gets in some quick teaching. As always, it's memorable. She has us swing by the beach, to look at some really cool rocks.

Mrs. Hanson is quite disturbed by some entrails hanging from Mrs. Howell's Suburban. Mr. Leiner is the hero, and quickly removes them. Alyssa poses, Joel jumps. Kodak moments. Joel had liked the Indian takeout restaurant at the corner of Donderville and A1A, aptly named "Curry N Hurry"

Students divide into groups for the day of study at the park. Box studies and mud and stuff like that. Me and the other men miss it, preparing to grill burgers for lunch. There are no matches, so Mr. Leiner drives off to get some. Moments later Mallory's lighter saves us. Burgers are grilled, lunch is served. Plenty of root beer. As Sarah goes through the line I notice the wound on her chin.

It was at lunch when Mrs. Smith confirmed with Mrs. D: A chap skit "chronicling the day's activities" was needed to kick off the serious evening. Having exhausted all available material on the previous night's drama, what would we do? I notified the cast, then pretty much spent the afternoon trolling for ideas. With the students spending the day analyizing dirt, there's not much to work with.

I wander around taking pictures. Working alone, Haley says hi, that "she hadn't seen me all day." Zach's beloved red & black shoes suffered a blowout, and he tossed them in the trash. Mr. Rees asked Gerald if he remembered when his birthday was. I laughed, because earlier in the trip Gerald had also asked me when my birthday was. Gerald couldn't remember. Busted!

Several chaps offered suggestions. Several were nixed as not LSA. Some were great, had there only been more time to properly execute them. Whatever we would come up with, I knew it would be thrown together. Mrs. Smith reported the excitement exhibited when a group actually found something in the dirt. It was a start!

At first I was concerned about putting the kayak incident into the skit, since the boaters had such a close call. I talked it over with Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Howell, and Mrs. D. Penney urged me to go ahead, and even added some extra ideas that were used in the scene.

I always wanted to write a musical, but there was hardly time. Joanna & Caleb's group did enjoy the song I wrote, sung to the tune of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music:

When the girl trips, when the frog hops, when I'm feelin' tired...

...I simply remember my Field Studies Guide, and then I don't feel (fall asleep).

KRYPTO: I was so busy with both skits that there was little time to develop Krpto's character. His appearence Thursday was such a success, I knew a repeat performance so soon would be anticlimatic. Caleb and Elin and Matt Ellis quickly volunteered to take my place.

BACKSTORY: On the 2007 Senior Retreat Kyle was cast to impersonate me, but he thought a superhero costume was in order. I wrote him into chap skits the last two years as well, first greeting the burger grillers on St. Georges, then wrestling the gator at Merritt Island last year. Without Kyle, I gained motivation to play an older Krypto from a SpongeBob episode featuring two over-the-hill superheros.

At dinner more roles were assigned at dinner. I wrote down each scene's premise on paper for the chaps to use as a quide. It was enough so that when most of us practiced one scene, Mrs. Howell, Mrs. Braswell, and Mrs. Wiggins were able to completely orchestrated their scene by themselves.

CHAP SKIT TWO: a play in four parts.

1. I play Mr. Taylor, grilling with the chap men (Mickey thought it would be funnier having someone portray him). Mr. Leiner runs off to get matches. Mallory (Mrs. Zech is hilarious again) offers her lighter. I wonder why Mal even has a lighter. My Mickey made him look a little bad, but later he said he enjoyed it. Mrs. Hanson hilariously portrays Mrs. Howell, snapping pictures. Mr. Rees decided to portray me, taking notes. Out of hot dogs, the lady chaps (& all the sudents) chant:

Hot dogs! Hot dogs! Tasty tasty! Please don't let them go wasty, wasty!

2. Kayak scene. Charles (Rees, in a suitcoat) & Grace (Mrs. Phearson steals the scene!) are toppled by the Gator and Octopus, who lament the lack of mimicing opportunities.

3. Sarah (Braswell) and Hanson (Howell) fall during the scavenger hunt. Introducing the scene, I forget to cue Gerald. He was supposed to say "Previously, on the chaperone skit". I had hoped the fall could've been in slow motion, but it didn't work out. Mrs. Braswell had me doubled over in laughter, using the ice pack on her wrist, chin, foot, knee, etc. She even cracked herself up.

I added Mrs. Wiggins as a bystander, just to give her one line as Mrs. Smith. She expanded the role so much that later I talked to Julie and Mrs D. Both were fine with the scene.

4. Analyizing dirt, a student (Rees) accidentally dropped Fruit Loops into the "dirt" (CoCo Puffs). We review Mrs. D's earlier teaching...notes taken on a tablecloth. Everyone sings the Finding Nemo ditty:

"Lets learn the zones, the zones, the zones. Let's learn the zones of the WOG"

The group finds potassium, niacin, minerals...and high fructose corn syrup. Being a science crowd, the line gets a big laugh.

At the end, Mr. Leiner finally returns with matches. All day we'd both been sure this was hilarious, but the joke fell flat.

The crowd cried for Krypto...including even the D's! Many made K's with their hands, that looked like anti-vampire signs of the cross. Will Krypto return?

Maybe next year, huh Mary?

Retreat Recap: Day Three

Thursday morning we are greeted in front of hotel by two ducks. Didn't know we were staying at the Peabody. Breakfast is at Anastasia Park, followed by Transect Line studies. Mr. Rees joins me to observe, but doesn't want to stay in the sun long. I photograph up and down both lines, then climb back up the dune to leave. Mr. Rees is still on the far away north line, helping.

Mr. Leiner and I serve chips at lunch. BBQ and Doritos are most popular. When John fumbles Tia's chips, she hopes this isn't his day job (it is!). I notice the napkins say "Home Sweet Home" and hope they don't make a young student even more homesick.

MARY HURT texts me, asking if Haley is near. I call, and Haley gets to talk to her mom...and Margaret. Next MC takes a turn on the phone. Then Holt grabs the phone, flashes his smile, and settles in for a conversation. Suddenly I'm reminded of a Seinfeld episode. Somehow, I manage to stay out of trouble.

After lunch the groups compile their transect findings on the picnic tables. Leader Kara sits at the table while teaching, while also watching after little Kassie. Suddenly Kara looks around in a panic. "Where's Kassie! WHERE"S KASSIE!" "I'm right here!" comes Kassie's reply. Kassie had been sitting on the table, RIGHT IN FRONT OF KARA!

Kara and Joel prepare their team for the Scavenger Hunt. The Retreat One hunt had fueled the Servant Leader's competitive fires. Kara and Joel kept screaming "WE'RE GONNA WIN!" Later, during the grueling three hour ordeal, Kara was dragging while Joel forged ahead. I reminded Kara of their mantra: "WE'RE GONNA WIN!"

The SCAVENGER HUNT sent the six teams scampering throughout St. Augustine's historic shopping district on foot, trying to photograph clues strategically laid out by Mr. Landrum and Mrs. Smith. The marathon was a hit with the students, and didn't seem to bother the merchants or tourists. One of the clues had been unfortunately removed, causing great confusion, and turning the scavenger hunt into somewhat of a wild goose chase. The winner? Joel & Kara's team.

The chap men helped the D's get the water station set up around 3 pm. Then Mrs. D told me that 7 pm tonight would be a good time for an original chaperone skit. Uh, sure! I gathered Mr. Rees and Leiner and started casting. The rest of the afternoon was spent brainstorming and prepping the chaps on what to do. The Chaps kept trading roles. Mrs. Zech was Mrs. D, then Mrs. Smith was, then Mrs. Zech. Mrs. Smith would play herself, then she had other duties to fulfill. Mrs. Wiggins was Mrs. Hanson, then Mrs. Smith. It was chaos.

After dinner the chaps retreated next door to rehearse. (They'd tell you it was to just get a general idea of what was going on). More chaos. I knew that Mrs. Howell was a ham, that Mr. Taylor was an excellent alligator. I hadn't the slightest how Mr. Rees, Mrs. Phearson, or Mrs. Wiggins would do. Without time, all we could do was give it a whirl.

CHAP SKIT: a play in six acts.

1. At the DNA lab, the D's discover the test failed. Rees and Zech amaze as the D's, with wonderful accents and mannerisms.

2. The next day, the UF researcher (Mr. Leiner) sees that perhaps the test WAS a success. Exclaiming "Well hello Dolly!" (a DNA joke) he treats a toy gator & octopus, the grow into Mr. Taylor & Mr. Phearson. Mickey's roar makes Simeon cry.

3. Mrs. Howell surprises an unknowing Mrs. Hanson, reinacting Denise's TWO trips over the transect line. Students point out a Calico Crab (Mr. Phearson), who turns out to be a Mimic Octopus. Mr D (Rees) films and Mrs Smith (Wiggins) assists, before being tripped by Mrs. Hanson (Howell).

4. Hanson (Howell) discovers the turtle, then trips over it. Turtle (Phearson) turns out to be the Mimic Octopus.

5. On the long Scavenger Hunt, Mrs. Smith (Wiggins) has plenty of time to shop...before being run over by students running past. Mrs. Wiggins took the role and made it her own, drawing lots of laughs.

6. Gator and Octopus prepare to battle. Hanson (Howell) screams for help, remembering she was saved by a superhero in last year's chap skit. Out pops Krypto to save the day. Allison wonders what happened, as this Krypto was quite heavier (& more grey). But in a dramatic twist, just as Krypto prepares to act, he is tripped by "Mrs. Hanson." Then ANOTHER dramatic twist: The Gator turns out to be a Mimic Octopus himself, a close friend of the other octopus.

The skit was chaos, yet drew a tremendous response. Without detailed costumes there is some confusion about what transpired. Even though my appearance was met with chants of "Krypto! Krypto!" I was asked afterwards what the K stood for. During singing, Mrs. Smith says "We'll need another five acts tomorrow night"

She's joking, right?

Retreat Recap: Day Two

Leftovers from Monday/Tuesday: Monday night I was filling up the van at the East Cobb BP when Mr. Winkler drove up. I asked if he was in the A or B Group, which caught him off guard. I must remember to wear my LS nametag!

Tuesday evening everyone grabbed thier suitcases and headed off to thier rooms. I passed the Ninja Girl, who was thrilled to discover my duffle was TWICE the size of hers. She should've known take up lots of space!

Mr. D talks about the Parable of the Talents, a passage I've been thinking about alot lately. He says the story can encourage, or be some of the scariest verses in the Bible. The story he expertly weaves is encouraging to me. After the 18 hour day young Peyton Roth and Will Sykes are ready to crash. I'm exhausted, but don't sleep well.

DAY TWO: The DNA group heads south, and the rest of us cross the Bridge of Lions, heading to the Castillo de San Marcos. On the way, Matthew P and I see A HUMAN FOOT on the side of the road. Almost no one else did.

Here's something you didn't know: One of the commangers of the fort in the late 1800's went on open a school for Indians in Carlisle Pennslyvannia. In the early days of American football, the fledgling school becomes a national powerhouse, coached by Pop Warner. His star player was a young Jim Thorpe, who later won the Olympic decathlon.

Leaving the fort, we walk several blocks north to the base of the 208 foot cross. Mr. Leiner and I talk baseball. Bringing up the rear on the way back, we see three dolphins in the water.

LUNCH is at the Anastasia Park. I dine with Matthew P and Gerald, unaware of the chaperones at the next table. Afterward we load up the vans...and wait. Joel was riding shotgun, with Blake and my lunch partners. Mr. Landrum's SUV pulls out, speeding off without announcement. Mrs. Hanson says she's waiting on Tia, and I respond that Charles is probably out of range. Joel laughs when we determine it was MRS. Landrum who'd left in the SUV, and I looked quite dumb. Charles was with us all along!

NATURE WALK: Mrs. Hanson finds a turtle, and the entire large group of students rush back into the woods to see. I wave my arms, telling the students that too large a group may startle the beast and make it shy. I'd hate for the turtle to go into it's shell!

On the walk back to the cars, I convince Amber that I'm not stalking. Good thing she says. She's hate to have to "take me out." The turtle is identified as a Gopher Tortise. Out loud I wonder if it's not indeed a Mimic Octopus. Mr. Landrum laughs.

LIGHTHOUSE: What's a Living Science retreat without a trip to a lighthouse? Our guide, from Maine by way of Jersey, was quite the character. We tour the lighthouse keeper's house, learning of the early days of maritime navigation. We learn that the plural of "cannon" is "cannon." A hip Kansas State grad explains methods of exploring shipwrecks, including scuba diving. MC is impressed with her 4H tatoo, which escaped my keen observation.

Up top the view is wonderful. Will Sykes takes a creeper zoom photo of Elin far below...just as she creepily looks up and waves. Claire joins me snapping pictures of flowers. Creeping on her Facebook, I see what an amazing photographer she is. I was just taking the flower photos to keep Mrs. Howell interested.

BEACH TIME: Back at the hotel, we hit the wide beach. Alyssa / Will / Matt / Holt / Kevin / Kara play soccer. The 9th grade boys play long toss with a little football. Mallory leads the 10th & 11th graders in a big game of ultimate.

I chat with Mr. Rees, then tell Grace & Hannah how I once was talking to a girl, and we both pointed to a guy we were related to...making us related to each other. Then I described how the daughter in my "adopted" family married Hannah's cousin - making US related! Or something like that.

On the way in DNA researcher Michael Taylor tells me how the day's experiment was unsuccessful. Later Mrs. D confirms this, dove-tailing with the scientist's statements in that night's Answers In Genesis video. Hmmm...a light bulb goes off over my head.

Inexplicably, Mr. D's Wednesday reading invates Mrs. D's turf...

...a sneeze can travel 12 feet.

...average speed of sneeze is 68 MPH.

...a sneeze can reach a top speed of 104 MPH.

...the longest sneezing fit on record was 977 days.

...the longest bout of hiccups lasted 68 years.

...adults can produce one quart of respiratory mucus in a day.

Mr. Landrum repeats my Mimic Octopus joke, and gets a nice laugh. I feel good inside, for more than one reason. As Living Sound leads singing, I realize this may be my last Senior Retreat. Or the last one for a long time. I decide to make the next three days all the more special.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Retreat Recap: Day One

Random rememberences from Retreat Two. Day One/Tuesday...

Group A leaves around 5:50 am. I'm A3, joined by co-pilot Mrs. Taylor, Kat, Alex, Frances, Mary Clayton, & Brianna (alphabetical by last name). Before we hit 92, Mrs. Taylor gives me my first recap nugget, asking Alex if she remembered standing next to her at the Christmas Party over ten months ago. The girls giggle.

Minutes later I make a similar observation. I ask Brianna if she remembers seeing me at the Celebrate Freedom Concert on Labor Day. She did! I tell her a secret, that I was the one who texted the shout-out that her sister saw. Making the story even more boring, I go into even more detail about the shout-outs. Mary Clayton goes to sleep.

At the Rumble Rest Stop, Mrs. Taylor makes a bee-line to the trucker parking lot. Husband Mickey was waiting there with her purse. We're wearing orange shirts, so Mrs. Wiggins wears orange trimmed Nikes. Can't wait until purple shirt day.

Group A hops back on the highway, staying in the right lane for the immediate exit onto 475, bypassing Macon. Mrs. Phearson mans the A1 communicator, so the announcements sound professional, like the OnStar lady. She makes sure the A Group stays together. Led by the Norman 15 passenger van, the A Group lumbers along like a Gopher Tortise. I mention to Mrs. Taylor that Mr. Leiner is doing a nice job keeping his B Group well behind Group A.

It isn't long before the second stop, at the Exit 109 Pilot station. We gas up and weather. It's not until we're about ready to depart when the B Group shows up. It isn't until Friday that we discover he had taken 75 through Macon, which is nine miles longer (according to Google Maps). Fellow chaperones tease Mr. Leiner merclessly.

At the Pilot Mrs. Leiner becomes my co-pilot. Kat, Frances, Grace, Mary, and Brianna dig into the EPs. Us chaperones aren't much help answering the tough EP questions.

Next stop is at the Florida Welcome Station. It's the Big Mix, and a few Group B girls hop in the van: Jessica, Rachael, Hannah, Mary, and Claire. Back on the highway, they snap all kinds of pictures.

We take the Jacksonville Perimeter, then make one last stop at a I-95 rest area. On the fence surrounding a lake hangs a sign warning of poisionous snakes. Where do you think everyone gathers? Marshall poses in front of the sign, flopping on the ground. This isn't good. Mr. D calls as we're about to depart. He is pleased with our progress.

My A3 final group includes Jessica, Sandy, Frances, Rachael, and Hannah. Sandy pulls out her box of Little Debbie "Swiss Rolls" and offers one to Hannah. "Uh, my family only eats beans & rice." said Hannah. "And lentels" I warn her to proceed slowly. later Hannah admitted "feeling funny" after eating her first one.

We arrive at the Holiday Inn, and soon make our way to Fort Matanzas. I shuttle Mr. Winkler, Kevin, Will, Joel, and Michael Brewton. At the Fort one of Kevin's team members is hatless, a capitol offense. I offer Kevin the yellow cap I'd picked up at the LS yard sale, and later spot it on Will Sykes' noggin.

The groups take turns taking a nature walk, watching an educational video, and taking boat trips across the river to the fort. Snapping pictures, I wander, hanging out with different groups. Alyssa finds a frog, and labors to identify it. I take the last boat, with Kassie and Daniel. Young Master Ellis points to the Ranger at the wheel, wanting to be "with him." If you paid close attention on the boat, this is funny.

On the ride back to the hotel, I quiz my passengers on the hotel dinners. "Stay away from the meatballs" says Kevin. His opinion soon becomes reality.

Taking a break in the rooms, the students quickly find the balconies. The grid reminds me of The Brady Bunch. Perhaps we should play Hollywood Squares. In the parking lot below, Mr. Landrum shares a trick he learned in college, that involved ice water. The two 9th-grade boys in my room loved the idea.

Back in the conference room I see Jordan icing her knee. Since this reporter asks the tough questions, I quickly got the story. On her birthday, someone with the initials "AH" had pushed her in the pool. Jordan had slipped during the ensuing chase. Still trying to determine this AH character.

After dinner we view an interesting Answers In Genesis video, listing some of God's most amazing creations. One creature in particular caught my eye. I vow to make sure everyone remembers it.

Tozer Tuesday

It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it. Tozer

Four Halloween Parties

Had a good trip to St. Augustine. The temps were in the upper 80’s, so we were hot. We stayed on the go, starting with last Wednesday’s 4 am wakeup call…so I stayed pretty tired the whole time. Visited two old forts, the historic district, the lighthouse, and two state parks. Got to write and put on two chaperone skids.

I’m writing up a detailed recap, which I’ll post on the blog.

Got home around 9 pm Saturday. Ceil was bushed from her Wed-Sat SC trip, so we all slept in and watched NP Online. Worked around the house Sunday. Took Anna to a small NP party in Johns Creek, off Windward Parkway. Will went to a different party.

C, M and I went to our old small group leader’s home, where Matthew trick or treated with three friends. I followed, with the other three dads. Afterward I spent some time at Will’s party, off Sandy Plains Road. On the way to get Anna we hit videographer’s assistant Sandy’s party, with some of the retreat people. So I was gone for over six hours Sunday evening, to four parties.

With the kids doing homework last night, I missed about 90% of the entire World Series. Also saw little football. 104 days until pitchers and catchers report.

Plenty to catch up on at work!