Friday, December 31, 2010

Tozer Tuesday

Tozer..."Faith's way of working is to cast all care upon God and then to anticipate good results."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bingo Bob

In 2009 I referred to an especially long school parents meeting as “The Psalmist Faced the Parents Meeting.” A friend asked what I meant by this. I promised to tell her one day, but as many of you know, it’s impossible for me to tell a short story.

This is the true story of the famous Bingo Bob skit, performed in the early 80’s by the counselors at Camp SPdL…the beloved annual trek to rustic Camp Lee by the youth group of our Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church. Camp Lee is located in lovely Oxford Alabama, across the mountain from the Anniston Army Depot.

Bob Marsh arrived in 1978 to pastor Second-Ponce, replacing the beloved Russell Dilday. We seemed to still be getting to know Bob and his lovely wife Myra, becoming more acclimated with his unique way of delivering God’s word from the pulpit. As preachers go Bob was far from cliché: his messages were grounded in God’s truth, rich in allegory and metaphor. Early on some of us city folk may have thunk Marsh spoke too often of his time in Dothan Alabama, or of his son’s close friend, Alabama quarterback Steadman Shealy.

One memorable sermon used the Marsh’s neighborhood dogs’ personalities as examples. One dog was named Buckhead. It was because of that sermon that we later dubbed our golden retriever “Speedle”…since that’s how Second-Ponce de Leon’s anagram (SPdL) is pronounced.

In the years to follow the Marshes would become treasured friends to many us, sharing happy times, dedicating and baptizing and marrying off our children as well as sharing our deepest sorrows, speaking at the funerals of our closest friends. Now they are even our Facebook friends. Early on Bob even served as the preacher at Camp SPdL, to better acquaint with his flock.

That year Bob had delivered a long sermon series on Psalms. Each sermon was entitled “The Psalmist Faced…” along with whatever the Psalmist faced that week. We learned so much about God and the book of Psalms. Just when you thought he had run out of topics for the Psalmist to face, he would come up with another one. I’ll always remember “The Psalmist Faced…a Scowl.” The Psalmist often comes back in me, when I'm facing a particularly trying or epic event. Like the parents meeting.

But there’s more to the story.

Each night at Camp SPdL there was a special time of fun, after supper and before worship. Results of the afternoon’s athletic events were announced, along with the new team rankings (why was this SO important, anyway?). The “Camp President” was responsible for the fun time, re-telling humorous camp events, holding embarrassing contests, and conducting hilarious skits, usually with the help of many other campers. In later years a topical, funny Top Ten List was written and read each night by a quite handsome and witty young counselor.

What made this time unique and so special was that the asylum was run by the inmates, or in this case, the campers. The counselors could sit back and enjoy. Often they were called up on stage to participate in the fun, often at their own expense. And each night a different age group would put on a rehearsed skit. The younger grade’s skits were often simple and cute, while an older skit would be more involved. Late in the week, without introduction, the counselors put on a skit.

Chairs were arranged on stage in short rows. Counselors randomly filed in and sat down, as if arriving for a church service. As they entered, an “usher” handed them what looked to be a church bulletin. Minister of Music John Condra led the worshipping counselors in a short hymn.

Was it David Downing who got up to preach, impersonating Dr. Marsh? Downing’s “sermon” was peppered with Marsh’s mannerisms and catch-phrases. The “worshippers” seemed to be taking notes, mainly whenever a Marsh metaphor was mentioned.

After just a few minutes of this nonsense, one worshipper stood up and loudly shouted “BINGO BOB!” An attentive usher immediately escorted him away. As Downing/Marsh continued to preach, other worshippers repeated this scene, shouting “BINGO BOB!” one after the other. Several scored bingo. As Downing proclaimed “Let’s stand as we pray. Let’s pray as we sing. Let’s come as we sing. Let’s come as we stand. Let’s pray as we come…” the remaining worshipers stood, then sat, in confusion.

Finally the only three people left on stage were Downing, a counselor portraying Myra, and regular worshipper Fred O. Downing concluded “Let’s come, and come now.” Fred O leapt to his feet and exclaimed “BINGO BOB!” and rushed off, as the crowd roared. “Myra” looked around and exclaimed in her deep Southern drawl “Bob! Where have all the people gone?”

If ”Bob” had a reply, it was drowned out all the laughter.

Camp SPdL folk, this is only what I remember from this five minute skit that happened thirty years ago. Please correct any inaccuracies and add details that I’ve left out!

December Thrift Store Recap

I suppose I can count my December thrift store purchases as Christmas presents. This month I showed zero restraint, purchasing a total of 23 items (though that did include seven stocking stuffers). Will and Matthew WERE thrilled with the four things I got for them.

Top Ten December Finds:

1. Black Italian leather jacket

2. 1950’s era left-handed baseball mitt

3. Jeans (all I had were ugly faded Levis)

4. Light blue Joseph A Bank dress shirt

5. 1980’s era light blue Kansas City Kings # 15 jersey

6. Navy Chicago Black Hawks practice jersey

7. Green Masters golf shirt (I do have more Masters shirts than I need)

8. Navy Cal T-shirt (the XL may not look good on me)

9. Lime green 1970’s era replica Hawks jersey (Shareef # 3)

10. Grey Masters T shirt (XL, shouldn’t have bought)

My 2010 thrift store purchases most probably outnumber those from any previous year. As fun as it is, I MUST throttle back in 2011. Of the ten items above, I really only “needed” three of them.

In 2011 I’ll try to publish a monthly review of my progress. Hopefully my “Bigger Loser” diet and exercise involvement will take away time normally devoted to ducking into thrift stores. The urge is great.

I am increasingly retreating into my own little world, aren’t I?

The Jewish Jordan

At work Tuesday “the Jewish Jordan” came up. Remember him? Hotshot high schooler about 15 years ago. Signed with Maryland, but didn’t pan out. I texted Lang, asking if he knew his name. Only took him 15 minutes to answer. Tamir Goodman’s journey after high school is an interesting journey.

Plenty of year-end cleanup. Off Thursday and Friday. Not much else going on. Ceil and the kids return today.

Thursday M has practice, then we go to Cartersville to eat with the Gilberts. My boss is having an angioplasty, and may need a stint. Don’t know what we’re doing New Year’s Eve, or if we’ve been invited to any parties.

Matthew has a game Sunday.

My dad had a cancer scare, but found out yesterday it hadn’t spread. He’s having a tumor removed from his hip next week.

I had read about the move “The King’s Speech”. Colin Firth was on Letterman Tuesday night. The Black Swan looks interesting. Saw the Karate Kid and Going the Distance, which were good.


From Twitter Dec 29,2010 Msg: louiegiglio: Jesus, let your presence drown out our desire for things that don't matter in the end.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Same Old Tech

Hope you didn’t watch that Tech game last night. The defense finally plays well, and turnovers kill them. The fumble on the long drive, then two straight muffed punts gave Air Force three straight possessions, wearing out the defense. Tech would’ve won easily had Nesbitt played. Apparently Teven Washington is no Reggie Ball.

The Falcons loss does not concern me, though the offense is going to have to score against the Saints if they want to go to the Super Bowl.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Four Day Christmas Weekend

Wednesday I left work around 3:30. I was the last of the 15 employees on my side of the office to leave. There were a few transactional salespeople still taking calls.

Ceil and Will were out shopping, then we went to the 8 pm NP service. We arrived at seven, just as the 6 pm service was letting out. By the time we walked into the auditorium at 7:10, almost all the seats in the front sections were saved. A woman sitting behind us bumped me several times before the service, then loudly sang along while a soloist sang “O Holy Night.” Perhaps she was confused, since most of the songs were sing-a-longs. The Hurts sat with us, then we hung around almost an hour, talking to them and others. We saw Andrew’s mother and Jeff, and their cousins the Hargraves…who go to school with us and the Hurts.

Since the Hurts hadn’t eaten, we all went to Chilis. The Boise State was playing on the TVs.

Thursday I had made eye-doctors appointments for everyone. Will went ice skating that afternoon. That night Anna and I worked on Christmas cards. I still have a few to send out.

Friday Ceil went shopping, then I went out. I hated all the traffic. One of my favorite stores had everything half off, so I bought everyone shirts. Found a Cal T-shirt for me, as well as a nice Chicago Black Hawks practice sweater. Wednesday I had found a nice black Italian leather jacket.

Returned just in time to leave for the Passion Christmas service, outside at the Verizon Amphitheater. Even though the day had been sunny and relatively warm, it was a chilly two hours. Big crowd, filling the front section and most of the back seats as well. Like the respective Sunday services, the differences between the NP and Passion Christmas services were as expected. Both were tremendous, but in different ways. NP’s was focused, while Passion’s meandered. Louie extended an altar call for those wanting to accept Christ, then for everyone who’s accepted Christ in 2010. Those who came then lit the candles at the end of all the rows, and the service ended with all the candles it.

Afterwards we dropped Will at a Gilbert gathering. The rest of us watched The Karate Kid, and wrapped presents until after midnight. We all went outside to greet the Gilberts when they brought Will home. As I talked to Dr. Tom Will showed MC his tooth marks on the basketball pole, from many years ago.

Saturday morning we had breakfast and opened presents, then drove down to Macon for lunch. The whole crowd was there, a total of fifteen. Just before we arrived I noticed a tweet from Andy Stanley, but I didn’t read it because I was driving, and wasn’t wearing my glasses. After lunch I checked Facebook on my phone, and discovered several snow pictures. Later I read Andy’s tweet…that the snow had started before noon. The drive back to Atlanta was fine. We arrived just after dark.

To stay warm Friday night, Matthew finally wore the sweet Nike high-tops I’d gotten him a few months ago. Grey suede with orange strings and swoosh. He wore them down to Macon as well.

Sunday Ceil and the kids packed up at headed to SC via I-20. They ran into one heavy snowstorm before Augusta. Monday morning I saw where Anna had stayed up most all night with her cousins. Since it was so cold I didn’t do much, just laundry. Only went out to return the Toy Story 3 DVD we’d rented at Kroger. I’d been looking forward to watching the Eagles, but it was postponed. Instead I watched a show about bacon.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Will Work for Food

Last week we had lots of food here.

Wednesday was the monthly birthday celebration. People brought two breakfast casseroles, bagels, and a delicious carrot cake.

Thursday we had a catered luncheon, plus a dessert bakeoff contest. People were going back for more all afternoon.

Friday a vendor brought in cheesecake, brownies, cookies, chocolate cake, and red velvet cake.

Forgot to add that Sunday night we went to Subway before Passion City Church.

Weekend on the Go

It was a busy, tiring weekend. Friday was M’s practice and the small group party, which had lots of food.

Saturday I took M to Macon. We stopped at ChickfilA on the way down and back. My parents took us to eat BBQ, and M had ribs…his favorite. Watched Ga Southern fumble the semifinal game away. Bad rain on the way down, and traffic was backed up almost to Locust Grove on the way back.

Will & Ceil went to the Living Science open house Friday, but they got to the small group party by 8:30. W was gone Saturday night and Sunday afternoon as well.

Sunday night we went to Passion City Church over at Greater Atlanta Christian. Louie said they’d be moving into the Garmon Circle building in late April. Missed the Falcons, but saw some of the Pats/Packers.

North Point's Informational "Slides"

Before every North Point service begins, informational “slides” are projected onto the screens. Most are the same announcements published in the bulletin.

The Rainman in me counts these slides every week, and I thought it would be nerdy to publish the count as a Facebook status. Kevin, Haley, and Margaret “liked” the status, and Lynn has often commented on it.

Most large churches have many announcements to make. Johnson Ferry’s bulletin is almost a book: several pages printed in small print. I rarely read the NP bulletin, which seems to be designed for newcomers. Instead I marvel at the artwork, and use it to save seats. Sunday there were 17 announcements in the 8 x 12” bulletin, plus a welcome note and tear-off prayer request tab. I’m thankful NP doesn’t take the time during the service to talk about all of them.

Sunday I took note of what all the slides were. There were a record 24, due to several seasonal and one-time messages. As usual, the NP “sermon series” logo slide ran twice during the loop…almost never exactly at the halfway point. Those denoted with a (B) were also in the bulletin, and those marked with a (P) were announced during the service from the stage.

1. NP sermon series “The Thrill of Hope”

2. Today’s Bible verse

3. No service on Dec 26 (B) (P)…seasonal

4. Scoot to center of aisle (P)…seasonal

5. Career networking group (B)

6. Night of Worship Dec 22 (B) (P)…seasonal

7. NP Christmas CD for sale (B) (P)…seasonal

8. Starting Point meets after service (B) (P)

9. KidStuf meets January 9 (B)

10. NP sermon series “The Thrill of Hope” (repeat)

11. music copyright # 1

12. music copyright # 2

13. music copyright # 3 (usually there’s only two!)

14. turn cell phone ON…after service

15. first time visitor CD available (B)

16. Hope Ministers available after service (B)

17. NP online Christmas message (B) (P) seasonal

18. year-end giving info (B) (P)…seasonal

19. global-X mission trips

20. “Next” informational meeting (B)

21. Singles group meeting info

22. Andy’s new book on sale (B) (P)

23. bridge opened today (P)…one time

24. update on giving for bridge

A word on the musical copyright slides: These are interesting, as you can see when a particular NP artist wrote the song. it shows how current all the NP music really is. And you get advance notice that there’s going to be a special number performed to kick-off the service, like Sunday’s “Santa Came Down to Georgia” remix.

Matthew's Game

Matthew’s Tar Heels outscored their opponent in all four quarters, and cruised to a 30-14 victory Sunday.



Matthew continues to improve, and is becoming increasingly aggressive, especially on defense. He grabbed two defensive rebounds in the second quarter. In the second half he grabbed a loose ball and took off upcourt, dribbling. In the fourth quarter while on defense, he forced one jump-ball, then later he almost had a second.

As usual, Matthew played at least half the game, probably more. The Tar Heels had lost their first two games…the first due to not shooting enough, and the second when many good shots didn’t fall. This week his coaches mentioned shaking up the lineup. Sunday they called it “shock and awe”…starting their five best players.

I ran the scoreboard, while a dad from the other team marked the fouls. He said his son’s team had won a game, that their shots weren’t falling…a true statement. He graduated from Walton High in 1980 with the son of tech AD Doug Weaver. Now his daughter goes to Walton, and is friends with the daughter of the current Tech AD.

What Matthew Ate

Picky eater Matthew had a dream eating weekend. Friday night he had a huge table of food to pick from at our small group party. Saturday I took him to Macon, and we ate out three times. Sunday we stopped at Subway before Passion City Church.

Here’s the damages from Saturday and Sunday:

Two Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits

BBQ Ribs

French fries

Potato Chips

Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets – 8 count

Chocolate Chip milkshake

Subway 6” turkey and cheese


Yogurt stick



Two home-made burritos

Thoughts on North Point Traffic

The masses of drivers funneling into North Point every Sunday provide an interesting case study. There are proverbially two types of people in the world: those with “Type A” personalities, those driven, energetic, hard-charging, take-life-by-the-horns take-no-prisoners types, and the more introspective, laid-back Type B’s. While most “normal” churches are constituted with a more equal distribution of A’s and B’s, I contend that by virtue of its design, North Point attracts a vast majority of Type A personalities.

When Sunday-morning traffic starts backing up on Old Milton Parkway, these Type A’s reveal their true nature. Heading east toward the eventual right turn onto North Point Parkway, these church-goers consider it their God-given right to sail past the line of slow-moving or stopped, dutiful Type B cars in the far right turn lane. Only when they top the hill and near the intersection do they turn on their blinkers and barge their way over. Adding insult to injury, instead of then merging left into the line of cars preparing to make the left turn into the church lot, these Type A’s roar past in the right lane, looking to merge left after passing another twenty “less important” cars. Andy has even “joked” about these drivers from the pulpit.

But these me-first drivers aren’t finished. Many join the line of cars directing into the large northern lot, where the bridge has been built. Even though these drivers have waiting until traffic is at the heaviest, they make the line of cars behind them wait while they back their huge SUV into a choice parking space on the left. This way, after the service they can cut in front of dozens more cars when they leave. If several cars are behind me, I’m going to get into the space and out of the way as quickly as possible. Rather than holding up the line by baking in, I usually find a choice spot where it doesn’t matter.

I know I’m not the best driver in the world. I probably peaked years ago. I certainly I drive slower than I used to. My driving style is mostly defensive and considerate, with an efficient, light-on-the-gas pedal mentality to keep MPG high. I’m almost always driving right at the speed limit, or perhaps a little over. Still, other drivers will tail me, both on surface streets and highways. On multi-lane roads I do my best to remain observant of approaching vehicles, using the fast lanes only to pass or stay away from 18-wheelers.

Sometimes I WILL pass a line of cars instead of joining the line at the end. But I don’t expect cars at the front of the line to let me in. I will only merge if a slow driver leaves a large open spot. But if there’s no opening, I’ll take an alternate route, even if it’s longer. I gambled and lost.

When I’m in the slow-moving line, I try to stay close to the car in front of me. This way only the true jerks will barge in. It is true that some drivers did make a mistake or didn’t know where to turn. Usually these drivers will signal as soon as they realize their mistake. Last night I was stopped at a light, in the right lane second in line, preparing to enter the interstate. The sign overhead clearly read “85 south – right lane only”. While waiting, I surveyed the cars to my left. None had blinkers on. But as soon as the light changed a red sedan roared ahead, finally turning its blinker on. Should I feel bad for not letting it in? I’m trying to be considerate of those waiting behind me, who were waiting LONGER than the stud trying to jam his way in at the front.

It’s funny when speed-demons try to pass a group of cars by going around them on the right. They approach too fast, leaving no time for the slower drivers to merge out of the way to the right. Then when the speeding Type A driver tries to go around on the right, other slow cars are often there blocking the way.

Another pet peeve of mine is right turns. Some drivers will stop and wait for the light before turning. They’ll divert attention from the road, and won’t turn even if no one’s coming. It would be nice if more drivers would be so considerate that they move to the left if they’re going straight, allowing cars turning right room to proceed. Then when a right turn is made, it’s proper driving procedure to turn into the right lane. Any defensive driver knows to look out for drivers making a right and continuing way over to the left.

Four way stops also bring out the worst in drivers. Type A’s in luxury SUVs think they’re allowed to proceed through first, without regard for less-important neighbors waiting their turn. Conversely, distracted Type B drivers wait forever, having long forgotten any lessons learned in Drivers Ed. Or older drivers, perhaps. I try to keep in mind that older people are at a disadvantage competing with the ever-changing and increasingly denser byways of today.

During last week’s ice storm Atlanta suffered over a thousand accidents. The hilly rush-hour roads were jammed. I slid twice, once in the middle of crowded Holcomb Bridge Road. Even when I drove the speed limit, cars were on my tail. The next morning a driver roared past me on the right, then immediately changed lanes to pass another “slowpoke”.

George Carlin said, “Anyone driving slower than me is an idiot, and anyone driving faster than me is a maniac.”

It’s also been my observation that BMW drivers are the worst. Inconsiderate, too fast, and a me-first mentality. To them, it doesn’t matter if I’m in a lane…they’re coming over because they want to, because they’re driving a nicer car, because they’re more important. Mercedes drivers tend to be more oblivious, erring out of inattention. Some driving the largest SUVs and extended-bed quad-cab diesel pickups can hardly maneuver them. Do they really need such massive vehicles?

Some judge drivers based on the political leanings of the bumper sticker on display. It often appears cars brandishing the Christian “fish” symbol are deliberately taken advantage of. Not wanting to be a bad witness, I try to stay away from both. Don’t want to get a belligerent soul reason to inflict harm on my car.

Is my behavior un-Christian? Surely my attitude is. WWJD? Surely not let those Type A’s run all over the weaker Type B’s. The meek may inherit the earth, but they better watch out on 285.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Laundry and Laptops

Did six loads of laundry Thursday night, then picked up Will from the Normans. Kara and Alyssa were there watching Psych. Gotta keep tracking everyone so Kevin will keep reading!

Friday we have too much to do. Ceil is in the mood to shop, but she and Will need to be at the Living Science open house at five…so she can leave to make our small group party at seven or so. Anna gets through baby-sitting at 6:30, so she can’t go (but she’s had THREE sleepovers this week!). Matthew has practice / scrimmage from 7-8:20. The party is 1/2 mile away, so Anna and I will hit the party during practice.

Wunderkind Thomas may fix our old Dell PC. Yesterday his work PC died, and he was able to fix it without sending it to Chicago. Ceil’s mom may give us money in January for a new laptop, so we’d have three computers at home, plus my work laptop.

Most of these posts start as emails sent during the day. Thursday I wrote a long email and sent it out. Then I deleted it before making a blog post from it. A good recap of Matthew’s science project presentation, darn it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

funny story

We have this young salesman here at work who’s not afraid to say what’s on his mind, even if it’s politically incorrect. He can tell some tall tales. Plus, he’s got a voice that projects, so the whole room hears what he says.

When he was younger and single, he went to Blockbuster with his three male roommates. They were looking for a western, and picked Brokeback Mountain, not knowing what it was about.

I can just imagine what it looked like when the four of them went up to check out!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Phillies = NL Yankees

Cliff Lee to the Phillies is not good news. They’re becoming the Yankees of the NL. But like the Yankees, collecting all the great players is no guarantee. This year we gave them a run for the division until we succumbed to all the injuries.

I saw bits of the SMU 30 on 30, and hope to see the whole thing soon. The Pony Express was something, as I recall. Dickerson was out of this world, and looked it. Interesting that he finished up with the Falcons, where he seemed like a cool guy. I liked Craig James because he was a good white running back, then he wasn’t that great as a pro. Now I’m not a huge fan of him as a broadcaster. In those days there weren’t as many games on TV, unlike today. Of course, I liked the SMU uniforms. Glad they kept the same ones when they came back from the death penalty.

I watched that 30 on 30 about Marcus Dupree a few times.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Puma Voltaic

What's not to like?
Puma. Grey. Running Shoe.
I had loved these shoes, and had always wanted a pair. But I'm not crazy about the fit, so I gave them to Will. He was excited, perhaps about the orange trim. The perfect Clemson shoes.

More on Cam Newton

After publishing the post last Friday slamming Cam Newton, I realized he led the nation in passing this year. But its Newton’s great running opens up the passing lanes. In 2009 Josh Nesbitt led the ACC in passing, and he can’t hit the broad side of a barn. In warm-ups.

It goes without saying that Newton is way better than Nesbitt…and Tebow. He certainly deserved the Heisman trophy. But NFL teams rarely want a $75 million QB to run. Leading the NCAA in passing efficiency means little to the NFL. They want quarterbacks who can make all the throws, learn and run a sophisticated offense, and work within the parameters of the team.

Watching the Heisman presentation, I was impressed by the humility of the other three finalists. It’s great that Newton has the big smile and personality, but the players I like most direct the attention to the team, and not themselves.

Newton also needs to learn how to finish a speech, and not ramble. War Eagle? Had Chris Fowler not mentioned Pat Sullivan, the Heisman-winning Auburn QB standing behind Newton (and current head coach at an Alabama college), Cam would’ve ignored him.

Perhaps I’m expecting too much from a coddled athlete in his first year in the spotlight. Players and coaches say he’s a hard worker. If so, why wasn’t he included in the “student-of-the-game” segment with the other two QB’s?

I am a fan of the player who makes the most of his ability, who keeps his nose clean. Cam Newton is a great athlete. Can he stay out of trouble? Can he become an elite NFL quarterback? BEFORE he turns 30?

So I don’t like Cam Newton. Many hated Tiger, even before his fall. Or Derek Jeter. These guys I like. Perhaps I’ll list the players I like and dislike!


The Falcons last four games are against the lowly Panthers (twice), Seahawks (who got killed yesterday by SF, who has a losing record), and the Saints. Even if they lose to the Saints, the only way the Falcons lose another would be if they rest starters, which has been proven to not be a good strategy. The “expert” who predicted they’d close out 2-2 must want their pre-season pick (Eagles, Giants, Saints, or Cowboys) to look better.


Friday night Will took Anna to a sleepover, then hung out at the Normans. After eating Mexican for lunch, of course we had burritos for dinner (& leftovers for Saturday lunch). I took Matthew to basketball practice, so Ceil had a quiet hour at home. Later we discovered the DVD player had broken, so the three of us watched one of Ceil’s favorite shows: “What Not to Wear”.

The old TV we put in the living room armoire for the Wii / DVD/ VCR died a few months ago, so I was planning on getting a new one between now and just after New Years. Guess I’ll look for a DVD player as well.

Followed my normal Saturday morning routine of cleaning upstairs. Took Matthew to a Sunday School party in Alpharetta, then picked up Anna from her sleepover in Peachtree Corners. She went to see the new Narnia movie late Friday, then Induction on video Saturday. Watched some Army / Navy football before going back to get Matthew. Saturday night we watched the Heisman presentation.

Will had an interesting Saturday night. Mary-Clayton’s father picked him up at 4:30 pm, and they drove to Rock Eagle in east Georgia, near Eatonton. MC was singing at a 4H gathering there. Afterward her dad returned to Cartersville. I met them at the Roswell ChickfilA just before 1 am. MC’s friend Elin and older sister Anna were also on the late-night trip.

Sunday Andy reported that the iBand video had over 500,000 hits on YouTube. Monday he tweeted that Apple CEO Paul Allen had sent the link to all his Twitter followers. Saw Will’s friend Kevin at NP…he was reading my blog before the 11 am service. Ate at El Porton on the way home from NP, just Ceil and Matthew and me. Watched some Falcons. Sunday night Matthew and Anna were working on school projects.

Will got his hair cut Sat AM, and I got mine cut today.

Matthew's Second Game

Matthew and his Tar Heels showed great improvement, but lost their second game 29-23. Down 16-8 at the half, the Heels battled back, outscoring the Longhorns 15-13 in the last two quarters. In the last minute of the game they scored to cut the lead to just four points, before the Longhorns scored on last basket in the final seconds ticked down. The Heels were getting off more shots, many of which just missed going in.

After starting last week, Matthew played the second half of each quarter. After entering the game halfway through the first quarter, the ball was passed to Matthew the second time they had the ball. He turned to shoot, but was fouled. He went to the foul line for two shots, but missed both.

Just before halftime the taller Longhorns kept shooting and rebounding. Finally Matthew grabbed the rebound, just before the buzzer sounded. He also grabbed a loose ball in the second half, and played even better defense than the first game.

Next Sunday they play at 1:15 pm.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

MacGregor Johnny Temple Glove

Like Ray Crone, I had never heard of Johnny Temple until I found his baseball glove in a thrift store. Temple played second base for the Reds, a teammate of Frank Robinson's.
He played from 1952-1964, and appeared in six all-star games.
I bought the glove for three dollars, and saw it listed on line for $100.00. Unfortunately, a kid wrote W-E-L-S-H and D-A-D-D-Y on the letter per finger.
Unlike the Crone glove, my Temple glove is left-handed, like I'll enjoy it much more.
Interestingly, Temple's birthday is a day after mine.

Reach Ray Crone Mitt

Ray Crone pitched for the Milwaukee Braves, his MLB career stretched from 1954 - 1958.

A few years ago I stumbled across a glove similar to the one pictured here, a right-handed model.

Crone shares my birthday.

Friday, December 10, 2010


But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, "You are my God. My times are in Your hand..."-- Ps. 31:14-15a

These verses and quotes are tweets sent to me, mostly from Louie Giglio.

iBand Link

North Point’s “iBand” continues to make waves. Last night channel 11’s Brenda Wood showed a video on the news, and this morning WSB was talking about it. Here’s the link:

Wren says he’s happy with the team. I’m sure he’s still trying to move KK.

The Ogre took the gang out for Mexican at lunch today…Brad, young Thomas, Dialysis, and me. For a December, I’ve got plenty of work to do

Didn’t get to watch much TV last night. I’ve been tired, having stayed up too late this week. Stayed up past midnight again both Thursday and Friday night, but I had napped some during the evening.

Weekend is all Matthew: He has practice tonight, a Sunday School party Saturday, and a basketball game Sunday. Tonight Anna is going to Lynn Acuff’s son’s soccer game and a movie.

Cam's NFL Future...Bright?

Some “fans” can’t understand why the NFL rates Cam Newton below Stanford QB Andrew Luck. I’m not going to tell them what I’ve read and observed, because it will go in one ear and out the other.

While one of the most amazing athletes in college football history, Cam’s passing is far from pin-point. Little is said by fans when he misses wide open receivers, or how last week’s miracle touchdown pass as time expired succeeded only when the tipped ball serendipitously landed in another receiver’s hands. But scouts take note. It goes without saying that Newton is a much better runner and passer than Tebow. But Tim produced FOUR great seasons at the highest level of college football, while Newton just has one. Tebow was known for his work ethic, leadership skills, and spotless behavior. Though diligent at practice, Newton has left a wake of suspect behavior at every stop.

Similarly, ESPN’s 30 on 30 told how amazing Oklahoma’s Marcus Dupree was…for seven games. A rare talent, but a mere a flash-in-the pan compared to the lengthy college AND pro careers of the likes of Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Tony Dorsett, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Jim Brown, or Herschel Walker. Over the long haul, how will Cam Newton compare to the Peyton Mannings or Tom Bradys…much less a Donovan McNabb?

NFL teams will look long and hard before lavishing Newton with $75 million (the going rate for an elite QB drafted in the first round). The League is littered with high-dollar busts. The Tennessee Titans wouldn’t pick him, having been continually burned by the similarly-heralded Vince Young. Same with the Falcons…Michael Vick didn’t mature until his 30’s. JaMarcus Russell was an expensive disaster for the Raiders, as Ryan Leaf was in San Diego.

The Bengals and Lions will hold high draft picks, but don’t need a quarterback. Will the cold-weather Bills want to spend such a princely sum? The Cardinals just released washout Number One Pick / Heisman winner Matt Leinart. Reggie Bush has stayed away from character issues (while keeping up with the Kardashians) but has been hampered by injuries as a pro. Former Auburn QB Jason Campbell is no Cam Newton, and left a poor taste in the mouth of the Redskins (though he’s playing better in Oakland).

Should Newton fall in the draft, will cries of racism be heard? Perhaps Mark Richt had it right, that Cam’s best long-term future is as a tight end.

Only time will tell if Auburn’s magical season will remain unscarred from NCAA penalty. Right now Tiger fans are far too jubilant with their national championship aspirations to worry about such dire possibilities.

Not that it’s a slam dunk he’ll go pro. Cam says he loves Auburn. But he planned on leaving Florida when Tebow returned for his senior season, before Newton was kicked off the team. The Texas junior college was a one year layover. Now that the Mississippi State accusations and charges of cheating at Florida have surfaced, it may again be time for Newton to move on once more.

But will NFL teams be lining up to pay for his services?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Quote of the Day

Let each man pass his days in that endeavor wherein his gift is greatest. Propertius

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Dealing In Stolen Goods

Late Sunday night I took the van up to BP for gas. As usual, I spent the time while the tank was filling cleaning trash out of the car. When I went to the trash can, I noticed a pair of shoes had recently been thrown away. As a lover of shoes, this was too good. There wasn’t anyone around, but I didn’t want to look like the dumpster diver I was to any passersby. I quickly retrieved them, tossing them into the open rear door of the car without inspection. But I could tell they were big, but nearly new.

On the way home I checked them out. Huge…Size 16! White Nike Huarache high-top basketball shoes, with royal trim. Just a few slightly noticeable scuff marks, and just a little dirt in the bottom treads. Not new enough to swap out at a store like Rugged Warehouse. Too big for Willis Norman, but maybe Matthew Leiner can wear them. Or David Bartlett. Or I could sell them on Craig’s List. There aren’t many size 16 guys out there, but I could still get 25 or thirty bucks real quick.

At Monday’s mugging I considered putting them in a bag and presenting them to tiny Charles Norman, challenging him to aspire to large things.

Then it hit me…these shoes were probably stolen. Thoughts of Cam Newton’s laptop ran through my mind.

Do things like this only happen to me?

Joke of the Day

The AJC reports a Kennesaw State Accounting professor was dismissed for disrobing in class. His mug shot made him look much older than 57.

Must have been an advanced class, and they had to count past 20.

I never got that new math.

Book Corner

I wind up liking most of the books I chose to listen to on CD, but Josh Wolk’s Cabin Pressure was especially entertaining. He was a writer for Entertainment Weekly (I didn’t know this beforehand). Turning 34, he spent the summer before getting married as a counselor at the boy’s camp he’d attended every summer as a kid. Then he spent his college summers working there, and had always ached to return. It wasn’t the same when he returned over ten years later. He details his camp experience, dealing with lifer counselors and the campers’ varying personalities. It was easy for me to relate, having spent my 20’s as a Camp SPdL counselor, along with the past several years chaperoning on the Living Science trips.

December Reading List:

The Dwelling Place, by Elizabeth Musser. A year younger than me, Elizabeth was off at college when I became active at SPdL. Her younger brother has part of the large 10th grade group of students Ceil and I taught for three years in Sunday School. Sang in the adult choir with her older brother, who has season tickets for Tech football and basketball. C and A have read Elizabeth’s books, so I’ll give one a try.

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, by Chuck Klosterman. Nice title, though none of the three are scarcely mentioned in the book. Hilarious look at pop culture by a celebrated Gen-X writer. The essay on his struggles with "born agains" and the "Left Behind" movie made several great points in support of Christianity.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Charles's Mugging

Went to Living Science Monday night for Charles Norman’s mugging, the rite of passage ceremony for boys turning 16. Becky spoke, but brothers Joel and David didn’t. Will may have, before I arrived. Many kids did a great job giving short, funny, and encouraging talks…including Holt, both Hurt girls, and Alyssa’s youngest sister. The dad for one of the other three boys was my friend Matt, from the recent St. Augustine trip. His speech was good, and humorous. I should’ve spoken, but only one adult non-parent spoke, and it would’ve only extended an already long evening.

I’ve been thinking more and more about 2011 goals since Thanksgiving. Hopefully I’ll have time here to get everything set by year end. January looks to be slow as well, as my customer is pushing back startup to the 24th. I’ll have to begin some weekly duties starting tomorrow, but today I’m cleaning up details that had just been stacked up. Should be able to leave at three.

Last December I went to the Operation Christmas Child warehouse in Lawrenceville with Will’s class. Turned out to be a fun evening, mostly if you’re with people you know. The work certainly isn’t hard or overwhelming.

Tuesday morning I submitted my first five BP cards, so my first $10.00 gift card is on the way.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Matthew's First Game

Matthew’s Tar Heels lost their first game 31-15. One of their better players was missing, and another was bottled up and didn’t get the ball enough. The point guard could’ve shot more, too. The team they practice against also lost, by a similar score…I had thought they were about equal, or slightly better.

M had one rebound, and got off a shot from near the foul line. He was open, so it was good that he turned and shot. After a slow start, he played decent defense, with only a lapse or two near the end. He started and played the first half of all four quarters, then re-entered the game for the last minute and a half.

Friday night I took Matthew to the rivalry basketball game, Flight vs. Crown. Wasn’t much of a game…Flight won by 58, playing the entire bench. DJ had 19 and Connor 13…and 3 or 4 others were also in double figures. Will and some buddies painted their bodies for the game…I’m sure Kara, Alyssa, and Lucy were impressed.

Ceil and Anna went to a tea party at Living Science. Will and the girls should’ve gone. I ran into one of the tea party girls at NP Sunday morning, who knew some were at the game.

Cleaned upstairs Saturday until after 1:30. Didn’t watch much football, running errands during the SEC game. Saw Induction at the Picture Show. Quite an interesting movie…one of those you have to watch more than once to get it all.

At NP they always put on interesting musical productions for Christmas. Last year singers located in Buckhead, Alpharetta, and Cumming simultaneously sang parts of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” together. Yesterday ten “musicians” played Christmas songs on iPads, iPods, and iPhones. After the 9 am service Ceil kept running into people to talk to, and we wound up staying to watch the iPad songs lead off the 11 am service. By then my back hurt from all the standing.

Went to BP Sunday night, and of course they were already out of the cards. Might’ve been a weekend thing.

It won’t hurt too bad to have Werth go to the Nats.