Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Puma Urban Swift

Stumbled across these shoes on line. Hilarious!

Must Love Dogs

A friend asked me a good question…why do we have even one dog? We certainly can't afford one. It really was one of things done in spite of my "protests." Ceil really is comforted by having a dog around, and thinks it's a good thing for Matthew.
     In the last week M had grown close to little Ellie, the dog Joel Norman couldn't reunite with her owner. Yesterday Ceil took Ellie away, and M took it hard. Ellie got too excited when visitors came to the house, both at our house and when at the Normans while we were at the beach. When outside on a leash she would constantly try to run away. Several experts said she'd have to constantly be retrained, with no guarantee of change.
     Contrastingly, big Barney is very gentle, and enjoys settling in Ceil's lap. He eats less than Ellie, and can shake hands and sit. Hardly ever barks, except when he sees a dog on TV.

Catching Up

     M and A seem to like Passion Youth because of the young leaders, mostly in their 20's…some married, some not. Their strength is building relationships. Anna's leader is WSB weatherman David Chandley's daughter. The weekly meetings on Sunday afternoons are NOT huge mega events, but simple Bible Studies and acoustical singing.
     Contrastingly, North Point's Sunday youth program is a huge event, which attracts scores of teenagers (which is great, just not my kids' thing). Flashing lights and loud, amplified music. The Sunday morning small groups are great, but none of my kids like the Sunday afternoon big events.
     It's been busy at work, with a co-worker out from Thursday through Monday, and EZGo is really busy.
     At home we've really been into the Olympics. Watched the Opening Ceremony, and some of the action every day. 
     Caught the Braves when I can. I like the trade, though there are always those who oppose trades. Trading a highly touted minor league pitcher with an arm injury for a hot starter (to replace Jurrigans, who's been ineffective for the past 12 months) and an above-average outfielder (to spell the starters and provide a potent .400 pinch-hitting batting average) seems like a decent deal.
     Last Thursday Ceil went to Will's 4H banquet, where he was honored as a master 4H-er after just one year in the program (a rare feat). Will attended the Georgia Junior Miss pageant both Friday and Saturday, where MC stepped down as last year's queen. Sunday they attended MC's brother's play.
     Thursday night M had his last basketball game. Right before the game he ate two Taco Bell Beefy 5 Layer Burritos. Then only seven boys showed up, and M had to play 20 of the first 25 minutes (he lived). His lead took a large lead, and at the end some teammates were feeding the ball to Matthew so he could shoot. After the game he ate a piece of Mellow Mushroom pizza, that I'd brought home from work.
     Spent time this weekend working on eBay. Some jerseys sell for more than others, but I'm making twice more than I paid on all of them. Saturday morning I had my emissions tested, then I grabbed a chicken Philly cheese at Johnny's Pizza. Saturday night Matthew and I ate at Zaxbys (I had a salad) and attended his basketball ice cream banquet. Ceil and Anna went to Perimeter Mall.
     Down to one dog. Matthew was especially sad to see little Ellie go, so Anna drove me to get Monday Moes burritos. Will finally got his emissions tested, and played in the SPdL softball game.
     Caught the end of the SPdL service on TV Sunday. I missed Dock, but saw Charles Q introducing a new member.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Big Barney

Our new dog Barney isn't exactly a miniature poodle.

As the Braves Turn

Fans demand trades, saying to trade some pitching prospects. Then when Dempster for Delgado is floated, people come out against the deal. They want something for nothing. Think they’ll be able to re-sign Dempster or Sheets? Sounds like Dempster would like to move west, but Atlanta might be a good fit for Sheets.

Delgado does seem too easy-going. Saturday he walked Espinosa (.229 BA batting lefty) with two out, then allowed the minor-league call-up pitcher to single to right. I think Espinosa scored on a wild pitch. Delgado has done worse than Minor, though his Saturday performance wasn’t that bad. Some were even saying signing Sheets was a dumb move.

I know this is way too early to think about it, but who would the Braves replace Fredi with? Pendleton?

Instead of fussing over Matthew all last week, I was the first one from our crowd out on the beach almost every day. I broke the unwritten rule: I read books all week, instead of shooting the breeze with the guys (or more often, not saying anything),. Eventually Matthew would come out, and we’d go ride the waves for a while. Then he’d go inside again. Except for a quick lunch break, I stayed out on the beach until around 6 pm, when the guys packed up the tents and went inside. Being out on the beach so long helped keep me off the grid.

Matthew did fit in with the rest of the young people better this year. All the grandchildren went out to eat on their own, and he joining their late night scene: walking on the beach, late night putt putt, the midnight Batman premiere, and checking out the nearby rides. Most of the kids slept past 10 am (except Will), and Matthew slept past 11 am.

I went to one Pelicans game. I was out running an errand and remembered they were playing, so I swung by and caught the game. Last night a group from work went to the Gwinnett game, and two co-workers were picked for the closest to the pin contest.

On Saturday July 14 we were ready to leave for the beach, and I was worn out from the previous 24 hours: the long day at work Friday, packing the van, carrying M and A’s two huge suitcases across the PCC parking lot, driving for 7 hours, unpacking the van, sleeping in a strange bed, and packing the van and my in-law’s car. My father-in-law saw my pain and reached in his pocket for his pills. He handed me a little white pill, which I took. My back felt fine for the next two days, even after driving 3 hours and unpacking both cars.

Monday night C cooked wings and kale. I had yogurt. Tuesday was stir fry. Last Saturday C drove to Greenville to pick up a new dog. Right now we have two, until we can get the first one placed. Not a good situation.

Will is attending the 4-H state congress for the rest of the week, near Perimeter Mall. Above is a photo of Will giving his award-winning speech. Tomorrow they are going to Six Flags. Saturday is Georgia’s Junior Miss Pageant. As the reigning queen, MC is spending all this week rehearsing and attending events with this year’s contestants. Yesterday she was at the Ga Aquarium and World of Coke, where she posed with an Olympic Torch.

Monday, July 23, 2012

"Sightseeing" in SC

Friday was a typical beach getaway day. We usually leave on Fridays, so must of it was normal. We’d thought about staying until Saturday morning, but we’d have to be out by 10 am. MC needed to get back. After going to the midnight Batman premiere, she didn’t wake up until 10 am Friday morning (earlier than most of the other kids). She had hoped to return to Cartersville by suppertime, but Will said they planned to go out on the beach. Ceil wanted to as well.

I arrived out on the beach just before noon, arriving shortly after Phil & Teresa. Ceil, Will, and MC didn’t arrive until almost an hour later. We stayed for a little while, then went in to pack. Will thought we could get six people plus all the luggage and leftover food inside the van. He tried for a while, then I convinced him to strap the four largest suitcases on top. I finished packing everything else inside. Meanwhile, a small crowd of family members gathered to watch Will tighten the straps. They looked unconvinced, but we didn’t have a problem with the bags. Had we been more efficient, we could’ve left an hour earlier.

Left NMB at 4:55. Drove to Florence, where Ceil used my iPhone to guide us to Chickfila (our GPS was back in Atlanta). We followed Ceil’s directions for 30 minutes, though I kept telling her they weren’t right. By the time she figured out what to do, we were 30 miles south of Florence, in the middle on nowhere. I found a main road that went straight to Columbia, through Sumter. In all, we lost an hour, traveling an extra 60 miles. Arranging her parents pickup time, I predicted a 1 am arrival.  

Stopped in Augusta for gas and a short break, and got back on the road at 10:20 pm. I checked the bags on top of the van…they were still dry even though we went through a brief thunderstorm in Columbia. Went through another short thunderstorm in Lithonia, but again our bags remained mostly dry. Drove in our East Cobb driveway at 12:50 am…not far off my prediction.

Completely unpacked the van and sorted through the mail. Checked my phone to discover the extraordinary Braves comeback I had missed. Went to bed around 1:45. Less than five hours later my phone rang, and I had to sort out a problem at work.

Saturday Ceil and Anna drove to Greenville to pick up Barney, a huge dog, from Tracey Boyd’s mother-in-law’s sister. We’re in the process of handing off Ellie, our current dog…she’s not really working out well. Saturday and Sunday I watched the Open and the Braves, and did lots of stuff around the house. Both nights we had pizza…Sunday’s was from PaPa Johns.

I knew last week was crazy, so I’ll be in catch-up mode for a while.

Friday, July 20, 2012

"Busy" Thursday

Since I was up early Thursday with not much to do, I ran to the Cherry Grove Pier and back. The wind was pretty stiff for the early morning. After breakfast I went to the Post Office and mailed off the three jerseys that I'd sold on eBay. I've got three more jerseys for sale right now, with a bid on one of them. Didn't get out on the beach until about 12:30. After a LATE lunch the wind and surf were real bad. Matthew and I could only stay in the water for five minutes, and we were dragged over one hundred yards down the beach.

Ceil's parents decided not to go to Bonefish with Ceil's brother and several others. Instead Ceil's parents took Ceil, Will, MC, and Matthew to Stephens Seafood...it's Ceil's mom's favorite. Great seafood in a simple setting. Stephens lacks the snazzy atmosphere of Bonefish...which seems to be why some of our group don't like Stephens.

I like Stephens, but someone needed to drive across town to pick up the slacks Will had taylored at Joseph A Bank. On the way I realized the minor league team had a game, not a mile from the mall. I arrived at game time, and the parking lot was overflowing. The game was a sellout, but I was able to buy a standing room ticket. Fans were standing in the ailse between the lower and upper seats, leaning against a brick wall. That's where I stood...right behind the plate. The warm bricks felt good on my back. The MB pitched had a no-hitter going with one out in the eighth inning, before it was broken up by an RBI double.

After Stephens WiIl, MC, and Ceil's mom went to the Par Three course. I came home and went to bed at ten. All the kids went to the midnight showing of the Batman premiere.

We kinda did it to ourselves with the sleeping arrangements. My five stays in a 3 bedroom condo with Ceil's parents. The third bedroom has two double beds, but Matthew doesn't like to sleep with anyone. In the past Anna has slept in the bed with Ceil's parents. With Ceil's dad's encouragement, this year Will brought Mary-Clayton along (she flew in on Sunday). Most nights the two double beds are filled with MC, Anna, and her two cousins. Will and Matthew have been sleeping on the couch, then M takes my place when I wake up. Last year M brought along a friend, but Will didn't come last year.

Ceil's brother Rusty's family has their own three bedroom condo, on this same fourth floor. Not sure who pays for it. I guess the idea is that since we see less of Ceil's parents, we stay with them. Ceil enjoys it, and I sure don't mind. Rusty has young guests in their condo, and his in-laws from Abbeville spent Thursday night there (I think). Ceil's cousin Phil (Victoria's dad) has an eighth floor condo for his family of five, and Larry & Susan's young family is also on the eighth floor. I think Monte & Lynn's young family are staying with Larry. George & Stephanie's young family are staying off site, but join us on the beach every day. I've enjoyed hanging out with George this week. He's a good, down to earth guy who loves sports. Not that all the guys aren't the same. In all, there are 51 here in our gang.

This past Sunday George, Larry, and the guys were closely watching how Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey finished up in the PGA tourney. He's from Bishopville, which is near Jefferson. George and Rusty have played golf with Tommy, and a few years ago we saw Tommy at Bonefish here a North Myrtle Beach.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

2012 Myrtle Beach Crowd

1. Ceil
2. Will
3. Anna
4. Matthew
5. Mary-Clayton

6. Edwin
7. Joan
8. Phil
9. Teresa
10. Zane
11. Beau
12. Victoria
13. Beau’s girlfriend
14. Lennie
15. Corrine
16. Rusty
17. Kelly
18. Ben
19. Catherine
20. Jordan
21. Preston
22. Billy
23. Lifeguard
24. Monte
25. Lynn
26. Stone
27. Larry
28. Susan
29. Hart
30. Slade
31. Red
32. Jane
33. George
34. Stephanie
35. Gracie
36. Georgia
37. Son
38. Chuck
39. Jackie
40. Whitney
41. Boyfriend
42. Donnie
43. Donna
44. Lindsey
45. Corey
46. Grandkid
47. Grandkid
48. Grandkid
49. Pops
50. Sam
51. Florine
52. Me

Holden Beach NC

Another long day at the beach on Wednesday. The wind was blowing up sand in the afternoon, so it wasn't as pleasant. This year I've been spending just about all day on the beach, under Phil's tent. I'll go out there about 10:30 or eleven, and stay until around six, with only a break for lunch (chicken salad sandwich on toasted wheat).

Matthew will make one daily appearance on the beach, immediately heading out in the water to ride the waves. I'll go out with him. Once he's finished he heads back inside. Anna spends all day with cousins Victoria (15) and Jordan (14). They don't stay in one place for long: visiting various condos, swimming in the ocean, hanging out in the grassy area between the beach and condo. The routine continues at night, with late-night walks on the beach dips into the hot tub. With MC at his side, Will has spent less time than usual hanging out with his cussin' cousins.

For dinner we drove 32 miles one way / 50 minutes north to Holden Beach North Carolina to eat at Provisions, run by Ceil's sister-in-law's extended family member (when you live in Jefferson SC, you're used to driving that far to go out to eat). The rustic seafood restaurant is on the intercoastal waterway, almost under the main bridge headed to the beach. Holden is no Seaside or Destin. We had about 28 in our party. Ceil had one of their famous shrimp burgers. I tasted it...it was good, but a little too much seafood for my allergies. My burger was pretty good, but the fries were limp and tasteless.

It was after 11:30 by the time we returned. C had promised M we'd go on a hot Krispy Kreme doughnut run. We dropped Will, MC, and Ceil's dad at the condo, then hit KK. At midnight the KK was pretty busy. There were at least eight employees working, so the service was good. When we returned I went right to bed, but at 7 am I awoke to Ceil's dad banging around in the kitchen. I knew Matthew was sleeping on the couch, so I got up and moved him into my bed. Anna and her two cousins were also out sleeping in front of the TV. That meant the second double bed in MC's room was vacant, and beds in two other condos were vacant as well. Hopefully I can catch up on my sleep when we return to Atlanta.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Life at the Beach

Sunday Ceil and I went for a walk on the beach at 7:30 am. For Ceil, a walk on the beach means looking for shells. Since we were out much earlier than normal, she found lots of suitable shells. We did go further than usual. Ceil's dad always cooks bacon and eggs and grits at the beach (and chocolate milk for the grandkids). I was the first of the crowd out on the beach, and read over one hundred pages of Grisham's The Partner. Only took a short lunch break inside, where I got a Braves update. Sheets looked good.

Ceil had taken Anna and her cousins to Target for bathing suits. In the afternoon I toop a dip in the ocean with Matthew...the water was quite warm. I was one of the last of our crowd to leave the beach, at almost 7 pm. Ceil's dad had made chicken salad, pimento cheese, and homemade peach ice cream, but they got Kentucky Fied Chicken for dinner.

Haven't been to Warm Springs in years but would like to go again. Read a book one time where a female was stalking FDR and followed him to Warm Springs. Just as she was about to pounce, he had his stroke.
I was following the Braves game last night, and by the time I got to a TV the SF lead was so big that I didn't bother turning it on.

I've been spending lots of time on the beach. Took another "walk" with Ceil Tuesday. She picked up over one hundred seashells, and had a hard time carrying them back. I was the first one out under the tent Tuesday, and was the last one off the beach. Finished Grishom's The Partner" on Monday and Tuesday read half of Walker Percy's "The Moviegoer". Last night I finished the Smoltz book as well.

Ceil took Will shopping Tuesday, and MC tagged along. Bought a sport coat and slacks at Jos A Bank. Matthew, Anna, and their cousins went putt putting late Monday night, and Will and MC went putt putting late Tuesday. All the grandchilder and thier friends ate at Wild Wing Cafe Tuesday night...at least 14 of them. Most of them come to our condo for breakfast...Ceil's dad enjoys cooking the grits, bacon, and eggs. Every day I fix a bacon, egg, and cheese toasted sandwich.

Monday night we had spagetti in the condo. Ceil's dad's meat sauce is simple and good. Tuesday night Ceil and I went with her parents to the K&W Cafeteria. I had veal parmegan, creamed spinach, and sweet potato souffle.

Monday, July 16, 2012

MORE Braves Uni Suggestions

I write about the Braves uniforms too much. On the drive to SC I actually came up with some new ideas, so good that I vowed to write the Braves management about them.

Dear Sir:

I think the crème jerseys are a huge hit. Great job! I’m sure they’ve been a big success financially, as well. I’m all for anything that gives the Braves more money to spend on players, and the Turner Field experience.

Here are several inevitable uniform suggestions. Some will create revenue, but all can be hit with the fans and players.

Striped Stirrups / Socks: along with the crème unis, striped socks add to the traditional look. Think how good Prado and Venters would look! A simple, easy improvement.

Wear the Civil Rights Unis all weekend. Make good use of them, since they’re a one-time deal.

Throwback Fridays: Several teams (Angels, Astros, Rangers, Blue Jays, White Sox) have special once-a-week unis. Instead of the red jerseys, pick out one uni from the past to wear every Friday. One year it can be the popular “Feather” unis, they next year maybe the light blue Dale Murphy model. If the players prefer button-front jerseys instead of the pullovers, that’s fine.

New Road Unis: another way to increase jersey revenues is to tweak the road uni. Be bold: replace ATLANTA with BRAVES. Keep the tomahawk (in red or historical black) WITH the front number. And why not large RED names on the back? A darker grey would look sweet, and look more traditional.

Other suggestions: ditch the navy jerseys and tomahawk A caps. The solid road caps look great. A third cap can be the old Boston Braves block B cap.

Keep up the great work, with both the team AND the uniforms.


Sac Fly

Upton < Prado

Hopefully the rumors of a Martin Prado for Justin Upton trade are greatly exaggerated. Unless there are long-range financial imlications, I see no advantage in the deal. None of the experts (Mark Bowman, David O’Brien, or the fussypants at Rowlands Office) speak favorably about such a trade. Statisically, it makes no sense at all.



Unlike Prado, Upton cannot play every infield position, or replace Chipper at third base next year.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Braves: Solid Personel Decisions

Fans are constantly bad-mouthing Braves GM Frank Wren for his personnel decisions, or his lack thereof. Whenever a player is traded away or allowed to leave via free agency, a certain number of fans complain. Most of the time that player became too expensive to keep, and the Braves usually had a talented young (and cheaper) player ready to step into their place.

This morning I had time to peruse the MLB boxscores, so I listed the batting averages of all the ex-Braves I could find, as well as other players mentioned in trade / free agent rumors over the past few years. At every position the Braves currently have players with higher averages. Looks like sound decision-making to me.

375 Brian McCann (last 7 games)
375 David Ross (last 30 games)
282 David Ross
307 Y Molina
265 B. Pena
240 J Saltalamaccia

347 Freddie Freeman (last 30 games)
275 Freddie Freeman
262 Adam LaRoche
251 Mark Teixeira
241 Casey Kotchman
212 Adam Dunn

299 Andrelton Simmons (last 30 games)
293 Elvis Andrus
274 Rafael Furcal
258 Wilson Betemit
254 Yunel Escobar

322 Chipper Jones
333 Dan Uggla (last 7 games)
286 Omar Infante
263 W Aybar
214 Brooks Conrad
130 Mark DeRosa

333 Jason Heyward (last 30 games)
318 Martin Prado
311 Michael Bourn
288 Mark Kotsay
288 David Murphy
282 Hunter Pence
281 Bryce Harper
276 Jason Heyward
268 J Upton (DBacks)
262 Cody Ross
260 Dwayne Wise
255 Jeff Francoeur
245 B Upton (Rays)
238 Andruw Jones
236 Cody Ross (last 30 games)
228 Rick Ankiel

Dan Uggla and Brian McCann have been slumping, but it's unfair to blame thier performance on the GM or manager. After slumping early last year, Uggla rebounded with a long hitting streak...hitting over .400 for over a month. Both have recently shown a resurgence at the plate, hitting over .333 in the last seven games.

On to the Beach

Left work Friday just after three. Drove home, then Will, Ceil, and I left in the van. Took the dog to the Normans, drive fought traffic down to PCC. The busses were just unloading. Got in the downtown connector traffic at 5:30. Wrecks and the thunderstorm made for gridlock.

Dined at an Augusta Moes. I was feeling tired and had a headache, so I ate, and drank a big Diet Mountain Dew. Felt better, and made it to Jefferson by 10:45. Thanks to the Dew, I didn't sleep well.

Saturday morning I filled up the van with gas, packed my in-laws' Jeep (and our van). Left at 11 am for the beach. Made our traditional Wendys stop, after witnessing a hit and run at a stoplight. Made it to the condo by 3 pm. Unloaded the cars. Took a nap while C and her dad went to the grocery. Watched the Braves and read my Smoltz book. PaPa Johns for supper.

Ceil and I went for a walk on the beach at 7:30 am Sunday morning. For Ceil, a walk on the beach means looking for shells. Since we were out much earlier than normal, she found lots of suitable shells. We did go further than usual. Ceil's dad always cooks bacon and eggs and grits at the beach (and chocolate milk for the grandkids). I was the first of the crowd out on the beach, and read over one hundred pages of Grisham's The Partner. Only took a short lunch break inside, where I got a Braves update. Sheets looked good.

Ceil had taken Anna and her cousins to Target for bathing suits. Will and his cousins went to MB International to pick up MC. In the afternoon I toop a dip in the ocean with Matthew...the water was quite warm. I was one of the last of our crowd to leave the beach, at almost 7 pm. Ceil's dad had made chicken salad, pimento cheese, and homemade peach ice cream, but they got Kentucky Fied Chicken for dinner.

Seaver was always one of my non-Braves favorites, and I remember how good Gibson and Ferguson Jenkins were...also Nolan Ryan, a good guy. I've come to enjoy Don Sutton on the Braves broadcasts, and Niekro is a big favorite. He can still probably pitch every day in relief.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Artists and Braves fans, sharpen your pencils! Since we live in an age of political correctness, our beloved Atlanta Braves can no longer wear the beloved Indian head patch on their uniform.
This got me thinking: at some point in the future the Braves beloved ex-owner Ted Turner will pass away. Perhaps the team will honor him with some sort of patch. One of the iconic photos of Turner came as he won sailing’s America’s Cup, when he was known as Captain Outrageous. Interestingly, this photo is quite similar to the classic Braves Indian head logo.

This is where you artists enter the picture (ok, drawing). Your assignment: Draw a cartoon Ted Turner head patch that bears a close resemblance to the Braves Indian, and post it on your Facebook page, tagging me. We can all “judge” the entries. I’ll even submit the best entry to the Braves front office, suggesting that the patch be used as a future memorial (hopefully in the DISTANT future!). For inspiration, here's another astonishingly similar picture: 
I have several talented artist friends, many of whom are Braves fans. Some are even professionals. Rob and Joe Suggs and Nancy Shippen head the list, but there are many others. I can’t wait to see the results. Are you with me?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Degrees of Separation

Louis Williams, the guard the Hawks are signing, played boys basketball at South Gwinnett at the same time my young co-worker Mandi played on the girls team. Mandi went on to play at Georgia College.

Took Ceil to Lenox Wednesday night to exchange a shirt. Had she not started cooking a meatloaf, we would’ve eaten at Jalisco’s. Jalisco’s is always crowded and loud, but I can handle it better than Pappasitos. When we got home we watched some of the ESPYs, and Modern Family.

Tuesday night we arrived back home just before the NL introductions. Missed all the other pregame stuff, which I enjoy. Chipper received a huge, extended ovation, matched only by the Royals representative.

Places I've Been

ALABAMA: Anniston, Auburn, Birmingham, Boaz, Cullman, Dothan, Enterprise, Florence, Gulf Shores, Guntersville, Huntsville, Montgomery, Phenix City, Tuscaloosa
ARIZONA: Mesa, Phoenix
ARKANSAS: Blytheville, Fort Smith, Little Rock, Shreveport, West Memphis
CALIFORNIA: Anaheim, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Modesto, Oakland, San Francisco, Yosemite
COLORADO: Colorado Springs, Denver, Pueblo
DELAWARE: Wilmington
FLORIDA: Daytona Beach, Destin, Jacksonville, Ft. Myers, Kissimmee, Miami, Orlando, Ocala, Merritt Island, Panama City, Rosemary Beach, Seaside, St. Augustine, St. Georges Island, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Tampa, Titusville
GEORGIA: Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Blue Ridge, Brunswick, Carrollton, Cartersville, Columbus, Cornelia, Cumberland Island, Cumming, Dahlonega, Dalton, Dawsonville, Eatonton, Ellijay, Gainesville, Jekyll Island, Helen, La Grange, Macon, Madison, Marietta, Milledgeville, Moultrie, Newnan, Peachtree City, Pine Mountain, Ringgold, Rome, Royston, Savannah, St. Marys, St. Simons Island, Statesboro, Toccoa, Tybee Island, Valdosta, Villa Rica, Warner Robins, Washington
ILLINOIS: Chicago, Springfield
INDIANA: Auburn, Butler, Crawfordsville, Gary, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Ladoga, South Bend, Terre Haute, Valparaiso
IOWA: Winterset
KANSAS: Wichita
KENTUCKY: Bowling Green, Lexington, Louisville, Owensboro
LOUISIANA: Monroe, New Orleans, Shreveport
MAINE: Augusta, Bar Harbor, Bangor, Kennebunkport, Lewiston, Portland
MARYLAND: Baltimore, Hagerstown
MICHIGAN: Detroit  
MISSISSIPPI: Jackson, Hattiesburg, Tupelo
MISSOURI: Kansas City, Maryville, St. Louis, Tarkio
NEW JERSEY: Newark, Staten Island, Trenton
NEW YORK: Albany, Cooperstown, Corning, Elmira, New York City, Niagara Falls, Rochester, Stamford
NORTH CAROLINA: Ashville, Black Mountain, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Concord, Durham, Gastonia, Greensboro, Goldsboro, Hickory, Kitty Hawk, Monroe, Raleigh, Ridgecrest, Winston Salem
OHIO: Cincinnati, Dayton, Sidney
PENNSLYVANIA: Harrisburg, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre
SOUTH CAROLINA: Anderson, Camden, Charleston, Chesterfield, Clemson, Columbia, Florence, Georgetown, Greenville, Hilton Head Island, Jefferson, Lancaster, Lugoff, McBee, Myrtle Beach, Orangeburg, Pageland, Pendleton, Rock Hill, Spartanburg.  
TENNESEE: Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville
TEXAS: Arlington, Amarillo, Carrollton, Dallas, Garland, Houston, Plano
VIRGINIA: Arlington, Chancellor, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Lynchburg, Mt. Vernon, Richmond
WEST VIRGINIA: Charleston, Ghent, Martinsburg
BERMUDA: Hamilton
CANADA: Niagara Falls

UCF Spurns Crowell

Last week my co-worker was at Lake Hartwell with her parents. Her dad received a call from Isaiah Crowell’s high school coach, wondering if Central Florida was still interested in Crowell. Coach O’Leary said no. You won’t read this story anywhere else on the internet.

Good all star game to watch, even if the NL jumped out to the big lead. I would’ve been happy if they’d pinch ran for Chipper…that would’ve given him another standing ovation. Didn’t realize Melky’s English was so bad. Perhaps that had something to do with his weight gain, and not being in good spirits while in Atlanta. Funny story by Mark Bowman, how a Braves coach thought he was a new catcher.

Ceil and I ate at Pappasitos Monday night. Hadn’t been there in a few years. Ceil had a Mexican soup and I had chicken enchiladas. The food and service were excellent, but the place seems touristy to me. I’d much rather go to Nuevo Laredo or El Porton. Watched some of the Home Run Derby.

Tuesday night we had Moe’s take out. Ceil had eaten lunch with Becky Norman and another couple. Can’t remember the last time Ceil and I have had a week to ourselves.

Our 13 person department is pretty much all in our 40’s and 50’s. The Ogre turns 60 this month, as does the oldest lady. Got a bunch to do here at work before going to Myrtle Beach next week. Mary Clayton will be joining us, but Matthew won’t have a friend along. The Pelicans will be in town most of the week.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

All-Star? Not Hanson

Some Braves fans are saying Tommy Hanson deserves a spot on the All-Star team, but compared to the starting pitchers on the team, his stats are the worst. Hanson earned his tenth win after the teams were named, and there are already four Braves named to the team. The four other pitchers with at least ten wins reached that total in 17 starts. It took Hanson 18 starts to reach double digits.







RA DICKEY: best record, lowest ERA & WHIP
M CAIN: perfect game
S STRASBURG: most strikeouts, fewest walks
C KERSHAW: 2011 Cy Young, only healthy Dodger
G GONZALEZ: 12-3 record for the Rockie
W MILEY: only Diamondback
C HAMELS: every stat superior to Hanson
L LYNN: 11 wins in 103 innings
T HANSON: fewest innings/start, highest opp avg & WHIP

Ranking the NL ASG Closers

Of the five closers named to the National League All-Star team, the Braves’ Craig Kimbrel has by far the most dominating statistics.


C KIMBREL: most saves, highest K/BB ratio, lowest avg against & WHIP
A CHAPMAN: 4 blown saves
H STREET: no blown saves, but only 13 chances
J HANRAHAN: 3 blown saves
J PAPELBON: 2 blown saves

Will’s teammate Perry has worked out with Kimbrel in north Alabama.

Thursday Friday Sunday Tuesday

Busy weekend. Thursday night we celebrated Will’s birthday at the Flip Burger on Roswell Road. The food was great, but my favorite burger is still Fuddruckers. Later Will and MC went to trivia. Afterwards Joel, Kevin, and Haley came over from strawberry shortcake. I took Anna, Matthew, and Victoria to the 9:45 showing of the Katy Perry movie (so I had to pick them up at 11:30).

Friday I was in meetings all day with the Ogre, to determine the accuracy of a certain metric. We determined what the number should be. The YTD number was exactly what it was supposed to be. More meetings this afternoon.

On the way home from work I picked up supper for A & M, then Ceil and I went to Oglethorpe to see Georgia Shakespeare’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” with Tech legend Gene Lorenz (& his wife Ann). The actors did a fine job, though I’d liked other plays they’d done better. Got home around 11:30. Will and MC went kayaking on the Chattahoochee Friday

Early Saturday Will and Matthew went out kayaking. I cleaned the upstairs and read good chunks of both Ann Rice’s “Out of Egypt” and the Smoltz book. Smoltz’s book is ok. I’m learning things I didn’t know, though he belabors too many points. Seems obvious that long portions of the book are just transcriptions of Smoltz talking.

Sunday I posted five jerseys on eBay. Three of the jerseys have a total of twelve watchers, with one bid so far. Hopefully tonight I’ll post two more jerseys for sale. I was pumped from a quick sale last week. The buyer was local, so I delivered the item to the man on the way home from work. He showed me his “man cave”: filled with Babe Ruth statues and other memorabilia.

Will and I took the kayaks back to Lynn Acuff’s house. Passion celebrated Easter Sunday, because it was the week Louie covered John 20. Last week’s Beth Moore services were the largest ever attended at PCC, with hundreds in overflow areas. There were also several baptisms, including a former basketball teammate of Will’s. DJ, David & Joel Norman, Kevin, Haley, and MC also attended the service.

On the way home we ate at Moes. We had been eating Mexican exclusively at Willys, but the service and quality at Willys seems to have deteriorated. I like Moes salsa much better than Willys or Chipotle. I dislike Chipotle’s seasonings, though their chips are the best (and cost the most).

Will took off Sunday night to spend the week at Camp Highland in Ellijay. Early this morning I took Anna and Matthew down to PCC. They’re leaving for Summer Camp in Daytona Beach, so Ceil and I have the week to ourselves.

For weeks the announcers and writers were saying Simmons shouldn’t slide headfirst. Beat writer Mark Bowman said the only way Simmons would learn would be for him to get hurt. But Simmons initial comments after the injury sounded like he hadn’t learned anything. Almost makes me mad. But the other two top rookies, Harper and Trout, have also been doing a lot of headfirst sliding. Heyward still does as well. Will always liked to slide headfirst. I kept waiting for him to get hurt, but he never did.

30 Classic MLB Jerseys

Here’s a list of interesting MLB jerseys…one from every team. Ive probably posted several similar lists in the past.

Braves: Warren Spahn Milwaukee road grey
Marlins: Josh Beckett road grey
Mets: Tom Seaver home cream
Nationals: Stephen Strasburg road red
Phillies: Robin Roberts home pinstripe

Brewers: Robin Yount home pinstripe
Cardinals: Stan Musial home white
Cubs: Ernie Banks home pinstripe
Pirates: Roberto Clemente polyester road grey pullover
Reds: Johnny Bench wool road grey button-up  

Astros: Joe Morgan home white shooting star
Diamondbacks: Curt Schilling home white vest
Dodgers: Jackie Robinson home white
Giants: Willie Mays home cream
Padres: Nate Colbert road yellow
Rockies: Larry Walker road grey

Angels: Rod Carew home white
Athletics: Catfish Hunter road green
Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr home white
Rangers: David Clyde road grey

Blue Jays: Roberto Alomar road blue
Orioles: Brooks Robinson home white
Rays: Wade Boggs road grey
Red Sox: Ted Williams home white
Yankees: Babe Ruth home pinstripe

Indians: Bob Feller road grey
Royals: George Brett road blue
Tigers: Kirk Gibson home white
Twins: Harmon Killebrew road grey
White Sox: Dick Allen road grey

Ten grey, nine white, four pinstripe, two light blue, two crème, one green, one red, and one yellow.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Michael Bourn: All-Star

     Though Michael Bourn has been the Braves' MVP of the first half of the season, there are many other deserving All Star candidates in the National League...most with even better stats than Bourn.
     Only the Reds' Jay Bruce has stats that are slightly worse than those of Atlanta's centerfielder. It can be argued that the first place Reds deserve having a third All Star. The Braves already have three, and they're not in first place.
     The question is: was Martin Prado a more deserving choice than Bourn? It's my opinion that Prado has greatly benefitted from the Braves new hitting coaches, Greg Walker and Scott Fletcher. Seems like more Braves are trying to make contact and hit singles, as opposed to swinging for the fences in every at bat (with the exception of Dan Uggla). Even Fransisco ia striking out less.
     UPDATE: Bourn and Harper were both added to the All-Star team, to replace injured players (as was Chipper). Are they deserving? A nice gesture for the retiring Jones. Bourn was the most deserving outfielder not already on the team. With 61 games under the 19 year-old's belt, I'm not sure Harper deserves the nod. But he is amazing.
     Here's a comparison of the All Star outfielders, plus David Freese...who was just voted in as the final All Star pick.  

DF …285…332…472…804…76…37…82…13….1…13…50…20…76…1

C. BELTRAN: voted in, most RBI & BB, stats superior to Bourn.
M. BOURN: 1st half Braves MVP, great stats, 3 other Braves on team.
R. BRAUN: only Brewer, reigning MVP, NL HR leader
J. BRUCE: 2 others Reds on team…Bourn holds statistical edge
M. CABRERA: voted in, great stats, leads AS OF in AVG, hits, least K's.
D. FREESE: won late vote & WS MVP, but 3 other 3B on NL team, already 4 Cards on team.
C. GONZALEZ: only Rockie, impressive stats
B. HARPER: added to replace Stanton; 3rd youngest All Star ever
M. KEMP: voted in, great stats, but hurt. Replaced by 3B Chipper
M. Prado: only player with more than 100 hits not on All Star team.
G. STANTON: only Marlin, decent stats, AS OF 2B leader, out 4-6 weeks with a knee injury

Bourn has contributed greatly to the Braves success, though it appears unlikely he will sign a free agent contract with Atlanta in the off-season.