Wednesday, August 29, 2012

CNN on Romney

Ceil had a doctor’s appointment Monday morning, and she was feeling puny the rest of the day. I went home shortly before three and took Matthew to his appointment. He’s looking for ways to earn money to save for a car. Anna wasn’t feeling well either. She didn’t want to go to Moes. Since it was Moe Monday, I upgraded my usual taco to a burrito, and stuffed myself. M devoured his on the way home.

I hung out with Ceil on the couch, watching the CNN special on Mitt Romney. Appeared they went out of their way to dig up old enemies. CNN ran commercials on a similar Obama special. Wonder if they’ll interview any of his enemies?

I knew I wouldn’t catch much of the Braves game Monday night, but I did see the first few innings.  

My car seems to run better (sound better) when I’m by myself. I can hear the tires when I have a passenger. Probably just jinxed my car.

Social Media for Seniors

Facebook and Twitter are fun because you can get an inner glimpse into the lives of people like Gary McKee. Some personalities will comment on your posts or wish you happy birthday, or you can comment on their posts. Brian “Grandma” Giffin, the Braves radio producer, is like that. Some personalities like Fran Tarkenton use FB to promote themselves.

Kids used to use FB to connect with others. Now that adults have jumped on the bandwagon, kids have moved on to other social media like Instagram. Still, its fun to see photos friends share on FB, or to see what others are up to. Claire is good about giving FB updates on the girls. It’s interesting to see how college classmates have changed over the years…people like Wayne Smith, Rick and Miriam Statham, or Mark and Marnie Crumpler.

People like John Condra, Danny and Connie Morris, and Pam Mullen seem to use Facebook to keep up with their children and grandchildren, or distant friends. Suzi Voyles is giving convention updates from Tampa. Drew Kelly is on FB much more than me.

Some use FB to share “funny” photos of animals or stuff, similar to the way some used to share on email. That’s one of the reasons lots of kids quit using Facebook. My kids rarely use FB, but my in-laws love it. Businesses now promote on FB. If you “like” a TV station, network, or business, you’ll receive daily advertisements from them. Sometimes I try to un-clutter my Facebook by un-liking certain businesses. I need to give some FB friends the boot as well.

I use Twitter to get Braves updates from the beat writers, and jokes from Steve Martin, Conan O’Brien, and the writers from the Letterman show. I may post random facts or things I find funny, though few others do (based on the lack of responses and Twitter followers).

Monday, August 27, 2012

Puma Faas 550

Nice shoes. Lightweight. My size. Felt great. But I just couldn't get over the color, so I didn't buy them.

Moxie Burger

Last Thursday night I read of a hot new burger joint just across the river in East Cobb: Moxie Burger. Run by a young man who grew up in East Cobb, his dad fronted the money. Gary McKee, the old Quixie DJ, said it was good. So did the AJC. Lots of burger and chicken and salad variations. Fried green tomatoes, sweet potato fries, etc.

Friday night I couldn't talk Ceil into Fuddruckers, but she wanted to go out. I made her go to Moxie. She and Anna loved it. Ceil had a grilled chicken salad. Anna had her chicken sandwich. My burger was pretty good. I bet the plain bun taster better than the wheat bun. The place was packed.

Left Moxie and drove due north: past Trader Joes, past the Super Target, past Crabapple and Birmingham into Cherokee County to pick up Matthew at his friends house. Saw two baby deer and their mother. Beautiful farmhouse with all kind of animals: goats, a bulldog, etc. It had that farm smell.

Saturday I spend all day cleaning out Will and Matthew's room. Best cleaning it has had in over ten years. Took everything out and dusted and cleaned. Rearranged the bobbleheads and baseballs on the shelves. Looks much better now.

Sunday I cleaned out all the stuff that had piled up in the master bedroom: clothes, etc. Also did some eBay work. At Passion they called Maya Moore on stage, and she spoke about the Olympics.

Ceil had another doctor's appointment this morning, so I took the kids to school again. She had a minor procedure and is feeling woozy. I may have to leave early this afternoon. Sounds like we're going to Moe's tonight.

In Athens Friday night Will went out to eat with Kara, Charisa, and Lisa. Then he went to the UGA women's volleyball game. I think he won a pizza for cheering loudly.

I hadn't heard about that old 90 yard football field. Ivy Street downtown? I'll see if my dad remembers.

Six man rotation is over…Sheets went to the DL. ESPN or Fox said that Fredi said what he learned from last year's collapse was that you can't keep putting guys out there who aren't getting the job done when the season is on the line. After last week's skid, I think we may be seeing more of your alignment: Prado at 2B and Johnson in LF. We'll see.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Asics GT-2170

This past Saturday Matthew decided he wanted some running shoes. Not just any running shoes. While most boys his age rock Nike Frees or Reebok Zigs, my 13 year old went straight for these electric blue/white/red Asics GT-2170's. 

The newly opened Merchants Walk Roadrunner Sports sized him in a size 9, so if Matthew ignores the shoes, his older brother will quickly gobble them up. We shall see.

Perhaps they are a trendy choice after all. Friday night I dragged Ceil and Anna to a hot new restaurant on nearby Paper Mill Road: Moxie Burger. Ceil loved her salad, and my burger was excellent. Much better than Five Guys or Flip Burger, at a reasonable price. Anna enjoyed seeing the ketchup bottle explode in my hands. And all the teenage waitresses rocked Asics, similar to Matthew's.

After dinner we made the drive up Birmingham Highway into south Cherokee County to pick up Matthew at a friend's house. Saw two baby deer, and their mother.  

Back to School, Sales

A and M started school this week. School always runs Ceil ragged, trying to get Matthew to study. It's during the school year when he produces most of his artwork. Here is today's example:   

After a month of craziness at work coordinating parts for a new EZGo car, things are starting to settle down. Bass Pro Shops ordered 100 of the new Bad Boy Buggy Ambush model, and they sold 63 in the first week.

Three good Braves games to watch this week against Washington. Anna may be going to a game during the Phillies series. Think the Braves brass finally keep Medlin in the starting rotation next year?  With Beachy coming back at some point next season, how hard will the Braves try to sign Sheets?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

39 Games To Go

The Braves were seven back after 123 games. Last year’s World Champions were also seven games back after 123 games. I’m sure there were plenty of Cardinals fans that had given up on the season. They had lost 8 of their first 11 games against division-leading Milwaukee. The Braves have lost a similar number of games to the Nats.

Ross will be played Wednesday, as did Pastornicky and Johnson. I’d like the Prado at second and Reed in left scenario as well. When Francoeur struggled they took him out of the lineup. To me, Uggla is in a similar situation. What baffles me is he’ll have a big game, like he did in New York recently. Seems like they would rest him more. We’ll see how bad Bourn’s arm is, after getting hit Tuesday night (not bad).

By the 9th inning Tuesday night I was just barely paying attention. I was hoping Chipper would hit for Uggla or Francisco. At it was, the game ended with Chipper in the on deck circle.

Tuesday I saw Lang’s book on display at my library, with other newly acquired books. I checked out Grisham’s latest: Calico Joe. This afternoon I’ll be finishing up The Associate. Haven’t read the Litigators yet, but I just bought the book. Trying to knock out all the Grisham books, so it’s high on my list. With school started, things are slowing down around the house. I have plenty to do, but I haven’t done much yet.

July-August Reading List

11-22-63, by Stephen King. Time travel and the Kennedy assassination…my king of book.

Calico Joe, by John Grisham (2012). The Mississippi author’s latest work is about a baseball pheenom just called up to the majors. Interesting that the book came out just as real-life pheenoms Mike Trout and Bryce Harper hit the show.   

The Associate, by John Grisham. A bright young Yale Law School grad matches wits with a thug trying to extort him. Dull ending.

The Litigators, by John Grisham. The editors left in the humorous parts, for once.

Autobiography of Mark Twain. Had the great author seen how scholars had published his autobiography, with all manner of footnotes, Twain surely would have cried foul. Only the parts written by Twain are interesting.

Starting and Closing: Perseverance, Faith, and One More Year, by John Smoltz. While I learned some things I didn’t know, Smoltz really didn’t reveal that much. He seemed more interested in setting the record straight, on stories long forgotten.

Consent to Kill, by Vince Flynn. Another in the Mitch Rapp series.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Starters Rotating

By the beginning of August four of the five starting pitchers at the beginning of the Braves rotation had been replaced.

Jurrjans. Poor performance and injuries.
Hanson. Missed starts due to injuries
Beachy. Tommy John surgery, after a great start.
Delgado…lacked killer instinct, returned to minors.
Minor. After a slow start, has pitched well

Hudson. Another strong year.
Maholm. Best trade acquisition in majors.
Medlin. Complete game shutout.
Sheets. Comeback player of the year?
Minor. July pitcher of the month runner-up.

Now that Hanson has returned, the Braves are going with a six man rotation during a tiring stretch of the schedule, into early September. Manager Fredi Gonzalez says the best five will pitch the stretch run. Each has plusses and minuses.

Hudson: early inning struggles, then settles down.
Maholm: lost to Nats, but should pitch in September.
Medlin: September shoo-in.
Sheets: recent struggles put him on the bubble.
Minor: should get the September nod.
Hanson: also could be on bubble.

With Beachy’s return at some point next season, it will be interesting to see if the Braves move to re-sign Sheets. Medlin is often considered a reliever, but to me he appears more suited for a starting role.

Prospectus: Seaside Vintage Clothiers

I usually don’t get million dollar ideas, but on the way back from our Destin vacation I passed the time dreaming about opening a T-shirt shop in fashionable Seaside Florida. There are already several similar stores in the vacation hot spot, but with my imagination I think I could come up with creative designs that shoppers would gobble up. I’m sure Seaside commercial real estate is at a premium, even though housing prices in the area are greatly reduced (but still not reasonable).

Earlier in the week Anna purchased a prized Seaside T-shirt from the ice cream trailer that fronts on highway 30A. Haley’s store of choice is a more upscale shop across the street, that sells variations of a brown Seaside T-shirt. While I could start with a cart, my perfect scenario would be to have at least a small store with an upstairs living area. I’m not certain such an arrangement exists, but it would be great.

For a name, I like either Seaside Vintage Clothiers or the Seaside Trading Company. In addition to new, plain Seaside T-shirts, I foresee also selling sweatshirts and long sleeve T’s. Anna purchased a tank top, so those could be an option. Since other shops sell shirts with outrageous markups, I would hope to sell mine at slightly lower prices. Seaside caps would also sell, and also shorts. If permitted, I could also sell cold water bottles and Coke products.   

In addition to plain Seaside shirts, and shirts with my store’s name on them, I would continuously be creating unique Seaside-themed T-shirts. These would be what really sets me apart from my competition. Shoppers would love them. Some would be sold for only a short time period, like if they played off a hit movie (like The Seaside Games, in the Hunger Games font). Other shirts would come in college colors, like a garnet and gold Florida Seaside University shirt. If this were to fly, I’d have to become a copyright expert. If we had on-site screen-printing, fewer shirts would have to be stocked, but more options would be available. I’d stick to basic colors: white, grey, and navy (with some exceptions).   

I could also sell used (“vintage”) tees that I’d pick up at thrift stores…college T’s or other interesting, unique T’s that I’d happen across. These would be on separate, lower-priced racks. Similarly, I could sell other thrift-store “finds”…some at higher prices. Jerseys, helmets, unique golf clubs, toys, stuffed animals, and books. I’d be sure to not let the store become a dump.

The store would be heavily marketed through social media: Twitter, Pinerest, Facebook, Instagram, etc, Like many other businesses in the area, we’d have our own stickers, and sell the popular blue 30A stickers. The 30A sticker could sell at the market rate (if not slightly cheaper), but our sticker would be cheaper (50 cents or a dollar), if not free. Perhaps a white oval SVC sticker would work.

If the store became a success, perhaps similar stores could be opened in other trendy, upscale areas. Destin and Panama City are nearby, and could be possibilities. Atlanta options include Phipps Plaza, Perimeter Mall, Lenox Square, or North Point Mall. Also Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle, Pauley’s Island, or the Birmingham Galleria.

Here’s a list of possible T-shirt designs:
Seaside Vintage Clothiers
Seaside Trading Company
Roll Seaside (burgundy & white)
War Seaside (navy & orange)
Between the Seaside (red & black)
Florida Seaside University (garnet & gold)
Rocky Seaside (orange & white)
Abe Lincoln, Seaside Hunter
Seaside High
Seaside College
Seaside University
Hook’Em Seaside (burnt orange & white)
Geaux Seaside (purple & yellow)
Louisiana Seaside University (Purple & Yellow)
30A (blue circle)
Santa Rosa/Grayton/Watercolor/Seaside/Seagrove/Alys/Rosemary
The Seaside Games
Harry Seaside (Harry Potter)
Seaside Idol (white with blue oval)
Seaside Tigers (navy & orange)
Seaside Bulldogs (red & black and maroon & white)
Seaside Gators (royal & orange)
Fighting Seaside (navy & gold)
Seaside Longhorns (burnt orange)
Seaside Braves (navy & red)
Diary of a Watercolor Kid
Got Seaside? (black with white lettering)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Uggla, the Wild Card, & 2013

I’m not excited about the one-game wildcard game. The Braves could win 100 games, then not make it into the NLDS. At least the wild card winner gets NLDS games 1&2 at home. As usual, the winner of the World Series will be the team that’s playing the best baseball in late September and October…the “hottest” team.

If the Braves finish the season with the fourth best record in baseball, then lose that one wild card game, would the season be considered a failure? There are about 40 games left in the season. Still plenty of time for the Braves to overtake the Nationals.

As of last week, the Braves four of the five starting pitchers were not in the rotation at the beginning of the season. Hudson is postponing surgery to the off-season. Their best shortstop as missed the past month, and won’t be back for another month. McCann is playing hurt. Moylan has been out all year, and Venters has battled injuries. Still, the Braves have the fourth best record in baseball.  

Wren has made several good moves to replace injured players. This off-season he’ll have several holes to fill, and have decisions to make about which starters to keep. The 2013 Braves could look quite different.

Monday night the Braves matched the Nats for 12 innings, then lost on three infield hits. I went to bed after the Braves batted in the ninth. One of the beat writers said that Sheets and Hanson were moved to the bullpen, either for last night’s game or tonight’s game.

I made note of the Uggla at bat. After making up his mind ahead of time to take the first pitch. Not sure if he does that often, and the Nats knew to throw a strike. Then he made up his mind ahead of time to swing at the second pitch, no matter what. And not just to swing at the pitch, but pull the pitch into left field. No one will have much success trying to pull low and away pitches. A friend said that compared to Uggla, Andruw Jones looks like a slap hitter.

Uggla hits Strasburg well, so he’ll be in the lineup tonight. This weekend I joked that when Simmons reclaims his shortstop position, the heavier hitting Janish will take over for the slumping Uggla. I dislike hitters that try to kill the ball every time they swing. The new hitting coaches seem to have gotten almost every other Brave (including Heyward and Francisco) to cut down their swing and hit singles. Some call that situational hitting.

Chipper knows he’s not the hitter he used to be, so he’s hitting more singles this year. Jones used to shake his head at Francoeur’s similar hitting philosophy, but I haven’t heard Chipper saying anything about Uggla.

Still, Uggla is the exact kind of hitter that many fans say the Braves should acquire (not mentioning what the cost would be). Fans have said the Braves should sign Adam Dunn, whose stats are worse than Uggla’s. Fans want the Braves to trade young pitching prospects (and/or Martin Prado) to the Diamondbacks for Upton. Upton’s stats are far worse than Prado’s, and he has attitude problems. Other fans wanted the Braves to trade for Hanley Ramirez. Another attitude problem, and his stats are only average (and anyway, Simmons will turn out to be better than Ramirez). At least Uggla doesn’t have an attitude problem.    

I could see the Braves parting ways with Uggla, to give him a fresh start. But with Chipper and Bourn leaving, and no obvious replacements ready to take their place, I doubt that will happen this off-season. Unless Wren trades Uggla for a third-baseman, second-baseman, or outfielder. I love Reed Johnson, but I thing the Braves want to keep him in his pinch-hitting role. Hinske seems to have disappeared…he could be gone next year, unless he’s already signed for 2013. Janish will be kept as a backup. Pastornicky might spend 2013 at Gwinnett, to get more seasoning.

August 9th Trivia

With Will off at UGA, I still went to trivia on August 9th. Joel and Willis were on a team in the back. Isaac joined them. I played with all five Hansons and the two Hurt girls. Alyssa took care of writing down the answers. With Xana asking questions, it would be a bad showing. Toward the end there was grumbling, and I tried to make sure everyone’s opinion was heard before answering.
1. In the musical Grease, what was the name of the gang of girls? Margaret and Emily knew: The Pink Ladies.
2. What kind of flowers did Mary Poppins wear in her hair? The girls knew: Daisies.
3. On the Periodic Table, what element is represented by Cu? Elizabeth and Margaret knew: Copper.
4. What is the only bird that can fly backwards? The hummingbird. Every team answered correctly.
5. What musical is based on the play Pygmalion? My Fair Lady. We didn’t know…a one point miss.
6. What was the main name given to bars during Prohibition? A Speakeasy. As we brainstormed, Denise mentioned it, but we went with Haley’s Public House. A three point miss.  
7. In the Parade of Nations during the Olympics Opening Ceremony, which country goes first? Greece. Easy.
8. Which superhero sidekick is known as the Boy Wonder? Robin.
9. Based on land mass, which country is second largest? Emily was insisted that Russia was first, and Canada was second. She scoffed at any other answer. And she was right.
We aced the halftime question, which involved naming the TV shows pictured in the handout (I Love Lucy, the Brady Bunch, Andy Griffith, Boy meets World, and Sister Sister). Our 33 points placed us in the middle of the pack. Joel’s DoorHinges only missed a one-pointer, and were one point out of first.   
10. What was the name of the gypsy girl who fell in love with Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame? Some of the girls knew: Esmeralda. Six points.  
11. Which particular kind of animal is on the California state flag? We knew it was a bear, but what kind? Cal is the Golden Bears, but that’s not a real bear. Craig and I thought it wasn’t a grizzly…but it was. Elizabeth and I wanted to wager two, but we went with four. Bad choice, but it would hardly matter.
12. What was the name of the first manned mission to land on the moon? I knew: Apollo 11.
13. Which John Steinbeck novel is about a migrant family of farm workers? We’d had this question before. Confident from my Apollo 11 answer, I went with “Of Mice and Men.” It was The Grapes of Wrath. A six point miss. I think some of the girls knew the right answer.  
14. What country was Adolph Hitler born in? Alyssa knew: Austria. Since the next category was Acronyms, we only wagered two points. Another bad decision. This would turn out to be our last correct answer.
15. What does HTML stand for? Uh, durn. A four point miss. Hyper Text Markup Language.
16. What country completely owns three of the ten largest islands in the world? We said the United Kingdom, but it was Canada. Two of the islands are Baffin and Victoria. A two point miss. Only one team got it right.
17. What is the most abundant element in the earth’s crust? Aluminum. We said iron, which is the most abundant element in the earth’s core. Crust was the key word. A four point miss. Again, only one team got the answer right.
18. In 1952, what country offered Albert Einstein its presidency? Israel. Craig said it, during our deliberations. A six point miss. Before the final we were in last place.
19. Name the five most populous US states, in order. California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois. We missed on Illinois, and remained in last place. The DoorHinges tied for fourth.
The previous week Xana had taken musical requests. She liked my request, and played it early on in the evening: Neil Diamond’s “I am the Lion”.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rehash UGA

UGA dorms have wi-fi now...a bunch of students were in the lobby watching a wide screen when we took Will back last night.

Will is on the meal plan...says he usually only has a bagel and coffee for breakfast. He's not a big eater (unlike his dad). He's been playing basketball at the Ramsey Center, as well as ultimate and volleyball. Said he's run a few times, and he bought a Cannondale to ride to class. He won't get fat because he doesn't want to be like me!

I told him it might not be a good idea to run for dorm council treasurer...too much work.

I went to one UGA game last year. It had been over 25 years since I had been. Ceil said she wants to go to a game, so we'll see. Her parents gave up thier season tickets to Clemson games. Will's cousin is a freshman at Clemson, and is a student manager for the football team.

Should be an interesting series this week against the Nats...

All Weekend Eat

Ate too much this weekend. Worked late Friday, then we went to Moes' for dinner. Instead of the small taco that I usually get, I got a big burrito. But I didn't eat chips or drink soda…I had water. Dropped Ceil and Anna at the Avenue, and ran back to Trader Joes and Publix for groceries. Later we watched the Braves.

Saturday morning I picked up Will down at the Civic Center MARTA station, at 8 am. He had caught the early $7.00 bus home from Athens for Anna's birthday. Later Anna ate lunch with three friends at the Fickle Pickle in Roswell. Will, Matthew and I ate at Chickfila I squeezed in some laundry and other housework. Supper was grilled chicken tenders and pasta, with cheesecake for dessert. Watched most of the Braves game.

More laundry and Braves on Sunday. Had a work emergency right as we were leaving to take Will back to Athens, so I was on the phone most of the way over there. Since the dining hall is closed on Sunday nights we ate at Cracker Barrel. Not my favorite. I had fried eggs, Ceil had veggies, and Will had fried chicken. We made good time, but didn't get back home until 10:30.

Will's roommate wasn't there, but there was an open Bible sitting on his desk.

This morning I took A and M to school, their first day of the new year. Ceil had a doctor's appointment. Another work emergency, so I was working at the kitchen table for an hour before we left for school.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Chipper Bobblehead Night

Had a good time at the Braves/Padres game last night, obviously. I thought Jason Marquis would be a tough opponent. He's batting about .280, and his double last night was his fourth of the season.

After a crazy day at work, I was able to leave just before three. I was going to pick up Matthew at the dentist, but we missed connections. Soon we won't have that problem: I ordered cell phones for C, W, and A.

Walked up to the stadium around 4:20, and there were the longest lines that I'd ever seen. The dollar tickets sold out, so I had to buy a regular ticket. The Braves took BP, but not the Padres…so I had extra time to kill before the game. Saw my BP friends Johnny and Marshal, who are there most weekdays.
Last night the game-used shop had a nice selection: Bobby Dews, Hudson, Hanson, Snitker, Livian Hernandez, Martinez, several of the minor league pitchers, and several Jurrgans jerseys. Walked all the way around the stadium, almost twice. Saw two younger versions of me: cap, Braves shirt/jersey, glove, scorebook. I had forgotten my scorebook yesterday.

My tweet about the US Air Force song was read by @BravesOrganist, who is evidently a tweeting machine. He acknowledged my tweet with a ;)

I didn't want to stay out too late, but after Chipper's first homer I thought I'd stick around to see more of his at bats. When he lined out to end the sixth it was already after nine, so I headed home.

Saturday morning Will is riding the $3.00 bus home.


My crowd all enjoyed the visit to see Claire’s twins. By the time they got home I had already eaten a bowl of leftover chili for supper. Had the rest for lunch today. Ceil’s chili is good. The only difference between her chili and her spaghetti sauce is the seasoning and beans.

On the way home from work Tuesday I stopped by the AT&T store, and last night I signed up for cell service for C, W, and A. Never paid a cell phone bill before.

Watched the Braves Tuesday night…good game. I saw the rookie pitcher and his mom…good stuff. I even called Ceil into the room to watch. Ceil and Anna and Matthew ate grits and eggs for dinner, and homemade peach cobbler for dessert.

Tuesday night Will said hung out at some Christian organization. Margaret Dudley, daughter of Ed, said her son is active in the UGA Methodist Campus Ministry.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Maholm > Dempster

Looks like the Braves got the best Cubs pitcher. Dempster won’t be with the Rangers next year, and the Braves will have their guy next year, at the least. Would be nice if we could extend his contract. Hershiser was are saying Sheets is tired, but he went seven Sunday, right? He could’ve come out after 5 or six. He gave up a few runs early, then settled down.

For lunch today I had a bacon cheeseburger from Ruby Tuesday. Good, but not great.

Slow Monday night. After a supper of chili, Ceil, Anna, and Matthew went off shopping. I stayed home and watched the Braves, and shopped for cell phones and stuff. Still crazy busy here at work.

Will’s first class yesterday had 300 people in it. Quite a shock after his tiny ten person home school classes and the small classes at Georgia Perimeter College. Had he gone to UAB he would’ve been in the Experiential Learning Program, which would’ve had small classes.   

Monday, August 13, 2012

Closing Ceremony: Thumbs Up

We watched the closing ceremony Sunday night. It was perhaps the best Closing Ceremony I could remember, almost similar to an Opening Ceremony in scope.

I was flipping over to the Braves game during commercials, but when it got to be 5-1 late in the game I finally gave up. Sounds like an exciting ending…you can’t ever give up with this team. I still say this could be the year.

Friday afternoon at work I ate some old pretzels. On the drive home I started feeling so bad that I could hardly drive. headache and queasy stomach. Got home at 7 pm and went to bed. Went downstairs for 30 minutes later that evening, then went back and slept until 7:30 Saturday morning. Felt better, but not 100%.

Took Anna to NP Mall at 10:30…her Passion small group was going to the lake, then having a sleepover. Then I stopped by two thrift stores, got my haircut, deposited a check, stopped by the library, and hit the Dollar Store next door. Later I took Matthew to see the Hunger Games…good movie. That night I watched the Olympics and Braves.  

Got a lot done Sunday afternoon, straightening up around the house.

Thrift Store Update: Summer

Brown Cole Haan Santa Barbara loafers with Nike Air soles. I’d always loved these shoes, and it seems like brown loafers with heavy black soles are suddenly in style. I can wear them to work, or with jeans this fall/winter. And I got them for less than two bucks. Much nicer than the two dollar brown Merrell loafers I bought a few months ago.

Cincinnati Bengals # 9 Carson Palmer authentic game jersey. Couldn’t pass up a $200.00 jersey selling for five bucks. Everything is stitched, and it looks great. This fall I’ll sell it on eBay.

Knowshon Moreno #24 authentic UGA black-out jersey, by Nike. Numbers are all sewn on, including the TV numbers on the sleeves. Everything but MORENO on the back.

Black Izod golf shorts. Sweet. I needed a dark pair of shorts, and these it the bill perfectly. Plain front, in a high-tech, distressed looking fabric.

Kaiki Dockers golf shorts…these look and fit great.

Dark kaiki golf shorts. Nice, but right now they’re my fourth favorite pair of shorts. They only cost two bucks, so they were worth it. With all the “new” shorts I’ve acquired, I had to go through and weed out all my old out of style shorts.

Levis jeans. Since all my jeans look faded, I needed a dark pair. These look and fit great.

Black cotton pants. I wanted a pair of these, and I found a cheap new pair with the tags still on them. Plain front.

Dark grey dress slacks. For some reason I don’t have as many work pants as I used to, so this pair should help.

Black striped dri-fit golf shirt. Exactly what I've been wearing these days. 

Heavy plain white T-shirt, new. I needed one of these. I can wear it as a T-shirt, or just by itself. Cost less than a dollar.

Red UGA T-shirt. On May first Will had no UGA apparel. It's pretty scarce at thrift stores, but I found one nice tee...for less than a dollar.

Dark blue women’s Polo shirt. Cost less than a dollar. It was on the men’s rack, but the sleeves are too short for a guy. Polo is hot right now, so if the shirt is too big for Ceil or Anna (it is) I’ll just sell it.

Dark grey women’s Patagonia pullover. If too big for Anna or Ceil, I’ll sell it on eBay.

The Moviegoer, by Walker Percy. I needed a paperback for the beach, and this award-winner was thought-provoking, even though it was written in the early 60’s. Also bought a Tom Clancy paperback for later. Both cost fifty cents.

Tom Petty "Free Falling" CD. Forced Matthew to go into a thrift store with me, so he headed straight to the CD's. I also nabbed him a Switchfoot CD.

Paid about $56.00 for 18 items, worth almost $700.00.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

White Stallion: RIP

I was asked if Will took his car to Athens. Yes and no. Like everything else in my life, that's a long story.

Around the first of May I told Will that he needed to sell that car so he could buy a new one for school. I drove the car, and it would cut off, sound bad when it ran, and reverse didn't work. He might have taken the car off road, though he said he didn't. But Will didn't do anything (I guess I should've done it myself).
He was thinking about not having a car. Last Saturday he started looking for a bike, and Monday night he bought a used (but nice) Cannondale. Then he decided to take his car after all, and Tuesday he bought a new bike rack.

Wednesday he drove to Athens. I followed him in the van, and I could hear his car squeaking. When he drove past the hundreds of freshmen sorority coeds, they were looking at his noisy car. He parked and we moved him into his dorm.

After we left he went to move his car, and the transmission was completely locked up. It's not worth fixing, so I had it towed off. No more car.
Will wants to ride his bike home from Athens some time. I might have to talk to Drew Kelly about what route to take. When we stayed at Rosemary Beach, Will rode from one end of highway 30A to the other…and back.

Thursday was Will's first day alone…his roommate doesn't move in until Saturday. He said he played volleyball and dodgeball yesterday. Tonight Phi Slam, a Christian organization, is roasting a pig. Mark Richt is on their board of directors.

Dan and Karen Toholsky's daughter Lila moved in at UGA Thursday. Also the sons of two of my coworkers. All freshmen.

Another busy Friday at work for me. Not much on tap for the weekend, which is good.

Moving Will to Athens

Will did a good job getting us out the door Wednesday...we were driving out of the driveway just before 8 am. Traffic on 316 was ok, except for around the traffic lights. Arrived at his down just before 10 am. It wasn't crammed full of people, which was nice. Moving him in didn't take long (we had Joel and MC along to help), but it took Ceil extra time to hem curtains for the closets. Will's roommate wasn't arriving until Saturday.
His dorm is Lipscomb, which appears to be one of the closest to the stadium. Shortly after 1 pm we drove downtown and ate at Mellow Mushroom. Most of us were famished, so the pizza and Diet Coke were extra good. Three pizzas: pepperoni, meat lovers, and one with tomato slices. Slugging catcher Andrew showed up to say hello, which was fun. It was a big crowd: C, W, A, M, me, MC, Joel, and Will's Camp Highland friend Matt, who clued us in on many things.
Didn't leave until around 3 pm, and we arrived home around five. Later on I had to send something out FedEx, so I picked up Moes burritos for A and M. Watched the beach volleyball final.

Thursday was a catch up at work. A two hour lunch meeting didn't help. It was catered by Jason's Deli: sandwiches, fruit, cookies, and potato salad.

Figuring It Out

One of these days I'll figure out Twitter, especially the commenting on others tweets and such. I hadn't seen your comments, but I was off-line most of Sunday night and at work Monday. Ceil started following @ClemsonEquipment, because Will's cousin Ben just started as a manager for the Clemson football team. If there was ever a profession I should've entered, it would've been the equipment manager for a football team (more work than in baseball). Something I've always enjoyed.

One morning at the beach family friend Billy had a million dollar idea: caffeinated water. After following each other on Twitter, he retweeted me. A few days ago he was trying to remember his big idea. I replied to his Tweet. Somehow a water company, AVITAE, found the tweet and replied, suggesting we try thier caffeinated water.

Billy replied "NOOOOOO!!!", and the water company replied back "MUWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Pretty funny, for a company.

The Braves: Don't Count Them Out

It would be great if Uggla comes around and Simmons returns August 31. If everyone else keeps up their pace, plus Moylan returns, perhaps this is the Braves year to peak at the right time. Perhaps the media will pester the Nats every time they stumble, and the pressure will get in their heads. Any thoughts? Here's what my friend just said about the Braves…

This team is pretty balanced - It does not get the headlines but I think it is more important to have fewer weaknesses as opposed to a few standout strengths with multiple weak spots...Eventually the Nats are gong to run into a slump - now that we have shored up the rotation, I don't see us going into another slump. It looks like Venters is ready to be effective again - that will be huge. I also think Medlen is a better pitcher than Hanson at this point.

As usual, Will tried to cram in too much before leaving Wednesday for UGA. Monday night he had a SPdL softball game…Joel Norman went along as well. In addition to Drew Kelly's son Rob, other team members include Noel Turner's son and the new youth director. I asked Joel if the youth director mentioned anything about Passion Church, but he hasn't said anything.

After the game I met W & J around 8:30 pm, then we drove 35 miles up I-575 to Ball Ground, in Pickens County. Will bought a nice Cannondale bike to take to UGA. Hopefully it works out for him. On the drive we listened to the Braves, and Joel told us about his recent Gulf Coast beach trip with the Hurts.

Tuesday Will had to return Mary Clayton's bikes somewhere (Cartersville?) and finish packing.

After M's last basketball game he said he wanted to play baseball again. That's fine, but I'd rather he take guitar lessons. He just needs to practice.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Carlos Beltran: No Chipper

I really haven’t been exposed to Carlos Beltran that much, though my perception of him is that of an elite, dangerous player. Sports Illustrated recently ran a short, complimentary article about him, how he has filled the Cardinals’ Albert Pujols void. The article opines that Beltran could be a future hall of famer.

This opened my eyes, and I decided to compare Beltran to another future hall of fame switch hitter. Chipper Jones’ first 14 years overshadows Beltran’s career in every category, except triples and stolen bases. There’s plenty to respect about Beltran, including his fondness for playing in Kansas City and St. Louis more than New York.

Comparison: first 14 years of Chipper’s career to Beltran’s career:

PL… games…PA….AB.......runs..…hits…..2B.…3B….HR…..RBI


Other interesting Chipper facts (from Baseball Reference):
WAR (wins above replacement): 3rd active.
WAR: 31st all-time among position players
OBP: 53rd all time
SLG: 46th all time
At Bats: 77th all time
Plate Appearances: 54th all time
Total Bases: 33rd all time
Doubles: 27th all time
RBI: 31st all time  
BB: 19th all time
IBB: 25th all time  
Singles: 132nd all time
Extra Base Hits: 24th all time
Sac Flies: 38th all time

To date, Chipper has earned $155,552,133.00 in salary and bonuses. Even after taxes and agents fees, Chipper has netted around 100 million.

CFA Controversy: Religious Liberty Threatened

I usually stay away from controversial issues for several reasons. Usually I don’t have the time to research and write out my thought clearly enough to express my views in the way I really want. To me, the Dan Cathy issue deals with how his comments (made to a religious media outlet) where taken out of context and used against him and his company, by local and national media as well as those in favor of same sex marriage.

On July 31st ran an excellent editorial, republished below, written by Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Though I have personally distanced myself from many things Southern Baptist, I believe people from many viewpoints should be able to agree with Mohler’s comments.

Since the controversy began, Chick-fil-A has stuck to their stance of staying out of the political debate. Mike Huckabee’s August 1st show of support for Chick-fil-A resulted in the single day sales record for the family-owned chain. Friday’s “kiss-in” had far less impact, and led to many questions about the opposition’s intentions.     

I have bolded several portions of the article. Feel free to comment. Try to not take things out of context.


By R. Albert Mohler Jr., Special to CNN Editor's Note: R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.
     (CNN)–Cultural upheavals often occur in the most surprising contexts. Who expected that a clash between sexuality and religious liberty would be focused on a restaurant company mainly known for its chicken sandwiches? And yet the controversy over Chick-fil-A is a clear sign that religious liberty is at risk and that this nation has reached the brink of tyrannical intolerance from at least some of our elected leaders.
     The controversy ignited when Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, son of the company’s legendary founder, Truett Cathy, told a Baptist newspaper that he and his company “operate on biblical principles” and “are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit.” Defining Chick-fil-A as “a family business,” Cathy went on to say that “We intend to stay the course. … We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”
     Media attention to Cathy’s comments revealed a radio interview he had given a few weeks earlier in which he commented that “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at (God) and say, ‘We know better than You what constitutes a marriage.' “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think we would have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about,” he said.
     Within days, elected officials in Chicago, Boston and New York were pledging to deny the company access to their cities. “Because of (Dan Cathy’s) ignorance, I will deny Chick-fil-A a permit to open a restaurant in my ward,” Chicago Alderman Proco Moreno said, in a threat echoed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
     Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was just as blunt: “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” he said. “We’re an open city. We’re a city at the forefront of inclusion.” But the kind of inclusion he had in mind would evidently exclude Chick-fil-A.
     New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who just recently married her lesbian partner, called upon New York University to kick Chick-fil-A off its campus. Echoing the Boston mayor’s lack of irony, she also called for exclusion in the name of inclusion: “We are a city that believes our diversity is our greatest strength, and we will fight anything and anyone that runs counter to that.”
     Within days, Moreno, Emanuel and Menino had qualified their statements somewhat, promising to operate within the law and constitutional limits. Those clarifications became necessary when legal authorities quickly recognized threatened violations of First Amendment rights. To his credit, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an ardent supporter of same-sex marriage, warned, “You can’t have a test for what the owner’s personal views are before you decide to give a permit to do something in the city.”
     Note carefully that Chick-fil-A was not charged with discrimination in hiring or service but simply with the fact that its president and chief operating officer supports traditional marriage. Note something else: Dan Cathy’s statements were explicitly religious. He made his comments to the religious press, including a Baptist newspaper. His comments were infused with his Christian convictions, the same convictions that have led the company to close for business every Sunday.
     The threats made against Chick-fil-A betray the principle of religious liberty that is enshrined within the U.S. Constitution. Civic officials in some of the nation’s largest and most powerful cities have openly threatened to oppose Chick-fil-A for the singular reason that its president openly spoke of his Christian convictions concerning marriage.
     When Quinn, one of the most powerful officials in New York, announces, “I do not want establishments in my city that hold such discriminatory views,” is she also threatening the Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Jewish synagogues and Islamic mosques? They, along with evangelical Christian denominations, openly oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage. Cathy’s statements are completely consistent with his own denomination’s statement of faith and official declarations. He was speaking as a Christian and as a Southern Baptist, and he was speaking as a man who does his best to live and speak as he believes.
     When Emanuel and Moreno tell Chick-fil-A to stay out of Chicago, are they audacious enough to deliver that same message to the churches, mosques and synagogues of their city that also oppose same-sex marriage? What do they do with the fact that their own state does not allow same-sex marriages?
     This country is deeply divided over the issue of same-sex marriage, and the controversy over Chick-fil-A is an ominous sign that many of the proponents of same-sex marriage are quite willing to violate religious liberty and to use any and all means to silence and punish any individual or organization that holds the contrary view – a view sustained by the voters in 29 states by constitutional amendments.
     Addressing the intersection of same-sex marriage and religious liberty, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley has warned that the government must not be “viewed as unfairly trying to pre-determine the debate or harass one side.”
     That is exactly what some elected officials have just shown themselves ready to do. It will not stop with Chick-fil-A. Who will be next to be told to get out of town?
      Disclosures: I know Dan and Truett Cathy and other members of the Cathy family. Truett has spoken on our campus. I have prayed at the opening of multiple Chick-fil-A locations. I serve on the board of directors of Focus on the Family, which has been supported by Chick-fil-A. My son, Christopher, is a part-time service employee of a local Chick-fil-A restaurant in Louisville. I have not communicated with Chick-fil-A about this column.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of R. Albert Mohler Jr. post: