Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Mind's Man Cave

Over the years I have accumulated tons of sports-related junk that would be great to display in a man-cave like finished basement. Our current house doesn’t have a basement, and there’s no space to display any more. Here is some of the loot…

1996 Olympic Torch. I actually have two 1996 torches, from Gary Indiana and Winston Salem North Carolina. It would be nice to create at least one shadow-box with the torch, torchbearer T-shirt, pennant, Coke bottle, and other memorabilia, and photos from the relay. The second torch could be displayed on a rack.

2002 Torch Relay Uniform: Another shadow-box with my purple 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics Torchbearer Escort uniform: jacket, warm-up pants, long sleeve tee, stocking cap, and gloves. I even have a white torchbearer T-shirt that can be displayed as well.  

1996 Olympics Memorabilia: I have enough other stuff from the Atlanta Olympics that could be put together in a frame: tickets, special Sports Illustrated covers, pennants, pins, T-shirt, NBC jacket, etc.

Grant Field: I have a huge old photo that needs to be framed. I like it because it shows the old south stands and façade, as well as the old north stands. Tech is playing Tennessee, back around 1980. I was at that game. An old photo is cooler than a recent Grant Field photo.

Atlanta Stadium photos: also needs to be framed. I have two large, landscape photos…one from a day game and one from a night game. Lots of people have large framed Turner Field photographs. I’d rather have one from the old stadium.

Will: a shadow-box with keepsakes from Will’s childhood: mainly baseball memorabilia, photos, and perhaps some artwork.

Anna’s shadow-box could be filled with ballet slippers and photos, as well as her artwork.

Matthew’s shadow-box would include his artwork, Legos, photos, ‘sand other little keepsakes.

While I’m at it, I could also piece together shadow-boxes for my high school football career (jersey, programs, photos, kicking shoe) and Ceil’s childhood (photographs, her old golf club, jewelry, etc).

The man-cave would have places to display the bobbleheads and baseballs currently on display in Matthew’s room, as well as my collection of old baseball and football helmets. There’s the binders full of Sports Illustrates dating back to the early 80’s, and at least a dozen six-packs of commemorative Coca-Cola bottles and cans. Baseball cards. Vintage baseball gloves and mitts. A closet could hold all my jerseys and sports-related jackets.

The older I get, the less desire I have to set up a man-cave. Will I ever get the chance? As the years go by, the chances seem to grow less likely. That’s why I’m starting to sell some of these items on eBay.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Ran again after work yesterday, then when I got home Ceil was just going out on a walk/run with our dog, so I tagged along. For supper she fixed those green chicken burritos I mentioned yesterday. Had the leftovers for lunch today. As usual, Tuesday night was a busy homework night for M and A. We kept tabs on the GT/Clemson game. Ceil’s brother and nephew were at the game. Later I dozed off on the sofa.

Will gets to interview for a Resident Assistant position in the UGA dorms next year.

Last night I was looking at the back cover of Matthew’s Lego magazine/catalog. Lately M has been into Star Wars. I noticed the Lego Star Wars Death Star was on sales for $399.99. Probably has a thousand pieces to put together.

Have to check on Will’s girlfriend’s family…the storm passed right through their neck of the woods.

My BP friend John posted on FB this AM that he spoke to the Upton brothers on the phone. John usually isn’t a practical joker, so hopefully I can get the rest of the story. John attended the Braves Caravan stop in Middle Georgia. John asked if they set personal goals, and if so, what does a good season like. Justin said his goal is “to help this team win a championship.” He added that setting numerical marks can sometimes work against a player. BJ agreed “You don’t get into particulars. You know what range you’re in, the numbers come with good play.

Good tweet by Chipper this AM about the deer antler extract.

Not much going on with me. Even though my main customer is shut down, I’ve still been running around putting out fires all week.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Police Blotter

Left work yesterday and went back to the scene of the crime, for a run. Immediately noticed a policeman patrolling the parking lot, so I went over and talked to him. He said there had been a series of similar break ins. Other policemen were checking out other parks. After I ran the policeman came over and asked me some more questions. There were more people at the park, since two soccer teams were practicing.

Ceil cooked a new recipe last night: pork in a green pepper sauce on rice. It was the same sauce she sometimes makes chicken burritos with, but she wasn’t crazy about the pork dish. Anna like it. I had the leftovers for lunch today.

Watched Costas on the MLB Network interview director Penny Marshall and actress Gina Davis about A league of Their Own, then didn’t change the channel, so I wound up watching the whole movie. I learned that Tom Hanks’ manager “Jimmy Doogan” character was based on Jimmy Foxx, who managed the women in real life. Marshall asked Hanks to gain weight for the role.  

If the one through seven batters hit like they’re supposed to, whoever plays third can bat eighth and it shouldn’t be a huge deal…kinda like when Janish filled in for Simmons last year. And the Braves signed a veteran third baseman to play at Triple A.

Will the Hawks sign Josh Smith? Do they any chance of signing Dwight Howard? Should they?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Torre: Baseball's I Ching?

Not sure I would call the third base situation “terrifying”. I told the story around the campfire and nobody got scared (old joke).

Hopefully I’m not one of those “move McCann to first, move Freeman to third” fans, but if everyone else is hitting, at the worst Janish could play third. In game 4 of the 95 Series Torre pinch ran for 1B Cecil Felder. He was resigned to playing 2B Duncan at first the next inning, then 3B Charlie Hayes asked Joe if he needed to play 1B, as he had played a little first earlier in the year for the Pirates. Torre also mentioned all the suggestions Don Zimmer would make, usually by asking questions as opposed to giving his opinion. Said Zimmer was a lot of fun. In Atlanta Zimmer noticed Torre’s sister (a nun) dancing the Macarena, and pointed it out to Joe.

In his book Torre makes a point to discuss how a manager could make a game decision based on whether he’d be questioned about it by the press…or blasted by the press for the decision. Do you think Freddie wouldn’t bat Uggla leadoff because his batting average has been so low? DOB has often mentioned Uggla’s high walk rate, as have the Braves radio and TV announcers. But if it mattered to Freddie, batting Uggla
leadoff could be used against Freddie by the press…turning even more fans against him.

Hitting Uggla leadoff might boost his confidence as well, though it seems Fredi has gone out of his way the past few years to keep boosting his confidence. ANOTHER Torre story: He was going to start Tim Raines in right for Game Four, then stuck with Paul O’Neill only to keep O’Neil from getting too down on himself. O’Neill made the running catch on the warning track to end the game, then made a big contribution in Game Five.

While Joe wrote about his entire life in his book, he goes into particular detail about each game of the 95 Series against the Braves…good reading. I should finish tonight. I received a second friend request on GoodReads. I’ve seen lots of friends how signed up, then let their account go dormant. Only a few like Jeff Henderson.

Slow weekend. Friday night we watched Duck Dynasty. Hilarious show. For supper Ceil fixed bacon & egg biscuits, and grits.

Saturday morning I woke Matthew up early. He wanted to open a checking account. We hit Kroger to get a mailing envelope, then the bank, which took a while. Then to the Post Office to mail off a Bears jersey I had sold on eBay. Next to the auto parts store in Roswell, then lunch at McDonalds to use the gift cards we’d received for Christmas. Pulled up next to Anna, driving the van to go eat lunch with her friends. On the way home we stopped back by Kroger. The checkout girl remembered us from earlier that morning. I like that Shallowford Falls Kroger…they have a clearance sale section. We had leftovers for supper to clear out the refrigerator.

Sunday Anna was going to the 11 am service so she could babysit Margaret Ewing’s daughter. Ceil said the van needed gas, so I drove off to get some. I didn’t have time to get air in the tire, so Anna took my car. Later I went out to get air. The two closest QT’s had broken air pumps, and I found the third QT just started a construction project, wiping out that air pump. By the time I got home I was sneezing again. My boss says I need to check for mold in the ducts, a good idea. 

Watched a good chunk of the PGA tourney. Also read my Joe Torre book…almost finished. For supper Ceil crock-potted beef stew.  Passed by the east Cobb Chucky Cheese around 8:30. Anna and Matthew always liked to ride the little car that took their picture sitting next to the mouse, but it’s been a few years since we have been.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

MLB TV Top 40 Unis

One of the MLB Network's more interesting shows is thier "COUNTDOWN" show, where they rank players by position, or great catches or games. I was most interested in thier top 40 most unforgettable uniforms, but was amazed to find that the Braves distinctive 1972 "feather" unis were nowhere on the list.

In 72 the Braves and Oakland A's broke the "color barrier" by donning dark-colored jerseys. For several years Oakland had been mixing in an all-yellow uni, but in 72 matched either a kelly green/bright yellow, or Sunday home white jersey with white pants. The Braves also ditched the traditional road greys, wearing royal blue jerseys on the road with white pants.

The 72 Braves were the first to add the constrasting colored shoulders and mod-looking sleeve feathers. In later years teams like the Padres would copy the contrasting shoulder colors, but the Braves were the first. Similar to the expansion Montreal Expos, the Braves had royal blue caps with a white front, and stylized white-fronted batting helmets. This would be the uniform Hank Aaron would go down in history wearing when he broke Bath Ruth's all-time home run record.

The MLB Network seemed to find a place on their list for most teams. Only the Rockies, Rangers, Twins, and Diamondbacks were left off the list. Many teams wore all-powder blue uniforms in the late 70's/early 80's. The Royals also made the list. But for some reason the show's producers were compelled to choose the powder blue road uni as the Braves' most unforgettable uniform, as opposed to the classic feather uni. What were they thinking?

On the top 40 list below, there are several uniforms much less unforgetable than the Braves feather unis.

40. Padres camouflage jerseys
39. 1990 White Sox softball uniforms
38. Some old time pink uniforms
37. 1993 Marlins inaugural teal jerseys, caps, & helmets
36. 1911 Cubs head to toe navy uniforms
35. 1973 Angels change from lower case a to upper case A
34. 1956 Reds sleeveless jerseys
33. 1970's Orioles classic unis
32. 1980 Braves powder blue unis
31. 1998 Devil Rays inaugural purple-to-yellow logo 
30. 1980's Giants orange jerseys & sanitaries
29. 1916 Brooklyn Robins plaid jerseys
28. 1952 Dodgers: first with numbers on the front
27. 1973 Phillies powder blue road unis 
26. 1908: Boston change name to Red Sox, wear big sock on jersey
25. 1977: Disney buys Angels, wear navy & periwinkle winged jersey
24. 1983 Mets shoulder racing stripes
23. Red Sox' classic uniforms
22. 1971 Orioles all-orange unis
21. 1962 Cubs classic bear face patch
20. 1975 Indians all-red uniforms
19. 1906 New York Giants "Worlds Champions" jerseys
18. 1962 Houston Colt 45s unis with smoking gun jersey
17. 1977 Blue Jays "iconic" logo & unique paralel line lettering
16. 1977 Mariners original unis with the trident M
15. 1999 MLB Back to the Future promotion
14. 1972 A's green/yellow/white jerseys & white shoes
13. 1978 Brewers ball & glove unis 
12. 1969 Pilots scrambled egg caps & officers striped sleeves
11. 1969 Expos unique logo, tri-colored caps, & later racing-striped unis  
10. 1975 Padres brown jerseys & yellow sanitaries
 9. 1979 Phillies once-worn all-burgundy "Saturday Night Special" unis
 8. Detriot Tigers unchanging home uniform
 7. 1973 Royals all-powder blue road unis
 6. Dodgers classic blue-trimmed uniforms
 5. 1979 Pirates multi-combination black/yellow/white/striped unis
 4. 1975 Astros peach melba unis
 3. Cardinals classic birds on bat uniforms
 2. 1976 White Sox collared jerseys & shorts
 1. Yankees classic pinstriped home uniform

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Another one of Anna's water colors.

New Years' Eve

On New Years' Eve Anna, Caroline Hargreaves, and Britney pose at the World Congress Center. As always, click to enlarge.

Water Color

Anna's watercolor painting of a photo of her and Emily
at the beach this past summer.
Photo taken not far from Water Color, FL.

Good Dog

Barney doesn't bark all the time.


Photo of Anna and friends at Monday's Ed Sheeran concert, downtown at the Tabernacle. Photo taken and tweeted by the heart-throb himself.

CSI Norcross

What my car looked like after the break in. Glass everywhere. Boot had been picked up from the floorboard, then left on the seat. Briefcase untouched. Will be MUCH more careful in the future.

Nike Roshe Run

Of course this simple shoe picture would be the most viewed on my blog. Since it doesn't do justice to the simple beauty of the Roshe, almost four years later I'm adding a few Roshe pics.
I completely missed the slip on Roshes, that look great but would look too skinny on my own feet.
Saw these at the Lenox Nike Store. Like.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Braves' Faithful?

Ever read Faithful, the Stephen King / Stewart O’Nan day-to-day dialog about the Red Sox’ 2004 season? I loved it. The authors read the book on CD. O’Nan went to tons of games and related his personal experiences of shagging BP home runs and vying for parking lot autographs. King suffered from his Maine home, taking several trips south to Boston for games.

It would be fun to do something similar for the Braves season. My accountant friend follows the team closer than anyone I know, and goes to every Friday home game. He is a unemotional stats/numbers/salary cruncher, and understands the business aspects of assembling a team. Another friend goes to almost every weekend game. He writes for the Baptist Press, but he’s still cool. My writer friend in New York also follows the Braves closely. Too bad we don’t have a book deal.  

I didn’t dig too deep into the AJC comments, but it seemed like the overall reaction to the trade was mostly favorable, considering the loss of the beloved Prado. Martin plays hard, and the resulting injuries caused him to miss a lot of games in 2011. Wren seemed to be given positive credit. Even Rowland’s Office didn’t slam it too bad. I finally bookmarked RO on my cell phone, so I’m reading it more.

What do you think the batting order will look like? Simmons, Heyward, Justin, Freeman, BJ, McCann, Uggla, 3B to make it righty/lefty? We had discussed how Delgado lacked the killer instinct, and I think he is not a big loss. We retain all our top prospects, so even if the brothers are inconsistent, the trade seems like no huge loss. I’m hoping the brothers will be happy to be together, and drive each other to play well.

The Lincoln book was good. Guess I should rate it. Along with many of the usual details, Killing Lincoln chronicled the last few days/battles of the Civil War and added extra info about Grant and Booth. Based on several interesting bits of historical information, O’Reilly wondered if Secretary of State Stanton was somehow involved in the conspiracy, pointing to large untraceable payoffs, etc. Lots of info on Lincoln’s absent bodyguard, who had a poor work record and was drinking at the bar next door when the shooting occurred, then disappeared into the night. He was never punished for his misdeeds. Hadn’t heard of that new film.

The Torre book is full of good stuff. I’m on the library waiting list for several books on my GoodReads list. Funny that the book written my JFK’s mistress was available…I’m picking it up today. I meant to tell Will about GoodReads. He seems to be reading a lot more than he used to.
Just this morning I remembered about Anna’s longtime ballet friend Molly, whose family C & A went to Chicago with several years ago. Anna dropped out when ballet became a 4-5 night per week activity, but Molly stuck with it, dancing in the Atlanta ballet’s Nutcracker. Now she’s auditioning for the Boston ballet. Will’s Living Science classmate, now a student at Stamford, dances in the Birmingham Ballet.

Nothing big on tap for the weekend.

Braves Catchers Over the Years

.315…36…101…Joe Torre (ASG)
.146…03…013…Bob Uecker…990 F% in 59 games
…………………..Bob Didier
.260…33…087…Earl Williams (ASG, 1971 ROY)
…………………..Dale Murphy .966 F% in 85 games
.242…18…260…Bruce Benedict career (ASG)
.242…17…050…Ozzie Virgil
.161…05…023…Jody Davis (1990)
.242…07…043…Greg Olson
.328…43…109…Javy Lopez (ASG)
.234…17…051…Charlie O’Brien (caught 112 games)
.251…10…042…Eddie Perez (caught 350 games)
.314…09…076…Johnny Estrada (2004 ASG)
.284…04…011…Jarrod Saltlamacchia .989 F% in 47 games
.279……………..Brian McCann .991 F% (ASG)
…………………..David Ross

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Worldwide Pants

Bought a pair of new pair of black slacks. Had to retire a few pair that had worn out, and needed more for the work rotation. Lately I’ve only been wanting to wear black or dark grey slacks. Guess I need a pair of navy slacks. I also am a sucker for black warm-up pants. Great to wear on weekends, except for church. Just bought two more pair that I really didn’t need. The new cotton Nike pair will be warmer. I have a warm navy pair I need to wear. I like my two pair of dri-fit warm-ups…one Nike and one New Balance. The two pair of adidas warm-ups are nice, but thin. I need to put the other old pair in my car, to run in. I’d like to get some blue adidas warm-up pants, and maybe a white or light grey pair to run in when its dark, for greater visibility.

Didn’t watch TV Tuesday night. Matthew was doing schoolwork. Ceil cooked his favorite meal: hot wings. Also a chicken breast for her and me. I drove Anna to art. She pouted about not being able to drive herself,
but the rush hour traffic headed to East Cobb from Sandy Springs can be tough. Later I had to go pick her up.

Monday night Anna went to the Ed Sheeran concert at the Tabernacle. She’s been on the go ever since she got her license last Wednesday. Thursday she went to Starbucks. Friday she went out to eat with friends at CPK, Saturday to a party north of Alpharetta, and Sunday she drove to church. Tonight she drives to art class in Sandy Springs. We’ll make her stay home Wednesday and Thursday. Will spent Monday night at home last night and woke up early to drive back to Athens.

Matthew is starting to want to go out every Saturday to look for CD’s at thrift stores. If we go I combine the trip with other errands I need to run. On our trips I usually pick him up Taco Bell, since he eats so little of our regular meals at home. This past Saturday we were sick, and I was waiting for the window guy to come. Since M is interested in cars I called him out to watch the window get replaced, but he didn’t stay for long.

Reading my Joe Torre book. When he was 18 one of his best friends was Tony Orlando. In 1960 he bought his first car from Bud Selig. Torre is quite introspective and forthcoming on what led to the successes and failures of his career, including intimate family details and his own immaturity. Did I write about ? People use it to list and find books to read. You list what categories you like, which books you’ve read and want to read, and it suggests similar books. Rob Suggs is on there, as is Jeff Henderson, the former Buckhead Church pastor, and several other people I know. I’ve added my reading list, so when I go to the library I can have a list of books I want to check out.

The new Jackie Robinson movie “42” was filmed in Chattanooga’s old Engle Stadium. Not sure if any was filmed in Macon’s Luther Williams Field. Saw Chipper play at Luther Williams. In the mid-60’s the Macon Peaches were a Reds farm team. Not sure who I saw, but Pete Rose and Tony Perez played in Macon. The story is resurfacing about the Braves bad TV deal being one of the worst in baseball. Terry McGuirk is taking the high road, not pointing fingers but saying the Braves should be able to remain competitive if they manage the team properly. Yet replies to DOB and Mark Bowman aren’t as civil (or educated).

Haven’t gotten into basketball full throttle yet, except for the Tech games and NBA. Tech played a good first half against Duke.

Falcons: my concern is the offense won’t be as potent without Tony Gonzalez. I did read the kicker story in SI, which was good. It didn’t do into much detail about his kicking. I thought his decision was solid, picking a smaller school where he wanted to live as opposed to a major school where his chances were slimmer.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Business Travel

I have been on over seventy business trips, both near and far, short and long. Some people go on seventy trips a year. Here are the ones I can remember, in approximate chronological order:

Jacksonville FL, P&G job interview
DuPont, Lugoff SC plant: deliver parts
Birmingham AL: US Steel Mill tour
Optima Enclosures, Tucker GA: customer visit
Siemens Energy, Tucker GA: customer visit

Leggett & Platt, Decatur GA: customer appreciation banquet
Overhead Door, Athens GA: plant tour
Vidalia GA: customer visit: ate frog legs, alligator, etc. at swamp restaurant
Norcross GA Sales Training: Hawks game
Atlantic Steel mill tour, downtown Atlanta.

Fountain Inn SC customer visit
Westinghouse Sumter SC customer visit
Westinghouse Asheville NC customer visit
Westinghouse Greenwood SC customer visit
Kiawah Key SC golf tournament

Orangeburg SC customer visit
Norcross GA Sales Training: Braves game
Cartersville GA bar mill tour
Greensboro NC: AS400 with Laura Smith and Rob Grogan. Where I was when Sid slid.
Little Rock AR: AS400 training. Hubcap burgers at Cauddums Restaurant out in the swamp.

Little Rock AR: drive over for follow-up training.
Gainesville GA: Royal Lakes golf tournament
Colombia SC Quality Audit. Burgers with warehouse manager.
Greenville SC Quality Audit
Jacksonville FL Quality Audit (drive)

EZGo Augusta GA customer visit
Tampa FL Quality Audit (fly)
Richmond VA Quality Audit (drive)
Ft. Smith AR Quality Audit (fly)
Birmingham AL Quality Audit. BBQ.
Snapper, McDonough GA customer tour. OB's BBQ.

Louisville KY: aluminum mill tour / seminar
Charleston SC Nucor mill tour (drive)
Charlotte NC: Quality Audit.
Steel Dynamics, Butler IN mill tour with cousin Dic Dac.
Inland Steel Chicago IL plant tour when I carried Olympic Torch
Detroit MI metallurgy seminar (drive)

Chicago IL expanded metal plant tour with Randy and Alan Singleton (fly)
Birmingham AL: vendor plant visit
Charlotte NC AS400 Conversion (4 weeks) Jocks & Jill’s, Mexican, church buffet, Chinese.
Chicago IL: Work Order software meeting with Phil Duffy (fly). Dinner at Pappadeaux.
Chattanooga TN AS400 Conversion. Commuted daily home to Marietta. Dined at mountaintop country club, Fuddruckers, and Baskin Robbins

Tulsa OK AS400 Conversion. Dinner at the country club where the PGA was played.
Dallas TX AS400 Conversion Rangers game, Cowboys open house, Six Flags, School Book Depository
Tulsa OK: Follow-up visit. Lunch at interesting seafood/meat/butcher shop.
Dallas TX: follow-up training. Golf with Dallas employees.
Houston TX: vendor tour with Randy.

Birmingham AL: WO Training. Golf with Bham employees, Chinese with GM & OSM.
Shreveport LA: Give seminar at whse mgr meeting. Eat at casino.
Houston TX: AS400 Conversion. Astros game, Houston’s with Brantley, Mexican with Mike Jackson.
Charlotte NC WO Training: Returned early when Jenny went missing.
Greensboro NC: WO Training (drive)

Tampa FL: WO Training (drive): drive to St. Pete for Rays game.
Richmond VA: WO Training (drive): BBQ with GM
Birmingham AL: WO Training, lunch with GM at Diner
Orlando FL: AS400 Conversion with Steve Apostle. Several weeks long, drove every time. Drove to St Pete for a Rays game.

Steel Services: golf tourney in Forsyth GA
Gainesville GA: pick up parts at vendor
Carrier Air Conditioning, Athens GA: deliver parts to customer
Miami FL: Attend last GT/Miami game in Orange Bowl w/ Apostle & Nelson. Cuban Diner
Main Steel Polishing, Atlanta, GA: vendor plant tour

Specfab, Greenville SC: vendor plant tour. Golf on way home.
Gastonia NC vendor plant tour
Steel Services Macon GA vendor plant tour / golf tournament
Charleston SC: Ryerson Coil Processing: lunch with plant manager
Evans Tool & Die, Conyers GA physical inventory

Champion Tooling, Anderson SC physical inventory
Clairon Stampings, Covington GA vendor plant tour
RayPaul Coatings, Marietta, GA vendor plant tour
EZGo Augusta GA physical inventory / plant tour (3 times)

Rise Up...Next Year

Seems like the Falcons defense couldn’t stop the 49ers offense in the second half. This deep in the playoff you gotta play perfect football. The interception and fumble didn’t help. Neither did the two personal foul penalties. In the second half the Niners made adjustments to make Atlanta’s passing game not quite so potent. With Michael Turner hurt, that took away the Falcons running game.

Falcons had a great season…advancing further than all but three other teams. Will be tougher next season without Tony Gonzalez. Hopefully the defense can get better.

After work Friday I went for a run at a soccer complex near work. Someone busted out a window on the Civic. Nothing was stolen, though there was plenty they could have taken…briefcase, laptop, new iPhone, wallet, Falcons jersey. Looked like they picked up my boot, then left it on the seat. In the future I will be MUCH more careful.

One Sunday night before we had kids we drove Ceil’s old Mazda 626 to SPdL. We were running late for the service and had to park far in back of the upper lot. Ceil left her purse on the floorboard, and someone broke the passenger window and stole it. I’ll have to write about the time a burglar stole a new stove from our Morningside garage.

Friday night Ceil wanted to Redbox a movie, so we watched Trouble With the Curve. We enjoyed it, and it seemed to get better as it went along. Still, not the greatest movie ever. I did like Justin Timberlake and Amy Adams. Macon’s old Luther Williams Field got some screen time.

With no Monday classes, Will came home for the weekend. Last weekend he went hiking on Grandfather Mountain in NC.

Got the window replaced Saturday. As usual, going in and out of the cold Friday and Saturday made me sneeze uncontrollably, and wore me out. Matthew was sick as well, so we stayed home Sunday morning. Passion cancelled their 4 pm service for the Falcon game, and had a pep rally/cookout after the 11 am service.  

Back before they built the FLC in 1990, I had a key to the old SPdL gym that I would use from time to time. I wish I had a key to one of the church gyms at the end of my street!

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Interesting Friday. Our GM degreed Friday as jersey day, and wore a knockoff Tom Brady jersey. Dennis and Chris wore Falcon T shirts and Darryl wore his 49ers pullover. I broke out my white Joey Harrington replica jersey, that I bought off the TJMaxx clearance rack for three bucks. Looked good with jeans and my thrift store Ecco boots.

After work I laid the jersey and my black jacket in the front passenger seat, then set my laptop briefcase on the front passenger seat floorboard. Drove a mile to the Pinkneyville Soccer Complex to walk/run a couple of laps around the track. Since there were several cars in the front and middle lots, I pulled left to one of my regular parking spaces. There was one minivan on the other side of the lot. As I quickly changed into my running gear, a brown 2000 Chevy Impala pulled into the lot. An African-American teenager got out with his skateboard, and appeared to make his way across the street to the skate park.

It was a beautiful day, and there were about ten others using the facility. I recognized one or two as regulars. I've been coming to this track since October. There haven't been any soccer practices in January, and the fields are rarely used on Fridays. As usual, during my run/walk I kept an eye on my surroundings. Its fun to kick the pine cones and gum-balls off the paved trail. I also check out the cars passing by on Old Peachtree, and those in the lot. When I pass someone I'm always ready to nod a hello. Some reply, and others don't. I try to time my walking periods to when there's no other runners nearby, so no one thinks me to be a stalker.

While completing my first lap I noticed the brown Impala driving toward the exit. I'd thought I'd seen the Impala before, and thought little of it. I made decent time on my run. Due to the rain this was my first run of the week, and only my second outing of the new year.

As I came into the home stretch of my last lap, I looked left (east) across the parking lot. The setting sun was shining on my car. The front passenger window appeared to be rolled down, or at least much cleaner than the back window. The sight was odd enough for me to keep looking. By the time I drew even with the front of my car I could tell the window wasn't there...and broken glass was on the ground  next to the car.

My first thoughts were all my laptop files that aren't backed up. The new iPhone I had just activated the day before had been left in my driver's side door pocket, next to my wallet. Over the months I'd become careless with what I'd leave exposed in the car. I approached the car and looked in the passenger window. Broken glass was everywhere. I didn't want to touch anything. 

Apparently the culprit and picked up my jeans to check the size and style, then reached over my briefcase and picked up a boot. I like my "new" black Ecco boots. Warm, comfortable, and stylish. New, the price is well over one hundred dollars. For me, a great deal at Goodwill: six bucks. Perhaps they weren't the burglar's size, or he was looking for Timberlands. At first I thought the Falcons jersey was stolen, but it was still buried at the bottom of the pile.

The Civic's middle compartment had been opened, but there was nothing of value in there. Had the burglar looked across the car, my iPhone and wallet weren't too hard to spot. Perhaps they had been spooked. I was quite fortunate: nothing had been taken.

I immediately called 911, and was connected to the Gwinnett Police. They took my name and promised to call back. By that time the elderly oriental man had completed his walk and was returning to his van. I walked across the parking lot in an unthreatening manner, and pointed to my car. He might've seen a "white car" parked next to mine during one of his laps. Later I flagged down one of the regular runners, but he hadn't seen anything.

I walked to the front entrance, looking for the brown Impala. Sometimes a Berkeley Lake police will cruise the lot. I called them, but they switched me back to the Gwinnett Police. They told me I didn't need to wait around, but they would call back.

Drove home with the heater blasting. Stopped at the stinky Kroger for Ceil, and the police called and took down the information. Got home, then later drove to another Kroger to Redbox "Trouble With the Curve". The movie was just ok. Ceil and Matthew made spicy chili, which enflamed my sore throat.

Saturday morning I called the Glass King, and left a message. I noticed they had a location nearby, so I bundled up and took the van up to check them out. On my way the King returned my call. He would come to me and put in a new window for $159.00. Less then my deductable, of course. While I was out I got air in the tire, filled up with gas, returned a library book and the Redbox movie, and picked up a few things at Kroger.

Running around, the van had warmed up, and every time I got in and out of the van the warm/cold change was making me sneeze. Got home and had to lie down. In between rest times I ate lunch (leftover chicken & dumplings) and cleaned out the van. The Glass King arrived, and we had a nice chat as he made the repair. By the time he was finished I felt terrible. 

The rest of the afternoon I had uncontrollable sneezing fits. Watched "You've Got Mail" then went upstairs to bed. Slept like a rock for two hours. Ceil made homemade dough and cooked pizza. Sunday morning I feel better, but am still weak.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sore Throat

Thought I was feeling better. Left work Wednesday thinking I was going to run, but then it started raining. Maybe I should’ve run anyway. After supper (ravioli, butterbeans, creamed corn, and broccoli) I went in to lay down on the living room couch, before 8 pm. Fell asleep for over two hours. Woke up with a sore throat. Took some nighttime medicine and went up to bed.

Got my replacement phone Wednesday, and got it activated that night. Today I got my work email and contacts added. Tonight I’ll add my other email accounts. Back in business.

Anna got her driver’s license late Wednesday. She wanted to go out afterwards, but we hadn’t added her onto the insurance yet. This week Matthew completed all his schoolwork early…a very rare occasion. He still has some catching up to do, but it was almost a cause for celebration.

During the winter all the changes going from being warm to being cold drives my nose crazy. Getting out of the warm bed, walking across the colder room, getting into the hot shower, then leaving the bathroom to put on clothes. Bundling up, waiting for the car to warm up, walking across the cold parking lot into work. I’ve been trying to dress warmly, and keep my feet warm. Exercising more is great, but I’m sure the outside air activates my allergies, and my nose runs and I have fits of sneezing, making me weak. Medicines dry me out. Perhaps if I keep exercising my body will adapt. Not really interested in taking maintenance meds in an effort to improve things.

Mighty Mites: Harrison was a tiny mop-haired dynamo, who would hustle around the court making steals. I remember Russ and Rodbell…dark hair? Andy Earnest sounds familiar…is Harrill his tiny little brother? I had one MM player who went on to become a Parade All America soccer player at Lovett. Every year when I ran the Peachtree I would see his dad, standing near the High Museum. One year Rick Statham was my assistant. Another year it was my Tech friend Sharon Langley. Later Sharon coached her own team. She loved Mary Elizabeth Teem.

Took Anna to art Tuesday night, then M and I stopped by the East Cobb library. Ceil cooked chicken and dumplings and baked bread, then took some to sick, pregnant Margaret Ewing Gaither. Her baby daughter’s picture is on the box of some baby product stocked in stores like Babies R Us. Went back and picked up Anna, letting M eat a Taco Bell burrito. After art Anna drove around the parking lot, practicing parallel parking. She takes her drivers test today.  

Josh Smith: if/when he ever leaves the Hawks, he will probably grow up and become even more of a beast of a player.

Ode to East Cobb

East Cobb may not be the trendiest area of town these days, but I enjoy living here, for many reasons.

NEIGHBORHOODS: Though most of the many neighborhoods are starting to age, most are kept in good shape. Some are newer than others. Many feature tranquil lakes. My favorite spot? Tiny Bishop Lake Road cuts from Highway 120 near the Fulton County line over to Johnson Ferry, avoiding the area’s most congested traffic. Lovely little Bishop Lake is surrounded by houses old and new, giving it the look of a mountain lake.

TRAFFIC: Like every area of town, traffic rears its ugly head in East Cobb…particularly on what I call Upper Roswell Road: highway 120 from the Avenue East Cobb west to the 120 Loop. The great thing about East Cobb is the number of alternate routes there are to get somewhere. There are at least five main east-west thoroughfares that can be taken, that help avoid lights and congestion. There are several alternate north-south routes as well. East Cobb is filled with older-style neighborhoods that fill up the space between two major thoroughfares, so they can be used as detours if a main road is backed up. East Cobb is located right in between I-75, I-285, and GA 400.

RIVER: The winding Chattahoochee serves as beautiful southern border for Cobb County. Roads seem to travel along the banks of the river. Where there are no roads, there are trails for bicycles and walkers. Not far from our house there are trails that meander through the woods and along the river, filled with deer and other wild animals. Other trails start at Johnson Ferry and continue all the way to the 285 river bridge. Unlike in Roswell and Alpharetta, limited bridges over the river does not hinder traffic in East Cobb, especially now that the Johnson Ferry bridge was been widened to six lanes.

Lower Roswell Road runs from Roswell past the Chattahoochee Nature Center and along the river, then makes a sharp left at the Timber Ridge intersection up a hill, then cuts right over to Johnson Ferry. It was a little used two lane road that resembled a drive in the mountains. Then the Cobb County government decided to spend millions to “improve” the road, adding sidewalks on BOTH sides of the road and widening the road to allow for turn lanes and bike paths. There’s talk of adding a traffic circle in a very natural area, right by the river, where Timber Ridge dead-ends into Lower Roswell. Quite the overkill, further spoiling what was once a beautiful, undeveloped, natural area.      

RESTAURANTS: While East Cobb may not have the widest variety of eating establishments, it does have a decent selection. It’s not overridden with chains, which is good thing. There are plenty of local eateries up and down Johnson Ferry. A quick list includes Chili’s, Houlihans, Houcks, Moes, Zaxbys, Chipotle, Zoë’s Kitchen, Taco Bell, McDonalds, Wendy’s, Dunkin Donuts, El Porton, Ted’s Montana Grill, Waffle House, Chick-fil-A, Firehouse Subs, O’Charleys, Chepes, Longhorn Steakhouse, Mellow Mushroom, California Pizza Kitchen, Willys, Panda Express, Arby’s, Panera, and many, many more. Locally-owned Moxie Burger has been getting lots of good publicity around town. Roswell’s downtown row of trendy eateries is just a stone’s throw away. It’s not much farther to Sandy Springs, the Perimeter area, or Buckhead.

SHOPPING: Fortunately, East Cobb is not overridden with endless big box shopping centers like the North Point and Perimeter areas. These places aren’t far away, but there’s still plenty of shopping in East Cobb. The Avenue boasts many mall store, including the Gap, American Eagle, Bed Bath & Beyond, Talbots, PeachMac, Victoria’s Secret, Joseph A Bank, and more. Nearby is Target, Wal-Mart, two Home Depots, Old Navy, and Kohl’s, and more. Two large multiplex movie theaters, plus a smaller theater showing older dollar movies.

GROCERIES: five or six Kroger’s, four or five Publix’s, a Whole Foods, and a Trader Joes. There are also grocery sections in the Wal-Mart’s and Targets, and a few smaller groceries.

SCHOOLS: Led by Walton, East Cobb has several of the top high schools in the state. Pope, Lassiter, and Wheeler aren’t far behind. There are several nearby private schools, as well as multiple home-schooling options.

CHURCHES: Plenty of places to worship, in many faiths and denominations, with congregations large, medium, and small. Most offer a wide range of ministries. Over the years our family has taken part in events at Johnson Ferry Baptist, East Cobb Presbyterian, Mt. Zion Methodist, Mt. Paran Church of God, Shallowford Falls Community Church, Mt. Bethel UMC, and Sewell Mill Baptist. St Peters Episcopal, East Cobb Church of Christ, Roswell UMC, Eastside Baptist, Cobb Community Church, and St Ann’s Catholic Church.    

PARKS: Cobb County loves to build parks. In addition to the area along the river, a few years ago the county opened the large, expansive East Cobb Park one mile west of Johnson Ferry Road, on Highway 120. The heavily used park is also home to a non-denominational tree-lighting service in December.  

BASEBALL: Success in the little league world series many years ago made East Cobb a baseball hotbed. Actually, “machine” or “business” may be a better word. There are many leagues scattered around East Cobb, including Eastside, Mt. Paran, Johnson Ferry, Shaw Park, Oregon Park, Sandy Plains. and two more with names that escape me. But East Cobb Baseball is the monolith that attracts players from all over the state (and further), producing national championships and sending numerous players to colleges and pros…every year. ECB is also big business, filling local hotels and restaurants with teams traveling to town for tournaments every weekend of the summer. Almost every year one of the local high schools makes it to the state baseball finals.

GOLF: At least two courses are in East Cobb (Marietta Country Club and Indian Hills) with several more courses and ranges real close. For many years the PGA Tour played the BellSouth Classic at the MCC.