Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Now 6 Hours Seems Short

Sounds like my Tuesday commute was similar to several others I heard about. Ever since the Athens incident in 82 I’ve tried to avoid the snow. Only in the past few years have I ventured out to work. With Tuesday’s forecast calling for light snow north of Atlanta I figured any commute home wouldn’t be too bad. I was wrong.
The powers that be closed the Norcross office at two, after dire reports from a co-worker headed to Acworth. I was one of the first out the door, and found no backups on Peachtree Industrial. When Spaulding backed up I successfully cut through the outskirts of Berkeley Lake over to Peachtree Parkway – which was slow both north and south. No problem. I stayed straight on East Jones Bridge to West Jones Bridge to Peachtree Corners Circle. I was happy to see traffic wasn’t bad there, or on Spaulding.

Holcomb Bridge headed west across the river was slow, but moving. Only when I neared the Chick-fil-a/Kroger/Studio Movie Grill did it slow to a snail’s pace. Knowing some alternate routes, I first tried hilly Barnwell. With only one lane passible, I cut through the Kroger shopping center. Worried about my quarter tank of gas, I filled up at Kroger ($2.079 – not bad).

Back on the road at 3:20, I found the same story on hilly Nesbit Ferry. A fire truck was helping cars that had slid off the road. I had planned to cut through a subdivision and come out at the new Target. Instead I cut through the Studio Movie Grill back to Holcomb Bridge. Since one lane of cars was trying to turn right from the shopping center, only one car was making it on each green. I went left so I could turn onto the left westbound lane – when the huge pickup behind me swung around and took my spot – leaving me stranded between the two lanes of traffic.

As traffic crawled westward I alternated listening to WSM AM750 and my book on CD. Called co-worker Tim, who was also headed west. Snacked on Cheerios, but I drank all the water I had. Ceil had gone to Publix earlier, making it home just before Johnson Ferry gridlocked. As the sun set and hilly Holcomb Bridge grew icy I found it harder and harder to concentrate on my book, so I finally stayed tuned to WSB. Considered stopping at a restaurant to wait for the traffic to thin. Glad I didn’t. Another co-worker header my way spent the night in a Holcomb Bridge Kroger.

Knowing Holcomb Bridge traffic was slowed by all the cars exiting 400, I knew my only chance to get home before midnight was to cut under 400 on Riverside/Eves Road/Old Alabama. I turned left on Eves, but the backed up traffic told me that the steep hill down to the river was impassible (later another driver confirmed this). I turned around, crossed over Holcomb Bridge, made a U turn, then made a right back on HB west.

Nerves were growing thin. Interesting demographic of drivers/makes of cars who were inconsiderent/selfish/stupid/put themselves before others – including a couple of cars with “In God We Trust” plates. I did have a nice chat with a CRV driver concerning my Eves Road thesis. Finally made my way into Martin’s Landing. Many cars were using the subdivision as a cut through from the river to HB. Luckily, few were headed my way. Had this route not worked I was ready to park my car and walk.

The roads were flat down by the river – but icy. Cars were sliding on Riverside, but I cruised past the Normans. Amazingly, I did not have to stop at the Roswell Road/Atlanta Street intersection. The light was green, and no cars were ahead of me. Then I had to follow a BMW driving VERY slowly. Made it over to Highway 120 with no problems. Almost home, I realize the hilly street I live on would be too slick. I would have to walk from the Catholic church. From time to time I was seeing reports of people walking, and of many teachers I knew staying at their school with students.

Turned on 120 and saw cars stopped headed up the hill. I quickly made the decision to backtrack and park at the Anytime Fitness at the corner of Willeo and 120. It was 6:30 pm – 4-1/2 hours into my trip. Pulled on a pair of warmups over my slacks, added a second jacket, changed into running shoes, and donned a stocking cap and two pairs of gloves. Slung my briefcase over my shoulder (my boss would be proud), and trudged up the hill.

Got a great view of the action on the hill. Some cars just couldn’t make it, including a Toyota minivan. Some guys were helping push. Two girls were checking to make sure everyone was ok. They asked me if I needed a place to stay. At the top of the hill a guy was locking his Civic that had run off the road. He walked down the hill with me to Kroger. He worked at the tire store next door, where he planned on spending the night. I ducked into Kroger to use the restroom for the first time in over five hours.

After I warmed up some I continued on. Traffic was light – very few cars were making it up the hill from Roswell.  The cold wasn’t a problem – only my face was chilly. I stuck to the side of the road where the snow had been beaten down, so walking wasn’t too much of an effort. The snow was dry, so my feet didn’t get wet. After the huge uphill, then downhill to Kroger, I had another long uphill to my subdivision. Then the hills got slicker and steeper.
I stuck to the snowy yards, only to step out onto the road to avoid mailboxes and bushes. Sure enough, I eventually slipped. Instead of trying to catch myself, I let myself fall as softly as possible. Standing back up on the ice wasn’t simple, but I made it. Heard my phone ring three times, but it would’ve taken too much effort to take it out of my pocket with my big gloves on.

Walked in the door at 8 pm. Six hours – a lot better than many.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

They're All Special

Couldn’t resist adding the reebok zigs to my closet. To compensate I skipped Taco bell Saturday and started selling my shoes on eBay. I make too many lists, particularly of my shoes, but here’s an updated list.
8.50 New grey NB Dec 13
5.25 Grey NB flag 2013
5.50 Grey NB USA 2012
0.00 Black NB 2010
5.50 Navy NB 2011

5.00 black/orange NB Sept 13
4.00 blue Jordan Relays Nov 13
4.25 silver/blue Reebok Zigs Jan 14
6.00 Reebok Pump black 2012
3.00 white/green Puma Brasil 2011

3.00 blue/grey Nike Blazer (sell) 2012
20.00 red Puma Suede (sell) 2009
20.00 red Puma Liga (sell) Aug 13
-10.00 grey/orange Puma Vortex (sold) 2009
21.00 black Jordan 7 slipons (sell) Jan 14

6.00 Merrell winter mocs (sell) 2007
6.00 Timberland slipons 2011
9.99 yellow Reebok Pumps (sell?) 2006
4.00 Puma Roma white/navy (sell) 2005
3.50 navy Crocs 2010

$130.50 total (20 pairs over ten years) $6.53 each

Monday, January 27, 2014

HOF Caps

We wondered about Maddux's HOF cap for years, and now it's finally been decided. Braves fans are "shocked." Greg always thought several steps ahead. He is just as beloved by Cubs fans as he is in Atlanta – perhaps even more so. Smart move by the Cubs to retire his number. I was stung, but at this point I'm kinda over such matters.

Fans are also mad at Wren and Liberty because EOF accepted a huge offer to perhaps be the A's closer…not very far away from a mother-in-law with cancer.

I liked Mark Bowman's comment about Chris Johnson teaching the kids how to figure a batting average: "He didn't explain WAR or OPS" That dovetails perfectly with your analysis. Most of the trolls complaining about the lack of Braves moves never think about WAR. They also aren't aware of what so many experts like Billy Beane say about the playoffs: that it's a crapshoot.

Saturday M went to see Jack Ryan. I enjoyed watching Larry Crown for the second time.

See where Bryan Coley's movie is showing at AMC Barrett Commons on Feb 20? Tickets must be bought in advance. That's a Thursday, so we'll see if anyone can go.

Will take a while for me to get up to speed on Windows 7.

Last Tuesday night we had our guys small group meeting. Me and one other GT grad, a UGA grad, and an Arkansas grad. Paul Johnson's job security came up, so I mentioned that GT ticketholders were dissatisfied with Gregory. I felt like I was someone in the know.

Lunch meeting here at work last Wednesday – pizza and salad. Tuesday I bought lunch at Kroger: carrots, yogurt, and cereal. Tuesday night Ceil cooked a chicken noodle casserole. I passed, but will probably eat the leftovers.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Great NFL QB's by Team

1. Peyton Manning
2. Brett Farve
3. Johnny Unitas
4. Joe Montana
5. Terry Bradshaw
6. Tom Brady
7. Roger Staubach
8. Steve Young
9. John Elway/Norm Van Brocklin
10. Bart Starr/Joe Namath
Bengals: Booner Esiason, Ken Anderson, Andy Dalton, Greg Cook
Bills: Jim Kelly, Jack Kemp, Joe Ferguson, Dennis Shaw
Broncos: John Elway, Peyton Manning, Frank Tripuka, Charlie Johnson
Browns: Otto Graham, Frank Ryan, Bernie Kosar, Brian Sipe
Chargers: Dan Fouts, John Hadl, Phillip Rivers
Chiefs: Len Dawson, Bill Kenney, Steve DeBerg
Colts: Peyton Manning, Johnny Unitas, Andrew Luck, Bert Jones, Earl Morrall
Dolphins: Dan Marino, Bob Griese, Earl Morrall, Ryan Tannyhill, David Woodley
Jaguars: Mark Brunnell, Bryon Leftwich, David Garrard, Blaine Gabbert
Jets: Joe Namath, Richard Todd, Ken O’Brien, Chad Pennington
Patriots: Tom Brady, Drew Bledsoe, Jim Plunkett, Tony Eason
Raiders: Ken Stabler, Jim Plunkett, Darrel Lamonica
Ravens: Joe Flacco, Trent Dilfer
Steelers: T.Bradshaw, B.Rothlesberger, Mark Malone, Cliff Stout, Terry Hanratty, Joe Gilliam, Kordell Stewart 
Texans: Matt Schaub, David Carr
Titans: Warren Moon, Steve McNair, Dan Pastorini, Kerry Collins, Jake Locker, George Blanda

Bears: Jim McMahon, Sid Luckman, Jay Cutler, Bobby Douglass
Bucs: Shawn King, Vinnie Testaverde, Trent Dilfer, Doug Williams
Cardinals: Jim Hart, Kurt Warner, Neil Lomax, Jake Plummer
Cowboys: Roger Staubach, T.Aikman, Danny White, Eddie LeBaron, T.Romo
Eagles: Norm Van Brocklin, R.Cunningham, R.Jaworski, D.McNabb
Falcons: Matt Ryan, Steve Bartkowski, Chris Chandler, Bob Berry
49ers: Joe Montana, Steve Young, John Brodie, Colin Kapernick, YA Tittle
Giants: Eli Manning, Fran Tarkenton, YA Tittle, Phil Simms
Lions: Bobby Layne, M.Stafford, Dutch Clark, E.Kramer, Gary Danielson, G.Landry
Packers: Brett Farve, Bart Starr, Aaron Rodgers
Panthers: Cam Newton, Kerry Collins, Steve Beuerlien
Rams: Bob Waterfield, Roman Gabriel, N.Van Brocklin, Kurt Warner, S.Bradford
Redskins: Sammy Baugh, J.Thiesman, S.Jurgensen, Mark Rypien, Doug Williams, R.Griffin
Saints: Drew Brees, Archie Manning, Billy Kilmer, Bobby Hebert
Seahawks: Russell Wilson, Jim Zorn, Trent Dilfer
Vikings: Fran Tarkenton, Donte Culpepper, Joe Kapp

02 Matt Ryan
10 Steve Bartkowski
12 Chris Chandler
17 Bob Berry
07 Michael Vick
12 Chris Miller
03 Bobby Hebert
19 Bob Lee
01 Jeff George
11 Randy Johnson
14 June Jones

Saturday, January 25, 2014

500 HR Club by Average

Frank Thomas enters the Hall of Fame with the 8th highest batting average for a 500 Home Run Club member. This makes Thomas an exception – over the years the 500 HR Club batting average has been gradually decreasing.
521 344 19 Ted Williams 1960
714 342 22 Babe Ruth 1935
534 325 20 Jimmie Foxx 1945
555 312 19 Manny Ramirez 2011

755 305 23 Hank Aaron 1976
511 304 22 Mel Ott 1947
660 302 22 Willie Mays 1973
521 301 19 Frank Thomas 2008

654 299 20 Alex Rodriquez - active
536 298 18 Mickey Mantle 1968
762 298 22 Barry Bonds 2007
586 294 21 Frank Robinson 1976
509 292 22 Gary Sheffield 2009

569 288 20 Rafael Palmeiro 2005
630 284 22 Ken Griffey 2010
504 287 21 Eddie Murray 1997

621 276 22 Jim Thome 2012
512 274 19 Ernie Banks 1971
609 273 18 Sammy Sosa 2007
512 271 17 Eddie Mathews 1968
521 270 22 Willie McCovey 1980

548 267 18 Mike Schmidt 1989
583 263 16 Mark McGwire 2001
563 262 21 Reggie Jackson 1987
573 256 22 Harmon Killebrew 1975

Friday, January 24, 2014

Super Bowls

I used to be an expert about the Super Bowl. But as the years passed and the number of Super Bowls grew, it became hard to keep up. They all started to run together late in the Steeler dynasty. I’ve watched just about every game. Having this list on the blog will make it easier to keep up. Includes the year the game was player, number, roman numeral, teams, score, stadium, and MVP. The team that wore the colored jersey is in bold.

I've added this list as its own special tab up at the top of the blog, and will be adding each game's Sports Illustrated cover and other iconic Super Bowl photos.

67 1 I: Packers 35 Chiefs 10 (LA Coliseum) Bart Starr
68 2 II: Packers 33 Oakland Raiders 14 ((Orange Bowl) Bart Starr
69 3 III: Jets 16 Baltimore Colts 7 (Orange Bowl) Joe Namath
70 4 IV: Chiefs 23 Vikings 7 (Tulane Stadium, NO) Len Dawson
71 5 V: Baltimore Colts 16 Cowboys 13 (Orange Bowl) Chuck Howley
72 6 VI: Cowboys 24 Dolphins 3 (Tulane Stadium) Roger Staubach
73 7 VII: Dolphins 14 Redskins 7 (LA Coliseum) Jake Scott
74 8 VIII: Dolphins 24 Vikings 7 (Rice Stadium, Houston) Larry Csonka
75 9 IX: Steelers 16 Vikings 6 (Tulane Stadium) Franco Harris
76 10 X: Steelers 21 Cowboys 17 (Orange Bowl) Lynn Swann
77 11 XI: Oakland Raiders 32 Vikings 14 (Rose Bowl) Fred Biletnikoff
78 12 XII Dallas 27 Denver 10 Superdome Harvey Martin/Randy White
79 13 XIII: Steelers 35 Cowboys 31 (Orange Bowl) Terry Bradshaw
80 14 XIV: Steelers 31 LA Rams 19 (Rose Bowl) Terry Bradshaw
81 15 XV: Oakland Raiders 27 Eagles 10 (Superdome) Jim Plunkett
82 16 XVI: 49ers 26 Bengals 21 (Pontiac Silverdome) Joe Montana
83 17 XVII: Redskins 27 Dolphins 17 (Rose Bowl) John Riggins
84 18 XVIII: LA Raiders 38 Redskins 9 (Tampa Stadium) Marcus Allen
85 19 XIX: 49ers 38 Dolphins 16 (Stanford Stadium) Joe Montana
86 20 XX: Bears 46 Patriots 10 (Superdome) Richard Dent
87 21 XXI: Giants 39 Broncos 20 (Rose Bowl) Phil Simms
88 22 XXII Redskins 42 Denver 10 (J.Murphy Stadium, SD) Doug Williams
89 23 XXIII: 49ers 20 Bengals 16 (Joe Robbie Stadium, Mia) Jerry Rice
90 24 XXIV: 49ers 55 Broncos 10 (Superdome) Joe Montana
91 25 XXV: Giants 20 Bills 19 (Tampa Stadium) Ottis Anderson
92 26 XXVI: Redskins 37 Bills 24 (Metrodome) Mark Rypien
93 27 XXVII: Cowboys 52 Bills 17 (Rose Bowl) Troy Aikman
94 28 XXVIII: Cowboys 30 Bills 13 (Georgia Dome) Emmitt Smith
95 29 XXIX: 49ers 49 Chargers 26 (Joe Robbie Stadium, SD) Steve Young
96 30 XXX Dallas 27 Steelers 17 (Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe) Larry Brown
97 31 XXXI: Packers 35 Patriots 21 (Superdome) Desmond Howard
98 32 XXXII Denver 31 Packers 24 (Qualcomm Stadium SD) Terrell Davis
99 33 XXXIII Denver 34 Falcons 19 (Pro Player Stadium, Mia) J.Elway
00 34 XXXIV: St Louis Rams 23 Titans 16 (Georgia Dome) Kurt Warner
01 35 XXXV Ravens 34 Giants 7 (R.James Stadium Tampa) Ray Lewis
02 36 XXXVI: Patriots 20 StL Rams 17 (Superdome) Tom Brady
03 37 XXXVII TB 48 Oak 21 Qualcomm Stadium Dexter Jackson
04 38 XXXVIII Patriots 32 Panthers 29 (Reliant Stadium, Houston) T Brady
05 39 XXXIX Patriots 24 Eagles 21 (Alltel Stadium, J'ville) Deion Branch
06 40 XL: Steelers 21 Seahawks 10 (Ford Field, Detroit) Hines Ward
07 41 XLI Indianapolis Colts 29 Bears 17 (Dolphin Stadium) P Manning
08 42 XLII Giants 17 Patriots 14 (Univ of Phoenix Stadium) E Manning  
09 43 XLIII Steelers 27 Arizona 23 (R James Stadium Santonio Holmes
10 44 XLIV: Saints 31 Colts 17 (Sun Life Stadium, Mia) Drew Brees
11 45 XLV: Packers 31 Steelers 25 (Cowboys Stadium) Aaron Rodgers
12 46 XLVI Giants 21 Patriots 17 (Lucas Oil Stadium Indy) E Manning
13 47 XLVII: Ravens 34 49ers 31 (Superdome) Joe Flacco
14 48 XLVIII: Broncos vs. Seahawks (MetLife Stadium, E Rutherford NJ)
15 49 XLIX: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
16 50 L: Levis Stadium, Santa Clara CA
17 51 LI: Reliant Stadium, Houston

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Reading List: Nov Dec Jan

Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander, by Phil Robertson, with Mark Schlabach.

The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty, by Willie & Korie Robertson, with Mark Schlabach.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia, Book One), by CS Lewis

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, by Michael Lewis. The story of Wall Street’s failed handling of the mortgage crisis. Heavy reading (or listening, in my case).

Talent is Never Enough, by John Maxwell.

World Without End, by Ken Follett.

The Terminal Man, by Michael Crichton. One of the late Crichton’s earliest works, from the early 70’s.

Eaters of the Dead, by Michael Crichton

A Christmas Memory, One Christmas, & The Thanksgiving Visitor, by Truman Capote

Black List (Scot Harvath #11), by Brad Thor

The Columbus Affair, by Steve Berry.

Ten Men You Meet in the Huddle, by Bill Curry. The former head coach shares his experiences with his high school coach, Bobby Dodd, Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr, Ray Nitschke, Willie Davis, Don Shula, Johnny Unitas, Bubba Smith, and George Plimpton. Great book. I learned that in 1973 Plimpton once pitched a three inning exhibition against the Braves in Atlanta Stadium. Curry was his catcher.

Top of the Order: 25 Writers Pick Their Favorite Baseball Player of All Time, by Sean Manning. Forward by WP Kinsella. Neal Pollack on Greg Maddux. Jim Bouton on Steve Dembowski. Jeff Pearlman on Garry Templeton. Doug Glanville on Garry Maddox. Essays on Albert Pujols, Michael Jordan, Lou Gehrig, Brooks Robinson, Tom Seaver, Mookie, Jim Rice, Rickey Henderson, Jackie Robinson, and more.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Connor Dunks

OGLETHORPE BASKETBALL: Will’s former teammate Connor Smith had his first college dunk Saturday night. He’s averaging 8 points and 23 minutes per game – 6th on the team. Connor is one of eight players to play in every game (one of three guards to do so). Oglethorpe is 18-1 for the season, losing only to LaGrange. They have beaten Berry, Swarthmore, and Emory. It’s their best start ever, and they’re ranked 23rd in Division III.

TECH BASKETBALL: I had wondered if GT coach Brian Gregory was overmatched in the ACC. He seems to always be signing players…several are lined up to come in for next season. They just might not be good enough to compete in the ACC. Earlier this year they couldn’t keep up with Dayton. At least Gregory’s contract isn’t huge like Hewitt’s or Johnson’s. I finally corrected the GT schedule in my calendar. I had the entire season messed up.

RAY GUY: My dad told me that when I was ten or eleven he took me to a high school all-star game in Macon. Ray Guy played in the game. I did not remember that. Guy was born in Swainsboro but played for Thomson High (see links)  Wiki and Pro Football Reference

Guy was the first punter to hit the Superdome scoreboard, during the 1976 Pro Bowl. Saints punter Russell Erxleben hit the scoreboard during a 1980 preseason game against the Dolphins. The scoreboard is no longer in the middle of the Superdome, but there is a similar scoreboard in the new Cowboys Stadium. Saints link

BRAVES ARBITRATION: If Heyward puts up huge numbers, then walks, people will forget that back in 2013 they were calling him the next Francoeur. So many make mountains out of molehills, like going to the arbitration hearing with Kimbrel and Heyward.

ELIMINATING THE PAT: Rex Robinson says that if the PAT isn’t worth anything, then long field goals should be worth more. Count 50 yarders as 4 points and 60 yarders as 5 points. Under 30 yarders could count two points.

Roger Goodell does have a point. So many people change the channel during PATs. Less than half of one percent are missed. I’d rather keep the PAT, even if it means moving it back ten or twenty yards. Make the guy who scored the touchdown attempt the kick. But that will never happen because of all the betting on football.

As usual Jeff Schultz goes way overboard, saying that most all special teams need to be eliminated. Special teams is where you see all the dumb plays, and supposedly where the injuries happen. But so often the outcome of a game hinges on a special team play.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Fun Facts: Super Bowl

The Broncos will be wearing orange jerseys in the Super Bowl. In previous Super Bowls the Broncos are 0-3 wearing orange jerseys.

The Broncos are the first Super Bowl team to wear one color jersey (orange), then wear a second colored jersey (navy), then wear the first color jersey again.

This is the 11th Super Bowl in which neither team’s helmet logo contains any letters of the alphabet.

The Broncos are the only team to play in different Super Bowls with and without letters in their helmet logos.

Peyton’s #18 and Wilson’s #3 represent the largest numerical difference between numbers worn by Super Bowl starting QBs. Previous record was SB2 (Starr #15 and Lamonica #3).

QB’s wearing a double-digit number are 12-10 in Super Bowl games against QB’s wearing single-digit numbers. The Falcons own one of the ten losses (Chandler #12 vs. Elway #7).

NOTE: These fun fact were stolen from Monday’s Uni-Watch blog post.

23 Stops in a Day

On the way home from work Friday I spotted a unique pair of Air Jordan 7 loafers. All black, size 12. I could get away with wearing them to work. I passed, and went home and looked them up on line. Found a pair on eBay selling for $140.00. Decided to make the trip back over to Norcross to get them. The fit is tight, but I should make a good profit on eBay.

That turned out to be just part of a Saturday on the go. Ceil was volunteering down at the Passion Conference at Phillips Arena. She had to arrive before 8 am both Friday and Saturday morning, and stay until midnight. To shorten her commute and give her more rest time I picked her up and dropped her off. Saturday those bookended 21 other stops and errands along the way. After the morning trip I took Matthew out to hunt for vintage CD’s at thrift stores. He came up empty, but I found a few items along the way. My Saturday:

1. Phillips Arena to take Ceil
2. BP near Gwinnett Place
3. McDonalds for Egg McMuffins
4. Dollar Tree (not open yet)
5. Post Office (mailed two packages)
6. Goodwill Norcross (Air Jordans)
7. Goodwill East Roswell (did not buy Pumas)
8. Kroger (cereal, yogurt, Redbox)
9. Home (lunch, housework)
10. Park Ave East Cobb (Patagonia shirt)
11. Goodwill Marietta (Star Wars video)
12. Atlanta Union Mission Store near Big Chicken
13. Value Village (did not buy Nats cap or Masters polo)
14. Kennesaw Goodwill (did not buy Masters tee)
15. Walgreens (tea for Matthew)
16. Park Ave Woodstock (did not buy soccer jersey)
17. Goodwill Woodstock (did not buy Red Sox cap)
18. Park Ave Marietta (Callaway golf shorts)
20. Goodwill East Cobb (Minus Zero jacket, Columbia shirt)
21. Willys (burrito)
22. Home (watch Jobs movie, nap)
23. Phillips Arena to pick up Ceil.

Saturday night Anna went down to Little Five Points with friends. I rented the Steve Jobs movie. All alone, Matthew watched The Blind Side.

Sunday morning Ceil went with Anna to Grace Church in Midtown. Since UGA is off Monday Will came home for the special PCC service at Phillips Arena. Left home at 2:30 and didn’t get home until 9 pm. I stayed back and did laundry, cleaned the kitchen and upstairs, worked on eBay, ate popcorn, and watched the NFL games. Later Will cooked quesadillas.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

NFL's Longest Punts

Top Ten Longest Punts in NFL History

98 1969 Steve O’Neal, NYJ
94 1931 Joe Lintzenich, Bears
94 1923 Pete Henry, Canton Bulldogs
93 1991 Shawn McCarty, NE
91 1989 Randall Cunningham, Eagles (QB)

90 2001 Rodney Williams, NYG (Georgia Tech)
90 1965 Don Chandler, GB
89 1984 Luke Prestridge, NE
88 1948 Bob Waterfield, Rams (QB)
87 1984 Dave Finzer, Bears

Other Long Punts of Note

87 1968 Bob Scarpitto, Boston
86 1947 Bob Waterfield, Rams (QB)
86 1957 Larry Barnes, SF
85 1940 Sammy Baugh, Redskins (QB)
82 1961 Paul Maquire, SD (the announcer)

81 2007 Dustin Colquitt, KC (Tennessee)
81 1943 Sammy Baugh, Redskins (QB)
80 1994 Randall Cunningham, Eagles (QB)
79 2012 Drew Butler, Steelers (UGA)
78 1969 Paul Maguire, Bills (the announcer)

78 1943 Sid Luckman, Bears
77 1980 Ray Guy, Raiders (Swainsboro GA)
76 1944 Sammy Baugh, Redskins (QB)
75 1964 Billy Lothridge, Cowboys (Georgia Tech)
75 1975 John James, Falcons

75 1962 Boyd Dowler, GB (WR)
75 1941 Sammy Baugh, Redskins (QB)
74 1976 Dan Pastorini, Oilers (QB)
73 1979 Danny White, Cowboys (QB)
73 1997 Tom Tupa, NE (QB)

73 1978 Bucky Dilts, Broncos (UGA)
73 1964 Yale Lary, Lions (also in 1963)
73 1970 Spike Jones, Oilers (UGA)
73 1944 Frank Sinkwich, Lions QB (UGA)
72 1997 Chris Gardocki, Colts (Clemson)

72 1956 Norm Van Brocklin, Rams (QB)
72 1963 Jerrel Wilson, KC
71 1964 John Hadl, SD (QB)

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Last summer the fashion craze at the beach was Columbia PFG fishing shirts. Anna quickly jumped on the craze (she wore hers twice). here in Atlanta I had seen a few middle-aged men wearing the shirts, sometimes at work on Fridays. The shirts are designed to be worn untucked and look terrible if tucked in. That rules out wearing them to work. I love the lightweight, waterproof fishing pants. I’d wear the them to work, except the bulky cargo pockets don’t look very professional.

After we returned from the beach I started looking for the shirts and since then have built up quite the collection – actually more than I need. It would be nice to track down a red UGA shirt or white Tech PFG shirt, or a pair of shorts or swim trunks in my size. These PFG Omni-Shade shirts and pants block harmful ultraviolet rays through tight weave construction, UV absorbers, and with UV reflectors. Here’s my collection…

Light blue PFG short sleeve shirt
Tan PFG short sleeve shirt
Hawaiian print Columbia short sleeve shirt
Bright yellow PFG short sleeve: too big, will sell.
Red check PFG Super Bonefish – too small, will sell
Light yellow PFG long sleeve shirt
Black Columbia winter long sleeve shirt
Will’s black Columbia jacket
Ceil’s black Columbia winter pullover
Anna’s light blue PFG short sleeve shirt
PFG convertible pants/shorts: light green
Bass Pro convertible pants/swimsuit: khaki
Bass Pro convertible pants/swimsuit: hunter
North Face hiking pants: brown
North Face hiking shorts: brown
Gap heavy hiking pants: khaki
REI convertible pants/shorts: khaki (to sell)
Columbia khakis (too short, to sell)
Off-white Columbia cargo pants (to sell)
North Face tan corduroys (to sell)
Will’s khaki REI convertible pants/shorts

PFG stands for Professional Fishing Gear. There’s a neato Columbia store in the new Woodstock outlet mall, though I’ve only made the journey once.

Friday, January 17, 2014

2015 HOF Class: Elite?

Last week ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian wrote a good article about next year’s potential Hall of Fame class. Unlike some writers Kurkjian carefully words his proclamations, not calling a player the greatest ever but instead leaving room for debate. While the column focused on the 2015 candidates, several comments were slanted against two Braves  

Randy Johnson was named one of the ten best pitchers ever, and “by some measures” in the top six. “A strong case can be made” that Johnson is the best left-handed pitcher ever after Lefty Grove. What about Warren Spahn? Spahn won 20 or more games a whopping 13 times, and won 60 more games than Grove or the Big Unit. Considering that Spahn played in Boston, you’d think Kurkjian wouldn’t have left him out. A comparison shows that Johnson only best Spahn in winning percentage and strikeouts. At the very least Tom Glavine deserves to be mentioned.

RJ  22  303 166 .646  3.29 100 4135  4875 1497 190
LG  17  300 141 .680  3.06 298 3940  2266 1187  42
WS  21  363 245 .597 3.09 382 5243  2583 1434  42
TG   22  305 203 .600 3.54   56 4413  2607 1500  66
GM  23  355 227 .610 3.16 109 5008  3371   999 137

Kurkjian calls Johnson the most dominant pitcher of his era. What of Greg Maddux? Depends what “most dominant” means. Maddux dominated with a far lower ERA than other pitchers. Johnson dominated with a wicked slider any all the strikeouts. Johnson hit batters because he was wild (500 more walks than Maddux in 850 fewer innings). Maddux hit batters because he wanted to.

Pedro Martinez: “His 1999 and 2000 seasons might have been the greatest back-to-back years a pitcher has ever had: He went 41-10, struck out 597 and walked 69 in 430.3 innings with an ERA of 1.90; the American League ERA combined for those two seasons was 4.90”. While Martinez was slightly better than Greg Maddux in 99-00, Kurkjian fails to mention Maddux’s even more remarkable 94-95 seasons.

PL..years.…W-L……K.…BB..…IP..…ERA..winning %
PM 99-00…41-10…597…69…430.3…1.90…80.3
GM 99-00…38-18…326…79…468.2…3.26…69.9
GM 94-95…35- 8.…337…54…411.2…1.59…81.4
John Smoltz: “He’s a Hall of Famer. And by a slim margin, he compares to Curt Schilling.” What? Smoltz had a lower ERA, pitched more innings, and was selected to more All Star games. Smoltz won a Cy Young Award, but Schilling didn’t. While Schilling and Smoltz won about the same number of games, Smoltz also saved 154 games. Those achievements place him far ahead of Schilling, and within shouting distance of Pedro.     

“Advanced metrics place him just ahead of Nolan Ryan and just behind Bob Gibson.” Any comparison to Nolan Ryan is a compliment. Ryan, Gibson, Schilling, and Smoltz were four of the most competitive pitchers ever. Ryan piled up strikeouts and no-hitters. Smoltz had all the saves and a lower WHIP than Ryan or Gibson. –…IP…...K….BB…
CS..0…4…6..216-146..597..3.46..3261..3116..  711..1.137…22
PM..3…7…8..219-100..687..2.93..2827..3154….760..1.054….3’s Fan EloRater Rank:
3. Lefty Grove  
7. Warren Spahn
8. Randy Johnson
9. Greg Maddux
22. Pedro Martinez
25. Tom Glavine
27. Bob Gibson  
29. Nolan Ryan
35. John Smoltz
39. Curt Schilling

Gary Sheffield: Kurkjian praises Sheffield
…one of 12 players with 500 HR & .292 BA
…slugging percentage greater than several in HOF (Reggie Jackson)
…OPS equals Griffey Jr, higher than McCovey & Stargell
…WAR is greater than Killebrew.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Talking to Tommy

Interesting Tuesday evening. Took Reid to the Tech game. Before the game I met him at his men’s group – mostly retirees. He introduced me to Tommy Nobis, and I got to talk to Nobis for several minutes. Nobis made a comment about playing for a losing team, but as a kid the only thing I remembered about the Falcons’ record was the excitement when they finished the year at or over .500. 
In the 70’s several Falcons (and athletes in general) ditched the crewcuts and grew sideburns and longer hair. Nobis did as well. At one meeting Edie sat with Mrs. Nobis, who is active at the church she attends. He seemed ok when I spoke to him, and was taller than I would’ve thought…still taller than me. Nobis stood tall, though his knees usually remained bent. 

Then during the game we were walking around at halftime and noticed John Smoltz walking just ahead of us. Later the camera focused on Smoltz and the announcer called him by name. Smoltz seemed peeved at the attention and grudgingly waved. In the same situation Dennis Scott smiled and waved.   

Wednesday night I got home while everyone was watching American Idol. Long-time judge Randy Jackson will be missed, but not Nicky Minaj. New judge Harry Connick Jr meshes well with holdovers Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez. At nine Matthew watched his favorite show: Psych. Very good.

At ten and 10:30 Duck Dynasty d├ębuted two new family members. At ten the Korean foreign exchange student that Willie and Korie had supported since high school moved back “home” to West Monroe. She should add to the show. I had read about her in Willie & Korie’s book about the family. At 10:30 Willie hired a relative of Korie’s to be his personal assistant. He should also add fun, though the show already has enough goofy, long-haired, bearded male characters. I barely stayed awake until 11:00. Matthew was just getting started on his English homework.      

This weekend is the big Passion Conference for college kids at Phillips Arena. Not sure if Will is going, but Ceil is volunteering – all day both Friday and Saturday, from very early in the morning until the wee hours of the night. I’ll take her to MARTA next Friday and probably take her/pick her up the other times.

Trying to remember about Chief Noc-a-homa’s sidekicks? There was Princess Win-a-lotta, but wasn’t an earlier sidekick Poke-a-single? I could’ve sworn I remembered that, but couldn’t find anything on line.

The guys from our small group have started back meeting. So far it’s worked well, and we’ve been able to cut through the crap and dig deep into issues we are facing. Soon it will be my week to lead/share.

The UGA student found dead in his room was not in Will’s dorm, nor close to it.

The Hawks gave away a trip on the team plane to the game in London. Guess I didn’t win.