Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pay It Forward

Ever hear of “Pay It Forward”? Someone in the drive thru line pays for the person behind them. I forgot breakfast Thursday morning, and decided to stop at McDonalds. The special was 2 bacon egg & cheese biscuits for three bucks. When I tried to pay, the lady said they car in front of me had paid my bill – she had “paid it forward.” I had heard of this but never had it happen to me. The car in front of me was gone – an older model long Buick. I’m sure my ten year old Civic screams “help me!” 

I looked in my rear view mirror. A smaller, older car than mine, driven by someone in their 20’s. So I decided to “pay it forward” (if you’re paying for the person in line behind you, shouldn’t it be “pay it backward”?). Of course, their check was two bucks more than mine. And could it be a scam? Could the person behind me change their order, adding to their bill? Only I could question something as good as Pay It Forward.

Speaking of food, the Carolina Burger at Cheeseburger Bobbys is pretty good. Just the right amount of ingredients. Lots of BBQ sauce. Slaw – not too little but not too much. Beef was very good. The manager there at Johns Creek said they use a different kind of beef than the other CB’s in town. Onion rings were good but not great, from frozen not freshly dipped. Last night on Facebook I joined the CB email club – which sent me a coupon for a another free burger. I’ll use it this weekend.

On the way home Thursday I picked up a Dallas Stars hockey bobblehead, which hopefully I can trade. Might grab two Thrashers statues with an eye on trading or selling them as well. Watched the Braves Thursday night, and very little football. Those games were always at commercial.

Finished the 850 page Joseph P Kennedy autobiography. Three new books: Joel Rosenberg non-fiction on the Middle East conflict, Eisenhower’s bluff, and actor Rob Lowe’s autobiography. Lowe talks about crossing paths with JFK Jr., so it counts as a Kennedy book.   

Noticed that Schultz picked Louisville over Miami. Guess you shouldn’t trust me. I still think Miami wins.

ROB: Here is my crazy theory on how the Braves could still win the division: They are 70-64.  If they win every series (including the 4 gamer vs the Pirates), they would finish at 89-73.

The Nats are 75-57.  Their next 2 series are on the road against the Mariners and Dodgers.  They need to lose both of those series.  They would also lose the 2 series against the Braves.  They have 3 4-game series left - 2 against the Marlins and 1 with the Mets.  They would need to split these.  They can win 3 game series at home against the Mets and Phillies.  This would get them to 89-73 as well. Yes, all of this is a longshot, but we will see.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Predictions: Clemson Tigers

After losing 2013 playmakers Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins, 2014 will not be an easy year for Clemson. The Tigers play three ranked teams in the first four games, and could possibly drop out of the Top 25 if they lose to both Georgia and FSU. Fortunately the next eight games are all winnable, leaving the season-ending grudge match against South Carolina to determine how good a bowl game the Tigers get invited to.
Freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson (right) may or may not be the key to Clemson’s season. Senior Cole Stoudt (left) will start and should be able to manage the offense quite well. Watson is supposed to play in the first game and could take most of the snaps in game two. Considering the lack of depth at running back, Watson’s running ability may be the only hope Clemson has against FSU and South Carolina – two defenses known to give inexperienced quarterbacks fits.

At #12 Georgia Aug 30: LOSE (0-1) Last year Clemson edged Georgia at home, thanks to Boyd, Watkins, and a late special teams breakdown by Georgia. Winning in Athens will be much more difficult. In a high-scoring game, this time the Dawgs edge the Tigers.

South Carolina State Sept 6: WIN (1-1) A typical Clemson blowout, though SC State will come in sky high. Many in the crowd will beat the heat (and traffic) and leave at halftime.  

At #1 FSU Sept 20: LOSE (1-2) Clemson will make a game of it early, but the Noles will pull away in the fourth quarter.

#23 North Carolina Sept 27: WIN (2-2) With an uncharacteristic 1-2 record, the Tigers take out their frustrations on the over-hyped Tar Heels.

NC State Oct 4: WIN (3-2) The Wolfpack always plays Clemson tough, but the Tigers win this one easily.

Louisville Oct 11: WIN (4-2) Petrino’s Cardinals aren’t as loaded as last year, but win win their share of ACC games. Just not this week. After two wins the Tigers will have their confidence back. Beating Louisville will be a struggle, but doable.

At Boston College Oct 18: WIN (5-2) Clemson often struggles at Alumni Stadium, and could suffer a letdown after the previous week’s big win. The Tigers will win, but won’t cover the spread.

Syracuse Oct 25: WIN (6-2) In a repeat of last year’s drubbing, Clemson will easily beat the Orangemen for the second straight year.

at Wake Forest Thursday Nov 6: WIN (7-2) After five straight wins, the Tigers will be ripe for an upset. Playing at Wake Forest on a chilly Thursday night in front of a national television audience would be the perfect time. It’s happened before, but this time Dabo will have the team ready.

at Georgia Tech Nov 15: WIN (8-2) Some Clemson fans think Grant Field has a hex over the Tigers. Tech will be on a win streak of their own and will be running the pure triple option on all cylinders, making a Tiger victory that much tougher. Another close game, but Clemson wins their seventh straight.

Georgia State Nov 22: WIN (9-2) Climbing in the rankings, the Tigers come out fired up on senior day dressed in purple. The Panthers won’t have a chance, but are thankful for the payday. Dispite pregame pleadings from Dabo, the Clemson faithful stick around only until the fourth quarter.

#9 South Carolina Nov 29: WIN (10-2) With the exception of FSU, South Carolina will have the most talent Clemson has faced all year. Another close game. In the end, the Tigers finally win.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Predictions: Georgia Bulldogs

As usual, the Bulldogs’ 2014 football season will be defined by three games: South Carolina, Florida, and Auburn. Now add pesky 2013 SEC East Champion Missouri to that list. For first year starting quarterback Hutson Mason (above) go write his name in Bulldog lore, he must win on the road at SC, Gainesville, and Missouri – and at home against Auburn. Otherwise fans could be looking at a another “disappointing” 10-2 season, missing the SEC Championship Game, and a New Year’s Day Bowl against another Big Ten opponent.

It will take some magic to get into to SEC Championship Game. The defense gels. Gurley stays healthy, and runs wild. Mason runs the hurry-up offense to perfection, and keeps defenses off-balance with passes all over the field. The breaks will all have to go their way, instead of against them. But should they knock the door down, the Dawgs will face another down-to-the-wire battle against LSU, Auburn, or Alabama. Beating Auburn twice would be tough. LSU’s new QB has played, but could crumble on the big stage. By the end of the season he’ll have plenty of big game practice. Georgia has proven they can beat LSU and Missouri on the road. Bama reloads, but has a first year starter at QB. The winner gets a seat at the National Championship play-in game. Could the Dawgs play 15 games this season?

Clemson Aug 30: WIN (1-0) Both teams start the season with new quarterbacks. The Tigers are also missing big play man Samy Watkins, who was the difference in last year’s close, down to the wire thriller. This time UGA wins the close one.

At South Carolina Sept 13: WIN (2-0) Tough game. Both teams start the season with new quarterbacks. Game plan is the key, on both sides of the ball: stopping Spurrier’s off-balance play calls, and Bobo calling a run/pass mix to keep the Gamecocks off guard. If Hutson Mason can engineer at W in Columbia, the season gets so much easier.

Troy Sept 20: WIN (3-0) Hopefully no one gets hurt.

Tennessee Sept 27: WIN (4-0) Last year in Neyland the Vols played Georgia tough. This year will be only slightly easier.  

Vanderbilt Oct 4: WIN (5-0) After playing over their heads last year, in 2014 the Commodores come back to earth. A much easier win for the Dawgs.  

At Missouri Oct 11: LOSE (5-1) The 2014 Tigers won’t be quite the team the 2013 Division Champs were, but the undefeated Dawgs won’t be able to quite climb this mountain.   

At Arkansas Oct 17: WIN (6-1) A tough, needed road win.

At Florida Nov 1: WIN (7-1) Another close, hard-fought game. Gurley is the difference.

At Kentucky Nov 8: WIN (8-1) Tougher than it looks, but Georgia wins at night.

Auburn Nov 15: LOSE (8-2) College Gameday in Athens again. Prime time. Last year Auburn needed a miracle to win. This year the Tigers come in confident. Another close game that Auburn wins in the end.

Charleston Southern Nov 22: WIN (9-2) A blowout. Since it’s the week before Thanksgiving, few attend. Ignored by the SEC Network, WSB televises the game.

Georgia Tech Nov 29: WIN (10-2) The Jackets will come into Athens confident, as usual - but limp home again with their stinger between their legs.  

SEC Championship Game Dec 6: WIN (11-2) Georgia beats mighty LSU.

NCAA semi-final: WIN (12-2). UGA beats a team who hasn’t played such a tough schedule.

NCAA Championship: LOSE (12-3) And fans will want Richt and Bobo fired.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

While the US Slept

ISIS. Islam. Terrorism. I am far from expert on these subjects, though every day my worst fears are being realized. Some of my facts may be off, so don’t quote me. While I am secure in my faith in God and do not fear death or suffering, I hate seeing my once Christian country crumble around me. 

While the US continues to be caught up in the ridicule of Christianity, the glorification of self and sexuality, and reliance of government to give rather than have individuals provide for themselves, a much more dangerous threat has moved in and lives among us. The United States of America prides itself on being open to all. Unfortunately these days that also means all who sneak into our country illegally. But among the flood of illegal immigrants slivers a more dangerous foe: terrorists linked to the take-no-prisoners army known as ISIS.

As in France, Muslims have come to the US to fill service jobs deemed beneath the dignity of Americans – like fast food and convenience stores. The number one baby name in Great Britain is Muhammad. In France Islam has become the dominant religion. In the United States and Europe followers of Islam have taken over some communities to the point where local police stay away in fear. In New England a Muslim protested a local restaurant’s sign promoting bacon, forcing the establishment to take it down. A national outcry ensued, but this is merely the tip of the iceberg.

For decades college campuses have been well populated by Muslims who have come to America for an education. Back in the 70’s this was the case when I was in school, and the numbers have only grown in the 35 years since. Many stay. Some assimilate and adopt the beliefs and values shared my most Americans. You see them at work, walking around the neighborhood, out shopping, and driving on the roads (many are horrible drivers). A few become Christians. But the vast majority retain their Muslim beliefs, and stand ready to join in the violent overthrow of the US.

ISIS has raked in hundreds of millions in ransoms from European governments to release hostages. The US does not negotiate with terrorists, and Christians have been mercilessly beheaded. As Americans we are shocked, but still we are too caught up with what’s happening on Dancing With the Stars to understand the severity of the threat. Facebook videos show tough Marines calling out ISIS, though those may not be the opinions and directives of those who deploy US armed forces. What will stop ISIS from launching terrorists attacks on European and American soil? Through Mexico ISIS has had an open door into our country for months and years. Incredibly, some turncoat American citizens have joined ISIS and can reenter the country legally. Some experts think an attack is imminent. Last week the Director of the FBI came to Atlanta to warn of this very threat.

Based on what I see, how can I believe that Islam is a religion of peace? Some say Islam is not a religion but a new world order. Women are not equals. Homosexuals are tortured and killed – as are all those who oppose Islam. Videos show this to be the view of the “average” Muslim – not just those considered to be radical Islamists. Why is the government and media not exposing these crimes? Fear?  How are we to respond to these wolves among us?  

The Federal Government seems oblivious to the threat. State Governments are being stretched to provide - from the illegal immigrants dumped on them to the ridiculous federal school lunch guidelines (that kids don’t want to eat). Now the State Governments are fighting back. Republicans are suing Democrats. But what will stop the ISIS threat? Several top government officials are Muslim. Some have been quoted as being loyal to the President as opposed to the Constitution, the American public, and laws of the country. Are they inviting chaos and destruction?

The End Times interests me, though again, I am no expert. Joel Rosenberg’s books continue to be prophetic. The Muslims await their savior, the Twelfth Imam - and spread their terror in order to hasten his appearance. Is this the Anti-Christ? Rosenberg, a Christian who grew up Jewish, just moved his family to Israel. Perhaps he knows something that he’s not letting on. That God will protect Israel, but perhaps not the United States?

I loved the Left Behind series of books, and look forward to the movie remake coming out this fall starring Nicolas Cage. Elizabeth Prata says there are many false prophets posing as popular preachers in the world today, keeping me all the more on my guard.

I'd like to be caught up in the rapture so I can join God in heaven, as opposed to experiencing the continued pain and suffering on this earth. I fear for the world my children will have to live in, and am thankful they are secure believers in Christ. Jesus said not to worry when the wars increase. As a Christian I can pray, and prepare. What more, O Lord? Here am I, send me.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Time to Talk Off-Season?

Interesting that so many have given up on the Braves and are talking about off-season moves. Would be great if BJ can be traded, but I'd hate to have to give up someone like Minor and cash to make the deal. Who would want him? This past off-season everyone thought Uggla would be traded, but again, no one wanted him. I could see BJ at the Braves spring training next year. Yesterday on 680 Dimino was asking at what point BJ would be removed from the lineup. Might've been last night.   

I guess if a king's ransom can be had for Gattis this off-season, the White Bear should be traded. Bethancourt, currently hurt, would be great defensively and decent on offense. Gattis has thrown out his share of runners, but has had a decent amount of passed balls. In Braves history only two catchers began their career with two straight 20 home run seasons: Gattis and Earl Williams. They join Eddie Mathews, Bob Horner, David Justice, and Freddie Freeman as the only Braves to do so. But as strong as he is, its doubtful the 27-year old Gattis could stand up to several more years of catching. He could become one of the most dominant DH's in history – much better than the .210 hitting Adam Dunn. Too bad - half the Braves T-shirts you see at Turner Field have Gattis on the back.

Rob: Did you see the Braves steal deal for the Phillies series - outfield seats and a Hank Aaron shirsey for $20.  It is good until tomorrow morning at 8.

The Schultz - McGuirk interview leads me to believe there will be a shakeup unless the team finishes really strong.  McGuirk comes across as someone who is concerned about their legacy and being viewed a success - and that success is not defined by 80-something wins and a wildcard spot.  I may be wrong, but that is what I read into the interview.

I don't know how I feel about Wren.  I think it is a 2 part question:  1) do you replace him and 2) if so, with whom.  I don't know enough about the pool of potential GM replacements to know if the replacement would be better.

It is easier to look at Fredi and say that Pendleton or whomever might do a better job.  I think Fredi is a very good person, but probably only an okay manager.  I think he does less harm than many managers, but I think he underutilizes many of the assets at his disposal.

ME: Might have to check out that steal deal. Sounds right about McGuirk, Wren, and Fredi. Most fans think the replacements will be the greatest ever, and forget about transition periods. If the shakeup would go as high as Fredi and Wren would be interesting. Last off season Uggla wasn't traded. Despite the talk, I think trading BJ would be hard. Hope they can get something huge for Gattis. Could be a lot of turnover, but I'm happy watching these last 30 games. Still plenty of time to catch fire.

Tuesday night: worked late, went to library, came home, changed clothes, ate supper (leftovers), cleaned the kitchen, worked on EBay. Not much to report.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wahoo Mike

I recently gained a new Twitter follower: Mike McIntee. Mike writes for The Late Show with David Letterman, and only follows 132 others. Unlike most comedy writers he did not attend a liberal university (that I know of). Pretty sure he came from a working class family and previously worked as a policeman. McIntee writes the recaps of each show for the Letterman website, often adding bits on other things happening in his world: football news, a family event, etc. In the early 2000's I would read his column every day, and often email him my thoughts. Our kids are the same age, and we shared an interest in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer trivia (is the elf's name Hermie or Herbie – or Heymie?). Mike doesn't tweet much. Probably saves his best bits for his column, dubbed the Wahoo Gazette. Doubt he remembers our long ago communications. But it's always a thrill to be followed by a professional. As usual, since then I haven't thought of anything funny to tweet.

People on Facebook were taking a short quiz to tell them what profession they should've gone into. I tried to answer the questions honestly. According to this test, I should've been a Writer. I'm sure Rob Suggs would disagree. Blogs are fun it look back at what we were experiencing in the midst of a particular season. I have a few blog readers – I know who only a few of them are. It's very rare that people comment – perhaps I should relax the restrictions. My post of David Norman's wedding drew a few more readers than normal, though I did not post it to Facebook. I am thinking about posting my GT prediction (8-4) blog post to FB, to try and draw some opinions.

Matthew sometimes checks my blog, to see what I'm saying about him, I guess. Last week we used the blog as a resource for a school project he was working on. Perhaps one day my grandkids will search my blog to learn details about how their parent grew up. I save a lot of little knickknacks. Perhaps the scrapbook calendars I tape together every year will become a treasured possession. Or maybe they'll get trashed after I die.

A veteran purchasing employee scolded our new employee Amanda in an email, admonishing her to "never do that again!" I suggested she reply by saying "I'll try to do better tomorrow on my second day at work." Wisely, she did not take my advice. But since Amanda is getting married in a few weeks, getting a new last name gives her an out. She can say whatever she wants, then change her email to her new name. Wisely, she did not take my advice.

Went to bed early Monday night after not getting much sleep Sunday night. Didn't turn on that Awards Show (the VMA's?). My throat is still a little sore. Ceil's been sick as well. She took a NyQuil and was zonked out. At 12:30 am Matthew needed help on his homework, so we knocked out the algebra. He has half asleep, and later fell asleep on the couch after I went back to bed. Ceil had baked a nice burrito dish before going off to pray with friends. We still have a jam packed fridge. Yesterday I had leftover BBQ for lunch. Today baked chicken from Anna's birthday dinner.

Football Picks:

Penn State – UCF: Central Florida has a new, inexperienced QB. Penn State has a new head coach. Game is being played in Ireland at 8 am local time. Penn State mad because UCF beat them last year. I pick Penn State.

Clemson-UGA: Both team have new QB's. I like UGA's QB better than Clemson's Stout, or his freshman backup. The difference in last year's game was WR Samy Watkins, who is now in the NFL. UGA has their running game back – also a more experienced kicking game. The Dawgs lost a close one on the road last year to an experienced, senior QB. Georgia wins at home.  
Wisconsin-LSU: LSU is loaded, even with a new QB. Wisconsin loses by 2-3 touchdowns.
Miami-Louisville. The Cardinals have a new coach and QB. Petrino is a good coach, but Miami is big, fast, talented, and healthy. Louisville just might pull an upset, but I'll stick with the Canes.

Next Monday I'm meeting a guy to trade an old Cox bobblehead and Andruw statue for a Dodger Don Sutton and the Gattis bobblehead I missed last month. I have three ticket deals to use, though I might only make it to two more games. You know I am green with envy whenever DOB posts a bobblehead photo.

Monday, August 25, 2014

#LLWS: Not Just For Kids

Watch any of the Little League World Series Championship Games? For all the talk of sportsmanship, I saw a lot of bat slamming. Last year players would strike out and immediately hustle off the field. Not so this year. Some of the between innings commercials breaks were longer than four minutes – longer even that MLB World Series Games. Could you imagine attending or playing in the game in the hot sun? They say that it is about the kids, but it seems so much more about the grown-ups, the TV networks, and advertisers.

Saturday after the Chicago beat Nevada a woman I went to Central High School with in Macon posted "We won!" on Facebook. As far as I knew she has lived in Georgia all her life, and I saw no evidence that she had family on the team. Not sure why the Jackie Robinson team was "we" and the Nevada team was "they" – though I have an idea.

Saw some derisive Twitter comments about the small size of the field. It's like men playing basketball on 10 foot goals. The ABC/ESPN LLWS announcers were commending the 12 & 13 year olds for their baseball knowledge, yet I witnessed several unmentioned mental errors by the "national champions", like throwing to the wrong base. In the decisive final inning the Jackie Robinsons staged a too-late comeback. With runners on second and third the rightfielder made a diving catch. As the South Korean outfielder sprawled on the ground the runner on third could have easily tagged and scored, but failed to do so. Instead the USA coach asked for a replay on the obvious catch. The ABC announcers did not mention the failure to tag up.

NOTES: I saw a football game or two on TV this weekend. Couldn't tell if any were college. Most seemed like high school. Also some pro games. Unlike past years, this year I might be more ready for college football…particularly the upcoming Georgia/Clemson game. Could be wrong, but I doubt the Tech/Wofford game will be on my TV. But in September I'll still watch more baseball then football.

This past Thursday I was so sick that I went to bed at 9 pm. Both managers were out last Friday, and I figured sitting still at my desk all day was what I needed to do anyway, so I came in to work. Felt terrible, but got a decent amount of work done. Several others were also sniffling. Went home and went to bed early again Friday night. Ceil picked up Pappa Johns pizza. Anna and Brittany had gone down to the river.

Felt better Saturday, but was still weak. Cleaned upstairs and did laundry. Ceil cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms and gave Barney a bath. I drove M up to Birmingham to pick up Sarah. Later they went to Moxie Burger. Made a huge dent in the laundry, but it never seems to be completely finished and put away. Anna, Brittany, and Emily paled around. Later I drove Sarah back to Crabapple.

Sunday morning I took 150 pictures of shoes and football jerseys to post on EBay. I had a pair of Nikes that almost 200 people had looked at, and I was sure they were going to sell, along with seven other items that had drawn interest. Throughout the day and evening I posted several new items. But Sunday night when the auctions ended only two items were bought. Maybe next week. Update: Sold on Monday at the higher "Buy It Now" price.

M is showing improvement in doing homework, but still has a long way to go. After hanging with Sarah on Saturday, I drove him to Sweetwater Creek State Park in Lithia Springs to meet a friend. PCC wasn't having services this week. 285 north was jammed, so I drove home from Douglassville on surface streets. But after I picked him up Sunday night Ceil remembered a couple of homework assignments he still needed to complete, and it was a struggle. Both M and Anna were up late Sunday night, making it hard for Ceil and me to sleep. Could be a rough week.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Predictions: Georgia Tech

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will be improved this year, particularly on defense and in the offensive backfield. The loss of RB Robert Godhigh was bigger than the loss of QB Vad Lee. Speedy sophomore QB Justin Thomas is experienced at running the triple option, and will give ACC defenses more fits than Lee, Tevin, or even Nesbitt ever did. Led by senior Zach Laskey, this year’s unheralded crop of running backs will be more productive than those the past two years. Even special teams play should improve, with an experienced kicker and punter returning.

Tech could finish the regular season with as many as ten wins or as few as six. They won’t beat Miami or Georgia, and will most probably fall to Clemson – though the Tigers think Grant Field has a hex on them. Games at Blacksburg, Chapel Hill, and Heinz Field are all winnable, but the Jackets can’t go into these games with too much confidence. Likewise Tech can’t overlook the weaker teams: underdogs Tulane, Georgia Southern, Duke, Virginia, and NC State aren’t going to roll over. I’m going out on a weak limb and predicting Tech will only lose one game that should be won.   

Wofford (5-6) Southern Conference, Aug 30: WIN (1-0) A lock – no way Tech loses this game. Not that beating Wofford means anything.

At Tulane (7-6) Conference USA, Sept 6: WIN (2-0) Not as easy a win on the road, but the Green Wave won’t be able to stop the option.

Georgia Southern (7-4) Southern Conference, Sept 13: WIN (3-0). Another tough game - the Eagles will know how to defend the option better than anyone on Tech’s schedule. A close win for Tech.

At Virginia Tech (8-5) ACC, Sept 20: WIN (4-0). GT will have to play perfect football to beat VT on the road. The Hokies have been down the past few years, and the Jackets have the talent to win this game. They just might not know it. Could go either way.

Miami (9-4) ACC, Oct 4: LOSE (4-1). Tech could win this game, but Miami’s bigger, quicker athletes on both sides of the ball will be the difference. Last year Tech played poorly and still kept it close. But coming into the game ranked for the first time in several years (even though only #24), Tech’s big head gets in the way.

Duke (10-4) ACC, Oct 11: WIN (5-1). Last year Duke won the division, but didn’t beat Tech. This year Duke won’t be as good, and Tech wins again.

At North Carolina (7-6) ACC, Oct 18: WIN (6-1). Tech usually beats UNC as well. The Jackets will be ranked and have the big head, but they can still win this road game. A narrow victory.

At Pittsburgh (7-6) ACC, Oct 25: LOSE (6-2). The Jackets finally lose a winnable game.

Virginia (2-10) ACC, Nov 1: WIN (7-2). Though the Jackets struggled last year in Charlottesville, this year they easily take care of the Cavaliers in the friendly confines.

At NC State (2-10) ACC, Nov 8: WIN (8-2). Another Tech win, though the Wolfpack will put up a fight.

Clemson (11-2) ACC, Nov 15: LOSE (8-3). Tech comes into this game ranked higher than they have in years. Surely players will be strutting. Then the Tigers will easily drive down the field on their first possession and score an easy touchdown. Down seven, Tech players will be in shock. The Jackets will not have faced as talented a team since Miami, and it will show. Still, Tech could play their best game, keep it close, catch a break, and win the game. But I doubt it will happen. Tip: never strut.

At Georgia (8-5) SEC, Nov 23: LOSE (8-4). Before the game Tech fans will predict a blowout for the Jackets. Not gonna happen. As usual, the Dawgs win easily. The talent differential has not drawn closer.

Should the Jackets win their division, they would lose to FSU in the ACC Championship Game – big. But perhaps this year they’ll actually win their bowl game.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Unhappy Endings

Some legends looked odd ending their careers in a different uniform. Besides those below, can you think of any others?
Hank Aaron as a Brewer.
Fred Belitnikoff in the CFL.
Wade Boggs as a Devil Ray.
Tim Brown as a Buccaneer.
Jose Canseco as a Devil Ray.
Bill Curry as an Oiler.
Czonka, Kiick, and Warfield as Memphis Southmen.
Eric Dickerson as a Falcon.
Tony Dorsett as a Bronco.
Julius Erving as a Hawk.
Brett Farve as a Jet and Viking (and Falcon).
Tom Glavine as a Met.
Franco Harris as a Seahawk.
Bob Horner as a Swallow.
Bo Jackson as a White Sox.
Reggie Jackson as an Angel.
Deacon Jones as a Charger.
Michael Jordan as a Wizard and Birmingham Baron.
Darrell Lamonica in the World Football League.
Vince Lombardi as a Redskin.
Ronnie Lott as a Jet.
Greg Maddux as a Padre and Dodger.
Eddie Mathews as an Astro.
Tracy McGrady playing baseball.
Archie Manning as a Viking and Oiler.
Willie Mays as a Met.
Joe Montana as a Chief.
Warren Moon as a Seahawk.
Joe Morgan as a Giant.
Randy Moss as a Titan and Patriot.
Dale Murphy as a Phillie and Rockie.
Joe Namath as a Ram.
Phil Niekro as a Yankee and Indian.
Shaq as a Cleveland Cavalier.
Tony Perez as a Red Sox.
Mike Piazza as a Marlin.
Jerry Rice as a Raider.
Pete Rose as a Phillie and Expo.
Babe Ruth as a Brave.
Deion Sanders as a Raven.
Tom Seaver as a White Sox.
OJ Simpson as a 49er.
Emmitt Smith as a Cardinal.
John Smoltz as a Red Sox and Cardinal.
Duke Snider as a Met.
Warren Spahn as a Giant.
Ken Stabler and Jim Taylor as Saints.
Johnny Unitas as a Charger.
Dominique Wilkins as a Clipper and Celtic.
Steve Young started as a Buccaneer.

Usually elite players don't move around as much. Noteable exeptions: Deion played for the Yankees, Braves, Reds, Falcons, 49ers, Cowboys, Redskins, and Ravens. Herschel played for the Generals, Cowboys (twice), Vikings, Giants, and Eagles. Shaq played for the Magic, Lakers, Heat, Suns, Celtics, and Cavs.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Improving Baseball

Improvements to baseball: Might as well reduce the number of games in a season since so many people think the season hinges on the one game being played. Unlike football where every game is live of die, baseball is a marathon – even with a 154 game season. Do people watching the Boston Marathon give up and go home because a runner runs one slow mile?

OK to enforce the time limit between pitches, and force the batter to not take walks between pitches. It is TV’s fault the time between innings is so long. But the average time of a MLB game is not why kids are playing other sports. Coaches and umpires do nothing to speed the pace of Little League games. Instead they drag on forever, and the kids are bored. But its fun for 13 year olds to play on a tiny field that 9 year olds should be playing on. And it makes for great TV. The 13 year old sticks his bat out and the ball goes over the fence. Batters can’t take full swings because the mound is too close. Then next year when the 14 year olds move up to a regulation field, they don’t have the proper fundamentals to play the game correctly.

I do agree that the new commissioner should come in and make changes. Re-establish the strike zone as it is written should be number one. Baseball has taken several positive steps, tightening catch rules and the neighborhood play at second base. Football is always tweaking the rules in an effort to improve the game.

Go back to having the team with the best record have the home field advantage in the world series. Even when the all-star game decided home field, it was hard for all star managers to not play all but a few of their players. Back in the old days the best players would play almost the entire all star game, meaning so many lesser players just came and watched. I’d rather see every player get in the game and play an inning or three. Lessens the chance of any one player getting hurt.

As Pete Rose said yesterday, he signed a piece of paper agreeing to be banned from baseball for life. He admits to not reading what he signed. Rose was a great player. I admired his style of play. But in retirement Rose has become one of the biggest slimeballs around. Should the new commissioner reinstate him? Perhaps. But even then he would now be ineligible for the HOF based on the new rules just now going into effect. If Rose is reinstated, then so should Shoeless Joe. He was more innocent than Rose.

And who cares how long spring training lasts?

Braves win their 6th out of seven – an 8-0 blowout. Also their 8th out of ten. Teheran is dominant. Avilan gets in an inning, and Gosslin plays the outfield. Gattis goes opposite field to drive in a run. Justin and Freddie have their averages almost up to .300. Justin is second in the NL in RBIs. Freddie is second in hits.

I’ve been feeling bad all week. Sunday was miserable. Better Monday through most of Thursday. Yesterday afternoon I got feeling worse. Went home and laid on the couch all evening. About the same today. Came to work so I could sit in my chair all day. Problems problems problems. No one knows how to do their job correctly, and they come to me to figure it out. Meanwhile my work piles up.

ROB: I am looking at OPS+ numbers for the last 3 years.  LaStella  94, Johnson 89, Simmons 80 and BJ 71.  Last year we had 3 regulars under 100 (league average) - Uggla, Simmons and BJ.  The year before we had 4, but of those, Uggla was at 98, Bourn was 99 and injury riddled McCann was 87.

LaStella was a good stop gap for the disaster that was 2014 Uggla.  But I don't think he is a long term answer.  Eventually Perazza will be at 2B, but his minor league walk rate concerns me.  Gosselin is another one who can't take a walk.  He tore up Gwinnett hitting .344 this year, but only a 5% BB rate.  Apparently, not only can't you walk off the island (as has been said of many latin players), you can't walk off the UVA campus.
But I think Gosselin's approach will suit him well to be a pinch hitter - coming off the bench and looking for the first pitch he can hit.

Johnson's OPS+ was 123 last year.  Johnson could get back to where he was last year (or at least over league average) if we see more LH pitching and if he went back to pulling the ball more.  I think last year he fell too much in love with being an opposite field singles hitter.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hump Day Afternoon

Our GM loved the Hump Day camel commercial, and bought a toy camel to bring out on Wednesdays. A coworker, who has a lot in common with the camel in the commercial, specializes in saying "WHAT DAY IS IT? HUMP DAY!" I try to downplay the whole thing, though I have participated in the ritual camel journey from the GM's office to co-worker's cubicle. Tuesday afternoon after coworker had left I didn't see the camel. I mentioned this to co-worker Chris, Coach O'Leary's daughter. Then she saw me find the camel tucked away in coworker's credenza.

Yesterday morning the GM came over to coworker's desk. He hadn't shown up for work. The GM wasn't concerned about coworker – she was distressed because the camel could not be found. Chris and Godzilla blamed me. I couldn't get a word in edgewise, so finally I dramatically pointed to Chris and loudly proclaimed "SHE LIES!" – similar to Buddy the Elf declaring the department store Santa wasn't real. I had forgotten that the CEO from Chicago was in the room next door.

For some reason Chris got a big kick out of that. BTW: soon she leaves for Ireland, where Central Florida plays Penn State next week.
Above: Eddie Vedder throws out the first pitch - wearing Jordan RCVR shoes very similar to mine.

Several years ago Matthew had a girl baseball teammate: John Fulton's sister Grace White. This spring she was the closer for Kell High's boys JV baseball team. This week she's in California trying out for the USA girl's national baseball team. If she makes the team she'll fly to the Far East for the world tournament. Just found out that she didn't make the team.

Step one complete. Tracked down the artist and followed him. Not 30 minutes later he followed me back. He looks like that shaved head dad in the NP family videos. I do remember his fat lady cartoon. He's saying the Falcons will do good to reach 7-9 this year (which is a good guess) – but he seems like the type to complain about every sack and loss. Perhaps the Falcons will distract him from the Braves.  

Similar to my friend Sammy – not on the Braves bandwagon but still a "fan". Does a real fan constantly complain about the team or support them through good and bad? We knew in March that the offense would be inconsistent. Wren has made several moves and increased spending to improve it: add Gosselyn, TLS, Bonifacio, and Murphy and subtract Uggla and Shafer. I guess some fans are more knowledgeable than others, but that doesn't stop the less knowledgeable fans from talking.

ROB: As I recall, he complained about the Falcons more than the Braves.

It hit me a few weeks ago truly how good this franchise has been for so long.  There is someone on Twitter who I follow named (I think) Atl Sports Guy.  I don't know how or why I follow him - I think he followed me one day and I just followed back.  Minor was having a poor start and he tweeted that they should send him back to AAA.  I responded that it is a good thing we did not do that with Smoltz in '91.  He tweeted back that he was not alive then.  It reminded me that there is a whole generation of adult Braves fans who have only experienced 2 losing seasons in their lifetime.

ME: I remember your tweets with the Atlanta Sports Guy. At the time I wondered how could anyone so young could call themselves the Atlanta Sports Guy. He doesn't even live in Atlanta. He lives down in Newnan or somewhere. Good thing Minor was is the majors this past Sunday night. Guess there is a reason no 22 year old is running a MLB team.

I don't see how people write books. I'm not good at stretching out stories too long.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

End of the 3rd Quarter

So many fair-weather fans have publicly washed their hands of the Braves, and yet a full quarter of the season remains. Holes in the inconsistent offense, these “baseball expects” declare. Hello! Nothing we didn’t know back in March. Now that the bandwagon has  emptied, the Braves reel off five straight against playoff contenders (& 6 of 7). With so much time on the clock, would these front-runners give up on the Dawgs in so close a game? Not much of a fan are they.

AUG 5: When the Braves faced the best pitcher in the AL, people said they still couldn’t hit. No shame in losing to those three Dodger aces in LA. Not exactly a bunch of contact hitters these Braves, except for LaStella. Simmons makes contact and doesn’t strike out, but he’s hitting a lot of groundouts. Not a smart play for him to bunt with Gattis on third. Gattis’ average continues to rise. BJ is an automatic out. Justin is streaky. Johnson doesn’t take enough walks.

Last night Matthew and I ate at Moes and checked out Old Navy and Kohls. Will and I worked up a sweat working on bikes. We’ll give a little one away and get new tire tubes for Anna’s. Switched a tire from the Schwinn to the Cannondale so Matthew can have a sweeter ride. Will made a batch of salsa. He went to Cartersville to observe MC’s dad performing surgery.

ROB: Did you read Schultz's article on Friday (Aug 15)?  He talked about an artist.  The artist and I followed each other on Twitter until a few months ago.  Once night the Braves were losing big to the Marlins for the second night in a row.  He was tweeting out a bunch of negative tweets about the game and the team.  I responded to him that it was good the season was not 2 games long.  He responded that all my tweets to him were hostile and then he blocked me.  I could only find a few other innocuous tweets I had ever sent him.  Apparently, artists are temperamental - or drunk - or both.

I like Gosselin at 2B over LaStella.  TLS is a huge upgrade over Uggla, but he still has a league average OPS with limited range at 2B.

If we don't lose another series, we could finish 88-74 (playing .632 ball).  The opponents on our schedule have a combined winning percentage of .488 - thanks in large part to 10 games against the Phillies and Rangers.  The gNats would have to go 19-21 to get to 88 wins.  Given the way this season has turned out, I will gladly take a shot at the Wildcard this year - even if it meant playing in St. Louis.

ME: You are right – so many Braves fans have the football mentality that every loss is a season-ender. Forty games remain – 25% of the season. I think I finally removed myself from the Braves Tomahawk Club FB group, or whatever it was. Guy was never positive. But by leaving the group I won’t be able to rag him when the Braves make the playoffs. I’m still down on BJ, after Sunday night’s misplay. Couldn’t Gattis play center? Nice article in SI about Roger Angell. I liked his comment: “Nobody’s keeping score.”

I was trying to tell people individually about Edwin’s passing instead of as a FB post – especially Ceil’s friends. I was sick on Sunday, but when I drove M to Passion I met a guy down on Central Ave to trade bobbleheads: an extra Freeman for an Ichiro.  

Since I saw Anna in person on her birthday, I didn’t have to wish her a happy birthday on Facebook or Instagram. Had I not seen her, I could have called her on the phone. If the phone lines were down I could have texted or emailed her. Monday night we didn’t turn on the TV. Anna’s birthday, a late supper (baked chicken, gravy, rice, salad, chickfila cookies, and ice cream). Then M had homework – we were up late. Anna had a friend over. Her present: a nice new guitar, personally picked out by Emmy Awards-winning artist Reid Hall. He composed the music for the NBA on TNT. Anna has been baby-sitting, hanging out with friends, and going to art class. Her school started on the 18th. Ceil will be teaching art at M’s new school. Doesn’t pay much, but it helps with tuition.

Trying to lay low on that ice bucket challenge. I want no part of that. Lang accepted the KFC bucket challenge. Speaking of food, Tuesday morning Cheeseburger Bobbys was looking for Facebook five volunteers to test a new BBQ bacon cheeseburger – my favorite. On the 28th I get a free burger, fries, and drink. Just what I need. At David Norman’s wedding Ashley Corbett kept calling me Vince Gill. Not really a compliment. When I ate at Chilis I stayed away from that table-mounted computer. Someone played with it and our bill was charged extra. Was proud of myself for fixing the TV.

Yankees jersey - almost bought one in a thrift store. I’ve already sold two Yankee jerseys on EBay. I need to step up my EBay selling. Just bought 3 pairs of shoes that should fetch a decent price. Chattanooga plays Labor Day weekend, but all four days are bad for me. I can’t leave work early that day, church on Sunday, etc. But we’ll definitely do it next year.

Heroically worked through a huge problem at work that everyone else washed their hands of, and blamed everyone else for. A no-win situation. I solved the problem, with help from my superhero sidekick. The cost will be a few thousand dollars, which isn’t too much. The new people brought in to run departments like Shipping don’t know how to use the systems put in place to run the business. Through attrition their reports don’t know either. Suddenly orders aren’t shipping to customers. Because I know A, people ask me how to do B. I’ve used the same system to order material for several years. My DOS levels are always great. My requisitions are reviewed and approved, but still questioned by purchasing – even though they aren’t responsible for the material. Some co-workers obviously don’t care, regularly arrive late, ask the same simple questions month after month and year after year, disappear from their desks for long periods of time, use obscene language in the office, and try to get others to do their job.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

David Norman's Wedding

From time to time I wonder which of the Norman children is most like their father. Spencer has Steve’s sense of adventure. All share his love of God. Joel’s face might look most like his. Several like to camp. Catherine has his eyes, his intellect, and strong will. I’ve always thought David was most like Steve the athlete: always hustling, playing his heart out, making the most of his ability, unafraid to mix it up under the basket. At the rehearsal dinner Spencer told the story of David getting so emotionally heated that he removed himself from a pickup basketball game – something Steve had also done a time or two.

Saturday’s wedding of David to Beth Wilkening at the Perimeter Church chapel was a wonderfully sweet affair, which capped off an already emotional week for me. Matthew, Will, and I happened to sit with Cliff and Cindy Switzer. The always fun Cindy was most sensitive to the loss of W and M’s grandfather, and throughout the evening went out of her way to look out for the boys. In front of us sat the always tall Arps family, whom I enjoyed seeing. I quickly realized there were friends in attendance from most all the stops in my life: high school (Cindy Pitts), college (Fred O, Dale McLain), SPdL (Lyn and Juliann Acuff, Ashley Corbett and his daughter Rachel), Living Science (Joel Nels, the Baileys, Kellers, Masons, and Delenicks), North Point (the Hurts), Flight basketball (the Hoffers, Beckemeyers, Robinsons, Lanes, and Smiths), baseball (Josiah and Isaac George, and David Rajecki), and East Cobb (the Arasmiths, David and Will Bartlett, and Annie Blass).

When Spencer escorted Becky down the aisle they proceeded up to a photograph of Steve at the front to pay tribute. Amanda Arasmith sang beautiful solos and led the wedding-goers in singing hymns “Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder”, “In Christ Alone”, and the Doxology. Joel played guitar, then joined the groomsmen in the front. In addition to the brothers and Catherine, the wedding party included Rob Kelly, Nicki George, Annie Blass, Catherine Beckemeyer, and best men Josiah, DJ, and Joel Nels. The twelve groomsmen and bridesmaids may have been the most I’d ever seen – I thought about joking that David & Beth may have children before the recessional was finished (but wisely did not).

As expected, Fred O did his usual masterful job officiating, mixing humor with personal memories and God’s Word. After David had placed the ring on Beth’s finger, Fred O proclaimed that he had once before held the ring that Beth would be placing on David’s finger: it had been the ring that as best man in Steve’s wedding years ago that Fred O had held before Steve wore it during his marriage. Like many of us watching, Beth then wept as she placed the ring on David’s finger. Fred O only stumbled once, forgetting to seat the congregation before the exchanging of the vows – but the result was an added air of seriousness and dignity to the sacred occasion.

While pictures were being taken after the service I was able to speak to several old friends. Debbie Keller just returned from New York and soon will be traveling to Africa. I finally gave David Bartlett the size 16 Pumas I’d found for him. Perhaps flustered by his gaffe during the service, Fred was uncharacteristically short. He did hit me with a good zinger: “What’s wrong with the Braves? Isn’t that YOUR department?” Took me five minutes to recover with an uncreative “Aren’t the Jackets YOUR department?” Matthew and I walked out with the Hurts, and chatted with young Rachel Corbett, now married with three kids, including the flower girl. They live in Greenville.

I followed the Baileys on our 16 mile journey east to the reception in downtown Lawrenceville. Since we had taken our time, we were lucky to find a table in the back corner - near the refreshing tea and lemonade. Father of the bride Hal Wilkening welcomed everyone with a semi-apology for the distant though wonderful reception hall. The wedding party was introduced, and most of the couples danced a jig as they entered. The tables were released one at a time to the delicious BBQ buffet.

As we waited our turn, Hurt, Ashley, Lyn Acuff, and I spoke of old times. Lyn reminded us of the road trip he and Steve took years ago. Steve “stole” Lyn’s car in an effort to impress Lyn’s girlfriend, and the police got involved. Fred O had told the story at Steve’s funeral. Just a few minutes later toasts were given by best man Josiah and Beth’s maid of honor sister. Josiah told of his and David’s own disastrous road trip to California. He spoke of being friends with David for over eleven years, through high school and college. Now they were both getting married within a few months of each other. Josiah spoke of the longtime friendship of Steve and Fred O, and how he hoped to have something similar to that as well. A very heartfelt and moving speech.

David Arasmith was sitting in front of me during the speeches. At one point he quickly checked messages on his phone. I decided to have some fun. I checked my phone, and had David’s cell number saved as a contact. I texted him “Someone’s watching you.” Over his shoulder I saw my message pop up on his phone. He looked around – and quickly slid his phone back into his pocket. I cracked up, slapped him on the back, and told him it was me. He was still shaken, but later told his wife how I’d gotten him.

Had a nice chat with several old friends. The Baileys are well. Sandy is now teaching at the JFBC Academy. Daughter Christy had a great summer dancing at Marietta’s Strand Theater, and is as peppy as ever (though she quit following me on Twitter). Josiah officially introduced me to his bride. He thought I was a journalist! DJ did not introduce me to his girlfriend. Jim Mason ate a healthy plate of ‘que and was ready to down Mary Hurts’ as well. I talked so much that I was the very last person to go through the buffet.

Father of the bride Hal set a high standard with his first dance with Beth. I’d better start taking lessons. David and Becky hadn’t practiced as much, but sweetly moved about the dance floor to Simon & Garfunkel’s great tune “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Annie Blass was a dancing machine – as were former Living Science teacher Andy Whorton and his wife. The Whorton’s traveled over from Birmingham. Andy and I complimented each other’s Facebook posts. During the dancing Sandy stayed busy talking to one former student after another. She was continuously introduced as “the best teacher I ever had.”

After Cindy Switzer danced with Matthew, spunky redhead Holly Smith grabbed Matthew for several dances – including a couple of slow dances. When I asked if he was ready to go, he wasn’t. Like me, Will stayed busy talking. Joel and Charles performed songs. I had a nice chat with Becky. Matthew and I finally left at 11:11 pm. A long, but wonderful evening.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Twelve Days in August

AUG 7 THU: Will cooked burgers. C drove back from Charleston.

AUG 8 FRI: Vacation day. Meeting a M’s new school – very impressed. Anna and Will head to the North Georgia mountains – Anna with Brittany’s family and Will with MC’s. Friday night C and M go school shopping.

AUG 9 SAT: Drive M to meet girlfriend Sarah’s family. They head to the Pendergrass flea market. I grab a burger at Red Robin. Good, except for the bun. Not a fan of the large steak fries. I arrived at Red Robin just as it was opening, and mine was the first car in the parking lot. Parked over on the side so cars wouldn’t bang my doors. Then a car drives up and parks right next to me. The whole rest of the lot was empty. Saturday night Ceil and I shared a combination platter at El Porton. Later I picked up M.

AUG 10 SUN: Got word early that Ceil’s father had passed away. Three of Ceil’s friends came right over to comfort her, while I packed the car. Stopped for gas, a rest stop for a bathroom break, and a late lunch in Augusta at Moes. Encounter gridlocked construction traffic and rain. Will drives 25 miles to pick up Anna. They drive home, where W says good-bye to MC. W and Anna drive the Civic to SC. Arrive in Jefferson to find the yard filled with cars and a house full of friends and family. Lots of food. The TV showed the final holes of the PGA, and later the Braves.

AUG 11 MON: Ceil, mother-in-law Joan, brother Rusty, and Will head to the funeral home to make arrangements. I stay back to hold down the fort. Someone had brought a bunch of Bojangles biscuits, and from there the food kept coming for three straight days. Fried chicken. Meat loaf. Over 30 different desserts. Martha Hayes brought several bags of chips and dips, and the grandkids gobbled them up. The girls picked through old photos and pasted them on poster board to display at the church. People visited throughout the day: first mostly older people. After five the house got so full that we didn’t eat until 8:30. Over 40 people were there for dinner, and Matthew volunteered to say the blessing. He gave a loving, detailed prayer, mentioning his grandfather.

AUG 12 TUE: I got up early and drove an hour northwest to Pineville NC to visit a new supplier. Good meeting. Stopped at a few stores on the way home, but waited to eat at the house. Joan had commented on some weeds in the backyard, so Will spent 5 hours outside in the hot sun weeding the gardens. More visitors, including several old friends of Ceil’s. Five of the six boys go skeet shooting at Uncle Lennies. Will did well, and M hit 2 of 9 skeets. Not bad for his first time shooting a gun.

AUG 13 WED: The church provides lunch at the house: chicken, ham, collards, vegetables, and more and more. Nancy and Noelle arrive from Atlanta. Graveside service, processional to the church, the memorial service, then meet people in the fellowship hall afterwards. Details to follow. Back home I take my time packing the Civic, and at 7 leave with Will, Matthew, and Barney. Drive through Chickfila in Augusta, pick up Anna’s Jeep in Peachtree Corners, arrive home at 12:30 am.   

AUG 14 THU: Full day at work, then Moes. Will takes M to school and packs for college. After school Matthew arranges his bedroom to his liking. Later Will drives the trailer to Carterville to pick up the Gilberts’ huge TV, and returns after midnight.

AUG 15 FRI: I work 3 hours, then drive home to help Will finish packing. We leave in time to beat most of the Friday afternoon traffic: 400 south, 285 east, 85 north, then 129 into Athens. Will puts the bunk bed together while I bring in most of the lighter stuff. I drive back, eat at Moes, and pick up Matthew from a friend’s house. Friday was the Miller’s 61st wedding anniversary.

AUG 16 SAT: Housework and laundry. Drive to Roswell to pick up schoolbooks and ship EBay packages. David Norman’s 5 pm wedding and reception. Ceil and her mother spend the night in Clemson – Anna’s two cousins moved into their dorms.

AUG 17 SUN: Woke up sneezing. More housework and laundry. Drive M to Passion. Ceil and Anna arrive home, then leave out: Ceil shops for her teaching job, Anna heads to church. Noelle brings over supper. Exhausted, I fall asleep on the couch. Becky Norman’s knocking wakes me up – she has lots more food: wedding cake and rehearsal dinner Italian. I pick up M, get gas, work on EBay, and watch the Braves. In the past week we put over a thousand miles on both the Civic and the CRV.

AUG 18 MON: Anna’s birthday. First day of school for Ceil, Will, and Anna. M’s second day of school. Back to work for me.

Did you go to the Jim Watterson memorial service? I wanted to, but I had two other places I had to be. Also, I literally could not stop sneezing, we had someone bringing dinner over, and I was trying to get the house presentable for that and Ceil coming home.

Saw pictures of Claire’s gang at the Lookouts game. Taking in a game there would be great. I’ll check the schedule, but with only 2 weeks left in the season I might have to wait until next year. I’ve been away from work for 5 of the last 6 days, so I think they’re chaining me to my desk.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

1914 Miracle Braves

Saturday night the Braves celebrated the 100th anniversery of their 1914 world championship by wearing throwback uniforms. Unfortunately the team did not wear period hosiery, unlike at least two other times this season when they donned throwbacks. In addition, the Indian head logo was missing from the sleeve. Seems like Julio Teheran is pitching every time the Braves wear throwbacks. 
Why does the media and fair-weathered fans wait until the Braves lose a series to a team with double their payroll to complain about the team? It is ok with me for them to complain about BJ Upton. It is getting that time of the season for Fredi to start worrying about the pennant race and bench BJ, as he did last year. There is plenty of baseball to be played.
It would take me a while to get used to a car. I like driving a car rather than an SUV. I'm still not used to driving our CRV. But I hate getting stuck in traffic behind a tall SUV – you can't see what's going on. And for some reason dealers like to make the car buying experience as painful as possible. They make you think you are getting a great deal when in fact they're making a huge profit – and they make you sit around forever for the privilege. When I bought our CRV I called and told them ahead of time that I was coming to buy that specific car, and it still took three hours.

Thursday Will borrowed David Norman's trailer. He also took down the bunk bed in his room and replaced it with a single twin bed for Matthew. Matthew was thrilled to have the room to himself. Will left around 9:30 to drive to Cartersville to pick up their huge TV. I thought he was spending the night, but when I came downstairs Will was sleeping on the couch. Driving the trailer down 400 and 285 and up 85 and 316 to Athens will be tough in afternoon traffic, so I need to leave work asap (left at ten).

Thursday night I was tired and didn't do very much. Did a couple loads of laundry. The house is a mess from all Will's packing. As usual, I'll have a lot of cleaning to do this weekend.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lanier Poets

I loved it when my high school was named the Lanier Poets. How original, named after Macon native Sidney Lanier. Even loved the odd color combination of orange and green. Alas, by the time I matriculated the name had been charged to the generic Central Chargers. Green had been dropped as a color.

My old coach Tommy Seward posted this photo. A few other high schools were named after Lanier, as well as the lake northeast of Atlanta. Interestingly, a new high school nearby was named after the lake. They are called the Lanier Longhorns. 

Surely creativity and originality are dead.