Monday, February 29, 2016

Weight Loss Mistakes

The biggest mistakes you make when you’re trying to lose 50-plus pounds, by Jordan Davidson on I have added my own notes.

You’re not clear why you want to lose. Avoid diabetes and a heart attack. Wear smaller sized clothes. More energy. Look better in pictures.

You lack a clear plan of action. My plan: diet and daily exercise. Smaller portions. No sugar, potatoes, rice, pizza. Lose one pound per week.

You’ve got the wrong friends, who are always offering you bad food to eat. Ditch them.

You didn’t get your family’s support. Tough.

Your healthy breakfast ain’t so healthy. You don’t want to be hungry an hour later.

You’re following a fad diet. Protein builds muscle, which burns mare calories and fat.

You’re bored with the diet. Change things up to stay fresh.

You keep sneaky snacks around. Bad sugary snacks can kill a diet. Just say no.

You’re a weekend warrior. Exercising once per week isn’t going to help. Instead lift weights three days and runs intervals three days.

You’re skipping meals. Better to eat 6 small meals to keep your metabolism going.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


In 2016 the Braves will honor the memory of longtime coach Bobby Dews by wearing a DEWSY patch on their left sleeve (below).
They'll also be wearing a Turner Field Final Season patch on their right sleeves.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Pursuing Happiness

Another article by Travis Bradberry that I desperately need to apply to my own life. As usual I re-typed key sections of the article, slightly rewording and inserting a few comments of my own.

We are obsessed with happiness. The “pursuit of happiness” is in the Declaration of Independence. How can we find it and keep it alive?

According to research, we all have a happiness “set point.” When good or bad things happen to us our happiness may temporarily increase or decrease, but eventually we drift back to our set point. But the research shows you can make yourself happier – permanently. Our genetic set point is only responsible for about half our happiness. Life circumstances affect another 10%, leaving the remaining 40% completely up to yourself. This 40% you control, determined by your habits, attitude, and outlook on life. You have to work to make and keep yourself happy.

This happiness is rooted in your habits. Making new habits, like how you see the world, is hard, but breaking the habits that make you unhappy is easier.

Immunity to awe. Every day so many amazing things happen all around us, but eventually many of us (like me) become complacent. A shame because experiencing true awe is uplifting and humbling. It reminds us that we are not the center of the universe. Awe is inspiring and full of wonder, underscoring the richness of life and our ability to contribute to it be captivated by it. It’s hard to be happy when you just shrug every time you see something new.

Isolating yourself. A pretty common response, but it’s the worst thing to do. Even when you don’t enjoy socializing it feels good when you do (I love it when all these extroverts tell introverts how they should feel. Actually I don’t).

Blaming. We need to feel in control of our lives in order to be happy. When you blame other people or circumstances for the bad things that happen to you, you have decided that you have no control over your life. This is terrible for your mood.

Controlling. It’s hard to be happy without feeling in control of your life, but you can take this too far in the other direction by trying to control too much. The only person you can control is you. When you feel the desire to dictate other people’s behavior, Bradberry writes, this will inevitably blow up in your face and make you unhappy (this doesn’t seem to hinder all the control freaks out there).

Criticizing. This usually backfires for me. Judging other people and speaking poorly of them might feel good while you’re doing it, but afterwards you feel guilty. Sociopaths find real pleasure in being mean. For the rest of us criticizing is just a bad habit intended to make us feel better about ourselves. But it doesn’t work , it’s just a spiral of negativity.

Complaining. Not only complaining, but the attitude that precedes it. Complaining is self-reinforcing behavior. By constantly talking – and therefore feeling – about how bad things are, you reaffirm your negative beliefs. While talking about what bothers you can help you feel better, it also fuels unhappiness. Beyond making you unhappy, complaining drives other people away.

Impressing. Just because people like your clothes, your car, or your fancy job, that doesn’t mean people like you. Trying to impress other people is a source of unhappiness because it doesn’t get to the source of what makes you happy – finding people who like you and accept you for who you are. All the things you acquire in the quest to impress people won’t make you happy either. When make a habit of chasing things you are more likely to become unhappy because, beyond the disappointment you experience once you get them, you discover you’ve gained them at the expense of the real things that can make you happy, such as friends, family, and taking care of yourself.

Negativity. Life won’t always go the way you want it to, but when it comes down to it, you have the same 24 hours in a day like everyone else. Happy people make their time count. Instead of complaining they reflect on all they have to be grateful for. They find the best solution to a problem, tackle it, and move on. Pessimism becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy: if you expect bad things you are more likely to get bad things. Pessimistic thoughts are hard to shake off – unless you realize how illogical they are. Force yourself to look at the facts and you’ll see that things aren’t nearly as bad as they seem.

Hanging around negative people. Complainers and negative people wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so they can feel better about themselves. There’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spirals. Avoid getting drawn in by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary. Just as you wouldn’t hang around a smoker all day inhaling second hand smoke, keep your distance from negative people. A great way to set limits is to ask them how they intend to fix their problems.

Strive to surround yourself with people who inspire you, people who make you want to be better. Life is too short to associate with people who make you feel worthless, anxious, or uninspired. And don’t be one of those people.

Comparing your own life to the lives people portray on social media. Bradberry hits the nail on the head on this one. A study showed that people who stayed off Facebook for a week reported a higher degree of satisfaction with their lives and lower levels of sadness and loneliness. People on Facebook were 50% more likely to feel stress as a result. Facebook rarely represents reality, instead providing an airbrushed, color-enhanced look at the lives people want to portray. TIP: use social media sparingly – and with a grain of salt.

Neglecting to set goals. Having goals gives you hope and the ability to look forward to a better future. Working toward these goals makes you feel good about yourself and your abilities. Without goals you just plod along wondering why things never change.

Giving in to fear. I am guilty of this one. I need to turn off Fox News and deal with the world I can impact. I unfollowed the Twitter accounts that were getting me down. Fear is nothing more than a lingering emotion fueled by your imagination. Danger is real. Fear is a choice. Happy people know this – they’re addicted to the euphoric feeling they get from conquering their fears. In the end you’ll lament the chances you did not take more than you will your failures. Don’t be afraid to take risks. What’s the worst that can happen – death? No. the worst thing that can happen is allowing yourself to die inside, while you’re still alive.

Leaving the present. Like fear, the past and the future are products of the mind. It’s impossible to reach your full potential when you’re constantly somewhere else, unable to embrace the reality of the moment, whether good or bad. ME: Again, guilty. I often live in a dream world. I have no hang-ups about the past or future – my problem is dealing with the present.
a. Accept your past. Bradberry writes “Happy people know the only good reason to look to the past is to see how far you’ve come.” I’m not so sure – I have many happy memories from the past.
b. Accept the uncertainty of the future, and don’t place unnecessary expectations on yourself. Worry has no place in the here and now. Mark Twain said “worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.”

Friday, February 26, 2016

Whole Lot of Nothing

Friday I worked until six. Had a plate of BBQ for dinner before I left. Stopped by Bojangles for M on the way home. Watched the musical “Little Shop of Horrors.” M was spending long hours completing his Drivers Ed and Drug Awareness courses so he can get him license this week.  

Saturday AM I cleaned upstairs all morning. Ate peanut M&M’s and leftover Ruth’s Chris steak. Did Laundry. M wanted to practice driving so we went to the Lower Roswell Goodwill, East Cobb library, Taco Bell (for M), Goodwill’s in Sandy Springs, near Perimeter Mall, and Cobb Parkway. Then to four more thrift stores near the Big Chicken. On the way home we ate dinner at Moe’s. Watched the second half of GT/Notre Dame. GT is TERRIBLE and was lucky to win.  

Sunday was JFBC. Good SS lesson on anger. Afterwards I cleaned and did laundry. Baked a rising crust pizza for me and M. Mostly bread. Not much on TV all weekend. Rode with M down to Grace Midtown and later went back to pick him up.

Monday morning I got up and walked around the neighborhood. Saw three cars. I was almost home and must’ve been looking down when I heard something. Looked up and the lady from two doors down was right in front of me. Guess I better pay better attention. After eating bad all weekend my weight-in was pretty good. Ceil cooked beans and rice, and went to bed early.

I heard Golden State had a time getting to the game through the traffic and rain their busses were delayed. And there was a mouse/rat in the locker room. Lang said Coach Bud needed to take the team bowling to get them out of their malaise. I said that always worked with the Mighty Mites.
Did you see the video clip of the Ohio State guard playing defense, slapping the ground in front of him? He slapped the ground and the opponent with the ball easily drove past him. So much for being a show-off. Guess I should rename my blog "Old School."

Tuesday: another late night picking up M in Cumming. He drove through the rain on the way home. We stopped at Taco Bell for him, then at the church up the street to practice parallel parking. Was 10 pm by the time we got home. Ceil cooked a soup with steak and shell noodles, but I had eaten cereal for dinner. Gotta increase my workouts because my weight loss has plateaued.

The last 3 times I was in Cumming I topped off my tank (usually 5 or 6 gallons) at the RaceTrac on Highway 20 at GA400. $1.449 a gallon. Usually I’m not a topper offer, but I can’t resist. I hear we have some cheap stations here in Duluth as well – there are a QT, RaceTrac, and WalMart all near each other on Pleasant Hill and North Berkeley.

W&MC made the 3 hour drive down to Ft. Worth to see her brother Thomas when he visited TCU this week.

Wednesday was rough. Worked late on homework for that appointment I thought was Thursday. Got home at 8 pm and plopped on the couch. Watched The Middle. C and M and Barney had gone to Athens.

Busy Thursday. Two co-workers out. One forgot to tag his voicemails and emails with his out of office message. Then he forgot to enter an order and asked me to do it. I told him to, but by then it was too late and missed the truck.

Left just after 4 pm (right when the week-old order was heating up) for an appointment across from Colony Square. Spent the whole drive down on the phone for work. Parked and sent some work emails and texts. Walked to my appointment and learned it wasn’t until next week. I had been so busy I hadn’t read the email closely enough. Took me an hour to get home through bumper to bumper traffic. My regular commute may take that long but at least I’m moving. So many drivers think they’re so important and cut to the front of the line.

Got home and crashed. Actually I went upstairs, changed clothes, and hung up a bunch of clothes. Then I crashed. Ceil had cooked chili so I ate a bowl. She got home from the school meeting I’d missed and wanted to watch the Republican debate. It sounded like The View. When I finished working on the computer I went to bed just after 10 pm.

M passed his driver’s test Thursday, so he’s wanting to drive to Decatur for a sleepover. One more bill to pay and one more thing to worry about.

Thursday Stephon Curry passed Kyle Korver for most consecutive games making a three pointer. Curry shot 20 for 27 from the field and scored 51 points – his third 50 point game of the season. Yesterday was also the day in 1977 that Pete Maravich scored 68 points, the most ever for a guard.   

Passion City Church is always collecting back to school backpacks and books for the neighborhood kids. The youth group has a day of service once or twice a year where they spend time with inner city kids. Not sure what Jim Watterson is doing these days but this weekend his family was at a homeless shelter for women. JFBC is planning on ministering to the Syrian refugees. They also announced plans to start up a new church in Buckhead, citing all the unchurched people there. Some people totally ignore certain Biblical passages, as if they’re no longer applicable. Picking and choosing. Not how it works. Not that I don’t have issues of my own.

At Moe’s and Willys you can watch them cook the meat on the grill, similar to Waffle House I guess. At Moe’s they don’t have a freezer – all the meat is fresh. Several years ago my tyrant boss took me to eat at Firehouse Subs. Firehouse lines up all their sauces on the counter, from mild to hot. We were sitting near the hot end. There was a bottle simply marked FIRE. My boss just had to try it. He took one bite and raced to the restroom.

The longer Trump campaigns the more his true colors shine through. People wanted change in 2008 but really didn’t look closely at the candidate calling for change. The same thing appears to be happening again.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Winter Reading List

The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America, from Key West to the Arctic Ocean, by Philip Caputo. Delightful tale of the 70 year old Pulitzer Prize winner’s cross country drive from Key West to northern Alaska. Whereas I would make the trip and report of the places and sights, Caputo writes of the people he befriends along the way. Cuputo dips and mixes water in the same container from the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River, Pacific, and Arctic Ocean. The book is laced with traces of the author’s liberal mindset: global warming, etc.

Fall of Giants: Book One of The Century Trilogy, by Ken Follett. The Russian Revolution. Woodrow Wilson’s presidency. War in Europe pitting friend against friend. Antiquated battle strategies costing countless lives. Mining accidents. Lower classes crossing paths with upper classes. Young couples having babies, that will grow up to be featured into Follett’s next book in the series.
A Fine Romance: a Memoir, by Candice Bergen. Candice focuses on the story of her relationships and adventures with husbands and beloved daughter Chloe. She also goes into detail about her Murphy Brown years, and other gigs like Boston Legal and her first Broadway play. Her first husband, French director Louis Malle, passed away. Several years later she was again swept away by doting New York City businessman / philanthropist Marshall Rose. Actor Candice and by-the-book businessman Marshall are birds of two different feathers, but they learn to love each other. She willingly confesses her own imperfections while praising family and co-stars. Bergen dutifully celebrates Christmas and Easter with Santa and the Easter Bunny. She marries a non-practicing Jew. After a childhood full of the bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs of friends and classmates, daughter Chloe converts to Judaism, helps officiate her mother’s wedding to Marshall, and becomes an editor at Vogue. But Candice writes that personally, she “doesn’t buy into the whole church thing.”       
The Glory of their Times: the Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It, by Lawrence S Ritter. A sound recording of interviews with ballplayers from the first two decades of the 20th century, including luminaries Lefty O’Doul, Sam Crawford, Hank Greenberg, Chief Meyers, Paul Waner, Goose Goslin, and Smokin’ Joe Wood. Players recount playing against Ruth, Cobb, Hornsby, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Walter Johnson, Cy Young, etc.
Johnny Carson, by Henry Bushkin. Behind the scenes tales told by Carson’s longtime lawyer, aka the Bombastic Bushkin. We even learn where that nickname came from – late night card games with Pat McCormick. Many were flabbergasted when Bushkin published this not so pretty picture of the late night king’s personal life and relationships. An amazing tale of privilege, extravagance, and even debauchery that led to not only Carson’s divorces, but Bushkin’s as well. Educational but sad.
Killing Jesus: A History, by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. The Fox News host claims belief in Jesus as the Son of God but remains neutral on the centerpiece of Christianity: God raising him from the dead. The book does fill in many details about the time period, and colors in the lives of those around Jesus.   
The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton, by Joe Klein.
Takedown: A Thriller (Scot Harvath #5), by Brad Thor.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Frenchy's Return

Think Francoeur can repeat last season's pinch-hitting success? Frenchy may be a better option than Swisher or Bourne, as long as the Braves are willing to eat a contract. The downside is that all the fans will be wanting him to play. Perhaps this is a move to put fans in the seats – something that usually doesn't happen but this one season might be a good idea.

ROB: I hope he does well. Overall he had a good year last year, however, most of his damage came in hitter friendly Philly versus on the road - 9 HR and .523 SLG versus 4 HR and .354 SLG on the road. He is better defensively than Swisher and has more pop than Bourn. I would not be surprised if they cut loose of both Swisher and Bourn before ST is over.

ME: looks like Francoeur has been borrowing from Jefferson native Tommy Two Gloves Gainey (above). Appropriate that Frenchy played for the Chihuahuas.
I had pretty much forgotten about Rowland's Office. I don't have the link on my favorites any more, and I don't follow them on Twitter.

The neighbor girl went to a week-long softball camp at UGA and loved it. They may eat at the brand new Bolton dining hall across from the student center (where there's a Chickfila). Bolton has all kinds of food choices: burgers, dogs, fries, shakes, various Italian, Mexican, and Chinese dishes, baked chicken, vegetables, hot breakfast dishes made to order, cereal, and ice cream and other desserts. I say that and they'll probably have them eat somewhere else. This past fall Will lived off-campus but still got the meal plan.

Still having electrical problems with my Civic.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Good First Impressions

Why Outsiders Win Elections (Snap Judgments are Everything) by Travis Bradberry on Another in my series to make my blog more informative and boring.
Trump. Bernie Sanders. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jessie Ventura, Al Franken. A Harvard Business School study shows we make snap judgments about other people that answer two primary questions: (1) can I trust this person? And (2) can I respect this person’s capabilities? 80-90% of a first impression is based on these two traits.
You’d think competence is the most important factor, but for that to matter people must trust you first. Without trust, competence is a negative. Voters are ignoring Washington insiders because they don’t trust them. An outsider who appears even moderately trustworthy is deemed to be far more competent than an established candidate who has already violated a voter’s trust. This helped Obama get elected in 2008.
How to master the art of the first impression: Since it only takes a few seconds for someone to decide if you are trustworthy and competent, and research shows that first impressions are difficult to change, the pressure that comes with meeting new people is justifiably intense (never been a worry for me). These same tips are useful for every conversation you have, especially with a loved one.
Let the person you’re meeting with speak first. Why people like Ceil so much. You can ask questions to help this along. Speaking first shows dominance, and that won’t help you build trust. People like to talk.
Use positive body language. Gestures, expressions, tone of voice. Use an enthusiastic tone, uncross your arms, maintain eye contact, lean towards the speaker.
Put away your phone. Nothing turns people off like a mid-conversation text or even a quick glance at your phone. Conversations are more enjoyable when you immerse yourself in them.
Make time for small talk (something I’m terrible at). Small talk is a trust builder. Meetings are more productive when you start them off with small talk – perhaps worship services as well?
Practice active listening. This means concentrating on what the other person is saying rather than thinking about what you’re going to say next (even to a socially ignorant person like me, it’s obvious and irritating when someone does this). Asking insightful questions is a great way to illustrate that you’re really paying attention. If you’re not checking for understanding or asking a probing question you shouldn’t be talking.
Not only does thinking about what you’re going to say next take your attention away from the speaker, hijacking the conversation shows that you think you have something more important to say. This means who shouldn’t jump in with solutions to the speaker’s problems. When we do this we’re shutting the other person down and destroying trust. It’s essentially a more socially acceptable way of saying “Okay, I’ve got it. You can stop now.”
Do your homework. People love it when you know things about them that they didn’t have to share. Not creepy stuff but facts you took the time to learn. It’s crucial when a first meeting is planned ahead of time. This demonstrates competence and trustworthiness by highlighting your initiative and responsibility.
It’s the little things that make a first impression a good one, and the importance of establishing trust cannot be overstated. Now if someone would just tell this to the politicians!

Monday, February 22, 2016

More Wedding Photos

A few more photos from the wedding.
Rachel, Ceil, Anna, and Emily
Dan and Molly share a moment, with Zane and Teresa in the background. Molly helped with the flowers.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

NBA's Top Players

Both Sports Illustrated and ESPN compiled updated rankings of the greatest NBA players in history. SI’s longtime basketball reporter/author compiled their list, leaving off Pistol Pete Maravich (“one of the greatest collegians”) and Dominque Wilkins. It’s amazing to see some of the players ESPN ranked ahead of Wilkins and Maravich. I’d have to think that had Nique played in New York or LA he would be ranked much higher.
Some of SI’s top 50 didn’t make ESPN’s top hundred. Predictably, ESPN’s list is noticeably younger. Below SI’s top 50 are in black, and ESPN’s top 100 in blue. The 43 players I’ve seen in person are in bold. I’ve seen another 27 on TV, bringing the total I’ve seen to 80 of the top hundred.
Sports Illustrated ESPN
100. Shawn Kemp
99. Kevin Love
98. Gail Goodrich
97. James Harden
96. Bobby Jones
95. Marc Gasol
94. Mark Price
93. Lenny Wilkins
92. Nate Thurmond
91. Maurice Cheeks
90. Paul Arizin (50)
89. Yao Ming
88. Billy Cunningham
87. Chauncey Billups
86. Chris Bosh
85. Dave DeBusshere
84. Dennis Johnson
83. Chris Mullin
82. David Thompson
81. Sidney Moncrief
80. Grant Hill
79. Jerry Lucas (33)
78. Sam Jones
77. Joe Dumars
76. Nate Archibald
75. Blake Griffin
74. Dolph Schayes (48)
73. Dikembe Mutombo
72. Adrian Dantley
71. Pete Maravich
70. Artis Gilmore
69. Vince Carter
68. Bob Lanier
67. Dwight Howard
66. Chris Webber
65. Alonzo Mourning
64. Dennis Rodman
63. Tracy McGrady
62. Alex English
61. Manu Ginobili
60. Earl Monroe
59. Carmelo Anthony
58. Tony Parker
57. Robert Parrish
56. Pau Gasol
55. Dave Cowens (42)
54. Bernard King
53. Wes Unseld
52. Bob McAdoo
51. Reggie Miller
50. Paul Arizin (90) Ray Allen
49. Kevin McHale (31) Russell Westbrook
48. Dolph Schayes (74) Willis Reed (40)
47. Chris Paul (29) George Gervin (26)
46. Bill Sharman (NR) Allen Iverson (45)
45. Allen Iverson (45) Paul Pierce (NR)
44. Jason Kidd (35) Dominique Wilkins (NR)
43. Kevin Durant (22) James Worthy (NR)
42. Dave Cowens (55) Bill Walton (32)
41. Hal Greer (NR) Gary Payton
40. Willis Reed (48) Elvin Hayes (19)
39. Patrick Ewing (32) Bob Cousy (38)
38. Bob Cousy (39) Walt Frazier (21)
37. Dirk Nowitzki (17) Rick Barry (27)
36. Dave Bing (NR) Clyde Drexler (35)
35. Clyde Drexler (36) Jason Kidd (44)
34. Kevin Garnett  (22) Bob Pettit (13)
33. Jerry Lucas (79) George Mikan (24)
32. Bill Walton (42) Patrick Ewing (39)
31. Stephan Curry (23) Kevin McHale (49)
30. John Stockton (19) Steve Nash (NR)
29. Isiah Thomas (26) Chris Paul (47)
28. David Robinson (20) John Havlicek (22)
27. Rick Barry (37) Dwayne Wade (25)
26. George Gervin (47) Isaiah Thomas (29)
25. Dwayne Wade (27) Scottie Pippen (23)
24. George Mikan (43) Elgin Baylor (11)
23. Scottie Pippen (25) Stephan Curry (31)
22. John Havlicek (28) Kevin Durant (43)
21. Walt Frazier (38) Kevin Garnett (34)
20. Charles Barkley (18) David Robinson (28)
19. Elvin Hayes (40) John Stockton (19)
18. Julius Erving (14) Charles Barkley (20)
17. Karl Malone (16) Dirk Nowitzki (37)
16. Hakeem Olajuwon (10) Karl Malone (17)
15. Shaquille O’Neal (9) Moses Malone (14)
14. Moses Malone (15) Julius Erving (18)
13. Bob Pettit (34)  Jerry West (9)
12. Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant
11. Elgin Baylor (24) Oscar Robertson (6)
10. Tim Duncan (8) Hakeem Olajuwon (16)
9. Jerry West (13) Shaquille O’Neal (15)
8. Bill Russell (9) Tim Duncan (10)
7. Larry Bird (6) Bill Russell (8)
6. Oscar Robertson (11) Larry Bird (7)
5. LeBron James (3) Wilt Chamberlain (3)
4. Magic Johnson Magic Johnson
3. Wilt Chamberlain (5) LeBron James (5)
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Kareem
1. Michael Jordan Michael Jordan

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Fine Dining

Tuesday night C and I finally made it to Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Very very good. Was early for our 7 pm reservation but we were seated immediately. Great, attentive service. I wanted the 12 ounce filet, which was on the all in one menu that came with a salad, side, and a turtle cheesecake dessert. I ordered a traditional steak salad with vinaigrette and creamed spinach. Added a side of sweet potato soufflĂ©. Ceil got a stack salad, the 8 ounce filet, and baked potato. She had a glass of wine and I got diet Coke.

When the salads came out she wasn’t thrilled. Her stack looked interesting to me, so we switched. The stack was like cole slaw. OK but not great, but just as good as the salad would’ve been. Freshly baked bread came out but we didn’t finish the loaf. The filets were great, but we both had some to take home. Same with the sweet potato stuff. We finished the spinach. Ceil ate the inside of her potato but left the skin. By the time the small dessert came we were stuff, so we tasted it and took the rest home.

People-watching is always interesting at a place like that. Next to us was a pair of 60 year olds – an American man and Korean lady. On the other side of them was a couple in their late 70’s. They ordered a HUGE steak to share. The server had a hard time picking it up. I’m sure they had plenty to take home. Unlike a few others yahoos, we stayed off our phones (99% of the time).  

Wednesday: stopped by Taco Bell for M on the way home. Not much else going on.

Thursday night M wanted me to pick him up later than sooner. I didn’t want to drive home and then make the round trip to Cumming, so I worked until 6:30, then swung by thrift stores in Peachtree Corners, east Roswell, and Roswell. Then I drove up to Cumming and topped off my tank for $1.449 a gallon and picked a few sundries at the Dollar Tree. By the time I picked up M it was too late to go to Fuddruckers, which I didn’t need anyway – a week of two burgers and fries and lasagna and Valentine’s Day apple pie has stalled my diet. Actually I’m just one week / one pound behind on my one pound per week goal. When the weather warms up the pounds will really start falling off, right?

M drove home from Cumming, opting to not stop and get something to eat. When we got home I goofed off researching the ESPN top 100 list. While Ceil is out of town I’m trying to clean out my emails and read all the articles I had saved to read, but I didn’t make much progress on that. I did check out the Crackers tickets. The $49.00 ticket for sale on eBay ended this morning without being sold. I’ll research to see what prices some may have sold for and get our auctions going tonight.       

I sit near lunch planner Renee. When she asked our little group if we should have Dreamland BBQ for our Friday lunch meeting (today), I vigorously shook my head in agreement before anyone else could say anything. Then yesterday afternoon when GM Eric hinted that lunch might be Dreamland I confessed that I had made the call. I’ll stay away from the macaroni and cheese and banana pudding. This morning I passed on the bagels, and yesterday I passed on the sandwiches and potato salad.

The ESPN top 100 list has a lot of good info on each player: stats, championships, and interesting facts about each one. For instance:

Mark Price was the only player in NBA history to shoot 40% from the three point line AND 90% from the free throw line in his career.

Pete Maravich once scored 68 points in a game, the most ever for a guard (since passed by Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant). Pete did it without benefit of the three point shot, which wasn’t instituted until his final NBA season – when he made 67% of his threes.

GT: seems like the opposition always steps it up at the end of games, and GT falters. How many years has Gregory been here? The big question: has GT finished paying off Hewett?

The AJC made a big deal about all the payouts UGA had to make when Richt was fired, not mentioning (1) they cried the loudest for his ouster, and (2) every other college in the country is doing the same thing – like Georgia Tech. Paying off college coaches is part of the system as a whole. Nobody said the system was perfect. Comparatively, UGA got off cheap.  

Basketball: I always liked Clifford Ray. He always wore the knee high socks plus knee pads, a look I liked. I’m sure I looked ridiculous in 9th and 10th grade with my knee pads, since I couldn’t play a lick (in college I got respectable). Church league versus seniors and juniors. I think we lost every game.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Pitchers & Catchers

In honor of the start of spring training, I added ANOTHER Braves cap to my collection: a camo New Era fitted model. To review, I also have: home, road, Boston Braves, old-timey Boston Braves, 1974 white front, 1982 royal blue, Greenville, and a green St. Patricks Day Gwinnett cap.

Seems like the baseball off-season flew by. Looking forward to getting reports from Orlando.

See where Liberty will be offering shares of the Braves team? Similar to the Green Bay Packers? Will you be buying a share or two? I like how the article explained how the stock might go up and down depending on how the team goes after players. The same article I think explained why the team lost money – because of depreciation, etc. People always forget those details.

ROB:  After the Shelby Miller trade it has been an uneventful off season.  I have hardly checked in on Talking Chop and quickly scan through DOB and Bowman's articles.  I have not been keeping up with Rowlands Office in a while - all those guys do now is complain about how things are now and the move to Cobb County.

Tim Tucker does a good job of breaking down the Braves business stories.  Buck and Kincaid were discussing the stock story earlier in the week and it made my head hurt.  They were speculating on how the Braves could offer someone a big money contract with the funds from the stock offering.  The AJC article clearly states that they are planning on using the funds to pay off the stadium construction loan.  With the move into the new stadium, the revenue stream will allow them to raise their payroll (according to Coppy) to a top 10 in MLB level.

ME: Friday night C and M went to Whole Foods and brought back burgers and onion rings. I ate mine without the bun. Friday at Pebble the CEO of Chevron holed a wedge from about 150 yards – on the 18th hole I think. Bill Murray and Ray Romano didn’t get much air time, but Larry the Cable Guy did. Justin Timberlake holed a long putt, and Wayne Gretzky did well – better than Raj from The Big Bang Theory. Raj is as talkative in real life as he is on the show.

Saturday morning we drove M to Cumming, then took crowded highway 20 east to 85 north to Jefferson GA, then over to Athens. Anna had a sorority meeting at one, so we only had time for lunch. First she had to deliver a banner to her sorority president, which had been stolen then recovered. A fraternity thing, she said. Anna's "friend" John ate lunch with us at the crowded Grindhouse, which was fun. John was wearing a pair of classic blue canvas Nike high-tops. I approved. We all had real good burgers and fries. I should've ordered a salad.

After lunch Ceil visited a small upstairs art gallery in downtown Athens, then went to Two Story Coffee. I was messaging a bobblehead friend. The gymnastics meet was sold out so I wasn't able to secure a bobblehead, but my friend is going to hook me up.

By then it was 3 pm. Margaret Hurt's Auburn Equestrian Team was riding against UGA 30 minutes away, south of Barnesville. The meet had started at one, so it would be almost over by the time we got there. Instead we headed home. We decided to catch a movie at The East Cobb Picture Show: "JOY" starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, the girl from The Hunger Games. Very good, about the hardships an inventor suffered before striking it rich on QVC and The Home Shopping Network. Then a quiet Saturday evening, though I had to drive back to Cumming to retrieve M.

I didn't watch the slam dunk or three point contest even though I wasn't doing much. Had the TV on the replay of Pebble Beach instead. Friday night the celebrity game was on. Della Donne wasn't really playing all out. I just wanted Kevin Hart to lose and not get MVP. I guess his thing is to be all about himself, which rubs me the wrong way. Even his commercials are like that. Not funny. I was glad Tracy McGrady was gunning from downtown. After the game the MVP for Team Canada went off on a political rant about how the US needed this and that, and the reporter quickly cut him off.

On the drive back from Athens I was able to take a daydream and figure out an entire feature length movie, to star Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson (or maybe John Krasinski and wife Emily Blunt or castmate Jenna Fischer). A young couple meets, shares rides to work, dates, falls in love, marries, gets laughs, and becomes a comedy act touring the country. She gains fame on Saturday Night Live and he gets work writing and acting.

Sunday: JFBC in the AM. Ceil fixed lasagna and salad for lunch. I did some laundry but not much else. C took a nap. M wasn't feeling well and didn't go the church. John took Anna out for lunch. Over the weekend I went through over 1200 emails. I worked on my laptop while the NBA ASG was on, then went to bed.

Saw the end of Pebble Beach. Very exciting. When I saw Vaughn Taylor’s FAM1LY cap with M2.19 on the side I looked him up on line. He grew up in Augusta. You could tell how special it was for him to win. Michelson’s putt seemed short enough, so I feared the playoff. Phil had struggled down the stretch and any one bad shot could’ve made the difference. Too bad for Phil but it seemed like after his putt lipped out he looked over and say how much this meant to Taylor.

Monday: This morning I was tired of wearing my canvas barn coat. So I went back in my closet for a black jacket. When I pulled it out I found the blue/black coat I hadn't been able to find for a week, so I wore it instead. Sure enough, inside the jacket pocket was my missing wallet. No sign of the missing remote control (found it later in the living room sofa).

Worked til 6:20. Had to pick up M in Cumming, so I stopped by two stores on the way. Came out of the second store and my car wouldn’t crank. Same problem that had supposedly been fixed last week. I was at the corner of Old Milton Parkway and Jones Bridge Road. I’d have to call a tow truck and ride back with him to Roswell, then get C to pick me up at the shop. I sat in my car going through all this in my mind for a couple of minutes before calling the tow.

Then I tried to start the car and it cranked. Thank God. I wasn’t going to stop at the third store I’d planned to visit. I drove up 400 to highway 20 and got gas for 144.9 with the car still running. Then I picked up M, drove through Taco Bell for him, and made it home around 8:30. C was at Panera Bread with her friend Noelle. Watched some of the Grammys but didn’t pay much attention. Beat Ceil to bed.

W and MC won a special Valentines dinner at Chickfila. The table was decorated and had a tablecloth. They dressed up for the occasion.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


I’ve made lists of venues by sport, but never one big combined list.
Alexander Memorial Coliseum Atlanta GA
Anaheim Stadium drove past
Arlington Stadium Texas drove past
Arrowhead Stadium Kansas City MO drove past
Astrodome Houston TX drove past
Atlanta Athletic Club PGA Championship
Atlanta Country Cub Bellsouth Classic Marietta GA
Atlanta Speedway Hampton GA
Atlanta Stadium
Augusta National Golf Course 10
Bears Stadium Berkeley CA drove past
Boston Garden drove past
Buccaneers Stadium Tampa FL drove past
Busch Memorial Stadium St. Louis MO
Camden Yards Baltimore MD
Candlestick Park San Francisco CA drove past
Centennial Olympic Stadium Atlanta GA
Charlotte Arena
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Chicago Bulls Arena 20
Churchill Downs Louisville KY
Citrus Bowl Stadium Orlando FL drove past
Commonwealth Stadium Lexington KY
Cool Ray Field Gwinnett Braves
Cougars Stadium Houston TX drove past
Darlington Motor Speedway
Dean Dome Chapel Hill NC walked past
Disneyland Anaheim CA drove past
Dodger Stadium Los Angeles CA drove past
Doubleday Field Cooperstown NY 30
Historic Engel Stadium Chattanooga TN
Fenway Park Boston MA
Foley Field Athens GA
Gator Bowl Stadium Jacksonville FL drove past
Georgia Dome Atlanta GA
Georgia Tech baseball stadium Atlanta GA
Giants Stadium San Francisco CA
Grant Field Atlanta GA
The Great Western Forum Los Angeles CA drove past
Greensboro Stadium drove past 40
Heritage Classic Hilton Head Island SC
Herndon Stadium Atlanta GA
Hohokam Park Mesa Arizona AZ
Hoosier Dome Indianapolis IN drove past
Independence Bowl Stadium Shreveport LA drove past
Indianapolis Motor Speedway drove past
Kauffman Stadium Kansas City MO drove past
Keenan Stadium Chapel Hill NC
Legion Field Birmingham AL
Littlejohn Arena Clemson SC 50
Los Angeles Coliseum drove past
Lookouts Stadium Chattanooga TN
Luther Williams Field Macon GA
Macon Coliseum
Madison Square Garden New York City NY walked past
McCamish Arena Atlanta GA
Memorial Stadium Clemson SC
Mercedes Dome Atlanta GA drove past
Mercer baseball stadium Macon GA
Mercer Gymnasium Macon GA 60
Mercer football stadium Macon GA
Mile High Stadium Denver CO drove past
Minute Maid Park Houston TX
Myrtle Beach Pelicans SC
Nashville Sounds Stadium drove past
Neyland Stadium Knoxville TN
University of North Alabama Stadium
Oglethorpe University Brookhaven GA
Olympic Whitewater Rafting venue North Georgia
The Omni Atlanta GA
Orange Bowl Stadium Miami FL
Panthers Stadium Charlotte NC drove past
Panthersville Stadium Decatur GA
Phillips Arena Atlanta GA
Phoenix Suns Arena flew over
Pontiac Silverdome drove past
Predators Arena Nashville TN walked past
Purdue Stadium Lafayette Indiana IN
Rangers Stadium Arlington TX (above)
Ravens Stadium Baltimore MA
RFK Stadium Washington DC
Richmond Braves Stadium drove past
Riverfront Stadium Cincinnati OH drove past
Rockingham Motor Speedway
Rose Bowl Stadium Pasadena CA walked past
Sanford Stadium Athens GA
Shea Stadium New York City NY
Soldier Field Chicago IL
State Mutual Stadium Rome GA
Sumter Braves Stadium drove past
Superdome New Orleans LA
SunTrust Field Atlanta GA drove past
Talladega Motor Speedway
Tampa Stadium (the Big Sombrero) drove past
Tennessee Smokies Stadium Sevierville TN drove past
UT Chattanooga Stadium drove past
Texans Stadium Houston TX drove past
Texas Stadium Dallas TX
Tiger Stadium Detroit MI drove past
Titans Stadium Nashville TN drove past
Tropicana Field St. Petersburg FL
Turner Field Atlanta GA
Vanderbilt Stadium Nashville TN drove past
Wake Forest Stadium drove past
War Memorial Stadium Little Rock AR drove past
Williams Bryce Stadium Columbia SC drove past
Wrigley Field Chicago IL
Walt Disney World Kissimmee FL
Washington Wizards Arena walked past 109