Thursday, March 31, 2016


Anna and Alex recently discovered this old Sanford Stadium scoreboard while out on a run.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Men's Health Lists

Mental Tricks to Fight Fat: your brain dictates what and how much you eat – not your stomach.
1. Loud music signals your brain to drink 30% faster.
2. Stop thinking about losing weight (this doesn't work for me). Know what snacks are healthy and eat them instead of something bad.
3. Mindset determines weight loss. Thinking you're fat makes you heavier. Research shows that when you think your weight and lifestyle are OK you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, BMI, and waist to hip ratio. Convince yourself that you are active.
4. Ditch your scale (doesn't work for me). Some studies do show that frequent weigh ins help dieters stay on track, though it may not be for everyone.
5. Stump your sense of smell. Just smelling food can slow the production of the chemical that relays the signal that you're full. Smell grapefruit essential oil or mint.
6. Time your antioxidants. They keep your brain's appetite center supplied with oxygen free radicals. Eat leafy greens, carrots, berries, and tomatoes to every meal. Eating them halfway through the meal revs up production of the hormone that tells you that you're stomach if is full. Eat your salad with your dinner – eating antioxidants on an empty stomach ramps up your appetite.
7. Let go of the perfect you. Raises the changes you'll binge eat. Instead focus on your small victories.
8. Fight brain fright. When you cut back calories your brain may go into fight or flight state because it's afraid of starvation. Instead eat 5-6 smaller meals instead of 2-3 big ones.

Mistakes that make you fat:
1. Skipping meals and snacks. Spread calories over three meals of 500 calories each and two snacks of 100-200 calories.
2. Speed eating. Take a deep breath between each bite.
3. Pigging out on weekends.
4. Gorging on salty snacks. On a salt free diet cravings go away after a couple of weeks. Try baby carrots instead.
4. Drinking alcohol. Not a problem for me.
5. Eating in front of the TV then dozing off.

Foods that pack on muscle:
Eggs: the perfect protein.
Almonds: muscle medicine, vitamin E.
Salmon: Omega 3's.
Beef: carvable creatine.
Olive Oil: liquid energy.
Water bathes muscles, helping them to grow. Men who drink 5 or more 8 ounce glasses of water a day were 54% less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack then those who drank 2 or less.
Coffee: the caffeine helps keep energy up during workouts. Muscle burns more calories and increases metabolism.

How to Eliminate Food Cravings:
1. Chew Gum.
2. Brush your teeth. Minty flavors make food less desirable.
3. Sniff mint. A study showed mint sniffers throughout the day ate 3000 fewer calories per week.
4. Play games. Playing for 3 minutes reduces cravings 24%. When you're under pressure your body releases the stress hormone cortisol, which tells your brain to seek rewards – like food. Instead do something to make you feel good about yourself – like play games like Tetris.

Exercises: side plank hip-up. Burpees. Bridge-up: sit back on elbows then lift rear end into the air. Rest 30 seconds between exercises. Add sets every week.

Weight loss tips:
1. Snap a selfie. Taking a weekly full body shot could help motivate you to shed 2.6% of your body weight in four months.
2. Swap intervals for cardio. Prompts your body to continue burning extra calories long after the workout.
3. Snack then shop. Eating an apple before grocery shopping. Those who do bought 28% more produce and less junk food than consumers who snacked on cookies.
4. Track your progress. People who weight themselves regularly lose more weight than those who don't.
5. Take a 30 minute walk every day and lose 1.6 inches off your waist.
6. Snack on almonds. Much better than muffins.
7. Take a nap. Helps your brain produce chemicals telling you when you're full. Lake of sleep produces a chemical that makes you want to eat more. I'm convinced.

Foods that increase your metabolism: apples, almonds, broccoli, low-fat plain yogurt, canned tuna, boiled soybeans, cottage cheese, beef jerky, blueberries, asparagus, cheese, avocado, egg whites, water, spinach salad, whey protein, oatmeal, lean meat.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Looking North

This afternoon's view of the SunTrust Park / Battery construction site looking north from my friend's office. At least three north Georgia mountains can be seen from the stadium, including Kennesaw Mountain (above middle).

Monday, March 28, 2016

SABR Meeting

SABR meeting Thursday night was good. 13 men (and one woman) of various ages. Five I had met in Cumming at Hot Stove Meetings. One guy ordered a salad when we were ordering beverages, then later ate fries that two guys didn't want. We chatted before and during dinner. One guy from Decatur read the same uniform bog as me. To my right a man from Stone Mountain was past president of the Braves 400 Club. He's played bagpipes at Turner Field several times.

The Hudson Grill is an upscale sports bar with scores of TVs. The food was good. My burger patty was excellent but the "white" bun not so much. The wheat bun on my neighbor's burger didn't look much better. I should've ordered a plain burger, as the bacon and bbq sauce added little to the taste. My small serving of potato salad was tasty. My neighbor's large servings of fries, tater tots, sweet potato fries, and chicken panini all looked good as well. The guys gave a thumbs down to the "New York" "cheesecake" which was too light and airy and fluffy to be considered authentic.

After dinner we were asked trivia questions. By my answers the guys knew I knew a little baseball. But I was shamed for guessing long time Oriole Mark Belanger was one of the franchises top 20 home run hitters.

After trivia Brian recapped his recent trip to the SABR meeting in Arizona. He went into great detail befitting the organization, though he admitted the Arizona meeting was filled with nerds.

Since NCAA games were showing on several of the big screen TVs, there was also much chatter about that. At 10:30 I finally made my leave. Not sure how long the guys stayed.

Didn't leave Friday morning until almost 11 am. While C and M were getting coffee in Athens I took Barney on a walk in a nice neighborhood.

Jam packed was Athens. CFA there for lunch. Friday night Mexican. Usually C and I split a Mexican plate. I saw a combo dinner with what she likes: a chalupa beans and rice. It also had a burrito and enchilada ( which I ate ) as well as a taco and some other dish (which we didn't).

Saturday I got a lot of miscellaneous stuff done on my computer. Cleaned up emails, read some articles I'd been saving, looked up some stuff I had been putting off, keyed in a bunch of Coke Rewards codes.

Hope Mullen Carter's son got married Saturday. My nephew's girlfriend's sister got married Saturday as well. What do you think about weddings on Easter weekend? Kinda like getting married on Christmas Eve? I know these days it's hard to coordinate a weekend when everyone is available.

C cooked lasagna Saturday night. After church Sunday we ate at the Hilltop Restaurant buffet. Had to wait an hour it get a big table. It was just ok. Carved ham and roast beef, salad, cole slaw, potato salad, hush puppies, beef tips, macaroni and cheese, broccoli casserole, turkey, and pumpkin pie was what I had. There was also breaded squash that looked good, dressing that didn't, green beans, mashed potatoes, and a lot of other stuff. After that I didn't eat supper.

Took Anna back to Athens. M and A got Willys. While there her friend John stopped by. We also saw her friend Alex. Got home for the last nine minutes of the NC/ND game. Well what do you think about the Final Four? I watched the end of the Syracuse game, as well as both games Saturday night. I'm not a big ND fan. I enjoyed watching Sabonis play.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Learn These Early

Things about life I wish I'd known ten years ago, by Darius Foroux for

Struggle is good
Don't complain
Spend time with people you love
Don't start a relationship if you're not in love
Exercise daily
Keep a journal
Be grateful
Don't care about what others think
Pick an industry you love, not a particular job
Lead the way
Money isn't the most important thing
Be nice
Learn every day
Rest before you are tired
Don't judge
Think about others. Don't make everything about yourself.
Give without expecting something in return
There's no end game
Enjoy small things
Don't take yourself so seriously
Don't blame people
Create something
Never look back too long
Take action 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Greatest Sports Moments

Sports Illustrated's 100 greatest moments in sports history.<>

100. Boise State upsets Oklahoma in 2007 Fiesta Bowl with trick plays
99. Affirmed beats Alydar by nose in 1978 Belmont
98. Islanders win first of four straight Cups 1980
97. Tom Watson edges Nicklaus to win 77 British Open
96. Miami's two-point conversion upsets #1 Nebraska in 84 Orange Bowl
95. Bird's steal & assist caps comeback over Pistons 87 Eastern Finals  
94. Reggie Jackson's Mr. October performance in 1977 Series
93. Titans' Music City Miracle beats Bills 2000
92. Keri Strug wins gold in Atlanta despite broken ankle
91. Sidney Crosby's goal beats USA in 2010 gold medal game
90. Babe Ruth's World Series called shot
89. Celtics' 1957 title is first of 11 in 13 seasons
88. Arthur Ashe wins first US Open in the open era 1960
87. Pete Rose passes Ty Cobb
86. Red Grange scores six TD's to beat Michigan
85. Willie Mays' World Series catch off Vic Wertz
84. Mary Lou Retton wins first all-around gold for US at 84 LA Games 
83. Rams stop Titans at one yard line to win Super Bowl
82. Larry Owings stops Dan Gables' college wrestling win streak 1970
81. Gertrude Ederle swims English Channel 1926
80. Wayne Gretzky score 50 goals in 39 games.
79. Celtics need 3-OTs to beat Suns in 1976 Finals
78. Wilma Rudolph wins 3 gold medals at 1960 Rome Olympics
77. UNC beats Kansas and Wilt Chamberlain for 1957 title
76. Husker Johnny Rodgers' 72 yard punt return beats Sooners 1971
75. Fisk's game-winning World Series home run off foul pole 1975
74. Borg outlasts McEnroe to win 5th straight Wimbledon 1980
73. UConn wins 90 straight games 2008-2010
72. Dale Earnhardt finally wins Daytona 1998
71. Eric Heiden wins five gold medals at Lake Placid 1980
70. Canada professionals win first meeting with USSR 1972
69. Bobby Jones wins Grand Slam 1930
68. Ali lights 1996 Olympic cauldron in Atlanta
67. USA wins 2015 women's Gold Cup
66. Magic replaces injured Kareem inside, Lakers win 1980 Finals
65. Bolt wins 100 and 200M gold at 2008 Beijing Games 
64. Adam Vinateri's field goal wins Super Bowl over Rams
63. John Wooden wins 10 titles in his last 12 seasons 1975
62. Kirk Gibson's pinch-hit World Series home run
61. Havlicek stole the ball!
60. Doug Flutie upsets Miami
59. Nadia Comaneci scores first Olympic 10 in 76 Olympics
58. Gretzky breaks Howe's career goal scoring record 1994
57. Palmer comes from 7 back on last day to win 1960 US Open
56. Nadal beats Federer to win 2008 Wimbledon
55. Packers win the Ice Bowl 1967
54. Pele comes to America
53. Auburn's Kick Six beats Alabama
52. Villanova upsets Georgetown to win NCAA Championship
51. Ripken breaks Gehrig's consecutive games played record
50. The Dream Team wins Olympic gold
49. Mark Spitz wins seven gold medals in Munich 1972
48. Maradonna scores two goals in 1986 World Cup quarterfinals
47. Franco Harris' Immaculate Reception
46. Bill Walton shoots 21/22 to win 1973 NCAA Championship
45. Roger Maris hits 61 home runs
44. Black Power salute at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics
43. Tiger wins 2000 US Open by 15 strokes at Pebble Beach
42. Babe Didrickson Zaharias win Grand Slam in 1954
41. Joe Louis defeats Max Smelling
40. Magic Johnson's final NBA All-Star game
39. Bob Beamon's record long jump
38. Willis Reed leads Knicks to Game 7 Finals win 1970
37. Notre Dame ends UCLA's record win streak
36. Joe Carter's World Series winning home run over Phillies
35. American Pharoah wins first Triple Crown in 37 years 2015
34. Vince Young's last second TD run beats USC for championship
33. Dwight Clark's "The Catch" beats Cowboys
32. Billy Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in Astrodome
31. Buster Douglas upsets Mike Tyson
30. Magic beats Bird for 1979 NCAA Championship
29. Cal's "The Play" beats Stanford
28. Steelers defeat Cardinals in Super Bowl
27. Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak
26. NC State upsets Houston to win NCAA Championship
25. Patriots win 2015 Super Bowl on last second goal line interception.
24. USA wins gold cup on Brandi Chastain's penalty kick
23. All-black Texas Western beats Kentucky for 1966 championship
22. Lou Gehrig's "I am the Luckiest Man" speech
21. Underdog Cassius Clay upsets Sonny Liston 1964
20. Don Larsen's World Series perfect game
19. New York Giants upset undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl
18. Roger Bannister breaks the four minute mile
17. Jack Nicklaus wins 1986 Masters at 46 years old
16. Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points in one game
15. Bobby Thompson's Shot Heard Round the World 1951
14. Ali upsets Foreman in The Rumble in the Jungle 1974
13. Secretariat wins final leg of Triple Crown by record 31 lengths 1973
12. Michael Jordan's jumper wins third straight title (6 in 8 years) 1998
11. Laettner's jumper beats Kentucky in 92 East Regional Final
10. Hank Aaron's 715th home run
9. Jets upset Colts in Super Bowl III
8. Bill Mazeroski'1960 World Series winning home run
7. Tiger becomes youngest Masters champion 1997
6. Michael Phelps wins eight golds at Beijing to pass Mark Spitz
5. Ali beats Frazier in The Thrilla in Manila 1975
4. Colts win 1958 NFL Championship in OT
3. Jesse Owens wins gold in Berlin
2. Jackie Robinson breaks the MLB color barrier
1. USA wins the 1980 ice hockey gold medal

Friday, March 25, 2016

Dec Jan Feb March Bobbles


First in a seven month series. Guess I'll do the bobblehead thing again this year, out of sheer momentum. I still need to start selling some of my collection, which will soon pass two hundred.
12.22 TUE Georgia State Ron Hunter. Kicking myself for not driving downtown for this one. 
1.23 SAT UGA Andy Landers. Anna slept through this one. 
2.13 SAT UGA Gymdogs Leah Brown. Got it from Facebook friend Dan Fox. Overpaid, but Ceil likes it.
02.27 SAT UGA Shandon Anderson. Missed it. Anna had a meeting. 
3.03 THU PHIL vintage Phillies BH
3.04 FRI MIL Jonathan Lucroy 2015 BH
3.06 SUN MIL 2015 vintage Brewers BH
3.12 SAT MIL 2015 Bud Selig BH
3.18 FRI MIL 2015 Wily Peralta BH
3.21 MON MIL 2015 Paul Molitor BH

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Construction Update

Here’s a photo from my friend Lee's office. His company is moving in a few weeks, so we might go over there next week to check out the construction.

Last Friday VP Eric and secretary Renee went over to pick out where the company seats will be. We're moving from behind the first base dugout to behind the third base dugout - closest for less money than first. I wasn't 100% sure that's where they were going or I would've asked to go, but afterwards Renee said there wasn't much to it. They were in an office building and didn't see the park.

SunTrust is going to be cool because at night it will be all lit up and right there in view of traffic on 75 South and 285 East. As I thought, the upper deck will have views of Stone Mountain, downtown Atlanta, Buckhead, the Perimeter Mall area, and the Cumberland Galleria area. TV cameras can pan over to sunsets and Kennesaw Mountain. I'd say it will be more scenic than Turner Field. 

Renee did say that in September tours of SunTrust Field would be conducted, and she would add my name to the list, so that will be cool. Sitting near Renee has its perks. I'm one of the first to know about available tickets (a rare event) and she lets me pick out the menu for the monthly department lunch meetings (heavy on BBQ).

Sunday at the JFBC traditional service I was disappointed no tradition hymns were sung from the hymnal. There was a medley of worship choruses that included “Praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice” but all the rest were newer praise songs.

Tuesday at school M got sick. C was busy teaching her classes so M had to drive home. I heard the news but it wasn’t until I was leaving work at six that I wondered how C got home from school. M drove back to pick her up. M must’ve eaten something that made him sick. Last night he was well enough to go to his Bible Study – and stop by Zaxbys on the way home.

C cooked a white bean soup and baked cut up sweet potato strips. I registered me and Will for the Peachtree Road Race – my 29th and his 13th. C watched The Voice and the new show about the heart doctor.

Thursday night I stayed with the GT game until SD State pulled away early in the second half. You may have noticed the three GT fans behind the baseline, two painted in yellow and black. The guy in the yellow shirt to their right was the son of a friend of mine. A few years ago I entered a contest on the San Diego State athletics website. Ever since then I get emails from them. Yesterday I got an email selling tickets to the SD ST / GT game. GT blew out a team (SC) missing 5 players. Will the Jackets’ growing confidence carry them deeper into the NIT? Will winning 8 of his last 10 give Gregory the job security he needs? Interesting the Jackets wore white on the road.

C went with her friends to a women’s meeting, where a mission organization from India was speaking. The Indian women make basket purses to sell to raise money to support churches there in India.

Co-worker Wanda was out Thursday visiting her sick father. Got two conference calls and I’m supposed to train a new employee. Looks like I won’t be able to get away for Barbara Goldsmith’s funeral, which I hate. The Tube Lady was off Tuesday for her husband’s grandmother’s funeral in Arlington National Cemetery.

Friday morning I was in Kroger and I passed by the rack of small metal cars. M has a small collection, including a classic VW Beetle and two different sized VW Busses.

When VP Eric gets to the office early he plays music (loudly) until the phones start ringing. Always good selections. Friday morning’s random selections: Viva Las Vegas by Elvis, Workin at the CarWash, and Jet by the Beatles.

I won another sweepstakes. Bud Light had been giving away a trip to San Francisco and Super Bowl 50. Took Barney outside last night and found a UPS envelope. The UPS truck was just driving away. Went inside and opened it up – I won a small blue Super Bowl 50 football. Barney loved it. Like most of his toys, he had it busted in 5 minutes. When I carried it over to the trash can, Barney followed me with that “you put that in the trash can and I’ll dig it right out” look on his face.

This weekend W and MC may go to Austin Texas. W said he didn't do much on his overnight trip to Waco. Attended a Baylor baseball game and saw the silos the Fixer Upper Gaines couple had bought. While MC was in NYC for a week with her class he worked 67 hours.

As of today I've lost 10 pounds on my pound a week diet, just a couple of pounds/weeks behind schedule. Hopefully now with warmer weather coming in I can really kick it in gear. I doubt I'll lose 50 pounds this year, but 20-30-40 would be great.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Career Killers

Curious things that will kill your career, another article by Thomas Bradberry for LinkedIn.
There are many things that can kill the careers of good hard-working people. Honest mistakes often carry hard-hitting consequences. We usually only hear about the most egregious examples, as when Yelp employee Talia Jane wrote the internet post blasting her company’s low entry-level pay and blasted their CEO.
Most people don’t go out in a blaze of glory. Instead they kill their careers in more subtle, undramatic ways. But if you’re aware of these little things that can kill your career, you can control them and prevent the damage.
Over-promising and / or under-delivering. The moment you promise something (even though it might be a reach) they expect nothing less. Then when you finish something fast but later than you promised, you disappoint your internal or external customer. Perception matters more than reality, so be realistic in what you promise. Most times that will be more than good enough.
Complacency. Change in inevitable, especially in these days of ever expanding technology. If you’re too busy to learn something new or expand your network you have your priorities mixed up. However if you make continuous growth and development a priority, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way.
Fear of change. Complacency’s evil twin. The dreaded “but we’ve always done it this way.” Change is a constant part of life, and it doesn’t matter whether you like it or not. You don’t have to like it. You just have to learn to stop resisting it and start adapting to it.
Having an inflatable ego. Success is great – until it goes to your head. It won’t last forever. Don’t let it go to your head. That just sets yourself up for failure.
Losing sight of the big picture. It’s easy to keep your head down and work so hard you lose sight of the big picture. Smart people learn how to keep this in check by weighing daily priorities against goals. Life is all about the big picture. When you lose sight of it, everything suffers.
Negativity. Sometimes when you’re feeling down your mood can affect others, when that’s not your intent. You were hired to make your boss’s life and your team’s job easier, not harder. People who spread negativity and complain just complicates things for everyone else.
Low emotional intelligence (EQ). Bradberry’s wheelhouse. What trips up a lot of people is having a poorly developed poker face. If everyone can’t tell if you’re bored or irritated or you think what a college says is stupid, this will catch up to you (I’ve seen this happen). Emotional outbursts, belittling others, shutting co-workers down as they speak, low self-awareness, and just generally being difficult are things that will do great harm to your career (being a bad listener doesn’t seem to matter).
Sucking up to your boss. This has nothing to do with a real relationship based on respect. Instead it’s sneaky and underhanded. Suck-ups try to get ahead by stroking the boss’s ego instead of earning their favor. That doesn’t go over well with colleagues trying to make it on hard work and merit. For a boss-employee relationship to work it must be based on authenticity.
Playing politics. Working hard to build strong work relationships is quite different from instigating conflict, choosing sides, undermining colleagues, spreading rumors. Again, it comes down to authenticity. If you’re sneaking around or embarrassed of some of your behind the scenes manipulations come to light, that’s politics. Stick to strategies you’d be proud to discuss in front of your co-workers and bosses.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Is God Fair?

Sermon notes from Bryant Wright this past Sunday. The scripture passage was Matthew 20:1-19. Jesus tells a parable foreshadowing his own death. A landowner needs extra workers for the harvest. The first set of workers agree to work all day (6 am to 6 pm) for the going rate of a day’s pay. At 9 am the landowner hires more workers, promising a fair wage for the 9 hours remaining. Same thing at noon. Late in the day the owner hires even more workers.
At the end of the day the landowner, being an honorable man, follows custom and instructs his foreman to pay the laborers, starting with the workers who had worked only a couple of hours. The owner says to pay them a full day’s wage. When the workers who had worked all day were only paid the wages they were promised – the same wages as the workers who had only worked a few hours – the full day workers were upset. They complained to the owner that it wasn’t fair.
V 13 the owner replied that he wasn’t doing them wrong – had they not agreed to work all day for that wage? The owner had kept his word and overpaid the others out of generosity, since it was his money to do with as he pleased.
V 16 the last shall be first, and the first shall be last. Jesus said it was tough for a rich man to get into heaven. Those who give up everything to follow Jesus would be great in the kingdom of heaven. The owner in the story represents Jesus. Like the owner searching for workers, Jesus reaches out to souls to follow Him and take part in the harvest. Those who aren’t harvesting / serving in the church all the time willingly come to church on Easter and Christmas – taking part in the last hours of the harvest.
We receive what we don’t deserve. The person who comes to Jesus on his deathbed receives the same reward as a lifetime servant, even though they don’t contribute to the kingdom of God. Is this fair?

V 17 Jesus prophesizes about his death a third time. Why then is Jesus generous, extending grace and mercy? On Palm Sunday Jesus is not fooled by the cheers of the crowd as He enters Jerusalem, knowing He will soon be turned over to the authorities. Like Jesus, every sinner faces death. Every sinner must pay the wages of his sins – but instead Jesus pays that wage for us AND gives us the reward of spending eternity with Him in heaven. Not because we deserve it, but because He loves us. Is that fair?
Is God fair? No – He is more than fair, giving us good things (eternal life) that we do not deserve.
The only one who can say God is not fair is Jesus. He’s the only one who gets the short end of the stick. But Jesus was of the same mind as God, only concerned about the harvest.
ETC: staff member retirement ceremony: speakers in video spoke so long they changed outfits two times. Gas money for the retiree’s RV – enough to drive 100 miles.
ETC: sang the elevator version of Matt Redman's 1000 Reasons.
ETC: now every time I go hear a singer I’m thinking whether I want to push my button to turn my chair around.

Monday, March 21, 2016


Friday night after work C wanted to go to Costco. We got in the car and I remembered Joel Norman was hosting another house concert. She and M went and I stayed home. I was worn out from the week and didn't want to stand in a crowd of younger people for three hours, so I stayed home.

Saturday we drove down to Macon to celebrate my father's 85th birthday. C and I took Barney with us, so he was excited. Traffic through town was bad – we had to stop three times going through town. It didn't clear up until south of McDonough. Northbound traffic was worse, backed up south of Locust Grove. Tim Griggs was poking along at 3 MPH through downtown Atlanta.

We ate a late lunch at Cheddars with my parents and sister and her husband. Got a good grilled chicken salad, except the promised pecans were coated with a thick coating of sugar. How healthy is that? My mom and Ceil each got a bowl of taco soup loaded with chicken and taco shells. Ceil also got a vegetable plate. My dad and Nita got a battered and deep fried turkey and ham monte crisp-o. Brad got his usual burger and fries. For some season the burger was much bigger than the bun. After lunch we watched some of the NCAA tournament. Kansas looked strong. Duke not so much.

M had driven to a soccer game near DeFoors Ferry, and C was worried with us being out of town. After filling up for 1.83 per gallon he headed home at 6:40. I'd had enough of traffic, so we took the scenic route through downtown Forsyth and Barnesville over to Highway 41. Zero traffic, though I knew 19/41 would clog up as we neared Riverdale. So at Griffin we made a left onto Highway 93 to Fayetteville, up Old National Highway to 285, then around the west side of town. The trip may have been 10 miles longer, but it took probably less time than going through town. C wanted a Starbucks, and I cashed in a coupon for a grilled chicken Chickfila. Had I added some sauce it wouldn't have tasted as bland.

After a late Friday night at her sorority spring formal, Saturday night Anna came back to downtown Atlanta for an event at Grace Midtown. They hit Krispy Kreme on the way back. M made it home by 9:30 after getting turned around in Decatur.

Sunday Ceil attended her ladies Sunday School class, and sat next to Barbara Adair. I went to the 8:30 traditional service, making my way from the back up the side to an empty pew near the front. As we sang hymns I noticed a large young man in front of me, dressed in a dark suit with a dark shirt and tie. Halfway down the pew was a slender young man, also in a dark suit but a white shirt. In front of them was a taller young man, also in a dark suit. In front of the tall guy was a short bearded young man, in a dark suit but no tie. They were spread out so it didn't look like they were together, but I thought it odd so many nicely dressed young men were sitting by themselves so early in the morning. Then they all got up and took the stage to sing. They were together!

Saw Joe and Anita Girardeau at JFBC. They had attended the party Saturday for Rob Suggs that I had missed. Drew Kelly was at the party, as was all three of Rob's brothers: Joe, Steve, and Jim. It would've been good to see those guys, but I was in Macon.

I didn't have breakfast so when he got home I fixed a PB&J. Lunch was another grilled chicken sandwich. Lazy day. In the middle of last night on of the smoke alarms started chirping to indicate a low battery. This had Barney all out of sorts. I had to get up and determine which smoke alarm was chirping, climb up, and disable it. The first time I got up the chirping stopped for about ten minutes.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Quit to Get Ahead

Critical things you must stop doing now to be more successful, another Linked In article by Travis Bradberry.

We have internalized the mantra “don’t be a quitter to the point we feel guilty when we don’t finish a book that’s boring us to death. The adage persistence is necessary for success isn’t entirely wrong, but sometimes quitting is the most effective course of action. Whether it’s a failed project, a thankless job, or a doomed relationship, quitting can be a virtue.
Some people keep plugging away long after logic suggests it’s time to move on. This is much less productive. Knowing when to quit is a skill to be learned. I am guilty of at least five of six behaviors:
Quit doubting yourself. Confidence plays a huge role in success. Sometimes confidence is all it takes to reach the next level. You just have to believe it. Faking confidence doesn’t produce the same results.
Quit putting things off. Change is hard. So is self-improvement and going for what you want. When things are hard it’s easier to put them off.
Quit thinking you have no choice. There’s always a choice, though sometimes that choice is between two things that are equally bad. The overwhelming job may pay better than an easier job with shorter hours. Pretending there isn’t a choice makes you a victim taking on the mantle of helplessness. To be the victim you have to give away your power, which is needed to succeed at the highest level.
Quit doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result. Even when it’s painful.
Quit thinking everything will work out on its own. Don’t expect your boss to notice when you’re ready for a raise or promotion. Don’t expect your co-worker to stop sloughing work off on you if you’re willing to do it. Don’t think someone will stop walking all over you as long as you allow it. You have to be productive and take responsibility for yourself.
Quit saying “yes.” By saying yes to one thing you’re saying no to something else. Saying yes to working long hours is saying no to working out and spending time with your family. Those saying having a hard time saying no are more likely to experience stress, burnout, and depression. Bradberry has addressed this point several times before.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Spring Formal

Anna and John pose Friday afternoon in front of her sorority house.
Anna and John pose before boarding the bus to the Spring Formal.
Will takes a selfie last weekend in Waco in front of the silos the Fixer Upper couple bought.
This weekend my friend Andy quail hunted with former Auburn head coach Pat Dye.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Times are a 'Changing

Yesterday a car in Roswell veered off the road, plowed through a bus stop shelter, and broke a telephone pole. Channel 46 news was out there. Lanes were closed and being rerouted. Third time this week in my area. Seems like there are more inexperienced drivers on the road these days than ever before. People come to this country having not driven every day since they were 16. Instead they are just now learning to drive, with the roads already overcrowded with cars. No one to teach them defensive or courteous driving. Same thing walking through grocery stores and shopping malls. People don’t stay to the right, instead meandering wherever they please at whatever pace they want, not paying attention or caring about the people around them.
Any thoughts about Wednesday night’s GT Houston game? Of course since I predicted a close game, GT finally blew someone out. Houston hadn’t played in like ten days. Next comes South Carolina, who won their first round game despite suspending five players for the postseason. Can GT beat them? Interesting the game will be at SC and not at GT.
Co-worker Brad’s brother-in-law (50-ish) fell off the back of a truck and landed on his head. Turned out he had a heart attack, causing the fall.
C fixed a ground beef taco salad Wednesday night. M ate two tacos. For lunch today I have leftover chicken and ground beef, topped with Ceil’s homemade salsa. For St. Patrick’s Day everyone brought in food, including some grilled chicken salad I’ll try. I brought in a veggie plate. Lots of cupcakes and cookies and chips that I’ll avoid, though I did have some sausage balls and deviled eggs.
C went over to Nancy’s. I watched a little TV and worked on the computer. I’m compiling Sports Illustrated’s list of the top 100 greatest sports moments.

Last night M was at a friend’s house so C and I went to the Avalon. It was packed for St. Patrick’s Day. Not sure if it’s not that busy most nights. C browsed in Anthropolie and Madewell and I checked out the Columbia store. C didn’t want Mexican so we wound up at Ted’s Montana Grill around 8:30. The place was crowded but most of the parties were finishing up and leaving. C got a chicken salad and I got a plain bison burger with a side salad. For a burger to be great the both the meat and bun have to be good, and this one was excellent. Salad was good as well. Everything was great except the paper straw.
Got home and worked a little on the computer. Soon it was 11 pm and I went to bed.
Did you hear Mark Crumpler and Marnie Mullen Crumpler are leaving Peachtree Presbyterian and moving to FPC in Bethlehem Pennsylvania? Rev Dr Marnie will be designated senior pastor / head of staff. Rev Dr Mark will be designated associate pastor for worship and formation. They have a teenage boy and girl.
Foods that increase your metabolism: apples, almonds, broccoli, low-fat plain yogurt, canned tuna, boiled soybeans, cottage cheese, beef jerky, blueberries, asparagus, cheese, avocado, egg whites, water, spinach salad, whey protein, oatmeal, lean meat.
Ways to increase testosterone: Lose weight. Eat good fats (nuts and salmon). Cut out alcohol. Stop stress (by working out). Lift weights to build muscle and boost testosterone levels.
Signs you have low testosterone: Mood swings – especially anger. Body fat. Hair loss. Losing strength (even though you’re working out). Fatigue and low energy (these can also be attributed to depression). Low sex drive. Erectile dysfunction. Depression (sadness/hopelessness). Loss of appetite. Weight change. Insomnia.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Skills > Training

Skills to learn that pay dividends forever, another article by Travis Bradberry for LinkedIn. The further along you are in your career, the easier it is to fall back on the mistaken assumption that you’ve made it and have all the skills you need to succeed. The tendency is to focus all your energy on getting the job done, assuming the rest will take care of itself. Big mistake.
A study was conducted with people who were struggling with their job performance. One group was taught to perform better on a task they performed poorly in. The second group received a completely different intervention: for the task that they performed poorly in, they were taught that they weren’t stuck and that improving their performance was a choice. They discovered that learning produces physiological changes in the brain, just like exercises changes muscles. All they had to do was believe in themselves and make it happen.  
When the two groups’ performance was reassessed a few months later, the group that was taught to perform the task better had done even worse. The group that was taught that they had the power to change their brains and improve their performance themselves improved dramatically.
The takeaway: never stop learning. The moment we think we are who we are is the moment we give away unrealized potential. When we stop we give away our unrealized potential. The act of learning is every bit as important as what you learn. Dedicate yourself to learning skills that will yield the greatest benefit.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Bradberry’s sweet spot. The intangible in each of us. How we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results. The ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships. What sets star performers from the rest of the pack. Increasing EQ makes you happier and less stressed.
Time management. What gets in the way: the tyranny of the urgent. Put in the big rocks first and then fill in with pebbles and sand – do the most important things first, and then the smaller things if you still have time.
Listening. Focusing solely on what the other person is saying, instead of thinking what I’m got to say next. It’s about understanding, not rebuttal. Learn how to suspend judgment and focus on understanding what the other person is saying. Failing to keep your ears and eyes open could leave you out of the game.
Saying no. The more difficulty you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and depression. Avoid phrases such as “I don’t think I can” and I’m not certain” – they only make things harder. Saying no frees you up for more important things.
Asking for help. Critical because the last thing a leader wants is people headed down the wrong path because they’re too proud or embarrassed to admit they don’t know what they’re doing.
Getting high quality sleep. This gives your brain time to remove toxins. Without proper sleep your ability to process information and solve problems is diminished. Creativity is hampered and emotions are on edge.
Knowing when to shut up. Unloading may feel good temporarily. Afterwards all you have is damaged relationships. When you learn to read and respond to your emotions you are able to choose your battles more wisely and stand your ground when the time is right. Most of the time that means biting your tongue.
Taking the initiative. In theory its easy, but in the real world things get in the way. You have to take risks and push yourself out of your comfort zone, until taking initiative is second nature.
Staying positive (tough for me). Also harder in the real world. Our brains are hard-wired to look for and focus on threats. Today this breeds pessimism and negativity. Maintaining positivity is a daily challenge that requires focus and attention.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

What To Do?

Jim Denison’s article about the Presidential races (reprinted below) was spot on. We’ve been blessed to have been able to live in the USA for so long, where being a Christian has always been easy. Now that things have gotten tougher, with persecution and the non-Christian media and society, we must all the more stay strong, keep the faith, and be lights in the darkness. Had Andy Stanley preached that Denison essay the naysayers would’ve said he needs to stay off politics and stick to the Gospel, yet that’s exactly the point of the article.
Donald Trump won Florida, Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina last night. And Bernie Sanders won Missouri, delaying Hillary Clinton's march to the nomination. Six months ago, who would have imagined either outcome?

I attribute Donald Trump's success to five beliefs: (1) immigration and foreign trade are costing us jobs; (2) Muslims hate and threaten us; (3) the religious liberty of Christians is in peril; (4) President Obama is a weak leader who doesn't believe in American greatness; (5) politicians have failed us. Trump's supporters view him as a strong, non-political leader who will build a wall against immigrants and keep Muslims out of America while renegotiating foreign trade and guaranteeing religious liberty for Christians.

I attribute Bernie Sanders's success to two beliefs: (1) the "one percent" are ruining our economy for the rest of us; (2) America should increase the government's role in providing health care, education, and social services. When George Stephanopoulos recently asked Sanders if he wants to turn America into Denmark or Sweden, the senator replied, "
And what's wrong with that?"

These political narratives and the circumstances that produced them have created the most polarized political climate America has seen in decades. How would Scripture advise God's people to respond to these strident, chaotic days?

One: Preserve your witness. Guard your words: "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice" (Ephesians 4:31). We are to "show perfect courtesy toward all people" (Titus 3:2), especially our leaders (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:17). Christians are to speak the truth, but in love (Ephesians 4:15).

Two: Fulfill your call. I am convinced that God is calling more Christians into public service than are answering his call. New York Times columnist David Brooks suggests four questions we should ask about our calling: (1) Is this problem big enough? (2) Am I uniquely positioned to serve? (3) Has God or nature thrust this problem into my path? (4) Does it keep me awake at night? We need more leaders like Joseph and Moses. How does God want you to engage in public service, to his glory and our good?

Three: Keep the faith. Whoever becomes president, God is still King. He is not subject to our politics. He declares: "At the set time that I appoint, I will judge with equity. When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars" (Psalm 75:2–3). Job was right in confessing to our Lord, "No purpose of yours can be thwarted" (Job 42:2).

So preserve your witness, fulfill your call, and keep the faith. Our country needs Christians to be salt and light, more than ever. G. K. Chesterton: "We do not want, as the newspapers say, a church that will move with the world. We want a church that will move the world."
Monday I worked until six and drove straight home. Helped clean to make the house presentable for the contractor. C cooked the baked enchiladas again, making extra to take to a family with a sick child. Watched the Voice as we worked, then Seinfeld as I finished up on the computer. M drove to the grocery store for Ceil.
The accident had the Johnson Ferry Road and Roswell Road intersection near me shut down for another 6 hours. Usually during rush hour Roswell Road backs up a half mile at that intersection both ways. Today it will be at least double that. My street is over 2 miles from Johnson Ferry Road, so I plan on coming into to the subdivision using a back route. Roswell will probably be jammed as well.
Worked past six last night. I was in no hurry to get home due to the nearby accident supposedly clogging traffic, so I stopped by two thrift stores and Kroger. Found a nice pair of expensive boots.
Traffic wasn’t bad and I made it home at 7:45. Earlier Ceil had a contractor at the house giving her a quote. M was at his Bible Study and C was walking Barney with Noelle. Due to the wreck our internet and cable were out all evening, so there was “nothing” to do. I changed clothes and went through emails. Ceil came home and made another grilled chicken salad. I did the dishes and we were both in bed by ten.
That Johnson Ferry Road / Roswell Road intersection is busy, but luckily there are available detours on all four sides – all with red lights:
NE: from the Roswell Road light at the Arbys through the Dicks Sporting Goods shopping center to the light on JFRD.
NW: from the light at Dicks into the Target Shopping Center over to Providence Road, then left to Roswell Road.
SW: from the Roswell Road / Providence light across into Merchants Walk, past Whole Foods up to JFRD.
SE: from the JF light at Wendy’s onto East Cobb Drive past the post office to Roswell Road.
Wednesday:  Another busy day at work. I’m making some headway on my part of the new high speed off road vehicle. Dialysis is out sick again, and Mr. Challenger is still out with his new baby.
At Sunday afternoon’s race a high schooler showed up in jeans to watch his friend. He wasn’t registered, but at the last minute rolled up his pants to mid-calf and kicked off his shoes and ran the race barefoot – and came in second place. My legs are very sore from Sunday’s race, though I need to get moving.
Will GT beat Houston? My prediction: GT gets out to a first half lead, then loses the lead in the second half. As the clock ticks down the game will be close. GT will miss some second-half foul shots and will need to make their shots in the last minute to win the game. I’d hate to work in the sports information department at Tech and have to write the article making it sound great to be in the NIT.
Back in the old days TV shows used to have a moral. These days TV shows have no morals. There are plenty of other places besides NP where kids grow up too fast. I still recommend Anna’s Veritas and Matthew’s Legacy Community Academy, which this fall moves to the church located behind the Andretti Speed Lab. NP bigwig BilI Willits sends his daughter to Legacy. I know the headmaster and several teachers at the Johnson Ferry Christian Academy. Of course all those schools hold informational meetings for prospective parents/students.
It’s fun to play along with Win Chuck’s Dinner. I may be able to make it respectable but still lose. Never been on Might have heard about it. SI just released their top 100 moments in sports history: