Sunday, July 31, 2016

Moving Day

Anna came home from camp at 1 am Sunday morning, so Sunday afternoon we moved her to Athens. Here's the view of South Lumpkin Street from her room, up the hill from the stadium and just around the corner from the coliseum.
 
Had planned to discuss the Braves trade today, but the day was busy so I'll wait. 
 
Earlier Ceil spied a red mushroom on the other side of our house.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Saturday Ritual?

Like last Saturday, today I bought a car and took a picture of it in front of something really big. I hope not to repeat this process next week.

Like last week, I have several reasons to be happy with this purchase. Will sure is, though he has yet to see this Camry in person. Not perfect, but what used car is?

A huge tree "branch / limb" crashed down on the deck this week. This picture doesn't show just how big it is. Today I managed to drag the branch down the hill to a spot it can be of service, catching runoff debris and reversing erosion.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Murphy = Bench?

Johnny Bench was not only a great hitter, but also one of the greatest catchers of all time, perhaps second only to the great Yogi Berra.
 
Bench is justifiably in the baseball hall of fame. He batted in the middle of one of the most formidable lineups in baseball history, the Big Red Machine of the 1970’s. Pete Rose. Joe Morgan. Tony Perez. George Foster. Ken Griffey. Dave Conception. Caesar Geronimo. A murderer’s row of all-stars all, if not hall of famers.
 
While Dale Murphy often batted ahead of Bob Horner, for most of his career he played on much less talented teams. In spite of this Murphy won just as many MVPs as Bench, while compiling career stats practically identical to the Hall of Famer.
 
To be sure, Bench played the most physically demanding position in baseball, though Murphy won five Gold Gloves in centerfield after moving there from behind the plate. Just as Bench was one of the most dominant players of the 1970’s, Murphy was one of the top two or three players of his generation. This usually earns a player a trip to Cooperstown, though Murphy has eluded induction into the baseball hall of fame.   
 
YR…GP….PA...runs...hits..2B..3B..HR..RBI...SB
17 2158 8674 1091 2048 381 24 389 1376 068 JB
18 2180 9041 1197 2111 350 39 398 1266 161 DM
 
avg.OBP.SLG.OPS.BB…K.
267 342  476 817 891 1278 JB
265 346  469 815 986 1748 DM
 
The hall of fame is obviously biased toward players on winning teams. While it’s hard to compare a catcher to a centerfielder, the nearly identical offensive numbers for the two Gold Glovers lend credence to Murphy’s ever-crumbling hall of fame candidacy. As a rookie Murphy was converted to Mormonism by fellow Brave Barry Bonnell.  As a player he once was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year, joining other winners like Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, etc.
ME: Worked past 6:30 Thursday night. Stopped by for a RaceTrac refill and BP gas. Bypassed Wendy’s and Taco Bell due to their super-long drive-thru lines. Good thing – C had cooked BBQ chicken, sweet potato fries, and spinach. Researched cars on line. Watched some of the DNC but did not see Isabel.
 
Didn’t feel like Cheerios this morning so I cashed in a coupon at Burger King. The hash brown tater tots were piping hot, but could they make those crossandiches any smaller? Tried to substitute a soft drink for the coffee, but it was going to be extra. Fair enough. As usual, almost all visits to fast food restaurants end up disappointing – with the exception of Chickfila.
I try to always remind myself that as much as I do at work and at home (which isn’t much), there are many people around me much busier, suffering hardship and taking care of much more. In Jefferson that’s Teresa and Susan. Claire surely qualifies. You’d never know what all some people do because they never complain or make a big show of telling those around them. Some call it humility. After I do something I don’t take time to tell people, usually because I have another ten or twenty more things to do. Reminds me of the scene within a scene sequence on an episode of MASH, where in the mind of Frank Burns those around him cower at all the great acts he performs. I need to dig up that clip on YouTube.
Taking off Monday to take Anna to Athens.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Good Call on Heyward

Before this season Jason Heyward signed a $184 million contract with the Cubs, who need his production to win the World Series. Jeff Francoeur signed with the Braves for the league minimum. Heyward is hitting .229 with four home runs, much worse than either Frenchy and Nick Markakis, who make much less. Yet another set of good decisions by Braves management - that “fans” forget about.
 
GP.2B.HR.BI.avg.OBP.SLG..OPS…player
99  24  5  50  259  336  361  698  Markakis
83  13  6  28  251  290  385  676  Francoeur
91  16  4  28  229  317  315  632  Heyward
 
At least Heyward plays all out. Former Brave malcontent BJ Upton finally blossomed in San Diego. For a while he was the only player in baseball with 15 home runs and 20 stolen bases. But he was never going to hit in Atlanta. Sometimes that happens.
The Braves traded two nobodies for a former number one draft pick of the Rangers, a slugging infielder from Winder. Only 21 years old with 25 home runs so far this season. He may strike out a lot, but he’s still young. Played in the MLB Futures Game a few weeks ago with Dansby. Little risk with a high upside. All those “fans” complaining about the Braves stockpiling pitchers and not signing any hitters should be pleased. And the Braves also loaded up on young hitters in the recent draft of foreign players as well.
 
I have never heard of pickle ball – I will have to look it up.
 
Are you going to watch the Olympics? Della Donne is still going, isn’t she? Serena Williams will probably win gold in singles and doubles. You’d think she’d play mixed doubles just so she could win another gold medal. I saw a name from the past: Martina Hingis is predicted to medal in doubles and mixed doubles.
 
So many games these days seem to involve computers, making them harder to play. Even the cheap prizes in Cracker Jacks make you look something up on the computer. Too much work! I need to retire so I will have time to do all the stuff I need to do. Even at the beach I didn’t have time because I was sitting under an umbrella reading from 10 am to 6 pm.
 
Went out looking at a car for Will again last night. The Wednesday car was in worse shape than the Tuesday car, so I called the Tuesday guy back - but he’d already sold his car. Got more to look at but may wait until the weekend. When I got home I looked at more cars and swapped text messages with Will.
 
C fixed me an eggy-boy sandwich to eat on the way to look at the car. While I was out I stopped by RaceTrac for a free refill, and two thrift stores. Saw four nice pairs of shoes. Two were too small and two were too big.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Week That Was

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan recently posted a picture of him with all his summer interns. There were dozens of them, and they all appeared to be Caucasian. There was a bit of an outcry about this. One of the interns went to school with Anna and Will. The blonde on the right in the black dress (I know, that really narrows it down). NOTE: Ryan's congressional district is over 91% white.
 
July 20: C had her Bible Study, so I worked past 7 pm then hit three thrift stores on the way home. Also Taco Bell and RaceTrac. Ate one burrito and saved one for M. Almost bought a pair of all-black Nike Kobe sneakers and a new pair of Polo khakis, but passed. Got home and M was burning a cap that had been a “bad memory.”
Watched some baseball, The Middle, and the NFL Network show about Larry Czonka, Mercury Morris, and my hero Jim Kiick. Also played on the computer.
 At C’s Bible Study an young family recently relocated to Atlanta to work at Buckhead Church was supposed to meet with Andy Stanley yesterday afternoon, but Andy was pulled away for a phone call – with President Obama.  
 
Left work at 4:30 last Thursday. Had to get home to meet with the headmaster of M’s new school. Whenever I have to get somewhere by a certain time I always encounter extra traffic and slow drivers. Plus there was a bad thunderstorm all the way home. Took the full hour to get home. Cleaned up just a little before the guy got there. Meeting lasted from before 6 pm past 9 pm. I was sitting in an uncomfortable chair from the kitchen table, but facing away from the table. This school will be tough for M, but hopefully good. We shall see.
 
Friday: lunch meeting at work, with Willy’s Mexican food. Not my choice but I’ll take it. Next month we’ll have BBQ again. Rome Braves game Friday night despite car trouble. Friday a guy brought along his toddler daughter. Her name was Nola. Will and MC came home, and Joel Norman came over. Joel is performing at the festival in Woodstock in a few weeks.
 
Saturday M and I drove to Charlotte and bought Drew Kelly’s parent’s 1996 Buick Park Avenue. Saturday on the way back from Charlotte in honor of Drew Kelly we stopped at the Beacon drive-in in Spartanburg. Kind of like the Varsity, except more variety: also BBQ, fried chicken, gizzards, fish, potato salad, cole slaw, tater tots. Beacon onion rings are like old style Varsity rings. Beacon fries are frozen, not fresh potatoes like the V. Beacon burger patties are bigger than the Varsity – and more expensive. Helpings are bigger at the Beacon, and they give free refills on all drinks. Eating at the Beacon once every ten years is enough.
 
MC was the master of ceremonies for the Georgia Junior Miss Pageant Friday and Saturday night.
 
Sunday: Passion City Church, IKEA, Whole Foods, nap, and took my car to a new shop. M volunteered at a homeless shelter.
 
Busy Monday: new boss, lunch meeting, looking at a car for Will – his Honda Element deal fell through. New boss had hoped to meet with me Tuesday morning but had been tied up Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning with new employee orientation and talking to Steve, Jonathan, Jim, Renee, Bill, and others. Finally got with me a little Tuesday afternoon  and Wednesday morning.
 
Only worked ten hour days on Monday through Wednesday, leaving just after five both days to look at cars for Will. Not much selection in Augusta. A meeting fell through Monday night but we drove a Camry Tuesday evening. Ran well but the body looked 16 years old, and the inside smelled like cigarette smoke. Then M and I hit a couple of thrift stores and picked up a Mellow Mushroom pizza. C had her weekly Bible Study.
 
Wednesday night I’m looking at another Camry that looks ok, except for what looks like a cracked bumper. Went to bed at 10 pm Tuesday night.
 
A fun time right now with Anna’s room and board and other bills due, plus buying two cars. Mine needs a front end alignment. M’s Buick had almost $800.00 worth of work done on it in April before we got it, plus a new battery in January – this is a good thing.
 
Looks like UGA might be wearing black jerseys again this year.
 
Are Charles and Elizabeth younger versions of Reid and Edie?
 
Have the Braves disappointed you? What were you expecting them to do? All the experts expect them to lose 100 games this year, which means they’ll lose at least 4 games a week.
 
Did you hear about the lady that went to the doctor to treat a problem with her toe, and she wound up dying? Turns out that doctor is the family doctor for the lady who sits next to me. The doctor was sued for $9 million, but his insurance only goes up to $2 million. Guess my co-worker has to get a new doctor.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Okie Goes to Camp

This is Anna's last week at Camp Highland. On Saturday she had a visitor:
 Okie rode up with Will to the mountains,
where the pup had a great time.
 Okie and Barney tolerated each other.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Matthew's First Road Trip

As a busy Friday evening, my alarm went off at 4:35 am Saturday morning. M was already dressed and downstairs. We left shortly after 5 am and headed out on a road trip to Charlotte. Stopped in Anderson for Bojangles and QT drinks. Made good time and arrived at Drew Kelly's niece's apartment before 9:30.

Test drove her grandparent's 1996 Buick Park Avenue, which rode well. Only 90,000 miles. Buying any car is a risk, especially a used car. Especially an older used car. I could be wrong, but I have a list of reasons why this is the right car for Matthew.

I drove the Buick on the first leg back. Stopped in Gaffney for cheap South Carolina gas, plus my 27 cent BP Card discount. Filled up the Buick and topped off the CRV, though three troublesome pumps made it a time-consuming task. Then we stopped down the street for a photo opp at the peach water tower. M drove the Buick the rest of the way home.
For lunch we hit the famous Beacon Drive-In in Spartanburg, arriving just before a family on vacation from Indiana. We'd been to the Beacon several years ago on the way to Jefferson. The NFC Champion Carolina Panthers are about to open preseason camp around the corner at Wofford.

Went inside and ordered. Not really knowing how the Beacon lingo matched up with what came out on the plate, I decided to go for it and order a burger "a-plenty." This is what I was given:

There's a burger underneath all those rings and fries. Only ate half of it.

Stopped south of Greenville for Advil for M and in Lavonia for coffee. Then a bad thunderstorm hit, and we slogged south at 35 MPH. Arrived home at five. The Buick averaged 25.5 MPG. Not bad. A memorable first road trip for Matthew.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Rome Suite Rome

Drove up to Rome Friday afternoon for the coveted Ozzie Albies mini-bobblehead. Despite car trouble I made it to the park shortly after 3:30. Bobby Myers and Dan Fox were there to greet me. With time to spare we were able to catch up a little more than usual. I took another selfie (above).

Kevin and fam finally arrived, and early arrives gathered in the shade near the season ticket line. Patrick and later Mike, as well as three new friends. The 6 pm line wasn't as long as years past. Johnny and Hugh arrived with three grandsons (and my tickets) shortly before the 5:30 gate opening.

After gathering bobbleheads I said hello to Norman, in Rome since the big club and Gwinnett were on the road. I talked to Marshall's brother, the usher. Finally made it up to Johnny's box. Young blonde Sailors sat quietly, watching everything. Little Josef (#2, above) constantly went in and out, taking the cool conditioned air with him. I caught up with old Hugh. When the boys arrived at the park they wouldn't give me a high five, but in the box wanting to see the insides of the empty warming trays, they eagerly allowed me to hold them up.

Our suite was right next to the press box, and the inhabitants enjoyed the kids staring in on them. While I talked to Hugh little Josef pointed to the TV and exclaimed "Pop!" Sure enough, behind the dancing cheerleaders on the screen Johnny was downstairs, collecting more bobbles.
Kevin brought his young family - his twins' first official ball game. They had a blast.

Johnny's son and daughter arrived, with spouses and grandmother in tow. Hot dogs and cole slaw arrived, replacing the empty trays of chips, popcorn, and cookies. Little Wynn was another cutie.

As we left I noticed all the foul balls on the roof,
too far out of reach even for a ball-grabbing device.

I left with Kevin to give him some bobbles. Before we left as the sun set I snapped their family portrait. Fortunately my car started, and I made a leisurely drive home.

For $21.00 I received three game tickets and parking, and:

06.00 bobblehead for LJ
30.00 bobblehead for me
30.00 bobblehead to sell
15.00 two dogs, slaw, cookie, chips, popcorn, water
01.00 RaceTrac soft drink
82.00 total, plus the ball game

Friday, July 22, 2016

Rosenberg on Turkey




Is Turkey's Fethullah Gulen a moderate or an "archconservative" Muslim cleric who has said & written terrible things about Christians, Jews & America? (A column worth reading.)

FethullahGulen2Yesterday, I posted what will be the first of several articles about a Turkish man named Fethullah Gulen, the 75 year old Islamic cleric who Recep Erdogan says is the "mastermind" of the coup attempt.
In that article, I noted that some -- like the editors of Time magazine -- say Gulen is a powerful voice of moderate Islam. Others say he is the leader of a cult.
Today, I'm posting a column by Claire Berlinksi, a journalist who lived in Turkey for ten years. She reports that "many Turks...view [Gulen] as an archconservative imam with retrograde views about women, atheists, and apostates."
She doesn't conclude Gulen is definitively the mastermind behind the coup attempt Erdogan, but the fact that Erdogan is so determined to put Gulen and his followers and supporters in prison tells us something important about the power struggle going on inside Turkey.
As I continue to study the dynamics inside Turkey, and try to get a clearer picture of both Erdogan and Gulen, and try to understand how to pray for the Turkish people -- and the church in Turkey -- I found this column helpful. I hope you do, as well.
By Claire Berlinski, July 20, 2016
Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, claims that a Muslim cleric living in rural Pennsylvania was the mastermind of a bloody, failed coup attempt in Turkey last Friday. The attempt saw the unprecedented horror of the Turkish military turning its arms against their own people and mowing them down in the street. It almost succeeded in killing Erdoğan and decapitating the Turkish government.
So who is Fethullah Gülen, why is he in the United States, and how credible is this charge?
Born in 1941, Gülen hails from a village near Erzurum, the eastern frontier of what is now the Turkish Republic. The contemporary Gülen presents a tolerant image, but his early career was notable for markedly intolerant statements, sermons, and publications.
<![if !supportLists]>·        <![endif]>In one sermon, allegedly dating from 1979, Gülen chastises his flock for failing to prevent infidels from controlling of all of the holy places of Islam: "Muslims should become bombs and explode, tear to pieces the heads of the infidels! Even if it's America opposing them."
<![if !supportLists]>·        <![endif]>In another, he says: "Until this day missionaries and the Vatican have been behind all atrocities. The Vatican is the hole of the snake, the hole of the cobra. The Vatican is behind the bloodshed in Bosnia. The Vatican is behind the bloodshed in Kashmir. They have lobby groups in America and Germany."
<![if !supportLists]>·        <![endif]>In unrevised editions of books from his early career, such as Fasildan Fasila and Asrin Getirdigi Tereddutler, Gülen calls the Western world the "continuous enemy of Islam."
<![if !supportLists]>·        <![endif]>Of Christians, he writes: "After a while they perverted and obscured their own future."
<![if !supportLists]>·        <![endif]>Jews have a "genetic animosity towards any religion" and have used "their guile and skills to breed bad blood" to threaten Islam from the beginning of time, "uniting themselves with Sassanids, Romans and crusaders."
<![if !supportLists]>·        <![endif]>He avers that "the Church, the Synagogue and Paganism form the troika that has attacked Islam persistently."
<![if !supportLists]>·        <![endif]>"In any case," he writes, "the Prophet considers Islam as one nation and the Kuffar as the other nation."
In the late 1990s, Gülen changed his mind — or his tactics — forging warm ties with the Vatican and other tablemates of the Interfaith Dialogue platform.
Charged with attempting to infiltrate the Turkish state, he fled to the United States, ensconcing himself at the heart of what he once considered the Devil's headquarters. Since then, he has presented himself as the great cultural reconciler. Many Turks, however, still view him as an archconservative imam with retrograde views about women, atheists, and apostates. He has neither repudiated nor apologized for his former views. The earlier books have been wordlessly revised.
Gülen has somewhere between three and six million Gülen followers. The value of the institutions inspired by Gülen — which exist on every populated continent — has been estimated, variously, as ranging from $20 to $50 billion. His movement is, at least on the surface, warm toward America. This is unsurprising, given that he's in exile in the U.S. and has considerable business interests there. Among other ventures, he is a big player in the American charter school movement.
Initially, the AKP and the Gülen movement formed an alliance of convenience aimed at dislodging the old, Kemalist establishment in Turkey. But like any alliance of convenience, it reached its natural conclusion. Once the old guard was safely in prison or silenced for fear of arrest, Erdoğan and Gülen began to fight for ultimate control.
What we've witnessed in the past few years has been a fight among the new, ostensibly pious ruling elites about how to divide the spoils of power. In recent years, the key power struggle in Turkey has not been between the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, and the country's secularists, but between Erdoğan and Gülen. The struggle hasn't been about elections or democracy.
Rather, it is a struggle for control of the Turkish state itself.
For years, this split was denied and papered over, but it broke into the open when Gülenist prosecutors attempted to arrest Erdogan's intelligence chief, Hakan Fidan. It exploded during the Gezi protests in 2013, when the movement issued an 11-article communiqué to dispute "accusations and charges" that it claimed came from AKP quarters.
Another recent flashpoint was Erdogan's decision to abolish the dershanes — something like private university grammer schools, and a major source for Gülen's recruits. The movement correctly perceived this as an attempt to eradicate their influence. In 2013, Erdoğan, his associates, and his family were implicated in a massive corruption scandal. Erdoğan denied all charges, blamed them on a Gülenist conspiracy, and vowed revenge. Government officials accused Gülen and his followers of treason and began referring to them as "terrorists."
What of the movement's role in America?
In 2007, Gülen sued the U.S. government in District Court, challenging the denial of his petition for classification as an alien of extraordinary ability that would allow him to stay in the United States. District Judge Stewart Dalzell noted that Gülen's work was "prominent on the syllabi of graduate and undergraduate courses at major American colleges and universities." Based on Gulen's "unchallenged statement that the visa he seeks 'will allow [him] to continue to advocate and promote interfaith dialogue and harmony between members of different faiths and religions'" the court found "no basis for denying his application…" The application was approved.
Since then, Gülen has been able to amass sufficient manpower and influence to beguile several Commanders-in-Chief, woo countless members of Congress, and become the largest operator of charter schools in America, funded with millions of taxpayer dollars, many of these issued in the form of public bonds. These schools have come under scrutiny by the FBI and the Departments of Labor and Education, which have been investigating their hiring practices, particularly the replacement of certified American teachers with uncertified Turkish ones who are paid higher salaries than the Americans, using visas that are supposed to be reserved for highly-skilled workers who fill needs unmet by the U.S. workforce.
The schools have been credibly and frequently charged with channeling school funds to other Gülen-inspired organizations, bribery, using the schools to generate political connections, unfair hiring and termination practices, and academic cheating.
There is no evidence, however, that Islamic proselytizing takes place at them.
Nor is there hard evidence, so far, that Gülen was the mastermind of the coup. It is, however, entirely plausible, and even probable, that he or his supporters played some role in it — although it may never be clear what this role was, precisely, or what they aimed to achieve.
Claire Berlinski is a Paris-based journalist who spent ten years in Turkey. She is now writing a crowd-funded book about the transformations overtaking Europe.




Thursday, July 21, 2016

Self-Thoughts to Avoid

Cancerous thought that successful people quarantine, by Travis Bradberry of Talentsmart for LinkedIn (ME: I post this for my own benefit, though everyone can learn from these words).

Your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can make or break you. They either magnify the negativity or help you turn a misstep into something productive.

Negative self-talk in unrealistic, unnecessary, and self-defeating, sending you into a downward spiral that is difficult to pull out of. All self-talk is driven by important beliefs you hold about yourself. Henry Ford said “he who believes he can and he who believes he cannot are both correct.”

Successful people possess the ability to control negative self-talk so it doesn’t prevent them from reaching their full potential. Here are some common thoughts that hold people back more than any others:

1. Perfection equals success (wrong!) When perfection is your goal, you are always left with a nagging sense of failure. You end up spending time lamenting what you failed to accomplish, instead of enjoying what you were able to achieve.

2. My destiny in self-determined. Blaming multiple successes or failures on forces beyond your control is a cop out. Life may deal you difficult cards to play, and other times you’ll be holding aces. Your willingness to give your all in whatever hand you’re holding is what will determine your ultimate success or failure in life.

3. I “always” or “never” do that. Since that is untrue, it’s just self-pity. It makes you believe you have no control of yourself and you will never change.

4. I succeed when others approve of me. You are never as good or bad as they say you are. Take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. Self-worth comes from within. ME: – and from God.

5. My past equals my future. Repeated failures erodes self-confidence. Most of the time these failures come from taking risks and trying to achieve something (if you aren’t doing these things, then shame on you). Success lies in your ability to rise in the face of failure. Anything worth achieving will require a little risk taking. You can’t allow failure to stop you from believing in your ability to succeed.

6. My emotions equal my reality. Take an objective look at your feelings and separate fact from fiction. Otherwise your emotions will continue to skew your sense of reality, and make you vulnerable to the negative self-talk that can hold you back from achieving your full potential.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Living on the Black

 

In the book I’m reading about Mike Mussina and Tom Glavine it deals a lot with those starters leaving the game with the lead, then having the bullpen blow the lead. At times both were pitching well, but not getting the win because the bullpen blew it. Then after they hadn’t won a game in a month the NYC press was asking why they hadn’t been pitching well. They couldn’t make excuses and blame the bullpen, so they had no good answer. Glavine was needing to win games to reach 300 wins, and the bullpen was feeling especially bad whenever they blew one of his games. Good book by the esteemed writer John Feinstein, called Living on the Black, about the 2007 season through the eyes of Glavine and Mussina, who graduated from Stanford in 3-1/2 years. Glavine sheds good info on his time with the Braves, and the events leading up to his free agent departure.
 
Monday: Not much to report. C cooked a chicken pasta dish last night. Her friend Dawn ate with us again and left this morning. She’d been traveling for over a week, spending time in Augusta, McDonough, Sandy Springs, East Cobb with us, and Bamberg SC before headed home.
 
Tuesday I worked past six. It rained all the way home, so I did not stop. Spaghetti. Not much else went on.
 
Here is the USA the MLB has a home run derby before the all-star game. In Korea they have a bunting contest.
 
As usual, there was a big announcement at work while I was on vacation. They hired a new supervisor for my team – an additional layer of management between me and the general manager. This will be the 8th boss I’ve had in the past 9 years. We’ve been able to cobble along for all this time without doing too much damage (actually it’s amazing what we’ve been able to do the past nine years with the crew we had). Now management is finally addressing several needed issues that I never had time to address due to my own overflowing plate. Unfortunately some of the biggest problem areas remain unchanged. I’ve been told that next week I get to show my new boss the ropes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Gehrig vs Aaron

At the beach I read the Lou Gehrig book "Iron Horse" and learned that after Ruth hit his called shot at Wrigley Field against the Cubs in the World Series, Gehrig was the next hitter and hit a home run of his own two pitches later. Lou averaged more RBI, runs, doubles, and triples per season than Ruth or Aaron, and far fewer strikeouts. Hank averaged one more home run per season than Ruth, as well as four more hits per year then Gehrig.

Aaron played in over one thousand more games than Gehrig but walked fewer times and collected fewer triples. Gehrig really didn't play much in his last season, and neither did Ruth.

.AVG.OBP.SLG.OPS.total bases
.342 .474 .690 1.164 5793 BR
.340 .447 .632 1.080 5060 LG
.305 .374 .555 0.928 6856 HA

YR.games..PA...runs...hits..2B…3B..HR...RBI...BB....K…
22 2503 10623 2174 2873 506 136 714 2214 2062 1330 BR
17 2164 09663 1888 2721 534 163 493 1995 1508 0790 LG
23 3298 13941 2174 3771 624 098 755 2297 1402 1383 HA

Monday, July 18, 2016

Eating Out

Wednesday night twelve of us ate at Bonefish in NMB. I had the grilled chicken salad since I’m allergic to fish. Watched the Craig Sager tribute on the ESPYs.
 
Thursday a thunderstorm chased us off the beach around 2 pm. We didn’t do much the rest of the day, so I caught up on some stuff on my laptop. Had several visitors come and go. C picked up a Mellow Mushroom pizza for dinner.
 
Friday morning we packed up and headed out around 11:45. I ate leftovers for an early lunch. M got Zaxbys in Florence. Got to Augusta before five and met to of Will’s study partners. Later we ate at Tin Lizzy’s, a place we’d never eaten at before. Got home at 10 pm, and boy was Barney happy.
 
Saturday I unpacked and did some cleaning, then drove to Gwinnett to see the GBraves. On the way home I grabbed a hot dog and drink from RaceTrac.
 
Sunday C and I drove to Ellijay to see Anna at Camp Highland. They brought in Little Caesar’s pizza and salad for lunch. Then we drove to Blue Ridge and walked around the downtown. Had Anna back by 5 pm, then made good time coming home. C’s college roommate Dawn had arrived and tie dyed T-shirts with Matthew. Had dinner at Brixx Pizza in The Avenue East Cobb. I’m sure my dad is thinking I paid for all these meals, but I didn’t.
 
I once read where Tom Hanks would get all his friends (like Martin Short and Steve Martin) to schedule their colonoscopies at the same time, then rent a limo to and from. I think they even spent the night beforehand and had a big dinner afterwards.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

High Land

One of the Camp Highland high ropes courses tower over Ceil and Anna.
The Camp Highland swimming hole. Note water slide at the lower left. Zip line runs from where I was standing over the lake to the top of the hill on the opposite side. Last time M rode it, as has A and W. I was going to do it this time but the course was closed for the day. In addition to this small lake, campers go tubing on Carters Lake and whitewater rafting on the Ocoee and Nanahalah.
Not the greatest photo of Blue Ridge, Georgia's Main Street.
Couldn't believe Camp Highland placed their cemetery right next to the main building.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Hank Night at Gwinnett

Tonight was the Gwinnett Braves Hank Aaron Bobblehead Night, so naturally I attended. Storms were popping up all over town, and the sprinkles (and God) provided a nice double rainbow over CoolRay Field.
As usual I arrived early, though Bobblehead Bobby Myers beat me. We traded my cute Chopper bank for last night's Atlanta Braves' Zombie AJ bobble, which I missed. In line I chatted with a wounded warrior, the nurse wife of a bobblehead addict from Kennesaw, my old friend LJ, and my new friend Dusty from Kennesaw. The nurse snapped a selfie with the CoolRay Field sign behind her, so I did the same (above). Mine turned out perfect!
Gates opened at six. LJ needed three Hanks and I needed four, so we couldn't help each other. The nurse needed two. We went in, got our first Hank, and hustled out to our cars. The outfield gate had yet to open, so we got back in the long line still qued at the main gate. We were waved over to the empty season ticket holder gate, which saved us some time. The nurse had her two, but she agreed to get my fourth. After dropping off our second Hanks at our cars, we hit the now open outfield gate, and I had my four (one for me, one for Hot Stove Johnny Tallant, and two for Birmingham Kevin.
I met up with Sam Bradley, who'd bought my UGA Gordon Beckham bobble. LJ and I dodged raindrops, copped free GBraves T-shirts, and nabbed sweet seats behind the plate. Good to see Omar Infante back in a Braves uni. Also starting pitcher Aaron Blair pitched to former Met Ike Davis.
It was also Pokémon Go night at the game. People picked up game cards and walked around the stadium with their faces glued to their smartphones, searching for Pokemons to win prizes. I got a game card, but did not participate.
When my Facebook friend Bob posted this picture of him and his son, I tracked him down and chatted for an inning. We'd been FB friends for two years, liking each other's posts and sometimes commenting on them - but we'd never met, until tonight. Nice guy.

Wore my blue Jordan RCVRs, which I love (but might sell on eBay).
The cute Chopper bank I traded to Bobby for an AJ Zombie bobble. It completed his Gwinnett collection and is super rare. I'd bought it for a dollar at Goodwill, and traded it for a $22.00 AJ. Not sure who got the better end of the deal.
I didn't see the rainbow until I was leaving. Here it is from the parking lot. Stopped my the adjacent Racetrac, then headed home. 

Profitable evening. Paid $37.00 for four ticket and parking. In return I received:
30.00 Aaron bobble to sell.
30.00 Aaron bobble to keep.
40.00 Aaron bobble traded for a rare Rome Freddie, which I'll sell.
21.00 profit from the Chopper/AJ Zombie trade
25.00 profit from the UGA Beckham sale.
20.00 in bobbles for the two Hanks traded to Kevin.
20.00 nice new free grey GBraves T-shirt
01.00 candy prize I won
01.00 free bag of popcorn
02.00 bacon cheddar hot dog RaceTrac free coupon
01.00 free RaceTrac soft drink refill
$191.00 minus 37.00 equals a $154.00 gain - plus the actual baseball game!  

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Return

Stopped by to visit with Will, MC, and Okie on the way back this afternoon. Not sure what in the world I was doing in the picture.