Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Things Successful People Do

Things happy/successful people do differently. Another article for LinkedIn by young Dr Travis Bradbury. Some are repeats from earlier lists, but are good to hear again. Research shows those both successful and happy over the long term intentionally structured their activities around four major needs: Happiness (pleasure and satisfaction), Achievement (got tangible results), Significance (made a positive impact on those who matter most), and Legacy (passed their values and knowledge on to others).
These behaviors are the hallmarks of successful and happy people: they are passionate, swim against the current, finish what they start, are resilient, make health a priority, don’t dwell on problems, celebrate other’s successes, live outside the box, keep an open mind, and don’t limit anyone their joy.
Studies shows successful people possess a “growth” mindset, as opposed to seeing their abilities as fixed. Another study shows a strong correlation between social skills and success.
Successful people are often:
Polite, yet unafraid to rock the boat.
Passionate, yet rational and objective about their work. They can accept their mistakes.
Both convergent AND divergent thinkers. They’re both rational and can think outside the box.
Both energetic and calm. They stay under control.
Like both work AND play.
Ambiverts: comfortable to sit back sometimes and listen, and other times taking the lead.
They can be both na├»ve and smart. A childlike lack of awareness for constraints blindly accepted by others. They’re not limited to what others say is impossible.
They’re both humble and proud. Successful people know they wouldn’t be where they are without the people who came before them, and those they’ve worked with along the way. They know they didn’t achieve their success all on their own – and they’re OK with that, they don’t have anything to prove.
Focus on minutes, not hours.
Focus on only one thing.
Don’t use a to-do list (use a calendar instead)
Beat procrastination: figure out what you can do now to make sure your future self will do the right thing.
Make it home for dinner (value life).
Take notes. Write everything down. Use a notebook.
Process emails only a few times a day.
Avoid meetings.
Say “no” to almost everything.
Focus on the 20% of activities that yield 80% of the results, and ignore the rest.
Delegate almost everything.
Touch things only once.
Energy is everything: don’t skip meals, sleep, or breaks.
Get up early.
Accomplish an “impossible” goal.
“Meditate” (whatever that is). Pray instead. Listen to God.
Practice public speaking.
Talk to someone you don’t know.
Bite your tongue.
Quit putting things off.
Don’t wait for a title to lead.
Be disruptive –but gracious.
Think for yourself.
Focus only on what really matters.
Master conflict.
Inspire conversation.
Know your strengths and weaknesses.
Grow and leverage your networks.
Ask for help when needed.
Do it now.
(Again, some I’m good at and others I need work on).

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

White Plains

More golf photos: Will hit several good shots, in his borrowed green cotton shirt and Nike TW golf shoes.
We counted on Richard time after time.
Here's his approach shot on 18. 
Richard's brother Tracey birdied several holes singlehandedly. Here he tees off on the 18th hole.
No one recognized Richard's son Devin, who was all grown up. His drive on 13 was legendary.
After finishing his round, Uncle Lennie and Aunt Corinne drove out to watch us play. Turned out Lennie and I not only wear the same style socks, but also the same Ecco golf shoes. Is that a good thing?
The gas engine E-Z-Go TXT served us well.

Monday, August 29, 2016


Last week I went to Kroger around 10 pm and ran into Robert, the guy that dresses up like an indian at the Braves games. He asked how the game that night against the Diamondbacks was going, so I checked my phone. That’s when I found out about the Francoeur trade. The Braves didn’t get too much in return, but did Frenchy a favor by getting him in a pennant race. The Braves can always sign him again next spring if they want.
Worked hard Thursday, then went home and did yardwork past 9 pm. Stayed up past midnight. Ceil was watching a romantic comedy, then I watched some of Wisler and Dansby's masterpiece, then Streisand on Fallon. Ceil had made a vegetable chicken soup for supper.

Cleaned some Friday morning, and packed. Ceil drove Anna's Jeep to Athens, and M and I brought Barney about an hour later. We stopped by Taco Bell, later C and A had Chickfila.

Drove to Augusta. Saw MC and Okie, then the six of us (DCWAMB) piled in the CRV and drove to Jefferson. Traffic was slow over the Savannah River bridge, giving me time to check out a cool white 2017 Honda Civic two-door coupe (above).
Supped at Jefferson's finest: The Golden Nugget. You'd like the seafood.
Saturday: Woke up before 7 this morning for the family reunion golf tournament. Played with Will. Fun. As I was walking off the 18th green my Fitbit hit 10000 steps. Worn out. Only did 1156 steps the rest of the day, hanging out watching high school football, and later North Dakota State/Charleston Southern. Ceil brought home Subway for lunch. M picked up Bojangles for supper. I'll be sore for a few days. Saturday night I got some decent sleep. Still tired a good part of Sunday afternoon.

The family reunion was held at the local elementary school. Best I can remember, I’ve only attended two or three times previously in the 29 years we’ve been married. Per tradition, the lemonade committee arrived early and squeezed lemons into large galvanized tubs. Anyone who brought tea had it poured into a third tub. No unsweet tea that I saw. Attendance was 129. Not sure why the local minister showed up, because family members took care of the opening prayer and the blessing. We all said the pledge of allegiance – including the “under God” part. Two long tables of covered dishes. I finally stationed myself at the door to help people bringing in armfuls of food.
Pulled out of Jefferson around 3:30. Tough to get good gas mileage with the five us crammed in the car, along with Barney and two sets of golf clubs, and all the luggage. Friday on the trip east we got less than 245 MPG. I did better on the trip home, averaging 25.7 MPG from Jefferson to Athens. Stopped for five minutes in Augusta, and not much longer in Athens. Was 10 pm when we got home. After unloading the car I pretty much went to bed.
Tip you may already know about: if everything gets wiped out, hit CONTROL and Z at the same time. That should undo the last thing you did. Same as clicking on the curly arrow that points to the left.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Cars I've Owned

In the spring of 1977 I bought a 1972 Buick Skylark, like the own pictured above. This would be the car I would drive as a freshman and sophomore at Georgia Tech. Note the wheelcaps were a popular item - the one on the rear tire above is missing.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ten Under

Beautiful day for a golf tournament, the 19th annual Middleton Reunion Tourney, held at White Plains. Above: Will tees off on the 12th hole.

I hit a few good shots on the practice range, than contributed immediately: my approach shot on the first hole (a seven iron) was closest to the pin.

I hit a few putts and came close on several more. I usually was one of the first to putt, to give the other guys a read.

We birdied the first two holes, both par fours. Will didn't have his best day, but ripped several drives down the middle of the fairway. On the par four eleventh hole, his drive rolled a couple of yards short of the bunker guarding the front of the green.

Our team was five under par on both the front and back nine, finishing one shot behind the three groups who tied for first, at eleven under par.

Rusty, Phil, and Lennie were one of those teams. They were the first group to tee off. After they finished, Lennie and Corinne rode out in a cart to watch us play 14 and 15.

On the par three 16th hole, two of the first three tee shots failed to clear the lake. Will's ball found dry land, but on the wrong side of a bunker. Having exhausted our mulligans, our bid for victory was looking grim. I stepped up and pegged my shot straight at the hole. I could tell I had clanked it a little, and worried it would find water. But the shot landed just short of the green, renewing hope. Fortunately Tracy followed me with a shot to two feet, and another birdie.

All four of my shots on 18 were decent. My tee shot was one of the two playable tee shots available to use, just slightly worse than the one we hit. Same with our second shot. When I arrived to hit our approach, I realized Ceil and her mom were there watching the groups finish. I hadn't hit an 8 iron all day, but hit it closest again. I just missed the birdie putt, but Will followed me, and sank it.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Cars I've Owned

On the drive today I thought of a new pictorial series: cars I've owned. It will be a short series, since I haven't owned many.

My first car: 1966 Ford Country Sedan station wagon. Bought it in 1975, as a junior in high school. Loved it.

More on my wagon in the future. In an unprecedented but deliberate move I left my laptop at home, so this weekend's posts will be short.

Note: my wagon didn't have mag wheels. My wheels were plain.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Rosenberg: ISIS is Winning


Three reasons the next President — and his/her advisors (and you) — should carefully study the latest issue of the ISIS magazine, Dabiq.

The next President of the United States -- and his or her advisors -- need to carefully study and analyze the latest issue of Dabiq, the full-color propaganda magazine of the Islamic State. So do other world leaders, Members of Congress and Middle East policy-makers. So do you.
Three reasons -- in this edition of Dabiq:
ISIS leaders make clear they want to bring about the End of Days.
ISIS leaders vow to "break the cross" -- that is, to slaughter Christians in the Middle East, in the West, and around the world, and to annihilate Christianity from the Earth.
ISIS leaders lay out the six reasons they hate us, they state their ultimate objective, and they explain why they will never stop killing until they achieve total victory.
Far too many leaders in Washington believe the West is winning the war against ISIS. That is a dangerous fallacy. The sober truth is that we are not winning. ISIS is winning. Yes, ISIS is losing large tracts of territory in Iraq. They are also losing ground in Syria. But their forces are growing. The global reach of their attacks is spreading. Their blood-thirsty version of Apocalyptic Islam is metastasizing.
At the same time, far too few leaders in Washington and other capitals truly understand the theology, eschatology and objectives motivating the men and women running ISIS.
This is not Al Qaeda 2.0. The Islamic State and their pursuit of the caliphate is something far, far more dangerous. Those who misunderstand the nature and threat of this especially pernicious form of evil are at risk of allowing the country to be repeatedly blindsided by it with catastrophic results.
Throughout the entire issue is the genocidal End Times language of Apocalyptic Islam.
ISIS wants readers to understand their plan to create a global caliphate where everyone submits to Islam comes from the Qur'an and other Islamic scriptures. Regardless of what their critics say, they are emphatic that they are following the true path and that there is a great sense of urgency to obey Allah because the end is very near.
To be clear, it is not wrong necessarily to hold to an eschatology that says the messiah is coming to establish peace and justice on the Earth. Jews and Christians have their own versions of End Times theology, based on the Biblical teachings of the Old and New Testaments. That said, the Bible never calls on Jews and/or Christians to annihilate their enemies to bring about the Kingdom of the Messiah.
However, Apocalyptic Islam teaches exactly this -- and this is one of the reasons it is both evil and dangerous.
For policy-makers unfamiliar with the concepts of Apocalyptic Islam, this issue of Dabiq provides some clear and thus useful language about what ISIS leaders believe:
"It is Allah who prepared the Earth for the bloodiest battle before the Hour, to see His slaves sweat in spilling their blood and that of His enemies." (p. 13)
"When the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, returns in the end days to battle the Antichrist -- the false messiah -- and his army, of the myths he will debunk once and for all are those of his crucifixion and divinity. This will be when he [Jesus] breaks the cross...." (p. 48)
"When he [Jesus] returns in the final days, the Messiah will adhere to the Law of Muhammad and wage jihad for the cause of Allah...." (p. 49)
Having studied and read through many previous editions of Dabiq, what strikes me about this edition is how directly ISIS leaders are aiming at the theology and eschatology of Biblical Christianity.
There are articles that attempt to "debunk" the "myths" that Jesus died on the cross, rose from the dead, and was divine.
The authors try to blame modern Christianity on the Apostle Paul whom they claim was a liar that perverted the real teachings of Jesus.
The magazine is full of quotes from the Old and New Testaments, the Qur'an, and other sayings of Muhammad, pitting the ISIS brand of Islam against Judaism and Christianity.
There are interview with ISIS jihadists who claim to have been raised as Christians but later converted to Islam -- the ISIS brand of Islam -- and now are waging jihad, killing with abandon.
The article targets Protestants as well as Catholics and includes an article specifically attacking the current Pope as the "enemy" of Islam.
What emerges over eighty-some pages is this: ISIS leaders are calling on Christians around the world to renounce the Gospel and embrace their version of Islam or face slaughter at the hands of jihadists today, and ultimate annihilation by Jesus tomorrow, followed by a sentence to eternal damnation in the fires of Hell.
Finally, I commend to your attention an article titled, "Why We Hate You & Why We Fight You." (p. 30) Consider a few excerpts:
We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the Oneness of Allah -- whether you realize it or not -- by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme Him, claiming that He has a son, you fabricate lies against his prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices....
We hate you because of your secular, liberal, societies permit the very things that Allah has prohibited....
In the case of the atheist fringe, we hate you and wage war against you because you disbelieve the existence of your Lord and Creator....
We hate you for your crimes against Islam and wage war against you to punish you for your transgressions against our religion....
We hate you for the crimes against the Muslims....
We hate you for invading our lands and fight you to repel you and drive you out...." (p. 31-32)
The article concludes by stating clearly and unequivocally that ISIS will not stop killing until every person on earth is a Muslim they way they define Islam.
"[E]ven if you [infidels] were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us and usurping our lands," note the authors, "we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease until you embrace Islam." (p. 33)
"The fact is we wage -- and continue to escalate -- a calculated war that the West thought it had ended several years ago. We continue dragging you further into a swamp you thought you had escaped only to realize that you're stuck in its murky waters."
The ISIS leaders explain that, at best, the world of infidels can obtain a "temporary truce" by surrendering to the caliphate and paying the slave tax known as the "jizyah." But in the end, they are explicit in their objectives: they won't be deterred from conquering and slaughtering until every man, woman on child is a Muslim of the ISIS brand.
As I have been arguing repeatedly again in recent years (see herehere, here, here, here, and here), it is critically important that leaders in Washington and in capitals around the world read and study carefully what the leaders of ISIS are saying.
ISIS leaders are not hiding their genocidal End Times objectives. Nor are they hiding their hatred of the world's two billion Christians, plus all other "infidels" who don't see God and the world and the future the way they do. Rather, they are being as explicit as they can. They want to be heard. They want to be understood. They do not fear being "found out." To the contrary, they are absolutely certain they are on the winning side of history.
Admittedly, eschatology is not the language of the West's historic enemies. Most world leaders and their advisor have interest in -- and certainly little if any desire to talk about -- varying interpretations of Jewish, Christian and/or Islamic End Times theology. But we are living in very different times. These are the cards we've been dealt. This enemy is unlike most others we have ever faced. Their motivations are different. Their strategies are different. So are their tactics.
We'd better understand the game, and how its stakes really are, before it's too late.
NOTE: Be advised that the magazine includes some graphic and gruesome color photographs of ISIS atrocities. I do not recommend children study this issue. Parents and educators should only proceed with caution.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Is it Wednesday?

Worked past six Monday. Maybe later. Drove home and threw on shorts and flip flops for the drive. Wanted to stop by the library before they closed at nine. Right as I got to the library I remembered I had left my clothes to wear on Tuesday, so I had to go back. Then I forgot to stop by the post office. Was almost 9:30 before I left East Cobb. Traffic downtown was still bad.
Checked out Mariano Rivera's autobiography. Very good. Made it to Macon and went to bed at midnight.

Up Tuesday before seven, and to the hospital by 8:30. Got mom checked in, but she wasn't wheeled off until 10:30 or so. Surgery was a success. The Doctor called and said he had "got it all". I knew I'd never be able to answer everyone's questions, so I didn't try to waste the doctor's time when he'd be visiting the room later in the day. Everyone would be asking him all the same questions even if I had explained everything to them in detail. All day long everyone would talk talk talk and no one was listening. Not my scene.

Chickfila for lunch. My scene.

Mom was wheeling back but was groggy. All day I tried to keep my work email clean so I wouldn't get to work with 300 emails. Also cleaned out my junk email. Stayed at the hospital until 6:30 or seven, then drove dad home. Sister was spending the night. Grabbed Taco Bell and $1.869 gas and headed back.

Monday the shop put rear brakes on the Jeep but Tuesday Ceil smelled smoke. She stopped by the shop – the Jeep was on fire. M was down in Buckhead at a late doctor's appointment, so Ceil didn't have a car to drive to the visitation.

Left the house this morning at 9 am and headed west to Powder Springs for my sister-in-law's mother's funeral. Sweet service. Since my sister was at the hospital with my mom, I was the only relative there on my brother's side of the family. The church was on Macland Road, which turns into Windy Hill. Took 75 one exit to 285 west to Peachtree Industrial. On the map is almost a straight line the whole way.

It's been a busy six days since last Friday, and it won't let up until at least next Monday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Habits of Authentic People

Habits of authentic people, another article by Travis Bradberry. I yearn to be authentic. Living authentically is a real challenge. You must own your actions and insure they align with your beliefs and needs. This can be difficult when external forces pressure you to do something you’re not comfortable with, or be someone you’re not.
Studies show that when people fail to behave authentically, they experience a heightened state of discomfort that’s usually associated with immorality. People who weren’t true to themselves were so distraught that they felt a strong desire to cleanse themselves physically.
It’s clear our brains know when we are living a lie, and like all lies, being inauthentic causes nothing but harm. But how do you start living authentically?
Authentic people are deeply in tune with who they are and what they want. Their ability to live in harmony with their true selves comes from some clearly discernable habits that any of us can study and add into our own repertoire.
They help others to be their authentic selves. Authentic people don’t expect others to play a role either.
They let go of negative people. Authentic people have too much respect for other people to try and change them (staying positive is a constant fight for me).
They express their true feelings and opinions, even when they’re not popular. Authentic people don’t live a go along to get along lifestyle. They simply aren’t capable of living that way, even if there are repercussions. They prefer not to lie to other people, and they especially can’t lie to themselves. (ME: some people go out of their way to make a show of voicing their own contrary opinions, even when it’s not necessary. That’s not being authentic, that’s being a jerk, putting yourself ahead of others for no reason).
They are confident. Much social anxiety stems from the fear we have of being “found out.” We’re afraid that somebody is going to discover that we’re not as smart, experienced, or well-connected as we pretend to be. Authentic people don’t have that fear. Their confidence comes from the fact they have nothing to hide. Who they appear to be is who they are.  
They prefer deep conversations to meaningless chatter. Eleanor Roosevelt said “great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” You won’t find authentic people gossiping about others or giving their opinions on the latest celebrity scandals. They choose to talk about things that matter. (Hear, hear. Still, sometimes my mind drifts away and I lose interest).
They don’t take anyone’s advice without evaluating it carefully first. First they make sure it makes sense for them.
They don’t complain about their problems. Complaining is what you do when you think the situation you’re in is someone else’s fault, or that it’s someone else’s job to fix it. Authentic people are accountable. They understand that they are responsible for their own lives, so there’s no point in complaining.
They’re internally motivated (i.e. motivated by God).
They make the best of any situation. Authentic people have a very firm grasp on reality. When things don’t go their way they don’t get trapped in denial (or try to BS their way out of it), and they don’t sit around whining about how things should be different. They simply take stock of the way things are and, if there’s nothing they can do to change the situation, they figure out a way to make the best of it (my reality is colored by my sensitivity and introversion).
They don’t get stressed or upset when someone doesn’t like them. Authentic people don’t have that anxiety because they would never try to change themselves to influence someone else’s opinion (not really a big concern to me).
Summary: living authentically is a perpetual challenge that yields great rewards. It is a noble path that you won’t regret following.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Dansby Dansby Danbsy

TIP: when in doubt go with the headline that grabs readers.

Ran into JP at the game Thursday. I wasn't surprised to hear a Dansby story from him, since he knew the Swanson's years ago when J pastored a church in Cobb. Dansby's dad told J that his son had called from the minors, frustrated with his hitting/swing. His dad told him to get it worked out before a possible September first call-up. A few hours later Dansby called back with the news of his call-up. J's daughter is a freshman at UGA, involved in some of the same activities as Anna. They have yet to connect.

Any thoughts about Dansby's first series?

ROB: I have not seen Swanson field a ground ball yet, but I think I have seen all of his AB's.  Offensively, he looks like he belongs.  He seems to have competitive AB's, which was the scouting report on him.  I think they chose a good time to bring him up.

I wonder if they will bring up Albies during the next homestand.  I trust the scouts more than I trust me reading stats, but it looks like he has handled AA really well.

I don't think Jenkins misses enough bats to be a MLB starter.  Whalen has really good K numbers.

ME: Will's former coach Henry is no longer teaching at Wheeler – he's now teaching with Ceil at M's school in Alpharetta: Legacy. Friday we went over to Bill Willit's house for Matthew's class gathering. C is talking about returning to NP, I think.

Anna came home Saturday to celebrate her birthday. When she and C went to the mall I drove out to Gwinnett to collect the Chopper bobblehead, but didn't stay for the game. Got my picture taken with several mascots, including Buzz. Hairy Dog wasn't there. Went back home for Anna's birthday dinner. Seemed like I washed dishes all weekend, and Ceil did the dishes Saturday night.

Four team members were out this morning. Another new girl must be trained. Sales meeting for lunch. BBQ, I think. My sister-in-law's mother passed away this weekend. Visitation Tuesday night and funeral Wednesday mid-day. Mom's surgery Tuesday. This weekend Ceil and I have the chance to be together with all three kids for the same time since before the wedding over eight months ago, but I may need to be in Macon.

Getting brakes put on Anna's Jeep, so she drove my car back. I'll have to make a trip over there this week to switch them back.

Monday morning office music: Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson. Can You Feel it, by the Go Go's. A Rolling Stones song.

Ted Williams pitched one time. So did that Ruth guy. Gehrig pitched in college.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Chopper's Birthday

Arrived early as usual to CoolRay Field yesterday for the Chopper bobble. Second in line behind the Kennesaw nurse and her husband. Rocked the old Boston Braves cap, which matched my black tee.
Searched for baseballs in the weeds outside the outfield fence before the downpour, which didn't last long.
Soon the blue skies reappeared, bringing with it the humidity. The regulars began to show: the Maldondo kids, LJ, the red-haired kid and his mom, Johnny and Hugh. Finally at 5:10 Bobby dragged in. Co-worker Samantha showed, with nieces and nephews.
 Had to get a donut pic for Facebook friend Drew.
Hoping to blackmail me, Samantha eagerly took the pictures.
A good time-killer before the gates opened. 
Chopper climbed over the fence and stirred up the kids. Several local mascots showed to wish him a happy birthday.
Couldn't resist having my picture made with Oglethorpe's Stormy Petrel. My tweet of this picture was re-tweeted and liked more than most of my social media posts. I asked the foul if he knew Oglethorpe basketball star Conner Smith, but the bird shook his head no. Hmm.
I told Buzz that not only was I a Tech grad, but I remembered when the original Buzz made his debut.
Teams represented included the Gwinnett Gladiators, Emory?, Oglethorpe, Tech, the Greenville Bats, Atlanta's professional lacrosse team, and the Atlanta Dream.
Wore my old Reebok Zigs to the game - aka my Krypto shoes.
The bobble wasn't bad, gaining kudos from many in the community.
Obligatory panoramic photo taken soon after the gates opened. After I gathered my bobbles I hit the road, fighting southbound traffic home for Anna's birthday dinner. She didn't want pictures taken of that.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Thursday Braves Photos

More photos from Thursday's Braves game:
The game was delayed almost an hour and a half. Gave LJ and me time to explore. 
During the delay good-guy Mark Lemke climbed into the stands to deliver a gift to his buddy Darrell.
Nice view from the Ryerson seats.
Fan Plaza. We hung out on the other side of the Sweetwater kiosk in the middle.
The 755 Club offered a nice view of downtown.
The building at the far left is the new Mercedes Dome.
The Mercedes Dome is coming along.
Last year I took this same photo.
Panoramic of the 755 Club buffet,
overlooking the tarp-covered field.
The bobble was the popular "wall catch" design, depicting Andruw's famous "Spiderman" catches against the centerfield wall. With the popularity of superhero bobbles also a thing, it would've cool had Andruw been wearing a spidey suit. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Dansby's Second Game

Tough day to leave work early - at least six people were out. I was able to get in almost eight hours and left around 2:15. Since 85 south was jammed back to the 400 merge, I took PIB to 285 to 20 - a speed limit drive. Walked up to the stadium around 3:30 wearing my official Braves Facilities shirt, home cap, and khaki shorts. I quickly noticed that employees were going out of their way to greet me. This would happen throughout the evening.

Few were in the dollar line except John Parkes, but we had plenty to discuss. Later we were joined by LJ and later Kevin, who had my Glenn Hubbard bobblehead and 1991 NL Championship ring. Kevin had 14 Andruw bobbles to gather. Old Johnny T had brought grandson Josef. Bobby Myers, the nurse, and her husband were in line. Renee called from work, and emailed me the four company tickets. We chatted up the security guard monitoring the dollar line, and messed with Crazy Darrell.

Bought the dollar ticket and entered the gates to get my first bobble. John abled in and generously gave me his, though LJ had asked him for it first. I immediately exited and was able to secure a second dollar ticket, and a third bobble. By now LJ was sitting with John, holding my growing backpack. I try to unassumingly walk out the gates with my eyes on my phone, and was never bothered when I did - perhaps because I was wearing my uniform. I didn't mind making eye contact with the stadium employees. I went to the nearby west gate for bobble number four, the BBQ gate for number five, the main gate for number six, and the east gate for number seven.

At that point I checked out the nearby game used store, which had a $300 Niekro spring training jersey. Saw BP regulars Norman, Johnny, and Marshall, all taking shelter. Since I was having such success and LJ was keeping my bag, I gave him one of my bobbles. The sky had grown dark and it began to sprinkle. LJ and I headed from out perch near the left field foul pole around to the right field corner to see if there would be a pre-game parade, but none was scheduled.
We grabbed our free designated driver cokes and sat out in the tents overlooking the player parking lot. With some time to kill, I checked work email and made a couple of calls.

We continued our clockwise circumnavigation of the lower deck, paying a visit to the season ticket holder lounge, to ask some questions about future games. Then we took the elevator to the upper deck and headed counterclockwise from the Coke bottle all the way around to the other end of the upper deck. Since it was raining we took the elevator down to the club level. Saw the Coach and the Duke fan at their usual hangout near Chickfila. Later Katie would get Andruw to autograph Duke's bobble. We proceeded clockwise all the way around the stadium again, taking in all the photos of old Braves and who wore which number, pausing at 96 (Bill Voiselle), 41 (Eddie Mathews), 31 (Greg Maddux), 28 (Mike Lum), and 8 (Bob Uecker).
Went through the 755 Club, past the massive buffet. Sliders, chicken tenders, brats. Nothing healthy there, but there were healthier options on the club level. Also BBQ and Moes-type burritos.
Thought I saw a ghost at the bar. Nice jersey. We took the elevator down to the Fan Plaza. LJ greeted an usher friend he knew. She asked "need a bobblehead?" and handed each of us a box. Number eight.
With the game delayed due to the rain we took shelter under the Sweetwater Brewing Beer kiosk, people-watching as fans entered the main gate. This turned out to be a fun thirty minutes. Every now and then a fan would forget to grab a bobble, so I might "remind" them what they missed. Most would thank me, some ignored me, others outright lied to me, saying they already had one. Only once did someone give me their bobble (nine) that I passed on to LJ (my backpack was full). Many thought I worked there, asking directions and calling me "sir."
As first pitch neared we circled the park counterclockwise from the Fan Plaza in centerfield around to our seat in section 115 by first base. Row 20. I quickly posted bobbles for sale on Facebook and eBay. One sold pretty quickly. The Nationals first batter popped a foul behind us. I scrambled that way and came close to nabbing it. With two out in the top of the first, leftfielder Matt Kemp dropped a very catchable fly ball near the foul pole - allowing two unearned runs to score. When the third out was finally made, I watched as Kemp lumbered to the dugout, his trot slowing to a walk as he crossed the foul line. Perhaps next year the Braves should switch to the third base dugout at SunTrust Park to give Kemp a break.
Snapped photos of the stadium and rookie shortstop Dansby Swanson, who had made his major league debut the night before.
Swanson struck out to end the all-important RaceTrac inning, but later made a nice running catch in the outfield.

As always, the Braves organist played creative tunes as the opposing Nationals came to bat:
Shaggy-haired Jayson Werth: "Jesus is Just All Right with Me"
Anthony Rindon: Billy Joel's "Movin' Out" - "Anthony works at the grocery store..."
First-baseman Clint Robinson: Simon & Garfunkel's "Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson"
Trea Turner: Tina Turner's "Rolling on the River"

As we made our leave I stopped for a chat with Johnny Pierce, sitting behind the plate instead of his usual spot on aisle 222. Wasn't surprised that he'd been visiting with Dansby's father, as the Swanson's had attended the Cobb County church Johnny had pastored. We learned our daughters might be crossing paths at UGA's Wesley Foundation. LJ and I circled back clockwise to the right field west gate to exit - our fifth trip around the stadium, not counting my six trips in and out of the turnstiles after the gates opened.

I hadn't eaten supper, but I didn't stop on the way home. By the time I pulled in the driveway all five of the bobbles I'd posted on eBay had sold, at the market rate set by the bobblehead mafia. C and B had gone to bed but I wasn't sleepy. Unpacked my backpack, edited the photos I'd taken, watched some Olympics, and washed a load of clothes. Hit the sack at midnight. Oddly, I couldn't sleep. Not sure why. Was almost 1:20 am before I finally nodded off.