Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Call Her Taco

You know Anna goes to Taqueria at least once a week. I’ll check my phone to see where she is. Once she was having car trouble and I told her I’d rigged her car to break down if she tried to drive to Taqueria.

Last Thursday: we “ate out” last night. I left work at six and drove home. Tried to call Ceil but she was giving Barney a bath. Got home at seven. I was bushed. C wanted me to go back out and pick up a Moxie to go. She also needed gas. I filled up her car, drove over, stood in line, ordered at Moxie, and sat down to wait. Then M called wanting something. Got back in line, placed his order, and waited more. Got home at 8:30.

I had stuff to do to make sure it was working before today, so I went upstairs to work on it. Lots of downloads I gotta update on my new phone. Went downstairs and ate bad things: French fries and onion rings. Went to bed at ten.

Friday: this morning C got up when my alarm went off. She was leaving early for SC. Barney was all excited so I had to bundle up and take him outside before he jumped in her car. That put me a little behind getting to work.

Tuesday: I’m trying to get everything cleaned up at work before being out tomorrow and Friday. Worked past 6:30. Went the long way home (Old Milton Parkway instead of Holcomb Bridge) then took 400 south to HB. Listened to two tapes from my new 32 week fitness program.

M and C had grilled salmon for them and chicken for me. Also a spinach leaf salad with pecans, craisins, and blue cheese. Watched Gilmore Girls. Took my time this morning and didn’t get to work until 7:45. Three coworkers are out.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The El Felix

Last night we ate at The El Felix in the Battery. Ceil's matron of honor and former roommate Dawn's 26 year old daughter Emily flew in last night. She was staying next to Cumberland Mall, so I figured we should eat close rather than driving 45 minutes to a crowded place with little parking and a 45 minute wait for a table. Emily is artist and would've appreciated a cool spot like Krog Street Market, but we wouldn't have eaten until 8:30 or nine. C had a bowl of soup. I had the crispy chicken tacos.

I should've saved some for my lunch today because we're out of leftovers. Had to stop at the Stinky Kroger to pick something up: a grapefruit, carrots, cereal, and oatmeal.

After El Felix we walked around The Battery. Got home at 9:30 and watched one episode of Gilmore Girls.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Bloop Hit

I should’ve predicted that there would be a huge negative uproar about the new Braves mascot. People like to complain about everything. They say the new mascot is an embarrassment. Not sure how many of the complainers have looked at other MLB and minor league mascots lately. Many look like Blooper – the Phillies, Red Sox, and Cubs in particular, off the top of my head. Even the media is dumping on Blooper. The complainers haven’t seen how the mascot acts – he has tons more personality than the previous Braves mascot Homer. I saw Blooper in person yesterday at the Chop Fest fashion show – he stole the show, and cracked up the cold, wet, tired audience.

Others are complaining about the mascot’s name – Blooper. I think Blooper was the name of the Danville Braves mascot. Nobody complained about Danville’s mascot’s name. What do these people expect? I have not heard one child complain about Blooper. Kids love him. That’s who the mascot was made for – the kids.

I fell off the wagon this weekend but didn’t gain any weight. Had lunch Friday at the Medlock Tavern, a spot near work. Had a salad with blackened chicken. After lunch I drove over for my pre-assessment for this Thursday’s outpatient surgery. Took longer than I would’ve liked (they always do). Very nice people. Got back to work at three. Didn’t even sit down – I went in for my annual review. Boss had been feeling bad these last two weeks, and talking made him cough more. Then I got an alert from my credit card company – someone had charged a thousand dollars on my credit card at Sam’s Clubs. So I’d gone from 11:30-4:00 pm without getting much work done, but I did get a bunch done between four and six, including paying some bills.

Since C was out of town I took the long way home. Went on a shopping spree even without a credit card. Found a nice pair of khakis at store number one. Found a nice Kris Medlin bobblehead at store two but it wasn’t priced so they wouldn’t sell it to me. By then I was feeling tired, and I was worried I was getting sick. After store three I stopped in a pizza place. Didn’t get home until 8:30 or nine. Received my new phone case and the super nice Grizz Gaming shirt. Figured out the logo is two G’s back to back. Watched some Gilmore Girls clips. M came in from work and drove my car to a sleepover.

Saturday morning M got home right when I needed to leave. Made it to SunTrust Field at 9:45 for the Chop Fest open house. At ten the players paraded right past me. Went inside and got my picture taken with phenom Ronald Acuna. Met up with coworker Blake, who’d never been to the stadium. We walked around. Had our picture made with third-baseman Johan Camargo. Played catch on the field. Went underneath to the exclusive Delta Sky260 Club for a snack. Met up with coworker Chris. Had my picture made with manager Snitker, Dansby Swanson, Mike Foltynewicz, and Dale Murphy. Bought discounted tickets to four games. No fees. A good day.   

On the way home I stopped by three more stores. Made two more purchases, including a pair of Air Jordan Eclipse Black/Cement, to be exact. Just odd enough to be my type (for now). Ate my Moxie chicken from Thursday night. Watched the De Niro movie “The Intern” – twice.

Hoping to recapture Saturday’s magic, after Sunday School I drove back over to Chop Fest. Had lunch in the Delta Club. I’d missed Ozzie Albies, so I went upstairs to meet John Schuerholz. Then over to wait for Phil Niekro, but Phil had to leave after his earlier photo opp. He might’ve grown weary from the cold. Next was a fashion show with new mascot Blooper. Not quite the fun I’d had on Saturday.

Went home and cleaned the kitchen and did laundry. C had stopped by Athens to see Anna on the way home. I drove C to Trader Joes. Later we watched Gilmore Girls.

Tonight we return to The Battery, this time to eat at El Felix.  
Sunday School notes:  Our lesson this week was on Ephesians 6:15.  After reading Ephesians 6:10-20, Ephesians 2:13-18 & Isaiah 52:7-10, Brian concluded regarding the shoes of peace: (a) Metaphor:  boots of a soldier – used in battle and for long marches. (b) Meaning:  the peace of God in a believer’s life as a result of the gospel. (c) Practice:  we need to “preach the gospel to ourselves” (Jerry Bridges) as a regular reminder.  The discipline of reminding ourselves of the gospel helps us stand firm against the enemy’s attacks.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Chop Fest Day Two

Day one of Chop Fest was so good, I decided to go back for more.
From day one below, to kick things off at 10 am the players paraded out across the bridge (top left) and assembled in the Battery common area.
Panoramic view from the Xfinity Rooftop balcony (L-R): the ballpark,
the children's play area, the newly opened Omni Hotel, the Comcast building with the whiffleball field in front, and The Battery.
Today I rode a cart from the Delta lot, and went straight to the Delta Sky360 Club to see what players were appearing. The underground walkway has been spruced up, since fans are always trekking down there to the exclusive clubs and also for parades around the field.
I'm no expert,
but I suppose the white helmets, shoes, and bats must constitute art.
Today's offerings:
spinach dip, nachos, two types of wings, eclairs, and cookies.
Earlier that morning I had missed one of the few players
I would've wanted to get a photo with: Ozzie Albies.
Since I'd met Snitker and Acuna yesterday, I headed upstairs.  
 I had also met Sutton and Camargo yesterday, so I headed to the second level to see Hall of Famers Schuerholz and Niekro.
The new Omni Hotel opened earlier this month. The pool and deck chairs look ready to go. Yesterday I saw guests out on two of the balconies.
Looking west down at The Battery toward Cobb Parkway.
Tomorrow we're eating at El Felix,
the bright red light in the center of the photo below. 
Former Braves GM John Schuerholz posed for pictures inside the Xfinity Rooftop. Then I hoofed it over to line up for Phil Niekro.
Down one level Chip Carey was interviewing new GM Alex Anthopoulos.
While waiting the hour to see Niekro I edited pictures and deleted emails.
I skipped the 1 pm selfies with the players to be second in line.
At 2:10 we learned Niekro had to leave, and wouldn't appear. He had been downstairs in the selfie line. Perhaps he'd had too much of the cold.  
I hustled over to the que for the Braves fashion show.
The latest offerings at the Braves Clubhouse Store.
Prizes were promised but my name wasn't drawn.
Later new mascot Blooper made an appearance,
grabbing Kelsey Wingert from the audience and stealing her jacket.
Then Blooper showed Kelsey how to walk the runway.
This family modeled the new line of Blooper merchandise. 
 Meanwhile Ceil and Barney were in Athens visiting Anna.
 Friday the bobbles were outside at The Battery.
Barney and Anna

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Chop Fest 2018

Arrived at today's Chop Fest around 9:45. There was already a long line, stretching past Anitco and El Felix.
The players came out across the bridge for the chop rally,
then returned to the stadium - walking right past me.
Manager Brian Snitker led the way.
...folllowed by Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson.
Dansby was rocking red-trimmed Air Jordans.
Red-haired pitcher Mike Foltynewwicz
and dark-bearded rightfielder Nick Markakis follow behind. 
Gold Glove centerfielder Ender Inciarte.
Top prospect Ronald Acuna gave multiple high fives.
He wore jersey 82 - for now.
One of the Braves top young pitchers.
 New coach, former Braves shortstop Walt Weiss.
 Third base coach Ron Washington.
We got a little rain while standing in line waiting for the gates to open.
Once inside some headed to the field. I noticed Acuna posing for pictures and got in line. Didn't take too long.
He was just voted the top prospect in all of baseball.
I met up with coworker Blake, who'd never been to SunTrust Park.
We circumnavigated the park clockwise, checking out the memorabilia sale and the lineup of bobbleheads. 
We checked out the Home Depot Clubhouse in centerfield.
I'd seen it before, but not the K's posted for each strikeout.
The locker with jerseys was also put in after I visited.
The Home Depot All-Stars. Had a hard time editing these pictures on my new phone, but had I trimmed this one it would be harder to see the cool reflection.
The dark golf greens could still be seen on the outfield grass,
from the two days in October fans could hit golf shots from the stands onto the field. The padded seats behind the plate were covered to protect from the rain, snow, and sun.
Interesting door on the big drum.
We walked down two levels to the Below the Chop,
where third baseman Johan Carmargo had just begun his photo session. Another short line.
Blake and I walked down on the field.
There were gloves and balls to use, so we had a catch.
He snagged all my short hops.
Found a nice pair of Columbia khaikis last night.
Not too heavy. But my usual black pants are more slimming.
Stuffing my gloves in the side pockets didn't help.
We walked behind the plate and went under the stands through the exclusive SunTrust Club into the Delta 360 Club.
Some TVs showed college basketball, others showed what was going on elsewhere in the stadium, like the player interviews seen in the background. In addition to coffee there were pretzels, cookies, and spinach or buffalo dip. Also Cokes, water, or beer.   
Snitker was finishing up his photo session (exclusive for season ticketholders) and there was no line. I told him it was a shame he had to shake all these hands with the flu going around.
Hall of Famer Don Sutton was also hanging out in the club.
We decided to line up to see the next special guests: Dansby and Folty.
We waited next to this big A made from scores of Delta flying wings. 
I walked up to Dansby and remarked "Nice sneakers."
I'd thought about pointing to Folty and telling Swanson "Can I get one just with him?" Dansby said "That's one thing I know about - shoes." It reminded me that he had worn special spikes hand-painted by Will's former teammate Micheal Maiocco. Later we went back to see them as they were leaving, and I was able to mention Michael to Dansby, who asked me how I knew him. 
Coworker Chris arrived. The three of us ate and drank, saw the introduction of the Braves' new mascot Blooper, and waited in line to see Dale Murphy. I walked up and told him I was Dave Murphy. He exclaimed "My cousin!" Before our photo was taken he asked where I lived, but we had to stop for the photo. Afterwards he asked again. As I walked away I mentioned how I used to have a Dale Murphy baseball glove. "He beamed and exclaimed "Those were great!"
A close-up of the Delta wings.
On the way out we saw Pete Smith, so I posed for another picture.
Then I had to explain to young Blake and Chris who Pete Smith was 
- there was Glavine, Smoltz, Maddux, Avery - and Pete Smith.
"Like Millwood!" Chris said.
Nearby I saw my first Blooper jersey. Nice name.
Similar to several other mascots, like the Phillie Phanatic.
Hey, he's for the kids. Better than Homer.
The Braves Clubhouse Store already had a section devoted to Blooper merchandise.
Brick of the day: old number 23.
Co-holder of the most home runs hit by brothers.