Monday, April 30, 2018

Wedding Recap

Fun getting caught up with people at the rehearsal dinner. Larry and Susan were there early, so Larry and I had a good chat. Nephew Chase came in with Dic and Deb. Chase was anxious to talk about his involvement at a local Methodist church in his hometown, and had several questions. Later he had a long conversation with the minister, and at the reception had a long talk with Will.

Laura’s mother made the rounds at the dinner. This summer they’re planning a big family trip to Jackson Hole, so she talked to Dic Dac, who’d been there several times. I talked to Dic about Will’s Peru trip. Deb wants us to come see them in Mount Pleasant. The preacher made his rounds. He had studied at Emory around the same time Jeff and Mary Margaret went there. The Ingram’s were there from Moultrie. Rusty Ingram makes it up to Braves and Falcons and UGA games, so we talked about that. He said back in the old days when Clemson beat Georgia Ceil’s dad would call to rag the Ingram’s, and vice versa.

Ingram cousins David and Beth were also there. Beth was able to walk up the stairs before getting back in her wheelchair. Rusty Miller told David who Laura’s step-brother Ryan was, so David went over and spent a long time talking to the punter for the Minnesota Vikings. The next day after the wedding I had gone over to take a picture of the tape on the floor. Ryan came out and sat down next to me. He held out his hand and introduced himself, and we talked about Zane and how Ceil and I fit in to Zane’s family. Never broached the subject of football. Turns out last year he was the only NFL punter to not have a touchback.

During the wedding I had noticed a tear in Ryan’s eye. During the reception Ryan stayed off the dance floor and hung with his family. At one point I bumped into his grandfather, and had a nice chat with him as well. Also talked to Laura’s brother-in-law who lives in Smyrna. We had met at last month’s shower. He’s already been to five Braves games, including the previous Saturday walkoff. I told him I had been at the two games before that one.      

Saturday morning I got caught up on some stuff on my laptop. In the morning Anna drove to Pageland to Bojangles (me & Anna), McDonalds (Ceil & Joan), and Bi-Lo (me & Anna). Later Jordan woke up and she and Anna drove back to Pageland to bring back KFC for lunch. Was supposed to be chicken tenders but they got the order wrong and it was regular greasy chicken. I skipped the chicken and had a little slaw and mac & cheese.

So refreshing to attend a God-honoring wedding ceremony, in a church, with groomsmen in black tuxedos and bridesmaids in traditional bridesmaids dresses. Like Will and Mary-Clayton before them, Zane and Laura are to be commended for continuing the high wedding standard that hopefully will be followed by their brothers and sisters and cousins. Zane couldn’t make it through the dance with his mother without tearing up.

Zane’s parents Phil and Teresa had a wonderful time. Phil gave a hilarious speech and caught everything on his camera phone. Teresa looked wonderful, and wore a huge smile all evening. They’ve done such a wonderful job raising all three children to become responsible, independent, respectful adults. Zane was the first to fly the Jefferson coop, living and working in Columbia after attending college in Virginia on a golf scholarship. Beau is friendly, outgoing, and engaging, and already a valuable employee at the Sand Hills Telephone Cooperative. Victoria is also friendly, outgoing, and hard-working. She’s taken several college road trips and spent last summer making big money waiting tables in Columbia.   

Got ready for the wedding and left Jefferson at 3:50 pm. Made good time to the church in Columbia. Anna needed something from the drugstore so W&MC stopped on the way. This made them later than planned. We were waiting on them, plus waiting with Joan since she was to be seated with the grandparents at the beginning of the service, so Ceil and I were two of the last to be seated.

The reception was a few blocks away from the church in downtown Columbia, right next to a parking garage. Lots to eat and drink: pimento cheese or chicken salad sandwiches, melt in your mouth meatballs, delicious chicken tenders, cheeses, chocolates, tea and lemonade, and a fully stocked bar.

Joan was able to attend despite a recent cracked rib. She enjoyed the service and afterwards the picture taking and reception, but by the end of the evening she was exhausted. Ceil and I had to leave the party earlier than most in order to get her home at a decent hour. I stayed up late but was still asleep by the time Anna got home.

We left Jefferson around 10:45 Sunday morning. Stopped in Lugoff for gas and Taco Bell. Anna loves the Bell. She couldn’t believe Ceil approved of the visit, and snapped a picture of us to commemorate the event (and use for blackmail). Anna and I were the second of three straight father/daughter customers, though the other two girls were under five years old. I got a senior citizens soft drink.

Drove straight through to Athens. Got 32 mpg on the CRV. Ate an early supper at Chipotle with Anna, then knocked out the last leg of the trip home. Barney was glad to see us. I unloaded the car. C and M went to Whole Foods, and later Will arrived for his last two days of rotations at Piedmont Hospital. Will and Matthew suffered through Ceil’s episode of “The Good Witch.” Those wiccan shows are so unrealistic.

This weekend Anna was wearing her vintage “BO KNOWS” baseball/football t-shirt. I told her some backstory on the marketing campaign, and showed her the famous commercial on YouTube.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Zane & Laura's Wedding

Zane and Laura were married yesterday in Columbia.
After the service Zane's dog Abby made an appearance.
Their friend Scott Middleton conducted a very God-honoring service.
Phil snaps a picture of Zane and Laura signing their marriage license.
Note the white tape on the red carpet
marking where each of the eight groomsmen were to stand.
After the service more pictures were taken
outside the church on the front steps.
I took this picture while they were setting up:
Phil, Teresa, Zane, Laura, Victoria, and Beau.
Beautiful day. A beautiful, historic church.
Too few weddings these days take place in churches.
Zane and Laura did a wonderful job putting the service together just like they wanted - setting a great example for both their families.
Chase and Joan chat as Laura's family poses.
Laura's mother had the time of her life.
An accidental photo turned out good: Corrine, Lennie, and Mary-Clayton.
Laura's extended family.
Over two hundred years of church history.
Laura and Zane share their first dance while Teresa and Phil look on. 
Below: Phil records Zane's dance with Teresa.
Later Dic Dac graced the dance floor, but gave out after just two songs.
Young Teresa and Phil.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Rehearsal Dinner

Long day on Friday but it didn’t seem that way. Drove to Athens to pick up Anna. Stopped by Chickfila for lunch. Drove on to Augusta and visited with Mary-Clayton and Okie. Then on to Columbia, arriving at 4:30. Gave us time to walk around the nice old refurbished part of downtown. C and A went to Starbucks, and I had an ice cream. We walked to a gallery Ceil used to visit when she worked in Columbia 33 years ago.
The rehearsal dinner was upstairs at Pearlz oyster bar. Father of the groom Uncle Phil (Big Daddy Bob) gave his speech. Bride Laura gave groom Zane the shotgun he’d wanted. Dinner was jumbo shrimp, oysters, chicken, potatoes, and squash.
Great big cake with a funny bride dragging off the groom. Drove through downtown Columbia on the way out, and made it to Jefferson by ten pm. Someone we know lived just outside Fort Jackson. Can’t remember who. Didn't have much luck taking pictures with the setting sun streaming in the windows.
In Jefferson whenever we have a big family meal the four nieces eat at a card table in the front living room. Before every meal while we’re getting ready for years and years I’ll always sneak in and write on the underside of the napkins: “winner!”, “second place!”, etc. This past Easter I wasn’t there to write on the napkins, last night the girls said they missed my shenanigans.

Nieces Victoria and Katherine graduate from Clemson next month, on the same day as Will. Nephew Ben hadn’t finished a project, so he won’t graduate until August.

Anna was just offered a part-time graphic design job in Athens for the next school year. She’s taking a full load of classes this summer, and working at High Country outfitters. Classic City Church wants her to do work for them as well.

Had a good night’s sleep last night. Had a dream Ceil and I were going somewhere and I decided to take a new route down 75 south. Took us past the ballpark and we could see inside the stores and restaurants. I looked inside and Reid was there standing in a line. Edie was in front looking at the hot dogs. He was wearing his blue sports jacket and had on a tie. I snuck inside and got in line behind them.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Friday Photos

Jose Bautista toils in Gwinnett. In one of his fist games he wore a Braves batting helmet with a Stripers logo.
A young Luke Danes.
Matthew brought home a huge tomato from Whole Foods.
As late as 1970 some punters still didn't wear face masks.
I saw Ram punter/receiver Pat Studstill play,
but I don't remember him going without a mask.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Star is Born

Wednesday night: followed the Braves game on radio. Supposedly Acuna showed elite speed going from first to third. Thursday he hit his first home run, and added an infield single and bloop double. Acuna is hitting .444 after two games. The Braves are undefeated during the Acuna era. After the home run his teammates gave him the silent treatment in the dugout (below) - the perfect rookie hazing.
After wearing light grey New Balance spikes in his debut, Acuna wore dark blue NB cleats in his second game. Yes, a star was born today. Not Acuna, but the guy who caught his home run ball. Dude who caught the homer was elated: Joe Web of Dallas GA runs a sports memorabilia business and is a friend of some of my bobblehead pals. He admitted using some Zack Hample tactics. Joe's reaction after grabbing the ball was priceless.
The Braves are trying to improve their pitching, calling in six new pitchers in ten days: Sims, Biddle, Wisler, Ravin, Socolovich, and Fried. They’re not standing pat. Good thing they’ve been stocking up on pitchers for the past few years – not all of them pan out.

This week I was thinking about how some teams just have the number of certain other teams. That’s the great thing about baseball (and basketball) – on any given night a supposed weak team can rise up and beat a stronger team.

Thursday the Braves earned a series split, so they still have only lost one series all year. Acuna became the youngest Braves to homer since Andruw back in August 1996. My green jersey is turning out to be a good investment.

And Albies is even better. He’s broken the franchise record for most extra base hits in April, with two more this afternoon. Whereas Acuna has a bit of youthful hot dog in him, Albies is all about hustle and playing hard.

Will rode my bike 25 miles yesterday. He said it handled well, though the auto-shift gears took some getting used to. I need to ride it more but our neighborhood is so hilly. Ceil and I met Will at Pappasitos for dinner. C and I order the “medium” fajitas, eat till we’re stuffed, then take just as much home with us. Last night we paid the same amount for the large order since it was half price fajitas night. Will hadn’t eaten all day so he pigged out, but we still brought some home.

Then we drove over to East Roswell to look at a rental house W&MC are thinking about renting. Was just so so. They may want to live closer to town. Got home at ten and watched Designated Survivor.

Vacation day on Friday.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Chosen One

Top prospect Ronald Acuna played his first MLB game tonight. The Braves should go undefeated the rest of the season with Acuna in the lineup. With all the hubub so many of the “fans” were still asking when the sagging bullpen will receive reinforcements. Evidently they missed how four new relievers have been brought up in the past four days, plus a starting pitcher as well. That’s half the bullpen right there. What do people expect?

Acuna becomes the second Braves player to wear “JR.” on his back. The first? Melvin Upton Jr. The expectations on this young man are larger than any player in Atlanta Braves history – larger than Freeman, Heyward, Francoeur, Chipper, Murphy, Horner, or Torre. Larger than Brad Komminsk. People think they’re funny with the “Acuna Matata” jokes, but it’s already not funny.

Acuna number watch: today the following numbers were open: 8, 9, 12, 13, 18, 23, and 40 (he picked 13 from this list). Of those 23 would be more preferable, to the team and probably Acuna. Danny Santana wore 23 this spring but is currently on Gwinnett’s disabled list – and not on the Braves 40 man roster. Rio Ruiz wore 14 in spring training. The coaches are currently wearing 2, 4, 28, 34, and 37. Of those 34 may be a possibility, since Acuna wore the number in Rome. But since it’s Bryce Harper’s number, it’s doubtful Acuna will take 34 from a coach. I’d be happy if he stuck with 82, though that’s a longshot.

Tuesday: I watched a good chunk of the game. Good comeback by the Braves, but they couldn’t plate a run in the extra innings. The Braves are playing in Cincinnati this week. Guess the Reds are like the Braves in some ways – weekday attendance is low in April and May before school lets out. On Monday the Reds game started at 6:40 in an effort to draw downtown workers to the park from their offices after work. Also families with kids could go and not have to stay out as late. Tough with kids involved with sports and are playing and practicing.

Jose Bautista surely has more left in the tank than the Braves previous long shot free agent experiment Ryan Howard. Playing third base, Bautista started a double play but almost stumbled over himself making the effort. He’ll command respect and help protect Freddie Freeman in the lineup, but I seriously doubt Bautista can put up stats to match Johan Camargo.

The Braves head to Philly this weekend and then New York, giving Acuna time to get settled on the road before his first home game May 4th. With the Giants in town the Braves could have three straight sellouts. They sold out last Saturday’s game against the Mets as well.   

Ceil cooked roast beef, salad, baked potato wedges, and mixed vegetables. Will came home from downtown and worked on his last school presentation. Later we put my bike rack on his car. Today’s he’s borrowing my bike to ride with Joel Norman.

This morning on the way to work I was headed north on Peachtree Industrial as usual, doing the speed limit. PIB has the grass median. I was passing through a red light in the right lane when all of a sudden the Toyota Venza just ahead of me in the left lane made a huge swerve into my lane. I had to immediately swerve right to avoid the Venza, and for a split second wondered if I could avoid the ditch. A white sedan in the southbound turn lane and made a blind U turn, causing a near four car pileup. It appeared the Venza had avoided the white sedan, and I thought the dark vehicle behind the Venza was also unscathed, but the three cars pulled over and stopped. Woke me up big time.  

Reading “Five Presidents” by former Secret Service agent Clint Hill. Said Ike played a lot of golf and ran his presidency like a general. At the funeral when 3 year-old JFK Jr. gave his famous salute, both Ike and Truman couldn’t hold back their tears.

When the president-elect saw the agents out in the Hyannisport heat, JFK brought out a stack of short-sleeve golf shirts for the agents to wear. Hill was invited to play “touch” football with the Kennedys when the teams weren’t even. The Kennedys treated the agents like family. Several months after the assassination Jackie and other Kennedy family members attended a ceremony honoring agent Hill for his heroism in Dallas. Them being there meant more than the medal itself. When Hill suffered a minor injury while helping free JFK’s sailboat from a rock, the President gave Hill an autographed photo of the event. Jackie made up an album she gave to Hill at the end of his time with her.

LBJ was crude, and made life hard for the agents guarding him. On the first Thanksgiving Hill spend at LBJ’s Texas ranch, the agents didn’t get to eat all day. They learned to bring along their own food so they wouldn’t go hungry. LBJ would cuss someone out – an agent, aide, senator, or even the vice president – then Lady Bird would come in later and apologize. One time LBJ cussed out a secret service agent so bad that afterwards the agent threw up.

Question: what would you say is the perfect date?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Luke & Lorelai on Seinfeld

Matthew and I watched a Seinfeld episode last night. I was looking up how much a Scott Patterson baseball card from the early 80’s was selling for on line. He was a career minor leaguer but his card sells for $40.00 – because he starred on Gilmore Girls. I’ve about decided my next Braves jersey will be a 1976 red pinstripe #42 with PATTERSON on the back. I noticed he once guest-starred on Seinfeld as Elaine’s boyfriend.
Then I discovered Lauren Graham was one of Jerry's 66 girlfriends - the one who ranked Jerry low on her speed dial. One of 37 guest stars highlighted here. 
Monday evening was pretty normal. Ceil went to Trader Joes to get spaghetti sauce. Had meatballs and salad. After dinner Will needed to print off resumes for his interview at Piedmont. Ceil went with him and they made a couple of other stops.

I watched the Braves. They’re making a bunch of moves. They dropped a reliever this weekend and called up another. Jose Bautista and Tyler Flowers played with Gwinnett yesterday and could be called up by the end of the week. Both could provide protection for Freeman in the lineup (and Acuna when he arrives).

Pitchers gotta pitch. They can tinker on the sidelines but need game action to see if what they’re trying will work. Tough when a guy pitches one inning (or less) three or four times a week. Poor Sam Freeman has already pitched in 14 games. That’s a 90 game pace. Last year he pitched more times than ever before. Hopefully he will hold up and get back on track.

Yesterday Panama City news personality Logan Kirksey messaged me. He was a friend of the Suggs boys back in the day. Logan wondered if I worked for the Braves since I’d been posting so many pictures lately. I have been to six games in 26 days, but it might seem like more because I may post several pictures from a game, but only one per day.

Speaking of social media, they was a great-looking photo of Don Head posted the other day. The guy keeps getting better looking. Me and Mark Fallis keep getting uglier. Actually we’re starting to look like each other. Mark and I talked about how hard it is for older guys to survive these days in corporate America, with the increase of technology and younger employees. What has worked for us for years may be frowned upon because it no longer synchs with what the younger guys are using. Mark: “I can keep this phone list right here in my pocket, and pull it out and share it to you. It won’t ever crash, and if I crash then I won’t need it any more.”

Boss was late this morning so he stopped and brought in Chickfila biscuits.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Fromm vs Fields

Friday I left work at three and headed to the Braves game. Got my picture taken with the Mets Pin Man. Spoke to Miss Marian, the usher from Douglasville. Also greeted Chris, the friendly usher who once gave me great seats. Saw LJ, Bobby, Katie, and Kristin and her Maldinados. Saw a guy wearing a 1976 Braves red pinstripe jersey with BOUTON 56 on the back. You don’t see many of those. Got the idea for a new photo project that will debut on May 5th.

Several sports websites publish power rankings. At least one has the Braves ranked as the number one team in baseball. And phenom Ronald Acuna, and catcher Tyler Flowers, and all-star slugger Jose Bautista have yet to join the team.

On the way home two cars drove into the Taco Bell drive-thru ahead of me, so I parked and went inside. When I ordered I asked for my first senior citizens soft drink. A new era has begun. When I got home Matthew took my car to a concert. I tried to stay up late waiting for Ceil to get home from her JFBC Secret Church event, but finally went to bed. Matthew got back before Ceil, who arrived after 1:30 am.

Housework all day Saturday. Cleaned upstairs. Did dishes and laundry and other stuff. Anna spent the weekend at Jackson Lake.

Watched some of the Alabama spring game. Didn’t see #13 Tooly, but Jalen Hurts didn’t impress. Hurts had cut off his dreadlocks.

Then I watched most of the UGA spring game. Fromm went against the first team defense. Seemed like they called pass plays a lot more than usual. The defense was laying back waiting for the pass. I thought Fromm did ok, though he did have two interceptions. Probably tried to make plays he might not normally attempt in a game. He had several balls dropped.

The much heralded freshman Justin Fields showed off his strong arm as well as his speedy legs. Several of his passes were on target, those he had a couple of poorly thrown balls as well. He made one long throw while falling backward. That pass was on target but defended well by the defensive back. At the end of the day Field’s stats weren’t as good as Fromm’s, though Justin did have a TD pass. Field’s hero is Cam Newton. Not sure that’s a good thing.

Ceil went shopping and later cooked grilled chicken, rice, and salad. Watched three episodes of Designated Survivor. Stayed up past midnight.

JFBC on Sunday morning. M had a friend spend Saturday night. We were running late getting to church so afterwards we ate at Moxie Burger. Took a nap Sunday afternoon. Ceil did more shopping. Watched two episodes of When Calls the Heart. Will drove over from Augusta. This is his last week working at Piedmont Hospital. He has an interview with the cardiac people.

Just had a big lunch with old friend Mark Fallis, who used to help out at Camp SPdL. We ate at Cheeseburger Bobby’s, which was good. Came back to pick up his steel order, so it was a fun two hours. These days he owns a small window restoration company. Not sure if I’m supposed to say this here, but his windows were featured in a movie starring Woody Harrelson and Donald Sutherland, as well as in the new VIP facility at a private golf club in Augusta.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

North Avenue Updates

Thanks to money-grubbing adidas, Georgia Tech took one small step into the 21st century this week, introducing their first-ever wordmark with letters resembling the Tech tower. For a school that prides itself on being at the forefront of scientific development,
Tech was always woefully behind the curve in the graphics department.
Sheldon Cooper and Brick Heck would be ashamed. 
The new end zones look tremendously better.
Looks like the yard line numbers will use the same font.
One goal of the rebrand is to have a consistent color gold on uniforms and merchandise. In the past the gold helmets didn't match the pants or jerseys. Of course none of this matters if the actual uniforms don't look good.
The Stripers also debuted their new alternate uniforms, to rave reviews. 
Chopper needs to get with the program.
I'm loving the fish on the sleeves.
The green jerseys also look swell.
The White Sox and Athletics also wore sweet throwbacks this week.
The bat boy was the only one to wear striped stirrups.
I finally gathered all my Braves caps for a group photo.
Not as easy as you'd think,
Ceil's new summer sneakers: blue Vans Authentics.
Cool helmet photo. Experts can determine when the picture was taken by noting which teams are and aren't present, and which facemask change has or hasn't been made. But I'm not that expert.