Saturday, June 30, 2018

July Bobbles - & Snow Globes?

July bobblehead SGA’s and other interesting giveaways and special entertainment that caught my eye. What did I leave out?

This may be the longest list I’ve ever put together for one month. Granted the list is chock-full of snow globe giveaways. I guess that’s a thing now. Maybe I should post this in the Facebook Snow Globe group as well. You know we’ve jumped the shark when someone gives away a Game of Thrones snow globe. Rumor: Jon Stone is changing his middle name to "Snow Globe."

This month’s spotlight team is the Lake Elsinore Storm, with two zany promotions to liven up otherwise dreary weekday games, plus a double mascot bobblehead giveaway to boot. This is the team that tried to trade for Tim Tebow - in 2012. Can’t believe they’re not giving away a snow globe. Maybe next month.

I may just make it to two games this month. How ‘bout you?

7.01 SUN SEA James Paxton Big Maple BH
7.02 MON Montgomery C130 figurine giveaway 1000
7.02 MON Toronto AJ Happ BH
7.02 MON Portland Kevin Millar BH
7.04 WED ATL Peachtree Road Race (60000 T-shirts)
7.05 THU RICH Grateful Squirrel mascot BH
7.05 THU New Hampshire Robert Hight funny car champ BH
7.06 FRI Nats Bryce Harper patriotic BH
7.06 FRI PITT Jameson Taillon starting lineup figure
7.06 FRI Quad Cities championship ring giveaway
7.07 SAT Rome Braves Kolby Allard BH
7.07 SAT NYM Jacob deGrom BH
7.07 SAT MIL Sugar Skull BH
7.07 SAT DET Willie Horton BH
7.07 SAT Potomac Uncle Sam paint your own BH
7.07 SAT San Jose Matt Cain BH
7.07 SAT Altoona Josh Harrison BH
7.07 SAT Quad Cities Lance McCullers BH
7.08 SUN BaySox Trey Iron-Mancini BH
7.08 SUN NASH super booster rooster mascot BH

7.09 MON Lake Elsinore Storm “Nothing Night” no ticket sales, no concessions, no PA announcements, no in game entertainment, no bobbleheads, no music – just baseball.

7.10 TUE Boston Red Sox socks
7.11 WED Hudson Valley Renegades championship rings
7.12 THU Indians Carlos Carrasco BH
7.12 THU Angels Ohtani double BH
7.12 THU IronPigs Dylan Cozens Gobblehead

7.12 THU Lake Elsinore Storm “ Groundhog Day” with repetitive in-game entertainment.

7.13 FRI MIN Eddie Rosario 3 of 3 nothing falls but raindrops BH
7.13 FRI Potomac Goat BH (or was that a GOT BH?)
7.13 FRI Norfolk snow globe

7.13 FRI 66ers T-Rex double BH
7.13 FRI Wilkes-Barre Shane Victorino BH
7.14 SAT ATL The Sandlot BH (special ticket)
7.14 SAT STL Adam Wainwright BH
7.14 SAT PITT Josh Bell BH
7.14 SAT Rockies Nolan Arenado walk-off / cycle BH
7.14 SAT Astros Justin Verlander K-counter BH
7.14 SAT Rockies Nolan Arenado cycle/walkoff BH
7.14 SAT Potomac Michael A Tater (Taylor) statue
7.14 SAT JAX Hawaiian shirt 2000
7.14 SAT WILM Mr. Celery mascot BH
7.14 SAT San Jose Willie McCovey BH
7.15 SUN San Jose Willie Mays BH
7.15 SUN Miami The Sandlot – double BH?
7.15 SUN NYM WB Mason toy truck
7.15 SUN TENN Kyle Kendricks BH
7.15 SUN MIA The Sandlot BH
7.16 MON Hartford park replica figurine
7.18 WED Quad Cities used car giveaway
7.20 FRI Kane County Clark Griswald Christmas Vacation BH
7.20 FRI Lynchburg Evan Gattis BH
7.20 FRI New Hampshire fungo wizard BH
7.21 SAT Danville Acuna Matata double BH
7.21 SAT Gwinnett Mike Foltynewicz BH
7.21 SAT Myrtle Beach Freddie Freeman BH
7.21 SAT Montgomery Millennial Night Participant Ribbon Giveaway
7.21 SAT SEA Dee Gordon BH
7.21 SAT Akron Mark Price basketball BH
7.21 SAT DET Ron Gardenhire gnome
7.21 SAT Binghampton Uncle Rowdy BH
7.21 SAT Lake Elsinore Thunder & mini Thunder double mascot BH
7.22 SUN MIL Ryan Braun starting lineup figure
7.22 SUN BaySox Jonathan Schoop BH
7.22 SUN Reading Star Wars Masters Hoskins BH
7.22 SUN SYR Roy Halladay appearance & BH
7.23 MON Cubs Javier Baez BH
7.23 MON Portland Dustin Pedroria BH
7.26 THU Kane County Michael Scott The Office BH
7.27 FRI SD Antman / the Wasp double BH
7.27 FRI CIN Elvis Presley BH
7.27 FRI Norfolk Rip Tide mascot BH
7.28 SAT SD Trevor Hoffman in a car BH
7.28 SAT Potomac Bryce Harper real slicked back hair BH  
7.28 SAT Reds Joey Votto Funko Pop figure
7.28 SAT BALT Trey Manchini BH
7.28 SAT Louisville Pee Wee Reese figurine
7.28 SAT WILM Rocky Brrr-Winkle snow globe
7.28 SAT Salem Mugsy snow globe
7.28 SAT Wilkes-Barre The Sandlot BH
7.28 SAT Fresno Alex Bregman (BH or startling lineup?)
7.28 SAT Altoona Elias Diaz BH
7.29 SUN BALT Orioles garden gnome
7.29 SUN PITT Incredible Hulk BH
7.30 MON STL Santa Fredbird BH
7.31 TUE STL Larry Walker mini BH
7.31 TUE Boston Xander Bogaerts splash BH
7.31 TUE Reading Darren Daulton stand up to cancer BH 

Friday, June 29, 2018

Don't Know Much About Technology

Did I tell you that I’m getting a new laptop? I have one of the oldest in my company. Got it in 2010 (I think). It has served me well. The battery wore out over time. Finally got a new battery but after a year or two the new battery just up and quit all of a sudden. So instead of getting a new battery they got me a new laptop. The old laptop becomes a loaner. The new laptop has already been upgraded in Chicago and delivers to the office on Monday. Got to move all my stuff, like my photos and files.

I’m lucky to have my company’s help desk to set up my computer, and people on site to help me get it going and answer questions – like Morgan and Armstrong.  

This past Sunday I was trying to help my mother. My brothers had given her his old tablet, but hadn’t taught her how to use it. She needs her email set up on there, but she doesn’t know her password. She doesn’t know her Facebook password either, and the password recovery wasn’t sending. She needs her printer set up on the tablet as well, but I didn’t know how to do that. Things like that are like a foreign language to elderly people (and me as well). My mom would be a lot more comfortable accessing email and the internet from that tablet, than going into her computer room. I wasn’t much help on the computer stuff. It may be easy for some people, but it’s like a foreign language to me.

I know what you mean about how hard it is get help with computers. Like other gifts and abilities, God gives some people the aptitude to figure out computers. It’s nice when people use those gifts and abilities to glorify God.

Social media: it’s gotten to where not only am I careful what I post, I’m careful what I hit “like” because people see the things you like.

I’d be lost if I was reading more than one book. Guess I need to make some choices for the week at The Pad. Right now I’m reading “Younger Next Year.” Just started. They say to get some exercise six days a week, eat and drink in moderation, be involved with people, and have something you like doing to keep yourself occupied with.

Monday Braves game went late again. I didn’t stay up, but they won. Albies with a walk-off. Watched the movie “A Good Year” with Russell Crowe. Not bad. Not much else going on. Still at work. Crazy.

Tuesday: worked until 8 pm. Month end lots to do. Ceil had her Bible Study. M had gone to Six Flags. W&MC are house and pet sitting in North Augusta. I got home after 8:30. Had stopped at Chickfila for eight grilled nuggets. Watch the Braves and The Middle.

Wednesday: work lunch at an old favorite: El Torero / the fix / the place with the fish on the wall. Worked until after 6:30 Wednesday night. C was getting dog food so I stopped twice on the way home. Supper was stir fry and salad. Not much else was going on.
C was in Roswell on Thursday, helping Becky Norman, who is fixing up her house to sell.

It has calmed down a little at work, knock on wood. Customer is running tomorrow though. Still a lot of month end work to do. Had a lot of people with questions and problems today. Still plenty to do next week with the customer shut down.

Left just after six Thursday night. Ceil was late starting supper so I ate chips and salsa, then a small serving of baked chicken, and even smaller servings of English peas and mashed potatoes. By then it was almost nine. Nothing on TV so we played on our computers.

Had on a 2011 Hallmark movie “Accidentally in Love” which was especially bad. Back then Hallmark had more “stars” in their movies I guess. This one starred Jenny Garth. Ceil didn’t remember that she had been on the 80’s megahit Beverly Hills 90210. “Accidentally” also “starred” Marilu Henner and Fred Willard, and a couple other recognizable faces. But the movie was pretty dreadful, despite the inevitable happy ending.

Slept thirty minutes late this morning, but traffic was light. Didn’t have anything good to bring for lunch, just Matthew’s leftover rice and vegetables and Ceil’s leftover rice and black beans. Luckily it is the last day of the month (and quarter) so we’re having Mellow Mushroom pizza. Even if I only eat one piece, I’ll be sick by 5 pm.

On a recent Hallmark movie one of the actresses was Shirley Jones. I was checking her age (80) and career on Broadway, and how her move to the TV show The Partridge Family was viewed by others as a career-killer. She did it to be home with her family more often.  

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Top Ten Finales

The NFL Network’s Top Ten Greatest Career Finales. I came in on the tail end of this one, though I did catch all ten.

My honorable mention: Doug Flutie. Had a successful drop kick in his last game.

10. Barry Sanders.

9. Tiki Barber. Would’ve never made the list had he not played in the big city. Perhaps he underperformed earlier in his career.

8. Jerome Brown, with the Eagles.

7. Don Hutson. They had to have one guy from the old days. They even admitted it.

6. Kurt Warner. Started his career late. Made it back to the Super Bowl at the age of 38. The NFL loves him.

5. John Elway. Won the Super Bowl his last two seasons. Not sure why Peyton Manning isn’t on the list. He probably received honorable mention.

4. Norm Van Brocklin. Beat Lombardi’s Packers in the 1960 championship, the Dutchman’s last game.

3. Sterling Sharpe. Actually Sterling’s yardage went down his last two years.

2. Roger Staubach.

1. Jim Brown. Won the rushing crown in his last season. Like Barry Sanders, he went out on top.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Sharpe: Not So Sterling

Last night on the NFL Network someone called Sterling Sharpe “possibly the greatest receiver in history.” You hear “greatest ever” a lot, but no one rarely does the research to prove their point. It’s hard to compare eras, so we’ll leave out today’s current crop of wideouts as well as legends of long ago like Don Hutson. How does Sharpe compare to Jerry Rice and Calvin Johnson?

One factor making comparisons harder is the team each played on. Rice was part of an offensive juggernaut. For years Johnson was the only weapon on a woeful Detroit team. Sharpe played on an average Packers squad. It’s easier to defend a great player when he’s a team’s primary weapon. In addition to Rice, the Niners also had John Taylor, Terrell Owens, Roger Craig, Joe Montana, Steve Young, and productive tight ends and fullbacks involved in the offense.

Like Sharpe, Calvin played far fewer years than Rice, who lasted forever, gaining more yards than any other player in NFL history (only Herschel had more pro yards).

Sharpe played seven seasons. Let’s compare them to the first seven years of Rice and Johnson. Interesting how similar the stats are. Each built up to year six, then dropped off in year seven. But while Sharpe caught more balls than Jerry and Calvin in five of their first seven years, only once did he have more yards or touchdowns. Both Johnson and especially Rice went on to have several more great seasons. Sterling Sharpe was indeed a great receiver, but certainly not the greatest ever.  

055 049 048 076
090 086 078 060
067 065 067 053
069 064 077 040
108 082 096 022
112 100 122 018
094 080 084 035
595 526 572 304 total first 7 years

..SS…JR....CJ….HW…receiving yards
0791 0927 0756 0837
1423 1570 1331 0715
1105 1078 0984 0505
0961 1306 1120 0423
1461 1483 1681 0261
1274 1502 1964 0162
1119 1206 1492 0315
8134 9072 9328 3218 total first 7 years

SS.JR..CJ.HW…touchdown catches
01  03  04  02
12  15  12  01
06  22  05  02
04  09  12  02
13  17  16  01
11  13  05  01
18  14  12  01
65  93  66  10 total first 7 years

SS.JR.CJ.HW…longest reception
51  66  49  84
79  66  96  44
76  57  75  50
58  96  87  52
76  68  73  52
54  64  53  24
49  73  87  32
For fun I added Herschel’s receiving stats from his first seven NFL seasons. Incredibly, Walker had more receptions – and a longer reception – in his first NFL season than Sharpe, Rice, or Johnson (and more receiving yards than Sharpe and Johnson). Like Rice and Johnson, Walker had several more productive receiving seasons after year seven. Herschel’s longest career reception (93 yards) was longer than Sharpe’s 79 yarder. After the trade Walker’s numbers fell off when the Vikings failed to properly utilize his various abilities. Still, Herschel retired with the third most receptions for any running back in NFL history.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Braves Insider

Before the season everyone predicted the Braves would be doing good to win 72 games. Now they're on track to win 96 and everyone wants to fire Snitker. They're in first place despite several imperfections. Acuna, Folty, Flowers, and others have missed time.

The Braves do need more pitchers, especially relievers. Teheran is Mister Inconsistent. Saturday's loss won on him. Snit may not make every decision perfectly (neither did Cox, and he's in the Hall of Fame). Hated it Friday night (Saturday morning?) when he used the last position player to bunt (Flaherty). A pitcher could've done that. Saturday or Sunday a pitcher (number 64) laid down a perfect bunt on the first pitch. Snit has to work with the pitchers the Braves General Manager puts on the roster (though Snit takes the heat more so than the GM). After Friday night the Braves called up a new pitcher, and Gwinnett phenom Evan Phillips will be called up soon.

I miss the good old days. Way too many relievers. Too many strikeouts. Everyone swings for the fences. The thing about bunting is that no one knows how to any more. But that pitcher had a great bunt on Sunday. Several times I hear the announcers wondering if a batter will swing 3-0. You'd think Freddie and Markakis might have the green light.

Had Friday night's game gone to the 16th inning, Sunday's starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy would've been called on to pitch the rest of the game. He was already warming up in the bullpen. Of course Phil Neikro appeared in several games as a relief pitcher.

The Braves had two off days last week, and a total of five in June. Would be nice to have that many in August and September. I hear several teams are not happy with the schedule. Off days by month:

4 April
3 May
5 June
3 July (plus 4 day All-Star break)
3 August
2 September

Old fogey me doesn't like all the white shoes players are wearing these days: Albies (who won last night's game with a walkoff home run - above), Dansby, Camargo, Acuna, Teheran, Newcomb, etc. They have rules about shoe color but the only guy who got in trouble is the Cubs Ben Zorbrist - who wears all black PF Flyer high top sneaker spikes. Speaking of shoes, our new neighbor works at Big Peach Running Company, a local shoe store.

Monday, June 25, 2018

First Bites: Pizza & Burgers

When I get up in the middle of the night I am hobbling. It’s also hard when I drive somewhere, like work in the morning, then get out and have to walk across the parking lot to the door. Not sure how I’m going to do the Peachtree. Will has a number and I have a number, and Anna was just able to get a number as well. Shoot we have to walk over a mile just to get to the start line, then after the race another mile back to the car. I think we’ll drive two cars to avoid MARTA.

June 14: worked past 7:30 since I was leaving at three the next day. Got a bunch done but still have three projects and other smaller things to do. Sure am looking forward to Destin in July. Just getting it on the books is like a vacation itself.  

Ceil went to Tsunami Taqueria with her friends to celebrate a birthday. I stopped by Taco Bell and for a senior citizen soft drink they gave me an extra-large. Watched some of the game and some Seinfeld. Ceil came home and turned on the Hallmark Channel a bunch of Americans in “Paris.”

To change things up with Ceil out of town last week I decided to not shave for two weeks. No big deal but it drives her crazy. She kept asking when I’m going to shave. I keep telling her when, but she kept asking. Wanted to have it for the sales meeting and Braves game. Didn’t hold out to have it for church on Sunday.

Tuesday: Ceil had her women’s Bible study. I worked until 7:45. The more you dig into things the more you see that needs to be done. We’ll have a two week break starting July 2 to get caught up. Tough with no material or trucks. Got home at 8:20. Ceil had cooked a burger for me, with grilled onions on it. Good. I crashed on the couch and watched the Braves. Ceil came home and we watched The Middle.

Slept thirty minutes late Wednesday morning. Left work at seven, though I did get a good deal done between 5 and 7. Ceil had baked a chicken, mashed some potatoes, and tossed a salad. After eating I cut the grass. Finished that at 8:50. Good thing the days are long. Then I got the keys to pull Ceil’s car back in the garage. Barney loves to go for rides, so I let him scamper outside. He scrambled into the car, and I pulled it forward 25 feet. He wasn’t ready for it to be over.

Nothing on TV, so Ceil found a Hallmark movie to watch. An injured fireman and 911 operator find love. I went to bed before the big conclusion.  

Thursday night Ceil had to go to Perimeter Mall. I worked until 7:30 then met her at a new pizza place just west of the Roswell Square. Pizzeria Lucca only has this one location (I think) but had a decent crowd for a Thursday night at 8 pm. Almost a carbon copy of the Antico Pizza at The Battery and Avalon and other locations: wine, picnic table, get your own water, a roll of brown paper towels. Pizza is made, cooked, and served quickly. Pretty good. Thin crust but a decent amount of toppings. Thursday night was half price wine night, so Ceil indulged. Nice to have a trendy spot nearby, just a stone’s throw from Moxie Burger.

Got home and boxed four bobbles for shipment. Ceil found another Hallmark Channel to watch. This morning on the way to work I mailed the four boxes. Crazy busy today, as usual. Focus group tonight, then I might swing by SunTrust Park for some of the game.

Friday was busy busy at work. Constant all day long. Left at 6 pm because I had a focus group in 7 pm. When I left Norcross it was pouring down rain. But traffic was light on 285. Was paid to give my opinion on refrigerators. Dark blue interiors. No shelves on the doors, leaving more room in the main part of the fridge. Interesting. When I left Dunwoody at 7:30 the rain was clear.

Earlier Friday a vendor had Braves tickets come available, so I used them. The game had been delayed, and there wasn’t much traffic so I made it just after eight. I didn’t miss much. Two gates were still jammed but the Frist Base Gate was clear. I was headed there anyway to see my favorite usher. Got a nice t-shirt at the Clubhouse Store and left during the Seventh Inning Stretch. It was after ten when I got home. Ceil was watching an action movie: The Magicians. When it ended she went to bed. I watched the game until 12:45 am. Worked out.

Saturday morning I cleaned upstairs. Ceil fixed an eggy boy. Then we worked clearing out the overgrown wooded area of out back yard. I wore long pant and long sleeves and gloves. Sweated through one fishing shirt and changed into another. Cut with clippers, pulled weeds, and mowed almost the entire area. Ceil was trimming trees and bushes and planting plants. At one point I moved an old trash can (it had been my grandfather’s, from our old house on Hillpine). When I moved the can a ton of yellowjackets started buzzing everywhere. I let go of the mower and ran. Didn’t get stung. Sprayed the area with wasp spray and waited until they calmed down. Grabbed the mower and pulled it away, and avoided the area the rest of the afternoon.

Mowing that back area is exhausting because it’s hilly and drops of, plus due to all the high weeds, large sticks, stumps, and ivy you gotta hold tight to make sure your don’t mow something dangerous. Later I crashed on the couch. Was hard to walk the rest of the evening. Later I showered and drove Ceil to Lenox Square. Crowded. Parked in the deck and stayed in the car and deleted emails. Went through over 800 emails this weekend.

Then we drove north on Peachtree past Brookhaven and Oglethorpe to Chamblee, and ate at Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar. It was a sports bar with TV’s. The burger was great, cooked just the way I asked. Bun was the good, and just the right size. Fries were good. Onion rings were huge (I like my rings smaller and stringy). Ceil’s chicken sandwich wasn’t that good, but she ate it.

Sunday morning Ceil headed to JFBC and I drove down to Macon. Stopped by Taco Bell for a breakfast burrito. Spent $90.00 on phone chargers so I could get smart phones for my parents fired up, which then turned out to be a waste. Spent the afternoon in Macon working on phones and tablets. Not my area of expertise, but someone needed to help my parents. Also went to the 80th birthday party for a guy at our old church. Former softball teammate from forty years ago. Saw a few people I remembered, including my old boss from the chemical plant I worked at during the summer in 1980.

Made it back home after 9 pm. Long weekend. Lunch had been snacks at the party, but no punch or cake. No supper, just a large diet Dew to keep my awake on my drive. Trying to eat less. No leftovers to bring for lunch today so I brought PB&J. Stopped by Kroger for carrots, yogurt, and cereal. Finishing up my book by former White House press secretary Dana Perino.

I hope the Hawks draft choices turn out well. That guy they traded may be the next Dirk Novizski. Maybe the Oklahoma point guard will turn into the next Curry. I had read a Sports Illustrated article about him a few months ago.

Woe is me. People don’t listen. My dad complains about my mom’s mess, then he complains when she tries to do something to something about it. People don’t listen. We got a roof and computer and a doctor bills and rent and tuition and got our washer and dishwasher repaired and art lessons, but still need a floor downstairs and a floor upstairs and a shower repaired and a mattress and money to pay off debts. People don’t listen. I work sixty hours a week and sell bobbleheads and shoes and earn money taking surveys and at focus groups but it’s never enough. People don’t listen. It never ends.

Do you listen? Really listen? If you answered too quickly, you might want to stop and consider your answer. Be quick to listen and slow to speak.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

More Feather

The Braves wore their feather throwbacks for a third straight day today.
All weekend there was a buzz on social media.
In truth the Braves wordmark matches their current uni,
slightly different from the early 70's.
Saturday the original creator of these uniforms,
Sunday Dansby didn't start, so gone were his stirrups.
Others picked up the pace.
Markakis remains hot.
 Today Nick joined the high cuffed club.
Carmago filled in at shortstop and made a great catch,
running full speed with his back to the plate.
Centerfielder Ender should've made the catch but gave way to Johan.
 Flaherty also got playing time.
Today the Stripers wore their feather-inspired uniforms.
Ronald Acuna could be back with the big club later this week.
Like a few other kickers, UGA's Rodrigo Blankenship took to social media to help find a new pair of his favorite out of production shoe.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Feather Unis

Loving the throwback uniforms the Braves are wearing this weekend.
Good view of the Ryerson seats behind Sean Newcomb.
Not sure who had them last night. 
Dansby didn't wear stirrups on Friday, but did on Saturday.
Unlike fellow stirrup-wearers Albies, Dansby, and Camargo who wore white shoes, Ender wore all royal blue spikes with his stirrups.
Julio always seems to pitch when the Braves are wearing alternate unis.
Teheran allowed a first inning grand slam, and the Braves went on to lose the series to the worst team in baseball.
Must be the unis.
 Ozzie's shoes are ugly. He and Freddie wore navy sleeves.
Friday's game went to extra innings after Freddie was thrown out at home in the bottom of the ninth.
Dan Winkler allowed Baltimore to retake the lead in the top of the ninth.
Saw this Petrels jersey in the restaurant we ate at tonight.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Braves Orioles

Got some last minute Row 8 tickets to tonight's game
that I couldn't pass up.
Entered through the First Base Gate and was greeted by my friend Miss Marion. Later Walter Banks gave me a fist bump.
Since I hadn't expected to be at the game I didn't have any Braves swag,
so I grabbed my Masters cap out of the trunk.
It's Hank Aaron Weekend. 
The Hammer sat in with broadcasters Chip and Joe for an inning.
Bob Costas sat in on the radio side.
 Ender was back in the leadoff spot, and got on base four times.
 Cap close up.
 Blooper stopped by before the Beat the Freeze race.
The mascot wore the throwback jersey and cap.
 View from the shoe.
Dude to the left paid $27,000.00 for his season tickets.
 The ball boy also wore the throwbacks.
 Tonight's theme.
Not Barney.
 If you bought a special ticket you got this special cap.
Meanwhile in Gwinnett the Stripers wore special soccer-themed jerseys.