Friday, August 31, 2018

Shoes Worn in August

I'm always thinking up various lists, particularly of shoes. This one may work: shoes I wear by month. By listing them it may help me wear more different shoes every month. Now I just need to lace up my running shoes more.

As you can tell, I normally wear my black Ecco loaders to work. They look sharp and are comfortable. Bought a new pair but they're slightly too big unless I wear thick socks. Right now they must be pushed far up under the bed, as I haven't seen them for a while. By making this list perhaps I'll vary my work shoes a little more, mixing in my brown loafers and tan driving shoes. I already wear a different pair to work every Friday.

01W. Ecco loafers (1)
02T. black Nike softspikes (2)
03F. Cement Air Jordans (3) wool sneakers (4)
04S. Grey Nike Zoom Turfs (5) red Puma suedes (6)
05S. Blue Nike cross trainers (7)
06M. Blue New Balance 990s (8)
07T. Ecco loafers
08W. Ecco loafers
09T. Ecco loafers
10F. Black FootJoy volleyball shoes (9)
11S. White Puma tennis shoes (10)
12S. Reebok Furys (11)
13M. Ecco loafers
14T. brown driving loafers (12)
15W. brown Nike loafers (13)
16T. black Nike Zoom Speed TR2 (14)
17F. blue Nike Lunarlons (15)
18S. Reebok Zigs (16) adidas shell toes (17)
19S. brown fashion sneakers (18)
20M. Ecco loafers
21T. new grey New Balance 990's (19)
22W. black Hauraches (20)
23T. black Chauco mules (21)
24F. white Hauraches (22)
25S. royal Nike Hyperfuse high-tops (23) black adidas Campus (24)
26S. Colombia boat shoes (25)
27M. brown Clarkes chukka boots (26)
28T. black ECCO chukka boots (27)
29W. new ECCO loafers (28) red Nike Air Max (29)
30T. Steve Madden boots (30)
31F. black Nike Roshes (31)

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Work Imitates Animal House

We were having an imprompteau pow-wow in my bosses’ office, regarding the issue of the hour. We were coming up with various scenarios that could’ve happened to create the issue, how one thing led to another, then another, and so on. After a while it reminded me of Tim Matheson’s famous speech in the movie Animal House, so I chimed in with the last few lines, including the iconic “I for one am not going to stand here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America!”  - and marched out of the room.
 
Here’s the text of the entire speech. It also reminds me how much things have changed. Nowadays the movie would go to great lengths TO badmouth the country – even at the expense of making the movie sound dated after a few short months/years.  
 
Otter: Point of parliamentary procedure!
Hoover: Don't screw around, they're serious this time!
Otter: Take it easy, I'm pre-law.
Boon: I thought you were pre-med.
Otter: What's the difference?
Otter: Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests - we did. [winks at Dean Wormer] But you can't hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but I for one am not going to stand here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!
[Leads the Deltas out of the hearing, all humming the Star-Spangled Banner]
Greg: Order!
Dean Wormer: You've done it this time buster! No more Delta! I'm calling the national office! I'm going to revoke your charter! And if you wiseguys do one more thing, one more, I'm going to kick you out of college! No more fun of any kind!
 
Tuesday: no leftovers to take for lunch, so I took the fixings for PB&J’s. Then there were leftovers from Monday and Tuesday lunch meetings. Potato salad and a chicken wrap. I was eating the wrap and it kept getting hotter and hotter. Finally unwrapped it and found jalapenos. Was trying to wrap things up to go home at six, then got called up for a plate of Dreamland BBQ and more potato salad. Couldn’t turn that down.
 
Ceil was still sick. I drove her to Whole Foods. I stayed up to watch the end of the Braves game. Not the best, but it looks good from a distance that they won 9-5 over the team that had just swept the mighty Red Sox.Not much else. Anna came over for a concert at Chastain Park.
 
More meetings (for other people) today and tomorrow, so there could be more food. Pretty sure I’ll be called into one meeting, and I’ll drag as many as I can in with me. Getting close to month end, and Friday three of six team members will be out of the office.
 
Ceil especially is super attached to Barney. She takes him to South Carolina whenever she goes. She’ll be really upset when he is gone. I will be as well.
 
Wednesday: this continues to be the week of eating, thanks to all the meetings going on around the office. Again no leftovers to bring for lunch, but it didn’t matter. I went lite on breakfast (a few peanut butter balls). Got to work and ate a small bowl of banana pudding, then a late morning snack: a small bowl of potato salad and a quarter of a chicken salad sandwich. Then a late lunch catered by Willy’s Mexican: nachos with chicken, beans, rice, and cheese. I’m guessing we’ll have pizza at some point (we did).  Worked past six. Ceil made chicken soup with rice.

Watched a new show on NBC called “Making It.” Six “crafters” make two projects on each show, then were judged on which was best. They made a hometown terrarium, a fort, a toy, an animal, a scrapbook, and a “quilt” from whatever material they wanted. The hosts are Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, who were on Parks and Recreation.   

Thursday: busy with month end. I was called in a meeting this morning. Mellow Mushroom pizza was brought in for lunch. I have leftovers for tomorrow, but in honor of football season everyone’s bringing in food: sausage balls, hot dogs, corn dip, buffalo dip, etc. There’s also potato salad and banana pudding.
 
After work Friday I’m leaving early for the Braves game. Meeting Will. I think it’s the first thing we’ve done together since he was in high school.
 
I like to wait until September to publish my annual football predictions. But with Georgia, Clemson, and Georgia Tech all playing on Saturday September first, I’d better go on record with my week one picks: GT, UGA, and Clemson will all win their first game Saturday.
 
With both baseball and football going on, September will be a busy month on my blog, so be sure to stay tuned in. Not written in stone, but a working syllabus:
 
Aug 31: a new list: shoes worn in August
Sept 1: September bobbleheads
Sept 2: Braves/Pirates recap
Sept 3: Georgia Tech season predictions
Sept 4: Clemson season predictions
Sept 5: UGA season predictions
Sept 6: Braves/Red Sox recap
Sept 7: week one football recap
Sept 8: family news update
Sept 9: Pirates/Red Sox jersey montage
Sept 10:  week two football recap
Sept 11: what we believe update
Sept 12: NL rookie of the year update
Sept 13: family news update
Sept 14: Camargo/Todd Frazier comparison
Sept 15: Braves/Phillies recap
Sept 16: Phillies jersey montage
Sept 17: week 3 football recap
Sept 18: family news update
Sept 19: what we believe update

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

What We Believe: Inerrancy

Our first “What We Believe and Why it Matters” case study was on inerrancy. Bryan presented the following, that we discussed in small groups.
 
You feel a strong leading from the Lord to start a seeker Bible study with colleagues from work.  You have been praying for a co-leader and you decide to ask Pat if he/she is interested in joining you lead.  Pat is interested but wants to find out more, so you plan to grab coffee later in the week to discuss.  
 
Pat has worked in your office for many years.  He/she professes to be a believer, attends a mainline Protestant church, and frequently makes passing references to his/her faith, such as, "my church did a big clothing drive this weekend," or "I have a church committee meeting tonight."  Pat, on occasion  is known to say, "I will pray for you," and "God bless you," when the situation warrants.  
 
You meet for coffee at the end of the week and share your vision of the seeker Bible study.   You tell Pat that you have a burden for some of the lost co-workers in the office, especially those who are from different religious/ethnic backgrounds.  You explain that you really want to help folks come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior and also teach them how to study God's Word for themselves.  Pat listens well, nods his/her head on occasion, and allows you to share uninterrupted.  After sharing your heart for ten minutes or so, you ask, "So what do you think?"  
 
Pat:  "Wow.  Thank you so much for asking me to co-lead this group.  I'm honored that you would think of me.  Really.  You have a great heart and it's evident that you live out your faith in this office.  Your burden to start this group is further evidence that you try to live what you believe.  However, I'm afraid that I'm going to have to decline your invitation.  Thank you so much though.  I am touched."  
 
You are stunned by Pat's response.  Expecting him/her to say more, you respond, "Thank you for listening and for your kind words.  May I ask why?"  
 
Pat:  "You know, there is a lot I could say.  Bottom line is I think we are not on the same page about God, Jesus, and the Bible.  I just don't share some of the convictions you have about..."  Pat pauses to choose the right phrase..."well, about a lot of things."  
 
You reply, "like what, for instance?"  
 
Pat, "For starters, I don't believe that our colleagues from other faiths will go to hell if they don't believe in Jesus."  
 
You: "But how do you get around passages where Jesus claims to be the only way to God, like John 14:6?"  
 
Pat: "Well, I just don't think those verses are true for the world today in the twenty-first century."  
 
You: "I see.  So in your opinion, the Bible is not the Word of God?"  
 
Pat: "Sort of.  The Bible, as my pastor says, contains the Word of God."  
 
You: "I don't see the difference."  
 
Pat: "Big difference.  Not all of the Bible contains God's Word.  But God's Word is found within the text.  For example, during Sunday services, the pastor always reads from the Bible, usually in one of the four gospels.  But before she reads, she will say, "Listen for the Word of God."  What she means is that while she is reading a particular story, we, the congregation, are supposed to discover for ourselves what part of the story is God's Word for us that day."  
 
You're stunned.  "Wow.  I had no idea that some churches held that view.  Where does that come from?"  
 
"It's quite common today in churches like ours.  Research in the modern era has made it abundantly clear that the Bible is full of errors.  So how can it be God's Word?"  
 
You pray silently in that moment, asking the Lord to give you the words to speak…  
 
What do you say next?
 
The first response could be to ask “What errors?” or “Was it true when it was written?” or “what do you believe? ”Like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, Satan is continuously trying to cast doubt in our faith, and in our belief that the Word of God is true.
 
Luke 1:1-3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you.
 
I John 1:1-4 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you
 
I Timothy 3:16: Jesus was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
 
Sermon notes: How can a Loving God allow so much Evil and Suffering?
 
John 9:1-5 Not sin, but that the works of God could be displayed. Our new friends had this response when their baby girl was born last month without hand.
 
Night is coming…we all have a limited amount of time. Jesus does not answer the question why. We do not know why. Just so the works of God can be displayed.  
 
Exodus 34:7 God will not leave iniquity unpunished.
 
John 5:14 Sin no more.
 
Psalm 37:1-11 do not fret because of evil. Delight yourself in the Lord, Do not delight in suffering or evil. Praise God in the midst of catastrophic events. God is bigger, we often forget. Then God will give you the desires of your heart. God gives justice.
 
Romans 12 – evildoers will be cut off. Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.
 
We are called to trust God even when there are no benefits to do so. People can choose to trust in God, or choose to harden their heart toward God.
 
(1) Don’t try to answer why. This comes across as cold and heartless. Better to respond I don’t know. (2) practice the ministry of presence (3) offer to pray. Don’t preach through prayer (5) God understands their pain. He lost a child at the hands of unjust men (6) Jesus also understands. He felt forsaken by God as well.
 
Romans 8:28 all things work together for those who love the Lord, who are called according to His purpose.
 
Rick Warren: “God never wastes a hurt.” William Shakespeare: “Sweet are the overseerers of adversity.” God can use our hurts down the road to minister to others with similar hurts.
 
ME: is not the earth a broken place, where Satan is allowed to work? As we see above, God never said His followers would be spared adversity, disease, and heartache. So many people miss this, instead incorrectly blaming God when bad things happen. How closely had they been following God before the bad things happened? Only Heaven is the place without all these bad things.
 
Disclaimer: I am far from a theologian. I take the best notes I can, and copy and organize them here in an effort to better understand.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

What's the Buzz

Since GT has switched to adidas uniforms, Buzz will no longer wear Converse high-tops. The adidas mascot shoes he’s wearing have three stripes on the outside of the shoe, but no stripes on the inside.
Since Tech is trying to have the same gold color everywhere, reportedly Buzz is changing from a yellow bug to gold. The cartoon Buzz colors are changing as well. 
Since July 28 the Braves are 19-10, Washington is 14-14, and Philly is 12-15. The Braves lead in the division is at 3-1/2 games, the widest gap all year. They have 32 games remaining, but only two off days. Six of the final nine games of the season are against the Phillies, including the last three in Philadelphia.   
 

Acuna’s surge drove his stats past those of the Nationals Soto, in seven fewer games. Through Aug 20:
 
.G..AB…R..H.2B..HR.BI.bb..K.SB.CS.avg.OBP.SLG.OPS
73 284 53 82 19 19 43 24 85 10 3 289 351 563 915 RA
80 276 54 80 17 15 44 58 63 02 1 290 344 522 935 Soto
 
Since the all star break:
 
.G..AB…R..H.2B.HR.BI.bb.K.SB.CS.avg.OBP.SLG.OPS
30 115 29 40 8  12 24 12 29 8  2 348 419 748 1.166 RA
29 100 22 27 6  06 16 25 22 0  1 270 416 530 0.946 Soto


I was able to finish a project yesterday quicker than normal. The results told me I needed to do some work quickly, which meant I worked until after 7 pm. Not fun. Ceil was sick, just laying on the couch. She fixed herself the soup I had gotten for her the night before. I fixed myself two cheese quesadillas, then I had to make a Kroger run for home medicine.
 
At Kroger I saw Robert, the guy who dresses up like an Indian for Braves games. His nephew will be the freshman starting point guard for West Georgia College. Their first game is in Athens against UGA.


Monday, August 27, 2018

Weekend of Burgers

Left work at six Friday evening. Stopped by one store and bought slacks. Drove to Cumming and ate at Red Robin. Burger with cheese, bacon and a fried egg (above). Was going to make another stop in Cumming but it was getting late. Did stop at the McFarland Road Goodwill and found two rare bobbles for four dollars. May be able to sell for $150.00.
 
Got home and watched the Braves and Jimmy Fallon. Started sneezing and couldn’t stop. Sneezed all night and didn’t sleep well. Saturday I did laundry and dishes and other cleaning, though I was sick and weak and tired.  Cancelled plans for a Saturday burger. While I was sitting on the couch a deer strolled up just behind the deck, just twenty feet away.


While convelessing I watched several movies: The Circle (Tom Hanks & Emma Watson), two Kristen Wiig movies (Girl Most Likely and Friends with Kids), Trading Places (Eddie Murphy & Dan Aykroyd), and a Tim Robbins & Gwyneth Paltrow movie.


Watched the HBO special on Will Ferrell playing all nine positions (plus DH) for ten different teams in five different games, all in one day in Arizona. Athletics, Mariners, Cubs, Giants, Angels, White Sox, Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks, and Padres. Lots of cussin. Arrived by helicopter at the White Sox game, like Michael Jordan in Space Jam.
 
Saturday night I went over to Steve & Sara’s house with three other couples. Ribs from the grille, baked beans, tossed salad, key lime pie. Fun banter. Got home in time to watch the end of the Braves game.
 
Deep sleep until 9:30 am Sunday morning, to make up for the previous night. Still made it to Sunday School and church. Notes to follow. Lunch was BOGO birthday burger at Fuddruckers. Thought about eating the second one but I saved it for Monday lunch. On the way I bought two more pair of slacks, plus a red UGA shirt. I hate shopping for slacks, but I’ve bought four pair this month.


Got home and watched the end of the Braves game, then the end of the LLWS. Then Independence Day. Cut the grass. No snakes this time. Right after I finished the grass (at 7:30 pm) I got the idea to run an errand. Forgot my phone and drove off. Made five stops, including the library, Dollar Tree, Goodwill, and Taco Bell. Ceil got home from SC and wondered where I was. She was sick as well, and sent me back out on an errand. Stopped by Publix, where I never go. Took me forever to find what I was looking for. Should’ve gone to Kroger.
 
Got home and packaged an eBay shipment. Watched National Treasure. Didn’t get to bed until after midnight for the third straight night.
 
Some people like red wine. I like red shoes. I never acquired a taste for wine. Or beer or alcohol. Nothing wrong with people who partake. At dinner Saturday Reid and I were the only two out of nine not drinking wine. Supposedly there are health benefits to drinking wine in moderation. I just don’t like the way it tastes. Don’t like coffee either, unlike my wife and three kids. Not even coffee ice cream. Sorry. Does that mean you don’t want to hang around me? Does it make you nervous or make you feel bad when I don’t drink the same thing? I feel like the college freshman who gets pressured by the older fraternity brother to drink beer. You guys can drink all the wine and coffee you want. Give me Coke Zero Cherry or Diet Dr. Pepper or Diet Mtn Dew or cherry lemonade. I will drink those all day.  
 
And shoes. Do you not want to hang around someone wearing sneakers? Am I too old to wear them? I know: red sneakers and Braves socks with shorts, a Braves jersey and cap – most times all that is too much (ok, all the time). People who don’t attend games may not realize it, but a majority of fans who attend games actually wear team colors or team apparel. And sneakers. Even most old folks. Fashionistas and GQ articles okay the wearing of one extravagant wardrobe item at a time. Red sneakers can look okay with jeans and a plain white or black or light blue or grey shirt. Goodness gracious if it bothers someone so much to be seen with someone wearing red shoes, I guess I could make an exception and wear something else. Like the whole don’t eat meat if it causes someone to stumble thing. I could wear orange shoes instead.  
 
I like sitting in the upper deck at SunTrust Park. The view is spectacular. What does it matter where you sit if you’re going to chit chat the whole game and not pay attention? Sure, I’m weird. By parking for free and walking a mile and a half and arriving an hour before gates open and buying tickets for the cheap seats – or accepting free tickets at the last minute for the game that same evening – this saves me hundreds of dollars and allows me to attend ten to twenty games a year instead of one or none. If I was only going to one game a year, maybe the $50.00 parking and $75.00 per ticket price wouldn’t be so bad.
 
I’d just as soon have a burger than steak. I’m allergic to salmon, so I can’t eat that. All this is me. It’s who I am. I’m not going to try to fit into someone else’s preconceived criteria about how a person should behave. That may exclude me from certain social circles, but perhaps that’s all for the better. I’ll associate with who I want to, even if they don’t fit into a certain socioeconomic stratosphere. Those who don’t like it can lump it.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

2018 MLB Players Weekend

Looks like the players have more fully embraced Players Weekend this year, with even more colorful nicknames on the backs of jerseys. Back in the day the nicknames were more prevalent. Kudos to 81 year-old Bad Henry for the proper use of the Twitter hashtag.
 Puchi is what Ozzie Albies' grandmother called him.
Not a fan of the cap: red tomahawk on a red background.
Players could wear crazy shoes as well.
 
Braves reliever Luke Jackson. Next year the Braves should wear red or grey jerseys to change things up.
 If I were to win the players weekend jersey of my choice
I'd have to pick from The Hammer #44, Channel #17, Knucksie #35,
Mad Dog #31, Dewsy #22, or Krypto #21.
These Players Weekend uniforms were inspired by those worn in Little League, with the MLB patch modified to show the player's growth from childhood to adulthood. Some were less creative than others.
 Looks there may be some Bible verses on Dansby's spikes.
Braves starting pitcher Sean Newcomb appears to be a sneaker freak.
 The Marlins continued to pitch Acuna inside.
Acuna continued to pound Miami pitching.
Teheran's was one of the longer nicknames.
 Ronald Acuna explains the origin of his nickname.


For the second straight year Nick Markakis honored his three young sons, whose names all start with the letter T.
I'm all for players changing nicknames every year,
like Mike Trout, Julio Teheran, and Freddie Freeman below.
Had to look up the meaning of his Andrew jersey,
which honored on of the brothers.
Met third baseman Todd Frazier's nickname was better than Braves third-sacker Johan Camargo's JC. Many fans lobbied for the Braves to sign Frazier, but Camargo's hitting, fielding, defensive versatility, and much lower salary has benefitted the Braves more than Frazier ever could have.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

New Hawks Throwbacks

The Hawks are wearing the light blue unis for their 50th anniversary. And the D League team is moving to College Park. I had no idea they were building an arena down there. That area needed a venue for concerts and high school games. I’ll have to get out to a D League game. 
 
I went out on the loading dock this afternoon and realized I was expecting a package. It wasn’t there then, but came to the front this afternoon. Cool! I opened them and let everyone see. I saw the Grizzlies new unis when they came out. I love the Grizzlies colors. Hilarious that y’all are sponsored by the Army, but I bet they were a more active/engaged than a lot of other sponsors might’ve been.   
I’d be ok if UGA didn’t wear black jerseys again, but I keep seeing recruits getting their picture taken in them.
 
See Tech’s new uniforms? Not too different. Nothing special. But now the players are saying the old Russell unis limited their arm and leg range of motion.
 
See the new Braves video about the new 2019 schedule? Funny.  Watched Acuna get hit and then Newcomb hit their first baseman. Good game.
 
The New Jersey Devils unveiled that throwback jersey and all I can think about was Elaine going to the game with Puddy scaring the priests.
Wednesday: worked to almost 6:30 last night. Ceil tossed a salad and made gaucomole. I made bean burritos. Was almost nine when I finished cleaning up. Braves and Last Man Standing. Bed by 10:30. 
 
Thursday: busy morning. Not even noon and I went through almost 170 emails.
 
Had Mellow Mushroom at Friday’s lunch meeting. Only are two pieces, plus a small salad. As usual afterwards I wasn't feeling that great. Bought a pair of slacks and two valuable bobbleheads on the way home. 
This is my weekend of burgers. I have a bunch of burger deals for my birthday, and cashing them all in this weekend. Red Robin tonight. Fuddruckers tomorrow. Cheeseburger Bobby’s on Sunday. Saturday night is game night at our friend’s house, and they might be grilling burgers for supper. Besides that just lots of housework: laundry, dishes, putting away clothes, cutting grass, blowing the drive, trimming hedges. Need to post some shoes on eBay (and give away two or three pair). Also wanted to take sermon notes. Sunday’s sermon should be good. Car sometimes runs hot, so I’ll skip tempting bobblehead games in Rome, Augusta, and Tennessee, and a golf tourney in SC.
 
This week concludes Bryant’s sermon series, "Objections to Christianity", with the message "How Can a Loving God Allow So Much Evil and Suffering?" with text taken from John 9:1-11 and Romans 8:28.
 
LLWS: I didn’t see the team from Georgia yet. If I watch they will lose. I hear Dansby and Culbertson talked to them.
 
I’m starting The Nightingale today. Finished Grisham’s Camino Island. 
 
Ceil went to SC for the big family reunion, just as her brother and cousin headed to the beach for a long weekend. Ceil’s brother’s oldest son graduated and took a job with the Clemson athletic department. As an undergrad he worked as a manager for the football team, holding up the play signs on the sidelines. Now he’s in charge of equipment for golf, soccer, track, and other Olympic sports. Keeps his dad outfitted in the latest Clemson duds. One time he traded with the Georgia Tech trainers to get me a 100% cotton GT t-shirt made by Russell Athletics.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Stripers Merch: Thumbs Up

When they were the Gwinnett Braves, they had a good team store there at CoolRay Field, near the Mall of Georgia. But once they changed their name to the Stripers the apparel really took off. The team has three different on-field caps (the main one is my favorite) and four jerseys: home pinstripe, road grey, alternate bright green, and throwbacks with the fish on the sleeve.
The Strippers joke got run into the ground the first week. I can't remember all four names that were the finalists. "Buttons" won the fan vote. Would've been odd / weird / unique but what could you do with it. Then I figured "Sweet Teas" would be a great name. Another finalist was the "Largemouth Bass", which wouldn't fit well on a jersey. The marketing agency morphed that into the Stripers. Some knitpick that the stripes run the other way on the real fish, but who really cares.
 
Interesting the Stripers didn't have any cap giveaways this year – guess they wanted everyone to buy a cap. At the games you see more fans in Striper gear than Braves gear. I have one Braves trucker hat that I love, but with my huge head I'm not sure it looks good on me. The Stripers team store has all kinds of caps, including several mesh trucker caps that a good ole north Georgia fishing enthusiast would wear. All manner of t-shirts, hoodies, pullovers – even Columbia fishing shirts. The Striper logo is perfect for all that, better even than the Braves logo.
 
I had met Stripers VP/GM North Johnson during the off-season, so I tried to say hello at the games I attended this year. A couple of weeks ago at a game I was looking at stuff in the team store, and realized a perfect item they should sell was Stripers logo license plates for the front of pickup trucks. Later I ran into Johnson and told him my idea. He thought they already had some on order.
 
Both the Stripers and Braves team stores are better than ever at constantly bringing in new items. The Braves store has tons of items based on the current tomahawk uniform, as well as plenty of Los Bravos and the 70's era feather unis. And the huge wall of all kinds of caps, including throwbacks and all the minor league affiliates.  
 
 
Rant: some people don't like SunTrust Park because it's in God-forsaken outside the perimeter. Actually not God-forsaken. Many inside the Perimeter dislike mixing with the yokels and hayseeds outside the perimeter because they are God-fearing.
 
But how many of those savants loving life ITP spent their entire life there? Most are carpetbaggers, who moved in town from places far away. Some moved ITP from OTP, but they'd like to keep that their little secret.
 
Most OTP are well-adjusted folk who could care less able labels, addresses, or other signs of wealth. OTPers aren't as caught up in all that. We'd rather have more room to stretch out without smacking into our neighbor. Rather have better schools, less crime, less traffic, lower prices, more shopping choices, great restaurants, and lower taxes. Nothing wrong with that. We can always visit ITP if we want. Drives the ITPers crazy. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Tale of Two Ballparks

The Braves were in Pittsburgh this week. Like in San Francisco, everyone goes on and on about how beautiful the view from the stadiums are. And they are. And there are always those unhappy souls who moan about the Braves not having the absolute best of everything – the best stadium view, that they don’t win every game 100-0, that they don’t sweep through the playoffs and win the World Series every year.
 
Last night a guy said Turner Field could’ve had a “cool view” like Pittsburgh if they hadn’t built the exclusive club above the left field stands. He was wrong on several counts. While in Pittsburgh the yellow Clemente bridge and the downtown buildings can still be seen from the lower level seats, the view always pictured is from the press box high above the field (of from the upper deck). The hotel across the river is less than a half mile from home plate. There’s the outfield fence, a sidewalk, the river, a street, and the downtown buildings.

In Atlanta the downtown buildings are over 1-1/2 miles away from home plate. In between are a sea of parking lots. The buildings do not loom over the stadium like in Pittsburgh, they are off in the distance. The stadium club does not block the view of downtown from the press box and upper deck – the club only blocks the view of the ugly parking lots. Several downtown buildings can still be seen from the seats behind the plate, between the stadium club and jumbotron. Sorry to confuse the situation with the facts.

Beauty is most certainly in the eye of the beholder. At SunTrust Park most of the outfield is blocked by the Omni Hotel and Comcast Building, whose rent helps pad the Braves payroll. You really have to look to see the Cobb Galleria and Cumberland Mall. But SunTrust Park is one of the few places around where you can see downtown (and Mercedes Benz Stadium), Midtown, Buckhead, Stone Mountain, Perimeter Center, and Kennesaw Mountain. Now that’s a view.

If we’re going to run down a new stadium view, what about Nationals Park in Washington. You’d think you’d be able to see at least a glimpse of our nation’s capital or the monuments, but you have to strain to see even a peek.
 
I can talk about stadiums all day. In 1995 Pittsburgh was playing in Three Rivers Stadium. In Cincinnati you saw Cinergy Field, formerly known as Riverfront Stadium. I saw that ballpark from the highway once or twice.
 
In 1971 the San Francisco Giants were playing in Candlestick Park, located on the bay. You can’t see it from the highway, but I saw the highway exit for the stadium. Fun fact: the Beatles played the first concert at Candlestick in 1966. Paul McCartney played the last concert, in 2014. We went to a game in the new PNC Park. Great views.
 
Ceil and I attended a game in Shea Stadium, but we didn’t get to see Yankee Stadium (I tried to work it it). When Will went to NYC in December he got to take a Yankee Stadium tour.
 
On work trips I’ve attended games in Houston, Arlington, Dallas, Tampa, and Miami’s Orange Bowl (GT at Miami). Also saw games in Washington, Boston, St. Louis, Macon, Rome, Chattanooga, Greenville, Augusta, Athens, Knoxville, Birmingham, Auburn, Chapel Hill, Clemson, Charlotte, New Orleans, and both Wrigley and Comminsky in Chicago. Also sixteen other arenas around the state. Driven past Tiger Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Anaheim Stadium, Kaufman Stadium, Reliant Stadium, the Citrus Bowl, the Gator Bowl, the Big Sombrero, the Rose Bowl, the Silverdome, Soldier Field, Arrowhead Stadium, and the Astrodome.
 
Drives me crazy when a batter will take strike three, then get mad at the umpire. Uggla and BJ Upton were real good at that. Also that a major league pitcher (heck even a minor league pitcher) can’t throw a strike, especially when he needs to. Or to walk the leadoff batter. Drives me crazy.
 
It’s a different game now. Hank Aaron never struck out 100 times in a season. Greg Maddux didn’t walk 1000 batters in his career. When he got to 999 he decided he wasn’t walking anyone else the rest of the year – and he didn’t.
 
Did you watch the bottom of the ninth Monday night? Coming in to the game Winkler hadn’t allowed a run in his last ten appearances. Leadoff batter blooped a single – after Winkler didn’t get a strike call that the umpire had been calling all night. What would you have done – leave in Winkler or take him out? After a strikeout the third batter chopped a swinging bunt that died in the grass. Winkler’s best play was to throw out the batter at first – advancing the tying run into scoring position, and bring the winning run to the plate.  Would you leave him in or take him out? Who would you bring in?
 
In Tuesday’s game I was liking Sobotka. Man that Pirate reliever before him kept throwing ball after ball. Hit Suzuki and almost hit a couple of other guys. Hit his catcher, allowing Flowers to score easily. Then Sobotka came in and threw strikes. Make’em hit it, I always say. That’s what Maddux did. If the batter hits a pitch, half the time he won’t make good contact. Half the time he hits it right at a fielder. And half the time he might get lucky.
 
 
I think Barney gets groomed too often. He looks better with longer hair. You see lots of labradoodles with the long hair.
 
The kickoff verses for “what you believe and why it matters” are 2 Timothy 3: 1-5; 4:3-4 and Matthew 24:4-13. I’ll keep you posted. 
 
Monday night I worked until almost seven. Ceil made hash browns, tossed a salad, and warmed the rest of Sunday’s Whole Foods chicken. Was almost nine before we finished the dishes. Watched the Braves and a Hallmark movie.     
 
Tuesday night I worked till 6:30 again. Ceil cooked black beans and rice, and tossed a salad. Watched the Braves and a Hallmark movie. M went to a coffee shop. Will had his six hour / 300 question board certification test yesterday. Afterward he played golf at Chandler Park.  He must’ve been pretty brain dead afterward.