Just got out the laptop for the first time in 48 hours. Sunday morning we packed up and drove back to Atlanta. Stopped in Augusta to do some outlet shopping. Saw a cool shirt with guitars on it but passed. Ceil ate a salad and I tried the new Taco Bell burritos, which were good. Dropped Ceil off at Perimeter Mall to meet Anna. I drove home and unloaded the car and did the dishes and some laundry. Later Ceil cleaned and fixed grits and eggs for Anna, Matthew, me, and her.
Didn’t find out about Richt retiring until we got back to Atlanta. Don’t blame him. Hard to believe he’s been coaching for 35 years. Several nice tributes. Some experts on social media said he needed a job when he took the job in Miami. Not true. He quit UGA and wanted to take time off then, but had the opportunity to return to his alma mater. He relished the opportunity to call the plays again.
Hadn’t heard that Mike Pence story about him not liking Deck the Halls. I looked it up, and it took me awhile to find it – a joke on Saturday Night Live. I kept reading and saw that he’s been attacked / made fun of for his Christianity more than most Christian politicians, because the comedians don’t known much else about him. Snopes.com had researched eight stories about Pence, and all of them were not true. Just goes to show what the mainstream media these days thinks about Christianity.
W&MC are up in northeast Georgia at a cabin with his old basketball team: Joel, David, and Charles Norman, Josiah Georgie, and basketball marvel DJ Hoffer. Also Okie and several other dogs, plus all the wives and Josiah’s kids. Joel is the only one not married.
Ceil slept past ten this morning. She stayed up late cleaning and drinking coffee. M had to work the early shift. I cleaned upstairs, then downstairs. More unpacking. Put my new hubcaps on the Corolla (above = old, below = new).
C went to see Mark Poppins with Nancy. At six we ate at Rice, the Thai restaurant in Roswell across the street from The Big Ketch. Me and Ceil and three other couples. Fun time. And the food wasn’t too bad.
Another social media expert was looking forward to a competitive Gator Bowl. A&M beat NC State 52-13. One bowl pick I got right.
For New Years Anna went to a concert with friends / roommates.
Clemson embarrassed an undefeated Notre Dame team. Pretty much shut them down, even without their best defender. Dabo started putting in the second and third team in the third quarter. This may be the most complete Clemson team in history, even with a weak punter and not the best kicker.
Alabama held the mighty Oklahoma Sooners to zero yards in the first quarter, while racking up a 21-0 lead. Kyler Murray wanted to report to baseball camp at halftime. Made Georgia look even better.
Several of the college football experts on Facebook are saying to playoff committee should've picked Georgia instead of Notre Dame (or Oklahoma?). Ricky Glover. Drew Kelly. Anna Statham. Randy Harris. I'm not going to argue with them. OK I did, and was accused of hating on Georgia.
Yes I disagree. Bama already beat UGA in the SEC Championship Game, the last game before the playoff selections were made. It was UGA's second loss. How many times in the postseason should Bama have to beat UGA? How many chances should UGA get?
Some argue for an eight team playoff. If so the Dawgs would've been included. Without the 8 team playoff, the conference championship games the first week of December is the first round of the playoff.
Some argue the Irish didn't play anyone. They beat Michigan, who lost to Florida in the Peach Bowl. They beat Purdue, who beat Ohio State but got blown out by Auburn. By that measure, who did Clemson play? They ran the table in a historically weak ACC. Clemson beat Texas A&M, but so did three other teams. The Tigers struggled against seven win South Carolina, who got blown out by Virginia, who lost to Georgia Tech, who got blown out by Minnesota, who lost to one loss Ohio State. Perhaps the Buckeyes should've made the Playoff.
Yes, Georgia might've been the second best team in the country this year. They got better after they lost to LSU. But I'm not sure the Dawgs will beat Texas in the Sugar Bowl. The Longhorns will be primed to upset the Dawgs, who will be missing their best defender. It will take a great job by Kirby and Fromm to manufacture a win.
Another Facebook expert asked if Geoff Collins could take the Jackets back to the glory days of Bobby Ross. I for one hope Collins does better than Ross, whose record at Tech was 31-26-1.
Which is bigger: the Stone Mountain carving or Mount Rushmore? I did a little research: Mount Rushmore: the heads of each president are 60 feet tall.
Stone Mountain: 1686 elevation above sea level, 825 feet above surrounding area. The mountain is more than 5 miles in circumference. The carving is the largest bas-relief in the world, over 1.57 acres = 6400 square meters 400 feet above the ground. The carving measures 75 feet x 158 feet. So the Stone Mountain carving is larger than Mount Rushmore. Pretty sure a sitdown dinner was held on the carving back in the day.
Christmas night we rested. Got out old photo albums, the first time MC had seen them.
Late Wednesday morning the four kids packed up in Will's Honda Accord with Okie and headed back to Atlanta. Arrived in time for a traffic jam on 285. They all ate out together.
Wednesday afternoon I ran over to the cable company to check on a battery. They sent out a repairman. The day went quickly. Chicken tetrazini for supper. Lots of visitors: Lennie and Corinne, Rusty and Ben, Chuck and Jackie, Jordan and Teresa. Made it hard to watch Tech, but there wasn’t much to watch. Went to bed at eleven.
Slept late Thursday morning. Deleted emails. More visitors: Housekeeper Ann and her granddaughter, Lennie and Corinne. Grabbed a quick ham sandwich then drove C and Joan twenty miles to Chesterfield to renew her tag. Then 15 miles to Pageland to pick up lunch to go at a country kitchen: fried chicken, mixed vegetables, baked beans, mac & cheese, corn, hushpuppies, a few French fries, collard greens, chocolate cake. I passed on the fried catfish (below).
Was after three when we finished eating at home. Took a nap. Ate a late supper of leftover spaghetti. Thursday night in Atlanta Matthew and Anna grilled salmon.
My Memphis pullover is too big (below), so I’ll have to exchange it when we get back to Atlanta. I love my black adidas warmup pants, except of the huge white logo on the front. Guess I’ll keep them. Will and MC and Anna all got the kind of warmup pants I wanted, but they probably wouldn’t look good on me.
Last year I decided to ask for a nice pair of socks every year. This year: Grizzlies socks.
Slept late Friday morning, and then did a short workout. Got ready and fixed myself a sandwich for breakfast. Ceil had to take her mother to the doctor’s appointment in Pageland. I was assigned watch repair duty. So I drove thirty minutes across the state line to Matthews NC. Stopped by QuikTrip for a soft drink, then a delicious lunch at the Pizza Palace. The pies were loaded with cheese. I had a piece of three different flavors, and they were all good.
Had to visit two jewelers to get the watch repaired. Interesting Bible verse posted by the jeweler (above). Stopped by four thrift stores. Needed a short sleeve shirt since its so hot here in the house, and I found a nice pair of Under Armor pants as well. Stopped by QT on the way home for another drink. Lennie and Corinne were visiting when I got back, and we watched the end of Auburn / Purdue.
Saturday Will is attending the Peach Bowl with MC, Thomas, and Holly. Will wore his Georgia hoodie and rooted against Florida. MC wore her Oklahoma cap.
I hate it when Tech flops. Doesn’t show up for a big game. Maybe this will all change with the new Coach Geoff.
First they wear the ridiculous uniforms. All this crap about it being traditional for Tech to wear navy in the postseason. No mention of the Peach Bowl blowout to LSU in blue jerseys, or the ACC Championship Game loss to Wake Forest in blue. Plus they’re 0-2 in blue pants. If the new adidas uniforms were so much better, why did I see a Tech defender wearing underwear with RUSSELL stitched on the waistband? And the goofy looking untucked gold t-shirts underneath. But the kids love ‘em, bless their hearts.
Then the actual game. The defense can’t stop anyone, run or pass. On every play the Golden Gophers have a committee meeting five yards behind the line of scrimmage, and Tech defense just stands there waiting for Minnesota to decide what to do with the ball. Grab both the QB and RB, then toss away the one that doesn’t have the ball. Twice in the first hlf Tech had the QB sacked, but let him get away.
Minnesota’s defense is ranked 116th against the run. Tech led the nation in rushing. Movable force against resistible object. Sor so you’d think. Minnesota had two weeks to get ready for the option, and they used the time wisely.
Down 13-0 the Tech players continue to make stupid decisions. Unsportsmanlike conduct. Missed tackles. Pass interference. Delay of game. Run the kickoff out of the end zone and get stuffed on the ten yard line. Field another kickoff on the ten – and fumble the ball. Typical Tech.
Like last season’s unsuccessful attempt, Tech once again inexplicably tries to turn second team all-ACC punter Pressley Harvin III into a rugby style punter, and again had disastrous results. Let the kid kick his own way. Don’t mess with him. At least the all-navy unis were slimming on Harvin.
Backup QB Tobias Oliver finally got in the game with five minutes to go, and generated a little excitement, but it was too little too late.
Before being named head coach at Minnesota, PJ Fleck had been cast in the role of The Chief in the movie version of Get Smart.
Bowl games are so unpredictable. Stidham played for Auburn. Last year they let UCF beat them, but this year they came to play in Nashville. Vandy played well, but Baylor came to play as well. Both Clemson and Bama will be short three players, and UGA’s job will be tougher without DeAndre Baker.
Syracuse is playing well, as I suspected. Lots of fight from West Virginia even without their starting QB. When their experienced defensive back was flagged for an obvious targeting penalty, his teammates saw the replay and knew he’d be thrown out.
Miami didn’t look good. Three interceptions, fumbles, etc. Richt held out his best QB for most of the game as a punishment for inappropriate tweets. Wisconsin has missed two field goals. Badger RB Taylor supposed to be as good as UGA’s Swift.
adidas couldn't get Miami's unis right either. Stripes on the throwback pants were wrong - unlike the stripes on the orange pants (below).
Canes did ring the bell at the NY stock exchange Wednesday, and the market rebounded over a thousand points.
Christmas Eve: M went to Pageland
(8 miles away, the closest grocery store) to pick up salad for dinner. Will
went outside to hit golf balls in the front yard, so Barney and Okie went out
to run around. I went out to keep tabs on the pups. Saw cousin Larry and a lady
from the church. After five minutes Barney was tuckered out. Since then he’s
just laid around.
Came inside and got ready for
supper: Ceil’s brother’s family went to the Christmas Eve service. Stoeffer’s
lasagna, salad, French bread. Had 15 for dinner: me, C, W&MC, A, M, Joan,
Rusty’s five plus his father-in-law, Joan, and Uncle Lennie & Aunt Corinne.
Afterwards the kids played a board game.
Will cooked most of the breakfast:
country ham, biscuits, fruit, and grits. Opened presents. Got a Hawks stocking
cap, Grizzlies pullover and socks, and two pair of pants. Anna gave me a framed
card given out the night Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run. The ticket stub is
inside the frame as well.
Around noon everyone else came for
lunch, a total of twenty four: our six, Rusty’s six, Phil’s five, Dic Dac’s
four, Joan, Lennie, and Corinne. Ham with fixin’s for sandwiches, pimento
cheese, avocado dip, other meats, Bavarian angel food cake, pecan pie, coconut
cake, raspberry salad, bean dip, shrimp, pate, chocolates, and more.
After lunch we opened more
presents. The eleven “kids” sang the Twelve Days of Christmas. Since Matthew is
youngest he starts off with the partridge in a pear tree. Went outside for the
annual picture. Dic Dac’s family had compiled a family cookbook, with lots of
old recipes and photographs from both sides of their family. Took Barney and Okie outside to run around again. At one point the two dogs were running toward
each other without really realizing it. Their attention was on other things,
and they wound up running full speed right into each other. So funny. So Barney
is worn out again.
Merry Christmas! Our family hopes y’all are able to have a wonderful, joyous season of celebrating the birth of Jesus. Us Murphys had a 2018 not too different from previous years. Despite being separated by miles, we were able to get together several times throughout the year to celebrate various occasions.
Though we weren’t able to a big family vacation to Myrtle Beach this July, instead four of us zipped down to Destin instead, enjoying a week on the beach and the surrounding area.
Will graduated from Physician’s Assistant’s school in May. The next month he and Mary-Clayton moved back to Atlanta. MC started work at a Smyrna financial office, while also auditioning for roles in musical theater. In August Will passed his medical exam. He and MC traveled west in September to hike and camp in several national parks, including Zion and the Grand Canyon. Back in January Will joined a school mission trip to Peru, and also hiked sixty miles to Machu Picchu.
Anna continues to love life in Athens. She’s on track to graduate this spring. Anna still interns at Grace Athens church, works part time at High Country Outfitters, took a Christmas job at the Avalon Madewell in Alpharetta, stayed active in her sorority, and remained on the Dean’s List. For Spring Break she road tripped with roommates to snowy New York City, spending the night on the way back on the Albemarle Sound. Anna spent the summer in Athens working and taking classes, and took in a few Bulldog games in the fall.
Matthew has applied to attend Georgia State University and hopes to start class in January. His face is well known at our local Whole Foods, where management wants to promote him. Matthew is a regular on the Atlanta concert scene, and has become quite the chef, coming home from work most days with a bag of groceries under his arm, filled with exotic foods to cook. He also reads in his spare time. This summer Matthew took a road trip to Savannah with a friend.
Ceil continues to teach art at Legacy, and works at Veritas Classical School as well. She loves the art projects, but not so much the grading part of it. She works out at the YMCA, joined a small group at church, and makes frequent trips to South Carolina to visit family. Ceil also flew up to visit her friend on the Albemarle Sound.
Dave’s routines remained the same. More Braves games with various friends and family (Ceil even tagged along – once). Read several books. Ran another Peachtree Road Race, this year with both Will and Anna. With an expended team, work has been more enjoyable and less hectic. Several day trips to Macon to visit parents.
Barney had a good year as well. He loves it when Will & MC come to visit – as long as they bring Okie for a play date. One year soon we’ll get him back in the Christmas photo.
Again, best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and most happy new year!
This is pretty much my first chance to sit down since Friday night. Wednesday night Ceil and her friends arranged Christmas wreaths.
Worked past 6:30 on Friday. Got home and ate with C and Anna, who had driven over from Athens to work at made well in the Alpharetta Avalon. I plopped on the couch and played on my laptop. Ceil turned on a movie on ION or Hallmark. She had wanted to go see the new Mary Poppins but it was too late for me and Anna.
Saturday morning I cleaned upstairs and started a load of laundry. Ceil cooked me an eggy-boy sandwich. Drove over to test drive a SUV, an appointment I had set up despite winning the Corolla. Earned $50 for the test drive. The little Hyundai Kona was a nice car, the same price as a Civic but without lots of the bells and whistles. Stopped by three thrift stores and one Taco Bell before meeting Ceil at the AT&T store. Then I drove over to a les crowded AT&T store before heading home. Cleaned the kitchen and did more laundry. Anna was working and Ceil was wrapping presents.
W&MC drove up to spend Friday night at her parents in Cartersville. For Christmas the Gilberts went up to Chattanooga to eat and take in the light show at Lookout Mountain.
At 5:30 we met three other families at Moes. Usually we have a Christmas party together but instead just are together. We had 14 – eight adults plus six kids including Anna. We pushed several tables together and sat around and talked until after 8 pm. Us guys took selfies (above). Ceil dashed into Publix on the way home. My back has been hurting from all the activity. Didn’t learn until Saturday night that we were leaving straight from Macon to go to SC. Had I known I could’ve done a lot to get ready sooner.
Woke up Sunday morning are started getting ready for the trip to Macon. Made the bed and started packing. Went downstairs in gym shorts. Matthew had to go to work and Anna’s car was in the way. I went out in the cold to move M’s Jeep, so first I warmed it up and got all the frost off the windows. Then I saw the Jeep’s computer showed the gas tank was “one mile to empty.” I de-iced Ceil’s CRV so M could drive it to work while I risked driving the Jeep to the gas station on empty. Gassed up the Jeep then traded cars with M at Whole Foods, then gassed up the CRV. Then stopped by Kroger for aluminum foil.
Cleaned out the car and started packing. And packing. I had wanted to leave before ten, but didn’t pull out until 11:15. Heavy traffic, especially in Stockbridge, Barnesville, and Forsyth. Made it by 1:15, beating my brother and W&MC. Had ten for a meal of honey baked ham, mac & cheese, grilled vegetables, fresh fruit, raw vegetables, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, rolls, egg nog ice cream, apple pie, pumpkin pie, and key lime.
Left Macon around seven, topped off the tank, and drove straight to Jefferson. Took back roads through Monticello, Shady Dale, and Madison to I-20. Arrived before 11:45 pm. Was so tired I forgot to update my blog before bed.
Slept late, then was recruited to run errands: the bank, gas station, Taco Bell, and CVS. Lots of Mucinex choices (above). Anna and her cousins wrapped presents then met her aunt for a lunch. Ceil went to the grocery store. Joan and I ate a thin crust Pizza Hut supreme for lunch. W&MC and Matthew arrived at three.
With kids in college and bills to pay, it’s hard to justify spending big money on sporting events. Fortunately I have ways to offset ticket prices – usually by selling bobbleheads. Here’s my year in sports and bobbles.
Jan 6: National Championship Game Fanfest. Win tickets on Facebook. $0.00. Meet Herschel. Priceless.
Jan 27 & 28: Braves Chopfest with coworkers Chris and Blake. Work tickets. Free food and drinks. Meet Brain Snitker, Dansby Swanson, Ronald Acuna, Pete Smith, Don Sutton, Dale Murphy, Mike Foltynewicz, Johan Camargo, and John Schuerholz. Play catch on the field. $0.00.
Feb 17: Tech vs Virginia Tech basketball with Reid and Andrew. Iman Shumpert bobble. $0.00.
Feb 18: Tennessee Titans Kevin Dyson bobblehead from work. My third free Titans season ticketholder bobble. $0.00.
March 11: Hawks vs Bulls. Win tickets on Twitter. $0.00.
March 27: Braves Yankees with coworkers Chris, Blake, and Zack. Work tickets. $0.00.
March 28: Braves Futures vs Stars with Kevin and Katie. Work tickets. $0.00.
April 2: Masters practice round (Ceil & Mary-Clayton). Free tickets, but Ceil made up for it in the Golf Shop. And then some.
April 6: Rome Braves with Alan. Two Ronald Acuna bobbles. Spend $35.00 on two tickets, parking, and gas. Sell for $75.00.
April 14: Gwinnett Stripers with LJ. Three fishtail bobbles. Spend $13.00 on one ticket and parking. Trade one bobble for a SunTrust ticket and bobblehead. Sell two for $50.00 (I had 2 free tickets).
April 19: Braves Mets with Ceil, Reid, and Noelle. Work Tickets. Spend $8.50 for Ceil’s BBQ.
April 20: Braves Mets with LJ. $0.00. Sell two Ender Inciarte bobbles for $50.00.
April 21: Georgia Swarm Miles Thompson bobble from work. $0.00.
May 4: Braves/Giants with LJ (Acuna & Jose Bautista’s fist game). $10.00. Sell three Albies Star Wars bobbles for $65.00
May 12: Gwinnett with LJ, Sam, Rachel, Angie, etc. Spend $60.00. Sell three Ozzie Albies Star Wars bobbles and 4 tickets for $106.00. Trade one for a SunTrust Park ticket and bobblehead.
May 13: sell Augusta Augie mascot bobble for $20.00.
May 14: sell Freddie Hugs bobble for $24.00.
May 26: sell Tim Hudson bobble for $25.00.
May 27: sell Jason Grilli bobble for $40.00.
June 8: sell nine bobbles for $155.00 (Maddux Glavine Holbert Niekro Heyward 2 Cox 2 Smoltz)
June 9: Gwinnett with Sam, Angie, Rachel, etc. Spend $68.00. Sell four Acunas for $107. Trade one for a SunTrust Park ticket and bobble.
June 10: Terrapin Taproom bobble spend $15.00 on lunch. Sell bobble for $50.00.
June 10: buy Lee Corso bobble for $1.30.
June 15: Braves/Padres $10.00. Sell four Freddie Stretch bobbles for $90.00.
June 22: Braves/Orioles on RayPaul tickets. Get a $38.00 shirt and $2.00 pen for free.
July 21: Gwinnett with LJ. Spend $5.00 on parking. Sell two Folty bobbles for $46.00. Trade one for a SunTrust ticket and bobble.
July 26: Braves/Dodgers and Avett Brothers concert on RayPaul tickets. Get $40.00 in free food.
Aug 4:Gwinnett/Norfolk spend $13.00 get 7 Chopper bobbles trade 2 for a SunTrust bobble, Brewers mascot bobble, & Uecker bottle opener. Sell 5 for $80.00.
Aug 16: Braves/Rockies: free tickets and parking, limited edition Hank Aaron bobble, Stripers cap, Braves keychain & pen, Coke, t-shirt, sunglasses, & button – all free.
Aug 18: Braves/Rockies: spend $10 for one ticket, sell one Chipper Crazy Train bobble for $36.
Aug 31: Braves/Pirates with Will: free tickets from GasSouth. Free designated driver Cokes, as always. $0.00.
Sept 4: Braves/Red Sox with LJ: spend $10 for one ticket. Sell three Babe Ruth bobbles for $90.00.
Sept 12: sell three bobbles for $100.00 (they cost $8).
Sept 15: Braves/Nationals. Buy one $10 ticket. Get a Folty, Blooper, Chipper Crazy Train bobble. .
Nov 7: trade 5 bobbles for six (trade Oliver Perez, Ben Sheets, JJ Putz, Jon Lester, & Russell Martin for Blooper, Folty, Babe Ruth, Randy Ingle, Kolby Allard, & Mike Soroca.
Nov 10: GT/Miami buy one $11 ticket sell Calvin Johnson bobble for $40.
Left work at four on Thursday. Fought traffic home, then more traffic to Pampas Steakhouse in Johns Creek, right on Old Milton Parkway. I had the filet mignon. Delicious. Ceil ate the sea bass (below).
Appetizers included empanadas and shrimp. Sides were garlic mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, mushrooms, and three salad choices. For dessert Ceil got the chocolate volcano cake with vanilla ice cream (below), and I had the cheesecake tart.
I wore the Jack Nicklaus Golden Bear dress shirt I had ordered in June. When the waiter was placing my steak plate in front of me, juice from the steak sloshed all over my sleeve. Was glad I hadn’t worn my brand new dress shirt I had gotten at EZGo the day before.
We had 19 at our dinner: eight couples (Eric, Shane, Rodney, James, Jonathan, Alex, Angie, and me) plus Jeff and the two Rachels.
Got home and had to do something with Matthew. Was almost midnight before I got to bed. This morning at work they brought in Chickfila biscuits, and a new employee brought in his famous oreo balls. Not sure about tonight, but Saturday I have some running around to do.
I gave the Auto Check score for my Corolla. Here’s the scores for my other cars:
2011 CRV = 85 (usual range 83-90)
2011 Forester = 83 (usual range 85-91)
2007 Corolla = 66 (usual range 55-76)
2005 Civic = 68 (usual range 26-51)
2000 Jeep = 54 (usual range 27-50)
Last Sunday during the NE/Steelers game before commercials they were showing clips from a children’s science museum there in Pittsburgh. It had a miniature train setup with a small town, streets, buildings – and a baseball stadium. Looked cool.
For us on Sunday we’re gathering in Macon, except M has to work. I need to work on several “projects.” In addition to entering sweepstakes and deleting emails I can research subjects for blog posts and paste things in my scrapbook calendars. Just got my new 2019 calendar so I’m set for another year. Also need to catch up on my sleep and get in a little exercise.
I’m already stressed out. Spent a good chunk of Tuesday Wednesday Thursday driving. Also this coming Sunday and Monday. Unrealistic expectations. People not thinking. Tons to do at work. Today’s my last day in the office. Tensions are rising. Causing me to make mistakes. Etc etc etc.
Just learned Ceil and I are spending Jan 26 weekend in Greensboro NC for her high school friend’s 60th birthday celebration. I hope it doesn’t snow. On Jan 12 I would like to see Steve Martin & Martin Short at the Fox Theater. It’s almost sold out so I probably won’t go.