Tuesday, April 30, 2019

NFL Draft: Thumbs Down

Had the NFL draft playing on the TV, I’m ashamed to say. Every media outlet grades each team’s draft (but rarely say who they should’ve picked instead). They add the disclaimer that you never really know for at least two years. Then why aren’t they grading the 2017 draft? Duh. MSN Sports gave the Falcons a D for drafting two offensive linemen in the first round, then later an athletic safety from Ohio State in round four. Supposedly they had to hit a home run to get a good grade. Not sure what offensive lineman would’ve been a home run.
Sports Illustrated’s pre-draft article on Kyler Murray didn’t point fingers, was up front with who was and wasn’t their sources – and made the Heisman Trophy winner out to be low key, undecisive, coddled by coach dad. Not exactly who you want leading your team. Plus he's shorter than 5'10" and only played full time one year. Sure his fortunes changed tremendously in the past year. The Murray family pretty much strung the Oakland A’s along. Dad has called the shots ever since pee wee ball, pestering Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin when Murray was at A&M. Dad had a negative experience in the lower rungs of pro baseball, changed his mind and got wined and dined by A&M boosters, then jumped ship one step ahead of NCAA probation. Could make for a bad grade for the Arizona Cardinals in two years.
As I’d said, Thursday afternoon I gave a plant tour to a former employee. Then Friday my boss took us out to lunch at the Duluth Diner. Not long after we got back we had a visitor. After we all met with him he wanted a quick plant tour as well. I thought my boss would lead him on the first part of the tour, so I dashed off to get the golf cart to make the second half of the tour quicker. He knew a lot about tube mills and tube lasers. We rode back and I saw him to the front door, but then I had to take the golf cart back and return the hardhats and safety glasses. Took time to visit with the ladies in the faraway office I rarely frequent, who do good work for me. By the time I walked back to my desk it was 4:30. I quickly finished up and left out at 4:50.
Drove straight home, finding out along the way the event was starting at six, not seven. C had loaded her car so I parked my car, got out, and got in her CRV and took off. Got there just as it was starting. Was in the basement so my cell phone didn’t have good reception. I try to post to my blog every night, but I had been tied up from 11:30 am to 2 am without a chance to post anything. A miss.  
Delicious covered dish supper at Secret Church. BBQ beef, casseroles, salads, cole slaw, cookies, brownies, lemon pie, and other treats. Had to take care of some work emergencies, but got my boss to take over when the preaching started.
Saturday morning we postponed small group due to the late Friday evening. More work details and trucks to arrange. Ceil cooked scrambled eggs and potatoes for a late breakfast. I did dishes, cleaned in the kitchen, cleaned upstairs, and did some laundry. Washed and detailed Ceil’s CRV. Sprayed for carpenter bees.
Drove over to Topgolf at 6:45, meeting coworkers Jonathan, Brad, Angie, and Rachel, and their spouses. The parking lot was jammed. They even have valet parking. The nine of us alternated hitting balls, snacking, talking, eating, and even a little dancing. I tried out several clubs but mostly hit 8 irons all night. Others hit drivers. Ceil hadn’t hit a golf ball in 24 years but got back in the groove.
After ordering several different appetizers, later we ordered dinner. Ceil got a grilled chicken salad. Several guys got the bacon BBQ burger. Several special orders with no onions, no this, no that. I didn’t want mine to get mixed up so I had the breakfast burger with bacon and fried egg and onions. Later we ordered desserts: ice cream sundaes and donut holes. In all the food wasn’t too bad. A waitress kept checking in making sure we had everything we needed. Left for home at 9:45. By the time we got there I was already sore.  
Sunday school and worship. Leftover casserole for lunch. Watched the Braves win. The Rockies aren’t slouches. Cut the grass, blew the drive, washed my car. Watched Golden State beat Houston. Leftover Mexican for supper. Watched the movie “Central Intelligence” with Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Kevin Hart. Filmed in Atlanta. Will played golf on Sunday afternoon.

Anna attended her last class today.
Her graduation party - one week from tomorrow - is going to be the social event of the season. On Facebook 82 people have already RSVP'd.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Secret Church 2019

I know how you like good preaching. Friday night I attended a Bible Study that went from 6 pm past 1:30 am. The preacher preached and prayed for over four hours twenty minutes.    
Picked up Ceil and made it to our Sunday School teacher's house for Secret Church shortly after six Friday evening. We started with communion, then we ate a covered dish supper before Secret Church began at 7 pm.
Secret Church was the brainchild of David Platt, now the young chairman of the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board. One time many years ago he arrived on location on a mission trip, where new believers had gathered in a secret location on a Friday evening. With few resources, they asked Platt to give them an overview of the Bible. Thinking he would talk for an hour, he started in Genesis and talked about the Old Testament. The people urged him to keep going, and they listened past midnight. "Can you come back tomorrow?" they asked. Platt thought it might be a short morning session. They asked him to return at 6 am, and again they went far into the night. Afterward he realized there wasn't a comparable experience here in the US.
While we don't have to meet in secret (yet), while pastoring a church in Birmingham Platt began leading holding a similar Bible Study once a year, also taking time to remember and pray for persecuted Christians around the world. Each year the subject is different. Last year the subject was cults and counterfeit gospels. Next year will be God, Government, and the Gospel. This year, the 19th Secret Church, was about prayer, fasting, and the pursuit of God. We all received 250 page workbooks to follow along.
After an opening prayer and welcome at 7 pm Platt began, alternating between preaching and praying, starting in Genesis and touching on scriptures in most of the books of the Bible: 77 topics in the Old Testament and 48 from the New Testament, a total of 125 texts and takeaways. All the verses and numerous quotes and stories were printed in the workbook. Many he would read. He kept to his outline. You had to pay close attention as there were blanks to fill in.  
Platt preached rapid fire style. He covered Genesis to Deuteronomy – 16 passages – in little over an hour. His intent was to cover a lot of ground, not deep dive. This approach is okay when trying to give the listener a broad overview. A devote follower could then take the notes and dig deeper.

At 8:15 we watched a video on the persecuted Christians in Somalia, then took a short Break. By 8:55 Platt was back at it, starting in Joshua and working through Song of Solomon by 10:02 pm – 47 more points. There were about 30 of us, and during the second break we spilt into small groups to pray specifically for Somolian: their leadership, well-being, etc.
At 10:52 pm Platt preached on the Old Testament prophets, started with Isaiah. At 11:11 pm we hit the New Testament Gospels. During this third session we covered 31 more passages, hitting all four gospels before backtracking to Matthew 26.
At 11:55 pm Platt took a short break, then fired up again in Acts at 12:15 am for the home stretch – 31 more passages through the rest of the New Testament. He finished up Revelation with a recap, ending at 1:16 am. The moderator lead a closing prayer, signing off the broadcast at 1:25 am. We had ourselves a closing prayer, and started cleaning up at 1:31 am. Didn't get home until right at 2 am.
Christians in all 50 states took part in the study, along with others in over 70 countries. At least 53,000 people in all. As you can see, there have been several good topics over the years. I want to type up some notes but with 125 bullet points, it will be long.

2001 Old Testament Survey
2002 New Testament Survey
2003 How to Study the Bible
2004 Who is God?
2005 Exploring the Holy Spirit
2006 The Cross of Christ
2007 Angels, Demons, & Spiritual Warfare
2008 The Gospel, Possessions, & Prosperity
2009 The Body of Christ
2010 Crucifixion, Salvation, & the Glory of God
2011 Family, Marriage, Sex, & the Gospel
2012 The Cross & Suffering
2013 Heaven, Hell, & the End of the World
2014 The Cross & Everyday Life
2015 Christ, Culture, & a Call to Action
2016 A Global Gospel in a World of Religions
2017 Scripture & Authority in a World of Religions
2018 Cults & Counterfeit Gospels
2019 Prayer, Fasting, & the Pursuit of God
2020 God, Government, & the Gospel

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Iron Horse

Lou Gehrig…
…is the only hall of famer with more than ten steals of home (493 HR, 15 steals of home).
…batted in more than 100 runs 13 seasons in a row (1926-1938).
…was not elected to the HOF the first time he was on the ballot. In 1936 Gehrig received 22.6% of the votes – while he was still an active player (he won the AL MVP).
…once said ”in the beginning I used to make one terrible play a game. Then I got so I’d make one a week and finally I’d pull a bad one once a month. Now I’m trying to keep it down to one a season.” Also learned something about the guy who batted ahead of him in the order...

Wednesday: stopped at Moes on the way home. For supper I just ate the chips and two kinds of salsa (one had pineapple). M came home with takeout from Taqueria. Then C game home with a salad from Chickfila. Good intense episode of Chicago Med. Violent, which is par for the course on TV these days. Also watched the Braves.
We had cake for administrative assistants day. The admins all had lunch from Dominics, the fancy restaurant in downtown Norcross. I wound up with a leftover chicken sub from Dominics. This morning someone brought donuts and cinnamon rolls, and Fresca. For lunch I have my Moes burrito.
Thursday: gave an ex-employee a plant tour. I think when he quit they hired me to replace him. Been using his company for years and this was the first time I’d met him. His warehouse is a few blocks west of old Turner Field. It’s a huge old series of warehouses, and several movies have been filmed there, including the most recent Spiderman movie.
Coworker Frances recently celebrated her 51st anniversary with the company. A week or so later another guy in her office turned 50 years old, and someone commented that Frances was already working here when he was born.
M turned in a term paper. I left work at six. Got home at seven and Ceil was sitting on the couch watching the “pregame” for the NFL Draft, which wasn’t starting until eight. She likes the ESPN College Game Day crew of Reece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, and Lee Corso. Later we watched the first two picks before changing the channel. Also watched some Braves and more of the draft. C cooked a bean dish, which we ate over rice with tossed salad. Also chips. M ate with us. He usually adds a hot sauce.
Saw an article about the ten best BBQ places in Memphis, written by a native. Saw another article about the top diners in every state, and clicked on it to see what they said about Georgia. Surely the Majestic Diner on Ponce de Leon. No. The Marietta Diner on Cobb Parkway, near the Big Chicken. Similar to the Duluth Diner just up Peachtree Industrial from our office. My boss took us there for lunch on Friday. I’ve had a variety of dishes there over the years: burgers, a deep-fried monte cristo sandwich, a chicken philly sandwich. Today the waitress recommended the regular philly cheese, so I got that. Very good. The fries are always just okay.
Wore my Memphis Grizzlies socks Friday, by the way. Friday was “secret church” at our Sunday School teacher’s house, from 6 pm – 1:45 am. Ceil went last year. A worldwide thing led by David Platt. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Would’ve been fun to listen to Rob Suggs talk about writing. I do need to write up a complete recap of my spiritual journey myself. I’ve added bits and pieces along the way, but not one big overview. And the Wednesday night SPdL May Baptist talks as well. Next Wednesday night I’m going to JFBC for a “critique of Darwin’s evolutionary theory and Theistic Evolution.” I’ll send you my notes.
Speaking of meeting subjects, Georgia Tech is hosting a series of lectures to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Periodic Table of Elements. Last week’s lecture sounded relatively interesting, but I still passed. The title was “The Periodic Table: A Treasure Trove of Passion, Adventure, Betrayal, & Obsession.”
W&MC are going to Hilton Head with her family in late May.
Finally got out SOME of my summer clothes. Need to get more, and put away some winter clothes. It just worked out that I’ve worn three different navy golf shirts three days in a row. One Georgia Tech (Russell, one Nike, and one Under Armour. If I want tomorrow I can wear another navy golf shirt, my Ryerson one.   

Saturday, April 27, 2019


Night out with coworkers tonight at Topgolf Alpharetta.
Ceil got in the swing of things. Click on links for videos.
Angie took this nice picture showing the whole setup.
That's Jonathan's wife Valerie about to swing.
 Looks cool after dark, but I couldn't follow the ball.
Appetizers, burgers, salads, donut holes, ice cream sundaes, beverages.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Know Your Ballplayer #4

More fascinating info…

JOHN SMOLTZ  [SABR Bio] is the only pitcher in major league history to record both 200 wins and 150 saves - 213 W / 154 S. Tiger Woods called him the best golfer outside of the PGA Tour that he has seen - "Smoltzy? Well, I had not ever played with an amateur that had ever shot the scores he shot... I've gone out there with him when he's shot 69-67 in the same day … so it's pretty phenomenal." ~Tiger Woods. He is a distant cousin of Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer. "My grandmother was a Gehringer." ~John Smoltz during the playoff broadcast on 11-Jun-2016.
FRANK ROBINSON [SABR Bio] won a Rookie of the Year Award, a Triple Crown, two Most Valuable Player awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom - ROY 1956, TC 1966, MVP 1961 & 1966,  MoF 2005. He is one of only two major league players to have his number retired by three different organizations. His #20 retired in Cincinnati, Baltimore & Cleveland (Nolan Ryan has also had his uniform number thrice retired). He hit a home run in first at bat as a player-manager. HR as Mgr 08-Apr-1975 off Doc Medich of NYY.

JOHN MONTEFUSCO [SABR Bio] a former Rookie of the Year, hit a home run in his first major-league at-bat – 1st AB HR = 03-Sep-1974 off Charlie Hough. He has a no-hitter on his major league résumé - No-no = 26-Sep-1976 vs. ATL. He also served two years in prison. Indicted in December 1997 and released on bail in November 1999; acquitted in February 2000 of the most serious charges and found guilty of criminal trespass and simple assault and so sentenced to three years of probation.
RICK DEMPSEY [SABR Bio] a 24-year veteran catcher, is the uncle of former baseball commentator on Canadian television. Gregg Zaun, former MLB catcher, is Dempsey's nephew and was regularly seen from 2006 through 2017 between innings during Blue Jays games, among other events. He (the uncle) won a Little League World Series championship and an MLB World Series championship - LLWS in 1963 with Canoga Park-Woodland Hills, California; WS in 1983 w/BAL. In fact, he was the WS MVP n '83. He owns a brew pub in one of the best possible locations. Restaurant located inside the gates at OPACY. 

DUANE WARD a righty who led the league in saves and games finished then was in the top five for the Cy Young Award and top 25 for the MVP award in his last full year in the majors. In 1993 Ward had 45 S (tied w/ KCR's Jeff Montgomery), 70 GF, finished #5 in CYA voting, tied for 22nd in league MVP voting and…oh yeah, led his team to a World Series championship. Has more games finished, saves and strikeouts and a better career pitcher's WAR than any other pitcher born in his state. His 272 GF, 121 S & 678 K plus 10.15 WAR led all pitchers born in the state of New Mexico. He grew up in the small town now known as "Baseball Town, USA" - Farmington, New Mexico, a town with fewer than 300 people at its founding in 1901, occupies the northwesternmost corner of the state. 
RUDY MAY led his league in ERA at the age of 35, but never led the league in any other major category during his sixteen-year career - 2.46 ERA for NYY in 1980 led the AL. In his MLB debut, he pitched nine innings, gave up one hit but no earned runs, struck out ten, but took a no-decision. Debut G = 18-Apr-1965 One of his Oakland, California high school teammates was a future Hall of Famer. Attended Castlemont High School, Oakland w/Joe Morgan.
TIPPY MARTINEZ a former Yankee and Minnesota Twin, his only All-Star appearance was in the same season he led his team to a World Series championship - AS + WS = 1983; Played for NYY in 1974-76, for MIN in 1988. This former Ram was in the tenth year of his fourteen-season career - Attended Colorado State University. In his ninth season, he had parlayed a Player of the Week Award into a Pitcher of the Month Award. Was voted AL Player of the Week near the end of July 1982 when he had finished 6 straight G, including a W & 2 S. That topped off a terrific July where he appeared in 16 of the Os' 27 G w/4saves, 2 holds and a W. A grass roots fan club was created for him near the bullpen where home fans blew on an official whistle every time he came into the game. "Tippy's Tweeters" were a grass roots fan club was created for Martinez near the bullpen in left field of Memorial Stadium in 1980.  Fans blew on an Official Oriole Tweeter every time he came into the game as the reliever and again if he struck out the side.
SCOTT McGREGOR was a BBTL 13-year veteran pitcher played high school baseball with a first-ballot Hall of Famer whom he later held to a .222 BA in the majors. El Segundo High School, California with George Brett, who went 12-54 against McGregor. McGregor spent his playing career and is spending his post-playing career with the Orioles. Has been an All-Star, a 20-game winner and a part-time pastor at a Christian church. Rock City Church. Had a 20-8 record in 1980 and was an AS the next year in Cleveland, but did not play. 

PEPE FRIAS was the last player from the Quebec Provincial League to reach the majors. Frias played for the Quebec City Carnavals in 1971. The independent Quebec Provincial League folded at the end of that year. It had been a haven for black and Indian players excluded from organized baseball. Taking full advantage of the geography of North America, he finished his professional career in the Mexican League. His lone home run in the majors came at the expense of John Candelaria - HR = 02-May-1979. He did not write "Rita's Tune" - Rita's Tune
WEEKLY THEME – Players traded for Doyle Alexander

Traded by LAD to BAL for Frank Robinson 02-Dec-1971
Traded by BAL to NYY for Rick Dempsey, Tippy Martinez, Rudy May & Scott McGregor 15-Jun-1976
Traded by TEX to ATL for Pepe Frias 06-Dec-1979
Traded by ATL to SFG for John Montefusco 12-Dec-1980
Traded by TOR to ATL for Duane Ward 06-Jul-1986
Traded by ATL to DET for John Smoltz 12-Aug-1987