Saturday, August 31, 2019

Restaurant Month

The past few years I’ve been trying to take advantage to various restaurant birthday clubs. A fun adventure. They’re not all created equally. Combined with stops for lunch and other snacks, I hit a bunch this month.

7.30 Chickfila sandwich (free)
8.01 Taco Mac burger with pal
8.02 Zaxby’s zalad (free)
8.03 Korean takeout (free)
8.06 Cicis Pizza (free)
8.07 Burger at home with fam.
8.08 Hooters wings (free)
8.09 Baskin Robbins cone (free)
8.10 Korean BBQ with friends
8.11 Baskin Robbins cone (free)
8.12 Moes burrito (free)
8.13 Red Robin (free)
8.14 Antico Pizza with Rob Suggs
8.15 Wendy’s 1.50
8.16 Baskin Robbins cone (free)
8.17 Taco Bell 2.50
8.17 Antico Pizza Anna’s bday
8.17 Jeni’s Ice Cream Anna’s bday
8.18 IKEA hot dogs 2.75
8.21 Taco Bell work lunch
8.22 Stevie-B’s Pizza
8.23 Wendy’s 2.50
8.25 Ruby Tuesday (free)
8.26 Taco Bell work lunch
8.27 CiCi’s Pizza
8.31 Moxie Burger

Some will freak out at the largess, forgetting that a vast majority were free or on the cheap. Gotta dial this back big time going forward.

Found an online list of free birthday clubs: Applebees (?), Firehouse, Corner Bakery, Bojangles (biscuit), Arbys (free shake), Houlihans (entre), Boston Market (dessert), Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Buca Di Beppo, (colossal sundae), Dickey’s BBQ (sandwich), Chilis (dessert), Hooters (ten wings), Moes (burrito), Red Robin (burger), Ruby Tuesday (burger), Baskin Robbins Ice Cream, Culvers Custard, CiCi’s Pizza Buffet, Sbarro Pizza,  Del Taco (free shake), Zaxbys (nibbler), Carvel Ice Cream, Red Lobster, Friendly’s (dessert), Panera (pastry), Cinnabon, Denny’s (free grand slam breakfast meal), Jersey Mikes (sub), Bubba Gump ($25 voucher), Quiznos (sub), Steak & Shake (shake, plus a burger & fries when you sign up), Dunkin Donuts (beverage), Spaghetti Warehouse (free meal). Not sure how many require a purchase. The link below has links to all the clubs so you can sign up. BOLD: I am signing up, or already have.

UGA NFL RB’s: Herschel, Terrell Davis, Garrison Hearst, Rodney Hampton, Gurley, Chubb, Michel, Holyfield. Andy Johnson (NE). Charlie Trippi. Has USC had that many? Or Alabama, who was recently named Running Back U? next up: Swift and Zeus. Maybe number 35 as well.

I might have only taken a year of PE at Tech. Might’ve taken Aerobics twice. Had to run a mile in a certain time to make an A. I did it. Whack Hyder was my Aerobics instructor, in the fall of 1977.

Took gymnastics in Winter 1978. Not sure why. Luckily the instructor was the football team’s strength coach. For some reason he liked me. We did lots of pushups, situps, and running. After the entire class did like 100 pushups at the same time, I did one extra. When he took roll we had to say how many pushups we did, he loved it when I answered “101!”

Then Drownproofing. Winter 1980. Made a B. Had to swim the length of the Olympic pool underwater to pass that test. To make an A you had to turn around and swim all the way back. I made the turn and started back. Kept swimming and made it all the way for the A. Then 30 minutes treading water with legs tied. Then with hands tied. Then both hands and legs. Then jumping in fully clothed, then use the shirt and pants as a flotation device. An interesting class. In drownproofing before each test they went over how to tread water with hands/feet tied, and we practiced first. The secret is to not thrash around but to slowly bob up and down in the water to take breaths.

Not sure how much P.E. college students have to take these days. Will took several PE classes, maybe even golf. Not sure how many Anna took.

Right now I am reading a fictional novel about women’s tennis, written by the lady who wrote “The Devil Wears Prada.” Called The Singles Game. I had searched the library for audiobooks on sports, and this one came up. It’s okay.

Thursday we were getting some boxes to take to the other warehouse. Renee struggled to move a big box so I thought it must be heavy. I looked at Lewis and said the big box looked like a 2-man job. I took one side and he took the other. We lifted it up and it was light as a feather. The whole way out to the car I was thinking Lewis was going to think I was a weakling. Later Lewis called him up to confess I had thought the box was heavier based on the way Renee moved it. He laughed and said he had thought the same thing!

Friday, August 30, 2019

Tigers Edge Jackets

Georgia Tech performed very well - for their first game with a new coach, against the defending national champions. The defense had a clue, was aggressive, and with a few exceptions did a good job. The D made wunderkind Trevor Lawrence look human, intercepting two of his passes, and coming close on a couple of others.
Glad Tech played all three QB’s. Last season I was partial to young Tobias Oliver, who is said to be the best athlete on the team. The elusive Warner Robins native broke off several long runs, but had trouble with several handoffs against the aggressive Clemson defense. Quite evident Oliver doesn’t have the arm to keep a defense honest. The second string passing QB Johnson was worse, letting the play clock almost run out on every play. I was impressed by the freshman third stringer Graham (top), who appeared to be the best passer, as well as an above average runner. Smart for Coach Collins to not throw him to the Tigers too early in the game. The kid would’ve thrived in Paul Johnson’s offense.
Tech’s return man was atrocious. On kickoffs time after time he would catch the ball at the goal line, run ten yards, then stop. A kick returner has to be fearless, running full speed until someone makes contact. At least then his momentum would carry him forward for a few more yards. But with defenders bearing down on you, a returner could never stop, change direction, and get away in time. Then there was the fair catch fumble after the Tech D had stuffed Clemson on the first series of the game. Grade: F.
The Jackets’ new kicker Wells looked good, though several of his kickoffs failed to reach the end zone. Might’ve been orders from the coaches. Junior punter Pressley Harvin III had a great night, repeatedly pinning Clemson deep in their own territory. Without Harvin the Tigers might’ve scored 70.

Tech would’ve had to play perfect to make it a game. Take away the three turnovers GT gifted Clemson deep in their own territory and the score might’ve been 31-21, had the Jackets scored after the interception returned down to the two yard line.
Wonder if when Dabo shook hands with Collins before the game, if Swinney told the Tech coach to leave the gimmicky 404 cap in the locker room. For the game Collins changed to a nice old school cap with a T on it.

I thought Clemson might’ve pulled QB Lawrence and RB Etienne at halftime or sooner, to keep them from getting hurt. Can’t blame them for continuing to attack, but it looked like Dabo was trying to pad the stats of his bell cows. If Etienne keeps up this pace (and he might) and the Tigers win out, the back will be a Heisman finalist for sure.

Clemson appears to have their best kicker since Chris Gardocki. I didn’t mind Potter trying a 51 yard field goal to give their new kicker game experience, but when a fan boasts about it on social media, that’s not good sportsmanship. And when someone posts “Tech brought a knife to a gunfight” that tells me that person didn’t know much about the status of the GT and Clemson programs.      
Question: since every player wears a big number on their jersey as well as their name, do they really need the first initial when there are more than one player with the same last name? At Alabama QB Tua’s long last name had already taken up all the space between each sleeve. Now with Tua’s brother also on the team, with a first name also starting with a T, Bama has added a TU. to the back of Tua’s jersey. Good thing one of them isn’t a junior.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Life in the Jungle

 Work has been so hectic I was reminded of the time Tarzan came home after a rough day, and uncharacteristically asked Jane to fix him a martini. Jane replied “Tarzan! What’s the matter?” Tarzan looked at her and replied “Jane, it’s a jungle out there!”
You know things are bad in this country when great jokes like that are now referred to as Dad Jokes.
Some UGA fans are finding Vandy tickets so expensive on the secondary market, that it’s cheaper to buy Vandy season tickets. Looks like Vandy also plays LSU at home. Also UNLV, Northern Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, and East Tennessee. Not much of an enticing schedule. If Ceil and I went to Nashville for the weekend I’m not sure I’d want to go to one of those other games. Once in a blue moon my feet will tingle and I get worried, but usually it’s because I was sitting weird.
Monday afternoon work got crazy, and I didn’t leave until 6:45. Something I’d been working on for two months got messed up. Now I’m in a pickle. Plus two other emergencies. Then rain on the way home. Everyone was driving crazy and pulling out in front of other people on the wet pavement. Had to blow by horn at a pickup crossing the center line. Had to stop by Kroger.

Made from scratch supper by Ceil. Hand-breaded chicken tacos on homemade corn meal tortilla shells, with cilantro rice and homemade refried beans, freshly made salsa, and guacamole. For dessert made from scratch banana pudding (ok, the vanilla wafers were store bought).

M was off rock climbing. Anna ate supper with us. She turned on the MTV video music awards to see Taylor Swift’s opening song. Later I notices the MTV VMAs were broadcast on like ten different networks. Not much on TV. Watched David Fehrety interview John McEnroe. Found the Braves replay on YouTube TV but didn’t like the announcers.
Cashed in an Amazon gift card to buy a new generation Apple TV, so we can dump cable – and watch Thursday night’s GT/Clemson game on the new ACC Network. Hearing some GT fans saying “upset alert!” They will be wrong.  
Braves/Jays: didn’t see the Donaldson ovations but heard about them. Very good. Similar to when Albert Pujols returned to St. Louis. Missed most of the game. I did see Acuna’s two outfield assists. He probably wouldn’t smile so much if his buddy Albies wasn’t right in front of him at second base pointing to him and egging him on. Freddie said the team needed to start hitting again.   
Tuesday: shouldn’t have, but I stopped for pizza on the way home. Wasn’t even that good. Gotta stop that. Hitting the workouts starting next week.
C was at her Tuesday night ministry and Anna was at Ponce City Market. I checked on the Braves, flipped over to Seinfeld (George & Lupe’), then watched two old episodes of Holy Holy. Love that show. Tried a Crackle TV show starring Rob Riggle, but turned it off after the opening credits. Finished with the Braves.
When I was halfway to work Wednesday morning I felt something under my shirt, biting me. Need to take it off, turn it inside out, and shake it out. Later I went over to the warehouse we’re moving out of, to pick up some items. As we arrived they were taking down the big Ryerson signs on the outside. Leftover Mexican for lunch.

Wednesday we received the new Apple TV 4K from Amazon. Took us a while to get it all hooked up but now we are ready to go. Before we wouldn’t have been able to watch tonight’s GT/Clemson game on the ACC Network. Now we can cut out cable, save $80 per month while still getting all the same channels we had before – except Hallmark Channel. But we’ll have options for that.
Ceil cooked black beans and rice. Anna and M ate with us. M was telling us about his classes at Georgia State. Anna has a lead on a job. After sup we kept setting up the TV. M and A ran an errand.
Friday we’re all bringing in food to celebrate the start of football. Next Thursday and Friday work is having a fund-raiser, selling hot dog lunches.  
My neighbor here at work has a cruise booked that embarks from Miami on Labor Day. She’s been glued to the weather radar, charting where the tropical storm will be. They hope to drive down on Saturday. In a related story, a huge container ship that hadn’t been heard from for nine years mysteriously reappeared in the Far East.
Coming attractions:
8.30 F GT Clemson recap
8.31 S restaurant month recap
9.01 S September bobbleheads
9.02 M GT predictions
9.03 T UGA predictions
9.04 W Clemson predictions
9.05 T recaps
9.06 F New Jersey
9.07 S Luke in the house
9.08 S NFL by the numbers
RICK RHODEN  [SABR Bio] a member of the 1979 WS Champion “We are Family” Pittsburgh Pirates, who  was the first player at his position to win three consecutive Silver Slugger awards. Hurled just one game in 1979 for PIT before injuries sidelined him the rest of the season. Three straight SS won as pitcher 1984-1986. A contemporary of Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, he was one of the 20th century’s greatest two-sport athletes. After his solid 16-year MLB career, Rhoden dominated the celebrity golf tournament circuit, earning over $2M on the links while winning the prestigious American Century Golf Classic a record 8 times. In the opening credits of the 1988 movie “Big”, character Josh Baskin pretends to be him, playing at the time for the Yankees. Watch “Rhoden” get taken deep starting at the 1:35 mark of this short YouTube video clip here.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Beltline: Where It Goes

Let’s figure out exactly where the Atlanta Beltline goes. When completed in 2030 the path will run 33 miles.
For fun we’ll start across the street from Ansley Mall. The Beltline crosses underneath the old railway bridge under Piedmont Avenue. It follows the rail tracks through the woods, behind the businesses across Monroe from my old house on Hillpine, under the bridge connecting Park Drive into Piedmont Park. The BL passes next to the park parking area and Park Tavern, crosses Monroe Drive and underneath Virginia Avenue and behind the Trader Joes across from Grady Stadium.
The Beltline follows the old railroad tracks past the site of old Ponce de Leon Park and the old magnolia tree, where a Home Depot now stands. Crosses over Ponce de Leon Avenue past the old Sears Building, now Ponce City Market.  Over North Avenue and Ralph McGill Avenue, under the Presidential Parkway and North Highland Avenue. Crosses Irwin Street near Krog Street Market.
Then the Beltline makes a left at Dekalb Ave, crosses under Edgewood Avenue through the Krog Street Tunnel, then left on Wylie Street almost to Flat Shoals Avenue. Then right due south through Reynoldstown over Memorial Drive and I-20, passing just east of Maynard Jackson High. The trail then bears southwest, eventually crossing Boulevard a few blocks south of Grant Park, then west past Carver High School south of University Avenue.
The trail passes under 75/85 just south of the University Ave exit, heads due west over Northside Drive (19/41), then bears northwest under Lee Street and the rail lines past Brown Middle School. Then continuing northwest, just west of West End, crossing under Ralph David Abernathy Blvd just west of W&MC’s Cornerstone Church. Then due north paralleling Langhorn Street and under I-20. This section is not yet open. 
The BL continues north through neighborhoods, passing behind W&MC’s house on Staffford Street, over MLK Jr Blvd and Hollowell Parkway near the Atlanta Food Bank. Not exactly sure this whole exact route. Only a three mile stretch is open right here. Then north past the Bellwood Quarry, up Marietta Blvd then east to the old rail line running just north of the Atlanta Water Works, crossing under Howell Mill and over Northside Drive just south of the 75 overpass. None of this is open right now. 
The loop is then completed as the Beltline passes underneath 75 and Collier Road, following the old railroad track route behind Piedmont Hospital, underneath Peachtree next to Benihana and my old Peachtree Park apartments, and on the Piedmont Road just south of Passion City Church, then doubling back under 85 and alongside the Ansley golf course, back to Ansley Mall. Not sure this section is open yet either.
The website was obviously assembled by a bureaucracy, with longwinded posts on history and plans, but zero easy to use information, like what parts of the beltline are actually open. The map on the website looks like someone drew the route on a map with a magic marker. The map above is only slightly better.
Yet the beltline is highly touted by the mayor whenever she publicizes the city. Look at this - just not too close. Like they say about Atlanta - the beltline will be great if they ever finish it. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

SI's NFL QB Rankings

Sports Illustrated's NFL QB rankings, based on the new pro football issue on the newsstands. These rankings are by team. Note SI's pick for where each team will finish in their division. A good list to review, since lately it's been hard for me to remember all the starting QB's in the NFL.

ME: Maholmes still has a lot to prove. Can he repeat. Can he get to the Super Bowl like twelve of his contemporaries?

With the sudden retirement of Andrew Luck, the Colts number three ranking will drop into the bottom quarter. Jacoby Brissett had some success filling in for Luck last year. Phillip Walker is also in camp. Chad Kelly didn't last in Denver last year. Has the vagabond Ole Miss standout matured enough to seize this opportunity? He's got the talent, but that may not be enough.

1. 1 AFC E NE Tom Brady SB Michigan
2. 1 AFC W KC Patrick Maholmes UNC
3. 1 AFC S IND Andrew Luck (retired) Stanford
4. 1 NFC S NO Drew Brees SB Purdue
5. 2 AFC W LAC Philip Rivers NC State
6. 2 NFC N GB Aaron Rodgers SB Cal
7. 2 AFC N PITT Ben Roethlisberger SB
8. 1 NFC E PHIL Carson Wentz

9. 2 NFC S ATL Matt Ryan SB Boston College
10. 3 NFC N DET Matthew Stafford UGA
11. 3 NFC W SEA Russell Wilson SB Wisconsin
12. 1 AFC N CLEV Baker Mayfield 2nd year Heisman OK
13. 1 NFC W LAR Jared Goff SB
14. 3 AFC S TEX Deshawn Watson Clemson
15. 2 NFC W SF Jimmy Garoppolo
16. 1 NFC N MIN Kirk Cousins SB

17. 3 NFC S CAR Cam Newton SB Heisman Auburn
18. 2 AFC E NYJ Sam Darnold 2nd year USC
19. 2 NFC E DAL Dak Prescott Miss State
20. 4 AFC W OAK Derek Carr
21. 4 NFC N CHI Mitchell Trubinsky 2nd year UNC
22. 2 AFC S TEN Marcus Mariota Heisman Oregon
23. 3 NFC E NYG Eli Manning SB Ole Miss Daniel Jones rookie Duke
24. 4 NFC S TB Jameis Winston Heisman FSU

25. 4 AFC S JAX Nick Foles Super Bowl MVP
26. 3 AFC W DEN Joe Flacco SB
27. 4 AFC S MIA Josh Rosen 2nd year UCLA
28. 4 AFC N CIN Andy Dalton
29. 4 NFC W ARIZ Kyler Murray rookie Heisman OK
30. 3 AFC E BUF Josh Allen
31. 3 AFC N BALT Lamar Jackson Heisman Louisville
32. 4 NFC E WASH Dwayne Haskins rookie Ohio State