Thursday, April 30, 2020

April Ends

Anna took her bike to Piedmont Park late Tuesday to safe distance with friends. Will played golf in Alpharetta. Ceil handed out lunches at The Table on Delk women's ministry. Matthew worked.
Tuesday was baked chicken, sour cream potatoes, broccoli, and tossed salad. Not much on TV so we watched a Hallmark Channel rerun: "Royal Matchmaker." We'd watched it before, then C watched it last week. I turned it on and sure enough she watched the whole thing again. I played on my laptop and did my Hinge Health exercises.

Sad times. Last April we sold over $3 million to my customer. This April we'll be lucky to break $750,000.00. One of our team members was furloughed yesterday, without pay. Today our company is asking for voluntary furloughs. Sounds like later today or tomorrow there will be more office folk getting furloughed. I could very well be one of them.
Wednesday I was sneezing all day. Miserable. Took some pills. Went to bed all bundled up. Slept okay and better today. Ceil wasn't feeling well either. Didn't really eat supper or watch TV. Forgot to put on my watch for the second night this week. Did have a good night of sleep Tuesday night: 7:27 total 6:25 quality 4:22 deep with a heart rate of 60.

Remembering the trade that sent Doyle Alexander to the Tigers in return for a Double A pitcher with a 4-10 record and 5.68 ERA. Braves general manager Bobby Cox made that trade. As GM Cox drafted Chipper Jones, Ryan Klesko, and Steve Avery. Was getting updates on that 1995 World Series game on TV last night. Didn't watch but saw it was on. Not sure if they are showing only the games the Braves won, or even the ones they lost.  Klesko hit three home runs in that series.
Not sure but it appears Barney's other hind leg is sore. Monday evening while I was on the phone I hooked up his leach and took him outside. Usually we put on his gentle leader leash around his nozzle but I only had one hand while I was on the phone. We went outside and he sat down on the driveway, something he never does. Later I got him to walk down the street. Our neighbor was pitching to his three young boys. Barney and I were in the middle of their "field" -  standing in the street in front of their house. Once a grounder came my way, and I was able to knock it back to the other son who was the fielder. Got Barney to head back to our driveway, where he laid down again. Called Ceil to come outside. She brought a piece of chicken to coax Barney back inside.
Usually during the day Barney just lays around, moving from the hallway (where he can look outside at passersby on the street), his bed, the couch in here near me, the tile floor in here by me, and the couch in the front room where he can also ook out the front. When Ceil is working at the dining room table he skips the front couch and instead hops onto the cushioned chair where he can keep an eye on her.
I've been signing up for birthday clubs. My other friend Reid is a pro at it. He sent me a list. At some you get a free meal for signing up. Need to stop by Zaxbys for a Zax Snax, Steak & Shake for a milkshake, and Andy's Custard for a treat. For lunch one day I need to go to Del Taco. Have to mail off a 1996 Olympic Softball cap that sold on eBay. As soon as I threw away all my extra boxes people started buying my stuff. Murphy's Law. 
While I am working on my laptop for some reason I receive pop up notifications whenever I get an email on my gmail account. Wish I knew how to turn them off.   
Remembering when Melanie Sheffield and I figured out we were related (her mom is related by marriage to my cousin), or when Anna found out she was "related" to her good friend Caroline Hargraeves (her cousin married Claire).
Last week I noticed the streetlight at the end of our driveway was out. Really darker than usual. Called it in and this morning they came and fixed it. Maybe the second time it's been out in the 20-something years we've lived here.

 JOEY VOTTO Canadian BLTR first baseman is the Cincinnati Reds' all-time on-base percentage leader - On-Base % = .421. He has thrice led the majors in on-base percentage and bases-on-balls, but only once did he do it in the same year. Led the majors in OBP in 2010, 2012 & 2017. Led in BB in 2013, 2015 & 2017. No less than three of his nicknames found their way into Call him "Votto-matic", "JoVo" or "Tokki 2". The first 2 seem straightforward enough, but the third is explained in this interview.
Last year Votto and the Reds wore a series of awesome throwbacks. When on deck he's been known to banter with nearby fans, including Jerry Seinfeld and David Letterman. He also meets up with sick children, and gifts them with bats and jerseys.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

MLB Uni Rankings?

Today Paul Lukas of Uni Watch published his 2020 MLB uniform rankings. If you’ve ever read his blog, you quickly learn that despite a loyal following, his blog is his world, dictated by his rules/pet peeves. You are welcome to disagree, but do so and he will quickly say why you’re wrong. Some peeves I agree with, some not. Peeves such as:
1. Purple bad. Green good. ME: whatever. I like blue.
2. Corporate advertisements on uniforms are bad. ME: a sign on the times. I don’t like ads on NBA jerseys or the Nike swoosh on the chest of MLB jerseys.
3. The term “blue collar” is overused to describe players and teams. ME: any more than any other analogy, or the term “iconic” or awesome”?
4. The removal of New Era logos from the side of MLB caps should be celebrated. ME: whatever.
5. Paul lets you know he doesn’t buy $200 polyester shirts (jerseys). He will model Uni Watch t-shirts, basketball uniforms, and hockey sweaters that he sells (he has an explanation for that). I don’t buy $200.00 jerseys, but I do buy them from thrift stores.
6. Native American iconography should be removed from sports. No more Redskins, Indians, Chiefs, or Braves. No more tomahawks or chops. I get it. I’m not going to ram #ChopOn down people’s throats, but I’m not ready to abandon my beloved Braves just yet.
Like many in media, Paul has been facing tougher times making a living. He was laid off by ESPN and Sports Illustrated. He did land an occasional gig writing for, but I wonder if his obvious personal bias, right or wrong, might jeopardize future employment. Perhaps InsideHook appreciates his bias and ideology.     
Paul sells various Uni Watch merchandise, such as stickers, pins, mugs, mini-helmets, and the aforementioned apparel. Some appealing to me, others not. I have enough stuff already. What is cool is the personalized Uni Watch membership cards. Like he says, they’re just fun to keep in your wallet. He’s sold hundreds, all displayed on his website.
Since I’m cheap, I have yet to spring for a membership card. These days generous readers have been donating memberships for Paul to raffle off. Not sure what uniform I would get on a card, in part because selections are subject to Paul’s rules, like the no Indian iconography, and no purple (except for one day a year). Sometimes I wonder if I really want to claim membership in his community.
Paul is anti-tomahawk. Not sure if he is anti-Braves feather, which is what I’d want. Other designs, like the distinctive Maravich-era Hawks striped uniform, don’t transfer well to a membership card. Another option: the back of a UGA helmet, with merit stars circling around Herschel’s number 34.   
Anyway, here’s his obviously biased MLB rankings. Green team ranked high. Purple ranked low. Braves and Indians near the bottom, behind several obviously inferior uniforms. Braves also ranked low due to their red alternate jerseys, though several higher ranked teams wear them as well: #9 Orioles, #11 Red Sox, #13 Giants, and #16 Angels. Paul ranked his beloved Mets eighth despite having two different blue jerseys. Oakland ranks second despite two green jerseys.
These days MLB teams wear too many alternate jerseys for an old-timer like me. I’m no fan of the Braves red or navy alternate jerseys, but the majority of the fan base are. I’ll include the total number of uniforms each time has, and the color of the alternates.
1. Cardinals (4 sets) alts of cream & powder blue.
2. Athletics (5) yellow and the two green alts.
3. Cubs (3) navy alt.
4. Phillies (4) cream and powder blue alts.
5. Dodgers (3) no royal jersey, just two grey road unis.
6. Tigers (2) home and road.
7. Yankees (2) home and road.
8. Mets (4) the two blue alts.
9. Orioles (4) black and orange.
10. Blue Jays (4) royal and powder blue
11. Red Sox (4) red and navy
12. White Sox (4) black and throwback
13. Giants (4) black and orange
14. Brewers (4) pinstripe and navy
15. Padres (5) brown and two camos
16. Angels (3) red
17. Mariners (5) teal, cream, navy
18. Royals (6) powder blue, royal, & 2 alt whites
19. Pirates (5) two alt blacks & one alt white
20. Rays (4) navy and powder blue
21. Astros (4) orange and navy
22. Reds (5) two red alts and one white
23. Nationals (6) red, navy, & 2 white alts
24. Twins (6) red, 2 navys, & powder blue
25. Diamondbacks (5) red, black, & a white alt
26. Rockies (4) black jersey& black vest
27. Rangers (5) red, blue, & powder blue
28. Braves (5) red, navy, cream
29. Indians (4) red, navy
30. Marlins (3) black   
The Mets fan wants to change the name of the Braves, and deep six the tomahawk. What if in honor of Hank Aaron we rename the team the Hammers? Then they can sell foam hammers, and fans can chant while swinging the foam hammer.
My rankings – except the Braves, I count off for anything not white, grey, cream, or powder blue.
1. Braves (5) timeless home uni & cream alt   
2. Cardinals (4) white, grey, cream, powder blue.
3. Yankees (2) classic
4. Tigers (2) road uni not as nice as NYY
5. Dodgers (3) I get the 2 grey jerseys
6. Phillies (4) nice powder blue throwbacks
7. Blue Jays (4) powder blues
8. Padres (5) back in brown
9. Twins (6) powder blues
10. Red Sox (4) despite alternates
11. Cubs (3) despite navy top
12. Mariners (5) nice shades of blue
13. Royals (6) nice shades of blue
14. Rays (4) nice shades of blue
15. Rangers (5) powder blue
16. Indians (4) despite alternates
17. Athletics (5) two green jerseys?
18. Mets (4) two blue jerseys?
19. Brewers (4) despite alternates
20. Angels (3) despite alternate
21. White Sox (4) black bad but nice throwback
22. Giants (4) same as Baltimore
23. Orioles (4) same as Giants
24. Astros (4) same as SF & Orioles
25. Pirates (5) too much black
26. Reds (5) hate the black trim
27. Rockies (4) too much black
28. Nationals (6) too many combos
29. Marlins (3) Black on black? Bleh.
30. Diamondbacks (5) Black.
Not the first time I’ve disagreed with Paul. He can have his little world, and I will keep mine.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Top Five Braves Left Fielders

Mark Bowman's top five Braves left fielders.
1. Rico Carty 1963-1972 highest fWAR 25.1 and bWAR 23.2. Only trailed Yaz during that time period. Finished second for 1964 ROY. 1970 batting champ with .366 average.
2. Sid Gordon 1950-1953 ranked second with 18.2 fWAR and 19.3 bWAR. OPS = .886.

3. Ron Gant 1987-1993 went 30 HR 30 SB in 1990 and 1991, in 1993 fell four SB short. But Gant only played LF for two seasons: 1992 and 1993.  
4. Ryan Klesko 1992-1999 has highest AB/HR ratio among Braves LF – 16.89. Most HR as a LF – 139. Only Carty has more starts.
5. Lonnie Smith 1988-1992 ranked second in MLB with 8.1 fWAR in 1989. Helped boost Braves to World Series in 1991. .948 OPS in 1988. Ranks fourth in franchise history with 14.9 fWAR.
HM: Ralph Garr led NL in triples and hits in 1974.
HM: Hank Aaron & Chipper topped the charts at RF and 3B.
HM Justin Upton 2013-2014 only played two years in Atlanta. Ranked fourth in MLB with 7.2 fWAR.
NR: Ronald Acuna has only played 147 games in left.

Sleep: my watch wasn't charged last night, so it didn't monitor my sleep. Sorry, no stats today. Haven't been wearing a watch during the day because I have a sore spot on my wrist, right where the watch is.
Not much else. Monday meals: breakfast eggyboy, lunch quesadillas, grilled chicken breast for supper. Also ice and tossed salad. Tuesday breakfast is oatmeal. TV last night was The Voice while I played on my laptop.

Sunday evening when I was talking to my mom, she told me that later that night she was being moved from Milledgeville to Coliseum Hospital in Macon. My mom said my sister would be calling me with the details.
JIM RICE  [SABR Bio] was the last twentieth-century player to hit fifteen triples in consecutive seasons - 15 3B in 1977 & 15 in 1978. No one has ever grounded into more major league double plays in a season - 36 GIDP in 1984. He is the only player since Willie Mays to lead the majors in home runs and triples in the same season. Rice hit 15 3B & 47 HR in 1978. Mays in 1955: (13 3B & 51 HR). In fact, the only other player ever to do it was Harry Stovey in 1880 for the Worcester Ruby Legs: (14 3B & 6 HR). That same year he also had more at bats, more hits, more RBI, more total bases and a higher slugging percentage than anyone else in the majors. In '78 Rice had 677 AB, 213 H, 139 RBI, 406 TB and a .600 SLG %. Rice's dominant offensive exploits earned him the AL's MVP by an overwhelming vote despite being substantially out-WARed (9.6 to 7.6) by Ron Guidry (25-3, 1.74 ERA). He attended T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, South Carolina. Their mascot is the Yellowjacket.

Monday, April 27, 2020

RIP Steve Dalkowski

Glad the draft didn't go another round. Goodell might've had his shirt off by the end.

NFL is getting rave reviews for its draft, giving America a live “sporting” event to watch. Better than the usual draft with huge players in $3,000.00 suits coming onstage like a beauty pageant.  Instead players were surrounded by loved ones. Coaches and GMs were out of their element, working from home like the rest of America. The whole thing gave a glimpse of the human side of the draft, with so many players having their lifelong dreams being realized.
Teams would rather have a QB with a big arm but can't read defenses or call audibles. We'll see who lasts and how don't.

Big news: a crew was out working on the road just up the street. Need to call the water department – our street light is out. 
Sunday: watched Passion City Church service. As usual C went to the grocery store. We went out on a 2-1/2 mile walk around the neighborhood. Later I mowed the grass. Windy so I had plenty of sweetgum balls to kick off the driveway. Did my hinge health exercises as well. In all I got in almost six miles 12000 steps. Left heel is sore. Didn’t help that I wore flat sneakers with little cushioning on Saturday. But they looked good.
Sunday afternoon I had leftover soup for a late lunch. Skipped supper but ate leftover meatballs later on. Still plenty of leftovers in the fridge: baked chicken, sweet potatoes, black beans, rice. C says she’s going to make chicken salad.
Watched Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Also Romancing the Stone, a great movie. Later Ceil’s shows on Hallmark Channel. After that two episodes of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Stayed up late working on some focus group stuff. This morning Ceil fixed me an eggy boy.

Also worked on the list of games I’ve attended. Added 2019 but need to add some details. Also need to finish 2016 as well as 2017 and 2018.  

Hadn’t been drinking my Mtn Dews until this weekend. Drank 12 ounces each day. Wonder if that’s why I haven’t been sleeping well. CPAP machine has been bothering me, maybe because I’m not falling asleep. Thought I’d sleep better last night after all the exercise but no.
651   420    222   63 WED PM
711   429    114   60 THU
646   431    000   66 FRI
556   343    031   62 SAT
532   323    100   64 SUN 
RIP STEVE DALKOWSKI  [Bio] whom the “Bull Durham” character Ebbie Calvin LaLoosh said to be based. We know that character better as Nuke LaLoosh as he earned his nickname during the film. Dalkowski also had blazing speed, but erratic ability to hit the strike zone. His fastball was nicknamed “White Lightening” and was believed by some baseball insiders to be as fast a 110 miles per hour. No accurate radar guns were in existence in Dalkowski’s time, but very few people who saw him pitch believe that his fastball was anything less than 100 mph. He was on the Topps 1963 Rookies card, but never made it to the majors. Rookie card #496 in the 1963 set.
In the minors, he played nine seasons, laboring for teams in levels D (short-season), D, C, B, A, AA, and AAA. Fourteen of the sixteen teams he pitched for in the minors were part of the Baltimore Orioles farm system. Ted Williams stepped in against him in a batting practice for one pitch and said he didn’t even see the ball. Adding to the anxiety of batters who faced him, he wore thick prescription glasses. A few years ago Sports Illustrated published an article about Dalkowski. 

Confession, if you haven't already figured it out: I steal my kids pictures off social media. One day they'll thank me. Or maybe their kids will thank me. If the internet is still a thing.

Pet peeve: people post an article on social media, and ask a question - that is answered in the article! If someone comments with an answer, are they going to listen - or say what they think? Then why did they ask the question?
Ramblings on the virus: okay everyone has had their fun with the tattoo parlors and bowling alley jokes. Same with drinking household disinfectant. Enough already. It’s not funny any more. It’s gone the way of Hump Day jokes. If people can buy clothes at WalMart, why can’t small businesses reopen? People are going to grocery stores. We’re going to have a bunch of shuttered businesses if they can’t reopen soon. Sure there will be a second spike. People are getting careless and going out. Really no one knows for sure. A bunch of unknowns. Lots of people not staying home. I’m going to stay home as much as possible. Never went out much anyway. Making a point to not go visit my 89 year-old father, who is all alone. There’s always the chance I could pass something I picked up from C or M or someone at Kroger the one time I went out all month.   
Another soapbox: some people these days just don’t know how to communicate with other people.  How to get along with others. Put others first. Have I said this before? Not just young people who have their eyes glued to their phones all day. Also old people who have their eyes glued to their phones all day. People who before the virus didn’t have jobs where every day had to give and take with customers and suppliers and coworkers of various levels, who had to learn how to read people and listen to what they were saying. Heck, to actually think before saying something, or sending something out in writing that can never be taken back. Sure we all have varying degrees of aptitudes. I’m certainly not the greatest people person in the world. I’ll never win the most outgoing award, but still I need to be able to develop relationships and get along with other people.
With this world getting all the more technical, things will get even harder for us older people. We used to laugh at old people with VCRs blinking 1200. Now I have to careful not to reply to the wrong text or email – not just to not look foolish, but also to respect the time and privacy of others. Some people don’t know how to pick their battles. They’re more concerned with tiny hundred dollar battles instead of the multi-thousand dollar war. Why can't everyone be like Mary-Clayton? 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Attack on Secret Church

Friday: so the Secret Church we were supposed to "attend" on line – normally a church would gather together to follow the Secret Church all together. Last year my Sunday School class gathered in our teacher's basement, about 30 of us. This year everyone had to log on from home, at 7 pm. Some people were able to log in, then get kicked off after a few seconds. We were never able to get logged on. Class members were sending messages. Eventually we learned what happened Secret Church was a victim of a cyber terrorism attack. They were hacked right when it was supposed to start. We'll be able to watch Secret Church replay any time through the end of July. It lasts like six hours.

For more on Secret Church, founded by former SBC International Mission Board chairman David Platt, read my recap of last year's Secret Church
New: Anna has a bunch of "subscribers" for some sort of "quarantine diaries" email she's been sending out. I'm trying to stay out of it, though she said I could subscribe. She's moving back to Athens in August.
Thursday night Barney came upstairs again. For the record he didn't come upstairs Friday night, instead sleeping at the bottom of the steps.

Friday night Ceil turned on the movie Troop Zero with Jim Gaffigan and Allison Janney.  Interesting movie.
Saturday morning I met with two members of my small group, in Buddy's backyard. Kept safe distances. Rob brought Chickfila. Since I was out, afterward I stopped by Dollar Tree, Wendys, and Kroger. Wore a mask inside DT and Kroger. Ceil went to Lowes, and took Barney.

Sold another pair of sneakers on eBay. Used the proceeds of my eBay sales to buy Ceil a new pair of sneakers. Forgot to tell you – I've recently won two different prizes. I usually don't tell people but I know you like to know. Won a FitBit step tracker, and a $50.00 Walmart gift card.

Continued work on my list of all the games and events we've attended in our lives. Click on the link or on the GAMES tab above. Up to 2016 now.

Sunday afternoon I watched a classic movie: Romancing the Stone, with Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito. Hilarious, especially the "Write us out of this one, Joan Wilder" scene. Funny how everyone in backcountry Columbia speaks English.
For most of the 200 work emails I get a day (judging by how many are in my deleted folder at the end of the day) I am just copied on. I try to make sure they show as "read" before deleting them. Some are auto emails that go straight to the deleted folder that I never see. While I'm on vacation when I have a spare minute I'll check my emails just so they don't pile up. Rarely check work my email on the weekend. I use a yahoo email for my bad habit of entering contests, and I get 100 emails there as well. Try to delete them or unsubscribe when I can.  We use texts a little for work (slightly more this last month) but not much. No Zoom calls, just regular old conference calls. I need to text family more.
Ceil's phone is always dinging with a notification. I keep my phone on silent (a must working in an office) but what's killing me is all the WhatsApp notifications that buzz on my Apple Watch, from my Sunday School class. Gotta turn those off. Hadn't yet because one group is my small group. But like you said, I oftentimes look at my phone so I'd see it eventually. No notifications from FB, Twitter, or Instagram either.