Friday, December 14, 2007

A story for Dale Murphy fans


I took the above picture on 2/7/2004

I grew up a huge fan of the Atlanta Braves. One of their best players and one of the nicest guys of all time was Dale Murphy. This guy should be in the Hall of Fame. With all the talk lately of steroids and what is wrong with Major League Baseball, Murphy was the epitome of what was right about the sport. I found this story on Tidesports.com.

Ramblings about basketball and aging...

The last several weeks Joe and Matt have been having basketball practice. This is allowing me to get some much needed (and doctor-prescribed) exercise. Exercise is easy for me to do if it is something I enjoy. While Matt and Joe are practicing, I have been playing basketball with my oldest son, David, and one of his friends. Have you heard of the game “21”? There are many different versions of the game, but essentially it is a game with multiple players all competing for their own points.

The three of us have played this game four times, and yes, the old man (that’s me!) has won all four. One game I actually won 21-0-0. That score was admittedly a bit of a fluke because the boys use a rule that if someone tips your missed shot into the basket you go back to zero. I put them both back shortly before the end of the game. Plus, I always hustle to rebound, or at least deflect my missed shots so I will not be sent back to zero. I can’t afford that.

I am writing this for two main purposes; to brag and “dog” my oldest son (just kidding) and the other is that I can bask in the last vestiges of athletic glory that I will experience in this life. My son is rapidly approaching my height and shoe size. At the same time my body is deteriorating as I sit behind this keyboard and exercise my fingers, and little else, much of the day.

Last night we didn’t have a chance to play “21” but we did get lots of shooting and dribbling in. I have noticed that at this age I have ‘flashes’ of my younger self. Every now and then I will do something that I thought I couldn’t do. Usually this only occurs after I have really warmed up and have a good supply of energy.

The aging process is really weird and hard to understand. Our bodies naturally deteriorate as everything does. But the factors that contribute to this deterioration are hard to understand. Am I better off because I was so active almost every day until I turned 28? If I had remained more active since then would I have had more injuries and, in turn, less ability now? Or has my relative lack of activity over the past several years (compared to the first 28) caused me to deteriorate faster?

My Dad is 77 and recently had to purchase a walker. Will I need a walker in 35 years? That is hard to imagine at this point. Will I even walk? Will I even be alive? Only God knows. It’s also strange how my mind “thinks” that my body can still do what it used to do, but my body doesn’t always obey. I have lost accuracy, speed, jumping ability, stamina, and most of all, agility.

It doesn’t feel good to be 42 sometimes. I liked the way I felt when I was 22. How would it feel if we could magically jump back in time and into our skin 2o years ago? We probably would be amazed at the difference. It would feel as if we were a new person.

My perspective on this is to enjoy how I feel now as much as possible. Even though “feeling 42” isn’t as good as 22, it is probably much better than 52, 62, 72, and beyond. I think most of us have the tendency to look at the green grass on the other side of the fence, where the glass is always half-full while we whine about our half-empty glass here in our less glamorous version of paradise.

I will resolve to be thankful for where I am now and to not long for the past or the future. In the mean time, I will enjoy winning basketball while I can. It won’t last much longer!

Merry Christmas link

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

To my friends....

Another thing I got via email....

To All My Democrat Friends:
Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To My Republican Friends:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Monday, December 10, 2007

Homecoming 2007










Friday was a very special day for my boys and I. My son Joseph was selected as male homecoming representative from his grade. He and my eighth grade son, David, attended their first dance. I must mention here that I never attended any dances growing up, much less was I elected to represent my grade at one of these events. In a nutshell, I have always been rather shy and somewhat geeky. Some of my friends might even take exception to my use of the qualifier, “somewhat”. Joe wrote about it on his blog here. He also posted photos here. David posted about it here and posted photos here.

Needless to say I was extremely proud to learn about Joe’s selection. My boys attend a school that doesn’t have a football team so they have homecoming festivities during the basketball season. Joe is a rather quiet, hard working boy who loves the outdoors. He has always been a bit on the shy side, like his dad. He is very interested in cars, trucks, music, fishing, hunting, camping, and sports, especially football. He is a very smart kid with a great personality. He has always been very uninterested in girls. One thing that hasn’t changed about Joe is that it is difficult to get him wear something dressier than blue jeans. His mom was unable to get him to do it Friday. If he was with me that afternoon, I might have forced him to.

Before the basketball game I took pictures of Joe and his friends. He was walking around, socializing with other children and sitting with the girl he was escorting, Ashley. That alone made it a “coming out” of sorts for Joe. Just a year ago you couldn’t have dragged him kicking and screaming into this role. Now, all of a sudden, he was embracing it and fulfilling it tremendously. It was an awesome sight to see him walk out onto the court with Ashley, arm in arm, as their names and parents’ names were called.

Then came the dance. Just the fact that he was willing to attend the dance was amazing in itself. I had the boys that night and I decided to stay with them for the dance. Their mom pulled me aside and asked me not to attend. When I told her that I had decided to do it, she told me to stay away from them. I can only speculate as to why she was saying all of this, but I think one reason was that she was afraid that I would embarrass them. I was in agreement with her that I needed to give them some space, but I disagreed that it would be a problem for me to attend. She did not attend the dance. I am so glad I did. If I had not attended, I would have missed out on one of the best evenings of my life.

My youngest son Matthew and I sat in the corner most of the time. Amazingly, despite my efforts to maintain a low profile, my boys and their friends came over and talked with me a lot. I must have had 5-10 girls asking me to get David and Joe to dance with them. I really didn’t want to interfere. But after about thirty minutes of Joe sitting by me and watching David wander around the dance floor by himself with his arms crossed, I couldn’t take it any more. First, I whispered to Joe that he needed to ask Ashley to dance with him at least one time. I told him that she would feel really bad if he didn’t. He reluctantly said that he would think about it. Then he said that she had already asked him and he had said that he didn’t want to do it. I told him he needed to dance with her and that he would be glad later if he did. I told David the same thing. I told him that he would probably regret it later if he didn’t do it. I also told him that I was too shy when I was his age and that if I could go back and change things I would. I asked him to at least think about it.

Matthew is the one who usually is best known for his “girlfriends”, dancing, and outgoing personality. That was not the case on this occasion. After his first dance, Joe was “hooked” and basically danced with Ashley most of the rest of the time. He didn’t seem the least interested in dancing with anyone else. There were a lot of girls who seemed disappointed that he wouldn’t dance with them. Once David danced the first time, he ended up dancing the rest of the evening with several different girls.

One of the teachers kept taking pictures of David every time that he danced with a different girl. Every time she took a picture she would come over laughing and show me. I took lots of pictures once they started dancing. There came a point, though, I could sense it was becoming a bit more than they wanted so I scaled back toward the end. Maybe it was when they kept complaining about the flash or when they kept sneaking off to the other side of the room. I got the hint.

It seemed like David and Joe had the time of their life. Matthew had fun too, but he was pretty tame compared to usual. He even refused to dance with another little girl his age. I really cannot explain the emotions that I was feeling watching this spectacle. I was so proud seeing my boys turning into young men right before my eyes. Seeing how they conducted themselves socially, using good manners, showing their personalities, and overcoming their shyness was an awesome sight. I do not think that I am overstating it to say that Friday night was their “coming out” event. They will never be the same. They are transitioning into young men now. That transition is not all fun and games. As a matter of fact, I had to deal with a lot of rebelliousness, immaturity, and disrespect from one of them later in the weekend.

Friday night was a night I will always remember and cherish. I will think back to that night many times in the future. That was the best Christmas gift that I will receive this year. I literally would not have missed it for the world. Ultimately, I must give thanks to God. I have prayed for and cared for these boys every day since before they were born. My dad always told me that he wanted me to succeed even more than he did. When I was a child I never understood that. I do now. It is the essence of love. Thank you Lord for giving me the opportunity, responsibility, joy, and even difficulty that comes with raising David, Joseph, and Matthew. I pray that your hand would always be on their lives.

Friday, December 07, 2007

When You're Smiling

This is one of my parents' favorite songs. They have sung it to my sister, my children and I many times through the years....

When you're smilin', keep on smilin'
The whole world smiles with you
And when you're laughin', keep on laughin'
The sun comes shinin' through
But when you're cryin', you bring on the rain
So stop your frownin', be happy again
Cause when you're smilin', keep on smilin'
The whole world smiles with you

Oh when you're smilin', keep on smilin'
The whole world smiles with you
Ah when you're laughin', keep on laughin'
The sun comes shinin' through
Now when you're cryin', you bring on the rain
So stop that sighin', be happy again
Cause when you're smilin', just keep on smilin'
And the whole world gonna smile with,
The great big world will smile with,
The whole wide world will smile with you.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dad



Last week I took my Dad in for some tests. He has had some trouble lately with walking. he has fallen several times going out to get the newspaper or the mail. His ankle was really bruised and I think the doctor was concerned about his circulation. The tests came back OK. He did have to get a walker. I didn't know how fancy those walkers are now. The only walkers I had seen before were metal rods. His walker is a fancy black one with wheels, hand brakes, and a seat.

I didn't blog much about spending Thanksgiving weekend with my parents and my boys. The weekend prior to Thanksgiving, my sister visited. One of the things she did was interview Dad for a paper she is writing. She is taking a writing class and she asked him so many questions. During that time we were looking at some old yearbooks and pictures. The above photo was taken around 1948 when Dad enlisted in the United States Air Force. The picture below was taken on November 18, 2007, almost 60 years later.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Just visiting...

I had the pleasure of visiting a friend's church this past Sunday. It was a country church with a small membership. One thing I noticed is the close-knit, family atmosphere among the members. I enjoyed seeing my friend's two sons walking down the pew where their family sat and getting love from every one of them. Those kids will always have a strong foundation to build their lives on.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Glavine back with Braves






Glavine returns to Braves
Nearing the end of his career, Tom Glavine is returning to his roots. Glavine agreed to a one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves on Monday. A two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, Glavine won 242 games in 16 seasons with the Braves. He spent his last five seasons with the New York Mets after signing as a free agent following the 2002 campaign.

Veteran hurler Glavine back with Braves
ATLANTA, United States (AFP) - Southpaw pitcher Tom Glavine, who has 303 triumphs in a 21-season Major League Baseball career, has signed a one-year deal to return to the Atlanta Braves after five years with the New York Mets.

He's back: Tom Glavine returns to Braves to finish career
.
ATLANTA (AP) -- Tom Glavine never got used to making that unfamiliar turn in the tunnel beneath Turner Field, the one that took him to the visiting clubhouse the last five years.

Now he's back with the home team. Glavine returned to the Braves on Monday to finish a career that likely will send him to the Hall of Fame, though this isn't just a sentimental farewell. Atlanta believes the crafty left-hander, who will turn 42 before next season, can help them get back to the playoffs after a two-year hiatus. "Starting pitching has been our Achilles' heel. We just didn't have the depth we had in past years, and we wanted to address that," new general manager Frank Wren said. "Tommy was our No. 1 target." This was an easy one to hit.

Career stats

I was a 22 year old college student at the University of Alabama on August 17, 1987 when Glavine made his debut. Other players on the Braves back then included: Dale Murphy, Ken Griffey, Sr., Graig Nettles, Ted Simmons, Doyle Alexander, Gene Garber, and Phil Niekro, among many others. If all of that doesn't date Glavine, nothing will!

Happy Thanksgiving

Check it out.

Will you give this to my Daddy?

I received this story via email. I cannot vouch for it's authenticity but it will touch your heart regardless!

As a Company, Southwest Airlines is going to support "Red Fridays." Last week I was in Atlanta, Georgia attending a conference. While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen.

Moving thru the terminal was a group of soldiers in their camos, as they began heading to their gate everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering. When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red blooded American who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families.

Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear or reprisal! .

Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers. He kneeled down and said "hi," the little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her. The young soldier, he didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy.

Then suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.

The mother of the little girl, who said her daughters name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Marine and had been in Iraq for 11 months now. As the mom was explaining how much her daughter, Courtney, missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up. When this temporarily single mom was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second. Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it. After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, "I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you." He t hen hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying "your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon."

The mom at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet he saluted Courtney and her mom. I was standing no more than 6 feet away from this entire event unfolded.

As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act of selflessness turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.

We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's good to be an American.

RED FRIDAYS ----- Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing
Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the "silent majority". We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers.
We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing. We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions. Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops.

Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that.. Every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar will wear something red. By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers.

If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once "silent!” majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on. The first thing a soldier says when asked "What can we do to make things better for you?" is...We need your support and your prayers.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The stuff you can find....

I found one of my favorite songs from almost 20 years ago, during my college days, on YouTube. These guys were SO talented and original. No wonder why I bought all those cassettes...

Without further ado...Acappella...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Another thought-provoking story...

One day, when I was a freshman in high school,I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school.His name was Kyle.It looked like he was carrying all of his books.I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday?He must really be a nerd."I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him.They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt.His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him.He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyesMy heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. "They really should get lives." He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!"There was a big smile on his face.It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived.As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before.He said he had gone to private school before now.I would have never hung out with a private school kid before.We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books.He turned out to be a pretty cool kid.I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friendsHe said yes.We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again.I stopped him and said, "Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!" He just laughed and handed me half the books.Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends.. When we were seniors we began to think about college.Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke.I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem.He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship.Kyle was valedictorian of our class.I teased him all the time about being a nerd.He had to prepare a speech for graduation.I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speakGraduation day, I saw Kyle.He looked great.He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school.He filled out and actually looked good in glasses.He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him.Boy, sometimes I was jealous!Today was one of those days.I could see that he was nervous about his speech.So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!"He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled." Thanks," he said.As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began"Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years.Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends...I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.I am going to tell you a story."I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met.He had planned to kill himself over the weekend.He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home.He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile."Thankfully, I was saved.My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable."I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.Not until that moment did I realize it's depth.Never underestimate the power of your actions.With one small gesture you can change a person's life.For better or for worse.God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way.Look for God in others.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Food for thought...

Beautiful message that I received via email.......You Took My Parking Space at Church

One day a man went to visit a church. He got there early, parked his carand got out. Another car pulled up near the driver got out and said, "I always park there! You took my place! ''

The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat and satdown. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, 'That's myseat! You took my place!'

The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.

After Sunday School, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, ' That's where I always sit!You took my place!' The visitor was even more troubled by thistreatment, but still He said nothing.

Later as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them,the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change. Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. Someone from thecongregation noticed him and called out, 'What happened to you?'

The visitor replied, as his hat became a crown of thorns, and a tear fellfrom his eye, 'I took your place.' When you receive this, say a prayer. That's all you have to do. There is nothing attached. This is powerful. Just send this to four people and see what happens. Maybe, just maybe, we can get the world to start thinking of who took our place. Do not break this, please. AuthorUnknown

Saturday, November 03, 2007

McCartney is still at it...

If you were 65 years old and posessed over $1 billion, what would you do? Probably you would do what you loved doing; whatever the Lord put you here to do. I guess that is probably why a guy like Paul McCartney will likely go to his grave singing for whomever will listen...








Friday, November 02, 2007

More weird stuff from work...

As if the names I mentioned the other day weren't weird enough, today I came across this line in a letter today at work, "He needs to get a fraternity test before any other action is taken in this matter. Since the mother was married to someone else when she had this child...." Please don't ask what fraternity he is trying to gain acceptance to.

The answer to the other day's question: Which one is male, Starlight, Pink, or Sparkle?
The answer is Pink! The bad part is that he is a junior! Why would someone who had the misfortune of being saddled with that name place that burden on their child?

The rest of the story. He is the legal father and there were two additional men that are alleged biological fathers. They are brothers! How pitiful.

Monday, October 29, 2007

My high school alma mater....

I am a proud member of what used to be known as the FamiLee (also known as the Lee High Generals of Huntsville Alabama).

I was a trombone and sousaphone player "back in the day".

Here is the band in 2007....

Why ask why?

Today in court I had several cases and here are three of the first names of people I worked with:


Starlite

Pink

Sparkle

Comment on which one you think was the name of an old man....

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Definitely the highlight of the week...


Last week was really tough, but you are looking at the best part of my life. In the midst of a storm, the three precious boys pictured above provided me an oasis of fun, life, levity, and adventure. On Tuesday afternoon, they were still on fall break and I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with them. We decided to play tackle football in the cool light rain and mud. Yes, there was some whining, some bruised egos, and a few black and blue spots incurred.
But David said it best. "That was one of the most fun games of football I ever played." Matt and Dad played Joe and David a fairly even game, even though the old man isn't that agile any more! These are the times of our life we should never forget!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It will be o.k.......

People can say anything they want on a blog. How many times do people bare their soul to the world? I will say something I thought that I would never blog about.

I tried to be a friend and love someone for almost seven years. She was a gem, in many ways. No one has prayed for me more times than she did.

I was deeply hurt by her lies and mental illness two years ago. Though I haven't officially dated her since then, she reappeared and requested forgiveness....friendship....love.....and even mentioned marriage. Forgiveness was easy, but....

I was cautious. I was reserved. But, deep down in my heart, I was in love. But I was a bit scared to express it.

I want God's will to be done in my life!

I was betrayed and lied to.

I was hurt again.

I still love, but.........

....Today I stood up for the first time in my life and said, "Please do not call me again. Please do not come back in three months and tell me you made a mistake."

Then I said....there is ONE exception....if this guy threatens you or harms you in any way, do not hesitate to call me. Run. Call. I will rescue you and beat the crap out of him if I have to to protect you.

Response: You are so sweet. Thank you.

Me: I do not want that to happen and I don't think it will, so, I hope you don't call me again, because I can't handle it. I wish I could talk to you but I can't handle the pain any more.

Unorthodox end to a relationship:
I "prayed through" with her over the phone. Then, my last words to this awesome person that I will never forget......................


















I love you, S_ _ _ _ n

The last call began at 6:10 and lasted 85 minutes and 52 seconds....

I hope R _ _ _ _ t has better luck than I, is what I am thinking now.

Having said all of that, I thank God for all the awesome, good things that happened to me because of her during these years.

Frankly, she has made a mistake. Not because she rejected me. She has stopped living her life (by her own admission) the way the Lord would have her live.

Please pray for my friend.

This post only touches the surface of what I have been going through for years.

I have a couple of GREAT friends who may read this. I thank God for you! You should know who you are! Please pray for me!

Her favorite thing for me to say...

"It will be o.k."....

I cannot regret giving all I had to someone, despite the rejection, for so long.

I wish I had the time to blog about the blessings and the fun I have had because of this special person.

I could focus on some hellacious negatives, but they are overwhelmed by the blessings. I wish her nothing but the best. How many people break up and their last words to each other are "I love you."?

Can a person be too patient?

I didn't respond to her needs. Another guy played on her vulnerabilities. I treated her as a friend and was fair, respectful, and honest.

Why do nice guys finish last?

I hold out faith that the Lord used this time to draw me closer, teach me lessons, and help me mature. I need to heal but life is not over.

I will focus on being a good Dad for David, Joe, and Matt. I will focus on being a good son for Marty and Dorothy. I will try to be a good brother to Cara. I will try to be a good friend to those who have meant so much to me for so long. I will try to be a good employee.

Most of all, I will try to please my Lord and Saviour, Jesus.

And He WILL take care of me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fighting cancer

Brenda Ladun of ABC 33/40 News in Birmingham is fighting cancer again. She started a blog this summer and since then she was diagnosed with the same cancer that she fought so courageously a few years ago. She seems to really exhibit the ability to have a positive attitude and be thankful for what she has rather than getting down about what she does not have.

It reminds me of the story I heard recently about a 92 year old man whose wife had recently passed away and he was being taken to a nursing home. When asked about the situation, he commented, "I really like my new place." He was then reminded that he had not even seen the place yet. He acknowledged that and said, "I know. I made a decision long ago to be thankful for and like what I have rather than to despair over what I do not have."

Life is a series of decisions and choices. Those who are happiest think like the old man in the story. That is easier said than done sometimes so we really have to work at it and ask the Lord to help us mature in that way.

It reminds me of the verse that says, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." James 1:2-3

Alabama's Gulf Coast

I had the privilege and opportunity to visit the coast last week on a business trip. I was able to take some photos while I was there.







What's on Paul's ipod?



I saw an interesting article about my favorite musician and songwriter, Paul McCartney in The Mirror. A lot of articles say the same old stuff, but this interview was pretty insightful. Highlights included,

Macca said he still thanked God for his music, adding: "It's been a difficult time but music is a great healer. Music is the therapy for me. "In fact, going through difficulties has only concentrated my desire to make good music. And I'm still very glad to be a part of it all. I used to work as a coil-winder, making coils for electric motors in this factory in Liverpool. I wasn't very good at it. "They checked them at the end of the line and mine didn't always work. So I thought it was time to get out. "One day George and John showed up over the factory wall and someone said, 'Hey, a couple of mates of yours are asking for you.' And they said, 'We've got a gig at the Cavern'. And that was it. So I know what I could have been doing and I know what I am doing. "And I feel very privileged to be still doing it. So yeah. Thank you, Lord!" Sir Paul said he's still a fan as well as a musician - and has a string of hits by both old stars and new on his iPod. He added: "My iPod moves from Kaiser Chiefs to Neil Young to Guillemots to Bob Dylan to Radiohead to Bob Marley. And if you want to get a dancefloor moving, it's I Will Survive. "Mix that with Foo Fighters, throw in a bit of Fred Astaire, KC and the Sunshine Band, maybe Fatboy Slim and we've got it!" Macca also revealed that the Beatles had briefly considered a comeback in 1976 - six years after they split. He said: "There were phenomenal amounts of money being offered. Millions by Sid Bernstein, this New York promoter. But it just went round and round. There might be three of us thinking 'You know, it might not be a bad idea' - but the other one would go, 'Nah, I don't think so' and sort of veto it. Let's put it this way, there was never a time when all four of us wanted to do it. "And each time it was always someone different who didn't fancy it. "And I'm actually glad of that now because the Beatles' work is a body of work. There's nothing to be ashamed of there. "In the end we decided we should leave well enough alone. "The potential disappointment of coming on and not being as good as The Beatles had been, that was a risk we shouldn't take."

Monday, October 15, 2007

From the "Enough Said Dept."


This also recently happened in northern Illinois according to Rick and Bubba. It must happen more often than I realized.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Leonard's Losers

I fondly remember listening to Leonard's Losers on my Dad's AM radio as we drove through Huntsville to pick up building/home supplies at the old Handy Dan store.
"Leonard will be back next week with another bunch of losers. Tee-ill then, this is Percy Peabody, Hoping you'll be with us!" Then you would hear the old banjo music...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Take the test!

This site allows you to answer questions relative to 11 issues and then matches your responses to show which candidates that you agree with the most and the lease. This is a very interesting idea, but I really wasn't surprised by my results!


Duncan Hunter
Score: 47
Agree
Iraq
Taxes
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Abortion
Social Security
Line-Item Veto
Marriage
Death Penalty
Disagree
Immigration
Energy
Fred Thompson
Score: 47
Agree
Iraq
Taxes
Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Abortion
Social Security
Line-Item Veto
Marriage
Death Penalty
Disagree
Immigration
Energy

-- Take the Quiz! --

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Big Spring Jam Friday 9/28/07


This is the church I grew up in, The Church of the Visitation on Jefferson street in Huntsville, Alabama. We parked close to the church on our way to the Big Spring Jam.


Matt, enjoying the music at Big Spring Jam


David and Joe can't wait for Craig Morgan


Craig Morgan sings, "That's What I Like About Sunday"

We really enjoyed Sawyer Brown as well, even though Joe and Matt began dozing off before it was all over!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tonight at Wally World

Tonight after leaving work late I went to Wal Mart in Decatur to find some baby shower gifts for one of my best employees who is expecting her first child on October 27. I came armed with a printout of the list of items for which she and her husband had registered. My first step was to ask someone in customer service how to find out which items remained to be purchased off the list. I entered the data on the screen and retrieved the printout. I headed to the infants section thinking this would be a piece of cake. Wrong.

I could not seem to match the cryptic abbreviations on the printout with the items on the shelf. I walked around the infant section patiently several times and could not find an employee to help. I decided to wander around to neighboring sections. I finally saw an employee who didn't seem overly busy and asked her for help. She tried, but bless her, she really wasn't much help. She mistook the abbreviation for a "tub" of baby wipes for a bathing tub. At that point I knew I was in trouble!

About that time a really nice looking, well-dressed, professional-looking, cute lady with her work badge still attached looked like she needed help. She smiled really big at me and the Wally World lady and said she needed help finding a stroller with a cover. I smiled at her and said that I had already claimed the worker from another section. She smiled back.

After minimal help from the employee I continued to walk aimlessly around the infant section. Uncharacteristically, I spoke to the lady who smiled at me and asked if she found what she was looking for. She did, but she had more than she could hold and dropped several items. I helped her pick her items up and she asked if I found what I needed. I explained my predicament and she offered to help.

She spent a good 15 minutes giving me (a single guy, years out of touch with baby stuff) some really good help and advice on items to purchase. She helped me find several items on my list and a few surprises.

Her kindness, sweet disposition, friendliness, and smile meant a lot to me. She stood close to me as we compared items to the list. At some point I thought about how nice and how cute she was. Then I looked at her finger. She had a wedding band and engagement ring on her finger.

I had almost thought that I should introduce myself and ask her for her name and number until I saw that she was married.

I will never see this "angel" again. It was a good experience for me though. I have always been very shy and insecure. I dated only about four people in my life and I have been divorced now for 6 years. I sometimes wonder if I will ever find someone who will love me and I can love for the rest of my life. This was good for my self esteem and hope.

The Lord will handle that! It may very well be that He wants me to be single the rest of my life. If so, that's great. There are moments, though, like tonight, that give me the thought that He might send someone my way in a most serendipitous fashion.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Write it down; Yesterday was a mistake

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke yesterday at Columbia University. I was flabbergasted at the coverage last night on CNN. Some idiot, whose last name is Sanchez, who was anchoring the 7CT news stated that having this guy speak at Columbia was simply an exercise in “freedom of speech”.

Excuse me? I was taught that the freedoms expressed in the Bill of Rights were granted to citizens of the United States; not someone who has ties to al-Qaida, Hezbollah, and terrorists that we are currently fighting a war against in Iraq. Not to mention his vow to “wipe Israel off the map”

I was also disappointed by the President’s reaction. This is an excerpt from an answer to a question by his National security Advisor, Steve Hadley.


Q Do you have any reaction to the theme of what Ahmadinejad has been saying today; essentially that, why should we go to war, there is no war in the offing, we're not walking towards war with the United States? Are those comments in any way helpful? MR. HADLEY: Look, what would be helpful is for Iranian officials to give some direction so that they would stop the movement of equipment into Iraq, and training people in Iraq who are killing innocent Iraqis, Iraqi security forces and our kids. What would be helpful is if Iran would get out of the business of supporting terror, and agree to what's been offered to them: to suspend their enrichments capability so we can sit down and negotiate a resolution to the nuclear issue, that would give the Iranian people an opportunity for a truly peaceful civil nuclear program, and reassure the international community they're not trying to find a nuclear weapon. And it would be nice for this regime to give their people more of an opportunity to participate in government. I mean, look -- it would be nice for this regime to take some concrete steps to address the agenda, that not only the United States has, but really the whole international community has with the government of Iran. Thanks a lot.
I thought the President considered him part of the axis of evil and a sponsor of terror. I thought we were at war against terror and that we were going to hunt for and track down all terrorists and their sponsors until they were brought to justice. That’s what we were told right after 9/11. Isn’t that why the left keeps whining about our apparent inability to capture Bin Laden.

Forget the question about letting Ahmadinejad speak. Why didn’t we arrest him and try him for war crimes. Our country has forgotten the horror of 9/11 already. Even President Bush is beginning to succumb to the pressure from those who are soft on defense.

I hate to predict this but I am concerned that someday we will look back at 9/24/07 and ask ourselves, “Why didn’t we stop this madman when we had the opportunity?”

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where I was on 9/11...


Photos of those who we lost on 9/11/01

I was on leave that morning. I was going in to work late so I was my home in Good Hope, Alabama. As I often did that year, I was listening to the Rick and Bubba radio show while I was getting ready for work. I heard them begin talking about something and that sounded like an accident at first. Then it gradually became apparent that we were under attack. I remember going to see my oldest soms who were in the second grade and kindergarten at the time. I remember discussing it with teachers in the lunchroom as we were all trying to mentally and emotionally grapple with what was happening. I remember hugging my boys. I remember the series of emotions we went through during that day and the days that followed. I remember the Wednesday night prayer service at Seventh Street Baptist Church in Cullman. I remember how our county united, even the worst of our politicians joined together for a photo op singing "God Bless America". I remember flags flying on cars.

I remember...
sadness
confusion
disbelief
unity
concern
tears
anger
family
togetherness
fear
self-examination
Jesus
hope
comfort
war
survivors
stories
heroes
firemen
NYC
Pentagon
Twin Towers
Freedom
security
red, orange, and yellow
Shanksville, PA
2999 precious lives
false news reports on CNN
hate
first responders
War on Terror

One of the best songs

One of the best songs I have heard that came out of the 9/11 tragedy was "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" by Alan Jackson. Jackson reportedly had some strong reservations abour releasing this song because he did not want to be seen as capitalizing on a tragedy. About the song, Jackson said, "I think it was Hank Williams who said, 'God writes the songs, I just hold the pen.' That's the way I felt with this song." This is one of the few songs I have heard in my life that deeply moved me to tears.

Here are the lyrics:

"Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)"

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

Did you weep for the children
Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

Did you burst out in pride
For the red white and blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to what really matters

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that bible at home
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Speak with some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watching
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger
Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

The greatest is love
The greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day

God Bless America



Heads bow in memory of 9/11 victims
By AMY WESTFELDT, Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK - Relatives of Sept. 11 victims bowed their heads in silence Tuesday to mark the moments exactly six years earlier when hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field. The dreary skies created a grim backdrop, and a sharp contrast to the clear blue of that morning in 2001.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I saw a no hitter!





Last Friday night was pretty special. First, it was cool to get the opportunity to spend some time with my 'old' friends Johnny and Rob. I have known Rob for 35 years. That is almost scary. I've known Johnny for 28 years. The three of us have shared all of life's ups and downs, in's and outs, philosophy, music, spirituality, music, sports, etc., etc., etc. I feel quite blessed to count them as my close friends for such a long time. Friday night we went to the Huntsville Stars' playoff game together. I have been a Stars fan since their inception in 1985. My Dad and I hoped Huntsville would get a minor league team throughout my childhood years. When it finally happened, Dad bought us season tickets the first few summers.

Future superstar
José Canseco was the MVP of the Southern League that year. Catcher Terry Steinbach won the MVP award in 1986. Other notable Stars who became major leaguers included: Greg Cadaret, Jason Giambi, Stan Javier, Mark McGuire, Terry Steinbach, Eric Chavez, Prince Fielder, Tony Gwynn, Jr., Tim Hudson, Miguel Tejada, Ben Sheets, Todd Van Poppel, Rickie Weeks, Luis Polonia, Charlie O'Brien, Tim Belcher, Darrel Akerfelds, Eric Plunk, Felix Jose, Ben Grieve, etc. There are many others.

The Stars have quite a great history, all of which is documented on the excellent "Baseball Cube" website. Anything you want to know about the Stars' history can be found there.

There is no telling how many Stars games and other games I have seen in person in my life, but this was my first time to watch a no hitter.

News reports:

9/7/2007
Smokies succumb to Stars' no-hitter, 5-0

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Tennessee Smokies fell victim to a no-hit pitching performance by the Huntsville Stars pitching staff Friday night, succumbing 5-0 to the home team at Joe Davis Stadium. Stars' hurlers Corey Thurman, Dave Johnson and Luis Pena combined on the historic feat, and evened the Southern League Divisional Series at 1-1.

Thurman was able to shake off two first-inning walks Friday night to retire 16 Smokies in a row. He used a commanding fastball to keep the Smokies off-guard, striking out seven over six innings.

The Stars' bullpen would not let Thurman's performance go to waste. Johnson followed with three strikeouts in two innings, including a third-strike wild pitch to the Smokies' Nate Spears in the eighth. The road team could do nothing against Pena either, with three ninth-inning groundouts to secure the no-hit bid.

With Stars pitching stifling the Smokies offense, the Stars' five-run sixth inning was more than enough to win. Hernan Iribarren and Adam Heether kicked off the Stars' attack with back-to-back singles. After Lou Palmisano reached on an error by Smokies infielder Kyle Reynolds, Michael Brantley delivered a two-run single to give the Stars a 2-0 lead. The bases would load up again for the home team, where pinch-hitter Mike Goetz's single brought in two more. A sacrifice groundout by the Stars' Steven Sollmann concluded the scoring for the home team.

The best-of-five series is now tied at 1-1 and will shift to Smokies Park on Saturday. Tennessee will start Jeff Samardzija (3-3, 3.41), while the Stars are sending Derek Miller (6-2, 3.18) to the mound. Tickets are available by calling the Smokies ticket office at (865) 286-2300 or by ordering online at www.smokiesbaseball.com.

9/7/2007
Stars Toss No-Hitter in Win Over Smokies!
Corey Thurman, David Johnson and Luis Pena combined on the first home no-hitter in franchise history in Huntsville’s 5-0 win over Tennessee Friday night at Joe Davis Stadium in the second game of the North Division Playoff series. The Stars evened up the best-of-five series at a game apiece after exploding for all five runs in the sixth inning against Smokies’ starter Justin Berg.

Thurman issued two walks in the first inning before getting Issmael Salas to fly out for the final out of the frame. From there, the right-hander retired the side in order in each of the next five innings, recording six of his seven strikeouts in the game. Berg had blanked the Stars on three singles through five frames before the Stars broke through in the sixth.

Hernan Iribarren and Adam Heether opened the inning with singles before Lou Palmisano dropped down a sacrifice bunt attempt that third baseman Kyle Reynolds fielded but his throw to first base pulled second baseman Nate Spears off the bag, allowing Palmisano to reach to load the bases. Michael Brantley then grounded the next pitch into right field to chase home the first two runs of the night. Steve Moss singled with one out to reload the bases and force manager Don Money to make a decision whether or not to leave Thurman in the game. The skipper opted to send up pinch-hitter Mike Goetz, who made the move pay off by chopping a single over a leaping shortstop Robinson Chirinos for a two-run single to push the lead to 4-0. Steve Sollmann’s fielder’s choice grounder plated Moss with the final run of the night.

Johnson took over for Thurman and walked Tyler Colvin with one out in the seventh before getting Salas to ground into a broken bat, inning-ending double play. He then struck out the side in the eighth before turning the game over to Pena, who saved 12 games during the regular season. The hard-throwing right-hander retired Eric Patterson on a grounder to second, Jorge Cortes on a comebacker and got Casey McGehee to ground out to second base on an 0-1 offering to finish off the third no-hitter in Stars’ history. Dana Allison tossed a no-hitter at Birmingham on August 3, 1992 and Tanyon Sturtze kept Chattanooga hitless on June 13, 1993 at Engel Stadium.

The series continues Saturday afternoon with southpaw Derek Miller taking the hill for Huntsville against Smokies’ right-hander Jeff Samardzija. Coverage of the game begins at 3:50 pm central time and can be heard locally on SportsRadio 730 WUMP and through the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Paybacks are tough, they say.

On June 21, Huntsville pitcher Corey Thurman yielded a home run to Tennessee pitcher Mark Holliman, who went on to pitch a no-hitter against the Stars.

On Friday night, Thurman was one of three Huntsville pitchers to turn the tables on Tennessee, combining for a no-hitter in a 5-0 Stars' victory.

Thurman, a 28-year-old former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher who as recently as 2005 was pitching in independent ball, struck out six in six innings, walking only two, before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. Dave Johnson followed with two innings of hitless relief, followed by Stars' closer Luis Pena, who hit 100-plus mph on four of his ninth-inning deliveries.

With the series evened at 1-1, the playoffs move to Smokies Park in Sevierville at 5:05 p.m. today, with Huntsville sending Derek Miller (6-2) against Tennessee's Jeff Samardzija (3-3).

Game four will be in Huntsville Sunday at 7:05 EDT; game five, if needed would be at Joe Davis Stadium Monday at 8:05.

It was the first no-hitter by a Huntsville pitcher in a home game in franchise history and only the third in club history.

The last no-hitter in a Southern League playoff game came in 2005 when Jacksonville's Chad Billingsley and Jonathan Broxton combined to stop Birmingham in the series opener.

"I've seen some no-hitters but I've never been a part of one," Thurman said. "After Holliman got his against us, I was thinking tonight I'd much rather do it this time of the year."

Thurman, who began the season slowly and painfully, battling food poisoning, saved his best for the postseason. He was almost doing a tightrope walk early, walking a pair of batters in the first and throwing two dozen pitches in the inning. But after putting Tyler Colvin on with a walk, he retired the last 16 men he faced, five by strikeout.

The Stars broke open the shutout with a rat-tat-tat sixth inning against Smokies' starter Justin Berg (7-7), who is 0-2 in two previous starts against Huntsville.

After a pair of hits and a Kyle Reynolds error on a bunt loaded the bases for Huntsville, Michael Brantley swatted a single through the right side to score a pair of runs.

Mike Goetz, pinch-hitting for Thurman later in the inning in only his sixth Huntsville at-bat since a promotion from rookie ball, added two more runs with a chopper over short. Steve Sollmann's infield hit plated the fifth run.

© 2007, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

This weekend with Mom and Dad

My parents (who are 77 and 74) were diagnosed with colon cancer nine and ten years ago, respectively. They have been cancer free and have experienced the happiest years of their lives and marriage since then. My Mom retired from being a nurse and decided to keep busy by working at JCPenny's in Huntsville 12 years ago. She is still their most reliable employee 12 years later, even at age 74. Part of me wants her to stop, but I know that she enjoys working with people and this is her outlet. It is probably good for her. She really doesn't need the money. She is so dedicated and faithful to my Dad, me, my sister, my children, and her job. People in my generation (I'm 42) and younger that have that type of dedication are so much harder to find. My Mom and Dad seem to live for being a blessing to others.

Since I am divorced, this was the weekend I didn't have my boys. I am very much single and haven't really dated in the last couple of years. I had several things I could have done this weekend. I always have to decide what to do with my time when I cannot be with my boys. I had an opportunity to go to the Bama game Saturday in Nashville. I decided to visit with my parents instead. I am so glad that I did!

Every time that I do something with them, I always think that it may be my last opportunity. My Dad took me to my first Bama game in Birmingham in 1975 when I was 10. As I was driving towards Huntsville on I-565, I couldn't help but think, "This may be the last time I watch a Bama game with my dad." That may sound maudlin, but it's my way of trying to appreciate the opportunity that I still have.

This may sound almost silly, but I wished that I had taped my conversation with my dad during the game.

My parents, and thousands like them, are truly part of the "Greatest Generation" that Tom Brokaw wrote about in his book by that name.

Monday, August 27, 2007

There went 30 years of my life....

Braves, TBS parting waysStation's 30 years of telecasting team's games is ending in style

Over the past three decades, thousands of Braves games have been televised nationally on TBS. Just 10 more to go. Sunday's Braves-Cardinals game and nine others will end a tradition that began in 1977, when Ted Turner had the seemingly outrageous idea of bouncing his bad baseball team's games off a satellite and across the nation. It was an idea that would help shape the fledgling industry of cable television, as well as the business of sports media. For a while, the ubiquitous Braves even earned the moniker "America's Team." But after years of declining ratings for Braves games outside the Southeast, TBS next season will replace the team as national programming with a package of Sunday afternoon league-wide games. TBS also will carry postseason games for the first time starting this fall, airing all four division series plus the National League Championship Series. Braves games will continue to air locally next season on over-the-air channel WTBS, which will be renamed Peachtree TV, as well as on regional cable networks SportSouth and FSN South. First, though, TBS will mark the end of an era.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Martha's Place


I had the opportunity to eat at a really good restaurant in Montgomery on Friday. I had fried fish, black eyed peas, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, and strawberry shortcake. It was delicious and the atmosphere was great. It was almost like visiting an aunt in downtown Montgomery for a home-cooked meal. Two thumbs up!

Get more than a meal at Marthas

Matha Hawkins' Website

Recent news article

I once was lost but now I'm found!

Sometimes the best-laid plans go South. Friday morning was one of those times for me! Let me back up a little bit. I had been out of the office most of the week. I had Microsoft Excel training two days and I has court another day. Friday I had a committee meeting in Montgomery at the Office of Prosecution Services for the Alabama District Attorneys Association. Even though I have been to that building each of the last five years for the same meeting, I thought I better print out driving directions, just in case. The only problem was that I was in court all day Thursday and I didn’t have time to print out directions. Thursday’s court deserves its own blog entry later!

As I mentioned in the previous blog entry, the boys and I were up rather late Thursday. Friday morning, David and I awakened extremely early, around four o’clock. After he took a shower he asked me if he could play a GM career mode baseball game on his Xbox. I asked him if he thought he could stay awake and alert in school if I let him play the game. Of course he said that he could. I decided to say “yes”. I couldn’t get back to sleep so I laid there by him as he played. His game was over by about five so he and I played a college football game on Xbox. I was winning halfway through the third quarter when we had to quit in order to get ready for school and work.

Matt woke up on the wrong side of the bed! Usually he is really good in the morning, but not on this day. Because of that we were running late (which is very unusual). I got them to school at 8:00. Then I had to high tail it to Montgomery.

I had enough time to make it to my 10:30 meeting in Montgomery as long as I drove 70-75 mph and didn’t run into any trouble. Actually, if I didn’t get lost, I would have been at least 15 minutes early. That didn’t happen! My first mistake was attempting to forward voice mail messages to my workers as I was driving into Montgomery. I passed the exit to I-85, and went about 7 or 8 miles out of the way before I made it back up to I-85. Then I had a brain cramp. Instead of looking for Perry Street, I looked for Perry Hill Road. I have had meetings on Perry Hill Road too, but I soon realized I was in the wrong place. Then my mind went blank. Yes, I am getting old! I went further east through Montgomery for several miles until I realized that I was going the wrong way. I had to turn around at AUM. By this point I was completely confused and had absolutely no clue where Perry Street was located. I had already attempted to call one of the other committee members on his cell phone, to no avail. It was 10:45 and I was about to give up!

I actually decided that if I was anything over 30 minutes late before I found the place, I would just have to drive home with my embarrassed tail between my legs. I commenced to praying! Actually I had prayed some already but now I got more serious about it. I said, “Lord, there is no way I will find this place unless you take me straight to it. Help me listen to you, somehow, for guidance. Please help my lack of faith.” I really didn’t believe I would find it on time.

At times like this you may be tempted to think, “I could just go home and take leave for the day.” Then you think how wrong that would be. Besides that, I already left my colleague a voice mail regarding my problem. I decided that if I found the place I would hold my head up, laugh at myself, and not worry about what others may think any longer. Lo and behold, I saw an exit, and I thought that it might be the correct exit. Then as I went down the ramp I saw the sign for Perry Street South! I knew where I was. I made it to the meeting 25 minutes late. No one was mad! No one ridiculed me. I just caught myself up to speed and contributed a lot in the meeting. It was great. This meeting was about selecting statewide award winners for our professional association. One of my colleagues said something about nominating me for one of the awards. Of course, I rejected that notion as a member of the awards committee, but that made my day. It made me feel better about myself after I had been beating myself up about getting lost and being late.

Thank you Lord for getting me there!

After the meeting, we had an outstanding lunch at a place I highly recommend. I will mention that in my next entry!

Back to blogging on this blog!

I have been posting so much on weather and Alabama football, I have been neglecting this blog a little bit. Since I have a little free time on my hands this Saturday night, I thought I would do a little writing while I listen to the Braves-Cardinals game on the radio. The Cardinals just came back from a 3-0 deficit to take a 5-3 lead on the Braves and pitcher Tim Hudson. Maybe we will pull this one out before it's over. The Braves are six games out in the NL East and they are 3 out in the wildcard standings. Things are beginning to look grim, especially if they don't get on a winning streak soon. Come on Bravos!

Thursday was a busy night. As soon as the boys got here we immediately started playing catch. I don’t know where all of that energy came from but after a long day of school and work, we all did well as we sweated in the 100 degree heat. We probably played about an hour. After coming in for a minute to cool off and change shirts we decided to go to the Vinemont-West Point jamboree football game. Because it cost $5 each to get in and I only had $3.00 in cash, we had to dig to find $17 worth of quarters to finance our game admission. Joe and I sat in the living room floor and counted out the money and we all cooled off in the process.

We walked over to the game. We saw several folks we knew from the little league ball park and children that the kids knew from school. I did make David and Joe sit with me for a few minutes, but they really wanted to socialize and I let them do that most of the game. Matt stayed with me. Vinemont defeated West Point 21-7. We are all excited that football season is here!

We got home around nine and it took us a while to get ready for bed. All four of us had to take baths, and get our clothes out for tomorrow. David and Joe fixed macaroni and cheese, black- eyed peas, and warmed up some leftover pork chops. Kudos to them for doing such a wonderful job helping Dad!

Joe sent in our online weather watcher report and we all watched the Alabama college football preview before going to sleep.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

It just clicked!

Last Thursday

Have you ever had one of those days where everything just clicked? It did for the boys and me a week ago today. I had really been missing them because they had been with me for over two weeks in a row prior. By Thursday of last week it had been seven days since we were together. I remember specifically praying for the Lord to really bless our time together. I wanted them to be well behaved. I wanted to be especially patient and help them really enjoy their time. Without going into the details of what we did, the Lord answered my prayers. We had a terrific evening together. There was such a spirit of joy, fun, cooperation and love flowing among the four of us. I’m not trying to sound sappy by this. It was just a real special time together. Life is not perfect and neither are people. This was just one night that it all worked out really special and I thank You Lord for being with us!

Last Weekend

Saturday was our work day. First we went to Wal Mart and purchased some groceries and a few other things that we needed. When we got back we all shared mowing duties. It was a brutally hot day and I was proud especially proud and appreciative of David and Joe’s hard work. It was also a noteworthy evening because it was Matt’s first attempt at mowing. I walked beside him and I let him do a few rows solo. We are definitely going to have to work on not going outside or inside the proper line. He did ok for his first try though. After mowing I grilled out hamburgers, hot dogs, bratwurst, and corn on the cob. It was an awesome meal if I may say so myself!

Sunday was the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team’s fan day. Again, the weather was very hot but the boys and I enjoyed watching the Tide practice, playing a little catch with the football in front of the stadium, and getting some autographs. I also saw a couple of friends, Craig and Gary who were in different parts of the autograph line. I heard that Coach Saban signed about 1300 autographs in about an hour. Afterwards we stopped at David’s favorite Mexican restaurant on the way home, Habaneras in Gardendale. I had a vegetarian combo meal, Joe and Matt each ordered cheese dip, and David had the bean and cheese nachos. We all ate way too many chips and salsa.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Mark Teixera acquired in big trade for the Braves



AP Photo

It's official; the Braves have aquired first baseman Mark Teixera from the Texas rangers. They also aquired a much-needed left handed reliever, Ron Mahay.

AJC.com

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hank's Record

Aaron keeps low profile, but former Braves talkOld gang offers universal admiration
By JILL VEJNOSKA
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 07/25/07

Phil Niekro may well be fishing when it happens. Mike Lum could be on the road to another minor-league town.

Ralph Garr and Davey Johnson don't know for sure if they'll see Barry Bonds hit the home run. After all, homers don't come on a predictable schedule.

Not usually, anyway.

"Hank told me, 'I'm getting this over with right now,'\u2009" recalls Dusty Baker, who was in the on-deck circle at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium when Henry Aaron broke Babe Ruth's supposedly unbreakable home run record on April 8, 1974. "And he did."

Friday, July 20, 2007

It was a beautiful day for a ball game!

Cubs won 9-8. Bonds hit HR's 752 and 753. The weather was awesome.

Check out my videos...


National Anthem


Bonds HR 752


Bonds HR 753


Take Me Out to the Ball Game


Cubs Win!

Welcome Back Julio!

Franco glad to be 'home'
AJC.com

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 07/20/07

An athletic career that began back when Michael Jackson was relevant and Michael Jordan was a champion — with North Carolina — now seemingly hinges on a few swings over the next month or so. Julio Franco's last swim against the riptide of time began Thursday at Turner Field, the place where one way or another his long, winding career seemingly was meant to end.

Franco spared no dramatic image in describing his return to the Braves at the age of 48. Cut free earlier this month by the team the Braves are chasing in the National League East — the New York Mets — Franco said he fell to his knees and prayed for deliverance back to the team that once before had rescued his career.

A big day in Wrigley; Cubs win and Bonds homers twice

Bonds Hits 752nd and 753rd Home Runs

Check out the video from MLB.com


AP Sports Writer

Barry Bonds moved within two homers of Hank Aaron's record Thursday, hitting Nos. 752 and 753 with two of his biggest swings this month and ending his worst slump in six years. He was rested and ready, all right.

Bonds sent the first pitch from Cubs starter Ted Lilly high over the right-field fence leading off the second inning — the first drive out of Wrigley Field to reach Sheffield Avenue all season. Then he homered again in the seventh on a 3-2 pitch from Will Ohman, a three-run shot that stuck in the basket of the center-field wall. Ohman became the 443rd pitcher to give up a home run to Bonds, who has 19 homers on the year.

It was his 71st multihomer game, second behind Babe Ruth's 72, and second this season. He went 3-for-3 and scored three runs in the Giants' 9-8 loss.

Bonds' first homer pulled the Giants within 4-1 and was San Francisco's first hit off Lilly, who surrendered his third career homer to Bonds. The next homer got the Giants within one and gave Bonds six RBIs on the day, his most since driving in six runs Sept. 22 last year at Milwaukee. It was his seventh career game with at least six RBIs.

Cubs hold off Bonds, Giants MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Barry Bonds hit his homers, and the Cubs still won. Everybody's happy.

Bonds drove in six runs, belting career homers No. 752 and 753, but the Cubs took advantage of three errors in the first inning to beat the San Francisco Giants, 9-8, Thursday and take the series, 3-1.

"You're watching a Hall of Famer," Chicago's Cliff Floyd said. "We won a game, and the fans got a chance to see him chase history. That's a double win."

Unless you're Ted Lilly or Will Ohman. Both Cubs lefties served up Bonds' blasts.

"I hate to have Bonds hit two home runs off our pitchers," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "That's what the fans came out to see in these four days and they got their money's worth. He put on a power-hitting exhibition and our team won a baseball game."

Aramis Ramirez drove in two runs to back Lilly (10-4) and help the Cubs win for the 18th time in their last 23 games. And they did so despite not having Derrek Lee in the lineup as he served the second day of his five-game suspension, and losing Floyd and Daryle Ward to injuries. Lilly did his part when he singled in the fifth, notched his first career stolen base and scored on Alfonso Soriano's double.

That's right. Lilly stole a base.

"I always wondered why pitchers don't do that -- they never pay attention to them," Floyd said. "If you're a little bit of an athlete, you should take off."