Saturday, August 29, 2009


I spent the last week at training in Atlanta. It was about as calm and uneventful of a work trip as I ever been on. The class was good (but a lot of material). The drive down was fine. I stayed in a very nice hotel (the Embassy Suites Perimeter). I had good meals every night. I went to Wednesday Bible Study at Chestnut Drive church of Christ. I came home Saturday and the only issue I had was in Nashville. For some reason, I-24 was closed at I-440. I went around that to I-65 and picked up I-24 again to home.

The only thing that really happened of note was at breakfast one morning. At the Embassy Suites, they will cook you eggs to order, pancakes or omelets. I generally got a couple of eggs over easy. To save time, I would drop a couple of slices of bread in the toaster (it was one of those rotating belt toasters where you put the toast in the top and it comes out the bottom) and make my order. As I was waiting to get my plate of eggs, I saw an older couple just grab my freshly made toast and walk off. I wanted to yell "Hey, you stole my toast". Instead I just laughed to myself and went over and toasted a couple more pieces of bread.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Food, Glorious Food

One of the things that I love in life is to eat. I enjoy all types of food, but lean toward the carnivore side (as you've seen in previous posts). My wife is a fabulous cook (I went from 155 to 175 in the first year we were married) so I don't even bother with places like Cracker Barrel or Bob Evans because I can get better down-home cooking at home (plus the cook is gorgeous).

I tried a couple of items I've seen over and over again on TV in the past few weeks. The first item was the Angus Burger at McDonalds. Advertising on this one is at supersaturation level. I am a McDonalds guy. I know some people won't go near one. I do know when I go to one in any town, I can always get a decent meal. My standard lunch/dinner order is a Big Mac, Fries and a diet soda. I broke the pattern and ordered the Bacon Cheese Angus Burger. It was very good. It's 1/3 pound of meat on a special roll and you also get a standard version or a mushroom/swiss combo. It's a dollar more than the Big Mac and it packs a couple of hundred more calories than a Big Mac. I'd order it again though.

Last week on the way to Lexington, we stopped at a KFC. They advertised the grilled chicken. Let me explain that you cannot get this in Paducah. They had a free grilled chicken day where you could a free piece. Josh and friends headed out to the nearest KFC only to be told they didn't have it. They were told that the KFC would have to put in a special grill to make this chicken. The manager also told them that this may be a temporary item (I don't think I've seen that alluded to in the ads which are also at supersaturation level). The closest place to Paducah that has it is Calvert City (about 20 miles east of Paducah).

As we pulled in, I pleaded with Donna to do whatever it took to keep me from ordering the buffet. I always rationalize getting it by saying "It's only a dollar or two more than a meal anyway". It's where two of my big passions collide - thriftiness and food. We ordered a grilled chicken meal. I was disappointed. The skin didn't have that great a taste and the meat didn't have the usual taste or consistency of what I expect from grilled chicken. I would just as soon have their Original Recipe which I really like.

Your mileage may vary. If you have opinions on these or any of the latest supersaturated currently advertisted food items, please comment.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

18 and Life

Well, I am now the father of two adults. Josh turned 18 a couple of weeks ago. It makes me feel pretty old to be honest.

Also, the big day arrived to take Josh to UK to move him in. He left early last Saturday and got there well before Donna and I. When he (and we) got there, they had a lot of security to keep you from parking where you shouldn't (parking is a big issue at UK, there isn't a lot of it to go around). We finally got to his dorm and got his stuff in there. We ate lunch at Chili's and then went to our hotel room and rested.

A few weeks ago, I noticed there was a 5k called "Midsummer's Night Run" in downtown Lexington. Josh and I decided to run in it. We picked up our packets that afternoon before we went to the hotel. Later, we picked up a friend of Josh's (she was obviously very bored to want to spend a Saturday night at a 5k). We parked on the fringe of UK (behind Memorial Colesium) and walked to the start line.

It wasn't quite as bad as the MLB 5k, but still (as I found out later) had almost 5000 participants. Again (to my chagrin), there was no statement about lining up based on pace time. We took off and again we were dodging walkers for the first mile. I had moved toward the front this time, so I didn't have to dodge so many.

It was hot and humid. Being downtown, there was little to no airflow. I did great the first couple of miles, then wore down the last mile. When I got to the end, it took a lot of effort to find water (which was bad since it was so hot and humid). I finally found the others (Josh had finished well before me of course) and we started back to the car.

I discovered that the walk back in the dark was much scarier then the walk there in daylight. We were all a bit spooked but we got back. We went to the hotel and Josh back to his dorm.

We picked him up at his dorm the next morning and headed to worship services at the North Lexington church of Christ. Everybody there was nice as usual. Several told him about the various activities they have for the college kids which made us feel much better. We stopped by Wal-Mart for some last minute supplies and got lunch at Canes' Chicken Strips.

We got him back to his dorm and said our goodbyes. Neither of us broke down or anything, but it was still sad. I was able to listen to the Cardinal game on the way (which put Donna to sleep) and we make it home OK.

We were able to use Skype that night after church and do a video call with Josh to be able to see as well as hear him. He looked fine :-)

It's gonna take a while to get over him not being here. We miss him a lot already...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Toot, Toot, Tootsie

After our elder-deacons meeting today, I grabbed three 69 cent tacos at Taco Bell (they sell for that on Taco Sunday here). Afterwards, I wanted something sweet to cap that off. I headed to our local Dollar Tree to check out the candy. They had the big (3 oz.) Tootsie Rolls 2/1.00 (actually 2/1.06 with tax). That's a great deal but they don't always have them. I got two and promptly started devouring one as I left the store. I felt a bit guilty. I felt a lot better when I read the nutrition info to find one big Tootsie roll only has 150 calories. I didn't expect that low of a calorie count. I resisted the urge to eat the other one (I gave it to Jonathan after church).

Friday, August 7, 2009

Update on the Brad Thompson Situation - Tony LaRussa speaks out

Mr. LaRussa, this is much better...


St. Louis right-hander Brad Thompson will appeal a three-game suspension for pitching inside to the Mets' David Wright, a punishment Cardinals manager Tony La Russa called unfair.

Thompson was not ejected after a pitch rode up and in to Wright during New York's 9-0 victory on Wednesday, after the Cardinals' Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick were hit with pitches by Nelson Figueroa. Thompson was not ejected.

La Russa said Friday that Thompson was "very harshly treated, unfairly."

"I'm not happy because the pitch got away, and we always tell them [the pitchers] if you're going to throw the ball inside and you're going to miss, miss down and not up," La Russa said. "But the fact was, and I tried to explain to [umpire] Bill Miller, Ludwick and Albert got hit and I don't think they [the Mets] were trying [to hit them], they were trying to work the ball inside. And Albert was coming off six hits."

Wright is 5 for 10 with two doubles and a homer in his career against Thompson.

La Russa questioned how the Brewers' Prince Fielder could try to muscle his way into the Dodgers' clubhouse after being hit by a pitch from the Dodgers' Guillermo Mota on Tuesday night, yet the two players weren't suspended and Thompson was. Fielder and Mota were fined.

"I just think [major league disciplinarian] Bob Watson's criteria are tough ... I don't think there's consistency there," La Russa said.

Thompson continue pitching until his appeal is heard.

"We're on the record -- we don't throw the ball at guys' heads," La Russa said.

Bud Selig, I think you need to step in here...

Headhunter and a Mindreader?

I have refrained from commenting about Cardinal baseball all year, but with what I heard yesterday, I couldn't help myself.

On Wendesday, the Cardinals were losing to the Mets 7-0. David Wright was up. Brad Thompson had come on in relief for the Cardinals. He threw a pitch near the bill of Wright's cap. Yes, it was a bad thing that it came that close. I've watched the replay and based on where Molina's glove is before the pitch and the reaction of Thompson after the pitch, I don't think it was intentional. Brad Thompson has even stated he didn't intend to throw high and tight. Well, lo and behold Brad gets a 3 day suspension from Bob Watson and an undisclosed fine.

The night before, Prince Fielder was hit in the leg in the 9th inning of a 17-4 loss by the Dodgers by Guillermo Mota. After the game, Fielder attempted to push his way into the Dodger locker room to "confront" Mota. He had to be restrained by security and his teammates. He ended up only being fined (as was Mota).

Bob Watson vice president in charge of discipline handed these down. I just cannot see how he can determine intent unless he is a mindreader. Pitchers throw bad pitches sometimes. I've seen a MLB pitcher throw a wild pitch when trying to issue an intentional walk. It was very obvious what Fielder's intent was but he was only fined. Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick were both hit in the game earlier (not coincidentally after hitting home runs the night before) but nothing was said nor the pitcher hitting them fined.

I think back to several years ago (2004) when Watson suspended Julian Tavarez of the Cardinals for NINE games because he said he had pine tar on his hat. The year before, Sammy Sosa was caught using a corked bat and only got a SEVEN game suspension.

Tony Larussa complained bitterly about the Tavarez incident and even said he felt Watson was biased against the Cardinals. All he said about the Thompson incident was "pitchers shouldn't throw at a player's head". He didn't try to stand up for his guy at all. I'm a bit disappointed in you Mr. Larussa.

Should you ever intentionally throw at a guy's head? No. I just read an old issue of Sports Illustrated online about Tony Conigliaro's getting hit (as told personally by Conigliaro) in the eye by a Jack Hamilton pitch. They have a picture on the cover and it's gruesome. Conigliaro was never the same hitter. I just feel Waston over-reacted quite bluntly because an east coast team was involved.

Here is the incident. Feel free to comment..

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Josh found out a few months ago that he had to have all four of his wisdom teeth pulled. We spent time figuring out what to do and he finally decided to go ahead and have them pulled. We decided to go with Dr. Heine since he'd done Jonathan's.

Last Friday was the day. Josh and I had eaten a big meal the night before (see the previous post) since he knew he wouldn't be able to eat a whole lot for the next few days. We went into the surgeon's office about 7 and checked in. We waited a few minutes and were shown back to a room with a dentist chair. Dr. Heine talked with Josh a bit. His main concern of course was when he could get back to his running and exercising (answer: 3 days and then only gradually). They started an IV and began injecting him with the knockout stuff. We were escorted from the room to the waiting room. Donna and I talked a bit and I settled down to read a few chapters of Job. I had read only a couple when the nurse came back and said "He's done". The procedure only took 20 minutes. That seemed really fast. We went back and Josh was groggy but not totally out. They gave him only a few minutes and then walked him out to the car to go home.

We stopped at CVS to pick up three prescriptions they gave us (a pain killer, an antibiotic to fend off any infection, and a steroid pack to reduce the swelling). Donna went in to get them. Josh kept pleading with me to let him get and walk. I wouldn't let him, I had visions of him stumbling onto Lone Oak Road. They had our prescriptions filled within 10 minutes and we headed for home.

We got home and Josh was still awake. He promptly settled into the couch, fired up his laptop and got into Facebook. He seemed OK especially since it had only been an hour since his teeth were pulled. I ended up just going back to work.

He's made it great. He's had a little pain but not much. It's taken him a few days to get all his strength back mainly because he wasn't able to eat much.

Dr. Heine called twice (once on Saturday and once on Sunday) to check on Josh. I was very impressed by their office and their concern for him. The whole process went much better than I ever would have imagined.