Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday Night Lights

Bobby Dodd stadium at dusk

Toe meets leather tonight!

New coach, new offense, new seats. The Paul Johnson era and a new season of Georgia Tech football kicks off at 7:30pm and I will be there having the usual "heart versus head" expectation war with myself. (And hopefully enjoying our new-and-improved seats in a slightly higher rent section of the stadium.) Seventy five of our one hundred and ten players are freshmen or sophomores. We've hired a new head coach and he has installed a completely new offense - his unique version of a the spread option. A lot of people say it won't work in a BCS conference, but when pressed they cannot articulate exactly why not. We'll find out soon enough. Georgia Tech might just surprise a few people this year. I hope I am one of them.

Whatever happens, I suspect that football is going to be fun again at The Flats.

Monday, August 25, 2008


... sure is nice.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Finally, it's over.

little stars

And now I get my life back.

It was nice having a glass of wine with my lunch. Nice to go enjoy a party tonight, guilt-free. Nice to be able to write this post without feeling like I should be studying, or sleeping. Whew! I can't wait to be totally useless tomorrow - I can sit around the house and waste time all day if I want to. Maybe I will... maybe I won't. But great to have a real choice.

The test went OK, I guess. Not terribly bad, nor terrifically good. I will find out in about four weeks whether or not I did good enough to pass. I am trying hard not to agonize about it and second guess myself to death. I will just say that some questions were ambiguous and that made it tough to make a decision about how to answer.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I got 'em.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Home Stretch

The test is looming in the very near future - Saturday morning, bright and early. The long, hot, miserable summer of study is almost over and I am spending the home stretch at home. I've taken a few days off work for last minute studying.

The plan is to study hard today and tomorrow, and then try to relax on Friday. So far, so good. I covered a lot of ground today and am taking practice tests tonight. It will be hard not to cross over into full on freakout mode by Friday, but I have all that herbal tea to help me. Ha ha. I'm looking forward to things getting back to normal. You know... when I can pound some drinks other than herbal tea.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I read the Bigfoot articles so you don't have to.

It happened (allegedly) near my neck of the woods. Another couple of idiots claim to have found Bigfoot. It's all pretty standard, as Bigfoot stories go. "Evidence" so thin you can see through it. Ever-changing narratives. So-called "experts" that are anything but. In case you missed it, here it the latest claim in a nutshell.

Three different stories about how the finders are now in possession of a Bigfoot body: It was (a) shot by a felon and these guys followed it into the woods, (b) they found a whole family of Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) and bagged one, and/or (c) they were hiking in the north Georgia woods and stumbled upon a dead one.

They've had the body (allegedly) in a freezer for a month. Won't let anyone have a look, except for their own hand-picked "scientists", one of whom turned out to be the (non-scientist) brother of one of the finders. (They claim they were "just having some fun.") The low quality photo that was posted to the internet looks like an ape suit wadded up in a big Styrofoam cooler.

To match the three tales of the capture of the Bigfoot corpse, there were three DNA samples analyzed. Results? (a)human, (b) possum, and (c) cannot be determined due to technical problems.

Most damning sign that this is a hoax? These yokels are now charging $499 to lead weekend "Bigfoot hunts" in north Georgia. Because (allegedly) our woods are just chock full of Bigfeet (Bigfoots?) awaiting discovery.

So unless you think that Bigfoot is a cross between man and opossum, this probably isn't the discovery you've been waiting for.

But this does remind me of those TV specials from my childhood, about Bigfoot, UFOs, or the Loch Ness Monster. I loved those shows. Part of the magic was that these specials were fairly rare. They were not your ordinary TV fare. It wasn't as if you could hop onto the internet and indulge your taste for the paranormal. No, back then it was An Event. And back then, you could almost believe...

Friday, August 15, 2008

It's the cat's ass.

"Nothin' smells like a cat butt!"

Instructions for this product include:

"Hang the butt where it stinks." and "Do not eat."


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bad Vibrations

I'm talking intermittent-throughout-the-work-day, long lasting, very low frequency, drives-you-crazy-with-the-deep-humming-sound, rattles-everything-on-your-desk (and your desk too), feeling-it-through-your-feet-and-legs, can't-get-away-from-it-anywhere vibrations that have been occurring at work due to a major construction project across the street. I'm quite certain that this treatment would be an effective means of torture, because it drives. me. crazy. And it has been happening over and over for weeks.

Not sure why, exactly. I drive by that construction site every morning, and it just looks like a big pit with a pickup truck or two, a few construction workers milling around, and a line of port-o-potties. The building that used to be there is long gone, and the blasting stopped months ago. I don't see anything there that looks even remotely rumble inducing. Maybe the Psychology Department is doing an experiment on people cracking up in the workplace due to unexplained, loud rumbly noises that shake the foundation.

I'm not sure which is worse - the low frequency insanity-inducing rumbling or the far-more-frequent-than-is-reasonable testing of the extremely loud and startling fire alarm system. It's a close call. I'll have to go with the fire alarm on safety grounds. (It also scares the shit out of me every single time.) The high frequency of testing is very likely to lead to a "crying wolf" sort of result, where all I would do in the event of a real fire is slam my office door shut in annoyance as I try to reduce the eardrum piercing volume down to something that won't make me cry. It never occurs to me that it could be a real fire. I'm well trained.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Thirteen Days

...until I get my life back. The board exam is looming large - Saturday, August 23, 8:00 am (not usually my finest hour).

I've got cabin fever (in August - how sucky is that?), I'm stir crazy, I can't seem to function some days, and there are still nearly two weeks to go in this state. All I do is work, sleep, eat, and study. Well, and watch a little TV from 9-11 some nights. But damn, how boring and restrictive is that? Add to that a huge reduction in alcohol intake and you have a recipe for unhappy.

Aside from radiological physics, I've learned a few other things from this experience. Did you know that Tension Tamer tea can have some unfortunate gastric side effects if you drink 5-6 cups of it in one evening? Consider yourself warned. I suspect that it shares an ingredient or two with "dieters tea". Did you know that learning lots of stuff in one area can make you stupid in others? Well, some days I cannot put together a rational sentence, so there ya go. Did you know that if you stare at a book, your cats will be irresistably drawn to lay on it? OK, I already knew that, but they have confirmed it time and again. If you can learn physics from osmosis, my cats are pretty damned smart.

The only good thing about this weekend was the it was cool and dry enough for me to do my studying on the porch for a change. We turned the A/C off on Friday night and haven't had it on since. It would have been a great weekend for... ah, I won't go there. Lets just say the weather was gorgeous for late summer and I was grateful to be able to hang out on the porch for my miserable marathon study sessions.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Afternoon Snack


Will somebody please tell my cat she's a carnivore?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Ignorance is bliss. Turns out I've been driving around with an expired license since my birthday in May. The pollworkers noticed it today when I presented it to vote. Whoops.

Now that I know, I am going to be paranoid until I get it renewed. Which I could have done over the internet, very conveniently, on time, if Georgia had mailed my renewal notice to me like they were supposed to. They probably sent it to my former address. (Yes, I updated my address with them two years ago, but this is the DMV we're talking about.) If they did, I hope those renewal reminders do not contain any useful personal information, and that no one is driving around with my new drivers license.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Voice of the Braves

The voice of the Braves has been silenced. Skip Caray died on Sunday. He was 68, and had spent 33 years calling games for the Braves.

Lots of people around here remember his enthusiasm and excitement calling the 1992 NL Championship Series: “A lotta room in right-center, if he hits one there we can dance in the streets. The 2-1. Swung, line drive left field! One run is in! Here comes Bream! Here's the throw to the plate! He is ... safe! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! … Braves win!” I have heard that so many times on the radio or TV over the years that it is etched in my mind. And his excitement in 1995 was infectious: “Mark gets the sign, the wind and the pitch here it is... swung, fly ball deep left center, Grissom on the run... Yes! Yes! Yes! The Atlanta Braves have given you a championship! Listen to this crowd! A mob scene on the field. Wohlers gets 'em one, two, three. A couple of fans rushing on the field. The Atlanta Braves have brought the first championship to Atlanta!” Those were heady times for Braves fans.

Sure, Caray was around for the good years, but he also kept people interested and entertained during all those bad years of the 70s and 80s. His wit and humor were no doubt a big part of the reason that the Braves became “America’s team”. I like that he didn’t make any pretense of being impartial. He also called it like it happened and wasn’t afraid to say what was on his mind, even when his comments were not flattering to the team.

All that said, the memories that stand out in my mind are from much quieter times. After I moved far away from home after college, all the nights I tuned into the Braves game on TBS just to hear the familiar voices from Atlanta, easing my homesickness and lulling me into an “everything is OK” feeling. It worked every time. Thanks for everything, Skip. May you rest in peace.

Friday, August 01, 2008