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Another year in the books!

Kentucky 13, UGA 42

Today's Kentucky/UGA football game was the last home game for outgoing seniors Sony Michel and Nick Chubb, who combined for 238 yards and 5 touchdowns on the way to a 42-13 win.

(It wasn't really as close as the lopsided score indicates. By the end of the game, Kentucky players were gassed, and Georgia's second line of running backs kept gashing them. UGA had 381 rushing yards overall on the day.)

The win doesn't exactly make up for last week's collapse at Auburn, but it does inspire confidence going forward to Georgia Tech and the SEC Championship. Go Dawgs!

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Transcript of actual telephone conversation between father and son:


I'm just calling to remind you that Battle Bots is coming on television tonight on the Science Channel.


I did not know that. I don't get the Science Channel.


Of course you do. You've seen Battle Bots before.


Yes, I have. And I liked it. But it didn't used to come on the Science Channel.


Do you get the National Geographic Channel?




The Science Channel is right next to that.


I don't have the same cable provider you do. We're not even in the same state.


Science Channel is 244 on DirecTV.


I don't have DirecTV.


Oh, well. I was just trying to help. You know intention is what counts.


Are you saying that if the son of the President of the United States intended to collude with Russia, he's guilty even if he didn't successfully collude with Russia?


Well, Hillary Clinton —


What does Hillary Clinton have to do with any of this?


What can I say? Some people are brainwashed.

. . .

One of the two of us should be committed. I'm still not sure which.

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If you post on the Internet enough, you'll eventually attract the occasional negative comment. Check out these gems left here on in the past week:

RE: 2012-12-26 Posted Jun. 20, 2017 at 09:22:59 PM
"Just Mom and me" speaks volumes about your existence.

RE: 2012-12-08 Posted Jun. 20, 2017 at 09:35:29 PM
Re-read this post and ask yourself why Trey, and I, am no longer a part of your Mom's life. What 42 year old man says to his mother, upon hearing she is going to be married, "I guess you are choosing him over me." Maybe a 10 year old. You said essentially the same thing about Trey's fiancé, "I resented her taking my time away from my brother." In neither case was there any expression of happiness and joy for your mother or your brother. For you, it was all about you. Sad. Really sad. Grow up.

RE: 2015-08-29 Posted Jun. 20, 2017 at 10:10:42 PM
You say that "Mom and I" attended a Newnan High School football game, accompanied by " her friend Bill." In fact, Nevelle and I made plans to attend the game, and, as we were leaving the house, she asked if you wanted to go WITH US. Again, it's all about you and your needy relationship with your mother. Grow up. Be an adult. Look in the mirror. Do you like what you see?

You'll see from the timestamp that those were all posted on one night. I was inclined to write the whole thing off as someone going on a bender, but then this showed up a week later:

RE: 2017-06-22 Posted Jun. 27, 2017 at 09:05:11 PM
Nice restorative n project. Good work. But "your" garage? "Your" mud room? Dream on....

So it seems this is going to be a thing now.

Obviously, these weren't posted by a random stranger. It seems my mother has been dating an Internet troll.

While the best thing to do with trolls is ignore them, he does make a few great points that deserve repetition. I've never claimed to be anything other than an over-sized child. I have always been overly attached to my mother — my father blames me for destroying their marriage. And I am keenly aware that my me-first behavior is responsible for driving my only brother, formerly my best friend, out of my life. (Really, you don't know the half of what I've done to deserve that.) I'm a shitty person and most of my behavior is indefensible.

He's right about all that. But he's wrong about one thing:

RE: 2012-10-23 Posted Jun. 21, 2017 at 01:23:24 AM
There's a hundred bucks I'll never see again..

You never contributed $100 towards the Dungeon Delver project in 2012, Bill. That Kickstarter was cancelled about 2 days after we started it. You meant to complain about this 2015 Kickstarter project. And you're not the only one who lost money over that thing. I still haven't seen a penny return on it, either, and I assure you I spent way more than $100.

We're both losers, I guess.

Comments (3) | Leave a Comment | Tags: bill dad family trey walter has compiled a list of the most distinct last names by state. That's the name that appears most often in each state compared to the frequency of that name nationally. Imagine my surprise to discover that the name associated with Georgia is Stephens.

The Internet Surname Database says that Stephens means "the son of Stephen" and derives from the Greek "Stephanos," meaning "crown." It claims the name was popular in the Middle Ages because it was the name of the first Christian martyr (St. Stephen, who was stoned to death).

Maybe that's all true. Maybe Georgia is full of Greek Catholics who were named after saints. However, that has nothing to do with my last name.

Sometime in the late 19th century, probably around 1875, my great-great grandmother Rosa and her four children traveled from Lebanon to America. U.S. customs officials apparently misunderstood (or didn't care) when she told them she had come to meet her husband, Stephen Basil. No one in the family ever changed it back, so the family name has been Stephens instead of Basil ever since.

For the record, Rosa was a practicing Catholic, and most of her descendants remain so. However, you can see that my name has nothing to do with Catholic martyrs. I wonder how many of Georgia's other Stephens are descendants of my great-great grandfather?

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"Am I interrupting you? What are you doing right now?" my father asked when I answered the telephone.

"Nothing important. I was just reading an article from Ezra Klein about why Hillary Clinton's private reputation is so good but the American public hates her," I said. "He calls it The Gap."

Dad laughed. "Of course they'd publish that now. They just can't believe that the American public could be right about something."

I said, "Your response indicates that you believe there's no point in ever investigating this reputation gap. Don't you think there's value in examining the difference in someone's public and private personas?"

"I'm open-minded, but it's just election year spin. If they really wanted to investigate that gap, they'd do it next year."

I shook my head, though dad couldn't see this through the phone. "This is the ideal time, from the news industry's point-of-view. Capitalize on everyone talking about her during the Democratic National Convention."

"Have you been watching? There's been open revolt from the Sanders supporters. This party is tearing itself apart. I haven't seen anything like this since McGovern in 1972."

"What about last week? A week ago today, delegates at the RNC tried to pass a resolution to end-run Trump. Is this so different?"

"That's not the same thing," Dad harrumphed. "These people are angry at a party leadership that openly schemed to give their preferred candidate the nomination."

"What's new about that? Isn't that what the Republicans did in 2012 with Romney? That's what parties do, manipulate things to get their choice candidates elected."

"It's not fair! It's against the rules!"

I remained unswayed. "What rules? American political parties can do whatever they want with their candidates."

Dad practically growled. "Well, since we're not talking about facts, and I can see I interrupted you, I'll just let you go." Click.

I admit that I edited that conversation from my memory of the telephone call, but I think both Dad and I come out looking better in my version than reality. (He refuses to admit his own bias — he wants to Make America Great Again® — and I'm intentionally argumentative. About everything.) Frankly, we behave better when we don't talk about politics. Or government. Or sports. Come to think of it, maybe we never behave better.

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I had a conversation the other day with my father who, like many Americans, believes that the end is nigh. It was mostly the usual stuff: Obama. Gun rights. Big government. Federal debt. Apparently, the Iranian bombs will begin falling any day now.

I was trying to argue him out of his position — I'm not saying things are great, but I don't think we're 30 seconds away from Red Dawn — when my argument was destroyed by five words from my television.

"Artisan French Toast at IHoP."

Ok, Dad. You win. It must be the End of Days if IHoP is serving quality food. The last time I was there, they couldn't manage to give me pancakes.

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My father has two new puppies, sister and brother litter mates! They're so young, they don't even have names yet.

She looks like Bandit from Johnny Quest

I think we're going to need a paternity test

Dad says they're supposed to be Great Pyrenees, but the breed standard requires that Great Pyrenees be pretty much all white. It looks to me like they are some mix of GP and something else. Whatever their genetic heritage, they are 100% adorable.

They make a cute couple

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I called my father to ask who he planned to vote for in the Presidential primaries. He was thinking about Donald Trump. Dad wants to Make America Great Again™.

I couldn't let that happen, if only partially because I don't think that America was so great once upon a time that I would ever want to go back there. Whenever that was.

When pressed for his reasoning, he said, "I think Trump's got the business background to fix America's budget problem." Maybe so. But is that the only prerequisite worth considering?

I asked whether it wasn't a problem for him that Trump had repeatedly belittled women and called Mexicans rapists. I asked him if it was okay that the head of our Executive branch of government bullied those of us who didn't have as much money as he did. I asked if it was acceptable to elect a commander-in-chief who called POWs "losers" because they got captured by the enemy.

Those are all things my father had taught his son not to do. Was behavior inappropriate for his son somehow acceptable in his President?

Dad thought about that for a while before telling me he's changed his mind. He now says he'll be voting for "Jeb!".

I guess I can live with that.

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I'm thinking about painting my bedroom. This is the approximate current color:

Someone thought this color was a good idea

Disclaimer: I did not choose that color. I never met the person who chose that color. I'm terrified of the person who would choose that color.

If it was up to Mom, the walls would be beige. Or tan. Or eggshell. Or ecru. Mom loves her neutrals.

If it was up to Dad, the walls would be white. Dad, a former real estate agent, would paints all walls white. It's almost a mania.

(How they could live in the same house long enough to have two children remains a mystery to me.)

Obviously, I don't want more green. To prevent clashing with the big red Georgia flag on my wall, pinks, lavenders, and oranges are out as well. Personally I'm thinking blues. Something like:

I'm feeling blue

If I can ever make up my mind and paint the room, I'll provide pictures. In the meantime, don't hold your breath.

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I was in a lousy mood, so instead of watching something new, I turned to an old favorite: UHF.

I can't speak for everyone, but some movies I have a personal relationship with. For example, I remember where I was and who I was with the first time I saw The Princess Bride, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. For UHF, I remember the first day I didn't see it.

"Weird Al" Yankovic's foray into movies hit theaters in the summer of 1989. The weekend after my brother and I returned from camp (Trey from Camp MacIntosh and me from Boy Scout Camp Burt Adams) in July, Mom and Dad took us to the local multiplex. I wanted to see UHF, but the rest of the family voted for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. I remember selflessly offering to let the others watch their movie while I watched UHF alone in a different theater. Mom said no. I wouldn't get to see the film until it was rented from Blockbuster a few months later.

UHF was — and still is — a brilliant piece of comedy film making. Most of the film is commercial and film parody in the style of Kentucky Fried Movie overlayed with a plot combining The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and the work of Harold Ramis (where the plot isn't as important as the jokes). The space between the parodies is filled with plenty of good, old fashioned Marx Brothers-style screwball and wordplay. Yankovic is no Danny Kaye, but he's supported by a sterling cast including Michael Richards, Fran Drescher, Kevin McCarthy, Victoria Jackson, Billy Barty, Anthony Geary, and Emo Philips, among others. If you're not laughing at UHF, you have no sense of humor.

Unfortunately, the movie was a flop. I think this may in part be due to its incredible competition. In addition to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, UHF was up against Batman, Lethal Weapon 2, When Harry Met Sally, License to Kill, Dead Poets Society, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Ghostbusters 2, Weekend at Bernie's, The Karate Kid 3, and Field of Dream. Ye-ouch. Hell, about the only movie that was out that week that I still haven't seen is Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. (I've been thinking that it's about time I corrected that oversight.)

The performance of comedies are notoriously unpredictable, making financing difficult. I doesn't help when your comedy is dumped in the middle of the summer blockbuster season. Therefore, it's no surprise that there was never a follow-up. It may be a shame that the world was denied more of Yankovic's madcap antics on the big screen, but at least we'll always have UHF.

Thanks, Al.

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To be continued...