Showing 1 - 10 of 149 posts found matching keyword: family

Today was the day that we moved Dad's stuff up from Florida. Of course, I woke up with a stiff back. Life's funny that way sometimes.

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Life in America, 2018 (a one-act play):

Interior, Den — Day

FATHER and WALTER (son) sit across a table from one another.

WALTER (to Father)

It was reported this week that the President's cell phone is tapped by Russia and China. Trump's reply, that the story must be fake news because he rarely uses cellphones, came by way of a tweet he sent from his iPhone.

FATHER (to Walter)

You're looking for something to criticize. You only ever talk about the bad things he does.

WALTER

Okay, fine. We'll talk about something good he's done. Go ahead, name something good.

FATHER

. . .

Father closes his eyes as though thinking but says nothing.

Hold for sixty seconds.

Father begins to snore.

Curtain

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Almost everyone reading this already knows that in April 2014, my father moved to Fountain, Florida. What you may not know is that Fountain is only 37 miles due north of Mexico Beach, the town Hurricane Michael wiped off the map this past Wednesday.

Through a series of unexpected coincidences, Dad wasn't at home when the hurricane hit, which is good. (He has temporarily relocated to Heard County, Georgia for... other reasons.) Also good is the news that although trees fell everywhere around, including on his barn, the house emerged unscathed! Even his whole herd of cattle survived.

That's even more amazing considering that this news came from my father's friend who lives not 10 miles to the west. His friend's house was all but completely blown apart and submerged under water. (Fortunately, his friend was also out of town on business planned before and completely coincidental to the arrival of Michael.)

Both properties are without power and are expected to be so for another month. And while Father has offered his house to his friend, travel between the two will be quite the hike until Bay County can get around to clearing the roads of fallen trees, which might take considerably more than a month.

Anyway, the point of this story is that everyone is alive, and one day we'll all look back and laugh about it. Assuming that Dad's friend can find clean water and get gas to keep his generator running, and assuming that Dad ever gets over the fever he hasn't treated for the past two weeks because his doctor is unreachable.... Did I mention that the livestock seem fine?

UPDATE: I wrote this post on the 12th. On the 13th, Dad finally decided he'd had enough and visited the ER in Newnan where he was diagnosed with abscessed diverticulitis. That's bad. The hospital docs will determine on the 15th how well the abscess is responding to a heavy dose of antibiotics. Otherwise, there may be emergency surgery in Dad's near future. Freaking hurricane.

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For the second time this season, I will not be attending a UGA football home game. Making it to one out of three would be a pretty good success rate... if I had season tickets to baseball.

At least this time, I have a good excuse: family. Can't live with 'em; can't turn your back on 'em and pretend they don't exist. (Right, Trey?)

Good luck with Tennessee, Bulldogs. And enjoy the tickets enough for both of us, Matt.

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Mom found this empty 1942 UGA student football season ticket book in a batch of letters kept by my grandmother:

The University of Georgia Department of Athletics Student Ticket Season 1942-43

In 1942, UGA played only 3 home games in its home stadium

THIS BOOK IS VOID IF PICTURE IS DEFACED

Dink graduated in the class of 1943. Back in her day, students were sold these books of paper tickets (face value of 85¢) redeemable at the box office for a real ticket. Student tickets were only raised to $10 in the 2018 season. To the university's credit, that's less than the price of inflation. (Eighty-five cents in 1942 is over $13 today.) Sanford Stadium has been expanded eight times since 1942, when it only held 30,000 fans. It now seats over 93,000, so I suspect they're making up that lost value in volume.

If an empty ticket book seems like a strange keepsake, keep in mind that UGA won a national title in 1942 behind the incredible backfield tandem of Frank Sinkwich and Charley Trippi. For the record, this was the outcome of those games:

September 25 Jacksonville Naval Air Station, W 14–0,
October 3 Furman, W 40–7,
October 17 Tulane, W 40–0,
October 31 Alabama (ranked #3), W 21–10,
November 7 Florida, W 75–0,
November 21 Auburn, L 13–27,
November 28 Georgia Tech (ranked #2), W 34–0

I never knew that my grandmother attended every home game that season, and Dink died before I went to Athens, so she never knew I would one day have season tickets to our shared alma mater. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll eventually get to see a national championship season myself. I think she'd like that.

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We welcome the 13th Wriphe.com Batman and Football Month with the UGA home opener!

First things first, today's season opener was quite possibly the hottest game I've ever attended. Thermometer said 95°, but I'm positive that it was much hotter in the direct sun. Mom was particularly affected, and rather than tempt a case of heatstroke, we left halfway through the second quarter. That's by far the earliest I've ever departed the stadium. Of course, by then, UGA was up 24-0 on the helpless Austin Peay Governors, so it didn't fell like I was missing much. (Final score would be 45-0. The game was so lopsided and the heat so bad that the teams agreed to skip playing the last 5 minutes of the fourth quarter. Even the teams went home early.)

The game was notable for another reason: the debut of the offseason renovation to Sanford Stadium, complete with a new locker room, larger video monitor, and revision to the pregame ritual. Players now enter the field from the west endzone.

All that's nice, sure, but I personally found a more notable change to be that the television time-out official now holds up a large digital timer that lets fans know exactly how much longer the time out will last. That's an improvement, but given the weather conditions, it felt like I was looking at an oven timer telling me how much longer until I was done cooking.

Most of you reading this know that I spent the entire offseason debating whether I wanted to continue purchasing UGA season tickets. The school has capitalized on its SEC championship and national second-place finish by making a naked cash grab, including increasing ticket prices by 50%. With the season finally underway, I feel I need to get twice the enjoyment from my games to justify the price. Did I do that today? Yeah, I probably did. If nothing else, it was a unique experience I wouldn't have gotten on my couch.

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Mom woke me up at the crack of 11AM yesterday, and we went to watch a Civil War re-enactment. Specifically, we went to see "The Battle of the Woods" at historic Brown's Mill battlefield in Coweta County, Georgia.

I shore would like a bite of yore apple, ma'am.

The site is famous for a short battle that took place there in July 1864 between Federal forces led by Brigadier General McCook and Major General Wheeler's Confederate cavalry. Wheeler's ambush led to a rout, and over a thousand Union soldiers were captured at the cost of only 50 Confederate lives. The battle has been credited with forcing General Sherman to abandon his strategy of cavalry raids in favor of a more direct siege of Atlanta. Call it a slow-burning pyrrhic victory.

Not that I knew any of that before yesterday. The Civil War isn't exactly a particular interest of mine. It's not exactly in Mom's wheelhouse, either. She was just looking for an excuse to go for a walk in the woods in some unseasonably cool weather.

Anyway, describing what we saw yesterday as a "re-enactment" is not entirely accurate. There were men in period-appropriate clothing with era-appropriate weapons all right, but they weren't really re-enacting anything specifically, at least not while we were there. (We got there a little late.) They demonstrated their weapons, military drills, and medicine, and they answered a lot of questions from the crowd, so it was more like an interactive lecture.

Even though I was groggy from sleep deprivation, I admit it was interesting to see history in action. And it certainly makes you stop and wonder at how things have changed in the past 154 years.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some sleep to catch up on.

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"One of Superman's powers," read the crossword puzzle clue.

"That's too vague," I said. "Superman has, like, every power. That's why they call him Superman." Looking up from the paper, I asked my mother, "What power do you think of when I say 'Superman'?"

She thought about this for a minute then answered, "X-ray vision."

I was surprised. "That's the first power that comes to mind? He's stronger than a locomotive, faster than a bullet, and he can leap tall buildings in a single bound. He can fly. In addition to telescopic and microscopic vision, he also has super senses of hearing, touch, and smell. He has heat vision and cold breath. His brain processes information faster than a computer. He can throw his voice with super-ventriloquism. He has such incredible control of his muscles, he can change his physical appearance at will. He can vibrate through solid objects and travel through time. He can kiss you so hard, you forget stuff. And he is never, ever wrong. Despite all that, the first power that comes to your mind when you think of Superman is his ability to see through stuff?"

Mom nodded. "Yep."

I'll be damned if that wasn't the right answer for the crossword puzzle.

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Preparation H earned some notoriety in 2016 with an advertisement introducing America to the town of Keister, Minnesota. Their latest commercial features a town named Tookus.

Unlike Keister, Tookus is, as you can see in the screencap above, a "Fictional Town." Seeing that, I wondered to myself, if Tookus is fictional, where did they film it?

If you look closely, you'll see the street signs in the background reference U.S. 23 and Georgia Highway 42. Turns out, that's the intersection of Keys Ferry Street and Macon Street. Tookus is in downtown McDonough, Georgia!

My Mother's maternal family hails from just outside McDonough in a little place called Kelleytown (which has a surprisingly thorough Wikipedia entry). In fact, the family still owns some land out there. So if you're ever passing through Tookus, look us up.

UPDATE 2018-07-21: I'm watching Smokey and the Bandit, and what do I see but this intersection! About 15 minutes in, Bandit evades a state patrolman by hiding his Trans Am right where the camera would be placed for this commercial. McDonough looked pretty much the same in 1979, though that cafe behind the "officer" didn't exist yet. See the screenshot at atlantatimemachine.com.

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Mom and I watched these movies together in June:

111. (1340.) Murder, She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery (2015)
112. (1341.) Murder, She Baked: A Peach Cobbler Mystery (2016)
116. (1345.) Murder, She Baked: A Deadly Recipe (2016)
117. (1346.) Murder, She Baked: Just Desserts (2017)

There are five Murder, She Baked movies, all based on the Hannah Swensen series of mystery novels by Joanne Fluke. Mom had read several of the novels, though none that were the basis for these movies.

The obvious "Murder, She Wrote" connection is intentional. These were made for the Hallmark family of television channels, and they do have a very "television" vibe to them. The first is the worst, as the template there feels like a daytime soap opera. However, the others all have a different director and feel much more movie-like. They reminded me of the directorial style Twilight series, which I would call competent if not showy (or especially noteworthy). Things like setting and continuity are almost afterthoughts.

Hannah isn't as good a detective as she is a baker, but she's not up against The Maltese Falcon. Most of these films tip their hands early, and none of the solutions came as a surprise. But solving the crimes isn't really the point. The movies spend most of their time focusing on Hannah, her family, and most importantly, her love life as she vacillates between Mike the policeman and Norman the dentist. (For the record, I rooted for the dentist.)

Recommended for those who enjoy the cozy mystery genre and spending a rainy evening with a mystery that won't tax the little gray cells.

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To be continued...

 

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