If you do not know me (I mean, really know me) then there is something you need to understand before you read this blog: I value the truth above everything else... except a good laugh. A good laugh will almost always beat the truth as far as I’m concerned. Everything you read on this blog will be true, somewhat true, or something I made up in an effort to get a laugh. Sometimes I will go on a rant that I don’t really mean (or only kind of mean). Sometimes I will mean what I write only to completely change my mind a year, month, or day later. Such is life. By reading this blog you agree not to get offended by anything I write (or, at the very least, you agree not to tell me or anyone else that you are offended). It is worth noting that my employer does not endorse my blog (or even read it, to tell you the truth). The Wife also does not endorse my blog (though she will read it from time to time). I am not paid to write this... it’s just my way of giving back to the community. I have, and will, touch on a wide range of subjects and will give my opinion on these subjects. Again, most of what I say is for laughs but every now and then I will say what I really think and feel (see my views on Westboro Baptist Cult). How will you know when I’m serious and when I’m trying to get a laugh? You’ll know. And if you don’t know, well... maybe this isn’t the best thing for you to be reading. So, sit back, read and enjoy. Leave comments if you want and don’t be afraid to publicly follow me.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fightin' through...

Let’s begin with the “war” of words from earlier this week. On Dan Le Batard’s radio show, Michael Wilbon (good friend of my good friend Tony Kornheiser) said the following:

“I'm not one of those guys who likes to pound on Stan Van Gundy. I thought he got completely hosed in Miami. I think there are things that Stan does very well. I think he was sabotaged in this case by the trading -- not the trading but the letting go to free agency -- of his best offensive player (Hedo Turkoglu). I think that Stan probably will be fired (if the Magic lose to the Celtics). I don't know how you fire him. I really don't... I've already heard the rumblings that he will be fired if they don't win this series”.

Well, Stan Van Gundy wasn’t going to take THAT. So he responded by saying:

“No, I’m not worried about my job security and I’m less worried about what Michael Wilbon would think about anything. People comment on things and that’s fine –whatever. Michael Wilbon, to my knowledge, has never done anything competitive, never been in a locker room... never had to play, never had to coach, never had to make a decision. He’s one of those guys who is a talking head. I’ve refused to be on PTI over the years. Look, I follow this stuff. If you’re on guys’ shows, they don’t criticize you and if you won’t go on their shows, they do. That stuff is never made known. There’s a lack of integrity in the business. So whatever Mike wants to say, that’s fine. He’s certainly not an expert in my business and I’m not going to worry about it too much”.

Haha... Good one, Stan. Let that be a lesson to anyone trying to defend Stan Van Gundy! Haha... To be fair (and I sometimes try to be) I’m sure Stan wasn’t given the full Wilbon quote before he responded. To keep being fair, Stan Van Gundy may very well just be a dumba**. What I would like to see happen, is the owner of the Magic go up to Stan and say, “We’re going to let you go... I’ve been thinking about it for a while now, but then I heard Wilbon on the radio and he made a good point so I decided to keep you. But then I heard you say that Wilbon doesn’t know anything... So I’m going to fire you”. That’s what I’d like to see. Here’s the thing, I don’t really care that much about Stan Van Gundy or Michael Wilbon. What I do hate is that crap Stanny boy said about Wilbon having never played or coached... as if that matters in this situation. That’s like Jeremy’s boy Hanley saying his coach doesn’t know what he’s doing because he never played Major League baseball. When did Stan Van Gundy play in the NBA? On the flip side, when did Michael Jordan become a great coach? When did it become necessary to play or coach before you can report or analyze something? This past April, Stan was fined for criticizing officials. I have yet to find where in his bio it is mentioned that he has ever worked as an NBA ref. I’m sure there are times when having played or having coached does help give insight... but don’t think it’s a prerequisite for a TV gig.

Moving a little closer to home... The Citadel and Elon got into a little scuffle in there game yesterday. The Citadel base runner did a kind of half-slide into the Elon catcher (who was reaching for the ball) on a play at the plate. College rules say a runner has to slide on a close play at the plate. One could debate if the slide by The Citadel player was a true slide or more of a flying knee block, but it at least looked like he was attempting to slide. What one could not debate, is that the Elon catcher (at least from the pictures I’ve seen) was doing a great job (in my opinion) of blocking the plate. Had the runner really slid, I’m not sure he could have reached the plate. Listen, I have no problem with a catcher blocking the plate on a close play. In fact, I believe that’s how God intended the game to be played. What I do have a problem with, is a catcher, coach, teammate... whatever, getting all bent out of shape if the gets hit by the runner who is trying to get to the plate the catcher is blocking. Anyway, there was a collision and the runner was ruled safe. The Elon coach went out to argue. Words were flying all around and then (from my sources at the Post and Courier) an Elon player ran out of the dugout and the fun really began. I don’t know how good of a fight it was since I wasn’t there. I did see some pictures (including one with my friend and former position coach my senior year at JI, Coach Beckley... who seems to be trying to hold someone back, though I can’t really tell). I’m going to look for a video of it when I get a chance. I do know Fred Jordan (Head Coach for El Cid) ended up with a separated shoulder (not sure how that happened). In the end, The Citadel won the game (and I hope the fight... it is a military school after all).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


You may have heard, I resigned from my job on Monday. Not the job that pays (some of) the bills... I still have that job. No, I resigned from the job that each year around the 4th of July would bring me joy and happiness like no job I’ve ever had (not counting the years I was a camp councilor at Coach Hatley’s baseball camps). This was the kind of job that brought me so much happiness that I knew it was only a matter of time before The Wife would make me resign. I tried to buy myself some time by talking about what hard work it was (and there was hard work involved), but alas, I could not hide the joy that filled my eyes whenever the subject would come up. Of course I am talking about my job working fireworks shows in the Atlanta area of Georgia (which, if you’re like me, is anywhere outside of the Savannah area of Georgia). I wish I could give you an exact location but I really don’t know. I think maybe Sugar Hill was one (but I might be thinking that because I’m listening to the Sugar Hill Gang right now). I worked this gig for two years. Each year there were two shows (one big one that took a long time to set up because it was all electrically fired and one smaller show where we would hand fire most of it). The first show was always fun because we had a lot of people (around 7 or 8) working and work seems to be more fun when you have more people. Plus, we would have time in-between the set-up and the show to just hang out and laugh and relax. The second night consisted of 4 of us going to shoot a show at a very nice golf course while the other 4 went to shoot a show at a church. The golf course group was: a supervisor (my brother Kevin, aka “Sonny” if you’ve been following this blog), my sister-in-law Terry (older than Kevin), myself, and a random guy we’d pick up who at least looked like he didn’t have a record. While the show wasn’t as big as the first night, it was still a good bit of hard work because it was just 4 of us working it. Anyway, shooting this show was great because it was hand fired. The first year, as a way to “protect” me, Sonny made my main job be “reloader”. See, we didn’t have enough tubes for all the shells we had to shoot, so after he and the random guy without a record (we assume) would fire a shell it was my job to reload the tube. This, I thought, was a great way to keep me safe (as I ran back and forth reloading tubes while carrying shells with sparks falling all around me). Around the end of that show I was allowed to light some shells myself. Sonny gave me some great advice as I was going to my first one: “Don’t stand over the tube as you light the shell”. Thanks for the heads up on that one! If he said anything to me after I shot that first shell I have no idea, because once I lit it that sucker went BOOM and my hearing left me for about a year and a half (that’s how we ended up with Scooby... I had no idea what The Wife was saying when she asked if we could have him). I learned the next year to wear double ear protection (which worked great). Last year I got to shoot the whole time (in the middle of a thunder storm) which is something I think every man should do at least once in his life. I was really looking forward to doing it again this year, but The Wife forced my resignation. Fortunately my supervisor was very gracious when I sent him my resignation letter. So our lesson today is: Find something you love... then do your best to hide it from your spouse. :-)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Two days down, three to go

Yesterday was Bob Dylan’s birthday. Bob Dylan might be the most successful singer who sounds worse singing his songs than ANYONE else. Honestly, this is the guy that karaoke was made for. Still, I enjoy his songs.

Sunday night I watched the Brooks & Dunn thing on CBS. I’ve never really thought of myself as a Brooks & Dunn fan, but they do have some songs that I like. It seems they are the best selling duo in Country music history. So they’ve got that going for them. I did enjoy the show. I always like seeing musicians sing songs made famous by other people.

I know I’m a little late on this story (at least I don’t think I’ve talked about it yet) but NASCAR has announced its first Hall of Fame class. The first class included: Bill France; Bill France, Jr.; Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt; and Junior Johnson. I’m not the biggest NASCAR fan... it’s not that I don’t like it, I just don’t follow it as closely as others. With that in mind, I think this is a pretty good group to get this Hall of Fame started. I’m sure someone out there might be able to make an argument to have someone else in this group... but I don’t know if anyone would argue that one of these guys shouldn’t be in.

That’s much better than the 2003 inaugural class of the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame. While that class did include James Island’s very own Gorman Thomas and Holly Hill’s Willie Randolph (two very worthy individuals, no doubt) it did not include the one man who has had perhaps the greatest influence on baseball in the Charleston area. That man, of course, is Coach Chal Port. To be fair, it wasn’t until 2006 that amateurs were considered for induction (and Coach Port was inducted that year). Of course, this begs the question: How do you have a Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame and not include amateurs? While I am a fan of our minor league team (the RiverDogs... a much better name than the Rainbows, which was their name when I started following them) I don’t think they rule the baseball world in this area. High school and college baseball rule (especially after C of C started playing). Anywho, I don’t think they’ve announced the nominees for this year’s class yet. I’ll let you know when they do (and I’ll even let you know who I’ll vote for).

Before I go, let me send a very big Thank You to my good friend and long-time I’m just sayin... reader Danny Wright for finding an Oklahoma quarter for me. This act of kindness will not be forgotten.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


My sister Teri is turning 38 today, so I would like to take a minute to wish her a happy birthday. No, you will not be reading 38 things about Teri today. That kind of post is saved for “milestone” birthdays. Besides, I’m still drained from the 95 things about MaMa post. But I still want to wish Teri a Happy Birthday and let her know that Maverick will be calling at some point today to sing to her.

I will share one “Teri” memory with you:

I remember my Freshman year at Winthrop I called Teri on my birthday and left her a message reminding her it was my birthday and to call me and wish me a happy birthday.

She never called. :-(

In other news, Susie is now saying DaDa and Daddy. So it won’t be long before she starts asking me for money.

I’m trying to figure out how I can start a 501c to help Mary Ruth raise money for this Disney trip she wants to go on. Really, she should be the one trying to figure this out... but I try to help her when I can.

I watched Young Guns II when I was home sick this past Wednesday (I’m better now, thanks). One of the best movie scenes ever (maybe not THE best, but it’s on the list)...

Doc: “William H. Bonney, you are not a god”.

Billy the Kid: “Why don’t you pull the trigger and find out”.

WOW! That, as we used to say on the baseball field, takes some pretty big... well, I probably should say what we used to say.

Well, I've got to change the oil in the car and then take care of some yard work so that's all for today.

Happy Birthday Teri!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mailbag Part 3

Before we get to the mail, we at I’m just sayin... would like to wish Clark and Jenn Williams a very Happy 5th Anniversary. Here’s to many more.

Dear I’m just sayin...

You have done so much to bring joy and happiness into our lives... Is there anything we can do for you?

Silent Majority

Dear Silent,

Gosh, that is very kind of you to say. I have to admit, just knowing that my words help brighten your day is enough for me. However, if you did want to give me something... well, there is one thing I need. You see, I’ve been collecting the state quarters and keeping in some cardboard thing that I believe my sister-in-law gave me. I have all of the states (and Puerto Rico... which is odd since I don’t recall it ever becoming a state, but whatever) except for Oklahoma. I can’t find an Oklahoma quarter anywhere. So if you could get me an Oklahoma quarter, that would be great!

Dear I’m just sayin...

Longtime reader, first time writer. I am still kind of new to the area and I’ve noticed that people keep making fun of me because I don’t look like them. Sometimes it hurts so much I want to cry. Do you think I should tell them that I am from Connecticut, not Puerto Rico? And why do people here think that people from Puerto Rico are illegal immigrants? Also, I play the guitar and it seems to make people happy. But every time I ask people what song is it they want to hear, they always give me the same answer. Am I missing something?

Sad Transplant

Dear Illegal,

First, let me say thanks for writing. It’s always good to hear from my followers. I usually only take one question from each writer, but you seem like a nice guy and I really want to help you out. I have a 3 part answer for your first question: 1. Don’t cry. You think they make fun of you now... let them find out you cried and it’ll be all over. 2. As someone who has (happily) lived in this fine state my whole life, I advise that you never (and I mean NEVER) tell someone down here that you are from up north. Just trust me on this one. 3. People make fun of others for 2 reasons... to hurt or to show love. Just assume the people making fun of you are doing it to show their love. That’s what I always do. Of course, if you tell them you are from the north... well... just don’t tell them. As for being an "illegal immigrant"... to people here, if you aren't from the South, then you are an illegal immigrant.

As for your last question... I don’t care if you are playing in a small hole-in-the-wall bar or in front of a large church crowd in the middle of a worship service, if you say “What song is it y’all wanna hear?” at least one person will yell “Free Bird!”. Why? Because that’s how God intended that question to be answered. So, either learn to play Free Bird or quit asking people what song is it they want to hear.

Dear I’m just sayin...

I am a young, successful player on one of the best teams (nay, one of the best ORGANIZATIONS) in the NFL. I’m rich, I’m young, I look... well, let’s just say I’m rich enough that most women think I look good. Hey, I like to party. I don’t deny that. But it seems like every time I go out to have a good time, I get in trouble. Why does this keep happening to me?

Big Trouble

Dear Biggie,

Two words: PlayStation 2. I know there are other game systems out there, but this one will do the trick. You start playing this bad boy and before you know it hours will have flown by. If you need a little more “action” in your life, get a Wii. It also wouldn’t kill you to just stay home and read. Bottom line, though, is I would quit going out if I were you. You keep this up and before you know it one day you’ll really screw up and wake up married!

Dear I’m just sayin...

I love this blog! I wish I was as good a writer as you are! Are you anywhere else on the internet?

Flexible with the Word

Dear Flex,

Glad you asked. I am also on Facebook, LinkedIn, and now Twitter. Don’t expect a ton of updates from me on any of these, though. I’m the kind of guy who would rather hear about what other people are doing than talk about myself.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Power of I'm just sayin...

This blog has become more powerful than even I could have imagined. And I imagined quite a lot.

Yesterday, I told you about Jeremy’s boy Hanley Ramirez (no relation to former Brave Rafael Ramirez). Well, it seems Hall of Famer Andre “The Hawk” Dawson saw what I had to say and decided he needed to have a talk with Hanley. Jeremy was kind enough to pass along an article describing the meeting between Dawson and Hanley (which included Hall of Famer Tony “Doggie” Perez). I don’t recall ever seeing Perez play, though I may have seen him once or twice on TV against the Braves at the end of his career. I do, however, remember watching Dawson play. He is not someone I would want to make mad. While I don’t know the story behind his nickname, I can tell you they called him “The Hawk” because... well, he let them. It’s that simple. This is the kind of guy that scared me even when he looked happy. I must point out that we have never met (we could just never work it out in our schedules) and I’m sure he’s a nice guy... but he has an intimidation factor (on a scale of 1-10) of 15. By the time I started watching him (after he came to the Cubs) his knees were already shot. He had to go through hours of pre-game prep just to be able to go out on the field each night (or day, if it was a Cubs home game back then). He played the game the right way. He respected the game because he understood that the minute you start thinking you’re better than the game, the game will kick you’re a**. Anyway, I recommend you read the article. I will tell you it starts off by saying something like “The door shut and Andre Dawson looked directly into Ramirez’s eyes”. That sent chills up my spine. As someone who has been robbed at gunpoint, let me say in all honesty I would rather be robbed at gunpoint than be in a room with an angry Andre Dawson. And I sure as hell wouldn’t look an angry Andre Dawson in the eye. Ramirez later apologized to his teammates (something he had said he wouldn’t do) and was put back in the line-up. And he got two infield hits (which, as someone who rarely hit the ball out of the infield, I can tell you requires a lot of hustle). So, maybe this will be a “wake up” call for him. Maybe not. Time will tell.

During a game, former Cubs pitcher (now ESPN color analyst) Rick Sutcliffe said about all of this: “I don’t know if I could have whupped Hanley Ramirez or not, but I’ll be honest with you – after watching that, we would’ve found out”. I love Rick Sutcliffe.

Before finding out about the Dawson/Perez/Ramirez meeting, I had an idea on how to take care of this. Just show Ramirez the scene from Bull Durham that goes something like:

Manager: “You guys. You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!”

Larry: “Lollygaggers!”

Manager: “Lollygaggers. What’s our record, Larry?”

Larry: “8 and 16”.

Manager: “8... and 16. How’d we ever win 8?”

Larry: “It’s a miracle”.

Manager: “It’s a miracle. This... is a simple game. You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball”.

Of course, having Dawson and Perez meet with him was probably the better way to go. But watching that scene from Bull Durham would have been a lot more fun.

The Wife has told me that I will be attending a graduation tonight at Mary Ruth and Susie’s daycare. I feel I have to point out that the only graduation I have EVER really wanted to go to was mine a few weeks ago... and that was just because I thought there was a chance I’d get a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A sandwich (and I was right). This one isn’t even for my child. Mary Ruth still has another year. But, I have been told that I will be there because Mary Ruth (and her classmates) will be singing (or doing some kind of performance). Oh well... that’s the life of a parent I guess.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Alan!

May (like January) is a busy month for birthdays in my family. My cousin Alan is turning 27 today. So, Happy Birthday Alan!

Alan, you may recall, is the only family member of my generation to scorn Clemson and follow me to Winthrop.

Not sure if you’ve been keeping up with Jeremy’s boy, Hanley Ramirez, but he needs to get his stuff together pretty quick. If you haven’t been following this… Hanley booted a ball (literally) and then didn’t exactly give it 100% when he “ran” after the ball. His manager got mad at him and ended up taking him out of the game. So far… not great… but also not the worst thing in the world. I get that he makes millions of dollars and so we think he should go 110% all the time… but I also get that it’s not always easy to give your best ALL the time at work. So, were I a well paid Major League baseball player I’d like to think I’d hustle on every play because that’s how I was raised to play the game. But, were I in a game and I didn’t hustle and my manager took me out of the game I would be embarrassed. I would then apologize to my teammates, coaches, and fans. Hanley (so far, at least) hasn’t done this. He talked about how his manager hadn’t played at that level (because THAT always gets people on your side) and said he didn’t need to apologize to anyone. I am reminded of a story Coach Hatley told us about Wally Pipp. Pipp, you might remember, was the starting first baseman for the New York Yankees (and a pretty good one, at that). One day he goes to the manager and says he needs to sit out because he has a headache. No problem, the manager said, I’ll just throw in that Gehrig kid. Well, that Gehrig kid started that game and the next 2,129 games after that one. He turned out to be a pretty good player. What does this have to do with Jeremy’s boy Hanley? Well, my advice to him is don’t take being a starter for granted. There hasn’t been a player yet to play who hasn’t been replaced. And sometimes the only difference between you and the guy on the bench is that you got a chance that he hasn’t gotten yet. But hey, what do I know, I never played at that level.

Of course, I’ve also never been a preacher but that’s never stopped me from telling them what they’ve done wrong and what they should do different.

Now, for a Chase Towne Update (from his dad):

Chase got his bloodwork and urine results! NORMAL! All of the markers were still in the normal range. The next step will be the three days of scans on June 9, 10 and 11th. If all is well from the scans then they will schedule surgery to remove his broviac tube from his chest. For now we will continue to enjoy "Normal" life. Chase and Olivia continue to show thier parents how to enjoy life. We would not be at this point today without God's grace and all of your prayers, love and support. Please continue to pray for our Miracle Baby, your prayers are working! Thank you!

How great is THAT?!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Casey!!!!

I’m not feeling well, so this will be a short post. Just wanted to wish my cousin-in-law Casey a Happy 30th Birthday.

I feel that some may have misunderstood my open letter to Trident Medical Center. I do not hate Trident Medical Center. I don’t have good feelings towards their billing department… and I think their nurses could be reminded that fathers are not the enemy… but I don’t hate them. Really, if they fixed their billing issues I would not have any ill feelings towards them.

I DO still hate Coastal Carolina and the Westboro Baptist Cult.

It has been pointed out by people nicer than me that Jesus loves all. This, I would say, is just one example of why I fully admit Jesus is better than me.

We, of course, are told to pray for our enemies. Again, I direct you to my new favorite song Pray for You.

I took an online NCIS personality quiz. It said that my personality is most like Ziva David.

The Wife hates Ziva.

The Wife has decided that Lucy is out of luck should she need another surgery because of the cancer. We can’t keep spending $180 for this, she says.

I can’t help but point out that The Wife can’t walk into an Ann Taylor Loft without me ending up with a $250 bill.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Happy Birthday MaMa!!!!!!!

On May 16, 1915 my grandmother (MaMa) was born. Here are 95 things about MaMa (including some things that happened the year she was born).

1. WWI (aka, The War to End All Wars) was being fought (though the US wouldn’t join for another couple of years).

2. Woodrow Wilson was President.

3. The US House of Representatives rejected a proposal to give women the right to vote.

4. An act of the US Congress designates the US Coast Guard as a military branch.

5. The first stone of the Lincoln Memorial is put into place.

6. The Civil War was still fresh in everyone’s mind since it had only ended about 50 earlier. WOW!

7. Pluto had not been made a planet yet (and thus, had not yet had its planet status removed).

8. Babe Ruth hit his first career home run off of Jack Warhop.

9. The first prototype tank is tested.

10. The theory of general relativity is formulated!

11. Billie Holiday, Orson Welles, Paul Samuelson, Les Paul, Ingrid Bergman, Robert Strassburg, Arthur Miller, Sargent Shriver, and Frank Sinatra were born the same year as MaMa.

12. Outlaw and Civil War veteran Frank James (older brother of Jesse James), and Booker T. Washington died the year MaMa was born.

13. With the addition of Oklahoma (1907), New Mexico (1912), and Arizona (1912) there were 48 states in the United States the year MaMa was born.

14. MaMa was born in the first term of Woodrow Wilson’s administration (as noted before). Since then, she has lived through Wilson’s second term, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson (her favorite... not really), Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and now Barack Obama.

15. Teddy Roosevelt and William H. Taft were the only former Presidents still alive when MaMa was born.

16. Two former Confederate Generals died the decade before MaMa was born (Wade Hampton III – 1902 & James Longstreet – 1904).

17. MaMa was born (I think) and raised (I know) in Branchville, SC.

18. My grandfather promised her they could move there after the war.

19. Silly MaMa... there is ALWAYS a war being fought.

20. Branchville is famous for having the world’s oldest railroad junction.

21. MaMa would go as a (very) young girl and watch the soldiers come home (from WWI).

22. MaMa is the oldest child in her family.

23. She had 4 brothers and no sisters (one brother is still living).

23. MaMa has two sons.

24. MaMa has 4 grandsons and one granddaughter.

25. Just on my Dad’s side of the family, MaMa has 6 great-granddaughters and 1 great-grandson (my memory is failing me right now and I’m having trouble remembering the number of great-grands on the other side of the family).

26. MaMa was heard one Christmas saying “Where the _____ did all these girls come from?” Haha... just kidding.

26. MaMa would take me on walks around her neighborhood when I was growing up.

27. Sometimes we would walk to “the other little boy’s church” down the street from her house and sit and talk.

28. There was a “sticky” bush (an evergreen type bush... I don’t know the name of it, we always just called it a sticky bush because it would stick you if you touched it) beside where we would sit.

29. One day we walked there with my cousin Jason and MaMa pushed me into the sticky bush. (***That’s how I remember it. She claims I was reaching for a ball and fell in. I’ll let you decide what really happened***).

30. One year she pushed a Christmas tree over on me. (***That’s how I remember it. She claims I was pulling on an ornament and pulled the tree onto me. I’ll let you decide what really happened***).

31. I made sure it was ok with her before I asked The Wife to marry me.

32. She made my parents take me to the doctor when I was a baby.

33. Come to find out, I was crying because I had an ear infection.

34. One Christmas, she bought all of the males of the family sweaters.

35. She didn’t realize she had done that until we opened them.

36. I talk to her almost every day on the phone.

37. We (just the two of us) used to take trips up to Branchville to visit her brothers.

38. She would protect me when my brother, sister, Mom, and Dad were being mean to me.

39. She had to protect me a lot.

40. She would (will) scold me by saying, “Greggy! One day that mouth of yours will get you into trouble!”

41. I thought of her as I was talking a guy with a gun (pointed at me) out of taking my wallet. (***True story, I convinced him to just take the cash and leave me with everything else***).

42. Growing up, I would sit between her and Da (my grandfather) in church.

43. Da would sometimes tickle me during the service.

44. MaMa would try to hit Da to make him stop.

45. MaMa’s arms are not long enough to reach across even a child.

46. She would end up hitting me.

47. I sat between her and my Uncle Keith at multiple funerals.

48. Uncle Keith would tell a joke to make me laugh.

49. MaMa would try to hit Uncle Keith to get him to stop.

50. I’d get hit.

51. When MaMa says George, Jr (my Dad) it sounds like one word.

52. When she says Keith, it sounds like Key-ith.

53. MaMa is like Maverick... short and protective of the family (Da was like a smart version of Scooby... an outgoing friend to all).

54. She has lived in the same house since WWII.

55. She can tell you the original owners of all the houses around her.

56. She used to work in the nursery at Ashley River Baptist Church.

57. She’s also a little like Lucy... stubborn at times and if you try to make her do something she might growl at you. J

58. The Cubs last won the World Series just 7 years before MaMa was born.

59. When I would spend the night with my grandparents when I was little, I would sleep in the bed with her. She would tell me to shut my eyes and count to 10 right as she turned off the lights. When I would open my eyes, I’d be able to see in the dark.

60. She always had bubblegum at her house for her grandchildren to chew when we’d come over.

61. She had other candy too, but I just wanted the bubblegum.

62. She let’s my Dad and Uncle eat candy before dinner. That drives my Mom crazy. J

63. She is a member of the “Greatest Generation”. And you people think I have an ego...

64. She was born 3 years before Ted Williams.

65. She was born 2 years before JFK.

66. She is 3 years older than Billy Graham, Jr.

67. She was born 4 years before Jackie Robinson.

68. She was born 1 year after Joe DiMaggio.

69. She lived through the Great Depression.

70. Emma Goldman was arrested for lecturing on birth control a year AFTER MaMa was born.

71. President Woodrow Wilson sent 12,000 troops over the US-Mexico border to pursue Pancho Villa the year after MaMa was born. I had some Pancho Villa tequila on Halloween two years ago. If he was anything like the tequila, they should have just let him go.

72. The light switch was invented the year after MaMa was born.

73. The Cubs played their first game at Weeghman Park (now Wrigley Field) the year after MaMa was born.

74. The Saturday Evening Post published its first cover with a Norman Rockwell painting the year after MaMa was born.

75. President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill incorporating the Boy Scouts of America the year after MaMa was born.

76. The first Rose Bowl game was played 13 years before MaMa was born… the second Rose Bowl game was played 1 year after MaMa was born.

77. The enactment of the Jones Act two years after MaMa was born granted Puerto Ricans US citizenship. (huh… someone let Jamin know he doesn’t need that green card).

78. The US Congress established time zones and approved daylight savings time 3 years AFTER MaMa was born.

79. MaMa was 21 when the Baseball Hall of Fame was established.

80. The first class consisted of: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner. All played at some point after MaMa was born.

81. Cy Young retired 4 years before MaMa was born.

82. 197 of the 232 players (about 85%) in the baseball HOF played at some point during MaMa’s lifetime.

83. MaMa has been alive for 15 of the 19 perfect games pitched in MLB.

84. 100% of the players in the Football HOF played in MaMa’s lifetime.

85. The Great Gatsby was published a month before MaMa turned 10.

86. The Grand Ole Opry made its radio debut 10 years after MaMa was born.

87. MaMa was born 5 years after Mark Twain died.

88. Amelia Earhart became the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California 20 years after MaMa was born.

89. Airplanes were banned from flying over the White House 20 years after MaMa was born.

90. Persia was renamed Iran 20 years after MaMa was born.

91. The first nighttime MLB game was played between the
Reds and the Phillies 20 years after MaMa was born.

92. Elvis Presley, Sonny Bono, Ron Paul, Jerry Lee Lewis, Julie Andrews, and Sandy Koufax were born 20 years after MaMa was born.

93. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. & T.E. Lawrence died 20 years after MaMa was born.

94. Prohibition began & Women were given the right to vote 5 years after MaMa was born.

95. The first domestic radio sets came to stores in the US 5 years after MaMa was born.

Happy birthday MaMa! I love you.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday thinkin'

Word on the street is that members of the Westboro Baptist Cult are going to be in the fine state of South Carolina this weekend. The only way I could hate these people more is if I were to find out they do the billing for Trident Medical Center.

In an unrelated matter, I have family in town this weekend to celebrate the 95th birthday of my grandmother (MaMa). Be sure to check back tomorrow for the 95 things about MaMa post.

As you may or may not have noticed, my Cavs were eliminated from the playoffs a few nights ago by my (former) Celtics. It seems me jumping from the Celtics to the Cavs inspired the Celtics to win. KG is still my boy, so I am happy for them.

All the talk about Lebron has made me think about who I would have as my starting 5 if I could pick anyone in the NBA (all-time). This is what I came up with:

PG – Magic Johnson
SG – Michael Jordan
SF – Larry Bird
PF – Charles Oakley
C – Wilt Chamberlain

It’s hard to argue with any of those guys. I’m sure some might want to argue with me about having Oakley on there. To those people I will simply ask “Would you tell Chuck he shouldn’t be on there?” The answer, of course, is no. You wouldn’t. Why? Because you would be too scared to. And THAT’s why he’s on the list. The other 4 guys can score... Oak is there as an enforcer.

Friday, May 14, 2010

An open letter to Trident Medical Center

Dear Top Dog,

You’ve got a problem. As I’m sure you know, The Wife and I came to your hospital when it was time to deliver our babies. I’ll be upfront and tell you that you were not our first choice. But that’s where her doctors practice so that’s where we decided to go. Overall, I would say the doctors were great (to The Wife) and the nurses were great (to The Wife). Nobody seemed to care about me, but that’s neither here nor there. Bottom line is The Wife was happy with the care she received. So doctors and nurses are not the problem (at least in this case... I’m still a little bitter over the treatment I received, but this isn’t the time for that).

No, your problem is in your billing. You may remember our youngest child, Susie, was born this past October. It is now May. This latest bill was a “Final Notice”. On it, you included things like: Patient Name, Account Number, Discharged Date, Total Charges, Statement Date, Account Balance, Payment Due Date, and a nice little note that said (in part) “You recently failed to make the promised payment for this account. You are legally obligated to make full payment for the services that were provided. We fully intend to pursue all legal and appropriate means to collect this debt. We are writing to offer one final chance to resolve this matter. We must receive PAYMENT IN FULL within ten (10) days. Otherwise, your account will be referred to a collection agency and will be reported to a credit bureau without further notice. Please take immediate action to avoid any negative affect to your credit rating”.

As you might guess, my immediate thought was that I should call you and tell you to go f*** yourself and that I would pay whenever you got your s*** together. But I didn’t do that. There is still a chance I will, but I haven’t yet. No, I paid because The Wife wanted me to and it wasn’t a huge amount. However, I would like to respond line by line to what you sent me...

“You recently failed to make the promised payment for this account. (You failed to do your job and properly file with my insurance. You also failed to bill me in a timely manner. I know this one says “Final Notice” but I didn’t get the first notice until late March. What were you guys doing between October and March?) You are legally obligated to make full payment for the services that were provided. (This brings up a very good point... What service are you billing me for? You will notice above when I listed what was included on the bill that I at no point listed anything along the lines of “Services Provided”. NONE, ZERO, Nada (0) of the bills you sent me said WHAT they were for. The ONLY reason I’ve paid ANY of them is that God has blessed me with so much money that I felt it was ok for me to give some of it to you incompetent a-holes. That, and The Wife took valuable time out of her day to call and verify what the charges were for). We fully intend to pursue all legal and appropriate means to collect this debt. (While we’re talking about things we “fully intend” to do, I feel I must share with you that I fully intend to put my foot up someone’s a** at your hospital for the headache you have given me). We are writing to offer one final chance to resolve this matter. (I am posting this as your warning. I hope that either you read this blog or that someone who does read it passes this on to you). We must receive PAYMENT IN FULL within ten (10) days. (Bite me). Otherwise, your account will be referred to a collection agency and will be reported to a credit bureau without further notice. (After seeing how incompetent you are at collecting your own money, I can only imagine how bad you are at fixing credit that was damaged because you were stupid. That’s the other reason we paid. I’m guessing that’s also a reason so many people want Health Care Reform. And this is true. While most people might not have wanted what The President was pushing, a very large majority do want reform. They call it “health care reform” but really most people want “health care BILLING reform”). Please take immediate action to avoid any negative affect to your credit rating (You should take immediate action before I start telling EVERYONE to do their best to never ever ever ever step foot in your hospital if they can at all help it. In the end, The Wife will have to make the call on if we use you again when we have our next child, but I’m sure you can figure out what my vote is going to be)”.

Oh, and I understand that the people doing the billing and all of that aren’t actually in the hospital. I’m sure you will want to tell me that it is a third-party doing all of this and really it’s out of your hands. Well, it’s not out of your hands. That third-party isn’t doing this work for free. You have to pay them. So you can either get them to change or you can change who you use. It’s really pretty simple. And just an FYI... this isn’t the first time we’ve had problems with the billing at your hospital. It also happened when Mary Ruth was born. Don’t remember? Let me help you. We had to come back five straight days (Monday – Friday) for tests. We kept getting a bill for the Wednesday visit saying that our insurance had denied it. Odd, we thought, since they didn’t deny any of the others (all tests were the same). The Wife called the insurance company to find out why and they said they were never billed. She called you and you swore you billed them. You, of course, wouldn’t give us any information because (you said) of HIPAA laws. (BTW, HIPAA laws don’t apply when it’s the patient calling for the info, jacka**). This went on for a few weeks and then you started getting pissy with us (sound familiar?). So I had to step in and talk to whoever it was that does the billing for you (before The Wife said something to make that person cry). He/she/it (I don’t remember) wouldn’t give me any info (of course) so I compromised with him/her/it. I read our insurance info over the phone to the person. Wow... what do you know? THEY HAD BEEN BILLING THE WRONG F***ING INSURANCE THE WHOLE TIME FOR 1 F***ING DAY! At NO POINT did ANYONE there think, “Huh, this is weird... why would their insurance only deny one day? Maybe we should make sure we billed the correct insurance. Boy, I bet Mr. Horres would be ROYALLY PISSED if we sent him nasty letters about paying something when in the end some dumba** here was to blame”. That would have been the smart thing to think. But, hey, I was young and happy and (more importantly) didn’t have a blog... so I let it go. But now you are really starting to get on my bad side.

So, I hope this helps clear up some things that have been going on between us.

Good Day.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thoughts on a Friday... Crap, it's only Thursday.

Have you ever thought, "Thank God it's Friday" only to realize it's Thursday? Now you know how I feel.

As many of you are aware, I graduated this past Saturday from Charleston Southern University with my Masters in Business Administration. This gives me the highest degree in my family. Many of you are worried that I will now want you to call me Master Horres. Come on now... we’re all friends here. You can call me Master Greg.

For any of you who may be worried that this MBA is going to go to my head, I would like to point out that I was trying to get people to call me Greg The Great back in middle school. This kind of thinking is nothing new to me. ;)

The big news around town is that Southwest Airlines is coming to town. People in the “know” are happy about this. It seems this will be good for the Charleston area. It doesn’t really help me any since I try to fly as little as possible (and I’ve been rather successful at this).

I was listening to Mike & Mike this morning and they were talking about a coach at a track meet that pointed out the girl on the other team was wearing one of those cloth “friendship bracelets” after she won the high jump. This caused the girl to be disqualified and, in the end, caused her team to lose. Here’s the thing... that’s crap. The “winning” coach has said that he had to turn her in because the rules are the rules blah blah blah. Look, there are rules and then there are rules. That’s the case in life and in sports. The bracelet the girl was wearing didn’t give her a competitive advantage (****This is a guess on my part... if I’m wrong, then I’ll apologize to the coach***). I think it’s weak to win that way. I wouldn’t want to win like that. We lost the Lower State Championship my sophomore and senior years at JI. If, after those games, Coach Hatley had pointed out that the pitcher on the other teams in these games was wearing a stupid bracelet thus giving us the win I would have been embarrassed.

So, Mary Ruth has let it be known she wants to go to Disney World. I’ll only agree to go if: 1. I get to see (and have my picture taken with) Donald Duck. 2. I don’t have to ride any rides.

And I think Mary Ruth should have to foot 50% of the cost of this trip. There are two reasons for this: 1. She wants to go. 2. I don’t. But, as you know, I am a fair man. So, whatever money she puts towards this trip, I will match dollar for dollar. If you would like to help her, just send us a check and write “Send Mary Ruth to Disney World” in the memo line.

It seems someone somewhere in some magazine said something like gay people can’t play straight people in movies/shows/tv... This, I don’t understand. I thought part of acting was playing something you aren’t.

Have you ever noticed that some bible verses just sound better in the King James Version than in the NIV?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

I just wanted to wish my Mom a happy mother’s day. I had a chance to stop by MaMa’s house today and got to see Mom (for any who don’t know, MaMa is my paternal grandmother). Anyway, while there I saw a book about Johns Island Presbyterian Church. For those that didn’t know, Mom was the organist-choir director at JIPC for the majority of my life (over 21 years). Were one to read this book about JIPC, one would hardly know Mom did anything. (***Just to be clear... I didn’t do any in-depth reading of this book, I just scanned it but years of scanning the newspaper looking for my name has trained me to be able to pick out “Horres” in any writing***). The majority of the book deals with the preachers of the church. This, I assume, is a problem with all books about churches. Don’t get me wrong, preachers are good. I think they are important to a church (that’s why I am a mentor of sorts to many young preachers). But really, my advice to all preachers is: 1. Keep Jesus first; 2. Make sure you have a good Music Director (many different titles for this, but you know what I mean); 3. Have a good cook (What? I like food... Don’t judge me). Anyway, Mom was at JIPC for over 21 years. Preachers came and went, but she was still there. I don’t want you to misunderstand me here... it’s not like people there didn’t appreciate her. I’m sure some didn’t realize how good they had it, but that will happen everywhere. Most, I would say, knew they had a good thing in my Mom. On the Sunday that she retired, the sermon was about her. For someone like me, this is probably the highest honor. Honestly, this is the kind of thing most people die for. :) But the fact that her name was hardly mentioned in the book bothered me. Maybe it’s because I can remember spending many Wednesday nights with her in that church doing homework while she had choir practice. Maybe it’s because I can remember when she only had 5 – 7 members in the choir and each Sunday she would meet us for lunch and tell us how many men she had in the choir that day (in the beginning, it was only 2). Or maybe it’s simply because I’m her favorite child (oops... I told her I wouldn’t tell Kevin and Teri that). Whatever the reason, it bothered me. The thing is, she only agreed to fill in for a little while. She started with 5 and ended with a choir much, much larger than that. Listen, she’d probably tell you it wasn’t all her (and she’d be right). The few she had when she started were great and without them I’m sure the church would have just decided not to have music. And how tragic would that be?! Preachers are good at teaching, and praying, and helping... but music is what puts the “Worship” in “Worship Service”. You don’t have to take my word for it (though you should). Just look in the Bible and you’ll see examples of this in the Old Testament (Psalms) and New Testament (Peter, Paul, & Mary). HA!

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!!!!!!

Let me start by wishing all of my amigos in Arizona Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

A minor correction from my post about Kevin... It seems a VIC 20 was his first computer. I stand by my statement, however, that the baseball game for the Commodore 64 was the best baseball game ever (Kevin agrees with me on this).

Oh, he also claims to have doubled off of Bryce Florie in a game. I have my doubts (unless it was in a video game... even then, I have my doubts).

By the way, a VIC 20 is a step up from a basic calculator... so I’m thinking it’s a stretch to count that as his first computer, but whatever...

Wait, was it the VIC 20 or the Commodore 64 that plugged into the little black and white TV we had? (Sorry to use a public blog to ask a question to one person... but it’s my blog so I’m not really sorry).

I have been hearing that some people think the police using a taser on the guy that ran on to the field in Philly the other night was too excessive. As you might guess, I thought they should have started kicking him after the taser brought him down. Maybe shoot him again to see if they could make him wet his shorts before walking him across the field showing everyone he wet his shorts. Oh, I’d also give an umpire a chance to shoot him with a taser. It wouldn’t really make up for all the things fans yell at umps during a game, but it would still be a nice gesture. People that run onto a baseball field, football field, basketball court (and so on and so forth) are just 1 very little step above people who protest at funerals as far as I’m concerned. You know what I would disagree with? Shooting a guy in the stands with a taser. That’s what I’d disagree with. But once the idiot runs on the field, I say shoot ‘em if you’ve got ‘em.

Now, friends, I ask for a moment of silence for Hall of Fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell who died yesterday at the age of 92. There is a special place in Heaven for guys who call games on the radio. He was one of the best. I don’t know if I’d say he’s THE best (though I know some would and it would be hard to argue), but I will say he’s on the list (and not too far down). How great was he? Well, he was fired by the Detroit Tigers after the 1991 season only to come back in 1993 after the team was sold to a new owner (who made it a priority to bring Harwell back). He finally retired in 2002. I dare say there’s a special place in hell for a person who fires one of the best radio men in the business. The first time I got to hear Harwell wasn’t of him calling a game. It was of him reading parts of his essay, “The Game for All America” at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony (I have a baseball CD that includes this). It’s a great essay from a great man.