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.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Let me start by wishing my friend Jenn a very Happy Birthday!

I am going to take a break from my MaMa stories today, to talk a little about this past week. I went to the funeral home in downtown Charleston Tuesday night for the visitation. Things like this are a nice way for people to come pay their respects to the person who has passed. Not only that, it’s a nice way for people to come show support for loved ones who have been left behind. And so we stood there and smiled and said hey and heard “I haven’t seen you since…” from people all night long. There was a lot of extended family there that we haven’t seen in a while. There were also friends of the family who came by. It was great seeing all of them. I’ve always liked my parents friends so seeing them was almost like seeing my own friends. But then my friends came in and I realized just how great they are. These are all busy people who, like most of us, are over-scheduled most days. Before I go on, let me say that I completely understand when people can’t make it to these things. So I’m not trying to make anyone who couldn’t make it feel bad. But it was great seeing them walk in. I don’t think any of them had ever met MaMa… but they came anyway to support me and The Wife (who also loved MaMa very much… and, truth be told, was loved by MaMa very much). They came and stood with me and talked. I don’t remember what was said (I’m sure there was the usual “I’m sorry for your loss” & “How are you doing?” type questions) but I remember us laughing. Sometimes in a situation like that, it’s not what your friends say that matters, it’s just that they are there. And mine were there. Like I said, I’m not sure if any of them had ever met MaMa, but she knew about them. There was my new very good friend Adrian and my personal banker Michael who talked me into floating down the mighty Edisto River (fyi… when I told MaMa I was going to float down the Edisto, I thought she was going to have a heart attack. I’ll never forget me telling her I was going to do it and her yelling “WHAT?!” It was the strongest I’d heard her voice in about a year!). There was my golfing buddy Dave who is also in my Bible Study group and his wife Shara. Two preachers that I mentor (Ross & Jenn) were also there. Of course Jeremy and Rebecca were there (if any of my friends had ever met MaMa, it would be them… but I’m not sure if they had or not). KC (the subject of one of my best papers EVER… and the subject of the paper I turned in for an ‘A’) was there with his wife LA. And my good friend Danny (future mayor of Summerville) was there with his wife Jen. Rumor was Danny left the Mayor of Summerville sitting in the car while he came in to talk to me. I never went out there to look, so I can neither confirm nor deny that this rumor is true. Meg, who I have to say looked thrilled to be around old people, was also there. I really hope I didn’t leave anyone out… if I did, I’ll make it up to them. I know others wanted to be there but couldn’t make it. But it was great seeing the people who were able to make it. Jeremy and Rebecca were even able to make it to the funeral. It was great going up to talk and looking out and seeing them.

Thursday was kind of hard. Depression kind of hit me pretty hard on Thursday and it was all I could do to fight it off. I went by my office to pick up some work to do and out of habit I called MaMa as I was leaving. That wasn’t fun. So I decided what I needed was to see some friends again. I sent out an email to a select few friends to see if they wanted to meet for lunch on Friday. I had a great time with Danny, KC, and Aubrey and it was just what I needed to feel good again. And since I feel good again, I won’t even mention a certain birthday girl who didn’t even reply to my invitation. :-)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Funeral Talk

The following is what I said at the funeral. Getting a chance to speak at MaMa's funeral was a huge honor for me and I didn't want to screw it up. I'm sure some of you think it's no big deal, just speak from the heart and everything would be ok. Here's the thing, I'm starting to think it's physically impossible for me to be completely serious in any situation. I try. I really have. But as soon as I say something that gets a laugh, I can't control myself. Laughter is like a drug to me. The only way I can be 100% serious in any situation is to not say anything. So I made sure to type up what I wanted to say and then made sure to stick to the script. So I couldn't help but say some things in hopes of getting a laugh. I didn't plan on it... but in the end I just couldn't help it. And really, it didn't help that I kept thinking about my grandfather's funeral. The preacher back then started with a couple of jokes and just rocked the crowd. I mean, it was great. So I had to at least try for a laugh or two. The key, I knew, would be to not over do it. The other thing I was worried about, of course, was crying. I'm happy to say I made it through without crying. There were times I thought I might... but I didn't. And that's good because I didn't want to hear about it from Sonny for the rest of my life. Anyway, here is what I said...

Some of you knew her as Mrs. Horres. Some of you knew her as Ruth. To her grands and great-grands she was MaMa… and she was my best friend. She was also my protector. It might be hard to believe looking at us now, but there was a time when I was the smallest in the family. Let me tell you, growing up with a brother who is 9 years older and a sister who is 7 years older can be hard at times. When they would be mean to me (which seemed to happen quite a bit), it was MaMa that would come to my rescue. It’s funny… even as I got older and bigger… and bigger… and bigger, I never stopped thinking of her as my protector… even as I sat talking to her last week I felt a little safer just sitting next to her.

My wife Jennifer will probably tell you that MaMa spoiled me (which has made her job as my wife that much harder). The truth is, however, MaMa didn’t let me get away with everything. There were times she would scold me. It would usually happen when I was mad at my parents and I’d be telling her about it. I would tell her what I was going to say to them and when I went too far she would say, “Greggie! One day that mouth is going to get you in trouble”. I won’t tell you how often that happened… let’s just say that little voice in your head that warns you when you’re about to do something bad… that voice in my head sounds like MaMa.

I’m going to miss her. I’m going to miss the way she made George Jr. sound like one word and the way she made Keith sound like two. I’ll miss the way she could keep a secret. If you told MaMa something (even if it wasn’t a secret), she would keep it to herself unless you told her she could tell someone else. She knew long before anyone else in my family that I was going to propose to Jennifer. I’m going to miss our talks. We’d talk about any and everything, but a favorite subject was always family. She loved all of her family and loved to talk about my siblings and cousins. She thought Kevin was a great leader and, frankly, was tickled pink to find out he fills in for the preacher at his church from time to time. She thought Jason was a hard worker, which was something she was proud of. She thought Teri was so great working with children. As for Scott, well there was no doubt in her mind that he was the smartest person she knew.

She loved her family… and she loved her friends like they were her family. My grandfather was the type of person who would see the good in every stranger he met. He could be that way, because MaMa was not so trusting of strangers. She was polite… she wasn’t mean or anything… but until you earned her trust, she was watching you to make sure you didn’t hurt anyone she loved. So if you were her friend, I hope you know just how special you are and how much you meant to her. She had great friends and I’d like to mention one in particular. Mr. Louie Coccula, a member of this church, was a good friend to my grandparents. After my grandfather died, Mr. Louie made it his job to visit MaMa to make sure she was ok… and that was something he did faithfully for the past 15 years. I pray that when my time comes, I have friends as faithful and as loyal as him to check on Jennifer.

It’s funny… this celebration of MaMa’s life that we are having right now. I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if she were sitting here with us right now she would be hating this. She hated being the center of attention. She never wanted big parties thrown in her honor. I can hear her now saying “Greggie, why are all of these people here making a fuss over me? I wish y’all hadn’t gone through all of this trouble for me.” Well, if you take a look at Luke 14:11 you’ll see that everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

I am glad we’ve been given the chance today to honor a woman who lived a life of humility.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Until we meet again, my dear sweet friend

MaMa has died and I am sad. There is a chance by the end of this post, I won’t be as sad... but right now, I am sad. For those of you new to this blog, MaMa is my grandmother on my Dad’s side of the family... and she was my best friend. Don’t misunderstand me, I’ve got the best friends in the world and I’ve got the best family in the world... so to say she was my best friend is not a slight to anyone else as much as it is a credit to how close we were. (For any of you thinking about The Wife, I would like to point out that when we married we became one so to be best friends with her would be like being best friends with myself and that’s just weird). I can’t say this death took my by surprise. Let’s face it, she was 95 and hadn’t been in the greatest of health lately but it’s still hard to lose someone you love so much. But why focus on the bad? She lived a good life. She lived a long life. Honestly, it was longer than she wanted (but not as long as I wanted... so I guess we can call it even). Like my friend Meg, MaMa was part of the Greatest Generation. She lived through the Great Depression (fyi, she told me it wasn’t all that great) and WWII. She had a son serve in Vietnam (hardest time of her life, I was told). She had two sons but she always told people she had 3 (with my grandfather being the third). If my math is right, I believe she was 9 years younger than my grandfather. There was a time when I thought that was a pretty wide gap (at least until September 10, 2005... then I realized 9 years isn’t that much of an age difference after all).

She was my protector when I was growing up. I always knew she would take my side... but that doesn’t mean she would let me get away with everything. There were times she would scold me. But there was a huge difference between MaMa scolding me and Mom and/or Dad scolding me. Out of all her grandchildren, I’ve always considered myself the luckiest because (I’m pretty sure) I got to spend more time with MaMa than any of the others. I would drive her up to her hometown of Branchville so we could visit her brothers. She loved Branchville and always told me how my grandfather had promised that they could move there after the war was over. He told her this back in 1943 when they bought a house… the house she died in this past Sunday.

I’m going to be posting more about her in the coming days. I was given a chance to speak at the funeral (something I will be forever grateful for). Tomorrow, I plan to post my notes from my talk.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Moment of Silence

My grandmother passed away yesterday afternoon. To honor her, we are going to have a moment of silence on here until Thursday night at which time I hope to have a post telling you about her. I'm not sure if it will be one post or a series of posts. I have a lot of words in my head... I just need to figure out how I want to put them together. Until then, RIP MaMa (May 16, 1915 - July 25, 2010).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Arizona in my mind

I was reading this article from the AP about the new law in Arizona dealing with illegal immigrants. As you know, I have had a soft spot in my heart for illegal immigrants after my time in Georgia this past June and because of my friend Jamin (haha... just kidding, Jamin). I’ve tried not to have much of an opinion on the subject of illegal immigrants because I honestly have no idea what all is involved in becoming a US citizen. I do know that my Uncle George was able to pull off becoming a citizen (as was Ziva on NCIS) so I have to think it can be done. It’s a hard thing being an open, yet secure country. I don’t envy people who have to make decisions regarding this topic. Having said that, I’m not sure there is any other illegal activity that has such mainstream support. I mean, we’re talking about illegal immigrants. Not legal immigrants (if there is such a thing anymore).

Anyway, back to the article. I was reading it when I came across this little gem:

“Opponents say the law will lead to racial profiling and trample on the rights of the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in Arizona”

My hope is that there was a typo and they meant to say legal immigrants, not illegal immigrants. But I have a feeling it wasn’t a typo. I have a feeling there are people concerned with hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants having their rights trampled. What rights are we talking about? The right to go back home and try to come back in the legal way? I don’t know... Are their rights different from the rights of US citizens? If not, why bother becoming a citizen?

I understand legal citizens (who look similar to most of the illegal immigrants in AZ) being rather skeptical of this new law. I get it. I don’t really think this is the best law... I don’t really think that the AZ leaders think this is the best law... I think it’s just the best idea they had for dealing with this problem. I haven’t heard anyone come up with a better idea yet.

From this same article, it seems that the new law:

“requires officers, while enforcing other laws, to check a person's immigration status if there's a reasonable suspicion that the person is here illegally. It also bans people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day-labor services on streets and prohibits illegal immigrants from soliciting work in public places”.

I don’t think that’s the worst thing in the world. I’m not sure what’s involved in checking a person’s immigration status, but I assume it isn’t that hard to do. If it is hard to check, then I could see where it would be an issue. Maybe this will help solve the problem... maybe it won’t. But at least it’s something, and that’s more than what the Fed’s seem to be doing to help AZ with this problem.

Maybe my favorite quote:

“ACLU attorney Omar Jadwat said the law's provisions are supposed to work together to achieve a goal of prodding illegal immigrants to leave the state, calling it unconstitutional and dangerous”.

Um, yeah. Actually, I think the law’s provisions (as I understand them) are supposed to work together to achieve a goal of prodding illegal immigrants to leave the state AND keep other illegal immigrants from coming into the state. I don’t really see how it’s unconstitutional, as I thought the constitution was for US citizens (though I could be wrong).

So that’s my take on it. I don’t see any reason to protest what Arizona is doing. I see no reason to boycott the state. I would love to visit it (as soon as I have enough time to drive there and back... or as soon as it moves closer to SC... whichever happens first).

Friday, July 23, 2010


...that no one has offended me.

Lately I’ve been thinking of the song Get Over It by the Eagles (a group that shamelessly named themselves after my Winthrop Eagles... I mean, why else would they use that name?). Why have I been thinking about this song? Because it seems everyday I look at the paper or turn on the TV to watch the news (WCBD – Count on 2... the ONLY place I go on TV to get my news... well, there and ESPN... and the History Channel, but they’re a little behind... anyway) I see that someone else has been offended by what another person has said (Thank God I haven’t seen I’m just sayin... on the news yet, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time). At first, I figured this was because nobody has really said anything to me or about me that was offensive. Or maybe it’s because when someone says something to me or about me that’s offensive, I just assume they are kidding (and they probably are... but even if they aren’t, if it’s funny it’s funny... all I can do is laugh). But the more I think about it... I don’t think that should keep me from being offended. I mean, I have a bicycle (I even rode it one time) so when Tony Kornheiser went on a rant about bicycle riders I guess I could have been offended and over-react like Jeremy’s boy Lance Armstrong, but I wasn’t (and didn’t).... probably because I was too busy laughing (I mean, laughing so hard tears were pouring out of my eyes).

Of course, I hear at least once a year that people are offended at the names of sports teams (Redskins being a favorite target). “But Greg” people will say (and actually have said), “What if they had a team named the Crackers or the Rednecks? You would be offended”. In all honesty, the only thing I would be is excited to buy at least one shirt (and probably one hat) of the team. I think it would be GREAT! The only thing that would be better is if they played in PBR Stadium. I’m laughing just thinking about this. My goodness, the Charleston Riverdogs have Yankees stuff all around them... if that doesn’t offend me I don’t think anything can. :)

There are other examples of people saying things that offend other people. Usually, we find out later that what was reported as being said and what really was said are two different things. But people are in such a rush to be offended that they don’t take the time to find out what the person actually said. My boy D-Wade pointed out that if my Heat lose 2 or 3 games in a row, there are going to be people acting like the World Trade Center just came down. I’m paraphrasing here, but the point of what he was saying is that there are some people who will overreact to a few losses.

Then there is this whole thing with the lady from Georgia telling a story at NAACP meeting and being misquoted and thrown under the PC bus only to have it come out later that she was misquoted and a bunch of people now look stupid. For what it’s worth, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened (though it might be the first time it has happened to a black lady... but I’m not even sure that is the case). Now so many people are offended that I’m having trouble keeping it all straight. The lady is mad (and her, I don’t blame)... but so are a bunch of other people (and I’m not real sure why). I was listening to the Today Show this morning (because it comes on after the only morning news show I care about) while feeding Susie and they had some lady on (I didn’t hear her name). Matt was interviewing her and some guy. She starts blaming the evil right-wing media for creating this story and a bunch of other evil stuff. Matt (who I couldn’t see, but it sounded like he might have had a smirk on his face) calmly pointed out that this isn’t just a right-wing thing... it’s gone both ways over time. The woman then goes on and on about this wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the right-wing media and how Fox News is to blame and they haven’t even issued an apology. Matt then said that Fox didn’t report on this until after the lady in Georgia had been fired... so they didn’t do anything to get her fired. I couldn’t hear what the lady had to say to that... I was too busy laughing.

I’m sure there are times when someone really says something offensive, but having all these people who are looking to be offended just cheapens the whole thing. Just because someone says something stupid doesn’t mean you should be offended. And most of the time, it really shouldn’t matter what the person said. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard so-and-so said something that was SO OFFENSIVE and my first thought was “Who the hell is so-and-so? And why should I care what they think/say?” I assume this is the same thing people would think if I were to say something offensive.

Sonny and I were talking about this last night. We think it’s just a matter of time before someone is offended by my new favorite commercial.

People need to just get over it...

The I’m just sayin... Public Service Announcement of the Week:

Friends, I don't care if you have been drinking all night or are completely sober, it is NEVER a good idea to play “Slap the Train”. You can’t win in a game like that. Either something goes wrong and you end up dead... or everything goes right and you end up SLAPPING A MOVING TRAIN (fyi, that ain’t like slapping a pillow).

I’m just sayin... would like to thank two alert readers (Jeremy and KC) for bringing this subject to our attention.

If I have said anything in this post to offend you, I'd love to hear about it. Just send me an email to: idontreallycare@mambypambyland.com

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Really MJ and Magic? Really?

I would like to take a quick moment here to defend the stars on my Miami Heat. There has been a lot of talk in the media crushing these guys for coming together to form the greatest basketball team since the Hoyas (***NOTE: I am not talking about Georgetown, I’m talking about the team I played on back in elementary school with my friend Zach Dodd... we were the only white guys on the team... in fact, we were the only white guys in the league. The only thing, other than that, that I remember from that experience is having our coach yell at some guys on our team during halftime because they didn’t have any fouls yet, but I digress***). Anyway, I have seen that MJ and Magic have both come out and said they would never do something like this (Bird has probably said the same thing... I just don’t remember it). At first glance, I would say the same thing. I get that argument. But come on. I know these guys were very competitive and they all wanted to be the greatest. And, truth is, they all are considered the greatest. But come on. It’s not like these guys were playing with JV teammates. MJ didn’t win a title until he had Pippen (who, while I didn’t like him... not even a little... is on the list of 50 Greatest Players in NBA History). He also won half his titles with former Piston “Bad Boy” Dennis Rodman. Magic Johnson played with a couple of guys named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy (both are also on the list of 50 greatest players). And Larry Bird... all he had to play with was Nate Archibald, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish (who also, I might add, was on one of MJ’s title winning teams), and Bill Walton... all guys on the list of 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. To be fair to Bird, I’m not sure I’ve seen where he has crushed LeBron for going to the Heat.

I know what you are going to say... MJ, Magic, and Bird made these other guys better! They were the leaders! People wanted to play with them! Some of that might be true (except Kareem was in LA before Magic... but I get what you’re saying). All I’m saying is don’t crush LeBron for wanting to play with other great players. After all, he took a pay cut to try and win a title. He put winning over money. How great is that?! I’m just sayin...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I'm back and better than ever...

Fear not, my dear friends, this blog has not been shutdown. I know some time has past between my last post and this one, but I am now back. The Man and The Wife have both been keeping me busy, but know that you were always on my mind.

If you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend you check out Andy Stanley’s series on How To Be Rich. I just got around to listening to it and so far (part 1) it’s great.

I also recommend you check out the podcasts from my new favorite church.

Like you, I am excited that Psych is back (season 5 started last Wednesday). Check it out every Wednesday night at 10:00pm on USA. As I’m sure you will remember, Psych is up there with NCIS as my favorite TV show.

I had a chance to visit MaMa last night. It’s always great seeing her. Mary Ruth loves being her “nurse”. I also got to see Mom, Dad, Teri, Meredith, Ansley, Uncle George, Aunt “PBR” Yvonne, and Susan. Somehow (and I don’t know how this happened... really, I don’t... ok, maybe I brought it up) it became known last night that I am Mom’s favorite child. “Ok”, you’re saying, “big deal... we already knew that”. True, but it also became known last night that I am in the top 2 of Aunt Yvonne’s favorite children (fyi... she has 3 of her own kids, so she likes me more than she likes 2 of them. And listen, I’m not saying she doesn’t like, nay, love all of her children... I’m just sayin she likes me more).

So we were talking to MaMa last night and The Wife was standing there holding Susie. Susie has learned to wave since the last time we saw MaMa, so of course we were all trying to get her to wave. MaMa was laying there waving to Susie and we’re all waving back to MaMa and telling Susie “Wave to MaMa”. Susie is smiling at MaMa but not doing anything else. So we keep this up for a couple of minutes until I notice that Susie is waving like a champ... only it’s her left hand/arm that’s waving and it’s behind The Wife (so nobody could see it).

I was asked a question last night and it’s one I’ve been asked before. Who is Sonny? My gut reaction to this question is “Read my blog and you’ll find out”. My other gut reaction to this is “You are in my family and you can’t figure out who Sonny is?” Another gut reaction (hey, I have a big gut) is “Why don’t I get these questions from non-family members?” Alas, I will move away from my gut reactions and give a reaction from my brain (just one... it’s smaller than my gut)... Pay attention because I don’t plan on explaining this again. Sonny is my brother Kevin. I can already tell this explanation will lead to another question “Why do you call him Sonny?” The short answer is there are two reasons: 1. It’s my blog. 2. I want to. The longer answer is this: Watch The Godfather. While watching The Godfather, picture me as Michael (this shouldn’t be hard to do, I do it all the time). Now, if I’m Michael that would make Kevin either Sonny or Fredo. So let’s take a look at Sonny and Fredo (keeping in mind that I like Kevin). Sonny was the head of the family for a brief time while the Don was in the hospital, so he’s seen as a leader. He also had a temper and ended up being gunned down at a toll booth (but not before helping start a war between the 5 families). Fredo was weak/sickly who fumbled the gun when the Don got shot and just sat there crying instead of going after the guys. He also betrayed Michael (one of the best scenes from The Godfather II... Michael kisses Fredo and says “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart”) and ended up being executed by Al Neri (on Michael’s orders) while fishing. Now, if that doesn’t clear up why Kevin is called Sonny, then I don’t know what will.

So I had another chance to spend some time on the water with my new friend Adrian. 3 weekends in a row.... I’m starting to think she just likes seeing me in a bathing suit. Of course her husband was also there (I know he just likes seeing me in a bathing suit).

My Cubs are looking for a new manager now that Lou Piniella has announced he is going to retire at the end of the season. For the record, I’m just sayin... is endorsing Ryne Sandberg for the position. Ryno is a Cub great and has been a manager in their minor leagues for a few years now. I say give him a chance.

Word on the street is that the NBA is looking at just giving my Miami Heat the title next season. Why bother making teams play and risk having guys get hurt when everyone knows my boys are going to win. The only way this team could be any better is if they could somehow convince Charles Oakley to come out of retirement.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010



Ross moved at the end of June. I miss Ross.

We were walking into church one day and Mary Ruth said (and I’m not making this up), “I miss seeing Mr. Ross at church. I'm sad when Mr. Ross is not at church”. And I always thought she hated him...

Happy Anniversary to The Wife! It was on this day 11 years ago (WOW! That long?) that we went on our first ‘official’ date. We went to the Applebee’s on Old Trolley Road in Summerville. That will always be one of my favorite places to eat.

I had a great time hanging out with friends this past Saturday at the lake. I came in 4th place in a ********** tournament. Too bad for me 4th place didn’t win crap. I did get a chance to hang out with one of my very best friends, Adrian. Another friend of mine, Jenn, was also there. We had a large group of people having a great time. So far, July has been a fun month.

I would love to post more, but time is short. I would, however, like to leave you with a link to my new favorite commercial...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Thoughts....

I received a call last night from a concerned reader regarding my post this past Wednesday. His call, he claimed, was to “set the record straight” about Bryce Florie. Sonny was very adamant in his claim that he hit a double down the left field line off of Bryce in a game. Of course, looking back on our conversation, I can’t help but notice he only talked about that one hit. If I had to guess, I’d say Sonny probably faced Bryce at least 10 times... maybe more. So until I have confirmation from another source (so far our calls to Bryce Florie have not been returned) I have to stand by what I wrote on Wednesday.

Sonny also wanted to point out that he hit a home run off of Mike Kimbrell (who is on the ballot for the HOF this year) in a local college summer league back around ’89-’90. While I will give him credit for his story about this “hit” being better than the one about his “hit” off of Florie, I still must wait for confirmation (so far we have been unable to reach Mike). Of course, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I failed to point out that Sonny had a home run stroke along the lines of former Brave Rafael Belliard.

I forgot to point this out Wednesday, but did you notice the 1990 Citadel Baseball team is in the Charleston Baseball HOF? Guess who would have been on that team? That’s right... Sonny. He could have been a Hall of Famer. But hey, at least he met his wife at Clemson. Haha.

So did you hear Lebron James is going to join my Miami Heat? That’s what I’m talking about. Now with Wade, Bosh and James nothing can keep us from bringing the NBA championship to Miami for many years to come. I’m sure this will cause a lot of guys like Jeremy to want to jump on the Heat bandwagon. Don’t worry, Jeremy, there’s plenty of room for you.

Speaking of Jeremy, it looks like we’re going to have a good match in the World Cup final (Netherlands vs. Spain). If you’re anything like me, you probably thought the World Cup ended after the US was knocked out but it seems they kept playing. Good luck Spain!

Back to Lebron... The owner of the Cavs was very nice in an open letter he wrote wishing King James luck in Miami. And if you believe that, you probably believe what Sonny was trying to sell me on the phone last night. Can you say “bitter”. Wow! I can’t wait for my Heat to crush the Cavs next season.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My votes for the Charleston Baseball HOF

It’s time to vote for the 2010 class of the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame. I know we’ve talked some on here about the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame, but I’m not sure if we’ve ever listed all who are in it. So, here is a list of who is in:

2009 - John Dodds, Jr.
W.S. "Bull" Durham
Donald Morillo – My friend and Sonny’s former teammate
Doug Pounder

2008 - Bryce Florie – In thanks to Sonny
Danny Jones
Charley Smith
Richard Wieters

2007 - 1955 Cannon Street YMCA All-Star Team
1990 Citadel World Series Team
Anthony Jenkins – Who can forget “The Slide”
Modie Risher

2006 - Ty Cline
Mike Cook
Gary McJunkin
Chal Port – Greatest baseball coach in SC

2005 - John Candelaria

2004 - David Cone

2003 - Willie Randolph
Gorman Thomas – from James Island

These are the candidates for 2010:

The finalists, in alphabetical order, for the Class of 2010 include:
Bill Ackerman
Tim Cook
Irish Abney Danehay
Lee Glaze
Fred Jordan
Mike Kimbrell
Alfred von Kolnitz
Tim Linker
Robert F. Morrison
Channing Proctor
D.K. Walters
Kenny Wilkinson

I voted for Channing Proctor (founder of The Charleston Miracle League) and D.K. Walters (long time former Head Coach of the West Ashley American Legion baseball team). I also wrote in two people (who should be on the ballot). The first is Coach Tom Hatley, who has over 400 wins as the head coach at James Island High School (in about 21 years at the school). Included in those wins are 2 State Championships, 3 Lower State Championships, 3 Lower State Runner-ups, and 7 region titles. I can say, without a doubt, that while those teams had talent it was coaching that won the championships. We beat teams that, looking back on it now, we had no business beating. The final person I voted for was Phil Hartig. From The Citadel website: Phil is the most prolific hitter in Citadel baseball history as he established 14 offensive records and earned first team All-Southern Conference honors all four years. The league’s Player of the Year in 2001, he was also the 1998 SoCon Freshman of the Year and twice earned All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball (second team in 2000; third team in 2001). He finished his career ranked fourth in the NCAA career total bases and seventh in career hits. Among his many school records, Hartig holds the career marks in games played (239), runs (230), hits in a season (99) and career (360), doubles (76), RBI in a season (86) and career (290), slugging percentage (.673) and fielding percentage (.989). Owning a career batting average of .367, Hartig holds the mark with 17 home runs in a season and for his career, he belted 64 home runs (second best is Anthony Jenkins’ 32). He played on Fred Jordan-coached teams that went a combined 155-88 and started on teams that advanced to three NCAA regionals, won three Southern Conference Tournament titles and two SoCon regular season titles. Hartig was drafted in the 24th round by the Florida Marlins. Last, but not least, Phil helps out with the Summerville Miracle League.

After I get these two in, I will work to get Coach John Chalus from Stratford High School in. I don’t know all of his stats… I just know that I have always thought (even back when I was playing) that he was the 2nd best high school baseball coach in the area (behind Coach Hatley, of course).

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Weekend....

For the record, I had a BLAST this past Saturday floating down the Edisto River (made famous in the Mark Twain classic, Huckleberry Finn). Of course, I didn’t have nearly as much fun as I would have had The Wife been with me but that goes without saying. Friends, if you get a chance to float down the Edisto with a large group of friends... DO IT! I’m not kidding, it was great. And if you’re going to do it, do it right. I’m talking about having PBR & Beef Jerky. I don’t know if it was because of where we were or if it was just an over exposure to the sun... but PBR & Beef Jerky has never tasted as good as it did that day. I am happy to report we did not see any snakes, alligators, or rednecks (haha... just kidding, we saw a lot of rednecks... and let’s be honest, I already told you what I was eating and drinking, so don’t think I’m judging anyone... but we didn’t see any log wielding rednecks). I have a lot of great stories from this trip... however, due to a confidentiality agreement I signed at the beginning of the day, I will not be able to share any of the stories until July 3, 2015. I do have pictures that I might post on here when I get a chance.

I also had a great time at the pool party we went to on Sunday (hosted by Jeremy and Rebecca). I’ve had to miss this party the past few years because of my fireworks job with Sonny. I’m glad I was able to make it this year. Perhaps the best part of the weekend is that I got to spend a good amount of time Saturday and Sunday with my former rival-now-new buddy Adrian (which might not sound like much to you, but not since Magic and Bird have two people been involved in such a heated rivalry only to later become such good friends). I even helped her bake a tomato pie for dinner Saturday night. So thank you to all of my friends for making last weekend great for me.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Post 2: Story Time

Now for our second post of the day. If you missed it, don't forget to check out the first post of the day (posted around 5:00).

It’s story time, boys and girls. I have been asked over and over again to tell a few different stories on here. I thought about breaking them up into multiple posts, but decided to just put them all in one post. The reason I decided to do just one post is that I’m not sure I’ll be around after Saturday. You see, Saturday morning/afternoon I’ll be floating down the Edisto River (which, as you know, is the subject of many great songs like Old Man River, Proud Mary, and Moon River) with a group of friends. As you know, the Edisto River (which inspired the name of the group Little River, best known for their hit song Lonesome Loser) has 4 things I’m not a big fan of (alligators, snakes, water and rednecks… Haha, just kidding… I love rednecks). My only hope is that urine will keep snakes and alligators away because if I see one I know I’m going to wet myself. Anyway, by the time you wake up late Saturday morning I’ll be floating down the mighty Edisto River sipping on a PBR (in honor of my Aunt Yvonne, who asked that I not post her name on here). Anyway, I have a float and I was thinking it would be a great “bonding moment” for me and Donkey if he came with me but The Wife said no. The Wife, by the way, is seriously thinking about going too. It seems her fear of the Edisto might be less than her fear of me having fun without her there to roll her eyes and assure everyone she does not condone my behavior.

Anyway, here are the stories you have been asking for.

1. The Sonny and Greg Almost Died in Atlanta Story: The date was Thursday, July 6, 1995. Sonny was living in Peach Tree City with my sister-in-law (who, coincidently, happened to be his wife) and I went to spend a couple of weeks with them. For most of the time there, we went to Braves games. On the night in question, we went to good ol’ Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium to watch the Braves play the Dodgers (Greg Maddux was on the mound for the Braves). It was a great game and Maddux was outstanding. Traffic after the game was backed up for miles and miles and miles and it looked like we would be waiting for hours and hours. Of course, we were parked in a bad part of Atlanta (because that’s where the stadium was located). Anyway, it was dark and there were a lot of big bad looking guys standing around where we were (I know they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover… but those people also tell you it’s important to make a good first impression). Now, I don’t know how many of them it would have taken to steal our money and beat us up… but I know how many were there. Sonny motioned for a guy to come over and said “Hey, excuse me holmes. Haha uh huh, what it is bro. We’re from out of town” (ok, he didn’t say that). What really happened was from out of nowhere a man came up to my window, which was down, and said that for a dollar he would show us a short cut. Sonny gave the man two dollars (as you can tell, Sonny isn’t a professional negotiator) and, just as he had promised, the man showed us a short cut. The looks on the faces of the men standing on the side of the streets we went down did nothing but convince us we were about to get ambushed. We did, of course, make it out of the area alive and as we got on a familiar road I turned up the radio. Pearl Jam’s “Alive” was playing and it could not have been more appropriate (looking back, thank God we didn’t hear AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” when we first started leaving… maybe I should add that to an otherwise surprisingly truthful story).

2. The Pastor in the Japanese Steakhouse Story: The date was Monday, January 21, 2008 (my 29th birthday). I decided to invite some friends out to dinner at the YOKOSO Japanese Steak & Seafood House in North Charleston. So we’re sitting there and the cook (let’s call him Cookie, because I don’t want to keep calling him the cook or chef or whatever he is) is doing his thing. He’s cooking and telling jokes and everyone is having a great time. The people there with me were The Wife, Jeremy, Rebecca, Danny & Jen, and a female preacher whose name I promised not to post on here (let’s call her She-Who-Must-N0t-Be-Named). So Cookie seems to be having as much fun as us and he’s flirting like crazy with She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named since she was the only “single” person there (her husband was at play practice, I think). She, of course, isn’t flirting back... but she is playing along. I can’t overstate how much fun we were having. It was GREAT. At one point, Cookie hands me the spatula (or the spatula-like utensil that they use, I’m not 100% sure what it’s called) and tells me to spank the rice and yell “Who’s your Daddy?!” I wanted to, but I couldn’t because I was laughing so hard. Everyone was laughing. Again, it was a GREAT time. Cookie then asked his new “girlfriend” (She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named) if she wanted to do it. Well she was (very) eager to give it a shot. So there she is spanking the rice (a little too eagerly, if you ask me... but I’m not judging) and yelling “Who’s your Momma!?” By now we were all ROLLING on the floor laughing with tears running down our faces. Have I told you yet how GREAT of a time we were having? This could have been the BEST birthday party EVER... we were at least having enough fun to put this party around the top of the list. Cookie was still doing his thing and he’s having a great time helping us have a great time and he starts to ask us questions. “So, what do you guys do? Where do you work?” Nobody really says anything because we’re all having a GREAT time. So he said, “Let’s start with my girlfriend... where do you work?” Now we had another big laugh building up because we all knew the answer to this question. She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named caught her breath and said, “I work at a church” hoping that that answer would be enough to make him move on. So Cookie said, “Really? What do you do there?” She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named replied, “I’m a pastor”. And BOOM went the dynamite... THAT, friends, is what people call a “Game Changing” answer. Cookie lost all color in his face. He looked like he was either going to cry or be very sick (or both). I think he choked out an “I’m so sorry” before he quickly finished cooking our food. Needless to say, the mood of the party took a nose dive from the GREAT time we had been having. I think we spent the rest of the party giving She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named a hard time for killing the mood (which, to be honest, was pretty fun in itself).

3. The PET/Pay-It story: I don’t remember at all what the date was for this one. I remember Sonny was in college at the time (Clemson... he couldn’t get in to Winthrop) so it had to have been before May of 1992. I was in middle school (6th or 7th grade) at the time. Sonny brought his girlfriend home with him for the family to meet her for the first time. She was from Spartanburg and had a lovely country accent. At the time, I was not as fluent in country as I am now. Also, at that time in my life I was known to make fun of people (something I don’t really do these days... Haha). So there we were sitting in the dining room (a room that no longer exists) at my parents James Island estate. Everyone is kind of “meeting someone for the first time” nervous. We’re all sitting there making small talk and, honestly, I’m not really listening all that much. Sonny’s girlfriend is talking to my Mom about teaching type stuff because my Mom was a teacher and her Mom was a teacher. So Sonny’s girlfriend is talking and she says something about her Mom doing PET (some teacher thing that I don’t know anything about). Here’s the thing, she SAID “pet” but I HEARD “pay-it”. So I did what anyone in my position would have done and interrupted the conversation and said, “What?! What’s pay-it?” as I started laughing because really her Mom being in pay-it made absolutely no sense to me. Everyone then got a good laugh at how Sonny’s girlfriend sounded (or maybe they were laughing at me... I don’t know... but I was laughing at her). Sonny ended up marrying her (because when you find someone that you and your brother can make fun of, you don’t let them get away... that’s why I’m with The Wife... Haha just kidding about all of that). But really, it seemed at the time that I was being mean to her but in all honesty I really thought she said pay-it and not pet.

So there you have it, the top 3 most requested stories. If all goes well tomorrow, maybe I’ll have another story to tell. If not... well... I'm just sayin...

Post 1: Gray Hair and Wost Defense EVER

Today we are going to have two posts, so check back some time after 6:00 for post number 2.

I was sitting on a stool at the end of our bed this morning getting ready to get ready for work while Mary Ruth was watching Handy Manny on TV. As I sat there, she came up behind me and started looking at my head. She then proceeded to say, “Wow Daddy, you sure have a lot of hair. Some of it is even black”. The rest, I was told, is gray. I told her the black hair came from her, Susie, Maverick, and Lucy. The gray hair comes from Mommy and Scooby. My Dad has had gray hair longer than I’ve been alive. The only pictures of him with dark hair are from his pre-marriage days. I have yet to see a picture of him after his wedding day that shows him with no gray hair. Interesting....

An alert reader in Summerville sent me a link to an
article in the Post and Courier today. Now, we at I’m just sayin... take crimes against children very serious and we would never make fun of such things. There is, however, a gray area in our policy regarding defenses used by people being charged with crimes against children. I’m going to make an executive decision and talk about this one. I must ask that you read the article before you read what I’m about to write (otherwise it probably won't make sense). Let me start by saying I don’t even think it’s a good defense. I can say without a doubt it’s a defense I’d never use. Ever. I was discussing this with a panel of advisors earlier and it got me to thinking. I can see how maybe he was talked into this. His lawyer is a big time defense lawyer in the area... so I could see how maybe things aren’t looking too good so he says to this guy “Hey, either you let me bring this up in court or you’re going to go to jail. This is the ONLY way to keep you out of jail. As your lawyer, I’m telling you we HAVE to do this”. So the guy says ok. I get that. But at the “moment of truth” in court when the lawyer is about to question the doctor, how does this guy not have second thoughts and yell “OBJECTION! That doctor is a lying SOB who doesn't know what he's talking about!"? I mean, you can't just sit there and listen to what he's saying. Maybe at least yell "That's not what your wife said last night!" after the doctor said what he said. If anything, I hope he looked at his lawyer and said "You sure as hell better hope this keeps me out of jail". His lawyer is good, don’t get me wrong... but I don’t care if it was Ben Freakin' Matlock as the lawyer, I don’t see how he could go through with this defense. If I were him, I’d do anything possible to cut a deal right now. And since you asked, here’s my idea: I’d go to the prosecution and say if you give me double secret probation (i.e. just about anything other than jail time) I will agree to do all the public service announcements you want me to do. We can tell people that my “condition” stems from me doing (insert drug here... something like Meth, Pot, Crack, Steroids... I don’t know... whatever the prosecution thinks would be best). I don’t know everything, but I’m pretty confident that this would work. You tell pre-teen/teenage boys that doing drugs could scramble their brains and possibly kill them you might keep some from trying drugs (that was enough for me). But there are still a lot of boys that will think the potential risks don’t outweigh the potential rewards. But if you tell them that doing drugs will cause THIS to happen... well, that’s something that will get their attention and make them think long and hard (no pun intended) about trying drugs. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Don’t forget to check back at 6:00 for what could be my last post ever (though hopefully not).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Women Pastors, USC, Harry Potter, Game Change

As you know, the brain trust here at I’m just sayin... likes, from time to time, to tackle the important issues facing all of us. Yesterday, I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Courtyard, which is written by my good friend and long time I’m just sayin... follower Jenn Williams. I could say many funny things about the first part of her post, but I think I will save that for another time. For now, I’d like to focus on an issue that she referenced from another blog (written by Carlos Whitaker... who I don’t know. I did grow up with a Riley Whitaker who, like most girls I grew up with, I assume had a crush on me... but I don’t think they’re related). Anyway, the topic being discussed is women as preachers. At least I think that’s what is being discussed. At one point there is some talk about preachers vs. pastors and all kinds of other stuff I know nothing about. There was one person (maybe more, but one that stood out) who took the position that women should not be preachers. At least, I thought that’s what his position was... but I think he later said women could have any role in the church except pastor (which I guess out ranks preacher?). If I’m reading him right (and I think I am) he’s saying women can have any role except one as head of the church (that’s just for men). Of course, I’ve always believed Jesus to be the head of the church, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

As many of you know, I grew up in a Southern Baptist church (you can tell because when it comes time to look up something in The Bible I’m the first one to find it). There are many things I think the Southern Baptist get right (baptism being one, but I guess that’s to be expected... I mean, it’s in their name) and there are other things I don’t really agree with them on (this issue being one). Now, I don’t claim to know all the answers on this one. I think I’m right about it, but if one day I die and God says to me, “Boy you sure were wrong about THAT,” I’ll just have to shrug and say “oops”. I really have more questions than answers when it comes to this... so if you have the answers, feel free to share.

Let us begin, if you will, with my questions (going back to my youth). I don’t remember every Sunday School teacher I had, but I’m 99% sure I didn’t have a male Sunday School teacher until I was in the 7th grade. 7th – 12th grade, we had male and female teachers lead us in a big group and then sometimes we’d break off with female teachers teaching the girls and male teachers teaching the boys (but we didn’t always separate, I don’t think). Anyway, the Youth Director while I was there was a women (she still is, I assume). I would guess that women were allowed to teach me at that point in my life because the church had decided that God (through The Bible) had said it was ok. So, if it was ok then, why not now? If it was ok in a small setting (i.e. Sunday School) why not in a larger one (Worship Service)? Why (in the eyes of some) are women good enough to teach me as a child but not as a grown man? Did God love me less back then? I don't think so (after all, the song says "Jesus loves the little children", not "Jesus loves the big men"). I guess part of my problem with this issue is that most arguments I’ve seen against women being the head pastor of a church is that the people making the argument don’t seem to have a problem with women leading children or other women. Some don’t even seem to mind women preaching from time to time (or being “guest speakers”) or being missionaries. So I guess my question is if it’s ok for women to do all of those things, why shouldn’t they be allowed to be the head pastor of a church? Of course, I’m not saying all women should be head pastors (that’s just as dumb as saying all men should be head pastors). But I wouldn’t eliminate someone just because they are a woman. As long as they are letting the Holy Spirit work through them, I don’t have a problem (same goes for when a man is in that role). Feel free to post a comment if you don’t agree with me on this (but make it an intelligent post or don’t bother).

I still think there are some things men just do better than women (like drinking beer, watching sports...).

Congrats to the South Carolina Gamecocks on beating UCLA to win their first Baseball National Championship. I assume church attendance and tithing will both rise in this state (at least for the month of July) after what the Gamecocks were able to do out in Omaha.

Have you seen the new Harry Potter trailer? I can’t wait for this movie to come out (November of this year, I think). Too bad I’ll have to wait until July of next year to see the second half of the movie. Honestly, I think they could release both parts of the movie (as separate movies, if they wanted) right now and they’d sell just as many tickets as they are going to by releasing one part in November and the second part in July 2011.

I am now reading the book Game Change, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. I would have to say it’s a pretty interesting book so far (I’m about ¼ of the way through it).