Holy, Holy, Holy

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. We have come to that time of the year that I’m thankful I won’t have to eat any more turkey until Christmas. I don’t know where Mulva and I got our numbers crossed, but the requested 14 pound bird became a 24 pound bird this year. To compound our situation, less folks took home leftovers this year after Thanksgiving. For some reason, our guests decided to leave mountains of food for the Lites to dispose of. Eating all of the leftovers before they spoil is a Herculean task, but I do think I’ve done the best I can.

Speaking of doing the best we can, The Full Gospel Original Church of God has certainly rocketed to stratospheric heights since introducing the world to the Reverend Helen Handbasket. The final take on the two weeks of revival is part secret, part not. The figures that can be disclosed are 128 new souls dedicated to the path of righteousness and 46 rededications of existing members. It seems that it is impossible to determine the exact viewership from the broadcasts of the services by Channel 99 in Blairsville. If one uses the metric of one donation for each twenty viewers, I’m guessing the viewership would be about 10,000. Not too shabby for a little show broadcast in the mountains of North Georgia. I mean, my goodness, we’re competing with the Baptists here.

Now the numbers that are not disclosed for public scrutiny are the donations. Being married to the church secretary puts me in an excellent position to comment on the financial well-being of The Full Gospel Original Church of God, though. Let me say, that the church is doing, very, very well. The questions that are begged by these new found riches go to the mission statement of the church. Will the money be spent furthering the message by establishing missionaries throughout the world? Will the money be spent by improving The Full Gospel Original Church of God’s infra-structure by building a structure of sufficient size to accommodate future needs? Will the money be spent by improving compensation for the Reverend Helen Handbasket and a select group of Elders? Will the church attempt to go global by the use of advertising? Which of these choices best fit the church’s mission statement, or will it be a mix of “all of the above”?

Well, my money is on the “all of the above” strategy. There’s never been three or four people strung together  as a congregation that didn’t feel the compelling need to share their special knowledge with the heathens in Africa, Borneo and Alabama. I hear of an immediate need to establish a missionary somewhere in Africa. Let me just say that I have great reservations for the pastor that is tasked with the establishment of this church. They’ve got these cobras over there that spit at you. I’m serious! They spit in your eyes to blind you so you don’t know they’re coming. Then they just saunter over and bite you. That’s something the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread didn’t have to contend with on his worst day.

I’m already hearing there’s a “task force” that’s been charged with determining the best way to get more seats for the butts that are surging in the doors of our little church here in Nunsuch. Rumor has it that the abandoned Mormon church, affectionately know as the Crystal Palace, in Blairsville is being considered. Seems the Seventh Day Adventists over shot their market a little bit in our area. They were overly encouraged by the signups when folks in these parts found out that The Adventists had great stores of free food and other items for their members. Turns out that free food wasn’t competition enough for the loss of alcohol, caffeine and premarital sex. The local Adventist church died a long slow death and now the Crystal Palace is available for our use, if the congregation wants to move to town.

I do know that there will be a focus made on advertising, I’m just not at liberty to discuss it any further at this time. Stay tuned though, I promise it will be a corker.

Salaries will be adjusted, for sure. I am using Mulva to put a bug in the Reverend Helena Handbasket’s ear about getting a base plus “commission” situation. It seems to me that it is obvious that the new pastor has brought about the new found success of our little church, and in my mind, she should be compensated. Of course, I don’t get a vote. It will be up to the Elders to determine the worth of the Reverend. For the continued success of The Full Gospel Original Church of God, I hope they are not “penny wise and pound foolish”.


This Is Our Year – Georgia Tech

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Ok, let me overstate the obvious, I’m in a much, much better place this year than I was a year ago. Cooler heads have prevailed, here at TackyToo and on the gridiron of our famous hate fest, the Georgia – Georgia Tech game. For my part, I’d like to say that the daily release of emotions that is represented by this blog has helped, along with the abstinence from mood altering intoxicants.

For Coach Richt’s part, I’d like to say that the threat of being publicly humiliated seems to bring out whatever coaching skills he has. This year’s return to the hot seat resulted in a 13-7 victory over the Gnats. Now I will say that any victory, even a truly ugly victory, is better than a poke in the eye with a carrot. It just seems that this year our victories have been so ugly that you felt the need to cover your eyes during parts of the game, lest you ultimately be stabbed by a carrot. The threat of loss is always on the surface, right up to the moment that you think that we are assured of pitching a shutout against the Gnats on their home turf. Six minutes from doing something that hadn’t been done in Bobby Dodd Stadium in forty something years and our lack of discipline jumps up and costs us fifteen yards and ultimately seven points.

As a fan it is maddening. Yes, these are 18 to 25 year olds and they are going to do dumb stuff. Given the option, I’d rather have the kid make the mistake than the coach, but still, could we just get through one game without shooting ourselves in the foot, or worse? Sadly Ganus’ miscue marred an otherwise stellar performance by our defense, so we’ll start there.

The defense held Tech to 194 rushing yards, with just 82 yards through the air. I think Tech has been averaging over 400 yards a game, so I’d say we sussed them out pretty well. Overall the defense was lights out except on a couple of plays where we lost contain. Watching the Freshmen play is filling me with hope for the future. In fact, the future looks bright if Pruitt stays, God help us if he goes. Lorenzo Carter is a beast and is his own worst enemy at times. He does overplay his position at times, but he is a force to be reckoned with when he stays home. Jordan Jenkins is also a beast, it’s a shame he wasn’t healthy all season. He will certainly get a big payday next year. Malkom Parrish and Dominic Sanders added interceptions to further frustrate the Gnats. Thanks to the defense for the win.

Special teams:
Well, for the second straight week,  our mixed bag of nuts played well and didn’t create any egregious errors. Reggie Davis looked like he’d been told to “do not touch the ball”, and he didn’t until Tech’s poor onside kickoff attempt at the end of the game. Marshall Morgan was 2 of 3 in the field goal department, either of which was the game winner, and Morgan made his extra point try. Brice Ramsey shared kicking duties again with Collin Barber. The kicking duo  punted 5 times for a 36.8 yard average. A competent effort on special teams. It will be interesting to see if special teams can graduate from “don’t screw up”, to “make something good happen”.

Greyson Lambert went the whole way as quarterback. Lambert was 18 of 25 for 224 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Watching Greyson try to avoid Tech’s rush was painful. He absolutely has no lateral movement, sad to see in someone whose size lends itself to the pros.

Sony Michel is king of the universe. He played like a whirling dervish against a defense that is used to seeing runners. He finished the day with 149 yards rushing on 24 attempts and the opening touchdown. Sony’s touchdown should have been enough except for the defense kerfuffle.

Terry Godwin contributed 78 yards receiving, on 8 receptions. Not bad for a freshman.

Malcolm Mitchell had 3 receptions that netted 41 yards, with one of his catches a thing of beauty. Apparently Lambert feels ok  just throwing the ball into coverage and letting Malcolm win the jump ball. Malcolm does not disappoint.

Time of possession was tilted in our favor, 31.25 minutes to 28.75. Tech recorded the most first downs 17-16, but we recovered the most turnovers 3-0.

Beating Tech can be the only thing that matters sometimes, and it will certainly go a long way towards being comfortable with, “wait until next year”.


National Lampoon’s Vacation

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Pumpkin pie for breakfast, turkey sandwiches for lunch and dressing and gravy for dinner. You just can’t find anything wrong with Thanksgiving leftovers. Now, I know for all of the people trying to keep their waist size under the circumference of the Hadron Collider, it’s not a good thing. But for the rest of us folks, it’s the gift that just keeps on bringing joy. Every day is a holiday until the leftovers run out.

Since we’re talking about holidays, I came up with an unusual choice for date night, “National Lampoon’s Vacation”. The Brits call going on vacation, going on “holiday”, and so when I saw my old betamax tape of “Vacation”, I thought it would be a natural. There’s no denying that Mulva and I need a vacation, and watching the Griswolds provided a much needed respite from the grind that is Thanksgiving week. Lest you think that I’m unappreciative of all of the family influence we’ve had this last week, let me just say that there’s a difference between your immediate family and your extended family. The writers of Vacation seemed to understand this truism very well as things just seemed to get way wackier when another family member was introduced into the plot.

Speaking of the writers of “Vacation”, the original story for the movie was taken from a John Hughes story called “Vacation ’58”. Yeah, the John Hughes of “Pretty In Pink” fame. “Vacation” is the project that got the ball rolling for Hughes and provided him with an immediate hit to springboard his other projects. Other alumnae from National Lampoon fame include producer Matty Simmons, and director Harold Ramis.

Casting Chevy Chase as the patriarch, Clark Griswold was absolute genius. Chevy Chase plays an “everyman” about as well as you can, and still manages to milk almost every scene for laughs. The opening scenes at the car dealership telegraph to the audience that Clark is going to be caught constantly between the reality of his undertaking and trying to look like the optimum dad, and husband. The selection of the automobile is the precursor to the hilarity that is presented by a dad that has been hoodwinked by the advertising world and is willing to double down on his choice.

Clark Griswold is an “all in” kind of guy, and he is determined to give his family the vacation of a lifetime at “Wally World”. Now, “Wally World” is actually Disneyland, but we have to use some parallels to get there. Wally is a moose, not a mouse. Wally is also a nickname for Walt Disney. Like Disneyland, Wally World is set in Southern California, providing the perfect distance for an epic family journey from Chicago. In fact, it’s the perfect opportunity to stop along the way and visit with some extended family. Veterans, Imogene Coca, Randy Quaid and Jane Krakowski add to the hilarity. What to do with Aunt Edna’s body is a family primer for all families contemplating a trip to Disneyland.

Don’t think the hilarity ends just because the Griswolds finally make it to Wally World. Now it’s time for the family to face some real adversity in the form of John Candy as the park police. I know, you’re thinking , “all of this and they saved John Candy for the last?” And the answer would be “yes”. So hold out to your hats, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Oh, I forgot to mention, there’s a skinny dipping scene with Christie Brinkley, in case you’re interested.

National Lampoons “Vacation” was just the tonic my soul needed, check it out.


The Fast And The Furious

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Another gorgeous day in the mountains. You all should come and visit the mountains of North Georgia. From Fort Oglethorpe to Clayton and all points in between, it’s hard to not find a good spot to spend a couple of days. Be sure to bring a couple of dollars so you can buy your kids some remembrances. In fact, bring your credit cards, geegaws and doodads cost more than they used to.

If you’re planning on coming up the 400, or the Atlanta Autobahn as we call it up here in North Georgia, be sure to keep an eye out for Smokey. Writing up folks for traveling a tinch over the posted limited is a major source of income in the rural counties, so be advised. We mountaineers are always amazed that going the other way, as you get closer to Atlanta, the speeds of traffic increase. Logic would conclude more traffic less speed, but not so in this case.

Now, I’m not complaining, I believe in driving as fast as you feel confident of your abilities. For Mulva, that confidence level is 55 mph on the Interstate, unless there’s a bridge involved. Then Mulva’s speed might drop to 35 mph before she gets across. No amount of logic screamed in a high pitched voice can make Mulva change the speed of her trajectory. From forty years of driving history, the one thing I can bet my bottom dollar on is that Mulva will never be involved in a high speed chase.

High speed police chases in Georgia were banned during part of my lifetime. I’m remembering about 1966-1969, somewhere in that area, that a high speed chase in Atlanta resulted in the death of the teen that was running, and some other folks. As I recall, the teen came from a prominent family, and as a result, pressure was brought to bear on the politicians to change the policy. Years later, the folks filled with righteous indignation got the law changed back, and so we now have the current state of lunacy that prevails in most states.

Over 5,000 innocent bystanders and passengers have been killed in high speed chases since 1979. Ten of thousands more have been injured as the police have taken their pursuits to dangerous levels. Many of these chases were for minor infractions, and most bystanders were killed while driving their own car in a safe manor. The Federal Justice Department has called police pursuits, “the most dangerous of all ordinary police activities”, and beginning in 1990, started urging police departments to develop safe policies for when a pursuit was mandated. “Far more police vehicle chases occur each year than police shootings,” the Justice department reports. Despite the Justice Department’s repeated warnings, the number of chase related deaths continues to rise. Why?

My take is that it relates directly to what I refer to as moral indignation. My thought is there are some in our society who are willing to put the lives of babies at risk in order to “bring those criminals to justice”. Even if that criminal act is as small as running a red light. My recollection of what got the Georgia law changed back was that crimes against property weren’t being properly addressed, at least in the opinion of the owners of the property. Kids might shop lift a pair of jeans at Lenox Square and the next thing you knew you’d have a high speed chase involving multiple jurisdictions running around I-285, trying to recover a pair of jeans. If a soccer Mom and six kids got killed in the process, it was the criminal’s fault for running, not because the police weren’t exercising  good judgement.

I mean, I get the police’s argument. If a kid can steal a pair of jeans today and get away with it without being chased, he’s liable to come back and get a sweater tomorrow. By this logic, putting the general public at risk to get this bad apple off the street should be a burden that society is willing to bear. I don’t remember this coming to a vote though. I’m guessing the public would be happy for the police to get a tag number and pickup the perpetrators of non-capital offenses at a later date. You see, I think the general public understands that property can be replaced, lives can’t.




Giving Thanks

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Another beautiful, but cold mountain day here at TackyToo. As the luck of the draw, and the terms of my parole, would have it, we were the lucky house hosting this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. Setting up the Rec room for Thanksgiving is not that different than setting it up for the Presidential Debates potluck suppers. Big difference is that folks are really proud of their Thanksgiving offerings, so you have to be real careful when comparing dishes.

As I looked out at the expanse of the 600 or 700 family members attending this year’s bacchanalia, I thought of some of the things I’m thankful for on this day.

First off, is that my brother-in-law Lester was impotent. There is no reason on God’s green earth that that lineage should be continued. Between Lester and his wife Saffron, there is not one piece of knowledge since time began that has been kept from their knowing. From quarks, to the best temperature to serve a really cheap wine, the Dr. Lester and Mrs. Payne are experts. The fact that they work a party as roving ambassadors of intelligence adds a certain game like atmosphere to the proceedings. I’d bet if you took the roof off the Rec room and had one of those drones with a camera shooting pictures from overhead, you’d see a scene sort of like the animals around the water hole on the Serengeti. As the predators get closer to the herd, the herd must move collectively to stay out of range. Finally the slow, or the old are caught and forced into a savage interchange that results in brain death. The predators then press on for fresh victims. You’ve got to be sharp to stay ahead of them. So far I’ve been successful by asking them for an opinion on this rash I’ve got.

Second thing I’m thankful for is that my brother-in-law Moore got a vasectomy after his sixth kid. Seems like all of the Payne potency passed by Lester and got dumped all over Moore. Moore’s wife Deidra claims that Moore can get her pregnant just by looking at her. I’m pretty sure that’s not true, so I was relieved for the community when I heard that Moore had got snipped. I mean, immaculate conceptions are one thing, but paternity by the “gift of sight”
would be a new one for the courts. The reason I’m thankful Moore won’t be having any more kids is that the “know it all” gene got passed to Moore’s kids. When a four-year-old tells you that you’ll “never amount to nothing”, it may be true, it’s just not as cute in a social situation as some might think it might be.

Third thing I’m thankful for is that my kids are bearing the scars of their upbringing well. I look at Bud Jr., his lovely wife Crystal, and their baby Trey, and I am amazed at my good fortune for being in their lives. Looking at the grace and beauty of my daughter Melody, I take pride that her beauty and grace are not just “skin deep”. I have a warm feeling that Melody has found her partner Alex, and they will soon be married. I am oh so thankful that at one point in my life I made a good decision, I married their Mom.

As we go around the table in our traditional “what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving”, I give a shout out to Mulva. It has been a helluva year, and Mulva has made it bearable. My sobriety, which I’m also thankful for, has been because Mulva gave me the strength to carry on. I mean, let’s face it, I’ve had more face plants than a Mark Richt coached team. Mulva has always been there to pick me up, dust me off and push me down the path of the straight and narrow. At least I can say with certainty that one of the Paynes isn’t a pain.


Birthday Wishes

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. I woke up to the crisp mountain air, one year older. As I sit on the porch with my morning coffee and reflect on the quiet beauty of the mountains, I can’t help but think about “what a long strange trip it’s been.” “Truckin” by the “Grateful Dead” seems to be good background music for my mind today. The line, “Some times the light’s all shining on me” is pretty ironic. 

Birthdays, like warts, can’t be prevented. I couldn’t stop mine from happening, I’ve tried real hard. In fact, if I could, I probably would have stopped the clock at about eighteen. At age eighteen I had everything going for me, if you discount my family and living conditions. I was young, strong and absolutely full of vim, vigor, and vitality. Now, if I could do it all again, I’d stop the clock at eighteen, gain about ten years worth of wisdom and then restart the clock. I would expect that extra wisdom would help me separate my family issues from my goals and keep me from making mistakes based off of knee jerk reactions. I’d have a better sense of the “long game”.

I expect that extra wisdom would prevent me from making the same mistakes with my kids that my parents made with me. As much as we tell ourselves, “when I grow up I’m never going to treat my kids like that”, we still carry over the peculiarities of our parents. What’s more, we haven’t learned that it’s ok to separate our kids from their grandparents if the grandparents are a huge problem. That is sad to say, but oh so true. And I’m not talking about simple stuff like your Daddy being a Tech fan, which is certainly bad enough. I’m talking about racism, prejudice, and bigotry that can be handed down by a grandparent on a simple trip to get ice cream. My new found wisdom would let me see that while a “leopard can’t change his spots”, I can assuredly keep my kids away from leopards.

I’m thinking my new wisdom would have reinforced the need for more wisdom, and would have steeled my courage to stay in school until they couldn’t teach me anything else. Now, I’m not saying that like these kids that get “social promoted” each year because a combination of kid refusing to learn with teacher refusing to teach, results in an ignorant child being graduated from high school. I’m talking about me learning everything that could be jammed in my brain at a time when my brain was still in good working order. I’m talking about the possibility of Bud Lite PhD. or D.D. or even, oh my god, M.D. What greater gift could I have given my family than to have lived up to my potential academically?

I’m thinking my new wisdom would have taught me more about the nature of relationships and that sometimes you don’t have to get married because you’re scared to be alone. No one should be like Cameron in Ferris Bueller. “Cameron has never been in love – at least, nobody’s ever been in love with him. If things don’t change for him, he’s gonna marry the first girl he lays”. I’m thinking that the new wisdom would help me select a mate/partner that would grow in the same ways, or same direction as me. I’d know that looking at my potential in-laws was a great indicator of where my relationship was going. Not always, but the tendency is big. Acorns don’t fall far from the tree, as they say.

I guess looking back at this I sound like a bitter, grumpy old man, oh well. “It’s my birthday and I can cry if I want to, cry if I want to”. If that reference doesn’t show my age, I don’t know what will. It’s like Yogi Berra used to say, “If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.” I guess I’m saying it was a good run, but it could have been a lot better.


Donald, Donald, Donald

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. As almost all of the leaves have fallen from the trees and the temps are dipping into the thirties, I am reminded once again that I need to finish picking the Granny Smiths before they fall to ground and go to waste. Actually, it’s Mulva that’s doing the reminding, and, in truth, they won’t go to waste. The squirrels and chipmunks love them.

Anyway, while I’m talking about low hanging fruit, The Donald has just been outstanding in the last few days displaying his total ignorance or lack of regard for the Constitution. I can’t take credit for using the low hanging fruit analogy when talking about The Donald. As both Jon Stewart and David Letterman decided to retire at the same time that The Donald announced his candidacy, both comics bemoaned the timing of their decisions. They both knew that their nightly routines would be pre-written for them by the dumb stuff The Donald was going to do. Let me reinforce, The Donald does not disappoint. Unless you’re talking about being guaranteed your Constitutional rights.

The first topic we’ll discuss is the right to assemble and the right of free speech. Now the Founding Fathers, whom the Repubs seem to hold in such high regard, held the right of free speech and the right to assemble so highly themselves that they put them right there in the First Amendment. Numero Uno, right up there with “thou shalt not kill” of Commandment fame. First Amendment rights are not so important to The Donald, particularly if your free speech and your right to assemble are used to heckle The Donald. In fact, The Donald might be obliged to encourage the crowd to rough up” a person who would dare interrupt The Donald.

To be fair, like all megalomaniacs before him, The Donald expects everyone in the crowd to hang on his every word, drawing from his flower the nectar of their existence. If the gift of Trump is not appreciated, it is perfectly understandable by The Donald if the group collective wants to use force to oust the unappreciative. I won’t be obvious by playing the “H” card here, but let’s just say we have history with this type of behavior from a charismatic orator.

Next we’ll move on to immigration, or the desire to not do it. Build a wall, build a wall, and oh by the way, could we track all of the Muslims? No, really, it’s the only way The Donald will be able to get himself to sleep at night. First his hot bath, and then, being dressed in his sleepers with feet and a trap door in the back for convenience, he will be served his warm Ovaltine. With covers pulled up tightly under his chin, The Donald is then ready to be read his favorite bedtime story, “Trump and The Giant Peach”, which details The Donald’s arrival in New York. Now, the detailed reading of the activities of each and every Muslim in America will have to be read to The Donald before he can sleep peacefully. It sounds like a long, long night for the reader of the night time story, famed broadcaster, Garrison Keillor.

Never a shirker of his place in the worldwide community, The Donald is prepared to throw all public opinion, and International law under the bus in his attempt to help America fall asleep peacefully. That’s right folks, The Donald came out in favor of waterboarding this week. Comparing waterboarding as “peanuts” to what Isis is doing to hostages, The Donald seems to have lost the component that his alleged Christian values are supposed to bring to any situation. I hate to go all Old Testament on The Donald, but here you go, “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt. Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry” Exodus 22:21-23. Sounds like The Big Guy is not in favor of abusing people in custody, but then I’m not a Biblical scholar. I’m sure The Donald has found his own scholar to support The Donald’s interpretation of the Good Book.

I tell you what, it’s going to get interesting at The Pearly Gates, and obviously a lot more interesting down here before the race is done.


Hallelujah Chorus

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. It looks like Winter is going to come knocking before the Thanksgiving Turkey turns brown. One of my “things to be thankful for” this Thanksgiving might be that the temperature has come back up before the precipitation returns. I don’t know if I’m ever prepared for the first snow, but I know I’m not ready this year.

I tell you what, a foot of snow might be the only thing that can slow down the juggernaut that The Full Gospel Original Church of God has become. The church completed it’s two week revival today, and even watching on TV, I thought the Heavens might open up for some sort of Rapture like event to celebrate the culmination of a flawless performance. I mean it was kind of like watching the Atlanta Braves winning the World Series back in 1995. You expect there to be fireworks and bombs bursting in the air and other loud external sounds to confirm the joy you feel in your heart. Don’t know why we are more vindicated in our feelings by having explosions, but it seems to be a truism. Everybody does it. I’d just like to remind the Braves that has been twenty years since they were last able to send up World Series celebrations to themselves. By the way, I’m not thinking the new Brave’s stadium will help, although it is closer to us folks out here in “Whitopia”.

Anyway, enough talk about a failed enterprise, we’re talking about The Full Gospel Original Church of God. The final count of new souls and rededicated souls is not in, but the cash has certainly been counted. The two week revival has more than doubled the church’s best year in contributions. The actual money paid by Channel 99 in Blairsville to televise the service is a pittance compared to the donations coming in through the mail. The Full Gospel Original Church of God is “number one with a bullet” as they say in the recording industry, and that bullet is the Reverend Helen Handbasket.

I try to pry insight from Mulva about the psyche of the Reverend Handbasket each Sunday after the service. Unfortunately, my “psychiatry from afar” process first involves peeling Mulva from the ceiling. Mulva comes home so “high” from the service that I expect her to explode into tongues at any moment. We’ll talk “tongues” in depth another time, but for now let’s define “tongues” as being a state of being so “spirit filled” that you begin to articulate in ancient languages, or some other babble than no one can understand.

Now, it seems to be immoral to try to get some one to take a couple of drinks so that they’ll calm down enough to talk to you, particularly when they’ve just come from church. I have to rely on my cynical, sour mood to do the trick. I’ve gotten my “return Mulva back to the real world” routine back to about half an hour now. I won’t reveal any trade secrets, but war, famine and the torture of diabetic nerve pain play a part. Strong stuff I know, but I’m trying to figure out if the Reverend Handbasket has realized that she is the “Diana Ross” to The Full Gospel Original Church of God’s “Supremes”. You know that day is coming, I just want to be ready with my “I told you so”. Yes, I’m that kind of guy, at least where religion is concerned.

Mulva reports that the Reverend Handbasket is overwhelmed by the experience. The Reverend has returned to the office/vestry after each service to visit with the Elders during the counting of the tithes. The Reverend seems to be generally less interested in the “take” than in releasing some of her own feelings. Mulva reports that the Reverend chats incessantly during the counting and seems to be transitioning from “out of body” back to a corporeal state. Mulva has used the phrase “charged with electricity” more than once to describe how the Reverend appears after a service. Jokes about getting my batteries recharged have been part of my failed humor attempts in getting Mulva back to her normal state.

Speaking of back to normal, there are reports from the Widow Ferguson in Number Four that she has seen the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread “visiting his kids” at hours after their bedtime. I say if the Right Reverend Bread can find it in his heart for forgiving his little monster Devin for “the incident”, then he’s a better man than I am. I guess that goes without saying, but until I see my Irises come back, that kid is at the top of my list.


This Is Our Year – Georgia Southern

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. One red sock, one black sock, one UGA sweatshirt circa 1970, one UGA Tshirt circa 1970, one UGA hat circa 1980, and khaki shorts that sat in the same booth at Weaver D’s as Knoshown Moreno, and we still went to overtime against the Eagles of Georgia Southern. I mean, I’m down to my underwear guys, what else can I do to help? If Bill Stanfill’s got an old pair he’d like to contribute, I’m up for it. Washed or unwashed, I’m willing to take one for the team.

Well, the long and the short of it is a victory 23-17 in overtime. It was not a defensive battle of two powerhouse defensive teams. It was a struggle of a more talented, under coached team, playing at home on Senior night, no less, trying not to blow it’s own head off while skeet shooting. If ever so many have done so little to improve their lot, I’ll need pictures to believe it. I half way expect the team buses to load up and roll down highway 441 to Milledgeville for a “team tune up” before our obligatory bowl game. This team’s psyche is broke. Can’t blame anybody but the coaches. Jeremy Pruitt, excepted. So, let’s start with the defense.

Overall the defense was not bad except on a couple of busted plays where we lost contain. I think we’re starting about eight Freshmen now. The future, with Pruitt at the helm, looks bright. Kudos to Jordan Jenkins and Lorenzo Carter for forcing the Eagles to four and out in the overtime to secure the game for Georgia. Carter in particular looked like he had been told to just play his game, and he responded with a Tasmanian devil like performance. He was everywhere. The defense held Southern to 233 total yards, with just 44 yards through the air. Hat’s off to the team for staying focused and providing the spark the offense didn’t have.

Special teams:
Well, our mixed bag of nuts played well and didn’t create any egregious errors. Out of the Dawghouse, Reggie Davis ran the opening kickoff back 39 yards to give the Dawgs an early spark that led to our first touchdown. Marshall Morgan was 1 of 2 in the field goal department, and made his 2 extra points. Brice Ramsey has taken over the kicking duties completely from Collin Barber. Ramsey punted 5 times for a 40.8 yard average. A competent effort on special teams. See guys, I told you it was easy.

Greyson Lambert went the whole way as quarterback. Lambert was 16 of 25 for 183 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. The touchdown pass to Godwin was a beauty. Are Lambert’s hands as small in person as they look on screen? If so, I might have found some of our problem.

Sony Michel is all world in my book. He continues to give it everything he’s got on every play in spite of a broken hand. He finished the day with 132 yards rushing on 23 attempts and the game winning touchdown in overtime.

Isiah McKenzie was allowed to play again this week, and we’re glad. Isiah had an unfortunate fumble that led to an Eagle score, but he was able to equalize it with a score of his own. Isiah finished the day with 19 yards rushing on 2 attempts and a touchdown. Isiah also contributed one catch for nine yards and 3 punt returns for the same amount.

Malcolm Mitchell contributed 73 yards receiving, on 5 receptions. Malcolm continues to provide that Senior leadership that this team desperately needs. He is a treasure and I hope he gets the big payday at the next level, if that is what he wants.

Time of possession was tilted in our favor, 32.5 minutes to 27.5. Only a muffed punt kept this from going the other way, with the final score being  17-14 Eagles.

Watching Tech lose again is the gift that keeps on giving. I hope we can make their new normal, normal.


Planes, Trains and Automobiles

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Wow, what a week. The internal pressure in my head has reduced back down to about 35 psi, so I’ll at least be able to to focus on the big screen today when my beloved Dawgs take on the interlopers from South Georgia, Georgia Southern. No game is a lock anymore, and I’m hoping the Eagles are not able to conjure up the soul of the great coach Erk Russell to their benefit. Go Dawgs. 

Things have been so dismal around here, what with my situation, my cold, and the events in Paris and Mali. No, I didn’t list them in order of importance, just how they came to mind. Anyway, I thought it might be good to do a comedy for date night. With Thanksgiving coming up this week, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” popped into my mind. Fortunately, I have a Betamax copy in my library, so I was able to forego the expense of buying the DVD. Getting the old Betamax hooked up to the big screen was another issue, but I got it worked out without sending Mulva to Radio Shack but twice. Now, we’ve got access to my full library of vintage Betamax movies to peruse for our date night selections. Top that $2.99 bin at Walmart!

In case you’ve never seen “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”, you’ve missed a classic. The movie stars that “wild and crazy guy”, Steve Martin, and the absolutely hilarious John Candy. The story line is about two travelers caught away from home at Thanksgiving time by a major snow event. They chance meet / bump into each other, while both are trying to get to the airport in New York city to fly back home to Chicago. The two travelers are at opposite ends of the socioeconomic scale, Martin a rich ad exec, and Candy a lowly shower ring salesman. Their flight is diverted to Kansas due to the weather, and the hilarity begins. Both travelers attempt to use their unique skill set and background to get themselves back home in time for Thanksgiving dinner. As they say, “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”, and these two guys have a heck of a journey. 

We don’t get a lot of snow in the South, at least we didn’t when this movie came out in 1987. It was easy to dismiss a lot of the issues and scenarios presented in the movie as applying only to people who aren’t smart enough to live in the South. But then came the great snowapocalypse of 1993. 

We were in Pensacola, Florida, at a soccer tournament, when, what was basically a winter hurricane came ashore and mixed the moisture filled air with the already cold air. The result left 35 inches of snow back home in Union county.

Since we were from out of town, we had the earliest game scheduled in the tournament. We were scheduled to kickoff at 9AM. We dressed the kids as appropriately as we could, layering all of the short sleeve shirts we had brought with us. We headed out to the fields determined to overcome the elements and whatever home cooking was in store for us. Silly us. The tournament was called when our keeper kicked a ball to midfield that didn’t drop, but returned back over his head. Seriously, I’ve got the video.

What followed next was the confusion of people who are not used to seeing snow in January, much less March. Different groups plotted different paths back to our homes. Like the characters in the movie, we used whatever guile was at our disposal to try to overcome the weather. Happy to say, like the characters in the movie, we all made it back safe and sound. Like the characters in the movie, we all have an unreal story to tell about our experiences in a “hundred years storm”. That is, the first “hundred years storm” of my generation.

“Planes, Trains and Automobiles” check it out, it’s a hoot. Funnier even than my video of the punt returning back over our keeper’s head.