Monday, December 29, 2008

Fire up that Ol' John Deere...

We're still at Papa and Nana's, and today, Zachary played on the tractor. He loved looking at it, and even playing on it, but he doesn't like it when Papa tries to crank it up.

Here Papa is showing him some of the switches.
"Hmmm...I wonder what happens if I do this?"
When Papa tried to fire it up, Zachary almost jumped off the seat into Mommy's arms.
Zachary loves tractors, and loves John Deere. He's our little country boy.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Time is Here!

Merry Christmas! Zachary got tons of toys, and had a blast. He got a pedal tractor from Papa and Nana.

Jess got some more sewing stuff, and I got a Star Wars trivia book (and of course, I already found a question that is keyed with the wrong answer. Go figure!). Zachary also got some train stuff.

It has been a great Christmas so far, and we're at Nana and Papa's with Ken, Terri, and the girls now.

We rarely do the "traditional" thing, so this year for Christmas dinner, we are doing home made pizza. We're cooking them now, so it is gonna be yummy!

Love ya all, and Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas at Grandma's

We had Christmas at Grandma's house today. Jessica, Zachary, and I spent the day with her parents, Pat and Jackie, and her brother Patrick and his fiance Holly. It was a good time.

After lunch, we opened presents. It took Zachary a few minutes to get into it, but he finally got the hang of it.

Here's Zachary and Grandpa with his new School Bus toy.

Zachary gets help from Grandpa and Patrick opening his train set from Great Grandpa Downs and Great Grandma Mary.
Jessica got a sewing machine (note the totally fake surprised look).
She also got a new UGA purse.
I got a cool display. It is a set of Star Wars watches; one for each Star Wars movie. They are from some Burger King give away, and Pat and Jackie found them at an antique store. It was really neat.
We had a lot of fun!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Like Father, Like Son...

One of the stories my parents love to tell about me growing up was when a friend and I climbed into our huge toybox and played, unnoticed. My mom finally found us in there, after looking everywhere for us (the lid was closed). Zachary is, apparently, a bit too much like his father.

The other evening, he emptied his toybox, and climbed in, and started playing in there. Of course, he got bored after a while, so he climbed out and started playing with the toys he had thrown out of his toybox.

"Hmmm...what should I do with all these toys?"
"Oh, I know!"

"I'll stuff them down my shirt! It'll be a blast!"

"'s kinda lumpy. Maybe I should unload them. I bet if I stand up, they'll all fall out!"

What can you do? We definitely get free entertainment. :)


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Vote for Paul Johnson!

Voting is now open for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award. Let's make sure Paul Johnson wins this thing for his great job at Georgia Tech this year.

Reasons to vote for Coach Johnson:
  • Sports Illustrated projected the Jackets would go 3-9 this year. They finished 9-3, tied for the ACC Coastal Division lead.
  • Pundits and talking heads argued that Coach Johnson's triple-option offense wouldn't work in a big-time, Division IA BCS Conference. Johnson's offense dropped over 400 yards on preseason #1 UGA, in Athens. They did the same thing to Miami.
  • Coach Johnson had success in his first year at the helm at Tech, winning without players he recruited, and turning unknowns into nationally recognized names.
It is plain to see that the man can coach. He deserves to be Coach of the Year. Click the banner below to vote for Coach Johnson!

Paul Johnson


Monday, December 1, 2008

Sting Me, Baby!

For the first time since 2000, Georgia Tech can claim to be the best college football team in the state of Georgia, beating the Dawgs 45-42 on Saturday in the 103rd meeting of "Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate." Tech rushed for over 400 yards and Roddy Jones had over 200 yards on the ground.

It was a great, if tense, game. At halftime it looked like it has for the past seven years, with UGA up 28-12. However, things changed quickly after the break, with Jonathan "The Diesel" Dwyer rumbling for a 60 yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage in the second half. That lead to 26 third quarter points, and a lead that the Dawgs could not overcome.

Of course, in our house, this game is never good, because a win for one means a loss for the other, but we handled it pretty well I think. I tried not to rub it in too much.

It was a great day for Georgia Tech football, and hopefully a harbinger for wonderful things to come.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Just some pictures...

Here are a few pictures from the last couple of weeks. Here is Zachary trying to wear mommy's shoes.

Hamming for the camera.

This is me and Zachary with the Jeff Burton Prilosec car before the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This picture was taken outside of BJ's.


What a show!

Well, that was some game! The Wreck stalled the Hurricanes last night, whipping them 41-23 in a game that was nowhere near as close as the final score. The 'Canes scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter after Tech had built a 41-10 lead, and began playing the subs.

Tech gained 472 yards on the ground, and had 518 total yards. Running back Jonathan "The Diesel" Dwyer ran for 128 yards (all in the first half), and both QB Josh Nesbitt and wingback Roddy Jones came close to having 100 yards apiece on the ground (93 and 97 yards, respectively) .

Now, the cynic in me wants to say "Great! Now we have no chance at beating UGA, because we used up all our ammo against Miami!" However, I think that we are finally seeing a different football team at Tech. Paul Johnson's attitude is beginning to sink in, I think. This isn't the same-old Tech.

We were picked by most experts to be the cellar-dwellers in the ACC this year, with a new coaching staff and a new offense. Most doubted that Coach Johnson's offense would work at a big-time Division I school. I think he has proven his detractors wrong, and I believe the team is only going to get better from here.

Now, if we can just ride this momentum, and not get overconfident against those Dawgs, we'll be alright.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Crazy Days

Yeah, so I haven't updated in a couple of weeks. It has been pretty crazy around here. I've been so busy at work, that I haven't had time to update here. I have a few newish pics that I do plan to post sometime soon, just not exactly sure when I will get to them.

Until then, I'll just say "MASH ON THE GAS" to my Ramblin' Wreck as they take on Miami tonight.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election Aftermath

Well, the election is over, and we have a new President-elect. Can't say I am enthused by the winner, but I can say that, even though I disagree with Obama's policies, he is soon to become my president, and with that, he will have my respect. Not that I respect him, per se, but rather the office that he is soon to inherit. I wish him well, and pray for him.

Now, here is something that I found interesting. I saw this and thought it was too good not to share. The guy really knows what he is talking about.


Monday, November 3, 2008

The Big 30!

Well, we had a "surprise" birthday party for me this weekend, as my 30th birthday is coming up (November 8th). I put surprise in quotation marks because I knew it was coming. Ever since we got my brother Ken on his 30th, I knew the same would hold for me.

They actually had a better cover story for this party because Taylor, my youngest niece, has a birthday a few days before mine (Happy Birthday, Tay!). So, her party was the real reason everyone gathered this weekend.

I was actually surprised about what the theme of my party was gonna be. I figured it would be the same old "Over the Hill" stuff, but I was pleasantly shocked when I saw this:That is an old-school Georgia Tech logo from the 1950's.

It was a good day to be a Tech fan, too, with the Wreck squeaking out a much-needed victory over Florida State, putting us back in the top-25, and back into the lead for the ACC Coastal. Of course, we still need Virginia and Virginia Tech to lose another game, and we really need to win out (or at least win our remaining ACC games) to fully take advantage.

Thanks to Jessica, Mom, Dad, Ken, Terri, Kerry, Emily, Cami, and especially Taylor for the party (Taylor -- Thanks for sharing your party with me!).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Misadventures in Officiating...

Well, I just knew that the Phillies were going to prove me wrong, and win this year's Fall Classic. But the Tampa Bay Rays got a reprieve in the form of a timely RBI single, and an even more timely call to suspend Game 5. That's right, the series is on hold until better weather surfaces.

I don't disagree with Bud Selig's decision in this matter, probably because I am rooting for the Rays. But you have to admit that it hurts the Phillies because you know that Cole Hamels wasn't done when they called this thing. He was only at 75 pitches, going into the 7th inning (his spot is due up first in the bottom of the 6th). But with the delay, he will not be on the mound for the remainder of the game.

Then again, with the bullpen that the Phillies have, maybe this isn't such a bad thing after all. All I know is that if the Rays can get going, especially if Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria get hot like they showed last night, and get this thing back to Tampa, they have more than a legitimate shot at taking the whole shooting match.

Now, the umpires, on the other hand, need to figure out what is going on. The umpiring for the Series has been horrific, with numerous blown calls and inconsistent strike zones. This seems to be part of a bigger trend right now in sports. Off the top of my head I can think of several missed calls in the past weekend: the no-call of blatant holding on Michael Johnson in the Tech-UVA game that led to a Virginia TD; the missed call on the Eagles punt that claimed that the Falcons touched the ball (they didn't), giving the Eagles possesion leading to a score; the entire sequense of plays at the end zone in the NY Giants-Steelers game with the back-to-back challenges of touchdowns; the whole World Series. Coupled with numerous mistakes already made this year in officiating, it looks to be an atrocious year for the officials. Glad I'm not one of 'em.

Speaking of Tech, the Jackets looked horrible this weekend. Hopefully this isn't the start of the Wreck's annual fade, and more of a one-off bad game. We gotta play better next week against a decent FSU team that is trying to prove it is still the class of the ACC.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Papa's Little Man...

We went up to see Papa and Nana this past weekend. We had to get some pictures of Papa and his little man together in their overalls. They are like two peas in a pod.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

House Divided

Yeah, so, in my house, this is sort of par for the course. Jessica and her family are big UGA fans. Personally, I grew up loving Georgia Tech, and hating UGA. So, of course, it only makes sense that I would end up married to a Georgia fan. But, if that is the only blemish on her record, I think we'll be OK.

One compromise we have made is that we root for each other's teams when they are not playing one another. Works pretty well, but sometimes I have a relapse and find myself rooting for the Dawgs to loose. It is ingrained, and I can't help it.

But that last Saturday in November every year is really interesting, and has the potential to be brutal this year. Tech is ranked at #18 in the BCS standings, and #21 in the Coaches and AP polls. Georgia is at #7 in the BCS, and #9 in the other polls. If both teams continue their winning ways, that showdown could be huge for the BCS Bowl implications.

Of course both teams have a lot of games left before they get to that rivalry match-up. Tech has Virginia this week, and they have been improving. Tech will have a fight on their hands, and our offensive line has to play better than we have in the last few weeks. Meanwhile, Georgia has LSU, and the Bayou Bengals are not an easy foe. It will be interesting to see how that game turns out.

All I can say is Go Jackets! (And from Jessica and Zachary, "Go Dawgs!")


Thursday, October 16, 2008

About that Major League Dream....

OK, so while we were on vacation, we spent some time at Wonderworks. Wonderworks is an interactive experience that allows you to have fun and learn at the same time (perfect for a geek like me).

One of the activities at Wonderworks is “Power Pitcher.” This is a game, like those found at most Major League ballparks, that allows you to see how fast you can pitch. It also has a catch, in that you are pitching to a “real” batter. The screen at the back of the game shows footage of an actual Major League player (selectable when you start the game). The goal is to strike out the player.

It is a bit tricky, because throwing a strike is tough. I am not sure what the calibrated strike zone was, but it was like trying to fit a Cadillac into a shoebox. It doesn’t help that, because it displays your pitch speed, you are all geeked up to try and throw your 90 MPH heater on the inside corner.

I chose Chipper Jones, and I walked him on 4 straight pitches (Four-seamer, Four-seamer, two-seamer, changeup). My Four-seamer was clocked at the whopping speed of 48 MPH, and my changeup hit 38 MPH. So, yeah, anytime you stop and think to yourself, “You know, I throw about half as fast as Jaime Moyer,” you can pretty much give up on that hope of ever making the big leagues as a pitcher.

I figure if I actually did pitch to Chipper in real life, he probably would have done the same thing the video Chipper did – not swing at a single pitch. He wouldn’t want to mess up his timing, and I doubt I could hit the strike zone anyway. But it also got me thinking about how hard it is to be a Major League hitter. I did the math, folks: It is pretty darn hard. The chart below illustrates my point:

Typical Major League Pitcher (Fastball, Changeup)

Pitch Speed (MPH)

Pitch Velocity (FPS)

Time to Home Plate (S)

92 MPH

135 fps

0.45 s

87 MPH

128 fps

0.47 s

My Speeds (Fastball, Changeup)

Pitch Speed (MPH)

Pitch Velocity (FPS)

Time to Home Plate (S)

48 MPH

70 fps

0.86 s

38 MPH

56 fps

1.08 s

(Distance from pitching rubber to home plate calculated at 60’6”)

That is crazy. Even throwing as slow as I was, you have around one second to see the ball, recognize the pitch, decide to swing, and start moving the bat. That is crazy. A Major League player has less than half of a second to do this. That is insane. No wonder you are considered an elite hitter if you only succeed in one-third of your attempts!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Things that make you go hmmm....

Well, nothing real earth-shattering today. Just some musings on sports.

GT played an underwhelming game this weekend, and almost seized defeat from the jaws of victory, but somehow, we managed to pull out the win. I can't say that a 10-7 win against Gardner-Webb inspires confidence, but with all the injuries and personnel changes for the week, I am just happy we didn't loose the game.

Georgia played well and won, and that is good. I can say that because they were playing Tennessee. And I hate the Vols.

Yesterday made for an amazing day of sports. The Colts destroy the Ravens, the Falcons squeak one out against the Bears, and Arizona shocks Dallas. All good things. It was nice here, because we watched most of the Falcons game, which directly preceded the Arizona game, which was then immediately followed by Game 3 of the NLCS in LA, which the Dodgers took with ease.

Speaking of baseball, go Rays! I'd love to see Tampa Bay win it all this year. I think they will beay Boston in 6 games. I think that the Phillies win the NLCS in 6, as well. My World Series prediction: Rays in 6.


Saturday, October 4, 2008


Well, we're actually back from vacation, but here are a few pictures from our vacation in the Smokey Mountains.

Above is a view from the cabin we stayed in. The view was great, but the drive up was brutal. The driveway was about 35 degrees up. The (dirt) road leading up to it was also pretty steep and winding. But, it was worth it.

Here are some more pictures:
You can't really see how steep the driveway is from that picture, but it is crazy steep.

We went to Dollywood on the first day we were there.

We went to Wonderworks the second day, and went to NASCAR Speedpark the day after that.

The last day, we went to Gatlinburg.

Zachary really enjoyed himself during his vacation. So did the rest of the family!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Lord, I was born a Ramblin' Man...

Another week, another Tech win. This week they dismantled Mississippi State. The team looks really good, and looks like they are really starting to gel. The off week this week should help get some of our guys healthy again, and then we have Duke, which looks a bit tougher than it did to start the season.

Georgia also won this week, so the family teams are doing well. I've got a feeling it is going to be an interesting season.

Five more days until vacation! We can't wait. This time next week, we'll be in the mountains!


Friday, September 19, 2008

Just Some Recent Pictures....

No real theme today for this post. Just figured that I would upload a few recent pictures of Zachary. He's growing like a weed, and starting to talk a lot more. Above, Zachary is trying to be a cowboy.

Here, he's sitting quietly, looking at his book.

"Mmmmmm....corn on the cob is yummy...."

Happy to be at the table....

Awww....ain't he precious?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How I wish, How I wish you were here...

It was such a sad day yesterday, hearing the news of Richard Wright's passing. He was one of the founding members of Pink Floyd, and an integral part of the band's legendary sound. Without his touch, some of the most iconic albums of all time would never have been. Below is a video from Pink Floyd playing Echoes at Pompeii, which, in my opinion, is Rick at his best. RIP.

In other news, Tech lost on Saturday, in a game they really could have (and should have) won. We are turning the ball over way too much, and we have to fix that. Hopefully we can get the kinks worked out in the next few weeks, and get back to our winning ways. And I have to say, UGA won again. Didn't look all that impressive, but a win is a win.