Mar 15

Your typical perfect Friday

This morning we went to the Barbecue House for breakfast. I had the BLT with egg and cheese and a side of hash browns. It was delicious.

I found another bookstore and, finally, the AP Stylebook. It only took four stores, but I have a new book with the latest entries and misuse of the more than/over construction. There will be a new book any day now, of course.

We hit the pool. It was not my best day between the lane lines. My shoulder hurt. But The Yankee gave me some good tips on how to improve my wonderfully terrible form. Only one of the tips she gave me threatened to drown me. I did not swim far, but it was quality. Or so I’m telling myself.

We stopped by a friend’s house. Twice, actually. We were there to check on cats. We were about 15 feet short of pulling into the driveway when we realized we did not have the house key. So we went back home to get the keys, and then back to the friend’s house. These are some of her flowers, because it had rained, and drops make the flowers pop:




We went to the baseball game and watched Auburn beat the top-five ranked Vanderbilt 6-4. It was an exciting game and something of a surprising win. Then we had pizza at Mellow Mushroom, which was delicious. Tomorrow there’s a doubleheader.

Mar 15

You’re here for the music, I don’t blame you

This evening I did a 1,800 yard swim, toweled off and then had a 5K run. Finished at 75 percent target heart rate. The swim was about at my normal slow and sloppy pace and style. The run was probably at the lower end of my pace. But that’s a brick to start the season of exercise, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m feeling pretty good after, too.

You know, there’s a time when you don’t think about doing those sorts of things. And it doesn’t take all that long to look at those numbers and think to yourself, “That’s all you did?”

The mind is a weird place, is what I’m saying. I do not know what is happening.

So I swam in the indoor pool, naturally. I had the far left lane all to myself, hitting neither the wall or the room any at all. I did these in 50 yard increments, because I’m still trying to find some form of breathing that works. And having completed the mile I staggered out of the pool, into my flip flops, up the stairs, into the locker room, into some dry clothes and my running shoes and then out and over to one of the old gyms on campus. The gym was closed for a boy’s lacrosse practice, but the track above it was open, and I jogged and sprinted along on that, listening to the sounds of my footfalls and wondering just how long that track has been in place. This is what it looks like from underneath it.


And so to the parents that were there, sitting on the bench, watching their sons play lacrosse and listening to me trample 15 feet above you and wondering “Is this going to be the lap? Will this be the time? Are all of my affairs really in order?” I apologize. But you should have seen me in the pool.

I have this mental image that my swim looks really good for about 1,000 yards. Really it probably only looks really good for 15 yards, which is most of the push off the wall and that first stroke. But I can really make a nice streamline shape, boy, and I’m proud of that.

I got through some portion of the run by wondering what I would have for dinner. I can just look at a body of water and my appetite gets out of control, so, to have actually burned some calories, this could be a real meal. But I didn’t want this, and that would never seem filling and … for some reason there were two big burritos wrapped up and sitting on the floor of the track. So I somehow talked myself into Moe’s, because I guess I was getting hungry by then. Moe’s, I said aloud tonight, making it real, seems like a better idea in theory than in execution.

Please remind me of that as necessary. But, at Moe’s, there was this:

So now it is back to the newsroom, where the award-winning staff of The Samford Crimson is working on what will surely be another fine edition of their august publication. They’re celebrating their 100th anniversary this spring, ya know. We should have a party.

Things to read … because reading is always a party.

This one doesn’t surprise anyone, but it is nice to see: Huntsville ranked among top cities for STEM jobs

Turns out there is going to be a lot of stuff going in this summer: Redevelopment of Toomer’s Corner set to start after A-Day.

This is written in a sports talk context, but you get the sense that the anecdote might carry over to other programming: Is Sports Radio Ready For Its Future?:

Two discussions in particular stuck with me and have had my mind racing for the past few days. First, I was in Dallas for the Radio Ink Sports Conference and during my time there I had the chance to moderate a panel which focused on the mind of millennial listeners. I was on stage with three college students. Two were 21-years old and the other was 26.

Over the course of 45 minutes, I hit all three students with a barrage of questions on their perceptions and interest in sports radio and I along with the rest of the room learned that they live in a different world where content is only king if it can be consumed quickly. If it requires sifting through your podcast to find it, waiting through a commercial break or needing to wait for a host to finish rambling off-topic, they’re gone. Even the big name guest means little if it doesn’t include a hook worth sticking around for.

And that whole essay is a pretty nice read.

They got that right. Rickwood Field ranked among best baseball destinations


Really, I just mention that to dust off this Rickwood piece I did some years back. The oldest continually operational baseball park in America, in 20 minutes:

The place is 105 this year. This is a painstakingly recreated manual scoreboard you’ll see in the outfield:


And, over on Facebook, I’ve started The Best Single of the Last 45 Years game. So far there are eight great choices, including mine, which I heard tonight, and whose intro inspired the entire thing:

If you can’t get in a good mood with those horns the very reverend Al Green is right behind them, ready to work everything out.

He’s still doing it, too.

Yep, that’s all you want.

Mar 15

Where you learn how the picture craze started

Slept in, by a great deal. I was going to go ride my bike this morning, but my body had other plans it seems. I slept in by a lot. I’ll probably be asleep early tonight, as well.

In between I did see an 11-inning baseball game. And I had Aubie take a selfie for me.


A lot of people don’t know this, but if you look at those two words you should be able to figure out who invented the style. Aubie –> Selfie. He’s a man of many talents.

I also cleaned a corner of the office this evening. And I sorted through some stuff in the garage. If you’re interested in any of that come back tomorrow, I’ll tell one of those stories then.

Feb 15

Radford at Auburn

Slept in a bit this morning. We picked up sandwiches at the deli. We dressed warmly and headed to the ballpark. They canceled the game last night. Too cold, it seems.

I asked the visiting coach Joe Raccuia how this works. I’m guessing, purely guessing, that postponing the Friday game must be an agreement by the two coaches. He just turned and made the zipped lips motion. “I’m just the coach from Radford,” was all he said.

This was on the lineup board:


I think they got a bad batch of markers, because the weather was not bad today:


They played a doubleheader. Auburn won both games, one in 10 innings and then the other in the regular nine frames. They’ll try to get in the third game around rain tomorrow. Aubie is ready:


We had dinner with friends and then, somehow, magically, wonderfully, it almost seemed like bedtime.

And that was the entirety of my Saturday. How was yours?

May 14

A race, a game and a cookout :: A fine, full day

This morning we ran the Ft. Benning Reverse Sprint Triathlon. It is a short course, featuring a 5K run, a 20K ride and a 450-meter swim, in that order. Here we are after the finish:


This is the first triathlon we did last year, making this the first time we can compare times to previous efforts on the same course. I have a few things to be pleased with here.

The run is almost perfectly flat, and there are a lot of soldiers in the race, so they dominate the run, of course. You see them at the start and somewhere on the bike course or in the pool, if at all. So I’m not running with those guys, but I pulled away from a few people in the run. In fact, I didn’t get passed at all. My time was still slow, but I shaved a great deal off of last year’s run.

The bike is a super-fast ride with only two real rollers to think about. I was pleased with the ride last year, and I did it in three-and-a-half minutes less time this year. When you look at the average speed I was on the upper-end of average riders and almost break into the fast rider speeds. Only one guy dropped me here, and I’m not sure how. I looked down at my gears on that first roller, looked up and he was gone. I didn’t see him again until I passed him in the last 100 meters of the pool.

The pool was an improvement for me as well, if only because I was barely swimming last year. Remember, I was still dealing with shoulder problems and couldn’t even pretend to freestyle. I was disappointed in my swim today. The lanes were crowded for the first half of the short swim. Meanwhile, it takes me almost that entire distance to get warm anyway. I also had some energy excuses. (I even came up with a phrase for the latter, the red line of regret. I could have redlined the thing. I should have. Then I wouldn’t have regretted what I left in the pool because I was a little tired and winded. I could have been faster, but I didn’t overcome the red line of regret.)

Overall, my time was 17 minutes faster than last year’s race, which was very slow. This year’s was merely slow. But that’s a fair amount of improvement, with plenty of areas in which to continue to grow.

I’m bummed that I won’t get to do that race again for another year now. I want to measure these performances against another effort.

Today was senior day for Auburn baseball. Here the mother of one player and the grandmother of another shared a big hug and a kiss on the cheek of celebration. They’ve been coming to these games for four years. They’re going to miss each other.


They are sweet ladies.

Here’s another one. This is Morgan Jackson, Bo Jackson’s daughter. We’re buds:


This was the last time we’d see the team on the field this season:


My new Aubie gimmick — no one steal it! — is the Aubie selfie:


Another of Aubie, relaxing with the ladies.


Auburn lost the game, 8-1, bringing their season to a close with a 28-28 record (10-20 SEC). But the friendships are the thing: parents of five different players came to say goodbye to us today and then we had a cookout tonight with the nice group of people with whom we sit. That’s not a bad season at all, captured in one sentence.

After the cookout we picked up the traditional post-triathlon celebratory ice cream:

ice cream