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Latest from Allen Tibbetts

    It starts with a visitA chance to beWith loved onesWho you rarely see They show you their houseThey show you their townThey take the whole dayJust to show you around. Then the cat shows up. “Don’t try petting him. That’s a feral cat we took in. Not really a people-cat.”    In a previous tale, I made an attempt to transfer the crazy of cat people to the people who raise yard chickens. Read it here.    I am taking the crown away from the chicken people and not just giving it back, but gluing it to the heads of the cat people.    For the life of me, I do not understand why people try to rescue feral cats. Feral cats are good for one thing: making more feral cats.    I’m sure they eat a few mice, but so do snakes. And most people only want to see snakes dead.    Nowhere, Minnesota    I love these people; they are kinfolk. But they are kinfolk from my wife’s side, so I am absolved of any shared DNA.    The problem isn’t just that they’ve taken in a feral cat, it’s that they have other cats. And one of the other cats and Feral Boy just don’t get along.    So what we have here is what us Southerners would call a good, old-fashioned p*ssing contest. Except in this case, it’s literal.    When one cat ‘marks’ their spot, the other cat must come along and override that marking with a mark of its own. And this is happening all over the house.    WWNPD    What Would Normal People Do?    Why ask? These are not normal people. So let me just tell you how this issue is being handled.    First, it’s a visit to the vet.    Initially, the veterinarian doesn’t mind. He’s got mouths to feed and bills to pay.    “Doctor, my cats don’t get along and are peeing all over the house. What can I do?”    “Nothing. It’s what cats that hate each other do. That’ll be $50.”    But these people keep coming back, over and over.    At some point, the vet decides he’d rather sift through the cat box for food than have to keep dealing with these people, so…    He thought and he thought  And he thought some more  How to keep these people  Away from his door.    Then the good doctor  He hatched a good plan  And it was so good  You could even call it grand!    “You know, there are therapists that deal with these situations. Perhaps you should find one.”    And just like that - *bam!* - he made these people someone else’s problem.    You have questions, I know. Like, where does one find a cat therapist? That one is too easy. The internet, of course.    A tougher question would be, why do two people from the boonies of Minnesota choose a therapist from Los Angeles?    I didn’t ask. I find asking fewer questions shortens the amount of time I have to spend hearing the answers.    What I learned anyway:  -the cats are involved in the video chat with the therapist  -she talks to the cats  -they don’t talk back (I made that up. It’s just a guess.)  -she recommended drugs. For the cats  -the cats are now on drugs  -cat therapy is expensive. Consider making it your profession. Fast forward to that night. We’re having dinner with these people and this is asked:    “Have you seen the YouTube videos of the lady that teaches you how to massage a possum? That is so weird.”    Let’s see… you got one cat on Paxil to treat aggression, another cat on Xanax to help it chill out; your cats actually have their own profile at the local pharmacy because, you know… cats on drugs. You’ve paid someone calling themselves a cat therapist $500 to video chat with your cats. And… you spend your free time watching YouTube videos of a lady massaging possums.    And she’s the crazy one?    There are things  Across this land  Things we cannot  Understand    It’s not the dogs  It’s not the cats  People are  The real dingbats.    And I need a drink. Click here for more Tales From Tibby!
  • Notes from China:  I wondered if there might be some backlash for an American tourist because of the tariff battles going on now.   Nope, not at all. The people are lovely. Warm, welcoming.   Actually, I’ve found this to be true just about everywhere I’ve traveled. People like each other, even as our governments bicker. Everything the Great Wall is in your head, it is in real life. I hope you see it one day.   I hope you also get to see the terracotta warriors. Well over 2,000 years ago, the first Chinese emperor ordered thousands of life-sized terracotta soldiers to be made and placed in his tomb to guard him in his reincarnation.   If pottery can’t protect you in the afterlife, what can?   It was only in the mid-1970s this discovery was made, so excavation is a work in progress that will continue for many more years. So far, about 6,000 terracotta soldiers and horses have been unearthed. Amazing. And what a rich history.   China has a bunch of people. Chongqing is China’s largest city by population. I’d never even heard of Chongqing. 33 million people, if you include the metro area around it.   Beijing, China’s capital, only has 25 million people. Only. That’s more people than the population of Florida, all living in one city.   Where do all those people live? Glad you asked.   High-rise apartments. Thousands of high-rise apartments are under construction in every major city. Construction cranes are indeed the national bird because there are no other birds.   Seriously. We saw almost no birds of any variety. But then birds don’t like pollution. Those big cities have air quality so poor the sky is perpetually gray and long-range visibility is non-existent.   Lots of people wear surgical masks in public. They look silly, frankly, but it’s hard to blame them.   I was anxious to leave Beijing because nothing there reflects Chinese culture. At least, not as I imagined it. It’s all been torn down and replaced by modern skyscrapers and pavement.   Downtown Beijing looks and feels just like downtown Atlanta. Atlanta with signage in Chinese.   Even the Chinese regret not holding on to some of Beijing’s historical relics. We encountered a lot of Chinese tourists. That is, natives out seeing their own country. That’s a fairly recent thing.   Ordinary citizens who before had no means to travel now do have the means. Incomes have been going up and Chinese people are starting to travel a lot.   We had been told that as Americans, Chinese people would want pictures taken with us, mostly due to a fascination with our white hair. That was correct.   One member of our group was rushed by some Chinese tourists, first by a single woman, then by what looked like her whole family, all wanting to be in a photo with him once he demonstrated his willingness to pose with them. His hair isn’t white, but his eyes are blue.   You don’t see blue-eyed Asians.   My wife Beverly, who has a head full of curly white hair, was a pretty popular photo op. In one case, a woman came up and just grabbed her by the arm, smiling as her husband snapped photos.   Beverly was happy to accommodate. The Chinese people are really lovely.   A teenager asked Beverly to join her for a selfie. After that was done, I offered to take another picture of the two of them. Seeing me take the camera, two of her friends quickly gathered. From a few feet away, I happened to notice a man taking his wife’s picture near Beverly while her back was turned. He repeatedly motioned for his wife to get closer to her.   Seemed obvious that he wanted her snow-white hair in the photo with his dark-haired wife.   I walked over, held up a finger to pause him for a moment, then went and turned Bev around to face the camera. The two ladies wrapped their arms around each other and smiled.   All of this happened with only smiles and happy faces, no words. But most Chinese have as much trouble with English as we do with their Mandarin language.   I spent our full two weeks in China knowing only the Mandarin words for hello, thank you and beer. It worked out well.   The English word ‘toilet’ was everywhere you might need it, and the rest was figured out by pointing and gesturing.   Even if they don’t speak English, but they know our words. In two weeks, I saw exactly one t-shirt that had Chinese characters (letters) on it. Everything else, English.   Not only were all those t-shirts in English, most reflected Western culture in some way. Cute sayings, pop stars, TV shows and movies.   They also know the f-bomb, as it showed up occasionally.   How is that not censored? The Chinese government censors.  Any time we were watching the BBC or CNN, when a story came on talking about the ongoing troubles in Hong Kong, the TV went black. The picture returned as soon as the Hong Kong piece was done.   The internet is censored. Pornography is not allowed. Neither is Google. I learned to use Bing. But not for porn.   Our guide told us Facebook was usually not allowed, but at times it was available to use. Never could figure that out.   The Chinese government spends a lot of time and money playing Sister Mary Sunshine, telling people how good life is, how prosperous they are, how wonderful China is becoming.   Newspapers tout only happy news. Even articles on the tariff issues are always upbeat, talking about progress being made in negotiations. Details are never a part of the story. Everything is good, and everything for the people.   The Peoples Republic of China is the formal name. There’s Peoples Square. Peoples Park. Everything belongs to and is for the people.   As long as the people belong to the Communist Party, the ruling party of China.   I expected to see a lot of Buddhist influence in China. I saw virtually none. Chinese people are generally not religious. Whether the figure is correct, we heard that 95% of the population doesn’t practice any religion.   It is fair to say, however, that the ruling Communist party doesn’t want competition for people’s devotion. The Chinese people will tell you that with a wink in their voices.   Indeed, it seems things are going well. Wages are going up. People willing to work more can earn more, so Chinese people work hard, often at multiple jobs.   Chinese citizens now have to pay for health insurance and pay income taxes. And the free-market seems to be taking over the business culture.   Most of this strikes me as exactly what communism isn’t, but what do I know. And all of this is of course purely observational on my part.   While China appears to be prospering, prosperity is for the cities. Country living, revered by us Westerners, is a ticket to poverty in the land of the dragon.   If you want a better life, you move to one of the already-overcrowded cities and hope you can afford a high-rise.   China doesn’t seem to hold the farmer in much regard.   My impression was that farmers are regarded as peasants, which is interesting because several of their cities individually have more mouths to feed than exist in the entire state of Texas.   If you’re a farmer and move to the city because you can’t find labor to help on the farm, the government will provide you a low-level job, like pruning shrubs or planting flowers in the parks.   Or sweeping streets. Streets are kept extraordinarily clean. Not only is trash routinely picked up, falling leaves from the trees are routinely swept up and discarded.   In some cities, you cannot buy a car even if you can afford it. Too many cars already and too much pollution.   Those cities have lottery drawings for car tags, which entitles you to own a car.   China is aware it has a big pollution problem. It appears one way they are trying to address it by planting trees. If there is an exposed area of land the size of your living room, it’s gonna have 25 trees planted on it.   The larger cities of China are very modern. Western toilets (like we use) are replacing squatty potties, though squatties are still very common, even in public places, like museums. Chinese dress very much like Europeans and Americans. Casual, and pretty much anything goes. Jeans, ripped jeans, t-shirts. Americans do not stand out for what we wear.   Chinese beer is weak and uninteresting. Regardless of brand, all of it seems to be of a similar light-beer style. But did I ever turn one down?   That’s a big no-o-o-o.   The most prevalent liquor I encountered is referred to as Chinese vodka, mostly because of the appearance (clear) and mouth feel. It’s sorghum-based. I like sorghum syrup, so I figured I’d like their baijiu.   Yep.   Big cities in China like to show off their technology, particularly using it to light things up! Lighted buildings with synchronized displays that are spectacular. You can watch images of birds flying or a camel walking seamlessly over buildings for several city blocks.   For all the country’s modernity, however, tap water is not drinkable. Another head-scratcher. All that technology, yet drinking water has to come from a plastic bottle.   If you get a chance to visit this beautiful country, remember that. Or be prepared to spend a lot of time figuring out the squatty potty. COMING NEXT: SQUID ON A STICK. EATING MY WAY THROUGH CHINA Click here for more Tales from Tibby!
  • Kip Moore grew up in my back yard. I do not know him. If you’re unfamiliar with Kip Moore, he’s a country singer. Not the biggest name in country music, but he is known – actually, admired - for having a large, loyal fan base.   In Tifton, GA, the house I grew up in and the house Kip grew up in have adjoining back yards. Walk out my back door, cross the yard and walk into his back door.   You can still do that, but you won’t find him or me in those houses anymore except to visit our parents.   In years past, I made that trek a couple of times because his late father was a teaching golf pro and tried his best to make me a better golfer. Didn’t work, but I knew his dad well and met all the kids, including Kip, I’m sure.   Since Kip is a full generation younger than me, he would have been a wee lad at the time.   WHERE IS THIS GOING?   We were in McMinnville, TN, recently to attend a concert in a cave. McMinnville is home to Cumberland Caverns and a concert hall that is 333 feet below the surface called the Volcano Room.   A favorite singer/songwriter was playing the Volcano Room.   As part of our visit, we did a pre-concert tour of the caverns. Our guide for the tour was a young lady that I’m guessing was in her early 20s. According to her, one of the perks of being a guide was getting to ‘work’ the concerts, meeting and hearing all the cool artists that pass through.   “Who’s your favorite you’ve seen so far?” I asked.   Kip Moore.   “He was so good and so nice!”   Y’all ready for this?   “Fun fact,” I tell her, “Kip grew up in my back yard.”   I then go on to be specific with the facts: I was friends with his dad but because of the age difference, I didn’t know Kip. But yeah, his mom still lives there and my family still lives there, and I figure one day, he’ll be home and I’ll be home, and we’ll probably have a beer together.   She seemed to think that was pretty cool.   I’m not sure what happened in the next two hours that included the concert we were there to see, but after the show, one of the cavern workers literally chased me down.   “I hear you know Kip Moore!”   Somehow, the game of Rumors had gone full circle. Telling someone Kip grew up near me had fermented into the fine wine of us being pals.   At this point, I simply capitulated on explanations. She was star-struck, and I neither wanted to bust her bubble nor take the time to go into details – again.   “Yeah, he grew up in my back yard.”   She gushed. About how good he was, how he played an extra hour more than scheduled, how he treated the fans as if they were his best friends.   She spoke to me though her words would probably reach Kip.   I grinned and nodded a lot, playing the hand I was dealt: friend of Kip Moore.   So, Kip, my apologies. I totally used you to play the fame card. I owe you a beer.   Since it seems unlikely you’ll be home at the same time I am, I’ll leave beer money with your mom next time through the home place.   Enjoy.
  • I accidentally pulled off a masterpiece of a scam.  With another friend joining us, my wife Beverly and I headed to horse country in Kentucky.   Somewhere just across the Kentucky state line I realized I had left my billfold at home. Some people would be upset about that. Not me.   No billfold meant no driving and no paying for anything. Four days of someone else taking care of everything. It’s was a thing of beauty!   Sorta.   Part of our journey was to catch the last day of the spring horse racing season at Keeneland race track just outside of Lexington. Bev and I had visited that beautiful facility before and had vowed to return one day to bet on the horses.   So there we were. But with no money of my own, I was what’s referred to in tax lingo as ‘a dependent.’ And somebody wasn’t going to give me a lot of money to lose on the ponies.   Didn’t really matter. We’re not much for gambling and being only the second time at a race track, neither of us know much about how to bet on the horses.   That doesn’t mean I’ve never made money at the track, though.   Gather ‘round, children for a sadly true story that will leave you shaking your head and probably liking me a little less.   Dateline: Ruidoso Downs/Ruidoso, New Mexico   I had never been to a betting track for horses but was intrigued and somehow convinced our group to spend an afternoon there.   It was a blistering hot day, to the point of being miserable. Probably because of that, the crowd was light and payouts were pretty small.   Compounding the misery, roughly halfway through the day’s races none of us were winning any of the $2 bets we were making.   But I remember this well:   Race #6 had just concluded, and I had concluded it was time to lose a beer, so I went to the boy’s room.   Standing at the urinal, I noticed all the disappointment laying on the floor. Apparently, people holding losing tickets as they hit the restroom simply dropped them on the floor when it was time to hold something else.   The ticket right at my feet caught my eye. It was for the #6 race just run, and it appeared someone had picked a winning trifecta.   In case it needs explaining, a trifecta is a bet on three horses to finish in the top three. A straight trifecta means you pick specific horses to finish 1st, 2nd, & 3rd. That can be a pretty handsome payoff..   This ticket was a trifecta box, meaning the bettor had picked the top three finishers but in no particular order. It’s a popular bet because it allows leeway for the order in which your top three picks finish.   The downside of the box is that it doesn’t pay out as well as a straight. But it’s still a win.   Finishing my own business, I bent down to take a closer look at the ticket.   Horses #2, 3 and 8. That’s what I remembered as the top three in the just-completed race. I’m guessing it had fallen out of somebody’s pocket.   Now, you can only imagine what the men’s room floor is like underneath a row of urinals. It ain’t pretty and it ain’t dry.   I didn’t touch it, instead stepping outside to double-check the numbers on the board and confirm the winning horses.   Yup, that was them.   I thought about it a few moments, taking into consideration that it was a ‘box’ so the payoff was not going to be all that rich, especially on a day when there’s weren’t many patrons attending the races.   What I really hoped was that the original owner would come back to the bathroom to see if he could find his lost ticket. I would show him where it was and see how he handled it. But as a couple of minutes passed, the ticket just laid there.   Taunting me.   Free money… Money just laying there… Waiting on some fool to rescue it from its sea of nastiness.   Yeah, I did.   I grabbed a couple of paper towels, picked it up and took it to the sink, rinsing it off before patting it as dry as possible with more paper towels.   Then I washed my hands. I washed my hands 40 times, then I washed them again. There simply was not enough soap to wash off the shame of my deed.   But whatcha gonna do? Leave a winning ticket laying there?   I finally determined my hands and the ticket were clean as they were going to get, and I headed to the window to collect my payoff.   To the window clerk I explained the wet ticket as the result of my excitement of having won, spilling my drink during the celebration.   She smiled politely and handed me my winnings. $36.   I didn’t tell anyone in our group about it until we were in the car and on the way back to our house. Everyone was pretty grossed out. Especially, my poor wife.   But poor because she didn’t win no money! Loser!!   Although, it can be argued that I was the loser. To this day, she still doesn’t like holding hands with me. For more Tales from Tibby, click here. 
  • In an early scene of the 1990 Julia Roberts/Richard Gere movie Pretty Woman, there’s a dude walking the streets asking people, “What’s your dream?”   Or as he says, “wha’s yo’ dream? Everybody gotta have a dream!”    I admire people who have a dream, a plan. It’s likely going to change but to have a goal is a good thing.    Graduating from high school, my goal was ___.    That’s a blank space.    College? I’ll go because isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?    Whatcha gonna study, boy?    No clue. #manwithoutaplan    That, by the way, makes for a poorly-motivated student.    By the time I started college I was working full-time at a radio station, but it didn’t seem like career stuff. It felt like something I could do until my real job sent me an invitation with a bottle of champagne and a signing bonus.    Since one shall not find what one does not seek, a real job never materialized, forcing me to continue my pretend job.    I did enjoy radio and worked hard at it, but it took a long time for me to believe this was going to be my career work. I remember thinking, man, if I can just do this thing until I’m about 35, I’ll have it all figured out by then.    No, I wouldn’t have. By the time I hit my mid-30s I started figuring some things out, but by then I had decided to ride that radio pony until it threw me off.    Further, I had dropped out of college because radio was way more fun. So if radio had fallen through, I would have ___.    That’s another blank space.    These kids today…    #1) An 18-year old I randomly met, headed off to college soon.    “Whatcha gonna study?”    She wants to be an actress. If that doesn’t pan out, she thinks being a doctor in a trauma ward has appeal.    Why a trauma ward?    “You know, when a chandelier falls and pierces your body, I’d be there to help you.”    Yeah, right. Unless you’re performing the exact same surgery on Grey’s Anatomy, which I suspect is the only place such a surgery would ever be necessary.    #2) My 11-year old niece wants to know if she can live with us when she attends the University of Georgia.    “Whatcha gonna study?”    She wants to be either a veterinarian or study culinary arts.    Being the guy I am, I suggested she do both. Her failures as a vet could yield some tasty offerings at suppertime.    She wasn’t amused, but I dismissed that as her not understanding the high level of sophistication in my humor. Click here for more Tales from Tibby.
  • There was a day last week designated as National Moonshine Day. You’d think after all these years I’d know there was such a thing.  That same day was also National Gingerbread Day, National Running Day, and National Veggie Burger Day.   Nobody seems to know how National Moonshine day was assigned, but I’m guessing someone came across the day honoring running, gingerbread and veggie burgers and decided it was a date that needed something good going for it. I’ve only experienced true made-in-the woods kinda ‘shine a couple of times in my life.   Probably the best-tasting stuff was provided by my neighbor, Frank. Frank had been a mayor and a state representative and was a good ol’ boy with lots of good ol’ boy friends.   One of his friends was a judge in a tiny North Georgia town who had a still.   A judge. The same guy who sentenced bootleggers was one.   Frank claimed the judge wasn’t a bootlegger because he didn’t sell it, only gave it out to trusted friends.   That’s a finer point of the law I don’t know, so I didn’t judge. As the Good Book says, judge not lest ye be judged by a judge with the keys to a jail cell and the authority to put your a** in it.   My favorite moonshine memory is Ernest.   Ernest was a care-taker on a friend’s family farm in rural South Georgia. He was an affable, older gentleman who was friends with everyone.   Ernest’s job was tending the farm. He mowed, did light repairs and fed dogs.   And there were dogs.   The remote location of the farm made it an easy spot to drop off an unwanted dog, so strays were always showing up. Ernest and the family he worked for were quite happy to welcome those orphan hounds.   Ernest was easy to like. Whether or not he ever knew my name, he knew I was on the radio. Whenever I accompanied my friend to the farm, he’d flash that big jovial grin and say, “There comes the radio man!”   I don’t recall ever going to the farm when Ernest didn’t have his big cast-iron kettle of corn mash is some stage of preparation out in the yard behind his trailer.   One cool fall night, three of us high school buddies decided we’d grab a couple of six packs (drinking age was 18), head to the farm and build a fire.   Since the old farmhouse and Ernest’s trailer shared a yard, Ernest came to join us. He didn’t want our company as much as he wanted our beer.   His offer: a gallon of his corn mash in exchange for a 6-pack of what was very likely Schlitz Malt Liquor back then.   Judge not. We were young with undeveloped taste buds.   We accepted the offer and a gallon jug of Ernest’s fire water soon began circling the fire pit.   If you want to know how this saga ended, you’ll need to ask one of my other buddies.   I’m pretty sure that night I determined one of those stray dogs was a camel and rode him to Egypt. Click here for more Tales From Tibby. 
  • This needs a quick preface so it won’t come off as snooty.  We have no children. Therefore, no grandchildren. And no pets. Like everybody else, we occasionally spend a little money on things we probably shouldn’t but unlike y’all with kids and pets, we spend on things that don’t pout or poop.   For me, there’s something magical about the $100 price tag. Once an item crosses the $100 threshold, it’s officially expensive and that must be pointed out.   I was serving apple pie to neighbors recently and drizzled an aged balsamic vinegar on it, vinegar that had been brought back from Italy and cost…?   Yep, about $100. And I told them so. In defense of my spending so much for a tiny bottle of balsamic, it happened at a wine tasting that might have lasted just a wee bit too long. That same tasting also lead to the purchase of a $100 bottle of olive oil before my wife asked to ‘borrow’ my credit card then hid it.   But why did I need to point out the cost to my guests? Why not try to impress them with the fact that it was 30-year old balsamic - from Italy! - and leave it at that?   ‘Cause it cost a hun’erd dollars, that’s why. If I’m serving you a hun’erd dollar balsamic, you’re going to hear about it.   I’d probably do the same thing if I was serving you a $100 bottle of wine, but don’t hold your breath on that one. In our house, it’s likely the wine I’m serving you is only $2.99. For the whole bottle.   It would be a fair question to ask why I’m willing to spend $100 on olive oil but cheap-out on wine.   I think it has to do with longevity. I’ll have that oil and balsamic for some time to come, enjoying it along the way. Wine won’t make it past bedtime.   Once wine is opened, it evaporates or something. Maybe it grows legs and walks off, but it gets gone. If it’s expensive wine, at the end of the evening you’ve just plowed through a hun’erd dollar bill with nothing to show for it but a dopey grin on your face.   That’s not to say I would never pay up for good spirits. I have spent a few coins for good bourbon, though I have stopped chasing the ones that have gotten stupid expensive. There are some tasty whiskies and bourbons that are quite affordable once you get your nose out of the air and into a glass.   A cousin posted this for me to see. That is good stuff, but in my town if a store has any of this available at all, the store paid $30 for it. Thirty. That’s a ‘3’ with one ‘0’ attached. If they can get $200 for it, fine, but it ain’t coming from me.   With that proclamation though, I must confess to a recent bout of liquor lunacy.   A friend who knows I often find decent prices online for these things asked if I could find a particular tequila that was $100 in the store.   I did find a better price, though by the time you added in shipping it was $96/bottle.   Hey, $4 saved.   I was somewhat familiar with this tequila, having brought a bottle of it back from Mexico many years ago. I didn’t remember a thing about how it tasted, but at $100 it had to be good, right? So I figured I should also get a bottle for myself.   “Wait a minute,” he says. “I have a friend who might want a bottle, too. Before you order, let me check.”   I knew exactly what was happening. He was asking his friend (wife) if he could just go ahead and buy a second bottle while we were ordering.   Sure enough, he tells me his friend wanted a bottle, so I decided if he could get one for his friend, I could order one for my friend. So, the order was doubled to four bottles.   Turns out, he actually had a friend who wanted a bottle. I didn’t. But I now have two big bottles of expensive tequila, and one small problem.   I don’t care for it. Neither does my imaginary friend.   I cracked open a bottle for me and a buddy - after bragging that it cost $100, of course. We took a couple of sips and just sorta stared at each other with that look. The look that says, “um…. paid how much?“   And yay! There’s a whole ‘nother bottle!   Anybody need tequila? It’s a real purdy bottle. It even comes with instructions on how to turn it into a vase once it’s empty. (Spoiler alert: take the cap off and put flowers in it.)   I’m willing to let it go for a hun’erd dollar bill. I’ll even throw in $4 in change. 
  • In these musings of mine, I have previously been critical of people and their pets - specifically, dogs. Because people adore their doggies, they seem to assume everyone will adore their doggies and thus take liberties that make other people hate them.  Hate the owner, not the dog. The dog doesn’t know better, the owner should.   We have now reached a new phase in pet ownership that transcends simple adoration. For more on that story, let’s call on my favorite side of my personality. Take it away, Grumpy Old Man.   Thanks, Pretends To Be Compassionate side of my personality. What you are alluding to is what is now being called the ‘humanization’ of our pets.   How real is it?   It’s really, really real.   So real in fact that a recent analysis comparing the stocks of two major food companies gave Company A’s stock the edge over Company B because Company A has recognized that we are increasingly treating our animals more like people than pets, and they have invested heavily in that trend.   In other words, we are willing to buy more expensive pet food, and that’s what Company A sells.   I call it a trend. Truth is, it’s the truth. The true truth.   I grew up old school as far as pets are concerned. We had beagles. They were used for hunting, they lived in a pen behind the garage, and we fed ‘em whatever was cheapest in a 50-pound bag.   They were cared for, mind you, but they didn’t come inside when the weather got cold, didn’t go to the store with us, and we didn’t take them on trips.   Anyone can see how differently we treat our dogs (pets) these days. Fact is, nowadays businesses hope to win your patronage by pandering to your pets.   Hotels advertise as pet friendly. Dogs always seem to be present in home improvement stores. Your bank may have pet treats at the drive-through window (mine does). Breweries not only invite you to bring your dog, there are often special events to encourage you to do so.   What makes me grumpy about the humanization of pets is that it’s a pet. It’s not a person, it’s a dog.   And you’ve gone too far.   I had the good fortune of catching up with an old friend a couple of years ago. She lives a fine life in a fine house with a fine husband and six fine dogs. They probably had fine furniture, but how would you know? Everything was covered in sheets so that the dogs could sleep wherever they wanted.   I don’t get it. I hope they buy furniture from Goodwill. It would help a good cause, and what difference does it make if you can’t see it?   Walking through Home Depot, I encountered a woman pushing a shopping buggy with nothing in it by four little schnauzer-like dogs. Not only were FiFi, LiLi, GiGi, and BeBe identical, they were all identically dressed. That’s right, she had gotten up that morning, dressed up four dogs and taken them to Home Depot.   I don’t get it. If you ask me, the only thing she was shopping for was attention. If I’m right, I doubt Home Depot was her only stop.   I just attended a wedding where a dog was dressed in a tuxedo and considered a groomsman. I don’t get it. He’s a sweet dog but an old dog. He required someone’s attention from start to finish.   My favorite: I’m waiting in line in a restaurant to be seated. The hostess is trying to explain to the woman in front of me that her dog is welcome but only at outside seating.   “It’s too cold outside,” she complained.   Secretly, I was hoping the hostess would hit her. ‘Do it. Come on, do it. Clock her!’ The woman left in a huff.   I don’t get it. Honey, it’s a restaurant. We’re serving food here. Ain’t nobody want to smell your dang dog. Ain’t nobody want dog hair in their food. Oh, I’m sure. You have the only dog in America that doesn’t shed. My bad. Would your dog like a table or a booth?   That’s where we are now folks and it isn’t a trend. It’s the evolution of our society and how we interact with our pets.   From shopping with our pets, to planning vacations around where our pets will be accepted, to (the worst) leaning on our pets for emotional support, we have become a nation of truly… silly… people.   I am Grumpy Ol’ Man. I am out here making fun of you. And I am done.   (We would now resume our regular program here, but the Pretends To Be Compassionate side of my personality is in the bathtub. With the dog. What if he slipped and fell?)   TIBBY NOTE: If you would like to read the first equally-grumpy tale about you and your dog, find it here.  If you lean on your pet for emotional support, DO NOT read this.
  • I don’t like the symphony. I don’t like ballet, either. At least, that’s what I think.  Last time I went to a symphony, I was ten years old, perhaps. My mom made me go - sorry, took me - to see the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The concert lasted 19 hours, and I didn’t care for it.   So much for culture. Mama tried.   As for ballet, I’ve never seen it but just know I wouldn’t like it. I did see Miss Piggy do ‘Swine Lake’ on an episode of the Muppets. That pretty much confirmed my feelings on ballet.   I’m not a cultured guy. I’m just not. Getting older hasn’t helped. Instead of branching out, I’m digging my heels in, like I’m better off not experiencing new things.   Why?   Stubborn, lazy, ornery… pick one.   Word came I’d be meeting a cousin I’ve never met before. It’s odd to say that, but we live far apart. And don’t I have enough family already?   Anyway, he was gonna be where I was gonna be, so I’d finally get to meet him. And his wife.   Since he and I have social media in common, I knew he was married to a dancer from China. Not just any dancer, she dances leading roles for the Martha Graham Dance Company.   While I was looking forward to meeting her, there was a part of me that wasn’t so sure. Wouldn’t meeting her mean I’d eventually have to go watch her perform? And isn’t modern dance like ballet and therefore on the list of stuff I don’t want to see?   As she entered our house, I played gracious host and asked if she’d like something to drink. I had tea. I was confident Chinese drink tea and felt well equipped.   “Got any bourbon,” she asked.   Say what?   Oh, I had bourbon. In fact, I’ll be upfront about this: I’m a bourbon snob. While I absolutely do not buy bourbon based on price, I like good bourbon. It’s expensive sometimes.   I pour a little over ice as she requests. She sips like a pro and approves. She’s little-bitty; I’m betting she can’t hold her liquor.   I was a bit concerned about the menu. I wasn’t serving rice and wasn’t sure she’d eat steak. Aren’t cows sacred in China?   No? Wrong country? People in China eat something other than rice?   I’m kidding. Chinese probably think Americans only eat McDonalds. I’m not offended by that, actually.   “I love steak,” she informs me.   Turns out, she loves about everything edible, especially everything Southern. Bacon, biscuits, gravy… even fried okra, which I was also serving that night.   I learned something else that evening: dancers have a very active metabolism. Planning the meal, we had cooked large, figuring to have leftovers on another night later in the week. There were none.   Tiny Dancer can eat.   I also learned she has expensive tastes in bourbon. Later in the night, we did a blind tasting. Her favorite was Elmer T. Lee. There’s a store near me that sells Elmer for $199 a bottle when they have it to sell at all. Of course that would be her favorite!   But she was sweet and we liked her. So what happens next…?   “We’d love to see you perform,” says my wife. “Got any shows coming up in the South?”   No. Nope. Nuh-uh, I’m thinking to myself. She doesn’t.   She does. And in just a couple of weeks.   Dang it, boy!   I’ll do a time-jump here and tell you seeing her perform was a fine experience. Would I do it again? She’s family, so, um, yeah.   I kid, I kid.   After the show, we invited her to dinner. Two really fortunate things make this possible. First, there was another couple with us, so we could split the check. Secondly, there was a title pawn shop nearby where we could obtain financing for the meal.   It was a really good time, but I’m glad we live on opposite ends of the country. Girl knows I have good bourbon, and I still haven’t gotten the title to my car back yet.
  • If you haven’t been paying attention to the news, there’s a collard crisis underway. Not making this up. The cultivar Southerners crave this time of year is in serious short supply.  Blame the elements. In the Southeast, too much rain has flooded fields. California collards are the victims of wildfires, either too much scarring from blowing ash or too much smoke to harvest ‘em.   For me, none of this is particularly bad news. I hate collards.   Every year I seem to find myself in the company of friends and/or family who want that traditional New Year’s Day meal of collards, cornbread, black-eyed peas and ham.   Each of those foods supposedly represents something, though I have no idea what it is. Except for collards. Because they’re green, I think they represent money. Eat collards on the first day and you’ll enjoy prosperity throughout the entire new year.   I’d rather be poor. Collards taste nasty and give me gas.   I hate black-eyed peas, too, though I can tolerate them if I’ve got enough chow chow slopped on ‘em. (Chow chow is pickled something. In the South, usually cabbage or squash. Whatever it is, it’s mission is to mask the taste of the peas. Ketchup also works in a pinch.)   This is my own problem, I know. I’m a Southern boy with a Southern pedigree a mile long.  Having grown up with considerable exposure to three sets of great-grandparents, I learned things kids today aren’t allowed to learn or are simply not exposed to.   One grandfather was a sawmiller who taught me how to make a corncob pipe and smoke rabbit tobacco in it. His wife - grandmama - was a sturdy woman who dipped snuff and tried to teach me how to milk a cow. (I never learned. I was afraid I’d hurt the cow if I squeezed that thing too hard.)   Another grandpa raised chickens and cows and plowed his garden behind a mule while grandma was making stew from the snapping turtle her brother had killed and brought into the house, swingin’ it by the tail.   On my mom’s side, one great-grandfather was a preacher. A Baptist preacher. That’s an important Southern distinction. Wouldn’t be as meaningful if I had to identify him as Episcopalian. People might think we were drinkers. You know, whiskeypalians. And my elders did not drink. Had to learn to do that on my own.   I’ve skinned and consumed a hundred rabbits and squirrels and gnawed clean their bones. I can pick out a ripe melon by thumping it. And I can fry you up a mess of okra that will absolutely make you weep.   I shouldn’t have to prove my credentials as a Southerner, yet I’ve had a constant culinary clash with many of the foods beloved in the South.   It’s not just collards I don’t like, it’s turnip greens, mustard greens, rutabaga and virtually all peas and beans. (Except pork’n. I love me some pork’n beans. Probably because you gussy them up with brown sugar and bacon.)   I don’t like boiled peanuts, either.   Something’s wrong with my wiring. I much prefer Italian food to Southern fare. Given the choice of pizza or fried chicken…   Wait. Bad example. I’d definitely choose the fried chicken. And anything that taste like fried chicken. Frog legs, for example. Yum!   But I love Italian food the most. I’ve wondered if the doctor who delivered me was Italian. Or maybe he had just polished off a pizza and the first breathe I drew on this earth was a whiff of his breathe.   Adding insult to injury, the friend who prepares our collards every New Years Day is Italian. She claims what she cooks are Italian-style collards.   I don’t fight it, but I don’t buy it. If I cook up a possum with pepperoni, does that make it Italian-style possum?   Debate that while you eat your collards. If you can find any.   Personally, I’m hoping to catch a break this year.
  • Allen  Tibbetts

    I’m a Georgia boy, born and bred.

    Born in Rome, my family didn’t live there long enough to ever know it as home. I spent my grade school years in Aragon, Georgia, before we moved to Tifton in South Georgia, the city I call my home town. A lot of my family still lives there.

    I started working radio as a junior in high school in Tifton at a little AM station, WTIF 1340. It was a weekend job in the beginning, but I somehow managed to parlay that gig into a 41-year career in radio, mostly as a morning show host - or co-host, as I almost always had a partner clowning around with me on the air.

    After almost 20 years of working radio in Tifton, I started dating the woman that is now my wife. We had gone to school together in Tifton, but she was living in Athens as we reconnected.

    Ah, Athens… home of the University of Georgia and the Georgia Bulldogs. Shouldn’t I live there, too?

    I sent an application to the only station I knew in Athens, 960 WRFC, and was hired as the morning show host in 1990. As the radio market evolved and stations in Athens merged, I was moved to the morning show at Magic 102.1/WGMG, an adult contemporary station.

    Best I can figure, I spent about 18 very happy years on that station before I turned off the mic.

    My wife, Beverly, was an entomologist who finished her professional career serving in administration at the university. When she decided to retire, I figured it was time to quit leaving her in bed alone at 4 a.m. every morning, and I retired, too.

    We still live in Athens, at least part-time, with no kids, no cats, no dogs, and no obligations other than to family and friends. We tend to wander around a lot.

    What are Tales from Tibby?? 

    During my 41-year career doing morning show radio, what I found most rewarding was taking the slices of life I observed and making them into fun, funny or satirical stories that, hopefully, the audience would enjoy. That usually involved altering, embellishing or flat-out lying about an actual incident, but I got pretty good at it. When the time came to back away from the microphone, I realized that I still tend to see life as a morning show host. My brain still processes everything as a possible story to tell on the air. So this blog is a written extension of my radio show, a series of true or semi-true stories could just as easily be called, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO ALLEN. Born and raised and still living in Georgia, my stories often have a Southern slant. I offer no apologies for that. I know how to properly prepare grits and cannot imagine life without them. I can also fry up a rabbit. While I cannot avoid a little commentary now and then, the aim is to entertain, and I hope you enjoy reading these Tales From Tibby.

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Local News

  • A newly announced candidate for a seat in the Georgia House will speak to Athens Democrats tonight: Mokah Johnson is running against Republican Representative Houston Gaines. She’s the featured speaker at this evening’s meeting of local Democrats, set for 6 o’clock at the Library on Baxter Street.  From the Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee Facebook page…   We've organized a special program, 'Civil Rights, Then and Now,' to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Week. Come hear Mokah Johnson, of the Athens-Anti-Discrimination Movement; Beto Cacao, of DIgnidad Immigrante; and Hattie Whitehead, of the Linnentown Project.
  • The Athens Area Habitat for Humanity holds its annual gala tonight: it’s underway at 6:30 at the Cotton Press on Oneta Street in Athens. From the Athens Habitat For Humanity Facebook page…   Athens Hab celebrates our local partners and supporters at our annual gala, this year hosted by Epting Events at the Cotton Press. Come enjoy great food, live music, cash bar, inspirational speakers, and fellowship as we give thanks for a successful drive to raise $30,000 to complete Lydia's Homeplace, a joint project with Lydia's Place to create housing for homeless college students in our area. All donors giving $80 or more by January 23rd are invited!
  • A northeast Georgia judge says she will not be a candidate for reelection: Northern Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Lauren Watson says she won’t be the ballot for the May 19 elections.  Judge Watson, an attorney in Madison County, was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal two years ago as a replacement for retired Judge Thomas Hodges and has worked in a judicial circuit that covers Madison, Oglethorpe, Elbert, Franklin, and Hart counties.  The funeral for former Franklin County Probate Judge Eddy Fowler is scheduled for Sunday at the Ginn Memorial Chapel in Carnesville. Fowler, who also worked as a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy, died earlier this week at a hospital in Lavonia. 
  • Georgia travels to Fayetteville this Thursday to take on No. 20/21-ranked Arkansas at 6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. Courtney Lyle and Carolyn Peck will call the action from Bud Walton Arena.    » Arkansas is the fifth top-25 team the Lady Bulldogs have played this season. This is the first of four-straight games against top-25 squads coming up on Georgia’s schedule over the next couple of weeks.    » Three of Georgia’s seven losses this season have come against teams currently ranked in the top-10 of both the Associated Press and Coaches polls (No. 1/2 Baylor, No. 9 Mississippi State and No. 10 UCLA).    » Georgia head coach Joni Taylor owns a 5-1 record against Arkansas during her head coaching career. The Lady Bulldogs have won five of the last six and 13 of the last 15 meetings against the Razorbacks. Overall, Georgia is 34-6 against Arkansas, including a 14-3 mark in Fayetteville.    » The Lady Bulldogs defeated Auburn this past Sunday in front of nearly 5,000 fans at Stegeman Coliseum. The win snapped a three-game losing skid in SEC play.    » Georgia’s bench outscored Auburn’s bench by an impressive 34-4 margin. The Lady Bulldogs were down 17-9 at the end of the first quarter before the lineup of Chloe Chapman, Shaniya Jones, Caitlin Hose, Stephanie Paul and Malury Bates provided Georgia a spark in the second quarter.    » Lady Bulldog guard Shaniya Jones had her best game of the season against Auburn. She scored a career-high 21 points in 21 minutes of action. Jones hit 5-for-6 from the field and scored 11 points in the third period.    Scouting Arkansas » The Razorbacks rank third in the nation in points per game, averaging 86.9 points per contest this season. Chelsea Dungee, one of the top players in the Southeastern Conference, paces Arkansas with 20 points per game. Dungee has scored in double figures in all but one contest and has totaled 20 or more points nine times. Arkansas boasts a 15-3 overall record, with its only losses in SEC play coming to Texas A&M and South Carolina.    Series Breakdown Overall: Georgia leads, 34-6 In Athens: Georgia leads, 17-2 In Fayetteville: Georgia leads, 14-3 Neutral Sites: Georgia leads, 3-1 Current Streak: Georgia has won five of the last six Last Meeting: Arkansas W, 86-76 (3/7/19) Largest Margin of Victory: Georgia W, 87-54 (2/24/96) Largest Defeat: Arkansas W, 66-45 (2/24/02)   Last Meeting Against Arkansas The Georgia Lady Bulldogs fell to Arkansas, 86-76, in the SEC Tournament on March 7, 2019 at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville. 
  • Economic forecasters from the University of Georgia and its Terry College of Business are on the road again today, in Augusta for the Augusta-area economic outlook luncheon: it’s set for noon at the Marriot in downtown Augusta. From the UGA Master Calendar…   The Georgia Economic Outlook series brings the expertise of the University of Georgia Terry College of Business to nine cities across the state, offering you specific and reliable insights into next year’s economy. Learn about the nation’s economic trajectory, the trends shaping our state’s fiscal outlook, and what to expect in your local area for the upcoming year from forecasts based on data and analysis from the Selig Center for Economic Growth.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS Former Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas might want to make sure his wardrobe includes plenty of things that match with brown. Thomas, an Outland Trophy Finalist and All-American for the Bulldogs last season, is being sidelined projected as the first-round pick for the Cleveland Browns in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Browns have the 10th overall pick, and Thomas one of the record 111 underclassmen from the college ranks to declare himself eligible for the draft is widely considering the top offensive tackle in the draft class. The ClevelandBrowns.com website will be paying particularly close attention to Thomas throughout the draft process as its roundup reflected the former Georgia captain a popular choice among NFL draft analysts. Among those projecting Thomas to the Cleveland Browns at No. 10 are: Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network Dane Brugler, The Athletic Vinnie Iyer, The Sporting News Benjamin Solak, The Draft Network Josh Edwards, CBSsports.com Brugler reportedly noted Thomas has 'shock absorbers' for hands in assessment. Thomas has been projected to be selected by other teams by other analysts, but the Browns' projection is far and away most popular. That said, the NFL draft process is just getting underway ,with players' draft stock rising and falling at the Senior Bowl this week, and the NFL combine in Indianapolis fast approaching. Thomas' athleticism, skill work and disposition figure to make him a strong candidate to improve his stock once he starts meeting with teams and performs at the NFL combine. Indeed, Thomas has been projected as high as the No. 4 overall pick in the New York Giants (CBS Sports). Iowa's Tristan Wirfs and Alabama's Jedrick Wills appears to Thomas' biggest competition in the draft at the offensive tackle position. Both are also widely projected first-round picks. The draft ranking for Thomas from No. 4 to No. 10 is higher than any of the other Georgia players in the upcoming draft class. The Bulldogs have two other juniors, tailback D'Andre Swift and quarterback Jake Fromm, who have received first-round draft projections, but neither as high as Thomas. Georgia also has two other underclass offensive linemen coming out, junior guard Solomon Kindley and redshirt sophomore Isaiah Wilson. Both Kindley and Wilson have been trimming up their football frames to be in prime condition for the NFL combine. Kindley and Wilson, both, figure to improve their stock at the combine. The NFL Draft takes place April 23-25 in Las Vegas, Nevada. DawgNation: Georgia in the NFL draft ESPN labels Georgia a 'loser' in NFL early entry process Eli Wolf, Charlie Woerner, Brian Herrien, Tyrique McGhee shine in all-star games Todd McShay projects Georgia QB Jake Fromm to have first-round talent Closer look at Jake Fromm's decision, factors and faith Georgia OG Solomon Kindley comes off ankle injury, makes NFL leap The post Georgia football's Andrew Thomas first-round NFL draft lock, Cleveland popular projection appeared first on DawgNation.
  • LEXINGTON, KY.Neither Georgia nor Anthony Edwards may have seemed particularly impressive as the Bulldogs have stumbled out to a 1-4 start in SEC play. But don't tell that to Kentucky's John Calipari, who gushed about the team the No. 10 Wildcats defeated 89-79 Tuesday night at Rupp Arena. 'Tom's done a great job,' Calipari said of Georgia's second-year coach Tom Crean. 'They're going to win games. I just told their team as we walked off, you're as good as anybody we've played. Go win some games.' Their start was ridiculous. Now let's see where they go. Tom's terrific and I think they'll be fine. At this point, I want them to beat everybody.' The Bulldogs would settle for at least two in a row and soon. The loss to the Wildcats was their fourth in the last five games and 14th in a row to Kentucky overall. RELATED: Too little, too late from Georgia star Anthony Edwards at Kentucky But as Calipari pointed out, Georgia's league schedule has been a bit front-loaded. This was the second time they've played Kentucky (14-4, 5-1 SEC) and they've also played then-No. 5-ranked Auburn and Mississippi State on the road. Georgia (11-7) gets three of the next five at home, including Saturday's 5:30 p.m. game against Ole Miss (9-8, 0-4). The Bulldogs insist they'll be no less confident as they move into the next stretch of the season. 'We've just got to continue to learn,' Crean said. 'For where we're at youth wise, as many new guys as we have and starting three freshmen in here, we've got to go through some things so we can grow into some things. That's how I see my team right now.' Kentucky steps out of the conference Saturday with a road trip to Texas Tech, then comes home to face Vanderbilt before kicking off February at Auburn. Georgia's cause would be helped if Edwards could ever put two halves together again. Once again, the star freshman struggled in the opening half, going scoreless for the first time all year on 0-for-5 shooting, 0-for-2 from 3-point range. He rallied to score 16 points in the second half, but also fouled out and finished with five turnovers and just one rebound. 'I'm guessing the scouting report was to deny me the ball and not really let me touch it,' Edwards said. 'When I did touch, I was usually double-teamed. So I was trying to get the ball out of my hands in a hurry. I couldn't really do anything.' Edwards, a 6-5 guard from Atlanta, is projected as an NBA lottery pick. Calipari warned people who want to write off him as 'overrated' not to be too hasty. 'It's hard for young guys, especially when everybody's paying special attention to him,' Calipari said of the nation's leading-scoring freshman (19 points per game). 'Now all the sudden, every pick-and-roll, they hold him a lot longer. Every drive, they leave their men to go get him. So, it's like he's playing (against) a box-and-one all night, and he still gets baskets. That tells you how good he is.' The Bulldogs actually had Kentucky worried a few times Tuesday. They led twice in the first half and were within a single bucket twice in the second half. But every time Georgia would get close the Wildcats would answer with another run. Kentucky led by as many as 16 points in the second half, but the majority of the game was contested within a single-digit margin. Georgia sophomore Tye Fagan was able to pick up some of Edwards' slack in the first half. The 6-3 guard scored 12 of his 14 points the second-most in his career in the first half. Also, freshman Toumani Camara scored all 10 of his points in the first half as Georgia made a brief charge shortly before halftime. Rayshaun Hammonds had 16 points and eight rebounds for the Bulldogs. Atlanta native and one-time UGA commit Ashton Hagans led the Wildcats with a career-high 23 points. That's the second time Hagans has scored 23, the other time also coming against Georgia. He has averaged 19.7 points against the Bulldogs. Twice in the second half, Georgia got to within three points, the second time 57-54 at 12:36 on a high-arcing Edwards jump shot. But that was followed in short succession by two Edwards turnovers and one by Hammonds, and Kentucky converted all three into points to pull away again. Crean said the Bulldogs are not despondent or disillusioned by the recent struggles. 'There's no moral victory, right? That's not what I'm saying here. But we brought a very young team into this environment and battled,' he said. 'This is an incredible environment, and for a team to come in here and battle like that. We're growing up. It's a hard league to grow up in and to win in, but I'm not worried about morale.' Said Edwards: 'We've got a great team. I've got great teammates beside me and we're going to keep fighting and keep working to get better.' DawgNation Georgia Basketball Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Mississippi State wins battle of Bulldogs in Starkville, decisively Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Georgia basketball delivers signature Top 10 win at Memphis Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener Georgia freshman already making basketball history The post Kentucky's John Calipari says don't write off Georgia basketball just yet appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia basketball simply couldn't keep up with Kentucky in Rupp Arena on Tuesday night. The No. 15-ranked Wildcats (14-4, 5-1 SEC) took down the Bulldogs (11-7, 1-4) by an 89-79 count. It was UK's 14th straight win in the series, and their second this season. Kentucky guard Ashton Hagans, from Cartersville, Ga., led the Wildcats with 23 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Georgia junior Rayshaun Hammonds scored 16 points and pulled down 8 rebounds, giving Coach Tom Crean the type of road effort that was missing in a loss at Mississippi State on Saturday. UGA freshman Anthony Edwards, meanwhile, scored 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting. But it was a case of too little, too late from Edwards, who had just one rebound and turned the ball over five times. Edwards was heldscoreless in the first half as Kentucky staked out to a 41-35 lead at intermission. The Bulldogs had their moments, using a 9-0 run to claim a 29-28 lead with 5:34 left in the first half. Donnell Gresham Jr. sparked the burst with a 3-pointer and also capped it with a jumper that triggered a John Calipari timeout. Kentucky responded with a 7-0 run of its own the first 78 seconds out of the timeout to reclaim control of the game. Georgia held a surprising 19-17 advantage on the glass in the first half, but the smaller Bulldogs could not sustain that advantage. UK out-rebounded Georgia 21-12 in the second half, even as Edwards awoke from his first half slumber. Edwards finally scored two minutes into the second half after missing his first five shots. Edwards hit his next three shots, too, pulling the Bulldogs to 57-54 with 12:38 left. It was as close as Georgia got the rest of the night. Kentucky came back at the Bulldogs with a 12-2 run, and Georgia couldn't get closer than seven points the rest of the night The Wildcats wonthe first meeting between the teams by a 78-69 count in Athens, coming back from nine points down in front of a sold-out Stegeman Coliseum crowd in both team's SEC opener on Jan. 7. Georgia returns to action at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at Stegeman Coliseum against Ole Miss. The Bulldogs are 9-1 on their home court this season. The post Georgia basketball falls at Kentucky, too little, too late from Anthony Edwards appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Kirby Smart is typically pretty transparent, but the Georgia fifth-year head coach didn't let on the sort of overhaul or the extremes he was prepared to go to in order to improve the offense. 'We'll look at it,' Smart said on Dec. 18, asked about the Bulldogs' offensive philosophy. 'But we want to score points.' RELATED: Kirby Smart's amazing offseason of change at Georgia A month later, Georgia had landed the highest-rated (PFF) grad-transfer QB on the market, the OC from the NFL's most prolific pass game in 2018 and a quarterbacks coach Smart knew first hand from his Valdosta State days The Bulldogs still have work to do, and the Feb. 5 National Signing Day will certainly be worth tuning into. Georgia went 12-2 last season with a 5-1 mark vs. Top 25 teams and a third-straight SEC East Division title. But Smart, who insists on setting the bar at a championship level each fall, has continued to reach higher and push for more on his coaching staff and within his team. Complacency, Smart said, is the enemy of the team's aspirations and played a role last season. : When you're not hungry, you become average, and some of that, I think, has affected us in the past,' Smart said after the 26-14 Sugar Bowl win over Baylor. 'And we've got to find a way in this program to not let that creep in and keep that same hunger you have as a young player because we've had it happen to several guys that were really hungry, and then they become full.' Nobody in Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall will be getting too comfortable anytime soon. Indeed, incoming freshman QB Carson Beck is probably just now growing comfortable with the competition ahead of him on campus, and UGA has already added a 5-star in the 2021 class. Brock Vandagriff, a 5-star prospect from nearby Bogart who ranks as the No. 1 -ranked Pro Style quarterback in the 2021 class, made his verbal pledge on Tuesday. Mike Griffith and Connor Riley discuss the repercussions of Smart's latest moves and additions on Tuesday's 'On The Beat' show, and what it means for the program. Georgia football On The Beat, 1-21-20 More from DawgNation UGA adds offseason excitement, stars endorse new OC Todd Monken WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Podcast: Brandon Adams shares his take on Brock Vandagriff addition Kirby Smart has turned Georgia offense upside down Social media reacts to addition of 5-star QB Brock Vandagriff Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post WATCH: Georgia football early offseason breakdown, Brock Vanagriff addition, appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Brock Vandagriff is the newest 5-star commitment for the Georgia Bulldogs. The nation's No. 8 overall prospect (247Sports Composite ratings) chose Georgia earlier today. He was once committed to Oklahoma. Bet a lot of folks knew that. Maybe they also knew that he ran for 1,001 yards at a rate of 7.3 yards per carry as a high school sophomore. But what about his kickoffs? Or his big-time leg at punter? How 'bout the fact that he caught 34 passes during his freshman season at Prince Avenue Christian in nearby Bogart? Or that he threw his first high school pass off a jet sweep from the receiver spot? It was, of course, a touchdown. That's just the beginning of the information superhighway when it comes to all things Vandagriff. Check out the featured video above or the embedded version below for a breakdown on all things Vandagriff, including His favorite route to throw? How did Georgia keep the recruiting channels open after he committed to Oklahoma? His description of some real adversity he deal with during his junior year What was the reason he chose Georgia? What sort of connection his first name has to the Florida Gators? Did he really finish out a game last season with a broken fibula? Why did he choose to de-commit from Oklahoma? What sort of changes does he see in store for the offense at UGA? Brock Vandagriff: Getting to know Brock on DawgNation Prince Avenue Christian 5-star QB Brock Vandagriff commits to UGA Social media reacts strongly to Brock Vandagriff choosing Georgia DawgNation Daily: Breaking down what Vandagriff means to the Bulldogs Brock Vandagriff breaks down his 'Junior Day' unofficial visit, plans quick return Vandagriff previews big UGA visit, opens up on his Oklahoma de-commitment Just how competitive is Brock Vandagriff? Check out this early DawgNation story The post Brock Vandagriff: Watch the new 5-star Georgia commitment share his story appeared first on DawgNation.