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Tales from Tibby

    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. 
  • 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.
  • “Always wear clean underwear. You never know when you might be in an accident, and you don’t want people in the emergency room seeing you in dirty underwear.” - Your mom or someone like her.  ‘Twas the day before Thanksgiving, and I was in the emergency room.   I had been golfing that day and couldn’t shake the uneasiness in my chest, so I quit halfway through the round and headed for the hospital.   Quick background: This had happened before. Seven years ago, I left the golf course, went to the emergency room and was invited to stay for a triple bypass. So I’ve got history. And trust me, that kind of history heaps a whole lot o’ paranoia on you when things start feeling squirrely in your chest.   I will say this: seven years ago, I was given an additional indicator something was amiss. That hot day in July, after finishing my round, I cracked open a cold beer and never took a sip.   There’s your sign.   Now, here I was again.   In the emergency room, the first thing that happens is a check of your pulse and blood pressure. My pulse was fine, but my blood pressure sent a message to Houston: We have a problem.   I’m not a guy that ever fights BP problems, but it was through-the-roof high. And that little piece of news was going to buy me an extended stay to ‘check on things.’   “Let’s get you into a hospital gown,” said the nurse. Oh, yeah… cute nurse. About age 30. Because when you’re a guy in your 60’s and you wind up in the hospital, you’re never gonna get the dude nurse who looks like he might have stayed up all night binge-watching Game Of Thrones and eating nachos. You’re getting the cute, young nurse.   And she’s just asked you to take off your clothes.   This is where UPS sets in. And it ain’t about nobody getting a delivery. (Though you could argue it involves a package.)   UPS = Underwear Panic Syndrome.   It’s real.   Underwear Panic Syndrome is that sinking feeling an older guy gets when the cute, young nurse is going to see his underwear, and he has no idea which pair he has on.   Let’s face it, y’all, we all have underwear that should have found the trash can a long time back. It’s got holes, it’s got a shot elastic band, it’s got (whispering…) stains! You know what I’m talking about here.   To further expound on UPS, here’s some info you didn’t ask for, but I’m a briefs guy. Always have been.   I get that briefs are not particularly cool, but neither am I. With briefs, I get the one thing I demand from my underwear: support for the troops.   Let’s keep everybody together. Nobody needs to be wandering off.   (For the record, briefs used to be cool. Google images of ‘Jim Palmer underwear.’)   In college, I experimented with a few things. One of those was boxers, because a lot of my friends wore boxers. I spent those few days doing a whole lot of… um, adjusting.   As I have lived my life and observed a few things, I’ve never regretted staying with briefs. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Women aren’t the only ones affected by gravity.   At one point in my morning radio show career, I had a mid-20s, male co-host who wore boxers. Because we’re boys, I suppose, underwear was a frequent topic of discussion. Our female partner was proud to proclaim her preference for going commando, so she mostly just refereed our briefs vs boxers arguments.   “You’ll regret boxers,” I would warn him. “Your knees will have playmates when you’re older.”   One day, he texted me from the local YMCA. He had just finished a workout and while in the locker room had encountered a much older man, shaving in front of the lavatory mirror. Nude.   My cohort had just seen his future. And I have never received a text containing so many exclamation points.   He now wears boxer briefs.   And maybe that should be my direction. Boxer briefs tend to keep all the eggs in the basket, as some of us prefer, and are probably considered cooler than briefs. Again though, I’ve experimented and still prefer briefs.   The UPS I suffered the day before Thanksgiving wasn’t as much about just wearing briefs as it was about the color of briefs I might have on.   Underwear multi-packs usually contain various colors: black, gray, blue, red, even white can be included. (Never brown, though. Wonder why? Especially for men of a certain age.)   I rarely wear the white ones, usually opting for another color. But what if I was wearing the blue ones? They’re not a manly dark blue. They’re a baby blue. Carolina blue. Might as well be tighty-whities, really.   As I unbuckled my belt to drop my drawers, I secretly prayed: please no blue, please no blue.   Ta da! Black! Yes!   But they were still briefs, and I still felt some pangs of shame.   To wrap up the hospital story, my blood pressure had gotten whacked out (I had wa-a-a-y overdone salty foods the day before), and I was released 24 hours later after extensive testing determined my heart is actually in excellent condition.   But comfortably back home, I’m thinking I need an undies upgrade. Maybe buy some boxer briefs to keep in the truck. Next time I take myself to the hospital, I can do a quick-change before walking into the emergency room to announce that I may be having a heart attack.   When the cute nurse tells me to undress, she will still see an older man with a ponchy belly, large love handles, a developing turkey neck and gray, thinning hair, but she’ll see I still got style.   She won’t say it out loud, but she’ll be thinking, “Hey, cool undies.”   Winner, winner, chicken dinner, old man!   You take your little victories whenever they come.
  • This is not a story about traveling to Italy. It mentions Italy because that’s where I finally found clarity for my life.   Since clarity is a rarity, it is charity for me to share for thee.    I’m not gonna lie. Since retiring, I’ve struggled.    While comfortably tucked into my career as a morning radio show announcer, I knew how my day would go. I’d finish up work around 10 or 11 am every morning, then go join the old fart golf group that teed off every day around lunchtime. Many years, I would play 150 days or more.    The point is, I knew what I was doing with my days. In retirement, I’m playing maybe 50 rounds a year. That leaves a lot of days in limbo.    To some extent, golf has been replaced by travel. Oh, it’s not all exotic. For example, we’re taking in more live concerts now, so sometimes our trips are just a quick overnighter to hear an artist we enjoy.    We’ve fallen in love with Nashville, Tennessee’s music scene, so we wind up in Music City way more than I would have ever imagined.    Still, we are trying to see some other parts of the world and recently returned to Italy for the second time in two years. And for a second time, we hooked up with a travel guide named Max.    On our first tour of Old Italia, it took Max about one day to figure out what we liked: wine. With lunch.    On our just-completed trip, he didn’t even ask what we wanted to see. Every day, he had arranged a wine tasting at a nice winery, usually with lunch thrown in.    Lunch often lasted for a couple of hours. Afterwards, Max would just drive us around until we fell asleep. When we woke up, he’d tell us of the nice places he had taken us and say something like, “too bad you slept through it.”    In the Tuscany region, we hit a couple of places that are actually referred to as wine castles. Translated to English, that’s a castle with wine.    A castle, y’all. With wine. Take a moment, if you need to.    Besides wine, another thing to love about Italy is gelato. Gelato is actually Italiano for ice cream, but gelato is better. It uses more milk…. something, something, something… so it’s not just like American ice cream.    Gelato is sold in a gelateria. If you think about it, that makes sense. Pizza is sold in a pizzeria; gelato, in a gelateria.    I’m a big fan of gelato. Specifically, coconut, though I’m multi-gelatinous and can swing many directions.    So, the epiphany: I want to open a gelateria in a wine castle.    When I told my wife, she suggested I build the castle from the corks we have in the basement. It was meant as a snide remark, a dig at me for saving corks, even though I have no plan to do anything with them.    But her idea is brilliant. A cork castle!    Enemy bullets would bounce right off the cork walls. And if someone bombed my castle, what’s the damage? Broken cork? No problem.    “Hey, we need more cork!” And out comes a corkscrew.    My cork castle would also be flood-proof. The same rains that floated Noah’s arc would float my castle. When the rain subsided, who knows what country my castle would have landed in? But it wouldn’t matter. The local chamber of commerce would welcome me. Because I’ve got a castle full of wine.    And gelato.    Who wouldn’t want to be my friend?    Beautiful minds like mine – and Steve Jobs – don’t come along that often. I can only imagine that you’re thinking, ‘Dang, I wish I had thought of that first!’    But you didn’t.    Bring money. I will be charging admission.   
  • Maybe you’ve seen the post – or email – making the rounds about how ‘old’ people should present themselves? It defines old as 60 or over. So much for 60 being the new 40, eh? If you haven’t seen it, here’s a sample of some pairings it suggests you avoid: A nose ring and bifocals  Miniskirts and support hose Unbuttoned disco shirts and a heart monitor Bikinis and liver spots Thongs and Depends. Cute. But on a more serious note, I’m here today to address the first item, the nose ring.  *GRUMPY OLD MAN ALERT* I’m not good with some current trends. If I’ve not mentioned it before, I hate tattoos. I hate them more on women than men. To me, they look trashy.  I’m trying to adapt. Mainly, because everybody but me seems to have one. Also, I know some really quality, non-trashy ladies with tattoos. By ‘quality’ I mean I’ve Googled them and can’t find any pictures of them without clothes.  I’ve never liked belly button jewelry. (Unless you’re a belly dancer. In that case, you might as well put something shiny in that cavern.) Nose and lip studs? Nope. But I’m trying really hard to be a better person and stop judging the book by its cover. That’s probably my biggest flaw, honestly. But the one decoration I do not get is the nose ring. First thought: are you a dang cow?? If we go out on a date, can I hitch up a rope to that thing and lead you into the theater? I don’t care how otherwise beautiful you are, inside or out, something hanging out your nose does not look good. And there’s nothing – NOTHING – you can do to change that. Make it silver, gold, bejeweled, bigger, petite, or blessed by the Pope, it’s still something coming out of your nose and needs wiping. I know, shut up ol’ man!
  • Just returned from a trip that included a few days in New York City. It wasn’t my first time. We were there just two years ago, so I knew I was getting in to. I love/hate that place.    The over-the-top weirdness of Time Square. Visiting the M&M store and paying $14 a pound for peanut M’s that would cost about $3 at my local grocery store. A truly unintelligible subway system. The fabulous – use your ‘jazz hands…’ fab-u-louus - Broadway shows.    It’s like no other place. It’s also like no other place should aspire to be, really. Especially the subway trains. The subway system there was designed by chimpanzees who then hired kindergarteners to draw the maps and legends explaining it.    Locals eventually figure it out by osmosis; visitors have no chance.    The way we handle the trains is to wander around in the subway station looking lost until someone takes pity on us and helps.    Mostly, we just walk. We certainly don’t attempt to drive in that carnival.    If you do drive in NYC, you need to be fluent in ‘horn.’ It’s the official language of drivers there.    But here’s what I’ve figured out: Honkers are almost always several cars back in the pack.    The first car in line has stopped because it’s illegal to run over pedestrians. The second car can see what’s going on so sits quietly. Get back to about the fourth or fifth car and all they know is that the light is green and they ain’t moving.    *beeeeeep*    Honking changes nothing, but I reckon it gives the drivers a way to vent their frustration of being in a city where a billion people live and having to deal with another billion visitors who know it’s illegal for you to run over them with your car and will therefore cross the street whenever they dang well want, traffic lights be damned.    The other language of New York City is every other language in the world. Except English.    Look, I’m a bumkin in The City, but I’m telling you, it was rare to hear English conversationally spoken. On the streets, in the subways, in the bars (so I’m told), on the elevators, the conversations were almost always in a foreign language.    That’s more observation than complaint.    To start with, we all know that as a country we’ve become heavily reliant on immigrants for service work. The servers, dishwashers, attendants, hotel staff… the list is endless of jobs immigrants are willing to do for the opportunity to live in the States.    Now, couple that with all the foreign visitors who are simply making NYC one of their must-do destinations, and there’s a whole lot of no speak-y English going on.    What if, I thought… what if we passed a law that required everyone in an American city to speak only English. That would probably cut down on the crowds since so many people would have to learn the language instead of relying on a single interpreter to be the English voice for their entire bus.    Then there’s a possible downside. What if that law not only required English, but required the proper use of the language?    That would shut most Americans out of places like New York City.    So, let me just say this, y’all. I ain’t never gonna go back to that place. Not never, not no how. I don’t know what them farners are sayin’, an’ until them people done learned how to tawk like me, I’d just a-soon stay home.    Somebody fetch me a beer.
  • Just heard a song from Dan + Shay called ‘Tequila.’ Wow, a song about tequila. How novel! While that oozes sarcasm, it’s a decent song, and so adds to an every-growing list of odes to a cactus. Off the top of my head, I can probably name 9 or 10 songs about tequila. There are more, I know. Many more. Almost all songs about tequila involve drinking too much. From there, we work on secondary themes, like being lonesome, drinking away a memory or doing something stupid. Tequila songs can also involve a fair amount of promiscuity. “Who is this cowboyWho's sleepin' beside me?He's awful cute, but how'd IGet his shirt on?I had to much Tequila last night.”  - ‘Jose Cuervo,’ sung by Shelly West Anyway… Hello, everybody, and welcome to TEQUILA TALK. As your host, you should know I fancy myself a tequila aficionado (I drink it), a tequila snob (I like the good stuff), and I may be the only person you’ve ever met that has never gotten sick from drinking it. Like, ever. Full disclosure: Oh yeah, I’ve overdone it. I’ve just never overdone it on tequila. And I’ll let my sainthood stop right there. Tequila gets a bad rap, and it’s not to blame. Its smooth, sometimes smoky goodness is a delicious sip, either neat or over a little ice. There are two main problems we have with tequila. First, we’ve made it a barroom game to see how much of it we can drink before we puke. Secondly, and a contributor to the first point, barroom tequila shots are usually done with a low-grade product. While anything calling itself tequila must, by law, contain at least 51% distilled blue agave, that leaves the other 49% to be distilled from something else. That’s very often corn syrup. And in these cheaper tequilas that nice golden color comes not from barrel aging, it comes from caramel coloring. I’m not hating on Cuervo Gold, y’all. Despite it being made from a whole lot of sugar and only minimally-required blue agave, it doesn’t taste bad. But even folks who think it does taste bad are willing to toss a few down so we can part-a-a-a-y!!! I’ll be worshiping at the porcelain alter later, but right now I have never been funnier, prettier, wittier or danced better! The girl who cuts my hair told me she can’t drink tequila. And why? “Well, one night…” …and we all know the rest of that story. Her drink of choice is vodka. Have you ever, I asked, sat down with some friends and slammed shots of cheap vodka down your throat until you went blind? Still, it’s hard to deny tequila has rendered some fun tunes. An all-time favorite became Pee Wee Herman’s dance groove: ‘Tequila’ by The Champs. In fact, that one may be the top tequila song of all time because of Pee Wee’s signature dance – let’s face it, tequila can lead to some pretty stupid dance moves – and because it’s easy to sing. The lyrical content of the song is a total of three words, and they are all ‘tequila!’ Speaking of lyrical content, Joe Nichols had a #1 hit with ‘Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off.’ Given its title, I’m not sure why it needed any lyrics. Seems fairly self-explanatory. Click here for more Tales From Tibby!
  • Did you see the recent news story from New Jersey about the woman turned away from a flight because of her emotional support animal? In case you didn’t, the woman had been told in advance by United Airlines that she could not bring her emotional support animal onboard because they couldn’t accommodate the peacock. A peacock, y’all! Her emotional support animal was a feakin’ peacock! She showed up for the flight anyway. With the peacock. Access denied. Most of us watching or reading that story probably rolled our eyes and gave whoever else was around that look. You know the look.  ‘Really?!’ Also known as the ‘is she on crack?’ look. This story originally was going to be about her and others like her, people with emotional support animals (ESA). Specifically, people with unconventional emotional support animals. People wanting to fly with pets has gotten so whacky that Delta has just updated it’s ESA policy, saying, “Customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums known as sugar gliders, snakes, spiders and more...” I had planned to write about the peacock lady. I wanted to write: Ma’am, number one, that peacock don’t care about your emotions. And number two, I’m betting you’re single. Then, a couple of things happened.  First, another ESA story emerged involving an emotional-support dog that attacked a passenger on a plane. In this case, though, the dog was a veteran’s ESA. That a veteran is part of the story gave me pause enough. (Gave me pause… get it? Pause… paws… OK, not that funny). Even putting that aside, though, if you’ve ever owned a good dog, you know that dog does indeed care about your emotions.  So, what do I do? Leave out people with dogs? The other incident derailing my original story involves a donkey. On my walk past a nearby farm just this week, I stopped and asked the young woman shoveling out the barn what happened to the white horse that had been there for years. “The white horse died, but we may get another one. That white horse and the donkey were close. The donkey is really lonesome.” What? “When we buried the horse, the donkey stood nearby and watched the whole thing. It was like she was at a graveside service.” The woman spoke of it all very matter-of-factly, like a seasoned farm hand would. On the farm, when a large animal dies, you take your backhoe or whatever implement you have to dig a hole, you dig that hole, then push the animal in and cover it up. The facts of life. She spoke just as stoically about the donkey’s loneliness. No emotion, just ‘yeah… the donkey’s lost her buddy. We may have to do something about that.’ But if a donkey can have an ESA, I knew my story idea-in-the-making, poking fun of people with emotional support animals, was going south quickly. So, I’ve decided to change gears. Let’s look instead at what other animals might make a good ESA. Like, a turkey. If you ever breakdown emotionally and need a meal, voila! And after eating the turkey, you could be thankful. (Thankful… turkey… Thanksgiving…? Is funny still not happening here?) How about a fish? Imagine, a friend comes over. She needs to unload her troubles, so you dutifully sit and listen as she drones on, endlessly. And you finally say, “Why don’t you kiss my bass.” But you mean it. What a friend! How ‘bout a bumblebee? Maybe all you need to pick you up is a little buzz. Speak of buzz, what about a buzzard? If you’re a particularly deep person, a buzzard could pick your brain. (And any other parts. Once you’re gone, of course.) Feel free to offer your own thoughts. There’s gotta be plenty of other animals that would make ESAs. I’m sure you’ve heard about the (true story) incident recently involving a lady with an emotional-support hamster? After being told she couldn’t have it onboard a Spirit Airlines flight, she flushed it down the toilet. You can Google up the details, if you want. It’s a weird story. But I have to wonder what kind of person relies on a hamster for emotional support. I doubt that hamster cared about her emotions. I bet she’s single. Click here for more Tales From Tibby!  

Local News

  • There are reports of a homicide on Athens’ east side: the victim is said to be a pregnant woman, 24 years old, killed in Carriage Court off Barnett Shoals Road. Athens-Clarke County Police say the shooting happened around 9:30 Monday night. The victim is identified this morning as Auriel Callaway. She died after being taken to an Athens hospital. Callaway was four months pregnant with a fetus that did not survive. A 2 year-old who was in the home at the time of the shooting is being taken care of by other family members. There are reports that the boy’s mother was the shooting victim and that she was holding his hand at the time of the homicide. There is no word yet on suspects or motive.  Police say they are questioning possible witnesses and other persons of interest.    Athens-Clarke County Police say someone apparently stole upwards of $20,000 from a pizza restaurant on Hull Road, theft of cash from the restaurant that has taken place over the past year. Police investigators say they are looking at restaurant employees as suspects.    Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies say they have found and arrested the man who ran away from a car on I-85, leaving the scene of a traffic stop and leaving a child inside the car. Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas says the child is safe, turned over first to DFACS and then to a grandmother in Atlanta. The suspect was spotted and arrested Monday afternoon, walking along the Interstate in Banks County.  An 8 year-old boy from Hartwell is in the burn unit of a hospital in Greenville South Carolina: the boy was injured in an explosion at a home in Gillsville. Banks County EMS says the boy suffered burns on his face and arms when someone tossed a plastic bottle filled with flammable liquids into a burn pile.    The GBI is releasing more details about an officer-involved shooting in Dalton. A police officer was called to an intersection where a man was jumping on cars and running in and out of traffic. The suspect attacked the officer, who uses a taser on 32 year-old David Schmitt. Schmitt took the taser away and tried to use it on the officer. That’s when Schmitt was shot. He went to the hospital in Dalton with what are said to be non-life-threatening wounds. The officer suffered minor injuries. 
  • — Four former Georgia Bulldogs – Kenny Gaines, Albert Jackson, Travis Leslie and Charles Mann – will participate in the 2019 edition of “The Basketball Tournament,” which tips off on Friday. Known more commonly as simply the “TBT,” a 64-team bracket is competing for $2-million in winner-take-all prize money.   Interestingly, three of those Bulldogs will face off in one of the opening games of the tournament’s Lexington Regional. On Friday at 3:00 p.m. ET, Leslie and the “Ft. Wayne Champs” will face “Showtime,” the team for which Jackson and Mann are playing. That contest is set to be streamed on ESPN3.   Leslie was an All-SEC performer for the Bulldogs in 2011 and scored 1,099 points in three seasons with the Bulldogs before declaring for the NBA Draft. He was drafted by the L.A. Clippers in the second round of the 2011 Draft and has played primarily in France during his professional career. Last season, Leslie averaged 12.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game for Boulazac.   Jackson was a four-year letter winner from 2006-10 who moved into the Bulldogs’ starting five late during the 2008 campaign. Jackson had a pair of double-digit outings in Georgia’s improbable run to the 2008 SEC Tournament title when the Dogs won four games in four days – including two in one day – to secure an NCAA Tournament bid.   Mann was a SEC All-Freshman selection in 2013 and an All-SEC performer in 2014. He started 106 games for the Bulldogs, including 98 of 100 games during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. He has since played professionally in Europe, Canada and the G-League. Mann ranks No. 15 among Georgia’s career scoring leaders with 1,411 points. Much of those came at the free throw line, where he is the Bulldogs’ all-time leader in attempts (896) and makes (618). In fact, he ranks second to only Pete Maravich in SEC history in trips to the free throw line.   Gaines will play for “Jimmy V,” competing in the Syracuse Regional beginning next Friday. They will face “Brotherly Love” on July 26 at 1:00 p.m. The “Jimmy V” team is competing in an effort to raise proceeds for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.   Gaines also was named All-SEC in 2014, and he ranks No. 21 on the Bulldogs’ career scoring leaders ledger with 1,324 points. Among Georgia’s career statistical leaders, Gaines also ranks No. 4 in 3-pointers (213), No. 5 in 3-point attempts (569) and No. 7 in 3-point percentage (.374). Since graduating from UGA, Gaines has played professionally in France and Lithuania. He recently signed to play in Italy during the 2019-20 season.   'We are honored to work with the V Foundation in this year’s TBT,” said Alex Neumann, the team’s general manager. “To be able to play for such an incredible organization that does the kind of work for cancer research that they do is a special opportunity for us. We’ve seen teams participate in TBT in past years for great causes, and it’s an inspiration to see the way people can rally around them. We’re hoping to garner that kind of support playing for Jimmy V this year. We are excited about the roster that we have constructed and can’t wait to start turning some heads in July and for years to come.'   About The Basketball Tournament TBT is a 64-team, single elimination summer tournament airing on ESPN where the winning team takes home $2 million. TBT’s 2019 format divides a 64-team field into eight regions for Rounds 1-3, with each region seeded 1-8. The last team standing will claim a winner-take-all prize of $2 million and the champion of each regional will receive a cash prize equal to 25% of the ticket sales of that particular region. 
  • The Athens-Clarke County Water Conservation Office says there is a new tool to help local residents better manage their water use. City Hall says the Water Smart Portal is an online resource that allows water customers to set up leak notifications and monitor water bills.    From the ACC Government website… Water customers now have access to a free, online tool to manage their water use. Athens-Clarke County (ACC) Public Utilities Department is introducing the WaterSmart AMI Portal, an online tool that allows residents to set up leak notifications and monitor their water bill.The WaterSmart system has the potential to save residents money and protect the local water supply through leak detection. By creating a WaterSmart account, customers can receive leak alerts and other notifications by text, voice, and email. Customers also have the ability to track their water use in near real-time, allowing residents to find and resolve leaks more quickly with careful monitoring.Other WaterSmart features include water-efficiency tips, water use and bill forecasting, and comparisons of home water usage to similar ACC households. To take advantage of these online tools, ACC Public Utilities Department (PUD) water customers can enroll for WaterSmart by visiting www.accgov.com/WaterSmart.The recent PUD upgrades to the water meters throughout the county provide the means to offer this service to customers. Using the same positive displacement meters the PUD has relied on for years to measure water use, the new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) changed the way meters are read. Instead of manually reading meters on a monthly basis, the AMI System now remotely sends water usage data daily. The consumption history is then made available to customers in easy to read graphs with WaterSmart technology.The PUD values customer feedback. A frequent request from customers is for the ability to pay water bills online with the use of a credit card. The PUD is currently evaluating options to offer this feature on the WaterSmart platform in the near future. Sign up for a WaterSmart AMI Portal account to receive notification of when this feature is available.For questions about how to register for your free WaterSmart account or to schedule a presentation, please contact Laurie Loftin at 706-613-3729 or visit www.accgov.com/WaterSmart.
  • Falcons safety J.J. Wilcox, who signed with the team in the offseason, went down with a right knee injury about an hour into the first practice of training camp on Monday. “I don’t have an injury updates from today,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said after practice. “I’ll follow up with anything tomorrow. Nothing from the training staff today that I can share.” Before Quinn could follow up, it was reported by NFL Media that Wilcox is out for the season with a torn ACL.  However, a source familiar with the injury, would not confirm the torn ACL, but said that Wilcox will get a second option on the injury this week.  Also, reserve defensive tackle Michael Bennett suffered a broken ankle, according to NFL Media.  Wilcox, 28, who played at Georgia Southern and Cairo High, was working his way to the ball as a runner was getting down the field when he went to the ground. Wilcox was escorted to the sideline by defensive backs Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal. He couldn’t put any pressure on the leg and was immediately attended to by the two members of the training staff.
  • The University of North Georgia campus in Dahlonega is hosting today’s Georgia Chamber of Commerce Rural Prosperity Forum. It’s underway at 8 o’clock this morning in the University’s Convocation Center.From the Ga Chamber of Commerce… The Georgia Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the first-ever Rural Prosperity North Georgia Forum on July 23 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University of North Georgia Convocation Center.  Following the widely successful annual Rural Prosperity Summit in Tifton, the newly introduced North Georgia Forum focuses on the unique aspects of rural communities in North Georgia and seeks to bring solutions that cultivates prosperity for these portions of our state. For the first time in the North Georgia community, guests will have the opportunity to hear from speakers about the local challenges and solutions that are often faced. There will be networking opportunities for attendees, local business owners, and industry leaders to make meaningful connections and build relationships that could strengthen their business.    The honorable Senator Steve Gooch and Representative Rick Jasperse will discuss the legislative outlook on rural revitalization. There will also be a North Georgia regional speaker, Chuck Reece, who is the Editor of The Bitter Southerner. Additional speakers include representatives from the Office of Attorney General of Georgia, Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Georgia EMC, Paladin Wireless, Hart County IBA and many more.    “The Georgia Chamber works diligently with our statewide partners to address the challenges that face rural Georgia. The Rural Prosperity North Georgia Forum is an opportunity for attendees to hear from industry leaders, government officials, business owners, and key community partners about new concepts to help our rural communities grow,” said Chris Clark, President and CEO of the Georgia Chamber. “We are invested in finding real solutions for Georgia and believe that this Forum is an important part of that process.”

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS, Ga. The SEC Media Days voters have spoken, making their (Alabama) picks, and scattering brad crumbs around the rest of the league. To be the best, you have to beat the best, they say, and so previously little attention or credit is doled out to other schools when it comes to preseason All-SEC selections. RELATED: Six biggest Georgia snubs on preseason All-SEC team The Crimson Tide's dominance on the first team (11 to Georgia's 4) has been well-documented, with much of this year's voting based on last season's results. The Bulldogs, however, have several players with All-SEC ability who have yet to put up the stats or turn enough heads outside of Athens to have been noticed. Here are 12 All-SEC candidates from Georgia who did not make the first, second or third- All-SEC preseason teams, a couple of them having already been nominated on the 'biggest snubs' list: James Cook Out of the backfield, in the slot or as a return man, Cook possesses the game-breaking speed and cutback ability to score from anywhere on he field. Demetris Robertston One year bigger, stronger and tougher after his transfer from Cal, look for D-Rob to take the top off defenses and make plays whether outside or in the slot at receiver. Eric Stokes A sticky cover cornerback who produced when called upon, Stokes is also adequate in run support. Tyson Campbell Toasted early but seasoned late, there's a reason Kirby Smart started Campbell on the corner as a true freshman. Malik Herring NFL frame, good quickness and strength and a desire to live up to his head coach's expectations bode well for Herring on the D-Line. Tae Crowder Converted running back will be reacting more than thinking from inside linebacker this season, already on NFL scouts radar Trey Hill Sophomore takes to the center position naturally, teammates refer to his legs as 'tree trunks' Brian Herrien Hungry and durable, 1,000-yard season could be in reach depending on D'Andre Swift and Zamir White workloads. Tyler Simmons Simmons is all about speed and toughness, a committed team player who competed most of last season wearing a shoulder brace at receiver. Jordan Davis The first of the three players that follow in this article off the 'snubs' list, Davis was an FWAA Freshman All-American defensive tackle who dominated at times. Monty Rice Perhaps the biggest snub of all, Smart has earmarked Rice for greatness, and certainly, a captain role in the linebacker corps. Lawrence Cager The Miami transfer receiver is a 6-foot-5 former high school high jump champion with a 40-inch vertical, and while speed is a question, catch radius is not. DawgNation from SEC Media Days Kirby Smart says no emotion figures into Jacksonville talks Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason: Kirby Smart is 'like a brother' South Carolina weighs in on Georgia-Clemson toughness debate Alabama players agree, Georgia toughest team' they faced The unbelievable story of how Herschel Walker chose Georgia Kirby Smart puts breaks on recruiting trail SEC Network analyst: I love Georgia this year' Outland Trophy favorite Andrew Thomas locked into junior year Florida says playing UGA in Jacksonville a home game' Gators believe they're closer to Georgia than scores indicate Georgia football offensive line, by position Podcast: 3 overlooked Georgia football topics from media days The post 12 Georgia football players with All-SEC potential not on preseason lists appeared first on DawgNation.
  • CBS officially announced that Georgia and Notre Dame will be played under the lights in primetime at 8 p.m. ET on Sept. 21. Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and Jamie Erdahl will be on the call for CBS. This will be the first time Georgia has hosted Notre Dame and only the third time these two historic programs have ever faced each other. The Bulldogs are 2-0 in the series against the Fighting Irish with a 17-10 victory in the 1981 Sugar Bowl and a 20-19 victory at Notre Dame Stadium in 2017.
  • HOOVER, Ala. There were many questions posed to Jake Fromm during one single whirlwind day at SEC Media Days last month. He took at least three hours of questions. Give or take a photo opp or a sunglass pose or two. Alabama? Yes. Mock draft white noise? Yep. Fish or hunt? Yes. Duck hunt or play football? Yessir. DawgNation wanted to know the answer to a specific question: How does he rate his performance after games? When he turns on the film, what is he looking for? Fromm, the quarterback known for having the clear head at all times due to immense preparation, shared a little insight into his work behind the scenes with that one. 'It kind of starts [number] one with decisions,' Jake Fromm said. 'Do we make the right decisions? The right checks? Pre-snap? Before the play? Do we make the right decision after? Did I try to force a ball? Did I check it down too soon? Are my eyes in the wrong spots? So a lot of different things, you know.' 'Really just kind of seeing what kind of throws did we make. The kind of errors. Did we make really bad errors? Did we make small ones and really did we move the ball on third down? There are a lot of different things we are looking at. Really trying to critique decisions. Then we will kind of go into physically like Hey is my foot off a little bit? Is my shoulder off? Am I not getting my elbow up when I throw?' so a lot of different little things.' 'You kind of watch it once or twice. Sometimes three times and see what you see and you see something different every single time.' Grading Jake Fromm: What does he see as his best games? Media can point to a stat line. The metric followers can pour over his QB rating and its intricate formulas. There can be a highlight-worthy throw that goes viral everywhere. The trifecta: ESPN. SEC Network. Social media. But that's how Joe Media or Joe Fan gauges a good game for the Georgia QB. Which games did Fromm feel he was at his best? The junior All-American candidate said he was closest to his standard (a likely unattainable one) at the end of the 2018 season. 'Gosh, I think the last two,' Fromm said. 'The Georgia Tech game and the Alabama game last year. Kind of finished the season and kind of thought I was playing at a high level. Thought I was making really good decisions moving the ball. Those are the two that kind of jump out to me right at the moment.' 'Just moving the ball. Making good decisions and making the big-time throws when they were needed.' Here is how Fromm fared in those games: Fromm versus Georgia Tech: 13-for-16, 175 yards, 4 TDs, O INTs Fromm versus Alabama: 25-for-39, 301 yards, 3 TDs, O INTs The first game he played in 2018 was pretty strong, too. Fromm versus Oklahoma: 20-for-29, 210 yards, 2 TDs, O INTs The junior from Warner Robins actually finished his 2018 season on a surge which saw him throw for 17 touchdowns against two interceptions. That was coming off a poor performance for the entire team, including Fromm, at LSU. This year he is the clear starter and a team leader. There is no other 5-star peer on the depth chart to compete with for starting reps under center. This is his team. Fromm's name will be in the lineup every day in the same vein that a Freddie Freeman or a Mike Trout knows that one off night won't cost him a start. Fromm will still put in the exact same work in the film room regardless. Does he see that helping him to get better and play better in 2019? 'That kind of allows me to get back to [my] high school days and have a little more fun in practice,' Fromm said. 'Really go out and try different things. For me, in high school, there's a lot of kind of trial and error in what I did. It didn't always make [my] coach happy, but it really kind of helped me play. Do you know? Hey, this is what I can and this is what I can't do.' 'I'm going to have a little more fun at practice and go out and try to make some more plays and see what happens.' The post Fromm talk: How does Jake Fromm grade himself after a game? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • HOOVER, Ala. Jake Fromm and Jake Bentley go way back and have stayed friends throughout their careers at Georgia and South Carolina. So much so that Bentley said the quarterbacks might even meet up in Greenville, S.C., and go on a double date. ' I told some guys earlier, he dates a volleyball player, so do I,' Bentley said, 'so we were going to go double date up in Greenville at some point and time before the season starts, so that would be pretty cool.' WATCH: Carolina QB Jake Bentley compares Georgia to Clemson Bentley said he has been impressed working beside Fromm in the offseason. ' You watch Jake (Fromm), and he's just very consistent as far as how he plays, he doesn't miss many throws,' Bentley said. 'He's very detail oriented, just sitting with him in the meeting room, and how he goes about his business is very professional.' NFL scouts have noticed both Fromm and Bentley, both of whom could be in the 2020 NFL Draft class. The quarterbacks have both been trained at QB Country in Mobile, Ala., by David Morris. RELATED: Morris breaks down Jake Fromm Bentley, who led South Carolina to a bowl win over Michigan his freshman season, impressed at the Manning Camp. Jim Nagy, a former NFL scout with four Super Bowl rings who's now executive director of the Senior Bowl, heaped praise. ' Walked away from Manning Passing Academy last Friday night impressed with @GamecockFB QB Jake Bentleyand that was before he won 'Air It Out' competition,' Nagy said . 'Ball was coming out quicker and cleaner than past years.' Walked away from Manning Passing Academy last Friday night impressed with @GamecockFB QB Jake Bentleyand that was before he won 'Air It Out' competition. Ball was coming out quicker and cleaner than past years. Could mean a big year for @Edwards_Bryan4. #thedraftstartsinMobile pic.twitter.com/IFAO38Vs8t Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) July 1, 2019 Kirby Smart also had positive things to say about Bentley, who the Bulldogs will play host to in Sanford Stadium on Oct. 12. 'He's a leader, he's a guy who has played,' Smart said of Bentley. 'Any time you're playing a guy with that kind of experience, it's very similar to Jake (Fromm), except he's got one whole year on top of that, and they've got some good wideouts coming back with them.' Smart, of course, loves his Jake, too. 'This guy (Fromm) is the epitome of what college football is all about,' Smart said. 'Number one, he stands up for the right things, he's very strong in his faith, he lives it. 'I have a lot of respect for his ability to be who he is, be confident in who he is and still lead our team and not create any jealousy while he's doing it.' Jake Bentley Comparing the Jakes DawgNation from SEC Media Days Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason: Kirby Smart is 'like a brother' South Carolina weighs in on Georgia-Clemson toughness debate Alabama players agree, Georgia toughest team' they faced The unbelievable story of how Herschel Walker chose Georgia Kirby Smart puts breaks on recruiting trail SEC Network analyst: I love Georgia this year' Outland Trophy favorite Andrew Thomas locked into junior year Florida says playing UGA in Jacksonville a home game' Gators believe they're closer to Georgia than scores indicate Georgia football offensive line, by position Podcast: 3 overlooked Georgia football topics from media days The post WATCH: South Carolina QB Jake Bentley suggests double date with Jake Fromm appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Aaron Schunk was one of the most consistent hitters at Georgia throughout his three years with the Bulldogs. During his time wearing the red and black, Schunk had a career .312 batting average with 19 home runs and 114 runs-batted-in.  Schunk has not skipped a beat with the Boise Hawks throughout his first 32 games. During those 32 games, Schunk is slashing .311/.380/.500 with an .880 OPS. He has recorded three home runs, 12 RBI, 12 bases-on-balls and only 16 strikeouts in the Northwest League.  On July 20, Schunk recorded his first “perfect game” with the Hawks going 4-for-4 with a walk, one RBI and three runs scored.