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Tales from Tibby

    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    To some extent, golf has been replaced by travel.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!  
  • I’m not sure when ‘The Season’ begins. Is it Thanksgiving into Christmas, then into New Years? Or do we back it up to Halloween? Halloween into Thanksgiving into Christmas into New Years? And why do we say ‘new years’ like there are several of them? All I know is I eat a lot in ‘The Season.’ I’ve made pecan pies before, but making them this year was different. For some reason, this year I paid attention to what actually goes into making a pecan pie. It may be because I’m trying (in vain) to reverse the slow trend of becoming a slightly larger person every year. I’m still trying to get my brain wrapped around this notion that what I put in my mouth has some direct correlation to the size of my midsection. So... pecan pie: -syrup-sugar That’s your pie: liquid sugar, granular sugar. The sugars need something to hold them together, so let’s toss in a few eggs. Of course there are pecans, but it could be anything. Want a peanut pie? Walnut pie? Use dill chips and it becomes a pickle pie. The point is, we’ve named the pecan pie not after the mainingredients but after the only healthy ingredient in the thing. Rightfully, it should be called a sugar pie. “Oh, you’re making sugar pies for the holidays? Do you do anything special?” “Well, I like to top mine off with pecans. Adds a little crunch to the sugar.” Years ago, I made a ‘dark’ version of pecan pie. Instead of a light corn syrup, I used molasses. Instead of white sugar, I used dark brown sugar. I called it Pecan Mud Pie. I should have called it Pootie Pie. It hung around for days in unfavorable ways. Pecan pie is hard to turn down, especially if you know the reputation of the person or restaurant that is offering it. Once you become known for making a good pecan pie, you are considered an excellent cook for anything else you make. You could prepare an entire meal from canned food, nuke it in the microwave and serve it on plastic plates, and it would be the best meal ever. Because we’re all just waiting on your delicious pecan pie at the end of the meal. My pies this year were a failure. While they looked good coming out of the oven, apparently, I did something wrong. Serving them was serving a soupy, syrupy mess. With pecans. They had good pecan pie flavor and got eaten (with spoons), but I doubt I will be asked to make them again for the family gathering. I’m OK with that. Maybe it’s just to discourage myself from eating something that will only make me a little rounder in the middle, but next time I’m serving pecan pie, I’m gonna call it like I see it. “Alright now, I’m serving diabetes for dessert. Who wants Cool Whip on theirs?”
  • Kids like gross. Always have. Toy makers know this and have been delivering gross toys for decades. Garbage Pail Kids, Burp Balls, Queasy Bake Oven…. do a search for ‘gross toys’ and you’ll find not only the toys currently vying for your kids’ attention, you may also find what appealed to you as a child. Anyone remember making creepy crawlers? Then eating them? Seems like Santa Claus himself brought that one to my childhood house. With no children of our own, our home these days is generally gross-free. (Pay no attention to anything my wife might say about me and Mexican food.) But kids occasionally show up, and the ones we see most frequently know my wife and I are gamers. Ping pong, basketball, board games… we’re usually all in for whatever challenge gets thrown at us. And that brings us to Bean Boozled. For those not familiar with this game, allow me to introduce you. I’ll call it a board game but if it has a board, I’ve never seen it. It does have a spinner. And jelly beans. What could go wrong? The rules, as explained to us by the kids, are simple: Flick the spinner and whatever color it lands on, you eat a jelly bean of corresponding color. That’s it. You now know how to play Bean Boozled. When you eat up all the jelly beans, refill bags are available at places like Cracker Barrel. That’s how wholesome the game is. Except… Each color jelly bean can have one of two flavors. One of those flavors is tasty; the other, not so much. That brown jelly bean might indeed taste like chocolate pudding. But it might taste like canned dog food. The white jelly bean? Could be coconut, could be sour milk. I will attest that while I don’t really know what some of the gross flavors taste like (slimy socks?), they’ve done a pretty good job with replicating the taste of sour milk! My wife and I weren’t the only adult players, but we hung in there longer than the others. One of them got a booger-flavored bean and dropped out immediately. My wife grabbed a trash can after her first bad bean. She was willing to keep going but prepared to unload any further undesirable flavors. She didn’t last long. I became a case study for stupidity. Not only did I hang in there until I had tasted all the flavors, good and bad, but when asked to play again the next night, I agreed. My wife declined. So did the friend who went down on his first bean. “Tasted boogers all night,” was his excuse. Nasty. Which of course is why kids love it.
  • Let’s jump right in. Today’s gripe: Moms who put bows on their babies’ heads. I seriously don’t get this. Every single girl child that pops up on my social media feed has a bow on her head. What’s going on here? Trying to make your baby look like… Dumbo? Minnie Mouse? A rabbit? I have a niece claiming that just as with big hair, the bigger the bow, the closer to Jesus. Yeah, we say that in that South, but it’s only because bad style needs an excuse, if you ask me. A random baby that may or may not be family.   Not only is this a silly trend, some of y’all have pretty rotten tastes in bows.* Somebody needed to say that. What you see in those pictures is your little angel looking so precious. What I see is trouble looming. So let me just go ahead and prepare you for the conversation your surly teenage daughter is going to have with you in about 17 years: “Can I ask why you ruined all my baby pictures by wrapping my head up like you were going to give it away for Christmas?”“Can I get a tattoo? What do mean, you think it will make me look silly? Didn’t seem to bother you when I was a baby.” “What’s with that bow? Had Wal-Mart run out of pretty ones or was Dollar General having a sale?” I have another question. All of the babies I see have known fathers. Where are the fathers? Why are the dads not stepping up and saying something? Be a man! Assert yourself! Or at least claim half ownership of rights to decorating the baby’s head and take the bow off. I’ve never had children but I can assure you if my wife wanted to put a bow on Dumpling’s head, we’d be striking a deal. 'Sure, you can put a bow on her head if I never have to do poopy-diaper duty again for the rest of eternity.' Something like that. I’m a b-a-a-a-d man! Oh, I can feel your eyes rolling, moms. I know what you’re thinking. ‘Grumpy old man.’ But I know what you’re really doing. You’re trying to mask your baby’s fat head.  Look, that’s just the facts of life. Most babies’ heads are too big for their bodies when they are born. What happened to just saying a ‘bless her heart’ and knowing she would grow into it eventually? Has anyone considered that a fat-headed baby with a bow only makes fat-headed baby’s head look bigger? Moms, trust me on this. Do your baby a favor. Buck the trend. #saynotothebow (You can steal that; I stole your baby’s picture.) No need to thank me. Just doing what I can to make you a better parent. Heaven knows, y’all need help. *No specific accusations are intended for the babies pictured in this story. Although if the shoe fits…
  • It was something, the eclipse. Especially to be in the path of totality where the moon would completely block the sun for a few moments. The stars had aligned for us. And we were ready. Plans had been in the works for months. One neighbor had ripped off some images from the internet and designed t-shirts celebrating the event. Another neighbor had purchased moonpies and sun chips for snacks. There was beer. About the only issue facing us was where to see it. In our area, watching the eclipse start to finish would take about 3 hours and options on where to see the sky for that amount of time were limited. The few houses that make up our community are in a deep valley, heavily wooded, and a lot of the neighborhood only gets sunshine filtered through the oaks, maples and tall white pine trees surrounding us. The day before the eclipse, several neighbors wandered up and down the lone dirt road that connects us and determined that the cabin on the end offered the best viewing from both the lower porch and in river itself. Sitting in the river is where many of us wanted to be. More planning. A small tree would be harvested. It would be wedged between the rocks in the river so that floats could be attached. Further, the river was shallow enough at this spot that chairs could be put in the water. Bonus: this cabin had a refrigerator in the basement. Those sitting on the porch didn’t have to walk very far to fetch and toss beers to those in the water. The neck on this event was getting redder by the minute. Everything went exactly according to plan. The sky was blue, the day was warm, the water was cool. And man, down in our valley where we have limited sunshine to begin with, when totality came, it got dark! Perfect. Except… Many had gathered in the water a good hour or so prior to the start of the eclipse. The event had come and gone, and people were still in the water. Happy people, lounging in their chairs and tubes. And there was beer. We were into about the 4th hour of the party when someone just had to point out that no one had taken a bathroom break. Here we are, lined up one behind the other in the water, and no one had stood up and announced that they would ‘be right back.’ No one had left the water to ‘take a break.’ We just sat in the river. And there was beer. These things go unspoken. Or should. But when someone speaks of it, smiles turn to sneers. Suspicious eyes are cast to everyone around. Further, in the last couple of hours two pairs of those cheap eclipse-viewing glasses had come floating by us, meaning someone we could not see was upstream from us. At least two people, based on the number of glasses. Were they also in the water? Did they also have beer? These are questions best unanswered. But the subject had been broached. Resolution became necessary. In the end, we all agreed none of us would never do anything like that. Despite being older men and women, our friendship was strong and our bladders stronger. Everything’s cool, everything’s OK. One day, when you and your children are visiting the loveliest place on God’s earth you’ve ever seen, and you happen upon a pristine little trout stream, gurgling its way over the rocks, tumbling merrily to a larger river somewhere, and Little Precious looks up at you and asks, “Can I take a drink from it?” Don’t be my dad. My dad said, “Sure. Why not?”
  • When you’re 14, you’re never going to be old. Until one day you are.  When you get older, the best you can hope for is to be cool - the cool mom or dad, the cool aunt or uncle - and hope the young'uns around you see Rico Suave instead of Ricky Ricardo (who would have turned 100 this year).   That’s not the way it works, of course, but it’s really all most of us have to hang a hat on. That and our increasingly shiny heads.   Part of the perception of cool in this digital world is the ability to keep up with the latest ‘thing.’ Or at least to be perceived as trying to keep up.   So, when my teenage companions suggested I needed to be on Snapchat, I surrendered my phone.   “Set it up.”   If you’re not familiar with Snapchat, my best and shortest description would be that it’s texting with pictures. There’s so much more to it, but that’s the basic function.   Further, unless you make a special effort to save a Snapchat, it disappears for good, typically after 10 seconds. There is a lot to like about that, especially if you are fond of sharing pictures of you doing stupid or illegal things (I’m guessing).   I suppose it’s because your chats disappear the Snapchat logo is a ghost. The ghost is actually a blank canvas. You can insert a photo of you or anything else in that space. I had chosen to do nothing, and it was not sitting well with the 16-year old beside me.   She suggested I needed an avatar. In digital-speak, an avatar is a digital representative of you.   Think of it as a personal emoji.   For example, take your basic smiley face emoji 😊. Now, give Smiley Face some of your features, like the same color hair, that same skin tone, your dimples, glasses, if you wear them, etc.   You’re basically creating a cartoon character in your likeness.   You bet there’s an app for that. Several, probably.   Let the games begin.   She would look at me, then look at her options for designing me. “You need a longer face,” she commented as she picked a template to make that happen.   “His nose isn’t long enough,” her brother offered, thus involving himself in the process.   It started getting personal. Really personal.   My wrinkles were discussed. Scars and moles were talked about. And I guess I had bloodshot eyes that day because the question, ‘can you make the whites of his eyes red?’ was asked.   Assigning my avatar white hair was a no-brainer, but they argued over which available option looked most like a guy going bald.   Ultimately, my avatar was finished. It's not easy seeing yourself through the eyes of a teenager, but I wasn’t too disappointed. Given that they were only creating my face, I avoided some other pitfalls common to men of a certain age:   -pot belly  -corroded toenails  -ear hair  -nose hair  -turkey neck  -baggy pants (‘cuz you got no butt)   I thought I got off pretty easy. The 14-year old thought his sister could have done a better job around my eyes.   “He’s got some pretty gnarly eyebrows.”   I do. And he will too one day. As we’re all fond of saying: There’s only one option to getting older, and you ain’t gonna like it much.   But I’m good with where I am in life. And I'm keeping busy by working on my own app, inspired by Snapchat. Since it will only work on teenagers, its working name is Teenzap.   Here's how it will work: use the app to take a photo of any teenager, and in 10 seconds, they will disappear.   Not the photo. In fact, you may want to keep the photo. It will be all that remains of that precious pimply face.   I'll keep you posted.

Local News

  • The Atlanta Braves announced Monday that the organization has agreed to terms on a two-year contract for manager Brian Snitker. The contract does include a third-year club option for 2021.  Snitker took over as manager for the Braves in 2016 and led the team to their first National League East Division title in five years this season.  Here is the full statement from the Atlanta Braves: The Atlanta #Braves and manager Brian Snitker have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with a club option for the 2021 season: pic.twitter.com/CsReyEyU9x — Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 15, 2018 TRENDING STORIES: Georgia already topping list for flu activity in the nation President Trump to view storm damage in Georgia Atlanta police seize drugs and guns from a popular food mart Snitker has been with the Braves organization for 43 seasons, including three seasons as manager for Triple-A club in Gwinnett.  The National League 'Manager of the Year' candidate, who turns 63 on Wednesday, owns a 221-227 (.493) record in his two-plus seasons. Information from our partners at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was used in this report.
  • Jackson County Commissioners meet tonight at the courthouse in Jefferson: their session is underway at 6 o’clock this evening. Commissioners will consider a proposal from developers who wants 2 million square feet of warehouse space on 357 acres off Josh Pirkle Road in Jackson County. It’s a project opposed by the Jackson County Planning Commission. There is an afternoon meeting of the Oconee County Industrial Development Authority, 4 o’clock at Oconee County Chamber of Commerce offices in Watkinsville.  Tonight’s meeting of the Oconee County Planning Commission is set for 7 o’clock at the courthouse in Watkinsville.  Madison County’s Industrial Development Authority meets at 6 o’clock this evening at the Historic Courthouse in Danielsville.
  • Athens-Clarke County Police Lieutenant Jeff Clark begins his new assignment as the Department’s Deputy Police Chief. Clark is a 20-year veteran of local law enforcement. He takes over for Justin Gregory, who resigned earlier this month. The naming of a new deputy chief comes from interim Chief Mike Hunsinger, who took over after the resignation of former Chief Scott Freeman, who was asked to resign by Athens-Clarke County Manger Blaine Williams.  From the Athens-Clarke Co PD... ACCPD Interim Chief Mike Hunsinger has appointed Lt. Jeff Clark, a 20-year veteran with the ACCPD, to Interim Deputy Chief. Interim Deputy Chief Clark rose through the ranks from Patrolman to Detective, serving as a Sergeant and Lieutenant in both the Patrol and Criminal Investigation Bureaus. Clark is a veteran of the U.S. Army, a graduate of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police Command College and a graduate of Columbus State College with a Master of Public Administration degree. “Interim Deputy Chief Clark is highly regarded in the department and has the education and experience needed for this position. I look forward to working with him in his new role,” stated Interim Chief Hunsinger. As Interim Deputy Chief, Clark will oversee the day-to-day operation of all police functions. Outside his work with the ACCPD, Clark volunteers with a variety of local organizations. “My favorite part of law enforcement is engaging with the officers and citizens to address public safety concerns. I look forward to working with the employees of the ACCPD and the citizens of Athens-Clarke County,' said Clark.
  • The GBI continues its investigation into a deadly officer involved shooting in Hall County: a man was killed by Hall County deputies after a 7-hour SWAT standoff at a home in East Hall. Those deputies say he fired at them from the front door of the house on Truelove Road. James Manus was 41 years old. No law enforcement officers were injured. From the Hall County Sheriff’s Office… On October 13, 2018, just before 5 PM, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to 3185 Truelove Road, in East Hall County, regarding a man with a gun.    Upon arrival, they learned that the resident of that address had pointed at handgun at neighbors, and when the Deputies attempted to make contact with him, he barricaded himself inside the residence and refused all attempts at communication. SWAT team members and Investigators arrived on the scene a short time later, and an extended effort to establish contact and negotiate with the suspect was undertaken.    At approximately 11 PM, the suspect began shooting at Deputies from within the residence. Just after midnight, he appeared in the front doorway and again fired at Deputies, who returned fire, fatally striking the suspect.    No Deputies or bystanders were injured during the incident.    As is customary in officer-involved shooting cases, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called to the scene and has assumed the investigation.    No further information will be released at this time, pending the GBI investigation. 
  • There has been a second deadly vehicle vs motorcycle accident in less than a week in Athens: last week, 27 year-old Douglas Nash was killed when his motorcycle collided with a car on Barnett Shoals Drive; last night, 43 year-old Antion Brown of Athens was killed in a wreck on Spring Valley Road. The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the crash, which happened at Spring Valley and Indian Hills Drive.  A 29 year-old man is dead, the victim of a car accident in Hall County. Gainesville Police say Thomas Garrett lost control of his car, swerving off a roadway and overturning twice. 

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — College football games between relatively evenly matched teams can often come down to a handful of plays, with momentum playing a large role in the outcome. The LSU-Georgia game on Saturday in Tiger Stadium was no different, the Bayou Bengals prevailing 36-16 over the previously undefeated Bulldogs. Both teams had their strengths, but they had also shown their deficiencies leading up to a high-profile clash that drew the largest college football game rating last weekend. LSU did a better job of exposing the Bulldogs’ weaknesses than Georgia did the Tigers. Here are the three key moments that played a large role in determining the outcome of Saturday’s game 1. Georgia’s failed fake field goal Perhaps the biggest play of the game in hindsight, as Georgia had ran the ball nine straight times for 60 yards before two incomplete passes put the Bulldogs in position for a field goal attempt. Kirby Smart said the staff knew before the game they were going to run a fake if they saw an LSU alignment they felt they could take advantage of, and the Tigers presented that look on Georgia’s second drive. “They were like 15 of 17 (88 percent) with a look that it would work on,” Smart said, explaining why the Bulldogs passed on a 31-yard field goal attempt at the 3:28 mark of the opening quarter, down 3-0. “We wanted to be aggressive.” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Georgia’s fake field goal did indeed surprise him. “ It surprised me, 10 yards to go, it surprised me,” he said. “But we always have a guy for the fake. We have eyes. And when you’re playing for the field goal block, you have to have your eyes on your man, not on the field goal kicker. Tremendous discipline.” 2. LSU’s 47-yard run on third-and-1 Tiger Stadium erupted again on the final play of the first quarter on the ensuing drive after Georgia had lost its initial momentum with the fruitless fake field goal. The game within the game was LSU’s offensive line vs. the Georgia front seven, and this was the first short-yardage battle of the game, third-and-1 at the Tigers’ 46. RELATED: Kirby Smart challenges defense to ‘knuckle up’ at LSU The Bulldogs were not gap sound, and LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed 47 yards to the UGA 7 to set up a TD that made it 10-0. It was only the second run of longer than 20 yards Georgia had given up all season. The play gave the Tigers the confidence they needed to go for it on four other fourth-and-1 situations against the Bulldogs, all of which they converted in back-breaking fashion. “At the end of the day,” Smart said, “you don’t win the line of scrimmage in this league, you won’t win the football game.” Orgeron, meanwhile, said LSU was still smarting from its 27-19 loss at Florida the week before. The Tigers coach was intent to make amends after electing to kick a field goal from the Gators’ 15-yard line on a fourth-and-inches situation in the second quarter with that game tied at 7-7.. “We were throwing out the kitchen sink, man, everything we had, we did,” Orgeron said, asked about the decision to go for it on four fourth downs against Georgia. “All week, we talked about being aggressive. I was a little pissed at myself for not going for it against Florida down there fourth and half an inch.” Third-and-6 sack in fourth quarter Georgia trailed 19-9 when it took over at the LSU 38-yard line with 14:39 remaining, Mecole Hardman having broken loose on a 27-yard punt return after the Bulldogs’ defense turned the momentum by forcing LSU to go three-and-out. RELATED: LSU defensive wizard outschemed Georgia football A jet sweep call for Hardman was stopped for no gain, and then Justin Fields was brought in to handoff to third-string tailback Brian Herrien for 4 yards, bringing up the third-and-6 at the 34. Georgia was still within Rodrigo Blankenship’s field goal range when Jake Fromm took the snap, but the veteran QB failed to make a play — instead taking a 9-yard sack that took the Bulldogs out of field goal range. “Some of those you’ve got to escape and get rid of the ball, there’s a lot of pressures they run that are hard to pick up, and I was very concerned with that coming into the game,” Smart said. “But I didn’t think it was the protection as much as it was making decisions quicker, getting rid of the ball quicker, and at the end of the day, don’t be in third-and-long.”   LSU, its crowd still roaring from the sack, responded with a six-play, 86-yard drive to go up 26-9. Georgia-LSU football DawgNation Georgia-LSU top-rated television game, Atlanta market shines Kirby Smart defends Jake Fromm at LSU Georgia football saw warning signs, couldn’t dodge Tigers’ trap Why didn’t Georgia use Justin Fields more? Report card: Bulldogs bomb midterm Georgia football stock report, LSU cashes in on Dawgs mistakes Instant analysis: Georgia melts in Louisiana heat against LSU Tigers came at Georgia for four downs on each series RECAP: Scoring, injuries, news from Georgia’s 36-16 loss to LSU Georgia rushing attack goes AWOL in battle at LSU         The post Georgia-LSU rewind: 3 momentum-changing plays in Bulldogs’ 36-16 loss appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The Atlanta Braves announced Monday that the organization has agreed to terms on a two-year contract for manager Brian Snitker. The contract does include a third-year club option for 2021.  Snitker took over as manager for the Braves in 2016 and led the team to their first National League East Division title in five years this season.  Here is the full statement from the Atlanta Braves: The Atlanta #Braves and manager Brian Snitker have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with a club option for the 2021 season: pic.twitter.com/CsReyEyU9x — Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 15, 2018 TRENDING STORIES: Georgia already topping list for flu activity in the nation President Trump to view storm damage in Georgia Atlanta police seize drugs and guns from a popular food mart Snitker has been with the Braves organization for 43 seasons, including three seasons as manager for Triple-A club in Gwinnett.  The National League 'Manager of the Year' candidate, who turns 63 on Wednesday, owns a 221-227 (.493) record in his two-plus seasons. Information from our partners at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was used in this report.
  • BATON ROUGE, La. — Dave Aranda is the highest paid coordinator in college football, and Saturday afternoon the LSU   defensive wizard earned his $2.5 million annual salary by throttling Georgia’s multifaceted offense. Tigers coach Ed Orgeron said in the days leading up to LSU’s 36-16 win over the Bulldogs that it would be a chess match, and the coaching moves from both staffs were on display. Georgia marched 60 yards on nine consecutive run plays on its second offensive series, displaying a dominant run game that seemed to bode well for the afternoon before an ill-fated fake field goal attempt changed the momentum. The Bulldogs managed just 17 yards on their next seven carries, LSU forcing three consecutive three-and-out series in pulling away to a 16-0 halftime lead. WATCH: LSU coach Ed Orgeron says physical football in Tigers’ DNA “You know they started running the football on us in the first quarter, (and) Dave (Aranda) made some adjustments,” Orgeron said. “Dave did a great job. We mixed up the personnel groupings that we use. We gave them some stuff that they didn’t see. Obviously, everything was built on stopping the run and the deep pass, and we did it. “We were playing one certain defense, and it wasn’t working. And we changed to play another one, and it worked.” Georgia, with its two-headed monster at quarterback, it’s four-man tailback platoon and double-digit receiver rotation, could not strike the right combination. The same versatility that has made the Bulldogs a tough matchup for an opponent worked against coach Kirby Smart — Georgia had no offensive identity to lean on when times got tough. “We were in four-open sets and we were running the ball really well and we drove down there and … we kind of stayed with that the next drive,” Smart said, asked why the Bulldogs abandoned the run. “We actually went back to it (the run). They changed some things up and it wasn’t working as well.” It put quarterback Jake Fromm in a difficult situation, with LSU running different looks than it had shown all year, making Georgia’s celebrated offensive line appear ineffective and overmatched at times. “We were just taking advantage of what they were giving to us,” said Fromm, who was sacked three times and pressured on several others, “and then they started kind of taking that away later in the game, and we started slinging the ball around a little bit.” Orgeron said the key  adjustment involved changing up the defensive fronts, creating different angles, with Aranda expertly mixing in different personnel to create problems for the Bulldogs. “We challenged our defensive line, especially (nose tackle) Ed Alexander,” Orgeron said. “That’s one of the best centers (Lamont Gaillard) we’ve seen. I thought he (Alexander) played one of his best games today. ” Smart said in the days leading up to the game he respected Aranda, his words foretelling. “ Dave Aranda is one of the premier defensive coordinators in the country, we look at what he does week to week, they do a tremendous job, always looking for new ideas, he’s a guy you look at,’ Smart said. “So for us, we’ve got to keep our quarterback’s upright. We’ve got to keep them in the pocket. Can’t get our offensive line confused.” It was clear by the end of the afternoon LSU was the better prepared team, its players out-executing what had been a very focused and dominant Georgia football team through the first half of the regular season. “ They played more physical than we did, they attacked us, they did a good job, they created turnovers, we didn’t do that, we didn’t protect the ball as good as we had,” Smart said, owning the defeat. “You can look at a lot of things, and I’m perfectly OK with that. We’re gonna look at a lot of things, and how we can get better.” Georgia dropped to No. 8 in the AP Top 25 poll with the loss, and No. 6 in the Coaches’ Poll. Georgia-LSU football DawgNation Georgia-LSU top-rated television game, Atlanta market shines Kirby Smart defends Jake Fromm at LSU Georgia football saw warning signs, couldn’t dodge Tigers’ trap Why didn’t Georgia use Justin Fields more? Report card: Bulldogs bomb midterm Georgia football stock report, LSU cashes in on Dawgs mistakes Instant analysis: Georgia melts in Louisiana heat against LSU Tigers came at Georgia for four downs on each series RECAP: Scoring, injuries, news from Georgia’s 36-16 loss to LSU Georgia planned ill-fated field goal early in the week Georgia rushing attack goes AWOL in battle at LSU   The post On the beat: LSU defensive wizard outschemed Georgia’s multifaceted offense appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia eased past UNC Asheville, 20-7, in a 14-inning exhibition victory on Sunday afternoon in front of a crowd of 361 at Foley Field.  The visiting Bulldogs got on the scoreboard first, putting across three runs in the top of the second inning after a hit-by-pitch, walk and three singles.    Georgia wasted no time on answering with five runs in the bottom half of the inning. Riley King, Kaden Fowler, Patrick Sullivan led off the inning with consecutive doubles. After Tucker Maxwell reached on a bunt, Tucker Bradley cleared the bases with a home run shot into the trees beyond the right-center field wall.  Another five run inning followed for the Bulldogs in the third, giving Georgia a healthy 10-3 lead. Jon Cable and Sullivan scored on a wild pitch and passed ball, respectively, while a groundout roller to first by Fowler allowed King to score. The other two runs came off RBI singles from Cam Shepherd and LJ Talley.   At the extended seventh inning stretch, the score read 12-5. Georgia struck first after the reset with a RBI single from King that scored C.J. Smith. UNC Asheville scored two in the ninth inning to cut its deficit to 13-7.    Chaney Rogers found the right field bleachers off the bounce in the 11th for a RBI ground rule double that scored Talley.    King finished off his impressive day with a grand slam that landed in the camera stand just past the center field wall. King went 4 for 7 with two doubles and five RBIs. Bradley finished 3 for 5 with a home run, stolen base and three RBIs. Georgia amassed nine doubles on the day.   Georgia used 13 pitchers in which 10 threw a scoreless inning. Tim Elliot and Riley Crean registered three strikeouts each in their one inning of work. Darryn Pasqua closed out the day on the mound with two strikeouts in one inning.   The contest concluded the fall exhibition series, however the Bulldogs will compete in the annual Bulldog World Series, a three-game intersquad affair, occurring Nov. 2-4.  Coach's CornerIke Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin  On the run production today... 'I thought we had some really good at-bats early. Innings one-through-four, I thought our guys were pretty locked in. We had good at-bats – almost every single guy went in there and battled and had good at-bats. Late in the game we did that too. I think the first four innings and the last four innings, I thought we were awfully good offensively. We took advantage of some things that they gave us – we got some walks, and they made a couple errors. Good teams take advantage of those things, so I thought early and late we were very good offensively.'   On what to improve on as fall practice continues... 'The bottom line is we gave up too many free passes. We walked or hit 17 guys today. We played 14 innings, that's a long day, but that's too many free passes, and that's going to come back to haunt you. So we have to be better in the strike zone. A lot of young guys out there getting their first taste of college baseball, so it was to be expected a little bit, but that needs to clean up. We need to throw more strikes; we need to be more aggressive in the zone. If we do, I think our pitching staff can be really, really good, when we put everybody together. A lot of young guys went out there, with some mixed results. Some guys were very good, some guys have a lot of work to do. More than anything, we've got to throw strikes.' Player's Perspective RS-Soph. 3rd #31 Riley King  On his approach at the plate... 'Coach has been preaching staying even, and just going with your gut. Staying even, not trying to get too hot, not trying to get too low. Just going in there with a lot of confidence. It's been a big thing for me...this year, I'm going up there with a lot more confidence.'   On the benefit of fall scrimmages as a hitter... 'Every week, we see the same guys (on our team). So being able to see new arms is pretty good – seeing different arm slots, different angles. Just getting the confidence against other people. When you see the same guys over and over, they start learning you, so being able to see a new pitcher is a good experience for sure.”
  • ATHENS, Ga. — Kirby Smart made it clear Georgia football isn’t ready to go away, even after a 36-16 defeat at LSU that dropped the Bulldogs to No. 8 in the AP Top 25 rankings. “T he message for us is everything we want is in front of us,” Smart said. “The key for us is to move forward. We still have a good football team. We still have an opportunity to do everything we want to do. “Every opportunity that we had before this game is still in front of us. The margin of error is just smaller. We’ve got to get better.” The Bulldogs’ odds to win the College Football Playoff championship are sure to drop from where they were last Monday, at 7-to-1 per VegasInsider. But odds and betting lines aren’t always accurate indicators, as last Saturday’s game in Death Valley proved. Georgia (6-1, 4-1 SEC) was a 7-point favorite over LSU, largely based on the respect the team earned during its SEC championship season and College Football Playoff title game run of a year ago. This season’s UGA team has not beat an opponent that’s currently ranked in the Top 25 The Bulldogs lost several key pieces and rank as the youngest team in the SEC with more than two-thirds of the roster (68 percent) freshmen or sophomores. Still, Georgia controls its own destiny, with showdowns against Florida in Jacksonville on Oct. 27 and at Kentucky on Nov. 3. “W e’re a team, and that we’re going to bounce back from this,” Smart told his team following the loss in Tiger Stadium Saturday night. “This is very similar to last year (losing at Auburn), we probably played better leading up to our loss last year, I didn’t think we had played as well this year.” SEC East Division co-leader and No. 11-ranked Florida (6-1, 4-1), like Georgia, has a bye this week. But upstart Kentucky (5-1, 3-1), ranked No. 14, is in action against Vanderbilt in a 7:30 p.m. game in Lexington. The Wildcats have opened as an 11 1/2-point favorite over the Commodores, according to VegasInsider.com. Vanderbilt was a hard-luck loser in Nashville on Saturday to Florida, 37-27. Kentucky, like Georgia, controls its own destiny having defeat the Gators 27-16 in Week 2. The Wildcats, whose only SEC defeat came at Texas A&M, play at Missouri on Oct. 27 leading up to their showdown with the Bulldogs. Here is the line for all of the SEC football games this week: Vanderbilt at Kentucky (-11 1/2) Alabama at Tennessee (TBA) Tulsa at Arkansas (TBA) Memphis at Missouri (-7) Auburn (-2 1/2) at Ole Miss Mississippi State at LSU (-6 1/2)   The post Georgia football odds for title diminish with loss, but Bulldogs control destiny appeared first on DawgNation.