Archive for April, 2013

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: A Georgia Lifespan

Life Span In Georgia 
A recent study showed that Georgia is near the bottom in a ranking of states according to expected life span of both men and women. 

Hawaii and Minnesota were the states where people live the longest. Hawaii, of course, features a warm tropical climate where people sit around drinking various exotic concoctions made with pineapple juice and watch lovely young girls in grass skirts move their sensuous bodies to ukulele music. 

The only drawback to living a long time in Hawaii is you get very old and your eyesight eventually goes, so you can no longer see the young girls move their bodies, but you still have to put up with all that ukulele music. 

As to Minnesota, nobody really lives a long time there. It’s so cold it just seems like it.  

Plenty to worry about 

Being a Georgian, I naturally was concerned upon discovering I can’t expect to live as long as people from other states. 

Georgia is a marvelously diverse state, with mountains and seashore and charming small towns, and, of course, bustling exciting Atlanta. 

So what makes us die earlier than other Americans? I put some thought to this question and came up with the following: 

ATLANTA TRAFFIC: Other cities have traffic jams. Atlanta has traffic wars. Sherman burned this city. The highway department is dismantling it, piece by piece. 

There is so much highway construction in Atlanta, motorists have to wear hard hats. Rather than face another day in Atlanta traffic, a lot of people simply die to avoid it.  

A South Georgia hazard 

GNATS: Gnats, tiny bugs, are the cause of a number of deaths in South Georgia each year. Some of these deaths have been attributed to swallowing a large number of gnats while talking or eating. Some also think the reason a lot of South Georgians disappear and are never heard from again is they are carried off by giant swarms of gnats and drowned in the Okefenokee Swamp. 

KUDZU: Nothing grows faster than a kudzu vine. It has been known to cover entire homes in Georgia where the families are asleep for the night. They are then trapped inside and can’t get to a convenience store, so they starve. Those who try to eat their way out of kudzu quickly have their innards entangled in the vine because no matter how much you chew it, the blamed stuff just keeps on growing.  

Football’s not safe either 

THE FALCONS: The Falcons lost a game to the Chicago Bears 36-0 and the Falcons coach blamed it on poor officiating. The Falcons have been big losers most every year they’ve been in Atlanta, and a man fell out of the stadium during a Falcons game once and was killed. I think he jumped after another Falcons’ holding penalty. 

LIVING IN BUCKHEAD: Buckhead is a tiny section of Atlanta where approximately 11 million white people under the age of 35 live. Each evening, all 11 million get into their Mercedes and go to trendy Buckhead bars and talk to one another. Here is what a Buckhead bar conversation usually sounds like: 

“I was like, `Wow!’ and he was like, `Really?’ ” 

These people might die from wearing their designer jeans too tight, becoming choked on Hearts of Palm while eating their salads and being trampled in a bar or by a polo pony. 

The study further revealed at what part of the year the most Georgians die. It’s when the state Legislature is in session.

David Perno: Look At the Man In The Mirror

Allow me to preface this with I don’t really follow UGA baseball all that closely.  Sure, I followed it when I was in school and back in 2008 when the Dawgs were just a game away from winning the CWS.  But by and large, I am mostly indifferent to the Diamond Dawgs and care more about the Braves.

But make no mistake about it, even a casual obvserver like me knows how bad the UGA baseball team sucks.

I’ve given Coach Perno a pass for a while.  More bloodthirsty fans wanted him gone a few years ago, but he had good success here and was a former player and a local guy.

“Give him a little bit of rope,” I said.

But now its come to where I think we need a new skipper.

And being an self-righteous asshole doesn’t do anything to help you either.

We’ve heard the news of the UGA baseball player dismissed from the team, but this quote from David Perno got me going this morning:

“Just the thought that the night before the biggest doubleheader of the season and he puts himself in a situation like that. He doesn’t care about this team or this program. He’s dismissed,” coach David Perno told the Athens Banner-Herald after the Bulldogs split the doubleheader Saturday. “That makes my decision easy. I think our kids couldn’t care less. They’re disappointed, too. It’s unfortunate. It’s probably why we’ve sputtered as much as we have because we’ve probably had some guys that haven’t been with us. They’re just front-runners and don’t have what it takes to be successful at this level. I hate it for J.T. But he made it too easy.”  (emphasis added)

No, Coach.  The reason the team has sputtered is becuase you suck.  I think it is you who doesn’t have what it takes to be successful at this level.  Stop blaming the kids on the team, and start taking accountability for the systemic mess your baseball program has become.  It hasn’t turned into this over night.

Defiant to the very end.



Surprising Baseball Standings

I am not one to get worked up over baseball standings in April (except that the Braves are 13-2 and have the best record in the Majors), but I was looking over the standings this morning and a few things surprised me.  But something really jumped out at me:

AL East

1. Boston        11-4   .733   –

2.  New York 8-6     .571  2.5

3.  Baltimore  8-7  .533  3

4.  Toronto  7-9  .438  4.5

5. Tampa Bay  5-10 .333 6


It is still very early, but I had thought that this would have been inverted, with Tampa and Baltimore atop the standings and New York and Boston at the bottom.  It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.



What Does KCP’s Departure Mean for Mark Fox?

I never blogged about the basketball team this season.  Whenever I could get a chance, my thoughts were conveyed by Tyler Dawgden or others in the blog world, and it wasn’t topical.

In short, I think Coach Fox is an excellent coach.  He makes some curious end of game managment decisions, but as far as Xs and Os, I think he is one of the better ones. Also, after a dismal start to the season, the team rebounded (no pun intended) to have a decent showing in SEC play.  I know that the SEC was weak, but anytime you can win 5 games in a row-something that hasn’t happened in a decade-you are doing something right.  Even after a poor start in SEC play, the team played hard and never quit, even in games where they got down early and came back (LSU in the SEC tournament).  The players still played hard for him.  But it is evident that he has to recruit better.

If the team had played better early on, and they should have, then maybe by the time they got to SEC play this team could have had shot at a postseason birth.  A young team got better as the season progressed.

I am not one to want him fired, as I think he is a good coach and should be given time.  We don’t want to be a program that is constantly hiring and firing coaches every 3 years.

But…that still doesn’t give him a free pass.  With the talent on the team continuing to develop, and this was hinging on KCP returning in 2013-2014, my expectation was the Dawgs had to make the NCAA tourney next season for Fox to keep his job.

With KCP departing, I can almost guarantee the Dawgs won’t make the Tournament.

There are many reasons I feel like UGA men’s basketball is not successful.  Not all of it can be pinned on Coach Fox.  However, although I like Coach Fox and as mentioned above don’t want to cut and run like other programs, there is a point when we’ve seen enough.

Next season was that time and it seems that time has passed.

When is enough going to be enough?  When can we stop making excuses and just win?  I am afraid that now with KCP’s departure, Mark Fox is a dead man walking.


Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: Tech Stadium Empty

Sanford Stadium just held a concnert, and it drew more people than a Gerogia Tech home game.  Hell, G-Day drew more people than a Tech home game. 

Lewis tells a story about getting tickets to a Georgia Tech game.


The Story of Mark Richt and Common Trends

Last night, my newborn daughter was being extra fussy.  I think it was a combination of gas and being tired, and I felt sorry for her.  I’ve been there too (tired and gassy) and have just wanted to cry.

One thing that soothes her in times of discomfort is me walking her around the house, talking to her.  I don’t know what type of converstation you are to have with a 10 week old, so I just started talking to her about important things in life.

Like the History of Mark Richt at UGA.

You may laugh, but it works.

Last night, I figured I was on Part III.  Parts I and II were covered several weeks ago after we first brought her home.  Part I was Richt’s life as OC at FSU and up to his interview at UGA.  Part II was the 2001 and 2002 seasons.  This is nothing written down, just in my head as I go along.  Some folks tell fairy tale bedtime stories, but that is too cliche.

Last night, we ended the career of the Davids in 2003 and 2004.

I noticed a trend in my bedtime stories, and knowing the rest of the story, I sensed a lot of foreshadowing.  A couple of weeks ago when discussing the 2002 Florida game, I used the phrase a “far superior UGA team lost to an inferior Florida team.”  When talking about the 2003 offseason, I used the phrase “beginning of a trend of off the field issues” and “Richt’s teams often over perform when not much is expcected”, and when talking about 2004 “Richt’s teams often under perform when expectations  are high.”

It is those last two that I want to talk about now…Richt’s teams often over perform when not much is expcected and Richt’s teams often under perform when expectations  are high.

Specifically, I want to talk about these statements as how they relate to the 2012 season.  In many ways, the Bulldogs had high expecations and, although they didn’t win the SEC or play for the BCS title, I don’t think you can say they drastically fell short of expectations.  The Bulldogs were expected to be a great team, and were 5 yards short of beating Alabama.  2012 was one of the few seasons where the Bulldogs were expected to do great things (2004, 2008) and actually did. After the Kentucky game fans were ready to proclaim the season as a failure, but upon a fair review it was a success.

But what about 2013?

With a lights out offense, rebuilt defense and a tougher early part of the schedule, what are our expectations in 2013?

I mean, I of course expect greatness.  But aside from the Florida-Alabama battles in the early to mid 90s, no team has played in 3 consecutive SEC title games, and only a few have played in two back to back.  Can UGA do something that hasn’t been done in 17 years and play for a 3rd straight SEC Championship?  Is it reasonable to assume Georgia will contend for a National Title again?

I don’t know these answers.  I am still trying to figure it all out.


Happy trails to KCP

Not that it was unexpected, but KCP is leaving school for the NBA Draft and will hire an agent. This team was respectable thanks to KCP this year. I’m already dreading what this team will look like, unless the unthinkable happens and a solid recruit or two comes on board. 

How To Lay Sod

The Masters concluded yesterday in dramatic fashion, and it has left us wanting to do two things:  play golf and make our yards look as good as Augusta National.

Few of us can achieve excellent golf and pristine lawns, but we sure try.  I can’t help you with the golf, but I can help you with the lawn.*

Today is tax day, so if you got some refund from Uncle Sam, then you might want to invest in your home landscaping.  Last year I decided to lay sod down in my yard.  I have some advice to anyone who wants to do it:  hire someone to do it for you.

No, it wasn’t that bad, and it wasn’t as expensive as I thought to do it myself.  So if you are looking to lay sod this spring, here are some friendly pieces of advice from someone who had no experience doing that sort of thing this time a year ago:

Step 1:  Research

There will be several times you want to say the Hell with it all, and this will be one of those times.  It isn’t fun.  The first thing to do is get a soil sample, and this will tell you what types of fertilizer you need.  Go to your local Cooperative Extension Office and get the kit from your county agent.  They will send it off to UGA and get you a report back in about a week.

I spent several hours painstakingly looking up different types and varieties of grasses.  I knew I didn’t want St. Augustine as that was what was already in my yard.  My county agent recommended St. Augustine, Ucheedawg recommended Bermuda, I wanted Zoysia.  I played golf in Missouri one time and the fairways were Zoysia, and I was impressed with its lushness.  I knew I wanted to go to Supersod in Perry (there are Supersod outlets all over).  After comparing drought and shade tolerance, and making lists comparing all types and the price, I finally settled on Zenith Zoysia.

There is a ton of information out there on the web, just use Google.  I found that the Supersod and the Walter Reeves’ sites were the most helpful.

This has to be your decision, as no two yards are alike.  But I had good success with my Zoysia, and I have been pleased with it thus far.

Step 2:  Prep work

Laying the sod is relatively easy.  Prepping the ground for it is a royal pain in the ass.  No better way to say it.

Different places will tell you different things, but here is a general outline.  First, spray Round-Up on the old grass and weeds to kill everything.  Give it about a week (I waited closer to 10 days) before you even think about laying the sod.  This is important.

After you spray everything with the Round-Up, you then have to get the ground ready.

A tiller is required; my dad had one in Rome but we couldn’t get it down here in time so I just went to Home Depot and rented one.  This was cheaper than having to drive halfway across the state and back to get it, anyway.  I think it cost like $50 to rent one for a half day.  I was able to till up everything in my yard in about 3 hours, but I have a very small yard.  If you have a bigger yard you might want to rent one for a full day.

Once you till up all the old grass, you then have to rake it off and get the dirt nice and flat.  You also want to have the dirt lower than your sidewalk.  You are going to fill up several yard trash bags full of sticks, roots, dead grass, dirt and other yard debris.  Macon is fortunate where the city comes by weekly and picks up yard trash; if you city or county doesn’t do that, then you will have to plan what to do with it all.

Your yard should look something like this, before and after, when you are finished:

All the debris in bags:

Trash bags

Before it was all leveled off:

before front right

After everything was leveled off:

Front left level


Step 3:  Installation

The actual installation is the easy part.  It comes in rolls, and you just roll it off.  Order it about a week in advance, so they can have it ready.  I opted to save $50 and drive down to Supersod and pick it up myself. I ordered two pallets (covers about 1,000 sq. ft…I needed just a little more and you can go later and buy individual rolls).  Definitely get it from a farm; getting it from Home Depot or Lowes will significantly increase your costs.  All told, I spent about $350 bucks on the sod for about a 1,000 sq. ft.

I made a very bad calculation.  They said that one pallet will fit in the back of a pick-up truck.  So I got Uchee to meet me there in his truck so we could make one trip.  I didn’t account that my 1995 Chevy 1500 is a step-side with a narrow bed.  So the pallet wouldn’t fit in my truck.  So we had to come all the way back to Macon, unload his truck, and then go all the way back down there again.

This was aggravating because we had to take down each individual roll and sit on my sidewalk, cover it with a sheet, and put the water hose on it so it wouldn’t die.  Then I had to go all the way back down to Perry again.  Just pay the $50 and have them deliver it to you.  Even if you have enough trucks and friends to make on trip, having to take off each individual roll takes a lot of time and effort.  Letting them just sit a whole pallet down on your sidewalk or yard will be much easier.

The actual installation is easy.  Just follow the directions and lay it like a brick wall where the ends are staggered on different levels.

Here is the finished product after installation:


Step 4:  Maintenance

Initially, you are going to spend some money watering your lawn, especially if the drought conditions persist again.  I watered my grass so much, the Macon Water Authority called and asked if we had a leak due to an unusual increase in activity.  Our water bill went from $40 a month to $180 in the summer.  I probably water too much, but after all that hard work I was damn sure going to make sure it lived and got established.  Once the grass gets established you can back off some.  Don’t wait so late to install; I installed the last week of May right after Memorial Day (did all the prep work with the tiller on Memorial Day), and that was about as late as you want to do it. Now is the time to start the prep work.

Also, when you mow, a lawnmower with a bag is nice. My mower broke, so I had to buy a new one.  I didn’t want to spend the extra $50 on a push mower with a bag, and I wish I had.  It will take about a month to get established, so it may look like it is dying at first.  Don’t worry, just keep watering it and you’ll be fine.  I highly suggest you use a sprinkler system, but a sprinkler on a water hose can work OK.

Follow the directions for fertilizer and pre-emerge.  I screwed around and didn’t do the pre-emerge in the fall, and my lawn was ate up with weeds this winter.  It is simple remedy to just spray some 2-4-D out there, but it could have been avoided with some pre-emergent.

I had never laid down any sod before, and I was able to do it successfully.  Good luck if you do it, and if you get confused with anything, there is a ton of help on the internet to answer your questions.


*If you completely mess up, it isn’t my fault.  Also, I didn’t get paid to pump up Supersod.  I just had a positive experience with them.

This Day in Georgia History

39 years ago on April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron blast home run number 715 and beat Babe Ruth’s home run record. 

Aaron would go on to hit a total of 755 homers, a MLB  record that would last until Barry Bonds broke it in 2007 and finished with 762 HR.  Although to me and many others out there, Hank Aaron will always be the home run king in baseball.


Lewis Would Be Proud

Lewis would have been happy to see Gen. Sherman get his comeuppance.

Yesterday, Conan O’Brien finally got revenge on the war criminal.