If you do not know me (I mean, really know me) then there is something you need to understand before you read this blog: I value the truth above everything else... except a good laugh. A good laugh will almost always beat the truth as far as I’m concerned. Everything you read on this blog will be true, somewhat true, or something I made up in an effort to get a laugh. Sometimes I will go on a rant that I don’t really mean (or only kind of mean). Sometimes I will mean what I write only to completely change my mind a year, month, or day later. Such is life. By reading this blog you agree not to get offended by anything I write (or, at the very least, you agree not to tell me or anyone else that you are offended). It is worth noting that my employer does not endorse my blog (or even read it, to tell you the truth). The Wife also does not endorse my blog (though she will read it from time to time). I am not paid to write this... it’s just my way of giving back to the community. I have, and will, touch on a wide range of subjects and will give my opinion on these subjects. Again, most of what I say is for laughs but every now and then I will say what I really think and feel (see my views on Westboro Baptist Cult). How will you know when I’m serious and when I’m trying to get a laugh? You’ll know. And if you don’t know, well... maybe this isn’t the best thing for you to be reading. So, sit back, read and enjoy. Leave comments if you want and don’t be afraid to publicly follow me.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Wedding Time...

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Gunner’s Mate First Class Freeman Gill (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 11, 1898, on board the USS Marblehead. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Marblehead during the operation of cutting the cable leading from Cienfuegos, Cuba, 11 May 1898. Facing the heavy fire of the enemy, Gill set an example of extraordinary bravery and coolness throughout this action.

Corporal James R. Gillenwater (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 3, 1899, near Porac Luzon, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

While on a scout drove off a superior force of insurgents and with the assistance of 1 comrade brought from the field of action the bodies of 2 comrades, 1 killed and the other severely wounded.

First Lieutenant George L. Gillespie (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 31, 1864, near Bethesda Church, Virginia. His citation reads:

Exposed himself to great danger by voluntarily making his way through the enemy's lines to communicate with Gen. Sheridan. While rendering this service he was captured, but escaped; again came in contact with the enemy, was again ordered to surrender, but escaped by dashing away under fire.

I am in Clemson for my cousin Susan’s wedding… more on that tomorrow (or Monday).

The I’m just sayin… Kid Show of the Week>

Our Kid Show of the Week today is Saved by the Bell. Saved by the Bell is a television sitcom that aired between 1989 and 1993. The series is a retooled version of the 1988 series Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which was itself later folded into the backstory of Saved by the Bell. The TV series followed the exploits of several students along with their principal at fictional Bayside High School. Each season of the series basically represented a year of high school for the students, plus summer vacations, ending with their graduation. The sitcom name is an idiom for being saved, by a school bell ringing, when a student is unprepared to answer a question asked near the end of a classroom period. The show stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Dustin Diamond, Lark Voorhies, and Dennis Haskins, who appeared in Good Morning, Miss Bliss, as well as Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkley, and Mario Lopez, who joined the cast for Saved by the Bell.

The show often incorporated dramatic elements into episodes by dealing with real teen social issues, such as friendship, drug use, driving under the influence, homelessness, financial issues, divorce, graduation, college, sibling rivalry, taking responsibilities for one's actions, bullying, death, and environmental issues.

The show's popularity allowed for two spin-off series: Saved by the Bell: The College Years (1993–1994), a prime time series which followed several of the original characters' college experiences, and Saved by the Bell: The New Class (1993–2000), a Saturday-morning series which followed a new group of students at Bayside High School. The college years was pretty good… the new class, not so much. The series also spawned two TV movies and a short-lived comic book series. Saved by the Bell originated in an NBC pilot entitled Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which was inspired by then NBC president Brandon Tartikoff's teachers from his past. The show was set in Indianapolis, Indiana. NBC decided not to pick up the pilot, but Disney Channel did and aired the series for one season. Unlike the series that followed, the intention was to focus on the life of the teacher Miss Bliss, played by Hayley Mills, as the main character. The characters of Zack Morris, Samuel "Screech" Powers, Lisa Turtle, and Mr. Richard Belding all originated on the series; other main characters, including other classmates Nikki Coleman (Heather Hopper), Mikey Gonzalez (Max Battimo), and maintenance supervisor Mylo Williams (T. K. Carter), were discontinued when the show changed direction. Jaleel White, Brian Austin Green, and Jonathan Brandis all had roles in the pilot episode. The show was canceled after 13 episodes, and the rights were acquired by NBC, which had reconsidered the matter.

Seeing that it had merit, they decided to revamp and recreate the series (their second live-action youth series in a five-year period). Executive Producer Peter Engel wanted the show to be called When the Bell Rings, but Tartikoff convinced him to go with the title Saved by the Bell.[4] Three of the teens from the original cast—Gosselaar, Diamond, and Voorhies—remained on the show, playing the same characters with only minor changes to their backstories. Haskins also stayed on as Mr. Belding. However, the setting was changed from Indianapolis, Indiana, to the fictional "Bayside High School" in the Palisades in Los Angeles, California. The two students dropped from the original series were replaced by three new additions. Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Thiessen) and Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley) were introduced as longtime friends of the original three characters and new transfer student A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez) rounded out the group. Max (Ed Alonzo), the proprietor of the local restaurant hangout The Max, was also a cast member in early episodes. The focus of the show was shifted toward the exploits of the students themselves, and Zack Morris became the show's lead character. Several teachers recurred over the course of the series, but Mr. Belding was the only school authority figure ever to be in the main cast. After the show's second season, NBC sold the series off into syndication with the Good Morning, Miss Bliss episodes included to pad out the syndication package, despite the plot-continuity problems and production changes. The Good Morning, Miss Bliss episodes were edited to include openings to match the Saved by the Bell episodes. These episodes are sometimes billed as Saved by the Bell: The Junior High Years. Mark-Paul Gosselaar would do in-character commentaries, addressed to viewers, before each of the earlier episodes, explaining that the episodes occurred in "junior high". The show performed extremely well for NBC, and despite being trashed by TV critics, it quickly became the highest-rated show on Saturday mornings. At the height of its popularity, the cast of the show did many road tours to malls and other places, where they would interact with fans and sign autographs. The show's popularity on Saturday morning is what led NBC to shift from airing mainly cartoons to more live-action teen-oriented shows (California Dreams, Hang Time, etc.) under the TNBC banner. Each season of the series essentially represented a year of high school for the students, culminating in their graduation.

In the fall of 1991, at the start of season three, the series was expanded to one hour with all new hour-long episodes. In the show's final season, NBC doubled the number of episodes ordered, despite the fact that they would have to re-sign the entire cast to new contracts in order to film them. Thiessen and Berkley refused to sign a new contract for these new episodes, resulting in a block of episodes that feature a new character, Tori Scott (Leanna Creel) in their place.

The final episode of the series aired in prime time on May 22, 1993. The episode, in which the cast graduated from high school, was filmed before Thiessen and Berkley left the show. No mention is made as to what happened to Tori Scott. The series finale was followed by a special airing of the Saved by the Bell: The College Years pilot episode, to set up the next phase of the characters' lives.

While the show is better to watch with older kids… it’s still a good show to watch with children of all ages.

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Player You Should Know...

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Private Benjamin Gifford (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 6, 1865, at Sailors Creek, Virginia. His citation reads:

Capture of flag.

Private David L. Gifford (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 24, 1864, at Ashepoo River, South Carolina. His citation reads:

Volunteered as a member of a boat crew which went to the rescue of a large number of Union soldiers on board the stranded steamer Boston and with great gallantry assisted in conveying them to shore, being exposed during the entire time to a heavy fire from a Confederate battery.

Landsman Frank S. Gile (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on November 16, 1863, on board the US Lehigh. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Lehigh, Charleston Harbor, 16 November 1863, during the hazardous task of freeing the Lehigh, which had been grounded, and was under heavy enemy fire from Fort Moultrie. After several previous attempts had been made, Gile succeeded in passing in a small boat from the Lehigh to the Nahant with a line bent on a hawser. This courageous action while under severe enemy fire enabled the Lehigh to be freed from her helpless position.

The I’m just sayin… Know Your South Carolina Athlete

The athlete we are going to spotlight today is my good friend (my words, not his) Donald Morillo. I’m not 100% sure about this, but I am about 99% sure that Donald is the only baseball player to play on local teams in high school (James Island), college (The Citadel) AND minor league (The Riverdogs). Anyway, Donald Morillo was named the 1995 Southern Conference Tournament’s most valuable player and helped lead the Bulldogs to a pair of NCAA Regional appearances (’94 at Clemson and ’95 at Knoxville, Tenn.). The league’s top reliever with 13 saves in ’95, Morillo also paced the SoCon that season with 32 appearances and a 1.60 ERA. He was an All-Atlantic Region pitcher as selected by the ABCA and also earned NCBWA All-America honorable mention recognition. Upon graduation, Morillo held the school record for most appearances in a season (35), most career appearances (98) and most saves in a season (13). For his career, the relief pitcher/outfielder/designated hitter posted a 14-9 record and 2.73 ERA with 202 strikeouts in 214.2 innings while batting .327 with 14 home runs. He signed with the Texas Rangers as a free agent and played for the Charleston RiverDogs. He has been inducted into the Citadel Hall of Fame and the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame.

The only bad thing I can say about Donald is that he seems to have an inflated sense of how good of a baseball player Sonny was back in the day. Seriously, I sat with him at a banquet a couple of years ago and he talked about Sonny like he was Ozzie Freakin’ Smith. It was all I could do not to grab him by his shirt and start yelling, “My God man, you’re a flippin’ Hall of Famer! Get a hold of yourself!” I joke because I love him (and Sonny’s ok, too). Besides, it’s nice hearing great players say great things about Sonny… because Coach Hatley said I was better than him (in so many words), so suck it Sonny. All kidding aside, Donald Morillo was a great baseball player (for my money, one of the best from this area) and I am happy to have him on here as our SC Athlete you should know.

FYI… A lot of the info about Donald came from The Citadel…

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Sergeant Edward H. Gibson (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 19, 1899, at San Mateo, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

Attempted under a heavy fire of the enemy to swim a river for the purpose of obtaining and returning with a canoe.

Technician Fifth Grade Eric G. Gibson (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on January 28, 1944, near Isola Bella, Italy. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. On 28 January 1944, near Isola Bella, Italy, Tech. 5th Grade Gibson, company cook, led a squad of replacements through their initial baptism of fire, destroyed four enemy positions, killed 5 and captured 2 German soldiers, and secured the left flank of his company during an attack on a strongpoint. Placing himself 50 yards in front of his new men, Gibson advanced down the wide stream ditch known as the Fossa Femminamorta, keeping pace with the advance of his company. An enemy soldier allowed Tech. 5th Grade Gibson to come within 20 yards of his concealed position and then opened fire on him with a machine pistol. Despite the stream of automatic fire which barely missed him, Gibson charged the position, firing his submachine gun every few steps. Reaching the position, Gibson fired pointblank at his opponent, killing him. An artillery concentration fell in and around the ditch; the concussion from one shell knocked him flat. As he got to his feet Gibson was fired on by two soldiers armed with a machine pistol and a rifle from a position only 75 yards distant. Gibson immediately raced toward the foe. Halfway to the position a machinegun opened fire on him. Bullets came within inches of his body, yet Gibson never paused in his forward movement. He killed one and captured the other soldier. Shortly after, when he was fired upon by a heavy machinegun 200 yards down the ditch, Gibson crawled back to his squad and ordered it to lay down a base of fire while he flanked the emplacement. Despite all warning, Gibson crawled 125 yards through an artillery concentration and the cross fire of 2 machineguns which showered dirt over his body, threw 2 hand grenades into the emplacement and charged it with his submachine gun, killing 2 of the enemy and capturing a third. Before leading his men around a bend in the stream ditch, Gibson went forward alone to reconnoiter. Hearing an exchange of machine pistol and submachine gun fire, Gibson's squad went forward to find that its leader had run 35 yards toward an outpost, killed the machine pistol man, and had himself been killed while firing at the Germans.

Seaman Charles Gidding (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 26, 1876, on board the USS Plymouth. His citation reads:

Serving on board the U.S.S. Plymouth, Gidding showed heroic conduct in trying to save the life of one of the crew of that ship, who had fallen overboard from aloft at the Navy Yard, New York, 26 July 1876.

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for baseball. To quote a… well, a quote… from the great movie Field of Dreams, ‘The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.’

Sure, I love college (and NFL) football and college basketball… heck, I’ve even started liking the NBA. But baseball is the greatest of them all. The best part of baseball? That’s hard to say, but off the top of my head I’d say it’s that there’s no clock. I know this can also make it hard to watch sometimes because some games can last a long time… but it also means the team with the lead can’t hide behind a clock. Therefore, until that last out is made a team always has a chance to make a comeback. Our first State Championship was a come-from-behind victory late in the game. Had it been football or basketball, Fort Mill would have probably run out the clock and won. Plus there’s just something about baseball… it was meant for fathers and sons (and daughters) to watch together. It’s as simple as throwing the ball, catching the ball and hitting the ball… yet it’s as complex as the Infield Fly Rule and the Wheel Play. Unlike in other sports, everything has already been done in baseball. There is no hot new offense or defense every other year. In baseball you have some teams that rely on power and some that rely on “small ball”… but both philosophies have been around for about 100 years. I laugh every time I hear a golfer complain about a little noise while they’re swinging their club. Try hitting a baseball at night with thousands of cameras flashing and fans yelling… oh yeah, that baseball is moving at 90+ mph… or maybe not… maybe it’s coming in at 70 mph before “falling off a table”. I played baseball, basketball and football growing up… and while I liked all of them, baseball was the best. I can remember coming home after baseball games in high school and talking over every play with Dad.

I will say I have seen some things over the past 10 years or so that have made me a little worried. The first is that it seems fewer and fewer young people know how to keep score at a baseball game. Even with a scorebook (which pretty much makes keeping score a ‘fill in the blank’ type exercise. I’ve told you before that I kept the book for the team my freshman year at JI. Here’s the thing… all the pages in the book had been used by the end of the regular season. I guess Coach Hatley didn’t want to spend money on a new scorebook just for the playoffs… so I was given a clipboard, a blank sheet of paper and a pencil and told to keep score. No problem… know why? Because I was raised right. And it wasn’t uncommon for Dad to keep score on a napkin while watching my games (true story). The other disturbing thing I’ve seen is how some kids wear their baseball caps. Seeing someone wear a baseball cap with a flat bill makes me want to kick a puppy and slap an old lady. Should I ever see anyone related to me wear a hat like that, I will take it off their head and bend the bill the way God intended it to be. Honestly, I blame former Clemson baseball player Khalil Greene for this. I don’t know if he was the first to wear his hat like this, but he’s the first I remember doing it. I hated it then and I still do now. It’s not natural and it should be grounds for an ejection from a game.

Anyway, today I’m feeling thankful for baseball.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Guess what happened last National Pancake Day…

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Captain Nicholas Geschwind (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 22, 1863, at Vicksburg, Mississippi. His citation reads:

Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."

Oiler Michael Gibbons (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 11, 1898, on board the USS Nashville. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Nashville during the operation of cutting the cable leading from Cienfugos, Cuba, 11 May 1898. Facing the heavy fire of the enemy, Gibbons set an example of extraordinary bravery and coolness throughout this action.

Sergeant Wesley Gibbs (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 2, 1865, at Petersburg, Virginia. His citation reads:

Capture of flag.

Congrats to the Revolutionary War Heroes on their great run in the College World Series. I know they came up a little short, but man they had a good team and a great run. Sorry to my good friends who weren’t able to make it out to Omaha to watch the games… but in the end it’s probably best they weren’t there. I would hate to have to blame this lost championship on them.

Congrats to Mike Patrick for making my list of announcers I can’t stand. He joins the likes of past college basketball announcer Billy Packer and MLB announcer Tim McCarver. How can an announcer get on this list? Simple… hearing him announce a game makes me hate watching something I would otherwise enjoy. Part of the blame for Mike Patrick making this list has to go to my friend Cory (husband of the 2011 I’m just sayin… Fan of the Year Ashley)… I was living in ignorant bliss until 3 years ago when Cory pointed out just how bad Mike Patrick was. Now I can’t stand the jackwagon (Patrick, not Cory).

And for the love of God… If I ever hear him tell that stupid story about Joey Pankake ("He hit a home run on National Pancake Day AND THEN GOING TO IHOP TO EAT PANCAKES!") I’m going to punch someone in the face. I mean really… I’m honestly thinking about never going into another IHOP again.  It was a stupid story to in the first place, made worse by the fact that Mike Patrick told it about 40 times too much.  Listen, I’m sure Mike Patrick is a great guy and he’s probably a lot better person than I am… but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to listen to him call a game again. He’s that bad.

The I’m just sayin… Quote of the Week

I was taught you never, ever disrespect your opponent or your teammates or your organization or your manager and never, ever your uniform. - Ryne Sandberg

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Picture time...

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

First Lieutenant/Adjutant Thomas P. Gere (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 16, 1864, at Nashville, Tennessee. His citation reads:

Capture of flag of 4th Mississippi (C.S.A.).

Technical Sergeant Robert E. Gerstung (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 19, 1944, at Siegfried Line near Berg, Germany. His citation reads:

On 19 December 1944 he was ordered with his heavy machinegun squad to the support of an infantry company attacking the outer defense of the Siegfried Line near Berg, Germany. For 8 hours he maintained a position made almost untenable by the density of artillery and mortar fire concentrated upon it and the proximity of enemy troops who threw hand grenades into the emplacement. While all other members of his squad became casualties, he remained at his gun. When he ran out of ammunition, he fearlessly dashed across bullet-swept, open terrain to secure a new supply from a disabled friendly tank. A fierce barrage pierced the water jacket of his gun, but he continued to fire until the weapon overheated and jammed. Instead of withdrawing, he crawled 50 yards across coverless ground to another of his company's machineguns which had been silenced when its entire crew was killed. He continued to man this gun, giving support vitally needed by the infantry. At one time he came under direct fire from a hostile tank, which shot the glove from his hand with an armor-piercing shell but could not drive him from his position or stop his shooting. W hen the American forces were ordered to retire to their original positions, he remained at his gun, giving the only covering fire. Finally withdrawing, he cradled the heavy weapon in his left arm, slung a belt of ammunition over his shoulder, and walked to the rear, loosing small bursts at the enemy as he went. One hundred yards from safety, he was struck in the leg by a mortar shell; but, with a supreme effort, he crawled the remaining distance, dragging along the gun which had served him and his comrades so well. By his remarkable perseverance, indomitable courage, and heroic devotion to his task in the face of devastating fire, T/Sgt. Gerstung gave his fellow soldiers powerful support in their encounter with formidable enemy forces.

Staff Sergeant John G. Gertsch (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 15 – 19, 1969, at A Shau Valley, Republic of Vietnam. His citation reads:

S/Sgt. Gertsch distinguished himself while serving as a platoon sergeant and platoon leader during combat operations in the A Shau Valley. During the initial phase of an operation to seize a strongly defended enemy position, S/Sgt. Gertsch's platoon leader was seriously wounded and lay exposed to intense enemy fire. Forsaking his own safety, without hesitation S/Sgt. Gertsch rushed to aid his fallen leader and dragged him to a sheltered position. He then assumed command of the heavily engaged platoon and led his men in a fierce counterattack that forced the enemy to withdraw. Later, a small element of S/Sgt. Gertsch's unit was reconnoitering when attacked again by the enemy. S/Sgt. Gertsch moved forward to his besieged element and immediately charged, firing as he advanced. His determined assault forced the enemy troops to withdraw in confusion and made possible the recovery of 2 wounded men who had been exposed to heavy enemy fire. Sometime later his platoon came under attack by an enemy force employing automatic weapons, grenade, and rocket fire. S/Sgt. Gertsch was severely wounded during the onslaught but continued to command his platoon despite his painful wound. While moving under fire and encouraging his men he sighted an aidman treating a wounded officer from an adjacent unit. Realizing that both men were in imminent danger of being killed, he rushed forward and positioned himself between them and the enemy nearby. While the wounded officer was being moved to safety S/Sgt. Gertsch was mortally wounded by enemy fire. Without S/Sgt. Gertsch's courage, ability to inspire others, and profound concern for the welfare of his men, the loss of life among his fellow soldiers would have been significantly greater. His conspicuous gallantry, extraordinary heroism, and intrepidity at the cost of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit on him and the Armed Forces of his country.

Picture Tuesday

Monday, June 25, 2012


Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Ordinary Seaman Daniel G. George (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on October 27, 1864, on board US Picket Boat No. 1. His citation reads:

George served on board U.S. Picket Boat No. 1, in action 27 October 1864, against the Confederate ram, Albemarle, which had resisted repeated attacks by our steamers and had kept a large force of vessels employed in watching her. The picket boat, equipped with a spar torpedo, succeeded in passing the enemy pickets within 20 yards without being discovered and then made for the Albemarle under a full head of steam. Immediately taken under fire by the ram, the small boat plunged on, jumped the log boom which encircled the target and exploded its torpedo under the port bow of the ram. The picket boat was destroyed by enemy fire and almost the entire crew taken prisoner or lost.

Private John Georgian (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on October 20, 1869, at Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona. His citation reads:

Bravery in action.

Sergeant Major Frederick W. Gerber (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions from 1839 - 1871. His citation reads:

Distinguished gallantry in many actions and in recognition of long, faithful, and meritorious services covering a period of 32 years.

The I’m just sayin… Weekly Weigh-In

Greg 238

Mary Ruth 47

Susie 26

Daniel 26

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happy Sunday....

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Private Louis Gedeon (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 4, 1900, at Mount Amia, Cebu, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

Singlehanded, defended his mortally wounded captain from an overwhelming force of the enemy.

Sergeant George Geiger (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 25, 1876, at Little Big Horn River, Montana. His citation reads:

With 3 comrades during the entire engagement courageously held a position that secured water for the command.

Private First Class Charles George (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on November 30, 1952, near Songnae-dong, Korea. His citation reads:

Pfc. George, a member of Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy on the night of 30 November 1952. He was a member of a raiding party committed to engage the enemy and capture a prisoner for interrogation. Forging up the rugged slope of the key terrain feature, the group was subjected to intense mortar and machine gun fire and suffered several casualties. Throughout the advance, he fought valiantly and, upon reaching the crest of the hill, leaped into the trenches and closed with the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. When friendly troops were ordered to move back upon completion of the assignment, he and 2 comrades remained to cover the withdrawal. While in the process of leaving the trenches a hostile soldier hurled a grenade into their midst. Pfc. George shouted a warning to 1 comrade, pushed the other soldier out of danger, and, with full knowledge of the consequences, unhesitatingly threw himself upon the grenade, absorbing the full blast of the explosion. Although seriously wounded in this display of valor, he refrained from any outcry which would divulge the position of his companions. The 2 soldiers evacuated him to the forward aid station and shortly thereafter he succumbed to his wound. Pfc. George's indomitable courage, consummate devotion to duty, and willing self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself and uphold the finest traditions of the military service.

The I’m just sayin… Bible Verse of the Week

13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fear not...

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Corporal Isaac Gause (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 13, 1864, near Berryville, Virginia. His citation reads:

Capture of the colors of the 8th South Carolina Infantry while engaged in a reconnaissance along the Berryville and Winchester Pike.

Private Thomas H. Gay (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions from August to October 1868, in Arizona. His citation reads:

Bravery in scouts and actions against Indians.

Sergeant Levi B. Gaylord (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 25, 1865, at Fort Stedman, Virginia. His citation reads:

Voluntarily assisted in working an abandoned gun, while exposed to heavy fire, until the enemy's advancing line was routed by a charge on its left flank.

Fear not, I’m still here. Our A/C went out last night and I’ve been busy dealing with that. But all is now well… not only did the guy come and fix the A/C, but he also took a good chunk of money that had been burning a hole in my pocket off of my hands. So it was a win-win (not really, but I’m trying to be positive).

The I’m just sayin… Kid Show of the Week>

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! is the first (and flagship) incarnation of the long-running Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon series, Scooby-Doo. It premiered on September 13, 1969 at 10:30 am and ran for three seasons on CBS as a half-hour long show (41- episodes were produced). Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! was the result of CBS and Hanna-Barbera's plans to create a non-violent Saturday morning program which would appease the parent watch groups that had protested the superhero-based programs of the mid-1960s. Originally titled Mysteries Five, and later Who's S-S-Scared?, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! underwent a number of changes from script to screen (the most notable of which was the downplaying of the musical group angle borrowed from The Archie Show). However, the basic concept—four teenagers (Freddie, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy) and a cowardly, clumsy Great Dane dog (Scooby-Doo) solving supernatural-related mysteries—was always in place.

Scooby-Doo creators Joe Ruby and Ken Spears served as the story supervisors on the series. Ruby, Spears, and Bill Lutz wrote all of the scripts for the seventeen first-season Scooby episodes, while Ruby, Spears, Lutz, Larz Bourne, and Tom Dagenais wrote the eight second season episodes. The plot varied little from episode to episode. The main concept was as follows:

1. The Mystery, Inc. gang turn up in the Mystery Machine, en route to or returning from a regular teenage function, when their van develops engine trouble or breaks down for any of a variety of reasons (overheating, flat tire, out of gas, etc.), in the immediate vicinity of a large, mostly vacated property (ski lodge, hotel, factory, mansion, etc.).

2. Their (unintended) destination turns out to be suffering from a monster problem (ghosts, Frankenstein, Yeti, etc.). The kids volunteer to investigate the case.

3. The gang splits up to cover more ground, with Fred and Velma finding clues, Daphne finding danger, and Shaggy and Scooby finding food, fun, and the ghost/monster, who gives chase. Scooby and Shaggy in particular love to eat, including dog treats called Scooby Snacks which are a favorite of both the dog and the teenage boy.

4. Eventually, enough clues are found to convince the gang that the ghost/monster is a fake, and a trap is set to capture it. Or they will occasionally just call the local sheriff and get stopped by the villain half-way.

5. The trap may or may not work (more often than not, Scooby-Doo and/or Shaggy falls into the trap and they accidentally catch the monster another way, usually if the plan is explained in detail before attempted execution fails). Invariably, the ghost/monster is apprehended and unmasked. The person in the ghost or monster suit turns out to be an apparently blameless authority figure or otherwise innocuous local who is using the disguise to cover up something such as a crime or a scam.

6. After giving the parting shot of "And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids" (sometimes adding "...and your stupid dog!"), the offender is then taken away to jail, and the gang is allowed to continue on their way to their destination

Scooby-Doo features an emphasis placed on verbal rather than visual storytelling, and the work of the voice artists was particularly important. Don Messick, the voice of Astro the dog, Dr. Benton Quest, and Boo-Boo Bear—among others—provided the raspy, mumbling voice of Scooby-Doo using a similar (but slightly lower) voice he provided for Astro, the pet dog on The Jetsons. Radio DJ Casey Kasem voiced Shaggy, young actor Frank Welker voiced Fred (which began Welker's long career in voice work), and actress Nicole Jaffe voiced Velma (Frank Welker and Nicole Jaffe also appeared together in the 1969 Elvis Presley film The Trouble with Girls.) Stefanianna Christopherson voiced Daphne during the first season, but moved to New York City to marry and start a family before production began on the second season. As a result, Nicole Jaffe's roommate, Heather North, took over the role of Daphne.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! is a GREAT show to watch with kids.

Friday, June 22, 2012

10 Years!!!!!!!!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Corporal Antoine A. Gaujot (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 19, 1899, at San Mateo, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

Attempted under a heavy fire of the enemy to swim a river for the purpose of obtaining and returning with a canoe.

Captain Julien E. Gaujot (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 13, 1911, at Aqua Prieta, Mexico. His citation reads:

Crossed the field of fire to obtain the permission of the rebel commander to receive the surrender of the surrounded forces of Mexican Federals and escort such forces, together with 5 Americans held as prisoners, to the American line.

Private John C. Gaunt (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on November 30, 1864, at Franklin, Tennessee. His citation reads:

Capture of flag.

Before we get to what I have to say, let me first say “Congrats!” to all of my fellow Miami Heat fans! And congrats to Jeremy for being right about the Heat winning it in 5. Way to name that tune.

If you haven’t already guessed, today is the 10th anniversary of the day I married The Wife. So today I give you 10 things about us:

1. We met in the Spring of 1999. I was crossing Oakland Ave. going to campus when a Chi-Omega (Holly) called out to me (now isn’t the time for me to brag, but if it was the time I’d tell you it wasn’t odd for me to have girls yell for me back then). Anyway, she wanted me to meet her “Little Sister” who was sitting on the porch of the Chi-O house. That was when I met the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen (yes, I’m talking about The Wife).

2. Our first date was July 13, 1999 at the Applebee’s on Old Trolley Road. I was a few (45) minutes late. To be fair, I was coming from James Island and was going back up to Rock Hill after the date. Anyway, we had our first (sober… haha) kiss out by her car in the parking lot as it started to rain.

3. Fall of 1999 was our first semester at Winthrop as a “couple”. I had to drop out shortly after the semester started because I had “Rebecca Mono” (it’s a long story I’ll have to share another time… just know it’s not what you think… or maybe it is, I’m not a mind-reader so I really have no clue what you’re thinking… though I can tell you that the “Rebecca” part of “Rebecca Mono” is probably the Rebecca you are thinking of).

4. I asked her to marry me on December 24, 2000 out in front of her Uncle Joe and Aunt Chrissy’s house. She said yes. We then went to tell Rebecca and her parents (seems there were no hard feelings between them over the whole mono thing).

5. We sat in her house and watched the news all day on September 11, 2001 (except for when we had to go to class because Winthrop never cancelled classes back then… you know I love Winthrop but they were wrong that day). We also went to eat dinner at Ryan’s that night… the place was packed but stone cold silent.

6. We graduated from Winthrop in May of 2002… and got married in June.

7. I was working at the Rack Room Shoes in Northwoods Mall as an Assistant Manager. She was working at the Dorchester County Library as a Children’s Librarian.

8. Our first place was a first floor apartment in Westbury Mews off of Old Trolley Road.

9. We got Lucy shortly after Labor Day in 2002. We bought our house in May of 2003. Maverick came along in July of 2004… Mary Ruth in December 2005… Scooby in January 2009… Susie in October 2009… and Daniel in March of 2011.

10. For our 1st Anniversary, we went to the zoo in Columbia and I took a picture of us with the Llama. We saw other animals, too, of course… but the Llama is our favorite.

The I’m just sayin… Know Your South Carolina Athlete

The SC Athlete you should know this week is my former James Island teammate, Karl Morris. Karl was two years ahead of me at James Island and was a big part of our first State Championship my freshman season. While at James Island, Karl was a pitcher and shortstop. If I’m not mistaken (and I seldom am) Karl was the winning pitcher in the deciding game of that first State Championship after coming into the game as a relief pitcher. He was so pumped up when he came into pitch that I think he threw the first few warm-up pitches over the head of our catcher (his little brother, 8th grader Kevin). Karl was also the batter at the end of the game when a wild pitch brought in the winning run. He was a team leader his junior year and even more so his senior year. He was also somewhat of a mentor for me. I dare say I would not have been the player I ended up being if I hadn’t had a chance to study the way Karl not only played, but perhaps more importantly how he practiced. He worked hard during practice and never seemed to take a day off.

I can still remember a game in the playoffs my sophomore year when I was in the game at second with Karl at short. The batter hit a ball that had to go about a mile in the air. Of course, it was a nice clean night with what at the time appeared to be just short of 1,000,000,000 stars in the sky over the field. I remember looking up and thinking, “Oh sweet Jesus this ball can’t be coming to me… Oh God no, oh God no, oh God NOOOO!!!” I then did the one thing you are never supposed to do… I took my eye off the ball (or at least what I thought was the ball… there really were a lot of stars out that night) and looked over to Karl (with a look that said, “Please for the love of God come over here and call me off”). He calmly looked at me and simply said “Don’t worry… you’ve got it”. It was like a calm came over me… I looked up and caught the ball. Looking back, there’s a good chance he had no clue where the ball was and/or he thought it would be funny to see me get hit in the face by a fly ball (teens can be so cruel sometimes). Anyway, Karl was a great teammate and a great player.

After high school, he first went to North Greenville before transferring to the College of Charleston. He had a decent career at the College as a first baseman (I believe he hurt his arm at North Greenville, which is why he played 1B at C of C… or maybe that had nothing to do with it, I really don’t know). Since college he has coached a few years as an assistant coach (and a few years as a head coach) at James Island before becoming a fireman with the City of Charleston and an assistant coach at Wando. I know I didn’t give you a lot of stats (or any, really), but Karl is on here for more than just numbers. Congrats to Karl on being this week’s South Carolina Athlete You Should Know.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thankful for The Wife… that’s right, The Wife

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Sergeant Richard Gasson (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 29, 1864, at Chapins Farm, Virginia. His citation reads:

Fell dead while planting the colors of his regiment on the enemy's works.

Bugler George Gates (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 4, 1869, at Picacho Mountain, Arizona. His citation reads:

Killed an Indian warrior and captured his arms.

Sergeant Philip Gaughan (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 11, 1898, on board the USS Nashville. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Nashville during the operation of cutting the cable leading from Cienfuegos, Cuba, 11 May 1898. Facing the heavy fire of the enemy, Gaughan set an example of extraordinary bravery and coolness throughout this action.

Thankful Thursday

With the big 1-0 Anniversary coming up tomorrow, I’m thankful for The Wife. I know I don’t tell her enough how much I love her, but a lot of times that’s because I think it goes without saying. I mean, think about it… When we got married we became 1… and everyone knows that I love me some me… therefore it should go without saying that I love her. But I should still probably say it more. I’m thankful for the time she spends with our children helping them build on the natural talents that God gave them via me. I’m thankful that she loves me even when she is mad at me (which probably happens more than you would think… heck, it probably happens more than I think). The thing is, I know I give her a hard time… but that’s how I am. I can’t help it. I try not to be that way, but I am who I am. She is able to make me laugh and I am able to make her roll her eyes.

There is a story not many people know (unless I’ve told it more than I realized), but there was a night… I don’t remember the exact night, but it was probably around late June/early July 1999 and I couldn’t sleep. It was probably about 1:30 or 2:00 in the morning and I decided I would take a walk to clear my head. There was a girl that I had been friends with, but without going into too much detail, she had ticked me off and so I was prepared to never speak to her again. BUT… she had a birthday party coming up and there was a good chance a girl (The Wife) who I wanted to be there was going to be there. So I walked down Eden Terrace (it ended up being about a 5 mile round trip) at around 2 in the morning and thought about what to do. I can remember looking up at the stars and praying that God would somehow make this girl (The Wife) my wife. Sure, we hadn’t dated yet, but I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. So I asked God to make sure she was at this party… if she was there, I’d take it as a sign. Well, she was there… And I am, and will forever be, thankful.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday Quote

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Coal Heaver James R. Garrison (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 5, 1864, on board the USS Hartford. His citation reads:

On board the flagship, U.S.S. Hartford, during successful engagements against Fort Morgan, rebel gunboats and the ram Tennessee in Mobile Bay, on 5 August 1864. When a shell struck his foot and severed one of his toes, Garrison remained at his station at the shell whip and, after crudely bandaging the wound, continued to perform his duties until severely wounded by another shellburst.

Captain of the Forecastle William Garvin (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 23, 1864, on board the USS Agawam. His citation reads:

Garvin served on board the U.S.S. Agawam, as one of a volunteer crew of a powder boat which was exploded near Fort Fisher, 23 December 1864. The powder boat, towed in by the Wilderness to prevent detection by the enemy, cast off and slowly steamed to within 300 yards of the beach. After fuses and fires had been lit and a second anchor with short scope let go to assure the boat's tailing inshore, the crew again boarded the Wilderness and proceeded a distance of 12 miles from shore. Less than 2 hours later the explosion took place, and the following day fires were observed still burning at the fort.

Junior Grade Lieutenant Donald Arthur Gary (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 19, 1945, on the Japanese Home Islands near Kobe. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as an engineering officer attached to the U.S.S. Franklin when that vessel was fiercely attacked by enemy aircraft during the operations against the Japanese Home Islands near Kobe, Japan, 19 March 1945. Stationed on the third deck when the ship was rocked by a series of violent explosions set off in her own ready bombs, rockets, and ammunition by the hostile attack, Lt. (j.g.) Gary unhesitatingly risked his life to assist several hundred men trapped in a messing compartment filled with smoke, and with no apparent egress. As the imperiled men below decks became increasingly panic stricken under the raging fury of incessant explosions, he confidently assured them he would find a means of effecting their release and, groping through the dark, debris-filled corridors, ultimately discovered an escapeway. Stanchly determined, he struggled back to the messing compartment 3 times despite menacing flames, flooding water, and the ominous threat of sudden additional explosions, on each occasion calmly leading his men through the blanketing pall of smoke until the last one had been saved. Selfless in his concern for his ship and his fellows, he constantly rallied others about him, repeatedly organized and led fire-fighting parties into the blazing inferno on the flight deck and, when firerooms 1 and 2 were found to be inoperable, entered the No. 3 fireroom and directed the raising of steam in 1 boiler in the face of extreme difficulty and hazard. An inspiring and courageous leader, Lt. (j.g.) Gary rendered self-sacrificing service under the most perilous conditions and, by his heroic initiative, fortitude, and valor, was responsible for the saving of several hundred lives. His conduct throughout reflects the highest credit upon himself and upon the U.S. Naval Service.

The I’m just sayin… Quote of the Week

Women don't want to hear what you think. Women want to hear what they think - in a deeper voice. - Bill Cosby

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

About the Weekend

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

First Lieutenant Ernest A. Garlington (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 29, 1890, at Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota. His citation reads:

Distinguished gallantry.

Private Harold A. Garman (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 25, 1944, near Montereau, France. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On 25 August 1944, in the vicinity of Montereau, France, the enemy was sharply contesting any enlargement of the bridgehead which our forces had established on the northern bank of the Seine River in this sector. Casualties were being evacuated to the southern shore in assault boats paddled by litter bearers from a medical battalion. Pvt. Garman, also a litter bearer in this battalion, was working on the friendly shore carrying the wounded from the boats to waiting ambulances. As 1 boatload of wounded reached midstream, a German machinegun suddenly opened fire upon it from a commanding position on the northern bank 100 yards away. All of the men in the boat immediately took to the water except 1 man who was so badly wounded he could not rise from his litter. Two other patients who were unable to swim because of their wounds clung to the sides of the boat. Seeing the extreme danger of these patients, Pvt. Garman without a moment's hesitation plunged into the Seine. Swimming directly into a hail of machinegun bullets, he rapidly reached the assault boat and then while still under accurately aimed fire towed the boat with great effort to the southern shore. This soldier's moving heroism not only saved the lives of the three patients but so inspired his comrades that additional assault boats were immediately procured and the evacuation of the wounded resumed. Pvt. Garman's great courage and his heroic devotion to the highest tenets of the Medical Corps may be written with great pride in the annals of the corps.

Sergeant William Garrett (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 16, 1864, at Nashville, Tennessee. His citation reads:

With several companions dashed forward, the first to enter the enemy's works, taking possession of 4 pieces of artillery and captured the flag of the 13th Mississippi Infantry (C.S.A.).

I can't remember if I already told you or not, but The Wife left me for a "Girls Weekend" the weekend before last.  While she was gone, Mary Ruth and Susie asked if they could sleep in my bed with me.  I told them if they were good, I'd let them.  Well, they ended up being pretty good (not great, but better than I expected).  So I let them sleep in the bed with me.  It was me, Susie in the middle, and Mary Ruth on the other side.  We ended up sleeping like this...


I was on the edge of the bed, Susie had her feet on me and her head by Mary Ruth and MR had her feet down by my feet.  I'm pretty shocked that I was able to get any sleep.

This past weekend, we told the girls that they could camp out on the floor of our room.  I think one of the pictures below is of them camping on the floor.

We learned this weekend that Susie is unable to keep a secret.  She couldn't wait to show me the Father's Day gifts they made for me... and she couldn't wait to tell me about the cupcakes they were making for me.  It made Mary Ruth so mad... but it was pretty funny to me.

Picture Tuesday

Daniel texting his friends in Russia

Now he's checking out his E*Trade App...

It seems it was taking too long for us to get our food...

Hello, Comrade!  Did you get the text I just sent you?

We went to a pool party on Saturday... This was the Horres pool.

Daniel trying to tame a dolphin.

The cupcakes Mary Ruth made me that Susie told me about.  They say, "We (heart) Our Daddy".

Daniel doing a little fashion walk at Nana and Da's house.

Daniel saying cheese while on the statue of Dach.

I tried to take a picture of the kids with Da... but Mary Ruth is the only one who would stay still long enough for me to take the pic.

My gift from Daniel

My gift from Mary Ruth....

My gift from Susie

Daniel and Susie looking at The Wife's iPad

Susie and Mary Ruth camping out in our room

Susie playing dress up

This picture is a few weeks old... but I think it's funny, so I'm going to put it here.  Daniel's "Cheese" face cracks me up.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Monday

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Rank Sergeant Robert J. Gardner (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 2, 1865, at Petersburg, Virginia. His citation reads:

Was among the first to enter Fort Gregg, clearing his way by using his musket on the heads of the enemy.

Seaman William Gardner (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 5, 1864, on board the USS Calena. His citation reads:

As seaman on board the U.S.S. Calena in the engagement at Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864. Serving gallantly during this fierce battle which resulted in the capture of the rebel ram Tennessee and the damaging of Fort Morgan. Gardner behaved with conspicuous coolness under the fire of the enemy.

Corporal Harry Garland (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 7, 1877, at Little Muddy Creek, Montana, and on August 29, 1877, at Camas Meadows, Idaho. His citation reads:

Gallantry in action with hostile Sioux, at Little Muddy Creek, Mont.; having been wounded in the hip so as to be unable to stand, at Camas Meadows, Idaho, he still continued to direct the men under his charge until the enemy withdrew.

The I’m just sayin… Weekly Weigh-In

Greg 240

Mary Ruth 47

Susie 25

Daniel 25

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Private Charles N. Gardner (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 1, 1865, at Five Forks, Virginia. His citation reads:

Capture of flag.

Private Charles Gardner (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions from August to October 1868, in Arizona. His citation reads:

Bravery in scouts and actions against Indians.

First Lieutenant James A. Gardner (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 7, 1966, at My Canh, Vietnam. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Lt. Gardner's platoon was advancing to relieve a company of the 1st Battalion that had been pinned down for several hours by a numerically superior enemy force in the village of My Canh, Vietnam. The enemy occupied a series of strongly fortified bunker positions which were mutually supporting and expertly concealed. Approaches to the position were well covered by an integrated pattern of fire including automatic weapons, machine guns and mortars. Air strikes and artillery placed on the fortifications had little effect. 1st Lt. Gardner's platoon was to relieve the friendly company by encircling and destroying the enemy force. Even as it moved to begin the attack, the platoon was under heavy enemy fire. During the attack, the enemy fire intensified. Leading the assault and disregarding his own safety, 1st Lt. Gardner charged through a withering hail of fire across an open rice paddy. On reaching the first bunker he destroyed it with a grenade and without hesitation dashed to the second bunker and eliminated it by tossing a grenade inside. Then, crawling swiftly along the dike of a rice paddy, he reached the third bunker. Before he could arm a grenade, the enemy gunner leaped forth, firing at him. 1st Lt. Gardner instantly returned the fire and killed the enemy gunner at a distance of 6 feet. Following the seizure of the main enemy position, he reorganized the platoon to continue the attack. Advancing to the new assault position, the platoon was pinned down by an enemy machine gun emplaced in a fortified bunker. 1st Lt. Gardner immediately collected several grenades and charged the enemy position, firing his rifle as he advanced to neutralize the defenders. He dropped a grenade into the bunker and vaulted beyond. As the bunker blew up, he came under fire again. Rolling into a ditch to gain cover, he moved toward the new source of fire. Nearing the position, he leaped from the ditch and advanced with a grenade in one hand and firing his rifle with the other. He was gravely wounded just before he reached the bunker, but with a last valiant effort he staggered forward and destroyed the bunker, and its defenders with a grenade. Although he fell dead on the rim of the bunker, his extraordinary actions so inspired the men of his platoon that they resumed the attack and completely routed the enemy. 1st Lt. Gardner's conspicuous gallantry were in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there (including new dad, my friend Michael). I hope you enjoy it because if your house is anything like mine, this is probably the only day when everyone will be nice to you. :)

I could say some more about my Dad, but I decided instead to give some fatherly advice to Daniel, my Godson Lucas, and my nephew Austin. Right now, this advice is really more for Austin, but if Daniel and Lucas ever play baseball it will be for them too. I would let Sonny give this advice to Austin, but I’m not sure he was on a baseball team that ever really won anything, so I’ll step up here. Before we get to the advice, allow me to tell you a little story…

The year was 1994 and I was a freshman on the James Island baseball team. In all honesty, my main role on this team was to keep the book. I know it doesn’t sound like much to you, but I learned a ton about the mental game of baseball and about coaching baseball during my time keeping the book. But that’s not the point of this story. That team won the 8-AAA Region Championship (the first of 5 straight)… but we didn’t know we’d won it until the next day. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but I think we had to wait for the result of the Hilton Head game before we knew if we’d won it or not. Anyway, we found out we won the next day at practice. At the end of practice, Coach Hatley told everyone to get where they were at the end of the game the night before. He had the pitcher throw a pitch and then he yell “We just won the region!” Everyone ran to the mound for the ‘dogpile’. It was a blast! It was so much fun that we wanted to keep winning so that we’d have a chance to do that again (that wasn’t the only reason… but it really was a big reason). I might be wrong, but I think we did it when we won the district in the playoffs and I know we did it when we won the Lower State and State championships. In all of these, I got there from the bench and it was great. The one thing I regret is that in the 3 years after that, we never had a dogpile after “just” winning the region. We just acted like we’d been there before (because we had). Still, I wish that instead of acting like we’d been there before, we would have acted like we might never get there again. Anyway, it wasn’t until my junior year that we won the State Championship again. I don’t remember if we had a dogpile after winning Lower State… but I do remember the one after State. I was playing Second Base and the last hit came my way. I went far to my left, go the ball and threw a perfect strike to first (and by “perfect strike”, I mean I threw the ball a good 2 to 3 feet wide of the base… lucky for me my good friend Theo McDaniel was playing first and he was always able to catch anything I threw him while keeping his foot on the bag. So there it was, we won state! I got to the mound about the same time as the catcher and ended up at the bottom of the pile with our catcher (Moose) and our pitcher (Adam). All I remember is us being on the bottom yelling for everyone to get up. I thought my head was going to get crushed like a grape.

This leads me to my advice. The dogpile is great… it’s a ton of fun… but do your best to never be on the bottom. I know there might be times when you can’t help it (if you’re a pitcher or catcher and you win while you’re in the field, protocol states that you be on the bottom… I don’t know why it is, but that’s how it is). If you score the winning run, you’ll probably be on the bottom. But, trust me when I tell you this… If you can ever help it, don’t be on the bottom of the dogpile. If you find yourself close (like I was playing second base) take some time to “Tebow” or just jump up and down for a second and point at the sky. I mean, you don’t want to be on the bottom of the pile… but you don’t want to look like you don’t want to be there. So you can’t just stand and wait… you have to look like you’re doing something and rushing to get there. But do your best to not get there too soon. You’ll thank me.

The I’m just sayin… Bible Verse of the Week

The father of a righteous child has great joy;
    a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Golden Girls

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Staff Sergeant Marcario Garcia (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on November 27, 1944, near Grosshau, Germany. His citation reads:

While an acting squad leader of Company B, 22d Infantry, on 27 November 1944, near Grosshau, Germany, he single-handedly assaulted 2 enemy machinegun emplacements. Attacking prepared positions on a wooded hill, which could be approached only through meager cover, his company was pinned down by intense machinegun fire and subjected to a concentrated artillery and mortar barrage. Although painfully wounded, he refused to be evacuated and on his own initiative crawled forward alone until he reached a position near an enemy emplacement. Hurling grenades, he boldly assaulted the position, destroyed the gun, and with his rifle killed 3 of the enemy who attempted to escape. When he rejoined his company, a second machinegun opened fire and again the intrepid soldier went forward, utterly disregarding his own safety. He stormed the position and destroyed the gun, killed 3 more Germans, and captured 4 prisoners. He fought on with his unit until the objective was taken and only then did he permit himself to be removed for medical care. S/Sgt. (then private) Garcia's conspicuous heroism, his inspiring, courageous conduct, and his complete disregard for his personal safety wiped out 2 enemy emplacements and enabled his company to advance and secure its objective.

Private James Gardiner (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 29, 1864, at Chapins Farm, Virginia. His citation reads:

Rushed in advance of his brigade, shot a rebel officer who was on the parapet rallying his men, and then ran him through with his bayonet.

Private Peter W. Gardiner (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 23, 1875, at Sappa Creek, Kansas. His citation reads:

With 5 other men he waded in mud and water up the creek to a position directly behind an entrenched Cheyenne position, who were using natural bank pits to good advantage against the main column. This surprise attack from the enemy rear broke their resistance.

The I’m just sayin… Kid Show of the Week

Our Kids Show of the week this week is The Golden Girls. The Golden Girls is a sitcom created by Susan Harris, which originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, to May 9, 1992. Starring Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty, the show centers on four older women sharing a home in Miami, Florida. The owner of the house is a widow named Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan), who was joined by fellow widow Rose Nylund (Betty White) and divorcée Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur). They both responded to a room-for-rent ad on the bulletin board of a local grocery store. The three were soon joined by Dorothy's mother, Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty), after the retirement home where she lived, Shady Pines, burned down.

The series featured four main characters throughout its run, with many other characters recurring throughout all seven seasons.

*Bea Arthur as Dorothy Zbornak, a substitute teacher. Born in Brooklyn, New York to Italian immigrants Sophia and Salvadore Petrillo, Dorothy became pregnant while still in high school, resulting in a marriage to Stanley Zbornak in order to legitimize the baby. Stan and Dorothy eventually moved to Miami, but divorced after 38 years when Stan left her for a young flight attendant. Their marriage produced two children, Kate and Michael. In the series' finale episode, Dorothy marries Blanche's uncle, Lucas Hollingsworth, and relocates to Atlanta, Georgia.

*Betty White as Rose Nylund, a Swedish-American from the small farming town of St. Olaf, Minnesota. Known for her profoundly strange and bizarre stories of life growing up in her hometown, Rose was married to Charlie Nylund, with whom she had five children. Upon Charlie's death, she moved to Miami to work at a grief counseling center, though she later ended up as the assistant to a consumer reporter ("Enrique Mas") at a local TV station. In later seasons, Rose became romantically involved with college professor Miles Webber, until he was relocated by the Federal Witness Protection Program.

*Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux, a Southern belle, employed at an art museum. Born into a wealthy family, Blanche grew up as the apple of her father's eye on a plantation outside of Atlanta, Georgia, prior to her relocation to Miami, where she lived with her late husband George. Their marriage produced six children: four sons and two daughters. A widow, Blanche was portrayed as man-hungry, and she clearly had the most male admirers—and stories detailing various sexual encounters—over the course of the series.

*Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo, Dorothy's mother. Born in Sicily, Sophia moved to New York after fleeing an arranged marriage to Guido Spirelli. She later married Salvadore Petrillo, with whom she had three children. Initially a resident in the Shady Pines Retirement Home after having a stroke prior to the start of the series, she moved-in with Blanche, Rose and Dorothy following a fire at the institution. During the series' run, Sophia married Max Weinstock, but they soon separated. Throughout the series, she held a few part-time jobs mostly involving food, including fast-food worker and entrepreneur of spaghetti sauce and homemade sandwiches.

Hired to film the pilot, veteran director Sandrich would also become instrumental in the casting process for the series. Both Rue McClanahan and Betty White came into consideration as the series Mama's Family in which the two co-starred on, had been cancelled by NBC. Originally producers wanted to cast McClanahan as Rose and White as Blanche. The thinking for this was based on roles they previously played; White portrayed man-hungry Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, while McClanahan co-starred as sweet but scatter-brained Vivian Harmon in Maude. Eager not to be typecast, they took the suggestion of Sandrich and switched roles last-minute.

The final episode of The Golden Girls aired on May 9, 1992 and was watched by 27.2 million viewers (or 38% of the audience at that time).

During its original run, The Golden Girls received 65 Emmy nominations, 11 Emmy awards, four Golden Globe Awards, and two Viewers for Quality Television awards. All the lead actresses won Emmy Awards for their performances on the show. The Golden Girls is one of three shows, along with All in the Family and Will & Grace, where all the principal actors have won at least one Emmy Award. As a tribute to the success of The Golden Girls, all four actresses were later named Disney Legends.

This is the perfect show to watch with the whole family. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

College Baseball

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Captain William Wylie Galt (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 29, 1944, at Villa Crocetta, Italy. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. Galt, Battalion S3, at a particularly critical period following 2 unsuccessful attacks by his battalion, of his own volition went forward and ascertained just how critical the situation was. He volunteered, at the risk of his life, personally to lead the battalion against the objective. When the lone remaining tank destroyer refused to go forward, Capt. Galt jumped on the tank destroyer and ordered it to precede the attack. As the tank destroyer moved forward, followed by a company of riflemen, Capt. Galt manned the .30-caliber machinegun in the turret of the tank destroyer, located and directed fire on an enemy 77mm. anti-tank gun, and destroyed it. Nearing the enemy positions, Capt. Galt stood fully exposed in the turret, ceaselessly firing his machinegun and tossing hand grenades into the enemy zigzag series of trenches despite the hail of sniper and machinegun bullets ricocheting off the tank destroyer. As the tank destroyer moved, Capt. Galt so maneuvered it that 40 of the enemy were trapped in one trench. When they refused to surrender, Capt. Galt pressed the trigger of the machinegun and dispatched every one of them. A few minutes later an 88mm shell struck the tank destroyer and Capt. Galt fell mortally wounded across his machinegun. He had personally killed 40 Germans and wounded many more. Capt. Galt pitted his judgment and superb courage against overwhelming odds, exemplifying the highest measure of devotion to his country and the finest traditions of the U.S. Army.

Staff Sergeant Archer T. Gammon (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on January 11, 1945, near Bastogne, Belgium. His citation reads:

He charged 30 yards through hip-deep snow to knock out a machinegun and its 3-man crew with grenades, saving his platoon from being decimated and allowing it to continue its advance from an open field into some nearby woods. The platoon's advance through the woods had only begun when a machinegun supported by riflemen opened fire and a Tiger Royal tank sent 88mm. shells screaming at the unit from the left flank. S/Sgt. Gammon, disregarding all thoughts of personal safety, rushed forward, then cut to the left, crossing the width of the platoon's skirmish line in an attempt to get within grenade range of the tank and its protecting foot troops. Intense fire was concentrated on him by riflemen and the machinegun emplaced near the tank. He charged the automatic weapon, wiped out its crew of 4 with grenades, and, with supreme daring, advanced to within 25 yards of the armored vehicle, killing 2 hostile infantrymen with rifle fire as he moved forward. The tank had started to withdraw, backing a short distance, then firing, backing some more, and then stopping to blast out another round, when the man whose single-handed relentless attack had put the ponderous machine on the defensive was struck and instantly killed by a direct hit from the Tiger Royal's heavy gun. By his intrepidity and extreme devotion to the task of driving the enemy back no matter what the odds, S/Sgt. Gammon cleared the woods of German forces, for the tank continued to withdraw, leaving open the path for the gallant squad leader's platoon.

Private First Class Fernando Luis Garcia (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 5, 1952, in Korea. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a member of Company I, in action against enemy aggressor forces. While participating in the defense of a combat outpost located more than 1 mile forward of the main line of resistance during a savage night attack by a fanatical enemy force employing grenades, mortars, and artillery, Pfc. Garcia, although suffering painful wounds, moved through the intense hail of hostile fire to a supply point to secure more handgrenades. Quick to act when a hostile grenade landed nearby, endangering the life of another marine, as well as his own, he unhesitatingly chose to sacrifice himself and immediately threw his body upon the deadly missile, receiving the full impact of the explosion. His great personal valor and cool decision in the face of almost certain death sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

I know some of you have been watching college baseball these past few weeks and I’m sure you’ve had some questions about what you’ve been hearing. With the College World Series starting tonight, I’m going to try and help you out.

Announcer: “He painted the black with that pitch”.

Translation: “I can’t believe the umpire just called that a strike”.

Announcer: "This umpire has been consistent all night".

Translation: "He's been consitently bad".

Announcer: “This lefty has a great move to first”.

Translation: “This left-handed pitcher balks every time he tries to pick a guy off first… he just never gets called for it”.

Announcer: “He has game speed”.

Translation: “I’m a moron”.

Sorry, but thanks to my friend Cory, I now have trouble listening to Mike Patrick call a game. Anyway, the big news leading into the College World Series (which starts tonight) is Stony Brook being there. They are the Cinderella team that has shocked the world to get there. I admit, I was pulling for them to beat LSU… but that’s as far as I go with this Cinderella. They had a little too much “northeast” talk after they won their Super Regional. Hey, their proud to represent the northeast. That’s fine. Good for them. I ain’t cheering for the northeast school to do well in the CWS. I just can’t do it.

Speaking of Cinderella… for my money the greatest college baseball Cinderella story will always be the 1990 Citadel baseball team. I admit I’m biased here. Sonny had played with or against some of the guys on that team (he could have played with all of them that season… but I won’t get into that right now). Coach Hatley was an assistant coach on that team. And, of course, Coach Port was the head coach. It’s a little known fact that I was the batboy for The Citadel for a couple of games in 1989, so needless to say I was a fan of the team (I remember all of the guys being nice to me). I remember Dad taking me to a good many games that season (and you have to remember, this was back before the new stadium… so they were still playing at College Park… You had to really want to see a game to go there). Hugo had hit the previous September, so that team gave the area something to take their minds off of the recovery (which was still going on in the spring of 1990). Make no mistake, that team wasn’t perfect. It had some flaws… but they were fun to watch and they won enough games that their flaws could be overlooked. They had to go through the University of Miami to get to the CWS (how fitting that a team from Charleston at that time would beat the Hurricanes to advance to Omaha). The best part (for me, at least) is that The Citadel won a game in Omaha… they didn’t go two and out. The game they won was televised on ESPN… if only I had recorded it. I’d love to watch it again. I’ve looked on the internet, but can’t find a copy of that game anywhere. If any of you have a copy, feel free to let me know.

The I’m just sayin… Know Your South Carolina Athlete

The South Carolina Athlete you should know today is former Citadel baseball player Anthony Jenkins. He also played football, but he’s on here because of baseball. Jenkins was a senior and star player on that 1990 baseball team. He was a First Team All-American that year and was named the Southern Conference Male Athlete of the Year (also in that year) after leading the team to a 46-14 record. He will forever be remembered for “The Slide” in the 8-7 come-from-behind victory over Cal State-Fullerton in the College World Series. AJ had a .719 slugging percentage in 1990 while scoring a then-school record 70 runs. He also held the school record for hits in a season (89), total bases (161) and home runs (16).

Anthony Jenkins was named to the Citadel Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007 (also the same year the 1990 Citadel Baseball Team was inducted). Anthony Jenkins is the South Carolina Athlete you should know. And while I’m thinking about it… you should also know “The Slide”. Even after 22 years I can still picture it. Thanks for that memory, AJ.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Private George N. Galloway (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 8, 1864, at Alsops Farm, Virginia. His citation reads:

Voluntarily held an important position under heavy fire.

Commissary Sergeant John Galloway (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 7, 1865, at Farmville, Virginia. His citation reads:

His regiment being surprised and nearly overwhelmed, he dashed forward under a heavy fire, reached the right of the regiment, where the danger was greatest, rallied the men and prevented a disaster that was imminent.

Artificer Sterling A. Galt (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on November 9, 1899, at Bamban, Luzon, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

Distinguished bravery and conspicuous gallantry in action against insurgents.

Congrats to my good friends Michael and Adrian on the birth of their baby boys this past Tuesday. Brayard Benjamin (6lbs, 10oz… 20in) and Belton Shepard (7lbs, 11oz… 21in)… WOW, that’s quite the tag team there. They now hold the Providence Baby Tag Team Belts as the first twins born into our class. Good luck to Michael and Adrian as they go for the rest of the titles: the Providence: You Know Where Babies Come From, Right? (shortest time between births, not counting twins. The title is currently held by me and The Wife with just 1 year, 5 months and 6 days between Susie and Daniel); the Providence Fastest to 3 (currently held by my friends KC and LA from Our Life… 3 kids in 3 years, 7 months and 10 days); and, perhaps a new title, the Providence Fastest to 4. All it will take is one more set of twins by early November 2013. I think I can speak for KC when I say we’ll be pulling for them.

I’m sure by now you’ve all had time to read Sonny’s post about some historical battles fought in the upstate during the Revolutionary War (which I’m sure brings back some memories for my friend KC). Anyway, I’m going to tell you a little known fact about those battles. As Sonny said, things weren’t looking good for the Patriot forces leading up to those battles… but that all changed when Major Ferguson of the British Army threatened the Americans. It wasn’t so much the threat, but the way he said it: “If you yankees don’t stop fighting, I’m going to hang your officers and burn your houses”. The problem for ol’ Fergie (as he was known back then) is that the Americans didn’t really hear the threat. See, it’s all about knowing your audience. Think about it… he was in upstate South Carolina. I imagine (as I’ve imagined most of what I’ve just typed) it went something like this:

Major Ferguson: “If you yankees…”

Patriot Soldiers: “What’d that sumbitch just call us?”

And the rest, as they say, is history…

For any of you kids out there who might one day have to write a paper on this, feel free to use what I just told you. If your teacher doesn’t like it, tell him/her to prove it didn’t happen this way.

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for all the dads out there (except the deadbeat dads, of course). I’m lucky in that I know a lot of great dads (including my own) and I often think about them when faced with situations with my children. There are a number of times when something comes up with my kids and I stop and think “What would Dad do? How would Uncle Keith handle this? How about Uncle George? What would DG do if he were here?” Usually by this point the moment has passed and it’s too late for me to do anything… but at least I didn’t do the WRONG thing. So I’ve got that going for me.

Of course I can’t let this Thankful Thursday go by without saying how thankful I am of my Dad. I can remember how he used to always take me to Sonny’s baseball games and how he would always give me a kiss before he took Sonny hunting. And I’ll never forget how he’d let me go out in the backyard to stand behind Sonny while they played catch. Dad let Teresa Lynn drive a 64 ½ red convertible Mustang when she was in high school… I drove a 1983 Ford Ranger (What’s that? Oh yeah… we still had the Mustang).

Of course this stuff isn’t as bad as it might sound. I had a lot of fun at Sonny’s baseball games and he didn’t take me hunting back then because if there was a hunting accident, he didn’t want me to be the one hurt (Sonny he could do without… I’m just guessing). And I wouldn’t have become such a good baseball player if I hadn’t had to catch all the balls Sonny missed while in the backyard with Dad. As for the car, let’s face it… with everything else I had going for me in high school, if I had driven the convertible then there’s a good chance my oldest child would be a teenager looking at what colleges to attend in the near future. Besides that, the ’83 Ranger was a beat up old truck that belonged to my grandfather before he died… it was the perfect vehicle for a high school boy. I could go on and on because Dad really did do a great job (with me at least… I think the jury is still out on Sonny and Teresa Lynn) but I’m going to save some of this stuff for December… I can’t tell you all of the 70 things about Dad right now.

So thank you to Dad… and thank you to all the other dads out there who love their children.