Dec 29, 2010

2010 Year in Review

2010 went by in a flash. I am very fortunately to have spent another year with my wonderful wife and I'll take as many more as I can get. Here's a recap of 2010 from my vantage point.

2010 began on a quiet note. Julie and I slept through the ball drop at our house and watched Auburn play Northwestern in the Outback Bowl on our new TV.

We invited our good friends (the Branches) and my sister over to watch Alabama take on Texas in the national championship game a few days later. Auburn finds itself in the same position the Crimson Tide enjoyed last year and it really just feels like yesterday when all of Alabama was focused on the Rose Bowl. I only played golf once in January.

February was more eventful at work than at home. Julie and I observed Valentine's Day quietly at home.

In March, my father and I traveled to Milligan, Florida to do some yard work around the ancestral home and family cemetery there. Many man hours have been spent trying to stay ahead of the weeds on this property located just outside of Crestview. It is increasingly difficult to spend the time there that is required to keep the house and property manageable. Upon returning, I pronounced this visit as my final trip to Milligan. I also managed to play golf twice in March.

April was a busy (and dangerous) month. We watched Duke University's mens team win their 4th national championship at the Branch's house.

I severely cut my finger and almost bled out on the opening day of the 2010 Master's Golf Tournament. This injury did not prevent Julie and I from hosting "Sunday at The Masters" a few days later. We had a lot of fun and I must make a note to start searching for a green jacket at local thrift stores earlier in 2011. Julie and I also celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary in April. We spent a long weekend in Savannah and really enjoyed ourselves!

Also in April, Clay Branch and I checked in with most of the Auburn football coaches when Tiger Prowl 2010 rolled through the Birmingham area.

I was able to put my wedding anniversary gift to good use in May. Julie gave me a gift certificate to play at Farm Links Golf Club. Clay Branch and I played 2.5 rounds that day and I could not have been happier.

Later in May, I attended the hottest wedding known to man (Lena and Robert Hardy [Emily Branch's brother]). On the work front, I decided to join the Pelham Lions Club to boost my business networking opportunities. I was a member of the Atmore Lions Club and enjoyed that experience very much. Unfortunately, the Pelham Club is slightly different: I'm the youngest member by at least 20 years. Most of the members are retired so business networking takes a back seat to heated discussions about the weather.

June was a fun month! Julie and I took spent some vacation time down at her parent's home in Destin with the Branches and our other friends: the Talbotts from St. Louis. A week full of oversleeping, overeating, diving board contests and good friends. I even got to play 3* rounds of golf! (*one of the rounds was at the local par 3 course).

In July, I celebrated our nation's independence by playing two rounds of golf in one week. I was thoroughly entertained by my cousin (EmKay Whatley) at an outdoor concert at Starbucks. She is very, very musically inclined. At the end of July, I drove Julie to North Carolina to the McIntyre Family reunion. Lots of my mother's family came down for our wedding so it wasn't too much of a shock for Julie. But that many McIntyres gathered together is a sight to behold! I also got to meet Duke point guard Nolan Smith.

August presented a chance to relax and cool our jets. I played golf on my birthday. Alone. No one witnessed my hole in one. Additionally, Julie and I attended her 10-year high school reunion at the swank Wind Creek Casino and Hotel in Atmore. It was a little awkward for me to be around so many old folks.

Ah, September. College football season! Julie and I enjoyed helping Auburn start their season thanks to her wonderful and generous parents. We got our first sampling of Cam Newton at the Arkansas State game (lots of questions about the AU defense were raised during this game).

We also got to see a very exciting catch and run by Auburn's #1 wide reciever at the Clemson game.

Continuing the football feast, Julie and I attended the football game and homecoming festivities at Huntingdon College.

My sister watched the Kentucky game with us in October. My new cousin Will Wilder was born in Auburn a few days later. Julie and I got to meet him when we were in town for the Arkansas game. (The Arkansas game will always be special for the Wilder family. Will's sister Margie Grace was born during the same week a few years earlier!) Julie and I went to Camden for a visit on Halloween weekend and watched the Ole Miss game on TV with my parents.

More football was in store for Julie and me in November. We were invited to watch Auburn's homecoming game against TN-Chattanooga on pay-per-view at the Branch's home. The next week, we attended the Georgia game and watched Nick Fairley and company end a long losing streak to UGA.

Also in November, Julie and I attended a dinner that honored the first Hispanic Lions Club in Alabama. The event was sponsored by the Pelham Lions Club and I was told that a local news camera captured a wonderful shot of Julie and I staring into each other's eyes. Truth be told, she was probably giving me her patented death glance and verbally abusing me telepathically for making her go to this event with me. We spent Thanksgiving weekend in Camden (the location of the Iron Bowl determines where we spend Thanksgiving).

December has been a blur because of work and Christmas shopping. Clay Branch and I played in the Bring Your Old Buddy golf tournament the day after Auburn won the SEC Championship game. We were well prepared for the cold weather after our experience last year. Too bad our advanced planning for the cold weather didn't help with this shank.

It's been so cold since then that the BYOB outing that I have declared it my last golf outing of 2010. We played well but I would have liked to have finished on a better note. If you're keeping score, I played less than one round of golf per month this year. I'm going to improve on that in 2011. Julie and I exchanged presents with my family in Camden on the 18th and celebrated Christmas with her family in Auburn on the 25th. I think we will continue our own tradition of spending New Year's together in Birmingham.

I hope you had a great year and that 2011 will be full of blessings!

Dec 23, 2010

Camden Christmas

This past weekend we celebrated Camden Christmas with Nick's family.  On Saturday we spent time with his extended family and exchanged presents.  Nick's cousin, Neil, and his wife Kate have two little ones and they always make the occasion much more lively for us boring adults.  

Neil for some reason was more interested in the newspaper than his presents!

Then he read himself to sleep.

Sunday we went to church and exchanged gifts with Nick's family.  It was a special day, and I so happy that I get to be a part of two wonderful families!

Dec 22, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

Aawwwwwwwwwwwwww yeah! Guess who's back?!? Special thanks to Julie for filling in while I've been wrapping all of our presents.

This week, I like light work traffic. Seems that a lot of folks have vacation time to use during the Christmas and New Year's holiday span. This makes for easy, stress-free trips to and from work. More of this please! Seriously, going to work this week has been a breeze due to school closings. It's like getting a taste of summer traffic without the overbearing heat.

This week, I love Wal-phed. I'm getting older and the body doesn't hold up like it used to. This week started with severe pain from sinus headaches. My throat really hurt too. Julie gave me some Wal-phed and I was feeling better in no time. When used improperly, this stuff can be a key ingredient for crystal meth. I guess that's why you have to buy it over the counter now. Rednecks have to ruin everything.

This week, I don't like the college football bowl season. Seems that every corporation with some extra spending cash can get their own bowl game now. I remember when playing your bowl game on New Year's day meant something, dang it. This year, playing on January 1st means that you have 4 overlapping games and two more that start later in the day. PLUS, January 1st bowl games take a back seat to SEVEN more bowl games that are played well into January. The bowl season alone should be enough reason for a college football playoff. By the time Auburn plays on January 10th, almost 40 days will have passed. Please join me by supporting the Playoff PAC, a group that works to elect government officials that are for a better system by which to crown national college football champions.

Now, this video was made last year after TCU and Boise State went undefeated and were denied a chance to play for the national championship (similar to Auburn's 2004 team). I fully agree with the critics that argue that these two particular teams benefit from weak conference schedules. To that I say: let them duke it out in a playoff. If they get clobbered in the first round of a playoff, that's a better result than having to always wonder, "what if?". Teams like Boise State and TCU have no business playing in the national championship game under current standards.


Dec 21, 2010

Christmas Bubble

So far I have managed to smock outfits for all of my friends babies, well at least their first born.  Now I have friends on their second and third and I can't keep up!  I absolutely love working on the outfits.  As I am making it I often think about what they will be like, what they will look like, and I spend time praying for them as well.  It is time consuming, but I get so much pleasure seeing them in an outfit that I made.

In October, my best friend Kiley had a little girl (Anna Kathryn).  Kiley decided to be difficult and not find out what she was having so it made it somewhat difficult to pick a pattern and a plate that was gender neutral.  I decided on Maja's Heirlooms Cory's Bubble pattern mainly because the only difference for a boy and girl are the sleeves.  Then I chose the Cross Eyed Cricket Fleur De Lis plate because Kiley collects Fleur De Lis and I thought it would be fun to smock it in Christmas colors. 

Christmas Card 2010

I started to wonder if we were going to get many Christmas cards this year....By the 15th we only had 3 or 4, but last week we made up for it.  This is a picture of our Christmas Card tree this morning.  You can't really tell from the picture but there are about 40 cards on the tree.  Thank you to everyone who sent us a card this year.  It is the highlight of my day when I go to the mailbox and have lots of cards waiting on me.  I love seeing your precious families! 

As I mentioned in an earlier post I once again under estimated the number of Christmas cards so again I apologize if you did not receive one from us this year.  I will do better next year.

Dec 15, 2010

Coming to your mailbox

Our Christmas cards are on their way to your mailboxes!  Some have already received theirs, but the rest are on their way!  I under estimated the number of cards again this year so I apologize if you are reading this and didn't get one.  I will certainly order more next year!

Have a wonderful day!

Dec 11, 2010

Making my list...and checking it twice

Decorate the House
Buy Presents
Mail Christmas Cards
Wrap Presents
Oreo Balls

I am feeling pretty good about my progress!  I plan to make my first batch of Oreo Balls this week when Ellen comes home!!!  She loves them.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Dec 9, 2010

Nothing Says Merry Christmas quite like.....

Oreo Balls

 A few years ago Sarah Harper (my sister-in-law) gave me this recipe and I thought it sounded good, but I was no where near prepared for just HOW much I would love these little bits of Oreo goodness.  They are now a staple in our house this time of year.  Starting in about mid November Nick starts asking for them.

So in case you want to try them here is the recipe, but be warned you cannot eat just one!

1 package of Oreos
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese (softened)
1 package of white chocolate chips
1 small package of milk chocolate chips


Crush the Oreos until they are finely powdered. I put mine in the chopper or food processor.

Mix the cookie crumbs with the softened cream cheese. Form into the desired size balls. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow for hardening.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave just until it gets melted.

Dip the Oreo balls into the white chocolate to cover. Place on a sheet of waxed paper on a cookie sheet.

Melt small amount of milk chocolate chips and drizzle on top.  I use a ziploc bag and cut a tiny hole in the corner to drizzle.

Refrigerate. Once they harden you can package them into containers, but it is best to keep them refrigerated.

I hope you and your family enjoy them as much as we do!

Dec 4, 2010

Wish List

For starters I completely stole this idea from one of my favorite blogs Urban Grace.  I love looking at what other people have on their Christmas lists...and often times get good ideas!  So here is what is on the Baggetts lists for 2010:

My List

a.  Echo Ruffle Touch these because they have a leather tip on the index finger and thumb so that you can operate a touch screen.  Will come in handy now that I have my new iphone! b. 2011 Linnea Design Poster Calendar c.  JCrew Buffalo Check Boy Shirt this is going to be so cute for Auburn games and maybe even a National Championship game!!!! d.  World Market Verona Armchairs e. Brother PE 770 Embroidery Machine this has been on my Christmas list for a few years now and it made an appearance again this year.  Probably wont get it, but a girl can dream right.  f. Vera Bradly Laptop Portfolio

Nick's List

Do you notice a THEME?
a. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2011 (playstation game)  b.  Titleist Pro V1 golf balls c. Frogger golf club brush d. WeatherSof golf glove  e. 2010 OGIO Kingpin Cart Bag f.  Duke Head Covers

What are you asking for this Christmas?

Dec 1, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like Top Gear. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not a car guy. I really like this show for its beautiful HD element. This show, based off of a popular British show of the same name, features the most unique tasks performed in the most awe-inspiring automobiles. Unfortunately, the three hosts of the show don’t have very good chemistry and given their random backgrounds, I sometimes catch myself wondering why they are the hosts at all. Some of the stunts are dorky too. But the HD intros for the supercars used on the show more than make up for Top Gear’s shortcomings. See for yourself. This video is cool but not as cool as the pair of Aston Martins dueling in a dried lake bed I had hoped to show you.

This US version of the show is not getting good reviews from loyal fans of the British show. Who knows how much longer it will last? But you can bet on this: if you appreciate HDTV like I do, you’ll like this show even if you aren’t a car geek.

This week, I love watching great movies that I previously overlooked. Being the son of movie renters, I was able to enjoy a lot of worthy movies during my childhood. I also viewed a lot movies that were NOT worth watching with my sister (her picks). I’ve seen so many movies that, when I find a good film that I haven't watched yet, it's like discovering hidden treasure. Netflix recently suggested I watch M. Knight Shyamalan’s The Village. I don't know why I put off watching this 2004 film but I was very pleased. I haven't felt this good about 'discovering' a movie since I watch Boiler Room a few years ago.

This week, I don't like being a Grinch. I don't know why but I haven't been able to get into the Christmas spirit. I have had no desire to watch a Christmas movie or listen to holiday music. It may be because I have devoted a lot of time, attention and nerves to Auburn football lately. Who knows? Maybe all it will take it hearing the best Christmas song of all time to get me kick-started...

Nope. Didn't do it. Not yet anyway.

Nov 24, 2010

Nov 21, 2010

It is worth it!

So who doesn't coupon these days?  I know most all of my friends do and now my mom is even getting in on the action (the lady who never shopped sales...ever)!  She calls me now to tell me about deals I need to look out for and we share coupons...never thought this would happen.

Southern Savers: Southern Deals and Frugal Steals.

I started using Southern Savers about this time last year.  Since then I shop strictly at Publix and CVS.  Before couponing I shopped at Wal-Mart.  I thought it would be interested to compare my grocery spending from:

May 2009 - November 2009
May 2010 - November 2010

Why May?  Well Nick and I got married in April so May was when I started buying for two and we started keeping track of our spending.  So here it goes:

Total spent on groceries from May 09-Nov. 09 = $3,422.54
              Average Weekly Spending = $122.23

Total spent on groceries from May 10-Nov.10 = $2,599.20
             Average Weekly Spending = $92.83

Thats a 24% savings...and I get to shop at Publix rather than Wal-Mart!!!

I know $30 a week doesn't seem like a lot, but multiply that times 52 weeks and I am saving about $1,560/year.  I like it!

Couponing does require good bit more work and more planning, but to me the saving are worth it!

Nov 17, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like NBA Jam. A version of this video game classic has recently been released for modern gaming systems. The new installation features an HD likeness of current and past players PLUS some of the classic catch phrases have been brought back! Admit still say BOOM SHAKA LAKA to yourself after completing a task of any significance. If only there was some type of list on which to write the title of this game to indicate my interest in owning this game...

This week, I love talking with my wife. Julie and I have had some really down-to-earth good talks lately. I have enjoyed these open discussions. We've started conversations while preparing dinner and continued them throughout the evening until it was time to brush our teeth. Unfortunately, these chats are soon to be a thing of the past now that Julie can text. Julie recently shed the title of "Last Person in America without a Texting Plan". Here's an example of how our conversations now unfold:

Julie: Hey. Need you to pick up some things at the grocery store your way home.
Me: No problem honey! I'll be glad too! What do you need?
Julie: Need you to pick up some french fries.
Me: OK! Is there anythin-
Julie: Get some Sprite too.
Me: Sprite. Got it. Can't wait to see yo-
Julie: And some Rice Crispies.
Me: Sure thing. I love you!

Ten minutes later...

Julie: U2

This week, I Don't Like red vehicles with Auburn flags/decals. Have you noticed how many maroon or fire-engine-red vehicles are sporting Auburn flags, stickers or magnets these days? Naturally, sightings of these items have increased due to Auburn's success on the football field this season. It's just the sight of the Auburn orange on a red car irks me. You never see a navy vehicle with Bama stickers or flags all over it. I know that there are unique instances in which a driver does not have direct influence on the color of their vehicle. But going forward, the law now states that if you are an Auburn fan, you are not to purchase a vehicle that is painted any shade of red.

Nov 10, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like HootSuite. I'm responsible for managing my employer's social media sites. Coming up with content is challenging enough but simultaneously keeping up with Twitter and Facebook is even more difficult. Always late to the game, I finally stumbled upon the concept of a social media dashboard. HootSuite seemed to fit my needs better because it allows me to post on my company's Facebook Fan Page (you may remember this earlier post that included my disdain for Facebook). Other dashboards, like TweetDeck, are great too but don't have the Fan Page capability that I need. You can even manage your blog from some of these dashboards. Try one out for yourself and you'll be able to update all of your social media outlets with one click.

This week, I love getting stuff done online. This week, Julie and I have done everything from ordering a pizza to upgrading her cell phone through the magic of the internet. In a few days or weeks, when my Christmas shopping commences, there won't be any crowded stores and long traffic lines for me because I'll be Cyber Santa this year. The extra costs I may have to pay for shipping will be well worth the price of being able to stay away from the crowds.

This week, I don't like the Cam Newton drama. My golf buddy Clay is always scolding me for being so quick to succumb to negative thoughts about Auburn football. He really let me have it before the season started when I asked if this would be Gus Malzahn's (Offensive Coordinator) last season at Auburn! Even though I'm trying to keep positive thoughts about Cam's situation, it's getting more difficult as more allegations come to light. The timing is bad and I hate it for Cam and his family but what really gets me is the possible notion that the Auburn coaches bent the rules to construct a top-5 recruiting class this year. I can't envision Coaches Chizik, Trooper, Luper and the rest of the staff being so careless that they would utilize improper techniques to get players to attend Auburn. Cam may have cheated on tests at Florida and his father may have requested money in return for his son's commitment, but I just can't believe that the decision makers at Auburn would have any part of any wrongdoing.

Here's hoping that Auburn (and Cam) can put all of this behind them and end Georgia's four-year winning streak this weekend! If it all turns out to be rotten, that will be too bad. But how awesome has it been to watch this guy?!?!?

Nov 6, 2010

Roman Shades

Yes I have lived in this house for 5 1/2 years and yes I am just now getting around to window treatments downstairs.  I honestly don't know why it has taken me this long to get my act together.  I have big plans for the downstairs so stay tuned for more decorating progress.  For now here are the roman shades I made for the breakfast room window. 



Since we already had blinds (and we rarely close them) I decided to take the easy route and do fixed roman shades...meaning they don't go up and down. 

Next on the agenda is to finish up the Christmas outfit (smocked of course) for Kiley's new baby girl, Anna Kathryn!  Isn't she precious.  Cannot wait to get to St. Louis and hold her.

Then I plan to try and make a Christmas tree skirt similar to this:

Burlap Tree Skirt

I love this tree skirt from Ballard Designs but not for $50!  I bought all of the materials for about $20 today.  I will post pictures soon.

Oct 27, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like WAX & DRY from Turtle Wax. Julie and I washed our cars this weekend and, as Murphy's Law decrees, it rained shortly after. I hate waxing cars but appreciate the protection and shine that is the result of a good waxin'. Looking for an easy way out, I tried WAX & DRY and I must say that I am impressed. After washing your car, leave it wet and spray a little bit of this product on your car. Take a clean cloth and dry your car as normal. Boom. That's it. The bottle says that WAX & DRY offers the same protection as a regular waxing method. We'll see!

This week, I love Gunnin' for that #1 Spot. This 2006 documentary highlights a few of the participants in that year's high school all-star game at Rucker Park in NYC. I watched this film the other night and it reminded me a lot of one of my all-time favorites: Hoop Dreams. Rather than harping on the off-the-court challenges faced by star players, Gunnin' gives some insight into the world of high school basketball recruiting. It covers the player ranking services, AAU teams, coaches that send text messages to recruits and all of the other perks that come with being a really tall and athletic teenager. A lot of players of various ages played in this game but only 8 were spotlighted. Of those 8 players that were featured in 2006, seven of them are now millionaires in the NBA. Kyle Singler, who is a senior at Duke this year, has yet to reach the NBA. My personal friend Nolan Smith is seen at times during the film but is not one of the 8 featured players. Check out the film's Wikipedia page to see outcome of the other seven players. Here's the trailer for the documentary:

This week, I don't like ads at the beginning of online videos. Ever click to watch a video on a news website? You get that :15 second ad that you cannot bypass, no matter what you do. Never have you felt so helpless while online! As much as I dislike these ads, I must say that we deserve 'em. With our deminishing attention spans these days, video is the best way to get message across. And because everyone likes to mulititask, companies and ad agencies have to force you to watch these quick ads. Now that DVRs are exterminating the television commercial, it doesn't appear that these intro ads will be leaving our online videos anytime soon.

Oct 22, 2010

A few things I am LOVING...

I don't know about you but I love getting recommendations from other people about products, recipes and services before I go and try them for myself.  So I thought it would be fun to share some of the things I am into these days (they are totally random).

Many of you know my best friend Kiley....well besides being a great friend she is an awesome gift giver.  It is probably because we have such similar taste, but man the girl never disappoints.  So for my birthday this year she did it again and somehow managed to pick the perfect gift.

This is a Kate Spade cosmetic bag.  I know seems so simple, but yet this one is the perfect size and it so darn cute.  I love that is is made out of vinyl (at least that is what I think it is) so that it wipes clean and is easy to find in the bottomless pit that is my purse!  Great Christmas idea!!!

Secondly is something I have just stumbled upon.  During a recent trip to Ulta I was given a sample of bareMinerals lip gloss.  The colors were actually good so I decided to try it.  Oh boy do I ever love this stuff.  I went the next day to buy a full size.  If you are a lip gloss have to try it.  (This is my favorite color so far...Rose)

My sister, Ellen, is going to graduate school in London and I am so proud of her, but I got really spoiled having her in Birmingham for the last 4 years.  We had lunch dates whenever we wanted to and she came over every Wednesday night and had dinner with us which was lots of fun.  So to say that I miss her is an understatement.  However having skype has made the transition so much easier.  It is AWESOME.  Not only do I get to talk to her for free, but I can see her too!  When I studied in London we had to walk down the street and use a pay phone and use prepaid calling cards (amazing what can change in 7 years).

Roasted Green Beans....need I say more.  I am sure I am probably the last person to find out about this, but it has rocked my world.  I have always roasted asparagus and recently started roasting broccoli, but it never dawned on me to roast fresh green beans.  The flavor is amazing and they are so healthy!!!  Just drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake on 400 for about 20 minutes.  When they are done toss beans with a little more olive oil and serve.  If you want to take it a step farther toss in some goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes!!!!  You will not be disappointed.

Oct 19, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like the Nintendo Entertainment System. Yesterday (October 18th) marked the 25th anniversary of the unveiling of the NES. How did this slip under the radar? For some unknown reason, Nintendo of America is not publicizing this achievement. But who cares? Each and every one of us - young and old - have been effected by "the Nintendo". I got my NES in the fourth grade for Christmas. A short time later, my mom and dad began renting movies and video games at their appliance store so I was always playing the latest games. Nintendo was so HUGE in my life that my mother often used the promise of new games as an incentive to improve my grades at school. I distinctly remember working hard to raise my grades and bringing home all A's and B's once. I was so excited! I made good on my pact with my mother and I was going to get a copy of "Metroid" to add to my collection of games! When I showed my mother my much-improved report card, I reminded her of our deal. She coldly looked at me and said, "the requirement was all A's". I was crushed. It was almost as if my mother received some kind of enjoyment from breaking my heart. That episode taught me the most valuable life lesson of all: never put forth extra effort because your mother will change the rules.

I eventually got my own copy of Metroid and I still remember getting chills the first time I heard the intro music!

Like I said, Nintendo was HUGE! They produced loads of accessories and we all remember the The Wizard, right? It was basically a commercial the length of a full-feature movie.

This week, I love William Jackson Wilder. My cousins in Auburn (Neil and Katie) welcomed their second child into the world on October 12th. Will is their first son and he is getting a lot of love and attention from his big sister, Margie Grace. Julie and I got to meet Will this past weekend and it is pretty wild to realize that Margie Grace (4) was his size just yesterday! I'm very happy that everyone is healthy and resting at home now!

This week, I don't like bickering Alabama and Auburn football fans. I meant to write about this topic last week but I got too busy. I noticed a lot of sore winners and sore losers last week after Auburn's win over Kentucky and Alabama's loss to South Carolina. I mean...I overheard some really ugly comments at my office last week. I understand everyone's passion and pride but let's get real people! Like my friend Rian says: at the end of the day, your emotions are centered around the actions of a bunch of 18-22 year olds! Read the comments after any article about Alabama or Auburn football on to get a prime example of the hostility of these two fan bases. I may have overly expressed my delight in an Alabama loss in my younger days but I don't do that anymore. I've seen both sides of the taunts and any time spent on the good side can never trump the feeling of being on the bad side. But some people just can't let it go and we must pray for them. Plus, we have a certain "journalist" to thank for constantly stirring the pot and giving these fans a spotlight.

Oct 9, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like BOOM BABY! Although the Ryder Cup didn't end the way we wanted, the play was superb. American Jeff Overton spun an approach shot back into the cup and created an awesome new golfism:

That was an amazing shot. So amazing that I'll probably never pull it off. But to honor the awesomeness of this shot, I will shout "BOOM BABY" after each time I sink a putt, no matter the length or difficulty of the putt. The best part of this clip is the reaction of Overton's playing partner, Bubba Watson: "I CAN SAY IT TOO! C'MON!"

This week, I love match play golf. This head-to-head format, as used in the Ryder Cup, can be very exciting. I think a match play tournament would be a much better alternative to the current playoff system used by the PGA Tour.

This week, I don't like foggy sunglasses. We've had a preview of fall with cooler temperatures here lately. I occasionally leave my sunglasses in my car overnight. They get very cold when the temperature drops. When I put them on my warm head in the mornings, the lenses fog up! Boo, Science!


Here's a cool video taken by Ian Poulter of the European Ryder Cup Team. This was from the closing ceremony and he shared via his Twitter account once the Twitter ban was lifted. See? This is the kind of cool stuff we missed out on thanks to the Twitter ban.

Oct 7, 2010

New Blog

Many of you already know that I started doing calligraphy a few years ago.  It started off as a desire to simply know how to do it but has turned into a side business!  Over the past year I have started getting more and more requests for samples and pricing so I thought creating a blog where I could post all of my information would be a good idea. 

I am still working on adding informaiton and pictures, but for the most part it is ready to go!  The address is: or you can simply click the "Calligraphy by Julie" image on the sidebar.

I have just finished up my largest job (over 600 invitations)!!!  Now that I am done... I will have a little bit more time to devote to the blog.

Sep 30, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like Alumni Weekend at Huntingdon College. Julie joined me for the annual alumni event down in Montgomery last weekend. Huntingdon has changed a lot since I graduated (for the better) and the most noticeable change is the addition of a football team. I really, really like the gameday atmosphere that the Hawks have established on campus. The stadium is directly across the street from the dorms, the alumni association had a huge tent to welcome graduates back and the field was in pristine condition. Too bad the Hawks lost to Birmingham-Southern! It was a great weekend though and I'm glad my wife was willing to go with me!

This week, I love the Royal Red Robin Burger. While in the Gump, Julie and I had lunch at Red Robin. This burger instantly caught my eye because it features a fried egg, among other wonderful toppings. I destroyed this hamburger. Not only did it taste good, it also symbolized the end of carefree eating for me. Julie and I vowed to start being more aware of our nutritional intake after the trip. Obviously, items like the Royal Red Robin Burger won't be on my menu in the future so I enjoyed every last morsel while I could. Look at that photo. I want one of these things RIGHT NOW.

This week, I don't like Tweet bans. Julie and I share a Twitter account and both get lots of enjoyment out of posting witty quotes and updates. Twitter is so, so much better than Facebook. Little known fact: professional golfers make up the largest group of athletes that use Twitter (per capita). The Ryder Cup (only the biggest golfing event other than the annual major tournaments) is this weekend and the teams have decided to ban Twitter use during the course of the event. Boooooooo! I can think of 6 Twitter users on Team USA (players and coaches). The European team features almost as many users. I guess I understand their thinking but the Ryder Cup would be a lot cooler if we could have access to behind-the-scene photos and comments.

Sep 22, 2010

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like taking my lunch to work. Brown-bagging it every day not only saves money, it also helps me keep my sanity. I work in the Riverchase area of Birmingham. Lots of workers here. Lots of single-passenger cars here. Lots of single-passenger cars trying to go to lunch at the same time here. Plus it's still pretty hot outside. Personally, it's not worth sitting in hot car in a long line of traffic to just to go get something to eat (that probably isn't good for you).

This week, I love my debit card. Though I don't have much money to speak of, you will rarely find cash on me. From paying for gas to buying movie tickets online, all of my transactions are performed with my debit card. There's A LOT of people out there that still carry cash and part of my job is to promote my employer's debit card service. I was recently trying to think of new and creative ways to enlighten people about debit cards when it hit me: there's only so much you can say about a debit card. It's like this: if you are under the age of 32 and carry cash as opposed to a debit card, there's no hope for you and no, I would not like to supersize my order. If you are between ages of 33 and 70, you have a window of grace because you most likely grew up in a cash-only world. If you're age 70 or above, you are scared of technology and there's probably no chance of getting you to convert at this point. Plus, actually remembering the presidency of the guy on the $20 bill gets you off the hook. Regardless of your age, debit cards are time savers and once you cash-carriers die off, the US Mint will likely shut down and paper money will be no more.

This week, I don't like insurance. I don't mean health insurance or automobile insurance. I mean the concept of insurance. Where you might argue that insurance helps us afford visits to the doctor or car repairs, I counter by saying the price of visits to the doctor's office and car repairs would not be so expesive if insurance never came to be. The existence of insurance has spawned an upward spiral of costs and has only help pad the price of medicine, car repairs, etc. Think about it this way...if everyone canceled their insurance policies, then we wouldn't be able to afford doctors visits/car repairs, right? Ah, but if no one can pay for their doctors visit/car repair, then the doctors office and collision center have two options: close up shop or reduce their prices. I think that if push came to shove, you would see prices fall overnight. President Obama's proposed health care plan touts that it will make it possible for more Americans to have affordable health care insurance. But what we really need is fewer Americans with health insurance.

So my point is...having to factor insurance into our everyday expenses robs us of the ability afford the nicer things in life.