Aug 28, 2012

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like adding to my golf conquest. I have a goal to play golf in every state. I added to my conquest when I got to play golf in Missouri last week when Julie and I visited our friends in St. Louis. We played at the Spirit at Landings Golf Course, which was adjacent to a private airport. Although I didn’t play well, the course reminded me of why I enjoy pursuing this goal. The grasses used on this course were nothing like you would find on Birmingham area courses. This photo shows how green the course was, even though St. Louis has not received very much rain this summer. Five states down, 45 more to go.

This week, I love happy flying Graham. We flew to our destination on the before-mentioned trip to St. Louis. I wasn’t sure how well Graham would behave on his maiden flight. I really didn’t want Julie and me to be “that couple” with the screaming kid on the flight. Much to my delight, Graham did GREAT! He stayed awake and played quietly during the flight to St. Louis. Many of our fellow passengers expressed their appreciation for Graham’s behavior (and my fatherly skills) with comments like “Great baby!” and “I didn’t even realize a baby was on the plane”. It worked out even better on the way home as Graham slept the entire flight. I know future trips won’t always be this peaceful but I must say that I’m super proud of my little pilot!


This week, I don’t like airports. I’m not a very experienced flyer. Flying is an unnatural act and one I do not enjoy. I loved arriving in St. Louis in just over 1 hour as opposed to an 8 hour car ride but I’d rather skip the whole dog-and-pony show at the airport. There’s something about being in an airport that makes my anxiety level go through the roof. Thank goodness I am married to my hard-charging wife. Julie was a real leader and got us through all of the twists and turns in Birmingham and St. Louis. I would have been totally lost if I was by myself. If only I could be more “chill” like Graham.

Aug 13, 2012

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like being rewarded for surveys. Companies are always interested in our feedback, aren’t they? If you’re like me, you’re constantly being invited to participate in a survey by following a code at the bottom of a receipt, found in an email or posted on a website. Survey invitations these days contain messages about big cash prizes followed by a plethora of fine-print legalese that probably releases the surveyor from having to pay. Ugh…and the questions are so boring. Imagine my surprise when I was recently asked to provide my input on luxury cars. I participated with the survey with a mentality of ‘a boy can dream, can’t he?’ This made the process more enjoyable. It turned out that the survey was specifically about Cadillac and for my effort, I was given a $5 credit to a host of charities and retailers – right there on the spot. Getting a $5 credit to Amazon right then and there meant a lot more than being eligible for a $1,000 monthly drawing.

This week, I love the thought of being a Minimalist. Our 7-month old son, Graham, has a swing, activity mat and several ‘toys’ that occupy space in our living room. What will it be like when he’s older? As I pondered these material needs that are sure to grow, adopting the Minimalist lifestyle doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. But I don’t think my wife would allow our family to rid ourselves of all unneeded possessions. Despite these 28 great reasons to become a minimalist, I would probably miss our television during football season.

This week, I don’t like my bad (phone) luck. I’ve been having some bad luck with my phone and each issue has contributed to another problem. It all started a few weeks ago when I was trying to do a good thing and clean my phone’s case. I removed the phone from my case and began to wash the case in warm soapy water. But the water got too hot and I melted the adhesive that held the case’s backing in place. The damage wasn’t repairable so I chunked the case in the garbage and vowed to order a replacement. Well, that vow went unmet for a few weeks. I had actually forgotten about that vow until one morning when I bent over to pick up my paper out of the driveway. My phone slid out of my shirt pocket and did an impressive dance on the concrete. One corner of my screen was completely shattered and there was a nice crack running the entire length of the phone, but everything still worked. Julie knew how badly I felt and my sweet wife found a nearby store that specializes in screen repairs. The screen was replaced and the phone looks as good as new. I’ve even got a new case. I’m not sure that my problems are over though. Since the repair has been made, my phone’s ability to carry a signal while in my house has dropped to almost nothing. It’s about as good as it ever was in my office building and other parts of town so I’m hoping that it’s just an issue with the cell tower closest to our house.

UPDATE: I took my phone back to the place that repaired the screen and explained the issue with the poor reception.  Behind closed doors and in less than five minutes, a full signal had been restored.  They said they failed to connect a wire to the antenna properly when replacing the screen.  Everything is back to normal!

Aug 7, 2012

No Denying

When all babies are born there seems to be this ongoing quest to determine who the baby looks like.  We are no exception...ever since Graham arrived we are constantly commenting on who he favors.  There has been no question that he looks more like a Baggett than a Corman, but we never had any one person that he resembled the most.  

After months of back and forth about who he favors my mother-in-law hit the jackpot.  She pointed out this picture on our last visit to Camden:

 I am guessing that this pictures was taken in 1945 when my father-in-law was about a year old.When she showed me I was blown away at the resemblance.  No other picture we have looked at holds a candle to this one.  So the "game" in my opinion is over!  There is no denying that Graham looks most like his Granddaddy Baggett. 

1945                                                            2012

Aug 2, 2012

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like Google+. I know, I know. I bashed Google+ in a previous post but now I’m really warming up to it. Google has smartly begun to include Google+ pages for business in your search results. For example, if your company is found in the result of a Google search, your company now has a Google+ page, whether you created it or not. I’ve had to familiarize myself more with Google+ because of my job and they’ve made a lot of improvements since I first expressed my feelings. The Google+ web version looks great but the iPhone app looks even better. Google+ profiles (for individuals) and pages (for businesses) are growing in numbers very quickly. We’ve read recently about Facebook stock underperforming and allegations of bots driving up ad clicks. Combine that with the fact that everyone has a Gmail account, uses YouTube and Google+ Hangouts are all the rage and I see Google+ growing even bigger, possibly overtaking Facebook.

This week, I love what I have. I’ve gotten a lot of reminders over the past couple of weeks about how I should worry less about what I don’t have and show more appreciation for what I do have. Reports about the large contracts of celebrities and athletes are great fuel for the envy fire. I’ve also been recently struggling with the concept of “Wealth Inequality”, which pertains to the fact that an extremely small percentage of Americans control a large portion of the nation’s wealth. But I have two powerful tools that help me realize that I am far better off than anyone that I perceive to be of superior wealth. One is named Julie and the other is named Graham.

This week, I don’t like keyboard courage. The false confidence that comes from the anonymity of internet chat rooms and website comment sections is as old as the internet itself. A perfect example of keyboard courage can be seen on the vile and hate-filled attacks launched on the Facebook pages of Oreo and Chick-Fil-A. It’s sad that we have to get cultural guidance from food and even sadder that keyboard courage allows our emotions get out of control. I really think that the majority of cruel online comments would not be made if the user knew that a robotic fist could emerge from their screen with great velocity in reaction to such comments. But there is good news! Some popular websites are implementing measures to cut back on keyboard courage. YouTube (err, Google) is taking the first steps to require users to identify themselves with their real name and a photo. USA Today (notorious for keyboard courageous commenters) switched to Facebook’s commenting system, which requires commenters to log in with their Facebook profile in order to comment (tip: it’s getting more difficult to create phony Facebook profiles).