Nov 222017

Well, barring a revolutionary change in the next several months, this Saturday’s Iron Bowl is my last one. I’m glad it is a game of consequence—its winner taking the SEC West and almost certainly controlling its destiny for the national title—and I’m looking forward to watching it.

I’ve attended five Iron Bowls in person in my life, though I haven’t been since I was 14. Uncle Don used to have a recurring block of fantastic tickets, and Dad and I were frequently beneficiaries. I got to go in 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1985.

Of those, only 1980 was unremarkable. The 1981 game was Coach Bryant’s 315th win, passing Amos Alonzo Stagg to become the winningest college football coach in history. The 1982 game was Auburn’s first win since Punt ‘Bama Punt. The 1983 game, played in an absolute deluge and another Auburn win, was the day we came home to the aftermath of the Oxford tornado. And 1985 was The Kick, which my stepbrother Chris and I watched from the opposite end zone, having left our seats when Mike Shula was sacked.

What a great memory. I remember the moment for two things, primarily. First, I’ve never heard 70,000 people be that quiet. It was weird. Second, I remember thinking the scoreboard operator must have been an Alabama fan, because the digits ticked off 23-24-25 way before the ball went the 52 yards to the goalposts. It was indeed a phenomenal kick that might have gone 60. Looked like an extra point, really.

(And oh, had Tiffin missed, he’d have gotten another try from five yards closer. Auburn was offside.)

Drama this year? Sure, I’ll take it—as long as it ends correctly. I’m sure I’ll have to watch Kick Six four or five times during the day, but hey, you know what? Auburn hasn’t won since that game. (I’m happy for it to join Punt ‘Bama Punt in Auburn lore in that regard, because Alabama won the next nine after that game.)

Enjoy the game. I’m planning to. Whatever the outcome, please be kind to one another. I know it’s hard to remember this, but we’re talking about kids playing a game. Nothing that happens on that field Saturday is of any legitimately significant importance.

For my prediction, I’ll say Alabama 31, Auburn 27.

 Posted by at 11:41 am
Nov 202017

You people are running me nuts with your incessant, antagonistic chatter.

That’s a reasonable sentiment for Iron Bowl week, but oh, no. As irrational and ridiculous as that gets, I’m talking about something that has managed to get even worse: Alabama’s special election to fill our junior Senate seat.

Apparently I’m supposed to smash my Keurig now? Or something? Ah, here’s a link. I had to look it up, because all I’d seen were oblique references and cryptic videos.

I’ve made my views clear. I don’t anticipate them changing. I will probably not vote.

I want us all to remember, though, that as vitriolic as this election is, it’s still not so different from any other political difference. I have many friends who will vote for Roy Moore. I have many friends who will vote for Doug Jones. I suspect I have many friends who will abstain.

This choice, whatever it is, makes exactly none of them a bad person. Yet I’m beginning to see insinuations (and really, flat-out assertions) to the contrary—and frequently from some of the same principals that often decry the terrible state of political discourse in this country. Folks, these are still our friends and neighbors, and they’re still going to be there December 13.

I think there are a lot of ways to be wrong in this election. It logically follows that I think a lot of you are. As far as what that means to me long-term, here is a comprehensive list of my friendships that I consider to be in jeopardy as a result of this election:

 Posted by at 11:13 am
Nov 162017
  • This week I learned that just because your A/V receiver can switch 1080p video over HDMI doesn’t mean it can switch 4K video over HDMI. It has to do with the chip set inside the receiver, not the cables.
  • As I type, Charles Manson is on his deathbed. I don’t know his heart, but I believe no one is beyond redemption.
  • The Iron Bowl matters (beyond bragging rights). It’s always more fun when that’s the case. I think Alabama got an up State team, but it was still considerably more thrilling than it should have been. I hope we get some defensive personnel back before we play Auburn.
  • The new Pink album is good, but I think I enjoyed her last record more. I wish her songwriting would mature a bit. I’m not opposed to a good, effective cussword once in a while, but it feels a bit too forced this time around. (But goodness gracious sakes alive, what a set of pipes on that chick.)
  • I met Brandi for the first time in person this week! She is just as precious as you’d think.
  • Looks like the Mobile BayBears are going to be the Madison…something. (I hope they do change the name, because we don’t have a bay. I hate when they don’t and you get stupid nonsensical crap like the Utah Jazz.) Perhaps I’ll pick baseball back up.
  • Lea, the boys, and I went to Wayback Burgers for Rocket City Mom and had a marvelous time!
 Posted by at 4:19 pm
Nov 152017

I was thinking on the drive home tonight about an old friend. (Well, maybe she’s “someone I used to know” now. We haven’t had any contact in 12 or so years.) She and her husband moved to Colorado a few years ago. I don’t know whether it was for a job, or for the excitement of it, or some other reason. She’s got roots here, though, including family—so it wasn’t without trade-offs.

I thought about the adventures to be had in both urban and rural Colorado. Then I considered for a moment how blessed I feel to be in northern Alabama—to have a career here, to be raising a family here.

I arrived at age 15, with my father, in August 1986. The population of Huntsville has grown a good bit since then, but the population of the metropolitan area has doubled. We are rapidly closing on half a million people. It’s a significantly larger city than the one I moved to. Yet I’ve grown with it. I’ve called myself a native for 20 years or so now, and it still feels like my home.

A lot of the blessings are easy-to-measure metrics. The crime rate is low. The cost of living is low. The job market is excellent. I have a choice of good Vietnamese and Thai restaurants. A big one for me, though, is more abstract:

There are several things I still want to do in my life, and I can effectively do them here.

I haven’t exactly considered them dreams, or wishes, or anything else—they’ve just been things I think I’d like to do. Well, it’s time to call them goals. It’s time to codify them. It’s time for me to identify manageable chunks that I can check off. It’s time for me to clear obstacles (some of which have been obvious to me for some time yet I dared not call them by name).

I’ve made racket like this to myself before. I know it’s different this time because I’m much more excited than I’ve ever been.

I’ll keep you posted.

 Posted by at 12:33 am is using WP-Gravatar