Sunday, May 30, 2010
Reid and I have a new toy! You may remember that I helped a friend put together a ping pong table a couple of months back. This one was a "no assembly required" kind of deal. Can you believe that someone gave this to me? Apparently it had been sitting in storage for a number of years just taking up space and collecting dust. I was lucky enough to score this "like new" table by simply hauling it off for them. It now has a nice new home in my shop. It is a really great table that folds up and can be rolled over to the corner that you see in the picture for storage when not in use. Reid and I have been playing all day. He does better than I thought to be only seven years old. He can actually volley with you a little bit. He may not always hit the table, but he can hit it back to you.
It seems like I have always been around a ping pong table growing up. The Stone boys down the street had one when we were kids. That is where I learned to play the game. Kevin and I would stay up late at night to improve our games in hopes of beating Eric one day. Eric was older and in my case much taller. The game was easier for him. During my teenage years we played on a table at my church or at a friend's church, and in college we played on a table in the fraternity house. After I joined the real world I would sometimes play at my uncle's house. He is really good so he made you better just by trying to stay in the game with him. I had not played in years until just recently and I realized how great a game table tennis really was. It is one of those games that you can always play no matter how old you get, and it gives you that competitive fix that all of us older athletes need from time to time, without sacrificing hamstring pulls or torn muscles.
Even though I do love to play, I really got this table for Reid. He is not old enough to really enjoy it yet, but I figured as he grows older, this may be something that just might keep him around the house and out of trouble. I would love for him to have his friends over for tournaments and such. He may even want to play a couple of games with his old man.
So, since Reid has a few years before he will really put this table to use, I invite all comers who want to take on the challenge of beating me on what is now my home court! I'll be waiting if you think you have the game!!
P-I-N-G..... my serve!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
A good friend of mine got married this past weekend. It was a nice wedding that was followed by a very nice reception. The wedding was attended well by all kinds of guest. There were friends of the bride and friends of the groom. There were family members, church members, and fellow work partners. Even the Hump Day crew was well represented. The wedding was also attended by the society ladies that never miss a wedding. You know the gals. They are the ones that write up those little articles that appear in the local paper following every shower or tea. You know the ones. They start out by telling you what the bride wore and how her flowers were decorated, and what food was served and who were the special guest. They can be a little over the top sometimes. Well the "hump day" boys got to talking about this the other night and decided to have a little fun. Since we had ourselves hosted a small hump day tool party for a couple of the guys who were about to be married, we decided to write our own article that will never have a hope of seeing print in the local paper. If guys wrote society wedding articles, it would go something like this.... (names have been changed to protect the innocent)
HARPER FEETED AT LOCAL HUMP DAY CELEBRATION
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 Wess Harper was feted at a Weekly Hump Day Celebration. The guest of honor wore a red T-shirt with a pocket on the left chest accented with khaki shorts and black toe thong sandals. His ensemble also included a pair of Costa Del Mar sunglasses that he wore backwards around his neck and a WWJD bracelet on his left wrist. Guests were served corn meal crusted appaloosa catfish quarters, fried potatoes, melange of cabbage with mayonnaise and various carbonated or fermented beverages all prepared by renowned local chef Warren Dent. The pavilion was decorated with vintage yard working utensils and sports memorabilia. The table was decorated with genuine imitation paper linens. The dinner fair was served in recycled cardboard containers. The guest of honor was presented with numerous implements, little used for their intended purpose. However, all items can double as paper weights. He was also presented with a pink leash and collar indicative of his new station in life. Special guests included Wes’s father, Judge Ben Harper who regaled the assembled guests with humorous antic dotes, and brother of the groom, Tyler Harper, who provided the dinner fair, thanks to his extensive knowledge of angling and electricity. Other special guests from out of town included Wes’s cousins, Keith and Kenny Black who both cheer for and graduated from Irwin County. Remarked the Blacks, "This is the best time to be had outside of the Ocilla Sweet Potato Festival". The night was filled with encouraging advice from the host with “Run Wess Run” being a recurring theme. The wedding will be held sometime this month in South Georgia. Not sure where or when, if you really want to know ask his mama or his wife to be! Congratulations Wess, from the Hump Day Crowd!
Now that would be worth reading! Don't you think??
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
My little project is now complete! Didn't it turn out nice??? I love working on these things but I always find that I am happy to see a beautiful piece of furniture that was recently covered with layers of old paint, but I am also sad that the job is complete. I now have nothing to keep my creative side busy!!
I think this table is already sold, so that leaves none in my inventory. If you have one that you would like to sell me or have me refinish for you, just let me know and I will be happy to take a look at it!
Thanks for following along with me! Let me know what you think!
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The first time I met Trenton Pruitt he was running around my RA classroom at full speed at the First Baptist Church. It was time to settle down and start the weekly lesson so I asked the boys to find their seats. Trenton kept running! He was new to my class and I figured I would set him straight on how we do things around here. I stepped in his path and as he looked up to me (he was 8 at the time) I simply asked him in my most authoritative voice,
"Who are you!"
He replied in a hesitant voice "Trent Pruitt".
"Who are your parents"?
"Robby and Jill Pruitt."
"Do I need to call them and tell them that you are not listening to me?"
I knew right then that I liked this kid. He said No sir!!! I never had another problem with Trenton. Once the rules were laid out, he had no trouble following them. He is a good kid and one that I am so very proud to know!
I taught Trenton in my RA class for several years. I grew to love him as if he was my own son. Trenton was just one of those kids that had something a little extra special about him. He was always respectful, used his manners, and would always speak to an old guy like me even when he was with his friends. His parents are wonderful people who have raised a wonderful son. I admit that I have tried to remain a part of his life after he graduated from my RA class because you just enjoy being around kids like Trenton. I hope that my son Reid can be an awful lot like him one day!
So why am I writing this blog about this kid? Well, I am also a big fan of Trenton the athlete! You see Trenton just recently signed a letter of intent to play football for the Vanderbilt Commodores on a full ride scholarship. It came as no surprise to me that a fine school like Vanderbilt would want someone like Trenton. He is a very gifted athlete and a very slick football player that can make things happen when he has the ball in his hands, but I read once that Vanderbilt goes after high character kids, not just high talent. They look for a kid that has the ability, the academics, and the right attitude. I believe they found one in Trenton Pruitt.
Trenton will walk across the stage and accept his high school diploma next week. He will then start a new life in Nashville as a college athlete. I am excited for him and so glad that he has achieved his goal of becoming a division one football player, but I sure am going to miss him! Reid will too. He likes to beat Mr. Trenton on the Wii!
Trent I want you to enjoy all the experiences that face you in the near future. I believe that you can handle anything that is in front of you! Just trust in God to lead you down your chosen path and continue to make your parents proud. Set goals for yourself and work hard to accomplish them. Remember to study! You have an academic opportunity in front of you that very few people will ever experience. School needs to be first. Without school, there would be no football! Have fun! These next few years will be the best years of your life and you will make friends that will last a lifetime! Enjoy the experience and soak it all in. It will be over before you know it! Remember to keep in touch with those of us back home. If you ever need any advise, I am just a phone call away!
Lastly I just want you to know how proud I am of you. I am now officially a Commodore fan and I can't wait to see you play on Saturdays after the stadium announcer says.... "Starting at wide receiver, number 4, Trent Pruitt!!!!!!
Congrats on your Graduation!
Monday, May 10, 2010
To my baby girl on her birthday,
I knew you were a little girl the day that we found out that you were on the way. You had to be because I wanted you so bad and I was also given a sign. The doctor told us that your original due date was May the 20th. Did you know that was the date of your Aunt Mandy's birthday? I knew right then that you would be a little girl and that God would bless my family with you and help to possibly fill a void in our lives that has been there since the day your Aunt Mandy died. Now you know how you got your middle name. She would have loved you so much! You are so special to all of us, but you are definitely Daddy's little girl!
You are a beautiful blond headed, blue eyed, smiling, loving, hugging and kissing, always loud, personality plus, hot mess! You have your Daddy wrapped around all of your little fingers. I could not ask for a better snuggle partner, which is how you and I start each day. I always get you out of bed first so that we can have an extra few minutes together before the day gets busy. We then wake up Reid together because you like to get in the bed with him. You are a good sister to your big Brother. You want to be with him most of the time. He is good to you also, but I think he knows he has to be or you will set him straight.
We had you a birthday party this past Saturday. It was a bicycle party and most of your little friends came. You got lots of presents! Your Mama and I got you an American doll. You already have one named Mia that your Cherry got you two years ago. She was the girl of the year in 2008. This years girl of the year was Lanie. You said that Mia needed a best friend and you picked Lanie out of the little American Girl magazine that you enjoy getting each month. I thought it was perfect because when your Mama and I were trying to come up with a name for you I liked the name Mandy Lane, and I was going to call you Lanie. Isn't that neat?!
I just wanted you to know today on your 4th birthday that you are your Daddy's world! I love you so much! I just have one request. Stop growing right now!!! I mean it! I don't think I can handle boys and prom dresses. Why can't we just stay with Barbies and pig-tails? I admit that I love being the center of your life and I am not looking forward to that changing anytime soon. I know that I can not stop you from getting bigger or older, but I can let you know that no matter how grown you get, you will always be Daddy's Baby Girl and I expect hugs and kisses everyday!!
Happy Birthday Mia Mandy! The world is yours for the taking!! I love you bunches and bunches!!!
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Between Mother's Day visits and after I got some much needed yard work done, I had a chance to work on the first leg of my little project. It was not as difficult as I thought. I have a new weapon that I am trying out, and so far it has worked really well. I bought a hard rubber sanding wheel that attaches to your drill. Fire that baby up and watch paint fly off rather well. The best part is that it doesn't hurt the wood because it it just hard rubber. You still have to be careful, but it seems to be working very well and cutting into sanding time. I have the second leg coated with stripper and hope to get to it this week.
Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers in my life. I of course have my wonderful Mama and my wife, but I have several other mothers as well that keep me in line. You know who you are and I thank you for all that you do!
Friday, May 7, 2010
The Braves are currently sitting at a record of 12-16 on the early part of the season. Their pitching has been pretty good, but the offense has been terrible. Part of that offense involves 6 time All-star 3rd baseman Chipper Jones, who is arguably one of the all time top three switch hitters in the game (Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murry being the other two). Chipper is 38 years old and entering his 16th season in a Braves uniform. He is a first ballot hall of famer with some very special career numbers for a switch hitter. His current 2010 numbers read something like this. .231 batting average with 2 home runs and 7 RBI. Consider that his career numbers average .307, 28.5 and 97. Last year was not much better. He batted .264 with 18 home runs and 71 RBI. Is Chipper done????
To answer this question I did a little research on the greatest switch hitter that the game has ever seen. Mickey Mantle played 18 years for the New York Yankees and was the games most feared hitter in his day. He has three MVP awards to his credit ('56, '57, '62), one Triple Crown (1956), and 16 All-star games. His career batting numbers are .298 batting average with 536 home runs and 1509 RBI. Not too bad for a player, who like Chipper, had a tendency to get injured frequently. Some say that if Mickey Mantle had been healthy throughout his entire career, all of baseballs greatest records would belong to him. He was truly an icon in the 50's and 60's. His 565 foot home run hit on April 17, 1953 still stands as the longest ever recorded in a MLB game. He wasn't even on steroids. More like beer and whiskey.
How are Chipper and Mickey similar? They are both switch hitters with some impressive numbers. Chipper's career totals look like this- .307 avg, 430 hr, 1459 rbi. Mickey's read- .298 avg, 536 hr, 1509 rbi. Chipper has played his entire 16 year career with the Braves spanning 2,222 games. The Mick played all 18 of his years with the Yankees in 2,401 games. They both have an MVP. Chipper in 1999 and Mickey in 1956, 1957, and 1962. They both have a batting title to their credit. Mickey in '56 and Chipper in 2008. Chipper was a vital part of the Braves 1995 World Championship and 14 year run of division title winners. Mickey led the Yankees to 12 World Series during his career and won 7 of them. Mickey was 38 years old in his last season in 1968. Chipper is currently 38 years old and may be looking at his last season.
Here is why I think Chipper may be done. In 1967 Mickey's numbers looked like this- .245, 22, 55. In 1968 they looked like this- .237, 18, 54. He hung it up after the '68 season because he could not perform at the level that made him a legend among all of baseball's fans. Here are Chipper's last two years (keep in mind that he won a batting title in 2008 hitting .364)- 2009= .264, 18, 71. His 2010 projected numbers are .231, 12, 41. These numbers seem to be very similar to me. Both of them super star switch hitters who hit a downward spiral as they got into their late 30's. One man walked away at 38 years of age, the other man has a decision to make.
I read once that Mickey Mantle only had one regret when it came to his baseball numbers. He was very disappointed that he did not finish with a career .300 batting average. He finished up at .298. Chipper currently sits at .307 for his career. One more bad season with sub .250 batting will not allow Chipper Jones to finish a career .300 hitter either. I think he wants that. He has said that he would hang it up if he could not perform at a high level anymore. I hope that is true for two reasons. Chipper is one of the three best switch hitters that the game has ever seen and he does deserve to end his career as a .300 hitter. I think it would be a shame if the same thing that happened to Mickey happened to him. The second reason is that the Braves would have to pay him $15MM next year if he gives it one more try. That is a lot of money that could be spent to try and make the Braves better in the near future.
I don't want to see Chipper not being Chipper anymore. I would like to see him improve his numbers this year so that he can walk away from the game with something that Mickey did not, a .300 average. I would like to see him help the Braves by stepping away from the team. A .260 non-power hitter is not worth $15MM per year. I would like to see Chipper go out proudly, not swinging and missing!
So Larry Jones Jr., it may be time to follow in Mickey's footsteps and start heading down that path to the Hall of Fame! It has been a great ride, but it may be time to step off the train!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
This thing is going to be beautiful! This is the bottom shelf that I finished up tonight. It has really good color and some nice grain in the wood. It really does have a lot of character. I think this table has some serious age on it. You can just tell as you are sanding the wood that it has been around a while. I already have someone interested in buying it and I think they are going to be pleased with the end result.
It is now on to the legs. They take a bit longer to do as they are more difficult to sand. I have the first leg covered in some stripper right now and I am just going to see how it does. Hopefully most of the paint will come off with just one coat. I will then hit the high spots with a sander and work my way into the spindle grooves with my dremel tool. Gonna be some work, but if it keeps turning out like this, I'm gonna be pleased!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
For those of you who doubted my mad skills, check this out. This is the top to my little table project after two coats of stripper, one mineral spirits bath, and 4 different grits of sand paper. (Please see previous blog post to see before picture) Isn't she a pretty little top?? I will now place this section of the table to the side and begin work on the bottom shelf. It is presently in the shop with its first coat of stripper eating away at three layers of paint. I will try and get it finished before the weekend is over, then it is on to those pesky little legs. Those things take a little more time, but it will all be worth it in the end!
Monday, May 3, 2010
Meet my newest project! Mama and Daddy went to an auction this past weekend and brought this beautiful little oak center table home for me to have some fun with. She might not look like very much, but give me some time and I will make her a show piece. You see under all of that awful paint lies some of the prettiest wood that you have ever seen. I know this because I started stripping her down last night. I found out that the brown paint that you see in the picture is one of only three layers. She has previously been yellow and green as well. This one is going to take some hard work and a lot of patience.
I was never the kind of person that liked to sit still for very long. I like to accomplish things as well and get great pleasure from a job well done. I think this is why I like things such as yard work or refinishing furniture. You can start with something that might not look very good, but with a little hard work can turn it into something worth showing off. Did I mention that I like to show off?
I am going to try and document my progress on this little table through this blog. I have always taken before and after pictures of my projects, but this will be the first time that I will actually take pictures during the different steps. It will take me a while to get this table done since we are still in the middle of baseball season, but I will get some work done on it soon for you to see. This table will be for sale when it is completed, so you may want to call me now if you are interested in purchasing this wonderful piece of history!----- Ok, it is probably not a true piece of history, but I do think that it is pretty old and would be a nice little antique for your home or cabin.
Check back with me to see future progress!