Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Best Job Ever!!!

I get the opportunity to speak with a lot of different people everyday.  One of the things I do as a banker is ask a lot of questions.  Questions like how much, for how long, what collateral, who is going to pay and what is your current line of work.  I always enjoy hearing about how people make their living.  Some people are your average Joe and work in a local industry.  Other people are professionals that work in the medical field or insurance business.  Others are teachers, while others are self employed.  I always wonder how people end up in their line of work and I also wonder if they are truly happy in what they do.  I can honestly say that I love my job and love helping people with their financial needs.  It is a good career that hopefully I can continue for many years.  But if you asked me if my banking career was my all time favorite job, then I would have to tell you no.  You see, every summer and Christmas during the years of 1991- 1995 (my wonderful college years) I was a Bud Man!

I grew up in a great household where hard work was expected.  My parents provided me with everything that I needed but I did not have a silver spoon.  When I was old enough to hold a summer job, that's exactly what I did.  I cut grass for many a summer and then I worked for the local Recreation Department.  I wasn't getting rich by any stretch, but I had gas money and money to spend for dates and such.  After high school graduation, my Dad decided that I may need a job in which I could earn a little more money as I prepared to go off to college.  He arranged for me to get a job with Fitzgerald Ice Company helping with the distribution of their product as well as general warehouse work involved with their products.  Now some of you are thinking that I actually worked at an ice company, and that is where you would be wrong.  Fitzgerald Ice Company has been in business for over 100 years and is the proud distributor of Budweiser Beer!  My Mama was so proud!!

I think my Mama prayed every morning as I left for work in my Budweiser work shirts that I would not run into the preacher somewhere.  Truth be told, if I ran into the preacher in the places that I had to visit, he wouldn't have said a word.  I have been in every juke joint, beer store, bar, convenient store, liquor store, and grocery store in this part of South Georgia delivering products proudly displaying the Anheuser Busch name.  I had a blast!!  A typical day started at 6:00am as we checked off the trucks for the day's deliveries.  An average day consisted of 800 to 1000 cases with anywhere between 15 and 30 stops.  After your truck was emptied, you headed back to the warehouse to load trucks for the next day.  We usually got to knock off at 5 or 6.  It was long days and hard work, but at the same time it was kind of fun and taught me a great deal about the business world.  I got to do some neat things like learn to drive a semi truck and a fork lift.  I got to see how sales people handled their customers.  I got to see how a marketing giant like Budweiser got their product name recognized and what they did to always stay fresh on the consumer's mind.  I learned how supervisors treated their workers and  what they did to motivate or not motivate their employees.  I also learned that I better study while I was in school because these 12 hour days was not what I was cut out for!!

Because I was a hard worker, I got to keep that job for 4 years during my college career.  Every summer and Christmas vacation, I would come home to find my job waiting for me.  I was so thankful for that!  That job paid for all of my fraternity dues as well as any extra spending money that I might have needed.  That job also helped me in my studies.  As a marketing major at Georgia Southern, I wrote a lot of papers about Anheuser Busch and the marketing juggernaut that they were as they were selling the most popular beer in the country. 

I often think about the great people that I met while I was employed at Fitzgerald Ice Company.  I bank a good deal of them today and several of them are still good friends, but I always think of them around Christmas time.  When I started working there in 1991, part of our Christmas present was a Budweiser Christmas Stein.  I really like these steins and have them displayed in a case at home.  The reason that I always think of Fitzgerald Ice at Christmas time is that for the past 19 years I have continued to receive a Budweiser Christmas stein from the great folks that still work there.  I guess I did a good enough job while I was there that they continue to remember me at Christmas, or it could be that some of them now owe me money :).

Thank you Fitzgerald Ice Company for the stein and for the life lessons that I learned while I was working there!  You mean more to me than you will ever know!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dear Santa,

Aside from my usual yearly request of new ties, hunting gear, and neat gadgets, I have decided to go all out and make some pretty bold request of you for the coming 12 months.  This is what I REALLY want for Christmas......

-A National Championship for Georgia Southern in 2011
-A World Series Championship for The Braves
-My limit for the second year in a row on Wild Turkeys
-The winning ticket on a new gun from some raffle that I enter
-A Boone and Crockett Buck
-A pheasant "super flush" while hunting in Kansas
-A State Championship for the Canes
-A Jason Heyward Super-fractor baseball card out of a random pack (it's worth a lot of money!!)
-A home run for Reid this coming up baseball season
-Raises for all bank employees (better yet just keep the doors open)
-A Recruiting class full of studs for Georgia Southern
-A beautiful yard with no mole crickets
-I would like the body back that I had at the age of 25 without actually having to do the work to get it
-A third Club Championship trophy at good ole FCC
-A 12lb large mouth on the day of a fishing tourney
-Several little antique tables in need of some attention that can be bought cheap
-Lower property taxes
-50 new blog followers
-I would actually like to win one of those little "give aways" on the Outdoor Blogging Network
-Ideas for interesting topics in which to entertain the few readers that I have
-For Josey the Wonder Dog to actually understand everything that I am telling her (kind of like Lassie)
-No need for antibiotics in my household for a period of 12 months (I think the kids are getting hooked on the pink stuff)
-More episodes of "The Duck Commander" on the Outdoor Network
-Win the Wild Chicken Cup
-For the kids to always do what I say (you can include the wife too if miracles are within your capabilities)
-A Browning shopping spree given to me by the company because they read my blog and decided that I was truly their biggest fan
-At least 10 comments on every blog post
-To smoke the competition at Reid's first Pinewood derby race
-No past due customers
-A guest spot on Real Tree Outdoors
-An invitation to sing the National Anthem at the Braves game

World Peace!

Thank you for making my first blogging year a good one!  I hope that each of you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New year, and that Santa brings you everything that you ask for!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Josey the Wonder Dog!

I have written about my Boykin Spaniel Josey before.  I told you what a wonderful dog that she is for my kids and our family.  She is a Daddy's girl and loyal follower.  She is two years old, and although she is bred to be a hunting dog, I have never really taken her hunting.  I do not claim to be a bird dog trainer and quite frankly I have never had much luck in teaching a dog to be a good hunting partner.  I'm sure that is my fault and not the dog's.

Here lately I have been taking Josey squirrel hunting with me in a local pecan orchard.  She knows what a gun is and knows that when I shoot, a critter comes falling from out of the trees.  She will chase squirrels up trees from out of the bushes and find them when I shoot them down.  Sometimes she will bring them to me, sometimes not.  You can tell that she really enjoys the hunt because her little tail is wagging 100 miles per hour the whole time.  I began to wonder if maybe, just maybe, Josey could be a good hunting partner despite her owners lack of training skills???

Josey has always been very smart and catches on to things fairly quickly.  I have had no trouble training her to have good manners around other people and she will always stay pretty close to wherever I am.  It was for this reason that I decided to let her tag along on a small Saturday morning dove hunt.  I knew there would not be many people there, and worse case she would just sit with me and watch.  As daylight approached and a few birds starting to make there way into the field, someone fired a shot.  It was like you turned a light on in Josey's head.  Her tail started wagging and she got excited as if to say "So this is what we are doing today?"  I was very nervous as I pulled on my first bird.  I wanted to make sure that I connected on my first shot so that Josey could see how the game was supposed to be played.  I fired and down it went in a puff of wintery feathers.  Josey didn't move.  I tried to send her out to fetch, but she just looked at me like I was crazy.  I could almost hear her say, "Dude, there was no squirrel!" 

So I walked my dog out to help her retrieve my bird.  As we got close I told Josey to fetch it up and she caught scent of the dove.  She quickly pounced and started to chew the bird.  By the time I got it from her, she was covered with feathers, but I praised her when I took it from her and made a big deal of the whole thing as we went back to the stand.  At least now she knew what Daddy was after.

The next bird was shot down and we sort of went through the same thing.  She did not go after the bird right away.  I had to start towards the direction in which the bird landed and then she went out from there.  She found the bird, but I had to go and get it from her.  Again, I made a big deal about the half retrieve.  The third bird is where we turned the corner.  I shot the bird down, but I could tell it was just a wing shot.  As the dove sort of fluttered on the ground, Josey took off.  As she approached, the bird also took off and struggled to fly down the field with Josey on its tail.  She chased it for about 75 yards before she quit and ran back to me.  The bird fell and died in front of my friend on the next stand.  He picked up the bird and sort of tossed it towards my stand in the row that I was sitting on so that I would be able to easily find it.  Josey saw him make his little toss and bolted in that direction.  She picked up the bird and to my surprise ran it all the way back to me.  I was so proud I could have cried!

I killed six more birds that morning and Josey the Wonder dog picked up and retrieved all 6 of them.  Not too bad for a spoiled little house dog with no proper training.  It just goes to show what good instincts these little brown dogs have.  She really is a good dog and I am glad to say that I finally have a bird dog just like I have always wanted!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Wish List!

  For the ladies that read my blog that have no idea what to give their man for Christmas, I would like to offer you the following idea.  Fellows, you can run with this too if you like.  The picture that you see here to the left is an actual ad for Browning.  You can tell that it is a Christmas time ad because of the "gift" references and Christmas tree pine needles shown in the picture.  Now who wouldn't want a new Browning for Christmas????  I know I sure would, but what I have in mind is a whole lot cheaper than running out and buying a new gun!  The ad that you see here is actually from 1959.  You can go to e-bay and find vintage Browning ads from the 50's and 60's, most of which are in excellent shape.  An ad can range in price from $7 to $15 depending on the ad color and content.  These are paper advertisements from old magazines and are usually 8x10 or larger.  When these ads are framed and matted, they make great looking pieces to display in an office or "Man Cave".  I currently have two of these and I can say that they are some of my favorite items hanging in my shop and office.  This little project will cost you less than $75 depending on how nice you plan on framing your new piece of history.  Not a bad deal for something that a Browning lover will appreciate.

So what if you are not a Browning lover?  You may now exit my blog!!!  Just kidding.

E-bay is full of sellers that deal in this type of paper sales.  You can find most anything if you look hard enough.  Old John Deere ads, Winchester ads, Remington ads, Coca-Cola ads, etc., etc.  Just a cool little idea for those that can sometimes be hard to buy for.  Especially if they are passionate for a particular brand, such as with me and my Brownings!

Happy shopping!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Men who were Giants!

The older I get the more I value the relationships that I have had with some very great men.  It is only later in life that I realize just how lucky I was to be able to spend time with my grandfathers or men who were like one of my grandfather's.  I just wish that when I was younger that I would have cherished the time spent with them more than I did.  I was reminded of just how little time we have with each other today as one of my favorite people passed away.  He was a friend of mine who attended our church and Grandfather to one of my close friends.  He was one of those men who can be considered "Giants" among those people who knew him.  His giving nature and overall great attitude is what I will miss most.  He always took the time to stop me and talk to me and ask me if I was "looking out" for his Grandson.  I promised him that I was doing my best!  As I reflect on my many conversations that I had with Mr. Ed, I am reminded of all of the "Grandfathers" that I have had in my life and even though they are no longer with us, their memory will last a lifetime.

Grand Daddy-  My Grand Daddy was a farmer and drove a tractor.  He was a strong man that worked hard and enjoyed his play time also.  He is where the family hunting tradition comes from and the reason my father is a hunter and I am too!  I have too many stories to tell about this man and what he meant to my life and I miss him very much to this day.  I think he would be proud of me for the way that I am teaching Reid to love hunting and fishing.  I have a little 20 gauge over and under that he gave to me.  It is the pride of my gun collection!  I am honored to carry his name!

PaPa- Papa was the Grandfather that every little boy wanted to have.  He was the fire chief!!!!  Yep, I got to ride the fire trucks and even wear the Chief's hat.  How cool is that??????  He was also very good with his hands and liked to do wood working projects.  I have several pieces in my house that he made for me and my sister.  I will cherish them always!  I remember that he was just the most gentle and kind man that you could ever be around.  He was my PaPa!

Mr. Leroy-  Since both of my grandfather's lived out of town, neither one of them got to see me play much baseball.  This is where Mr. Leroy comes in.  He was a family friend who sort of made me one of his grand children.  He came to every baseball game that I played in in high school.  He would sit right behind home plate and shout words of encouragement in my direction.  I would always make sure to go up to the fence and talk to him before the games.  All the guys on the team just assumed that he was my "real" grandfather.  He wasn't, but neither of us seemed to mind!

Big Jim-  I'm not really sure what started off the special relationship that I had with Mr. Jimmy.  I think he approached me at church when I was just a young teenager and told me that he was the Grandfather of one of my buddies.  He liked my singing and I liked the way he said a prayer.  We would find each other every Sunday to make sure that we spoke.  As I got older and became great friends with all of his Grandsons, he would proudly say that I was his 4th grandson!  I was the one that was proud!  Mr. Jimmy was a great man and I loved him very much.  I served as a pallbearer  at his funeral.

Mr. Ed- He always had a smile on his face.  I met Mr. Ed through Mr. Jimmy.  They were great friends.  When I went to visit Mr. Ed in the hospital two weeks ago, we spent our time together talking about Big Jim and all of us boys.  He asked me if I was "looking out" for his Grandson and I told him I was doing my best.  I told him to get better and that I would see him at church when he got home.  He went home last night.  Heaven just got a little brighter!

I can only hope that those of you that read this will take some time to reflect on some of those "Giant" men that you have met in your life!  I consider myself very lucky to have had the time that I had with my giants!

Councilor, your Grandfather was a great man!  I will miss him!  And even though I know that you don't need it, I'm going to keep "looking out" for you........ just for Ed!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kansas 2010!

I really enjoy the traditions that Hunting in the outdoors brings.  Whether they be family traditions, or historical traditions it really doesn't matter to me as long as it feels like you are carrying on something passed down to you by someone in your past.  Upland hunting carries a long history of traditions and I think that is why I enjoy it so.  Now you may ask yourself how a South Georgia boy knows anything about upland hunting?  The truth is that I really do not know all that much about "true" upland hunting, but I think blaze orange is a beautiful color and love to put it on as I chase bobwhite quail through the Georgia pines and brier patches.  For "true" upland hunting, I go to Kansas!

Daddy and I flew out to Kansas on Friday morning.  The weather was beautiful and the long range forecast promised sunny days with the high in the upper 50's.  Perfect for chasing ring necks!  We arrived in Beloit, Kansas Friday afternoon and was able to attend the local Pheasants Forever banquet.  Daddy and I are probably the only two PF members in this part of the state of Georgia.  After catching up with old friends and hunting partners, we went back to the motel to rest up for the next days hunt.

It was cold!  I was prepared for the weather and had all of the correct gear, but it was cold and you could tell that there would be no sunshine that morning.  Even though it was a little chilly, I couldn't wait to hit that first patch of CRP grass and flush some roosters.  It did not disappoint.  We killed a good many birds as we pushed this field and I killed my limit in the first hour of the hunt.  Even with my limit reached, you keep hunting to try and help your neighbor reach his limit.  I helped him too as I killed two more before lunch.  It was a good day so far.  The afternoon was not as productive as the weather held true and the sun never made an appearance.  The temperature never rose above 34 for the day and birds did not seem to be very active as we were having trouble finding birds in feed.  We headed in with 46 roosters for the day!

The weather man said it would be in the 60's on Sunday with plenty of sunshine!  He is smoking crack!!  We woke up on Sunday morning to wet conditions and no sunshine.  It was also cold!  The days hunt did not produce as many birds.  We tried to stick to CRP grass, but we just couldn't find many birds.  I think the final count was 27.  We did get to see two Boone and Crockett white-tails though.  They were massive!

Monday morning promised warmer weather and sunshine!  Wrong!  What we got was rain!  We made a group decision and decided against hunting our third day.  We were only hunting a half day anyway, so we decided to change our flight plans and fly out that afternoon instead of Tuesday morning.  Instead of traveling all day yesterday, I was able to put out all of the Christmas decorations while the kids were at school.  No small task as we are now up to six Christmas trees at out house!!

I have often wondered if my South Georgia buddies would enjoy this trip.  It can be an awful lot of walking with not much shooting if the birds are not cooperating.  I like the trip for several reasons.  Reason number one is that I get to spend time with my Dad.  Not everyone gets to chase Pheasants with their Dad!  The other reasons are time spent with new friends, watching the dogs work, the beautiful landscapes, the huge farms that feed the heartland, the deer that you flush as you walk a field, the beating of wings as your instincts kick in and you swing on the bird as you determine rooster or hen, and carrying that rooster out of the field as his tail feathers stick out of your blaze orange vest!

Here's to looking forward to next year!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I graduated from Georgia Southern University in the summer of 1995.  I began my career in the real world that same summer and I am very happy to say that I have never stopped working since.  My job paths may have changed a little in the past 16 years, but not my desire to stay employed and enjoy doing what I do.  I consider myself very lucky to say that I enjoy going to work each day!  I really like my job and get great satisfaction from helping my clients, but everyone needs a break from time to time and right now is MY TIME!  I'M ON VACATION!!

As a single man, it was very easy to plan my vacation.  I had no one to think about but myself so I always planned my vacation for this time of year.  Why wait and take vacation time in late November?  Very simple!  Thanksgiving is the mecca of all things hunting!!!  The deer season should be hot and heavy, duck season is in, dove season opens back up and quail hunting opens too!  Most of your friends are off work due to the holidays, so there is always something to hunt and always someone to go with!  How could you not want to be free of your employment obligations at a time like this!?!?

I got married, had kids and things changed a bit.  I now have to plan summer vacations for the wife and kids.  I don't mind, but it cut down on my Thanksgiving hunting plans a bit.  I always had room for my Kansas trip, but sometimes I would not have many days left for a Wednesday dove shoot or the day after Thanksgiving traditional Luckie family quail hunt.  This year is different however.  The wife and I decided not to take a summer vacation this year.  We are saving our money to help pay for a Disney cruise that we are taking this coming up May.  This means that I had most of my vacation days left for the end of the year!  I am off the rest of this week and all of next week!  Let the hunting begin!!

What will I do?  For those of you that know me, you know that I have a list of things that I want to get done!  This morning I told myself that I would be lazy and watch it rain.  So much for that as I am currently on my third load of laundry.  I have plans to go to the grocery store and gather supplies for Hump Day tomorrow.  I'm hosting the festivities and making my famous vegetable soup for the boys.  I have to clean the shop, get my Jeep serviced, put some more ice on my deer meat in the cooler, see about getting my lawn mower fixed, shop for my wife's Christmas present, attend school events for my kids, find time to do a little hunting, and start packing for Kansas!  I would also like to find some time to do nothing!  Maybe read a book or take a few naps!

Yes I am on vacation!  I plan on enjoying the next two weeks and hopefully I will allow myself time to relax!  I think I deserve it!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I have been Blessed!

The 2010 deer hunting season can be called a success for this little blogger.  Tonight was a good night for me and my Browning 30.06!  The deer you see before you has been chased pretty hard for the last couple of weeks.  That is when he showed up on my trail camera as well as the trail camera of my brother-n-law's who hunts on the same hunting lease with us.  It was a race to see who would take this buck and a race that I am glad to say that I won.  I have to admit that I thought that this deer was much larger than this.  If you look at his trail camera pictures you would have thought that he would score in the 150's.  Now that I have him in my hands he is more like a 140 class.  He will score less than that though because he has broken off two tines within the last couple of days.  I guess I will now be after the buck that was man enough to tie into this one!

I have to say that prayer works!  Ever since I saw this buck on my trail camera I have asked the Lord to bless me by giving me an opportunity to to at least have a shot at this deer.  Tonight he answered my prayers and I dropped him with one shot at 200 yards.  I would like to sit here and tell you that I made a perfect shot, but the truth is I almost missed him.  I hit him high right below the spine and the bullet was retrieved out of his opposite lung.  He dropped like you had hit him in the head with a hammer.  God is good! 

Now I can relax and get ready for my trip to Kansas at the end of this week!  Daddy and I will be making our way to Beloit, Kansas on Friday for three days of Pheasant hunting fun!  I'm sure that I will continue to be blessed as I enjoy the outdoors with my Dad!

Happy Hunting!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Squirrel Hunting Raptor Style!

Meet Ruby!  Ruby is a South Georgia Red Tailed Hawk.  She was our hunting partner today as Reid and I got to experience a little squirrel hunting fun raptor style!!

Bill from the Hump Day crowd has a brother named Bob.  Bob is retired and has recently taken up a new hobby.  Apparently all you have to do in the state of Georgia is take a class to be certified to own a fine feathered hunting partner.  They take it pretty seriously though as Bob had to join an organization and have his habitat approved before they would issue him a licence.  Once he had a licence all he needed was a bird.  Now you don't just go by your local pet shop and pick up a bird of prey, you have to go out and catch your own.  Bob rode around for a while until he spotted a lone hawk sitting on the edge of a field on the side of the road.  He set up his snare trap with two mice and moved a safe distance away.  The hawk sailed down within a matter of minutes and was caught in the snare.  The bird is unharmed during the process.  Ruby now has a new home and has been extremely spoiled for the last month.  She is very mild mannered and loves to be stroked on top of her head.  Bob tails me that the good thing about Red Tailed Hawks is that they are easily trained and should be able to hunt freely within 4 to 6 weeks.  Today was Ruby's first free hunt.

Reid and I have been shooting squirrels for Ruby for the past couple of weeks.  Bob feeds them to her once a week.  The idea is to make sure that the squirrel becomes Ruby's favorite food.  She did not get a squirrel this week and should be getting hungry, therefore she should want to hunt.  We took Ruby to a local pecan orchard where we spotted a few squirrels right off the bat.  Bob took Ruby close to one of the trees and when he thought that Ruby had a fix on one of the fury little critters, he let her go.  Up in the tree she went.  We just knew we were about to witness something very cool.  Ruby bounced to a couple of trees until she decided to settle in one place and just sit there.  And sit, and sit, and sit.  I guess Ruby was not quite ready to hunt.  All of Bob's material that he has studied has given him a lot of patience with this bird.  He understands that it takes time to effectively train Ruby.  I can not say the same thing for Reid.  He wanted to see some action.  We waited for almost an hour and we started to wonder if Ruby was ever going to come back to us or just fly off into the wild blue yonder.  Upon Bob's request, Reid and I loaded up to go hunt for a squirrel for Ruby so that we could get her down from the tree. 

It only took me about 5 minutes before I was back with a squirrel for Ruby.  Bob tied the squirrel to the end of a line and took it into the orchard with him.  He called to Ruby and began to pull the squirrel on the line.  That was all it took.  That big hawk dove out of that tree in a split second and hit the squirrel with both talons.  Bob then secured Ruby to a leader and let her enjoy her dinner.  Reid was amazed as he watched her eat.  All I could think about was how much fun this was going to be once Ruby figures this whole thing out.  

I had planned to go deer hunting this afternoon but we were having a lot of fun watching Ruby and I could tell that Reid was having a good time.  It didn't hurt me none that I missed an afternoon in the stand.  Besides, I was still hunting!  Just Raptor Style!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Come back to me Good Old FCC!

Fitzgerald Country Club, or FCC will always hold a special place in my heart.  It is there that I formed many great friendships and grew to love the game of golf.  It is where I converted myself from a baseball player into a golfer through years of practice and hard work eventually winning two Club Championships in 2005 and 2006.  I spent a good part of my twenties playing golf at FCC and hanging out at the club with a great group of guys of all ages.  You could always find a good match with golfers of all calibers and you could even feed your gambling side if need be on most days.  Sadly, that time has passed and FCC is no longer here.  The doors closed two years ago and a void has been created in the lives of us that so enjoyed what FCC had to offer.

I am NOT a Country Club pretty boy.  In fact FCC could hardly even be called a Country Club by most people's standards.  More than one person referred to FCC as a bar with 9 holes posing as a country club.  It is hard to argue with them because for the most part, that is what we were.  Sure we tried to have an occasional family event, but most of those were not successful due to lack of participation.  FCC was a golfers club where the most important things to most members were golf, gambling, and cold beer in the cooler.  Little did we know that this was a recipe for disaster.  As the times changed and more and more families were leaving the Country Club scene, FCC found itself hanging on by a thread for a number of years until one day the doors had to be closed due to lack of funds to keep paying the bills.  That was a very sad day!  No longer do the boys gather at 12:00 on Saturday to divide up teams and make their bets.  No longer do the boys play an emergency nine that ends with the last player putting on the last green with car headlights lighting the surface.  No longer do the boys hang out in the snack bar watching football games and telling lies about the day's round.  No longer does the laughter ring out through the tall Georgia Pines that lined the fairways of Old FCC.  But there is hope!!!!

I was on the board of directors of FCC when the decision was made to close the doors.  I was also a stock holder in FCC Inc.  We had an unusual situation where we could no longer generate the cash flow needed to run the business, but we were very heavy in assets.  We sold the property to a private investor whom we were sure would turn our beloved golf course into some type of commercial development.  He sat on the property for a while and then decided to step way out on a limb.  He is bringing FCC back!  His plans include a totally renovated club house and improvements to the existing golf course.  The new clubhouse is almost complete and looks incredible.  The town is buzzing with the thought of an upscale restaurant and modern entertainment venue.  All of us golfers are just excited to have a place to play again.  He has made a huge investment in our community and I hope the community will reinvest in this new club.  I think the community has taken one step to insure its success already.  Yesterday we passed a referendum that allows for liquor to be bought by the drink.  You may remember me writing about it here.  This will be a nice revenue source for a new club and may encourage people to join a new club knowing that they will have a nice restaurant and bar in which they can enjoy a cocktail.  Fitzgerald deserves a nice place and I think they are getting one with this new venture!

This will not be the old FCC!  In fact I understand that the new owner is going with a completely new name for the place.  He wants this to be a family club and intends to have tennis courts and swimming pools as well as host all civic clubs and social functions.  He has built this club for the people of Fitzgerald and I hope that it will be well received and well used.  I know I look forward to playing a little more golf and having a place to take my son to learn the game.  I'm sure all of my friends feel the same way.

The clubhouse and restaurant is set to open after the first of the year.  The golf course will hopefully open in the spring.  It can't get here soon enough for me.  I'm ready to get back into golf,  find my game again and have some fun with the boys.  It is my goal to win another club championship or have a dang good time trying!

So I wish the best for the new FCC, even though it will never be the old FCC!  That is a good thing!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween everyone!  These are the 5 pumpkins that we carved this year.  I decided to go with the Braves theme for myself!  I hope everyone has a great night!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

We like Halloween!

We like Halloween around our house.  I live with a family of sweet tooth's, so what's not to like.  The kids and the wife enjoy the dressing up and the CANDY!  Me, I like Halloween for another reason.  I like to carve the pumpkins!  I bought a carving kit the Halloween before I got married and surprised my new bride with a dragon fly pumpkin that included her name.  I was hooked from that point.  Above is the pumpkin I carved for myself last Halloween.  I wonder where I got the inspiration?

This is the pumpkin that the wife carved last year.  This one was really cool because the pumpkin was solid white.  It turned out very pretty.  I was proud of her!  It was her first attempt at pumpkin carving, but she is very artistic so I agreed to let her give it a shot!

This is what the kids asked for this year.  I carved them tonight because they didn't want to wait until this weekend.  They are mini pumpkins, so I really did not have a lot of space to work with.  Reid wanted a bat and Mia wanted a girl pumpkin.  Notice the hair bow on the left side of the face.

I have two big pumpkins left to go.  I will spend tomorrow thinking about what design I want to do this year and see what kind of patterns I can find.  The carving will take place on Saturday.  I think I may go with a Braves theme this year!  I'll post pictures when I get them finished for your viewing pleasure!

Happy carving!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My new trail camera!

As some of you may remember, I received a new trail camera for my birthday.  I had the opportunity to get it in the woods this past Sunday afternoon.  I placed it near a high deer traffic area (a feeder) so that I could see how it was going to operate and what kind of pictures it was going to take.  I picked up a sandwich at lunch today and ran out to our hunting club to see if I was able to catch some images.  The camera was in an easy access area so I wasn't really worried about messing up my shirt and tie and pretty loafers.  I checked the camera and it told me that I had 53 pictures for review.  I changed out the card and headed back to the office.

I got the usual pictures of coons, squirrels and a few does.  I also got several pictures of small bucks ranging from spikes, to fork horns, to small six points.  But I also got this guy.  He made the trip worth while.  I actually have two pictures of him three hours apart, but this one turned out the best.  I actually saw this deer this past weekend but elected not to take him.  I think he is a fairly young deer and I would love for him to make it to next season.

Daddy and I have seen several bucks this size so far this year.  I think that we have seen at least 5 different 8 points in different locations on our club.  If the rut brings out the big boys, then we may be in for a great year!

Happy Hunting!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Coon Huntin'- Ain't Nothin' Like it!

The Hump Day boys and I spent this past Wednesday night like we usually do.  We socialized, cooked some good food, and spoke about such things as football, fishing, and philosophy.  Towards the end of the evening when things were dying down a little, my fellow mid week celebrator Hal W. pulled up his truck and started playing some Jerry Clower stories for the boy's entertainment.  We all got a good laugh listening to old Jerry tell his stories, the majority centered around Coon Hunting in Mississippi.  Now I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that even though the Hump Day crowd is full of some mighty fine hunters and fisherman, the majority of them have not done their share of Coon Hunting.  It is a dying art here in these parts and the opportunity does not present itself much anymore.  But Hal and I can say that thanks to one very fine man, we know what it's all about!  We've been there!

J.W. Poole was a tall gentle man who had a great way with kids.  I seem to remember thinking that he was the strongest old man that I had ever seen.  He always had a kind word or would make sure that he spoke to me whenever I would visit the local pool hall for lunch.  I was just a high school teenager at the time.  He sort of became bigger than life in my eyes because my Dad and several others had told me stories about JW in his younger years.  They all said that there was never a badder man than JW and that folks wouldn't dare mess with him even today!  To me he was just a Grandfatherly figure that worked hard all day and played harder all night.  You see ole' JW was a coon hunter and he struck out with the dogs every evening to chase that old coon through the swamps of South Georgia.  I am so happy and consider myself blessed to say that I got to tag along with him.

Daddy and JW were good friends.  Daddy knew that JW chased coons every evening and thought up a pretty good plan.  My Daddy has always said that if you take your kids hunting and fishing, you will not have to hunt and fish for your kids!  What better way to keep up with your teenage son than to take him coon hunting on Friday or Saturday night?  Daddy asked JW if he and I could tag along for some hunts.  JW was more than happy to let us tag along with him and Mr. Jim Dorminy, his hunting partner.  In his eyes we were two young bucks that could carry the light and rifle.  He would be free to just work the dogs! 

I had no idea what I was in for as we pulled up on this dark dirt road to meet up with JW and Mr. Jim.  The meeting place was called the sewer pipe and some nights we would turn the dogs loose right there or we may start in another location all together, but we always met at the sewer pipe.  I was dressed in my best waterproof boots and had been told to expect some trudging through some thick swamp country.  I acted like I was ready, when in fact I had no idea what I was getting into.  I didn't even know how this game worked!  Daddy told me to just sit back and take it all in.  The dogs would let us know when we were needed.  I didn't understand that either!

JW and Jim let the dogs out to start the hunt.  The dogs hit the woods and I remember wondering how in the world we would get them back because they let out of there running 100 miles per hour.  Directly I heard the most wonderful sound in all of the world.  One of the dogs let out the prettiest little howl that you have ever heard as it carried through the cool night air.  JW yelled out "SPEAK TO 'EM"!  The others joined in and soon you could follow the sound of the dogs as they trailed the coon through the swamp.  It was awesome.  The coolest part of the whole thing to me though was that JW and Jim could actually tell you which dog was doing the howling.  "Ole Queen has found us one!"  "I believe ole Belle is on the scent of another one."  There would be 5 or 6 dogs screaming through the woods and JW could tell you the bark of each one of them.  Just as I was getting use to the sounds of the pretty music I was listening to in the night, the chorus changed.  "We got him treed boys!" was JW's cry.  The dogs had started a different song.  They were no longer howling, they were now sort of baying and that I learned meant a treed coon.  It also meant that you gathered up your stuff and hit the woods with light in tow to go to where ever the dogs were.  I have been in some thick stuff before, but never as bad as it gets when you are chasing that masked bandit through the pitch black swamp in South Georgia.  When you finally reach the dogs you shine your light into the tree to spot your coon.  One shot and down he comes and the dogs go crazy.  If he is not dead yet, he will put up one hell of a fight.  JW usually didn't want his dogs fighting with the coon so he would tell Daddy to make sure he put a good shot on him while he was in the tree.  Once you retrieve your coon and your dogs, you head back to the truck, which is always a good 22 miles away at this point, to star over at a new spot.  Repeat all night long!

Now you may be saying to yourself "How can Jerry Clower make that kind of hunting sound funny"?  Well all sorts of things can happen in the woods after dark, and coon hunting is just slap full of stories like this one that my Daddy likes to tell...

JW, Jim and Daddy met up at the sewer pipe, decided on a location and let the dogs out.  JW was proudly listening as one of his prized dogs started that all familiar night music.  Again it amazed me how they could tell exactly what the dog was doing just by listening to it sound off into the night.  The dogs treed a coon and started their familiar baying.  JW said that something wasn't quite right.  One of the dogs sounded a little different.  He couldn't put his finger on it, but something wasn't like it was supposed to be.  When they reached the tree where the coon was supposed to be, one of the dogs was missing.  Then they noticed the tree.  The tree was sort of half blown over and was sitting at about a 45 degree angle.  As they shined the light up the base of the tree they found the missing dog.  He had run up the tree and he wasn't coming down!

Now this was a very expensive coon dog stuck in the top of this tree and the fire department does not make swamp calls in the middle of the night to bring their ladder.  The boys had to come up with a plan to get this dog down.  They decided that they would have to cut the tree down to get the dog out.  They went and got a chain saw and discussed how they were going to accomplish the feat that was set before them.  It was figured that Daddy could just start to cut the base of the tree and it should just ease on down to the ground real slow like.  So Daddy started cutting little by little.  The tree slowly started to bend toward the earth.  The plan was working.  "Just a little bit more John", said JW, so Daddy gave it a little more juice and the tree again started to slowly bend when all of a sudden POP!  The tree broke clean in two and down came the tree and the dog!  Daddy says he can remember that dog grabbing that tree around with all four legs as it started the fall, howling all the way down.  The tree hit and the dog started yelling.  They thought for sure that they had landed the tree on top of the dog.  You have to remember that it is still pitch black dark and they haven't got their light on the dog yet.  Come to find out, the only thing wrong with the dog is that he bit his tongue when he bounced off the ground while holding his death grip on the tree.  Now that's funny right there, I don't care who you are!!

I could go on and on with stories about coon hunting.  I spent some great time with my Dad and two wonderful old guys that are no longer with us.  JW and Jim have both passed away and the woods are a little quieter at night around here.  I miss those days and whenever the boys bring up Jerry Clower and his coon hunting stories Hal and I just kind of look at one another and know that we have a little bond between us.  You see, JW was Hal's uncle and Hal got to spend time in the coon hunting woods too.  I enjoy swapping stories with him and reliving some fun times as well as rehashing the life lessons that we learned in those dark swamps.  JW was a good man, and I am so glad that he let me go coon hunting with him!!

SPEAK TO 'EM!!   Arrooooooooo!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It was a good Birthday!

38 years ago today I was brought into this world.   Yes today was my birthday and I have to say that I had a wonderful day.  I got hugs and kisses from the wife and kids as soon as we were all awake.  The girls at work gave me a card and some goodies this morning and the rest of the day was followed with wonderful e-mail updates of birthday wishes from all of my facebook pals.  I got phone calls and text messages from others and even an e-mail from a good friend saying that my birthday wish had come true.... the Braves have released Melky Cabrera!!!

I arrived home to find the gifts that you see here and was treated to a wonderful home cooked meal by my wonderful Mama.  The Georgia Southern tail gate chair and shirt were given to me by my "in tune with what I like" wife.  The GSU sign for my shop was given to me by my thoughtful Mother-in law.  The wonderful item in my left hand is a new trail camera given to me by Mama and Daddy.  I have already been to Wal-mart to get batteries and a new SD card.  I am presently taking pictures of the dog as she is sitting in my chair.  They are turning out VERY nice!!

Thank you to all of you who remembered me on my special day!  If you forgot to get me a present you can just bring it by later!

Have a great week!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Opening Day!

It was opening day of rifle season here in South Georgia this past Saturday and I woke to a chilly and clear morning.  I had gathered all of my stuff together the night before as I listened to our local high school football game.  (We won a good one by the way)  I shot out of bed with all the enthusiasm that opening day brings and quickly got dressed a full half hour before my Dad was to pick me up.  I turned on Sports Center and started thinking about where I wanted to hunt.  The wind was right for a number of different locations, but I kept coming back to one stand in particular.  "The New Spot". 

I have been preparing this spot for a few weeks now and was very excited about hunting there.  I just couldn't wait to see how the deer were going to move in this area and from which direction they would come.  I'm still waiting!  I got skunked!  I did see ten turkeys and my Dad saw three deer not 500 yards from me moving in my direction, but either they slipped by me or changed course on the way.  The only deer I saw on Saturday morning was on the way to the truck.  A doe and yearling crossed the road about 100 yards ahead of me.  Isn't it funny how sometimes when we want something to work SO much that God reminds us that he is still in control.  I know what he is doing to me.  He is trying to teach me some patience, which he did not bless me with much to start with!!  It was still a good morning and I was excited about the fact that one of the three deer that Daddy saw was a nice 8 point.

When we returned home I told Daddy that we would have the little man for the afternoon hunt.  I knew that I would have some explaining to do when I walked in the door wearing all of my hunting gear.  Luckily, the wife had the kids up town for some errands so I dodged the bullet momentarily.  I got changed and grabbed my cell phone to turn it on for the day.  I found that I had 4 new voice mails.  I was a little worried as I punched in my code to retrieve my messages.  They were all from my son.  They started at 7:00 am and went until about 8:30.  All four messages went just about the same way-  "Daddy, this is Reid.  You left me!  I thought we were going hunting today!  Call me back!"  Now Reid is not old enough to make morning hunts yet, he is only seven, but you can bet your life that he was in the truck for the afternoon.

I decided to hunt an old faithful stand in the afternoon and Daddy took Reid with him to the double stand that we have set up for that purpose.  My stand is now in the middle of a clear cut, as they cut the timber last year.  We have a long food plot that runs from a bottom all the way to the stand.  I have seen as many as 27  deer at one time sitting on this stand.  This afternoon was not a disappointment.  I saw 9 deer including one 6 point and one nice 8 point.  The two bucks sparred back and forth with each other for the better part of an hour.  The 8 point was about three inches outside of his ears, but his tine length was only about 6 inches.  He is a borderline shooter and I had my mind made up that I wanted to take something bigger than  I already have on the wall.  Daddy went back Sunday evening and saw the same deer off of the same stand.  He said that he thought it was a mature deer and that I might should have taken him.  Now I'm having regrets.  I might should have shot him, but he was 200 yards away and I worry about ground shrinkage.  I don't want to pile up what I think is a good deer only to get my hands on him and wish I would have give him another year.  I'm sure he will be back and maybe I can get a better look at him from a closer distance before I take my shot!

Reid sat with Daddy Saturday afternoon and had a few mishaps like dropping his snack to the ground and even dropping his entire back pack that Daddy said hit every rail on the ladder on the way down.  But they saw some deer despite all of the noise including a spike and another nice 8 point.  Daddy said he was a pretty good one with high G-2's but had smaller crab claws on each end.  He let him go.  Reid was excited that he got to see deer and is already asking to go back.  He is pretty good luck as the last two times that he has been in that stand I have killed an 8 point and Daddy could have killed one!

I'm gonna have to rig up a separate seat for him in the "New Spot"!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Joys of Coaching!

I will be the first to tell you that I know absolutely very little about the game of soccer.  But because I love my son, I have coached his soccer team for the past three years.  It is a time consuming process that involves calling parents, scheduling practices, filling water coolers, scheduling game day hot dogs, ordering trophies, coaching games, and even on some occasions being the referee for said games.  It is mostly a thankless job but sometimes you get a group of kids that make you want to sign right back up and do it again.  The Cruisers were that type of team.

I was so proud of the boys as we finished our season last night with a tie.  Our overall record was 2-1-3.  Given that I have not coached a winning game in my previous two years, I consider that a great accomplishment.  They kids were a very good group of kids.  We were not overly talented, but we had heart and just the right combination of kids who were either good on offense or good on defense.  After I passed out trophies to all of the kids, one of them came up to me and told me I was the best coach he has ever had.  That made me feel really good and reminded me why I do this. I can be hard on the boys and work them even harder, but I just want them to learn what it means to be a good teammate and stick with something like sports.  It might just keep them off the street one day!

Now that soccer is over we will start getting ready for baseball in the spring.  My son already has his ball and glove out and I look forward to doing some little things this winter that will hopefully give him an added advantage when it comes time to put the spikes back on.  We spent the extra time we had this morning before school throwing a balled up sock back and forth to each other.  We may drive his mother crazy!

Speaking of coaching!  The Atlanta Braves have a new one.  Freddie G. will be named the new Braves Manager on Thursday.  I look forward to a new excitement around Turner field next year.

Here's to all of you coaches out there!  Keep up the good work and I want to thank you for all that you do for our children!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

John M Browning- American Gun Maker

Besides family tradition, this book is the reason that I choose to shoot Browning guns.  If you take the time to read this great piece of American history, you may just learn some extraordinary facts about the guns that are still manufactured today by countless manufactures using the same principles that John M Browning designed over 100 years ago in a small shop in Utah.  What this man was able to accomplish in his life is nothing short of remarkable.  In fact his story and impact on the history of this country is such an interesting read that I pull this book out at the start of every hunting season to remind myself how thankful I am that John M Browning loved to design guns!

Browning got his start by working in his fathers gunsmith shop as a young boy.  He would take orders for his father and by the time he was 8 years old he could repair most guns that were brought into the shop.  He loved his tools and to work with his hands but often found himself wondering if he could make a better gun than those he was repairing.  Indeed he could!  As a young man he designed a single shot rifle that was very simple in its design yet very handsome and rugged.  He opened a gun shop with his brothers and starting manufacturing the rifle.  It wasn't long before Winchester got hold of the rifle and came calling on its inventor.  To make a long story short, John Browning starting designing guns for Winchester and did so for years.  Every gun sold by Winchester in the late 1800's was a John Browning design.

Now that John did not have to manufacture guns (or worry about money any more), he could work on inventing them.  Boy did he do that!  John Browning has invented a book full of guns including the first repeating rifle, the first repeating shotgun, the first machine gun, the first airplane cannon, the Colt automatic pistol, and the first over and under shotgun just to name a few.  He sold his designs to companies such as Winchester, Colt, and Remington.  These same companies still manufacture guns to this day using designs sold to them by John Browning who died in 1926. 

Why do I shoot a Browning?  Mainly because my Daddy does, but if you read this book, you just might give Browning another look.  I just consider it going to the source.  If he designed all of the guns that we are still using today, then why wouldn't I want to shoot the gun with his name on it?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I was pretty close!

In a blog earlier this year, I predicted that the Braves would finish the regular season with a record of 92 wins and 70 losses.  I only missed it by ONE game.  Today the Braves defeated the Phillies to end the regular season with 91 wins and 71 losses.  I guessed pretty good!!  I also predicted that the Braves would win the wild card by placing second in their division behind the Phillies.  If the Giants defeat the Padres this afternoon, that is exactly what will happen.  If the Padres win, then there will have to be a playoff to determine the Wild Card.  I hope the Braves get into post season play, but I really do not look for them to do much if they get there.  They do not play very good defense and they simply do not hit enough to be considered a major threat.  I hope I am wrong and they make it to the World Series, but injuries to key players have not helped very much.


To all of my outdoor blogging friends I hope to bring you some trail cam shots very soon.  We spent some time at the hunting club this weekend setting up cameras and getting some work done.  We placed two cameras on two different mock scrapes.  This is the first time we have tried this so I am excited to see if we get any results!


I started blogging back in February and have written what I thought were some very good post that did not get very many comments from friends of mine or people that I know.  To tell the truth, I'm willing to bet that very few members of the Hump Day crowd even read my blog.  Not the case with my latest blog entry.  It seems that if you start talking about college football and what kind of fan you are, it gets the boys attention. Some of my fellow GSU alumni accused me of calling them out directly.  I assure you that I did not have any one person in mind when I wrote it.  My average visits to a blog post of mine is anywhere from 20 to 30 visits (I only have 26 followers, and I only know 11 of them personally).  My last post received 400 visits from over 250 different readers.  Wow!  I also received 15 comments on the blog and my little blog has been the topic of conversation around all of our weekly gatherings.  I have received phone calls, e mails, text messages, a request to print the article in the GSU newspaper,  an even a UGA sign in my yard this past Saturday morning.  It goes without saying that die hard GSU fans love the blog and UGA fans are having fun with it by pointing out the holes in my logic.  Hard copies of the blog have made there way to all of the Georgia parties this weekend and my friends are currently asking me such questions as "If they take an online class at Alabama, can they pull for them?"  Be my guest!

I'm glad the boys are having fun with this thing and it really does not bother me at all because in the long run I hope that they will check back with my blog or read some of my past post that talk about how much my friends mean to me (I got a buddy!).  If they will take the time to do that, then all of this good natured ribbing will be well worth it!

Keep following guys!  You might just like some of the things I have to say!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Be True to YOUR School!!!

I am pleased to say that I had the opportunity to attend a very fine institute of higher learning in Statesboro, Georgia.  The school of my choice was Georgia Southern University and I am more than proud to wear my school colors and boast about all things Georgia Southern.  This happens to include a pretty good football team that has won 6 National Championships in just 30 short years of playing football.  Our first coming in 1985 and our last coming in 2000.  Everyone that knows me knows that I am a Georgia Southern fan first and foremost.  No other team is as important to me as my Eagles!  No Team!  Not even the great UGA!

This brings me to the topic in which I want to discuss.  I know that I wear Blue and white colored glasses, but I really do not understand how someone that chose to attend Georgia Southern, got their degree from Georgia Southern, makes their living from the degree that they received from Georgia Southern, met and married a girl from Georgia Southern, yet wears Red and Black on Saturdays and screams Go Dawgs!!  When you ask them if they are going to watch the Southern game, they look at you like you are crazy and say "Shoot no.  We (meaning UGA) got Vandy today.  Should be a good one!"

Let's talk about the "we" part of that statement.  You are not allowed to say "we" when you are speaking about a football team unless you are an alumni of that school, or you are presently enrolled in classes at that school, or you are actually on that school's football team as a player.  You can say the team's name in reference to them, but you can not say "we".

It does me no good to mention to my fellow alumni, now rabid UGA fan, that Georgia Southern happens to be playing a conference game today that has some real meaning.  It is not fashionable to act like they care.  You see the UGA bandwagon has become full over the past few years due to the success that the Dawgs have enjoyed in the SEC conference.  GSU graduates find it more popular to pull for the bigger school.  They wear their UGA hats, they fly their UGA flags, they dress their kids up in UGA gear, and they plan parties around the UGA game on ESPN.  I don't mind going to the parties because I also like watching the Bulldogs, but if Georgia Southern is playing at the same time, I am wearing my headphones and listening to the Eagles!!

I just want to know why some people find it necessary to pull for a school that they never attended and why they show no love for the football team at their very own Alma mater.!?!?!?

Now don't get me wrong.  I understand some of the arguments.  Here are some of the most popular.

1).  I grew up pulling for the Bulldogs!! 

 I completely understand.  Everyone grew up pulling for one team or the other.  I do not fault you for being a Bulldog fan if you have pulled for the team your whole life, but I do have a problem with this example of not being "true to your school".  A couple of years ago, GSU played UGA in the season opener.  Georgia was ranked very high in the preseason polls and talks of a possible National Championship were being thrown around.  Georgia Southern plays in the Football Championship Subdivision, which is the division under UGA, and therefore has less scholarships to offer its athletes.  To say Georgia was favored is an understatement.  My friends and I were at a summer BBQ and football was the topic of discussion.  My friends which included UGA and GSU alumni asked me who I was pulling for in the upcoming game.  I said Georgia Southern without batting an eye.  They said I should pull for Georgia because if Georgia lost the game they would have no shot at a National Title, but Southern could still win their National title if they lost.  (That actually happened in the 2000 season- UGA defeated us 24-7 but we went on to win the Championship in 1-AA later that year) I stuck to my guns and said that Georgia Southern was my school and I hoped that they beat the ever living snot out of the Dawgs!!!  They got mad at me because I would not pledge my allegiance to the good ole UGA.  Even the guys that went to Georgia Southern said they were pulling for the Dawgs to beat us so that they would have a chance at an undefeated season.  I say to hell with UGA when they are playing "my" team.  I can say that because Georgia Southern is "my" team.  I went to school there!!!

2). Georgia Southern plays in 1-AA.  That is not real football!

I'll be the first to admit that Georgia Southern plays on a smaller stage than schools such as Georgia, Florida State, Ohio State, or Notre Dame, but it is good quality football played by some very good athletes.  Let me ask you this.  If you come from a High School that plays its football in a AA classification, do you pull for a team that plays in the AAAAA classification because AA couldn't possibly be "real" football??  I doubt it.  I'm willing to bet you pull for your High School team regardless of classification.  It is what it is and you play where ever they assign you to play.  Georgia Southern plays in the FCS, formerly known as the 1-AA.  It is what it is!

My second point on this same argument is that I would argue that Georgia Southern plays the "real" football and Georgia absolutely does not!  Georgia Southern has won 6 National Championships and we have won every one of them by playing in a real championship game.  That's right, we have won it on the field of play by starting out with the 16 best teams chosen to be in the playoffs and winning 4 playoff games on the way to being crowned Champion.  Not one person votes on who will be the Champion of our division.  There is no such thing as the BCS where the media, coaches, and a computer tell you who the Champion is.  Now you tell me who plays "real" football!

3).  But my kids like Georgia!

Who's fault is that???  My kids have never worn a UGA outfit, slept with a UGA blanket, drank from a UGA sippy cup, or asked to have their room painted Red and Black.  I did not attend UGA, so why would I want to do that?  I want my kids to be proud of the fact that their Dad supports the school that supports this family.  My kids wear Georgia Southern jerseys and cheerleading outfits.  We hang GSU ornaments on the Christmas tree and my daughter yells "GO EAGLES" at the high school football games even though our hometown team is named the Hurricanes. (it really is cute)  If they decide when they are older to pull for another team, then that will be fine with me, but at least they know who I stand for because Georgia Southern is "my" school.

There are other arguments that I could mention but they really do not hold much water with me.  I say that you should pull for "your" school with blind loyalty.  After all they are "your" school.  You are a part of the history of that school and you should want to be a part of its future by supporting "your" school the best way that you can.  That even means pulling for "your" schools football team!!!! 

So I will continue to be unpopular in this little UGA Nation in which I live by pulling for my little football team in Statesboro.  I will wear the Blue and White on Saturdays, fly my Georgia Southern flag, drive around with my Georgia Southern car tags, dress my kids in Georgia Southern shirts, decorate my office with Georgia Southern pictures, customize my golf cart with Georgia Southern emblems, get my local radio station to carry Georgia Southern games, give my money to the Georgia Southern football team, and yell like hell for "MY EAGLES"!

At least I can say that I am TRUE to MY school!

Go Eagles!!!!  GATA!!!!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The New Spot!

I like new things.  Some people are set in their ways and do not like for anything to be changed in their life (my son comes to mind), but not me.  I enjoy new things and look at them as challenges that must be met and in some cases overcome.  Life is more exciting that way and my competitive nature needs for there to be new challenges or experiences to keep my mind and soul fresh and energetic.  It can be something as simple as driving a different route to get somewhere or as complex as making a life change that requires dedication to something or someone (exercising comes to mind).  Right now I am focused on one of those small changes, but it has me very excited for the weekend to get here.  I have a new hunting spot!

With deer season upon us and rifle season approaching, the people around these parts are getting ready by cleaning off there old deer stands or creating opportunities for new ones.  My Dad and I have been on the same property for 20 years, so we know most of the spots that we should be hunting and already have stands set up for those spots.  Last year however, we inherited a section of the club that we have never hunted before.  We put up some stands and had good luck in seeing a lot of deer but we also took notes and plan on using our education as we get ready for this season. 

As I would sit on one of the new stands that we set up last year, I would always see deer crossing the road that I would walk down to get to my stand.  This was about 150 yards up the hill.  We did some looking around and found a very good trail leading off of our neighbor's property on to ours.  The trail skirted a bottom and led to a section of our land that we have never hunted.  It looked very promising!  It was very thick in there and hard to access, but we found a tree that we thought would be good to hang a stand on and vowed to get this place ready to hunt.

Daddy got the tractor last week and did our yearly mowing of our food plots and roads.  If we would ever get some rain we would be ready to plant, but that is another post for another day.  While he had the bush hog hooked up he decided to make us a path to our new hunting spot to make it easier for us to access and allow for a quiet approach.  He also decided to cut us in some shooting lanes and mowed between two pine rows all the way up the hill and even to the next stand site.  This will give the deer and turkeys an easy path to travel as they make there way out of the bottom and up the hill to the feeder about 400 yards away.  The big boys may not use this new path very often, but the does will and I will be waiting when he tries to skirt around the bottom looking for his girlfriends.

I also plan on trying out a mock scrape in this bottom.  I was reading a blog the other day about a guy who has had some success with this.  There are plenty of spots to try this and I plan on setting up a camera when we hang the stand this weekend to see if I can get any activity.

Like I said, sometimes the little things can make my week.  I'm looking forward to getting in the woods Saturday morning with my Dad to hang a stand, trim some limbs, do a little scouting, and start the chess match with that big boy buck that I know is out there somewhere!

I'll try and take my camera and maybe get a few shots of the "new spot".  Look forward to sharing with those of you who may be interested!

Happy Hunting!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Let's have a little fun!

I spent four years at Georgia Southern University, and when I got out they handed me a diploma that said I had fulfilled all of the requirements of my BBA in Marketing.  Now marketing covered many things including sales and advertising.  I eventually went into sales and ended up selling money everyday at the bank, but I really enjoyed the advertising side of it.  I get a kick out of ads and think that some of them are pure genius!  I recently did a Kiwanis program on the effects of advertising and offered the following test to my fellow Kiwanians.  See how well you do.  All you have to do is name the company that the slogan is advertising for.

1. ________ makes hamburgers taste like steak burgers.
2. All you add is love.
3. Aren’t you glad you use ____? Don’t you wish everybody did?
4. Bring out the ____ and bring out the best.
5. Don’t leave home without it.
6. Good to the last drop.
7. Just do it!
8. Have it your way.
9. It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
10. Double your pleasure, double your fun!
11. Quality is job one!
12. See the USA in your _____.
13. A little dab’ll do you.
14. ______ is the place for the helpful hardware man!
15. You deserve a break today!
16. When it rains, it pours.
17. Where’s the beef?
18. Hey Mike! He likes it!
19. _______ take me away!
20. I like it so much I bought the company.

Have fun and let me know how you did!  If you don't know one, just ask!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Football Friday Nights in the Fall!

Friday nights in the South mean High School Football!  Here in my hometown we happen to have a great little football team.  We have consistently finished in the top 5 for the past ten years or so playing for the State title once and in the semi-finals 3 different times including the last two years in a row.  The entire town supports the football team and we fill our side of the stadium on just about every home game.   We even travel very well often filling the visitors side of the stadiums that we visit.  We are proud of our program.  Last night we defeated our second 5-A program of the year.  Keep in mind that we are a 2-A school.  Someone stated that we were ranked 3rd in both AA and AAAAA this year!

Last night was an away game.  I very rarely travel with the team anymore.  We have two great guys that call the games for us over the radio waves.  Tim and my good friend Bill have been calling Hurricane games for twenty years and do an excellent job of making you feel like you are there with the team.  Because of the very professional job that they do calling the games, me and some of the boys will always try and get together to listen to the games.  We usually center our activities around a fire or something on the grill.  Last night we boiled a bushel of peanuts while we listened to the game, watched the Braves, played Ping-Pong, and enjoyed the nice fall evening.  All of the kids were there with us and they had a blast running around and playing with their games.

I have mentioned several times that Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I love these kind of Friday nights and it will only get better as the weather cools down some more.  Today will be filled with college football and my wife has asked that I get the fall decorations out of the attic.  With no birds to shoot today, I guess I will be decorating this afternoon!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 13, 2010

That's my boy!!

This is a young man enjoying the fruits of a good days hunt!  This past Saturday was another good dove hunting day for us boys!  My son really likes eating them, which is somewhat surprising because he is a very picky eater.  Tonight he ate 4 doves and two helpings of cheese grits.  As long as he will eat 'em, I'll go kill 'em and cook 'em for him!

We did have another good Saturday of hunting despite the heat.  We didn't go to the field until about 4:00 and we were able to find a shady spot to sit in.  I took a different approach this week and left my sentimental Browning A-5 20 gauge at home.  I took the Browning Gold 20 instead.  I shot much better this week and quickly got my limit with a bunch of one shot kills.  I don't know if it was the gun or the operator, but this week was a much better shooting demonstration!

Georgia Southern held strong against Navy this past week.  We lost 13-7, but I am very proud of the boys in Blue!!

Time to go clean up the mess I made in the kitchen and pour up some grits.  There will be fried grits in the morning!!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Playing with the Big Boys!!

Georgia Southern will hit the road this weekend with its "new" "old" offense.  The triple option that has brought Georgia Southern 6 National football titles has returned to Statesboro.  We finished off Savannah State last weekend 48-3, but this weekend will be a little different.  We will travel up the interstate to collect a big check, but when we get there we have to play a little game against The Naval Academy.  Navy is a division one school and Georgia Southern has never beaten a division one school.  We have come close a couple of times, even leading Florida State in the fourth quarter in 1988, however the size and depth always catches up with us.  There is hope however!  Jacksonville State defeated Ole Miss last weekend.  That was a 1-AA school beating a 1-A school and giving hope to all the rest of us little guys!  (I refuse to mention that other school that plays in our conference that beat Michigan a few years ago!)

Some schools will not play Georgia Southern because of our unique offense.  That is not the case with Navy.  Our old Coach, Paul Johnson (who is now the coach at Georgia Tech) left Georgia Southern after two National titles to coach the Midshipmen.  They run the same offense that we do.  Everything should be familiar and I don't think either team will fool the other.

We will be out manned on Saturday, but here is me doing some wishful thinking!  Georgia Southern pulls the upset and wins 27-24 on a blocked punt and a trick play!!!!!!

GO EAGLES!!!!!!!!! 

The Braves are playing like a little league team right now so, have a great football weekend everybody!