GRAVEN IMAGE JOURNAL ARCHIVE

Week #4

Weekend Locks!

I locked myself out of the house last night, not a pleasant experience when you realize that you have the wrong keys in your pocket and you begin to do the litany of the self-recriminations. What is interesting about this particular incident is that I normally do not lock the door when I am on the property, so who knows what nuttiness was operating in that decision.

The powerless one feels at such a moment (not to mention the stupidity) goes without saying. Anyway I finally found someone who had a key and I got in. Here are my weekend locks (hopefully no one will find a key to unlock any of these.)

#1 Florida at Tennessee. My personal take on the game based on the one game that Tennessee has played so far, is that Florida's defense will stop the Vols. dead, while at the same time the Florida offense will be able to put up Syracuse like numbers leading to a score of something like 38-14. The Graven Image lock--->FLORIDA

#2 Virginia Tech at Miami. Who knows? But I'm guessing Miami 28-18. The Graven Image lock--->Miami

#3 Chicago at Tampa Bay. Both teams are 0-2, and to be honest Chicago has looked better in their two losing efforts, but the Bucs are playing in a new stadium complete with pirate ship in the end zone and one would guess cannons will go off as pirate flags are raised. I have a feeling that this is the week the Bucs defense really takes off probably scoring several touchdowns off interceptions and fumbles. Tampa 21-6. The Graven Image lock--->Tampa Bay

#4 Baltimore at Jacksonville. Jacksonville has been playing a conservative offense the first two weeks of the season. My prediction is this is the week they let it fly and they'll need to since Baltimore will be doing the same. Jacksonville 38-32. The Graven Image lock--->Jacksonville

#5 Pittsburgh at Miami. This game will reveal who's for real. Miami has looked real good against two inferior teams and Pittsburgh has struggled against the same. From my vantage point Miami might have the better defense, but it wouldn't surprise me if I were wrong. My gut says Pittsburgh but I fearlessly will pick Miami 21-14. The Graven Image lock--->Miami

#6 Home Run race--Both players are tied at 63. Sosa with 65 will win it all. The Graven Image lock--->Sosa

Check back on Monday to see if anyone showed up with the key.

Who will follow?

I have been followed up the hill by dogs and a pig (now deceased) but never a cat, so today was a first. I kept looking back waiting for the moment that the cat would go its own way, but while keeping a safe distance the cat continued to follow.

Cats strike me as the most independent of God's creatures. They do their own thing and seldom are manipulated into any type of behavior. They clearly are leaders rather than sheep which most of the rest of creation are including the majority of Americans evidently.

So today the cat sits on the porch in a spot normally reserved for the dog that I have renamed Memory. I was inspired to do so after listening to a David Ball song last night called, "Look What Followed Me Home."

The song tells how a man takes his memory that he wants to get rid of, deep out into the country and drops it off to fend for itself, but when he gets home there is memory waiting for him.

Memory (the dog) has survived a similar trip out into the country, but made her way back here pretty quick. Now she is very reluctant to venture to far away from the house fearing any more long journeys, I guess. This makes her a very good house dog, except that she barks all night long at shadows.

Since memories usually show themselves in dreams at night and since the dog makes herself known most at night, Memory seems like a good name.

Anyway, Memory did not follow me right up the hill like she normally does but the cat did. My guess is the cat came out of curiosity, since cats seem to be incredibly curious. After a thorough inspection, I'm sure this will be the last trip the cat will make up the hill.

In other news, the assassins have returned to this side of the pasture. The bull is licking a salt block left outside of the horse barn, the brown cow is staring at the pig pen as though it were something new (it is not). I'm sure excitement is building, because the normally placid cattle are starting to make noise.

The cat and I will view these proceedings from on high, while Memory keeps watch on low.

Traveling Across Georgia

I've been making this south to north trip through the state of Georgia almost annually since 1980. It seems to get longer as I grow older.

It's interesting to notice the changes over those 18 years.

The Plantation Houses (a mecca for cheap tourist stuff and a bathroom stop) have survived. But many other standards have disappeared.

The Stuckey's Fried Chicken restaurants that once dotted the south have all but disappeared. I did not see one remaining along my 300 mile trek, the only building that once was occupied by a Stuckey's is now a Cafe Erotica (a strip joint) that like it's predecessor advertises for miles before you reach the appropriate exit.

Fulton County Stadium did not survive; the newer Turner Field called The Ted by the locals has now taken its place.

The road has widened considerably over most of the journey, but there still is a stretch between Adel and Perry that is two lanes. Driving through that stretch I felt little had changed since 1980. Fields dotted with cotton that lie waiting to be picked and a gigantic peanut and Peach are the highlights along this stretch.

Near Warner Robbins there is a jet that is suspended on a pole. This has the effect of making the jet seem like a toy.

The construction business continues to thrive along this stretch of road, although I wasn't quite sure what it was that necessitated driving in one lane for nine miles. Along that stretch there were a few men who appeared to be steam cleaning the highway but nothing more.

I stopped at an Outlet Mall along the way. It wasn't here in 1980. I asked one of the clerks if they did much business, her response was to ask me if I was a robber.

I laughed and said, "If I was I'd be pretty stupid to be wasting my time here." The reason I had asked the question was because the Outlet Mall was like a ghost town.

She explained to me that the adjoining store had been robbed a month earlier and that they were all still a bit on edge about it.

The one thing that hasn't changed at all in 18 years is that Georgia still has the cheapest gas of anywhere in the country (Texas also did the last time I was there, but then that was back in 1978 and it was $.49 a gallon). It's still in the low 80's here and in the right place you can find gas priced in the mid-70's. I always feel like something's wrong when I've filled up my gas tank and it's under $10.

Anyway, Georgia hasn't changed much in 18 years. The Atlanta skyline is more impressive; spaghetti junction is more snarled with traffic, but the rest of the state seems to be in a quiet repose like the cotton waiting to be pick

Weekend Predictions (REVISITED)
My comments on my fearless predictions.

Meatloaf said "two out of three ain't bad", I would have agreed, but unfortunately I was only 1 for 4.

Fearless football predictions:

#1 The Florida Gators will score over 70 points this weekend. The score was 42-10 and they would have scored 70 points if...(well you know how that goes..)

#2 Tampa Bay will surprise everyone and beat Green Bay on the non-frozen tundra--Brett Farve may be hurt in this game. Farve took a beating alright and then jumped up and told the Bucs how much he enjoyed it. Dilfer was hurt for awhile. If the Bucs had played like they did in the fourth quarter they might have won.

#3 Jacksonville will look a lot better against a better team beating Kansas City. BINGO!

#4 Dallas will be declared resurrected from the dead with an impressive win over Denver.What I meant was that Dallas will be pronounced DOAID {DEAD ON ARRIVAL IN DENVER}.

Please do not bet on any of these games! HOPEFULLY YOU FOLLOWED THIS COUNSEL!