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Monday, June 27, 2016

Never Lose Hope

"A man with a grain of faith in God never loses hope, because he ever believes in the ultimate triumph of Truth." -Mahatma Gandhi


Monday, June 13, 2016

Sunshine

Today is a new day!   Enjoy the sunshine on your shoulders and be happy!

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." -John Muir

"Don't let the shadows of yesterday spoil the sunshine of tomorrow. Live for today." -Nandina Morris

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them and try to follow them." -Louisa May Alcott

"He possesses dominion over himself, and is happy, who can every day say, 'I have lived.' Tomorrow the heavenly Father may either involve the world in dark clouds, or cheer it with clear sunshine; he will not, however, render ineffectual things which." -Horace

"I always feel sorry for people who think more about a rainy day ahead than sunshine today." -Rae Foley

"Kind hearts are the gardens, Kind thoughts are the roots, Kind words are the flowers, Kind deeds are the fruits, Take care of your garden And keep out the weeds, Fill it with sunshine Kind words and kind deeds." -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Common sense and ACTION lead to success

"Common Sense is the most uncommon thing in the world." -Unknown

With all these "coaches" and self-help "gurus" in the world (look at your Facebook feed) it is amazing that anyone is overweight or unhappy or unsuccessful  .   These experts are giving out great advice, however most of the things they teach are common sense. Success is not knowing what it takes to be successful.  Success is doing what it takes.  Taking action. Not over-thinking or over-analyzing.  Successful people are successful because they take action.  

And they KISS. Keep it simple stupid. 

The Bull doesn't get you out of his pasture by formulating a ten point detailed plan of action.  He does it by putting his head down and walking or charging toward you.  



Brian 
Your "common sense" coach

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Persevere

"Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable. However, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose laziness and despondency make them give it up as unattainable." -Lord Chesterfield

Friday, May 20, 2016

Happy Friday!

"So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health." -A. J. Reb Materi


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Stressed out

I came across a reference to this brilliant PhD psychologist from Stanford while reading an article in "From the Heart" by James H. O'Keefe, M.D. with Joan O'Keefe, R.D. Newsletter from St. Luke's Cardiovascular Consultants. It intrigued me because I always felt like stress was always bad.   Stress is the enemy.  Basically,  a landmark study showed that beliefs about stress play a major role in health.  If you are open to the possibility that changing your atitude on stress can have a positive impact on your life, check our this TED video.




Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Words of Wisdom

"If everyone howled at every injustice, every act of barbarism, every act of unkindness, then we would be taking the first step towards a real humanity." -Nelson Demille

"A kingdom founded on injustice never lasts." -Seneca

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Think porn is harmless? Think again

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT ARTICLE - - - This is the world we live in. A simple google search or a click on a computer can put your kids right into hardcore porn.



When I grew up, there was no such thing as the Internet.  Teens and pre-teens of today know no other world than a world with the Internet. 



Parents these days are putting their head in the sand regarding the pornography that their kids can access, if the proper controls are not in place.  They give them smart phones with unfettered internet access.  They do not put controls on their household computers.  They let them have laptops and gaming systems in the rooms, where they can surf the internet in private.

Pornography can have a very harmful effect on kids and their perceptions of sexuality and intimacy.  Pornography addiction in pre-teens and teens is a real issue.

Put controls on your computers and gaming systems.  Don't let kids have access in their rooms.  Have some oversight when kids are using a computer or any other devise that provides internet access.

You can do it if you just put a little effort into it.  Also, educate your children on the harmful effects of pornography.  Ask questions.  If you child goes to a friend's house to visit or stay the night, you have the right (and should) talk to the parents of the other kid about what Internet access they have in their home and what controls are in place.

Most of this is just common sense and good parenting. 



Monday, March 21, 2016

Happiness

"It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about." -Dale Carnegie

Remember the song "Don't worry, be happy"?   You can choose happiness today or you can choose to be unhappy.  It truly is a choice.    Think about being happy today.  

Monday, March 7, 2016

Happy Monday quote

"Youth is like a long weekend on Friday night. Middle age is like a long weekend on Monday afternoon." -Unknown

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Good advice

"In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present." -Tao Te Ching

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Hustle

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.
- Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Be a difference maker

"Selfishness at the expense of others' happiness is demonism." -Henry Ward Beecher

We live in a selfish world.  "Take what you want".  "Win at all costs."  "I, I, I.   Me, Me, ME!"

Is this really the world we live in?   I hope not.  Strive to serve others.  Strive to teach your children to serve others.  Empathy is dissapearing in our world.  


Change the tide and be a difference maker.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Spirituality


"Spirituality is best manifested on the ground, not in the air.  Rapturous day-dreams, flights of heavenly fancy, longings to see the Invisible, are less expensive and less expressive than the plain doing of duty.  To have bread excite thankfulness and a drink of water send the heart to God is better than sighs for the unattainable.  To plow a straight furrow on Monday or dust a room well on Tuesday or kiss a bumped forehead on Wednesday is worth more than the most ecstatic thrill under Sunday eloquence.  Spirituality is seeing God in common things, and showing God in common tasks." -Maltbie Davenport Babcock

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Egotism

"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity." -Frank Leahy

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Football - The Game I Loved

Do I have brain damage?  Did playing football damage my brain?  Am I going to end up with dementia or sitting around in a catatonic state?   These questions, along with many others, enter my mind as I read and study the current hot topic related to the National Football League.  I watched the documentary "League of Denial" produced by Frontline and PBS.  I have also read the book with the same title, authored by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru.  Since the documentary and the book were both produced in 2013, they are a bit dated. 

"CTE" Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is now a household term.  It seems like every day there is something in the news about CTE.  Yesterday, Kenny "the snake" Stabler was found to have CTE.  Today, CTE in the NFL:  the tragedy of Fred McNeill.  The story continues to grow and grow.  Each man documented in the stories had a sad, tragic twist to the last days or months or years of his life.  I must say that I am fascinated by the subject, but at the same time, I feel sadness for the once proud "gridiron heroes", whose lives took a plunge downward after playing in the NFL.

The CTE story started following the death of Mike Webster, his brain was found to be riddled with CTE.  I remember Webster playing for the Pittsburg Steelers in their glory days.  Webster finished his career as a Kansas City Chief.  I am not going to retell the whole CTE story here.  If interested, google "Mike Webster CTE" or go to your library and see if they have the League of Denial book or video and check it out. 

As I educate myself about the subject, I do have concerns for my own brain and the brains of my former teammates.  I never played football in the National Football League.  I never played professional football at any level.  However, I did play football as a younger man.

As a very young boy, I was taught to love the Kansas City Chiefs.  My dad was a huge fan of the Chiefs.  As a good son, I also loved the Chiefs.  I have vague memories of listening to games on the radio in our basement family room on the radio.  Len Dawson to Otis Taylor.  Ed Podolak rumbling for yards.  Buck Buchanan and Willie Lanier on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage.  I went to games at old Municipal Stadium in Kansas City.  I went to the first ever game (pre-season game against the Cardinals) at Arrowhead Stadium.  I remember a parade when the Chiefs won Super Bowl 4 in 1970.  As a five or six year old kid, my parents gave me a full Chief's uniform.  It was complete with shoulder pads and a helmet.  I wore them all the time.  The number on the jersey was 77.  I remember asking my dad who wore number 77.  Of course in the 1960's and early 1970's the number was on the jersey of Jim Tyrer.  He was a huge offensive tackle for the Chiefs and was a member of the Super Bowl 4 team.  Tyrer was a multiple year AFL all-star player and anchored his side of the line with Ed Budde.  Dad showed me a picture of him from a game program.  He had red hair like me.  I became Jim Tyrer in my pretend world.  Ironically, Tyrer murdered his wife and committed suicide in 1980.  In the present day NFL CTE environment, they probably would have examined his brain, had the murder suicide occurred today.  In 1980 no one had discovered football related CTE so one can only speculate as to whether it played a part in his actions.

When in elementary school, I didn't have the opportunity to play organized football.  My football experience involved playing tackle or "touch" football with the neighborhood kids in the empty lot down the street or in our front yard.

My parents decided to move from the city to the country a few years after the Chiefs won Super Bowl 4.  We moved to a rural area 40 miles north of Kansas City.  We lived in the Lathrop school district in the town of Lathrop, Missouri.  The town was not unlike many other small towns in the U.S.  The population of Lathrop was less than 2,000 people.  In small-town America high school sports are very visible and very important.  A high school football game on a Friday night was the most important event in town.  It seemed like every person from the town was in the bleachers for home and away games.  I distinctly remember going to a game in the mid 1970's where a Lathrop player was hit in the head and ended up going to the opponents huddle instead of his own team's.  He was then led off the field to his team's sideline.  I was close to the bench and I recall that he was clueless regarding where he was or why he was there.  People actually joked about it and thought it was funny!

As I entered 7th grade a few years later I was excited that I would be able to play organized football.  We were the junior high version of the Lathrop Mules.  At 6' 1" and 170 pounds, guess where I played?  Yes, I was an offensive and defensive tackle.  The big boys always get put on the line.  I felt like I had skills as a pass receiver and wanted to play tight end, but the coaches had other ideas. 

After junior high I graduated into high school.  My freshman year I played on the freshman football team.  As a sophomore I had grown to 6' 3" and 215 pounds.  Not huge, but heredity provided me with a pretty powerful body and very strong legs and lower body.  Of course, the varsity coaches had no idea who I was.  I wasn't on their radar.  This changed the first day of practice.  The first drill of practice was a drill we called "man in the box".  The coaches put 2 blocking dummies parallel to each other about 5 or 6 feet apart.  Similar to the famed Oklahoma drill, this drill was simpler.  It was 1 v. 1.  We lined up nose to nose and the object was to drive the opponent out of "the box".  Whoever won the one on one contest stayed in the box for the next in line.  Eager to make an impression, I blasted each opponent out of the box, one by one.  Every one on the team had their turn and I had won every challenge.  One of my team mates even wanted a second chance, so I gave it to him.  His second chance result was no better than the first.  I ended that day as a starting varsity lineman for the Lathrop Mules.

I was a 3 sport athlete in high school, participated in FFA and band.  I LOVED the game of football.  It was macho.  It was fun to hit the opposition.  As a lineman, I pretty much banged heads with the opposition on every play.  "You hit hard" was praise that I loved to hear. 

Lathrop Mules - 1981 - I am #71 in front row, third from the left.


As a decent high school player that had grown to 6' 4" and 250 pounds, several small colleges starting calling to recruit me to play football.  I signed with a college in Topeka Kansas known for its law school, Washburn University.  As I reported to summer camp I have one vivid memory that is still burned in the mind to this day.  I remember looking around and there was a group of 7 or 8 players off to the side on crutches.  Every single one of them was recovering from ACL surgery.

After one season of college football, I "wimped" out and decided that college football was too much like a job.  Even in a very small college.  I decided I had enough and 1981 was the last year I played football.

Washburn Ichabod - 1981

After my football "career" I always reflected back and felt fortunate that I had not had any serious injuries.  Looking back, I recall numerous times where I banged helmet to helmet with a running back or an opposing lineman.  I liked using my head and helmet on occasion because it was quite effective.  Sometimes I saw stars and felt woozy.  But I never had a serious knee injury and never had a serious (diagnosed) concussion. 

I am now 54 years of age.  I wonder what all the head banging in "the trenches" might have done to my brain.  I have some forgetfulness, but who doesn't in their fifties?  Nothing serious.  I feel very fortunate and blessed.  If there was a brain scan available to check for CTE, I would probably get checked out.  At this time, CTE is only diagnosed by dissecting the brain on autopsy.  Since I am obviously not dead, this isn't currently an option.  I suspect that in the near future, diagnosis of CTE will be possible via a scan that can be performed on a live person.

I see football in a different light these days.  I can only hope that my few years of football don't render me a zombie or catatonic down the road.  I will continue to read and educate myself about CTE and the dangers of football.  I do this with an open mind, since I still have a mind that functions.

It pains me to say it, but I now know that football is not a safe sport.  The constant repetitive collisions can cause incredible damage to the brain and cause multiple problems later in life.  I also believe that anyone who truly examines the sport (and scientific findings) objectively will come to have the same conclusion.  No matter what helmet is touted as the latest greatest concussion preventer.  No matter what tackling technique is taught.  A football player is still going to have head trauma.  That is a fact proven by people a lot smarter than me.

There are many, many other sports available in today's world.  Perhaps it is time to choose one of them and not football.  Playing football is not worth losing your quality of life later.  There will be those that disagree with me.  There are those dads that like to live through their son or sons and nothing is more manly and macho that American football. 

People are free to believe what they want to believe.

If an American believes the earth is flat, they are free to have that belief.
If an American believes that smoking doesn't ever lead to lung disease or cancer, they are free to have that belief.
If an American believes that playing football is totally safe and will never lead to brain related issues, they are free to have that belief. 
Of course, I would say that they are wrong on all three points.  I am free to have those beliefs..


Friday, January 15, 2016

TGIF

"Why do people say they wish every day was Friday? If it was always Friday, we'd be here every freakin' day." -Ed Bernard

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A few quotes about appreciation

"Most people do not receive nearly enough appreciation. How can this be when appreciation is free, easy, and readily available? All you have to do is speak. Go give some away now." -Rhoberta Shaler, Phd

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well." -Voltaire

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Friday, December 11, 2015

Hazel


Hazel Girl.  This is how I will always remember you.  Riding in the convertible.  The wind blowing in your face.   You loved it!  We connected from the first time I met you.  You were a sweet, loving, intelligent friend and family member.  You were so in tune with all of us.  If someone (especially your momma) was upset, you were right there beside them.   I loved hearing the stories yesterday at your funeral.  How you protected your "babies".  How you were dressed up for tea parties and rode down the stairs in a laundry basket.   How you would protect the family and would bark if something suspicious was going on outside the house.    You were brave,  you were sweet and you had an amazing spirit.

I always connected with you, sweet Hazel.  We had a special relationship.  You reminded me a little of my dog growing up, Bobo.  He was a cocker spaniel (you were part cocker spaniel).  Loving, protective, smart, and very, very special.  You were a gift from God.  Your family mourns your loss because you were more than just a pet.  You were part of the family.  When a special family member passes, it is a very sad time.   Your momma never felt alone when you were with her.   You were her special friend.  You were the kid's special friend.  

Rest in peace, sweet Hazel.  

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015

TGIF!

Happy friday to all!!!


Blusiacs holiday party is this weekend. Should be a lot of fun!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Giving Thanks

"We thank Thee, O Father, for all that is bright--; The gleam of the day and the stars of the night, The flowers of our youth and the fruits of our prime, And the blessings that march down the pathway of time. We thank Thee, Father, for all that is drear--; The sob of the tempest, the flow of the tear; For never in blindness, and never in vain, Thy mercy permitted a sorrow or pain. We thank Thee, O Father of all, for the power; Of aiding each other in life's darkest hour; The generous heart and the bountiful hand; And all the soul-help that sad souls understand. We thank Thee, O Father, for days yet to be; For hopes that our future will call us to Thee. Let all our eternity form, through Thy love, One Thanksgiving Day in the mansions above." -Will Carleton