Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII

Who are you picking for the Super Bowl? Me, I am going with the Harbaugh team. I cannot go wrong with that pick. Can you imagine what Jim and John' s parents must be going through emotionally right now?

Their father, Jack, played one year, 1961, in the old American Football league for the Titans of New York. He has his own share of national championships as a coach. Wikipedia has a nice history of his playing and coaching career. You can read it by clicking here.

I have mixed feelings about which team I want to win Sunday's big game. On one hand, I would like to see Randy Moss win his first ring despite what a jerk he was as a member of the Vikings. He certainly was fun to watch! Hopefully, he has grown up a little bit since his days of wearing the purple and gold. It always amazes me how some athletes behave when they have outrageous egos and large sums of money in their pockets!

Randy Moss will be in the Hall of Fame one day, and when he goes in I hope he gives some kudos to the Vikings for taking a chance on him and allowing him to play despite his childish antics both on and off the field. He played at an incredibly high level the bulk of his career as a Minnesota Viking. Despite his behavior, and the lost games he sat out or did not give one hundred percent, he will still go down as one of the best wide receivers in the history of the National Football League. Had he listened more to his mentor, Cris Carter, he would have quite possibly had better career numbers then the great Jerry Rice.

On the other hand, I would like to see Ray Lewis go out on top. He too, has had a career filled with less than outstanding behavior. However, in recent years I believe Lewis has also matured and become a mentor for his younger teammates. He is a very emotional, high-strung, tightly-wound player. He definitely wears his emotions on his sleeve!

Besides Ray Lewis, there are two more ex-Vikings I would like to see get a ring. They are center, Matt Birk and left tackle Bryant McKinnie. Matt Birk had a great career for the Vikings and he and Bryant McKinnie opened a lot of holes for Adrian Peterson.

Either way, I will be happy to just watch a good game. I love watching good football, as long as nobody gets hurt.

I just wish the halftime show was not going to last a half hour! I guess the bottom line is it is all about money and that frustrates me. As always, a big part of the game will be the commercials. It will be interesting to see which ones are any good. They could play the Michael Jordan–Larry Bird HORSE Game McDonald's commercials from many years ago and I would not mind. They were always fun!

All that is left now is waiting a couple days for kickoff.

As always, I look forward to your comments.



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy Grandparents!

My regular readers can testify to the fact I often point out my material for these posts comes to me in one way or another. Oftentimes, I do not have to go looking for appropriate material. Such is the case with this post that has very special meaning for my cousin, Dale and his wife, Kay. They are the proud, happy grandparents of their first grandchild, Reed John Patrick, born on Friday, January 18, 2013 to the proud parents, Jeremy and Kelli Patrick in St. Cloud Minnesota. Both parents are doing well and excited to start raising their young son. Their Facebook pages are filled with pictures, Likes, comments and well wishes from many friends and relatives.

The reason this healthy birth is so special is because one of the grandparents carries the gene that causes pediatric kidney disease, previously known as infantile polycystic kidney disorder. You may learn more about it by clicking on the Mayo's website by clicking here.

This news is especially exciting when one considers Jeremy was Dale and Kay's first born child. They were told there is a one in four chance of a child being born with the disorder. Since Jeremy was a healthy child, they tried three more times and lost all three babies within a couple of days to the disorder. I cannot imagine the heartache that had to give to them.

Dale is my first cousin and five years younger than me. He was always a little younger, slower and not quite strong enough to keep up with his two older brothers, Gene and Gary and me. Now, he is my closest cousin. In fact, one time at a family reunion many years ago, Dale accidentally beat me in a game of chess. Now, he will not play me in a rematch. He just gives his big smile and says something like, “Why would I want to ruin my perfect record against you?” Then he laughs and teases me every opportunity he gets. I digress.

Back to the reason for this post: Reed John Patrick. Here is a picture of the newest member of our extended Patrick family:

Click on the image to make it larger:

Both Jeremy and Kelli are 2005 graduates of North Central University in downtown Minneapolis. They were married July 19, 2008 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Kelli's degree is in youth ministry studies and she works as a youth minister in St. Cloud. Jeremy's degree is in youth development studies and he works a couple of jobs, one of which is utilizing his degree. I always like to see young people using their post-secondary training in the field they were trained to work.

Congratulations once again to the proud grandparents and parents of young Master Patrick!

As always, I look forward to your comments.



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

You Turn Away For A Second ...

When I was young, my parents would take me to my mother's parents farm. Grandpa raised pigs. I have two pictures when I was about two years old of me chasing grandpa's piglets. I was not supposed to be doing it; but, as so many times when one of my siblings or I got into trouble, mother would have to take a picture or two of the offending party before she stopped the behavior or cleaned up the mess!

Parenting is a hard business! When parents have a young one, the child can do something in a heartbeat that changes the entire situation. If you are a parent you know exactly what I am talking about! Hopefully, the incident in question does not result in a tragedy of any sort.

My mother took pictures of all of us in situations we should not have been in. But, like I said, she would have to document the situation before cleaning us up. In a lifetime of taking pictures and collecting over seventy photo albums of not only our lives, but of the lives of the people around us. She is currently going through all of these albums and taking out favorites to give to her brothers, sisters, my siblings and her grandchildren. What a wonderful gift!

In early 2006, for some unknown reason, she and I were looking through some of these old photograph albums. We started picking out photos we wanted to keep, and scan to make an online family album. There was no particular reason for it, we just decided to do it. Little did I know the reason for us to do it would appear a couple months later when my father was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

I designed the program for his memorial services and made a collage of some of the pictures we had started scanning just a few months earlier. It appeared on the back cover of his program. Since then, I have made several collages for members of my family to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and one other life. They were fun to do, therapeutic and enabled me to express my artistic side in another way. I have had several people tell me they look at their collage every once in a while and see a picture they have not noticed before! That is fun. They have also told me other people have commented favorably on their collage.

I wonder what the situation was that allowed this young boy to kiss the snout of this pig? And then, have the wherewithal to snap the photo while the boy was making a new friend?

I have seen this photograph before several years ago. In fact, I use it in a slide show for the opening of conferences. I wonder if the family knows their cute little boy is all over the Internet being used as fodder for adults to laugh at?

As always, I look forward to your comments.



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Knowledge Is Good

If you ever saw the movie Animal House, you may remember the opening scene and the statue of the founder of the fictitious Faber College, Emil Faber. They slowly panned to the bottom of the statue where the words Knowledge Is Good were inscribed.

Of course that was just the first of many jokes throughout that wonderful movie and it's spoof on higher education. This post is not about Faber College, Delta House, Otter, Boone or even Bluto, played by John Belushi, who I believe was one of the best physical actors of all time. He never had to say a single word and with just his body language, eyes and facial expressions made audiences laugh hysterically! It is still being watched by a whole new generation.

This post is about higher education and the amount of post-secondary degrees my immediate family have achieved. While cleaning the other day, my mother gave me an article she found in a box. I have attached it to this post. It is from the tiny town of White, South Dakota where my parents grew up on farms a few miles out of town. The title of the paper was The White Leader. It was published in the spring of 1980. White, South Dakota is a tiny town of about five hundred people located fifteen miles northeast of Brookings, South Dakota.

Between my parents, my five siblings and myself we hold three Associate of Arts degrees, six Bachelor of Arts or Science degrees, three Masters degrees and one Juris Doctorate degree. My father, Arlin Patrick is in the lead with one Bachelor of Science degree and two Masters degrees. His Bachelors degree is in education, as are Kathleen's, Chad's and mine. You could say the apples did not fall far from the tree with us.  

In fact, my dad's undergraduate degree is in physical and health education, and my degree is in school and community health education with a minor coaching. You could say I followed in his footsteps. I literally grew up in his footsteps as he was always coaching once for or another I was following him everywhere. I have one photo of him teaching me how to use a basketball scorebook when I was six years old. I was a Gym Rat from the time I was old enough to walk.

I have many great stories about growing up with a father whose job it was to play. He coached and mentored me until the night of my accident. Then, he helped carry me off the field and kept me from going into shock. I tell several stories about him in my book I Still Believe In Tomorrow. I also have pictures of him at my accident scene on my website. You may see them by clicking here, here and seeing one in the book.

Here is the article I mentioned earlier:

Click on the image to make it larger:

As always, I welcome your comments.