Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

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A fine Sunday indeed for Tony Romo

September 11, 2008

By RANDY GALLOWAY
rgalloway@star-telegram.com

Tony Romo had been somewhat of an NFL opening-week quarterbacking exception, enjoying a great Sunday in Cleveland, except, of course, for that bloody chin thing. 

The weekend had also gone very well for Bill and Sharon White of Irving, who were returning late in the evening after an out-of-town trip. 

The national news was about a day of QB disasters around the league, even at the elite level. Tom Brady, down and out for the season. Peyton Manning, looking feeble and lost. Carson Palmer, his once stellar reputation taking another plunge. 

And for pure weirdness, there’s Vince Young, a young man in obvious need of either a good shrink or a good butt-kicking. 

Meanwhile, even as devout football fans, the Whites had been on the road and out of touch with the NFL events. They particularly didn’t want to know the Dallas Cowboys’ outcome. The TiVo at home was waiting. Bill planned to watch the Cleveland game immediately, with suspense attached. 

But a couple of miles from the house, while driving on MacArthur Boulevard, the Whites had their own mini-disaster. A tire blew on the Mercury. Bill, luckily, managed to nurse his wounded ride off the street and into the lighted parking lot of a strip mall. 

For troubling news on a Sunday, it didn’t rank up there with taking a direct hit to the chin from the helmet of linebacker Willie McGinest, but Bill became a bit woozy himself when he discovered his jack was malfunctioning. Never a good thing at midnight. 

Plan B kicked in, however. One of those cigarette-lighter-plug-in air compressors was available. Except it was leaking more air than it was pumping. 

“I don’t know, a hundred cars, probably more, had to go by. Nobody was stopping,” said Bill. “That’s just kind of the way it is in today’s world.” 

And then … 

“Bill was fooling with that tire, and I was standing beside the car watching him,” Sharon said. “The next thing I know, a nice-looking young man, very well-dressed, but with something strange on his chin, he walked up, smiled, and said, ‘Hey, you need some help?’ ” 

Sharon hadn’t even noticed a car pull up. 

So now it’s Bill and the well-dressed young man both bent over a flat tire at midnight on a Sunday, trying to figure out why a faulty air compressor plugged into the cigarette lighter was leaking more than pumping. 

“I didn’t get a good look at him at that point,” Bill said. “We were both trying to get the tire pumped up.” 

Sharon, however, took a second look. “You are Tony Romo,” she said. No reply, just a smile, and then it was back to work on the compressor. 

Finally, they got the tire aired up. Enough, anyway, to make a slow drive home. 

“I didn’t want to bother him,” Sharon said, “but I asked again, ‘You’re Tony Romo, right?’ ” I knew it was him by then. But he smiled and said, ‘Yes, ma’am.’ ” 

Sharon: “I did something no 50-year-old woman should be doing, but I screamed real loud, and then jumped up and hugged him.” 

Bill’s immediate response was “Don’t tell me how you guys did. I’m going home to watch it.” 

By the next day, after seeing what the “something strange on his chin” was about, that made the Whites appreciate Romo’s gesture even more. 

“He gets almost knocked cold in that game, and I read it took 13 stitches to close the cut, and then there’s a long flight home [the Cowboys charter arrived at around 11 p.m.] and Tony’s got to be dog tired, but he still was a good enough person to stop and help us,” Bill said. 

“Look, we’re driving a 10-year old car that is sitting in a parking lot with a flat tire in the dead of night. He could tell by that we’re nothing special. But here’s a young man making millions of dollars, and he’s got all this fame and glory, and he does this?” 

The Whites couldn’t thank Romo enough. “But if I ever had the opportunity, I’d also like to thank two other people. His mom and dad,” Bill said. “They obviously raised him right. We’ve got kids about his age. We know how difficult it can sometimes be in this day and age.” 

(An e-mail from Sharon alerted me to Tony’s good deed. No Cowboys official knew about it even by Wednesday.) 

Not that the Whites weren’t already Romo fans, but … 

“After all this, what I realized is the athletic thing is Tony’s gift, yet it goes beyond that,” Bill said. “This was a good person we met. A good person with small-town values despite all the big-city fame and fortune.” 

Shrug off a blow to the chin. Win a game. Help strangers fix a flat. It was a fine Sunday for the kid.

 

Source: http://www.star-telegram.com/804/story/899904.html

 

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Welcome Back

August 29, 2008

I love you.  I missed you.  I’m glad you’re back.

 

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Congratulations

August 17, 2008

I am so proud of Michael Phelps, all he’s accomplished, and how he has handled it all.  I loved watching how overwhelmed he was when he saw over 10,000 watching from the Ravens stadium in Baltimore, Phelps home town.  I wish the cameras could be on him when it sinks in to him that 70 Million TV’s were tuned to NBC to watch him race.  I’m not sure how many people 70 Million TV’s equates to, but there were four people and two dogs watching in our house. 

Great job, Phelps.  Your country is proud of you.

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China, how dare you?

August 14, 2008

How dare they?

Beijing Olympics, 2008

China has attracted much criticism for the ways that they have masked what “Beijing is really like” by putting up a front (in some cases quite literally, see above). The girl that ‘sang’ in the opening ceremonies was lip-syncing because the real singer wasn’t pretty enough for the Chinese government to put on display for the world to see. Also, over 100 restaurants in Beijing were ordered not to serve dog meat dishes during the games. Cars were ordered off the city roads for weeks prior to the arrival of Olympics tourists, in hopes that the smog would dissipate into the environment. The list goes on.

How can the world tolerate such hypocrisy?

Oh, wait a minute!

Isn’t this the American way? Don’t we learn this from our youth?  Don’t we teach it to our children? Many of us grew up learning this in church!

We Americans are champions at presenting a side of ourselves that is more easily palatable to our friends, our employers, our neighbors.   

How dare the Chinese…take something so American and claim it as their own. Fortunately, America didn’t invent hypocrisy either. Satan did, and it now roots itself in all of our hearts. Before I criticize (further) the Chinese for this deception of Olympic proportions, perhaps I should look in the mirror and examine my own heart, lest I continue in my own hypocrisy.

“You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside,
but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In
the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on
the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness”

Matthew 23

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The Siamese Fighting Fish

August 12, 2008
My daughter went to a birthday party last year, and was given a betta fish as a party favor. We’ll save the discussion for another day about whether that’s an acceptable gift to give a kindergarten girl without first asking her parents. But this fish, Rainbow, has become our little miracle baby over the last few weeks.
Somewhere along the way, Rainbow (I call him Romo) has become my responsibility. I feed him (it) daily, and most weekends, I clean out his fish bowl. I’m not sure how I can be the primary caregiver, yet not be allowed to name him; but again, another blog for another day. So a few weeks ago, I started the bowl cleaning ritual. After moving him into a small clear cup, I cleaned the bowl, and all the little stones in the bottom. I have to wait fifteen minutes for the water to acclimate before I can move him back into his tank. Well, fifteen minutes turned into thirty, and thirty turned into sixty. Apparently Rainbow (Romo) grew tired of waiting to return home, and unknown to us, he made a break for it.

I returned three hours later, to find the little clear cup empty. Immediately, I checked the larger bowl to see if someone else had moved the little guy back to his full-size home. He wasn’t there either. There aren’t a lot of places he could have gone, as his usual range is about 9 square inches in any directions. We checked the kitchen counter, the kitchen floor, the living room floor. No sign of Rainbow anywhere. As a last resort, I start moving the dinner dishes from the sink, and found a very pale, very dry, very dead betta fish lodged half way down the drain.

We don’t know how long it had been since he jumped, or how long a fish can live out of water. But it was obvious that he was out of his element, and had been for quite some time. So i gently pulled his fragile corpse from the drain and began the solemn funeral march towards the bathroom. As I approached the toilet, I felt a slight movement in my hand. I stop and stared at this still dead fish, and found him completely motionless.

Common sense told me to carry on with the funeral, and wash my hands and continue my day. If he had moved, he was moving no longer. As I watched him, waiting, I finally saw him twitch again. Common Sense again insisted that it was probably nothing, but for some strange reason, I decided to give him a chance. I put the lifeless floating fish back into his newly cleaned fish bowl. And for a week, i continued to feed this lifeless fish. Some mornings, he’d be floating at the top of the water. Some morning, he’d be resting at the bottom. Some days, he’d just kind of be vertical in a position that normal fish don’t swim. But each time I’d tap the glass, I’d see just an ounce of life.

For over a week, the guy did little more than drift around his bowl in a dull gray coat. But gradually over time, he started to eat, started to swim and started to stay fin-up. This morning when I fed him, he eagerly came waiting at the water’s edge to pounce on his food pellet as if he was concerned it would get away.

My daughter and I are so glad that this Siamese Fighting fish continued to fight, but to me, that’s not the amazing part of this story. The compelling part of this story is that for some reason, I didn’t listen to common sense when it insisted that I flush the fish. I didn’t listen to common sense when it mocked me for feeding a dead fish for a week.

This morning as I was driving to work, I was thinking about this little fish. Thinking about the times I’ve become impatient waiting in my little cup of water. Times that I’ve grown tired of the confines that were set up for my own good. Times that I’ve made a break for it, willingly escaping the safety and provision of my fish bowl. I’m so glad that I survived to return home, but more I’m thankful for those people who didn’t listen to common sense, who refused to give up no matter what the evidence said. Thanks.

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Switch

January 11, 2008

I just bought a Mac PowerBook Pro.

I made the mistake of jumping to Vista too quickly, and failed to read the part about it not working. And the Service Pack 1 that was coming out “in September” must have meant NEXT September, and not the September that was two months after my Vista purchase.

So I have five to seven more days of taking five to seven minutes to load ANY Microsoft Office application. I have five to seven days of staring at five to seven seconds of blank screen five to seven times per day.

I have no illusions that the Mac will be easy. Windows is all I’ve ever known. I know there will be days that I regret the switch, days that I spend more time running XP on my mac than OSX, and days that I have my eight year old come explain to me how to do something on the Mac (it’s happened). In the meantime, I’ll spend as much time as possible on my cute little mac mini, trying to get familiar with the operating system.

I’m not under the impression that Mac is the solution, but it’s a change. I don’t think Apple computers are perfect, but the commercials are certainly cooler.