Category Archives: General Growlings

In Which We Hope

Hope is a funny thing, to which any baseball fan (or sports fan in general) can attest. I have been a life long fan of the Atlanta Braves, and was lucky enough to be a teenager in the 1990’s when the Braves began a 14 year span where they won the National League Eastern Division title every year. We (because as a fan, yes I am part of the team) only won one World Series, and in the years we didn’t win the World Series we always hoped we would win the next year. You see, we knew we would be back in the Series next year. Every year.

But that wasn’t hope, not really. You see, hope is a matter of degree – it is one thing to hope to win the World Series, and quite another to hope your team will even make to the Series to begin with.

And it’s yet another level of hope that your team will make the playoffs, have a winning season, or even manage not to end in last place.

Hope is about degrees. What I hope for is not what you hope for. As I sit here watching one of the worst seasons the Braves have had during my lifetime, you most likely hope for something else. Perhaps you hope for tickets to a Broadway show. I hope that in a year or two we’ll be back on top. Such is our lot – to hope for happiness.

But hope is about degrees.  As I type this, I’m sitting on my couch and watching as the Braves play a game against one of the best teams in the league; it’s Memorial Day.

Think about that for a moment: today is Memorial Day, and I am hoping my Braves can pull off a win against the Giants.

On Memorial Day.

Hope is about degrees, and while I sit here hoping that the Braves will win, I can’t help but be reminded that men and women have given their lives to protect our country. To protect other countries. To protect life. These men and women fought. And what did they hope for? I cannot say for certain, but I would guess that as the shells fell and as the bullets flew these men and women who fought, these men and women who died, most likely just hoped to see a loved one again. They hoped that their fellow soldiers survived long enough for a medic to arrive. They hoped not only to survive but to win a desperate fight.

They hoped their sacrifices would not be forgotten.

I hope the Braves win today, and that’s okay. It’s okay because those men and women fought to be sure I could be free. They fought so you could free.

They fought for people from other counties that spoke other languages.

They fought so we could hope and enjoy the little things.

So yes, I hope that the Braves win, and I remember that my ability to hope for such a minor thing as a baseball game victory is owed to the brave men and women who came before. Thank you for your sacrifices that I might live a live free of tyranny and oppression.

 

 

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Quote of the Day 29-Oct-2014: On The Veil Between Worlds

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Courtesy of Ms. Morgenstern’s official site

“It’s said that All Hallows’ Eve is one of the nights when the veil between the worlds is thin – and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits probably believe in you, or at least acknowledge your existence, considering that it used to be their own. Even the air feels different on Halloween, autumn-crisp and bright.”

John Wick: Be Careful Who You Upset

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John Wick

“It’s not what you did, son. It’s who you did it too.”

I’m not a huge fan of Keanu Reeves. His movies can be fun, but generally speaking the only character he seems to do really well is Neo from the Matrix.

That said, don’t piss him off.

Minor spoilers below the trailer, as always.

Continue reading John Wick: Be Careful Who You Upset

Quote of the Day 27-Oct-2014: On Halloween Confusion

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Courtesy gameshows.wikia.com

“Halloween was confusing. All my life my parents said, ‘Never take candy from strangers.’ And then they dressed me up and said, ‘Go beg for it.’ I didn’t know what to do! I’d knock on people’s doors and go, ‘Trick or treat.’ ‘No thank you.'”

A Visit to the Baha’i Gardens in Haifa

There are many religions around the world, including many that are little known, such as Baha’i. The Gardens in Haifa are some of the most beautiful in the world, and dedicated to the Baha’i faith. Open to the public, these gardens serve to remind us that peace and tranquility can be found in the outside world, and within ourselves. 

I hope you enjoy these photos from my visit there in 2012.

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To learn more about the Baha’i Gardens please click here.

Recruitment Drive!

Hey guys! I hope you all are enjoying my journal (I hate the word “blog”). As I’m just now getting started again, I would love to have your help! If you enjoy reading my musings, quotes, and general nonsense – tell people! If there are any stories or subjects you enjoy that I don’t post – tell me! Either way, join me in making this journal a bit more fun for everyone around!

Please leave  a comment below to let me know if there are any subjects you enjoy reading about, or would like to hear my opinion on. You can also email me at thedingowashere@gmail.com.

Thanks for your support!

In Which Learning Golf Was a Gift

Growing up, my parents were two of the best people around. They got married when they were 15 and 17; they were 16 and 18 when my sister was born; they were 21 and 23 when I was born. They were great parents to my sister and me. They taught us right from wrong, and they helped lead us to become the people we are today. They were still married, still mushy, and still went on dates until my father passed away at the too young age of 45.

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Dad’s Army days in Germany

I remember as a child when I first began wearing glasses. I was holding my mother’s hand as I walked, and I looked down to my feet. I noticed that my feet were a lot closer to my face than normal, which caused me to think I had magically shrunk. My family members have held my hand, literally and figuratively, for as long as I can remember. 

Today is the 15th anniversary of my father’s passing. I’d like to share one of the the most important lessons my father taught me as child:

Play Golf.

My father was the most intelligent person I have known. He taught me how to play golf. This lesson has been one of the most important lessons I have ever learned. This may sound like an irrational thought, but I have fully considered this. Through golf, my father and I became friends. Spending time on the golf course allowed me to know the man I have called Dad. From golf, I learned the value of “family”.

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Dad, my sister, and me in my grandmother’s kitchen

As I remember Dad today, I remember the fun he had in life. I remember his stories, his adventures. I remember how he and Mom met. I remember the speeding tickets and the police officers asking to see what was under the hood. I remember watching the Braves with him. I remember rooting for Dale Earnheardt and Dad rooting for Jeff Gordon.

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Dad in Atlanta, with Jeff Gordon’s car

I remember Dad.

I love and miss you Dad. We think of you every day, and know you are looking at us from Heaven, encouraging us, laughing with us, and crying for us. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being Dad.

Anyone feel like playing 9 holes?

In Which Pageants Destroy Our Souls

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Say it proudly

“Here she comes, Miss America!”

And the great news – she got a really great scholarship from the leading scholarship provider for women in the country! How awesome is that?!

I mean, it’s fantastic that there is an organization that provides $42,000,000 in educational scholarships to women every year! As John Oliver says, “it’s unbelievable!”

I wish I were a little more like John Oliver – because it was so unbelievable that he didn’t believe a word of it, and you shouldn’t either. I didn’t know about the Miss America scholarships before I watched this video, and I cannot recommend strongly enough that you watch it too. You will laugh from the humor and the absurdity that he uncovers in this extremely insightful video. 

I have known some amazing and strong women in life. I have known some incredibly intelligent women as well.

Women are not the enemy; women are not inferior to men; women are not sex objects. In keeping with the “scary” theme of October, the mentality that women are are these things should really give you a fright. This is an entirely and completely asinine mentality.

Women are the equal of men. They deserve to be treated by society in a manner fitting to who they are. I’m not saying anything earth-shattering: we all know this to be true. The United States is can be a great place to live, but we often are blinded by this. We often think that we are perfect because our society has been successful, and that there is no way we could possibly improve. This is a frightening misconception; it’s a nightmare from which we need to awaken. The United States is not a utopia.

We won’t erase sexism overnight, just as we won’t erase racism, or religious persecution overnight. What we can do, however, is to commit to improving ourselves, and by extension we can improve our culture. This can be done. As long as you keep placing one foot in front of the other, and as long as you continue the walk down this path. We should hope (and expect) to leave our children and grandchildren a more beautiful culture. 

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear your experiences, both positive and negative. Let’s talk about the issues we face, for by facing them we can overcome them.

 

 

In Which October Has Begun

Today is the first day of October. I look outside this morning and see a cloudy sky. I walk outside this morning and feel cool temperatures. The leaves haven’t begun to fall yet, though I know they will.

I love this time of year.

Historically, spring as the been the season for rebirth. For me though, fall is a time when I can spread my wings and venture back outside – I can try new things, experience new adventures, and meet new people. I feel reborn every year once October arrives.

Changing gears a touch – I’d like to start this month of ghosts and goblins by sharing a picture of the dreaded Ninja Santa! After all, ninjas are so sneaky, they celebrate Christmas on Halloween!

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Who is this masked man?!

On a related note – any unique costume suggestions you might have for me this Halloween will be duly considered. I might even post a picture of the costume I wear at the end of the month for you all to go wide-eyed at… So pick well! Leave your suggestions in the comments below, or email them to me at thedingowashere@gmail.com.

I want to thank you all, those who read these “growlings”. You are part of my adventure. If there is anything you all would enjoy seeing me write about, please let me know as well. I want you all to enjoy this journal as much as I enjoy writing it. Who knows – with Halloween fast approaching we might even get a fright out of learning what I think on various subjects!

Featured image courtesy of the city of Frisco, Colorado.