Thursday, August 27, 2009

Football in Austin TX

It is no surprise that in Austin the Longhorns reign supreme. It's the only place I've ever been where entire sporting goods stores are dedicated just to the Burnt Orange. I thought that was odd at first. Wouldn't people want a bit of variety or assume that maybe there were people who would also buy Oklahoma, Texas Tech, or Texas A&M stuff too?

Now I am understanding a bit better.

It's not that those other schools don't exist, it's just that they don't...matter. Not in Austin. There are Longhorns and there are non-Longhorns. There is nothing else. Even those who are Sooners seem to accept this. They bravely slap the bumper sticker on to proclaim their allegiance but know they are making a pebble's ripple in the UT ocean.

There is something about football here that supercedes sport. It is a part of the society. Part of the community. Part of everyone's identity somehow. Friday night is dedicated to high school football. When you go you find all your neighbors there. Wearing the colors and cheering the team. What else would they be doing? It's not really a choice. It's just what you do.

And I like it.

I like that it feels like community; like family; like home. So here's to another year of football in Austin.

I'll be there in my burnt orange.

Except for when BYU plays.

Then all bets are off.

A man has his limits.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Do Hard Things

This 17 year old kid is the youngest to sail solo around the world. He's almost into it a year now. Inspiring. Especially how his perspective on life is so much bigger for having done it.

Check out the blog too. Cool.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

To Look Back or to Look Ahead?

I like movies. I like to buy movies mostly. Then I can watch them. Whenever. I. Want. New releases, old movies, (admittedly) mostly guy movies. Sometimes I buy them even when I haven't seen them yet. Just because the trailer looks cool or it has actors I like or like to look at.

Trish hates when I buy movies.

She says we should watch them first to make sure they're worth buying. Otherwise it's a waste of money.

I won't have any of that. My reason? In the event that I do like them enough to buy, well that would mean I had squandered the rental fee that I could have applied to the purchase price - which is, afterall...a waste of money.

She humors me on this. But begs me to trade them all in about every month because "we'll (meaning she'll) never watch them".

No way.

(And for the record Trish, I don't regret buying any of them. Except Benchwarmers. That movie is lame. We can trade that in if you want.)

But the insanity doesn't stop there.

Trish hates when I buy movies. Any movies.

For her, a bad movie is the same as a good movie that she's already seen. Not worth the time to watch again. Been there, done that.

I think this is a tragic waste but I can't seem to enlighten her.

I've decided that this movie thing is a microcosm of a life philosophy that Trish and I differ on as well:

How do you see the past?

When it comes to looking at our past it seems that there are two camps: Those (like me) who see the past like Linus sees his favorite blanket. It brings comfort, wisdom, and happiness. Then there are those (like Trish) who see the past like a movie stub left in your pocket after the show. Hang onto it and it's just going to turn to a ball of pulp in your pocket (or in Lot's wife's case, a pillar of salt.)

There are virtues and vices to being a "Linus" or a "Ticket Stub".

Linuses see the deeper value of life's moments. They smell the roses. They are quality over quantity. Linuses carefully collect memories over the years like books in a personal library that they can pull out whenever they like, to enjoy and to learn from again and again. And after a life well lived they can look back fondly at their library filled with stories, memories, and lessons learned that have all combined to lead them to where they stand today.

On the flip side, Linuses also have the tendency to live in the past - especially when the present is not pleasant. It's easier to get lost in memories of a better time than to pick up the pen and start writing the next chapter. They also often use memories of their past experiences - both good and bad - to judge where they are today.

Ticket Stubs, on the other hand, are great at not dwelling on the past. They don't live in it or regret it. They also don't waste time with "what ifs". They are better at seeing life as it really is and acting accordingly. And they are pretty productive because they see the present as the time that counts.

On the other hand, they have a hard time enjoying/seeing the value of the moment - especially if the moments are spontaneous or unexpected or unplanned for - since these moments usually interfere with another goal or interest they already had planned for.

So, looking at it objectively, I guess it's healthy, even preferable, to have a Linus and a Ticket Stub in a marriage partnership. I can appreciate Trish's drive and forward movement while I enjoy the journey.

Thanks for all that Trish. I think I get it. And I love you for it.

Just don't expect me to get rid of my movies.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Standing Outside the Fire

This is my favorite picture. That's me in the background deciding if I'm going to stand by as an observer in life or if I am going to jump in and make it happen.

In "The Alchemist", Paolo Coelho explores this struggle we all face in fulfilling our dreams and in dealing with the various faces of fear that would sabotage us along the way.

Sometimes we fear to fail. We can't bear the idea of falling short because to try and fail is much more painful than to not try at all.

"We who fight for our dream suffer far more when it doesn’t work out, because we cannot fall back on the old excuse: “Oh, well, I didn’t really want it anyway.”

Sometimes we fear the disappointment or loss (perceived or real) of those we love. It is terrifying to stand alone - even in greatness. (That's what Trish tells me anyway.)

"We are afraid of hurting those around us by abandoning everything in order to pursue our dream."

Sometimes we are afraid of success. What will be expected of us. What we will expect of ourselves.

So we don't try. We don't even really start - which guarantees that we don't succeed.

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

But if we do - when we do - we find that the fears of what might happen never seem to be as bad as we imagined.

“The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. No heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.”

I think there is a direct correlation between our happiness and our willingness to do what we dream to do. My life is happier when I step through the fear and just go for it. And when I don't, I am not really living at all.

"Life is not tried it is merely survived if your standing outside the fire."
Did I just quote Garth Brooks?

So in that spirit I will be completing another item on my bucket list this year. This one is a stretch and will require time and sacrifice. I am pumped.

This year I will be doing this:

And this:

And this:

And I'm sure some of this along the way:

But no matter.

This year I will be doing a backflip on a wakeboard.

How about you?

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Vacation From My Problems!

Move over Bob Wiley! Christmas '08 was awesome at the Harward's. Instead of stuff we opted for time and activities. Trish will add pictures I'm sure but here are the highlights for me:

Where: Rockport TX then home for more

When: Dec 22nd - Jan 3rd


- Homemade gift exchange on Christmas Eve
- Blake riding his new ripstick while shooting passing objects with his new airsoft gun
- Maddy catching her first TWO fish
- Ella and Cole hopping up and down in excitement Christmas morning
- Sword dueling with Cole and his new ninja sword
- Ella dragging her doll around with her puppy backpack on
- Winning the week-long Sorry tournament
- Sleeping in with Trish
- Launching fireworks over the ocean that shoot 150 feet up and are as big as my house
- Ella and Cole feeding an entire loaf of bread and several bagels to the family of ducks off the dock
- Pelicans dive bombing into the water off our back porch

Honorable mention activities:

- Christmas Eve/Day watching Christmas lights glisten on the water
- Fishing off the dock every night with my kids
- Shell collecting and swimming at the beach
- Flying remote control airplanes and shooting off rockets in the park with the boys
- Sleeping in
- Eating out
- Church at the tiny Branch in Rockport where a lesson on Elder Uchdorf's talk on hope somehow got twisted into a discussion of...animal flatulence. I kid you not. It was awesome.
- Homemade pizza night
- Trips to the USS Lexington WW2 Aircraft Carrier and Texas Aquarium
- Projector movies every night that filled the whole wall.

Result: Closer friendships among siblings, parents/kids, spouses. Memories to last a lifetime.

Capping Moment: Blake saying, "this was the best Christmas we've ever had".

I agree. I will remember this forever. Here's to Christmas and family and memories.