Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cold Concrete

This morning it was 46 degrees when I got up. Jake always loved the first cool crisp morning of fall. I mentioned my dog Jake in my blog post yesterday. Coincidently, yesterday was the first time since Jake’s death last June that I got up and went to the back door as if to let him out. I don’t know what prompted this. It was the first time that I had slept the entire night for many weeks. Perhaps I dreamt about Jake and didn’t remember. Jake was a Samoyed. Samoyed’s are sled dogs and great athletes. As sled dogs, they are equipped to deal with very cold, snowy conditions. Jake's toes were webbed to run better in snow. He had a dual layered coat to stay dry and warm in cold, wet conditions. Sammies are faster than Malamutes, but stronger than Huskies which usually puts them somewhere in the middle of a sled team. On normal summer days in Texas, Jake would go outside, stride briskly to his preferred spot of the day, do his business and run back to the door. For Jake's comfort and safety, I always took the position that if I was too warm, Jake was too warm. He spent most of his time with us, in the air conditioning. Days like today were special for Jake. He would go outside and raise his nose, twitch his ears a couple of times, look at me and start sprinting around the yard. He was so fast and agile, even as a senior dog, it was a sight to see. As he would make his laps around the yard, he would slow just briefly as he passed me as if to say, “Isn’t this great?” Jake was a great dog that always loved to play. I miss him, particularly on crisp fall days when the breeze is fresh and the concrete patio is cold on my bare feet.

Keep playing Jake, I’m not that cold.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Friend

I came to the airport to have breakfast with my friend. I’ve had a lot going on lately and sometimes you just have to say things out loud to work through them. Sometimes the things I say don’t make any sense. I ramble on about one thing then another. Occasionally I talk about things I’ve seen at work, horrific accounts of things most people wouldn’t want to listen to. Sometimes we discuss my health or my beautiful family. I confess my failings and vow to do better. My friend doesn’t judge or question. She just stares at me with a knowing look of unconditional love and acceptance. We sit in our shady spot and share a couple of apples. My friend is a bay filly that I call Sugar. I don’t know her real name and she doesn’t seem to mind. Sugar is normally in the pasture, just east of the tower at the Denton Airport. Today she was not there. I called her on the PA in the truck and watched the tree line. I expected her to walk out and come to the fence like she always does. I waited but no luck.

I recently heard someone say that those who doubt the existence of God have not spent enough time studying nature. I say that one of the ways God clearly reveals himself to us is in the eyes of a horse. I’ve had dogs who were great friends, most recently 15 years with Jake, our Samoyed who died last June. Jake was a great friend and family member but I’ve never felt, with any other animal, what I feel with a horse. Hopefully, Sugar is visiting friends or getting her hooves trimmed or something like that. If she is not there next time, I may have to find another horse friend for my morning therapy sessions. Sugar won’t mind because where ever she is; she is helping some confused soul to understand their existence.

I have two apples in a paper bag behind the seat. I hope my bay filly comes back before they go bad.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Golf Clubs

I am a Golfer.

Were I a Hunter, no one would be surprised if I had several rifles and shotguns. If I were a Fisherman, would anyone even look twice if I had 6 or 7 fishing rods. Why, then, is it so suprising that I have several sets of golf clubs?

Early in my law enforcement career, my hobby was competitive revolver shooting. I reloaded about 500 rds a week, travelled to competions all over the southwest, and acquired several firearms. No one, I cared about, said I had too many handguns. This was an expensive hobby. After several years, I stopped competing.

At some point I focused more of my energies on softball. I eventually owned several, high-end, DeMarini bats. Not once did anyone on the team say,"We have too many good bats". These were the tools that our teams needed to be competitive.

As I got older and more brittle, I looked for other competitive outlets. My wife was by my side through all these activities. I started working on my golf game. I played as often as I could. Why then was she surprised when, I started acquiring golf clubs. I bought cheap clubs, then built custom clubs, then bought proline clubs, as my game progressed. At one point, my wife exclaimed,"How many sets of clubs do you need?".

There are 2 or 3 golf bags in every room. I tried keeping them all in one room but Donna complained that we couldn't use the room. So...I spread them around. This reduces the impact on the household and provides a common theme that increases flow through out the interior design (I read that some where). If this all makes perfect sense to you....welcome to the fraternity. I probably saw you at the HP Byron Nelson Championship this week. The only people at the Byron this year were Jesuit High School students and parents(thanks to young Jordan Speith, 16 yr old high school golf phenom who became the 6th youngest golfer to ever make the cut in a PGA event), and serious golf enthusiast. Anyone else who attended was there for business or the party.
So..why does someone need this many sets of clubs?

Today...I discovered the need that everyone will understand......

When you are watching TV... and you look down on the floor in the middle of your living room to find an, albeit small, snake, it sure is handy to have a 3 iron within easy reach. I'm not sure how he got in, but I am sure that he is out....thanks to "Mr. 3 wiggly". Proof also that there is still a good use for a 3 iron in a modern golf bag. A rescue or hybrid would not have been the right tool for the job. A 7 wood? Forget about it! The 3 iron...unloved, unappreciated, but needed.

I'm Beef....and these are my tips for those who live in wild west.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some days I wonder...

We just got a summary, from the city's insurance consultants,concerning the major points of the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010, which will follow the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The summary that outlined all of the "free stuff" that the big bad insurance companies are now required to give us, was accompanied by a statement. "The City is still evaluating how this will impact our plan and we will be incorporating these provisions...". We know how it will impact the plan. It will drive costs through the roof, just as it was designed to do. This bill is designed to bring the european model of socialized medicine to the U. S. Prices will soar which will allow the gov't to come in and save the day with single payer just like they admitted that they wanted to do from the start. I use to think that the destruction of the greatest healthcare system in the world was the worst that this administration could do. Then I realized that in the process they could also destroy the economy. That was my worst fear. It is no longer my worst fear. Now I fear that they have divided and irreparibly damaged the nation. A large portion of society thinks this "change" is good, they trust those in power. A large portion believe we are on the road to societal and economic ruin. Islamic Jihadists are no longer worried about destroying the "great satan". We are doing it to our selves. Regardless of which side of the fence you are on, or how you feel about the issues, there is a widening abyss between the factions and unrest is in the air. This always makes things difficult in my profession. We just learned of a radical, right-wing, extremists group called the "Hutaree" who planned to kill law enforcement officers and then bomb the law enforcement funeral in order to exact as many casualties as possible. They saw law enforcement as the face of an oppressive government. This is an extreme example but the examples are everywhere. I guess what I am saying, and this is my tip( although it is usually more of a story, but not today), understand what is going on around you. It's not time to go to the bunker or get all depressed, but it is time to take care of your people. Realize that the times we are living in may worry and concern normal people, but the world is full of abnormal people. Have a plan, have a go bag if you need to get out of town fast. Go to any preparedness website and learn about this ( is as good as any).
I'm Beef and these are my unusually foreboding tips.
P.S. Mom don't worry about me, I'm fine. :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Process over Product

I recently read a golf book that stressed the importance of focusing on the process and not the outcome. Golf is so mental and so difficult that even the greatest golfers in the world don’t make every shot the way they intend. The author stressed looking at the process as the success that we need to feel confident about our abilities. Now, I try to focus on the process. I look at the lie of the ball, lay of the land, game management, wind and distance. I determine what type of shot I want to play and with what club. I visualize the shot,, tracing the path of the ball in red in my mind. I then try to make a smooth, pretty swing. If I do all of those things correctly, I’m happy with my shot. Where the ball goes is not important. This makes my game enjoyable and usually successful. Remember golf is life.
This epiphany caused me to start thinking when I heard a political pundit use the phrase, “the end justifies the means”. The reality is that the means is the most important thing. After all, weren’t we always taught, “it’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game”. Now don’t get me wrong, winning is important. If it doesn’t matter who wins, don’t keep score. Losing should hurt. But where is the joy in winning if you don’t follow the rules or play with honor. There is no greatness in that.
I once shocked my lovely wife by saying there are worse things than dying. As Christians we know that death, while it is painful for those we leave behind, is not something to fear. Living without honor is tragic. Being alive but not living is tragic.
Everyday we have to get up and look at the shot before us. Take everything into account and swing with gusto. Then lay your head on your pillow at night with no fear and no regrets.
I'm Beef and these are my tips.

Monday, February 22, 2010


To be sleepless because of the pain, or because of the pain killer…what an easy choice. However, I’m sleepless none the less.

We got a chance to catch up with old friends on two occasions this weekend. I made a decision early in the week to stop feeling guilty about my neglected relationships and start doing something about it. It really wasn’t that hard. I said, “why don’t ya’ll come over?” on one occasion and just dropped by someone’s house on another. These are things I grew up watching my parents do as a way of life. I, however, had chosen to just come home and “vegge” out in front of the TV every night and not reach out. This resulted in guilt and lost contact. These are people that I have always considered very close friends but had not visited with in a long, long time. Why do that? I suddenly realize that putting together a cognizant thought is so much more difficult after having chosen painkiller over pain. In a way my choice to visit this weekend was choosing pain over painkiller. Not that it was painful to visit but it had become an escape to watch tv and go through the motions. It required no effort at all. It asked nothing of me, no thought or decision or revelation of my feelings. It was plugging into the matrix and being numb. I didn’t really even realize that I had done it until now. When we told our son that we were having people over Friday night he acted like we had chosen the red pill. He said he was so glad that we were doing this and how good it would be for us, as if we had become hermits or something. I didn’t realize it at the time but I guess I was acting like one. At least I still felt guilty about ignoring my friendships. So now I resolve to living more and vegging less. I have resolved before and found my resolve to be lacking. Usually every January it is an obvious attempt but other times also. I find myself trying to fix shortcomings, being temporarily successful, and then failing. There are times when it seems so much easier not to try so that I won’t feel guilty for failing. I am sure others feel that way but surely they don’t fail as much as I do. None the less, it was nice to catch up and visit. Once again I’m feeling a little foggy so I will try to go back to sleep…or vegge in front of the TV. I am Beef…and these, I guess, are my tips.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tired of the Cold

I don't recall ever being so ready for a new season. As a youngster every season held it's own excitement and wonder. During the fall there was always football practice and school. The winter held holidays and the frequent, weather related, no school. Spring was anticipation of school being out and nice weather. Summer...well...summer was freedom. Later as a parent I experienced all of these feelings vicariously through our children. With the exception of the snow day...not so much here in Texas. It was all fun and something was always going on. Now that we have an empty nest, most of my recreation revolves around golf. I rarely let the weather stop me from getting in two or three rounds a week but sometimes it's just a beating. When it's cold and wet and windy and every well hit shot deposits that little speck of mud into your's just not fun. Also, when the conditions are their worst, I'm usually playing alone, because really..who else would be playing golf in that kind of weather? I have had enough unplayable days this winter to re-grip three sets of irons and replace the spikes in 2 pairs of golf shoes. I can't tell you how many times I've cleaned clubs and re-organized the golf bag. So this year I am very ready for spring. Playing in short sleeves, hitting drives that chase down the fairway instead of plugging, playing in foursomes, it all sounds so far away when it is February 4th. I know that I have fewer winters in front of me than behind. I know that everyday is a gift to be cherished. So I will enjoy these days in front of the fireplace and be thankful for the occasional sunny day. I know that spring is coming and this year I get to meet my new grand-daughter. I have to keep my game in shape because I know that in a few short years, she will be out driving me.'s bedtime. I will dream of bright green fairways and brilliant white golf balls engulfed in the laughter and giggles of a little girl named Laila and the emotions will warm my cold bones. I'm Beef and these are my tips.