The College Quickie: The Eyes Of Us Are Not On Texas

Here’s something that happens to me, all too often, when I pull up the guide as I surf for some sporting event on ESPN. Ok, let’s see here, ESPN… soccer, no. ESPNU… I’ve already seen the Manning thing a couple of times. How about ESPN2? Sports Center, hmmmm, nah. Ok ok! College Football! YES! And then my eyes will drift to the left and I note the network . It’s LSN, the Longhorn Sports Network, and I, typically, curse under my breath and flip through the guide as quickly as I can, in search of something else. Anything else!

It’s like when I search radio stations and I hear a snippet from a song that I haven’t heard before but is sounds like a possibility. And then I hear words something to this effect, ” I love you, I want you in my heart, I need you… Jesus.” No no no!!! Keep tuning! Keep tuning! Quickly! Get far away from here.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Jesus, but I cannot allow my ears to be infiltrated by the innocuous, pop lite ripoff sounds of Contemporary Christian radio. It leaves a bad aftertaste my mouth and I immediately want to find some Deep Purple, Black Sabbath or, God rest his soul, George Jones.

But if I’m deeply immersed in one of the “Possum’s” ballads, please do not hand me a pint of cheap whiskey and a gun. That could turn ugly. “He stopped loving her today, they put a wreath upon his door, and soon they’ll carry him away, he stopped loving heeeeeerrrrrrr… todayay, heyheeeeeyyyyy, heeeeeeyyyyyyyy.”

Ok, the LHN. EEEEEEEWWWWWW is America’s response to said network. What if they created a television network and no one watched? They did, and they don’t.

People are NOT watching the Longhorn Network by the millions.

I just took a look over there before sitting down to compose this piece. You know what was on? Softball vs. UTSA. After that? Yet another showing of softball vs. UTSA (that’s the University Texas at San Antonio for you neophytes). After that? The 1994 Texas vs. Oklahoma “Red River Classic”.

I mean, I’ll watch a replay the 1994 Iron Bowl, maybe, because I bleed the burnt orange and navy blue of Auburn University, and I cross myself and mutter “War Eagle” every morning when I awaken.

Come to think of it, I will NOT watch a replay of the 1994 Iron Bowl because Alabama won that game, 21-14, as the Tigers came up an inch or two short on fourth down in Tide territory, on a controversial call by the zebras.

Pat Dye once said, “If you need a yard, on third or fourth down, when you’re playing Alabama, you’d better get three.” Amen!

But I digress. Where was I? Oh! The 1994 Texas-Oklahoma game. Really? Need I say more?

The Longhorn Network is a miserable failure. It is, “the worst television programming in ESPN history…”

That quote is from a piece entitled, “The Longhorn Network Is All Hat, No Cattle.”

Mash below and be prepared. It was written by Clay Travis for his college football blog, “Outkick the Coverage”. All I can say is, wow! Just WOW!!!

Here’s something that happens to me, all too often, when I pull up the guide as I surf for some sporting event on ESPN. Ok, let’s see here, ESPN… soccer, no. ESPNU… I’ve already seen the Manning thing a couple of times. How about ESPN2? Sports Center, hmmmm, nah. Ok ok! College Football! YES! And then my eyes will drift to the left and I note the network . It’s LSN, the Longhorn Sports Network, and I, typically, curse under my breath and flip through the guide as quickly as I can, in search of something else. Anything else!

It’s like when I search radio stations and I hear a snippet from a song that I haven’t heard before but is sounds like a possibility. And then I hear words something to this effect, ” I love you, I want you in my heart, I need you… Jesus.” No no no!!! Keep tuning! Keep tuning! Quickly! Get far away from here.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Jesus, but I cannot allow my ears to be infiltrated by the innocuous, pop lite ripoff sounds of Contemporary Christian radio. It leaves a bad aftertaste my mouth and I immediately want to find some Deep Purple, Black Sabbath or, God rest his soul, George Jones.

But if I’m deeply immersed in one of the “Possum’s” ballads, please do not hand me a pint of cheap whiskey and a gun. That could turn ugly. “He stopped loving her today, they put a wreath upon his door, and soon they’ll carry him away, he stopped loving heeeeeerrrrrrr… todayay, heyheeeeeyyyyy, heeeeeeyyyyyyyy.”

Ok, the LHN. EEEEEEEWWWWWW is America’s response to said network. What if they created a television network and no one watched? They did, and they don’t.

People are NOT watching the Longhorn Network by the millions.

I just took a look over there before sitting down to compose this piece. You know what was on? Softball vs. UTSA. After that? Yet another showing of softball vs. UTSA (that’s the University Texas at San Antonio for you neophytes). After that? The 1994 Texas vs. Oklahoma “Red River Classic”.

I mean, I’ll watch a replay the 1994 Iron Bowl, maybe, because I bleed the burnt orange and navy blue of Auburn University, and I cross myself and mutter “War Eagle” every morning when I awaken.

Come to think of it, I will NOT watch a replay of the 1994 Iron Bowl because Alabama won that game, 21-14, as the Tigers came up an inch or two short on fourth down in Tide territory, on a controversial call by the zebras.

Pat Dye once said, “If you need a yard, on third or fourth down, when you’re playing Alabama, you’d better get three.” Amen!

But I digress. Where was I? Oh! The 1994 Texas-Oklahoma game. Really? Need I say more?

The Longhorn Network is a miserable failure. It is, “the worst television programming in ESPN history…”

That quote is from a piece entitled, “The Longhorn Network Is All Hat, No Cattle.”

Mash below and be prepared. It was written by Clay Travis for his college football blog, “Outkick the Coverage”. All I can say is, wow! Just WOW!!!

I say all of this to set up the article below. Companion pieces if you will.

http://www.foxsports.com/college-football/outkick-the-coverage/the-longhorn-network-is-all-hat-no-cattle-051115

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Bird On The Wire

“Like the bird on the wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free.”

This is the first line from the Leonard Cohen penned tune, ‘Bird On The Wire.’

During another midday walk, today, I noticed two small birds sitting beside each other on a wire. I’m sure you’ve seen countless birds sitting on wires, throughout this great land of ours, on numerous occasions. But have you ever paused to consider why birds do this? Are they just enjoying the day? Are they resting? Are they weighing their next options?

Well here we are. I found a blog which explains this aviary behavior. The author is jlshernandez.

“Power lines are common and convenient rest stops for birds in cities and towns where there are very few trees. High-tension wires make great lookout perches for passerine birds or the common perching birds, like sparrows, starlings, crows, grackles, to name a few. The feet of perching birds or songbirds are adapted to grabbing onto branches and power lines. Not all birds have this special adaptation.

Birds are social animals and like to interact with each other as they roost on power lines. Being up high gives the birds a good vantage point to see the surroundings and be on the lookout for predators and food sources.

Birds can be seen at dusk or sunrise perched on overhead power lines. Every time a bird lands on the wire, the entire row of birds on the same wire would move over for the newcomer. Birds are instinctively such considerate and accommodating little creatures.”

“… considerate and accommodating little creatures.”

And they, “…like to interact with each other as they roost on power lines.”

I find all of this very interesting and sweet.

You can imagine how the conversation, between birds, might be going…

Bird one: ” Well hello Sally Sparrow! How’s that sore wing coming along?”

Bird two: “Very well and thanks for asking mate! What brings you here today?”

Bird one: “Oh, just resting for a flight to Florida and watching humans.”

Bird two: “Crazy bunch, huh?”

Bird one: “Very much so! They race about, here and there, in such a big hurry. They curse and crash into one another, all the while thinking what they’re up to is so damn important. Sad lot really.”

Bird one: “Yes they are that. And they are very busy, busy destroying this beautiful space our creator has, so lovingly, provided for us.”

Bird two: “And another truly sad thing is that they are free like us, yet they allow themselves to be enslaved to time, things and the pursuit of money.”

Bird one: “And they worry, worry, worry. Get worked into a doggone frenzy about nothing, really.”

Bird two: “Tell me about it! Makes you wonder if they’ve ever read Matthew 6:26-27.”

Bird one: “Oh they read it! I see them in their homes and churches reading the cover off of their Bibles and banging each other over the head with it.”

Bird two: “Yeah, they love to preach and pose and preen, but practice it? Believe it? Not so much.”

Bird one: “Strange lot, no?

Bird two: “Strange indeed!”

Bird one: “You free to grab a worm?”

Bird two: “Yes, I’m free, free indeed!”

—————————————–

I’m Free (The Who)

“I’m free-I’m free,
And freedom tastes of reality,
I’m free-I’m free, An’ I’m waiting for you to follow me.

If I told you what it takes
To reach the highest high,
You’d laugh and say ‘nothing’s that simple
But you’ve been told many times before
Messiahs pointed to the door
And no one had the guts to leave the temple!

I’m free-I’m free,
And freedom tastes of reality,
I’m free-I’m free,
An’ I’m waiting for you to follow me.”

—————————————–

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Matthew 6:26-27 NLT

Consider the Lizard (Bird 6:28)

This title was ‘adapted’ from Matthew 6:28.

“What is a lizard?
Lizards are part of a group of animals known as reptiles. They are most closely related to snakes. In fact, some lizards, called sheltopusiks, look like snakes because they have no legs! Many lizards today resemble the ancient reptiles of the dinosaur era. Their ancestors appeared on Earth over 200 million years ago.

In general, lizards have a small head, short neck, and long body and tail. Unlike snakes, most lizards have moveable eyelids. There are currently over 4,675 lizard species, including iguanas, chameleons, geckos, Gila monsters, monitors, and skinks.” Taken from the San Diego Zoo site.

See more at: http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/lizard#sthash.uyqKlMK1.dpuf

The lizard I am most familiar with is the chameleon. This is the lizard I grew up with in southwest Alabama. Chameleons are fascinating creatures. The primary reason for this is that they change colors depending on where they are stationed. It appears to me that they largely come in bright green and a dull brownish hue, but I am somewhat color blind in distinguishing these tints, so don’t take it form me.

I took my daily walk at midday and just returned a few minutes ago. As I had just turned from one street down a nearby cul-de-sac, I spotted this chameleon, his skin darkened from hurrying along the pavement, dart into some thick grass along the right-of-way.

The first thing that popped into my mind were the words, consider the lizard. That’s what prompted me to write this blog. So here I sit.

Doors lead singer, Jim Morrison, was known as ‘The Lizard King’.

“Jim Morrison wrote a poem called “The Celebration of the Lizard” that first apeared on the sleve of The Doors’ album “Waiting For The Sun.” The poem contained the line: “I am the Lizard King, I can do anything.” Fans thought Morrison was refering to himself instead of another persona Morrison created as the fictional author. The nickname stuck, and, later, the band added music and the poem was performed several times live.” This info was taken from the ‘Fun Trivia’ site.

Now back to the chameleon. “The Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis) is an arboreal lizard found primarily in the southeastern United States and some Caribbean islands. Other common names include the green anole, American anole and red-throated anole. It is also sometimes referred to as the American chameleon due to its ability to change color from several brown hues to bright green (though it is not a chameleon).”
Wikipedia

How about that! This blog is both fun and educational!

We used to catch these lizards and ask them to “show us your money bag!” The reptile would soon produce a red, almost dime-shaped sac from under it’s neck. I was told this was an instinctual defense-like mechanism which appeared when the lizard felt threatened.

So those rascals are actually ‘red-throated anoles.’ Sounds like a bird to me.

Our dogs, particularly Layla (the female of our Bichon Frise trio), love to hunt and chase lizards. Red-throated anoles love hanging around our back door, deck and air-conditioning unit. In the warm months Layla cannot wait to go outside in search of the ‘chameleons’.

The dogs also love to chase each other and play ‘king of the mountain’ on our bed. This is called the ‘Bichon Blitz’ or ‘Bichon Buzz’. They will also race around the the kitchen, down the short hallway and around the den, barking and biting and slipping all over the faux hardwood floors. This is very entertaining.

Layla’s middle name is Lucinda. Layla is for obvious reasons if you are a music fan and know the popular Derek and the Dominos tune. Lucinda is for Lucinda Williams, who I think is one of the greatest singer-songwriters out there today, male or female. Her album ‘Car Wheels On A Gravel Road’ is an absolutely brilliant piece of work.

Layla’s brother/litter-mate is Lesh Zappa. Phil Lesh is the bassist of the Grateful Dead. Need I explain Zappa? I didn’t think so. Lesh is a very sweet little dog who loves other animals and children. But Lesh is also cursed with bladder stones an a pinched nerve so he often keeps his distance from people. His nickname is Ed.

Then there is Hunter. Hunter’s name comes from my favorite author, Hunter S. Thompson and Robert Hunter, the primary lyricist of many Grateful Dead songs. Hunter’s middle name is Garcia. Need I explain Garcia? I didn’t think so. Hunter (10) is two years younger than Lesh and Layla and is, basically, a spoiled rotten scoundrel. He whines and barks for dinner. He whines and barks for his bone/chicken rawhide stick, which is dessert. And he whines if you stop petting him. Hunter usually wins the ‘king of the mountain’ game.

Melodye with an ‘e’, Miss LeCroy, Paul, or whichever moniker you choose, LOVES HER BABIES. If you don’t like her babies, then she, probably, is not going to like you. She bathes them, trims their faces, doctors their ears and brushes their teeth. She really dotes on those little, white, furry rascals.

These puppies are not our first Bichons. We had our first one from 1990-2003. He name was Misie. Misie was given to us by Harold and Emma when we lived in Sumner County, TN. I can’t remember Harold and Emma’s last name, but they were an older couple who simply could not keep up with Misie’s energy. She had energy in spades.

Harold and Emma let Misie go potty on their deck which was covered in astroturf (I HATE astroturf AND the designated hitter but that is another story). They did not let her out into the yard without a leash.

The day I brought Misie home, as a surprise to the family, I thought she would be fine running around the huge yard which surrounded the double wide, wooden modular home we rented on Cecil Keesling’s cattle and tobacco farm.

WRONG! When I took Misie out for her first potty, she took off like a rocket all over the yard. I began to chase her. She thought it was a game. She soon darted into the adjoining pasture where we played chase for forty-five minutes. She would occasionally stop, put her head in her front paws, with her behind in the air, and wait until I got very near to her. She would then ‘buzz’ or ‘blitz’ for a short while and then… repeat… for 45 minutes.

Somehow, I finally caught Misie and brought her back to the farmhouse. She was covered in dirt, grass and cow poop. She then received her first bath, at 1025 Brinkley Branch Rd., from daddy.

Melodye thought this was one of the funniest things she had ever seen. I did not agree, at the time, but we laugh at the thought of it to this day.

Unfortunately, Misie became riddled with tumors and we had to put her down in May of 2003. This was a horrible day. I gave her her final ride to Dr. White’s office where we met Mel. I petted her the entire way and was able to share my love for her, just us two. It brings me to tears at the thought of it, even to this day.

Here is a poem I wrote for our sweet Misie:

Misie

Pure Energy, love, innocence
Haha Haha Hahahahaha… panting
Bouncing
Begging
Sweet and naughty (DO NOT EAT THAT CHOCOLATE FOOTBALL!!!)
Cheese?
Treat?
Go Outside?
From Harold and Emma’s to
Dr. White…
And LIGHT,
Loved all and all loved you.
I’d give anything to hear
Just ONE more…BEEP…
There will never be another you
Misie
Good-bye
We miss you.

None of us are going to live forever. Cherish those you love and tell them you love them. Also do this, “Unto the least of these.”

And… AND

Consider the lizard.