Thursday, April 28, 2005

"Some Hither, Others Yon"

Just like the old Blackie Sherrod columns, this one has no direction...just a bunch of random stuff. Or as he liked to say..."Scattershooting while wondering what ever happened to Ron Springs." Enjoy!

Reunion V

Thanks to my friend, Jarod Cox, I realized that we use Roman numerals to count reunions instead of "Super Bowl Numbering". Thanks, Captain Obvious.

Last weekend was unreal. We had an absolute blast. Got 10 hours of sleep over 2 days. Played awful golf. Prayed with each other. Learned things about medicine I never wanted to know from Paul Watts. Ate great food. It was an incredible weekend. I just pray that each of you (well, both of you reading this) will have the same kind of experience with old friends soon. It is truly a blessing.

4 and out?

Watched my first two NBA games of this season on Tuesday night. My friend, Bart Herridge would curse me. But, what happened Tuesday is exactly why I don't watch the NBA. My two favorite teams, the Celtics and Mavs, both lost in the closing seconds and I just got mad. I don't need to do that. Maybe if I rooted for teams that have actually done anything since '86, it would be different. But they just let me down. Plus, the basketball isn't really that good. The most entertaining thing is just watching Michael Finley and remembering how much he looks like '80's icon, Billy Ocean. I love that.

Anyway, at least for the Mavs, it looks like it could be trouble. So, once they are out and the Celts lose...Basketball season will be over again. Thank goodness we have baseball.

It's a Crayola World

Kyle's first Coach Pitch Baseball practice is tonight. He is now a proud member of the Padres which means he is already better than Ryan Klesko. But, we got the note that said, "Kyle has been placed on the Padres. Their team color will be 'Sand'". Is sand really a color? What happened to brown? I understand that "brown" may not be descriptive enough. You might have to expand on that. But couldn't you say "light brown" in that case?

Has J Crew really had that much effect on the world? Where did normal colors go? Everything is Sand, Kelly, Rose, Ivory, and Port. Now I have to explain to people that will come to the games that we are the team wearing Sand... The only time you should wear sand is when you go to the beach. Sheesh.

Game winner

As, I was walking out to the car yesterday, my friend Aaron said "congrats on your game winning homer". Yep, I did it again. I beat the Reds in the bottom of the ninth. I have to admit, that never gets old for me. For someone with a name you don't hear everyday, I get a kick out of hearing Peter Gammons talk about how great I am. I won't lie.

And Finally...the NFL Draft

Is there anything more overdone than the draft? I think this just shows how huge the NFL is. The fact that a lot of these guys in a few years will either a.) be on different teams or b.) out of the league faster than Tim Couch never ceases to amaze me. So many people pour the entire lives into the draft (see: Mel Kiper, Jr.) only to get most of it wrong. It is really actually pretty funny. It's your world NFL, everyone else is just playing in it.

Thanks, Blackie for the idea of "Scattershooting". We miss you...

Thursday, April 21, 2005

A Time to Laugh and A Time to Cry...

It's Reunion Time...

About five years ago, my good friend Israel Lewis sent an e-mail that said this...

Hey Guys
Much like MLK, I have a dream
The Lord has blessed us far too great in our friendships not to enjoy them more. The emails are great but we need a yearly reunion.

We had talked about this a couple years back and one of you idiots dropped the ball. So here is the plan. Since Beans & I are with child I say the sooner the better (before baby).

What about 1st or 2nd Friday night in March we meet for dinner at Dave-N-Busters, then head to a hotel for the night. We crash at a hotel that has a hot tub to relive ZAMBIA then take off after breakfast.

Just my first thought. Let me know what you guys think. And also forward this to anyone I have left out. If anyone knows the whereabouts of Housie Brad Ballard he would be welcome

Hope we can get a date

And so it was born... Five Years ago this week, we scrapped the Dave and Busters idea and 6 guys got together at a friend's house near Lake Whitney, Texas and laughed, played golf, reminisced, and had a blast. Since then it has grown to 11 guys and we plan on meeting together through the years (this is Reunion V - we use "Super Bowl" numbering...). It is such an amazing group of guys and we all have such a weird intertangling of our lives. Just to name a few:

- we all went to ACU together and some of us were roommates (off and on)
- 9 of us grew up in Abilene and went to school ( and on) together
- 10 of us were in club together (I'm the "outsider" in this aspect)
- some dated the same girls
- some were in each other's weddings
- some played soccer together

And the connections and shared experiences go on. But the one amazing thing to me (that we talk about every year), is that each of us has a different occupation. We all have such different gifts from God, but we are one. I know you are here is the breakdown:

1 artist, 1 opthamologist, 1 in real estate, 1 dentist, 1 psychologist, 1 family practice doctor, 1 attorney, 1 accountant, 1 youth minister, 1 coach, and 1 in education.

Our lives are all so different, yet we have so much in common. We believe God is using our group to make a difference in many phases of life. I ask for his blessing on my friends and their lives.

Our reunions are filled with discussion, sharing what is happening in our lives (we set aside specific time for that), golf, poker, crying, eating, and much, much laughter. It is truly a blessing to have these guys in my life. God is good.

So, tomorrow, I will be heading to Lake Whitney for "Reunion V". I will be getting together with 11 of my very best friends in the world.

And to get another glimpse of Heaven...

Friday, April 15, 2005

What a Tangled Web my Mind Weaves...

Do you ever have to explain how you got to a certain thought? I have to do that all of the time. I will be sitting in the car, talking to my wife about one subject and then 30 seconds later ask her the most random question ever.'s not random. I have a perfectly good correlation between our last topic and this new topic. I just have to explain it. Usually, the conversation sounds like this:

"Jen, let me explain...we were talking about Patio Furniture and I wondered if Ikea carried patio furniture and that reminded me that Ikea was in Houston (on I-10) and I thought about our apartment in Houston and how our old dog (Murray) used to pee on that carpet all the time and that is why I asked you if you thought Murray was still alive."

See now? Doesn't that make sense? It does to me. I do that all of the time. It is just how my mind works.

I also have to explain how I can remember certain random dates and events. Unfortunately, they are usually tied to the sporting event that happened at about the same time. This drives my wife crazy. I can't help that the first thing I remember about meeting her parents was watching the Cowboys beat up on the Bears (27-14...last week of the 1992 season). I will probably always remember her cousin Brock's anniversary (they got married a couple of weekends ago) because it was the day of this year's Final Four. I can chronologically place events in my life by who won championships in major sports those years. That just becomes a point of reference for me. Again, it is just how my mind works.

I'm just glad my wife loves me. Because no one else could put up with that. How do I know she loves me? She told me so during Week 11 of the '92 NFL season.

Man...I need help.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

What my dog teaches me about God

This may be one of the silliest things I have ever typed. And yet, it makes perfect sense to me. I hope it does for you...

As you may know, we have a new dog. She is smart, sweet and chews on everything. I love her and yet sometimes she drives me crazy.

But as Kona (our dog) continues to live in our house, she becomes more loyal, more obedient, and more loving. She loves to sleep in my chair. She goes nuts when we come home. She is goes even crazier when she hears us getting her food. She depends on us for everything. She can't eat unless we feed her. On a cold night, we give her a warm place inside to sleep. She is hyper and happy when we are around and sad and crying when we aren't. She can't stand to let us out of her sight. She curls up in my lap and feels relaxed and safe. She trusts us enough to obey when we give her simple commands.

But as she slept in my lap last night...I started thinking about how our relationship with our dog should be exactly how our relationship with God should be. We need him to feed us. We should curl up in his lap, trust him and feel safe with him. We should always keep him in our sight. We should trust him enough to obey even the simplest of commands. God is our master and we should desire to be with him at all times. Nothing should make us happier than to be with him.

It might be a silly concept, but God works in mysterious ways. Maybe this is a good way to "train" me.

God, help me to be loyal. Help my unbelief and increase my trust in you. You give me all I need, help me to never to take that for granted. Continue to teach me in mysterious ways. You are so amazing, I want to give all of my life to you.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Yep...I have Baseball Fever

Following my last post, I started I really like Baseball again? Turns out the answer to that is a resounding "YES". How do I know? I found myself screaming at the TV and and being distraught as the Rangers left the bases loaded in the first inning. Man, I have problems.

I tried to watch the whole game, but fell asleep in the 6th inning. I woke up in time to see Hidalgo give the Rangers the lead, then fell back asleep. Woke up to see Erstad tie the game, watched through the middle of the 11th and then fell asleep again. I woke up at 3:15 in the morning with the TV on some exercise commercial. It was very surreal. Then I saw Soriano's game winning HR this morning on ESPNEWS...What a game. The Rangers are so much fun to watch. (I think most of the time, I will even stay awake for it.) Texieira is unbelievable. Young is a machine. Blalock and Soriano are amazing. Even Ryan Drese and Kenny Rogers pitched great the last two nights. I like how Showalter goes Lefty, Righty, Lefty, Righty down the lineup. This is going to be a fun season...

Mark Texieira is beginning to replace Todd Helton as my favorite current player. I love watching him play. Sadly, Frank Thomas is still one of my favorites...can't bear to part with my autographed Frank Thomas baseball and baseball card, even though he isn't very good these days. Oh well.

Anyway, in no particular order, here is a list of some of my favorite players I have watched over the years. Some good, some bad, some Rockies:

1. Frank Thomas
2. Todd Helton
3. Nolan Ryan
4. U.L. Washington (the toothpick!)
5. Mike Schmidt
6. Kent Tekulve
7. Mark McGwire (pre-steroids)
8. Dante Bichette
9. Steve Beuchele
10. Ron Cey
11. Andres Galarraga
12. Willie Stargell
13. Dave Concepcion
14. Rusty Greer
15. and now...Mark Texieira

There are many more...these are just some of my favorites. It's a warped list isn't it!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Hope Springs Eternal

Today is Opening Day of Baseball Season. Usually, this means nothing to me because I am a football guy. But something about this year has me chomping at the bit. I'm going to try to put my finger on it...

It's not the Red Sox. I have already grown weary of their title. My guess is that they won't even make the playoffs this year. Everyone is so Red Sox crazy, it's almost sick. It's definitely not them.

It's not the Yankees. Because, well, I can't stand them. 'Nuff said.

It's not the Cubbies. Even though, as my good friend Todd Self says, "you play for them!" I admit, I do like the Cubs...but it just not the same without Ron Cey and Ivan DeJesus. Man, I'm old.

It's definitely not the Rockies. Even though they are my favorite National League team. I can only name one player on their team: Todd Helton. Wow...gone are the days of the Bronx Street Bombers of the mid '90s. They just plain stink now.

It could be the Rangers. I love that team. Teixeira, Blalock, Soriano, Cordero, Young, David Hulse...wait. Anyway, even without David Hulse, I love that team. This could be the year.

It could be the Twins. I'm a sucker for the small market teams. Royals, Marlins, Twins, know the teams that have little to no payroll? George Steinbrenner makes me sick. Put up your checkbook already and develop some talent.

I got it. It's definitely...Little League Coach Pitch Baseball. Kyle kicks off in three weeks and he (and I) couldn't be more excited. That kid loves Baseball. He has me fired up about all levels of Baseball again. We can't wait.

So there you have it. Hope is springing eternal over baseball again in the Patterson household, thanks to my 6 year old son. I love that kid.

So with that, here are my picks for the upcoming season:

AL East - Evil Empire
AL Central - Twins
AL West - Angels
AL Wild Card - Rangers, Baby!

NL East - Braves (for like the 152nd straight year)
NL Central - Cardinals
NL West - Padres
NL Wild Card - Marlins

AL Champ - Twins
NL Champ - Marlins

World Series Champ - Marlins (3rd title in 8 years...unreal)

So mark it down. Florida in 5 games and Kyle hits 3 home runs in Coach Pitch.

Play Ball!