Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the month “February, 2016”

Quarterback Material

Dear Readers,

In a number of other posts, I have humbly mentioned my status in the N.F.L. as a temporarily unsigned free agent.  I have, among other things, noted the scientific truth that I was formerly the ideal height (6’2″)and weight (247 lbs.)for an N.F.L. linebacker.  Then I updated you all with the recent confession that I have slipped down to a lithe 222 lbs. Now I have to make up with quickness and strength what I have lost in bulk.

But wait!  There is another option.  That option is to change positions.  It has been called to my attention that at the N.F.L. Scouting Combine being held in Indianapolis as I write these words,  one of the many tests and measurements is the size of a prospect’s hands.  Although not all quarterbacks have the same size hands, the evaluators have determined that there is a certain size hand that is advantageous for an N.F.L. quarterback.  There was even an article about how they measure hands at the combine.  It gave the sizes of hands of various great quarterbacks.

You guessed it — my hands are the perfect size for an N.F.L. quarterback.  Surprise, surprise.  Problem solved!

Yours truly,




Pictured above on the right:  the PERFECT SIZE hand for an NFL QUARTERBACK (by contrast, Miss Sugar’s hands, while suitable for her feminine activities, lack the size for her to realistically compete in the N.F.L.)  This is a scientific fact.  No brag, just fact.

Dr. Beau Heals a Foe

beau and cat

Our dog Beau, although very smart, probably does not have a medical degree unless he got it online while Sugar and I were sleeping.  He is more likely practicing medicine without a license.  Please do not report him to the authorities.  His patients don’t care whether he is a licensed medical doctor.

This morning, one of our barn cats, Booger, showed up on the porch with a torn ear.  Sugar was examining it.  As she held the cat, Beau came up to consult.  He immediately diagnosed the problem and commenced treatment.  He started licking the cat’s ear and and it did not mind.  It actually appreciated the medical care being administered.  It did not try to get away from Beau.  Sugar called for me to come and watch.  I am now a witness in case you don’t believe Miss Sugar, who is prone to exaggerate Beau’s talents.  I saw it with my own eyes.  It lasted for several minutes.  It could have lasted even longer but Booger’s health insurance plan only covers limited acute care.

Beau might have gently touched on a sensitive subject concerning contraception.  Booger does not believe in being neutered.  He is very reluctant to use birth control. He does not appear to be a practicing Catholic, yet he is devout about his interest in girls.  We have had many deep discussions with Booger about being responsible and to avoid unnecessary procreation.  He adamantly insists on using natural methods in his sex life.

We do not have any female cats.  He disappeared for a couple days.  I surmise that he visited a neighboring ranch that might have female cats.  They might have one or more male cats.  Someone ripped Booger’s ear.  We do not know the circumstances.

Nevertheless, Dr. Beau treated Booger regardless of religious or gender issues.  He does not limit his practice to one species.  He has licked my foot to treat rough heels.  In exchange for room and board, he did not bill me for his services.

Dr. Beau put aside his differences with Booger like the true humanitarian he is.  Wait, he can’t be a non-human humanitarian.  I guess we will simply call him an animal lover.

My Position at the N.F.L. Combine

This was written three years ago. Again, I was not invited to the combine. I blame my wife. My weight is now down to 222 lbs. Much less imposing.

Shootin' the Breeze

The National Football League Scouting Combine is taking place in Indianapolis as I write this.  If you know me, you might expect me to be there.  I’m not.  I was not invited this year, which is their loss, i.e., the loss of all 32 NFL teams, at least for this week.  The draft is still to come.

It is their loss because they are missing out on a perfect physical specimen, namely, me.  I am not saying that out of pure arrogance.  I have researched it.  The average size of linebackers in the NFL is 6’2″, 247 lbs.  You can look it up on Google.

Sure, not all are that size.  Heights and weights vary among individual linebackers, but statistically, seeking perfection, wouldn’t you say the average is another way of describing perfection, for that position at least?

Who do you think fits that description?  That’s correct.  It is I. …

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Life in My Gym

Dr. Lynn writes a blog that I follow called Life in the Gym.  She knows about exercise and stuff.  She also writes excellent political commentary.  She is a smart lady.  Now let’s talk about me and my gym.

I go there enough that I have learned the names of several of the employees.  One of them is Aaron.

Aaron and I talk about various things.  I have learned that he is from Texas.  I too have been to Texas.  (I married a gal from there).  I have complained to Aaron that some JV athletes are using the varsity locker room. (I am really funny because there is only one men’s locker room and we are no longer in high school.)  Aaron humors me by promising to look into the situation.  I have made him keenly aware of my status as an unsigned NFL free agent and he is under strict instructions that if John Elway calls the gym to talk to me about signing with the Broncos, Aaron is to interrupt me even if I am bench-pressing several hundred pounds.  He promises.  I have  requested heavier weights suitable for an athlete of my stature.  He cheerfully assures me that he will see what he can do about the inadequate equipment.

Aaron is not a personal trainer.  He is the guy who brings clean towels to the locker room.  He might be a custodian and maintenance man.  He is a hard worker.

Aaron also does other important tasks.  I have seen him on several occasions help a gym member who is in a wheelchair.  Aaron helps the man put his clothes in a locker.  He goes out on the gym floor with the man.  Aaron helps him get set up at a station where the man can work the weight machine from his wheelchair, exercising his arms.   Aaron adjusts the settings on the machine.  Then he helps the man get changed in the locker room.  But he does more than assist him.  I like hearing how Aaron and this member talk like the friends they have become.  Aaron has a compassionate heart.

Aaron works at my gym.  I like his smile.  I like his style.  I like him.  I nominate him for M.V.P.

Funeral Etiquette

Dear President Obama,

Yesterday, in Washington D.C., where you reside, a funeral service was held for Justice Scalia, who served 30 years on the United States Supreme Court.  It would have been nice of you to have attended.  The flip side is that it was rude of you to not attend.

Maybe you had an excellent excuse.  I do not know what you were doing yesterday.  But you know.  It must have been extremely important.  It must have been top secret.

Of course, if it was top secret, I could have checked it out in Hillary Clinton’s email.

Supreme Court Justices’ lives matter.  They deserve to be honored when their lives end.  Even if one does not agree with all legal rulings made by Justice Scalia, he deserves the thanks of the American people for his service to our nation.  It would have been a good example for us Americans if you had put politics aside and attended the funeral of Justice Scalia.  Instead, you chose to send a different message.  Shame on you!


An American Citizen


A Canine Follower of Gandhi

Shootin' the Breeze

Beau hat

We probably should have named our dog, Beau, a different name, such as Gandhi or (Martin Luther) King, because he is apparently a believer in passive resistance.  I did not even know that he could read, but it is easier to believe that he read of the technique than that he invented it on his own.

Like the “sit in” protesters of the ’60s, Beau emulates Gandhi by going limp when confronted by “the law.”  Remember how the protesters would force the arresting officers to carry them to the paddy wagon?  Well, Beau reacts in a very similar manner when told, as he was on this very day, to get out of the driver’s seat of my pickup and go to the back seat in the “supercab” compartment of the truck.  Instead of obeying, Beau went limp, which would not be a problem if he was smaller.  A toy poodle…

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Lenten Resolutions

Many devout Christians give something up during Lent.  Often it is something they enjoy, such as giving up chocolate or alcohol.  Some people use this period of time sort of like another chance for a New Year’s resolution.  I have a friend who is trying to refrain from using profanity.

I have not researched this in a scholarly manner, but I suppose the tradition of preparing for Easter by fasting, repentance, and  discipline is in recognition of Christ’s suffering and sacrifice.   How small is giving up chocolate or beer or whatever in comparison to Christ’s giving up his human life for us on the cross?

Our small sacrifices are minor, yet symbolic.  Our sacrifices can help us remember what Christ did for us.  Our disciplines can help us focus on the cross.

Another idea consistent with such symbolism is to do something positive, just as Christ’s ministry was positive and his sacrifice was for salvation.  Maybe we can think of the positive effect of giving up things like laziness and selfishness so that during Lent we do something positive for other people.  Maybe for you, volunteering or donating money to the Church, charities, or other good causes also reflects Christ in your lives.

I don’t know what you should do or what you should give up during Lent.  I am just reminding you that it is Lent, so prepare for Easter.

Sinning Boldly

Shootin' the Breeze


Rather than focus on my own faults and shortcomings, I prefer to bring to light the flaws of others around me.  Today my subject is the raw materialism, dishonesty and other sins of my dog, Beau.  I will also touch on my wife’s struggles with forgiveness.

Beau has been the subject of other posts since he joined our household in January.  I invite you to go to the archives under animal stories in order to get a better picture of his personality and our resulting troubles.

While many faithful Christians were giving up some things for Lent, Beau was bent on acquiring more and more new earthly possessions.  While others accepted the grace of undeserved forgiveness by Christ, Beau seemed oblivious and, instead, sinned boldly.

Martin Luther asked a theological question when writing about God’s grace that we do not earn but are offered nevertheless.  “Are we then to sin…

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Taking Turns Riding Shotgun

Last night, I heard a song with the phrase, “Taking turns riding shotgun.”  (It was a country song).  It struck a chord in me.  I plagiarized it as part of my love note to my wife on her Valentine card this morning.

Romance is wonderful.  It is fun.  It feels good.  People love feeling loved.  Infatuation is exciting.  But romance alone is not enough to sustain a marriage.

I married a pretty lady from Texas.  I call her my hot trophy wife because she looks like the beauty queen she once was.  It was easy to fall for her.  But calling her a trophy wife is shallow of me.  Sugar is anything but shallow.  She is a force to be reckoned with.

I like to think that I am tough.  I like the role of being a protector.  I have seen too many Western movies.  In the West, we use phrases like “I’ve got your back.”  That refers to literally watching out for the other person so no one else shoots them from behind, or, symbolically watching out for the other person by being loyal.

Sugar is tough.  She does not look very tough, but inside she bravely handles adversity.   She overcomes.  She is loyal.

On the stagecoaches in the Old West, there was a man sitting next to the driver who was “riding shotgun.”  The person riding shotgun could shoot at anyone attacking the stage while the driver concentrated on driving the team.  Maybe they took turns.

In marriage,  we need to protect each other.  We might play different roles and do the protecting in different ways, but each partner “rides shotgun” for the other.  Taking turns.




She Said Yes

Shootin' the Breeze

Back a spell, Miss Sugar got married with me.  It was a way better deal for me than for her, but I reckon it is her own fault.  Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware), as they say.  A deal is a deal.

Anyways, we made a deal, vows actually, so she is stuck with me, which I am very glad about.  I am so glad about it that I want to celebrate.  I’m asking her out on a date because today is our very anniversary.  I hope she says, “Yes.”

I think she might.  I remember the first time I asked her to go on a date.  She said “Yes.”

I remember when I proposed.  She said “Yes.”

If she had not said “Yes” to those invitations many years ago, I would have kept trying.  But since she did say “Yes,” my life became infinitely better.

My life became infinitely better years…

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