Not your grampy's snow storm


I think this pretty much sums up the wintry onslaught that was rent upon the American Heartland this past week. While there was much weeping and gnashing of sundry masticators, one must also say it was more fun than a great many barrels of primates. Tami won the style award, as you can tell. Good show, I say.

It's not every day you get 14 inches of powder with gale force winds to boot. At least not in Sooner country. Thankfully my Wyoming training kicked in and I knew exactly what to do. It involved cursing, among other warmth-saving measures. But I'm sworn to Cowboy State secrecy with the rest, so I can't divulge here. You just have to go there to learn yourself...

Happy sledding, e'erbody. Yo ho ho and a bottle o' Nog.

Daddy Abuse

POSTED IN | 11:10 PM

...Affecting more Americans every year...especially around the holidays. Just say NO.

Change Would Do You Good

POSTED IN | 11:36 PM

It's a hard truth to swallow sometimes, but in reality nothing stays the same for long.

I think it's a natural inclination in life to grasp those moments and respites when things are good. When friends are near, family is placid...when there's a chilled beverage in your hand and your team is up by three touchdowns with BCS scenarios forthcoming.

And we like to march into those moments and setup camp. We like to pitch our little tents and say this...(this!) harmony is the new normal. I'm happy with my life and I'm never setting foot out of Camp Happy again. It's farewell to the rest of the world, cause by gum, I'm happy. And that's all that matters.

But gee willikers, Batman! That's just not reality.

Not that I'm coming off a particular loss of my own or stomaching an unwonted disturbance in the force. But life has, over the past year, impressed on me the need to realize those moments of respite are NOT the norm. Indeed, those moments are the exception.

They are beautiful moments of special grace and are to be cherished to the fullest. But normal? Hardly.

For about the past year I've had a blithe interest in the psychology of survival. Not really like Bear Grylls does it (although, swoon, what he does is certainly along the same lines).

But why do some live and others don't? Why do some cope and thrive and others implode into a fractionated existence of despair?

But more than knowing how to survive in the Amazon jungle by drinking your own pee (which, they say isn't advisable, btw) and killing wamp rats for food, survival is an everyday commodity with everyday implications.

When the car doesn't start. When you lose your job. When people fail you. When major life plans get screwed up. When you're lonely. When your life expectations are mercilessly trampled.

What do you do? How do you cope?

How do I cope?

Good questions, certainly. And ones we should all try to quell with some meaty answers.

I'm reading this book about survival right now. I recommend it.

It says:

"The best survivors understand that normal is just a fleeting state of mind. Indeed normalcy may seem steady and constant, but it's really just the intermission between the chaos and messiness of life.

"Survivors accept that life probably won't ever return to the way it used to be. So they let go, adapt, and embrace the 'new normal.'"

Some pretty heavy words that can be quite anxiety-inducing just by reading them. To be certain these words bring much chaos to our tranquil, American Dream-laden Camp.

But more and more I'm realizing that survival is a choice of sorts. We can't choose our circumstances but we can choose our responses.

And really, how in control of our lives are we anyway? Seriously. Think about the 1 million variables we have zero power over...

*Pause for antacid tablets.*

And now, with our nation and world at a unique point of tension with job loss, wars, roiling debt and self-serving politics on all sides, we have myriad real-life applications for survival. The stage is ours, in a sense. How will we perform? Like our own Discover Channel docu-drama, will we make it out of the Amazon? And once we get out, will we ever find Camp Happy again, if only a remnant of its former glory?

To be honest I haven't really gotten that far in the book to give you some better answers, but YES, know there are ways out of the jungle.

And we all possess some weapons to battle our perils and those of our kinsmen (and kinswomen). Affluence and stubbornness has just blunted our survival A-game. But we can reclaim some of it with time and effort. And by hanging on God to daily meet our weighty shortcomings.

If we realize that it's good to struggle and that we grow through it then we don't have to despair when life pulls a charlie foxtrot on us. Indeed the snafu becomes the new plan. The new normal.

It's interesting that we have to release our expectations and change in order to arrive at a new place of stability.

Do you let go of expectations? Do you change for the better?

Do I?

And are we really THAT cool to begin with, that change is bad?

Gee willikers, Batman. Gee willikers, indeed.

"Survivors aren't superheroes who vanquish adversity every time and live happily ever after...They're regular people who win some and lose some.

"They overcome adversity but they don't necessarily accomplish it in the same way. They aren't always adaptable and optimistic; they feel stuck and gloomy, too.

"Ultimately what defines a survivor is the talent for making the most of life, however much remains."
In Fort Worth, Texas they have somewhat of a epic in the making.

Thus, from what's one of the feel-good gridiron stories of the year, I bring you some first-hand photo documentation.

It's true the BCS is full of self-serving pundits who are even more power hungry than they are money mongrels (which is surprising).

And this year, like those in the past, Gary Patterson's Horned Frogs are suggesting these pundits (among other things) are full of crap.

And so it seems TCU didn't conquer the world with guns this season. But they just might've done it with a flawless string of peals in the "W" category.

And, now that our Sooners trounced Oklahoma State last week, it seems likely the BCS Buster Bus will pick up a few more wayward chillens before dropping decisively down upon the post-season pundit park.

I can only hope there's chaos aplenty and many an ogreish oath spoken in backlash of "the system."

OU's not playing for anything spellbinding, so it's a pointedly good year to churn the bowl-game pot, no?

Of course you agree.

But here's a sampling from the TCU v. Utah game of yesterweeks. Bro-in-law Sam scored me a sideline photography pass, in keeping with the finest bro-in-law form. (Rule, Britania!)
Look for some more pics of the game to follow shortly.

Push em back, push em back, waaaayyy back.

Sam and Laura, relishing the post-game nostalgia.

A piercing message.

Better warm up the bus, Utah...