Monthly Archives: December 2013

New Year’s Eve #1

New Year’s Eve. Boy, howdy! I’ve had quiet ones and I’ve had crazy, insane ones. I’ve had snowy ones, ones with big crowds, ones with small crowds and ones I cannot for the life of me remember (and paid the price of a miserable January 1.).

The top of the list, New Year’s Eve Numero Uno, is by far one of the quiet ones, one of the ones spent at home with my young kids. I tried to recall the year and the age of the kids but can’t seem to pinpoint the details. It really doesn’t matter, they were around elementary school-aged.

As usual, the Mom went to sleep by the end of the 10:00 news. She, by habit, usually celebrates the New Year with the people of the Nova Scotia/Atlantic time zone, while the rest of the family celebrates in our resident time zone, the Central Time Zone. The kids and myself made a pact to stay up as late as possible with ten minutes after midnight being the dad’s preferred target.

Lo and behold, we turned on the television and TCM was running a all-night Marx Brothers marathon. We spread blankets on the living room floor, the kids got their various Disney character sleeping bags and pillows and we settled in for the night. We watched the Marx Brothers. We giggled. We laughed and laughed until about 3:00 AM when members of the crew began to nod off. It was the greatest of times.

As a parent, those are the times you never forget. Even these many years later, I still flashback to that New Year’s Eve whenever I see the Marx Brothers. The giggles and the belly laughs still ring sharp and true.

I know there’s the big deal in Times Square, I know there are loud, wild and woolly celebrations that go on around the globe to bring in the new year. But, to me there will always be one favorite New Year celebration, the New Year’s I spent sitting on the floor, surrounded by giggling kids, being completely entertained by Groucho, Chico, and Harpo.

Here is the famous mirror scene from the classic, Duck Soup.

Happy New Year!

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Keep moving. The key to getting better at something is to keep moving. Move forward, move backward, move, move, move.

What drives you to get better? Are you motivated by extrinsic factors, like awards, medals, or trophies?

Or are you motivated by intrinsic factors, like a desire to be the best you can be or an unquenchable will to win?

Whichever motivates you, keep moving. Keep pushing forward with the realization there will be the occasional backward move from the inevitable failure that comes with pushing the limits of your ability.

In football, we used to talk a lot in the off-season and preseason about the “450”. We tried to get the kids motivated by the “450”.


Here is kind of how the rant usually went:

We have 9 scheduled games. That’s 9 teams we know we have to play. Let’s say each of those teams is about like us and has around 50 kids on their varsity squad. Do the math, 9 teams times 50 kids = 450 kids. That’s around 450 people who will wake up this morning with the desire to kick your ass on the field of play. 450 people who are probably working their tails off right now, as we speak, to get better. 

So when you’re debating whether or not you’re going to get out of bed for workout, remember the 450 players who want to defeat you. When you are deciding whether you want to put in full effort today or just put it in cruise control, remember those 450. They are out there, so you better be doing the work in here.

It’s not enough to be the best in our locker room, it’s all about being better than the 450.

So, it’s winter and the new year approaches. The perfect time to start the work. Beat your “450”.

Whether it’s your art, your sport, or your career, keep moving. Turn up the heat on yourself and push your boundaries. Find your own “450” for motivation.

Don’t settle; be what you dream.

photo (1)

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What I Do

Our college is big on producing these promotional videos. Our media team is pretty darn good at it, too. I’ve successfully dodged them until recently when my luck apparently ran out.

So for all of you who have wondered and asked what I do for a living and get a blank stare from me as I attempt to find words to describe what I do do for a living, here is a wonderful educational and informational video.

We took a vote in the lab and decided we should win some sort of award for awesomeness.

“And the Oscar for the Best Short Film, Category: Research, goes to…”

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Frozen In Time

(Note: November in North Central Kansas was odd this year. A couple unseasonably warm spells in the 60’s wrapped around a unseasonable cold snap in the low teens. Weird. So weird, it fooled the insects [and spider], several who I found dead on the house. I snapped a few pictures to show to the Hays Crew and then started thinking entirely too much about the situation of insects [and spiders].)

Caught in the elements, frozen in time.


Fooled by nature in its cruelest of forms.
Played by a power yielding no remorse.
Tricked into a dream of early spring by the promise of late fall warmth.
Joyful for another day. Enjoying a reprieve.
Escaping the inevitable for one more chance.
Living the gift to the final moment, departing happy.
Oblivious to all but the nature of now.
Obeying the call from within, commands flowing through every atom.
Ignoring time and what’s next, devoting all to the moment.

Frozen in time…

Spider Bug


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