Sunday, September 29, 2013

Things That Matter Only To Me

I'm batching it this weekend. My wife and high-school senior daughter are on a college visit trip. Here's a sampler of the thoughts that are occupying my mind in their absence. Call it The Four D's.

1.  Daughter

She (daughter, not wife) has 'narrowed' her list of universities she's interested in to eight: two large (Texas A&M; U. of Virginia), four mid-sized (Rice, Duke, Vanderbilt, and Colorado School of Mines), and two small (Rose-Hulman and Goucher).

The good news is that she has done very well in school and on her SATs. Plus, she likes STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Right now she's leaning towards something in the Engineering field.

The bad news is that she's done very well in school and on her SATs, which qualifies her (at least on the first pass) for some top-notch schools. While we're very proud of her, and will support her as best we can in her choice of a university, as you can see from the above list it ain't gonna be cheap.

2. Dog

As previously reported, one of our dogs had ACL surgery last year. She was doing fine until last week, when she decided that she just had to chase some buzzards that were roosting on our roof. Since buzzards fly and dogs don't, that resulted in her running full tilt across our uneven, rocky back pasture, all the while barking her fool head off and looking up. She succeeded in chasing the dirty birds away, but came back limping.

A vet visit revealed that the knee was fine, but she had done some damage to her hip. We're treating it conservatively; no surgery (for now, and hopefully for the future), and limited duty. In other words, every time she goes outside she must be on a leash. Since her bladder and her brain are both about the size of a peanut, that means someone (read: me) gets to take her outside about every two hours. That also means that three times a day she gets anti-inflammatory and pain pills, which she hates. I've tried all the tricks: pill pockets, peanut butter, bacon grease, and so forth. She may not be the brightest dog in the kennel, but she's just smart enough to know when we're trying to trick her. So now three times a day I have to put her in a headlock and cram the pills down her throat. She hasn't bitten me ... yet.

3. Drought

We've been blessed with some rain over the last couple of days. However, Texas is still withering in the grip of a multi-year drought that is approaching catastrophic proportions. Lakes, rivers, and aquifers have dried up to the point that communities are running out of water.
...nearly 750 public water supply systems under some kind of mandatory use restrictions, affecting more than 15 million people, including residents of the San Antonio area. It's estimated that about 30 communities may run out of water before 2014 if the drought doesn't let up.
I'm not jumping on the climate change bandwagon, but the situation down here is getting downright serious.

4. Dismal (the state of Texas football)
  •  The University of Texas
Mack Brown reminds me of John McCain. They both deserve respect and admiration for past service, but at this point in time they're irrelevant and outdated. It's time for them to step down and let others take over who are more in tune with the times.
  •  Texas A&M University
Johnny Manziel is amazingly talented. He's also a 20-year-old who has displayed questionable decision-making and an attitude that rubs many the wrong way. Not that there's anything wrong with that - heck, I'm a 61-year-old who displays questionable decision-making and an attitude that rubs many the wrong way. However, I am not the face of a university. He is, at best, a curious choice to represent A&M's traditional values. Have the Aggies sold their soul for football success?
He has also, IMO, been extremely lucky. Think about his signature Heisman moment from last year, where he bobbled the ball, recovered his own fumble in mid-air, and tossed up a desperation throw that resulted in a miraculous catch by one of his receivers. He's had a couple similar throws this year, when he flung what was basically a jump ball and his receiver bailed him out. Sooner or later the odds will catch up with him and those desperate tosses will fall incomplete, or be intercepted.
  •  Houston Texans
The Houston Texans will remain a good, but not great, team, as long as Matt Schaub is their quarterback and Gary Kubiak is their coach. Neither performs well under pressure.
  • Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys will never succeed as long as Jerry Jones and his offspring continue to think they know what they're doing. Fortunately for those who dislike the 'Boys, that won't change anytime soon.

5. Dry

All this thinking has made me dry - very, very dry. There's a Shiner in the fridge that's calling my name...


Bear said...

In regards to Aggies football, I'd say it's safe to say that many major universities have since sold their souls for football success. There's way too many dollar bills out there... a successful football team is a surefire way to get some of it, and to Hell with the cost to get it. Kinda sad, but we as fans have enabled it for years and years.

Bear said...

p.s. Enjoy a Shiner for me, while you're at it. I have a few in the cupboard that need to find their way into the fridge...

Bear said...

p.s. Enjoy a Shiner for me, while you're at it. I have a few in the cupboard that need to find their way into the fridge...

Old NFO said...

Pass one of those this way will ya??? Good luck with the daughter and school! Scholarships an option???

CenTexTim said...

Bear - You're right about the effect of big bucks in college sports. But A&M has always prided itself on doing things the right way. They're not one of my favorite teams, but I've always respected them for their integrity. I hate to see them lose that. Kind of like the situation at Penn State.

Shiners aren't like wine. They don't get better with age...

NFO - We're working the scholarship angle pretty hard, but the first step is to get her to make up her mind!