Lifes most important and persistent question is: What are you doing for others? Dr Martin Luthor King

Growth Beyond Reason
Click images for desktop size: “Growth Beyond Reason” by Unknown
I was taking to my neighbor lady. She has two dogs, one who is old and has bad hip dysplasia, Duke. We talked about our dogs. She wanted reassurance, hope, that Duke was okay.
Like my little blind dog Duke is getting senile and loses control of his bladder sometimes. I think that they believe they’re outside even when they’re not.
Fantasia 1970 Even though Duke was uncomfortable he still wanted to fight my puppy. He was very happy to bark at me and was eager to see me look properly terrified.
I told her he looked happy to me. I didn’t think he needed to be put down.
We talked briefly about trying to decide what was in our best interests, our love and our hearts, and what was in the dogs best interest.
Its a hard thing to separate out. All I could tell was that, again like my little blind dog, in every way I can read a dog Duke isn’t ready to give up yet. He’s enjoying being alive.
Then I was surprised when my neighbor lady suddenly changed the subject to football! I’m always willing to talk about football.
She was pretty knowledgeable. Not technically but about the beauty of the game.
She’s a Brett Favre fan. We talked about the tragedy of his loss to the Giants last Sunday and how much we disliked the play of Eli Manning. We agreed that Manning is only looking decent because of Plaxico Buress and USC Rookie Steve Smith.
I said that Brett Favre is my favorite QB but Tom Brady is my favorite football player.
I was surprised. She thought Brady had won enough Super Bowls, enough MVP’s. He’s had his honors. She only wanted to see Brett in one last Super Bowl.
I liked the wistfulness of the thought.
I also thought about how I prefer Tom Brady to Peyton Manning. And I think that Eli is putting too much into “coming close” in a meaningless game.
Ephemeral substancE - Envy
Click images for desktop size: “Ephemeral substancE” by Envy
But Peyton Manning came out of Tennessee where he never won a Championship. Number 1 pick. First year starter, loads of money.
Brady was a 6th round pick. An afterthought. He got his first game experience when Drew Bledsoe went down before the Super Bowl. The Rams were 14 point favorites when Billichik announced that Tom Brady would be starting his first game.
The Rams went to 20 point favorites. Of course Brady won that one. Billichik started his legend of being a genius and Brady started his legend of being a winner.
Peyton Manning has the most incredible endorsement deal in history. Its amazing all the products he’s hawking. It reminds me of OJ Simpson when he had the highest Q rating of any athlete. Manning makes nothing but big big money.
Finger Man Brady hasn’t taken many endorsement deals. He’s had offers. The one he did take for some credit card company he nearly refused until the credit card agreed to let Brady be in the commercial with his entire starting O-Line.
To a down line man getting on TV is more than special. To get paid for it is unique. Because of Brady those guys each made enough to put their kids through college. That’s a big deal. No wonder each of those guys would kill you before they’d let you touch Brady. No wonder everyone on the Patriots loves him and views him as their leader.
Brady’s won 3 Super Bowls. He’s only lost one play off game in his career. I want to see him win his fourth Super Bowl. I want the Patriots to have the first 19 game perfect season in history. I want it for me.
I want it for a guy who made sure his teammates made as much money as he made. He’s taken pay cuts to keep the Patriots under the salary cap. He works like a dog and never complains. He is driven towards success. He makes the rounds of children’s hospitals. He does events for kids but not the ones were he sells his autograph.
Yeah, I like Tom Brady as a player and for the bits of himself that he’s allowed people to see.

It was nice to read about the Trojans in this years Senior Bowl. I was disappointed in John David Booty’s play. He’s a talented player. I hope he gets to go on to the NFL and do well.
It was with some chagrin that I saw he threw a pick to a DB from UTEP! One of my old employers! Good and bad on a single play. I like that. (I never coached DB’s, that would have made it too bittersweet to talk about.)
Image Of The Gods - Julie Bell
Click images for desktop size: “Image Of The Gods” by Julie Bell

I’m doing okay. My friend is back for another weekend. She brightens the day and makes the snow feel warm. Even my puppy was glad to see her and I realized I didn’t feel a stab of jealousy. I was only glad.
My blood levels are slowly reaching proper levels.
The only ugly point in life today is, of course, money. An enormous set of utility bills stopped my heart. They can be dealt with . . . what else can they be, if not dealt with.
We splurged on a Chinese Buffet . . . not much of a splurge but in the circumstances . . . as is my habit I “swiped” some chunks of meat for the dogs. They were ecstatic. They think we should go out to Chinese Buffets everyday.
They also ate the fortune cookies. Lucky dogs.

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