Saturday, April 5, 2014

My First Article for the Seward City News

READ ME- 50 Years of Tremors

In the mood for something sweet

Quick and easy dessert. Simple buy Oreos (which ever flavor you'd like, I used peanut butter) white chocolate and any sprinkles you'd like (I used cookies and creme crunch). 

Melt the chocolate in a crock pot or just keep it on low heat in a pan on the stove. Then once the chocolate is nice and melty simply drop in each Oreo in and smother it with chocolate. Then lay the Oreos in wax paper to dry. While drying sprinkle your sprinkles on top and violá you now have a delicious dessert that looks as decedent as it tastes. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Christmukkah in Corpus Christi

The best thing about the Sparkling City is the gems she hides around every corner. Whether it be majestic beauty or an empty driving range Corpus offers an adventure for those who seek it. 
Endless beaches, bike trails and foot paths to explore. Sunrises and sunsets galore. Of course she could always use more but for now she remains only a treasure for those willing to explore her unknowns. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bullies Be Gone

I was watching Aziz Ansari’s “Buried Alive” stand up for the third time the other day (once live and twice on Netflix) and found myself laughing again at his bullying jokes. Ansari takes the topic seriously as he recalls how horrendous the documentary on bullying was. 
            The documentary entitled “Bully” is in fact pretty terrifying. The audience watches as several bullied children tell their parents who proceed to tell administrators what is happening only to have their fears unanswered and their children’s problems unresolved.
            The bullies proceed to be physically violent, which I thought all of America was zero tolerant of and say the most disturbing things. The children of the corn say less terrifying things and that’s from Steven King’s mind.
            I’ll admit while Ansari’s account of the film had me in tears of the hilarious variety the documentary had me in tears of the forlorn variety. 
            Unless you are Marcia Brady, you have also probably been teased or bullied at some point in life. People are always going to talk, so give them something good to talk about I always say. However I never found the things those bullying losers said to be so despicable that I would commit suicide.
Let the records show that the only time a bully got physical with me I was physical in return and was never picked on again. There was also an interesting time in high school when the majority of the JV football team decided it would be funny to roll houses, mine being one of them, and I decided to get more than even in ways I will refrain from mentioning here out of respect for my parents and law enforcement officials.
Basically we all get bullied because “haters gunna hate” but my fellow shot callers of the Island University more than likely know how to handle things from there.
            What is probably more disturbing than child bullies choking out their victims, is the fact that grown men making bank in the NFL are also bullies. How do you fight against a 300 plus pound bully who claims to be on your team and represents your colors and all the while is breaking you down and throwing your game off?
 For Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin the answer was a complete mental breakdown.  The saddest part about the whole debacle is that Richie Incognito aka Dolphins bully is finding himself with supporters on and off his team. Those unaware of Incognito’s bully style should know he was ranting off racial slurs to Martin via voicemail. Take it from a scientist Incognito- evolve or die.
The NFL is trying to claim this sort of thing rarely, if ever, occurs amongst its teams but something tells me very few big burly football players have the courage to come out and be honest about it.
How sad that someone with so much talent (which is an oxymoron when referring to the Dolphins) money and impressionable fans would bully a teammate on something as ridiculous as race. Last I checked the year was 2013 and our Commanding Officer and Chief is a man of color and culture.
Perhaps if we paid NFL players based on their final fantasy stats they would not have enough time to worry about hating and in turn would focus on their own game. To all the bullies out there I have but two words- bye Felicia.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Potato Skins vs. Pigs-in-a-Blanket

With the weather finally cooling down, I have been more inclined to do what the good lord intended on football Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (and occasionally Monday), which is bake, finger foods. What is football season without snacks and refreshments- just a bunch of dudes sweating and shouting in clothing that is often too tight.

            However my finger food anecdote is what leads me, interestingly enough, to an age-old debate on which is better, NCAA football or the NFL. For the sake of time I will simply tell you I concluded that the NCAA was like fully loaded potato skins. There is just so much going on what with the sour cream, chives, bacon bits and cheese all mashed into a salty wedge of potato; so many individual talents trying to stand out and yet all playing on the same team.

While on the other hand there is the NFL much like a traditional pig-in-a-blanket. The recipe has remained unchanged for as long as the Americas have been around and while the ingredients are simple enough no one turns down the master craftsmanship of a mini sausage in flaky crescent bread.

Let’s break it down by what we know- football is the greatest sport known to man. It’s a sport that rings in a season. It unites a city, and galvanizes a fan base. It warrants multitudes of parties a year and dominates the water cooler conversation on Mondays and just about every other day if given the chance.

Football season consists of fewer games than any other major sport, yet it has become a year round obsession by fans nationwide, and a year-round job for its players, coaches, beat sports writers and Campbell’s soup.

Just the thought of the season gives goose bumps to even the most hardened of men and well-rounded women.

So with that said let us stack the facts for what we know about potato skins aka NCAA football and pigs-in-a-blanket aka the NFL.

The NFL has the Green Bay Packers, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Chicago Bears. There is plenty of history here for some very marketable names. The League dates back to 1920 when it was first known as the American Professional Football Association.

The NCAA has the Michigan Wolverines, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and the University of Texas Longhorns. Even more history here as the first documented game of “football” was played in 1869 pitting Rutgers against Princeton.

In addition to the history advantage, there are over 100 teams in the NCAA compared to only 32 in the NFL. Think shopping at an HEB compared to a Piggly Wiggly. As far as teams go the advantage goes to NCAA.

The NCAA has crazy shirtless youngsters with chests painted their team colors as they chant in unison to their fight song, hold up signature hand signs and do just about anything to be put on the big screen. They scream that their team is number one when in actuality they have yet to make the Top 25. They pack into stadiums like sardines, and in some cases can cause small towns to become the most populated in the state on game day. Sometimes the only reason anyone visits that town is to catch the football game.

The NFL has scary-intense, creative fans that often drop everything to be at their team’s game. They take pride in having traveled hundreds of miles, camped out for days and wearing something ridiculous all for the love of their team. They also dominate the apparel industry as players’ names are allowed to be on jerseys.

Bottom line though- even with the NCAA having almost four times as many teams as the NFL, we never see over 100,000 pack in for an NFL game as we do commonly in college games. As far as fans go I’m going to say the advantage here is NCAA.

The NCAA has some of the most talented athletes in the country fighting for the glory and their future every week. They have blue chip prospects and five star recruits. They have college visits, and National Signing Day, but they don’t have the best, and they are only there for a handful of years.

The NFL on the other hand does have the best. They have the draft, free agency and trades. You can have a star play 10-15 years for your team or you can bring in a player you have hated on for years.
Being able to follow special players for a career rather than a four-year period makes the players in the NFL household names. Whether loving them, or loving to hate them, you are able to form a stronger bond in the NFL. As far as players go I’d say advantage NFL.

The NCAA has the rich history of its bowl games. Every year college football teams fight for the possibility of going to a bowl. The National Championship is decided by the winner of the BCS Championship, which I don’t always agree with. Its participants are tabulated by a formula factoring in polls and rankings.

The NFL has a true playoff system. Basically, the top six teams from each conference battle in a single elimination tournament that culminates in the mother of all bowls, the Super Bowl.

The NCAA appears to still have difficulty deciding its champion. The Super Bowl accounts for nine of the top ten most watched shows in the history of television. The championship advantage clearly goes to NFL.

So here we stand with no tie-breaking advantage. I suppose in the end the great debate continues but what’ll it be: pigs-in-a-blanket or potato skins.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Social Suicide and Other Sacrifices

As students who all hope to someday make enough money to support ourselves, and our future endeavors, we often find ourselves extremely busy. Often I find myself torn between going out and staying in.  However when the opportunity is too great to pass up, sacrifices must be made in order to move my academic/professional life forward.

I was recently sent to San Diego, California to attend a conference hosted by the Marine Technology Society. It was incredible to say the least. However having to miss three days of labs, classes and extracurricular activities is certainly not incredible.

I began the search to see just how far someone would go to advance his or her career.

No one sacrifices more than Olympians. Their time, bodies and social life all must be sacrificed for the greater good. Three years ago, at the age of 14, Gabby “flying squirrel” Douglas left her mom, her three siblings and her two dogs and moved from Virginia to Iowa to work with an Olympic caliber coach, Liang Chow, who coached Shawn Johnson to Olympic gold and silver in 2008.

When Abby Johnston's diving coach moved from Columbus, Ohio to Charlotte, North Carolina to coach at Duke University, Johnston went with him. The Olympic silver medalist in synchronized diving got an apartment and took online courses, missing all of the awesomeness of her senior year. The pursuit of an Olympic dream also impacted the family and Johnston's two sisters, with vacations planned around diving meets - sometimes-even holidays played second fiddle to diving.

Beach volleyball player Jennifer Kressy is now well into her thirties and still sacrificing for her Olympic team. After missing the 2008 games by 50 points, Kressy spent the next set of four years living out of her suitcase and training pretty much every day. Rarely seeing her family except for special events and having to Skype date her boyfriend who is a French volleyball player are some of the sacrifices Kressy has made for her career.

No Olympian has sacrificed quite as much as weightlifter Sarah Robles. Though Robles is the highest ranked weightlifter in the United States, she was living off of $400 a month, from weightlifting, up until 2012. Robles would live off food stamps and anonymous donations to make ends meet all so that she could continue training for the Olympics.

Even our athletes here at the Island University make sacrifices in order to be better. They often begin their workouts before the sun rises and end their days well after the sun has set. That schedule sounds a lot like the life of a STEM student and so we are all brought together by the need to sacrifice the frivolous for the unforgettable.

While students and athletes alike are out on the hunt for a better future they should always keep in mind that compromise and sacrifice can be a helpful tool to reaching goals but one should never sacrifice who they are for what they think they should be.

On behalf of the entertainment you take for granted...

With the new Drake CD being released I took the time to listen to a few of his earlier classics. “Thank Me Now” really struck me when Drake says “I swear sports and music are so synonomous, ’cause we wanna be them and they wanna be us”

The parallels between music and sports are quite interesting. Both bring people together. People from all walks of life can agree that music and sports are two things everyone (typically) is willing to talk about in some way or form. They are also conversation topics that even if the conversers don’t agree that there never seems to be a draw-your-weapons finish.

So then I had to wonder, do we take in actuality take entertainment and sports for granted? I often hear, “I really don’t care for sports,” or “Sports are so boring, I have no idea what’s going on.” To address the former statement I have to say that sports cares about you. What would sports be with out adoring fans. Likewise a musician without fans would just be a bum on a microphone.

To those who feel lost when watching a sport, perhaps that sport just isn’t your cup of tea. I too feel lost when attending the “Sounds of the Underground” show hosted annually in Corpus. Mainly because death metal or hard rock is not a music I prefer to listen to, always found it too hard to study with in the background.

Try out a different sport just as you would try listening to a new band. I often feel that students who dabble in playing instruments better appreciate certain music. Taking that into consideration it would seem if you went and played a little five-on-five half court with some friends you’d be more inclined to understand basketball unless you’re playing prison rules.

It seems that, especially today, everyone constantly wants more, more, more. They want a faster runner, the newest single, a newer arena. Very few stop to look back and appreciate the first runners, the breakthrough album or the stadium that started it all.

So maybe this year we take a new approach to life on the island. Maybe this year we stop fussing about no football team and become really psyched over out futbol team. Maybe we take the time to notice our fast runners and our tough tennis players and the baseball field in our backyards.

I notice with the lack of parking I no longer take any parking spot for granted, maybe that’s how we should see our sports on the island. Must we wait until things get bad before we appreciate what we had? I say this year we open our eyes and our hearts and clap hard for our entertaining athletes.