Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Weather, Politics and Birthdays!

Around these parts we were hit with over 16” of snow and it was bitterly cold for a spell, but now it’s going to start melting with a warming trend in the forecast. Maybe the warming trend started with our last general council meeting. It got heated with arrows flying everywhere and I think some of those hot arrows hit the snow. Some joker said in politics you can make some of the people happy some of the time but not all the time. You gotta love it though and if you can’t take it then it’s time to get out of Dodge or melt like the snow I mentioned.

I sat on the council for years and took the same verbal abuse and you just can’t take it personally, because it is self-evident that whoever gets on that pedestal will be targets. I see the many emotional outbursts at these meetings and wonder why they just don’t go see the council before hand and air their grievances, but I think it’s helluva lot more fun for them to get on a soap-box and carry on, and sometimes it leaves everybody practically speechless. Nothing in politics is a matter of honor, my friend. I think people ought to be glad they can see another day, but that’s something they need to discover. The point is sometimes it’s best to not even try and anticipate any attack, just deal with it the best way you can. Politics is like playground basketball, no blood, no foul. It’s a given those attacks will continue on a quarterly basis and is probably needed to purify the air and they shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone in the room. That’s my dime-store advice to new comers to the world of politics and probably worth about that much.

I think the biggest surprise for me these days is reaching the age of 60 in a few short days. I feel lucky in a lotta respects to even write about this occasion or milestone, but hell, nonetheless, I'm still here. I coulda been gone a couple of times, but somebody wanted to me to stick around for some reason, maybe I'll figure that one out someday. I’m happy because now I can enjoy my grandchildren and I appreciate that opportunity. Plus, I'm still waiting for that Powerball win, because that would ease retirement concerns and would allow me to humbly live out my life.

This is also the 3rd birthday without my twin-brother Larry. He might not be around anymore, but I’m sure he’s patiently waiting for our next golf outing. I’m going to be mean about this though, I’m going to make him wait a few more years. Please indulge me for a second:  I had this dream….that I was an old guy working in my garden with my great grandson, I’m thinking Pat ko shuk’s son, and I’m chasing him around with these vampire teeth in my mouth and I keel over and die in my garden among my tomato plants….

In the meantime, I better get out on our new course and try to sharpen the old game. In my golf outings with Larry, I used to talk “smack,” as the kids say, and his game would fall apart and I would win. Those were good memories for me. I miss that, I miss his daily emails, I mIss the trips to the Land of 10,000 lakes to visit him, I miss his political commentaries, I miss shaking his hand, but you have to adjust. Hell, there isn’t an option here. And maybe it’s true the good guys die young, so now it’s official I’m not a good guy. Yet, people dying can’t define our time here, we have to concentrate on what we have.

On the less serious side, I was sitting next to this one guy and he said he didn’t celebrate birthdays anymore because he already had one foot in the grave. And this other old guy, Wabnum, said: “I’m not old, I just look old.” That’s how I feel about this birthday. I used to tell my brother on our birthday “it was a helluva ride” and is has been. It ain’t no good to beat yourself to sleep every night over the things you did wrong in life, it might be better to regret the things you didn’t do.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Half-Time Report!

The hardest part of this edition of KU basketball is the wait between games.  At this very moment, KU has a not too shabby of a record at 16-0, about mid-way through this season.  Around here its a given that KU will win the Big 12 and most of the time the league tournament, but all that takes second fiddle to the last six games of the season.  They won it all in Mannings last year and 2008 and could be knocking on the door again this year.

Remember the movie "The Rock" with Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery.  Cage said we got to go back and diffuse the bombs, we got to do our best.  Sean Connery, one of the best actors of the ages said, "Losers talk about doing their best, winners go home and make love to the prom queen."  Of course, I edited that last part down a bit to keep this blog under the radar screen of morality.  But that describes KU basketball, we don't want to hear any whining and crying about doing the best they can, we expect a helluva lot more than that.  

There has been some close games in this first half, but KU guts the game out and finds a way to win.  In the last game against Iowa State at Ames, KU played the best of all.  They pounded the ball to the Morris twins underneath and between them, they had 50 points in a 84-79 win.  In the past, KU took some big-time teams into Ames and couldn't win there but this team did.  This is the type of ball that will take KU a long way this year.  The ESPN announcer said the Morris twins are the best big men in the country.  It pains me to see the twins shooting from 3-point range when its a given they can knock down two underneath and a chance to go to the foul line. 

This game approach will off-set the missed 3-pointers Reed and Selby and Morningstar will have, but it is spectacular when they go down.  Speaking of Morningstar, he sure pissed me off when he did that behind the back pass and caused one of KU's big men to travel.  Come on, we have a mission here Morningstar, if you want to showboat go to the Lawrence Country Club and show off for the rich folk there.  Selby, once he finds his groove, will contribute more and more.  I like his smooth shooting, the ability to give up the ball and pass to an open teammate.  He won't be around for long, so enjoy him while you can. This team has the makings of something special.

Now listen closely to those screeching wheels outside our door, the KU bandwagon is going to slow down for a short time and we're going to let a few wildcat fans on board.  Jump on board and enjoy the ride. Times awastin! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday evening thoughts!

It is sickening again to read about another shooting, this time in Arizona.  Geez, I know politicians aren't the most popular people to ever come down the pike, but to gun one down is insane.  And that is the only word that can describe this guy who killed six people and wounded others including a gal named Gabby.  Insane is when a person doesn't know right from wrong.  The guy killed a little girl only nine years old.  Maybe we can understand a bit about some of this horrible incident but not shooting a young girl.  Insane!

The gal named Gabby is a fighter.  The bullet went through her head and she is responding well, almost a miracle.  I hope and pray she comes out of this a healthy and better person.  I don't know if it would be worth it for her to get back into the political game though.  It's bad enough people take pot-shots all the time, and hate each other over politics, but to add bullets to the assault isn't worth it for anybody. 

And it ain't no sense bringing back talk of gun-control because they did that after the Kennedys were shot a long time ago and that debate didn't go anywhere and how many shootings have taken place since?  Even if they did try and control it, people would still buy a gun on the black market, much like booze during the prohibition and dope on a rez corner.  If they want it, they will get it. What is the answer?  Nobody really knows, but people pretend they do and we know they don't.  There is no answer on the political stage.

Maybe it's time for more prayer in everybody's life.  It is easy to laugh at this suggestion for those who don't know prayer or think they will ever need it.  Yet, in everybody's life there are low times, maybe not as bad as what is going on in Arizona and their grief, but prayer will help us and the people suffering so badly now.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Local basketball again!

When my brothers and I played football way back in the 60s -yes I still can remember those days. I honestly believe that if it wasn’t for the sport, I would have dropped out of school (Larry did and spent his senior trip in Vietnam). Every year we would look forward for the season to begin and playing in the football games was dream-come-true for some dirt-poor Indians. We never went on to any athletic success after high school, but football kept us in high school.

I don’t think some people recognize facts like this if it reached up and slapped them in their worthless faces. Over the years I saw so many kids drop out of the local school system. The drop rate for Indian students here is high over the years, but it’s something people don’t want to talk about. Now, they have to finish school to get a percentage of their per-caps, but that incentive wasn’t always there. Sadly, some had the potential to do so much more with their lives.

Sure some parents didn’t give a damn and some of the students probably didn’t either, but let’s go back to the original notion, sports does help students stay in school and can keep them out of trouble and there is plenty of that out there.

With my grandchildren, I’ve had a mixed bag of success. My oldest Tara, stood out when she played basketball, scoring 35 points in one game and making all-league two years running but after that it was hit and miss. Nyeh Washkeh loved the game of basketball, but wasn’t given much of chance to play and he left to play at Kickapoo Nation School and graduated from there.

Now we are going through the same thing again. My grandson Hooty also left the local school system, where he was given no playing time. He quit the team and the coach didn’t give a damn and didn’t even ask why? Last night, he played his first game at KNS. He scored 5 points and 3 assists. All he wanted was a chance to play and getting some playing time isn't too much to ask.

Think about it when was the last time any athlete from any of the local schools turned pro or went to KU, which is the closest to the pros you can get? I guess, in a sense, school ball is like the work force, it's not what you know, it's who you know! It shouldn’t be like that in the school system no matter where you live. Let the kids play – you never know, it might make a difference!