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Life Lessons from My Dad and Reliving Bachelorhood for 58 hours…32 hours left

(There are good life lessons from my Dad at the end of this semi-satirical post)

So I’m a bachelor today (Sunday) and for most of the day tomorrow while my wife, Tracy and our sons are in Arkansas. In case you’re concerned and wondering if I’ll be able to survive I’ll be keeping myself busy in this manner:

Cigar 
Breakfast 
Cigar
Finish cigar review blog post
Cigar
Reading of my favorite “heretical” authors (NT Wright, Rollins, etc)
Cigar
Finish “Rapture” blog post 
Cigar
Clean desk
Cigar 
Organize garage workshop
Cigar
Lunch
Cigar 
Pick up dog poop in yard
Cigar 
Head to Outlaw Cigar for Chiefs game
Cigar
Watch Chiefs game 
Cigar 
Beer
Cigar
Bourbon
Cigar
Dinner of my special-totally-unhealthy kicked up fettuccine Alfredo 
Cigar
Launder clothes that smell like cigar
Cigar 
Find way to get rid of cigar smell in the house
Cigar
Welcome wife and sons home 
Sneak out back for a cigar 

Life Lesson 1) All that is said tongue in cheek because I’m making humor in being able to get some things accomplished but in all seriousness, one of the many things my Dad has taught me is to remember to celebrate the victories in life and business, big or small. We need to be able to recognize the accomplishments we have achieved and keep progressing to be able to do more…not in a workaholic manner, but just in a way to make ourselves better by pushing our normal boundaries and limits. 

Life Lesson 2) I love my Dad so much, and as season ticket holders to KU football we’ve been through the bad years (Terry Allen), the awesome years (Mark Mangino, packed stadium every game, bowl games and winning the Orange Bowl), back to the horrible with Turner Gill and Charlie Weis); we have faith in Beaty but don’t believe he’ll stick around very long after he gets the program turned around. Along with celebrating my victories, he also taught me how we always stay for the entire game to show respect for the college players no matter how hot, wet (KU vs Northwestern deluge 2003), or cold it is at all the sporting events we go to including: KU football, KU basketball (as an 11 year old and each year after my Dad would take me to Late Night at KU just to watch KU practice and that was when the practice actually started at midnight and I loved doing it). The same holds true with KC Royals, and KC Chiefs games, but we have no problem booing them because they’re paid well and it’s their job, but thankfully things have been pretty good recently (past 7 years alone) with our teams:

  • KU Football: Orange Bowl (BCS) Champions 2008!
  • KU Basketball: Conference Champions – 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015; Final Fours – 2008 & 2012; National Champions 2008!
  • Kansas City Royals: ALDS Champions – 2014 & 2015; ALCS Champions – 2014 & 2015; World Series Champions 2015!
  • Sporting KC: US Open Cup Champions 2012 & 2015; MLS Cup Champions 2013!
  • ….and then there’s the Chiefs…ummm…in 2010 they won the Division…oh well. 😉

Happy Sunday! Be well!…time for a cigar! 🙂

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My Dad and I at yesterday’s game, KU vs. West Virginia

Game 2 of the ALCS, KC vs. Toronto

Game 2 of the ALCS, KC vs. Toronto

"Popsicles with Grandpa" has always been a Blaylock tradition. I love seeing my sons spend time with my Dad. Dad with Greer.

“Popsicles with Grandpa” has always been a Blaylock tradition. I love seeing my sons spend time with my Dad. Dad with Greer.

My Dad with my youngest son, Henry

My Dad with my youngest son, Henry

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Royals game vs. San Francisco with my Dad and my Son, 2014

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KU football game vs…can’t remember, 2014

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Campanile on The Hill at KU, taken yesterday at KU/West Virginia

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2015 in community, culture, sports

 

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Soccer In America: World Cup Fever vs. I’m Just Plain Sick of the World Cup, part I

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Soccer, Yoda, Hulk, Fred, and Marcus Smart in the Same Post? Yes, but not all today. This is a two-part (on back to back days) post. I’m not like ESPN or Yahoo! Sports, or CBS Sports that stretches it out for months. This will be short and sweet…and if we (the USA) advance to the knock-out rounds I’m sure there will be more posts. You’ve been warned! 😉

Since the World Cup began, about two weeks ago, I’ve had lots of thoughts bouncing around in my head so there are several topics in this post. Most of these topics I will just touch on lightly…I don’t go too much in to detail. If I did it would make this post super, super long instead of just super long. I hope you enjoy…and of course fire back your thoughts to me. I love civilized dialogue!

Move Along, There Is No Donovan To See Here

I believe it was a mistake for Landon Donovan to be left off of the World Cup squad. Of course hindsight is 20/20 but I was miffed about this when the squad was announced.

But we need to get over it. Sure, it’d be awesome to have him at the World Cup, especially considering the injury to Josey Altidore. I thought it’d be great that even if Donovan didn’t start we could bring him off the bench in the 60th minute to change the pace of our attack. But since he was left off of the roster he can’t play. It’s over. It’s done. He’s one helluva player and I wish he could be with us but he can’t. So we need to get over it and stop bitching about it.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

As the game on Thursday gets closer I’m getting more and more nervous thinking about the game and if the US will advance out of the group stage.

All Germany needs to do advance, and take first place in our group is draw with us on Thursday.

All we need to do to advance is beat Germany or tie Germany.

Oh, one little thing though…Germany is good…damn good! Did you see the hurt they put on Portugal? The same Portugal that we tied 2-2. To be fair Ghana tied Germany 2-2 and we beat Ghana…so who knows what will happen?

Even if we lose against Germany we can still advance if Portugal and Ghana draw, but I don’t see that happening. Cristiano Ronaldo even came out recently and said he doesn’t believe they (Portugal) are a top team and by their showing in the World Cup so far I would agree. They’re old and several of their players are battered and bruised and also hot-heads who can get red-cards for the dumbest of things. I believe Ghana can beat Portugal and our goal differential with Ghana is razor thin. We are +1 and Ghana is -1. Now Portugal can still advance too, but they need a ton of goals to do so and if they start forcing the issue that can leave them exposed for counterattacks with Ghana’s high pressure defending which is excellent. Did you see how they controlled much of the second half against us. And there’s a reason for why they did, but I won’t get into the boring tactical analysis.

I’m secretly hoping there are some back-room deals going on between the US and Germany and they’ve already agreed to play the most boring game ever and in a draw; but in reality that’s not going to happen. So I am genuinely becoming more and more nervous about the game on Thursday. But as an optimist I believe I will be celebrating with a big, fat, celebratory cigar on my drive home from Northwest Arkansas on Thursday.

{If you’re still not clear on what is going on with all the tie-breakers here is how the US and all the other countries can advance, if they are not already eliminated.}

We’ve Come A Long Way

Soccer has come a long way in the United States. I can remember back to my freshman year of high school in Topeka, KS and the football team was running next to our soccer field while we were practicing and the football team was yelling homophobic slurs at all of us and then my coach feeling the need to stick up for us went over and was about to start a fight with some of the football players. We thought it was hilarious and we weren’t affected by the slurs they were yelling. I guess I should probably be in counseling for the bullying I experienced that day, but that’s for another post. The point is, is that soccer has risen above the floor of most civilized* people in the United States not necessarily understanding it completely, but at least not making fun of it.

As we were getting done with our league soccer game this past Sunday we were hearing reports of alot of restaurants being jam-packed full of people ready to watch the US vs. Portugal game. This soccer fever has been caught by a wave of people across the US and this is fun! Outside of Little Rock there are huge watch parties all across the country in Kansas City, Chicago, Houston, Brooklyn and more cities drawing tens of thousands of people at each location! I’m telling you, hearing about all of this and seeing different clips on the news, social media, and on youtube from each location…this is fun!

Floppity Flop Flop and Marcus Smart

I’ll admit that flopping in soccer is a big problem. But it’s getting much better…in most cases.

And then after a little spray from the magic spray can they’re good to go and right back in the game.

Magic Spray is Magic! – photo credit to SBNation.com

 

Yes, flopping sometimes seems unique to soccer but remember Marcus Smart?

I will also say that for the most part USA players do not flop. There will always be exceptions and incidents when it will happen, but mostly when a USA player goes down it’s because they were fouled. I’m not a soccer apologist – there are issues, just as there are issues with all sports – no sport is perfect and this is a specific example where soccer can get better.

Soccer thankfully has made a serious effort to decrease flopping by doling out yellow cards for Marcus Smart-esque flops, or at the very least letting the play to continue on without even acknowledging the flop.

That’s all for today…

In my next post ,on Wednesday, I’ll cover: kissing you sister, hate towards soccer, awesome world cup player names, and how I’m not a snobbish soccer fan but I don’t need you to like soccer.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2014 in community, sports, Uncategorized

 

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Random Reminiscing and Reflecting Before Today’s MLS Cup Championship

From:

Kansas City Wiz

 

To today:

Sporting KC

  • I attended the very first Kansas City Wiz game in 1996.

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  • I always thought it was funny when the Kansas City Wiz played the Dallas Burn.
  • It was a favorite game of urologists.
  • The Wiz were forced to change their name to the Wizards in 1997.
  • The Urologist union had nothing to do with forcing the name change.
  • A computer company in Baltimore was actually the reason they had to change their name.
  • “Nobody Beats the Wiz” is evidently true.
  • The Wiz and Wizards played all their games in cavernous Arrowhead Stadium.
  • Arrowhead Stadium seats 79,451.

Arrowhead Stadium

  • The Kanas City Wizards normally averaged around 10,000-15,000 people per game.
  • When you put 15,000 people in Arrowhead it seems like a drop in the proverbial bucket.
  • The largest crowds to watch the Wizards would always be when they brought in Michael W. Smith to play a concert after the Wizards game.
  • Those crowds would top out around 30,000; which is alot for a soccer game in the United States.
  • Arrowhead still seemed cavernous with 30,000 people in attendance
  • The noise factor for the Kansas City Wizards at Arrowhead wasn’t a big factor because the noise drifted skyward.
  • …Back to Christians and soccer fans.
  • Talk about two worlds (subcultures) colliding at Arrowhead- Christians and soccer players.
  • I’m not saying soccer players aren’t Christians.
  • I’m both a soccer player and a Christ follower.
  • What I am saying is soccer players tend to be a bit more experimental towards…well, everything; and soccer players come from all walks of life and ethnicities. Christians, while they also come from all ethnicities, are still very segregated when they all come together.
  • Roll a ball out and all soccer players no matter the ethnicity joining in will start playing.
  • Throw a bible in the middle of “Christians” and Christians will spend time sharing what they disagree with.
  • I am not a fan of Michael W Smith’s music.
  • Cheesy Christian music is not my thing.
  • But when I stuck around one time to listen to one of his concerts after a Kansas City Wizards game, I laughed hard at his self-deprecating humor towards one of his hit songs, “Friends are Friends Forever”, during the concert.
  • He made the comment that he was absolutely sick of the song but knew he would be booed if he didn’t play it.
  • Fast forward to the year 2000.
  • I sat in a bar in Overland Park (Kansas City suburb) watching the the Kansas City Wizards win the MLS Cup championship.
  • After I cheered for them winning the Cup, the guy sitting next to me said, “Soccer? Who cares?”
  • I actually prefer the name Wizards over Sporting KC.
  • But I prefer the ownership and organization of Sporting KC over the previous ownership group.
  • The Hunt family was a fantastic ownership group that brought soccer to Kansas City but Robb Heineman has been even better.
  • Considering how successful Robb Heineman has been with the club he could call the club “the one legged pink flamingos” and it would still be cool.
  • No offense meant towards one legged pink flamingos.
  • The ownership of Sporting KC flat out gets it. 
  • Sporting Park (where Sporting KC plays) is flat out awesome!

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  • I guess I like saying “flat out”. I presume it’s because I’m from Kansas and everyone thinks Kansas is flat.
  • If you believe that is true for every inch of Kansas you’ve obviously have never been to Kansas.
  • Sporting Park is not cavernous, but it is VERY loud.
  • In fact, Sporting Park is perfect.
  • It seats 18,467 very loud fans.
  • At most games there are 19,000+ fans in attendance.
  • Don’t tell the fire marshall.
  • More sports venues might be trending towards smaller stadiums/arenas, etc with TV/home becoming a more popular (read cost effective) venue for watching games.
  • I can’t believe how far soccer in America and the MLS has come.
  • I remember training as a freshman in high school and our soccer team being called homophobic slurs by the football team…because we play soccer.
  • I also remember my first high school coach having to be restrained from going after a high school football player (twice his size) because the football player was making the homophobic slurs towards us.
  • I am looking forward to seeing how far our society can progress towards a less phobic attitude towards things that are different or things we don’t understand.
  • We need to have tough conversations about a lot of things to make our society better.
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day.
  • But it was a pretty good empire after people worked on it a bit.
  • Give us some time.
  • For today…let’s bring the Cup home to Kansas City!
  • Sidenote: My attempt to show my Kansas City Wizards Tony Meola and Preki bobble head doll, which is being kept in the attic, was thwarted due to the ice in my driveway which prevented me from pulling the cars out to get into the attic.
 
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Posted by on December 7, 2013 in community, culture, sports

 

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Explanation/Excommunication Part II – The Excommunication

The Excommunication 

Why is there a (very much delayed) second (and third) part to this post? Well, this is a follow-up to my first post and is what actually happened to me (and my wife), and in the next part I’ll examine “why” it happened. I will bring up some ideas/thoughts of why what happened in our community group actually happened. Make sense? In essence, I am going to look at the reason behind the reason.

What happened 

Earlier this year…well actually, earlier last year (2012), my wife and I were asked to leave our community group. Over 2 1/2 years ago my wife and I had joined this community group through the church we used to attend, and we had been part of this community group since the beginning of our marriage. The reason two of the guys were asking us to leave was that in their opinion, and in their words, I was bitter, and divisive with my opinions of their church, and also that I was posting negative thoughts (on social media) about their church that made them feel defensive. They told me I could remain in the community group if I stopped posting the things I had been posting, and that I had 48 hours to decide if I would comply with their demands…I mean their desires. 😉

Rush to Judgment

First of all, their accusations were completely off-base. Unless there is something completely egregious done by a specific church I don’t post about any one specific church. I post about the “church at large”. I did have one blog post about a year ago from a sermon I heard at our former church that really irked me, but in all other examples I posted in generalities about “the church at large”. I guess somehow they had a bit of narcissism built into the things I post where they thought everything I talked about was about their church. On their last complaint it almost brought me to the point of laughter, is that one of them went so far as to say that he felt uncomfortable with what I post because he believed people would associate what I would post as representing his thoughts and views. WTF?!?! Wow. That comment totally blew me away. That type of attitude is full-fledged narcissism. But now the whole “excommunication” has had time to blow over; in a way can still be a bit irksome (not sure if that is really a word) but in actuality it’s just simply comical and laughable. What happened in that community group is no way representative of true community. My wife and I now just laugh at the whole situation. While she doesn’t always condone what I post…and truth be told she sometimes cringes when I proudly proclaim, “I blogged!”, she overall respects and supports my beliefs and supports the avenues in which I express them. I love my wife!

Me and Wifey

Me and the Wifey

Now I will admit, none of this would have happened if I knew how to keep my fat, pie-hole shut about things that the church (at large) does that upsets me. (if you need a reminder of why I post what I post see my last post: The Explanation) But please understand what I am saying: the things that I posted & tweeted, that the guys were upset about, (which were not anything over the top or crazy!) are the the things where I feel the church has missed the mark on and missed the reason the church is in existence. In fact, I’m more discouraged with them as Christians in their beliefs and most of all their handling of the situation that they tried to squash what I had to say. And I honestly feel so strong about how much the church has bastardized its mission and how neglectful the church is being towards those who need assistance that I can’t keep my feelings to myself. Spending millions of dollars on audio/video equipment (which many churches do) while people in our streets go hungry is merely one example. When I post/talk about these issues I don’t bring them up in a spiteful manner; I speak from the heart for why it upsets me. I can handle less than perfect acoustics in a church if it means others can have food to eat, or healthcare for their illness. A while back my wife and I visited a church that was a beautiful church building with concrete floors, grandiose vaulted ceilings, and a sound system that by the looks of it might have cost $10,000. Were the acoustics the best? Not by any means, but I can honestly say I had a more worshipful experience that Sunday than at any other church here in Little Rock. (We also got a pretty good aerobic workout because it was an anglican church which meant we were doing a lot of up, down, kneel, up, down, kneel, up, down, kneel. I digress…)

Thou has committed a grave sin! “Say What?!”

The manner in which these two guys “confronted” me about their issues with me, and also in the weeks leading up to it (they never responded to emails and texts that I had sent to both of them with honest questions and concerns), and also the way they kept me in the dark with their feelings towards what I posted and never voiced any disapproval until they gave me their ultimatum of “stop posting or get out”, and the fact that they gave me such a ridiculous ultimatum, it was very clear to me and my wife that we would not remain in that community group. And I ended up letting them know our decision just right before their 48 hour deadline expired (I wanted to create a little soap-opera-esque drama 😉  The way they handled the entire situation honestly almost felt like I had committed some huge sin and they were enacting “church discipline” on me. In no way whatsoever was what went down in this situation a reflection of good, true, meaningful community. Again, it was just absolutely 100% absurd.

Why are we so quick to eliminate and/or paint people as miscreants when they hold a different point of view than what we hold? It seems like Christians have no tolerance whatsoever.

I Must Break You…But In Case I Can’t Please Just Go Away.

 

Of all religions, the Christian is without doubt 

the one which should inspire tolerance most, 

although up to now the Christians 

have been the most intolerant of all men.

– Voltaire

The longer you are removed, chronologically, 

from your conversion the more likely it is 

that you’re going to struggle with self-righteousness.

– Darrin Patrick

Spiritual security comes when we stop being anxious about others and begin to watch after ourselves. 

– Teresa of Avila

Faith afraid to think is unbelief masked in piety. 

Unbelief afraid to think is pseudo-faith 

with Enlightenment trimmings. 

– G. Ebeling tweeted by @trippfuller

Do the hard work of questioning your doubts, 

not just the easy work of raising them. 

– @Jonathan_Dodson

Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! 

– Lamentations 3:40

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy,

as cause for withdrawing from a friend. – Thomas Jefferson 

“Humility is born when we acknowledge our biases and the limitations of our perspectives. … An important part of life is learning to see things from different perspectives rather than simply judging those who don’t agree. I am a person of faith. I believe we are supposed to cooperate with each other instead of comparing ourselves to one another. I believe that each person on this planet is unique and different – a Masterpiece. The hues of melanin add beauty and the myriad of philosophies and perspectives make me consider and evaluate what I most deeply believe. Faith is supposed to encourage me to courageously explore all of life, not to fear the unknown. Faith is supposed to teach me to trust that God is with me wherever I go, not to rely on sight alone. This means that there are times when the perspectives and schemas I’ve developed to process life must be completely torn down and rebuilt when new and challenging viewpoints are presented.” 

– Ethan D. Bryan, “Run Home & Take a Bow, Stories of Life, Faith And a Season With The Kansas City Royals”

Building off of Ethan’s great quote (from his book which I highly recommend!!)…as Yoda would say…

“You must unlearn what you have learned”, pretty wise teaching from Jedi master Yoda. We must be willing to not rush in so quickly to judge people, but instead see what we can learn from others…but I’ll delve more into that in part 3.

So after going through all of this ridiculousness over the past 6 months it got me thinking about how some Christians treat other people (and yes, even how some Christians treat other Christians), and how some people deal with others who who hold different views. It’s honestly a bit discouraging when you think about it.

Eliminate?

Acclimate?

Tolerate?

What is the right way to handle those who have different belief-systems? It seems simple when you think about, but what we believe we should do and what we actually do are sometimes two entirely different things. The ole “ought/is” debate. It’s always fun. 🙂

1) Why we treat some people the way we do, 2) a glimpse of what should’ve happened in my community group, and 3) what can be learned from the whole crazy situation, are topics I’ll dive into in part III. (I promise it won’t be as long of a time-frame to post part III. 😉

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2013 in community, culture, spiritual, theology

 

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