Goodbye Dad; again.

Dad & Arica

My Dad with his first Granchild

Ten years ago tomorrow, November 30, 2001 my father died. Amongst the things I remember about this day is that Beattle George Harrison Died the previous day, but the news escaped me until the morning of my father’s passing. I also remember hearing a horrible Christmas song that morning about a young boy wanting to buy some new shoes for his dyeing mother. The song probably isn’t that bad. I guess a lot of people liked it. They made a TV movie about it. But I hated it. It always brought me back to the day I lost my Dad.

Losing my Dad was far more emotional and troubling than I would have ever predicted prior to its occurrence. I was a basket case for at least six months. I thought about him daily. And then slowly over time it got better.

At my Dad’s request he was cremated. Cheap and/or practical to the end. I bought the urn. His remains were kept in the possession of his widow. Not my Mom. She had been married to him his last 20 years beginning my Senior year in High School. Initially she talked of spreading his ashes in a couple of locations in Eastern Washington where my Dad frequently went camping in one of his RV’s (He rented RV’s for a living. So he had many over the years). But that never seemed right to me. Sadly I didn’t have a good alternative. It’s all just as well because the idea of spreading his ashes drifted away and never occurred.

My Dad’s widow died 2 months ago. I took possession of his ashes, and a few small items of his that she’d retained over the previous ten years. My office is now decorated with mallards, as my house was growing up.

Keeping his ashes in my home is not an alternative. He never saw this house. I bought it 2 years after his death. Keeping him here just wouldn’t be fitting. Fortunately I actually thought of the perfect place to spread his ashes, and that is what I am doing tomorrow

Dad's resting Place

He is where my Dad's ashes will spend eternity.

. I will drive up to Bellingham, where my father was born. Along the way I’m picking up his brother, my Uncle. Together we will drive to a favorite spot of my Dad’s along the Puget Sound waters south of the Canadian border. He spent countless days in this place as a kid. He took me and my brother to this place time and again. And in my 24 years as a father I have taken my family here innumerable times. I will dig a small hole in the beach when the tide is out, and will deposit his remains there, amongst the clams, and muscles and crab. I will then say a prayer. And then I will say goodbye Dad…again.


BCS Championship should include ONLY Champions!

Block LSU logo, a primary trademark of Louisia...

Image via Wikipedia

Since writing and posting this blog my worst fears came to pass and Alabama, a team that couldn’t even win its own conference division nor play in its own conference title game let alone win it, will play for the national title tomorrow against LSU. Fellow 1-loss teams Oregon, and Oklahoma State won THEIR conference and proved in their bowls against quality competition to have been more deserving than the Crimson Tide. 

The college football season is winding down and my frustration is winding up. I can’t stand the idea of a team that fails to win its league championship, or even play in its league championship game, playing for a national title. It completely blows away the concept of what a championship is supposed to represent. Shame on the NCAA. Shame on the BCS. Shame on the media and for the American public for being so willing to accept it.

With just this weekend’s games remaining before the bowl season match-ups and the 2012 BCS Championship game

Took this Picture on the USC campus in Heritag...

Image via Wikipedia

opponents are announced it seems abundantly clear that we will all be watching a rematch featuring the Number one ranked Louisiana State Tigers and Number 2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. The Tide doesn’t play this weekend. They share the same division as LSU. LSU’s 9-6 overtime victory in Tuscaloosa November 5th gave the Bayou Bengals the divisions lone spot in the Southeastern Conference Championship game against 10-2 Georgia. If you believe what is being said and written across the country, LSU doesn’t even need to win to be picked for the National Championship game. Were that to happen you would have two teams from the same league playing for the National Title despite neither having even won their own league’s championship. Hello! Either way its likely one (Bama) will participate having not proved worthy.

It’s happened before. The first time was January 2002 when Nebraska played Miami in the Rose Bowl for the “mythical” National Championship despite the fact that Colorado was the winner of the Big 12 League crown over the Texas Longhorns. Big Red didn’t even play in it’s league’s championship. They played for the title. I was absolutely sideways. Fortunately the Hurricanes put a serious whooping on Nebraska sparing us the indignity of crowning a fake champion.

Should Alabama land the BCS birth this year other worthy league champions who will be denied could include Oklahoma State of the Big 12, Oregon of the Pac 12, Boise State of the Mountain West, Houston of Conference USA, Virginia Tech of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Wisconsin or Michigan State of the Big 10. Additional regular season games or conference championship games remain to be played for most of the above mentioned teams at the time of this writing. But of those mentioned all have no more than 2 losses. Houston is undefeated.

If the NCAA’s argument is that Alabama and LSU represent the two best teams in the country based on the results of this season. I would ask two questions: How do they know? and Are you saying the championship game in all sports always represents the two best teams? Because they frequently don’t. Were the 10-6 New York Giants the best team in the NFL in 2008 when they beat the undefeated New England Patriots? No. They were just better that day. Was Villanova the best when they beat the Patrick Ewing led Georgetown Hoyas for the NCAA Men’s hoops title in 1985? Absolutely not. But for that one game they shot an astounding record 90% from the field and beat one of the best teams in NCAA history.

Until the NCAA finally gives us the football playoffs we all crave all National Champions will be only a matter of opinion rather than being decided on the field of competition like every other NCAA crown. And if its going to be just opinion it should include a minimum requirement that the participants be the champions of their respective leagues. Doing so would make the regular season much more significant, and it would make each league championship significantly more valuable. And it would embrace that All-American value of fairness. After all its all just opinion.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Phil Cooke, Ph.D.: Occupy Wall Street: Is It a Good Strategy?

Wall Street Sign. Author: Ramy Majouji

Image via Wikipedia

An on the money analysis of what’s really wrong with OWS. Even if you agree with the Occupy Wall Street sentiment you can’t argue their efforts are failing. Clink link below:

Phil Cooke, Ph.D.: Occupy Wall Street: Is It a Good Strategy?.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

The Madness that is Black Friday.

Black Friday shoppers in the morning at Wal-Ma...

Image via Wikipedia

Black Friday has developed into a truly American institution, and shame on all of us for it. If ever there was a particularly unattractive aspect of Capitalism and materialism its Black Friday. When millions of people leave the comforts of their beds to be the first to save a few bucks for the privilege of buying the latest gadget or fashion we have completely lost track of our priorities.

While not one who ever liked big crowds, the idea of being in a big crowd while doing something I don’t particularly enjoy, shopping, is made that much worse. Included in this wonderful cavalcade of misery is another thing I hate, waiting in lines. I always have something better to do than to wait in a line.

Last year Americans spent $45-billion on Black Friday. For the uninitiated Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving.

A Turkey.

Image via Wikipedia

It is the biggest retail shopping day of the year. It is called “Black” Friday because for many retailers it is the day of the year in which their Profit and Loss statements are pushed out of the red and into the black, or profitability, for the year. The frenzy that is Black Friday has driven some of the largest retailers into a moronic game of one-ups-man-ship. Target and Wal-Mart have competed for who can open their stores first. It used to be 6am; then it was Midnight; now one of them (I won’t bother looking to see who) is opening at 10pm Thanksgiving and staying open all night for those early shoppers who absolutely must get there first. I shutter at the thought of pulling myself out of my turkey, ham and pumpkin pie induced coma and going to a department store on Thanksgiving night. No thank you.

Pumpkin pie, from

Image via Wikipedia

I have a serious question: how many items have ever sold out on Black Friday never to be available again before Christmas? Any retailer or manufacturer worth two-bits wouldn’t short stock any item so that it would be gone in one single day not to be seen again within the month.

But when Stan Freberg released “Green Christmas” in 1958 he couldn’t have possibly envisioned just how bad things have gotten. I would ask how we can be truly thankful on Thanksgiving if we are so deliriously ravenous for that which the retailers are offering the very next day?

And Occupy Wall Street doesn’t have the banks and financial institutions to blame for this gluttony. The fat finger of blame can be pointed directly into the mirror. We have raised Christmas shopping up to such a level that to not do it makes you a pariah, selfish and uncaring for those for whom you should be running up your credit card debt to please; even if only for the few hours of Christmas morning.

I’ll be sleeping in on Friday and then reading my morning paper in my hot tub. And when Christmas finally arrives exactly one month later my children  and the rest of my family will be as joyful and truly thankful as they’ve always been on the day in which we celebrate Christ‘s birth.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

The History of Newt | The Weekly Standard

Gingrich's official portrait as Speaker

Image via Wikipedia

Senator Barack Obama admitted in his own writings that he snorted cocaine and smoked pot. He was friends with and launched his political career in a fund-raiser in the home of admitted terrorist bomber Bill Ayers. The pastor whose church he attended for 20 years and who married him and his wife and baptized his daughters is clearly a racist. And his only political experience was as an Illinois State Senator, and 2 years as a U.S. Senator. The point is the problems in Newt Gingrich‘s past can be overlooked. Worse transgressions have been in the past by U.S. voters. Click the link below:

The History of Newt | The Weekly Standard.