The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life
Browsing Haley Anne

yeah yeah yeah Memorial Day Microsoft and various HEROES

May27

I get inspired and motivated by all manner of things.

and, I tie them all together over the course of years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds.

happy Memorial Day, everyone.

and, this is just one more reason to honor you, Dad. I sure wish you were here to hug the girls. however, I did take Emma Jo kayaking yesterday and told her stories about you. all of it was mildly interesting to het for about fifteen minutes. then she was hot and sweaty. not much fun for an eleven year old girl that was more excited to learn she is bound for a shopping trip to Dallas.

in a playful mood, at one point along the river, I did ask her if she thought we were being watched by “wild indian”s. I got an over-the-shoulder no so amused glance for my efforts. so, in typically goofy-Dad fashion I followed my question with, “how about some-what wild Indians”, then, “mildly irritated indians”. of course I had to go down a long list of options, and finally, “impossibly flatulent illegal aliens”. that earned me an, “can I call Mommy”.

meanwhile, I was asked Saturday why I’m so good at coaching kids in youth sports, Lacrosse and Soccer, to be specific. I had to think about that one. while my teams tend to win, and the players improve, I’d don’t think of myself as being a “good coach”. the truth is I think I’m valuable as a motivator. it gets dicy after that. all that said, we were at the Union Hill Polo grounds Saturday and I met a strapping young fellow all of seven. he has just started playing Lacrosse. when word got out that I’m in the Milton system many of them figured out who I am and it started to look like a lacrosse game was inevitable.

I’ll dodge that part of the story and get back tot he core question. I’m certain I can coax girls into playing great and successful Soccer because I convince them to believe in themselves and play as a team. most girls are not raised that way. while that is a blog post worthy of its own merits, I’ll run with it another time. but,I  believe I have a fair amount of success coaching boys in Lacrosse because I understand them better than most of their own Dads, especially if football has ever been involved. I relate to them. I probably think in similar fashion, and see the world in much the same way. my wife says I’ve never lost my sense of wonder and naiveté. I get VERY excited over “gear”.

haloin any event, all of this is a preamble to a brief discussion over Halo. going back to 2005 we had a shot at a movie with Peter Jackson (Hobbit movies) at the helm. but, Microsoft (owns all rights to Halo – and deserves a lot of credit for ONLY that), the best example of the evil empire itself mucked it all up by being greedy. its true, read more about that here:

How Peter Jackson’s Long-Awaited ‘Halo’ Movie Morphed Into Steven Spielberg Xbox-Only Series

 

Halo could have been a blockbuster similar to Avatar. but now it’s destined to be small-screened on the forth-coming XBox-TV.

this is classic Microsoft being stupid and stodgy and turning a great concept into frustrating irrelevance.

for perspective, Microsoft has come up with Office 365. but, you can’t import contact pictures up to it. so, in our social media networked business community that is another VERY stupid mistake.

so… that’s just par for the ill-kept course with Microsoft.

I want to buy more Microsoft stock (I bought a lot in the late ’80′s and early ’90′s). however, I keep having to ask myself how could a company that is so relevant be so goofy with its execution? kind of like Dad’s with sons that don’t understand what Lacrosse means.

it’s all tied together.

more later. we are off to the club today for a pool party. my Jeep driving Haley Anne might just join us. I am grateful for so much. I have been training hard of late and I am craving a hamburger.

today, in honor of Microsoft, and that of our Military heroes, I am listening to Despair by the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. you can watch it here:

peace to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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milestones and memories

December23

so…

the only being I’m probably really important to is my dog, Rowdy.

reference:

Rowdy can run.

Rowdy is alive and well.

and, with my vital role in the world always vitally suspect, my wife Joanne constantly rolling her eyes at me is telling.

but, that said, the point of this post, today, is to correlate two stories (and, a personal mission):

last night, against the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions receiver, Calvin Johnson, aka “Megatron”, broke the legendary Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving record.

(sorry about the obnoxious advertisement)

he’s said some great things leading up to that. and, it’s likely the stage is set for many more a terrific bon mot, but the following quote caught me straight between the eyes, and to heart…

“It’s an accomplishment that took a lot of work,” Johnson said after the game. “You’re still in the moment – in the play that just happened, so I was still focused. I don’t think I even said anything when I gave my dad the ball. I just gave him a hug. But when I think back on it, it’s a special moment.”

as soon as I read that, my mind instantly went to the day of my college graduation from Radford University.

I probably did not belong in college at the on-set. but, my Mom and Dad leveraged an uncommon force-of-will to get me there. long story short, I’ve worked every day to have earned that. but, I can’t remember saying thanks to my Dad.

to wit…

“hey Dad. I sure to love you. and, I miss you. Haley Anne and Emma Jo have been out-right cheated by never having you in their lives, physically. but, almost every day they get a ‘Grandad story’. yeah… sometimes they roll their eyes. but, to be certain, another day they will realize the value.

two days, moments actually, often pop into my head, and typically at the seemingly most random times…

the last moment I saw you alive. we had just spent a couple of hours at your hotel while you were visiting Los Angeles on business. you had told me _____ was no good for me and to find the right girl (Dad never met Joanne, but he would adore her). I was listening. and, as I swaggered down the hall, I looked back and you were standing near the door to your room, sort of leaning against the wall with your hands shoved casually in your pockets gazing rather enigmatically at me. it was a tough read. but, I saw love, pride, sadness… a lot of stuff.

I took that moment for granted, just like I always took the too few years, months, weeks, days, hours and seconds I had with you.

then there was graduation day at Radford. Mom could not make it because she was dying of cancer at home. oddly, the import of that just struck me harder than ever before as I tap these words into existence. I know you were suffering. but, you were at Radford for me, and for the moment. a lot had gone-on the days leading up to that. I had sold a business and was sitting on some serious cash. Greg had drunk too much at a fraternity party and almost killed me, Eddie an himself driving back to my apartment. I had found Heather Hillier an hour before the ceremony, and then failed to look her in the eye and admit I had blown it by not ending-up with her instead of Dede (see below).

but, after the whooping-and-hollering and throwing of caps into the air, I found you standing off to the side by the fountain (Radford collective: you blew it by what you’ve relegated the fountain to). you had your coat looped through your arm with it being such a balmy Spring. and, of course, you had both that distant smile on your face – and, such a Gatsby air about yourself. were you a Last Gentleman a la, Walker Percy, after all?”

I do recall saying, “well… we did it”. however, I can’t recall much else. and, it was a bummer that you were distracted about Mom, and what lay ahead with Greg, the police, and all of that…

so…

Thank You.

despite my efforts to immortalize what I understood (or, not) about you on this blog over the years, and in stories to friends-and-family, I’ll probably never fully appreciate what that day meant to you, and on my behalf.

you grew up damn-dirt-poor (your words). but, your success is beyond measure. not just as a military officer. but, as a man and Dad. I know you had demons. and, they scarred us all. but, none of that could hide your efforts and the unflinching love and effort you put into your sons. Mom fought like hell to get me attention from college coaches despite my grades. but, you fought the odds and made it possible for me to be there. you never really talked about your own personal commitment to education, your advanced degrees (all long-after you were married and with kids), all that. what you cared about was Greg and me; our education. it was meaningful to you. so, graduation day was all the more special.

after you were gone, and I was able to get to Omaha, and while I was sorting through your affects, my mind a bit numb and body wracked with grief, I came upon a small box with my name neatly (nobody else ever had clean hand-writing like yours) stenciled across the top, and along one side (probably just for good measure). in that box were some momentos that you had carefully accumulated and I was unaware of… one of my running medals (why that one? …wait… I know why), a fishing hook, and a Political Science position paper I had written for Dr. Nick Pappas in my (ironically) Sophomore year with the words, “well done…” scrawled in a corner.

in my minds-eye, I see myself, with a re-wind like an old tape-to-tape reel, approaching you, giving you another hug, then stepping-back with an effort to be the man you saw, taking your hand firmly in my own (you taught me the importance of a firm hand-shake with eye-to-eye contact), and calmly state, “thank you Dad. I fully appreciate that everything you did since the day I was born was for, us. and, while you have given me an uncommon gift that will be measured more-and-more by the days yet ahead, this moment is for you. I want you to carry the memory of this day along with the notion that I could never conceive of the result without you being part of it every step leading up to, through, and beyond it”.

thanks for the ball, Dad.

today, I’m listening to Autumn Leaves, by Ed Sheeran. Haley Anne found this artist and shared him with me.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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give me liberty or give me apathy

November12

I think it’s fair to say, possibly just admit, that I have lost my zeal for blogging.

it’s not that I no longer have opinions, or have discovered apathy, mind you.

however, I awoke this morning with the thought, which is worse apathy or death? or, are they the same?

…seriously…

so… here I am foisting a blog post upon the lot of you.

this is more about me finding other things beyond my own imagination, view, or standpoint to champion. I have been very much involved with Emma Jo and our soccer. despite me as their coach, Emma Jo and her U12 Shockers Nation found themselves 11-0 on the regular season, and finalists in their first bonafide tournament at the prestigious KOHLS Cup. I’ve also been coaching everyone else’s son in Lacrosse these past eighteen months. and, as evidence of my lack of desire to pontificate, I’ll not trouble you with any of those details. …well, at least for the moment.

meanwhile…

I have made a very conscious decision to stop being so hard on Barack Obama. for bad or worse, he is our Commander-in-Chief. we may not know if he is an anti-Christ until it’s to late. my own sixteen-year-old daughter Haley Anne pointed-out that if most Americans voted for the man, they must see something the minority does not.

she’s pretty bright.

so, we are mostly stupid or mostly right.  only time will tell for the rest of us.

on the other hand, maybe this is Gods own way of forcing the laws of natural selection down our collective throats. the European nations favor Obama. but then they are all sliding towards Socialism, and “misery loves company”, as they say, whomever they are. I suspect they conceived of Socialism as they follow apathy as a form of religion.

reference (I dare you): the secret series: in pursuit of They

in any event, with all of it weighing heavily on my mind, I have recalled a poignant, if not foreboding quote from the formidable Alexander Fraser Tyler, from his indomitable (and, certainly foresightful) work, Cycle of Democracy (1770):

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over lousy fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world’s great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to Complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.”

okay… so, now what next, neighbor? could we hear the words, “give me liberty or give me death”, again? what might only 300 of us do?

we saw Emma Jo off on her first school away trip early this morning. as I brushed touseled hair from her eyes this morning to wake her as gently as I could, my eyes did tear-up somewhat as my mind ran rampant with memories of high intensity and drama from the weekend, natural apprehension around the pending trip, and a earthly fathers keen desire to protect his child from the rigors of an uncertain future. or, would that be opportunity?

God knows, right? I just want to be part of the solution, and not the problem. so, that is my prayer, today.

peace be to our Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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honoring the Squirrel

April24

so…

my excuse(s) for not blogging much these days seat themselves squarely on Lacrosse.

yes… I still coach my Shockers (although Haley Anne is actually a Breaker). But, both Haley Anne and Emma Jo find themselves on undefeated Soccer teams this season (despite the coach), and these days are rich indeed.

Joanne often resents the time I spend blogging. but, I completely understand. blogging is genuinely a great exercise in self-absorption. but, I really do try and use myself as an example, most of the time, regardless if the result paints me in a good or poor light. I want it to be a worthy and noble effort through a life well-lived; an authentic life.

how many of you know that Haley Anne is named after my Mom, Barbara Anne, and Joanne? And, that Emma Jo is also meant to honor my wife? I look at my daughters and I see the women that both were, and remain, forces of nature and incredible influencers through my existence.

in any event, I still play Lacrosse. and, I hope to play a lot of it this summer for a couple of teams. however, I’m a bit frustrated by my achilles again. so, we’ll see. but, through all of that I have “my guys”. Coaching boys in Lacrosse is am amazing experience. …more on that later, though. this is about almost everything else; a bigger picture, if you will. I must.

coaching (sports and in business, for that matter), of any sort, is another form of self-absorption. back when I was a volunteer fire fighter in Lousiville, Colorado, I found myself being interviewed by the local paper over some harrowing event. and, the reporter asked me,

“why do you put yourself in harms way when you don’t even get paid?”.

I looked at her, and probably a bit askance, and I offered, “are you kidding? I get to wear cool gear, ride backwards on fire trucks – and, I’m a FIRE MAN!”. I actually feel selfish and self-absorbed that I get to do this”. I told her how, that morning after the fire, as we rolled-out, there was a small group of young boys watching us from a street corner. there was awe in their faces. awe, and admiration. I gave them a wink and a thumbs-up, and I really did feel like a hero.

Lacrosse makes me feel that way. so, another possible post is around the concept of Braveheart.

but, it was the events of that life-changing day (a cool Colorado evening with the great promise of a rich and full life, and the leering wake-up call of an ugly death) that led me to my current career, in fact. but, that’s another story. certainly for another time (but, I need to make a note of it. hopefully one of you will remind me).

mind you, I get similar questions from the parents of kids I coach. such as, “why do you give these kids so much time?”, and, “how do you do this?”

I’m going to discuss that in the next couple of weeks. because there is a lot of good-and-bad, trials-and-tribulations mixed with that – balanced by an incredible sense of accomplishment and self-worth.

I love Lacrosse. I love my family. I love life. I love giving of myself. and, everything I’ve done with my life has brought me to a point where I feel I can make a great difference in the lives of the people God surrounds me with. okay… that strikes me as another blog post idea.

are you beginning to wonder what the hell this has to do with a squirrel?

well… this might come as a shock to some, but not necessarily others. Joanne will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that I am not often as sympathetic or compassionate as she feels I ought to be. I believe that trait in myself is valid and that comes from being raised by a military officer (my Dad) and also a Mom (the ideal officers wife and Mother) that were both convinced that doing anything is worth giving it everything you can. that’s something I teach all of my players, and it’s a driving philosophy in terms of how I manage myself by the hour with a higher sense of purpose and accompanying standards. but, sometimes… okay, often… really ALWAYS… I come across as exacting, uncompromising, certainly demanding, and clearly seemingly unsympathetic.

that was until I faced the squirrel.

I’m that guy that finds himself driving down a road and unconcerned if a squirrel frantically tries to evade tires. that’s an ugly image. but, it’s an obvious and practical reality. Joanne, on the other hand, will throw her car into another lane to save a squirrel, duck, dog, or deer.

but, about two weeks ago, as I was driving home from Lacrosse practice, as providence would have it, a hapless squirrel skittered across my path. I steeled myself and surprisingly managed to evade him, and found myself pleased by the result as I took a peak in my rear view mirror. “off to home and hearth, little fellow”, thought I.

not but a few days later was I facing the same challenge. and, the thought did, indeed, cross my mind that this could well be that same damn squirrel. I really did try to avoid the critter, but I felt the awful and final “thump” under my truck tire. instantly I was, myself, genuinely distraught. as I looked in the rear view mirror, to my horror I saw the squirrel flailing in the street. with my heart in my throat and a cold sweat on the back of my neck I slowed down. numbly I backed-up knowing I had to put the stricken creature out of it’s misery. and, the horror I experienced was comparable to Sarajevo.

when I got home Joanne and Haley Anne were in the midst of a fifteen-year-old-girl-issue. and, evidently Joanne was having a rowe with her own Mom and one of her sisters. as I listened to to the details of all that I found myself uncharacteristically engaged with a softening heart. there is a lot more going-on in my head and heart relative to all manner of venture, adventures and efforts. but, four days ago I told Joanne that a lens I wanted to start looking through life with in terms of how I related to people, ironically, would going to be about “honoring the squirrel”.

so, God has a whacky sense of humor, to be sure. he gave me and all my Southern California, Lacrosse-playing buddies daughters, for one thing. and, he throws us a curve-ball (some times they may look like a squirrel), to change-up our view(s) of the world. but, I don’t want to look back on my life and miss an opportunity to make sure that everyone I meet and know; that’s in my life, feels loved, valued – and there is compassion, possibly the option for compromise.

that’s it. you, collectively know, even the simplest of maxims’s must needs have its vociferous story attached (or affixed?) to it.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

 

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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