The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life
Browsing Rowdy

where bad is good


how does he do it?

the arrival of this vehicle may well signal one of the most hotly anticipated events in Milton this year.

note the forlorn Chevy in the background at full stop under abject admiration.

Rowdy (the world famous Rhodesian Ridgeback) is pumped. he has shotgun,to be certain.

by the way… this rig might be cooler than my old “big black bad-ass” truck that saved my life three years ago (or, was it four?). remember this?

I’m lucky God took my truck (← read this!)

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork


brian cork would be a Rhodesian Ridgeback


I’m difficult for people to explain or describe. despite my well-chronicled adventures, my friends and family have always had a challenge describing me to people that have never met me.

I was recently asked to provide a description to a Venture Capital organization that is recruiting me to run their strategy for the next five years. So, I sent them pretty much what you see below.

just for the heck of it, I’ll drop this other post I wrote a few years back about,

Sammy: The best argument I ever knew for Dogs in Heaven.

meanwhile, and to be clear, I’ve lifted the following description of the Rhodesian Ridgeback directly from an internet source.

gorgeous rhodesian ridgeback

the reason I’ve done this has less to arrogance or flippancy, and more to the point of a genuine desire to be transparent.

if you don’t like a good dog, you won’t care for me.

I am often compared to the Ridgeback breed. to be fair this is a better testament to myself, and less so for that august animal. and, of course the primary reason I picked Rowdy, the world famous Ridgeback,  is because I figured I could relate to him, in some manner. 

If God recycles us, in another manner, I was probably a Ridgeback, at some point, or should be. either way, this explains much of my world view, and physical characteristics.

to wit…

by physical description, the Ridgeback is a large, muscular hound. the broad head is flat between the ears. the muzzle is long and deep, with a defined stop. the nose is either black, brown or liver, depending on the coat of the dog. the eyes are round and are usually brown depending on the shade of the dog. the medium sized ears are set high, dropping down, wide at the base and tapering to a point. the chest is deep. the front legs should be very straight and strong. the tail is fairly long, thicker at the base, tapering to a point curving upward slightly. dewclaws are sometimes removed. the coat is short and dense with a clearly defined symmetrical ridge of hairs growing in the opposite direction down the middle of the back. coat colors include light wheaten to shades of red sometimes with a little white on the chest and toes.

I’m not as handsome as most Ridgebacks.

so… I’d be a blue-eyed Ridgeback that most reasonable breeders would stand skeptical over.

the Rhodesian Ridgeback is ferocious and fine hunter, but calm in the home. he is a gentle,rowdy and emma jo obedient, good dog. the breed is good-natured, but some do not do well with small children because they may play too roughly and knock them down (my daughters will never let me live-down an episode involving soccer in our backyard).

Ridgebacks are intelligent, skillful and straight-forward dogs that are loyal to the family. they are brave and vigilant. a key characteristic is they can be reserved toward strangers, yet socialize well.  Ridgebacks possess considerable stamina and without joanne and rowdyenough mental and physical exercise they can become high strung and unmanageable. this breed needs a firm, confident, consistent pack leader (or a wife) who can provide rules the dog must follow, and limits to what it can and cannot do.

it must be noted that meek and/or passive owners, or owners who treat the dog like a human, rather than a canine, will have a hard time controlling this breed and may also cause them to become combative with other dogs. When given what they need as the canine animal they will be excellent companion dogs, but are not recommended for most people, as most do not have the time nor energy to put into them. Ridgeback’s react best to an extremely consistent and firm – but calm approach to training. they are extremely intelligent and learn quickly, but are very sensitive and will be stubborn and willful if they are more stronger-minded than the humans. Ridgebacks have an uncanny sense of fairness in terms of right and wrong.

Ridgebacks can smell hypocrisy a mile away, like prey, and instinctively resist it. training should be gentle, but firm and should start young while the dog is still small enough to manage. 

Ridgebacks are also very good watch dogs, but not suggested for guard dogs. they are very protective of owners. this has to be addressed during their early training. this breed can be more destructive than a Lab if not given enough exercise and is not convinced the humans are his authority figure.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a hardy breed, able to withstand dramatic changes of temperatures. do not overfeed this breed. provided this dog meets cats and other pets when it is young, any potential problem will be prevented. Ridgebacks make excellent running companions. 

I don’t care for cats.

Sammy. Heaven.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork




milestones and memories



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


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…


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


it’s a Dogs life, not yours


Photographer tells story of doomed shelter dogs

read the whole ugly, yet gallant, tail, here.

I read that story and then just felt plain glum.

hell… the idea of dogs being euthanized typically upsets most us more than reports of mass murder out of Africa.

c’mon… you know its true.

this blog gets read by a lot of people. but, the post with the most hits and often shared is, Sammy: The best argument I ever knew for Dogs in Heaven.

I’ve always had a dog in my life. I’ll certainly have a lot more dogs in my life than wives. but, just one of those is the right amount. I got lucky with all of my dogs, and more so with my wife, Joanne. she loves dogs. in fact, all of my dogs have always preferred Jaonne over me (especially Sammy and Maxx – and now Rowdy).

that says A LOT about Joanne.

I don’t have a point to make or offer you, any of you, here, today. just read the article. hug your dog. take steps to reduce over-population. send money to some shelter. don’t ever kick a dog. try running with one. fetch a stick for another. just try to be stressed around one. I dare you.

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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