Saturday, December 31, 2016

Year's End.

2016 has seemed like a long year! It didn't have Shingles and MRSA like 2015, but it wasn't quite a cakewalk either. We lost my stepdaughter, Jessica, but gained my granddaughter, Rhiannon. She isn't a replacement, but she is a gift. Health issues seem to have a lot of my life on hold, but I've still managed to get out and meet new people and make some pretty decent friends. The Packers have come back nicely after their own health issues and injuries. Big surgery, #37, coming up in late January and with any luck, I'll have more success this time and can move forward. My social life, mental well-being, and finances would all like a break. I'm so freaking glad we only have presidential elections every four years! I will continue to try to stand for our veterans, repealing cannabis prohibition and ending the War on Drugs, and defend all of our rights which are only protected by our second amendment rights, to hold our elected officials accountable, to embrace my friends & family, libertarianism, freedom, an open mind, and the opportunities we still have in this great country. We don't need government to fix it; it's ours, not theirs. We are promised nothing in this life and that is what it owes us. It's easy to let it slip by. I rewatched The Bucket List last night with my then visiting mother. It's a great movie and strong reminder that we are here to live, not just toil, age, and die. Instead of New Year's resolutions, make a bucket list and live like your life was temporary and fleeting. Have a glorious and wonderful new year. It is ours for the taking! Maybe 2017 will be the year I see double digit followers on my blog! (

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Weren't You A Bears Fan?

I still hear it from my friends back home in Chicagoland. "Traitor!", "Blasphemer!", "Fair weather fan!". I grew up there (and Detroit) and lived across the street from Chicago Bears Cornerback, Virgil Ivers for a few years while I was in high school. Through him, I had the pleasure of meeting Walter Payton, Noah Jackson, and Alan Page. Back then professional athletes were still role models and all four were friendly and likable. After I got out of the Navy, I met Mike Singletary and he was a giant Teddy Bear. So even though I wasn't a football fan, I became a Bears fan.

About four years ago I started to pay attention to NFL games and discovered that football was indeed Battle Chess; far more than brute force, speed, and a quarterback with a cannon arm. After a year and a half of watching the Bears sabotage themselves, trade and release their best players, hire crappy coaches, and give up in the first quarter, I'd had enough. I don't get paid to be a fan and loyalty is a two-way street. 

Going down with the ship isn't a suicide pact. It's an archaic Naval tradition based on honor and honorable men. I bet they didn't come up with it themselves. Most likely the ship owners said you'll wish you were dead if you sink or ship and come back without it. We anthropomorphize ships, just like we do football teams. I'm not indentured to the Dutch East India Trading Company and I'm not willing to drown trying to raise a ship intent on sinking itself.
Unquestionable team loyalty is called statism. One group of folks who loved their uniforms and masters were called Nazis. They sucked the fun out of everything for everyone. They didn't get paid well to be fans either.

Blind loyalty to a place or country is called Nationalism. Everyone knows that just because you were born in Cleveland doesn't mean they have the best football team. Maybe once (maybe), but not today. Do you want to love football or the past? Do you think most of the Chicago Bears are from the Chicago Area?
Aaron Rodgers brought the game back to life for me. He is not only an amazingly skilled athlete, but a leader and a man of character. Watching him quarterback is a joy. He never quits, doesn't have major hissy fits, and doesn't blame everyone else. When the Bears cut their two best remaining players, running back, Matt Forte, and kicker, Robbie Gould, my emotional attachment ended.

I choose to love the game. I have a primary team I root for. I like other teams and players and sometimes two teams I like a lot play each other. I root for both of them and cheer when a great play is made by either side. I have hats for a half dozen teams that I like.

It's not that I am disloyal, I'm very much the opposite. I'm not a martyr, nor am I brain dead. My objective as a football fan is to enjoy the game. Team owners, coaches, and managers affect the game as much as the players. When they don't care, I cut my losses.
Would you rehire a plumber, year after year, who flooded your house with excrement and urine every time he was called?

The 1985 Chicago Bears will always be "my" team. Today I find a team that helps me to enjoy the game whether they are an underdog or Superbowl Champions. If they play with heart, I will cheer them on.

Rock Cowles
December 21, 2016

#NFL #GoPackGo #BearDown #GreenBayPackers #ChicagoBears #AaronRodgers #JJWatt #WalterPayton #MatthewStafford #OdellBeckhamJr #JoeFlacco 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

People Need People

It's okay to not be okay. Tell someone you're not okay, feeling blue, lonely, lost, overwhelmed, or struggling. Really. Don't give your problems permanence.

Everyone says: "If you need anything, don't hesitate, I'll be there for you". Many of us mean it. I refuse to waste my limited time here on earth with relationships of convenience. If you are my friend here it's because you matter to me. I don't look for perfect people, instead, I value honesty, integrity, loyalty, and accountability.

I've heard people say, "Nobody looks like I feel." Chuck Chamberlain's response was that's because you're comparing their armor to your raw meat. Find people you feel safe being vulnerable with and let them in. Don't get bit by the same dog twice.

I try to do what I can for people. Sometimes that's just listening or being a sounding board or offering a friendly verbal kick in the ass.

People tend to be a lot more fragile around the holidays. We have a controversial new president taking office in January and plenty of folks across the board are freaked out and afraid. Be there for people. Don't wait for people to ask for help or to wait too long, volunteer.

Try to call at least one friend a day that you don't talk to regularly. The life you help save may be your own.

May is Mental Illness Awareness Month, but we need people year round. Please check on your friends!

How are you really doing?

Feel free to share elsewhere.

#peopleneedpeople #suicide #help #reachout #handup

Twisted Faces - Caricature Art from Rock Cowles

Twisted Faces - Caricature Art from Rock Cowles
Twisted Faces Web Site

Kowulz on Facebook

Dave Cowles's Facebook profile

Caricatures by Rock Kowulz