Saturday, January 29, 2011

One Hundred to Zip

On January 14, 2011, Christian Heritage High School (Utah) beat West Ridge Academy (Utah) in a girl's basketball game by the score of 108-3. Even though Christian Heritage High thought it would be disrespectful to slow down the game, there were endless remarks about the ugliness and unsportsmanlike conduct in the outcome of the game by various national sports and news talking heads.

A similar event took place in January of 2009. Dallas Academy High School in Texas had only 20 girls in attendance and 8 members on the girl's varsity basketball team. They hadn't won a game in more than 4 years. On January 10, 2009, Dallas Academy played Covenant School in a girl's varsity basketball game. Both are private, parochial schools. Covenant School beat Dallas Academy 100 to zero.

Micah Grimes was in his fourth season as coach of the Covenant High School Girls Varsity Basketball Team. The team had a record of 2-19 in his first season and he built the program into a state championship contender last season. Covenant often plays larger out-of-district school and had a 6-3 record for the 2008-2009 season so far.

When the score was 25-0 against Dallas Academy, Grimes called off Covenant's full-court defensive pressure and began resting starters. The score was 59-0 at halftime. In the fourth quarter, Covenant only scored 12 points, totally ceasing scoring in the last four minutes once they reached 100.

Kyle Queal, head of Covenant Academy, subsequently issued an apology to Dallas Academy and offered to forfeit the game. "It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened.... A victory without honor is a great loss."

On Sunday, January 25, 2009, Coach Grimes posted the following statement on a youth basketball website: "I respectfully disagree with the apology, especially that the Covenant School Girl's Basketball Team should feel embarrassed or ashamed. We played the game as it was meant to be played and would not intentionally run up the score on any opponent. My girls played with honor and integrity and showed respect to Dallas Academy."

Shortly thereafter on the same day, Coach Grimes was fired.

Later, Covenant School posted a statement on their website seeking the "forgiveness of Dallas Academy" while expressing their "regrets" for the "shameful" outcome of the game. "This clearly does not reflect a Christ-like approach to competition."

A Christ-like approach to competition????

Is it a Christ-like approach to fire someone for properly doing their job????

Is everyone in Texas insane????

One of the freshman players on the Dallas Academy team, Shelby Hyatt, was asked about the game. "Even if you're losing, you might as well keep playing. Keep trying and it's going to be okay."

Well, apparently everyone in Texas isn't insane after all.

Recently, a school district in California banned the game of tag from grade school playgrounds. They felt that someone had to be “it” and would thereby get their feelings hurt, thus creating victims with low self-esteem.

Self-esteem is a confidence and satisfaction in oneself. It comes from what we think of ourselves. Basically, you are what you think you are. The higher your self-esteem, the more confidence and satisfaction you possess.

To have high self-esteem, you must realistically accept who and what you are, and have a feeling of worth and competency. You must be capable of meeting life’s challenge and believe you’re worthy of happiness. People with high self-esteem respect themselves, thereby gaining respect from others.

People with low self-esteem often withdraw within themselves or try to prove themselves by impressing others. They lack confidence, hence avoid exposing themselves to failure, or become arrogant and egotistical to make up for their shortcomings. They’ll often blame others rather than take responsibility for their actions.

Nothing builds self-esteem like accomplishment.

Sports are an endeavor in achievement. As in life, there are winners and losers. The lesson to be learned in any competition is to win with honor and to lose with grace. You give it your best effort and live with the consequences.

Some signs you may be suffering from low self-esteem are:

1) You’re not only afraid of heights but are also afraid of widths.
2) You consider indecision to be the key to flexibility.
3) Sometimes you stop to think, then forget to start again.
4) Your imaginary friend is smarter and better looking than you.
5) You used to be indecisive, but now you’re not so sure.
6) If at first you don’t succeed, you blame it on the vast right-wing conspiracy.
7) You believe that reality is the leading cause of stress.
8) When you finally get it all together, you forget where you put it.
9) You believe that growing old is inevitable but growing up is optional.
10) You always wanted to be a procrastinator but never got around to it.
11) You don’t suffer from low self-esteem – you enjoy every minute of it.
12) You were “it” once playing tag as a child and it ruined your life.

Life is a series of trials and tribulations – sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes you’re “it.” Embrace the experience and move on. In only two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.

Quote for the Day – "Sports does not build character, it reveals it." John Wooden

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where reality is the leading cause of stress. His blogs appear on several websites, including

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nothing, Nothing Still

Nothing, Nothing Still
The Orb of Wounded Souls hurls through the Void
The Dark Rift awaiting at the center of the Way
Great Expectations approach the 3rd Density

The Age of Enlightenment is upon the Orb
At the end of the Grand Procession in 12 of 12
Enlightened Ones ascend into the 4th Density
Retrograde in 3D for those who cling to envy

The Whore of Babylon sits on the Throne
Illuminated Dragons behind the Golden Curtain
The Mark of the Beast flies on Friday
Schrodinger's Cat hides in the box

11 and 11 will comprehend the Curse
The Orb is a carnal entrapment of shades of gray
33 Masters dwell in the 7th Realm
Where patience reigns Supreme as One

Complex souls are birds of youth
Formed from the Rock of Ages
Evolving into lustful barbarians
Becoming slaves of shining objects

The bush burns slowly for those who covet
Choosing helplessness over freedom
When trampled by uniformed boots of security
The truth no longer sets them free

Space and Time harness the Universe
Patience is the Third element of the Trinity
Matter is the mystical illusion of the 3rd Density
Energy being the hidden essence of Being

The ancient Tzu sits atop a mountain above the fray
As the golden sun sinks into a red glow of splendor
Comprehending answers before seeking questions
Knowing that all knowing is within

The Journey through Eternity is forever
Surrounded by Infinity
Suffering is the key to Understanding
Understanding is the key to Bliss

Everything is what it is
All is One
Soul purpose is to become pure within
Accepting the sole perfection of the One

Nothing is as it seems
Nothing is beyond comprehension
Nothing is beneath perfection
Nothing, Nothing Still

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chinese New Year 2011

The Chinese invented many things, including paper, metallurgy, the compass, fortune cookies, Kung Fu and dynamite. They also invented astrology. In fact, the Chinese Lunar New Year is the longest chronological record in history.

According to Chinese astrology, 2011 is the Year of the Metal Rabbit.

Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first cycle of the zodiac in 2600 BC. As with other supreme rulers of his era, he had a lot of time on his hands and was eager to impress his subjects with his superior knowledge.

The first day of the Chinese New Year is celebrated at the second new moon after the winter solstice which can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February, depending on cyclical lunar conditions.

The Chinese lunar year is divided into 12 months of 29 or 30 days. Each 12-year cycle is then positioned within a major cycle of 60 years (five 12-month cycles) representing the characteristics of each upcoming year.

Chinese astrology is basically composed of two cycles – 12 annual animal cycles and 5 two-year element cycles. The 12 annual animals are Dog, Boar, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey and Rooster. The five element cycles, each lasting two years, are fire, earth, metal, water and wood.

In 2011, the Chinese New Year starts on February 3. The Year of the Metal Tiger will end and the Year of the Metal Rabbit will be ushered in. Celebrations will last for 15 days, until the full moon arrives and the Lantern Festival takes place.

The Rabbit is a symbol of sensitivity, compassion and creativity. Rabbit-born people thrive on business dealings. For them, the Year 2011 will yield much professional success and personal happiness.

A person born this year will be born in the Year of the Metal Rabbit. Rabbit-born people are charismatic, thoughtful, calm, gentle, sympathetic, fashionable, persistent and extremely shrewd in business dealings.

Other Rabbit-born people were born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987 and 1999. Included in this group are Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Angeline Jolie, Frank Sinatra and Albert Einstein

I was born during the Year of the Wood Monkey. According to the Chinese astrology, I am certain to be very intelligent, well liked by everyone and highly successful in whatever field of endeavor I choose.

Obviously, Chinese astrology isn’t an exact science.

Quote for the Day – "When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead... and the White Knight is talking backwards and the Red Queen's 'off with her head'... remember what the dormouse said... feed your head... feed your head." (WHITE RABBIT lyrics by Grace Slick)

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where falling down a rabbit hole is as easy as falling off a log. His blogs appear on several websites, including

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Three Choices of Life

Life is like a river of natural events -- it flows where it wants to flow, and there's not much you can usually do about it without an enormous amount of effort and a slew of unintended consequences. Basically, you have 3 choices in The Flow of Life -- go with The Flow, ignore The Flow, or change The Flow.

William Shakespeare was a very prolific writer who was mostly understood by snooty British intellectuals, high school English teachers and people with brain damage. Most of the rest of us who were forced to read his drivel back in high school didn’t have a clue what Shakespeare was all about.

One of his more famous excerpts comes in act 3 of Hamlet – “To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; or to take arms against a sea of troubles…”

This is all a person really needs to know about life. Unfortunately, reading Shakespeare is a lot like reading the graffiti on the wall of a public restroom – it seems somewhat clever yet is often confusing, but you don’t really care because you’ve got better things to do than hang around and try to figure it out.

What Shakespeare was really trying to tell the world was that there is a choice in life we all face. We can choose to go with The Flow and suffer the consequences (suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune) or we can choose to go off in our own direction (take arms against a sea of trouble) and suffer the consequences. Choosing not to make a choice automatically puts you into the category of going with The Flow. In other words, you can go with The Flow or follow your own path. Either way, there will be consequences to suffer.

Some people choose to go with The Flow. They elect people to lead them, obey the rules, pay their taxes and march off to war. They may not like it sometimes but they go along in order to get along. These are the followers of the flock of humanity and conformists who are obedient of authority, usually out of a sense of duty or fear of consequences.

Some people go off in their own direction, avoiding The Flow as much as humanly possible. Although often ridiculed by those who conform, they couldn't care less. And even when they’re alone they’re never lonely because they don’t need to be validated by others. These are the weirdoes who prefer to be different simply to gain self-respect within their own existence.

Then there are those who try to have it both ways, going with The Flow when it suits them and avoiding it when it doesn't. Most of the time they choose to go with The Flow, until The Flow takes them where they don’t want to be, then they rebel a bit. But taking arms against a sea of trouble requires strength and fortitude, forcing them to get back into The Flow when the going gets too tough. These are the flip-floppers who jump on and off of band wagons depending on which way the wind blows.

Furthermore, some people attempt to manipulate The Flow toward their personal desires. They demand the right to create and enforce their own version of heaven on Earth. Many of them believe they are creating a better world, while others are simply attempting to gain power, control or riches. Either way, it is a form of selfishness. No one has the moral certitude to change the world into their personal vision of wonderfulness, because wonderfulness is always in the eye of the beholder.

People who choose to always go with The Flow are happy people. Occasionally, they suffer the consequences of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune but life is full of consequences and they don’t blame themselves for their suffering because they were merely caught in The Flow of the decision-making of others. Plus, the burden of making independent decisions is avoided because The Flow makes all the decisions for them.

People who choose to always avoid The Flow are also happy people. They go their own direction and follow their own path. They face lots of obstacles for not conforming to The Flow, but their suffering is of their own making and therefore more palatable. Independent people understand that suffering builds character, thereby making their way of life that much more endearing. Rather than allow the rest of the world to err on their behalf, they’d prefer to screw up their lives on their own.

Those who try to have it both ways are unhappy people. They have no direction in life. Rather than being comfortable within The Flow or comfortable outside The Flow, they are dissatisfied with both options and spend their days whining about how The Flow has ruined their lives.

People who try to change The Flow are also an unhappy lot. They tend to align with others who also want to change The Flow, exerting group pressure by forming associations and unions and political parties and religions and secret societies in order to manipulate The Flow in their favor. But no matter how effective they are at manipulating The Flow, they’re fighting an endless battle because there are always other interests attempting to manipulate The Flow in a variety of directions. And the ends rarely justify the means because there is no End to The Flow.

Flow Changers have been battling Flow Changers since the beginning of time. They are convinced their way is the correct way and insist everyone else conform to their notion of correctness, right down to the correct length of grass in your front yard and the correct state of mind from which you are forbidden to alter. Flow Changers are self-righteous, rebellious conformists who demand selfless, non-rebellious conformity from everyone else.

So if you want to be happy, accept the slings and arrows (go with The Flow) and fall in line like a proper obedient citizen (conformist). Or take arms against a sea of trouble (avoid The Flow) and follow your own path like a free independent thinker (outcast). One or the other -- you can't be both.

The opposite of courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. The reward for conformity is everyone likes you but yourself. Even dead fish go with The Flow. The reward for being an outcast is self-respect. It's better to avoid The Flow than to be swept away by it.

If you want to be an unhappy jerk, attempt to change The Flow and regulate the world. But always bear in mind that no good deed goes unpunished.

"You must not change one thing, one pebble, one grain of sand, until you know what good and evil will follow that act. The world is in balance, in Equilibrium. A Wizard's power of Changing and Summoning can shake the balance of the world. It is dangerous, that power. It is most perilous. It must follow knowledge, and serve need. To light a candle is to cast a shadow." Ursula K. Le Guin

There are only two things in life -- you and everything else. The only thing you can change is you.

Ultimately, you have 3 choices -- go with The Flow, ignore The Flow, or bang your head against the wall.

Quote for the Day -- “No two ideals were ever more incompatible than the security of conformity and the freedom of individuality. After the choice is made, the rest is easy – unless you don’t have the guts to stick by your choice.” Hunter S. Thompson

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where changing The Flow often has something to do with indoor plumbing. His blogs appear on several websites, including