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Month: January 2015

Look to the past to learn from mistakes but stay prepared for what lies ahead

On the road of life, if you spend too much time looking in the rearview mirror, you’re bound to spin out of control and crash into what lies ahead.

Ryan Glab (01.29.15)

As humans, we are both fallible and regretful. No matter how much we may preach and practice the philosophy of “living without regrets,” we cannot help but remember from time to time our mistakes of the past and yearn for a second opportunity.

It’s completely normal and natural to relive in our heads various events of the past, let them play out again and decide what would have been a better action to take. In fact, this is how we learn from our mistakes; by mentally preparing ourselves to do the right thing the next time.

But sometimes we may spend too much time reflecting on what was or what could have been and not enough time on what lies ahead. This is a dangerous way to live because — like a driver on the road checking his rearview mirror — if we’re looking behind us, we may not be ready for what lies ahead, and an even bigger mistake could be awaiting us.

‘Nutella’ is a tasty spread, not a flattering baby name

What’s in a name?

We live in a world with some very interesting names and I’ve come across some some doozies in my lifetime. Some of the more memorable names still ingrained in my mind include:

  • Apple, the “Granny Smith” child of actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay’s Chris Martin
  • Coco, the “chocolate powder drink” daughter of actors Courteney Cox and David Arquette
  • Kyd, “the kid” of actors David Duchovny and Tea Leoni
  • Free, the “land of the” son of Barbara Hershey and David Carradine
  • North, the “compass” daughter of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian

Setting aside my ignorance that I confused “North West” with a compass and that I originally thought it was a boy, these names are flat out ridiculous. Fortunately for the children of famous celebrities, they’ll grow up with silver spoons and deep pockets, and the insensitive remarks they hear from their rich friends with equally bizarre names are either nonexistent or discarded without thought. I mean, what provides a child more comfort and security than an endless supply of gold-plated iPads, high-end cell phones, home entertainment centers and other luxuries?

But for those of us who live in the real world where children pick on and bully other kids because their parents gave them a weird name, the kids aren’t exactly being aided for an already difficult adolescence that awaits them.

Enter Exhibit Q: a baby in France was given the name “Nutella”, the brand name for a hazelnut chocolate spread. Nothing against Nutella the product, which I happen to enjoy, but Nutella the human just isn’t going to cut the mustard — er, chocolate, as the case may be.

Fortunately, a local judge renamed the child Ella after ruling that Nutella wasn’t in the child’s best interest.

According to a translation from Time.com, this was the court’s decision: “The name ‘Nutella’ given to the child is the trade name of a spread. And it is contrary to the child’s interest to be wearing a name like that can only lead to teasing or disparaging thoughts.”

Simply put. Well put. Parents: think ahead.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski records 1,000th win

What does it mean when a basketball coach records 1,000 career wins?

It means that the coach is either really old and/or has been at it for a long time. But it also means he’s really good at what he does and has great ball players.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski recorded his 1,000th career win on Sunday when his Blue Devils defeated St. John’s 77-68 at Madison Square Garden. Krzyzewski became the first NCAA Division I men’s coach to reach the milestone.

Krzyzewski, 67, has been coaching Duke since 1980.

Ernie Banks, on a fine day to play a doubleheader

It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame … Let’s play two!

Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks, who passed away on Friday, January 23, 2015

Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks died on Friday. He was a great ballplayer and an even better man. He was known for many reasons, among which were his love of baseball and the catchphrase that it was a beautiful day for a doubleheader.

Who else could go for a doubleheader on this fine day?

Let’s play two! … in honor of “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks

I was saddened to hear about the passing of former Chicago Cubs shortstop and first baseman, Ernie Banks, on Friday. Nicknamed “Mr. Cub” and a beloved figure around Chicagoland, Banks was the Cubs’ career home run leader until Sammy Sosa passed him up in 2004. With allegations of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) use surrounding Sosa, I still hold Banks in higher regard.

One of the things Banks was best known for was his catchphrase, “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame … let’s play two!” He loved baseball so much that he would have loved to play doubleheaders every day.

I’m not a Cubs fan by any means. I grew up an Atlanta Braves fan during their heyday in the ’90s, but have also been a lifelong Milwaukee Brewers fan by virtue of my family. But I have lived in the Chicagoland area all my life and I have great respect for Chicago icons. From what I’ve seen and heard, Banks was not your typical sports “legend.” He came from a day where ballplayers did not accumulate great wealth — and the rather large ego that typically comes with it. He was a humble man of the people who would mingle with the fans and the world certainly lost a great guy.

2015 NFL Bad Lip Reading

If you need a good laugh — and let’s be honest, who among us doesn’t? — what more could you ask for than to watch a video of professional football players spewing random gibberish in funny voices that are oddly incompatible with their hulking figures?

The 2015 NFL Bad Lip Reading compilation is out and it doesn’t disappoint.

We live in a world full of social media, Internet memes, and parody songs and video. It seems with every new cultural phenomenon that hits the world wide web, somebody out there thirsting for his or her 15 minutes of fame will attempt to satirize it or make it in some way comical.

With that said, I have great respect and admiration for those out there with good video and audio editing skills. I think it’s remarkable the kinds of videos that people can edit and transform into delightful entertainment.

Give your all in every scene of life, for no one is there to yell “cut!”

Life is not a movie that gives you second takes and stunt doubles. You have one shot to get it right, so give your best effort in every scene.

Ryan Glab (01.20.15)

I consider myself quite the movie buff. Not only do I enjoy watching movies from a wide range of genres on a regular basis, but I like to lose myself in the moment, suspend disbelief, and feel that I’m part of something special.

Despite this romanticism with the silver screen, I always keep in perspective that life is not like a movie. Movies are well thought out, planned and scripted, to capture the attention and pull at the heartstrings of a wide audience. In reality, our lives have a much smaller audience and are not rehearsed. We improv the plot because the script always changes. We have one opportunity to make the most of each moment — or “scene”, if you will — and don’t get the benefit of special effects or directors making things better for us.

Slaphappy reporter has giggle fit on camera

We’ve all been there before. Something funny happens and it leaves us with a case of the giggles. Typically, this is more likely to happen to us late at night when we’re running on fumes and can’t keep our composure, but often it’ll happen at the most inopportune moments.

What can be more inopportune than a news reporter delivering an unamusing report about fishing logs on television?

Chris Brown, of WWAY in Wilmington, N.C., was attempting to deliver his segment but couldn’t help but laugh about something quirky unbeknownst to the viewers. After a quick laughing fit, he managed to hold it together long enough to finish speaking.

God’s forgiveness is not a Get Out of Jail Free card

Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.

1 Peter 2:16 (NIV)

As God’s children, we are given the precious gift of eternal life if we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. By His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus paid the penalty of death which our sins deserve. In this act of grace, we are forever forgiven for the sins we commit if we are truly penitent for that which we’ve done wrong.

This kind of everlasting forgiveness can be abused by those who don’t understand the covenant Jesus made on the cross. Some may be tempted to commit sinful acts with the idea sitting in their back pockets that they’ll be forgiven later for them.

God’s forgiveness is not a Get Out of Jail Free card that permits us to sin freely. In Peter’s day, this warning was aimed at those who rebelled against authority, power and government for no other reason than they didn’t want someone ruling their lives. In our day, it still applies to government rule but also in most situations we encounter in our everyday lives. As Americans, we are granted freedoms by our democratically elected leaders, those who wrote the constitution and those who uphold it to this day. Many feel the constitution gives them the right to do as they please.

But the one true freedom is that of our right to submit to God’s rule and to worship Him as we should. That is one freedom worth fighting for and for which we should not take for granted.

Learning to deal with my body’s perpetual internal alarm clock

I’m lying in bed, watching and listening to the ceiling fan whirl overhead in an otherwise silent room. It’s a Saturday morning and it’s before 7 a.m. I have nowhere I need to be and nothing I need to do. And yet, here I am awake with zero possibility of falling back asleep.

In my younger days, I would have still been fast asleep dreaming of sugar plums or kicking the game winning field goal in the Super Bowl or rescuing Princess Leia from Jabba the Hutt. Now, I’m staring at the ceiling and wondering what kind of pain it’d be to have to paint it if I ever saw the need.

I’m not an old man by any means. Thirty-two years young and counting, God willing. I have my aches and pains, a side effect from playing 10 years of football, but I’m mostly healthy. So, why is it that I’m awake at such an early time when I’m not methodically making myself somewhat presentable for work like a programmed robot or a trained chimp?

I’ve come to the conclusion that my body has an internal alarm clock incapable of being shut off. My body has become used to getting up at a certain time for work five-sevenths of the week that it’s become habitual to prematurely depart dreamland for reality land.

But it goes deeper than just biological clocks and habits. There have been occasions in the past — like going on vacation and needing to catch an early flight — where I’ve set my phone’s alarm to wake me up at 4 a.m. And yet even before the alarm had a chance to do its duty, I’d be wide awake in a dark room ready to spring from bed at the first musical note from the ringtone.

Do I have the ability to forgo using actual alarm clocks henceforth, and resort to my body’s natural awakening mechanism? I would never have the gumption to test that theory, for the first time I would attempt such an experiment, I’d be three hours late to work and have a Case of the Mondays.

As a man whose glass is perpetually half full, I can see a bright side to this current dilemma. If I should be so blessed to have kids in the future, being awake at this hour is conducive to quality time spent eating Lucky Charms and watching Saturday morning cartoons … which isn’t all that different from what I do now. But with a kid, I won’t get as many sideways glances.

I’m not sure why I’m always awake at such an early hour — I know, I know. Some people reading this are probably thinking, “The six o’clock hour? I’m up way before that!” I don’t know if it’s because my body’s sleep tank is full and refuses to accept any more sleep. Or if it’s because once my brain activates for the day, there’s too much swirling up there to shut it off. Or maybe it’s because it gives me a golden opportunity in the midst of my on-the-go lifestyle to do something productive (like write this blog).

Whatever the reason for my late-to-bed, early-to-rise routine, I’m learning to take it in stride and make the most of it.