Monday, September 22, 2008


The Fall season is here. I love the crisp air, the lovely rich colors…everything about Fall. Crisp, cool and absolutely beautiful. Here are just a few of the things that makes it the best season of the year for me:

1-The beautiful colors. It feels like our Heavenly Father paints a special picture just for me.

2-The smells. I don't know why but fall air smells different. At night especially. It has a crisp and almost smokey smell, almost like a fire is burning in the distance.

3-Of course football. I love our cowboys and I also love the sounds of a high school football game in the distance (especially marching bands and announcers on the tiny loudspeakers.)

4-The stores are always so fun with all their decorations and smells. It is a festive time. I like it.

5- I Love the cooler weather. It is so nice after a brutal Texas summer. But the Fall is so nice because we can wear our sweaters, jackets and sweatshirts without sweating. And my sweetie looks so good in her sweaters!!

6-And there are the fun holidays….Halloween and Thanksgiving. And although Christmas technically falls in the Winter, much of the parties and activities leading up to it immediately follow Thanksgiving and to me seem more a part of this season.

7- New TV shows are back! While summer gives us the goodness known as Big Brother, Fall brings us a plethora of new entertainment as well as the return of favorite shows.

8- PumpkinPumpkin flavors aboud - Pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumbkin bread - all of them are DELICIOUS!

9- I am reminded of the special Hope that fills my heart. As I watch things die, I am not dismayed, because I know they will return. The season reminds me that there is life after death.

10- Love. I’m not sure if it is just my imagination, but there seems to be more Love in the air. People are nicer, friendlier and just generally more pleasant. But who wouldn’t be with all the goodness in their lives at this time of the year.

May the new season bring you many blessings……Ric

Friday, September 19, 2008

Blind Boy

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: 'I am blind, please help.' There were only a few coins in the hat.

A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.

Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, 'Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?'

The man said, 'I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.' What he had written was:

"Today is a beautiful day and I cannot see it."

Do you think the first sign and the second sign were saying the same thing? Of course both signs told people the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?

Moral of the Story: Be thankful for what you have. Be creative. Be innovative. Think differently and positively.

Have a nice weekend....Ric

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Red Raiders

The Red Raiders of Texas Tech are back with a dominant football team, currently ranked No. 10 in the nation. Texas Tech is 3-0 on the season, including Saturday night's 43-7 win over SMU in Lubbock. They have yet to be pushed by an opponent. They have picked up right where they left off last year, after winning the most thrilling bowl game victory in school history - a 31-28 win over Virginia in the 2008 Gator Bowl.

The Masked Rider is a mysterious and striking symbol of Texas Tech school spirit and pride. Mounted on a black quarter hourse and wearing a black mask, it is the oldest of the university's mascots still in existence today. Originally called "Ghost Rider", it was an unofficial mascot appearing in just a few games in 1936 and then becoming the official mascot with the 1954 Gator Bowl.

All the other teams had a mascot, and it is thought that TT Football Coach DeWitt believed creating a mascot for Texas Tech might aid the school's chances for admission into the SouthWest conference. Tech student Joe Kirk Fulton agreed to ride a horse named Blackie in the bowl game. According to reports from those present at the 1954 Gator Bowl, the crowd sat in stunned silence as they watched Fulton and Blackie rush onto the football field, followed by the team. After a few moments of stunned disbelief, the silent crowd burst into cheers. Ed Danforth, a writer for the Atlanta Journal and a press box spectator later wrote, "No team in any bowl game ever made a more sensational entrance."

Beginning in the early 1960s the Texas Tech marching band has played a composition written expressly for the mascot. "Ride, Raider, Ride" (commonly known as The Horse Music) is performed in quick time as the horse is galloped around the stadium sidelines. The highly spirited tune was composed by faculty member Richard Tolley, Professor of trumpet and Associate Director of Bands, 1959-1991.

In 1963, the horse, Tech Beauty, was kidnapped and spray-painted with the letters "AMC" prior to Tech's football game against rival Texas A&M.

In 1974, the selection of the first female Masked Rider, Ann Lynch, caused widespread controversy.

In 1975, the horse was kidnapped and received chemical burns after being painted with orange paint prior to Tech's football game against Texas.

In 1982 and 1992, The Masked Rider was involved in injuring an opposing school's cheerleader and a referee, respectively.

In 1994, an accident as The Masked Rider entered the football stadium resulted in the death of the horse, Double T.

In 2001, the The Masked Rider horse trailer was involved in a car accident. The horse, Black Phantom Raider, sustained serious injuries which led to his euthanization.

In 2006, The Masked Rider appeared as number twenty-four on the list of "College Football's 25 Greatest Mascots".

The horse, Midnight Matador, has served as The Masked Rider's mount since 2002.

The Masked Rider is adorned from head to toe in black, including a black gaucho and a black mask like that worn by The Lone Ranger and Zorro. The only other color present is the scarlet rider's cape. The current horse is also black, although previous horses have been other colors.

Ashley Hartzog, a senior animal science and Spanish major from Farwell, dons the rider’s mask for 2008-2009. Riding Midnight Matador, Ashley will promote spirit within the university and goodwill for Texas Tech at athletic events, rodeos, parades, and many other school and civic functions across Texas. Ashley is the 47th student to serve as the Masked Rider as the program enters its 54th year.

Be good…..Ric

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hunkered Down

We battened down the hatches over here over the weekend. We were ready for the worst. We were stocked up on water and chocolate and nail polish, ready to ride out the storm. We had the essentials. We secured everything that might blow away and then we hunkered down. We were ready at any moment to go to the bathroom and lay down with a mattress over our head. Because we are prepared like that. Luckily we were spared this time around. We dodged another bullet. We are all safe. All is well and I hope you and yours are safe as well. But always remember… a bad storm, any port will do. In an emergency, when the storms of life come at you, always take and accept help from any source, in any place, even from an unpleasant person. Do what you have to do. There comes a time when we have to hunker down.

Be happy….Ric

Friday, September 5, 2008


What you might ask, is the most powerful of all foodstuffs anywhere? It's the mighty meat with irresistible appeal that cuts across geographic, cultural and lifestyle boundaries. It's the early morning holy grail and the addictive equivalent of breakfast heroin.

I'm referring, of course, to bacon.

Bacon is, simply put, the most dangerously compelling -- and by extension, wonderful -- of all foods. Fried up to the firm texture of pork jerky or cooked until shatteringly crisp, the boldly-flavored pork product is usually relegated to "side dish" status in vain attempts to control overall portion size. Most of us, given even half a chance, could eat a pound every ten minutes – clogged arteries be damned.

From the first crispy bite, this deep smoked specialty caters to two of the most elemental nutritional urges -- heavy salt and comforting grease -- and comes in handy dandy "finger food" form. No need for serving utensils or complicated preparation techniques -- the only requirements are a frying pan, some kind of metal "pokin' stick," and a simple paper-lined draining plate.

Anyone who's ever cooked a full-blown "farmer's breakfast" already knows the power of bacon." Throw a pound in a hot skillet and within minutes, the most militant late risers magically stumble into the kitchen in search of coffee and a handful of post-hangover aspirin. Left unguarded, the paper-lined plate gets picked clean within seconds of being filled. (Every kitchen mastro knows the constant vigilance required to protect the bacon plate from quick-fingered pork snatchers.

When faced with the smell of pepper-cured slices sizzling in flavorful grease, who has the power to resist?

Some might try, especially if they've been meat-free for years. But even they can cave in. Once they smell the fumes rising from the black iron skillet, the confessions begin: "You know, that's the one thing I really miss..."

They then launch into Grandma stories and how she'd use the rendered grease as cooking fat for her heavenly cornbread or green beans. They wax poetic about the breakfasts that changed their lives before the Cosmo girls invented fat grams. And then -- just when they're sure I'm not looking -- they give into their deep longing and sneak a crispy morsel, escaping into a little world of pure bacon pleasure. We're all only human. "Behold. The power of bacon."

It does wonders to the human body. Protein for muscle growth and fat for the winter. And it just makes you a better lover, who would of thought it. A meal with bacon makes you happy, and a happy person is a loving person. Delicious and good for you. But as in all things delicious, moderation is the rule to follow.

Happy Sizzling……………Ric