Play Ball!

1:20 PM CDT
Cubs home opener

In memory of Harry Caray, “A One, A Two, A Three!  Take Me Out To The Ball Game…”

Happy Birthday, Abraham Lincoln

[Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President, looking at a photo album with his son, Tad Lincoln, Feb. 9, 1864] (LOC)

Abraham Lincoln was one of my first heroes.  Growing up in the rural Midwest, he was a man of my people.  As a young conservative, he was the founding father of the Republican Party.  As an American, he was the man my ancestors fought for—the man who saved the Union.

Get the books, and read and study them till you understand them in their principal features; and that is the main thing. It is of no consequence to be in a large town while you are reading. I read at New Salem, which never had three hundred people living in it. The books, and your capacity for understanding them, are just the same in all places…. Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing.

Abraham Lincoln, 1855

The man and and the myth of Honest Abe Lincoln is as valid today as it ever has been.  Any one of us can raise ourselves up from nothing to become President of this great nation.  We can say what we will and do what we will.  We can try new things, fail and live to try again another day.  We each have the right and responsibility to serve a purpose greater than ourselves.

Abraham Lincoln was born on 12 February 1809.  So far we have come in 200 years.  So far we have yet to go.

Groundhog Day

Think what you will of Bill Murray or Andie MacDowell, their performance in Harold Ramis’ 1993 movie Groundhog Day is a delightful little romp through the world of PunxsutawneyPhil and small town America.

One can take Groundhog Day as a simple comedy, a diversion from our mid-winter blahs.  Murray’s self-centered TV weatherman gets what’s coming from him, with MacDowell and Chris Elliott’s original Larry the cable guy along for the ride.

However, if you’re inclined to put on your thinking cap, Groundhog Day—both movie and day—can be much more.  What is it with this “Six More Weeks of Winter” thing?  Growing up in Fargo, where we have 8 months of winter and 4 months of extreme heat, I always assumed the negative case was 12 more weeks of winter.  Of course it’s 6 more weeks until Vernal Equinox as any calendar will tell us.  Wouldn’t it make more sense if it DID see it’s shadow then that means the sun is shining, so it should be LESS winter? 

Anyway…. the collective wisdom of Wikipedia gives us something to think about:


Groundhog Day is a tale of self-improvement, to look inside oneself and realize that the only satisfaction in life comes from turning outward and concerning oneself with others rather than concentrating solely on one’s own wants and desires. As such, the film has become a favorite of Buddhist, Christian and Jewish leaders alike because they see its themes of selflessness and rebirth as a reflection of their own spiritual messages. It has even been dubbed by some religious leaders as the “most spiritual film of our time.”

I have some other problems with the film, like the fact it was filmed in Illinois, not Pennsylvania, but I’ve got some of my own self-improvement to get done this Monday morning.  Congrats to the Steelers, and by the way, bundle up.  Phil just saw his shadow.