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And, I do keep my socks on. Socks mean business.

All you can do is HOWL with the sheer genius of this. When you’re not “a bit sleepy” you simply must tell your collective “business” partners about business socks – and how amazingly funny this is.

Do it!

Peace be to my Brothers and sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

“ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END” – There is an end to everything, to good things as well. The proverb dates back to about 1374 (Chaucer). First attested in the United States around 1680. The word ‘good’ was added much later. ‘Everything has an end’ and ‘Everything comes to an end’ are variants of the proverb.

Also…

In the end, we are undone, perhaps in only our current form through treachery, deceit and selfishness – all qualities that are, ironically, so un-Shockers Nation-like.

As one of our parents so aptly pointed out… Perhaps they, my erstwhile hearty and ferocious Shockers, have become accustomed to the unique experience and take it for granted (this includes parents). Now, they must drink from another cup and make that their comparison.

Will Natural Selection always prevail?

Coach Brian

I miss my Dad.

I think my readers (and, certainly those of you, otherwise, closer to me) know that he took his own life on October 6th, the day before my Birthday. That was a good number of years ago. But, the rawness of it still explodes at the back of my skull every October. I had this gripping post ready to go. But, I’ve sat on it for weeks, uncertain why, until now.

Yesterday I had a good day with Emma Jo.

A quick aside, if you’ll indulge me… I spend a good amount of time with Haley Anne – especially around proper football (soccer). She is gorgeous. And, yesterday I realized that she is developing a love for writing, in her own right. My Dad had more of a gift for drawing. But, her creativity, in general, would have delighted him.

Meanwhile… We are preparing to move our household deeper North into Alpharetta (Milton) horse country off Freemanville Road. There is a long story attached to this. But, I’m more interested in some of the highlights occurring in and around the “big picture”.

While rummaging through the storage spaces in, what will shortly be referred to as the “old house”, we came upon containers crammed with family photos. In one crumbling box was a treasure trove of photo albums and curling black and white snap shots of Haley Anne and Emma Jo’s ancestors. This included my Dad in many an enigmatic situation. There were a bunch of them with him with his arm around me. Or, me hugging him from behind while he worked on some project (this made me recall that I often hugged my Dad. I never shied away from that, even in public, through High School and College). And, these fascinated Emma Jo. She took right to them with an endless and insightful stream of questions. But, the best part was the bonding as she snuggled into me. So, she was my “buddy” all day. We made a few trips back-and-forth to the “new house” having loaded up my big black bad-ass truck. And, we were fortunate to have another classically beautiful Georgia Fall day because the drivers-side window is broke and won’t close. So, we had this incredible moment with a lull in the easy conversation when Emma Jo was caught thinking carefully between questions and observations. She looked so happy. The golden light was pouring through the window and highlighting her hair, still almost white from the lake and sun, that had the wind pushing wildly around her shoulders and face. Her cobalt blue eyes were bright as diamonds. She looked over at me winsomely and shrugged, rather shyly. And, it struck me that Dad had ironically created this moment.

I was so incredibly thankful.

Dad was a better man than me. And, I was fortunate to have him in my life. And, he is always my inspiration for the sort of earthly father I try to be every day. So… October sixth can come and go. But, Dad and Mom live on through Emma Jo and Haley Anne. And, all of it means me living the Authentic Life.

You can roll your collective eyes at me – and, I’ll give it little merit. And, so, I’ll share this video from Glee and their cover of: I Want To Hold Your Hand with you. It’s apropos, to be sure, and I think Chris Colfer is a terrific singer.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Last week – let’s pin this on Monday – Haley Anne was still thirteen. Long legs, almond-eyed, and a fury on the soccer pitch. I’ll add adored by her Daddy, for good measure. But, that’s hardly news to the loyal followers of this Blog.

Haley Anne has always been wired for independence. She was never likely to hurl herself off of a four-story roof top with a home made parachute like I did at ten. But, she has her own mind and the steely resolve to realize it. She’s been a handful lately getting the sense of herself with all the trials-and-tribulations that come with being a teenage girl in the savage hallways of Middle School. All-in-all I’m quite pleased with her. Joanne takes the brunt and the heat of Haley Anne’s hormone-drenched temperament, while I still have more opportunities than not to be the hero. But, I’m navigating dark waters on any given day.

Mondays… They loom over us don’t they? Whereas Tuesdays are best for police raids, it’s Mondays that herald a week full of opportunity. …This includes life’s unexpected lessons.

Last Monday was the first day of the new school year and Haley Anne is now in the eighth grade. Middle school is tough, and the girls that are found in the halls are often colorful enough to put a New York City Vice Squad on edge. Haley Anne arrived safely home (she actually enjoys the bus) and was full of war stories. Most of them are of middling consequence, to me, any way – and, to yourselves, naturally. And, I was probably more focused on the evening’s soccer practice, and being content with the fact that her dress was evidently well regarded, her classes found without adventure, and her lunch crowd cordial.

We’ll step lively forward with this tale, acknowledging only that the above preamble is insufficient to signal the change of life that has forever altered my own world view. …That aforementioned, and unexpected, life lesson.

Dinner was a quick bite of lasagna before we were off to practice. That went swell as usual. Then home to a few quick emails and bed. Sleep comes fast in my head. The pillow and a death-like coma are quick and easy friends, for me.

But… With her uncanny ability to unhinge me from any deep sleep Joanne shoved my shoulder later that evening with a curt:

“you need to read this”.

What I heard in Joanne’s voice was a mixture of bemused angst (its possible, and Joanne, being English has it perfected). I wasn’t expecting a foreclosure notice or ransom note so I was a bit slow to pull myself together for thought leadership.  However glowing in the dark, and hovering in front of my face was Haley Anne’s iPhone (I knew this because mine is an iPhone 4, while Haley Anne’s is a 3G, and emma Jo’s 3G [minus SIMs Card] has a crack in the screen). All this quickly spun out of my head as I was shocked into alertness by the message:

“I LOve You. Let’s get back together”.

I’m not sure if it was adrenalin, fear, anger, numbing shock, or unrepentent outrage that surged through my body like spinach might Pop-eye from the old cartoons. But, I must have read the message ten times before I simply asked Joanne:

“who the hell sent that to Haley Anne?”

The simple response was:

“_____ – the kid from summer”.

So… Here’s the abbreviated background scenario…

Many of Haley Anne’s friends are involved in some form or another with “boyfriends”. In our household, the rule is NO BOYFRIENDS until our daughters are fifteen years of age. None. That’s it. And, that means the stuff that goes along with boyfriends. Any of it. Period. Haley Anne apparently caught the eye of this young fellow last year, and he launched a deluge of texts at her all summer. Joanne had a series of talks with Haley Anne that I won’t burden you with. But, we were satisfied that Haley Anne understood the rules and we have a clear and binding covenant in our family. I trust my daughter. And, I’m developing trust and faith in her judgment. I’m training her to be a leader in both her thinking and actions.

All along the way, I’m also being trained by my daughters, and life, as seen through their eyes, to be more open-minded and open-hearted.

I drove Haley Anne to school the next day. I asked her along the way if she wanted to talk to me about “_____”. She paused before answering barely enough to gather her breath because she’s a quick thinker, and wit, that one.

“he’s only a friend Daddy. I know what I want; and, it’s not a boyfriend. I just like having a lot of great friends.”

That helped me. And, reaffirmed Haley Anne has her wits about me – or, is a brilliant actress. I’ll submit there is all that afoot. But, here is how I’m handling this matter:

“I love you with all my heart, and I’m more proud of you you each and every day. There is a lot of change afoot. And, I need your help. If you ever think you know what love is, or start to have feelings for some lucky lad, I want you to try something… In fact, let’s give it a go this week… Find a poem that you think and feel is about love. You can’t be wrong. Just try. Just like in football (soccer) – give it your best. You can never disappoint me with effort. It’s all about interpretation. All I really care about is your opinion, your thinking, and your feelings. You can write the poem if you want to. The only rule is that it has to be something you would be willing to read and give to a person you think you love. That might be a test that you are ready to share your heart with someone other than me.”

My voice cracked, just a bit. So, she knew where all of this was coming from.

She was quiet. And, looked at me. I got the simple, slow, gentle nod with the far away look behind the eyes.

I love being a Dad. And, I trust my daughter. I’m putting a lot of faith on the line. I feel great. But, I also have the same feeling in the pit of my stomach that I have before a big race or other competition.

Stay tuned.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I’m following the multiple lines of thought around building a Muslim Mosque near Ground Zero in New York City.

My initial reaction was to bristle. I feel this is natural. But, soon I had to at least try and think the matter through like a Jeffersonian. Mind you, Thomas Jefferson studied the Qur’ran in earnest. In fact, loyal readers of this blog know that I’ve chronicled that Jefferson bequeathed his own copy of the Qur’an to the Library of Congress upon his death. That was a great bargain. And, he understood the importance of making a public spectacle of executing wrong-doing Extremist Muslims with pigs blood-drenched ordinance. However, this raises some thoughts, and possible misconceptions driving misinterpretations of all manner of scripture around Lex Talionis, or the principles pertaining to: “an-eye-for-an-eye” /1.

Meanwhile, President Obama is being both public and clear that his position is: every American has the right to practice their religion freely anywhere on American soil. In many ways we all observe one another’s traditions. We are smack in the middle of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Yesterday he told an intently listening crowd gathered at the White House:

“As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country”. He added: “That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.”

And, I’ll stand in agreement with that.

I don’t know, yet, if it’s a good idea.

There are sure to be some logistical concerns. And, the Muslims intent on establishing the Mosque might be a bit insensitive, I think. There is a lot of opposition that appears to think this is a deliberately provocative act that will precipitate more bloodshed in the name of Allah. Or, maybe these are plucky Muslims hoping to set an example of some sort that might inspire positive feelings going forward.

I’m thinking we need to be open-minded, here. Once the Mosque is built and operational, tolerating activities in-and-amongst it will be a terrific example of “turning the other cheek”. Just to be clear, according to Luke 6:29 (English Standard Version from 2001):

“To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.”

Time and again, the American people have demonstrated a rich history of rallying back, working through issues, and staying true to our core values and emerge stronger for it.

And, this is where we turn the tide on the Extremist Muslim terrorists.

When we bogged down our own airports with hyper-security measures and fear we gave the terrorists a form of victory with our inconvenience. And, we are creating enormous debt waging a global war against them on multiple theaters of battle. But, Rep. Ellison’s afore-referenced platform was one of tolerance and the requisite open-mind.

“Terrorist”, “Muslim terrorist”, “fanatical Muslim”, “fundamentalist”, and “devout Muslim” are not synonymous (we hope, any way). This is an opportunity to walk amongst and with Muslims and understand them better – and, they us. Also, if your friend is also your enemy, and is in your front yard, we have an opportunity to embrace him (and, pat him down). If he breaks faith, rank or rules, we can then offer him a round-house kick al-la Chuck Norris, or thump him soundly with an olive branch until he understands what Teddy Roosevelt meant when he advised everyone to: “speak softly and carry a big stick”.

Meanwhile, in the sprit of all this and that, both good and uncertain, I’m listening to Jaron and the Long Road to Love’s Pray for You.

Check out more of their work on iTunes. Tell’m Cork said: “hey”.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

_________________________________

/1 – In Islam the Qur’an permits exact and equivalent retribution. The Qur’an, however, softens the law of an eye-for-an-eye by urging mankind to accept less compensation than that inflicted upon him or her by a Muslim, or to forgive altogether. In other words, Islam does not deny Muslims the ability to seek retaliation in the equal measure. But it does, however, promote forgiveness and the acceptance of blood money not as a mandatory requisite, but rather as a good deed that will be eventually rewarded (Qur’an 5:45).

On occasions, however, the “eye-for-an-eye” rule is applied quite literally.

The phrase, “an-eye-for-an-eye” is, in truth, a quotation from several passages of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 24:19–21Exodus 21:22–25, and Deuteronomy 19:21), and not the Qur’an, in which a person who has injured the eye of another is instructed to give the value of his or her own eye in compensation. At the root of this principle is that one of the purposes of the law is to provide equitable retribution for an offended party. It defined and restricted the extent of retribution in the laws of the Torah.

In modern times, the phrase still loosely applies. Should a person commit a tort that results in personal injury of the plaintiff, they must pay for the repairing of the injury (e.g. an eye transplant). This is called compensatory damages.

The English word talion means a punishment identical to the offense, from the Latin talio. The principle of “an-eye-for-an-eye” is often referred to using the Latin phrase lex talionis, the law of talion.

Our current president Barack Obama (just in case you forgot) may not be an inspiring leader, but he is certainly an aspiring celebrity. You can read more than enough about that, here. Now Elisabeth Hasselbeck can gush about Michelle Obama being “just like Jackie-O”!

Obama clearly meant it when he promised that his tour in the White House would be one of great change.

I wonder when he might name Don King to his cabinet?

Oprah must be so proud!

Remember this?

Jin penned this heartfelt anthem for his presidential choice after learning about Obama. He didn’t stop there though; he took it a step further by setting up a campaign fund for Obama, so that a portion of proceeds from the song would go to the senator’s camp. The move landed him on Obama’s Myspace friends list (how cliche). Imagine that.

I have a call into Jin to sort out how he feels about Obama, today. Stay tuned.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I’m so damn shallow.

Distractions abound.

But, it’s little things, like a Chris Tomlin tune that help me in those less than, otherwise, fulfilling moments.

However, and having stated the above (and, many other things daily), I don’t want to mislead anyone, anywhere, ever… I’m still waiting; searching. Sad, yet hopeful.

It would be easier to call myself a Christian. But, God would know, right?

So… The best I can offer is to live my life like that, as far as I think what it could all mean. Doing it my way is like living with considered abandon, and without a net. No fish on the bumper of my car. It means living by a code but not knowing if there is a reward.

Isaiah? Nehemiah?

But, I’m also listening to God of Wonders (it’s the Chris Tomlin version, for me) – and, relentlessly, I’ll add, here.

I’m by no means courageous (maybe not since Sarajevo, anyway). Just Authentic.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

what’s all this about?

I can’t explain what that damn tree means - or, if it might stand for something.

However, here I do discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman.

brian cork by John Campbell

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"Perhaps victory can be realized best when the heart changes."

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about this particular Theme:

I'll warn you now that Tarski is theme of this blog created by Benedict Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson. It is named for the logician Alfred Tarski. I'll recommend his papers ‘The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages’ and ‘On the Concept of Logical Consequence’, both of which can be found in the collection Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics.