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books by Jack McDaniel

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Just A List

my favorite movies that have over the years provided me reasons to laugh and think. There's no particular order
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The Ususal SuspectsI was driving into work this morning and I switched the radio to ESPN and Colin Cowherd. Colin is a sports talk show host but I like him because he likes to talk a lot about life in general. This morning he was discussing movies and listed his favorites.

That got me wondering about my favorites - for now anyway - and what sort of list I would have. ... more »

Railbender

There is a skate park near to our house and my daughter has been going there for some time now. She's just learning to skate and there are kids of all skill levels at the park day and night.
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Railbender ParkThere is a skate park near to our house and my daughter has been going there for some time now. She's just learning to skate and there are kids of all skill levels at the park day and night. ... more »

Better Than Talent

Rick Reilly, former Sports Illustrated and current ESPN writer, interviewed legendary basketball coach John Wooden recently. Wooden turns 99 soon. Though confined to a wheelchair because of a bad hip, he's still sharp as ever and looks great.
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John WoodenRick Reilly, former Sports Illustrated and current ESPN writer, interviewed legendary basketball coach John Wooden recently. Wooden turns 99 soon. Though confined to a wheelchair because of a bad hip, he's still sharp as ever and looks great. ... more »

Vacationing With the Dead

A basic definition of life is the capacity for growth, functional activity, and continual change preceding death. So what do you call it when one voluntarily surrenders those requisites?
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Lindbergh, Da Vinci, Galileo, Martin Luther King, Jr. They thumbed their nose at convention. They spat into the wind and dared it to spit back. Each of them reached beyond the horizon and grabbed tomorrow. Not for themselves.Cruise Ship Not for posterity. They did it because they had to, because, as Jack London wrote, they "would rather be ashes than dust." These men, and other men and women like them, could not float on the tides and be content to take life as it came. No, they were meant to carry others in their wake. They created the eddies that brought us changes in perspective and forced us all to swim against the current. They made us bigger than our evolutionary roots, bigger than our petty grievances. They gifted to us the human spirit; each one building on his predecessors. ... more »

Artist and Community Leader

Tadashi Hayakawa isn't just an internationally respected artist who happens to live in Parker, Colorado. He is also one of the community's most valuable assets
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Tadashi isn't just an internationally respected artist who happens to live in Parker, Colorado. He is also one of the community's most valuable assets. ... more »

The Elephant Man of Loxahatchee

The fact that it was late Thursday morning at Loxahatchee Golf Club in Florida was irrelevant, except that everyone I knew was working 1400 miles away to make a buck and suffering through a mid-west winter day.
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Joe NamathAt some point during the day I had to stop and say to myself, “Jack Nicklaus is playing in the group in front of me.” No matter that my drive had sailed away to the right and landed behind a tree, leaving me with little hope of advancing the ball forward, let alone to the green.

The fact that it was late Thursday morning at Loxahatchee Golf Club in Florida was irrelevant, except that everyone I knew was working 1400 miles away to make a buck and suffering through a mid-west winter day. But the man playing in front of me three years earlier had completed, arguably, one of the most amazing feats in sport history. He won the Master’s at age 48 – and in dramatic fashion, too. ... more »

Female Math

Some things are so indelibly etched into our framework of electrical impulses, DNA encoding, and sweat and dreams that we rarely question their rationality, let alone their existence.
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NumbersIt’s all about me!"

Some things are so indelibly etched into our framework of electrical impulses, DNA encoding, and sweat and dreams that we rarely question their rationality, let alone their existence. There are times, however, when a psychic knock on the head causes us to stop and look at things anew, to re-focus and examine that which was before seen as a given. ... more »

France Notes

There are 150 smaller chateaus in the north and west of France that have beeen turned into Bed and Breakfasts. But these places, while wonderful to stay and spend time in, are only launching points.
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Clos LuceWe've spent two days along the Loire river in a small chateau owned by Mssr and Madame de Gelis, the Chateau Colliers. The chateau has been in Christian's family for twelve generations, since the mid-seventeen hundreds. The de Gelis family is the third family to own this Chateau.

There are 150 smaller chateaus in the north and west of France that have beeen turned into Bed and Breakfasts. But these places, while wonderful to stay and spend time in, are only launching points. Throughout the Loire Valley region are massive castles that have dominated this region since the 1400s. These massive complexes are surreal in their appearance and grandeur for a native mid-western boy. The quality of their craftsmanship, the intricacy of design, and the completeness of their grounds bely their age. Moats and gardens, drawing rooms with ceilings two stories tall, spiral staircases that allow two people to traverse them opposite each other (thank you Leonardo Da Vinci!): these mamouth structures seem to be quietly waiting their rediscovery by the modern world that is in desparate need of its own renaissance (at least in the U.S.). ... more »

Let It Snow

The question is part of the daily barrage the seven-year-old whiz kid throws my way. "Where does God come from?"
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Let It Snow!So dad," comes the still-tiny voice from the back seat of the car, "when Santa finally gets too old and tired and decides to retire, who will take his place?"

The question is part of the daily barrage the seven-year-old whiz kid throws my way. It is early February, the holidays are recent memories and next year’s Yuletide aspirations still occupy Madison’s thoughts.

I'm momentarily caught off guard by the question, but I quickly recover and chuckle softly to myself.

"You know how excited you get when Christmas gets near? How fun it is to see all the pretty lights and snowmen?" ... more »

Agents of the Undertow

Regardless of the synaptic rust that may have accumulated, there will come a day when viewing that picture brings back the sun’s warmth and you will again step into that place between yesterday and today, that place where
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TidesTake this picture: a young child stands in the half-sunlight beneath a group of large pine trees, reaching out to touch the flowers and smell their spring-time fragrance. The child is smiling. The back of her printed dress hangs loosely in the breeze as she bends forward. The picture is a conduit, a reminder of simpler times, of the sun’s warmth and how there are moments when time can stop and the sun can wrap its warm rays around us and coddle us. This momentary sidestep of time that accompanies such episodes--this photo--breathes life into us and connects us, making us aware of the fluidity of existence. This standing still of the world--where the minutest detail is crystal clear--is unexpected but always welcomed.

Keep that photo, place it away somewhere safe, somewhere that you are sure to come across it in the future. Regardless of the synaptic rust that may have accumulated, there will come a day when viewing that picture brings back the sun’s warmth and you will again step into that place between yesterday and today, that place where time slows down and tranquility washes over you and memory ambushes you ... more »

One Day

He has to be the poster child for his generation, gracefully moving about the stage like someone half his age. In fact, from a distance – like the balcony at the Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado – he appears to be half his age.
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Tommy TuneHe has to be the poster child for his generation, gracefully moving about the stage like someone half his age. In fact, from a distance – like the balcony at the Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado – he appears to be half his age. His graying hair, from the cheap seats, anyway, looks like it was manufactured by the gang in make-up (he's too young to be grey, isn't he?). His voice is still strong and clear and fills the theatre. On this night he is Dr. Doolittle, the monkey-chatting, snake-smacking chap from days gone by. Otherwise, he is known as Tommy Tune, American theatre icon.

The show itself is only somewhat entertaining – to me anyway. The music is wonderful, the lyrics crisp and witty, and the choreography is fun and energetic, but the remainder of the story is lacking. I am not the best judge of the show's effectiveness, however, and this night isn't for me. ... more »

Footsteps

Human newborn are among the least developed creatures on earth. It takes longer for us to reach maturity than any other animal, physically, socially and emotionally
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It is very early in the morning and I have stolen Madison from her bed and taken her to the beach for a sunrise walk. The beach, like most of Hawaii, is sleeping, only a few egrets are keeping watch over us. The sun is emerging from its morning bath and the ocean is beginning its retreat from the heat until later toward evening. We walk along the shoreline where the water has recently come and gone, leaving a smooth ... more »

Hitting Bottom

If we are lucky we find a place in the world (and within ourselves) and then begin a search for greater things. If we are lucky we begin to dig with a purpose. Our digging will then shape the world and the lives around us.
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If we are lucky we find a place in the world (and within ourselves) and then begin a search for greater things. If we are lucky we begin to dig with a purpose. Our digging will then shape the world and the lives around us. If we are lucky we learn to see the unlimited potential in others and we mine it for the benefit of all. As we age, what we learn from our digging and exploring is that it is difficult to create a world without boundaries. It is difficult to step outside of the things that we know and fly freely. Too many constraints force us to view the world and its inhabitants with a twisted eye. ... more »

The Value of Things

A short time ago, I received in the mail an inventory booklet from my home insurance agent. It was, of course, blank and asking to be filled in, something I’d avoided too long. Start small, I thought. It will be easier.
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PatchesA short time ago, I received in the mail an inventory booklet from my home insurance agent. It was, of course, blank and asking to be filled in, something I’d avoided too long. Start small, I thought. It will be easier. Take measure of the little things first, the seemingly insignificant, the ordinary. Progress toward larger stuff and keep a tally along the way. In the end, when the counting is finished and the books have been totaled, there will be a sum and the value of things will be known, ordered. Or so it seemed. As I looked around the house I realized it would be difficult to discern the junk from the treasure. Measuring the value of things is a tricky business, I found, even when their cost is known. ... more »

The Rhinoceros Is Eating S'ghetti

I think about the large animals, the predators, the grazers, even the scavengers. They are disappearing, all of them, including the rhinoceros.
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This is how it begins. We are driving to San Diego from Colorado. The trip has taken two and a half days, leisurely and fun. Surprisingly, our twenty-month-old daughter has spent most of her back seat time singing ("Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "Ring Around the Rosy"), looking out the window, and asking for her coloring books. Or rather, book--she has her favorite and the others don't pass the test. Her speech has grown exponentially over the past fortnight. Her vocabulary, it seems, doubles each hour. Still, it surprises us that she can form complex sentences at ... more »

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