Hollison Journey

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” – Don Williams Jr

The Best of Intentions

I had every intention of participating in 7 QT’s on Friday. No, really, I did. I had my 7 things written down and I was going to have pictures and links and everything. It was going to be snazzy. I was going to go home after work and post.

Then my sister texted me at 4pm and invited me over to the house she was house-sitting at. I was already planning to go over there Saturday, so starting early sounded good to me. I packed my laptop, fully intending to blog there. But once there, I ate Irish Nachos (potato slices covered in cheese, onions and other delicious things) and watched episodes of Gilmore Girls we’ve seen a million times.

No worries though, I’ll just post Saturday right? Or, I’ll watch MORE episodes of Gilmore Girls until the Texas Tech game, at which point I will be completely engrossed in yelling at the commentators, griping at the TCU coach and jumping up and down during all three overtime periods (Wildcat fakeout? OMG!) Once the game ended, Sara and I went to her favorite watering hole and waited for our dad and his friend, who went to the game, to come so we could re-hash the game until it was time to head back and you guessed it, more Gilmore Girls.

Sunday turned into a very productive day, cleaning, cleaning, church, cleaning, and more cleaning. If it wasn’t for all the laundry, I’d be done.

And that leads me to now, posting this blog from the break room on my lunch break via my phone. Where’s my list? On my kitchen counter. The good news is, most of the items I listed can (and will) turn into blog posts. I just may start scheduling them in WordPress instead of assuming my schedule will stay normal.

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Race #1 of 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, I’m like a week late with this. Whoops! Let’s pretend it’s Sunday, January 15.

I did my first race of 2012 yesterday! Woke up early and was out my door at 7:15am for The Hotcake Hustle. Luckily, the race was nearby and I met up with Jared at 7:30. We chatted for a while and got ready. There was a Fun Run at 8am. So fun to watch the kids take off at full speed when it started. Then it was time to line up and before we knew it, we were off!

Jared and I started together, but we both knew we have separate goals and paces, so we wished each other luckand he took off. I started off jogging and then slowed to a walk (but a speedy walk). I chose not to listen to music this time, just to see if I liked it (more on that later). The course stayed relatively flat, except for a bridge. That bridge stunk. Not literally, it just wasn’t much fun.

Anyway, I got near the end and Jared came back to finish with me. As we got near the end, we started jogging and crossed the finish line. The announcer guy even said my name over the PA as he announced people finishing. We went inside and grabbed pizza pieces (small ones) and granola bars. Unfortunately, no hotcakes. While everything else was in a ballroom and people kind of weaved in and out, the pancakes were in another room (I think) and the single-file line was ridiculously long, so we left.

Then I went home and laid in bed for 4 hours. 🙂

Oh, my verdict on no music? I did not like it. I didn’t mind not having the sounds, but I think my pace fell without it (I don’t have proof, just my hunch). Eventually, I’d like to be able to do either, but for now I will use music.

This race set the “benchmark” time for the next race, so I’m pleased with the result no matter what.  Not where I want it, but I know what I need to improve on.

Next race: Too Cold to Hold, next Sunday! (Remember, it’s Jan 15!)

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A Very Long Day

Ok, to be fair upfront, yesterday was an awesome day. However, a wonderful day was nearly ruined – and that is what I would like to share.

So, yesterday was the annual World Youth Day at Six Flags. It is an event where the Catholic teens of the Diocese of Dallas and the Diocese of Fort Worth go to Six Flags Over Texas (the original and still best). We have a day of fun and it ends with Mass at the Music Mill Amphitheater, con-celebrated by both Bishops and a lot of priests. And 7,000 teenagers. It is a blast.

This was my third year to go and every year, it’s the same thing. We meet Sunday morning, drive down to Arlington, ride rides, play games, celebrate Mass, and go home. On our way home, we stop at Sonic and arrive back at the church between 8 and 8:30pm.

Yesterday, it all started out the same. We met up in the morning, drove down to Arlington, rode some rides, played some games, and celebrated Mass. Then we tried to go home. But there was something different about this year.

cowboys-stadium

The Dallas Cowboys now play in their new stadium in Arlington. One block away from Six Flags. And on this particular day, they just happened to be playing a game there with a kickoff time of 3:15pm. So, at 6:30ish, when we were leaving mass and heading to the parking lot, the game was ending and the fans were headed to the parking lot. So, what happens when 90,000 people try to leave Cowboys Stadium and 7,000 people try to leave Six Flags at the same time and try to access the same two highways?

You wait.

A semi-accurate run-down of our ride home:

7:14pm: My van is loaded up with myself and 6 teenagers. I start the van and head out of my spot.

7:15pm: Get in line to exit parking lot.

7:45pm: Leave parking lot and turn onto Road to Six Flags Drive. (not a typo. 30 minutes just to leave the parking lot. Most of that was standstill.)

8:05pm: Turn onto South-bound Hwy 360 and U-turn to go north.

8:26pm: Get on ramp for North-bound Hwy 360. (again, not a typo. It took 20 minutes to go through the light at the exit before I could get to the ramp.)

8:32pm: Leave the City of Arlington

9:07pm: Arrive in South Denton (it took as much time to drive to Denton from Arlington as it did to leave the parking lot)

But my night was not over. Because the traffic was such a mess, our multitude of cars got split up. And I had to wait at the church (a) for Caity, who I was taking home, and (b) to make sure all the kids got picked up. So the rest of my night went like this:

9:07pm: arrive at the church, unload.

9:09pm: Wait for cars

9:15pm: Tell Kendall she can go get food (she was waiting for her brother)

9:21pm: Call Caity and find out she just got something to eat and will be at church in 5 minutes.

9:23pm: Call Kendall and ask her to get me some food as well.

9:27pm: Caity arrives at church; more kids leave

9:32pm: Kendall’s brother arrives at church; more kids leave

9:40pm: Kendall comes back and brings me food, takes her brother home. Carrie, Shelby, Caity and I are waiting for our last teen, Kaytlin, to be picked up.

9:43pm: We realize that Kaytlin’s ride is another teen…who has decided to stop at Dairy Queen across town before picking her up. Sigh.

9:58pm: Kaytlin gets picked up. Of course, by now it is pouring rain, so Carrie and Shelby take me and Caity to the van and we jump in and head home.

I love World Youth Day. I just hope that next year, the Cowboys are playing an away game.

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Requests?

I had hoped to be posting about a Red Raider victory this morning, but that just didn’t seem to be in the cards. There was some positives about the game: namely, the fact that we did not fall apart when mistakes were made. They bounced right back and made good plays. This is a huge improvement over years past and could definitely be a benefit later in the season. I really wish this game had been played in late Oct/Nov like it should have been. I think we would have seen a very different game.

Anyway, I’m not real sure what to write this week, so I thought I’d take requests. Anyone have something they want me to write about? Questions for me? Leave a comment and I will do my best.

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If I Were The Big XII Commissioner…

First of all, thank God I’m not.

After hearing 7,000,000,000 different ideas on how to decide who wins the Big XII South three way tie, I decided to see if I could look at some numbers and figure it out.

To begin with, we all know this fact: OU, UT and Tech are all 11-1 teams. Which ultimately means they all are excellent teams. And since the head-to-head-to-head is a vicious circle,  it probably also means that they are similar in talent and excellence. And more likely than not, they each had an “off” day.

So, I decided to compare scores as evenly as possible. There were 4 teams that all three schools played this year (not counting each other): Baylor, Kansas, A&M and OSU. Lining up those stats, it looks like this:

UT Difference OPP OU Difference OPP TTU Difference OPP
Baylor 45 24 21 49 32 17 35 7 28
Kansas 35 28 7 45 14 31 63 42 21
A&M 49 40 9 66 38 28 43 18 25
OSU 28 4 24 61 20 41 56 36 20
TOTAL 157 96 61 221 104 117 197 103 94

What does this tell us?

* Defense/Points Allowed: 1. Texas 2. Tech 3. OU

*Offense/Points Scored: 1. OU 2. Tech 3. Texas

*Difference in scores: 1. OU 2. Tech 3. Texas

Ok, so that doesn’t help tremendously since the three are, once again, all good teams. Though just looking at that, I would say OU should win.

Let’s expand to the whole seasons:

OU Diff OPP UT Diff OPP TTU Diff OPP
Chattanooga 57 55 2 Fl Atl 52 42 10 E. Wash 49 25 24
Cincinnati 52 26 26 UTEP 42 29 13 Nevada 35 16 19
Washington 55 41 14 Rice 52 42 10 SMU 43 36 7
TCU 31 21 10 Arkansas 52 42 10 Mass. 56 42 14
Baylor 49 32 17 Colorado 38 24 14 KSU 58 30 28
Texas 35 -10 45 OU 45 10 53 Nebraska 37 6 31
Kansas 45 14 31 Mizzou 56 25 31 A&M 43 18 25
KSU 58 23 35 OSU 28 4 24 Kansas 63 42 21
Nebraska 62 34 28 Tech 33 -6 39 Texas 39 6 33
A&M 66 38 28 Baylor 45 24 21 OSU 56 36 20
Tech 65 44 21 Kansas 35 28 7 OU 21 -44 65
OSU 61 20 41 A&M 49 40 9 Baylor 35 7 28
636 338 298 527 304 241 535 220 315

Looking at this:

Defense/Points Allowed: 1. Texas 2. OU 3. Tech

Offense/Points Scored: 1. OU 2. Tech 3. Texas

Difference: 1. OU 2. Texas 3. Tech

So, bottom line….I have no clue. But my gut tells me OU. They dominate their opponent better than Texas in my opinion.

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Reason Number 59876538 Why I LOVE Mike Leach!

http://texastech.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=866497

A) Thank God Leach isn’t turning a blind eye to the kicker situation.

B) A&M is going to be pissed if this works out. Talk about your 12th man.

C) If I was a Tech football player, I’d be upping my game so Leach doesn’t replace me!

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Oh Mike Leach…

how I love thee!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxBsXzvENpo

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Phantastisch!

Back in 1979-1980, my parents hosted a 16-year-old foreign exchange student from Germany named Tina. Since then, we have remained in contact with her and her family, including several trips from both sides of the ocean. Tina got married 16 years ago and now has two children of her own. The last time we saw the family was in 96 when my family spent time in Germany. On Saturday, Tina, her husband, and her two boys (now 14 and 11), came to visit us! This is the boys’ first trip to America and her husband’s first trip to Texas (he has spent time in California before).

Saturday we didn’t do much except let them recover from their long day of travel (they stayed awake close to 24 hours to recover from jet lag). Sunday we all went to church (where the 11-year-old developed a deep love for donuts) and went to the Rangers game. Baseball is not very popular in Germany, though the 14-year-old played in a youth league for several years. The boys loved the game, and thankfully the Rangers pulled off a win for us!

This morning they left with my parents for Austin, New Braunfels and San Antonio, but we will have more fun with them next week before they head for the Grand Canyon and California.

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On the Road Again

Sometimes, and I hope to make this more often, I visit a site that generates random writing prompts. You remember writing prompts: those things teachers would put on the board or overhead and tell to you to write five minutes about in an effort to improve your writing simply by having you write every single day. I loved them.

Anyway, I visited tonight and the prompt generated was “where would you go on a road trip if you could go anywhere?” I already knew the answer.

Since the definition of “road trip” would mean that you’re not going over water, I’ll exclude my foreign trip wishlist. Let’s keep confined to the contiguous 48 states.

Several years ago I bought a book called The Summer That Saved Baseball, It was about these two guys who visited thirty baseball stadiums in forty days. Hello, dream trip. Not only would you get to see the country, but thirty baseball games! thirty baseball stadiums! thirty ballpark hot dogs! thirty renditions of Take Me Out to the Ballgame! Oh my. In a perfect world I would take longer than forty days, specifically so that I could see other attractions besides the games, but if that was the only way to do it, then I am ok with it. I would even keep the good ol’ Ballpark in the schedule even though I’ve been there more times than I count (no lie. i worked there for two years). It would be part of the experience.

In the perfect world that lives in my head, this road trip will happen. In the realistic world that I have to live in, I’ve been to five stadiums. 25 to go (well, really it’s six since I went to Arlington Stadium. But also really I have 26 stadiums to go to since I went to the Astrodome but never Minute Maid Park).

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