It’s been a quarter century since the Buffalo Bills lost their last of four consecutive Super Bowls. After beating the Baltimore Ravens this weekend, they moved within one step of the promised land.
During their 17-3 win in the second round of the AFC playoffs, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson was knocked out of the game in the third quarter. By the time the game was over, someone had posted to a Bills fan website and suggested that Bills fans donate to one of Jackson’s favorite charities: Blessings in a Backpack, which “mobilizes communities, individuals, and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry.”
By Sunday night, Bills’ fans had donated more than eleven thousand times and raised nearly $300,000.
Nice work Bills fans. Enjoy this year–the Jets won’t be two extra bye weeks next season.
I won’t quote Martin Luther King today. As a conservative in this environment, it’s not for me to do that. But that doesn’t mean I’m minimizing his impact.
It’s easy for me, as a comfortable suburban white guy who’s largely voted Republican, to appreciate the guy whose approach to injustice is much more comfortable to me than people wanting to take revenge for centuries of subhuman treatment. For untold murders and absolute miscarriages of justice. For the Tuskegee experiment that purposely infected black men with STDs until 1972. For the Tulsa race massacre, something we were never taught at any level of American history. For the relatively minor injustice that the NFL–a majority black league–didn’t have a black head coach until 1989.
After people tortured him to his eventual death, Jesus could’ve called down legions of angels for appropriate revenge. Dr. King could’ve called for the same type of revenge.
And he died anyway, executed.
So today’s good thing is that in fits and starts, we’re opening our eyes as a society. We’re recognizing areas where the system, which should ideally be neutral, is stacked against the poor and people of color.
Dr. King wasn’t perfect. But his non-violent approach made a huge difference.
Today’s good thing is that we’re moving in the right direction, albeit slowly.
There’s probably a vegetable somewhere that isn’t better if you roast it, but I haven’t found it yet. If you’re looking for a great and easy lunch, it doesn’t get easier than popping a bunch of cut up vegetables on a cookie sheet or similar pan, spritzing them with olive oil, and throwing on some salt and pepper. If you want a little extra fun, add some grated parmesan cheese to the top.
I started the One Good Thing posts after we were challenged at church to do something extra. I posted something good every day in December. But Monday seems like a day when everyone could use a pick-me-up as (most of us) head back to work for the week. So going forward, I’ll post something good every Monday.
No one really knows the origin, but there was a movement to tip $2020 on a relatively small check through last year. Donnie Wahlberg, Harry Styles, Jenny McCarthy, and Tom Selleck were among the big tippers. An Idaho couple surprised a server at a Pho restaurant by crowdsourcing a tip of $2500 for a server who had two small children and worked three jobs.
Most of us probably can’t drop a tip of $2000 for a meal, but it’s nice that people who can, sometimes do.
My friend’s Facebook feed used to be a collection of pictures of her with her family, her husband and two kids. Then came the traveling–the living overseas. The posts about how good it can feel to be a doctor who retired.
And then the Covid happened. She recently communicated that she was going to let her credentials lapse, but she said God told her to wait until March 2020. And then she knew what she had to do.
My friend isn’t alone in going back to help after she’d stepped away. It’s a dated article, but this talks about people returning to work. Most of the news coverage on this topic is similarly dated. That doesn’t mean their decisions are any less amazing.
To volunteer to be in the front line is to risk your life, especially if you’re old enough to be in a risk group yourself. It’s raising your hand to care for a tsunami of risk and death.
This summer, I decided to grow a tomato plant. That experiment ended after we went away for a week and it didn’t get watered. So this year for Christmas, my wife bought me an idiot-proof hydroponic garden for Christmas. In a few short weeks, we’ll have cherry tomatoes, dill, basil, and parsley.
Even I can’t screw it up. The base contains water in which the plants grow and it alerts you when more water or plant food is required. It even includes its own light source, so you don’t need to worry about moving it so it gets more light.
If it works out, we’ll be having some awesome salad, Italian food, and…I guess pickles.
Sometimes the gifts that didn’t come from your Christmas list are the best.
If you drive south of Richmond, Virginia on I-95, you pass through Chesterfield County. That’s were several hundred people gathered on the side of the road to thank UPS driver Anthony Gaskins for all his deliveries. Residents said Gaskins not only delivered packages–some from grandparents who haven’t seen their grandchildren in more than a year–he always did it with a smile and wave and they wanted to thank him.
He was moved to tears as they lined up along the road to think him. One resident said he makes you feel like a friend when you see him.
Last week, I posted about on Twitter about Gary and Shannon, two people I’ve never met, but who do a radio show and make me feel like a friend when I listen to them. Another listener thanked them for helping us stay sane. I added the following tweet.
I also sent them cookies and a Christmas card. Most days I work at home alone and other than work calls, I don’t have a lot of personal interaction. They give me something to look forward to. They also taught me the proper way to cut a turkey breast and guided me to the LA microbrewery where I saw the following:
Today’s good thing is strangers, no matter where, who make you feel like friends. It’s something I’d like to get better at doing myself in 2021.
Imagine if this had all taken place in 1980. Or even in 2000.
This year has been horribly difficult because of the Covid and for a lot of jobs, it’s been a show-stopper. For a lot of workers, it hasn’t made a difference.
But for a lot of us, work’s gone on. We’re just having all those meetings virtually. Zoom. Google. WebEx. Even Facebook. Pick your poison.
Those tools have allowed us to connect in ways that wouldn’t have been possible a couple decades ago. I’ve been able to have a weekly card game with friends and we attend church every Sunday morning because of the tools that’ve been developed over the past several years.
We can even make it festive–and avoid cleaning up before calls–by adding custom backgrounds.
No one wants to experience a pandemic, but if you have to experience one, this is the time to do it.
When the Dodgers had summer camp getting back to work this summer, they were short position players in the outfield, so clubhouse attendant Francisco “Chico” Herrera played. After misplaying a ball hit by Chris Taylor to a triple, Taylor disrespected him by trying to tag up from first to second on a fly ball. He nailed him at second.
Until the outfielders reported, Chico was an internet sensation. You don’t run on Chico.
I’m sure there will be other stories that come out as the days go by, but six police officers probably saved countless lives yesterday morning in Nashville, as they alerted residents to the danger and helped them escape. Although human remained have been found, only three were injured in the blast and are in the hospital in stable condition. Two other police officers were injured.
Sure, it’s their job to face danger, and sure, the bomb had a recorded timer. But bombers seem like the type of people you don’t trust to stay true to their word. These cops, including two women and one black man, helped yesterday’s tragedy be much smaller than it otherwise would be.
If you’re going to call out cops for what they do wrong–and we should–then it’s not copaganda to give them credit where it’s due.