From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

Them bones, them bones

January 29, 2018

Highslide JS

The late Duffy Daugherty, old and colorful Michigan State football coach, used to say that you needed only three bones to make a successful journey through life. They are the wish bone, to dream on; a back bone, for strength and courage to get you through the tough times; and a funny bone, to laugh at life along the way. Not bad.

Most folks you and I admire have all three of those bones. Without a dream, life gets quickly reduced to the tight radius of today's demands and deadlines. It doesn't take much of either to drain us dry and steal our energy. It's not unlike trying to get through the day without a song. Everybody needs a wishbone.

Without determination (the old - and better - word is gumption), we cave in quickly. It's necessary that we set our sights on a target outside the parameters of the next twenty-four hours, but in doing so -- we are wise to tell ourselves that trials will come. Discouragements and disappointments will accompany us on our journey. That's why strength and courage are essential additives to whatever fuels our dreams. Everybody needs a back bone.

And a sense of humor? I hardly need to address its value beyond what I've already said and written. Laughter is like grease in the gear box; it helps immensely to diminish the friction and makes everything run more quietly and smoothly. Everybody needs a funny bone.

There is one who comes to mind who has used those same bones to go from nothing to something. He started below scratch -- born in a rugged cow town (Stephenville, Texas) that didn't even have a golf course. His parents didn't play golf and discouraged him from doing so. He was so small other kids made fun of him. On top of that -- he was a time when there were no lefthanded golf clubs. So he learned to play right handed.

When he was 9 his daddy killed himself with a .38 revolver. Not only did he not finish high school, he never won a single amateur golf tournament. In spite of that, he turned pro at 17 and joined the tour, but ran out of money and was forced to return home a failure. At 23 he played in his first U.S. Open and missed the cut. At 26 he was down to his last $8 when a thief stole all four tires off his car, leaving him stranded on the road. Through his first four U.S. Open attempts, his best was a tie for sixty-second. Through almost nine years as a pro -- he did not win a tournament.

At 30, when most golfers are in their prime, he was drafted into military service. At 36, he was in a horrible auto accident in which he fractured his pelvis and broke his collarbone. Physicians told him he would never walk again, much less play golf again. He ignored their prediction and returned to the game.

The man never became a television commentator, never played the senior tour, and never wore a logo on his hat or cap. He never had a teacher, a manager, an agent, or a sports psychologist...and his total career earnings amounted to less than $210,000.

Despite these setbacks, disappointments, and failures, by the time he retired, Ben Hogan had won 64 tournaments and established a reputation for pure-ball striking unapproached by anyone during his day. He finished with nine major tournament wins and is in the Golf Hall of Fame.

Whether or not you're into golf or any other sport is irrelevant. The point is we're all into a journey...a journey from here to eternity. The trip is full of responses, choices, and decisions.

Dream big...don't let anybody or anything break your wish bone.

Stay strong, full of faith, courageous...whatever you determine to accomplish will take a healthy back bone.

And don't forget to laugh and enjoy the journey. Funny bones aren't nice options; they're essential equipment during your trip.

Old friend Robert said, ""A sense of humor is the best indicator that you will recover; it is often the best indicator that people will love you. Sustain that and you have hope."



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

Forgiveness: A necessity of life

January 22, 2018

One man wrote: ''After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunately, my wife, like most women - loves to browse.

Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter from the local Wal-Mart: Dear Mrs. Gilbert,

Over the past six months, your husband has been causing quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against Mr. Gilbert are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras. - July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.
- July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the men's restroom.
- July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, 'Code three in Housewares. Get on it right away.'
- August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&M's on layaway.
- August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.
- August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told other shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department.
- September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his teeth.
- October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the 'Mission Impossible' theme.
- October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through he yelled, ''Pick me! Pick me!''
Sincerely, Wal-Mart

What do you think, should he be forgiven?

Mark Twain once said, "Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it."

I have found that 'forgiveness' is a word that applies to me in seeking and granting it. There are times that I have to seek the forgiveness of those I have offended. At other times, I must grant forgiveness to those who request it from me. Pity the person who does neither; who thinks they have wronged no one or are above righting a wrong they may have created.

I believe I have lived long enough to be qualified to say the following.

Because we all fail at times in life -- I believe it should be our posture in life to be willing to forgive before we condemn.

One thing I have learned all these years is that "what goes around - comes around." There are some things that happen to others where forgiveness ought to be at the forefront of our decision-making - especially when deciding whether the crime fits the time or punishment.

It is amazing to me how people will jump on someone when they have made a mistake, but later learn it really wasn't that person's fault and they were the ones who caused the error. All of a sudden -- they are the ones who want you to understand their error when they weren't willing to be so forgiving. Ever meet anyone like that?

As we proceed in 2018, may our posture be one of forgiving before making the mistake of condemning another. Life will be a lot happier if you do.

Old friend Robert said, "There is no love without forgiveness and there is no forgiveness without love."



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

Making a difference in 2018

January 16, 2018

The older we get the faster time goes by -- or so it seems. In our childhood days, we thought Friday would never get here. Now -- every time we turn around -- it is Friday.

New Year's resolutions are always the topic of conversation at this time. We make them - we break them. Promises are made, but are not always kept. Not because we are dishonest, but because we are human.

I don't really have a list of resolutions entering 2018. In fact -- there is only one resolution or promise, if you will, that I am going to do my best to see become a reality.

Texting, E-mailing, tweeting, etc. has been a major form of communication in today's world. Year after year we seem to be living in a world of avoidance. The less we have personal contact with someone -- the better.

Occasionally I share with my kids what it was like growing up when I was their age. I remember my parents telling me about the great depression, walking two miles in the snow to school (when they lived in Arizona), five cent cup of coffee, etc. And, like my kids, I just rolled my eyes.

The other day, I was explaining to some young kids that when I grew up, cars didn't have seatbelts, power steering or air-conditioning. Our first vehicle with automatic shift was a big deal. When we did get a television, it was black and white. We received only three channels, and those broadcast only a portion of the day. Instead of texting, we were talking. The longer I spoke to these kids about the things I've seen, the more amazed they were that I survived such primitive conditions.

I am truly amazed at the world of texting. Some of these kids text faster than a speeding bullet. They can send a dozen text messages out before I can thump out one text.

The text messages I receive often come in text language, a shorthand used for messaging. Many of these abbreviations have become common knowledge like BFF, "Best Friend Forever" or FYI, "For Your Information."

Did you know text language has also been adopted by business people? AFK stands for "Away From Keyboard" and BIL stands for "Boss Is Listening." Soon, we will reach the point where a young man will propose to his future wife by texting, "WILUMryME?"

As the Baby Boomers move into retirement age, a new phenomenon is emerging. These budding senior adults have picked up on the new technology and developed some of their own text messaging shorthand. A young person's texted "LOL" means "Laughing Out Loud." But for a senior adult, the same letters mean "Living on Lipitor" and FYI means "Found Your Insulin."

A young person would use "M8" to mean "mate," but for a senior adult, it stands for "Metamucil at Eight." "GTG," a popular way to end a text message, means "Got To Go." For a senior adult, however, it means "Going to Gastrologist." "TTYL" normally means "Talk To You Later," but to a senior adult, it translates as "Talk To You Louder." In text language, A3 means "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere" but for a senior adult, it signifies "Arthritis, Angina, Ailments." Of course, "BTW" stands for "By The Way," but now it can also mean "Bring The Wheelchair."

It saddens me that in this day of text messaging, e-mail and Facebook, we have forgotten the art of touch. Being touched is one of our most basic needs.

As we are now in 2018 -- I am going to do my best to let someone know that I care. That I am there to be of help to them.

In 2018 -- make up your mind that you will be a positive influence in the lives of others. Won't you join me? And that my friends is more than FYI. It's AMOF (A Matter Of Fact).

Old friend Robert said, "Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

When our brains go into neutral

January 9, 2018

I think all of us would characterize ourselves as pretty intelligent, logical thinking people. We may not be the smartest individuals on the planet as compared to those who scale the IQ level to the genius rating, but, for the most part, we feel that we are at least above average.

Ever have those moments when you wonder if you have the IQ of a chimpanzee??? I think we all have had those times where we scratch our heads and say to ourselves, "What was I thinking?" Of course, we certainly wouldn't begin to write down those moments in our diary of stupidity for fear that someone might find our moments of weakness as grounds for the padded rooms in a mental hospital.

One of the unique things about the world wide web is being able to find moments in other people's lives who have gone into neutral -- lost their sense of common sense -- which allows us to elevate our intelligence, even if for just a few minutes.

With that thought in mind, perhaps the following will make your feel a little smarter. Or will it?

A woman recalled: "This week, my phone went dead and I had to contact the telephone repair people. They promised to be out between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. When I asked if they could give me a smaller time window, the pleasant gentleman asked, "Would you like us to call you before we come?" I replied that I didn't see how he would be able to do that, since our phones weren't working. He also requested that we report future outages by email. I asked him, "Does YOUR email work without a telephone line?"

A man stated, "I live in a semi-rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the Deer Crossing sign on our road. The reason: 'too many deer were being hit by cars' and he didn't want them to cross there anymore."

A mother shared: "My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for minimal lettuce." He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg lettuce."

A co-worker observed, "I work with an individual who plugged her power strip back into itself and for the life of her couldn't understand why her system would not turn on."

Insight at a car dealership from a woman, "When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver's side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. "Hey," I announced to the technician, "It's open!" To which he replied, "I know - I already got that side."

Someone standing on the corner, "The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it's safe to cross the street. I was crossing with an intellectually challenged co-worker of mine when she asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, "What on earth are blind people doing driving?"

Sales clerk protects card user, "I was signing the receipt for my credit card purchase when the clerk noticed I had never signed my name on the back of the credit card. She informed me that she could not complete the transaction unless the card was signed. When I asked why, she explained that it was necessary to compare the signature I had just signed on the receipt. So I signed the credit card in front of her. She carefully compared the signature to the one I had just signed on the receipt. As luck would have it, they matched."

Old friend Robert said, ""I not only use all the brains that I have, but all I can borrow. Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings."



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

Joy and happiness -- It's your choice

December 29, 2017

I was visiting with a very dear friend of mine and we were discussing what makes some people the way they are in life.

There are some people that you meet who have joy and happiness and then there are others who find fault with everything in life.

I prefer to be around those who bring joy to a room and leave with a fresh aroma of positive energy.

Quite frankly, I prefer the negatives to go somewhere else.

I remember something that another friend gave me several years ago that describes what I am talking about. The story goes like this.

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.

Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready.

As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet curtains that had been hung on her window.

"I love it," she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old, having just been presented with a new puppy.

"Mrs. J! You haven't seen the room ... just wait."

"That doesn't have anything to do with it," she replied.

"Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged ... it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.

Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away... just for this time in my life."

Old age is like a bank account: you withdraw from what you've put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories.

I am thankful for my Memory bank. I am still depositing many wonderful things that can never be taken from me. Those special people who have touched my life in many ways. Those special moments in life that remain near and dear to my heart.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

  1. Free your heart from hatred.
  2. Free your mind from worries.
  3. Live simply.
  4. Give more.
  5. Expect less.

Old friend Robert said, "I've seen happier faces on an iodine bottle. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour."



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

Angels are around -- especially this time of the year

December 18, 2017

Occasionally - someone sends me something that I find very touching and think it is worth sharing. We have just celebrated Thanksgiving which should put us in the giving spirit to bless others as Christmas time approaches. Perhaps this experience by a Hospice physician from Denver, Colorado will make you more aware of the needs of others.

He writes:

I just had one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and wanted to share it with my family and dearest friends:

I was driving home from a meeting this evening about 5:00 p.m., stuck in traffic on Colorado Blvd., and the car started to choke and splutter and die - I barely managed to coast, cursing, into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. It wouldn't even turn over. Before I could make the call, I saw a woman walking out of the "Quickie Mart" building, and it looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a gas pump, so I got out to see if she was okay.

When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen; she was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up, and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a nickel.

At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with three kids in the back (one in a car seat), and the gas pump reading $4.95.

I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help, and she just kept saying "I don't want my kids to see me crying," so we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. She said she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right now. So I asked, "And you were praying?" That made her back away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, "He heard you, and He sent me."

I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, and while it was fueling, walked to the next door McDonald's and bought two big bags of food, some gift certificates for more food, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the kids in the car, who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and talking a little.

She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City. Her boyfriend left two months ago and she had not been able to make ends meet. She knew she wouldn't have money to pay rent January 1, and finally in desperation had finally called her parents, with whom she had not spoken with in about five years. They lived in California and said she could come live with them and try to get on her feet there.

So she packed up everything she owned in the car. She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there.

I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road. As I was walking over to my car, she said, "So, are you like an angel or something?"

This definitely made me cry. I said, "Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people."

It was so incredible to be a part of someone else's miracle. And of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away and got me home with no problem. I'll put it in the shop tomorrow to check, but I suspect the mechanic won't find anything wrong.

Sometimes the angels fly close enough to you that you can hear the flutter of their wings."

If you have a special experience this Christmas season - drop me a line and let me know. Others need to be blessed as well. It is my prayer that God will bless you in a special way this Christmas. Don't forget the reason for the season!

Old friend Robert said, ""He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree."



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

The value of another

November 27, 2017

Every once in a while, I watch a program on our local Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) called "Antiques Roadshow." This show features a group of appraisers who criss-cross America. When they come to your town, you bring in your junk and they tell you its value.

Of course, every episode has its twists and turns. One person discovers that his valuable, pre-Civil War antique was made in China and sold at last year's state fair. Another brings in an object that cost a quarter at his next-door neighbor's garage sale, only to learn that it is worth thousands.

During one show, a man in a pair of overalls stood behind a simple table. Now, I want you to know that I have nothing against overalls. When I was growing up in rural America, everyone wore them, and I still own a pair. When the appraiser asked, "Where did you buy this table?" the man in the overalls replied roughly, "Garage sale."

"And what about this table caught your eye?" asked the appraiser. "It was the same size as my television. I had been looking for a table to hold it. This one has done the job for the last 10 years."

The appraiser wore a shocked expression. "Do you know what kind of table this is?" he asked. The man in the overalls replied, "Yes. It is a television table."

Quietly, the appraiser began explaining that this was a one-of-a-kind piece, dating back to the time of Paul Revere. The man in the overalls didn't look too impressed. Next, the appraiser told him that in fact, this looked like a table that Paul Revere himself had made. Turning it over, the appraiser showed the man some markings and other aspects of construction. The more the appraiser talked, the more excited he got. The man in overalls just listened.

Finally, the appraiser could no longer hold in his excitement as he exploded. "In all my years of studying antiques, I have never seen a table like this. I have called other appraisers to verify, and we concur. You have the only known Paul Revere table in existence! What do you think of that?"

The man in the overalls looked up just long enough to say, "It fits my television."

The appraiser continued, "If I sold this at an antique auction, I would start the bidding at $150,000-and there's no telling how high it would go. Now, what are you going to do?"

The man in the overalls looked up from his table just long enough to say, "I am talking it back home so I can sit my TV on it." He wasn't persuaded by the table's value or history. It held his television perfectly. That was all that mattered.

I can't fault the man in the overalls. I think that we, too, forget the value of those in our lives. We see them for what they can do for us, instead of who they are. We do it with our family members and with our friends.

It is funny how age changes our perspective on life. When we are younger -- we want to accumulate things. When we get older -- after we have accumulated things -- we find that they don't really make us happy.

I think that's why that older people have such fun with grandbabies. My four grandbabies with one on the way are a constant reminder of the miracle of life.

Right now - life is fun for the four of us. I'm at the age where I am happy with the simple things of life.

I don't expect to find I have Paul Revere's table holding up my television -- and that is OK. But I am thankful for those that are closest to my heart...those who are worth more than any table. Those who can never be replaced with the things of this world.

Old friend Robert said, "I am thankful to God everyday for the Gift of Life because even if I were the richest man in the world, I still wouldn't be able to afford to buy one day of Life."



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

Coach Mac will be missed

November 14, 2017

He was known as "Coach Mac" at Southern Methodist University. He began his SMU career as a student-athlete, winning seven individual Southwest Conference swim championships. He also won two team championships with SMU in 1953 and 1954, serving as the captain on the 1954 team.

He may have been known as "Coach Mac" -- but I knew him as "Uncle George" (by marriage) for almost 45 years. In the swim world, he was known as Coach George McMillion and he coached some of the best swimmers in the world.

He spent 14 years as an assistant at SMU before taking over as the head coach of the men's swim team in 1971. In his 17 seasons in charge of the program, McMillion mentored 78 All-Americans and 15 NCAA champions. He was named Southwest Conference "Coach of the Year" four times.

His SMU swimmers went on to win a combined 10 Olympic medals -- six gold, two silver and two bronze. McMillion coached the U.S. National Team in 1978, 1982 and 1983.

McMillion was inducted into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame in 2014. Previously, he was inducted into SMU's Hall of Fame in 2011.

Uncle George was honored recently when SMU opened the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr-McMillion Natatorium, a new $22 million facility for the men's and women's swim teams that bears his name.

"The Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center is a reality because his commitment and love of SMU swimming and diving inspired others to give back," SMU athletic director Rick Hart said in a statement. "While we are saddened by his passing, and I will personally miss visiting with him on Thursday mornings, we take solace in knowing that the Barr-McMillion Natatorium will serve as a fitting tribute and a legacy to his influence and impact on our program."

At the helm of the Mustangs program, Uncle George won eight consecutive Southwest Conference titles and helped his team finish in the top ten at the NCAA championships 14 times. He also coached 10 Olympians and five Olympic medalists (Steve Lundquist, Ricardo Prado, Rich Saeger, Jerry Heidenreich and Ronnie Mills) that combined to win ten medals, six of them gold.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned was he volunteered, after his retirement, to develop a new swim program at Dallas Strake Jesuit High School.

He had swimmers who qualified for the UIL Texas state swim meet in Austin that first year and I just happened to run into him unexpectedly while I was there covering the state swim tournament.

As usual, he was really glad to see me and we hugged and chatted for a few moments. When I ask if he had any swimmers that might medal and he said not this time at their first state meet. But he said they did win one thing.

His competitive spirit came out when he said, "We won't be bringing home any medals, but we beat Houston Strake Jesuit as they had no state qualifiers so we were the first to be here." And then he gave me that sly grin and I knew he was proud of his kids

Uncle George was a fixture on the SMU campus and he touched thousands of lives for over six decades. He will be missed there and he will be missed by our entire family. His humility and commitment was a testimony of his success. We love you Uncle George!

Old friend Robert said, "To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. As the memories will last as long as we are still alive."



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

Paying respect to our flag and national anthem

October 10, 2017

Each time that our high school athletic teams participate against an opponent, we take time to honor our flag, country, and national anthem.

Whether I am in the press box during football season, courtside at a basketball game, or standing out in the open for baseball, softball, track, etc. -- I always stand and place my hand over my heart during the presentation of the colors and the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

It is something I have done for almost 64 years beginning in a catholic kindergarten in Duncan, Oklahoma. When I began first grade, we were taught to recite the pledge of allegiance while putting our right hand over our heart. Each and every day, we did this from the first grade till I was a senior in high school.

Patriotism was engrained into our lives and only when I left home to live on a college campus did I see my patriotism challenged -- due in part to the Vietnam War.

I was at the age where I could have been drafted to go to Vietnam. Going to college and making good grades allowed me to stay at home, though I had some high school classmates who served our country in Vietnam only to return home in body bags.

There was Bobby Frost and Patrick Robirds who gave their life for our freedom. Another classmate, Keith Werner, returned home severely wounded where he lived a short time and then died.

Recently, one of our Pearland elder statesman, who graduated from Pearland High School, approached me following the national anthem at a sporting event. He asked, "Do some of our adults and students not know how to honor our flag and national anthem?"

He went on to say, "I was taught to stop talking, take off your hat [if you were wearing one], place your hand over your heart, face the flag, and stand at attention at the playing of the national anthem. Where is the respect?

According to some research, here is the proper etiquette regarding our flag and national anthem.

The US Code (Titles 4 and 36) specifies four circumstances for rendering the hand-over-heart salute:

  1. When the US flag is raised or lowered
  2. When the US flag is carried past in a review or parade
  3. When reciting the pledge of allegiance
  4. When the national anthem is played

The saluter should face the flag in all cases. If the national anthem is played when the flag is not displayed, the saluter should face the source of the music.

Whether you agree or not, keep something in mind. There have been thousands of men and women who have given their lives so you and I could stand for a few moments and give respect to our nation's flag and anthem. In essence -- we are also giving respect to them and their sacrifice of dying for our freedom.

Sure, I know we have players in the NFL that kneel during the national anthem in protest of something. But consider this -- 99.9 percent of them have never nor will they ever put on a military uniform and put their lives on the line for our freedom. In past days -- we had athletic heroes who exchanged their ball uniforms for military uniforms and went to war in service of our country...only to return to be sports heroes again. Ted Williams is one who immediately comes to mind.

The next time you attend an athletic event and they play the national anthem, please stop talking, take off your hat, stand at attention with your hand over your heart, say a prayer for the men and women who are serving our country in the military, and be reminded that our freedom has been paid for with the ultimate sacrifice -- the life of a fellow American.

Old friend Robert said, "This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in."



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

Are you losing your mind?

September 11, 2017

Ever feel like you are losing your mind? I think I saw where you can buy some little gizzmo that will fit on the handle of your coffee mug in case you misplace it. You have a little remote button that you can push and it will set off the buzzer on your mug so you can locate it.

I think the gizzmo can also be attached to eye glasses, keys, cell phones, etc. Not sure where I saw this gizzmo -- or, I may be losing mind and that idea hasn't been produced yet...but it certainly sounds like a good idea...don't you think?

At this time of my life -- I find myself trying to think of a person's name, the name of a movie or something else in just every day conversation, but can't quickly recall the answer or it takes a little extra time before I finally do remember.

This reminds me of a story I heard about an elderly couple who were experiencing the same problem I have. They decided to take a power memory class that taught them to use association to remember important pieces of information.

A few days after it ended, the old man was outside talking with his neighbor about how much the class had helped him.

"What was the instructor's name?" asked the neighbor.

"Oh, hummmmm, let's see," the old man pondered. "You know that flower, you know, the one that smells really nice but has those prickly thorns, what's that flower's name?"

"A rose?" asked the neighbor.

"Yes, that's it," replied the old man. He then turned toward his house and shouted, "Hey, Rose, what's the name of the instructor we took the memory class from?"

Though some of us may be dealing with Mad Cow of the brain...I believe it is important to remember those who have meant much to us in life.

As I get older -- I am aware how time is quickly fleeting. The older you get -- the faster time slips by us.

Speaking of fleeting time -- it is that time of the year that I am a year older. Yes -- Saturday, September 16 is my special day and I am thankful that the good Lord has given me another wonderful year -- especially with my four grandchildren Cooper, Kayla, Graham, and Abby with one more on the way -- Leighton Joy.

There isn't a day that I don't give thanks for another day of life. I never will take the blessings of life for granted and especially for those who are so near and dear to my heart.

Makes me want to take the time to actually sit down and write a special note to a few people who have been a blessing to my life and put a stamp on the envelope.

Let's see -- now I just need to find my -- you know -- that slim thing that has ink in it...I can't seem to remember where I put it...wonder if that gizzmo would fit on it?

Old friend Robert said, "Your youth is certainly finished and old age has definitely arrived if you feel that you are losing enthusiasm, excitement and energy towards your dreams and goals."



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

Teenagers get a bum rap!

September 9, 2017

If you're between twelve and're a suspect. Cops stare and senior citizens glare. Why? Well...

You drive too fast, you think too slow, you aren't responsible, and you can't be trusted. The music you listen to is loud, your clothes are too weird. Your hair is too long, too short, or the wrong color. Your room is a mess and you have no pride in your work or your appearance.

And dare I mention manners? You talk with your mouth full, you slump and slurp, you treat your brother and sister like they have the plaque, and you belch at the most inappropriate time. You're allergic to homework, housework, hanging up your clothes, staying on your cell phone all the time, texting, sleeping late, and not going to bed.

If you have a few bucks -- you're a drug dealer. If you date quite a bit -- you're messing around. If you don't come home when you said you would -- you're probably where you shouldn't be. If you don't get a job -- you're a bum. If you smile real big -- you're probably up to no good. If you frown -- you've got a rotten attitude.

Tired of all of this? So are they. There are exceptions, but by and large, the teens of today are full of talent, have unbelievable possibilities, and whenever they get their rear in gear, can accomplish phenomenal feats.

I've said all of the above to make the point that the teenagers in the Friendswood, Pearland, and Manvel communities stepped it up to help heal the hurt from Hurricane Harvey.

The texts went out -- twitter sounded the call to arms -- and the local teenagers, many of them student-athletes, answered the bell to give of their time and energy in helping people, many who were complete strangers, to begin the starting all over process to send a clear message that things will be OK.

"I'm getting calls and texts from people I don't even know, some of them elderly, in tears talking about you guys, and they see you all walking down the street looking like an army coming at them," Friendswood head football coach Robert Koopmann told his players. "That community needs you, and I'm so proud of your selflessness and your hard work."

Things can be replaced, but lives matter. Families matter. Love is stronger in a community than the loss of things. That's been the message of the area student-athletes to people who have suffered tragedy due to Hurricane Harvey.

We have heard and seen so many heartbreaking scenes in recent days. Perhaps one of the most touching interviews came from Dickinson head coach John Snelson whose community was devastated.

"As bad as I feel about my situation and about our kids' situation, it was really cool to see people unite and come together and help each other out," Snelson said. "I was just so tired of seeing everything on the news about white versus black and Democrat versus Republican and this, that or the other, cops versus regular people.

"I don't know, maybe this was a wake-up call for us all to realize what's truly important, that we need to love God and we need to love our neighbor like we love ourselves — not love your neighbor if they're the same color as you, not love your neighbor if they go to the same church as you, not love your neighbor if they think the same way you do. Love your neighbor as you love your own self. It's just been a big wake-up call, to be honest with you."

I am so proud of all of our coaches, players, cheerleaders, drill team members, band, volleyball players and other students who have given of their time to help others during this time. It will take time, but we will be a stronger community because of this

Old friend Robert reminds us, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9.



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

Enjoy the coming year of sports

August 22, 2017

It is hard to believe that the start of school is just around the corner and that the fall sports season will begin shortly. Hundreds of area athletes have already reported to their various high school sports programs preparing to do their very best as they represent their family, school, and community.

It seems like only yesterday when my son, Landon, was getting his first taste of competitive football at the Jr. High level. Now, after being a first-team All-District pick for Pearland his senior year in 2005 -- he recently turned 29 and is one of the lead engineers for Chevron-Phillips. He just celebrated five years of marriage with his high school sweetheart, Valerie, and my grandson, Graham, who is 20 months old and is ruling the universe. My how time flies.

But he gave me some precious memories -- ones that we will always share.

When he first decided to participate in the PHS football program -- I told him that he was going to have to work hard and make it on his own. I knew that the Pearland coaches weren't interested in my pressing them to give him playing time.

I made a commitment years ago that if one or more of my four children wanted to participate in competitive sports, I was going to be totally supportive of their decision, but I would remain silent and supportive of the respective coaches.

I guess that comes from the example my parents set when I played in high school and college.

My mom and dad would attend each game, watch me play, and then go home. They were never vocal, they never chastised a coach, nor did they ever berate a coach when I got home. I can honestly say that my folks never criticized any of my coaches at any level.

There were people who watched me play who didn't even know my parents. Only their close friends knew where they sat and who their son was on a given Friday night in high school or on a Saturday in college.

I took the same stance with my children. My son never heard me utter one word of criticism regarding the Pearland coaching staff.

As the 2017 sports season approaches, it would be a good idea for parents to be totally supportive of their young men and women. This also includes being supportive of the coaches who are committed to your student-athlete.

While all of us want to see our teams win, it is equally important to maintain a consistent level of support for each student-athlete and their coaches. No team goes out to intentionally lose. A strong support base of love and faithfulness is essential for all involved. You will be a lot happier if you look at the whole picture and maintain a sense of decency and self-control.

Also - don't forget about those who participate in the band, cheerleaders, drill team, cross country, volleyball, and tennis. They also sweat in this sweltering heat and spend countless hours preparing for their time in the spotlight or competing for their respective high schools..

I am excited as the fall sports season begins. I want every student-athlete to be successful. But remember -- they are students, first -- and then athletes. So wear your team's colors and spirit clothing with pride -- support each of the young men and women who are participating -- and enjoy this time of the year. There is nothing better than being a part of the high school sports scene.

I think I can hear the band playing now! Won't you join me?

Old friend Robert said, "When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less. Never let a win get to your head, or a loss to your heart."



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

What is true friendship?

August 8, 2017

I recently was visiting with a man who was a superintendent of a school and had done a tremendous job in seeing his school system become one of the leading schools in the state of Texas.

My first encounter with him came when I was invited to speak to all of the students in his school district during national "Red Ribbon Week" -- the week set aside by schools to educate and motivate their students regarding the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse while stressing right choices in life.

I received a call from him informing me that he had changed schools and then he began to fill me in on what had happened to him during the past year.

You see -- he had learned that he had cancer this past year and instead of his former school officials rallying around him and giving him the necessary support that he needed during his treatment -- they showed their true colors by putting pressure on him to resign with little compassion regarding his health and recovery.

He said to me, "David, I found out who my true friends were during this entire ordeal. It shocked me that they would treat me the way they did -- especially while I was going through treatment -- I had written a grant that was approved by the federal government for $500,000 to fund a special program for our school."

I could sense in his voice the hurt and the pain -- not from the big "C" (which is now in remission), but what I believe was an even greater pain -- and that is to experience the reality of finding out who people really are when you need them the most. A moment when people could have responded at his greatest point of need in life...he experienced rejection. I certainly could relate, though not to the same degree, but none the less, I understood.

In past years -- I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of people. I was introduced to many of them through the reading of this column.

This form of communication, for the most part, has been an attempt to convey positive words and support to others. Of course, there are times that one has to take a stand when an unjust accusation has been made toward someone when the accuser(s) haven't taken the time to look deep enough into who they are seeking to criticize.

I remember a girl in Del Rio, Texas who gave me a slip of paper with these words written on it after speaking at her school.. She wrote: "A real friend is someone who understands your past...believes in your future...and accepts you today just the way you are."

Not bad from a sophomore in high school. Whether she wrote it herself or read it somewhere and copied it from another source -- this young lady had etched in her heart the true meaning of friendship.

I am thankful for real friends and their encouraging words.

Mark Twain once said, "I can live three weeks on a compliment."

People who have friends and easily make friends are usually very happy people. Have you ever noticed that? When they walk in a room -- people naturally smile and wave at them -- glad to see them -- delighted they are a part of the festivities. They light up a room.

On the other hand, those who are filled with: "I'm always right" - "You're always wrong" -- type attitudes can ruin a happy occasion. They have a lot of baggage that they want others to carry for them that is usually labeled critical, unhappy, and bitter.

I would hope you would take the time today to think about the friends you have in your life. Someone once said that you are a very rich person if you have a trusted friend in your life. Treasure that friendship and in turn also be a friend.

Old friend Robert said, "A real friend is someone who walks into your life when the rest of the world has walked out."



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

Little known facts about Texas

August 1, 2017

I was born and reared (which is proper grammar) in Oklahoma. I was reared to be an Oklahoma Sooner fan and to not like Texas very much. That worked fine until I moved from Oklahoma to Texas in 1974.

Nobody has asked for these astounding facts -- but I thought I would give them to you anyway.

Did you know that from Beaumont to El Paso is 742 miles. From Beaumont to Chicago is only 770 miles. If you take I-10 to El Paso from Houston -- you are exactly half way to Los Angeles -- yet you haven't left the state of Texas. In fact - El Paso is closer to California than to Dallas.

When you think of the Houston Rodeo -- I thought you might like to know that the world's first rodeo was in Pecos in July 4, 1883.

The Flagship Hotel in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built over water.

The Heisman Trophy was named after John William Heisman who was the first full-time coach for Rice University.

Brazoria County has more species of birds than any other area in North America.

Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America's only remaining flock of whooping cranes.

Jalapeno jelly originated in Lake Jackson in 1978.

The worst natural disaster in U.S. history was in 1900 caused by a hurricane in which over 8,000 lives were lost on Galveston Island.

The first word spoken from the moon, July 20, 1969, was "Houston."

King Ranch is larger than Rhode Island.

Tropical Storm Claudette brought a U.S. rainfall record of 43" in 24 hours in and around Alvin in July 1979.

Texas is the only state to enter the U.S. by TREATY, instead of by annexation. (This allows the Texas flag to fly at the same height as the US flag.)

A Live Oak tree near Fulton is estimated to be 1,500 years old.

Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in the state.

Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. There is no period after Dr in Dr Pepper.

Texas has had six capital cities:.

  1. Washington-on-the-Brazos
  2. Harrisburg
  3. Galveston
  4. Velasco
  5. West Columbia
  6. Austin

The Capitol Dome in Austin is the only dome in the U.S. which is taller than the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. (by 7 feet).

The name Texas comes from the Hasini Indian word "tejas" meaning friends. Tejas is not Spanish for Texas. The State animal is the Armadillo. (An interesting bit of trivia about the armadillo is they always have four babies! They have one egg which splits into four and they either have four males or four females).

The first domed stadium in the U.S. was the Astrodome in Houston.

I'm not sure that you can ever really take out the OKIE from someone born north of the Red River -- but I must admit that I'm right proud to live in Texas...and particularly in Pearland.

Old friend Robert said, "I'm on the Lone Star diet...BBQ, Mexican, WHATABURGER, Pecan Pie, and then repeat!"



Twitter: @drdavis111

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