Another NFL quarterback I respect and hope gets the opportunity to duel Brock Purdy in the Super Bowl is Trevor Lawrence. Born in Knoxville, he played behind another great QB, Kelly Bryant at Clemson. Kelly's aunt was a long time patient and I looked forward to her office visits; she knew college football and was sure proud of her nephew! The 2017 season found Kelly designated the starting quarterback for the Clemson Tigers after Deshaun Watson's departure for the NFL draft. Kelly Bryant led Clemson to a 2017 ACC Championship and the College Football Playoffs, eventually losing to the National Champions, Alabama.
The 2018 season found Kelly naturally designated as the starting quarterback. Surprisingly however, he was sharing playing time with a freshman, some Trevor Lawrence guy who needed a haircut. After four games, Dabo Sweeney designated Trevor the starter. Kelly then transferred to Missouri, and, although he had started four games, rules at that time protected his eligibility status. He became the starting quarterback for the Missouri Tigers in 2019. Although he lost his first game to Wyoming, he passed for 432 yards, a career high. Undrafted by the NFL, Kelly is playing in the United Football League.
As Kelly's aunt was scheduled for her check up, I was looking forward to hearing how Kelly was handling the situation, having been replaced by a freshman upstart following an incredible year as the ACC Champion and CFP appearance. Her response was surprising and forever endeared both of these guys to me forever. Kelly Bryant's aunt told me that Trevor and he talked every day on the phone and prayed together. Wow!
8 Jan 2024 - The 2024 College Football Playoff holds little interest for me this year. However, one of these two outstanding quarterbacks shares their surname with a good friend of mine when I was an Army brat at Fort Carson. Terry and I were second graders; on the playground we were usually the team captains, choosing our teammates before great football contests. My father's assignment to the 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning) the following year also found Terry and I on the playground as well as the baseball diamond in the third grade at Schofield Barracks. With the frequency of moves required by military families, it was common to run into some of the same friends from a previous assignment. This is particularly true with special operation infantry soldiers, as their numbers are much smaller than general Army soldiers. That accounted for the fact that Terry and I three-peated our sports encounters with yet a third coinciding assignment at Fort Knox. This time, the casual, yet stinging, mispronounciation of his surname illicited more of a response, as we were now sixth graders. And the testosterone was flowing, unlike when we were just second graders.
As a 7 year old, such an obvious violation of the etiquette of friendship was funny, or so it seemed to everyone but the guy whose name was being satirized.
As a product of good fortune, my aggravation with the "Dennis the Menace" handle was avoided with my Fort Carson experience; I set them straight right out of the gate. Thank you, again, God, for sparing me that annoyance and, more importantly, reminding us that our troubles pale with that of Job. More to the point, my first name's satirization did, in fact, pale in contrast to Terry's surname: Penix.
Yes, Martha, Michael Tarrence Penix Jr. is an American football quarterback for the Washington Huskies. He goes by Michael; perhaps the kids made fun of his middle name, and called him "Terry". I had not seen the surname "Penix" since the good old Terry Penix days while attending Scott Junior High School, Fort Knox, KY. None of that changing the vowel sound, when its spelling contraindicated that. Nope, it was always Terry Penis, ignoring his scowls. My strongest memory, however, of the sixth grade was not Terry Penis, I mean Penix; it was Mrs. Fessler. Her graceful movements with her pointer were only exceeded by her careful cursive performance at the blackboard. A striking statuesque brunette, she was always attired in heels, black hose and skirt. Oh my.
I hope that excellent athlete who bore the brunt of much teasing is watching this game. I remember how well he played the hot corner on the diamond and being hard to cover crossing over the middle. Terry Penix, thanks for your friendship that spanned years and half the globe. May God bless you and yours.
At any rate, as I was checking football highlights a few days ago, I viewed another football player whose surname was "Pennix". Bam! Problem solved. The vowel conspiratorialist that I am, finds me suspecting a more nefarious motive. Since the dawn of time, you can only have the luxury of the short vowel sound if it precedes a double consonant. But no, and, although I support their efforts to escape the oh-so-easy microaggression of that single consonant, it constributes to the destruction of the whole vowel heirarchy. As I have alluded to earlier, the loss of the gliding vowel "W" is a de facto occurrence.
Again, referring to my general survey with my patients over the years regarding their knowledge of the "and sometimes..." vowels, it seems that upside-down "M", and such an integral part of my surname, disappeared in the last century. Chairside, I opined with the children that, perhaps, they had gone to The Island of Misfit Vowels, referring of course to one the most beloved Christmas stories of all time. That island, cloaked with mystery, has never been found on navigational maps; its location is unknown.
While watching UT's talented young quarterback in the Citrus Bowl, it dawned on me that The Island of Misfit Vowels may be hiding in plain sight. Very soon after my father's assignment to Hawaii, this third grader, fresh with a school year's worth of grammar, particularly vowel and consonant word construction provided in the second grade at Fort Carson, noticed a peculiarity about Hawaiian names and words. Such a collection of words with vowels outnumbering the consonants I had never seen. Three years of exposure to this departure from English words, including extensive study of Kamehameha I, also known as Kamehameha the Great, the conqueror and first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii, gave normality to this vowel and consonant ratio. Even the state's name proudly asserts the power of the vowel over the underling consonant.
Notice the "w" proudly displayed in the center, flanked by true vowels.
Having left Oahu (cannot escape the omnipresence of those vowels...) in 1965, I haven't been exposed to a lot of Hawaiian or Polynesian words. Repeatedly seeing "Iamaleava" emblazened on this gifted athlete's jersey enabled another ride on the Wayback Machine. That's a lot of vowels. Then it hit me - gotta be a lot of those pesky diphthongs hiding out there. Maybe multiple islands are involved in this conspiracy.
It does seem that Coach Heipel has another star in the exalted lineage of Tennessee quarterbacks. More significantly, God is an important part of Nico and his family's life, a reflection of most of Hawaii and that part of Polynesia. In fact, 28 January will be the 246th anniversary of the first European to sail past Oahu. Captain Cook was quite the stud...
"In 1768, Cook, a surveyor in the Royal Navy, was commissioned a lieutenant in command of the H.M.S. Endeavor and led an expedition that took scientists to Tahiti to chart the course of the planet Venus. In 1771, he returned to England, having explored the coast of New Zealand and Australia and circumnavigated the globe. Beginning in 1772, he commanded a major mission to the South Pacific and during the next three years explored the Antarctic region, charted the New Hebrides, and discovered New Caledonia. In 1776, he sailed from England again as commander of the H.M.S. Resolution and Discovery and in 1778 made his first visit to the Hawaiian Islands."
God has given us the incredible ability to fight the continuing onslaught by invaders, even on the microscopic battlefield, providing biochemical weapons to destroy the invisible killers - bacteria and viruses. As the enemy is constantly mutating into different, more complex microwarriors, God has installed an intricate genetic sequencing package that responds to virtually any challenge by a microorganism. DNA and RNA sequencing, involving only five nucleotides and a messaging transfer system (messenger RNA and transfer RNA) can identify the threat, design a biomolecular answer and end that threat. All without, in the vast majority of cases, the host ever realizing this maelstrom of warfare is occurring.
The natural mutations that occur are subtle, sometimes involving only a few nucleotides; our immune system, unless compromised, responds and the threat ends. Over generations and thousands of years, the genetic arsenal is passed on to the offspring, creating an invisible shield against the microscopic invasions. However, when man gets involved in genetic alterations, either intentionally (as China in their biological warfare at Wuhan), or by exposing otherwise isolated peoples to bacteria and viruses for which they lacked immunoprotection, things can go drastically wrong.
Europeans brought diseases to the New World that ravaged the native american population. The microflora (microbiota) assault was a two way street; syphilus was taken back to Europe. Note the expression "a night with Venus and a lifetime with Mercury...".
China has been releasing pathogens for centuries on the world. Note the Bubonic Plague or Black Death that killed one fifth of the European continent in the 14th century. As trade expanded between Asia and Europe, the wagons and carts from China provided an unprecedented scale of death to the Europeans thanks to the rats that were hitching a ride. They were harboring the reservoir for Pasteurella pestis (now Yersinia pestis): fleas.
The blood sucking parasites, starving after the long trek from China and entering densely populated European cities provided death on a scale since, I don't know, the Great Flood. Since Biden and his slipping maxillary prosthesis weren't there (I don't think...), he couldn't blame Whitey for their deaths. Since Whitey was already there, places like Saint Petersburg went after the next most likely culprit, Jews.
Haaretz | Jewish World: "On February 14, 1349 - St. Valentine's Day - the Jewish residents of Strasbourg, in Alsace, were burned to death by their Christian neighbors. Estimates of the number murdered range from several hundred to more than 2,000." Today's Demoncrats were absolutely giddy with the 7 October Re'im music festival massacre by Hamas. (They probably relish the thought of that Valentine's Day Massacre and the cremation of thousands of Jews.) Many deny it even happened as they also deny the Holocaust. God is watching.
My son, Dylan, has mentioned that maybe Jesus or the aliens are coming soon. I concur, maybe both, as I imagine my Lord and Savior has upgraded that donkey. Not going to be an EV, I suspect.
The Plague still kills. A few years ago, a zoologist who had not contacted anyone for days was found dead in a remote cabin. Next to his body lay a dead mountain lion. Both were killed by Yersinia pestis . Yellowstone National Park released a study indicating that almost half of the mountain lions they tested showed signs of plague infection. Yet another vector for this killer of millions.
14 Feb 1779 - Another Valentine's Day Massacre, this time involving Captain Cook and the origination of native Hawaiians' eschewing of European whites. Those Howlies brought infectious diseases that devastated the Hawaiian population; their outrage can be justified in some respect. That "three time's a charm..." did not apply in regards to Captain Cook's three visits to Hawaii.
9 Jan 2024 - All this talk about surnames and the flood of memories it has generated makes me recall a "Surname Quest" I mounted a few years ago, in light of Father's Day approaching . Everything in my and my sisters' lives have been a consequence of our mother and father's efforts. My sisters have some '23andMe' data; their beauty is scientifically explained in an objective fashion. Their brother, however, is reluctant to open that can of worms.
Fearing the worst of such an investigation of my chromosomal organization, I am at peace with the fact that, as a kid, the only way I could get my dog to play with me was tying a pork chop around my neck. I am thankful that, although my auditory functions were just fine at birth, I didn't understand my first word heard: "Twins!" announced by the doctor after my mother's placenta hit the floor. I was spared of the knowledge that, with my looks, I was going to have to sneak up on the water fountain just to get a drink of water.
I have revealed that scar on my neck to only a select few of my patients...
At any rate, the surname "Daw" to me growing up was advantageous in the chore of the bubbling in of those endless OPSCAN sheets before testing. Delta, Alpha and Whiskey - three letters - was quite easier than, say, Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff, a German-born American typesetter. That guy must have needed a #2 pencil exclusively for OPSCAN sheets.
The brevity of my surname also spurred an article in the Army Times, reflecting the fact that my father had the shortest name in the Army.
Yes, Martha, that's true.
As alluded to earlier, the South, with centuries of family tradition, tend to favor endearing monakers for family members. My beautiful Aunt Faye referred me to as "Shug" more than anything. The King of the Hill TV series, another of my faves for years, features Nancy Hicks Gribble. Not dissimilar to my Aunt Faye, a southern beauty who uses "Shug" frequently, I am reminded again of my great blessing to have grown up in a conservative North Carolina. Sure wish they could return, but Demoncrats have infected that wonderful state.
Again, I was tickled (another one of those southern expressions my mother used) when my mother showed me the article. But, as I reflected on this new recognition of my father in a most revered and trusted military publication, The Army Times, that Banty Rooster in me was coming out. I cannot recall the exact year, but I believe it was during my father's first combat tour, 1967 - 1968, enduring the brunt of the Tet Offensive as a special operator on the FEBA. It was as if the Army kept finding things about my father such that he was in perpetual recognition of some outstanding performance or accomplishment.
My father was named Ted (not Theodore) Daw. In similar fashion, my firstborn's mother was Patty, as reflected on her birth certificate, not Patricia. Again, a reflection of southern tradition. Further, my father's official Army name was Ted (NMI) Daw (no middle initial).
It was about this time that computers were coming online and the usage of those dreaded OPSCAN sheets was increasing. So, in terms of my surname, the brevity accorded by only three letters was much appreciated over the subsequent school years.
Having a lunar crater, as well as a Martian crater, named for him, William Rutter Dawes, (born March 19, 1799, London—died Feb. 15, 1868, Haddenham, Buckinghamshire, Eng.) was a highly accomplished astronomer. I remember in Physics class at UTC, using a mathematical formula developed by an astronomer/mathematician, to calculate maximum resolution from telescopes and microscopes, dependent on their aperture. Coupled with parallax, the apparent shift in the position of an object when viewed from different angles, telescopic distances can be calculated. Little did I know that mathematician was William Rutter Dawes.
Also, little did I know parallax would be an integral of radiographic image evaluations, particularly in determining buccal and lingual (or palatal) roots, e.g., maxillary first premolar. Taking a radiographic exposure with different angles, one from the mesial and one from the distal, the shift of the object on the radiographs dictate the lingual or buccal canal.
Relating to telescopic resolution, there is the Dawes Limit Calculator just for that. (And I was proud when my mother showed me how to calculate square roots...)
Although I don't see myself alone, out-of-gas (or maybe EV charge...) and stranded on an Indian reservation, the surname "Daw" could possibly present issues.
The Dawes Act of 1887 contained sweeping legislative actions that greatly embittered the Indians, adding further insult to the Trail of Tears forced displacement of the "Five Civilized Tribes". Significantly, US law would require standard English names; while Running Bear and Little White Dove (love that song; thanks, Johnny Horton, I think...) are great personifications, the national census, taken every 10 years, required official documentation with an English surname. As a consequence, if this documentation was not obtained by a specified date, their surname would arbitrarily, if not cynically, be assigned as "Dawes".
Discovering this during my surname recon, I also saw numerous posts from affected Indians referencing this action in, let's say, terms that would suggest to me: "Stay in Tennessee.".
As history dot com puts it: "Dawes, meanwhile, is the Rodney Dangerfield of the American Revolution, getting no respect at all."
Here is an excerpt from, frankly, a more dramatic ode. With no disrespect meant to Paul Revere, as his many accomplishments are eclipsed by the fact he was a true patriot. However, the bravery, quick thinking and instincts, as demonstrated by William Dawes, reflected the American Revolutionary Spirit in such memorable ways.
Again, quoting history dot com:
Revere Is Captured, Dawes Escapes
Before they could reach Concord, however, the three riders encountered a British patrol around 1:30 a.m.; Revere was captured. Prescott and his horse hurtled over a stone wall and managed to make it to Concord. According to family lore, the quick-witted Dawes, knowing his horse was too tired to outrun the two British officers tailing him, cleverly staged a ruse. He pulled up in front of a vacant farmhouse and shouted as if there were patriots inside: “Halloo, boys, I’ve got two of ‘em!” Fearing an ambush, the two Redcoats galloped away, while Dawes reared so quickly he was bucked off his horse. Forced to limp into the moonlit night, he receded into obscurity.
To continue the story, returning to Lexington after being unceremoniously dumped off his steed that evening, Dawes returned the next day to retrieve a pocket watch he lost as he hit the ground.
I recall Dylan's fifth grade teacher at Berean Academy, Mr. Davis, giving him a nod when he was recounting this very important story as part of the American Revolution narrative.
As a dentist and forensic officer while stationed at the US Army's Aviation Center, I have always respected Paul Revere's skills as a silversmith (I was a goldsmith as a dentist). Further, his fixed dental prosthetics skills learned from John Baker, a surgeon-dentist living with a friend, enabled him to perform the first forensic dental identification of a military service member ever performed in this country.
Incredibly, that first identification was that of Dr. Joseph Warren who had dispatched Paul Revere and William Dawes that fateful evening. As a Major General in the colony's militia, he was killed in the Battle of Bunker Hill. His good friend Paul Revere searched for his body after the British garrison evacuated from Boston. Dr. Warren eschewed avoiding the looming battle with the British troops by virtue of his rank; against the wishes of his fellow patriots, he enlisted as a private. Further, he requested to be assigned where the greatest threat would be. Breed's Hill was where he died.
After the battle, Warren's body was stripped of his clothing, his face repeatedly bayoneted and then buried in a shallow ditch by British forces. Captain Walter Laurie, who participated in the battles of Lexington and Concord, later wrote that he "stuffed the scoundrel with another rebel into one hole, and there he and his seditious principles may remain."
His face bayoneted beyond recognition, Revere recognized wiring he had placed, replacing his friend's missing tooth with a walrus' tooth. Some closure to the family of a most remarkable man.
Now that I am retired, sans the focus on the practice of dentistry which I have enjoyed for decades, sifting through a lifetime of memories is providing much pleasure. Reflecting on the many blessings of my life allows a congruous timeline that brings my beautiful mother to top of mind. I am sure glad my father knew what a woman was and vice-versa. Whew!
There are few things that are absolutely free and can be revisited so many times, again, without cost. What a deal. Digging out those embedded memories are facilitated with the Wayback Machine; Mr. Peabody has got it going on...
Decades since I have used the Wayback Machine on a regular basis, the need now exists for revisiting this incredible feat of physics. Violating Newton's calculations that time travel could not happen - that darn light speed..., the Wayback Machine is an anachronism that frequently finds me as a passenger.
As a kid, the "funny papers" were a much-loved feature of our newspaper. On Sundays, they were also colorful. Beloved characters such as Charlie Brown or Beetle Bailey (being an Army brat, I particularly looked forward to this cartoon strip. It was forerunner of the TV version: Gomer Pyle, USMC.) were known by millions. Thanks, Charles Schulz.