“Christmas shou…

“Christmas should be an attitude toward life, not an endurance exercise. This Advent season, why not shop the scriptures rather than the malls to prepare.” Joan D. Chittester, O.S.B.

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The 143rd Belmont Stakes – Are These Twelve Colts Who They Are?

Shackleford, gritty and resolute, battles from gate to wire to win the 2011 Preakness at a big price

Yesterday I was aptly reminded in a timely conversation that we don’t exist.  We just think we do.  We have a really good idea of who we are and how we fit into the world.  We know our strengths and weaknesses, our likes and dislikes, and our relative place in the world.  And because of that, we feel comfortable making similar assessments about others, and operating based on those assessments.  This makes for a well-defined but confined system – the degrees of freedom are limited by the pecking order we impose largely on ourselves.  We are who we are.

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The 136th Preakness Stakes: In Search of a Different Past

Johnny V and Animal Kingdom come flying past Nehro to ruin another perfect moment….

O horse racing!  My love for you is unending.  You fill my days with wonder, and haunt my dreams with tattered tales of what might have been, taunts of glory yet to come.  But I have loved you with steady ardor and child-like hope, while you play with me like an upstaged toy, tossing me about from ecstasy to agony, promising me the perfect moment, and snatching it away with venomous glee.  I love you, horse racing – why won’t you love me back?

A wise friend recently told me this: Forgiveness, in its purest form, is abandoning all hope that you can have a different past.  The importance of doing this cannot be understated – happiness, and purpose, have as their prerequisite a resolute commitment to looking forward at all times.  But The Past, especially when She offered perfection and then twisted the script at the last moment, beckons us to sit with Her, and rehash the decisions, revisions, and omissions that could have changed everything.

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The 137th Kentucky Derby: The Magic Moment for The Rest of Us


What a wonderful world we live in!  Calvin Borel rejoices aboard Super Saver after winning the 2010 Kentucky Derby.  Calvin’s last 4 Derbies: First, Third, First, First.  But he has his work cut out for him this year aboard Twice the Appeal.

It has been said that the problem with life’s most important, game-changing moments is that so often, we don’t know that they are happening.  We spend the rest of our lives lamenting our lack of vision, realizing that if only we had been awake at that magic juncture, we could have seized the day, and changed everything.  Well let me tell you something, dear friends.  That moment is coming on Saturday – two minutes of transcendent perfection, when 20 utterly mediocre 3-year-old thoroughbreds will lunge from the gate and send the fortunate few who are prepared into an impossible state of electric ecstasy.  And I am taking a stand for you, right now, right this very moment.  I will not let you walk into that nexus of perfection unprepared.  You WILL be ready.  You will “be there”.

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Did you miss me?

Honey, I’m home!

My campaign for Congress is officially over, and here’s the wrap-up.

Christian Lawn Care

The campaign sabbatical continues.  Here, with a hat tip to my brother Steve, is a dialogue on lawn care from a Christian perspective.  It makes a lot of sense to me. Read the rest of this entry »

The 142nd Belmont Stakes: In Brief

UPDATE: Brevity is apparently not the soul of wit

Drosselmeyer $28.00 $11.60 $7.70
Fly Down   $6.80 $5.10
First Dude     $4.90
$2.00 Exacta (7-5) $144.50
$2.00 Trifecta (7-5-11) $766.00
$2.00 Superfecta (7-5-11-8) $10,658.00
Drosselmeyer?  Is that a horse or some sort of Bavarian pastry?  Sheesh.
I guess I should have known that a horse named Ice Box wouldn’t care for the heat.
Anyone who listens to me gets what they deserve.

Summer Bird surges by the dueling Dunkirk and Mine That Bird to upset the 2009 Belmont Stakes (which I predicted, of course)

Apologies to all in advance for the following brief analysis of this year’s race.  I have actually been pathetically busy on many fronts, somehow, and have not been able to devote the kind of quality time this thing deserves. Read the rest of this entry »

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Memorial Day in the Poetry Corner

How did I miss this one when I did the week-long cycle of American war poetry a few years back?  Well, better late than never.  Thanks to all the veterans who have answered the call.  Read the rest of this entry »

Grannis for Congress

I hope Reasonable Minds will forgive this intrusion between installments of Tim Peach’s annual equine handicapping extravaganza, but I have some news I want to share.  I am running for Congress.  I will be the Libertarian candidate for Chris Van Hollen’s seat, representing Maryland’s 8th District.  That’s the same Chris Van Hollen who serves as Assistant Speaker, chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and has a gazillion dollars in campaign contributions already in the bank.  Three strikes, I say. Read the rest of this entry »

The 135th Preakness Stakes: Yes, I Know Who Calvin Borel Is

Calvin thanks the dude who sidelined the favorite, gave him an inside post, made it rain like crazy, and had Ice Box and Lucky run the gauntlet.  And fine, it was another fabulous ride for Rail Man!

When people find out that I am not betting on Super Saver to the win the Preakness, I fully expect to get a torrent of emails and maybe some phone calls desperately trying to wake me up to the facts.  “Brim, don’t you know who Calvin Borel is?  He’s the best jockey in the world.  You have to bet on the horse he’s riding.  Didn’t you know he’s won the Kentucky Derby three out of the last four years now?   That guy always wins!”  Read the rest of this entry »