1. Be Thankful. We’ve got to learn to love each other. Learn to love each other.

2. Three farmers on their way to the dance – 1914.

The relentless unforeseen.

We are in the middle of history and how I imagine the world, really matters.

What are we walking towards?

3. Via Mental Floss. Sergeant Henry Johnson was an African-American in World War I and an American hero.

Still conscious, Roberts handed Johnson grenades to toss. When those ran out, Johnson began firing his rifle while being hit by bullets in his side, hand, and head. Quickly, Johnson shoved an American cartridge into his French rifle, but the ammunition and the weapon were incompatible. The rifle jammed. As the Germans swarmed him, Johnson began using the rifle like a club, smashing it over their heads and into their faces.

After the butt of the rifle finally fell apart, Johnson went down with a blow to the head. But he climbed back up, drew his bolo knife, and charged forward. The blade went deep into the first German he encountered, killing the man. More gruesome work with the weapon followed, with Johnson hacking and stabbing bodies even as bullets continued to strike him.

Johnson’s Wikipedia is a peek into our soul.

In 1918, racism against African Americans was common among white U.S. soldiers in the U.S. military, but French attitudes differed. Johnson was recognized by the French with a Croix de guerre with star and bronze palm, and was the first U.S. soldier in World War I to receive that honor.

Johnson died, poor and in obscurity, in 1929. From 1919 on, Henry Johnson’s story has been part of wider consideration of treatment of African Americans in the Great War. There was a long struggle to achieve awards for him from the U.S. military. He was finally awarded the Purple Heart in 1996. In 2002, the U.S. military awarded him the Distinguished Service Cross. Previous efforts to secure the Medal of Honor failed, but in 2015 he was posthumously honored with the award.

And this.

Returning home, now Sergeant Johnson participated (with his regiment) in a victory parade on Fifth Avenue in New York City in February 1919. Johnson was then paid to take part in a series of lecture tours. He appeared one evening in St. Louis, and instead of delivering the expected tale of racial harmony in the trenches, he instead revealed the abuse that black soldiers had suffered, such as white soldiers refusing to share trenches with blacks. Soon after this a warrant was issued for Johnson’s arrest for wearing his uniform beyond the prescribed date of his commission and paid lecturing engagements dried up.

4. The Forest of Argonne.

5. I have a client. She’s African American. Her father died and he had amassed a significant estate before he died. He came from a dirt floor house in West Texas. When we first met, she noticed pictures of my kids. She gets who I am. Even though she knows who I am and that my boys are brown and that I kiss them goodbye every morning and goodnight every night she has told me numerous times that I cannot be part of her world. From the outside looking in, I’m a white attorney and the distrust level is high (I think she really likes and respects me because I’ve earned it). Despite who I am, she reminds me that I have to earn trust. It is not given, nor should it be. It should be earned.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Do you have a lot of old or slightly used tennis shoes? Me too. Way too many. A while back I found this site, Soles4Souls and they take your old tennis shoes and turn them into opportunities for people who live in extreme poverty. The best part about it is that can find a place to drop off shoes or Zappos will cover the shipping in the U.S. for anything under 50 pounds.

2. How cool is Morton Castle in Scotland? This is a place I want to go.

It would be nice to say that Morton castle has the presence, the architecture, or the history to do justice to its setting. The truth is that there’s actually not all that much to see here beyond the stone walls of a roughly rectangular range and parts of two towers. But don’t let that put you off: this really is Undiscovered Scotland and you should come simply to enjoy the location and listen to the wind.

3. FakeTeams posted these terrific redesigns and this Dallas Mavericks jersey.

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mavericks jersey redesign – taking it back to the retro colors & giving the jersey some texas love

A post shared by Pete Rogers (@petemrogers) on


4. Beastie Boys remastered.



Saturday Morning Links

1. This was pretty great. Beau Miles, this dude in Australia, decided to just eat his body weight in beans. As he states it, 191 tins of beans over 40 days. Nothing but beans. And even better, he took the labeling off of the tins so he never knew what he was going to get. The culmination of this was Miles running an ultramarathon powered by beans. Beans.

2. I won’t post this after this week unless something absolutely gets my attention. Marc Rebillet is a musician. A really talented musician, but not in the traditional sense. I gather he can play the piano, but he sits in his apartment with a keyboard and some other things (I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to this stuff, so I’m calling them things). He’s originally from Dallas, but became famous recently as he takes his one-man show on the road and he’s insanely popular. He’s wild-assed and is prone to say unnecessary curse words (or maybe they are totally necessary), but he’s also incredibly touching. This ain’t for everyone, but it is for me in doses for sure. And maybe the part that I appreciate more than anything else is how talented you have to be to be able to do this on the fly.

3. What happens when you just want to go run in the mountains, but you’re told that it’s private property? I don’t have this problem, and this is something that is somewhat unique to the U.S. where there are no “right to roam” laws, that allow people to just go roam or hike (of course there’s a trust involved with the people who go walk your land, they are just walking or running and don’t mess with anything). OutsideOnline’s Jonathan Severy details the issues his neighbors take with his trail running. Of course, there’s also the thought that private property is private property for a reason and the potential for litigation is the driving factor (and maybe just not wanting people on your land) for keeping people off of your property.

4. I am a sucker for this sort of stuff. Every time. Via Sidetracked – Guardians of Ua Huka. What a beautiful corner of the planet.

5. Foo Fighter’s Dave Grohl in The Atlantic is a good read.

Not to brag, but I think I’ve had the best seat in the house for 25 years. Because I do see you. I see you pressed against the cold front rails. I see you air-drumming along to your favorite songs in the distant rafters. I see you lifted above the crowd and carried to the stage for a glorious swan dive back into its sweaty embrace. I see your homemade signs and your vintage T-shirts. I hear your laughter and your screams and I see your tears. I have seen you yawn (yeah, you), and I’ve watched you pass out drunk in your seat. I’ve seen you in hurricane-force winds, in 100-degree heat, in subzero temperatures. I have even seen some of you grow older and become parents, now with your children’s Day-Glo protective headphones bouncing on your shoulders. And each night when I tell our lighting engineer to “Light ’em up!,” I do so because I need that room to shrink, and to join with you as one under the harsh, fluorescent glow.

In today’s world of fear and unease and social distancing, it’s hard to imagine sharing experiences like these ever again. I don’t know when it will be safe to return to singing arm in arm at the top of our lungs, hearts racing, bodies moving, souls bursting with life. But I do know that we will do it again, because we have to. It’s not a choice. We’re human. We need moments that reassure us that we are not alone. That we are understood. That we are imperfect. And, most important, that we need each other. I have shared my music, my words, my life with the people who come to our shows. And they have shared their voices with me. Without that audience—that screaming, sweating audience—my songs would only be sound. But together, we are instruments in a sonic cathedral, one that we build together night after night. And one that we will surely build again.

Saturday Morning Links

1. How are you doing? No, really. How are you doing? I think I’m doing okay. Business could be better, but it is not horrible. I want it to be better, but I am okay right now. I hope you are doing okay as well. This has been a weird time and I’ve tried to take advantage of this weird time. I can honestly say that my relationship with my wife is better than it has ever been. We talk more than we’ve ever talked before. Or maybe before kids. I don’t think that’s because of the pandemic, but we are making more of an effort to just talk. While making dinner. After dinner and sitting out on the porch.

I’m also taking that very famous course on happiness and much to your dismay, this is not secret about being happy, but the psychology about what makes people happy. The three things that I’ve figured that I need to do better is to savor, to show gratitude, and to show kindness. I’ve made a concerted effort to do those things and I’ve tracked it, and I can tell you that being conscious of those things (because these are real things that I am doing with my wife and my kids) have made me happier in a time when I maybe shouldn’t be that happy. If you have a couple of hours to spare during the course of a week, I’d recommend taking Yale’s The Science of Well-Being. Plus, you can now say that you’re a Yalie.

2. How to funk in 2 minutes. Always remember, it’s not funk until bass hits that sweet ass.

3. I loved Raiders of the Lost Ark and the entire Raiders of the Lost Ark series (who didn’t?) and Atlas Obscura has the six places that may have contained the Holy Grail.

4. Outside Online’s Brendan Leonard on the Hellbender 100:

I ran into the Colbert Creek aid station at mile 48, just as the last light of the day was disappearing at around 8:20 P.M., feeling good after jogging some big sections of the trail over the previous five miles, as opposed to walking. Although it had been slow going (the slowest 50-mile split I’ve ever recorded), I reminded myself that these things always take way longer than I assume they’re going to. I changed my socks and packed a wind jacket, rainjacket, and liner gloves into my vest for the next 24 miles into the night. A guy I ran with a little bit on the last section had said the second half of the course was easier, and the lady parked next to Hilary said it was “more runnable,” but I was not counting my chickens before they hatched. Even if it was all flat terrain for the second half of the race, I was pretty sure I would find a way to feel like shit at some point. Hilary walked me partway down the road to the next section of trail, another 3,000-foot climb up the Buncombe Horse Trail.

In the thick trees, under the clouds, without many stars visible, I settled into an almost complete darkness, pacing myself uphill, not knowing where the top of the climb would actually be. I didn’t see another headlamp for over an hour on the way up, then finally started catching a few folks on a set of switchbacks. One guy asked as I passed, “That next aid station’s gotta be coming up pretty soon, doesn’t it?” I told him I couldn’t say, and I tried to keep myself thinking the same thing he’d asked. I could drive myself crazy straining to locate signs of an aid station up the trail: the tiny dots of headlamps, the faint din of music, maybe the glow of a fire if they had one going. It was best not to think about it, because if I started wishing it was there, I’d start wishing every minute, then feeling sorry for myself.

5. I love this so much.


Saturday Morning Links

1. Portofino, Italy, is in the norther region, just south of Genoa along the coast on the west side of the boot. It’s one of those places that seems it was created out of CGI and it can’t possibly be real. The way the small town of Portofino is set up is that the land mass protects this cove that leads to breathtaking views. I can’t wait to go there when this is all done.

2. Via OutsideOnline, Michael Shattuck is running a marathon a day, starting by running a marathon for 26 days leading up to Christmas one year and then just didn’t quit. Shattuck runs to live it seems.

She’s tried all sorts of things to temper her son’s enthusiasm. Last winter, during a particularly frigid polar vortex, Ellen texted him photos of people with severe frostbite. He blocked her. “We had a really bad winter. Mikey was impossible. He knew he shouldn’t be out in that weather,” she says. “I wish this would be over. If he decided at the end of this year that this is good enough, I’d be elated.”

Shattuck, who has changed his T-shirt and joined us in the garden with his smoothie, emphatically shakes his head in the negative.

“Do you know how many shoes he goes through?” Ellen asks. “He changes every 700 miles! The calories he puts away? Six thousand per day! He doesn’t have health insurance! And if he doesn’t run, he should be on medication. He should be able to hold a job, run five or six miles a day, throw in a marathon on occasion, and be on medication. That would work.”

“People shouldn’t be afraid of being bipolar,” Shattuck interjects. He starts to cry. “I don’t want to get a job. Why the hell would I want to do something that makes me feel awful and wouldn’t end well? I just want a couple of sponsorships and to live the Never Quit mindset.”

Ellen puts up her hand as if to say, No more. Shattuck dons a sun hat with stars and stripes, gives his mom a hug, and we set off once again.

“I’m sorry to get so emotional,” he says, “but I am so committed to this.” Then, like clouds parting to let a ray of sunshine through, his mood seems to lift, and he says, “The best thing Marcus Lutrell ever said is, ‘Don’t let people’s perception of you become your reality.’”

3. This SB Nation piece about refugees playing soccer when they come over to the US and it took me to the moment that we figured out that Youssouf knew what he was doing when it came to soccer (it didn’t take very long). It was clearly evident that Yoyo knew what he was doing and playing soccer was something he knew how to do that didn’t require much communication other than to go score, which he did, very often.

4. Dirk Nowitzki and Ernie Johnson are national treasures.

5. This MEL Magazine piece on the timeline of Ferris Bueller’s day off is one of the funnest things I’ve read in a long time.