Joe Palease

Listening to talk radio can be useful for two reasons. 1. If you are having a day where you have forgotten how much Republicans and Democrats bicker like little school mice, then talk radio will quickly remind you of this. 2. If you would rather spend your television time watching reruns of friends instead of Sportscenter, then sports talk radio will keep informed of whats happening in sports, and your dudeness will remain in tact for chit chat around the weight room and at barber shops.

Sports talk radio has been all about Penn State recently. For good reason mind us all. We all know what happened. Horrible. Gross. Despicable. etc…

On air the other day, they interviewed a writer of television shows who was also a big sports fan. They talked about the show he was writing that is currently airing on ABC (The Shield? Never heard of it), and then asked him about the Penn State saga, specifically Joe Paterno.

His answer was amazing. I have heard so many people talk about this, but this dude’s response was by far the most insightful.

He said if he had to write the story of Joe Paterno he would depict his situation concerning Jerry Sandusky as a man who was torn between a decision between wrong and wrong (as opposed to right and wrong).

Joe knew that no matter what decision he made it would impact someone or something in a very negative way. He had to however, weigh his negatives by only using what he knew up to that point.

Penn State had had a few down years and people were calling for “No more Joe.” If it came out that his best coach was a pedophile then the people would get their wish and there would be “No more Joe” and probably no more National Championship runs.

Joe was the head football coach in a town that lived, breathed, and absolutely loved football. I think Joe’s ability to perceive what was truly important had been masked by years and years of praise and pressure to win more. To him this was the most important thing. Winning is what got him where he was. Winning Winning Winning! That is all he cared about, because that is all he was supposed to care about.

Championships are everything to a football university. EVERYTHING. That is what the people want. If Joe turned in Jerry then no more Championships for Penn State.

What is interesting is that in hindsight we see, that Penn State only had a few good years past the now infamous cover up. The highlight being probably winning the Orange Bowl in 2006. Yay.

Joe did not know this though. He turn in Jerry and the football program be sqaundered into oblivion making for thousands and thousands of upset fans and leaving him without a job. Or he cover it up, pretend it was not happening, and like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand, keep on being old and powerful and trying to win more championships.


1.Jerry goes and Penn State goes.

2. Jerry stays and Penn State has a chance.

We have decisions that we make between wrong and wrong too. It is an interesting dilemma we all face. Choosing the “wrong” wrong can result in terrible things. Choosing the right “wrong” can also result in terrible things, but not nearly as terrible as choosing the “wrong” wrong can. It is all about perspective.

Take the perspective off yourself and what you think is important, and place it on others and what they think is important.

I think one of the great lessons we can all learn is that our decisions impact those around us, often times greatly. Decisions made out of selfishness can be ugly, even if the ugly doesn’t show its face until many years later. Our perception on what is most important in life, can often times be thrown way out of bounds due to outside pressure on us to perform a specific way. But. . .

A selfish decision is the wrong decision every time.

Don’t make selfish decisions.

See things through the eyes of others.

And for goodness sake, PLEASE take down this statue already!

“I once had the blues, because I had no shoes. That was until I met a man on the street, who had no feet.”



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A Spouse in a Tree House

At the dog kennels where I work, they make the dogs listen to NPR while hanging out in their temporary homes away from home. This is probably somewhat insightful for them, but very insightful to me. Sure I would rather be listening to Pitbull or Brad Paisley, but the mellow voices of the NPR gang make me feel sophisticated, and a feeling of sophistication is rare when your job consists of. . . uh. . . cleaning up. . .____. . .from dog kennels. . . and uh. . . stuff. Needless to say, I grab hold of sophistication and hold her near whenever she is gracious enough to come see me at work.

It was via NPR that I first learned of Jan Berenstain’s death. Tragic! I almost fell off my ladder. First, it had never occurred to me that there was an actual lady named Berenstain who wrote the books. I just always assumed, much like the Hardy Boys series, that the books had been around since the beginning of time, and that at this point nobody was really sure who wrote them.

That is a sign of growing old. Old people realize stuff does not just appear and that there is a process behind everything. Young people just think everything appears out of nowhere. I am somewhere in between these two trains of thought.

When I think of my dream house, I still think of the Berenstain Bear’s big tree house. I know exactly where all of my Berenstain Bears books are located in my house (not a tree house, not yet anyways!).

There will never be another Jan Berenstain. We are too caught up in sorcery and aliens for there to ever be another Jan Berenstain. Here are my top five books (book series) from my childhood. I am sure many of you can relate.

1. Berenstain Bears– Probably not normally would the loveable cute Bears be my #1, but in light of the death of their creator, I would feel bad otherwise.

2. Hardy Boys– Probably my real #1. (Nancy Drew for you girls out there!)

3. The Hatchet- I own probably 4 hatchets. I blame 3 of them on this book. I also blame the dead, half chopped trees in my old backyard on this book.

4. Goosebumps– I follow R.L. Stine on Twitter. He Tweets a lot.

5. Clifford the Big Red Dog– Brother Bear would want Mama Bear to get him a big huggable dog like Clifford. After Brother Bear forgot to feed and bathe Clifford, we would all learn a lesson on responsibility. It is a shame their paths never crossed, at least not that I know of anyways.

Honorable Mention: The Boxcar Children– Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Bennie get into trouble and solve mysteries. Written by a 1st grade teacher in the 40s. What is interesting is that people are still writing these books except based in modern day. That makes me sad. Is nothing sacred?

Also, did y’all have the Scholastic Book Fair at your school? Did you beg your mom to buy you the magic trick kit every year? Are you a magician? Do you still have your puppy poster/calendar? Did you too always think Mr. Moses the janitor was the guy wearing the Franklin the Turtle suit?

Also, one more thing, can we all agree that the award for the most awesome tree house in the history of tree houses goes to. . .

1. The Sandlot-

Ham Porter: Hey, you want a s’more? Smalls: Some more of what? Ham Porter: No, do you want a s’more? Smalls: I haven’t had anything yet… so how can I have some more of nothing? Ham Porter: You’re killing me, Smalls!

-Ross Hoss Bear


Jan Berenstain creating something beautiful.


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Purple Plums

What did you want to be when you grew up? What do you want to be when you grow up? I have written proof that in kindergarten I wanted to be a farmer.  It is documented somewhere in my keep sake box.

From 1st grade to age 22 I have gotten distracted from my original intent of becoming a farmer. In these last 17 years I have wanted to be a monster truck driver, a movie star, an astronaut, and a restaurant owner. Now that I am 22, I want to be a farmer again.

I ain’t worth two dimes in the kitchen. Anyone who knows me knows I would rather pay for a burrito than make a burrito. I love burritos. I have a new passion though, and in order to pursue this passion I have to spend time in my kitchen. Its not that I hate kitchens, I love stoves and refrigerators. I just hate spending all sorts of time and effort making one meal when Joe down the road can whip it up for me in no time— no grocery store time needed. However, I have become a jam maker, more specifically a blackberry jam maker. So far I have made one and half jars of blackberry jam and it was delicious.

Have you been to a Farmer’s Market recently? I love Farmer’s Markets come to find out this summer. It was at one of these markets where I bought my first pint of blackberries. Saturday while perusing the isle of mason jars at the local East Town Knoxville Super Wal Mart I ran into a lady named Jenny who was also perusing the mason jar isle. I asked her if she was making jam and it just so happened that she too was about to whip up a batch of blackberry jam in her kitchen. After my friend and I picked her brain as to the complete jam making process I asked her where she got her blackberries. She said a farmer lady brought blackberries by the gallon to her work every Wednesday for purchase and she would place an order for me if I would like. I placed an order. Tomorrow I will acquire a gallon worth of blackberries. I love blackberries. Tomorrow night I will once again enter into a kitchen with the intent to cook and hopefully 9 jars worth of blackberry jam will be the result of my time spent. I will give you my blackberry jam on one condition. You return my jars, preferably washed, because as much as I love refrigerators and stoves I hate washing dishes.

Here is a picture of my first batch of jam. One day when I am a farmer I will grow lots of things and then put them all into mason jars. If you would like some jam please contact me via anyway you know how to contact me. It will cost you ten dollars a jar. Probably not though.

Also, does anyone know how to tell the difference between purple plums on the inside and light colored plums on the inside?

-Ross Hoss


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Life is like a Cadbury Cream Egg.

I was thinking…………………………….. Ok. Enough!

I graduated high school almost 4 years ago. I stepped into my blue gown and balanced my little blue square hat and was ready to take over the world. The world of college. Ross back then had no idea what would happen to his life. He thought he had an idea though. Here is what I thought the rest of my life was going to be like in college.

1. I would play baseball….. duh.

2. I would have a beard by my junior year…..

3. I would have really good abs…..

4. I would almost be married by my senior year…..

5. I would have a full sized truck. Possibly, even a king size……

6. I would be possibly getting drafted…..

7. I would have changed the world……

8. I would be well on my way to graduating with a business degree……

9. I would have somehow made it on a game show……

10. Whatever…..

None of those things are true (most though, still make it to my new years resolution list). Here is what has happened to me over the past 4 (ish) years that I would have never expected.

1. I ain’t married, or anywhere near it. I am single.

2. I have two jobs at once and boy do they provide a lot of entertainment! Hint: I do not play baseball for a living.

3. I spend my afternoons driving the Footvols’ head coach’s Escalade around. I pick up his kids and often do the heavy lifting that needs to be done around the house. Who could’ve seen that coming? Not 18 year old, wide eyed, Ross. They have three kids.

4. I build dog weaves for dog agility competitions and then ship them out. I average 4 weaves a day and make about 4 dollars a day doing it. For more. Check this out!

5. I am attending my 5th college and going into my 5th year in college.

6. It will probably take me 6 years to graduate.

7. I now own my 7th car. It is actually a truck, and it is not full size.I personally paid for all 7. I am proud of that.

I love my life. Now that is all, goodbye.

-Ross Hoss

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Yo, man.

As I was traveling to Chattanooga from Knoxville my GPS led me off the interstate and onto the backstreets of Tennessee. Little towns and little people littered the streets as I sped past them all, determined to reach my destination (my brother’s house). As I am traveling along some back road in Harrisburg maybe (?) I came across a big ol’ Church kind of stuck in the middle of nowhere. As I glanced at the Church I noticed something peculiar. Instead of a steeple out front, they had this guy (see above). I put on the breaks, did a U turn in the middle of a curvy road, certain nobody else was on the streets but me, and pulled into the parking lot of said Church. I hopped out of my truck and stood in the presence of Jesus. Just like anyone would do, who had just encountered Jesus, I pulled my cellphone out and snapped this picture.

Here are what I find most interesting about this picture:

1. I estimate the age of Jesus in this picture to be 19. Fresh out of high school Jesus is embracing the new college culture he has just found himself in (hence the open arms).

2. Jesus has a great tan. Was Jesus capable of being sun burned?

3. Jesus could have starred in a number of Disney movies and nobody would have found him to be out of place. Aladdin and the Emperors New Groove to name a few.

4. Jesus had great dental hygiene.

5. Jesus had great big pointer fingers, probably so that the Pharisees would have no doubt he was pointing at them.

Authors note: I have a lot of respect for Jesus. I just thought this picture was funny. The larger point I am trying to make is evident. Also, I mean no harm to this Church. It was a big place. I am sure they are doing a lot of good in the world of Harrisburg.

-Ross Hoss

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Tuna Fish Friday

This is a little story hanging on the walls at Jimmie Johns on the strip. Midnight Mike brought it to my attention. I love it. Let this story carry you on into your wonderful weekend. I love you.

“An American tourist was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.

Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The tourist complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.”

The tourist then asked, “Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?”

The Mexican said, “With this I have more than enough to support my family’s needs.”

The tourist then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life.”

The tourist scoffed, ” I can help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You could leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you could run your ever-expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

The tourist replied, “15 to 20 years.”

“But what then?” asked the Mexican.

The tourist laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions?…Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

-Ross Hoss


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Rinse, repeat, then rinse again.

I once attended a first grade lecture on dental hygiene. I was in the first grade at the time, so my presence at the lecture was perfectly normal.

I remember this lecture. I remember the local dentist making us all pretend to brush our teeth for two minutes straight, to prove that two minutes was longer than we thought. It was longer than I had thought, a point I remember to this day while brushing my teeth.

He also told us that we brush our teeth the same way every time. I remember thinking that this notion was preposterous (what I really thought probably was, “this is stupid, I mean dumb, I mean I don’t like it”).  However, I will take this point to my grave because it is completely accurate, unless noticed and the process is purposely and consciously thrown off.  We do brush our teeth the same way every time.

Authors note: I have very few actual memories of 1st grade. I remember counting 1 million beans and piling them in the cafeteria floor. I also remember my teacher turning on the OJ Simpson trial, although the tv was turned where we couldn’t see it, we could still hear it. I still remember the day he was said to be innocent. I also think I had a rabbit/bunny named Hopper.

Lately I have been taking special notice of other stuff we do the same way every time (I have not really conducted any studies to prove any of this stuff, so let me know if you agree with, or hate my theories).

1. Dry off the same way. Every time I get out of the shower I dry off the same way. Every time probably since I was born. Once again, I have not conducted studies to see if this is true for everyone (awkward), but I think it is. Right?

2. Eat pizza. Anyone who has seen me eat pizza knows that, for me, it is a subconscious all out race to the last slice. I do not intend for it to be like this. But, we all have our pizza eating habits. For instance, I am a folder. I fold my piece in half so that I can consume the maximum amount possible at one time. The way I eat pizza is the most crazy thing about me. You eat each slice the same way too, you just haven’t realized it yet.

3. Every time I get in my truck I do the same thing. Plop down, keys out, car on, look in my rear views, flip my radio knob to the same volume every time  (to be adjusted later (I use the same force in every flip)), adjust myself, shift down, look around, accelerate.

4. Every time I get on my computer I subconsciously go to Facebook. Often realizing I have no interest in Facebook at that moment, but none the less, it is the first thing I do every time. If I haven’t been on the computer in a while, then the order goes like this every time; Facebook, email, Twitter.

5.  I think the same thing every morning when my alarm clock goes off— “Ughhhh”

This is it for now. Maybe more will come to me. Maybe not.

Ross Hoss

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