Pattison's Perspectives

A New Year, A New Blog, and My Son’s Battle With Cancer

As some of you who read this blog may already know, less than two weeks before Thanksgiving, my five-year-old son was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in his leg.

Needless to say, the past month and a half has been a whirlwind of horrendously challenging trials for my family as our whole world has been turned upside down.

To better process the anguish (and to hopefully be able to help other families who go through this in the future), I began a new blog chronicling our battle with our baby boy’s cancer.

Although I will still keep this blog, I won’t be adding much to it as my time is limited even more now than it has ever been in the past. However, I encourage you to subscribe to my new blog, The Kohen Chronicles (or at least check it out). Your encouragement and support are greatly appreciated.

Additionally, you can check out my non-fiction articles and essays published on Medium at

As for my next book (an anthology of short stories entitled What Lurks Beneath), I am still working on writing it but its release is obviously going to be delayed. I was originally hoping to have it published by the end of 2020, but it will likely not be available until the following year.

Thank you for your understanding, patience, and support during this challenging time.


J.L. Pattison

Encouragement, Pattison's Perspectives

The Sheer Splendidness of Sharing a Shower: How a Tub Full of Toys Filled This Shower Vagabond’s Heart With Not Only Happiness, But Foreboding

Recently my wife and I encountered an issue with the shower in our master bathroom which necessitated us using the kids’ bathroom to shower.

yellow-2344417_640It’s an inconvenience, to say the least, as it requires several trips across the house to bring the various toiletries we need to practice proper hygiene. And inevitably a towel or some article of clothing is always forgotten, requiring a trip back across the house once more.

But since becoming a shower vagabond in my own home, I’ve had the opportunity to experience something I wouldn’t have otherwise — an unexpected epiphany that’s given me a new perspective.

The kids’ shower is not like my shower at all. Their shower is a tub/shower combo, and instead of containing such things as adult shampoos, conditioners, and razors, the kids’ shower contains fruity scented and tear-free soaps, big-wheeled monster trucks, and plastic boats.

Normally, the kids’ toys scattered throughout the house is a point of constant irritation. “Clean up this mess” and “clean up that mess” is a common pronouncement heard echoing throughout our house multiple times a day. Strangely though, I felt no such annoyance when I beheld the myriad of toys in the tub.

Why is this? Two reasons come to mind.

One is simply because I want to encourage my kids to feed their imaginations, and their bathtub is their own private oceanic playground where scuba divers with action grips fight giant squids, giant squids fight ferocious sharks, and all of them fight the mighty Mokele-mbembe.

The other reason I don’t mind the clutter of toys in their tub is more therapeutic.

You see, something special happens when a parent finds themselves alone behind a locked bathroom door. That space is a quiet, secluded oasis for much needed introspection, where clarity of thought can be attained for any mom or dad who can spare a few minutes to take advantage of such a remarkable refuge. But you would think a mess of bath toys would be a distraction and a source of visual chaos; and I would have thought the same thing, too, till I found myself standing there one evening gazing at their kaleidoscope of colorful toys.

In that brief moment of time, in the tranquility of that hallowed but humble room, those toys told a tale. Not the typical tale of untidy kids who don’t clean up after themselves, but a tale of greater meaning, a tale of greater purpose, and a tale of a frighteningly inevitable conclusion to life that I dread.

Continue reading HERE.

Pattison's Perspectives, Waking the Proles

10 Things You Should Know About George H.W. Bush (But You Probably Don’t).

The great American memory hole has a way of swallowing up inconvenient facts like Hungry, Hungry Hippos swallow little white marbles.

But thankfully, not everything stays hidden. Here — in order of chronology — are ten facts about George HW Bush that have been salvaged from the dank recesses of the memory hole.

1. Prescott Bush, Adolph Hitler, and the Failed Coup D’état (1933 — 1942)

George HW Bush’s father, Prescott Bush, was one of the financial backers of the 1933 attempted coup d’état of a United States president.

The plan, known as the “Business Plot,” was a bonafide conspiracy to take down President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The plot was foiled, however, when retired USMC Major General Smedly Butler refused to go along with the plan and, instead, exposed it.

Remarkably, avoiding any repercussions for his treason, Prescott Bush continued business as usual until 1942 when some of his assets were seized under the Trading With the Enemy Act for his profiting from dealings with companies that directly funded Adolph Hitler and his war machine.


Pattison's Perspectives

Have you hugged your kids today?

I don’t mean hugged them, I mean really hugged them.

It doesn’t matter the relation. Biological, adopted, foster, or guardianship, the question remains the same: have you hugged your kids today?

Not like it’s an obligation and they’re an inconvenience, but like it’s an honor and they’re a blessing.

And I’m not talking about the usual fleeting hugs you give them as you rush off to work, I’m talking about hugs that remain with them long after you’ve left.

Do you hug them with such singularly focused determination that they feel safe, loved beyond measure, and blissfully unaware of their own mortality? That they feel untouchable from all the fears and insecurities of life that their little hearts secretly endure?

Do you grip them so deeply that they feel nothing bad could befall them as long as they remain in your embrace? That they are sheltered from the chaos of a world around them that’s gone mad?

Do you hug them so passionately that in your arms is the only place they want to be? That when they grow older they will look back on those hugs and yearn to be in that moment with you again?

Do you hug them with such an abiding love that they will long to return to that place—and that very moment in time—where mommy and daddy loved them like crazy and made them feel like nothing else in the world was more important, more precious, or more sought after?

Continue reading HERE.

Pattison's Perspectives

5 Rule Modifications For Catan.

game-340574_1280I reluctantly began playing Catan four or five years ago (back when it was known as Settlers of Catan). I say reluctantly because when my wife brought it home for our family to play on Thanksgiving, I remember rolling my eyes thinking it would surely be a dumb game. After all, I was a strict Castle Risk guy and this ugly, hexagon-shaped game—comprised of little hexagons within—had “no-fun” written all over it.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I’ve played Catan approximately 200 times since that Thanksgiving. Some people may call me a Catan addict, but I prefer the term enthusiast.

In the past four years I’ve introduced numerous people to the game, I’ve made numerous Catan converts, I’ve researched new strategies, developed some strategies of my own, and I’ve even made a few modifications to the official game rules.

And, if I may be so presumptuous to say, I believe those modifications are an improvement to the original rules. I’m so confident in this, that I’m sharing my five modifications publicly in the hopes that others will derive as much fun employing them as I have.

So without further ado, here are the five rule modifications that have enhanced my family’s Catan gaming experience.

Continue reading here.

Pattison's Perspectives, Television

Amusing ourselves into addiction precedes amusing ourselves to death.

img_1692When Neil Postman set out to pen what would be his magnum opus regarding the medium of television, he had no idea that the internet was on the horizon.

Reading Amusing Ourselves to Death several years ago, I couldn’t help but wonder how Postman would have responded to the trappings of our current technology (including the internet and social media). Surely, if he were alive today, readers would be expecting a sequel to that book.

It’s in this vein that I wanted to share the following five-minute video clip with you about how excessive smartphone usage is transforming our minds. This video is not only timely, eye-opening, and convicting, it is downright troubling. I encourage you take five minutes out of your busy day and watch this video with an open mind.

In addition to the internal brain-altering side effects that the above video illustrates, if you have just 27 more minutes, I challenge you to watch the following terrifying video about the external dangers our smartphones present as we find ourselves living in the Brave New World that our nation’s forefathers tried to prevent.*

* For those people out there, or at least that one person (you know who you are) who is/are incapable of understanding that someone can critique the overuse or misuse of certain tools or technologies without being completely against the existence of said tools or technologies, I request you refrain from erecting any further straw man arguments, namely, claiming that if I criticize a negative effect of a tool/technology, then it must mean I’m completely against that tool/technology.

Did you know, I can oppose guns being used in the commission of a crime, and still support the 2nd Amendment? Did you know, I can be opposed to people driving their cars recklessly, causing death and injury to other motorists, but still believe motor vehicles are a great tool?

And I can do all that while simultaneously carrying my gun and driving my car, and this does not make me a hypocrite.

See how this works?

For everyone else, please watch these sobering videos in the spirit they’re intended, and I pray they will be edifying to you. 


Bonus video: