Friday, April 30, 2010

Another Abuse Case at "Good Samaritan"

As stated here earlier, there are problems at Good Samaritan. The StarTribune now reports yet another case of horrific abuse.

If you have a loved one at one of their facilities, I'd watch them extremely close. It is obvious to me that they have endemic issues on their hiring, training and vetting process.

By the way, during the last episode earlier this month, I reached out to their CEO, both electronically and via phone, to express my concern. I'm still waiting to hear something.

Given the latest, it appears he's not been busy cleaning up the mess in his organization...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Target Field: Visitors' Locker Room, Dugout, and Field

Our Alumni Association for St. John's University had an event last night at the new Target Field. For a small donation to the Alumni Fund we were able to get a tour, a couple of beers, and some typical ballpark fare while being able to watch the Twins choke one away at Detroit on the big screen and assorted TVs. Part of the tour got us into the visitors' locker room.

We were then able to get on the field. While we were prohibited from walking on the grass, we still got a really good look at the field from the players' perspectives.

The stadium is quite incredible, and I can't wait to finally go to a game.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Jimmy Clausen and the NFL Draft Debacle

Notre Dame v Stanford
So why did Jimmy Clausen fall to the 48th pick overall, after having been rated as high as the 4th best player available in the draft by some?

Simple- leadership.

Clausen is an incredibly talented quarterback, and the statistics he was able to amass cannot be argued. He played in a pro-style offense that is perfectly suited for someone looking to ultimately play on Sundays. However, his teams could not win. His coach was consistently on the hot seat and was ultimately fired. He left the program early in the height of its turmoil to cash a check. And at the end of the day, those intangibles add up to something. This was really made clear to me in a post game interview after their senior day loss to Uconn. Nothing in his responses had anything to do with stepping up and being a leader. He was just another one of those players that day that watched the loss happen, and then, oh well, what are you going to do?

Life is filled with tons of examples where the best talent in the world doesn’t win, and marginal talent does. Usually the tipping point is leadership. That’s why Jimmy will hold a clipboard for a couple of years, and then venture off to see how life really works.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Enterprise Luxury Upgrade - Woot!

When we arrived at the Enterprise car rental and I’d checked in, I knew there was something wrong. We were first in line, yet three others behind us received their cars and were out the door. Finally our guy came clean and said that they were having a tough time in finding the convertible that I had reserved.

Typically in situations like this I try to be a decent human being. I’ve seen people throw fits, and know that folks who work in such industries have to put up with that garbage just about every day. We had nowhere to be, and the convertible was not a requirement, so we just chilled out and let the chips fall. Through it all, they commented over and over how much they appreciated our patience and how much they regretted the situation. 

Well, the chips ultimately fell, and did in our direction. We were set up with this Cadillac SRX here, with the double moon roof (damn near a convertible),the sport transmission (fast!), and pretty much all of the other goodies. All done at the same price as what I had originally reserved.

Now, we may have got the same deal had I decided to have a tirade. But by the time I left Enterprise, they were smiling, as were we. That’s kind of what life should be all about.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

C.P. and San Antonio Pride

The one thing that has struck us on this trip are the friendly people of San Antonio. Not fake friendly; a real, genuine “glad you’re here,” attitude. Literally everyone wants to know where we’re from (it must be the Fargo accent) and what we’re doing in town. Everyone has a tip to make our trip easier. Every “thank you,” is met with a sincere and friendly “you’re welcome.” The people of San Antonio have really made this trip for us.

We met C.P. here in the bike shop, and later shared a beer with him in the Blue Star Brewing Company bar. C.P. started dropping rhymes on us from his open mic night exploits, and a favorite was one about San Antonio itself. “R” rated, so keep it away from the kiddos, but entertaining as heck.


The Best San Antonio Mission Trail Bike Rental

If you’re looking to ride the Mission Trail in San Antonio and are in need of a bike rental, look no further than the Blue Star Brewing Company. Located mere feet from the trail, its proximity can’t be any better. Plus, at the end of your ride, an incredible micro brew or two awaits you. Make sure you bring enough money to buy a growler to take home – trust me, you’ll want one.

The staff at the bike shop are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about biking, and are as nice a set of folks as you can meet. And way funny, too! Ask for Laura or C.P. as they’ll take good care of you. They have my highest endorsement.

San Antonio's Mission Trail

We spent a good chunk of the day yesterday biking the Mission Trail in San Antonio . The trail starts at The Alamo in the north and runs past four beautiful missions further south.

We began our ride at the Blue Star Brewing Company; a great micro-brewery that was also home to a friendly restaurant and a fun bike shop. If you stop, be sure to get their IPA - incredible.  More on all of that in a separate post.

We stopped at three of the four missions, and snapped the following shots:

The history of these old missions is remarkable as one considers what people had to endure nearly 300 years ago to get to the area, survive, and ultimately thrive. It was also heartening to know that the missions are still active parishes. It is amazing that the hard work of those missionaries nearly three centuries ago is still paying spiritual dividends even now. These are blessed sites.

We figure we probably did about 28 miles total yesterday, and while we didn’t go those final two miles to Mission Espada, we still felt fulfilled. The trail itself is quite diverse, running from inner city neighborhoods to parks to river areas to very rural-feeling areas. What a great way to spend the day.

Friday, April 23, 2010

San Antonio's Beautiful River Walk

We had a wonderful first day in San Antonio. Most of our first day was spent downtown, hiking along the famed River Walk. The area is stunningly beautiful as this video can attest:

We happen to be down here during San Antonio’s renowned Fiesta event, and there are a lot of things going on all across the city in celebration.

For example, we came around the corner on the Riverwalk, and bumped into this:

It was a great way to spend a Thursday afternoon. We enjoyed some wonderful Mexican food at one of the dozens of restaurants on the River Walk, and the people watching was awesome. As we meandered throughout the day, we’d bump into random things to see and do. One of them was visiting the San Fernando Cathedral, the old mission the heart of downtown. It was beyond beautiful. While I only snapped one shot out of respect, it is perhaps the most inspiring church I’ve ever seen. Worshipers were everywhere – it is amazing how many Catholics are here in San Antonio – and they ranged from the typical quiet worshipers to the young guy with the iPod in his ears beseeching out loud for “no sanctuary” for his enemies. Maybe not exactly what Jesus would intend, but interesting nonetheless.

Bottom line is that we love it here, and can’t wait to get out exploring again today.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Turn to Her and Say, "Texas." She Says, "What?" "I Said Texas." She Says, "What?"

I've kept track of every state in which I've ever stepped foot, and I have a total of 12 more to go before I have the full 50 covered. One big hole has been Texas. I'm not sure why I've never been there, but for a state of such notoriety and girth, I can't believe that it still remained open. Hence, when Christmas time came last year and I had previously bought most of the jewelry and trinkets that my wife could want, I decided to give her a long weekend someplace that we'd never been.

Thus today we're headed to San Antonio for some much needed rest and relaxation. I'll be updating our exploits as they unfold.

Given the weather in Minnesota (I've already logged three rounds of golf, 60 miles on the bike, and my inaugural lawn mow this year), it feels kind of foolish to leave. However, in the guts of our horrific winter, a trip to warmer climes seemed like a good idea at the time. At a minimum, we'll get some biking, sightseeing, mesquite Texas BBQ.

And I'll get down to 11 more states to go.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nick Punto Watch - The Tuesday Puntometer

I've often wondered what would happen to Nicky after his playing days are over. I think Sam Malone from Cheers has just the answer:

Nick has been down with a groin-gr-gr-groin in-ju-ry since mid-last week, but prior to hitting the bench he got that average of his up to a whopping .269! We await his return with much anticipation.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Rep. Joe Hoppe and Jared Allen

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited by my buddy State Representative Joe Hoppe (R) 34B to attend the State Capitol chapter Ducks Unlimited banquet. While I'm always up for a conservation event, I was excited to hear that the event would be attended by two Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl players- Heath Farwell and Jared Allen.

As a reader of this space, you know that I absolutely love Allen - his play, approach, and activities off the gridiron are awesome (or, as he may put it, badass). It seems that the Vikings are working on some kind of new stadium deal or something, and having a couple of Pro Bowlers slap backs and sign autographs with the politico seemed like a good tactic.

Well, needless to say I brought along my lucky Jared Allen jersey and had #69 sign it for me. Check it out.

Unfortunately for Rep. Hoppe, he was called into service to "handle" Farwell and Allen, and ultimately was called to an impromptu interview of the two players for the crowd.

As you can see, Joe did a great job. Part of it is being a politician; you need to be able to get on the stump and converse. But part of this performance is just Joe. He's talented, funny, and smart. The folks of Chanhassen and Chaska are lucky to have him as their appointed Representative in the Minnesota House.

Of course I won jack squat, but at least the ducks got some of my money, and I got to meet my favorite current defensive player. Allen was funny, affable, and helped his cause. Can't wait to see him suit it up again this year in their attempt to get to the Super Bowl.

Nice Interview with JBM at Paste Magazine

As reported here earlier, during our concert with Rogue Wave last week, we were blown away by an incredible set by JBM. Last week, Paste Magazine also featured him in a nice interview. You can check it out here

Stated again, I encourage you to check out his new release Not Even in July. This guy is a great talent, and I think we'll be hearing big things from him later on down the line. 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Netflix and Wii - A Great Technolgy Expansion

Netflix has just announced a new delivery mechanism through the Wii gaming platform. Sign up and usage is free with a subscription to Netflix. Basically it works the same as their streaming capabilities online, but for those of us without PC connectivity to our TV sets, it creates a great entertainment augmentation.

I set up our Wii with it last night and watched two episodes of Dexter. I was amazed at the quality of the stream and the ease of use. For those of you that are Wii owners, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this great benefit from Netflix.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Concert Review - Rogue Wave, Minneapolis, Fine Line Music Cafe

My wife and I attended the Rogue Wave show at the Fine Line in Minneapolis tonight. Overall, it was a heck of a show. Sorry I don't have the set list - it was a little tough to navigate tonight. Notes and commentary are as follows:
  • Opening act was JBM, and his set was absolutely haunting. It completely touched my heart, and I told him that later when I met him and bought his CD. Look out for Not Even in July, and by all means if he comes to your town, go see him. What a dynamic performer.  Here's a photo of him on his concluding song; done with the help of some Rogue Wave buddies:

  •  My wife and I sat in the "Extra Gold Seating," which meant that we got to share a table with another couple and were on the hook for $60 of food or beverage each. The food was not good and tasted like it was bought off the Schwann's truck, microwaved, and plated. Likewise, our table was about as far from the stage as possible. I'd not recommend the "Extra Gold Seating" at the Fine Line - not in the least. We would have been much better off with the $12 tickets.
  • Rogue Wave was outstanding. The highlights for me included the all-band drum solo ahead of Lake Michigan, Lake Michigan itself, Harmoinum, Chicago X 12, and the finale of Permalight. A great set that left nothing out.
  • The band was really tight tonight, and seemed to truly enjoy the company of one another.  Interactions were light, focus was good, and execution nearly flawless.  It is really fun to be present when a band is bigger than the sum of its parts, and that was clearly the case tonight.
  • Zach Rogue kept the interactions with the crowd fairly limited, although after an early set of Permalight songs, someone asked that they play "the good stuff," to which Zach wondered aloud if they wrote for Pitchfork. He later congratulated the crowd on the new Twins stadium, which brought a warm reaction.

Overall, the evening was a function of great company, a great venue, some great music, some great drinks, and some lousy food that added up to a really great evening overall. Best surprise of the night was JBM - keep an eye on him.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wealth for Common Good - Make the Rich Pay More Taxes, and It's Tax Deductible!

Tax Preparers Work To Meet Tomorrow's Deadline
Welcome to tax day. My dad always told me to be proud to pay my taxes, but I find it increasingly difficult when I see the abject waste being done with my hard-earned dollars. 2009 was a tough year financially for my wife and me, and the massive amount of money that we sent our government was tough to see go. It is tougher yet to see it wasted.

There's a new group of progressives calling themselves "Wealth for the Common Good" that is asking Congress to repeal the Bush tax cuts so that those in the higher tax brackets can pay more taxes. The group is designed under the auspices of rich people demanding that they pay their "fair share."

Here's a hint to Wealth for the Common Good, or anybody else out there that feel they don't pay enough in taxes: cut a check to the IRS. They'll take it. If you really feel guilty, you can assuage that guilt immediately. The address is 10th St & Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, DC 20004.

To take it to a new level, after a little bit of digging, I've found that Wealth for the Common Good is an offshoot of the Institute of Policy Studies, as self-described group putting "ideas into action for Peace, Justice, and the Environment." If you believe in their cause and wish to donate to them, here's their form. You can rest easy as " IPS is a 501(c)(3) organization and your donation is fully tax-deductible."

Why am I not surprised?

Happy tax day everybody.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nick Punto Watch - The Tuesday Puntometer

Twins Punto dives back to first against Red Sox in Minneapolis
We finally get back to celebrating the futile efforts of the worst 3rd baseman in the big leagues with our weekly Puntometer.

Thus far this season, Nicky is batting a robust .158, and has a Tim Laudner-like On Base Percentage of a buck ninety.

Thank goodness that one of his three hits on the season was a triple, as he's at least out-slugging Span.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Katherine Kersten Nails the Media's Obsession on Abuse in the Catholic Church

Katherine Kersten, the lightning rod conservative columnist of the StarTribune had a great article in the Sunday edition on something that has stuck in my craw for years now. The media is having a field day tripping over themselves to paint the Catholic Church as a bastion of pedophilia and abuse. Article after article have been published, regaling every sordid detail.

Don't get me wrong, the Church is not without significant blame. The cover ups and passing along of predator priests are unconscionable and have permanently stained the Church, and deservedly so. The Church, in turn, has paid a heavy price.

But consider abuse in other segments of our society. Katherine writes:
In 2004, a groundbreaking report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education found that 6 to 10 percent of children in public schools have been sexually abused or harassed by teachers or school employees. Hofstra University Prof. Charol Shakeshaft, the report's author, estimated that about 290,000 students were victimized between 1991 and 2000. "So we think the Catholic Church has a problem?" Shakeshaft told Education Week. "The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests."
And while we routinely hear of "titillating" stories of the hot teacher and the 18 year old student, most of the other stories are buried or uncovered. Teaching as a profession is above reproach, and is the religious center of Liberalism, whereas something as antiquated and backward as organized religion is something to be maligned and ultimately eliminated.

Personally, my creepy typing teacher aggressively and awkwardly came on to me when I was 14. She stayed in the district throughout my graduation, and as I gained an adult's perspective, I've often wondered who else she went after. Given her approach, I'm sure I wasn't the only one, and I'm confident that one of my peers that wasn't as lucky as I to be as grounded, secure, and able to navigate from those confusing waters is now dealing with this abuse later in their lives.

Granted, I'm one data point. However, if the goal really is to report on abuse, let's open the doors to our schools as well as the doors of our churches. If, on the other hand, the goal is to discredit organized religion, the media should continue to keep doing things they way they always have.

So which way do you think this will go?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The XX Concert Review - Varsity Theater Minneapolis

The XX played the Varsity Theater tonight on the U of M campus, and despite a really late curtain time, the show was worth the wait. The sold out show was commanding over $100 per ticket on Craigslist, so my purchase of $65 on StubHub a month ago looked like a good investment. As you can see by the picture, despite the sell-out, I had a great location; just a couple of people deep.

Random points on tonight's show:
  • The Varsity is an incredible venue. Great location, comfortable layout, and funky common bathroom area for both the boys and girls makes it a pretty hip place for a band like The XX.
  • JJ was second act (the first was a DJ from LA with a pretty good sound), and their set was best defined as odd. Weird videos in the background, hair brushing up against the microphone, and the male partner walking on stage, playing a couple of notes on guitar and leaving. Just odd.
  • The XX came on just after 11:00 and played for slightly more than an hour. Their limited library of work is the likely culprit, but they sounded and looked awesome. The music was too loud, and it didn't help that I was exactly under the speakers stage right. In fact it was so loud that particles from the ceiling were shaking off and falling on those of us in the area. Literally.  Of course, I forgot my earplugs again. What?
  • The Oldest Guy at the Concert T-Shirt was a hit yet again tonight. This was a very young crowd, so I really stood out.
  • The band's sound is Spartan, so when a note gets missed it stands out. There were not a lot of these, but a couple that made you take notice. Despite that, the vocal stylings between Romy Madley Croft and Jamie Smith were wonderful, and what make The XX such a unique band with such a signature sound.
  • Song of the night for me was Crystalised - their lead off after the cool intro, but there were many more strong efforts as well.
This will be a fun band to keep an eye on. If their sound can evolve and mature, I predict big things for them in the coming year. Great show.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Insight on the Tom Petters Case from a Former Employee And Hollywood Stars Launch Auction For Hurricane Victims
Yesterday former "businessman," and my former boss Tom Petters was sentenced to an ostensive life in prison for his propagation of a $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme. He's currently 52, and even with time off for good behavior, it appears the earliest he'll be able to get out of jail is when he's 94.

As someone that knew Tom and his companies for four years of my career, here's my insight and take on the case:
  • During my tenure in working for him, rumors abounded on the state of his business. Whispers were often uttered on how none of his companies were making any money, and the office in which my company shared with other Petters' businesses often had a turnstile for companies coming and going. Hence, when the fraud broke, I was not surprised at all.
  • While Tom was lavish in his lifestyle, he was also quite generous. His holiday parties for employees were renown for the best food, hotel rooms, live music, and free drinks. Massage therapy was a benefit for all employees, with massage facilities right within the building. He was substantively philanthropic. All of this is easy to do with other people's money, and red flags were everywhere.
  • While clearly some "little people" got hurt, I don't have so much sympathy for the deep pockets that Petters picked. If the due diligence of your investment constituted believing a slick-talking executive promising returns that were too good to be true, then you kind of get what you deserve. It's that "fool and his money," thing...
  • I was originally flabbergasted that when things broke that Tom didn't have a plan to leave. But after thinking about it, I believe that Petters was ultimately motivated by the adoration of others. Clearly, he enjoyed an opulent lifestyle, but more than anything else, I think he really enjoyed adulation. That's tough to get that when you're on the lam somewhere in South America.
  • While I don't disagree with the sentence, I do find it pathetic that killers, rapists, and child molesters routinely serve significantly less time for their crimes. That says a lot about what our society thinks about who is and is not a "villain."
  • There really was no moral compass in this case. For me, personally, it is hard to trust those that don't observe a recognition of a Higher Power, and a higher purpose for their lives. Granted, I know all the stories of the pious that had great downfalls. But in my experience, I've personally seen way too much repugnant behavior by people that have basically no faith, and I've seen those that serve and fear the Lord doing incredible things, and truly making a difference. Maybe I'm naive, but I'll always put my trust into the executive that takes to his knees in a church on Sunday morning over the one that spends the same morning nursing a horrific hangover from chasing bar tramps at Redstone the night before.
At the end of the day, this is a sad, sad story at many levels. I wish redemption and purpose for Tom, recovery and peace for his victims, and wisdom for the rest of us that stood on the sidelines and have something to learn from this mess.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Next Chapter of the Tiger Woods Redemption Story

When I'm right, I'm right. Last December, I had the following prediction on how the Tiger Woods situation would play out. Except for the timing, I nailed it.

So now we start with the Masters, which will likely see ratings like they've never seen before. In the mean time, Nike has released the following ad.

It is an interesting ad, and it puts a big stake in the ground. Should Tiger fall again, it will be replayed over and over to embarrass both Tiger and Nike. Hence, for both of them, success will hinge on Tiger's ability to keep to the straight and narrow. As I stated earlier, that path is fraught with dangers and temptations.

Good luck, Tiger (and Nike). You're going to need it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Yellow Dog Patrol Gets Google Props

I launched this blog back in March of 2009. Since I'm a web marketer by trade, I've always tried to optimize my posts to be found by Google and the other search engines to drive the most traffic I could.

One way to get picked up in the rankings is to have significance in Google's eyes. Their proprietary algorithm evaluates multiple criteria to determine what could be considered an important site, versus what is irrelevant. One way to determine relevance is by a calculation called "Page Rank," which can be found on Google's toolbar above. PR is a numeric rank of relevance, ranging from less than zero (e.g. "the grey bar") to 10.

For most of the first year, I have been a PR of grey bar or zero. But I also knew that website age was a big factor in PR, and that once I got past my first year, I'd have a chance to get to a 1. I've been updating constantly, getting good volumes of traffic, getting links from other sites, and basically doing all the things I need to do as a site owner to create relevancy and authority. I hoped it would only be a matter of time.

The results are now in and can be seen in this small tool on the Google toolbar.

This little bar measures page rank. And, ladies and gentlemen, after looking at this bar as pure white for almost a year now, I'm proud to report that your humble correspondent has been awarded with a PR of not 1, but 2.

I know this is really nerdy stuff, and that pretty much anyone that reads this isn't going to care one bit, however to me it is kind of a big deal.

Thanks for visiting my site. I'm nothing but a grey bar without you. Now I'll try and hold up my end of the bargain and get back to writing about the outdoors, politics, music, and my never ending distain for Nick Punto.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spoon - Minneapolis Concert Review and Set List

I attended the Spoon concert at the historic 1st Avenue tonight, and the boys did not disappoint. The band was quite tight (especially drummer Jim Eno), and despite playing the second of two nights in the same venue, one felt they were as fresh as ever.

Here is the set list to the best of my recollection:
I Saw the Light
I Turn My Camera On
Jonathon Fisk
Nobody Gets Me But You
The Way We Get By
The Ghost of You Lingers
My Mathematical Mind
Stay Don't Go
Don't Make Me A Target
Love Song (cover of The Damned song)
Who Makes Your Money
Back to the Life
Someone Something
Vittorio E
They Never Got You
I Summon You
Finer Feelings
Written In Reverse
You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
Don't You Evah
Trouble Comes Running
The Underdog

Some notes on the evening:
  •  I still don't know who opened for them (guys, you may want to tell the crowd your name in case they're into you. You can sell stuff that way). They weren't good at all, and their drummer couldn't keep consistent time. They were in desperate need of a metronome.
  • Spoon, on the other hand, sounded wonderful. Britt Daniel's interaction with the crowd was minimal, but the band was awesome. Daniel worked his butt off, and they played just shy of two hours.
  • They have a big library, and while we got a good mix, I still missed Got Nuffin and The Mystery Zone.
  • I had the misfortune of standing behind some twenty-something couple, and the guy simply could not keep his hands off his girl. We went through four phases  1) constant contact 2) separation anxiety when she went to the ladies room (seriously, dude, dogs do better than you on that) 3) copious amounts of crotch grabbing and finally 4) too stoned, and barely awake.
  • Been a long time for me since I've been to 1st Avenue and I missed it. We're lucky to have such a venue.
  • My "Oldest Guy at the Concert" T-shirt (order yours here) got more comments than at any other concert. It is a nice conversation piece when I go to these things by myself.
Overall, Spoon was great, and I'd definitely see them again. Well done, gentlemen.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Minnesota Wild - A Season Smashed Against the Boards

IL: Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks
In yesterday's StarTribune, Grandpa Sports (aka Sid Heartman) interviews Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold. Leipold comes off very positive about the team and its trajectory with the new GM and coaching that was named prior to the season. Says Leipold:
"I love it, it's great, the fans are unbelievable," Leipold said. "You know you can walk into the Xcel Energy Center, every game is a sellout. It has been just a blast. St. Paul and the Twin Cities are ... all about hockey. I feel very, very fortunate to be there."
Here's a little insight for you, Craig. Your team stinks, and stinks on ice. There are only two teams in our conference worse than us, and in a league where they give out playoff appearances like little-kid soccer trophys, we're too lousy to go. Despite being mathmatically able to get into a playoff position , the team worked up a gutless 7-9 record in the critical March period, and punctuated it with a horriffic 0-4 loss to the hated Blackhawks in front of our home crowd. This team lacks hustle, momentum, guts, scoring, and desire. They are, candidly, one of the worst teams in the NHL, and have been that way for their entire existance. And in the mean time, ownship continues to grin and spout off about how great the fans are and how every game has been a sellout. What a load of crap.

For the first time since they came to town, I didn't go to a game, and I've stopped watching them on TV due to their March swoon. My categorization of the team last October couldn't have been any more correct.

Here's a little tip for Mr. Leipold: Instead of keeping your eye on all of those full seats, what's say you take a look, just for one minute, at what is happening on the ice. You're going to see some really lousy hockey, trust me. If you really care about all of those "unbelievable" fans, you'll do something about it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Good Samaritan Anything But, As More Abuse Reported

The StarTribune reports today that yet another Good Samaritan memory care facility is being investigated for "a pattern of resident abuse," by at least 20, yes 20, nursing assistants. Health Department investigators are calling it "a system-wide failure."

Oh, by the way, this is the same company that reeled from horrific abuse by their employees at their Albert Lea facility in 2008. For details on that story, click here.

Sorry, Good Samaritan, but you get no third strikes. Your job is to care for the most needy in our society, and it clearly appears that your culture and procedures allow for abuse and mistreatment.

I know, more than most, that the jobs conducted by your employees are incredibly hard. They are not for everyone. But if you can't find caring people to hire, especially in this economy, then the issue lies with you, and not with the ones actually conducting the abuse. This is repugnant, and instead of sending out your PR guy to explain how its not as bad as Albert Lea, I'd appreciate knowing that folks got fired, prosecuted (if possible), and that you're committed to ensuring the safety and dignity of every resident under your care. It might be nice if such a message could also come from one of your senior leadership if it is not too much trouble.

As stated earlier, I know what these facilities are like, and how hard the jobs are. I pray there is a special place in heaven for those angels that care for our loved ones. And I also hope that those who abuse folks under their care also reap their appointed reward.

How I wish this was some kind of awful April Fool's joke...