Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Zach Parise - Hometown Hero. Because It's the Cup

The Minnesota Wild made it interesting, but did make it into the playoffs by winning their last game of the season.  Their reward waits for them in the form of the Chicago Blackhawks; the best team in the NHL this season.

And the Wild could not have got here without the blockbuster acquisitions of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise last off-season.  The move was designed to propel the Wild to a playoff team, and from that respect it was mission accomplished.  Suter has been a machine, logging massive ice time, racking up points, and leading the team on both the power play and penalty kill.  He's arguably the best pro defenseman to ever play in Minnesota.

And Parise?  He's absolutely the best player to ever play for the Wild.  He has a Dino Ciccarelli-like knack for being near the goal at the right time, and his hustle and work ethic are so strong that he totally stands out from all other players when on the ice.  He's a treasure, and there is no way the Wild make the playoffs without him.

Now the press for the Cup.  The one thing working in the Wild's favor is that, almost more than any other sport, hockey championships can be won by a team with lesser talent that just plain gets hot.  Yes, Chicago is daunting.  But if the Wild have desires to go anywhere in the playoffs, they'd have to face the Blackhawks sooner or later.  Stealing one from the best team in the league might be just the thing that propels the Wild on a wacky Cup run.

I know that odds are long, but you can't have a chance unless you make the playoffs.  And thanks to Zach Parise, they did just that.  

Let's see what happens next.

It's time for a hometown hero.  Because it's the cup.

Monday, April 29, 2013

White House Correspondents' Dinner and the Breakdown of Responsibily

The annual White House Correspondents' Dinner has now moved well beyond the simple little "let your hair down" event that was its genesis.  It has now ballooned to a narcissistic celebrity self-love fest.  It's entitled, elitist, and repugnant.

The folks attending have responsibilities.  The media needs to get up the hind end of whoever is in power, and keep them in check.  With the rise of the Obama administration, that responsibility has been completely abdicated.

And our elected officials have a responsibility to do the jobs in which they were elected.  Not to cut a Spielberg short:

This country is fighting two wars (still), has record numbers on food stamps and on disability, has record numbers that have dropped out of the economy altogether, and has just been attacked by terrorists that killed three and injured hundreds.  I don't want a comedian, even if it is self-deprecating.  I want someone that is going to do their freaking job.

But that's the problem nowadays, isn't it?  Nobody wants to do their job...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Gun in the Home? A Safer Home

Why did Obama so overplay his hand on guns, when data like this exists:

He was likely reading bad data, and was obviously tainted by his liberal elite echo-chamber.  But still, a shift of this magnitude should have been hard to miss, especially for one with such renown political savvy and big data resources. 

Note this poll was taken before the Boston bombing.  I have a feeling that if one were to survey Boston residents that were locked down in their homes and asked to call the overworked and scurrying police if/when they "saw something," there would be a marked acceleration in the "safer" category.  

I simply cannot imagine being in that scenario and not having sufficient means to adequately protect myself and my family.  I'm sure that many Bostonian citizens, armed with nothing but a golf club or a kitchen knife to protect themselves through the ordeal have likely changed their tune on the personal ownership of guns.  

As have an untold amount across the nation that watched the horror in Boston unfold, and put themselves in the same position.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Moving. After 63 Years

A couple of weeks ago we moved my Mother-in-Law from her home to an assisted living facility.  It was the only home she's lived in since 1950.  It is where she raised 7 children, who in turn have blessed her with grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great-grandchildren.

She did not want to move, and wasn't afraid to say so.  But at 90 years of age, the doctor told her she could no longer live on her own, and she did ultimately abide with the decision.

The new place is extremely nice, and she'll receive great care, have more social engagement, and ultimately will be happier.  It was the right move at the right time.

Here's a photo of her and the moving crew in the new place:

The move didn't come without angst, trepidation, fear, and maybe a little anger.  Heck, she'd lived in that home longer than some folks just plain live.  But there was lots of family to provide support, reassurance, and help through the process.

One such moment I happened to capture with Mrs. YDP and her Mom:

To me, the photo above captured the entire weekend.  

I'm proud of all of my in-laws.  They handled a very tough situation with effectiveness and care.  But I'm most proud of my Mother-in-Law, who handled the move the way she'd handled many of the curve balls thrown at her throughout her life - with courage and faith.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Vikings 2013 Draft Recap

What a great draft day for the Vikings!  We watched it with the Green Bay Vikings fan club, and seven of us showed up to watch the draft.  That kind of shows you the energy behind the team after their drastic turn-around last year.

As for the draft, how different from the days where our pick would turn up, and we'd not select anyone to allow for the talent to become more affordable.  As a Vikings fan, you need to hand it to Zygi Wilf - the guy is not cheap.  The team was aggressive, fearless, and landed two strong starters and at least one special teams threat before even one snap occurs.

While I'm disappointed that they didn't draft T'ao (big mistake), there is a lot to like in this year's draft - 

  • Sharrif Floyd - Great talent, well beyond where he was drafted.  Background is not hot, but all of the talent is there.  If they can keep him grounded, he could be a great D lineman for years to com
  • Xavier Rhodes - Great skills, but raw.  Can give us some great 1:1 coverage.   Jury is still out on his ability to handle more complex stuff
  • Cordarrelle Patterson - While a less polished receiver, has tons of upside.  Has running back moves and will likely win the starting job for returning in short order.  Time will tell how good he can be
Overall, all three have work to do, but all make this team better with their presence.  It will be a fun training camp to see how these guys turn out, and an even better 2013 season.

Skol, Vikings!  Well done on a great draft.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Two Avowed Leftists' Take on Islam and Terrorism

In the wake of the Boston bombing and terrorism, it has been fascinating to me to see how some, not all, but some on the left have felt it necessary to bend over backwards to try and "understand" the plight of the people who seek to kill our innocent civilians.  Had the terrorism been committed by a Tea Party type, as so many liberals actively wished, there would be no move to "understand."  There'd just be hate, and justifiably so.  

But no.  When Islam hates America, we feel the need to understand, and then defend it.  Here's Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison, the "first Muslim congressman" (he REALLY needs to copyright that), on what's at play here:

Thankfully, not all liberals feel the need to continue to grant a pass to those that seek to kill us due to their religion.  Here is Bill Maher, yes - that Bill Maher, ripping apart a civil rights attorney, university professor and Huffington Post columnist Brian Levin over his world view on Islam:

I pretty much despise Maher, but need to give him credit for finally calling BS on liberals seeking to use moral equivalence when bending over backward to prop up "the religion of peace."

While those like Ellision and Brian Levin continue to provide air cover for those that seek to kill innocent people, slowly but surely other liberals like Maher are waking up.  

Given Maher's audience size and makeup, I hope he was able to reach some people with his candid message.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Yellow Dog Patrol is 4 Years Old

The blog you're reading is now four years old.  And what an interesting past year it has been.  Here are some highlights via my analytics:

  • The site was visited by 10,500 people in the past 12 months
  • 2/3 of the site's traffic had never visited the site before
  • That being said, over 2,000 of the site's visitors this past year had been to the site at least 50 times, and over 1,000 had visited over 200 times.  I'm humbled by this loyalty.
  • While nearly all of the traffic was from the United States, over 1,000 people from outside the US visited.  The most obscure nations that visited were Malta, Iraq, Eritra (I had to look that one up!), and tiny Luxembourg.  
  • About 10% of the site's traffic came in via some kind of mobile device.
  • Search drives a majority of the traffic, with a huge majority coming from Google
  • Facebook is my largest referring site.  For those of you that picked up an article and shared it to your Facebook community, thank you!
  • Top pages that drove traffic this past year (beyond the home page) are:
This all started out as a place for me to vent, and to test some SEO techniques for my job.  It has ended up as a small community, and for that I am amazed and grateful.

Thanks for coming to YellowDogPatrol.com and indulging me.  I appreciate your readership very much.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Kmart Wants You to Ship Your Pants

Perhaps the edgiest piece of advertising for one of the least edgy brands of all time.  This is how to execute a viral marketing home run, while driving home, again and again, a message of strong customer benefit.

A+, Kmart.  Great work

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Boston Marathon Experience from a Buddy

A friend of mine from work ran the Boston Marathon last week.  He did it in 3:23; about 40 minutes before the event, and our country, would forever be changed.

He brought his wife and two kids out there with him, and they were waiting for him at the finish line.  Had my buddy had a slower pace, physical/equipment issue, or some other impediment to his speed, his family would have been in the middle of a nightmare.

Despite their relative safety, being in Boston over the next couple of days was still very hard, and just getting back to their hotel and getting out of town were long, troubling stories in and of themselves.  I have encouraged him to write it all down, as it all is so incredible.  I hope he takes me up on it, and if so, I'll share it.

In the meantime, here is the Garmin printout of his race.  You can click through for a bigger image, and in the event you can't read his comments, they're here:

I crossed the finish line 39 mins before all of the 'happy' was sucked out of the city, the country, the day. I will not forget my sadness or my anger, but I may forget how I felt before 2:50PM, and so I write: The slowest mile wasn't Heartbreak Hill, but the very necessary porta potty stop during mile 9. My legs were not ready for this race so 'the monster' showed up at mile 11...I asked aloud "What took you so long?" Running on fumes & 1.5 miles from the next aid station, I botched the handoff of a cherry red ice pop at mile 15, I will never forget the very old man sprinting ahead & surprising me with the very ice pop that we dropped. I was a mess after the Newton hills & after drinking my fill at the base of Mt Everest I tried to motivate myself by saying aloud "F@#% you Heartbreak Hill!" --- and less than 9 minutes later gasping..."I win." The downhill after Heartbreak tore my legs to shreds...I have never felt that much pain...but the time for my 23rd mile shocked me...I was slowing down! -- If I slowed anymore I would fail. Because my legs felt like tree trunks, burning tree trunks, it was hard to judge my pace...then my sub 8 pace at 24 made me happy...my mantra became "fast or slow it all hurts the same" & I held pace until I made the profoundly happy left turn onto Boylston street. I raced past my family instead of hugging them cuz I knew it would be close. Once over the finish line I staggered & waddled forward for Gatorade; a city of Boston Police Officer asked if I was okay..."I'm a F'ing superhero!" was my reply..."Dude! you aaaare." My thoughts & prayers not only go out to the victims & their families, but to all 5756 runners that ran 25 miles of the 2013 Boston Marathon -- I hope they all return next year. And to the other 17579 runners that did cross the bright blue finish line, we lost both our right & our will to celebrate,,,but because we simply do not quit, like all future finish lines, the party too, will eventually come.

I'm lucky to know a guy like this and consider him a friend.  A f'ing superhero, indeed.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Coexist Bumper Sticker and the Carjacked Car

Since its introduction, the sanctimonious "Coexist" bumper sticker has been like nails against a chalkboard to me.  The implied message that I pick up is one of, "Hey, I have my stuff together.  The rest of you need to figure out to live with each other."  It is preachy, feel-good, and as it turns out, woefully ignorant.

Because, you see, in a grandiose stroke of irony, the vehicle the Boston bombers carjacked had one of those moralistic "Coexist" bumper stickers:

Coexist, indeed.  Good luck with all that.

Mark Steyn recently wrote on the subject, and nailed it (emphasis is mine):

I wonder, when the "CO-EXIST" car is returned to its owner, whether he or she will keep the bumper sticker in place. One would not expect him to conclude, as the gays of Amsterdam and the Jews of Toulouse and the Christians of Egypt have bleakly done, that if it weren't for that Islamic crescent you wouldn't need a bumper sticker at all. But he may perhaps have learned that life is all a bit more complicated than the smiley-face banalities of the multiculturalists.

The carjack victim walked away with their life, which, given the violence of the perpetrators, was a stroke of incredible fortune. They'll also get their car back after the authorities have had their way with it.

Whether that life and that car continue to espouse fanciful, feel-good sanctimony any more is yet to be determined.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Breaking Boston News

I awoke this morning very early as I had difficulty sleeping.  I watched highlights from the Wild game last night with the Yellow Dog (wow, Wild, what happened?) then grabbed a coffee and logged on to the web.

That's where the breaking story hit me.  

I was taken by how some the the news websites were handling the breaking story.  Here's what I found:

  • The traditional news sites, CNN and Fox News, had fairly decent coverage, albeit somewhat dated.
  • Huffington Post and Breitbart both had up-to-date streams of events as they were happening.  A tip of the hat to HuffPo - while I disagree with their editorial slant, their coverage was arguably the best
  • Twitchy did a great job of aggregating and publishing relevant tweets throughout the early morning
  • There was a great live stream on Reddit, but the platform was brought to its knees by traffic, thus making updates less timely.  If Reddit is going to consider themselves a relevant platform, they better start adding some server capacity, pronto.
  • Worst coverage, by far, was Drudge.  He finally got on the breaking story at 5:15 CDT.  I actually emailed him at 5:10 to complain about the lack of coverage and to let him know his lunch was being eaten.
  • Facebook posts were woefully late to the story.  A lot of folks get their news that way, and it was shocking to see how long it took for the story to break in that environment.
It was and continues to be fascinating to see how the new media is handling this breaking story.

In the meantime, here's offering up prayers to Boston for a quick resolution and for the carnage to finally end.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

BASE Jumper Threads Needle With His Body

This is incredible video.  It is breathtaking in how it brings you into the action.  But, I also fear, it will inspire BASE jumpers to attempt similar feats, and will result in some terrible accidents.  

I'm not sure what drives these guys, but check this out:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mauer On Fire

While the Twins have played just two games against the Angels, Joe Mauer is putting up a week's worth of results.  Over the past two games, Joe has gone 8 for 9, and raised his batting average to .386.

Consider as well how he's getting his hits: Of the 22 hits Mauer has collected this young season, 16 have come with two strikes on him.  While much of that is Mauer's approach -he's loath to swing at the first strike he sees - if one merely looks at what MLB batting averages are with two strikes (about .175), it makes his performance all that more remarkable.

Mauer's body language looks a lot like a couple of other left-handed streak hitters - George Brett and Wade Boggs.  When those guys got hot, they could tear off a 15+ hit week like they were possessed.

And that's exactly how Mauer looks right now.  He's extremely fun to watch.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston, and When Political Hate Can't Take a Vacation

The horrific terrorism brought to American citizens in such a public and terrible act should galvanize us, should it not?  For just one day, we should be able to drop our political leanings and suffer as Americans united.

Nah.  Not for the left.

Invoking the Rham Emanuel strategy "never letting a serious crisis go to waste," the left eagerly and nearly immediately hopped on memes like the following:

  • It was tax day yesterday, so it had to be a tea party guy
  • The Newtown parents were in the crowd, so it had to be a gun rights kook
  • It was Patriot Day, the celebration of Lexington and Concord yesterday, so we're back to a tea party
  • It was close to the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, so it had to be an anti-government Tim McVeigh type
A simple view over at Huffington Post gives you all of this and more.  Over there, there is so much hate for their political foes, and so much desire to score political points, move an agenda, and "not let a crisis to go to waste" that they're willing to do so while leveraging the blood, limbs, and bodies of the innocent to press their point.

It is sick.

And it's not just the lefty blogs, either.  Here's CNN's Wolf Blitzer:

When your political hate trumps your ability to think logically, and when your ideology causes you to seek to use pictures of our murdered and maimed citizens to divide us, the problem is much bigger than the person or group that committed this act.   

Indeed, when so many of us can't be an American first and share in a unified disgust at this act and resolve ourselves to bring the perpetrators to justice, even for a day, we'll likely never be able to agree on anything.  

Stay classy, Liberals.  Your hate, consistent even in the absolute worst of human circumstances, is astonishing.  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Fr. Kapuan Awarded Medal of Honor

I am not an Obama fan,  but I'm a fan of his presentation of the MOH to Fr. Kapaun's family.

Kapaun is a hero, any way you slice it.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Catching a Baseball with a Beer Video

Baseball.  Beer.  What's not to love with this?


Friday, April 12, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Curse of the Introvert

I'm attending an industry function these next couple of days.  I'll learn a lot, think more strategically about my business, and be able to use part of my brain that typically does not get used while mired in the day to day.

But I hate being here.

I suck at small talk.  I loathe the schmooze.  I want to be alone, or better yet, at home.  Yet here I am at a prestigious industry event, with offers and invitations for drinks and dinners galore, and I went to a crappy Chili's and ate alone.  

I am an introvert.  I have been for my whole life, but it has gotten worse as I've aged.  And I'm at my worst at events like these, when I should be at my best.  

I know with absolute certainty that my introversion has hindered my career.  There is no question that I could have got farther in much shorter time had I had the ability to be more engaged.  But it is simply something that I don't have any desire to do, and I guess I'm willing to pay the cost that comes along with it.  So while others dine at the finest restaurants in the area and create connections that may last for years, I sit in a resort hotel room and type this.

Want to know the supremely ironic part?  I'm here to speak.  The conference paid my way down here (a couple of grand when it is all said and done) as they want me to present, and odds are good that I'll do a damn good job. 

And despite having multiple invitations for dinner tomorrow - I've accepted one - I will likely look for reasons not to go. 

Damn, I hate this.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bubba and the Green Jacket

One more reason why the Masters is perhaps the greatest events in all of sports:


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Quest for 50 States

I'm not one that has a travelling jones - in fact, just the opposite.  Travel in general, and business travel in particular, I find to be overrated at best, and a massive hassle at its worst.  However, given my past and current job, I've had to travel a bit - in fact, I'm on a trip to Orlando right now.  Combine that with my loved ones living and moving around the country, and it has all added up to me ultimately visiting a lot of places.

About 20 years ago I started keeping track of the states that I've visited, with an overarching goal of eventually setting foot in all 50 of them.  The following is how I've fared thus far:

Note that the map above does not reflect the recent trip to Arizona.  With that one ticked off, I'm down to 11 states left to visit.  Here are the highlights:
  • A swing through the Northeast will wipe out 7 of the 11, although Delaware will be a hassle.  I wish I would have taken the time to visit it during a trip to Philadelphia a couple of years ago.
  • New Mexico will be a very tough one.  There is basically no business reason to visit the state for me, and I know nobody there.  That being said, if it holds any of the beauty that Arizona had, it might be worth a visit.
  • Alabama will be a tough one as well.  Again, I missed an opportunity to visit, this time while my folks lived on the gulf coast.
  • West Virginia will be a final tough one.  I'm thinking I may be able to knock it out as my company will soon be moving a work facility to Columbus, Ohio and the drive across the border shouldn't be more than a couple of hours.  If the opportunity presents itself, I'll knock it out.
  • Alaska is only a matter of time.  It will likely come by way of a cruise, but for a good chunk of my life, I've wanted to get in my car and drive there.  I've always told myself that if I ever had the time and the wherewithal, that'd be exactly what I'd do.  Hence, if I ever come up missing, I'm likely taking the long way northwest to the final frontier.  Look for me on the road.  I'll be the guy staring at the Rockies with my mouth open, and with a Yellow Dog riding shotgun in the passenger seat.
In all of the travel across the states, I've been struck by the diversity of the geography, the stunning beauty, and the abundance of blessings that this land holds.   I've also enjoyed the benefit of meeting good folks nearly every place that I traveled. 

It is a remarkable country in which we live.  Even without seeing 22% of it.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Arizona Wedding

Spent the past weekend on a whirlwind trip to Arizona for my niece's wedding.  It was a fabulous affair, but due to my work schedule, we needed to go after work on Friday and be back in time for work on Monday.  Not much of a vacation, and this morning I'm exhausted and a little jet lagged with the two hour time difference.  But I'm also very happy due to the adventure and being able to spend time with my family

Here are some photos:

We spent Saturday morning hiking in the desert mountains.  It was gorgeous, and coming from a still snow-covered Green Bay, was a welcomed way to spend a morning.

The rocky trail, and a fantastic view

 The desert was in bloom - a rare but beautiful site.  
The proud parents of the bride

Here's Mom, looking great as usual

The bride and groom, mid-ceremony

The requisite post-ceremony photo shoot.  Here's my sis and her family.

My hunting buddy, Ben.  We're already talking duck opener, and haven't even made it to our annual fishing trip yet.

Sunset in the desert.

I really dig cactus.

Overall, it was a great trip, despite how much I'm paying for it this morning.  

I realized over the weekend that the older I get, the more I really enjoy weddings.  I certainly enjoy any excuse I can to see my family, as I love and miss them all so much.

Here's to the bride and groom, to the promise and hope that a new marriage brings, and to being young, stupid, and in love

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Six Year Old Drummer Tears Up "Hot for Teacher"

What were you doing when you were six?  Anything like this?:

Friday, April 5, 2013

On the Packers Season Ticket Waiting List

This week I got around to signing up for the season ticket waiting list for Packers tickets.  While the wait is still massively long, there are two things at play that move it along:

  • Lambeau is expanding in 2013, opening up a couple thousand more seats
  • The premium seats (many of which are indoors) are just not in that big of demand.  A person I work with was only on the list for three years before her name came up for premium seating.
This doesn't mean I'm changing my allegiances.  Far from it.  I still love my Vikings, and it has been a ball being embedded with the enemy to see their reaction to Greg Jennings committing NFL treason.  No, the reason for the request is that Lambeau is an incredible experience, regardless of who is playing.  If you've not been there, it is bucket list stuff if you are an NFL fan.  Likewise, having the ability to sell/trade tickets would assure us of being loaded for the annual Vikings game.

I have no idea how long we are going to live in Green Bay.  But as long as we're here, we might as well get on the list.   

Even if my intentions are not exactly pure.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Let's Light this Candle

As I've taken on a reverse mentor, I can't help but be reminded of this commercial:

Ameritrade "Let's Light This Candle" from Todd Heyman on Vimeo.

It is an oldie, but a goodie.  

When it first came out way back in 1999, I was Stewart.  Now, all these years later, I find myself as Mr. P.

Ugh.  Mr. P.  When exactly did that happen?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Where Has All the Ammo Gone?

On outdoors, gun, and right-leaning sites, an oft-heard complaint is that there is no ammunition to be had.  Oh, sure, on the more obscure calibers, there is still a limited supply, but for the most popular loads, there is none.

That is not hyperbole.  

Not a limited supply.  Not hard to get.  We're talking empty shelves, and impossible to acquire at retail.  The only way to get a supply is by purchasing from a private party at a grossly inflated price.  

One can see just how bad it is via this example: consider the 9mm load, shown above.  It's quite popular, but available nowhere.  Check out the pages from the largest ammunition retailers: Cabela's, Gander Mountain, Bass Pro, Sportsman's Guide, Midway USA.  Nobody has a round.  Not one.

And it is not just the big retailers, either.  A buddy at work went to Milwaukee last weekend on a quest specifically for 9mm ammunition and stopped at 9 different outdoor/gun stores.  Empty shelves, all of them.

So what is going on?  There are two main drivers, and they feed each other.  The first is that the anti-gun talk from the Obama administration and the recent action by states like Connecticut have made gun owners extremely nervous; fearful that ammunition will either be taxed to oblivion, or banned outright.  Hence, there is significant demand, and substantial hoarding.

Second, the government is buying a massive amount of ammunition, and has decimated supply.  An order of 1.6 billion (yes, billion) rounds for just the Department of Homeland Security has raised eyebrows in quarters like Forbes, and has driven conspiracy theorist over the edge in other quarters.  The government talk-off for the purchase is that they are training rounds for their agents, but when one does the math, it blows away any rational amount of range time.  Consider as well that the purchase is for expensive hollow-point bullets - rounds not designed for the range, but specifically designed for dropping human beings - and those that already had a mistrust of the government get even more concerned.

Hence, folks that fear what the government is doing are seeking even more ammunition, which already has a massive demand and a massive hit to the supply.  And the cycle perpetuates itself.

There is no question that the government is buying far more ammunition than it needs.  It certainly is buying the wrong type.  Do I think they're doing so for an impending square-off with the citizens?  Hardly.  But I do feel that it is purposeful, and designed to make it hard, if not impossible, to buy ammunition.  Note that this is the same administration that brought us Fast and Furious - the arming of Mexican drug cartels by our government.  This is a nefarious administration when it comes to guns, and I believe that they're attempting to disrupt supply because they can.

The rumors have it that there is a nine month hole in supply.  Despite running three shifts, manufacturers cannot keep up.  Layer on the seasonal demand that will come this fall with hunting season, and things will only get worse, and people, especially those that may be completely oblivious to the current situation, will only get more nervous.  It is and will continue to be an ugly scene.

For shooters and sportsmen, there is hope, and that resides in the market.  I project additional production capacity to come on line, new manufactures to launch, imports to increase, and overall a new supply to be generated to match the demand.  That's the way the economy works - that's the way it has always worked.  Yes, the government can keep its thumb on the scale, but their impacts cannot last forever.  And when that thumb eventually comes off the scale, we'll be awash in supply.

In the meantime, it is fascinating to watch.  It is interesting to see how the retailers are reacting, how the conspiracy theorists are reacting, and how the Obama administration and their defenders are reacting.  Add to the mix Joe Hunter who will be looking for rifle loads for his upcoming deer hunt this fall, and the situation gets all the more volatile.

Stay tuned - this is only going to get more interesting.    

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book Progress Update

After a slow start to the year, things are in high gear now.  I have engaged with Lulu on their cover creative services (not cheap, but I want this project over), and have forwarded them all requested materials.

I have a pretty good vision for what I want for copy on the cover, so the only real work to do is visual creative.  Hence, I expect to have a first pass to review in two weeks.

In the meantime, good progress has been made on the manuscript as well.  Despite multiple edit passes through two dedicated editors, there were changes that needed to be made.  They'll get incorporated in the manuscript and a new one will be developed.  That one will be reviewed as well in a final pass.

It is nice to have things coming together, and I can't wait to finally hold the book.

Monday, April 1, 2013

It's Easter, Google Celebrates Chavez

Google is renown for it's Doodles - graphics on their home page to donate a special day.  At first they were fairly rare, but now are becoming more and more commonplace.

When I awoke on a foggy Easter Sunday yesterday, I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised to see this:

On the most holy, sacred, and meaningful day in all Christianity, Google chose to celebrate the birthday of Cesar Chavez.  

Is this pandering to a minority with which Google is politically aligned?  Absolutely.  Is this trolling for Christian reaction and outrage?  Again, absolutely.

I'm a Google fan-boy.  I use a wide suite of their tools, to the point of exclusivity, in both my personal and professional life.  Just an example as it pertains to YellowDogPatrol.com: this blog is written on their Blogger platform, I track performance via Google Analytics, I receive notifications of blog comments via my email account on Gmail, I receive gobs of traffic via their search engine, I earn income via advertising served up by AdSense, etc.  I'm one of their biggest fans.

But when they purposefully seek to pick a fight, it becomes infuriating, and it makes me question my alliances.  

Oh, Google may very well change the Doodle and issue some kind of "If our actions caused offense to some," non-apology, but their actual intention is obvious.  This is a company with a market cap of over $250 billion.  The Doodle wasn't put up by some rogue intern over the weekend.  This was a very thoughtful and purposeful act. 

Welcome to 2013, where the lines between business and politics have faded to the point of no longer existing.