Sunday, September 14, 2014


Dear YDP Readers,

Unfortunately, your humble correspondent will be taking a bit of a hiatus over the next couple of weeks.  Mrs. YDP got diagnosed with breast cancer, and there are other priorities that need my focus.  I have tried to have something of relevance (or irrelevance) up every day, but that will be suspended.  I will post every once and a while, or when things settle down with our lives.

In the meantime, I appreciate your support and prayers.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday Song Share: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Breakdown

The sing-along at the start of this song, a Petty staple,  is one of the best in music.  Taken in 1985, at the height of Petty's prowess, the video captures a great musical moment.

It also captures Petty playing with his nose a lot.  He must have had a really bad cold, or allergies, or something.  I hear they were really bad in 1985...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Obama Administration Can't Say "War"

Orwell could not have been more right about how governments will use language and lies to propagate their agendas.  In the most recent installment, and hot off the heels of President Obama's speech where we are going to "hunt down" and "destroy" ISIS, here is State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki who just can't come up with the "w" word:

Funny, I used to remember a day when we bombed and killed people, and that was called war.  Good to see those days have "evolved," kind of like a position on gay marriage.

It is too bad that politics prevent "leaders" (and I use that term oh so loosely) from declaring war on a sworn enemy, because that enemy has most assuredly declared war upon us.

This is just another glaring example on how this administration has been nothing but a 6 year amateur hour.   

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Five Surefire Ways to Lose Your Volunteers

As a volunteer veteran that has done far more than my share of volunteer work, I've learned a lot along the way.  The hardest lessons, though, are those that were the result of a lousy engagement, and that is usually the fault of the leader.

I've been a leader in volunteer organizations, and I know how hard it is.  It's hard and even less thankless than the volunteer work.  However, it is made all the worse if the volunteers are not kept happy, and ultimately decide to un-volunteer themselves.  And while there are myriad reasons why this happens, here are my top five ways that organizational leaders can lose their volunteers:

1) Failure to Recognize Who Volunteers Are - Volunteers are not full time workers; they work elsewhere, have family commitments, and other things in their lives that are bigger and more important.  That's exactly why they're volunteers and don't do volunteer work full time.  Hence, if the expectation is that the volunteer will treat their work like a full time gig, nothing but disappointment will ensue.  The volunteer will always have bigger priorities, and nothing can be done to change that.  Beating them up because of this will only drive them out.

2) Fail to Organize - Because volunteers have limited time, it is critical that their time spent on the volunteer work is as productive as possible.  The best way to do that is to be impeccably organized.  Time is more precious than ever, and if it is felt that it is not being used productively, folks will find something better to do with it.

3) Fail to Embrace Change - Working on something because "that's the way we do it" is stupid - be it in education, business, or in volunteer work.  New people bring new insights and perspectives.    Technology changes have resulted in massive improvements in our abilities to organize and communicate.  Failure to grow and adopt is just that - failure

4) Fail to Recognize Talents of Volunteers - The beauty of a body of volunteers is that they have day jobs and other lives.  That means they have talents, experiences, knowledge, and insight that can be tapped into to drive performance.  But those riches can only be employed if they're recognized, asked for, and leveraged.  Putting people in roles and areas that play to their strengths and experiences is smart.  Ignoring the gifts that the volunteers possess is a waste, and nobody likes to see waste

5) Don't Say "Thank You" - Volunteerism is not its own reward.  It can be hard, draining, and financially and physically burdensome.  But, damn it, it should not be thankless.  It takes 30 seconds to offer a sincere and heartfelt "thank you" to volunteers to express appreciation and recognize the difference they're making.  30 seconds, that's it.  And it can mean the world.  But when the time is not taken, or folks just assume appreciation is being conveyed, it can all come to an abrupt end.

None of this is hard, or rocket science.  Volunteer work is hard enough, and arguably the toughest job is recruiting new volunteers.  However, avoiding these mistakes, and concentrating on retaining the volunteers already enrolled can hopefully keep all of that nasty recruiting work to a minimum.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Ikea iBook

Pretty innovative marketing from the folks at Ikea.

Or should I say iKea?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

NFL Overturns Call on Rice Due to Instant Replay

Ray Rice beat the hell out of his then girlfriend, now wife.  Everybody was in agreement on that, and due to that activity, the Rice was suspended from his job for two games.  He served no jail time.

Beat up his girlfriend.  Two games.  No jail.

Later, the NFL claimed they blew it, and that future domestic abuse charges would be met with much harsher penalties.  

And then the video came out:

The NFL, aghast at the brutality of the video, upped their punishment of Rice to an indefinite suspension.   

Now, my question for the NFL:  What the hell did you think the abuse looked like?   

This video is domestic abuse.  Are there examples of false charges, nefarious activity, and outright lies?  Absolutely.  But nobody was even claiming such a thing in this case.  

Rice is a thug and a punk.  He deserves his extended punishment, if not worse.  

We should not need a video to know that.

Monday, September 8, 2014

What it Feels Like to be a Yellow Dog

Meet Walter, the Labrador.  

Walter likes to swim.  He REALLY likes to swim.  Just don't take my word for it.  Click the arrow below, and hold on:

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Saturday Song Share: John Hiatt - It Feels Like Rain

There have been a lot of covers of this song, but I prefer the original.  Here's the great John Hiatt takings us down to Louisiana:

Friday, September 5, 2014

Bissell Puts Its Money Where Its Mouth Is

Some pretty incredible footage from Bissell:

Does it get much more straight to the point than that?  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Only a Matter of Time for the Minneapolis Airport

From Tom Lyden of Fox 9 in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities best reporter by far, comes this story that is exclusive:


A couple of things with this:

1) Why is this story exclusive?  How in the world can media either miss this (at best) or choose to cover it up (at worst)?

2) The amount of Muslims working at MSP - in multiple capacities - is massive.  Just walk through the airport and look around.  We're talking hundreds of workers.  Now, are all Muslims terrorists?  Nope.  But we know that one for sure was, and he was working on your planes.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: it is only a matter of time before something very bad happens at MSP.  There is too much "political correctness," there are scant background checks, soldiers for jihad are being recruited from the Twin Cities in shocking numbers, and the airport continues to hire Muslim workers unabated.

Mark my words.