Sunday, November 30, 2014

Business Travel and the Goodness of Others

I spent the past two days travelling for business.  Ordinarily, I kind of like business travel.  I like the hustle of it, and the game of it in terms of how to solve getting from A to B in the most expedient, cost effective, and comfortable way possible.  

Unfortunately, this trip was less than fun.  It started with my conversation with a TSA agent at my departure gate.  As he checked my driver's license, he noticed it was two months out of date.  While that meant I could still travel, I knew my plans for a rental car were likely scrapped.

After waiting in a long line at National Car Rental at my Columbus, OH destination (OSU was hosting Michigan in football the coming day) I did my best to ply the National agent, but Ohio law prevented them, or anyone else, from renting me a car.  Thus, I took a cab to my crappy Holiday Inn Express.

Hungry from my trip, I walked outside to grab a bite.  Options were a Tim Horton's, a Big Boy, a Wendy's, and a grocery store.  I opted for the grocery store, got some baked chicken, and made the most of it in my room.  Ah, the glamour of business travel.

I set up a taxi ride for the next morning to take me to my appointment, and headed off to bed.  I slept like a champ, took a descent run on the hotel's crappy treadmill (it was just too cold outside for a run), and got ready for my taxi.

At my appointed hour, no taxi was there.  I went to the front desk, but that person was working solo and was doing the best she could.  With the game in town, most taxis were around the stadium, and I was at the opposite end of town.  Finally, about 20 minutes late, my cab arrived to take me to my appointment.

After a 10 minute drive we arrived, and I pulled out my credit card to pay.  The cabbie waived me off, and demanded cash (holy cow, it is 2014).  I grabbed my money clip and paid the man, got a receipt, and got on my way.

Everything was going good at my appointment until I got up and for some reason grabbed my own butt and realized that I didn't have my wallet.  I don't carry any of my cash in my wallet (save for an emergency $20), but my out-of-date ID was in there, and I wasn't sure how I was going to board my return flight without it.  Managing the best I could despite my growing panic, we retraced my steps, exhausted all options, and realized it was likely left in the cab.

Thanks to the receipt the cabbie gave me, I had the number to the cab company.  While conversations were very strained (English was not the first language of any of the people with whom I talked), I was able to discern that my wallet has been found.  Unfortunately, the cab was back at OSU making a killing, and he wasn't leaving anytime soon.  When he did, he'd need to charge me for the trip back to me.

Fine.  I just need my ID.  Everything else I can deal with.

I had the cab pick me up at the end of my appointment, and he actually arrived early.  He told me a subsequent fare found it - "they are black people - very bad" but to his surprise they gave him my wallet.  And at that point he handed this over to me:

Between the cabbie and the fare that found it, you know what was missing from my wallet?  Not a damn thing.  

It cost me $60 for a fare back to me to get it, but at least I was able to get home last night.  

Whoever it was that found my wallet, I hope their football team won yesterday.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday Song Share: J.D. McPherson - North Side Gal

Sounds straight out of 1954.  I defy you to not tap your foot through this:

Friday, November 28, 2014

Green Bay Press Gazette and Race Baiting

The Green Bay Press Gazette recently published a hard hitting article with the headline "Wisconsin Black Arrest Rates Dwarf Ferguson's."

Are you kidding me?  We know the stats - black arrest and incarceration rates are well above whites.  There are a lot of theories why this is, but few people dare to suggest that the reason it is so high is because that is the demographic group that's actually committing the crime.  Despite this, the GBPG felt it important to lead with such a bombastic headline.

What were they trying to accomplish?  Personally, it looked to me like they wanted the pot stirred - nothing sells news media like our cities aflame.

The media, and how they've behaved throughout this Ferguson episode should be ashamed. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.  In fact, if you've ever been in conversation with me about favored days, I've always said, "Christmas, Thanksgiving, and fantasy football draft day, in that order."

This year is a weird one for us.  Since I need to be on a flight tomorrow for work, our options for celebrating the holiday with family were extremely limited.  Hence, for this Thanksgiving, for the first time in my 50 years, the only loved one I'll share the day with is Mrs. YDP.

However, I could not have a better person with which to share the day.  It has been about two and a half months since her cancer diagnosis, and we've been through a massive amount together - the lowest of lows, and the highest of highs.  Thus, even through our party will just be a party of two, a party it will indeed be, as her health and current state is something for which I'm so incredibly thankful.

We'll start the day at mass, and then from there go to a brunch at one of Green Bay's more mediocre restaurants.   Normally, I'm all about cooking a turkey (actually, I can't remember back to how long its been since I didn't cook the bird), but with just the two of us, and with me leaving the following day, all that food just could not be justified.  So we'll indulge on "just OK" buffet food, but will come home, turn the TV on, have a couple of glasses of wine and nap to football all the same.  

Nope, for us this is not your typical Thanksgiving day.  But for the health and future we've been granted, a quiet and deeply thankful day is just fine with us all the same.

Here's wishing you and your loved ones a plethora of blessings for which you can give thanks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Retail aka What the Hell Did I Do with My Life?

As we approach Thanksgiving, and as the rest of the world gathers with family to enjoy the time together and to reflect on their blessings, I'll be checking on my business.  Over and over again.  My wife will yell at me to get off the computer and the phone.  Indeed, retail has ruined Thanksgiving, and for those of us that work in trade, Thanksgiving has now become more of a hell than a holiday.

Don't feel too bad.  I've done this to myself.  I've been in retail pretty much since my first job as paperboy when I was 8.  I've held jobs on the sales floor, in the warehouse, and in the corporate office.  Thought it all is has been an exciting and rewarding career.  But a career that comes with a cost.

So Mrs. YDP and I will have a quiet Thanksgiving at home, as I'll need to be on the first flight out on Black Friday to visit our warehouse to ensure they're keeping up.  I'll be there most of the weekend.  And while I'll miss my family, and I'll be jealous of those people that actually get to have a normal Thanksgiving, part of me (a bigger part than I'd like to admit) will be energized.  For retail, black Friday represents our World Series.  We work all year for it.  And I love it.

Sick?  Yep.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ferguson Aflame

To nobody's surprise, after months of analysis, review, and deliberation, the grand jury in Ferguson found no evidence to indict the officer that killed Michael Brown.  For anything.  At all.  In essence, the grand jury found that officer Darren Wilson did nothing wrong for which he could be tried in a criminal court.  Nothing.

Once the verdict came down, the other shoe predictably dropped, and protesters in Ferguson went on a breaking, burning, shooting, looting, and lawless spree.  In the meantime, President Obama came on air to claim that we are "a nation of laws," (unless, of course, you're the President, in which case you can use Executive Orders to get around the law) and that the protesters should lawfully and peacefully let their voices be heard.


For the man looting the liquor store, what was his voice saying?  How about those looking to turn over a police car? What about those firing guns indiscriminately?

The left sees this as a "call to action," and a "sea change."  But for what, exactly?  In looking at the evidence, it appears that what is being called for is that you can rob a store, beat a cop, then charge said cop and not get shot.  Seriously?

The godless left often talk about Darwin, evolution, and science.  It would seem to me that under normal circumstances should be happy that someone that did the above got summarily drummed out of the gene pool.  Ah, but these are not normal circumstances.  We need to "understand the rage."  We need to "feel the yoke of their oppression."

As simple as charge a cop, get shot?  No, my friend.  It is so much bigger than that.  Just ask Al Sharpton, President Obama, and every other liberal talking head.  

Fight the power.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Canadian Class

A couple of nights ago, the Detroit Red Wings were visiting the Maple Leafs in Toronto, and as custom, before the puck gets dropped both the US and Canadian national anthems were played.  Unfortunately on this night the singer's microphone cut out toward the end of the US anthem.  

Check out how our friends to the north handled the situation:

I guess this should not come as a surprise.  As a hockey fan, I've always sung the Canadian anthem at the Minnesota home games, and have done so since I was a kid.  I know others do as well, hence this response seems appropriate.

Regardless, it still was a classy thing to do.  Hats off to you, Leafs fans.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday Song Share: Thin Lizzy - Dancing in the Moonlight

We're going way back for this one this week, folks.  Today, we visit the under-appreciated Thin Lizzy from 1977.

They just don't make music like this anymore:

Friday, November 21, 2014

ISIS versus Israel at UC Berkeley

Here is a fascinating look at the take on two very different camps, conducted in a warm bastion of liberalism.  At the University of California Berkeley, our "protester" here first spoke in favor of ISIS, then later in favor of Israel.  

I'd like to say that the results were surprising, but they really aren't:

It is shocking to me how much hardened liberals loathe Israel, and how the Jewish voting bloc continues to keep voting for Democrats.  The hatred for Israel seems well beyond the political, and well into the antisemitic.  

From a survivor: "In November, 1943, some 27,000 Jews were exterminated in Section 5 of the Majdanek concentration camp. I was interned in Section 4, from where it was possible to catch glimpses of what was happening inside the adjacent section. The ugly truth is that most of the victims were handed over to their executioners by other Jews."

Unless US Jews wise up, it looks like history will continue toward repeating itself. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Obama and "Cramnesty"

Today we find out that Obama will act alone, likely outside of the Constitution, and foist an amnesty deal on the US.  It is a deal that all but a scant minority want, and it is a deal that basically dares Obama's political foes to do something about it.  Will it boil over into a full blown constitutional crisis, lead to calls for impeachment, or just act as a distraction until the Furgason announcement?  Nobody knows for sure.

What we do know is that it has coined a new phrase - "cramnesty" - and that you heard it here first.

I also take dibs on "shamnesty."

In the meantime, God help us all.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

American Jews Butchered, Obama Calls for Calm

Yesterday in Jerusalem, Palestinian terrorists burst into a synagogue and brutally murdered four rabbis, three of whom were American.  Their murder was of the most graphic in nature, as knives and meat cleavers were among the weapons used.  The photos from the scene looked like a slaughterhouse.  

And what does our fearless leader do?  He asks for calm - that both sides "work together to lower tensions and prevent violence."


American citizens were butchered like animals, not unlike our other citizens that have been beheaded by ISIS, and the call is for both sides to be calm?

It is clear now more than ever: nobody cares when Jews die.  In fact, in Palestine, they dance in the streets and celebrate.  

Nobody cares.  Especially our president.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Age as a Mind Set

I know I've been writing a lot about age lately, and I'm not sure what that says about my current state.  In that vein, I'd like to cover a fascinating study that was recently profiled by the New York Times which showed the importance that our mental framework plays in our "age."

In the study, older men we put in an isolated environment that reminded them of their youth, and were encouraged to think of themselves as being 20 years younger.  The results reported were downright astonishing.

There were other studies profiled as well, and the bottom line was clear - aging is as much mental as it is physical.  

There is a great lesson in there for all of us. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Obamacare Architect Thinks You're All Stupid

Odds are that you've seen this video elsewhere, as it has been everywhere these past couple of days.  I don't care.  Watch it again.  And again:

To liberals, the ends will always justify the means.  So if innocents need to be killed so a gun running operation can lead to stricter gun laws, if political opponents need to be silenced by intimidation by the IRS, if the world needs to swallow a lie about a YouTube video to cover up incompetence in Libya, and on and on, then so be it.

Whatever it takes to push the agenda.  Because they just know better than you do...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gaining Weight During Cancer

Throughout my wife's cancer episode, there has been a lot of discussion about her weight.  Via the treatments and surgery, she was told she'd gain some, then she'd lose some (and the impact of losing an entire breast needs to factor in as well).

Nobody said anything about what would happen to me.

Me?  I'm up about 12 pounds from our diagnosis of two months ago.  So what happened?  A lot, gentle reader:

  • Too much schedule interruption due to doctors' appointments, surgeries, work obligations,and other running around
  • Way too little sleep due to stress
  • Way too much food, especially all of the incredible food that so many have delivered to us.  All of it was so delicious, and everyone was so kind.  Nothing was better at the end of a long day to know that we'd have a great meal ready for us.  
  • Way too much alcohol, trying to address the stress and lack of sleep mentioned above
It is simple math: cutting back on working out + more calories via food and booze = pants not fitting that well anymore.  

Am I whining?  Perhaps a little.  But please know that I recognize that in the grand scheme of things, my woes are basically irrelevant compared on what my wife, and so many others, had and have to endure.  I know that for sure.  It still doesn't mean I have to be happy about what I see in the mirror.

Via our meeting with the oncologist two days ago, all of the cancer is gone.  Now we need to work on my gut.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

No Smoking With CVS. Drinking? OK!

CVS is trying to take a lot of credit for their new health orientation by removing tobacco from their store shelves.  And good on them - as a health provider, it is the right thing for them to do.  

So imagine my surprise in seeing a recent ad for them in our local paper:

Check out the offer in the lower left.  Not only is it for tequila, but at a wow! price as well.

This so much reminded me of the routine that Kent Hrbek used to perform at every Twins home game.  Back then, PA announcer Bob Casey used to go through a pre-game admonishment that there was "no smoking in the Metrodome," (click on the link to hear a sample).

As Casey read through the script, Hrbek would stand at first base and pantomime the following:

Casey:  "No smoking in the Metrodome!  No smoking!"

Hrbek: Puffs an imaginary cigarette, then shakes his head and waives his hand "no."  Then hoists a massive imaginary beer to his lips and chugs deeply, while giving the thumbs up signal.  

If CVS needs some help in taking credit for their new health stance while still selling massive amounts of alcohol, I think #14 has some time on his hands and would be happy to help them out.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Stress and Age

In the past two months, the news of and dealing with Mrs. YDP's breast cancer has been pretty much all-consuming.  As happens when these events hit, the sole objective is getting through the crisis; all other responsibilities, distractions, and pursuits either take a big back seat, or are forgotten entirely.  Even work, with its massive stress in and of itself, is moved back to allow management of the crisis at hand.

That stress, well it comes with a toll.  For me, that toll is physical.  I'm shocked at how my looks have changed in just two months.  My eyes are beset with bags, regardless of how much sleep I get.  Wrinkles are more prevalent and more pronounced.  What little hair that is left is turning grey at a record pace.

Three months ago I wrote about the uneven aging I'm seeing with my age cohorts.  

I just caught up. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

What the 2014 Midterm Election Looks Like

Since election night, everyone has been discussing how big (or not big) the win was for Republicans in the last election.  

They say a picture says a thousand words.  What words come to mind when you look at this:

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Duffy the Dog

A yellow dog, a Go Pro camera, and a tennis ball all conspire to form your "yellow dog distraction of the day."

Enjoy.  Duffy sure does.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Liberalism Implodes. Thank Obama

The last two years of the George W Bush administration were among the darkest days for conservatives.  Never was the GOP brand so low, never was a sitting president so loathed, and never did the prospects for a return to power look worse.

Then came Obama.  Looks, speech, and an unprecedented level of sycophantic fawning  by the media and entertainment industries alike conspired for a political black hole, from which no light of conservatism could escape.  Liberals owned power - not only in politics, but in nearly all media, in pop culture, and most importantly for their longevity, in education.   And by education, I mean the whole Mary Ann - everything from kindergarten all the way through college campuses.  

Liberalism was poised to not only lead, but to dominate as a political ideology for decades upon decades.  The county could be reworked into a liberal wonder land, and dissenting voices would summarily be crushed by the powers that be under the guise of racism, hatred, bigotry, homophobia, or the ever popular "war on women."

It was perfect.  Absolutely bleeping perfect.  Except the man they put in charge was the furthest thing from a leader that has ever occupied the White House.  It turned out who was elected was truly Chauncey Gardiner.  The man has no discernible skills that would make a successful president, and in scandal after scandal and crisis after crisis, he has continually failed.  Indeed, even touted successes such as Obamacare, "leading from behind," the Russian reset, and unemployment are all massive failures.

As such, the veneer of liberalism wore off.  Despite having a monopoly on media and social touch points, the American public began to distrust democrats.  That distrust ultimately manifest itself in the resulting 2014 midterms, and the pummeling that was delivered by a suddenly resurgent republican party.    

The democrats had this thing locked up - for decades!  It was going to be the golden age of liberalism!  The only problem was that as a "leader," they chose a man that was anything but.  His incompetence, arrogance, and failure not only got republicans back in the game, it saved them.

Who would have thought that the best thing to happen to the republican party since Ronald Reagan would be Barack Hussein Obama?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Get Out There and Vote

Today is the day that your voice can be heard in the best fashion available.  Yes, its "only" a  midterm election, but with so much going wrong in our country right now - the economy, immigration, ebola, terrorism, war, race relations, a complicit media, and a never-ending stream of scandals and political abuses - the country needs you now more than ever.

You may very well be in a location or a district where your vote can be consider as "throw away."  Go vote anyway.  Be defiant, let them know where you stand, and let them know that while others may be complacent to be sheep, you are not.  

Today is the day.  Be heard.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Democrats Failing Black Americans

Finally, FINALLY, the message is getting out there.  The Democrat party has done nothing but subjugate black Americans since the jump.  Perhaps, just perhaps, that subjugation will not be rewarded with party line loyalty anymore.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

New Zealand Air Flight Safety Video

For fans of The Hobbit, for fans of New Zealand, or for fans of travel, we present the following:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Saturday Song Share: The Preatures - Is This How You Feel?

This is the band that I'm currently digging the most right now.  Please check them out - they're putting out some really fantastic music.