Monday, March 30, 2015

Sympathy for the Pilot Devil

There's a highly politically correct movement afoot to try to understand, explain, and some might say excuse the actions of the Germanwings pilot who was responsible for crashing that Airbus into the mountains with 150+ people aboard.  Folks are looking to leverage the story as a mean s to open a dialog about mental illness and the stigmas associated.

Fine.

But let us not forget:  I don't care what he did or did not have, or why he did or did not have to hide it. The fact remains that he was responsible for 150 souls, and he listened to their terrified screams as he dove his plane into the Alps. That makes him a mass murderer, and one of historic proportions. 

Evil monster. Period.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Suicide Pilot? How About a Murderer?

As more and more news comes forward on the Airbus A320 crash in the Alps, it becomes clear that the co-pilot meant to crash this plane.  It looked like a purposeful, conscious event.

The media has picked up on this, and has deemed the pilot as being bent on a suicide mission.  To that, I say "hogwash."  This was flat out mass murder.  

Life tough?  Want to off yourself?  I'd strongly encourage you not to, but ultimately the decision lies between you and your Maker.  But should you make that fateful decision, don't take dozens of innocent lives with you.  That just creates a massive ripple effect of depression, and you end up making things worse and not better.  Talk about irony.

Finally, and I don't mean to get preachy here, but here's a quick pop quiz for you: What was the mass murdering pilot likely NOT:

A) Atheist
B) Muslim 
C) Christian

Think about that.  Especially the next time you fly.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

A View at Retirement

Mrs. YDP and I are currently engaged in a vacation down in Ft. Myers, Florida.  We've been here since Sunday and will fly out in a couple more days.  It has been a lovely vacation - I've been doing a ton of running, played some golf, and we've had dinners with friends.  It has been fantastic.

Being in this part of Florida, one can't get away from the number of retirees that live/winter here.  They're everywhere, and with good reason.  The place is really nice, and lacks the pretense of other places.  It is casual, slow, and fun.  The way retirement should be.

Being out of work since January has me thinking about my own retirement.  I'm now over 50, and for my industry, I'm ancient.  Where it took me mere weeks to find work (and with competing offers) just five years ago, I now find a lot less interest.  There's less interest despite me being better than I ever have been at what I do.  It's scary, maddening, and infuriating all at the same time.

And it begs the "what if" question: what if this is indeed the end of the road?  I hate to even consider that.  While we could possibly retire at this point, it would take a massive and disruptive lifestyle change to accomplish.  Plus, the market could never, ever tank.  But more than that, I feel like have have so damn much more to offer.  

Is the salt in my hair and the cheaters at the end of my nose that much of a turn off?  

Being down in sunny Florida has given me a view of retirement, and, gentle reader, I want nothing to do with it right now.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

101 Year Old Golfer

Our course opened last Friday, and since I'm unemployed, I decided to sneak in a round.  Days later I was still feeling it in my arms.

And I'm 50.

Given this, I feel like a bleeping wimp:



Hat tip to Cousin Murphy

Monday, March 23, 2015

Thoughts on Leaving the Republican Party

Glenn Beck made big news last week by ostensibly stating that he's taking his political football and going home, thus leaving the Republican party to the RINOS (Republican in Name Only) that appear to have taken over.  

Coward.  Idiot coward.

Politics in this day and age have razor thin margins.  If a voting group stays home, they have the ability to swing elections.  We've definitely seen that in the last two Presidential elections, where staunch evangelicals stayed home as a protest to McCain and Romney and ultimately handed Obama victory.  They actually felt that the country needed to learn a lesson, and the damage Obama wrought was necessary.

Cowards.  Idiot cowards.

How many people have been hurt by the Obama administration?  From Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, decimation of US foreign policy, record numbers on food stamps and/or disability, and on and on.  This was "the lesson" we needed to learn?

Here's a note to those who are "more Conservative than thou:" What has happened to our country is not all Obama's fault.  You put him there, and these are your results.  You jeopardized our very livelihoods.  You.  Own it.

Cowards.  Idiot cowards. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fr. Don's Thought of the Day

As I've stated here previously, I subscribe to Fr. Don Talafous' daily meditations.  It is the way I start my day, and gets things going in the right direction.  In fact, I jokingly claim to have coffee with Fr. Don every morning.

Every once and a while he says something really profound which really impacts me.  That was the case in last Friday's post, where he wrote:

If God's love for us comes through the actions and words of other people, then our love for God, too, is shown through our words and actions for others, our admiration, appreciation. 

Quite a responsibility, huh?  How are you living up to it?  

Me?  I think I've got some work to to.  

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday Song Share: Foo Fighters - In the Clear

Shot in NOLA, with backing horns from Trombone Shorty and friends.  The best rock band currently standing:

Friday, March 20, 2015

New Job

Yesterday I landed a new job.  Kind of.

The caveats:

  • It is with a two-person start-up.  I just increased their headcount by 50%
  • Since it is a start-up, they can't pay me a salary.  In exchange for my work, I'm granted a small (very small) equity stake
  • It is for a 120 day period.  
  • The only way I'll make any money on the engagement is if the company thrives enough that I can be brought in as a salaried employee, and/or if the equity becomes worth something
There is massive risk in this move.  It will suck my time an energy that could be used to search for a more traditional job.  Given the odds of start-ups, my prospects for a payout are incredibly small.  Resources in the job flat out don't exist.  It will be a tough road.

Despite the risks, there are upsides.  It is located in the Twin Cities, and gets us back home.  I'm going to learn a ton, augment my resume, and meet a number of influential people.  I can still look for a more traditional gig while taking care of business.  Lastly, I'll be working with people I want to work with.

After a long trip up the ladder, the end of the diving board is here.  Time to jump...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day


May you always have work for your hands to do. 
May your pockets hold always a coin or two. 
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane. 
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain. 
May the hand of a friend always be near you. 
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Eagle Video

Who among us has not wondered what it would be like to be able to fly like a bird?  Given new technology, we can get closer to the experience than ever before.

Check out the flight of this eagle, and enjoy:

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Voice of an Angel

For those of us that believe, no explanation is necessary.

Miracles happen every day.  Certainly, not many like this, but they are there if we just choose to see them.



Saturday, March 14, 2015

Saturday Song Share: The Tragically Hip - Fully, Completely

Concert footage of the boys, depicting Gord Downie in all of his maniacal splendor:

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Death of Golf?

Golf, as a participatory sport, is in crisis.  Consider the following:
  • The number of people that reported that they played at least one round of golf is the lowest that has been reported in many years
  • The number of people aged 18 to 30 - golf's next generation - has dropped by over a third over the last 10 years
  • More courses have closed than have opened for the 8th straight year
  • By every demographic measure, the number of participants and rounds played has fallen
  • In my own life, literally everyone I know is golfing less than they have in the past, or they have stopped completely.  I'm the only person I know that is golfing more now than I was 5 years ago.
Why is golf in the state that its in?  Some blame the Tiger Woods effect - the fact that there is no galvanizing cultural icon that the entire nation can get behind.  I think that's bunk.  The problem is the game itself:
  • Golf takes too long to play.  I can't remember the last time a mid-afternoon foursome got a round completed in less than 4 1/2 hours.  Add time to get set up before the round, a beer in the clubhouse afterwards, and you're looking at a 6 hour investment.  In 2015, folks don't have 6 hours to invest in anything.  There is simply too much going on.
  • Golf is hard.  The only thing that makes it easier is practice, and practice takes time.  Time which people don't have.
  • Golf is expensive.  Ridiculously so.  Equipment, clothes, greens fees, a beer at the course - none of it is cheap.  The game has really moved to a rich person's game, and if you do have the luxury of being able to invest the time, you many not have the finances to invest.
Don't get me wrong, I love golf.  But as someone without kids, I have the time to invest in my sport.  I'm fortunate enough to have some dough that will allow me to play.  And I am the exception.  

Exceptions will not be able to save golf forever.  The game is in deep, deep trouble. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Yellow Dog Goes Quail Hunting

A couple of weeks ago I was invited by a longtime friend to go quail hunting at a really nice lodge in Western Kentucky.  Seeing as it was really expensive and I was unemployed, I naturally said "yes."  We stayed at the Wild Wing Lodge and Kennel, and the accommodations and hunting were spectacular.  It was a fantastic place, frequented by the "who's who" of the bird hunting and dog training trade, and was everything one could ask of a fancy-schmancy hunting trip.

Except, of course, for the snow.  March in Kentucky was supposed to be in the 50s.  During our trip, it was in the 20s and 30s.  Not fun, especially driving home in the ice storm/blizzard on the way back.  Ugh.

However, the weather difficulties were more than compensated by the quality of the hunting.  In my life I've run into coveys of quail before, but always while hunting pheasants in Iowa, and always by accident.  The covey rises have usually come at great surprise, and resulted in empty guns and nothing being added to the game strap.  Thus, given the chance to hunt coveys behind some of the best setters in the business, I'd finally be able to hunt "Mr. Bob" in a most appropriate fashion.

The only caveat was that I wanted to have the Yellow Dog hunt with me.  For those of you that frequent this site, you know that she does point, thus on paper she should not ruin the hunt by going in and busting up coveys.  The only problem is that she'd never seen a quail in her adult life, and certainly had never seen anything along the lines of a dozen-bird covey.  How would she do?  Would she indeed point, or would I be hauling her out of the field after ruining our shooting?

Here's how it went:

  

I simply could not have been more happy.  

Given my employment condition, the trip was perhaps the most stupid thing I could have done.  However, for the memories I was able to create with the Yellow Dog, I think it was worth it.

At least that's what I'm telling Mrs. YDP.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hillary Clinton is Done

In an astonishing display of lying, Hillary Clinton got out in front of a group of the media yesterday, and via hand-picked questions, told us the following:

  • Oh, yes, she did delete emails, but those were all deemed by her as "personal."  30,000 of them.  We'll not have access to these - they're deleted.  We'll need to trust her.  
  • She needed her own server and system, outside of the government, because she didn't want to carry two devices.  Never mind the fact that one device can access a myriad number of email accounts.  And never mind that she's been on TV stating that she does indeed use multiple devices.
The magnitude of these lies are beyond the pale.  She flat out doesn't care, and doesn't expect to get called on it.  She's Hillary Clinton.  And the public will forget, and really doesn't care anyway.  She's going to be the first woman president.

The camel's back has to break some time, and the magnitude and audacity of her latest lies will prove to be too much.  This will not go away, this can't be waived off with a brush of the hand and the utterance of a "right wing conspiracy," and eventually the electorate will tire of the goat rodeo that is Clinton behavior.

This is the end.  It's over.  She may indeed win the Democratic nomination, but she will not be president.

Ever.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Minnesota High School Hockey All Hair Team

This could possibly be the best thing you see all day.  Enjoy:

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Impact of Networking on the Gas Tank

Finding a new job is all about beating the bushes, and that means networking.  A lot of networking.  

Old coworkers.  Previous vendors.  Contacts of contacts.  Headhunters.  Everyone is fair game, and it is a tiring experience getting in front of some of them, or even getting on their radar screen.  It is a lot of emails, phone work, coffee, lunches, dinners, and beers.

While each networking meeting has some value (it beats the hell out of applying for work on company websites, which is another rant in and of itself), in no way are all networking meetings positive.  Not all all.  Some can leave you feeling defeated, doubtful of your employment prospects, and downright depressed.  

The result of meetings like this is that they "take" from you - they take your energy, your optimism, and in some instances your confidence and belief in yourself.  Given these past meetings, I've made a promise to myself to not re-engage with these negative contacts, regardless of how desperate things get.  They literally can take days to recover from.

Fortunately, there are some networking engagements that are just the opposite - they "fill" you - with confidence, enthusiasm, optimism, and faith.  They're definitely the exception in the networking experience, but the energy they provide justify taking as many meetings as possible to see if one of these happens.  They are that powerful.

So that's the goal (other than to find a job) - make sure the meetings taken ultimately add more gas to the tank than they take out.  A tough balancing act, indeed, but a critical one.  

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Mississippi Gary Breaks Up with Kathy (with a "K")

Yeah, this is dated as all get out (for you kiddos, that's a typewriter that Kathy is using), and given the black face, arguably not politically correct.  Still, back in the early 90's, The Kids in the Hall were pretty damned funny, and this skit was one of my favorites.

Enjoy:

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Saturday Song Share: Peter Gabriel - I Don't Remember

Incredible video from the early 1980's.  Nobody was doing anything like this at the time, and it's one of the reasons why Gabriel deservedly found himself in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Note that this song is a different version that what is on the "Melt" album (and from his German language version of "Melt" called "Ein Deutsches Album").  I don't know the back story on why the unique version - if anyone has the information, please post up.

Until then, enjoy:

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Contest is for Compassion

A gem from Bryan McGill - 

"Quit assuming others have it better, or you have it worse. Everyone suffers tremendously in life. It's rude to belittle someone's suffering, thinking yours is greater. Don't judge someone's suffering as better or worse. A dark life can be lived brightly, because pain gave great perspective and wisdom. An average and easy life can be its own kind of tragedy; suffering a mundane deadness. A great life can spoil under great fortune. It's hard having nothing. It's hard having everything. It's hard. Suffering is very personal and cannot be measured by someone from the outside. Everyone suffers in different ways. Life is not a suffering contest; the contest is for compassion." 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Left's Fear of Scott Walker

Upon conclusion of the recent episodes of "gotcha" questioning of Scott Walker from the media, the dutiful leftist media now pivots and reports things like "Scott Walker, God's Gift to the Democratic Party."

The demonization of someone who isn't even the party's standard barer is quite telling.  There's fear of Walker on the Left, and justifiably so.  Walker has won three elections for Governor in a Left-leaning state, and two of those were highly contested and featured massive amounts of out-of-state spending.  In essence, Walker has ostensibly already won two national elections.  Neither were nail-biters.  This guy has the bona fides  to be President, and the Left knows it.  Hence, the faithful attack dogs of the media are unleashed to kill his chances before they can get out of the crib.

Only one problem with all of that - the more Walker has been attacked, the more successful he's been in recent elections.  And if his opponent is really Hillary Clinton, well the script kind of writes itself, doesn't it?

All of this pointing and laughing at Walker is just whistling through the graveyard by the Left.  And based on Walker's recent performance, they should be nervous, indeed.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

SNL ISIS Ad

Here's the ad that SNL ran last Saturday that has some folks up in arms:



Satire is defined as the following: the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.  

Seems to me the ad could not be more satiric if it tried.

Kudos, SNL.  The fact is, too many are burying their heads in the sand relative to ISIS and their atrocities.  Anything that starts recognition and discussion is a good thing.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Discovering Podcasts

With all of my travels of late, I've leveraged audio books to help make the time go by faster, and indeed, it is a great tonic for the beleaguered road traveler.  My latest book is Seth Godin's Leap First: Creating Work that Matters, and it has helped me to pass the time on a recent trip to a Kentucky quail hunt.

As good as the audio books have been, I've bumped into a new format that has me equally intrigued and entertained: podcasts.  The attached screen shot reflect two that currently have me involved.  Startup is a podcast about a start-up company that makes podcasts of all things, and Serial is about a recent murder case.  In both instances the podcasts are impeccably produced, informative, and incredibly entertaining.  And they make the long hours behind the wheel go by in a flash. 

I always felt that podcasts were for uber-geeks and uber-enthusiasts.   I now see my error, and have opened up an entire world of audio with which to interact.

Podcasts - who would have thought?
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